Quebec premier wants Ottawa to settle with SNCLavalin so firm avoids trial

first_imgQuebec Premier Francois Legault says he wants the federal government to settle with engineering firm SNC-Lavalin “as soon as possible” in order to protect jobs and the company’s corporate headquarters in Montreal.The embattled firm is vulnerable to a foreign takeover, Legault told reporters Thursday in Quebec City. And the longer its legal troubles drag on, the greater the chance it could fall prey to another company, he said.“I want to do all we can do to protect this headquarters and protect the thousands of good, well-paying jobs we have at SNC-Lavalin.”The company has been lobbying the federal government for a remediation agreement to avoid a criminal trial on charges of bribery and fraud related to its efforts to secure government contracts in Libya.Under a remediation agreement the prosecution would be dropped in exchange for SNC-Lavalin admitting its wrongdoing and paying a financial penalty. The Globe and Mail newspaper reported last week that the Prime Minister’s Office pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to agree to such an agreement.Legault said SNC should pay for its alleged crimes, but its employees and the province’s economy shouldn’t suffer as a result.“We know that SNC-Lavalin, that they didn’t follow legal rules — in Libya especially — and they have to pay for that, especially the people that were involved,” he said. “SNC-Lavalin, I met the president, they are ready to put on the table very large amounts of penalty.”Without a settlement, he added, the case could drag on for years and SNC-Lavalin’s business would suffer.SNC-Lavalin had its debt rating downgraded Wednesday by Standard & Poor’s. The agency cited the criminal charges against the engineering and construction giant and the 10-year ban from bidding on federal contracts that would accompany a conviction among its reasons for the downgrade.Legault said the firm’s legal woes are bad for the province. “Right now there is no controlling shareholder, so there’s a real risk that this company could be bought by somebody, for example from the U.K. For me, it would be bad news for Quebec,” he said.He said that in discussions with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau he has asked, “Can you settle as soon as possible in order that we keep those jobs? We need those jobs.”Added to the company’s troubles is news this week that Quebec prosecutors are working with the RCMP on the possibility of new criminal charges against SNC-Lavalin, in connection with a contract to refurbish Montreal’s Jacques Cartier Bridge.While Legault had plenty to say about the federal charges, he stayed away from commenting on the provincial allegations. “I have no intention of doing (anything) with what’s happening in Quebec jurisdiction,” he said.The Canadian Presslast_img read more


Pilot dead after plane carrying two people crashes in northwestern Quebec police

first_imgMONTREAL — The pilot of a small plane has died and his passenger was seriously injured when the aircraft crashed Sunday night in northwestern Quebec.Provincial police said the 56-year-old pilot died today in hospital and his 29-year-old male passenger is in critical condition.The plane crashed on a rural road in Val-Paradis, a community within the Eeyou Istchee Cree Nation territory located about 700 kilometres northwest of Montreal.Police say they received an emergency call about a plane crash around 9 p.m. Sunday. They did not disclose the type of plane involved, nor did they say where it had departed from.The Transportation Safety Board of Canada has been notified of the accident.The plane went down roughly 200 kilometres northwest of the site of another crash about two weeks ago that killed the pilot of a Beechcraft Bonanza aircraft.The Canadian Presslast_img read more


