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Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa today denied allegations that he had given the LTTE money in 2005 in order to win the then Presidential election.In 2005 the LTTE had prevented the people from taking part in the elections, which allowed Rajapaksa to win with the support of the Sinhala votes in the South. He said that the United National Front for Good Governance is not registered as a political party and so the UNP can contest only as the UNP under the elephant symbol and the other political parties who are supporting the UNP are also contesting as the UNP. (Colombo Gazette) He said that if LTTE leader Vellupillai Prabakaran was alive today he would ask him if the story was really true. “Prabakaran had said this story. I would like to ask him if it is true. But he is not alive today,” Rajapaksa said at a media briefing today.The former President also said that it was no secret who gave arms to the LTTE to defeat the Indian peacekeeping force and who really funded the LTTE. Rajapaksa also said that the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) is confident of winning the August 17 Parliamentary election and he is confident of being made the next Prime Minister.He said the United National Party (UNP) is still talking of forming a coalition Government after the election and that shows that they do not have the confidence of securing majority seats on their own.Meanwhile UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha said that the UNP is misleading the public by saying it is contesting the election under the United National Front for Good Governance. Rajapaksa said that if he had given money to the LTTE he would not have taken much efforts to try to defeat them. read more

The United Nations human rights office today welcomed the presidential pardon granted in Myanmar to political prisoners convicted of or prosecuted for various offences under seven specific laws, including unlawful association, peaceful assembly, treason and sedition. The pardon, granted yesterday by President Thein Sein, is an “important step” in the reform process of the last year, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said in a statement.It also shows the significant progress that has been made in solving the problem of political prisoners in Myanmar, in line with the President’s pledge, the Office added, referring to the leader’s stated commitment to release all political prisoners by the end of this year. “We look forward to working with the Government and other stakeholders to reform these laws to ensure that there will be no cases of people being held as political prisoners,” said OHCHR spokesperson Cécile Pouilly.At the same time, OHCHR regretted that the presidential pardon did not include three workers of international non-governmental organizations who were detained in Buthidaung Prison since June and July 2012, and human rights defenders in Rakhine state, Dr. Tun Aung and U Kyaw Hla Aung, detained since June 2012 and July 2013 respectively. “We ask the authorities to release those prisoners and to ensure that the prisoner review committee continue its work to resolve all pending cases,” Ms. Pouilly stated.Hundreds of political prisoners in the South-east Asian nation have been released since the President initiated a series of reforms two years ago following the establishment of a new Government. read more

These are the questions that greeted Yacoub El Hillo, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Syria and his team early last month when they were finally able to reach the Old City of Homs, which had been under siege and cut off from aid for nearly two years. “It was shocking, it was overwhelming, it was painful,” Mr. El Hillo said as he recalled what he witnessed that day upon entering the city – from the human misery of malnourished and traumatized men, women and children to the destruction wrought on one of the world’s most ancient cities.“When we came out I described the experience as: it was a day from hell. And we were there only for one day. Yet the people living inside the Old City of Homs go through this every day.”Mr. El Hillo, a Sudanese national who has been in his post for seven months, spoke to the UN News Centre while in New York, as the conflict in Syria this week marks the grim anniversary of entering its fourth year. Civilians have borne the brunt of the conflict, which has so far claimed well over 100,000 lives, and left more than 9.3 million people in need of assistance inside Syria, including at least 6.5 million who are internally displaced. The conflict has also spawned a refugee crisis in which nearly 2.5 million people have are being sheltered in neighbouring countries.In early February, a three-day ceasefire enabled the delivery of aid into the Old City of Homs, where some 2,500 Syrians were trapped without assistance for nearly two years in what had become an iconic symbol of the suffering endured by civilians in the three-year war’s relentless bombardments and sieges. The humanitarian operation also enabled the evacuation of close to 1,400 civilians from the city.“They would show us pictures of how they looked before and how they look now,” said Mr. El Hillo. “It is true that people there did not have systematic or regular supply of food and other essential items. It is true that people there lived under the ground.” “It is true that between all these ancient buildings that made the Old City of Homs, they dug passages so that they could walk through the buildings and not on the streets to avoid sniper fire. It is an appalling situation.”He said that the people that were lucky enough to leave looked like they were coming out of caves. “The men for example, they wanted a barber to cut their hair because they were looking bushy after that long. And they all wanted cigarettes because it costs 6,000 Syrian pounds for one cigarette inside. But what was also lacking was food, what was lacking was medical supplies, what was lacking was hygiene supplies, what was lacking was winter supplies.”UN agencies and partners remain committed to staying and delivering humanitarian aid in Syria, despite insecurity and lack of access. There have been constant appeals to the parties to the conflict to facilitate safe and unhindered delivery of humanitarian aid to all people in need, including in hard-to-reach and besieged areas. Despite repeated requests and negotiations, there has only been limited improvement in recent months in reaching those besieged.“It is complex,” Mr. El Hillo noted, recalling that the talks took three weeks before the UN and partners were able to enter the Old City of Homs. “It is complex because it entails talking to everybody. Of course we are in regular contact, if not daily contact, with the Government. “But in moments like this when we want to reach people in areas beyond the control of the Government, where the opposition armed groups are in control, we also need to talk to everybody, including the armed groups, and that’s exactly what we did in the case of the Old City of Homs.”As the conflict continues, human suffering is growing and people are finding it more and more difficult to cope, he stated. Three years of fighting has left the country devastated – its industrial capacity has been reduced by 80 per cent; half the Syrian population is living below the poverty line; 2.5 million jobs have been lost; and unemployment is at 48 per cent. “Syrians are very resilient people. They are very patient people. They help each other non-stop. But they are running out of stamina. They’re running out of capacity. They are no longer able to cope because of not only the protracted nature of this conflict and its devastation but also because they themselves are running out of the means to help themselves and help each other.”It is a situation that should not have happened, Mr. El Hillo emphasized. But it did happen, and it should not be allowed to continue. “The more the conflict continues, the more the humanitarian needs are going to grow. One point we have to always keep in mind – this not a humanitarian crisis. It is a political crisis with profound humanitarian consequences,” he stated.“The world said ‘never again’ many times and the world is saying it in the case of Syria. We should do something about it. We should stop this madness. We should stop this conflict. “It is not good that we continue to sit back and hope that this is going to resolve itself, by itself. It is not going to happen, it is only going to get worse and complicated. So there has to be that commitment to really bring this to a stop through political dialogue.” read more

