Legislation Permits Province To Sue Tobacco Companies

first_imgLegislation that would allow Nova Scotia to attempt to recover millions of dollars in health-care costs for tobacco-related illnesses, was introduced today, Oct. 13, by Justice Minister Michael Baker. The Tobacco Damages and Health-care Costs Recovery Act is similar to legislation in British Columbia, which was recently declared constitutional by the Supreme Court of Canada. All nine justices sided with British Columbia against an appeal launched by the tobacco industry. “This legislation is all about holding the industry accountable for the huge sums of taxpayer dollars spent to fight lung cancer and related illnesses,” said Mr. Baker. “More than 1,600 Nova Scotians die each year from smoking-related illnesses, another 200 from second-hand smoke. The tobacco industry must bear financial responsibility for that devastation.” Mr. Baker said it costs $170 million a year in direct medical costs to treat smoking-related illnesses. He added that the proposed legislation supports the province’s strategy to decrease the number of youths and adults who smoke. “Going after big tobacco companies is the logical next step,” said Mr. Baker. “It supports what we’ve done with tobacco taxes, the Smoke-Free Places Act, award-winning advertising and community treatment and cessation programs.” The province will assign a team of lawyers to prepare a case that would form the basis of any future legal action.last_img read more

Con Artists Profit from Getrich Quick Schemes

first_imgThe Nova Scotia Securities Commission today, Aug. 23, released its annual list of financial products and practices that can trap unwary investors, many by taking advantage of investors troubled by economic uncertainty and volatile markets. “Con artists follow the news and seek ways to exploit the headlines to their advantage while leaving investors holding an empty bag,” said Scott Peacock, director of enforcement at Nova Scotia Securities Commission. “Promoters often offer investors an opportunity to get in on the ‘ground floor’ of new technology or ideas to help others and make a great economic return. “Unsuspecting investors can be lured into these schemes, especially if they sound familiar or mirror what is being reported in the news. These offerings require careful research and a strong reminder that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is not true, nor will it be profitable to anyone but the promoter.” The North American Securities Administrators Association, of which the Nova Scotia Securities Commission is a member, compiled a list of the top threats to investors. In products, people should be wary of energy investments, gold and precious metal investments, and promissory notes. In practices, the most popular traps are in affinity fraud, bogus or exaggerated credentials, mirror trading, private placements and securities and investment advice offered by unregistered agents. Mr. Peacock urged investors to learn the warning signs of investment fraud and independently verify any investment opportunity and the background of the person and company offering the investment. He reminded investors that while the securities commission cannot provide advice, it can provide background information about those who sell securities or give investment advice, as well as about the products being offered. “Investors should do business only with registered investment advisers and should report any suspicion of investment fraud to us,” Mr. Peacock said. For more information on how to protect yourself from investment fraud, visit www.beforeyouinvest.ca or call 1-855-424-2499.last_img read more

Security breach compromises payment card information for Trump Hotel guests

first_imgA security breach has compromised payment card and other information for those who made reservations at 14 Trump Hotel locations, including those in Toronto and Vancouver, over more than half a year.A notice posted on the Trump Hotels website says the breach affected the systems of Sabre Hospitality Solutions, which provides booking services.The luxury hotel chain says it was notified early last month that an unauthorized party had gained access to data for some of its reservations between Aug. 10, 2016 and March 9 of this year.Those include bookings made at the Toronto hotel between Nov. 18 and 21 of last year and at the Vancouver location between Nov. 8 and 19 of last year.The company says the data include cardholder name, payment card number, card expiration date and potentially card security code.It says that in some cases, the breach also included guest name, email, phone number, address, and other information but not social security number, passport and driver’s licence number.The hotel says it apologizes for the inconvenience and urges anyone who made reservations during those times to monitor their accounts for unauthorized activity and contact law enforcement if necessary.last_img read more

Tesla knocks 1100 off price of the Model 3

DETROIT — Tesla is cutting $1,100 from the base price of its car designed for the mass market, the Model 3.The electric car company now says on its website that the car starts at $42,900, still a ways from its goal of lowering the base price to $35,000.Tesla cut 7 per cent of its workforce last month to trim costs and reduce the price of the car. CEO Elon Musk says the Model 3 must be competitive with gasoline-fueled cars for the company to succeed.For $42,900 buyers will get a rear-wheel-drive Model 3 in black with Tesla’s lower-range battery that goes 264 miles per charge.The price doesn’t include federal and state tax credits. The federal credit is now $3,750, but that expires at the end of the year.The Associated Press

UN experts denounce ongoing detention of Chinese human rights lawyer

23 December 2011A group of independent United Nations experts today denounced the continued secret detention of Chinese human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, who was arrested in 2006 for allegedly spotlighting abuses in his country. The experts, who report to the UN Human Rights Council, issued a news release voicing concern at a recent decision by a Beijing court to withdraw Mr. Gao’s five-year probation, which was to end this week. The court ordered Mr. Gao, whose whereabouts have been unknown for the last 20 months, to serve a three-year sentence. “It is alarming that Mr. Gao continues to be arbitrarily detained,” stated El Hadji Malick Sow, Chair-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, which issued an opinion in 2010 declaring Mr. Gao’s detention arbitrary as it lacked any legal basis. “His detention over the years has resulted in various human rights violations, including his fundamental right to a fair trial. I urge the authorities to release Mr. Gao,” the Rapporteur added. Mr. Gao has been charged with subversion of State power, although this has never been proven in a court of law, according to the news release. In 2005 his licence to practice law was revoked and his firm shut down allegedly in response to his call for the Government to end abuse of religious groups. “Under no circumstances should Mr. Gao be subjected to attacks, including arbitrary detention, aimed at preventing him from exercising his legitimate right to freedom of expression as a human rights lawyer,” Frank La Rue, the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, stated. During his probation, Mr. Gao has been secretly detained multiple times, and there are concerns regarding his health. The experts said it is unclear why Mr. Gao is to serve his sentence when his probation was about to end. “His detention in an unknown location is an enforced disappearance and a crime under international law,” said Jeremy Sarkin, Chair-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, which will continue to keep a close eye on his case. Also voicing her concern was Margaret Sekaggya, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, who stressed that States should ensure a conducive working environment for human rights defenders that is free from persecution and judicial harassment. read more

