Climate change skeptic takes reins of Brazil’s science ministry

first_imgThe appointment of a reputed climate change denier as the head of Brazil’s science ministry has some scientists worried about the country’s environmental future. Others are withholding judgment, at least until the new minister, Aldo Rebelo, appoints the team of scientists and policymakers who will work with him for the next 4 years.Rebelo, a hard-line communist, labeled climate change an “environmental scam” in a 2010 open letter to environmentalist Marcio Santilli, according to Bloomberg View. As a legislator in Brazil’s Congress, he called the movement to curb the emission of greenhouse gases “nothing less, in its geopolitical essence, than the bridgehead of imperialism,” The New York Times reported this week. “His positions on climate change are completely out of phase with the Brazilian scientific community,” says Paulo Artaxo, an atmospheric physicist at the University of São Paulo who studies climate change in the Amazon. “We are expecting serious problems in several areas, such as environment, biodiversity, climate change, and forest protection.”But like many minister appointments in Brazil, President Dilma Rousseff’s selection of Rebelo to lead the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI) was a political decision, not a scientific one, explains Helena Nader, the president of the Brazilian Society for the Advancement of Science (SBPC). “Rebelo is a representative of a party that strongly supported [Rousseff’s] reelection.” Rousseff narrowly won a second term this past October; Rebelo served as sports minister in Rousseff’s first administration. He was sworn into his new position at MCTI on 1 January.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Rebelo’s appointment comes at a critical moment for environmental policy in Brazil. In an address to the United Nation’s General Assembly this past September, Rousseff called climate change “one of the greatest challenges of our times” and pledged that Brazil would take a leadership role in future climate negotiations. By slowing deforestation in the Amazon, the country steadily curbed its own greenhouse gas emissions between 2004 and 2012. But in just the last year or so, emissions and deforestation both seem to be back on the rise, according to the Times.For many environmentalists, Rebelo’s new position at MCTI is even more worrisome because it comes in tandem with the appointment of Katia Abreu as Brazil’s new minister of agriculture. Abreu is in favor of development in the Amazon and has been dubbed the chainsaw queen by critics. She and Rebelo worked together on a 2012 revision of Brazil’s forest code, which an analysis in Science concluded was likely to increase deforestation. Taken together, the Rebelo and Abreu appointments “are deeply worrisome and seem at cross-purposes to Brazil’s leadership role on climate change and environment,” says Thomas Lovejoy, an ecologist at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, who has worked in the Amazon since the 1960s.Still, Nader says, “it is important to give Rebelo some time before” jumping to conclusions based on comments he made in the past. She says that several propositions from SBPC were ultimately incorporated into the revised forestry code, an experience that leaves her optimistic about working with Rebelo. “Our expectation is that regarding environmental issues, Dilma’s government is not going to backslide.”last_img read more

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UK Lowers Shutter Some More On Indian Workers

first_imgIndians and other non-EU citizens will have the same immigration rights as EU citizens in the UK, under a system that will give priority to highly skilled workers.However, the new system will introduce more restrictions on the ability of Indian workers and their families to come to the UK, chiefly, requiring the family also to be sponsored by the employer.Read it at The Hindu Related Itemslast_img

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Kiefer Ravena relieved to get monkey off his back with PBA comeback

first_imgBecoming his own man P11-B loan for SEA Games hosting not an issue — Cayetano View comments But aside from those stops, it was Ravena’s playmaking that actually greased NLEX’s counterattacks down the stretch—ones that kept their foes in the backseat just as the clock expired.“He’s only going to get better,” the young guard’s mentor Yeng Guiao said in a separate interview. “This is not his best.”Guiao said that Ravena’s knack for scoring makes him an automatic threat on the floor. This advantage opens up options in the form of his role players, who during that match turned out to be Paul Varilla and Philip Paniamogan among others.Both lesser-known Road Warriors delivered twin digit scores by game’s end.“That’s something we’ve been missing without Kiefer. We didn’t have that threat, that steadiness in the end-game,” Guiao said.ADVERTISEMENT Canadian vaping study details danger from ‘popcorn lung’ chemical Duterte calls himself, Go, Cayetano ‘the brightest stars’ in PH politics This jewelry designer is also an architect DTI creates Marahuyo, a luxe Filipino fashion brand for global buyers Matteo Guidicelli had saved up for Sarah G’s ring since 2014? Kiefer Ravena played his first game back in the PBA Saturday night. PBA IMAGESMANILA, Philippines–Shelved for 16 months, Kiefer Ravena picked up where he left off in his return to duty for the NLEX Road Warriors on Saturday night.“I got that monkey off my back in the PBA,” he told reporters when asked about his long layoff from the league.ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:00Games and Amusement chair: Kiefer Ravena should be allowed to play in PBA02:11Makabayan bloc defends protesting workers, tells Año to ‘shut up’03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games01:38‘Bato’ to be ‘most effective’ CHR head? It’s for public to decide – Gascon02:07Aquino to Filipinos: Stand up vs abuses before you suffer De Lima’s ordeal01:28Ex-President Noynoy Aquino admits contracting pneumonia00:45Aquino agrees with Drilon on SEA games ‘kaldero’ spending issue MOST READ PBA: Almazan steps up in clutch as Meralco rallies past Magnolia LATEST STORIES Ethel Booba on SEA Games cauldron: ‘Sulit kung corrupt ang panggatong’ Ravena, who was projected to finish as one of the top rookies last season, finished with 20 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists—finishing with most points among the Road Warriors’ local cast.Interestingly, though, Ravena’s first thoughts on the game gravitated on just how lucky they were able to dodge a bullet in their conference opener.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGreatest ever?SPORTSBecoming his own manSPORTSFormer PBA import Anthony Grundy passes away at 40“I’m just happy more than anything else,” he said. “We know how tough Phoenix is. We really had to [work doubly harder] during the end.”“We were lucky that Eugene (Phelps) had early trouble. We were able to pull away, and by the time he came back, we were already enjoying a cushion. Good thing we got stops that we needed at the perfect time,” he said. “A guard who can bring the ball down and make decisions. This time we have it,” he added.“We can be pretty solid in the end.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_img read more

