APTN National NewsIn New Brunswick dozens of people are gathered around a sacred fire along a rural highway.The fire was set to mark a peaceful protest against seismic testing in the eastern region of the province.Amy Sock recently put out a call for people to join in. Sock spoke to APTN about the ongoing protest.
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Volunteers with the Northern Environmental Action Team were busy canning over the summer for members of the community who are in need.NEAT said that Fort St. John residents came together during two canning sessions to prepare 628 jars filled with applesauce, berry jam, pickled carrots and beans, stewed herbed tomatoes, relish, and other preserved foods that were donated to local food banks. Members of the Northern Environmental Action Team presenting Community Can donations to the Salvation Army. Supplied photo Members of the Northern Environmental Action Team bringing Community Can donations to the Women’s Resource Society. Supplied photo Food security is a growing concern in the Peace Region area where prices can be much higher than elsewhere across the country.NEAT says that teaching food preservation skills and providing healthy donations to outreach organizations can help shed light on these issues.NEAT extended thanks to the North Peace Savings & Credit Union and Enbridge for their support of its Community Can initiative, as well as to those members of the community who donated locally-grown fruits and vegetables, their time and their canning skills to make the Community Can a huge success this year.“The Community Canning Program has been a wonderful support to The Fort St. John Food Bank,” said the Salvation Army’s executive director Cameron Eggie. “It pleases our volunteers & staff to be able to give out a healthy-homemade product and it really makes our guests feel supported by their community. Thank you NEAT!”
11 October 2007The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) today issued a report documenting widespread human rights abuses and recommending specific measures in response, including due process for detainees, punishment for perpetrators of “honour killings,” and investigations into deaths caused by private military firms operating in the country. The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) today issued a report documenting widespread human rights abuses and recommending specific measures in response, including due process for detainees, punishment for perpetrators of “honour killings,” and investigations into deaths caused by private military firms operating in the country.The eleventh Quarterly Human Rights report does not contain casualty statistics because the mission was “unable to persuade the Government to release data” on the issue.UNAMI states that civilians continue to be targeted by armed groups through suicide bombings, abductions and extrajudicial executions by perpetrators who make no distinctions between civilians and combatants.Concentrated around Baghdad, the violence is also prevalent in other cities, such as Mosul and Basra, and has victimized all ethnic groups while targeting professionals, such as journalists and lawyers, according to the report, which warns that such systematic or widespread attacks against a civilian population are tantamount to crimes against humanity and violate the laws of war, and their perpetrators are subject to prosecution. UNAMI calls on insurgent groups and armed militia to cease attacks against civilians, cease hostage taking and release those being held. It urges the Government to carry out policies aimed at vetting law enforcement personnel, and emphasizes the importance of accountability.The report also urges the Government and State institutions to do more in ensuring better judicial oversight mechanisms for suspects arrested in the context of the ongoing Baghdad Security Plan and immediately address reports of torture in Iraqi Government facilities as well as those of Kurdistan Regional Government. UNAMI cites recent media coverage of the Blackwater security firm and other private contractors operating in Iraq, and endorses the position of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) that relying on private military firms risks eroding the distinction between civilians and combatants.The mission urges the United States authorities to investigate reports of deaths caused by privately hired contractors, and establish effective mechanisms for holding them accountable whenever circumstances surrounding the killings show no justifiable cause. “All credible allegations of unlawful killings by MNF forces be thoroughly, promptly and impartially investigated, and appropriate action be taken against military personnel found to have used excessive or indiscriminate force, and that the initiation of investigations into such incidents, as well as their findings, should be made public.”The report raises concern about prolonged detention and the absence of timely processing of detainees’ cases through the judicial system. The overwhelming majority of detainees interviewed by UNAMI spoke of extended delays in their initial referral to a judicial official of up to two months in many cases and lack of information on what would happen next, or where and when they would be transferred and how long they would be held. As a matter of urgency, the Government of Iraq and the judicial authorities need to take all necessary measures to address these concerns, the report says.UNAMI also urges the MNF to observe the basic due process guarantees enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
They claimed that they lost contact with Siriyawathi Fernando while she was employed in Kuwait. The 29 year old had gone to Kuwait in 2014 on a two year contract. A complaint was filed with the Chilaw Police today claiming a woman from the area has been killed in Kuwait.The family of the woman said to have been killed in Kuwait filed the Police complaint today. The family had received a telephone call earlier saying Siriyawathi Fernando’s life was under threat. In the Police complaint, the family says they have not heard from Siriyawathi Fernando for a couple of months and so they believe she may have been killed.The family also claimed that a complaint had been filed a few days ago saying Siriyawathi Fernando’s life was at risk yet no action was taken. (Colombo Gazette)
Ohio State lost its only commitment in the class of 2018 Saturday when three-star shooting guard Torrence Watson announced via Twitter that he would be re-opening his recruitment.The Whitfield School product from St. Louis cited a desire not to travel so far from home for school as his chief reason for no longer staying committed to the Buckeyes.pic.twitter.com/qVp9t3B5AQ— Torrence Watson (@TorrenceWatson) August 26, 2017The scouting service 247Sports listed Watson as the 123rd-best prospect in the nation on its composite rankings. The site also ranks him 25th-best at his position and the fourth-best recruit in the state of Missouri.Watson received his scholarship offer from the Buckeyes on June 15 and committed on July 10. He had previously received offers from Iowa State, Tulsa, UNLV, West Virginia, Missouri and Vanderbilt. Butler also offered Watson a scholarship on Nov. 6, 2016, when current-Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann was in charge of the team.
