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Text of statement by Ontario PC Leader Patrick Brown

first_imgHere is the text of Ontario Progressive Leader Patrick Brown’s statement to the media Wednesday night.———“Ladies and gentlemen.A couple of hours ago, I learned of troubling allegations about my conduct and character.I’m here tonight to address them.First, I want to say: these allegations are false. Every one of them.I will defend myself as hard as I can, with all the means at my disposal.I can’t speculate on the motive of my accusers, I can only say they what they are saying is categorically untrue.It’s never ok for anyone to feel they have been a victim of sexual harassment or feel threatened in any way.Let me make this clear.A safe and respectful society is what we expect and deserve.We need to move forward to eradicate sexual violence and harassment across the province – across the country. Everywhere.I know that the court of public opinion moves fast. I have instructed my attorneys to ensure that these allegations are addressed where they should be: in a court of law.In short, I reject these accusation in the strongest possible terms.”last_img read more

UN mission credits Afghan election authorities for keeping polls on track

Some 17 million ballot papers and nearly 100,000 ballot boxes have been safely and securely delivered across the country, with full credit going to the Independent Election Commission (IEC), Aleem Siddique, spokesperson for the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), told a news conference in Kabul.“Meanwhile we have seen candidates campaigning across the country – this is encouraging,” said Mr. Siddique, adding that voters “deserve a choice of not only who will lead the country but where they will lead them and Afghanistan.”More than 40 presidential candidates, including two women, are running for the nation’s top post while over 3,000 Afghans are competing for provincial council seats during the 20 August elections, which are being organized by the Afghan IEC. Mr. Siddique urged Afghans to pay careful attention to each candidate’s platform and to refuse any attempt to subvert their democratic will, encouraging them to report attempts to defraud the election to the authorities, who will deploy thousands international and national election observers to monitor conduct at the polls.“Who you vote for is between you and your ballot paper – no one else will know who you voted for,” he said. “Vote for your country, vote for your family.”Underscoring the important role played by Government security institutions and the international military forces, Mr. Siddique said that voters must have “confidence so that they can vote without fear, without intimidation, and in safety.” 27 July 2009With the fraught task of distributing millions of voting slips to thousands of polling stations successfully completed and campaign rallies in full swing, the United Nations mission in Afghanistan today praised the country’s election authorities for staying on schedule with preparations for the upcoming national and regional elections. read more

Timorese leader at UN calls on Asia to lead the way on

25 September 2010Timorese President José Ramos-Horta today exhorted his fellow Asians to take the lead on tackling climate change, telling the General Assembly that his continent needs a common agenda to promote sustainable development, environmental protection and better land and water management. Mr. Ramos-Horta told the third day of the Assembly’s high-level debate that almost a year after countries failed to reach lasting agreement at a major summit in Copenhagen, there was a danger that no meaningful action will be taken and the planet’s health will deteriorate rapidly.“If we don’t act now, in a few decades many hundreds of millions of fellow Asians will be uprooted and become climate refugees exacerbating existing tensions and conflicts,” he said.“We will kill each other over water, land and energy resources in addition to the decades-old border conflicts, religious and ethnic tensions and regional rivalries that have plagued our region.”The leader of Timor-Leste said Asia has the financial reserves as well as the collective scientific and technological expertise among its economists, planners, managers, scholars and designers to seriously confront the problems caused by climate change.“Hence we call for an Asian common agenda on sustainable development anchored on environmental protection and recovery, on land and water management, health and education for all, on poverty and illiteracy education.”Mr. Ramos-Horta said Asians needed to stop playing the “blame game” and realize that innovation and greater investment in renewable energy are the only viable options for improving the environment.“Asians must show greater wisdom and launch clean cities campaign everywhere, in every city, every town; we must stop commercial logging and the continuing destruction of our forests; we must replant, put back the hundreds of millions of trees that out of necessity or greed we took away from the soil and thus cause desertification, soil erosion, floods, landslides.“We must stop dumping plastics and all forms of non-degradable material into our lakes, rivers and seas that destroy our rich coral life and fish stocks. We must turn waste into clean energy; we must stop wasting water.” read more

CMHC to axe 215 jobs in restructuring but add risk management and

OTTAWA — The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. is cutting 215 jobs in a reorganization of the Crown corporation, which provides mortgage loan insurance and market statistics.The federal agency said Friday the employees have been declared surplus and will see their jobs disappear at both CMHC’s head office in Ottawa and its regional operations.However, CMHC says it is adding to its staff in risk management and information technology, so the organization will only see a “small net reduction” in its overall staffing levels.According to CMHC’s 2013 annual report, it had roughly 1,900 employees.Former investment banker Evan Siddall took over as chief executive at CMHC earlier this year.The cuts follow a review by CMHC of its business and how it is organized. The organization said the new structure will result in more efficient processes.“The goal of the organizational design process is to build a better CMHC,” the federal agency said in a statement.“This meant looking at all the activities we do in both regions and at national office to determine if they are being done most effectively or if they should be done at all.” read more

