US cuts diplomatic staff in Cuba over injuries Canada not following suit

first_imgWASHINGTON – In a move that casts doubt on the state of a historic detente between two longtime rivals, the United States has ordered a sudden reduction in its diplomatic staff in Cuba, cutting the majority of its presence at the Havana embassy in the wake of bizarre injuries to employees.Announcing the move Friday, American officials linked it to 21 injuries from what they have begun describing as sonic ”attacks,” with symptoms including ear complaints, hearing loss, dizziness, headache, fatigue, cognitive problems and difficulty sleeping.It’s unclear what caused the problems and the FBI has been working with the Cuban government to determine who or what is responsible and whether the harm was intentional or the result of defective spying equipment.The U.S. is maintaining diplomatic ties with Cuba, re-established under former president Barack Obama. But in addition to withdrawing about 60 per cent of its diplomatic staff, it is also limiting visas for Cuban visitors. Remaining in the embassy will be the core staff necessary to handle emergencies.”The health, safety, and well-being of our embassy community is our greatest concern. We will continue to aggressively investigate these attacks until the matter is resolved,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said.”The decision to reduce our diplomatic presence in Havana was made to ensure the safety of our personnel. We maintain diplomatic relations with Cuba, and our work in Cuba continues to be guided by the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States.”Cuba has told us it will continue to investigate these attacks and we will continue to co-operate with them in this effort.”Canada is not following the Trump administration’s move.”We do not have any reason to believe Canadian tourists and other visitors could be affected,” said a statement from the Canadian government.”Canada currently has no plans to change its travel advice and advisory for Cuba or remove its staff from Cuba.”While several Canadian diplomats and their families also suffered injuries earlier this year, there have been no repeat incidents since the spring. The northern neighbour has long had normal diplomatic relations with Cuba, unlike the U.S. whose relationship was marked by decades of political estrangement, mass migration and ongoing economic sanctions that have opened a sliver in recent years.The historic move to reopen embassies in Havana and Washington came after lengthy, secret negotiations facilitated by the Vatican and the Canadian government. But the biggest U.S. critics of the Castro regime opposed the reopening.And some of them challenged Friday’s move as not severe enough.”Shameful,” tweeted Sen. Marco Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants. ”(The State Department) withdraws most staff from (the U.S. embassy) but Castro can keep as many as he wants in U.S.”last_img read more

Health minister Aglukkaq unveils another tool in battle against diabetes

first_imgAPTN National NewsIt’s hard to believe, but a survey of First Nations in Saskatchewan in 1937 did not find a single case of diabetes.Today, however, the numbers are staggering.Aboriginal people are up to five times more likely to get diabetes than the rest of the population.To mark world diabetes day, Canada’s minister of health has announced a new strategy to attack the epidemic.APTN National News reporter Donna Smith has this story.last_img

Alberta energy firms split on call for government imposed production cuts

first_imgCALGARY — Oilsands and refining giants Suncor Energy Inc. and Husky Energy Inc. are rejecting a call by rival Cenovus Energy Inc. for government-imposed production cuts to reduce an oversupply of oil in Alberta linked to steep price discounts.Suncor spokeswoman Sneh Seetal says the company has no exposure to the “differential” between Western Canadian Select bitumen-blend crude and New York-traded West Texas Intermediate and therefore shouldn’t have to reduce its production.She says the company’s position is that the market should operate freely and that Suncor should be allowed to benefit from the refineries and upgraders it has built and the pipeline space it has contracted that insulate it from local price discounts.Husky spokeswoman Kim Guttormson says her company also believes in a “market-based solution,” noting that intervention entails economic and trade risk for Canada.In a report, analyst Phil Skolnick of Eight Capital says the temporary cuts suggested by Cenovus and supported by some other producers of bitumen would work to clear clogged storage and quickly reduce price discounts on Alberta oil to the benefit of the province.But he adds that he expects discounts to moderate as companies voluntarily reduce output, crude-by-rail exports rise, U.S. refineries come back on line after fall maintenance shutdowns and the 80,000-barrel-per-day Sturgeon Refinery begins processing bitumen early next year.Skolnick estimates recent WCS-WTI heavy oil discounts, if held for a year, would equate to an Alberta royalty loss of about $4 billion, an oil industry-related Canadian federal income tax loss of about $13 billion and an annual U.S. federal income tax gain of about $12 billion from higher U.S. refining earnings. The Canadian Press Companies in this story: (TSX:SU, TSX:HSE, TSX:CVE)last_img read more

