Nova Scotia education bill subject to heavy criticism in committee hearing

first_imgHALIFAX – Proposed legislation that would radically change the administration of Nova Scotia’s school system was derided as “undemocratic” and “unneeded” Monday as critics lined up to condemn the bill before a legislature committee.More than 60 speakers were scheduled to make presentations before the law amendments committee on Bill 72, which would largely implement reforms recommended in a recent report by education consultant Avis Glaze.Among other things, the legislation would eliminate the province’s seven English language school boards while revamping the membership of the 9,600-member Nova Scotia Teachers Union to remove about 1,000 principals, vice-principals and senior supervisors.Union president Liette Doucet called on the government to remove provisions that would shift administrators from the union to an affiliated association.“This is punishment, pure and simple, for the strong role that principals, vice-principals and administrators have played in the NSTU since its inception, up to and including work-to-rule last year and the first provincewide strike of the NSTU,” said Doucet.She said the change would rob school administrators of basic protections, including the right to challenge discharges, suspensions or demotions for just cause.It was a change of tone from last week when Doucet said there was hope of a new start for the union’s relationship with the government. On Monday, she said trust would once again be an issue if the legislation is passed as is.“We can never trust that a collective agreement — a contract — is worth any more than the paper it’s written on. This government’s strong-arm approach to unions and collective bargaining has the potential to destroy collective bargaining in this province for the foreseeable future.”Peter Day, a middle school teacher from Sydney Mines, N.S., said there was nothing in the legislation that would improve student achievement.“The recommendations of the Glaze report are a fabricated solution to a crisis in education that does not exist,” he said, adding that the closing of school boards was “an attack on democracy.”Day said more human resources — including teachers, speech language pathologists and social workers — would make a bigger difference in schools than administrative changes.Suzy Hansen, a member of the Halifax Regional School Board, told the committee she opposes the elimination of boards as an African Nova Scotian with six children in the school system.Hansen said she was worried about the unintended consequences on “the achievement gap” between the academic performance of African Nova Scotian children and other students.“We are unaware of what policies are going to be kept and what aren’t going to be kept,” said Hansen. “There definitely are things that need to be addressed, but doing a clean sweep and an abrupt change so quickly is not going to help. It’s only going to push us back further.”While most of the early speakers before the committee spoke against the legislation, consultant Paul Bennett spoke in favour of it, although he said it could be improved.Under the legislation, the Acadian school board would remain in place, while the other boards would be replaced by a new Provincial Advisory Council of Education composed of 15 members representing all regions of the province.School board offices would remain in place, but they would become regional education centres that would continue to make regional and local decisions, although the superintendents would report to the deputy minister of education. There would also be local advisory councils under the proposed model.“I think you need to consider the regional centres and the executive directors of education. I really don’t think they are going to be sufficiently strong to represent the public,” Bennett said.He said regional school advisory councils should be governing bodies to make them more accountable.“Phase out the school boards, yes — decentralize decision making, restore democratic accountability and we’ll all be further ahead,” he said.Meanwhile, a small group of protesters gathered outside the legislature to call on the government to pause the legislation.“Nova Scotia is losing 57 elected women and removing African Nova Scotian and Indigenous voices from local decision-making,” the group said in a news release.The legislation could pass final reading as early as Wednesday.last_img read more



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Misrepresenting product as kosher could cause spiritual trauma court says

first_imgTORONTO — A Toronto-area flour company has been ordered to pay $25,000 for misrepresenting a cake mix as kosher, after an Ontario court said the move could cause “spiritual trauma” to consumers who bought the product for religious reasons.A small-claims court found earlier this month that Adee Flour Mills breached its contract with the Kashruth Council of Canada, one of the country’s biggest kosher certification agencies, by misusing its logo on a devil’s food cake mix that was not, in fact, certified as kosher.Deputy Judge Lai-King Hum ordered the Mississauga, Ont.-based company to pay the council $20,000 for the breach and the harm it caused to the council’s reputation, as well as $5,000 in punitive damages for the potential harm to consumers.“Since the products that are not authorized to be kosher certified are sold to unsuspecting consumers who adhere to a kosher diet for religious reasons, the failure to adhere to a kosher diet could foreseeably result in spiritual trauma,” the decision said.“I find the defendant Adee’s actions are highly reprehensible, departing markedly from the ordinary standards of decent behaviour, as there is foreseeable harm to the innocent consumer.”The deputy judge did not, however, order the company to stop selling the products and pull them from stores, saying such orders are outside the small-claims court’s jurisdiction.Richard Rabkin, the Kashruth Council’s managing director, said the organization has reached out to others in the kosher community to alert them of the issue with the product.“I think the message is loud and clear here, that a company that engages in this sort of behaviour is unacceptable,” he said in an interview.He stressed it’s “extremely uncommon” to see a company act in this way, noting that most are happy to comply with the kosher program in order to market their products to those consumers.“This was obviously an exceptional situation where you had a company that was basically flouting the law and doing so even after they had been advised and representing themselves as kosher when they weren’t,” he said.Adee could not immediately be reached for comment. The company did not file a defence in the case, according to the court decision.The document shows Adee was granted kosher certification in May 2016 but it was revoked more than a year later after the company failed to pay the annual certification fee, despite several calls and emails from the council.In April of last year, the council learned that one of its rabbis found one of Adee’s Easy Bake devil’s food cake mixes bearing the kosher certification logo during a routine inspection at a factory store, the decision said.The council testified that Adee products with the logo continued to be sold as late as November, it said. The organization argued that diluted its trademark and undermined its reputation.It’s not the first time a company has been accused of trying to pass off products as kosher.A Toronto-area food manufacturer and distributor was charged in 2017 after allegedly forging documents to knowingly sell non-kosher cheddar cheese to Jewish summer camps in the summer of 2015.Creation Foods Co. was fined $25,000 after pleading guilty to two counts of contravening the Food and Drugs Act, according to a release by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.The agency said at the time it was the first case in Canada brought before a provincial court in connection with the misrepresentation of a kosher food product.“The fine is significant and may lead to improved future compliance under this statute,” it said.Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Presslast_img read more



