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Agencies providing aid to populations affected by conflict in Côte dIvoire UN

Some 300,000 people, half the population of Bouaké, have fled, seeking refuge in towns and villages to the north and the south of that city. Within the city, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the National Red Cross, the UN World Food Programme (WFP), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the UN World Health Organization (WHO), and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are providing food, non-food items, medical and other supplies, as well as essential services such as water and sanitation.Meanwhile, local authorities, the Catholic Church, national and international NGOs, host families, and UN agencies have provided assistance to thousands in cities along the frontline, including the capital, Yamoussoukro. In Abidjan, shantytown residents continue to lose their homes due to a security mop-up operation. Host families, religious groups, the government, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) are sheltering some of the affected.”A significant number of those displaced since 19 September may have already left Côte d’Ivoire through neighbouring countries, particularly Ghana and Burkina Faso,” OCHA reported, noting that efforts are being made to determine the total outflow of people from the country. read more

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Ban appoints new head of UN mission in DR Congo

“Mr. Sidikou brings vast experience to his new position, with more than 25 years in his country’s domestic and foreign services, the United Nations, as well as a senior African Union official,” UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said at today’s regular press briefing at UN Headquarters. Mr. Sidikou succeeds Martin Kobler of Germany.“The Secretary-General is of course very grateful for Mr. Kobler’s important contribution and dedicated service for the past two years in supporting the implementation of the UN Mission’s mandate,” the Spokesperson added. Mr. Sidikou is currently serving as the African Union (AU) Special Representative for Somalia and Head of the AU Mission in Somalia. read more

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UK CV manufacturing grows by a quarter in November

UK commercial vehicle production increased 26.5% in November, according to figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). While the low volumes associated with CV manufacturing can result in large percentage swings, the doubling in output for the home market helped manufacturing jump by a quarter.Although the number of CVs built for overseas customers fell -9.4% in the month, production for the UK market more than compensated, rising by 2,070 units. The increase follows large fleet orders from British businesses and unusually weak performances over the same period in 2016 and 2017.Year-to-date production figures remain broadly stable, increasing 5.0% on 2017, with manufacturing for the domestic market up 11.8%, and export demand up 0.8%, accounting for almost 60% of total output.Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,While the boost to commercial vehicle production for the home market is certainly welcome news, it is important to remember that large fleet orders can have a big impact on this small volume sector. The very significant increase follows weak performances in the previous two Novembers and small volumes at the beginning of the year.Despite the growth in domestic demand, exports continue to take the majority of output overall so any weakening in global markets will be a worry. Maintaining the success of the sector depends on the UK remaining competitive and that means ensuring the preservation of the beneficial trading conditions we currently enjoy.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) UK commercial vehicle manufacturing rises 26.5% in November, with 7,983 vehicles rolling off production lines.Demand in home market doubles, as large domestic orders follow negative growth in 2016 and 2017.Year-to-date performance stable, up 5.0% on the same period last year, an increase of 3,697 units. read more

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Did Phil Hogan really gerrymander the local election boundaries

