Governments Invest in Continued Operation of the DigbySaint John Ferry Service

first_imgThe Digby-Saint John ferry service will continue operating until 2011 with further investments from the governments of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Canada. The two-year extension allows more time to investigate a possible long-term solution and look at the transportation requirements for the entire southwest Nova Scotia region. “The governments want to sustain the economic ties that we have built over the years through the ferry service,” said Environment Minister Mark Parent on behalf of Economic Development Minister Angus MacIsaac. “With this funding, we continue to provide a safe and reliable service, and maintain important economic and tourism links within our region and within the country.” The governments of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick will each contribute an additional $2 million and the government of Canada will invest $11.1 million to ensure the Digby-Saint John ferry service continues to run until Jan. 31, 2011. “We recognize the importance of the ferry to the economy. We have listened to community and business leaders who rely on these important assets and delivered results for them and the people of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick,” said Peter MacKay, Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), on behalf of Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. Mr. MacKay said the two-year extension to the ferry service will be used to assess commercial transportation alternatives and economic strategies, should the ferry service be discontinued in the future. ACOA, working with its provincial government partners, will invest up to $1 million for this assessment. The Digby-Saint John ferry service received $8 million in government funding in 2006, including $2 million from Nova Scotia. The province also invested up to $4.4 million in the Yarmouth-to-Maine ferry service. Both operations are run by Bay Ferries Ltd., and both are being impacted by high fuel costs and declining ferry traffic.last_img read more

Apples new website to tell people how App Store works

first_imgSan Francisco: In order to execute better defence against recent anti-trust and anti-competitive allegations, Apple has launched a new website for the App Store, explaining how apps and updates are reviewed and examined by “hundreds of human experts and automated systems” before they are rolled-out. The new website would detail the running of the App Store, along with how apps are developed and reviewed and what kind of work models do developers resort to, TechCrunch reported on Wednesday. Also Read – Spotify rolls out Siri support, new Apple TV app “We use a combination of automated systems and hundreds of human experts. This team represents 81 languages across three time zones,” the iPhone-maker wrote in a post explaining the website. According to Apple, over 1.4 million apps have been removed from the App Store since 2016 because either they were not updated or did not work on the most current iOS version. The company says it reviews 100,000 apps every week out of which 60 per cent apps are approved and around 40 per cent are rejected. Also Read – New Instagram tool to help users spot phishing emails “Most apps are reviewed within 24 hours of the developer’s submission. Developers can choose to have their apps available immediately after the approval. The most common reason for rejection is minor bugs, followed by privacy concerns,” Apple explained. The company gives all developers the opportunity to have a rejection reviewed by the App Review Board, that makes about 1,000 calls a week to help developers diagnose and resolve glitches and issues. “The five pillars of the guidelines – safety, performance, business, design, and legal – require that apps offered on the App Store are safe, provide a good user experience, adhere to our rules on user privacy, secure devices from malware and threats, and use approved business models,” the post added. In addition, the website features a section entitled “A Store that welcomes competition”, that the iPhone-maker intends to work as a marketplace where its own apps live alongside third-party apps. Earlier this year, music streaming major Spotify alleged the Apple requires it and other digital services to pay a 30 per cent tax on purchases made through Apple’s payment system, including upgrading from a free to premium subscription. Spotify said this tax would force it to artificially inflate the price of its premium membership well above the price of Apple Music. However, the company says 84 per cent of apps on iOS are free and developers pay nothing to Apple. The new App Store website has been launched ahead of Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) that is scheduled to be held from June 3 to June 7 at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose.last_img read more

Winnipeg Friendship Centre cuts ties with main association and the money that

first_imgBrittany Hobson APTN National NewsThe Indian and Metis Friendship centre in Winnipeg’s North End is fighting through a financial crisis.The situation has split the board of directors.And one faction said the centre could close its doors soon.bhobson@aptn.calast_img

USW begins rotating strikes at Conifer mills

first_imgLocal 1-2017 president Brian O’Rourke said that CONIFER continues to demand concessions from the union on a new collective agreement, including longer probationary periods, lower starting wages, and extra costs for health and welfare benefits.The union said that as part of the rotating strike action, all other CONIFER operations are under an overtime ban, which will continue as the bargaining committee evaluates the next operation, or operations, for strike action.As of right now, it is not clear if and/or when picket lines will go up at the Canfor mill in Fort St. John. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The union representing workers at 13 sawmills in Northern B.C., including the Canfor mill in Fort St. John says it has begun rotating strikes at those mills after giving 72-hour strike notice at the beginning of the month.According to an update posted on the United Steelworkers Local 1-2017 website, the union’s began rotating strikes last Wednesday, when picket lines went up at the Tolko’s Lakeview mill in Williams Lake.On October 4th, the union issued 72-hour strike notice after talks between it and the Council of Northern Interior Forest Industry Relations or CONIFER, broke down in late September.last_img read more