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ITVs Text Santa Raises £8383361

first_imgFriday night saw Text Santa raise the highest total ever at £8,383,361 as millions of viewers watched a night to remember on ITV.In five years of fundraising, Text Santa has now raised over £29,000,000. This year’s proceeds will directly benefit three charities Macmillan Cancer Support, Make-A-Wish UK and Save the Children as 100% of all money raised goes directly to the charities.Peter Fincham, Director of ITV, said: “This is a fantastic achievement. I want to thank all ITV viewers and our partners who have donated so generously to the Text Santa appeal. All the money will go directly to this year’s charities Macmillan Cancer Support, Make-A-Wish UK and Save the Children and will make a real difference to the lives of those who rely on the charities’ support.”The star-studded show was packed with surprises for audience and presenters, live music performances, and emotional true-life charity films.This year viewers saw their favourite celebrities doing their bit in a Christmas knit as the three-hour TV spectacular marked the climax of Text Santa Christmas Jumper Day which encouraged everyone to get out their woolies, join in the festive fun and most importantly donate to Text Santa.Highlights of the night included: • Paddy McGuinness achieved the Guinness world record title for putting on the most Christmas jumpers in a minute and managed to raise £11,000 by wearing 11 jumpers all at once for Text Santa. • Coronation Street stars joined by special guest star Sir Richard Branson in a time travel themed sketch which saw some of today’s stars morph into iconic characters of old including Annie Walker, Elsie Tanner and Albert Tatlock. • In Downton Abbey, butler Carson fulfilled his dream to become the Abbey’s Santa Claus fighting off competition from Sir Bruce Forsyth, Gordon Ramsay, Gok Wan, Brenda Blethyn as Vera, Jim Broadbent, Michelle Keegan and Warwick Davis. • Stars competed in a special Ninja Warrior UK episode to win money for the Text Santa appeal. Olympian Louise Hazel emerged victorious beating off the competition Kimberly Wyatt; Gemma Atkinson; Mark Wright; Torvill & Dean; Carl Froch; Marvin Humes; Ryan Thomas and Ugo Monye. • A Text Santa edition of Big Star’s, Bigger Star saw stars and their parents instead of stars and their little ones raise money for the Text Santa appeal. Those taking part were George Shelley and his mum Toni Harris; Emma Willis and her mum Cathy Griffiths; and Jennie McAlpine and dad Tom McAlpine. Stephen was surprised when his father Chris also arrived to take part and raised even more money for Text Santa. • Simon Cowell and The X Factor judges did their bit in a Christmas Knit, wearing their Christmas jumpers and The X Factor with the show sponsors Talktalk made a generous donation to the Text Santa appeal. • Six moving charity films were shown, highlighting what the appeal is really all about. The films were fronted by Julie Walters and Martin Clunes for Macmillan Cancer Support; Bradley Walsh and Ant & Dec for Make-A-Wish; and Amanda Holden and Myleene Klass for Save the Children.Fronting the three-hour, live, fun-filled extravaganza was a mix of presenters from the ITV family including Christine Bleakley, Alesha Dixon, Caroline Flack, Amanda Holden, Paddy McGuinness, Stephen Mulhern, Olly Murs, Phillip Schofield and {celebrity:Holly Willoughby – all of them doing their bit in a Christmas Knit.There was music on the night when the stars of Emmerdale invited viewers to a singalong to Shakin’ Steven’s Merry Christmas Everyone and featured a special guest appearance by Louis Walsh. The winner of this year’s The X Factor Louisa Johnson made her first post X Factor appearance performing Bob Dylan’s Forever Young. Host Olly Murs and Little Mix also performed encouraging donations to Text Santa’s charities: Macmillan Cancer Support, Make-A-Wish and Save the Children.There were also special Text Santa Christmas Jumper Day messages delivered by a host of famous faces including Prime Minister David Cameron, actors Jack Black and Elijah Wood; comedians Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer and Jo Brand; groups and singers Rod Stewart, One Direction and The Osmonds; presenters Jonathan Ross, and Paul O’Grady; and Strictly Come Dancing’s head judge Len Goodman.During the day on the 18th December the ITV schedule was all about Text Santa with special one-off editions of ITV favourites The Chase, Tipping Point, Jeremy Kyle and 1000 Heartbeats.Donations can still be made via the following platforms: To give £5 text SANTA5 to 70760; to give £10 text SANTA10 to 70760; to donate by phone call 0300 123 6060; or donate online at itv.com, stv.tv or u.tv.This year the appeal inspired a whole army of fundraisers to raise more money than ever before. The money raised will go towards funding nurses and other essential workers so people affected by cancer get the support they need; granting wishes to enrich the lives of children and young people fighting life-threatening conditions and transforming children’s lives here and abroad to give hope to families in difficulty at Christmas.Text Santa is now in its fifth year and has so far raised over £29,000,000 for charities. The annual appeal also helps to increase awareness of the vital work of our charity partners by using ITV’s reach to millions of viewers across the UK inspiring and empowering people to make a difference. 100% of the money will be shared equally amongst the Text Santa charities going directly to support their vital work.Last year, thanks to the public’s fantastic generosity, the money raised through Text Santa helped to provide 45,000 hours of specialist care to help young people fight cancer, support over 3,600 people suffering from dementia, and provide 51,650 hours of care to children and their families.Supporting Text Santa for 2015 are appeal partners Primark, who donated to the appeal for every Christmas Jumper sold from the 1st December to the 17th December. Other appeal partners included Papa John’s, Vodafone and department store Liberty.More information about Text Santa Christmas Jumper Day can be found at www.ITV.com/textsanta.ITV Text Santa was produced by ITV Studios.last_img read more



