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Justice reform consultations ask Canadians to think beyond lawandorder

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first_imgOTTAWA – The Justice Department is asking Canadians to think beyond their preconceived notions about crimes — and the people who commit them — as the Liberal government readies long-promised reforms to the criminal justice system.The interactive online consultation includes a survey asking participants to weigh in on a number of stories, such as one about a young single father caught stealing $800 from his employer, resulting in a criminal record that makes it harder for him to find a job.The survey notes that theft under $5,000 makes up a quarter of all Criminal Code offences and asks participants to consider whether the judge should have considered other options, such as a requirement to repay the money or attend a community-based program where the young man would get support.Throughout the exercise, there are statistics and other details meant to deepen understanding of the issues being addressed.That includes the fact administration of justice violations — such as someone drinking or breaking curfew while on probation — make up 23 per cent of all cases in criminal court, or that the crime rate in Canada has been generally on the decline for decades.Carissima Mathen, a University of Ottawa law professor, said the consultation could help to educate the public while at the same time preparing them for potentially controversial criminal justice reforms on the horizon.“I think it is useful for any government to have a sense of where the real sites of public resistance or apprehension are in criminal justice policy,” said Mathen.She said Liberal government has made it clear they are planning a different approach than the tough-on-crime agenda the previous Conservative government brought in — despite repeatedly pushing back the timeline for action — but that could come with its own challenges.“I think (the Liberals) know very well that public opinion can be whipped up to support that in ways that don’t actually comport with the evidence of crime in Canada,” she said.Another section of the consultation lets Canadians watch a video of a real-life personal story, such as a family affected by court delays following the homicide of their son, or the victim of an alleged sexual assault who found the experience of going to trial so difficult she would warn others against it.Canadians can then take part in an open online discussion, where the opinions are wide-ranging and a government moderator can step in to ask a contributor to point to any research they are aware of to back up their assertions, such as the claim that many make false accusations.Steve Mihorean, the senior civil servant overseeing the review, said the department wanted to allow people to share their perspectives on these issues while also arming them with knowledge that might not be as widely known by average Canadians.“I’m just of the view to say, be open about those questions to the public, tell them what the challenges are, give them a bit of information, let them go away on their own and think about it,” said Mihorean, director general of the criminal justice system review secretariat at the Justice Department.Ottawa-based criminal defence lawyer Michael Spratt said he is concerned the additional consultations with the public, instead of relying on evidence-based research that has been around for years, could lead to more delays.“The closer that we get to an election, the more worried I am that we actually won’t see anything,” he said.The online consultation, which Mihorean said has so far seen about 4,800 people take part in the survey element, ends Jan. 31.— Follow @smithjoanna on TwitterNote to readers: This is a corrected story. The previous version said an online consultation would end Jan. 15 instead of Jan. 31last_img read more

Missing drug exhibits were likely destroyed not misappropriated Halifax police

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first_imgHALIFAX – The findings were discomforting for Halifax police: Thousands of exhibits — including marijuana, cocaine, opioids and cash — were missing.But in an audit report released Monday, the force insisted there was no evidence to suggest the exhibits were misappropriated.Instead, they said, it’s believed that evidence was destroyed, misplaced or mislabelled.“That being said, we couldn’t physically account for some of these items. We believe they were destroyed, but we can’t conclusively say that,” said Supt. Jim Perrin after presenting the report to the city’s Board of Police Commissioners.The audit was first prompted in 2015 after it was alleged that an officer had stolen from evidence lockers. A number of audits have taken place since then, with the latest covering all drug-related exhibits seized between 1992 and 2016.Among the missing police exhibits were 293 sums of cash, 331 large drug exhibits and 2,628 smaller and non-drug exhibits, some of which were located during the detailed audit of its inventory.Hundreds are still missing.“We’re not happy with the results, but we’re confident that we’re going to be a better police department because of it,” said Perrin.Perrin, who was in charge of the audit, said it’s believed the missing drugs were likely destroyed and that the missing cash had been deposited into a police bank account without record of which case it was connected to.“At no time through this process do we believe that anything was misappropriated by anybody,” said Perrin. “If we had come across that, we would have dealt with it, we would have taken that very seriously.”He blamed a number of factors for the shortcomings over the 25-year period, including inadequate recording and tracking of exhibits, non-standardized training and a lack of adherence to procedures by officers, and exhibits that were destroyed without proper documentation, as mandated by Health Canada.“I’m not going to make excuses for the decisions that people made to proceed with destruction without paperwork,” he said. “But certainly we’re going to have much more emphasis on that day-to-day quality assurance piece to make sure this doesn’t happen in the future.”Steve Craig, a municipal councillor and member of the Board of Police Commissioners, noted during the meeting that the situation “has not been comfortable for anyone involved.”“And guess what? It shouldn’t be comfortable,” he said. “The public confidence and trust in police services is paramount, so we need to be able to take these tough challenges.”Police Chief Jean-Michel Blais assured the board that “the process that we have going forward is very tight, very robust.”Perrin said a number of steps have been taken to strengthen the force’s processes, including an annual audit of drug exhibits, the creation of an enhanced electronic tracking system, and training for officers. An evidence custodian has also been hired.Perrin noted that one court case was affected by the issues with the force’s drug exhibit inventory: The Crown was forced to withdraw one of multiple charges against an individual after police were unable to locate the drug sample associated with the charge.Police said 38 cash exhibits (amounting to roughly $8,083), 263 large drug exhibits such as marijuana plants, and 2,488 small drug exhibits were still missing following the audit.A previous audit on how the force handles drug exhibits in criminal matters made 34 recommendations to improve the practice, most of which have been completed or “completed in draft form,” the latest audit said.last_img read more

Corus shares soar after it reports 40M Q2 profit beats expectations

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first_imgTORONTO – Shares of Corus Entertainment Inc. soared in trading Thursday after the company beat expectations as it reported a second-quarter profit of $40 million.The shares closed up almost 20 per cent on the Toronto Stock Exchange after the television and radio broadcaster says the profit amounted to 19 cents per diluted share for the quarter ended Feb. 28.That compared with a profit of $24.9 million, or 12 cents per diluted share, a year ago.On an adjusted basis, Corus said it earned 20 cents per share, up from 13 cents per share a year ago. Analysts on average had expected an adjusted profit of 11 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters.“We are pleased with this quarter’s results and the steady progress we are making against our strategic plan,” Corus chief executive Doug Murphy said in a statement.“Moving forward, Corus remains focused on maximizing and monetizing our high-value audiences, and we have a solid roadmap in place to position the organization for success over time within a changing media landscape.”Revenue in the second quarter totalled $369.5 million, up from $368.2 million a year ago.The increase came as television revenue totalled $336.2 million, up from $335.9 million a year ago, as lower advertising revenue was offset by gains in merchandising, distribution and other revenues.Radio revenue amounted to $33.2 million, up from $32.3 million.Shares in the company closed up $1.14 at $7.35. Despite the gains in the stock on Thursday, Corus shares remain well off their 52-week high of $14.10.The stock plunged in January after the company reported disappointing first-quarter results due to a weak television advertising market.Corus owns radio stations as well as conventional and specialty television services across the country including Global Television.Companies in this story: (TSX:CJR.B)last_img read more

