Category: tiwmdhui

Harper says no to renewed calls for public inquiry into missing and

first_imgAPTN National NewsSpeaking in Whitehorse Thursday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper again explained why his government would not call an inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women.There are renewed calls for a public inquiry after Tina Fontaine, 15, was pulled from the Red River in Winnipeg wrapped in a bag. Police say she was killed before she went into the river.APTN”s Shirley McLean now with more.last_img

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Two faith leaders arrested in Kinder Morgan protest

first_img(RCMP officers stand over Emilie Smith moments before the Anglican priest was arrested. Photo: Lucy Scholey/APTN)Lucy ScholeyTina House APTN NewsEmilie Smith knelt on the pavement with her head bowed, as if in prayer, listening while a police officer told her she risks arrest.The Anglican priest was among several faith-based leaders blocking the gate to Kinder Morgan’s Westridge Marine Terminal on Friday, defying a court-ordered injunction banning anti-pipeline protesters from standing within five metres of the property.Smith said she was more concerned about the Earth than the consequences of her arrest.“We stand with the First Nations people who have been so harmed by colonialism and by the church and by the state,” said Smith, the sounds of drumming and singing following her to the cruiser parked nearby. She was one of two women peacefully arrested that morning.Watch Tina House’s story on the arrests here: The gathering of roughly a dozen religious representatives was the latest in a series of anti-pipeline protests, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley figure out how to forge ahead with the $7.4-billion Trans Mountain pipeline project.If completed, it will triple the flow of diluted bitumen from Edmonton to Burnaby, B.C.Here at the Westridge terminal, Kinder Morgan is planning an expanded dock complex that will be able to accommodate three oil tankers that will be fed from the Burnaby Terminal.Mark MacDonald, the National Indigenous Anglican Bishop, said the project is lacking the free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous people. This is an issue that has been lost in the national and international coverage of the pipeline issue, he said.“This is, we feel, at the heart of reconciliation and at the heart of the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People and at the heart of a liveable future for all of us,” he said.‘They’re dangling carrots’The project has divided First Nation communities along the pipeline route. While many are camped out on the frontlines of the Burnaby Terminal, Kinder Morgan has said 43 other communities have signed mutual benefit agreements in favour of the deal.A number of other First Nations communities, including Tsleil-Waututh Nation, are still waiting to hear back from the Federal Court of Appeals on a legal challenge.Tsleil-Waututh Chief Reuben George said they will take it to the Supreme Court if the decision does not rule in their favour.“Bottom line: Tsleil-Waututh Nation will do what it takes,” he said.Musqueam First Nation, a small reserve tucked beside the University of British Columbia, backed out of that judicial review process last fall. Councillor Wendy Grant-John said the band council has not signed a deal with Kinder Morgan, but is taking a different approach to a costly legal challenge.The band council is in the process of negotiating a new framework with the federal government that, according to Grant-John, will aim to better protect the First Nation’s rights and title. Grant-John said she believes this is a better solution to protecting the community’s rights, including land and fishing.“We want to be at the table talking about how we’re going to protect the waterways right out here,” she said.“We just felt that it’s time that the general public understand there are more than one or two voices here with Indigenous people. They need the complete picture.”But Mike Sparrow, a commercial fisherman from Musqueam First Nation, said the federal government is “going from chief to chief and they’re dangling carrots.” He thinks the band should take a stance against the Trans Mountain project.Mike Sparrow, a commercial fisherman from Musqueam First Nation, says he’s worried about the and increase in oil tanker traffic from the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Contributed/Mike Sparrow“I would never, ever support that pipeline. It has no benefit for us at all,” he said, noting the extra oil tanker traffic that’s expected as a result of the pipeline expansion.While out on his 40-foot-long boat one day, he said he went up to Kinder Morgan’s Burnaby Mountain plant and observed the current tanker traffic.“It was pretty sketchy. A tug and barge was coming the other way and that is a very tight spot,” he said. “It’s gonna happen. There’s gonna be an accident. There’s no way around it.”lscholey@aptn.cathouse@aptn.calast_img read more

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Unemployment rate continues to decrease in June for Northeast BC

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Provincial unemployment data for the month of June has been released.The unemployment rate in Northeast B.C. saw a decrease last month of 1.7 percent, down to 6.6 percent when compared to May’s rate of 8.3 percent.The estimated number of people working in Northeast B.C. for June is up 600 to 38,300 when compared to May’s number of 37,700. Last year, in June 2018, the unemployment rate was 7.0 percent with an estimated 39,700 people working.Overall for B.C., unemployment remained low in June 2019 at a rate of 4.5 percent; the lowest unemployment rate in Canada for the past 23 months in a row.According to Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology, within the past year, B.C. was able to add over 109,000 new jobs in sectors such as technology and retail.“Over the past year, 109,100 new jobs were created across a variety of sectors in B.C., including retail, real estate and tech, which have some of the highest gains in employment.”last_img read more

