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Premier Offers Condolences on Passing of Former LtGov Kinley

first_imgPremier Darrell Dexter is offering his condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of John James Kinley, former lieutenant governor of Nova Scotia, who died today, May 1. He was 86. “Jim Kinley was an engineer, businessman and serviceman who served his country in the Second World War as a Merchant Mariner and with the Royal Canadian Navy,” said Premier Dexter. “My sympathies go out to Mr. Kinley’s family, friends and colleagues. He will be remembered as a respected community member, accomplished businessman and loving family man.” Mr. Kinley served as Nova Scotia’s 29th lieutenant governor from 1994 until 2000. Born in Lunenburg, Mr. Kinley served as president of the family foundry and engineering company in his hometown for more than 50 years. In 2002, he was appointed to the Order of Nova Scotia and awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal. The flags at Province House and Government House in Halifax have been lowered to half-mast in honour of Mr. Kinley’s contributions.last_img read more

KKR fret over Russell fitness, spotlight on Brathwaite

first_imgKolkata: Kolkata Knight Riders’ impact player Andre Russell was forced to skip the practice session on Thursday, owing to a shoulder injury sustained while batting in the nets on Wednesday. KKR will take on Royal Challengers Bangalore in an IPL game on Friday and Russell’s possible absence could pave the way for Carlos Brathwaite’s inclusion in the playing XI. The Barbados all-rounder, who is KKR’s costliest pick of Rs 5 crore at the auctions, played only one match for KKR, against Delhi Capitals here that they lost by seven wickets. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhFretting over Russell’s fitness, KKR skipper Karthik however did not rule out the Jamaican who has been a revelation with six explosive 40-plus scores on the trot. “He’s got a preliminary X ray yesterday and it’s not even be 24 hours. By tomorrow, we will a get much better idea as to how he feels,” Karthik said of Russell. It was during the fag end of the practice on Wednesday that Russell failed to negotiate a rising delivery from net bowler Minad Manjrekar and fell on the ground, writhing in pain. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterIt was the same left shoulder where Russell was hit by a Harshal Patel delivery during KKR’s match against Delhi Capitals at the Kotla. Russell had also suffered a wrist injury in their away match against Chennai as it remains to be seen whether the team will risk playing the Jamaican. KKR have suffered a hat-trick of losses as Karthik urged his batsmen and bowlers to buck up. “I’m not going to shy away from the fact that we can bat better a little better definitely and definitely bowl a little better.” Meanwhile, RCB top order batsman AB de Villiers also skipped the training, while skipper Virat Kohli took a few throw-downs from coach Gary Kirsten after a game of football. Rejuvenated by a World Cup call-up, Karthik would be eager to impress India captain Virat Kohli and also arrest the Kolkata Knight Riders’ three game losing streak, when they lock horns with Royal Challengers Bangalore in an Indian Premier League clash here on Friday. In their first-leg clash in Bengaluru, Russell made all the difference with a whirlwind 13-ball 48 to drag KKR out of the woods and guide them to a remarkable five-wicket win. While Russell’s availability is a big concern for the home side who have not won in their last three matches, and placed sixth in the points table, there would be no shortage of inspiration for 33-year-old Karthik. Kohli has his own problems as far as RCB is concerned with the team all but out of the competition if they lose on Friday. Rock-bottom in the table with just one win from eight matches, RCB just haven’t been in the groove this year. From the remaining six games, they would have to win all to give themselves any chance of a playoff berth. Kohli has also not led from the front, cutting a forlorn figure on the field more often than not and also failing to fire with the bat. The team’s main problem has been their bowling which has been poor to say the least, except for Yuzvendra Chahal. In KKR, they would face an opponent hungry to return to winning ways after losing back-to-back home games.last_img read more

