March home sales slow in Metro Vancouver but prices stay high real

first_imgVANCOUVER – Metro Vancouver home sales over the first quarter of this year were the lowest in five years, but statistics from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver show prices remain high.The board says home sales across the region in March tumbled 29.7 per cent compared with March 2017 and are 23 per cent below the 10-year March sales average.Just over 2,500 homes changed hands last month, a drop of more than 1,000 compared with a year ago, although the board notes the March 2018 sales climbed 14 per cent compared with February.Listings of detached, attached and apartment properties also fell year-over-year, skidding 6.6 per cent in March compared with March 2017, marking the region’s lowest total of first-quarter new listings since 2013.Real estate board data shows the number of sales compared to the number of active listings soared to 61.6 per cent for condominiums in March, while the rate was 39.9 per cent for townhomes, far above the 20 per cent rate the board says tends to push prices upward.The composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is $1,084,000, a 16.1 per cent increase over March 2017 and a 1.1 per cent increase since February of this year.Phil Moore, real estate board president, says even with lower sales, prices will remain high as long as the selection of properties is slim.“Last month was the quietest March for new home listings since 2009 and the total inventory, particularly in the condo and townhome segments, of homes for sale remains well below historical norms,” he says in a news release.“High prices, new tax announcements, rising interest rates, and stricter mortgage requirements are among the factors affecting home buyer and seller activity today,” Moore adds.The benchmark price for detached properties was $1,608,500 last month, up 7.4 per cent from March 2017 and up less than half a per cent over February 2018, as sales-to-active listings nudged the mark where to board says downward pressure on prices could occur.But with sales outstripping supply for condos and townhomes, the real estate board says the benchmark price for a condo was $693,500 in March, a 26.2 per cent leap from March 2017 and a 1.6 per cent bump compared with February 2018.Benchmark prices for townhomes across Metro Vancouver reached $835,300 last month, a two per cent increase over February and a hike of 17.7 per cent from March 2017.last_img read more

Statistics Canada says trade deficit hit record 41 billion in March

first_imgOTTAWA – Record high imports helped push Canada’s trade deficit to a record for March as it grew to $4.1 billion, Statistics Canada said Thursday.However, despite the shortfall, economists noted that exports also rose, though not as quickly.“Today’s trade release was expected to be a ho-hum affair, but a surge in two-way trade completely changed that story,” CIBC economist Royce Mendes wrote in a report.“Canada’s deficit now stands at a record level on the back of what appears to be strengthening domestic demand.”Canadian imports climbed six per cent to $51.7 billion in March due to the motor vehicles and parts sector as well as consumer goods.Imports of motor vehicles and parts rose 8.3 per cent to $10.3 billion, the strongest increase since 2011, while consumer goods climbed 7.7 per cent to a record $11.0 billion.Meanwhile, exports increased 3.7 per cent to $47.6 billion, boosted by the aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts sector as well as farm, fishing and intermediate food products and energy products.Exports of aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts rose 24.3 per cent in March to $2.3 billion, while farm, fishing and intermediate food products increased 14.7 per cent to $2.8 billion.Exports excluding energy products rose 3.6 per cent.In volume terms, imports rose 5.3 per cent and exports grew three per cent.Regionally, Canada’s trade surplus with the United States narrowed for the fifth consecutive month to $1.7 billion in March compared with $2.3 billion in February.Imports from the U.S. rose 3.1 per cent in March due in large part to higher imports of passenger cars and light trucks, while exports to the U.S. rose 1.2 per cent, led primarily by higher exports of crude oil.Canada’s trade deficit with countries other than the United States increased to $5.8 billion in March from $5.2 billion in February.last_img read more

City awards tender for 5 million water recovery facility

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Fort St. John City Council has awarded the tender to build Phase 2 of a water recovery facility to a local firm.At Monday’s meeting, councillors voted in favour of awarding the tender for the project to Fort St. John-based Knappett Industries Ltd. for the price of $5,037,664. Knappett’s bid was the second-lowest of the five submitted, however, city staff said that the  $4,186,000 bid from WL Construction had a major error and had to be rejected. Furthermore, the City’s General Manager of Integrated Services Victor Shopland said that even if the error hadn’t been made, WL’s submission would have been higher than Knappett’s. Including engineering work, the project will total $5,577,664.00, which is $1,922,336.00 under the city’s $7.5 million budget. In his report, Shopland said that there is still roughly $2,000,000 left in construction costs for the first phase of the project, 1, which had a tendered start date in 2017 and a completion date in 2018. He said that Phase 2 has a completion date some time in 2019.last_img read more

Karunanidhi sceptical on Lanka

He suggested that the government could facilitate migration of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees to Australia, if they were confident of leading a better life Down Under. No purpose would be served by arresting and detaining them in prison whenever the refugees attempted to flee to Australia, he said. Condemning the serial blasts in Bodh Gaya, the former Chief Minister called for appropriate action against those responsible for it. Though Sri Lanka had reportedly said that its forces would not indulge in attacks against fishermen from Tamil Nadu but would adopt a humane approach, its track record showed that it had consistently gone back on its promises. The promises made by leaders of Sri Lanka to Menon would be discussed at the forthcoming meeting of the Tamil Eelam Supporters’ Organisation to be held in Chennai on July 16, he said in a statement. Given Sri Lanka’s track record of reneging on earlier commitments, it remains to be seen whether the country will fulfill its promises made to National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon during his recent visit to Sri Lanka, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president M. Karunanidhi said,The Hindu newspaper reported.Referring to Menon’s assertion after his meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa that Colombo should fulfill its commitment to India and the international community regarding a political settlement that would go beyond the 13 Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka, Karunanidhi expressed the hope that elections to the Northern Province would be held in an independent, fair and credible manner. Karunanidhi reiterated his demand for firm action from the Centre to put an end to the frequent attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen and their detention by the Sri Lankan Navy as the appeals made by political parties in the State, including the letters written by the Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, to the Prime Minister, did not have any impact. read more

