Category: caymegam

Minister Approves Onshore Exploration AgreementMinister Approves Onshore Exploration Agreement

first_imgInterest in Nova Scotia’s onshore continues to grow with the approval of another onshore exploration agreement, today, Sept. 4, by Energy Minister Bill Estabrooks. Eastrock Resources Ltd. was granted an exploration agreement to explore for conventional oil and gas on land in Cumberland and Colchester counties. The area spans from the western coast of Eatonville, to Economy, up to Glenville. All provincial parks, First Nation reserve lands and designated wilderness areas are exempt from this agreement. The licence was awarded following a call for bids announced in Dec. 2008. Eastrock currently holds a conventional exploration agreement in the neighboring Springhill area, awarded in 2006. “Onshore oil and natural gas holds tremendous potential for Nova Scotia,” said Mr. Estabrooks. “We are encouraged to see Eastrock Resources expand its interest in our province and we look forward to working with them in the future.” “We are delighted to increase our acreage position in Nova Scotia to about 258,000 hectares of adjoining petroleum rights,” said Michael Volcko, president of Eastrock Resources Ltd. “The large area has prospects for both conventional petroleum resources and unconventional shale gas, and we have already identified numerous drilling prospects for both.” Onshore conventional exploration agreements are valid for three years with an option to renew at the end of the third year. There are nine onshore exploration and production agreements held in the province. In order to be awarded the rights to explore a block of land, companies must go through a competitive bidding process. Successful bidders are chosen based on the financial value of the company’s workplan over the term of the agreement, its technical capabilities and industry experience. All onshore oil and gas exploration activity in Nova Scotia is regulated by various departments including Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources. These departments work together to set the terms and conditions on access to any Crown land under the exploration agreement. This agreement does not permit the company to conduct activities such as seismic and drilling without permission of the landowner, private and Crown. Eastrock Resources Ltd. is a Canadian privately owned oil and gas exploration company based in Alberta, with holdings in Nova Scotia.last_img read more

Scheer keeps eye on next election in debut crosscountry summer tourScheer keeps eye on next election in debut crosscountry summer tour

first_imgOTTAWA – Rest and relaxation might top the agenda for most Canadians right now but newly-minted Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is going full-tilt on the barbecue circuit in a bid to introduce himself and boost his party’s prospects before 2019.As part of his summer travels, Scheer spent a chunk of July in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador before moving on to Alberta, Saskatchewan and Quebec.“A big part of my tour was to introduce myself and make connections with people who maybe weren’t following the leadership race but are inclined to support the Conservative party,” he said in an interview.Scheer, who is expected to tour western Canada this month, acknowledged his party will have to cultivate new support if it hopes to head back to 24 Sussex Dr., in addition to holding on to the 98 seats it has today.Pollster David Coletto said it takes a long time to build up a party’s ground game ahead of an election and summer is a critical time for outreach, especially with a new leader.“One of the interesting things about new Opposition leaders is nobody knows who you are,” said Coletto, CEO of Abacus Data.“If you looked at the candidates who ran for the Conservative leadership, at least in the polling we did, he was probably one of the least well-known candidates in terms of just general name recognition and awareness.”If Scheer wants to win a majority in the next election, Coletto said he’ll have to make inroads in Atlantic Canada, where the Liberals made a clean sweep in 2015. And on that score, he said Scheer has a long way to go.“You look at the polling that’s been put out in the last few weeks, ours included, the Liberals are still doing very well in Atlantic Canada,” he said.“The majority of the region would vote Liberal which is pretty much where they were at the last election so Atlantic Canada remains, I think, a fortress for the Liberals.”Scheer, a Saskatchewan MP who took the helm in May after a marathon leadership race sparked by the departure of former prime minister Stephen Harper, said his party is in the midst of beginning a new chapter and rebuilding trust, including with voters who were wooed to the Liberals in the last election.Conservative MPs are also preparing to hold their annual summer caucus retreat in Winnipeg on Sept. 7 and 8 — a key target area for growth.“There are several seats in the area that we held for many years and that we lost in the last election,” Scheer said. “We want to get some colleagues back and show Manitobans and Winnipeggers that we want to be there, we want to be there to listen to what we need to do better.”He also pointed to the electoral success of the province’s Progressive Conservative premier Brian Pallister, a former Conservative MP.“We want to have the opportunity to make connections with our provincial counterparts there … and start the groundwork to win some seats back that we should be able to win back in the next election,” Scheer said.For his part, Trudeau has also made a number of stops across the country this summer including at the Canada Games in Winnipeg and at the Calgary Stampede.Trudeau also held three fundraisers in July — an event in Mississauga, Ont. where tickets cost between $750 and $1,500, a donor appreciation event in Halifax and an event in Surrey, B.C. for $1,000 a person.Cameron Ahmad, a spokesperson for the prime minister, said Trudeau’s summer travels were not conducted specifically with the 2019 election in mind.“Obviously an Opposition leader would be spending more time targeting certain regions for political reasons, where I would say this wasn’t that kind of a tour,” he said.“It wasn’t a campaign-style tour where we held rallies or anything. It was … truly an opportunity to go to communities and meet people.”Trudeau is now expected to move into vacation-mode of his own in British Columbia.—Follow @kkirkup on Twitterlast_img read more