Victoriaarea seniors launch speculation tax challenge in BC Supreme Court

first_imgVICTORIA — Six homeowners have launched a legal challenge against British Columbia’s speculation and vacancy tax, arguing the law is unconstitutional and the provincial government doesn’t have the power to collect revenues from the levy.The homeowners filed their petition Thursday in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver.The lead petitioners are two Victoria area residents, Denise Simpson, 72, and her husband Robert Simpson, 93. Four other homeowners from Metro Vancouver have joined the petition.Lawyer Kailin Che, whose firm Lawrence Wong and Associates is representing the homeowners, says Denise Simpson is a Canadian citizen and has lived in her home since she was five. She inherited the home from her mother 20 years ago.“In her words, it’s the last piece of physical connection she has to her family, who have all passed away,” Che said in an interview.The Simpsons are joint owners of the property and both their names are on the property title, but Robert is a U.S. citizen, said Che. They live part of the year in Texas, where Robert receives a U.S. military pension, which under the speculation tax means the Simpsons are classified as satellite family and that results in a $6,000 tax bill.Under the tax, satellite families earn most of their income outside Canada.“Denise is very Canadian but her husband happens to be American,” Che said. “He’s a war veteran. They have certain connections to the States but that doesn’t make her any less Canadian than you and I. But they’re branded as a satellite family and consequently they are not eligible for any exemptions under the tax.”The tax rate for 2018 was 0.5 per cent of a property’s assessed value, rising to two per cent in 2019 for foreign owners and satellite families, while Canadian citizens or permanent residents continue to pay 0.5 per cent.The tax is a major component of the New Democrat government’s $6.5 billion plan to deliver 114,000 affordable homes over the next 10 years. The government said the speculation tax will target foreign and domestic real estate speculators, increase the amount of rental homes and provide revenue for housing initiatives.Finance Minister Carole James said earlier this month the province collected $115 million from the tax in the 2018-19 fiscal year. She said 99.8 per cent of British Columbia residents were exempt from the tax.James said in a statement Thursday she will not comment on the specifics of the Simpson case as it is likely heading to court.“The speculation and vacancy tax is a key measure to tackle the housing crisis in B.C.’s major urban centres, and initial data shows the tax is working as intended,” says her statement. “As with any tax measure, ministry staff worked closely with legal experts in drafting the legislation.”The court petition document says the only way for the Simpsons to avoid paying the tax, other than selling the home, is to rent it out to other people and find another home to rent themselves.“In order to qualify for an exemption under the act, the retired pensioner intends to rent out her home,” says the petition. “The tax will cause the retired pensioner to rent out her home only to cause her to rent another one for herself and her spouse.”This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 26, 2019.Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Presslast_img read more


Too close of a reflection Handmaids Tale season 2 embodies MeToo

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Season 2 of The Handmaid’s Tale, based on Margaret Atwood’s book and starring Elisabeth Moss, begins Apr. 25. Advertisement “This season, we really see women speaking their minds for the first time — they haven’t been allowed. Then we see the repercussions of that, not unlike what we’ve seen in the #MeToo movement.”Canadian Amanda Brugel attends 2018 PaleyFest Los Angeles to promote The Handmaid’s Tale in Hollywood Sunday. (Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)Brugel, who is Canadian, said season two follows a similar arc to how #MeToo has evolved: people start out accepting, but that doesn’t last. Facebook The first season of The Handmaid’s Tale was a startling reflection of America’s political climate and swept both the Emmys and Golden Globe Awards.Season two will once again hold a mirror up to today’s society; this time by portraying both the support of and eventual reproach against women using their voices.“I think it’s unfortunately too close of a reflection of what’s going on in real life,” actor Amanda Brugel, who plays Rita, told CBC News at the PaleyFest television festival in Los Angeles Sunday.center_img Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more


Education key to fighting HIV pandemic UNICEF chief stresses on visit to

9 April 2010The outgoing head of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has wrapped up a two-day visit to the African nation of Lesotho, which has the world’s third highest prevalence of HIV infection, by stressing that education must be central to all efforts to combat the spread of AIDS. The outgoing head of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has wrapped up a two-day visit to the African nation of Lesotho, which has the world’s third highest prevalence of HIV infection, by stressing that education must be central to all efforts to combat the spread of AIDS.Ann M. Veneman visited health-care programmes and witnessed first-hand the impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Lesotho, where the disease has caused the average life expectancy to decline to around 40 years old.The Executive Director of UNICEF also met with senior Government officials, including King Letsie III and the Prime Minister, Pakalitha Mosisili.“Lesotho has a high number of orphans and vulnerable children, many of whom have lost one or both parents to AIDS,” said Ms. Veneman, adding that UNICEF was working closely with its humanitarian partners and the Government to ensure that the country’s children can receive basic health-care services and education.She said that education is critical to fighting HIV/AIDS – “the people of Lesotho, especially the youth, must understand how to prevent the spread of AIDS” – and welcomed the Government’s focus on prevention programmes.“Significant progress has been made in addressing the HIV and AIDS pandemic, especially in preventing mother-to-child transmission. Over 60 per cent of pregnant women in Lesotho are receiving life-saving drugs to reduce the likelihood of newborn infections.”During her talks with the King, Ms. Veneman also discussed food insecurity, economic development and the overall situation of children in Lesotho, a tiny, mountainous country that is entirely landlocked by South Africa.At the end of this month Ms. Veneman will step down as UNICEF’s Executive Director, to be succeeded by Anthony Lake of the United States. read more