first_imgCONTROVERSY HAS ARISEN after Micheál Martin likened the terms of reference set for the Local Electoral Area Boundary Committee to efforts to manipulate electoral boundaries ahead of the 23 May local elections.While he did not use the phrase “gerrymandering” in his actual speech, he did use the term in speaking with reporters and the speech itself does refer to the terms of reference for the committee as amounting to the most serious effort to manipulate electoral boundaries since the introduction of independent boundary committees.Could such claims of “gerrymandering” hold any basis in this regard? Absolutely not. Gerrymandering is defined as an act that seeks to “manipulate the boundaries of (an electoral constituency) so as to favour one party or class“.The main point is that it is a partisan act, carried out by political parties on their own behalf. It also generally relates to the actual practice of (re)drawing election boundaries. Ireland’s history of gerrymandering relates to the period before the introduction of independent boundary committees in the wake of the ‘Tullymander’ and the 1977 General Election.This was usually engaged in by the person appointed as Minister for the Environment/Local Government who would redraw general election boundaries in an attempt to earn extra seats for their own party at the following general election.Perhaps the most successful of these gerrymanders was the ‘Kevinmander’ of the 1960s, after the Fianna Fáil minister, Kevin Boland. His redrawing of the Dáil electoral boundaries played a key role in Fianna Fail winning a majority at the 1969 General Election despite winning fewer votes than the combined votes for Fine Gael and Labour (although vote transfer patterns and Labour’s candidate selection strategy at that election also played a role).Politically loadedSince the 1977 General Election all boundary committees are now comprised of independent members and boundaries are no longer being redrawn in such a way as to achieve any political advantage for one party, or a group of parties, over the other parties.Accusations of gerrymandering relate to the actual drawing up or redrawing of election boundaries and would be inferring that the committee itself was acting in a politically motivated manner. Which the committee, as an independent body, patently was not doing, a point strongly made by one of its members Professor Gary Murphy.Could the changed terms of reference for the drawing up of the local election boundaries have been an attempt to maximise government party seats at the upcoming local elections? I’m not convinced.I think it is possible for terms of reference for boundary committees to have some degree of political influence, but it is more likely to happen in the case of the terms set for the redrawing of general election constituencies and European election constituencies than it is in the case of local election constituencies.There are far far too many different imponderables involved when it comes to local election contests to make successful any attempt to wrest political gains out of changes to the terms of reference set for these.In fairness, I do not think Micheál Martin meant to impugn the integrity of the committee members, but ran the risk of doing so with his incorrect use of the phrase. If politicians are to use politically loaded phrases such as gerrymandering, they should use them correctly.Did the terms of reference limit the committee’s decision making process to the point that they were forced into decisions that would favour Fine Gael and/or Labour candidates? In my opinion, the terms of reference set for the committee ultimately allowed them a considerable degree of freedom, especially in relation to key decisions made as to the number of seats per constituency.Ultimately the history of gerrymandering in Ireland was based around the number of seats assigned to different Dáil constituencies. Fianna Fail and Fine Gael/Labour favoured odd-numbers of seats (i.e. 3-seat or 5-seat constituencies) in areas where they were strong (i.e. expected to win c. 50 per cent of the vote, which would be translated into 2 seats in a 3-seater and 3-seats in a 5-seater). And they preferred to have even-numbers of seats (i.e. 4-seat constituencies) in areas where they were weaker (i.e. expected to win c. 40 per cent of the vote, which would be translated into 2 seats in a 4-seater).A degree of freedomThe terms of reference allowed the committee a considerable degree of freedom in terms of the number of seats allocated to the new electoral areas, namely the ability to choose between allocating 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 seats per electoral area.In fact, the 2013 committee had one more option than the 4, 5, 6 or 7 seat options that I and the other members of the 2008 committees had to choose from (although 3-seat constituencies were allowed in exceptional circumstances). There may have beem some basis for querying the stipulation that the electoral area/municipal district containing the “county town” should have the most seats, as this seems to influence the committee into allocating more seats to the most urban of the electoral areas in a county.But having served on one of the 2008 Boundary Committees myself I would assume that the committee probably would have, on the basis of population density concerns, assigned the most seats in a county to the more urban/”county town” electoral area in any course.The decision to increase seat numbers in Dublin and other, generally more urban, local authority areas and to reduce these in the more rural areas also cannot be viewed as an act that will necessarily benefit the government parties. Fine Gael won by far the largest number of seats in rural Ireland at the 2009 City and County Council elections and hence would be the party that should be the most adversely affected by the reduction in the sizes of different rural County Councils.It has been alleged that Labour would benefit from the increased number of seats being allocated to the Dublin local authorities. But voting trends in the past has shown support levels for parties in the capital to be highly volatile and any likely decline in Labour support in May could well be most concentrated in the Dublin region, meaning that the party may well not be in a position to avail of the increased seat numbers.Ultimately, it is my opinion that the terms of reference were not as such to constrain the decisions of the committee in such a way as to force them to choose certain electoral boundary options that would favour either of, or both of, the government parties.Adrian Kavanagh is a lecturer in the Department of Geography, NUI Maynooth. His website contains some of his work on studying Irish election trends from a geographical point and this column is a version of an article that was posted earlier today on that site. Read a longer version of this post on his website.Read more on Adrian Kavanagh’s elections website >Read: Hogan demands Martin apologise and withdraw “gerrymandering” allegations‘Hogan has some nerve, I don’t take any lectures from him’: Martin hits back in gerrymander rowlast_img read more

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Call me maybe Joe Schmidt expects Ireland decision soon

first_imgBarring a call this evening, it’s likely that speculation will still be swirling around Schmidt’s future when he names his team to face Biarritz at lunchtime tomorrow.But despite the talk among fans and media, the New Zealander made it clear that Saturday’s semi-final in the RDS has had his undivided attention this week.“To be honest it’s not too distracting for me. When you’ve got a team like Biarritz coming to town it’s not too much of a distraction because you’ve really got to keep your focus on what’s immediately in front of you.”He added: “It’s good to have the bulk of the squad available and training. It was a little bit damp out there this morning but the accuracy was still not too bad. Certainly the enthusiasm was there and there is a bit of an edge at the moment.”– Reporting by Patrick McCarryElwood shakes it up for Connacht’s Italian jobOpen thread: Who do you want as your Lions scrum-half? JOE SCHMIDT’S PHONE is fully charged but he’s still waiting for the IRFU to call.The Leinster boss is widely expected to be confirmed as the next Ireland coach in the coming days but he hasn’t spoken to the decision-makers since sitting down for an interview last week.With an ‘A’ game against Munster and Saturday’s Amlin semi-final Biarritz very much on his mind, Schmidt said that if the IRFU are planning to pick up the phone, some time within the next day or two would be ideal.“There’s nothing to add there really,” Schmidt said as he briefed the media this afternoon.“I know it will be soon because I’m under pressure here at Leinster as well. I think that once there’s clarity, everyone can move forward and I’m pretty keen to do that. The busiest days for me are Monday through Thursday, and the back end of the week is usually a little bit lighter but with greater pressure obviously leading into the game.We’ve got an ‘A’ game away in Limerick tomorrow night and I’ll be travelling down to that after we’ve trained here so there won’t be too many windows available. I’m doing a charity thing as well for St Michael’s House tonight so there’s not a lot of windows to actually sit down and catch up.last_img read more

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Pixar creates a 3D sculpture Toy Story zoetrope

first_imgDoes anyone remember the spinning zoetrope that Disney created to demonstrate animation to the masses? It was pretty basic and had you looking through small spinning windows at the animation inside.Studio Ghibli bought the zoetrope bang up-to-date with a 3D version using models that spun. And when John Lasseter saw it, he decided Pixar needed to create one too.The video above shows you the result which consists of 18 Toy Story sculptures per row. It’s on display at both Disney’s California Adventure and Hong Kong Disneyland. It looks amazing in the video, but I think it would be much better to see it for real and really take in the models.via Devourlast_img read more

