Chilean Union Leader Speaks on ALMA Strike

first_imgFor 2 weeks now, observing at the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile, the world’s largest radio telescope, has been at a standstill as a result of an ongoing strike by the 195-member ALMA workers union. Several rounds of negotiations between the union—which represents the observatory’s technical, administrative, and support staff members—and managers have failed, despite mediation by a Chilean government agency.The president of the union, Victor Gonzalez, says that even though the union has climbed down from most of its demands, a pending issue is management’s refusal to pay workers for the days that they’ve been striking. An ALMA spokesperson says management is not ready to discuss the matter with the media. But Gonzalez offered his take to ScienceInsider this morning. These excerpts from the interview have been edited for clarity.Q: What is the latest situation at ALMA?Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)V.G.: The offer made by the management on Wednesday was rejected by a vote of 160 to 26; there were a few people who did not vote. By Chilean law, individual workers can choose to leave the strike after 2 weeks, which is today. But we don’t foresee that many people will want to resume work.Q: Are there any talks going on right now?V.G.: The mediation process has been suspended, and there are no official conversations going on today.Q: Why did the last round of talks fail? V.G.: The main stalling point now is that we are asking for payment for all the striking days, which ALMA’s director had promised on 27 August. Now, the management says workers will be paid only until 27 August, and not for the entire duration of the strike.Q: What are you demanding, exactly?V.G.: Our main demands were that we wanted a 15% salary increase for all workers, a $5-per-hour bonus for workers who work at the high site (5000 meters above sea level, where the observatory antennas are located), and a work week of 40 hours instead of 45 hours. We didn’t press many other demands that we think would be fair, such as reestablishing the practice of giving a Christmas bonus, which is standard for most Chilean companies.Q: What has the management offered?V.G.: The management has agreed to our demand for fewer working hours and the $5-per-hour bonus at the high site. And it has offered a 4% raise for workers who earn less than $1500 a month. We have accepted that. That is a big concession.Q: What would make you end the strike?V.G.: There are two pending issues. One is the salary for the striking days. We have offered to continue working the extra 5 hours a week until the end of the year in exchange for getting paid for the strike period. That is a cost-neutral solution but the management is not agreeing to it.There’s another problem. The management has agreed to pay workers a signing bonus of $2000 when we return to work, but the management wants to pay this amount even to those who are not bargaining—that’s about 50 workers who are not part of the union.Q: Why do you have a problem with that?V.G.: That’s an incentive to workers to leave the union. It would hurt our interests in the future.Q: So what next?V.G.: The conversation has stalled. We are trying to reach out to the director. We need to fix this soon.last_img read more

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Ganguly, Jones, Laxman feel pink ball is here to stay

first_imgKolkata, Jun 16 (PTI) With Eden Gardens set to host the countrys first day-night match with a pink ball in club cricket, an expert panel comprising Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman and Dean Jones today strongly felt that the innovation is here to stay. In its bid to host Indias first day-night Test, proposed against New Zealand in October, the iconic Eden Gardens will experiment by organising the final of the four-day Super League under lights with pink Kookaburra ball. The June 18-21 match will be telecast live by BCCIs official broadcaster Star Sports and the Sourav Ganguly-led Cricket Association of Bengal is leaving no stone unturned to make the experiment a success. Former Aussie batsman Jones, who did commentary in the first day/night Test between Australia and New Zealand at the Adelaide Oval, said the era of pink ball will make cricket an even contest. “Now what we see is a bully type of a game and batsmen are having it too easy over the last decade,” Jones said during a panel discussion on Indias first pink ball multiday match here. “But with pink ball it would be an even contest, and Im liking the thing here. I would like to see the ball swinging a little bit more. “I would like to see the defensive skills of the batsmen. I think it will be a better game to watch. Pink ball is here to stay.” He further joked that the night-watchman would mean in a true sense with the advent of day/night Tests. Jones further said a lot of research was being done on the kookaburra ball which would be completely dyed in pink and would retain the colour even if its get old. “Its pink right through. Pink ball is not here to save Test cricket but to serve as a catalyst to bring people back. Its like changing the work hours of a stall. People cannot sit in 45 degree sun for cricket. The pink is the new red,” he said. Ganguly, incidentally, had the experience of playing with pink ball when he represented MCC a few years back in the UAE and said he did not have any problem sighting the ball. More PTI TAP AH AHadvertisementlast_img read more

