first_imgDubai: As the U.S. tries a new way to protect shipping across the Persian Gulf amid tensions with Iran, it finds itself sailing into uncertain waters. For decades, the U.S. has considered the waters of the Persian Gulf as critical to its national security. Through the gulf’s narrow mouth, the Strait of Hormuz, 20% of all crude oil sold passes onto the world market. Any disruption there likely will see energy prices spike. The U.S. has been willing to use its firepower to ensure that doesn’t happen. It escorted ships here in the so-called 1980s “Tanker War .” America fought its last major naval battle in these waters in 1988 against Iran. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US Now, the U.S. Navy is trying to put together a new coalition of nations to counter what it sees as a renewed maritime threat from Iran. But the situation decades later couldn’t be more different. The U.S. public is fatigued from years of Mideast warfare after the Sept. 11 attacks. The demand for Persian Gulf oil has switched to Asia. Gulf Arab nations poured billions of dollars into their own weapons purchases while inviting a host of nations to station their own forces here, even as infighting dominates their relations. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls Meanwhile, Iran finds itself backed into a corner and ready for a possible conflict it had 30 years for which to prepare. It stands poised this week to further break the terms of its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, over a year after President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from the accord and imposed crippling sanctions on the country. “It is plausible to imagine a scenario where these forces stumble into some type of accidental escalation,” said Becca Wasser, a senior policy analyst at the RAND Corp. who studies the region. “While U.S. efforts are intended to deter, Iran may view increased U.S. maritime presence as offensive in nature or as preparation for a larger attack on Iran and respond accordingly.” The U.S.-led Sentinel Program aims to secure the broader Persian Gulf region. It includes surveillance of the Strait of Hormuz and the Bab el-Mandeb, another narrow strait that connects the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden off Yemen and East Africa. Smaller patrol boats and other craft will be available for rapid response. The plan also allows for nations to escort their own ships through the region, said Cmdr. Joshua Frey, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, which oversees the region. For now, the Bahrain-based 5th Fleet is not escorting U.S.-flagged ships through waters, though that remains a possibility, he said. So far, only Australia, Bahrain and the United Kingdom have said they’ll join the U.S. program. India has begun escorting its own ships independently of the U.S. coalition, while China has suggested it could get involved as well. The U.S. Navy has sent Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers to chokepoint positions, like either end of the Strait of Hormuz. There, they observe ship traffic and monitor for anything unusual as drones and other aircraft fly surveillance routes overhead, Frey said. Some of what the U.S. plan calls for already falls under the routine operations of the 5th Fleet, which has been in the region since 1995. U.S. Navy ships coming in and out of the Persian Gulf often find themselves shadowed by Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessels. Some incidents have seen the U.S. fire warning shots or Iranian forces test-fire missiles nearby. What’s different now though is shippers find themselves under attack. The U.S. blames Iran for the apparent limpet mine explosions on four vessels in May and another two in June sailing in the Gulf of Oman near the Strait of Hormuz, something Iran denies being behind. Iran also seized a British-flagged oil tanker and another based in the United Arab Emirates. Facing growing financial pressure from U.S. sanctions on its oil industry, Iran has sought diplomatic support from those still in the deal, while increasing pressure militarily as well. Even President Hassan Rouhani, who had supported rapprochement with the U.S. in the run-up to the 2015 deal, has been threatening to close off the Strait of Hormuz if Tehran can’t sell its oil abroad. “If someday, the United States decides to block Iran’s oil, no oil will be exported from the Persian Gulf,” he told a cheering crowd in December 2018. That raises the stakes for conflict. “The United States is not seeking a military confrontation, and are certainly not soliciting international support for any provocation,” Frey said. “With that said, while the intent of our presence is deterrence and stability, we are prepared to defend (coalition) member nations’ interests from attacks in the maritime domain.” But it won’t be just the United States involved if things spin out of control, nor will it likely be confined to the high seas. Since the 1980 Carter Doctrine, the U.S. has vowed to use its military power to defend its interests in the oil-rich Persian Gulf. That saw America enter the “Tanker War” toward the end of the 1980s Iran-Iraq war, in which U.S. naval ships escorted reflagged Kuwaiti oil tankers. It culminated in a one-day naval battle between Washington and Tehran, and also saw America accidentally shoot down an Iranian passenger jet, killing 290 people. The 1991 Gulf War, in which a U.S.-led coalition expelled Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s troops from Kuwait, further cemented America’s presence, as did its later wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.last_img read more

first_imgLENDRUM TOWNSHIP, Ont. – Police say four people killed in a two-vehicle crash in northern Ontario over the weekend were from Calgary and Winnipeg.Ontario provincial police say the collision happened Sunday in Lendrum Township, about 15 kilometres south of Wawa, Ont., when a southbound vehicle struck a moose and crossed into oncoming traffic, hitting a northbound vehicle.They say all five people in the northbound vehicle were taken to hospital with serious injuries and two of them died.Police have identified those two people as 51-year-old Cynthia Caraoa and nine-year-old Anika Caraoa of Winnipeg.They say two people in the southbound vehicle were pronounced dead on scene and two others were also transported to hospital with serious injuries.Police identified the deceased as 45-year-old Fatos Metko and 14-year-old Fioralb Metko of Calgary.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version incorrectly said five people were in the vehicle that struck the moose.last_img read more

