Atlantic forestry experts on lookout for arrival of destructive invasive insect

first_imgHALIFAX – Forestry experts in Atlantic Canada are getting ready for the arrival of a new, invasive species that has destroyed millions of ash trees in other parts of Canada.The Emerald Ash Borer is a non-native pest from Asia that was first introduced in Canada and the United States in 2002, and is now making its way to Nova Scotia.Andrew Williams, the urban forestry co-ordinator for the Town of Truro, says the bug is east of Montreal and only a day’s drive from Atlantic Canada but that they are monitoring for it with traps in the community.Experts say larvae feed beneath the bark of ash trees — cutting off their ability to move water and nutrients, and eventually killing them.He says that once an ash tree is infected, it is lost within three years.Williams tells Global News that the pest could eliminate ash from North America, particularly since there are no natural predators or diseases to keep populations in check.last_img read more

FIR registered against BJP candidate Locket Chatterjee

first_imgKolkata: The Election Commission has directed the Presiding Officer of booth number 159 at Dhaniakhali under Hooghly Lok Sabha constituency to lodge an FIR against BJP candidate Locket Chatterjee after a BJP activist damaged the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) after allegedly being “instigated” by her.The Election Commission has initiated a probe into the incident and also sought a report from the District Magistrate of Hooghly in this regard. The Commission will take a decision after going through the report submitted by the district election officials. The incident led to the disruption of voting as the EMV and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) were damaged in the process. After being instructed by the Commission, the Presiding Officer of the booth registered an FIR at the local police station. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThe incident created a chaos inside the polling booth and outside. The local villagers staged protest demonstrations in front of Chatterjee when she stepped out of the polling booth. It was alleged that one Nirmal Pal, a close aide of Chatterjee, threw the EVM on the floor and broke it. Some of the locals alleged that Chatterjee instigated her party activists to break the EVM. The local villagers put up a roadblock few meters away from the booth calling the incident a blot on the largest democracy of the world. They staged demonstration and gheraoed Chatterjee’s car. She had to face the wrath of the villagers and also got involved in heated altercations with them. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayIn a booth at Kakrakhuli area of Hooghly, Chatterjee entered a booth after she came to know that the BJP polling agent was driven out from there. Chatterjee again courted controversy as she threatened the Trinamool Congress agent by saying that she would slap him. On a number of occasions, Chatterjee was extremely abusive on Monday. Some of the villagers in Hooghly’s Belmuri were asked by Chatterjee to shout a slogan ‘Jai Shree Ram’. They denied and in turn shouted ‘Vande Mataram’ slogan. Chatterjee considered the villagers as Trinamool Congress supporters and lost her cool. A heated altercation ensued and she allegedly threatened them. Chatterjee alleged that TMC carried out rigging at a booth in Mullickpur area of Hooghly.last_img read more

UNled group discusses how to implement recent Somali peace deal

The International Contact Group (ICG), led by Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, met yesterday to confer on how best to implement to implement the so-called Djibouti Agreement signed between the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the rebel group known as the Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia (ARS) last month.Somalia has not had a functioning national government since 1991, and the country was further plunged into violence when the TFG, backed by Ethiopian forces, dislodged the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) from Mogadishu and much of the country last December.“Members of the ICG urge the parties to the Djibouti Agreement to agree on concrete measures to implement the cessation of armed confrontation to allow the timely withdrawal of Ethiopian forces and the deployment of the stabilization force requested” in the pact, according to a communiqué issued by the participants.The Group voiced its readiness to support the pact both politically and financially, as well as addressing justice, impunity and the political future of the two sides, among other issues.“The ICG condemns the continuing violence in Somalia especially the most vulnerable members of society – women and children,” it said. “It condemns all attacks against humanitarian workers and calls on all parties to immediately cease all hostilities and allow free and unhindered access for humanitarian aid and calls for an increase in international support for humanitarian needs.”The communiqué voiced its strong support for the efforts of the UN-backed African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) to stabilize the country, condemning attacks against its troops and urging the international community to contribute more resources to allow it to deploy at full capacity.It also expressed concern over the rise in piracy off the country’s coast, which threatens the delivery of urgently-needed relief, welcoming support by countries for UN World Food Programme (WFP) seaborne shipments to Somalia.Yesterday’s meeting was also attended by representatives of: Canada, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Italy, Kenya, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as the African Union (AU), European Commission (EC), European Union (EU), the InterGovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the League of Arab States, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and the World Bank. 17 September 2008A United Nations-chaired international group of countries and organizations supporting the consolidation of peace in conflict-wracked Somalia has met in neighbouring Djibouti to discuss how to put a recent reconciliation agreement by the Horn of Africa nation’s warring political groups into practice. read more

UN chief urges Japanese young people to become leaders for disarmament

4 August 2010Stressing that Japan has a unique role to play in the area of nuclear disarmament, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on the nation’s young people to lead the way on efforts to rid the world of these deadly weapons. “Become leaders for disarmament,” Mr. Ban told students at Waseda University in Tokyo. “The international community is looking to you for your leadership and for your vision.”The Secretary-General is in the Japanese capital ahead of this week’s commemoration of the 65th anniversary of the August 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.“The world needs you – Japan’s young people – to keep the memory of Hiroshima and Nagasaki alive,” he stated, adding that he hopes the younger generation will carry the torch that their parents and grandparents have lit. He urged Japanese young people to tell the stories of the survivors of the nuclear bombs, the hibakusha, stating that “their testimony is the most graphic argument against the nuclear threat.” Mr. Ban highlighted the important role played by Japan in work of the UN, including in rebuilding Afghanistan, assisting Haiti following the devastating January earthquake and supporting the efforts of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).At the same time, he pointed out that it is in the area of nuclear disarmament that the country has a particular contribution to make given its experience during the Second World War.“In all these areas, Japan is an irreplaceable partner of the United Nations. But in the area of nuclear disarmament, you have a special and unique role,” Mr. Ban stated. “Some people argue that disarmament is too difficult … That it is an unrealistic goal … That it can never be achieved, at least in our lifetimes.“I am here to say that is not true. Yes, it is difficult. But it is not impossible,” he stated.In October 2008, the Secretary-General proposed a five-point plan on disarmament that includes recommendations on increasing security, on verification, on establishing a legal framework for nuclear disarmament, on transparency and on conventional weapons.While there has been some progress since then, greater efforts are needed to advance on this critical issue, he said.Mr. Ban reiterated this message during a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, in which he stressed the need for the international community to work harder to see a world free of nuclear weapons. “It may seem to be a very big, ambitious agenda but this can be achieved, if there is a strong political will. “I hope that my attendance in the Peace Memorial Ceremony on Friday in Hiroshima will send out a strong message to the world and give some opportunity of addressing the suffering and concerns of many hundreds of thousands of hibakusha whose dream is to see a world free of nuclear weapons during their lifetime,” he stated. While in Tokyo, the Secretary-General also met with the Minister of Defence, Toshimi Kitazawa, and with a number of other senior Japanese officials, including the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President of the House of Councillors and other members of Parliament. In addition, he met with the Chairman of the Japan Business Federation – or Keidanren – as well as with UN staff at a town hall meeting at UN University and with the university’s rector. read more

Sierra Leone UN mission says first joint patrol in Kambia great success

Describing it as the first significant operation of its kind, the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) said today that it had conducted a joint border patrol with the Sierra Leonean army in the northern district of Kambia along the border with Guinea.“The joint border patrol was a great success and it exemplifies a mutual cooperation between UNAMSIL and RSLAF,” the Mission said in a statement, referring to its joint effort with the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces. The three-day patrol, which began on 8 February, involved UN peacekeepers from the Kenyan battalion and a platoon from the RSLAF’s Force Reconnaissance Unit. According to UNAMSIL, the patrol was a join initiative of the Mission’s Force Commander, Lt. Gen. Daniel I. Opande, and the RSLAF.

