Login/Register With: Advertisement Advertisement An independent movie theatre in northeast B.C. says Disney’s strict rules around Star Wars: The Last Jedi are unfair to small-town cinemas and could become even more harmful as the company expands its dominance of the entertainment industry.John Roper is general manager of the Phoenix Theatre in Fort Nelson, which is home to about 4,000 people. Despite excitement in the community to see the latest instalment in the Star Wars series, Roper said the conditions imposed by Disney are simply “impossible” for the Phoenix to meet.“Not only do we have to play it for four weeks straight, we have to play it four times a day,” said Roper, adding that with only one screen available, it would be “very difficult” to play a single movie for a month without losing money due to lack of audience. Twitter Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement READ MORE
MONTREAL – Laurentian Bank’s CEO acknowledges having underestimated the market reaction to irregularities surrounding certain mortgages sold to a third-party buyer even though he believes the issue has been “over mediatized.”“We certainly underestimated the sensitivity of the market to all that (touches) the mortgage sector,” Francois Desjardins told reporters Tuesday after the bank’s annual meeting.The bank didn’t address the issue in its presentations, but that didn’t stop a shareholder from criticizing its leaders and demanding accountability for the company’s share performance.Canada’s seventh-largest bank is trading around $48 on the Toronto Stock Exchange, far from its level of about $60 in early December, before the disclosure of irregularities.Laurentian expects to purchase up to $392 million in loans deemed problematic by the end of the second quarter, following the comprehensive review of mortgage loans totalling $1.1 billion.Desjardins told reporters that the bank’s situation is very different from what happened with Home Capital last year.The discovery of irregularities at the Ontario alternative lender resulted in charges being laid by the Ontario Securities Commission and pushed the company into a crisis that threatened its survival.“The amount mentioned is $400 million (of potentially redeemed loans) on (managed assets) of $47 billion,” said Desjardins. “That’s less than one per cent of all the work we do.”He insisted that the quality of the loans in question was not bad, but that the product type simply wasn’t what was wanted by the third-party buyer, whose identity was not disclosed.Laurentian shareholder Richard Venor, an accountant by profession, regretted a lack of transparency by management in recent months, believing that it had not been able to “deliver the goods” to the shareholders.“If loans have gone bad, heads have to roll,” he told fellow shareholders. “It’s the way we work in business. Managers should be identified and we must get rid of them.”Venor later told reporters that the current share price reflected the market’s view of the bank’s management.Desjardins acknowledged that the issue could have an impact on the share price, adding that there were several other factors to consider, including the current transformation plan.Desjardins wants to double the bank’s size as part of a major digital shift, which has resulted in a decrease in the size of the branch network in Quebec. He intends to eliminate 50 branches and reduce their number to about 100.“We are building the bank of tomorrow,” he said, urging patience. “It’s over seven years, it’s not a one-quarter correction.”Companies in this story: (TSX:LB, TSX:HCG)
New Delhi: Global Alliance for Mass Entrepreneurship (GAME) and Facebook Tuesday said they have collaborated to help small entrepreneurs in India build their businesses using digital platforms to aggregate demand, market products and acquire customers. The objective of this partnership is to ramp up job creation and to further empower entrepreneurs, in line with Facebook’s commitment to train 5 million people with digital and entrepreneurial skills by 2021, a statement said. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal “GAME and Facebook will kick-start their engagement with a project empowering local communities of rural entrepreneurs – using digital and physical modes, a landscape review and identification of solutions for women entrepreneurs and a grand prize challenge for innovative models that spur new business creation,” it added. Phase I will be rolled out this year covering 10 states including Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Jammu and Kashmir and Maharashtra among others. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boost “Imagine the power of a platform that can bring together communities of artisan clusters, agri-entrepreneurs or homepreneurs in the thousands to learn, collaborate and succeed – the possibilities are boundless,” GAME founder and former Chairman of Microsoft India, Ravi Venkatesan said. GAME — a consortium of public and private organisations — was formed last year and aims to facilitate creation of 10 million new entrepreneurs and 50 million jobs by 2030, with a special focus on opportunities for women. The statement pointed out that women currently comprise 23 per cent of internet users and six per cent of mass entrepreneurs in India. The partnership aims to significantly improve women’s participation in the workforce through entrepreneurship by increasing internet usage and leveraging its potential to connect and empower, it added. “We believe that when you give women and youth the skills and technology to improve their lives, we can equip them to unlock economic and social value for themselves and their communities,” Facebook India, South and Central Asia Public Policy Director Ankhi Das said.