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Novak Djokovic withdraws from Abu Dhabi exhibition, doubtful for Australian Open

first_imgNovak Djokovic has aggravated his right elbow injury and is doubtful to take part in first Grand Slam of the year in Australia starting on January 15.Djokovic was forced to pull out of the season-opening exhibition event in Abu Dhabi on Friday due to pain in his right elbow.”I am terribly disappointed that I am forced to withdraw from the Mubadala World Tennis Championship,” the Djokovic said in a statement.The 12-time Grand Slam winner was scheduled to kickstart the new season against Roberto Bautista Agut but was advised by his medical team to skip the tournament just hours before the match.Djokovic has not played since he was forced to retire against Tomas Berdych in the quarter-finals of Wimbledon in July due to an elbow injury.”Unfortunately, in the past few days I started to feel pain in the elbow and after several tests, my medical team has advised me not to risk anything, to withdraw from the tournament and to immediately continue with the therapies.”I am very sad because I was eager to return to playing official matches. Now I need to accept this situation, and to wait for the results of the therapies, in order to start playing tennis again and getting back to full rhythm,” the former world No.1 added.Organisers said that Britain’s Andy Murray had agreed to step in and play an exhibition match against Bautista Agut instead. Murray has been out of competitive action for six months due to an ongoing hip problem but was in Abu Dhabi as part of his rehabilitation.advertisement(With inputs from Reuters)ALSO WATCH:last_img read more

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Hardik Pandya would bat like this in any situation: Cheteshwar Pujara

first_imgHardik Pandya’s innings on Saturday drew a lot of praise from the cricketing fraternity for the way he batted and rescued India in the ongoing first Test against South Africa at Newlands, Cape Town.Pandya defied the odds to smash runs all over the park on a pitch where top Indian batsmen struggled to score runs. Pandya struck a 93 off just 95 balls on the second day an innings studded with 14 fours and a six.WATCH: HARDIK PANDYA’S WHIRLWIND KNOCKHis valiant effort helped India score 209 in reply to South Africa’s 286, who took a crucial 77-run first innings lead.”He batted really well and showed a lot of character. He hasn’t played many Test matches away from home but this is the kind of innings (he played) we expected it from him if he played in the playing XI.”I think if someone who is very promising, he is batting well, bowling well, it makes a lot of difference to the team because when you have a very good all-rounder, it balances your team combination. I hope he continues with this,” Cheteshwar Pujara said after the day’s play.Pandya came out all guns blazing and played his own game attacking the South Africa pace battery, which had ripped apart the Indian batting line-up and left the visitors reeling at 76/5.He was also involved in a crucial 99-run stand with Bhuvneshwar Kumar (25 off 86 balls) for the eighth wicket which helped the visitors cut down the first innings deficit.”Everyone believed he (Pandya) can play such an innings and he played his shots and the environment in the dressing room became quite positive. Those runs were very important for the team and they kept us in the game.advertisement”If he hadn’t scored those runs, we would have been in trouble. So I think he kept us in the game and got us two wickets also at the end of day’s play. So his performance was outstanding,” Pujara added.Pujara also said that Pandya was just playing his natural game and would bat like this in any situation.”It was a case of him playing his natural game. He is someone who likes to play his shots. That’s how he would bat in any situation. This was the ideal situation for him to express himself and the moment he tries playing his shots he has been successful.”We have seen that against Sri Lanka as well. When he started playing his shots he was a different player altogether. That’s how he should be playing and this is what makes him a different player from a top order batsman,” Pujara quipped.The 24-year-old was also the pick of the bowlers for India in the final session as he removed openers Dean Elgar (25) and Aiden Markram (34) in quick succession after top-scoring with the bat.South Africa ended the day’s play at 65 for 2 with a lead of 142 runs. Hashim Amla (4*) and Kagiso Rabada (2*) will resume the batting on Day 3.last_img read more