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. That hannah cockroft has a reyt set o cans….bet wheelchairs under severe duress at all times 😂😂😂— Alex White (@alexwhite65896) September 28, 2016 She has now called on sportswear manufacturers to make more of an effort to tailor women’s kits for comfort rather than simply appearance.“When I got told that I had to wear a man’s top because the woman’s top looks inappropriate on me, my response was- well that’s not my fault, make a top that doesn’t look inappropriate but is still comfortable,” she said.Ms Cockroft has previously accused sponsors of discriminating against her because she does not wear shoes when competing in her wheelchair.As part of the Women in Sport series Kate Richardson-Walsh, the gold medal winning captain of the British women’s hockey team, has denounced the double standards in sport that still leave female athletes earning less than men.Ms Richardson-Walsh said women’s sport still has to struggle for the sponsorship deals and big prize money that male athletes take for granted.She said: “I love watching football but I do think that the finances of it are unbelievable. There’s also baseball, NFL, golf – lots of big male sports where there’s just so much money. We just need some female sports and for female athletes to be able to break into that.”Ms Richardson-Walsh highlighted the lack of opportunities offered to female players, saying:”There are more international opportunities for men. There’s an Indian hockey league – it’s on TV and there’s big prize money. They get paid a lot for it, too. I think the highest paid player got $100,000 last year.”There’s also the European hockey league- if a guy plays for a club in England and they finish in the top two in the league, then they go into the European hockey league. Again, there’s prize money, it’s live streamed, there’s a huge audience and they get massive crowds.”Ms Richardson-Walsh praised the British sport’s governing bodies for treating the men’s and women’s teams equally, but said this was not reflected in the wider game.”There is nothing like that for women and no way to earn that kind of money. In order to be inspirational to young girls and get people wanting to sponsor, there need to be more competitions on – and they need to be televised,” she said.Her comments were echoed by the sports presenter Jacqui Oatley, who said women in sport were subjected to greater criticism than their male counterparts.Ms Oatley, who became Match of the Day’s first female commentator in 2007, said: “I don’t think you get as much leeway as a woman. You’re under pressure because you feel like any error you make will be [blamed on the fact] because you are female.” Triple gold medal winning Paralympian Hannah Cockroft has criticised social media users for being more interested in the size of her breasts and her appearance than her athletic achievements.Ms Cockroft, who won gold in the wheelchair 100, 400 and 800 metres at the Rio Games, said she had been taken aback by the reaction of people on Twitter.Speaking as part of The Telegraph’s Women in Sport series she revealed that she was compelled to wear a boy’s kit in order to avoid lascivious comments detracting from her sporting ability.The 24-year-old said female athletes were often made to feel self-conscious because of their appearance.“Half of the comments that I get on Twitter are about what I look like rather than what I’ve achieved. People either comment on my acne, or that I’ve got big boobs. And it can make you quite conscious as a female athlete because you know that’s what people are looking at,” said Ms Cockroft.She added: “My team started putting me in the boys’ kit so that it was no longer low cut. I always get handed the boys vest now so that I’m not ‘inappropriate’.”Ms Cockroft said a side benefit of wearing a man’s top was that spectators and viewers finally paid more attention to what she was doing on the track.“At Rio, people concentrated more on my physical ability and maybe it was because I was wearing a men’s top, but it’s nice that people are concentrating on my ability and not what I look like,” she said.
