YouTube videoAPTN National NewsNine-year-old Jada Hill has a message for the people of her community on the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory.How many more children have to get sick?In a video uploaded on YouTube on Nov. 10 the little girl reads from a letter about the growing concerns of children being diagnosed with leukemia.There have been three cases on the reserve and two more just north in the Tyendinaga township. One child has died, as previously reported by APTN National News reporter Delaney Windigo Nov. 6.“Hello my name is Jada Hill and this is a message that I have to say,” Jada says addressing her letter to the people of the Tyendinaga community. “We should think very careful about all the sickness happening in our community. … How many people have gotten sick? How many people that we know have gotten sick? How many more people do you think is going to get sick if we don’t do anything about it?”Dawn Sero’s daughter died several weeks ago. She had been diagnosed with leukemia earlier this year.The family first got the devastating news two days after taking Paula to the hospital with a nose bleed.Sero soon found out her daughter wasn’t the only child with leukemia on Tyendinaga about 2 hours east of Toronto.“We met another family. Their daughter was three and we just come to find out they didn’t live too far from us. She was diagnosed in December, the month before. We met another little boy, just by fluke, who happened to be my nephew’s neighbor and he was also diagnosed a month before Paula, same area,” Sero said in a previous interview with APTN National News. “Paula, she was very quiet, reserved. She was a homebody. She was a good student.”Jada said she is worried she or someone in her family will get sick too.“I try every day to keep myself healthy and stay away from all the germs because I don’t want to get sick,” she says. “I’m kind of scared I’m going to get sick.”The community has raised concerns about water quality as a potential cause for the cancers.But Chief Don Maracle said in conversations with APTN National News tests have been done and have come back negative. He said a committee is being organized made-up of doctors, Health Canada, Aboriginal Affairs and the band council to try and determine why children on the reserve are getting leukemia.
The Honourable Jody Wilson-RaybouldThe Standing Committee on Justice and Human RightsFebruary 27, 2019Gilakas’la. Thank you Mr. Chair and members of the Justice committee for providing me the opportunity to give extended testimony to you today. I would like to acknowledge that we are on the ancestral lands of the Algonquin people.For a period of approximately four months between September and December 2018, I experienced a consistent and sustained effort by many people within the government to seek to politically interfere in the exercise of prosecutorial discretion in my role as the Attorney General of Canada in an inappropriate effort to secure a Deferred Prosecution Agreement with SNC-Lavalin. These events involved 11 people (excluding myself and my political staff) – from the Prime Minister’s Office, the Privy Council Office, and the Office of the Minister of Finance. This included in-person conversations, telephone calls, emails, and text messages. There were approximately 10 phone calls and 10 meetings specifically about SNC-Lavalin that I and/or my staff was a part of.Within these conversations, there were express statements regarding the necessity for interference in the SNC-Lavalin matter, the potential for consequences, and veiled threats if a DPA was not made available to SNC. These conversations culminated on December 19, 2018, with a phone conversation I had with the Clerk of the Privy Council – a conversation for which I will provide some significant detail.A few weeks later, on January 7, 2019, I was informed by the Prime Minister that I was being shuffled out of the role of Minister of Justice and the Attorney General of Canada.For most of these conversations, I made contemporaneous and detailed notes – notes, in addition to my clear memory, which I am relying on today among other documentation.My goal in my testimony is to outline the details of these communications for the Committee, and indeed for all Canadians. However, before doing that, let me make a couple comments.First, I want to thank Canadians for their patience since this February 7th story broke in the Globe and Mail… Thank you as well specifically to those who reached out to me from across the country. I appreciate the messages – I have read them all.Secondly, on the role of the Attorney General – the AG exercises prosecutorial discretion as provided for under the Director of Public Prosecutions Act. Generally, this authority is exercised by the DPP, but the AG has the authority to issue directives to the DPP on specific prosecutions or to take over prosecutions.It is well-established that when the AG exercises prosecutorial discretion, she or he does so individually and independently. These are not cabinet decisions.I will say that it is appropriate for Cabinet colleagues to draw to the AG’s attention what they see as important public policy considerations that are relevant to decisions about how a prosecution will proceed. What is not appropriate is pressing on the AG matters that she or he cannot take into account, such as partisan political considerations; continuing to urge the AG to change her or his mind for months after the decision has been made; or suggesting that a collision with the Prime Minister on these matters should be avoided.With that said, the remainder of my testimony will be a detailed and factual delineation of the approximately 10 phone calls, 10 in-person meetings, and emails and text messages that were part of an effort to politically interfere regarding the SNC matter for the purposes of securing a deferred prosecution.The story begins on September 4, 2018. My COS and I were overseas when I was sent a ‘Memorandum for the Attorney General (pursuant to section 13 of the Director of Public Prosecutions Act) which was entitled ‘Whether to issue an invitation to negotiate a remediation agreement to SNC Lavalin’ which was prepared by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Kathleen Roussel. The only parts of this note that I will disclose are as follows: “the DPP is of the view that an invitation to negotiate will not be made in this case and that no announcement will be made by the PPSC.” As with all section 13 notices – the Director provides the information so that the Attorney General may take such course of action as they deem appropriate.In other words, the Director had made her decision to not negotiate a remediation agreement with SNC Lavalin.I subsequently spoke to my Minister’s office staff about this decision and I did the standard practice of undertaking further internal work and due diligence in relation to this note – a practice that I had for many of the section 13 notices that I received as the Attorney General. In other words, I immediately put in motion, within my Department and Minister’s office, a careful consideration and study of the matter.Two days later, on September 6, one of the first communications about a DPA was received from outside our department. Ben Chin, Minister Morneau’s Chief of Staff, emailed my Chief of Staff and they arranged to talk. He wanted to talk about SNC and what we could do, if anything, to address this. He said to her that if they don’t get a DPA, they will leave Montreal, and it’s the Quebec election right now, so we can’t have that happen. He said that they have a big meeting coming up on Tuesday and that this bad news may go public.This same day my Chief of Staff exchanged some emails with my MO Staff [Francois Giroux and Emma Carver] about this, who advised her that the Deputy Attorney General – Nathalie Drouin – was working on something (they had spoken to her about the issue), and that my staff [Emma Carver and Gregoire Webber] were drafting a memo as well on the role of the AG vis à vis the PPSC.It was on or about this day that I requested a one-on-one meeting with the Prime Minister on another matter of urgency – and as soon as possible after I got back into the Country. This request would ultimately become the meeting on September 17 between myself and the Prime Minister that has been widely reported in the media.On September 7, my Chief of Staff spoke by phone with my then Deputy Minister about the call she had received from Ben Chin and the Deputy stated that the Department was working on this. The Deputy gave my Chief a quick rundown of what she thought some options might be (e.g., informally call Kathleen Roussel, set up an external review of their decision, etc.). On the same day I received a note from my staff – on the role of the AG – a note that was also shared with Elder Marques and Amy Archer at the PMO.Same day, Francois G. and Emma met with my Deputy Minister. Some excerpts of the s. 13 note were read to the DM, but the DM did not want to be provided with a copy of the s. 13 note.September 8 – my Deputy shared a draft note on the role of the AG with my Chief of Staff who shared it with me, and over the next day clarity was sought by my staff with the Deputy on aspects of an option that was in her