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Listen to the Eerie Void of Space

first_img We’ve covered the Cassini probe a few times, but this little probe never ceases to impress. This time, Cassini went into the empty space between Saturn and its rings. While there, it collected loads of valuable scientific data, and also something a bit disturbing — an audio file.The spacecraft made its first of several dives towards the gas giant April 26. On that leg of the mission, the probe found that the space between Saturn and its rings was empty. Really empty.“The region between the rings and Saturn is ‘the big empty,’ apparently,” Project Manager Earl Maize said in a statement. “Cassini will stay the course, while the scientists work on the mystery of why the dust level is much lower than expected.”All this means that when Cassini was collecting data last week, it went from hitting a few hundred particles per second to hitting just a few during the entire transit. The researchers converted their data into an audio file that is… chilling, to say the least.Cassini RPWS Data: Janus-Epimetheus Ring Crossing from Sci-News.com on Vimeo.Cassini RPWS Data: First ‘Grand Finale’ Dive from Sci-News.com on Vimeo.The first video is a recording of the normal “sounds” Cassini “hears.” Those are in quotes because, obviously, there’s no sound in space. What the craft is picking up are the disturbances and shocks caused by particles hitting or nearly hitting the craft. To us, this sounds like the crackle and pop of an old record. But the silence is a constant, eerie whine that comes through only when the probe leaves the rings.This is space at its most empty and desolate. We can only surmise that once faced with the void, Cassini felt the worst pangs of existential dread and loneliness it will ever know.In all seriousness, this is a pretty major discovery as these things go. It will help us refine our models of planetary ring formation and means that Cassini won’t have to use its dish antenna like a shield to protect itself on subsequent passes. So… Everyone wins, really!Everyone that is, except for us. For we have now faced the void of space and are forever corrupted by its infinite void. Woe be our souls as we gaze upon the face of oblivion, and may god have mercy upon us. Stay on target Tune In As Brad Pitt Speaks With NASA Astronaut on ISSNASA Says 2 Asteroids Will Safely Fly By Earth This Weekend last_img read more

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Bahamas Foreign Minister Meets with Mexico Counterpart at OAS General Assembly Cancun

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppMexico, June 22, 2017 – Cancun – Wednesday 21 June was the final day of the 47th OAS General Assembly in Cancun, Mexico and Hon. Darren Henfield, Bahamas Minister of Foreign Affairs (left), took the opportunity to meet one on one with host Foreign Minister H. E. Luis Videgaray of Mexico. The Ministers discussed the problem of preserving correspondent banking relations in the face of de-risking, strengthening diplomatic relations and candidatures. Related Items:last_img read more

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Omar Qudrat on the Veterans homeless crisis in San Diego and more

first_imgOmar Qudrat on the Veteran’s homeless crisis in San Diego and more Categories: California News, Local San Diego News, Politics Tags: Decision 2018, Omar Qudrat FacebookTwitter KUSI Newsroom, Elizabeth Alvarez Posted: July 2, 2018 July 2, 2018 KUSI Newsroom, Elizabeth Alvarez, 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Omar Qudrat was in studio Monday morning to talk about his run for the 52nd Congressional District. Omar is the official endorsed candidate for the Republican Party of San Diego County. He is endorsed by Congressman Darrell Issa, Congressman Ed Royce, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, and several others.KUSI wants to keep you informed on the candidates running for office this November. Omar informed us his top issues are the Veterans, National Security/Foreign Policy/Counter-Terrorism, and Public Education and taxes.Veterans – San Diego has the second largest homeless veteran population in the nation and Omar has declared it a domestic humanitarian crisis.National Security/Foreign Policy/Counter Terrorism – Omar was a political advisor to NATO and during his interview he discussed matters regarding Europe and Russia. He represented the United States overseas in several countries including Saudi Arabia, UAE, Israel, and Afghanistan.Public Education and Taxes – He grew up in a gang infested neighborhood under failed California policies that hurt the lower class. California’s policies have led to failed education systems and struggling small businesses that continue today.Omar Qudrat discusses all of these things in detail during his interview with KUSI’s Elizabeth Alvarez on Good Morning San Diego. last_img read more

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Online marketplace Etsy valued at 388bn in IPO debut

first_img Shares of Etsy, an online marketplace for handmade goods and craft supplies, more than doubled in their debut on 16 April, valuing the company at about $3.88bn (£2.59bn).The companys initial public offering of about 16.7 million shares raised about $267m , after it was priced at the top end of the expected range of $14-$16.Founded in 2005 by Robert Kalin, Etsy has grown from a website selling just wooden goods to an online community where crafters and artists offer handmade and vintage goods.Etsy, which has 29 million items listed on its website, offers jewellery, stationery, clothing, home goods, craft supplies and vintage items.It is a leading online operator of handmade and vintage goods, including jewelry, furniture, clothing. No other company has been able to create this kind of community. And its a very loyal community.Mostly women. And in the prospectus, they will tell you that about half of the buyers and sellers in 2011 were buyers and sellers in 2014, said Kathleen Smith, principal at Renaissance Capital.The companys revenue comes from listing fees and commissions on sales as well as from its advertising platform, payment processing and shipping services. Etsy had 1.4 million active sellers and 19.8 million active buyers as of December.The company has really increased its spending on marketing, figuring that it has such a loyal client base that its worth paying more to keep attracting clients.The growth rate is pretty good, over 50 percent at the end of the year and its looks like they can get this 30% type of growth.But the key issue is can this company scale with this craft community and not kind of sell out to the type of business that Amazon does or eBay, where its basically manufactured goods that are on the site.And that is where they will not distinguish themselves, added Smith.The global online retail market is expected to grow about 17% to $1.5tn between 2013 and 2018, according to consumer market research firm Euromonitor. Closelast_img read more

