Category: diohzbdd

Time is tight Indigenous child welfare legislation stalled due to complaints from

first_imgFormer Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott announces Canada’s plan to co-develop new child welfare legislation, as national Indigenous leaders look on. APTN file photo.Kenneth JacksonAPTN NewsThe Trudeau government is facing opposition from First Nations across the country on a draft of its child welfare legislation according to the grand chief of the Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians.Joel Abram said a draft of the proposed legislation was shared with a working group of First Nations about a week and a half ago.The next day the Trudeau government was told it wasn’t good enough and Abram said it looks to be more of a “feel good” bill.“We are all pretty clear on two parts,” said Abram Wednesday morning. “One is the jurisdiction and the other is having the funding fully legislated in there.”He couldn’t discuss details of the draft bill, however its intent is to hand over jurisdiction to First Nations and Abram said it falls short of that.“We are encouraging the government to let go of the wheel,” said Abram. “There’s nothing in there that is going to compel the government to fund (First Nations).”But since offering its complaints, Abram said they haven’t seen another draft and don’t expect to until it’s tabled in the House of Commons.They’ve been given a drop dead date of Feb. 18 for the bill to be tabled and still have time to reach royal assent. News of the complaints from First Nations was first reported by CBC Wednesday morning.“I hope it is not dead,” said Cindy Blackstock, who also got to see a draft of the bill based on her Canadian Human Rights Tribunal action that continues to fight for equal rights for First Nations children.“I hope it has the affirmation of self-determination and statutory base for substantively equitable funding included when it is released. We will have to see but I agree time is tight.”Talks between the government and leadership continues said Abram.Abram was trying to reach the Prime Minister’s Office Wednesday and Minister Seamus O’Regan was supposed to be talking to Ontario regional chief RoseAnne Archibald.He also said they thought the bill was going to be announced yesterday with the Indigenous Languages Act.A spokesperson with Indigenous Services Canada says the bill will be tabled shortly.“We are working diligently so that we can introduce Indigenous child and family services legislation shortly. However, we must also ensure that critical feedback from partners is incorporated.“This is important, and we want to make sure we get it right.”The legislation was first announced at a media conference in late November. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau then said in December to expect it in late January.It’s not known when the bill will be tabled.kjackson@aptn.calast_img read more

Minnesota approves Enbridge Energy Line 3 pipeline project

first_imgST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota regulators on Thursday approved Enbridge Energy’s proposal to replace its aging Line 3 oil pipeline, angering opponents who say the project threatens pristine areas and have vowed Standing Rock-style protests if needed to block it.All five members of the Public Utilities Commission backed the project, though some cited heavy trepidation, and a narrow majority later approved the company’s preferred route despite opposition from American Indian tribes and climate change activists.Several commissioners cited the deteriorating condition of the existing line , which was built in the 1960s, as a major factor in their decision.“It’s irrefutable that that pipeline is an accident waiting to happen,” Commissioner Dan Lipschultz said ahead of the vote. “It feels like a gun to our head … All I can say is the gun is real and it’s loaded.”Pipeline opponents reacted angrily when it became clear commissioners would approve the project. Tania Aubid, a member of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, stood and shouted, “You have just declared war on the Ojibwe!” Brent Murcia, of the group Youth Climate Intervenors, added: “We will not let this stand.”Opponents argue that the pipeline risks spills in fragile areas in northern Minnesota, including where American Indians harvest wild rice. Ojibwe Indians, or Anishinaabe, consider wild rice sacred and central to their culture.Winona LaDuke, founder of Honor the Earth, said opponents would use every regulatory means possible to stop the project — and threatened mass protests if necessary.“They have gotten their Standing Rock,” she said, referring to protests that drew thousands of people to neighbouring North Dakota to rally against the Dakota Access pipeline.Others welcomed Thursday’s vote, including Bob Schoneberger, founder of Minnesotans for Line 3. He said Minnesota needs the line now “and will need it even more into the future.”In a statement Thursday night, Enbridge President and CEO Al Monaco said the company is “pleased” with the commission’s decision.“Replacing Line 3 is first and foremost about the safety and integrity of this critical energy infrastructure,” Monaco said.After commissioners agreed the pipeline upgrade was needed, the commission voted 3-2 in favour of a slightly modified version of Enbridge’s preferred route. The company wanted to depart from the existing pipeline to largely avoid two American Indian reservations currently crossed.The PUC’s modification does clip a portion of the Fond du Lac Band of Chippewa’s land in order to avoid going close to a culturally sensitive lake. Commissioners said they would adjust the route if the band doesn’t agree.Tribal lawyers had reluctantly backed an alternative route that went much farther south as the least bad option.After the commission’s work is formalized in the next few weeks, opponents may file motions asking it to reconsider. After that, they can appeal the decision to the state Court of Appeals.Several commissioners said the issue was difficult. Chairwoman Nancy Lange choked up and took off her glasses to wipe her eyes as she described her reasoning for approving the project. Another commissioner, Katie Sieben, said it was “so tough because there is no good outcome.”The pipeline currently runs from Alberta, Canada, across North Dakota and Minnesota to Enbridge’s terminal in Superior, Wisconsin. Enbridge has said it needs to replace the pipeline because it’s increasingly subject to corrosion and cracking, and that it would continue to run Line 3 if regulators rejected its proposal.Much of the debate has focused on whether Minnesota and Midwest refineries need the extra oil. Enbridge currently runs Line 3 at about half its original capacity of 760,000 barrels per day for safety reasons, and currently uses it only to carry light crude.The project’s opponents, including the Minnesota Department of Commerce, have argued that the refineries don’t need it because demand for oil and petroleum products will fall in the coming years as people switch to electric cars and renewable energy sources. Opposition groups also argue that much of the additional oil would eventually flow to overseas buyers.Enbridge and its customers strongly dispute the lack of need in the region . They said Line 3’s reduced capacity is already forcing the company to severely ration space on its pipeline network, and that failure to restore its capacity would force oil shippers to rely more on trains and trucks, which are more expensive and less safe. Business and labour groups support the proposal for the jobs and economic stimulus.The Public Utilities Commission’s decision likely won’t be the final word in a long, contentious process that has included numerous public hearings and the filings of thousands of pages of documents since 2015. Lange said earlier this year that the dispute was likely to end up in court, regardless of what the commission decides.Opponents have threatened a repeat of the protests on the Standing Rock Reservation against the Dakota Access pipeline, in which Enbridge owns a stake. Those protests in 2016 and 2017 resulted in sometimes violent skirmishes with law enforcement and more than 700 arrests.Enbridge has already replaced the short segment of Line 3 in Wisconsin and put it into service. Construction is underway on the short segment that crosses northeastern North Dakota and on the longer section from Alberta to the U.S. border, and Enbridge plans to continue that work. Enbridge has estimated the overall cost of the project at $7.5 billion, including $2.6 billion for the U.S. segment.___For the latest developments on this story: read more

