Fires spark evacuation order for three northern Manitoba First Nations

first_imgWASAGAMACK, Man. – Some 2,000 residents of a remote Manitoba Indigenous community took turns piling into boats in the darkness as they fled a large forest fire that raced toward their homes.They were evacuated in small groups, late into Tuesday night, for a 20-minute boat ride to a nearby reserve that has an airstrip, where they were to wait for a flight 600 kilometres south to Brandon or Winnipeg.“Probably midnight, we were still transporting by boat,” Chief Alex McDougall of Wasagamack First Nation said Wednesday morning.“Those boats that were equipped with navigation lights were going back and forth, ferrying the evacuees.”The fire, 770 square kilometres in size, came within 800 metres of some homes on the edge of Wasagamack and remained there Wednesday, the Manitoba government said.“Manitoba’s water bombers worked on this fire until yesterday evening with only limited success because dense smoke prevented the aircraft from approaching the fires,” Sustainable Development Minister Rochelle Squires said Wednesday.Smoke from the fire also prompted a partial evacuation of people with health concerns from two other First Nation communities — St. Theresa Point, where the Wasagamack evacuees were first taken, and Garden Hill.The Red Cross, which was managing the evacuations for the federal government, said late Wednesday it had partnered with the Department of National Defence and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada to provide two Hercules airplanes to support the evacuation.The planes were expected to fly between the Island Lake area and Winnipeg throughout Thursday.A total of 3,700 people were to be evacuated from the three reserves. The small airstrips in St. Theresa Point and Garden Hill mean only small planes, carrying 40 to 45 people each, could be used.The Red Cross was also working with the City of Winnipeg to set up a large emergency shelter in Winnipeg at the RBC Convention Centre.Water bombers were bring brought in from the Northwest Territories, Minnesota and Ontario to fight the Wasagamack fire and other blazes that have cropped up following weeks of hot, dry weather.A 46-square-kilometre fire was within 3.5 kilometres of Poplar River, where residents had been evacuated earlier as a precaution. A smaller blaze was reported six kilometres from the Fox Lake First Nation.The Wasagamack fire remained the biggest concern Wednesday. McDougall said the winds that had driven the fire close to the community had switched, and the fire had not made any further advance as a handful of officials remained at the scene. Heavy equipment had been placed as a buffer between the fire and the closest homes.“We’re continuing to monitor that area, so hopefully the wind will continue to co-operate.”— By Steve Lambert in Winnipeglast_img read more

Tale of missing fried rice sheds light on the office politics of

first_imgA story about a missing lunch of shrimp fried rice is captivating social media and shedding light on an often overlooked but highly contentious aspect of office politics: fridge etiquette.Interactions around the office refrigerator — replete with passive aggressive Post-It notes and decomposing leftovers — reveal human behaviour in the workplace, experts say.Eddy Ng, a professor at Dalhousie University’s Rowe School of Business, said the shared fridge is a microcosm of office dynamics, serving to accentuate interpersonal skills, communication styles and personality types.“It may seem pretty trivial but it can manifest into something that is bigger than just stealing lunches,” he said in an interview from Halifax. “It accentuates peoples’ personalities and attitudes towards their colleagues.”It’s also the scene for a comical tale about stolen shrimp fried rice that has gripped social media for days and spurred an online exchange of woes from cubicle-land.Zak Toscani, a writer and stand-up comedian, took to Twitter last week after his co-worker’s lunch was stolen.He joked that the missing food was shrimp fried rice, escalating the crime from a misdemeanour to a felony, and mused that it was a “professional hit no doubt” due to the lack of a shrimp smell in the microwave or kitchen.Toscani said his hungry co-worker asked to view security footage of the communal fridge, and detailed to his online followers how the investigation unfolded.“Lunch was in fridge for less than an hour before it vanished,” he tweeted, noting that the “psychopath” didn’t even eat the food but instead “buried it in the trash.”“Her motives remain completely unknown,” Toscani said of the perpetrator.After seeing the surveillance footage, he said the victim decided not to press the matter.“I can’t say I blame him,” Toscani said. “We don’t know what this woman’s fully capable of.”His amusing account of the sensational office drama — he quipped that it was the most excited he’d been “at any job ever” — went viral, garnering hundreds of thousands of likes and re-tweets.The workplace spat appears to have hit a nerve among workers affected by the seemingly unscrupulous actions of self-appointed fridge police.Comments online included whether the shrimp fried rice story has been “optioned by Hollywood” — including suggestions for director and actors — as well as theories about the burglar being a scorned lover seeking vengeance.“It’s wild,” Toscani said in an interview from Los Angeles, about the surprising amount of attention his narration of events has received.“It’s become a conversation piece because so many people have had their lunch stolen or thrown out,” he said. “Office situations like this seem to be really common.”Andrea Bonior, a licensed clinical psychologist and Georgetown University professor, said workplace kitchens are often fraught with problems.“People are in a cramped space, where the office kitchen has almost this level of unwanted intimacy to it,” she said in an interview from Washington, D.C. “You might want a little more privacy but you have to use the communal refrigerator.”Bonior, an author and host of an online chat column in The Washington Post, said the shared office kitchen is prone to passive aggressiveness in part because food can be a loaded issue for people due to scent sensitivities, diets and other issues.“You might need to interact with people to resolve an issue, but rather than deal with it face-to-face people will often leave notes,” she said, calling it a “stealth attack” against someone without taking the responsibility for being direct.“It really does bring out a childishness in the workplace.”Bonior recommended personal, direct and respectful communication in any workplace conflict.“As funny as this story may be, in general it’s better to avoid this sort of secret drama that risks making people feel humiliated and offended.”last_img read more

Dead receiving ballots in Sagkeeng

first_imgAPTN National NewsAs many Manitoba First Nations head to the polls, stories of corruption continue to surface.This next story focuses on the Sagkeeng First Nation, where some speculate the voters list isn’t kept up to date for a reason.Concerned band members say there are hundreds of dead members still on the voters’ list, some of whom are getting mail-in ballots.APTN National News reporter Tiar Wilson has the story.last_img