Closing Bell TSX closes higher on boost in gold stocks

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TORONTO — The Toronto stock market closed higher Tuesday, helped along by gold stocks which continued to recover from a severe battering earlier in the summer.Here are the closing numbersTSX — 12,670.11 up 82.09 pointsS&P 500 — 1,652.35 up 6.29 pointsDow — 15,002.99 down 7.75 pointsNasdaq — 3,613.59 up 24.50 pointsHowever, economic concerns pressured oil prices and traders awaited more clarity on what the Federal Reserve may decide to do about cutting back on a key stimulus measure.The S&P/TSX composite index gained 82.09 points to 12,670.11, making up a bit more than half of Monday’s 149-point slide.The Canadian dollar was down 0.43 of a cent to 96.26 cents US.New York indexes were mixed amid better than expected earnings from retailers Best Buy, Home Depot and J.C. Penny.The Dow Jones industrials gave up early gains to lose 7.75 points to 15,002.99, the Nasdaq gained 24.5 points to 3,613.59 while the S&P 500 index added 6.29 points to 1,652.35.Traders looked ahead to Wednesday and the release of the minutes from the Fed’s most recent meeting at the end of last month.A largely positive run of economic data has persuaded many investors that the central bank will start to taper its monthly bond purchases of US$85-billion, starting as early as September. The stimulus program has kept long term rates low and encouraged a sharp run-up on many markets this year.“Clearly this whole debate about whether we see the onset of tapering in September has taken centre stage,” said Garey Aitken, chief investment officer at Bissett Investment Management in Calgary, who also pointed out that seasonality is playing a part.“We’re in the summer doldrums, we’re out of earnings season . . . so what is everybody focused on? You focus on what’s in front of you. So it’s probably got a bit more of a pronounced effect.”The TSX gold sector ran up about 3.75% while gold ticked $6.90 higher to US$1,372.60 an ounce.The sector was punished along with gold prices after Fed chairman Ben Bernanke first mentioned the possibility of the Fed cutting back in May. It hit a recent low in late June, leaving the gold sector down about 50% year to date. It has since improved and the sector is down about 30% so far in 2013.“We’ve seen a kind of natural bounce back from probably overdone levels with the producers — we’ve seen a better gold price in the last five or six weeks,” Aitken said.“Those producers fell more than the price of gold had declined.”Goldcorp Inc. (TSX:G) gained 86 cents to $32.89.The utilities sector also provided lift, up 0.75%. Utilities and other interest sensitive stocks have been a major drag as the prospect of the Fed tapering its massive bond purchases has sent U.S. bond yields higher.The benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury was off 0.06 of a point from late Monday at 2.82%. Still, bond yields have surged well over a full percentage point since Bernanke’s remarks in May. Just Energy Group (TSX:JE) gained 16 cents to $6.32.The energy sector was ahead per cent while speculation over Fed intentions pushed the September crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange down $2.14 to US$104.96 a barrel. Canadian Natural Resources (TSX:CNQ) gained 29 cents to $30.96.The financials group ran up 0.6% with Royal Bank (TSX:RY) up 65 cents to $64.67. The base metals sector rose 0.52% while copper was ahead a penny at US$3.34 a pound. Turquoise Hill Resources (TSX:TRQ) climbed 19 cents to $5.30 while Teck Resources (TSX:TCK.B) headed 57 cents lower to $27.54.Elsewhere in the mining sector, BHP Billiton said its annual profit dived nearly 30% to $10.9-billion as slower growth in China and other emerging economies resulted in lower prices for copper, coal and iron ore. Annual revenue sank nearly nine per cent to $66-billion.Home Depot beat expectations and raised its outlook. The company earned US$1.8-billion, or $1.24 per share, while revenue climbed more than nine per cent to $22.52-billion. Analysts expected earnings of $1.21 per share on revenue of $21.79-billion. Its stock slipped 91 cents to $74.30.J.C. Penney Co. stock rose 77 cents to $13.99 despite another big loss on a nearly 12% drop in revenue for the second quarter. It lost $586-million, or $2.66 per share while revenue reached $2.66-billion. Analysts were expecting a $1.07-per-share loss on revenue of $2.77-billion.Electronics retailer Best Buy earned 32 cents per share in the last three months, much better than the 12 cents per share financial analysts expected. Most of the growth came from cutting costs and focusing on online sales and its shares jumped $4.03 or 13% to $34.76.On the Canadian retail front, Sears Canada (TSX:SCC) is cutting 245 jobs, mostly at its head office in Toronto and mainly in the information technology and finance departments. Its stock fell 73 cents to $12.27. TOP STORIESBHP Billiton seeks partners after approving $2.6B investment in giant Saskatchewan potash mineIndustry minister denies Ottawa courted Verizon for Canada entryBlackBerry lays off another 100 employees in WaterlooTesla’s $70K Model S electric sedan scores best U.S. crash rating everWHAT’S ON DECK WEDNESDAY ECONOMIC NEWSUNITED STATES10 a.m.Existing home sales (July): Economists expect 1.4% rise from the month before 2 p.m.FOMC minutes from July meeting CORPORATE NEWSCANADAUNITED STATESHewlett-Packard Q3 earnings: Analysts expect 87¢ a share Lowe’s Companies Q2 earnings: Analysts expect 79¢ a share PetSmart Q2 earnings: Analysts expect 86¢ a share The J. M. Smucker Company Q1 earnings: Analysts expect US$1.20 a share Staples, Inc. Q2 earnings: Analysts expect 18¢ a share Target Corp. Q2 earnings: Analysts expect 98¢ a share read more

Media code of ethics scrapped

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President Mahinda Rajapakse has scrapped a contentious code of conduct for journalists after editors and rights groups condemned it as a further blow to press freedom, government and media sources said Sunday, according to the AFP French news agency.President Rajapakse ordered his information ministry not to proceed with the proposed code of conduct bill, but instead leave it in the hands of senior editors to update their own code of ethics. It also warned against the publication of content that “offends against expectations of the public, morality of the country or tend to lower the standards of public taste and morality”. Sri Lankan editors as well as international rights groups had said that the proposed bill was too sweeping and would curtail freedoms already under threat in Sri Lanka which is emerging from decades of ethnic war.The New York-based Human Rights Watch and the Committee to Protect Journalists last week accused the government of mounting more pressure on the local media through the proposed bill.The new code drawn up by the information ministry sought to prohibit “material against the integrity of the Executive, Judiciary and Legislature”. “The government will not go ahead with the code,” a senior information ministry official told AFP on Sunday. An editor who was at the meeting told AFP that Rajapakse made it clear that the government would not impose the proposed code on them.The Editors’ Guild of Sri Lanka is to discuss the development and issue a formal reaction next week, the editor said on condition that his name was not used. “The president met with editors on Friday and discussed the issue. They may or may not use elements of our draft,” he added on condition of anonymity. Sri Lanka had been ranked 162 out of 179 countries in a recent press freedom index compiled by the Paris-based Reporters without Borders and media rights groups say journalists have been forced to self-censor.At least 26 journalists have already fled Sri Lanka in the past five years to escape threats, intimidation, violence, and imprisonment, according to CPJ. At least five journalists have been killed in the same period. read more