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Human Rights Tribunal hobbled by massive backlog vacancies

first_imgAPTN National NewsWith the chair of the Human Rights Tribunal on stress leave, the agency must now figure out what to do next.The list of active complaints is in the hundreds and several vacancies at the tribunal are on hold.APTN National News investigative producer Francine Compton reports.last_img



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ISIS Claims Responsibility For Tunis Terrorist Attacks

Rabat – The jihadist group, ISIS, has claimed responsibility for the double suicide attack in Tunis on June 27, as reported by the US body monitoring extremist movements SITE Intelligence Group.The first attack, which targeted a law enforcement vehicle on Charles de Gaulle Avenue, killed a policeman and injured three civilians.Shortly after, a suicide bomber blew up his charge near a police station in Al Karjani district, injuring four others, according to the Tunisian Ministry of Interior. The authors of the “two attacks against Tunisian police forces in the capital are fighters of (group) Islamic State in Iraq and Syria,” said the group’s propaganda agency, “Amaq.”SITE Intelligence Group, which provides governments and institutions across the globe with intelligence on terrorist and extremist groups, published the message yesterday, June 27, on its web page.Read also: Couple Accused of Recruiting for ISIS Await Verdict of Retrial read more



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For some in middle class Trump plan would mean tax increase

by Christopher S. Rugaber, The Associated Press Posted Nov 25, 2016 8:37 am MDT Last Updated Nov 26, 2016 at 11:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email For some in middle class, Trump plan would mean tax increase WASHINGTON – President-elect Donald Trump’s proposals would modestly cut income taxes for most middle-class Americans. But for nearly 8 million families — including a majority of single-parent households — the opposite would occur: They’d pay more.Most married couples with three or more children would also pay higher taxes, an analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center found. And while middle-class families as a whole would receive tax cuts of about 2 per cent, they’d be dwarfed by the windfalls averaging 13.5 per cent for America’s richest 1 per cent.Trump’s campaign rhetoric had promoted the benefits of his proposals for middle-income Americans.“The largest tax reductions are for the middle class,” said Trump’s “Contract With the American Voter,” released last month.The tax hikes that would hit single parents and large families would result from Trump’s plan to eliminate the personal exemption and the head-of-household filing status. These features of the tax code have enabled many Americans to reduce their taxable income.His other proposed tax changes would benefit middle- and lower-income Americans. But they wouldn’t be enough to offset those modifications.“If you’re a low- or moderate-income single parent, you’re going to get hurt,” said Bob Williams, a fellow at the Tax Policy Center.Unlike Trump’s polarizing proposals on immigration and trade, his tax plan is in line with traditional Republican policy. His steep tax cuts in many ways resemble those carried out by Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, and the Republican-run Congress is expected to welcome them.During the campaign, Trump said his tax cuts — for individuals and companies — would energize the economy by boosting business investment in factories and equipment, while leaving consumers with more cash to spend. His proposals, he contended, would help create 25 million jobs over the next decade.But Lily Batchelder, a visiting fellow at the Tax Policy Center and former deputy director of President Barack Obama’s National Economic Council, estimates that roughly 7.9 million families with children would pay higher taxes under his proposals. About 5.8 million are led by single parents. An additional 2.1 million are married couples.Other analysts, including economists at the conservative Tax Foundation and right-of-centre American Enterprise Institute, have agreed with Batchelder’s conclusions.Here’s what her analysis finds:Right now, a single parent with $75,000 in income and two children can claim a head of household deduction of $9,300, plus three personal exemptions. Those steps would reduce the household’s taxable income by $21,450, to $53,550.Trump’s plan would more than double the standard deduction to $15,000. But that change would be outweighed by his elimination of personal exemptions and head-of-household status. So the family’s taxable income would be $60,000, and their tax bill would be $2,440 more than it is now.A married couple with four children and income of $50,000 would absorb a tax increase of $1,090 because of their loss of personal exemptions.Trump’s advisers deny that he will raise taxes on middle-income Americans. Stephen Miller, his top policy adviser, said Trump would provide tax-free child care savings accounts and other provisions to enable some families to reduce taxes.But Batchelder’s analysis found that those provisions wouldn’t be enough to offset the plan’s other elements that would increase taxes for some middle income households.More broadly, Miller said Trump would instruct Congress to avoid raising taxes on those families.“We will cut taxes massively for the middle class and working class,” Miller said.Kelly Rodriguez, 47, who lives in Tampa, Florida, voted for Trump and is a single mother who claims two of her four children as dependents. (Her ex-husband claims the other two.) She made roughly $90,000 last year, including alimony payments. Her taxes would likely rise under Trump’s plan, according to Batchelder’s analysis.“I would want him to explain that to me,” she said. “Taxes have to make sense to the people paying them.”Still, Trump’s plan will likely evolve during congressional negotiations before it becomes law.