Canadians who are dual citizens of countries affected by Trump immigration order

first_img Twitter Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Canadians who are dual citizens of Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Libya and Yemen will not be allowed to enter the United States under an order issued by U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday.Dual citizens who hold Canadian passports as well as a passport from any of those countries are covered by the ban. But those who were born in one of those countries but only hold a Canadian passport, and are not dual citizens, appear to be unaffected by the ban. Facebook Advertisement Login/Register With:last_img

GoT S8 episode 2 leaks online hours before HBO airing

first_imgNew Delhi: The second episode of the eighth and final season of ‘Game of Thrones’ leaked on the Internet ahead of its scheduled broadcast time on HBO on April 21. According to The Wrap, fans of the epic fantasy series alerted on social media about the leak, claiming that the to-be-aired episode was released early via Amazon Prime Video in Germany. The show, whose first episode of the eighth season premiered last week, airs on HBO at 9 pm Eastern Time. Some social media users responded to the leak. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: Priyanka”You can legally watch leaked episode on Amazon in Germany #GameofThrones,” a user wrote on Twitter. A German Reddit user posted, “Why can I see the second Episode yet (sic)?!” The post also featured a screenshot from Amazon Prime in Germany that showed the opening titles of the show, captioned: “Game of Thrones, Staffel 8 [dt./OV] Folge 2” or season eight, episode two. This is a second leak of the show after the release of S8.last_img read more

ICAO delegates suggest 15minute realtime aircraft tracking as standard

MONTREAL – Member states of the International Civil Aviation Organization have recommended the adoption of a new standard that would see commercial aircraft tracked every 15-minutes.The development was announced Tuesday as more than 850 participants gathered at a high-level safety conference at ICAO’s Montreal headquarters.“This new standard will be an important first step in providing a foundation for global flight-tracking,” said ICAO Council president Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu in a statement.He expects the standard to be adopted as early as the fall.The recommendation was one of several made by a task force set up by the International Air Transport Association last year.The group was set up after Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 went down on March 17, 2014, while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board.It was officially declared an accident last week.The industry report suggested identifying the position of an aircraft at least every 15 minutes.Currently, the vast majority of commercial flights are fully tracked, but there are gaps in certain areas of the world.The ICAO safety conference is discussing how to improve the global tracking of aircraft and better share information on conflict zones.Malaysia’s civil aviation chief said Tuesday that real-time tracking is a priority and must be fast-tracked by the organization.Azharuddin Abdul Rahman told delegates they shouldn’t waste any more time debating it.“We cannot delay in implementing changes in the way global commercial aviation operates currently,” he said.“On an average day, more than eight million people fly and (it) will be nothing short of negligence on our part to waste one more day.”One aircraft tracking proposal presented to the conference by NAV Canada suggests using satellites with a control centre based in Ireland.Larry Lachance, a NAV Canada executive, said the service would use existing satellites and technology to track commercial aircraft.“As a result, aircraft can be tracked in real-time, including over oceanic, polar and other remote areas,” Lachance said.The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines MH370 was one of two unprecedented tragedies involving Malaysia’s major airline last year.The other involved Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 which was shot down by a surface-to-air missile on July 17, 2014 while flying over a war-torn section of Ukraine.Also Tuesday, there was support for developing a prototype online system to advise commercial airlines of potential risks in conflict zones.Russia had suggested ICAO, the United Nations agency that governs civil aviation, develop a prototype before a final vote.Sharing information saves lives, Azharuddin said.“The world must view this tragedy as a wake-up call and we can no longer be complacent and must take preventive measures now,” he said.The high level safety conference continues Wednesday.– Follow (at)Peter_R_Space on Twitter. by Peter Rakobowchuk, The Canadian Press Posted Feb 3, 2015 12:04 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email ICAO Secretary General Raymond Benjamin, left, chats with ICAO Council President Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, at the International Civil Aviation Organization global safety meeting in Montreal on Tuesday, February 3, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz ICAO delegates suggest 15-minute real-time aircraft tracking as standard read more