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Video: Jalen “Teez” Tabor Buys Local Homeless Man New Shoes

first_imghomeless man new with new sneakers.Periscope/_31FlavorzJalen Tabor, Florida’s All-SEC cornerback, is having a very interesting week. On Wednesday, the Gator defensive back was suspended for a practice fight with tight end C’yontai Lewis which reportedly involved swinging helmets. On Friday, he fulfilled a very cool promise to a local homeless man.Friday morning, Tabor tweeted that he saw the man, who had no shoes, and said he was going to buy him a pair.Seen a homeless man with no shoes on today , going to go buy him some shoes— Teez Tabor (@_31Flavorz) August 19, 2016Trying to make his day a little better— Teez Tabor (@_31Flavorz) August 19, 2016Gotta give back to those who are less fortunate than you— Teez Tabor (@_31Flavorz) August 20, 2016An hour later, he streamed the interaction on Periscope. He gave the man a pair of sharp blue sneakers, and $22 for food.LIVE on #Periscope https://t.co/eKdtYQ3qYz— Teez Tabor (@_31Flavorz) August 20, 2016Sometimes in life you do nothing wrong but God wants to see how you handle adversity— Teez Tabor (@_31Flavorz) August 20, 2016Jalen Tabor is one of Florida’s best players, and definitely among the Gators most interesting personalities. This offseason, he’s made numerous headlines for his very outward trolling of SEC East favorite Tennessee, which has not won a game against Florida since 2004. The Vols are an interesting target for Tabor, however, as he was one of two UF players suspended for their game last season.After the reported fight with Lewis, Tabor will also miss this season’s opener against UMass at home. The Minutemen shouldn’t really stand a chance at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, but a practice fight is a pretty common occurrence in football, and one that rarely warrants a full game suspension, so one can imagine how bad it must have been.Last season, Tabor started nine of Florida’s 13 games, racking up 40 tackles, four interceptions, and scored two touchdowns off of the picks.last_img read more

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Queens County Traffic Advisory

first_imgQUEENS COUNTY: Milton Bridge, Milton Milton Bridge on Bridge Street in Milton will be closed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for steel repairs until Wednesday, Jan. 27. The bridge will be open on Saturday, Jan. 23 and Sunday, Jan. 24. Detour route on Potanac Bridge, located approximately 1.2 km north of Milton Bridge. -30-last_img

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Dellen Millard wrote in a text he would hurt Laura Babcock court

first_imgTORONTO – One of two men accused of killing a young Toronto woman five years ago promised in a text message to “hurt her” and “make her leave,” court heard Wednesday.Jim Falconer, a recently retired detective sergeant from the Ontario Provincial Police’s technical crimes unit, testified in the trial of Dellen Millard and Mark Smich, who are charged with first-degree murder in the presumed death of Laura Babcock.It took Falconer and a team of forensic officers months to comb through troves of data retrieved from three computers seized by police at Millard’s home in 2013. The data included backup copies from three of Millard’s iPhones and Smich’s iPad, hundreds of photos, videos and text messages.Millard and his girlfriend, Christina Noudga, sent late night and early morning messages back and forth discussing Babcock at length a few months before Babcock vanished in the summer of 2012.In a series of messages Falconer read in court, the couple compared Babcock to the herpes virus, in that it never goes away.“For every turn of kindness you showed her, she took it and threw it in my face making me discouraged, f— she’s like a virus. Like herpes. She’s always there but only shows up once (in) a while with a whole lot of annoying lesions!” Noudga wrote to Millard on April 17, 2012.“There’s a difference, herpes you can’t really hurt or get rid of, it just feeds off you until you die. First I’m going to hurt her. Then I’ll make her leave,” Millard responded.Court has heard that Millard was sleeping with both Babcock and Noudga at the same time, leaving bad blood between the two women.Millard, who is representing himself, has said he didn’t care about the brewing animosity, but the Crown alleges he and Smich killed Babcock because she had become a problem for Millard.They contend Millard and Smich killed Babcock then burned her body in a large incinerator that was later found on Millard’s farm near Waterloo, Ont.Millard, 32, of Toronto, and Smich, 30, of Oakville, Ont., have pleaded not guilty to the charges.“I don’t know why, but when you say things like ‘from her dealings with you…I’m going to hurt her…make her leave…remove her from our lives’ I feel really loved and all warm on the inside,” Noudga wrote to Millard a few days later on April 19, 2012.Many in the packed courtroom gasped. Babcock’s mother, Linda, shook her head, then stared at Millard.“Nothing like sinister insinuation to make you feel all warm & fuzzy,” Millard wrote back to Noudga.A few months prior, Babcock, in the throes of mental health issues, professed her love for Millard in several text messages.In one text sent at 1:34 a.m. on Feb. 9 2012, Babcock wrote to Millard: “u already know but I really do love you. And u don’t need to respond.”“Love is a wonderful & terrible thing. I am thankful for your feelings. It would be better for you if you found someone else to love,” Millard wrote back.Falconer also went through a series of texts showing Millard had someone named “Shaner” build a homemade incinerator for him.On May 28, 2012, Shaner sent images of the incinerator to Millard. It looked like a homemade rocket with several green oil barrels stacked on top of each other.Millard sent the same image to Smich in a text.“Do u have any bones for tonight? Or we just putting it together,” Smich wrote to Millard.“I will have something,” Millard wrote back.“Maybe we should get me a dog. Or your neighbors dog,” Smich wrote.“Lol,” Millard texted back.Falconer, who the judge described as the trial’s “most substantial witness,” will continue his testimony Thursday.last_img read more

