Tangier Police Catch Luxury Product Smugglers Avoiding Import Duties

Rabat – Customs officers have dismantled four operations smuggling luxury products into Tangier.Customs officers seized 1,003 perfumes of various brands in a foreign car that was attempting to enter Morocco without a permit or paying import taxes. Officers also seized a €33,000 watch from a Moroccan citizen who they claimed attempted to illegally smuggle the watch into the country. A Moroccan living abroad also tried to bring in 13 smartphones and two electronic tablets illegally, but Tangier police officers stopped him. Read also: Tangier’s Cybercrimes Brigade Dismantles Criminal NetworkThe police also arrested a sub-Saharan migrant residing in Spain who attempted to enter Morocco with a car with falsified papers. An investigation is still underway. Tangier’s police and customs officers have been recently under a lot of pressure with the increase in undocumented migrations, drug trafficking, and criminal activities. Just last week, Tangier’s cybercrimes brigade dismantled a criminal network involved in fraud, counterfeit, and hacking. In early September, Tangier customs officers also seized 28 kilograms of cannabis. read more

Iraq UN calls on world community to help Palestinians facing attacks intimidation

24 January 2007The United Nations refugee agency today called on the international community to aid Palestinians living in Iraq after 90 panic-stricken men, women and children fled Baghdad, reportedly headed on two rented buses towards the Syrian border, following an increasing spate of attacks and harassment. “Of all the groups being targeted in Iraq, the Palestinians are the most vulnerable as they literally have nowhere else to flee, and in many cases have been denied travel documents,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) senior Iraq operations manager Andrew Harper said in Geneva. “The international community must act now to help these people. A safe haven needs to be found immediately, outside Iraq.”Over the past year UNHCR has voiced mounting alarm for the Palestinians, who fled to Iraq following the creation of Israel in 1948. Some received preferential treatment under ousted President Saddam Hussein, and they have become targets for attack since his overthrow in 2003. Nearly 20,000 of them have already fled the country but there are still an estimated 15,000 remaining. The agency has taken up the latest developments with the Iraqi authorities. Today’s flight followed two incidents yesterday when 30 Palestinian men, 17 of them sheltered in a Baghdad apartment building rented by UNHCR, were taken away by men dressed in Iraqi security force uniforms and driving security vehicles.They were later released but by today all Palestinians living in the apartment building had abandoned their homes, some fleeing to other parts of the city, while others joined the group headed toward Syria.“What happened to the men during their abduction remains unclear. But the men and their families were clearly traumatised by the ordeal and afraid to provide any details,” UNHCR said. “The abductions caused great panic among the Palestinian community. “Some Palestinians told UNHCR they feared attack by militias at any time. Many other Palestinians told UNHCR that they wanted to leave as well, but couldn’t because they lacked proper documents, or because they still have family members in Baghdad who cannot go,” the agency added. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), with UNHCR support, is preparing to deliver relief items, including tents, blankets, mattresses, lanterns, kitchen sets, stoves and plastic sheets, to the Syrian-Iraqi border in preparation for the new arrivals. Water, kerosene and food are already available.Last April, Syria allowed a group of 287 Palestinians into the country, but has since turned back more than 500 other Palestinians who fled Baghdad because of harassment and attacks, or after relatives had been killed. Those who try to leave cannot get proper documents.Despite assistance from UNHCR, ICRC and local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the Palestinians have been living in extremely difficult conditions at the border sites. UNHCR has tried, to no avail, to secure them entry into Jordan and Syria, return them to the Palestinian territory with Israel’s permission, help in relocation to other Arab States or assist in resettlement outside the region. read more

UN aids flood victims in Kazakhstan as heavy snows melt

12 March 2008United Nations units are coming to aid of flood victims in southern Kazakhstan, where heavy rains and rapidly melting snow have displaced more than 13,000 people following Central Asia’s harshest winter in decades. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has provided an emergency grant of $40,000 to the UN Resident Coordinator in Kazakhstan for nearly 2000 hygiene kits. At the same time, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has made $50,000 available for water purification tablets, water reservoirs, filters, disinfectants and other sanitation needs. The overall flooding situation remains a matter of concern for the immediate future, according to an OCHA report, since there is a possibility of further flooding along the Syr-Darya river basin. That occurrence could affect over 250,000 people living in the country’s South Kazakhstan and Kzylorda provinces, it said. read more

Pacific island leaders call at UN for greater efforts against lifestylerelated diseases

24 September 2011Lifestyle-related non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are taking an enormous toll in human health and economic development on the Pacific islands, the leaders of two countries in the region told the United Nations today, calling for accelerated efforts to defeat the problem. Such diseases are a “pandemic” in the Pacific, claiming six out of every 10 lives, said Danny Philip, Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, in an address to the General Assembly’s annual general debate.Mr. Philip said his country had put in place a strategic plan for the next five years to try to overcome NCDs, which include cancers, heart disease and diabetes.“Prevention remains the cornerstone of our NCD policy and the development of our primary health coverage,” he said, adding that “we will continue to need sustained external support in the short- to medium-term” to implement key programmes.Prime Minister Lord Tu’ivakano of Nukunuku of the Kingdom of TongaLord Tu’ivakano, the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Tonga, said that, left unchecked, NCDs in countries such as his own “threatens not just livelihoods and lifestyle, but whatever that may have been achieved” towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – the globally agreed set of anti-poverty targets.He said there were five areas in which Tonga and other Pacific island countries were focusing their efforts: tobacco control, better diets, increasing physical activity, reducing alcohol intake and improving access to beneficial drugs and technologies.This week the General Assembly held a high-level meeting on NCDs, with world leaders pledging to launch an all-out attack against the risk factors – such as smoking, drinking alcohol or a lack of exercise – behind the soaring numbers of people suffering from NCDs worldwide. read more