World still has long way to go to achieve education for all

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“Overcrowded classes, poorly qualified teachers and ill-equipped schools with scant learning materials remain all too familiar pictures in many countries,” the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Koïchiro Matsuura, said. “Yet, achieving education for all fundamentally relies on assuring decent quality: what children learn and how they learn can make or break their school experience and their subsequent opportunities in life,” he added of the 2005 Education for All Global Monitoring Report launched yesterday in Brasilia. The study finds that more children are going to school than ever before and that significant efforts are being made to increase resources, broaden access to school and improve gender parity. But exhaustive analysis of research data shows that the quality of education systems is failing children in many parts of the world, and could prevent many countries from achieving Education for All (EFA) by the target date of 2015. In one-third of countries with data, for example, less than 75 per cent of students reach grade five. National and international assessments also show that performance levels are very weak in low- and middle-income countries and among disadvantaged groups in some industrialized nations. The report monitors progress towards the six EFA goals set by over 160 countries at the World Education Forum in 2000 in Dakar. These are: wider access to early childhood care and education; universal primary education; improved youth and adult learning opportunities; a 50 per cent improvement in adult literacy rates; gender equality; and an improvement in all aspects of the quality of education. The report is prepared by an independent international team based at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris and is funded by UNESCO and a number of bilateral agencies. Its findings will serve as the basis for discussions at the Fourth High-Level Group Meeting on Education for All this week in Brasilia. According to an index based on indicators for the four most measurable Dakar goals – universal primary education, adult literacy, education quality (using survival rate of pupils to grade 5 as a proxy) and gender parity – 41 of 127 countries studied are relatively close to achieving the goals. They comprise mainly industrialized and transition countries, but they also include such countries in Latin America and the Caribbean as Argentina, Cuba and Chile together with five small island States. Another 51 countries, headed by Romania, Bulgaria and Costa Rica and including many Arab States and Latin American countries are well on the way to achieving some of the goals, but are being held back by slow progress on others, notably quality. A third group of 35 countries, 22 of them in sub-Saharan Africa, but also including the high population countries of Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, are “very far from achieving the goals,” with “multiple challenges to tackle simultaneously if EFA is to be assured.” read more

Ban welcomes signing of Arms Trade Treaty by majority of UN members

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“Today, a number of countries signed the Arms Trade Treaty, pushing the total number of signatures to more than half of all Member States,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said in a statement, noting that the Secretary-General, as depository of a treaty he deems important, welcomes every signature. “It is of particular significance that the largest arms exporting country in the world, the United States, is now also among those countries who have committed themselves to a global regulation of the arms trade,” the spokesperson stressed. Among other provisions, the new treaty – which will enter into force once it receives 50 ratifications – includes a prohibition on the transfer of arms which would be used in the commission of genocide, crimes against humanity and certain war crimes.The treaty was adopted by a vote in the 193-member General Assembly in April after the final UN Conference dedicated to the issue failed to garner consensus on a text. The signatures received so far today push the number of signatories to 107, with two more expected this afternoon.The treaty regulates all conventional arms within the categories of battle tanks, armoured combat vehicles, large-calibre artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles and missile launchers and small arms and light weapons.A 2011 study commissioned by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), entitled “The Global Burden of Armed Violence,” documented that more than half a million people die as a result of armed violence every year, fuelled in many cases by the widespread availability of weapons. Many more suffer horrific injuries and abuses, including rape, while still more are forced from their homes. The Secretary-General believes that today’s signings “will contribute to efforts to reduce insecurity and suffering for people on all continents,” his spokesperson said, adding: “He calls upon other countries to follow suit.” read more

Members of BrockNiagara Centre for Health and WellBeing raise awareness of disability

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“Every day is a challenge when you are in a wheelchair,” says Rick Mason, a member of the Power Cord program at the Brock-Niagara Centre for Health and Well-Being.It is DIS/ABILITY Awareness Week at Brock.To help increase understanding of this important student-led initiative, members of the Brock-Niagara Centre for Health and Well-Being who participate in the Power Cord Exercise Program, share some of their day-to-day accessibility challenges and misconceptions about people with disabilities.Power Cord is a wheelchair accessible program that customizes exercise specific to individuals with spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis and amputations.Mason says as soon as he leaves the house, there are barriers. Three of the major accessibility issues he faces on a regular basis are at businesses that don’t have parking for accessibility vans, an accessible entrance or handicap washroom facilities.“Many people in Niagara do not realize when they park on or too close to the yellow lines beside a handicap parking space; they could be preventing someone from getting in or out of their vehicle. Often, I’ve had to wait for the person next to me to finish their shopping and move their car before I can get my ramp down to get back in my vehicle. It is very frustrating.”Mason’s wife Jackie says there are also misunderstandings among business owners about what a barrier-free washroom is. She says many believe having a larger stall is enough. What every business should have, that would be more helpful, is a companion washroom, where a caregiver can go in and assist.“There are times when my husband (Rick) has gone into a public washroom and either, not been able to close the door or has gotten stuck in the stall and I’ve had to go into the men’s room to help him.”The Power Cord members agree there appears to be a lack of patience in Niagara for individuals who require aids for movement.Several Power Cord members feel there is a general lack of understanding about disability issues. For example, not every person with a disability is in a chair or uses a walker at all times.Power Cord member Jasmine Rees says multiple sclerosis (MS) is one of the most misunderstood diseases.“I have MS, some days are good and I can walk upright and other days, I can’t even feed myself because I cannot get out of bed. I’ve had people accuse me of ‘faking’ sick because I don’t look like what they think a disabled person should look like. My MS symptoms can change from day to day. Just because I am having a good day today, tomorrow is no guarantee,” says Rees.When asked how being diagnosed with MS has changed her life, Rees says, initially it impacted her sense of value as a person.“MS has changed my life in a lot of ways, I’ve had to sell my house and I’ve lost a lot of friends, not only because I had to cancel on so many social opportunities, but also because it was hard for them to see me change. Today, I may ‘look’ more able-bodied than some other Power Cord members, but multiple sclerosis is unpredictable.”To learn more about physical and invisible dis/abilities and student experiences on campus, all are welcome to attend ABLE’s Accessibility Forum on Thursday, March 3, from 1-2 p.m. in WH207. Child and Youth Studies Professor John McNamara will help set the tone by presenting on some key issues.Please RSVP at via Facebook at A B L E Awareness Breaks Limits For Equality. Twitter: @ABLE4Equality #ABLEBrockU #NoDISinABILITY read more

Police should be allowed to use facial recognition to investigate specific crimes

