first_imgMONCTON, N.B. – Two New Brunswick real estate agents have lost their licences after taking “outrageous and egregious advantage” of a vulnerable senior, the provincial regulator said in a scathing decision released Wednesday.Tanya Hannah and Maurice Poirier, owners of Absolute Realty, took “extreme financial advantage” of a senior by purchasing his home for about $17,000 through a series of transactions, said Alaina Nicholson, acting director of consumer affairs with the Financial and Consumer Services Commission.The home was initially valued at over $300,000.“It is clear that they gained substantially from the transaction” while the senior “lost his home, his only asset, and was provided with nothing more than a year-and-half’s rent,” she said in a 30-page decision that found Hannah and Poirier were unsuitable to be licensed under the Real Estate Agents Act.The case highlights the insidious nature of financial abuse against the elderly, commission CEO Rick Hancox said in an interview.“At the end of the day, the senior got $17,000 for his house.” he said.In 2013, the homeowner hired Hannah and Poirier to sell his Moncton-area home for $324,900, according to the regulator’s decision. After several months on the market, the agents agreed to purchase the property under Hannah’s name for $238,000.The real estate agents, then affiliated with Century 21, negotiated a renovation credit of $138,000, knocking the purchase price of the home to $100,000.Hancox said “at a stretch” the agents only spent about $25,000 renovating the home, which was described in the original listing as “well maintained.”But rather than pay the homeowner the balance, the agents obtained an interest-free loan from him and agreed to pay him $1,000 a month. Although the agents paid the senior’s rent of $670, only once did they deposit the difference of $330 in his bank account, the regulator’s decision said.It also appears the real estate agents financially benefited from an additional mortgage they obtained on the property, the decision added.Meanwhile, legal actions by the public trustee show the senior had named Hannah and Poirier as power of attorney, giving them authority to manage his affairs.The senior had also appointed Poirier as the executor, trustee and sole beneficiary of his will, with Hannah named as alternate executor, trustee and beneficiary.The case was uncovered when the senior was admitted to hospital with diminished mental capacity.The province’s public trustee took over his affairs, and upon discovering the apparent financial abuse, referred part of the case to the regulator.In response to proceedings against them, Poirier and Hannah said they took the New Brunswick man to various appointments and helped him with errands around Moncton. They also said they cleaned his apartment, brought him groceries and contacted his doctor when his health appeared to deteriorate.But the regulator found the real estate agents “befriended a vulnerable senior with an admitted drug problem and what doctors reported was limited capacity,” Nicholson said in her decision.“They struck a deal with him that was one-sided and completely self-serving. They have taken complete financial advantage” of the senior, she said.The regulator revoked both their licences and stated that neither can apply for a new licence for one year.The public trustee has launched a civil action against Hannah to recoup money owed to the senior.— By Brett Bundale in Halifaxlast_img read more