Arrests in Burnaby BC as order against Kinder Morgan protest camp enforced

first_imgBURNABY, B.C. – The RCMP arrested protesters Thursday as officers enforced a court injunction to dismantle a protest camp and snuff out a sacred fire at a site where the Trans Mountain pipeline ends in Burnaby, B.C.Cpl. Daniela Panesar said police began enforcing an order obtained by the City of Burnaby last week from the B.C. Supreme Court.An update posted on social media by the detachment said 11 people were removed from the site known as Camp Cloud.“Five were subsequently arrested and have since been released from custody,” the post said.Police said in a news release that a family of three living at the camp was being helped to acquire emergency shelter.Environmental activist Tzeporah Berman, who works with the Watch House group that has an Indigenous protest site near Camp Cloud, said she understood the arrested demonstrators promised to stay away.“The folks agreed to sign the terms and they were released,” she said in a phone interview.Officers moved in after continuing to talk with camp residents in the hope that they would obey the injunction and leave within a 48-hour deadline set by the court, the RCMP said in a news release.That deadline passed Sunday and protesters at the camp said Monday they were prepared to protect a sacred fire, which has been burning since the camp was set up late last year. They also said they planned to tie themselves to structures rather than obey the injunction.B.C. Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey Gomery was specific in the injunction that the fire needed to be put out because it was burning in dry conditions near an aviation fuel tank farm.Camp residents had refused requests to extinguish the fire despite the increasing risk of wildfires.RCMP placed a large exclusion zone around Camp Cloud on Thursday as the dismantling began. They said they would arrest anyone, including media, who violated the zone.“Our paramount concern is safety,” said Panesar.“We ensure that everybody is out of the exclusion zone and then the City of Burnaby can come in and start cleaning up the protest site.”City crews brought in heavy equipment into the camp shortly after the arrests and began removing belongings and bringing down structures.Dipak Dattani, Burnaby’s acting city manager, said crews were doing an inventory of any personal property, as well as of the structures on the site.“Once that is done, we will then start looking at dismantling. To give you a date or time, it’s hard for me to say right now because we just got on the site.”Hazardous materials, needles or other dangerous items were among the things crews were checking for before dismantling could begin, Dattani said.Peaceful protests are still permitted, but when public safety is threatened, the City of Burnaby has to act, he said.The nearby Indigenous protest site wasn’t included in the injunction application.The City of Burnaby allowed the Watch House to stay because it had already agreed to several key conditions, including removal of its sacred fire.“The city asked it to be removed so there was a proper ceremony with Indigenous elders and (the sacred fire) was removed until after the fire ban,” Berman said.Camp Cloud has grown since last November when opponents of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion parked a single trailer at the gates of the Kinder Morgan tank farm on Burnaby Mountain.The camp grew to include two-storey structures, several vehicles and a makeshift shower.RCMP said that since March they’ve arrested 217 people under a court-ordered injunction that restricts protesters from within five metres of sites in Burnaby where work related to the pipeline expansion is underway.It has also become a rallying point for demonstrators opposed to the pipeline’s expansion, which would more than triple the amount of bitumen and other oil products moving from near Edmonton to Burnaby for shipping overseas by tanker.As opposition built against the expansion, the federal government offered $4.5 billion to purchase the project. Kinder Morgan is presenting that offer to its shareholders and expects the sale will be approved later this month or in September.The purchase price, which includes the existing pipeline, pumping stations, rights of way and the Westridge marine terminal in Burnaby, does not cover the construction costs of building the new pipeline, previously estimated at about $7.4 billion.last_img read more

From wood pellets to green taxes UN highlights tools to fight global

The project, converting the residue into wood pellets that can be used as a substitute for fossil fuels, is just one scheme being highlighted this week following last month’s summit at UN Headquarters in New York on climate change. “Costa Rica’s pioneer project will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to sustainable development,” FAO Assistant Director-General for Forestry Jan Heino said. The FAO is working with the Government to provide technical assistance. In many countries, surplus wood residues from sawmills occupy large amounts of space and often pollute local rivers. Their decay leads to emissions of methane, a very potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. Moreover, the residues can ignite spontaneously and thus present a fire risk. Thus the project has a two-fold benefit: avoiding methane emissions and substituting fossil fuels with renewable wood pellets. On the other side of the world, in Cambodia, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) is holding a seminar to help the country to adopt development policies which protect the environment without limiting economic growth. The five-day workshop in Sihanoukville is studying tools and approaches for the Government to introduce a green tax and budget reforms which take into account environmental costs, develop sustainable infrastructure such as public transport, promote cleaner production and more sustainable consumption patterns and develop eco-efficiency indicators. The seminar is the second in a series of five aimed at helping Asia-Pacific countries which have requested aid in designing and implementing Green Growth policies. The first took place in Kazakhstan. These countries have acknowledged that the current focus on measuring development in terms of gross domestic product growth is not enough, and there is a critical need to change the mindset and embrace measures which take quality of life and well-being into consideration. In a related development the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) announced today that New Zealand, one of the first countries to pledge a carbon-neutral future, will be the main host of World Environment Day 2008. Carbon emissions are a main source of global warming. The focus of the global 2008 celebrations will be on solutions and opportunities for countries, companies and communities to “Kick the habit” and de-carbonize their economies and life-styles. Measures range from greater energy efficiency in buildings and appliances, including light bulbs, to a switch to cleaner and renewable forms of electricity generation and transport systems. The focus will also be put on the role of forests in countering rises in greenhouse gases. An estimated 20 per cent of emissions contributing to climate change globally are a result of deforestation. “New Zealand is among a pioneer group of countries committed to accelerating a transition to a low carbon and carbon-neutral economy,” UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner said. “What we need is action to slow, stop and then to reverse the growth of global greenhouse gas emissions. A transition to a low carbon economy is essential to achieving this.” Finally in Davos, Switzerland, the global challenge of climate change and action by the tourism sector in both adaptation of destinations and mitigation of its own impacts are the focus of a four-day meeting organized UNEP, the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and their partners. The increasingly important travel and tourism sector, totalling 846 million international arrivals and some 4 billion domestic trips in 2006, is both a contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and at the same time highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, according to a new UN report to be released later this year. According to the report, carbon dioxide emissions from the sector’s transport, accommodation and other activities are estimated to account for between 4 and 6 per cent of total emissions and, without mitigation measures, could grow by 150 per cent in the next 30 years. “Climate change is real, its effects are proven and the tourism sector has to play its part in contributing to the solution of the challenges it poses,” UNWTO Secretary-General Francesco Frangialli said. 1 October 2007A United Nations-backed pilot project in Costa Rica to convert large stockpiles of sawdust and other polluting residues from wood industries into a profitable “green” energy source offers new prospects for the industries in developing countries to combat global warming, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said today. read more