Family of speedboat killer Jack Shepherd targeted with threatening letter lawyer claims

Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. “It was about Jack. It was dangerous and caused psychological terror.“They feel that their son will be in a dangerous situation in the United Kingdom.“They do not feel safe, there is the letter but what will be the next step?“Today and tomorrow we cannot enter the prison is closed, I will not tell him – it is better for him not to know about it.”She added that Shepherd had not faced any hostility since entering into custody in Georgia.“Nobody has pushed him or anything or made it dangerous,” she said. Relatives of Jack Shepherd, the speedboat killer, have received a “threatening letter” from an anonymous sender, his lawyer in Georgia has claimed.The 31-year-old is currently facing extradition to the UK after absconding ahead of his trial over the death of Charlotte Brown, who died in a speedboat crash in 2015.Mariam Kublashvili, who has represented the fugitive since his arrest in Tbilisi last month, wrote online: “Jack Shepherd’s family just let me know (they) received another anonimous (sic) threatening letter. The letter is abusive and offensive.”Shepherd’s family are based in Devon, where he grew up, and have not spoken publicly about the case before.The web designer was subject to a 10-month international manhunt after being convicted in absentia for the manslaughter by gross negligence of Ms Brown, whom he had taken on his boat during a date.News of the purported threat comes after Shepherd’s lawyer in the UK also claimed to have received intimidating messages due to his involvement in the case.Ms Kublashvili told The Telegraph that Shepherd had not been informed of the threat to his family, which happened on Saturday. She said: “They are afraid, they feel in danger. I know they received it at home. read more

Man climbs Mount Everest to make firstever 3G call and tweet from

first_imgIt’s official, the world’s highest mountain has seen its first tweet and its first phone call thanks to a 3G network, a Samsung Galaxy S II, and a guy named Kenton Cool. That’s right, he’s so cool, he has the word in his name. The English mountaineer had climbed Everest eight times, however, Cool had never climbed the 29,029-foot mountain with a smartphone on his person before. Of course, and as you can see in the video below, this little stunt was sponsored by Samsung.In a video from BBC News, Mr. Cool said he decided to make this his ninth climb because he wanted to prove that 3G radio worked at the highest place on earth.Back in October of 2010, Ncell, a mobile operator in Nepal, installed the first 3G station at Everest’s base camp. The goal was to bring online services to the people of Nepal and the mountaineers who ordinarily have to carry around cumbersome satellite phones or nothing at all.Cool tweeted from the summit, thanking both a weak 3G signal and Samsung’s Galaxy phone for giving him the change to make this small step forward for mankind.The guy’s certainly good with his product placement. It’s just too bad that AT&T didn’t jump on-board so they could deliver the ultimate insult to Verizon in the form of the world’s best “Can you hear me now” commercial.Via RegHardwarelast_img read more

