Saskatchewan premier US governors push Obama for Keystone pipeline approval

Saskatchewan premier, U.S. governors push Obama for Keystone pipeline approval REGINA – Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall and 10 U.S. Republican governors are urging President Barack Obama to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.The political leaders have sent a joint letter to Obama that says the pipeline is crucial for energy security and the future economic prosperity of both countries. They also say it will create thousands of jobs on both sides of the border.“There are a number of important elements to Keystone that are important for Saskatchewan, that are important for Canada and … important for the United States,” Wall said Thursday at the legislature.“And so we wanted to work together with our friends in the United States, with these governors, and put forward what we think is a very compelling case for the U.S. administration to approve Keystone.”The TransCanada (TSX:TRP) line would carry bitumen from the Alberta oilsands to U.S. refineries in the Gulf of Mexico.Wall, who has repeatedly called for Keystone’s approval, admitted his role as a provincial premier isn’t likely to hold much sway with Obama.“But that’s why we tried to partner with governors who would have a lot more influence … in the capital,” he said.“I also think where we can have a positive impact in Saskatchewan is to get some information out. As I chatted with the governors on this particular letter, I pointed out to them I think we’ve all fallen down in not talking about the fact that one in seven barrels of the oil in the pipeline is actually American oil.”Wall said the pipeline could also be used to carry oil from the Bakken formation, which is under parts of Montana, North Dakota and Saskatchewan.Alberta Premier Alison Redford was not among the politicians who signed the letter, but Wall said he doesn’t see a problem with that. Redford has been working hard on the file and Saskatchewan wanted to do its part, he said.“I think this is helpful where you have the province of Saskatchewan, with a real stake in the project, also taking a bit of a lead and so we’re happy to do that,” he said.A spokesman for Redford said in an email to The Canadian Press that he did not believe she had been specifically asked to sign the letter.“That said, Premier Redford welcomes every bit of support for Alberta’s efforts to open new markets, and as today’s letter speaks to, it’s in all of Canada’s interests for Alberta to succeed in opening new markets for our oil,” said Stefan Baranski, director of communications for the premier’s office.TransCanada said in a statement that it appreciates the support from Wall and the governors.“As Premier Wall and others recognize, Keystone XL will provide a safe, secure supply of Canadian and U.S. crude oil to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries, forcing out higher-priced, unstable conflict oil from regimes that do not share North American values.”Obama rejected the pipeline last year after environmental groups put enormous pressure on his government. But the government invited TransCanada to file a new application with an altered route that would skirt an ecologically sensitive area in Nebraska.TransCanada has done that. Nebraska’s environmental regulator said in an evaluation of the line’s revised route that it would have “minimal” ecological effects in the state. The state’s governor is reviewing the report and is expected to make a decision in the next couple of weeks.The U.S. State Department, which has jurisdiction because the pipeline crosses an international border, is to make a recommendation to Obama after that.There has been speculation a final decision could come soon.But former Alberta premier Ed Stelmach, speaking at an economic conference in Edmonton, said he doesn’t agree with predictions that Keystone could be approved in the next three months.“We’re lucky if we get any approval — if we do get an approval — by the end of 2013,” he said. “And if we get it sooner, so be it, that’s still two years of construction time.” by Jennifer Graham, The Canadian Press Posted Jan 17, 2013 4:53 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

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Targeted support reconstruction needed as displaced Iraqis return and rebuild their lives

According to data as of 31 January, more than 3.3 million Iraqis have returned to their areas of origin, with most coming back to their homes in the governorates of Ninewa, Salah al-Din, Kirkuk and Anbar. In all, some six million Iraqis were displaced due to ISIL and the subsequent military operation to drive the group away.“As Iraq enters the recovery phase after three years of conflict, we should remember that real reconstruction of the country will not only be based on rebuilding infrastructure,” said the head of the IOM operations in the country, Gerard Waite, in a news release Tuesday.“Provision of specialized support to all who survived the conflict is also needed, alongside reconstruction of infrastructure.”At the recent Kuwait International Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq, the UN system launched a two-year Recovery and Resilience Programme, as part of which IOM will assist the Government of Iraq in addressing the multiple needs for rebuilding and reconstruction in the country.The UN migration agency is also working on assistance efforts in areas of return, specific programmes include mobile community information centres, light infrastructure projects, housing rehabilitation, strengthening health facilities, relief kit distribution and livelihood support.As of the some 2.5 million Iraqis yet to return to their origins, about half (51 per cent) are reportedly living in private settings – such as with families or friends – and about a quarter (26 per cent) in camps. read more

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Hither Green OAP describes moment he fatally stabbed burglar as coroner rules

