November 7


first_imgMid way through last year the ATA went through a Management Audit of it’s structure and Touch around Australia. The Shilbury Report was the outcome of this audit and has lead to some major changes taking place in the coming months. THE SHILBURY REPORT As part of the Management Audit and Restructure several committees have been formed to help all areas of the Touch organisations come together smoothly. One group, the Business Principles Group, has been in Canberra with representatives from all around Australia, including speakers from outside organisations such as Michael McLaughlin from McLaughlin Sports Consultancy, have been meeting together at the ATA office. The meeting has encompassed a wide variety of topics and issues, with ATA CEO Kevin Thompson kicking off the four-day meeting with discussion on where the ATA is heading. Day two saw the introduction of a Human Resources consultant to help implement the Unitary Model of Management and to asses the needs of the organisation. Another crucial part of day two was the presentations given by each member of the group analysing areas of other organisations, how they operate and cope with various management issues. Examples of the organizations the group members looked at include the Sydney Swans, Tennis Australia and Surf Life Saving WA amongst others. Day three saw Michael McLaughlin fly into Canberra to facilitate the Internal Analysis sessions. He encouraged discussion on the various organisations regarding several aspects of each including: * Communication * IT Infrastructure, Management and Policy * Operating Rules and Procedures * Customer Service Principles The goal of examining the organisations and their structures is to establish a framework or current practice that can easily be adopted by the ATA. The final day (tomorrow) will enable the Chair and key stakeholders in each of the Management Audit Committees to look at the impact of one committee on another. All delegates have commented that the discussion has not only raised issues that the ATA are facing with the management restructure but also how there have been many positive discussions on solutions and ideas to help deal with the issues that the ATA may face over the coming months.last_img read more

October 24

IDB Commends Jamaica on Climate Change Activities

first_img The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has commended Jamaica on its work to advance activities relating to its climate change agenda. Story Highlights However, she called for greater collaboration in information sharing amongst climate change stakeholders. The project is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), through its implementing partner, the IDB.center_img “Jamaica is in a position of leadership. You are way ahead of a lot of countries in this realm,” said Chief of Operations, IDB Jamaica, Adriana La Valley, who was speaking at a Capacity-building Initiative for Transparency (CBIT) workshop, held at the Terra Nova All-Suites Hotel, in St. Andrew, on Tuesday (January 29). The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has commended Jamaica on its work to advance activities relating to its climate change agenda.“Jamaica is in a position of leadership. You are way ahead of a lot of countries in this realm,” said Chief of Operations, IDB Jamaica, Adriana La Valley, who was speaking at a Capacity-building Initiative for Transparency (CBIT) workshop, held at the Terra Nova All-Suites Hotel, in St. Andrew, on Tuesday (January 29).However, she called for greater collaboration in information sharing amongst climate change stakeholders.“If we had all the data consolidated and communicated, we would be further ahead,” she said.In the meantime, Principal Director, Climate Change Division, Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, UnaMay Gordon, said the climate change agenda in Jamaica “is almost the most active across the Caribbean.”She noted, however, that the country still has work to do “in terms of the measurement and the verification and the reporting requirements, notwithstanding the reports that we have submitted (under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change).”Under the Paris Agreement, to which Jamaica became a party in May 2017, the country is obligated to meet the enhanced transparency requirements as set out in the agreement.Ms. Gordon informed that Jamaica was the first among countries in Latin America and the Caribbean and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to have submitted its biennial update report to the Secretariat.She also noted that the country’s third national communication was submitted to the Secretariat at the end of 2018.“These submissions indicate the strong level of country commitment to establish these long term relationships to ensure an accurate and reliable transparency framework (on climate change),” she said.The workshop was held as part of the country’s CBIT project which was created at the request of parties to the Paris Agreement, to help strengthen the institutional and technical capacities of countries to meet the enhanced transparency requirements defined in Article 13 of the agreement.Discussions focused on the three main components of Jamaica’s CBIT project – strengthening the transparency framework; improving Jamaica’s technical capacity to establish a robust domestic Measuring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) system; and improving knowledge-sharing and capacity-building for effective coordination among national agencies in the implementation of transparency-related activities.Chief of Operations, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Jamaica, Adriana La Valley (left), listens to a point being made by Principal Director, Climate Change Division, Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, UnaMay Gordon. Occasion was a Capacity-Building Initiative for Transparency (CBIT) workshop, held at the Terra Nova All-Suites Hotel, in St. Andrew, on Tuesday (January 29).last_img read more

