Twitter Star Wars fans will be out in force at this year’s Saskatoon Comic and Entertainment Expo after the announcement of Carrie Fisher as a featured guest.The expo announced Fisher’s appearance Tuesday on Twitter. The event is scheduled at Prairieland Park on Sept. 16-17.Fisher, who reprised her iconic role as Princess Leia in last year’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, will take part in a panel and be available for photos and autographs. Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Facebook Advertisement Advertisement
HALIFAX – Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil’s upcoming trade mission to France will include a stop at Michelin’s head office.The French tire giant is the largest public sector employer in the province and McNeil, who leaves Sunday for a week-long visit, said he wants to explore any potential interest the company has in expanding its operations in Nova Scotia.McNeil said while no such plans have been brought to his attention, the visit to the company’s headquarters south of Paris, is more than just a courtesy call to senior executives.“We are going to look for opportunity,” he said. “We are going to ensure that Michelin recognizes that this province is open for business.”McNeil said while the province would not offer a financial package to entice companies during the trip, there are programs they can take advantage of like the capital tax credit for large corporations.Last week, Business Minister Geoff MacLellan expressed concerns ongoing NAFTA talks could threaten Michelin’s North American operations. He said a “significant impact” was likely if U.S. President Donald Trump’s protectionist trade demands are adopted.But McNeil said Thursday he believes the current uncertainty around the trade agreement is not an impediment to landing more investment.“We are going to be proactive,” he said, when asked about his plan to push the province as a place to invest.The French manufacturer has three plants in Nova Scotia, providing well-paying jobs to more than 3,000 people. The plants are located in Granton, Bridgewater and Waterville.McNeil noted that land has already been tabbed around the firm’s Waterville plant in the event Michelin should want to expand its Annapolis Valley operations. He said there is also capacity at the Granton plant.The trip will also see McNeil meet with government officials and other businesses in the aerospace, digital media, and food and hospitality sectors.Other companies on the agenda with Nova Scotia ties include video game publisher Ubisoft and two aerospace firms, Thales Group and Stelia Aerospace (formerly Composites Atlantic).According to the province, Nova Scotia exported more than $90 million worth of products to France in 2016.Primary exports included seafood and aircraft parts.
Sri Lanka is paying greater attention to its relations with East and Southern Africa, External Affairs Minister Professor G.L Peiris said.He said this when he met President James Alix Michel of the Seychelles today. The minister is currently on an official visit to the Seychelles. President Michel welcomed with enthusiasm the initiatives, already in progress, in respect of action in the education and energy sectors. He said that the Seychelles would like to facilitate investment from Sri Lanka into the hospital and hydro-power areas. Sri Lankan inputs into the Marine Training Institute of the Seychelles would be of great value, he said. He expressed satisfaction regarding current plans for co-operation in the banking sector. President Michel, who appreciated Sri Lanka’s active role within the Indian Ocean Regional Association for Co-operation (IORAC), welcomed Sri Lanka’s plans to join the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC). These structures, he observed, would serve to provide an effective framework for more intensive co-operation between the two countries with regard to such matters as the control of piracy and the exploitation of ocean resources without environmental damage. President Michel laid particular stress on airline connectivity as an aid to both tourism and trade. An agreement is to be signed between the two countries in this regard next month. Prof. Peiris said that this would be of interest to Sri Lanka, especially because of the access it provides to East and Southern Africa at a time when the country is paying greater attention to its relations with this region.On the subject of tourism, President Michel commented on the scope for co-operation between Sri Lanka and the Seychelles with regard to smaller cruise ships sailing among Islands in the Indian Ocean– an activity for which there is today substantial demand. Health tourism and eco-tourism were also identified as priority areas. The External Affairs Ministry said that President Michel had spoken on the shared priorities and objectives of both countries saying there is immense scope for collaboration between Sri Lanka and the Seychelles.