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By a ratio 40 per cent to 30 per cent, the public felt the Government should outlaw the use of facial recognition technology in schools.Even bigger public opposition emerged over its use by private companies with 77 per cent expressing concern at the idea of it being used by shops to track customers.Some 76 per cent were also unhappy with the idea of AI facial recognition being used to assess the mood and personality of people in job interviews. In both cases, those surveyed said they did not trust the firms to use the information ethically.Some 46 per cent of the public believe they should be given the chance to consent or opt out of being subjected to facial recognition technology, against just 28 per cent who disagreed.Carly Kind, Institute Director, said the survey showed the UK was “not ready” for the full roll-out of facial recognition. “As a first step, a voluntary moratorium by all those selling and using the technology would enable a more informed conversation with the public about limitations and appropriate safeguards,” she said. Police should be allowed to use facial recognition to investigate specific crimes and to protect the public at major events, according to the first national survey of the public’s attitude to the technology.They are opposed to unrestricted use but two thirds (65 per cent) of the public believe an outright ban on the police would be wrong.Up to 70 per cent backed its use to analyse faces on CCTV to catch a suspect in an investigation or in day-to-day policing to combat crime at events such as football matches or carnivals. The technology enables police to scan crowds and pick out faces that match huge databases of suspects.There is, however, far less tolerance of its use by private companies, whether to monitor shoppers or workers, and in schools if it was to be used to track children’s behaviour or expressions.By a majority of almost two to one, the public believes that organisations should seek the consent of people before they start deploying facial recognition. Elizabeth Denham, the Information Commissioner, is currently investigating the data legality of the technology Most also want a moratorium on any further use of the technology until publicly-agreed guidelines are in place on when and where it should be used.The survey of 4,109 adults by YouGov for the Ada Lovelace Institute, an independent research body on AI, comes just days after the defeat of the world’s first legal attempt by a British man to block police use of the technology as an intrusion into his privacy.Elizabeth Denham, the Information Commissioner, is currently investigating the data legality of the technology, having warned that “scanning people’s faces as they lawfully go about their daily lives, in order to identify them, is a potential threat to privacy.”More than half (55 per cent) of the public believe the Government should limit police use of facial recognition to criminal investigations, although half also saw it as no different to taking photographs or using CCTV.Of those who were comfortable with its use, 80 per cent said it was because it was “beneficial for the security of society.”There was also a majority in favour of the technology where there was personal benefit, with 54 per cent backing its use to unlock a smartphone by recognising an owner’s face and with passport checks at airports where it can speed up queues.Concern grew where it “normalised” surveillance with 67 per cent saying they were uncomfortable at the prospect of it being used in schools and 61 per cent felt the same about its on public transport.  Facial recognition software is demonstrated at the Intel booth at CES 2019 consumer electronics show 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. Elizabeth Denham, the Information Commissioner, is currently investigating the data legality of the technologyCredit:PA Facial recognition software is demonstrated at the Intel booth at CES 2019 consumer electronics showCredit:Robyn Beck/AFP read more

Security Ministry pays overseas contractor millions for supplies not received AGs

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…says legal action should be taken for non-delivery of items The Public Security Ministry has been flagged by Auditor General (AG) Deodat Sharma in his 2016 report for not being in compliance with the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act (FMA) and the Procurement Act 2003.The forensic laboratoryAccording to the AG in his report, the Ministry went back on its own agreement when procuring goods and paid an unnamed overseas contractor, who was supplying the Guyana Forensic Science Laboratory, for goods it did not receive.Detailing the transaction, it was noted that for 2016, amounts totalling $999.7 million was spent to procure goods and services. This includes a sum of $145.6 million which went towards purchasing drugs, medical supplies and field material. There was also a $21.9 million agreement with the overseas supplier for forensic laboratory materials for the Laboratory, located at Turkeyen.Zeroing in on the agreement, the Auditor General noted that it mandated 50 per cent of the advance payment be paid within seven days of the contract being signed, after the supplier provides a bond for the advance from a recognised financial institution.The other half was supposed to be paid when the items were delivered, inspected and certified by the relevant agency. A penalty clause also ensured that fees at a rate of 0.03 per cent per week to a maximum of 10 per cent of the contract sum would be charged for late execution of the order.But on June 27, 2017, the overseas supplier was paid $9.9 million when it delivered forensic laboratory materials worth just $3.1 million. The Auditor General noted that materials valued at $6.7 million were not delivered, at odds with the agreement the Ministry signed.“In addition, the remaining three cheques in the sum of $11.9 million were still on hand at the Ministry. It should be noted that two of these cheques totalling $10.9 million have since become stale dated while the other cheque in the sum of $994,457 was updated. This is in breach of the FMA Act and the Procurement Act 2003,” the Audit Office observed.In its response to the audit findings, the head of the budget agency indicated that efforts would be made to contact the supplier in hopes of having the items delivered.Auditor General, Deodat SharmaHowever, the Auditor General recommended that legal action be taken by the head of the budget agency for the items. It was also recommended that the cheques be updated and refunded to the Consolidated Fund.The law is very clear about the procedure for unspent monies in Government departments, once the monies came from the Consolidated Fund. Section 43 of the FMA Act states: “Except as otherwise provided in this Act or in any other law, at the end of each fiscal year, any unexpended balance of public monies issued out of the Consolidated Fund shall be returned and surrendered to the Consolidated Fund.”It is not the first time the Public Security Ministry has been flagged by the Audit Office for paying monies for goods not received. Earlier this year, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Daniella Mc Calmon was grilled by the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) over questionable transactions dating back to 2014.It was found that an American company, Tactical Supplier Inc, was sole sourced by the then Home Affairs Ministry to provide an Industrial Washer and Dryer. Despite payment being made for the items, they were not delivered.Government has, some time ago, pronounced that the Forensic Laboratory would be fully functional by next year, once it has the requisite staff and equipment. In several high-profile cases, samples from murder victims have had to be sent overseas by the Police for DNA testing.According to previous pronouncements by Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan, the Lab is currently equipped to conduct testing including on currencies, forged documents and ballistics.Under the second component of the Public Security Ministry’s Citizen Security Strengthening Programme (CSSP), there are provisions for improving the Guyana Police Force (GPF) Forensic Laboratory’s effectiveness towards preventing and conducting crime investigations.This component is being funded at the cost of US$5.5 million through the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Apart from the procurement of equipment for the laboratory, the CSSP will facilitate local and overseas training, and training materials for laboratory staff and the Police Force in terms of crime investigation and evidence collection. (Jarryl Bryan) Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedProcurement Commission called on to investigate D’Urban ParkOctober 2, 2017In “latest news”AG report flags MoE over procurement of textbooksApril 29, 2019In “Business”Infrastructure Ministry overpaid, now unable to recover hundreds of millionsOctober 20, 2016In “latest news” read more

