October 11

UN official urges governments to meet climate change challenge

“We are barely two months away from the UN climate change conference in Cancun, the place where Governments need to take the next firm step on humanity’s journey to meet the full-scale challenge of climate change,” said Christiana Figueres, Executive Director of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Ahead of the next conference of parties to the Convention, to be held in November in Cancun, governments will hold a negotiating session in Tianjin, China, next week.It is in Tianjin, said Ms. Figueres, that they will need to “cut down the number of options they have on the table, identify what is achievable in Cancun and muster the political compromises that will deliver those outcomes.”She told a news conference at UN Headquarters that governments are converging on the need to mandate a full set of ways and means to launch a new wave of global climate action. “On the whole, governments have been cognizant this year that there is an urgent need to move forward and they have been collaborating in moving beyond their national positions to begin to identify common ground so that they can reach several agreements in Cancun.”The UN climate change chief said that negotiations are on track towards reaching agreements on the sharing of technology, jump-starting activities in developing countries dealing with reducing deforestation and degradation, setting out a framework for adaptation, and establishing a fund that would help developing countries with their mitigation and adaptation efforts. “Let me be clear: there is no magic bullet, no one climate agreement that will solve everything right now,” she said.“To expect that is naïve. It does not do justice to the crucial steps already achieved since the beginning of the Convention and it dangerously ignores the need to keep innovating.”She noted four major trends shaping the future – energy supply and security; natural resource depletion; population growth; and climate change. “An unchecked climate change is the flame that would make the other three burn most seriously,” said Ms. Figueres. “Governments can either stand together to turn these four threats into a new development paradigm that harnesses the full power of society, science and business, or they will fail divided.” 23 September 2010The top United Nations climate change official today stressed the urgent need for governments to move forward in their negotiations ahead of a major conference in Cancun, Mexico, where they will be expected to conclude agreements related to issues such as technology transfer, mitigation and adaptation, and funding. read more

October 6

Security Council extends UN Interim Force in Lebanon through July

Gravely concerned at the persistence of tension and violence along the withdrawal line between Israel and Lebanon, the Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations peacekeeping force operating in the area (UNIFIL) through July.In a unanimously adopted resolution, the Council cited hostilities initiated by Hizbollah on 21 November and those triggered by the firing of rockets from Lebanon into Israel the following month as evidence that “the situation remains volatile and fragile.” Continuing Israeli violations of Lebanese air space was also highlighted as cause for concern.While extending UNIFIL for another six months, the Council emphasized the Force’s “interim nature” and looking forward to “the early fulfilment of its mandate.”The Council also condemned all acts of violence, including the latest serious incidents across the Blue Line initiated from the Lebanese side that have resulted in deaths and injuries on both sides. It urged the parties to put an end to these violations, to refrain from any act of provocation that could further escalate the tension and to abide scrupulously by their obligation to respect the safety of UN personnel.The Council urged the Lebanese Government “to do more to assert its authority in the south, to exert control and monopoly over the use of force and to maintain law and order on its entire territory, and to prevent attacks from Lebanon across the Blue Line.”Secretary-General Kofi Annan was asked to continue to work with the Lebanese Government to reinforce its authority in the South.UNIFIL has been deployed in the area since 1978, when it was created to confirm Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, restore international peace and security, and help the Lebanese Government restore its effective authority in the area. Israel completed its withdrawal in 2000. The Force has nearly 2,000 troops from seven different countries. read more

October 2

Big bus registrations still strong but will weaken

“Growth in big bus registrations continues as last year’s strong orders are delivered.  The outlook is uncertain as the recession begins to grip the sector,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive.  “Bus and coach makers are cautious, as orders and activity fall.  The coach sector should stabilise after more than a year of sustained monthly registration drops: we hope to see that stability by September, but at an annual volume near 700 units.” •          Strong registration growth for big buses, but weaker outlook ahead. Big bus registrations still strong but will weaken •          Lower demand for coaches stabilising. DownloadClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) •          Restructuring and recession still affecting mini and midi bus demand. read more

September 28

TBDPITL Ep 21 Ohio State Signing Day

Wyatt Crosher and Colin Gay discuss Signing Day and the players from Ohio State they got to talk to on Wednesday. They also look at men’s basketball’s win against Penn State and what it means moving forward. NOTE: We recorded this before Justin Fields officially was cleared to play with the Buckeyes for 2019