This wont be the first time Conor McGregor has defied the odds

first_imgThis won’t be the first time Conor McGregor has defied the odds John Kavanagh writes exclusively for The42 ahead of Conor McGregor’s clash with Floyd Mayweather. Share95 Tweet Email Raiders quarterback Derek Carr becomes the highest paid player in NFL historyIreland become full Test-playing nation after landmark ICC vote in London A lot of very experienced and respected boxers have been in touch to offer their help for this training camp, but we’re keeping our cards close to our chest for now at least.There will be sparring with guys we’re already familiar with but we will also be bringing in some guys who I think people will be impressed with. But I’ll leave it to Conor to reveal that, should he choose to do so.Many of the questions I’ve been receiving over the past week have focused on when Conor will fight in the UFC again. My expectation is that it will happen this year, although it’s always difficult to predict what Conor is going to do next.If he goes in there and knocks out Mayweather in the first round, there will probably be talk of rematches and stuff like that. But the tentative plan, as I see it, is certainly for a fight in the UFC in December. But in the meantime we’re completely focused on boxing and Floyd Mayweather.I believe we have a number of advantages going into this fight. Often, people who are experts in a certain field will tell you that it can actually be more awkward to deal with somebody who’s not from the same field. They’d rather deal with the top contender from their own discipline because he’ll move in a way that you assume he’ll move.Mayweather has been in the boxing world for his entire career and everyone he’s faced has moved in a certain way that he’s pre-conditioned to handle. Now he’s going up against a guy who doesn’t follow any set patterns, who can deploy a variety of different styles of fighting and is not one bit intimidated. Conor is — as we all are here — 100% confident in victory. That kind of person is very difficult to deal with. Floyd Mayweather Source: PA Wire/PA ImagesWhen we went to Sweden for Conor’s UFC debut in 2013, if we had said then that he is going to be a champion simultaneously in two UFC divisions in three years’ time, people may have seen that as a less realistic goal than fighting Floyd Mayweather one day. Yet here we are.The fact that he has constantly been written off is never going to change. Conor could beat Mayweather and people will say: “Yeah, but he hasn’t fought Manny Pacquaio yet.”There’s a running theme with his career where firstly an idea will seem ridiculous, secondly it’s eventually accepted, and then finally people will come up with a new challenge which apparently he’ll never be able to overcome. We’re used to it now and that’s fine with us.We’re not going over to Las Vegas to make up the numbers on 26 August. When this contest takes place, we’ll be 100% ready — physically and mentally — and nothing other than victory will be acceptable.We’re looking forward to shocking the world — again. Short URL By John Kavanagh 65 Comments Jun 22nd 2017, 9:30 PM Thursday 22 Jun 2017, 9:30 PM 34,745 Views ON ONE OF my first trips to Las Vegas with Conor McGregor, probably back in 2014, I recall him mentioning the possibility of a fight against Floyd Mayweather. Straight Blast Gym head coach John Kavanagh. Source: Gary Carr/INPHOI stopped doubting him a long time ago at this stage, but I remember at the time laughing it off as nothing more than a novel idea that could never possibly become a reality.Now here we are and it’s just over nine weeks away. It’s pretty incredible what’s happened in such a short space of time. But it’s great and my excitement for this is increasing with each passing day. It’s hard not to feel that way when you’re around Conor. His enthusiasm is infectious.Last Friday I received the keys to a new unit which we’ve transformed into a custom boxing gym, which is located near our regular Straight Blast Gym base on the Naas Road. By Monday the place had been cleaned, a competition ring was installed, as well as a bag area.We’re in the midst of three good weeks of training here in Ireland, before departing for Las Vegas in mid-July. I believe there will be quite a large media world tour squeezed in there as well.You may have caught a glimpse of the interior of the gym on social media over the last few days, as I arranged for a large mural to be painted just behind the ring by the people at Subset.ie. It depicts Conor landing a left hand on Mayweather.I wanted to put something suitable on the wall because Conor is a big believer in visualisation and manifesting what you can conceive into reality. That’s the shot we believe will win the fight for Conor and it’s now there for us to see whenever we train. https://the42.ie/3458507 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Over 28600 people waiting on driving test date but RSA says backlog

first_imgOver 28,600 people waiting on driving test date – but RSA says backlog is improving The longest wait times in the country are in Churchtown, Mallow, Skibereen, Sligo, Tralee and Wicklow. Image: Shutterstock/shutterupeire Image: Shutterstock/shutterupeire By Christina Finn I flagged this with the Minister ahead of the introduction of that legislation, but the response has been completely inadequate. https://jrnl.ie/4518992 Short URL 12,780 Views This situation has been ongoing for a long time and it is completely unacceptable that this hasn’t been resolved to date.Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast this morning, RSA’s Moyagh Murdock, said the backlog is improving.“We have been recruiting and that has now started to pay dividends and we are seeing a very rapid improvement in the numbers,” she said.“Over the last three or four weeks since we have had almost all of those new testers trained up and fully operational we’re making big inroads into the actual waiting lists.have been recruiting that is now starting to pay dividends.”Murdoch said the average wait time is now below ten weeks, but added that there are a “couple of hotspots” around the country where wait times are longer. She said the RSA tries to deploy testers to those areas, but added that recruitment has struggled in Cork and Kerry regions. center_img Recently introduced legislation which has imposed new penalties on those allowing their cars to be used by unaccompanied learner drivers has presumably led to an increase in those seeking to obtain a full licence. Friday 1 Mar 2019, 11:04 AM 43 Comments MORE THAN 28,600 people are waiting to get their driving test date.The figures obtained by Sinn Féin’s Imelda Munster have been branded “completely unacceptable” by the TD. Despite the Road Safety Authority’s (RSA) target to have a national average waiting time of no longer than ten weeks, in many areas people are waiting up to seven months. The longest wait times in the country are in Churchtown, Mallow, Skibereen, Sligo, Tralee and Wicklow, which are around 6 months.“The main factor causing this is that there are nowhere near enough testers todeal with the demand,” said Munster, who added that a significant number of testers have retired in recent years. She said minister needs to support the RSA in recruiting significant numbers of newtesters to cope with demand. Munster added:  Mar 1st 2019, 11:04 AM Share14 Tweet Email4 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Tax return payments halted