UNESCO chief stresses need for innovation to ensure equitable education

“Progress is more than a question of money – it is all about matching. Matching capacity with needs,” Irina Bokova, the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organizations (UNESCO), told delegates at the Global Summit for Education Ministers under way in London.“This means making the most of innovation, notably in technology. It means building innovative partnerships with the private sector, such as through the Global Alliance of Corporate Partners for Education that we are aiming to establish this year,” Ms. Bokova told the forum, whose theme is ‘Learning from the Best for a World of Change.’She underlined the need to make education a “transformational power for human dignity,” as well as for social, economic and political change.“In times of economic uncertainty, this message has never been so important,” Ms. Bokova added.The younger generation required an education that equips them with modern skills and utilizes new technologies for the labour market, she said.“Technology can be a powerful education multiplier – but, for this, it must be integrated into learning and accompanied by new teaching styles. In many countries, this calls for a profound shift towards more interactive, project-based learning,” she said.She pointed out that UNESCO is working to improve the skills of teachers and to promote competency standards through its ‘Information and Communication Technology Competency Framework for Teachers’ project, which sets guidelines to help educators develop skills to make the best use of technology for improved learning.“Research shows that the success in using information and communication technologies in education depends largely on the ability of teachers to integrate these technologies into the teaching process,” she said, stressing that the UNESCO framework is a core part of its vision to provide global leadership for teacher training.The framework, which can be downloaded from the UNESCO website, is a collaboration between private sector partners, such as Cisco, Intel and Microsoft, as well the International Society for Technology in Education and experts from the Commonwealth of Learning.“I am convinced public-private partnership is a new form of ‘civilian power’ that will help shape the 21st century,” she said.She also stressed the need to make education build socially stable communities through the promotion of good citizenship and respect for human rights. She announced that UNESCO will next week launch an initiative with the United States on teaching respect for all – a new curriculum on anti-racism and tolerance.On primary school enrolment, Ms. Bokova said that despite an impressive improvement since 2000, the world is still not on track to meet the goal of universal basic education by 2015.There were 67 million children out of primary school in 2007, and a similar number of adolescents out of secondary school. An estimated 793 million adults across the world remain illiterate – two thirds of them women.An additional 1.9 million teachers are needed to achieve universal primary education by 2015, she added. 10 January 2012The head of the United Nations agency tasked with promoting education today underscored the role that information and communications technologies can play in ensuring quality education and equal opportunities to learning even in countries that lag behind because of limited resources. read more

US concerned over human rights abuses

The United States (US) says it continues to be deeply concerned by allegations of violations of international humanitarian law and human rights in Sri Lanka.US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that at the end of the conflict the US supported a full accounting for all who were engaged in acts of violating international humanitarian law. Nuland recalled that the US hopes to introduce its own resolution on Sri Lanka to the Human Rights Council which begins meeting in Geneva next week. (Colombo Gazette) “We also welcome the report by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, noting the strong concern about the Government of Sri Lanka’s lack of action to address these longstanding issues of reconciliation and accountability,” she said.

Reform tops agenda at meeting of six UN system chiefs

The research director of the High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, Stephen Stedman, briefed Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the Presidents of the General Assembly, Security Council, Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Trusteeship Council and the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on its findings yesterday ahead of the public release of its report in December.Panel members, who were in New York for more discussions and who met Mr. Annan today, were to examine current international threats, analyze future challenges and recommend the changes and structures necessary to ensure effective joint action.Major events of the coming year include a review of the efforts poor countries have been making to reduce poverty by achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) agreed on in 2000. It will also be the International Year of Microcredit and the UN’s 60th anniversary. read more

UNArab League Envoy urges fresh talks with besieged Syrians authorities

“It is a matter of deep regret that negotiations were brutally stopped and violence is now rife again when a comprehensive agreement seemed close at hand,” Mr. Brahimi, Joint Special representative of the UN and the League of Arab States, said in a statement to journalists.Recent discussions between the authorities and a Negotiating Committee representing those in the city, as well as inhabitants of the Al-Waer neighbourhood, “were followed with keen interest and great hope by people all over Syria,” Mr. Brahimi noted.The Government Media of Damascus wrote “very positively” about the process, he added.However, the negotiations stalled and violence has since resumed and escalated to what Mr. Brahimi described as “a theatre of death and destruction.” “We have reached out to all those who could help put an end to this tragedy,” he said noting with alarm.In February, some 1,350 men, women and children – more than half of the estimated 2,500 who have suffered the years-long siege – were evacuated from the Old City of Homs, and food moved in as part of a “humanitarian pause,” according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).Under that agreement, women, children and the elderly were allowed out but not men over 15 and under 54 years of age.Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other top UN officials have repeatedly called for a political solution to the conflict, now in its fourth year. They also warned that the conflict is acutely felt by neighbouring countries and could push the entire region into region. Mr. Ban recently appealed to Arab League members – working with Russia, the United States and the UN – to re-energize “Geneva II,” as the most recent Swiss-hosted discussions between the Syrian Government and main opposition group are known.Two rounds of talks earlier this year, the first in January followed by a second round in February, saw both sides sticking to their positions and yielded only modest cooperation on a humanitarian issue related to aid access in the Old City of Homs. read more