3. HCM Baia Mare4121122:121(1)4 2. Naturhouse La Rioja4301126:110(16)6 1. Skjern Handbold4301115:101(14)6 4. Vojvodina420298:104(-6)4 4. Rhein-Neckar Löwen4211103:96(7)5 5. MOL-Pick Szeged4202109:109(0)4 6. Elverum Handball Herrer4112101:117(-16)3 7. Montpellier HB4103105:122(-17)2 3. Futebol Clube do Porto4301114:103(11)6 2. HC Motor Zaporozhye4202118:115(3)4 6. IFK Kristianstad4103117:125(-8)2 Very interesting was in Denmark and Norway on the matches of the VELUX EHF Champions League Round 4. Danish Skjern celebrated win over RK Metalurg 20:19 by buzzer-beating goal of right wing Jorgensen, while Elverum and Baia Mare played 28:28.GROUP B:KIF Kolding – MOL PICK Szeged 22:27 1. HC Meshkov Brest4301128:102(26)6 5. Chekhovskie Medvedi4103105:116(-11)2 GROUP C:Meshkov Brest – Naturhouse La Rioja 31:33Tatran Presov – RK Vojvodina 19:27FC Porto – Chekovskie Medvedi 31:27 2. FC Barcelona Lassa4301122:109(13)6 GROUP D:Kadetten Schaffhausen – HC Motor Zaporozhye 30:27Skjern – RK Metalurg 20:19Elverum – Minaur Baia Mare 28:28 Elverum handballSkjern handballVELUX EHF Champions Leagu 6. TATRAN Presov400491:127(-36)0 3. KS Vive Tauron Kielce4211127:113(14)5 5. Kadetten Schaffhausen4112115:117(-2)3 1. HC Vardar4400112:92(20)8 8. KIF Kolding Kobenhavn400491:120(-29)0 4. HC Metalurg420293:93(0)4 ← Previous Story BORING SUNDAY: Easy home task complete by Veszprem and Flensburg Next Story → VIDEO: Božović bomb and buzzer-beater in Skjern
Bronchiolite du bébé : et si la kinésithérapie était inefficace ?Selon le numéro de décembre de la revue médicale Prescrire, la kinésithérapie respiratoire ne serait pas efficace pour combattre la bronchiolite chez les bébés. La bronchiolite est une infection respiratoire qui touche chaque hiver près de 30% des enfants de moins de deux ans. Bien que la maladie soit d’évolution spontanément favorable, la kinésithérapie respiratoire est largement employée dans de nombreux pays, dont la France. Il s’agit même du traitement référence en la matière. Pourtant, neuf études réalisées auprès de 891 nourrissons hospitalisés pour des bronchiolites ne montrent aucune différence entre les enfants traités avec kiné ou sans kiné, relève la revue médicale Prescrire.À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?En effet, la synthèse de ces études, réalisée par un groupe du Réseau international Cochrane (d’évaluation et d’information médicales), révèle qu’aucune différence n’a été retrouvée en terme d’évolution clinique, d’oxygénation du sang, de fréquence respiratoire, de durée de la maladie ou de l’hospitalisation et ce quelle que soit la technique de kiné respiratoire utilisée. Une découverte d’autant plus importante que la “kiné respi” n’est pas dénuée d’effets indésirables. Elle provoque en effet des vomissements, des douleurs et peut même conduire à des fractures de côtes lorsqu’elle n’est pas bien pratiquée. Une fracture pour 1.000 nourrissons traités serait ainsi enregistrée, selon une étude conduite dans des hôpitaux parisiens.Dans tous les cas, avec ou sans kiné, la durée moyenne de la maladie a été d’environ 13 jours. “En 2012, on dispose de données solides montrant que chez les nourrissons atteints de bronchiolite, la kinésithérapie respiratoire n’est pas efficace et a une balance bénéfices-risques défavorable, y compris avec la technique habituellement utilisée en France”, explique la revue Prescrire avant de conclure “Mieux vaut épargner cette épreuve aux bébés”.De son côté, l’Inpes (Institut national de prévention et d’éducation pour la santé) rappelle que la seule manière d’éviter la contagion est de se laver régulièrement les mains, de porter un masque chirurgical pour s’occuper d’un bébé et ne pas l’embrasser lorsqu’on est malade.Le 4 décembre 2012 à 16:10 • Maxime Lambert
SAN FRANCISCO — A divided U.S. appeals court on Wednesday struck down a key part of President Donald Trump’s contentious effort to crack down on cities and states that limit cooperation with immigration officials, saying an executive order threatening to cut funding for “sanctuary cities” was unconstitutional.In a 2-1 decision, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a lower court that the order exceeded the president’s authority. Congress alone controls spending under the U.S. Constitution, and presidents do not have the power to withhold funding it approves to pursue their policy goals, the court majority said.“By its plain terms, the executive order directs the agencies of the executive branch to withhold funds appropriated by Congress in order to further the administration’s policy objective of punishing cities and counties that adopt so-called ‘sanctuary’ policies,” wrote Chief Judge Sidney Thomas, joined by Judge Ronald Gould.The court said the lower-court judge went too far when he blocked enforcement of Trump’s order nationwide after a lawsuit from two California counties. Thomas said there wasn’t enough evidence to support it, limited the injunction to California and sent the case back to the lower court for more arguments on whether a wider ban was warranted.Devin O’Malley, a spokesman for the U.S. Justice Department, called the ruling a victory for “criminal aliens in California, who can continue to commit crimes knowing that the state’s leadership will protect them from federal immigration officers whose job it is to hold them accountable and remove them from the country.”