first_imgThe government has decided to stop tax returns and other obligation payments to enterprises, salary workers and pensioners as it sees the budget deficit soaring to over 10 per cent of gross domestic product for 2011. The Finance Ministry is desperately seeking ways to contain the fiscal deficit that has swollen due to additional grants to social security funds totalling 0.5-0.9 per cent of GDP and due to the lagging of public revenues in the year’s first 11 months. Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos and his alternate, Filippos Sachinidis, met this week with the other high-level ministry officials, and agreed to issue an order to the country’s tax authorities to immediately stop paying tax returns to taxpayers, companies and state suppliers. They also decided to promote a new regulation at the start of 2012 allowing for old debts to be paid in 60 instalments, at a minimum sum of 300 euros each, in an effort to bring more revenues into the state coffers. Provisional figures for the first 10 days of December showed that public revenues remained at low levels, although a pleasant surprise came in the form of the special property tax paid through electricity bills. This revenue has exceeded expectations, although a share of that will have to be returned owing to errors made in calculating the tax for certain property owners. Under these circumstances, state revenues are expected to lag the revised target for 2011 by a considerable 1.5 billion euros at least, while the excess on the expenditure side will be calculated after the amount granted to the social security funds is established. The only way to reduce the damage done to the 2011 budget by insufficient revenues is through further cuts to the Public Investment Program, but even then the deficit will be impossible to bring below 10 per cent of GDP. Sachinidis admitted in parliament that both the government and its creditors have failed in their estimates for Greece’s macroeconomics this year, saying that this was also down to the financial program followed. Source: Kathimerini Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

UM student arrested for using stolen credit card numbers to pay tuition

first_imgMIAMI (WSVN) – A University of Miami student has been accused of using stolen credit card numbers to pay his tuition.Twenty-two-year-old Zhaosen Zhang was detained after a woman called police when she noticed a $6,000 charge on her account, Thursday.The 22-year-old, who is an international student from China, has since been charged with grand theft and identity theft.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Can money pave way for peace in Trumps Mideast plan