Crescent Point taking a breather from major acquisitions in 2013

CALGARY — Crescent Point Energy Corp. is taking a breather from large-scale acquisitions this year after doing some US$3-billion in deals in 2012, one of which established a presence in Utah for the Calgary-based light oil producer.“This year is going to be really focused on organic growth,” CEO Scott Saxberg told analysts on a conference call Thursday.“We’re in really no rush to do any significant transactions this year.”During the fourth-quarter, Crescent Point closed its US$861-million acquisition of privately-held Ute Energy Upstream Holdings LLC, giving it a foothold in northeastern Utah’s Uinta Basin.The Uinta Basin has been producing oil for 50 years, but advances in drilling techniques have breathed new life into that mature area. It’s a familiar story for Crescent Point, which uses hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, techniques to coax oil out of older reservoirs in Alberta and Saskatchewan.About 8,000 barrels of oil per day are currently flowing out of Crescent Point’s Uinta lands. The company plans on spending $195-million to drill there in 2013.Other acquisitions Crescent Point did in 2013 helped consolidate its core positions in Alberta and Saskatchewan, where it is known as one of the predominant light oil producers.Desjardins Securities analyst Allan Stepa said he expects Crescent Point to add shareholder value “through the drill bit” this year as opposed to through more deals.Some smaller-scale acquisitions wouldn’t be out of the question, but Stepa said he expects Crescent Point to be “more selective.”“To that end, we would expect to see a small dividend increase on the back of any new acquisitions, provided that Canadian light oil differentials remain conducive,” he wrote in a note to clients.Crescent Point has been shielding itself from swings in crude prices through hedging contracts and long-term agreements to ship oil by rail.Between those two measures, Crescent Point has locked in more than 15,000 barrels per day of its output for the next 18 months at selling prices higher than $90 per barrel.Also Thursday, Crescent Point said its net loss widened 10 per cent in the fourth-quarter even as it achieved record quarterly production.Crescent Point put the loss at $95.2-million or 26 cents per share in the three months ended Dec. 31, which included an unrealized derivative loss of $20.1 million.That was up from a $86.2-million or 30 cents per share, loss in the same period a year ago, when Crescent Point booked an unrealized derivative loss of $6.1-million.Revenue from oil and gas sales, however, rose to $727.4-million from $630.4-million as the company reported record quarterly production averaging more than 108,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.The increase in production, from 81,210 barrels in the 2011 period and weighted 90 per cent to light and medium crude oil and liquids, was achieved through acquisitions over the past year.Funds flow from operations, a non-standard accounting term, was $430.4-million up 13% from $381.9-million, while netback — revenue from bringing oil to the marketplace minus the cost of doing so — was $46.5-million, down 13% from $53.4-million in the prior-year period.The company’s bottom line was also hurt by lower average selling prices, which were down eight per cent over the year to $74.57 from $81.35.Crescent Point shares rose 12 cents to $39.06 in early afternoon trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange Thursday.The Canadian Press read more

Laptop thefts lead to heightened security in library

Several laptop computers were stolen from students in the James A. Gibson Library on Monday, March 18.All members of the Brock community are being reminded by Campus Security not to leave valuable items, such as laptops, tablets or cellphones, unattended at any time while on campus.A suspect in Monday’s incidents was described as male, 25 to 30 years old, with brown skin, a moustache, shoulder-length black curly hair, a loosely tied ponytail and wearing a 3/4-length grey coat.As a result of the recent thefts, Campus Security has increased patrols in the library and will be leaving cautionary bookmarks on valuable items to warn of the risk of leaving them unattended.Anyone who is missing their laptop or other items should check with the library circulation desk to see whether the item has been returned. Those wishing to report a stolen item or with information about thefts on campus are asked to contact Campus Security at x3200. read more