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There is commercial pressure with Kalank Varun Dhawan

first_imgNew Delhi: Varun Dhawan has deftly balanced his career between commercial and small scale projects, but the actor says a mega-budget multi-starrer like “Kalank” comes with a lot of pressure. His last two releases — “October” and “Sui Dhaaga” — had small budgets but a lot is on stake with “Kalank”, which he says is his most expensive film till date. “My last two films had really small budgets and the reach was bigger… There was no pressure of them doing well that much in monetary terms. In this film there is commercial pressure. This is a film for which I had prepared a lot … So I am more on the edge,” Varun told PTI in an interview. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: Priyanka “A lot of eyeballs are there on this film because it is an ensemble and all this attention is making me anxious. Everyone is going to watch and and all I wanted to do is be good in it. Fear of failure makes me anxious.” Besides Varun, the Abhishek Varman-directed movie features Alia Bhatt, Aditya Roy Kapoor, Sonakshi Sinha, Sanjay Dutt, Madhuri Dixit Nene and Kunal Kemmu. The actor said he believes in preparing a lot before taking on a role but this time Varman guided his performance. Also Read – Salman Khan remembers actor Vinod Khanna “For me, preparation is very important. But with this, Abhishek didn’t let me prepare too much. He doesn’t like that. I am playing a blacksmith in the film… So I knew I had to work on my body… But when I came on the set, he asked me to get the look in my eyes which shows I am in 1940s. He is a very fine director,” Varun said. Every film, Varun said, is like a baby and as an actor one feels responsible for its well-being but there is life beyond the box office. The actor said he feels secure because he has people to fall back upon. “Me being secure comes from my personal life. They give me the security and the confidence. I know if someday things do not work the way I want them to, they are going to have my back. “Initially, in my career, my priorities were my films but as you grow old, things change. But then, sometimes when my film is coming it becomes my priority. I take it as my responsibility to take my film to the finishing line. It is like a child, whom you are teaching to walk. You can’t leave it midway. It will fall.”last_img read more

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Abbas meets Egypts defense minister

first_imgCAIRO – The meeting was attended by Palestinian presidential secretary Al-Tayeb Abdel-Rahim, chief negotiator Saeb Erekat, and Palestinian intelligence chief Maged Farag.Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, currently in Cairo, met on Sunday with Egypt’s Defense Minister Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi.The meeting, held at the Defense Ministry’s headquarters, touched on the Palestinian reconciliation file and the developments in the Palestinian territories, Palestinian Ambassador in Cairo Barakat al-Farra told Anadolu Agency. The meeting was attended by Palestinian presidential secretary Al-Tayeb Abdel-Rahim, chief negotiator Saeb Erekat, and Palestinian intelligence chief Maged Farag.Abbas arrived in Cairo on Saturday for a three-day visit, during which he is also expected to meet interim President Adly Mansour and Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmi.The Palestinian leader is also expected to meet Arab League Secretary-General Nabil al-Arabi and Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tayeb.He is due to brief Egyptian officials on developments in the Palestinian territories, Israeli aggressions against the occupied holy city of al-Quds and al-Aqsa Mosque and the outcome of his recent talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry.The Palestinian Authority and Israel resumed direct peace talks in July after a three-year hiatus.By Mustafa Youssef – Anadolu Agencylast_img read more

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Moroccos Ruling PJD Party Punishes ScarfScandal MP Amina Maelainine