note.A follow-up conversation between Ben Chin and a member of my staff (FG) occurred on September 11, Mr. Chin said that SNC has been informed by the PPSC that it cannot enter into a DPA – and Ben again detailed the reasons why they were told they were not getting a DPA. Mr. Chin also noted that SNC’s legal counsel was Frank Iacobucci, and further detailed what the terms were that SNC was prepared to agree to – stating that they viewed this as a negotiation.To be clear, up to this point I had not been directly contacted by the Prime Minister, officials in the PMO, or the PCO about this matter. With the exception of Mr. Chin’s discussions, the focus of communications had been internal to the DOJ.This changes on September 16. My Chief of Staff had a phone call with Mathieu Bouchard and Elder Marques from the PMO. They wanted to discuss SNC. They told her that SNC have made further submissions to the Crown, and ‘there is some softening, but not much’. They said that they understand that the individual Crown prosecutor wants to negotiate an agreement, but the Director does not. They said that they understand that there are limits on what can be done, and that they can’t direct, but that they hear that our Deputy Minister (of Justice) thinks we can get the PPSC to say “we think we should get some outside advice on this.” They said that they think we should be able to find a more reasonable resolution here. They told her that SNC’s next board meeting is on Thursday (Sept 20). They also mention the Quebec election context. They asked my Chief if someone has suggested the outside advice idea to the PPSC, and asked whether we are open to this suggestion. They wanted to know if the DM can do it.In response, my COS stressed to them prosecutorial independence and potential concerns about interference in the independence of the prosecutorial functions. Mr. Bouchard and Mr. Marques kept telling her that they didn’t want to cross any lines – but they asked my Chief of Staff to follow up with me directly on this matter.To be clear, I was fully aware of the conversations between September 4 and 16 that I have outlined. I had been regularly briefed by my staff from the moment this matter first arose, and I had also reviewed all materials that had been produced.Further, my view had also formed at this point, through the work of my Department, my Minister’s office and I had conducted, that it was inappropriate for me to intervene in the decision of the DPP in this case and pursue a DPA.In the course of reaching this view, I discussed the matter on a number of occasions with my Deputy so that she was aware of my view, raised concerns on a number of occasions with my Deputy Minister about the appropriateness of communications we were receiving from outside the Department, and also raised concerns about some of the options she had been suggesting.On September 17: The DM said that Finance had told her that they want to make sure that Kathleen understands the impact if we do nothing in this case. Given the many potential concerns raised by this conversation, I discussed it with her later that day.This same day (Sept. 17th) I have my one-on-one with the PM that I requested a couple weeks ago. When I walked in the Clerk of the Privy Council was in attendance as well.While the meeting was not about the issue of SNC and DPA’s the PM raised the issue immediately.The Prime Minister asks me to help out – to find a solution here for SNC – citing that if there was no DPA there would be many jobs lost and that SNC will move from Montreal.In response, I explained to him the law and what I have the ability to do and not do under the Director of Public Prosecutions Act around issuing Directives or Assuming Conduct of Prosecutions. I told him that I had done my due diligence and made up my mind on SNC and that I was not going to interfere with the decision of the DPP.In response the PM further reiterated his concerns. I then explained how this came about and that I had received the section 13 note from the DPP earlier in September and that I had considered the matter very closely. I further stated that I was very clear on my role as the AG – and I am not prepared to issue a directive in this case – that it was not appropriate.The PM again cited potential loss of jobs and SNC moving. Then to my surprise – the Clerk started to make the case for the need to have a DPA – he said “there is a board meeting on Thursday (Sept 20) with stock holders” … “they will likely be moving to London if this happens”… “and there is an election in Quebec soon”…At that point the PM jumped in stressing that there is an election in Quebec and that “and I am an MP in Quebec – the member for Papineau”.I was quite taken aback. My response – and I remember this vividly – was to ask the PM a direct question while looking him in the eye – I asked: “Are you politically interfering with my role / my decision as the Attorney General? I would strongly advise against it.”The Prime Minister said “No, No, No – we just need to find a solution.” The Clerk then said that he spoke to my Deputy and she said that I could speak to the Director.I responded by saying no I would not – that would be inappropriate. I further explained to the Clerk and the PM that I had a conversation with my DM about options and what my position was on the matter.As a result of this discussion, I agreed to and undertook to the PM that I would have a further conversation with my Deputy and the Clerk – but that these conversations would not change my mind. I also said that my staff and my officials are not authorized to speak to the PPSC.We finally discussed the other issue that I wanted to discuss.I left meeting and immediately debriefed my staff as to what was said re: SNC/DPAsOn September 19, I met with the Clerk as I had undertaken to the PM. The meeting was one-on-one, in my office.The clerk brought up job losses and that this is not about the Quebec election or the PM being a Montreal MP. He said that he has not seen the s.13 note. He said that he understands that SNC is going back and forth with the DPP, and that they want more information. He said that “Iacobucci is not a shrinking violet”. He referenced the September 20 date (presumably a reference to the shareholder meeting), and that they don’t have anything from the DPP. He said that the PM is very concerned about the confines of my role as AG and the DPP. He reported that the PM is very aware of my role as the AGC.I told the Clerk again that I had instructed the DM is not to get in touch with the Director and that given my review of the matter I would not speak to her directly regarding a DPA. I offered that if SNC were to send a letter to me expressing their concerns – their public interest argument – it would be permissible and I would appropriately forward it directly to the DPP.Later that day my COS had a phone call with Elder Marques and Mathieu Bouchard from the PMO. They wanted an update on what was going on regarding DPAs since “we don’t have a ton of time”. She relayed my summary of meeting with PM/Clerk.They raised the idea of an “informal reach out ” to the DPP. My COS said that she knew I was not comfortable with it, as it looked like and probably did constitute political interference. They asked whether that was true if it wasn’t the AG herself, but if it was her staff or the DM. My COS said “yes” it would and offered a call directly with me. They said that “we will regroup and get back to you on that.”Still on September 19, I spoke to Minister Morneau on this matter when we were in the House. He again stressed the need to save jobs, and I told him that engagements from his office to mine on SNC had to stop – that they were inappropriate.They did not stop. On September 20 my COS had a phone calls with Mr. Chin and Justin To – both from the Minister of Finance’s office about SNC and DPAs.At this point there was an apparent pause in communicating with myself or my Chief of Staff about the SNC matter. We did not hear from anyone again until October 18 when Mathieu Bouchard called my COS and asked that we – I – look at the option of my seeking an external legal opinion on the DPP’s decision not extend an invitation to negotiate a DPA.This would become a recurring theme for sometime in messages from the PMO – that an external review should be done of the DPP’s decision.The next day as well, SNC filed a Federal Court application seeking to quash the DPP’s decision to not enter into a remediation agreement with them.In my view, this necessarily put to rest any notion that I might speak to or intervene with the DPP, or that an external review could take place. The matter was now before the courts, and a judge was being asked to look at the DPP’s discretion.However, on October 26 / 2018 – when my Chief of Staff spoke to Mathieu Bouchard and communicated to him now that, given that SNC had now filed in Federal Court seeking to review the DPP’s decision, surely we had moved past this idea of the AG intervening or getting an opinion on that same question – he replied that he was still interested in the external legal opinion idea. Could she not get an external legal opinion on whether the DPP had exercised their discretion properly, and then on the application itself, the AG could intervene and seek a