Our sports podcast Hot Takedown previews March Madness. For top teams, the difference between its 20th- and 80th-percentile draw was 10 to 15 percentage points of Final Four probability, all due to the whims of its position on the S-curve.Certainly, there are more factors determining how far a team goes in the NCAA Tournament than simply its starting point in the bracket. But in a wide-open field in which every edge counts, even small shifts in probability can add up.Check out FiveThirtyEight’s 2016 March Madness Predictions. As far as the championship is concerned, these tweaks don’t matter much; most teams’ odds of winning it all were affected by less than a percentage point. But in terms of advancing to prestige benchmarks like the Sweet 16 and Final Four, the draw can have a relatively large effect. By being in a favorable region, for instance, Oklahoma’s Final Four odds were boosted by 12.1 percentage points, while Villanova was dinged by 4.4 points because it was dropped into the same region with Kansas.And that’s just looking at the committee’s deviations from its own S-curve. What if the crusty old voters did value the teams (slightly) differently? In another simulation, we randomized the S-curve itself, giving a team the potential to move up or drop down into the top or bottom half of the next “seed line.” For instance, a No. 3 seed could have moved up into one of the bottom two slots on the S-curve for No. 2 seeds or just as easily dropped into one of the top two slots for No. 4 seeds. For each of those random draws, we simulated the bracket and then tracked how much each team’s odds changed in their most and least favorable draws.Here are the results when we model the S-curve this way: In the long, drawn-out days between Selection Sunday and the beginning of the round of 64, college basketball fans have two pastimes: filling out their brackets and complaining about the NCAA Tournament selection committee’s decisions.This year was especially ripe for the latter, with grievances coming in from all corners of the college basketball universe. (Hint: When even the No. 1 overall seed — in this case, Kansas — has room for complaint, the committee might not have done its best work.) But how much does this stuff really matter? Can small changes to the committee’s decisions make a big difference to a team’s odds of going deep in the tourney?To figure this out, we used the same method that drives our March Madness predictions and randomized the bracket around the committee’s S-curve rankings — the actual 1-68 ranking of teams the committee uses to guide the seedings and overall placement of teams in the bracket. Because the committee doesn’t adhere strictly to the S-curve within each “seed line” — it has the leeway to place teams according to factors (like geography) that go beyond balancing each region’s strength — we can judge how much the committee’s decisions at the margins affected each team’s chances of advancing to various rounds. And because we’re keeping teams in the same S-curve slots as the committee’s, we can examine these differences without delving into alternate universe-type scenarios in which the crusty old voters valued the teams differently.Here are the teams whose odds to get to the Sweet 16 and Final Four were helped and hurt the most. By Neil Paine and Jay Boice More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed Embed Code read more