A warm embrace for grieving parents at funeral of seven young fireA warm embrace for grieving parents at funeral of seven young fire

first_imgOne by one, seven small white caskets were carried inside a cavernous waterfront hall on Saturday, where thousands of mourners gathered for an emotional embrace of grieving parents who lost their children in a devastating house fire.Seven black hearses lined up under the cold winter sun, the caskets brought inside the Cunard Centre by an honour guard.As they filled a stage, a heartrending sobbing could be heard, the anguish of a woman who lost all of her children in Tuesday’s fast-moving fire, and whose husband was in hospital being treated for severe burns.Mourners offered love and support to Kawthar Barho, who arrived in Canada with her family 18 months ago as Syrian refugees.But the overwhelming devastation of losing seven children in one night – from an infant baby to a teenager – hung heavy over the funeral.“I’ve done many funerals but nothing like this, so please bear with me,” an overwhelmed Sheikh Hamza said as he offered the ceremony’s English sermon.More than 2,000 people attended the two-hour service, with every seat filled and hundreds more people standing.Imam Abdallah Yousri said he hoped opening the ceremony to the public would allow Barho to see the entire community had been united in sympathy.“On what is our darkest day, we see the best of humanity when we look out into the sea of faces in front of us,” said Natalie Horne, vice-president of the community group that sponsored the Barhos’ refugee claim.“Our lives were enriched as a result of our relationship with you and your children,” Horne told Barho through tears. “We love them and we love you.”Many of those gathered openly wept when the children’s names were read: Teenager Ahmad; Rola, 12; Mohamad, 9; Ola, 8; Hala, 3; Rana, 2; and Abdullah, who was born in Canada on Nov. 9.“Together our community will find ways to honour your memories,” the city’s deputy mayor, Tony Mancini, said after reading the names.“I encourage each of you to use the sadness we share as a community to fuel acts of love and kindness towards our family, friends and neighbours.”It was a common theme throughout the funeral – a desire for the tragedy to lead to love and unity.“Life is short and temporary. Live it the best way possible,” Hamza said.Nova Scotia deputy premier Karen Casey told Barho “we will not abandon you. We will not leave you alone.”“Please accept our love,” Casey said. “Please accept our warm embrace.”Halifax MP Andy Fillmore told Barho the community would be there for her in the hard times to come. But he acknowledged it’s family that brings the greatest comfort, and said the federal government is trying to bring her overseas relatives to Canada quickly.“We are working as hard as we can to get your family here as quickly as possible so they can be by your side,” Fillmore said.Mourners, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, said they came because they had been deeply affected by the tragedy, and wanted to show their support for Barho as she faced unimaginable grief.“She doesn’t know me, I don’t know her, but I know I’m here. And she’s our family – their whole family is our family. I want to be here for all of them,” Cindy Samson said in an interview.Adnan Aboushahla said it was a “shock for anyone – not only for Muslim people, but for Christians and other religions,” to witness such a tragedy.“We want to do whatever we can – either give support, money, feelings, this grief,” said Aboushahla.Following the funeral service, the combined honour guards of Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency and Halifax Regional Police carried each coffin back outside, one at a time, to the waiting hearses. There was to be a burial at a Muslim cemetery in Hammonds Plains following the funeral.Peter Andrews, Halifax fire deputy chief of operations, said it was a “huge honour to be invited to participate in this family’s darkest day.”He said none of the firefighters that responded to the horrific blaze were part of the funeral’s honour guard.“We put on a brave face today,” he said. “We’ll grieve in our own way in the weeks ahead.”The children’s father, Ebraheim Barho, remained in hospital Friday recovering from extensive burns. He was in critical, but stable condition.The cause of the blaze in the Halifax suburb of Spryfield early Tuesday remains unclear.Mourner Tareq Hadhad, a Syrian refugee who founded Peace by Chocolate in Nova Scotia, said it is hard for the parents to handle all the pain by themselves.“I would say it’s the most devastating period that I have ever lived, even though we lost family members back home in Syria. The loss of seven kids at once really has had a very devastating impact on the entire community here,” he said.Mourner Mouna Manna praised the outpouring of support, and said the mother’s burden is unimaginable.“I don’t even know where to begin to imagine how this would be, to lose not one or two but seven of them all at once … it’s a huge, huge devastation,” she said.The scale of the tragedy for the young family that arrived in Nova Scotia in the fall of 2017 as refugees has struck a chord with Canadians.A GoFundMe campaign had raised about $585,000 by Saturday evening.The Barho family lived in Elmsdale, a 30-minute drive north of Halifax, when they first arrived in Nova Scotia, and were embraced by residents there.They moved to the Halifax suburb of Spryfield to take advantage of language training and other immigrant services, and had planned to return to Elmsdale next month.The family was among 1,795 Syrian refugees who have come to Nova Scotia in recent years. The Trudeau government granted asylum to 40,000 Syrian refugees in 2015-16.A brutal civil war has raged across Syria since 2011, claiming more than 400,000 lives.last_img read more