October 17

Feds ramp up brainstorming on handgun crime following Toronto shooting

first_imgOTTAWA – Following the recent mass shooting in Toronto, the federal government is eyeing tighter restrictions on handguns — possibly by making certain firearms harder to buy and allowing municipalities to impose their own controls.A federal official with knowledge of the current brainstorming says ideas have been percolating for several months — building on firearms legislation introduced in March — and have evolved further after Sunday’s shooting in Canada’s largest city.Two people were killed in the tragedy that also injured 13, led to the gunman’s death and left a neighbourhood traumatized. Two days later, Toronto city council passed a motion calling on the federal government to outlaw the sale of handguns in the city.A federal bill introduced late last winter would expand the scope of background checks on those who want to acquire a gun, strengthen record-keeping requirements for sales and require purchasers to present a firearms licence.But the government is actively exploring additional measures.Firearms in Canada are classified as either non-restricted (such as ordinary hunting rifles and shotguns), restricted (including handguns and certain rifles and semi-automatics) or prohibited (certain handguns, fully automatic firearms and sawed-off rifles).Restricted and prohibited firearms must be registered and entail additional safety training.Officials are contemplating a rejigging of the categories that would effectively remove some firearms from the commercial market altogether.“Do you make it so that there are fewer firearms that would fall into these more restricted or prohibited categories available for purchase?” said the federal official, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the issue. “That’s one question.”Another idea being studied would see the federal government hand off some responsibilities under the Firearms Act to the provinces which could, in turn, permit municipalities to restrict purchases or even impose bans. But it is unclear to what extent the government could transfer these authorities.“These are questions that we’re asking,” the official said.Authorities are also mindful of the emergence of three-dimensional printers that can easily manufacture guns without any kind of licensing control — eliminating the need to walk into a firearms shop or hire a cross-border weapon smuggler.The advent of 3D guns could render traditional notions about gun control obsolete and potentially hasten any federal efforts to overhaul the classification system, the official said.The government’s firearms advisory committee is expected to provide advice to Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale in September on four key issues he has flagged, including the possibility of:— Stricter firearm storage rules for gun shops, after two dozen handguns were stolen by thieves who snipped a cable;— Limitations on commercial advertising of restricted firearms that glorifies violence and simulates warfare;— A mechanism to identify large and unusual transactions to buy or sell guns, particularly restricted or prohibited ones — purchases that may indicate gang activity or trafficking;— Requiring medical professionals to advise provincial authorities of people who have diagnosed conditions, including mental illnesses, that are likely to put the lives of other people in danger.Goodale has asked Quebec to share lessons learned from its law requiring reporting of suspicious behaviour related to firearms when federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for public safety meet in St. John’s, N.L., in November.Bill Blair, the new minister for border security and organized crime reduction, is also likely to attend the Newfoundland meeting, where firearms control will be a central issue.The work of the advisory committee and deliberations with counterparts from across the country will help Goodale decide on any new legislative steps, the federal official said.“The minister will want to take the advice from those colleagues and move at that point probably fairly quickly on whatever comes next.”— Follow @JimBronskill on Twitterlast_img read more

October 13

Closure of Canadian vinyl supplier RPM could raise prices affect titles say

first_imgTORONTO — One of Canada’s largest distributors of vinyl records has shut down with little notice — leaving some retailers scrambling to find alternate suppliers and raising questions about higher prices.RPM Distribution, based in Concord, Ont., notified its clients by email on Monday that it would be “closing all operations effective immediately.”The move instantly put a stop to vinyl shipments for many smaller music shops, including Revolution Records in Hamilton.Owner Scott Bell says he’s relied on RPM to supply about 70 per cent of his new inventory, most which came from major label Universal, home of Bruce Springsteen, Imagine Dragons and an extensive hip hop catalogue.Other retailers leaned on RPM for an even larger chunk of their supply, Bell says, and some are worried about the fallout, which could include higher prices or a shortage of new titles.“I’ve not stopped talking about it,” he said of many calls he’s received from his friends in the retail industry.“Nobody knows. Everybody’s wondering what everybody else is doing.”Bryan Munn of Royal Cat Records in Guelph, Ont., says he first realized something was amiss when his post-Christmas restock order didn’t show up last week.“I’m already finding it a little bit difficult to get some regularly stocked items,” Munn says.He suggests customers keep a close eye on vinyl prices in the coming weeks, as the lack of supply drive them higher at some stores.The resurgence of vinyl has seen its share of casualties in recent years, despite the steady upswing in sales.Two years ago Calgary-based player Canada Boy Vinyl, one of the country’s only pressing plants, closed down little more than year after it opened.Despite the industry hurdles, vinyl sales rose over 21 per cent last year according to Nielsen Music Canada, selling more than 975,000 units. David Friend, The Canadian Press Follow @dfriend on Twitter.last_img read more