IT Dept searches premises of kin of JK exMin Imran Ansari

first_imgSrinagar: The Income Tax Department Thursday carried out searches at five places here, including at the premises of a kin of Imran Reza Ansari, a former minister in the PDP-BJP coalition, for alleged tax evasion, sources said.The searches were carried out against a group which is a “monopolistic wholesale distributer” of pharmaceuticals in the Kashmir Valley, a released issued by the I-T Department said. It was gathered that the group charged huge premium on life saving drugs which were exclusively sourced through it in the Valley and the extra normal profits earned by this modus operandi were used for investment in real estate in Srinagar, as well as for unaccounted expenditure by the promoter’s family not disclosed in their income tax returns, the release said. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Sources said Ansari’s sister is married into the family whose premises have been searched. However, the tax officials maintained that searches were carried out on a business family and were in no way connected to Ansari, a politician who switched over to People’s Conference led by Sajad Lone. The I-T department release said the search action has yielded incriminating documents and digital evidence that suggest huge concealment of income by the promoter and his family members. Apparently, Rs 3.08 crore in transactions of two pieces of land in Srinagar has been earned by the group, which has not been disclosed in the returns of income. The digital evidence in the form of hard disc that has been seized, indicates that a part of the sales proceeds, approximating nearly 10 per cent of the turnover are kept outside the books of accounts to suppress profits, it said.last_img read more

Emma Baranski adds solo title to résumé for Ohio State synchronized swimming

OSU junior Emma Baranski won the solo national title on April 16. Credit: Courtesy of OSUAnother Ohio State athlete, synchronized swimmer Emma Baranski, has made a splash in the national circuit, as the junior won the solo national title during the U.S. Collegiate Championships.But this was not Baranski’s first brush with collegiate success. Last season, the OSU synchronized swimming team, which finished in second place this year, won the team title for the 29th time. The feelings following the victories, Baranski said, are different.“With team, you’re working together with seven other girls, so it’s amazing to get the team title,” Baranski said. “But as solo, it’s a lot more pressured because everyone’s eyes are right on you. Individually, it felt really good, and I was proud of myself just getting through it.”OSU coach Holly Vargo-Brown’s sentiments mirrored Baranski’s, saying that the sense of pride she receives from coaching an individual champion versus a team champion has its differences. “We are fortunate in that last year we had a team title, and we didn’t have an individual one,” Vargo-Brown said. “I think this year to have done that is some extra pride because in the midst of everything not necessarily going Ohio State’s way, to know that this person that worked so hard was rewarded, I think that was extra special.”In addition to the second-place team finish, the Buckeyes also placed second in the duets and had two trios tie for third. Baranski, who dabbled in figure skating and dance before becoming involved in synchronized swimming, is studying arts management with minors in dance and business. She said hopes to own a dance studio one day. A desire to participate in a team sport pushed the Hamden, Connecticut, native toward synchronized swimming, but she said her dance background has helped her in solo routines.“In the team routine, you’re swimming a lot sharper, and your goal is to be synchronized with everyone else. With a solo performance, you’re trying to be one with music almost,” she said. “From the very beginning of when you start to train a solo, you’re training almost a story and an emotional piece. “It’s more of a dance routine in the water.”The Buckeyes’ coaching staff assigned a primary coach for Baranski to help her build a bond with the choreography. That, alongside Baranski’s work ethic and skill set, is what Vargo-Brown said she believes helped the junior to find success.“Emma is amazing. She’s a very hard worker, and she really brings a passion to whatever part of the synchronized swimming that she’s working on,” Vargo-Brown said. “Because she is a dancer, she has really been able to improve on the expression that she brings to the performance, which I really think has helped her achieve the success that she has.” While synchronized swimmers are rewarded for making their routines look effortless, Vargo-Brown said she does not want the athleticism of the swimmers to go unnoticed.“Synchronized swimming is not what you see in the movies or the renditions of people making fun of it; these are athletes, and they train like athletes,” said Vargo-Brown, a former OSU synchronized swimmer who is in her fourth season at the helm. “They lift weights, they’re in the water and they can’t touch the bottom, they’re holding their breath and they really do have to be in the most-fit shape possible to accomplish all of that.”  The level of work that goes into synchronized swimming is not lost on Baranski, who said that staying ahead of the competition is the hardest part. With a dream to participate in Cirque du Soleil’s synchronized swimming show in Las Vegas, she knows it won’t come easy.“It’s pretty competitive and it’s very international. You have the best talent from all over the world coming to Cirque du Soleil, so the competition is first,” Baranski said. “You really can’t stop training, it’s just go, go, go all the time.” read more