Rabat – Morocco’s ruling Justice and Development Party (PJD) party has finally decided to punish Amina Maelainine, a female PJD MP at the heart of a party scandal since January for appearing to wear “un-Islamic” clothing.During a party meeting on Saturday, April 14, the party’s majority spoke in favor of stripping Maelainine of her relatively influential position as seventh vice-president of the House of Representatives, PJD’s deputy Secretary General Sliman El Amrani announced on the party’s website.The move is set to complicate the MP’s political fate. Maelainine has also subtly been distanced from her previous party visibility. She will be restrained to her seat at the Parliament as the PJD MP for the Hay Hassani district in the Casablanca-Settat region. Meriem Boujemaa, a member of the PJD secretarial general, will replace Maelainine. Boujemaa is known to support Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani. Barring an unforeseen intra-party leadership reshuffling, there are indications that Maelainine will not be considered as a PJD candidate when her current tenure as MP comes to an end.El Othmani vs. Benkirane?Maelainine, a philosophy graduate and teacher whose articulated defense of PJD’s Islamist discourses and trenchant criticism of Moroccan liberals opened her door after door in PJD’s leadership world, recently came under fierce scrutiny after photographs of a recent Parisian holiday showed her without her traditional veil.The scandal divided the party for weeks. Abdelilah Benkirane, former PJD head and known “protector” of Maelainine, defended her within the party leadership.He argued that she deserved a second chance and forgiveness in line with the Islamic teaching of mercy. Benkirane said the PJD should not leave their own MP “helpless and defenseless” as she faced critics.However, as Maelainine was seen as a Benkirane protegee, the former PJD leader’s intervention in her favor has been interpreted as a desire to keep an influential pro-Benkirane faction within the party’s highest echelons.Benkirane’s plea for his “protegee” came along more as a subtle defiance of El Othmani, the PJD leader who was adamant from the beginning that defending Maelainine ran counter to PJD’s identity.“We must set an example, especially those at the forefront of public opinion,” El Othmani said. He appeared to refer to PJD critics’ labels of “hypocrisy” challenging the party’s commitment to its professed Islamist values.But the PJD’s choice of Meriem Boujemaa, an El Othmani loyal, to replace a Benkirane protegee is set to be interpreted as a rebuttal to Benkirane.Benkirane has recently taken aim at El Othmani on several occasions. He has questioned El Othmani’s ability to lead both the party and the government. Benkirane has also requested that El Othmani resign instead of surrender to external pressures hurting Morocco’s national pride.In response, El Othmani has said that his government’s fate should be the least of Benkirane’s concerns and that only the King has the legitimate authority over whether his government should stay.“As long as the King is satisfied with my government’s performance, I will not resign,” El Othmani has been quoted in Moroccan news outlets as saying. read more

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Succeed in style Five insider tips for upandcoming fashion startups

“When you’re at these networking events you have a captive audience,” said Ashlee Froese, owner and editor of canadafashionlaw.com and board member of Fashion Group International.“Everyone’s there for the same purpose — to hear your story and to get their story across. It’s not as intimidating as new designers maybe think it would be.”Chatto also recommends designers consider giving their time.“It’s not always about the money … that will always come afterwards. But definitely it’s about volunteering because it’s about the networking, it’s about the connections that you make with the people.” said Chatto. “By doing that, it will help establish your business. I’m so happy that in the last 26 years my networking has actually kept me going.”2. Be versatile.“In order for you to figure out what you’re good at, you have to be able to figure (it) out by trying it all out,” said Chatto, who credits his ability to diversify as a key to his career longevity.“Costuming for a film or for the theatre might actually open other streams and allow you to create something that doesn’t necessarily sell, so you can play around with your creativity. And then with that, you have the experience.“When you come to sell it, it makes it easier (to say): ’He’s done this or she’s done that,”’ he added. “You have credibility and you have stamina behind your name and brand.”3. Boost your brand.Before getting potential shoppers to sport their styles, one expert suggested designers start off by being their own model.“I met … the head buyer (from Holt Renfrew) while wearing one of my coats. And I was sweating in fashion shows and I did not take my coat off — ever,” recalled Marissa Freed, president and creative director of Winnipeg-based Freed & Freed International Ltd. during the DHL panel.“If you’re going to put yourself out really put yourself out. Wear your stuff, own your brand and be your brand. It’s really important.”4. Protect your brand.“One of the mistakes new designers make is they don’t think of themselves as a successful business in the making,” said Froese.As an intellectual property and branding lawyer with a focus on the fashion industry, she advised panel attendees planning to launch brands to do their “due diligence ahead of time” when it comes to protecting their labels.“Not every trademark is going to be protected. Not every trademark is going to be viable in the marketplace,” said Froese, partner at Toronto-based firm Gilbert’s LLP.Dealing with lawyers ahead of time helps determine what is and isn’t viable and exploring potential issues that may arise, she noted.“It’s going to save you a lot of headache and heartbreak in the long run — and a lot of money.”What’s more, designers can also move forward and create an intellectual property portfolio that best protects their creativity, noted Froese. Then, when they’re running up against counterfeiters or fashion design pirates, they’ll be better able to assert their rights, she added.“It’s something that the designer has to do ahead of time to be on a better platform when things don’t go as well.”5. Get involved in all aspects of the business.Langdon said while creativity is key to forging a career in design, embracing the business side is essential if it’s to be a person’s livelihood.“It’s not just about the pretty drawings and the samples that you create. If you’re not good at business, then find someone you can trust that can bring that component and help you out,” she said.“It’s very, very important that you treat it like something that’s going to live forever because a lot of heart and soul and money will go into your business, and it will be all for naught if you don’t approach it this way.”Chatto also encouraged designers to be immersed within all aspects of creating goods.“You need to be involved in the factory, you need to be involved in the shipping production, you have to be involved in the actual marketing and retailing as well and product design. It’s key. It’s important.”Shawn Hewson, creative director of Canadian sportswear label Bustle, said despite the business demands, individuals still need to have a passion for the work.“I don’t think about: ’What’s going to be hot now? What’s going to sell?”’ he said during the panel.“I start from: ’What do I feel? What do I want to make? What do I want to create? What speaks to me? What inspires me?’ And then of course … it has to be tempered with concerns about consumer viability.”The Canadian Press TORONTO — Sewing since he was 10 and in business for 26 years, Farley Chatto has experienced his share of triumphs and challenges within the ultra-competitive fashion industry.Chatto recently returned to the runway with his own solo showcase at Toronto’s World MasterCard Fashion Week last month.In addition to his role as designer-in-residence at Four Seasons Fur in Toronto creating looks worn by homegrown hip-hop star Drake, the 44-year-old style stalwart shares his expertise with students as an instructor at the Academy of Design.“A lot of people are trying to get into the business because they think it’s a quick way to make a quick buck and to get famous,” Chatto said during a recent interview. “I think fame will come eventually, but the truth of the matter is if you don’t work hard, you put in as much as you get out.”Chatto and other Canadian insiders share five tips for up-and-coming designers seeking to enter the fashion industry.1. Forge connections.At the recent DHL: The Business of Fashion panel discussion held during Toronto’s Fashion Week, participants emphasized the need for emerging talents to reach out to those already established within the industry.“If you want to make sales, you need to be where buyers are,” said Susan Langdon, executive director of the Toronto Fashion Incubator, a non-profit business centre that has fostered numerous designers and style entrepreneurs.“One idea is to participate in trade shows, to come out to Fashion Week, network and put yourself out there. Don’t just hang out with your friends or your colleagues. If you see a store you want to get into, go out there and hand them a business card.”THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn read more