A pensioner who fatally stabbed a burglar who was trying to rob his home has talked for the first time publicly about the incident at an inquest.Henry Vincent entered the property of 79-year-old Richard Osborn-Brooks with an accomplice in the early hours of April 4 last year, before a struggle ensued and Vincent died after being stabbed.In a statement given to police, Mr Osborn-Brooks said two men knocked on his door and after he opened it he was pushed inside, the inquest heard. On Thursday afternoon, coroner Andrew Harris has ruled Vincent was lawfully killed.In an audio recording played to the hearing, Mr Osborn-Brooks can be heard saying to police officers: “I grabbed that knife out of the knife block and I threatened him with it… he yelled up to his mate ‘he’s got a knife’.”His mate had a sharp thing in his hand, afterwards I realised it was a screwdriver… I said ‘mine’s bigger than yours’.”He said ‘come near me and I’ll stab you’.”He came toward me with the screwdriver… I just put the knife forward.” Mr Osborn-Brooks can be heard saying: “It went in about four inches.” Rosie Vincent told the hearing: “My brother was not a violent person. He was a father, he was a son, he was a brother.”No one deserves to die.”Asked what she wanted to come out of the proceedings, she replied: “Will we ever truly understand?”Pathologist Simon Poole, who carried out the post mortem on Vincent, said in a statement the toxicology report indicated “a recent use of both cocaine and heroin”.He added Vincent “may have been experiencing the effects” of the drugs at the time of the raid.The cause of death was given as an incised wound to the chest. Talking via videolink from behind a screen, the pensioner said after he grabbed the largest kitchen knife from a six-knife holder, Vincent’s accomplice fled out the front door. 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. It is being led by senior coroner Andrew Harris. The pensioner said Vincent then came down the stairs and brandished a screwdriver and said “get out of my way or I’ll stick you with this”.The coroner, reading Mr Osborn-Brooks’s police statement to him, said: “You said ‘I think you’re wrong because mine’s bigger than yours and if you don’t leave my house you will be sorry’.”Mr Osborn-Brooks said: “I was just showing him that the knife I had was actually bigger than the screwdriver. So if he was to lunge at me he would hit my knife rather than hit me first.”I thought he would look at my knife and see it is bigger than his implement and he would take the opportunity to run out the front door which was open.”My intention was to get him out of the house and away from my wife.”I still think that Mr Vincent rushes forward intending to do me harm and he ran into the knife that I was holding between us.”He definitely didn’t try to get out of the front door, he came towards me.”Vincent’s mother Rose Lee and sister Rosie Vincent were present as the hearing began at Southwark Coroner’s Court on Thursday morning. read more

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BHP Billiton launches Prospects blog

first_imgBHP Billiton today launched Prospects, a blog series, to provide insights on global trends relevant to its business and its stakeholders. The blogs will offer views on economics, commodities outlook and individual markets, and broader issues such as policy, governance and our social contribution.Prospects provides an avenue to contribute to debates that are important to BHP Billiton. It will also feature interactive information profiling each of the company’s commodities, geographic markets and market segments by industry and use.The first two Prospects topics available today are “Does China have too much debt?” and “Electrical vehicles – why all the noise?” are written by Vice President of Analysis and Economics, Dr Huw McKay, based in Singapore.Prospects can be accessed from the BHP Billiton website and users can subscribe to the series to receive each new blog via email. Visit Prospects at: www.bhpbilliton.com/prospectslast_img read more

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Rok Šimič stays in Gorenje

Gorenje VelenjeRok Šimič Gorenje Velenje shows will to save their succesfull squad, which is very close to win championship in Slovenia and made a respectable result in Europe.  After Management extended deal with a coach, Branko Tamše, that was followed by prolonged contract with many players – Bezjak, Svetelšek, Stefanič, Miklavčić, Musa and Medved. Last one is left wing, Rok Šimič (25), who will stay in Velenje until 2013. ← Previous Story TOP 20 EHF CL scorers (2006-2011): Kiril Lazarov – “The King of shooters” Next Story → Vive Targi Kielce won Polish Cup read more

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This map shows food poverty is a reality in every county in

first_imgTWO TRADE UNIONS have today called on the government to provide support to organisations giving food assistance to people around the country so they can meet the demand on their services this Christmas.Today Mandate and Unite released a map with a county-by-county breakdown of food poverty in the country, to highlight this demand.Click here for a larger version of this image.The map shows Dublin fares worst with 112,300 people suffering food poverty. Larger counties like Cork and Galway follow close behind, with 50,500 and 25,300 people in need of assistance respectively.Nationally, one in ten people suffer food poverty.“Food poverty means that someone missed a meal in the last fortnight because of a lack of money,” Mandate general secretary John Douglas said. “It may mean they cannot afford a meal with meat or the vegetarian equivalent every second day or afford a roast or vegetarian equivalent once a week.”Those suffering food poverty may be lone parent families; they may be the newly unemployed; they may be pensioners – and they may be people in work, struggling to survive on low wages.Today the unions demanded that the government provide “immediate aid” of €10 million to organisations offering food assistance and to reverse cuts to low income groups in the new year.They also called for an increase in the minimum wage – something the country has not seen since 2007.“Poverty in Ireland today is part of a policy-made disaster – austerity, and the collapse in incomes it has brought in its wake,” commented Unite regional secretary Jimmy Kelly. “The figures released by Unite and Mandate show that food poverty is a reality in every county in Ireland.”Related: Ten per cent of Irish population living in food poverty>Read: Rising food poverty hinders students’ ability to learn>last_img read more