September 25

Gun owners must take better care of firearms to stop jihadist attacks

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. “One gun in the wrong hands in a public space is all it takes to cause devastation.”The UK has around 750 gangs involved with firearms, most of them linked to the drugs trade.Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, the head of national counter terrorism policing, said he was also concerned about the number of weapons going missing from legal owners that could end up in criminal hands. Undated handout photo issued by the National Crime Agency (NCA) of automatic assault rifles seized during a raid in Kent, as six men and a woman will appear before magistrates following an investigation into the suspected importation of firearms Twenty two assault rifles were also included in the Kent haul in 2015.Credit:NCA Gun owners must take better care of their firearms to stop them falling into the hands of jihadists plotting a massacre, police have said, as they disclosed 800 lawfully-held weapons go missing each year.The threat of terrorists getting guns for a marauding Paris-style assault has meant the need to rid the streets of weapons has “never been a more significant priority”, senior officers said.The difficulty of finding guns in the UK has given police a “massive advantage” in stopping atrocities such as those seen in France, but there are concerns firearms are still available to potential terrorists, some of Britain’s most senior police chiefs have said. He said: “I am entirely relaxed about licensed ownership. The issue I an anxious about is everyone in that privileged position looks after their weapons with the rigor and security that the licence conditions expect of them. The fact that 800 go missing shows that in some cases that’s not the case.”Mr Rowley called on the public to tell the police if they knew of a gun owner who “treats the security of that weapon in a cavalier way”.Last month, Britain’s most senior police officer Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe warned more weapons were ending up on the streets of major UK cities, with a record 714 seized in London in 2015 and similar spikes seen in Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds and Liverpool.Police are worried organised criminals are smuggling weapons including deadly automatic into the UK from Eastern Europe and the Balkans.Earlier this year a gang was convicted for smuggling the UK’s largest stash of automatic weapons by boat to Kent from the Continent. The arsenal of 22 assault rifles and nine sub-machine guns was to be buried for future use, but police said once sold on, it could have ended up in terrorist hands.Ms Owens called on the public to keep watch over small ports and air fields and inform police if they saw anything suspicious.Mr Rowley said the biggest risk of jihadists getting weapons was from street gangs.He said: “A major organised criminal who is looking to make as much money as possible has no reason to take the risk of getting involved with terrorists.”He went on: “With terrorism you’ve got some vulnerable, lost people who just get hooked by an ideology.”You’ve got some very bright, determined, clear-thinking people who buy into and fully commit and are drivers of Daesh [Islamic State] propaganda and terrorism, and then you do get gang members, criminals, people who are already angry, difficult people causing problems in communities who perhaps get given a more clear purpose for their violence by a terrorist ideology, whether they pick that up on the streets or in prison.”Those gang criminality links are an issue that concerns us and we have seen evidence of it potentially linking firearms into terrorism.” The National Crime Agency (NCA) and country’s counter terrorism police chief said they were concerned about terrorists getting weapons from organised crime gangs and street criminals.Half of all terrorist plots thwarted in recent years have involved the culprits trying to get their hands on firearms.Lynne Owens, director general of the NCA, said: “These criminal networks think nothing of who they supply their weapons to and they present a significant risk for a route by which an extremist or an extremist group will try to access the sort weapons of the sort we did see used in attack in Europe. last_img read more

September 24

Exxaro cuts Group Five ties as contractor goes into business rescue proceedings

first_imgExxaro has taken the decision to terminate its agreement with Group Five Construction subsidiary, Group Five Projects, following Group 5’s announcement that it has embarked on business rescue proceedings.Johan Meyer, Executive Head, Projects & Technology, said: “It is indeed a sad day as more than 750 contract workers will be impacted by this decision.”Exxaro appointed Group 5 Projects on April 3, 2017, to construct a new small coal plant as part of the Grootegeluk Plant 6 (GG6) expansion project at its Grootegeluk mine near Lephalale, in Limpopo, South Africa. Barring unforeseen incidents, the Group 5 Projects scope was due to be completed at the end of May.“The decision will regrettably now result in a delay to project,” Exxaro said.“Exxaro has notified Group 5 of its decision and has embarked on discussions to mitigate the business impacts arising from this very sad situation. In the meantime, however, Group 5 Projects workers and subcontractors have moved off-site.”Exxaro is engaging with its labour support (both legal and human resources) to maintain stability on site.Grootegeluk is a critical source of A-grade, export-quality coal and power station coal that fuels Eskom’s Medupi and Matimba power stations. The site has an estimated life of mine of 45 years, producing 17 Mt/y.The ZAR4.8 billion ($332 million) expansion of GG6 will ensure increased throughput and enhanced processing efficiencies to ramp up export coal production at this important site, Exxaro said.The new GG6 plant will enable an additional 600 t/h of throughput on the run of mine feed, as well as higher, more valuable yields through enhanced operational efficiencies and better beneficiation processes.Technical alterations at the plant consist of a new small coal beneficiation plant (SCP), enabling the processing of fragments of less than 10 mm, improving fines plant beneficiation processes through the use of reflux classifier technology, a dewatering plant and ancillaries and expansion of the current stockyard.A new double-stage, dense medium separation plant will be established to process and prepare the export coal. The plant will also include a fines beneficiation Reflux Classifier circuit and dewatering section. The existing GG6 stockyard will be upgraded and expanded to accommodate additional product volumes.last_img read more

