2 Oct

Prepositioning of relief aid nearly complete ahead of South Sudan rains UN

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has either prepositioned in warehouses or is moving in truck convoys enough aid to cover the needs of 110,000 people in Unity State, spokesperson Dan McNorton told journalists in Geneva.“Once the final deliveries have been made, pre-positioned supplies in Unity State will include: 52,052 plastics sheets; 58,308 blankets; 56,926 sleeping mats and 2,404 family tents,” Mr. McNorton specified. The last trucks carrying these items, along with some mosquito nets, jerry cans, kitchen sets and soap, left Juba on Thursday. Since the logistics operation began in mid-April 144 trucks have delivered materials to UNHCR operation in the north.In the Upper Nile State, where some 117,000 people live in refugee camps, the UN agency is preparing supplies for 120,000 people. “Supplies in Upper Nile state will include: 62,429 plastic sheets; 95,306 blankets; 85,617 sleeping mats and 5,143 family tents as well as other items,” Mr. McNorton said. The agency also plans to use the White Nile River, which flows through the Upper Nile State, to transport additional aid, if required. Each boat can carry up to 60 metric tonnes of aid for operations in both Unity and Upper Nile, and the Nile remains navigable throughout the rainy season. South Sudan seceded from Sudan in July 2011 after voting overwhelmingly for separation in a referendum held as part of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended decades of civil war. read more

2 Oct

UN chief calls for tolerance acceptance after three Muslims Americans shot in

Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha and Deah Shaddy Barakat, were reportedly shot to death on 10 February in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, sparking concerns that the three might have been targeted because of their religion. Media reports suggest that the families of the deceased believe the murders should be considered a hate crime while initial investigations cite a long-running parking dispute as the catalyst behind the incident. Responding to questions at the daily press briefing at UN Headquarters in New York, UN spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said Mr. Ban had been “deeply moved” by the scenes of thousands of Americans and others from around the world “coming together to mourn the lives” of the three victims. “At a time of troubling tensions stoked by those who seek to twist the teachings of faith and sow division, these three young people represented the best values of global citizenship and active community compassion to build a better world for all,” Mr. Dujarric added. The Secretary-General’s comments reiterate multiple appeals from the UN for tolerance and acceptance amid increasing extremism throughout the world and a series of atrocities committed by groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Boko Haram. Last Friday, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Genocide, Adama Dieng, and the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect, Jennifer Welsh, called on on all political leaders to “exercise and encourage restrain and to refrain from incitement to hostility or violence,” and encourage religious leaders to “act responsibly” and refrain from fuelling tensions with any provocative language.In addition, they recalled that the 2005 World Summit outcome document commitment by Member States to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity also includes a commitment to prevent the incitement of these crimes. read more