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Poll Whats your biggest fear about growing older

first_img Short URL http://jrnl.ie/3043139 Image: Shutterstock/Volodymyr Baleha Loneliness and social isolationHealth concernsSecurity concernsOther (let us know in the comments)Vote Loneliness and social isolation (4161) Image: Shutterstock/Volodymyr Baleha Other (let us know in the comments) (930) By Órla Ryan Share26 Tweet Email Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article LONELINESS IS THE biggest fear adults have about growing older, according to a new survey.Over a quarter of people surveyed (27%) said they are worried about being lonely in old age, while 22% and 21% have fears about safety and access to health services respectively.The research was carried out as part of Macra na Feirme and Calor’s Know your Neighbour campaign, which encourages people all over the country to reach out to their neighbours.We want to know: What’s your biggest fear about growing older? Oct 24th 2016, 10:22 AM 119 Comments 28,462 Views Security concerns (1366) Health concerns (7503) Poll: What’s your biggest fear about growing older? A campaign is encouraging people to reach out to their neighbours. Poll Results: Monday 24 Oct 2016, 10:22 AMlast_img read more

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Ive been bitten spat at assaulted Noirin OSullivan says she can relate

first_img‘I’ve been bitten, spat at, assaulted’: Noirin O’Sullivan says she can relate to rank-and-file gardai The Commissioner was responding to personal stories of gardai who had been attacked, including one who needed 22 staples in his elbow. Short URL 39 Comments Image: Mark Stedman Updated 16.42Note: graphic image of injury in this article“I’VE BEEN BITTEN, I’ve been spat at, I’ve been assaulted.”Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan has added her own personal experience to the stories being shared today by rank-and-file gardai of attacks they have suffered in the line of duty.The Garda Representative Association’s (GRA) annual delegate conference in Salthill, Co Galway, heard calls for better protections for officers and stronger sanctions for offenders.Responding the stories, Commissioner O’Sullivan said:“I am very conscious of assaults on our members. I see them every morning.“I’ve been bitten, I’ve been spat at, I’ve been assaulted. I know what it’s like to wait at home when you have a family member assaulted and you are waiting to see have they recovered from very serious injury.“So, I can empathise with every one of our members who go out every day to do a good job. I can empathise hugely with their families to see do they come home safely. I know what that feels like.“What I can say is that we treat every assault on every single one of our members extremely seriously.”She recalled how she spoke to a victims’ group in Dublin’s Rotunda Hospital about her attack.“I said, ‘I know what it’s like to be a victim of crime’, because as a member of An Garda Siochana each of us behind the uniform is an individual.I recounted a story about being assaulted on Parnell Street and ending up with a dislocated shoulder, so I know exactly what it means to go through assaults.I know what it takes to have the courage to come out after being assaulted, after being called names, after being videoed. http://jrnl.ie/3357206 28,149 Views By Michelle Hennessycenter_img Image: Mark Stedman Apr 25th 2017, 4:42 PM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Tuesday 25 Apr 2017, 4:42 PM Share10 Tweet Email At the Salthill conference, Kilkenny/Carlow GRA representative Ger Commerford had today described a “vicious assault” on one of his members three years ago.He said the garda was arresting a man on a busy night in Kilkenny when the prisoner pushed him to the ground.If it was in rugby you’d be banned for life.“Was it a case that the person didn’t know he was a police officer? Of course he knew, the member was in uniform,” he said.The garda sustained a serious injury to his elbow and needed 22 staples. He was off work for five months and now, three years on, still does not have full movement of his elbow.“Now he has this permanent mark from dealing with a prisoner, keeping the streets safe – the member was doing his job. When he went out to work that night he didn’t expect to get assaulted, he didn’t expect the venom that was there in that assault.” The injury suffered by the Garda as outlined at today’s GRA conference.This offender was charged with a Section 3 assault causing harm and received a 12 month sentence, but Commerford pointed out this was for a bundle of offences that came before the courts.Mayo representative Ken Barrett also told delegates of two of his members who were “assaulted badly.”The two perpetrators subsequently received suspended sentences.And he described an incident two weeks ago in Claremorris during which one of his colleagues was “knocked to the ground and kicked to the face and head by three young males”.He added: “His female colleague who was with him was restrained and prevented from intervening while this was going on. I would state that she was also the victim of an assault even though she wasn’t physically harmed. Who among us, if we witnessed our colleague being beaten in this manner on the ground, wouldn’t consider ourselves assaulted?”Cavan/Monaghan representative James Morrisroe suggested the provision of body cameras, though it would not act as a deterrent, would assist in prosecutions as it would provide the vital evidence needed.The conference passed a motion calling for the association to carry out an audit of assaults and for the Minister for Justice to introduce a mandatory sentence for anyone who assaults a frontline emergency worker.For live updates from the conference in Galway over the next two days, follow @michellehetweet.Related: Garda colleagues of Tony Golden ‘will never get over what happened’ to him>More: Gardaí on breath test scandal: ‘It’s not collective responsibility, it’s a management issue’>Read: Terrorism, assaults and the right to grow beards will be debated by rank-and-file gardaí>last_img read more

