Trudeau NATO leaders gearing up for debate with Trump over defence spending

first_imgOTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other world leaders are gearing up for what already promises to be a lively debate on defence spending at the upcoming NATO summit in Brussels next week.On Tuesday, the Prime Minister’s Office said Trudeau is looking forward to meeting with the 28 other NATO leaders to discuss ways to reinforce peace and security among nations.“Throughout the summit’s discussions and working sessions, the prime minister will reiterate Canada’s commitment to playing an active role in the alliance, and a strong and constructive role in the world,” said Trudeau’s press secretary Eleanore Catenaro.The PMO also said that just prior to the summit, Trudeau will visit Canadian troops in Latvia, where Canada is leading a key NATO battle group established as the alliance’s response to Russia’s surprise annexation of Crimea in 2014 and its invasion of eastern Ukraine.The prospect of conflict among NATO leaders is already looming on the horizon, thanks to a series of pointed letters from U.S. President Donald Trump to leaders of several NATO allies, including Canada, calling on them to finally meet the alliance’s defence spending targets.In his letter to Trudeau, Trump says there is “growing frustration” in the U.S. with North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies like Canada that have not increased defence spending as promised.“This frustration is not confined to our executive branch. The United States Congress has taken note and is concerned as well,” the president writes in the June 19 letter.“The United States is increasingly unwilling to ignore this alliance’s failure to meet shared security challenges.”The letter comes with tensions between Canada and the U.S. running high, thanks to an ongoing dispute over American tariffs on steel and aluminum imports that have prompted Canada and other European countries to impose politically targeted retaliatory tariffs.It also comes in the wake of a stormy end to the G7 meetings in Quebec, when Trump called Canada’s prime minister “dishonest and weak” and backed out of the final joint communique issued by the G7 leaders after hearing Trudeau’s defiant comments over the tariff dispute.The Liberals promised last year to increase spending on the military by 70 per cent over the next 10 years, but Canada continues to fall short of NATO’s target of spending two per cent of GDP on defence. In 2017, the alliance’s own preliminary estimates showed Canada spent 1.29 per cent of its gross domestic product on defence, up from 1.16 per cent in 2016.Trump is not the first American president to complain about NATO member countries not living up to their spending commitments and relying too heavily on the U.S., which last year spent 3.57 per cent of its GDP on defence.Currently, only four countries that belong to NATO are meeting the two per cent target that allies agreed to during the 2014 summit in Wales.Trump has threatened to leave NATO if member states do not follow through with their pledges.But NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg noted a marked improvement in defence spending among member nations since 2014 in his annual report, issued earlier this year.Three consecutive years of growth in defence expenditure across Europe and Canada have added a total of $46 billion to defence, he said.In 2017 European allies and Canada increased their defence expenditures by almost five per cent. This year, eight NATO countries are expected to meet the two per cent guideline while many others have plans to meet the target by 2024.“So the picture is clear — the alliance is doing more to respond and adapt to an uncertain security environment,” Stoltenberg says in the report. “All allies are stepping up, doing more, in more places, in more ways, to strengthen our shared security.”That, however, isn’t good enough for Trump.Canada’s continued defence spending of less than two per cent “provides validation for other allies that also are not meeting their defence spending commitments,” he writes.“I understand domestic political pressures, as I myself have expended considerable political capital to increase America’s defence spending,” Trump’s letter continues.“It will, however, become increasingly difficult to justify to American citizens why some countries continue to fail to meet our shared collective security agreements.”Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan’s office pointed to Canada’s commitment 10-year commitment to grow funding to the department, which will see $32.7 billion in annual increases.“Also, our recent and ongoing contributions to NATO, such as our mission in Latvia, are clear demonstrations of our government’s commitment to the alliance and international security ,” Sajjan’s director of communications Renée Filiatrault said in statement Tuesday.Trudeau will visit Canadian troops in Latvia July 9-10 before attending the NATO summit July 11-12.— Follow @ReporterTeresa on Twitter.last_img read more

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LacMegantic marks sixth anniversary of rail disaster that claimed 47 lives

first_imgLAC-MEGANTIC, Que. — The sixth anniversary of the rail disaster in Lac-Megantic, Que., will be marked this weekend with events aimed at remembering those who were lost and recognizing how the community has grown since the tragedy.Lac-Megantic has steadily rebuilt since the disaster, and Mayor Julie Morin says she wanted to recognize how the town has forged ahead.In the early hours of July 6, 2013, a runaway train hauling tanker cars loaded with volatile crude oil barrelled into the town of 6,000, derailed and exploded, killing 47 people and destroying a large swath of the downtown area.A commemorative church service is to be held at the Ste-Agnes Church on Saturday afternoon in memory of those who perished under the theme “remembering to rebuild.”The service will end with a moment of silence and a ringing of the church bells.Gilles Baril, the priest of the local parish, says in a statement he wants to emphasize a message of life winning over death and locals providing each other with the comfort and strength needed to rise above.“We did not choose the tragedy that killed 47 of our own and destroyed our downtown core,” Baril said. “But we have chosen not to be slaughtered under the weight of suffering, thanks to the solidarity that has been woven between us and thanks to the tenderness we have received from everywhere beyond anything we could have imagined.”Other events are planned, including a number of annual weekend races and a concert involving a choir from Belgium on Friday night at the church.The federal and provincial governments have agreed to fund a 12.8-kilometre bypass that will take rail traffic away from the downtown area in the coming years.“This time will allow us to pay tribute to those we’ve lost, but also to highlight the progress made over the past six years,” Morin said in a statement. “It is important to recognize the evolution of the community since the events.”The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Cineplex and The VOID Announce Canadian Expansion Plans