28 Sep

The US Mens Soccer Team Is Bungling Its Way To The World

To make the World Cup every four years, the United States men’s national team needs to do the bare minimum — that usually entails not being worse than teams from a couple of Central American or Caribbean countries that have a GDP roughly 0.1 percent the size of ours. In Honduras on Tuesday night, the USMNT delivered on that promise: They accomplished the bare minimum.A late Bobby Wood goal secured a 1-1 draw, salvaged a crucial road point and calmed anxiety about the U.S. qualifying for next summer’s World Cup. According to ESPN’s Soccer Power Index, the U.S. now has a 69 percent chance of qualifying. Of course, those odds are more a reflection of the forgiving nature of the Hex, the round-robin CONCACAF World Cup qualification tournament, than the U.S. men’s skill. Six teams enter, three leave with a World Cup bid, and the fourth-place team can still score a spot by beating the fifth-place Asian qualifier.The path to qualification is easy, so it’s still likely that the U.S. team will be off to Russia next summer, but they’ve used up much of their margin for error. As it stands, there’s no scenario in which the U.S. can qualify for the World Cup before the final match in Trinidad and Tobago. The last time the U.S. was still hoping to clinch a spot entering its final game was heading into the 1990 World Cup, basically the dawn of modern American soccer. Even if things go perfectly next month, when they take on Panama and Trinidad and Tobago, this will still go down as the team’s worst modern qualifying campaign.Now the U.S. is faced with two simple questions. What the heck is wrong with this team? And can it be fixed?Where the U.S. went wrongThe problem right now isn’t so much that the U.S. team is bad. It’s not. The problem is that the U.S. was really bad last year when this phase of qualification started, and it hasn’t really ever made up for it. Jurgen Klinsmann was fired two games into the USMNT’s final-round qualifying bid, after a home loss against Mexico and a 4-0 thumping away to Costa Rica. The team was a mess, and Bruce Arena was brought in to stabilize the ship. And he did. In his first four games in charge, he led the team to two home wins and two road draws, the exact kind of record that leads to easy qualification. But the record didn’t earn back any of the points the team dropped in its first two games. Arena stopped the bleeding, but he didn’t fill in the hole that Klinsmann had dug.That left that the men’s team vulnerable to a single bad match — like the match last Friday, in which Costa Rica beat the U.S. 2-0 in New Jersey. Realistically, Arena’s team didn’t play all that badly. The USMNT outshot its opponents 14-9 and produced a 1.26 to 0.62 expected goal advantage. Arena’s men conceded an early goal thanks to some poor positioning from central defenders Geoff Cameron and Tim Ream and some questionable goalkeeping from Tim Howard. Then they were denied a second-half equalizer when Costa Rica’s goalkeeper, Keylor Navas, made an absolutely inhuman save on a shot from U.S. midfielder Christian Pulisic that took a wicked deflection. If either the blown defense or the amazing save had gone slightly differently, the game looks different, the qualifying campaign looks different, and the answer to the question of “What is wrong with the team?” is basically “Nothing.” This team as currently constituted is just about good enough to qualify for the World Cup. The problem is that it isn’t much better than that.Fixing what’s wrongArena’s emergency stabilization job was built around two main pillars. First, he handed the keys of the attack to teenage superstar Pulisic, and second, he narrowed midfielder Michael Bradley’s responsibilities, shifting him from the hub of the team to a more traditional deep-lying playmaker. Everything around them has been in flux. Personnel has changed, formations have changed, tactical approaches have changed.Without much continuity, the team ends up in trouble when the game plan breaks down. Against Costa Rica last week, the defense was badly exposed without protection from midfield. Cameron and Ream were both called upon to step into midfield frequently and neither were able to do the job. And against Honduras this week, the attack sputtered when Pulisic wasn’t able to get on the ball. Since starting to play with the senior national team, he’s averaged 53 touches per 90 minutes, but against Honduras he only got 42, and the U.S. struggled to create chances without his influence.The defensive problems will likely sort themselves out eventually. The team is currently missing half of its starting defense, as both John Brooks and DeAndre Yedlin are injured. If they get healthy and back on the field, the defense will immediately take a step in the right direction.On the attack side, the solution is less clear-cut. Pulisic is the team’s crown jewel, and it’s Arena’s job to figure out which players in his fairly deep attacking talent pool best complement the young star. Arena has yet to settle on the best combination. Pulisic has played as a winger in a front three, as a wide midfielder with two strikers in front of him, and as the attacking midfielder at the tip of a diamond. In the last two games alone, he played with four different strikers in Wood, Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey and Jordan Morris. Settling on a more consistent lineup might not only help get the best out of Pulisic but also allow the U.S. to develop a more effective plan B for those times an opponent is able to take Pulisic out of the match.Arena is facing the same challenges all managers do. He has to balance the need for short-term results against the desire to develop a team that over the medium term can steadily improve and peak at the right moment. Up until this week, it seemed like he had gotten the balance mostly right, winning enough to put the U.S. solidly on course while also developing a basic plan. This week, that plan broke down. Now October’s matches can’t serve as a platform to help build the team for the future; instead, they’re all about short-term goals.There’s nothing wrong with this team that time can’t fix. But with two must-win games on the horizon, time is the one thing this team doesn’t have. read more

24 Sep

SGS to demo realtime field data acquisition solution at PDAC convention

first_imgSGS, a leading certification, inspection and testing service provider for the global metals and mining industry, says it will announce the launch of a new real-time field data acquisition solution at the upcoming PDAC 2019 convention in Toronto, Canada.The solution pairs portable instrumentation and machine learning to significantly speed up turnaround time for field data, enabling clients with enhanced decision-making capabilities and quicker speed-to-market, SGS said.The solution, being launched in North America and Australia, will be on show at a demonstration at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on March 5 in a demonstration involving Peta Hughes, Project Manager, Global Geochemistry, SGS Canada, and Matthew Rees, Chief Geologist, IAMGold.last_img read more

21 Sep

Nikoletatos expands ANUs IT

first_imgFormer Curtin University Information Officer, Peter Nikoletatos has jumped ship and taken the same role on at ANU. With over 25 years experience in the IT world, Nikoletatos is already looking towards spending the $60 million annual IT budget wisely. He is seeing to a one email system that will help the University centralise all correspondence. “ANU has a history, like most universities, of a duplicate email environment and we are looking at consolidating into one cloud based email service,” he told The Australian. By the start of next year’s semester in March, all students and staff will have moved across to the new cloud platform, which Microsoft is supplying. Along with the cloud, more storage needs have been addressed, with the university investing in 700 terabyte storage for archiving and another 700 terabyte of back-up capacity. New teaching methods heavy on online use won’t be limited with the new scheme Mr Nikoletatos says.“We see the emergence of social media, mobility, digitisation being quite specific in the teaching space and equality with the research space. This is just compounding on a daily basis with the amount of data we are storing and being required to store.” The law and business educated Nikoletatos has overcome his shortcomings in the IT world and proven himself much more useful than a purely technological asset. It is his business expertise that is taking the red tape out of technical support. Instead of having more than 13 different service desks, all managing different areas, he will centralise technical support into one direct line. ANU has 4000 full time staff and about 18,000 students. It also has 270 IT staff, of which 50 per cent report to Nikoletatos. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