A look at 2017 Grammy Awards winnersA look at 2017 Grammy Awards winners

first_imgAdvertisement Facebook Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Select winners at the 2017 Grammy Awards:Album of the year: “25,” Adele.Record of the year: “Hello,” Adele.Best new artist: Chance the Rapper.Song of the year (songwriter’s award): “Hello,” Adele and Greg Kurstin.Best pop solo performance: “Hello,” Adele.Best pop vocal album: “25,” Adele.Best traditional pop vocal album: “Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin,” Willie Nelson.Best pop duo or group performance: “Stressed Out,” twenty one pilots.Best dance/electronic album: “Skin,” Flume.Best rock song: “Blackstar,” David Bowie.Best rock album: “Tell Me I’m Pretty,” Cage the Elephant.Best alternative music album: “Blackstar,” David Bowie.Best R&B album: “Lalah Hathaway Live,” Lalah Hathaway.Best urban contemporary album: “Lemonade,” Beyonce.Best rap album: “Coloring Book,” Chance the Rapper.Best country album: “A Sailor’s Guide to Earth,” Sturgill Simpson.Best country solo performance: “My Church,” Maren Morris. Best jazz vocal album: “Take Me to the Alley,” Gregory Porter.Best jazz instrumental album: “Country for Old Men,” John Scofield.Best compilation soundtrack for visual media: “Miles Ahead,” Miles Davis & various artistsProducer of the year, non-classical: Greg Kurstin.Best music video: “Formation,” Beyonce. Twitterlast_img read more

Congress investigating deepfakes after doctored Pelosi video report saysCongress investigating deepfakes after doctored Pelosi video report says

first_img Legal Facebook Donald Trump Deepfake coverage on CNET Deepfakes may ruin the world. And they can come for you, too Samsung deepfake AI could fabricate a video of you from a single profile pic Tags A manipulated clip of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has people worried about bogus videos in the run-up to 2020. Larry French/Getty Images Congress is looking to investigate deepfakes after the appearance of doctored videos of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, says a Tuesday report from CNN. Deepfakes, video forgeries that make people appear to be doing or saying things they didn’t, are the moving-picture equivalent of bogus images created with programs like Photoshop. Deepfake software has made manipulated videos accessible and increasingly harder to detect as fake. One technique enables users to make a deepfake using a single image, such as the Mona Lisa.Speaking with CNN, House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff, a Democrat from California, reportedly said the Russian fake news campaign during the 2016 presidential election could escalate for the 2020 presidential race thanks to deepfakes. “The most severe escalation might be the introduction of a deepfake — a video of one of the candidates saying something they never said,” Schiff said. Schiff called the Pelosi video a “cheap fake.””Very easy to make, very simple to make, real content just doctored,” Schiff reportedly told the publication. “If you look back at how impactful the Mitt Romney videotape about the 47% was, you could imagine how a videotape that is more incendiary could be election-altering. “Combine that with the fact that we already have a president of the United States who says the things that are real, like the Access Hollywood tape, are fake, and things that are fake, like the Pelosi tape — he pushes out as real.” 1center_img Politics Security Culture Digital Media Online Share your voice On May 23, videos doctored to make Pelosi appear like she was drunkenly slurring her words spread across Facebook. Facebook refused to take down the viral clip, despite reportedly having been looking into its manipulated-media policy just days before the video appeared. The Pelosi videos then disappeared from Facebook on Monday, but the social network denied removing them. In her speech, originally made at a Center for American Progress event, Pelosi accused Trump of being part of a “cover-up.” The video was then found by the The Washington Post to have been slowed to around 75% of its original speed, with the pitch of Pelosi’s voice also altered. The doctored videos went viral after being posted to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, with one version on Facebook being viewed over 1.4 million times and shared 30,000 times. Pelosi, another Democrat from California, slammed the social network. “We have said all along, poor Facebook, they were unwittingly exploited by the Russians,” Pelosi told KQED News on Wednesday. “I think wittingly, because right now they are putting up something that they know is false. I think it’s wrong.” “[Facebook is] lying to the public … I think they have proven — by not taking down something they know is false — that they were willing enablers of the Russian interference in our election,” she said. Schiff’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Commentlast_img read more

Coast guards push back 2000 RohingyasCoast guards push back 2000 Rohingyas

first_imgMembers of Bangladesh Coast Guard arrested more than two thousand Rohingya peoplein a drive at several houses of Saint Martin’s Island on Sunday, reports UNB.The drive was conducted from the evening till 10:00pm following the order of the deputy commissioner, said DC Md Ali Hossain.Later, the arrestees were sent back to Myanmar in trawlers, he added.Meanwhile, thousands of Rohingya people were still entering Bangladesh from several points including Amtoli border, Tumburu border, Anjuman Para, Hwaikong Ghat.last_img