HOLLYWOOD, FLA. (WSVN) – Surveillance cameras captured a pair of subjects working to steal a car from a Hollywood business, Tuesday night.The theft took place at the Famous Footwear store on Oakland Boulevard, where surveillance shows the two men walking into the back of the business.The pair, both wearing hoodies, stole keys to an employee’s Toyota Corolla and also got away with a cell phone.If you have any information on this theft, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Dan Cohen AUTHOR New Mexico has been awarded a $1.4 million grant from DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) to diversify the economies in communities surrounding the state’s military bases, national laboratories and other federal facilities.This defense industry adjustment grant will be used to identify strengths and weaknesses in the workforce, technology and products, along with resources that can be used to develop strategies to help communities adjust to cutbacks in defense spending, according to the state Economic Development Department.“New Mexico is proud of our military bases and national labs,” said Cabinet Secretary Jon Barela. “Yet in the face of persistent challenges from the federal government, we must continue to diversify our economy in communities throughout the state. This funding, along with meetings in affected areas, will help us better support communities in improving their resilience to federal cutbacks.”The department will host a series of community meetings next month in affected areas to bring stakeholders together and share information regarding defense contractors and subcontractors, related services and goods providers, and other businesses and organizations that may be affected by defense cutbacks. The state also will launch a web portal to share information among affected communities.
We’re talking with legislative leaders this week as part of a series on the start of the legislative session.House minority leader Rep. Chris Tuck, D-Anchorage, speaks at a press event Jan. 19, 2016. Photo: Skip Gray/360North.Anchorage Representative Chris Tuck is the minority leader in the state House. He questions whether the Governor’s budget proposal is fair for average Alaskans.Download AudioTUCK: One of the concerns that I have is a working family of four, making sure that they’re not taking the brunt of the burden and that when we look at fish taxes, when we look at oil taxes, when we look at mining taxes, and looking at all those other things, just weighing it in perspective. And so I just want to make sure that the working class isn’t fully burdened with the responsibility.TOWNSEND: When you say “fully burdened,”… where is your cutoff? When does the middle class have to contribute, or at what level would you be comfortable with?TUCK: Well, we’re all in this together. Everybody’s going to have to pay. But the way that the governor’s plan is right now, you take the owner of a wealthy utility, and you compare what that person’s going to have to pay out of his pocket versus a working family of four, it’s really bent on one direction. And so the governor’s plan is a good start. It is courageous. He does have inclusions from everyone. But, just for example, mining taxes haven’t been looked at in decades, and all he plans on generating from that is an additional $12 million. But you look at alcohol taxes alone, and that’s $40 million. So we’re going to be bringing in over three and a half times more in alcohol taxes than we are in mining taxes. And if we’re going to open up mining taxes, we need to seriously look at, “Is this going to be fair in comparison to where we’re gathering money from people in other ways?”TOWNSEND: When you’re talking about the total package and raising revenue, what about the budget cuts to fill this $3.5 billion budget gap? What else do you think needs to be looked at as far as cutting?TUCK: Well, there’s a lot of megaprojects that Alaska, right now, can’t afford the five megaprojects going forward. I know right now, for example, the Susitna Dam. It’s something I’ve always supported. I support hydro projects. That is a renewable energy in my mind. But then, when you look at some of the power generation projects that we have going through the state, especially in Southcentral Alaska, a lot of natural gas facilities just got built, so maybe now’s not the time to do that since the price of gas is so low, and we’ve already met the needs, with a little bit of extra capacity, in the most recent years.TOWNSEND: Democrats have introduced dueling bills: One to limit the session to 90 days and one to move it back to 120 days. What’s your opinion? Is 90 days long enough?TUCK: Obviously, last year 90 days was not enough. There’s questions about whether this year 90 days is going to be enough. We have a, right now, constitutional limit of 120 days. I can tell you that when I first got elected, I fell underneath the 90 day session, and it was the first year that that that initiative took action. And it’s like cramming for finals every day of the week. I mean, you’re really moving under a 90 day session, and it is difficult to build relationships and to have the necessary dialogue to have good policy. So, there’s a balance. I like that its statute is 90 days, but if we need to go over, we do have it for 120 days. Again, we’re a nonbinding caucus, so that’s the reason we have different opinions coming from our caucus, because people vote their conscious on that. So, it all depends on if we can get more work done in the interim; I do support the 90 days.Chris Tuck is the minority leader in the House. Tune in tomorrow for a conversation with Senate President Kevin Meyer.