21 Sep

Bank of Sydney CEO awarded

first_imgBank of Sydney’s CEO Julie Elliott was awarded last week, in acknowledgement of her success in business.Taking place at the ALCCI Gala Dinner in Melbourne, the award was presented by president Faddy Zouky.The dinner was preceded by the 2015 ALCCI Business Forum, a partnership of federal and state governments in both Australia and Lebanon.Themed ‘Prosperity through trade and Investments’, Ms Elliott gave an presentation on the topic ‘The Changing Landscape of the Banking and Finance Industry’. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

19 Sep

Crash involving motorcyclist blocks Highway 503 in Battle Ground

first_imgA motorcyclist was hospitalized Monday morning following a three-vehicle crash in Battle Ground that shut down traffic in the area for several hours.Firefighters, law enforcement and medics were dispatched shortly after 8 a.m. to the intersection of Southwest 10th Avenue and Eaton Boulevard. Two cars and a motorcycle were involved in the crash, Battle Ground police spokeswoman Bonnie Gilberti said. “The debris went quite a ways,” Gilberti said.A first responder reported that the motorcyclist was down in the road, according to emergency radio traffic monitored at The Columbian. The motorcyclist was taken to a local hospital for treatment, Gilberti said, and their condition was unknown Monday afternoon. Additional information about the crash will be released as the investigation continues, Gilberti said. The Washington State Department of Transportation responded to help with traffic, as police quickly shut down both lanes of 10th Avenue (state Highway 503) near the intersection. The road reopened around 12:45 p.m.last_img read more

17 Sep

Ralph Hasenhuttl provides injury update on Lemina

first_imgSouthampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has provided an update regarding the injury picked up by Mario Lemina prior last weekend.Lemina had featured in 15 of Southampton’s last 16 games in the Premier League but was absent as the Saints recorded a shock 3-2 win over Arsenal on Sunday.Southampton hosted high-flying Arsenal, who were on a 22 match unbeaten streak, at the St. Mary’s and stunned the visitors when Danny Ings opened the scoring with a well taken header.Henrikh Mkhitaryan leveled matters for the Gunners almost immediately, before Ings headed the home team in front once again.Mkhitaryan looked to have earned at least a point for Arsenal when he pulled the scores level at 2-2 before a late Charlie Austin header ensured Hasenhuttl picked up the three points in his first game in charge at the St. Mary’s.Solskjaer slams Man United’s draw: “We should have won” Andrew Smyth – August 31, 2019 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was left to rue another missed opportunity as Manchester United were held to a 1-1 draw against 10-man Southampton.Speaking about Lemina’s absence after the win against Arsenal, Hasenhuttl said, according to 101GreatGoals:“Hopefully, not too serious. It’s about his stomach, it hurt him too much.”“If you can’t sprint 100 per cent, it’s better to say ‘no it doesn’t work’ and we have to put in someone else.”last_img read more

17 Sep

Suarez likely to make Arsenal debut against City

first_imgArsenal fans may get a glimpse of Denis Suarez when they face Manchester City on Sunday, according to Unai Emery.Suarez, 25, hit the ground running with a training session with his new team-mates on Friday after joining on loan from Barcelona.Suarez spent two seasons with Manchester City before moving to Barcelona in 2013 and Emery says his experience of living in England will help him settle in quickly at the Emirates.Unai Emery: “Denis Suarez will settle in to life at Arsenal quickly” pic.twitter.com/ghd79nl48F— Football Daily (@footballdaily) February 1, 2019“If he starts [on Sunday] I have confidence in him,” said Emery via Sky.“He has adapted very quickly and his qualities can help us but also his ambition, he wants to do something important here. It is a good challenge for him and for us.“The first thing is the language and he can speak English. Secondly, he played for Manchester City’s youth teams. He has then experienced playing in Spain with us in Sevilla, and he played in a Europa League semi-final with Villarreal against Liverpool.“He did not play for Barcelona’s first team a lot of times but he helped there and played in the Champions League.kanu, arsenal'Report: Kanu makes bold claim about Pepe George Patchias – September 13, 2019 Former Arsenal superstar Kanu claims the Premier League teams fear Nicolas Pepe.The Ivory Coast international Pepe, made an 80 million Euro move to Arsenal…“It is easy for him to adapt to playing for us.”When asked what Suarez’s best position is, Emery replied: “He can play on the right or left, or inside like a number 10. I am going to use him in all the positions in the attacking third.”Denis Suarez: “I’ve been pushing hard to come here. I’m finally here now, I’m really pleased. I have a very good relationship with Unai Emery. I think he’s a very demanding coach & one of the best coaches in the world right now; I’ve been saying that for a while.” #afc pic.twitter.com/Tf6TjOB26S— afcstuff (@afcstuff) January 31, 2019Emery rubbished rumours that are speculating the arrival of Suarez may mark the end of Mesut Ozil’s Arsenal career.“No change,” said Emery. “Suarez is coming here because we have a lot of problems with wingers.”“We spoke about the possibility of bringing in three players but only if they can come here with our conditions if we think they can help us produce a good performance and are better than the players already here.“Suarez only came but we are happy and the club is working very well.”last_img read more

