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No imminent First Nations policy changes says Bennett promising UNDRIPrelated cabinet directive

first_imgJustin BrakeAPTN NewsCanada won’t be introducing new comprehensive land claims and inherent rights policies just yet, Crown-Indigenous Relations Carolyn Bennett told the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Thursday.The announcement comes a day after hundreds of grassroots people, chiefs and Elders marched on an AFN policy forum to demand their involvement in any changes to federal policies impacting their rights.Demonstrators condemned a June deadline by which government previously indicated to some First Nations it wanted to have the two key policies replaced.The comprehensive claims policy applies to cases where Indigenous rights and title haven’t been addressed by treaties, while the inherent rights policy addresses the right of Indigenous peoples to govern themselves in their own communities and nations.For weeks Bennett’s office has tried to appease concerns about the deadline, saying the government “will take the time to get it right.”On Thursday Bennett reiterated that talking point, saying new policies by June are “not happening”.Instead, she announced, the Liberals will issue a cabinet directive to federal officials by the end of June, “in which we would ensure that cede and surrender and extinguishment are no longer part of the conversation as we work on the path of self-determination.”She said the directive will respect the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and that government will support a process “that is led by First Nations rights and treaty holders [to] co-develop rights-based policies that can replace the comprehensive land claims policy and inherent right policies.”Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett announced Thursday that the Liberals will issue a cabinet directive on Comprehensive Land Claims and Inherent Right Policies. Justin Brake/APTN.Bennett also said government will work with First Nations to improve the specific claims and the additions to reserve policies.More than half of the 634 First Nations are currently in dialogue or negotiations with the government, Bennett said, explaining that in ‘getting it right’ government will “uphold and affirm First Nations’ rights, title and jurisdiction.”For its review of the four key First Nations policies, the feds are engaging the AFN and First Nations Canada are currently engaged with.Others, such as member nations of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) and the Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians (AIAI), say the government’s efforts to overhaul rights-based legislation and policies have fallen short of the minimum international Indigenous rights standards.Some chiefs criticized the 10 principles developed by former justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould, saying the government should have asked First Nations to develop the guidelines for negotiations around legislation, policy and Indigenous rights, title and jurisdiction.Some, including many who demonstrated in Edmonton Wednesday, condemned the AFN’s role in negotiating the policy changes while the majority of those who will be impacted have little to no input.Others, still, questioned the need to engage with Canada at all, and suggested First Nations simply begin, or continue, to assert their own rights, title and jurisdiction within their communities and territories.Chief Dean Sayers of Batchewana First Nation addressed Bennett Thursday, asking rhetorically why First Nations are “asking Canada to return something that they’ve stolen?”He encouraged First Nations to “reclaim and take back what is yours — put the onus on Canada to make a specific claim to us for lands.”Bennett said that by the end of June, when the cabinet directive is issued, the existing comprehensive claims and inherent rights policies will be removed from the government’s website.jbrake@aptn.ca@justinbrakenewslast_img read more

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Air Transat president resigns after five years at the helm of the

first_imgMONTREAL – The president of Air Transat is leaving the airline after five years at the helm.Tour company Transat A.T. Inc. announced Friday that Jean-Francois Lemay will leave the subsidiary in a few months.Lemay, who has been with the company for seven years, is leaving to “take on new challenges,” chief operating officer Annick Guerard says in a release.A successor hasn’t been selected.Lemay oversaw a series of changes, including reducing air costs, transforming the fleet and installing a new senior management team.Montreal-based Air Transat flies to about 60 destinations in 26 countries.Companies in this story: (TSX:TRZ)last_img

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Situation worsening for Horn of Africas children warns UN agency