The American Kidney Fund Receives Grant to support Children with Kidney DiseaseThe American Kidney Fund Receives Grant to support Children with Kidney Disease

first_imgBy George Kevin Jordan, AFRO Staff WriterThe Robert I. Schattner Foundation awarded The American Kidney Fund (AKF) with a $150,000 grant to help children living with kidney disease and provide financial support for low income dialysis patients in the D.C. area.“The Foundation’s Board chose AKF for this gift as a meaningful extension of Dr. Schattner’s philanthropy and to honor Dr. Schattner by helping others who are living with kidney disease,” said Robert H. Sievers, treasurer of the Robert I. Schattner Foundation in a press release. “Though AKF helps thousands of patients nationwide, we know they also help many people right here in our backyard. We are pleased to know the Foundation’s gift will be well spent on programs that really make a difference in people’s lives.”The Robert I. Schattner Foundation awarded The American Kidney Fund (AKF) with a $150,000 grant to help children living with kidney disease and support low-income dialysis patients in the District.  (Courtesy Image/Logo)The Foundation’s gift will provide funding for three AKF programs in 2019:The Safety Net Program provides grants to low-income dialysis patients to help pay for treatment-related costs that are not covered by health insurance. This includes things like transport to and from treatments, over the counter medications and other needs.The Calendar Kids Art Program is an annual nationwide art contest for children and teens living with kidney disease.The Summer Enrichment Program provides financial support to help children and teens with kidney disease attend specialty camps that offer all the fun of traditional camps and are also equipped with the facilities and staff needed to handle the unique medical needs of kidney patients.The Robert I. Schattner Foundation, based in Rockville, MD, was established by Dr. Robert I. Schattner, a local dentist, inventor, businessman and philanthropist. Schattner died in 2017 from complications of kidney failure.“We are so grateful to the Robert I. Schattner Foundation for its generous gift to help ease the financial and emotional burden of children and adults living with kidney disease,” said LaVarne A. Burton, AKF president and CEO. “The Foundation’s gift will allow us to open exciting new avenues for the Calendar Kids Art participants to illustrate their journey with kidney disease, support summer enrichment activities for young patients and provide desperately needed funds to help dialysis patients in the Capital Region who have nowhere else to turn.”Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is an often-preventable condition that can go undetected until it becomes life-threatening. As the leading nonprofit working on behalf of Americans with kidney disease, AKF has planned Kidney Month activities to inform and inspire at-risk individuals, policy makers and the public about kidney disease and living kidney donation.Many of the 30 million people in the U.S. don’t even know they have the disease, so AKF is taking action to provide several engagements and tools to help DMV residents get tested and stay aware of their kidney health.The AKF is offering several free screenings throughout the month of March in honor of Kidney Month.In Washington, D.C., there will be free screenings at the AmeriHealth Caritas Nutrition Wellness Day (March 16), Children’s National Medical Center Health Fair (March 19) and Hoop for All Foundation Flag Football Tournament (March 23). In addition to the D.C. kidney health screening events, AKF will host a Kidney Month presentation at the Washington Senior Wellness Center (March 19). Through Know Your Kidneys™, AKF helps people understand their risk for CKD and the importance of early detection to slow down or prevent its progression to kidney failure.There are also screenings in Richmond,VA (March 22-24) and the B’More Healthy Expo in Baltimore (March 16).For more information about AKF Kidney month activities go to KidneyFund.org/kidneymonth. The AKF also has developed a quiz for people to learn what they may know and don’t know about kidney disease. To go to the quick click here, or go to www.kidneyfund.org.last_img read more

Cravings between life and deathCravings between life and death

first_imgBratya Basu’s literary invasion into the near-death experience (NDE) is a twist in the tale of otherwise a gripping story of soul searching of a fatally injured man in the coma. The playwright chooses a middle-class Bengali protagonist who represents the perception of the entire class about their daily chores, ambitions, accomplishments, failure, wiliness, inherent family politics and their rationale to defend themselves in their lives.The play progresses lyrically by dissecting the mind of the protagonist and constructing the discourse of a common man in the society who struggles hard in balancing between building his career and struggling for a satisfactory family life. He stumbles quite often to get up again and move on. His vices and dogmas are generally criticised hard in his society but he shows the courage to confront them. ‘Ami Anukulda ar Ora’ is a short play which blends the real with surreal, moves between likelihood and implausibility, revolves around dreams and reality of a commoner by indicting and challenging the social system. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfAvi Chakraborty of Asoknagar Natyamukh has shown noticeable maturity in producing a difficult play. He has skillfully brought OBE (out of the body experience) on stage to handgrip the enormity and spread of introspection. Somesh, 54 years of age, a marketing manager of a private firm, meets with a serious accident and slips into unconsciousness with a little chance of recovery. It is in this condition that reality and dreams cross boundaries when his friend of yesteryears, Anukulda, comes to visit Somesh. We see Somesh in his teens in dialogue with Anukulda, whose nagging and blunt behavior irks him but reminds him of his nostalgic past. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe most poetic, emotive and surrealistic part of the play happens when his unborn, aborted daughter who if born would have been a teenager, comes to visit him to remind Somesh of his complex intimate relation with his wife. The playwright’s creative resourcefulness brings the kindliness of a father-child conversation which silently makes the Electra complex perceptible between them. In the concluding part, Somesh faces ‘Godot’ of Samuel Beckett where he admits that while he might have faced ‘Iblish’ to experience ‘hell’ on earth, he still wishes to live for a minority few for whom it is worth living. Charming Rishav Basu as Somesh is very good in his role in the play. He, with his impressive diction and gracious body movement, carries the play effortlessly on his shoulders as a protagonist. Equally dexterous is Sumanta Roy in his role as Anukulda. He challenges Rishav quite often with his natural acting and undoubtedly proves his potential as an actor of promise. Avipsa Ghosh as Somesh’s daughter shows her growing determination to be a great actor on stage. Sandipan Chatterjee is good in his role as God. Director, Avi Chakraborty, keeps the stagecraft simple where he demarcates the frontal part of the stage to perform the out of the body experience and the rear part as the Nursing home, the reality. The transportation from conscious to the subconscious is subtle and is done aesthetically. Special mention of Saumik Chakraborty is required here for his fascinating set design. Music and background score of Dishari and Light designing by old-timer Sudip Sanyal make the production complete. The playwright’s elucidation of the importance of an employed middle-class life with values and contradictions amidst negativities in the world brings a wave of fresh air for us to inhale deep and take our lives forward.last_img read more

