Starvation deaths: notice to Centre, Delhi govt.

first_imgThe Delhi High Court has sought response from the Centre and the Delhi government on a plea seeking directions to them to address issues related to starvation deaths, especially of children, in the capital.A Bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V.K. Rao sought the stand of Ministry of Home Affairs and the Delhi government on the issue raised in the petition which claims malnutrition and deaths due to starvation were more prevalent among slum dwellers as many of them do not have ration cards to access subsidised foodgrain.The Bench also directed that the Delhi government’s departments of Health and Family Welfare, Social Welfare as well as Women and Child Development be also made parties to the case.It has listed the case for further hearing on February 15, 2019.Address proofThe order came on the petition claiming that often the poor families living in slums do not have ration cards due to lack of address proof. It contended that it should not be a ground for denial of subsidised food to them.“Making food security conditional (to be given only to a ration card holder) is a violation of the fundamental right to life under the Constitution,” the petition said.The plea was initially moved in the Supreme Court, which on September 7 asked the petitioner to first approach the Delhi High Court.last_img read more

Rains lash Bihar

first_imgHeavy rain and acute waterlogging for the last 36 hours in Patna and certain parts of Bihar have thrown life out of gear, with the district administration pressing the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) to shift marooned people to safer places.Bihar rain: waterlogging throws life out of gear in many parts of State Electricity, phone connection, internet have gone kaput in these areas and people are considering vacating their homes for safer places.last_img

Provincial Fire Service Training Program Presented to Minister

first_imgThe interests of Nova Scotia’s firefighters are in good hands thanks to the work of organizations such as the Fire Service Association of Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Firefighters School. The fire service association recently presented a plan to create a provincial fire service training program to Minister of Environment and Labour Mark Parent. Under the proposal, 90 per cent of Nova Scotia’s fire service members could attain training within 90 minutes of their communities. Mr. Parent thanked the fire service association for its effort. “I would like to acknowledge the work of the association in developing a multi-year plan for improved training across the province,” he said. “In conjunction with other interested departments, Environment and Labour will review the proposed Provincial Fire Service Training Program plan.” Tom Bremner, president of the fire service association, said fire service training needs to be modernized. “Our association looks forward to working with the Department of Environment and Labour towards safer communities, and the safety of all firefighters.”last_img read more

Dementia Strategy Advisory Committee Members Named

first_imgMembers of an advisory committee have been chosen to help develop the province’s first comprehensive strategy for people with dementia and their families. The members include a Nova Scotian who is living with dementia, a family caregiver, service providers, and health-care professionals. “This is an important step towards our goal to enhance delivery of dementia care and treatment in this province,” said Health and Wellness minister Leo Glavine. “The dementia strategy will make the best use of support for those living with dementia, as well as their families and caregivers.” Lloyd Brown, executive director of the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia, and Ruby Knowles, executive director of Continuing Care at the Department of Health and Wellness, are the committee co-chairs. Other committee members named today are: Dr. Melissa Andrew, geriatrician, QEII Health Sciences Centre, Halifax Angus Campbell, executive director, Caregivers Nova Scotia Dr. Keri-Leigh Cassidy, clinical academic director, Geriatric Psychiatry and Seniors Mental Health Program, QEII Health Sciences Centre Janice Chalmers, registered nurse, Northwood Home Care, Halifax Krista Connell, CEO, Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation Sharon Davis-Murdoch, special advisor on Diversity and Social Inclusion, Department of Health and Wellness Heather Fifield, member at large Rev. Faye Forbes, member at large who is living with dementia Patricia Harrington, manager, Continuing Care, Cumberland Health Authority Lorna MacPherson, director, Services for Persons with Disabilities, Department of Community Services Brenda Nicholson, director of resident care, Alderwood Nursing Home, Baddeck Tony Prime, co-ordinator, Adult Mental Health, Mental Health, Children’s Services and Addictions, Department of Health and Wellness Dr. Celina White, chair, Nova Scotia Physician Recruitment and Retention Action Team, Amherst Faizal Nanji, Department of Seniors Bill VanGorder, Group of IX “We’re off to a great start,” said Mr. Brown. “With the advisory committee in place, we are well-positioned to produce a meaningful strategy that will support persons with the disease and their care-givers.” The dementia strategy, which was announced in January, aims to improve timely access to services, provide support for caregivers, and ensure people affected by dementia can remain independent for as long as possible. Nova Scotia has the oldest population per capita in the country. Each month, about 1,000 Nova Scotians turn 65. As of July 1, 2013, Statistics Canada reports 166,519 Nova Scotians or 17.7 per cent of the province’s total population are 65 or older. The provincial dementia strategy will be delivered to the minister next spring.last_img read more

Once populous sea stars disappearing because of warm water and disease

first_imgVANCOUVER — A newly released study says a combination of warm waters and infectious diseases has been determined as the cause of a die-off of populations of sunflower starfish along the Pacific coast.Study co-author Drew Harvell, a Cornell University professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, says the heat wave in the oceans caused by global warming is making the sea star wasting disease worse and killing the starfish faster.Scientists noticed that in the three years starting in 2013 the populations of this species declined between 80 and 100 per cent in deep and shallow waters from Alaska and British Columbia right down to California.The study says the sunflower sea star is about the size of a manhole cover with an enormous appetite that crawls over the sea floor like a robotic vacuum cleaner, eating everything in its path.Joseph Gaydos, with the SeaDoc Society out of the University of California, Davis, says sunflower sea stars are important because they keep sea urchins under control.Gaydos, who’s the senior author on the study, says without the sunflower stars, urchin populations expand and threaten kelp forests and biodiversity. The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Interview with Olunike Adeliyi

