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Himachal Kashmiri porters live in anxiety

first_imgShimla: There are visible signs of anxiety, if not worries, among 8000 Kashmiri porters on Narendra Modi government 2.0 decision to trifurcate Jammu & Kashmir and scrap Article 370, apart from removing Article 35A.”We don’t know how the situation turns. Right now, the worry is how to get connect to families and how their well-being as phones are not working in the valley and life has come to a complete halt,” says Mohammad Yusuf. Yusuf, who had been living in Shimla since 1975, says this this has happened for the first time. The phones have suddenly gone off and there is no other way to speak to the families in the crisis situation. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Manzoor Ahmad, who hails from Kashmir and working in Shimla as porter for past 18 years, too has similar complaint. “Abrogation of article is not unexpected thing. We have been hearing these speculations a long time ago in the valley. It’s not fair for me as being a poor wage earner to comment on such an important decision of the India’s government. Yet, the point is it should bring peace in the valley and create jobs. Why are we here away from homes, only to earn livings,” says Ahmad. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KShimla, as par official reports has 7000 to 8000 Kashmiri porters. Called as Khans in local parlance they are in fact Shimla’s lifeline. It’s difficult to manage trade, tourism and retail business without their help. They work at LGP agencies to carry cylinders for home deliveries. Help tourists to find hotels, carry their luggage on their backs, do loading and unloading job, and also work at ration/PDS depots. Every time there is trouble in Kashmir, the Kashmiri porters do feel scared though many admits that it’s militancy and lack of job avenues they have chosen Shimla to go the labour jobs. “This is very peaceful state. Shimla suits us climatically also. The place has lots of scope for earning, which helps us to feed the families back home. The developments in Kashmir or any violence sends us to tense moments,” admits Tariq, who is now into shawls business.last_img read more

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Take inspiration from PM Modi MoS Def to children

first_imgNew Delhi: Union minister Shripad Naik on Sunday encouraged children to take inspiration from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and contribute towards making a ‘New India’. He was addressing 3,500 children from 41 government schools, who will display ‘Naya Bharat’, as well as 700 NCC cadets who will participate in the Independence Day celebrations at the majestic Red Fort here on August 15, the defence ministry said in a statement. The Minister of State for Defence said children should contribute towards taking India to “newer heights”. Naik called upon the students to imbibe the virtues which will be shared by the Prime Minister during his Independence Day address. Later, he gave away souvenirs to a teacher and a student from each of the participating schools along with the unit-in-charge of the NCC group and a cadet on behalf of all participating children and cadets.last_img read more

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Amtrak didnt wait for system that couldve prevented wreck

first_imgThe rush to launch service on a new, faster Amtrak route near Seattle came at a deadly cost — critical speed-control technology that could have prevented a derailment was not active before the train set off on its maiden voyage.Work to install the sophisticated, GPS-based technology known as positive train control isn’t expected to be completed until next spring on the newly opened 15-mile (24-kilometre) span where the train derailed, according to Sound Transit, the public agency that owns the tracks.The train was going 80 mph (129 kph) in a 30 mph (48 kph) zone Monday when it raced off the rails as they curved toward a bridge, hurtling train cars onto a highway below, investigators said. Three people were killed, and dozens were injured. Federal investigators say they are looking into whether the engineer was distracted.A positive train control system could have detected the speeding and automatically applied the brakes to stop the train, said Najmedin Meshkati, a University of Southern California professor who has studied the technology for three decades.“It is another layer of safety,” he said.Amtrak and the Washington Department of Transportation started publicizing the switch to the new route in October. Amtrak CEO Richard Anderson said that “no one wants PTC more than me” but would not directly answer questions about why it is taking so long to get the speed-control technology up and running across the board.“I’m a huge believer in positive train control,” he said at a news conference Tuesday evening. “It just makes so much scientific sense.”Anderson said the company’s safety culture can continue to improve and said the crash should be seen as a “wake-up call.”“It’s not acceptable that we’re involved in these types of accidents,” he said.Railroads are under government orders to install positive train control by the end of 2018 after the industry lobbied Congress to extend earlier deadlines, citing complexity and cost.Union Pacific, the nation’s largest freight carrier, said it was spending about $2.9 billion on the technology. Industry groups estimate railroads will spend a total of about $10 billion to install and implement the systems.Monday’s wreck is just the latest example of a deadly crash that experts say could have been prevented if the technology were in place to slow down the train when engineers go too fast, get distracted or fall ill.U.S. investigators have listed a lack of such a system as a contributing factor in at least 25 crashes over the last 20 years, including two in the last four years where a train approached sharp curves at more than double the speed limit.A Metro-North train crashed in New York City in 2013, killing four people, when an engineer with sleep apnea dozed off. An Amtrak train crashed in Philadelphia in 2015, killing eight people, when investigators say the engineer was distracted by radio traffic and lost his bearings.Positive train control was installed on 23 per cent of the nation’s passenger route miles and 37 per cent of freight route miles as of July, the last time the Federal Railroad Administration updated its online tracker for the technology.It is activated on the tracks Amtrak owns along the Northeast Corridor, from Boston to Washington, D.C., and on Amtrak’s Michigan line. Many of its locomotives are equipped for positive train control.Throughout the rest of the country, Amtrak operates on track owned by freight carriers and other entities that have made varying progress on installing the technology.It’s a work in progress on the route where the train derailed Monday. Sensors have been installed, but the system needs to be synchronized, tested and certified before it goes online, Sound Transit spokeswoman Rachelle Cunningham said.The new $180.7 million route was designed to speed up service by removing passenger trains from a route along Puget Sound that’s bogged down by curves, single-track tunnels and freight traffic.The National Transportation Safety Board first recommended the use of “automatic train control” in 1970, a year after two Penn Central commuter trains collided, killing four and injuring 43.The railroad industry was opposed for decades until a Metrolink commuter train collided head-on with a freight train near Los Angeles in 2008. Investigators said the train’s engineer was texting and ran a stop signal, killing 25 people.“It’s a good fail-safe for human error,” said Fran Kelly, assistant general manager for SEPTA, the Philadelphia-area commuter railroad that was an early adopter of positive train control. “It’s using the best technologies available to complement what the human engineer is doing — the human element of it.”___Sisak reported from Philadelphia, and Balsamo reported from Los Angeles. AP writer Lisa Baumann contributed to this report from Seattle.___Follow Sisak at https://twitter.com/mikesisak and Balsamo at https://twitter.com/mikebalsamo1___For complete coverage of the deadly derailment, click here: https://www.apnews.com/tag/TrainDerailmentlast_img read more