Top readers comments of the week

first_imgEVERY SATURDAY MORNING we take a look at all the best comments left on the site by our readers over the past seven days.This week there was a lot of talk about water restrictions, property prices, driving licences, same-sex marriage, school holidays and Labour woes.So here, in no particular order, are the standout comments from the week that was.The top 5 articles which received the most comments this week1. Poll: How would you vote if there was a referendum on same-sex marriage today? (782 comments)2. Irish man considers joining British army to pull family out of poverty (253 comments)3. Complex politics or simple geography: Is Ireland part of the British Isles? (243 comments)4. Gilmore:  ’Same-sex marriage referendum will be held before the end of the lifetime of this government‘ (218 comments)5. Column: Reducing school holidays would help students, parents and the economy (203 comments)Some of the best comments left on the site this week(AP/Press Association Images) The venomous false widow spider has been causing a few problems across the water, so readers helpfully sent in their photos of possible sightings in Ireland. Stephen Doyle had some questions he wanted answered: How do these foreign spiders just waltz through immigration without a passport and get free homes from the social welfare. Sure I seen one driving a taxi the other night, hadn’t a clue were she was going(We also liked this response from Celia Murphy and Stephen again): Steven’ how on earth do you know it was a “she”? 🙂 Does heartbreak cause real, actual pain? Yes, replied commenters, in a rare example of almost everyone agreeing with each other on a thread. From robby rottenest:I’ve broken bones. Had dislocations.None can be remembered so vividly as the pain of a broken heart nearly 30 years ago.It’s real. You do get over it.Terrible joke of the week (blame Fran Heavey for this). Context: This comment was in response to someone who said Pope Francis seems like a very nice pope:You might even say…….he’s very pope-ular……..hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah….sorry………i’m just gonna red thumb myself now……….and then my comment as wellReaders were divided over whether the president of the TCD Students’ Union deserves to be voted out of his job after acknowledging publicly that he cheated in an exam when he had depression. Two interesting viewpoints on this one – first up, Ignoreland: Those supporting him saying “it’s not a capital offence” or “give him a break” need to look at this case and then at the standards Irish people get from their politicians in general. We’re so tolerant of corruption or people acting like “cute hoors”. If we want the best leaders we have to hold them to account when they fall short. He’s attempted to cheat the system that he’s now supposed to have input into: that’s wrong. He should have resigned rather than face impeachment and in that way try and show some respect for the office he was elected to.And on the other side of the argument, Moe Moran: There are, on this thread, so many rational ideas of what should and shouldn’t have been done by this young man in May, it’s truly inspiring. Unfortunately, Mr Lenihan suffers from severe depression, something he made clear while campaigning, and did not have the faculties to execute such rational thought at the time. Indeed an argument could be made that he should not have been sitting exams in those conditions seeing as the authorities were aware of his illness. He did not invent the illness on the radio as some sort of get-out clause, it was the central plank of his campaign for office. He campaigned on the promise to try to raise awareness and understanding of mental health issues and you advocate removing him simply because you have a poor understanding of mental health issues. How very Irish. With these attitudes, it’s no wonder people like Niall Donoghue and countless other young males “who have nothing to be depressed about” have been losing the battle. Grow up and see the bigger picture. This isn’t a debate on morals, it’s a debate on what ability non-sufferers have to empathise with sufferers; and it’s a debate on how much non-sufferers really want to.Long comment but a good one. A number of famous Irish people have given interviews talking about what it like to have depression. Paul Kealy explained what it was like for him, and how things are slowly changing: Iv’e battled with depression and anxiety throughout my life, still do. There is an ignorance about mental health issues that continues to exist throughout the world. In a 21st century world, with continuously increasing tolerance for human differences, most taboos have become today’s facts of life. As a society we have strived to knock down prejudices and Issues about everything from racism to sexual identity, we have come so far. Yet, there still remains one of biggest taboos in the world today ‘depression’. Unfortunately a lot of people equate it with feeling sorry for yourself or being moody. By contrast what sufferers of depression go through in physical and mental pain on a scale of suffering can be much more intense than any physical illness, few illnesses are as traumatic or devastating as depression. Few other illnesses can leave a person so helpless, because many do not seek the help they need out of fear. It’s very encouraging to see so many people discussing depression and anxiety in the media recently, it has no doubt saved many from suffering alone. We all play a part in advancing public awareness of mental health issues, we all need to help eliminate the stigma of depression and other mental disorders. ‘The Journal’ too has done wonderful work in highlighting depression and mental health to a massive online community, hats off guys! The human spirit can survive so much, especially if we can see there is an end in sight. But depression can be so relentless, sometimes it seems impossible to ever see the end. But, there is always an answer, there is always light at the end of the tunnel, there is always hope, help, a future and better days ahead. If you are one of the hundreds of millions in the world who is suffering from depression, hiding it from others, feeling alone and afraid please talk to someone, anyone! You are not alone and you don’t need to be, and for anyone who wants to have a chat in complete confidence with s stranger, please feel free to pm me.Children are great, according to parents. Readers shared their stories and signs that you live with little monsters/angels on this article – including this one from Grumpee Oldman:When you do manage to have 5 minutes sitting at the kitchen table without the children, you get enjoyment scraping all the dried in weetabix off it and make the table all nice and smooth again. (Or maybe that’s just me!!)Finally, a lot of people were angry, sad and fearful – delete as appropriate –  about the news that there could be a global shortage of wine. Oh dear. From Joey JoeJoe Shabadoo: I picked a bad week to stop sniffing glue.The 5 most popular comments this week(Image: Hugh O’Connell/Oireachtas.ie) 1. First up, Petr Tarasov got 1,882 thumbs up for his comment on the article about 27-year-old Ricki Savage who died after collapsing at the finish line of the Dublin Marathon: The poor man. May he rest in peace.2. John Kavanagh got 1,593 thumbs up for his approach to same-sex marriage on an article asking for readers’ opinions on it:been having the same sex in my marriage for yrs…nothin wrong with it at all!!3. Next up, John was unimpressed with Mick Wallace’s explanation for why he wore an Italian football jersey in the Dail. He got 1,357 green thumbs for this: What a muppet he is, when will we ever learn?……he owes a fortune in VAT and heads to Torino for football games. If he gets re elected, shame on his constituency.4. Chopstix got 1,1318 thumbs up on the subject of same sex marriage: At the end of the day if you have time to think about what goes on in a strangers bedroomYou need a life & a job5. Last but not least, Patrick Moran got 1,298 thumbs up for his pragmatic comment on the article about whether Ireland is a part of the British Isles: It’s a term that will always get Irish backs up. Look just in the interests of harmony and putting the issue to bed, lets refer to the whole lot as the Irish Isles. Says she’s a widowlast_img read more

2009 Tourism ads refreshed

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Greece’s new international tourism campaign for 2009 was launched last week by the Tourism Development Minister Costas Markopoulos. The campaign maintains the catchphrase “Greece, the True Experience”, but is embellished with a new logo and messages for foreign visitors. The new campaign was developed by Greek agencies Ashley & Holmes with Karamella. The Greek minister said the advertising campaign is designed so that “people around the world will hear, see and feel Greece.”last_img