first_img Facebook Twitter Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Advertisement I had the opportunity to ask the talented and very busy actress Olunike Adeliyi, who will be appearing in the upcoming Darken movie, about some of her recent work and her many outside of acting achievements. In this digital exchange she shared a great deal of insight into who she is and her talents..1) You were in the feature film that release on March 2nd, Boost, could you tell me a little bit more about it? Boost follows an adolescent boy named Hakeem who is living in Montreal’s tough Parc-Ex neighbourhood. Along with his best friend A-Mac, the two work at Hakeem’s uncle’s car wash ’spotting’ luxury sports cars for a local crime syndicate. A-Mac eventually persuades Hakeem to boost a car on their own leading to a windfall of cash that has dire consequences down the road. Boost is packed with action, suspense, and also the ups and downs of an immigrant family trying to survive..2) In Boost you play the lead character Hakeem’s mother, Amina, how would you describe your character? Amina Nour is a hard worker and wants to become a part of the Canadian fabric. She’s raising two sons on her own and with very little income..last_img read more

Brutal killings in Nepal could have been prevented UN human rights arm

20 April 2007In findings released today, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said that brutal killings of 27 people during clashes between political parties in Nepal last month could have been prevented by stronger law enforcement, and called on the Government to bolster systems to protect its citizens. The agency’s report comes after the agency’s teams interviewed over 170 eyewitnesses, including human rights defenders, journalists, medical personnel, Government officials, security forces, representatives from the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), Madheshi People’s Rights Forum (MPRF) representatives and people detained by police.On 21 March, 27 people, including four women and one 17-year-old girl, were killed and many more injured at the Rice Mill field in Gaur, central Nepal, when violence broke out at a rally between the MPRF and the Maoists. A dozen young men destroyed the Maoists’ stage, and in retaliation, their supporters charged the MPRF stage. After initially fleeing, MPRF supporters turned on the outnumbered Maoists.Most of those killed were Maoists, and all but one were killed by weapons crafted from bamboo. OHCHR’s findings show that MPRF supporters were prepared for a confrontation, as many – including young children – at the gathering were armed and knew the weapons could be lethal.MPRF “leaders must unequivocally renounce any use of violence and take all steps in their power to prevent supporters, however loosely associated with the Forum, from carrying weapons and using violence,” the Office said in a press release.OHCHR questioned the Maoists’ “provocative” decision to stage a rally at the same time and location as the MPRF. The Maoists also brought at least one weapon and socket bomb to the event, and the Office said that this is in violation of the respect for the right to life, freedom of expression and assembly. OHCHR called on the party to tell their supporters not to disrupt activities by other organizations with differing political opinions.In contravention of international child rights standards, both parties exposed children under the age of 18 to harm by allowing them to attend their rallies, resulting in one girl’s death. OHCHR urged the groups to ensure that young people are not present at political rallies where violence could potentially break out.“There can be no doubt that most, if not all, of the killings in Gaur could have been prevented,” the Office said. “The incidents highlighted once more the weaknesses of law enforcement agencies who, aware of the potential for clashes and other violence, were grossly ill-prepared to ensure effective crowd control.”Authorities not only failed to prevent violence from happening in the first place by convincing organizers to postpone or change the date of the rallies, but being grossly ill-prepared to control crowds, they also did not stem the violence when it erupted, protect those under attack and carry out any arrests.OHCHR said that this incident underscores the urgent need to strengthen and reform law enforcement in Nepal. Although the country’s Home Minister announced that local authorities and security forces had been given instructions to use all legal means to deal with armed groups and acts of violence, the Office believes that more immediate additional measures – including local and national-level law enforcement coordination – are necessary to protect the people.In addition, OHCHR noted that reports that several or all of the females killed were raped or sexually mutilated have been unsubstantiated, and voiced concern that the spread of such uncorroborated information only serves to further anguish victims’ relatives.Lastly, the Office called on the Government to provide a secure environment in which the rights of life, freedom of expression and assembly are protected.“The Gaur incidents have demonstrated the fragility of respect for those rights and the capacity of the State to protect them,” OHCHR said.Elections are scheduled for later this year in the impoverished country, where over 10 years of civil war killed around 15,000 people and displaced more than 100,000 others.OHCHR stated that the all involved in consolidating the peace and the impending elections, especially the Government, must ensure that the events of 21 March are not repeated.In a related development, a delegation from Nepal – comprising Government representatives, senior political leaders, members of the country’s Interim Legislature and civil society figures – will visit UN Headquarters in New York from 23 to 25 April.“This is an important visit that affords the delegation and the United Nations to interact at a critical juncture of the peace process in Nepal and the United Nations’ support for it through UNMIN [the UN Political Mission in Nepal],” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesperson, Michele Montas.The aim of the trip is to bolster the country’ relationship with the UN and other international organizations which are supporting the Comprehensive Peace Accord, which brought an end to the civil war. read more