Rabat – More than 60 people are believed to have died after a boat carrying Rohingya Muslims escaping violence in Myanmar capsized off of Bangladesh.The vessel overturned while trying to cross rough seas between Myanmar and Bangladesh. Twenty-three people were confirmed dead, while more than 40 were “missing and presumed drowned,” according to a UN spokesman.Many Rohingya Muslims have died while they were trying to cross into Bangladesh during the Myanmar military’s crackdown in the Burmese state of Rakhine, which many in the international community have identified as ethnic cleansing. Violence against the Rohingya Muslims broke out on August 25 when the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) unleashed a wave of repression against nearly 300,000 members of the Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim minority, out of the total population of approximately 1 million.Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh since August in order to escape violence in Myanamar. The number of Rohingya Muslims in Bangladesh has risen 436,000 to 480,000 due to an estimated 35,000 refugees who had not been accounted for moving into two refugee camps in the country, according to a report issued by the United Nations on September 26.UN secretary General Antonio Guterresha surged Myanamar’s officials to end the military violence against the Rohingya Muslims. Gueteress described the Rohingya crisis “the world’s fastest developing refugee emergency and a humanitarian and human rights nightmare.”In late September, Nikki Haley, the United States Ambassador to the UN, urged the countries that provide Myanamar’s government with weapons to stop doing so until “sufficient accountability measures” were in place.“Those who have been accused of committing abuses should be removed from command responsibilities immediately and prosecuted for wrongdoing,” said Haley.
“The many victims of Sri Lanka’s three-decade long civil war have seen their diminishing hopes for justice further delayed by presidential politics,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “This tragedy highlights the failure of the Sirisena government to take swift, meaningful steps toward accountability.” In the 674-page World Report 2019, its 29th edition, Human Rights Watch reviewed human rights practices in more than 100 countries. In his introductory essay, Executive Director Kenneth Roth says that the populists spreading hatred and intolerance in many countries are spawning a resistance. New alliances of rights-respecting governments, often prompted and joined by civic groups and the public, are raising the cost of autocratic excess. Their successes illustrate the possibility of defending human rights – indeed, the responsibility to do so – even in darker times. Long-promised security sector reforms are also stalled. Although the government proposed a new counterterrorism law to repeal the draconian and long-abused Prevention of Terrorism Act, the bill did not meet international human rights standards.One important advance for justice was the indictment, in November, of the chief of defense staff, Adm. Ravindra Wijegunaratne, for protecting a navy officer accused of abducting and killing 11 ethnic Tamil civilians during the civil war.“Sri Lanka’s past pledges to provide justice to conflict victims and to initiate reforms have fallen by the wayside amid political turmoil,” Ganguly said. “Sri Lanka’s friends need to press the government to meet its commitments to people who have suffered for so long.” (Colombo Gazette) Sri Lanka’s political upheaval undermined stalled processes aimed at providing truth and justice for abuses from the country’s civil war, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its World Report 2019.The crisis subsided after the Supreme Court ruled on December 13 that the president’s dissolving of parliament was unconstitutional, and Mahinda Rajapaksa stepped down as proclaimed prime minister. The administration of Rajapaksa was implicated in egregious violations during the final months of Sri Lanka’s brutal civil war in 2009, and in suppression of freedoms of the media, expression, and association. After Maithripala Sirisena won the election in 2015, the government improved the climate for civil society, reversed some repressive measures, and supported a resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council that promoted four transitional justice mechanisms for truth and accountability.Of these four, only the Office of Missing Persons has been formed, but it has yet to become fully functional. Families in the north and east have held protests and vigils to demand the return of their land from military occupation and to seek the truth about disappeared family members. The political turmoil over the country’s leadership and the possible return of a Rajapaksa administration raised fears not only of further delays in justice, but of retribution against those pressing for government action. The Supreme Court ruling and Rajapaksa’s concession ended the turmoil.