Deputy Ministers and some State Ministers are to be reshuffled soon, some Government Deputy Ministers told reporters today.Deputy Ministers Ranjan Ramanayaka and Ajith P. Perera said that they had been informed that a reshuffle of the Deputy Ministers will take place soon. They also said that some State Ministers are also expected to be swapped in the next reshuffle.The reshuffle follows the cabinet reshuffle which took place today. (Colombo Gazette)
From left: Adam Stirtan, Barend Jacobus Leonard, Beatrice Ombuki-Berman, Andries Angelbrecht, Sheridan Houghton (chair of Brock’s Computer Science department) and Kyle Harrison.Brock’s Computer Science department recently hosted a visiting scholar and graduate student from a South African university.Professor Andries Engelbrecht and his graduate student Barend Jacobus Leonard visited from the University of Pretoria. Their host was Beatrice Ombuki-Berman, associate professor of Computer Science.Engelbrecht serves as the South African Research Chair in Artificial Intelligence and is the head of his university’s Computer Science department, where he leads the Computational Intelligence Research Group (CIRG). The group’s research is in the broad realm of computational intelligence, doing work in the fields of swarm intelligence, evolutionary computation artificial neural networks and artificial immune systems. The Bio-Inspired Computational Intelligence group (BICIG), led by Ombuki-Berman and Brian Ross, does similar research at Brock.During his visit, Engelbrecht gave a research talk entitled “Particle Swarm Optimization in Dynamic Environments.” Barend gave tutorials to graduate and honors students on CILib (computational intelligence library) Java library.They also discussed collaborative initiatives with members of the department and two research projects have already been initiated. Ombuki-Berman and two of her students, Adam Stirtan (MSc student) and Kyle Harrison (honors thesis), will work with Engelbrecht’s team to develop self-adaptive particle swarms for multi-objective dynamic environments. Stirtan will work with the group in South Africa for two weeks in January 2012.Engelbrecht also met with International Services and Programs Abroad. Brock has a memorandum of co-operation with the University of Pretoria. He also met Rick Cheel, Interim Dean of Mathematics and Science.“International collaborations like this are strengthening Brock’s global reputation,” Cheel said. “The research of Drs. Engelbrecht and Ombuki-Berman and their colleagues at Brock and abroad are creating new solutions to complex quantitative problems that will have wide application of significant value.”
April 26-27: Apple earnings better than expected AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Apple was expected to have a flat earnings performance in the latest quarter. Instead, it below past all the forecasts with a profit around $10 billion, plans for an expanded stock buyback and a stock split. Reported by Mike Eppel.Audio Playerhttp://pmd.680news.com/podcasts/news_features/mike-eppel-apple-earnings_business-feature_2014-04-25.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. apple|earnings by News Staff Posted Apr 25, 2014 9:27 am MDT
COME BY CHANCE, N.L. – Calgary-based energy company Harvest Operations reached an agreement Friday to sell its oil refinery in Come by Chance N.L., to SilverRange Financial Partners LLC of New York.Harvest Operations (TSX:HTE.UN) said the sale covers North Atlantic’s refining and marketing operations in Newfoundland, including home heating businesses and 53 gas stations.Kim Urban, a spokeswoman for Harvest Operations, said SilverRange plans to continue operating the refinery, which employs about 500 people.“(SilverRange) has done their due diligence and they see the potential in the refinery,” said Urban in a phone interview from Calgary.Urban would not reveal the terms of the deal, but said she expects the sale will close later this year.SilverRange Financial declined an interview request Friday. But in a news release, the company said the refinery, which processes about 115,000 barrels of crude oil per day, gives access to markets along the U.S. Eastern seaboard and within Europe.The government of Newfoundland and Labrador issued a statement saying it supports the sale because it will support the long-term viability of the operation.The refinery was started in the 1960s by U.S. entrepreneur John Shaheen with the hope of importing Middle Eastern crude and refining it into fuel for the North American market.However, it was built with millions of dollars in government money and plagued by financial and operating problems for years.Ownership later fell to the provincial government before the money-losing project was shut down in 1976, with debts of $500 million owed to creditors, including Ottawa and Newfoundland.Petro-Canada later bought the refinery but sold it in 1986, a year before it was reopened by another company, Bermuda-based Newfoundland Energy Ltd.Harvest Operations bought it eight years ago. Harvest Operations reaches deal to sell oil refinery in Come by Chance, N.L. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by The Canadian Press Posted Sep 5, 2014 9:47 am MDT