first_imgAdvertisement TORONTO, July 10, 2018 – Cineplex (TSX: CGX), a leading entertainment and media company, and The VOID, the critically acclaimed immersive entertainment company, today announced a new, exclusive expansion agreement that will see the opening of new VOID Experience Centers in communities across Canada. By combining state-of-the-art VR technology, physical stages and multi-sensory effects including touch and smell, The VOID invites fans to a social activity to enjoy with friends and family and become active participants in a new hyper-reality. The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: With its first location already successfully operating at Cineplex’s The Rec Room in downtown Toronto, the agreement announced today will provide Cineplex with the exclusive rights to operate The VOID concept in Canada. The initial plan is to open a minimum of five VOID Experience Centers over the coming years, both inside and outside of Cineplex operated properties. Opening last summer, residents and visitors to the Toronto area have been able to step beyond reality and into the Ghostbusters: Dimension at the city’s favorite destination for ‘Eats & Entertainment,’ The Rec Room, at the historic Roundhouse.center_img Twitter Advertisement “In addition to announcing this Canadian market development plan with The VOID, today we are also sharing the news that this summer we will be opening a second location in Canada at our West Edmonton Mall location of The Rec Room,” said Ellis Jacob, President and CEO, Cineplex.  “Entertaining people is what we do best and this truly immersive, engaging and interactive experience is a great addition to our growing list of entertainment offerings.”“We’re committed to transporting everyone, everywhere on virtual adventures. To deliver on that promise, The VOID will continue to open our unique entertainment centers in key markets and major destination cities,” said Cliff Plumer, CEO of The VOID. “Through our partnership with Cineplex, The VOID will bring immersive VR – through sight, sound, touch, smell and motion – to a broad consumer audience.”Each VOID Experience Center consists of:Social Experience: The VOID is a shared, multi-person experience that creates a tangible emotional bond as people play together unlike most VR that isolates users.Original and Beloved Storylines: Enter unexplored worlds filled with immersive and entertaining experiences. Guests can step into some of the world’s favorite franchises, including Star Wars™: Secrets of the Empire developed by ILMxLAB and Ghostbusters: Dimensions.Physical Sets: Custom stages and a wide array of sensory effects, designed specifically by The VOID are used to fully draw participants into the digital world that has been mapped over the physical space.State-of-the-Art Gear: The VOID’s proprietary designed equipment melds the physical and digital worlds together through head mounted displays (HMDs), backtopTM computers and haptic vests, allowing sensory effects to be felt from multiple points using haptic feedback.Launched in collaboration ILMxLAB, Lucasflim’s Immersive Entertainment division, and The VOID, Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire transports guests deep into the beloved Star Wars™ universe allowing them to walk freely and untethered throughout the full-sensory experience with friends and family. Under the orders of the rebellion, teams of four guests must work together to infiltrate an Imperial base disguised as stormtroopers where they’ll navigate through to steal critical intelligence with help from familiar Star Wars characters along the way. Its first location in Canada will open at The Rec Room at West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, Alberta, later this summer and at The Rec Room’s Roundhouse location this fall.About CineplexA leading entertainment and media company, Cineplex (TSX:CGX) is a top-tier Canadian brand that operates in the Film Entertainment and Content, Amusement and Leisure, and Media sectors. As Canada’s largest and most innovative film exhibitor, Cineplex welcomes over 70 million guests annually through its circuit of 164 theatres across the country. Cineplex also operates successful businesses in digital commerce (CineplexStore.com), food service, alternative programming (Cineplex Events), cinema media (Cineplex Media), digital place-based media (Cineplex Digital Media), amusement solutions (Player One Amusement Group) and an online eSports platform for competitive and passionate gamers (WorldGaming.com). Additionally, Cineplex operates a location based entertainment business through Canada’snewest destination for ‘Eats & Entertainment’ (The Rec Room), and will also be opening new complexes specially designed for teens and families (Playdium) as well as exciting new sports and entertainment venues across Canada(Topgolf). Cineplex is a joint venture partner in SCENE, Canada’s largest entertainment loyalty program.Proudly recognized as having one of the country’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures, Cineplex employs approximately 13,000 people in its offices across Canada and the United States. To learn more visit Cineplex.com or download the Cineplex App.About The VOIDStep inside your favorite story with The VOID; the global leader of a new category of immersive location based experiences that utilize cutting edge tech and IP from Hollywood’s biggest players to mark a new frontier in interactive entertainment and storytelling. Combining state-of-the art VR technology, physical stages and multi-sensory effects- including touch and smell – The VOID invites fans to become active participants in a new hyper-reality. The VOID’s Experience Centers are located in: Downtown Disney in Anaheim, Calif.,  Glendale Galleria in Glendale, Calif., Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian and The Palazzo Hotel in Las Vegas, Nev., Lindon, Utah, Disney Springs in Orlando, Fla., Westfield Stratford City in London, U.K., Hub Zero, City Walk in Dubai, U.A.E., and The Rec Room in Toronto, On.For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.thevoid.com and follow @voidvr on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.About ILMxLABFounded in 2015, ILMxLAB is Lucasfilm’s immersive entertainment division which combines compelling storytelling, technological innovation and world-class production to create truly impactful, immersive entertainment experiences. The group develops experiences for virtual reality, augmented/mixed reality, real-time cinema, theme park entertainment and narrative-based experiences for future platforms. ILMxLAB is known for Carne y Arena, the Oscar-winning VR installation directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, and the critically-acclaimed hyper reality experience Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire. For more information, follow @ILMxLAB on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Facebooklast_img read more

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SKorea orders 2nd Japan firm to compensate forced labourers

first_imgSEOUL, Korea, Republic Of — South Korea’s top court has ordered a Japanese company to compensate 10 Koreans for forced labour during Tokyo’s 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.Thursday’s ruling by the Supreme Court was widely expected as the court ruled last month that another Japanese company must compensate four Korean men for similar colonial -era forced labour.The Oct. 30 ruling, the first of its kind, drew immediate protests from Japan which has argued the issue of forced labourers was already settled when Tokyo and Seoul signed a treaty in 1965 that restored diplomatic ties.The Supreme Court says Mitsubishi Heavy Industries must provide 80 million to 150 million won ($71,190-133,510) in compensation to each of 10 plaintiffs or their bereaved family members.The Associated Presslast_img read more

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Your Home Your Vote – final campaign day

(Updated)After 41 days of campaigning — In less than 24 hours, millions of us will head to the polls to determine who will form the next government of Ontario. Some have already cast their ballots in advance polls. But many will make their final decision Thursday and because of that the party leaders are campaigning hard – hoping to win the approval of those undecided voters.All three leaders made multiple stops Wednesday in a final push for votes. And once again the Liberal leader found herself apologizing. Not what you want to be doing on the day before an election.Wynne said a Liberal campaign flyer depicting her Progressive Conservative rival laughing as a hospital explodes behind him is “not acceptable.”The flyers show a super imposed Tory leader Tim Hudak’s image over top of the Joker character from the Batman movie “The Dark Knight.” They were distributed in Vaughan where Liberal candidate Stephen Del Duca currently holds the riding. He apologized on Twitter. Today on CHCH “News Now”, Wynne also apologized: “I apologize to the residents who received that piece of literature. It should not have happened and as I say, the campaign apologized and we need to recognize it shouldn’t have happened and it was a mistake.”NDP Leader Andrea Horwath was in Oshawa Wednesday afternoon. She told supporters that while Thursday is an important day for her — it’s the public who has a lot to lose if they don’t vote NDP: “The stakes are high. Not necessarily are the stakes high for the politicians. But the stakes are high for the people of this province. They deserve much better than what they’ve had over the last number of years. I’m sure that as they go to the polls tomorrow, they’ll be more thinking about ‘how do we get a province that respects us? How do we get a government that respects us.”On a stop in Niagara Wednesday afternoon, the PC leader called for change in Ontario. He said he would re-ignite the economy, create jobs and stop expensive hand outs to large corporations. And he’s sticking to his million jobs plan message despite criticism from unions, economists and the Liberals. He says it shows the Liberals are desperate: “Voters in Niagara Falls and across the province have an opportunity to send this era of corruption, waste and incompetence into the past. Voters in Niagara Falls are going to have a chance to turn us away from this cliff of debt. And voters will have a chance for a real turnaround plan. And voters will have a chance to vote for our plan — for lower taxes, affordable energy, and a lot more jobs.”Wynne is wrapping up her last stop at the supper hour in Toronto.Hudak is in Jarvis, Ontario tonight at 7.And Horwath is in Kingston with federal NDP Leader Tom Mulcair at 6:45.CHCH’s Your Home, Your Vote coverage starts at 8 tomorrow night. We’ll have reporters at the leaders’ party headquarters as well as in key local ridings. We also have a panel of experts in place. read more