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China does it again: Blocks move to blacklist JeM chief

first_imgUnited Nations: China has placed a hold and blocked the attempt to brand Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar. The attempt to brand him has as a “global terrorist” by the UN Security Council has failed again. China has shielded Masood Azhar for the fourth time after it blocked action on the JeM chief. It comes as a setback to India’s bid to designate Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed’s chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist. China on Wednesday (March 13) put a technical hold on a proposal in the UN Security Council to ban him following the Pulwama terror attack. The proposal to designate Azhar under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council was moved by France, the UK and the US on February 27, days after a suicide bomber of the Jaish-e-Mohammed killed 44 CRPF soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama, leading to a flare-up in tensions between India and Pakistan. Also Read – Squadrons which participated in Balakot air strike awarded citations on IAF DayThe Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee members had 10 working days to raise any objections to the proposal. The no-objection period deadline was scheduled to end at 3 pm local time (New York) Wednesday (12.30 am IST Thursday). The proposal was the fourth such bid at the UN in the last 10 years to list Azhar as a global terrorist. The Committee makes its decisions by consensus of its members. All eyes were on China, which has in the past blocked India’s bids to get Azhar listed as a UN-designated global terrorist thrice.last_img read more

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5 Dead, 21 Injured After Bus Hits Truck in Southern Morocco

Rabat – A truck collided with a bus on a road in Al Kheng, a town and commune in the Errachidia province in Daraa-Tafilalt region, killing five people and injuring 21, with 11 in critical condition.The injured were taken to Errachidia’s Moulay Ali Cherif provincial hospital, while the deceased were taken to the morgue.According to reports, the five killed were passengers of the bus,which was on its way from Fes to Errachidia. An investigation has begun in order to determine the circumstances of the accident. read more

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On Volunteer Day UN officials celebrate great reserve of energy and initiative

“The altruistic spirit of volunteerism is immense and renewable,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a message released for International Volunteer Day, which has been observed by the UN and civil society on 5 December every year starting in 1986.Mr. Ban noted that many people have called for extra resources to combat some of the greatest problems facing the world today, such as the turmoil in financial markets, climate change and steeply rising food and fuel prices.“Rarely, however, is volunteerism fully recognized as a potentially vast and powerful resource to engage people in the pursuit of peace and development,” he said, urging “all members of our global community to tap this great reserve of energy and initiative.”UN Volunteers (UNV) deploys about 7,500 people in 140 countries every year to support national development efforts, and the programme”s Executive Coordinator Flavia Pansieri said the work of volunteers is being increasingly recognized and supported around the world.Today UNV is launching an online volunteering service – which brings together hundreds of development organizations and thousands of volunteers who would otherwise have time or physical constraints from participating – in French and Spanish and re-launching an upgraded version in English.“Online volunteers have contributed to environmental projects in Africa, human rights in Asia, youth education in Latin America, and community work worldwide,” Ms. Pansieri said in a statement.“Online volunteering promotes social inclusion and contributes in a very tangible way to the work of development organizations and communities facing some of the toughest challenges of our time.”UNV volunteers often work closely with the UN Development Programme (UNDP), and that agency”s Administrator Kemal Dervis highlighted their joint efforts to improve conditions in countries emerging from disaster or conflict by rebuilding infrastructure, promoting democratic governance and engaging marginalized or vulnerable groups, such as women and youth.“Working with local authorities and communities, UNV volunteers ensure that governance is grounded in the principles of human rights, access to justice, inclusion and gender equality,” he said.Around the world volunteers are holding events this week to mark the Day: in Haiti, a school damaged by hurricanes is being rehabilitated in Sudan, doctors and dentists are providing free medical consultations in Kazakhstan, children in orphanages and hospitals are receiving “clown therapy” and in Indonesia, new mangroves are being planted. 5 December 2008Communities should harness the energy and initiative of the thousands of volunteers who contribute to projects around the world, including critical United Nations activities, senior UN officials said today as they marked the day dedicated to those who give their time and efforts for free to help others. read more