Moroccan student engineer wins Les Défricheurs Award in France

Rabat – In a competition organized on Monday by the French weekly news and political magazine Le Point, Salah Ghamizi, a Moroccan student engineer at the “Ecole des Mines de Nancy” in France, won the “les Défricheurs” award for his start-up “Waza Education.”The Moroccan student was able to convince the jury – composed of experts and journalists of Le Point – of the innovative nature of his start-up that aims to improve and create a bridge between businesses and universities.During the five minutes allotted to him to explain his start-up, the Moroccan engineer student quickly managed to sway the jury and the public of his innovative business plan. In an interview with Le Point, Salah Ghamizi, said, “My father is a researcher teacher in Morocco.”“At the end of his career, he has conducted a lot of paperwork instead of looking for funding and partners. And when I arrived in France for my engineering studies, I found that the problem was not just in Moroccan, but a problem with all universities,” he added.Given these facts, the Moroccan student said that he found himself obliged to find a way to link research and enterprises.Ghamizi had already made his name in inventions and creativity.In 2014, he invented the “HandSpeaker,” a translation device for sign language, which is composed of a pair of gloves and a mobile application that translates the sign language into speech. Using sensors positioned on the digital glove, HandSpeaker translates the signals into spoken words by sending signals to the smartphone, which analyzes the motion of the glove, and transcribes them into words and phrases by a voice box.The 23 year-old student previously won the National Award of “entrepreneurial,” “Startem” price and the Bank of France contest “Créactiv’Est,” before taking his project “Hand-speaker” to the “World Cup,” organized by Enactus, organized in 2014 in Beijing, with participants from 38 countries.Asked by Le Point if Steve Jobs is a model to follow, the Moroccan inventor responded negatively, stressing that Salman Khan the better example to follow. The educator Salman Khan is the founder of Khan Academy, which is a non-profit educational organization created in 2006 with the aim of providing a “free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere.” read more

Top UN human rights official in Nepal calls for political stalemate to

3 May 2010As a nationwide strike in Nepal enters a second day, the top United Nations human rights official in the South Asian country is calling on political leaders to neutralize what could be a potentially violent situation before it hinders the peace process. “It is increasingly clear that the current situation cannot hold,” said Richard Bennett, the Representative of the UN Human Rights Office in Nepal (OHCHR-Nepal).“Nepal’s political leadership on all sides needs to come together to find a peaceful solution to the current stalemate, and avoid an extended strike that will have a negative impact on the ability of all citizens to exercise their rights.”The extended strike or “bandh,” which started yesterday, comes amid stalled talks between the Nepalese Government and the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists (UCPN-M).The two sides signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2006, which ended a decade-long civil war that killed some 13,000 in Nepal. The country’s nearly 240-year-old monarchy was abolished two years later. The country now faces the challenge of writing a new constitution to replace the interim document currently in place, but that process and peace talks overall have reached a “difficult phase,” according to the UN Special Representative Karin Landgren.As they had previously announced, the Maoists staged largely peaceful May Day celebrations on Saturday. UN officials are concerned, however, that the situation will become increasingly unpredictable in coming days.In his statement today, Mr. Bennett noted the large number of children present at demonstrations, “some of them actively participating in enforcing the bandh.”He was also concerned about complaints by local residents about the impact of the bandh and the “practice of coercing business owners to make donations in support of the demonstrations.” read more

A pattern of instability emerging in Liberia UN relief official says

In a statement released in the capital Monrovia, the Special Humanitarian Coordinator for Liberia, Ross Mountain, said: “A pattern of instability, characterized by sporadic weapons fire, looting and human rights violations is emerging across the north-central Liberian counties of Bong, Lofa and Nimba.”Civilians fleeing violent clashes between government and rebel units in all three areas have created growing refugee problems, he said, including internally displaced persons and refugees who have fled into the Guinean town of Fassankoni.Mr. Mountain said that testimony collected from recently internally displaced persons by the United Nations indicates that acts of physical violence against civilians are continuing.”At a time when the United Nations and our non-governmental organization (NGO) partners have begun to make significant inroads in terms of access to civilians, it is disturbing that these pockets of insecurity remain,” he said. read more