In that effort, Karen Koning AbuZayd, Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) said the Agency will work within the framework of James Wolfensohn, the envoy of the Middle East Quartet for coordinating Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza and the economic and social transition there.”We are very keen, along with the Wolfensohn team, to make sure that there are benefits and opportunities for the people in Gaza,” she said at a briefing at UN Headquarters in New York.The Agency, she said, is developing a job programme for graduates and people who had not been able to work during the intifada to get them jobs with municipalities, NGOs and the private sector, which will be funded for the first year by the international community.UNRWA also has a longer-term programme to improve, over three years, refugee camp infrastructure in order to better the refugees’ living conditions. Two-thirds of the population in Gaza consisted of refugees, of which one-half live in camps.She said that one important concern is transportation to and from Gaza. Questions about the airport and seaport had not been settled and a link between the West Bank and Gaza is also of major concern.UNRWA was also concerned there would be a political horizon for the refugees in Gaza, as they needed to see peace in the Middle East.Ms. AbuZayd said the UNRWA budget for the next biennium, which she will present later this week, has increased by 30 per cent over the previous budget because it incorporates post-disengagement activities and efforts to improve living conditions for Palestinian refugees throughout the region.
Starting this week, Microsoft will begin giving Windows 7 users who have yet to install Service Pack 1 a helpful push into the safer, more secure future. SP1 will start rolling out as an automatic update, and that’s a very good thing.Not only does Windows 7 Service Pack patch numerous flaws in the uber-popular OS, but it also bring loads of performance and stability tweaks. It’s also going to be a support requirement going forward come April 9, 2013. Microsoft wants to make sure everyone who’s using Windows 7 is running the version that’s in line for all the upcoming bug fixes. Critical security fixes, of course, will still be delivered to all Windows 7 users, not just those who welcome SP1 with open arms.There’s really no reason not to install the update, unless you’re a network administrator with very particular platform requirements for your in-house apps… or you happen to be running a copy of Windows that might not be 100% legal.Don’t be expecting to see any dramatic changes after you install, though. Microsoft’s official notes about what’s included in Windows 7 SP1 are thin on details and the few changes that do get mentioned aren’t very exciting. Better print output from the XPS viewer won’t make you want to raise your glass, but improved audio reliability over HDMI connections might at least be worth a golf clap if you’re going to be running SP1 on a media center computer.To make sure you’re ready to receive Microsoft’s SP1 push, just pop in to the Control Panel and click the Windows Update icon. If you’re feeling a bit geekier, hit services.msc from the search box and verify that the Windows Update service is running.
Mar 24th 2017, 2:49 PM 7,586 Views Friday 24 Mar 2017, 2:49 PM HOSNI MUBARAK, THE former Egyptian autocrat toppled during the 2011 Arab Spring, left a military hospital today where he spent much of the last six years in detention.The release of the 88-year old who ruled Egypt for three decades would have been unthinkable several years ago, but revolutionary fervour gave way to exhaustion and even nostalgia in the uprising’s chaotic aftermath.Mubarak had been cleared for release earlier this month after a top court finally acquitted him of involvement in protester deaths during the 2011 revolt that ousted him.“Yes,” his lawyer Farid al-Deeb told AFP when asked if Mubarak had left the hospital today.He added that Mubarak had gone home to a villa in Cairo’s Heliopolis district.Mubarak was accused of inciting the deaths of protesters during the 18-day revolt, in which about 850 people were killed as police clashed with demonstrators.He was sentenced to life in jail in 2012 in the case, but an appeals court ordered a retrial which dismissed the charges two years later.Egypt’s top appeals court on 2 March acquitted him of involvement in the killings.Throughout his trial prosecutors had been unable to provide conclusive evidence of Mubarak’s complicity – a result, lawyers said, of having hastily put together the case against him in 2011 following demonstrations.In January 2016, the appeals court upheld a three-year prison sentence for Mubarak and his two sons on corruption charges.But the sentence took into account time served. Both of his sons, Alaa and Gamal, were freed.Yesterday, a court ordered a renewed corruption investigation into Mubarak for allegedly receiving gifts from the state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper.He