Mangala to brief Japan on reconciliation process

On the invitation of his Japanese counterpart, Minister Samaraweera will also deliver a speech on peacebuilding, and national reconciliation based on the Sri Lankan experience, at the ‘High-Level Seminar on Peacebuilding. National Reconciliation and Democratization in Asia’ to be held in Tokyo on 20 June. (Colombo Gazette) Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Foreign Affairs will visit Japan from 17 to 20 June as a Guest of Fumio Kishida, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan.During the visit, Minister Samaraweera will hold bilateral discussions with Minister Kishida on issues of mutual interest including promoting cooperation in the political, economic and cultural spheres, in regional and multilateral fora, and in the reconciliation process in Sri Lanka. read more


Digital divide hurting economic development – UN report

The Information Economy Report 2005 by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) shows that while in some poor regions the number of Internet users has grown substantially, overall the gap between developed and developing countries remains wide. For example while 89 per cent of enterprises in European Union nations are connected to the Internet, the same is true of only 5 per cent of firms in Mauritius and 9 per cent in Thailand.UNCTAD points to an urgent need to explore policies and best practices to help enterprises in developing countries use information and communication technologies (ICT) to enhance their competitiveness.Developing nations must, for example, find ways to greatly expand Internet access, reduce online costs, and modernize banking, credit and accounting systems so that domestic companies can conduct the kind of online financial transfers and quick deal-making that are typical of e-businesses. Tourism is one example where developing countries could benefit from the Internet economically, the report notes. Developing countries now attract some 35 per cent of international travellers each year, but most have been unable to increase tourism profits because most trips are planned, booked and financed through firms based in richer nations.The Internet offers a chance to change that pattern because many travellers are now shopping for their vacations online. By setting up well-linked websites, domestically owned hotels, banks and travel firms can provide a full package of services necessary for tourists to arrange their trips – reservations, plane flights, currency exchange and payments. That way the profits can stay at home and contribute to job growth and economic development.The problem is, however, that setting up Internet systems that allow planning, booking and payments is a stiff challenge for many poorer nations, the reports says.Produced annually, the Information Economy Report examines recent events, trends and processes in the area of information and communication technologies and identifies their major implications for the economic and social prospects of developing countries. read more