first_imgTom Fennario APTN NewsJuliette Lisbeth Jérôme says she still has stains in her hair from the pepper spray attack.The Lac Simon First Nation woman says a stranger yelled racial slurs at her and her boyfriend before suddenly wielding the spray can last September.“It burned my eyes, and half my mouth became swollen, right here, my cheek also, I couldn’t feel anything,” Jérôme told the Quebec inquiry into Indigenous relations in Val-d’Or on Thursday.What makes the incident even more upsetting for Jérôme is what she calls the police’s lack of response.“The complaint that we made, our statement, they don’t seem to take it into consideration, there’s still no investigation,” she testified.The Quebec inquiry into Indigenous relations was spurred by accusations that provincial police were abusing Indigenous people in the city of Val-d’Or.Adding insult to injury, Jérôme said she recognizes the man who assaulted her. She said he works at a local grocery store.“Last time I saw him at the IGA he said to me ‘Oh, let me go get my pepper spray’. He still threatens me, it doesn’t stop.”When questioned why she doesn’t go to police to provide this new information, she said she’s afraid.Jérôme had her own run-in with the provincial police this past Christmas. She was charged and found guilty of simple assault for repeatedly hitting her boyfriend with her purse.Jérôme marvels at how her own case was treated – compared to the assault she reported.And she said she’s not the only Algonquin to feel this way.“The police come down hard on Indigenous folks, and that’s discrimination and that needs to be fixed and needs to be stopped.”Jérôme hopes the Quebec inquiry will address what she sees as a double standard.The hearings continue Friday and the final report is due in September 2019.tfennario@aptn.calast_img read more

first_imgBhopal: BSP chief Mayawati on Tuesday threatened to “reconsider” continuing support to the Kamal Nath-led government in Madhya Pradesh after her party candidate from Guna Lok Sabha seat joined the Congress.BSP candidate from Guna, Lokendra Singh Rajput, joined the Congress on Monday evening and extended his support to Guna’s sitting MP and Congress candidate Jyotiraditya Scindia. Reacting to it, Mayawati on her official twitter handle said, “The Congress is not behind of BJP in misusing the government machinery. The Congress has intimidated the BSP candidate from Guna in MP to withdraw from the fray.” Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra Singh”But, the BSP would reply by contesting the elections on its own symbol and also reconsider continuation of support to the Congress government,” she tweeted in Hindi. In the last year’s state Assembly polls, the Congress emerged as the single largest party in the 230-member House with 114 seats, two short of the simple majority mark. It formed the government with the support of two legislators of the BSP, one MLA of the Samajwadi Party and four Independents. The BJP won 109 seats in the state polls.last_img read more

Rabat – On Wednesday morning a truck bomb exploded in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. At least 80 people were killed and hundreds wounded after the attack which rocked the area near the presidential palace near Zanbaq Square.The blast, which happened during the morning rush hour, caused widespread panic and reportedly left a crater that was about four meters deep. After two hours, smoke was still rising from the scene and shops nearly a mile away from the blast experienced blown out windows.According to a statement from the police chief in Kabul, the bomb consisted of a tanker truck packed with explosives. Video footage, captured by witness, shows the extent of the damage to buildings in the area. Security around the blast site was tight and included forces from the coalition led by the United States. Afghan forces patrolled the scene while intelligence officers checked the paperwork of workers to prevent the possibility of a follow up attack.The German Embassy, which is located close to Zanbaq Square, was extensively damaged and at least one Afghan security guard employed by the embassy had been killed. Many German nationals had reportedly been injured and photos show victims using makeshift bandages.The attacks came a few days into the holy month of Ramadan. read more