The DCEU is Going Virtual and Patrick Wilson May Be its Next

first_img The new Justice League movie is on its way this year, and Warner Bros. is fully committed to making its movie universe a legitimate competitor to Marvel. While it remains to be seen whether Zack Snyder’s third film in the series can actually accomplish that, the burden is shared by the much better-looking Wonder Woman and the surprisingly exciting Aquaman. Warner Bros. is hoping to expand their universe even more by bringing virtual reality into the mix.According to a press release on PR Newswire, Warner Bros. is creating original VR tie-in experiences for the new VR centers IMAX is experimenting with. The company has already opened one VR center in Los Angeles, and plan to open more in New York City, the United Kingdom, Shanghai and at least one more California location. The idea is you would go to one of these centers and sit in VR pods that would let you move around a virtual environment. The hope is that IMAX’s tech would work better (and come with less sticker shock) than current home VR setups.The first tie-in experience will appear alongside Justice League, with Warner Bros. developing at least two more in the future. One will be released with Aquaman, and the other would be tied to a future DC adaptation not yet named. What could that be? The Flash would be cool in VR, but I’d worry about the potential for motion sickness when you’re moving that fast.Whatever the future of the DCEU, superheroes are great showcases for VR technology. When you can feel like you’re flying alongside Superman, it doesn’t seem to matter how much his last movie disappointed you. I got to try the Avengers: Age of Ultron VR demo at a comic con a couple of years back, and despite being a limited experience on a consumer headset, it was still more memorable than most of the actual movie. Standing next to a life-size superhero is just cool, no matter what you thought of the source material. We’ll have to wait until later this year to see what these VR experiences are actually like, but it’s not a stretch to imagine them becoming the most fun thing about the DCEU.Virtual Reality isn’t the only thing that could make the DC movies fun. Actor Patrick Wilson has been talking up his role in the upcoming Aquaman movie. Given that Aquaman was one of the best parts of the last Justice League trailer, expectations for his solo flick are suddenly high. After The Hollywood Reporter tweeted an article asking why superhero villains are often faceless, Wilson fired back a short, teasing response. Stay on target Batman Loses a Dad Again, Another Ben Affleck Update & More DC Movie NewsSecret Aquaman Role, Wonder Woman’s Throwback Photo, & More DC Movie News center_img Not for long. @creepypuppet https://t.co/0C9rJrAVdT— patrick wilson (@patrickwilson73) March 27, 2017@creepypuppet is Aquaman director James Wan, who was also behind Furious 7, Insidious, and Saw. Wilson’s tweet appears to hint that Aquaman‘s villain will be a full fleshed out character in his own right. That only makes sense, given who Wilson is playing. Sure, he has every reason to talk up his role, but you’d think he wouldn’t respond quite this way if he wasn’t at least a little confident in the movie’s ability to back it up.Wilson will play Ocean Master a.k.a. Orm Marius, the Ocean Master. He’s Aquaman’s half-brother, meaning he also has a claim to the Atlantean throne. Since Aquaman is half-human, Orm believe’s he’s the rightful heir to the throne. This sibling rivalry has the potential to be more interesting than the one between Thor and Loki if the DCEU handles it right. (That is a big “if” right now, I know.) With both brothers having a legitimate claim to the throne, that leaves room for much stronger characterization. Though Ocean Master will undoubtedly be the villain, there’s hope that the conflict will be a little more complex than what comic book movies have given us in the past.last_img read more

Pochettino Davinson Sanchez is a beast

first_imgTottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino praised Davinson Sanchez’s endurance after playing two games in the space of 48 hoursThe Colombian defender played the full 180 minutes of Spurs’ matches with Manchester City on Monday and Wednesday’s one with West Ham United.Pochettino had to make 10 changes to his line-up for Spurs’ Carabao Cup game with West Ham.But Sanchez remained as Spurs secured a 3-1 win to book their place in the quarter-finals.Kieran trippier, Mauricio Pochettino, Tottenham HotspursTrippier and Pochettino try to clear up a war of words George Patchias – September 13, 2019 The apparent war of words between Kieran Trippier and Mauricio Pochettino is thought to be nothing more than a misunderstanding.Trippier was sold by Tottenham…“It was a very competitive game after playing on Monday,” Pochettino told the club website.“We nearly changed all the players and of course it’s important, after only 48 hours, to say [well done] to Davinson Sanchez because his effort on Monday and [Wednesday] was massive.“He showed great mentality. He’s a beast.”A Son Heung-min double and Fernando Llorente’s strike sealed the win for Spurs, who will next face Arsenal in the quarter-finals in December.last_img read more

Governor swears in New Leader of Opposition

first_img Related Items:#magneticmedianews, #NewLeaderofOpposition #MagneticMediaNews#NewLeaderofOpposition  Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppcenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, TCI, December 21, 2016 – In the afternoon of 20 December, His Excellency the Governor, also at Waterloo, signed and handed over a copy of the Appointment Instrument to the new Leader of the Opposition, the Honourable Washington Misick.”last_img

Large earthquake strikes off coast of Chile

first_imgSANTIAGO, Chile — A magnitude-6.5 earthquake struck off the coast of Chile on Monday, the U.S. Geological Survey said, but Chilean officials said it was not felt on land and discarded the possibility that it might unleash a tsunami.The quake was recorded at 5:49 a.m. local time (EDT; 0949 GMT) Monday, at a shallow depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles), some 600 kilometers (370 miles) from the city of Puerto Quellon.Chile’s oceanographic service said it was not felt on land and discounted the possibility of a tsunami. U.S. seismologists originally estimated the magnitude at 6.8 later recalculated downward.Chile is one of the world’s most earthquake-prone countries. A magnitude-8.8 quake and the tsunami it unleashed in 2010 killed more than 500 people and destroyed 220,000 homes. It was so strong it changed time, shortening the Earth’s day slightly by changing the planet’s rotation.The strongest earthquake ever recorded also happened in Chile, a magnitude-9.5 in 1960.last_img read more

