On June 1, the Financial Oversight and Management Board overseeing Puerto Rico’s economy privatized the island’s public power utilities by signing a $1.3 billion contract with private consortium LUMA Energy. The contract, in effect for the next 15 years, could increase electric rates by 10 cents/kwh or more. LUMA customers are already encountering new fees and significantly higher bills than formerly paid to the public Puerto Rican Electric Power Authority. Thousands of PREPA workers have lost their jobs. The privatization has fueled demonstrations including encampments and picket lines at plant gates. Further actions could lead to mass protests similar to those in summer 2019 that forced former Governor Pedro Rosselló to resign. The following is a statement from unions representing thousands of Puerto Rican workers, ranging from teachers to truck drivers, in support of PREPA workers and demanding the LUMA contract be repealed.In San Juan, Puerto Rico, a person waves a ‘LUMA out!’ flag to protest the privatization of public power utilities under LUMA Energy, June 1.Credit: Alejandro GranadilloUnion organizations today warned Governor Pedro Pierluisi and the Financial Oversight and Management Board that they will paralyze the country if the LUMA Energy contract — that increases rates, allows the consortium to leave Puerto Rico if a hurricane strikes and displaces thousands of workers — is not canceled.“We are warning the attorney for the Financial Oversight and Management Board, Gov. Pedro Pierluisi, that there will be no peace in Puerto Rico if the contract is not repealed and they listen to the people who demand, not only a public and more efficient PREPA, but also one free of fossil fuels. Right now there is a favorable atmosphere for paralyzing the country, and if the governor continues to be deaf to the people, we will do so. We have already held several meetings to coordinate logistics and dates, and this week we will meet again to finalize details. Make no mistake, this summer will be one very similar to that of 2019,” said Carlos Rodríguez, coordinator of the Frente Amplio de Camioneros (Broad Front of Truckers).“Today, we tell LUMA not to bother settling in our country, since we will not leave them alone until they leave Puerto Rico. And the workers who they intend to bring in from abroad should know that if they cross the picket line, they will face a people willing to defend their energy sovereignty and their access to water. There is no life without water and electricity! In the next few days we will not only be in front of the gates together with our comrades in struggle to prevent the entry of the LUMA parasites, but we will continue calling for activities that will lead to a National Strike if the intransigent Pierluisi does not stop the contract. The ball is in their court,” stressed María del Mar Rosa, organizational coordinator for Asociación Puertorriqueña de Profesores Universitarios (Puerto Rican Association of University Professors).The spokespersons insisted that the governor wants to deprive the people of the island of its main resource for economic development, the Puerto Rican Electric Power Authority, by giving it up to LUMA Energy for nothing and without any guarantee for the country, and they will not allow it.“We are not going to allow our main industry to be taken from us, and even more so, knowing that the people will be the ones who will pay the consequences. To this must also be added the humiliating and abusive way in which they have treated the workers of the corporation, stripping them of their positions and rights and even the possibility of attending to the service needs of citizens. In the same way, we express our total and unconditional solidarity to the Alliance of Active Employees and Retirees, who have been bulldozed, abused, humiliated and belittled by the government of Pedro Pierluisi and the dictatorship that governs the country,” he added.The group reiterated its support and solidarity with the PREPA employees who have been transferred, to whom they advised to keep their calm.‘Remove all the vultures that invade our country’“This will be something temporary — we have lived through very difficult times, but we have also shown that the struggle of the people of Puerto Rico is our most effective tool; if the people removed a governor, they may have the will to remove all the vultures that invade our country. We reiterate our support, solidarity and the commitment to make sure that LUMA’s days are numbered,” stated Antonio Cabán, president of the Federación Central de Trabajadores (Central Federation of Workers), United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 481.Union leaders maintained that they will fight alongside the Active Employees Alliance and the people to oust LUMA Energy from the country.