Womens volleyball Buckeyes Sweet Sixteen bound

Members of the Ohio State women’s volleyball team celebrate after scoring against LIU Brooklyn on Sept. 2, 2016. OSU won, 3-0. Credit: Jenna Leinasars | Multimedia EditorThe Ohio State women’s volleyball team upset arguably their most important opponent this season, No. 14 Kansas State on Saturday for a trip to the Sweet Sixteen round of the NCAA tournament. The Buckeyes eliminated the Wildcats in five-sets, 25-20, 25-22, 22-25, 23-25 and 17-15. OSU secured their spot to play in Saturday’s second round by knocking off Missouri State in three sets on Friday, while the Wildcats swept Lipscomb, also on Friday. A pinch of sibling rivalry added to the competitiveness of the evening. OSU senior middle blocker Taylor Sandbothe looked through the net at her younger sister, freshman middle blocker Elle Sandbothe. Before the match, Taylor took to Twitter and expressed her excitement at the opportunity to play “her best friend.” The front row match-up would prove to be a factor during the entire match.The Buckeyes made their presence known from the beginning of the first set. A variety of hitters went to work, which resulted in an early 9-1 run for OSU. As Kansas State closed in on the OSU lead, the arena erupted, showing the home team support for the Wildcats. Sophomore setter Taylor Hughes wrangled in the final two kills of the set to give the Buckeyes the 1-0 advantage. OSU jumped out to an early lead again to start the second set, but the Wildcats weren’t letting the Buckeyes escape without putting up a fight. Kansas State battled to put the score within two points at 14-12, but OSU’s consistency and patience shone through to maintain control of the lead. Elle Sandbothe assisted on a major block for Kansas State, but it was immediately followed by a kill from her sister, Taylor. OSU held a narrow lead at 24-22, but sealed another set victory with a kill by sophomore outside hitter Audra Appold. After the second set, OSU was hitting .225 collectively, compared to Kansas State’s .056. However, it was the Wildcats who came out of the intermission with the momentum on their side. They held onto the lead for the first time in the match to begin the third set as the Buckeyes’ defense and serve reception began to unravel. OSU came back with aggressive swings and gained the lead for the first time in the third set at 15-14 before a back-and-forth battle ensued between the teams. The Wildcats focused on Taylor Sandbothe’s path and another block by her younger sister shifted the energy back to Kansas State. The Wildcats saw their first set point of the match, and the Buckeyes couldn’t counter back. Despite the Wildcat win, OSU still held the advantage 2-1 going into the fourth set. The Kansas State crowd made their voices heard to start the fourth set, cheering after every point that dropped on OSU’s side. The noise was egged on by the point-for-point play that characterized the entire set. When the dust cleared, it was again Kansas State who stole the set victory and forced a sudden-death final set. Errors are critical any five-set contest, and unforced errors by OSU allowed the Wildcats to take the two-point advantage 8-6 before switching sides of the court. The Buckeyes quickly changed their tone and after a handful of nail-biting final points, OSU claimed the crucial win to stay alive in the NCAA tournament. Junior outside hitter Luisa Schirmer combined with Taylor Sandbothe for 36 kills. Sophomore setter Taylor Hughes finished with another triple-double to her name with 14 kills, 41 assists and 15 digs. The Buckeyes are off to the Sweet Sixteen to face Big Ten rival, the Wisconsin Badgers. read more

Nintendo announces Pokemon X and Pokemon Y for 3DS

first_imgNintendo and The Pokemon Company have today announced the inevitable next duo of Pokemon games. But this time there’s a few big changes to the tried and tested formula.The two new games are called Pokemon X and Pokemon Y, and this will be the first time Nintendo has released Pokemon titles exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS. Pokemon fans around the world won’t be left waiting, either, as Nintendo has also confirmed both games will get a worldwide release in October rather than the usual more stunted per-territory releases.Pokemon X and Y will also be the first games in the series to embrace full 3D. Developer Game Freak is promising a completely redesigned game in terms of the environment as well as an updated and dynamic battle system.Other than the video and images included here, there’s little extra detail about the games right now or how many new Pokemon there will be. However, it’s unlikely Nintendo will stray too far from the Pokemon formula that sees copies of the games fly off the shelves in their millions.With the 3DS now well established as Nintendo’s main handheld device, it makes sense to target it exclusively for Pokemon games going forward. Releasing in October should also boost sales of the device in the run up to Christmas, as well as helping Nintendo in what is sure to be a difficult market if the Xbox 720 launches as predicted.last_img read more