Rabat – The 2018 Mawazine Festival Rhythms of the World continues to bring international and national artists, delighting their fans on the six stages of the capital.A day before the end of the festival, which boasted superstars such as Bruno Mars, Nancy Ajram, Kadim Al Sahir, and French Montana, the show must go on, as several artists are expected to perform tonight, Friday, June 29.Maria Taledo at Mohammed V National Theater: The Spanish singer Maria Taledo will bring some flamenco vibe to the Mohammed V National Theater at 7:30 p.m. Maria Toledo represents the new image of contemporary flamenco. She is the first woman to sing flamenco and play the piano at a time.She has released four hit albums: “Maria Toledo,” “Uñas Rojas,” “ConSentido,” and “Magnética.” The 34-year old artist has been nominated several times for the Latin Grammy Awards. Imad Benomar, Nouamane Belaiachi, and TiiwTiiw at Salé:Moroccan singers Imad Benomar, Nouamane Belaiachi will start their show at 9:30 p.m.Born in Tetouan, Imad Benomar is a young artist whose music is between Arabic pop and Moroccan raï. He started posting videos on his YouTube channel as of July 2015. Some of his videos have reached a million views.Nouamane Belaiachi is a 25 year-old singer-songwriter, born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Rocked in classical music and raï, this young Tétouani artist recorded his first song “Kheles El Kalam” in 2011.Tiiw Tiiw is a Rraï singer, ex-comedian, and Belgian producer of Moroccan origin. Between 2008 and 2014, Iliass became known with his band of dDakka mMarrakchia known in Brussels as Dakka TiiwTiiw. A few years later, he embarked on a singing career and is already one of the most influential Moroccan singers in the Maghreb with millions of views on YouTube.Ahmed Chiba and Douzi at Nahda:The oriental stage will welcome Egyptian and Algerian stars Ahmed Chiba and Douzi, starting at 10 p.m.Recognized as the youngest raï—Algerian folk music—artist, Moroccan singer Douzi sings in multiple languages, including Arabic, French, English, Spanish, Turkish, and Hindi.Ahmed Chiba is an Egyptian singer who is famous for his song “Ah law laebt ya zahr,” which received over 10 million views on YouTube and has even been translated into English.Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 featuring Yasiin Bey at Bouregreg:The band Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 featuring Yasiin Bey will perform at the African stage of Bouregreg at 10 p.m.A son of the king of Afrobeat Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Seun Kuti learned saxophone and piano from the age of 8 years. One year later, he joined as chorister his father’s orchestra, Egypt 80. After the death of Fela, Seun Kuti took over and is now the worthy heir of Afrobeat thanks to his unique phrasing and the incomparable groove of a legendary formation.The Weeknd at OLM Souissi:Last but certainly not least, The Weeknd. Festival-goers will call out his name, starting 10 p.m. at the international stage of OLM Souissi. Born Abel Tesfaye, The Weeknd is a 28-year-old R&B and pop performer whose debut “Trilogy” was gold-certified. He has scored 8 top ten entries in the Billboard Hot 100 list, including hits such as “The Hills,” “Can’t Feel My Face,” and “Starboy.” read more

Rabat – Air Arabia Maroc has announced it will launch a new round-trip domestic service connecting Tangier and Marrakech on October 28.Low-cost airline Air Arabia Maroc made the announcement Tuesday in a statement.The Airbus A320, with a capacity of 174 seats, will be used in the flight. The flight will be operational three days a week: Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. The plane will depart from Tangier at 7 a.m. and arrive in Marrakech at 8:10 a.m.. The return flight from Marrakech to Tangier will fly at 8:40 p.m. and arrive at 9:50 p.m.The flight will be part of the route between Dakhla and Tangier, and the Marrakech stop will be a technical stop of 40 minutes between the two. Air Arabia Maroc “continues its ongoing commitment for the development of domestic tourism in the kingdom,” the statement said.With the new service, Air Arabia Maroc’s network now has six domestic flights. In June, Air Arabia Maroc added a new round-trip domestic service connecting Casablanca and Nador. The airline opened its first domestic service connecting Fez and Marrakech in June 2017.Air Arabia Maroc, headquartered in Casablanca, is a member of the Air Arabia group. It was launched in April 2009.  The airline is considered to be Morocco’s leading low-cost carrier (LCC). read more

BEIJING — China’s economy czar is going to Washington for talks Thursday and Friday aimed at ending a tariff war over Beijing’s technology ambitions.Tuesday’s announcement, carried by the official Xinhua News Agency, follows talks last week in Beijing that a U.S. envoy said “made headway” on key issues.Negotiators face a March 2 deadline for planned American tariff hikes on $200 billion of Chinese imports to take effect.Xinhua said Vice Premier Liu He will hold talks with the top U.S. trade envoy, Robert Lighthizer, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.The Associated Press read more

“I hope donors will respond rapidly to help the survivors of these devastating floods, which have hit many people who were desperately vulnerable to begin with,” the UN Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, Catherine Bragg, said today on a visit to the Indian Ocean island, where she will officially launch the flash appeal in Colombo, the capital, tomorrow. A flash appeal is a unified request for funds by UN agencies responding to a sudden humanitarian crisis.“As the longer-term economic impact is also bound to be serious, assistance now will be crucial for the recovery effort that must follow,” she added of the devastating rains, which have been linked to the La Niña weather phenomenon, a periodic cooling of the equatorial Pacific Ocean.The UN World Meteorological Organization has said that the current floods in Sri Lanka might be considered to be “rather atypical of La Niña impacts and could be due to other regional factors – however a La Niña influence on the flooding should not be ruled out.” In eastern and central Sri Lanka, the flooding – which reached an almost 100 year high – has driven more than 360,000 people from their homes, killed 43 people, and totally destroyed some 6,000 homes and another 23,000 partially. People are now returning to their homes, but 10,000 people still remain displaced in temporary relocation centres.Agricultural production is the main source of livelihood in the affected regions and this season’s rice harvest is now severely damaged, leading to increased food insecurity.“These floods are an enormous and tragic setback for a community that is slowly rebuilding their lives following the 2004 tsunami and recovering from the decades-long conflict,” Ms. Bragg said referring the Indian Ocean tsunami which devastated the region six years ago, and the decades-long separatist rebellion by Tamils in the north, which ended in 2009.“It’s hard to comprehend how people can recover from yet another disaster, especially as they were at a stage where they had planted crops and had the possibility of a sustained livelihood,” the humanitarian official said.Today, Ms. Bragg met with the international aid community and donors to hear the latest on the flood response as well as on the humanitarian needs in the north, where the most vulnerable populations live following the end of the conflict.Most organizations warned that their resources to respond to the flood crisis were exhausted because they were used to respond to earlier flooding in December. They voiced concerns for the remainder of the monsoon season, which goes until February. If there are more heavy rains, this could have a big impact on the lives of already vulnerable people. Before launching the appeal on Thursday, Ms. Bragg will visit the worst flood-affected areas in the eastern province, as well as conflict-related return areas in the north. The appeal will be revised within the next month to reflect needs as the situation evolves. 19 January 2011With humanitarian organizations in Sri Lanka warning that their resources to respond to the flood crisis there are exhausted, the United Nations and its partners are seeking $51 million to help more than one million people get through the next six months. read more

