first_imgAPTN National NewsStudents at Stobart High School in central Saskatchewan are protesting the transfer of one of their teachers.They say that too much cultural programming has been cut from the school, and they plan on circulating press releases and continuing to protest until they get answers.APTN National News reporter Larissa Burnouf was there, and has their story.last_img

first_imgNEW YORK — It pays more than ever to be an investor. U.S. companies have sent a record amount of cash to their shareholders as dividends this year as their profits continue to pile higher.The increase is key for shareholders, offering a bit of stability in what’s been a stomach-churning year for the stock market. The S&P 500 index has twice plunged by 10 per cent, and it was clinging to a 1 per cent gain for the year, as of Wednesday evening. After including dividends, though, its total return was 2.3 per cent.Wall Street is forecasting the choppiness to continue in 2019, partly because of slower growth in economies and corporate profits around the world. So any cushion for investors would be a welcome one. Three years ago, for example, dividends were the sole reason investors got anything out of their S&P 500 index funds. The index dropped 0.7 per cent that year, but with dividends its total return was 1.4 per cent.With less than a month left in 2018, companies in the S&P 500 index have already topped last year’s record of $419.8 billion in total dividends paid, according to Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices. Tyson Foods, Anadarko Petroleum and D.R. Horton all announced dividend hikes of at least 20 per cent last month. The biggest payer in the S&P 500 is AT&T, and Silverblatt says it may announce a boost to its payout in coming weeks to make it 34 consecutive years of increases.Companies have the wherewithal to do all this because their profits continue to surge. Across the S&P 500, earnings per share jumped nearly 26 per cent during the summer from a year earlier for the strongest growth in eight years. Besides dividends, companies have also been setting aside more of their profits for repurchases of their own stock as methods to return cash to shareholders. That’s been to the chagrin of critics pushing for higher pay for workers.The dividend increases aren’t just in the United States. Globally, payouts hit a third-quarter record this year, according to Janus Henderson. The $354.2 billion in total dividends was up 5.1 per cent from a year earlier, and growth was particularly strong in emerging markets.In China, big increases by banks, insurers and energy companies helped drive Chinese payouts up 14.6 per cent, for example. That marked a return to growth following three years of declines.Stan Choe, The Associated Presslast_img read more

The police had recovered three cheques marked to the value of Rs. 3 million which were in the possession of the suspects. The police have arrested three human smugglers in Matara and also recovered money they had obtained to send people to Australia by boat.Investigations had revealed that the three men had, earlier this month, sent 68 people to Australia on a multi-day trawler. All three men were handed over to the CID and are being further questioned while being held under detention orders, the police said. (Colombo Gazette) The three men who were arrested in Dikwella, Matara are residents of Negombo, Mawanella and Nakulugamuwa, the police media unit said today. read more

A UN spokesman in New York said Kieran Prendergast, the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, and Tasos Tzionis, envoy of Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos, concluded today a series of preliminary, informal and non-binding discussions on the Cyprus issue.”During these meetings, the Greek Cypriot delegation explained in detail their views on both procedure and substance,” said Stephane Dujarric.”Following these consultations, the Secretary-General has asked Sir Kieran to visit the region to listen to the views of all parties on the future of the Secretary-General’s mission of good offices on Cyprus,” he added.Sir Kieran is scheduled to arrive in Cyprus late on 30 May, and he will meet Mr. Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, as well as political leaders on both sides. He is expected to stay on the island until 2 June, after which he will travel to Athens and Ankara for consultations before returning to New York on 7 June report to Secretary-General Kofi Annan. read more