German lost art register posts further pictures details of Munich haul

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email German ‘lost art’ register posts further pictures, details of Munich haul by The Associated Press Posted Nov 21, 2013 11:36 am MDT BERLIN – German authorities released more pictures and details Thursday of the massive trove of art that was discovered in a Munich apartment last year.Prosecutors gave the official “Lost Art” website permission to put a further 54 entries online, taking the total to 79. The new items include works by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch, French painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and German impressionist Max Liebermann.The pictures, possibly including some seized from Jewish owners during the Nazi regime, are among more than 1,400 artworks that German authorities found in the home of recluse collector Cornelius Gurlitt in early 2012. The 80-year-old is under investigation for tax offences, but prosecutors are also examining whether the paintings, prints and drawings he says he inherited from his father — who traded art for the Nazis — were “misappropriated.”German authorities have come under intense pressure to release as much information on the pictures as possible. Officials in Bavaria and Berlin had kept their investigation under wraps for almost two years until German magazine Focus revealed the case earlier this month.The head of the European Jewish Congress has urged Germany to consider lifting its 30-year statute of limitations that legal experts say could prevent the pictures from being handed back to their previous owners.“The concept that those benefiting from criminality should hide behind apparent principles of statutes of limitations and other convenient legal tools is unacceptable,” said Moshe Kantor. “Claims for ownership of recently discovered looted art not previously known to still be in existence should therefore not be time-barred.”Several heirs of Jewish collectors persecuted by the Nazis have already come forward to claim individual artworks in the Gurlitt collection.___Lost Art site: read more

Writers lawsuit says Disney copied his plans for Zootopia

Writer’s lawsuit says Disney copied his plans for ‘Zootopia’ by The Associated Press Posted Mar 21, 2017 1:25 pm MDT Last Updated Mar 21, 2017 at 2:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email LOS ANGELES, Calif. – A screenwriter and producer sued Walt Disney Pictures on Tuesday claiming the studio copied his ideas to create the Oscar-winning animated film “Zootopia.”Gary L. Goldman, whose credits include work on film adaptations of “Total Recall,” ”Minority Report” and “Big Trouble in Little China,” filed the copyright infringement lawsuit Tuesday in a federal court in Los Angeles. His lawsuit states he pitched his “Zootopia” concept to Disney in 2000 and 2009 and there are substantial similarities between his project and last year’s animated blockbuster.Disney rejected the lawsuit’s claims in a statement. “Mr. Goldman’s lawsuit is riddled with patently false allegations. It is an unprincipled attempt to lay claim to a successful film he didn’t create, and we will vigorously defend against it in court.”The lawsuit states Goldman pitched Disney his “Zootopia” concept as a way to explore life in America through a civilized society of animals. Disney’s “Zootopia” explores prejudice through a bunny’s quest to become a respected police officer in a city where predator and prey co-exist side-by-side. The film won the best animated feature at last month’s Academy Awards.“About five years ago, almost six now, oh my god, we got this crazy idea to talk about humanity with talking animals in the hopes that when the film came out, it would make the world just a slightly better place,” said Byron Howard, one of the film’s directors during his acceptance speech at last month’s Oscars.The lawsuit includes drawings Goldman commissioned for his pitches to Disney. He contends the ideas of his project and the animated film, as well as the style of some of its characters, are substantially similar.“Both works explore whether the societies can live up to utopian ideals and judge and credit others fairly as individuals not as stereotypes, based on conceptions of merit not natural order, and the protagonists are challenged to strike a balance between the utopian and counter-utopian positions, optimism and pessimism, nature and individuality, and self-acceptance and self-improvement,” the lawsuit states.In Disney’s film, Ginnifer Goodwin plays the bunny character, Judy Hopps, who strikes up an alliance with a sly fox played by Jason Bateman to thwart a conspiracy that threatens peace in their metropolis. Goldman’s lawsuit states the two main protagonists of his pitch were a doe-eyed squirrel named Mimi and a hyena named Roscoe.The lawsuit does not state how much damages Goldman and his company, Esplanade Productions, are seeking. He is asking a federal judge to block Disney from future “Zootopia” projects until the case is resolved. read more