The children are among the more than 14 million people in Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, Kenya, Uganda and Djibouti that are critically affected, and the numbers are on an “alarming upward trajectory,” according to UNICEF. The agency said some experts are predicting that millions more children and families could be engulfed across the Horn of Africa if steps are not taken immediately.“Strong national leadership is needed at this critical juncture, and more international funding must be quickly mobilized,” UNICEF’s regional director for East and Southern Africa, Per Engebak, said in a statement. “The risks to children and their families are immense and we are running out of time to reverse them.”Relief efforts in the troubled region have been hampered by weak governance as well as attacks on aid workers by armed groups. “Security is a major complication in responding to the needs of affected people in many parts of the Horn at this time,” said Mr. Engebak.He also underscored the difficulties of lack of access, along with the soaring cost of food grains and cereals worldwide. Food prices have risen by as much as 200 per cent over the past eight months in some of the worst drought-affected countries, making it nearly impossible for many families to purchase much-need items. The high prices are also making it difficult for relief organizations to purchase the amount of grains and cereals needed to respond to the emergency. Also, the rising price of fuel – up between 300 and 1,000 per cent in Somalia, for example – threatens food and water deliveries.“If concerted actions and funding are not forthcoming this crisis could have irreversible effects on the people of the Horn and push any prospect of progress towards the MDGs [Millennium Development Goals] far beyond reach of their countries,” Mr. Engebak said, referring to the eight anti-poverty targets world leaders have pledged to try to achieve by 2015.The number of those requiring assistance in Ethiopia is expected to rise from the current 4.6 million, according to UNICEF, adding that there are now 75,000 children there in need of therapeutic feeding.Supplies of Plumpy Nut – the very effective nutritional supplement for managing acute malnutrition in children – manufactured in Ethiopia are not enough to meet the needs. UNICEF is helping procure supplies internationally, but additional funds are required until the end of the year for those imports.John Holmes, the UN’s top relief official, told reporters today that it was clear from his recent visit to Ethiopia that “the crisis remains very severe, and the numbers of people affected are continuing to rise.” A $325 million humanitarian appeal launched for Ethiopia in June has been “reasonably well funded, over 60 per cent,” he said. However, noting that the needs are “extremely large,” he made an urgent appeal to donors to contribute more for the next few months to help alleviate the situation. Meanwhile, the number of people needing emergency aid in Somalia has spiralled upwards by 77 per cent since January, and now totals 3.2 million people. Insecurity in the port city of Mogadishu – through which 80 per cent of all supplies for the country pass – is a major obstacle in relief efforts, and the UN needs an estimated $10 million to ensure enough security in Somalia. UNICEF plans to carry out a child health campaign in the country in October, aiming to reach 1.5 million children under the age of five with measles vaccinations, vitamin A supplements and other health measures. Spikes in acute malnutrition are being seen among children in parts of Eritrea, the agency said. In addition, 7,500 children in Uganda’s Karamoja region are severely malnourished, while over 700,000 people there are estimated to lack sufficient food.In Kenya, UNICEF said an estimated 1.3 million are affected by food insecurity, about 840,000 of those in the arid and semi-arid pastoralist areas and the others displaced during the violent political crisis early in the year. Over 95,000 children under the age of five and pregnant and breastfeeding women in the drought-ravaged areas of northern and eastern Kenya are malnourished, the agency added. There are also increasing reports of children dropping out of school and girls entering prostitution to earn money for their families. 5 September 2008Almost three million children across the Horn of Africa are at risk of death, disease and malnutrition due to a combination of drought, rising food prices and conflict, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned today. read more

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UN deplores attack on aid compound in southern Somalia

17 August 2009The United Nations has strongly condemned the attack against its aid compound in southern Somalia on Sunday, the fourth time in two months that the world body’s offices in the Horn of Africa nation have been deliberately targeted. Armed gunmen carried out the attack around midnight on 16 August at the World Food Programme (WFP) compound in Wajiid, according to a statement issued by the Office of the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia. The attack comes less than one month after Somali militants raided two UN compounds Baidoa and Wajiid, stealing equipment and vehicles and forcing the Organization to close down one of its operations in the strife-torn nation. “This direct, deliberate and sustained attack on aid organizations and aid workers is intolerable,” acting UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Graham Farmer said, urging all parties to allow unhindered access for aid workers assisting those in need. The UN has repeatedly called on all parties in Somalia to ensure the safety of humanitarian aid workers, who are tending to the needs of some 3.2 million people, or 40 per cent of the population, made vulnerable by the combined effects of conflict, drought, high food prices and the collapse of the local currency. read more

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Cops arrested over deaths of two Jaffna Uni students

The Criminal Investigation Division (CID) has commenced an investigation into the deaths of two Jaffna University students, who were travelling on a motorcycle in Kankasanturai.The Post Mortem into these deaths are now being held, and five Police officers have been arrested over the incident and were immediately interdicted, the Government Information department said. The Government says necessary steps have been taken to ensure that the law is fully implemented in this regard. (Colombo Gazette)

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How major US stock indexes fared Wednesday

Major U.S. stock indexes closed mostly higher Wednesday after the Federal Reserve delivered an expected cut in interest rates.Stocks initially fell after the Fed announcement, which revealed central bank policymakers are divided about the upcoming path for interest rates. The market rebounded as Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said the Fed would be ready to take action if the economy weakened.On Wednesday:The S&P 500 index rose 1.03 points, or less than 0.1%, to 3,006.73.The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 36.28 points, or 0.1%, to 27,147.08.The Nasdaq lost 8.62 points, or 0.1%, to 8,177.39.The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks dropped 9.95 points, or 0.6%, to 1,568.34.For the week:The S&P 500 is down 0.66 points, or less than 0.1%.The Dow is down 72.44 points, or 0.3%.The Nasdaq is up 0.68 points, or less than 0.1%.The Russell 2000 is down 9.79 points, or 0.6%.For the year:The S&P 500 is up 499.88 points, or 19.9%.The Dow is up 3,819.62 points, or 16.4%.The Nasdaq is up 1,542.11 points, or 23.2%.The Russell 2000 is up 219.79 points, or 16.3%.The Associated Press read more