“The so-called rulers should have no doubt that they will have an effective response from the working people. We are not sitting by, nor are we going to do so. You, arbitrarily, have closed the doors to dialogue; you have closed the doors to the search for equitable solutions in the courts of justice; you have legislated to undermine our rights; you have done everything you can to guarantee their domination. Now, face the consequences. You drew the line. We know how to cross it,” said Lizbeth Mercado, president of the Unión de Empleados de la Corporación del Fondo del Seguro del Estado (Union of the State Insurance Fund Corporation).Signing organizations: Unión General de Trabajadores (UGT), UNETE (sindicato de maestros), Central Puertorriqueña de Trabajadores, Movimiento Solidario Sindical, Federación Central de Trabajadores/UFCW Local 481, Prosol-UTIER (Unión de Trabajadores de la Industria Eléctrica y Riego) , Asociación Puertorriqueña de Profesores Universitarios (APPU), Sindicato Puertorriqueño de Trabajadores y Trabajadoras, EDUCAMOS, Frente Amplio de Camioneros, Hermandad de Empleados Exentos no Docentes (HEEND), Federación Puertorriqueña de Trabajadores, Unión Independiente de Abogados y Abogadas de la Sociedad para la Asistencia Legal (UIASAL), Unión Independiente de Trabajadores del Aeropuerto (UITA), Unión de Empleados de la Corporación del Fondo del Seguro del Estado (UASAL), Union de Abogados y Abogadas de Servicios Legales (UAASL), United Steel Workers-PR, Hermandad de Empleados de Oficina Autoridad Metropolitana de Autobuses (HEOAMA).FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare this
Supermarket giant Tesco saw its operating profit fall by nearly 55% to £354m in its first half, it revealed this morning.Delivering its unaudited figures for the 26 weeks ending 29 August 2015, the under-fire retailer also reported a UK like-for-like sales drop of 1.1% for the first half of its financial year.It said, however, that sales trends were improving in response to cost-cutting measures with a like-for-like drop of 2% in Q4 last year improving to 1.5% in Q1 this year and 1.0% in Q2. Transactions were also up by 1.5%.Tesco said it had undertaken cost-cutting and restructuring activities to improve its profitability and attractiveness to customers.ProgressIn the UK, 53 unprofitable stores have been closed and a reduced level of new store openings means there has only been a 0.5% growth in net new space. Progress has also been made in improving stock management and building longer-term relationships with suppliers.These savings mean the company is on track to deliver annual savings of around £400m across the group, said the company.Over 500 key product lines have had their prices reduced and the average number of products per range was reduced by 15%, with a 10% price drop on the remaining range.Dave Lewis, Tesco’s chief executive, said: “We have delivered an unprecedented level of change in our business over the last 12 months and it is working. The first-half results show sustained improvement across a broad range of key indicators.”Company net debt (excluding Tesco Bank) grew to £8.6bn, but the sale of the Homeplus business in South Korea is hoped to deliver a pro forma reduction of £4.2bn.
My Morning Jacket fans have converged on the Dominican Republic’s Hard Rock Hotel Punta Cana this weekend for the band’s only scheduled shows of 2018. With a touring hiatus planned for the remainder of the year, the annual One Big Holiday destination festival offers MMJ aficionados their only chance to catch Jim James and Co. for at least the next 10 months. Fortunately for those MMJ aficionados, the Louisville-based rockers have delivered in spades by working their way through the entirety of their first four albums over the course of the event’s first two nights.It all started on Friday when My Morning Jacket ran through their 1999 debut The Tennessee Fire during the first set of their three-night run at the picturesque Caribbean resort. It was their first time playing the LP in full since 2010, when the band performed their first five albums during a five-night stand at New York City’s Terminal 5. Fans who missed out on that experience eight years ago were in for a treat, as MMJ dove right into their sophomore effort—2001’s At Dawn—when they returned to the beachside stage for Friday night’s second set. The nature of the show meant plenty of bust outs were in order, including rarities like “By My Car”, “If It Smashes Down”, and “ I Need It Most”, all last played during the 2010 Terminal 5 run.One Big Holiday attendees were a bit less surprised when Saturday night’s show kicked off with “Mahgeetah”, the fan favorite that opens My Morning Jacket’s 2003 juggernaut It Still Moves. Widely regarded as one of the best offerings in the band’s catalog, It Still Moves features some of MMJ’s most cherished tunes, all of which got the live treatment during the night’s first set. Interestingly, the group enlisted their friends from New Orleans institution the Preservation Hall Jazz Band for some of the album’s biggest numbers like “Dancefloors”, “Easy