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Four men arrested after these drugs were seized

first_img GARDAÍ HAVE ARRESTED four men following a seizure of an estimated €200,000 of cannabis plants.As part of an intelligence-led investigation into the sale and supply of drugs in the Castlebar, Nenagh and Dundalk areas, the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, the Special Crime Task Force and local Drugs units carried out a number of searches yesterday.During the course of these searches a cannabis grow house was discovered.Four men (29, 37, 38 and 45) have been arrested in connection with the investigation and are currently detained at various sarda stations under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984.Read: ‘We have no future’ – wives of defence forces march today over their spouses’ working conditions 20,267 Views 32 Comments Jun 10th 2017, 9:38 AM http://jrnl.ie/3436858 Four men arrested after these drugs were seized They are being held at various stations. Saturday 10 Jun 2017, 9:38 AM Image: Garda Press Office By Paul Hosford Image: Garda Press Office Short URL Share Tweet Email Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

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Mikakos pays respect to Battle of Crete

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Shadow Minister for Children and Young Adults, Jenny Mikakos, gave a speech in Parliament on the events organised to commemorate Battles of Greece and Crete. Ms Mikakos, MP for Northern Metropolitan region, referred to many events commemorating the 72nd anniversary of the battles of Greece and Crete during World War II, highlighting the participation of the Australian armed forces in the Battle of Crete of May 1941. “During the battle of Crete, out of a total of 40 000 soldiers who made up the Allied and Greek forces in Crete, 3990 were killed, 2750 wounded and 17 090 captured. Post evacuation, hundreds of members of the Australian armed forces remained behind enemy lines, either escaping or joining the Greek resistance, supported by the brave local Greek population,” Ms Mikakos said in her speech. Ms Mikakos also referred to a medals ceremony she attended, hosted by the Consul General of Greece, Mrs Eleni Lianidou, to pay tribute to Australians who fought bravely in these battles. On the day, commemoratives medals of honour from the Greek armed forces were presented to 92-year-old veteran Mr Alex Maxwell White, and family members accepted medals on behalf of Mr Lenard William Thomas Beal, Mr Davy Howard Bertram, Mr Ernest Allen Bridges, Mr Swan Bramwell, Mr Alan Dyer Campbell, Mr Arthur Charles Ford and Mr Ronald Valentine Margetts. “As a Greek-Australian, I am forever indebted to them for their bravery in fighting for freedom,” she said. As part of the delegation of members of Parliament who undertook an Anzac study tour, Ms Mikakos talked about the commemorative dawn service she attended at Anzac Cove, the Australian memorial service at Lone Pine in Gallipoli and many other services. “We had the opportunity to visit some of the major battle sites such as Vevi, the Servia Pass, Pinios Pass, Brallos Pass, Thermopylae and Corinth in Greece where the Anzacs fought in World War II. It was an honour to attend events hosted by the local authorities commemorating and paying tribute to the sacrifices of the Anzacs. Australians are buried in six commonwealth war cemeteries in Greece, an important part of Greece and Australia’s shared history,” Ms Mikakos said.last_img read more

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Internet la Chine veut le développer tout en le gardant sous contrôle

first_imgInternet : la Chine veut le développer tout en le gardant sous contrôleChine – L’empire du milieu souhaite connecter près d’un Chinois sur deux à Internet dans les cinq ans à venir. Mais le gouvernement refuse de lâcher du lest concernant le filtrage qu’il estime nécessaire sur la Toile.Après Le Petit Livre rouge sur le communisme, le gouvernement chinois lance le “Livre blanc de l’Internet”. Dans cet ouvrage, les autorités expliquent qu’elles souhaitent “démocratiser” le Net et connecter 45% de la population d’ici 5 ans. Mais les 1,3 milliard de Chinois ne jouiront pas du même service que les autres habitants de la planète, puisque le Web continuera à être filtré. Spécialement visés : les réseaux sociaux, les blogs et les résultats sur les moteurs de recherche. “Sur le territoire chinois, l’Internet est sous la juridiction de la souveraineté chinoise”, explique le Livre blanc, paru hier. “Les informations pornographiques et illégales en ligne nuisent gravement à la santé physique et psychologique des mineurs, ce qui a été considéré comme une question majeure d’intérêt public.” Selon le manuel, un tiers des 384 millions d’abonnés chinois sont mineurs. Le 9 juin 2010 à 13:10 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