Under Armour CEO responds to criticism of Trump praise

by The Associated Press Posted Feb 15, 2017 7:03 am MDT Last Updated Feb 15, 2017 at 9:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email BALTIMORE – The CEO of Baltimore-based sports apparel company Under Armour responded Wednesday to criticism he received after calling President Donald Trump “an asset to the country.”In an open letter to Baltimore published as a full-page advertisement in The Baltimore Sun, Kevin Plank wrote that he wanted to clarify what values he and his company stand for.“In a business television interview last week, I answered a question with a choice of words that did not accurately reflect my intent,” he wrote referring to an interview on CNBC on Feb. 7.The company stands for equal rights and job creation and believes “immigration is a source of strength, diversity and innovation for global companies based in America,” Plank wrote. Also, the company opposes the president’s travel ban.“With an anticipated new executive order on immigration set to come out, we will join a coalition of companies in opposition to any new actions that negatively impact our team, their families or our community,” he said.Three celebrities the company sponsors — NBA star Stephen Curry, actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and ballerina Misty Copeland — were among those voicing concerns about his praise of Trump.Johnson sent out a statement on social media last Thursday saying Plank’s words “were divisive and lacking in perspective.” Copeland wrote in an Instagram post she was so concerned about Plank’s comments that she spoke to him directly. In this Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015 photo, Under Armour founder Kevin Plank sits courtside during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game between Maryland and Michigan State, in College Park, Md. Plank, is responding to criticism he received after calling President Donald Trump “an asset to the country.” Plank wrote an open letter to Baltimore published as a full-page advertisement in The Baltimore Sun Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) Under Armour CEO responds to criticism of Trump praise read more

Strengthened partnerships can boost humanitarian response UN official tells Arab forum

The UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, called for strengthening these partnerships as she opened the Third Annual Conference on Humanitarian Partnerships and Information Sharing in the Arab World in Kuwait City. “I hope that we will continue to strengthen our relationships with governments and organizations in the Gulf region, and that you will continue to see OCHA [the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs] as a strong partner helping to make it easier for national organizations and international actors to join forces and maximize the impact of our response,” she stated. “Together, we can make a real difference to the millions of people around the world who need and deserve our support,” she added. The two-day conference, held at the headquarters of the International Islamic Charitable Organization (IICO), brings together senior regional and international officials, aid workers, private sector companies and media representatives to discuss ways to improve strategic planning and achieve better results through effective collaboration and sharing of information.The head of the IICO, Abdullah Al-Maatouq, noted that the gathering is considered a platform to discuss real-time humanitarian challenges and to come up with practical solutions. “The conference aims to enable humanitarian organizations to fulfil their roles towards currently occurring humanitarian disasters,” he added. A web-based Arab Humanitarian Portal,, offering information in Arabic on humanitarian affairs, was launched at the conference to serve as a platform for dialogue and data sharing. During her visit, Ms. Amos met Crown Prince Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to discuss OCHA’s partnership with Kuwait and thanked him for his nation’s strong support for global humanitarian efforts. read more

BBC demands to see conductors speech ahead of Last Night of the

first_imgThe BBC has demanded to see a draft of conductors’ Last Night of the Proms speeches, it has been revealed, amid concerns the celebration of classical music is being taken over by politics.The corporation, which broadcasts the Proms on television and radio every summer, confirmed it requests a copy of the traditional speech made on every Last Night, ahead of the evening.Sakari Oramo, this year’s star conductor, disclosed that he has been asked to show his draft, pointing out that no-one could stop him if he chose to say something entirely different.This Proms season has already seen high-profile conductors use their platform to speak about Brexit, with Daniel Barenboim condemning what he called a “wave of nationalism” as “very dangerous”. Despite that pledge, recent years have seen its stage and audiences regularly dominated by political themes, from the Scottish referendum to Brexit.This year’s political theme had an early start, with pianist Igor Levit performing an improvised version of the EU anthem, Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, in its first week.A day later, in a speech apparently about music education, Barenboim said he spoke not out of political concern but “human”. “If you look at the difficulties that the European continent is going through now you can see why that is: because of the lack of a common education,” he said.Critic Norman Lebrecht said then: “The Proms are, and must be, politically neutral… the Proms podium is not a place for sermons, however brief or apposite. In an interview with the Times this week, Oramo said he did not plan to follow Barenboim’s broadside with any pointed words for his 2017 outing.”It’s your business in the UK whether you want to be there or not [in the EU],” he said.“I think it [Brexit] is a bad idea and very bad for both parties, but I don’t feel I’m qualified to comment on it. If I were British I would have a different approach. But I’m that bit of an outsider.”Disclosing the BBC would see a draft of the speech, he joked : “But of course, if I start to speak something completely different, I don’t think anyone can stop me.”I could ‘go Trump’, maybe!” Previous years of Proms have seen Marin Alsop make a point about equality and women’s position in classical music during her Last Night, and Nigel Kennedy make a statement about Israel.Last year, before he conducted the Last Night, Oramo told the Telegraph he had a rule against bringing politics into his Proms speeches.“It’s not appropriate,” he said then. “You can comment on general things like the importance of music in culture, but not on specific things.”In the end, he spoke only of music being a unifying force and eschewed the Union flag waistcoat he wore in 2014 for a simple black and white outfit. Last year’s Proms saw battle between the Union and EU flags Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Sakari Oramo, who will be conducting the Last Night of the Proms in 2014  Last year's Proms saw battle between the Union and EU flagscenter_img Daniel Barenboim conducts the Staatskapelle Berlin at the 2017 BBC Proms The Last Night of the Proms Sakari Oramo, who will be conducting the Last Night of the Proms in 2014  The Last Night of the Proms Daniel Barenboim conducts the Staatskapelle Berlin at the 2017 BBC Proms A spokesman for the BBC said: “This [asking to see the draft]  is not a new thing – the conductor’s speech forms a key part of the Last Night programme and it’s standard for conductors to collaborate with the production team on all elements of the concert.“The Last Night speech is a much loved tradition and as well as thanking the Prommers, musicians and announcing the next season, it is a moment for the conductor to speak personally about their passion for the power of music.”A source added they were not aware of any occasion that a conductor had been asked to change his or her speech ahead of broadcast.The rule applies only to the Last Night, with any other speeches throughout the Proms season considered impromptu and at the prerogative of the conductor.The corporation has long said the Proms are intended to be a “music festival and not a political platform”.last_img read more