Mt Gox head Karpeles plans new Japan bitcoin tech business

TOKYO — Mark Karpeles, arrested in Japan after his bitcoin exchange collapsed from massive hacking, has started a business around the same computer technology that led to his legal troubles.Karpeles told reporters Wednesday he wants to help make Japan a global leader in blockchain, the technology behind virtual money like bitcoin. His new company, registered in Japan, aims to create a new, secure operating system that is much faster than those currently in use, he said.The 34-year-old Frenchman said his goal was to help Japan to regain its lead in technology, which it has lost to American companies like Apple, Amazon and Facebook over the past several decades.“My love for Japan has not changed,” Karpeles said at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan.“Japan used to be engineering superpower in terms of its PCs but right now, taking the cloud for example, it’s the U.S. that dominates. But I still believe in the potential Japan has and I would like to develop that,” he said.Karpeles, a computer prodigy with an interest in Japanese animation and games, moved to Japan in 2009. He was arrested in 2015 after Mt. Gox collapsed, and spent 11 months in detention. He was cleared of embezzlement and fraud allegations in March, but is appealing a conviction on charges of manipulating electronic data.Since Karpeles received a suspended sentence he is not serving jail time. Prosecutors had demanded 10 years in prison. Karpeles said all along that he was innocent.Bitcoin has been a legal form of payment in Japan since April 2017, and a handful of major retailers already accept bitcoin payments.Karpeles shook his head “No” when asked if he has any cryptocurrencies. They carry high risks, he said. He has likened them in the past to musical chairs for 10,000 people.“I wouldn’t say I’m rich today,” he said.But Karpeles said he believes blockchain is still useful for cashless payments, cloud solutions and new areas called “smart contracts,” or digital transactions.It’s unclear where the millions lost in the Mt. Gox hacking and collapse have gone. Mt. Gox still had about 200,000 bitcoins left in a separate storage location after 850,000, worth several hundred million dollars at the time, disappeared in 2014. Those are under the control of trustees managing its bankruptcy proceedings.A main suspect is Alexander Vinnik, a Russian who has been indicted by a California grand jury on suspicion he used funds from the Mt. Gox hack for money laundering. The U.S., France and Russia have sought Vinnik’s extradition.Karpeles’ lawyer, Nobuyasu Ogata, said the verdict in his case highlights legal gray areas for cryptocurrency crimes. He expects a verdict later this year.While he continues to hope to find the missing bitcoins, Karpeles is putting his formidable technical skills to use as chief technology officer of his new company, Tokyo-based Tristan Technologies Co.And in a society that tends to ostracize people who have had run-ins with the law, he said he was starting over “from zero.”___Follow Yuri Kageyama on Twitter Instagram Kageyama, The Associated Press read more