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Brock raises nearly 14000 for Japan

The Brock community has raised $13,850 for relief efforts in Japan.The University’s fundraising campaign benefited the work of the Canadian Red Cross in Japan, a country ravaged by an earthquake and tsunami on March 11. The country continues to suffer from earthquakes and problems with its nuclear power stations.John Kaethler, director of International Services and Programs Abroad, is pleased with the efforts.“It’s brought us together for a common cause, and we’ve learned a lot more about Japan,” he said.Fundraising efforts included:students selling origami faculty members busking donation jars around campus read more

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Interest rate for key Spanish bond soars to 741 per cent highest

by News Staff Posted Jul 23, 2012 5:06 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email MADRID – The financial pressure on recession-hit Spain ratcheted up further Monday to levels that saw other European countries need a financial bailout.The yield on Spain’s benchmark ten-year bond spiked 0.23 percentage points to 7.46 per cent, further evidence that investors are skeptical about the Spanish government’s ability to get a handle on its debts at a time of recession and sky-high unemployment. Worries over the financial health of the Spanish regions have contributed to the latest spike too.Those concerns have swelled after the Bank of Spain said the Spanish economy contracted by a quarterly rate of 0.4 per cent in the second quarter — falling economic output makes it even more difficult for Spain to deal with its debts.If Spain’s borrowing rates continue to rise — it’s not just the ten-year bond that’s seeing higher yields — then Spain may end up being locked out of international markets and be forced to seek a financial rescue, just like Greece, Ireland and Portugal. Spain’s 10-year yield is at its highest level since the euro was established in 1999 and above the 7 per cent level that prompted the others to request a bailout.“The higher the yield goes, the more untenable the situation becomes,” said Rebecca O’Keeffe, head of investment at Interactive Investment.Spanish stocks also took a hit as the country’s borrowing rates pushed higher. The Ibex 35 stock index in Madrid was down 3.8 per cent in morning trading.The latest round of jitters in the markets come barely a month after the leaders of the 17-country eurozone agreed a package of measures designed to instil confidence in the markets. Eurozone partners also agreed to lend Spain up to €100 billion ($122 billion) in funds to bail out banks laden down with toxic assets following the collapse of the country’s real estate bubble over the past four years.Economy Minister Luis de Guindos is due to appear in Parliament later in the day to explain details of the rescue package for the banks.For its part, the Spanish government has pushed through another round of austerity and structural reforms in a bid to convince investors. However, opposition to the government’s strategy is increasing, especially as the country is mired in its second recession in three years and weighed down by an unemployment rate of nearly 25 per cent.Another of Spain’s chronic problems is now beginning to rear its ugly head — debt-wracked regions.The 10-year bond spread jumped above 7 per cent last Friday after the eastern Valencia region revealed it would need a bailout from the central Madrid government. Over the weekend, the southern region of Murcia said it may also need help. Speculation is now strong that several other cash-strapped regional governments may follow.A fund for Spain’s 17 regions was created on July 13 and will have €18 billion ($22 billion) in capital.Many Spanish regions are so heavily in debt due to the recession and the burst real estate bubble that they cannot raise money on their own.Investor concern about regional debt grew when the central government was forced to revise Spain’s 2011 budget deficit upwards for a second time to 8.9 per cent in May — an embarrassing adjustment that had to be made after four of the regions confirmed they had spent more than previously forecast. Interest rate for key Spanish bond soars to 7.41 per cent, highest since euro was launched read more