by The Associated Press Posted Nov 5, 2015 11:48 am MDT Last Updated Nov 5, 2015 at 12:26 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email POOLESVILLE, Md. – A Maryland girl who is undergoing cancer treatment will be able to attend school with the help of a robot.Ten-year-old Peyton Walton of Montgomery County will soon undergo five weeks of treatment at Memorial Sloan Cancer Center in New York, according to WRC-TV (http://bit.ly/1MkUIbm ). During that time, a robot she calls “Peyton’s Awesome Virtual Self,” or PAVS, will attend school for her at Poolesville Elementary School.The robot features an iPad screen attached to a rolling base. Walton will see and hear what the robot observes, and she can socialize with friends as her robot stand-in rolls down the halls. She’ll control the robot with an app and be able to respond to people talking with her. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity tie the remote user to the robot’s iPad and the iPad to the roller.“As they see that robot in the hallways, that’s Peyton,” said school principal Douglas Robbins. “She’s here, she’s with us and she’s going to engage in the school day, just like the rest of them.”Walton’s friends helped her pay the robot’s $3,000 cost.The robot comes from Double Robotics, a company that has helped other people in situations similar to Walton’s receive an education remotely. It also sells robots to telecommuters and doctors who need a remote presence.At Poolesville, Walton is still getting used to her PAVS; “I try not to crash into walls,” she said.The robot is bringing a little excitement into what otherwise would be an unrelentingly anxious and painful time, according to her mother, Lynn Schaeber.“Peyton is able to have a little bit more autonomy in her education,” Schaeber said. “She has control over her day-to-day activities in school, whereas cancer takes that from her, and really isolates her.”___Information from: WRC-TV, http://nbcwashington.com Rolling robot to attend school for 10-year-old Maryland girl as she undergoes cancer treatment read more

by Matthew Perrone, The Associated Press Posted Apr 26, 2016 11:10 am MDT Last Updated Apr 27, 2016 at 4:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email U.S. Senate hearing into Quebec-based Valeant will question top hedge fund investor Former Valeant chief financial officer Howard Schiller arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, April 27, 2016, to testify before the Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing on drastic price hikes by Valeant and a handful of other drugmakers that have stoked outrage from patients, physicians and politicians nationwide. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) WASHINGTON – American lawmakers investigating price hikes by embattled Quebec drugmaker Valeant Pharmaceuticals will also question one of the company’s leading investors, hedge fund manager William Ackman.The U.S. Senate’s aging committee holds its third meeting on drug prices on Wednesday, responding to escalating costs that have squeezed patients and strained health-care budgets across the country.The committee previously announced that it would question outgoing Valeant CEO Michael Pearson, the London, Ont.-born executive who built the company into one of Canada’s most valuable firm by pioneering its business model of buying cheap drugs and hiking prices.The committee said Tuesday it will also question Ackman, a billionaire activist investor who has been one of Valeant’s leading champions on Wall Street. Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital fund holds a nine per cent stake in Valeant and two chairs on the company’s board of directors. In recent months Ackman has criticized the company’s handling of multiple issues that have pummeled its shares amid mounting controversy.Also scheduled to appear is Valeant’s former chief financial officer and current board member, Howard Schiller. Committee staff said they issued subpoenas to compel Schiller and Pearson to appear.Valeant’s stock soared for several years under Pearson’s growth-through-acquisition strategy, which focused on buying older, niche drugs and repeatedly hiking prices. Pearson’s approach — which shunned the costly R&D investments of traditional drugmakers — made Valeant a favourite of Wall Street investors, including Ackman.But the company’s tactics eventually attracted scrutiny. In recent months Valeant has been swamped by a host of problems including three ongoing U.S. probes of its accounting and pricing practices, massive debt and shareholder lawsuits in the U.S. and Canada.It’s also repeatedly delayed filing its fourth-quarter and full-year 2015 results due to misstated sales from a now-defunct specialty pharmacy. Those delays put Valeant in danger of defaulting on agreements with its creditors and bondholders.On Monday, Valeant further distanced itself from Pearson by announcing that Perrigo Co. CEO Joseph Papa would become its new CEO. He is expected to officially replace Pearson early next month.The intense scrutiny of Valeant has triggered repeated sell-offs of company shares, which have lost nearly 90 per cent of their value since reaching peak levels last August. Almost $100 billion has been erased from Valeant’s stock market worth.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version misidentified Howard Schiller. read more

“Worsening inter-communal conflict in Rakhine state […] is taking a terrible toll on children – especially those living in the northern part of the state, where thousands of children have been cut off from humanitarian assistance in recent weeks,” said UNICEF in a statement late yesterday. “These children already suffer from high levels of deprivation and malnutrition. Their futures depend on help from doctors, nurses, teachers and others who can provide them with nutrition, health and education services,” it added. Noting that though some relief has been delivered in recent days, UNICEF called for “full resumption” of essential services as well as the urgent lifting of all restrictions of movement of health and other professionals so they can safely reach children and families. In late October, in her briefing to the Third Committee of the General Assembly – the main GA committee on social, humanitarian affairs and human rights issues, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar Yanghee Lee had voiced concern over the situation in Rakhine state, including the killing of nine police officers (earlier in the month) and the resulting security operations, which she said led to multiple allegations of serious human rights violations, including torture and ill-treatment during interrogations, summary executions, arbitrary arrest and the destruction of mosques and houses in Muslim villages. Special Rapporteurs and independent experts are appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a specific human rights theme or a country situation. The positions are honorary and the experts are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work. read more