September 21

Calls for more security after teenage girl mugged on Luas

first_img Image: Niall Carson By Garreth MacNamee Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Short URL Calls for more security after teenage girl mugged on Luas The couple has yet to be arrested. https://jrnl.ie/3346844 Thursday 20 Apr 2017, 12:05 AM Everybody should be able to feel safe on their way home. Luas stops are unmanned and the one in Cherrywood is particularly isolated. I would call in Transdev to increase their security on both the Luas and stations to prevent further incidents like this occurring.Photographs of the alleged perpetrators have been shared on social media.Gardaí in Shankill are investigating the incident. A spokeswoman said:“Gardaí at Shankill are investigating a robbery from a juvenile on the Luas from Dundrum to Brides Glen. A male and female approached the female juvenile and stole her phone.“They both left the Luas and fled the area. The female is described as being in her 20s, with long black hair and wearing a black skirt and black boots.“The male is described as being in his 20s, with short brown hair and wearing grey and navy tracksuit bottoms and runners. No arrests have been made and investigations are ongoing.”Transdev, the company which operates the Luas, told TheJournal.ie that they have handed over CCTV footage of the incident to gardaí.Read: 11 Ireland players included in British and Irish Lions squad for New Zealand tour >Read: A massive asteroid is going to come ‘very close’ to Earth today >center_img Apr 20th 2017, 12:05 AM Share Tweet Email6 77 Comments 67,340 Views Image: Niall Carson THE MOTHER OF a 13-year-old girl who was robbed on the Luas last week has said her daughter has been left shaken by the mugging.Michelle Kane’s daughter Mia had been with a group of seven friends getting dinner in Dundrum Town Centre. They were getting the Luas green line back to Bride’s Glen, which is near Cherrywood.The tram was so full that Mia and her friends managed to get separated. A man and a woman spotted them and made their way towards the two girls. They then began verbally harassing the children. The woman then told the girls she had a flick-knife and, according to the mother, said “just wait until you get off the Luas. You’ll get what’s coming to you.”Since the incident occurred, there have been calls for increased security on the Luas lines to prevent this kind of incident from happening again.The teenager, who is from the Shankill area, stayed quiet but, according to her mother, began to panic.When the tram finally reached the last stop, Mia wouldn’t leave the carriage as the older couple had threatened to stab her and her friend.Mia took her phone out and tried ringing her mother, who worked less than 1km away from the stop. But when she took her phone out, the man wrestled the phone away from her.The two girls were left “hysterical”, according to Michelle. The incident happened on the Luas. Source: Sam Boal/Photocall IrelandSpeaking to TheJournal.ie, Michelle said: ”The woman had a knife and was being very abusive, saying ‘I’m going to stab you’.”It is understood that this knife is not visible on the CCTV footage and that the blade may been concealed.Safety Fortunately, the phone was handed into a local shop shortly after the mugging. However, Michelle said the attack on the teenager was very worrying.“It’s good that someone handed it in but all I care about is that my daughter is ok. People can’t be out there terrorising children like that.”The mother said Mia has been very shook since the incident and that her usually-confident child was afraid to leave the family car in Shankill village.“There was a girl in the village who looked a little like the woman on the Luas and Mia didn’t want to get out of the car. She had never been like that before.”Vinny Duran-Kearns, Fianna Fáil local area representative for Killiney/ Shankill said that more must be done to make sure the Luas stop is a safe place for those who use the service.last_img read more