Restored steam locomotive rolls to anniversary event

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — It’s longer than two city buses, weighs more than a Boeing 747 fully loaded with passengers and can pull 16 Statues of Liberty over a mountain.The Big Boy No. 4014 steam locomotive rolled out of a Union Pacific restoration shop in Cheyenne over the weekend for a big debut after five years of restoration. It then headed toward Utah as part of a yearlong tour to commemorate the Transcontinental Railroad’s 150th anniversary.Big Boys hauled freight between Wyoming and Utah in the 1940s and 1950s. Of the 25 built by the American Locomotive Company in Schenectady, New York, from 1941 to 1944, eight remain. Only No. 4014 will be operational.Engineered for steep mountain grades, each Big Boy had not one but two huge engines beneath a 250-ton (227-tonne) boiler able to hold enough water to cover an area the size of a basketball court to the depth of a high-top shoe.The locomotives are not only big, they’re so complex that steam train buffs long considered restoring one to a fully operational state all but impossible, said Jim Wrinn, editor of Trains magazine.They were the “pinnacle of steam locomotive design” in the years before diesel engines took over as the less expensive, more efficient standard for U.S. railroads, Wrinn said.“It’s a pretty big deal,” said Wrinn. “Nobody ever thought that a Big Boy would be restored to operation. Ever.”Union Pacific hasn’t said how much the restoration cost, but Wrinn estimated at least $4 million based on similar restorations. The result will be one of just six to eight steam engines still operational on mainline U.S. railroad tracks.The last steam locomotive delivered to Union Pacific, the “Living Legend” Northern No. 844, has remained in service since 1944. Big Boy No. 4014 will join in No. 844’s publicity work as a railroad version of the Goodyear Blimp, Wrinn said.The locomotives will tour the Union Pacific system throughout 2019 in honour of the Transcontinental Railroad’s 1869 completion. They will be in Ogden, Utah, this week for an event featuring UP and Utah officials and an ancestor of one of the Chinese workers who helped build the railroad.Few train engineers these days know what it’s like to drive a steam locomotive, though retired Union Pacific engineer Mickey Cox once got a brief turn driving No. 844.The cab had no air conditioning behind the big coal-fired boiler and got dirty, Cox recalled of his jaunt that included driving through a tunnel between Cheyenne and Laramie.“Everybody in the cab is, you know, covered with soot by the time you go through the tunnel on those things. And it gets very hot. By the time you get out to the end of the tunnel, you’re welcome to see daylight,” said Cox, whose father and grandfather worked in the rail industry in Wyoming. “It would’ve been a tough job back in the day, I’m sure.”Converted to burn fuel oil instead of coal, Big Boy No. 4014 will be less filthy, but even fewer people alive today know the experience of driving it. Big Boy No. 4014 was retired in late 1961, and no Big Boy engine has run since 1962.One retired Union Pacific employee, Jim Ehernberger, remembers the Big Boys well. He joined the railroad at age 16 in 1953.“You could sure tell when a Big Boy left town. The ground kind of vibrated a little more than it did with the other types of locomotives. They were very, very powerful,” Ehernberger said.Union Pacific towed Big Boy No. 4014 to Cheyenne in 2014 after acquiring it from a museum in Pomona, California.“They had to basically completely disassemble the locomotive down to just the frame and the shell,” Wrinn said. “It was an immense undertaking.”___Follow Mead Gruver at https://twitter.com/meadgruverMead Gruver, The Associated Press read more

UNAfrican Union peacekeeping operation in Darfur marks oneyear anniversary

The hybrid force, known as UNAMID, was set up by the Security Council to protect civilians on the western flank of Sudan, where an estimated 300,000 people have been killed and another 2.7 million have been forced from their homes since fighting erupted in 2003, pitting rebels against Government forces and allied Janjaweed militiamen.One year on from transferring the task of suppressing the violence to UNAMID from the AU Mission in Sudan (AMIS), some 12,374 blue helmets are now in place across Darfur, which is 63 per cent of the 19,555 military personnel authorized by the Security Council.“The Secretary-General applauds the efforts of UNAMID and troop-contributing countries in reaching this target in the face of serious difficulties, including the volatile security situation in Darfur,” Mr. Ban said in a statement. “To ensure that the Mission continues to grow and reach full strength, troop- and police-contributing countries will have to work together with the United Nations to expedite the deployment of all outstanding capabilities,” Mr. Ban said while underscoring the importance of the continued cooperation of the Government of Sudan in achieving full deployment.Concerned that civilians will continue to suffer from the savage conflict in Darfur, and that both UNAMID and humanitarian personnel will remain under threat in the absence of serious dialogue, the Secretary-General urged the parties to work with the UN-AU Joint Chief Mediator for Darfur, Djibril Bassolé, towards a comprehensive political solution. The mission’s website today noted that “while an all-inclusive peace agreement has yet to be achieved, UNAMID’s dedicated work has facilitated humanitarian relief, local conflict resolution, and security so as to establish and strengthen conditions that can enable the people of Sudan to resolve this tragic conflict.”It also acknowledged the efforts of its predecessors, saying “former AMIS soldiers, police officers, together with their civilian colleagues serving in UNAMID, have worked tirelessly under difficult and often dangerous circumstances to sustain a presence throughout Darfur.”On behalf of the AU-UN Joint Special Representative Rodolphe Adada, his deputy, Henry Anyidoho, reaffirmed UNAMID’s commitment to its mandate and the determination of its soldiers, police officers, and civilian members to build on initial achievements. 31 December 2008The joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping mission, tasked with protecting civilians in war-ravaged Darfur and quelling the violence in the Sudanese region, commemorated its first anniversary in operation today as Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon confirmed that troop levels have exceeded 60 per cent of the full authorized strength. read more