15 Sep

NW MiamiDade homeless sex offenders camp closed down

first_imgNORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) – Officials have cleared a homeless camp where hundreds of sex offenders lived in Northwest Miami-Dade, Monday.Miami-Dade Police surrounded the homeless sex offenders camp site along Northwest 71st Street and 36th Court to make sure everyone was out.A judge denied a lawsuit to allow those who call the camp home to stay, last week.Dozens who were living in tents has already started to move out on Friday.Many of the homeless sex offenders who lived there said they had no place else to go because they were complying with a county law that prevents them from living within 2,500 feet of schools.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

3 Sep

UN expert calls for referring Myanmar situation to ICC

first_imgRohingya refugee. File PhotoThe UN’s human rights expert on Myanmar has said the international community must continue to work to ensure that individuals who have been alleged as being responsible for serious crimes and human rights violations are prosecuted by the International Criminal Court or by a credible judicial body, reports UNB.”The (UN) Security Council must come together and refer the situation of Myanmar to the ICC without any delay,” Yanghee Lee, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, told the UN General Assembly in New York on Wednesday.She, however, said the establishment of independent mechanism was an interim step, and was insufficient to achieve justice for all victims of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Myanmar.Lee said the Myanmar government has shown that it is unable to fulfill its international obligations to impartially and effectively investigate the allegations.The UN expert said she was dismayed by the failure of the country’s leadership to take the path of democracy, and at their persistent denials and attempts to deflect attention concerning allegations of atrocities committed against the Rohingya.”What I see is a government that is increasingly demonstrating that it has no real interest and capacity in establishing a fully-functioning democracy where all its people equally enjoy all their rights and freedoms,” she said.Lee said it is not doing what is necessary to bring about true peace and reconciliation. It is not upholding justice and the rule of law. “And, despite the repeated refrain that if presented with evidence, the government will investigate the allegations of human rights violations, it is clear to me that that is not the case.”She acknowledged there was “a glimmer of hope on the horizon for justice for the people of Myanmar”, referring to the Human Rights Council’s recent resolution that establishes a new Independent Mechanism to collect, consolidate, preserve and analyse evidence of the most serious international crimes and violations of international law committed in Myanmar since 2011.Lee noted reports of harassment and extortion, and of forced labour, and that the government was undertaking an unrelenting campaign to force all the Rohingyas to take National Verification Cards.She raised concerns about the situation in Kachin and Shan, and the government’s plan to close displacement camps around the country.”Disturbing information I have received about the government’s camp closure plan demonstrates that it is not in accordance with international standards,” Lee said.She urged Member States to provide the independent mechanism with adequate resources and to ensure it is fully operational as soon as possible.last_img read more

2 Sep

UPDATE Republicans Scrap Health Care Vote — Again Trump Blasts SoCalled Republicans