Over 7500 devotees attend Kachchativu church feast

The Way of the Cross and the Holy Mass was held on Saturday (20th) while the Feast Mass was held the following day (21st Sunday). The Feast Mass was presided over by the Vicar General of the Jaffna Diocese and Bishop of the same Diocese His Lordship Rev. Dr. Justin Gnanapragasam. He was assisted by the Parish Priest of Delft and Kachchativu. The Navy had provided food, water, sanitary and other basic facilities and also had put up temporary jetties for people to secure their boats. Navy lifesaving personnel and medical teams had been deployed for the benefit of the devotees. The Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka had also provided Rs. 2.5 million towards the successful conduct of the event. (Colombo Gazette) Over 7500 devotees including clergy from both Sri Lanka and India attended the feast of St. Anthony’s church in Kachchativu, the Navy said today.The annual feast of St. Anthony’s church in Kachchativu islet was held during the weekend (20 & 21 February 2016) with the assistance of the Sri Lanka Navy. read more

Uber moves to repair tainted image with 20 firings 1 hiring

Uber moves to repair tainted image with 20 firings, 1 hiring FILE- This March 1, 2017, file photo shows an exterior view of the headquarters of Uber in San Francisco. Uber has fired more than 20 employees after a law firm investigated complaints of sexual harassment, bullying, discrimination and other violations of company policies. An Uber spokeswoman says the firm Perkins Coie was hired after former engineer Susan Fowler posted a blog in February about sex harassment at the ride-hailing company. Fowler wrote that on her first day at work her boss propositioned her in a series of messages. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File) by Tom Krisher, The Associated Press Posted Jun 7, 2017 9:25 am MDT Last Updated Jun 7, 2017 at 10:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email DETROIT – Uber, the world’s leading ride-hailing company, has taken two big steps toward repairing its corporate image: It fired 20 employees for a host of harassment problems and hired an Apple marketing executive to rescue its tainted brand.Those fired for sexual harassment as well as bullying, discrimination and other behaviour that violated company policies included both managers and lower-level workers. Some had retaliated against other employees after they complained about bad conduct, said Bobbie Wilson, a partner at the Perkins Coie law firm, which did the investigation.Separately, Uber announced Tuesday that it had hired Apple marketing executive Bozoma Saint John, who will be Uber’s chief brand officer. She ran global consumer marketing of Apple Music and iTunes. Her task at Uber will be to improve its brand image so people like it as well as they like the company’s ride services, an Uber spokeswoman said.“Boz has a long track record of successfully creating emotional connections between people and the products they love,” Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said in a statement.More action could come next week when a report on Uber’s culture by former Attorney General Eric Holder is likely to be made public. He is supposed to make broader recommendations on how to change Uber’s culture.During Uber’s ascent to becoming the world’s most valuable startup, the San Francisco-based company took Silicon Valley’s penchant for sexism, for cutthroat, unapologetic competition and distaste for government regulation and kicked it up several notches.For a while, this worked well, pushing Uber’s valuation to nearly $70 billion. But this year, Uber’s aggressive corporate culture and 40-year-old Kalanick’s self-admitted need to “fundamentally change and grow up” has caught up with it.In addition to the sexual harassment allegations, Uber is the target of lawsuits, boycott threats and a federal investigation into claims that it has used a fake version of its app to thwart authorities. It’s also been accused of corporate espionage by Waymo, formerly Google’s autonomous vehicle arm. Uber’s former chief autonomous car researcher took confidential documents from Waymo before his startup firm was purchased by Uber, according to a Waymo lawsuit.Uber also is searching for a chief operating officer and chief financial officer as it prepares for a possible public stock offering.Uber Technologies Inc. retained Perkins Coie after former engineer Susan Fowler posted a blog in February about sex harassment at the company. Fowler wrote that on her first day at work her boss propositioned her in a series of messages and superiors ignored her complaints.After the posting, Uber set up a 24-hour hotline to take complaints from employees, and hired Perkins Coie to investigate them. The firm checked into 215 complaints, and 57 remain under investigation. The hotline will remain in operation.The probe into Fowler’s complaints is still underway, and Wilson wouldn’t say if any of those fired, or 31 other employees placed in counselling, were involved in that.Wilson said Uber gave her law firm “unfettered access” to people and documents that were needed for the Fowler investigation.Problems at Uber are not unusual in the technology industry, given the company’s size of more than 14,000 employees, said Wilson, whose firm has done similar work for the biggest tech companies in the nation.____AP Technology Writer Barbara Ortutay contributed from New York. read more