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UN rights chief strongly condemns attack on Indian security forces in Kashmir

In Geneva on Tuesday, Rupert Colville, Spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), said the UN was also saddened by the further loss of life reported from subsequent gun battles in Pulwama yesterday, 18 February, which is reported to have claimed 9 more lives.“We hope escalating tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbours will not add further to the insecurity in the region,” he said.Mr. Colville said the High Commissioner, Michelle Bachelet, is also concerned by reports from India that some elements are using the Pulwama attack as justification for threats and potential acts of violence targeting Kashmiri and Muslim communities living in different parts of India.“We acknowledge actions taken by the Indian authorities to tackle these incidents and we hope that the Government will continue to take steps to protect people from all forms of harm that may be directed at them on account of their ethnicity or identity,” he stressed. read more

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Badgers sign womens basketball coach Mike Rao to threeyear deal

After guiding the Brock women’s basketball team to their first playoff berth since 2012, Mike Rao will remain the bench boss of the Badgers after signing a three-year contract with the University on Wednesday, May 1.This year, Rao and the Badgers improved their win total to 11 victories and reached the OUA Critelli Cup quarter-finals.“Mike has done a phenomenal job with the program,” said Associate Director of Brock Sports Emily Allan. “He has worked tirelessly from Day 1 to improve and build a culture of excellence. He is continually recruiting talented student-athletes to elevate this team, and he is producing results.”Rao stepped into the role this past season as an interim coach and was tasked with revamping the women’s basketball team after the Badgers went 6-18 and missed the playoffs in 2018. In one season, the Badgers improved their win total and secured their first playoff appearance in seven years.“I really do enjoy building, specifically in sport,” said Rao. “I love helping a team grow. Each season is built around a plan. This past season we emphasized an important element of our program, which is empowering women in sport and celebrating the immense talent our female student-athletes have.”A Welland native, Rao coached the Notre Dame College School boys basketball team for 36 years before joining the Badgers in 2016.Rao and the Fighting Irish remained a constant powerhouse in Niagara, and won the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations AAAA hoops championships in 2013.At Brock, Rao played a key role as an assistant coach when the men’s team reached the U SPORTS National Championships for the first time in 10 years during the 2017-18 campaign.When he took over the women’s basketball squad, the Badgers’ offence surged from 54.2 points per game to 63.1.“I have always considered myself a teacher and not a coach. I like to get to know my players personally and build from there,” said Rao. “I feel that coaching, or teaching, has its foundation on the building of relationships.”Off the court, Rao’s squad is the highest academic achieving team at Brock by GPA, and he is committed to supporting the experiential learning environment on campus.“I always say that coaches or teachers who are not on you about your game or chasing you in the classroom don’t really care about you,” said Rao. “My instruction is constant and visible. I need players to buy into our plan and goal. This can only be done with the forging of a good relationship, which is built on honesty and respect. I tell recruits, come to Brock women’s basketball to become a better player, a better person and a Badger for life.” read more

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Former finance minister justifies sending cash abroad

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Former Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis justified his decision to send cash abroad in May 2012, citing fears at the time of Greece exiting the eurozone.Speaking on Star TV, the ex-minister admitted to sending cash abroad at the time when he was a financial adviser to then prime minister Lucas Papademos, adding, however, that the money had been declared and taxed in Greece.Commenting on the subject on Monday, government spokesman Gavriil Sakellaridis noted that several questions remained unanswered, including why the former minister had allegedly delayed declaring the cash for two years.last_img read more