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Moosed Opportunity: Bumgarner too Much for Moustakas and the Royals

first_imgKANSAS CITY, MO – It was a Cinderella year for the Kansas City Royals. An improbable 8-0 postseason start, much of it on the clutch power-hitting heroics of Greek-American Mike Moustakas, thrust them into the World Series against the vaunted veteran San Francisco Giants.Losing the first game at home, the Royals evened things up in Game 2 as the Series headed West. Now with home field advantage, the Giants could have wrapped things up in Frisco by Sunday night, but it was not to be.After edging their hosts 3-2 in Game 3, the Royals fell victims to the Giants’ bats in Game 4, and the masterful pitching of Madison Bumgarner in Game 5. With their backs to the wall if not their tails between their legs, they flew back to Kansas City, determined not to lose the championship on their home turf.A resounding 10-0 blowout – clearly the most decisive game of the Series – was highlighted by Moustakas bat: he drove in the game’s first, and last runs. First, with a double, then with a home run. The moose antlers, a hometown prop in Moustakas’ honor – his nickname is “Moose” – could be spotted throughout Kauffman Stadium. It all boiled down to Game 7. Six games, three wins apiece, 25 total runs for the Royals, 27 for the Giants. It doesn’t get more evenly-matched than that.In the final game, undaunted by the 10-0 mauling the night before, the Giants struck first, scoring two runs in the top of the second inning. Kansas City answered back with two runs of its own in the bottom half of the inning, and that’s the way it stayed until the Giants scored again in the fourth to jump ahead 3-2. The rest was pitching. More specifically, Madison Bumgarner. Amazingly, he pitched five scoreless innings on just two days’ rest to keep the Royals at bay. Things almost got out of hand in the bottom of the ninth, as an fielding flop saw a runner on third with two outs, and Moustakas on deck.  What a showdown that would have been: Bumgarner v. Moustakas. But it was not to be – as Bumgarner got Salvador Perez to pop up in foul territory and the ballgame was over. Needless to say, Bumgarner was named Series MVP.The Giants added to their glory, winning their third World Series championship in five years, and eighth overall. The first five came when the team played in New York City at the Polo Grounds.The Royals, meanwhile, will have to wait at least another year to win what would be their second championship ever. They won it all in 1985, on the back of another third baseman (that is Moustakas’ position) – a fellow who is a legend in Kansas City – George Brett.Now the team’s Vice President of Baseball Operations, Brett has been supportive of Moustakas during the latter’s hitting slumps, often recalling his early days before he blossomed into one of the game’s greatest hitters. Graciously, he said “Moustakas isn’t the first young, struggling, Royals third baseman.”But Moustakas has a great deal to be proud of this season, including four home runs and five RBIs against the California Angels and Baltimore Orioles, helping his team get to the World Series.They may not have won it all this time, but as the Royals set to defend their American League Championship, all bets are on the moose calls and moose antlers being abound.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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East Bengal to take on Mohun Bagan in season’s first derby on Sep 2

first_imgKolkata, Aug 1 (PTI) East Bengal will take on Mohun Bagan on September 2 in the 2018 Calcutta Football League Premier Division ‘A’ for this season’s first derby, it was announced today. The other two marquee fixtures between East Bengal vs MohammedanSporting and Mohun Bagan vs Mohammedan Sporting will be held on September 9 and September 16 respectively. All the three matches will be held at the Saltlake Stadium. East Bengal, who had won the competition last season for a record 39th time and eighth on the trot, will kick off the local league taking on Tollygunge Agragami on August 3. Mohun Bagan and Mohammedan Sporting will begin their season on August 4 and 5 against Pathachakra and Food Corporation of Indiarespectively. The tournament will carry a winners’ prize purse of Rs 25 lakh, while the runners-up will get 20 lakh. PTI TAP ATKATKlast_img read more

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LOOK: Oklahoma State Dons Helmet Stickers to Honor Victims of Homecoming Parade and Plane Crashes

first_imgNew #Okstate helmets from the Jimmy Johnson era. pic.twitter.com/KsWMW0sfX4— Carson Cunningham (@KOCOCarson) October 29, 2016 Closer look at those helmet stickers ? pic.twitter.com/YwlsUGpMri— Kyle Boone (@PFBoone) October 29, 2016I’m a yuuuge fan of the helmets, no doubt. But more than that, it’s a special touch for OSU players to honor the fallen with something as simple as helmet stickers. I’m not saying OSU should go full tOSU, but I wouldn’t be totally opposed to seeing helmet stickers become a mainstay. Very classy gesture and well done by OSU.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers! Oklahoma State broke out some sweet new (or old?) throwback helmets for homecoming against the Mountaineers on Saturday. And on top of the sweet new lids, there’s also an added feature: Helmet stickers, which aren’t for performance, but rather to honor those who have lost their lives in the plane crashes and the homecoming tragedy from last year:Ok St helmets have 18 performance stickers in honor of those lost in athletic dep’t plane crashes and last year’s homecoming parade tragedy.— Devin V. Hunter (@dvhunter) October 29, 2016And here’s a closer look:last_img read more