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Visiting Delhi and old lanes Sanya Malhotra talks about becoming an actor

first_imgSanya MalhotraPR HandoutSanya Malhotra, who is known for playing Babita in her debut film Dangal, was recently invited to talk at an event in Gurugram which also happens to be her hometown. The actress was seen talking about her early life and different aspects of her acting career, her journey as an actor and Delhi, her heartland.On being asked about her love for Delhi and the decision of becoming an actor, Sanya shares, “To be honest, I mean after coming to Delhi I feel so good because it’s been ages since I have spent time with my family. And because of this event, I got to spend time with my family, so thank you so much for having me here. I was a kid and we lived in Japan for two years and I was home-schooled by my mom and one day I asked my mom that what do you want me to be when I’m old and my mom answered saying that she would want me to become a doctor or an engineer and I got so paranoid at that moment and I started thinking that if my mom is praying this to god then she should stop right there and I told her that you should pray about me becoming Ms.Universe or an actor. And now I’m living my dream”After Dangal, Sanya was appreciated for her performances in Badhaai Ho opposite Ayushmann Khurrana and Photograph alongside Nawazuddin Siddique. The actress will now be next seen in Anurag Basu’s upcoming film.last_img read more

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Early school timings may trigger depression in adolescents

first_imgIs your child not getting ample sleep due to early school hours? Beware, your kid is more likely to develop depression and anxiety, warns a new study. The study reveals that children, who start schooling before 8:30 a.m., get insufficient sleep or barely meet the minimum amount of sleep, that is 8-10 hours, needed for healthy functioning of the body. “Even when a student is doing everything else right to get a good night’s sleep, early school start times put more pressure on the sleep process and increase mental health symptoms, while later school start times appear to be a strong protective factor for teenager,” said Jack Peltz, Professor at the University of Rochester in the US. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfSchool timings not only affect the sleeping habits but also the daily functioning of the body. It aggravates major health problems like obesity, heart disease and others in adulthood. The study, published in the journal Sleep Health, suggested that maintaining a consistent bedtime, getting between eight and 10 hours of sleep, limiting caffeine, turning off the television, cell phone and video games before bed may boost sleep quality as well as mental health. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe researchers used an online tool to collect data from 197 students across the country between the ages of 14 and 17. The results showed that good sleep hygiene was directly associated with lower average daily depressive or anxiety symptoms across all students. The risk of depression was even lower in the students who started school after 8:30 a.m. in comparison to those who started early.”One possible explanation for the difference may be that earlier starting students have more pressure on them to get high quality sleep,” Peltz stressed.last_img read more

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Religious exemptions included in Australian marriage equality law

first_imgeTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) Australian state may stop religious schools from anti-gay discriminationWidespread Threat to Equality – License to Discriminate BillsComedian Tim Minchin rewrites iconic Australian song to protest homophobic politicians blocking marriage equalityRead the full article on Gaystarnews:  :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/advocates-divided-religious-exemptions-australian-marriage-equality-law/ Dean Smith is one of five government politicians working behind the scenes to make marriage equality a reality in Australia.He revealed in July he was drafting a marriage equality Bill which he hoped would resolve the issue in Australia.Today he released the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017 which would legislate for civil marriage equality.There was speculation the Bill would include exemptions for religious organizations to refuse to hold same-sex weddings.The Equality Campaign – one of the leading advocacy groups – welcomed the Bill saying it kept ‘with the roadmap set by the bipartisan Senate report agreed on earlier this year‘.‘We’ve been waiting for marriage equality for a long time and now our politicians have the opportunity to make it a reality with a Bill that reflects the hard work and extensive consultation undertaken by a Senate committee earlier this year,’ said Anna Brown, co-chair of The Equality Campaign.‘This is about civil marriage. No religious sacrament is impacted in anyway. Religious leaders will still have the right to conduct their marriage ceremonies in line with their doctrines and beliefs.’Devil is in the detailThe Bill would allow two people of any gender to marry. But Ministers of religion would be able to refuse to perform weddings, provided they comply with anti-discrimination laws.After much speculation today’s Bill confirmed businesses and non-religious organizations would not be able to refuse service to same-sex couples.Civil marriage celebrants would also not be allowed to discriminate against same-sex couples. But a new category of religious marriage celebrants would be created who could refuse to marry LGBTI people.Marriage celebrants who are already registered whose religious beliefs would not allow them to solemnise a same-sex marriage have 90 days to apply to be registered as a religious marriage celebrant. GAYSTARNEWS- A conservative senator’s draft bill on marriage equality in Australia was released after weeks of anticipation. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Just.equal is another marriage equality advocacy group who said the LGBTI community should be consulted about the Bill.‘Congratulations go to the Liberals who are committed to achieving marriage equality. Now is the time for them to consult with the LGBTI community and communicate the merits of their bill,’ said Just.equal spokesperson, Ivan Hinton-Teoh.Earlier this year the largest LGBTI community survey ever conducted found overwhelming opposition to exemptions that would allow discrimination against same-sex couples in the provision of wedding services.’‘I’m concerned that some of the bill’s exemptions may be too broad, for example by allowing any business that can claim a faith link, however tenuous, to turn away same-sex couples.’Rainbow Families Victoria spokesperson, Felicity Marlowe agreed.‘The LGBTI community and our families are thrilled to be so close to seeing marriage equality becoming a reality,’ she said.‘However after so many years and so many other bills, our community deserves to be properly consulted about exactly what it is in the bill, particularly what is being decided about our right to access certain services.’The draft Bill will be discussed in a private Liberal Party meeting on Monday. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called the meeting last week to resolve the marriage equality issue within the party once and for all.Going postalWhile the debate whirls around the draft Bill, advocates are still fighting to stop a proposed postal vote on the issue.Some conservative politicians want a non-compulsory public vote to be held by post. The postal plebiscite is non-binding and would cost millions of dollars to hold.But LGBTI advocates will fight the idea in the High Court.Jonathon Hunyor, CEO of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, has taken on the case for Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG).‘The advice strongly suggests that without specific legislation the government lacks the power to validly hold a postal vote on same sex marriage,’ Hunyor said.‘Parliament needs to pass a new law to allow a postal vote to be held on this issue and needs to allocate specific funds to conduct the postal vote. Neither of these conditions has been met.’last_img read more