BBC weather is severe disappointment which sacrifices UK for Europe veteran forecaster

first_imgWeather forecast in 2010 Bill Giles, the forecaster Bill Giles, the forecaster Previously, weather graphics were provided by Metra Weather. They are now produced by the BBC and Meteogroup.A spokesman for the BBC said: “BBC Weather has a more realistic map which presenters can customise by adding different layers of data to tell the most relevant weather story, as well as zooming in to areas of interest to give a more detailed forecast.”Towns and city names on the maps are a reference point for audiences and we will aim to ensure that most locations are represented over a period of time.”In addition, the temperature colours are now accessible for colour blindness, unlike the suggested blocks of colour by Mr Giles.”Before the launch of the new services we talked to audiences at length to pinpoint the best possible improvements and we are confident that overall people will appreciate the new features.” “Specifically, the BBC’s new weather forecasts, which I have to say, are as disappointing as a downpour in high summer.“If a weather forecast is supposed to give you a clear idea of what might be in store tomorrow, then the new weather maps, with their state-of- the-art graphics, are a severe disappointment.”Spelling out the difficulties he had experience, he said: “For a start the UK map appears a lot smaller on screen now.“You may be able to see much further east into Europe (almost to Stockholm, in fact), but if you want to know what is going on in, say, Southampton, near where I live, then you have your work cut out.”He added that while some people liked the background colour, he found it “impossible to detect” the difference between cloud and sunshine on screen and does not “for the life of me” understand why night time images have lights on. Low temperatures shown with a blue line Weather forecast in 2010 Low temperatures shown with a blue line Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The habit of highlighting sub zero temperatures with a thin blue line underneath would leave viewers “staring very hard at the screen” to decipher, he said.Regional broadcasts can be even worse, he added, with the old weather maps “better” and “more fit for purpose”.Advising viewers to tune in to Channel 5 instead, praising its “clear graphics”, Giles told the magazine: “Has the BBC’s move away from the Met Office to an independent company ‘to secure the best value for money for the licence payers’ been a success? “I think not.“However, the long-range outlook for BBC viewers need not be gloomy. If you want to see what the weather has in store, try watching the other side instead.” The BBC’s new weather forecasts are “severe disappointment” which diminish the size of Britain to show more of Europe, veteran broadcaster Bill Giles has said.Giles, the meteorologist who led the BBC weather team for 17 years until his retirement in 2000, said the new-look weather forecasts at the corporation are “as disappointing as a downpour in high summer”.Advising viewers to change channels, he has laid out a litany of problems from on-screen background to confusing temperature displays, saying the changes were not a good use of licence fee-payers’ money.Earlier this year, the BBC launched a “new modern look” for its weather services, as it entered a new deal with MeteoGroup instead of the Met Office it had worked with for 95 years.Delivering his verdict on the changes, in Radio Times magazine, veteran broadcaster Bill Giles said: “What has happened to our weather?“It’s not the first time someone has asked me – but this query was more pressing because the weather in question was the weather on the television.last_img read more

I felt so alone and afraid Out of the care system and

first_img 23 Comments Monday 17 Apr 2017, 9:49 AM Short URL Image: Leon/Farrell By Michelle Hennessy ‘I felt so alone and afraid’: Out of the care system and straight into homelessness The number of homeless 18-24 year olds has shot up in the last three years. Image: Leon/Farrell 19,871 Views center_img She got in touch with Focus Ireland and a temporary place was found for the young woman. They are now working towards getting her a flat of her own to move into.I can’t tell you how amazing it is not to be on the streets anymore. I don’t have to kill time on a dark corner until a shelter will let me in for the night. I don’t have to share a room with strangers who are a lot older than me. I honestly feel like that’s all behind me now. So one day soon I’m going to close my own door, lock it behind me and feel safe. I’m going to put the kettle on, sit down, relax and start planning my next move – looking for a job, doing a course and starting my new life.Young people in this age bracket now make up 10% of the recorded number of 7, 421 people who are currently homeless in Ireland.Focus Ireland’s Director of Advocacy Mike Allen said these young people have been “hit hard” by the reduced rate of social welfare available to them.“When a young person falls into the nightmare that is homelessness, there’s always an underlying reason. Not getting accommodation or support upon leaving State care, family problems, mental health challenges and/or purely economic pressures and unemployment,” he said.It is wrong that young people are often left to fend for themselves in these situations. Focus Ireland – and others – are providing many vital services in co-operation with the State and local authorities but a lot more needs to be done as these young people are in danger of becoming the forgotten homeless if we don’t have more action.The charity’s service ‘Housing First for Youth’ provides young people like Paula with housing as quickly as possible and then intensive person-centres supports like healthcare, counselling, education, training and financial advice.“Our Housing First for Youth pilot scheme in Limerick has seen huge success – we’ve already set up 40 young people in secure homes,” Allen said.“Twelve of them are in secondary school or third level education and 23 are in training or employment. A crucial factor in the success of the pilot has been the active collaboration of Limerick County Council , TUSLA and alongside the resources we can bring to this project.”Read: ‘You had to walk through a pub to get to your room, the smell of drink and drugs was disgusting’> THE NUMBER OF homeless 18-24 year-olds has shot up by 78% in the last three years according to the latest figures.The Department of Housing has reported 776 young people were homeless and in emergency accommodation in the week of 20-26 February this year. Back in April 2014 this figure was 436.Focus Ireland’s Easter appeal focuses on the story of a 19-year-old woman called Paula who recently experienced a period of sleeping on the streets and in emergency accomodation.“My mam had depression and she was an alcoholic. I had no brothers or sisters and dad died when I was a baby. At times it felt there was nobody to take care of me,” she said. “It wasn’t the best childhood. I was moved into care and lived in a couple of different places where there was a fair bit of bullying, and lots of people getting into drink and drugs.”At 18, she exited the care system and said she felt “so alone and afraid”.I packed my things and moved to a bedsit I’d found, but I only ended up lasting one night. It was filthy, damp, mouldy, and crawling with insects. The neighbours were scary. I left. And that is when I become homeless.“I was terrified,” she remembers. “I cried and cried and cried. I didn’t know what was going to happen to me. I tried to find somewhere more long-term to stay. But there was nothing I could afford.” Apr 17th 2017, 9:49 AM Share Tweet Email4 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Trump calls for end of resistance politics in State of Union