Why do they make smokes anyway Tallaght schoolchildren have their say on

first_imgUpdated 3.44pm (Youtube: Irish Cancer Society)ONE THIRD CLASS pupil at Tallaght’s Scoil Aonghusa reckons “they do fancy stuff just to get you to smoke, ” while another says the current designs of cigarette packets are “kind-of bribey — they bribe you to get you to buy them”.However, given a look at a sample selection of the new ‘plain packs’, set to be brought in as part of Health Minister James Reilly’s anti-smoking drive, the pupils reactions are markedly different.Faced with the new designs that include graphic images of health conditions caused by smoking, one boy says “It’s not good. I don’t like it”.  His classmate thinks “the eye one looks a bit freaky”.Another pupil sums it all up (as nine-year-olds tend to) with two simple questions: “Why do people do it? Like, and why do they make smokes in the first place?”The video was put together by the Irish Cancer Society to show the impact of branding on children. The Society says the clip “backs up what a body of research has shown — branded packs appeal to children as young as nine who are attracted by brightly-coloured packs and innovative design”.In a statement today, Reilly said the children are questioning why it is people would begin to smoke at all.“If we can put young people off smoking, even for a couple of years, the evidence suggests that they may not develop this killer addiction at all,” he said.“This video is fascinating in that it shows clearly the degree to which the children are repelled by standardised packaging and more importantly express negative views about the smoking habit.”The new standardised cigarette packs [Image: ICS]However, smoking lobby group Forest Éireann maintains the video proves nothing. According to spokesman John Mallon: ”A box of Benson & Hedges might look like a shiny bar of gold to a child but a mouth of rotting teeth on a box would appear repulsive to them”.“It does not tell us about their future buying habits though when they have their own money nor does it even suggest a trend in their lifestyle choices.”The new packs are expected to arrive in shops next year, and are part of a range of measures being introduced by the Health Minister in his strategy of ‘denormalising’ smoking.The Irish Cancer Society is holding a Twitter chat on the issue of plain packaging this evening at 8pm.First published 1.24pm Read: Reilly working on ‘smoke free’ Ireland by 2025 >Also: Plain pack cigarettes will ‘save lives’ and prevent child smokers >last_img read more

The Fine Art of Torturing and Killing Apple Products

first_imgEveryone hates Apple products. That’s why there’s so much documentation of people going to great lengths to torture and destroy them. While I don’t have any hard data, I imagine the vast majority of Apple products are purchased for the express purpose of destroying them as soon as they are unboxed. Some might think this is a waste of time and a not-inconsequential amount of recession-era money. But those people would be wrong, I can think of very little that would be more important.AdChoices广告That’s why I would like to personally nominate giving a Congressional Medal of Honor to graphic artist Michael Tompert for his collaboration with photographer Paul Fairchild who wisely chose to purchase various forms of Apple gadgetry in order to (artistically) eviscerate them. The end results are actually pretty striking and strangely beautiful. If the point of art is to create something that’s captivating while making choices no one else has thought to do before, then these guys are winners at the game of art.The series was part of a display of large briefly shown at San Francisco’s Live Worms Gallery.More images after the jump.via Cult of Mac, Fubiz; images via bothlast_img read more

Latest Pokémon X and Y trailer shows off Pokémon grooming

first_imgThe new latest and greatest Pokémon duo — X and Y — is only just one month away. The series isn’t known for making major leaps in terms of just about everything involved in the game — graphics, gameplay, online features, and so on. It’s usually a slow burn. This time around, though, X and Y are making the jump to a significant graphical overhaul, as well as introducing new mega evolutions, customizable Pokémon, and more distinguishable genders.The new trailer shows off all the latest goodies, and focuses more on new options regarding the pocket monsters themselves, rather than, for example, new environments.We all knew about the new mega evolutions, and trailer shows off Mega Mewtwo, looking even more menacing than he already does.In the series, Pokémon genders are barely distinguishable; for instance, they only sometimes have a different color. As shown in the trailer, different genders of the same Pokémon look extremely different — from color schemes, to lengths of hair, to facial expressions. The trailer also shows off how we can now groom some Pokémon, with one called Furfrou — which is basically a fancy poodle you’d see at a dog show. This is reminiscent of the fashion show in older games, such as Diamond and Pearl, but now it’s not just limited to a specific mini-game.Pokémon X and Y are shaping up to be standout entries in a series with many, many entries. The pair will release on October 12 of this year, alongside the new Nintendo 2DS.last_img read more