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Sony baisse du prix du Tablet S

first_imgSony: baisse du prix du Tablet SLe Tablet S de Sony est désormais vendu moins cher, pour mieux faire face à la concurrence.Le fabricant japonais Sony va baisser le prix de son Tablet S afin de relancer les ventes de ce produit. Il est difficile de s’attirer les parts de marché restantes d’un marché dominé par l’iPad d’Apple et la concurrence se fait rude pour les autres marques. C’est donc fort logiquement en baissant leurs prix que Hewlett Packard (TouchPad), Research in Motion (PlayBook) ou encore Sony baissent leurs prix. À lire aussiNokia : une tablette tactile 10 pouces en préparationLe modèle 16 GB du Tablet S de Sony sera donc dès à présent vendu 400$ au lieu de 500$. Également, le modèle 32 GB passe à 500$ au lieu de 600$ aux États-Unis. Cette baisse des tarifs de 100 dollars (équivalant à 77 euros environ) pourrait permettre à Sony d’écouler plus de tablettes. La baisse de prix n’est cependant pas toujours un moyen de faire augmenter les ventes de tablettes. Par exemple, le PlayBook de RIM n’a pas connu d’envolée significative après avoir baissé son prix de vente.Dans le cas du Tablet S, la baisse de prix est significative. Vendue moins chère que l’iPad 2, elle pourrait séduire les moins fortunés… Bien qu’elle fasse tout de même l’objet de la concurrence des Thrive de Toshiba et de la Galaxy Tab 7 Plus de Samsung.Le 2 janvier 2012 à 12:45 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

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Judge Jury Man role an issue with lead lawyers for accused

first_img Related Items:earl whitter, judge, jury man, justice paul harrison Judge bans press releases, allows SIPT website to remain, denies mistrial Delancy challenged on leadership style, calls Floyd Hall, ‘man of integrity’ Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Recommended for you BOYCE FIRES HER ATTORNEY, as SIPT Trial continues Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 10 Dec 2015 – Justice Paul Harrison as the judge and jury in the case of Michael Misick and eight others accused of conspiracy and fraud found his abilities again challenged when court resumed this morning. The motion came from Earl Whitter, Queen’s Counsel for Floyd Hall who is finding obvious discomfort with the fact that the trial will have no jury. Whitter, who labeled Harrison, as ‘judge and jury man’ expressed that he is doubtful that there can be fairness when the witness testimonies are provided on the court issued iPads, including the one in the possession of the ‘judge and jury man’. For the second day, Whitter who was later supported by Michael Misick’s QC, Ralph Thorne expressed that a unique precedent is being set by the Prosecution when it provides the iPads with all of the trial information including the witness testimonies. Both men point out that it is not normal for juries to be given the witness testimonies in a document form and that as the judge is only human, there is the potential for a perception of bias. Thorne called it an unfair position for Justice Paul Harrison to be placed within, but Harrison basically assured that he is well able to handle the position and denied any changes. All iPad holders, including Justice Harrison will be able to see the witness statements along with other trial documents included on the tailored tablets. last_img read more

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Army Considering Five Posts for Converted Infantry Brigade

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR The Army is conducting an environmental assessment before deciding where to base a new armored brigade combat team (BCT) that is being converted from an existing infantry BCT stationed at Fort Carson, Colo. The 16th Armored BCT will either stay at Fort Carson or be stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Riley, Kan.; or Fort Stewart, Ga. Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran (R) is advocating for Fort Riley as the ideal post for the new unit. The installation, located in north central Kansas, has the space, reports the Mercury. Fort Riley is assigned more than 15,000 soldiers, down from almost 18,000 stationed there in 2013. Armored brigades typically have nearly 4,000 soldiers.Army photo by Sgt. Ason Forsythlast_img read more

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Skagway mayor and her mother die after hit by DC tour bus