first_imgIn part a celebration of the 40th Anniversary of its automatic self-priming Dri-Prime pump line, Godwin Pumps’ newest addition to the HL series is the HL260M Dri-Prime pump. Capable of flow rates to 1,810 m 3/h and heads to 150 m,the 250 mm x 200 mm HL260M is a single-stage, automatic priming centrifugal pump with solids handling capability to 50 mm in diameter.“The single-stage impeller design, close coupling, solids handling capability and Dri- Prime priming system combine to provide a very unique offering for portable pumps generating discharge heads to 150 m,” said Godwin President, John M. Paz. “The industry is trending towards larger pumps and our engineering team is dedicated to developing the most reliable range of high lift pumps on the market.” Built with a cast iron pump volute, cast chromium steel impeller and nickel chrome cast iron wear plates, the HL260M is engineered for tough pumping applications.“In a wide variety of applications requiring medium flows and high head, the HL260M eliminates the need for mine superintendents to build intermediate water storage ponds and stage pumps at different elevations to dewater their pits. With the HL260M you can dewater the pit floor by pumping straight out with less pumps and pipes,” said John Miller, Managing Director of Godwin Pumps Ltd. The Dri-Prime venturi priming system on the HL260M provides suction lift capability to 8.5 m and continuous uninterrupted operation. In addition, its dry running, double high-pressure oil bath mechanical seal with abrasion-resistant solid silicon carbide faces enables the pump to run indefinitely without risk of overheating or failure.last_img read more

QatarQatar 2015Spain Qatar 2015 Spanish NT coach Manolo Cadenas announced the squad list for the trip to Doha at the 24th World Championship.  Goalkeeper Arpad Šterbik won’t be able to help his team-mates. He stayed in Skopje, where he is recovering from the injury.Spain are in group with Brazil, Slovenia, Qatar, Chile…ROSTER:Goalkeepers: Gonzalo Pérez de Vargas (FC Barcelona), José Manuel Sierra (Pick Szeged)Left wings: Cristian Ugalde (MKB Veszprem), Valero Rivera Folch (HBC Nantes)Left back: Antonio J. García (Pick Szeged), Viran Morros (FC Barcelona)Playmaker: Joan Cañellas (THW Kiel), José “Chema” Rodríguez (MKB Veszprem), Raúl Entreríos (FC Barcelona)Right backs: Alex Dujshebaev (HC Vardar), Jorge Maqueda (HBC Nantes)Right wings: Albert Rocas (Naturhouse La Rioja), Victor Tomas (FC Barcelona)Pivots: Gideon Guardiola (Rhein -Neckar Löwen), Juan Andreu (TSV Hannover-Burgdorf), Julen Aginagalde (Vive Targi Kielce) ← Previous Story MIZUNO release a new range ahead of Qatar 2015 Next Story → Onesta picks 17 players for Qatar 2015 read more

first_imgCraig Brown is The Columbian’s editor. His column will appear in this space periodically. Contact him at 360-735-4514 or craig.brown@columbian.com My wife and I went to California to visit our daughter for Easter weekend, so when we got home from the airport on Monday, we didn’t have any food in the house. That made our decision a bit of a no-brainer: Hit every aisle at the Hazel Dell WinCo Foods and stop by Billy Blues Bar & Grill for dinner.We’ve been going to Billy Blues probably once a week for years. The servers are friendly. My favorite beer, Log Yard IPA, is on tap. Their chicken enchilada wins my vote for the best Mexican dish in Vancouver.As regulars, we have gotten to know the owners, Bill and Kodi Gianukakis, and seen how hard they have worked to build what was once a feed store serving farms and dairies into a successful business feeding suburbanites’ needs for steaks, drinks and live music. So when we sat down at our favorite table, I wasn’t surprised when Kodi seemed a little bit nervous that Billy Blues will be the subject of a Dining Out review in one of our upcoming Weekend sections. (She knew this because our photo team had called her to schedule a shoot.)Although I didn’t assign the review and haven’t read it, I doubt there’s anything to worry about. Karen Livingston, our Dining Out columnist, talked about the “fantastic food and super service” the last time she reviewed the place.Still, it got me thinking again about how journalists need to walk a line between living in the community they cover but not allowing their opinions to unduly influence news coverage. And above all, we need to be transparent.last_img read more

first_imgAn infographic looking at the group risk benefits offered by respondents’ organisations and the basis on which they are offered (Source: Employee Benefits/Xerox HR Services’ Benefits research 2016, published in June 2016).Read more in: How can employers gauge a return on investment on group risk benefits?last_img