Opinion Ohio States JT Barrett could spark memories of Craig Krenzel

OSU redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett scans the field during practice at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center Aug. 9.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorLooking back at the past 15 years, the Ohio State football program fielded a string of incredibly athletic and highly talented quarterbacks — and then there is Craig Krenzel.Krenzel was certainly a very good quarterback for the Buckeyes, but it’s easy to call him the fourth-best quarterback to play for OSU since the turn of the century. While he is one of the smartest players ever to don the Scarlet and Gray, Krenzel will never be grouped together with Troy Smith as an all-time great, or Terrelle Pryor as an otherworldly athlete.Even as a decorated player at Henry Ford II High School in Sterling Heights, Mich., it’s unlikely anyone expected Krenzel to step on the field at OSU and leave with the massive success he had.In his best season, Krenzel never threw more than 15 touchdowns or more than 2,110 yards, and he never rushed for more than 368 yards=. He didn’t win a Heisman Trophy like Smith and he didn’t win back-to-back Chicago Tribune Big Ten MVP awards like current senior Braxton Miller.But he did something else none of them did: win a National Championship.After completing just five passes on nine attempts as a freshman in 2000, Krenzel found himself thrust into a starting role as a sophomore when starter Steve Bellisari was suspended after being arrested for drunk driving. Krenzel’s first start came against then-No. 11 Michigan, when the Buckeyes were unranked, and he led the team to a 26-20 victory on Nov. 24, 2001.It wasn’t pretty — Krenzel threw for just 118 yards and no touchdowns with one interception — but he got the job done. He then went on to lead the Buckeyes to an undefeated 14-0 record in 2002, capped off with a 31-24 double-overtime win against Miami in the BCS National Championship Game.Former OSU quarterback Craig Krenzel speaks to students in the Archie Griffin Ballroom at the Ohio Union Oct. 17, 2013. Credit: Katie Riccardella / Ohio UnionKrenzel went on to play six games for the Chicago Bears, including five starts, during the 2004 NFL season. He is now a motivational speaker and part-time commentator on WBNS 97.1 The Fan in Columbus.While it’s unknown where his career will go, a certain redshirt-freshman quarterback for the 2014 Buckeyes is seeing his time as a starter begin similarly to how Krenzel’s did.J.T. Barrett will certainly have bigger shoes to fill than Krenzel did after Miller went down with a torn labrum in fall camp, but he’s still an untested player filling in for a team that had championship aspirations.Just like Krenzel, Barrett won’t overwhelm you with his athleticism, but he has the ability to take off and run if that’s what the play needs. He’s even been dubbed “the distributor” by teammates, which is more or less the only thing Krenzel was really asked to do. Both have been praised for their leadership ability, and both were thrust into the starting lineup before their time had truly come.Barrett even wears Krenzel’s old No. 16.While there’s no telling where Barrett’s career will end up — and it could very well never live up to the success Krenzel had — the parallels are undeniable as he starts to build his legacy.While Krenzel’s first true test came against archrival Michigan, Barrett’s first start is set to come against Navy Saturday in Baltimore. But he’ll certainly be hoping for the same result the former Buckeye signal caller had back in November 2001. read more

Police investigate theory abducted boy was getting scolded by a parent

first_imgOne, he said, is that the incident is “exactly as portrayed and reported and that a child has been abducted from the roadside”.The second, he added, is that the adult seen bundling the child into a black van was a relative or guardian and that they were involved in some kind of row with the boy.Det Supt Edwards said: “The second theory we are operating, again this a heartfelt plea for anyone who may have information in support of it, if you were at that location and involved in an incident on Thursday with your own child or a child that you are connected to, we would urge you to come forward and make contact immediately so we can scale the investigation back and offer messages of reassurance to the public.” Police investigating the suspected kidnapping of a child are exploring a second theory – that the boy was being told off by a parent.Surrey Police launched a massive investigation after receiving reports that a young boy, aged around six or seven, was forced into a black van against his will.But since the alleged incident, in Redhill on Thursday afternoon, they have not received any reports of missing children.Detective Superintendent Chris Edwards admitted they are working on two theories. Det Supt Chris Edwards has said that police are investigating two theories Det Supt Chris Edwards has said that police are investigating two theoriesCredit:PA 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.center_img Det Supt Edwards insisted that he has complete faith in the witness’s account of what they had seen despite the fact that nobody else has come forward to say they also saw the incident.He said the witness was credible and that he had been spoken to more than once, but they have no idea if the ‘abductor’ was male or female.He said that the child was forced against their will into the van but added that there had not been a struggle.Police have had 130 calls from the public about the incident so far and continue to appeal for witnesses to come forward. The bike was found in Redhill, Surrey, but was later said to have been ‘kicking around for a couple of days’ The bike was found in Redhill, Surrey, but was later said to have been ‘kicking around for a couple of days’Credit: Surrey Policelast_img read more

BlackBerry PlayBook gets 13 million songs with 7digital deal

first_imgIn an attempt to compete with the might of Apple, RIM has managed to secure a deal that will see 7digital’s music store preloaded on to the forthcoming Playbook tablet. In turn this will give users access to about 13 million pay-per-track songs.This should not be too much of a surprise given that 7digital has been popular on RIM’s phones in Europe, and more specifically it was available as part of Vodafone UK’s distribution plans. Back in 2009 it was also released to the US market as a DRM-free music store.The music deal is of course an attempt by RIM to try and compete with the iTunes music store as offered on the iPad, because lets face it, Blackberry has never been a consumer-focused media provider, it’s about business customers first and foremost.Checking out the 7digital store recently I noted that prices in most cases started at $0.99 per single and an average of $9.99 for top selling albums (though some albums like the Lady Gaga Remix were selling at $7.77 and they do have $5 albums as well). Compared to iTunes the single prices certainly come out better, as most of the iTunes singles go for $1.29. Mind you, album prices are more in line.RIM has also been making additional deals to cater for basic content on the platform. For example, they have signed up Kobo as the main driving force behind their bookstore, although the book selection is not as varied as on the iBooks store, but it does have a nice phone and desktop interface. As for games, RIM has turned to EA.The PlayBook is due out late this month if all goes to plan, which is wise given that Apple will be stealing all the limelight when they release the iPad 2 in the next few days.Read more at Electronistalast_img read more

