Hateful package sent to Quebec City mosque outside of Canadian values Trudeau

first_imgQUEBEC – A package containing a defaced Qur’an and a note expressing hate toward a Muslim cemetery project has stoked renewed fears at a Quebec mosque where six men were killed in January, the mosque’s secretary general said Wednesday.Mahedine Djamai said when the parcel arrived Friday he expected it to contain more of the sympathy cards that have poured in from across Canada since the shooting.Instead, he said, it contained a Qur’an that had been slashed and a note suggesting the Quebec City mosque should use a pig farm as a cemetery.“I was shocked,” Djamai said in a phone interview.“I thought, once again we’re getting this kind of message we didn’t expect at all. It reminds us that there’s always a fear that a terrible event like what happened on Jan. 29 could happen again.”Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard condemned the incident, describing it as “unacceptable and repulsive.”“It’s hard to prevent the darker sides of human nature,” Couillard said in Edmonton as he attended a meeting of the country’s premiers.“It’s a repulsive act done by a coward, essentially, and it should be condemned and rejected. And it is rejected by the majority of Quebecers.”Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the incident has nothing to do with Quebec or Canadian values.“In any society, there will be people who are intolerant or racist and I think the challenge of a strong society is to spend our time focusing on where we are similar and not where we are different,” Trudeau said in Quebec City.“We consider it to be an attack that is outside of our values and our way of living.”The package arrived two days before a referendum on a proposed Muslim cemetery was held Sunday in Saint-Apollinaire, about 35 kilometres from Quebec City.Djamai said the mosque informed police about the package but decided not to go public until after the referendum to avoid influencing the vote.A zoning change that would have allowed the burial ground project to move forward was rejected by 19 votes to 16.Trudeau expressed disappointment with the referendum outcome.“Certainly, I’m pleased to see that various authorities are looking to move forward and ensure discrimination doesn’t happen, that people who are proud Quebecers, proud Canadians, who also happen to be Muslim, will have the capacity to bury their loved ones here in their country,” he said.“And that kids and grandkids who have lost their grandparents will be able to visit them regularly here at home.”Quebec City police spokesman David Poitras said security has been increased around the Centre culturel islamique de Quebec mosque and that authorities were taking the matter of the package seriously.He added it was too soon to know whether charges will be laid.This is not the first time a hateful gesture has been directed toward the mosque.In June 2016, a pig’s head was left at its entrance during Ramadan. The pig’s head was wrapped in paper and was accompanied by a note that read “Bonne (sic) appetit.”The mosque has said it has also received hateful letters since the attack.— Written by Morgan Lowrie in Montreallast_img read more

Get Into One Directions Shirt For Charity

first_imgChart topping boy band One Direction is supporting Alzheimer’s Society by donating a hand signed T-shirt that will be auctioned on eBay until tomorrow (Thursday 20 December).Band member twenty year old pop sensation Louis Tomlinson from Doncaster is supporting the charity after his girlfriend’s grandfather was diagnosed with dementia.They are offering one lucky fan a T-shirt which is personally signed by all of the boys from the band: Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson. You can bid on the t-shirt now on eBay.“I’m so pleased the boys have decided to support Alzheimer’s Society in this way,” said Eleanor Calder, Louis Tomlinson’s girlfriend. “My grandfather has dementia and my family and I have had first hand experience of how the condition affects every aspect of a person’s life. I hope people will get bidding on eBay to raise money to help those families who live with dementia.”Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Society said: “We are hugely grateful to One Direction for auctioning an item in aid of Alzheimer’s Society. Money raised from the auction will help people live well with dementia and fund research to find a cure. The boys support will help us reach new audiences and raise awareness of dementia amongst younger people. Everyone has a role to play in improving the lives of people with dementia.”Get your bids in quickly before the auction ends tomorrow! Bid now!Source:Alzheimers.org.uklast_img read more

Depeche Mode To Release Series Of 55 Unique Big Bang Watches To

first_imgOne of the most influential, beloved and best-selling musical acts of all time, Depeche Mode have sold over 100 million records worldwide and have played to more than 30 million fans since their formation in 1981.Big Bang Depeche Mode The Singles Limited EditionAnd, in their 37 year career, Depeche Mode have released an incredible 55 singles, from “Dreaming of Me” in 1981 to last year’s release of “Cover Me”. In tribute to this incredible achievement, the Swiss watchmaker Hublot introduces a collection of 55 unique pieces of its Big Bang Unico model, all to benefit Hublot and Depeche Mode’s charity partner charity:water.“We are greatly honoured and moved by Hublot’s support of charity: water with this new collection of watches commemorating all of our singles,” said Martin Gore, Depeche Mode.“Depeche Mode are iconic in the history of contemporary music. We identify with their passion, stronger now than ever, and with their constantly growing creativity. We are lucky enough to share many values with them, including thecommitment to the activities of the charity: water NGO. This new and unique collection of 55 different pieces plays tribute to their incredible career while aptly celebrating our common ground. A new collector’s edition grew out of this!” added Ricardo Guadalupe, CEO of Hublot.The limited-edition series was announced at the Hublot boutique in Milan, Italy by Ricardo Guadalupe, CEO of Hublot watches, and Martin Gore of Depeche Mode.Each of the watches features, on its dial, a disc that partially shows the image of the record cover it represents. The back of each watch features the entire cover of the single as well as the charity: water logo. These two elements are imprinted on the sapphire of the glass opening onto the famous automatic UNICO movement. Produced by the Hublot manufacture, it provides a power reserve of 72 hours. Each piece will be fitted with a strap in a colour specific to each model, completed with cuff straps in the same hue, and rock-and-roll-inspired rubber studs.charity: water, based in New York City, is a non-profit organization whose mission is to bring clean and safe drinking water to people in developing countries worldwide. Depeche Mode and Hublot have actively supported charity: water since 2013, with their first partnership bringing safe, clean water to over 30,000 people in Nepal and Ethiopia.Net proceeds from the sale of the 55 unique pieces will go to charity: water, as part of the larger charity initiative between Depeche Mode, Hublot and charity: water.last_img read more