stay of proceedings, given that she was awaiting a legal opinion.My COS said that this would obviously be perceived as interference and her boss questioning the DPP’s decision. Mathieu said that if – 6 months from the election – SNC announces they are moving their headquarters out of Canada, that is bad. He said “we can have the best policy in the world, but we need to be re-elected.”He said that everyone knows that this is AG’s decision, but that he wants to make sure that all options are being canvassed. Mathieu said that if, at the end of the day, AG is not comfortable, that is fine. He just “doesn’t want any doors to be closed.” Jessica said that I was always happy to speak to him directly should he wish.In mid-November, PMO requested that I meet with Mathieu Bouchard and Elder Marques to discuss the matter – which I did on November 22. This meeting was quite long – I would say about an hour and a half. I was irritated by having to have this meeting as I had already told PM etc. that a DPA on SNC was not going to happen, that I was not going to issue a directive.Mathieu did most of the speaking – he was trying to tell me that there were options and that we needed to find a solution.I took them through the DPP Act – section 15/10 – and that prosecutorial independence was a constitutional principle. And that they are interfering. I talked about the Section 13 note – which they said they had never received – but I reminded them they received it in September.M and E – continued to plead their case – talking about … if I am not sure in my decision… that we could hire an eminent person to advise me. They were ‘kicking the tires’. I said NO. My mind had been made up and they needed to stop – enough.I will briefly pause at this moment to comment on my own state of mind at this point. In my role as AG, I had received the decision of the DPP in September, had reviewed the matter, made a decision on what was appropriate given a DPA, and communicated that to the Prime Minister. I had also taken additional steps that the Prime Minister asked me to – such as meeting with Clerk.In my view, the communications and efforts to change my mind on this matter should have stopped. Various officials also urged me to take partisan political considerations into account – which it was clearly improper for me to do. … We either have a system that is based on the rule of law, the independence of the prosecutorial functions, and respect for those charged to use their discretion and powers in particular ways – or we do not. While in our system of government policy oriented discussion amongst people at earlier points in this conversation may be appropriate, the consistent and enduring efforts, even in the face of judicial proceedings on the same matter – and in the face of a clear decision of the DPP and the AG – to continue and even intensify such efforts raises serious red flags in my view.Yet, this is what continued to happen.On December 5/2018, I met with Gerry Butts. We had both sought out the meeting.I wanted to speak about a number of things – including bringing up SNC and the barrage of people hounding me and my staff.Towards the end of the meeting I raised how I needed everyone to stop talking to me about SNC as I had made up my mind and the engagements were inappropriate. Gerry then took over the conversation and said how we need a solution on the SNC stuff – he said I needed to find a solution. I said no and referenced the PI and JR. I said further that I gave the Clerk the only appropriate solution that could have happened and that was the letter idea but that was not taken up…Gerry talked to me about how the statute was set up by Harper that that he does not like the law…(Director of Public Prosecutions Act) – I said something like that is the law we have…On December 7 – I received a letter from the PM, dated December 6, attaching a letter from the CEO of SNC-Lavalin dated October 15. I responded to the PM’s letter of December 6, noting that the matter is before the courts, so I cannot comment on it, and that the decision re: a DPA was one for the DPP, which is independent of my office.This brings us to the final events in the chronology, and ones which signal, in my experience, the final escalation in efforts by the PMO to interfere in this matter. On December 18, 2018, my COS was urgently summoned to meet with Gerry Butts and Katie Telford to discuss SNC. They wanted to know where I am in terms of finding a solution. They told her that they felt like the issue was getting worse and that I was not doing anything. They referenced a possible call with the PM and the Clerk the next day.I will now read to you a transcription of the most relevant sections of the text conversation between my COS and I almost immediately after the meeting:Jessica: Basically, they want a solution. Nothing new. They want external counsel retained to give you an opinion on whether you can review the DPP’s decision here and whether you should in this case. … I told them that would be interference. Gerry said “Jess, there is no solution here that doesn’t involve some interference.” At least they are finally being honest about what they are asking you to do! Don’t care about the PPSC’s independence. Katie was like “we don’t want to debate legalities anymore.” … They kept being like “we aren’t lawyers, but there has to be some solution here”.’MOJAG: So where were things left? …JP: So unclear. I said I would of course let you know about the convo (check) and they said they were going to the “kick the tires” with a few more people on this tonight. The Clerk was waiting outside when I left. But they said they want to set up a call between you and the PM and the Clerk tomorrow. I said that of course you would be happy to speak to your boss! They seem quite keen on the idea of you retaining an ex SCC judge to get advice on this. Katie T thinks it gives us cover in the business community and the legal community, and that it would allow the PM to say we are doing something. She was like “if Jody is nervous, we would of course line up all kinds of people to write OpEds saying that what she is doing is proper.”On December 19, 2018, I was asked to have a call with the Clerk – it was a fairly lengthy call and I took the call at home and I was alone. Given what had occurred the previous day with my Chief of Staff I was determined to end all interference and conversations about this matter once and for all. Here is part of what the Clerk and I discussed…The Clerk said he was calling about Deferred Prosecution Agreement / SNC – he said he wanted to pass on where the Prime Minister is at… he spoke about the company’s board and the possibility of them selling out to somebody else, moving their headquarters, and job losses.He said that the PM wants to be able to say that he has tried everything he can within the legitimate toolbox. The Clerk said that the PM is quite determined, quite firm but he wants to know why the DPA route which Parliament provided for isn’t being used. He said “I think he is gonna find a way to get it done one way or another. So, he is in that kinda mood and I wanted you to be aware of that”.The Clerk said he didn’t know if PM was planning on calling me directly and he is thinking about getting somebody else to give him some advice…you know he does not want to do anything outside the box of what is legal or proper. He said that the PM wants to understand more…to give him advice on this or to give you advice on this if you want to feel more comfortable you are not doing anything inappropriate or outside the frame of…I told the Clerk that I was 100 percent confident that I was doing nothing inappropriate. I, again, reiterated I am confident in where I am at on my views on SNC and the DPA have not changed – this is a constitutional principle of prosecutorial independence.I warned the Clerk that we were treading on dangerous ground here – and I issued a stern warning because as the AG, I cannot act in a manner and the prosecution cannot act in a manner that is not objective, that isn’t independent, I cannot act in a partisan way and I cannot be politically motivated. And all of this screams of that.The Clerk wondered whether anyone could speak to the Director about the context around this or get her to explain her reasoning.The Clerk told me that he was going to have to report back to the PM before he leaves…he said again that the PM was in a pretty firm frame of mind about this and that he was a bit worried…I asked what he was worried about.The Clerk then made a comment about how it is not good for the Prime Minister and his Attorney General to be a ‘loggerheads’.I told the Clerk that I was giving him my best advice and if he does not accept that advice then it is the PM’s prerogative to do what he wants… But I am trying to protect the Prime Minister from political interference or perceived political interference or otherwise.The Clerk acknowledged that, but said that the PM does not have the power to do what he wants… all the tools are in my hands, he said.I said that I was having thoughts of the Saturday Night Massacre – but that I was confident that I had given the Prime Minister my best advice to protect him and to protect the constitutional principle of prosecutorial independence.The Clerk said that