Conflict in Ukraine continues to take civilian toll – UN human rights

According to the Report on the human rights situation in Ukraine launched today by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), between mid-August and mid-November, at least 32 civilians were killed in conflict-related incidents and another 132 injured. Between mid-April 2014 and 1 December this year, more than 2,000 civilians are estimated to have dined while an additional 298 were killed in the crash of Malaysian Airlines flight MH-17.Conflict-related civilian injures are estimated between 6,000 and 7,000.“It is of deep concern that Government forces and armed groups operating in civilian areas do not take all feasible precautions against the effects of fighting, resulting in damage to schools, kindergartens, and medical facilities,” noted the report.It added that it was worrying that Ukrainian military forces and armed groups continued to be positioned in civilian homes and buildings in villages and towns adjacent to the contact line.The report also raised concern that armed groups in the self-proclaimed “Donetsk people’s republic” and “Luhansk people’s republic” continue to deprive people of their fundamental rights as well as of effective mechanism for redress.Hundreds of individuals also remain missing.While some of them could be dead with their bodies not yet recovered or identified, “some individuals considered missing by the Government may be held incommunicado in territories controlled by the armed groups or vice versa,” noted the report.It also drew attention to a number of penal and pre-trial detention facilities in the armed group controlled and that despite repeated requests, UN human rights monitors were not allowed full and unhindered access, raising concern that those kept there may have been subjected to torture or sexual and gender-based violence.Furthermore, disproportionate restrictions on freedom of movement across the contact line severely affect an average of 25,000 people per day, dividing families and communities.The report also noted that agricultural land contaminated by landmines and other unexploded remnants of war had further aggravated the suffering of the population and those internally displaced continued to face challenges in availing of social security and pension payments.According to the UN human rights office, the total death toll from mid-April 2014 stands at 9,758 with another 22,779 people injured. These figures are estimates and comprise members of the Ukrainian armed forces, armed groups and civilians.The impact of the conflict in eastern Ukraine on the human rights situation illustrates the need for the full implementation of the provisions of the Minsk Agreements, the report states. read more


COME BACK TO TOP HANDBALL Zvonimir Serdarusic in French Pays d Aix

Pays d’ aixZvonimir Serdarusic TOP Handball news of the week is that legendary THW Kiel’s coach from the last two decades Zvonimir Noka Serdarusic is back to the handball bench in ambitious French team – Pays d’ AIX. Legendary coach who worked in RK Celje Pivovarna Lasko and Slovenian NT until 2010, in the last three years didn’t have any function in handball. He will work as an consultant of the French team in order to improve all the aspects of the Aix’s organisation in the next four months.His arrival in France is connected with very close relationship with Nikola Karabatic, who played last six months in Aix and the things made clear to see where he will go after his period in F.C Barcelona.Serdarusic talked for Handball-Planet.com about his wish to get back to TOP handball a month ago…His achievements:Europe• Winner of the Champions League (1): 2007• Finalist in the Champions League (2): 2000 and 2008• Winner of the EHF Cup (3): 1998, 2002, 2004Germany• Champion of Germany (11): 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008• Winner of the German Cup (5): 1998, 1999, 2000, 2007 and 2008• Winner of the German Super Cup (4): 1995, 1998, 2005, 2007Slovenia• Champion of Slovenia (1): 2010• Winner of the Slovenian Cup (1): 2010personal Awards• Coach of the Year in Germany (5): 1996, 1999, 2005, 2006, 2007 ← Previous Story British women’s NT looking for a new head-coach Next Story → Huge interest for hosting WCh 2019! read more


Man dies in road traffic accident in Galway

first_imgGARDAÍ AT SALTHILL are investigating a single vehicle fatal road traffic collision which occurred at Barna at approximately 5.40am this morning.Barna, GalwayA man in his mid 60s was killed when the car he was driving struck a traffic light in the village of Barna.The deceased driver was removed to University College Hospital Galway for a post mortem examination.The road was closed for forensic collision investigators but has now re-opened.Anyone with information is asked to contact Salthill Garda Station 091 – 514720 or the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111.Read: Man seriously injured in Loughrea crash>Read: Man arrested after customers foil armed pub robbery>last_img read more


An Post likely to increase prices after losses of €394 million

first_imgRead the report in full here >In comparing its operating loss for last year with its profits of €2.2 million in 2011, the group said that any such comparisons were “skewed” by the fact that revenues of €28 million were generated in 2011 by both the General Election and Presidential Election mailings.Pension deficitThe An Post pension scheme deficit dropped from €484 million in 2011 to €285m as at 31 December 2012, which the group said was mainly down to improved investment performance.Net assetsIts net assets (excluding pension deficit) dropped by over €20 million over the year, down from €319 million in 2011 to €297.3 million in 2012.Mail pricesFurther increases in mail prices look likely in the year ahead, with the report stating that they were “not currently at a sustainable level.”The report went on to say:Therefore regular price adjustments along with major cost reduction and revenue enhancement are necessary and form a key part of the Company’s business plan.Read: Call for BOI to introduce bank accounts with An Post > AN POST’S ANNUAL report for 2012 has revealed after tax losses of €39.4 million.This consisted of an operating loss of €17.5 million, coupled with a pension deficit charge of €19.8 million, in addition to a group corporation tax charge of €0.1 million and the minority share of profits in subsidiaries of €2 million.Its turnover for 2012 of €807.3 million was up marginally on the €806.7 million in 2011.last_img read more