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Applause in Alberta courtroom as charges dropped against man in rural shooting

first_imgOKOTOKS, Alta. – A courtroom erupted in cheers and applause Friday as all charges were dropped against a man accused of firing shots at suspected thieves on his rural property in southern Alberta.The Crown withdrew charges that included aggravated assault and firearms offences against Edouard Maurice at a court appearance in Okotoks south of Calgary.“The Crown’s obligation is always to review on an ongoing basis the strength of the case. In this case, information came to light and as a result there’s not a reasonable chance of conviction at this time,” said Crown prosecutor Jim Sawa.“We’ve received information from a firearms expert and that information was compelling to say the least,” said Sawa, who wouldn’t reveal what the evidence was.“It had a direct impact on the decision today to withdraw the charges.”The cheers from dozens of Maurice supporters prompted a comment from provincial court Judge George Gaschler.“The applause, I’m sure, is for the fair administration of justice Mr. Sawa,” Gaschler said.Maurice, 33, was charged after he confronted two people rummaging through his vehicles in February. Shots was fired and one of the prowlers was slightly wounded.Maurice was cheered by 75 supporters outside the courthouse where he spoke for the first time since his arrest.“It’s a relief it’s over. It’s been quite a tough four months to go through this. It’s been a lot of stress, anxiety. With the support that’s come out, it’s really helped,” he said standing with his wife Jessie and his lawyer.“Without us having to go through this, the rural crime problem wouldn’t be at the forefront. It’s got a lot of attention and now the government and everyone else is stepping up and looking at ways to help us out.”In March, the province announced $10 million in funding to hire more RCMP officers and support specialized crime reduction units in rural communities.Defence lawyer Tonii Roulston said being able to defend property is important and often police are delayed in responding to rural calls.She noted that her client was alone with one of his children and had warned the two prowlers to leave before firing.“We’re certainly not advocating don’t call the police. However, at the same time, individual citizens in rural communities have to be able to defend their property and defend their family.“They can’t wait 20 minutes. In 20 minutes, anything can happen.”The alleged thieves are facing theft, trespassing and mischief charges.The case became one of property rights and the concerns of rural landowners who are victims of crime.“We .. hope this becomes an issue in the election that comes up next year. Obviously it’s an issue much bigger than us,” Jessie Maurice said.Maurice said he can now get on with his life.“I’ll probably take a holiday and spend time with the family,” he said.— Follow @BillGraveland on Twitterlast_img read more

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Rookie party leader chided for wearing jeans in Manitoba question period

first_imgWINNIPEG – A Manitoba politician changed his pants after being chided for wearing jeans in the legislature chamber.Dougald Lamont, the Liberal leader who was first elected in July, found himself in the spotlight when NDP house leader Nahanni Fontaine stood up at the end of question period and complained that Lamont was wearing jeans.Fontaine said the informal trouser attire violated the dress code in the chamber, and she asked legislature Speaker Myrna Driedger to correct Lamont.Driedger said the dress code only specifies “contemporary business attire” and does not specifically forbid jeans.But she said it has been a long-standing practice by previous legislature speakers to not allow them.After question period, Lamont went to his office for a meeting and later came back to talk to reporters with new pants on.“This is not even worth talking about,” Lamont said Thursday, before being prompted for more comment.“I’ve been wearing (jeans) for a while … and I thought it might be considered contemporary business attire.”last_img read more

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Kenney says navys needs guided 700M Quebec ship deal not electoral math