Ohio State’s Cole Gorski celebrates in mid-air at the Simmons-Harvey Quad in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on Jan. 21, 2018. Credit: Ethan Clewell | Lantern ReporterThe Ohio State men’s track and field team finished third while the women’s team finished last at the Jim Click Shootout in Tucson, Arizona, after competing Friday and Saturday.The Jim Click Shootout hosted six teams: Ohio State, Illinois, Cincinnati, Kansas State, Auburn and Arizona. The Arizona men’s team and Kansas State women’s team captured titles at the event.Ohio State competed without its distance runners. This is the second consecutive meet Ohio State competed without its full roster.Men’s recapOhio State senior Cole Gorski reached new heights by claiming first place with a jump of 5.50 meters, breaking his own Ohio State outdoor record. The jump is currently tied for eighth in the country.  Junior Coty Cobb finished second in pole vault behind his teammate with a jump of 5.05 meters. Ohio State racked up 18 points in pole vault alone.Ohio State placed first in the 4×100-meter relay. The team, consisting of freshman Eric Harrison, freshman Tavonte Mott, senior Drelan Bramwell and senior Duan Asemota, ran a time of 39.65 seconds. In triple-jump, junior DaJuan Seward finished second with a total of 15.14 meters jumped.In the 800-meter run, sophomore Alexander Lomong came in second with a time of 1:49.72.Women’s Recap The Ohio State women’s team picked up the most points during the 400-meter run. Senior Maggie Barrie finished in first place with a time of 52.91 seconds, junior Karrington Winters finished third at 53.32 and freshman Syaira Richardson finished fourth at 53.76.Senior Chantel Ray took first place in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 13.41 seconds, her fastest time this season.Freshman Anavia Battle won the 200-meter dash with a time of 23.28 seconds.Senior Madison Roberts finished second in pole vault, setting a season high of 3.85 meters.Ohio State’s 4×100-meter-relay team, made up of Barrie, freshman Anavia Battle, Richardson and Ray, ran a time of 44.73 seconds, which was good for Ohio State’s fastest time this season.The 4×400-meter-relay team, made up of Richardson, Barrie, Winters and senior Courtney Cloudy, placed second with a time 3:36.72.Ohio State will split up again next week. Part of the team will travel to Oxford, Ohio, for the All-Ohio Meet and the other group will head to Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Tennessee Invitational Friday and Saturday. read more

first_img“And if it is a few thousand officers, obviously it will cost quite a bit of money. “I would think it is going to be the odd million, but I can’t be too precise.”Sir Bernard said he thought the plan was for Mr Trump to visit around June, but he was not sure of exact dates. He said: “At the moment, of course, people are concerned that there might be lots of protests – there have been already.”So no doubt as the days pass we will make assessments for what is going to happen.”He added: “We cannot definitely say there’s going to be huge amounts of problems. I think we have got some concerns already; no doubt we will put a lot of officers out there and keep people safe to make sure that everything goes well. Donald Trump with his executive order banning refugees from seven Muslim countriesCredit:Bloomberg/ Olivier Douliery Donald Trump with his executive order banning refugees from seven Muslim countries “We are just waiting to hear all the details be fleshed out.”State visits, usually there are two a year, and usually we get about six months’ notice, but occasionally it has been far shorter notice than that, and we have just got to get on and do it.” Scotland Yard boss Bernard Hogan-Howe has said he has concerns about Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK, which could take place in June, and the event is likely to cost millions of pounds to police.Speaking on LBC, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner said there were already “some concerns” about potential protests, but that assessments were continuing. 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.last_img read more