Local conference on migration

first_imgA two day conference on issues of migration is going to take place on March 5 and 6 at the Immigration Museum. Under the title The Australian and Greek Migration Systems: A Comparison, academics and politicians from Australia along with migration experts from Greece will exchange views on various topics. Victorian MP John Pandazopoulos will welcome the participants during a pre conference event on March 4. “For us Greek Australians this will be a great opportunity to get a better perspective on migration and settlement issues faced by Greek authorities,” Mr Pandazopoulos said. “The Greek experts could benefit from the Australian experience and explore the potential implementation of certain policies within the Greek framework,” he added. Other speakers and participants include; Kon Vatskalis (senior Northern Territory Minister), Federal MPs Petro Georgiou and Steve Georganas, George Lekakis (Chairman of the Victorian Multicultural Commission), Paris Aristotle (Director of the Victoria Foundation for Survivors of Torture), Kon Karapangiotidis (CEO of the Asylum Resource Centre), and John Gibson (President of the Refugee Council of Australia). Conference discussions and themes will include; Developing Immigration Policies, Challenges to Multiculturalism: Implications for Policies, Managing the host country’s borders: Political Challenges, Culture Shock: Integration and negotiating new and old, Integration or Exclusion: Economics of migration, Multiculturalism and Migration beyond 2009, Growing Global Migration: The role of developed countries, and Living with a Difference: Survival in two Cultures. The Greek delegation includes the President of the Hellenic Migration Policy Institute of Greece, Alexandros Zavos. For information on the Australian and Greek Migration Systems, contact Stavros Petrou on 0416 252 722. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more


Soy Growers Regulatory System That Impedes Development of Safe Products Benefits No

first_imgThe American Soybean Association (ASA) this week urged the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to remember the long history of safe use of biotechnology products and the benefits to agriculture as they consider possible changes to regulations.“U.S. farmers have grown soybeans and other biotech crops for more than 20 years, with no evidence of harm to the environment or to human or animal health,” ASA states in a letter to APHIS. “Innovative tools can help solve a range of problems including food, climate and environmental challenges. Policymakers should be mindful of the impact that non-risk based regulations could have on the opportunity to introduce useful innovations that address these complex global challenges in the coming years.”ASA also pointed out U.S. growers have adopted biotech crops at an unprecedented rate because of the many environmental and economic benefits they provide.“A regulatory system that impedes the development of safe products that improve agricultural sustainability benefits no one,” the letter states. “Regulations should be seen as a means to an end, not an end in themselves. In our case, the goal should be to provide U.S. growers with safe and effective products through a predictable and expedient regulatory process.”Click here to read the entire letter.last_img read more


This food banks on a roll

first_imgLA CENTER — In north Clark County, where the needs of the hungry seem to have quadrupled in the past year, the store is waiting on Sundays to help.But clients don’t have far to travel because this store — food bank — is on wheels.• What: Lewis River Mobile Food Bank• When: 2 to 4 p.m. four Sundays a month.• Where: View Fire Station, 37604 N.E. 119th Ave., on the first Sunday of the month; Fire District 2 Station, 314 N.W. 389th St., on second Sunday; Yacolt Free Evangelical Church, 509 W. Cushman, Yacolt, on the third Sunday; and La Center Free Evangelical Church, 111 E. Fifth St., La Center, on the fourth Sunday.• Volunteers: They are associated with the Clark County Food Bank, Oregon Food Bank, Messiah Lutheran Church and Highland Lutheran Church.• Finances: Supported by Community Foundation for Southwest Washington; La Center Casinos Charitable Fund; Kuechmann Family Advised Fund; Meyer Memorial Trust; TDS Telecom; Thrivent Financial Services; Highland Lutheran Church; individuals and fundraisers.• Chairwoman: Candice Howell, 360-225-9662.“I think we’ve been swept up in the spirit of our church,” volunteer Jay Price said Sunday about the 16-foot trailer that goes around the north county on Sundays. That church is Highland Lutheran Church in La Center. The mobile food bank was the brainchild of church members Janet Borst and Julie Bracken, who founded the effort in November 2009.“The trailer is set up just like a grocery store,” Price explained on Sunday, as the trailer was at the La Center Free Evangelical Church. He said volunteers discovered that families would rather pick out foods than be given a prepared box.last_img read more