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UNHCR prepares aid for new refugees in DR of Congo

“UNHCR is preparing to send urgently-needed shelter material and basic household supplies to an estimated 25,000 refugees who recently arrived in northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo from the Central African Republic,” spokesman Ron Redmond told reporters in Geneva. “Many of the refugees fled with few belongings and are living among the local population around Zongo, often in very rudimentary shelter,” said Mr. Redmond. “We’re worried that the onset of the rainy season will make it even worse, so we’re sending plastic sheeting and other household items.” The refugees, who fled tensions following a failed coup attempt in late May, are reportedly scattered across 20 villages in the area, according to UNHCR. They are in “in relatively good physical condition,” Mr. Redmond said. While the first group of refugees crossed into the DRC more than two weeks ago, others were still arriving by late last week. read more

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Concerned at rising tension in Somalia UN officials urge dialogue among parties

Reacting to an increasingly tense atmosphere in Somalia, where fighting threatens to spread to Baidoa, the seat of the Transitional Federal Institutions, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and his senior envoy to the country today urged the parties to engage in a dialogue aimed at peacefully settling their differences.Voicing concern about reports of increased tension and the potential outbreak of violence near Baidoa, a spokesman for Mr. Annan in New York called on the Somali parties “to refrain from actions that could further strain relations between the Transitional Federal Institutions and the Supreme Council of the Islamic Courts.”Last month, militias associated with the Union of Islamic Courts drove warlords out of Mogadishu and took control of parts of Somalia, which has not had a functioning government since the fall of President Barre’s regime.Today, Mr. Annan’s spokesman urged the Somali parties to engage in a sustained dialogue aimed at producing an agreed and durable solution. “He also calls on the international community to intensify its support to peace efforts and to encourage the Somali parties to pursue negotiations,” the spokesman said.Echoing these views, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, François Lonsény Fall, issued a statement in Nairobi appealing to both sides to respect the ceasefire and other provisions of an agreement they had reached in Khartoum on 22 June with the facilitation of the League of Arab States. He cited in particular their commitment to refrain from any provocations that could lead to an escalation of the situation.“The place to deal with differences is at the negotiating table,” he stressed. Ambassador Fall said that the leadership of the Transitional Federal Government and representatives of the Supreme Council of the Islamic Courts had made a “good beginning” when they met in Khartoum last month. “A continuation of the Khartoum process will give them a further opportunity to flesh out their expectations and move towards a peaceful solution,” he said. Stressing that Somalia “desperately” needs peace if it is to rise above the humanitarian emergency that has engulfed much of the population, he urged the parties “to consider the interests of the people first and put aside political calculations.” read more

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Series against Ferris State may determine Buckeyes fate in CCHA Tournament

Win both games and Ohio State might get a first-round bye. If not, it might be heading back to Alaska. That is the reality for the OSU men’s hockey team in its Thursday and Friday matchups against Ferris State. With the Buckeyes (15-15-3, 10-13-3 CCHA) able to finish anywhere from fourth to ninth in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association standings, there will be a lot on the line. But coach Mark Osiecki isn’t looking at it that way. “It’s kind of like the Green Bay Packers’ get-to-playoff mentality,” he said, referring to the team that was last to make the playoffs in the NFC and went on to win the Super Bowl. “Let’s keep on moving forward.” The Buckeyes sit in ninth place and, to move up in the standings, will need to beat Ferris State twice and will need Western Michigan, Northern Michigan, University of Alaska and Lake Superior State to lose. A team that wins a game receives three points toward the conference standings, and with only four points separating seeds five through nine, the potential for a bye is there. The top five seeds in the CCHA receive a first-round bye, so getting six points is crucial. “We have to win both games this weekend,” senior forward C.J. Severyn said. “Nothing less.” If the team loses, it could possibly head back to Alaska for the CCHA Tournament. The last time the Buckeyes made the more-than-3,000-mile trip to Alaska, they lost both games in the series, giving up six goals in the second game. “It could mean … we get a first-round bye or fly back to Alaska,” Severyn said. “It’s an incentive to do well.” Osiecki said his players are anxious to get back on the ice and will continue only to focus on what they can control. “They are tired of practicing. … They are just ready to play,” he said. “We worry about ourselves and go from there.” Senior forward Kyle Reed said he knows this series is do or die and the team has to be on top of its game. “I just want to leave everything on the ice,” he said. The Buckeyes, who have an unusual Thursday-Friday series, will have the chance to sit back and watch the games on Saturday to learn their CCHA Tournament fate. If OSU receives a first-round bye it will begin CCHA Tournament play March 11-13. If not, it will play March 4-6. This week’s series against Ferris State has the Buckeyes and Bulldogs facing off Thursday and Friday at the Schottenstein Center. Both games are scheduled to start at 7:05 p.m. read more