Top UN envoy congratulates Somalis on conclusion of reconciliation debate

The top United Nations envoy to Somalia today lauded the success of the national reconciliation summit, which ended today, but cautioned that much work remains to foster better internal relations in the war-ravaged country. “For me, today’s ceremony is of particular significance,” the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Somalia François Lonsény Fall told participants at the National Reconciliation Congress in the capital Mogadishu. “It heralds the successful conclusion of a Somali-driven and owned reconciliation process within the country.” He warned that while the end of the Congress “marks yet another milestone in the quest for peace and reconciliation process in Somalia, it does not however signify the end of the reconciliation process” as the East African nation must overcome many hurdles, including engaging all opposition groups in a dialogue. “Dealing with these challenges will require political will, commitment and perseverance by all parties concerned, as well as concerted international assistance and support by Somalia’s friends and development partners,” he said. The envoy, who led a delegation of the International Advisory Committee (IAC), recommended that the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) receive support to extend its authority and bolster respect for human rights throughout Somalia, which has had no functioning government since Muhammad Siad Barre’s regime was toppled in 1991. He called for the strengthening of AMISOM, the African Union-led mission in Somalia, which he said is a “prerequisite for improving stability and for providing the space for the political process, including the dialogue between the TFG and the opposition groups, to move forward.” Regarding terrorism, Mr. Fall said it is crucial to decouple the issue from that of settling the Somali political crisis to allow the reconciliation process to move forward. “The best way to fight terrorism in this country is to pursue open dialogue and genuine reconciliation among all parties in Somalia,” he said. The reconciliation congress kicked off on 14 July but was followed by a series of deadly attacks targeting locations where the conference, which was suspended for several days, took place. The attacks have wounded and killed innocent bystanders, including children, and prompted scores of others to flee. Hostilities in the country flared up last year, culminating in the expulsion from Mogadishu in December of Islamist groups by the TFG, backed by Ethiopian troops. According to UN figures, 340,000 people, or roughly one-third of Mogadishu’s population, have fled the city because of ongoing hostilities since February. 30 August 2007The top United Nations envoy to Somalia today lauded the success of the national reconciliation summit, which ended today, but cautioned that much work remains to foster better internal relations in the war-ravaged country. read more

Colombia UN sounds alarm about fresh floods in regions already suffering

3 May 2011The United Nations humanitarian arm is voicing concern about the situation in Colombia, where a new rainy season is wreaking havoc at a time when many areas have not yet recovered from last season’s devastating floods. Colombia’s meteorological authorities have maintained red alerts for the main rivers and river basins in the country’s Andean region, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported.More than 2 million Colombians were affected by last year’s floods, and in some places flood waters are yet to recede, according to OCHA.The governors of some affected departments are reporting that this year’s flooding is worse than last year’s inundations, and the cumulative toll has risen to 410 people dead and 482 others missing.“The emergency in some areas of the country is not yet over, and we are really concerned about the impact of the new rainy season on already affected communities,” said Stephanie Bunker, a spokesperson for OCHA.A food security assessment conducted by the UN World Food Programme (WFP) earlier this year found that the food security and nutrition situation in flood-affected areas have deteriorated sharply, with many households along the Caribbean and Pacific coasts – among the hardest-hit areas – reducing their number of daily meals to two or even one.A third of households in the assessment had no income source, and the situation is exacerbated by the rising costs of many basic foods.Ms. Bunker said Colombian authorities had made significant efforts to respond to the floods, including holding a fundraising campaign that harnessed the support of the private sector, civil society and the international community.“We believe that it is very important to continue supporting the Government’s efforts as there are still unmet humanitarian needs, especially in the sectors of water, sanitation and hygiene, food security, nutrition and health, protection, housing and education.”OCHA reported that the humanitarian situation has been further complicated by the flooding extending to areas also affected by the long-standing armed conflict within Colombia. Illegal armed groups, including new groups that have formed after paramilitary groups were demobilized, operate in these areas. read more

Poaching by Indian fishermen in Sri Lanka sees drop

However he said boats seized after 2015 had not been returned and they were impounded after taking legal action. Poaching by Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan waters has seen a 50 percent drop, the Fisheries Ministry said today.The Fisheries Ministry said that steps taken by the Navy and Coast Guard to arrest Indian fishermen poaching in Sri Lankan waters has resulted in the drop in the number of fishermen poaching in Sri Lanka. The Minister said that talks to resolve the Indo-Lanka fishing issue will also continue and another round of discussions will take place in Colombo on January 2 next year.He said that the Indian Foreign Minister and Fisheries Minister are expected to attend the talks in Colombo next month. (Colombo Gazette) Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that all Indian boats seized before 2015 had been returned to India. He said that while Indian fishermen were released on humanitarian grounds, Sri Lanka will continue to arrest any Indian fishermen found poaching in Sri Lankan waters.He also said that Sri Lanka has raised concerns with India on the damage caused to Sri Lankan fishing resources by Indian fishermen. read more