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VikingsLions Is The Biggest Game Of Week 12

With Thanksgiving upon us, we’re entering the home stretch of the NFL regular season. So what are the most important games of Week 12?One way of looking at this — as we did in 2014 — is to figure out how much every game affects each team’s playoff chances. We do this by using the model behind our 2016 NFL predictions to calculate each team’s playoff “swing” based on a game outcome. For example, we estimate that if Oakland beats Carolina, the Raiders’ playoff chances will rise to 88 percent from 81 percent. If they lose, their chances will drop to 70 percent — an 18 percentage point swing.1 Some detail on what this means. Our NFL predictions are based on 100,000 simulations of the rest of the season and are updated after every game ends. In the simulations in which Oakland beats Carolina, the Raiders make the playoffs 88 percent of the time. In the simulations in which they lose, they make the playoffs 70 percent of the time. But at the end of Week 12, it’s unlikely that Oakland’s playoff probabilities will be exactly 88 percent or exactly 70 percent, because the team’s chances depend on the outcome of several games, not just their own. Carolina’s chances would see a more modest swing (rising to 17 percent from 9 percent if the Panthers win and falling to 4 percent if they lose); Buffalo, Atlanta, Miami and several other contenders could also see their probabilities change.By summing up these individual swings, we can get sense of which games will make the largest total impact league-wide. Here are this week’s top five, ranked by total swing: CHANCE OF MAKING PLAYOFFS AFFECTED TEAMCURRENTIF MIN WINSIF DET WINSSWING The NFC North is on the line, and, for once, the Packers aren’t involved. Going into 2016, Green Bay had made the playoffs for seven consecutive seasons, winning an average of 11 games each year. So it’s come as some surprise that the Packers have basically played their way out of playoff contention by Week 12 — we give them just a 6 percent chance of making it to the postseason. Rising in their place are the Lions and Vikings. The winner of their game on Thursday will be in strong shape; the loser will be more likely to miss the playoffs than make them. 5. Kansas City (7-3) vs. Denver (7-3) — 66 total ���swing’ points Arizona1122418– 1. Minnesota (6-4) vs. Detroit (6-4) — 101 total ‘swing’ points Pittsburgh55%70%42%28– AFFECTED TEAMCURRENTIF PIT WINSIF IND WINSSWING Only teams with a playoff swing of at least 2 percentage points based on the game outcome shown Only teams with a playoff swing of at least 2 percentage points based on the game outcome shown Kansas City83967322– According to the Elo ratings that our NFL predictions are based on, the five best teams in the AFC are New England, Kansas City, Denver, Buffalo and Oakland — all in the East or West divisions. Since it’s looking unlikely that the AFC South or North will produce a wild-card team, Steelers-Colts will go a long way toward determining two divisional playoff spots and not much else.Indianapolis is in a rough position because of a bit of karmic payback: Although the Colts have outperformed their point differential the past few seasons, the Texans (6-4, outscored by 34 points) are managing the same feat this year. The Colts will need some help to win the AFC South even with a win. The Steelers, meanwhile, have a slightly better point differential than the Ravens, with whom they’re tied for first in the North, but it’s come against a slightly easier schedule. Pittsburgh is a good bet to make it in with a win, and not all the way out of it with a loss. 2. Pittsburgh (5-5) vs. Indianapolis (5-5) — 96 total ‘swing’ points CHANCE OF MAKING PLAYOFFS New Orleans101285– CHANCE OF MAKING PLAYOFFS Cincinnati1592111– Despite a narrow lead in the NFC South, the Falcons are in stronger shape than they may seem to be. Elo thinks Atlanta is way better than 5-5 Tampa Bay and 4-6 New Orleans, and although the Panthers still rank high (by Elo), they’re unlikely to win a division tiebreaker and their remaining schedule is rough. That means that if Atlanta wins on Sunday, the Falcons will make a pretty big playoff jump — and if they lose, their NFC South rivals make only modest gains. Washington, which currently holds the second wild-card spot in the NFC, would prefer that Arizona all but end its playoff hunt with a loss. AFFECTED TEAMCURRENTIF ARI WINSIF ATL WINSSWING This is another big game toward determining the AFC North winner. Cincinnati is very much alive despite its 3-6-1 record and even though star receiver A.J. Green is out with a hamstring injury for the next few weeks — the Bengals would improve to a roughly 1-in-3 chance of making the playoffs with a win here. Baltimore can make similar gains, and Pittsburgh, which has beaten Cincinnati but lost to the Ravens in Week 9, would rather the Bengals win. Pittsburgh5559527– Oakland8182803– Washington5653585– Minnesota65894643– Cincinnati1529524– Carolina91274– Only teams with a playoff swing of at least 2 percentage points based on the game outcome shown Denver76%58%89%30– 3. Arizona (4-5-1) vs. Atlanta (6-4) — 70 total ‘swing’ points AFFECTED TEAMCURRENTIF KC WINSIF DEN WINSSWING AFFECTED TEAMCURRENTIF CIN WINSIF BAL WINSSWING Only teams with a playoff swing of at least 2 percentage points based on the game outcome shown CHANCE OF MAKING PLAYOFFS Houston80867412– 4. Cincinnati (3-6-1) vs. Baltimore (5-5) — 68 total ‘swing’ points Tampa Bay1519136– Detroit58%32%79%46– Miami2931283– Indianapolis22123119– N.Y. Giants6667653– CHANCE OF MAKING PLAYOFFS Only teams with a playoff swing of at least 2 percentage points based on the game outcome shown Baltimore32%14%46%32– Buffalo2627252– Atlanta78%64%87%23– Baltimore32243814– The Broncos have already lost to the Raiders, who sit on top of the AFC West at 8-2. A loss to the Chiefs would put Denver in a dangerous situation, at risk of losing a division tiebreaker or a wild-card tiebreaker (or both!) to an AFC West rival. A Denver loss would have a pretty big impact: Since 1995, 7-4 teams have made the playoffs 68 percent of the time, but we’d give the 7-4 Broncos just a 58 percent chance if the Chiefs knock them off.CORRECTION (Nov. 23, 2:10 p.m.): A footnote in an earlier version of this article said incorrectly that FiveThirtyEight’s NFL prediction model does not project ties and gave an incorrect number of simulations in which the Oakland Raiders and the Carolina Panthers were projected to win their game on Sunday. In 100,000 simulations of the NFL season, Oakland was projected to win the game 58,042 times, not 57,955, and Carolina was projected to win 41,791 times, not 42,045.Check out our latest NFL predictions. read more

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What The NCAAs Longest Win Streak Looks Like