he was worried about a collision because the PM is pretty firm about this…He told me that he had seen the PM a few hours ago and that this is really important to him.That is where the conversation ended. I did not hear from the PM the next day.On January 7, I received a call from the PM and was informed I was being shuffled out of my role as MOJAG. I will not go into details of this call, or subsequent communications about the shuffle, but I will say that I stated I believed the reason was because of the SNC matter. They denied this to be the case.On January 11, 2019 – the Friday before the shuffle. My former Deputy Minister is called by the Clerk and told that the shuffle is happening, and that she will be getting a new Minister. As part of this conversation, the Clerk tells the Deputy that one of the first conversations that the new Minister will be expected to have with the PM will be on SNC Lavalin. In other words, that the new Minister will need to be prepared to speak to the PM on this file. The Deputy recounts this to my Chief of Staff who tells me about the comment.Conclusion:My narrative stops here. I must reiterate to the Committee my concern outlined in my letter to the Chair yesterday. That is, Order in Council #2019-0105 addresses only my time as Attorney General of Canada and therefore does nothing to release me from any restrictions that apply to communications while I proudly served as Minister of Veterans Affairs and in relation to my resignation from that post, or my presentation to Cabinet after I resigned. This time period includes communications on topics that some members of the Committee have explored with other witnesses and about which there have been public statements by others. The Order in Council leaves in place the various constraints, in particular, Cabinet confidence, that there are on my ability to speak freely about matters that occurred after I left the post of Attorney General.Even with those constraints, I hope that through my narrative today, the Committee, and everyone across the country, has a clear idea of what I experienced, and what I know of who did what, and what was communicated.I hope, and expect, the facts speak for themselves.I imagine Canadians now fully understand that in my view these events constituted pressure to intervene in a matter, and that this pressure – or political interference – to intervene was not appropriate. However, Canadians can judge this for themselves as we all now have the same information.Lastly, as I have said previously, “it has always been my view that the Attorney General of Canada must be non-partisan, more transparent in the principles that are the basis of decisions, and, in this respect, always willing to speak truth to power.” In saying this I was reflecting what I understand to be the vital importance of the rule of law and prosecutorial independence in our democracy. My understanding of this has been shaped by some lived experience. I am, of course, a lawyer. I was a prosecutor on the downtown eastside of Vancouver. So I come to this view as a professional trained and committed to certain values as key to our system of order.But my understanding of the rule of law has also been shaped by my experience as an Indigenous person and leader. The history of Crown-Indigenous relations in this country, includes a history of the rule of law not being respected. Indeed, one of the main reasons for the urgent need for justice and reconciliation today is that in the history of our country we have not always upheld foundational values such as the rule of law in our relations with Indigenous peoples. And I have seen the negative impacts for freedom, equality, and a just society this can have firsthand.So when I pledged to serve Canadians as your Minister of Justice and Attorney General I came to it with a deeply ingrained commitment to the rule of law and the importance of acting independently of partisan, political, and narrow interests in all matters. When we do not do that, I firmly believe, and know, we do worse as a society.I will conclude by saying this – I was taught to always be careful of what you say – because you cannot take it back – and I was taught to always hold true to your core values and principles and to act with integrity – these are the teachings of my parents, grandparents and community. I come from a long line of matriarchs and I am a truth teller in accordance with the laws and traditions of our Big House – this is who I am and who I will always be.Gilakas’la / Thank you.
Dehradun: A tiger was killed in a fight for territorial supremacy with another tiger, said an official at the Corbett Tiger Reserve Saturday. The 10-year-old tiger’s carcass was found with deep injury marks near a water body in the Amdanda forest beat of the Bijrani range Friday, Tiger Reserve Director Rahul said. “The deep wounds on the carcass suggested that it died of injuries sustained in a fight with another tiger over territorial supremacy,” he added.
China is always committed to developing friendly relations with its neighboring countries, and will work with the Asia-Pacific nations including Sri Lanka to strengthen regional or sub-regional cooperation so as to achieve common development, said Wu.Rajapakse expressed appreciation for the important role China has played on regional and international affairs, saying Sri Lanka will enhance communication and coordination with China within the multilateral mechanisms, including the United Nations, the ASEAN regional forum and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.Wu and Rajapakse also witnessed the signing of 16 cooperative agreements between the governments and enterprises of the two countries. (Xinhua) Wu suggested the two sides adjust trade structure and expand trade scale, saying China will take measures to export more from Sri Lanka and step up cooperation with Sri Lanka on investment and tourism.The two countries should also enhance cooperation on areas such as maritime research, climate change, disaster relief as well as animal husbandry, agricultural products processing and biomass energy, said Wu.Rajapakse, for his part, said Sri Lanka now has great demand for infrastructure construction and personnel training as the country is striving for rapid growth, and it welcomes more Chinese firms to invest and participate in the construction of railway, port and power station. During their meeting, Wu and Rajapakse also exchanged views on international and regional issues. On the economic front, Wu said China and Sri Lanka have in recent years witnessed sustained growth in bilateral trade volume, and have made smooth progress on such infrastructure projects as the second phase of the Hambantota port, a container terminal in Sri Lanka port and a coal-fired power plant in Puttalam.As they continue to push ahead major cooperative projects, China and Sri Lanka should sum up their experience and tap potentials for new areas of cooperation, said Wu. China’s top legislator Wu Bangguo met with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse today, vowing to insert new energy into relations between the two countries.“China-Sri Lanka relations are now at the best period of development in history,” said Wu, chairman of the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress (NPC), who is on a four-day official goodwill visit to the South Asian nation. Wu extended congratulations to Sri Lanka over its post-war achievements, saying China respects Sri Lanka’s choice of development path in line with its own national conditions, and will support,as always, its efforts to maintain stability, economic growth and improve people’s lives. China will continue to provide aid within its capacity for Sri Lanka’s development, Wu said.
Earlier the severed head of the man was found in Keselwatta.Pandithage Shantha Kumara alias ‘Kosmalli’, a resident of Mulleriyawa, was believed to have been killed by a rival gang. (Colombo Gazette) The remains of a notorious underworld member known as ‘Kosmalli’ was found in Agunakolapelessa today, the Police said.According to the Police, the remains had been found buried in the Agunakolapelessa area.
For her recently concluded record-setting week for the Ohio State women’s soccer program, senior forward Tiffany Cameron has been named the Big Ten Conference’s Offensive Player of the Week. Cameron posted a four-goal week in games against then-No. 17 Michigan and Michigan State, scoring two goals in each game. Two goals in a 3-1 upset win against the Wolverines on Thursday allowed Cameron to set the program’s single-season record. During her final regular season home game donning Scarlet and Gray, Cameron scored two more goals to extend her single-season scoring record to 16 and pull into a tie for most career goals with 35. Cameron, a Canadian international player, tied former Buckeyes Lara Dickenmann and Lisa Grubb for OSU’s career-goals record with her second tally in the 3-1 win against the Spartans. Cameron will have an opportunity to break the career-goals record in the Buckeyes’ final regular season game at Indiana, but will have her work cut out for her as the Hoosiers defense has posted six shutouts this season. The game against the Hoosiers (9-8-1, 4-6-0 Big Ten) kicks off Friday at 7 p.m in Bloomington, Ind.