first_imgCarl Olpin is now HR analyst at The Coal Authority. He joins from Gardner Aerospace where he held the position of payroll officer.Olpin’s previous experience includes pay services and pensions assistant at NHS Trust, where he worked in the payroll team at Nottingham City Hospital.last_img

first_imgA few months after the launch of Samsung Galaxy S4, rumour mills are in full swing about the South Korean giant’s next Galaxy smartphone. Latest reports suggest that the successor of Galaxy S4 would come with metal chassis unlike the plastic variety found in its predecessors.Technology website Android Geeks citing two internal sources have confirmed that Samsung’s next Galaxy offering would embrace the metal body like the iPhone and HTC One, in lieu of the plastic case. Despite Galaxy S models being the among the popular selling handsets in the global market, with S4 being sold over 40 million units just one month after hitting the shelves, Samsung seemed to have felt the need to change its design philosophy.Apparently, the upcoming Galaxy S smartphone, believed to be S5, would feature a metal body as part of Samsung’s new strategy dubbed Design 3.0. The adoption of aluminum to encase Samsung’s product line-up would make the smartphones safer, but also heavier and costlier. It is also assumed that the new design would bring unibody construction to the Samsung’s smartphones, which means lack of removable batteries.”Samsung will start to use aluminium for its high-end smartphones, and the Samsung Galaxy S5 will be the first one to receive this treatment. Of course, an aluminium body comes with some expenses. First of all, the unibody construction (which is pretty popular among the smartphone makers) will no longer allow the users to remove the battery of the Samsung Galaxy S5,” Android Geeks reported.last_img read more

first_imgGABRIEL C. PÉREZ/KUTFrom left to right: Isaiah Rodriguez, Agatha Scales, Micah Palomo and Wendy Lopez hold signs at an April rally supporting an increased Mexican-American Studies curriculum for Texas schools.The State Board of Education will take a final vote Friday on what will be the first state-approved course on Mexican-American history in Texas public schools.After weeks of debate about what to name the course, a compromise emerged this week: “Ethnic Studies: Mexican American Studies.” The board initially voted to call the class “Ethnic Studies: An Overview of Americans of Mexican Descent” after a Republican board member said he didn’t like “hyphenated Americanism.”Roberto Calderon, an associate history professor at the University of North Texas in Denton, was among those who went to Austin this week to plead for a name change.  In our Friday Conversation, Calderon told KERA’s Rick Holterlike many of his students, he didn’t learn about Mexican-American history until he was in college.Interview Highlights: Roberto CalderonOn the students who take his classes on Mexican-American history:“This generation of students have never formally learned the history of Mexico. We totally ignore and rob them of the opportunity of knowing and putting themselves in a global context. By the time many of these students are coming to these courses, they’re coming to us as juniors and seniors. This may be the only course they get to take that gives them the opportunity to learn more. They’re saying, ‘Why didn’t I learn this before?’ “On the version of Texas history currently taught in public schools:“Simply, it’s one of silence and deletion, of minimizing and diminishing the Mexican story and Mexican history. It’s important to know that the first European language spoken in what is now Texas was Spanish; it was not English. Mexican history is also indigenous history because Mexicans are a mestizo people. That component of Mexican history gets diminished even more. We will get the English colonial history one way or another in our public schools, but we won’t get the other colonial history, like Spanish and eventually Mexican colonial history.”On what people should understand about the debate on Mexican-American studies:“Mexican-American history is a history that’s always been here and will always be here as long as there is a ‘here’ to speak of. While some people may not like that or feel uncomfortable with that, that’s part of the story. Mexican-American history is a dominant narrative of Texas history. We can choose to ignore that fact or we can choose to include it, and I firmly believe [we should include it.]”This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity. Sharelast_img read more