The streak is likely to survive into the NCAA tournament. The Huskies have one game scheduled against a ranked opponent: Feb. 27 against 22nd-ranked University of South Florida Bulls – whom the Huskies beat in January 102-37 (no joke). But once they get to the tournament, they have a better chance than most years of losing, particularly to the Maryland Terrapins, whom they only beat by 6 points in December, or the Baylor Lady Bears, who despite also losing to the Huskies in November have been putting up Huskies numbers themselves this season. Related: Hot Takedown Leading by only 2 points with under 6 minutes left in the third quarter against the Gamecocks, the Huskies looked beatable — yet they won again. Such has been the story of the season so far. We’ll see if they can keep it up through March Madness. Though they’ve managed to keep the streak that was built on the back of Breanna Stewart’s remarkable career going, the Huskies haven’t dominated as much as they’re used to. This is unsurprising, considering they lost Stewart and their two other best players to the WNBA draft after last season (those players went 1st, 2nd and 3rd overall). Indeed, they’re probably having one of their worst statistical seasons in several years. Unfortunately for the rest of basketball, the Huskies’ off years are the stuff most schools’ dreams are made of: The No. 1-ranked Connecticut Huskies beat the 6th-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks 66-55 on Monday night for their NCAA-record 100th consecutive win. They last lost on Nov. 17, 2014, when they fell to the No. 6 Stanford Cardinal, 88-86 in overtime. That loss snapped a 47-game winning streak itself, meaning that, between March 13, 2013, and today, the Huskies have won four NCAA Championships and lost one game.Yes, once more for emphasis: Between March 13, 2013, and today, the Huskies have four times as many national championships as they have losses.This is Connecticut’s third record-breaking streak this millennium. First, between 2001 and 2003, they won 70 games in a row – the longest winning streak in NCAA women’s basketball history, and in 2008-10, they won 90 games to break UCLA’s 88-game record set in 1970-74. Here’s what being the mother of all powerhouses looks like: Who’s Going Where As The NBA Trade Deadline Approaches? read more

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Boy six dies after being shot by pellet gun at greatgrandparents home

A six-year-old boy died after being shot with an air gun at his great-grandparents’ house in what police described as a “tragic accident”.Stanley Metcalf was being looked after by Albert and Jennifer Grannon, 77 and 76, his mother’s grandparents, when he was injured at their home near the end of a cul-de-sac in the village of Sproatley, East Yorks.Police were called to the property at around 4pm on Thursday and Stanley was taken to Hull Royal Infirmary with serious injuries but later died.Friends of his parents, Jenny Dees, 40, and Andrew Metcalf, 39, described the child, a keen footballer affectionately known as “Stan the man”, as “a beautiful boy inside and out”.One said he was “always happy, always smiling, always dancing”. A beautiful boy inside and outTributes paid to Stanley Metcalf An aerial shot of the scene of the shootingCredit:SWNS “We don’t know the circumstances of this case but it should not have been loaded and should have been under lock and key.” The law states that children under the age of 14 may handle low-powered air rifles and air pistols on private property if supervised by an adult aged 21 or over. “Our thoughts are with Stanley’s family, who have asked that they be given privacy at this very difficult time.”Ms Dees has another child, Elsie, with Mr Metcalf and two older children, Ellie, 18, and Daniel 20, with her former husband, Darren Brown. The family live seven miles from the Grannons in Hull. Anti-gun campaigners who want air guns to be licensed, described Stanley’s death as “completely unnecessary”. A spokesman for the UK Gun Control Network, established to campaign for progressively tighter controls on guns in the aftermath of the Dunblane shootings of 1996, said: “Once again, we are faced with yet another death of a child and we’re not even into the first week of the summer holidays.“This is an appalling, very sad and completely unnecessary incident. Air guns need to be licensed in England – full stop. If Britain had these laws then the gun would have been locked away and just like other rifles and shotguns, a licence and medical certificate would have to be provided for people being allowed to keep them.“How many more children are going to die playing around with air guns?” 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. An aerial shot of the scene of the shooting Detectives have not made any arrests and said they were investigating the circumstances of the incident and whether the owner of the gun had a licence, or indeed needed one.Mr Grannon is said to have been taken ill following the shock of his great grandson’s death.DCI Mark Goulding, of Humberside Police, said: “Initial indications are that this was a tragic accident involving a pellet air gun.“We haven’t made any arrests in connection with the incident, but we are speaking to a number of family members to assist us with our inquiries. There are an estimated six million air rifles in England and Wales, which are generally used for target shooting or killing vermin.Those more powerful than 12ft/lb require firearms certificates. Mark Mastaglio, a leading forensic firearms scientist, told The Daily Telegraph: “Unfortunately, these fatalities are not unprecedented. There is usually about one a year.“Legally, they should be locked away and should not be loaded.“Certification depends on the kinetic energy of the pellet.“The vast majority in circulation are not over the limit, so no certificate is required but they can cause lethal injury and legally have to be securely stored. Stanley was being looked after by Albert and Jennifer Grannon, 77 and 76, his mother’s grandparentsCredit:Facebook Stanley was being looked after by Albert and Jennifer Grannon, 77 and 76, his mother’s grandparents read more

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SGS awarded five year onsite laboratory contract renewal for Sabodala mine in

first_imgTeranga Gold Corp has renewed SGS’s on-site laboratory contract for the Sabodala mine in Senegal for another five years. The mine is in southeast Senegal, 650 km east of Dakar. The laboratory was designed to service the mine and provides critical data to guide site activities.  For four years SGS says it “has provided ongoing quality service and experienced staff, and will continue to manage and operate the laboratory for a minimum of another five years.” Technical capabilities on-site include gold analyses by aqua regia for geology and plant samples and carbon and bullion analyses.“SGS brings the same principles and quality management procedures to contract lab operations that we do to our commercial laboratories, thus ensuring timely, trusted analytical services. With an exceptional on-site safety record, SGS provides worldclass experienced professionals who ensure accurate data and fast turnaround time. This generates effective use of capital throughout the life of [a] project.“SGS operates on-site and near-site laboratories in some of the most remote locations in the world, regardless of temperature, altitude or size of the program. SGS’ unequalled experience in remote laboratories ensures smooth start-up and operation. Many of SGS’ geochemistry laboratories comply with the ISO/IEC 17025 standard for specific registered tests.”last_img read more

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DJI proposes higher maximum weight for lowestrisk drone category

first_imgDJI, which claims to be “the world’s leading maker of unmanned aerial vehicles,” has released a white paper concluding the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) set its weight standard far too low for determining which drones pose the lowest risk to people.While the FAA’s 2015 Registration Task Force (RTF) said drones weighing up to 250 g posed the lowest risk, further research shows that standard was based on poorly chosen data and deeply flawed assumptions – including an almost 50-year-old model of casualties from a nuclear war that destroys all hospitals. Using more accurate scientific inputs, DJI’s white paper concludes unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) up to 2.2 kg can be safely flown with the lowest risk.“The RTF had only three days to decide how much a drone should weigh to require registration, and RTF members – including myself – unanimously set a 250-g limit for registration purposes only, not for safety rulemaking,” said Brendan Schulman, DJI Vice President of Policy and Legal Affairs, who co-authored the white paper with Walter Stockwell, DJI Director of Technical Standards. “Nevertheless, regulators around the world are using the FAA’s 250-gm limit as a safety standard for the lowest-risk drones, despite its flaws. We hope our white paper spurs more detailed evaluation for better and more accurate rulemaking.”In addition to reviewing the surprising history behind standard estimates of kinetic energy transfer and casualty risk, the DJI white paper proposes more reasonable methods and data sources for calculating those figures. The result is a lowest-risk threshold almost an order of magnitude larger.“Given the faulty assumptions that underlie the selection of 250 g, regulators should be hesitant to adopt a 250 g UAS category without conducting their own rigorous safety analysis based on the desired policy goals,” the white paper concludes. “[A] review of the RTF’s work shows that its selection of 250 grams is far too low, and far too conservative, to be used to create a lowest-risk UAS regulatory category. Based on a similar approach to risk estimation, with adjustments for real world factors, we propose 2.2 kg as the upper threshold of a ‘lowest-risk’ UAS category.”DJI prepared the white paper in December for use as a reference in further regulatory discussions around the world. It is available for download in the ‘Documents’ library.last_img read more