Good news Therell still be some rain today but were set for

first_imgAnd that sets the tone for the rest of the week with clear, summery weather persisting until the weekend.The west of the country will be warmest throughout the week, with temperatures to remain in the high teens through to Friday.Early indications for next weekend look even more positive, with even warmer temperatures and winds decreasing.Read: A number of city centre overdoses linked to gang’s toxic drug mixing in flats complexRead: Who would people in Ireland like to see in Number 10? It’s pretty close Dry in most areas but there will be patchy rain and drizzle in parts of the east this morning and scattered showers elsewhere. Highs 13-17C— Met Éireann (@MetEireann) May 1, 2017 Monday 1 May 2017, 7:29 AM File photo Good news: There’ll still be some rain today but we’re set for a warm, sunny week Temperatures are set to hit the high teens throughout the week. 8 Comments THE WEATHER OUTLOOK for this week is looking very good, with scattered showers today set to give way to warm, sunny weather for the rest of the week and into next weekend.Met Éireann forecasts temperatures between 13 and 17 degrees today, with rain affecting mainly parts of the east of the country.Tonight, however, will be dry with mist and fog in some areas.Tomorrow is when the weather really starts to pick up with dry, sunny weather predicted throughout the country. Temperatures could hit the high teens on Tuesday, as high as 19, with coastal areas a little colder due to easterly breezes. Source: Met Éireann/Twitter 35,687 Views center_img Short URL File photo Share Tweet Email1 By Sean Murray May 1st 2017, 7:29 AM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Taoiseach accused of window dressing exercise as HSE spending plan announced

first_img Sep 2nd 2019, 2:39 PM Monday 2 Sep 2019, 2:39 PM Construction of the new National Children’s Hospital in Dublin Image: Sam Boal Taoiseach accused of ‘window dressing exercise’ as HSE spending plan announced Leo Varadkar insisted some politicians had been “scaremongering” over the children’s hospital overspend. By Daragh Brophy Asked whether a hard Brexit or global downturn could impede the plans being discussed at today’s event Varadkar said: It is the case that developments in the wider economy like, for example, a hard Brexit or a slowdown internationally can impact on the public finances but we are actually in a very good position in terms of our public finances. Kelly, the Labour Party’s health spokesperson, said that many of the projects listed in the plan announced today were already known about “or are underway”.He pointed out that the 2019 plan was being published eight months into the year, and added, in reference to the children’s hospital overrun: “In media interviews today, the Minister for Health has said it is not true to say that projects are being delayed, it’s because many projects now won’t happen at all.”He added: “The delay in this plan being published shows the Children’s Hospital overspend is coming home to roost.”In his speech at the event, Harris said that no-one in the country would regret building the children’s hospital.Whoever is health minister when it’s completed, politicians “will be tripping over themselves” to go to the  launch, Harris said. This morning’s announcement comes against a backdrop of continuing negative headlines on developments in the health service, including a report this morning that overcrowding for August was, according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, the worst ever recorded in that month in Ireland. Hospital waiting lists for outpatient appointments also reached a new high during the summer, with more than half a million people awaiting an appointment at the end of July. The Taoiseach also answered questions about Brexit and tomorrow’s visit to Dublin of Mike Pence, where Brexit will also be high on the agenda. Construction of the new National Children’s Hospital in Dublin Image: Sam Boalcenter_img 19 Comments Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article FORMER MINISTER ALAN Kelly accused the government of carrying out an exercise in “window dressing” today as the Taoiseach and various ministers launched the latest HSE spending plan.250 projects are being funded as part of the new capital plan for the health service, the government said this morning – including funding for 30 new primary care centres and two new emergency departments. Leo Varadkar launched the plan at an event at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoghaire, accompanied by Minister for Health Simon Harris, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe and a number of junior ministers.Ministers sought to play down the National Children’s Hospital controversy as they outlined the planned investments, with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar insisting that some politicians had been “scaremongering” about the project’s cost overrun.Varadkar said “totally fake” claims had been made on how other projects would be affected by the overspend.A figure of €983 million for the new hospital at the St James’s site in Dublin was approved by government in 2017, but the Public Accounts Committee heard earlier this year that the cost could rise to over €2 billion. A PWC report on the controversy, published in April, put the likely final cost at €1.7 billion.“Projects do get delayed from time to time but not because of the National Children’s Hospital, they get delayed for lots of different reasons,” Varadkar said the press briefing today. “I think this is a useful figure for people to understand: The National Children’s Hospital is a very expensive project and it is costing more than we thought it would but it still only accounts for 0.4% of total government spending this year and less than 1.5% of the health budget.  We still have lots of money for other projects all over the country, 250 of them being set out in this programme today.  11,751 Views Short URL Share19 Tweet Email last_img read more