first_imgSecretary of State Mike Pompeo, right, walk with Shihad Al Faheem, Assistant Foreign Ministry Undersecretary for Protocol Affairs, to his plane as Pompeo departs Abu Dhabi. Photo: ReutersMore than two years after US president Donald Trump first proposed a plan to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, its first phase will be formally unveiled on Tuesday at an economic workshop in Bahrain.The ‘Peace to Prosperity’ economic summit to encourage investment in the Palestinian Territories was billed as the first part of the White House’s broader political plan to end the conflict.Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, the plan’s main architect, gave Reuters an exclusive preview of the economic proposals on Saturday.But the White House’s economic prospectus makes no mention of Palestinian statehood. And little has so far been revealed about the later political stage of the plan, which will have to address this and other issues that have defied decades of efforts by previous peacemakers.These issues include:-The status of Jerusalem – which includes sites sacred to Judaism, Islam and Christianity-Establishing mutually agreed borders.-Finding security arrangements to satisfy Israel’s fears of attacks by Palestinians and hostile neighbors.-Addressing Palestinians demands for statehood, and an end to Israel’s decades-old occupation of the Palestinian Territories.-Finding a solution to the plight of millions of Palestinian refugees.-Arrangements to share scarce natural resources, such as water.-Palestinian demands that Israel remove settlements in which more than 400,000 Israelis now live among roughly 3 million Palestinians in the West Bank, with another 200,000 settlers in East Jerusalem.What do we know about the plan?The ‘Peace to Prosperity’ workshop in Manama will take an “economy first” approach to a political and religious conflict.This reflects either a refreshingly pragmatic approach, or the business roots of its New York architects, depending on whether you talk to supporters or critics.It calls for a $50 billion investment fund to boost the Palestinian and neighboring Arab state economies, according to documents reviewed by Reuters.Among the 179 proposed infrastructure and business projects is a $5 billion transportation corridor to connect the West Bank and Gaza.More than half of the $50 billion would be spent in the Palestinian territories over 10 years.The rest would be divided between neighboring Lebanon, Egypt – whose Sinai peninsula adjoins Gaza – and Jordan, the country which has absorbed more Palestinians than any other, and fears anything that might lead to their permanent settlement there.Who will pay?The Trump administration hopes that others – principally wealthy Gulf states and private investors – will foot much of the bill.What are its chances?Expectations are low – there will be nobody from the Israeli or Palestinian governments at a workshop devoted to promoting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.And the economic revival plan would be implemented only if a political solution to one of the world’s most intractable conflicts is reached.The last peace talks collapsed in 2014, but hopes were low even then after two Palestinian uprisings in the last three decades, Israeli settlement expansion and the rise to power of Hamas – an armed Islamist movement that remains implacably opposed to Israel’s existence.What’s new?Kushner and Trump’s Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt are seeking a deal that could unlock prosperity for the Palestinians and security for Israel.But some of the economic proposals have been floated before – such as the transportation corridor linking Gaza and the West Bank – and stalled for lack of underlying political or security agreements.The elephant in the room is whether the Trump administration’s talk of a new approach is code for an abandonment of the two-state solution – the long-standing international formula to bring about peace by creating an independent Palestinian state living side-by-side with Israel.The United Nations and most nations around the world back the two-state solution and it has underpinned every peace plan for decades. But the Trump team has consistently refused to commit to it.What are the Israelis saying?Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would listen to the US plan, but restated his long-held position that his country must retain a presence in the Jordan Valley, the strategic and fertile easternmost strip of the Israeli-occupied West Bank that borders Jordan.”We’ll hear the American proposition, hear it fairly and with openness. And I cannot understand how the Palestinians, before they even heard the plan, reject it outright,” Netanyahu said on Sunday.”Under any peace agreement our position will be that Israel’s presence should continue here, for Israel’s security and for the security of all,” he said. Palestinians say that the Jordan Valley, nearly 30 per cent of the West Bank, would be a vital part of their future state, as the breadbasket of the West Bank and its external border with Jordan.What are the Palestinians saying?President Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority and Palestine Liberation Organization have refused to deal with the Trump administration for 18 months, accusing it of bias toward Israel. They are boycotting Bahrain and on Sunday, Abbas said that solely economic solutions were a non-starter.”Money is important. The economy is important. But politics are more important. The political solution is more important,” he said.”We welcome all those who wish to help us, whether it be in Manama or anywhere else. But for now, we reject the deal of the century.””What have the Americans proposed that is original? 50 or 60 billion dollars? We are used to this kind of nonsense. Let’s not lie to each other. We’ll see if anyone lives long enough to see that $50 billion or $60 billion come.”Ismail Rudwan, a spokesman for Hamas, said: “Palestine isn’t for sale”.What are others saying?Nathan Thrall, Director of the Israel/Palestine Project, International Crisis Group:“It doesn’t stand a chance because the Palestinians won’t even attend, and the Arab states have very limited room for maneuver in terms of how much they can betray the Palestinians on the core issues.”They are betraying the Palestinians just in the very fact of their growing closeness to Israel, but to betray the Palestinians on something like the Arab position on Jerusalem or on refugees, that is something that, at least in 2019, is still unthinkable.”Abdulrahman al-Rashed, former general manager of Al Arabiya TV:“Many will say “It’s NOT the economy, stupid”, those against will demand a political solution based on establishing a Palestinian state. However, I believe economy is important and we were never short of political solutions. Building roads and bridges will bridge political differences.”Aaron David Miller, former Middle East negotiator for US Republican and Democratic administrations:“I can’t tell you how many times while working on the Arab-Israeli negotiations over the course of a 20-year period, I’ve had Middle East proposals for Middle East “Marshall plans” cross my desk. The reality is that both in sequence and in scope it’s very problematic to use economic incentives – development, trade, assistance, even institution-building, without first obviously addressing the core political needs and requirements of peoples in conflict.”Lebanon’s parliament speaker Nabih Berri:“The only investment that will not find fertile ground in Lebanon is any investment that comes at the expense of the Palestinian cause and the right of return… Mr. Kushner, the Lebanese will not be partners in selling Palestine.”Jared Kushner, White House senior adviser:”There’ll be praise from some places, there’ll be criticism from some places, hopefully it will be constructive. I always prefer having people share what they’re for as opposed to what they’re against and if people have constructive criticism, we’ll welcome it and we’ll try and make modifications but the hope is that we can bring all of the different people together from Europe, from Asia, from the Middle East, and agree this would be a good path forward if we’re able to resolve the political issues.”Is now a good time?The timing is certainly complicated.Official US- Israeli relations are at a zenith, with Trump and Netanyahu the closest of allies.But US-Palestinian relations are close to an all-time nadir after Trump’s 2017 decisions to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.Abbas has said Washington could no longer be regarded as an honest broker in any peace talks with Israel.The Middle East is preoccupied by events in the Gulf, amid fears that tensions between the US and its Sunni Arab allies on one side and Shi’ite Iran on the other could escalate into hostilities likely to threaten oil revenues and regional stability.And both Trump and Netanyahu face election campaigns – Trump for re-election, and Netanyahu because he failed to put together a governing coalition in an election in April.Why Bahrain?With Israel, the West Bank and Gaza out of the question for political and security reasons, the Trump administration needed a safe space somewhere in the region.Bahrain is a US ally, can host a major event, and is home to the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet.The Four Seasons hotel, where the two-day event will be held lies on an island connected to the mainland by only one bridge. This allows the authorities to control security in an island state that has seen political unrest for years.When will the political plan be revealed?Nobody knows for sure, and the Trump team hasn’t committed to a date.Greenblatt said it could be delayed until November because Israel is headed for an election in September – its second in six months.Kushner told Reuters: “Our thought was that it was better to put the economic plan first. It’s less controversial. Let’s let people study it, give feedback.”While its precise outlines have yet to be revealed, Palestinian and Arab sources who have been briefed on the draft political plan, fear that it seeks to bribe Palestinians into accepting Israeli occupation of the West Bank, a prelude to Israel annexing about half the territory and leaving them with scattered cantons.Who is going to Bahrain?US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will be the highest-ranking member of the American delegation, which will also include Kushner and Greenblatt.Israel is expected to send a business delegation but no government officials.Jordan and Egypt both said they will attend, but not at a senior level. Each is sending a deputy finance minister. As the only Arab states to have reached peace agreements with Israel, it was important for the Americans to have them present.A senior Trump administration official said that China had still not confirmed whether it would send a representative, but that Kirill Dmitriev, the head of Russia’s sovereign wealth fund was planning to attend.However the Foreign Ministry in Moscow has been critical of the workshop, issuing a statement last month that it was “unacceptable to divert the Middle East peace process from the international legal framework.”The International Monetary Fund, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the World Bank said they planned to take part.Most Gulf states have not confirmed who they are sending. The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia plan to attend, but assured the Palestinians they would not endorse a plan that fails to meet their main demands.The Saudi team will include economy minister Mohammed al-Tuwaijri and sovereign wealth fund Public Investment Fund (PIF) chairman Yasir al-Rumayyan. The PIF has not been asked to commit any money, according to a source familiar with the plan.Kuwaiti media have said that Kuwait would be represented on a technical, and not political level, most likely a finance ministry official.US officials said Morocco will attend, but it has not confirmed. Foreign minister Nasser Bourita said Morocco remains attached to a two-state solution that guarantees the setting up of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.The United Nations is sending Jamie McGoldrick, the U.N. humanitarian coordinator in the Gaza Strip, West Bank and East Jerusalem. But on the same day that Bahrain opens, the U.N. agency UNRWA, which deals with Palestinian refugees, holds its annual pledging conference in New York. The US has cut all funding to UNRWA.Who isn’t going?Palestinian political leaders have said they will stay away. Many Palestinian business leaders have also said they will boycott.One exception is Ashraf Jabari, from Hebron, who has close ties to Israeli settler groups. A US official told Reuters that at least 15 Palestinians were expected to attend.Lebanon and Iraq are not attending.last_img read more