MORE THAN 200 groups have banded together to call on the G8 summit to tackle some of the biggest causes of hunger around the world, including land grabs and tax dodging.The ‘If’ coalition, the largest gathering of NGOs since Make Poverty History in 2005, says it wants the G8 leaders meeting in Fermanagh to agree on action on four key issues to ‘fix’ the broken food system and make a serious effort to end hunger around the world.The issues are: Tax: Stop companies dodging taxes in poor countriesLand: Stop poor farmers being forced off their land in land grabs and allow them to grow crops to provide food, not fuel.Aid: Give aid to stop children dying from hunger and help the poorest people have enough food to liveTransparency: Governments and companies must be honest about their role in the food systemThe group is planning a series of events in the run-up to the G8, including a concert in Belfast on 15 June involving bands such as Two Door Cinema Club, an ecumenical service, and a stunt designed to draw attention to the issue once the G8 begins.The G8 summit is an annual meeting of government representatives from the world’s wealthiest countries: the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and Canada.The meeting in Fermanagh, which will take place on 17 and 18 June, will be the 39th summit to be held, and the first one to take place in Northern Ireland.Photos: PSNI undergo riot training ahead of G8 summit >Read: Mobile phone networks could be shut off during G8 due to terror threats > Read: Noonan says US Senate is ‘misleading’ the world on Ireland’s tax rate >
Related Items:#magneticmedianews Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, TCI, February 20, 2017 – Now over the halfway mark of the ‘first 100 days’, the PDM Administration is counting its work on the budget their biggest achievement so far since taking office.In a one on one with Magnetic Media on Saturday during the Middle Caicos Valentine’s Day Cup, Premier and Finance Minister, Sharlene Robinson revealed that work had stopped on the country’s budget due to General Elections but that on Friday, the Fiscal Strategic Policy Statement (FSPS) was sent to London and that the new budget year will have a late start.“We had a very little time to actually put our fullprint on it, but we made sure that with our capital projects, people will feel a PDM government. And also in the recurring expenditure that’s what I had said earlier that we will be looking at National Security. So we had a very short time to prepare the budget, because we have to be time sensitive it’s going be late, we intend to bring it to the house May, we have to bring it before July.”A cry of the public had been that they were not feeling the spending. Magnetic Media asked the Premier if the budget will live up to the change her party touted; she says it will: “So you can look forward to feeling it, you can feel us in this first budget. What you’re going to see is a lot of projects still continuing, and we want to continue those projects that we thought are in the best interest of the people.”Bigger ticket items in the allocation of funds will support national security said the Premier. “Our priorities will certainly be in National Security, anything to do with National Security we’re going to be responding as much as we can in this budget. What they’re also going to see from us is a controlling of expenditure in terms of putting it in the right place. And that’s what we have to do, we have to use our resources smartly.”#MagneticMediaNews The Luxury of Grace Bay in Down Town Provo Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Electricity Cost of Service Study among the big agenda items at September 11 Cabinet meeting Recommended for you ALERT # 2 ON POTENTIAL TROPICAL CYCLONE NINE ISSUED BY THE BAHAMAS DEPARTMENT OF METEOROLOGY THURSDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER, 2019 AT 9 PM EDT
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Fans took to the streets after Ohio State’s football championship victory early Tuesday, yelling and screaming in delight, setting nearly 90 fires and in the case of a few, tearing down an Ohio Stadium goal post. A few injuries were reported.Police made a handful of arrests after using tear gas and pepper spray to disperse crowds of Ohio State students and other fans following the Buckeyes’ win.Officers on foot, on horses and in cruisers patrolled the main drag through campus after midnight Tuesday, when revelers spilled out of bars near the campus to celebrate the university’s 42-20 win over the University of Oregon in Dallas.Thousands converged on the Ohio State football stadium, where police turned most of them away. Most headed back to the bar area, where cruisers lined the street and officers limited pedestrian and vehicular traffic.Fans tore down a temporary goal post used for high school games on the south end of the Ohio Stadium field, said university spokesman Dan Hedman.
A building in Southwest Miami-Dade was evacuated Wednesday morning.7Skyforce flew over the scene, where people believed to be doctors and nurses could be seen standing outside in their scrubs.Fire rescue crews were dispatched to 6110 S.W. 70th St., at around 6:15 a.m.At this point, the reason for the evacuation is unknown.Please check back on WSVN.com and 7News for more details on this developing story.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Email “The festival has always provided a place of inclusiveness and innovation, though Bonnaroovians will now see the spirit manifest into a trail of radical expression,” Bonnaroo said in a statement.House Of Yes will be returning to the festival’s plaza area, the interactive community space that brings life to the fest’s campgrounds every year. At their home at Plaza 3, attendees can share in their positivity and inclusivity once again, with drag shows and “Dirty Circus” events planned, and to top it all off, the new Pride parade. Their neighbors at Plaza 2, “The Sanctuary Of Self Love,” will enjoy yoga, spa treatments and panels on mental health and self-care, curated by Paramore’s Hayley Williams.”House of Yes is beyond thrilled to be producing the first ever Bonnaroo Pride Parade, bringing together revelers of every expression into a radical roaming dance party in celebration of our diversity, sexuality and humanity. Together we honor the leaders that brought us to where we are today, and unite to inspire the revolutionaries that will guide our future,” House Of Yes said.The festival is set to return to its home on a 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tenn. from June 13-16. The previously-announced 2019 lineup boasts a diverse and exciting musical offering including 61st GRAMMY Awards winners Cardi B, Brandi Carlile, Childish Gambino and Kacey Musgraves. Phish, Solange, Post Malone, Odesza, Hozier, The Lumineers are among other notable acts.2019 Music Festival Preview: Noise Pop, Coachella, Ultra & MoreRead more The Tennessee music festival will return for its 18th year this June and will be joining cities around the world holding summer LGBTQ+ Pride eventsAna YglesiasGRAMMYs Feb 26, 2019 – 5:37 pm Today, Bonnaroo Music And Arts Festival revealed another exciting offering for its 2019 festival: its first-ever LGBTQ+ Pride parade and celebration hosted by one of Brooklyn’s much-loved music and art venues, House Of Yes.”The parade will include dance music, live music, art cars, circus, spectacle and is open to anyone and everyone who is down with the rainbow revolution,” the club told Billboard. News Bonnaroo 2019 To Offer First Pride Celebration bonnaroo-2019-will-offer-first-ever-pride-celebration-complete-parade-drag-shows Twitter Facebook Bonnaroo 2019 Will Offer First-Ever Pride Celebration Complete With A Parade & Drag Shows
Don’t mess with the Magic: The Gathering community. That’s what a pair of thives learned when they broke into 23-year-old Woodbridge, Virginia resident Kemper Pogue’s car and made off with 300 cards valued at around $8,000.“I went in the house, cracked open a beer, had a few sips and promptly started screaming expletives as I waited for the police to arrive,” he said. “I’d been collecting these cards since I was a kid and over the years they’ve only increased in value. I was horrified.”After filing a report with the local police, Pogue started his own investigation by posting about the stolen cards on various online Magic communities and calling local stores to see if they’d seen or heard of anyone trying to sell the cards. In other words, he started using the tight-knit community revolving around the game and the shops in which it’s sold to get his property back.“There aren’t many physical things that can be taken that has this much sense of community attached to them,” Pogue explained. “Cards have all these memories and conversations with them from people you’ve met all over the country. When Magic players hear that a collection has been stolen, it’s heartbreaking and they rally around each other to get it back.”Image credit: Max MayorovAnd that’s exactly what happened. Pogue’s calls paid off when two men entered a Virginia card shop run by a friend of his wanting to sell cards. The owner referred them to Pogue’s hometown card shop Curio Cavern where they soon brought a portion of the collection to sell. Having been informed of the possible illegal sale, the employee asked the suspected thieves to come back at 8:00PM so they could deal with his boss, Tom Haid.The idea was for the men to show up, get spotted and IDed by the employee and have the cops swoop in to lock them up. But there was one more problem: Haid had a Magic tournament scheduled for that night. When he informed the players at 7:30PM that two criminals — one with a history of using deadly weapons during his robberies — were on the way, everyone remained in place in a show of support for a fellow player.When the suspects showed up a half hour later they were met with a sign saying the shop would reopen in about five minutes. This gave the store employee time to get a good look and give the police the go-ahead. Apprehending the criminals went off without a hitch. Unfortunately, Pogue couldn’t be there to witness the capture in person because he was out of town for a funeral, but he was still enthusiastic about the eventual return of his cards (they’re currently safely ensconced in the police evidence room).“We burned ’em!” he said. “We were one step ahead every step of the way.”