Barrett injured as Ohio State comes from behind to top Michigan 4228

Members of the OSU football team huddle before a game against Michigan on Nov. 29 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 42-28. Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorWith Ohio State holding just a seven-point lead in the fourth quarter against Michigan, a record crowd at Ohio Stadium fell nearly silent.Redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett — thought by many to be a Heisman Trophy candidate — was down on the field with trainers huddled around him. Barrett wound up being carted off the field after sustaining what appeared to be a right leg injury.After the game, OSU released a statement saying Barrett’s injury is a fractured right ankle that will keep him on the sidelines for the rest of the season. The release said he is scheduled for surgery on Sunday.Senior tight end Jeff Heuerman said Barrett didn’t seem to realize the extent of the injury immediately following the play.“I know he didn’t because he was trying to get me to help him up, and I was like ‘dude, you can’t get up,’” Heuerman said after the game.Redshirt-sophomore quarterback Cardale Jones entered the game and came up short on a third-down run, but the Buckeye defense forced a punt on Michigan’s next possession.OSU found itself in a fourth-and-one at the Wolverines’ 44-yard line when sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliott found a hole to his left and went untouched for a touchdown, paving the way for the Buckeyes’ 42-28 win Saturday afternoon.Co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tom Herman said the win came with mixed emotions after the Buckeyes lost Barrett for the season. He initially replaced currently-injured senior quarterback Braxton Miller just 12 days before the opener when Miller tore the labrum in his throwing shoulder.“You’re really happy, really happy for this team,” Herman said after the game. “You’re happy for what we’ve accomplished in the regular season, you’re happy to beat our rival at home and get a third pair of gold pants. But at the same time, your heart goes out to J.T. because he’s — not only meant so much to this team, but this team has meant so much to him in his growth as a young man.”OSU (11-1, 8-0) topped the Wolverines (5-7, 3-5) for the third consecutive season and eliminated Michigan from bowl-game contention in front of 108,610 fans at the Horseshoe.Coach Urban Meyer said he was honored as he became the first Buckeye coach to beat Michigan in each of their first three seasons in Columbus since the 1930s.“We’ll take that as a coaching staff and team,” Meyer said after the game. “That’s a hell of an honor.”The win marked the Buckeyes’ third-straight undefeated run in Big Ten regular-season play.Barrett addressed the team after the game, and senior defensive lineman Michael Bennett said the signal caller stressed the importance of winning the game above his own health.“He said ‘it’s not about me, it was about winning this game,’” Bennett said. “I think that hit us a lot because you see all he’s done, he stepped in when Braxton went down. He’s been humble throughout the whole process.”After tying the game just before halftime, OSU took a 21-14 lead on the opening drive of the second half with Barrett’s second rushing touchdown in as many drives.Michigan responded with a touchdown of its own, set up by an 18-yard pass from redshirt-sophomore running back Drake Johnson to redshirt-senior quarterback Devin Gardner. But in a game of swings, the Buckeyes took the lead back minutes later with a two-yard touchdown run by Elliott.After Barrett’s injury and Jones failed third-down run, the Buckeye defense took a bend-but-don’t-break stance, forcing a Wolverine punt that bounced into the end zone for a touchback. Elliott’s touchdown run on the next drive extended OSU’s lead to 14 with 4:58 remaining.The Buckeyes scored again exactly a minute later when redshirt-freshman linebacker Darron Lee picked up a Gardner fumble and ran 33 yards for a touchdown.“When I scooped, I turned and I just ran,” Lee said of the play. “I didn’t even wanna look and see if anybody was around me to try and strip me.“I knew I was gonna get in the end zone, and it felt really good.”The fumble was forced by defensive lineman Joey Bosa as he sacked Gardner. Bennett called the play the “nail in the coffin” and Bosa said he’d been hoping for that chance throughout the day.“I was waiting for it all game,” Bosa said. “I had one that was called back and that just killed me. My other defensive lineman kept my head up and it just felt really good to get that play.”The late second-half surge for OSU came after an opening 30 minutes in which the Buckeyes were outgained, 203 yards to 176.Lee credited Bennett for the Buckeyes’ turnaround on defense in the second half after the co-captain spoke to the team during the third quarter.“It didn’t feel right, the way they were scoring,” Bennett said. “We expected them to do a bunch of screens and draws and all that stuff, but they just straight up ran the ball down our field and scored, and that’s not all right.”Gardner was intercepted by sophomore safety Vonn Bell on the second play of the game, setting the Buckeyes up in Wolverine territory.OSU’s ensuing drive was capped off by a touchdown pass from Barrett to redshirt-junior tight end Nick Vannett to put the team ahead 7-0. After two sacks by OSU forced a Michigan punt on its next drive, the Buckeyes stalled and momentum swung in the Wolverines’ favor.Gardner found sophomore tight end Jake Butt on a 12-yard touchdown to tie the game before a Michigan drive that lasted more than seven minutes put the visitors ahead with 7:34 to play in the first half.OSU punted on its next possession, but a holding penalty and a sack by senior defensive lineman Michael Bennett forced Michigan into a third-and-29 and an eventual punt. The Buckeyes took over with 2:15 to play before the break.Barrett capped OSU’s drive with a 25-yard touchdown scamper to tie the game at 14 going into the half.Meyer said he considered running out the clock going into halftime, but changed his mind and it paid off for the Buckeyes.“(Former college football coach) Lou Holtz always said the last five minutes of the first half, first five minutes of the second half, that’s where all the momentum is,” Meyer said. “And we went into the locker room with a lot of momentum.”Before leaving the game, Barrett had 176 passing yards and another 89 on the ground. Elliott ran for 121 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries while senior wide receiver Devin Smith led OSU with 52 receiving yards on one catch.Barrett’s touchdown pass to Vannett was his 43rd total touchdown of the season, giving him sole possession of the Big Ten record. Through 12 games as the starter, Barrett has accounted for 45 touchdowns.Jones finished the game two for three on pass attempts for seven yards and had two carries for another 18 yards. Herman said the replacement quarterback did well as he finished out the game, apart from one missed throw.“Great, mentally. He missed the one pass to (redshirt-sophomore wide receiver Michael Thomas), but mentally he was very in tune,” Herman said. “He keeps a headset on the entire game, so he’s in tune to everything we’re talking about.”Lee finished the game with nine tackles, one sack and two tackles for loss to go with his touchdown return as the Buckeye defense totaled five sacks and 10 tackles for loss.Gardner finished the day with 233 passing yards and two touchdowns with one interception. Johnson ran for 74 yards and two scores for the Wolverines while junior wide receiver Devin Funchess had 108 yards receiving on seven receptions.The win came after OSU honored 24 seniors before the game on Senior Day, but one senior — defensive lineman Kosta Karageorge — was not part of the festivities.Karageorge was reported missing on Thursday and was last seen around 2 a.m. on Wednesday. Bennett said he’s hoping for Karageorge’s safety, and added he hopes the former OSU wrestler had a chance to watch the Buckeyes come out victorious in The Game.“Hopefully he was somewhere watching this game, we got this one for him,” Bennett said.The Buckeyes — who clinched the Big Ten East Division crown with a win over Indiana last weekend — are set to play in the Big Ten Championship game on Dec. 6 in Indianapolis. OSU will take Wisconsin at 8 p.m. in Lucas Oil Stadium. read more