is also banned from travel.NostalgiaMeanwhile several key activists in the 2011 uprising are now serving lengthy jail terms, and rights groups say hundreds of others have been forcibly disappeared.The international human rights organisation Reprieve said that Mubarak had been released while hundreds more face the death penalty.Deputy director Harriet McCulloch said: “As Hosni Mubarak goes free in Egypt, thousands of prisoners still languish in horrific conditions.The Sisi government must show that Egypt’s justice system is worthy of the name and release Ibrahim [Halawa], and the hundreds like him.The anti-Mubarak revolt ushered in instability that drove away tourists and investors, taking a heavy toll on the economy and leading to nostalgia for his rule.His successor Mohamed Morsi, an Islamist, ruled for only a year after his 2012 election before the military overthrew him, prompted by massive protests against his Muslim Brotherhood group.Morsi’s overthrow ushered in a deadly police crackdown that killed hundreds of protesters demanding his reinstatement.The military chief who toppled him, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, won election as president the following year.Morsi’s overthrow helped rehabilitate some Mubarak-era politicians, including a former senior member of his National Democratic Party who served as prime minister under Sisi.Most of Mubarak’s associates have been cleared in corruption trials, and police officers charged with violence during the revolt have been acquitted.“Mubarak’s trial lasted six years and public opinion became bored of it,” said Mostafa Kamel al-Sayed, an analyst and political science professor in Cairo University.Sisi and the powerful military have not fully embraced the former regime, and continue to praise the January-February revolt that brought it down.But critics say they have limited freedoms even more than Mubarak.Some who participated in the protests against Mubarak said they felt the uprising was in vain.“Honestly, I found that all of that was useless,” said Ahmed Mohamed, 29.Mohamed had been among the thousands of protesters who took to Cairo’s Tahrir Square demanding Mubarak’s fall.“Mubarak’s time was a lot better in all aspects,” he said after the prosecution ordered Mubarak’s release.In the few years before his overthrow, Mubarak had begun to loosen his grip on political life and the media, allowing for some protests and criticism.But police abuses and economic grievances remained.- © AFP, 2017With reporting from Sean MurrayRead: Hosni Mubarak acquitted over deaths of protesters during Arab Spring revoltRead: Egypt court recommends death sentence for 3 journalists Image: Amr Nabil AP/Press association Images Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article http://jrnl.ie/3305084 By AFP Share2 Tweet Email 11 Comments Short URL Image: Amr Nabil AP/Press association Images Former Egyptian president who was ousted in the Arab Spring gets out of jail Hosni Mubarak served six years in prison.
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Greek American Pinelopi Koujianou-Goldberg, a Professor of Economics at Yale University, has been appointed the new World Bank Group Chief Economist this week.Ms Koujianou-Goldberg a Greek and American national who was born and bred in Greece, is also the first woman to have been appointed as editor of the American Economic Review (2011-2017).The 55-year-old left Greece after completing her studies at the University of Athens having received a prestigious scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service to study economics at the University of Freiburg. Her performance lead to another scholarship this time from the Onassis Foundation offering her a rare chance to further her education at Stanford.In addition top her long resume and achievement as a leading applied microeconomist, the Greek academic is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a recipient of fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Ms Koujianou-Goldberg is widely known for her research on developing countries, investigating into the effects of trade on inequality and firm productivity, profits and innovation, and enforcement of intellectual property rights. She has won the 2003 Bodossaki Prize in Social Sciences, which is awarded to distinguished scholars of Greek nationality or decent by Yale University and has previously served on the economics faculty at Princeton and Columbia.“I’m thrilled that Penny Goldberg will bring her vast academic experience, intellectual rigor, and boundless curiosity to the World Bank Group,” World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said in a statement.“Penny has spent her career examining many of the most complex issues that affect developing countries, and she will help answer the most important – and difficult – questions of our time: how to help developing countries prepare for the economy of the future, and how to ensure equality of opportunity everywhere in the world.”