Security Council assumes foster care for injured African elephant rescued from trap

“The Security Council has become a parent today,” Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock of the United Kingdom told reporters, explaining that the 15-member body was the “foster parent” of the elephant, which was rescued by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi after being caught by a snare.The elephant, whose ear had been “practically torn off” by the trap, was now doing very well, according to Ambassador Greenstock. “So it’s not just peace and security in Africa, it’s also wildlife the Security Council is at least temporarily showing its concern for,” he said.”There was a very touching look of parental affection on the faces of the members of around the Council,” he observed. “I think they wondered for a moment what the UK mission was doing, but I think they then got the point.””I hope the young elephant will also be a sign of the long memory of the Security Council for things that go both right and wrong in Africa,” he added. read more

In Iceland UN chief highlights that fate of Arctic and that of

Also today, Secretary-General Ban spoke at a seminar commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Summit between US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, which despite of failing to achieve its goals, provided a path that ultimately led to the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), eliminating all American and Soviet intermediate and shorter-range ground-based missiles. “Thirty years later, Reykjavik’s lessons have never been more relevant,” said Mr. Ban in his remarks. “As difficult as the international situation is today, current tensions fall well short of what President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev faced during the Cold War.” Expressing concern at the resurgence of “Cold War ghosts,” the UN chief also noted that the world faces serious challenges in arms control and disarmament as well as non-state actors seeking to procure nuclear materials. “So my message to world leaders today is clear: Let us summon the spirit of Reykjavik,” he said and emphasized: “Our common aspirations for peace, human rights and sustainable development require us to find a new paradigm for sustainable security without reliance on weapons of mass destruction.” “And we need to put those ideas into action. In policies, in legislation, in treaties and in the real world.”Meetings with the President and Prime Minister of Iceland “The Arctic supports key pillars of the climate system regionally and globally. The fate of the Arctic is tied to the fate of Miami, Mumbai, Shanghai and coastal cities across the world — and so much else of course,” said Mr. Ban in an address to the Arctic Circle Assembly in Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik. “When the Arctic suffers, the world feels the pain. And when the planet is under assault, the Arctic is likewise a casualty,” he added. Noting that the Arctic region is “ground zero” for climate change, Mr. Ban pointed out that according to scientific research, it is warming more quickly than the rest of planet and that an increase in global temperatures by two degrees Celsius – the upper limit of what the Paris Agreement calls for – could mean a change of four and even five degrees in the Arctic. He also highlighted with the ratification by 79 countries, representing 59 per cent of global emissions, the Paris Agreement would enter into force on 4 November and underscored the importance of its implementation. “Few expected such swift action. I thank all of you for your contributions to this historic step. Political leaders, scientists, citizens in the street — all played a role in grasping the gravity of the threat and mobilizing to set the world on a safer, more sensible path,” he said. In his address, Mr. Ban also hailed the recent agreement by members of the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) on a new global market-based measure to curb carbon dioxide emissions from international aviation and said that it is an important step by Governments, industry and civil society, building on the strong momentum provided by the Paris Agreement. The Secretary-General further called for reducing short-lived climate pollutants, such as black carbon, which contributes to the rapid warming of snow and ice as well as appealed for more financial resources to help developing countries reduce their emissions and adapt to the inevitable consequences of climate change. The UN chief also underlined the importance of indigenous peoples’ traditional knowledge systems and said that their contributions will be essential to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as in combatting climate change. He urged the Assembly to ensure that indigenous peoples, their rights and their sociocultural contributions, remain central as we address these shared challenges. “We need governments to reach consensus next week in Kigali on a critically important amendment to the Montreal Protocol, which will phase down hydrofluorocarbons,” he said, adding: “This could help prevent up to half a degree of warming by the end of the century.” 30th Anniversary of the Reagan-Gorbachev Summit ‹ › Further today, the UN chief held meetings today with Guðni Thorlacius Jóhannesson, President of Iceland, and with Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson, the country’s Prime Minister. According to a readout issued by Mr. Ban’s office, the Secretary-General congratulated Iceland for its ratification of the Paris Agreement and encouraged it to establish a mechanism to oversee the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. The Secretary-General and the two leaders also agreed on the responsibility for UN Member States to implement the commitments made during the recent UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants, in particular the need to make addressing root causes of displacement a priority. Also today, Secretary-General Ban held a joint press conference with Lilja Alfreðsdóttir, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iceland. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) meets with President Guðni Thorlacius Jóhannesson of Iceland. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (right) speaks at a joint press conference with Lilja Alfreðsdóttir, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iceland. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon delivers closing remarks at the University of Iceland’s Institute of International Affairs on the 30th Anniversary of the 1986 Reagan-Gorbachev Summit. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) meets with Prime Minister Siguður Ingi Jóhannsson of Iceland. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas read more