“This is not anywhere close to a final plan,” Williams said.Kyle Pomerlau, director of federal projects at the conservative Tax Foundation, noted that House Speaker Paul Ryan’s own tax-cut proposal is similar to Trump’s but wouldn’t raise taxes on single-parent families. In theory, the two plans could be melded, and Trump’s elimination of the head of household status could be dropped.But leaving the head of household filing status and personal exemptions intact would lower tax revenue by $2.1 trillion over the next decade, the Tax Policy Center says.All independent analyses show most of the benefit of Trump’s plan flowing to the wealthiest Americans. Nearly half of Trump’s tax cuts would go to the top 1 per cent of earners, the Tax Policy Center found. Less than a quarter of the cuts would benefit the bottom 80 per cent.Trump proposes to reduce the number of tax brackets from seven to three, with rates of 12 per cent, 25 per cent and 33 per cent. That would slash the top rate from the current 39.6 per cent. He would repeal the estate tax, which affects only about 0.2 per cent of estates — those worth above $5.45 million.For middle-income earners as a whole, the Trump proposals would cut taxes, even taking into account the increases on single-parent families. Those earning nearly $50,000 to about $83,000 — the middle one-fifth — would receive an average cut of $1,010, according to the Tax Policy Center. That would lift their after-tax incomes 1.8 per cent.By contrast, the wealthiest 1 per cent — those earning over $700,000 — would enjoy a tax cut averaging nearly $215,000, boosting their after-tax incomes 13.5 per cent. And the richest 0.1 per cent — those making above $3.7 million — would receive a bonanza: An average tax cut exceeding $1 million.“Trump’s campaign rhetoric may have been populist, but his tax plan isn’t,” Howard Gleckman, a senior fellow at the policy centre, wrote on its website.His tax proposals suggest what may be a challenge for Trump’s administration: Providing his middle- and working-class supporters with tangible signs of economic progress. Middle-income Americans already pay a relatively modest share of federal income taxes compared with the wealthy. That limits the scope of what tax cuts could do for them.“The thing that he needs to worry about is making life better for his supporters, and that involves more than tax cuts,” Williams said.Middle class finances have also been squeezed by high and rising costs for health care, higher education and housing, noted Joseph Cohen, a sociologist at Queens College in New York City.“We’ve been cutting taxes since Reagan, and things have been getting worse for the middle class since Reagan,” he said.___Contact Chris Rugaber on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/ChrisRugaber read more



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Crew goalkeeper making voice heard on field

In soccer, the goalkeeper is like a coach on the field. “Part of being a goalkeeper is barking out orders and you’ve got to be louder than everyone,” Columbus Crew goalkeeper William Hesmer said. He is in charge of directing the team’s defense and setting up its offense with goal kicks and throws. Hesmer, now in his fifth season as the Crew’s starting goalkeeper, is off to a hot start in 2011. Through 10 games, he is allowing an average of only one goal per contest and has had four shutouts, putting him on pace to break his career high of 10. “That’s a reflection of the team,” he said of his performance so far. “For the most part, we have done a terrific job of team-defending and making it difficult for other teams to break us down.” After losing several key players in the offseason, such as defender Frankie Hejduk and offensive maestro Guillermo Barros Schelotto, coach Robert Warzycha said Hesmer has increased his role as a team leader. “Losing so many players from last year, he is one of the guys that is leading the team,” Warzycha said. “His good performance is very important to us.” As successful as Hesmer and the Crew defense have been so far, the offense has struggled during the first two months of the season. Columbus is in last place in the MLS in scoring, averaging 0.8 goals per game. Strong performances by Hesmer and Co. during the first month and a half of the season, including a streak of four straight shutouts, made up for the team’s offensive struggles. The Crew recorded a seven-game streak without a loss from March 26 to May 7. At that point, the team had 13 points and was tied for fifth in the 18-team league. However, the team has gone goalless in its past two matches and has yet to win a game in May. It fell into a tie for 10th place in the league. Warzycha said there’s one thing his team needs to do: score goals. “It is as simple as that,” he said. The Crew will look to rebound against Chivas USA at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at home. read more



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Football Ohio State lists JT Barrett as starting quarterback in Big Ten

Ohio State redshirt senior quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) throws a pass in the first quarter of the game against Michigan on Nov. 25 in Ann Arbor. Ohio State won 31-20. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorOhio State released its depth chart Tuesday before Saturday’s Big Ten championship game against Wisconsin. Though redshirt senior J.T. Barrett did not finish the game under center for Ohio State, he was listed as the starting quarterback for the Buckeyes. The only change that appeared on the depth chart was the backup quarterback position. Rather than be listed as the co-second-string quarterback with redshirt sophomore Joe Burrow, redshirt freshman Dwayne Haskins was listed as the only backup to redshirt senior J.T. Barrett under center. Burrow is now listed as third-string quarterback.Haskins filled in for Barrett on Saturday against Michigan and drove the Buckeyes down the field for the eventual game-winning score. Haskins finished the game 6-for-7 with 94 passing yards. He also carried the ball three times for 24 yards.Here is the rest of the depth chart. read more