A nation crippled For its part, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) pointed out in a press statement that while this is the fifth time on record that Dominica has taken a direct hit from a hurricane, it has never faced a storm of such ferocity and strength. One of the Eastern Caribbean’s poorest countries, Dominica’s poverty rate is estimated at 28.9 per cent, or approximately 21,000 people, with some of the hardest-hit parishes also being among the poorest. In consultation with the Government, the humanitarian community launched today a Hurricane Maria Flash Appeal for Dominica, asking for $31.1 million to reach 65,000 people over the next three months to address challenges, such as a lack of fresh running water and electricity along with road damage and communication black-outs. “Dominica has been badly battered and needs to be rebuilt,” said World Food Programme (WFP) Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Miguel Barreto. The mountainous island has suffered nearly 30 deaths, about 80 per cent of its buildings damaged and many roads blocked or impaired. “We’re working with the Government to support the people who are facing huge challenges in their lives” added Mr. Baretto, who has visited in recent days. Some 10 metric tons of WFP high-energy biscuits were transported by ship to the eastern Caribbean island this week and then delivered to communities in the remote interior by helicopter and to coastal communities by boat. Overall, WFP plans to provide a range of food assistance to some 25,000 people for three months as it discusses with the Government a system to supply hurricane-affected people with food vouchers to be used in local markets once they reopen. WFP is also providing critical logistics, air service and telecommunications support to Dominica and the humanitarian relief response. Its Emergency Telecommunications Team – with expert support from the Ericsson Response Team and the Government of Luxembourg – has set up connectivity in Dominica to some 400 registered users including the Government Emergency Operations Centre, the island’s airports and hospitals, and the Dominican, Venezuelan and French fire brigades. Mr. Barreto and the UN Resident Coordinator for Barbados, Stephen O’Malley, visited some of the worst-hit areas and have held discussions with Dominica’s Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit. “We’ve been talking to the Government about how to help them get their systems up and running again,” said Mr. O’Malley. “People want to go back to their normal lives and we can help them do that.” The UN food agency’s emergency efforts are part of a larger UN operation to provide a range of assistance including disaster relief, humanitarian coordination, shelter and water. On the logistics side, the UN Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) in Panama and the UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) – both managed by WFP – are providing support to humanitarian partners in Dominica and the region. UNHRD has been airlifting critical emergency supplies, including mobile storage units and pallets, tarpaulins, boats, and electric generators while UNHAS has been providing regular flight services to humanitarian workers, government officials and partners. read more