More funds needed to cope with 5000 daily refugee arrivals as winter

“UNHCR’s new winter plan anticipates that there could be up to 5,000 arrivals per day from Turkey between November 2015 and February 2016,” the agency said in a press release.The Winterization Plan for the Refugee Crisis in Europe focuses on putting in place measures to support affected countries such as Croatia, Greece, Serbia, Slovenia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, in order to avert the risk of humanitarian tragedy and loss of life during the winter months, according to the agency. UNHCR said it will work on preparing, adapting and upgrading existing shelter and reception facilities for winter and supplying emergency shelters such as family tents, refugee housing units and Rubb halls equipped with heating. Winter clothing and blankets, as well as other essential items for protecting people from the elements, will be included in the aid packages to be distributed to individuals with specific needs, it said.The refugee agency said it will also work to ensure that water supply systems and sanitation facilities do not freeze and provide adequate heated structures for toilets, showers, wash basins and laundry facilities.And because there remain long stretches of roads that refugees and migrants may have to walk, “should government authorities or other partners not be in a position to provide alternative arrangements, as an interim measure, UNHCR said it will consider providing transportation to reception centres to expedite access by refugees and asylum-seekers to assistance and protection services.”“Harsh weather conditions in the region are likely to exacerbate the suffering of the thousands of refugees and migrants landing in Greece and travelling through the Balkans, and may result in further loss of life if adequate measures are not taken urgently,” UNHCR said.The $96.15 million appeal brings UNHCR’s total supplementary requirements to $172,724,529. read more

Paris Beirut terror attacks must not be pretext for slamming shut doors

“How are we to balance security needs and moral and legal obligations to protect refugees and others in need of protection?” Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson asked the informal meeting, which had been scheduled before last week’s attacks, to discuss ways to advance and finance a ‘Comprehensive Response to the Global Humanitarian and Refugee Crisis.’“This balance must be found without giving in on our basic values and without closing the door to those who have already endured tremendous suffering,” he said.“Those who flee this violence should not be punished twice – first by war or oppressive forces which persecute them at home. And, second, by unjust, dangerous stigma which even shockingly associate the refugees with their attackers. The refugees, if any, understand better than anyone the barbaric cruelty of violent extremism.”General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft also addressed the security issue, which has seen calls after the attacks for limiting refugee access lest terrorist infiltrate among them.“In no way do those attacks reduce the moral and legal obligations of the international community towards displaced people,” he stressed. “On the contrary, they serve to underline even further why so many people are risking their lives to secure international protection and why we – the international community – must not fail them, for a second time.”Mr. Eliasson noted that not since the end of the Second World War have so many people – more than 60 million – been forcibly displaced around the world.“We face the challenge of saving lives and protecting the persecuted and the vulnerable – the children, women and men who have fled bombardment and death and unbearable conditions at home as well as those who are now falling prey to unscrupulous criminal traffickers,” he said. “The recent terrorist attacks are urgent reminders of the need for migration and refugee flows to be managed properly and with respect for humanitarian and refugee law as well as for human rights. Our most effective response to these attacks is to stand even firmer in our humanistic and humanitarian resolve and ensure openness and protection to those in desperate need.”Turning to the meeting’s principal goal of dealing with the overall humanitarian and refugee crisis, Mr. Eliasson stressed the vital need for financing. “The gap between humanitarian needs and available funds has never been higher that it is today,” he stressed.He praised the continued resilience of host communities to refugees – from Kenya, Ethiopia to Pakistan, from Iraq and Iran to Bangladesh, from Greece, Italy, Germany and Sweden to Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and beyond. “These are some of the countries taking on more than their share of a global responsibility. It is time for the world to show greater solidarity and come together in a global compact to provide support, protection and asylum,” he declared.“Let me admit that our current policies do not rise to the challenge before us. The challenge will not be met by sealing borders, building fences, or taking a strict security approach to the movement of refugees and migrants. Instead, we must expand safe and legal paths to safety that put middlemen and traffickers out of business.”He called for better reception centres and claims processing, creative solutions to find sufficient places of refuge through resettlement, private sponsorship, humanitarian visas, family reunification and other means, and more opportunities for local integration and access for refugees to job markets.History shows that migrants and refugees bring to their communities social, cultural and economic enrichment and play a key role in remittances sent home for development. “Raising awareness of these positive contributions and countering hateful and xenophobic speech is a moral duty, but also a matter of global economic and social growth,” he stressed. He also called for more preventive measures, investing more in cooling tensions before they erupt into full-blown crises, and highlighted the urgency of developing a new global compact for human mobility based on fairly sharing responsibility, a call echoed by Mr. Lykketoft, who said the crisis requires short, medium and long-term action to tackle the root causes of displacement.“Resolving conflicts, preventing violent extremism and supporting long-term development are central aspects of this comprehensive response,” he added, calling for additional steps to protect the displaced, predictable and adequate financing for humanitarian action, and support for those countries bearing the greatest burden in this global crisis.In her remarks, Helen Clark, Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) recalled that on 9 November, she had opened a Resilience Development Forum, for the Syria crisis convened by UNDP and hosted by the Government of Jordan.This Forum brought together a wide range of partners responding to the crisis to discuss the lessons learned and to chart the way forward for the resilience-based approach. “I urge the international community to explore ways to increase support for these approaches. It is important to support the capacity of national and local authorities in host countries to lead and co-ordinate effective responses to crises, and to increase private sector engagement in the recovery and development processes,” she said.Further, just last week, Miss Clark participated in the Valletta Summit on Migration in Malta, which brought together European and African Heads of State and Government in an effort to strengthen co-operation and address the current challenges, but also the opportunities of migration. “I was pleased to note the commitment of countries of origin, transit and destination to find durable solutions to address the root causes of displacement,” she added. “In conclusion, let me reaffirm UNDP’s commitment to step up its efforts in support of durable solutions to host communities and countries which are bearing the greatest burden and to look at how the people within countries in the epicentre of a crisis, like the nineteen million Syrians still in Syria, can be supported,” she said, stressing that the longer term answers lie in building peaceful and inclusive societies which offer people the opportunity and security they need for sustainable development. read more