Solid Resources confident in Spain and its mining potential

first_imgRecord-high jobless figures in Spain this week have led to speculation of more stimulus from central banks. The developments in Spain will be weathered with confidence by Solid Resources, a Canadian company with several assets in the Iberian country. “The government of Spain have a healthy view of wanting to ‘dig their way out of a recession’ through their support of mining,” says Greg Pendura, CEO and president of Solid Resources. “The recession battered economy is immersed in a double-dip recession after failing to recover convincingly from the collapse of a decade-long property boom in 2008, an economic disaster that has sent the unemployment rate soaring to a record 27%.”                                   Among Solid Resources assets in Spain is the 1,030 ha Cehegín iron ore property, located in the province of Murcia, in the southeast. The other is Alberta-1, a mining exploration project located in the region of Galicia in northwest Spain. The property consists of 3,690 ha in a north-south direction, hosting numerous pegmatite dykes (type of rock that hosts rare metals). Alberta-1 contains significant commercial tonnage of rare metal pegmatite hosting tin, tantalum and lithium.“You won’t find a country with longer and richer mining history than Spain,” Pendura says. “Digging up rocks has been a staple of the southern Spanish territory for the past 5,000 years, and its mineral wealth attracted the Phoenicians, Romans and many others over the centuries. This is the place that gave birth to mining giant Rio Tinto, and its namesake copper mine may be the oldest in the world.”Solid Resources has been in Spain since 2000. The company’s management had the foresight in the early 2000s to understand the importance of tantalum in the near future with the onset of new electrical technologies coming on stream. The Alberta-1 concession, which was a former producing tin mine has shown to contain vast amounts of this rare metal. Beginning in 2003, Solid has undertaken four drill programs (2003, 2005, 2011 and 2012) to prove out commercial values of tantalum, tin and lithium on Alberta-1.“The latest drill program is on time and below budget,” Pendura says. “We are excited about entering the final phase of the project and working towards the implementation of a commercially viable mining operation once this permit has been obtained.”With economical average grades of 800 ppm of tin, 110 ppm of tantalum and 0.5% lithium, Solid Resources is anticipating making its submission to the Spanish Mining Authority by the end of May 2013.The Cehegín iron ore property is comprised of 62 separate concessions, formally owned by the Spanish iron works company Altos Hornos de Vizcaya. The property produced a premium grade of iron ore (over 65% Fe) up until 1989. Three of those concessions (Maria, Colossus and Soledad) could be moved into production in 18 to 24 months. “There is excellent infrastructure already in place – the deep sea Port of Cartagena is 100 km away, connected by rail and an excellent toll-free highway, hydro and water on site,” explains Pendura.Solid Resources is busy analysing the vast amount of historical geological and production data on the property. The company intends to make this historical data compliant with the standards of the NI 43-101 to allow these three concessions to commence production.The possibility of increased stimulus to boost the Spanish economy should not pose any concern to potential investors, he adds.“Spain is a mine friendly jurisdiction,” says Pendura. “You have a very strong and stable government; you have probably the best infrastructure in the world; you have a huge and talented workforce right there, and you’ve got better than average taxation rates of 30%. Spain, with one of the worst fiscal problems is embracing mining.” Solid Resources received maximum subsidies on their Alberta-1 tin and tantalum exploration of 20% for both 2011 and 2012.“The local governments and mining authorities of for region of Galicia and Murcia where each of the tin, tantalum and iron ore projects are based are very supportive to expedite each project into production,” Pendura says.Solid Resources is one of numerous foreign companies that have taken the plunge into exploration in Spain, and rediscovered the benefits of working in a stable environment with plenty of first-world benefits.“In essence, it’s the anti-Congo,” explains Pendura. “Spain is considered Ground Zero for the European mining revival, where dozens of companies have active projects. It should come as no surprise the Iberian Peninsula is attracting the most interest. It still holds great mineral potential after thousands of years of mining.last_img read more