October 11

On World Water Day UN calls for greater investment in providing clean

22 March 2011Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged governments to recognize that the water crisis facing many urban areas is the result of weak policies and poor management rather than scarcity, noting that the problem calls for increased investment in water and sanitation services. “Let us also pledge to reverse the alarming decline in pro-poor investment in water and sanitation,” Mr. Ban said in a message to mark World Water Day, whose theme this year is ‘Water for Cities’.“And let us reaffirm our commitment to ending the plight of the more than 800 million people who, in a world of plenty, still do not have the safe drinking water or sanitation they need for a life in dignity and good health,” he said.The Secretary-General pointed out that over the past decade, the number of urban dwellers who lack access to a water tap in their home or immediate vicinity has risen by an estimated 114 million, while the number of those who lack access to the most basic sanitation facilities has risen by 134 million. The 20 per cent increase has had a hugely detrimental impact on human health and on economic productivity, he said.“In many countries, girls are forced to drop out of school owing to a lack of sanitation facilities, and women are harassed or assaulted when carrying water or visiting a public toilet.“Moreover, the poorest and most vulnerable members of society often have little choice but to buy water from informal vendors at prices estimated to be 20 to 100 per cent higher than that of their richer neighbours, who receive piped city water in their homes. This is not just unsustainable; it is unacceptable,” the Secretary-General stressed.The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), meanwhile, highlighted the need for new and innovative approaches to ensuring safe and adequate water for city dwellers in developing countries.“Within the next 20 years, 60 per cent of the world’s population will live in cities, with most urban expansion taking place in the developing world. Ensuring access to nutritious, affordable food for the poorer of these city-dwellers is emerging as a real challenge,” said Alexander Mueller, FAO Assistant Director-General for Natural Resources.He called for non-conventional alternatives for ensuring clean water is available, pointing out that rainwater harvesting in cities holds great potential for urban agriculture, but the method is relatively untapped.One other key issue, according to FAO, is how to safely and sustainably scale up agriculture in urban and urban fringe areas and increase its contribution to meeting the needs of urban populations, while simultaneously coping with resource bottlenecks.Shortages of irrigation water inside and around cities, along with rising interest in urban farming, has highlighted the potential for water reuse in urban environments.“Right now, farmers and cities are competing for water. Cities are using water then putting it back out, polluting the environment. It would make so much more sense if more of the water used in the cities was then cleaned and reused in agriculture,” said Javier Mateo-Sagasta, a specialist with FAO’s Water Unit.Doing so would reduce water scarcity and free up more of the resource for food producers in urban and urban fringe areas, who would not only spend less on acquiring water, but also on buying fertilizers, since treated wastewater is rich in nutrients, he added.The UN independent experts on water and sanitation, extreme poverty and housing, for their part, emphasized that water and sanitation are human rights which must be guaranteed for all people without discrimination, calling for solutions to ensure that slum dwellers and residents of informal settlements have safe water and decent sanitation facilities.“With ever increasing numbers of people living in cities today, lack of access to safe and affordable water and sanitation in urban contexts is a pressing concern,” Catarina de Albuquerque, the independent expert on water and sanitation, Magdalena Sepúlveda, the independent expert on extreme poverty, and Raquel Rolnik, the Special Rapporteur on housing, said in a joint statement.“Time and again, we see that those without access to water and sanitation are also those who are marginalized, excluded or discriminated against. Their inadequate access to safe water and sanitation is not simply an unfortunate by-product of their poverty but rather a result of political decisions to exclude them and to de-legitimize their existence, which perpetuates their poverty.”They also underlined the fact that poor people often pay more to access essential services such as water and sanitation.Citing UN studies, they noted that someone living in an informal settlement in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, pays five to seven times more for a litre of water than an average North American citizen.“With no legal connections to the formal water and sanitation network, people living in poverty often buy water of dubious quality from informal vendors, or use dirty public latrines that are not properly managed – however, without these inferior services, millions would have no access to water and sanitation at all,” they noted.In Cyprus, the UN-backed Technical Committee on Environment launched an exhibition showcasing a variety of water-saving technologies aiming to raise awareness about the many water management challenges faced by the Mediterranean island State, and methods to address them.Alexander Downer, the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on Cyprus, urged the two communities in the divided island to work together to find solutions for the water shortages in the drought-prone country. “The environment does not respect politics. It makes a lot of sense for the two communities to get together in bi-communal projects of this kind in order to address the sorts of problems we have in Cyprus,” he said. read more