first_imgMallak said that when she and her sister had originally been attacked last August the perpetrators said it was because they had been staring at them.”They’re all younger than us, I think they aged between 15 and 17, I don’t know who they are, and they go to a different school,” she said.”No one did anything, something could’ve been done, and if the police did then she would still be here.”The girls’ father, Muhammad Moustafa, who lives in Nottingham, said he believed the attack was racially-motivated.”I just don’t know why they would attack her, when she did nothing wrong,” he said.Detectives said yesterday (THURS) there was no information to suggest the attack was motivated by hate but that they were “keeping an open mind”. They have been handed CCTV footage from the bus and have viewed the mobile phone footage.The results of a post-mortem examination are expected today (FRI).One 17-year-old girl arrested on suspicion of assault occasioning grievous bodily harm before Miss Moustafa died was bailed pending further investigation following the incident.Police said several other juveniles had been interviewed. The hashtag “Mariam’s rights will not be lost” has also been trending in Egypt. We’re aware of social media posts and discussions with regard to the recent tragic death of Mariam Moustafa. We want to make it clear at this time there’s no information to suggest the assault was motivated by hate but we continue to keep an open mind. https://t.co/EcSEc8wxih pic.twitter.com/n7wq0nijeS— Notts Police (@nottspolice) March 15, 2018 The death of an engineering student who has died after a brutal assault by a girl gang has sparked a diplomatic row with Egypt.Mariam Moustafa, 18, was punched several times and dragged 20 metres by the group as she waited for a bus in Nottingham city centre.The girls followed her on board and continued the attack until she lost consciousness, her family said.She was initially discharged from The Queen’s Medical Centre and had to be rushed to Nottingham City Hospital the following day, February 21, where she spent 12 days in a coma.Miss Moustafa’s devastated family believe the attack was racially motivated and revealed that she and her younger sister, Mallak, had been attacked before but the police had failed to act.They branded the perpetrators “animals” for filming the fatal attack on mobile phones.The incident has sparked outrage in Egypt, where the prosecutor-general has requested information about the probe into her death by British officials, according to the BBC.The country is also planning to send a delegation of parliamentarians to the UK in the wake of the death, while the embassy called for those responsible for her death to be “brought to justice swiftly”.center_img Emad Abu Hussein, a lawyer from the Egyptian embassy in London, questioned why she was initially discharged from hospital “despite a severe cerebral haemorrhage”.Mallak, 16, criticised Nottinghamshire Police for “missing vital warning signs” that she believes could have saved her life.She said she had seen some of those involved “laughing about my sister’s coma” on Instagram.Miss Moustafa’s uncle, Amr ElHariry, 46, said two girls had attacked Marian and Mallak, breaking Mallak’s leg, four months prior to the assault which left her dead.The businessman claimed her parents Nisreen, 41 and Mohamed Moustafa, 49, had reported the incident to police but that nothing was done.He said of the second attack: “Whilst Mariam was lying in that hospital bed after nine operations, the girls who did it were taking selfies on Instagram and enjoying life.”He said his niece had been walking down the street when a group of girls shouted at her, calling her “black rose”.  Mr ElHariry said his niece was admitted to hospital at around 9pm but discharged at 2am, even though she was still in pain.”We are angry that the hospital discharged her in the first place and weren’t able to spot she had a bleed on the brain,” he said. 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.last_img read more

The study also found that those who increased consumption of red and processed meat over the period by half a portion had a 10 per cent higher risk of dying in the subsequent eight-year period. Swapping one portion of red meat for fish or nuts daily could cut the risk of early death by almost a fifth, research in the British Medical Journal suggests.Scientists said the Harvard study showed the benefits of the “Med diet” – with eggs, nuts and fish more often chosen instead of meats.The eight year study examined the dietary habits of more than 81,000 people in the US.People were asked how much they had eaten of different types of foods  including red and processed meats – such as ham, hot dogs and bacon – as well as nuts, fish, eggs, whole grains, legumes and chicken and turkey.The results showed that swapping a daily portion of meat for fish cut the risk by 17 per cent over the eight-year period.And those who increased their consumption of nuts, while cutting back on red and processed meats, saw a 19 per cent reduced risk of dying over the time.Switching meat for whole grains cut risk by 12 per cent while opting for skinless poultry or vegetables was linked to a 10 per cent lower risk, while choosing eggs was linked to an eight per cent lower risk of early death. 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. “We know that the choices people make are a result of the environments that they live in, so we call on the Government to take a bold step and introduce policies, such as subsidies on healthier food like fruit and vegetables, that empower people to make these healthier swaps by making our daily environments healthier.”We recommend that people eat no more than three portions of red meat a week, as this provides a balance between the advantages of red meat as a source of essential nutrients and the disadvantages.”However, we recommend that people eat little or no processed meat, such as bacon.”Dr Ian Johnson, Nutrition researcher and Emeritus Fellow, Quadram Institute Bioscience, said: “The important new point is that adults seem to be able to significantly improve their chances of a longer healthier life by adjusting their diets toward what can be broadly described as a more ‘Mediterranean’ pattern.” The increased risk for processed meat alone was 13 per cent and was 9 per cent for unprocessed red meat. One rasher of bacon counted as half a serving of processed meat, while half a serving of red meat was equivalent to one and half slices of roast beef.Previous studies have shown that red and processed meat is linked to an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and bowel cancer.The researchers, based in the US and China, concluded: “This association with mortality was observed with increased consumption of processed and unprocessed meat, but was stronger for processed meat.”A decrease in total red meat consumption and a simultaneous increase in the consumption of nuts, fish, poultry without skin, dairy, eggs, whole grains, or vegetables over eight years was associated with a lower risk of death in the subsequent eight years. “These findings suggest that a change in protein source or eating healthy plant based foods such as vegetables or whole grains can improve longevity.”Dr Giota Mitrou, director of research at the World Cancer Research Fund, said: “This new study reinforces our own evidence that eating red meat or processed meat increases the risk of cancer. read more