Redskins lineman Williams hospitalized after Dallas game

ARLINGTON, Texas — Washington left tackle Trent Williams was taken to a hospital for unspecified precautionary reasons after the Redskins’ loss to the Dallas Cowboys.The team didn’t provide any other details on Williams’ condition Thursday.The six-time Pro Bowl player returned against the Cowboys after missing three games with a dislocated right thumb.Williams appeared to get injured along the sideline at the end of an 8-yard run by Kapri Bibbs in the third quarter. Williams returned to the game, and coach Jay Gruden didn’t include the 30-year-old in an update on injuries after the game.___More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFLThe Associated Press read more

All Blacks to wear rainbow laces in support of Thomas

The All Blacks have become the latest rugby team to say they will be wearing rainbow laces in their boots this weekend in a show of support for Gareth Thomas after the former Wales captain was the victim of an anti-gay attack.Thomas, who announced in 2009 he is gay, recorded a video last weekend saying he was assaulted in Cardiff in “a hate crime for my sexuality.” He had bruises on his face in the video.Police in Cardiff have said a 16-year-old boy has admitted to carrying out the assault.New Zealand said in a tweet on Friday that its players would wear the rainbow laces in a tribute to Thomas in Saturday’s test match against Italy.Wales, England, and France have already said they would do the same during their games on Saturday.Thomas reacted to the All Blacks tweet by saying on Twitter, “I wish I could put in words what this means.”___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_SportsThe Associated Press read more

Inside the NBA Shaqtin A Fool Vol 3 Episode

Shaquille O’Neal and “Inside the NBA” are back with a new season of “Shaqtin’ A Fool.” Take a look at this week’s nominees in the first episode of the what has to be the funniest NBA show on TV.In its debut episode, “Shaqtin’ A Fool” regulars Kendrick Perkins and JaVale Magee make an early appearance. Perkins does what he does best, and on a fast break attempts to lob an alley-oop pass to a teammate, but throws the ball out of bounds.  Magee, who some believe is trying to get on  “Shaqtin’ A Fool,”  somehow ends up on a player’s back during a fastbreak.Two rookies made their “Shaqtin’ A Fool” debut, who probably won’t be segment regulars like Magee and Perkins.Later, a cameraman made it on the list because he tries to play it cool after his leg falls asleep resulting in a funky two set dance.Watch the video above and vote for your nominee for the Best Foolish Moment here. read more