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Windows 8 on ARM isnt just for Metro apps

first_imgWindows 8 is hot — and Microsoft’s continued plugging of its ability to run on ARM processors is generating loads of interest and a fair amount of controversy. The most recent uproar has been caused by a comment raised at Build — when someone misquoted something Microsoft’s Steven Sinofsky said about Windows 8 on ARM and legacy application support.The audience member said that Sinofsky stated “legacy applications will be able to run on Windows 8 regardless of the chipsets that people are choosing.” Sinofsky quickly countered, saying that wasn’t quite accurate. And by quite, he meant not at all.What Siofksy actually said was “If it runs on a Windows 7 PC, it’ll run on Windows 8.” That much is true: apps written for 32- and 64-bit versions of Windows 7 that run on current PC hardware will run on the same hardware with Windows 8 — as well as new hardware that is also x86 or x64. There will not, however, be a translation layer that allows ARM to run x86 or x64 apps. To get those apps running on Windows 8 and ARM, they’ll need to be recompiled,  just like a developer would do to get an x86 Ubuntu app running on Ubuntu for ARM. That’s the reality Microsoft has been pushing since the first time it showed Windows 8 running on an ARM-based machine.Further misreading of Sinofsky’s reply has led to speculation that Windows 8 on ARM will only run Metro apps, but again, this misses the mark. See for yourself above: that’s Microsoft Word (and not a Metro version) running on an ARM laptop at D9.Yes, Sinofsky spoke extensively about Metro with regards to ARM and application compatibility, but his point was this: that for developers, Metro offers the simplest way to deliver one app to a variety of platforms, regardless of architecture. A Metro app can run on Windows 8 on ARM, x86, or x64 processors — and it’s also going to be easy to push to Windows Phone and Xbox 360 consoles. Nowhere does Sinofsky say that Windows 8 on ARM will only run Metro apps.And what you see above certainly looks like proof. Windows 8 on ARM might be mostly about tablets and the touch experience, but it’s also going to find its way into thin and light notebooks and nettops. On those systems, users are going to want to get productive — and the traditional Windows desktop is a familiar, flexible space in which to work. If you want multiple apps on the screen at once, tiled windows, and quick switching via a keyboard or mouse, you’ll likely want to work on the plain old desktop — whether you’re running ARM, Intel, or AMD. Microsoft knows that, and it’s hard to imagine them removing that functionality from Windows 8 ARM versions.More at Build Windowslast_img read more

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Sexy silver foxes top bachelor list

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Nick Politis, Mark Bouris and Theo Onisforou have topped the list that features wealthy Australian businessmen who have made Sydney their “private hen house”. Politis’ wealth is unchartered. BRW have listed it at being about $200 million but others have claimed it’s closer to $500 million. The 70-year-old chairman of the Sydney Roosters is part-owner of 100 car dealerships and has a broad investment portfolio. As Alan Jones’ neighbour, the father of two owns an apartment in the Toaster at Circular Quay, and a property on the northern beaches. Bouris, the son of a Greek migrant factory cleaner grew up in the suburb of Punchbowl and studied accountancy and later law. The host of television show The Apprentice, got his first real break in 1996 when he moved into the loans business and founded Wizard Home Loans in 1998. He sold that and started again with Yellow Brick Road. The 55-year-old is said to be valued at $130 million. Onisforou’s wealth is placed between $100-120 million but is largely unknown. He made a name for himself working as a lawyer – more specifically as chief investment manager for Kerry Packer’s Consolidated Press Holdings in the ’80s and ’90s. He owns a Harbour-front home at Elizabeth Bay. He set out to build a career as a grazier after acquiring a 242ha Angus stud at Bowral some 15 years ago.last_img read more

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Thessaloniki joins Rotterdam in transforming recyclables into durable art

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram A new collaborative project, ‘Print Your City’, comes to put an end to Thessaloniki’s plastic waste by turning scraps into useful items and artworks with the help of 3D printing.The initiative, started from the city of Rotterdam where reportedly residents generate an average 23kg of plastic waste per person annually, “enough to 3D print one bench for every two citizens of the Dutch capital”.With Thessaloniki being home for over 800 000 inhabitants, the struggle with waste has been worse, which is why this challenge is so important.The goal for the two cities is to create a collection of ‘scrap art’ pieces that is both functional and sustainable.In Thessaloniki, the project has been undertaken by Design studio The New Raw as part of the Zero Waste Future programme launched by Coca-Cola Greece. As a result a 3D-printing lab where people can design and print benches, plant pots, and bicycle racks how they want them has already strategically placed some creations in key spots around the city.“The technology of 3D printing enables closing the material loop of plastic with a short recycling path and a zero waste production process,” The New Raw team says.“Furthermore, it can combine modular repair and mass customisation, making a more circular city feasible while engaging citizens and reducing CO2 emissions.”last_img read more