Twitters losses mount ahead of IPO despite doubling revenue

by The Associated Press Posted Oct 15, 2013 3:52 pm MDT NEW YORK, N.Y. – Twitter’s losses are mounting as the online messaging service prepares to make its stock market debut.A regulatory filing Tuesday disclosed the San Francisco company lost nearly $65 million during the three months ending in September.That’s the largest quarterly setback that Twitter has suffered during the past three years. Twitter lost about $22 million at the same time last year.In a development likely to hearten prospective investors, Twitter’s revenue more than doubled from last year to nearly $169 million.But the company’s rising losses could dampen some of the enthusiasm for Twitter’s initial public offering. The IPO is expected to be completed next month, though the company hasn’t set a target date.Twitter ended September with 232 million active users, up from 218 million in June. Twitter’s losses mount ahead of IPO despite doubling revenue AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Crews work to contain sheen after Oregon train derailment

by Gene Johnson And Gillian Flaccus, The Associated Press Posted Jun 3, 2016 2:46 pm MDT Last Updated Jun 4, 2016 at 5:20 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email An oil train burns near the Oregon town of Mosier after derailing Friday, June 3, 2016. (Alan Berner(/The Seattle Times via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT TO BOTH THE SEATTLE TIMES AND THE PHOTOGRAPHER Crews work to contain sheen after Oregon train derailment SEATTLE – Environmental crews worked Saturday to contain a sheen of oil that appeared in the Columbia River along the Washington-Oregon border after a Union Pacific train derailed and caught fire, but officials said there was no immediate indication of harm to wildlife.Sixteen of the 96 tank cars on the train derailed Friday near Mosier, Oregon, about 70 miles east of Portland. Four burned, sending a thick plume of black smoke into the sky before firefighters were able to extinguish the flames a little after 2 a.m. Saturday.No injuries were reported.There was no immediate word on the cause of the derailment, which forced the evacuation of about 100 people from a nearby mobile home park, as the site remained too hot to examine. Officials said they would consider lifting the evacuation order Saturday evening.“I want to apologize to the community,” Union Pacific spokeswoman Raquel Espinoza said at a news conference, adding that the company would pick up the tab for the response costs. “This is the type of accident we work to prevent every day.”The derailment, in the scenic Columbia River Gorge, manifested the fears of environmentalists who have long argued against shipping oil by rail — especially through populated areas or along a river that’s a hub of recreation and commerce. The tank cars were carrying especially volatile crude from the Northern Plains’ Bakken region, which has a higher gas content and vapour pressure than other types of oil.More than 100 people rallied and marched in nearby Hood River, Oregon, on Saturday to call for a halt to the practice. Emily Reed, the city council president in Mosier, joined them.In a telephone interview, Reed said her son was evacuated from school because of the derailment. Her husband, a firefighter, was a first responder. The family evacuated their house, and her father was unable to ship the first crop from his small cherry orchard.“I’ve just listed four major risks that I have, and I don’t see the benefit I’m getting in exchange for this risk,” Reed said. “There is no safe way for these fossil fuel trains to come through our town, and I’d like to see them stopped until there are standards and we know it’s safe.“This isn’t a one-off,” Reed said. “It’s happening in my town, but next time it’ll be somebody else’s town.”At first light Saturday, crews noticed a light sheen in the Columbia at the mouth of Rock Creek. Responders deployed about 1,000 feet of boom to contain it. It wasn’t clear how much oil had spilled from the trains.By Saturday afternoon, three of the cars had been re-railed. Crews had been waiting for the cars to cool before transferring the oil into tank trucks.Union Pacific officials said Saturday the company had inspected the section of track where the derailment occurred at least six times since March 21. It was most recently checked last Tuesday, and within the past month, the company had used checked for imperfections and inspected the ground along the track.To get to refineries on the East and West coasts and the Gulf of Mexico, oil trains move through more than 400 counties, including major metropolitan areas such as Philadelphia; Seattle; Chicago; Newark, New Jersey; and dozens of other cities, according to railroad disclosures filed with regulators.Including Friday’s incident, at least 26 oil trains have been involved in major fires or derailments during the past decade in the U.S. and Canada, according to Associated Press analysis of accident records from the two countries.The worst was a 2013 derailment that killed 47 people in Lac-Megantic, Quebec. Damage from that accident has been estimated at $1.2 billion or higher.At least 12 of the oil trains that derailed over the past decade were carrying crude from the Northern Plains’ Bakken region. Of those, eight resulted in fires.Since last spring, North Dakota regulators have required companies to treat oil before it’s shipped by rail to make it less combustible.Reducing the explosiveness of the crude moved by rail was not supposed to be a cure-all to prevent accidents. Department of Transportation rules imposed last year require companies to use stronger tank cars that are better able to withstand derailments.The tank cars that derailed in Oregon were newer model CPC-1232s, said Union Pacific spokesman Justin Jacobs.Critics say the upgraded models still aren’t safe enough to transport volatile Bakken oil.__Flaccus reported from Portland. read more

At General Assemblys committee debate UN senior official flags that peacekeeping works