first_imgWASHINGTON — Facing a divided Congress for the first time, President Donald Trump on Tuesday called on Washington to reject “the politics of revenge, resistance and retribution.” He warned emboldened Democrats that “ridiculous partisan investigations” into his administration and businesses could hamper a surging American economy.Trump’s appeals for bipartisanship in his State of the Union address clashed with the rancorous atmosphere he has helped cultivate in the nation’s capital — as well as the desire of most Democrats to block his agenda during his next two years in office. Their opposition was on vivid display as Democratic congresswomen in the audience formed a sea of white in a nod to early 20th-century suffragettes.Trump spoke at a critical moment in his presidency, staring down a two-year stretch that will determine whether he is re-elected or leaves office in defeat. His speech sought to shore up Republican support that had eroded slightly during the recent government shutdown and previewed a fresh defense against Democrats as they ready a round of investigations into every aspect of his administration.“If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation,” he declared. Lawmakers in the cavernous House chamber sat largely silent.Looming over the president’s address was a fast-approaching Feb. 15 deadline to fund the government and avoid another shutdown. Democrats have refused to acquiesce to his demands for a border wall, and Republicans are increasingly unwilling to shut down the government to help him fulfill his signature campaign pledge. Nor does the GOP support the president’s plan to declare a national emergency if Congress won’t fund the wall.last_img read more

La Mesa crash leaves pedestrian with lifethreatening injuries

first_imgLa Mesa crash leaves pedestrian with life-threatening injuries LA MESA (KUSI) – An early-morning pedestrian crash in La Mesa left a man fighting for his life Saturday, police said.Just after 1:45 a.m., dispatchers were told a man had been struck by an SUV at the intersection of Fletcher Parkway and Baltimore Drive, according to La Mesa police Lt. Vince Brown.The man, believed to be in his 60s, had been walking north in a crosswalk when he was struck, Brown said. The driver stayed at the scene after the crash and cooperated with police.The pedestrian was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries, Brown said. No identity has been released.Drugs and alcohol were not believed to be factors in the collision. June 9, 2018 Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter KUSI Newsroom, center_img Updated: 3:55 PM Posted: June 9, 2018 KUSI Newsroom last_img read more

DEC Reports States Alaska Emits 4thMost Greenhouse Gases Per Capita

first_imgAlaska’s greenhouse gas emissions comprise about 0.63% of nationwide GHG emissions and 0.09% of global GHG emissions.  According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) and based on total energy-related carbon dioxide emissions for 2014, Alaska ranks 40th in emissions amongst all states. DEC commissioner Larry Hartig: “Seeing the oil and gas industry leading other Alaska industries in the amount of GHGs emitted is not unexpected. Oil and gas development on the North Slope is the largest industrial complex in Alaska.  Although it primarily relies on a relatively low-carbon fuel — natural gas — for the energy it needs to explore, produce, store, and transport crude oil and natural gas, it still ends up being the number one GHG emitter.” On a per capita basis, Alaska ranks fourth in the nation.  According to the report this can be explained in part by the fact there is a relatively large industrial complex in a state with a relatively small population (ranked 48th after Wyoming and Vermont.) Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享According to a report from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Alaska emits 4th-most greenhouse gases per capita. The updated inventory report builds on earlier reports issued by DEC (2007, 2015) and focuses primarily on GHG emissions from seven economic sectors in Alaska: industrial, transportation, residential and commercial, electrical generation, industrial processes, waste, and agriculture.  The report also includes data on emissions from wildfires and emission reservoirs, also known as emission sinks, which in most years covered by the report have trapped and stored carbon from the atmosphere. Hartig added: “It is also not surprising to see the transportation sector as our second largest sector of GHG emissions, given the amount of jet traffic in and out of Alaska and the fact that the GHG emissions associated with the burning of jet fuel sold in Alaska are attributed to the transportation sector in the inventory report.”center_img The report concludes that the industrial sector, which include the oil, gas, and coal industries, produces the most GHG emissions in Alaska on an annual basis, followed by the transportation, residential and commercial, and the electric generation sectors. Story as aired: Audio PlayerJennifer-on-greenhouse-emissions.mp3VmJennifer-on-greenhouse-emissions.mp300:00RPd The GHG of primary concern is carbon dioxide which is released during the burning of gasoline, natural gas, coal, and other fossil fuels. The DEC released its updated Alaska Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory Report.  The report describes and quantifies human-caused sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions occurring between 1990 and 2015 from Alaska operations and facilities.last_img read more