Vale presses ahead with Voiseys Bay underground after making 75 cobalt sales

first_imgVale informs that it has concluded separate agreements with Wheaton Precious Metals Corp (Wheaton) and with Cobalt 27 Capital Corp to sell an aggregate total of 75% cobalt stream with reference to the cobalt by-product to be delivered from January 1st, 2021, which encompasses the ramp-down from the existing Voisey’s Bay mine (Voisey’s Bay) and from the Voisey’s Bay underground mine expansion project (VBME), for a total upfront payment of $690 million plus additional payments of 20%, on average, of cobalt prices upon delivery.The streaming deal enables development of VBME, Vale’s first significant investment announcement in recent years. The transaction substantially improves the financial returns on invested capital of VBME to more than 35%/y at market consensus prices. It is aligned with Vale’s rigorous capital allocation process in which projects must be capable to generate returns at current price levels, instead of depending upon future price expectations.The upfront payment of $690 million will be paid in its entirety upon closing of the transaction with $390 million to be paid by Wheaton and $300 million to be paid by Cobalt 27, and it is equivalent to 40% of the estimated VBME nominal capex of $1.7 billion.Vale remains exposed to approximately 40% of future cobalt production from Voisey’s Bay, through Vale’s retained interest in 25% of cobalt production and the approximately 20% additional payments on the 75% cobalt stream. The cobalt stream is consistent with Vale’s strategy to preserve optionality in nickel, a key input into electric vehicles. VBME will extend the mine life of Voisey’s Bay, granting Vale access to nickel, copper and cobalt reserves and, thus, increasing to an estimated annual production of around 45,000 t of nickel, on average, about 20,000 t of copper and about 2,600 t of cobalt, in total. In order to secure a smooth transition from the open pit to the underground mine, nickel production from Voisey’s Bay mine will be maintained at 38,000 t/y from 2018 to 2020, ramping up to 45-50,000 t/y of nickel contained in concentrate from 2024 onwards.Through the streaming transactions Cobalt 27 and Wheaton are entitled to an amount of finished cobalt equivalent to a percentage of the cobalt by-products from VBME and, thus, share the production and geological risks after development and ramp-up, both on the upside and on the downside. As the underground mine is undeveloped, Vale granted a completion guarantee in relation to the VBME project, to be measured by the throughput rate from the underground mine in 2025. The completion guarantee is under Vale’s control, given that licenses, contractors and suppliers have been secured for developing the VBME project. The transaction unlocks important EV optionality for Vale and is consistent with Vale’s rigorous discipline of capital allocation, as it reduces the financial risks of the VBME project.Voisey’s Bay mine, located in Labrador, Canada, has been in production since 2005 and has produced over 600,000 t of nickel, 400,000 t of copper concentrate, and 12,000 t of cobalt. Copper concentrate is sold on the open market, while nickel concentrate is transported to the Long Harbour Processing Plant. Voisey’s Bay mine is one of the most competitive nickel operations globally, being recognised for its safety records and cash costs in the bottom half of the industry cost curve. Current open pit mining in the Ovoid deposit is expected to continue until 2022.Exploration around the Ovoid Deposit identified two major deposits (Reid Brook and Eastern Deeps) located from 200 m to 900 m underground. A feasibility study was completed in early 2015 to expand Voisey’s Bay operations underground to mine both deposits via two decline and ramp systems and the project was approved in July 2015 by Vale’s Board of Directors, with installation licenses already obtained. Due to difficult market conditions in recent years, the project was put on hold; now Vale has announced it will restart substantive work on the project allowing for a significant increase in Vale’s exposure to the EV market. The project extends Voisey’s Bay mine life from 2023 to 2034.“By unlocking the value of the cobalt by-product at Voisey’s Bay through this streaming deal, Vale has found a way to resume substantive work on the underground project in Voisey’s Bay and support the market’s increasing demand for nickel, copper and cobalt, as well as uphold its commitment to the Government, our Indigenous stakeholders and the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada”, commented Eduardo Bartolomeo, Executive Officer for Base Metals.The scope of the project includes: (i) underground development to access the two deposits; (ii) fresh and return air fans; (iii) increased power generation and fuel storage; (iv) expansion to accommodations, offices, warehousing and maintenance shops; (v) upgrades to water and sewage treatment facilities; and (vi) paste backfill and shotcrete plants. As a brownfield project, the mine expansion will use the existing concentrator, port and support facilities, as well as the Long Harbour Processing Plant, leading to reduced implementation risks. The total capital expenditures are estimated at approximately $1.7 billion: $100-150 million in 2018, $300-350 million in 2019, $450-500 million in 2020 and 2021, $150-200 million in 2022 and less than $50 million in 2023. The first full year of underground production is expected to be 2021, when current open pit mining begins to ramp down.During 2021 and 2022, the Ovoid open pit is expected to produce an average of approximately 800 t/y of refined cobalt, at average grade of 0.08% cobalt. During the initial ramp-up period of four years, commencing in 2021, VBME is expected to produce an average of approximately 1,800 t/y of refined cobalt, at average grades of 0.15% cobalt. When operating at full scale, from 2025 to 2033, the underground mine is expected to produce an average of 2,600 t/y of refined cobalt, at average grade of 0.13% cobalt.Voisey’s Bay has total estimated mineral reserves of 32.4 Mt with a nickel grade of 2.13% and a cobalt grade of 0.13%. The open pit reserves and resources consist of the Main Ovoid, the Mini Ovoid and the SE Extension. The underground reserves and resources consist of Reid Brook and Eastern Deeps. Of the total estimated mineral reserves, the underground reserves contain 23.6 Mt with a nickel grade of 2.17% and cobalt grade of 0.14%.last_img read more