first_img Citation: Efficient catalyst developed for producing pronucleotides (2017, April 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-04-efficient-catalyst-pronucleotides.html © 2017 Phys.org Nucleoside analogs have been used for several years to combat viruses and cancer—but making them requires developing a shepherd to carry them through protein membranes and then coming up with a way for activating them once inside—typically a three-stage process. Medical researchers believe pronucleotides offer a better solution. Prior research has shown that they are able to enter protein cells without assistance and can activate relatively easily and quickly once inside. They have also been shown to be less likely to be broken down by enzymes or to be expelled altogether from cells before they can do their work. Unfortunately, their use has been held up by the difficulty in creating large enough quantities for medical applications. In this new effort, the team at Merck describe a way to overcome that problem by introducing a new catalyst—one that can be used as part of an industrial process.To create the catalyst, the researchers started with a promising dihydropyrroloimidazole framework recently developed by a team in Shanghai—using it as a base, they used computational modeling, kinetic analysis and informatics to modify the catalyst to suit their needs. The catalyst they developed featured the formation of chiral phosphorus centers in more efficient ways than others that had been tried—the problem had been the difficulty of inducing correct chirality, i.e. left or right handedness, in phosphorus. The catalyst was then used in combination with a nucleoside and a chlorophosphoramidate to create a pronucleotide drug called MK-3682 for use in treating hepatitis C—it tested so well that it is now in clinical trials.The researchers also report that the technique they used for developing the catalyst could be used for other nucleoside analogs, allowing for the development of other drugs. (Phys.org)—A team of researchers with Merck & Co., Inc. has developed an efficient catalyst for producing pronucleotides, paving the way perhaps to a new class of drugs for combatting viruses and cancer. In their paper published in the journal Science, the team describes the experiments they conducted that led to identification of the components of the catalyst and how well it worked when used to create a hepatitis C virus inhibitor. New catalyst for the fight against smog Journal information: Sciencecenter_img More information: Daniel A. DiRocco et al. A multifunctional catalyst that stereoselectively assembles prodrugs, Science (2017). DOI: 10.1126/science.aam7936AbstractThe catalytic stereoselective synthesis of compounds with chiral phosphorus centers remains an unsolved problem. State-of-the-art methods rely on resolution or stoichiometric chiral auxiliaries. Phosphoramidate prodrugs are a critical component of pronucleotide (ProTide) therapies used in the treatment of viral disease and cancer. Here we describe the development of a catalytic stereoselective method for the installation of phosphorus-stereogenic phosphoramidates to nucleosides through a dynamic stereoselective process. Detailed mechanistic studies and computational modeling led to the rational design of a multifunctional catalyst that enables stereoselectivity as high as 99:1. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Transition state model of the second-order catalytic pathway. Credit: Science (2017). DOI: 10.1126/science.aam7936 Explore furtherlast_img read more

first_img News | Enterprise Imaging | July 29, 2019 Philips Announces 10-year Enterprise Informatics Agreement With Centre Hospitalier Régional Universitaire de Nancy Philips and Centre Hospitalier Régional Universitaire (CHRU) de Nancy, a leading academic hospital in the Grand Est… read more News | Enterprise Imaging | June 27, 2019 Ambra Health Announces Integration With Box Ambra Health announced an integration with Box to enable the sharing of medical imaging directly from within Box’s… read more News | PACS | August 09, 2019 Lake Medical Imaging Selects Infinitt for Multi-site RIS/PACS Infinitt North America will be implementing Infinitt RIS (radiology information system)/PACS (picture archiving and… read more News | PACS | August 08, 2019 NetDirector Launches Cloud-based PDF to DICOM Conversion Service NetDirector, a cloud-based data exchange and integration platform, has diversified their radiology automation options… read more News | Cardiovascular Ultrasound | July 02, 2019 Konica Minolta Healthcare Partners With DiA Imaging Analysis for AI-based Cardiac Ultrasound Analysis DiA Imaging Analysis has partnered with Konica Minolta Healthcare Americas Inc. to expand analysis capabilities of… read more Related Content Feature | Information Technology | June 27, 2019 | By Greg Freiherr Smart Algorithm Extracts Data from Radiology Reports Radiology reports may contain information essential to figuring out a patient’s condition. read more Technology | Enterprise Imaging | July 05, 2019 Hyland Healthcare Adds ImageNext Imaging Workflow Optimizer to Enterprise Imaging Suite Hyland Healthcare is launching ImageNext, a vendor-neutral imaging workflow optimizer that combines intelligent imaging… read more Technology | Cybersecurity | August 07, 2019 ScImage Introduces PICOM ModalityGuard for Cybersecurity ScImage Inc. is bridging the gap between security and functionality with the introduction of the PICOM ModalityGuard…. read more April 6, 2010 – In order to fund a portion of the proposed deal to acquire Amicas Inc., Merge Healthcare announced it will offer $200 million aggregate principal amount of senior secured notes due in 2015. The notes will be senior obligations of Merge and will be guaranteed on a senior basis by all of Merge’s domestic restricted subsidiaries. The notes and the related guarantees will be offered in the United States to qualified institutional buyers pursuant to Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended and outside the United States pursuant to Regulation S under the Securities Act. The notes and the related guarantees have not been registered under the Securities Act and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements. For more information: www.merge.com FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 News | PACS | July 02, 2019 Laurel Bridge and 3M M*Modal Partner to Improve DICOM Structured Reporting July 2, 2019 — Laurel Bridge Software announced an expanded relationship with 3M M*Modal, a provider of clinical docu read more News | April 06, 2010 Merge Sells $200 Million in Notes to Fund Amicas Acquisition News | PACS | June 26, 2019 Mini-PACS Solution for Image Management and Workflow Optimization ImageGrid Mini is a feature-rich, reliable and cost-effective image management and workflow optimization solution, pr read morelast_img read more