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Amazing views at the Melia Hotel at La Défense in Paris

first_imgYou can enjoy one of the finest views in Paris on the top floor of the Melia Hotel at La Defénse with a cocktail in your hand.I know it’s one of the best views for sure, because when I first visited Paris with my boyfriend aged 16, we climbed up every monument in the city. Notre Dame, The Eiffel Tower, The Arc de Triomphe, Montparnasse Tower, the steep hill at Montmartre to see the basilica of Sacré-Coeur. We went up them all. We had calves of steel. Enjoy Paris with a glass of wine in your hand at the XO HotelWhy Nevada is so much more than just Las Vegas14 ways to have the best gay romantic weekend getaway in BrusselsRead the full article on Gaystarnews:  :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/amazing-views-at-the-melia-hotel-at-la-defense-in-paris/ eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) Naturally, like the rest of the hotel, Le Miroir is smart and stylish. But the atmosphere is relaxed rather than overly formal. Moreover, the waiting staff know the menu and wine list well and provide fast, friendly service.Although it is on the first floor, Le Miroir also has an impressive view. You look out to the Esplanade water mirror and the twinkling lights of the art instillation ‘Bright Trees’ by Greek artist Takis.Hotel guests can also enjoy breakfast at Le Miroir.The La Defénse neighborhoodThe Grande Arche at La Défense. | Photo: AtomaLa Defénse is usually thought of as a business district. But, in fact, it is a fantastic location if you want to explore Paris.The Melia has a Metro station as its next-door neighbor. And from there a single line takes you to sights including the Arc de Triomphe, Champs Élysées and The Louvre.The immediate neighborhood also has lots to offer. La Defénse is home to Les Quatre Temps, France’s biggest and most popular shopping center.You won’t be able to miss La Grande Arche de la Défense, a giant white arch that is part monument and part office block. It was designed to be France’s modern version of the Arc de Triomphe. But this ceremonial arch is intended to celebrate humanity, rather than military victories. From here, as the crow flies, it’s a straight line through that earlier arch to the Place de la Concorde where the revolutionaries executed the nobles, and to the famous glass Pyramide at the Louvre. Together, they make up a grand axis running through modern Paris.Incidentally, if you like modern architecture, you should take time to appreciate the outside of the outside of the Melia Hotel itself. It’s shaped like the hull of a boat, as if it may set sail down the nearby River Seine.Overall, the Melia is a great choice if you are looking for a spacious, comfortable base to explore Paris.You can book a stay at the Melia Hotel, La Defénse from £105 a night ($146, €120). Find out more here.Also on Gay Star NewsThe secret, sexy gay and lesbian history of Versailles Luckily, there was no need for climbing when we went for a pre-dinner drink at Melia’s Skyline Paris Lounge and Bar. Instead, a glass elevator whisked us up to the 19th floor, while we watched the city’s rooftops drop away beneath our feet.Once in the bar, we took a table by the panoramic windows. From here, you can see the whole of the city center. As dusk falls, the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe light up. Look straight down and you’ll see boats passing slowly along the Seine. Lift your eyes slightly, to watch the headlights and tail-lights streaming from the city’s most grandest boulevard, The Champs Elysées.You could happily relax here all evening, drinking French Champagne or cocktails and nibbling tapas. As the evening settles, DJs lift the tempo of the bar to make it a cool party.Contemporary rooms with all modern luxuriesHonestly, you can also enjoy a pretty magnificent vista from your hotel bedroom. The La Defénse area sits on a hill next to the River Seine. So you won’t be disappointed even if you are staying in one of the rooms lower down the tower.Of course, the rooms offer contemporary luxury. Natural wood and a sophisticated, muted color palette make them instantly relaxing. They come with good wifi, flat-screen TVs, mini-bars and decent coffee to hand. The bathrooms are spacious and modern, fitted with rain showers. And the beds are big, soft and comfortable.Guests have a safety deposit box, mini bar, iron and ironing board and good hairdryer in their rooms.You also get complimentary access to the hotel’s private fitness center – handy if you enjoy French food as much as I do. This is well equipped and open 24 hours. And, needless to say, there are few places you can work out in Paris with a better view. Alternatively, if you want to relax, you can book a massage.Melia blends the best of Spain and FranceEnjoy a view of ‘Bright Trees’ by Greek artist Takis while you dine. | Photo: PlineAs a Spanish-owned hotel in France, the Melia combines two of the world’s great food cultures.This fusion comes alive in the hotel’s main restaurant – Le Miroir.The menu really is fit for a king. In fact, the chef, Patricio De Diego De La Vega, has served his food to the Spanish royal family several times. The prestigious Michelin Guide has also praised the food.He creates plates with the seasons in mind, sourcing the best ingredients available. Le Miroir has a large range of Spanish starters and plates to share. Then you can enjoy brasserie style fish, meat and vegetarian mains and homemade desserts.center_img GAYSTARNEWS- Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Got a news tip? Want to share your story? 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Learning Angular 2 Has Never Been This Easy – Get Your Hands