Women Euro Q Denmark wins in Vienna Austria against Ukraine to decide

← Previous Story Santos’ 8 lift Austria above Norway Next Story → Anaitasuna signs Spanish prospect Alex Costoya AustriaDenmarkeuro 2014handballherbert muller Denmark were already qualified for the European Handball Championship in December 2014 in Croatia and Hungary, but the team was for more victories in order to continue their positive run. The game against Austria was not an easy one, the home team gave good fight against the Danish girls, but in the end had to concede 29:33 defeat. If Ukraine beats Lithuania on Wednesday as expected, then the Sunday encounter between Ukraine and Lithuania will decide who will qualify for the final tournament in December.

Bear Grylls just managed to annoy most of Bulgaria by boiling and

first_imgBear Grylls just managed to annoy most of Bulgaria by boiling and eating a frog He could also face a €5,000 fine. Feb 21st 2019, 10:36 PM Share42 Tweet Email2 40 Comments Thursday 21 Feb 2019, 10:35 PM 45,661 Views By AFP Image: PA Archive/PA Images Image: PA Archive/PA Images ENVIRONMENTAL OFFICIALS IN Bulgaria said they were considering fining adventurer Bear Grylls over an episode of his Running Wild series in which he killed a frog and boiled it on a camping stove.In the episode filmed in Bulgaria’s Rila mountains in 2017, Grylls and US Latin and ballroom dancer Derek Hough were shown killing, gutting and cooking the frog before swimming across a lake.“It is evident from the film material that during the shooting there were breaches to the regulations and rules of conduct in protected areas: entering and swimming in the water basin of the Karakashevo lake, lighting a fire, and catching and killing an animal,” the environment ministry said in a statement.The series’ production company faces a possible fine of between €500 and €5,000 while Grylls and Hough could receive fines of between €250 and €2,500.The Rila national park in southwestern Bulgaria is the country’s largest.It is a protected area and the ministry said the crew had been briefed on what they could and could not do during the shoot.The ministry added that it would also investigate possible failings on the part of park authority officials who accompanied the crew.Grylls served with the British armed forces’ elite Special Air Service (SAS) before finding fame with a string of adventure TV shows in the UK and the US in which he demonstrates survival techniques in inhospitable climates.- © AFP 2019 Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

No room for comedy when it comes to the Greek drama

first_imgWithin the last month two Australian cafes have taken down signs making light of Greece’s financial situation following complaints and disapproving comments from customers.The first incident occurred in Sydney, when a chalkboard sign was placed out the front of a northern suburbs café stating: “What do you give a Greek with a scratchie? … A coin to scratch it with.”

The joke was not well-received by all, with one customer complaining on the business’ Facebook page, followed by several comments debating whether the sign was racist or not.
Angus McLellan, managing director of the venue, told SmartCompany the chalk board was “humour more than anything”.
“We have three Greek staff members who work for us … they were just taking the piss out of their own country.”In another incident, a family-run café in Canberra posted a sign on the cash register last week with the wordplay: “EU announced today – that all future euro notes will now be printed on Greece-proof paper” According to owner Peter Zimmerman, whose wife is of Greek Cypriot background, many of the patrons – including Greeks – had a laugh at the inscription.
However, the comment was received with dismay by an individual and was subsequently taken down.
“The problem is you can no longer say something or do something without offending one person.