first_imgToday at the AfricaDownUnder conference, an African-focused legal specialist has encouraged Australian explorers and miners venturing into the continent to take their lawyer on due diligence trips, not just their geologist. Also, the Federal Government’s export credit agency says it is continuing to support and expand its financial backing for Australian-backed mine project opportunities in Africa. At Lumwana, shovel and truck problems are being overcome and production is now ramping up nicely.Addressing the second day in Perth today of the Paydirt 2009 Africa DownUnder Conference, Perth-based Partner of Blakiston & Crabb Lawyers, Michael Blakiston, said a lawyer was often not included in such trips, left “at home” to contribute their inputs into mine focused transactions. “In our experience, you should have your lawyer visit on site regardless of the African state as you need to collect and clear all the information possible – and that includes talking directly with those involved on the ground.“In dealing with African mining, Australian participants need to explore every source of information as many mining projects are seen as the golden goose and that puts a lot of pressure on government, private sector and NGOs – many of whom make decisions based on tribal relationships. We would recommend Australian stakeholders source the bulk of their information from private intelligent groups – it comes at a cost but it can be very insightful and can bring background information together in a manner that we as Australians may not understand as we are not African and may not be aware how local issues can manifest.”Blakiston advised Australians venturing into African projects to also “find a champion” in government as this level of help was needed if a project was to be fostered and not derailed.Export Finance Insurance Corporation Director, Jan Fuchter, said support for Australian involvement in a range of additional countries in Africa is being considered in addition to current project support in Kenya, Zambia and Mozambique. “In the northwest, we are currently assessing support for Australian projects in Morocco, Mali, Senegal, Guinea, Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon,” Fuchter said. “We also plan to lift our presence on the southeast and southcoast, possibly adding Uganda, Tanzania, Mozambique and South Africa to our current African exposure.”The corporation has already committed since 2004, more than $420 million in support for African ventures involving Australian firms, including copper projects in Zambia, the Mozambique to South Africa gas pipeline, and for EPC services for the Moma mineral sands project. The bulk of funds have been to support Equinox Minerals’ Lumwana copper project in Zambia.“The EFIC is willing to support the growth of Australian business internationally by providing financial solutions in a manner that is complementary to, not in competition with, commercial lenders,” Fuchter said. “Our key focus as a lender, insurer and guarantor is structured trade and project finance for larger companies and projects and SME/mid size companies and obviously Africa’s resources expansion is attracting interest from Australian explorers and mine developers.”Earlier in the conference, Craig Williams President of Equinox Minerals, owner of the world’s largest new copper mine development of the past two years – Zambia’s $841 million Lumwana operation – said production ramp-up is continuing to improve and the mine is expected to rapidly build throughput. He said the Lumwana plant performance was now meeting and exceeding expectations and ore recoveries and concentrate grades were improving.“Mine performance is still ramping up to expectations and we need to focus on material movement to maintain that momentum. The underperformance has primarily been due to truck and shovel availability and productivity but we are continuing to ramp up to successfully move towards an anticipated production rate of 20 Mt/y.“Our metals target is 170,000 t/y of copper for at least six years and our guidance for 2009 is between 110,000-120,000 t of metal at a cash cost of $1.35-$1.50/lb of copper.” Lumwana has a total resource including Measured, Indicated and Inferred of 6.3 Mt of copper as well as a uranium resource of 16.6 Mlb U3O8.The mine has concentrate offtake agreements with Chambishi Copper Smelter for 230,000 t/y of copper concentrate over the next five years, a 70,000-80,000 t/y concentrate contract for five years with the Nchanga smelter and shorter term contracts with international traders.Williams said Equinox believed optimisation and debottlenecking requiring limited additional capital requirements had the potential to increase Lumwana’s throughput by 20% to 24 Mt/y of ore. “This is a very large resource and is a long life mine with opportunity for further expansion,” he said. “There is also opportunity for additional ore feed to the mill from mine extensions and the potential from further regional exploration.“The full bankable feasibility study and plant design has already been completed for the mine’s proposed $200 million uranium plant and we will progress work on that over coming months – as we already have about 1 Mt of uranium ore on the stockpile, the development of a uranium plant is almost inevitable.” Lumwana’s uranium campaign has been designed around 1 Mt/y plant producing 2 Mlb/y of uranium oxide concentrate.last_img read more

first_imgNormally a minor move in the Dow Jones Industrial Average is no big deal. When it’s kicked off by a single piece of bogus news from a hacked Twitter account, however, it’s a little more noteworthy.That’s precisely what happened today as the official @AssociatedPress account was compromised. Those who gained control quickly posted a bogus tweet that a pair of bombs had exploded at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, rocking the White House and leaving President Obama injured.Within minutes, the market fell about 1% — wiping out a morning of steady gains. It only took about three minutes for the Dow to reach its nadir. About fifteen minutes later it was business as usual.In the age of Twitter — and constant high-profile account breaches — it’s clearly becoming more and more critical to pause before reacting to real-time updates… even from a respected news outlet like the AP. But then knee-jerk reactions from stock traders aren’t exactly a new problem in the world of finance.If you recall, Twitter promised back in February that it was going to take a long, hard look at implementing two-factor authentication. Many high-profile Twitter users have even said they’d be willing to pay for the added account security.Yet here we are, two months later, and Twitter hasn’t been able to get two-factor authentication up and running. Today’s AP incident has probably raised the stakes exponentially and that’s the silver lining here.We’ve got enough messes to deal with already. We don’t need something as stupid as a tweet from a hacked Twitter account screwing with our investments and messing with an already fragile economy.last_img read more

first_imgBishops Beach – KBBI file photoThe Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge is receiving multiple reports indicating a significant increase in dead and dying birds found on beaches in the Homer area over the last two weeks. The reports are coming from beach walkers and local citizen scientists dedicated to surveying sea bird populations. Leslie Slater is the Gulf of Alaska Unit Biologist for the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. She says the number of birds reported is in the dozens.Download Audio“So it’s hard to give a real exact number of the normal number. I would say on a given stretch of beach we normally don’t find more than one within a couple of miles stretch.”Slater says there are a lot of potential reasons for the increase in fatalities but the prevailing cause is likely tied to the birds’ food sources.“What we’re seeing more precisely is that birds seem to be starving. That’s sort of the ultimate cause of their deaths but something might be happening before that. We might be having a PSP (Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning) outbreak or another situation called domoic acid where these biotoxins can build up through the food chain and ultimately cause the deaths of these birds.”These deaths don’t seem to be isolated to Homer’s beaches. There are reports of similar deaths down the Alaska Peninsula and the eastern edge of the Aleutians. Slater says it’s possible they could be related to dead whales found near Kodiak. To narrow down causes of death Slater says the refuge will send carcasses of Homer’s birds to the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wisconsin.“There they have a whole team of expert epidemiologists and other wildlife disease specialists who will be able to examine them and probably come up with a real good conclusion.”Slater expects the center to receive the carcasses by the end of this week and believes there could be a reply within two weeks. She asks that people continue to call in dead birds with the species name and specific directions to the bodies’ location. She warns the public not to touch dead birds because they could be carrying disease.last_img read more