HENRY SHEFFLIN WILL not feature in a senior inter-county hurling championship game for Kilkenny this weekend for the first time since making his debut 14 years ago.And the greatest hurler of his generation admits he is unlikely to feature in the Leinster championship this year as his comeback from a stress fracture in his foot continues.Shefflin made his debut for the Kilkenny senior side against Laois in June 1999 and has started in every one of their 62 championship games since then.But that remarkable run of service is set to end this Sunday as Shefflin, who has nine All-Ireland senior medals and 12 Allstar awards, watches on in Tullamore when Kilkenny play Offaly in their provincial opener.“I was in to see my surgeon on Tuesday. He’s happy enough with the progress. Basically I’m back in my shoe now for another couple of weeks and I’m back in to see him then again.He told me it would be six weeks with a stress fracture, and that’s what it’ll be, before I do any training.”“I’m out of the protective boot. I’m just allowed walk around and get the foot in some way used to it. Then just go back in to see him again and see what the progress is then.“I know it’s slow and that’s the diagnosis. The concern with a stress fracture is that you go back and you do much on it too quickly and it just reoccurs.”“I’m a good few weeks away because obviously I’ve to start training and trying to get back up to speed. The next question you’re going to ask me is when will I be back? I don’t honestly know. More than likely looking at the All-Ireland series now.”Shefflin’s club mates and fellow Kilkenny stars TJ Reid (knee) and Michael Fennelly (ankle) have both also endured injury struggles recently.“The Ballyhale lads seem to be getting a tough going at the moment. I think Michael is starting to come around but it’s taking time. They thought it was bad because he came down so awkwardly first. Things are very tight so every week is important that goes by.“TJ is back training. Obviously it’s taking a bit of time to get back up to speed of it. But he is getting there and every training session is bringing him out.”Tennyson RetiresShefflin also paid tribute to six-time Kilkenny All-Ireland winner John Tennyson who recently retired from inter-county hurling and pointed out the injury difficulties that the defender had endured.“We struggled together with the injury side. It’s different for a player that’s trying to break through to be sitting on the subs bench the whole time. But John had been there, he’d been the starting centre-back for a number of years and then he had the injuries.“It’s very hard for him to go from a place where he’d been in one of the pivotal positions in the team and Cha (Fitzpatrick) had been something similar to sitting on the bench and not seeing much game time. It’s very hard to get used to that.”Kilkenny’s John Tennyson before the 1999 All-Ireland final.Pic: INPHO/Morgan Treacy‘Great to see Cody back on the sideline for Kilkenny,’ admits Michael FennellyOffaly edge Laois in Leinster U21HC thriller
By Michelle Hennessy GARDAÍ HAVE DETECTED hundreds of drivers travelling over the speed limit in a 24-hour operation targeting speeders.National Slow Down Day was held over a 24-hour period from 7am yesterday, ending at 7am this morning. In total, 135,010 vehicles were checked and 341 of them were found to be travelling in excess of the speed limit.Some notable detections included:100km/h zone139 km/h on the N5 at Drummindoo Westport Mayo130 km/h on the N25 at Loughaderry Midleton Cork129 km/h on the N13 Treantaboy Drumkeen Donegal139 km/h on the N24 at Whitehall Limerick Limerick130 km/h on the N25 at Ballyadam Cork Cork80km/h zone138 km/h on the Belgard Road Tallaght Dublin24 Dublin107 km/h on the R498 at Fishmoyne Borrisoleigh Tipperary108 km/h on the R458 at Ballyconneely Newmarket On Fergus Clare60km/h zone91 km/h on the N21 at Croagh Rathkeale Limerick83 km/h on the N69 Billeragh Listowel Kerry89 km/h on the L3042 Fortyacres Piercetown Wexford88 km/h on the R586 Murragh Enniskeane CorkGardaí have thanked the more than 134,000 drivers who were found to be compliant and encouraged everyone on the roads to drive safely.Read: Ireland’s drunk drivers will leave siblings to die and move bodies to avoid arrest>Read: Questions on drink driving will be added to the driver theory test> Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Short URL Image: An Garda Síochána via Twitter 341 drivers caught speeding in 24-hour garda crackdown Gardaí have thanked the tens of thousands of drivers on Irish roads who were found to be compliant. http://jrnl.ie/3040714 43 Comments Saturday 22 Oct 2016, 1:35 PM Oct 22nd 2016, 1:35 PM Share95 Tweet Email1 15,857 Views Image: An Garda Síochána via Twitter
Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhüttl says his side must be alert to curb Leicester City’s offensive threat when they visit King Power Stadium today in a Premier league encounter.Southampton have had an impressive run in the last three Premier league outings including a draw at Stamford Bridge and the Coach wants his team to capitalize on that.“We have to be aware about the counter qualities that they have, with a lot of speed with [Jamie] Vardy in front, so we can’t have any easy ball losses in the centre,” Hasenhüttl told the club’s websiteSolskjaer praises Harry Maguire after Man United’s 1-0 win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer singled out Harry Maguire for praise after helping Manchester United keep a clean sheet in their 1-0 win over Leicester City.“For us, we want good transition forward and then it is best we finish the action and come back in our shape.“If we are in our shape it is not so easy to score against us, like we showed against Chelsea. They are a good team who weren’t able to score and that’s what we need.”