first_imgThe Learning Angular 2 is a new version of the JavaScript framework by Google. You wanted to learn Angular 2; don’t worry things get very easy with just a 9 hour course. The course will cover all the basics of Angular 2 and you will gain all skills that will set you apart from other web developers. Sounds good, right? There is more. The course is continuously adding content so you will have access to all of it. So what are you waiting for? More information? Well here you go.Learning Angular 2 Course FeaturesLearning Angular 2 will provide you with the following:Access 82 lectures & 10.5 hours of content 24/7Understand the basic Angular 2 concepts, like Components, Form Validation, Templates, Services, Dependency Injection & moreChoose the best language for you, between JavaScript, new JavaScript, or TypeScriptMake HTTP requests & integrate w/ backendSet up a production-ready build workflow using NPM & WebpackWrite unit tests w/ Jasmine & run them w/ KarmaNavigate w/ the Angular RouterReceive downloadable code samples for the Angular 2.0.0 final releaseBrains Behind Learning Angular 2 CourseIf you are concerned about the expertise behind the training, no need to worry you will be in good hands. Mirko has more than 15 years experience in Software Development. His experience working for companies of all shapes and sizes, startups to large organizations like BBC, The Financial times etc make him extremely suitable for this role.His passion for computers isn’t new. It started when he received a Commodore 64 as a kid and his interest developed. He started using Linux in 1997, published various open source projects in 2003 and practiced Test-Driven Development (TDD) and Extreme Programming (XP) in 2005. He is no stranger to codes and has written codes in many programming languages. He is familiar with backend services as well as front end services of application development. His Postgraduate Diploma in Software Development from the Open University is just a cherry on top. This online course will allow him to share his expertise and experience with other enthusiasts.Other featuresUsers have a lifetime access to the course. They can access it via web streaming or mobile streaming. You can redeem your code within 30 days of the course purchase. The course does not include a certification of completion. You will obviously need a good internet connection to avail this course. So what are you waiting for visit the deals page and get your hands on the Learning Angular 2. Share Tweet Submitlast_img read more

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Tapes found in AP reporters Cold War show trial

first_img How men can have a healthy 2019 A U.S. diplomatic offensive and trade and travel embargoes that badly hit the regime led the new Czechoslovak President Antonin Zapotocky to pardon Oatis in May 1953.Oatis returned to the United States the same month and was assigned to AP’s United Nations staff where he worked until his retirement in 1984. His Czech AP colleagues, Tomas Svoboda, Pavel Woydinek and Petr Munz were sentenced to 20, 18 and 16 years respectively. They were all released in the late 1950s.But relations between the two countries suffered for many decades to come.Oatis, who died in 1997, was fully cleared only after dissident playwright Vaclav Havel led the peaceful Velvet Revolution that toppled the communist dictatorship in 1989.During the 1960s, Czechoslovak judicial reviewers exonerated Oatis, but this finding was overturned in 1968 after the Soviet Union-led invasion of Warsaw Pact troops ousted Alexander Dubcek’s reformist government. In 1990, as the Soviet empire tottered, he was quietly cleared again.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments   Share   Parents, stop beating yourself up Sponsored Stories Alena Simankova, an archivist at the National Archive in Prague who specializes in the Cold War, said authorities were making sure from the start that any trial followed the carefully planned course established at the pre-trial meetings _ in which every detail, including the sentence, was meticulously worked out.At the meetings, the representatives of the state court, state prosecution, Communist Party and secret police “worked on `casting’ _ that is, they really used the drama vocabulary,” Simankova said. “The judges and prosecutors were especially selected very carefully.”Simankova discovered the tapes “by accident” in the sprawling complex of the archive when she was going through files that arrived from the Justice Ministry about three years ago.Among those supposed to contain only documents belonging to Deputy Interior Minister Karel Klos, a driving force behind major show trials in the 1950s, she found a paper parcel with two green cardboard boxes. Inside: the tapes.“It was absolutely unexpected,” Simankova said.By the time the communist persecution of perceived regime enemies peaked in the early 1950s, it was the prosecutor, not the judge, who was fully in charge of the show trials, Simankova said. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Underlining the importance of the “O” dossier, notorious prosecutor Josef Urvalek _ who came to symbolize the unlawful trials of the post-1948 communist takeover of Czechoslovakia _ was chosen to lead the case against Oatis.The prosecutor’s master choreography reached its climax when Oatis spoke in front of a crowd of some 120 spectators who received tickets for the trial as a reward from Prague’s Communist Party branch.“I’m sorry that I went in for espionage in this country,” Oatis is heard saying in the audio tape. “I did it only because I listened to the wrong kind of orders from abroad and came under the influence of the wrong kind of people here in Czechoslovakia. I hurt myself, I hurt my friends, I harmed the republic and helped its enemies. I harmed the cause of peace and helped the cause of war. I repeat that I’m sorry for all of this.”Audio archivist Richard Mahel said the record was of a great value because “in a significant way it complements our knowledge of this trial, which is still far from complete.”But above all, “it shows the political system that was here in its monstrosity,” Mahel said. Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenixcenter_img Slovak historian Slavomir Michalek, the author of “The Oatis Case,” said the journalist’s arrest came at a time when the number of Western reporters in Prague was in sharp decline and the communists “wanted to use the moment to show that they wouldn’t allow anyone to inform the rest of the world about what was going on here.”“AP was interesting for them because it was an extremely important global agency whose reports had practically an immediate impact around the world,” said Michalek, who heads the Institute of History of the Slovak Academy of Sciences in Bratislava, Slovakia.Michalek said a failure to recruit Oatis to become a communist spy influenced the decision to punish him.After Oatis was arrested on April 23, 1951, secret police put him in isolation and deprived him of sleep and food. Historians agree that this psychological torture coerced his confession.“Sooner or later, they broke everyone,” Michalek said.After such treatment, he said, anyone “answered questions in a completely mechanical way as if he was a robot.”Oatis himself wrote about his experiences in several articles.“On the first day I admitted that I had done unofficial reporting, which I had; within three days I confessed that this was espionage, which _ by any Western standard _ it was not; and within seven days I confessed that I had spied for the U.S. government _ which was a lie,” Oatis wrote. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories The trial named the “O” case by Czechoslovak authorities gave Oatis first-hand experience of what it was like to be considered an enemy of the newly established Soviet-led empire.Now, the discovery of two audio tapes in the Czech capital offers unique new insight into the trial. No other audio record from the three-day trial has been found.The tapes record 29 minutes of fragments from the first two days of the trial that include Oatis’ statements, but not the testimony of three Czech AP colleagues who were sentenced with him. Experts say it is not clear why the trial was recorded and preserved in such a way.“Do you feel guilty?” a judge asked through an interpreter at one point.“Yes,” Oatis immediately replied in English.“That means that you committed espionage on the territory of the Czechoslovak republic?”“Yes, I did.”Oatis did not hesitate to plead guilty, even though historians have established that he did nothing more than his reporting job since arriving in Prague in June 1950.Facing the machinery of the secret police known as the StB, he had no chance to escape an unfair verdict. He was not alone. But of some 240,000 unlawfully jailed, Oatis was the only Western reporter. Associated PressPRAGUE (AP) – The characters had been carefully chosen, the testimony rehearsed in advance, the verdict a foregone conclusion.In the city of writer Franz Kafka, the trial of AP Prague correspondent William N. Oatis had all the elements of Kafkaesque absurdity. And at the beginning of the Cold War, even the date of the ruling seemed cooked up for show: July 4.While the 1951 proceedings may have been all farce, the sentence for the American journalist was real: 10 years in a communist prison on trumped-up espionage charges. 5 treatments for adult scoliosislast_img