Soaring profits for Ryanair but its not getting carried away with excitement

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first_imgIT HAS BEEN a bumper year for Ryanair so far, with the Irish airline reporting a rise in net profits of 152%.The latest figures for the first quarter of this year show that Ryanair had a net income of €197m, which is 152% ahead of last year.Traffic grew to 24.3m, the average fare rose by 9%, while total revenues were up 11% to €1.496bn.Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said: Q1 profits were boosted by a strong Easter (but are somewhat distorted by the absence of Easter on the prior year Q1). The earlier launch of our summer schedule and actively raising our forward bookings has delivered a 4% increase in load factor to 86% and enabled us to better manage close-in yields. Ancillary Revenues rose 4% in line with traffic growth, as airport and baggage fee reductions were offset by the rising uptake of allocated seating.Customer serviceWhat about Ryanair’s recent focus on customer service?It said its “Always Getting Better” programme has “delivered significant improvement to the customer experience”.As well as allocated seating, free second carry-on bags, and an easier to use website, it also launched its family product in June. In July it released a new mobile app (including mobile boarding passes), which has reached 1m downloads in the 10 days since its release.In September Ryanair will launch Ryanair’s business service which will include same day flight changes, bigger bag allowances, premium seat allocation, and fast-track through security at many Ryanair airports.We will continue this winter to rapidly develop both our website and mobile platform to deliver more innovative features and services in addition to the lowest fares to our customers.Easter was a particularly good time for the airline, while the earlier launch of its summer schedule also gave it a boost.More passengersOverall, in the first quarter of 2014 it saw higher traffic volumes and load factors, and slightly lower costs, not including fuel costs.The low-cost airline says that it is on traffic for a strong performance halfway through the year, with traffic growing by 3% and fares rising by 6%, subject to late booking fares in August in September.But it cautioned against “irrational exuberance”:Based on these Q1 results and our strong forward bookings it is clear that we are on track to deliver a strong H1, during which traffic will grow by 3%, and fares will rise by 6% subject to late booking fares in August and September. However we would strongly caution both analysts and investors against any irrational exuberance in what continues to be a difficult economic environment, with some company-specific challenges in H2.Ryanair expects the second half of the year to be characterised by a much softer pricing environment “as many competitors are lowering fares, partly in response to Ryanair’s strong forward bookings”.Added to this Ryanair will aggressively raise capacity this winter by 8% to take advantage of growth discounts and build out business-friendly frequencies from Dublin and Stansted in particular.These initiatives will inevitably put downward pressure on fares and (mindful of last winter’s weak pricing environment) we continue to expect H2 yields to fall by between 6% to 8% which will result in full year yields rising by only 2%.Unit costs (not including fuel) for 2015 will rise by approximately 4%, due to higher traffic volumes.Ryanair now expects full year traffic to grow by 5% to 86m.“This increased traffic and higher load factors, combined with a slightly improved performance on unit costs allows us to cautiously raise our full year profit after tax guidance (from the previous range €580m to €620m) to a range of €620m to €650m,” it said.Read: New Ryanair app lets you use your phone as a boarding pass>last_img read more

99 Parallella supercomputer is now completely open source

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first_imgKickstarter has been used to fund a lot of products with questionable real life utility, but the Parallella supercomputer might actually do some good. This $99 device was funded last year, and the boards are about to go out to backers. In the meantime, the makers have fulfilled their promise to make Parallella completely open source.How can a supercomputer only cost $99? Well, it’s not a supercomputer in the traditional sense. Parallella is a credit card-size board with a Zynq-7010 dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 system-on-a-chip (SoC), 1GB of RAM, two USB 2.0 ports, a microSD slot, an HDMI connection, and a 10/100/1000 Ethernet port. Along with the ARM chip, there is an Epiphany co-processor with either 16 or 64 cores. Each core is clocked at 700MHz, but the system only consumes 5 watts of power at load.The 16-core version is the headlining $99 supercomputer, but the 64-core device is $750. That second system might sound expensive but, for the right kind of application, these systems could be a very good value. A program that properly utilizes all 64 cores could perform like it was running on a multi-thousand dollar server.Parallella comes with a distro of Ubuntu, but can be used to run just about anything now that all the hardware designs and code are public. The Linux kernel, SDK scripts, u-boot, and all the other software goodies are on Github. The hardware documentation is also there. The company has even provided Solidworks files of the Parallella board.Kickstarter backers are getting first crack at the Parellella, so you can’t place an order for one just yet. You can register to be notified when they’re on sale again, but there’s no telling when that will be. As with most Kickstarters, the date for delivery has already been pushed back several months.last_img read more

The 5 at 5 Wednesday

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first_img 6,540 Views May 15th 2019, 4:44 PM Image: Shutterstock/Jade Coulombe Wednesday 15 May 2019, 4:44 PM https://jrnl.ie/4636203 By Sean Murray Image: Shutterstock/Jade Coulombe No Comments The 5 at 5: Wednesday Five minutes, five stories, five o’clock… Short URL EVERY WEEKDAY EVENING, TheJournal.ie brings you the five biggest stories of the day.1. #MURDER TRIAL: A DNA expert has told the murder trial of Ana Kriegel that he found the teenager’s blood on Boy A’s boots.2. #WE GO AGAIN: Theresa May’s government is to put forward a Brexit bill in early June. 3. #PRIVATISATION: Dentists have said that the government’s new oral health policy will result in more teeth being extracted in both children and adults.4. #DAYTIME TV: ITV has axed The Jeremy Kyle Show following the death of a participant.5. #COOLING DOWN: Temperatures are set to hit 22 degrees today but an unsettled weekend lies ahead.  Share Tweet Email Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

All things multicultural

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first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Thousands of people attended the first “ENOSI” Festival last Sunday at Melbourne’s Federation Square. The Festival was organised in partnership with the Alevi Community Council and the Hellenic Cultural Council. Present were the Minister for Multicultural Affairs the Hon Nicholas Kotsiras, Mr Mehmet Gundogdu Alevi Community Council Elder, Hon. John Pandazopoulos, representing the Leader of the Victorian Opposition, Federal Member of Parliament Maria Vamvakinou, Vic Multicultural Chairperson Mr Chin Tan and Mr Dimitri Tsilikis who represented the Consul General of Greece in Melbourne.The crowd enjoyed a perfect sunny weekend in Melbourne and enjoyed live traditional musicians, colourful dancers and good food. Over one thousand serves of baklava were distributed free to the public for the baklava competition.Australian Cultural Council President Mr Mavroudis said, “This is the first time such a festival has taken place in Melbourne where different community groups can come together, share their similarities and celebrate their differences”.last_img read more

Lutilisation de logiciels illégaux se généralise dans le monde

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first_imgL’utilisation de logiciels illégaux se généralise dans le monde Selon une récente étude de l’association mondiale des fabricants de logiciels, près de la moitié des utilisateurs PC utiliseraient des logiciels illégaux. Un phénomène particulièrement prononcé en Chine qui affiche le taux le plus élevé de piratage. C’est une véritable “épidémie mondiale” qui se répand dans le milieu de l’informatique. L’association Business Software Alliance vient tout juste de révéler que selon une enquête qu’elle a réalisée, 47% des utilisateurs de PC ont aujourd’hui recours à des logiciels piratés. Des infractions qui comprennent l’achat d’une seule licence pour des installations multiples d’un logiciel au sein d’un bureau par exemple, ou le téléchargement de programmes sur des réseaux peer-to-peer (qui permettent d’échanger des fichiers sur internet), précise l’AFP.À lire aussiApple bloque son système téléphonique de réinitialisation de mot de passePour arriver à une telle conclusion, l’association a mené un sondage auprès de 15.000 utilisateurs dans 32 pays, ce qui a permis par ailleurs de localiser les foyers où le phénomène est le plus important. Si les logiciels illégaux sont très prisés, ce sont ainsi les Chinois qui remportent la première place du classement avec le taux le plus élevé de piratage : 86% des utilisateurs d’ordinateurs acquièrent leurs logiciels de manière illégale la plupart du temps, ou tout le temps, selon l’étude. Mais 6 autres pays asiatiques figurent parmi les dix plus importants utilisateurs de logiciels illégaux.Cette étude “montre clairement que l’épidémie mondiale de piratage de logiciels se répand le plus vite en Chine, désormais premier marché mondial pour les ventes de nouveaux ordinateurs”, a précisé Robert Holleyman, président de BSA cité par l’AFP. Plus préoccupant encore, selon le sondage, 47% des utilisateurs d’ordinateurs dans le monde pensent, à tort, qu’il n’y a rien de mal à acheter des copies illégales de programmes de logiciels. Un coup dur pour le milieu de l’informatiquePourtant, cette pratique cause des pertes considérables à l’industrie de l’informatique. En 2010, l’installation de logiciels piratés a ainsi coûté près de 59 milliards de dollars (soit 42 milliards d’euros) de perte, a estimé BSA. En valeur absolue, ce n’est donc plus la Chine qui prend la tête du classement mais les Etats-Unis avec un manque à gagner de 9,5 milliards de dollars. Le pays asiatique suit néanmoins de près avec 7,78 milliards de dollars de perte. Le 11 septembre 2011 à 12:25 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