Commentary Gator Bowl doesnt matter

Maybe I’m a pessimist, but the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl doesn’t matter for the Ohio State football team. The Jan. 2 game against the University of Florida is just the season finale of a sub-par drama. You see, bowl games normally have some combination of three purposes at OSU: 1. They’re a celebration for a successful regular season and a chance to send the seniors out on a happy note. 2. They can give momentum to the players returning for the next season and build excitement for what’s to come the following year. 3. They bring notoriety to the program. For the Buckeyes, the Gator Bowl matchup doesn’t have any purpose. By normal OSU standards, the season was a failure. The team has already lost as many games (six) in the 2011-12 season than they have in the previous three years combined. For the first time since 2003, OSU lost to arch-rival Michigan. And, the season was riddled with scandals and suspensions. This season isn’t one to celebrate. It’s one to forget. Even if the Buckeyes win, any momentum the team builds will be about as useful as a refrigerator in the arctic as OSU prepares to enter the 2012-13 season with a postseason ban. And no offense to the Gator Bowl, but let’s call this game what it is. It’s a matchup between two normally elite programs going through a transition stage put together because of OSU’s recent hire of Florida’s former coach, Urban Meyer. Whichever school wins this game will shove the trophy in the back of its trophy case behind its BCS hardware. Fans are feeling the same way. Ticket sales have been sluggish for both teams, but multiple reports have claimed that travel packages for the bowl game are selling slower than at any time in recent memory. The fact is, fans don’t want to celebrate the season either. Most of them wish OSU had self-imposed a bowl ban this year so the program could have avoided a ban next year when the Meyer era began. I’m sure people will tune into the game, I’m sure the players will play hard and I’m sure many of the coaches going into their final game on staff will do their best to make the best out of a bad situation. But at the end of the day, the outcome and the game itself is meaningless. read more

Metropolitan Police making excuses over report into Carl Beech investigation

“We are not considering withholding any material because it may be ­embarrassing or critical of the MPS.“No decisions on final redactions have been made and as indicated we will need to consult with affected ­parties so that they can make their ­representation to us.”But Sir Richard said decisions on what to release should have already been made and timed to coincide with the end of Beech’s trial.He said: “They have had the report for long enough and really ought to have been ready. So much of the material was made public at the trial … there really should not be further delays.”It came as Robert Buckland, the New Justice Secretary, backed a campaign by singer Sir Cliff Richard and DJ Paul Gambaccini calling for sex offence suspects to remain anonymous until charged, according to a report. Scotland yard has claimed it cannot publish the unredacted report into its handling of Operation Midland because to do so could reveal covert policing methods and help criminals.However, the author of the report, Sir Richard Henriques, on Wednesday night insisted there was nothing in his 491-page dossier that would compromise undercover tactics, and accused the Metropolitan Police of making excuses.The force has come under mounting pressure to publish the full report following last week’s conviction of Carl Beech, the fantasist whose allegations led to the Met’s disastrous 18-month investigation into a VIP paedophile ring.Operation Midland was launched in November 2014 after Beech told officers he had been raped and tortured by a gang, who had also murdered three young boys in the late Seventies.After describing him as “credible and true”, the Met raided the homes of Lord Bramall, the former head of the Army; Lord Brittan, the former home
 secretary, and Harvey Proctor, the ­former Tory MP. Last week, Beech was jailed for 18 years and Lord Bramall, Lady Brittan and Mr Proctor, the principal victims of his lies, have since called for Sir Richard’s full report to be made public.But in a statement on Wednesday night, ­Scotland Yard suggested doing so could breach data protection laws and also help other criminals escape justice. 
A spokesman said: “Our considerations regarding publication include whether each of the numerous pieces of ­personal information contained within the report are suitable for publication or continues to fall within the protections afforded to individuals by the Data Protection Act, GDPR or the ­Sexual Offences Amendments Act.“We are also considering whether any descriptions of covert police ­methodology and tactics could assist criminals to evade justice … additionally some of the material in the report is subject to legal privilege.”But speaking to The Telegraph, Sir Richard said there was nothing he could think of in the report that could possibly jeopardise police tactics.He said: “I am racking my brains ­trying to think of what possible covert methodology they are referring to. There were no secret bugs or undercover officers. If you consider the length of time between the alleged ­offences and the investigation, it was more than 30 years, what possible covert tactics could they be talking about? “There may be some areas that would need to be taken out because I looked at a number of other investigations and some information is not in the public domain, but that only constituted a tiny proportion of the … report.” But the investigation collapsed ­without a single arrest and Beech was charged with perverting the course of justice for inventing his claims.The Met asked Sir Richard, a retired High Court judge, to conduct a thorough review into its handling of the investigation, and a heavily redacted version of his report was published on the day of the US election in 2016. 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. The move, reported by the Times, was welcomed by Daniel Janner QC, son of the late Lord Janner of Braunstone QC, and founder of pressure group Falsely Accused Individuals for Reform (Fair).The newspaper reported Mr Buckland as saying those with reputations to protect should remain anonymous while suggesting anonymity would be less justifiable for those of worse character.He told the paper: “Let’s say you are a reputable local business person who is accused of fraud. “Your good name is going to be really undermined by this mere accusation.”That might be a meritorious case for anonymity.”But he added: “Let’s say you are a person with a list of previous convictions.”You’ve committed offences.”There is intelligence out there that suggests that other victims might come forward.”Is that a case where anonymity should be automatic?”But Chris Henley, chairman of the Criminal Bar Association, told the paper: “The law must be applied equally whoever you are. Money and apparent status should never be a card that can be played by the powerful to hide behind.”  Sir Cliff Richard has backed a campaign calling for sex offence suspects to remain anonymous   Sir Cliff Richard has backed a campaign calling for sex offence suspects to remain anonymous  Earlier this week Sir Richard ­suggested that some of the officers ­involved in Operation Midland could have broken the law when they applied for warrants to search homes.The former lawyer, who prosecuted the serial killer Harold Shipman and the boys who murdered the toddler James Bulger, said he believed the detectives had misled a district judge when applying for the warrants, because they insisted Beech’s testimony had been consistent, when it had not.His criticism of the officers’ role in obtaining the search warrants was one of 43 mistakes he identified. But so far only around 20 per cent of his findings have been put into the public domain.A Met spokesman confirmed that the force was considering whether more of the report could now be published, but said they had to balance a number of legal and moral issues and no final ­decision had yet been made.The spokesman said: “The report includes some very graphic allegations of sexual abuse. Whilst we recognise some of these are in the public domain already we are also mindful that, as these are now known to be false allegations, we would need to consult with the parties affected before publication. read more