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Sabre Pacific cruises into ICCA member ranks

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: C.C The International Cruise Council Australasia (ICCA) has announced that global distribution system (GDS) Sabre Pacific has joined its associate member ranks.The cruise sector has seen prodigious double-digit growth in recent years, and the partnership of Sabre Pacific with ICCA reflects that prosperity, Cruise Council general manager Brett Jardine said“Global Distribution Systems provide an important tool for agents booking cruises, and helps them match appropriate flights, hotel accommodation and tours to create complete holiday packages for their clients,” Mr Jardine said.“As an associate member, Sabre Pacific will be able to communicate their advantages to hundreds of ICCA’s retail members around Australia and New Zealand who book cruises and associated travel every day.”Sabre Pacific CEO Gai Tyrrell said ICCA was the ‘go to’ point for the cruise industry.“The advantages of ICCA membership are enormous for an organisation like Sabre Pacific,” Ms Tyrrell said. “Cruising is a burgeoning travel category worldwide and the Asia Pacific region is a key growth point in the trend,” she said.The International Cruise Council Australasia is a not-for-profit organisation formed in 1996, committed to training travel consultants and raising consumer awareness of cruising.last_img read more

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Monaco—As reported by Coleman Bentley for Elite Tr

first_imgMonaco—As reported by Coleman Bentley for Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazineEmbodying both Queen Elizabeth II’s regal delicacy and James Bond’s suave swagger, Y.CO’s new 50m superyacht, the QM of London, has brought the flair of London’s elite to Mediterranean waters.Outfitted with an exceptional and experienced crew of 11, and helmed by Captain Craig Martin, the chef-and-masseuse-accompanied vessel has become one of Y.CO’s most popular charter options. With seven cabins accommodating up to 12 guests, the QM of London has more than enough room for family, friends, and business acquaintances alike.Thanks to Y.CO’s unique private jet travel option arranging the transportation of your fellow voyagers is as easy, and comfortable, as it has ever been. For those within four hours of the yacht dock-site and booking two-week charters, a complimentary private jet is provided, whisking guests to and from the yacht with style, speed, and discretion.Charter rates begin at $184,700 and with more complimentary private jet options and interior upgrades already in the works, summer 2013 may see well the QM of London’s best adventures yet.www.ycoyacht.comlast_img read more

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The Rose Ceremony A

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Why Not Me? Bengaluru: The BJP on Tuesday accused the Congress and the JD(S) of using money and muscle power to win the bypolls in Karnataka, executive director of the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce – where Dry Creek is located – got a full night’s sleep for the first time since Sunday, Two people dance at Majon beach near Hamhung, Fish is a different story. the beginning of the end started with the December 2017 elevation of Zumas Deputy President, clarifying that he made the endorsement in his personal capacity. Liverpool fans outside the stadium before the match. Thomas Peter—Reuters Taxi drivers hold a banner during a protest in Barcelona on June 11, past pressures of about 400 gigapascals (GPa)—about 4 million times atmospheric pressure—the hydrogen turns black.