first_imgKapil Sharma, Salman Khan, Katrina KaifTwitterAli Abbas Zafar’s directorial Bharat is near to its release and the film’s lead actors – Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif – have finally shot for The Kapil Sharma Show to promote their upcoming film. But where is Salman’s on-screen companion Sunil Grover?Speculations had been doing the rounds of the industry that Sunil Grover may join his friend-turned-foe Kapil Sharma on his show to promote his film. Sunil had confirmed that Salman had suggested him to come back on the show considering their laugh riot chemistry but the comedian had said that the superstar didn’t force him to be on the show.As expected, Salman and Katrina graced The Kapil Sharma Show with their presence but Sunil Grover, once again, failed to show up for reasons that almost everyone can predict. Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif on The Kapil Sharma ShowTwitterDuring his recent interaction with the media, Sunil had said that he doesn’t even watch The Kapil Sharma Show adding that he does not watch shows which he does not feature in.The ugly war between friends-turned-foes – Kapil Sharma and Sunil Grover – is no secret to anyone. The two comedians fell apart after their infamous mid-air brawl in 2017 and they decided to go separate ways.And it looks like Sunil is still holding a grudge against Kapil even when the latter had said in his earlier interviews that the show’s doors are always open for Sunil whenever he wishes to come back.Now it remains to be seen if Kapil would promote Sunil or not despite his absence on the show.last_img read more

first_imgA video grab from footage broadcast by the UK Parliament`s Parliamentary Recording Unit (PRU) shows Britain`s prime minister Theresa May (3L) reacts as opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn responds to her statement to the House of Commons in London on 14 January 2019. Photo: AFPThe British parliament holds a historic vote Tuesday on the Brexit deal agreed with the EU and all sides are bracing for turmoil when the text is almost certainly rejected.With just over two months to go until the scheduled Brexit date of 29 March, a bitterly divided Britain is in limbo and the world is on tenterhooks about what will happen next.Few expect the deal to pass, but the scale of prime minister Theresa May’s defeat could determine whether she tries again, loses office, delays Brexit — or if Britain even leaves the EU at all.MPs from all parties oppose the agreement, for different reasons, but on the eve of the vote May urged them to look again.”No, it is not perfect. And yes, it is a compromise,” she said.”But when the history books are written, people will look at the decision of this house… and ask: did we deliver on the country’s vote to leave the European Union?”Or did we let the British people down?”Nothing has changedThe deal was agreed with the EU in November after 18 months of talks described as Britain’s toughest since World War II.But hardline Brexit supporters fear it keeps Britain too closely tied to the EU and represents a “betrayal”, while pro-Europeans argue it leaves the country half-in, half-out.Rather than heal the divisions exposed by the 2016 Brexit referendum, it has reignited them, with pro-European MPs facing death threats and harassment outside parliament.Brexit supporters around the country have voiced growing frustration with what they see as parliamentary blockage of their democratic vote, while europhiles see hope in the increased talk of a second referendum to end the impasse.May postponed a House of Commons vote on the deal in December, facing certain defeat, and has since offered MPs clarifications she hopes will convince them.Criticism is focused on an arrangement to keep open the border with Ireland by aligning Britain with some EU trade rules, if and until London and Brussels sign a new economic partnership.May has offered parliament greater oversight of this so-called backstop, and at her request, EU leaders have also given written assurances that the arrangement would not become permanent.A handful of Conservative MPs have changed their minds to back the deal, but a junior minister resigned on Monday so he could vote against it — and the core of May’s critics say she has not done enough.”Nothing has fundamentally changed,” said Nigel Dodds of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), the Northern Irish party on whom May relies for her Commons majority.Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said May had “completely and utterly failed” to ease MPs’ concerns and said if she loses the vote on Tuesday night, she must call an election.His party has also threatened a confidence vote in her government.Risk of no dealVoting begins at 7:00 pm (1900 GMT), with MPs likely to decide on a number of amendments first, which could seek to change or kill the Brexit deal.In the event of a defeat, the government must set out what happens next by Monday at the latest.Speculation is growing on both sides of the Channel that May could ask to delay Brexit, but she said Monday: “I don’t believe that the date of March 29 should be delayed.”The withdrawal agreement includes plans for a post-Brexit transition period to provide continuity until a new relationship is drawn up, in return for continued budget contributions from London.Without it, and if there is no delay, Britain will sever 46 years of ties with its nearest neighbours this spring with no new arrangements to ease the blow.MPs fearful of a “no deal” scenario have vowed to use parliamentary procedures to force the government to seek an alternative plan that the Commons can support.Some commentators suggest May could return to Brussels, seeking further assurances on the deal and the future EU-UK relationship and ask parliament to vote again.”At the second time of asking, MPs might just vote for her deal over the catastrophe that would be no deal,” said John Springford, deputy director of the Centre for European Reform.last_img