Aphria to invest 10M in branded venture targeting recreational pot market

first_imgLEAMINGTON, Ont. – Medical marijuana producer Aphria Inc. says it plans to invest $10 million in a company merging two cannabis brands to target the incoming recreational pot market in Canada.Aphria (TSX:APH) says it has committed to a $10-million equity investment in the venture merging luxury marijuana brands Ontario-based Tokyo Smoke and British Columbia-based DOJA Cannabis Company, which is expected to be renamed Hiku Brand Co. Ltd.The Leamington, Ont.-based marijuana company already holds a stake in TS BrandCo Holdings Inc., known as Tokyo Smoke, and last year signed a licensing agreement to produce and ship cannabis with its branding to medical marijuana patients.Aphria chief executive Vic Neufeld says the investment marks the company’s first venture into premium British Columbia cannabis as it anticipates that branding will become an important differentiator in the recreational pot market, with legalization expected next year.DOJA has a production facility in B.C.’s Okanagan Valley and a Culture Cafe information centre in Kelowna, while Tokyo Smoke has six coffee and cannabis accessory shops across Canada and one due to open in Seattle early next year.Aphria says it is also looking to finalize other agreements, pending the approval of a cannabis sales license for DOJA’s wholly-owned subsidiary, including access to West Coast cannabis and Hiku’s retail locations in provinces where private licenses will be granted.last_img read more

BMCE Bank to Launch Latest African Entrepreneurship Award

Rabat- BMCE Bank of Africa launches the 4th edition of the African Entrepreneurship Award (AEA) on March 12 in Casablanca. Registration remains open until April 30.The AEA initiative supports talented African entrepreneurs who hold promising ideas for to a better world.The past three editions have been dedicated to education and the environment, witnessing the participation of more than 12,000 entries from 132 countries, coaching for 112 candidates, the nomination of 33 winners, and the funding of 21 corporate projects. This year’s edition will reward the best African entrepreneurs in the categories of “Sport” and “Innovation,”  with a grand prize of USD 1 million.The first stage of the competition  will narrow down the most suitable ideas for the region. The selected candidates will then promote their project with impactful presentations, which will determine the final selection process.The winning projects will be selected with the help of AEA’s partners, ranging from entrepreneurs and academics to leaders and mentors from all continents who will accompany the candidates throughout the contest.“With this 4th edition of the AEA, the BMCE Bank of Africa, which operates in nearly twenty countries on the continent, consolidates its social and responsible commitment by accompanying young entrepreneurs in their efforts to create jobs and improve the quality of life of Africans,” read the press release distributed by the APO Group. read more