European Extremely Large Telescope will be worlds biggest eye on the sky

first_imgWould you look at the size of that thing! Pictured above is the European Extremely Large Telescope, or E-ELT for short. ELT’s are a priority for the world’s astronomers because they are going to be able to reveal things that we have never seen before by giving scientists a mammoth viewing lens into the night sky.When they call this thing large, they mean it. The lens alone is going to be 40 meters wide, which is 131 feet and some change. It will be the largest lens on the planet, and will be capable of giving us a new view of distant space. Apparently it will be able to capture images that are 15x sharper than Hubble.One of the priorities for the European Southern Observatory (ESO) is to track down Earth-like planets, as well as planets in habitable zones. In addition, the ESO will be focusing on super-massive black holes, working to uncover more information on dark matter and its dispersal in the universe.The lens itself it an interesting feat of engineering, as it is not going to be one solid piece of glass. It probably is not a good idea to create a piece of that size anyway, as can you imagine trying to fit that in the back of your truck to transport it out to the site?  The ESO can’t either, so in a move that is both saving them money, and making it easier to transport and install, they have split the lens up into 798 hexagonal segments. Thus creating a situation where they are ordering glass in bulk to drop the price, and making it easier on the poor guy/team that has to install it.It is going to be exciting when the ESO finishes the E-ELT, planned to be some time around the end of the decade, as the discoveries that await it are sure to produce some awesome imagery. Check out the video trailer for the project below.More at the European Southern Observatorylast_img read more

Dave Bautista appears on Live with Kelly and Ryan to promote his

first_img RAW Highlights: Stone Cold moderates, King of the Ring, Women’s Tag match, Firefly Funhouse Top 3: Comic-Con Moments Mike Tedesco RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Facebook Twitter Videos Articles Now Playing Up Next Videos Articles Videos Articles Dave Bautista Doesn`t See All Elite Wrestling As Legitimate Competition To WWE Tom Hiddleston Smackdown Highlights: Undertaker appears, Shane fires Owens, Kingston takes out Orton Dave Bautista Announces His Retirement From WWE Stan Lee Now Playing Up Next Zoe Saldana Stellan Skarsgard Joins The Cast Of Denis Villeneuves Dune Now Playing Up Next Google+ Now Playing Up Next Dave Bautista Talks About Life After WWE And Before `Guardians Of The Galaxy` Recommended videosPowered by AnyClipTop 3: Comic-Con MomentsVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPauseUnmuteDuration 3:03/Current Time 0:04Loaded: 26.68%0:04Remaining Time -2:59 FullscreenUp NextThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Replay the list David M. Russell | Walt Disney DTCI Dave Bautista appeared on “Live with Kelly and Ryan” this morning on the ABC Network to promote his new movie “Stuber”, which comes out today.Batista was interviewed on a number of topics, including how his tendency to become obsessed with things put him on the path to becoming a professional wrestler and movie star.Batista also talked about how he caught grief for accidentally spoiling the ending of Avengers: Endgame. Pinterest NXT Highlights: Johnny Gargano addresses NXT future, Baszler vs. Ripley, Pete Dunne in action Now Playing Up Next WhatsApplast_img

2 killed as gunman takes hostages in France

first_imgPolice are seen at the scene of a hostage situation in a supermarket in Trebes, Aude, France 23 March, 2018 in this picture obtained from a social media video. Photo: ReutersAt least two people were killed after a gunman claiming allegiance to the Islamic State group opened fire and took hostages at a supermarket in southwest France on Friday.A security source said the two were killed in the attack at a Super U store in the town of Trebes.Armed police were also responding to the earlier shooting of a policeman in the town of Carcassonne, 15 minutes drive away, which took place at around 11 am (1000 GMT).It was unclear if the two incidents were linked.In Trebes, a picturesque medieval town of around 5,000 people, the man “entered the Super U supermarket at around 11.15 am and shots were heard,” a source told AFP on condition of anonymity.A witness reported he shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest) before going into the premises, the source added.- Site off-limits -The gunman claimed allegiance to the Islamic State group, the local prosecutor’s office said, and the incident was being treated as a terror attack.Local authorities tweeted that the area around the supermarket was off-limits to the public, while Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said it was a “serious” incident.The shootings come with France still on high alert after a string of jihadist attacks since 2015, starting in January that year with the assault on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo that left 12 people dead.France also suffered major attacks in Paris in November 2015 when IS jihadists killed 130 people in bombings and shootings at bars, restaurants, the Bataclan concert venue and the national stadium.In July 2016, in another attack claimed by IS, a man drove a truck through revellers celebrating Bastille Day in the Riviera resort of Nice, killing 84 people.A state of emergency put in place just after the Paris attacks was finally lifted in October last year, but soldiers continue to patrol major tourist sites and transport hubs under an anti-terror mission.If the link to Islamic State is confirmed, the hostage-taking would be the first deadly attack in France since October, when two young women were stabbed to death outside Marseille’s main train station.Interior Minister Gerard Collomb was heading to the scene, he wrote on Twitter.The area of southwest France where Friday’s shootings took place has been scarred by Islamic extremism before.In 2012, Mohamed Merah shot dead seven people including three Jewish schoolchildren in the nearby city of Toulouse.last_img read more