Bridge traffic didnt grow with county

first_imgAverage weekday traffic volumes on the I-5 and I-205 bridges, 2002 through 2011. In a decade of growth in Clark County, a bedroom community where a third of the workforce commutes to Portland, you’d expect to see traffic on the bridges crossing the Columbia River to worsen.It didn’t.Traffic rose just 1 percent from 2002 to 2011, according to the most recent counts available, even as the county’s population grew 17 percent.Critics of the Columbia River Crossing project have argued these figures cast doubt on traffic forecasts used to justify plans for a $3.5 billion new Interstate 5 bridge.The project’s environmental impact statement estimates that, if no action is taken, 184,000 cars a day will cross the I-5 bridge in 2030. Planners say daily traffic congestion — which engineers define as freeway traffic that moves at less than 30 mph — will increase, from four to six hours a day on I-5 to 15 hours in both directions by then.Yet over the past few years, drivers have taken their feet off gas pedals for a variety of reasons — high fuel prices, a poor economy and generational shifts.“People are driving less,” said Portland economist Joe Cortright, a critic of the bridge project.Planners estimated 143,700 vehicles would cross the I-5 bridge on the average weekday in 2010 –13 percent higher than the 126,900 actually experienced, Cortright points out.Project planners look past blips in the near term to focus on “long-range needs in the corridor,” Mandy Putney, spokeswoman for the project, wrote in response to The Columbian’s inquiries. “Traffic forecasts are not based simply on projecting recent trends, but on developing future forecasts of transportation use based on other variables including population and employment forecast.”last_img read more

England vs Australia First Ashes Test 5 reasons for Aussie teams resounding

first_imgAustralia registered a hard-fought but comprehensive winTwitter/ICCThe 2019 Ashes series is off and running with the visitors recording a thumping victory over the hosts and favourites England. It’s a good start to the most hyped series in international Test cricket as the five days witnessed a gripping contest between bat and ball where the brilliance of Steve Smith proved too much for the Joe Root-led side.With this loss, England find themselves in the unenviable position of having to fight back from a trailing position to regain the Ashes. On the other hand, it has reassured the Australians, going through a tough phase in Test cricket, that they are back to being a highly-competitive side.As dust settles at Edgbaston ground where England suffered their first Test loss since 2001, it’s time to look at what made Tim Paine’s side victors. Here is a brief summary of the five biggest factors in shaping the outcome of the first Ashes Test. Smith played two brilliant innings in this TestTwitter/Cricket AustraliaSmith, Smith, SmithAt 122/8 in their first innings, the thought of even winning the match would have been distant in the minds of Australian fans. Winning by 251 runs, the eventual result, would have been beyond the imagination of the most optimistic Aussie. The reason for this turnaround is simply one man – Steve Smith. Returning from a year-long ban for ball-tampering, Smith showed that his hunger for runs and appetite for batting long has only been intensified by his exile. It wasn’t just the first innings where he rescued his side. In the second also, they were three down while still trailing by 15 runs. To take his team from that position to one of invincibility was incredible. Bowlers around the world, beware! Anderson’s injury hurt England badlyReutersAnderson’s injuryLosing any of your frontline bowlers after he has bowled just four overs in the first innings is very troubling. To lose your best bowler is an outright kick to the guts. That’s what England suffered on the very first day as James Anderson went off the field with an injury that eventually prevented him from bowling anymore. While Broad and Woakes combined well in the first innings, it is reasonable to assume that Anderson might have been way more effective in troubling the Aussie batsmen. Without him, England were severely handicapped. The pitch didn’t provide much home advantage to EnglandTwitter/ICCThe PitchEngland had asked for the batch of balls which were used last summer against Indian and Pakistan to be used this year as well. They expected the red cherries to swing as much in 2019 as they did in 2018. But the conditions weren’t the same, especially, the pitch was much less green than last year’s tracks. As a result, the batsmen didn’t have much to worry them after the new ball had the shine off. This negated England’s home advantage and proved very suitable to Australia. Moeen Ali was disappointing in this TestReutersMoeen’s failureMoeen Ali’s bowling has been superb since he came back into the English Test side last year during the fourth Test against India. But in this match, when the conditions were perfectly in his favour and he was given the job of being the leading wicket-taker, the off-spinner floundered badly. He bowled poorly and allowed the Australians to pile on the agony. How deadly he could have been was revealed by the delivery that clean bowled Paine. It was a classical off-spinner’s ball that pitched outside the off stump and spun sharply to hit the sticks. If only Ali had bowled that line consistently, things could have been very different. Nathan Lyon proved the effectiveness of spin on this wicket on the final day. Moeen proved innocuous just a day before. Australia winning the toss and batting first was crucialTwitter/ICCThe tossAustralia batting first after winning the toss was also a very big factor in their win. The pressure of chasing a score and getting a lead beyond it has proven to be too tough for England in recent years. The same thing happened here. Despite the hundred from Rory Burns, the team failed to bat Australia out of the game in the first innings. Last year, their only defeat to India also came in a match where they batted second. They are just not used to fighting hard when taking on a decent first-innings total.last_img read more