L’ours superstar Knut est mortSamedi, le responsable des ours du zoo de Berlin en Allemagne a annoncé la mort de Knut, l’ours polaire devenu célébrité nationale après avoir été rejeté par sa mère. L’animal était âgé de 4 ans et 3 mois.La nouvelle a bouleversé les Allemands. Samedi, l’ours polaire Knut a été retrouvé inanimé dans le bassin où il vivait avec trois autres congénères. Selon Heiner Klös, le responsable des ours du zoo de Berlin qui hébergeait l’animal, la mort est survenue en pleine après-midi “vers 15 heures” et pour des raisons qui restent encore inconnues.À lire aussiLe syndrome de Cotard, l’étrange maladie qui fait croire à une personne qu’elle est mortePremier ours né en captivité dans le zoo, Knut avait ému le pays dès sa naissance en 2006 après avoir été abandonné par sa mère Tosca. Alors que son frère jumeau est mort à peine âgé de 4 jours, Knut avait été recueilli par un des soigneurs du zoo Thomas Dörflein qui l’a nourri au biberon et l’a élevé. Mais depuis sa première sortie publique en mars 2007, l’ours avait bien grandi. Âgé de 4 ans et 3 mois, il était devenu une solide bête de plusieurs centaines de kilos et apparemment en bonne santé. En quelques années, la coqueluche allemande avait attiré des millions de visiteurs venant du monde entier. Des fans aujourd’hui choqués par la disparition soudaine et inattendue de l’animal.Pourtant, selon la PETA, les raisons de la mort de Knut ne laissent aucun doute. L’association a même déclaré avoir contacté le zoo de Berlin il y a plusieurs mois pour les alerter sur le fait que l’animal était “terrorisé” par les trois ourses polaires de son bassin, y compris sa propre mère. “La PETA allemande a demandé plusieurs fois au zoo de déplacer Knut. Tout le monde savait qu’il était soumis à un stress énorme. Sa mort prématurée aurait pu être évitée” a expliqué un porte-parole de l’association. Une autopsie prévue aujourd’hui devrait normalement permettre de déterminer les causes exactes du décès de Knut.Découvrez les photos de Knut, l’ours superstar qui profitait avec ses congénères de la neige tombée au zoo de Berlin en décembre 2009.Le 21 mars 2011 à 11:10 • Emmanuel Perrin
Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp This is a crime and in several of the cases, because the pets were tied in their owners’ yards, it may also be a crime of trespassing. Some believe it is a plot to wipe out barking dogs so that home burglaries are easier; others believe it is frustrated neighbours who say there are too many loose dogs in the neighborhood while yet others believe it is just a wicked person killing off canine members of people’s families. Needless to say the loss of these pets have been heart breaking, especially to children; in one case as many as three dogs from one family were killed and believed poisoned . Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, TCI, October 21, 2016 – There is a pet killer on the loose in Millennium Heights and residents are up in arms about the trend of dogs seemingly being poisoned; they are calling for an investigation and for the culprit or culprits to stop it. At least seven families have been devastated by the news now that their family dog was poisoned by someone either living or coasting in the area… just moments ago a resident found his dog dead in the back yard. Nine dogs have been killed and in nearly all cases the Police have been called in, but there has been no investigative team sent in to determine what is going on. Related Items:#animalmurderer, #dogskilledinmilleniumheights
Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#TurksandCaicos, December 27, 2017 – Providenciales – A long standing tradition for CIBC FirstCaribbean has been to support the National Cancer Society of the Turks and Caicos; 2017 was no exception and the bank stepped up in a major way to present a significant gift to the organisation which supports families and people living with the dreaded disease.Larry Lawrence is Country manager of CIBC FirstCaribbean and he turned over a cheque for $15,000.“We are very proud to announce that the TCI team has raised $15,000 this year to support the work of the Natioanal Cancer Society in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Their educational programs, that is the National Cancer Society are critical to helping generate awareness, and of course early detection, treatment and prevention of cancer. So this is a very important initiative that the National Cancer Society has undertaken in the Turks and Caicos Islands and we of course are very happy to facilitate that. Several of our team members and their families have been affected by cancer throughout the years, and that there is much public awareness throughout TCI, in other words, this is very close to our hearts.”Rosemary Jolly is the president of the Natl Cancer Society and she along with Elaina Patrick, the Society’s protocol officer accepted the cheque and explained the use of the donation derived from the Walk for a Cure event and bake sale fundraisers held by the bank during the year.“Over teh last six weeks, we have had six or seven persons, whether just diagnosed or diagnosed some time ago, but have just reached out to us for support, and so our work continues and our commitment continues. So contributions like this really puts us in a better position to help those who are counting so much on us. So once again thanks very much First Caribbean and thanks for your staff’s commitment to this cause and thanks to our corperate sponsors.”#MagneticMediaNews#CIBCpresentschecktoTCICancerSociety Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:#CIBCpresentschecktoTCICancerSociety, #magneticmedianews
An event celebrating the life and accomplishments of Florence Wager, a community advocate who died last month, will be Sunday at Vancouver’s Weber Evergreen Arboretum.“Florence B. Wager Day” will begin at 1 p.m. with tours of the arboretum and the historic Stanger House. Guests will also plant red tulips in honor of Wager, known to friends as “Flossie,” in a garden on the grounds that will bear her name.A program with remembrances will begin at 3 p.m., followed by a potluck dinner at 5 p.m., according to organizers. Attendees are encouraged to RSVP for the dinner by sending an email to email@example.com or calling 360-693-7392.Wager, a former Clark County First Citizen, was noted for her passionate support of parks, recreation and green spaces, among other causes. She died Aug. 22 at age 84 after battling colon cancer.Donations on behalf of the Parks Foundation of Clark County will also be accepted at the event. The Weber Evergreen Arboretum is at 9215 S.E. Evergreen Highway in Vancouver.