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Warren Buffett says Keystone XL pipeline delay amounts to US thumbing nose

WASHINGTON — The Keystone XL pipeline got an emphatic endorsement Monday from a powerful backer of President Barack Obama who questioned the handling of the file.[np_storybar title=”‘You should take this personally’: Obama’s veto of Keystone bill is a slap in Canada’s face” link=”https://business.financialpost.com/2015/02/24/obamas-veto-of-keystone-xl-bill-is-a-slap-in-canadas-face/?__lsa=6fd4-6e34″%5D Claudia Cattaneo: Obama’s move is another slap in the face to Canada, which has championed the pipeline for years and did everything by the book to get it approved, only to be led down the garden path, through a maze of roadblocks and traps, by its supposed best friend and ally.Read more [/np_storybar]To billionaire investor Warren Buffett, the delay is a thumbing of the nose at Canada.“I would have passed Keystone,” Buffett said in an interview with CNBC.“I think that we have an enormous interest in working with Canada, as they have in working with us. That oil is going to get sold. If we make it more difficult for them, who knows how they’ll feel about making things more difficult for us someday.”Because Buffett owns interests in the rail industry, in addition to oilsands holdings, there had been some speculation that he might have stood to benefit from a Keystone rejection.But he has expressed support for it in the past, and did so with particular force Monday: “That (oil) is a valuable resource of North America, and Canada has been a terrific partner over the decades, and for us to kind of thumb our nose at them, you know, (that’s) not what I would do.”Buffett has been a donor and occasional political ally of the president, notably on the issue of increasing taxes for the wealthy. As for the pipeline, Obama has vetoed legislation on it and has made increasingly critical remarks about it, prompting widespread speculation that he’s gearing up to reject it.A prominent pipeline opponent in Nebraska said it should now be clear that the opposition movement isn’t being bankrolled by the state’s wealthiest resident, the so-called Oracle of Omaha.“Well, (hope) this puts to bed all of those rumours from the right that Bold is funded by Buffett,” said a tweet from Jane Kleeb, the founder of the group Bold Nebraska, which has organized landowners fighting the project.It wasn’t the only development welcomed Monday by pipeline supporters. The Washington Post’s “Fact Checker” feature also tore into Obama’s repeated claims that the pipeline would do nothing but export Canadian oil.The Post pointed out that in addition to Canadian bitumen, the pipeline would also carry oil from North Dakota and Montana to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries.It gave the president the worst possible truth-telling score — “Four Pinocchios.” It said Obama’s statements contradicted the findings of his own State Department’s review.“Clearly, the report remains unread,” said the Post piece.“If he disagrees with the State Department’s findings, he should begin to make the case why it is wrong, rather than assert the opposite, without any factual basis.” read more

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More than 11200 Army absentees report during amnesty

A total of 11,232 Army deserters including 15 Officers, 09 Officer Cadets and 11,208 other rank personnel had reported to their respective Regimental Centers seeking legal discharge during the General Amnesty extended to Army absentees which ended at midnight, Wednesday, the army said today.The month long Amnesty period was offered to Sri Lanka Army personnel, who are considered as AWOL (Absent Without Leave) to obtain legal discharge, from 23rd October to 22nd November. Originally the General Amnesty period was scheduled to end on the 15th of November but it was extended till the 22nd of November in response to numerous requests made to the Army. Provision of employment or harbouring any Army absentee or deserter amounts to breach of existing laws of the country and is a punishable offence in Court as per section 133 of the Penal Code. (Colombo Gazette) With the end of the General Amnesty, law enforcement authorities will begin island-wide operations to apprehend absconding deserters. read more

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With West Africa at crossroads UN envoy urges coordinated efforts to tackle