RBI slashes repo rate by 35 basis points to 540 cuts GDP

first_imgReserve Bank of IndiaReutersThe Reserve Bank of India on Wednesday slashed key interest rates for the fourth consecutive time to give a boost to the slowing economy.The central bank reduced the repo, or short term lending rate for commercial banks, by 35 basis points to 5.40 per cent from 5.75 per cent in its third bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement for 2019-20.The reverse repo rate was revised to 5.15 per cent, and the Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) rate and the bank rate to 5.65 per cent.The six-member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) also maintained its accommodative stance on the monetary policy.”Addressing growth concerns by boosting aggregate demand, especially private investment, assumes the highest priority at this juncture while remaining consistent with the inflation mandate,” the RBI said in a statement.Repo rate is the rate of interest at which the banks borrow money from the RBI. The lending rates reduce when the central bank cuts the repo rate.A repo rate cut means the failing of Marginal Cost of Funds based Lending Rate (MCLR) of a bank, which leads to low home loan interest rates and vice versa. All loans sanctioned by banks, including car loans and home loans, are linked to the bank’s MCLR since April 2016.The Chairman and Managing Director of House of Hiranandani, Surendra Hiranandani, said that the company welcomes the move and it will lift the industry sentiments.”The real estate sector has been looking forward to such initiatives to boost sales. It will support growth and ease the liquidity crunch in the economy. We hope that the current rate cut would translate into lower EMIs and help soften home loan rates and also boost sales,” he said. He added that the rate cut would help ease the pressure off the market by attracting buyers to invest in the real estate sector. “Real estate sector is one of the few sectors which have the potential to kick start a sluggish economy,” he said.The RBI also revised real GDP growth for 2019-20 to 6.9 percent from 7 percent, in the June policy due to the weak domestic and demand conditions.”Various high-frequency indicators suggest weakening of both domestic and external demand conditions,” the MPC said in a statement.”Taking into consideration the above factors, real GDP growth for 2019-20 is revised downwards from 7 per cent in the June policy to 6.9 per cent — in the range of 5.8-6.6 per cent for H1:2019-20 and 7.3-7.5 per cent for H2 – with risks somewhat tilted to the downside,” the statement said,” the statement added.last_img read more

Texas Senate Panel Advances Bill Banning Cities From Adopting Sick Leave Ordinances