Uber Lyft IPOs to mint next batch of Bay Area millionaires

first_imgWith several tech companies planning IPOs in 2019, San Francisco is facing a new influx of millionaires. James Martin/CNET Along with sourdough bread, impossibly steep hills and the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco is known for having more billionaires than any US city west of the Mississippi. Seventy-four to be exact. That’s not to mention the nearly 150,000 millionaires that live in the Bay Area.And those numbers are about to multiply.If all goes as planned, 2019 will be a year of tech IPOs. San Francisco-based companies including Airbnb, Pinterest and Slack are expected to issue initial public offerings, along with ride-hailing rivals Uber and Lyft.  Analysts think Uber, the world’s highest valued private company, could pull in as much as $120 billion from public funding, making it the biggest IPO in US history. “It’s huge,” Matthew Kennedy, senior IPO market strategist for Renaissance Capital, said of Uber’s potential valuation. “Its IPO will result in a lot of overnight millionaires.”If history is any guide, they’ll buy new homes and cars, throw wild parties, invest in wineries in nearby Napa and Sonoma, and possibly even install deluxe bomb shelters (the next big thing for tech’s moneyed set). Those IPOs also mean rising housing costs. “They’re already thinking of ways of how they’re going to spend that money,” said Brian Solis, principal analyst at market research firm Altimeter Group. “It’s going to affect the city in a lot of positive and negative ways.” We’re creating multimillionaires and billionaires faster than any other place.” Richard A. Walker, professor emeritus at UC Berkeley Techies, taxes and homelessness converge in battle over SF’s Prop. C Tech’s fraught transformation of San Francisco 2014 If you’re moving to San Francisco, bring cash. Lots of cash Share your voice Creating brand-new millionaires has been a Silicon Valley rite of passage for decades — especially during the dot-com boom when working for a startup was practically synonymous with an IPO windfall. And it didn’t end with the dot-com bust. The New York Times estimated that more than 1,000 Google employees became instant millionaires when that company went public in 2004. Facebook’s IPO in 2012 reportedly created “thousands of millionaires,” according to Reuters. And, according to financial analysis firm PrivCo, Twitter is said to have made 1,600 new millionaires in 2013.”This wealth is coming from disruption,” said Deepa Varma, executive director of the San Francisco Tenants Union. “The concern is this creates more inequality.”Haves and have-notsBecoming an overnight millionaire is great news for a relative few. For everyone else in San Francisco, not so much. The birthplace of the Beat Generation of the 1950s, and of the 1960s counterculture movement, San Francisco is famous for embracing artists, activists and the outright weird. It’s where the Human Be-In and the Summer of Love took place. And even today, participants in the annual Folsom Street Fair or Bay to Breakers footrace wear outrageous costumes or even nothing at all. But that character of San Francisco is changing as the city’s become the desirable place for young tech workers to live. It’s why fleets of corporate buses ferry thousands of SF-based tech employees 40 miles south to Google, Apple and other Silicon Valley workplaces. And it’s why dozens of major tech companies — many of which were able to negotiate significant tax breaks from the city — relocated or opened new offices in San Francisco.It’s also why San Francisco has become a stark example of haves and have-nots: Where well-heeled employees walk past homeless people huddled in doorways and sleeping on top of warm steam vents. As more tech workers have moved into the city, home rental prices have shot up, vacancy rates have plummeted, and the homeless population has swelled.sf-3078.jpgSan Francisco has one of the largest homeless populations in the country. James Martin/CNET “We’re one of the leading creators of inequality in the country if not in the world,” said Richard A. Walker, professor emeritus of geography at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of a new book on wealth and displacement in the Bay Area. “We’re creating multimillionaires and billionaires faster than any other place. It does not trickle down to a lot of the workers.”Cost of disruptionEvery year the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development looks at US cities’ median income and average housing costs to calculate what constitutes low income. In 2018, the department concluded that a family of four earning up to $118,400 is low income in San Francisco. That number is the highest in the nation.”The lower 80 percent of the population can’t afford to live in the Bay Area,” Walker said. “They can’t make a living wage because costs keep getting driven up.”With median home prices at $1.6 million, and average monthly rents of $3,261 for a 700-square-foot one-bedroom apartment, living in San Francisco has become untenable for many longtime residents. “The problem with the housing market is already massive excess demand,” Walker said. “Housing takes a long time to build. There’s a lot being built, but it cannot possibly catch up.” People who don’t make six figures — including teachers, artists, service workers and nonprofit staff — are being forced to move to less-expensive cities.San Francisco has also seen an exodus of its once thriving black population, according to The New York Times. Roughly 5 percent of the city is African-American, down from more than 13 percent in 1970. That means you’re now nearly twice as likely to run into a millionaire in San Francisco than someone who’s black.In effect, 20- and 30-something tech workers have been displacing the people who gave the city its character. And now, with the upcoming surge in millionaires, that’s just going to intensify.CNET Magazine: Check out a sampling of the stories you’ll find in CNET’s newsstand edition.The Smartest Stuff: Innovators are thinking up new ways to make you, and the things around you, smarter. Culture Tech Industry Tags 6 Related stories Comments Lyft Airbnb Pinterest Uberlast_img read more

BJPs membership drive getting overwhelming response

first_imgHanamkonda (Warangal): BJP national secretary N Indrasena Reddy has said that while his party is witnessing an overwhelming response to its membership drive, the TRS, on the other hand, is receiving a lukewarm reception. Speaking to media persons here on Thursday, he alleged that TRS leaders have been stooping to new low to achieve their membership drive target. “The TRS leaders luring people to join their party by offering them to include their names on the beneficiary list of government welfare schemes,” Reddy alleged. Also Read – Warrant issued against Renuka Chowdhury in cheating case Advertise With Us He alleged that Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao who seldom meets his MLAs and other leaders but now suddenly started talking to them after noticing the lukewarm response to his party’s membership drive. He has asked them to make it a big success. He said KCR is panicked over the growing popularity of BJP in the State. He found fault with KCR for belittling BJP’s win in the recent Lok Sabha elections. “In fact, the TRS was able to retain power in the State by projecting TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu. People who didn’t want to see Chandrababu’s role in the State politics voted in favour of TRS,” Reddy said. Also Read – Parts of Hyderabad witness heavy rainfall Advertise With Us He said that KCR who has hand in glove with some communal forces that once inflicted misery on hapless Telangana people needs to feel shy of his win. Fearing insecurity, KCR attracted MLAs of other parties, Reddy said. The TRS chief who understood the truth that TRS does not stand a chance against the BJP has started to attack it, he said. “KCR’s daughter K Kavitha bit the dust in Nizamabad in Lok Sabha polls recently. Advertise With Us This is what is in store for the TRS in the future,” Indrasena Reddy said. He alleged that the TRS is trying to win the upcoming municipal polls by hook or crook. The TRS government which conducted Samagra Kutumba Survey used it for wooing the people caste-wise by offering them sops, he said. Stating that the TRS government is anti-farmers, he criticised KCR for not addressing the problems of cultivators especially in regard with debt relief. Warangal Urban and rural district presidents Rao Padma Reddy and Edla Ashok Reddy, senior leaders Jatoth Hussain Naik, Ravula Kishan, G Yadagiri, Kolanu Santhosh Reddy and Sangani Jagadeeshwar were among others present.last_img read more