September 21

Adelaide Glendi cancelled

first_imgAdelaide’s annual Glendi Greek festival has been postponed for the first time in 30 years, due to a critical decline in volunteers, corporate sponsors, exhibitors, schools and participation of stallholders, organisers said. The event will no longer run and won’t take place in October as planned, and is instead postponed until next year. The Glendi board and Organising Committee announced their decision earlier this week, saying after much consideration they believed the 2010 festival would not maintain the calibre of events that the previous festivals have set. Financial and governance matters were also part of the consideration, the board said. With many events and activities already in motion, the board and organising committee said they are well equipped to commence preparations for the 2011 Glendi festival. Organisers said the Glendi festival will remain a fabulous event, maintaining a strong future in the Greek and South Australian community. Chairperson of the Glendi Greek festival board, John Chefelakis, said the decision to postpone the event should not affect government funding or sponsorship, and the festival remains important to the Greek community. “I believe it’s still important, the thing is we need volunteers to help us put the festival on. We’ve got some good quality young volunteers, but we still need more people,” Mr Chefelakis told Neos Kosmos.Member of the organising committee, George Vlahos, said the festival is set for some time in October next year but the committee is looking at changing it from its usual date so that it falls outside of the school holidays. “It was meant to be held during the school holidays this year and the venue wasn’t available, so we’re still looking at what date we’ll be holding it in 2011; we’ll be determining that over the next few weeks,” Mr Vlahos told Neos Kosmos. In a bid to boost involvement from the Greek community Mr Vlahos said the committee would be writing to all the people who have previously been associated with the event and trying to get people interested and involved. Mr Vlahos said members of the public are still invested in the festival. “I think there is still public interest and the government is still supporting us. We just didn’t want to put on an event that was substandard,” he said. “We’re looking for more participation from the general Greek community, because at the moment it’s come down to half a dozen people”. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

September 21

ND adopts more offensive stance

first_imgNew Democracy, which joined the interim government led by Prime Minister Lucas Papademos despite serious reservations, appears to have begun distancing itself from the administration, partly with a view to the snap elections planned for next year. A number of ND officials spoke out this week against the tax hikes, the labor reserve scheme for public sector workers and any suggestion that elections would not be held on February 19, as the conservatives had demanded when they agreed to join the tripartite administration. ND spokesman Yiannis Michelakis also revived the long-standing proposal by party leader Antonis Samaras to “renegotiate” the terms of Greece’s loan agreement with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. Samaras had refrained from using the word “renegotiation” in recent public comments but Michelakis said the ND leader made it clear in the written commitment he sent to Greece’s lenders that there should be a change of policies. “Not only does the request for renegotiation exist but it was formally put on the table from the moment that the IMF accepted the letter sent by the New Democracy leader, which refers to changes being made,” said Michelakis, who went on to say that there was no basis at the moment for elections not being held on February 19. “At the moment, there is no delay in the negotiations for the private sector involvement [in Greece’s next bailout] that would justify talk of moving the elections to a more suitable date,” he said. Later, Michelakis attacked the labor reserve scheme as “unethical, unfair and essentially illegal.” Sources said that ND would try to renew its attack on PASOK’s handling of the crisis over the past two years. Other ND members, such as Maximos Charakopoulos and Costas Tzavaras were also critical on Tuesday of the policies adopted by PASOK. Sources said that although opinion polls show roughly three in four ND voters believe Samaras was right to join the interim government and send his letter to Greece’s lenders, party officials fear alienating grass-roots support and creating the impression among the wider public that a coalition between PASOK and New Democracy would be viable. Source: Kathimerini Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