“It had no intention to really offend somebody but if some people can’t have a bit of humour then I feel really sorry for them,” Mr Zimmerman told Neos Kosmos. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Triple H says he isnt sure if Vince McMahon has watched an

first_img Live Podcast: Reviewing and discussing WWE Clash of Champions from Charlotte Facebook Adam Martin RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Twitter WhatsApp Pinterestcenter_img Google+ Wrestleview Live #65: Reviewing and discussing WWE Clash of Champions from Charlotte The Sun in the UK is featuring an interview with Paul “Triple H” Levesque featuring a comment that has been making the rounds among social media this weekend.During the interview, Triple H claimed he wasn’t aware if WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon had ever watched an entire episode of NXT.“I don’t know that he’s ever even watched a full episode of NXT start to finish. He’s busy.”Triple H said having that limited perspective can be a good thing as he feels McMahon is able to see the brand objectively.“He will pick up a lot from bits and pieces from what he sees. To me it’s always amazing – his insight of things. I realize he just saw a snippet but what he will say about that snippet is a bigger overall arc to the entire product, and I’m like, ‘That’s really right.’ I think it’s great that he doesn’t see all of it because it gives him a different perspective. It gives him an outsider view on it.”According to former WWE writer Tom Casiello, it would appear Triple H is referring to only the weekly NXT television episodes and not actual NXT TakeOver events.I know I shouldn’t even respond to this kind of garbage, but I’ve literally been in gorilla with Vince during an NXT show. This is completely false.— Tom Casiello (@tommiecas) October 12, 2018 WWE Clash of Champions Results – 9/15/19 (Rollins vs. Strowman, Kingston vs. Orton)last_img read more

Interstate 5 speed reduced for three years

first_img Posted: March 11, 2019 Interstate 5 speed reduced for three years Categories: Local San Diego News, Traffic & Accidents KUSI Newsroom March 11, 2019center_img KUSI Newsroom, SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Starting Monday motorists will have to drive a little slower on a section of Interstate 5 on the North County coastline for the next three years.Officials announced Friday that the temporary speed limit reduction will take place on a stretch of Interstate 5 where carpool lanes are currently under construction.The speed limit will be reduced from 65 miles per hour to 55 miles per hour starting Monday in both directions of Interstate 5 between Manchester Avenue in Encinitas and Palomar Airport Road.The lower speed limit will remain in place until the carpool lane project is complete which is expected to happen in 20-22. FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

Anticoal group stages zombie march on banks

first_imgPORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A group protesting proposed coal export terminals in the Northwest staged a Halloween “zombie” march to Bank of America branches in downtown Portland.Police arrested one man in zombie makeup Monday after a bank employee identified him as the person who left a red substance and pieces of paper stuck to glass in the lobby.Sgt. Pete Simpson says 27-year-old Tim Swenson was arrested for investigation of criminal mischief and disorderly conduct.The direct action environmental group Portland Rising Tide says its “zombie army against coal” marched from the Occupy Portland encampment to two Bank of America branches. It says one of its protesters was accused of putting red corn syrup on the exterior of one branch. The group says it’s upset about bank loans to coal companies.A number of environmental groups are concerned about efforts by coal companies to build port terminals near Bellingham and Longview, Wash., to export coal to the Far East.last_img read more

Police Hurricane provides cover in Pembroke Pines trailer theft

first_imgPEMBROKE PINES, FLA. (WSVN) – Police are investigating after, they said, burglars stole several trailers in Pembroke Pines under the cover of stormy weather caused by Hurricane Matthew.According to Hollywood Police, the trailers were taken from the Uncle Bob’s Self Storage near University Drive and Sheridan Street, Thursday night, as the storm blew through the area.Sharon McQueen, the owner of one of the stolen trailers, is upset with the facility because, she said, the business left the gates open without telling anyone. “Instead of informing us that they opened the gates so we could move our stuff if we needed to, they just opened the gates and it became a free for all for the thieves to come and steal everything we owned,” she said.If you have any information on this burglary, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Axis Bank shares soar to 52week highs after surprising Q3 numbers