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How ‘Open Skies’ Agreements are Threatening to Sink U.S. Airlines in the Not-Too-Distant Future

first_img Banksy’s Gross Domestic Product Is a Pop-Up Shop Unlike Any Other Photo by William PeruginiIf you’re unfamiliar with “open skies” treaties, you’re not alone. You’re also not likely an airline nerd who enjoys perusing aviation industry news for fun, but this series of international agreements could be one of the most important legal developments influencing the future of air travel.Officially, the U.S. Department of State describes the lofty-sounding open skies agreements as “designed to eliminate government involvement in airline decision-making about routes, capacity, and pricing in international markets. Open skies agreements have vastly expanded international passenger and cargo flights to and from the United States, promoting increased travel and trade, enhancing productivity, and spurring high-quality job opportunities and economic growth.”In short, these agreements allow U.S. airlines to operate unfettered overseas, and for international airlines to run routes in the United States without the government interfering too much.It sounds great in theory — in reality, the issue isn’t clear-cut. For the better part of a decade, it’s proven a sticky wicket on the economic platforms of both Obama and Trump.Domestic air carriers note some foreign airlines — most notably the “Gulf Three,” which is comprised of Emirates, Qatar Airways, and Etihad — have received massive government subsidies to the tune of $52 billion since 2004. The U.S. airlines claim their foreign competitors would never be profitable if it weren’t for these handouts.When asked whether he believed the Gulf carriers were enjoying backdoor subsidies, United Airlines president Scott Kirby put it in no uncertain terms: “I think it’s a front door, back door, side door, windows,” Kirby said. “I think they are just getting subsidies across the board … The only debate is what we should do about it.”In a classic “I know you are, but what am I?” rebuttal, the Gulf Three countered that their domestic rivals have received equivalent — perhaps even more — government assistance. Most notably, they cite post-9/11 industry bailouts, wide-scale bankruptcy debt forgiveness, and public financing of airports and related infrastructure. Plus, the foreign airlines say they’re doing the United States economy a favor by guaranteeing hundreds of thousands of American jobs in the aviation sector. Given that all of the above is historically true, it seems no airline’s hands are entirely clean.For now, as airlines all over the world over engage in this competitive bloodbath, we will enjoy the spoils. The mess equates to dirt-cheap airfare for consumers. It seems every week presents us with a new roundtrip international flight for less than 50 percent of the fare we were charged few years ago.Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. Like any business, airlines need to maintain profitability to survive. If domestic carriers are forced to cancel routes because they can’t put asses in the seats (as Delta did on its previous non-stop Atlanta to Dubai, flight which Emirates has since taken over), the first ones to fill that demand will be their foreign competitors. In that competition-free vacuum, the Gulf Three will likely set their prices however they like. So, enjoy the open (and budget-friendly) skies while you can. It seems they won’t last long.Feature image by Photo by William Perugini. Major Airline Admits to Monitoring Passengers Via Onboard Cameras Escape to the Pacific Northwest at Hoh Rainforest Caravan Cabins Nevada’s Massacre Rim Named Latest International Dark Sky Sanctuary World’s First Luxury Space Hotel Promises Climbing Wall, Low-Gravity Basketball Courts Editors’ Recommendations last_img read more

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International Seaways Slips into Red

first_imgzoom US-based tanker shipping company International Seaways (INSW) suffered a full-year net loss of USD 18.2 million in 2016, compared to a net income of USD 173.2 million seen a year earlier. Time charter equivalent (TCE) revenues for 2016 were USD 385 million, a decrease of USD 90.7 million compared to 2015.TCE revenues for the International Crude Tankers segment were USD 258.2 million for 2016, down by 15% compared with 2015. This decrease was primarily due to a decline in very large crude carrier (VLCC) and Aframax rates.Additionally, TCE revenues for the International Product Carriers segment were USD 126.3 million for 2016, a drop of 26% compared with 2015. This was attributed to a decline in medium-range (MR) spot rates.The company’s operating income for 2016 was USD 22.8 million, against an operating income of USD 221.9 million for 2015. The decrease reflects the impact of impairment charges, separation and transition costs and the decline in TCE revenues, partially offset by a decrease in general and administrative expenses during the year.In late-November 2016, the separation of INSW from Overseas Shipholding Group (OSG) was completed. Following the spin-off, INSW continued operating as an independent public company.During the fourth quarter of 2016, INSW received a letter of award related to a five-year contract for its FSO joint ventures. According to Lois K. Zabrocky, INSW’s President and CEO, the firm continues negotiations on this project.In its outlook for 2017, Zabrocky said: “Looking forward, International Seaways has a diversified 55 vessel fleet positioned to optimize revenue through a balanced mix of contracted cash flows and spot market upside.”“Our lean and scalable model and low break-evens along with our strong financial position allow us to navigate through the volatility in the tanker cycle while providing significant operating leverage to take advantage of a market recovery,” she added.“While we expect the year ahead to present a number of challenges, I am confident in the solid foundation we have built and the measures we continue to take to create a platform for success,” Zabrocky concluded.last_img read more