Facebook and Cambridge Analytica suffer backlash following data breach claims Facebook, earlier in the month added much needed dark mode feature to its messenger app and while we wait for the same in the WhatsApp, the former has brought in a new value-added feature, which will definitely further enhance the chatting user-experience.In the recently released firmware update, Facebook Messenger has introduced the direct quote-reply feature in a group chat similar to what we do on the WhatsApp group chat.Here’s how the Facebook new reply feature works on group chat: For instance, if you are in group chat discussing a topic on Facebook Messenger and one of the members mentions something interesting and you want directly reply to him/her without breaking the ongoing discussion, you will find direct reply option, there you can either put reaction emoji or exchange texts directly. WhatsApp and Facebook messenger icons are seen on an iPhone.REUTERS/Phil NobleThe new update also comes with a new feature that allows the user to see their friends’ Messenger Stories and vice-versa right inside the chat thread.These new additions will improve user-experience on Facebook Messenger and also suggests that the company is on its way to integrate all three of its services—WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger. Though they will remain independent apps, users will be able cross-message or video chat on all three without any hassle.So, WhatsApp users can expect the much awaited dark mode on their favourite messaging app any time soon.In a related development, Facebook and its subsidiary WhatsApp have announced to delete poll campaign ads and any multimedia content that violates the code of conduct ahead of upcoming Lok Sabha 2019 election.Besides the aforementioned companies, Google, Twitter, ShareChat and ByteDance have also part of the social media companies’ delegation meet chaired by the Indian Election Commission (EC) and have pledged to follow voluntary code conduct. They have agreed to delete any objectionable content from their sites within three hours of notice from the EC during the 48-hour silent period before the polling starts. Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp will be deeply integrated for users to easily message friends on multiple apps without any hassle.KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty ImagesFurthermore, WhatsApp in collaboration in collaboration with National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) Foundation announced to work on improving digital literacy among youth in the country to curb the spread of the misinformation.Also, WhatsApp is testing reverse image testing on Google browser for users to see whether the forwarded message they received is genuine or fake.The general election will be conducted in seven phases, starting from April 11 and continue till May 19, whereas the counting of votes will be held on May 23. Close
Man killed in Rajbari ‘gunfight’A suspected robber was killed in a ‘gunfight’ with police in Ongkurpur area of Baliakandi, Rajbari early Monday says UNB.The deceased is Badu Sheikh, 40, resident of Gobinadapur village and an accused in seven robbery cases.Hasina Begum, officer-in-charge of Baliakandi police station, said on information that a gang of robbers was taking preparation for committing robbery, a team of police conducted a drive in the area under Jangal union.When the team reached the spot, the gang members opened fire on them, forcing them to fire back, triggering the gunfight which left Badu dead on the spot.Police also recovered some arms from the spot.
Shelby KnowlesGov. Greg Abbott speaks with reporters after voting early in the constitutional amendment election Wednesday at the Travis County Courthouse.Days before Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the scene that played out among the Greater Arlington Missionary Baptist Church’s wooden pews was, in some ways, reminiscent of the civil rights movement from decades before.Civil rights activists and social justice advocates had gathered last week to plan a protest. They talked about the fight for equity and the importance of standing up for their community. And they discussed the role of a collective voice to draw attention to the grievances laid out by the NAACP’s Arlington branch over the selection of Gov. Greg Abbott as the North Texas MLK parade’s honorary grand marshal.Abbott “has done more to damage and undermine African-American and Latino civil and voter rights” than any modern-day governor, the NAACP-Arlington said. It pointed, in part, to the role of Abbott, a former attorney general, in both defending and advocating for redistricting maps and strict voter ID requirements that have been tangled up in court for years over concerns they discriminate against Texans of color.Abbott’s response to that criticism came in a tweet, saying that the parade would be a “worthy celebration” and that he served as governor for all Texans. “I’m a Christian, I’ve committed my life to ensuring justice, I come in peace,” Abbott wrote.But amid the controversy surrounding Abbott’s selection, sponsors had backed out of the parade, leaving organizers tens of thousands of dollars short of the necessary funds for an event permit, and Abbott’s parade appearance was over before it began.While some criticized the local NAACP for shunning the governor, those at the church celebrated the turn of events, joining hands and singing a popular freedom song with a slight adjustment: “Go and tell the governor, we shall not be moved. Go and tell the governor, we shall not be moved. Just like a tree that’s planted by the water. We shall not be moved.”The controversy over the MLK parade could very well be chalked up to a local dust-up. But it is also emblematic of the scrutiny Abbott has faced as the high-profile court battles over the validity of some of the state’s electoral measures near their seventh year of litigation. In both cases, Texas is risking a return to federal oversight of its election laws. Such an outcome would only intensify the scrutiny of Abbott, who has had an outsized role in advising on, defending and advancing measures that could ultimately be struck down as discriminatory.