Patrick Threatens To Force Special Session Over Tax Bathroom Bills

first_img Share Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas TribuneAt a May 17, 2017 press conference at the Capitol, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick warns he’ll seek a special session if the House doesn’t pass certain legislation.With deadlines looming, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Wednesday threatened to push for a special session of the Legislature to pass a bill to regulate bathroom use for transgender Texans and legislation to set new thresholds for when cities and counties must get voter approval for their tax rates.Patrick deemed Senate Bill 2, a property tax bill from state Sen. Paul Bettencourt, and either Senate Bill 6, the “bathroom bill” from state Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, or similar language amended to another bill, as must-pass measures to avoid a special session. Both bills have passed the Senate and are currently in the House.The last day of the legislative session is May 29. “If we must go to a special session, I will respectfully ask the governor to add both of these bills — plus other legislation he has voiced support for — in that special session call,” Patrick said during a press conference at the Capitol. “If the bills don’t pass in the special and they’re blocked again, I will ask the governor to call us back again and again and again.”Only the governor can call a special session, but Patrick’s key source of leverage is a measure known as the “sunset safety net bill,” which lawmakers have to pass each session to keep a long list of state agencies from shutting down. All state agencies must undergo periodic “sunset” reviews by the Legislature or be forced to shut down if reforms aren’t passed.The conservative House Freedom Caucus managed to delay consideration of bills in the House long enough to keep it from passing its version of the “safety net” bill last week, leaving the Senate version as a critical measure.Patrick on Wednesday said the Senate had less than 48 hours to pass its version of the legislation and avoid the need for a special session.But he added that he “must see action in the House to pass several key” pieces of legislation before moving on the Senate’s sunset legislation.Patrick’s threat came a day after a letter from House Speaker Joe Straus to the lieutenant governor was leaked to press. Straus wrote that the Legislature could avoid a special session if it finished its work on the budget and passed the sunset safety net bill.In a lengthy statement released Wednesday, Straus called Patrick’s threat to force a special session “regrettable” and said he hoped the lieutenant governor “reconsiders” his ultimatum over the two bills. But he only explicitly mentioned the property tax legislation.“My experience in the House is that the House doesn’t take to threats terribly well,” Straus later told reporters in the back hall of the House chamber. He added: “I’m not ready to even talk about a special session. I’m ready to talk about working on one another’s priorities, trying to come together the way the system was built to be.”House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, holds a press conference in the back hall of the House chamber on May 17, 2017. Bob Daemmrich for The Texas TribuneHe did acknowledge the House Freedom Caucus’ role in the fracas over the sunset legislation.“I think it was unfortunate that they blocked our getting to the sunset bill, which did give the lieutenant governor the ability to make a threat and demand,” Straus said. “I think that was unfortunate. I’m not sure it gave anyone positive momentum.”The back-and-forth between Patrick and Straus comes in the waning weeks of a legislative session marked by noticeable acrimony between the two presiding officers who have found themselves at odds over the Legislature’s priorities.In the middle of the sparring is Gov. Greg Abbott, who has not endorsed calling a special session but has indicated that Patrick’s must-pass bills are also legislative priorities for him.“The Governor made clear yesterday that property tax reform and maintaining privacy in restrooms and locker rooms are legislative priorities that must be passed, and he believes both items can be achieved before the end of the regular session.” Abbott spokesman John Wittman said in a statement. “The governor is grateful that the House has set the property tax bill to be heard on the floor tomorrow and is making progress on privacy legislation.”The bathroom legislation has stalled in the House. Straus, who said he opposes such legislation, has not referred SB 6 to committee — the first step in the legislative process — since it was received from the Senate in March.SB 6 would regulate bathroom use in government buildings, public schools and universities based on “biological sex,” keeping transgender Texans from using bathrooms that match their gender identities. The measure would also prohibit local governments from adopting or enforcing local bathroom regulations.A separate measure by state Rep. Ron Simmons, R-Carrollton — House Bill 2899 — takes a different approach to the bathroom regulations and would gut cities’ and school districts’ trans-inclusive bathroom policies. It did not advance out of a House committee ahead of a crucial deadline.Patrick on Wednesday said that legislation was “acceptable” to him and pressed the House to move on SB 6 or attach the language from Simmons’ bill onto other legislation as an amendment.With bathroom regulations drawing fierce opposition from the business community, Straus has reiterated that the legislation is not a priority. The House is scheduled to take its first vote on this session’s major property tax legislation Thursday. The controversial SB 2 has split Texans and the local officials they elect over provisions that dictate when voters would have to approve property tax rates.The bill’s author has said the new election thresholds are meant to give landowners a stronger mechanism to curb rising property tax bills, but the lower chamber last week stripped proposed new election requirements from the version the Senate passed.City leaders, county officials and first responders have argued for months that even with lower election thresholds, Texans would not see meaningful drops in their individual tax bills. They also argued that new voter approval requirements could hamstring city budgets and were another example of the state trying to control local governments.Other legislation Patrick mentioned as key issues he wants lawmakers to deal with include several anti-abortion bills, a bill to make tweaks to the state’s voter ID law amid legal challenges and House Bill 21, intended to reform a complex school finance system and inject about $1.5 billion into public schools.The Senate’s version of HB 21 tacked on a controversial provision: state subsidies for parents who want to send their children with disabilities to private schools. The House has vehemently opposed proposals that would send public money to private schools. But in exchange for a vote, Patrick promised an additional $500 million in school funding and to concur with part of the House’s proposal for the school accountability system that would delay implementation of a controversial grading system for schools until 2019.On Wednesday, Straus also took a swipe at Patrick over the Senate’s jiggering of school finance legislation that the House is banking on to “reduce our reliance on local property taxes in funding education.”“Nobody can claim to be serious about property tax relief while consistently reducing the state’s share of education funding,” Straus said. “The House made a sincere effort to start fixing our school finance system, but the Senate is trying to derail that effort at the 11th hour.”Patrick Svitek, Brandon Formby and Aliyya Swaby contributed to this report.This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2017/05/17/dan-patrick-threatens-force-special-session-if-key-bills-dont-move/.Texas Tribune mission statementThe Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.last_img read more