HNZ Global helicopter group adjusts to pullout of US military from Afghanistan

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email HNZ Global helicopter group adjusts to pullout of U.S. military from Afghanistan by The Canadian Press Posted Nov 11, 2014 10:17 am MDT MONTREAL – HNZ Group Inc. says the phased conclusion of military contracts in Afghanistan and reduced activity in the Western Canada resource sector pulled down third-quarter revenue by $18.8 million compared with the same time last year — a decline of 22 per cent.The Montreal-based company — which supplies helicopter services to private-sector and government clients around the world — had $58.1 million of revenue in the three months ended Sept. 30, down from $74.9 million in the third quarter of 2013.HNZ (TSX:HNZ.A) has recently been operating a reduced fleet of three helicopters in Afghanistan for the United States military effort, which has been winding down.The USTRANSCOM contract generated about $6 million of revenue in the third quarter ended Sept. 30 but it ended a month later, as scheduled, on Oct. 31.The company — which primarily supplies helicopters and flight crews to resource industries — says it plans to move two of the three remaining Sikorsky S61 heavy lift helicopters from Afghanistan to Canada and the third to another location in Asia. Most of those costs will be covered under terms of the USTRANSCOM contract.HNZ president and CEO Don Wall said that U.S.-led military interventions against Islamic State forces in the Mideast may provide an opportunity but it’s too soon to tell.“Obviously we would like to support those activities but today we don’t see anything on that activity front,” Wall told analysts in a conference call.HNZ currently operates more than 120 helicopters in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica and Southeast Asia for multinational corporations and government agencies. The aircraft are used mainly to transport personnel and cargo to remote areas, fight forest fires and support exploratory, production and construction work.HNZ executives said that there was less work from pipeline companies in Western Canada in this year’s third quarter than in the comparable period last year, accounting for some of the revenue decline. But that was somewhat offset by strong demand for fire-related work, which tends to have higher margins than contracted jobs.HNZ’s net income in the third quarter was $9.6 million, or 73 cents per share, which compared with a year-earlier loss of $5.8 million or 44 cents per share. The 2013 third-quarter included a $23.5-million goodwill impairment, reflected reduced long-term value of some of its intangible assets.The third quarter was also an improvement from the second quarter of 2014, ended Sept. 30, when net income was $2.03 million or 16 cents per share and revenue was $51.4 million.“While the business environment and market conditions in Canada remain challenging, HNZ Global continued to perform well and the results demonstrate the value of having diversified operations,” Wall said.The offshore oil and gas industry will be a key emphasis for the company going forward, he said.“Our strategy, as we’ve always said, is to grow our global presence and increase our footprint in Asia-Pacific, Eastern Canada and Africa.”Keith Mullett, HNZ’s executive vice-president, international, said the company is tracking 15 possible offshore oil and gas contracts that could begin in the 2015 or 2016 financial years. So far margins have held up despite intense competition among air services providers and there’s been no drop in activity despite a decline in oil prices, he said.Benoit Poirier of Desjardins Capital Markets said the results easily beat his forecast, pointing to the resilience of HNZ’s Canadian operations, which offset the ramping down in Afghanistan.HNZ’s adjusted profit was 70 cents per share, well above his estimate of 38 cents per share, while revenues exceeded his $54 million outlook by more than $4 million.Meanwhile, the company’s strong balance sheet, which included ending the quarter with $7.9 million in cash, provides the company with the flexibility to pursue growth opportunities, including acquisitions since it credit facility is undrawn and can be increased to $175 million.On the Toronto Stock Exchange, HNZ’s shares were up seven cents at $20 Tuesday afternoon. read more

Fizz Club on tour Canadian sparkling winemakers are Italy bound

Fizz Club, a networking group for Canadian sparkling winemakers, is trading in its usual classroom meeting spot at Brock University for the scenic views of the Italian countryside next week.Thirty winemakers from four provinces will join Fizz Club organizer Belinda Kemp, a Senior Scientist in Oenology at Brock’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI), on a five-day technical tour of Italian sparkling wine facilities beginning June 25. The tour will connect the Canadian winemakers with their highly regarded colleagues and sparkling wine scientists in Franciacorta, Trentino and Conegliano.  Winemakers Craig McDonald and Elisa Mazzi work with CCOVI’s Belinda Kemp (centre) to put the finishing touches on plans for Fizz Club’s trip to Italy.“We are often able to get Ontario winemakers together but to have winemakers from British Columbia, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick join us is a great opportunity,” Kemp said. “Organized Fizz Club excursions like this give busy winemakers time and space to talk to each other and learn from their international colleagues.”To plan the tour, Kemp has been working with Niagara winemakers Craig McDonald, Vice-President of Winemaking at Andrew Peller Limited, and Elisa Mazzi, Assistant Winemaker at Malivoire Wine.Fizz Club was created at Brock five years ago to provide the technical foundation for the growth of Canada’s sparkling wine industry. The network has an annual meeting where the latest CCOVI research is presented and gives winemakers the opportunity to exchange practical advice on all stages of production.“Our region is really collegial among winemakers,” McDonald said. “We need to maintain and nurture that and Fizz Club is the greatest platform we have not only within Ontario but also nationally to do that.“We’re really happy and very fortunate to have a person of Belinda’s calibre involved in this. To not only have a winemaker with a PhD but to also have someone who really believes in the potential of the industry is exciting for the winemakers.”This marks the second time that Fizz Club has gone abroad. In 2016, Kemp led 26 Ontario winemakers on a technical tour of France’s Champagne region, where they gained insights from top producers and consultants. Mazzi was on that tour and is excited to now be showcasing her home country of Italy to her Canadian colleagues.“Champagne was a great opportunity for us to actually talk to winemakers, because when you just taste wine you don’t have an idea of what’s going on behind the scenes,” Mazzi said. “It’s important to understand their philosophy, see what their mentality is and what drove them to start their sparkling program.”As the winemakers prepare for Italy, the quality of Canadian bubbly is garnering international attention. Earlier this month, two Ontario wineries received Platinum medals with a score of 97 points for their sparkling at the prestigious Decanter World Wine Awards. read more

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Gets a Spam Scam

first_imgAs bespectacled Harry Potter enthusiasts line up by the million this week to watch the first of the two-part Deathly Hallows film finale, spammers are lining up to infect the PCs of excited fans. Spammers are offering up “free downloads” of the movie through search engines. According to the malicious “offer,” clickers are asked to complete a survey, in order to watch the still unreleased film. The sites ask users to enter personal information or download a toolbar that may collect person information.Techday points out another interesting level to the scam,What makes things more confusing than normal is that scammers posing as fans are posting comments and reviews to lure fans to the sites. Yet another reason to avoid watching pirated films online–in case you didn’t have enough already.last_img read more