Invasive species may have stowed on Homer drillrig from Singapore

first_imgThe Randolph Yost, a drill-rig came to Homer from Singapore. A Homer environmental group is worried the Yost, now docked in the Homer port, could have brought invasive species into Alaska waters. The group is criticizing the Department of Fish and Game for not checking the rig before it docked in Kachemak Bay.Download AudioRandolph Yost (Photo by Quinton Chandler, KBBI – Homer)Invasive species are foreign animals, plants or fungus that move into new territory and damage or use up the resources the native species need.That’s what Bob Shavelson, Executive Director of Cook Inletkeeper, is afraid the Randolph Yost jackup rig, contracted by Furie Operating Alaska, could have brought into Kachemak Bay.“The Smithsonian Institute came in about a dozen years ago and they found over a dozen invasive species in and around the Homer Harbor. We know it’s a problem and this is exactly how the problem occurs. You bring in animals from foreign ports and they’ve got a variety of animals attached to them,” said Shavelson.Shavelson doesn’t know if any invasive species came with the Yost, because he said, the Department of Fish and Game didn’t inspect the rig before or during its first few days in Kachemak Bay.“We operate under Ronald Regan’s notion of trust but verify and if you’re going to be bringing this rig through our critical habitat area and our important fisheries then somebody should be taking a look at it,” said Shavelson.Tammy Davis is the Invasive Species Coordinator for the Department of Fish and Game. She said there’s a wide range of creatures that could have attached themselves to the Yost while it was docked in Singapore.“…especially for infrastructure that’s in the water for a length of time. Pretty much immediately a bio-film establishes on whatever is in the water and from that invertebrates start to build on,” said Davis.But, Davis said Fish and Game is not required by law to check incoming vessels for invasives. She says it’s unlikely any species could have survived a transition from Singapore to Alaska’s much colder waters.She said last year Jim Webb, Furie Operating Alaska’s Senior Vice President, sent her samples of wildlife pulled off the Yost’s legs. Davis says she sent photos of those samples to a top invasive species scientist.“Jim Carlton is sort of the preeminent invasive species taxonomist in the U.S,” said Davis. “And he felt very confident they were all tropical species and wouldn’t probably survive Alaska waters but especially if they were stressed by a period of dry docking.”She said Furie claims they lifted the Yost above the water and let it sit in dry dock for even longer than the recommended 30-days.And on top of that, she says the rig was also out of the water when it was towed to Alaska. Davis says Bruce Webb has offered to provide a record of the days the Yost was in dry dock and he has also offered to have a third party inspect the rig.Kris Holderied is the Director of the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s Kasitsna Bay Laboratory.She said Furie did a good job minimizing the chance of bringing organisms from Singapore. She agrees, if any did slip through they probably couldn’t survive in Alaska; but there’s no way to be sure unless you know the species, and the degrees of cold they can take.“So even if they can live if they can’t reproduce they’re not going to be around that long to cause that much damage,” said Holderied. “And then two: even if they can reproduce, how we define invasive species is that they can basically take over a niche of an existing species.”Holderied said how well exotic species compete with native species in Kachemak Bay will determine how invasive they might be.“You could imagine that species that are sort of warm water species…there’s going to be a temperature at which they can no longer spawn, they can no longer reproduce. Then there’s going to be a lower temperature at which they couldn’t grow so well and then an even lower temperature at which they can’t survive,” said Holderied.According to the website the average sea temperature off the coast of Singapore is 84 degrees Fahrenheit.Holderied said the Kachemak Bay Research Reserve usually records average water temperature in Kachemak Bay between 53 and 55 degrees. In the last couple of years she says, those temperatures have warmed to a range between 57 and 60 degrees.Bob Shavelson said Kachemak Bay is already hurting from climate change related events and an introduction of invasive species would only make matters worse.last_img read more