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10 Awesome Comics With Trans Characters by Trans Creators

first_img Marvel Censors Criticism of America From Marvel Comics #1000Can Even Jonathan Hickman Save the X-Men? Stay on target There have long been LGBT people involved in the comics medium. In Western (and specifically, American) Comics, we’ve seen comics for and by queer people going back decades as part of the indie and underground scenes. One example is Gay Comix, which premiered back in 1980 through Kitchen Sink Press. Since then, we’ve seen more and more out LGBT creators in mainstream comics, as well.In the past few years, media has shown more interest in trans stories and characters in comic,  and the talented trans creators behind them. Though this is not a complete list (there are so many more stories to explore in the world of web comics), we round up 10 must-read comics by trans creators telling trans stories.Doom Patrol written by Rachel PollackBack in March of 1993, Grant Morrison left his successful stint as the writer of Doom Patrol and Rachel Pollack took over writing duties starting with issue 64, with Richard Case staying on to illustrate the next few issues during the change over. Later that year, in issue 70, Rachel would introduce Coagula, the first trans superhero at DC Comics. Coagula would go on to be a key member of the team throughout Rachel’s run, which is available on Comixology. A trade paperback featuring the first half of Rachel’s run was solicited, but was cancelled before its release.Deathwish written by Maddie BlausteinWhile Maddie Blaustein is best known for her voice acting work, in particular as the first voice of Meowth in the Pokemon cartoon, she had a long career in comics before that. She had done editorial work at Marvel in the 80s and production and writing work at DC in the 90s. It was then when she wrote Deathwish at Milestone Media, where she introduced a trans character, Marissa Rahm, a cop-protagonist for the story. Maddie Blaustein passed away suddenly in 2006, but her impact on pop culture is still felt today. Deathwish is  not easily available, but with Milestone Media coming back at DC Comics, it may be in print again sooner than later.The Dreaming written by Caitlin R. KiernanOne of the most celebrated comic franchises of the 90s was The Sandman. It spawned multiple spin-offs including the nearly equally lengthy The Dreaming which reached 60 issues before its cancellation. The writer for the majority of the run of that series was Caitlin R. Kiernan, who introduced the character of Echo, someone who presented as a boy who would cross-dress while alive, but became a woman in The Dreaming. Caitlin’s contributions to The Dreaming made her the most prolific trans writer on any single mainstream comic with credits in 38 issues of the series. It’s all available on Comixology, and some of her issues have been collected in trade paperbacks.We’re Still Here, an all trans comics anthology2018 saw the creation of the first comics anthology to exclusively feature trans creators. The stories span all genres and featured many trans people of color; rarely represented on or off the page in mainstream comics. We’re Still Here was edited by Jeanne Thornton and Tara Avery and features an introduction by Rachel Pollack. The art styles and experience levels vary from new faces to seasoned professionals with Marvel and DC credits. The book is available through Stacked Deck Press.The Pervert written by Michelle PerezReleased earlier this year through Image Comics as a graphic novel, The Pervert is illustrated by Remy Boydell and written by Michelle Perez. It’s a pseudo auto-bio story about an anthropomorphic trans sex worker named Felina Love working in Seattle. The story draws inspiration from Michelle Perez’s experience in sex work and is an exploration in self-worth and the struggle to keep your head above water despite all the obstacles that life throws at you. The graphic novel is available on Comixology, comic shops, and book stores that carry adult books.Kim & Kim written by Magdalene VisaggioDebuting in 2016, Kim & Kim hit the comics scene with a lot of buzz from writer Magdalene Visaggio, artist Eva Cabrera, colorist Claudia Aguirre, letterer Zakk Saam, and editor Katy Rex over at Black mask Studios as a comic with a trans protagonist written by a someone who had only recently come out as trans themselves. The critical success of the first mini-series led to both a GLAAD and an Eisner nomination as well as a second mini series. Since then, Kim & Kim has been upgraded to an ongoing series and Book 3 is set for release in early 2019. You can find Kim & Kim at the Black Mask Studios online store.Jem and the Holograms illustrated by Sophie CampbellIn 2015 IDW launched a Jem and the Holograms comic with writer Kelly Thompson and artist Sophie Campbell. For this comic series, the team was given the opportunity to update the roster and make it more diverse and inclusive. The result is the character Blaze, a trans woman who premiered in issue 3 of their run. Sophie Campbell would stay on at the comic through issue 6, then return for issues 11-13, with issue 12 focusing on Blaze coming out as trans. Blaze continues to pop up in other Jem related comics at IDW. You can find them on Comixology and comic shops near you.Flocks by L. NicholsPublished by Secret Acres this year, Flocks is an auto bio comics by a trans man and father of two, L. Nichols. It’s a memoir about his childhood having grown up in rural Louisiana in a conservative Christian household. L. Nichols takes the approach of depicting the characters as dolls with button eyes in an artistic choice that adds power to the story in a way that you might not be expecting. Originally published in a series of zines, this book collects the entirety of Flocks with all of its ups and downs, and pain and hopefulness. You can find a copy of the book at Amazon.Alters colored by Tamra BonvillainPremiering at AfterShock Comics in 2016 after a New York Times write-up on the series, writer Paul Jenkins, artist Leila Leiz, colorist Tamra Bonvillain and letterer Ryane Hill introduced a trans superhero, Chalice, to the publishing line. While Tamra was only on board for the first half of the series, she did provide valuable input for the series and for the character of Chalice. Tamra has also worked as a colorist on many other properties including fan favorites Moongirl and Devil Dinosaur and Doom Patrol. Find her work on Comixology.Super Late Bloomer by Julia KayeJulia Kaye has had a popular web comic, UP and OUT, for years and she had sone work with BuzzFeed, College Humor, and Disney Animation. Earlier this year a collection of her UP and OUT comics, Super Late Bloomer, was released through Andrew McMeel Publishing, highlighting her personal short comics about the early days of her transition. The frank and vulnerable storytelling makes it both relatable for people transitioning as well as cis people who want to better understand trans lives. It’s available through Amazon.More on Geek.com:5 Comics Kickstarters You Should BackGeeksplainer: The Spider-VerseHow Archie Grew Up Into a Sexy, Scary Comics Companylast_img read more