Polulation shrinks in Greece

first_imgGreece’s population shrank by 17,660 people last year as deaths outpaced births, according to the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT).There were a total of 94,134 births in Greece last year, which was 6.2 percent down on 2012.Almost 86 percent of the children were born to Greek mothers, whose average age was 31.5.There were 376 stillbirths, which was a decrease of 15.7 percent compared to 2012.However, there was a rise in the infant mortality rate for children under the age of 1 from 2.91 per thousand in 2012 to 3.69 last year.There were 111,794 deaths last year, which was 4.15 percent lower than in 2012.The average age for deaths last year was 75.25 years for men and 80.85 years for women.Both figures were slightly up on 2012.Source: Ekathimerini Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Man gets 1 year for killing friend in bowhunting accident

first_imgBEND, Ore. — A Tillamook man will serve a year in prison for accidentally killing his best friend on a bowhunting trip near La Pine, ending a case that divided the victim’s family on whether the man responsible should go to prison.The Bulletin reports 55-year-old Michael “Shawn” Pekarek, pleaded guilty Monday in Deschutes County Circuit Court to criminally negligent homicide for releasing an arrow that hit and killed Jeffrey Lynn Cummings.On Sept. 12, 2016, Cummings and Pekarek were in a truck when Pekarek spotted a buck and the two got out with their bows.Pekarek drew the bow on the animal, but when it ran he turned and gestured toward Cummings with the arm that held the bow.An arrow was released that struck Cummings in his stomach, severing an artery.last_img read more

Jamaicans Urged To Share Quality Time On Family Day

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppKINGSTON, July 31 (JIS): Jamaicans are being encouraged to come together and share quality time as a family on Sunday, August 2.The day is being designated as Family Day by the Ministry of Youth and Culture as part of activities to celebrate Jamaica’s 53rd Independence.“Families are encouraged to organise reunions and family excursions. The day is one to reconnect with our roots and to bolster the ties that bind,” said Executive Director of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), Delroy Gordon.Mr. Gordon, who was speaking at a recent JIS Think Tank, said the JCDC hopes that Family Day will be extended beyond the nuclear family and that persons will reach out to their relatives across the island as well as overseas.He said in addition to the activities at the Independence Village at Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre in Kingston, families can visit attractions and historic sites such as Port Royal, Hope Gardens, and Devon House.Mr. Gordon said proprietors and operators of these attractions are being encouraged to offer reduced prices for entry on Family Day. Recommended for you BEACHES TCI CONFIRMS LIE DETECTOR; DENIES MASS LAYOFFS Related Items:family day, jamaicans, quality timecenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Jamaican Government facing 500 cases of baby virus in schoolslast_img read more

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT Wilmingtons Marisa Butler Sending Summer Semester At Assumption Colleges Italy Campus

first_imgWORCESTER, MA — Marisa Butler, of Wilmington, is one of 19 students spending a month studying at Assumption College’s Rome Campus where the city, and country of Italy, become a living classroom.Assumption offers this month-long summer program to those students who are not able to take advantage of the opportunity to spend their fall or spring semesters abroad. While in Rome, students will take the Business of Italian Tourism class, which counts as a major elective for marketing, management, and international business majors, and one of Assumption is many online summer course offerings.“The summer program at our Rome campus is an excellent opportunity for students to remain academically active while also exploring the world,” said Greg Weiner, Ph.D., provost of Assumption College. “The city and country become a classroom as they explore history, art, and theology, which complement lessons learned in the classroom, culminating in a personal and educational experience unlike any other.”Nationally ranked as a top-ten best study abroad program in the U.S., Assumption’s Rome Campus provides students with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that allows them to immerse themselves in the Roman culture. This program, which is offered during fall and spring semesters in addition to the month-long summer session, provides students with the luxury of residing in an authentic Roman neighborhood, close to a public transportation and a variety of shopping, dining, and other recreational options.As center of Christian devotion, Rome is the perfect place to deepen one’s faith; in addition to the Vatican, Rome’s historical churches are easily accessible to students, providing opportunities to learn more about the Catholic faith and how it is practiced throughout different cultures.Learn more about Assumption College’s Rome campus at www.assumption.edu/rome.About Assumption CollegeFounded in 1904 by the Augustinians of the Assumption in Worcester, Mass., Assumption College is a Catholic liberal arts institution that offers undergraduate students 35 majors and 47 minors in the liberal arts, sciences, business, and professional studies; as well as master’s and continuing education degrees and professional certificate programs-each through an educational experience that is grounded in the rich Catholic intellectual tradition. The curriculum enables students to gain a depth and breadth of knowledge that leads to professional success and personal fulfillment. Students-whether on the Worcester campus or at the College’s Rome, Italy, campus-become engaged participants in Assumption’s classic liberal arts education, exploring new ideas and making connections across disciplines. To prepare for the workforce, students learn cutting-edge theory and best practices, conduct innovative research, and develop excellent communication and critical-analysis skills. Assumption graduates are also known for their thoughtful citizenship and compassionate service to their community. For more information about Assumption College, please visit www.assumption.edu.(NOTE: The above announcement is from Assumption College via Merit.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedSTUDENT SPOTLIGHT: 4 Wilmington Students Named To Dean’s List At Assumption CollegeIn “Education”Wilmington’s Taylor Santry Spending Fall Semester At Assumption’s Rome, Italy, CampusIn “Education”STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: 4 Wilmington Students Named To Dean’s List At Assumption CollegeIn “Education”last_img read more