A quarter of the cash from Clerys liquidation has gone to accountants

first_img Image: Sam Boal/ Share Tweet Email Source: RollingNews.ieOut of the total €1.9 million cash pool, accountants KPMG and lawyers McCann Fitzgerald have received a combined total of just under €470,000.Another €654,000 was paid out to concession owners, who at the time of the closure claimed they were owed around €2 million.The latest documents filed with the companies office show KPMG received €246,000 in liquidators’ fees in September.‘Conflict of interest’Shortly after Clerys was sold, Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams told the Dáil there were “serious conflicts of interest” surrounding the sale of the business.KPMG, as well as being the Clerys liquidators, has also worked for companies associated with D2 Private, which was part of the consortium that bought the store.Deirdre Foley, the head of D2 Private, began her career with KPMG in 1992, where she trained as an accountant. KPMG declined to comment when contacted by Fora. D2 Private owner Deirdre FoleyThe OCS Operations liquidators have also paid out more than €222,000 to McCann Fitzgerald.The Irish Times reported in June 2015 that lawyers representing some former concession holders wrote to McCann Fitzgerald, which represented the OCS liquidators, to clarify potential conflicts of interest around KPMG’s role in the sale of Clerys.The OCS Operations liquidators still have €352,756 left to distribute after making several other payments, including €151,396 on “IT, utilities, security & others” and €12,796 on “professional fees”.The report noted that “ongoing issues including legal proceedings” will probably result in the full winding up of the company taking between 12 and 24 months.Written by Paul O’Donoghue and posted on Image: Sam Boal/ Feb 25th 2017, 7:05 AM Short URL Take me to Fora Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 9,212 Views center_img Saturday 25 Feb 2017, 7:05 AM LAWYERS AND ACCOUNTANTS have received almost half a million euro in fees as part of the liquidation of iconic department store Clerys.However, the store’s former employees, who were left jobless when the store suddenly closed, have received no money from the wind-up besides their statutory entitlements – for which taxpayers have picked up the tab.About 130 direct employees and another 330 who sold their wares in the department store through concessions lost their jobs when Clerys was suddenly declared insolvent in June 2015.The subsequent liquidation has become infamous due to the cold treatment of the staff, many of whom had worked at the store for decades.Clerys’ previous owners, US investment firm Gordon Brothers Group, sold the store to a joint venture called Natrium made up of Irish investment group D2 Private and UK-based Cheyne Capital Management.Before it was sold, the Clerys business was split into two main companies – one in charge of its day-to-day retail operations and a second that oversaw the firm’s assets, including the prime O’Connell St site where the store was housed.The loss-making trading business, OCS Operations, changed hands for a notional €1 in July and was quickly liquidated, while the property firm, OSC Properties, was sold for €29 million and continued to trade.Neither the old nor the new owners of the store provided staff with redundancy pay, and in the end the state was forced to pick up a €2 million redundancy bill. Former Clerys workers Source: Sam BoalLiquidators feesA new liquidators’ report for OCS Operations shows that the company had assets of about €2.2 million after the business stopped trading and all of its assets were sold.Some €485,000 of this was made up of redundancy cash that the state paid to the liquidators, who then distributed it to former employees.Stripping out this amount, about €1.7 million was left in the control of the liquidators, Kieran Wallace and Eamonn Richardson of KPMG, in June 2015. Around €200,000 in extra cash came from Revenue, for a VAT refund, and Dublin City Council, for a rates refund. A quarter of the cash from Clerys’ liquidation has gone to accountants and lawyers The state was forced to pick up the €2 million tab for sacked workers’ redundancy entitlements. Get Fora’s NEW daily digest of the morning’s key business news: 20 Comments By Fora Stafflast_img read more

Completely unacceptable Union suspends ballot over Ulster Bank pay dispute

first_img‘Completely unacceptable’ – Union suspends ballot over Ulster Bank pay dispute The FSU said this was due to the bank beginning to implement new salary ranges that would negatively affect staff. Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Thursday 19 Jan 2017, 7:53 AM A UNION REPRESENTING Ulster Bank workers has suspended a ballot of its members over new pay proposals and accused the bank of introducing staff salaries without proper consultation.The Financial Services Union (FSU) today said it had taken the unprecedented step of cancelling a ballot over a new pay agreement that was reached with the bank.The FSU said this was due to the bank beginning to implement new salary ranges that would negatively affect staff.The union said that implementing these salaries was not part of an agreement reached between it and the bank in negotiations overseen by independent mediator Kieran Mulvey of the Workplace Relations Commission.It said that further engagement over proposed new salaries was needed before the bank could implement them.Gareth Murphy, senior industrial relations officer with the FSU said that the bank had been engaged in “difficult negotiations” with Ulster Bank for a number of months.“We finally secured a deal which we felt we could recommend to staff in the bank,” he said.The deal secures increased pay, extends those increases to more staff than previous agreements and is weighted in favour of those on low and middle salaries.The union said that it was recommended by Kieran Mulvey in negotiations that the bank publish any information on new salaries before implementing.“It has now emerged that even before the ballot has concluded on the pay deal Ulster Bank is unilaterally implementing these new salary ranges,” said Murphy.That is in breach of both the spirit and letter of the recommendation made by Mr Mulvey. It is an appalling way to treat the loyal and dedicated staff in Ulster Bank.Larry Broderick, general secretary of the FSU, said it was “completely unacceptable” for the bank to start to implement the new salaries.“If the Bank doesn’t reverse its position we will have no option but to abandon the ballot and consult staff on further action and a campaign of opposition to the range cuts,” he said.A source within the bank said that Mulvey had not made a recommendation either way during the negotiations and that the details of the new salary ranges had been confirmed in the talks.The source said it was not sure what the objective of the FSU was in relation to the pay suspension.Read: All Ulster Bank customers affected by system error have now been paidRead: Ulster Bank fined €3.3m for anti-money laundering and terrorist-financing failures 8 Comments Jan 19th 2017, 7:53 AM By Cormac Fitzgerald Share41 Tweet Email1 11,712 Views last_img read more