Minecraft Lego gets official concept development has started

first_imgAt the beginning of December last year hopes were high that Minecraft would be getting its own line of official Lego products. If there was ever a better match in the history of Lego collaborations I can’t think of it, and it seems Lego think so to as it is going to happen.Last year a submission was requested from developer Mojang for the Lego community and crowd sourcing site Cuusoo. Cuusoo allows new ideas to be shared for Lego models and the community gives feedback. If 10,000 people support an idea then Lego review it and consider turning it into an official product. If it gets that far, Lego gives the idea’s owner a 1% royalty on sales, a royalty Mojang has already said would go to charity.As you’ve probably guessed, it didn’t take long for Minecraft Lego to get the required 10,000 supporters and Lego started an official review. Yesterday, the news everyone wanted to here was announced via the Cuusoo Blog. Lego has passed the idea in review and is now working on concepts for the official Minecraft Lego products. No details have been released yet as to when Minecraft Lego will go on sale, and Cuusoo has stated “these things take time.” So it could be a while before they appear. Hopefully we’ll get to see the final range in picture form long before it launches, though.Lego accepting the idea should have been an easy decision. Minecraft has in the region of 20 million registered players and 4 million game purchases recorded so far. It’s pretty much guaranteed a decent percentage of those players will buy some Minecraft Lego.More at the Lego Cuusoo Bloglast_img read more

Trump ditches media for golf game offers New Years wishes

first_imgWEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — President-elect Donald Trump ditched his press pool once again, traveling to play golf at one of his clubs without a pool of journalists on hand to ensure the public has knowledge of his whereabouts.Before he went golfing Saturday, Trump tweeted an unusual New Year’s message to friends and foes: “Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don’t know what to do. Love!”The president-elect planned to spend New Year’s Eve at his private Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach. He was throwing a private party expected to draw hundreds of guests, including action star Sylvester Stallone.A member of Trump’s golf club in Jupiter, Florida, posted a photo on Twitter of Trump on the greens Saturday morning and said about 25 U.S. Secret Service agents accompanied the president-elect. Reporters had not been advised of the visit to the club.Transition aide Stephanie Grisham confirmed that Trump had made a “last-minute trip” to Trump National Golf Club Jupiter, which is about a half-hour drive from his Mar-a-Lago estate, where Trump has been spending the holidays. He returned to the estate at midafternoon.last_img read more

Cities smart to grow together

first_imgKristin Tufte thinks the journey toward smart cities can be simplified into three words: People, intention and coordination.“It’s data and technology and service of people,” said Tufte, Smart Cities Liaison for Portland State University. “Is the pedestrian on the street safer because of our work? Does the woman taking the bus to work know it will get her to work on time so she can relax on the bus?”Tufte was one of three speakers Wednesday at Regional Transportation Council’s Smart Cities Workshop, which focused not only on smart cities but some regional opportunities.The general aim in being a smart city is to use information technology to not only increase efficiency and improve government but to better share information with the public while improving their lives.Connecting communitiesJesse Berst, chair of the Smart Cities Council, said the only way cities can move forward is to communicate with each other and share data.“Many American communities are falling behind in this race,” Berst said. “It’s a race for the connected lifestyle but also for a better government. If you believe in accountability, in transparency, we have the tools now.”last_img read more

Students take on monumental task at Old City Cemetery

first_imgAn early Vancouver cemetery was established near what now is The Academy, but the graves had to be relocated when a road through the site was planned. The city purchased 10 acres in July 1867 for what now is the Old City Cemetery.Even history that is etched in stone doesn’t last forever.Sometimes, it barely lasts a century.That’s why some students at Vancouver’s annual archaeological field school are taking a side trip this summer to the Old City Cemetery.Instructor Jacque Marcotte set five college students to the task Wednesday of documenting and recording gravestones and monuments in the 144-year-old cemetery.Some of the markers have been vandalized, and some just have been victimized by a century or more of weathering.“A lot of the marble stones are eaten away by rain,” said Marcotte, a teaching assistant at Portland State University. “They lose their inscriptions.“We can’t stop it,” she said. “But those we catch early enough, we can record it.“You see more granite in the 1910s and 1920s. It holds up better,” Marcotte said.Sarah O’Keefe, a senior at Washington State University Vancouver, was using a tape to measure a family monument flanked by individual headstones. There was a jagged spot atop the monument, where something had been snapped off.“There has been a lot of damage” in the cemetery, O’Keefe said. “It’s sad that people could be so disrespectful.”O’Keefe logged the dimensions in a four-page form. Other students had their own copies of the form, and were filling in categories such as inscriptions, material, design and condition.last_img read more