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UAE assures supply of oil LPG to India despite tanker attacks Pradhan

first_imgNew Delhi: Oil cartel OPEC member UAE has assured India of uninterrupted supply of oil and LPG despite disruptions in the Strait of Hormuz, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said Monday. India is 83 per cent dependent on imports to meet its oil needs and is reliant on nations like the UAE to meet half of its cooking gas (LPG) needs. Pradhan in Twitter posts said he held telephonic discussions with UAE Minister and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) Group CEOP Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber over tensions in the Gulf region following attacks on two oil tankers last week. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in Sep”Expressed concern at the supply disruptions in the Strait of Hormuz. Dr. Jaber assured me of oil and LPG supplies to India despite the disruptions,” he tweeted. The attacks on oil tankers last week raised concerns over supplies through the Strait of Hormuz that is the conduit for a fifth of the world’s oil. “Spoke to UAE Minister of State and Group CEO @AdnocGroup H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber and discussed ways to collaborate and work together to strengthen our hydrocarbon engagement,” Pradhan said. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to CustomsDuring the telephonic call, he also discussed UAE’s lead role in ongoing India’s strategic petroleum reserves programme. The UAE has hired storages in the underground storages India has built as insurance against supply disruptions. Pradhan said he also spoke to OPEC Secretary-General Mohammed Barkindo on Monday. “SG Barkindo reaffirmed India as an important partner for OPEC and expressed keen interest to further strengthen the India-OPEC partnership,” he said. Pradhan has been making calls to leaders of oil-rich nations ever since the BJP came back to power and he was reappointed petroleum minister. “Reviewed current developments in oil markets and ongoing supply disruptions. Expressed concern over significant oil price volatility and resulting challenges to Indian consumers,” he said on his discussions with OPEC Secretary General. India, he said, “will continue to work with OPEC membership on responsible oil pricing, which is the best interests of both producers and consumers.” Also, it was decided to work towards an early convening of the 4th India-OPEC high-level institutional dialogue, he added.last_img read more

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China lashes out at Taiwan over Hong Kong asylum offer

first_imgHong Kong: China lashed out at Taiwan on Monday over its offer of political asylum to participants in Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protest movement, a day after hundreds of thousands of people marched peacefully in the latest massive demonstration in the Chinese territory. The government of Taiwan, a self-ruled island that China considers its own territory, strongly supports the protests, and Hong Kong students in Taiwan held events over the weekend expressing their backing. Taiwan’s president made the asylum offer last month, though it’s not clear if requests have been received. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USTaiwan lacks a formal legal mechanism for assessing and granting asylum requests, although it has granted residency to several vocal opponents of the Chinese government. On Monday, Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman for the Chinese Cabinet’s Taiwan Affairs Office, said Taiwan’s offer would “cover up the crimes of a small group of violent militants” and encourage their “audacity in harming Hong Kong and turn Taiwan into a “heaven for ducking the law.” Ma demanded that Taiwan’s government “cease undermining the rule of law” in Hong Kong, cease interfering in its affairs and not “condone criminals.” Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsOrganisers said at least 1.7 million participated in Sunday’s Hong Kong rally and march, although the police estimate was far lower. Police said the protest was “generally peaceful” but accused a large group of people of “breaching public peace” afterward by occupying a major thoroughfare and using slingshots to shoot “hard objects” at government headquarters and pointing lasers at police officers. The protests have at times been marked by violent clashes with police, who say they have arrested more than 700 participants since the demonstrations started in June. However, law enforcement officers kept a low profile Sunday, with no riot police seen from the procession’s main routes. When stragglers convened outside a government complex in the late evening, other protesters urged them to go home. More protests are planned for the coming weeks, with various rallies organized by accountants, transport workers, high school students and relatives of police officers. Demonstrators’ frustrations over what they perceive to be the government’s blatant refusal to respond to their demands boiled over last week with the occupation of Hong Kong’s international airport, during which a reporter for a Chinese Communist Party-owned newspaper was assaulted, and attacks on a number of police stations. A former British colony, Hong Kong was returned to Beijing in 1997 under the framework of “one country, two systems,” which promised residents certain democratic rights not afforded to people in mainland China. But some Hong Kongers have accused the Communist Party-ruled central government of eroding their freedoms in recent years. The protest movement’s demands include the resignation of Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, democratic elections and an independent investigation into police use of force.last_img read more