SecretaryGeneral sends report on Uganda peace talks to Security Council

9 July 2008United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has sent a report from the chief mediator between the Government of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels to the Security Council on efforts to resolve their long-running conflict. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has sent a report from the chief mediator between the Government of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels to the Security Council on efforts to resolve their long-running conflict.The report – from Lt. General Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon, who is the Vice-President of the Government of Southern Sudan – calls for the LRA to re-engage with the peace talks, which began in July 2006, by establishing regular and credible communication with the mediation team as well as with the Government of Uganda.A series of accords struck by the rebels and the Government earlier this year raised hopes that they could reach a permanent, wide-ranging agreement ending the conflict, but in April LRA leader Joseph Kony failed to sign a comprehensive deal mediated by the Government of Southern Sudan that his representatives had earlier initialled.The chief mediator states that immediately implementing certain aspects of the agreement would consolidate peace in Northern Uganda and in parts of Southern Sudan, as well as improve the prospects of stabilizing other affected areas.“Our efforts in this direction would demonstrate a viable peaceful alternative to violence as a means of ending this conflict,” he reports. “”Although the path ahead is challenging, we believe that ending this conflict commands and deserves the full commitment of everyone.”The LRA, which has fought a civil war with the Ugandan Government since the mid-1980s, became notorious during the conflict for abducting as many as 25,000 children and using them as fighters and porters. read more

New Liebherr PR 764 adds to its mining crawler dozer offering

first_imgThe new Liebherr PR 766 crawler tractor the company says offers the best conditions for continuing the success story of Liebherr crawlers in the 50 tonne category. With operating weights of between 46,200 kg and 54,200 kg, the PR 766 is the successor model to the successful PR 764. The latest model in the crawler tractor generation is driven by a powerful 310 kW (422 hp) 8-cylinder V-engine. The PR 764 has been highly successful in the mining industry with several hundred working in the Russian market alone.The diesel unit in the PR 766 “embodies the latest generation of Liebherr engine technology” and therefore complies with Stage IV/Tier 4 emission standards. In this generation of engines, Liebherr combines emission reduction in compliance with the applicable standards with additional combustion savings in two technological steps. First, an optimised combustion process minimises the particles while they are still inside the engine. Liebherr has achieved this by developing its own Liebherr common rail injection system in conjunction with the engine control also developed by the company. In the second step, the exhaust gas aftertreatment concept uses selective catalytic reduction. As a result, the new Liebherr diesel engines surpass Stage IV/Tier 4 emission standards without the use of a diesel particulate filter.As a result of the hydrostatic drive in the PR 766, the speed of the diesel engine can be kept constant in practical use regardless of the required load. The unit therefore always runs at the optimum efficient speed. The fact that speed fluctuations are avoided, sets the Liebherr travel drive apart from all other large crawler tractor drive concepts currently available on the market. Essential drivetrain components are developed in-house and optimally coordinated, which increases the efficiency of the system as a whole.As with all of Liebherr’s Generation 6 crawler tractors, the PR 766 comes equipped with the  ‘ECO function’ . This gives the driver the opportunity to choose between high performance and maximum efficiency. In lightweight to moderately heavy applications, the ECO control system ensures increased efficiency and therefore additional fuel savings compared to conventional drive concepts.The proactive power adjustment is another innovative feature of Generation 6. This involves both internal engine and external machine parameters being recorded, such as the deflection of the drive joystick, and the engine power is automatically increased for a short period based on the current demand. As well as enhanced response behaviour, this results in a noticeable improvement in performance capability and torque output.The new PR 766 Litronic is equipped with an oscillating undercarriage as standard. This allows the track rollers to be flexibly adapted to the surface. As a result, the machine’s traction, but also its smooth running, is significantly increased, particularly when used on stony ground. Unevenness in the ground is ironed out through the elastic suspension and impact loads are reduced to a minimum. This not only increases comfort for the driver, but also improves the service life of the undercarriage and reduces the wear on the installed components and the steel structure. When operating crawler tractors in low temperatures, Liebherr offers numerous special options ex-works, which have been developed in close collaboration with end users.The large cab in the PR 766 is identical to the driver’s platform in the 70 tonne PR 776 crawler tractor launched in 2016. During the development of this new driver’s platform, the focus was placed on simple and safe machine operability. The driver will get to grips with the interior of the modern cab designed for maximum comfort immediately and intuitively. With Liebherr’s successful single-lever operation, the driver can control all driving and steering movements with just one joystick.The spacious work area in the PR 766 provides the best conditions for effortless work. The special features in the cab include the centralised control elements and the touch-controlled colour display, as well as many storage areas and a climate-controlled storage compartment. The driver can use the central display to intuitively control important operating parameters, such as the ECO function, the travel drive’s response behaviour and the steering, and use comfort and safety functions, for example the rear view camera, which is fitted as a standard.The driver can adjust the control elements for the travel drive, blade and rear-mounted ripper to the most suitable ergonomic position for them. The ergonomically optimised shaping of the joystick makes working as comfortable as possible. The desired travelling speed range can be preselected directly on the joystick. This way, control of the tractor can be apportioned precisely, especially at low speed. Driver detection takes place automatically by means of the integrated seat contact switch, without the driver having to actuate a safety lever. The joystick for the rear-mounted ripper is a new feature; this can now be adjusted in two axes and serves as a handle for the driver during the ripping process.The modern design of Liebherr’s new PR 766 offers the driver an excellent view in all directions, which makes work particularly efficient and increases safety in daily use. Edges which slope away on all sides and the all-round panoramic window ensure ideal panoramic visibility of the land, as well as the blade and rear-mounted ripper.The successful hydrostatic Liebherr travel drive omits high-wear components, such as torque converters, multi-speed gearboxes, steering clutches and service brakes. Instead, high-quality and particularly reliable hydraulic pumps and hydraulic motors operate with virtually no wear. Centralised maintenance points, wide-opening access flaps and engine compartment doors, as well as a tilting operator’s cab as standard, enable perfect maintenance access. This is  enhanced by engine compartment lighting as standard, which guarantees that daily checks can be performed quickly and efficiently, even in poor lighting conditions. The intervals for changing the hydraulic oil on the new PR 766 can be extended to up to 8,000 operating hours if the hydraulic oil is monitored accordingly.The LiDAT fleet management system, which is supplied as a standard, provides comprehensive machine data  with this state-of-the-art communication technology. This additionally improves efficiency in practical, by enabling optimised operational planning and reliable remote monitoring. The data is updated several times a day and can be conveniently called up at any time using a web browser. An automatic alarm can be set up for particularly important information, for example if the machine leaves a predefined zone or if a critical operating situation arises.last_img read more