first_imgYoung children at a residential school (APTN file).Kathleen MartensAPTN NewsDay school survivors may be promised an easier time obtaining compensation under a proposed national settlement agreement but critics say they still need a lawyer of their choice.“Even if it’s a paper-filing process people will still need access to legal counsel,” said Lisa Abbott, an Indigenous lawyer in Saskatoon.“Without assistance, the paper-filing process is going to be re-traumatizing.”Abbott is one of several lawyers with experience representing residential school survivors in the Independent Assessment Process (IAP), who are voicing concerns about the McLean Day School settlement announced by Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett last week.The IAP was the compensation portion for serious physical and sexual abuse under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.The day school agreement, which was designed by the law firm Gowling WLG and subject to court approval in May, is proposing compensation in the range of $10,000 to $200,000.But doesn’t include an IAP-type adjudication hearing.Instead, survivors will fill out forms and submit supporting documents and witness statements.They also have the option of making a video statement, said Jeremy Bouchard, a lawyer and partner at Gowling in Ottawa.“What really drove us in designing this process is we really wanted to make it as user friendly as possible,” he said in a telephone interview Friday.“A presumption of honesty that people who are making claims are providing information that is factually accurate has been built into the process.”But Abbott, who represented 500 IAP claimants, thinks that will short-change survivors.Register here www.indiandayschools.com“Some people found the hearing process was healing,” she said of the IAP hearings. “Telling their story – for some people – that was the first step in healing.”Nick Racine, another lawyer from Saskatoon who represented 300 IAP clients, agreed, and chastised Gowling for “demonizing” the IAP.“Garnering support for the proposed day school agreement – it should not include fear-mongering and misinformation,” Racine said.He acknowledged the IAP did “have its faults,” but said it was lawyers that claimants “did not know and did not trust on a personal level” that failed them, and not the system itself.“Here, we have a process being proposed that severely limits claimants ability to have the direct, personal assistance of a lawyer they know and trust,” Racine said.Both Racine and Abbott wonder about mental health support for survivors before, during and after they apply for compensation – especially if a claimant is working alone.They also worry claimants will be rushed through the one-year process compared to the five-year window for the IAP.And, they insist individual lawyers are needed to ensure claimants get the compensation they deserve.FILLING OUT A FORM“They’re filling out a form that is asking them very specific, detailed questions that takes them back to a time in their life when they were physically, emotionally and sexually abused,” said Racine.“They should do that with a lawyer who understands the legalese of the language in the application who has the ability to put them in contact with health support in the community.”Racine said he made sure to meet in person with residential school claimants who suffered sexual abuse.“I had the ability to monitor where my client was at all times during disclosure. It’s very important that when you take them to a place of trauma – you bring them in and you bring them out in as safe as manner as possible.”Bouchard said Gowling is open to hearing concerns and incorporating them into the agreement.But some things need the personal touch of a lawyer, argued Abbott.“In this process, the average complainant… will have a Grade 6 education,” she said, “and to have someone fill out a form by themselves with five very, defined types of (harmful) acts… will be re-traumatizing.”Abbott doesn’t believe one firm – Gowling – can handle all of the estimated 130,000 claims.Nor, said Racine, is there incentive for Gowling “to assist people with their claims and make them as successful as possible” when it will receive $55 million 30 days after the settlement is approved.“This is a great process for the government,” added Racine, an Indigenous lawyer in Saskatoon.“The amount of legal fees that they’re paying – if you do the numbers on it – it’s less than $1,000 in legal fees per claim.”Read: Notice of Certification and Settlement Approval Hearing documentsRacine said he’s “passionate about” wanting the ability to represent claimants who know and trust him “with their stories.”Instead, he fears they will go through a process where Gowling “is doing everything possible to limit the contact individual claimants have with class counsel.”Bouchard, a Mohawk from Six Nations of the Grand River, agreed the day school settlement is “fundamentally” different from the residential schools settlement.“It is a paper-based process that is claimant-friendly, non-adversarial, and meant to be completed with very little outside or third-party assistance.”He said Gowling lawyers travelled the country to hear first-hand what survivors wanted and reflected that in the settlement.See the registration form here.“We wanted to do it differently…get out to communities before, meet with communities, meet with leadership, meet with the people.”Bouchard said that’s why the application process is only one year and has reduced the number of lawyers involved.“A lot of people just felt they got lost, they got re-traumatized,” he said.“Claimants could navigate their way through this – by themselves if they chose to – but with resources available it would not be as lengthy as the IRSSA process and would not re-traumatize and harm individuals.”Lastly, Bouchard said Gowling did its best to seek a balance between those who want to tell their stories and those who want to “limit their interaction with government lawyers and officials.”So, along with the video statement option, he said $200 million from Canada for legacy, healing and commemorative events will offer a “truth-telling forum.”He said these could take the form of national and regional events where survivors could share and document their experiences.“We understand that people will want to tell their stories. And we think that there’s an educational component to this, too,” Bouchard said.“Everyone needs to know that the abuse, the harm, that happened in federal Indian day schools were similar to what happened in Indian residential schools.”kmartens@aptn.ca@katmartelast_img read more

first_imgRabat – Morocco seeks to set a beneficial cooperation and partnership framework with China, said minister of equipment, transportation and logistics Aziz Rabbah who received, last Thursday in Rabat, China’s ambassador to Morocco Sun Shuzhong.According to a statement by the ministry, Rabbah said that the Kingdom offers opportunities for Chinese companies to carry out major infrastructure projects, as part of BOT concessions (Build – Operate and Transfer) or within the framework of public-private partnership (PPP), noting that these projects involve port, railway, highway and airport infrastructure.Shuzhong expressed the satisfaction of Chinese companies operating in Morocco with the implemented programs and their willingness to participate in various tenders in the field of infrastructure, the source noted, adding that the talks also focused on the tripartite cooperation “Morocco-Africa-China” in the field of training. During this meeting, the two sides welcomed the level of cooperation between the two countries which witnessed a very important development over the past years and reiterated their commitment to working together for its reinforcement in the areas of infrastructure, transportation and logistics, the statement added.last_img read more