first_img This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. 2 min read Enroll Now for Free Global cryptocurrency exchange itBit Trust Company, LLC, is arguably the envy of the entire Bitcoin community today.The nascent Bitcoin trading platform announced this morning that it has officially received a banking trust charter under New York State law. The groundbreaking new license makes itBit the only U.S.-chartered and supervised Bitcoin exchange compliant with New York and federal law, Techcrunch reports.    The trust company charter lends itBit “bank-like status,” as The New York Times put it, not to mention some hefty bragging rights within the Bitcoin community. “This is a big deal,” itBit co-founder and CEO Charles Cascarilla told the Times, “not just for us, but for the entire Bitcoin industry.”Related: Richard Branson Holding Digital Currency Summit on Private Caribbean IslanditBit Trust Company is a game-changer for US #bitcoin regulation & customer asset protection— itBit (@itBit) May 7, 2015The license signifies a momentous stride forward in the race to legitimize the fledgling digital currency sector, sullied in the not so distant past by sketchy, unregulated Bitcoin exchanges, like Mt. Gox and Ripple Labs. Just last week, the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network slapped Ripple Labs with a $700,000 fine for breaching the bank secrecy act, among other infractions.Related: Is Bitcoin Speculative Foolery or a Financial Services Breakthrough?In addition to heralding its new license, itBit also shared the news today that it clinched a $25 million Series A venture capital financing round. Several new and existing investors participated in the raise. Among them are RRE Ventures, Liberty City Ventures and the Jordan Company. The funding will be used to “significantly scale” the startup’s products and services, as well as to hire talent to staff positions in compliance, customer service, engineering, marketing and operations, according to a statement issued by itBit.Cascarilla, a former Wall Street financial services professional, co-founded itBit 18 months ago. The exchange is based out of New York City and Singapore. He told Techcrunch that it took his company 15 months and a thousand-plus-page application to finally win the historic charter.Related: ‘Days Felt Like Years’: What Morgan Spurlock Found When He Tried to Survive on Bitcoin for a Weekcenter_img Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now May 7, 2015last_img read more

first_imgPowerRun: run programs as TrustedInstaller by Martin Brinkmann on August 13, 2016 in Software – Last Update: September 09, 2016 – 20 commentsPowerRun is a free program for the Microsoft Windows operating system that lets you run programs with TrustedInstaller/System rights on Windows.TrustedInstaller is the process of the Windows Modules Installer service. This service is used primarily for the installation, modification or removal of Windows updates and components.Files and Registry keys owned by TrustedInstaller cannot be manipulated in any way by regular users or even system administrators.When you try to rename a file owned by TrustedInstaller, you get a “you need permission to perform this action” prompt.The same is true for Registry keys or folders.PowerRun: run programs as TrustedInstallerThe prompt itself does not provide you with the means to get those permissions. Up until now, you had to go through a lengthy process to get the rights to manipulate the file or Registry key.This changes with PowerRun, a free program for Windows that starts programs as TrustedInstaller.Update: The latest version of PowerRun ships with a graphical user interface and other improvements. Other new features of interest include creating vbs or bat files, running with parameters, and jumping straight to a Registry key.You can use the application to run the Registry with TrustedInstaller rights. This in turn enables you to edit keys that are blocked by default.PowerRun is a portable program that you can run without installation. Simply download the program and extract the archive it is provided in to get started.The program ships without graphical user interface. It starts the Registry Editor with System rights by default giving you full access to otherwise locked Registry keys.You may change that to another program, for instance cmd.exe to run the Command Prompt with the same rights.Simply modify the “TargetApp” parameter in the ini file — it is the only parameter there — to make the change.You may run commands from the command line with these privileges then, for instance to delete files that you cannot delete.The easiest way to verify that PowerRun is working correctly is to check the Windows Task Manager, or another process manager, and look at the user name associated with the process you just started.If you see System listed as the user name, the operation worked and you have the rights needed to make changes to the system.VerdictPowerRun is a handy program that runs select programs as TrustedInstaller / System. It offers two main advantages over manually changing access rights: first, the access it grants is just temporary which means that everything is back to normal once you close the program window. Second, it speeds things up significantly. Manipulating access rights manually, and reverting them later on, takes quite a bit of time.Since the latest version ships with a graphical user interface, it is easier to manage items in the program.Summary12345 Author Rating4 based on 13 votes Software Name PowerRunOperating System WindowsSoftware Category AdministrationLanding Page Advertisementlast_img read more