first_imgSkagway mayor Monica Carlson. (Photo by Emily Files, KHNS – Haines)State flags will fly at half-staff New Year’s Day for Skagway Mayor Monica Carlson, 61. The mayor and her mother were struck by a bus in a crosswalk in Washington, D.C. Wednesday night.Carlson and 85-year-old Cora Louise Adams were sightseeing in Washington and staying in a downtown hotel. They toured the White House on Wednesday. That night, shortly after 9:30, they crossed Pennsylvania Avenue at 7th Street NW. That’s just north of the National Mall, about halfway between the White House and the Capitol. Police say a tour bus turning onto Pennsylvania hit them. The weather was good and the intersection is well lit, so the cause of the collision wasn’t immediately clear.“Eyre Bus, Tour & Travel wishes to express their sorrow and sympathy for the family,” said Melanie Hinton, director of communications for the American Bus Association. She said the bus company is cooperating with the police investigation.“As for details, there were no passengers on the bus at the time of the accident,” Hinton said, speaking on behalf of the bus company. “The seasoned driver has been with Eyre for 18 years.”Both Alaska senators say Mayor Carlson did not pay an official visit to their offices this week. A spokesman for Sen. Dan Sullivan says his staffers helped her get a tour of the White House, as they do for other visiting Alaskans who apply in advance.Sen. Lisa Murkowski said she met Carlson one busy summer day in Skagway.“Here she is on a Saturday afternoon, standing up in her office,” Murkowski recalled. “It was one of those conversations where we talked about all the business of the city and the issues and the concerns while she’s juggling multiple balls.”They bonded over a shared political experience: Carlson pointed out that she was elected as a write-in on the ballot, just as Murkowski was in 2010. Murkowski says she was impressed with Carlson’s dedication.“Skagway, even as a small town, has some issues that divide them. She was really working very, very hard to knit together the differing views in a small community,” Murkowski said. “Everybody has to live with one another and work with one another. And she just seemed so, so perfectly suited to do just that. So our hearts are very heavy for the people of Skagway.”Carlson and Adams are the 11th and 12th pedestrian fatalities of the year for Washington, according to an unofficial list compiled by traffic safety advocates.The Washington Post reports that two women died at the same intersection in 2007. They were also hit by a bus. The driver in that case was convicted of negligent homicide.last_img read more

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Smart railway station project hits roadblock in Tirupati

first_imgTirupati: The smart railway station project here has been moving without any significant progress for almost two years. When the works were expected to take off, technical glitches coming in the way. As the TUDA proposed to lay 80-ft road on the south side of the station which goes through the railway land where redevelopment works have to be taken up along with a 13-storey building, the railways stopped the project till the problem is solved. Also Read – TDP flays government for sand problems Advertise With Us Earlier, it was planned to start the Rs 500 crore works during June-July 2018 and then SCR General Manager and present Chairman of Railway Board Vinod Kumar Yadav had visited Tirupati several times to push the project. He held meetings with all stakeholders and finalised the proposals. The Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) and National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC) were asked to take up the works under PPP mode for which tenders were also floated almost a year back. Also Read – Former Minister Devineni Umamaheswara Rao put on house arrest Advertise With Us These tenders were later cancelled due to technical snags. As part of its comprehensive development, Railways wanted to get a stretch of National Highway on north side of the station to be de notified. The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways had agreed for the same, but the process was not completed yet. The new state government has to clear this hurdle for which railways have been waiting. Advertise With Us Now, another hurdle came to the fore as TUDA proposed 80-ft road as part of its master plan on the south side of the station connecting Rayalacheruvu Road with DR Mahal Road. Due to this, the plan on the south side of the railway station will get disturbed as much of the land belongs to Railways and it was not willing to give the land to road. It was learnt that SCR GM Gajanan Mallya has taken up the problem to the notice of AP Chief Secretary LV Subramanyam following which the Town Planning Director held discussions with Railway and TUDA officials in Tirupati on Saturday. Railway Architect Vinod Agarwal has presented picture of redevelopment plan in the meeting. He told The Hans India that, if 80-ft road has to be built there, Railways cannot take up the development works. There will be another meeting next week with Guntakal DRM on the issue. If TUDA insists for the road, it can reduce the width to 40-ft or so to facilitate the railway project to go ahead.last_img read more