16 September 2011Donors need to intensify their support to help countries achieve the globally agreed goals of slashing hunger, poverty, disease and a host of other social ills by the target date of 2015, says a new United Nations report released today. The annual report prepared by the UN’s Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Gap Task Force says that support has risen sharply since the targets were set in 2000, with donor countries having provided a record-high $129 billion in official development assistance (ODA) last year.“Yet the international community has yet to meet the targets we have assigned ourselves,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said at the launch of the report at UN Headquarters. “There is a troubling distance between what we have promised and what we are actually doing to support the global partnership for development. And that gap is expected to widen,” he stated.Mr. Ban created the Task Force in 2007 to track global commitments on aid, trade and debt, and to follow progress on access to essential medicines and technology. With the 2015 deadline looming, he called for accelerated efforts towards the Goals. “Certainly the global economic outlook remains sobering,” he said. “But this cannot be an excuse not to deliver. We cannot afford to leave the poor even further behind.”Trade is a traditional means by which nations lift themselves out of poverty, the report notes. However, a deadlock in global trade talks has frustrated opportunities for rapid advancement through trade.The report also warns against trade protectionism in response to slow economic growth, noting that it is a self-defeating measure that would also penalize poor countries. In addition, the recent financial turmoil has caused some backsliding with regard to the removal of the debt burden from many poor countries. “This report shows us the formidable challenges still ahead in our work towards the MDGs,” said Mr. Ban. “Some may see it as a bleak assessment. I take a more hopeful view. The global campaign for the MDGs has achieved remarkable progress in a short time – more effective disease control, more children in school, new technologies bringing new solutions. “There is also a growing awareness that relieving the world’s most vulnerable people of the needless burdens of poverty, hunger and disease is not just a moral obligation – it is also a smart investment in our shared future,” he added. “With effort and solidarity, we can close the gaps identified in this new report.”The MDG Gap Task Force brings together more than 20 UN agencies, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). read more

The 2006 annual progress report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of the Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) adds that domestic reforms and a revival of commodity prices have underpinned strong economic growth in many of those States. A number of them also benefited from a steep rise in oil prices.But despite signs of progress, extreme poverty has deepened, and overall social indicators remain cause for concern, the report warns.Chronic poverty continues to be aggravated by diseases such as HIV/AIDS and by environmental degradation, says the report, which the Secretary-General submitted to the Economic and Social Council. In addition, the positive impact of growth in many cases is mitigated by high birth rates and an unequal distribution of resources. Climate change is already taking a toll on many low-lying or island LDCs, and is likely to pose a growing challenge to development in upcoming years, the report notes.“The message we are getting from the least developed countries is that they are working hard to take advantage of economic opportunities and to use effectively the assistance from international partners,” said Anwarul Chowdhury, the UN’s High Representative for the LDCs, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States. “It is important that the international community stays the course on promised aid, debt relief and tariff-free access for LDC exports, as populations in these countries continue to struggle to escape extreme poverty.” Of the 50 LDCs, of which 34 are in sub-Saharan Africa, 15 in Asia and the Pacific and one – Haiti – in the Western hemisphere, more than half recorded average annual growth rates of 4 per cent or better during 2000-2004. Foreign direct investment has generally been on the rise in these countries in general.Trend lines for primary school education and gender quality in education, adult literacy, under-five and access to sanitation and clean water are largely positive, the report states. In contrast, seven of these nations experienced declining life expectancy, often in countries affected by AIDS. read more

The agency is “increasingly worried by the situation,” Fatoumata Lejeune-Kaba, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told reporters in Geneva. An alliance of rebel groups known collectively as ‘Séléka’ is advancing east towards the town of Zemio, where 3,300 people have taken refuge. On Tuesday, the group took the major town of Bangassou, the gateway to the south-east of the country and critical refuelling stop for humanitarian workers.The security risk has forced UNHCR and other humanitarian agencies to temporarily relocate some staff to Bangui, the capital. “Although we still have some staff in place, services for refugees are nonetheless reduced,” Ms. Lejeune-Kaba said.Clashes since December between Séléka forces and the CAR army have seriously restricted humanitarian access to some 5,300 refugees and more than 175,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs). In addition, an estimated 29,000 civilians fled to neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), while 5,000 crossed to Chad. Most of the IDPs with whom UNHCR and its partners have met the past two months have said that they live in fear and insecurity. Meanwhile, 99 per cent of the 168,000 children who went to school before the crisis are no longer in school. “Even more worrying, 1 in 5 of the children out of school is believed to have been forcibly recruited by armed groups,” Ms. Lejeune-Kaba said. Margaret Vogt, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in CAR, warned earlier this week that without a strong response from the international community, there is no future for the country.Séléka forces and the CAR authorities reached a ceasefire agreement on 11 January with provisions for a shared governance arrangement, but the rebels claim the Government is failing to live up to its commitments.The UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office (BINUCA), headed by Ms. Vogt, is trying to assist mediators to get the parties back to the table. The African Union is engaged as well, she noted. read more

A statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson also confirmed that the Secretary-General welcomed the intention of the Colombian Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC- EP) to invite the United Nations to accompany discussions in the sub-committee focusing on end-of-conflict issues.Mr. Ban reiterated the United Nations’ willingness to provide the support required to ensure the successful conclusion of negotiations and the implementation of a peace agreement in Colombia.Rebels from FARC have been in talks with the Government for the last 30 months, seeking to end a 51-year conflict that has made almost a quarter of a million victims.The two sides are working to end the long-running conflict through full implementation of the General Agreement for the End of the Conflict and Building a Stable and Lasting Peace, signed two years ago.Last year, the parties reached an accord on dealing with illicit drugs in the country. This followed a deal reached in 2013 on political participation and enhancing the role of women, which the Secretary-General also welcomed at the time.According to media reports, however, tension mounted in June amid clashes between insurgents and Government soldiers. read more

OSU basketball coach Thad Matta laughs as he answers a question during Media Day Oct. 10 at the Jerome Schottenstein Center. Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorOhio State basketball coach Thad Matta isn’t sure what to expect for the 2013-14 version of the Buckeyes, but does know one thing: he’s looking forward to it.“I don’t know if I could give a true projection or expectation for this team just yet. I think we have a chance to have a really, really good basketball team. I love the energy, I love the cohesiveness of us,” Matt said. “I’m very excited about this team.”Matta, along with the rest of the team (except true freshmen Kam Williams and Marc Loving) met with the media Thursday, to discuss the upcoming season.A topic sure to be a story line throughout the winter is how OSU will replace Deshaun Thomas, who led the team with an average of 19.8 points per game his junior season before deciding to enter the NBA Draft. In order to fill the void left by Thomas, Matta said it must be a team effort.“Collectively, I think guys have got to score more,” Matta said. “I think (the offense) needs to be more well-rounded, we got to have a little more of a flow to (it). Something that we’ve tried to put a big premium on this offseason was shooting the basketball and getting more offensively skilled.”A player that could be counted on for more offensive production is starting senior point guard Aaron Craft, who finished last season second on the team in scoring average with 10 points per game.“As a team, I think we’ve done a great job this spring and summer understanding that we need to shoot the ball better. It can’t be one guy,” Craft said. “Even with (Thomas), we shot one of the worst percentages in (Matta)’s career here at Ohio State.”Craft said getting open looks at the basket is a luxury that rarely comes around during games, so taking and making those shots will be vital to OSU’s success this season.“Our biggest focus is being able to knock down open shots, elevating our shooting percentage and that opens up countless other things on the offensive end,” Craft said.Replacing Thomas’ offensive production is not the only thing that will be a team effort, though. Junior forward LaQuinton Ross said the leadership side of things is “going to be a group effort from everybody.”“I think you get leadership from all different angles on this team,” Ross said. “I think you got Craft who everybody knows is one of the main leaders for this team. Then you got guys like (junior guard) Shannon Scott who’s also been a leader for this team, got other guys like (junior forward) Sam Thompson who are also doing the same thing. I think this year, (the leadership)’s going to be a group effort from everybody.”On the defensive side of the ball, however, the mindset stays the same.“We’re never going to go away from our defense,” Matta said. “I think that may be the best thing we did last year as a group, collectively as a group was team defense.”Matta and the Buckeyes are scheduled to open their regular season Nov. 9 at the Schottenstein Center against Morgan State at noon. OSU’s first Big Ten game is in West Lafayette, Ind., New Year’s Eve against Purdue at 1 p.m. read more