Commission rejects Sinodinos claims

first_imgSenator Arthur Sinodinos continues to be embroiled in the investigation over political donations to the NSW Liberal Party, and his latest efforts to defend his position have been rebuffed by the NSW Election Commission.Last week the commission announced it was withholding $4.4 million in public funding to the NSW Liberals until the party disclosed who donated a sum of $693,000 before the 2011 state election.The move prompted the senator to write a letter of complaint to the commission, saying he had not been afforded “procedural fairness” or “basic decency” by not being warned of the commission’s announcement.Sinodinos said that errors in the commission’s statement had a potentially damaging effect.“It appears on transcripts of ICAC selectively used to make a particular point, without the opportunity for people like me who are affected to make their part of the case,” he said.On Thursday the commission hit back, saying it refused to retract any statements it has made on the matter.The withholding of the $693,000 donation relates to a fund-raising campaign for the New South Wales 2011 election campaign when Sinodinos was the NSW Liberal Party treasurer. The senator has consistently denied any knowledge of wrongdoing in relation to funds raised during his tenure as treasurer, a position he held while also being the non-executive chairman of Australian Water Holdings, which made a $30,000 donation to the Liberal war chest as it battled insolvency.At the heart of assertions against Sinodinos is whether he was aware of the donation at the time, and the implications of a potential conflict of interest over his role as an AWH company director and NSW Liberal Party finance director.The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) inquiry into the matter (that began in 2014) and took evidence from the senator is yet to be finalised, but reports suggest Sinodinos will not face corruption findings. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Investigation underway after food cart destroyed by fire at Horton Plaza

first_img Posted: November 20, 2017 Investigation underway after food cart destroyed by fire at Horton Plaza November 20, 2017 , center_img Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — A suspected arsonist was arrested Monday after a spate of suspicious fires erupted outside Westfield Horton Plaza mall, destroying a food kiosk, damaging a roadside trash receptacle and scorching a discarded suitcase.The first of the three blazes broke out shortly before 5 a.m. and gutted a dessert-crepe cart outside the main entrance to the shopping center.Less than an hour later, the contents of a refuse container in the 200 block of Broadway and a small piece of luggage lying next to a nearby bus stop also were found burning, said Sgt. Rick Pechin of the San Diego Metro Arson Strike Team.A surveillance camera captured images of a man setting fire to the trash can, and investigators used the footage to track down the alleged perpetrator, identified as 58-year-old Brian Keith Smith. The suspect was taken into custody in the area without incident about 6 a.m., Pechin said.Smith was booked into San Diego Central Jail on suspicion of one count of arson. He was being held on $50,000 bail pending arraignment, scheduled for Wednesday.The fires occurred two months after a hot dog cart was torched at the same downtown mall. Smith is under investigation in connection with that blaze as well as the three that took place Monday morning, the sergeant said.last_img read more

Apple to Show First Original Series Clips at March Event but Launch

first_imgApple’s plans to resell premium subscription services as add-ons follow Amazon’s lead; the ecommerce giant’s Amazon Channels video subscription marketplace has become the biggest reseller of paid video services since its launch in December of 2015. BMO Capital Markets estimated in December that Channels brought in $1.7 billion in revenue in 2018. In addition to premium networks, Amazon also resells a number of second-tier video services via Channels. At least at launch, Apple seems to be going down a different route for its own service: Operators of some of the smaller video services available via Channels told Variety this week that they haven’t had far-reaching discussions with the company yet.To headline its own service, Apple has struck a number of high-profile deals with A-list directors and actors including Abrams, Gardner, Oprah Winfrey, Aniston, and Witherspoon. Apple shows that have completed production on their first seasons or are well along include the new take on “Amazing Stories”; “Are You Sleeping,” a detective drama starring Octavia Spencer; and the futuristic “See,” starring Jason Momoa.Apple’s push into premium comes as the company is looking to boost its services revenue amid stagnating iPhone sales. In January, Apple revealed that its iPhone revenue for the holiday quarter was down 15% year-over-year. During the earnings call for that quarter, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company was seeing cord cutting and the move to online video accelerate. “We see huge changes in customer behavior taking place now,” Cook said. “It will likely take place at a much faster pace this year.”Todd Spangler, Daniel Holloway, and Joe Otterson contributed to this report. ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Popular on Variety Apple is going to give the world a first glimpse at its marquee video content at a press event in Cupertino, Calif., at the end of next month, where the iPhone maker is expected to show clips of its original series. However, sources familiar with the company’s plans told Variety that original series on the service may not launch until the summer, or even fall.Apple is planning to invite press and partners to a media event on its Cupertino campus on March 25, a date that was first reported by BuzzFeed. It is expected to show off its video service, and likely also unveil a separate news subscription service at the event. A company representative declined to comment on the matter.At the event, Apple is expected to show off clips from shows that are in the works for the video service, including the first glimpse of Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Steve Carell in the untitled drama set behind the scenes of a network news morning show. Sources familiar with the plans say Apple’s video service will be targeted for a launch in summer or fall rather than the April timing that has been the subject of media speculation. Apple has vowed to its high-caliber producing partners to mount marketing blitzes on behalf of the shows in addition to the service itself. There’s an awareness that stars such as Aniston and Witherspoon do not want to take a back seat to promotion for the video service launch itself.Sources also cautioned that specific plans for the press event and how the video service will be introduced could be in flux until the minutes before Cook steps on stage. Apple prizes secrecy and the surprise factor at its public events, which means the company is likely to keep even its creative partners guessing until the day arrives. Bloomberg reported Wednesday that the company had invited Aniston, Witherspoon, Jennifer Garner, and J.J. Abrams to attend. Sources tell Variety that other talent associated with upcoming Apple content, including Jane Krakowski and Hailee Steinfeld, have been invited to attend.In addition to original content produced in-house, Apple’s service will also offer access to third-party subscription services, which will be sold as a la carte add-ons. Some of the partners expected to participate include CBS and Viacom, according to people familiar with the matter. HBO is said to be still in discussions with Apple, but is widely expected to sign on at some point as well.Netflix and Hulu, on the other hand, won’t participate, which is not a big surprise: Apple plans to offer add-on subscriptions for services like Starz and Showtime within its own app, doing away with the need to download a separate app for each and every network. Netflix in particular is known to be very protective of its own app experience, and hasn’t ever licensed its catalog to be used in this way. Hulu, meanwhile, directly competes with Apple’s upcoming service, as it also resells Showtime, HBO, and Starz to its audience.last_img read more