Firefighters pulled a man from a burning car Tuesday night, saving his life, said Battalion Chief Tim Dawdy of Clark County Fire & Rescue.About 9:15 p.m., the man was driving a Ford Explorer southbound on Interstate 5 about two miles north of Woodland.The SUV veered off the road, into the center median and crashed into bushes. Then it caught fire.A Clark County Fire & Rescue crew from the Woodland station saw the fire, Dawdy said.“These young firefighters scrambled down the bank and pulled the guy out of the car just before the flames impinged on the cab of the vehicle,” Dawdy said. Then, the rig was engulfed in flames.“They saved his life,” Dawdy said.The man’s name, age and residence were not immediately available. Dawdy said the man had minor injuries.Cowlitz County Fire District 1 helped in the effort.More details later.
A report of a fire at a Fruit Valley neighborhood business early Friday morning turned out to be spill of hot liquid metal. Vancouver firefighters were called to Pacific Die Casting Corp., at 5712 N.W. Fruit Valley Road, at 12:40 a.m. for a report of a commercial fire. While on their way to the call, firefighters upgraded the response to a two-alarm, sending more resources to the business because of the report of heavy smoke and people still inside, said Lead Deputy Fire Marshal Chad Lawry.That was canceled, however, when crews learned that the smoke was coming from molten aluminum that spilled on the ground after a ceramic vat cracked, Lawry said. No injuries were reported.Fire crews assisted at the scene but Lawry said there was no fire. Damage to the vat was estimated at about $15,000, Lawry said.
Is climate change a religious issue? A group of Alaskans says yes. They joined together this weekend in Anchorage for an interfaith Earth Care Jamboree.Download AudioDownload Audio.Thick fog enveloped the mountains as about 75 people from Anchorage and the Mat-Su Valley attended workshops and panels on climate and faith.“Any person who has a devotion to God in any form should think of the Earth as a creation that needs to be protected, needs to be cared for in a proper way,” said panelist Orthodox Bishop David Mahaffey. “So as a human being who knows and loves a creator God, I feel it’s my role to be involved in these things.”The Bishop said he incorporates protection of the environment in his daily life and sacraments. For him and many of the other speakers at the conference, faith and environmental protection are not just linked; they are inextricably tied together.And for some leaders, like Dr. Genmyo Zeedyk of the Anchorage Zen Community, that means speaking up about climate change.An interfaith panel on climate change spoke Saturday at Alpenglow Lodge in Arctic Valley. (Hillman/KSKA)“It seems that as faith leaders, arguably, one of our most fundamental activities is to help people in our various faith communities touch the Great Spirit – whatever word you want to call that – and then live that out in daily life,” she said during a panel discussion. “And to live it out in daily life means to care.”A 2014 survey by the Public Religion Research Institute shows that the more people hear about climate change from their religious leaders, the more likely they are to believe in it.But Presbyterian Reverend Dr. Curt Karns said that doesn’t mean climate change is an easy conversation to have with congregations in oil-dependent Alaska.“In our churches, where we all want to be nice to each other, we often try to dance around important topics. But you need then the prophets who say you’ve got to take a look at this. What we’ve found is that it’s hard to get a congregation up and moving. But there are few folks who get the vision so we try to connect them across congregations.”The 2014 survey shows that Hispanic Catholics in the United States are the most likely religious group to be concerned about climate change. White Evangelical Protestants are the least likely. The nation as a whole is split 50-50.Jamboree attendee Cyrus Hicks says the division among Christians may be because of different interpretations of scripture.“I think there’s a huge emphasis on personal salvation and how temporary this life is. A lot of times you hear we are supposed to be ‘in’ the world but not ‘of’ it. And there are scriptures that say not to love the ways of the world. But then you have other scriptures that say God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son.”But for Bishop David, ultimately that doesn’t matter. “All of us have an obligation to care for the environment. It doesn’t matter what your faith is or your background is. We were put here as the caretakers, the stewards of this. We will answer for what we do or don’t do for the environment.”The event was hosted by the InterFaith Earth Care Action Network.