Gerrard Tyrrell, solicitor to Harry, said the Duke and Duchess were “no longer” able to live in the house following the disclosure.He told the hearing the “well-known paparazzi agency” had misused private information, breached the Duke’s right to privacy, GDPR laws and the Data Protection Act.Splash has since apologised and agreed to pay “substantial” damages and legal costs to the Royal, according to a prepared statement read to the court.Mr Tyrrell said: “The property had been chosen by the The Duke for himself and his wife, given the high level of privacy it afforded given its position in a secluded area surrounded by private farmland away from any areas to which photographers have access.“The helicopter flew over the home at a low altitude, allowing Splash to take photographs of and into the living area and dining area of the home and directly into the bedroom.”Harry and Meghan chose to spend time in the Cotswolds while Frogmore Cottage, their new home in Windsor, underwent £3 million in renovation work earlier this year.It was reported the temporary country retreat was worth an estimated £2.5 million and dated from the 18th century.Mr Tyrrell continued: “The photographs were taken for commercial gain and syndicated for that purpose.” The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were forced to move out of their Cotswolds hideaway after a paparazzi helicopter swooped over to take intrusive pictures, a court has heard.The Grade II listed farmhouse, tucked away in four acres of private land in Oxfordshire, was rented by Harry and Meghan as they prepared for the arrival of their first child.The royal couple were said to have selected the property due to the high levels of seclusion it afforded, which promised to keep away the prying lenses of photographers.However, their plans for a life of rural solitude were dealt a blow when the location was made public on January 9, prompting a celebrity news agency to hire a helicopter to investigate.Splash News and Pictures flew at a “low altitude” over the farmhouse to take pictures and video, which gave a view directly into the bedroom, a privacy case launched by Harry claimed.The shots were published by various news outlets in both print and online on January 11 in a move which was said to have “very seriously undermined” the couple’s security.Details of their hasty departure from the area came as legal action against the organisation concluded at the High Court He added: “The syndication and publication of the photographs very seriously undermined the safety and security of the Duke and the home to the extent that they are no longer able to live at the property.”The photographs were subsequently removed from sale by Splash, which also agreed not to use “any aerial means” to take pictures of the Duke’s private home again.Neither Harry nor Meghan were in court to see the privacy case concluded, but the Duke later acknowledged and welcomed the formal apology.All damages he received were donated to charity, it was claimed.A spokesman for Splash News said: “Splash has always recognised that this situation represents an error of judgement and we have taken steps to ensure it will not be repeated.“We apologise to the Duke and Duchess for the distress we have caused.”The royal couple have since returned to live in Frogmore Cottage, where they will raise their son Archie, who was born at the start of the month.They have already taken steps to guard the baby’s privacy by choosing not to release his birth certificate publicly, in a break with Royal Family custom. 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. read more

first_imgIn addition, Ireland, as “another partitioned country”, has had some tendency to identify with North Vietnamese. Friendly relations with US and anti-communist feelings of public have dampened this tendency, but we doubt that there would be interest in taking part in any action that press might call pro-Saigon.He said the Irish government does have some general interest in foreign aid as a moral imperative but that the actual amounts the Ireland could contribute would be minimal.Moore added that it could have symbolic signficance here and in other countries and that he might ask the government to support a joint EC aid approach to all of Vietnam.Read: Ireland got a ‘B’ grade for its last European presidency>Read: US doubted non-political role of Irish president after Hillery election> THE UNITED STATES Ambassador to Ireland in 1973, John DJ Moore told the White House that Ireland, as “another partitioned country”, had a tendency to identify with the North Vietnamese.In a confidential wire, released by Wikileaks, Ambassador Moore said he believed the Irish government would “not have much enthusiasm” for meeting prospective aid donors to Saigon, the Capital of South Vietnam. At the time, the United States was still assisting South Vietnam with military advisors in the war against a communist army that wanted to unite the country as one nation.Moore said that he thought the government would go along with a joint European Community (EC) operation in which it did not take lead, having only joined that year. “On controversial questions of low domestic priority, Irish have so far avoided a role in the EC, preferring to avoid criticism by going along with consensus,” he said.last_img read more

first_imgThe news just seems to be getting worse for Sony: first the PlayStation Network is hacked, then Sony finds out that passwords and credit card data may have been stolen, then they decide to keep the network down for an undetermined amount of time while they try to fix the problems. Now, a new study of PS3 owners shows that over 20% of them are considering ditching their PS3s and switching to the Xbox 360 for online gaming.The study was commissioned by online shopping and affiliate marketing firm CouponCodes4U, and asked over 2000 people across the US about the recent security breach at Sony. Of the group surveyed, only 41% of them owned PS3 consoles, but of that group 89% of them were worried that personal information of theirs was included in the data hackers were able to make off with.AdChoices广告Over 65% of the PS3 owners in the study said that their faith and trust in Sony had been “greatly affected,” and 21% of them said they were seriously considering selling their PS3 and switching to an Xbox 360 for their online gaming needs.That’s bad news for Sony, who’s still struggling to resolve the security issue and to determine how bad the data loss really is. To date, Sony has been issuing few statements about the matter, and what they have said has been in relatively vague terms. Sony’s said that the PSN would be “down for weeks,” and that they’re “rebuilding it from scratch,” but they’ve also changed their tune from being sure that no user data was compromised to admitting that credit card data – while encrypted – may have been among the information stolen.Sony’s already been sued over the issue, and it’s not terribly surprising that disgruntled gamers without a way to play online with their friends are looking for alternatives. It’s also natural for people to be concerned about their credit card information when they’re not getting a clear idea from Sony right now whether or not their data is safe. The real question is whether or not those same gamers will switch to the Xbox 360 and stay there when Sony has the whole mess sorted out and the storm blows over.via Escapist Magazinelast_img read more