October 11

Lauding progress to date Ban calls for boosting efforts to save women

20 September 2011While lauding the progress made over the past year in the global effort to save women’s and children’s lives, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today noted that millions of them are still dying needless deaths and called for advancing the goal of saving 16 million lives by 2015. “When we deliver for every woman and every child, we will advance a better life for all people around the world,” Mr. Ban said at an event held at UN Headquarters on the margins of the 66th session of the General Assembly. “One year ago, we launched the Every Woman Every Child initiative out of our conviction that in our time, it is wrong to allow women and children to die when we have the tools to save them,” said the Secretary-General.“On that day, we said we would carry out commitments to improve women’s and children’s health. We said we would develop a framework to ensure accountability. We said we would work together to bring in new partners.“I am happy to say today, one year later, we are delivering on all three fronts,” said Mr. Ban.“As of today, over 60 countries have committed to step up efforts to improve women and children’s health,” he reported to the meeting attended by heads of State, business leaders and representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs).“They are training more health workers… investing in essential – but often neglected – medical supplies… providing access to family planning… and putting more money into health and development budgets.“But millions of women and children are still dying needless deaths,” he added. “Political roadblocks litter the path ahead. Decisions to invest where resources are most needed can be slow. A woman’s right to access the services she needs is sometimes denied.”Nevertheless, Mr. Ban said he is optimistic. A one-year progress update launched today, Saving the Lives of 16 Million, shows that in the first year of the effort, commitments have been implemented and enhanced, new partners have come on board, funding has been increased, policies improved and services strengthened on the ground.More than 100 new partners, including governments, civil society and multilateral organizations, joined the initiative, bringing the total to more than 200 since the effort was first launched. Private sector partners include Merck, which will launch a 10-year effort to prevent, treat, and diagnose the top three causes of death in pregnant women; and Sesame Workshop, which will produce multimedia early child initiatives aimed at promoting general health, HIV/AIDS education and early prevention of malaria.Although much progress has been made, every year 7.6 million young children die from preventable causes, and over 350,000 women lose their lives unnecessarily from complications with pregnancy and childbirth. Particularly in Central Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, the rate of decline is still not enough to save 16 million lives by 2015. The Secretary-General urged participants to follow through on their pledges and said that momentum for Every Woman Every Child must be translated into lasting gains in women’s and children’s health. read more

October 6

Afghan refugees returning at much slower rate than last year – UN

Since the end of April, about 15,000 refugees have been returning every week, a spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Maki Shinohara, told reporters in Kabul. The agency assisted 65,000 returning from Pakistan and nearly 35,000 from Iran. The total number of returns since the repatriation programme began last year is 1.9 million.By the end of May 2002, there had already been 400,000 returns, and “we are seeing a similar trend in the increase in the rate of returns in spring,” Ms. Shinohara said. Returning refugees say more Afghan families will return if security is improved, especially in the southern provinces, and if there are more job prospects and reconstruction inside Afghanistan.Meanwhile, UN agencies went back to work yesterday in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif after weekend factional fighting, during which the top local security liaison official for the UN system there was killed. Although tension in the city appeared to be significantly reduced, there were two reports on Tuesday night of rounds of gunfire.The Mazar Multi-party Security Commission was holding talks to curb instability. On Monday a Commission delegation with the support of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) verified the withdrawal of unauthorized troops from the city.“This exercise was difficult, there was not a lot of cooperation and it was in particularly difficult to identify unofficial military posts,” UNAMA spokesman Manoel de Almeida e Silva told reporters. “This situation reconfirmed the urgent need to establish a neutral police force in Mazar and strengthen its ability to provide security to the population.”The two commanders from the Wahdat Mohaqiq and Jamiat factions blamed for the weekend incidents were handed over to Mazar police custody on Monday after several hours of negotiation to ensure their safety and security while in prison.Mr. de Almeida e Silva also confirmed that the suspension of de-mining activities by the UN Mine Action Centre in Afghanistan (UNMACA) following recent attacks on personnel in the southwest and southeast covered 10 provinces. read more

October 6

Market mechanisms to reduce emissions offer investment opportunities – Annan

“That means the world is now using market mechanisms to reduce carbon emissions. That offers exciting opportunities for the investment community,” he said in a video message to the meeting convened by the UN Foundation and the Investor Network on Climate Risk to discuss how to address the financial risks and realize the opportunities from global climate change.The Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change came into force on 16 February, 90 days after the Russian Federation ratified it. It includes creating an international carbon trading market for “emissions trading,” enabling industrialized countries to buy and sell emissions credits.Kyoto is only a first step, however, Mr. Annan told the Second Investors Summit on Climate Risk. “We need a framework for the years beyond 2012 that embraces all countries and makes full use of new technologies.”The choices and pronouncements of investor communities could make decision-makers in government and industry take climate change seriously and investments can point the way toward smart policies and breakthrough technologies for energy and transport, he said.”You are accustomed to thinking big and thinking long term” he said. “Those are exactly the skills we need to address one of the greatest challenges of this century.” read more