first_imgTags: Cuba, Havana By: Andrea Rodriguez << Previous PostNext Post >> Havana cleans up its city streets for foreign touristscenter_img HAVANA — Known for chaotic avenues filled with car-dodging pedestrians, balconies that discharge waterfalls onto sidewalks and reggaeton played at deafening volume, Havana wants to clean up its streets.Havana authorities have passed new city codes meant to make streets around nearly three dozen commercial shopping zones more pleasant both for Cubans and the surging number of foreign tourists.“You really see the deterioration,” said Mileidis Garcia, who sells pinatas and decorations for birthday parties around one of the capital’s busiest markets, one of the areas targeted by the new regulations. “The streets are filthy too,” she said, motioning to discarded scraps of paper, cookie wrappers, white plastic bags, soda cans and cigarette butts piled alongside her sidewalk.She echoes a worry expressed by Cuban officials that such carelessness could indicate a lack of civic culture.“It’s like there is no sense of ownership, it’s not your house, it’s the street,” Garcia said. “But the city is your home too.”More news:  Venice to ban cruise ships from city centre starting next monthThe new rules call for the including the installation of garbage cans, face-lifts for bus stops, thrice-daily sidewalk sweeping and the planting of trees along streets, according to Isabel Hamze, vice-president of Havana’s city government.She said the city also plans improved street lighting, inspections of places selling food and a ban on the unusual Cuban practice of selling beer directly from the taps of tanker trucks. Storefronts will be spruced up and unsightly street vendors will be run off.The capitalist building booms that transformed many cities across the region bypassed socialist Havana, leaving the city a jewel box of colonial and early 20th century architecture. But maintenance was long lacking, and the deterioration accelerated in the early 1990s with the loss of aid and trade with Cuba’s allies in the collapsing Soviet bloc.The government has pumped millions of dollars into a dramatic restoration across parts of the capital, but nearby streets can be nearly in ruins.More news:  Save the dates! Goway’s Africa Roadshow is back“Today Havana is declining,” said Ramon Sanchez, a 60-year-old who keeps an eye on people’s cars. Before, “the city was clean, there were manners, more formality.”“That’s why there was a revolution. I would like my Havana to be like it was, clean,” he said.But the new rules go beyond keeping garbage in check. Authorities also want to put a stop to illegal construction, which sometimes leads to rooms or garages that block sidewalks, and to restrict the use of loudspeakers.Authorities promise enforcement, including fines, and many hope that will stick.“This can’t just be on paper. They have to apply it, make it happen,” said Francisco Reyes, a maintenance worker. “It’s for everyone’s wellbeing.” Friday, November 25, 2016 last_img read more

first_img16Oct Rep. Howell backs resolution for July 1 state budget deadline State Rep. Gary Howell today said he supports a House resolution requiring the Legislature to present a balanced state budget to the governor by July 1.Howell, of North Branch, said he is happy to co-sponsor House Joint Resolution X, which establishes the July 1 deadline. If a budget is not ready in time, legislators will forfeit their daily salaries until a spending plan is presented to the governor.Howell, who has served on local governments and school districts, said it is vital that the amount of state money allocated is known by July so local entities can establish their annual budgets.“It is extremely frustrating to local officials when they are trying to come up with an accurate budget, but are unable to because of the state funding variable,” Howell said. “Without knowing how much state money we would receive, our budgets were based on guesswork. We often had to give employees pink slips because we didn’t know if we could keep them on staff if our state funds were insufficient.”Howell served as a township trustee, planning commissioner and was president of the Lapeer County Intermediate Board of Education and North Branch School Board.The legislator said the prospect of losing pay will be a good incentive to finish the budget on time.“During the early 2000s, legislators did not finalize the budget until just before – or, in a few instances, just after – the current Oct. 1 deadline, which resulted in the temporary shutdown of key programs and services,” Howell said. “I think the prospect of not getting paid might alleviate budget delays.”HJR X calls for a constitutional amendment, which requires two-thirds approval by the House and Senate before it is put on the ballot for voter consideration. The resolution was referred to the House Appropriations Committee.##### Legislators would forfeit pay if target is missedcenter_img Categories: Howell News,Newslast_img read more