first_imgThe legislation suffered a fatal blow Monday night when Collins declared her opposition. Collins lambasted the bill in a statement, citing her problems with the bill as three-fold: “sweeping changes and cuts” to Medicaid, weakening “protections for people with pre-existing conditions,” and that it “would lead to higher premiums and reduced coverage for tens of millions of Americans.”The GOP bill would have fundamentally overhauled Medicaid from an open-ended federal guarantee to a system that caps funds to the states but would have given them more flexibility on how they spent those dollars.House Speaker Paul Ryan said he and House Republicans were “a little frustrated the Senate has not acted on a seminal promise.” GABRIEL CRISTÓVER PÉREZ / KUTUnder the latest GOP health care bill, money would come to the states in the form of block grants that states could use however they choose.Updated at 3:20 p.m. ETRepublicans are once again waving the white flag on health care.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced shortly that he is pulling the Republican health care bill because it does not have the votes.Rather than endure another embarrassing vote that sees his caucus come up short, the senators agreed in a closed-door meeting to shelve the bill.It’s another chapter in months of GOP failure to unite on a replacement of the current health care law, the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare — despite a years-long galvanizing conservative push to do so.Before the announcement, President Trump expressed disappointment in the direction it was all headed.“At some point,” Trump said at the White House, “there will be a repeal and replace. … But we are disappointed in certain so-called Republicans.”Three Republicans came out against the bill — Susan Collins of Maine, John McCain of Arizona and Rand Paul of Kentucky. Republicans could lose only two senators for the bill to pass through the budget process of reconciliation, which allows for a majority vote instead of the 60-vote threshold ordinarily needed to end a filibuster.Three Republicans came out against the bill — Susan Collins of Maine, John McCain of Arizona and Rand Paul of Kentucky. Republicans could lose only two senators for the bill to pass through the budget process of reconciliation, which allows for a majority vote instead of the 60-vote threshold ordinarily needed to end a filibuster. A comprehensive tax overhaul has not happened since 1986.“Tomorrow is the beginning of a very important process that we are excited about here in Congress,” Ryan said.As for health care, McConnell tried to paint the debate as one of the Graham-Cassidy bill versus a single-payer system. Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of the bill’s principal authors, had framed it as “federalism versus socialism.” Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, as well as some Democrats, have touted a “Medicare for all” plan.But Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York took to the Senate floor Tuesday to knock McConnell’s argument as a “straw man” and a “false choice.”“Democrats have a lot of ideas about how to improve health care,” Schumer said. “Each of them endeavors to increase coverage, improve the quality of care, and lower the cost of care. None — none of the Republican plans manage to achieve those goals. That’s the difference. The difference is one side wants to cut health care to average Americans, increase premiums, give the insurance companies far more freedom and one side wants to increase care, the number of people covered, lower premiums, better coverage. That’s the divide.”Schumer also accused Republicans of not wanting to have that debate on the merits and called for a “bipartisan way to improve the existing system.”Later, after the announcement of the bill’s demise, Schumer called for a bipartisan approach. Standing next to Washington state Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, Schumer promoted the work of Murray and Republican Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee to try and fix the current system. Ryan noted that his conference had done its job, passing legislation in May.Instead, congressional leaders and the president are ready to move on to overhauling the tax code.They are set to unveil a “framework” for their legislation Wednesday.President Trump said Tuesday he had asked members of Congress from both parties to “discuss our framework for tax cuts and tax reform before it will be released tomorrow. We will be releasing a very comprehensive, very detailed report tomorrow. And it will be a very, very powerful document.” 1. “Make our tax code simple and fair.” (He promised Americans would be able to file their taxes on a “single page.”)2. “Cut taxes tremendously for the middle class,not just a little bit but tremendously.” (Double the standard deduction and increase the child tax credit.)3. Lower business taxes.4. “Bring back trillions of dollars in wealth parked overseas.”_________________________________________________ Share Trump said the plan will be based on four principles:last_img read more

31 Aug

Rock appears mysteriously in front of Mars Opportunity rover

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further (Phys.org) —The lead scientist for NASA’s Mars rover exploration team (Steve Squyres) has announced that recent images beamed back by the Opportunity rover show a rock sitting in a place nearby where there wasn’t one just twelve days prior. The image, he says, has caused quite a commotion with the rover team as possible explanations for the sudden appearance of the rock are bandied about. The announcement was part of a meeting at California Institute of Technology to celebrate a decade of service by the tiny rover. © 2014 Phys.org Mars rover photographs featured at US museum (Update)center_img Opportunity has of course, far outlived expectations. What was originally supposed to be a three month tour has now passed ten years. In all that time, nothing on the planet’s surface has changed of its own accord. Until now. Opportunity sent back an image of the landscape just ahead of it, then twelve days later, sent back another image of virtually the same landscape (Opportunity is waiting in place for bad weather to subside). The images showed everything to be the same except for a small rock—a jelly doughnut sized rock. How it got there has NASA’s best scratching their heads. Thus far, they have two main likely explanations: either the rock was tossed to that spot after a meteorite impact nearby, or far more likely, it came to rest there as a result of clumsy maneuvering by Opportunity itself. The rover is having trouble getting around these days as one of its actuators has failed. This means one wheel winds up scrapping the ground during turns, producing what Squyres described as “chatter” which he said could have caused some debris to be flung to where the rock is now sitting.An initial inspection of the rock indicates that it’s very high in sulphur and potassium—it has bright white edges with a deep ruby red center, and looks very much like a jelly doughnut. The rover team has named it “Pinnacle Island.” Squyres reported that the rock appears to be in an upside-down position, which means it’s showing a face that has not been impacted by the Martian atmosphere, for perhaps millions of years.The rover team plans to conduct further tests on the rock, and will almost certainly have the rover spin around as soon as it’s able to see if other rocks have appeared as well. Citation: Rock appears mysteriously in front of Mars Opportunity rover (2014, January 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-01-mysteriously-front-mars-opportunity-rover.html Credit: NASAlast_img read more