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German border policy worries Greek officials

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram A decision by the German government to tighten inspections along its border with Austria has fueled serious concerns in Athens as thousands of refugees and migrants continue to arrive on Greece’s islands from neighboring Turkey.Greek government officials warn that the move could lead to the collapse of the country’s already problematic system of response to the migration crisis. Greek officials fear that, if the inspections in Germany remain in place, thousands of refugees and migrants could become “trapped” in Greece.An official service for the management of European Union subsidies for tackling immigration and asylum applications started operating on Monday, paving the way for the release of EU aid that Greece desperately needs to respond to a burgeoning migration crisis.Greek authorities appealed for millions of euros in EU aid last week. But the establishment of an agency to manage those funds is a precondition for the disbursement of the aid. Once the funding is disbursed, it will be earmarked for the creation of new migrant reception facilities, the director of the new service, Giorgos Karatzoglou, told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency on Monday.His comments came a day after Greece’s caretaker Prime Minister Vassiliki Thanou heralded the creation of two new facilities, one in Attica and one in the Thessaloniki area. Thanou made the announcement during a visit to the Aegean island of Lesvos, which has been particularly overwhelmed by an influx of refugees and immigrants.During her visit, coast guard officers were searching for survivors off the coast of another island in the Aegean, Farmakonisi, after a smuggling boat capsized in strong winds. Rescuers recovered 34 bodies, including those of 15 children.Source: Kathimerinilast_img read more

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Google Facebook Twitter arent prepared for deepfakes US Rep Schiff says

first_img Now playing: Watch this: 7:07 Getty Images Facebook, Twitter and Google aren’t prepared for deepfakes ahead of the US presidential election, a top Congressman said after the tech giants sent letters last week about how they deal with high-tech doctored videos and other kinds of media manipulation. The companies “have begun thinking seriously” about the challenges, said Rep. Adam Schiff, a Democrat from California, but it’s their responsibility to prevent their platforms from being weaponized. “It’s clear they are far from ready to accomplish that,” Schiff said in a statement. Deepfakes are sophisticated video forgeries, created automatically by artificial intelligence, that can make people appear to be doing or saying things they never did. Though computer manipulation of video has existed for decades, artificial intelligence is making deepfakes and other so-called synthetic media more accessible and harder to detect.The companies — YouTube-owner Google, Facebook and Twitter — all responded in letters dated Wednesday to questions Schiff sent them two weeks earlier. After he oversaw Capitol Hill’s first hearing about deepfakes, in June, Schiff sent written questions to the companies about manipulated media, deepfakes and a simplistically doctored video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that went viral earlier this year.In its response, Facebook repeated stats that its third-party factchecker Lead Stories released in May about how far the Pelosi video spread on Facebook’s network. The original video got 2.3 million views and was shared 46,500 times before it was flagged as false, and views and shares dropped after Facebook’s policies kicked in, the company said. Twitter said it was aware of two variants of the Pelosi video — one that has nine retweets and 797 video views, and another, different video shared by President Donald Trump’s account. That one was retweeted 31,100 times and had 6.37 million video views. In its letter, Google didn’t specify what the video’s reach has been on YouTube, instead requesting “a closed-door briefing.” And none of the companies addressed the fact that additional copies of the Pelosi videos are being shared and viewed on their platforms.  As for deepfakes specifically, Facebook said it was considering options to better deal with them, which follows CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s comments in June that Facebook may treat deepfakes as a different beast than the manipulated media it’s used to. Facebook’s letter also promised to publicly announce any significant changes to its approach to manipulated media as it learns more about machine-powered fakes. Facebook also said it recently updated its policies so that any content identified as false or misleading by third-party fact-checkers is automatically cut off from running ads and making Facebook money.Twitter said it’ll remove deepfakes disrupting election integrity when the company becomes aware of them. It said deepfakes of “intimate media” made without the subject’s consent — basically, revenge porn or celebrity face-swaps into pornography — would cause the original poster’s account to be suspended.Google was the most vague on deepfakes, saying it’s involved in “advancing research and best practices” to defend against them and that its recommendation algorithms are always being developed to promote authoritative sources, which are less likely to mislead using a deepfake. Google also didn’t respond to messages asking for more details.  Share your voice Comments We’re not ready for the deepfake revolutioncenter_img Tags 4 Laptops Security Digital Media TV and Movies Facial recognition Privacylast_img read more