EU approves labour protection laws for Whistleblowers and Gig economy workers withEU approves labour protection laws for Whistleblowers and Gig economy workers with

first_imgThe European Union approved two new labour protection laws recently. This time, for the two not so hyped sects, the whistleblowers and the ones earning their income via the ‘gig economy’. As for the whistleblowers, with the new law, they receive an increased protection landmark legislation aimed at encouraging reports of wrongdoing. On the other hand, for those working for ‘on-demand’ jobs, thus, termed as the gig economy, the law sets minimum rights and demands increased transparency for such workers. Let’s have a brief look at each of the newly approved by the EU. Whistleblowers’ shield against retaliation On Tuesday, the EU parliament approved a new law for whistleblowers safeguarding them from any retaliation within an organization. The law protects whistleblowers against dismissal, demotion and other forms of punishment. “The law now needs to be approved by EU ministers. Member states will then have two years to comply with the rules”, the EU proposal states. Transparency International calls this as “pathbreaking legislation”, which will also give employees a “greater legal certainty around their rights and obligations”. The new law creates a safe channel which allows the whistleblowers to report of an EU law breach both within an organization and to public authorities. “It is the first time whistleblowers have been given EU-wide protection. The law was approved by 591 votes, with 29 votes against and 33 abstentions”, the BBC reports. In cases where no appropriate action is taken by the organization’s authorities even after reporting, whistleblowers are allowed to make public disclosure of the wrongdoing by communicating with the media. European Commission Vice President, Frans Timmermans, says, “potential whistleblowers are often discouraged from reporting their concerns or suspicions for fear of retaliation. We should protect whistleblowers from being punished, sacked, demoted or sued in court for doing the right thing for society.” He further added, “This will help tackle fraud, corruption, corporate tax avoidance and damage to people’s health and the environment.” “The European Commission says just 10 members – France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Sweden, and the UK – had a “comprehensive law” protecting whistleblowers”, the BBC reports. “Attempts by some states to water down the reform earlier this year were blocked at an early stage of the talks with Luxembourg, Ireland, and Hungary seeking to have tax matters excluded. However, a coalition of EU states, including Germany, France, and Italy, eventually prevailed in keeping tax revelations within the proposal”, the Reuters report. “If member states fail to properly implement the law, the European Commission can take formal disciplinary steps against the country and could ultimately refer the case to the European Court of Justice”, BBC reports. To know more about this new law for whistleblowers, read the official proposal. EU grants protection to workers in Gig economy (casual or short-term employment) In a vote on Tuesday, the Members of the European Parliament (MEP) announced minimum rights for workers with on-demand, voucher-based or platform jobs, such as Uber or Deliveroo. However, genuinely self-employed workers would be excluded from the new rules. “The law states that every person who has an employment contract or employment relationship as defined by law, collective agreements or practice in force in each member state should be covered by these new rights”, BBC reports. “This would mean that workers in casual or short-term employment, on-demand workers, intermittent workers, voucher-based workers, platform workers, as well as paid trainees and apprentices, deserve a set of minimum rights, as long as they meet these criteria and pass the threshold of working 3 hours per week and 12 hours per 4 weeks on average”, according to EU’s official website. For this, all workers need to be informed from day one as a general principle, but no later than seven days where justified. Following are the specific set of rights to cover new forms of employment includes: Workers with on-demand contracts or similar forms of employment should benefit from a minimum level of predictability such as predetermined reference hours and reference days. They should also be able to refuse, without consequences, an assignment outside predetermined hours or be compensated if the assignment was not cancelled in time. Member states shall adopt measures to prevent abusive practices, such as limits to the use and duration of the contract. The employer should not prohibit, penalize or hinder workers from taking jobs with other companies if this falls outside the work schedule established with that employer. Enrique Calvet Chambon, the MEP responsible for seeing the law through, said, “This directive is the first big step towards the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights, affecting all EU workers. All workers who have been in limbo will now be granted minimum rights thanks to this directive, and the European Court of Justice rulings, from now on no employer will be able to abuse the flexibility in the labour market.” To know more about this new law on Gig economy, visit EU’s official website. Read Next 19 nations including The UK and Germany give thumbs-up to EU’s Copyright Directive Facebook discussions with the EU resulted in changes of its terms and services for users The EU commission introduces guidelines for achieving a ‘Trustworthy AI’last_img read more