first_imgWindow Detective: detect, set window properties on Windows by Martin Brinkmann on April 12, 2017 in Software – 3 commentsWindow Detective is a free program for Microsoft Windows that you may use to detect Window properties and styles, and set them.One basic example of how you can use Windows Detective is to use it to force program windows to open in custom dimensions and a custom location on the screen each time the program is loaded.Other, easy to use options include setting a window to be always on top, or invisible whenever the program is launched.Window DetectiveWindow Detective needs to be installed before you can run it. The program’s installer comes without surprises though, but depends on a 2010 version of Microsoft’s Visual C++ Redistributable which will be installed if it is not installed already.Note: You need to run the program with elevated privileges for some functionality (setting window styles for instance). Simply right-click on the Window Detective link and select the run as administrator option to do so.The program lists the window hierarchy in a sidebar on the left by default, and windows that you inspect on the right.You may change the view mode to process instead which makes it a lot easier to find the window that you want to inspect and customize.Another option that you have is to use the window picker. Simply click on the pick window button in the interface, hold down the mouse button, and drag it to a window that is open on the screen.Last but not least, a search is also provided which you may use to find windows using basic or regular expression searches.Window Detective jumps to the window automatically in its interface then, so that you can start evaluating it right away.A right-click on a window listed in the program’s sidebar reveals the following options:View Properties — this option displays various window parameters such as the dimensions, position, size, supported styles, scrolling information and a lot more.Edit Properties — opens the general set properties window. Use it to set custom window dimensions, positions, or size, to set the window to visible/unvisible, enabled, or always on top, or change the window text.Message — lists messages sent to the window.Edit Window Styles — enables you to add or remove window styles from the selected window. Styles allow you to add or remove borders, scrollbars, or various other properties of the selected window.Flash, show, or hide the selected window.Closing WordsWindow Detective is a specialized program for Windows. The program has its uses, not only for developers inspecting the behavior of their programs, but also for users who want to customize window capabilities, position, size, or other window parameters.A good starting point for new users is the documentation on the developer website. It walks you through the first steps of using the application.Now You: Do you use programs to customize the display of windows on Windows?Summary12345 Author Rating4 based on 5 votes Software Name Window DetectiveOperating System WindowsSoftware Category AdministrationLanding Page Advertisementlast_img read more

first_imgUNWTO and Amadeus join forces to strengthen technology in tourismAmadeus, a leading provider of technology solutions for the tourism sector, and UNWTO are joining forces to advance the use of innovative technology in tourism in areas such as education and multi-modality.UNWTO and Amadeus, a UNWTO Affiliate Member since 2007, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to consolidate their partnership in several areas. This includes the development of a UNWTO Prototype on multi-modality – the door-to-door planning and ticketing of trips involving all possible transport options – to further integrate different means of transport between destinations around the world.“Innovative technological solutions are fundamental for the tourism sector’s competitiveness and ability to create jobs and inclusive development worldwide. UNWTO is looking forward to working even closer with Amadeus, a highly valued Affiliate Member and key player in this field, to strengthen the ties between tourism and technology”, said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.”It gives me great satisfaction to strengthen our relationship and build upon our respective areas of expertise: technology and tourism. Amadeus is committed to strengthening the sustainability of the travel and tourism sector and already has many initiatives in two of the key agreed priorities, tourism education and innovation in technology.  We look forward to amplifying these through the network of UNWTO affiliates and its events to shape the future of travel”, commented Tomás López Fernebrand, Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary of Amadeus IT Group.UNWTO and Amadeus will also collaborate on issues of sustainability, Corporate Social Responsibility and education through the participation of Amadeus in the UNWTO Talent Development in Tourism pilot project and in various UNWTO capacity building initiatives. UNWTO Source = Amadeuslast_img read more

first_img July 25, 2011 441 Views “”Fifth Third Bancorp””: had a great spring season, judging by the company’s scorching second quarter numbers. The bank estimates its quarterly results were the best on record since 2007, and the dramatic, 58 percent increase in mortgage banking revenue between the first and second quarters of this year contributed heavily to the company’s recent success. [IMAGE]Total net income during Fifth Third’s second quarter was $337 million, demonstrating a significant rise quarter-over-quarter, with correlating 2010 net income standing at $192 million during the same period one year ago. The company’s mortgage banking net numbers rose 42 percent quarter-over-quarter.Originations during the second quarter stood at $3.1 billion, down from $3.9 billion in the previous quarter, and representing a very slight quarter-over-quarter increase from $3.8 billion during the same quarter last year. [COLUMN_BREAK]Origination gains during the second quarter totaled $64 million, and the gain on sale margins rose between the first and second quarters, which is attributed to the lower interest rates during the period.Of the positive second quarter statistics, Fifth Third’s president and CEO Kevin T. Kabat, said, “”Bottom-line results ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬ª drove strong returns – a 1.2 percent return on assets, a 14 percent return on average tangible common equity, and a 4 percent unannualized sequential growth in tangible book value per share.””Other factors contributing to Fifth Third’s strong second quarter include the amortization of mortgage servicing rights (MSRs) and MSR valuation alterations. Servicing asset adjustments were up $40 million during the quarter, improving from a negative $18 million during the first quarter, boosted by MSR amortization of $25 million and valuation changes of positive $10 million. Fifth Third’s total mortgage-servicing component was valued at $847 million to end the quarter, and its servicing portfolio stood at $56 billion.Fifth Third’s mortgage servicing fees remain static, ringing in at $58 million during both the first and second quarters, which demonstrates a slight improvement quarter-over-quarter from $54 million in 2010. Continuing his comments, Kabat noted, “”Fifth Third’s second quarter results were strong and reflected continued improvement in credit trends. Bottom-line results were the best Fifth Third has generated since 2007.”” in Data, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Mortgage Numbers Up for Fifth Thirdcenter_img Agents & Brokers Company News Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Rates Service Providers Valuation 2011-07-25 Abby Gregory Sharelast_img read more