Worlds largest hybrid solarthermal plant is switched to supply IAMGOLD Essakane

first_imgTotal Eren, AEMP and IAMGOLD Essakane SA are pleased to announce that the grand opening ceremony of Essakane Solar, the world’s largest hybrid solar/thermal plant, was held on March 16th in northern Burkina Faso. The new 15 MWp photovoltaic (PV) power plant will supply IAMGOLD Essakane SA with competitive and carbon-free electricity.The ceremony was attended by his Excellency Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, President of Burkina Faso, Oumarou Idani, Minister of Mines and Quarries, Bachir Ismaël Ouédraogo, Minister of Energy, and other members of the Government of Burkina Faso, as well as representatives of local communities.Made of close to 130,000 photovoltaic panels, the 15 MWp solar power plant (Essakane Solar) will be added to the existing 57 MW heavy fuel oil (HFO) power plant, creating the largest hybrid PV-HFO plant in the world and one of the largest solar facilities in sub-saharan Africa.The construction of the solar plant, managed by Wärtsilä, commenced 10 months ago. Approximately 75 people from nearby communities were hired for the construction works and Essakane Solar will now employ 40 permanent staff for the next 15 years.The IAMGOLD Essakane SA gold mine is one of the largest privately-held companies in the country, producing 389,000 oz of gold attributable to IAMGOLD in 2017. Due to its isolated location, the mine is currently off-grid and relies solely on HFO. In this context, IAMGOLD Essakane SA put forward a progressive sustainability agenda and moved forward with the project sponsor, Total Eren, a global renewable energy independent power producer (IPP), and AEMP, a developer andindependent power producer, to add solar capacity to its existing power system. The 15 MWp solar project will help decrease the mine’s fuel consumption by approximately 6 million litres per year and reduce its annual CO2 emissions by nearly 18,500 t. Essakane Solar has moreover engaged procedures to register carbon credits generated by the project at the United Nations program.Stephen Letwin, President and CEO of IAMGOLD Corporation, also commented: “The transition to generating more of our energy from renewable sources has been central to IAMGOLD’s new energy strategy for several years now. The inauguration of the largest hybrid solar/thermal power plant in the world is a new milestone in innovation and excellence, and one of which we are particularly proud. Essakane’s entrance into the clean energy era speaks volumes about its long-term commitment to sustainable development.”Fabienne Demol, Executive Vice-President – Global Head of Business Development of Total Eren, commented: “This ceremony sets a long-lasting footprint for Total Eren in Burkina Faso and confirms our ability to collaborate, together with our partner AEMP, with mining companies and address their energy needs. IAMGOLD has successfully taken up the challenge of bringing renewable power to mines and we demonstrated that, with the help of strong technical and financial partners, with enough flexibility and creativity to come up with innovative business and structuring models and with the continuous support of the national decision makers and local communities, we can execute reliable and effective solutions for competitive power supply, even in the most remote areas.”Richard Duffy, co-founder, AEMP, commented: “The inauguration of the Essakane Solar Plant confirms the contribution renewable energy can make to support the competitiveness of the mining sector in Burkina Faso and elsewhere in Africa. It is the result of our long-standing partnership with Total Eren and testimony to IAMGOLD’s leadership in renewable energy for mining. Support from the Government of Burkina Faso has been instrumental in making this project viable and bodes well for similar future projects. Together with Total Eren, we are committed to increasing our investment in Burkina Faso’s energy sector as part of our continued support for the country’s focus on attracting additional mining investment.”last_img read more

Pensioner missing from Dundrum Town Centre found safe and well

first_imgUpdated 9.20am:GARDAÍ IN DUBLIN have confirmed that a 73-year-old man who went missing at Dundrum Town Centre has been found safe and well.Declan Devereux had been last seen leaving the car park of the Dundrum Town Centre at around 5pm on 13 April. He was seen walking towards the roundabout at the Tesco service station near one of the entrances to the centre.Both Gardaí and the 73-year-old’s family had said they had serious concerns about his safety.In a statement this morning, Gardaí said Declan Devereux had been located.last_img read more