first_imgOTTAWA — Former defence minister Jason Kenney is rejecting suggestions he pushed the Harper government to negotiate a $700-million deal with a Quebec shipyard because of electoral considerations.The contract was to refit a commercial vessel into a navy supply ship. The current Alberta opposition leader says his only thought as the Conservatives were weighing the sole-sourced deal with Davie Shipbuilding in 2015 was the navy’s urgent need — a point that he says he emphasized to his fellow Tory ministers.“I was always clear with my colleagues in government that the only consideration should be meeting the navy’s urgent operational requirements as quickly as possible,” Kenney said in a statement Friday, “and that regional political considerations should not be a factor in the decision.”The comments are in response to a Canadian Press article this week that cited an RCMP interview with a federal civil servant who attended secret cabinet meetings about the controversial project under both the Harper and Trudeau governments.A partial transcript of the Mounties’ interview with Privy Council Office analyst Melissa Burke was filed in court by suspended Vice-Admiral Mark Norman’s lawyers and made public last week. Her comments have not been entered as formal exhibits or tested in court.Suspended as the military’s second-in-command in January 2017, Norman was charged this past March with one count of breach of trust for allegedly leaking cabinet secrets to Davie. He has denied any wrongdoing and vowed to fight the charge.Burke told the Mounties in January 2016 that both the Conservatives and Liberals were highly conscious of Davie’s location in Quebec — just across the St. Lawrence River from Quebec City — and worried about the impact not signing the deal would have on their respective political fortunes because of the money and jobs it involved.Burke said in her police interview that Kenney underscored the importance of the deal to both the navy — which did not have any support ships at the time — as well as the Tories’ electoral prospects during a cabinet meeting in April 2015.Kenney, however, said while he would not reveal cabinet secrets, “I can confirm that I did not say the words cited in Ms. Burke’s deposition.”The Conservatives decided in June 2015 to launch negotiations with Davie and changed federal procurement rules to allow a contract without a competition, but the deal was not finalized before the October 2015 election.After the Liberals won, a new cabinet committee decided to ask the company to extend the deadline for signing the contract by 60 days. Eleven days later, the Liberals approved the deal, which Burke said came after Davie threatened to close its Quebec shipyard.Davie’s converted supply ship, the MV Asterix, was delivered earlier this year and is operating with the navy in the Pacific.Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Manitoba premier mulls expanded cannabis ban to include sprays and more

first_imgWINNIPEG — “I’ve never seen this before.”Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister, sitting in his legislature office for a year-end interview, is looking at a 15-ml container of cannabis spray. It’s one of the ways through which recreational cannabis can be consumed since legalization in October.It is discreet, quick, smokeless and — perhaps surprisingly under Manitoba law — legal to consume in most public places.“My lunch could be really good,” Pallister jokes before handing it back to the reporter who brought it to him.The premier has said on more than one occasion he’s more of a beer man.Pallister’s Progressive Conservative government is not alone in having to adjust to the complex realities of legalized recreational cannabis.Across the country, governments have had to set down rules on where pot can be smoked, vaped, dripped, sprayed, eaten and sold. Police forces scrambled to get equipment to test motorists for the drug.Pallister considers the Manitoba model for retail outlets a success. The province charges a wholesale markup and regulates distribution and sales, while the private sector operates the stores. And while every province has experienced supply shortages, retailers in Manitoba have not faced the same scarcity as those in Quebec, Ontario and other jurisdictions.More than a dozen stores opened in Manitoba in the weeks following legalization. They are run by four companies that had been selected earlier.Pallister expects more retailers to be approved in the new year with the aim of eating into the long-established black market.“We’ve got to get the black market out of this stuff, or (else) why are we doing it?”One area where Manitoba has been caught off guard is in public consumption. Many other provinces have banned using cannabis in any form in most public areas, but Manitoba’s law was written specific to smoking or vaping (except in vehicles, boats and schools, where all consumption is prohibited).As a result, it’s open season for cannabis oil, sprays, gels and capsules.“I thought oils were with edibles and not available until next year (under federal law),” Pallister said.The federal government delayed legalizing sales of edibles until sometime in 2019, although people are already allowed to make their own with legally purchased cannabis. Manitoba Justice Minister Cliff Cullen has said the province is considering expanding the ban on public consumption to cover all forms of cannabis. Pallister said a decision has not yet been made.“We’ll have to inquire and find out.”Steve Lambert, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Exclusive NBA Star Mario Chalmers Talks Charity

first_imgTwo-time NBA Champion Mario Chalmers (Miami Heat) recently partnered with BidSpot Cares, a crowdfunding platform that raises money for charities using online games and social media.Mario Chalmers Gives BackLook to the Stars caught up with Chalmers to chat about his MC15 Miracle Shot Basketball Camp; the Mario Chalmers Foundation and what sparked his interest in charity.Last night you hosted your Foundation’s fundraising event? How was it?Yeah, we had a mixer last night with a silent and live auction with all proceeds going to my foundation and the Ronald McDonald House. It was really good, but my favorite thing is hosting my basketball camp, seeing the smiles on kids faces, being there playing one-on-one with them, parents smiling and everyone leaving with something positive from the camp.You seem to be involved in a lot of charitable work? UNICEF, kids causes, breast cancer for exampleThe story on that is a close friend of mine – his mother died in 2006 of breast cancer, so since then I wanted to find out more about it, how we can help and just make breast cancer sufferers lives a little bit easier. And with the children’s initiatives, just keeping kids off the streets is what’s important.What’s the hardest thing you’ve had to overcome?The hardest thing for me – growing up in Alaska – was people saying I wouldn’t make it. We don’t have a lot of celebrities coming out of Alaska, so for me to make it and follow in the footsteps of people like Carlos Boozer, Scott Gomez, Curt Shilling – people like that who came from Alaska, made a name for themselves and gave back to the community -to have my name mentioned with those people is a great accomplishment.Is there anything you’d like to ask you fans to do to support you?Follow me on Twitter, follow my foundation page and find out about upcoming events to participate in.Finally, if you had a theme song, what would it be?I gotta go with Super Mario.BidSpot Cares founder Cheryl Womack explained how this unique platform works and how it can enhance a charities fundraising ability.For example, an initial ten-dollar donation gives donors VIP access to bid on or purchase amazing experiences or items from their favorite athlete or celebrity. The bids are also donations and go towards a ‘bigger story’.“The plan is, hopefully, to create a bigger awareness for celebrity and athlete charities who do a good job at getting social awareness out there but not so much the story of their charity.” Womack told us. “If you go to the Facebook page for BidSpot Cares, you’ll read the stories about the actual money that was spent from this charity, you’ll get to read about the boys that we found via social outreach that were able to attend Chalmers camp, and although he has a lot of other things he’s doing, we want him to do something specific with some of that money other than just through his regular foundation so we’ve got a story to tell.”Look to the Stars thanks both Mario Chalmers and Cheryl Womack for taking time out to chat with us.Copyright ©2013Look to the Starslast_img read more