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DPIITregistered startups exempt from angel tax

first_imgNew Delhi: The government on Friday exempted all startups that are registered with the DPIIT from the so-called ‘angel tax’, which will help resolve difficulties faced by the fledgling businesses and their investors. “To mitigate genuine difficulties of startups and their investors, it has been decided that Section 56(2)(viib) of the IT Act shall not be applicable to a startup registered under DPIIT,” Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters here. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalShe added that while the said section will continue to be part of the Income Tax Act, it will not be applicable to the startups registered with the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT). Besides, a dedicated cell, headed by a member of the Central Board for Direct Taxes (CBDT), will be set up to address concerns faced by startups. “After this, if there is a difficulty, it has been decided to set up a dedicated cell under a member of the CBDT. Any startup that has an issue can approach the cell for quick resolution of the problems,” she said. Multiple startup founders had claimed that they have received notices under Section 56(2) (viib) of the Income Tax Act to pay taxes on angel funds raised by them.last_img read more

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National Museum of Carpets to Open to Marrakech in September

Rabat – The Dar Si Said Museum in Marrakech has been renamed the National Carpet Museum and, after reopening in September, will feature 400 rugs from every region of the kingdom, reports Maghreb Arab Press (MAP).The museum was built in the 19th century on orders by Si Said B. Moussa, a former minister of war who officiated under the rule of Sultan Moulay Abdelaziz (1894-1908).The building is now undergoing renovations and will occupy more than 2,700 square meters. The museum is expected to reopen at the end of September 2017. Abdelfattah Lebjioui, Wali of the Marrakech-Safi Region, Khalid Ouaya, Director-General of Marrakech Urban Agency and Mehdi Qotbi, President of the National Foundation of Museums paid a visit to the Museum on Thursday to oversee progress on the renovations.The trio also visited other heritage sites forming part of the “Marrakech, city of permanent renewal” project launched by King Mohammed VI in 2014.The National Foundation of Museums has also announced that the National Ceramic Museum of Safi will open its doors by the end of August. read more

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Flames playoff tickets the perfect avenue for scammers

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – They are the hottest tickets in town right now and Calgary Flames fans will do just about anything to get their hands on some red-hot deals for the playoffs.According to the ticket seller site Stub Hub, prices for game one of the playoffs on Thursday range from $90 to over $500 a seat. With that in mind, scammers will be out and about, trying to round up a killer deal.General Manager of Stub Hub, Paul Nowosad says the best advice to avoid being scammed is to never purchase tickets from the streets.“In doing so, you have no real guarantee that the tickets are valid. You have no recourse if there’s any issue with the tickets and paying cash on the streets, in general, is pretty dangerous,” said Nowosad.Another piece of advice Nowosad offers is to never post your tickets on social media.“Sometimes people take pictures of their tickets and send them out there, getting people excited (saying) they’re going to the games and what they actually are doing is sharing barcodes that can be intercepted and used against them.”The best thing you can do to avoid scammers is to buy tickets from a trusted online source. You should also make sure they come with certain guarantees in the chance you need a refund or replacement on your tickets.Nowosad says that if you see a price that’s too good to be true, it probably is.“There’s a lot of opportunity for people who are dishonest at this time of year with large concerts, playoffs and sports to sell tickets live on the street. It makes you feel like you’re getting a good deal and sometimes usually you’re getting too good a deal.”Game one of the Stanley Cup playoffs for the Flames is Thursday at 8:00 p.m. at the Scotiabank Saddledome. read more

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UNESCO chief condemns yet another journalists murder this time in Bangladesh

Keeping up his campaign to defend the freedom of the press, the head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today deplored the murder of a Bangladeshi journalist as a blow against democracy. Bellal Hossain Dafadar, 38, a correspondent of the Khulna-based daily newspaper Janabani, died after he was stabbed by four or five assailants as he was cycling back home from a local bazaar on 14 September. “I am very distressed by this new attack on a journalist in Bangladesh and urge the authorities to ensure that such crimes do not go unpunished,” UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura said in a statement.“It is essential that journalists be able to carry out their professional duties and exercise the basic human right of freedom of expression in the interest of democracy and rule of law,” he added.According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), nine journalists have been killed in Bangladesh over the past five years.UNESCO has a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom, and Mr. Matsuura has issued frequent condemnations of the murder of journalists around the world. read more

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UN projects aim to help Liberian refugees reintegrate into their homeland