“The West African sub-region continues to face multiple political and security challenges mainly linked to transnational organized crime, piracy and terrorist activities as well as election-related tensions in some countries,” said the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa, Said Djinnit, adding that commitment from Governments, regional organizations and the international community as a whole is needed to tackle these challenges. In his briefing to the Council, Mr. Djinnit pointed to three main zones where there is instability: the Sahel region, the Gulf of Guinea and the Mano River. In the Sahel, Mr. Djinnit said the UN Office for West Africa (UNOWA) has been working closely with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the UN Office in Mali and the now defunct African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA), to promote political dialogue to resolve the conflict in the northern part of the country, where a rebellion of ethnic Tuareg groups in early 2012 displaced hundreds of thousands of people and prompted the Government to request assistance from France to halt the southward march of extremists. Mr. Djinnit underlined that in addition to the crisis in Mali, the Sahel is suffering from serious environmental degradation, desertification, food insecurity and drug trafficking and terrorism. “This vulnerability of the Sahel underscores the need for a UN integrated strategy for the Sahel which shall complement efforts by countries of the region and regional organization to address the root causes of instability in the Sahel-Sahara belt, and its consequences,” he said. Turning to the Gulf of Guinea, Mr. Djinnit said piracy continues to be a threat, negatively affecting international maritime trade routes and taking a toll on economic progress in both coastal and landlocked countries. However, he said he was encouraged by the resolve of West African leaders during the Summit of the Gulf of Guinea Heads of State and Government on maritime safety and security held last month in Cameroon, to establish an effective framework to combat piracy and armed robbery at sea. Mr. Djinnit noted that election-related tensions also continue to affect the region, and said UNOWA remains committed to promote common grounds and understandings through its good offices, as in the case of Guinea in the Manor River region, where earlier this month the Government and opposition parties – with the support of the UN – agreed to hold legislative elections in late September. The agreement “has paved the way for the holding of free and transparent and inclusive legislative elections that will allow, at last, all the energies of the Government and the people of that country to be geared towards socio-economic transformation and development,” Mr. Djinnit said. “While the situation in West Africa remains at a crossroads, I am committed to building on the excellent cooperation and partnership forged with the UN entities in West Africa, the ECOWAS, other regional organizations including the African Union and the Mano River Union as well as other stakeholders,” he added. read more

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Greek FM to visit UN Cyprus next week

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Droutsas is due to meet with the UN chief on Friday, February 18, for talks focusing on the Cyprus issue ahead of Ban’s submission of his report to the UN Security Council later in the month.The foreign minister will meet earlier Friday with Archbishop Demetrios of America.Earlier in the week, Droutsas will arrive in Cyprus on Monday for a two-day visit to Cyprus, on the heels of a scheduled meeting on Thursday in Athens with the UN secretary general’s special advisor on the Cyprus issue, Alexander Downer.In Nicosia, Cyprus government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou said the visit is in the context of the contacts and coordination between Athens and Nicosia, adding that developments in the Cyprus issue will be discussed, while views will be exchanged on the next steps.Developments in the Cyprus issue and the imminent report by the UNSG to be submitted in late February will be the main issues in a series of contacts Droutsas will have in Cyprus and New York, foreign ministry spokesman Grigoris Delavekouras said on Thursday.“We want Greece to be able to have its positions expressed clearly in order to be as helpful as possible,” he stressed.Droutsas will be in Nicosia on Feb. 14 for meetings with Cypriot President Demetris Christofias and Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou. The next day will be in London for contacts with his British counterpart and David Miliband, the leader of the opposition. On Friday he will travel to New York, where he will meet with the UN secretary general, Archbishop Demetrios of America and representatives of the Greek-American community.Referring to the meeting with the UN secretary general, Delavekouras stressed that the UN and the international community play a “decisive” role in the Cyprus issue and that the process should be assisted in an objective manner to ensure that the necessary steps will be made.As regards the course of the process, the pace of which is not satisfactory, he said the responsibility lies with the Turkish Cypriot side, which “reverts to older positions”. The spokesman also called for “a clear commitment by Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu on everything that has already been agreed upon”.Finally, he called on the Turkish Cypriot side to “enter negotiations with willingness for progress”. Source: Kathimerinilast_img read more

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Tacoma teachers reach deal with district schools to open Monday

first_imgTACOMA — Educators in Tacoma overwhelmingly approved a new contract Friday that includes an average 14.4 percent raise for teachers in Tacoma Public Schools.A video from a general membership meeting of the Tacoma Education Association, which represents educators there, showed teachers cheering after a vote in which 99 percent of members in attendance approved the contract deal, which the union and school district had announced late Thursday.Effective Sept. 1, the tentative agreement would raise the starting pay for teachers in Tacoma from $45,500 to $54,308. The maximum salary would top $108,520, up from about $90,900 currently.After a weeklong strike, teachers in Tacoma reached a tentative contract agreement with Tacoma Public Schools, the union and district announced Thursday evening.Teachers voted on the deal Friday morning.A joint statement from the school district and union before the vote said the new contract “will allow us to recruit and retain strong professionals.”last_img read more