“It is a very versatile tool, but also cost effective. The resources spent by the international community on UN peacekeeping are but a small fraction of global defence spending – despite UN peacekeeping’s relatively low price tag, a credible body of research credits peacekeeping with contributing significantly to the decline in casualties due to civil wars,” the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Herve Ladsous, told the General Assembly’s Special Political and Decolonization Committee.“The investment in peacekeeping has also prevented and alleviated suffering for an untold number of people,” he added. “The relative stability peacekeeping offers has also helped restore a measure of confidence of local and international investors in post-conflict zones, increasing economic activity and raising the GDP [gross domestic product] of these same countries. Put plainly: peacekeeping works.” Also known as the ‘Fourth Committee,’ the body deals with a variety of subjects, including peacekeeping and mine action. Made up of representatives of UN Member States, it is one of six such committees which tackle specific issues and themes under discussion by the broader General Assembly, but which lend themselves to more effective discussion in smaller settings covering different topics. Part of the Fourth Committee’s activities include an annual debate at which it receives a briefing from the head of UN peacekeeping operations, as well as the head of the Department of Field Support (DFS), which provides support in the areas of finance, logistics, communication and technology and human resources, amongst others.In his remarks, Under-Secretary-General Ladsous noted that peacekeeping “seems always to be at a crossroads” because it is frequently at the centre of the international community’s response to conflict. “This is because it has proven to be an essential and versatile vehicle for political, as well as operational action. Even as we conduct periodic reviews and right-sizing to optimize the use of personnel and resources entrusted to us, we will develop possible concepts and options to meet future challenges,” he said. “To succeed, we will need the right strategic approach to keep pace with evolving requirements of the countries concerned.”The UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations currently has more than 120,000 personnel – both in uniform and civilians – serving in 16 peace missions around the world. In his briefing to the Fourth Committee, Mr. Ladsous gave an overview of the peace operations, as well as the strategic context they operate in, and policy and reform issues. Referring to the now-ended operation in Syria, the UN official noted how peacekeeping activities – with the support of UN Member States – can respond swiftly even in the most challenging circumstances.Set up the Security Council in April with up to 300 unarmed observers, the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) was charged with monitoring a cessation of violence in the Middle Eastern country, in addition to other tasks, before the Council eventually decided not to renew its mandate due to the escalating violence on the ground.“Despite the tight timelines and uncertain conditions, a wide range of TCCs [troop-contributing countries] promptly offered personnel, and observers from 60 countries were quickly deployed and commenced operations,” Mr. Ladsous said. “It proved that swift deployments are possible, and that highly qualified blue berets can make a difference in a complex and challenging environment.” Syria has been wracked by violence, with at least 20,000 people, mostly civilians, estimated to have been killed since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began some 20 months ago. Some 2.5 million people are also in dire need of humanitarian assistance, according to UN estimates.Turning to operations in West Africa, the UN peacekeeping chief noted how gains made in peace efforts there are “extremely fragile and vulnerable to reversal,” particularly mentioning the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI).“In Côte d’Ivoire, despite progress made towards restoring normalcy since the violent post-election crisis in 2010/11, the country continues to face significant threats and challenges. The root causes of instability are yet to be addressed,” Mr. Ladsous said, adding that the security situation has deteriorated over the past months, particularly in the country’s west and along the border area with Liberia, as well as recently in the city of Abidjan and the country’s east. The border area with Liberia has been the scene of heightened tensions due, in particular, to the cross-border movement of armed groups. The two peacekeeping operations in the area – UNOCI and the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) – have increased their cooperation in the area, particularly in the wake of the killings of civilians there and an attack in June, in western Côte d’Ivoire, which left seven UN peacekeepers dead.The UN peacekeeping chief devoted time in his speech to Sudan, South Sudan and Abyei, where close to a third of all UN peacekeepers are currently serving.In the western Sudanese region of Darfur, he noted, while the previous large-scale conflict has largely abated since the establishment of the joint UN-African Union peacekeeping mission there, known by the acronym UNAMID, challenges remain – such as continuing conflict between Government and opposition forces, increased criminality and banditry, and restlessness among militia formerly supportive of the Government. “Progress has also been slow in the implementation of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD),” he added. A comprehensive peace plan finalized in May 2011 in Doha, Qatar, the DDPD forms the basis for a permanent ceasefire and comprehensive peace agreement to end the fighting that began in Darfur nine years ago, pitting Government forces and allied militiamen against rebel groups.Established in July 2007, UNAMID has the protection of civilians as its core mandate, but is also tasked with contributing to security for humanitarian assistance and assisting with an inclusive political process, amongst other responsibilities.Meanwhile, the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), Mr. Ladsous noted, has been helping South Sudan – in its second year of independence from Sudan – face “significant” internal security and state building challenges.“The relation between Sudan and South Sudan has also, for the most part of 2012, been dogged by a lack of agreement on the resolution of outstanding issues of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement,” he said.These include, he added, the implementation of security arrangements, oil and financial agreements, and the establishment of institutions in the Abyei area, a disputed region straddling the border between Sudan and South Sudan. In addition, both countries have also accused each other of cross border incursions and of providing support to their rebel groupsMr. Ladsous noted that that UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) – charged with overseeing the demilitarization of the area and maintain security – has nevertheless succeeded in restoring security in the past year and the demarcation and delineation of the contested border. In late September, in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan signed cooperation agreements in a range of areas, particularly in security, the common border and economic relations. The agreements were welcomed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the members of the Security Council, amongst others.“If implemented in good faith, the agreements… should allow them to focus on building two viable and stable states and UNISFA, in particular, will be responsible for supporting the border security arrangements,” Mr. Ladsous stated.South Sudan became independent from Sudan in July last year, six years after the signing of the peace agreement that ended decades of warfare between the north and the south. However, the peace between the two countries had come under threat over recent months by armed clashes along their common border and outstanding post-independence issues that have yet to be resolved.In relation to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the peacekeeping chief flagged how the situation in the country’s east has deteriorated significantly due to the activities of the March 23 Movement (M23). The DRC’s eastern provinces of North and South Kivu have witnessed increased fighting between Government troops and the M23, which is composed of renegade soldiers who mutinied in April. The fighting has displaced more than 300,000 people, including many who have fled to neighbouring Rwanda and Uganda, as well as within DRC. Peacekeepers with the UN Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) have been supporting Government efforts against the M23, and have clashed with its fighters on several occasions. In mid-October, six UN peacekeepers and a local interpreter were wounded in an overnight ambush in North Kivu province, while another peacekeeper was killed in the same province in July when he was caught in a cross-fire in clashes between the DRC’s armed forces and the M23.In Afghanistan, Mr. Ladsous said, the mission there is actively preparing the post-2014 phase, particularly in terms of supporting a peaceful political transition, including its support to the Afghan authorities in the planning and organizing of the presidential elections in 2014 by Afghan electoral authorities, in addition to helping with an Afghan-led reconciliation process and furthering international support in line with Afghan priorities. While the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) is a political mission, it is directed by DPKO. Mr. Ladsous added that UNAMA, at the request of the Security Council in 2011, reviewed its activities and posture to optimize resources and focus on priority core mandate areas in an increasingly supporting role to Afghan counterparts. Crossing over to the Asia-Pacific region, the peacekeeping chief paid tribute to the efforts of the staff of the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT), which helped the country with the peaceful and orderly conduct of two rounds of presidential elections and the parliamentary elections this year, as well as the inauguration of the country’s new Fifth Constitutional Government in August.UNMIT has started a phased drawdown which is expected to lead to the closure of the Mission on 31 December 2012. “This is the outcome that we wish for all our Missions, and I wish to pay tribute here to those who have served in Timor, and of course the Timorese themselves, for this formidable achievement,” Mr. Ladsous added. Looking ahead, the UN official stressed the need to be prepared for potential future roles for UN peacekeeping “whether in Mali, Syria, Somalia, or elsewhere.”“While we cannot predict when or where our next operation may be mandated or in what configurations, our responsibility is to be proactive in planning for a range of contingencies so we may engage rapidly and effectively if called to action by the Security Council,” he said. “In this, we will continue, with the support of this Committee, to further our partnership with regional organisations.”He made particular mention of the African Union, describing it as a “vital strategic partner” to UN peacekeeping, and expressing his commitment to enhancing strategic and operational cooperation with it, building on experiences shared between the world and regional bodies in Somalia and Sudan.In his speech, Mr. Ladsous listed five priorities for UN peacekeeping: military and police capacities; civilian capacities, in particular, rule of law and security institutions; the mandated roles of UN peacekeeping in peacebuilding and the protection of civilians; strengthened field support arrangements, through DFS’ Global Field Support Strategy (GFSS); and, the conduct of UN personnel, with the need to hold them to the highest standards.“With respect to military and police capacities, we are working to place effectiveness at the heart of our operations through a ‘capability-driven’ approach,” he said. “I see the introduction of an overarching quality assurance framework, supported by guidance and training, as a means to improve performance, while also enhancing safety and security. Under this broad performance framework, we have specific initiatives to ensure a practical and field-oriented approach.” On standards, the peacekeeping chief noted that three sets of initial standards on medical, staff officer training and infantry battalions have been established, with DPKO working to pilot, with a specific troop-contributing country, the application of the so-called Infantry Battalion Manual, from pre-deployment through to deployment and rotation. Mr. Ladsous said that DPKO is considering introducing new technologies such as unarmed Unmanned Aerial Systems to the peacekeeping missions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Côte d’Ivoire, in support of the implementation of their mandates, as well as to enhance force protection and staff security and to reduce their dependency on helicopters. “I am aware of the sensitivities surrounding the use of such technology and would like to assure you that the use of this technology would be with the agreement of the host countries and in full transparency with all countries concerned,” the Under-Secretary-General said. In the area of civilian capacities, Mr. Ladsous said that strengthening the performance and structures of police, justice and corrections institutions, conducting Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR), and supporting national security sector reform efforts are ongoing priorities as these areas are vital to consolidating peace. “This is an area of growing demand,” he said. “DPKO’s rule of law and security institutions team is working to roll out new ways to monitor progress in these difficult areas through use of some indicators developed in partnership with peacekeeping, human rights and development partners.” On UN peacekeeping’s peacebuilding and protection of civilians responsibilities, Mr. Ladsous flagged DPKO’s “important” progress on clarifying the role of peacekeepers in peacebuilding. He also said that DPKO and DFS can now build on a solid base of guidance and training, and focus on application and training. He noted that regional courses have been conducted so far in Latin America and Asia to prepare Member States’ military, police and civilian trainers. “Recognising the primary responsibility of the host-countries to protect civilians, we are working to develop the capacity of host-state security institutions, particularly police, to sensitise them to their responsibilities to protect, and to strengthen accountability and oversight through justice and security sector reform,” Mr. Ladsous said. “We also coordinate closely with capacity-building efforts by bilateral and development partners. We also understand that the best protection is prevention and are focusing on establishing effective early warning mechanisms in our missions,” he added. On DFS’ Global Field Support Strategy, the Under-Secretary-General for Field Support and head of DFS, Ameerah Haq, told the Fourth Committee that the GFSS will bring about a clearer division of labour amongst various UN bodies involved – UN Headquarters, the world body’s Global Service Centre, its Regional Service Centre in the Ugandan city of Entebbe, and the peacekeeping missions.“Today, operational, transactional, and strategic functions too often take place alongside one another at all four levels of activity; this duplication of roles must be replaced with a clear delineation of responsibilities and functions,” Ms. Haq said.“(UN) Headquarters must focus on dialogue with, and guidance from, Member States, and on strategic support to the field. The Global Service Centre must evolve into the role of logistics and IT hub for UN peace operations worldwide – the global supply chain manager,” she added. “The Regional Service Centre should carry out the lion’s share of administrative transactions for its client missions. And, in the field, missions and their staff and personnel must receive the quality support they require.” In regards to the conduct of UN personnel, Under-Secretary-General Ladsous said that the collective efforts of the United Nations and countries which contribute police and military personnel are making a difference. “Misconduct allegations in missions continue to decline, in particular those involving sexual exploitation and abuse,” Mr. Ladsous said, adding that both he and Ms. Haq are personally committed to upholding the highest standards of conduct for all UN peacekeeping personnel. “We, together with PCCs (police-contributing countries) and TCCs (troop-contributing countries), need to continue our efforts and ensure full attention to all categories of personnel and to respond to any allegations swiftly and decisively,” he stated. “I also look to our contributors to ensure that the personnel they contribute meet the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity, including in terms of human rights and criminal records.” read more