Over a decade of civil war in Liberia forced some 750,000 people to flee to neighbouring countries, the agency noted in a news release. After the civil war ended in 2003, many refugees have returned to their home country, with most of them settling in and around the capital, Monrovia. “Many of the young returnees have never seen their home country. This is a big challenge we must address. The lack of livelihood opportunities can hinder their reintegration process,” said Chakib Jenane, Chief of UNIDO’s Agro-Industries Technology Unit. Two projects, each with a budget of $1.5 million and funded by the Government of Japan, will provide Liberians who have already returned, or intend to return to their home country, with vocational skills training, entrepreneurship training and other related services to help them find jobs or start up livelihoods or businesses. They will be carried out in partnership with the Liberian Government’s Refugee Repatriation and Resettlement Commission. A significant number of those who fled Liberia have yet to return home, and one of the biggest concentrations of Liberian refugees is in the Buduburam camp, west of Accra in Ghana, where some 6,000 Liberian refugees still reside. Another UNIDO project, to be implemented in partnership with the Ghana Refugee Board, will assist the Government of Ghana in the continuing and long-term process of the economic reintegration of Liberian refugees and their families still residing in the Buduburam camp. UNIDO said that the project will address one of the main reasons given by Liberians still residing in the camp for not returning to Liberia – a lack of any marketable livelihood skills and/or financial capital with which to embark on new enterprises. Those Liberians who are willing to return to their home country will be provided with multi-skills training. UNIDO will share its expertise of working with small mechanics, metal and wood workshops and other basic industries, such as food processing and garment production, with a special focus on technical skills upgrading and entrepreneurship development. read more

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FEATURE As Afghan war grinds on a marginalized young generation raises its

It is “show time” on Asia Television in Western Afghanistan, as talk show guest Somaia Ramish replies to a pointed question about war and peace.“Fortunately, women haven’t had a major role in the conflict or the destruction of Afghanistan, which strengthens our voices at the peace table,” said the provincial councilwoman, 30, adding: “Unfortunately, these days, violent extremism has a bigger advertising budget than does the promotion of peace.”The young Afghan voices belong to students, young politicians, and also journalists. In the case of Asia Television, support from the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) helps sustain a regular peace dialogue, which runs alongside a slate of soap operas and other entertainment shows. The support is part of a nationwide UN effort to invest in peace, and the show’s producers say it sends a strong message and helps drive grassroots conflict resolution.Young Afghans remain highly susceptible to war propaganda, which comes in the form of street whispers and threats over social media. At the same time, it is a challenge for the central Government to win the respect of young Afghans, especially in distant provinces.“Without security, we can’t have peace,” says Arash Majedi, 23, who serves lamb and chicken kabobs in a strobe-lit shisha café, which plays a steady beat of Iranian rap music. “It is the responsibility of the Government to stop someone from blowing us up.”Set on the western edge of Afghanistan, surrounded by pockets of war and bordering Iran, Herat is a 5,000-year-old centre of Asian culture caught between a tide of extremism and popular, albeit ancient, traditions of cultivating flower gardens and reciting poetry with friends and relatives.  “Insurgents are active in almost all the districts around us,” said Said Sayedi, 28, who heads a conflict resolution centre in Herat, which has struggled for funding in recent years. “In some cases, foreign powers are trying to dominate more moderate insurgent groups to keep other militants in check.”“We try to encourage independent thinking and help the young choose non-violence,” he said. “This needs to be elaborated in order that they can break free.” Sayedi concedes that there are many “no-go zones” around Herat where conflict resolution experts cannot enter. “We would need an escort to go south to Shindand district. There are lots of kids – 15 and 16 years old – who are being recruited there by rival factions.”Unfortunately, these days, violent extremism has a bigger advertising budget than does the promotion of peace – Somaia RamishUN officials said local peace initiatives remain in dire need of more outside help to sustain their work. “Afghan youth are actually reaching out to the UN and conveying to us their wish that the UN [and others] can play a new role in regional peace negotiations,” said Najibullah Rezaee, a UN political affairs officer.Even as the battle for the hearts of young Afghans intensifies, new voices are speaking up. “Despite the challenges and marginalization young Afghans face, they still are carrying out a new and dynamic role in support of peace,” said Fraidoon Poya, a public affairs officer with UNAMA in Herat.Behind the iron gates of Herat University, built to a modern and spacious design after the fall of the Taliban in 2001, Arman Qaderi, 23, a senior in the law faculty, organizes classes and edits texts on peace. His Peace Club has produced, with the help of Professor Nasir Rahimi, a systematic approach to changing minds and behaviour.“The most important thing we can do is help to motivate people who already feel the urge for peace,” said Qaderi. A colleague Fardina Salehi, 28, works as a financial secretary and also as an instructor in peacemaking. “Here in Afghanistan, we experience more war than we do peace,” said Salehi. “I’ve learned that peace starts in the family and moves to society. Our approach is totally different than any of the other classes taught here at Herat University. We approach learning through discussion, participation and brainstorming.”“Due to ongoing conflict, we are all in violence with each other – even within our own families,” said Salehi. “When I watch violence on TV, my mind is further disturbed. We all have to seek ways to calm our minds.”Professor Rahimi said he has seen a change sweeping across the campus in Herat. In a walk with students down to a newly-inaugurated Park for Peace, he reflects on some changes he’s seen in recent years. He says peace is not an easy path, but one with a growing following.Recently, 20 students from the Sharia Law faculty took a two-week journey to India to walk in the footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi, who spearheaded India’s independence movement based on non-violent resistance. The tour included visits to Gandhi’s home and to his ashram. When violence engulfed Herat on a recent week, these same students helped to organize a city-wide blood drive to support victims of sectarian violence.“When we began our peace initiative, a lot of students doubted the approach: They said, ‘You can’t possibly bring peace after so much failure and war,’” said Professor Rahimi. “Students openly wonder – after decades of war – how talking about peace is going to make a difference. After they overcome initial doubts, however, they come to me and ask how they can move towards a deeper understanding of peace.”UNAMA has a mandate to support the Government of Afghanistan and its citizens in a shared goal of becoming a stable, open, and peaceful nation. This feature piece is meant to tell a human interest story related to how Afghanistan and the UN are working together to overcome the many challenges to achieving this goal. read more