Malta rescues 180 migrants

first_imgMalta on Monday pulled 180 migrants to safety from two boats in distress, while 49 more were stuck in limbo at sea as the weather worsened in the Mediterranean.An army patrol boat picked up 28 migrants from a dinghy some 71 nautical miles southwest of Malta before plucking another 152 people from a wooden boat to the south.The rescues followed the recovery by Malta Sunday of 69 migrants on a wooden boat which had run into trouble.Meanwhile, the UN’s refugee agency said time was “running out” for 49 people rescued by NGO boats but denied a safe port in Europe, some of whom have been stranded at sea for over a week.The NGOs — the German Sea-Eye and Dutch Sea-Watch — called for “an immediate solution for those being held hostage by European States, who are denying them a safe port”.”With the weather conditions forecast to worsen this evening, a solution must be found by the end of 2018 in order to prevent placing people’s heath at further risk,” they said in a joint statement.The German-flagged professor Albrecht Penck ship has 17 migrants from West Africa on board who were rescued on Saturday in international waters off Libya.At the same time, the Dutch-flagged Sea-Watch 3 has 32 migrants rescued on December 22 including three young children, three unaccompanied adolescents and four women from Nigeria, Libya and Ivory Coast.While Italy, Malta, Spain and the Netherlands have refused to accept the Sea-Watch 3 migrants, several German cities have offered to take them in.On Saturday a government spokesman said Germany would only accept some of the migrants if other European countries also agreed to do so.Last week, a newborn baby and his mother were helicoptered from a boat to Malta.”The negotiations over which country takes them in must happen only once those rescued are brought safety to land,” UNHCR special envoy Vincent Cochetel said.More than 1,300 migrants have died trying to reach Italy or Malta via the central Mediterranean since the beginning of the year, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).The Italian interior ministry said Monday that the number of 2018 arrivals in Italy was down over 80 per cent compared with 2017 at just 23,370.The biggest number came from Tunisia, followed by Eritrea, Iraq, Sudan, Pakistan and Nigeria.In mid-2017, departures from Libya dropped after a controversial deal between Italy and the war-torn North African country.A campaign against the NGO rescue organisations peaked in June this year with far-right interior minister Matteo Salvini’s “closed-ports” policy aimed at ending all rescue operations, including military ones.last_img read more

Bathroom Bill Fight Brewing In Texas

first_img Share Eric Gay/APThe dome of the Texas State Capital.Texas could soon follow in the footsteps of Indiana and North Carolina and pass its own “bathroom bill” in the upcoming legislative session. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has made passage of such a bill, which could require transgender Texans to use the restroom which corresponds to the gender on their birth certificate, a priority.The proposal threatens to split the Texas Republican Party, which controls all three branches of government in Austin. Proponents include the lieutenant governor and the Senate he leads, while the Texas House of Representatives is more sympathetic to the state’s business community. The politically powerful chamber of commerce and the Texas Association of Business both strongly oppose any bathroom bill.North Carolina’s bathroom bill nullified legislation passed by the city of Charlotte that expanded protections to LGBT North Carolinians. The state’s bathroom bill also prohibited transgender people from using public restrooms that align with their gender identity. It provoked a widespread backlash from businesses, entertainers, sports organizations and the movie industry.The NBA pulled its All-Star Game out of North Carolina, the NCAA moved March Madness regional games out of the state, and PayPal and Deutsche Bank suspended planned expansions there. Forbes estimated that North Carolina lost more than $600 million in the six months after Gov. Pat McCrory signed the legislation into a law. McCrory was subsequently defeated in his bid for re-election in November by Democrat Roy Cooper, who made the bathroom bill a cornerstone of his campaign.None of these economic and political ramifications have deterred the Texas lieutenant governor. In fact, when the North Carolina legislature failed an attempt to reverse itself and pass legislation that would have nullified its bathroom bill just before Christmas, Patrick sent a note applauding the collapse of the effort.“Legislation to protect women’s privacy and business is essential to assure that sexual predators … will not be able to freely enter women’s restrooms, locker rooms or showers … ” Patrick’s note said.However, many of the Texas GOP’s most lucrative donors have indicated they’re going to the mat to stop bathroom legislation from passing in Texas. The Texas Association of Business held a press conference last month to announce results of a study, commissioned by the TAB and conducted by researchers at St. Edwards University in Austin, which estimated a Lone Star bathroom bill could cost the state upwards of $8 billion in economic impact and 100,000 jobs.“The message from the Texas business community is loud and clear,” Chris Wallace, president of the TAB, said in front of the Texas Capitol. “Protecting Texas from billions of dollars in losses is simple: Don’t pass unnecessary laws that discriminate against Texans and our visitors.”While Texas’s lieutenant governor is hot for a bathroom bill, his counterpart in the Texas House, Speaker Joe Strauss, is not “This isn’t the most urgent concern of mine,” Strauss said.Strauss is expected to be the business community’s political backstop, and he’s got the clout in the House to ensure that any bathroom legislation languishes and dies in committee. Not only would that please many influential donors, it would spare Republican House members from having to make a politically tricky vote.And where is Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott on the subject? He’s currently sitting atop the fence. Abbott says a wait-and-see approach is prudent until an actual bill is produced and the details — and political and economic ramifications — can be carefully scrutinized.Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit read more