A series of reactions have started pouring in following the 2015-16 Union Budget. Earlier presenting the national budget for the next fiscal, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said the state of the country’s economy was better placed today with its credibility re-established by a series of measures taken by his government.”I am presenting the union budget in an economic environment which is far more positive than in the recent past. While major economies of the world face difficulties, India is poised for higher growth trajectory,” Jaitley said as he started his budget speech in the Lok Sabha, reports IANS.Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that the Budget was progressive, pragmatic and practical.Here are some of the comments by other BJP leaders:Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said the union budget has given the “highest priority” to infrastructure that will boost employment in the country.”This is the first time in the Indian history the FM (finance minister) has given highest priority to the infrastructure,” Gadkari told reporters outside Parliament House.”Investment in infrastructure will boost employment opportunities, give priority to rural development and agriculture,” he added.Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar termed the budget as a historical one, saying: “It has given social security to all. It’s of the poor, for the poor.”Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani praised Jaitley for giving importance to girls’ education. She said it is “a pragmatic budget that gives lot of thrust on infrastructure, skill, innovation, girls’ education.”According to Rail Minister Suresh Prabhu, the budget is in the interest of the people of the country. “Steps have been taken to control inflation and increase investment.”Budget pragmatic, will re-ignite growth, says Modi Budget pragmatic, will re-ignite growth, says Modi Prime Minist… http://t.co/1MaFhWhNGO— 9ijaNews (@9ijaNews) February 28, 2015
Afghan medical staff treat a wounded women, after a car bomb exploded near the old Interior Ministry building, at Jamhuriat Hospital in Kabul on 27 January, 2018. Photo: AFPAn explosives-packed ambulance blew up in a crowded area of Kabul on Saturday, killing at least 63 people and wounding 151 others, officials said, in one of the biggest blasts to rock the war-torn city in recent years.The Taliban-claimed assault — the second carried out by the militant group in the Afghan capital in a week — triggered chaotic scenes as terrified survivors fled the area scattered with body parts and blood, and hospitals were overwhelmed by the large number of wounded.It came as both the insurgents and the Islamic State group have escalated their attacks on Kabul, one of the deadliest places in Afghanistan for civilians.An AFP reporter saw “lots of dead and wounded” civilians in the Jamuriate hospital, which is metres away from the blast and where medical staff struggled to treat the bloodied men, women and children lying on the floor in corridors.”The latest toll has reached 63 dead and 151 wounded,” Baryalai Hilali, the director of the government media centre, told reporters.Hilali warned the death toll might rise as some of the wounded brought to hospitals were in a “critical condition”.The blast happened in an area where several high-profile organisations, including the European Union, have offices. Members of the EU delegation in Kabul were in their “safe room” and there were no casualties, an official told AFP.The force of the explosion shook windows of buildings at least two kilometres (more than a mile) away and caused some low-rise structures in the immediate vicinity to collapse.The suicide bomber passed through at least one checkpoint in the ambulance, saying he was taking a patient to Jamuriate hospital, an interior ministry spokesman told AFP.”At the second checkpoint he was recognised and blew his explosive-laden car,” Nasrat Rahimi said.Rahimi told a news conference that most of the victims were civilians. He said the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani Network was responsible and four suspects had been arrested.Twenty minutes before the blast an AFP reporter saw police checking ambulances several hundred metres from the scene of the explosion, as the drivers and patients stood on the street. Ambulances are rarely checked in the city.The Taliban used social media to claim responsibility for the attack, which comes exactly a week after its insurgents stormed Kabul’s landmark Intercontinental hotel, killing at least 25 people, the majority foreigners.- ‘Massacre’ -Photos shared on social media purportedly of the blast — the deadliest in Kabul since a truck bomb ripped through the city’s diplomatic quarter on May 31, killing 150 people and wounding hundreds — showed a huge plume of smoke rising into the sky.Near the blast site civilians walked through debris-covered streets carrying wounded on their backs as others loaded several bodies at a time into ambulances and private cars to take them to medical facilities around the city.The Italian NGO Emergency said 131 wounded had been taken to its hospital, with its coordinator Dejan Panic tweeting that it had been a “massacre”.A photo posted on Emergency’s Twitter account showed hospital staff treating injured people in an outdoor walkway next to a garden.A man told Ariana TV he had taken his wounded brother to Jamuriate and Emergency hospitals but had been turned away.”They are asking people with non-life threatening wounds to go to other hospitals,” he said.Aminullah, whose stationery shop is just metres from where the explosion happened, said the force of the explosion shook the foundations of his building.”The building shook. All our windows broke. The people are in shock in our market,” he told AFP.A man told Tolo News he was passing the area when