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Samsung Galaxy Ace and Galaxy Suit details leak

first_imgThe Galaxy Suit is the little brother of the Ace for those who want or need an even smaller handset. We have similar information on the spec of the Suit:3.2″ OLED touchscreenquad-band GSMAndroid OS (2.2 expected)3.2-megapixel cameramicroSD slot32GB expandable memoryBluetooth, Wi-Fi, 3G, FM radio3.5mm headphone jackSamsung will no doubt keep quiet until the official announcement and unveiling likely to happen at the MWC. With a couple of leaks already happening, though, we could be seeing a lot more of these handsets unofficially over the coming weeks.Read more at Techie Buzz Believe it or not, cellphone users aren’t all the same and don’t all want massive screens, super fast processors, and may not even know what version of an OS is running on their handset. So manufacturers have to cater for everyone, and produce a range of phones to suit.It used to be the case that different phones from the same manufacturer would look very different for each sector of the market, but more recently the same design aesthetics are being applied to a range of different sized devices with handsets carrying a variation on the same name.Samsung looks set to do just that with its Galaxy line, with two new models expected to be announced at the Mobile World Congress next month (February 14-17). Each one seems to be a smaller variation on the Galaxy S.Unfortunately for Samsung, someone has beat them to an announcement with grainy images, final names, and a few specs leaking today.The Galaxy S Mini we saw an image of last week is one of those phones, and its final name looks set to be the Galaxy Ace. The basic spec details we have for the phone include:3.5″ touchscreenquad-band GSMAndroid OS (2.2 expected)5-megapixel cameramicroSD slot32GB expandable memoryBluetooth, Wi-Fi, 3G, FM radio3.5mm headphone jacklast_img read more



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Amazon to launch larger Kindle Fire in 2012

first_imgDo you remember back when the Kindle Fire was just a rumor? All signs were pointing to a tablet from Amazon, and soon it was one of the most anticipated electronic devices of 2011. Some, however, were a little surprised when the Fire arrived and how it bore more of a resemblance to the Nook Color than to the iPad.Prior to the Fire’s launch, BGR had published a leak that detailed not one, but two tablets from Amazon. One, dubbed “Coyote,” was an entry-level tablet with a dual-core processor. Obviously that’s the one that released in 2011. But the other tablet, codenamed “Hollywood,” largely went forgotten. It was supposed to be the real star, and would feature a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3.One analyst has thrown in his two cents on Amazon’s tablet plans — and he believes that Hollywood is still on its way. Pacific Crest analyst Chad Bartley was forthcoming in his expectations for Amazon’s 2012 — he raised his 2012 sales forecasts based on “the new 7-inch and 9-inch models,” which he expects to launch by mid-year.If the larger “Hollywood” tablet is on its way, it would make sense. The 7-inch Kindle Fire launched as a cheap — but generally well-made — dual-core tablet during the holiday season. That’s a recipe for success, and the results proved it. But now that millions of customers equate the Kindle brand with a popular tablet, it’s less risky to launch a larger tablet that competes directly with the iPad.Taking a sizable share of the tablet market from the low-end is one thing; butting heads with the iPad 3 will be another thing altogether. Amazon will probably manage to undercut the iPad’s starting $500 price, but many speculate that Apple will keep the iPad 2 around at a lower price ($400?) in 2012. This strategy of selling previous years’ devices at lower prices has worked well for the iPhone, and it would be a formidable foe (to say the least) for any Amazon tablets released this year.via AllThingsDlast_img read more



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Giannopoulos in hot water over poofter gags

first_imgComedian Nick Giannopoulos referred to Geoff Shaw – who controls the balance of power in the Victorian parliament – as a “poofter bastard” in front of more than 300 guests at the Premier’s Dinner in Melbourne last Friday. Giannopoulos performed his set at the Princess Theatre, in the character of Petroula, a Greek cleaning lady whose speaks a mangled version of English. “I’ve performed Petroula since 1987, and she will be in my new show at the Regent Theatre in January,” he told The Age. “She’s actually based on my mum. She does use terms like ‘poofter bastard’ but she doesn’t know what they mean. That’s the joke.” Giannopolous said he was lampooning Shaw’s infamous scuffle with an elderly taxi driver on the steps of state parliament during the sketch. “It wasn’t me calling him a poofter bastard, it was me in character as Petroula satirising the situation,” he said. According to reports, Mr Shaw has responded by apparently inviting Giannopoulos to join him for a political fundraiser in his seat of Frankston. However, gay groups have found the comments to be offensive. ”I’m disappointed that in 2013 a comedian needs to resort to derogatory remarks to get a laugh,” said Jed Gilbert, president of gay and lesbian community radio station Joy 94.9. Source: The Age Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more