first_imgCollectibles from the original Star Wars trilogy can fetch a lot of money at auction, but they typically take the form of well-known items such as original toys (in mint condition), costumes from the movies, or even props from the sets. However, there’s a few more obscure Star Wars items that are still worth a lot of money, some of which you may never of heard of before.Take the 1978 promotional poster you see above that depicts C-3PO and R2-D2 carrying a number of musical instruments. They both look quite ridiculous, and yet this poster is expected to fetch between $5,000 and $8,000 at auction. I’m guessing that’s a conservative estimate, though.The poster was created to promote The Star Wars Symphonic Suite by composer John Williams. The reason it is worth so much comes down to two factors. The first is the fact this is such a rare poster, and I must admit this is the first time I have ever seen it. The second value-boosting feature of this sheet of paper is the signature it carries, which belongs to George Lucas.The poster was designed by John Alvin, who is well known for creating some of the most memorable movie posters ever made  (Blade Runner, The Lion King, E.T., and Gremlins are just a few examples). This poster never actually got used though, either during Star Wars events or offered for sale to the public, hence it being so rare.The poster is set to come up for auction on July 26 at the Heritage Vintage Movie Posters Signature Auction in Beveraly Hills. I’d be very surprised if it doesn’t end up selling for a 5-figure sum.More at Paul Fraser Collectibles and Bit Rebelslast_img read more

first_img http://jrnl.ie/3122994 Image: Martin Meissner/PA 130 Comments Share510 Tweet Email Tuesday 6 Dec 2016, 2:00 PM CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL has reiterated her party’s bid to ban the full face veil in Germany.During a speech at the annual congress of her Christian Democratic Union, she attacked the rise of right-wing populists in the country, hitting out at opponents of her liberal refugee policy staking a claim to define German national identity.However, she noted that it was legitimate to expect integration from newcomers, underlining her party’s bid to ban the full face veil.“We all get to determine who ‘the people’ are – not just a few, no matter how loud they are,” Merkel said in a speech looking ahead to the 2017 general election.Without mentioning the upstart Alternative for Germany (AfD) party by name, Merkel said Germany must remain “sceptical about easy answers”.“The world is not black and white,” she said.Rarely is it the easy answers that bring progress to our country.But Merkel also played to the wing of her conservative party that has been deeply unsettled by last year’s record influx of asylum seekers, most of them Muslims fleeing war zones.She underlined her support for a proposal in August by her interior minister, Thomas de Maiziere, to outlaw the full-face burqa Islamic veil in public places.“The full veil must be banned wherever it is legally possible,” she said.On German Unity Day in early October, Merkel faced noisy protests when she arrived at celebrations in Dresden birthplace of the anti-immigration Pegida movement.The group has sought to co-opt the “We are the people” rallying cry used by East Germans in the peaceful revolution that brought down the Berlin Wall in 1989.The German leader, in power since 2005, has been under pressure at home over her refugee policy that saw an influx of nearly 900,000 migrants last year.Polls show nevertheless that her CDU is the clear frontrunner in the general election, expected in September 2017.The AfD harnessed a wave of anger over the refugee arrivals to make strong gains in a string of regional elections this year. It is currently polling at around 12% nationally.Its success has mirrored the march of anti-migrant parties in France, Austria and the Netherlands as well as Republican maverick Donald Trump in the United States.- © AFP, 2016More: French PM quits role, plans to battle Le Pen for presidencyRead: Watch as buses, a police car and a salt truck pile up on an icy Canadian hill Short URL Image: Martin Meissner/PA 18,793 Views Dec 6th 2016, 2:00 PM ‘The full veil must be banned… wherever legally possible’: Merkel wants a burqa ban in Germany She underlined her support for a proposal by her interior minister to outlaw the full-face burqa Islamic veil in public places. By AFP Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