the explosion happened.”I heard a big bang and I fainted,” he said, outside the Emergency hospital.”There were dozens of people who were killed and wounded. There were pools of blood.”The attack was condemned by the presidential palace as a “crime against humanity”. There was international outcry too, with NATO, the US embassy in Kabul and British foreign minister Boris Johnson among those expressing horror at the latest attack.The offices of the High Peace Council, charged with negotiating with the Taliban which has been waging a more than 16-year insurgency, are also near the blast site.”It targeted our checkpoint. It was really huge — all our windows are broken,” Hassina Safi, a member of High Peace Council, told AFP.”So far we don’t have any reports if any of our members are wounded or killed.”A security alert issued on Saturday morning had warned that the Islamic State group was planning “to conduct aggressive attacks” on supermarkets, shops and hotels frequented by foreigners.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina gives an interview to BBC Bangla in London on 6 August. Photo: BBC BanglaPrime minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday shrugged off the allegations of torture in custody by Bangladeshi law enforcement agencies, reports news agency UNB.“Information is gathered from criminals using the methods the other countries apply and nothing is done beyond it,” she said in an interview with the BBC.Noting that there are international rules to interrogate suspected criminals, Hasina said her government trained members of law enforcement agencies by sending them to countries like the USA and the UK.But some stray incidents may occur, she said adding that custodial deaths are currently very rare in Bangladesh.The prime minister said a “culture of impunity” had developed under the previous governments and she herself was a victim of that situation.She further said this culture of impunity continued for many years when military dictators ruled the country directly, and often in the guise of politicians, after the assassination of father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.Asked about initiatives taken by her government to stop such culture, Sheikh Hasina replied: “All appropriate measures in this regard.”“It was a difficult task to bring the country back to a healthy trend and we’ve performed that difficult task,” she said.She also criticised a section of people spearheading propaganda on the rights situation.“This section is always desperate to find our faults, their status become elevated when an unconstitutional or abnormal government or martial law rules the country,” the prime minister said, UNB reports.Asked whether the people are getting the benefits of economic growth, Hasina said they certainly are. She noted that the country’s poverty rate had been brought down to 21.04 per cent from over 41 per cent in 2005-2006.The prime minister also said per capita income increased to about $2,000 from $400-500 and the country achieved 8.1 per cent growth in the last fiscal year.“When higher growth is achieved, the inflation increases naturally. But we didn’t allow raising inflation and we maintained it at 5.5 or 6 per cent,” she said.Hasina also said the fruits of economic uplift are reaching the common people very naturally.When asked about the “vulnerable situation” in banking sector and loan default culture, she said the matter is not at that extent as much as it publicised.“It was started while the military dictators were in power. When we came to power, we tried to realise the loans,” she said.About freedom of media, Hasina said the mass media is enjoying full freedom. “If it doesn’t exist, [then] how a propaganda mixing with truth and falsehood is being carried out against me and my government?” she asked.Prime minister Sheikh Hasina gives an interview to BBC Bangla in London on 6 August. Photo: BBC BanglaThe prime minister said many people are saying that there is no freedom of mass media. “But how [can] they speak so much if freedom of speech doesn’t exist,” she asked.She said her government is trying hard to maintain a peaceful atmosphere in the country.“If anybody delivers provocative speech, will then anybody and the country remain idle? … no, they cannot, security will have to be given to people first and we’ll have to do whatever necessary for their security,” she added.Prime minister Sheikh Hasina also was critical of reports on the patients suffering from dengue fever.She said too many reports on dengue are being published and this is creating panic.“Many reports about dengue are being published. This is making people panicked and creating problems. It (dengue) has mainly spread in the upscale areas. We always focus on the slum areas and drains (for spraying insecticides). Mosquito killing is a regular act,” she said.Hasina also shrugged off the allegation of corruption in buying mosquito killing insecticides.She did not find any substance in the allegation that two city corporations — Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) and Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) — did not take any steps to control the spread of aedes mosquito or failed to take timely step considering the matter as an important one.The prime minister also called on people to be more cautious instead of blaming the city corporations only.Hasina further said the Awami League leaders and activists have been asked alongside the government bodies to conduct cleaning programmes in their areas to curb the spread of aedes mosquito.She said cleaning campaign is necessary not only in Dhaka, but also across the whole country.The prime minister also warned people of facing fine if mosquito larvae are found inside their home or in the nearby areas.Sheikh Hasina said if people remain prepared for the future such a situation won’t be repeated.