Nellore Stalemate continues over EWS quota in Andhra Pradesh

first_imgNellore: Albeit, the Union government had granted 10 pc quota in employment and education for Economic Weaker Sections (EWS) through amendment to the constitution.Still, the decision is a stalemate in the State. The ambiguity has been continuing since the Centre’s clear decision in January this year. Further, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet also gave nod for implementation of the Bill for providing reservation for filling vacancies in seats in central institutions across the country in April this year. Also Read – Vice-Prez to flag off Gudur Superfast Express Advertise With Us The reservation quota is being implemented in many States including neighbouring Telangana providing 10 per cent quota to the economically weaker sections. But there is no such move till now in the State. It is surprising that the Vice-Chancellor of Dr NTR University of Health Sciences wrote recently to the State government asking for stand on implementation of the quota in filling varsity seats. Also Read – Telugu Day fete held at DPS Advertise With Us In fact, 124th Amendment Bill, 2019 for articles 15 and 16 provided 10 per cent reservation to the EWS in the general category in direct recruitment and admissions in higher educational institutions. The reservation quota benefits people from upper castes like Brahmins, Rajputs or Thakurs, Jats, Marathas, Bhumihars, and several other castes including Kapus and Kammas in Andhra Pradesh. Advertise With Us Interestingly, the previous TDP government had allocated 5 per cent quota to the Kapus and the rest for EWS and the Centre denied the proposal. This quota is given only for the general category candidates other than already listed under reservation category. Already OBC is having 27 per cent, SCs 15 per cent, and ST 7.5 per cent. For the EWSs among general category candidates, only 10 per cent reservation is allowed, say the amendment. Further, there is an uproar on the reservation for EWS and some organisations approached the Supreme Court too which denied stay orders on the quota posting hearing on July 16. Eligibility criteria is for persons, who are not covered under the scheme of reservation for SCs, STs and OBCs and whose gross income is below Rs 8 lakh are eligible and the income shall in the form of salary, agriculture, business, profession, etc. Other criteria are people, who claim under the category should not have 5 acres of agricultural land and above; residential flat of 1,000 square feet and above; residential plot of 100 square yards and above in notified municipalities; residential plot of 200 square yards and above in areas other than the notified municipalities. For claiming this reservation, the State government must provide income and asset certificate. But the Revenue department is not issuing such certificates and they are giving only Other Caste (OC) certificates to the Brahmins, Kammas, Kapus and others from upper caste category. Officials say they hadn’t received any directions from the government for issuing such certificates and they have only provision for OCs. Since there is no clarity on the quota students from many central educational institutions in the State are losing opportunities. “Recently, DRDO advertised some technician posts for direct recruitment. They clearly mentioned about the EWS quota asking to upload the relevant certificate for claiming the reservation. But the revenue officials refused to give the certificate and hence I lost the chance,” said P Ravi Teja from Kovur.last_img read more

David Cameron booed and heckled by pensioners over NHS record at Age

first_imgClose David Cameron was met with verbal disdain as he attempted to defend his governments record on the NHS in front of a group of pensioners.Angry attendees at the Age UK conference heckled, jeered and booed the prime minister as he faced awkward questions over nurses pay and prescription charges.The Tory leader was asked how he would stop NHS nurses from quitting the organisation and take on similar roles as agency staff.Cameron argued well-run hospitals would be less reliant on agency workers and suggested management practices could counter the problem.The truth is well-run hospitals will be less reliant on agency staff, and so what we need to do is make sure there are good managers planning for the capacity they need, rather than rushing around hiring agency staff, he said.Ill never forget sitting in a hospital talking to an agency nurse who said she was sick that so many agency nurses are used as it is such a waste of money for the NHS. We need to make sure all hospitals copy the best hospitals that are less reliant on the NHS.But some audience members accused Cameron of not adequately answering the question and urged the prime minister to do so. Cameron then argued you cant blame doctors and nurses choosing to working in another hospital. He stressed NHS managers needed to plan their care more carefully to sure-up their workforce.Labour seized on the reception the prime minister received at the event and claimed Cameron cannot shake off his betrayal of the NHS.Under him, people are waiting a week or more for GP appointments, A and Es are in crisis and hundreds of thousands of vulnerable older people have lost social care support, Jamie Reed MP, Labours shadow health minister, said.The NHS cant afford the Tories plan for deeper care cuts in the next Parliament. Cameron has broken his promises on the NHS and has proven he cant be trusted with it.The incident comes with less than 50 days to go before the general election in May, with Labour and the Tories level-pegging (34% vs 34%) in the latest opinion poll from YouGov. The study, which surveyed more than 1,600 voters between 22 and 23 March, also put Ukip on 12%, the Liberal Democrats on 8% and the Greens on 6%.last_img read more