This week in the Peace Corps Building sustainable recycling projectsThis week in the Peace Corps Building sustainable recycling projects

first_imgFrom the Caribbean to the Pacific, Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) work with local communities on environmental awareness, trash collection systems, and recycling projects.PCVs Tanya, Laura, and Paige participated in recycling campaigns in their respective communities, in an effort to keep youth involved and motivated in community projects. Photo courtesy of Peace Corps Costa RicaFrom environmental fairs, to starting recycling routes, to a truck full of recyclable materials – all of the volunteers are at different stages of the project life cycle. PCVs work in communities to help educate locals on issues like these so that when they leave, healthy projects are up and running, and most importantly, sustainable. Photo courtesy of Peace Corps Costa RicaThe Peace Corps photo series in The Tico Times Costa Rica Changemakers section is sponsored by the Costa Rica USA Foundation for Cooperation (CRUSA), a proud financial supporter of Peace Corps Volunteer projects nationwide. Learn more here. To donate to support the Peace Corps Costa Rica, visit the official donation page.  Volunteers’ last names and community names are withheld from these publications, per Peace Corps policy.Connect with the Peace Corps Costa Rica on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Brought to you by the Costa Rica USA Foundation (CRUSA). Courtesy of CRUSA Facebook Comments Related posts:This week in the Peace Corps: Cacao in Talamanca This week in the Peace Corps: Celebrating English learning This week in the Peace Corps: Brick to Bread ovens This week in the Peace Corps: Cooking like a Costa Ricanlast_img read more

Tiger Airways successful launches IPOTiger Airways successful launches IPO

first_img<a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/27588/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&amp;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Tiger Airways has launched its initial public offering (IPO) at $S1.50 ($1.17) per share. Reports coming out of Singapore on Monday indicated that the partial float had attracted strong interest and the deal appears to have been oversubscribed. The low cost carrier previously indicated it wanted to sell the shares at the top end of its $S1.35 to $S1.65 indicative range and would realise about $S233 million before expenses. Tiger Airways plans to use more than half of these profits to fund aircraft acquisitions. The airline has confirmed that approximately $S50m will go towards paying off short-term loans and a further $S10m will be invested into “potential new airlines or operating bases”. Currently, Tiger Airways has bases in Singapore, Melbourne and Adelaide serviced by 17 aircraft. The airline has also confirmed plans to expand its fleet with a further 51 aircraft by 2015. This would place the low-cost carrier in the same competitive league as its major rivals, Jetstar and AirAsia. The offering consisted of 155,556,000 new shares plus 9,599,000 from investor Indigo Partners. President and Chief Executive Officer of Tiger Airways, Tony Davis said, “We believe that the significant demand for shares in Tiger Airways from investors around the world is a strong vote of confidence in our low-cost business model and the growth potential of Tiger Airways.”The Financial Times has reported that the IPO had been 3 1/2 times subscribed by Friday night and it could end up eight to 10 times oversubscribed. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.Flast_img read more

Tribal council once again chooses beautiful SamoaTribal council once again chooses beautiful Samoa

first_imgImage credit: Samoa Tourism AuthorityTop rating reality TV show Survivor has chosen Samoa for the fifth time, with Channel TEN announcing that the location was once again chosen for its rugged beauty and remoteness for the 2016 Australian season.A reported 15,000 Australians auditioned to be part of the series. 24 Australians have been casted where they will compete in various challenges while marooned in a secret location with only the most basic instruments to survive.One by one tribe members will vote out fellow competitors until one remains to be declared the winner of the series. The show will be hosted by Australian celebrity Jonathan LaPaglia.Endemol Shine Australia will produce Australian Survivor in association with format creator Castaway Television Productions Ltd. According to TEN Chief Programming Officer, Beverley McGarvey, Samoa was chosen for its “beautiful, remote, challenging and dramatic” settings.Samoa’s Prime Minister, Hon. Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi says that they are delighted to have been chosen for a fifth time by Survivor, which shot on location most recently in 2011.“We are humbled to have been chosen by Survivor again for the Australian series. In many ways, it was the perfect decision, with existing infrastructure that we can build on from previous seasons and having staff on the ground with solid experience to guarantee a smooth and efficient production,” he said.“But despite having hosted such a global television phenomenon, we have managed to preserve the beauty and untouched nature of our surroundings which is testament to our commitment and love for our country and its pristine environment.”Production will begin later this month in a top secret island location and will air on Channel TEN later on in the year. Visit SamoaSource = Samoa Tourism Authoritylast_img read more