Anchorage citizens react to PFD cuts

first_imgAmong Governor Walker’s cuts today was a cut to Permanent Fund Dividends that would cap the amount at 1000 dollars. A controversial decision among lawmakers and the public, it was one of many ways the Governor tried closing the budget deficit.  Anchorage citizens had varied opinions on how the cut to the dividend would affect the public and if the cut was justified.Download AudioElaine Maui, Cley Openiano, Jon Borstad, William Borstad, Jennifer McKay, Alexia Guedea and Zaide Manzano were among the citizens in Anchorage voicing their thoughts on the PFD cut.last_img read more

Criminals look better than my colleagues Jarkhand Congress

first_imgNew Delhi: Jharkhand Pradesh Congress chief Ajoy Kumar quit his post on Friday, accusing some colleagues of promoting their own interests over the party and indulging in corrupt practices. In his resignation letter to Rahul Gandhi, Kumar alleged that some of the workers place the interests of their own leaders above the party. He targeted some of the leaders in the state, including former Union minister Subodh Kant Sahai, in this regard. Also Read – Congress MLA Shivakumar moves High Court seeking protection from arrest Advertise With Us “My zero tolerance for corruption and any form of mediocrity, hampers me from doing my job effectively. Accordingly, please accept this as my formal letter of resignation as the president of the Jharkhand Pradesh Congress Committee,” Kumar said. “I only wish that the Congress party could go back to its original roots and raise the issues that are critically important for the people. It’s vital that we have good people in both the opposition and the government. Instead, what are we have now is a long list of rent seekers. Their only intention is to grab power, sell tickets or collect money in the name of elections. As a proud Indian and one of the youngest winners of the Police gallantry award and having wiped the mafia in Jamshedpur. I can confidently say that the worst criminals look better than some of my colleagues,” he said in the letter. Also Read – Enforcement Directorate summons Karnataka Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar Advertise With Us Kumar has forwarded copies of the letter to senior party leaders like Sonia Gandhi, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ahmed Patel, A K Antony and Mallikarjun Kharge. The ex-police officer and former Lok Sabha MP also accused party colleagues in the state of “creating havoc” in elections after they or their kin were denied tickets. He added: “The malaise in deep rooted. Over the last few months, I have faced interference on several fronts. Whether it’s an alliance issue, double standards with respect to Congress workers, non formation of the PCC or continuous pandering to put dishonest people in posts. This has brought me to the unfortunate conclusion that whatever efforts I make are effectively reversed by these unscrupulous elements.” Advertise With Us “Every leader in the party supports the alliance that we have carefully stitched together, only as long as his seat is assured. And if he is denied, he creates havoc,” Kumar said. He had good words for some partymen as well who he lauded for having taught him a lot in politics. “I also consider myself fortunate to have worked with some genuine leaders in the party at the centre. All of them continue to fight for the common man and they have shown me what selfless and decent politicians can achieve over some rapacious senior leaders and their own primitive idea of what modern politics entails. These so-called ‘senior leaders’ have shown me what politics should not be,” he said.last_img read more