IS attacks kill more than 150 in Syria

first_imgRemains of a suicide bomb are seen in Sweida, Syria on 25 July 2018. — ReutersA string of suicide blasts and raids claimed by the Islamic State group killed more than 150 people in southern Syria on Wednesday, in one of the jihadists’ deadliest ever assaults in the country.The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the attacks hit several areas of the largely government-held southern province of Sweida, where IS retains a presence in a northeastern desert region.They came almost a week into a deadly Russia-backed regime campaign to oust IS fighters from a holdout in a neighbouring province of the country’s south.IS claimed responsibility for the violence, saying “soldiers of the caliphate” attacked Syrian government positions and security outposts in Sweida city, then detonated their explosive belts.The Britain-based Observatory said three suicide attackers set off booby-trapped belts in Sweida city, as other blasts hit villages to the north and east. A fourth suicide explosion hit the city later.”IS fighters then stormed villages in the province’s northeast and killed residents in their homes,” Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said.The suicide blasts and raids killed 156 people including 62 civilians, the Observatory said.The remaining 94 dead were pro-regime fighters, most of whom where residents who had picked up weapons to defend their villages, it said.Sweida, whose residents are mostly from the Druze minority, has been relatively insulated from the war that has ravaged the rest of the country since 2011.”It’s the bloodiest death toll in Sweida province since the start of the war” in 2011 and one of the deadliest ever in Syria, Abdel Rahman said.The violence also left 30 IS fighters dead, including the suicide attackers.The jihadists captured at least three of the seven villages they targeted but clashes were ongoing Wednesday, the Observatory said.- Abandoned shoes -State media confirmed the attacks had killed and wounded people in Sweida city and villages to the north and east, but did not give a specific toll.SANA published images of the attack’s aftermath in Sweida city, showing the remains of a victim sprawled on a staircase near a damaged wall.Abandoned shoes lay in the middle of the road among fruit that had spilled out of cartons.The UN’s humanitarian coordinator in Syria Ali al-Zaatari condemned the “terrorist bombing in Sweida city today,” saying all civilians should be protected.And the Russian foreign ministry said the IS attacks “confirm the need for energetic and coordinated efforts by the international community to eradicate this universal evil from Syrian territory”.State television said the army was targeting IS in the province’s east.Despite pro-government forces ousting the group from urban centres in eastern Syria last year, surprise IS raids in recent months have killed dozens of regime and allied fighters.The jihadists still hold some territory in Syria’s south, including in Sweida and another isolated but larger patch in neighbouring Daraa province, to the west.That pocket is held by Jaish Khaled bin al-Walid, a jihadist faction whose 1,000 fighters have pledged allegiance to IS.After ousting non-jihadist rebels from most of the country’s south, President Bashar al-Assad’s troops and his Russian allies are now closing in on the IS pocket in Daraa province.SANA said the IS attacks on neighbouring Sweida were an attempt to relieve pressure “on IS remnants facing their inevitable end in the western Daraa countryside”.- Desert holdouts -On Wednesday, Russia-backed regime forces pressed their heavy bombardment of the IS-held pocket in Daraa.At least 41 civilians have been killed in air strikes on the jihadist holdout since July 19, the monitor says.Fierce clashes between the two sides have killed 49 regime fighters and 67 jihadists.Syria’s south is ostensibly protected from fighting by an internationally brokered ceasefire since last year, but violence has dramatically risen in recent weeks.Last month, Assad launched a lightning assault that battered rebel areas in the south and brought most of Daraa province under his control.He then moved onto Quneitra, the neighbouring province which borders the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights.On Tuesday, a Syrian military source accused Israel of firing at one of its warplanes as it carried out operations against jihadists in Quneitra.Israel’s army earlier said it had shot down a Syrian fighter jet that had infiltrated Israeli airspace, risking another escalation around the sensitive buffer zone.The Damascus regime has long accused Israel of backing IS and other anti-government factions.IS overran large parts of Syria and neighbouring Iraq in 2014, but has since lost most of that territory.More than 350,000 people have been killed and millions displaced since Syria’s war started in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.Deadliest attacks in Syria since 2011A series of Islamic State group attacks in Syria on Wednesday killed more than 150 people, in one of the deadliest assaults ever by the jihadists.Here is a recap of the most fatal jihadist attacks to hit Syria since the beginning of the conflict in 2011.- 2011– December 23: Suicide bombers blow up two vehicles at security premises in Damascus, killing 44 people, including civilians in the first major attack since the start of the uprising.- 2012 — May 10: Fifty-five people are killed and more than 370 wounded when two blasts hit a Damascus highway during morning rush hour.- November 28: A double car-bombing in Jaramana near Damascus kills 54 and wounds 120.- 2013 — February 21: At least 83 people are killed when four attacks rip through Damascus, including a car bomb that explodes near ruling Baath party offices.- March 21: A suicide bomber inside the Iman Mosque in Damascus kills at least 49 people, including a prominent pro-regime Sunni cleric.- 2014 — February 14: At least 47 people die when a car bomb explodes in a rebel-held village in the southern Daraa province.- April 29: At least 100 people, mostly civilians, are killed by twin attacks in Homs targeting a majority Alawite neighbourhood. Assad is an Alawite, a branch of Shiite Islam. The attacks are claimed by the Al-Nusra Front, Al-Qaeda’s Syria affiliate.- October 1: Twin attacks outside a school in Homs kills 55 people including 49 children.- 2016 — February 21: Twin attacks strike a majority Alawite district of Homs, killing 64 people. Hours later an attack near a Shiite shrine south of Damascus kills 134 people.- May 23: More than 170 people, mostly civilians, are killed by seven near-simultaneous bombings in the predominantly Alawite coastal cities of Jableh and Tartus.- September 5: A series of blasts in government-controlled areas kill at least 48 people. The deadliest attack in which at least 35 people are killed is a double bombing in Tartus.- 2017 — February 24: Attacks near Al-Bab in the north kill 83 people including 45 civilians. The attacks come shortly after rebels seize the town from the jihadists.- February 25: A suicide assault on two security services in Homs kills between 30 and 42 people. The bombing is claimed by Syria’s former Al-Qaeda affiliate Fateh al-Sham Front.- March 11: A twin attack in Damascus claimed by Fateh al-Sham Front kills 74 people including 43 Shiite Iraqi pilgrims.- April 15: A suicide attack during an evacuation operation from besieged zones kills 150 people including 72 children, many from the towns of Fuaa and Kafraya.- November 5: A car bomb attack in the northeastern Deir Ezzor province kills 75 civilians.- 2018 — July 25: A string of suicide blasts and raids claimed by IS kill more than 150 people in the southern province of Sweida.last_img read more