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Commissioner opts for press statement says crime down

first_img Electricity Cost of Service Study among the big agenda items at September 11 Cabinet meeting The Luxury of Grace Bay in Down Town Provo Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, TCI, February 8, 2017 – Commissioner James Smith says crime is down country wide, and while statistically this may be true, the general public is more concerned now because the heinous and ruthless nature of crime is certainly the likes of which the Turks and Caicos has never seen.The Commissioner, who prefers to be seen working, as opposed to be seen speaking to the media issued a statement yesterday which makes some good points, but allows him to once again avoid the public by avoiding a live encounter with the Media.   The Commissioner speaks about the mobilization of more CID and Uniformed officers since mid-2016 and he cites that wanted men and over 150 illegal migrants have been detained.  In the statement Commissioner Smith points to 15 people being charged in murder investigations and four, who have been charged in armed robberies.What the statement leaves out is how many cases are unsolved or open or cold; murders, armed robberies, rapes, home invasions, burglaries, roadway assaults, detention center escapees and the unknown number of illegals living undocumented in these islands.   The General Public is asking media to ask authorities why there are not raids of places where guns and drugs are known to be sold and why there is not better scrutiny at our borders which are allowing guns to enter the country not only on illegal boats, but through legal vessels which are largely unchecked at the ports because of a delay on container scanners.The Public had lots to say on the media statement; one person penned that 150 illegal migrants caught is not enough when 200 arrived in a span of a few days; another said the crime situation is being downplayed by Smith, because public awareness of crime is low because there is not sufficient information coming from Police and to the Commissioner’s advice on  how to live in these changing times, there were some who agreed that TCI residents must adapt with street smart routines but others who found the statement repetitive and insincere.The Commissioner gives 18 tips for personal safety on the streets, among them not having headphones so loud that you are not aware of your surroundings, not to resist any attacker, to give up property because it could save your life and to report crime to the police and be aware of your attacker so that you can give investigators accurate information; you can read more from the Commissioner at MagneticMediaTV.com#MagneticMediaNews Related Items:#magneticmedianews ALERT # 2 ON POTENTIAL TROPICAL CYCLONE NINE ISSUED BY THE BAHAMAS DEPARTMENT OF METEOROLOGY THURSDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER, 2019 AT 9 PM EDT Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Recommended for youlast_img read more



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Circulate San Diegos new report on aging in San Diego

first_img KUSI Newsroom, Circulate San Diego’s new report on aging in San Diego Categories: Good Morning San Diego, Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter Posted: May 15, 2019 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Circulate San Diego and The San Diego Foundation recently released an Age-Friendly Communities Report with La Mesa and Supporters.The report details how San Diego jurisdictions can adapt to the growing senior population by becoming Age-Friendly Communities. The report also includes research on San Diego’s senior population and best practices that San Diego cities can adopt.To read the full report click here. center_img May 15, 2019 Updated: 8:36 AM KUSI Newsroom last_img read more



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BAE Systems Qinetiq Thales Which companies will benefit from increased UK defence

first_imgIn a recently-leaked memo to the UKs Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, former UK Joint Forces Command chief Sir Richard Barrons issued a dire warning on the state of the UK military.According to him, Britain could not sustain a full-scale conventional attack from Russia, particularly from the air. He also raised serious concerns that Britains Armed Forces are reliant on small numbers of expensive equipment, such as new aircraft carriers, which we cannot afford to use fully, damage or lose.This warning comes in spite of a rising defence budget, with the Government – late last year – committing to increase defence spending by nearly £5bn ($6.5bn, €5.8bn) by 2020/21, and to meet the official NATO target to spend 2% of GDP (economic output) for the rest of this decade.European NATO countries have relied on the US for too longBut it is not just the UK that is to raise defence spending this year and beyond. Fears over Russian aggression (eg. in the Ukraine), homegrown terrorist attacks, the ongoing civil war in Syria and the immigration crisis across Europe are all highlighting the need for Europe as a whole to spend more on defence and security.Of the 28 NATO countries, only 5 spent NATOs objective of 2% of GDP, including the US and UK. But what is clear from NATOs own data is that Europe has increasingly relied on the US as a defence shield, while progressively cutting their own defence spending, by a total of 12% from 2008 to 2014 (Chart 1).Why these European defence cuts are finally to be reversedThe key catalyst is political. We have the US Presidential election to come in November this year, with Republican candidate Donald Trump raising tough questions about what the United States should expect from its allies, many of which are not contributing their fair share financially or militarily to NATOs common defence. This is not even to mention Trumps stated admiration for Vladimir Putin, which is a clear concern to European NATO members.Lets not forget that Russia has been spending more of its economic output on its military might, just as most of NATO has done the opposite (Chart 2).Just as was seen during the Brexit debate, immigration has become a hot topic across Europe in advance of parliamentary elections in France (due in April 2017) and in Germany (Autumn 2017).More importantly, Germanys Chancellor Angela Merkel and her CDU/CSU party have been losing ground in a number of local elections in the former East Germany and now in Berlin, forcing her into an about-turn on her liberal immigration policy regarding refugees.As a result, there is huge pressure to see European governments reacting to the electorates concerns over security and immigration with extra spending. Note that France spends only 1.8% of its economic output on defence and Germany an even weaker 1.2%. There is thus scope to increase spending in the next year and beyond.Who will benefit from higher defence and security spending?Now, we should not forget that defence and national security tend to be highly nationalistic topics, with each European country tending to favour their own national defence companies wherever possible.The largest defence industries in Europe reside in France and in the UK. In France, both Thales (French code HO) and Safran (French code SAF) are defence-oriented companies that should benefit from higher French and German military and security-related spending.In the UK, the key company to invest in is BAE Systems (UK code: BA/). BAE is a huge defence supplier to the UK and US in particular, so are well-placed to see a pick-up in orders and sales from this change in trend in NATO defence spending.BAE Systems has the added attraction of offering a good income, at around 5% in dividend yield annually. So you as an investor are paid to wait in this share.Other beneficiaries from increased spending on security and defence include G4S (UK code GFS) who provide much of the private sectors security manpower, including security personnel and infrastructure for the 2012 London Olympics.Increased intelligence and electronic surveillance spending (think MI5, MI6 and GCHQ) should be a boon for Qinetiq (code QQ.), while increased spending on military aircraft should help aerospace companies Rolls-Royce (code RR.), Meggitt (MGGT), Cobham (COB) and Chemring (CHG).All things considered, BAE would be my top pick of UK companies to buy into this defence spending boost.last_img read more