October 3

BC Hydro completes Merritt to Coquitlam transmission line

VICTORIA – Energy Minister Bill Bennett says a new hydro transmission line from Merritt to Coquitlam, B.C., improves power distribution to the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island.BC Hydro announced the completion of the 247-kilometre, 500-kilovolt power line project that stretches from the grasslands of the southern Interior, over mountains, across the Fraser River and into the Vancouver area.Bennett says the new line improves Hydro’s capabilities to deliver power from B.C.’s dams into the Lower Mainland where the majority of British Columbians live.He says the new line is the first major upgrade of BC Hydro’s transmission system in 30 years, providing a vital link as power demands increase.Hydro President Jessica McDonald says the transmission line is one of 550 infrastructure projects undertaken over the past four years.The final cost of the transmission line project is expected to be $743 million, about $18 million above Hydro’s original budget. BC Hydro completes Merritt to Coquitlam transmission line by The Canadian Press Posted Nov 20, 2015 2:39 pm MDT Last Updated Nov 20, 2015 at 3:21 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

October 2

New Brock fitness membership available for spring and summer

A new all-inclusive fitness membership available during Brock University’s Spring and Summer Terms will offer members flexible options and better value.Specialty fitness programs, such as yoga, yogalates, Zumba and fitness kickboxing, that have traditionally been offered as weekly registered classes, will now be included in an open access fitness class membership. The new membership also includes access to ExpressFit classes such as spin, aquatic fitness, low impact full body workouts, core work and high-intensity interval training (HIIT).Unlike the Fall and Winter Terms, where Walker Sports Complex members must commit to a certain date and time to participate in specialty fitness classes, the new spring and summer fitness class membership allows members to attend any class on offer at a variety of times throughout the week.“Members aren’t locked into a set schedule,” said Eric Walter, Fitness Manager, Brock Sports.“Between super courses, shorter semesters and vacation schedules, it can be difficult to dedicate time to exercise during the spring and summer months. The new programming allows more options for those who want to get active.”The new fitness class membership is available from May 1 to Aug. 31. For non-students, including faculty, staff and alumni, the cost is $47 per month. Existing Walker Sports Complex members and current students can upgrade their membership to include the all-inclusive fitness classes for $20 per month.For students who are enrolled in at least one class between May to August, the Walker Sports Complex all-access membership is already included through ancillary fees. This $20 per month add-on gives access to yoga, yogalates, Zumba and fitness kickboxing, which are not included in their Walker Sports Complex membership.Individual fitness class registration will not be available for the Spring and Summer Terms.To register for the fitness class membership or to upgrade a current membership, visit the Walker Sports Complex Welcome Desk.All-inclusive fitness class membership schedule for the Spring and Summer Terms:Access to all ExpressFit classes are included, plus the following specialty fitness classes, beginning Saturday, May 4:Mondays at 5 p.m. — Vinyasa flow yogaTuesdays at noon — ZumbaWednesdays at 5 p.m. — Fitness kickboxingThursdays at noon — Hatha flow yogaThursdays at 5 p.m. — YogalatesSaturdays at 10:30 a.m. — Hatha flow yoga read more

September 25

Govt launches Labour Market Intelligence Survey

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedLabour Day messages 2018May 1, 2018In “latest news”New Living Conditions Survey to determine state of poverty- GBSAugust 29, 2018In “Business”Jordan signs US$1.3M agreement with IDB to craft response to crime, domestic abuseDecember 23, 2015In “Politics” The Social Protection Ministry through its Department of Statistics on Monday launched a Labour Market Intelligence Survey, aimed at obtaining information relating to the existing labour force in Guyana.The Survey will allow for the gathering of data as it relates to the skills level and occupational wages through a wide cross-section of the local population while zooming in on the elements and abilities of the existing working class. At the same time, it will highlight the aspects of the labour force that are in need of enhancement.As such, once completed, the information will provide insight to be used in policy making as well as determining national strategies, especially in regards to decisions targeting economic and social growth.However, it can also influence regional and international relations, given that foreign organisations will be adequately informed when entering into collaborations with Guyana.The start of the Labour Market Intelligence Survey comes months after Finance Minister Winston Jordan outlined the need for such an approach.Finance Minister Winston JordanIt was during the presentation of the 2017 National Budget to the National Assembly that the Finance Minister noted that the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government has prioritised the undertaking of continuous Labour Force Surveys, which were set to be launched in the second quarter of 2017.“Laboured in the dark, not knowing our rate of unemployment, or which demographic group requires greatest attention,” Jordan relayed, while indicating that assessments such as the Labour Market Survey would allow the Government to generate and disseminate timely data, especially in critical sectors such as health and education.With that, the Minister proposed a quarterly survey which will incorporate size, location, gender and educational profiles, occupational status and industry, age structure, and regularity of work.Moreover, the process, which is to be done electronically, will provide an avenue to calculate national and regional employment and unemployment rates, and can be used to make important decisions regarding job creation, skills training and education. read more