Few Greeks opt for civil partnership

first_imgFew in Greece have embraced the institution of civil unions even though legislation allowing couples to have their partnership legally recognized without getting married was first introduced in 2008. The main causes behind this reluctance appear to be a lack of awareness about the institution and how it works, prejudice toward this form of partnership in a country where the Orthodox Church’s authority is still held in high esteem and plays a strong traditional role, as well as the law itself, which presents its own obstacles. In the year after the law was first introduced, the number of couples joined in civil unions came to 161, rising only slightly in 2010 and 2011 to 180 and 185 respectively. The number rose significantly in 2012, reaching 314, while data suggest that 2013 will also see an increase in couples opting for a civil partnership. According to data published recently by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT), a census of people joined by civil union in 2011 came to 880 couples. The same data show that 332 people broke their civil unions and 78 were widowed between 2008 and 2011. To get an idea of how small the percentage of civil unions is compared to marriage, registry office weddings in 2012 came to 25,730 across Greece, church weddings came to 23,980 and civil unions to just 314. Moreover, it appears that urbanites find the idea of a civil partnership more conducive as more than 50 per cent of the 314 unions forged in 2012 were in Athens and 20 per cent in Thessaloniki. Confirming a civil partnership is a relatively easy process that takes an agreement signed by a notary which is then filed with the marriage registry. Individuals entering an agreement for a civil partnership cannot be married to someone else nor can they be related by blood or adoption. The union can be declared null and void if any of these terms are found to have been broken. Civil unions are mainly meant to protect the property and inheritance rights of the individuals entering the agreement. They also cover custody rights over children. Paternity is protected too. Basically, they provide a rather loose set of rules governing the union of two people who do not want to go through the process of marriage. The law, however, is lacking. For example, it does not allow for same-sex unions, an issue that was recently taken up the European Court of Human Rights, which ruled that Greece’s exclusion of same-sex couples from civil unions is in violation of the European Convention of Human Rights. It further does not cover issues of taxation, social security etc for couples in a civil union. Social security funds, for example, will not provide coverage to the civil partner of a member. In a recent case that went before Parliament, the Social Security Foundation (IKA) refused to issue a healthcare booklet to a pregnant woman who had a civil union with her partner, the baby’s father, who was a member of IKA. Similar problems arise at tax offices, where authorities do not allow the two partners of a civil union to make a joint declaration. The issue of same-sex unions, however, promises to pose the biggest challenge when and if authorities decide to hone the law further given that Greece is a relatively conservative society. In its decision in early November 2013 , the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights reiterated that “same-sex couples are just as capable as different-sex couples of entering into stable committed relationships.” It ruled that Law 3719 was therefore in violation of same-sex applicants’ right to equal treatment. It is noted that from the 19 members of the Council of Europe, only Greece and Lithuania prohibit same-sex couples from entering a civil partnership.Source: ekathimerini Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Property taxes hinder economy

first_imgThe overtaxation of property is suppressing the potential of an economic recovery, which could have been achieved as far back as the first quarter of 2013 had faulty and detrimental property taxes not been imposed, Alpha Bank highlights in its newly released weekly report. The bank notes that economic irregularities have been caused by two coinciding property taxes in 2014, these being the existing so-called FAP tax imposed on property valued at over 300,000 euros, and the newly introduced ENFIA property tax, currently undergoing revisions before payments begin, most likely in late September.In its report, Alpha also notes that the nominal property value levels being used by tax authorities to calculate property taxes are well above actual market values, which is playing a major role in restraining the country’s economic activity.“Economic recovery and greater employment growth are being catalytically obstructed at present by two very significant and crucial taxation errors that are contributing considerably to the further reduction of activity in the real estate market, from levels that are already low,” Alpha stresses in its report.The bank goes on to state that such policies are further damaging taxpayers’ already dented willingness to cooperate, ultimately depriving the state of significant tax revenue decreases, rather than increases, as is desired.Alpha estimates that the aforementioned property tax errors deprived the country’s GDP figure of 1.26 percentage points during the first quarter of 2014, as well as a further 0.8 per cent in the second quarter.Despite the concerns expressed in the Alpha report, it does point to some encouraging news on the economic growth front. The bank is forecasting year-on-year GDP growth of between 1.5 and 2 per cent in the second half of 2014, following a growth rate of 0.6 per cent in the first half of the year.GDP growth in the second half of 2014 would be supported by factors such as a significant increase in exports of products and services, as well as major gains in the sectors of tourism and shipping, according to the Alpha report.Meanwhile, in a report of its own, Eurobank highlights that there is no leeway for any fiscal slackening, while adding that the achievement of a primary surplus of 1.5 per cent of GDP for 2014 is attainable.The bank, however, does warn that a series of factors need to be overcome if threats to budget target figures are to be avoided. The threats cited by Eurobank included court decisions obliging salary refunds for certain professional groups, as well as the severe impact on the taxpaying ability of citizens as a result of the deep recession in Greece over the past six years.Source: ekathimerini Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Review Fantasy Strike Is A Fighting Game That Understands What Matters