Morning Rebel” and the gathering’s namesake, “One Big Holiday”. Naturally, the set also showcased rarities like “Just One Thing” and “One In The Same”—the latter of which also appeared last during the 2010 Terminal 5 run.Of course, set two was all about the My Morning Jacket’s fourth album, the delightfully psychedelic and synth-heavy 2005 effort Z. Favorites like “Gideon”, “What A Wonderful Man”, “Off The Record” and the downright glorious closer “Dondante” all made appearances during the set, which also featured bust outs “Knot Comes” and “Into The Woods”. Not content to end it with the glory of “Dondante”, My Morning Jacket returned for an encore rendition of “Cobra”, a monster of a tune from the band’s 2002 Chocolate & Ice EP that rarely gets played in full. Nevertheless, the band went big for this one as well, delivering a complete take on the number that clocked in at over 20 minutes.My Morning Jacket – “Gideon”[Video: Craig Dodge Lile]My Morning Jacket will return to the stage on Monday night to close out their fourth annual One Big Holiday, and its safe to say fans are anticipating an exploration of the band’s three most recent LPs—2008’s Evil Urges, 2011’s Circuital and 2015’s The Waterfall. Tonight the festival will focus on some of the other artists on the bill, with headlining sets from Portugal. The Man, Sylvan Esso, and Hurray for the Riff Raff. Other acts that have already performed include Spoon, Broken Social Scene, and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.
Should America become like Europe? Or should Europe reverse course and return to its Reformation roots?The secularization of America continues at a rapid pace. Last month, PhysOrg reported on a new survey that shows fewer Americans go to church or believe in God. The trend is striking when considered over 35 years.A research team that included Ryne Sherman from Florida Atlantic University and Julie J. Exline and Joshua B. Grubbs from Case Western Reserve University analyzed data from 58,893 respondents to the General Social Survey, a nationally representative survey of U.S. adults administered between 1972 and 2014. Five times as many Americans in 2014 reported that they never prayed as did Americans in the early 1980s, and nearly twice as many said they did not believe in God.Americans in recent years were less likely to engage in a wide variety of religious practices, including attending religious services, describing oneself as a religious person, and believing that the Bible is divinely inspired, with the biggest declines seen among 18- to 29-year-old respondents. The results were published today in the journal Sage Open.Millennials are not just preferring to worship God in their own way outside of church. They are not seeking other kinds of spirituality; they are actually becoming more secular. Here’s what one of the researchers says about “Generation Me”: “The large declines in religious practice among young adults are also further evidence that Millennials are the least religious generation in memory, and possibly in American history.”At least the choir members might be getting some health benefits in church. Medical Xpress reports that a cancer research center found that “Singing in a choir for just one hour boosts levels of immune proteins in people affected by cancer, reduces stress and improves mood, which in turn could have a positive impact on overall health.” Nothing is said about church choirs, however. There are secular choirs.This is a warning to pastors, youth leaders and Christian workers. The trend toward secularization is accelerating. It may be due to multiple causes: the breakdown of the nuclear family, the advance of the entitlement mentality, and the proliferation of internet entertainment. One factor certainly looms large: the complete Darwinization of public education. If young people from Christian homes are indoctrinated from youth through college with absolutely no exposure to anything that isn’t 100% pure Darwinian secularism, what do you expect them to believe about reality? Science explains it all. Who needs church? Who needs God? A typical church service can’t compete with secular culture, awash with entertaining bright lights and flashy sounds, and the school textbooks that give the impression that humans have figured out everything without a religious crutch. Add to that the instant gratification of all earthly desires via the internet, and hordes of friends with their “likes” on social media; what millennial or member of Generation Me wants to be associated with something as uncool and superfluous as church?Churches can’t compete with Vanity Fair, nor should they. Millennials are not going to be drawn back to church by better entertainment. It’s time to remove unnecessary traditions and focus on the core of God’s message. What young people need is truth, a worldview that provides certainty in a crazy world of polarized views, subjectivity, and easy lust. The truth