The Week Ahead Measuring Growth in the Housing MarketThe Week Ahead Measuring Growth in the Housing Market

first_imgThe Week Ahead: Measuring Growth in the Housing Market in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News February 15, 2016 553 Views Federal Reserve Housing Market National Association of Home Builders U.S. Census Bureau 2016-02-15 Staff Writercenter_img As predicted by economists, the housing market and economy are expected to see slower growth this year and there are several industry reports coming this week to see if they were indeed spot-on with their expectations for 2016. So will the slow growth housing market continue?First, the industry will have a chance to see where builder confidence will fall for February. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) will release their Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) on Tuesday, February 16 at 10:00 A.M. (EST).Home builder confidence in January 2016 changed very little from December’s level, but this only means that economists were spot on with their predictions for the new year.Last month, builder confidence in the market for newly constructed single-family homes decreased to 61 but was later revised to 60. This month, builders’ confidence rests at 60 as well, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI).“January’s HMI reading is right in line with our forecast of modest growth for housing,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “The economic outlook remains promising, as consumers regain confidence and home values increase, which will help the housing market move forward.”One of the most important housing indicators comes in on Wednesday, February 17 8:30 A.M. (EST). Housing starts and building permits posted disappointing numbers in December, but year-end and year-over-year totals came in strong.The U.S. Census Bureau and HUD reported that  housing starts were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,149,000 in December, down 2.5 percent from the revised November estimate of 1,179,000. Year-over-year, starts are up 6.4 percent from the December 2014 rate of 1,080,000.The Bureau and HUD also reported that single-family housing starts in December were at a rate of 768,000, 3.3 percent below the revised November figure of 794,000. Approximately 1,111,200 housing units were started in 2015, 10.8 percent higher than the 2014 figure of 1,003,300.”Given the tight inventory that we’ve seen in many housing markets across the country, today¹s release is a positive sign for new housing starts. The upward trend reflects upward price movements over the past year, which makes homebuilding less risky,” said Ralph B McLaughlin, Ph.D, Chief Economist at Trulia.The Federal Open Market Committee will also release the minutes from their January meeting, where they left the federal funds rate at it current level on Wednesday 2:00 P.M. February 17. The Fed cited the usual economic concerns as the reason for no change in the rate. The rough, unexpected start to 2016 has some in the industry questioning if the Fed will dial back on its December decision or ease up on the four “gradual increases” projected for this year.Fed Chair Janet Yellen, noted in one of two testimonies last week that persistent economic headwinds have kept the federal funds target rate at a historically low level—and that future rate hikes may occur even more gradually than originally anticipated. In her second testimony, Yellen discussed the possibility of falling into a negative rate environment given the state of the economy. Sharelast_img read more

Leonard fellow lawmakers hold joint committee hearing during Detroit auto showLeonard fellow lawmakers hold joint committee hearing during Detroit auto show

first_img Categories: Leonard News,Leonard Photos Rep. Leonard and members of the House and Senate attend a joint committee hearing in Detroit.State Rep. Tom Leonard, R-DeWitt Township, and members of the House Commerce Committee and Senate Economic Development Committee hold a joint committee hearing on Jan. 15 outside the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.“The auto industry has been and continues to be a very important part of Michigan’s economy,” said Leonard, R-DeWitt Township. “I was pleased to learn more about the investments and innovations being made by our auto companies.”The hearing was scheduled as an opportunity to educate lawmakers and the public about Michigan’s role in the global automotive industry and what the state can do to further attract automotive jobs and investment.### 21Jan Leonard, fellow lawmakers hold joint committee hearing during Detroit auto showlast_img read more

Rep Whiteford welcomes local pastor to lead House invocationRep Whiteford welcomes local pastor to lead House invocation

first_img Categories: News,Photos,Whiteford News,Whiteford Photos 26Oct Rep. Whiteford welcomes local pastor to lead House invocation State Rep. Mary Whiteford, right, welcomed Reverend Sarah Farkas, to the state Capitol to give today’s invocation for the Michigan House of Representatives. Farkas is a pastor at Rectify Church in Allegan and serves as chaplain for the Allegan County Jail.  They were joined at the rostrum by Speaker Tom Leonard.last_img

Bellinos spring cleaning proposal receives overwhelming House supportBellinos spring cleaning proposal receives overwhelming House support

first_img Categories: Bellino News 24May Bellino’s ‘spring cleaning’ proposal receives overwhelming House support The Michigan House Wednesday voted overwhelmingly to approve a plan sponsored by state Rep. Joe Bellino removing an unnecessary law from the books.Bellino’s plan removes a duplicative reporting requirement within the Office of Community Corrections. Submitted reports outlining funding requests were once received by the state, but that information is now redundant since it is submitted to the Legislature each year within the Michigan Department of Corrections budget.Bellino’s proposal is part of a bill package that he and his House colleagues have been working on to clean up state government and have it run more efficiently for the people of Michigan.“More often than not, regulations in state law are duplicative to others,” said Bellino of Monroe. “My plan, as well as plans sponsored by my colleagues in the Michigan House aim to get rid of unnecessary regulations to keep our government clean and limited.”House Bill 5997 now moves to the Senate for further consideration.last_img read more