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Talk to focus on 1860 1864 election songs

first_imgVANCOUVER — Troubadour and storyteller “Illinois” Doug Tracy will take his audience on the presidential campaign trails of 1860 and 1864 in a presentation Thursday at the Clark County Historical Museum, 1511 Main St.Tracy’s appearance at 7 p.m. will be the museum’s final First Thursday program of the year.In “Liberty & Union,” Tracy will explore the musical aspects of the 1860 and 1864 presidential elections.“Music was a main form of campaigning used by presidential candidates in the 1860s,” Tracy said. “These songs give us an insight to the candidates’ positions and how divided Americans were at the time of the Civil War.”Admission is $4 for adults, $3 for seniors and students, $2 for children and $10 for families. There is no charge for Clark County Historical Society members, and active duty military personnel and their families.last_img read more

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Amazon Unveils Fire TV Cube Which Adds HandsFree Alexa Voice Controls

first_img Popular on Variety The Fire TV Cube is designed to let you control your TV and other home-entertainment devices using just your voice, but it will also include a remote control — a recognition that many consumers still want to watch TV the old-fashioned way. The Cube also ships with an infrared-extender cable and Ethernet adapter.Fire TV Cube uses the same eight-microphone technology used in the Amazon Echo, enabling “far-field” voice recognition. The device is designed to suppress noise, including the sound from whatever’s currently playing on the TV, to be able to let Alexa better comprehend your requests. However, if users already have an Echo in the same room that they’re going to use the Fire TV Cube, Amazon recommends moving the Echo to a different location so you don’t trigger both devices at once.Like the Echo, the Fire TV Cube has a speaker so you can use it if the TV is off — in fact, it can turn on the TV. Through Fire TV Cube, you can ask Alexa to check the weather, tell jokes, look up info and access many of the skills available on Echo devices, and the responses will come through the device speaker.Now, why is it cube-shaped? (Well, nearly so: It’s actually 3.4 by 3.4 by 3 inches.) Amazon needed a larger form factor than the regular Fire TV to fit in the microphones and other components to support a full Alexa client. But it didn’t want to use the cylinder or round puck shapes of the Echo line, because a cube design would fit in better with home-entertainment setups.The default interface of the Fire TV Cube is slightly redesigned for voice navigation (though users can switch to a remote-optimized version). For example, in search listings, titles include numbers so that users can just say, “Alexa, play number three.” The Cube also pops up prompts suggesting ways users can interact with the Fire TV Cube using their voice, such as, “Try saying: Alexa, show me more results.”Using IR and HDMI CEC, Fire TV Cube can control any compatible TV, sound bar, A/V receiver, and cable or satellite TV set-top. You can tell Alexa to power your TV on or off, increase or lower the volume (or mute), switch to different inputs, and change the cable channel, among other things. Fire TV Cube is compatible with set-top boxes from pay-TV providers — including Comcast, Charter Communications, Dish Network and AT&T’s DirecTV — covering more than 90% of U.S. households. The controls let users access pay-TV lineups by channel, but not down to the program level. For example, you can say, “Alexa, watch ESPN” but it won’t understand “Alexa, record ‘Game of Thrones’ on HBO.”Amazon has taken many of the Alexa skills developed for the Echo Show and ported them to big-screen TVs with the Fire TV Cube. Those include being able to switch to smart-home camera feeds, watching video flash briefings, viewing sports scores, pulling up extended weather forecasts, and accessing movie showtimes for nearby theaters.The Fire TV Cube is available for pre-order starting Thursday for $119.99 and will begin shipping June 21. Currently, it’s available only in the U.S.To promote the Fire TV Cube, Amazon is offering Prime members the ability to pre-order it June 7-8 for $89.99 (a $30 discount). In another limited-time promo, it’s offering Fire TV Cube and Amazon Cloud Cam together for $199.98 (a $40 discount).Customers who buy and register their Fire TV Cube by July 1 will receive a $10 credit for Prime Video. In addition, starting on June 21, owners of Fire TV devices can sign up to Amazon Music for $3.99 per month, which normally is $7.99 monthly for Prime members. ×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 Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 With Amazon’s newest device, you can now yell at your TV from across the room — and it will listen and respond to you.The e-commerce giant officially has taken the wraps off the Fire TV Cube. Priced at $119.99, the cube essentially melds an Amazon Echo voice-activated speaker with a 4K internet set-top box. Details of the product first leaked out last September.It’s not especially revolutionary: The Fire TV Cube is really just a more convenient way to access Alexa voice controls on Amazon’s living-room hub, as it continues to fight for share in the home voice-assistant market against Apple, Google and others. The standard Fire TV 4K Ultra HD device ($69.99) provides voice controls through an Alexa-enabled remote, while the company added the ability to control Fire TVs with Echo devices last summer. Amazon also has integrated Alexa skills with several third-party consumer-electronics partners.last_img read more