first_img Share Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas TribuneThe Senate Committee on State Affairs listens to testimony on SB 15 at a hearing at the State Capitol. Feb. 28, 2019.The Texas Senate State Affairs Committee this morning speedily advanced the first bill that’s not dubbed an emergency item by Gov. Greg Abbott: one that prevents cities from requiring paid sick leave for their employees.The amended version of Senate Bill 15, which passed the committee with a 5-1 vote after nearly two hours of testimony, would prevent individual cities and counties from adopting local ordinances related to employment leave, paid days off for holidays and, most notably, sick days.The bill would nullify mandates some local city councils in major Texas cities have already tried to put in place. A priority item for Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, the bill is now eligible to be taken up by the full Senate.“Private employment regulations are a statewide issue, not something that political subdivisions should decide,” said the bill’s author, state Sen. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe. “Senate Bill 15 provides consistency across the state to help businesses continue to grow and to keep patchwork laws that can change in a matter of miles from being put into place.”The battle lines over the sick leave issue were drawn after Austin passed an ordinance last year requiring the city’s employers to offer paid sick leave. Under the mandate — which was blocked by a state appeals court after a coalition of business groups sued — each private employer in the city would’ve been required to allow workers to accrue up to 64 hours of paid sick leave per year. Small businesses with 15 or fewer employees could’ve offered 48 hours, or six work days. The San Antonio City Council approved a similar ordinance last summer.Creighton called the ordinances “costly, prohibitive, intrusive and at odds with the Texas Constitution.”The City of Houston testified against SB 15. “While there are many employees who work on city and county projects all over the State of Texas, employees on City of Houston projects will be significantly impacted by S.B. 15,” reads the city’s testimony. “This bill preempts local ordinances, policies and orders that improve conditions of employment for employees of city contractors, such as living wage ordinances, wage theft prevention policies, health benefits, paid leave and worker safety protections. The City of Houston has implemented policies that prevent wage theft, promote safety and innovation and provide health benefits for those persons who work on certain city contracts.”Ordinances such as the ones put into place in Austin and San Antonio drew sharp rebukes from some business leaders and top Republican officials, including Attorney General Ken Paxton — who argued only the state could implement such a law.And while not dubbed an emergency item by the governor, Abbott assured business leaders weeks ago that the Legislature would take action.The state Legislature, Abbott said while speaking at a National Federation of Independent Business conference in Austin in mid-February, will “slash through any regulations proposed at the local level that would slow down or hinder small business in the state of Texas.”Partisan differences were front and center during Thursday’s hearing.Critics of the ordinance said it’s not the government’s job to set private companies’ employment policies and that the local ordinances put in place could hurt fragile small businesses, especially restaurants and other businesses with large part-time staffs.“Employers would be forced to bear the cost by decreasing vacation days, decreasing pay, firing employees or hiring less,” said Shelby Sterling, a policy analyst for the Texas Public Policy Foundation. “Employees would have less hours and lower wages and the potential to not even be able to get a job.”Advocates for letting local jurisdictions put sick leave policies in place, however, said sick leave policies are beneficial to all Texans — particularly through a health care lens.“A policy that allows workers to earn paid sick leave would benefit tens of thousands of workers and their families,” said René Lara, the legislative director for Texas AFL-CIO. “Those policies would also protect each one of us when we’re no longer exposed to sick workers who could not afford to miss work.“This is an issue that impacts all of us.”Texas business owners, meanwhile, appeared split on whether they were behind Creighton’s measure.Nolan Gore, an Austin-based business owner, said he was “philosophically conflicted” when the capital city’s ordinance was first announced. He said he anonymously asked all of his employees if they preferred a raise in the next year or sick leave days. He said more than 60 percent of his employees chose the former.“I was actually surprised by that … but it was good for me because it let me have a conversation with our team about what they prefer and how they prefer it,” Gore said. “In the end, what I believe is that things like paid sick leave are not what’s best.”Others, like Adam Orman, who owns an Italian restaurant in Austin, spoke against the bill. During his two minutes of testimony, Orman argued the city utilized an “inclusive process” to put its ordinance in place and that the state shouldn’t override an ordinance voted on by the city’s elected officials.“We need to act in ways that sustain and grow not just our businesses, but the health of our communities,” Orman said. “Paid sick leave should be the bare minimum businesses offer to keep our employees healthy which, in turn, keeps our communities healthy.”A few times during the hearing, Republican members of the committee, including state Sens. Joan Huffman, R-Houston and Pat Fallon, R-Prosper, pushed back against those testifying against the measure.“You can do whatever you want with your business under the bill. You can pay your employees sick leave,” Huffman, who chairs the committee, told Orman. “You think that you should be able to tell the other business owner what they have to do when you can make your own decision?”“I should absolutely not,” Orman replied. “That local city council should if they were Democratically elected and if there has been a process that included businesses, yes.”“Just a fundamental difference of opinion here,” Huffman retorted.This piece was originally published in The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues. It has additional reporting by Houston Public Media. Disclosure: The Texas Public Policy Foundation has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism. Find a complete list of them here.last_img read more

Moon Express reveals plans for private exploration of the moon

first_img © 2017 More information: Explore further US company gets historic nod to send lander to moon As noted on the website, to date, just three entities have sent working craft to the surface of the moon, all of them big governmental operations (U.S., U.S.S.R. and China). The aim of the team at Moon Express is to change that by giving some degree of moon access to non-governmental people. To that end, the company has three missions planned. The first involves sending a probe to the moon’s surface; the second will seek to set a working research apparatus on the moon’s south pole. The third and most ambitious mission will involve sending a vehicle to the surface of the moon that will be capable of mining moon dust and then bringing it back to Earth. Officials at Moon Express are promising to make samples of moon dust and/or rocks available to ordinary people upon its return—though it is assumed the samples will be auctioned to the highest bidders to help pay for the program.At the core of the initiative by Moon Express is the idea that sending vehicles to the moon can be done without spending billions, which makes sense for them, because they are also claiming to be self-funded. Citation: Moon Express reveals plans for private exploration of the moon (2017, July 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from (—Private company Moon Express has announced via its website its plans for exploring the moon—plans that include sending three craft to the moon over the next three years. Officials with the company have also been speaking with the press regarding their ambitions. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. The plan is to use the same modular design for all three missions (and others in the future), which, of course, means reduced cost. The first vehicle is called the MX-1E and it is billed as a high-performance craft that is both eco-friendly and technically advanced. It is slated to launch atop a rocket made by Rocket Lab. The second mission will utilize the MX-1E Scout Classic—it will carry a host of scientific equipment for placement at the south pole—a location that allows for solar-powered instruments and also for constant communications with the Earth. For the third mission, the company plans to send an MX-2 to the moon, use it to retrieve surface samples, and then send part of it back to the Earth carrying the samples.The company also has plans for larger MX-5 and MX-9 vehicles to be sent to the moon in the future, each capable of carrying more equipment or return lunar material to Earth for sale.last_img read more