Tillerson urges China to up pressure on Pyongyang

first_imgUS Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis (L) and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson conduct a two question press conference after meeting with Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi, and Chief of the People’s Liberation Army Joint Staff Department General Fang Fenghui. Photo: AFPUS Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday urged Chinese officials to apply greater diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea to force Pyongyang to rein in its nuclear weapons program.Tillerson’s remarks came after he and Pentagon chief Jim Mattis met with the Chinese visitors at the State Department, where the former general said he saw scope for a better defense relationship.The extent to which Beijing can influence Pyongyang is key in trying to defuse the North Korea crisis, and Tillerson’s remarks came the day after President Donald Trump appeared to suggest China’s President Xi Jinping had come up short in efforts to lean on Kim Jong-Un’s regime.Calling North Korea the “top security threat” to the United States, Tillerson said China has a “diplomatic responsibility to exert much greater economic and diplomatic pressure on the regime if they want to prevent further escalation in the region”.For their part, the Chinese envoys voiced their opposition to Washington’s deployment of the THAAD anti-missile defense system in South Korea and demanded its withdrawal, China’s foreign ministry said in a statement.China-represented by top diplomat Yang Jiechi and General Fang Fenghui-also pressed for negotiations, proposing again a “dual-track approach” in which North Korea would suspend its nuclear and missile activities while the United States and South Korea would halt large-scale military exercises.Trump, who frequently denounced China on the campaign trail, has turned to Beijing to help pressure its ally North Korea, prompting concern among Asian partners that America might go easy on the South China Sea territorial dispute.But on Tuesday, Trump sent a tweet suggesting Xi’s efforts had not borne fruit-a message he reiterated before supporters in Iowa.“I do like President Xi,” he told the crowd Wednesday evening. “I wish we would have a little more help with respect to North Korea, from China. That doesn’t seem to be working.”Trump has not elaborated on what might happen next if China, by far the North’s most important trading and diplomatic partner, is out of ideas.Tillerson said the US and Chinese officials had agreed that companies from both countries should not do business with any UN-designated North Korean entities.‘Extraordinary threat’Trump has made halting the North Korean nuclear threat his number one foreign policy priority.On Wednesday the US leader took the formal step of extending for another year a national emergency with respect to North Korea that was first decreed in 2008 under president George W. Bush.In a letter notifying Congress of the move, Trump wrote that the “existence and risk of proliferation of weapons-usable fissile material on the Korean Peninsula” together with the “provocative, destabilizing, and repressive actions” of the Pyongyang regime “continue to constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States”.Last month, Beijing and Washington signed a limited deal to open new markets for each other’s exports, and a long-standing friend of the Chinese leadership, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, was confirmed as US ambassador.But tensions remain-particularly over China’s building of artificial islands in disputed South China Sea waters.“Secretary Mattis and I were clear that the US position remains unchanged,” Tillerson said.The Chinese side defended Beijing’s “right to take measures to safeguard its territorial sovereignty” and said Washington should respect its security interests.Still, Mattis spoke in favor of greater communication with the Chinese military, including an officer exchange program to “improve transparency and mutual understanding”.Warmbier deathDespite international condemnation and sanctions, North Korea has a small nuclear arsenal and is developing nuclear-capable ballistic missiles that threaten Japan and South Korea-and one day could even hit some US cities.Washington has 28,000 troops deployed in South Korea and a naval armada in the region.China has tightened controls on trade in North Korean coal, but many doubt it will fully enforce any sanctions that might threaten the stability of its unpredictable neighbor.Separately, Mattis blasted Pyongyang’s treatment of Otto Warmbier, a 22-year-old student who died on Monday after being evacuated in a coma from detention in North Korea.His release last week initially seemed a gesture of goodwill by Pyongyang, but it quickly turned sour.“We see a young man go over there healthy and, (after) a minor act of mischief, come home dead, basically… this goes beyond any kind of understanding of law and order, of humanity, of responsibility towards any human being,” Mattis said.“What you’re seeing, I think, is the American people’s frustration with a regime that provokes and provokes and provokes, and basically plays outside the rules.”last_img read more

Thousands flee new California blaze

first_imgAn eagle ornament at the top of a damaged flag pole is seen against the setting sun during the Carr fire in Redding, California on 27 July 2018. Photo: AFPThousands of people in Southern California had fled a deliberately set blaze southeast of Los Angeles by Saturday morning, after the state’s governor requested federal aid to help battle a deadly fire elsewhere.A blaze known as the Cranston Fire, and the Northern California Carr Fire in which two firefighters have lost their lives, are among the most serious of several blazes burning in the most populous US state.A third major blaze, the Ferguson Fire, has encroached upon the Yosemite National Park in central California, forcing the partial closure of the popular attraction and leading to the death of a firefighter several days ago.More than 1,300 firefighters were battling the fast-moving Cranston Fire, which began on Wednesday and forced the evacuation of about 7,000 people, the US Forest Service said.It added that the hazards created by Cranston and another fire have caused the temporary closure of all US Forest Service lands within the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument.A 32-year-old man has been arrested and charged with 15 arson counts, including for the Cranston Fire.”Fire dangers continue to rise throughout CA. Make sure your family and friends are prepared to evacuate. Be alert,” warned California’s Office of Emergency Services. Governor Jerry Brown on Friday asked for federal assistance “to save lives and to protect property,” his office said in a statement. He asked for help including military aircraft, shelter supplies and water for 30,000 evacuated residents in Shasta County, in north-central California, where the Carr Fire has grown “uncontrollably,” the statement said.Brown declared a state of emergency in Shasta and ordered National Guard forces to assist the 3,400 fire personnel already trying to contain the Carr Fire, which has destroyed 500 structures and more than 48,000 acres (19,400 hectares).On Friday an official announced the death of a firefighter battling the inferno.”Two firefighters have been killed in the Carr Fire. A private contractor (operating) a bulldozer died yesterday and a Redding City firefighter was killed in the evening,” a spokesman for Cal Fire, the state’s Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, told AFP.Cal Fire had announced hours earlier the death of the bulldozer driver.The Carr Fire outside Redding swept across a river late Thursday and engulfed the western part of the city of 90,000 people, said Bret Gouvea, a Cal Fire commander.Scott McLean, a spokesman for the department, said law enforcement colleagues were “doing evacuations as fast as we can” because the fire was moving so fast.”There have been some injuries to civilians and firefighters,” he said.”Continued hot dry weather is forecasted for the remainder of the weekend with triple-digit temperatures,” Cal Fire said on its website.”The winds, high temperatures and dry vegetation still have the potential to fuel fire growth.”Last year was the worst on record for wildfire devastation in California, with more than 40 deaths and around 9,000 structures destroyed, following fires that ravaged the Napa and Sonoma wine regions.last_img read more