EHF CL 2018/2019 There are still almost three months to the opening throw-off of the new VELUX EHF Champions League season, but the first step towards the final 2018/19 roster of the clubs has been made after the deadline for the registration has passed.In total 34 teams from 23 countries are vying for a place in the new season after they all submitted their application before the deadline on 5 June.Registration of clubs does not equal the participation and the final list of all participants will only be confirmed at the EHF Executive Committee meeting on Monday 18 June in Glasgow, Scotland.The confirmation by the EHF EXEC is based on an evaluation of the registered clubs divided into eight different criteria (venue, TV, ranking in the domestic league, spectators, performance in past EHF club competitions, sponsoring potential, implementation of duties and regulations and media).Based on the EHF ranking list 22 teams (20 national champions and the runners-up of Germany and Spain) have handed in their registrations. In addition, 12 clubs eligible to enter the EHF Cup have submitted their requests for the Champions League upgrade via their national federations.Draw dates confirmedThe draw of the qualification tournament(s) will take place on Wednesday 27 June at the EHF Office in Vienna, while the group phase draw will be held on Friday 29 June also in the Austrian capital.The VELUX EHF Champions League 2018/19 will be played in the same mode as the previous two seasons with 28 teams of the group phase split in four groups. In Group A and B there will be eight teams each, while each in Group C and D only six teams will play.Teams registered based on the EHF Ranking list (22):BLR – HC Meshkov BrestCRO – PPD ZagrebDEN – Skjern HandboldESP – FC Barcelona LassaESP – Ademar de LeonFIN – CocksFRA – Paris Saint-Germain HandballGER – SG Flensburg HandewittGER – Rhein-Neckar LöwenHUN – MOL-Pick SzegedMKD – HC VardarNOR – ElverumPOL – PGE Vive KielcePOR – Sporting CPROU – CS Dinamo BucurestiRUS – Chekhovskie MedvediSLO – RK Celje Pivovarna LaskoSUI – Wacker ThunSVK – Tatran PresovSWE – IFK KristianstadTUR – Besiktas MOGAZ HTUKR – HC Motor ZaporozhyeFurther registrations for a place in the CL (12)                                                            AUT – Alpla HC HardBLR – SKA-MinskDEN – Bjerringbro-SilkeborgFRA – Montpellier HBFRA – HBC NantesGER – Füchse BerlinHUN – Telekom VeszpremISR – Maccabi Srugo Rishon LezionMKD – HC MetalurgNED – OCI/LionsPOL – Orlen Wisla PlockSLO – RK Gorenje VelenjeSource: EHF ← Previous Story Jota Gonzales leaves Logrono after 11 years in direction Paris Next Story → 26 teams want to play WOmen’s EHF CL 2018/2019 read more

first_imgOver the last year, runner David Crawford said, he’s seen an uptick in homeless encampments along the Padden Parkway bike path. He recalled seeing tents and shopping carts full of old shoes and other items along with garbage.In February, Crawford said he saw a particularly bad encampment with garbage strung about. He said that after it sat there for a long time, he decided to contact the Clark County Council.It took a month for the encampment to be cleaned. The delay occurred, in part, because of confusion over whether the encampment fell under Vancouver or Clark County’s jurisdiction. But Crawford said that it seemed like the county didn’t have a chain of command or policy in place when it came to homeless encampments.“From the guys I talked to, it’s like, who is supposed to take care of this?” he said. “Somebody needs to do something.”The increase in homelessness in recent years has created new challenges. In 2016, Clark County lost a lawsuit over its handling of the personal property of homeless people during sweeps of encampments.last_img read more