“Greg Abbott as attorney general was the mastermind of both a failed redistricting plan that has intentionally discriminated against minority voters, and he was also the chief architect of clearing a voter ID proposal that was also found to be discriminatory,” said former state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, a Democrat who served as the chair of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, a plaintiff in lawsuits against both measures. “The fact that he’s governor now doesn’t give him an escape from liability or responsibility for setting that tone.”Abbott’s tenure as attorney general — the the state’s top lawyer — overlapped with the 2011 legislative session, when Republican lawmakers redrew the maps of congressional and state House and Senate districts to shore up their control of the state. That same year, they also passed what would be considered one of the nation’s strictest voter ID laws.As AG, Abbott — whose office did not respond to multiple requests for comment for this story — was not responsible for passing either measure. But he advised lawmakers as they considered the maps and voter ID requirements, ultimately giving the measures his legal blessings.Since then, numerous court rulings have found that the state ran afoul of the Constitution or federal voting protections for voters of color in enacting both measures. Pointing to those rulings, opponents have argued that Abbott is behind some of the most egregious legal advice given to the Legislature.Abbott’s team has more recently downplayed his advisory role in drawing up the embattled legislation. But after the 2011 legislative session, his office asked the Department of Justice and a special three-judge panel in Washington, D.C., to greenlight the new voter ID law and the redrawn maps. Back then, the state was still required by the Voting Rights Act to obtain federal approval of changes to its election laws, a safeguard for minority voting rights called preclearance.But Abbott was unable to speedily obtain preclearance from the DOJ and the D.C. court, which determined that Texas had not proved the measures would not discriminate against voters of color. And the cases — and Abbott’s involvement — would only grow more complicated as he continued to defend the state against legal challenges back home.In 2012, amid legal squabbling on the redistricting front ahead of an election, a federal three-judge panel in San Antonio ordered interim maps for congressional and state House districts. The parties in the case were instructed to negotiate fixes to potential legal violations in the maps while deferring to lawmakers’ preferences in the original boundaries.Abbott’s office “agreed to a number of fixes” to the maps and didn’t appeal that interim plan to the U.S. Supreme Court — a move that reflected Texas’ “willingness to some degree to increase minority voting strength,” said Nina Perales, vice president of litigation for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and one of the attorneys who has represented plaintiffs suing the state in both cases.The court at the time warned that the interim maps were still subject to revision. But Abbott in 2013 urged state leaders and lawmakers to adopt the interim maps because that would “insulate the state’s redistricting plans from further legal challenge,” Abbott wrote in a letter to House Speaker Joe Straus that’s often referred to in the litigation. When the Legislature gaveled out that May without acting on the maps, it was at Abbott’s urging that then-Gov. Rick Perry immediately called lawmakers back to approve the maps during a special session.The AG’s office has since defended the controversial redistricting maneuver, saying it was only acting on maps the court itself had approved. But federal judges who spurned the state’s defense of the 2013 move last year were critical of Abbott’s strategy and his belief that “any discriminatory intent and effects remaining in the 2013 plans, however harmful, would be safe from challenge.”“This strategy is discriminatory at this heart and should not insulate either plan from review,” the judges wrote.Last year, Abbott spokesman John Wittman said the governor had “no concerns whatsoever” about rulings against the state that are still being appealed. Instead, he said Democratic lawmakers were “seeking to undo legislative decisions they disagree with by turning to activist judges” and accused Democrats of fueling the voting rights dispute with “phony cries of racism.”The U.S. Supreme Court could have the final word on the issue this year. The high court announced last week it would hear the state’s appeal of the three-judge panel’s findings of intentional discrimination by state lawmakers, unconstitutional racial gerrymandering and violations of the Voting Rights Act.The voter ID case ran on a different timeline, but Abbott was still key to its implementation.Minutes after the 2013 announcement that the U.S. Supreme Court was axing the portion of the Voting Rights Act that required Texas to obtain preclearance of its election laws, Abbott tweeted that the state’s voter ID law should go into effect immediately.His office continued to defend the law in court as Abbott began his campaign for governor that summer. A district judge in Corpus Christi would eventually rule in 2014 that not only did the law have a racially discriminatory impact but that lawmakers had crafted it to intentionally discriminate against voters of colors who were less likely to have the required IDs to vote.Abbott’s successor, Ken Paxton, inherited the litigation the following year as the case made its way through the appellate process at the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. A three-judge panel and then the full 5th Circuit, which is considered to be among the country’s most conservative appellate courts, eventually ruled that Texas lawmakers discriminated against voters of color by enacting the 2011 law.The case made its way back to the lower court, where a federal judge drew up a temporary fix to the law for the 2016 elections. Abbott re-emerged as a key player in the state’s legal strategy during last year’s legislative session when lawmakers again hoped to adopt an interim fix amid ongoing litigation but were up against a series of bill-killing deadlines. Just an hour before a key deadline, Abbott issued an emergency declaration that helped push the voter ID legislation onto the House calendar for a crucial vote to adopt the legislation.The 5th Circuit is now considering whether lawmakers discriminated on purpose in crafting the 2011 bill and what the Legislature’s 2017 revisions mean for the litigation.Almost seven years and millions of