Game of the Year Bonkey Trek

first_imgFor too long the definition of “Game of the Year” has been unfairly narrow. How boring is it to see every website shower the same stale AAA games with praise at the end of each holiday season? So at we’re doing what we can to put a stop to this in Game of the Year, a new column celebrating worthy alternative picks for the year’s greatest game regardless of genre, platform, year of release, or even quality. Here, any game can be Game of the Year!Between my old video series at PCMag and my 400+ reviews at my previous gig 148Apps, I’ve spent a lot of time writing about mobile games. So trust me when I say the bad rap the platform gets from “traditional gamers” is unfair. Sure a lot of mobile games are exploitative free-to-play garbage, but as far as morality goes a shameful amount of AAA console games these days aren’t that much better. At this point, if you aren’t aware of the countless quality mobile games from big publishers like Square Enix or indie developers like Sirvo then you just aren’t paying attention.However, this week’s Game of the Year highlights another delightful aspect of the mobile games market. In the past if you wanted to play the most awful, gonzo, shoddily made, and absurdly auteurist games out there you either had to poke around a Flash site like Newgrounds or download some truly shady .EXE files. But the ease of mobile publishing makes sampling exquisite, inexplicable garbage as easy as unlocking your phone. Bonkey Trek is exquisite, inexplicable garbage, and it’s the Game of the Year.Bonkey Trek is a free iOS and Android game from Quikding. Other, later games from this studio, such as Warping War Pig and Welcome… to the Wind, are also strong contenders for Game of the Year. But this week belongs to Bonkey Trek.I’m almost reluctant to say anything more about Bonkey Trek. Like everyone’s favorite video game measuring stick Dark Souls, part of the joy of playing is figuring out this inscrutable object. So if that appeals to you stop reading now. For everyone else, I’ll keep trying to sell you.In Bonkey Trek players hop aboard their trusty Bonkey (a donkey but better) and travel through crass yet captivating MS Paint landscapes straight out the Internet Gutter to find their true love. You learn this premise in a leisurely paced opening crawl. The controls on the other hand, are displayed in a quick opening flash way too short to remember. That means you’ll have to learn Bonkey Trek’s surprisingly nuanced control scheme on your own through trial and error, lots of error.Bonkey is your best friend, but it’s also a beast. So to reach the end of the 100-mile trail, you have to hit Bonkey to spur it forward. To do so pull back on the touch screen to raise your hand and let go to strike. Your stroke determines how hard you hit. Harder hits cause Bonkey to run further in a single sprint. However, hit too hard and Bonkey will die. Bonkey also needs food. When Bonkey gets too visibly skinny drag a carrot or an apple from your hobo sack to replenish it. But food is limited. So if you hit too softly you won’t make enough progress and you’ll run out of food before the end. Plus, there are certain foods that can kill Bonkey. Irony aside, this is a legitimately enjoyable balancing act.Let’s get back to the irony. The second half of Bonkey Trek’s unsettling Oregon Trail aesthetic comes from the travelers and objects you and Bonkey come across along the way in between stroking. These interludes feature mysterious wells, elders from the wind tribe, scary clowns, and even a potential mate for Bonkey. Each of these encounters asks players to make some kind of choice: one that lets them proceed and one that causes an immediate game over. There’s really no way to tell which answer is the right one on the first try. Smoking a stranger’s peace pipe is all good but dropping a coin down a well cuts off kid’s face. Fortunately, in Bonkey Trek failure is entertaining enough to inspire you to try again.Unfortunately, the one compromise Bonkey Trek does make to be a “real game” is its inclusion of in-app purchases. If and when Bonkey dies you either have to start over, hope that God gives you a second chance to go on foot (really), or pay to resurrect Bonkey. It’s not too obnoxious but these freemium elements can’t help but make me wonder if the game’s difficulty curve was designed to make money, not add to the game’s absurdity.Bonkey Trek is nonsensical, looks like a stoner’s sketchbook, is a technical mess, has grating music that randomly cuts out, and is borderline unplayable. It’s also hilarious. Bonkey Trek is the Game of the Year.Check back next week to read about the next Game of the Year!last_img read more

Deepika was always a star Shahrukh

first_imgShah Rukh Khan, the producer and hero of Deepika Padukone’s debut film Om Shanti Om, says she has paved the way for her own success and that she always had it in her to be a ‘star’.SRK and Deepika worked under Farah Khan’s direction for Om Shanti Om, and the team has joined hands again for the forthcoming Happy New Year. In the gap of seven years, Deepika has established herself as one of the reigning beauties in Bollywood — and Shah Rukh feels the success is ‘all hers’. Also Read – A fresh blend of fame‘I have nothing to do with her (Deepika’s) success. It’s all hers. You can’t take credit away from someone,’ Shah Rukh told reporters in a group interview.Citing his own example, he said that when he worked on his debut film Deewana, veteran actors like Rishi Kapoor and Amrish Puri were very nice and kind to him.‘I must have made mistakes, I must have been good and bad,’ Shah Rukh said as he mulled over his own journey.But then talking of Deepika, he said: ‘I think Deepika was always a star. Since she was new, we did the Aankhon mein teri song and we showed it to Amitji (Amitabh Bachchan). He said, ‘She is a very huge star’. She was a supermodel at that time, so it’s not something we (Farah and I) have done.‘I haven’t worked with her for seven years, but I think she has it all. As a friend, I told her that ‘Always do a film where you feel comfortable with the people around’. She has made wonderful choices — whether it’s Cocktail or Finding Fanny. ‘She has chosen some highly commercial films too; she has made the right choices,’ he said.last_img read more