Tonight AFROs First Edition with Sean Yoes Wednesday Dec 7 From 57

first_imgListen at WEAA Live Stream: http://amber.streamguys.com.4020/live.m3uA full hour with, “The Mod Squad,” Taya Graham and Stephen Janis of The Real News Network, reporting on law enforcement and politics, including thoughts on the possible closure of beleaguered Renaissance Academy, the inauguration of Catherine Pugh as Mayor of Baltimore and the possible razing of historic Lexington Market. Baltimore Sun education reporter Erica Green also joins the conversation.These stories and much more on AFRO’s First Edition with Sean Yoes, Monday through Friday, 5-7 p.m.last_img read more

Lego Minecraft Micro World available for preorder

first_imgLego Minecraft got official last month when concept development started on the final product. Less than a month later and the final kit has been completed along with an official name being chosen: Lego Minecraft Micro World (LMMM).The LWMM set will consist of 480 pieces, and allows you to create your very own Minecraft landscape consisting of four cubic units. You can pull those modules apart to reveal mines and resources below ground. You also get Steve and the Creeper as characters to place on your landscape.The designers, consisting of four Lego fans, the Lego Cuusoo team, and Lego designer Steen Sig Andersen, ended up deciding on a 1×1 tile design because it, “packs the most Minecraft DNA into the model per LEGO brick.” The images released clearly show this was the right choice.As it’s a standard, modular set, there’s nothing to stop you buying multiple LMMMs and making larger Minecraft landscapes. The only limit is how many you can afford as they will cost $34.99 each. Pre-ordering is now possible with the kits being offered exclusively through JINX until launch. The pre-order process does require you to become a fan of Lego Minecraft on Facebook, which seems an odd thing to require for those people who don’t want to sign-up to Facebook.If you don’t want to pre-order, then Lego Minecraft will also be available in Lego retail stores and through the official Lego online store this summer. For now, just start planning what landscape you want to create in the actual game in time for when the Lego kit launches.Read more at the Lego Cuusoo Bloglast_img read more