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ComicCon crowds line up for hours for big names exclusive merchandise

ComicCon crowds line up for hours for big names exclusive merchandise

first_img Posted: July 20, 2017 July 20, 2017 KUSI Newsroom, This #KingsmanTheGoldenCircle panel is getting wild. @halleberry just chugged a pint of whisky on stage! #sdcc pic.twitter.com/aCxYdisDcp— Fandango (@Fandango) July 20, 2017″I can, you know,” the actress said before she downed the liquor.Berry portrays a technical expert in the sequel to 2014’s “Kingsman: The Secret Service.” The cast includes Colin Firth, Jeff Bridges, Taron Egerton and Channing Tatum, among others. The series is based on the comic book “The Secret Service.”The cast of “Teen Wolf” gathered for a sometimes emotional panel with the MTV series’ final 10 episodes set to begin airing on July 30. Some reports this week said the series could continue on MTV as a podcast.Actor Tyler Posey said he’d been acting for a dozen years before he gained the lead role in the show, which debuted in 2011 and is loosely based on the 1985 movie of the same name.”I felt like going into it, it was never going to be a job, there was so much incentive for me to enjoy what I was doing,” Posey said. “It wasn’t just work — it was friendship — and finding my purpose in life and becoming an adult and making a difference.” Dancing into the final season of @MTVteenwolf like…??#TeenWolf #EWComicCon #ComicCon #SDCC pic.twitter.com/EGEwesnnUR— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) July 20, 2017Comic-Con, the annual celebration of the popular arts, will run through Sunday at the convention center, Central Library, Hilton Bayfront Hotel, the Horton Grand Theatre and the Marriott Marquis Hotel and Marina. The event, with sessions running from 10 a.m. to midnight, will be attended by 130,000 people.While attendance was as high as usual, surprisingly few people made the trek into the largest venues, 6,500-seat Hall H and Room 20, according to numerous tweets.That should change Friday, which is highlighted by a “Game of Thrones” panel.Also on tap for Hall H Friday are a 10th-anniversary panel on “The Big Bang Theory,” along with panels on “The Walking Dead,” “Fear the Walking Dead,” “Twin Peaks,” “Preacher” and Marvel’s “The Defenders.” KUSI Newsroom center_img Categories: Local San Diego News, San Diego Comic-Con 2017 FacebookTwitter SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — Comic-Con International opened Thursday to Halle Berry chugging whiskey, reminiscences from the cast of “Teen Wolf” and relatively light crowds in the San Diego Convention Center’s major ballrooms.Berry was part of a panel discussion with fellow cast members from the upcoming film, “Kingsman: The Golden Circle,” when she drank from a large glass of whisky while egged on by fans and playfully dropped to the stage.Others in the cast imbibed from shot glasses.”Why do I have this much and why do they have that much, is what I want to know,” Berry said before the audience chanted “Chug.” You want the world premiere of the #TWD Season 8 trailer, and we’ve got it here live on Facebook tomorrow. Tune-in. #SDCC pic.twitter.com/zf81jIqnjw— The Walking Dead AMC (@WalkingDead_AMC) July 20, 2017Among other things to look for, the San Diego Blood Bank will conduct a blood drive Thursday through Sunday at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, Coronado Ballroom, located at One Market Place. Donors will receive an exclusive Guardians of the Galaxy T-shirt.Related Link: Comic-Con annual blood drive returns for 41st yearUC San Diego took advantage of the huge crowds by promoting its recent scientific discoveries. The university’s “Science Nonfiction” campaign includes trolley advertising, billboards, posters, t-shirts and street teams wearing sandwich-boards and aluminum foil hats.Outside the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel, the FX networks is offering interactive experiences based on their programming, while AMC is hosting its “Deadquarters” at the Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade, across Harbor Drive from the convention center.With wall-to-wall people at Comic-Con venues and the adjacent Gaslamp Quarter, organizers strongly suggest using public transportation.A free shuttle bus service is operating 24 hours a day, stopping at 63 locations in downtown, Mission Valley, Harbor Island and Shelter Island through Sunday evening.Related Link: MTS extends trolley service for Comic-Con 2017The Metropolitan Transit System announced that Green Line trolleys will run every 7 and 1/2 minutes between Qualcomm Stadium and the 12th and Imperial Transit Center through Sunday. Blue and Orange line trains will increase in frequency during peak travel times, according to the MTS.The transit agency said passengers can use its new Compass Cloud mobile app to purchase ride tickets in advance. The MTS also has 22 bus routes with downtown stops. Comic-Con crowds line up for hours for big names, exclusive merchandiselast_img read more