first_imgBy: Kebba AF TourayThe Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA), began a two day sensitization on Tax with Regional authorities and the business community in Basse, URR.The tax sensitisation aims to make the taxpayers in the region aware of the significance of tax payment.Speaking at the opening, Matty Njie Senghore, on behalf of the GRA Commissioner General, said the seminar is part of the Authority’s deliberate strategy of targeting regional authorities and the business community in the regions, on taxes, revenue and other Laws being administered.“The objective of partnering with the local authorities and the business communities is very important, in that they could easily share their knowledge and understanding about taxation to those community members, not present in this forum,” she said.She narrated that they held similar engagements with other Regional representatives in West Coast and North Bank Regions and are currently engaging stakeholders such as the key tertiary institutions, in a series of programs that will help deepen their understanding on revenue management and administration.She added: “The Seminar discusses tax reforms and clarifies challenges faced by the Authority and taxpayers, in the process of collecting the much needed tax revenues for Government;” that the seminar will generate remarkable understanding and cooperation between GRA and URR Regional Authorities and business communities, which will enhance voluntary compliance among taxpayers.She thanked Government for support, in strengthening Taxpayers’ Education Program, while urging participants of their cooperation and participation during the seminar.In his opening statement, Deputy Governor of the Region Omar Sey, said the country is a tax based nation, and as such the seminar will assist widen the horizon of taxpayers on tax payment; that without tax, the development of a country will be difficult.Other speakers at the ceremony, include Foday Danjo, the Chairperson of Basse Area Council, Baboucarr Bojang, Deputy Customs Manager at Basse Station, and Momodou Sellu Bah, the Alkalo of Basse, all congratulated the GRA for the move and urged for continuity. They implored on the taxpayers to make timely compliance and voluntary payments, before they are forced to pay.last_img read more

first_imgIditarod 2017 champion Mitch Seavey mushes on the outskirts of Nome. (Photo: David Dodman, KNOM)The Iditarod sled dog race is in trouble.Listen nowThat’s the finding from a confidential report looking into the financial sustainability and leadership of the race’s governing body. Iditarod officials are planning to implement a series of reforms later this year, but not until after the race wraps up in March.The December report was put together by the Foraker Group, and was commissioned by the race’s main corporate sponsors. The Iditarod Trail Committee has received waves of criticism the last few years over controversial new policies, loss of sponsors and a high-profile doping scandal many feel was mishandled.The document was first reported on by blogger Craig Medred earlier this week.In interviews with board members, staff, sponsors and mushers, along with a review of financial documents and policies, Foraker concludes the Iditarod’s relationship with key stakeholders is severely damaged. It finds mushers don’t have confidence in the ITC board. And that without internal reforms sponsors aren’t likely to continue supporting the event.That’s a big threat to Alaska’s premier sled dog race, because most of the Iditarod’s revenues come from corporate sponsorship. The Foraker report notes that the annual event depends heavily on unpaid volunteer labor, and questions whether that model is financially sustainable.The author also says the handling of the recent doping incident exacerbated mistrust of the board among mushers, and gave ammo to animal rights activists, who have long-criticized the event and pushed sponsors to drop support.Through its public relations firm Iditarod officials declined a request for an interview. But in four pages of comments sent to Alaska Public Media, ITC’s board commits to making reforms that will make the race viable long-term. The document is an extensive list of policy changes they are planning. Some are quite general, such as improving communication with sponsors and mushers. Others are extremely specific, like finding a plan to replace board members with clear conflicts of interest before this summer and annual review of race rules.last_img read more

first_imgMarcia BernicatExpressing concern over the growing number of people dying in crackdown on drug dealers, the United States on Wednesday laid emphasis on catching “kingpins” and finding the sources of illegal drugs and bringing responsible persons to justice respecting human rights, reports UNB.”I ask always human rights are respected and people everywhere can have the confidence that right individual has been caught, right individual is punished and that no one is taking the law in their own hands,” said US ambassador in Dhaka Marcia Bernicat on Wednesday.The US diplomat said it is really important to find out the sources of drug who are facilitating at the heart of drug trafficking and capturing and convicting not only the dealers but also the kingpins.She was talking to reporters at the secretariat after her lengthy meeting with home minister Asaduzzaman Khan.Bernicat said she covered a number of issues, including the “killings” that have been taking place as part of the government campaign against drugs.The US ambassador said she does not know any country on earth that is not fighting against illegal drugs as it kills people, destroys families and cripples economies with so many innocent victims.She also laid emphasis on educating people as one of the options to fight this problem.”On the other hand, goal should be zero tolerance. Goal should be trying to bring everyone to justice,” she said adding that no country did find a foolproof way of fighting against drugs.last_img read more