Apple Offers Free Battery Replacement to Faulty MacBook Pros

first_imgStay on target Apple Brings Contactless Student IDs to More UniversitiesCelebrate World Emoji Day With Diverse New Characters Apple is providing free battery replacement for certain 13-inch MacBook Pro (non Touch Bar) laptops.In a limited number of units an unnamed component may fail, causing the built-in battery to expand, according to a company announcement.The affected machines were manufactured between October 2016 and October 2017; the program does not include 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar or older models. Eligibility is determined by product serial number.Concerned customers can easily check to see if their device qualifies: Simply choose “About This Mac” from the Apple menu in the upper left corner of the screen. There you’ll find an overview of the computer, including OS name and version, model name, and serial number.Enter that figure into the battery replacement program website to see if your laptop is in need of a fix.If so, find an Apple authorized service provider, make an appointment at an Apple retail store, or mail your MacBook to the Apple repair center (but remember to backup your data first).Service is expected to take three to five days.“This is not a safety issue,” Cupertino promised, without providing any further information about the matter. The tech titan did not respond to a request for comment.Apple last year landed in hot water when it confessed to deliberately slowing older iPhone models (6, 6s, 7, SE) to prevent battery damage. Folks were not impressed, and three separate class-action lawsuits were filed in December, claiming the firm did not obtain user consent before interfering.To “address customer concerns,” Apple reduced the price of out-of-warranty iPhone 6 and higher battery replacements by $50. It also pushed out an iOS software update early this year with new features “that give users more visibility into the health of their iPhone’s battery.”For more, check out our roundup of useful features you didn’t know your iPhone even had.center_img Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

Pope steps down in historic move

first_imgNo related posts. VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI announced on Monday he will resign because of old age, becoming the first pontiff in more than six centuries to step down in a move that stunned the world.The German-born leader of the world’s 1.1 billion Catholics said he would resign on Feb. 28 after just eight years as pope, one of the shortest pontificates in modern history.“I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry,” the 85-year-old pope said in a speech delivered in Latin at a meeting of cardinals in the Vatican.Dressed in red vestments and his voice barely audible as he read from a written text, the pope made the announcement in a hall in his residence – the Apostolic Palace next to St Peter’s Square.Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said he expected a conclave of cardinals to be held in March within 15 or 20 days of the resignation and a new pope elected before Easter Sunday on March 31.Benedict, who succeeded Pope John Paul II in 2005 and is known as a diehard traditionalist and a lightning rod for controversy, will retire to a monastery within the Vatican walls.He said his “strength of mind and body … has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me.”He said he would be stepping down at 8 p.m. on Feb. 28, adding that he was “well aware of the seriousness of this act.”Benedict, who has looked increasingly weary in recent months and often has to use a mobile platform to move around St Peter’s basilica during Church services, had hinted in a book of interviews in 2010 that he might resign if he felt he was no longer able to carry out his duties.Tributes poured in from around the world including his native Germany, where Chancellor Angela Merkel hailed him as “one of the most significant religious thinkers of our time”.Justin Welby, leader of the world’s Anglicans, said he understood “with a heavy heart” Benedict’s decision, and that he had held his office with “great dignity, insight and courage.”The Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel said Benedict XVI had improved ties between the two religions.“During his term, the relations between the Chief Rabbinate and the Church, and Judaism and Christianity, became much closer, which brought to a decrease in anti-Semitic acts around the world,” a spokesman for Rabbi Yona Metzger told AFP, expressing hope that his successor would continue in the same vein.Among those tipped by bookmakers to take over are Francis Arinze of Nigeria, Peter Turkson of Ghana and Marc Ouellet of Canada.Benedict, formerly Joseph Ratzinger, was the Catholic Church’s doctrinal enforcer for many years and earned the nickname “God’s Rottweiler.” He is an academic theologian who has written numerous books including a trilogy on the life of Jesus Christ that he completed last Christmas.He was elected in 2005 at a time when the Vatican was being rocked by multiple scandals over child abuse committed by priests.The U.S. Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, which has been highly critical of Benedict’s handling of the paedophilia scandal, called on the Church to “select a Pontiff who puts child safety and victim healing first.”The guiding principle of Benedict’s papacy has been to reinvigorate the Catholic faith, particularly among young people and in countries withing rising levels of secularism like Europe and North America.Benedict has championed Christianity’s European roots and showed his conservatism by repeatedly stressing family values and fiercely opposing abortion, euthanasia and gay marriage. But he has ruffled feathers among Muslims, Jews, gays, AIDs activists and even scientists.Shocked Catholic faithful began gathering in St. Peter’s Square after the news broke, with many saying they were torn over whether Benedict was doing the right thing.“It’s a responsible gesture, it comes from the head, but not from the heart,” said David, a 24-year old tourist from Belgium, while Marta, 38, said: “He should have stayed for life.”The scandal over confidential memos leaked from the Vatican by the pope’s once loyal butler last year was a particularly hard blow for the pope.“The pope caught us a bit by surprise,” Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said at a hastily-arranged press conference.Lombardi stressed that the pope’s decision was his own and was “well thought out” and that “there is no illness that has contributed to it,” adding that most of the cardinals present for his announcement had not been informed beforehand.“This gesture was very courageous and revolutionary,” said Vatican expert Marco Politi, author of a best-selling biography of Benedict.“This is the first time that in a period of peace for the Church, a pope decides to step down of his own free will,” he said.The only other pope to resign because he felt unable to fulfil his duties was Celestine V in 1294, a hermit who stepped down after just a few months saying he yearned for a simpler life and was not physically capable for the office.In 1415, Gregory XII was forced to leave to end the “Western Schism,” when two rival claimants declared themselves pope in Pisa and Avignon and threatened to tear apart Roman Catholicism. 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A piece of paradise

first_imgIn Costa Rica and around the world, New Year’s Day often finds us seeking a little peace and quiet after the festivities of the holidays. In that spirit: a tranquil image of Flamingo Beach on the country’s Pacific coast, showcases mellow waves in various tones of blue, lapping along white sands.Wishing you a few extra moments of zen today.Would you like to submit a photo to our #TTPicOfTheDay series – the view from your home or favorite Costa Rican spot, or any other image you care to share? Please send horizontal photos at least 1100 pixels wide to kstanley@ticotimes.net. We’d love to see the sights with you. Facebook Comments Related posts:Luscious green Flying away Relaxing among Costa Rican cacti Enjoying the vibes from Ocasolast_img