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Game of Thrones season 8 episode 3 trailer The Night King is

first_imgOriginally published April 28.  Share your voice 57 Photos 187 Photos Now playing: Watch this: Game of Thrones stars, from season 1 through today 5:50 Game of Thrones HBO A preview for Sunday’s third episode of the final season showed all our favorites prepping for battle against forces that seem unstoppable. Want to catch up on everything in the third episode of Game of Thrones? Check out our season 8 episode 3 recap here!In the trailer, fires burn and catapults are prepped, Grey Worm grimly dons his helmet. Sansa notes that it’s time to “look the truth in the face.” Jon Snow looks horrified, Theon draws a bow and Brienne of Tarth rallies the troops. Winter’s been coming for an awfully long time, but now the Game of Thrones crew has a new catchphrase: The Night King is coming. Tags See all the Game of Thrones season 8 photos “The dead are already here,” Daenerys declares. Yikes.  The third episode of Game of Thrones’ final season airs Sunday, April 28 on HBO. Catch up on episode 2 with our recap: “The night is long (and full of sexual tension).”  Game of Thrones Season 8: All your questions answered… Post a comment TV and Movies 0last_img read more

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Lawmakers Seek Answers On Rape Kit Backlog

first_imgAlaska has the highest rate of sexual assault in the country, but it has no mechanism for tracking untested rape kits. Now, legislators are considering an audit to find out just how big the backlog is. APRN’s Alexandra Gutierrez reports.When the Legislature’s research department was asked to find how many rape kits sat on shelves waiting to be analyzed, it kept hearing one answer: Unknown.The researcher could not even compare Alaska’s kit processing rate to other states because there was so little hard data on how many kits had even been processed in the first place.In response, Sen. Berta Gardner and Rep. Geran Tarr — both Anchorage Democrats — have each filed bills asking for an audit of rape kits in the state.Tarr’s aide, Ray Friedlander, laid out the problem to the House State Affairs committee on Thursday, explaining the challenge of coordinating evidence processing rules with the many small police departments across Alaska.“There’s not a single uniform protocol utilized by 150 law enforcement agencies to do the same,” said Friedlander. “So, in essence, there could be a local law enforcement agency here in Alaska that is in possession of an untested sexual assault kit potentially containing DNA that could remove a rapist from Alaska’s streets, but we don’t know. There’s no database or way to manage these untested sexual assault kits that have been shelved.”The bill would require every law enforcement agency in the state to go through its inventory and find out how many untested kits it has and when they were collected. Friedlander explained to Committee Chair Bob Lynn, an Anchorage Republican, that the numbers have been high in other places where this analysis has been done.FRIEDLANDER: Texas had 20,000.LYNN: 20,000?FRIEDLANDER: 20,000. Detroit had 11,000. Memphis had 12,164. Illinois had 4,000, and Ohio had 4,000. And we acknowledge that …LYNN: And we don’t know what we have here.FRIEDLANDER: Right.From what is known, there’s a certain amount of variability in how different agencies handle rape kits. Local police departments set their own policies. The state troopers have only been required to send back all rape kits as of February of this year. Once kits make it to the state crime lab, there is a set protocol for tracking them. But even at the crime lab, there are problems in processing the kits. Orin Dym is the forensic laboratory manager, and he explained that in emergencies, they can turn around kit results in 24 hours. But usually, it takes much longer. “Our average turnaround time today is 170 days. Our oldest sexual assault request goes back 16 months today,” said Dym. “I will say that is a vast improvement over the 6+ years it used to be.”That processing time troubled committee members, like Anchorage Republican Liz Vazquez.VAZQUEZ: So, why does it take so long?DYM: Rep. Vazquez, through the chair, it takes so long because there are many times where the incoming requests for service exceed our capability to complete the analysis. We have more business than we can complete in a timely fashion.Dym responded that it would likely take two years for the crime lab to process the backlog in house, and that’s assuming there is no staff turnover or loss of funding.Neither Vazquez nor Lynn found much comfort in that.VAZQUEZ: I am still very troubled with the 170 days it takes to …LYNN: Me, too.VAZQUEZ: … test these kits. I mean it’s a haunting thought in my mind.The committee plans to hear the bill again next week. A separate request to audit the crime lab is also planned.last_img read more

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Will appoint abacus teachers in civic schools on contract