Plane problems delay DeSantis South Florida arrival

first_imgFORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ arrival in South Florida to announce the suspension of Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel was delayed due to plane problems.A mechanical issue forced an emergency landing in St. Petersburg, Friday afternoon.The twin-engine King Air landed safely.The aircraft is a former drug plane, seized by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.Former Gov. Rick Scott sold the state’s fleet of aircraft when he took office eight years ago, opting instead to rely on his own private jet.The state chartered a plane so that DeSantis could make it to Fort Lauderdale.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

State ferry Taku wont become a Portland hotel after all

first_imgThe ferry Taku waits to load passengers Jan. 22, 2012, in Sitka, while it was still sailing. It’s been sold to a company based in Dubai after a Portland, Oregon, bidder withdrew its offer. (Photo by Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska News)The state ferry Taku is not hip enough for Portland, Oregon.Listen nowEarlier this fall, a company based there placed the winning bid of $300,000 for the 54-year-old vessel. KeyMar LLC’s plans were to turn it into a floating hotel.John Falvey, Alaska Marine Highway general manager, said the company withdrew its bid earlier this month.“They cited regulatory issues, potentially, other competing projects within their group, within their company … and things like that,” Falvey said.KeyMar representative Jonathan Cohen said his group could not gain enough support from neighboring property owners to win the required permits.“The team did not want to introduce a property that wouldn’t be fully embraced by the surrounding community,” Cohen wrote in an email. He said the group is instead turning an old Columbia River school into a hotel.After the Portland company pulled out, the state informed two other bidders from the last round that the 350-foot ferry was again for sale.Falvey said the top bidder offered $171,000, two-thirds more than the minimum needed.“Tuesday at 3 o’clock, we opened the bids. And the winner was the Jabal Al Lawz Trading Co., from the (United Arab) Emirates, who I believe is purchasing the ship to take it for scrap,” Falvey said.So it might end up in a marine junkyard. But he’s not sure.Attempts to contact the company were not successful. But the Juneau Empire reports the company plans to use it as a ferry in the Philippines.Falvey said the company already paid a $25,000 deposit. The balance will need to be in hand before he can sign sale documents. The timing has not been determined.“We prefer to do it before the end of the year. But that may not happen with the holidays and things like that. If they’re going to get a crew here, they’ve got to bring a foreign crew to the United States and they need to get visas and things like that,” Falvey said.Falvey said the state will continue to pay to store the Taku at Ketchikan’s Ward Cove for 30 days after the sale is completed.After that, storage or transport is up to the buyer.Falvey said the company indicated it could be reflagged to another country, which would allow transit through U.S. waters.Right now, the Taku lacks equipment and certifications needed to sail under the U.S. flag.The Taku was tied up in 2015 as the ferry system looked for ways to balance its budget. The ship can carry about 350 passengers and 50 vehicles. It has 40 staterooms, a cafeteria, observation lounges and a covered solarium.State officials have been trying to sell the Taku since last spring. It was first priced at $1.5 million.last_img read more

Needle exchange hopes to install sharp disposal boxes in Homer bathrooms

first_imgHomer Spit. (KBBI Database photo)Homer’s local needle exchange wants to install sharp disposal boxes in bathrooms around town so residents can safely dispose of syringes. The volunteer-run organization provides free sterile syringes, lifesaving Narcan kits and on-site HIV and Hepatitis C testing, among other services.Listen nowDr. Sarah Spencer oversees the exchange, and she said volunteer staff have been discussing this project for a while.“People will come to us with news or complaints about finding improperly disposed syringes, like finding syringes on trails or on the beach or in public places and that kind of thing,” she said. “We’ve been thinking that it might help to reduce those reports of inappropriately disposed syringes if people had more access to sharp disposal containers.”She said it isn’t just people using illicit drugs who are in need of sharp disposal boxes. People who inject insulin and other medications also need safe locations to dispose syringes. Spencer said the Exchange will likely start with a pilot program consisting of roughly 10 boxes around Homer. She said the program will survey its clients to decide where to place the boxes.“Where they think the hotspots are, especially folks who may be in transit or semi-homeless or here in the summer or don’t necessarily have access that they do of the Exchange,” she said. “Where would be places where they would be most likely to inject or to need to dispose of injection supplies.”The Exchange would provide the boxes and would take responsibility for emptying them.Spencer adds that the a recent Homer News story about 100 syringes found on the Homer Spit seemed to concern residents. However, she says that number is small compared to how many syringes are coming into the Exchange. Earlier this month, the program received roughly 4,000 syringes.“Most people who are using drugs, they want to do the right thing,” she said. “They want to dispose of them correctly and they want to be safe. But you have to give them the opportunity to be able to do that. If they don’t have the opportunity or the choice, they’re just going to do whatever they have to do.”Spencer said the Exchange will be able to lock the boxes so people won’t be able to reach into them.  She adds that the cost to purchase and maintain them is relatively low.However, the money isn’t secured yet.The demand for Exchange’s services has far outpaced its grant funding. Right now, volunteers are using their own money to purchase supplies. The organization hopes to secure more funds through grants and a Gofundme campaign.If the Exchange raises additional money beyond what’s needed for supplies, Spencer said they hope to install the disposal boxes in January.last_img read more