first_img A few years ago I wrote a feature about why fighting games need to abandon arcane, needlessly complicated control schemes like quarter-circle motions and dragon punches. It’s a belief I’ve held onto for years but felt inspired to bring up again in the wake of Arms, Nintendo’s Switch fighting game that proves arbitrarily high levels of technical execution aren’t needed to make a good and deep fighting game, just as Super Smash Bros. does.Naturally, not everyone agreed with me. And I get. If you spent years and years getting good at a thing, you don’t like to hear that the skill you’ve gained shouldn’t be necessary, even if it’s true. However, along with the yelling I also kept hearing about a game called Fantasy Strike which apparently addressed most of my complaints with current fighting game dogma. Even when I first played it in its unfinished state, I could already tell that Fantasy Strike is a fighting game that understands what really matters. And that’s still the case in the final PC, PS4, and Nintendo Switch release.Certain issues I had with the preview have been ironed out. Controls are now as snappy and responsive as you want from a fast-paced fighting games. Other issues still remain. The limited roster consists of colorful but somewhat generic characters. My main might be a panda with a gambling problem. But that’s endemic to fighting games starting from scratch and don’t have years of prior entries to draw from. The handful of modes, from regular and team battles to survival gauntlets and boss rushes, are straight out of an early (albeit online) arcade cabinet.What matters is Fantasy Strike’s shining and sound core design full of radical potential first teased in 2017. In Fantasy Strike, every move is performed by pressing a single button. Want to do an attack? Press a button. Special attack? Press a button. Perform a throw or super move? You understand. Some moves can be modified by jumping, pressing buttons in a sequence, or holding the stick in a direction, but none of the difficulty comes from simply or consistently executing a move in time.And thank god because fretting over whether or not you can just do a move should never be the thing that matters. Fantasy Strike puts the emphasis on theory where it belongs. Just because the moves are easy to perform doesn’t mean the game is brainless. I still got stomped playing online. If anything it’s even harder because more rounds and shorter health bars make each wrong or right decision even more important in a Samurai Shodown kind of way. It’s the difference between “can you do this move?” and “should you do this move?”You still have to study each character’s moveset, paying attention to properties like range and speed, to know what situation calls for what move. You can’t use an arrow projectile the same way you use a giant paintbrush. This is the kind of satisfying high-level fighting game thinking Fantasy Strike wants to teach you, zoning and mix-ups and rush-downs, and it smartly recognizes that complicated moves just get in the way.Fantasy Strike’s philosophy is crystallized by its Yomi Counter system. In fighting games, “Yomi” refers to your ability to read your opponent, anticipate their next move, and punish them for it. Yomi Counters let you reverse throws, and you perform them by pressing no buttons whatsoever. How perfect is that? Obviously pressing no buttons leave you vulnerable to other attacks, but if you let go and trust your ability to read your opponent (not pull off some silly combo string) you’ll be rewarded. It’s like using the Force.Fantasy Strike is about the buttons you’re not pressing. It’s almost like jazz, and unsurprisingly, it’s coming from a developer with a knowledge of fighting games so complete they can break them like this. David Sirlin was the lead designer of Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix. In fact, this whole wave of accessible fighting games, from Divekick to Rising Thunder (RIP), are coming from masters of the genre like Adam Heart and Seth Killian. It’s almost as if people with a true understanding of fighting games know that complex execution isn’t the point. What a crazy thought.For more on fighting games read about the entire history of the genre as well as our guide to every character in Mortal Kombat 11.View as: One Page Slides1/51. Fantasy Strike is an upcoming fighting game that abandons pointlessly complicated controls. 2. Every move can be performed with little more than a button press.3. The Yomi Counter system rewards you for knowing when to push no buttons at all.4. However, the game is still plenty deep. Playing online demonstrates how it’s about knowing when to use a move, not how to use it.5. Since it’s unfinished, Fantasy Strike is still a little rough, but it shows a ton of radical potential. Stay on target Game of the Year: Jordan Minor’s Best Video Games of 2018WarioWare D.I.Y. is the Original Mario Maker last_img read more

I have to blame myself Sami Khedira bemoans

first_imgAs you probably know, Germany has crashed out of the 2018 World Cup tournament but Sami Khedira believes his performances during their matches is quite ‘inexplicable.’Khedira’s performance during the match was below the standard which led him to be substituted but had side defeated by Mexico and South Korea.After a “perfect” preparation for the tournament, Khedira accepted that his performance have left him confused even after having a successful season with Juventus.‘My personal performance is still inexplicable to me today,’ Khedira told Bild. Top 5 Bundesliga players to watch during the weekend Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 11, 2019 With the international activity cooling down for the next month, we go back to the Bundesliga’s Top 5 players to watch next weekend.The German…‘Four weeks ago, everything was perfect. I played the best season of my career in Turin, scored nine goals and had very good performances in the Champions League.‘And then these two games happen to me. I have not experienced that during my entire football career and therefore I have to question myself, why this could be so. My team-mates and I have been quite rightly criticised very hard.’‘There are things I cannot explain. For example, why I could not get my performance in the two games, even though I was in good shape before.‘I sat right on the bench against Sweden and did not perform in the other two games that would have been necessary and that I expected of myself. I have to blame myself.’last_img read more

Guardiola urges City players to be clinical

first_imgPep Guardiola was far from impressed with Manchester City’s inability to convert their chances against Tottenham Hotspur in their narrow 1-0 win.Riyad Mahrez’s early goal was the difference at Wembley Stadium as City missed clear-cut chances in both halves to increase their lead. And Guardiola bemoaned the poor finishing touches.He went on to reveal to Sky Sports: “We played today one of the most physical teams I’ve faced in my life because of Sissoko, Kane, Dier, Alderweireld, Sanchez, and Dembele. It’s incredible physicality and this pitch was so complicated. We missed some goals and we let them run.Premier LeaguePremier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…“But we controlled quite good in terms of the difficulty to play on this pitch, especially in the first 15 to 20 minutes. In the second half, we should have the game over and that is the problem we have.“In the big events, especially in the Champions League, we need to be more clinical in this situation because sooner or later we are not going to win.”He then said in his post-match press conference: “I still feel we have a lot to improve.”last_img read more

4A girls basketball Skyview falls to Inglemoor places 6th at state

first_imgTACOMA — The Skyview Storm made it to a trophy game, but they also had to play that game at 8 in the morning.They will take the trophy, but they probably never want to play basketball at that hour ever again.Inglemoor outlasted Skyview 39-36 in for fourth place at the Class 4A state girls basketball tournament Saturday in the Tacoma Dome. The Storm (25-4) finished the season with a sixth-place trophy.“I’m going to tell them how much I love them,” Skyview coach Jennifer Buscher said before going into the locker for one final post-game meeting with this group. “They are some of the best kids I know. I just couldn’t be more proud of this group.”Still, the Storm will probably be wondering what happened Saturday. Having a rough morning from the floor was one thing — playing three days in a row and going up against Inglemoor’s 6-foot-4 post Deja Strother will bother most teams — but the Storm also struggled at the free-throw line.“It’s just not a time to be in a shooting slump,” Buscher said.Skyview was 11 for 48 from the floor and 10 of 27 from the free-throw line.“State tournament. Anything can happen,” Buscher said. “Missing 17 free throws isn’t going to cut it.”Buscher, looking at the stat sheet, asked again, “Did we really miss 17 free throws?”Yep.Strother, who had a triple-double in Friday’s consolation victory for Inglemoor, had 18 points, 11 rebounds, and three blocked shots against the Storm. In foul trouble in the third quarter, she returned in the fourth and scored five quick points to give the Vikings a nine-point lead at 32-23. Skyview’s Big Three — Jocelyn Adams, Stephanie McDonagh, and Aubrey Ward-El — responded, each scoring in an 8-0 run to make it a one-point contest.last_img read more