September 22

Syrian opposition agrees to enter Geneva talks

first_imgTHE MAIN WESTERN-backed Syrian opposition group says it intends to join peace talks with the Syrian government, if conditions are met.The Syrian National Coalition agreed to attend a proposed peace conference with President Bashar al Assad’s government after a vote this morning in Istanbul.The U.S. and Russia are trying to convene the talks in Geneva by the end of this year.But according to a coalition statement, the group said representatives would attend only if the Syrian government allowed the creation of humanitarian corridors to reach besieged areas and if it released detainees, especially woman and children.Excerpts of the statement were released by the office of Monzer Azbik, chief of staff to coalition chief Ahmad al-Jarba. The opposition group’s vote to attend the Geneva talks came on the second day of ongoing meetings in Istanbul.The coalition statement made clear that the decision did not remove its demand that Assad step down in any transitional government.“Bashar Assad will have no role in the transitional period and the future of Syria,” it said.The coalition is also expected during its ongoing meetings to approve a list of cabinet of ministers presented by interim prime minister, Ahmad Toumeh, who was elected in September.BlockadeThe statement on the Geneva talks followed a deal yesterday to ease a blockade on a rebel-held town near the Syrian capital, allowing food to reach civilians there for the first time in weeks, activists said.That deal is the latest to be struck in recent months between Assad’s government and disparate rebel groups in the country’s more than 2-year-old conflict.The Western-backed group had called for goodwill measures from the Assad government, including lifting sieges on rebel-held areas. It wasn’t clear whether the deal to ease the blockade on Qudsaya, near the capital, Damascus, was such a gesture, as neither rebels nor Syrian officials comment on such deals.An activist group, the Qudsaya Media Team, confirmed the truce in a statement but gave few details. In an earlier statement this month, the group said local markets had run out of food, and the area’s poorest residents were going hungry. It could not be immediately reached for comment.Syria’s government is under pressure from the international community to allow food and medical aid into blockaded areas, particularly after reports emerged of widespread hunger in the Damascus suburb of Moadamiyeh this year. It appears civilians have also pressured rebels to accept truces.Read: Rouhani vows to protect Iran’s nuclear rightsRead: Typhoon death toll could reach 10,000 in one city alonelast_img read more

September 22

Supervalu partners with food startups in plan to create 300 jobs

first_imgA NEW INITIATIVE to supply Supervalu with produce from food startups is hoped to create as many as 300 jobs in the next 12 months.Businesses who took part in the Food Academy Start programme will be able to have their produce listed in Supervalu stores.Launched in September last year, this training programme saw Bord Bia, Supervalu, and Local Enterprise Offices join forces to help food businesses get off the ground.In this new stage of the programme, more than 200 participants will have their produce sold in local Supervalu stores, delivering sales of up to €5 million, in the hope of providing a ”first step” in helping the business to reach a nationwide audience.Speaking at the event today, Minister for Food Simon Coveney said that the food industry is playing an important role in Ireland’s economy recovery.“This is evidenced today by the dynamic growth in food startups and food production companies,” the minister added.He explained that most of the businesses involved in the partnership employ fewer than five people.In a separate announcement earlier today, SouthWestern revealed its plans to create over 250 jobs at its new offices in Cork.Read: Tralee hosts summer academy focusing on traditional, artisan food production >More: 250+ jobs to be announced at Cork company >last_img read more

September 21

€20000 damages for young girl who was locked in classroom for 25

first_img 106 Comments Tuesday 25 Oct 2016, 3:54 PM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article By Saurya Cherfi 47,143 Views €20,000 damages for young girl who was locked in classroom for 25 minutes Kate Deegan, 5, had been extremely distressed and started panicking, crying and knocking on the door to be let out. Image: Shutterstock/KN Share107 Tweet Email5 Oct 25th 2016, 3:54 PM Short URL AN EIGHT-YEAR-OLD schoolgirl who suffered anxiety and stress after she was accidently locked in a classroom for 25 minutes has been awarded €20,000 damages in the Circuit Civil Court.Barrister Lorna Lynch told the court that Kate Deegan was five years old on 10 December 2013 when the incident happened at Mourne Road National School, Mourne Road, Drimnagh, Dublin.Lynch today said Kate and other pupils were leaving the classroom for their morning break when she was asked by her teacher to leave a book in the room.Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke heard that after she had done so, Kate tried to leave the room and realised the door had been locked. Lynch said the windows were also locked and the lights had been switched off.Kate had remained in the room for 25 minutes. She had been extremely distressed and started panicking, crying and knocking on the door to be let out.Lynch said Kate had been very upset after the incident and had missed several days of school. She had later developed an adjustment disorder and had needed to attend play therapy sessions.Through her mother Andrea Deegan, of Inchicore, Dublin, Kate sued the Trustees and Board of Management of Mourne Road National School for negligence.Kate claimed the school had failed to take reasonable care and had not exercised adequate supervision. She also claimed it had no proper system for checking the classrooms.Lynch, who appeared with Raymond Quinn solicitors, said the defendant had made a €20,000 settlement offer and she was recommending its acceptance to the court. Judge Groarke approved it.More: BA passengers and crew treated for smoke inhalation after flight divertedPoll: Do you agree with the verdict in the gay cake row? Image: Shutterstock/KN last_img read more