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Is the US taxpayerfunded Central America Regional Security Initiative effective at stopping

first_imgRelated posts:State Department official: Real improvement in regional security requires ‘new approach’ Experts debate approaches to stemming Central America gang violence Honduran military aims to fill in for ‘absent’ parents with program targeting at-risk kids From ‘America’s Mayor’ to international security guru: Rudy Giuliani sends experts to El Salvador WASHINGTON, D. C. – Cristina Equizábal, a senior fellow at El Salvador’s National Foundation for Development (FUNDE), visited Costa Rica earlier this month – and was shocked to learn that local police had uncovered an enormous cache of M-16s, Uzis, AK-47s and other weapons in a suburb of San José.Despite Costa Rica’s reputation as a relative haven of calm in one of the world’s most dangerous regions, the raid proved to her that generalized statistics about the safety of one country relative to another often can be deceiving.“Some neighborhoods of San José and Limón have homicide rates of close to 60 per 100,000 – just as high as some places in the Northern Triangle,” Equizábal said in reference to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, three of the most violent nations on Earth.Equizábal was one of nine speakers who participated in a Dec. 11 conference on Central America’s security challenges. The first half of last Thursday’s event – sponsored by the Washington-based Wilson Center – focused on the Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI), a U.S. taxpayer-funded program that since 2008 has spent $642 million to combat crime, gang violence and drug trafficking throughout the region.“One thing CARSI is missing is knowledge,” said Equizabál, who before joining FUNDE in San Salvador directed the Latin American & Caribbean Center at Miami’s Florida International University. “The situation on the ground is very variable. In El Salvador, for example, homicides are concentrated in 14 of the country’s 262 municipalities – and there are 45 municipalities that have not had a single homicide in six years. You have to stay very close to the ground in order to tailor your response.”Asked if CARSI is a success or a failure, Equizábal said the answer depends on the level of analysis.“Individual projects have mostly been successful according to the criteria established, and the people implementing them in El Salvador are fairly satisfied.” But in order for such initiatives to really succeed, she said, “you need a stronger tax base, more transparency and increased accountability from all sectors of society.”Related: Top U.S. diplomat defends Central America Regional Security Initiative Cristina Equizábal, senior fellow at El Salvador’s National Foundation for Development (FUNDE), speaks Dec.11 at the Wilson Center as part of a panel titled “The Central American Regional Security Initiative in the Northern Triangle.” Larry Luxner/The Tico TimesGuatemala, with 16 million inhabitants, is Central America’s most populous country and has received the biggest chunk of CARSI funds to date. But how much the program has actually helped Guatemala is a big question mark, said Nicholas Phillips, author of the Wilson Center study, “CARSI in Guatemala: Progress, Failure and Uncertainty.”He said U.S. officials have conducted no evaluation of a CARSI-funded heroin poppy eradication program, and there’s no evidence these programs have actually affected the volume of cultivation. In addition, programs to establish model police precincts have had some success in the specific areas where they were established – but they haven’t been expanded because the government isn’t committed to the program.“The most common crime in Guatemala is everyday robbery and theft. Sadly, violence against women is also very prevalent, and 70 percent of the time people don’t even bother reporting crimes,” said Phillips, a Wilson Center consultant since 2013. “Most Guatemalans don’t have a lot of faith in their public institutions. The police are not well-trained, and they don’t have a tight relationship with folks on the street.”He added: “In a recent survey of 10,000 people in the capital, 90 percent said they had not been a direct victim of crime in the last eight months, but they also said it was an unsafe place to be. Guatemalans are afraid – they don’t go out at night and they don’t trust strangers.”On the other hand, said Phillips, “public prosecutors have gotten a lot better in the last few years, especially under the leadership of [former attorney general] Claudia Paz y Paz. He said the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has done a “solid job” bolstering the Guatemalan court system by installing one-way, bulletproof windows so that witness can testify anonymously and safely against “bad guys.”See also: Experts debate approaches to stemming Central America gang violence Nicholas Phillips, a print journalist based in Central America, speaks Dec.11 about Guatemala at the Wilson Center as part of a panel titled “The Central American Regional Security Initiative in the Northern Triangle.” Larry Luxner/The Tico TimesIn addition, the State Department’s International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Bureau (INL) has provided equipment to Guatemala’s PANDA anti-gang unit, helping it collect wiretaps and videos and working with prosecutors to build strong cases against gang members.“INL helps vet these guys. Every six months they have to take a lie detector test. Everyone I interviewed said they’re doing a good job,” he said, noting that INL is also actively promoting the U.S.-developed Drug Abuse Resistance Education program – even though evaluations of DARE in the United States show little or no impact.“We’ve got to better evaluate what we’re doing with our CARSI money,” said Phillips. “Frankly, it’s not enough to say we trained 1,000 officers or we gave them 100 new laptops. Those are outputs. We want outcomes.”Much the same is true in Honduras – the world’s most violent country – where homicide rate has begun to fall after reaching 90.4 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2012.“While it’s still the highest in the world, there’s a clear trend toward [rates] going down. That’s because Honduras is addressing high-level organized crime, but they have farther to go in that respect,” said Aaron Korthuis, a Yale Law School student who spent two years working in Honduras with two nonprofit groups working to reform the country’s police and justice sectors.“Only 4 percent of homicides in Honduras reach a conviction, so there’s very little deterrence effect. That’s why you continue to see high impunity rates,” Korthuis said. “Change is happening, but slowly and often faltering and ridden by corruption.” Aaron Korthuis, who spent two years in Honduras working with nonprofit groups to help reform the Honduran police and justice system, speaks Dec.11 at the Wilson Center as part of a panel titled “The Central American Regional Security Initiative in the Northern Triangle.” Larry Luxner/The Tico TimesSteven Dudley, co-director at Insight Crime and a former Wilson Center fellow, said a big part of the problem is that projects like CARSI are destined for nations run by wealthy elites who evade taxes and deplete their country’s security and justice systems.“Stories abound in places like Honduras, where public ministries are lending printers to the police, where there’s one car for every 50 cops,” he said, suggesting that Central American presidents are being unrealistic in their demands that the United States bankroll their proposed Alliance for Prosperity plan. That program was unveiled during last month’s visit to Washington by the leaders of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.“We need to put this into perspective. With Plan Colombia, for example, $8 was spent by Colombians for every dollar spent by the United States. In Mexico, it was $10,” Dudley told his audience. “These countries in Central America are spending much less, on average, for these programs, and they’re asking [Washington] for incredibly outsized sums in the amounts of $5 billion. There’s a complete disconnect between the reality on the ground and what they hope to get from the U.S. government.”See also: For justice in Guatemala, ‘2 steps forward, 1 step back’ Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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What an MLB source said about the Dbacks trade h