Microsoft brings Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection to Windows 7 and 81

first_imgMicrosoft brings Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection to Windows 7 and 8.1 by Martin Brinkmann on February 26, 2019 in Windows – 21 commentsMicrosoft announced the general availability of Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) on devices running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 on Friday.Microsoft introduced Advanced Threat Protection in the Fall Creators Update for Windows 10 and made it a Windows 10 exclusive feature at the time.The company revealed a few months later that it would bring Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection support to the older Windows versions Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.Plans to launch a preview in Spring 2018 and the final version in Summer 2018 were delayed. Microsoft did launch a preview of Advanced Thread Protection in 2018 but general availability was delayed.Last week, Microsoft announced that the feature is now generally available for organizations that run Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 on devices.Windows Defender ATP events show up in Windows Defender Security Center, the central administrative location to manage endpoints.Windows Defender ATP for Windows 7, and Windows 8.1 provides deep visibility on activities that are happening on endpoints, including process, file, network, registry and memory activities, providing security teams with rich, correlated insights into activities and threats happening on older versions of Windows.Advanced Threat Protection remains an Enterprise and Pro only feature. It can be used on devices running Windows 7 Service Pack 1 Pro or Enterprise, and Windows 8.1 Pro or Enterprise.It requires System Center Endpoint Protection and installation of the Microsoft Monitoring Agent (MMA).Administrators find additional setup information in the onboarding instructions.Why is Microsoft bringing ATP to older versions of Windows?Microsoft made some features Windows 10 exclusive when it launched the operating system in 2015. Features like Microsoft Edge, support for certain hardware, or security features were not ported to older supported versions of Windows.In some cases, features were made available on non-Microsoft operating systems such as Android instead.Microsoft notes that it brings ATP to older versions of Windows to “help customers stay secure while upgrading to Windows 10”.Support for Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system ends in January 2020. Enterprise customers may extend the support period by up to three years. Payments double each year up to a maximum of $200 per device in the third year for Windows 7 Pro devices.Enterprise customers may use Windows 7 until 2023. Support for Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 operating system ends in January 2023. Microsoft has yet to announce whether Enterprise customers may extend the support period for that operating system as well; it seems likely that the option will be made available.Related articlesAdd file or folder exclusions to Windows Defender with Defender InjectorWindows Defender Antivirus: Controlled Folder AccessWindows Defender Browser Protection for Google Chrome first lookWindows Defender System Guard in Windows 10 Spring Creators UpdateSummaryArticle NameMicrosoft announced on Friday the general availability of Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) on devices running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.DescriptionMicrosoft announced the general availability of Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) on devices running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 on Friday.Author Martin BrinkmannPublisher Ghacks Technology NewsLogo Advertisementlast_img read more

Obama admits US underestimated IS threat

first_imgRelated posts:Islamic State terrorists talked of entering U.S. through Mexico Obama: Expand effort against Islamic State US expands airstrikes into Syria to hit Islamic State Obama cannot keep ignoring Bashar Assad in Syria WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. President Barack Obama admitted Sunday that the United States had underestimated the opportunity that a collapsing Syria would provide for jihadist militants to regroup and stage a sudden comeback.Speaking to CBS News, the president said that former Al-Qaeda fighters driven from Iraq by U.S. and local forces had been able to gather in Syria to form the newly dangerous Islamic State group.A U.S.-led coalition of Arab and Western allies has begun an air campaign to counter the group, hitting targets in Iraq and Syria, which Obama called “ground zero for jihadists around the world.”“I think our head of the intelligence community, Jim Clapper, has acknowledged that they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria,” Obama said, referring to his director of national intelligence.Asked whether Washington has also overestimated the ability or will of Iraq’s U.S.-trained military to fight the jihadists on its own, Obama said: “That’s true. That’s absolutely true.”The U.S. leader made his comments in an interview with the “60 Minutes” news show taped on Friday.Obama said IS propagandists have become “very savvy” in their use of social media, and had lured new recruits “who believed in their jihadist nonsense” from Europe, America and Australia, as well as from Muslim majority countries.The U.S. president said that part of the solution would be for Syria and Iraq to resolve their domestic political crises.An enduring solution, Obama said, would require “a change in how not just Iraq, but countries like Syria and some of the other countries in the region, think about what political accommodation means.”He added: “The Iraqis have to be willing to fight. And they have to be willing to fight in a nonsectarian way — Shia, Sunni, and Kurd — alongside each other against this cancer in their midst.”Obama said some countries in the region “have now created an environment in which young men are more concerned whether they’re Shia or Sunni, rather than whether they are getting a good education or whether they are able to, you know, have a good job.”He made his remarks as U.S.-led air strikes in Iraq aimed to deny the IS group vital territory and resources.“We are assisting Iraq in a very real battle that’s taking place on their soil, with their troops,” Obama said.“It is in our interest to do that, because ISIL represents sort of a hybrid of not just the terrorist network, but one with territorial ambitions, and some of the strategy and tactics of an army,” he said.Iraq has remained divided since the departure of U.S. troops, with the Sunni population alienated by the authoritarian Shiite-led government, and Syria has been in full-blown civil war since 2011.“This is not America against ISIL,” Obama said. “This is America leading the international community to assist a country with whom we have a security partnership with, to make sure that they are able to take care of their business.” Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Fight over shrimp trawling continues in legislature