With Nintendo’s upcoming console shrouded within a thick fog of mystery, people across the reaches of the internet have tried valiantly to dig up any information they could on it. The thing that has been getting the most attention are supposed leaks of the NX’s controller. One of the latest reports debunks the whole thing, but we’ll get to that in a bit. Let’s take a quick look back at the timeline of these leaks, from the patent leak all the way to the alleged pictures of the actual controller.Back in December of 2015, a patent was leaked that contained pictures of the Nintendo NX’s controller. The controller was unusual, with the surface of the thing appearing to be a touch screen, and the only tactile components being two analog sticks and shoulder buttons. This seemed to be not an evolution, but a next step beyond what Nintendo did with the Wii U’s tablet-like touchpad. This controller would allow games to be played both on a TV screen and on the actual controller itself.A January 2016 report from the Wall Street Journal said that the NX would be both a traditional console and a handheld that would replace the Wii U and the 3DS. The patent showed a controller that could independently play games, so the report from WSJ seemed to verify that aspect of the device.Designs are one thing, but real pictures are another. The story of the NX controller became considerably more interesting last week when a seemingly real-life image of the controller was leaked, seen above. This controller looked like the one from the patents, only without the hand grips on the left and right sides. Even though these seemed to be real images, they didn’t exactly look legit considering how blurry the pictures were and how any Nintendo branding was lacking.This week, some higher quality pictures of the controller were posted, seen above. Given how clear they were, many were inclined to believe they were the genuine article. This leak came with some information about the controller as well. Supposedly, the rollers at the top feel like the scroll wheel on a mouse, the analog sticks move along the bottom “sphere,” and it has haptic feedback similar to Apple’s “taptic” engine. Just like with the other leaked picture, the identity of the person who posted the images could not be verified.Now, a new report says that everything we’ve seen so far has been bunk. Nintendo Life contributor Liam Robertson has spoken to a source of his that has access to prototype NX hardware. The source says that the images floating around the internet “aren’t legit.” Nintendo Life sees their source as credible.This report may be saying that all of the pictures we’ve seen aren’t of the actual controller, but that isn’t to say that the final build for it won’t be similar. As I’ve said before, Nintendo is no stranger to weirdly shaped controllers, and I have every bit of confidence that the controller for the NX will be just as odd as anything they’ve released in the past. We should also keep in mind that even this report that debunks the leaks should be taken with a grain of salt. As always, we’ll find out exactly what type of controller Nintendo will have when they make an official reveal.
Jim Henson was one of the world’s best-loved entertainers, and his sudden and untimely end at the age of just 53 sent a shock wave through the entertainment and media industry. As the creator and director of the Muppets, he developed a global audience and shaped the childhoods of millions who grew up watching Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, and the Muppet Show. Jim Henson and creationsHenson’s inventive creations and use of distinctive puppet characters such as Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy found a broad appeal among children and adults. At its height, The Muppet Show was watched by weekly audiences of 235 million viewers across more than 100 countries, according to The New York Times. This incredible success was followed by a series of feature films, including The Muppet Movie (1979), The Great Muppet Caper (1981), The Dark Crystal (1982), and Labyrinth (1986).Jim_Henson_(1989) Photo by Alan Light CC By 2.0His death in 1990 following a viral infection cut short this prolific career, and his loss was felt keenly by his family, peers, and the global audience that had been brought up watching his characters come to life on screen.Related Video: Famous Last Romantic WordsHowever, few people know that Henson also wrote two touching letters to be read after his death. Written in 1986, four years before he died, they reflect the positivity, good humor, and charm of the man who brought delight to multiple generations of fans.Director Jim Henson (left) and Lucas working on Labyrinth in 1986.The first letter is addressed directly to Henson’s five children, all of whom were aged between 19 and 30 at the time of his death. The site Letters of Note has published the complete text:“First of all, don’t feel bad that I’m gone. While I will miss spending time with each of you, I’m sure it will be an interesting time for me and I look forward to seeing all of you when you come over. To each of you I send my love. If on this side of life I’m able to watch over and help you out, know that I will. If I can’t, I’m sure I can at least be waiting for you when you come over. This all may sound silly to you guys, but what the hell, I’m gone—and who can argue with me?Jim Henson is the creator and producer of the television program The Muppet Show, staring Kermit the Frog. (Photo by Nancy Moran/Sygma via Getty Images)Life is meant to be fun, and joyous, and fulfilling. May each of yours be that—having each of you as a child of mine has certainly been one of the good things in my life. Know that I’ve always loved each of you with an eternal, bottomless love. A love that has nothing to do with each other, for I feel my love for each of you is total and all encompassing. Please watch out for each other and love and forgive everybody. It’s a good life, enjoy it.”The second letter is addressed ‘to friends and family’, and contains Henson’s reflections on death and his wishes for his funeral.Jim Henson Posing with His Creation Characters“I’m not at all afraid of the thought of death and in many ways look forward to it with much curiosity and interest. I’m looking forward to meeting up with some of my friends who have gone on ahead of me and I will be waiting there to say hi to those of you who are still back there. I suggest you first have a nice, friendly little service of some kind. It would be lovely if some of the people who sing would do a song or two, some of which should be quite happy and joyful. It would be nice if some of my close friends would say a few nice, happy words about how much we enjoyed doing this stuff together. Incidentally, I’d love to have a Dixieland band play at this function and end with a rousing version of ‘When the Saints Go Marching In’.Have a wonderful time in life, everybody; it feels strange writing this kind of thing while I’m still alive, but it wouldn’t be easy to do after I go.”Los Angeles, USA – August 18, 2011: The Hollywood Walk of Fame star of Jim Henson located on Hollywood Blvd. that was awarded in 1991 for achievement in the television industry.Henson’s wishes were honored in two separate memorial services, held at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York and St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, both of which featured hymns, Bible readings, a solo from Big Bird and a collective rendition of ‘Just One Person’ performed by the puppeteers and Muppet characters.Read another story from us: Colonel Sanders Endured a Lifetime of Struggle to Become the Face of KFCIn addition, Henson’s son Brian read out extracts from the two letters that he had written in 1986. In particular, one phrase was repeated throughout both services and printed on the programs, and has become something of a mantra for Henson’s fans across the globe: “Please watch out for each other and love and forgive everybody. It’s a good life, enjoy it.”