Costa Rica extradites Liberty Reserve defendant Maxim Chukharev to US

first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rican arrested in Spain for alleged financial crimes Spain court approves extradition of Liberty Reserve founder to US Founder of Costa Rica-based Liberty Reserve extradited to face US charges Liberty Reserve founder Arthur Budovsky pleads guilty to money laundering charges See below for story updatesAt 11:45 a.m. on Thursday, Costa Rican authorities escorted a handcuffed Maxim Chukharev on to United flight 1081, bound for Newark, New Jersey. Chukharev, 27, will face trial in the United States along with four other co-defendants for his alleged role in what U.S. prosecutors say is the largest money laundering scandal in history.U.S. prosecutors accuse executives at the Costa Rica-based online currency company Liberty Reserve, shuttered in May 2013, of helping launder $6 billion over seven years. They said Liberty Reserve served as “the bank of choice for the criminal underworld” since it started up in Costa Rica in 2006. Chukharev is a Russian expat and does not have citizenship here. Two co-defendants named in the indictment, Ahmed Yassine Abdelghani and Allan Esteban Hidalgo, are Costa Rican citizens and have not been arrested in the case.Vladimir Kats, 41, was arrested in New York and pled guilty in October. Chukharev’s lawyers had appealed a judge’s ruling to grant the extradition, and his attorney said she had not been notified of the judge’s decision to extradite her client. Chukharev was awoken early this morning in his jail cell and taken to the Juan Santamaría International Airport, outside San José, by Costa Rican officials. His lawyer, his parents and the Russian ambassador to Costa Rica were denied access to him. Dina and Igor Chukharev at the Juan Santamaría International Airport outside of San José on Thursday, March 27, 2014. The Chukharevs arrived at the airport to talk to their son, Maxim, who was extradited to the U.S. Thursday morning. They were unsuccessful. Alberto Font/The Tico TimesUpdate, Thursday, March 27, 4:40 p.m.: Following are comments from Chukharev’s parents, Russian Ambassador to Costa Rica Alexander Dogadin, and U.S. Embassy spokesman Eric TurnerHuddled near a wall at the Juan Santamaría International Airport Thursday morning, Chukharev’s parents, Igor and Dina, his attorney, and Russian Ambassador to Costa Rica Alexander Dogadin, expressed frustration and outrage that Costa Rican officials had not informed them of the pending extradition. Nor were any of them allowed to speak with Chukharev before the United Airlines flight departed shortly before noon.“We were awakened early this morning by a call from Max’s cellmates, who told us, ‘They took Max,’” Chukharev’s father, Igor, told The Tico Times. “We couldn’t believe it, because the Russian Embassy had promised us that he wouldn’t be extradited without our knowledge.”Dina, Chukharev’s mother, added: “If his cellmates hadn’t called us, we wouldn’t have even known Maxim was out of the country. How could Costa Rica do this?”Dressed in a gray suit, Ambassador Dogadin also sped to the airport when he received the news, and tried to meet with Chukharev, but was prevented by the United Airlines pilot from boarding the plane.“My reaction, as a human being, is that this is a deplorable situation,” Dogadin said. “What worries me most is that the decision to carry out the extradition completely ignored our embassy, because we weren’t notified. This is not how things are done. There are legal rules and obligations that govern bilateral relations. And it is very sad that Maxim didn’t have the opportunity to at least say goodbye to his parents, and we who represent his country were unable to gain access to him. We will certainly be releasing an official statement regarding this incident.”Chukharev’s attorney, who asked that her name not be published, said she was prevented from seeing her client by Costa Rican authorities, and never received official notification that his extradition had been granted.The Tico Times contacted a spokeswoman for Costa Rica’s judicial branch, who was unaware that Chukharev had been extradited. The spokeswoman said she would return our call with more information later in the day. We will publish those comments as soon as we receive them.U.S. Embassy Information Officer Eric Turner told The Tico Times, “We followed all of our normal rules and procedures for extraditions. He [Chukharev] was sent to the States to face the charges against him. We handle these sorts of cases regularly.”The original story continues here:Liberty Reserve founder Arthur Budovsky, 40, also awaits extradition from Spain.The seven defendants are accused of three felony charges of conspiracy to commit money-laundering, conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business, and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business. Although the last two charges do not exist in Costa Rica’s Penal Code, together the three charges carry a maximum sentence of 30 years in U.S. federal prison. According to Costa Rican legal experts, Chukharev only can be extradited on the first count, conspiracy to commit money laundering, which is a crime in Costa Rica. Russian Ambassador to Costa Rica Alexander Dogadin, left, talks to Maxim Chukharev’s parents, Dina and Igor, on Thursday, March 27, 2014, shortly after Maxim was extradited to the United States to face money laundering conspiracy charges in the Liberty Reserve online currency case. Alberto Font/The Tico TimesUpdates continue here:Chukharev does not have an attorney in the U.S., and likely will be assigned a public defender, his Costa Rica-based attorney said.Last weekend, in what he said was an “act of protest against the violations of my human rights committed by Costa Rica,” Chukharev took a string of dental floss and a needle and sewed his lips shut. He then took a blade and sliced open his stomach. The injuries were not life-threatening, and Chukharev refused to be transported to a hospital.In a conversation with The Tico Times last Saturday, Chukharev said he was preparing several documents to “tell the press” his rights “had been violated,” a reference both to prison conditions and to the judicial proceedings against him. He did not describe those specific allegations, and The Tico Times was in the process of arranging a visit to Chukarev in prison this week.Meanwhile, standing in the airport parking lot with a bundle of his son’s possessions wrapped in a blue prison sheet, Igor shrugged his shoulders and asked, “What can we do?”Recommended: A Russian patsy or high-tech criminal?Read all of our stories on the Liberty Reserve case at hashtag #LibertyReserve Facebook Commentslast_img read more