What Have The Knicks Done

In response, FiveThirtyEight’s biggest NBA fans gathered to process the reported trade.chris.herring (Chris Herring, senior sportswriter): I covered the Knicks for five years. Not their worst five, necessarily. But saw their worst season in franchise history. You’re naturally going to see them do things that make you scream, “Why?!” But this is a new level, even for me.This Porzingis trade, if they don’t land a max-level star or two, is just befuddling.tchow (Tony Chow, video producer/angry Knicks fan): I think I’m going to be a Brooklyn Nets fan now. Why the hell would you do this?natesilver (Nate Silver, editor in chief): Do we know what draft pick compensation they got, if any? Because that seems pretty important. (These details, which weren’t clear during the time of the chat, emerged shortly after we finished the conversation. New York will receive two future first-round picks in the trade.)chris.herring: Not the exact terms, no. Though it seems really likely that the Mavs are going to give up something on that front.natesilver: I guess I’d say this: The process by which the Knicks got to this point is crazy. The outcome, I think, might not be as bad as it seems at first glance. But it really depends on the pick(s).chris.herring: More than anything, this was about allowing the Knicks to send over their bloated contracts so that they could clear salary cap space. Especially Tim Hardaway Jr., whose deal would’ve made it tough for them to add a second star next to Porzingis this summer.neil (Neil Paine, senior sportswriter): Yeah, if there is a silver lining (Is there a silver lining?), they just freed up a massive amount of cap space. tchow: My god that is … depressing.natesilver: I guess their bigs have been OK? Noah Vonleh and Luke Kornet and Mitchell Robinson?neil: Ooof, you were not kidding about Knox’s numbers, Nate.natesilver: Yeah, Neil, and it’s not just some advanced stats thing. He’s shooting just 37 percent. Just 4.2 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.6 steals and 0.3 blocks per game. For a guy who’s pretty athletic, that’s kind of sad.neil: Maybe he’s on the Enes Kanter diet.natesilver: Knox has a nice-looking 3-point stroke, and I guess you can say he’d get the numbers up if they weren’t tanking. That’s what’s a little hard to figure out on a team like the Knicks where they basically don’t have any incentive to work in their shot selection or to play defense.tchow: If this is just going to become a shitting on Knox chat, I think it’s time to end it.natesilver: I’m happy to also shit on other Knicks.tchow: Just for fun, to end this chat, should we all say who we think won this trade?chris.herring: Assuming the Knicks don’t land two absolute studs in FA, the Mavs.natesilver: It’s clearly a good trade for Dallas. Where it ends up on the spectrum from “terrible” to “OK” for the Knicks depends on the draft picks and, yeah, the free agent situation.chris.herring: Agreed, Nate. You just paired two of the best 25-and-under players in the league together. It could turn out to be a home run for both sides. I just don’t have that level of faith that everything will go right for New York.natesilver: There is a downside risk with Porzingis, too, which is that he’s never really healthy again. But you do have a year to evaluate him before making a commitment. So the fact that he’s not looking to sign a long-term extension right away is both a bug and a feature.chris.herring: I guess.neil: And given the lengths we’ve seen teams go to just to have a chance to get a franchise-altering star, it seems worth it.chris.herring: I’d be OK with that gamble if it means giving up DSJ and a pick. Dallas has always been willing to roll the dice on acquiring a star.tchow: You know who won? NBA Twitter won cause this is going to provide so much content for the next few days/until Anthony Davis gets traded.chris.herring: They even traded Tyson Chandler the summer after he was the linchpin to their title because they thought it’d allow them a chance at a star. They wanted to clear space.neil: The NBA needs to push its trade deadline further from the Super Bowl.Wait your turn, NBA! You’ll have the limelight next week.chris.herring: NOPE. In fact, I hope Bryce Harper and Manny Machado sign today, too.micah (Micah Cohen, managing editor): My two cents: I lost because I’m waiting for Nate to file a piece about independent presidential campaigns and the Porzingis trade has, I’m sure, delayed it.Check out our latest NBA predictions. tchow: Welcome to New York, Kevin Durant!!chris.herring: Only spent seven or eight years there, but this is where my New York cynicism comes into play. The Knicks haven’t had a very good history when it comes to FAs.natesilver: They also got a buy-low guy in Dennis Smith Jr., although it seems like they have about 14 other buy-low point guards on the roster right now.tchow: But in losing Porzingis, doesn’t that make the Knicks a less attractive destination to come play? If you were a max player, why would you look at this team and say, “I want to go to there”?natesilver: Well, yeah, that’s the catch.tchow: I guess maybe two max players could buddy up and that nullifies what I just said.natesilver: A team of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and … uuuhhhh, who’s the third-best player on that team? Smith Jr., I guess?tchow: I don’t know what I’m saying anymore. This is INSANE!!! I’m still in shock.chris.herring: If nothing else, I guess this all just surprises me because it speaks to one of two things. Either 1) You have that much confidence that a superstar is coming …tchow: Well you’re forgetting Zion, Nate.chris.herring: Or 2) Things had gotten so bad/toxic with Porzingis that you didn’t see how you could make it work with him anymore. They really had no obligation to give into this right now, even if he was unhappy.neil: Right, he was only a restricted free agent after the season.tchow: Well, Chris, if things have gotten that bad with Porzingis, you would think they were secretly shopping him around earlier. Is this really the best deal they could get? I find that hard to believe.natesilver: It is worth keeping in mind that Porzingis has a serious injury that other guys have struggled to recover from, that he hadn’t reached superstar status yet, and that he was about to get expensive. The upside is so high, though, that you’d think a team, maybe a cap-constrained team, might have given up a little more.chris.herring: Yep. I’m not blown away by the fact that they dealt him. It’s what they dealt him for.natesilver: Getting technical, but his cap hold is only like $12 million this summer, so that was a big benefit too.chris.herring: There are two or three different reasons to potentially deal him. I just don’t know that any of them were worth dealing him for that return.natesilver: natesilver: I’m just saying that if you clear the decks for two max free agents but you have a guy like Siakam making just $2.5 million a year, that gives you a lot more to work with.chris.herring: Notice how smart we perceive those particular franchises to be. I saw someone say, “The smart franchises are circling the dumb one.” Almost like the Knicks were the prey here.tchow: Right?? I keep thinking there must be other, better trades.chris.herring: For sure. At least with Siakam, you have a good, athletic two-way player to build around.tchow: This is all just us talking, right? There were no reports