Google Lobbyists Rally as States Consider Restrictions on Glass

first_img Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals 2 min read February 26, 2014 Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right.center_img As Google Glass nears wider implementation, wearers of the futuristic device are coming under siege.A San Francisco tech writer, for instance, was robbed and assaulted in a local bar by patrons who feared they were being recorded. (She later retrieved video from her Glass of the man that had snatched them from her face.)And so ahead of its planned launch later this year, Google is seeking to cope with a particularly influential group of Glass opponents: government officials. The company is reportedly lobbying legislators in at least three states that have proposed restrictions on wearing Google Glass while driving.”Technology issues are a big part of the current policy discussion in individual states and we think it is important to be part of those discussions,” a Google spokesperson told Related: Google Issues Some Pretty Darn Hilarious Glass Do’s and Don’t’s”While Glass is currently in the hands of a small group of Explorers, we find that when people try it for themselves they better understand the underlying principle that it’s not meant to distract but rather connect people more with the world around them.” Reuters reports that eight states are considering such regulations, and Google has thus far sent lobbyists to argue the measure with reps from Illinois, Delaware and Missouri. Officials from New York, Maryland and West Virginia were not contacted by Google, while legislators in New Jersey and Wyoming did not comment.Officials told Reuters that Google’s key point throughout the discussions was that “regulation would be premature because Google Glass is not yet widely available.” So far, no restrictions have passed.Related: Virgin Atlantic Is Using Google Glass to Greet Customers Register Now »last_img read more

Familiar name joins Uplift as new Senior BDM Canada

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group Familiar name joins Uplift as new Senior BDM, Canada Posted by Tuesday, June 4, 2019 TORONTO — Uplift has hired a new Senior Business Development Manager, Canada.Tanya Johnson, well-known from her stint as Sales Manager for Royal Irish Tours, is taking on the senior BDM role at the fintech start-up. Most recently Johnson was Strategic and Key Account Manager for Bedsonline.Uplift offers alternate payment solutions for travel, allowing clients to book now and pay over time. Uplift has hit the ground running in Canada with industry veteran Denise Heffron at the helm. Uplift has signed deals with, Travelbrands/, TPI – Travel Professionals International and Travel Only.About Johnson’s appointment, Heffron says: “We are delighted to have Tanya on the team, her experience and expertise will help ensure our continued growth and success in this market.”In the coming months Johnson will focus on building Uplift’s Canadian business, as well as training and on-boarding new partners. She can be reached at (416) 275-6047 or Sharelast_img read more

Journalist kidnapped in northern Mexico

first_img More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements MEXICO CITY (AP) – Mexican authorities say masked gunmen have kidnapped a police-beat reporter in the northern state of Sonora.State prosecutors’ spokesman Jose Larrinaga says reporter Marcos Antonio Avila Garcia was at a car wash in Ciudad Obregon when he was kidnapped Wednesday by three people with automatic rifles.Larrinaga said Friday no ransom had been requested for the reporter, who covered police news for Diario Sonora de la Tarde and El Regional. Comments   Share   5 ways to recognize low testosterone Sponsored Stories Larrinaga says police are investigating whether drug traffickers took Avila. He added that the 39-year-old reporter often wrote about organized crime.Mexico has become one of the world’s most dangerous countries for journalists in recent years as drug cartels fight bloody turf battles.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debatescenter_img Parents, stop beating yourself up New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Top Stories last_img read more