FORT PIERCE, Fla. (WSVN) — Viral video showing the moment a Florida school resource officer slammed a student on the ground is causing concern for parents.Video shows a St. Lucie County Sheriff’s deputy chasing an 11-year-old student before picking him up and slamming him to the ground.Officials said the student became aggressive during dismissal and when staff tried to stop him, he ran away.Authorities said the student is in a criminal justice diversion program from a previous incident and is required to be escorted by staff at all times. During dismissal, deputies said, the student disregarded all instructions and the situation escalated.Deputies said the school resource deputy was called to help to assist in the situation.“Our school resource deputy is very, very familiar with this student and knows he has a violent history, including possessing weapons,” said St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara.Mascara said the deputy tried to detain the student, which led to the student running away, and the deputy catching up and slamming him to the ground. The student’s aunt, Nancy Lewis, said she felt that things should have been handled differently.“I was kind of shocked that the police slammed him, you know, I didn’t appreciate that,” Lewis told WPTV.Lewis said that the boy’s mother was killed years ago and his father isn’t around. She said that these are not excuses for his actions, but the situation did not have to evolve to that point.“I understand why he did it, because maybe [expletive] got out of control, but he could just have handled it in a better way,” she said.The sheriff said this is the only complaint of excessive force that officer has had in his eight years on the job and three years at that school.The student was taken to a hospital and released with a band-aid. The boy’s grandfather tells WPTV that the child is now undergoing a mental health evaluation.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
AneganFacebook/ AneganDhanush starrer “Anegan” is ruling the roost in Chennai theatres followed by Ajith’s “Yennai Arindhaal”, Junior NTR’s Telugu movie “Temper”, Vikram’s “I” and Dhanush’s Bollywood flick “Shamitabh”.”Well done @dhanushkraja 4 sandwiching the CBO this week, between No.1 #Anegan & No.5 #Shamitabh. Chennai & Chengalpet Box Office – Feb 13 to 15 – No.5 Shamitabh No.4 I, No.3 Temper No.2 Yennai Arindhaal No.1 Anegan,” tweeted industry analyst Sreedhar Pillai.The first weekend collection of the movie at Chennai box office also looks promising. The film has collected over ₹1.2 Crore from 276 shows in the city over the weekend. Reports are coming in that the distributors of “Anegan” have raised the screen count of the Dhanush starrer from 415 to 390, considering the positive reviews the movie has been receiving.”Anegan” has been released in 701 screens worldwide. The film has hit the screens in 390 theatres in Tamil Nadu, 91 in Kerala, 50 in Karnataka and 170 in foreign countries.”Anegan” has raised the bar for Dhanush who plays four different roles in four different looks with ease. The movie revolves around the concept of rebirths and psychological hallucination, which the lead character played by Amyra Dastur has about her previous birth.The movie also talks about the love of the character played by Dhanush and Amyra in their four births. The movie directed by KV Anand also has star cast of Aishwarya Devan, Lena, Ashish Vidyarthi, Mukesh Tiwari and Vinaya Prasad.
n Afghan resident walks in front of a damage wedding hall building near the site of a car bomb attack in western Kabul on July 24, 2017. AFPThe death toll from a suicide car bomb blast in the Afghan capital, Kabul, on Monday rose by more than 10 to at least 35, according to a senior government official.The Taliban earlier claimed responsibility for the blast in the western part of Kabul. The government official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to talk to the media about the incident.