Youth stabbed to death in Dinajpur

first_imgA young man was stabbed to dead over a trifling matter at Mohishkotha in Sadar upazila of Dinajpur on Thursday night, reports UNB.Redwanur Rahim, officer-in-charge of Kotwali police station, said Mahbub Islam, 35, son of Aftab Uddin of Mohishkotha village, along with his father was returning home from a fair in Cheradangi by a van.When the van reached Mohishkotha, Mahbub locked into an altercation with a man over giving side to him around 8:00pm.At one stage, the man hit Mahbub with a sharp weapon, leaving him critically injured.Later, he was taken to Dinajpur M Abdur Rahim Medical College where doctors declared him dead around 10:45pm.last_img read more

US warns of action after Syria chemical attack

first_imgA man breathes through an oxygen mask, after what rescue workers described as a suspected gas attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in rebel-held Idlib. Reuters file photoThe United States and Russia were on a collision course over Syria on Wednesday after a horrific chemical attack so shocked President Donald Trump that Washington threatened unilateral US action.At least 86 people were killed early on Tuesday in rebel-held Khan Sheikhun in northern Syria and dozens more were being treated after they were found convulsing and foaming at the mouth.After previous major chemical attacks in Syria in 2013, Trump strongly urged then-president Barack Obama not to order military intervention against Bashar al-Assad’s regime.And he came to office promising both to improve ties with Assad’s ally President Vladimir Putin of Russia and to focus US efforts in Syria solely on the defeat of the Islamic State group.But on Wednesday—as footage emerged of Syrian children choking to death in agony—he declared that his view of the conflict had been changed by an attack that “cannot be tolerated.”“It crossed a lot of lines for me,” Trump told reporters at a joint White House news conference with Jordan’s King Abdullah, alluding to Obama’s failure to enforce his own 2013 “red line.”“When you kill innocent children, innocent babies, little babies… that crosses many, many lines, beyond a red line, many, many lines,” he warned.“I will tell you, it’s already happened, that my attitude towards Syria and Assad has changed very much… You’re now talking about a whole different level.”Trump did not go into detail about what any US response to the atrocity would be—and he has previously opposed deeper US military involvement in Syria’s civil war.Rethink supportThe US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, warned of unilateral action and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urged Russia to rethink its support for Assad.“There is no doubt in our mind that the Syrian regime under the leadership of Bashar al-Assad is responsible for this horrific attack,” Tillerson told reporters.“And we think it is time for the Russians to really think carefully about their continuing support for the Assad regime.”Tillerson is due in Moscow next week for talks that will now be clouded by the Khan Sheikhun controversy.At the United Nations, Haley was equally forthright.“When the United Nations consistently fails in its duty to act collectively, there are times in the life of states that we are compelled to take our own action,” she said.The warning came during an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council called by France and Britain after the attack.Haley, lashing out at Russia for failing to rein in its ally Syria, showed photographs of lifeless children choked in the attack.“How many more children have to die before Russia cares?” she demanded. “If Russia has the influence in Syria that it claims to have, we need to see them use it.”‘Categorically unacceptable’Britain, France and the United States have presented a draft resolution demanding a full investigation of the attack.Russia—along with Iran—is Syria’s main diplomatic and military partner. And Moscow, true to form, said the draft text was “categorically unacceptable.”Failure to agree on a compromise text could prompt Russia to use its veto to block the draft resolution. Moscow has used its veto seven times to shield Syria from UN action.The Western-backed draft text backs a probe by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and demands Syria provide information on its operations.Russia’s deputy ambassador Vladimir Safronkov told the UN council that the proposed resolution was hastily prepared and unnecessary, but voiced support for an inquiry.“The main task now is to have an objective inquiry into what happened,” he said.Russia turned up at negotiations with a rival draft resolution that made no reference to specific demands that Damascus cooperate with an inquiry, diplomats said.Negotiations were continuing on the draft text and diplomats said there would not be a vote before Thursday at the earliest.“We are talking about war crimes here, war crimes on a large scale, war crimes with chemical weapons,” said French Ambassador Francois Delattre.The British ambassador, Matthew Rycroft, told reporters he hoped council members would agree on a draft resolution by Thursday, but vowed to press for a vote regardless.Moscow, which launched a military intervention in 2015 in support of Assad’s forces, defended the government against accusations of responsibility for the attack.It claimed the deaths were caused when a Syrian strike hit a “terrorist warehouse” for bombs containing “toxic substances” and pledged to maintain its military support for Assad.Western experts have dismissed this claim as implausible, given the scale and nature of the casualties.And a senior State Department official said: “Anyone with common sense and the ability to look at pictures knows that what the Russians are saying about the depot is not true.”‘A gas so lethal’Doctors said victims showed symptoms consistent with the use of a nerve agent such as sarin—suspected to have been used by government forces in deadly attacks outside Damascus in 2013.US officials have not said what kind of agent they think was used, but Trump said it was “a chemical gas that is so lethal, people were shocked to hear what gas it was.”If confirmed, the attack would be among the worst incidents of chemical weapons use in Syria’s civil war, which has killed over 320,000 people since it began in March 2011.Syria officially relinquished its chemical arsenal and signed the Chemical Weapons Convention in 2013 to avert military action after it was accused of an attack outside Damascus that killed hundreds.But there have been repeated allegations of chemical weapons use since.last_img read more