Scientists discover satellites captured Chelyabinsk meteor debris trail

first_img Asteroid expert says surveillance is key to survival, planning is key to defense ( —A team of researchers with members from Colorado State University, the University of Wisconsin and NOAA has found that several satellites orbiting the Earth at the time of the Chelyabinsk meteor explosion captured the debris trail on film. As the team explains in their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the captured images allowed for calculating the trajectory of the meteor and then its orbit. Citation: Scientists discover satellites captured Chelyabinsk meteor debris trail (2013, October 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2013 The Chelyabinsk explosion that occurred in the stratosphere over Russia this past February was a stark reminder of the dangers posed by meteors—the resulting shock wave injured over 1000 people and caused damage across the region. Because of their relatively small size, modern science has still not been able to come up with a way to see such meteors before they strike the earth. The Chelyabinsk meteor was a complete surprise—no one knew of its existence until it exploded. For that reason, scientists continue to look for new tools to help with forecasting. In this new effort, the researchers wondered if American weather satellites had captured the strike and if so, if they might provide any new information.After studying imagery from multiple satellites, the team discovered that several of them had indeed captured images of the debris trail, some just moments after the meteor exploded. Analyzing the images allowed for calculating the trajectory of the meteor and from that, its prior orbit. Scientist’s had already done the same using photographs taken by people in Russia, of course, but because the calculations matched so closely, the researchers were able to confirm that images of satellites can be used to provide accurate data about meteor events that are not recorded in other ways.Calculating trajectories and orbits is important because it’s believed that up to 15 percent of meteors travel in pairs, or even as triplets. If scientists can very quickly calculate the trajectory of a strike, they can look to see if more are coming, possibly saving lives. Also, if meteor detection is built into satellites in the future, they could conceivably report on the actual number and locations of strikes around the world—as things stand now it’s possible that relatively small meteors strike fairly regularly in remote locations or in the ocean and nobody knows its happening.center_img Photograph of meteor trail near Chelyabinsk, Russia on 15 February 2013 at about 9:21 AM local time, with corresponding DMSP satellite image from about 9:25 AM. Credit: Photograph courtesy of Alex Alishevskikh (, satellite image courtesy of Steven D. Miller, Colorado State University. More information: Earth-viewing satellite perspectives on the Chelyabinsk meteor event, PNAS, Published online before print October 21, 2013, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1307965110AbstractLarge meteors (or superbolides [Ceplecha Z, et al. (1999) Meteoroids 1998:37–54]), although rare in recorded history, give sobering testimony to civilization’s inherent vulnerability. A not-so-subtle reminder came on the morning of February 15, 2013, when a large meteoroid hurtled into the Earth’s atmosphere, forming a superbolide near the city of Chelyabinsnk, Russia, ∼1,500 km east of Moscow, Russia [Ivanova MA, et al. (2013) Abstracts of the 76th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society, 5366]. The object exploded in the stratosphere, and the ensuing shock wave blasted the city of Chelyabinsk, damaging structures and injuring hundreds. Details of trajectory are important for determining its specific source, the likelihood of future events, and potential mitigation measures. Earth-viewing environmental satellites can assist in these assessments. Here we examine satellite observations of the Chelyabinsk superbolide debris trail, collected within minutes of its entry. Estimates of trajectory are derived from differential views of the significantly parallax-displaced [e.g., Hasler AF (1981) Bull Am Meteor Soc 52:194–212] debris trail. The 282.7 ± 2.3° azimuth of trajectory, 18.5 ± 3.8° slope to the horizontal, and 17.7 ± 0.5 km/s velocity derived from these satellites agree well with parameters inferred from the wealth of surface-based photographs and amateur videos. More importantly, the results demonstrate the general ability of Earth-viewing satellites to provide valuable insight on trajectory reconstruction in the more likely scenario of sparse or nonexistent surface observations. Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Explore furtherlast_img read more