Microsoft ends the 260 long path limit sort of

first_imgMicrosoft ends the 260 long path limit (sort of) by Martin Brinkmann on May 27, 2016 in Windows – Last Update: July 17, 2017 – 53 commentsMicrosoft added a new feature to the most recent preview version of its Windows 10 operating system that resolves one of the longest standing issues that users experienced when using Windows: the 260 character limit.The system that Windows uses by default has a limit of 260 characters which led to all kinds of issues including the inability to run operations on files stored under paths exceeding the limit, issues with the extraction of files, and issues with transferring files from systems that have no such limit.Up until now all you could do was reduce the path to regain access to files, or use programs such as Long Path Fixer to resolve issues that you are experiencing.Enable NTFS Long PathThe latest Windows 10 Insider Preview ships with a new policy that does away with the 260 character limit, at least somewhat.Its description reads:Enabling NTFS long paths will allow manifested win32 applications and Windows Store applications to access paths beyond the normal 260 char limit per node. Enabling this setting will cause the long paths to be accessible within the process.The caveat here is the term “manifested win32 applications”. While most win32 applications since the days of Windows Vista are manifested, it is usually the case that the applications need to declare capabilities explicitly.It seems likely that applications need to explicitly declare support for the feature before they can make use of it.A quick test on a system after enabling the feature seems to confirm this. Still, getting that option is a step in the right direction especially if Microsoft implements support for it in File Explorer and other core Windows applications that could benefit from it.How to enable support for long paths using the Group Policy Editor Please note that the feature is currently only available as part of the latest Fast Ring Windows 10 Insider Build.It seems likely that Microsoft will make it available with the Anniversary Update that it plans to release this Summer.Tap on the Windows-key, type gpedit.msc, and hit enter.Confirm the UAC prompt if it appears.Use the hierarchy on the left to navigate to the following policy: Local Computer Policy > Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Filesystem > NTFS.Locate the Enable NTFS long paths policy and double-click on it.Switch its state to enabled.Click ok.Using the Registry insteadYou can enable the policy in the Registry directly as well.Tap on the Windows-key, type regedit.exe and hit enter.Confirm the UAC prompt.Navigate to the following key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Group Policy Objects\{48981759-12F2-42A6-A048-028B3973495F}Machine\System\CurrentControlSet\PoliciesCheck if the key LongPathsEnabled exists.If it does not exist, right-click on Policies and select New > Dword (32-bit) Value from the menu.Name it LongPathsEnabled.Set its value to 1 to enable the feature.SummaryArticle NameMicrosoft ends the 260 long path limit (sort of)DescriptionThe most recent version of Windows 10 and Windows 2016 Server ship with a new policy to enable long paths support for applications.Author Martin BrinkmannPublisher Ghacks Technology NewsLogo Advertisementlast_img read more

NYC gay man called fruitcake and punched in homophobic attack

first_imgRead the full article on Gaystarnews:  : Kevin and his sister. | Photo: suppliedThat’s when a woman on a train stood up and threw her cup of ice at him forcing him to flee as well.Two other women stood up and ran to the door to chase the boys off, but they were already gone.He then thanked the three women for their help.‘It was definitely homophobia’Etwaru said he didn’t go to the police because he was in shock and didn’t think they would be able to do anything about it.I’m gonna reflect off this experience and acknowledge that as a gay cisgendered male, I am a target but our trans brothers and sister are more likely to be victims of hate crimes which end in fatalities. Raise awareness of trans rights and educate! Make spaces safe for everyone!!— vers agenda (@whoresola) February 7, 2018He told GSN: ‘It was definitely homophobic, on account of the slurs.‘I like to think that, thank god it was me and not someone else. I was mentally and physically prepared for that, but maybe another LGBT member wouldn’t have been.He asked: ‘What if they would’ve taken it even farther on a member of the trans community?’Photo: suppliedEtwaru said: ‘If I had the chance to confront them face to face, I would tell them that I refuse to give them the reaction they want.‘I believe in love and peace and positive energy. I would tell them that I hope they grow to learn those traits, and to let go of all the hate that they have in their hearts,’ he said.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… As he was scrolling through Twitter on his phone, he had his head down and earphones in listening to music. He noticed three teenagers walking towards his side of the train carriage.Etwaru told Gay Star News: ‘Then I heard something hit the window next to me. It sounded like a coin or something.He added: ‘I was going to turn my music off and as soon as I did all I heard was “You fucking fruitcake!”One of the boys threw a bottle of Gatorade at the window next to Etwaru, causing it to spill on the seat in front of him. It also spilt on the window, his hoodie and jeans.Gatorade spilt all over Kevin Etwaru. | Photo: suppliedEtwaru said: ‘I was in utter shock, I didn’t have much time to react. Some of them were saying, “Only a faggot would sit like that.”‘I had put my feet up on the chair in front of me, I guess that’s gay these days? Who knows?‘And as soon as I turned around to look at them, one of them punched me on my left jaw causing me to bite down very hard on my tongue.He added: ‘I didn’t realize it until after when I tasted blood.‘They wanted to hurt me and provoke me’As soon as the attackers punched Etwaru, they ran off.Etwaru said: ‘They wanted to hurt me and provoke me.’But one of them came back to taunt Etwaru even further, saying: ‘Yo, how you gonna let him punch you in the face?!’ eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us)center_img GAYSTARNEWS- Attackers cornered a New York City gay man on the train, called him a ‘fruitcake’ and punched him in the face.At around 7:30pm last night (6 February) in Queens, Kevin Etwaru was heading to his friend’s house to watch a movie.last_img read more