dollars in legal fees later, the two cases are still far from being resolved. But with multiple findings of intentional discrimination by lawmakers now under consideration, the specter of a return to federal preclearance has extended the close examination of lawmakers’ actions to Abbott’s role in advising on and defending the measures that could land Texas there.After nixing the portion of the Voting Rights Act that required federal oversight of Texas’ election laws, the Supreme Court left open the possibility that future, purposeful discrimination could require states to face federal supervision of new election laws.Legal experts have said Texas is near the top of the list of those most at risk of being put back under preclearance, though they add that persuading a majority of the high court to put Texas back under preclearance wouldn’t be easy.As the cases continue to go through the legal system, it appears that Abbott — like other Republicans — is likely to continue benefiting politically from the litigation in spite of criticism from groups like the Arlington NAACP.“I certainly understand why it is politically that he would support both the Republican redistricting plan and the voter ID plan,” said former Republican state Rep. Todd Smith who served in the Legislature for more than a decade. “He is a Republican and so the allegations that they’re making against him are allegations that could be made against any Republican.”Recent polling by The University of Texas and the Texas Tribune showed that 47 percent of Texans do not believe the state’s election system discriminates against racial and ethnic minorities. Among Republicans, that figure goes up to 78 percent.Smith, who supported both the redistricting maps and the voter ID bill in 2011, says he experienced Republicans’ political affinity toward the voter ID debate when he unsuccessfully attempted in 2009 to author less severe voter ID legislation. Despite virtually no evidence that in-person voter fraud is rampant as Republicans leaders have espoused for years, the divisive issue motivated Republicans because of its viability on the campaign trail, Smith said.“There’s just no downside,” Smith said. Share
The Red Wolf is a canine species native to the Southwestern United States. It was declared extinct in the wild in 1980. Extinction came from many causes, ranging from loss of habitat from human expansion, to over hunting by humans to protect livestock. In an attempt to revive some of the genetic characteristics that were disappearing due to the breeding programs used by conservationists, several groups of captive wolves were reintroduced into the wild.Red WolfGenetic traits can be lost when animals are bred in captivity due to the lack of pressure from the environment, which leads to an increase in genetic drift.Many within the scientific and conservationist communities believed that the reintroduced populations were the only groups that survived in the wild. In 2007, it was thought that there were roughly 300 red wolves in the world, with 207 of those in captivity.USFWS worker with red wolf pups, August 2002.In January of 2019, this number was estimated to be around 40 in the wild, and limits were placed upon hunting of coyotes at night because red wolves can be mistaken for coyotes.It turns out that the genetic traits which appear in red wolves haven’t totally died out in the wild, however. Completely by chance, it was found that the red wolf wasn’t the only species that had certain genetic traits.Melanistic individual at Audubon Park, New Orleans (1931). Photo by Stanley Clisby Arthur CC BY SA 3.0Ron Wooten, a field biologist in Galveston, Texas contacted researchers at Princeton University to bring their attention to wild dogs he had observed to exhibit some of the traits of red wolves.Wooten had been studying the wild dogs from afar and had noted that the population had subtle differences from the standard coyotes in the area.Comparative image of the red wolf (C. rufus) & the coyote (C. latrans). Photo by Red Wolf Recovery Program/ Jitze Couperus/B. Bartel/USFWS CC BY 2.0These differences piqued Wooten’s interest, and he decided to take samples from two members of the wild dog population which had been hit by vehicles. Wooten then emailed the team at Princeton, letting them know that he had DNA samples for them to examine.The team agreed, and two samples were sent to the lab. Elizabeth Heppenheimer, a graduate student working at Princeton, said that somehow what arrived was one sample and the scalpel used to get the sample, still uncleaned. This was a first for them, as among their massive collection of samples from coyotes and wolves, the team had never received a scalpel before.Skulls of North American Canis, with red wolf in the center.After taking the samples of DNA, the team compared the DNA to many different types of canines throughout the Southeastern United States. After careful comparisons, they found that the genetics of this species of wild dogs was very closely related to red wolves that were being kept in captivity.The comparison wasn’t identical, however, and the team stated that the wild dogs did have sections of their genetic code which matched parts of coyote DNA.Ussuri dhole (Cuon alpinus alpinus), also known as the Indian wild dog.The truly fascinating thing about this discovery is that many traits which had practically disappeared in the captive population of wolves were thriving out in the wild among this population of wild dogs.For conservationists who were worried that these traits would die out, there would be another moment of good news. This discovery was mirrored by one in Louisiana where another group of canines was found with similar traits.Reported by AP, Ron Sutherland, a conservation scientist with Wildlands Network, said “the Galveston canines have effectively quashed a decades-old impression that red wolves were a feckless predator overwhelmed by the numerical superiority of coyotes.”Sutherland also talked about how this was a unique form of canine that needed to be protected by conservationists and wildlife agencies.Read another story from us: Extinct Predator Cave Lions Could be Brought Back to LifeBecause of several instances where traits of endangered species have turned up in hybrid animals, many scientists and conservationists have come around to the idea that pure genetic lines are no longer a priority, as hybrid genetics are allowing traits to be continued in the wild.