September 19

Drone Deals Up to 66 Off on Star Wars Marvel Drones

first_imgMarvel Licensed RC Super Drones – $82.99See Deal Like this deal? Check out Vault — you’ll get four premium tools, including NordVPN and Dashlane, to supercharge your online security. Try it free for 14 days now!Prices subject to change. Micro Drone 3.0 Combo Pack – $145See Deal TRNDlabs Spectre DroneThis drone is just plain fun. It features a control system that makes it possible for virtually anyone to fly it with ease. It’s capable of performing stunts, has LED lights so it can be flown at night, and offers an impressive 50-meter flight range. And, it sports a built-in HD camera too so you can record your flights.Get it now for the lowest price ever, just $59.99. Star Wars Propel Drone: Collector’s EditionRelive all your favorite moments from the original Star Wars trilogy with these highly detailed vehicle drones. Choose either Luke’s T-65 X-wing, Darth Vader’s TIE Advanced X-1, or the 74-Z Speeder Bike. Each one is easy to master, are capable of performing stunts, and includes a display case that plays music from the movies.Buy it now for just $49.99, a savings of 66 percent off the original MSRP. TRNDlabs Spectre Drone – $59.99See Deal Bionic Bird: The Furtive Drone – $99.95See Deal Micro Drone 3.0 Combo PackThe Micro Drone 3.0 is small, versatile, and affordable. Suitable for flyers of all abilities, this drone performs acrobatic stunts and streams HD quality video of your flight so you can view it as if you were flying inside the drone yourself. The companion app is available for both Android and iOS devices and the kit comes with everything you’ll need to get started.Buy it now for only $145 and save 32 percent off the MSRP. Wingsland S6 4K Pocket Drone – $249.99See Deal Stay on target Star Wars Propel Drone: Collector’s Edition (74-Z Speeder Bike) – $49.99See Deal Force Flyers DIY Building Block Fly ‘n Drive Drone – $39.99See Deal Wingsland S6 4K Pocket DroneThe S6 is compact enough to fit in your pocket but offers features, such as the ability to record smooth 4K video, that you wouldn’t normally find on a drone this size. It’s easy to fly thanks to its many automated controls and offers a wealth of modes to satisfy every need.Save 50 percent and purchase one today for just $249.99. Ryze Tech Tello Quadcopter Powered by DJI – $99See Deal There are several benefits to owning a drone. They provide users with new photographic and videographic opportunities, they’re educational, and just plain fun. And, now is the perfect time to get one as you’ll save as much as 66 percent off your purchase of one of these drones today at the Geek Shop.Ryze Tech Tello Quadcopter Powered by DJILooking for an entry-level quadcopter that’ll provide the biggest bang for your buck? Then the Tello by DJI fits the bill. You can control it with a smartphone, wireless gaming controller, or even with a VR headset. It records HD video, offers a wide variety of flight modes, and features safety mechanisms that’ll ensure long service life.Buy it now for just $99. Marvel Licensed RC Super DronesThis drone is perfect for beginners. It features a lightweight but durable foam body, four-channel controls for an easy flight, and it has the ability to perform acrobatic stunts. There are three different models to choose from, each styled after a different Marvel superhero.Save 55 percent off retail and pick up this drone today for just $82.99. Bionic Bird: The Furtive DroneThis drone looks and behaves just like one of our fine feathered friends. Simply connect it to your mobile device and instantly enjoy full flight capabilities. You’ll receive up to eight minutes of flight per charge and, using the included egg-shaped charger, get it back to full power in only 12 minutes.Score savings of 33 percent off retail and get one now for just $99.95. Force Flyers DIY Building Block Fly ‘n Drive DroneIt’s fun for kids of all ages. The Force Flyers DIY Building Block Drone lets you design and create your own drone from scratch. Just use the including interlocking bricks to build the drone of your dreams, then take it apart and try something different.Get one today for only $39.99 and save 20 percent off retail. This $500 SEO Tool Is Only $24 TodayThis Easy-to-Fly LED Drone Performs Acrobatic Moves last_img read more

September 14

VRM Media Bulks Up with Fitness Trainer Acquisition

first_imgVRM Media, a B2B publisher serving the health food and dietary industries, has expanded its portfolio with the acquisition of Fitness Trainer magazine. Fitness Trainer is a bimonthly, digital-only publication distributed to 190,000 personal trainers, coaches and athletes. Deal terms were not disclosed. VRM president Dan McSweeney says that while VRM’s other four brands—Vitamin Retailer, Nutrition Industry Executive, Gluten Free Retailer and Natural Practitioner—focus on the natural and nutritional products markets, Fitness Trainer was an opportunity to expand into the personal fitness category. “A big plus  is that there is a strong cross-over opportunity for the existing advertisers from our other publications like Vitamin Retailer,” he adds.While Fitness Trainer is a B2B title at its core, the magazine has potential with fitness enthusiasts as well. “It is a hybrid type of B2B magazine in that it serves a particular business audience in personal trainers, but it is really more of a consumer magazine from an advertising perspective,” says McSweeney. “The benefit to advertisers is that it is read by these personal trainers who have tremendous influence on their clients. These people are the most desirable consumers possible for marketers of healthy food, vitamins, sports drinks, exercise equipment and exercise apparel.” Bob Rose, a publishing industry veteran who launched the title two years ago at the age of 82 will stay on as a consulting editor. VRM advertising sales manager Roy Kieffer will handle sales for the title and current freelance editor Amy Kierce will continue in that role. Immediate growth plans include a pending launch of a dedicated website and building circulation. McSweeney says there are no plans to introduce a print version of the brand.last_img read more

September 11

LETTER TO THE EDITOR Wilmington Wildcats Jimmy Fund Team Requests Donations For

first_imgDear Wilmington,We’d like to introduce you to your 8 & 9 year old Wilmington Wildcats baseball team playing this year in The Jimmy Fund Little League Tournament.This year will be the 32nd season and these boys — along with thousands of others — are hoping to raise more than $250,000 for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund. With Wilmington’s help, we know they can reach this goal!The money raised goes directly to lifesaving cancer research and care at Dana-Farber. Our boys are participating in this program on behalf of the many people this terrible disease has touched — mothers and fathers, grandparents, brothers and sisters, friends, and neighbors.They would greatly appreciate your cheers from the bleachers and your support of their fundraising efforts.Please visit HERE to take a swing to “STRIKE OUT CANCER”.Thank you from your hometown,Wilmington Wildcats Jimmy Fund TeamLike Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWilmington’s Kollias & O’Brien To Run B.A.A. Half Marathon For Dana-Farber TeamIn “Community”Bill Dube Hyundai Of Wilmington To Support Jimmy Fund WalkIn “Business”Donate To Team Collier Strong In The 2015 Jimmy Fund WalkIn “Community”last_img read more

September 2

Federal Judge Denies DOJ Request For YearLong Delay In Suits Over Harvey

first_img Listen James Blackburn is an attorney with Rice University’s Severe Storm Prediction, Education, and Evacuation from Disasters (SSPEED) Center, and is not a party to the case. He agrees with Vujasinovic.“The government was proposing a very, very slow case,” says Blackburn, “and it just really kills the spirit [of the plantiffs] for something like this to linger. You need to know if you’ve got a real claim or not, and you need to know sooner [rather] than later.”A Houston Chronicle investigation found the Corps knew for decades that thousands of homes were being built within the flood pool of Addicks and Barker reservoirs.“Those subdivisions are going to flood again. Absolutely. They are designed to flood,” says Charles Irvine, a partner with Irvine & Conner PLLC and co-lead counsel for the upstream plaintiffs.Plaintiffs’ lawyers will next seek to prove the federal government “took” their homes, temporarily, through the release from the dams.The Justice Department did not respond to a request for comment by airtime. To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Share Craig LeMoult | For Houston Public MediaThe water rushing out of the Addicks Reservoir.A  judge has refused to delay a pair of class-action lawsuits against the federal government over flood damage during Harvey. Homeowners are suing over the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ decision to release water from the Addicks and Barker Dams. Chief Judge Susan G. Braden of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims issued the ruling in Houston.Braden previously ordered the thousands of claims against Corps consolidated into two class-action lawsuits – one dealing with plaintiffs upstream of the dams, the other with those downstream.Attorneys for the Justice Department requested a year’s delay in the trial. By Judge Braden’s reading, that request came with an implied threat to appeal immediately to a higher court unless she granted the government’s request.“What has been proposed to the Court, frankly, is insulting,” said Judge Braden, according to a transcript of the hearing. “It’s insulting to the people in this community; it’s insulting to the President of the United States; and it is unbefitting to those representing the Attorney General. And it shows no respect for the role of the Court.”Regarding the assertion that the Corps needed the year-long delay to “look for documents,” the judge said it only took the Corps, “a few minutes to make a decision to open the dams that left people without homes and property.”“To me, it’s a clear signal that what Judge Braden has been saying all along in this case, which is that she wants these cases to move along efficiently and reasonably, that she’s dead serious about that,” says Vuk Vujasinovic, a partner with VB Attorneys and part of the legal team representing the upstream plaintiffs. center_img 00:00 /01:03 X last_img read more