Alaska News Nightly December 26 2014

first_imgStories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprn.Download AudioLegislators Urge Governor Walker To Rein In Budget Lori Townsend, APRN – AnchorageAlaska lawmakers sent a letter to Governor Bill Walker this week urging measures to rein in budget items. Incoming Senate President Kevin Meyer, a Republican from Anchorage and House Speaker Republican Mike Chenault of Nikiski signed the letter, along with the chairs of the finance committees for both chambers. The letter lays out suggestions such as a hiring freeze for all state departments, limiting agency travel and requesting department budgets for the first six months of 2015.$1 Million Loan to Buy Sitka Hospital ‘Breathing Room’Robert Woolsey, KCAW – SitkaSitka Community Hospital will get a $1-million infusion of cash from the Sitka assembly, in order to meet short-term expenses.A long-term solution for the hospital’s cash woes is still on the horizon.Fire Marshals say PATC Fire Cause ‘Undetermined’ Daysha Eaton, KYUK – BethelA report from the State Fire Marshals’ office has ruled the cause of a fire that burned the new Phillip Ayagnirvik Treatment Center, or PATC, in Bethel as ‘undetermined’. The building is owned by the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation and was fully insured.Incoming DNR Commissioner Prepares For New Position Lori Townsend, APRN – AnchorageMark Myers is preparing to become Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources on January 16th. He is currently Vice Chancellor of Research at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Myers has also worked for the oil industry as a petroleum geologist and for the federal government- leading the United States Geological Survey.And he was the director of the division of oil and gas when Frank Murkowski was Governor. Myers says he made a difficult decision to resign from that job.AK: Exploding HistoryLauren Rosenthal, KUCB – UnalaskaIt’s been more than 70 years since Unalaska came under attack during World War II, but you don’t have to look hard to find the remnants. The community is littered with old gunnery installations, battered Quonset huts and bunkers – some of which are being preserved for posterity.But there’s history, and then there’s hazard, and the shells and bombs that keep washing up on Unalaska’s shores fall somewhere in between.last_img read more


Anchorage police Suspected prowler shot killed after firing at officers

first_imgUpdated March 11, 12 p.m. Anchorage police shot and killed a man who allegedly fired at officers in Airport Heights early Thursday morning, according to the Anchorage Police Department.On Friday, APD identified the man as 23-year-old Dylan Aikey. In a press conference March 7, APD Chief Justin Doll said the shooting happened around 2:15 a.m. after police responded to a call about a “prowler” going through a vehicle on the 1900 block of Columbine Street. The caller reportedly scared the person away before calling police, Doll said. When responding officers arrived, they found a man they believed to be the suspect nearby, Doll said. Police said they ordered the man — later identified as Aikey — to stop. He fled, and officers pursued him on foot, according to APD.“We believe, at this point, that that suspect fired at our officers, and our officers returned fire,” Doll said.Doll said officers recovered a handgun with a partially ejected shell casing at the scene. Four officers fired at Aikey, who was hit multiple times, Doll said. Officers rendered aid and called for medics, but Aikey was later declared deceased at a local hospital around 2:45 a.m., according to APD.The police chief said the case remains under investigation, and the four officers involved have been placed on mandatory administrative leave. After withholding their names for 72 hours, per department protocol, police on March 10 identified the officers as Ofc. Steven Amnatkeolee, a member of APD for 4 years; Ofc. Brandon Schafer, member of APD for 8 months; Ofc. Kyle Haskins, a member of APD for 2 years and Ofc. Matthew Choate, a member of APD for 1 year.After APD completes its own investigation, the police chief said, the case would be forwarded to the the Office of Special Prosecution for a review. Chief Doll said the department’s internal affairs department would also review the case.last_img read more