Rep Kesto crafts essential updates to law with rise of digital currencyRep Kesto crafts essential updates to law with rise of digital currency

first_img Categories: Kesto News,News Plan in bipartisan package approved in Michigan House voteA proposal from state Rep. Klint Kesto expanding criminal definition in instances where money changes hands was passed unanimously in a recent vote by the Michigan House.Kesto’s legislation, House Bill 6253, does not create any new crimes or strengthen penalties. It adds to definition within the Michigan Penal Code to include cryptocurrency as something of value when examining possible financial gain in crimes involving embezzlement. The proposal is one of six addressing digital currency in a bipartisan update to current laws.“We’ve seen an explosion in the use of digital currency and our laws need to be reflective of that use to make sure Michigan residents and consumers are protected,” said Kesto, of Commerce Township. “These are effective updates that will keep us tough on crime without adding crimes.”Cryptocurrency first started to appear in the United States in the early 1990s, but its popularity has taken off due to a surge in online business and the ease and unregulated nature of exchange. Several major merchants across the country now accept digital forms of currency. Cryptocurrency is not officially recognized as a form of money, so loopholes have naturally arisen in outdated current laws which specifically define a transfer of money or personal property in forms of crime.Kesto serves as chair of the House Law and Justice Committee, which heard testimony on the bills before unanimously advancing them to the full House in November.The six bills in the package, HBs 6253-58, now move to the Senate for consideration. 10Dec Rep. Kesto crafts essential updates to law with rise of digital currencylast_img read more

Rep OMalley on State of the State Prioritize skilled trades and MichiganRep OMalley on State of the State Prioritize skilled trades and Michigan

first_img State Rep. Jack O’Malley, of Lake Ann, issued the following statement after the governor’s State of the State address:“Michigan’s economic comeback depended on smart investments and I’m dedicated to working with my House colleagues, listening to the people we represent and acting in their best interests.“Record investments in K-12 schools and a renewed, modern focus on hands-on skilled trades gives students important training for high-quality careers. We must continue to invest in improving our schools to give our kids the best possible opportunities.“We are also investing more than ever into our roads that drive our economy. Michigan needs more than a vague plan and a catchphrase. The people we represent want to see their tax dollars spent wisely on priorities that matter. We need to figure out how to get more out of every dollar we use, rather than increase the bill for taxpayers.”### 13Feb Rep. O’Malley on State of the State: Prioritize skilled trades and Michigan roads Categories: News,O’Malley Newslast_img read more

Republican Response on Income Inequality School ChoiceRepublican Response on Income Inequality School Choice

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares January 27, 2014; Washington PostThe new, kid-friendly political strategy of the Republican Party, reflected in gubernatorial races with candidates’ televised appearances at charter schools, is being pursued among Republicans in Congress. As President Obama in his State of the Union address intones his strategy of addressing economic inequality, which involves such actions as increasing the minimum wage, Republicans like Senator Lamar Alexander (TN) and Tim Scott (SC) are adopting school choice as the GOP’s answer to income inequality.Alexander and Scott are introducing legislation to convert the federal budget’s $24 billion dedicated to education programs for low-income pupils into block grants for states. In the Alexander/Scott proposal, the states would be permitted to use the funding as payment assistance for children to attend public or private schools, including religious schools, averaging about $2,100 per student in the form of student vouchers. Unlike President Bush’s No Child Left Behind program and President Obama’s Race to the Top, the Alexander/Scott legislation frees the states from publicly reporting whether individual schools are succeeding or failing (though they would still report on student achievement at various times) and from following federal educational strategies of any sort.Aiming to assist as many as 11 million students to get into private schools and other alternatives to traditional public schools, the GOP leadership thinks it has a winning strategy in the works, not only attracting minority voters to the party, but uniting the constantly warring Republicans themselves. The Alexander/Scott legislation matches the strategy enunciated by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (VA), and even fits the previously announced charter school and voucher priorities of near-libertarian Senator Rand Paul (KY).For Democrats, the GOP’s interest in school choice puts them in a bit of a quandary. While the teachers unions have expressed misgivings about the privatization of K-12 education, there are plenty of Democrats that show up on the side of school choice policy proposals. Although there is only one federally funded school voucher program currently in operation—Washington D.C.’s Opportunity Scholarship program, which provides tuition support for some 5,000 to attend private schools (mostly Catholic schools)—it isn’t as though the District’s Democratic leadership has been opposed to D.C.’s voucher program. In fact, the all-Democratic political leadership of Washington D.C., led by Congressional Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, has enthusiastically supported the voucher program. (The communications director for Congresswoman Norton informs us that the congresswoman does not support vouchers for students to attend private schools; she supports charter schools.)Democrats in many states are hardly opponents of charter schools. For example, Michelle Rhee, a diehard advocate of school choice, was appointed D.C. schools chancellor by a Democratic mayor of Washington, is married to Kevin Johnson, the Democratic mayor of Sacramento and a major early supporter of President Obama, and has distributed campaign support through her Students First organization to Democratic as well as Republican candidates. President Obama’s own policies at the U.S. Department of Education such as Race to the Top underscore support for charter schools as a desirable education priority, and other major Democratic politicians, such as newly elected senator Cory Booker (NJ), have been closely linked to charter school and broader school choice advocates.The Republicans think they’ve stumbled onto a winning idea to attract minority voters. It could be a policy direction that, in a rare moment, melds the Republicans’ Tea Party wing with its so-called moderate party leadership in contrast to the likely splits among Democrats on the school choice issue. Expect more state and federal versions of the Alexander/Scott legislation that would pay for private school vouchers.—Rick CohenThis article has been altered to include a clarification from the office of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton on her position regarding school vouchers.ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more