September 2

Houston City Council Reverses Firefighter Layoffs Demotions

first_img X 00:00 /00:49 Share To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: center_img Florian Martin/Houston Public MediaMayor Sylvester Turner, left, sitting down, says firefighters deserve raises the city can afford. Listen The Houston City Council on Wednesday voted unanimously to reverse layoffs and demotions of hundreds of firefighters.In April, 220 firefighters received layoff notices and many more faced demotions as a consequence of Proposition B.The voter-approved measure would have required the city to pay firefighters the same as police officers of corresponding ranks, but it came without a funding source.Last month, a judge ruled it unconstitutional, after which Mayor Sylvester Turner declared that no firefighters would be laid off or demoted after all.The Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association is appealing the judge’s ruling, so could the layoffs be reinstated?Turner said it’s too soon to say.“You’re looking at a minimum of a year, maybe more than that,” he said. “So we’ll have to deal with that down the road.”The president of the firefighters union, Patrick ‘Marty’ Lancton, welcomed the vote but criticized Turner for the “manufactured crisis.”“In regards to the working conditions, it is status quo of where it was and has been, again, for the past eight, nine years,” Lancton told News 88.7.He also expressed skepticism toward the mayor.“If the mayor, in any part of what he is now saying today, was legitimate, he would put it in writing and he would also follow the law,” Lancton said.He said firefighters should have received more raises as a result of Proposition B and that Turner previously made clear he would not try to claw back the raises the city already gave them.Turner on Wednesday said those who already received raises can keep them for now – despite the court ruling striking down the measure. But he said he will use the money as a “credit” in future negotiations over firefighter salaries.“If, for example, if people were to leave the city, retire from the city, then certainly we would have to deduct that from anything that they would be entitled to as they leave the city,” Turner said.He said firefighters deserve raises the city can afford and that he wants to continue collective bargaining with the union.last_img read more

August 31

Charles Dickens goes Hinglish

first_imgEncapsulating the festive spirit, A Christmas Carol, is a play performed by puppets, richly enhancing the flavour of the Charles Dickens book. In a unique effort, Dramabaaz Co. will be presenting an adaptation of A Christmas Carol, an 80 minute play in Hinglish. This is a new version of the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, the miserly old man, who receives a Christmas Eve visit from the ghost of his partner, Jacob Marley, warning him to mend his selfish ways. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’ Talking about the concept of the play, Garima Arya from Dramabaaz Co. says: ‘This classic story has been adapted  and creatively transformed it into a ‘puppet-actor play’, which includes puppetry, human actors and dancers. Hence, it is a unique amalgamation of the following art forms — glove puppetry, acting, choreography and artistic designs and graphics.’ Explaining how she came up with the idea, she mentions: ‘We wanted to do something special this Christmas….and what better choice than the famous story Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixA Christmas Carol , and that too when the whole world is celebrating Charles Dickens 200 this year!’ Asked about the present condition of puppetry in India, she says:, ‘I think puppetry needs to go to the next level where it involves all kinds of art forms. This  will help make it more attractive, entertaining, educational and creative at the same time. India is opening up to experiments and is appreciating out-of-the box ideas. These ideas need to be convincing. That’s all.’ The play focuses on the storyline in which during the night three spirits appear before Scrooge, showing him visions of Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Future — finally revealing the possible results of his unloving, uncaring life. Upon waking up on Christmas morning he joyfully flings open his window, and cries out: ‘Oh, Jacob Marley and Christmas time be praised! I’m still here!(picks up some clothes, drops them, tries to sit, but can’t contain himself) I don’t know what to do! (laughs) I’m as light as a feather, I’m as happy as an angel, I’m as merry as a school boy! (shouting out the window to passersby) A Merry Christmas to everybody! (to the audience) A Happy New Year to all the world!’ He then proceeds to amaze one and all with his newly found Christmas spirit.DETAILTickets: Rs 350, at mycity4kids.com Schedule: 24 December, 7.30pm At: LTG Auditorium Mandi House; 25 December, 3.30 pm & 7.30pm At: Epicentre, Sector 44, Gurgaon; 26 December, 7 pm At: Alliance Francaise, 72, Lodhi Estate 27 December, 3.30 pm & 7.30pm At: Alliance Francaise, 72, Lodhi Estatelast_img read more