Williams Sisters Use DC Stop to Raise Money for Compton AntiViolence Center

first_imgTennis is what made Venus and Serena famous, but it was their philanthropic work that took center court Dec. 2 at the Southeast Tennis & Learning Center in Ward 8. The tennis icons served up “A Family Affair” to bring people together to combat violence and raise money for the Williams Sisters Fund that pays for the sisters’ joint philanthropic projects.Serena and Venus Williams spent the day on Dec. 2 in a tennis exhibition with local children while attending “A Family Affair Presented by Oath” to benefit the Yetunde Price Resource Center and the Williams Sisters Fund at the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center in D.C. on Dec. 2. (Photo by Andre Sturdivant)Money was also slated for the Yetunde Price Resource Center in Compton, Calif., where the sisters grew up. The center supports people who have lost loved ones to violence. The sisters named it in honor of their older sister who was gunned down in a 2003 drive-by shooting in their hometown. “A lot of times you don’t know what your options are, and there are a lot of options,” Venus Williams told reporters at the tennis center. “There’s a lot of assistance, so we’re here to hopefully hold peoples’ hand through that every step of the way — long after the people stop visiting and the cards stop coming and the pies stop coming, there’s life to deal with — and that’s why we’re here.” At the Dec. 2 fundraiser, the sisters took part in a panel discussion at the Southeast Tennis & Learning Center about violence that was moderated by ESPN cohost Jemele Hill. A tennis exhibition between the sisters and local kids followed. With the exception of a brief news conference with the Williams sisters, organizers excluded media from the entire event. The Southeast Tennis & Learning Center exposes kids to tennis and provides tutoring, life and computer skills, a library and positive reinforcement. The public center, which brands itself as a crown-jewel facility, holds 20 sanctioned tournaments a year and houses the George Washington University men’s and women’s tennis teams. If the sisters had access to a similar resource when they were learning how to play tennis in Compton, it would have been “scary” because “we would have been so much better it would have been crazy,” Serena Williams told reporters. To date, the 16-year-old center has served more than 10,000 District youth, according to its website. The center’s president and founder Cora Masters Barry said the Williams sisters have supported it from the beginning. “It’s been a love fest, ‘a family affair,’ since 1996 and they never deserted us,’ she told reporters. “We’ve just been family and the center was built in the same kind of community where they grew up and where they came out of … so it’s really very connected.” Barry said she hopes to expand the city-owned facility to 25 courts and to “make it a national training center.” The center opened in 2001.The sisters landed in the District after having a remarkable year of their own.Though she didn’t win a tournament in 2017, a resurgent Venus Williams, 37, reached the finals of several major tennis events — the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the year-end WTA finals.“You have to show up so why not compete?” she said. “So since you have to wake up in life, give your best every single day.”After defeating her sister at the Australian Open to win her 23rd Grand Slam singles title, Serena Williams, 36, considered by many to be the greatest athlete of all time, took the rest of the year off to have her daughter, Alexis Olympia. She said being a mom is an honor she’s still adjusting to. “In the beginning, the crying was very difficult, but I’m just so happy for everything and every moment and I’m just loving it, she said. Last month, Serena Williams tied the knot in New Orleans with Alexis Ohanian, cofounder of Reddit — Vogue magazine devoted an entire spread to their wedding.Even though Serena Williams’ publicist didn’t get back to the AFRO about whether she’ll defend her title at the 2018 Australian Open, she did tweet Dec. 4 that she was heading to a practice session, which indicates she’s working hard to get back on the court.Hamil Harris contributed to this article.last_img read more