29 Aug

Watch the adorable moment drag kid meets Courtney Act at Brighton Pride

first_img‘You look adorable,’ she told Violet Vixen, sporting pastel pink hair.‘Dance school was my safe haven’The two discussed how hard having friends in school can be.‘When I was 11, I remember going to dance school and that was my safe haven,’ Courtney said.Leo admitted finding tricky bonding with his schoolmates but agreed on having good friends in his dance class.Courtney reassured her fan saying finding friends becomes a lot easier when you grow up because you ‘accumulate people who understand you’.When Violet Vixen met Courtney Act #bestnightofmylife #didntwanttoletgo #courtneyact #dragqueen #thebest pic.twitter.com/WKLqSbO7mM— Violet Vixen (@xXVioletVixenXx) May 23, 2018The two adorably hugged.‘You’re coming with me now,’ Leo said.He also said Courtney was nice and ‘the first drag queen’ he’s ever seen.Read more from Gay Star News:Ten-year-old drag kid takes center stage in NYC Pride campaign INTERVIEW: Courtney Act unpacks Drag Race’s trans problem – ‘Ru’s from a different era’Bianca Del Rio labels Ann Widdecombe a ‘c***’ while celebrating Courtney Act’s CBB winCelebrity Big Brother’s Andrew Brady: Homophobia is still homophobia at any ageRead the full article on Gaystarnews:  :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/courtney-act-drag-fan-brighton-pride/ 11-year-old drag kid Violet Vixen saw one of their dreams come true when they met Courtney Act at Brighton Pride. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) GAYSTARNEWS- The drag name of Leo, Violet Vixen has started her own YouTube channel where she does makeup tutorial after being inspired by RuPaul’s Drag Race. The young fan revealed Courtney Act was the first drag they ever saw.In a new Real Stories documentary, Leo’s mum takes him on a trip to Brighton with a special surprise in store. In the hotel, she told Leo he was about to meet Courtney Act after her Under the Covers show.He didn’t believe her at first. However, things got very real when he found himself face to face with Aussie drag superstar and Celebrity Big Brother winner.Courtney Act gave Leo some good pieces of adviceHere is the moment 11-year-old Leo met the person who inspired him to be himself, @courtneyact, at #BrightonPride. An inspiring story, so happy to see that one of @xXVioletVixenXx‘s dreams came true. pic.twitter.com/YToI7qCeBf— Pride in London (@PrideInLondon) August 10, 2018The Aussie drag queen had some wisdom and sassiness to share with the young fan.‘That lipstick is lovely and I did see you touching it up,’ Courtney said.‘And I’m glad you did because if you’d come back here with imperfect lips, I don’t know what I would’ve done.’ 11-year-old Violet Vixen met her idol Courtney Act. | Photo: @xxvioletvixenxx/Twitterlast_img read more

18 Aug

Colombia Major trafficker surrenders to US

first_img More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements The U.S. State Department said Javier Antonio Calle Serna has since 2005 allegedly run “Los Rastrojos” and “been linked to kidnappings, tortures, and assassinations in Colombia, Venezuela, and Panama.”A former guerrilla fighter, he is believed associated with the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, and its late nemesis, the far-right United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, both designated terrorist organizations by the U.S. government, the State Department says on its website.Colombian police officials say drug traffickers often create alliances of convenience with the countries’ competing illegal armed groups, placing business over ideology.The March 2011 U.S. press release announcing the indictment of Javier Antonio Calle along with nine other alleged members of Los Rastrojos said that in addition to partnering with Mexican drug cartels to ship cocaine from Colombia to the United States via Mexico, Venezuela and Central America, the organization levied a “tax” on other Colombia traffickers on drug shipments traveling through territory under its control.That territory includes parts of Colombia’s Pacific coast and the border with Venezuela, Colombian police say. A recent study by the Nuevo Arco Iris think tank that Los Rastrojos coexist in the Colombia-Venezuela border region with criminal organizations including Mexico’s Zetas. Comments   Share   The U.S. government had a $5 million reward out for Calle, who deputy Colombian police director Gen. Jose Roberto Leon said turned himself in U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents on Friday in Aruba, off the Caribbean coast of Colombia and Venezuela.A spokesman for the U.S. attorney in New York’s Eastern District, Robert Nardoza, said he could neither confirm nor deny Leon’s statement that Calle was flown to New York. Nor would Nardoza discuss why the indictment was not available in the U.S. federal court system’s online electronic database. The DEA also declined comment.The 43-year-old Calle allegedly heads a violent cocaine-trafficking paramilitary force called “Los Rastrojos,” or The Leftovers.His brother and alleged accomplice, Juan Carlos Calle, was captured in Ecuador in March and sent to the United States. A $5 million reward had also been offered for him by the U.S. State Department.The Rastrojos emerged roughly a decade ago from the dissolution of Colombia’s Norte del Valle cartel, and allegedly shipped tons of cocaine northward through Mexico.The brothers, originally hired guns for Norte del Valle bosses, gained the nickname the “Comba,” short for combatants, as their criminal gang expanded its influence over drug-trafficking routes, corrupting local officials and battling a rival offshoot of the cartel called the “Urabenos.” 5 ways to recognize low testosterone 4 must play golf courses in Arizona New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Top Stories center_img Associated PressBOGOTA, Colombia (AP) – An alleged major Colombian drug trafficker whose paramilitary organization controls coastal and border smuggling routes surrendered to U.S. drug agents in Aruba and was flown to New York, where he faces criminal charges, Colombian authorities said Monday.Jose Antonio Calle was indicted in New York’s Eastern District last year for the alleged international distribution of 25 metric tons of cocaine, money laundering, racketeering and murder, according to a news release the local U.S. attorney’s office issued at the time. ___Associated Press writer Frank Bajak contributed to this report from Lima, Peru(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t likelast_img read more