Register Now » 3 min read This story originally appeared on PCMag Artificial intelligence research should be done publicly and for the public good, according to Alphabet Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, who admitted to not initially recognizing the importance of AI.In a speech here at RSA, Schmidt argued that AI research “should be done in the open,” lest the work encourage paranoia and suspicion between countries. “The research should be done for the benefit of the many, not the few, and should apply to every human,” he said.Diversity of though is also important, he stressed. “More people looking at it means a better outcome,” he said. “Our approach [at Google] is to do this in the open and model this behavior,” he said.Schmidt did voice concern that AI could be weaponized. What if attackers tampered with the data used to train the algorithms that power a medical neural net designed to diagnose illness based on images? The AI would make incorrect and potentially dangerous decisions.The hacker at homeDuring his speech, Schmidt was challenged by moderator Gideon Lewis-Kraus about what role the garage inventor could play in the development of modern AI. It’s one thing to release these tools to the public, but only companies as large as Google can train such models.Schmidt acknowledged Google’s lead with data, but said there is plenty of room for contributions to be made to the field of AI development. A tinkerer, he said, could always make a more efficient algorithm that requires less data to be trained. “There are plenty of reservoirs of public data available to the garage tinkerers,” said Schmidt.A little historySchmidt began his talk by making clear that he was previously skeptical of the value of AI. “When I was a Ph.D. student, AI was all the rage,” said Schmidt. He resisted it because the field hit a major slump in the 1980s as experts moved to more promising areas of research — an AI winter, Schmidt called it.”I, being prejudiced from the years of winter, when I saw the results of [computer] vision and speech, I said ‘oh, you know it won’t scale,'” Schmidt told the crowd. “I have been proven completely wrong.”Indeed, Google has long employed neural networks at many levels, from algorithms that identify pictures in Google images, aided by millions of Google users, to the underlying mechanisms of Google’s ad technology. Data centers, meanwhile, were designed by some of the smartest humans on the planet, but AI analysis identified improvements that increased power efficiency by 15 percent, Schmidt said.Still, it hasn’t all been mind-blowing. When neural networks discerned the existence of cats from YouTube videos, for example, “I was very upset,” said Schmidt. “The event that launched the quest for general AI, you’d think they’d discover set theory. Instead, they discovered cats on YouTube.” Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals February 17, 2017
Gay American civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson also tweeted his support for Bishop Curry: ‘Preach.’Drag Race host Michelle Visage couldn’t contain her excitement over the Royal Wedding, posting several tweets during the live commentary.On the attendance of The Kingdom gospel choir led by Karen Gibson, Visage tweeted: ‘SING IT CHOIR!!!! OMG I’M LIVING.’Season nine and 10 star of Drag Race, Eureka O’Hara, also tweeted: ‘I’m in the U.K. and the energy around the Royal Family Wedding is amazing. So inspirational!’Glee star Chris Colfer tweeted a photo of himself with the British flag and a coffee mug with Harry and Meghan’s face on it.Good Morning! #RoyalWedding pic.twitter.com/KLb5nY91LN— Chris Colfer (@chriscolfer) 19 May 2018Drag Race host Ross Mathews commented the event for ET Canada and also posted an excited photo.Gay American actor Wilson Cruz tweeted: ‘Congratulations to Harry and Meghan, our CALIFORNIA GIRL, The Duchess of Sussex.’RuPaul tweeted: ‘Had a good proper cry this morning while reading coverage of the #RoyalWedding. It symbolizes where I’d hoped humanity would be in 2018.’MNEK said: ‘The culture in this wedding is SWEETING me.’Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . Held in St George’s Chapel in Windsor, the ceremony featured a pro-LGBTI American bishop who gave an inspiring speech about love and social justice.Markle stunned in a Givenchy dress, with all members of the British royal family in attendance, except for baby Prince Louis.Also in attendance was Sir Elton John and his partner David Furnish, George and Amal Clooney, David and Victoria Beckham, Oprah and Serena Williams.But it seems this very British spectacle caught the eye of some American fans.Michelle Visage: ‘OMG I’M LIVING’Openly gay CNN political commentator Keith Boykin tweeted his praise for Bishop Michael Curry.He wrote: ‘Bishop Michael Curry quoting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the Royal Wedding: “We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love. And when we do that, we will make of this old world a new world.”‘Bishop Michael Curry quoting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the #royalwedding: “We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love. And when we do that, we will make of this old world a new world.” pic.twitter.com/PcdxMraAA8— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) 19 May 2018 eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) Chris Colfer. | Photo: Twitter Prince Harry and Meghan Markle got married today (19 May) and LGBTI celebrities can’t handle it. Meet Michael Curry, the pro-gay US bishop at the Royal WeddingWe spent the royal wedding at a cruising spot celebrating sexual freedomPrince Harry and Meghan will be the most pro-LGBTI royal couple everRead the full article on Gaystarnews: :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/lgbti-celebrities-react-in-awe-to-the-royal-wedding/ Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… GAYSTARNEWS-
GUATEMALA CITY – Once described by Aldous Huxley as the Lake Como of Guatemala, Lake Atitlán is a justified staple on the Central American tourist trail. However, over the past few years, agrochemicals, raw sewage, litter and shore development have taken their toll, turning the fresh blue water a murky shade of brown, turning tourists away.This week a joint initiative by the Italian and Guatemalan governments called “Yo soy Atitlán” aims to raise the profile of Lake Atitlán’s problems and work with environmental organizations, experts and the surrounding communities to combat the contamination that threatens to destroy one of the world’s most picturesque places.What was considered to be a local problem has drawn international concern as a team of Italian experts arrived in Guatemala earlier this week, keen to share their knowledge of how their own country rescued its lakes in the 1980s.The Italian Embassy in Guatemala said that in “Italy, too, we have lived through contamination.”According to a study by Del Valle University in Guatemala, over the past 45 years the pollution of Lake Atitlán, located 120 kilometers west of the capital, has contributed to a reduction in the transparency of the water, from 11 meters to 5.5 meters, and a decrease in the concentration of oxygen in the water from 7mg/liter to 0.3.According to Margaret Dix, a biology professor at Del Valle University, pollution of the lake has led to a reduction in tourism, jobs, fish and food, and an increase in poverty and illnesses for the surrounding communities, for whom the lake represents a primary source of water.“Every year one million cubic meters of untreated raw sewage enters the lake; 109,500 metric tons of litter – 3 pounds of solid waste per person, per day – and 110,000 metric tons of soil is lost due to erosion,” Dix said.“To improve the ecological conditions of the lake, territorial planning is needed with an integrated management of solid and liquid waste to prevent the entry of raw sewage and to reduce the accumulation of phosphorous and nitrogen.“Experiences in other parts of the world show that generally for lakes similar to Atitlán, traditional treatment plants are inadequate and have a prohibitively high operational cost. The solution is to export raw sewage to another basin where it can be treated to eliminate pathogens and the water can be used in agriculture. Many experts consider this to be the best option,” Dix said.Various activities have been organized as part of the two-week campaign launch, such as an Italian rock concert in Guatemala City, which was opened by a Mayan cultural group and attended by approximately 1,000 people. Proceeds were donated to the Yo soy Atitlán program.A forum for experts – from environmental ministers to conservationists – also was held to discuss possible solutions to eliminate the contamination, and a project called “Lancha Azul” will kick off next week to encourage dialogue among the surrounding lake communities and to teach them about solid-waste management.Yo soy Atitlán hopes to encourage as many people as possible from the government and nongovernmental organizations, as well as environmental experts, communities around the lake and academic institutions to get involved and debate the challenges and goals for Lake Atitlán over the coming years.The Guatemalan government already has agreed to allocate more funds to increase garbage collections in the area, purify water and improve waste management systems.Said Dix: “The future is in our hands. There’s still time to stop the degradation process of Lake Atitlán.”Recommended: Guatemala’s 6.8 Palopó makes Buzzfeed’s global list for restaurants with incredible views Facebook Comments Related posts:On Guatemalan mountainside, hopes are washed away with the rain Malnourished kids sue Guatemalan state and win, but not much has changed For Guatemalan Q’eqchi’ community, accessing health care depends on finding someone to speak their language Guatemalans bury victims of 1982 civil war massacre