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All manner of waterborne entries on starting line of race to Alaska

first_imgIt was so memorable they had to do it again. The 750-mile Race to Alaska is back for a second year as 43 teams of sailors, rowers and paddlers prepare to set off from Port Townsend, Washington at 6 a.m. on Thursday.Download AudioNo cabin! Captain Jill Russell and an eight member crew plan to mostly row – and occasionally sail – this 28-foot longdory to Ketchikan from Port Townsend. They’ll sleep in shifts on board or go to shore to rest. (Photo by Tom Banse, Northwest News Network, Oregon)As was the case last June, the Race to Alaska takes place in two stages. The first stretch from Port Townsend to Victoria, B.C., serves as a qualifying segment. Racers must finish this stage in timely fashion and without help to proceed to the re-start at noon on Sunday for the onward race to Ketchikan.Any size boat with any size crew can compete as long as it has no motor and can get to Ketchikan without support. Entries range from racing catamarans and comfortable trimarans, to sloops, veritable dinghies, several kayaks and one stand up paddleboard.Then there’s the 28-foot, open dory Jill Russell will help row to Alaska as captain of Team Kraken Up. Russell said the eight member, all female crew is prepared for hardship.“For us it was more about pushing ourselves outside our comfort zone and really embracing the adventure,” she said. “So we thought, what is the most ridiculous, hard way we could do this race? We found the boat that kind of matched our paradigm.”Last year’s winner reached the finish line in five days. Russell hopes to row there in around two weeks.Race co-founder Jake Beattie last year made the comparison to another great Alaska race.“It’s the easiest way to sum it up still, yeah,” he said Wednesday. “It’s the Iditarod with a chance of drowning.”Beattie directs the Northwest Maritime Center, which organizes the Race to Alaska.“What’s still true is that even though the faster teams are getting faster — we have some really fast boats and we have some incredibly elite sailors — we still have a lot of folks who are entering the race not to win, but just to do something incredible,” Beattie said.Beattie said the first sail or human-powered team to reach Ketchikan again wins $10,000. Second place gets a set of steak knives.last_img read more

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Wandering bison that captured the hearts of Western Alaska poached near Quinhagak

first_imgWood Bison No. 124, seen here from the air, was illegally shot and killed January 27, 2017 near Quinhagak. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is calling the animal’s death a setback for the Alaska Wood Bison Restoration Project.(Photo: Alaska Department of Fish and Game)She was a wanderer. Instead of sticking with her herd, Wood Bison 124 headed out on her own, traveling hundreds of solitary miles from the Alaska Yukon, down the Kuskokwim, to the sea.Listen nowFriday (Jan. 27), near Quinhagak, a bullet ended her journey.She was shot illegally.A man from the village of Quinhagak has been charged for poaching. 25-year-old Benjamin W. Moore, has been charged with two misdemeanors for illegally taking and possessing game. The meat has been donated to the McCann Treatment Center in Bethel.Wood Bison No. 124 was one of 130 wood bison released along the lower Innoko and Yukon rivers in 2015 between April and June. That release was the beginning of the Alaska Wood Bison Restoration Project, an effort to rebuild a population of wood bison here after they disappeared about 200 years ago.The plan was to give the bison ten years to have babies, find their range, and become a bigger herd before hunters would get a chance to harvest them. During the few years she had, Wood Bison 124 became a bit of a celebrity.Tom Seaton, the wildlife biologist who oversees the wood bison reintroduction project with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, described her as a wanderer that “captured the hearts of rural communities across western Alaska.”Seaton called the death, “a sad loss.”According to the state, during her wanderings, 124 had a “knack” for finding good bison habitat. Now, she can no longer share this information with the rest of the herd, leaving what Seaton called, “a void that could slow [the] herd’s expansion.”last_img read more

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Murkowski votes No but Kavanaugh nomination advances