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Trump pledges to unify US

first_imgBillionaire Republican Donald Trump on Thursday pledged to bring unity to America as he swept into Washington on the eve of the most consequential moment of his life — his inauguration as 45th president of the United States.On Friday, Trump will cap an extraordinary and improbable run for the White House when he takes the reins from President Barack Obama at mid-day, launching the nation into uncharted waters.The 70-year-old leader-in-waiting traveled from New York aboard a government jet to a military base near the capital with his wife Melania.He then spent the afternoon in Washington attending pre-inaugural festivities that have become traditions for presidents-elect.”We’re going to unify our country,” Trump told a cheering crowd of thousands in front of the Lincoln Memorial after a concert that ended in a burst of fireworks.”We’re going to do things that haven’t been done for our country for many, many decades,” he added. “It’s going to change. I promise you.”Earlier in the day, Trump lunched with Republican congressional leaders and his cabinet nominees. He then was whisked to Arlington National Cemetery, where he and Vice President-elect Mike Pence laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.He then crossed back over the Potomac River to speak at the marble memorial, where at one point he looked up and saluted the seated statue of Abraham Lincoln.”There’s never been a movement like this,” he said, describing the wave of support among working-class Americans who pushed Trump to victory over Hillary Clinton in one of the most divisive elections in US history.”Well, you’re not forgotten anymore,” he said. “We’re going to get it turned around. We’re going to bring our jobs back.”Later he tweeted: “Thank you for joining us at the Lincoln Memorial tonight — a very special evening! Together, we are going to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”- ‘American Revolution’ -Trump’s swearing-in on the steps of the Capitol — scheduled to be administered by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts at 11:47 am (1647 GMT) — will be carried live Friday on screens around the globe. Rain is forecast.Three former presidents will be in attendance along with numerous dignitaries, including his Democratic presidential rival — a former first lady and secretary of state.Protesters have vowed to be out in force Friday, and thousands marched in New York on Thursday night, joined by A-list actors Robert de Niro and Alec Baldwin, Oscar-winning director Michael Moore and singer Cher.But Trump supporters were gathering in Washington to trumpet the success of their man.”It honestly feels like we won the American Revolution again,” gushed Jake, a Trump supporter from California who did not give his last name.”I really feel like we’ve taken back our culture, we’ve taken back our country, because we’ve really been under attack from a lot of the establishment on both sides of the aisle.”Trump’s working-class supporters have sent him to Washington to turn the page on the Obama era and upend the political status quo.Trump has vowed to act, and swiftly.He is expected to sign four or five decrees Friday, and then a raft of others beginning Monday to dismantle every policy he can without waiting for congressional approval.Among his pledges for day one: sign orders to speed deportations of convicted criminals, begin building a wall on the US-Mexico border, and cancel billions of dollars in US funding to United Nations climate change programs.”He is committed to not just day one, but day two, day three, of enacting an agenda of real change,” incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters.Trump’s first major legislative lift will be dismantling the health care reforms known as Obamacare.Congressional Republicans, led by House Speaker Paul Ryan, have sought for years to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and now Trump, despite potential pitfalls, has a golden opportunity.- Farewell -Just blocks away, the Obamas were finishing their packing as they prepared for their last night in the White House.In some of his final acts as president, Obama commuted the sentences of 330 people, mostly drug offenders, called Chancellor Angela Merkel to declare US-Germany ties “essential,” and took a parting shot at Congress for blocking his efforts to shutter the military prison at Guantanamo Bay.Friday will revolve around the age-old ritual of the swearing-in, when Trump will transform from ordinary citizen to the leader of the world’s most powerful nation.While Trump has confided that he sought inspiration from John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan while writing his inaugural address, Spicer said the words will be Trump’s own: a personal statement that will be “more of a philosophical document” than a to-do list.Democrats opposed to a Trump presidency are organizing.About a third of US House Democrats will boycott Friday’s ceremony. In the Senate, Democrats are obstructing the path of Trump’s cabinet nominees, only a handful of whom look to be confirmed Friday.Trump completed his 15 cabinet selections Thursday by naming Georgia ex-governor Sonny Perdue to be agriculture secretary.For the first time since 1989, the cabinet will feature no Hispanics.The new administration has asked over 50 individuals to remain in critical posts to “ensure the continuity of government,” Spicer said, including Obama’s special envoy to the coalition fighting the Islamic State group, Brett McGurk.last_img read more

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Are The STAAR Tests Too Hard Critics Rally For A Closer Look