Wednesday, November 16, 2016 “The winter months are a great time to explore Europe, offering unique experiences, smaller crowds and more bang for your loonie,” says Sheralyn Berry, Director of Sales for Contiki Canada. “I am extremely excited to introduce ‘Sexy Winter Man’ to our trade partners – he’s not only a looker, but we hope that his videos will encourage clients to get out to Europe and heat up the sexiest season with 15% off our most popular winter European trips!”One such itinerary that personifies ‘Sexy Winter Man’ is the Western Rocker trip, which starts in Rome, parades through Switzerland and France before arriving in London. Spending two glorious days in Switzerland, winter enthusiasts will have the opportunity to frolic in the Swiss Alps and bounce out with endless vigor – from spotting traditional horn players to savouring a Swiss fondue lunch.11 of Contiki’s most popular winter Europe trips are included in the new campaign, including the 25-day ‘Winter Wanderer’, the 13-day ‘Mediterranean Highlights’, and the 10-day ‘European Magic’.For more information go to contiki.com. TORONTO —As the season of oversized parkas and thermal underwear, winter can hardly be considered a time to dress provocatively. But Contiki is hoping to change Old Man Winter’s image with the launch of an exciting new Europe campaign.Dubbed ‘Sexy Winter Man’, the campaign (contiki.com/ca/en/sexywinter) offers 15% off Contiki’s most popular European trips when clients book by Jan. 15, 2017. As the holiday season approaches, agents will also have the chance to win weekly prizes, including a holiday lunch and a night out to the movies for two.Agents can enter through several ways:Share the campaign on their own social media channels by using #sexywinterman and #contiki;Post a photo wearing an ugly Christmas sweater and incorporate Contiki messaging on Contiki’s Travel Agent Facebook page;Post a photo of them building a Contiki Gingerbread house on Contiki’s Travel Agent Facebook page;Create a Contiki Christmas jingle and share it on Contiki’s Travel Agent Facebook page;Any Contiki Winter Europe booking will be an automatic entry to win. Posted by Travelweek Group Share << Previous PostNext Post >> Contiki is bringing ‘sexy’ back to winter with new campaign Tags: Contiki, Millennial Travel
Wednesday, July 18, 2018 Tags: Avalon Waterways, Deals, Europe << Previous PostNext Post >> TORONTO — Savings abound this fall season with Avalon Waterways, but only if clients book by July 24.The cruise line has announced a host of savings on a select number of European river cruises departing between September and December 2018.The offer includes free scheduled air on flights from Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa, while clients from other gateways receive a special $299 fare.Moreover, clients will enjoy a $1,200 savings per couple off the regular price of these cruises if booked by July 24.Select cruises range from eight to 21 days on the Danube, Rhine and Moselle rivers, and some include land extensions to London.For more information go to agentlingo.ca. Share Posted by Avalon announces free air & savings on select river cruises Travelweek Group
Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Comments Share New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Police said that they had briefly detained more than 40 people, but that there was no unrest despite threats of violence. Last year, extremists threw bottles and rocks at participants, drawing international condemnation.The crowd walked along a route that was fenced off by the police, while a helicopter flew overhead and a water cannon was parked nearby.Participants urged more rights for Croatia’s gays and lesbians. “We want to be equal, we want equality for our families,” activist Mirjana Kucer told the gathering.“We have to stand in defense of every person in Croatia, and let them be whatever she or he wants to be,” Minister for Foreign Affairs Vesna Pusic, t. “People should have the freedom and right to be what they want. And no one should persecute, attack, beat and discriminate them just because of what they want to be.”Local police chief Ivica Tolusic said police were “more than pleased” that the event had passed without incident.Also Saturday, a march in support of the Split event was held in the northern Adriatic port of Rijeka, where some 300 people took part.Anti-gay violence is common in the conservative Balkans. A pride event was cancelled in Serbia last year over extremist threats, while hundreds were injured during a march in 2010. The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Top Stories SPLIT, Croatia (AP) – Riot police watched on as several hundred people, including some government ministers, marched unhindered through the Croatian town of Split on Saturday, many carrying flags and banners reading “Gay is OK” and “We are all equal.”Authorities had pledged to secure the pride event as a sign of determination to protect gay and other human rights ahead of joining the European Union in 2013. Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk No pride events were ever held in Bosnia or Montenegro, while in Croatia, the first pride gathering took place ten years ago in the capital of Zagreb.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements