• Morocco Second for Economic Growth in MENA in 2015: IMF

    Taroudante- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) published a global economic outlook study for 2015, ranking Morocco second after Qatar in terms of economic growth.In its paper entitled “Uneven Growth Short- and Long-Term Factors,” published in April, the IMF said that in the year 2015, Morocco’s economy would record one of the best growth rates in the Arab world.The IMF highlighted the “commendable progress” made by the Moroccan economy, with an expected growth rate of 4.5% in 2015. In light of the ongoing reform process, IMF Mission Chief for Morocco Jean-François Dauphin pointed out the promising economic outlook of the country, saying that “growth could further accelerate and reach the 5-5½ percent range over the medium term”.“In Morocco, steadfast policy implementation (including elimination of energy subsidies) has helped stabilize the economy,” the report said.“Improved external demand, strengthened domestic confidence, and recovery of agricultural production should boost growth to 4.4 percent in 2015 and 5 percent in 2016, but continued structural reforms, including to the business environment, are needed to improve competitiveness and employment,” the report added.In the rest of the Middle East and North Africa region, the oil exporting countries, such as the six Gulf Cooperation Council states, Yemen, Iraq, Libya, and Algeria are expected to record very weak growth, due to the plummeting price oil. Their growth rate will hover around 2.4 percent this year. read more

  • Iraq UN envoy pays tribute to victims of Halabja chemical weapons attack

    “The Halabja museum and memorial will serve as an everlasting reminder of one of the worst atrocities committed by the previous regime and of our duty to honour the memory of all victims who perished at the hands of a ruthless dictatorship,” said Martin Kobler, the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq and head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).Saddam Hussein’s regime killed some 5,000 Iraqi Kurds in a chemical weapons attack on the city 23 years ago.“This monument shall remind us for generations to come that we must stand firm against targeting individuals, communities and people for ethnic and religious reasons, or any other reason,” said Mr. Kobler.He also visited the cemetery of the victims of Halabja’s massacre where he laid a wreath, accompanied the Mayor of Halabja, Goran Adham, and other city officials.He later travelled to Erbil, in Iraq’s Kurdistan region, where he is scheduled to meet with senior officials of the Kurdistan Regional Government. 21 October 2011The United Nations envoy for Iraq today visited the country’s northern city of Halabja and toured the memorial for the victims of a notorious chemical weapons attack perpetrated by the then government against the local Kurdish population in March 1988. read more

  • Calls grow louder for deepsea port in Iqaluit as it becomes Arctic

    IQALUIT, Nunavut — Iqaluit, a territorial capital in a G7 nation, is an Arctic boomtown perched on the northern shores of Frobisher Bay — but the Nunavut town’s waterfront has scarcely changed since English explorer Martin Frobisher sailed into the inlet in 1576.The growing community, clamouring for supplies that include building materials, construction equipment and all-terrain vehicles, boasts some of the world’s highest tides.In the summer months, mammoth barges are forced to work around the 12-metre tides and race to unload their cargo onto the town’s craggy public beach, still studded with ice in mid-July. Sometimes they can’t unload at all because of high winds and excessive ice.It’s a process that takes weeks longer than it would if even the most basic marine infrastructure existed in Iqaluit — such as a dock or working causeway. The city of Iqaluit has lobbied for a $65-million deep-sea port in recent years, but has gone mute on its current efforts, with officials declining to respond to requests for interviews.In Greenland, the coastal town of Nuuk boasts a pristine deep-sea port and, unlike much of Iqaluit, paved roads. Denmark invests heavily in Greenland.In Nunavik, Quebec’s Arctic region, there’s also been steady investment in marine infrastructure by the provincial and federal governments, easing the business of dropping off precious cargo to communities in need.It would have a domino effect on everythingNot so for Iqaluit, considered Canada’s gateway to the high Arctic, a region where oil and gas exploration is on the brink of wide-scale development thanks to climate change. This despite the fact Ottawa seems intent on showcasing the town, even hosting a G7 finance ministers’ summit here in 2010.Residents, local business owners and shipping companies alike are pleading with the municipal, territorial and federal governments to find the millions to do something about Iqaluit’s waterfront as the town of almost 7,000 buzzes with commerce, construction and a growing population.“It would have a domino effect on everything,” said Allan Mullin, a New Brunswick-born contractor and Inuit art dealer who’s lost money and building supplies when ships have been unable to unload on the beach.Suzanne Paquin, president of Nunavut Eastern Arctic Shipping, agrees that a serious investment in marine infrastructure in Iqaluit — at the very least, rebuilding a Second World War-era causeway that is beyond the low-tide mark — would help solve a host of other problems confronting the community.“Economic development in the North can only happen through proper marine infrastructure,” said Paquin said in an interview from Montreal as her company prepared for an Iqaluit sealift next week.“The lack of infrastructure is like a hidden tax on all the development, because everything costs so much more due to the lack of infrastructure; housing, hospital projects, basic building materials.”Along with a lack of social housing, Iqaluit is grappling with crowded living conditions thought to be contributing to rising tuberculosis rates, sky-high food prices that have prompted the Inuit to organize protests, and high suicide rates.A 2011 study by the National Aboriginal Health Organization said a key factor contributing to the high cost of housing in the North is the expense involved in shipping building materials, a limited shipping season and a lack of accessible roads to communities.Iqaluit’s waterfront in particular, Paquin complained, hasn’t changed since Frobisher’s era. “It really hasn’t at all. But our operations have changed, our vessels have gotten a lot bigger, our capacity for lifting cargo has increased significantly. There is more and more activity in the North, and yet there is absolutely nothing that has changed in Nunavut.”What’s more, she said, the town’s brigade of bike-riding Inuit children zip to the beach to take in the sealift up close, running and hopping among the containers on the muddy, sometimes icy shores as cargo is unloaded from the barges via tugboats, then tractors with forklifts.“There’s no fencing, no barriers; there’s nothing, no supervision. It’s not our land, it’s public land, so there are kids jumping from one container to the other, biking through. It’s crazy. It’s an accident waiting to happen.”Paquin held out hope that the federal government’s major infrastructure project, the Building Canada Fund, will provide some assistance — but Nunavut hasn’t applied for marine infrastructure funding under the program, and is instead focusing on upgrading the town’s airport, a spokeswoman for Premier Peter Taptuna said.Iqaluit’s waterfront, Yasmina Pepa added, is under municipal jurisdiction.Paquin suggested the feds need to take ownership. In 2009, after all, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the construction of a small craft harbour in Pangnirtung, further north on Baffin Island, which opened last year.“There is federal money for infrastructure, but money in the North can be used for a lot of things — community centres, hockey arenas. All of that falls under infrastructure because the needs of the North are huge,” said Paquin.“But marine infrastructure needs to be the priority, because it’s critical to get the goods north to build all that other infrastructure.”The Building Canada Fund officially launched on April 1 of this year, with Edmonton receiving the first announcement on May 26 to fund a light-rail extension. There’s been no word of any money coming to Iqaluit.“It’s up to local governments to apply for funding,” Vincent Rabault, spokesman for federal Infrastructure Minister Denis Lebel, said in an email.Joe Hess, who runs a local shop selling Inuit “country foods” such as Arctic char, whale meat and caribou, said he’s puzzled by all the buck-passing.“I don’t know if they can’t get the money or they don’t want to get the money,” he said of government officials.“I don’t know what the problem is, but something definitely has to happen, because there’s no way they can continue without it.” read more

  • Former Portuguese Prime Minister proposed as next UN High Commissioner for Refugees

    United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today recommended to the General Assembly that former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Manuel de Oliveira Guterres become the next UN High Commissioner for Refugees, with a three-year mandate beginning 15 June.Mr. Guterres, 56, a founding member of the 14-year-old Portuguese Refugee Council, was his country’s Prime Minister from 1996 to 2002 and has been an adviser to the Board of Directors of Portugal’s second largest bank, Caixa Geral de Depósitos, since 2003.Since 1999 he has been president of the Socialist International, an association of over 160 Social Democrat, Socialist and Labour parties and major organizations from some 140 countries.Mr. Guterres was a member of the Portuguese Parliament from 1976 to 1983, also became a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe from 1981 to 1983, then went back to the Portuguese Parliament from 1985 to 1995.For the agency’s headquarters in Geneva, Acting High Commissioner Wendy Chamberlin welcomed the announcement of Mr. Guterres’s nomination as the agency’s 10th High Commissioner, succeeding Ruud Lubbers.”Former Prime Minister Guterres is a highly respected international statesman with a wealth of experience that will be of enormous benefit to the world’s 17 million refugees and others of concern,” Ms. Chamberlin said. “We look forward to carrying on UNHCR’s global work under his able leadership.”UNHCR’s 6,000 staff work in 115 countries worldwide, many of them in remote and difficult duty stations. The refugee agency, which has won two Nobel Peace Prizes, was established by the UN General Assembly in 1950 and has helped more than 50 million people over the past five decades. read more

  • 20 years on from landmark Mine Ban Treaty dangers on the rise

    Having served as an advisor to the Iraqi Governing Council after regime change in 2003 and the Iraqi Transitional Council in 2004, Mohammed Hussein Mohammed Bahr AlUloom, Iraq’s UN Ambassador explained that his country has faced “some of the most extensive and complex explosive hazard contamination in the world”, including “landmines left over from Da’esh” terrorist fighters.“The presence of explosive hazards continues to impede a safe voluntary and dignified return of nearly 1.4 million back to their homes”, he said.Speaking at the subsequent panel discussion, Sergiy Prokhorov a UNICEF mine specialist in Ukraine, said “landmines are easy to plan, but extremely difficult to get rid of.The Cambodian Ambassador, Sovann Ke, called the Treaty “one of the most important treaties in our history that has saved millions of lives.”“As one of the most heavily contaminated landmine and unexploded remnants of war countries in the world, and one of the State parties”, he said “Cambodia is determined to put an end to the suffering and casualties caused by anti-personnel mines”.“As of today, there are 931 civilian casualties, including 157 children”, he said, since the situation got “way worse” in April 2014, “when the conflict in the eastern part of Ukraine started.”Zlatko Vezilic, the Interim Country Director of Norwegian People’s Aid in Cambodia, was a former Yugoslav army officer who lost his leg in Kosovo.“I come from a country where I can see mine victims daily. Some of them are my close friends and neighbours. Not all of them have the opportunity to get sophisticated limbs, as I have” he sombrely told the room.“Many struggle with regular life activities,” he continued explaining how they merely surviving with no hope for a better life. This often results in “family problems, PTSD [Post-traumatic stress disorder], stress and alcoholism.”In the words of the Secretary-General: “The Treaty’s 20-year anniversary of entering into force provides an opportunity to renew attention to the weapons that long outlive the conflict and continue to shred lives”. UN Photo/Loey Felipe: UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Emi Mahmoud recites one of her original poems at the event commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the Mine Ban Treaty’s entry into force.But landmines continue to be used as tools of war, causing more and more casualties, including the highest annual total of child victims recorded since 1999, according to the latest figures.With the number of landmine victims rising, there is an urgent need for the international community to broaden the scope of prevention and mine risk education for vulnerable communities, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees.Opening a commemorative event at UN Headquarters in New York, UN refugees Goodwill Ambassador Emi Mahmoud – herself a former refugee from Sudan, who fled to Yemen before settling in the United States – read her poem entitled “Head over Heels”. In welcoming its 20th anniversary, Secretary-General António Guterres stated that the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention “has saved countless lives, stopped mutilation and injury and enabled the revitalization of livelihoods”.   read more

  • Wait Are The 76ers Good Now

    FiveThirtyEight Embed Code Welcome to the latest episode of Hot Takedown, FiveThirtyEight’s sports podcast. On this week’s show (Jan. 24, 2017), we chat about last weekend’s NFL blowouts and begin to think about the Super Bowl. Next, we interview Duke’s Lexie Brown, who recently made 56 straight free throws, the sixth-longest streak in NCAA history and the new ACC record. Finally, the Philadelphia 76ers are suddenly on a hot streak. We investigate how the Sixers’ season has recently taken a winning turn and look at whether it’s too late for Philadelphia to be a playoff contender.Links to what we discussed:In case you missed it, ESPN recapped the Falcons’ 44-21 defeat of the Packers and the Patriots’ 36-17 AFC title win against the Steelers.FiveThirtyEight’s Neil Paine took a look at Matt Ryan’s incredible season and explained why it’s not a fluke.The Patriots won with less talent than usual, writes Ty Schalter.Duke’s Lexie Brown was named the ACC Player of the Week this Monday.espnW’s Mechelle Voepel reports on the NCAA committee’s early reveal of the top 16 women’s basketball teams.The Ringer’s Ben Detrick explores the Philadelphia 76ers’ surprising hot streak.Significant Digit: $4,045, the amount “The Fish Guy,” an aquatic services company, sought from Buffalo Bills linebacker Brandon Spikes in a lawsuit. The company moved Spikes’s tropical fish and aquarium to Buffalo from Rhode Island in 2014 after he joined the Bills. More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed read more

  • Quality Street removes one of its oldest sweets after customers complain there

    first_imgAt that time, boxes of chocolate were the preserve of the gentry but Harold’s wanted to create a comparable product available to the working classes.The subsequent product was the first time sweets were individually wrapped in coloured paper and put into a decorative tin. Nestle, don’t leave us in flux please give us back our toffee deluxe.— Joanne Warner (@JoanneWarner) September 23, 2016 Quality Street has dropped the Toffee Deluxe after customers complained there were too many similar flavoured sweets in a box.The company removed the sweet, which was created in 1919 before being included in packets around two decades later, to make for a new barrel-shaped “Honeycomb Crunch”.The decision is in response to customer feedback carried out by makers Nestle, which found that there were too many toffees within the selection box. First #Brangelina then #GBBO now toffee deluxe has gone from Quality Street #crazytimes #christmaswontbethesame— WomanAboutTheHouse (@DiyWoman) September 23, 2016 The Toffee Deluxe – a block of toffee covered in a thin layer of chocolate and covered in a brown metallic wrapper – was one of three toffee sweets. The round penny variety and chocolate-covered finger will remain.Another change consumers will notice this year is the removal of the paper menu for the sweets. Instead, the names and pictures of them appear on the sides of the octagonal tub.The boxes will also be 30g lighter in weight due to the inclusion of the lighter honeycomb sweet – a truffle infused with crunchy honeycomb pieces and covered in chocolate.  Customers’ response was that there was too much toffee so the decision to make a change was madeNestlecenter_img The Toffee Deluxe was created by chocolatiers John and Violet MacIntosh in 1919 by mixing hard toffee with runny caramel.The idea was born in 1890 when the couple opened a confectionery shop in Halifax, West Yorkshire, and began experimenting with ingredients.Their operation was so successful that in 1898 they built the world’s first toffee factory.When Mr MacIntosh died his son, Harold, inherited the business, named Mackintosh’s, and in 1936 he invented Quality Street, a name inspired by J. M. Barrie play Quality Sweet. In 1969 the company merged with Rowntree’s to form Rowntree Mackintosh, which was itself taken over by Nestle in 1988.The decision to drop the Toffee Deluxe has not gone down well with some Twitter users claiming “Christmas is ruined”.Joanne Warner even shared a link to a petition for Nestle to bring back the toffee treat:  A spokesman from Nestle said it would continue to sell the Toffee Deluxe as part of the special toffee packs.He added: “We have introduced the Honeycomb Crunch to celebrate Quality Street’s 80th birthday and also as a reaction to public opinion.”We went out and conducted surveys about what people wanted, their response was that there was too much toffee so the decision to make a change was made.”The honeycomb crunch tested really well with consumers, they loved the idea and the flavour, which we have not used before.”It is a the first time a new sweet has been introduced into the selection box since 2007, when the Milk Chocolate Block was introduced. 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.last_img read more

  • UN report underscores critical importance of scaling up HIV testing in

    Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedCaribbean can reach treatment targets to end AIDS if it accelerates progressJuly 24, 2017In “Health”Health Minister says over 8000 Guyanese living with HIV/AIDS – Guyana set to participate in UN High Level Meeting to end AIDSMay 26, 2016In “Health”Op-Ed: World AIDS DayNovember 30, 2018In “Health” UNITED NATIONS, United States (CMC) — The United Nations has issued a new report underscoring what it describes as “the critical importance” of scaling up HIV testing worldwide, including the Caribbean.Titled “Knowledge is Power,” the UN said the report “presents evidence on progress made against AIDS thanks to early detection and treatment and calls on countries to step up their efforts.”World AIDS Day will be observed on December 1.UNAIDS executive director, Michel Sidibé, said that, in order to reach the millions who do not know their status, “we need universal access to HIV testing services.” , “HIV testing should be as widely available as pregnancy testing,” he added.The UN said the Caribbean is second to sub-Saharan Africa in the prevalence of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.The UN said recent years have seen some successes in the battle against HIV/AIDS. In 2017, it said 75 per cent of people living with the virus knew their status, up from 66 per cent in 2015.“Encouragingly, at least four in five people aware of their condition have access to treatment currently,” the UN said, noting that the number of people with HIV who are “virally suppressed” – meaning that the HIV load in their blood has reached levels so low that the virus is undetectable — has increased from 38 per cent in 2015 to 47 per cent in 2017.But the UN lamented that access to HIV viral suppression remains unequal worldwide.In some parts of the world, the UN said getting tested is “easy and fully integrated into a person’s antiretroviral treatment regime.”But in other places the UN said is close to impossible, with only one viral load testing machine for a whole country.“To reach the millions who are not virally suppressed, we need viral load monitoring to be as available in Lilongwe as in London,” Sidibé said, adding “HIV testing and viral load testing should be universal”.In 2016, the UN General Assembly adopted a Political Declaration on Ending AIDS. In it, UN Member States, including those in the Caribbean, agreed to review and reform legislation that may create barriers or reinforce stigma and discrimination for people living with HIV or AIDS.Since then, the UN noted that dozens of countries have passed legislation that explicitly prohibits discrimination on the basis of HIV status.Yet, the UN said country reports to UNAIDS over the past two years show that legal barriers remain in many countries, including the criminalisation of same-sex acts; of sex work; of non-disclosure or transmission of HIV; as well as entry and stay restrictions for people living with HIV.In addition, the UN said breaches of confidentiality in health-care settings still occur with alarming frequency. read more

  • Youre an embarrassment on television 5 winners and 5 losers from the

    first_imgEVERY WEEK, casts its eye over events inside and outside Leinster House that have got people talking.As the saying goes: ‘You win some, you lose some.’So here are our winners and losers from the past seven days:The 5 winners of the week are…1. The governmentIt is a tough Budget for many but the government has so far, and is more than likely, going to get it through without any backbench defections, as happened in previous years. The extent of pre-Budget leaking meant Tuesday’s events were all pretty anodyne which is exactly what the coalition wanted.2. Leo VaradkarThe Transport and Tourism Minister has had a good year with the success of The Gathering and his budget for next year is largely untouched. He’s also been boosted by the 9 per cent VAT rate being retained and the abolition of the air travel tax, which Ryanair says will mean thousands more visitors and lots more jobs. No wonder he was tweeting away:3. Michael NoonanThe Finance Minister has delivered unprecedented austerity in his past three Budgets but is thoroughly unflappable. Even when there are hints that Ireland’s corporate tax regime may be under pressure from Germany Noonan has been batting away concerns, telling us all to calm down.“I don’t think we should get too upset about it yet,” he told journalists this week when asked about the coalition negotiations in Germany. 4. Joan BurtonThe Social Protection Minister managed to get her Budget adjustment significantly down from the mooted €440 million and even squeezed €5 million out of RTÉ while protecting the free TV licence. There’s some tough stuff in her budget cuts but Burton certainly handled questions about the scrapping of the bereavement grant a lot better than Cabinet colleague Brendan Howlin.5. Fine GaelThe Department of Taoiseach ensured that Fine Gael’s €635,912.41 legal costs for the Moriarty Tribunal were paid out this week and it was all kept pretty quiet as a result of the Budget.… and the 5 losers of the week are…1. Brendan HowlinThe Public Expenditure and Reform Minister’s Budget speech was short on detail and stuffed full of rhetoric and blaming the previous government. People are a bit fed-up of this now.2. James ReillyThe Health Minister faces serious challenges in cutting €666 million from his budget next year and how the €113 million savings from ‘medical card probity’ will be achieved is far from clear. As well as this, the estimated €37 million cost of free GP care for those aged 5 and under will be a difficult target to meet given GPs’ unhappiness with the measure.3. TDs’ public imageThe “shouting and the roaring”, as Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett referred to it, is common place in the Dáil chamber but that doesn’t excuse it nor does it reflect particularly well on TDs when they are increasingly visible on Oireachtas TV and online:4. The Reform AllianceNo one is quite certain what the Reform Alliance of Fine Gael rebels is up to , but there is a general consensus that it is the beginnings of a new political party, much as they would deny it. But that aim won’t be helped by their divided approach to the Budget. While Lucinda Creighton will be among those supporting it, it is almost certain that another RA member, Peter Mathews, will not.5. The White House, Congress and the United StatesSo a deal was reached to reopen the US government and avoid a catastrophic default but US politicians have merely kicked the can down the road. The government will shutdown again in January if a more long-term solution isn’t found and default could follow in February.Like politics? Then why not ‘Like’’s Politics page?WATCH: ‘You’re an embarrassment on television!’: Ceann Comhairle slams TDs amid angry Dáil exchangesPICTURES: The winners and losers of Budget 2014Damien Kiberd: Budget 2014 arithmetic not just iffy – it’s scarylast_img read more

  • Toshiba announces the 14inch U845 ultrabook at 699

    first_imgConsumers haven’t been snapping up Ultrabooks, and pricing seems to be a hurdle so far. Intel wants OEMs to get their prices down. OEMs want Intel to help by cutting chip prices, but they know that’s not going to happen (Intel would rather they use plastic casings). It’s up to manufacturers to deliver, then, and Toshiba has done it: the Satellite U845 will sell for $699.Toshiba had to make a few sacrifices, obviously, but the U845 still looks like it’ll provide plenty of bang for your buck. It’s powered by an Intel Sandy Bridge Core i3 processor rather than a shiny, new Ivy Bridge model. It’s also not packing a capacious SSD, but what sounds like one of Seagate’s Momentus XT hybrid drives — a pairing of 16GB of solid-state storage and 500GB of traditional hard disk. Don’t expect a 1080p display at this price, either. The U845 offers a more run-of-the-mill 1366×768 resolution.But even with a 14-inch screen, the U845 still manages to squeeze in to Intel’s official Ultrabook category. It weighs less than four pounds and is still quite slim compared to a standard-issue 14-incher. Toshiba has also fitted the U845 with a good assortment of ports: HDMI and VGA outputs, two USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0, and RJ45 Ethernet.It’s also going to be available to buy much sooner than a lot of the Ultrabooks and hybrids on display at Computex. Toshiba has pegged June 24 as the date, which means the U845 will ship with Windows 7 installed — though you’re now inside the window for a low-cost (or possibly free) Windows 8 upgrade.More at Engadgetlast_img read more

  • Alaska News Nightly Monday May 14 2018

    first_imgStories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter @aprnListen nowIn murder of ‘all-American’ Palmer teen, first alleged accomplice goes on trialCasey Grove, Alaska Public Media – AnchorageProsecutors say Erick Almandinger, 18, was part of a small group of teenage accomplices in David Grunwald’s beating, kidnapping and execution. Almandinger’s attorney says it’s true his client failed to stop the others, but that he isn’t guilty of murder.Legislature passes state budget before adjourningAndrew Kitchenman, KTOO – JuneauThere would be $5.4 billion spent on the part of the operating budget the Legislature focuses on. It’s $433 million higher than the current budget.MacKinnon won’t seek re-election to Alaska SenateAssociated PressAlaska state Sen. Anna MacKinnon says she will not seek re-election.Alaska F-22s intercept Russian military bombersZachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media – AnchorageThe military says it intercepted two Russian long-range bombers in the air space near Alaska on Friday.Firefighters mop up 250-acre wildfire in DeltaTim Ellis, KUAC – FairbanksFirefighters mopped up the remains of a 250-acre wildfire Sunday that busted out two days earlier in a largely residential area near Delta Junction.Man crushed, killed baling scrap metal at Mat-Su landfillAssociated PressAlaska State Troopers say a man died when he was crushed at the Matanuska-Susitna Borough landfill facility in Palmer.Pilot dies in crash near WhittierAaron Bolton, KBBI – HomerAlaska State Troopers say a pilot is dead after crashing early Saturday morning near Whittier.DeSimone found guilty on first-degree murder charge in Excursion Inlet shooting deathMatt Miller, KTOO – JuneauThe family of Tony Rosales wept in the front row of the gallery after the jury found Mark DeSimone guilty of first-degree murder.Sealaska offers burial, cremation assistance to shareholdersEd Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – JuneauSealaska is helping its shareholders with burial and cremation costs. The Southeast regional Native corporation’s board voted Monday to offer bereavement benefits of up to $1,000.Lt. Colonel Bob Brocklehurst and Tara Bourdukofsky reflect on the Battle of AttuZoe Sobel and Laura Kraegel, KUCB – UnalaskaToday, we hear from Tara Bourdukofsky and retired Lieutenant Colonel Bob Brocklehurst. Her grandmother survived the internment, and he served as a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force.last_img read more

  • Ragini MMS Returns 2 teaser Divya Agarwal Varun Soods intense sexual chemistry

    first_imgDivya Agarwal, Varun Sood in Ragini MMS Returns 2TwitterLovebirds Divya Agarwal and Varun Sood will now be steaming up your screens with their wild romance in Ekta Kapoor’s upcoming horror sex web series Ragini MMS Returns 2. The teaser of the series has been released online and needless to say that Divya and Varun have lived up to the expectations of the horrex franchise.In the 51-second teaser, we are given a complete recap of the Ragini series which looks like an attempt to brush up their viewers’ memory. After a 20 seconds recap, we finally get a glimpse of Divya and Varun’s intense sexual chemistry. From undressing to chewing up each other lips, the couple can be seen going wild into the bed with their steamy romance.Ekta Kapoor welcomed Divya and Varun into the franchise and released the teaser video with a note that reads, “Dayummmmm Balaji’s biggest youth mass franchise is back and will be on air this year. Welcome Varun Sood and Divya Agarwal. I am sure you guys will add a punch to this Horror Sequel. Ragini is back.”Dayummmmm Balaji’s biggest youth mass franchise is back and will be on air this year. Welcome Varun Sood and Divya Agarwal. I am sure you guys will add a punch to this Horror Sequel. Ragini is back #raginimms2 @altbalaji #ALTBalajiOriginal— Ekta Kapoor (@ektaravikapoor) May 10, 2019Divya and Varun have had been the talk of the town mostly because of the series of drama in their respective relationships. After splitting up with their partners – Divya with Bigg Boss 11 contestant Priyank Sharma and Varun with Bigg Boss 11 participant Benafsha Soonawalla – both Divya and Varun participated in MTV show Ace Of Space. During their stint in the reality show, they spent a lot of time together and fell in love. Post the show, Divya and Varun admitted to their relationship and have been inseparable since then.Besides participating on reality shows, Varun and Divya hosted MTV Roadies Real Life Heroes together. Varun also featured in an episodic of MTV Big F while Divya played a cameo in Puncch Beat. However, if the report turns out to be true, Ragini MMS web-series will mark their full-fledged acting debut. Moreover, rumour has it that the couple may be part of popular celebrity dance reality show Nach Baliye 9.last_img read more

  • Marvels Evil Droids Head to Star Wars Celebration 2017

    first_imgStar Wars Celebration is right around the corner, and it’s time to get excited! Leading Japanese figure distributor, Kotobukiya has just released photos of their Celebration 2017 exclusives. Fans of Marvel’s Darth Vader comic series should get excited because this is the fist time dastardly droids 0-0-0 & BT-1 have ever been available in this scale. Here is the run down from Kotobukiya:“A Kotobukiya Japanese import! Activated by Doctor Aphra and under the service of Darth Vader, the assassin Droids known as 0-0-0 (Triple Zero) & BT-1 appear for the first time in the ARTFX+ series! Programmed in the art of “etiquette and torture” this dastardly duo wreaks havoc (and incinerations) across the galaxy!”Triple Zero stands just over 6 ½ inches tall while BT-1 stands 4 ½ inches tall in 1/10th ARTFX+ scale. Magnets in their feet provide the perfect stability on the included metal display bases. As with other Celebration exclusives, this release also includes a special commemorative collector’s coin. And as an extra special bonus to this set only, a 10” x 8” print is included in the box with exclusive artwork by acclaimed artist Adi Granov!If you have read the Marvel series, you know that these two are polar opposites of their familiar looking counterparts, C-3P0 & R2D2. Evil droids aren’t new to the Star Wars universe. Like Knights of the Old Republics HK-47 or General Grievous’s R3-S6 from the Clone Wars series, these two baddies were awoken by Doctor Aphra for none other than Lord Vader.If you cannot make it to this year’s show, pre-orders are recommended. The figures will ship out the end of April.  Photos provided by KotobukiyaView as: One Page Slides1. BT-12. BT-13. 0-0-0 (Triple Zero)4. R2-X25. R2-X26. R4-M97. R5-D4last_img read more

  • The Longest Journey sequel 17 years in the making

    first_img“What’s the best video game story of all time?” That’s a question which will lead to broken controllers, bloody knuckles, and Undertale fans getting thrown through Gamestop windows. Many players insist that the point and click adventure games of the 90s are the best examples of video game narrative. Arguably the best of that genre was Funcom’s The Longest Journey from 1999. Despite its acclaim, it took seven years for this game to get its sequel, Dreamfall. The sequel was an excellent game too, but it suffered from many problems, chief among them was a cliffhanger ending which was only recently resolved through a third game. It has taken 17 years for fans to walk this aptly named longest journey. Many players will discover the franchise through the new Dreamfall Chapters, and these people might wonder if they need to play the two older games before trying the new one. The answer is “Yes.”It isn’t just a matter of catching up on the story, it’s also the moment-by-moment joy of exploring the worlds where these games are set, and getting to know the characters that populate them. Cranky police detectives, purple robot apes, and time-shifting beings who have, had, or will have hysterical dialog. Aside from the story, the trilogy can be seen as a time capsule of how game design has changed over the last three generations. The Longest Journey franchise is a microcosm of 17 years of game design.It begins with a prologue where an old woman gathers a pair of youngsters before her fireplace, and tells a story of long-ago adventures. A dragon, a girl who walks between worlds, magic, science, and a talking crow destined to be the companion of heroines. After the prologue, players only need to spend a few minutes with the protagonist April Ryan to know that this game is going to be something special.This story spans multiple worlds. April Ryan is from a world called Stark. It is much like our own world, but it has space stations, flying cars, and holograms. All of these were quite futuristic by late 90s standards when the game was made. Although it was a futuristic dystopia, it was still close enough to the real world that players could easily identify with the kinds of problems that April faced in the early parts of the game. School, work, romance, the sense that she could do more with her life. In good time, April did end up doing something grand with her life. She was whisked away to Arcadia, a land of magic where she was tasked with maintaining a balance between the two worlds.It used the classic “Hero Journey” plot. At the time, The Hero’s Journey story format wasn’t as well-known as it is now, and April’s journey could follow the formula closely without coming across as a cliche. Modern gamers are liable to see the formula very clearly as April makes her way through the all too common plot points. But April herself is aware of these cliches, often making sarcastic quips about her quest. This kind of sly wit was trendy in PC games of the 90s; a way of making the games seem more mature through a self-aware cynicism. These little winks to the player were often very funny, but they could distract players from the more dramatic parts of the story, and it did get quite dramatic at points too, thanks to a stellar voice cast headed by Sarah Hamilton as April.The first game in the series ended with April and her sidekick Crow heading off for more adventures, while an epilogue assured players that other stories remained untold in the worlds of Stark and Arcadia. Fans wanted such a sequel, and it eventually arrived in 2006 with Dreamfall.Dreamfall was released on PC as well as the original Xbox; a victim of “Consolitis” by trying to alter a PC franchise to appeal to console consumers. Traditional adventure games had fallen out of fashion at that time, especially on consoles. It ditched the point and click interface of the first game, and played like a third person action game. A clunky combat system was added, and so was a horrid stealth feature. Both were underused, and felt like reluctant attempts to shoehorn in features that neither the players nor designers wanted.Where Dreamfall excelled was the story and, of course, feeding nostalgia for the first game. April Ryan returned, along with many other familiar faces from the first game. Places that April visited in the The Longest Journey were now rendered in glorious 3D, or at least the best that the original Xbox had to offer. Players could finally explore sidestreets and plazas in the magical city of Marcuria, whereas the previous game only offered flat 2D backgrounds that could only be seen from one angle.Although April was back, the story mostly focused on two new protagonists in a complex weave of interconnected stories. Zoe Castillo was from the technological world of Stark, much like April. Kian was a man from the magical world of Arcadia. Zoe could  travel between the two worlds, and even enter a third realm called the “Dreamtime,” a place where reality could be controlled by a rare gifted few.This narrative followed its heroes and heroines all over the three different realms, blending science fiction with fantasy, and sharp social commentary about the real world. Stark and Arcadia both reflected aspects of the real world. Way back in 2006, before the iPhone had even hit the market and Myspace was a new fad, Dreamfall showed a futuristic world where everyone was plugged into a virtual reality dream machine. Arcadia’s themes of magical creatures in conflict with non-magical colonialists was an overt look at the path the real world was walking, too.Eventually all four of the playable characters found themselves in dire circumstances. Regardless of whether it was a swordplay in Arcadia, a nightmare monster in the Dreamtime, or technological horrors in Stark, all hope seemed lost. Then the game ended. A sequel was promised, but years passed by with no definite plans. The original Xbox was replaced by the Xbox 360. Then the Xbox One. Finally, in 2014, the belated conclusion game arrived on PC thanks to a crowdfunding campaign. The fans who were dying to find out what happens had to finance the game themselves on Kickstarter. The result was an episodic game called Dreamfall Chapters which launched its first episode in 2014, but only released its final episode last month.Dreamfall Chapters is an odd little piece of narrative that has some massive challenges. It has to address the multiple cliffhangers from Dreamfall. However, as an episodic game, it has to end each of its episodes with yet more cliffhangers, before it ultimately wraps up the entire trilogy (While making sure that its final episode matched up with the epilogue established in the first game). Along the way, each episode has to hold up on its own as a fun experience, while providing some degree of entertainment for new players who might be discovering the franchise through this game.In the first episode of Dreamfall Chapters, Kian, and Zoe extricate themselves from danger rather quickly. However, each of them has to deal with the ongoing dangers that plagued Stark and Arcadia since the beginning of Dreamfall. In the first episode, players also met a new playable character named Saga, whose role in the story was kept a mystery until the end – although long time fans could glean hints about her.Once again, the mechanics and style of play were changed. The action and stealth from the old Xbox days were mostly gone – there was even a Steam achievement that made fun of the old stealth system. Players could roam around in 3D environments, like in Dreamfall, but the puzzle-solving was even more limited. The first Longest Journey game was filled with the sort of cruel item-based puzzles that plagued the adventure genre in the 90s. Back then, players had to hunt through the backgrounds of every location in the game so that they could find items which were needed to solve some problem on the other side of the city – or even in another world.In Dreamfall Chapters, the puzzles, and challenge levels were reduced. As with the modern trend in adventure games, the focus was on making dialog choices then seeing how those choices affect the story later on. The adventure moved quickly, and players would be able to easily “beat” each episode to ensure that they continued on to the end.An innovative dialog system showed that the designers weren’t simply mimicking the current trends, but were expanding upon them. Players could hover their mouse over a potential dialog choice, to hear their character’s thoughts, before they made their actual choice on what the character would say. The characters they spoke to proved to be just as delightful as in the old days. Players who made the right dialog choices could meet a ramshackle robot whose one joy in life was “Wel-ding.”Comedy aside, the dystopian future that the designers imagined for the first two games was intended to be a warning about the path humanity was walking in the late 20th Century. By the time the final game arrived, the real 21st century was beginning to look a great deal like the world of Stark, with a heaping dose of Arcadia thrown in too. The franchise was a nearly prophetic look into the future.For much of Dreamfall Chapters, the designers focused on exploring their worlds one last time. New characters are introduced, old ones return, and the two protagonists slowly – very slowly – unravel the mysterious plots that were set in motion by villains way back in the last game. Unfortunately, by the time the final episode was released, the designers had left too many plot threads hanging, and the grand conclusion to the franchise had too many twists and reveals. Long-neglected characters made their return, referencing events that players might barely remember, or not even know about at all.The long-time fans will certainly enjoy seeing the conclusion, despite its flaws. It is packed with references to the older games, and has a sweet reverence for the characters. These hardcore fans are definitely the primary target audience of Dreamfall Chapters. Which is a shame, because the long distance between the first and last game means that there is an entire generation of people who missed out, and are certainly starting with the most recent game.An iOS port of the first game was released in 2014, but both The Longest Journey and Dreamfall deserve HD remasters. Until the publisher, Funcom, releases a proper HD remaster, people who want to embark on this journey are urged to start at the beginning, and enjoy the story, while enduring all the dated design trends that the 90s and early 2000s had to offer.last_img read more

  • Millihertz quasiperiodic oscillations detected in the Xray binary EXO 0748−676

    first_img X-ray binaries consist of a normal star or a white dwarf transferring mass onto a compact neutron star or a black hole. Based on the mass of the companion star, astronomers divide them into low-mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs) and high-mass X-ray binaries (HMXBs).Most of the low-mass X-ray binaries containing neutron stars (NS LMXBs) exhibit X-ray variability in the form of relatively sharp quasi-periodic oscillations (QPOs) with millihertz to kilohertz frequencies. It is believed that QPOs occur when X-rays are emitted near the inner edge of an accretion disk in which gas swirls onto a compact object like a neutron star or a black hole. Hence, astronomers hope that finding new objects with such oscillations could improve our knowledge about the innermost regions of accretion disks.Located most likely between 19,200 and 24,100 light years away, EXO 0748−676 is a transient NS LMXB discovered in 1985. With an orbital period of about 3.82 hours, the source showcases several-minutes-long eclipses in its X-ray light curve and irregular X-ray dips observed mostly in the half orbital cycle prior to the eclipse. First QPOs from this object at kilohertz frequencies were discovered in 2010.Now, combing through the data gathered by RXTE over a timespan of nearly 15 years, a team of astronomers led by Giulio Cesare Mancuso from the National University of La Plata, Argentina, has found that EXO 0748−676 also exhibits millihertz QPOs.”We report the discovery of millihertz quasi-periodic oscillations (mHz QPOs) from the bursting, high-inclination atoll neutron-star low-mass X-ray binary (NS LMXB) EXO0748–676 with the Rossi X-ray Time Explorer (RXTE),” the astronomers wrote in the paper.According to the study, the researchers were able to identify QPOs from EXO 0748−676 with frequencies ranging from 5.0 to 13 millihertz. The amplitude of the QPOs was about 4.0 percent at low energy (between 2.0 and 5.0 keV), and the astronomers also found that in at least two cases, the frequency of these oscillations decreased in time.Moreover, the astronomers noted that all the detections of QPOs occurred when the source energy spectrum was relatively soft. In one case, they found that the millihertz quasi-periodic oscillation disappeared after the onset of a thermonuclear X-ray burst. The study explains that millihertz QPOs like these detected in EXO 0748−676 are assumed to be due an oscillatory mode of helium burning on the surface of neutron stars, known as the marginally stable nuclear burning.Summing up their study, the authors noted that the detection makes EXO 0748–676 so far the sixth source with millihertz QPOs associated to marginally stable burning. They added that the results from RXTE also confirm this binary as the second one that shows a systematic frequency drift. AstroSAT observations reveal quasi-periodic oscillations in the X-ray binary GX 5-1 Citation: Millihertz quasi-periodic oscillations detected in the X-ray binary EXO 0748−676 (2019, May 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore further RXTE/PCA light curve (≈ 2–5 keV) of EXO 0748–676 rebinned to 32 s in which the mHz QPOs are detected. Credit: Mancuso et al., 2019. © 2019 Science X Network By analyzing data from NASA’s Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) satellite, astronomers have detected millihertz quasi-periodic oscillations from a low-mass neutron star X-ray binary designated EXO 0748−676. The finding is detailed in a paper published May 6 on the arXiv pre-print server. More information: Discovery of millihertz quasi-periodic oscillations in the X-ray binary EXO 0748—676, arXiv:1905.01956 [astro-ph.HE] 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

  • Winter Storm Riley Brings Massive Flooding to New England—Again

    first_imgThis is just one class of extreme weather we can expect to see more of, on average, as climate change messes with our weather systems. They’re no joke, though; when one of these storms hit the East coast in January, it nearly took out JFK airport. From Boston to Portland, Maine, January’s “bomb cyclone” broke long-standing flood records set during the Blizzard of ‘78. This weekend’s storm could be worse. Eastern Massachusetts is expected to get up to five inches of rain, but it’s the three to five feet of storm surge that will cause the biggest flooding problems. Because it’s such a slow-mover, the storm will stick around for several tidal cycles.This is just beginning to look like the new normal. Nor’easters are now to blame for 90 percent of Boston’s biggest floods, with 13 of the top 20 events having occurred since 2000. As climate change drives up ocean temperatures, these winter cyclones are expected to get stronger too. Rising sea levels will bring those destructive storm surges into with more and more homes, businesses, and other critical infrastructure.Which is why places like Duxbury are already beginning to insure against their water-logged future. Just two weeks ago, the 15,000-person town added a camouflaged, ex-military high water vehicle to its fire department’s fleet. With 44-inch-high tires, the truck is designed for flood rescues and evacuations. During the January storm similar vehicles were staged at a nearby national guard outpost, but when Duxbury residents needed them, they couldn’t get through—the request volume was too high. “We’re seeing these storms getting worse and coming more often. When there’s flooding you can’t get an ambulance in, you can’t get a fire engine in. This allows to handle all our calls, not just the rescue ones,” says Duxbury fire captain Rob Reardon, who acquired the vehicle for free as surplus from Fort Drum in New York. “We realized we have to have this capability ourselves.” It arrived just in time for this weekend’s storm. Reardon installed the license plates yesterday, and will be taking the 10pm to 2am shift tonight around the peak of the high tide, when they expect flooding to be at its worst. Duxbury’s not the only municipality looking to beef up its catastrophe response competency in the face of increasingly extreme weather. After Hurricane Harvey exposed glaring inadequacies in the Houston Fire Department’s ability to get to its citizens during a flood, city officials are now considering spending $2 million on six high water vehicles, as well as boats and other rescue equipment.These kinds of disaster mitigation techniques are likely to feature more and more prominently in coastal city budgets in the coming years. But building resilient communities will also require investments in infrastructure to protect from flooding in the first place. And, of course, supporting energy policies that won’t power future generations of superstorms.Bombing Out Since early Friday morning, calls have been crackling across the Duxbury Fire Department dispatch center in a barrage of static. “Tree down on a house on Mayflower Street.” “Wires down on at Keene Street and Congress.” The seaside Massachusetts town is now firmly in the grips of Winter Storm Riley, the massive Nor’Easter forecasted to explosively develop through the weekend across a 700-mile swath of New England. With onshore winds already topping a hurricane-force 70 miles per hour, and a full moon Thursday night, officials across the region are preparing for record coastal flooding events.They just didn’t expect to be inundated again so soon. Though it’s looking like it will be one of the most monstrous superstorms in history, Riley isn’t even the first one to hit this densely populated part of the country this year. Wondering why “bomb cyclones” are suddenly a thing? It’s basically just another term for Nor’easter.last_img read more

  • Insight celebrates moms this Mothers Day with Special Interest Journeys

    first_img Share Thursday, May 9, 2019 TORONTO — Just in time for Mother’s Day, Insight Vacations is offering Special Interest Journeys focused on gardening with 2019 and 2020 departures. Clients travel in smaller groups for a more personalized experience and comfortable travel onboard luxury coaches, says Insight.One of the itineraries offered with these special interest journeys, ‘European Affair & Chelsea Flower Show’, is a nine-day journey that takes travellers to the Chelsea flower show, Aalsmeer Flower Auction in the Netherlands, and a Dutch windmill and the village of Volendam. In Bruges, clients will cruise along the canal and then visit the renowned Châteaux of the Loire Valley and then the garden of Versailles, which contains around 800 hectares of land full of lush gardens that took 40 years to complete. The journey concludes with the garden of Giverny that inspired many of Claude Monet’s masterpieces as he set out to create a garden full of perspectives, colours and symmetries. Meanwhile ‘The Gardens of England and Wales with The Chelsea Flower Show’ is a 15-day journey departing May 24, 2019 and now accepting bookings for 2020 departures. This trip features a visit to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, the David Austin Nursery, Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, the Gardens of Wisley and many more stops on the journey. Guests will also visit the RHS Chatsworth flower show and see the home of the Duke of Marlborough and birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, Blenheim Palace. “Travel is life-changing and it is the perfect Mother’s Day gift to splurge on for moms who are seeking unique experiences to check off their personal wish lists such as the Chelsea Flower Show and Claude Monet’s garden in Giverny,” says Brad Ford, President of Insight Vacations. “Our loyal Travel Advisors can suggest these Special Interest Journeys to their clients since they are tailor-made for moms with their special interests in mind and offer fascinating encounters with local people in the most beautiful destinations.” Travelweek Group Posted bycenter_img Insight celebrates moms this Mother’s Day with Special Interest Journeys Tags: Insight Vacations, Mother’s Day << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

  • Victims to participate in trial of exChad ruler

    first_img Patients with chronic pain give advice Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement He said the court was the best chance for victims to see justice, though he acknowledged having doubts about whether the trial will be a success.“It’s difficult to have confidence. The court doesn’t have a lot of money. Hissene Habre has a lot of money,” he said. “I don’t have complete confidence, but I know there are people who are trying to help us get a good result.”(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) In 2001, Human Rights Watch researcher Reed Brody discovered the force’s archives on the floor of its headquarters. The documents mentioned more than 12,000 victims of Chad’s detention network.Habre fled to Senegal after he fell from power, and for more than 20 years he lived a life of quiet luxury in exile, taking a second wife and becoming an uncomfortable reminder of Africa’s unwillingness to try its own.Last year, the government of President Macky Sall finally reached an agreement with the African Union to try Habre at a special court, and he was arrested on June 30. Two days later, judges formally charged him.The applications for 1,015 victims trying to join the case as civil parties were submitted Monday by a legal team headed by Jacqueline Moudeina. Civil party status means the victims are formally recognized by the court. Nearly 300 are direct victims, meaning they were detained or otherwise victimized by Habre, and the rest were indirectly affected, meaning they had relatives who were victims and have since died.The court has the power to order that reparations be paid into a victims’ fund, but there is no guarantee it will do so. Those reparations would be available to all victims, not just those who participated in Habre’s trial. Top Stories DAKAR, Senegal (AP) – More than 1,000 people who suffered abuse under former Chad dictator Hissene Habre have submitted applications to participate in his trial on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and torture, lawyers said Wednesday.Five of those who submitted applications spoke in Senegal’s capital about the abuse they endured under Habre’s regime, including food deprivation, electric shock and being forced to dig graves for hundreds of prisoners who died in detention. Habre has been charged by a special court in Senegal. Clement Abaifouta, who is from Chad, said he was arrested in 1985 just as he was preparing to leave to study abroad in Germany. For four years, he dug graves while his health deteriorated to the point where he was no longer able to walk.“I’m here to try to know exactly why I was arrested,” he said, fighting back tears. “Because I cannot understand why, for wanting to go abroad, I was forced to lose four years of my life.”Habre ruled Chad from 1982 to 1990. Human rights and victims groups said that soon after coming to power, he promoted members of his Gorane ethnic group to lead a ruthless torture and killing campaign that targeted members of other ethnic groups that threatened his rule. Habre’s victims also included migrants from other countries, including Senegalese national Abdourahmane Gueye, who explained Wednesday that he was working as a trader in Chad before being rounded up in 1987 and imprisoned for six months, sharing a cell with 60 other people.In May 1992, a Chadian truth commission reported that Habre’s government was responsible for an estimated 40,000 deaths. The commission placed particular blame against the Directorate of Documentation and Security, Habre’s political police force, which “distinguished itself by its cruelty and its contempt for human life.” Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Defense lawyers have dismissed the tribunal as a political tool of Habre’s enemies, emphasizing that the government of Chad President Idriss Deby, who removed Habre from office, is the court’s largest donor. The defense team has filed a formal challenge to the tribunal at a separate court run by the regional West African body ECOWAS.On Wednesday, Moudeina, the victims’ lawyer, criticized what she described as an attempt to paint Habre as a victim. She compared Habre’s legal strategy to that of other former heads of state __ such as Liberia’s Charles Taylor__ who have challenged the authority of the courts where they were ultimately tried.Habre’s challenge at the ECOWAS court should have no bearing on the case, regardless of how the court rules, she said.“It’s clear that the ECOWAS court doesn’t have the ability to invalidate the acts of the African Union,” she said.Younous Mahadjir, who was arrested toward the end of Habre’s rule for distributing pamphlets critical of the regime, on Wednesday described forms of torture including being forced to drink water until he lost consciousness. He said he lost 77 pounds in just four months of detention. 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  • Go back to the enewsletter The distinguished heri

    first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterThe distinguished heritage of The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited reaches a new milestone this month as HSH celebrates its 150th anniversary. Originally incorporated on 2 March 1866 as The Hongkong Hotel Company, Limited, HSH was one of the first companies to be listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and is currently the oldest registered company on the Hong Kong Companies Registry. For a century and a half, the compelling story of HSH has been closely tied to its city of origin, Hong Kong.Whilst evolving to meet the changing times at home and abroad, HSH has never lost respect for its past and its heritage, and it continually strives to emulate the standards of service and style that earned it the accolade of ‘The Far East’s leading hotel company’. The concept of ‘Tradition well served’ remains fundamental to HSH’s approach.“Tradition is taking account of a wonderful history, but remembering that everybody today looks to the future. It is important not to forget that the future is built on the past, and we have a great legacy,” said The Hon. Sir Michael Kadoorie, Chairman of HSH. “We believe that our rich history gives us a fuller understanding of our shared identity, culture and values, enabling us to manage change responsibly, to safeguard the best of the past and to keep innovating to meet the demands of the next generation.”Today, the HSH legacy encompasses a diverse portfolio of assets worth HK$44.2 billion including ten Peninsula Hotels around the world, The Peak Tram, The Peak Tower and The Repulse Bay Complex in Hong Kong.“I am delighted to announce that our company The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited will celebrate its 150th anniversary during the year of 2016. Our long-term strategic mission is to build, maintain and create the highest quality assets that become legacies in their time. We are the oldest registered company in Hong Kong – and we believe we are one of the oldest hotel groups in the world in continuous operation – but we are a company that is still at a youthful stage in our development and growth strategy. We are still building for the future and it is an exciting time for us as a group,” said Mr Clement Kwok, Chief Executive Officer of HSH. “We are planning to hold a variety of private and public events later in 2016 to celebrate our anniversary, and in particular, to say thank you to the people of Hong Kong.”To mark the Group anniversary, the newly-released third edition of the documentary Tradition Well Served, which won the Golden Dolphin in the Corporate Film and Video Category at the Cannes Corporate and Media TV Awards in 2014, will be available for viewing in all Peninsula Hotels guestrooms from 2 March 2016.Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more

  • Credit FacebookFr

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