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Open and closed for the Labour Day weekend

Brock University’s administrative offices will be closed for the Labour Day long weekend from Saturday, Sept. 1 to Monday, Sept. 3.However, some key areas at the University’s St. Catharines campus will remain open as per regular weekend operating hours.Sunday, Sept. 2 is also Brock’s annual Move-in Day, which will see nearly 2,400 students moved into Brock residences. As a result, departments and services such as Residences, Dining, Parking, IT Help Desk, Brock Card, Campus Store and the Walker Sports Complex will all be open throughout the day.The following campus services are open and closed on the Labour Day long weekend:Campus SecurityOfficers are available 24-7 by phoning x3200, via emergency phones on campus, by emailing security@brocku.ca or through the Brock Mobile App. James A. Gibson LibraryClosed: Saturday, Sept. 1 to Monday, Sept. 3.Walker Sports Complex/The ZoneOpen: Saturday, Sept. 1 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 2 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Monday, Sept. 3 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.Food establishmentsAll food services locations will be closed on Saturday, Sept. 1.On Sunday, Sept. 2, Lowenberger and DeCew dining halls will be open from 5 p.m. until 1 a.m., Guernsey Market will be open from 9 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. and Thistle Tim Hortons will be open from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m.On Monday, Sept. 3, Lowenberger and DeCew dining halls will be open from 9:30 a.m. until 1 a.m.Campus StoreClosed: Saturday, Sept. 1.Open: Sunday, Sept. 2 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Monday, Sept. 3 from noon to 4 p.m.Parking ServicesOn Saturday, Sept. 1, the Parking Services Kiosk in lot B will be open from 8 to 11 a.m.On Sunday, Sept. 2, the Parking Services office in the Campus Store will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Monday, Sept. 3, the Parking Services office in the Campus Store will be open from noon to 4 p.m.Beginning Saturday, Sept. 1, Zone 1 will be free on weekdays after 6 p.m. and all day on weekends. Parking is prohibited between 2 and 5 a.m. on any day.Hourly parking is available in a number of locations throughout campus. Cars with valid permits can continue to park in their designated lot.Rodman Hall Art CentreOpen: Saturday, Sept. 1 and Sunday, Sept. 2 from noon to 5 p.m.Closed: Monday, Sept. 3.Student Health ServicesWhile regular Student Health Services hours do not resume until Wednesday, Sept. 5, students can call 1-833-BROCK-33 (27625) for personal counselling beginning Sept. 1. read more

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Star Trek Discovery Pushed Back Again but at Least We Have a

first_img ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ S2 Finale Recap: When No One Has Gone Before’Star Trek: Discovery’ Season 2, Ep 13 Recap: Tearful Preparations Stay on target 31Remember when Star Trek: Discovery was supposed to premiere this month? Those were the good ol’ days.While the show was on track for a May 2017 premiere, new reports are saying otherwise. Sources told Entertainment Weekly that the date has been pushed back again, although under less dire circumstances than last time.While the May date was chosen because of creative and production issues, which resulted in Bryan Fuller stepping down as showrunner, this most recent change is technical. A source told The Wrap that producers are simply taking their time in hiring and in getting together the visual effects. They stress that Star Trek: Discovery is still on track.“This is an ambitious project; we will be flexible on a launch date if it’s best for the show. We’ve said from the beginning it’s more important to do this right than to do it fast,” CBS Television Studios said in a statement.Star Sonequa Martin-Green is still currently on The Walking Dead, and there were also reports her involvement could’ve created some “marketplace confusion,” as EW writes.On the bright side, another piece of good news has surfaced. Sarek, Spock’s father, and Vulcan ambassador, is going to be a key character in the series and has been cast. James Frain, known for Gotham and Orphan Black will be taking on the role, according to sources.The character will be the first to cross over from a previous Star Trek franchise into Discovery.We’re disappointed that the show has been pushed back again, but more than anything, we want the creators to take their time. If that means delaying its release than so be it.The show is set to start filming in Toronto next week, so hopefully, the change won’t be too drastic.So far, there’s no confirmed release date, but be on the lookout for the premiere, which will air on CBS and then weekly over at the CBS All Access app.This trailer will have to tide us over!!!last_img read more