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HRCSL wants funds allocated for disability accessibility

The Commission notes that the lack of access to public buildings can adversely impact a person’s life and education and livelihood opportunities, as in a complaint made to the Commission by an undergraduate who was unable to continue studying at the Institute of Indigenous Medicine, University of Colombo, due to the buildings not being disability accessible.While Article 14 (i) (h) of the Constitution of Sri Lanka guarantees freedom of movement, Article 12 (4) of the Constitution makes provision for special measures to be taken for the advancement of persons with disabilities.Also, Sri Lanka as a State Party to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has undertaken international legal obligations to enable persons with disabilities to access, inter alia, facilities and services open or provided to the public, both in urban and in rural areas. However, she noted that since even twelve years following the issuance of the Regulation the majority of public buildings and public transport in Sri Lanka are not yet disability accessible. The decision of the Supreme Court in Dr. Ajith C.S. Perera v. Attorney General and Others, S.C. (FR) NO. 22112009 re-affirmed this right and stated that new public buildings or public places should be designed and constructed in accordance with the design requirements specified in the regulations in force thereby giving access to disabledpersons. “We kindly request you to take necessary steps to ensure the allocation of sufficient funds in the upcoming budget pr the financial year 201912020, to renovate and make required structural changes to existing public buildings and transport to provide access facilities to persons with disabilities,” she said.The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka noted that during the past three years the Commission has engaged in numerous activities to ensure persons with disabilities have access to public buildings and transport, such as conducting training programmes with the\ collaboration of the Human Rights Commission of Australia and conducting audits of public buildings to assess disability accessibility. The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka has written to the Ministry of Finance urging the Government to ensure the upcoming budget allocates funds for disability accessibility.The Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, Dr. Deepika Udagama, said in the letter that Accessibility Regulation No. 0l of 2006 requires that within a period of three years from the coming into operation of the regulations, all existing public buildings, public places and places where common services are available should be made accessible to persons with disabilities. read more

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Myanmar UN experts alarmed at draft bill imposing restrictions on religious conversion

The experts – on freedom of religion, minority issues and human rights in Myanmar – warned that the draft bill, made public on 27 May inviting comments from monks and the public, sets out a cumbersome application and approval process for conversion while purporting to make it easier for individuals to freely convert. It also provides for disproportionate criminal sanctions on offenders, according to a news release issued by the three experts. In addition, some provisions are “vague and subject to interpretation that may lead to discrimination against religious and ethnic minorities or the poor.” The experts noted that seeking comments from the public on draft legislation is commendable in promoting political participation of the people. “But in this instance,” they added, “this process appears partial to the interest of one particular group and simply propagates the spread of incitement of racial and religious hatred, which the Government must do more to address.” The Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Heiner Bielefeldt, noted that State interferences into the right to change one’s religion or belief are “illegitimate and incompatible with international human rights standards.” “Freedom of religion or belief is a human right, irrespective of State approval, and respect for freedom of religion or belief does not depend on administrative registration procedures,” he stressed. “I am very disturbed by the attempt to regulate religious conversion.” Rita Izsák, the Special Rapporteur on minority issues, highlighted the potential for the bill to impact negatively on religious freedoms and the rights of religious and ethnic minorities. “I urge Myanmar to strengthen its protections in line with international standards not to create obstacles to the enjoyment of religious identity, minority rights, and the right of every individual to freely choose or to change their faith,” she said. The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, noted some “worrying backtracking” on Myanmar’s progress towards a more democratic nation in the last six months, including through the arbitrary arrest and the prosecution of activists and journalists deemed anti-establishment.Ms. Lee warned the draft bill – one of four composing a legislative package on the protection of race and religion – “signals the risk of Myanmar going off-track on its path to being a responsible member of the international community that respects and protects human rights.”Independent experts or special rapporteurs are appointed by the UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a country situation or a specific human rights theme. The positions are honorary and the experts are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work. read more

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Carnage must stop in northwest Syria demands Lowcock as attacks intensify