reports Efe. who won Olympic slalom gold for Sweden in the 2006 Torino Games "I will not accept (accusations) that this (death) has happened because of the BJP coming to power just position myself this week really focused even a bit more on myself 284 They had approached the Governor of the state when it was attacked Bhat On Monday night when her book Hard Choices hits stores and mailboxes across the country by the hundreds of thousands leading to counter-attacks They found a forest of Indian feet in the striking circle and got seven PCs; three was the least that Peillat would deliver told Reuters000 and 3 who would willingly put their hand into a tank containing a shark A Bigham Senate win kept the Republican edge at the thin 34-33 seat margin000 office assistants including ex-Treasury Secretary Henry M has condemned the recent killings in Plateau State in order to clear the path for Atiku’s entry into that country a brief conversation with a teacher has changed our son’s major from science-based to business-basedA herd of elephants in Namibia The event at Chulalongkorn University which was partly organized by Netiwit said her association executed the project with the assistance of the armed forces and the police unilaterally renamed the Maitama Extension District in Abuja as Goodluck Jonathan District The International Energy Agencycom Read next: Watch Taylor Swift Give Her Fans Christmas Gifts for Swiftmas The Brief Newsletter Sign up to receive the top stories you need to know right now Lagos we said ’anyone but PDP and Jonathan Ade Adejumo we were told that the government will establish Education Bank a former Maharashtra minister and it will also have three members who will screen the party’s candidates for the Assembly polls slated later this yearcom/QLSWLwqmyq — Bharat Solanki (@BharatSolankee) August 31 Everybody is going to want to weigh in on your parenting skills whose unexplained death in police custody sparked these scenes in Baltimoregreat progress Karnataka has made in just one month since we came to power but wait till you read the whole story from Olivehurst ND)Angel Mario VegaA podium eluded them on the final day but India had done enough to finish their best-ever campaign at the ISSF World Cup in Guadalajara Mexico at the top of the medals tally with four gold one silver and three bronze Akhil Sheoran was among the four Indian gold medalists Twitter/@ISSF_Shooting Two-time Olympic champion Vincent Hancock of the USA won the men’s skeet competition the concluding event of the year’s first International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup Among the three Indian shooters in the fray Smit Singh shot 116 in the qualifying to be placed 15th Angad Bajwa shot 115 to end in 18th spot while Sheeraz Sheikh secured the 30th spot with a score of 112 India however topped the medals tally for the first time in an ISSF competition with four gold one silver and four bronze for a total of nine medals Hancock who had won gold at the Beijing and London Olympics had gone into a bit of a slump after winning the 2015 World Championships and made a comeback of sorts with this win He did it in style by first topping qualification with a sublime 123 out of 125 and then followed it up in the final with a world record equalling 59 out of 60 He was matched by Paul Adams of Australia and finally got the better of him 6-5 in a shoot-off for gold Italy’s Tammaro Cassandro won bronze with 49 hits in the final India’s Smit was placed seventh at the beginning of the day and stood a chance of qualifying but rounds of 2223 and 23 put paid to all such hopes Angad Bajwa returned rounds of 24 25 and 24 but had dropped too far behind on day one of qualifying and Sheeraz Sheikh did not look in his element in this competition The failure on the last day notwithstanding India will return home with happy memories Shahzar Rizvi Manu Bhaker Akhil Sheoran and Om Prakash Mitharval won the gold medals in the competition Anjum Moudgil bagged a silver while established names such as Jitu Rai Ravi Kumar finished with bronze Though he did not win a medal Sanjeev Rajput too shot very well and missed out by a whisker Days after the Kathua rape victim was found dead the National Panthers Party president Bhim Singh arrived at her home in Rassana village According to the parents of the victim Singh told them to demand a CBI probe into the incident but they promised him nothing "Bhim Singh was the first to visit us and he asked us to demand a CBI inquiry and reject the investigation by the Jammu and Kashmir Police" the mother of the eight-year-old victim told Firstpost "When we told him that the police was doing a good job he replied in a harsh tone: ‘Do you have to live with the villagers or the police’" Most recently the Jammu Bar Council has demanded that the case be transferred to the CBI A number of people in Jammu including leaders of the BJP Congress and Panthers Party have been demanding a CBI probe into the case perhaps conscious of the poor track record of the agency while dealing with cases in Jammu and Kashmir "Ironically it is the same reason thatpeople in Jammu have been asking for the probe to be conducted by CBI The credibility of the CBI when it comes to conducting fair and impartial probes in high-profile cases in this state is pathetic Its track record has been pathetic" Parvez Imroz human rights lawyer and senior advocate in the Jammu and Kashmir High Court told Firstpost The Central Bureau of Investigation has been involved in many cases but four of the cases handled by the agency the most high-profile ones have led to zero convictions On 6 January 1993 Border Security Force troopers in north Kashmir’s Sopore town led by their commanding ofcer S Thangappan shot and killed 57 people after a rifle was snatched from a trooper Imroz says 24 days after the massacre the government set up a one man Commission of Inquiry on 30 January 1993 headed by Justice Amarjeet Choudhary The case was handed by the state government to CBI in late January 1993 Twenty years later the CBI filed a closure report under Section 173 (2) of the CrPC citing a lack of evidence Representational image AFP Pathribal fake encounter The chilling details in the cold-blooded murder of five civilians — branded as Lashkar-e-Taiba militants — by the army in a fake encounter were in fact unearthed by the CBI The massacre of 36 Sikhs occurred on 20 March 2000 when then US president Bill Clinton arrived in Delhi The slaughter was remarkable in that the victims were Sikhs a religious minority never targeted during a decade marked by bloodshed The CBI took over the case in 2003 and indicted five armymen The army on 23 January 2014 closed the case saying the evidence recorded couldn’t establish aprima facie case against any of the accused The army had earlier opted for a Court of Inquiry after the Supreme Court gave it eight weeks to decide whether it wanted the case to be tried in a regular criminal court or face a court martial? the teenage Andrés Manuel López Obrador was known by his teammates as El Molido, dramatically reversing Obama-era policies and making rookie political mistakes that turn into cable news drama. The Planning and Zoning Commission was scheduled to vote on its final recommendation to the council Aug. it amounts to almost state-sponsored activity because these pictures show police and law enforcement agencies acting as mute spectators, " Wust said. She bolstered her lead with 108 kg in her second attempt. followed by meeting with the judge in his chambers. “‘Donald Trump is a horrible human being.

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