Will appoint abacus teachers in civic schools on contract

first_imgChittoor: With an objective of municipal school students achieving cent per cent result in SSC exams, the Chittoor Municipal Corporation (CMC) Commissioner C Obulesu has proposed to engage Abacus teachers on contract basis. The civic chief was apprised of several students were failing in mathematics despite having required infrastructure and trained teachers. The Commissioner made a surprise visit to municipal high school in Santhapet on Thursday. He interacted with the headmaster and teachers and asked them as to why students are failing in maths subject only. Also Read – DGP Gautam Sawang warns over objectional posts on social media Advertise With Us The civic chief admitted that there was shortage of teachers in several primary and high schools. “There is a stigma in the society that private schools are better than municipal schools,” he stated and added that negative feeling towards civic schools should be removed from the minds of people. He informed teachers that there is a serious proposal to recruit Abacus teachers in all the municipal high schools on contract basis. Also Read – AP Cabinet to meet on September 4 Advertise With Us On the instructions of the State government, the medium of instruction in English has ben introduced in all municipal schools, he mentioned and warned of taking stern action if any lapses found in implementation of mid-day meal scheme. ULB Coordinator Babu Ekambaram Reddy, Assistant Commissioner Lakshmi, headmaster Veda Kumari and others were present.last_img read more

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Colombia mudslide death toll rises to 254

Colombia mudslide death toll rises to 254

first_imgRescuers search for victims following mudslides caused by heavy rains in Mocoa, Putumayo department, southern Colombia. Photo: AFPDevastating mudslides in the Colombian town of Mocoa killed at least 254 people, 43 of them children, President Juan Manuel Santos said Sunday, in yet another sharp rise in the death toll.Santos, who traveled to the southern town to personally oversee relief operations, warned the toll could keep climbing.“Unfortunately, these are still preliminary figures,” he wrote on Twitter.“We offer our prayers for all of them. We send our condolences and the entire country’s sympathies to their families.”Survivors described gruesome scenes in the remote southern town, as rescuers kept up a bleak search for victims in the muck and debris.Covered in mud, 38-year-old Marta Gomez told of going to search for her missing niece-and making a chilling find instead.“I went to look for my niece, but I couldn’t find her. I dug and dug and found what turned out to be a baby’s hand. It was horrible,” she said in a shelter set up for the newly homeless.As she stood in line waiting to register for government assistance for those who lost their houses, she told AFP she had given up on finding her niece.“The mud took her away. I’ll never see her again,” she said, clinging to the leash of her equally muddy German shepherd.Rescuers worked in stifling heat under a cloudy sky in the remote Amazon town, the capital of Putumayo department.The debris left by the mudslides was everywhere: buried cars, uprooted trees, children’s toys and stray shoes sticking up out of the mud.Pope’s prayersThe torrent of mud, boulders and debris struck the town with little warning late Friday after days of heavy rains that caused three area rivers to flood.It swept away homes, bridges, vehicles and trees, leaving piles of wrecked timber.Most of the hardest-hit neighborhoods in the town of 40,000 are poor and populated with people uprooted during Colombia’s five-decade-long civil war.A “profoundly saddened” Pope Francis said he was praying for the victims.Santos declared an emergency to speed up aid operations.Health authorities said they had dispatched sanitation specialists in hopes of preventing outbreaks of disease.An unexpected offer of help also came from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a leftist rebel group engaged in a historic peace process with the government.It said FARC members were prepared to help rebuild the town.‘People screamed, others cried’Marta Ceballos, a 44-year-old street vendor, said she lost everything, but is thankful her family is alive.“Dear God, I don’t want to even remember that,” she said.“To see how some people screamed, and others cried, ran, tried to flee in cars, on motorcycles, and how they were trapped in the mud. It’s all too, too difficult,” she told AFP.“The only things I fortunately did not lose were my husband, my daughters and my nephews,” she said.‘No preparations’Electricity and running water have yet to be restored to Mocoa. Local authorities said repairing the electrical substation would take time.There were reports of people looting stores searching for bottled water.“There are lots of people in the streets, lots of people displaced and many houses have collapsed,” retired Mocoa resident Hernando Rodriguez, 69, said by telephone.“There were no preparations” for such a disaster, he said.Several deadly landslides have struck Colombia in recent months.A landslide in November killed nine people in the rural southwestern town of El Tambo, officials said.The previous month, 10 people lost their lives in a mudslide in the north of the country.The Pacific rim of South America has been hard hit in recent months by floods and mudslides, with scores killed in Peru and Ecuador.Climate change can play a big role in the scale of such natural disasters, a senior UN official said.“Climate change is generating dynamics and we see the tremendous results in terms of intensity, frequency and magnitude of these natural effects, as we have just seen in Mocoa,” said Martin Santiago, UN chief for Colombia.last_img read more

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Texas Houston Add More Jobs In September

Texas Houston Add More Jobs In September

first_imgFlorian MartinHouston added 14,500 jobs in September 2016.Texas added 38,300 nonfarm jobs in September and Houston created 14,500. On the other hand, the unemployment rate in Houston was 5.7 percent last month, almost 1 percentage point higher than in Texas and the United States.Over the past 12 months, the state has added 206,800 jobs. The Texas Workforce Commission compiled its monthly jobs report based on seasonally adjusted numbers from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.TWC chairman Andres Alcantar said the leisure and hospitality industry recorded the largest employment gain, “with 17,900 jobs added.”Also, “professional and business services expanded by 6,000 positions, and construction employment expanded for a third straight month with the addition of 3,400 jobs”, Alcantar added.Oil and gas employment was about flat.Greater Houston has experienced job growth as well, adding 20,100 jobs since September 2015. Listen Share X 00:00 /00:56 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:last_img read more