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The 3DS Is Dead Long Live the Portable Nintendo Switch

first_imgStay on target ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ Was Final Mission From Late Nintendo President‘Ring Fit Adventure’ Is a Nintendo Switch Exercise RPG Two years ago I got to try out the New Nintendo 2DS XL, and by any metric it was the best dual-screen portable Nintendo had ever made. It dropped the dumb 3D gimmick but kept the upgraded processor. It had a sturdy clamshell body and from a certain angle even looked like a premium mobile phone. And of course it could leverage the massive library of great 3DS (and DS) games. I wanted to love it.But I couldn’t because in 2017 I was already fully onboard with the Nintendo Switch, not only Nintendo’s next-generation console but also a next-generation handheld thanks to its hybrid design. Not only was the Switch technologically superior to the 3DS but it also promised a grand unified library of Nintendo software no longer split across two devices. The last roadblock to this glorious future was the 3DS, and the longer the aging handheld kept getting new cool games like Metroid: Samus Returns or WarioWare Gold the longer the Switch would be arbitrarily hamstrung.It was frustrating, especially since the only reasons to keep the 3DS on life support were financial, not beneficial to players. And for two whole years Nintendo kept up the charade that the 3DS could co-exist with its clear successor. But at last, it seems the jig is up. The 3DS was a fantastic device. It helped keep Nintendo going during the Wii U dark days. But it’s dead. Long live the portable Nintendo Switch.We’ve felt the tide change these past few months as 3DS sales dried up and Nintendo simply stopped announcing games for the system. Nintendo Directs became entirely focused on Switch. The last big 3DS game, the Kirby’s Epic Yarn remake, conveniently came at the end of the fiscal year. And now based on comments at a recent investors briefing, the 3DS firmly seems like a thing of the past, much to my relief.The good news is that for a company as conservative as Nintendo to make this risky transition they must believe the Switch is fully ready to step up. And they’re right. The Switch is massively popular. It’s built up a great game library even while having to share software with its weaker sibling. And with big new consoles versions of Mario and Zelda out of the way, the rest of the Switch’s 2019 seems poised to fill that 3DS-shaped handheld hole in your life.Super Mario Maker 2 can use a stylus for easy portable level editing. Franchises like Animal Crossing, Fire Emblem, and Luigi’s Mansion were huge 3DS and now they’re coming to Switch. Rumors persist that Nintendo is planning a smaller, handheld-only version of Switch for release soon. Combine that with the next-gen Pokemon games, Pokemon Sword and Shield, being Switch-only and that should put the final nail in the 3DS coffin.You don’t even need to point to these big games though to make the case that Switch really is Nintendo’s next-generation handheld. Since its launch the Switch, like the PlayStation Vita before it, has proved how cool portable indie gaming is. Take something like Duck Game, a recent game I’ve been playing. On consoles it might seem a little slight. The single-player modes are sparse and the retro radical 80s graphics are… definitely retro. But a portable game about quacking and blasting your friends in frenetic fast-paced Smash Bros-esque battles feels totally right. You can even make your own levels with the touch screen. Being able to play on TV too is just a bonus.And we’re also starting to enjoy the fruits of all Nintendo games, big and small, coming to one device. In 2017 the 3DS saw its last BoxBoy game, Bye-Bye BoxBoy. It’s a quintessential handheld game, a clever but modest little puzzle-platformer about spawning boxes off of your cube body to traverse levels, filling in gaps or blocking lasers. The straight lines and monochrome art style would work on the original Game Boy, the revolutionary device which recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. And now the newest BoxBoy game, BoxBoy + BoxGirl, is on Nintendo Switch. It looks prettier and has more complex gimmicks like a new co-op mode. But this is a handheld game through and through, so of course it’s on Nintendo’s new handheld system, the Nintendo Switch.For more on Nintendo Switch here are some other cool new games to play this year and check out our review of the Nintendo Labo VR Kit.last_img read more

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Justin Bieber steps down from making songs because of deep rooted issues

first_imgJustin BieberReutersJustin Bieber has apparently stepped down from making any songs for the time being, and fans are not only unhappy about it, but they are concerned for the singer too.Bieber has been under mental stress for quite some time and he has been pretty vocal about it. Recently, the ‘Baby’ singer took to Instagram and informed his fans that he will be focusing on his mental health for the time being.In a lengthy message, the singer starts by addressing his fans’ demands, who all badly want an album from him. “I read a lot of messages saying you want an album,” Bieber started his post. “”I’ve toured my whole teenage life, and early 20s, I realized and as you guys probably saw I was unhappy last tour and I don’t deserve that and you don’t deserve that, you pay money to come and have a lively energetic fun light concert and I was unable emotionally to give you that near the end of the tour,” he wrote.Bieber released his last album, Purpose in 2015 and two years later, he ended his tour early due to “unforeseen circumstances.” Later, he explained to his fans about the reason behind he ending his tour early, “I want my career to be sustainable, but I also want my mind heart and soul to be sustainable,” Bieber wrote. So that I can be the man I want to be, the husband I eventually want to be and the father I want to be,” he further added explaining his mental desire at that point of time. Justin BieberJustin Bieber Official Instagram (justinbieber)Since then he got married to model Hailey Baldwin, and in his recent Instagram post, he tried to explain his current situation by addressing them as “deep-rooted issues.””I have been looking, seeking, trial and error as most of us do, I am now very focused on repairing some of the deep-rooted issues that I have as most of us have, so that I don’t fall apart, so that I can sustain my marriage and be the father I want to be,” Bieber explained.  The popstar later consoled his fans by saying that “Music is very important to me but nothing comes before my family and my health. I will come with a kick a** album ASAP, my swag is undeniable and my drive is indescribable his love is supernatural his grace is that reliable…. the top is where I reside period whether I make music or not the king said so,” Bieber said. “But I will come with a vengeance believe that.”last_img read more

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Virat Kohli drops massive hint about Indian team combination Rohit Sharma over

first_imgAhead of the 1st Test match against West Indies, Indian captain Virat Kohli has issued a directive for his openers. In the Australian tour, KL Rahul struggled which prompted the management to include Hanuma Vihari in that particular slot. However, the skipper did say that KL Rahul will go back to his preferred opening spot and that now, the onus is on him and Mayank Agarwal to make the most the four innings.”In the opening combination, we have selected only two openers, so the idea is to give them four innings, just let them go out there and express themselves. Mayank has done really well, KL (Rahul) has performed well in the past, he is looking forward to making things count in Test cricket again,” Kohli said on the eve of the match.Performances matter for the team Virat KohliMark Evans/Getty ImagesThe skipper further said that for the players in the side, it is more about performing and getting a job done for the side. He cited the example of Australia where Vihari was only able to score to 18 runs, but then he batted for 85 balls and got the team off to a solid start which lay the platform for the middle order.”At the end of the day, as much as individuals want to perform, it is about what you can do as a team. If you look at the Melbourne Test, how (Hanuma) Vihari and Mayank opened and though Vihari scored just 18 or 20 runs, but he batted for 85 balls, tells you it is all about team, and he handled the situation so well that Pujara and myself could go out there and play the way we did and Pujara then went to get that century for us,” the captain further added.Kohli was quick to add that the combination which will be fielded in the first Test will solely depend on the conditions and how the management reads the situation on the day of the match. Rohit SharmaMARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty Images”Look it again depends on the type of combination that we are going with. Vihari has done really well since the time he has come into the team in two difficult tours. Rohit also did well in Melbourne, so it all depends on what combination we want to go with,” the captain said.Speaking about Hanuma Vihari, Kohli said that the young batsman also provides few overs with the ball and that Rohit Sharma is also a proven customer in all conditions. It will all depend on how the captain and coach react to the conditions.last_img read more

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Dam collapses in Sherpur floods 15 villages

first_imgFifteen villages of four unions in Jhenaigati upazila of Sherpur were flooded as a flood control embankment collapsed due to strong current of onrushing water from upstream of Moharashi river early Saturday, reports UNB.Following the collapse of 70-80 feet of the dam near Jhenigati-Rangtia road, upazila parishad, Jhenigati Bazar and adjacent areas went under 2-4 feet water around 8:00am, said the upazila unit Awami League general secretary Amiruzzaman Lebu.Locals said low-lying areas of 15 villages of Dhanshail, Sherpur sadar, Malijhikanda and Hatibanda unions in Jhenaigati upazila of the district were inundated.The incident created panic among the people living near the river.Jhenigati upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) Farhana Karim said the onrush of water from upstream caused breaches in the embankment.Different areas, including upazila parishad and Jhenigati Bazar went under water, she added.last_img read more

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Adventure Playgrounds Put Kids In Charge Of How They Play And Create

first_img Listen To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: The Parish SchoolChildren play at the adventure playground at The Parish School in the Spring Branch area of Houston. Xcenter_img Share The term adventure playground might be an unfamiliar one for most Americans, considering that there are only six active playgrounds of this type in the United States, including one in Houston.Adventure playgrounds are part of a practice known as playwork, which has roots in the United Kingdom and aims to give children freedom and self-direction over the way that they play.While a typical playground you might see at a school has equipment designed for specific uses — like a swing set or a seesaw — adventure playgrounds are designed to be as free form as possible. They will instead have loose parts, structures, tools, and supplies with no specific purpose in mind. The kids get to decide what to do with it all. And educators simply help facilitate those plans and inspect the materials for safety.Bayou City PlayA boy poses with the robot he made out of various materials at a Bayou City Play event in 2017.One such adventure playground can be found at The Parish School in the Spring Branch neighborhood of Houston. And it will be the site of the Playwork Campference 2019, a conference on playwork where practitioners from the around the world will camp out and discuss the topic. It’s hosted by the local playwork groups Pop-Up Adventure Play and Bayou City Play.In the audio above, Houston Matters producer Joshua Zinn visits the playground and talks with Jill Wood, the school’s director of adventure play, as well as some of the kids making use of the playground.– / 4 00:00 /11:24last_img read more

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VIDEO Ayesha Curry completely dominated the final round of Family Feud

first_imgIt’s a good time to be a Curry. Fresh off Steph’s third NBA title, parties and parades, the Curry clan made an appearance on Family Feud and took apart Chris Paul and his family on the show.In the final round Fast Money segment, it was Ayesha Curry who was the real MVP. She racked up 194 of the 200 points required to win, and left Steph with a layup to close it out. It turns out Steph isn’t the only one in the marriage that can score in bunches.Let the debate begin. Is Steph Curry the second best player on his own Family Feud team? We’re going with yes. Watch Ayesha go off and you’ll probably agree.last_img

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Rights Watch Evidence of wider US waterboarding