first_img People face problems due to nationwide bank strike Close The Connaught Place branch of Axis Bank in New Delhi, December 15, 2016.IANSAxis Bank shares soared on Wednesday to a fresh 52-week high after the lender reported a more than two-fold rise in net profits for the third quarter.Shares rose more than 6 percent to Rs 703 as against the previous close of 660.80 on the Bombay Stock Exchange.The bank reported on Tuesday that net profit hit Rs 1,680.85 crore in the quarter ended December 31, compared with a net profit of Rs 726 crore in the same quarter a year ago.The bank has faced some headwinds, especially on the asset quality front, driven by corporate slippages. Financial performance, too, has moderated and corporate loans have grown below our long-term growth rates. An increase in our operational risks has not helped the cause either.The Q3 net was the bank’s highest profit in the last 11 quarters. The bank said net interest income rose 18 percent to Rs 5,604 crore, which is the highest in the last 10 quarters.Total income in the third quarter increased to Rs 18,130.42 crore as against Rs 14,314.63 crore in the year-ago period. “Net interest margin for the third quarter this fiscal was 3.47 per cent, up from 3.36 per cent in the second quarter, a statement said. The Axis Bank board has approved CEO Shikha Sharma’s request to re-appoint her for a six month period from June 1 to December 31.ReutersAxis Bank MD and CEO Amitabh Chaudhry, who took over the reins from long-serving CMD Shikha Sharma, said the bank’s focus will be on growth, profitability and sustainability over the next three years.”The bank has faced some headwinds, especially on the asset quality front, driven by corporate slippages. Financial performance, too, has moderated and corporate loans have grown below our long-term growth rates. An increase in our operational risks has not helped the cause either,” he said.’Goal is 18 percent RoEAxis Bank said net non-performing assets (NPAs) were at 2.36 percent of the net advances as on December 31, 2018. It said it made a big leap in terms of recovering bad debts. It said it recovered Rs 998 crore during the third quarter, compared with Rs 40 crore in the same period a year ago.center_img Axis Bank stock has risen as much as 15 percent during the last one year, while the gain this year alone was 11 percent.”Our goal is to deliver 18 per cent Return on Equity sustainably,” CEO Amitabh Chaudhry said. “While delivery of growth and profitability is really important, we intend to focus just as much on the sustainability of our efforts and outcomes,” Chowdhry told ET.last_img read more

EC roadmap to not end crisis Fakhrul

first_imgMirza Fakhrul Islam AlamgirBangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Sunday said the roadmap announced by the election commission for the 11th parliamentary polls would “not solve the current political crisis”.He rather underscored the need for holding a national dialogue on the next general elections before drawing out any roadmap for it.“The BNP cannot find even any road [to the election] as yet. And the question of map for it comes later,” Fakhrul said of the EC’s roadmap as his party emphasised the demand for poll-time supportive govenment for holding free and fair elections.The BNP leader came up with his instant reaction to the roadmap the EC announced earlier in the day, while talking to newsmen.The BNP will give its formal reaction later, Mirza Fakhrul said.“The primary crisis of the day is how the next elections will be held. What will be the role of the government and of the election commission? A supportive government should be in place during the polls to make it free, fair and neutral,” he said.”The earnest need of the present time is to hold talks on the formation of the supportive government,” the BNP leader insisted.When his attention was drawn to the CEC’s claim that the commission is confident of holding a free, and fair election, the BNP spokesperson said it has to look into whether a congenial atmosphere for polls prevails at all in the country.“The BNP does not get approval for even holding a rally. BNP senior leaders were forced to stand on the streets to see off the BNP chairperson yesterday [Saturday] during her departure for London,” he alleged.Asked if the BNP will take part in the talks to be organised by the election commission, Fakhrul said the BNP wants to follow all democratic practices whatever there are.“It will depend on the will of the election commission and the government if they really want to allow the BNP to do so,” he quipped.last_img read more

AAP students wing welcomes new DU batch with selfies

first_imgOn the first day of the new academic session in Delhi University campus, senior leaders and MLAs of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) came out to woo the freshers in support of their student wing Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Samiti (CYSS); and posed for selfies with them on Monday. The student body of AAP is planning to debut in the DUSU elections this time.The event saw hundreds of students in queue to interact and have a selfie with senior leaders of the party. The party leaders present on the occasion were Delhi state convener Dileep Pandey, Raghav Chaddha, Raghu Ram and Alka Lamba.  Also Read – Company director arrested for swindling Rs 345 crore“It was a first of its kind event and the new students were encouraged in this healthy way of welcoming by their seniors. We are thankful to the senior leaders of the party who took their time out to welcome the freshers in DU campus,” Anupam, head of CYSS said. Welcoming the students who gathered in large numbers to attend the selfie event CYSS Secretary Anuj said: “Together we can build up a healthy campus if seniors and juniors develop mutual respect and regard.” Senior party members and spokespersons visited Ramjas College, Hindu College, Miranda College, Sri Venkateshwara College among others. The party further said that the CYSS is set to contest the DU elections and this exercise seems like a foundation for the party’s campaign.Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also took to twitter to wish the new DU students, reminiscing about his college days 30 years back. “I greet all students of Delhi University on their first day in college. Reminds of my student days some 30 years ago!,” Kejriwal tweeted.last_img read more