September 21

Heres What Happened Today Tuesday

first_img 1 Comment By Rónán Duffy Tuesday 14 Mar 2017, 9:00 PM Short URL Get our daily news round up: 12,875 Views People walk through the snow on The National Mall in Washington DC. Source: PA Wire/PA Images#LANDMARK CASE: The EU’s top court has ruled that individual companies are allowed implement a ban on headscarves if they desire.#WIRES CROSSED: White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that Donald Trump did not literally mean wire-tapping when he claimed Barack Obama tapped his phone.#SCREEN TIME: Children who watch TV or use phones or tablets for more than three hours a day have a higher chance of contracting diabetes.PARTING SHOT Source: BBC News/YouTubeThere they are, the whole family. Professor Robert E Kelly has spoken about that viral interview alongside his wife, Jung-a Kim and their famous children Marion and James. NEED TO CATCH up? brings you a round-up of today’s news.IRELAND Raquel of magic show The Illusionists as the group prepares for a show at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre in Dublin. Source: Brian McEvoyA Coast Guard helicopter crashed off the coast of Mayo and three crew members are still missing.A fourth, Captain Dara Fitzpatrick, was recovered but died shortly afterwards.A new report has produced some stinging criticism of the €1.6 billion sale of Nama’s Project Eagle.The funeral mass of Bishop Eamonn Casey will take place in Galway’s main cathedral.A Tipperary beauty products plant is to close affecting some 200 workers.A warning was issued over fake alcohol after the hospitalisation of a man with methanol poisoning.Ibrahim Halawa’s family have said that he is “dying” in prison.Irish flights to the east coast of the US have been affected by Storm Stella.Two young brothers who appeared in a Prime Time exposé about conditions in creches were awarded €48,000 in damages.The Bank of China has applied to set up an Irish branch.Day one of Cheltenham racing festival was a good one for Ireland, particularly 17-year-old Dingle jockey Jack Kennedy.WORLD Here’s What Happened Today: Tuesday Coast Guard tragedy, Project Eagle problems and Storm Stella hits the US. Mar 14th 2017, 9:00 PM Share Tweet Email1 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

September 21

New austerity measures to bite

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram A new round of austerity measures were announced by the Papandreou government as it tabled its draft 2011 budget in the Greek Parliament on Thursday.The budget includes 14 billion euros of spending cuts and revenue measures, almost double those contained in the draft budget released in October. The new round of measures became necessary when the deficit figure for 2009 – the starting point of Greece’s arduous austerity effort – was revised upwards earlier this week to 15.4 per cent of GDP from the previous 13.6 per cent by Eurostat, the EU statistics agency.The resulting effect is that the 2010 shortfall will now be 9.4 per cent of output, above the 8.1 per cent target that Greece agreed to with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.Amongst the measures announced by the Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstaninou are increases in the Greek consumption tax, a nominal freeze in pensions as well as cuts in spending on health care, pharmaceuticals and defence.The budget increases the higher rate of consumption tax from 11 per cent to 13 per cent and the lower rate of consumption tax from 5 per cent to 6.5 per cent — although VAT in the vital tourist industry and pharmaceuticals will be cut to 6.5 per cent from 11 per cent. The cost of oil for heating has also been increased.The measures contained in the draft budget also proposes cuts in operational and wage costs at loss-making state-run enterprises, health care and defence.Specifically, it aims to save 2.1 billion euro in the health sector by reducing spending on medication and procurement, 800 million euro from public corporation restructuring and to cut 500 million euro in defence spending. It also says it will save 100 million euro by not renewing contracts for 10,000 short-term public sector workers. Pensions and wages will remain frozen.Other measures announced in the budget include a reduction in the tax on non-distributed corporate profits to 20 per cent from 24 per cent and an extension in the amnesty on the payment of outstanding tax debts.Although he stressed it was not the government’s aim to cut public sector jobs, the Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou implied it was a possibility.“To reduce the deficit in a state enterprise, you either have to increase revenues or reduce costs,” he said, adding that there were five such companies where payroll costs exceeded revenue.Budget forecasts estimate that unemployment in Greece will run at more than 14 per cent over the next two years.An audit of Greek finances by the EU, the IMF and the European Central Bank is currently being undertaken and it is expected to be completed on Monday.Provided the IMF-EU-ECB auditors give the green light, EU finance ministers would in turn decide on releasing the funds in mid-December, with the transfer coming in January.The IMF is expected to disburse its 2.5-billion-euro share of the 9 billion in December.ADEDY, the largest public-sector union, said it will stage a 24-hour nationwide strike on December 15 to protest the measures, joining a strike already called by the General Confederation of Labor, or GSEE, Greece’s largest private industry union. ADEDY will also hold a three-hour work stoppage on November 25, spokeswoman Despina Spanou said. last_img read more

September 21

Papoulias to now attempt to form coalition government

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Pasok leader Evangelos Venizelos on Saturday returned a mandate to form a government, after failing to come up with coalition partners, following a meeting with President Karolos Papoulias.Papoulias reminded Venizelos of the Ecofin and Eurogroup meetings scheduled for the coming week, as well as upcoming NATO and EU Summits. On his part, Venizelos told Papoulias that “New Democracy (ND), Pasok and the Democratic Left agreed on the formation of a coalition government with a two-year mandate, and with the aim of keeping Greece in eurozone, but with drastic changes in the Memorandum. However, the prerequisite was that Syriza participate in this government”.Venizelos added that he set these issues out during a meeting with Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras, who did not provide an answer.Papoulias will now hold meetings with the three political leaders that received exploratory mandates at noon on Sunday. Later on Sunday, Papoulias will meet in private with the rest of the party leaders elected to Parliament in last Sunday’s general election, namely, Independent Greeks party leader Panos Kammenos, Coomunist Party Genral Secretary Aleka Papariga, Chryssi Avghi leader Nikos Mihaloliakos and the leader of the Democratic Left, Fotis Kouvelis.Menawhile Syriza re-stated on Saturday, that it would stick to opposing an EU/IMF bailout at a meeting between the country’s three main parties and the president on Sunday, and would not participate in any government backing the rescue plan.“There is no change (to our position),” party spokesman Panos Skourletis told Reuters.“It is obvious that there is an effort to bring about a government that will implement the bailout. We are not participating in such a government,” Skourletis said. Source: AMNA, Reuterslast_img read more

September 15

Fort Lauderdale man airlifted after Bahamas shark attack

first_imgNEW PROVIDENCE, Bahamas (WSVN) — Rescue crews airlifted a tourist from South Florida to the hospital after, officials said, he was attacked by a shark while snorkeling off the coast of the Bahamas.According to officials, the 32-year-old victim, who is reportedly from Fort Lauderdale, was snorkeling with two other American visitors off Nippers Beach in Great Guana Cay when he was bitten, at around 5:30 p.m., Thursday.Paramedics transported him to the Marsh Harbour Clinic, then airlifted him to New Providence for further medical treatment.This attack comes just a week after a 21-year-old woman from Southern California was killed after she was attacked by three sharks near Rose Island in the Bahamas while snorkeling with her family.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

September 13

In Other News DOD Considers Additional Bases to House Migrants

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR With two Texas installations already preparing to accept migrant families and unaccompanied minors apprehended crossing the nation’s southern border, federal officials now are considering additional bases in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California as candidates to house immigrants, a DOD spokesman said Monday. In Texas, Goodfellow AFB will take up to 20,000 children and Fort Bliss will handle up to 12,000 undocumented families. DOD will be prepared to house at least a portion of those immigrants by Aug. 14, reported Stars and Stripes.Photo courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protectionlast_img read more

August 31

Iran unveils new missile to seek peace through strength

first_imgThe defence ministry’s unveiling of the solid-fuel missile, named Fateh 313, came little more than a month after Iran and world powers reached a deal that requires Tehran to abide by new limits on its nuclear programme in return for Western governments easing economic sanctions. According to that deal, any transfer to Iran of ballistic missile technology during the next eight years will be subject to the approval of the United Nations Security Council, and the United States has promised to veto any such requests. An arms embargo on conventional weapons also stays, preventing their import and export for five years.  Also Read – Nine hurt in accident at fireworks show in French resortBut Iran has said it will not follow parts of the nuclear deal that restricts its military capabilities, a stance reaffirmed by President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday. “We will buy, sell and develop any weapons we need and we will not ask for permission or abide by any resolution for that,” he said in a speech at the unveiling ceremony broadcast live on state television. “We can negotiate with other countries only when we are powerful. If a country does not have power and independence, it cannot seek real peace,” he said.  Also Read – Pakistan Army ‘fully prepared’ to face any challenge: Army spokesmanThe defence ministry said the Fateh 313, unveiled on Iran’s Defence Industry Day, had already been successfully tested and that mass production would start soon. Iran has one of the largest missile programmes in the Middle East. It wants to export arms to its allies in the region and import anti-missile systems to prevent any possible attack by its arch-foe Israel. “In our aerospace industry we have various ballistic missiles with different ranges under production,” Defence Minister Hossein Dehghan said on Friday.  “We will continue this path with maximum power in line with our defensive needs and proportionate to threats ahead of us.”  Fars news agency, which is close to the country’s Revolutionary Guards, released a music video on Saturday praising Iran’s missile capabilities. It contained pictures of what the agency called a new and unknown missile of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). A senior IRGC commander said on Friday Iran would hold a large ballistic missile manoeuvre in the near future.last_img read more