that Toronto was even looking to offer Siakam. Right? Right?chris.herring: I honestly don’t know whether Smith will be a starter two or three years from now. There’s some faith because of how young he is, but he hasn’t shown consistency yet. And the Knicks haven’t been great with developing two-way talent at the guard spot lately.natesilver: I wanna know about the draft pick(s) too. Dallas still owns its own pick if it’s 1-5 this year — otherwise it goes to Atlanta — and they’re probably still going to end up in the lottery.neil: I think we are being very NYC-centric here and focusing on the Knicks’ angle. But for the Mavs, their new Doncic-Porzingis combo seems like it could eventually be very scary.natesilver: NYC IS BASKETBALL MECCA, NEIL! SUCH A MECCA THAT THE ONLY GOOD PLAYER ON THE KNICKS IN THE PAST 10 YEARS GETS TRADED FOR CAP SPACEneil: No, it’s not (“The Decline Of New York City As An NBA Talent Generator”).tchow: No, Neil’s right. Forget the Knicks. I already have. Porzingis and Luka together is going to be amazing!! No way Dirk retires now.chris.herring: Dallas is gonna be fun.natesilver: Yeah, how did they do that? Turn the No. 5 pick and — Dennis Smith Jr.? — into Luka and Porzingis?chris.herring: The Knicks were spending all this time trying to find a running mate for KP, and now Porzingis has Doncic.tchow: So right now, we have them projected to be way out of the playoffs. When is Porzingis supposed to return? I’m getting ahead of myselfchris.herring: They’re relevant now. Even if they unloaded a hefty part of their rotation here to get Porzingis. But this was a great move for them.natesilver: It was a little bit ambiguous. Dallas is tanking, obviously, so maybe they just play him for like six games to show he still had something left (as an inducement to free agents, etc.) and then find some excuse to shut him down.chris.herring: Yeah. Porzingis probably wasn’t going to play for NYK this year. Maybe he gets into a few games for Dallas, but I doubt it.natesilver: Yeah, they might as well tank too. Maybe not an outright tank, but they do keep their own pick if it’s 1-5.chris.herring: If you’re the Mavs, this makes sense. You’ve still got Harrison Barnes under contract making a lot of money. Hardaway is under contract a couple more years.tchow: “Makes sense” is such an understatement here.natesilver: Don’t the Mavs have space for a max free agent too?chris.herring: I don’t think so? Not with all the money they just took on. natesilver: Oh shit!!!!!tchow: Look at that. That’s a “we’re going to be teammates” handshake.natesilver: THE FIX WAS IN.chris.herring: I soooo hope the Knicks — who could’ve drafted Smith but instead took Frank Ntilikina — weren’t enamored by his good game to where they said, “You know what? That sounds good to us.”tchow: Chris, that is EXACTLY what happened.chris.herring: What it all comes down to for the Knicks is free agency: If you land two guys who are truly worth it, it’s hard to look back at this and be angry.tchow: And there is my silver lining.chris.herring: But for the time being, it is just astounding.natesilver: The Knicks also haven’t drafted very well. Kevin Knox is regarded as a future rotation piece, if not a star, and I sorta get why because he looks like a good player, but his numbers are unbelievably terrible.chris.herring: Also: My favorite stat ever, from my Knick beat days: The Knicks haven’t re-signed one of their draft picks on a multiyear deal since Charlie Ward, who they took in 1994. Trading Porzingis keeps that alive.natesilver: Wow. BASKETBALL MECCA.tchow: That is insane.chris.herring: So them wanting to build it through free agency is fitting.natesilver: I think I have to go to their next home game just to see what a shitshow it is.tchow: FiveThirtyEight field trip, Nate?natesilver: I’m down, dude. At least tickets will be cheap.tchow: Hey, at least we still have Allonzo Trier. And Enes Kanter is back. Things are looking up for the Knicks.chris.herring: Not that it has any bearing on how this summer pans out. But I think their last four deals for $90 million or more were, in this order: Melo, Amar’e Stoudemire, Stephon Marbury and Allan Houston.natesilver: I mean, just look at this shit: FIGHT!!natesilver: No those don’t contradict. Sign the qualifying offer for one year. Then become a full-fledged free agent in summer 2020.tchow: Oh damn … you’re right. OK … back to crying.chris.herring: During the time I spent on the Knicks beat, I got used to watching them attach useful players to ones whose contracts were albatrosses. They traded Tyson Chandler (useful) to unload Raymond Felton (albatross). And Iman Shumpert (useful) to unload JR Smith (albatross).natesilver: Were Hardaway and Lee that untradeable? They aren’t terrible players, and their contracts aren’t that bad.chris.herring: Neither is a bad player. Maybe overpaid (I’ve definitely argued that with Hardaway).natesilver: In some sense, everyone in the deal is a distressed asset.chris.herring: If anything, Hardaway is just pricey because of what you want to accomplish this summer.tchow: Watch Dennis Smith Jr. come out of this as the best player in the trade.natesilver: It’s not nothing.chris.herring: But Porzingis should not be the sweetener in any deal like this! He’s the lone All-Star changing hands here.neil: Smith Jr. certainly got a lot of hype as a rookie last year.tchow: KP 👏 IS 👏 A 👏 UNICORNchris.herring: I’ll put it this way: Smith and his folks floated that he potentially wanted out of Dallas a week or two ago. That came and went, likely because no one felt like he was worth all that much. He’s explosive. He’s young enough to gamble something on. But he’s not even a clear starter in everyone’s eyes.natesilver: So what else could they have gotten? What do we think the market price for Porzingis would be? Would Toronto have given up Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby, for instance, and taken on either Hardaway or Lee but not both?chris.herring: It was only 20 minutes or so before the trade reports came that this tweet went out. This trade was their free agency, in a way. Dallas very quietly just hit us with a Nash/Dirk redux. Except Luka can score better than Nash, and Porzingis can defend.natesilver: It looks like they should have cap space in 2020-21, though, when the Barnes/Powell contracts all come off the books.chris.herring: Two or three years from now, they’ll have cap money again, and you imagine players would want to team up with a duo like that.tchow: (if Porzingis signs)chris.herring: Porzingis will be 25 in two years. Luka will be 22. Also, can we talk about the fact that the Mavs were at the Garden last night? And Mark Cuban was there. I imagine this topic came up.natesilver: Ahhh didn’t think about that. But, yeah, it seems pretty weird to think this deal was just conjured up out of thin air.tchow: They knew. They fucking knew.chris.herring: Dennis Smith Jr. logged a triple-double.natesilver: Haha.tchow: New York Knicks executives in recent years have said they would rebuild cautiously and avoid trading their first-round picks. That approach paid off — sweet-shooting big man Kristaps Porzingis, the Knicks’ first-round pick in 2015, quickly ascended into a star, giving the team hope that it could finally build something sustainable with just another solid move or two. All the organization needed to do was avoid somehow taking a step backward.And then Thursday happened. tchow: read more