first_img Legislation renames highway in Berrien County after fallen MSP officerThe House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee this week approved legislation introduced by state Rep. Kim LaSata to rename a portion of a highway in Berrien County after fallen Michigan State Police Trooper Robert J. Mihalik.The bill will rename a portion of Red Arrow Highway, between Glenlord and Hilltop roads, the Trooper Robert J. Mihalik Memorial Highway.“Renaming a portion of this highway after Trooper Robert J. Mihalik will memorialize the sacrifice he made for his community,” said Rep. LaSata, of Bainbridge Township. “First responders face danger every day on the job. As a community, we must commemorate their hard work and courage.”On September 9, 1984, Mihalik became the 38th MSP officer to die in the line of duty. He was shot while arresting a suspect who had left a local gas station without paying for gasoline and cigarettes.Mihalik was born in Niles in 1947 and lived with his family in Lincoln Township in Berrien County. He graduated from Lakeshore High School in 1965 and from Michigan State University in 1973.He is survived by his wife Carol Mihalik, who still lives in the area, and their two sons Steven and Scott Mihalik.House Bill 5112 now moves to the full House for consideration.### 13Dec House committee approves Rep. LaSata bill to honor Trooper Robert J. Mihalik Categories: LaSata Newslast_img read more

first_img23May Rep. Calley invites residents to attend local office hours State Rep. Julie Calley welcomes residents to attend her office hours in three communities in June.Rep. Calley, of Portland, will present a legislative update and then meet with residents one on one if they have individual concerns on the following dates:Monday, June 4 from 10 to 11 a.m. at The Local Grind, 117 S. Grove St., Delton;Monday, June 18 from 12 to 1 p.m. at MOO-ville Creamery, 5875 S. M-66 Hwy., Nashville; andMonday, June 25 from 1 to 2 p.m. at Hastings City Hall, 201 E. State St., Hastings.“Local office hours offer a great opportunity for dialogue with community members,” Rep. Calley said. “I deeply appreciate the time and insight of those who attend. All three locations in June are new venues, as I strive to reach new participants.”No appointment is necessary. Residents unable to attend scheduled office hours may send their questions and ideas to Calley via email at JulieCalley@house.mi.gov or by calling her at 517-373-0842. Categories: Calley Newslast_img read more

first_img25Apr Rep. Afendoulis votes to ‘Raise the Age’ for juvenile justice in Michigan Legislation ends policy requiring 17-year-olds to be treated as adults in courtState Rep. Lynn Afendoulis today voted to end the policy requiring all 17-year-olds to be treated as adults in Michigan’s criminal justice system.The plan was overwhelmingly approved by the Michigan House and now advances to the Senate for consideration.Michigan is one of just four states still requiring all 17-year-olds to be prosecuted as adults – even those who commit the most minor offenses. Afendoulis said eliminating this harmful and ineffective practice will help rehabilitate young offenders and reduce the likelihood of them breaking the law again in the future.“The prison facilities and programming available in the adult criminal justice system are not designed to rehabilitate kids,” said Afendoulis, of Grand Rapids Township. “Research shows that 17-year-old offenders experience much better results when they have access to the rehabilitation and education programs offered through juvenile court.”Including 17-year-olds in the juvenile system has been shown to reduce reoffending by 34 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control.House Bills 4133-46, 4443 and 4452 would raise the age at which individuals are considered adults for the purposes of prosecuting and adjudicating criminal offenses, allowing 17-year-olds to be treated as minors within the juvenile system in most circumstances beginning Oct. 1, 2021. Prosecutors will continue to have some discretion, allowing them to waive minors who commit violent crimes into the adult system when appropriate.The measure also includes a funding plan to ensure local communities do not incur any additional costs associated with keeping 17-year-old offenders in the juvenile system, which is administered at the local level.Afendoulis said the reform is expected to improve public safety and save public tax dollars over time. Connecticut, Illinois and Massachusetts are among the states that have experienced millions of dollars in savings, decreases in the number of reoffending youth and declines in judicial costs after raising the age of juvenile court jurisdiction to 18. Categories: Afendoulis News,Newslast_img read more