first_img Related Items:#MagneticNewsMedia Bahamas Police Commissioner Greenslade gone to UK, appointed as High Commissioner Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppBarbados, November 16, 2016 – The Caribbean is not isolated from the impact of man-made and natural disasters, as the impact of Hurricane Matthew demonstrated recently. The Caribbean region’s increasing vulnerability to these threats demands a coordinated approach from its regional organizations.With the aim to improve their current coordination mechanisms and to establish a virtual crisis room, regional experts from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (CARICOM IMPACS) and its two sub-agencies the Regional Intelligence Fusion Centre (RIFC) and the Joint Regional Communication Centre (JRCC) along with the Regional Security System (RSS) converged at a series of workshops. The agencies will work on a Joint Civil Protection Coordination Plan to support the establishment of a virtual crisis room for the Caribbean.These workshops which are being held in Barbados from 14 – 18 November 2016, are part of an initiative funded by the European Union, the Global Crisis Response Support Programme (GCRSP). The GCRSP Programme is in its third phase, to not only develop the virtual crisis room, but to facilitate bringing together the wealth of knowledge of these four regional organizations and the skills developed in previous phases of the programme. Following these workshops, there will be a command post exercise in early 2017 to test the Joint Civil Protection Coordination Plan and the CARICOM Virtual Crisis Room.In his welcome remarks at the opening ceremony, Major Michael Jones, Chief Operations Officer of the JRCC said, “Given the varying roles of the Agencies present, we recognize that a crisis is not only hurricanes or earthquakes but it can be along the lines of the potential and debilitating effects of health crises such as we are seeing now with Zika and the crime crisis where homicide rates continue to increase in some of our CARICOM countries and where potential threats such as terrorism have the ability to affect economic growth and development.”Participants agreed that the knowledge gained will assist them in strengthening their existing crisis management infrastructures, which in turn will assist the entire CARICOM region. Recommended for you Nearly 30 Haitians caught following illegal landing in Nassau, says Defence Force TCI Premier blasts Opposition side for “slop” information, sets it straight in HOAlast_img read more

first_imgRetirement savers have accessed approximately £17.5 billion through pension freedoms since reforms were introduced in April 2015, according to data from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).Its report, Flexible payments from pensions: July 2018, also found that the number of individuals who have received flexible payments from their pensions between the second quarter of 2017 and the first quarter of 2018 is 375,000. This is compared to 393,000 individuals between the second quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017, and 232,000 between the second quarter of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016.Since the introduction of pension freedoms in April 2015, approximately 1 million individuals have accessed their pension for flexible payments.Between April and June 2018, 574,000 payments were received by 264,000 individuals, totalling £2.3 billion. This compares to 500,000 payments to 222,000 individuals in the first quarter of 2018, at a total of £1.7 billion. From October to December 2017, 454,000 payments were made to 198,000 individuals, totalling £1.5 billion. Between April and June 2017, 435,000 payments were made to 198,000 individuals, amounting to £1.6 billion.Tom McPhail, head of policy at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Withdrawals are spiking around the end of tax years, suggesting investors are planning their income to make the most of their allowances and tax thresholds. We don’t think the surge in withdrawals over the last few months is down to any one factor, but we know concern about Brexit is an increasing issue for some investors and this could be driving pension withdrawals.“Over time the numbers and values of withdrawals will continue to increase; another factor which may have caused the jump in recent months is the relatively high volume of transfers out of final salary pension schemes.”The figures are based on data reported to HMRC. Individual numbers are rounded to the nearest 1,000. The yearly individual totals are lower than the sum of the quarterly individual numbers, as some have taken payments in multiple quarters.Reporting was optional up to April 2016, when it was made compulsory. For this reason, figures prior to this are not comprehensive. This may account for part of the increase in reported payments seen in the second quarter of 2016.last_img read more

first_imgThe Caribou Lake Fire, 25 miles northeast of Homer, remains at 904 acres, with 92% containment and 78 firefighters assigned. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Update 7:15am;Thursday’s map for the Swan Lake Fire is attached. An update will be coming in later this morning. The fire is 163,686 acres and is 29% contained. Containment lines were widened by firefighters around the Surprise Creek, Skilak Guard Station and Kelly Lake areas. This is done by making sure the fire’s edge is out cold, up to a width of 50 feet or more. Exact depth depends on the difficulty of the terrain and other factors such as dangers posed by fire-weakened trees. Original Post 7am: Firefighters had a very productive day on the Swan Lake Fire on Wednesday. Crews were able to build hand line and install hoses along the line from south of Trout Lake to Shaft Creek. They also utilized a helicopter for bucket drops.The Swan Lake Fire is at an estimated 162,328 acres, and remains at 29% containment, as of Wednesday. The pilot cars are gone from the Sterling Highway and the Evacuation Level for communities adjacent to the Swan Lake Fire have been downgraded. A warming and drying trend over the next few days will bring lower humidity levels and slightly warmer temperatures. Heavy fuels such as large trees remain dry and available to burn; smoke will continue to be seen throughout the fire perimeter. Low to moderate surface fire is anticipated to remain within the current fire perimeter. The fire is being managed as a full suppression fire with a goal of 100 percent containment estimated by September 8. Smoke may be visible from within the interior of the fire perimeter until there significant and repeated rain or snow.last_img read more