The South African Tourism Roadshow kicked off this

first_imgThe South African Tourism Roadshow kicked off this week in Perth with almost 200 local travel agents in attendance. This year’s roadshows are being hosted by South African comedian and South African Tourism ambassador, Urzila Carlson.Throughout Australia and New Zealand 1000 agents are expected to take part in the roadshow this year when it heads to Brisbane (10 October), Sydney (11 October), Auckland (16 October) and Melbourne (18 October).Urzila Carlson will take attendees on an interactive and educational journey of South Africa, as they travel across the provinces to learn about the country’s food and wine, culture and experiences including going on safari to spot the Big 5 amongst the unique South African wildlife.Destination highlights will be showcased through a series of videos featuring Urzila following her recent trip to South Africa. South African operators ranging from local tourism boards to hotels and 10 Australian and New Zealand wholesalers will also be on hand to provide agents with their insight and product knowledge.South African Tourism partnered with airline partner, South African Airways (SAA) to facilitate the travelling roadshow.At Perth’s opening event, two lucky agents won a spot on a familiarisation trip to SA to ‘Meet South Africa’ for themselves.Agents who join one of the remaining Australian and New Zealand roadshow events will also have the opportunity to win a spot on the familiarisation simply by attending the night. Those who don’t win on the night will also get another chance to win one of six spots on the familiarisation trip by entering the South African Specialist Competition here. Image caption: Famil winners- Maddy Kirk Helloworld Travel and Chloe Breeze Flight Centre with Vicki Gordon SAA, Melyne Hovasapian SAT and Urzila Carlson.  South Africa TourismUrzila Carlsonlast_img read more

Paphos hotels 9395 per cent booked for August

first_imgTourism in Paphos during August will largely comprise southern European and Cypriot visitors, head of the Cyprus Hotel Association (Pasyxe) district office said on Monday, with hotels 93-95 per cent full.This month the hotels in Paphos are 97 per cent full.Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency, Thanos Michaelides said that although so far, British, Russian, Israeli and to a lesser extent, German tourists have showed interest in Paphos, August will be slightly different as far as the nationalities it attracts are concerned.This can be largely attributed to several events being organised in Paphos, in light of it being the European Culture Capital for 2017 and will attract many Cypriot visitors, he added.Thus, locals wishing to spend holidays in Paphos should hurry and make reservations before rooms run out, he said.In August, occupancy rate based on bookings will be 97 per cent while for July, the rate is between 93 to 95 per cent – a slight increase compared to the previous year, Michaelides said.You May LikeFigLeaf Beta AppHow to Become Fully Anonymous Online in Less Than 3 Minutes? Better safe than sorryFigLeaf Beta AppUndoCity BeautyDo This To Fix Sagging Jowls Without SurgeryCity BeautyUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Thieves take €80000 worth of jewellery from Limassol shop

first_imgJewellery worth €80,000 was stolen from a jewellery shop early on Thursday morning.Limassol police chief Yiannis Soteriades said that the force believes the theft was the work of a known criminal gang.According to police, the owner of the shop on Makarios avenue reported that shortly before dawn the alarm at the premises went off.Officers rushed to the scene and found that the side entrance of the building had been forced open.The thieves had covered the lights around the shop with aluminium foil and turned the security cameras so their actions could not be recorded.They used special remote-controlled tools to open the lock and iron bars to break the metal shutters.After they took items worth approximately €80,000 they left. The scene has been cordoned off and investigations have started.You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoModernizeIf Your Home Has Old Roofing, Read ThisModernizeUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCypriot tycoon launches ‘Bank of Cannabis’Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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