As administration pursues ANWR drilling Trump official accuses federal employees of creating

first_imgBiologists participating in a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service research trip in the Canning River area. (Photo by Lisa Hupp/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)Late last year, Congress ordered the federal government to hold oil lease sales in a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Defying opponents who say the land is too ecologically fragile to drill, the Trump administration has prioritized carrying out the new law.Listen nowNow, without offering many details, a top Trump administration official is accusing federal employees of making that job more difficult, saying they seem unhappy about the prospect of oil development happening on land they’ve managed as a refuge for decades.Joe Balash is Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management at the U.S. Department of Interior and a former natural resources commissioner for Alaska. He’s one of the top political appointees at the Interior Department, and he’s overseeing the process to begin oil development in the Arctic National Wildlife refuge.In an interview last month, Balash described what he called a “really difficult management challenge” with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employees. He said during a recent meeting with the agency in Alaska, he felt employees weren’t eager to carry out the new law.“You could just tell from all of the nonverbal communication going on in the room that they were not happy to see us, they were not happy to talk about this, they still weren’t necessarily prepared to accept this new reality,” Balash said.Balash is the head of some divisions within the Interior Department, including the Bureau of Land Management, but the Fish and Wildlife Service doesn’t report to him. He accused Fish and Wildlife employees of causing challenges for his agency as it works to pursue oil development in ANWR, creating “some little hiccups and road bumps along the way.”Balash gave just one specific example: this spring, the Washington Post obtained plans to begin the search for oil in the refuge that were submitted to the Fish and Wildlife Service. Balash thinks those documents were leaked from a Fish and Wildlife Service employee.“I think that’s evidence that there’s some unhappy campers,” Balash said.Balash didn’t cite any direct evidence to prove the documents came from the Fish and Wildlife Service. And in the story, it’s not clear exactly where they came from — a Washington Post reporter who worked on the piece declined to say.Still, Balash said he’s asking management at the Fish and Wildlife Service to address what he views as a problem in the agency, “taking steps, every so often, to help remind people that there’s a real need to be professional and not allow those very human feelings to get in the way of doing the job the American Congress has charged us with.”“I think with each successive month and with each effort that we make, [we will be] able to show these employees that we are taking care to look out for the things that matter here and that are potentially affected if leasing occurs,” Balash said, adding, “I wouldn’t say that we’re ever going to get them on board.”Balash did not threaten retribution over this issue. He said Interior needs the knowledge of longtime Fish and Wildlife Service employees to carry out the oil leasing program.A spokesperson with the Alaska office of the Fish and Wildlife Service office declined to comment on Balash’s remarks.But Rosa Meehan, a former longtime Fish and Wildlife Service manager in Alaska, said she’s confident workers at the agency are acting appropriately.“I absolutely believe in the integrity and professionalism of the Fish and Wildlife Service and all my colleagues in the Service,” Meehan said.Meehan said she’s concerned about Balash’s words about employees not being “on board” with oil lease sales in the refuge. The federal environmental review process is meant to be an objective, scientific discussion of all potential impacts, she added.She said that includes impacts that could be viewed as negative, and it’s the Fish and Wildlife Service’s job to point out them out, no matter what.“It makes it sound as if you don’t really want to that hear anything that could be interpreted as opposing or saying this is really a bad idea – or pointing out significant impacts, or potential impacts,” Meehan said. “And that’s what’s really uncomfortable about this.”Interior aims to put out a draft environmental review on oil leasing in ANWR in the coming months. Like all environmental reviews, it will present a “no action alternative” — the option to do nothing. But it’s not a real option.No matter what that analysis says, Congress ordered Interior to hold the first oil lease sale in the refuge by the end of 2021, and the Trump administration wants to get it done even sooner than that.last_img read more

BCL men rough up college principal

first_imgA group of unruly students identifying themselves as members of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) allegedly beat up the principal of Alokdia Amaresh Basu College in Sadar upazila on Sunday.The attakers also ransacked the office of the principal demanding a large sum of money.On information, the police rushed to the spot and “brought the situation under control”, said additional police superintendent of Magura Tariqul Islam.When contacted, Mostafa Faruq, principal of the college, alleged that some students identifying themselves as BCL men had been threatening him for the past few days demanding a good amount of money.”They launched the pre-planed attack as I did not meet their demand”, he said.Meanwhile, some students of the college said that the managing committee of the college along with its principal took Tk 70,00,000 from seven candidates over fresh teachers appointment in 2014 while no one is appointed till now.The authorities also did not return their money yet, the students also alleged.”There is a dispute between two groups over internal matters of the college,” said the police official Tariqul Islam. He, however, did not clarify about the disputed matter.last_img read more