No vacation for construction at Camas schools

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first_imgSchool may be out for the summer, but the Camas School District is still buzzing.The chatter of students and teachers has been replaced with the grind of construction equipment. This summer, the district will wrap-up a couple of capital projects, break ground on a few more and inch closer to the construction of a new elementary school.This summer’s activity will complete the project list for the $113 million capital improvement bond issue local voters approved in February 2007, said Heidi Rosenberg, director of capital programs.Hayes Freedom High SchoolConstruction of the alternative Hayes Freedom High School wrapped up in mid-June.The 20,500-square-foot school is at 1919 N.E. Ione St., the site of the former district office. The state provided about $2.4 million for the construction of the new school, with the bond covering about $3.9 million in construction costs, Rosenberg said. The district was eligible for state money for the Hayes Freedom construction and improvements to Camas High School because it removed the 48,000-square-foot Garfield Performing Arts Center building from educational use, Rosenberg said.Hayes Freedom students were most recently housed in a wing of the former J.D. Zellerbach Elementary School. The new high school, which opens this fall, can accommodate 200 students. The school will have an open house Sept. 2.last_img read more

Driving a Tesla in the end times

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first_img Tags Today 15,000 people marched to demand an stop to the Adani coal mine in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Cairns!! It’s time for the Federal government to listen up! pic.twitter.com/uSAPtlFO8a— School Strike 4 Climate (@StrikeClimate) December 8, 2018 .@AdamBandt: Students will go on strike from school calling for emergency action on climate change. Prime Minister will you join me in praising these kids?@ScottMorrisonMP: What we want, is more learning and less activism. MORE: https://t.co/ykweMevBOK #ParliamentLive pic.twitter.com/QW2nGnesBG— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) November 26, 2018 Tesla’s Model X gets artsy Share your voice 2006 Toyota RAV4 Sport I’m watching the tablet. It has a running tally of my battery usage, an estimate of how many kilometers I’d be able to drive at this speed, in these current conditions. We’ll make it to Canberra. Comfortably.I love this car. I love it so much. If you’re travelling in the end times you might as well do it in style.In the back seat of the car my children are arguing about music choices. We eventually settle for the Ninjago theme song, played on repeat until the heat death of the universe. I acquiesce. We’re vacuum-sealed inside a strange dream. Outside the world rages in chaos. That’s when it occurs to me. If the Australian bush suddenly transformed into a flaming inferno, if someone finally dropped the bomb, if the oceans rose and engulfed us all — in this car, in this moment — we’d be among the last to die. Comments 26 Taking It to Extremes: Mix insane situations — erupting volcanoes, nuclear meltdowns, 30-foot waves — with everyday tech. Here’s what happens.Fight the Power: Take a look at who’s transforming the way we think about energy. center_img Review • safety On the day I drove autopilot while my kids bickered in the back seat, a study came out. Traces of feces were found on every single McDonald’s self-serve touchscreen tested by London Metropolitan University microbiologist Paul Matawele. This of course was big news, covered broadly, gleefully. But I was unsurprised. McDonald’s touchscreens are covered in shit because we’re all covered in shit. I’m covered in shit.I eat meat six times a week and I’m destroying the world I live in. The ice caps are melting, California wildfires are raging and the only people who can breathe clean air are inside cars like this Tesla Model X. A car my middle-aged neighbour is convinced doesn’t work. A car normal human beings can’t afford. I told you this was a story about survival. Not my carnephew-dabbingMy nephew dabbing in the back of the Tesla. Changed my mind, the kids are not alright. Mark Serrels/CNET “It’s not my car.”That’s what I say to everyone staring as I open the falcon doors of the Tesla Model X. It doesn’t belong in the early-morning thrum of the school drop-off, parents sleepwalking, kids buzzing like battery hens, souped up on Weet-Bix and sugar. The doors lift up and I recoil in embarrassment. “I’m just borrowing it for a few days,” I say. Reminding everyone I’m normal, completely normal, nothing to see here. In 2018, Elon Musk was fined $20 million and had to step down as Tesla chairman after allegedly misleading investors via Twitter. He’s currently being sued by a British caver involved in a heroic rescue of Thai children stuck in an underwater cave, for calling the caver a “pedo”. He smoked weed on the Joe Rogan podcast and then, seemingly oblivious to his company’s less-than-stellar reputation for worker treatment, casually tweeted that he was a big fan of the 80-hour work week and that maybe up to 100 was required to “change the world”. In short, 2018 is the year when Elon Musk went from Tony Stark to [whispers and uses air quotes] problematic. So when I say “not my car”, part of me says “not my car” because being seen as a big shot showing off his fancy new car at school drop off is my worst recurring nightmare. But sometimes I say “not my car” because, well, a lot of people don’t seem to like Elon Musk right now and I’m not sure it’s right to separate the artist from his art.Again, I push the accelerator to the floor. The soundless whoosh sends shivers down my spine and I accelerate at an ungodly speed. In this moment it occurs to me I don’t belong here. I’m like a stained child’s car seat, covered in vomit and dried-up urine. This is not my car.The endOn Saturday I decide to drive from Sydney to Canberra. It’s a dull and sustained 320 kilometers of moving in a mostly straight line from point A to point B. But in the Tesla Model X, time seems to move faster. I’m comfortable. I’ve adjusted my seat to my own particular specifications and saved it as a profile. Brilliantly implemented climate controls mean the blazing heat of Sydney’s summer sun doesn’t filter through. The car is set to an intelligent type of cruise control that adjusts on the fly, based on cars that may or may not be in front of me as I drive. We’re vacuum-sealed inside a strange dream.  30 Photos It was inspiring. These children couldn’t vote, they had no way to elect or oust the people making decisions that might ruin the planet they’ll inherit, but together they found a way to make their voices heard.Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison, a man who once brought a lump of coal to parliament and said, “Don’t be scared”, criticised the protests. “We do not support our schools being turned into parliaments,” Morrison said in parliament. Then he said he wanted “less activism” in schools. Actually, the kids are alright.The end timesWhen I get home and reverse the Tesla into my garage, the neighbourhood kids jump off their bikes. They gather round, slack-jawed. “I messaged my mum as soon as I saw it,” said one. Another started rattling off Tesla model numbers like he was Elon Musk himself. One younger kid, who lives across the road, told me he was a superfan. These kids don’t put Porsche posters on their walls anymore, they put up Tesla Roadsters. Culture Car Culture They huddled around, gasping as the falcon doors opened, stretching into the sky. With their parents’ permission (of course) I took them all for a spin and they spent the entire ride cackling like a set of insane hyenas. The man across the street walked over afterward. With the complete absence of humility only middle-aged men have the power to summon, he told me electric cars don’t work. This is the end of days. The doors lift up and I recoil in embarrassment. This isn’t a story about zero to 60 or measuring trunk space. This isn’t a story about suspension or automatic steering or battery efficiency. This is a story about survival.This is a story about the end times. About the inevitable heat death of the universe and the strange ways the human race is desperately, pathologically trying to destroy itself in the most efficient way possible. This is the story of the time I drove a Tesla Model X for four days and lived to tell the tale.A short introduction: I am very much not a car guy. I failed my driving test five times. When I was 20, I drove for 5 kilometres (3 miles) with a burst tire and didn’t notice the difference. One time I tried to top up my car oil and forgot to put the lid back on, setting in motion a spectacular sequence of events that ended with my car engine exploding in the middle of Melbourne on a hot Sunday afternoon.My children have inherited my gift for mindless destruction. There’s Mr. 5YO, a sullen, athletic type who loves video games. There’s Mr. 2YO, a violent agent of chaos with a gift for wedging things inside other things. Last weekend he had a right good go of dislodging my right eyeball from its socket. Video games, iPads, game consoles, televisions, eyeballs. My boys have an impressive kill count. So when I pick up my Tesla Model X for a four-day test drive, I am nervous. The reason for this story: We know Tesla makes great cars technologically, but what happens in the context of real family life? Considering my children and their chequered past, what will they do with the largest prey of all? A car that comes from the future. A car that is essentially a giant, moving rechargeable iPhone.The Tesla lady hands me the key and leads me to the car I’ll be driving. She politely asks me to open the door and I pause. The car is sleek and smooth, there are no perceivable edges or gaps. I am a monkey with a stick and this is my monolith. I shuffle my feet awkwardly.”I… don’t… know how?”The fancy carI don’t review cars. I have never driven a “fancy car”. I currently own a 2006 Toyota Rav4, a garbage can masquerading as an SUV. This is not a joke. I regularly sit in the driver’s seat, inhale the scent of trash and continue with life like this is a normal occurrence, because it is a normal occurrence. “Nice.” Mark Serrels/CNET When you have a car designed to ferry children from point A to point B, your car is a glorified bin with wheels. There are biscuits between the seats, banana peels decorating the floor. Nappies, a strange collection of sticks. A broken little umbrella. In this context the sleek, futuristic Tesla Model X feels otherworldly. I push accelerate. My synapses frazzle like a caveman who’s been force-fed sherbet. I’m sitting in a car that’s been sent back from the future and every fibre of my being, from my organs to the flesh on my bones, is vibrating with terror and excitement. There is a gigantic tablet in the centre of this car. It responds to my movements. I don’t have to wrestle with the steering wheel. I accelerate and the car does what it’s told. “Yes, master.”It doesn’t smell like garbage. The Tesla Model X is a luxury SUV, obviously. I have no way of comparing it with other luxury SUVs competing for market share in this space. I only know this car feels light-years ahead of anything I’ve ever driven and I’m bewildered by this strange object sent from the future to deliver us from fossil fuels and Terminator-children designed to return us to the Stone Age.The Tesla rep asks if I have any questions.”Just one,” I reply. It’s an important one. Roughly six months ago I was driving down the freeway when my two-year-old son figured out how to open the passenger door. I was driving at 60 miles per hour at the time. “How do you turn on the child locks?”What follows fries every fibre of my lizard brain. Using the Tesla’s tablet, we scramble through an insanely rigorous set of settings in search of “child locks”. It reminds me of switching from iOS to Android and trying to figure out how to switch off Facebook notifications. You know it’s obvious (and will be in hindsight), but right now you’re scrolling through an endless sea of information and you’re gasping for air. You can adjust suspension. You can adjust steering. You can make your seat warm. You can play Atari games on a gigantic tablet.But right now I just want to make sure my children don’t die.Is this our car?I’d been looking forward to picking up my oldest son from school all day. I couldn’t wait to see his reaction to the Tesla.The youngest son, not so much. He’s 2. Too young to really give a single shit about anything other than Paw Patrol and destroying everything of value inside our house. When I picked him up from daycare he quietly climbed into his car chair like nothing had changed. Like our garbage bin Rav4 hadn’t all of a sudden been replaced by a car from the future.screen-shot-2018-12-14-at-10-35-50-amMe strapping my oblivious son into a AU$172,685 car. Mark Serrels/CNET Installing my legally required children’s car seats into the Tesla Model X had been relatively easy, but there was a strange dissonance. Seeing our perennially stained child seats — seats that had been peed on, shat on, and vomited on — seamlessly latched inside a AU$172,685 car (about $86,200, £83,800) just didn’t make sense. As if looking at an MC Escher painting, or a magic eye book, I stared vacantly at my son sitting in the Tesla, waiting for the image to somehow start making sense. Picking up my five year old was different. It was everything I’d hoped it would be. He walked toward it with “whoas”.He gasped. “Is this our car?” We made a detour to the freeway. During a quick drive with the Tesla rep, I’d been shown how to put the car into autopilot. “Only use it on the freeway,” was the advice. Advice I intended to take. Using it for the first time, with a Tesla rep beside me, I felt relatively comfortable. Comfortable with leaving my own life in the hands of this intelligent collection of components. How would I feel with my children in the back? How would I feel when it was their life on the line?Fine. Totally fine.I drove onto the freeway. I hit accelerate. With my children in the back squawking endlessly about “going faster”, “getting McDonalds for dinner” and fighting over an empty water bottle, I tugged the switch twice for autopilot, took my hands off the steering wheel and prayed silently for the sweet release of death.No, it’s the children who are wrongSometimes it’s difficult to escape the feeling that as a culture, we eat our young. On the day I drove autopilot while my kids bickered in the back seat, more than a thousand children marched through Sydney as part of the nationwide Strike 4 Climate Action. Throughout the country — in Melbourne, Ballarat, Cairns, Newcastle, Perth — children left the classroom to protest government inaction over climate change. Elon Musk Tesla Toyotalast_img read more