Last September, in an effort to stave off a humanitarian disaster in and around Idlib, a deconfliction zone was established through a Memorandum of Understanding between Russia and Turkey, which separated pro-Government forces and militant opposition fighters. But in the last three months, fighting has intensified again as extremists have become the dominant force within the rebel coalition, and the Government appears determined to recapture all territory lost during more than eight years of brutal conflict.Since 1 July, at least six health facilities, five schools, three water stations, two bakeries, and one ambulance have been damaged or destroyed”, said Mr. Lowcock in a statement, after briefing the Security Council behind closed doors. Entire villages have been destroyed and emptied. On 16 July we received reports of an attack on the main market street of Ma’ar Shureen village leaving 12 people dead, including a child, and 20 more injured. The carnage must stop”, he said.He noted with particular concern, an attack on 10 July on Ma’arat National Hospital, which was carried out despite its coordinates and location being well known.“Referrals from throughout the region stream into the hospital, and it manages as many as 20,000 cases a month. There were reportedly 250 people in the hospital when the attack took place, including many requiring emergency care. The hospital has now resumed functioning. I call again for it to be protected”, he said.The relief chief condemned “the unjustified and unwarranted brutality that civilians are being forced to endure in Idleb”, noting that OCHA had significantly scaled up humanitarian cross-border operations “to ease the suffering and meet the needs of the population, particularly for the over 330,000 people who have fled to the northern part of Idleb during the current fighting.”However, he warned that delivering humanitarian assistance in areas where military operations were ongoing “is difficult, and sometimes impossible”.Mr. Lowcock called on all involved in the fighting to: * End the killing of civilians and destruction of civilian infrastructure.* Respect, and investigate breaches of, international humanitarian law. * And finally, ensure access to areas currently inaccessible to humanitarian assistance. “People around the world have watched in horror as war planes and artillery shelling kill and injure civilians and destroy civilian infrastructure. In the last 80 days we have seen more than 350 civilians killed, many more injured, and 330,000 people displaced”, said Mark Lowcock, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator and head of OCHA.For 80 days people around the 🌎 have watched in horror as war planes & artillery shelling kill and injure civilians & destroy civilian infrastructure. 350 civilians killedmany more injured330,000 people displacedThis carnage must stop. It must.https://t.co/ny8DN07mu1— Mark Lowcock (@UNReliefChief) July 18, 2019 read more

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Charity wharf needs immediate attention – RDC residents

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedConstruction of Gas Station results in damage to Charity River Defense Dam; Residents fearful of floodingJune 13, 2014In “Crime”Labourer feared dead after falling into Pomeroon RiverMarch 19, 2014In “Crime”Residents of St Monica/Karawab get new water ambulanceJune 3, 2016In “latest news” Rotted pillars which no longer provide support to the wharf…fearful of collapseBusiness owners and residents utilising the Charity Marketing Centre Wharf in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) are again appealing to the Government to take action to prevent the structure from further deterioration.They say that if mechanisms are not urgently put in place to save the 38-year-old facility, the entire structure would soon collapse into the Pomeroon River, taking with it millions of dollars in goods and other valuables, not to mention priceless lives.The waterfront is an important hub for many to ply their trade throughout the week, while thousands of customers utilise the services that are being offered. Businesses housed inside the Charity Marketing Centre serve residents in the far north corners of Guyana, and if this building should collapse due to negligence, great financial losses would be incurred as well as deprivation of much needed services.Concerned residents are urging the Public Infrastructure Ministry (MPI) to immediately attend to this structure before it should collapse with detrimental consequences.During the last Regional Democratic Council (RDC) meeting, Region Two Chairman, Davanand Ramdatt, asked Regional Executive Officer (REO) and clerk hired by the RDC, Rupert Hopkinson, to again write Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson on the importance of Government’s intervention.Emergency works are needed to fix the piles on which the massive concrete structure rests.About a year ago, a study was done by local engineers, who recommended immediate replacement of all the piles upon which the structure rests. An examination of the underside of the structure reveals that all the piles are seriously rotted and only a few are providing support to the building.It has been posited that Region Two is not in a position to finance the urgent repairs this structure needs, and the Region Two Administration is calling on Central Government to fix the structure as soon as possible.During a visit to the wharf earlier this year, Regional Chairman Ramdatt told this publication that the region had, last August, communicated with the MPI about the structure and the urgency for remedial work to be conducted thereon.At the moment, the green heart pillars supporting the wharf are rotten and shaking; and despite repeatedly being cautioned, over 30 folks continued to vend on the wharf.“We have gotten reports that heavy-duty trucks are driving on top the structure. The structure, as it is, cannot withstand weight, and it can very well collapse. We have been educating persons about this, but still reports indicate persons are driving on it in the nights,” the Regional Chairman had explained.During interviews, many vendors declared that they depend on vending to support their families, and have called on the relevant authorities to take their plight into consideration.INews understands that the Charity/Urasara Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) placed bars in an effort to block vehicles from traversing the wharf, since the situation was too dangerous. read more