Fire officials shift priorities as wet weather slows Shovel Creek Fire

first_img”We have 60 miles of hose out there that we’re in the process of removing as we finish using it,” Thompson said. Another focus is repairing fire lines cut across the landscape. Fairbanks area forester Jeremy Douse said that includes work to minimizing erosion and thaw. Shovel Creek Fire map on July 19 (Image courtesy of AKFireInfo) ”We don’t anticipate, we don’t believe that we’re going to see any significant movement on this fire,” Winfield said. Douse said crews are also working to return trails and roads used for access and fire line to their pre-fire condition. The response to the Shovel Creek wildfire has so far cost $21 million, 75 percent of which will be covered by the federal government. It’s just one of 31 fires being worked statewide, including two new lightning caused blazes responded to Thursday, near the villages of Tanana and Ruby.center_img ”Any permafrost soils that were exposed, we want to cover those up as quickly as possible, just so it doesn’t subside and create issues,” Douse said. Winfield said that’s allowing the response to shift. Operations chief Fred Thompson says the focus is on remaining hot spots, mopping up lines and demobilizing a large amount of equipment from the field. The Shovel Creek wildfire response is transitioning as weeks of work and cooler, wetter weather have slowed activity on the blaze northwest of Fairbanks. Sparked by lightning nearly a month ago, the Shovel Creek fire forced evacuations earlier this month, and more than 500 people continue to work the incident. Speaking at a public meeting last night incident deputy commander Jay Winfield said the prognosis looks good. last_img read more


Economy and markets All you need to know to start your day

first_imgA trader reacts as he watches screens on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York on Feb 5, 2018.ReutersAsian shares rose on Monday, extending a two-week rally in global stocks, following strong gains in the U.S. equities.A barrage of economic data is lined up this week, including the U.S. inflation report and the first House testimony by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.Powell’s comments could shed some light on the ongoing debate over the pace of rate hikes this year and beyond.Fed officials last week agreed that “the strengthening in the near-term economic outlook increased the likelihood that a gradual upward trajectory of the federal funds rate would be appropriate.”Three rate rises are now almost fully priced in for this year, compared to two as recently as December.MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan firmed 0.3 percent. Japan’s Nikkei climbed 1.4 percentThe gains followed Wall Street, where the Dow ended Friday up by 1.39 percent while the S&P 500 gained 1.60 percent.Back home, SGX Nifty, an early indicator of the Nifty 50’s trend in India, signals a positive start for the domestic markets after the benchmark Sensex climbed 322 points or 0.95 percent to close at 34,142 on Friday.The partially convertible rupee closed at 64.73 on Friday, up 0.50 percent from its previous close of 63.05.So far this year, the rupee weakened 1.3 percent, while foreign investors have bought $895.80 million and $1.68 billion in equity and debt markets, respectively.Powell’s testimony: Markets may well get a jolt of additional information on the outlook for U.S. interest rates over the coming week as newly appointed Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell presents his first semi-annual testimony starting on Tuesday to both the houses of the U.S. Congress.Crude check: Brent crude declined 0.16 percent at $67.20 per barrel while the West Texas Intermediate crude lost 0.03 percent to $63.53 a barrel.last_img read more