Uber suspends services in Greece

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Ride-sharing service Uber has announced that it will be suspending its licensed services in Greece as of next Thursday.The decision was announced on Thursday in response to new laws passed in the Greek Parliament in March to restrict UberX services, following protests by the country’s taxi drivers.“We have to assess if and how we can operate within this new framework and so will be suspending UberX in Athens from next Tuesday until we can find an appropriate solution,” Uber said in an official statement.“We hope to work with all local stakeholders to find a way to enable Greeks to enjoy the benefits of modern technologies like Uber.”Head of the Attica taxi drivers’ union, Thymios Lymberopoulos welcomed the news.“Whoever doesn’t honour the law should leave,” he said.Meanwhile the tables have turned and now it is Uber drivers who are protesting. Dozens gathered at the Transport Ministry to protest the bill which led to Uber’s decision.With over 450,000 people having used the app since its launched in Greece in 2015, Uber said that it endeavours to do everything it can to support the partners and drivers who have relied on the service.last_img read more

Partnership with County Brings Bookmobile to Charleston Naval Facility

first_imgPersonnel at Naval Weapons Station Charleston, S.C., starting this week will be able to use a bookmobile operated by the Berkeley County Library System, under a partnership agreement officials from the library system and Joint Base Charleston signed last week.The collaboration provides a tremendous benefit to the weapons station as the joint base, made up of the weapons station and Charleston Air Force Base, only has enough staff to keep either the weapons station’s library or the Air Force base’s open at any given time. The bookmobile — which offers print and digital books, audio books and DVDs — will be available to weapons station residents when their library is closed. The bookmobile also offers computer stations with access to the library’s databases and Wi-Fi, reported Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs.Col. Robert Lyman, Joint Base Charleston commander, and Donna Worden, director of the library system, signed the agreement at the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce.“We have a great relationship with the Lowcountry and all the surrounding Charleston communities,” said Lt. Col. Ralph Taylor, 628th Mission Support Group deputy commander and the base’s P4 (public-public and public-private) partnership director. “Having these P4 initiatives even makes it stronger because we’re meeting with them on a quarterly basis … and discussing new initiatives,” he said.Both parties said they would explore developing further initiatives in the future. “The agreement is the first step to a long-lasting relationship with Joint Base Charleston WS [Weapons Station],” said Barbara Ash, the library system’s children’s librarian. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

Autonomous car beta test will first benefit the blind

first_imgAcura RDXThe third-generation Acura RDX squeaks into the top ten list with larger proportions, plenty of interior space and better handling than its predecessor. Forward collision warning with collision mitigation braking, adaptive cruise control that works even in low-speed traffic, lane-keeping steering assist and road departure mitigation are all standard across the board. Like its MDX counterpart, the RDX is available with the A-Spec styling package.The RDX sports a 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine. Output is stated at 273 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, and it’s mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. The new RDX is built in East Liberty, Ohio. 2019 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison: A tougher off-roader 0 Honda RidgelineAgain keeping the status quo, the Honda Ridgeline maintains third place on the American Made Index. This crossover-that-looks-like-a-truck provides a better ride than a traditional pickup and gets an awesome lockable trunk right in the floor of the bed. And it doesn’t do the truck stuff too badly, either, as it’s able to carry 1,860 pounds of payload and tow 3,500 pounds.The Ridgeline is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 good for 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. That is channeled through a six-speed automatic transmission with available all-wheel drive. It’s built in Lincoln, Alabama. 81 Photos General Motors Chevrolet Honda Jeep Acura 2020 Kia Telluride review: Kia’s new SUV has big style and bigger value 49 Photos 3 Tags Tags 2019 Honda Pilot Elite: A smoother, tech-rich crossover SUV 2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better 2019 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison: An off-road animal Chevrolet CorvetteMoving up from the 10th-place slot last year is the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette. While we’ve all been ogling the new mid-engine Corvette, it’s easy to forget what a performance bargain the current-generation ‘Vette is. From the base trim to the Grand Sport to the bonkers ZR1, the Corvette is an American icon.My preference is for the Grand Sport, which strikes a perfect balance between everyday drivability and canyon-carving performance. The 6.2-liter V8 puts out 460 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque. You can get it with a seven-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission, but the kicker is the borrowed chassis and aero parts from the beefier Z06. Like I said, perfect balance. The Corvette is made in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Honda OdysseyThe feature-rich Honda Odyssey minivan also retains its number-two slot from last year’s list. While the 2019 model doesn’t see any changes from last, it’s still a darn good choice for families on the go with reconfigurable seats, Wi-Fi and an excellent rear-seat entertainment system. The Cabin Watch video system lets parents keep an eye on their little darlings without turning around in their seats, while Cabin Talk amplifies their voice so no yelling is required.The Odyssey is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 rated for 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. Most trims get a nine-speed automatic but the top Touring and Elite trims now use a 10-speed automatic with stop-start technology. The Honda Odyssey is made in Lincoln, Alabama. 2019 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport loves to hustle 2019 Acura RDX A-Spec: Sharp handling, sharper looks 2019 Honda Ridgeline review: Light duty, heavy punch 52 Photos 2019 GMC Sierra Denali review: So close to greatness 2019 Honda Passport: A well-rounded midsize offering 2019 GMC Canyon: A fancier Colorado Honda PassportThe Honda Passport is a new (well, reborn) entry to both the Honda lineup and the American Made Index. This midsize crossover comes to the fray with great driving dynamics and plenty of tech like the standard Honda Sensing suite of active safety features. An available 8-inch touchscreen gets Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as a Wi-Fi hotspot.Under the hood is the stalwart 3.5-liter V6 producing 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. However unlike the Ridgeline, the Passport sends that power through a nine-speed automatic transmission. Having said that, just like the Ridgeline, this is the only powertrain available. The Honda Passport is built in Lincoln, Alabama. 71 Photos Chevrolet ColoradoMaking its debut in the top 10 is the Chevrolet Colorado. Shown here in the tough ZR2 Bison off-road spec, the Chevy Colorado is an excellent truck and one of the two midsize pickups you can get with a diesel engine. Adding to the ZR2’s two-inch lift and front and rear locking differentials, the Bison gets beefier skid plates (trust me, that’s a good thing), steel bumpers and integrated recovery points. Heck, you can even get a snorkel.Base models get a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with a six-speed manual transmission, but a more popular choice is the 3.6-liter V6 gas engine with 308 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Meanwhile, the 2.8-liter diesel pumps out 186 horsepower and a delicious 369 pound-feet of twist and is mated to a six-speed automatic. The Chevy Colorado is built in Wentzville, Missouri. Autonomous Vehicles Auto Tech,Enlarge ImageIt’s all in a day’s work for the Jeep Cherokee, the most American-made car in 2019. Jeep With high trade tensions looming and increasing talk of tariffs, more and more consumers are looking to buy American. Cars.com has released its annual American Made Index, showcasing companies that use the most American-sourced parts and labor in their vehicles. The results may surprise you.Cars.com analyzed more than 100 US-built vehicles for five key data points: manufacturing location, parts sourcing, US employment, engine sourcing and transmission sourcing. You might think something like the Ford F-150 would top the list, but it drops from its No. 5 spot for 2018 and out of the top 10 completely. Even the first-place holder, the Jeep Cherokee, is a pretty global product. It’s a Jeep, sure, but that brand is part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, an Italian-owned business.Cars.com surveyed 1,000 people and found that half are concerned about automotive import tariffs, with 41% saying they are unsure if tariffs would make them more likely to buy American. Either way, we’re big fans of all the vehicles on this list. These days, buying American doesn’t necessarily mean sticking with a US-based automaker.center_img 10 Photos Enlarge ImageNext month, this autonomous pod will empower blind veterans in England. Aurrigo As autonomous mobility inches closer to widespread use and garners more headlines along the way, it’s easy to dream of a life of convenience. But it’s even easier for folks to forget that there is a whole subset of people for whom self-driving car tech will be more than mere convenience, it will change their lives — the disabled community.One of autonomy’s biggest selling points for the public is its potential to reduce the number of vehicle accidents and fatalities worldwide significantly. But in addition to the convenience possibilities and life-saving potential, UK autonomous mobility company Aurrigo is demonstrating how driverless pods can revolutionize the lives of blind people.Beginning in April, The Telegraph reports, Aurrigo will roll out a six-month beta test in collaboration with Blind Veterans UK that will provide driverless pods that will ferry visually impaired veterans around the charity’s rehabilitation campus at a blistering 15 mph.The beta test will allow Aurrigo to assess how blind riders interact with voice controls to improve the company’s future driverless cars, which use GPS and ultrasonic sensors to navigate the world.”So many of the blind veterans we support say that not being able to drive is one of the most significant things that hits you when you lose your sight,” said retired Maj. Gen. Nick Caplin, chief executive of Blind Veterans UK. 2020 Hyundai Palisade review: Posh enough to make Genesis jealous 9 Photos 2019 Honda Odyssey offers plenty of room and features for families Honda PilotDropping down to seventh place for 2019 is the Honda Pilot. Like its two-row Passport sibling, the three-row Pilot offers parent-focused technology like Cabin Talk as well as myriad standard driver-assistance features through the Honda Sensing tech suite. Honda’s largest crossover offers up nearly 84 cubic feet of cargo space. Honda’s 3.5-liter V6 engine shows up again, making a serviceable 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. Touring and Elite trims get a nine-speed automatic transmission while lower trims have to make do with a six-speed auto. The Honda Pilot is made in Lincoln, Alabama. 18 Photos 68 Photos 69 Photos 2019 Honda Ridgeline: The commuter’s pickup truck Post a comment GMC CanyonIf you’re looking for a slightly fancier version of the Colorado that’s more focused on luxe than dirt, check out the GMC Canyon. The top Denali trim gets standard heated and ventilated front seats as well as a heated steering wheel. Maximum payload capability is 1,665 pounds while max towing is a fairly healthy 7,600 pounds.The Canyon is available with the same 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, 3.6-liter V6 or 2.8-liter diesel as the Chevrolet Colorado. It’s also built in Wentzville, Missouri. Acura MDXMoving up one slot to sixth place on the American Made Index is the non-hybrid variant of the Acura MDX. With its SH-AWD system, the MDX is one of the better handling midsize luxury crossovers, and for 2019 the company gives us the A-Spec treatment with a new front fascia and side skirts, 20-inch wheels, wider exhaust tips, unique gauges, a new steering wheel, carbon fiber trim and various Alcantara interior touches.However, both the standard and A-Spec models get a 3.5-liter V6 engine, rated for 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque going through a nine-speed automatic transmission. The Acura MDX is made in East Liberty, Ohio.  Share your voice More From Roadshow 26 Photos Mercedes-Benz Vision Urbanetic Concept hits the Las Vegas Strip at CES 2019 2019 Acura MDX adds new features and an A-Spec model 2019 Jeep Cherokee can handle the rough stuff Share your voice Comments Car Industry 12 Photos More From Roadshow Jeep CherokeeKeeping its top-of-the-list placement, the Jeep Cherokee is 2019’s most American-made car. Refreshed for 2019, the compact crossover now features more tech, better cargo space and a slightly tweaked look. It’s available in no fewer the nine trims, including the off-road specific Trailhawk and a fancy-pants Trailhawk Elite.For 2019, the Cherokee gets a new 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine with 270 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, though naturally aspirated I4 and V6 choices are also available. Regardless of engine, a nine-speed automatic transmission gets the power to the pavement — or dirt as the case may be. The Cherokee is made in Belvidere, Illinois.last_img read more

Buying A Landmark

first_img(Photo courtesy Great Land Trust)Today we’re buying a landmark, trying to anyway. Kim Sollien is the Mat Su Program Director for Great Land Trust, a conservation group. She said they didn’t realize the Butte was privately owned until just this year.Download Audio“And so we were like ‘wow, that’s a surprise, we thought that was already public.’ Because the Mat Su Borough maintains a trail to the top,” Sollien said.The borough does own part of the Butte, but not the top of it. The summit is owned by the Mental Health Trust.“There’s a mixture of land owners. The Mat-Su borough has about 80 acres on the northwest side. And a couple of other farmers like the reindeer farm have a good portion of one side of the Butte, and a couple of other private land owners have another side. So, it’s a mix,” Sollien said.(Photo courtesy Great Land Trust)Great Land Trust is only interested in preserving the top of the Butte.  If they’re able to raise the money to purchase it, they’ll create a conservation easement on it, protecting from future development.“Even though the summit of the Butte is the destination for hundreds and hundreds of hikers every year, it could because it’s owned by a private entity and doesn’t have a conservation easement on it, it could be developed as a cell tower farm,” Sollien said. “Or someday it could be feasible to mine it for granite and sell that for who knows what.”Although Great Land Trust is responsible for the fund raising, the campaign has drawn in some private citizens, including Dan McDonough, a resident of Butte and creator of the Facebook Page “I Helped Buy the Butte.” McDonough says he’s hiked the Butte hundreds of times.“I’ve hiked it at midnight to look at the northern lights, I’ve hiked it during the Lunar Eclipse, early in the morning for sunrises, we’ve brought Santa Clause out there and taken pictures of Santa up there. It definitely seems to be a center point of activity for us,” he said.(Photo courtesy Great Land Trust)McDonough even started a weekly Butte hike. He says his group has been meeting up every Monday morning for more than a year now. He started the group after realizing how many people he knew had just given up on hiking.“A lot of people that have done it are people that have gotten away a little bit from the outdoors,” McDonough said. “They did it when they were younger, and they let a bunch of time lapse and now that they’re older they say ‘I’m out of shape and it’s going to take me forever.’ It seems to be those types of people, but after they’ve done it a couple times they’re hooked.”(Photo courtesy Great Land Trust)McDonough says that’s what makes the Butte so special. Just about anyone can do it, and the payoff at the top is well worth the hike. And Kim Sollien with Great Land Trust couldn’t agree more.“The Butte hike is iconic. You can see the Knik Glacier, Matanuska River, Downtown Palmer, the farms, Knik Arm, Pioneer Peak, it’s just spectacular,” Sollien said. “And it’s really accessible for almost everyone so we would love to have everyone who loves the Butte, and has hiked the Butte to join us to help us buy the Butte so it can be protected forever.”Sollien says they’ve raised roughly half of the $180,000 needed to buy the summit.last_img read more

RouthuSuryaprakasa Rao owns responsibility for his defeat

first_imgRajamahendravaram: YSRCP city coordinator Routhu Suryaprakasa Rao has admitted that it was his fault that he was defeated in assembly elections. Participating in the party meeting here on Thursday, he said lack of coordination between the party activists who joined recently and old members was also another reason along with Pasupu Kumkuma programme of previous government. Also Read – State government urged to release fee reimbursement dues Advertise With Us Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy is announcing programmes as promised in Navaratnalu and it is the time for party activists to strengthen the hands of Jagan in this regard. Rajanna Rajyam is now materialising and Jagan is implementing his promises on a priority basis, he said. The people imposed confidence in Jagan and it is our duty to retain it, Rao averred. People of all sections are happy because of the decisions taken by the new government, he said. Party leaders N Srinivas, MS Reddy, B Sri Hari, PH Rao and others were present.last_img read more

Evidence suggests Neanderthals took to boats before modern humans

first_img Citation: Evidence suggests Neanderthals took to boats before modern humans (2012, March 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-03-evidence-neanderthals-boats-modern-humans.html © 2011 PhysOrg.com Russian site may show late Neanderthal refuge The Reconstruction of the Funeral of Homo neanderthalensis. Captured in the Hannover Zoo. (Via Wikipedia) Explore further The stone “mousterian” tools are unique to Neanderthals and have been found on the islands of Zakynthos, Lefkada and Kefalonia, which range from five to twelve kilometers from mainland Greece. Some, such as Paul Pettitt from the University of Sheffield, suggest they could have swum that far. But that doesn’t explain how similar tools found on the island of Crete got there. That would have meant swimming forty kilometers, which seems extremely unlikely, especially since such swimmers wouldn’t have known beforehand that Crete was there to find.Ferentinos et al suggest the evidence shows that Neanderthals not only figured out how to build boats and sail but did so quite extensively well before modern humans ever got the idea. They say because the tools found on the islands are believed to date back 100,000 years (and the islands have been shown to have been islands back then as well) Neanderthal people were sailing around that long ago. Thus far, evidence for modern humans sailing dates back to just 50,000 years when they made their way to Australia. If true, that would mean Neanderthal people were sailing around in the Mediterranean for fifty thousand years before modern people built their first boat.Others have suggested that hominids have been sailing for as long as a million years; stone tools found on the Indonesian island of Flores date back that far. It could be that both modern humans and Neanderthals were boating around for hundreds of thousands of years and we just don’t have any evidence of it because the boats back then would have been made of wood and evidence of their existence would have decayed to nothing long ago.center_img Journal information: Journal of Archaeological Science (PhysOrg.com) — Neanderthals, considered either a sub-species of modern humans or a separate species altogether, lived from approximately 300,000 years ago to somewhere near 24,000 years ago, when they inexplicably disappeared, leaving behind traces of their DNA in some Middle Eastern people and artifacts strewn all across the southern part of Europe and extending into western Asia. Some of those artifacts, stone tools that are uniquely associated with them, have been found on islands in the Mediterranean Sea, suggesting, according to a paper published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, by George Ferentinos and colleagues, that Neanderthals had figured out how to travel by boat. And if they did, it appears they did so before modern humans. More information: Early seafaring activity in the southern Ionian Islands, Mediterranean Sea, Journal of Archaeological Science, In Press, Corrected Proof. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2012.01.032AbstractThis paper summarises the current development in the southern Ionian Islands (Kefallinia and Zakynthos) prehistory and places it within the context of seafaring. Archaeological data from the southern Ionian Islands show human habitation since Middle Palaeolithic going back to 110 ka BP yet bathymetry, sea-level changes and the Late Quaternary geology, show that Kefallinia and Zakynthos were insular at that time. Hence, human presence in these islands indicates inter island-mainland seafaring. Seafaring most likely started some time between 110 and 35 ka BP and the seafarers were the Neanderthals. Seafaring was encouraged by the coastal configuration, which offered the right conditions for developing seafaring skills according to the “voyaging nurseries” and “autocatalysis” concepts. 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.last_img read more

Southeast Asia on sale with Scenic free airfare included

first_img Travelweek Group Southeast Asia on sale with Scenic, free airfare included Tags: Sales, Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours, Southeast Asia Posted by Sharecenter_img << Previous PostNext Post >> Thursday, October 25, 2018 VANCOUVER — Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours in Canada is offering Southeast Asia savings that include a new sailing and free airfare on bookings.Early bookers will receive the lowest prices, says the company, along with first choice on sailing dates and itineraries. Additionally, they can take advantage of US$495 premium economy airfare or free economy flights on Mekong River departures of 13 days and longer, and free economy flights on Irrawaddy River cruises.Booking Scenic’s 11-day sailings on either river means $700 per couple off the fare.These special offers are valid for bookings made by Dec. 31, 2018.New for 2019/2020 is the 18-day ‘Highlights of Vietnam, Cambodia & Luxury Mekong’, which takes the in-depth Vietnam-Cambodia sailing and adds a five-night luxury exploration of the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi and its World Heritage-listed Halong Bay.To support sustainable travel, Scenic guests cruising the Irrawaddy and the Mekong are also given the option to purchase a reusable water bottle to use throughout their journey, reducing the amount of disposable single-use water bottles being used. Filling stations are available throughout the ship and there are also water filling stations at all the shore stops. All funds from the purchase of these reusable bottles are put back into local community projects.More news:  Rome enforces ban on sitting on Spanish StepsSince the inception of this program, Scenic has funded 100% of the cost of two projects in South East Asia: the provision of clean running water to the Chiro Community in Kampong Cham, Cambodia, and the construction of new sanitation blocks in Yandabo Village in Myanmar.last_img read more