10 Aug

First lady hopes giving spirit continues through h

first_imgFirst lady hopes giving spirit continues through holidays WASHINGTON – Melania Trump said Wednesday at a holiday toy drive sponsored by the military that she hopes the giving spirit that Americans displayed during a season of devastating hurricanes will continue over Christmas and into the new year.She said the holidays are about family, service and gratitude — not gifts.The first lady accompanied President Donald Trump on several trips to survey hurricane damage in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, and he has said she was deeply affected by what she saw. Last week, the first lady returned to Corpus Christi, Texas, with Karen Pence, the wife of Vice-President Mike Pence, to follow up on recovery efforts after Hurricane Harvey flooded the region in late August.“On a personal note, as my first year as first lady comes to an end, I have had the privilege to witness the spirit and resilience of so many people in our country,” Mrs. Trump said during brief remarks at the drive for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program. “After this year’s devastating hurricane season, I hope everyone watching at home will consider giving back through programs like Toys for Tots.”She recalled her visits to survey hurricane damage and urged people to extend their generosity.“I’ve seen people from all over our great nation pitch in to help those who lost everything, and I want to challenge people to continue with that giving spirit over Christmas and in the new year,” the first lady said inside a warehouse at a Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling.“It is my hope that during this holiday season people will remember it is not about gifts. It is about family service and gratitude. We must continue to look out for and help each other,” Mrs. Trump said.She then invited several dozen children from military families to help her sort toys. Within minutes, they cleared a large table that had been stacked with dolls, board games, toy cars and trucks, and other items, depositing them into large bins labeled “Boy,” ”Toddler” and “Girl.”The first lady and one young girl exchanged a high-five after Mrs. Trump guided her to the bins. She also sat with kids and made construction-paper cards to go with the gifts that will be distributed throughout the Washington area.Since its inception in 1947 and through last Christmas, Toys for Tots has distributed 550 million toys to 250 million children across the country, said Lt. Gen. Rex McMillan. The goal this year is to collect about 7 million toys for between 3 million and 4 million kids, he said.___Follow Darlene Superville on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dsupervilleap Mehreem Donahue, 3, of McLean, Va., right, whose father is in the military, looks at a present with first lady Melania Trump, Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017, during a “Toys for Tots” event at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) center_img by Darlene Superville, The Associated Press Posted Dec 13, 2017 11:32 am PDT Last Updated Dec 13, 2017 at 2:40 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Emaillast_img read more

9 Aug

Nesbitt invites residents to get outdoors during free fishing weekend

first_img State Rep. Aric Nesbitt is encouraging local residents to take advantage of the magnificent natural resources in Southwest Michigan during free fishing weekend Feb. 14 and 15.Nesbitt, R-Lawton, said the Michigan Department of Natural Resources will waive all fishing license fees during the weekend so residents and out-of-state visitors may enjoy fishing on lakes and rivers throughout Michigan.“There are so many great opportunities for anglers in this area, including Maple Lake, Eagle Lake, Christie Lake and of course Lake Michigan, which all offer potential to catch any of Michigan’s many prize species of game fish,” Nesbitt said. “This is a fantastic opportunity for ice fishermen and women to take their families, friends and neighbors out on the water to create lifelong memories.”All fishing regulations still apply during the free fishing weekend, such as limits on size and quantity of species caught. 06Feb Nesbitt invites residents to get outdoors during free fishing weekend Categories: Newslast_img read more