Bangladesh Brunei likely to sign 7 MoUs to boost ties

first_imgForeign Minister AK Abdul Momen briefs journalists at the foreign ministry on Thursday, 18 April 2019. Photo: UNBBangladesh and Brunei are likely to sign seven MoUs during prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s three-day official visit to its capital Bandar Seri Begawan on 21-23 April, reports UNB.Six of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) will be signed to strengthen cooperation in the areas of agriculture, arts and culture, youth and sports, fisheries, livestock and energy sectors while another MoU is yet to be finalized.Foreign minister AK Abdul Momen said this while briefing reporters at the foreign ministry on the prime minister’s visit to Brunei.Foreign ministry secretary (bilateral) Kamrul Ahsan and Maritime Affairs Unit secretary retired rear admiral Khurshed Alam were also present.He said the visit will help expand bilateral cooperation in a number of areas including trade, investment, energy, human resource development, tourism, agriculture and technical cooperation apart from strengthening the existing friendly relations between the two countries.The foreign minister said the visit will also help improve Bangladesh’s relations with Southeast Asian nations through boosting effective cooperation. Brunei is one of the member states of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).He said the visit will help Bangladesh gain effective support from Brunei and other Southeast Asian nations on various regional and international important issues including resolving Rohingya crisis.The prime minister will leave Dhaka for Brunei Darussalam on Sunday at the invitation of Brunei’s Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah.She will leave Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport by a special flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines on Sunday morning.The prime minister will be received by Crown Prince of Brunei Darussalam Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah at Brunei International Airport, according to her programme schedule.After an official welcoming ceremony, she will be escorted to Empire Hotel & Country Club where she will be staying during her visit, according to the schedule.On Sunday, she will attend a community event and join a dinner to be hosted by Bangladesh high commissioner to Brunei at the Empire Hotel.On Monday, the prime minister will have a general audience with Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah and the Royal Family at Istana NurulIman, the official residence of the Sultan of Brunei.She will then hold bilateral talks with the Sultan there before the signing ceremony of Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs).Sheikh Hasina will open the meeting of leaders of Bangladesh Business Community and Brunei Business Community and Brunei National Chamber of Commerce and Industry at the place of her residence on Monday afternoon.The prime minister will later visit the Jame Asr Mosque and offer Asr prayers there.She will go to the Istana NurulIman Palace again to attend official Banquet.On Tuesday, the prime minister will attend the foundation stone laying ceremony of new chancery building of Bangladesh High Commission at the Diplomatic Enclave in Jalankebangsaan.Then she will visit the Royal Regalia Museum located in the heart of Bandar Seri Begawan, capital of Brunei.The prime minister will leave the Brunei International Airport for Dhaka by a special flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines on Tuesday afternoon.last_img read more


Texans Issue Statement After Former Cheerleaders Sue For Sex Discrimination

Statement from the Houston Texans.We look forward to vigorously defending ourselves against these allegations. pic.twitter.com/9aLyB6R9zx— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) June 4, 2018 Share Attorney Gloria Allred discusses the lawsuit on behalf of five former Houston Texans cheerleaders, Hannah Turnbow, Ainsley Parish, Morgan Wiederhold, Ashley Rodriguez and Kelly Neuner.Five former Houston Texans cheerleaders and their attorney, Gloria Allred, sent a letter outlining their demands to National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell Monday afternoon.The former cheerleaders sued the Texans on Friday, alleging the team failed to fully compensate them as required by law and subjected them to a hostile work environment in which they were harassed, intimidated and forced to live in fear.The lawsuit accuses the franchise of paying the women less than the $7.25 per hour they were promised, not compensating them for making public appearances or performing other tasks related to their jobs and creating a workplace where the women were threatened with being fired for voicing any complaints.Monday evening, the team posted the following statement on Twitter:“The Houston Texans have been repeatedly recognized as one of the top workplaces in our city. We take pride in the environment we provide for our staff and we are constantly looking for ways to improve the experience of our employees, including the Houston Texans Cheerleaders. While we have not been served in this case, we have reviewed the complaints and look forward to vigorously defending ourselves against these allegations. We appreciate the Houston Texans Cheerleaders for the positive impact they have made in our community and for the outstanding way they have represented our organization for nearly two decades. If there are things we learn from this process that we feel will make our cheer program even better, we will make the necessary adjustments. We do not tolerate mistreatment of our cheer team or our employees at any time.” read more