Vietnam gives green light to US500 million horse racing facility

first_img Vietnam ponders easing casino investment requirements in Special Economic Zones APE completes new installation of Konami’s “Fortune Cup” at MGM Cotai Authorities in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi have given the green light to a US$500 million horse racing and entertainment facility as part of the city’s 2020 socio-economic development plan.According to local media, the complex will be built on a large parcel of agricultural land located in Soc San to the north of Hanoi and will be operational by 2021. Load More Hoiana golf course to welcome first players from 23 September RelatedPosts The project is almost 20 years in the making, having first been proposed in 1999 only to fall though due to the lack of a legal framework for horse racing and sports betting. A local travel company asked for permission to re-open a feasibility and research study in 2007 but was told the legal framework for sports betting would need to be completed first.That milestone was finally accomplished in 2017 when the national government passed a law making sports betting legal. The VnExpress says that foreign companies are also looking to invest in horse racing facilities in Bac Ninh, Vinh Phuc and Ho Chi Minh City.last_img read more

Tamanna bullies Ravi Krishna in Bigg Boss Telugu 3 Is she failing

first_imgJohnrambo @bvsreddy1982 Ratchel @susan2029 Tamanna Anta over chestunte captain em chestunnadu! #BiggBossTelugu3 I thought verbal abuse and bullying is not allowed in the Bigg Boss house! How can you allow #Tamannah to stay as she bullies Ravi in your promo?! There is a THICK line between you getting your ratings and someone being bullied! Please take action! @StarMaa #BiggBossTelugu3 Ravi and Ali patience ki mechukovali. Adhe #TamannaSimhadri vitika, Punarnavi or Varun ni attack chesunte undedhi ‘Po’ annarani okaru, nominate chesarani okaru, group ani annarani godapettukuntunnaru. #BiggBossTelugu3 Paapam #TamannaSimhadri chala try chesindhi instigate chesthe andharu against avutharani thanani corner chestharani appudu victim card vadadhamani pappulu emi udakaledu #BiggBossTelugu3 He did the best thing by staying calm and maintaining his dignity… Shamini.M.R @Not_A_Shammer Chandini @laughaholic95 sri2tweet @sri2tweet1 Okka roju Tamannah Ravi ni pettina torture choose ayyo antunnaru andharu… Mari daily pseudo feminists chethilo torture chusthunna valla husbands chusi emanali paapam #BiggBossTelugu3 (‘◕‿◕´) (‘◕‿◕´) @proud_2beIndian S @SMP_togo Ok, could someone tell me why is #TamannaSimhadri targetting #Ravi? #BiggBossTelugu3 #TamannaSimhadri owes members of the LGBTQI community a huge apology. If she entered the #BiggBossTelugu3 house to represent them, especially transgenders, then she’s showing them in a bad light. She’s a bully, toxic, crass, crude, & lacks dignity. tamanna frustates ravi and rahul @StarMaa @iamnagarjuna @ntdailyonline #BiggBossTelugu3 Definitely Ravi got chance to make the best entertaining episode instead of humiliation episode…center_img pooja arora @poojaarorabigb3 Tamanna Simhadri bullying Ravi Krishna inside Bigg Boss Telugu 3 houseScreenshot of hotstar videoTransgender Tamanna Simhadri was seen bullying Ravi Krishna inside the house of Bigg Boss Telugu 3, but the latter remained calm and quiet and did not lose his cool even for a moment.As the show began, Tamanna was seen engaged in a heated argument with Jyothi and other housemates over the nomination process. Ali Reza was shouting at her and asking her to stop her lectures to her. Later, Jyothi and few other contestants were seen discussing open nominations.Ravi Krishna nominates Tamanna as she disrupted the harmony in the house. Tamanna wowed to take revenge on Ravi. She is ready to be eliminated but will make his life hell for the next five days. Punarnavi suggests him to ignore her. But she keeps provoking him, by calling him pappu. Tamanna Simhadri bullying Ravi Krishna inside Bigg Boss Telugu 3 houseScreenshot of hotstar videoLater, Tamanna apologised to Ravi Krishna’s parents, saying, “Sorry aunty and uncle your son played a foul game first. Initially, I thought I would support him, but later I realised that he is playing a foul game. If you feel bad about my behaviour, I am really sorry.”Ravi Krishna kept ignoring Tamanna with a smile, but she did not address him as Pappu. When Ravi tried to sit on a chair near the kitchen, Tamanna said it is reserved by her. He silently left the place and went to the dining table. However, she kept chasing him and irritating him throughout the day.However, Tamanna’s behaviour towards Ravi Krishna has hurt and upset not only the people inside the house of Bigg Boss Telugu 3 but also the audience, who are watching all the developments from outside. Some of them took to Twitter to condemn her.Some audience said that Tamanna entered the house of Bigg Boss Telugu 3 with an intention of projecting her transgender community in a right way and get them justice. But she seemed to have forgotten her aim after entering the show. Here is how they reacted to her conduct on Tuesday. Tamanna Simhadri bullying Ravi Krishna inside Bigg Boss Telugu 3 houseScreenshot of hotstar videoApoorvaB @ApoorvaB312 Tamanna is an idiot. Instead of making the audience support her cause, she’s making Ravi into a hero in the viewers eyes. I applaud his calmness #BiggBossTelugu3 #BiggBossTelugu #BiggBossTelugu3 Tammana-Ravi ” Endhi mama idhi nannu thagulukuthundhi” I think BB wants to introduce psychopaths to Telugu audience in the form of Tamannah.. Next season nunchi dose penchochu. #BiggBossTelugu3 Tamannah is jus a kid infront of Dolly bindra, swami om, Surbhi etc #BiggBossTelugu3 Sandeep naidu @sandy_deepu31 #tamannasimhadri is not a pathi itthu so many controversies around her shame on people, who’s supporting a shameless malefemale person n bashing @ActorAliReza if she says she’s a girl she should have dressed like men it shows confidence but no transcard #BiggBossTelugu3 Peaceful Warrior @amunconscious padmavathi @simplyysush venkyreviews @venkyreviews Tamanna abused #ali, @iamnagarjuna praises him for patience.Tamanna abused #ravi, @iamnagarjuna may praise him for patience. Moral: If garbage is keep getting thrown at us, keep quiet is best. Fighting is bad. Keeping quiet on wrong things is bad @StarMaa #BiggBossTelugu3 Comrade @Rowdyfan_Dinesh Be like Ravi in #BiggbossTelugu3 house Entha oopika ra sami neekulast_img read more