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Dhaka city to see over 4000 new buses

first_imgDhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) mayor Annisul Huq on Monday said the government has adopted a plan to introduce 4,500 new buses in the capital to ease the existing transport sufferings of the city dwellers.“Government is going to replace aged and unfit fleet of buses from the city road with these new ones. It is also mulling the idea of deploying air-conditioned buses for women. Sufferings of women, school going children and office goers will be reduced significantly once these new buses come to the streets,” the DNCC mayor said.Annisul came up with observations while addressing a special general meeting of Dhaka Sarak Paribahan Malik Samity at DNCC Market in capital’s Mohakhali area.Presided over by Khandaker Enayetullah, general secretary of Bangladesh Sarak Paribahan Malik Samity, the meeting was attended by leaders of different transport owners association.“It is high time to introduce new policy to bring a change to existing transport system, but it is very hard thing to do. We are going to introduce it slowly. After implementing this policy, buses with different colors will run on the separate lane. White color buses will run on one lane, red color ones will run on another, green on the other,” Annisul said.The DNCC mayor said after introducing this system, there will be no chaos in getting down or in on the buses.“The buses will take in passengers orderly and will take them to their desired destinations. Apart from introducing this system, five new bus terminals will be built in the capital,” he added.The mayor said to make Dhaka a livable city, first the government has to bring back discipline in transport system.“Under new management, there will be not these many transport companies like now. Number of transport companies in Dhaka will be brought down to five to six,” he said, adding, “the city dwellers are not at all happy with the existing transport system.”last_img read more



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MK2 to Equip VR Venues Around the World Scandinavias Nordisk Brazils Arvore

first_imgOne year after launching Europe’s first and biggest VR space, MK2 is set to start commercializing VR plug-and-play equipment for global exhibitors who are looking to launch VR venues in theaters, museums, and institutions, among other placesCalled the MK2 VR Pod, the equipment which MK2 will be distributing worldwide is considered to be an “end-to-end premium and white-labeled product line,” the company said.“Providing state-of-the-art technology to fill the void of white-label solutions in the virtual reality space will be a catalyst for making VR a requisite part of consumers’ entertainment expectations,” said Elisha Karmitz, MK2’s managing director. “Adapting VR is a natural next step for the cinematic community, and MK2 aims to be their trusted partner in delivering quality and memorable experiences.” Popular on Variety ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15center_img The company has already sold its VR plug-and-play equipment to high-profile film and media groups such as Nordisk in Scandinavia, Arvore in Brazil and a banner in Asia. Other partners include public institutions, notably the National Public Library of France. Karmitz said Nordisk will open VR venues in Copenhagen and Oslo in April, while Arvore will launch its venue in San Paulo in May.Karmitz said MK2 had the “ambition to create the biggest open VR distribution network in the world.” The company expects that more than 70 pods will be installed within the first half of 2018 and more than 200 pods by year’s end.MK2’s premium catalog of curated VR experiences from topnotch production partners such as Felix & Paul Studios, Atlas V, WITHIN and SuperHot Team will also be available to customers.With this expansion in the VR field, MK2 firms up its status as one of Europe’s pioneering film groups. Headquartered in Paris, the company has produced more than 100 films, operates more than 26 movie theaters spanning 200 screens and boasts a library of more than 800 films from prestigious directors such as Charlie Chaplin and Xavier Dolan.Mk2’s VR equipment can be purchased via http://www.mk2vrpod.comlast_img read more



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Microsoft testing new update targeting framework