Calm returns to violencescarred Myanmar town

first_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility HTAN GONE, Myanmar (AP) – A tense calm returned Monday to a Myanmar town that was ripped apart by sectarian violence, leaving hundreds homeless after Buddhist mobs tore through the small, winding streets torching Muslim-owned houses and stores.Some waved sticks and clubs as they sang the national anthem.Authorities said they had arrested 12 suspects, and security forces were guarding the mosque in Htan Gone where some of the victims sought refuge late Saturday and early Sunday. Sponsored Stories “Now things have changed.”Asked how he felt about violence aimed at Muslims, he fired back with a question of his own: “If someone attacks your family, wouldn’t you want to do something? We can’t accept people who do bad things.”Religious tensions came to the forefront last year in the western state of Rakhine, where Buddhists accuse the Rohingya Muslim community of illegally entering the country and encroaching on their land.Violence, on a smaller scale but still deadly, spread earlier this year to other parts of the country, fueling deep-seeded prejudices against the Islamic minority and threatening Myanmar’s fragile transition to democracy.The riot in Htan Gone village, 16 kilometers (10 miles) south of Kantbalu in the region of Sagaing, began late Saturday after a crowd surrounded a police station, demanding that a Muslim man accused of trying to sexually assault a young Buddhist woman be handed over.The rioters, some carrying swords and sticks, dispersed after security forces arrived early Sunday, shooting into the air. State-run media reported that two people were injured.Myint Naing, who represents constituents in Htan Gone and surrounding villages, said the Muslim man accused of sexual assault was among the 12 people arrested. The other suspects were all Buddhists, he said. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Top Stories Comments   Share   center_img “We spent the whole night cowering at the back of the mosque,” said 70-year-old Daw Tin Shwe, adding that police did not help them. “There was no one there to protect us.”The predominantly Buddhist nation of 60 million has been grappling with sectarian violence since its military rulers handed over power to a nominally civilian government in 2011. More than 250 people have been killed in the last year and another 140,000 displaced, almost all of them Muslims.The latest violence is part of a nationalistic trend, fueled by radical monks preaching that the minority Muslim community, representing 4 percent of the population, poses a threat to thousands of years of culture and tradition.For the first time in decades, celebrations were held in several big cities across the country to commemorate the day in 1961 when then-Prime Minister U Nu signed legislation stating that Buddhism was the national religion. The law, however, is no longer in place.“We couldn’t celebrate this day in the past because people were not very united,” said Sandara, a 33-year-old monk sitting in small wooden home on the outskirts of Yangon, the streets lined with yellow, red, blue and white striped religious flags. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona In total, 48 houses were burned down by Buddhist-led mobs and 318 people were left homeless.Since the violence first broke out Myanmar, dozens of people have been arrested, tried and convicted.Three verdicts were handed down last Friday for Buddhist-led violence in April that left one dead and nine injured in the town of Okkan, an official with the National Unity Party, Myint Thein, said Monday.Dozens of Muslim homes were set on fire in that attack.One of the suspects was sentenced to five years in jail and the others to seven, he said, saying the men were found guilty of charges ranging from arson to helping plan riots that led to deaths and injuries.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Centerlast_img read more

Vellar craft village transforming into international tourist spot

first_imgThe Vellar craft village at Kovalam, a joint venture by Kerala Tourism and Kudumbasree units is set to get a makeover as an international tourist destination that offers visitors a unique glimpse into ethnic crafts.The Rs 10-crore project, divided into marketing and entertainment zones, is an attempt to provide international exposure to Kerala’s handicraft and other ethnic craft products.Spread along a 10 acre stretch, the craft village, modelled on the lines of Dilli Haat in New Delhi is built without disturbing the natural terrain of the region. “Minor alterations in landscaping and rock cutting methods are used to build the craft village, which is in complete harmony with nature,” said Kerala Tourism Minister, AP Anil Kumar.“The marketing zone will have a total of 27 shops, with five shops constructed in hexagonal structures, for the exhibition, sale and promotion of traditional craft items and handicrafts from various artists, organisations and craftsmen,” added the Minister.Sellers and craftsmen will be aided with subsidy grants to provide financial security.  New amenities being set up include signage, parking facility, landscaping, lawn beautification and a bio gas plant.“Our aim is to give a fillip to traditional crafts and artisans through this initiative,” said the Tourism Director, PI Sheik Pareeth. We are also planning to give artists a space to show the making of craft products for tourists who are curious to know about the technical side of craft practice he added.The entertainment zone is bound to be a favourite weekend haunt with cafeterias, a park with a water feature and sightseeing spots. Four cafeterias, including two traditional ‘thattukada’ serving authentic Kerala delicacies, are also nearing completion.“Cultural programmes will be here held during weekends,” said Sheik Pareeth.He also noted that the government is aiming to establish Vellar as one of the main avenues for cultural programmes like the Nishagandhi auditorium and Kanakakkunnu palace.“We will also lend out this place for wedding and film shooting,” he added.An open auditorium, connected to the restaurants where performance arts can be held, adds to the facilities. Also, a conference hall with a capacity to accommodate 1,500 people is being built where international conferences can be conducted.Sargaalaya in Kozhikode is yet another craft village project set up by Kerala Tourism in the state.last_img read more