Premium Customer Service Value cement 1 position

first_imgSource = Travelscene Corporate Luck had nothing to do with Surry Hills’ based corporate travel agency Spencer Travel being voted Australia’s Best Corporate Travel Agency at the National Travel Industry Awards (NTIA) 2012 for the thirdtime in a row. Since starting the highly successful business in 1988, Penny Spencer has focussed on delivering service excellence, innovation and dedication to corporate and leisure clients. “Thoroughness with a smile and total professionalism are the hallmarks of Spencer Travel along with being available when our clients needs us, regardless of when that might be,” Ms Spencer said. “Our commitment to our clients and to ourselves is to go above and beyond.” “Being voted Australia’s Best Corporate Travel Agency for the third year running is proof positive that we’re doing exactly that. I’m incredibly proud of the service and support we provide to our business and leisure clients and we work hard to ensure we surpass their expectations in everything we do.” As a proud Member of Travelscene Corporate, Australia’s largest group of premium independent travel management companies, we are able to support our corporate clients with market leading technology and support plus all the benefits that flow from being part of Australia’s leading network of independent travel agents. Ms Spencer said the Best Corporate Travel Agency title capped a year of strong achievements. “This year has been all about working with our clients to achieve their objectives,” Ms Spencer said. “The businesses we deal with are looking to be moreeffective, organised and productive and our focus is to help our clients do just that with their travel spend. Businesses are not only assessing howthey travel, but also whatthey are spending on travel.” “As an independently-owned Member Agency of Travelscene Corporate, we’re ideally placed to offer the services, solutions and technology to companiesto achieve the optimum travel solution with the support of premium customer service.” “Plus, through our Membership of Travelscene, and the strong relationships we enjoy with key industry players, when and if there’s a major disruption such as a natural disaster or strike we’re able to take advantage of those relationships to minimise the impact on our clients.” last_img read more

Qantas Airways refuses to pass on savings from carbon tax repeal

first_imgQantas Airways has publicly announced that they will abandon placing a carbon surcharge on its airfares, after the likely repeal of the carbon tax today.Qantas made clear that the move not lower airfares as the industry is very competitive and most airlines have been unable to recover the cost of the carbon tax, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. In 2012 Qantas originally announced domestic ticket prices would rise as a result of the carbon tax.“The surcharges are calculated based on estimated average fuel consumption, carbon emissions and passenger numbers for flight sectors in each zone,” spokesperson for the airline said.Qantas forecast its carbon tax liability would reach AUD $118 million in the 2013-14 financial year.Deutsche Bank analyst Cameron McDonald has said the recent increase in airfares has seen a decrease in domestic demand.“The demand-supply mismatch is very much evident, with passenger growth lagging the long-term average growth for over two years since December 2012,” Mr McDonald said.With airlines all moving toward more stable airfares, Qantas scrapping the carbon surcharge may help them fill more seats in the near future.Source = ETB News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more

Yatracom inks MoU with Madhya Pradesh to promote homestays in the region

first_imgOnline travel company, has signed a MoU with the Government of Madhya Pradesh in order to jointly promote homestays in the region. The MoU was signed by Jaimon Mathew, GM- Operations, Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation Ltd (MPSTDC) and Manish Bansal, GM- Homestays, in the presence of Additional Managing Director MP Tourism Tanvi Sundriyal.The partnership would allow Yatra to promote all the state tourism approved homestays, wherein travellers can rent a room in the home of a local family (host) or the entire house.With an intend to establish itself as the largest homestays curator, the portal is also set to sign two more MoU’s with the Governments of Odisha and Chhattisgarh.Speaking on the partnership, Sharat Dhall, COO (B2C),, said, “We are pleased to announce this partnership and aim to promote homestays in the state. We believe that this partnership will offer best-in-class stay experience for the tourists visiting the state. Strengthening our eco-system for homestays, we are aggressively working towards promoting homestays across the country which will also generate employment for the local population and help contribute to the economy of the nation.”As a part of this partnership, Yatra will list over 90 properties on its website and encourage the growth of homestays in Madhya Pradesh.last_img read more