9 Aug

Rep Griffin bill mutilation ban package advance to governor

first_img20Jun Rep. Griffin bill, mutilation ban package advance to governor Legislation sponsored by state Rep. Beth Griffin, which would give victims of female genital mutilation the ability to receive significant civil damages, will advance to governor’s desk for review after today’s final House vote.Female genital mutilation (FGM) is any procedure performed on girls to remove or damage the external genitalia. Griffin’s bill is part of a bipartisan eight-bill legislative package that prohibits the act, sets sentencing guidelines, improves educational programs for health and law enforcement officials, and extends the criminal statute of limitations for victims.Specifically, her bill allows FGM survivors to recover up to three times actual damages, including non-monetary damage costs and attorney fees, during a civil case.“The punishment for mutilating a child must be significant, whether it involves a prison sentence, losing a medical license or sizable financial damages,” Griffin said. “That’s why this legislative package is taking a strong and wide-ranging approach to preventing FGM, punishing those who commit these despicable acts, as well as giving victims a voice and civil recourse.”The legislation follows a February incident when two young girls from Minnesota were subjected to the procedure at a southeast Michigan clinic. A Livonia couple was arrested on federal charges in April for allowing and performing the procedure after hours at their medical clinic, while a third individual was fired from their emergency room doctor position for performing the procedure at the same Livonia clinic.Over the past two weeks, House and Senate committees and full chambers have moved quickly to advance the legislation with today’s concurrence vote as the final step before review by Gov. Rick Snyder.“We must protect our children, especially from the possibility of enduring the physical pain and emotional damage this procedure can bring with it,” said Griffin, of Mattawan. “I was pleased to work with a bipartisan group of legislators to help ensure a future for young girls in Michigan safe from this barbaric act.”##### Categories: Griffin News,Newslast_img read more

9 Aug

LaSata announces grant to fight blight

first_img10Aug LaSata announces grant to fight blight State Rep. Kim LaSata announced this week that Berrien County will receive funding for residential and commercial blight elimination projects.  The Berrien County Land Bank Authority has been awarded $102,000 to tear down 25 blighted, tax-foreclosed properties in Benton Harbor, Benton Charter Township, and Buchanan. The funding was awarded through the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, following a competitive application process.“Our economy is rebounding strongly, but there is still much work to be done,” LaSata said. “This is an excellent example of how tax dollars can be used at the local level to improve the quality of life in a small community.” Categories: LaSata Newslast_img read more

9 Aug

Nome to Vote on Stripping Churches and Nonprofits of Sales Tax Exemption

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesNovember 19, 2014;Wall of Separation (Americans United for Separation of Church and State)Today, November 24th, the City Council of Nome, Alaska, population 3,797, will be voting on the possible end to a sales tax exemption for houses of worship. Facing a budget deficit, the Council spent an hour earlier this month debating possible revenue-generating strategies and landed on ending the church sales tax exemption as its preferred strategy.There is nothing in the constitution or in federal law that mandates a tax exemption for religious groups, but a vote by the Nome city council would make Nome the nation’s first to strip churches of this implicit subsidy. The issue of tax exemption for churches has made tiny Nome a bellwether location for the debate pro and con, and the debate has been vibrant: “Giving churches special tax exemptions violates the separation of church and state. By providing a financial benefit to religious institutions, government is supporting religion,” wrote Michael Stone in Patheos. “A tax break for churches forces all American taxpayers to support religion, even if they oppose some or all religious doctrines.”However, the Nome action would not just affect houses of worship, but all 501(c) nonprofits in the city, an element of the city’s action that has received little attention and discussion. An Associated Press article says that the Nome decision would affect “the regional nonprofit social service group Kawerak, Inc., and more than 40 other organizations.” Contrary to the notion that there would be “hundreds” of churches and other nonprofits affected, the scope of the small city’s action is actually quite targeted. One site counts 14 churches in Nome; another site counts 12. The Nonprofit Locator counts 35 nonprofits in the city (a list that counts some churches). From this small number of entities, the city’s finance director, Julie Liew, estimates that the end of the sales tax exemption for churches and nonprofits would generate $300,000 in revenues for the city.It is unclear why the city has to strip nonprofits as well as churches of the sales tax exemption; perhaps the rationale is that including nonprofits in the deal adds to the revenue total. Among the groups that would lose their sales tax exemption would be a pre-school group, a community center, an emergency shelter, and a swim team, as well as Kawerak’s day care, Head Start, employment training, and other program offerings. Despite the press coverage, the Nome decision isn’t just about churches, whose tax-exempt status isn’t necessarily rooted in law, but about nonprofits, whose tax-exempt status is.—Rick Cohen ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more