first_img Listen Simon and Schuster 00:00 /15:46 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Sharecenter_img In 1993, a CIA branch chief named Freddie Woodruff was shot and killed in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia.The official story was that a drunken Georgian soldier was responsible, and he was tried and convicted.But Houston lawyer Michael Pullara wasn’t satisfied with that version of what happened. He’s a family friend of Woodruff’s, and he went digging for answers in the case.What he found was irrefutable evidence that the soldier was innocent – enough to get the man released from prison. And he uncovered an international conspiracy to murder an American spy.Family PhotosCIA agent Freddie Woodruff, who was killed in 1993 in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia.Pullara has written a book about his discoveries called The Spy Who Was Left Behind.He’ll sign copies at an event with the World Affairs Council of Greater Houston, which will be held Wednesday, Jan. 30, at 6:30 p.m. at the United Way of Greater Houston, located at 50 Waugh Dr.In the audio above, he tells Houston Matters producer Michael Hagerty about his investigation.Michael Hagerty/Houston Public MediaHouston attorney Michael Pullara is the author of The Spy Who Was Left Behind, which uncovered the truth about the 1993 murder of a CIA agent. Xlast_img read more

first_imgFor video game and comic book geeks, pitting characters from the Marvel universe and the Capcom universe against one another is almost a right of passage. Until you’ve had that argument about Iron Man losing to Megaman or whether or not the Hulk would split Morrigan in half with a well placed kick, you aren’t part of the club.The appeal behind the Marvel vs Capcom franchise is that you can settle these disputes once and for all, without having to worry about pesky things like physics or canon. Marvel vs Capcom Origins is a trip back into the the early days of the series on Xbox Live Arcade, with a modern twist.MvC Origins was clearly going for a complete throwback feel when they made the game. Instead of taking up your entire (widescreen) television the game is forced into an old school CRT monitor shape, complete with the occasional flickering and black lines in high action scenarios. The first few minutes of playing a game on a 42-inch LCD that is made to look like a 24-inch CRT are confusing, but eventually it’s strangely natural. The letterboxing on the sides of the display are filled with counters for various Xbox Live achievements, which also earn you in-game credit that unlocks costumes, characters, and cinematics.For a quick trip down memory lane, Marvel vs Capcom Origins is a lot of fun. The controls are mapped to take full advantage of the Xbox 360 controller, which made the game much more enjoyable to play overall. The game features a “training mode” to help you get used to the button layout and to try out the combo attacks for your character, and the story mode in which you fight your way to the top in whichever difficulty level you choose.Marvel vs Capcom Origins is available via Xbox Live and PSN for $14.99 or 1200 Microsoft Points.last_img read more

first_imgKolkata: Mayor Firhad Hakim alleged bias on part of the Election Commission when it comes to issuing instructions for removal of banners and hoardings with images of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The outburst from the Mayor came after the Commission wrote to the Municipal Commissioner, urging him to take steps to remove hoardings and banners with images of Mamata Banerjee that are still found in some parks under the Kolkata Municipal Corporation. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata”We have already removed most of the hoardings or banners with picture of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee immediately after the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) came into effect. I have instructed my officials to remove any more such banners with immediate effect. We are always ready to abide by the norms of elections and instructions of the Commission in this regard. But I am sorry to say that several such banners exist on national highways and petrol pumps, with pictures of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The PM’s pictures have been found on rail tickets too. But the Commission has turned a blind eye to many of these. Such bias is unfortunate,” Hakim said. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateHe also lashed out at Union Home minister Rajnath Singh, over his statement at a political rally at Amta, Howrah that if the saffron party is voted back to power, he will let the Opposition know where they stand. “Why shouldn’t the Commission ban him for such a remark? He is presently the Home minister and we do not know whether he will be in power after the election results are announced. So such arrogant statements are undesirable,” Hakim said.last_img read more