needs to make sense, and fit the world as they experience it. Apologetics cannot be minimized. Some churches pretend as if positive messages focused solely on “how to be a nicer person” or “let’s all love one another” will stop the secular drift. Pastors need to answer basic questions: Is what you are preaching true? Why should I commit myself to what you are saying?Young people are falling for the notion that secularism is religiously neutral. No worldview is neutral. Anything that offers an explanation for ultimate questions is as religious as a church, synagogue or mosque. It’s not a question of religion vs secularism, therefore, but which religion are they going to choose: the broad way that leads to destruction, or the narrow way that leads to life.No church leader should consider their message complete unless it gives a young person courage to stand for the gospel no matter the cost. An immature confession of faith is not enough to overcome the din of the world’s confusing, dominant message of secular values. A young person needs knowledge and commitment to defend his or her worldview against all the pressure of friends, social media, video, music, crowd psychology and the presumptive authority of science.Without a revival, the trend will most likely continue down the path that Europe followed. Already, it’s costing Christians to live out their faith. The time may soon come when churches need to prepare a generation not of “Me” but of martyrs. (Visited 52 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
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A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#Google#Google Now#search Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Google Now fans have been hoping for a desktop version of the intelligent mobile personal assistant, and now … well, it still isn’t quite here. But something similar is coming to desktops, smartphones and tablets in the U.S. this week. See also: Google Now Opens Up To iPhones, iPadsThe company is rolling out a new update to its search engine that gives users “quick answers” to personal queries—for instance, when their next flight leaves, or when a package is due to arrive—made in the search bar. And if the info is in your Gmail, Google Calendar or Google+ accounts, the relevant answers pop up at the top of the search results.The typed or spoken queries use natural language and cover common scenarios such as:Flight tracking: Type or say “Is my flight on time?” or “What’s my gate number?” to see current or upcoming flights, their status and other details.Reservations: Input “my reservations” and it pulls up upcoming hotel or restaurant reservations and addresses. It also provides driving or transit directions to the destination with one tap. Purchases: Query “my purchases” and shopping orders spring up, so you can view available order and shipping information.Plans: Ask “What are my plans for tomorrow?” and any appointments or relevant combination of the above may appear.Photos: The feature can also search and display your Google+ images upon command. Just ask something like, “Show me my photos from Thailand” or “my photos of sunsets.” Related Posts Google Now anticipates the information users need, while the new feature relies on users proactively searching for specific info. Another distinction: The search-based service works in desktop browsers, as well as on tablets and smartphones. It works in any browser via text input, and via speech wherever Google search by voice is available—i.e., desktop Chrome, Google search mobile apps and the native Google search on Android.(See also: Google Wants To Kill Off The Mobile Web—And Good Riddance)The personal data Google serves up is secured via encrypted connections, the company says. Google conducted a limited field trial of the feature last year. Now it’s ready for the public, so it’s rolling out in the U.S. over next few days in U.S. English. No word yet on when it might come to other countries or languages.If you’re interested, you’ll be able to take it for a spin soon and see if you find it handy. If not, don’t fret—there’s a handy kill switch. You can turn it off temporarily by clicking on the globe icon at the top of the search results page, or shut it off completely in the “Private results” section in the settings.For more information, along with examples of things you can ask, visit the Official Google Blog or the company’s Inside Search site. In truth, all that information is already available to you, so the new service isn’t providing access to anything you don’t already have. But it does aim to make the Google search bar a convenient way for you to call up your own information in addition to the remaining entirety of online human knowledge.According to Google, “We’ve been offering this kind of info—flights, reservations, appointments and more—for more than a year in Google Now. We’ve gotten great feedback on how convenient it is, especially when you’re on the go.” Although there are similarities in the types of practical data this and Google Now provide (which, in both cases, is for one user account at a time—there’s no multiple account support), the services are not quite the same. adriana lee 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market
Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Kyle Korver’s 3-pointer with 4:47 left brought the Cavs within 96-88, but Patty Mills countered with a 3 for the Spurs.Cavs coach Tyronn Lue has spent most of the season adjusting his lineups and rotations, and he may have to do some more tweaking after starters Cedi Osman, J.R. Smith, George Hill and Tristan Thompson shot a combined 6 of 28. Cleveland has to find a dependable No. 2 option on offense while All-Star Kevin Love recovers from a broken hand.“We just had a rough night shooting the basketball. It’s going to happen,” Lue said. “I thought defensively we were pretty good. I just thought Aldridge took advantage of us in that third quarter, the start of the third quarter on his post-ups.”TIP-INSSpurs: G Manu Ginobili sat out with a bruised sternum sustained in Friday’s loss to Denver. … Leonard’s absence continues to hang over the team. He hasn’t played since Jan. 13 and Popovich said earlier this week it’s possible the star could miss the remainder of this season. … C Pau Gasol and Cavs G Jose Calderon spoke in the hallway before the game. They’re close friends, having been teammates on Spain’s national team since 2002. … Traveled 6,546 miles on their annual road trip. San Antonio is 90-41 on the trek since it first began in 2003.Cavaliers: F Larry Nance Jr. wore No. 22 — his father’s retired number — for the first time since he was traded to Cleveland. The NBA granted Nance permission to switch jersey numbers (he had been wearing No. 24). … Thompson had a season-high 13 rebounds in 23 minutes. … Golfer Jason Day and NFL players Ryan Shazier and Ted Ginn Jr. were among the celebrities in attendance. … Dropped to 39-10 against Western Conference teams at home since Jan. 21, 2015. … James passed Rod Strickland (7,987) for 11th place on career assists list.STAR GAZINGBefore the game, Popovich joked that it’s easy to become entranced against James.“I just have to make sure that I don’t just stare at him all night like I did when I first came in the league and played the Bulls. I’d just watch Michael (Jordan) the whole time and Larry Brown would elbow me like, ‘You going to do something?’ I said, ‘Coach, I’ve got to watch. I’ve got to see this guy.’”James dazzled in the first half, scoring 17 points with seven rebounds and five assists.GREEN DAYGreen said bad spaghetti caused him to vomit for just the second time in 20 years.“I’m just glad I feel better,” he said. “That day’s rest helped for sure.”UP NEXT Spurs: Host New Orleans on Tuesday in their first home game since Feb. 7.Cavaliers: Host Brooklyn on Tuesday. AFP official booed out of forum Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university PLAY LIST 01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City League Cup: Man City old guard help Guardiola win 1st trophy MOST READ Google honors food scientist, banana ketchup inventor and war hero Maria Orosa Read Next Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Families in US enclave in north Mexico hold sad Thanksgiving Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James (23) reaches for a pass against San Antonio Spurs’ Danny Green (14) in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)CLEVELAND — The Spurs ended their “rodeo” road trip by roping the Cavaliers.LeBron James thought San Antonio got some help.ADVERTISEMENT Pussycat Dolls set for reunion tour after 10-year hiatus LATEST STORIES LOOK: Iya Villania meets ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ cast in Mexico That would be James, who had 33 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists. The Cavs fell to 3-2 since overhauling their roster with three trades, but James wasn’t t disappointed with his team’s effort.However, he did have a problem with the officiating.San Antonio was called for just 12 personal fouls — only three in the second half— and shot 32 free throws compared to 14 for Cleveland.“We’re at a point now where we protect the shooter more than the driver,” said James, who shot four free throws. “There’s no reason I should be going to the line four times in a game when I drive 100 times to the paint and I’m getting hit and slapped and grabbed and whatever and what not. We protect the shooter. That’s what it’s turned into. Chicks dig the long ball and that’s what it’s about.”Cleveland was within two points after three, but the Spurs scored the first 10 of the fourth and made all the necessary plays down the stretch to pull off the impressive win.ADVERTISEMENT LaMarcus Aldridge scored 27 points, Danny Green added 22 and the Spurs ended their annual trip by beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 110-94 on Sunday to snap a four-game losing streak.Green, who missed Friday’s loss at Denver with food poisoning, came off the bench for the first time in 49 games this season and made five 3-pointers to provide a perfect outside complement to Aldridge’s dynamic inside game. Dejounte Murray added 13 points and nine rebounds for San Antonio, a team not accustomed to any turmoil.