Obesity may affect the greatgrandchildren

first_imgWhile previous studies have linked a woman’s health in pregnancy to her child’s weight later in life, the new study published this week in the US journal Cell Reports showed the risk does not end only with the first generation, Xinhua news agency reported.Obesity-caused genetic abnormalities, it said, and can be passed through the female bloodline to at least three generations, even if their offspring eat healthy.“Our findings indicate that a mother’s obesity can impair the health of later generations,” said senior author Kelle Moley, professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“This is particularly important because more than two-thirds of reproductive-age women in the US are overweight or obese,” Moley said.In the new study, the researchers fed mice a high-fat, high-sugar diet comprised of about 60 per cent fat and 20 per cent sugar, which mimics more of the Western diet and was “like eating fast food every day”, from six weeks prior to conception until weaning.Their offspring then were fed a controlled diet of standard rodent chow, which is high in protein and low in fat and sugar. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixDespite the healthy diet, the pups, grand pups and great-grand pups developed insulin resistance and other metabolic problems.Abnormalities in mitochondria, which often are referred to as the powerhouses of cells because they supply energy for metabolism and other biochemical processes and are inherited only from mothers, not fathers, were found in muscle and skeletal tissue of the mice.The research showed that a mother’s obesity – and its associated metabolic problems– may be inherited through mitochondrial DNA present in the unfertilised oocyte, or egg. “It’s important to note that in humans, in which the diets of children closely mirror those of their parents, the effects of maternal metabolic syndrome may be greater than in our mouse model,” Moley said.She urged people to eat nutritiously, although more research is needed to determine if a consistent diet low in fat and sugar, as well as regular exercise, may reverse genetic metabolic abnormalities. “Over the decades, our diets have worsened, in large part due to processed foods and fast foods. We’re seeing the effects in the current obesity crisis,” Moley said. “Research points to poor maternal nutrition and a predisposition to obesity.”last_img read more

Environmental factors can affect early puberty

first_imgApart from genes, environment and lifestyle factors that lead to chemical modifications of human genes can also influence a child’s pubertal timing, a new study has found. Chemical modifications of the human genome – epigenetic modifications – occur when girls and boys enter puberty. The findings showed that epigenetic changes cause the unregulation of genes that are important for pubertal development. Further, highly specific changes in a child’s DNA methylation – a process by which methyl groups are added to DNA– could differentiate children according to whether they had entered puberty or not and thus may be used to predict a child’s pubertal stage. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’ “Changes in the DNA methylation patterns can be caused by many different factors. However, we could see very specific changes when children went through puberty, and have subsequently shown that this also leads to changes in the expression of the methylated genes,” said lead researcher Kristian Almstrup from Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen.Due to the changes in the epigenetic control of the gene, the “puberty genes” TRIP6 –Thyroid Hormone Receptor Interactor 6, has been found to increasingly express through puberty. Epigenetics is a leading mechanism by which our environment communicates with our genes and as a result also controls whether, where and to what extent the genes are expressed. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix “The study demonstrates how the environment can affect the pubertal onset in humans. It gives us a significant insight in to the crucial role of epigenetic factors on our reproductive development,” added Anders Juul, Professor at Rigshospitalet. For the study, the team focused on the role of epigenetics in teenage girls and boys. They found a number of areas in the human genome, which is controlled epigenetically during puberty.  In girls’ the pubertal onset was observed to decrease from 11 to 10 years. Boys too showed similar changes.last_img read more

Apex Court rule on NEET flouted

first_imgKolkata: The Centre’s decision to take two different stands when it comes to holding the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), a nation-wide medical entrance examination, has sparked a row in Bengal with the doctors seeking the intervention of the Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Prakash Javadekar and the state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in this regard.The Union HRD Ministry has deferred the NEET in Odisha in the aftermath of a massive damage caused by severe cyclone, ‘Fani’ while in the rest of India the exam was conducted on May 5. The experts in the city viewed that according to the norms laid down by the Supreme Court of India, the nationwide medical entrance exam cannot be held in two separate sets of question papers. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataAs there is a postponement of exam ordered by the Centre in Odisha, the National Testing Agency (NTA) assigned to conduct the exam will have to set another question paper for Odisha, which will be different from the one the others had to write. This, as some experts have argued, is a gross violation of the Supreme Court order. Some of the city doctors and a few medical aspirants in the morning of May 3 wrote to the Union HRD Minister urging him for a postponement of examination with an apprehension that the cyclone might wreck havoc in Bengal as well. The cyclone eventually entered the state on late night of Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateMay 3. The ‘Fani’ did not however have expected impact in Bengal as the system started losing intensity for want of moisture as it hit the land. Many mud and Kutcha houses in the coastal districts of the state collapsed due to gusty wind. A sizeable number of students coming from the rural areas of the coastal districts faced immense problems while reaching the examination centers on Sunday morning. The doctors also wrote to the Bengal Chief Minister seeking her intervention. Dr Amiya Kumar Maity, one of the doctors, who wrote to the Union Minister for his intervention said: “The merit of the medical aspirants cannot be judged if there are two sets of question papers. In an examination like NEET where nearly 800 candidates securing a same mark, it is extremely difficult to evaluate the answer scripts. Failing to secure even one or two marks can keep a candidate out of the race. The two dissimilar sets of questions cannot do justice to the students.” “Hence a nationwide examination like NEET cannot be conducted in two separate question papers as per the order of the Supreme Court. Various states like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana were affected alongside Bengal and Odisha and we therefore urged the Union HRD Minister to postpone the examination across the country,” Dr Maity added.last_img read more