first_img 00:00 /03:54 Research came to light earlier this year showing that reading passages on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR tests, are one to three years above grade level.San Antonio middle-schooler Wes Scalf is not a fan of the tests.“It’s kind of stressful because it all builds up to one day,” Wes said, sitting at his dining room table with his mother. “They keep reminding you, ‘Hey, STAAR is coming,’ and I’m like, ‘I know! I’m trying not to think about it.’”When Wes was in fifth grade, he failed the math STAAR test twice.“I kind of felt like I failed myself a little bit, and I felt like I didn’t do good enough,” he said, thinking back to the day two years ago when he found out he didn’t pass.“I thought that he was handling it okay, just on the surface right at first,” said his mom, Lisa Scalf.But then, an hour after he went to bed that night, he sent his mom a text asking, “Mommy, am I stupid?”“As a parent, that’s just devastating because he had worked so hard,” Scalf said. “His grades had improved so much, and just for one test on one day to tear all that down was just heartbreaking.”Despite the setback, Wes thrived in middle school. He made honor roll, played tenor sax in the band and competed on the tennis team. Scalf said she received glowing progress reports from his teachers.But at the end of the year, he once again failed a STAAR test, this time in reading. At the time, Scalf just thought Wes didn’t test well. He receives special education services for learning disabilities, but his teachers said he was reading on grade level, and they expected him to pass.“Everybody was just sort of stunned,” she said.Camille Phillips/Texas Public RadioWes and Lisa Scalf pose for a portrait in their home.But now, she thinks she knows why.“To hear that they were testing at two to three grade levels above the grade level they should have been testing at was surprising, and really just made me angry,” Scalf said.The first study examining the reading level of STAAR tests was published in 2012 by researchers at Texas A&M University-Commerce. It calculated the difficulty of sentence structure and vocabulary using several different computer algorithms called readability formulas. The formulas are often used by librarians and teachers to find books appropriate for their students.Two more studies followed with the same results, but their findings didn’t become common knowledge until February, when they were highlighted in a Texas Monthly article.Mary Hardin-Baylor education professor Jodi Pilgrim, one of the authors of the 2016 study, testified at a public hearing on STAAR in March.“We train our teachers to avoid material that’s written at the frustration level. And what I mean by frustration level is any material that they may encounter where they don’t know 90 percent of the words,” Pilgrim explained during an appearance before the House Public Education Committee.“If a passage is written one to three grade levels above their grade, then you’re more than likely frustrating some of these students.”But Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath assured the committee that the STAAR tests are on grade level.“We have a valid, on grade-level assessment. It’s reliable,” he  said.Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle grilled Morath for two hours over his position.He said the readability formulas used by Pilgrim and the other researchers are not a good way to measure whether or not the STAAR tests are on grade level because the formulas only look at sentence structure, not content.STAAR “is about where students need to be, not where students are but where students need to be,” Morath said. “Remember, it’s predictive of meaningful life outcomes and not based on just one dimension of language structure, but the entire domain of reading proficiency.”Morath said the Texas Education Agency does use readability formulas to  help select reading passages. However, he placed more importance on the judgment of teachers. Committees of Texas educators approve reading passages before they’re added to STAAR tests.Pilgrim and other literacy experts agreed that teachers should be consulted to make sure students have the life experience to understand the text. But they said readability formulas should also be used.“Readability is the foundational level for all instruction in reading. The very first thing you learn when you become a literacy teacher is the level of the text — it makes all the difference in the world,” said Lora Darden, the director of elementary instruction at Round Rock ISD.Camille Phillips/Texas Public RadioState sanctions tied to STAAR tests are forcing Rodriguez Elementary in San Antonio to close at the end of the 2018-2019 school year.Several lawmakers filed bills in response to the testimony they heard, including San Antonio Democrats Diego Bernal and José Menéndez.Their companion bills filed in the House and Senate would put a hold on high-stakes consequences tied to the STAAR, like school closings and graduation requirements, until an outside investigator confirms that reading passages are on grade level.Bernal’s bill is scheduled for a hearing in the House Public Education Committee on Tuesday.Menéndez has also filed a more hard-line bill that would put a hold on the STAAR tests until the investigation is complete.That’s more in line with what San Antonio mom Lisa Scalf would like to see happen — she’d like STAAR to be replaced with a different test — but it’s also harder to accomplish without losing funding. Federal law requires states to give students a minimum number of standardized tests.A bill amendment directing the Texas Auditor to review the third grade STAAR has already passed in the Texas House with bipartisan support.This piece was originally published on Texas Public Radio. Listen Camille Phillips/Texas Public RadioWes Scalf, 13, speaks to his mom, Lisa Scalf, in their home in February 2019.As the first wave of Texas students sit down to take the state standardized test this week, many parents, educators and lawmakers are wondering whether those tests are fair. Some are convinced the answer to that question is no. Xcenter_img Share To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:last_img read more

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2018 Martin Luther King Jr Peace Walk and Parade

first_imgOn Jan. 15, residents and the Mayor’s office are scheduled to honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the nation’s capital. Marchers will at 11 a.m. at Anacostia Park entrance on Good Hope Road and MLK Jr. Ave., SE. Parade will end at Barry Farm Recreation and Aquatic Center. Whether you can march with us or simply be an observer, all are welcome!last_img

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Tridhara seeks to revive lost culture of handicrafts

first_imgKolkata: “Prakiti Rotone, Sajabo Jotone” is the theme for Tridhara Akal Bodhon Puja committee which entered its 72nd year.The entire Puja pandal showcases various jute works as Tridhara Akal Bodhon has come up with the idea to promote Bengal’s one of the oldest art forms. The doll industry, which was famous in the districts like Nadia, Birbhum and South 24-Parganas, would also be represented at the Puja pandal.According to a Puja oraniser, valuables that are found in nature would find its place in the Puja pandal under theme — “Prikiti Rotone, Sajabone Jotone”. Handicrafts made of jute are extremely valuable in the state. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThere will be various models of horses, elephants and others inside the Puja pandal made of jute. The idols are also made of jute. Artist Gouranga Kuila has conceptualized the theme. Various models were prepared at his workshop in Tomluk in East Midnapore. The process of installing the idols and other models at the Puja pandal started one-and-half-months ago.The jute industry has gained a momentum after Mamata Banerjee government came to power. It is her government that has given a platform to the traditional jute artisans across the state. Various clusters have been set up where people in large numbers are indulging in jute work and preparing various handicraft items from it. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThese artisans were eventually given platforms by the state government to sell their products. There had been a decline in the jute industry in the state in the past few years. The state government had laid a great emphasis on this industry for its revival.Subhojit Chakraborty, cultural convener of the Puja committee said: “We are trying to promote the jute industry of Bengal through our work.”As many as 11 counsel generals of various countries are expected to visit the Puja pandal on 13 October.last_img read more

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