first_imgSen. Lisa Murkowski. (Image: C-SPAN)Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court is cleared for likely passage, but without the help of Sen. Lisa Murkowski. She said she found Kavanaugh’s angry, confrontational demeanor at a Senate hearing last week to be a breach of the Code of Judicial Conduct.Listen nowShe cast the lone Republican “no” vote Friday on ending debate so the Senate can proceed to a final vote on confirmation.Murkowski took to the Senate floor Friday evening to explain. She said the bar is extremely high for a Supreme Court justice. Even if he’s accused of attempted rape, as Kavanaugh was last week, Murkowski said he needs to follow the rules for displaying judicial temperament“Even in the face of the worst thing that could happen, a sexual assault allegation, even in the face of an … overtly political process, a politicized process,” Murkowski said, ” … even in these situations, the standard is that a judge must act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence” in the impartiality of the judiciary.Misty Nickoli of Fairbanks is one of the Alaskans who flew to Washington, D.C. to urge Sen. Murkowski to vote no on Kavanaugh. Photo: Liz RuskinThe vote was 51-49, so Murkowski’s “no” wasn’t decisive.Kavanaugh is very close now to confirmation. Two senators who seemed on the fence, Susan Collins and Joe Manchin, say they will confirm.But outside Murkowski’s D.C. office shortly after the morning vote, a few dozen Alaskans who oppose Kavanaugh were celebrating their senior senator.“Thank you to Sen. Murkowski. Stay strong. Alaska is behind you,” said organizer Molly Haigh, to cheers from the crowd.Some 150 Alaskans or more have flown to Washington in recent days to lobby Murkowski in person, many of them sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union. There are so many that Murkowski has had to meet with them in groups of 18.“Half of the women in our group had been raped sexually assaulted,” said Diana Rhoades, of Anchorage, who had one of the mass appointments. “It was so powerful. Everyone was crying. She was so strong, Lisa, and she said … ‘I feel like I’ve sunk six feet from the weight of your testimony, your stories.’”Many of the Alaskans told Murkowski it would put a cloud over the Supreme Court to elevate a man accused of attempted rape to that bench. They said it would tell victims what happened to them means nothing.Murkowski said she didn’t make up her mind until she walked into the Senate chamber for the vote. She said last week she found Kavanaugh’s  initial accuser, Christine Blasey Ford “very credible.” But she’s not condemning Kavanaugh’s character.“I believe Brett Kavanaugh’s a good man,” she told reporters after her vote. “It just may be that in my view he’s not the right man for the court at this time.”Murkowski said she’s been wrestling with competing values – fairness to the nominee, vs. the perceived fairness of Congress and the courts.She said she respects her colleagues who support the judge, but “I think we’re at a place where we need to begin thinking about the credibility and integrity of our institutions.”It’s bad for the country if people who are victims feel the system lacks fairness, Murkows said.The final vote is expected Saturday. Murkowski said she will actually vote “present” to help out Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., who is at his daughter’s wedding. He would vote “yes” if he were here, likely resulting in a 51-49 tally. The Daines-Murkowski agreement deducts one vote from each side, leading to the same outcome.last_img read more

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Taking action to reduce substance misuse

first_imgOpiates binding to opiate receptors in the nucleus accumbens: increased dopamine release. (Image courtesy of National Institutes of Health.)Substance use disorders are diseases caused by many factors. Preventing and treating them requires input from everyone, not just law enforcement and health professionals. Those are some of the key messages in the state’s new opioid action plan. On Talk of Alaska, we’ll discuss the plan and the ways you can be part of the solutions. This program is part of Alaska Public Media’s Solutions Desk.You can read the plan here.HOST: Anne HillmanGUESTS:Andy Jones, Office of Substance Misuse and Addiction PreventionChristina Love, person in long-term recoveryElijah Gutierrez, Alaska National Guard Counterdrug Support ProgramCall 550-8422 (Anchorage) or 1-800-478-8255 (statewide) during the live broadcastPost your comment before, during or after the live broadcast (comments may be read on air).Send an email to talk@alaskapublic.org (comments may be read on air)LIVE Broadcast: Tuesday, January 8, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. on APRN stations statewide.SUBSCRIBE: Get Talk of Alaska updates automatically by email, RSS or podcast.last_img read more

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300 IS fighters holed up in Mosul Iraqi commander

first_imgAn Iraqi commander says he believes some 300 Islamic State fighters remain in the small patch of territory still controlled by the group in Mosul’s Old City.Lt Gen Sami al-Aridi of Iraq’s special forces said Wednesday that the militants are confined to a 500 square meter (600 sq. yard) area.He spoke the day after Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi congratulated the armed forces on a “big victory” in Mosul, despite ongoing clashes.IS captured Mosul in a matter of days when it swept across northern and central Iraq in the summer of 2014. Iraqi forces backed by a US-led coalition launched a major operation to retake the city in October. An Iraqi commander says he believes some 300 Islamic State fighters remain in the small patch of territory still controlled by the group in Mosul’s Old City.Lt Gen Sami al-Aridi of Iraq’s special forces said Wednesday that the militants are confined to a 500 square meter (600 sq. yard) area.He spoke the day after Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi congratulated the armed forces on a “big victory” in Mosul, despite ongoing clashes.IS captured Mosul in a matter of days when it swept across northern and central Iraq in the summer of 2014. Iraqi forces backed by a US-led coalition launched a major operation to retake the city in October.last_img read more

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