Branson buys Hard Rock Hotel Casino Las Vegas

first_img By: Regina Garcia CanoSource: The Associated Press Tags: Las Vegas, Virgin Group Monday, April 2, 2018 Share << Previous PostNext Post >> Branson buys Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas LAS VEGAS — The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas will be overhauled over the next several months following its purchase Friday by billionaire Richard Branson.The property with about 1,500 rooms and suites off the Las Vegas Strip and eventually become Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. It will continue to operate under the Hard Rock brand through the end of 2019, when the renovations are expected to be completed.“Virgin is all about fun, entertainment, not taking ourselves too seriously,” Branson said. “Virgin Atlantic has had a lot of fun flying tons of people to Las Vegas from Britain for many years. Virgin America has done the same, and we wouldn’t have just come to Las Vegas unless we could’ve found the property that was very Virgin, and I think that’s what we’ve achieved.”The 23-year-old property will remain open during renovations, which will take place in multiple phases. The company said it will invest “hundreds of millions of dollars” to transform the property, but it was not immediately clear whether the hotel-casino will keep its current entertainment venues, including a popular dayclub.More news:  TRAVELSAVERS welcomes Julie Virgilio to the teamThe property will retain its casino floor, which will be managed by a partner. Some of the large rock memorabilia that the Hard Rock casino-hotel owns may go to storage.“The guitar may not survive,” Branson said referring to a massive guitar outside the hotel. “But we have a giant ‘v’, which is sort of guitar-shaped, which may take over.”Virgin Hotels purchased the property with a group of partners, including Los Angeles-based investment firm Juniper Capital Partners. The terms of the purchase from Brookfield Asset Management were not disclosed.Branson, who has previously rappelled down a casino-hotel and got on a jet ski on the fountains outside the Bellagio casino- resort to promote his businesses, promised an “equally fun” event for the hotel’s official launch.The leader of the Culinary Union, which represents more than 50,000 casino-hotel workers in Las Vegas, said Brookfield and Virgin Hotels have agreed to a process that will ensure management remains neutral as employees choose whether to unionize “without management interference, harassment, surveillance, bullying, or litigation.”More news:  Apply now for AQSC’s agent cruise rates“This is a new era of positive labour-management co-operation at the Hard Rock Las Vegas,” Geoconda Arguello-Kline, the union’s secretary-treasurer said in a statement.The only Virgin Hotel opened so far is in Chicago. Others are planned for New York, Dallas, New Orleans, Nashville, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Palm Springs, California, and Edinburgh, Scotland.Branson has run a number of businesses under the Virgin brand, including records, airlines, wireless carrier and a commercial space venture.last_img read more

Castro says Oswald couldnt have shot Kennedy

first_imgFidel Castro shares at least one belief with the majority of Americans: He is convinced that the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was not the work of a lone gunman, but rather the culmination of a broad conspiracy. According to a recent Gallup poll, 61 percent of Americans believe Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone in Dallas 50 years ago.But Castro suspects that Oswald might not have been involved in the assassination at all. He told me — to my great surprise — over lunch three years ago in Havana: “I have reached the conclusion that Oswald could not have been the one who killed Kennedy.” Castro is of course a confident man, but he said this with a degree of surety that was noteworthy.I was visiting Cuba at Castro’s invitation. I had just written a cover story for the Atlantic about Israel’s threat to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities militarily. Castro read the article and sent me a message through the Cuban Interest Section in Washington: He would like me to come to Cuba as soon as possible in order to discuss my findings with him. I obliged.Kennedy was only a peripheral subject in our discussions. Castro was preoccupied by the threat of nuclear war and proliferation, as one would expect: He was one of the three key players in the 1962 Cuban missile crisis that nearly brought about the destruction of the planet. John F. Kennedy was Castro’s adversary; Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet premier, was his patron.At one point, I mentioned the letter he wrote to Khrushchev at the height of the crisis, in which he asked the Soviets to consider launching a nuclear strike against the United States if the Americans attacked Cuba. “That would be the time to think about liquidating such a danger forever through a legal right of self- defense,” he wrote. In Havana, I asked him, “At a certain point it seemed logical for you to recommend that the Soviets bomb the U.S. Does what you recommended still seem logical now?”He answered: “After I’ve seen what I’ve seen, and knowing what I know now, it wasn’t worth it all.” I expressed relief that Khrushchev ignored his request.Castro was also deeply concerned about the level of anti- Semitic rhetoric emanating from Tehran and wanted to communicate his displeasure to then-president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, through an intermediary.I brought Julia Sweig — a friend and a pre-eminent expert on Cuba at the Council on Foreign Relations — with me on the trip. We wound up spending the better part of a week with Castro. By the time of our meetings, Castro was recovering from a serious illness and already semi-retired. His brother Raul was running the country, although I was under the clear impression that nothing important happened in Havana without Fidel’s assent.One afternoon, after a marathon interview session, we gathered for lunch — Castro, his wife, Dalia, his son Antonio, a couple of aides, Julia, a translator and myself — and an expansive Castro told stories of the early days of the revolution, and entertained a series of random questions from us. I knew, from Julia, who has studied Castro for years, that JFK was seldom too far from his thoughts, but our discussion of U.S. policy actually began with other presidents. Castro spoke of a biography of Abraham Lincoln he had just read.“Is Lincoln the most interesting American to you?” I asked.“No,” he said, “but much more than Washington.”“Much more than Kennedy?” I asked.“Yes,” he said, but unconvincingly. “Kennedy made many mistakes. He was young and dramatic.” Castro reserved his animus mainly for Robert Kennedy, who was attorney general in his brother’s administration and loathed Castro and his revolution. It was Robert, Castro believes, who was behind U.S. plots to have him assassinated. But he blames JFK for the invasion of the Bay of Pigs by a ragtag Cuban exile army: “Kennedy was humiliated by his defeat at the Bay of Pigs, but all that we did was to protect ourselves.”Then Castro began talking about JFK’s assassination. “It is a very sad story,” he said. “It was a very sad day when it happened.” He remembered the moment he heard of the shooting. “I won’t forget it. As soon as we heard, we all rushed to the radio to listen.”Self-preservation was on the Cuban leader’s mind in the days after the assassination. He understood that he would be blamed for JFK’s death, especially after it was learned that Oswald had vociferously opposed American policy toward Castro’s Cuba. Castro tried hard to communicate to the Americans that he had nothing to do with JFK’s death.As Philip Shenon reports in his new book, “A Cruel and Shocking Act: The Secret History of the Kennedy Assassination,” Castro even arranged to be interviewed by a Warren Commission staffer on a yacht off Cuba. “Immediately after the assassination, Castro very justifiably worried that he would be blamed, and he was worried that if he were blamed, there would be an American invasion of Cuba,” Shenon told me. But Castro’s denials were credible. Despite the many arguments advanced by conspiracy theorists, he said, “There is no credible evidence that Castro was involved personally in ordering the assassination.”Whether Castro’s agents or sympathizers encouraged Oswald, on a visit to Mexico, to assassinate JFK is another question, one that Shenon explores in his book. “My question is whether people thinking that they were acting in Castro’s best interest might have provided the motivation,” he said. The second question: Whether Oswald believed that killing Kennedy was what Fidel Castro wanted him to do. “In September of 1963, Castro gives an interview to the AP in Havana in which he seems to suggest that Kennedy’s life is at risk: ‘I know the Americans are trying to kill me and if this continues there will be retribution,’ was the message. This report runs in the New Orleans Times-Picayune, and Oswald reads the Times-Picayune avidly. Perhaps Oswald said, ‘Ah ha, I’m going to kill Kennedy.’ “This is what might be called the Jodie Foster theory of the Kennedy assassination: Oswald sought to demonstrate his loyalty to the man he admired above all others, Fidel Castro, by killing the president.Castro told us at lunch — as he would — that none of his associates or officials had anything to do with the assassination and that the Cuban embassy in Mexico City, which Oswald had visited, denied him permission to visit Cuba, fearing he was a provocateur.I asked Castro why he thought Oswald could not have acted alone. He proceeded to tell the table a long and discursive story about an experiment he staged, after the assassination, to see if it were possible for a sniper to shoot Kennedy in the manner the assassination was alleged to have happened. “We had trained our people in the mountains during the war” — the Cuban revolution — “on these kind of telescopic sites. So we knew about this kind of shooting. We tried to recreate the circumstances of this shooting, but it wasn’t possible for one man to do. The news I had received is that one man killed Kennedy in his car with a rifle, but I deducted that this story was manufactured to fool people.”Castro said his suspicions grew especially pronounced after Oswald was killed. “There was the story of Jack Ruby, who was said to be so moved by the death of Kennedy that he decided to shoot Oswald on his own. That was just unbelievable to us.”I then asked Castro what he believed actually happened. I brought up his friend Oliver Stone, who suggested that it was the Central Intelligence Agency and a group of anti-Castro Cubans (I used the term “anti-you Cubans”) that plotted the assassination.“Quite possibly,” he said. “This is quite possibly so. There were people in the American government who thought Kennedy was a traitor because he didn’t invade Cuba when he had the chance, when they were asking him. He was never forgiven for that.”“So that’s what you think might have happened?”“No doubt about it,” Castro answered.We talked a bit more about Kennedy and his legacy. Castro told us about his subsequent contact with members of Kennedy’s family, including Maria Shriver. “She’s the one who married [Arnold] Schwarzenegger,” he said. “The world is a very small place.”We turned to other subjects, but Castro came back to Kennedy once more, the next day, when he said to me, apropos of nothing, “Kennedy was very young.”I later asked Julia what this might have meant. For Castro, who was a very old man, she said, Kennedy may forever stand for something out of reach. “He’ll never know what would have happened had JFK lived. He may have reserved for Kennedy in his own mind the possibility of greatness. It’s completely fascinating and frustrating to him.”© 2013, Bloomberg News Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