LOS ANGELES Calif – Until Thursday Roman Polans

first_img LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Until Thursday, Roman Polanski had been a film academy member for over 40 years since pleading guilty to unlawful sex with a minor in 1977. In his 40 years as a fugitive the “Chinatown” and “Rosemary’s Baby” filmmaker had been nominated for three additional Oscars, one for “Tess” and two for “The Pianist.”He won an Academy Award for directing “The Pianist” in 2003 to thunderous applause. He continued attracting A-list talent for his films, A-list support for his freedom and had become a contradictory and uncomfortable symbol of an industry that seemed to pick and choose where to bestow its moral outrage.It’s an incongruity that became untenable when the film academy expelled Harvey Weinstein from its ranks in October, made statements about standards of decency among its members and adopted a revised code of conduct, which would allow the organization to suspend or expel members who violate that code or “compromise the integrity” of the academy.And almost seven months after Weinstein got the boot, the film industry’s most prestigious organization, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, closed the door on the 84-year-old Polanski too, announcing that it had revoked his nearly 50-year membership, along with Bill Cosby’s.Polanski’s attorney, Harlan Braun, said the director was “blindsided” by the decision.Fifteen years ago, the audience at the 2003 Oscars gave an absent Polanski a hearty standing ovation upon his win, Weinstein, Martin Scorsese and Meryl Streep among them. Nine years ago, when Polanski was arrested in Zurich and U.S. authorities attempted to extradite him, over 100 celebrities signed a petition for his release, including Woody Allen, Weinstein, Scorsese, Steven Soderberg, Darren Aronofsky, Natalie Portman, David Lynch, Penelope Cruz and Tilda Swinton.There were outliers, of course. Filmmaker Kevin Smith famously tweeted, “Look, I dig ‘Rosemary’s Baby,’ but rape’s rape. Do the crime, do the time.” And author Kate Harding made waves with a Salon column questioning the outpouring of support from celebrities and various members of the media to exonerate him.“Roman Polanski may be a great director, an old man, a husband, a father, a friend to many powerful people, and even the target of some questionable legal shenanigans. He may very well be no threat to society at this point. He may even be a good person on balance, whatever that means,” Harding wrote. “But none of that changes the basic, undisputed fact: Roman Polanski raped a child. And rushing past that point to focus on the reasons why we should forgive him, pity him, respect him, admire him, support him, whatever, is absolutely twisted.”In 2010, he made a film, “The Ghost Writer,” with Ewan McGregor and Pierce Brosnan, and in 2011, “Carnage” with Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster, Christoph Waltz and John C. Reilly, and more recently a few French productions, both of which screened at the Cannes Film Festival — one as recently as last year.With the rise of #MeToo and Time’s Up and the rush of many to distance themselves from accused men, from Weinstein to Allen, Polanski has remained somewhat of an outlier that the entertainment industry had seemingly not yet tried to reconcile publicly.Portman recently told BuzzFeed that she regretted signing the petition for Polanski.“We lived in a different world, and that doesn’t excuse anything. But you can have your eyes opened and completely change the way you want to live,” Portman said. “My eyes were not open.”But few others have weighed in. Winslet in December told the New York Times that she had an “extraordinary experience” working with both Allen and Polanski. And Thursday, celebrity twitter was quiet too.Why the film academy is just now, 41 years after Polanski’s guilty plea, seven months after Weinstein and five months after the code of conduct was implemented, addressing Polanski, is a question that has yet to be answered. That it came as a joint expulsion with Cosby, who was convicted last week of sexual assault in Pennsylvania, is perhaps telling, but also continues to raise questions about other members who have faced misconduct allegations in the past, like Mel Gibson, or in recent months like Kevin Spacey, Brett Ratner, John Lasseter and Paul Haggis.Braun accused the academy of violating its own rules to expel Polanski. He said he had heard rumblings an expulsion was being considered, but expected to be able to present arguments to the board before any decision was made. The attorney said he and Polanski’s agent will ask the academy to reconsider its decision, and give the director a hearing and his “due process.”The academy’s rules grant its board the ability to suspend or expel any member “for cause,” provided at least two-thirds of the 55-member board of governors approves the disciplinary action.Polanski has been back in his Polish homeland this week promoting his latest film, “Based on a True Story,” at a film festival in Krakow. But on Friday morning organizers said the director had left already and would not be available to comment.The organization that puts on the Oscars continues to wade into wholly unprecedented territory in this new moment in society. Before Weinstein, only one other member had been expelled for loaning out DVD screeners of films in contention for the Oscars. With Thursday’s announcement, however, the organization made a bold indication as to what the future might hold. Even a man who is widely considered one of the greatest living directors, a five-time Oscars nominee, one-time winner and one whose past so many in the organization turned a blind-eye to for so many years, is now no longer a protected class.___Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: Polanski’s film academy expulsion, 40-years in the making by Lindsey Bahr, The Associated Press Posted May 4, 2018 3:14 am PDT Last Updated May 4, 2018 at 6:40 am PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Emailcenter_img In this May 2, 2018 photo director Roman Polanski appears at an international film festival, where he promoted his latest film, “Based on a True Story,” in Krakow, Poland. Polanski was expelled this week from membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which organizers the Oscars, for unlawful sex with a minor 41 years ago. (AP Photo) last_img read more

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