first_imgAt another point, he was stuffed into a box resembling a footlocker, about 1 meter by 1 meter (3 feet by 3 feet), and kept there for more than an hour as interrogators prodded him with long, thin objects through holes in the side of the box.Both he and Sharif said they were repeatedly taken to a room where they were slammed against a wooden wall and punched in the abdomen.Al-Shoroeiya said one female American interrogator told him, “Now you are under the custody of the United States of America. In this place there will be no human rights. Since September 11, we have forgotten about something called human rights,” according to the report.Al-Shoroeiya described being waterboarded, though he did not use the term. He said he was put in a hood and strapped upside down on a wooden board. Freezing water was poured over his nose and mouth until he felt he was suffocating. During several half-hour interrogation sessions, they would waterboard him multiple times, asking him questions in between while a doctor monitored his body temperature.“They wouldn’t stop until they got some sort of answer from me,” he told HRW.Al-Sharif described a similar technique. Instead of being strapped to a board, he was put on a plastic sheet with guards holding up the edges, while freezing water was poured over him, including onto his hooded face directly over his mouth and nose. Top Stories She said she could not comment on the specific allegations but noted the Justice Department’s decision not to prosecute after it “exhaustively reviewed the treatment of more than 100 detainees in the post-9/11 period _ including allegations involving unauthorized interrogation techniques.”Former President George W. Bush, his Vice President Dick Cheney and the CIA have said that waterboarding was used only on three senior al-Qaida suspects at secret CIA black sites in Thailand and Poland _ Khaled Sheikh Mohammed, Aby Zubayda and Abd al-Rahman al-Nashiri, all currently being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.The technique involves pouring water on a hooded detainee’s nose and mouth until he feels he is drowning. Rights groups and some Obama administration officials say waterboarding and other severe techniques authorized by the CIA constitute torture, while Bush administration officials argue they do not. The Obama administration has ordered a halt to waterboarding and many of the harsh techniques.The 14 Libyans interviewed by Human Rights Watch were swept up in the American hunt for Islamic militants and al-Qaida figures around the world after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. They were mostly members of the anti-Gadhafi Libyan Islamic Fighting Group who fled in the 1980s and 1990s to Pakistan, Afghanistan and African countries. The group ran training camps in Afghanistan at the same time al-Qaida was based there but it largely shunned Osama bin Laden and his campaign against the United States, focusing instead on fighting Gadhafi. Comments   Share   (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Eight of those interviewed were handed over to Libya in 2004 _ the same year then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair made a public rapprochement with Gadhafi and Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell signed a major exploration deal off the Libyan coast, the HRW report noted. The remaining six were transferred to Libya over the two following years.All were jailed by Gadhafi’s regime, most freed only after his fall. Most said they were not physically tortured _ perhaps a result of Gadhafi’s attempts to mend fences with the West _ but were kept in solitary confinement for long periods. Several, however, told HRW they were beaten and tortured, including being given electrical shocks.The report also calls into question Libyan claims that one figure handed over by the Americans, Ibn el-Sheikh al-Libi, committed suicide in a Libyan prison. Al-Libi was held in U.S. secret prisons for years and gave information under torture by the Egyptians that the Bush administration used to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq but was later discredited.After his handover, Libyan authorities said he hanged himself in his cell. But HRW researchers said they were shown photos of his body that showed signs of torture. Ironically, the U.S. turned around and helped the Libyan opposition overthrow Gadhafi in 2011. Now several of the 14 former detainees hold positions in the new Libyan government.The accounts of simulated drowning came from Mohammed al-Shoroeiya and Khaled al-Sharif, who also described a gamut of abuses they went through _ all reflecting the methods known to have been authorized by the CIA. The two were seized in Pakistan in April 2003 and taken to U.S.-run prisons in Afghanistan, where al-Shoroeiya was held for 16 months and al-Sharif for two years before they were handed over to Libya.In Afghanistan, they were shackled in cells for months in variety of positions, often naked in almost total darkness with music blaring continuously, left to defecate and urinate on themselves. For example, al-Sharif spent three weeks seated on the ground with his ankles and wrists chained to a ring in the cell’s wall, forcing him to keep his arms and legs elevated. He said he was taken out of his shackles once a day for a half-hour to eat.For the first three months, they were not allowed to bathe. “We looked like monsters,” al-Shoroeiya said.Al-Shoroeiya described being locked naked for a day and a half in a tall, tight, half-meter-wide (1 1/2-foot-wide) chamber with his hands chained above his head, with no food as Western music blasted loudly from speakers next to his ears the entire time. Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Any new instances of waterboarding, however, would go beyond the three that the CIA has said were authorized.The 154-page report features interviews by the New York-based group with 14 Libyan dissident exiles. They describe systematic abuses while they were held in U.S.-led detention centers in Afghanistan _ some as long as two years _ or in U.S.-led interrogations in Pakistan, Morocco, Thailand, Sudan and elsewhere before the Americans handed them over to Libya.The report also paints a more complete picture of Washington’s close cooperation with the regime of Libya’s former dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Islamist opponents of Gadhafi detained by the U.S. were handed over to Libya with only thin “diplomatic assurances” they would be properly treated, and several of them were subsequently tortured, Human Rights Watch said.“Not only did the U.S. deliver (Gadhafi) his enemies on a silver platter, but it seems the CIA tortured many of them first, said Laura Pitter, counterterrorism adviser at Human Rights Watch and author of the report.“The scope of the Bush administration abuse appears far broader than previously acknowledged,” she said.Asked about the new waterboarding claim, CIA spokeswoman Jennifer Youngblood said the agency “has been on the record that there are three substantiated cases” of its use. Messages to Libya from the CIA and British intelligence among the Tripoli Documents published by HRW indicated the United States and Britain were eager to help Libya obtain several senior LIFG figures, including its co-founders, Abdel-Hakim Belhaj and Sami al-Saadi.Belhaj and his then-pregnant wife were detained by Malaysia in 2004 with the help of British intelligence and then handed over to the CIA in Thailand, where he told HRW he was stripped and beaten. They were then taken to Libya, where Belhaj was imprisoned.After Belhaj arrived in Libya, a message believed to be from the then-head of counterterrorism at British intelligence congratulates the Libyan intelligence chief. Britain’s help “was the least we could do for you and for Libya to demonstrate the remarkable relationship we have built,” he wrote.____AP reporter Adam Goldman in Washington contributed to this report.____On the Net: http://www.hrw.org/reports/2012/09/05/delivered-enemy-hands How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement “I felt as if I were suffocating,” he told HRW. “I spent three months getting interrogated heavily … and they gave me a different kind of torture every day. Sometimes they used water, sometimes not.”Others of the 14 former detainees, including three held in the same U.S.-led prisons in Afghanistan, described similar treatment as al-Shoroeiya and al-Sharif, though not simulated drowning.One of them, Majid Mokhtar Sasy al-Maghrebi, said he nearly went insane in isolation after months being shackled naked in dark, freezing cells with music blaring, pounding his head against the wall and screaming, “I want to die, why don’t you just kill me?”Another, detained in Mauritania, said that during interrogations by a foreigner he believed was American, his wife was brought to the detention center; his captors showed him his wife through a peephole and threatened to rape her if he did not cooperate.Human Rights Watch said the U.S. failed in its post-9/11 campaign to distinguish between Islamists targeting the United States and those who “may simply have been engaged in armed opposition against their own repressive regimes.“This failure risked aligning the United States with brutal dictators,” the report said. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Sponsored Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Associated PressCAIRO (AP) – Human Rights Watch said it has uncovered evidence of a wider use of waterboarding than previously acknowledged by the CIA, in a report Thursday detailing brutal treatment of detainees at U.S.-run lockups abroad after the 9/11 attacks.The accounts by two former Libyan detainees who said they underwent simulated drowning emerge only days after the Justice Department closed its investigation of the CIA’s use of severe interrogation methods. Investigators said they could not prove any agents crossed the lines authorized by the Bush administration in the “war on terror” program of detention and rendition.last_img read more

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Freddie Mac Offers Mortgage Relief to Hurricane Sandy Victims

first_img Share Freddie Mac Offers Mortgage Relief to Hurricane Sandy Victims in Government, Secondary Market, Servicing October 30, 2012 421 Views center_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Freddie Mac Investors Lenders & Servicers Service Providers 2012-10-30 Esther Cho Homeowners with mortgages guaranteed by “”Freddie Mac””:http://www.freddiemac.com/ may be eligible for payment relief if they are located in an area that has been devastated by Hurricane Sandy. [IMAGE][COLUMN_BREAK] The GSE announced it is encouraging servicers to help borrowers through different forms of assistance such as suspending foreclosure and eviction proceedings for up to a year, waiving penalties or late fees against borrowers with disaster-damaged homes, and not reporting delinquencies caused by the disaster to credit bureaus. “”Freddie Mac has authorized the nation’s mortgage servicers to provide a full range of mortgage relief options to affected borrowers with mortgages owned or guaranteed by Freddie Mac,”” said Tracy Mooney, SVP of single-family servicing and real estate owned at Freddie Mac. “”Forbearance on mortgage payments for up to one year is one of several options our servicers have been instructed to offer borrowers on a case-by-case basis.””Freddie Mac advised homeowners to contact their mortgage servicer for find out about their options. The company’s general disaster relief policies are posted “”online””:http://www.freddiemac.com/singlefamily/service/disastermgmt.html.last_img read more

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Low Rates Low Sales

first_imgLow Rates, Low Sales August 18, 2017 592 Views in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Sharecenter_img Mortgage Rates 2017-08-18 Brianna Gilpin While mortgage rates are staying low, and showing little signs of change, buyers have still been slow to buy due to the low number of homes for sale or being built. According to Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.89 percent with an average 0.4 point for the week ending August 17, 2017, down from the previous week when it averaged 3.90 percent. A year before, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.43 percent. The 15-year FRM for that week averaged 3.16 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from the previous week when it averaged 3.18 percent. A year previously, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.74 percent. According to Bankrate, as of Friday, consumers with a 30-year FRM will pay $480.30 each month for every $100,000 they borrow, up from $479.72 the previous week.Bankrate reports that this lower mortgage rate is good news for homeowners, as they can refinance for a lower rate, however, inventory issues have still kept many consumers out of the market. The U.S Census Bureau reports that starts on new homes fell 4.8 percent from June to July, while mortgage applications made a very small improvement of just 0.1 percent.Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve noted that inflation has not yet reached its 2 percent predicted target, despite strong job growth. This has kept interest rates low, in part. “It stands in the way of their long-term hope to boost interest rates and get on with the business of shrinking the $4 trillion balance sheet,” of bonds, says Mark Hamrick, Bankrate Senior Economic Analyst.In September, The Fed’s meeting is expected to bring details of how the central bank will reduce its bond holdings, which is likely to push up long-term interest rates, like mortgage rates.last_img read more

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