3 Ways Intelligent Automation Can Help Grow Your Business

first_img Register Now » February 15, 2018 3 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. You can stop trying to imagine the future of A.I. because, believe it or not, the future is here. While robots aren’t yet walking our dogs or doing our grocery shopping, A.I. certainly is a growing presence in the business world. The growth in this industry is astounding.In fact, most of the top 100 artificial intelligence startups are based in the US. This means that the trends for intelligent automation are becoming increasingly visible. But what is intelligent automation?It is specially designed software that detects products or objects in images, pulls data from documents or manipulates information. These software robots have been trained to complete tasks that have a “human” quality. They can adapt and learn the more they work.Now that you know what it is, let’s talk about three ways intelligent automation can help your business:1. Increase productivityImagine a 25-percent increase in staff productivity. That’s what a restaurant in labor-short Singapore expected when they implemented their new “flying waiters.” These drones are designed to deliver plates to diners while the employees perform other tasks.This is just one example of the opportunities to increase your employees’ productivity using RPA, or robotic process automation. Using these software robots, your basic business computing can be done efficiently, freeing up your employees for the non-repetitive and more creative tasks.While you are imagining the many ways you can increase your business’s productivity, don’t forget about the common human errors you can avoid.Related: AI Is Taking the Art Out of Sales2. Reduce common human errorsAs more businesses turn to automation in an effort to relieve their human workers of repetitive tasks, they are also avoiding many common human errors, making these businesses much more efficient.Software robots can learn and adapt far more efficiently than most human workers. In chatbot programs, for example, this feature is especially helpful for standard customer service needs.The chatbots continuously gather information as they are used, and they use that information to help your customers.With the increasing availability of intelligent automation, what return can you expect to see on your investment?Related: Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg Are Arguing About AI — But They’re Both Missing the Point3. Improve your ROINow that you have implemented software robots for tasks that you no longer need employees to do, imagine the possibilities for the return on your investment.You hire fewer employees and pay less in salaries, wages, training, and benefits.You invest in the automated software and equipment and outsource your maintenance.With increased productivity and reduced human errors, your average costs for the same work will be much less, which can exponentially increase your return. What business owner wouldn’t want that?Related: Elon Musk Says Mark Zuckerberg’s Understanding of AI Is ‘Limited’ After the Facebook CEO Called His Warnings ‘Irresponsible’Now that you’ve learned how these trends can help grow your business, what’s next? To move forward, discover ways to adapt intelligent automation into your business. Do your research, invest in the technology and watch your business grow. Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Globallast_img read more