Gourmet grub at Escazús Le Marché Bistro

first_imgNo related posts. From the print editionLe Marché Bistro in San Rafael de Escazú, southwest of San José, opened just over a month ago and generated considerable buzz for its lunches, light suppers and weekend breakfasts. Housed in a former stone and clay-tile roofed residence, the restaurant combines traditional Tico charm and clean, bright, simple decor. White walls and pale stone floor tiles offset bold, red metal tables and spindly bistro chairs. With a nod to an informal Parisian street café, the inside-outside layout of Le Marché encourages customers to linger over the excellent Tarrazú coffee while reading the news or catching up on emails. Given the leisurely pace of service, you certainly don’t want to schedule anything urgent afterwards. Most guests seem to be in no rush, carefully pondering their choices of imaginative salads and paninis and the short but balanced selection of main courses. Desserts beckon from display counters in a back room, making it impossible not to sample.Le Marché was thought up by Andrea Artiñano, a young interior designer who wanted to offer healthy, appetizing meals in a chic but casual setting. She is joined by her sister, who manages the fresh meat and fish counters, because Le Marché is just what its name suggests: a market of fresh, quality produce and delicatessen products. In addition to the kitchen fare, gourmet cheeses, goat yogurt, fresh breads and deli canned goods are also for sale. La Marché also has its own brand of homemade jam, BBQ sauce and pickles.With friends, I have visited for both breakfast and lunch. After delicious mugs of rich coffee, we sampled the rather strange-looking but vitamin-packed “green juices” (₡2,800/$5), with the combination of celery, lime, watercress, kale, green apple and ginger earning top marks. The eggs Benedict (₡5,700/$10.50) was an authentic rendition of this brunch classic, with perfectly poached eggs toppled over thick Canadian bacon on an English muffin, the whole bathed in a delicate hollandaise sauce. The garnish of cherry tomatoes and sweated spinach with some chunky home fries made this a hearty, satisfying dish. The french toast (₡3,600/$7) composed of thick, rustic bread slices came with strawberries, craisins and pineapple with a (very) sweet pineapple sauce. My companion’s cheese and ham omelette (₡4,800/$9) was given an ‘okay but a bit dry,’ and the linguistic curiosity of ordering pancakes only to be presented with crispy waffles (₡3,600/$7) was later taken up with Artiñano’s father, who promised to look into a revision of terminology. The waffles, by the way, were already drenched in syrup, which might annoy those who prefer to retain pouring control.The salads are shining stars on the lunch menu. I ordered Nantes salad (₡5,500/$11), which arrived as a generous bowl of arugula, fresh papaya, pickled red onion and macadamia-crusted goat cheese. That day, the soup was a tasty, thick cream of broccoli but it could have been hotter. The special was eggplant moussaka (₡4,500/$9) in a basil-tomato sauce and fresh goat cheese, which received accolades. Other success stories included the smoked salmon Panini (₡4,800/$9.50) mixing the salmon with herby Boursin cheese and caper aioli, and the burger (₡6,000/$12), a thick beef patty with morel mushrooms, red onion marmalade and blue cheese spread. Entrées vary from ₡7,500-11,000 ($15-22) with tempting arrangements for fish, shrimp, chicken, beef tenderloin and short ribs.Le Marché doesn’t bother with a dessert menu, but you can’t miss the dessert counter. Favorites included light, baked cheesecake and sinfully rich chocolate cake – if you can’t fit one after lunch, takeaway is available. Either way, there’s no escape. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Manuel Antonio Quepos Tidings

first_imgNo related posts. We have a new dentist in town, Dr.Marcia Serrano. She was raised in Quepos and has returned home to open her practice. You may recognize the name, as her father is Dr. Serrano, our GP in Quepos, who is one of the best doctors around. I have known Marcia for 20 years and she speaks perfect English and is a great person. She does teeth cleaning, teeth whitening, cosmetic dentistry, cavities, root canals and more. To get in touch with Marcia, please call 2777-0808 or 8613-9717 or email dra.mdserrano@gmail.com. She is located in Rancho Grande, 100 meters south and 25 meters east of Vetcomer.jennifer@kidssavingtherainforest.org Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Housing Optimism Climbs as Job Worries Ease

first_img May 7, 2014 446 Views in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Headlines, News Housing Optimism Climbs as Job Worries Ease Consumer Confidence Credit Availability Fannie Mae Home Prices Mortgage Rates 2014-05-07 Scott_Morgancenter_img With concerns about employment easing, Americans are increasingly optimistic about the housing market, reports Fannie Mae in its April National Housing Survey—and, according to the mortgage giant, this climbing optimism may foreshadow an upswing in housing activity through the summer months.The results of the survey, released Wednesday, show that 42 percent of Americans believe now is a good time to sell a home. This is the third straight month that the percentage of respondents saying it’s a good time to sell has increased, bringing that percentage to an all-time survey high.Fannie is taking it as a good sign that buying activity will increase in the coming months, as potential buyers may look to shed their homes in order to buy new ones.Half the respondents to Fannie’s survey believe home prices will increase in the next 12 months, while 52 percent said they expect mortgage rates to go up in the same time period.In related findings, respondents were generally split regarding their ability to get a mortgage. About 45 percent said they would expect no trouble in getting one, while 52 percent expect it would be difficult to do. A little more than a third of respondents feel the economy is on the right track, despite their optimism for the housing market lately.The encouraging thing, however, is that fewer people are concerned about losing their jobs, which, according to Fannie, may encourage potential homebuyers to enter the market. Also, nearly 90 percent said their household incomes have remained stable or improved over the past year—though an increased share also said their expenses have ticked up.”Concern about job loss among employed consumers has hit a record survey low,” said Doug Duncan, senior VP and chief economist at Fannie Mae. Duncan also said that consumer attitudes are at the most favorable level Fannie has seen in the survey’s four-year history and that “consumer confidence is moving in a positive direction.”Fannie’s April report largely mirrors the results of an April Gallup Poll, which showed that more than half of Americans surveyed feel confident about the housing market. According to that survey, American attitudes toward buying, selling, and home values are up to their highest levels since 2007.”These more positive views of the housing market may help foster a situation in which home buying activity increases and home values continue to rise over the next year,” the Gallup report stated. Almost exactly what Fannie found. Sharelast_img read more