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Geek deals Save big on a refurbished Amazon Fire HD 6 tablet

first_imgTablets don’t have to be a big investment. If all you want is an affordable way to check Facebook, play mobile games, and stream Netflix, the 6-inch Fire HD 6 from Amazon is worth considering. And with today’s coupon code in play, you can save a total of 40% off this refurbished tablet.Certified refurbished Amazon Fire HD 6 tablet for $50.39 (List price: $85 — Coupon code: TECHBAR10) The Fire HD 6 sports a quad-core processor (two cores clocked at 1.5GHz, two at 1.2GHz), 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, a VGA front-facing camera, a 2MP rear-facing camera, Bluetooth, and 802.11b/g/n WiFi support. As for the 6-inch screen, it features in-plane switching, multitouch sensitivity, and an HD resolution of 1280×800.More importantly, this tiny tablet is easy to bring with you wherever you go. It measures only four-tenths of an inch thick, weighs around 10 ounces, and the integrated battery provides up to eight hours of surfing and media playback. It also charges over a micro USB port, so you’ll be able to use your existing cables, or even borrow a friend’s charger.Normally, this tablet lists for $85, but Amazon is discounting it right now to just $55.99. Use code “TECHBAR10” in your shopping cart, and you’ll save an additional $5.60. And since it’s Amazon Prime eligible, subscribers can get two-day shipping at no additional cost. It’s also certified to work and look like a new product, so you can rest easy. If there’s a problem, Amazon’s return and replacement system is simple and stress-free.Our commerce group sources the best deals and products for the Geek Deals posts. We operate independently of Editorial and Advertising and may earn a percentage of the sale, if you buy something via a link on the post. If you are interested in promoting your deals, please contact us at commerce@ziffdavis.com.For more tablet deals, head over to TechBargains.last_img read more

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Leonard Cohen announces new album for 80th birthday

Leonard Cohen announces new album for 80th birthday

first_img Facebook Comments OTTAWA, Canada – Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen announced Tuesday the release of a new album next month to coincide with his 80th birthday.Titled “Popular Problems,” the album “sets a new tone and speed of hope and despair, grief and joy,” according to his website.It contains nine new songs written in collaboration with Patrick Leonard. The pair worked together previously on Cohen’s 12th album, “Old Ideas,” which was released in 2012 and became the highest charting of Cohen’s career.“Popular Problems” will be released in France on Sept. 22, and in the United States the following day.Cohen was born in Montreal on Sept. 21, 1934. Following a 2005 lawsuit against his ex-manager for stealing from him while he lived in a monastery near Los Angeles, and with his finances in disarray, Cohen returned to performing in 2008 after a 15-year gap.He has since continued to tour with great success, resurrecting his career and reputation worldwide. Related posts:Dylan’s restored basement tapes with The Band set for debut Kevin Johansen and The Nada to join illustrator Liniers in live art-music show in Escazú Singer-songwriter Kevin Johansen makes everyone feel good in Costa Rica debut Selena died 20 years ago – why we’re still talking about herlast_img read more

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Police on bikes to patrol beaches this summer

Police on bikes to patrol beaches this summer

first_imgPolice officers on bicycles will be patrolling the most popular beaches this summer as part of increased safety measures for another bumper tourist season, the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) said on Wednesday.“We are pleased with the level of cooperation with police so far and οur aim is to ensure that there are frequent patrols by police,” board member Xenia Loizidou said. “This includes increased patrols by officers on bicycles in the coastal areas.”Bicycles will allow officers to reach some locations quicker and ensure access to places inaccessible to patrol cars. They also provide easier interaction between tourists and officers.The measure is a result of a workshop that took place in March attended by participants with links to the tourism sector including the police force, the foreign and interior ministries, the Lifesaving Federation, NGO Reaction, the Cyprus Bartenders Association and other organisations working with tourists.Six working groups dealt with the main areas of concern: excessive alcohol consumption, the safety of bathers, thefts and harassment, health and nursing, road accidents and international relations.Participants agreed that more effective dissemination of information on measures was necessary. They also agreed to improve coordination between the various groupsYou May LikeTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoFigLeaf Beta AppGet Maximum Privacy with Minimum EffortFigLeaf Beta AppUndoTotal Battle – Online Strategy GameIf You’re PC User This Strategy Game Is A Must-Have!Total Battle – Online Strategy GameUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoTwo arrested in connection with attempted murderUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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