Cunard Commodore Christopher Rynd retiresCunard Commodore Christopher Rynd retires after distinguished career at seaCunard has announced the retirement of Commodore Christopher Rynd following an epic seafaring career as distinguished as his presence on the bridge of the many ships he has commanded.Commodore Rynd was seen as the quintessential Cunard ship’s Master but his career spanned a number of cruise shipping lines and vessels that made him a popular figure with countless thousands of cruise guests.The Commodore was famously photographed by James Morgan in this signature position alongside the famous Queen Mary 2 red funnel when the Cunard flagship visited Sydney in 2012.But Commodore Rynd was equally at home saluting Australia’s ‘summer heroes’ – volunteer bushfire fighters and SES personnel who battled an epic summer of fire and flood – who sailed as guests on Queen Mary 2.Or, in a salute to seafaring heritage, carrying Captain James Cook memorabilia and Matthew Flinders’ original Nineteenth Century charts of Australia courtesy of the State Library of New South Wales and its former curator Paul Brunton.“Throughout his long career, Christopher Rynd was seen as the image of a ship’s Master with his distinguished manner, respect for guests and crew and love of ships and seafaring,” said Carnival Australia President Sture Myrmell“In the later years of his career, Commodore Rynd was most closely associated with Cunard but he also introduced many thousands of Australians to cruising at the helm of P&O Cruises and Princess Cruises vessels.”Commodore Rynd had an extensive career with our organisa tion starting in 1974 as junior third officer on the S.S. Oronsay when P&O Cruises was still part of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company.His first command was on the much loved Royal Princess and over the years he has commanded nine different classes of vessels with propulsion systems ranging from steam to ultra-modern quadruple pods.Commodore Rynd joined Queen Elizabeth2 in 2005 and subsequently commanded Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth.“All of us at Carnival Australia wish Commodore Rynd well in his retirement after such an awe-inspiring career at sea,” Mr Myrmell said. About CunardCunard is a luxury British cruise line based at Carnival House in Southampton, owned by Carnival Corporation since 1998. It has been a leading operator of passenger ships on the North Atlantic, celebrating 175 years of operation in 2015. There are three Cunard Queens in its fleet – Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria. For more information, please see www.cunard.comSource = Cunard
While rents largely stabilized in November, the acceleration of housing prices moved at its fastest clip since August 2006, according to Zillow’s year-end look at the U.S. market.This acceleration, said Zillow’s chief economist Svenja Gudell, is not completely a good thing because it is due less to natural economic growth than to tight inventories that drive up prices through competition.As of November, there were 1,422,084 homes listed for sale nationwide, Gudell said. That’s a 6 percent drop-off from a year ago; and inventory fell year-over-year in November in 27 of the largest 35 metros.According to Zillow, home values rose 6.5 percent year-over-year in November, to a median $192,500. They rose half a percentage point from October for the 52nd consecutive month.At the same time, rents rose 1.5 percent over the past year, as the number of homes for sale nationwide fell 5.9 for the 22nd consecutive month. Eventually, Gudell said, the crush of renters looking to buy could create even bigger demand.Of course, not all markets in the country are shrinking. But even there, the future isn’t quite as clear as you might expect.“Even in those markets in which inventory rose,” Gudell said, “it’s likely more because it couldn’t realistically fall much lower. Inventory in Las Vegas, for example, rose 26 percent year-over-year in November, to 13,659 homes for sale,” she said. “That’s a big jump, but even after that bump, Las Vegas inventory remains more than 44 percent below recent peak levels reached in mid-2011.”In all 35 of the largest metros analyzed, she said, inventory in November was more than 25 percent below highs reached since January 2010.Apart from inventory shortfalls, a driver for accelerating home prices has been local dynamics in the market. Or, rather, markets.“The U.S. housing market is really just a collection of dozens of smaller local markets that are all moving up and down to varying degrees,” Gudell said. “[These markets are] driven by various local factors including the health of their local economy and local supply and demand dynamics.”An improving national jobs picture, particularly in most large metros, has driven prices up as well, she said. Markets in which the pace of appreciation has picked up include Seattle, Detroit, Philadelphia, and Orlando. Areas growing at a slower pace include the Bay Area, Miami, Texas (Austin, Houston, and Dallas) and Denver. December 22, 2016 518 Views in Daily Dose, Data, News Home Price Appreciation Housing Inventory Housing Supply 2016-12-22 Seth Welborn Here is What is Moving Home Prices Upward Share
in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News Congress Disaster flood Natural Disasters NFIP 2019-05-30 Mike Albanese May 30, 2019 310 Views Post updated at 8:31 a.m. on Friday, May 31The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) received a last-minute extension Thursday evening, preventing the program from lapsing.The Advocate reports Congress is expected to pass yet another extension–the 12th in two years–on Monday when it returns from its recess. The anticipated extension set for Monday would extend the program to September as Congress discusses a long-term solution.The NFIP covers 5 million policyholders in flood-prone areas.The program was set to expire at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, May 31, and two prior attempts to extend the program failed. The Senate had approved two bills to extend the program: the first is part of the disaster relief legislative package that would extend the NFIP through Sept. 30, and the second would provide a two-week extension.Two prior attempts to gain unanimous consent were block by representatives Chip Roy (R-Texas), Thomas MaThe National Association of Home Builders states that Congress requires all properties with the 100-year floodplain purchase with a federally-backed mortgage to carry flood insurance. A short-term shutdown means insurers and insurance agents cannot sell or renew flood insurance policies back by the program because of lack of government funding. The results could mean new or renewing federal flood insurance policies not be written during the lapse.The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2578 earlier in April, which would have extended the NFIP’s authorization to September 30.“The NFIP plays an important role in disaster preparedness and resiliency by providing flood maps, setting standards for floodplain management, and investing in mitigation for our homes, businesses, and infrastructure. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, everyone is at risk of flooding,” said Maxine Waters, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee. “That means that this is not just a coastal issue—we all have an interest in ensuring a strong National Flood Insurance Program. Share National Flood Insurance Program Given Last-Minute Extension