Refis Continue Dip FICO Scores Up

first_img April 20, 2017 756 Views Refis Continue Dip, FICO Scores Up in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News, Origination, Secondary Market Refinancing has continued its downward slope, dipping to just 37 percent of all loan originations in March, according to the March 2017 Origination Insight Report released by Ellie Mae on Thursday. That’s down from February, when refis accounted for 43 percent of all loans, and also down year-over-year. Refinances accounted for 45 percent of loan originations in March 2016.Covering a sampling of loan applications closed via Ellie Mae’s Encompass system, the Insight Report reveals details on loan type, closing times, mortgage rates, and more. According to the report, the breakdown of loans by type remained pretty steady for the Month, with conventional loans representing 63 percent of originations, followed by FHA (23 percent), VA (910 percent), and other types (4 percent). Closing times, however, saw improvements in March, with the average time to close (across all loans) dropping by three days—down to 43. In February, days-to-close came in at 46, and in January, it was even higher at 51. Loans that took the longest to close in March were VA refinance loans, at 46 days.Mortgage rates on ARMs and 30-year mortgages were both up for the month, jumping to 5.6 percent and 4.39 percent, respectively. Last year, the ARM rate for March was 4.4 percent, while the 30-year rate was 4.22 percent. Rates were highest on conventional loans for month; ARMs came in it 6.9 percent, while 30-year loans hit 4.5 percent. As for borrowers themselves, the average FICO score on all closed loans was up for the month, increasing to 721. Across all loan types, most borrowers (nearly 45 percent) had a FICO of 750 or above. Another 24 percent had a score between 700 and 749, while 20 percent had one between 650 and 699. FICO scores were lowest on FHA loans and highest on conventional loans, where the average borrower had a score of 753. Sixty-six percent of all refinances had FICO scores of over 7s00.View the full Insight Report at center_img Refinancing 2017-04-20 Seth Welborn Sharelast_img read more

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