first_imgShare26Tweet7ShareEmail33 SharesJune 27, 2018; Intercept, Splinter, CNN, and Washington PostAlexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s victory over incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley for New York’s 14th congressional district Tuesday is being called “the most shocking upset of a rollicking political season,” “the first knockout blow against the establishment wing of the Democratic Party,” and “the political equivalent of an earth-shattering event, the effects of which are going to be felt for years.”Twenty-eight-year-old Ocasio-Cortez beat the 10-term incumbent, who was seen as a potential successor to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, comfortably prevailing with 57.5 percent of the votes. As Splinter’s Paul Blest notes,Ocasio-Cortez is not just a progressive, or a Bernie Sanders supporter. She is an avowed socialist, recognizing healthcare, housing, jobs, and higher education as human rights which should belong to all of us. She supported abolishing ICE long before congressional Democrats began endorsing it. She ran against Crowley’s support of PROMESA, the undemocratic board running Puerto Rico’s finances that has forced the island into crippling austerity.Ocasio-Cortez’s socialism is one that’s tailor-made for these times.Ocasio-Cortez has been personally impacted by Crowley’s actions. As she tweeted to Crowley, “My grandfather died in the storm. Your acts shut down schools and starved public services when we need them most.”She told the Washington Post that she decided to challenge Crowley because “he was a ‘corporate Democrat,’ who received more money from corporate PACs than from local donors—and from the developers who were driving up housing costs. He had voted to create the Department of Homeland Security. He’d voted for the war in Iraq. He’d voted for PROMESA, the bill that created a hated bankruptcy board to handle Puerto Rico’s debt.”About running as a Socialist, she told Vogue, “There is no other force, there is no other party, there is no other real ideology out there right now that is asserting the minimum elements necessary to lead a dignified American life.”Many are saying that, in a time when many Democrats don’t know what to stand for or how to move the country forward, Ocasio-Cortez is showing the way.Crowley outspent Ocasio-Cortez by a margin of greater than seven-to-one, spending an estimated $1.5 million to her $194,763. Ocasio-Cortez won by running to the far left; engaging the left’s “natural constituencies—workers, people of color, immigrants, and anyone who has been threatened by this administration—and offering them not just a bandage to temporarily stop the bleeding of the Trump assault, but an idea of how to make this ailing country well”; and running a superior ground game, which she was prepared for and had a network in as an organizer. In fact, she was invited to run by Brand New Congress.In addition to the movements she is part of, Ocasio-Cortez garnered support from national progressive groups, including MoveOn, Democracy for America, Our Revolution, Justice Democrats, and Democratic Socialists of America, though some of these came in the last few weeks of her campaign.Interestingly, EMILY’s List­—the “EMILY” part stands for “early money is like yeast”—did not endorse Ocasio-Cortez. Though EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock told Time, “We’ve been practicing 33 years for this moment,” some are noting the group’s “conspicuous silence” on many high-profile primaries challenging male establishment candidates, even though that is its purpose. Even the Working Families Party, “which has helped primary challengers and insurgents across the state,” failed to endorse Ocasio-Cortez. They went for Crowley.Ocasio-Cortez says the difference between her and Crowley is how they are powered: “This race is about people versus money. We’ve got the people. They’ve got the money.”In her victory speech, she said, “This is not an end, this is the beginning,” and urged US voters to elect other like-minded candidates and send the message “that it’s not OK to put donors before your community.” One could add, assumptions about who is a viable candidate.In the weeks before the election, she said, “The only time we create any kind of substantive change is when we reach out to a disaffected electorate and inspire and motivate them to vote.” It would seem the field is ripe.—Cyndi SuarezShare26Tweet7ShareEmail33 Shareslast_img read more

first_imgThe board of ANGA Cable exhibitor Miranda (Stand P15) this week agreed to recommend an offer by Belden to acquire the company for C$17 (€13) a share.According to Miranda, the move is the culmination of a strategic review initiated by the board in March, charged with working out how best to ensure that any transaction would both recognize Miranda’s value and its success to date, as well as its future prospects, and position Miranda’s business effectively for continued growth. Belden was one of a number of parties that entered into discussions with Miranda and expressed an interest in acquiring the company.Belden’s offer represents a premium of 42% to the 90-trading day volume weighted average share Price of C$11.99 as of June 4.Miranda plans to use ANGA Cable to launch its iControl Headend video network management system.Miranda’s iControl Headend is designed for network operation centres at cable, satellite or IPTV facilities and provides operators with end-to-end video signal path and QoE monitoring. By correlating the telemetry available to pinpoint service-impacting impairments and verifying quality with visibility throughout the signal path, iControl enables operators to identify items that require corrective action, according to Miranda.iControl Headend is an agnostic video network management system (NMS) that works in concert with other network elements to either monitor them or collect telemetry data from them. It works with third-party devices via SNMP or as part of a comprehensive Miranda solution that includes Kaleido mulitviewers, Densité probes and NVISION routers.last_img read more