August 19

In a victory for San Ramón residents Chinchilla annuls highway contract

first_imgBacked into a corner, Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla announced she is canceling a widely unpopular highway concession granted to Brazilian company OAS.“I’ve decided to end the concession,” Chinchilla said during a televised address Monday night, adding that the decision was agreed to by company officials.The announcement brings to an end weeks of tension and protests by several groups of residents of San Ramón and outlying areas who would have been affected by the new $524 million project.The Brazilian company would have charged $8 in round-trip tolls for 30 years for motorists on the 58-kilometer stretch of highway. The two-lane highway already exists – toll-free – and improvements would include only repaving, modernization and limited four-lane expansion.Chinchilla said her decision “is based on my responsibility to guarantee social peace in our country.” She promised “to continue looking for options for this route.”“I recognize that in the current environment it is not convenient to move a project forward that has already been rejected by different groups. … The vast majority of Costa Ricans are against it,” she said.The announcement was met with cheers of “Sí, se pudo,” (“Yes, we could”) and the blasting of car horns by San Ramón residents.On April 11, a national holiday, Chinchilla’s annual speech in commemoration of national hero Juan Santamaría was cut short in Alajuela by protesters who called for the concession to be terminated. That campaign snowballed over the following days, covered heavily in local media and promoted on social media sites.Follow ticotimes.net for updates on this story. Facebook Comments Related posts:More protests planned for Thursday over San Ramón Highway Government has no funds to build road to San Ramón It worked: Lawmakers approve San José-San Ramón Highway construction bill, saving taxpayers $51 million Brazilian company OAS wants Costa Rica to pay $45 million for highway contract suspensionlast_img read more

August 19

Internet by light promises to leave WiFi eating dust

first_imgBARCELONA, Spain — Connecting your smartphone to the web with just a lamp — that is the promise of Li-Fi, featuring Internet access 100 times faster than Wi-Fi with revolutionary wireless technology. French start-up Oledcomm demonstrated the technology at the Mobile World Congress, the world’s biggest mobile fair, in Barcelona. As soon as a smartphone was placed under an office lamp, it started playing a video.The big advantage of Li-Fi, short for “light fidelity,” is its lightning speed.Laboratory tests have shown theoretical speeds of over 200 Gbps — fast enough to “download the equivalent of 23 DVDs in one second,” the founder and head of Oledcomm, Suat Topsu, told AFP.“Li-Fi allows speeds that are 100 times faster than Wi-Fi” which uses radio waves to transmit data, he added.The technology uses the frequencies generated by LED bulbs — which flicker on and off imperceptibly thousands of times a second — to beam information through the air, leading it to be dubbed the “digital equivalent of Morse Code.”It started making its way out of laboratories in 2015 to be tested in everyday settings in France, a Li-Fi pioneer, such as museums and shopping malls. It has also seen test runs in Belgium, Estonia and India.Dutch medical equipment and lighting group Philips is reportedly interested in the technology and Apple may integrate it in its next smartphone, the iPhone7, due out at the end of the year, according to tech media.With analysts predicting the number of objects that are connected to the Internet soaring to 50 million by 2020 and the spectrum for radio waves used by Wi-Fi in short supply, Li-Fi offers a viable alternative, according to its promoters.“We are going to connect our coffee machine, our washing machine, our tooth brush. But you can’t have more than ten objects connected in Bluetooth or Wi-Fi without interference,” said Topsu.Deepak Solanki, the founder and chief executive of Estonian firm Velmenni which tested Li-fi in an industrial space last year, told AFP he expected that “two years down the line the technology can be commercialized and people can see its use at different levels.”‘Still laboratory technology’Analysts said it was still hard to say if Li-Fi will become the new Wi-Fi.“It is still a laboratory technology,” said Frederic Sarrat, an analyst and consultancy firm PwC.Much will depend on how Wi-Fi evolves in the coming years, said Gartner chief analyst Jim Tully.“Wi-Fi has shown a capability to continuously increase its communication speed with each successive generation of the technology,” he told AFP.Li-fi has its drawbacks — it only works if a smartphone or other device is placed directly in the light and it cannot travel through walls.This restricts its use to smaller spaces, but Tully said this could limit the risk of data theft.“Unlike Wi-Fi, Li-Fi can potentially be directed and beamed at a particular user in order to enhance the privacy of transmissions,” he said.Backers of Li-Fi say it would also be ideal in places where Wi-Fi is restricted to some areas such as schools and hospitals.“Li-fi has a place in hospitals because it does not create interference with medical materials,” said Joel Denimal, head of French lighting manufacturer Coolight.In supermarkets it could be used to give information about a product, or in museums about a painting, by using lamps placed nearby.It could also be useful on aircraft, in underground garages and any place where lack of Internet connection is an issue.But Li-Fi also requires that devices be equipped with additional technology such as a card reader, or dongle, to function. This gives it a “cost disadvantage,” said Tully. Facebook Commentscenter_img Related posts:Facebook topped $1.5 billion in quarterly profit at end of last year Intel’s Vince Guglielmetti wants more Costa Rican engineers Uber Costa Rica drops fares 20 percent and some drivers aren’t happy Winners of Costa Rica Fishackathon create tool to help track fuel subsidies for fishinglast_img read more

January 13

Francis saidO’Con

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