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€34m funding from Gorta gives new hope to disabled youth in India

first_imgA STATE OF THE ART rehabilitation centre for mentally and physically challenged children has been opened in southern India with the help of €3.4m funding from Irish not-for-profit charity Gorta.The multipurpose centre will offer services to young people living with a wide range disabilities, many of whom have been excluded from formal education and therapy due to the complicated nature of their conditions and enduring social stigma.A disproportionately high population of people with disabilitiesPoor health education and a lack of quality prenatal care in rural India have contributed to a notably high number of children born with significant – but preventable – disabilities. Added to this, insufficient government assistance to poverty-stricken groups leads to the educational, social and psychological needs of many children being neglected – exacerbating the severity of their conditions and leaving them unequipped for independent living.India’s high level of disability stems not only from poor healthcare but also a culture of intermarriage which leads to a high number of congenital disorders.Nowhere is the effect of the combination of poor education and policy failure more evident than among the country’s rural poor: widespread, extreme poverty means many families simply do not have the resources to give appropriate care to children with special needs, condemning them to a life without the possibility of proper education or dignified employment.Traditional drummers perform at the opening ceremony. Image: SCADIndividually-tailored approach to careThe SCAD-GORTA Medical and Disability Rehabilitation Centre is the first of its kind in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu; it offers an individually-tailored, holistic approach to therapy for young people living with a range of disabilities, including multiple disabilities. Services include speech therapy, play therapy, physiotherapy, hydrotherapy and occupational therapy, with the aim of helping young people learn to live with their challenges and reach their full potential.Mindful of the need for a multifaceted, community-wide approach to helping children with special needs, the centre also provides a teacher training programme to teach educators from mainstream schools about the best methods of nurturing the educational, social and emotional development of children with disabilities. A prosthetics manufacturing workshop is also situated on campus to cater quickly to children in need of physical aids.Prosthetics workshop. Image: SCAD40,000 people in need will be helped The centre, opened with significant funding from Irish aid NGO Gorta, will be run by local Indian development charity SCAD (Social Change and Development). Speaking at the inaugural opening of the centre in Ponnakudi, Tamil Nadu, on Wednesday SCAD founder Cleetus Babu thanked “Ireland and the Irish people for their help and generosity”, saying that approximately 40,000 people in need would benefit from the much-needed centre.Gorta has supported SCAD in Tamil Nadu state since 1989 on a range of community development initiatives.Joseph Haughton opens a wing of the SCAD-GORTA centre named in his honour. To his left are Helen Haughton, Deirdre Kingston (Gorta) and (V.K. Subburaji, Special Secretary and Financial Advisor, Govt of India); to his right are Sean Gaule (Chairman, Gorta) and Cleetus Babu (Chairman, SCAD). Image: SCADFormer Gorta Chairman honouredFormer Chairman of Gorta and retired Trinity professor Joseph Haughton travelled from Ireland to attend the ceremony at the age of 93, accompanied by his wife Helen. Haughton, who first set up the partnership between Gorta and SCAD in the 1980s, was honoured for his long-standing commitment to bringing help to disadvantaged people in the southern Indian state.An integral partner to this much-needed project, Haughton told the packed auditorium: “My wife and I are deeply privileged to be here today on this very happy occasion”.Emphasis on ease-of-useMore Irish-based assistance for the project came from Cork services company PM Group, which provided pro bono expert project management and engineering advice for the 11,353 sqm of buildings as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility Programme.PM Group CEO Pat McGrath spoke at the centre’s inaugural opening, praising the “tremendous partnership” that existed between Irish and Indian groups during construction – and underlining the emphasis on the need for young people with special needs to be treated with dignity and respect.Pat McGrath of PM Group speaks at the inaugural ceremony. Image: SCADUse of local construction materials and maintenance practisesThe centre was built with an emphasis on ease-of-use for challenged children, as well as the use of local construction materials and maintenance practises – one example of this is the lack of elevators in the complex, which are costly to run and repair in rural India, with ramp access instead used between all floors.The centre was also constructed with a focus on sustainability and on green power, using solar energy to power streetlights, according to McGrath. All food scraps and organic matter are placed in a biodigester unit which converts waste into natural gas that provides electricity to the complex; sewage waste is converted into water which, along with harvested rainwater, is used for the site’s grounds and sensory garden.The Haughton Block. Image: SCADA project that will help many children lead self-sufficient livesFollowing European standards, SCAD says the centre will provide care for approximately 260 children at anygiven time – with 80 in short-term residence, 100 in day care, and 80 in vocational training. Some 123 staff will be employed in therapy, training, manufacturing and catering roles.Speaking at the opening ceremony, Chairman of Gorta Sean Gaule thanked those at PM Group for dedicating several years to the project: “The easiest thing for PM Group to do would have been to donate some money, which of course would have been very welcome.  However, Pat and his colleagues gave us something even more valuable: their expertise”.Gaule said Gorta had worked in the region for 24 years and that he and his colleagues felt “extremely proud” to be partner in a project that will help so many children lead self-sufficient lives.Inaugural ceremony. Image: SCADRead: Women are fighting the vicious cycle of poverty in India with one simple ideaRead: Number of Indian students studying in Ireland set to doublelast_img read more

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