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutBut the super-steady Spurs have not been themselves as they continue to play without injured star Kawhi Leonard, whose timetable to return remains a mystery. They had dropped six of seven and four in a row on a trip (their arena hosts a rodeo every year) that coach Gregg Popovich’s squad typically uses as a spring board into the playoffs.“Every win is a big one for us,” Green said. “But this month we’ve had some ups and downs. This is a really good team, especially with the best player in the world over there.” Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC View comments
John “The Beast” Mugabi. Photo by Roy LuarcaBRISBANE, Australia—His savage fight against Marvelous Marvin Hagler in 1986 cemented John Mugabi’s legacy as a fierce warrior.Though he eventually got halted in the 11th round of their world middleweight title unification bout, John Mugabi gave Hagler enough pounding from his dynamite fists that squeezed out some of his fighting juices.Mugabi, dubbed “The Beast” for his ferocity in the ring, was present during the press conference of “Battle of Brisbane” between Manny Pacquiao and Jeff Horn Wednesday.ADVERTISEMENT Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucena Mugabi actually won all his first 25 fights by knockout before being thrown into the fray against Hagler, who was then making his 11th title defense at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Now weighing over 200 pounds and 57 years old, Mugabi, an Ugandan who has settled down here, was there to lend support to Horn.Naturally, he picked Horn to prevail over Pacquiao.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutMugabi, who was a silver medalist in the Moscow Olympics, said Horn has the power and strength to dethrone Pacquiao.“Pacquiao is a great boxer but Horn can beat him,” said Mugabi, who wound up with a 42-7-1 record, including 39 knockouts. What ‘missteps’? China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend Cayetano to unmask people behind ‘smear campaign’ vs him, SEA Games MOST READ Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera Djokovic seeks answers after decline and fall Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend LATEST STORIES View comments
TORONTO – Her voice is shaky, a tremor that developed from stress that belies the strength of a desperate mother.To say that Lorinda Stewart lived through agony barely gets at the horrific ordeal she endured during the 460 days her daughter Amanda Lindhout was a hostage to ransom-demanding thugs in Somalia. Nor would it be right to assume the nightmare ended with their reunification. It was, in fact, just another beginning.“I had all these expectations of when Amanda came home of parties and joy and actually, I had a pretty huge breakdown. Nothing was what I thought it would be,” Stewart said in an interview Tuesday.“I expected it to be this Hollywood moment where we would run into each other’s arms laughing full of joy but the shock I felt when I saw Amanda — and she was just so skeletal and her eyes were haunted — it just wasn’t that moment at all.”The crashing reality of that moment — it would take therapy and many months before the endless crying and depression began lifting — is one of several that Stewart, 61, recounts in her just published memoir, “One Day Closer,” a harrowing, soul-baring account of her quest to get her daughter home — a story that leaves the reader feeling aged with each page at the brutality of it all.Lindhout, now 36, was a seasoned traveller and budding freelance journalist when she and Australian photographer Nigel Brennan were grabbed in the capital of Somalia, Mogadishu. It was supposed to get sorted quickly, but the kidnappers were demanding millions of dollars — an amount far beyond the families’ ability to pay.Stewart, under the close eye of the RCMP who cocooned her in a cone of absolute secrecy, became the lead negotiator, moving back to Alberta from B.C. where she had been living. Negotiating meant talking frequently with a man known to her as Adam — the pipeline and lifeline to a daughter, whose protracted mistreatment was shocking to the point of sadistic.Through it all, Stewart gathered binders of materials, including recordings of intercepts of calls with Adam that underpin the book.Dark points, she said, were many. Among the worst was hearing the rumour that her captive daughter was pregnant. And the “bad call,” months into the hostage-taking, in which her distraught daughter called to beg her to pay her captors off. They were torturing her, Lindhout told her helpless mother. Her murder was imminent.Stewart catches her breath. Her eyes go somewhere else.