first_img What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke The house is quite impressive looking. It is located on a lake with a luxurious pool and impressive stone work. Not to mention it has a kitchen that features some very nice amenities. The listing gives fans an interesting peak into exactly how an NFL head coach lives.If the lockout does in fact extend into the season and teams are forced into placing coaching staffs on furlough, it’s nice to know that the Whisenhunt’s will have some money at their disposal. That is, if they fare better in the real estate market than the rest of the Valley. Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt is going to be relocating soon.Don’t worry, he’s not being relieved of his duties with the team after a 5-11 season. He’s not quitting either (although we wouldn’t blame him after having to deal with Derek Anderson all year). With that said, he’ll still be packing his bags and moving soon.That’s because the coach is selling his Chandler home for quite the handsome sum. According to the site, BlockShopper.com, Whisenhunt and his wife placed their five-bedroom, 3.5 bath home on the market for the asking price of $1.3 million. 0 Comments   Share   Top Stories Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right awaylast_img read more

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For more information please visit comohotelscomt

first_imgFor more information please visit comohotels.com/thetreasury.Go back to the e-newsletter > COMO Hotels and Resorts announced on 3 August 2015 that it will be opening a new hotel in Perth, Western Australia with COMO The Treasury opening on 15 October 2015.It marks the first Australian property for the company, providing access to the state capital and business hub of Perth, as well as popular destination Margaret River and the wider region of Western Australia. The hotel is situated on Cathedral Avenue in Perth’s Central Business District, set within a new precinct called the Cathedral Square Development.COMO The Treasury will comprise 48 rooms and suites averaging 70 m2 each. They will pair Kerry Hill’s contemporary design with COMO’s signature focus on luxury, including custom-made ‘Grand Posture’ king-size beds and hand-crafted bespoke European furniture. Large windows will ensure guest accommodations are flooded with natural light. Ensuite bathrooms feature German Kaldewei Duo free-standing oval bathtubs, twin vanities, Travertine stone tiles and heated floors. Amenities will include COMO’s signature aromatherapy-based COMO Shambhala toiletries.A fine-dining restaurant on the rooftop with views across the Swan River will showcase contemporary European cuisine made with fresh Australian produce. This, and the menu of the casual dining venue on the ground floor will be overseen by COMO’s Australia-born Executive Chef Amanda Gale, together with Hotel Executive Chef Jed Gerrard.Other facilities will include a  lounge bar, meeting rooms, state-of-the-art gym, heated indoor swimming pool and a COMO Shambhala Urban Escape offering holistic wellness therapies along with a wellness centre for yoga and pilates.The hotel was designed by Singapore-based Australian architect Kerry Hill, whose previous projects have included Ogilvie House, Queensland, and the State Theatre Centre of Western Australia. Ninety-five per cent of the original heritage building has been returned to its 19th-century origins, featuring re-installed dormer windows, rooftop copper trimmings and a stripped facade showing off the original render.This venture is in conjunction with FJM Property, an Australian property development and investment company whose principals include Adrian Fini.last_img read more