Guantanamo inmates swapped for Bergdahl could move freely

first_img WASHINGTON (AP) — Five senior Taliban leaders released last year from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl could move freely around the world next week as their one-year travel ban expires.The five detainees were sent to Qatar where government officials agreed to monitor their activities and prevent them from traveling out of the country under the terms of the May 2014 exchange. Bergdahl, who had been held captive by the Taliban for nearly five years after walking away from his Army post in Afghanistan, was released to the U.S. military. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement After the transfer, the House Armed Services Committee demanded the Pentagon release internal documents about the swap. The committee received hundreds, but lawmakers complain that they are heavily redacted. The committee inserted language in the fiscal 2016 defense policy bill that threatens to cut Pentagon spending by about $500 million if the Defense Department doesn’t provide additional information about the exchange.Army Lt. Col. Joe Sowers, a spokesman for the Defense Department, said the Pentagon has provided the committee with more than 3,600 pages of documents and redactions have been minimal.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Members of Congress have repeatedly expressed concern about what will happen after the travel ban expires. They have asked the Obama administration to try to persuade Qatar to extend the monitoring.“It’s impossible for me to see how they don’t rejoin the fight in short order,” said Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., wrote Defense Secretary Ash Carter in March, asking him to take any step necessary to make sure the five do not return to the battlefield in Afghanistan. And earlier this month, the 13 Republican members of the House Intelligence committee wrote President Barack Obama asking him to urge Qatar to extend travel restrictions on the former detainees indefinitely.“If, as scheduled, Qatar permits these five former detainees to possess passports and travel to Afghanistan or Pakistan when the memorandum of understanding expires on June 1, they will be at liberty to play an even more direct role in attacks against the men and women of our military,” they wrote.Many lawmakers from both parties were irate when the five Guantanamo detainees were swapped for Bergdahl. They complained that the White House did not give Congress a 30-day notification of the transfer, which is required by law. The White House said it couldn’t wait 30 days because Bergdahl’s life was endangered. One or more of the detainees had some members of the al-Qaida-affiliated Haqqani militant group travel to Qatar to meet with them earlier in the year, according to Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. That was an indication that the group was reaching out to communicate with the so-called Taliban Five, said Graham, who predicts all five will rejoin the fight.Four of the five former detainees remain on the United Nations’ blacklist, which freezes their assets and has them under a separate travel ban. But the U.N. itself has acknowledged that its travel ban has been violated. In a report late last year, the U.N. sanctions committee stated: “Regrettably, the monitoring team continues to receive a steady — albeit officially unconfirmed — flow of media reports indicating that some listed individuals have become increasingly adept at circumventing the sanctions measures, the travel ban in particular.”The State Department insists that U.S. officials work to mitigate the risk of former Guantanamo detainees returning to the fight, threatening Americans or jeopardizing U.S. national security. U.S. officials have noted in the past that the five Taliban leaders are middle-aged or older, were former officials in the Taliban government and probably wouldn’t be seen again on any battlefield, although they could continue to be active members of the Taliban. Comments   Share   How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitycenter_img FILE – In this file image taken from video obtained from Voice Of Jihad Website, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, sits in a vehicle guarded by the Taliban in eastern Afghanistan. A one-year travel ban is expiring for five senior Taliban leaders held in U.S. detention at Guantanamo Bay until they were released last year in exchange for Bergdahl, who was held captive by the Taliban for nearly five years after he walked away from his Army post in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Voice Of Jihad Website via AP video, File) Sponsored Stories The vital role family plays in society Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day He recently was charged with desertion.U.S. officials have discussed with the Qataris the possibility of extending the travel ban after it expires on June 1. But so far, the White House has not publicly announced any new agreement with Qatar, meaning the five could leave the tiny nation on the Arabian Peninsula at the end of the month.“In Congress, we spent a lot of time debating whether the Qataris were going to adequately keep an eye on them in the course of the 12 months,” said Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence committee. “My point all along was that I’m more worried about month No. 13 than the first 12.”Schiff has been privy to the details of the still-secret memorandum of understanding the U.S. reached with Qatar that put the five under a 12-month watch following their release.“The Qataris did pretty good — I wouldn’t say perfect,” he said about the year-long monitoring. “But the big question is what comes next.”At least one of the five allegedly contacted militants during the past year while in Qatar. No details have been disclosed about that contact, but the White House confirmed that one was put under enhanced surveillance. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said last week: “I know that at least one has had communication with the Taliban.” New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Top Stories last_img read more

San Fran the Golden Gate to Aussie travellers

first_imgMore Australian travellers are ticking the Golden Gate Bridge off their ‘Bucket List’, with Aussies now the third largest market into the American city.  Trailing behind the European and Asian markets, according to the Travel and Tourism Industries latest figures, up to 228,000 Australian visitors landed in San Francisco last year, a 22 percent increase on the prior year.Making up to 20 percent of San Fran’s total visitors, San Francisco Travel president Joe D’Alessandro said the city was a “desirable destination” for Aussies in both the leisure and business sectors.“We are extremely fortunate to have been the host city for the U.S. Open in June of this year and look forward to welcoming the America’s Cup World Series later this summer and the America’s Cup in 2013, which will attract even more visitors to San Francisco,” he added.Figures also found Aussies were spending more last year, with a 9.8 percent increase in visitor spend to up to $8.46 billion compared to the prior year. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

Its lights on for Vivid Sydney

first_imgIt’s lights on! for Vivid SydneyIt’s lights on! for Vivid SydneySydney will burst into breathtakingly brilliant colour tonight as the lights are switched on for the 10th anniversary of Vivid Sydney, the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas. Over the next 23 days and nights, Australia’s largest event will transform the city into a colourful showcase of illumination, sensational sounds and creative thinking from 25 May to 16 June 2018.The ‘Lights On’ moment, marking the start of the festival, will see all eyes turn to the Sydney Opera House for the Lighting of the Sails, created this year by award-winning artist from the North Coast of NSW, Jonathan Zawada, and featuring fantastical digital sculptures of everyday objects and natural specimens that evolve, dissolve, mutate and move.This year the lights shine bright each night at nine precincts across Sydney including Barangaroo, Chatswood, Circular Quay, The Rocks, Darling Harbour, Kings Cross, Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, Taronga Zoo and for the first time, Luna Park.In addition to Vivid Light, a massive line-up of local and international superstars will perform across the city as part of Vivid Music, such as Solange, St. Vincent and the Branford Marsalis Quartet. Vivid Ideas will bring together some of the creative world’s cutting edge icons, including Game Changers James Cameron, Dare Jennings, Jane McGonigal and Kriti Sharma, for a series of talks, seminars and workshops.Visitors to Vivid Sydney are encouraged to plan ahead and take public transport, with more than 6,000 extra services running throughout the festival.To plan your trip, visit = Destination NSWlast_img read more