Superior sight and safety from Koehler Lightings new Gen II cap lamp

first_imgKoehler Lighting Products has introduced its new ‘WHEAT’ Gen II cordless cap lamp. Koehler says the Gen II, for second generation, lamp “provides best-in-class sight performance by increasing miners’ visual acuity.” Such sight enhancement improves safety with better object and hazard recognition, combined with reduced fatigue.“The Koehler optical staff has created a cap lamp that sets a new standard for vision underground,” said Mark Dirsa, President, Koehler – Bright Star, LLC. “Our goal is to enhance vision and keep workers safe in low light conditions. Koehler’s innovative lighting solutions are the best-in-class in sight and reliability and long product life cycles which are directly linked to safety and lowest cost of ownership.”Dirsa said the new Gen II cap lamp targets enhanced illumination of an entire work area. It provides miners maximum central and peripheral vision, to better recognise objects and hazards. This allows miners to make decisions that help keep them safe.“All of our products are manufactured in the USA,” he said. “Also, our Gen II cap lamp has all necessary global safety approvals, including MSHA, ATEX and IECex.”last_img read more

How the Linux kernel works

first_imgIf you’ve ever wondered how Linux can work on so many disparate devices, how it the kernel gets updated so quickly, or how the workflow goes from the contributors all the way up to Linus himself, then this video is worth a watch. It’s a bit fluffy, but it’ll tell you what you need to know about the Linux kernel.For example, did you know that Linux is the “largest collaborative development project in the history of computing” or that 8000 developers have pitched in since 2005? How about the fact that a staggering 10,000 patches go into every kernel release, which happen every 2-3 months? It’s pretty insane when you think about it.Speaking of releases, version 3.3.1 came out on April 2nd. Check out the changelog, it’s 109 pages long. One-hundred-and-nine pages.  A brief visit to,, or even Linux on Google+ will give you the smallest glimpse into the the incredible amount of work and coordination it takes to be able to run Linux on your smartphone, television, alarm clock, and supercomputer (what, you don’t have a supercomputer?) all at the same time.If you want more stats, H-online has some interesting ones. For example, going from kernel version 3.1 to 3.2 took 73 days and 11881 commits. Over 12,000 files were changed. If that doesn’t have you thinking that this whole Linux thing is serious business, check out the estimated cost to redevelop what these thousands of people have put all their work into over the years. This is a software package that’s worth billions, and that’s just based on the lines of cost, not the experience, iterations, integrations, and all the other things that have happened since 1991.The development and maintenance of the kernel is a fascinating process and one that’s worth knowing about, whether you are a contributor to the kernel, a Linux user, or the world’s most devout Windows fan.via The Linux Foundationlast_img read more

Homestead Police officer hurt in cruiser crash

first_imgHOMESTEAD, FLA. (WSVN) – Rescue crews took a Homestead Police officer to the hospital after he crashed into a tree and a fence.Miami-Dade Fire Rescue units responded to the scene of the crash at Southwest 162nd Avenue and 328th Street, just after 3:30 a.m., Saturday.Cameras captured the marked cruiser and toppled tree at the scene.Paramedics transported the officer to an area hospital, where he was treated and released.The cause of the crash remains under investigation.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img