first_imgWith the start of the new legislative session last week, the government has resumed a battle in the environmental commission over a controversialshrimp trawling bill. The bill, which was drafted and submitted by the executive branch, would allow shrimp trawlers to renew their licenses under certain sustainability criteria.In accordance with a 2013 ruling by the Constitutional Court, or Sala IV, shrimp trawling will be phased out by 2019 unless the bill passes.The bill was introduced earlier this year but stalled in commission in March, prompting the government to pull it before it could be rejected. The commission will now hear from fishing experts, environmental groups and biologists before a final vote to either kill the bill or send it to the full Legislative Assembly for discussion.Among the first to appear before the commission were environmental groups opposed to the law. “We are fighting against a government that is determined to reinstate shrimp trawling,” said Jorge Jiménez, the regional director of MarViva, an environmental group that opposes the bill. “We don’t know what is going to happen.”Initially, lawmakers viewed the bill as a direct violation of the Sala IV’s ruling, which found that shrimp trawling violated Costa Ricans’ right to a clean environment. The government asked lawmakers to reconsider the bill, claiming it complies with the ruling by setting sustainability requirements.Gustavo Meneses, president of the Costa Rican Fisheries Institute (INCOPESCA), said opposition to the bill on environmental grounds is unfounded.“I don’t know if it is because of misinformation or prejudice that environmentalists are so opposed to the bill,” Meneses said. “Environmentalists are saying that this is a law that is going to give out licenses without studies and that is a huge lie. The spirit of the law is to have scientific measures that can’t be changed in the future due to political interests.”While the bill does not set any specific requirements for shrimp trawlers, it creates a basic framework for defining what the government would consider sustainable. According to Meneses, zoning studies are underway to determine which types of fishing, including shrimp trawling, are appropriate for which areas. He said the government has also been working with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) since July to study ways to reduce bycatch, or species that get unintentionally caught in trawling nets.Despite these assurances, many groups say that no amount of technological advancement could make shrimp trawling sustainable. Friday, the University Committee of Costa Rica’s National University (UNA), submitted a letter to the Legislative Assembly opposing the bill.The University of Costa Rica’s Ocean Sciences Investigation Center (CIMAR) and a number of groups representing small fisherman have also voiced their opposition.Though different sectors remain deeply divided on the question of shrimp trawling’s sustainability — in part because there is not yet an official definition of a sustainable fishery in Costa Rica — these opinions are ultimately subjective. According to Carlos Fuentevilla, the coordinator of an FAO-sponsored project on shrimp trawling, many countries are able to reduce bycatch to a point that they consider sustainable.“Each country is different, but we can get a country to a point that they are using the best practices,” Fuentevilla said. “Ultimately, it will be up to Costa Rica to determine what they consider sustainability.”Whether that determination will fall to the legislature or the courts is yet to be determined. While the Sala IV found that the amount of bycatch and the damage to the ocean floor caused by trawling made it unconstitutional, the ruling did not give specific targets for what the court would consider sustainable.Despite the ambiguity, at the end of last month a lower court interpreted the Sala IV ruling to mean all shrimp trawling is unsustainable. It threw out a 2013 INCOPESCA regulation that allowed trawlers into an environmentally sensitive fishing area.Because of gray areas, even if the shrimp trawling bill passes the Assembly, it will need to go to the Sala IV for review. The court will then decide if the bill violates its previous ruling.According to Meneses, this process could take years. Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rica declines to vote on shark protections at international convention Fishackathon invites conservation-minded techies to help solve overfishing Winners of Costa Rica Fishackathon create tool to help track fuel subsidies for fishing ICE to create artificial reefs with waste from electrical gridlast_img read more