“That’s a hard one to talk about. It was extremely distressful. I was able to say what I needed to say without breaking down while I was on the call. But after that, I started throwing up and just found myself on the floor. It’s really difficult,” she said. “But then I realized I had to get myself back up and continue to fight for her to come home.”“One Day Closer,” published by Simon and Schuster, goes beyond the inner turmoil of a mother’s despair. Stewart also offers an at-times unflattering but eminently relatable portrayal of her own life, the poor partner choices she made, the strained and broken family dynamics, the struggles as a single or sometimes married mother from small-town Alberta, raising five children, making ends meet however she could.“Writing a memoir does take courage because everybody is going to see you differently,” Stewart said. “My hope is to inspire people. I’m well aware I may be judged as well. I wanted people to know who I was.”It is in her strength and obstinacy that one sees the qualities that helped her daughter survive the sexual assaults, the torment, the despair.“I found myself deeply moved, surprised yet again at the resiliency that she holds … the ability to get through the impossible,” Lindhout said about having read her mother’s book. “It was confronting in a way…to really understand what a bizarre reality she was living, which I think I really understood for the first time.”The reality included living a secret life in a house in Sylvan Lake, Alta., 24/7 for months with a rotating cast of RCMP officers, who acted as her negotiating mentors, support, and liaison with what emerges as a faceless, distant entity: Ottawa.While she speaks highly of the Mounties who lived with her in the home they rented, Stewart has little time for the shadowy string-pullers in the nation’s capital. She trusted them entirely, she said. She did everything they asked. And yet, she said, they lied to her at times, told her little, kept insisting she hold the faith because they were making progress.Then they dropped her like a hot potato when things dragged on, leaving her and her ex-husband to find a private consulting company to help secure her daughter’s freedom, Stewart said.Gone was not only the emotional support, but also the money the government gave her to devote herself to being a secret agent.“I felt betrayed in a lot of ways. I felt bitter,” she said. “Not knowing and feeling like you’re in the dark just added to the terror that we were already experiencing.”In contrast, the private security firm, at a cost of $2,604 a day, kept her fully informed and involved every step of the way, she said. But with the Canadian government refusing to pay any ransom, raising the more than $600,000 the two families ultimately needed to free their children, meant ongoing desperation, a sell-off of assets and home refinancing, along with reliance on the generosity of friends and strangers.Raising ransom money also meant becoming the target of criticism from those who believed that paying off bandits only serves to encourage lawlessness. Stewart would have none of it, shutting out anything that distracted from her mission:“I just had to have one focus, one goal, and that was to get her home,” she said. “Eventually, I had to face what was there. That time did come eventually, after she was home.”The crash came when she realized how frail and sick her daughter was. The dawning reality that they both had a long journey and healing ahead of them — healing that still continues. People, she said, couldn’t understand the non-stop crying, why there appeared to be so little joy, why she had hit that wall so hard.Time, coupled with therapy, would ultimately set her on a path to healing — a still unfinished journey of which the book is a cathartic part.In recent days, both mother and daughter have been following the accounts of Canadian Joshua Boyle and his American wife Caitlan Coleman, who were freed last week along with their three children born during five years of captivity in Afghanistan.Stewart advises the ex-hostages’ parents to be kind and gentle to themselves, not fight the torrent of conflicted emotions that might include immense sadness even though everyone is now safe. Therapy is a big part of that, she says.Lindhout suggests Boyle and Coleman get away from the spotlight, find the time to enjoy the sky.“Their road back, coming back into the world from such an intense and unique life-saving experience can be really hard,” Lindhout said. “It’s not made easier by public judgment and criticism, which I also went through. People should just have some compassion. They’ve just been through a lot, more than any human should have to.”In June 2015, police in Ottawa arrested Adam — Somali national Ali Omar Ader. He is currently on trial for his alleged role in Lindhout’s kidnapping.