What Happens When A Child Arrives At The US Border

first_imgPhoto via PBS NewsHourA child traveling with a caravan of migrants from Central America sleeps at a camp near the San Ysidro checkpoint, after U.S. border authorities allowed the first small group of women and children entry from Mexico overnight, in Tijuana, Mexico.Over the past week, Twitter has been overtaken with the question: #WhereAreTheMissingChildren?It was a response to reports that the Trump administration “lost” nearly 1,500 unaccompanied migrant children that the government had placed in the homes of sponsors. But the hashtag also became a catchall for outrage over the administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy against families who cross in the U.S. illegally, which according to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, includes separating children from their parents at the border.The 1,500 figure first surfaced in April, when a top official from the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the care of unaccompanied minors, disclosed at a Senate subcommittee hearing that 1,475 out of 7,635 children the agency tried to reach over a period of three months could not be accounted for in the agency’s follow-up welfare checks.Separately, some immigration advocates have pointed to new HHS data that indicates the number of migrant children taken into U.S. custody has surged by 21 percent in the past month as evidence that border agents are more frequently separating parents from their children at the border. The Trump administration said the focus of its recent crackdown is on illegal border crossings, not separating families.It’s not immediately clear how Trump’s policies are affecting children who arrive at the border alone, or those who are being separated from their parents. But here’s what we know about how both groups of minors are treated when they try to enter the country.Amna Nawaz explains what we really know about minors who have been separated from their parents, or who arrive at the border alone.What happens to unaccompanied children arriving at the border?Children arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border alone are detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents and put in detention facilities. The government formally classifies them as “unaccompanied alien children” — those under 18 without a lawful immigration status who have no parent in the U.S., or no parent or legal guardian to provide physical custody. This triggers a few legal protections as they move through the immigration system.Under federal law, the temporary detention, care and placement of unaccompanied children falls in the hands of the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of Refugee Resettlement, a division of Health and Human Services. Unaccompanied minors from Mexico and Canada go through a screening and repatriation process at the border. Children from other countries, however, are placed into one of about 100 shelters nationwide while they work their way through the immigration system.The shelters, run by nonprofit organizations backed by federal grants, are responsible for assessing the child’s needs and providing services such as medical care and classroom education. They are also tasked with finding and screening suitable adult “sponsors,” which include parents or friends of family who can take custody of the child in the U.S. Upon release to a sponsor, the children are directed to pro bono attorneys who can represent them in deportation proceedings.How many children has the agency processed?The U.S. has seen some surges of children at the border in recent years, most notably in 2014, when the government said 47,000 unaccompanied minors in the first five months of the year. The government has not said how many children have been filtered through this system since the Trump’s administration’s recent “zero-tolerance policy.” But, overall, HHS said this week that 10,773 migrant children were under the agency’s care. That’s up  from 8,886 in April.What about the children who are separated from their parents when they cross the border illegally?In April, Sessions announced a “zero-tolerance” policy toward illegal immigration, vowing to prosecute anyone caught crossing the border illegally. For children traveling with their parents, the new policy means that they will be separated at the border and taken into government custody while their parents are placed in federal jails.Within 13 days of instituting this policy, 658 children were separated from their parents, according to a Customs and Border Protection official who testified at a Senate hearing last week. While these children did not arrive at the border alone, they are essentially rendered unaccompanied by the government when they are separated from their parents and taken in by Health and Human Services.The president himself has blamed Democrats for an existing law that separates families at the border. But no current law actually mandates this, according to Politifact.What about the “lost” 1,475 children?After a child is placed with a sponsor, and while they await deportation proceedings, the government conducts a one-time welfare check by phone.In a statement on Monday, Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan said this was an “additional step” not required of the agency, and that a lack of response from sponsors does not mean a child is lost, but might opt to not pick up phone calls fear of being deported.“The reason many sponsors cannot be reached is because they themselves are illegal aliens and do not want to be reached by federal authorities,” he said.Broader issues with the government’s placement processBut there are broader issues with how unaccompanied children are handled, a problem that predates the Trump administration, according to a 2015 report issued by a congressional watchdog group, which called the interagency process to be “inefficient and vulnerable to error.”Among the problems cited in that report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office: federal officials weren’t properly identifying and screening potential sponsors before releasing children to them.At the Senate hearing on the issue in late April, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, also cited a 2014 case in his home state in which the agency released eight Guatemalan teens to traffickers. Officials failed to “respond to red flags,” Portman said — namely, that sponsors who were sponsoring several unaccompanied minors may be involved in human trafficking. Frontline examined this case and others for its “Trafficked in America” documentary.The trafficking case prompted a congressional investigation and hearing into the child placement process, and the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations tasked the two agencies with coming up with a clearer delineation of their roles. More than two years later, a plan has yet to be finalized, a fact that angered Portman, who noted that the agencies “blew past” their original deadline.“We care because these kids regardless of their immigration status deserve to be properly treated, not abused or trafficked,” he said.Some other issues:There’s not a ‘clear path’ on how to safeguard children once they are released to sponsorsWhile the process for transferring detained children into shelters is guided by laws meant to protect them, such as the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, what happens to unaccompanied children after they are released to sponsors is far less clear, said Jessica Ramos, a lawyer with Advocates for Basic Legal Equality in Ohio.Other than Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which contacts the children with a notice to appear in immigration court, no state or local entities are notified when children are placed with sponsors in their communities.Steven Wagner, the acting assistant secretary at Health and Human Services, has said the agency does not have “additional legal responsibility” for minors after they are relocated with sponsors, and suggested at-risk children be entrusted to local child protection agencies.Some lawmakers have agreed that more involvement from local agencies would be a step in the right direction, but Ramos said some advocates see that approach as a double-edged sword.“I think the idea is that all these organizations would step up and help, but realistically that’s not always what we see on the ground,” she said. “Especially in some rural areas whether there may not be a large immigrant population or where they may be some anti-immigrant sentiment.”Legal representation is not a guaranteeImmigration hearings are a critical moment for checking if children are where they are supposed to be when they get released from custody. Yet according to Kathryn Larin of the Government Accountability Office, who testified in a hearing last month, 58 percent of children have failed to show up at their hearings so far in 2018.Attorneys are supposed to play an important role in the process by helping ensure that children comply with immigration court proceedings and do not fall off the radar. Lawyers can also offer children another adult to rely on, when a sponsor is not fulfilling their responsibilities.But nearly 29 percent of unaccompanied children whose cases began in 2015 are still without legal representation, and that number jumps to 76 percent for children whose cases began last year, according to Syracuse University’s TRAC database, which compiles statistics on the issue. While every child has a right to representation, few have the financial resources to hire an attorney and the law only requires Health and Human Services to ensure legal representation “to the greatest extent practicable” — which in many cases simply involves giving the children and their sponsors a list of pro bono lawyers.The availability of post-release services is improving, but still limitedAll children receive phone calls 30 days after being placed with a sponsor to check on their safety and well-being. But only children deemed vulnerable, including those who have been released to non-relative sponsors, receive further support from the refugee office.“By the time I meet with my clients, ORR has abdicated all responsibility for them,” Ramos said at the Senate hearing last month. She has represented more than 400 unaccompanied children throughout Ohio since 2008 and said she has only seen a handful of her clients receive post-release services.The number of children receiving post-release services, which may range from medical care to family counseling, has increased in recent years. According to the GAO, fewer than 10 percent of children in 2014 received these services. That number has jumped to 32 percent in 2017. Yet Ramos sees a need for more access to services, especially for teenagers who might experience a rocky transition when placed with family members or parents they have not seen in years.Limited funding makes providing the full range of services difficult, said Katie Kuennen of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, a group that relies largely on federal funding from the refugee office.“Only a small percentage of the kids had that sort of safety net and monitoring,” Kuennen said of the children she’s worked with.What now?A spokesman for Portman’s office told the PBS NewsHour that Health and Human Services and the Department of Homeland Security have said they would complete an outline for improving the placement process by July 30.When contacted by the NewsHour, neither agency offered specific details on what the outline might include.Acting Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Thomas Homan says he sees a lot of sad situations with parents being separated from children, but he has a job to do.The Trump administration has proposed several changes to how the U.S. handles unaccompanied minors trying to enter the country, including those it says would make it easier to detain and deport migrant children and harder for those children to seek asylum.The “crisis” at the border is “the exclusive product of loopholes in federal immigration law that Democrats refuse to close,” White House senior adviser Stephen Miller said in a conference call Tuesday with reporters.For months, the administration has argued that children who arrive at the border by themselves but have a parent in the U.S. with whom they can be reunified should not be given “unaccompanied” status. According to the Washington Post, proposed regulations being drafted by the Justice and Homeland Security departments would officially change how this designation is granted, by giving immigration judges more discretion in deciding whether a child deserves the status and the special legal protections it comes with. 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Gay Kpop star Holland filmed hot make out scene four times… and