first_imgMicrosoft testing new update targeting framework by Martin Brinkmann on June 30, 2017 in Windows – 2 commentsMicrosoft announced this week that it is testing a new update targeting framework for the upcoming Windows 10 Fall Creators Update release.When Microsoft releases feature updates to Windows 10, these are delivered as staged roll outs and not pushed instantly to the whole Windows machine population.There are several reasons for doing so, including bandwidth and control. While Microsoft has a powerful infrastructure in place to ship updates to users, it is not designed to distribute a Gigabyte sized update to hundreds of millions of machines on a single day.This goes along well with the extra bit of control that a staged roll out offers. Microsoft may monitor the initial deployment on machines to catch any issues before it affects the whole Windows population.Windows Update Targeting FrameworkWhile Microsoft revealed that it is testing a new update targeting framework, it made no mention as to what is new or changed.While we don’t know anything about what has changed, we know at least where the test will take place.Microsoft plans to test the new framework on the Windows 10 Insider Slow Ring, and there when it releases the forth Windows 10 Fall Creators Update build.With the forth coming release of a new Windows 10 Fall Creators Update build to the Slow ring, we are testing a new update targeting framework and will be delivering the build in staggered phases. This will simulate the rollout process we use when we release major Windows 10 feature updates to retail customers.The underlying system remains the same from a user perspective. The feature update will be rolled out to the machine population gradually.Users have options to wait until it is their machine’s turn to receive the update, or may hit the “check for updates” button in the Settings app under Updates & Security > Windows Updates to bypass the queue and get the update immediately. This method works for release versions of Windows 10 as well.There is also a third possibility, but it is only an option if Microsoft released an ISO image of the new version of Windows.The change replicates the updating system that Microsoft used on stable versions of Windows. Microsoft made no mention as to whether it will use the system in other Insider build channels as well. It seems likely that it will keep the system in place on the Slow Ring only for the time being.SummaryArticle NameMicrosoft testing new update targeting frameworkDescriptionMicrosoft announced this week that it is testing a new update targeting framework for the upcoming Windows 10 Fall Creators Update release.Author Martin BrinkmannPublisher Ghacks Technology NewsLogo Advertisementlast_img read more



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Signs show consumer confidence returning Peter Collins JTG CEO

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: D.M <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/2a01d/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&amp;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Fifteen months since its merger with Qantas Holidays, Jetset Travelworld’s CEO, Peter Collins says actions is what has allowed the company to continue earning support from other key suppliers and growing its agent network.“From the day we signed the merger, we explained it to all our retail partners,” he said, speaking to e-Travel Blackboard during an exclusive interview at the JTG National Conference in Cairns last week.Mr Collins said the company has continued to keep a close eye on relations and evaluate business agreements throughout the year, and has managed to retain all of its partners since the merger.He said the publically listed company had a responsibility to its shareholders to return profitable dividends, which includes Qantas Holidays’ 58 per cent ownership, and a level playing field amongst all of its suppliers is required in order to do so.JTG’s recent decision to sign a five year deal with Sabre was also described as a commercial decision by Mr Collins, saying it was “the most rewarding” instead of renewing Galileo’s contract.  The Travelport company however continues to work closely with 40 per cent of JTG agents.Mr Collins said the company would also be reviewing their commercial agreement with Travellers Choice in early 2010.“It is a unique arrangement, and will be reviewed next year,” Mr Collins said.Looking ahead, Mr Collins said 2010 shows signs of resurgence in consumer confidence, which he believes is one of the key aggregators to increasing travel bookings.last_img read more



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5 Reasons Financial Reporting Problems Persist in the Mortgage Industry

first_img The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is cracking down on those involved directly with the financial reporting processes, which is causing a number of issues in the mortgage industry.Andrew Ceresney, Director, Division of Enforcement recently spoke at the SEC’s Directors Forum 2016 Keynote Address to highlight the importance of financial reporting misconduct and how the government agency plans to address this problem moving forward.”The importance of aggressively pursuing financial reporting deficiencies cannot be overstated.  Comprehensive, accurate, and reliable financial reporting is the bedrock upon which our markets are based,” Ceresney stated. “Materially false or incomplete financial reporting saps investor confidence and erodes the integrity of our markets.  The Commission is committed to holding accountable those whose actions prevent investors from receiving timely and reliable information that enables them to make informed investment decisions.”Ceresney identified 5 causes of today’s financial reporting problems, which include: Significant pressure to meet earnings and other performance expectations;Excessive focus on short term performance rather than longer term success;Poor oversight in units and subsidiaries;Growth outpacing the reporting and accounting infrastructure; andManagement’s over-reliance on processes and poor “tone at the top.”The SEC also pointed out some popular areas of wrongdoings among those that work closely with financial reporting including revenue recognition, valuation and impairment issues, earnings management, missing or insufficient disclosures, internal accounting controls, and clawbacks of bonuses and incentive-based compensation.Ceresney pointed to “gatekeepers,” or audit committee members and external auditors, in the financial reporting area for being the ruling hands during this process.  “Gatekeepers are critical to helping ensure that issuers make timely, comprehensive, and accurate disclosure,” he said.”Our markets depend on comprehensive and accurate disclosure to investors.  As the Commission’s actions in this space over the past several years show, companies and their executives will face enforcement action if they mislead investors,” Ceresney concluded. “We hope this aggressive posture will deter misconduct and ensure that companies report accurate and reliable financial information.” January 27, 2016 692 Views 5 Reasons Financial Reporting Problems Persist in the Mortgage Industry in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, Newscenter_img Financial Reporting Mortgage Industry U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission 2016-01-27 Staff Writer Sharelast_img read more



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Reported by Elite Traveler the Private Jet Lifest

first_imgReported by Elite Traveler, the Private Jet Lifestyle MagazineBlancpain and Lamborghini are jointly announcing the launch of the world-exclusive Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Blancpain Edition. This new road car, closely based on the racing model featured in the Super Trofeo competitions, is issued in a limited edition representing a major first in the history of relations between the watchmaking and automobile industries. Stemming from a genuine competence-sharing process between the watch manufacturer in LeBrassus and the famous Italian car-maker, this Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Blancpain Edition represents a crowning achievement in the ongoing several-year technological partnership uniting Blancpain and Lamborghini.www.lamborghini.comwww.blancpain.comlast_img



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