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Boeing Unveils Wingman Drone That Could Fly Alongside Fighter Jets

first_img Boeing has partnered with Australia’s military to develop a combat drone — almost as big as a fighter jet — to support manned aircraft on dangerous missions.The Boeing Airpower Teaming System, known as “Loyal Wingman” and unveiled at the International Airshow at Avalon, Australia on Wednesday, is designed to “complement and extend airborne missions through smart teaming with existing military aircraft,” according to a Boeing press release.BREAKING NEWS: Check out our new smart, reconfigurable unmanned aircraft that will protect & project airpower! #TheFutureIsBuiltHere #AirpowerTeamingRead more about the Boeing Airpower Teaming System: https://t.co/Gabz4x9oBv pic.twitter.com/K1Nnvc0jl6— Boeing Defense (@BoeingDefense) February 26, 2019The  craft will provide fighter-like performance, measure 38 feet long and will be able to fly more than 2,000 nautical miles. With integrated sensor packages onboard, Loyal Wingman will protect piloted aircraft, supporting intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions and electronic warfare, said Boeing.Artificial intelligence will also allow the craft fly independently or in support of manned aircraft while maintaining safe distance between other aircraft.The Loyal Wingman is designed to protect piloted aircraft and carry out radar jamming and surveillance missions. (Photo Credit: Boeing)“With its ability to reconfigure quickly and perform different types of missions in tandem with other aircraft, our newest addition to Boeing’s portfolio will truly be a force multiplier as it protects and projects air power,” said Kristin Robertson, vice president and general manager of Boeing Autonomous Systems.According to the Wall Street Journal, Australia wants the drone to protect warplanes such as the Lockheed Martin Corp. F-35 fighter, which is also a key aircraft for the U.S.  The project is Boeing’s largest investment in a new unmanned aircraft program outside the United States.A prototype is expected to take its first flight in 2020, Boeing said.More on Geek.com:NASA Astronoaut Eric Boe Pulled From Boeing’s Starliner Test FlightYou May Soon Be Able to Fly Drones Over a Crowd, At NightUK Airports Invest Millions in Anti-Drone Tech Climate Activists Use Drones to Shut Down Heathrow Airport Next MonthUPS Wants to Bring Drone Deliveries to U.S. Hospitals Stay on targetlast_img read more

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Togiak man crushed when truck falls on him

first_imgA Togiak man died Wednesday when he was crushed by his truck.Alaska State Troopers say 53-year-old Joshua Andrews was working on his truck in a driveway when the truck fell and trapped him.A woman found the fatally injured man at about 2 p.m.The state medical examiner planned an autopsy.Togiak is a southwest Alaska village of 876 about 67 miles west of Dillingham.last_img

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All 11 passengers survive Tuesday morning floatplane crash on Prince of Wales

first_imgEleven people have survived an airplane crash Tuesday morning on Prince of Wales Island, and were back in Ketchikan early Tuesday afternoon.Listen nowAccording to the U.S. Coast Guard, the plane crashed on Mount Jumbo on POW, ending up about 2,000 feet up the mountain.Petty Officer Charly Hengen said the Coast Guard dispatched two rescue helicopters out of Air Station Sitka, and they were joined by Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad personnel.Visibility was poor, which delayed the rescue, but eventually, rescue crews were able to locate the downed plane.“One of the Jayhawk helicopter crews did hoist all 11 people from the crash site. They then took them to a staging area,” Hengen said. “At that staging area, there was room enough for the helicopter to land, plus around six or seven other contracted-out helicopters were there, along with emergency medical personnel.”Hengen said the medical personnel assessed injuries, and those who needed medical attention were taken directly to PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center for treatment. Others were brought to Ketchikan.Chris John of the Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad said all the passengers were brought to Temsco helicopters in Ketchikan, and were met by what he estimated were all the ambulances on the island.John said it’s gratifying to be part of a plane-crash rescue where everyone survives. Hengen agreed.“We are very relieved that we were able to locate them as quickly as we did with the coordination, and thankful to have the Ketchikan mountain rescue volunteers on standby as well, being able to help out and being available to help as needed,” Hengen said.Hengen said in an earlier interview that the pilot had activated the craft’s emergency locator, which helped in the rescue efforts. He also was the one to call and report the accident.Hengen couldn’t confirm the airline that owns the plane, but other media outlets have reported it was a Taquan-operated de Havilland Otter.  A call to Taquan seeking comment wasn’t immediately returned.At the time of this report, Clint Johnson of the National Transportation Safety Board also had not returned a call seeking information.This story has been updated.last_img read more

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