first_imgThe move follows UBM’s reorganization earlier this year of CMP Technology into four market-focused businesses: TechWeb, the Everything Channel, Think Services and TechInsights. Despite the job cuts, UBM in the statement said the company is “on track” to deliver “solid performance” for investors. Without disclosing specific numbers, the company said it achieved in November its highest monthly operating profit over the last six-year period.The company also made three acquisitions over the last month—China-based Sanguine Microelectronics and XPRN, and Berlin-based Global Games Media. Combined, the deals are valued at approximately $16.1 million. In a recent trading update, London-based United Business Media said that the company is expected to reduce its worldwide workforce by roughly 5 percent, or 350 employees, before the end of the year. The cost cutting initiative began during the second half, UBM said. Before the layoffs, UBM employed approximately 6,500 people in more than 30 countries. Since the workforce reduction is not yet complete, a UBM spokesperson said he could not comment on the breakdown of layoffs by geography or business unit. Earlier this month, UBM-owned TechInsights—one of the businesses that formerly made up CMP Technology—reorganized and cut 10 percent of its staff. Those layoffs were included in UBM’s overall initiative.Last week, UBM reorganized its East Windsor, New Jersey-based Commonwealth Business Media unit, which publishes several magazines targeting the global trade and transportation market. The business was split into UBM Aviation and UBM Global Trade.last_img read more

first_imgA federal judge in Anchorage has quashed some subpoenas issued to opponents of the Pebble mine. In a 14-page ruling issued Wednesday, Judge H. Russel Holland said Pebble was “pushing the envelope” as it seeks information from third parties about EPA’s efforts to preemptively block development of the proposed mine.Download AudioThe subpoenas relate to Pebble’s lawsuit against EPA alleging violations of FACA, or the Federal Advisory Committee Act.On the receiving end of the subpoenas were dozens of individuals and groups Pebble says have been working closely with EPA to stop development of the mine.One was Anchorage resident Sam Snyder, who used to work for the Alaska Conservation Foundation, where he helped coordinate opposition to Pebble.Not all of the subpoenas have been quashed. Snyder’s was, and now he says he’s willing to describe how he felt when he was served.“Frustrated, mad, scared. It’s not exactly the best day when you have a large multinational mining company seeking to pull you into court. I never felt I had anything to hide, but their request was onerous. They wanted documents, emails, research, conversations dating back to 2004, in which you discuss everything from fish in Bristol Bay to mining in Alaska to the Clean Water Act.”Holland’s ruling applied to Snyder, ACF, the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association, and former RSDA director Bob Waldrop.Whether he rules similarly on other outstanding subpoenas remains to be seen.Holland did not rule that those parties’ communications with EPA are necessarily irrelevant to the case, rather he said the exchanges –mostly emails — will turn up from EPA’s end. Snyder says he’s not worried about that.“No I’m not concerned that emails between myself and EPA would come up. They have come up and they’re in the documents. Pebble has them. They don’t need anything from me. It’s not like I sent thousands of emails. There’s about a dozen in which I, working on behalf of interests in Bristol Bay, request meetings. There’s nothing wrong with that.”Snyder calls it a small but important win for free speech and the rights of citizens to petition their government.Judge Holland said it will be more convenient, less burdensome, and less expensive for EPA to produce the materials Pebble says are relevant to its case. Pebble disagrees with the ruling, and says they have already found materials from third party records that were not provided by EPA.While the FACA case proceeds in federal court, Judge Holland has ordered EPA to halt further work on the preemptive restrictions against certain mining in the Bristol Bay watershed.last_img read more

first_imgHyderabad: TRS working president KT Rama Rao on Tuesday said that would fulfil all the promises made to the people of Hyderabad. KTR addressed a meeting of party activists where about 8000 persons were given membership of the party at Kotla Vijayabhaskar Reddy stadium on Tuesday. He hailed the leaders of Jubilee Hills constituency as number one in Hyderabad in membership. KCR rule has been hailed by many state governments. “There are more things to take up in Hyderabad but there are some priorities of the government. We will fulfil all the promises made to people of Hyderabad,” said KTR. Also Read – JIH organises Eid Milap for sanitary workers Advertise With Us The TRS leader said that CM KCR brought Godavari water to Hyderabad, which ended water woes of people of the city. Hyderabad will never face a crisis like Chennai. Stating that the law and order situation had improved in the city, KTR said, “During my childhood, there used to be a curfew in Hyderabad during Ganesh festival. Now there are no conflicts showing good law and order situation.” Also Read – GHMC distributes saplings to KV students Advertise With Us KTR said that some Congress leaders were unable to digest development, good rains. “No one knows what they are doing who their national president. They are making the same allegations since the last five years. Think about your party why leaders are leaving,” said KTR. He called upon the party activists not to take the criticism of opposition leaders seriously. Referring to BJP he said that some people who are talking of being an alternative to TRS should know that state government spending Rs 1200 crore on pensions whereas Centre is giving Rs 200 crore. He said no BJP or Congress governments are giving Rs 3000 pension to people.last_img read more