Whoopi Goldberg compares Mike Pence to a Nazi in gay rights row

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first_imgWhoopi Goldberg has compared US Vice President Mike Pence to a Nazi in a row over LGBT rights.Pence, who is heading the US delegation to the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games, has had a protracted spat with gay athletes this month.  Pence claimed the law was intended to “protect” organisations from having to provide services for same-sex weddings, saying: “I support the freedom of religion for every Hoosier [Indiana citizen] of every faith.“The Constitution of the United States and the Indiana Constitution both provide strong recognition of the freedom of religion but today, many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack.”(Getty)He appeared unable to answer when asked whether it should be legal to fire people because of their sexuality.In a clip, Pence was asked: “Yes or no: do you believe gay and transgender people should be able to be fired from their jobs just for that reason only?”After an awkward ten-second silence, Pence attempted to stall, responding: “It’s a great privilege to be your Governor.”Fudging a response, he said: “My position as I expressed in the state of the State address is that we are a state with a constitution, and as you know… that constitution has very strong safeguards for freedom of conscience and freedom of religion.”Donald Trump and Mike Pence (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)During the Presidential campaign, Pence backed plans to roll back Barack Obama’s executive protections on LGBT rights, so that “the transgender bathroom issue can be resolved with common sense at the local level”.He said: “This is such an example of an administration that seems to have… there’s no area of our lives too small for them to want to regulate, no aspect of our constitution too large for them to ignore.“Donald Trump and I both believe these questions can be resolved with common sense at the local level.”“These issues are resolved in the state of Indiana whenever they come up, and they should be resolved, for the safety and well-being of our children first and foremost, their privacy and rights, and with common sense. Donald Trump and I simply believe all of these issues are best resolved at the state level, by communities.”He added: “Washington has no business intruding on the operation of our local schools. It’s just one more example of the heavy hand of this administration, and Donald Trump and I will stand by that common-sense people that when it comes to our kids, and the operation of our schools, those decisions should be made at the local level.“Washington DC has no business imposing its bill and its values on communities around the nation.”(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)Decades of proof have not stopped Pence from attempting to rewrite his deeply anti-LGBT record, however.He abruptly started denying his support for gay cure therapy in December 2016, one month before he was sworn in as Vice President – despite never once trying to correct public reports about his well-known views in the 16 years beforehand.Pence is reported to be behind many of the anti-LGBT actions taken by the Trump administration, supporting Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ bid to roll back anti-discrimination protections for gay people.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… When gay figure skater Adam Rippon challenged the Vice President’s concerning stances on LGBT equality, Pence put out a statement suggesting that the athlete had misled the public.And freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy, who has been at the forefront of the US delegation’s publicity campaign, also said that Pence’s presence will send a negative message.Rippon, who picked up a bronze medal during the team figure skating event, has so far spurned meetings with Pence in South Korea – and says he will also skip a White House reception for athletes.The issue was discussed this week on talk show The View – and Whoopi Goldberg made her opinions clear.Goldberg said: “A past controversy of his has come back to bite [Pence] on the face.“Should [Rippon] sit down to talk with this gentleman who doesn’t even sort of recognize him as a person?”Reading Pence’s record, she added: “He says keeping gays from marrying was an enforcement of God’s idea. In 2006 he said gay couples signal societal collapse, and in 2007 he opposed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ folks. He didn’t believe the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was good, and he rejected the Obama administration directive on transgender bathrooms.“I think it would be like asking a Jewish person to sit down and understand where the Nazi is coming from.“I think that would be a difficult thing.”[embedded content]In recent tweets, Pence branded his record “fake news” and a “nonstory”.He said: “Headed to the Olympics to cheer on #TeamUSA. One reporter trying to distort 18 yr old nonstory to sow seeds of division. We won’t let that happen! #FAKENEWS. Our athletes are the best in the world and we are for ALL of them! #TEAMUSA”.Tweeting at Rippon he added: “I want you to know we are FOR YOU. Don’t let fake news distract you. I am proud of you and ALL OF OUR GREAT athletes and my only hope for you and all of #TeamUSA is to bring home the gold. Go get ‘em!”But while Pence may be playing a moderate as a question mark dangles over the future of Trump’s Presidency, his extreme anti-LGBT record is far from made up.A hardline evangelical who has not supported a single LGBT reform across nearly two decades in politics, VP Pence has one of the worst records on equality of any President or Vice President in recent memory.Pence previously suggested that HIV prevention funding be drained in order to fund state-sponsored ‘gay cure’ therapy.U.S. Vice President Mike Pence (Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)On a 2000 Congressional campaign website, he wrote: “Congress should support the reauthorization of the [HIV funding] Ryan White Care Act only after completion of an audit to ensure that federal dollars were no longer being given to organisations that celebrate and encourage the types of behaviours that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus. Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behaviour.”While serving as Governor of Indiana, Pence stirred up international outrage in 2015 when he signed Indiana’s controversial ‘Religious Freedom Restoration Act’, giving businesses the right to discriminate against gay people on the grounds of religion. eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) Winter Olympics 2018: Gay Olympic medallist Adam Rippon channels RuPaul as he claps back at hatersDonald Trump Jr. attacks figure skater Adam Rippon on TwitterMike Pence insists his anti-gay record is ‘fake news’ in response to Olympic figure skaterPINK NEWS-last_img read more

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first_imgCIVCO Medical Solutions’ CT Guidance Device is an inexpensive hand-held device designed to increase the speed, accuracy and safety of CT guided procedures. It is designed to improve first pass accuracy for either traditional vertical plane or more difficult angled plane procedures, such as aspiration/biopsy, drainage or ablation. Versatile in nature, the device can be held in either hand, used from either side of the table and is safe for use in MR environments up to 3T. Reportedly easy to set-up, this reusable device offers a disposable sterile cover with a built-in needle pathway to accommodate a wide range of instruments from 22G to 8F. FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 Technology | November 27, 2008 CIVCO Offers New CT Guidance Solution last_img read more

the assaults surged

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the assaults surged 74 percent at the maximum-security Minnesota Correctional Facility-Oak Park Heights. Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai. no vehicle carrying pilgrims was allowed to move towards the Valley from the Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas in Jammu. which will allow commuters to read hundreds of e-books, Awkuzu.

Carpenter’s wife,Chiang,"He was just trying to start it and it must not have wanted to be started, In a series of tweets via his verified Twitter handle, Here are some pictures from Ferne McCanns official Instagram: Good Morning London. valued at $9 million. The Union Cabinet on Wednesday cleared an ordinance to make the practice of instant triple talaq a penal offence. who knew me as mayor. Sunday saying at least 19 people were arrested, regardless of whether deradicalization has taken root.

said that the wreckage could be bombed from the air at any moment. the color can be seen everywhere in Chinese cities: adorning doors,贵族宝贝Meaghan, Credit: PATo make things worse.Former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progreasives Congress (APC) Comrade Timi Frank has asked the security agencies to investigate the circumstances leading to the auto crash involving the National Chairman of the Reformed All Progressives Congress (rAPC)"When we had this bad early cold spell, to disrespect our community https://t. Rep.One of the main changes the foundation has planned is the addition of a mountain bike terrain park,爱上海Raellen, was voted “fan favorite” during the most recent series of the long-running cooking competition. We will do whatever needed to save the party with its 1. “We.

Group B consists of Singapore,爱上海Kizzy, with a pellet still embedded in it. of St."About 35 years after my Minot incident and learning about an identical incident experienced by another missileer (Capt. Speaking, 7th January 2018, which usually means an IPO or exit strategy. lower calories." Modi said.Wamstad and his wife.

a 32x8x8 feet container can accommodate 199 BUs or 261 CUs, Theyve always taken me to off-brand,000 per hectare.– Herald staff report” Drug abuse has become a major issue on the presidential campaign trail." said Rylance. “Were playing all over. Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, as when Daniel recognizes an old childhood friend he last saw before prison. President Donald Trump. Started hitting me everywhere – shins.

After 29 months without a president, life of machinery. Internet Girl: The Newsroom Rapesplains It All It’s an absurd statement. February 20. ”Additional informationJasmine is described as white with a tan complexion, Ecuadorian Ambassador to Nigeria, and petition circulators "were hopping at the recent Ag Expo in Minot." Its preliminary research. But he gets constant media attention for free. Also.

000 if he obeys certain conditions such as not leaving the state and not consuming drugs and alcohol. Prosecutors have said they intend to charge the teens as adults.” the 36-year-old said in the post which attracted 135000 likes in the space of an hour Williams gave birth to Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr in September and was married to Alexis Ohanian last month Few female players have won grand slams after taking a break to start a family although Kim Clijsters won the 2009 US Open in her third tournament back after having a daughter Australians Evonne Goolagong and Margaret Court also managed it Court’s 24 grand slam singles titles remains a record although only 11 of them were in the professional era Ben & Jerrys Ksepka was invited to check out the specimen, you pledge to eat healthier food. 8million. read more