first_imgGAYSTARNEWS- Music video for Holland’s new song I’m Not Afraid. | Photo: Holland / YouTube K-pop star Holland (real name Go Tae-seob) is one of the first people to come out as gay in the entertainment industry in South Korea. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us)center_img The 22-year-old singer from Seoul is making waves within Korean pop music since his debut earlier this year.He’s also causing a stir with music videos featuring same-sex romances and diverse genders and sexualities.But it’s one romance in particular that’s on everyone’s lips – a steamy gay make out sesh in one of his latest singles, I’m Not Afraid.Photo: suppliedHolland exclusively told Gay Star News he was ‘nervous’ at first for the filming of the 15 second-long kissing scene.He said: ‘Even though I was nervous, I just thought that I should listen to the director as much as possible and finish it all at once.‘But it’s been filmed four times,’ he revealed – with a cheeky ‘lol’ at the end.YouTube gave the music video an R-rating and Holland said he still doesn’t know why.He said: ‘Maybe YouTube thought long homosexual kissing was inappropriate for children.’Holland: ‘I’m not afraid anymore’Holland released I’m Not Afraid earlier this month, then I’m So Afraid on Tuesday (17 July). It’s a two-part song he’s branding Holland Twin Single Volume One and Two.In I’m Not Afraid, Holland sings about being free to be himself, as he’s happily dancing at a party with all of his friends.At the end of the music video, he closes his eyes and the song ends.[embedded content] Then in I’m So Afraid, he opens his eyes – wearing the same outfit from the last music video – and it cuts to a female dancer, running around the streets of the city.It’s a stark contrast to the blissful, care-free vibes of I’m Not Afraid.[embedded content]‘I’m So Afraid is talking about [the] fear of coming out,’ Holland explained. ‘The fear of being hated by one’s loved ones.’In contrast, I’m Not Afraid is about not being afraid to stand ‘in front of the public anymore’ and ‘reveal that I am gay,’ he said.The dancer is Holland’s ‘other self’ – a version of himself that he wishes would reflect on the outside.He explained: ‘After the party, she shows her fears with dancing in the darkness. I wanted to show my inner side.’Growing up gay in South KoreaHolland believes it’s incredibly tough growing up as LGBTI in South Korea.He confided in a close friend about his sexuality and then the next day, students in his middle school started bullying him.He told Gay Star News people threatened him with physical violence and even ‘sexual harassment.’‘I was bullied at school,’ he said. ‘I was so afraid to die.’He also contemplated suicide at one point but said seeing gay people in the English-speaking entertainment industry helped.‘I thought I wanted to be that kind of person,’ he said. ‘And [now] I am achieving my dream.’Photo: suppliedWhen asked what his message to his young Korean LGBTI fans is, he responded: ‘I tell my fans to always love themselves. It really matters.‘Feeling good about yourself is very important. So you can be proud of being gay,’ he said.And whether or not he’s dating at the moment, he simply said: ‘Come on! I am single and so lonely.‘I’m waiting for a nice guy,’ he revealed.Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . Gay K-pop star Holland on British bands and Harry Styles: ‘His album is the best’Gay K-pop star Holland’s new song features steamy make outMembers of K-pop girl group ‘TWICE’ make out on stage, crowd goes wildRead the full article on Gaystarnews:  : read more

Waterspout slowly passes through Coatzacoalcos

first_imgCoatzacoalcos, Veracruz — A large waterspout was seen Thursday morning slowly making its way across water in the municipality of Coatzacoalcos. Civil Protection reported that the waterspout formed on the side of the seawall in the Villa de Allende neighborhood, later crossed the Coatzacoalcos River and ended up in Bella Vista, bringing with it strong gusts of wind. The agency said minor damage was reported on some homes and schools, which they say, will be assessed. The image was captured on Webcams of Mexico where you can see the spout slowly moving along the waterway. There were no reports of injuries. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)last_img read more

AFTA pleased with Western Australian government

first_imgThe Western Australian government has announced that the State’s licensing scheme for travel agents has ceased and the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) has advised it is pleased with the decision.Minister for Commerce, The Hon. Michael Mischin. confirmed the announcement saying the old program was outdated and added significant business costs to Australian based travel distributors.The decision came after extensive and careful consultation with industry, consumers and governments.AFTA chief executive officer, Jayson Westbury has congratulated the Minister on allowing the Western Australian travel industry to compete against their competitors.“A new de-regulated environment for travel agents has become a reality across Australia, and Western Australian travel agents now have a clear path to join the AFTA’s Travel Accreditation Scheme,” Mr Westbury said.The AFTA Travel Accreditation Scheme (ATAS) aims to provide consumers with confidence that they are dealing with a travel agents that have taken out accreditation and met strict criteria and standards of professionalism.ATAS now has over 2,500 agent locations in Australia and to date over 236 WA based travel agents have already been accredited through ATAS.The State and Territory Government’s commenced a marketing campaign on 25 August 2014 to educate consumers about the changes to the Australian travel industry called ‘Pack Some Peace of Mind’. Source = ETB News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more

Good News for 55 Homebuyers

first_img Share February 4, 2019 946 Views in Daily Dose, Featured, Market Studies, News Builder confidence is up in the single-family 55+ housing market, according to the latest 55+ Housing Market Index (HMI) from the National Association of Homebuilder (NAHB) The Index score rose to 66 in Q4 2018, up six points from the previous quarter.“Overall, builders and developers in the 55+ housing market are reporting strong demand across the country,” said Chuck Ellison, Chairman of NAHB’s 55+ Housing Industry Council and VP-Land of Miller & Smith in McLean, Va. “However, builders need to continue to manage rising construction costs to keep homes in 55+ communities at affordable price points.”All three components of the index, including present sales, expected sales, and prospective buyer traffic increased in Q4. Present sales rose six points to 72, expected sales for the next six months increased five points to 70 and traffic of prospective buyers jumped 10 points to 53.The 55+ HMI measures two segments of the 55+ housing market: single-family homes and multifamily condominiums. Each segment of the 55+ HMI measures builder sentiment based on a survey that asks if current sales, prospective buyer traffic and anticipated six-month sales for that market are good, fair or poor (high, average or low for traffic).NAHB also notes increases in the multifamily 55+ condo market, with a three-point gain to 47. The index component for present sales for condos increased three points to 51, expected sales for the next six months fell four points to 49 and traffic of prospective buyers rose seven points to 38. In the 55+ multifamily rental market, two out of four components saw increases. According to the NAHB, present production increased six points to 60 and present demand for existing units rose four points to 67, while future expected production and future expected demand both fell two points to 54 and 62, respectively.“Like the broader housing market, the 55+ HMI is benefitting from the recent decline in mortgage rates,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “Favorable demographics and solid homeowner wealth should continue to support demand for new 55+ housing.”The full 55+ HMI tables can be found here.center_img Good News for 55+ Homebuyers 55+ Affordability Buyers Condos Home Sales National Association of Home Builders Single-Family 2019-02-04 Seth Welbornlast_img read more

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