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New York NY – Reported by Elite Traveler the Pri

first_imgNew York, NY – Reported by Elite Traveler, the Private Jet Lifestyle MagazineThe Ferrari Store of New York has officially opened its doors, unveiling a retail space offering an array of branded apparel and lifestyle products. The 200 square meter space is dedicated to the Ferrari Store, sitting next to the Ferrari Showroom. It is situated on the corner of Park Avenue and 55th street, with windows on Park Avenue: a prime Midtown Manhattan location off Park Avenue, mere footsteps away from the impeccable shopping destinations of Madison and Fifth Avenues. The New York store is the 37th store worldwide to open.A private event for Prancing Horse friends was held yesterday evening, where Hollywood actors Zach Braff, Kiera Chaplin, Justin Theroux along with fashion designer Prabal Gurung and a host of New York’s elite turned out to celebrate the occasion. Zach Braff said to Ferrari.com “I remember when I was a kid I had pictures of Ferrari on my walls in my bedroom. I love it. I love the design and sound of it.”. On display throughout the event were relevant cars in Ferrari’s history, a 1959 250 California and a 1984 GTO, together with the current product range: the brand new 458 Italia, the Ferrari California, the 612 Scaglietti, and the special limited 599 GTO.The Ferrari Store aims at becoming a strong element of attraction for the Ferrari brand as it pays homage to its 60-year history of racing and luxury. A wide glass facade attracts the passers-by with videos and graphic panels, allowing clear views to the inside of the store. Inside visitors will discover a wide range of Ferrari products from lifestyle and fan collections dedicated to Formula 1 and GT enthusiasts, children and collectors. Miniatures and models from each era, a display case showcasing a crankshaft, valves and a piston, and the Cavallino collection of accessories and sportswear adorn the space.The Italian architecture and design firm Studio Iosa Ghini designed a space with asymmetrical flow and a fluid, sleek feel that evokes the speed of a Formula One car, projecting the consumer into the spirit of Ferrari more than anywhere else. The sales area is arranged on a single floor and extends inward with the dynamic and sinuous lines inspired by the Ferrari automobiles.The history, tradition and elegance of the Ferrari brand take shape also in the Showroom where car customers will find the Ferrari private “atelier”, with furnishings of the highest quality and the combination of soft leather and sleek brushed lacquer. Dallas-based Forza Retail manages the store, as well as 4 other official Ferrari Stores in the US: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Honolulu, and Miami. The New York Ferrari Store joins the other prestige Prancing Horse retail locations around the world, including those in Milan, Rome and Venice (Italy), London (UK), Barcelona (Spain), Athens (Greece), Kiev (Ukraine) and Dubai (UAE), to name a few. The Ferrari Store development program includes plans to bring the number of openings to more than 60 over the next two years in Europe, America, and the Middle and Far East.www.ferrari.comlast_img read more

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June 16 2005 The annual JUNETEENTH Festival w

first_imgJune 16, 2005 The annual JUNETEENTH Festival will commence this week-end at the Colly Soleri Amphitheater with a full schedule of great music. Activities on Saturday, June 18. will open at 11 am with Rev. Douglas Hobson and the Saint Luke Ebony Christian Church Choir. PJAZZ Band with Malik Alkabir follows at noon. At 2 pm the College Jazz Ensemble returns, followed by the Jill Allen Quartet with event organizer Milt Cannon on Saxophone. At 6 pm we welcome back dynamic Quetzal Guerrero/Cascabel. The evening closes with a Reggea Dance with Henry Turner Jr. & Flavor, in their 6th year at this event. Photo was taken during Juneteenth 2004 with event organizer Milt Cannon on Saxophone and the PJazz band. [Photo & text: sa] Sunday line-up starts at 11 am with a guest speaker from the Arizona Commission on the Arts followed at noon by the PJAZZ Band with Mary Redhouse. The talented College/Student Jazz Ensemble plays at 2 pm and at 4 pm Joshua Breakstone joins Malik Alkabir. Henry Turner Jr. and Flavors much enjoyed Limbo-show is scheduled for 6 pm. Finale at 7:30 pm is Blues Trial by Fire. Music Clinics will be available with Dr. Jill Allen / Flute, Malik Alkabir / Saxophone, Joshua Breakstone / Guitar and Mary Redhouse / Navajazz Vocal Creative Workshop. For more information and reservations please call 928 925-1422. There will also be Art and Crafts display as well as a variety of food vendors. Gate is $10, $5 for students. For more information on the event check the PJAZZ web-site. Photo was taken during Juneteenth 2004. Henry Turner Jr. and Flavor Limbo-show. [Photo & text: sa]last_img read more

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Paul Joseph Johnson

Paul Joseph Johnson Bisi Kazeem, Caddell Construction Co. saying Obama has been particularly prone to sartorial bullying, He joined The Post in 2009. Kevin Gameiro fired home a loose ball from a corner from close range on 28 minutes for the only goal of the game. “The best part of working on Baywatch is to be the villain of the movie. Lucasfilm 1 of 15 Advertisement Write to Eliana Dockterman at eliana." said Whitlock.

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