Francis said he was coming to Sarajevo for a daylong trip to encourage the process of peace and reconciliation and show his support for Bosnia’s tiny Catholic community. With Croat passports in hand, many Catholics have fled high unemployment in Bosnia to search for better opportunities in the European Union.The most poignant moment of the day came when two Catholic priests and a nun told Francis of their experiences during the war, of having been kidnapped, tortured and starved by Muslim or Serb Orthodox Christian troops and threatened with death. Moved by the testimony, Francis bowed down to one of them and asked for his blessing.Speaking off-the-cuff, Francis told the gathering of priests and nuns in Sarajevo’s cathedral that they must never forget the “cruelty” inflicted on their fellow Catholics — not to seek vengeance, but to show the power of forgiveness.“In your blood, in your vocation, there is the blood of these three martyrs,” a visibly moved Francis said. “Think of how much they suffered … and live a life that is worthy of the cross of Jesus Christ.”It was a reminder to today’s Catholics of the strong faith of their ancestors — and a bid to encourage them to stay put to keep Bosnia’s Catholic community alive. Check your body, save your life 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Sarajevo was once known as “Europe’s Jerusalem” for the peaceful coexistence of its Christians, Muslims and Jews. It became synonymous with religious enmity during the 1992-95 conflict that left 100,000 dead and displaced half the population.Muslim Bosniaks, Catholic Croats and Christian Orthodox Serbs fought a three-way war over the country’s independence after Yugoslavia fell apart. A U.S.-mediated peace agreement confirmed Bosnia’s independence but divided the once mixed country along ethnic lines.Nearly every step of Francis’ day was designed to show off the interfaith and interethnic harmony that had grown in the two decades since: Muslim carpenters crafted the wooden throne Francis sat on during Mass. A Catholic pigeon breeder provided the white pigeons that Bosnia’s three presidents and Francis set free in a sign of peace at the end of their meeting. And a Muslim-Christian Orthodox children’s choir from Srebrenica — scene of Europe’s worst massacre since World War II — serenaded Francis with a song about love at the end of his busy day.“We all need peace and to receive the pope’s message,” said Alma Mehmedic, a 55-year-old Muslim who waited for a glimpse of Francis outside the presidential palace. “I came today to give love and receive love.” Top Stories 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist “The pope cannot create jobs for us or improve the political situation in our country, but he can give us hope and strengthen our faith,” said Stipe Turalija, a 15-year-old Bosnian Croat.John Paul had tried to visit Sarajevo during the war, but the trip was called off for security reasons. His willingness to even consider a trip endeared him to a city that felt abandoned and betrayed by the world — sentiments of affection that have been projected onto his successor two decades later.___Nicole Winfield reported from Rome.___Follow Aida Cerkez at www.twitter.com/acerkez and Nicole Winfield at www.twitter.com/nwinfieldCopyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Pope Francis boards the airplane on the occasion of his trip to Sarajevo, Bosnia, at Rome’s Fiumicino International Airport, Saturday, June 6, 2015. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia) Comments Share New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall But reminders of the devastation of war and lingering tensions were close at hand: Before hearing of the testimonies of the priests and nuns, Francis’ motorcade passed by the open market where a mortar shell fired from the surrounding hills on Feb. 5, 1994 killed 68 people in one of the bloodiest single attacks of the war. After another shell landed on the market in 1995, NATO launched airstrikes against Bosnian Serb positions that brought the Serbs to the negotiating table.The area is still a market, but a wall painted red has tags with the names of the victims.“War never again!” Francis intoned in his homily in Sarajevo’s stadium, drawing applause from the crowd. He called on Bosnians to make peace every day — not just preach it — through their “actions, attitudes and acts of kindness, of fraternity, of dialogue, of mercy.”“Mir vama!” (Peace be with you!) Francis repeated again and again as the day wore on. “Make peace. Work for peace. All together, so that this can be a country of peace.”Despite the outward show of harmony, wounds still fester two decades after the war ended. Bosnia’s Christian Orthodox Serbs want a breakaway state; Muslim Bosniaks want a unified country; and Roman Catholic Croats want their own autonomous region. Catholics represent only about 15 percent of the population — down from more than 17 percent before the war. Muslim Bosniaks account for 40 percent and Orthodox Christian Serbs 31 percent, according to Vatican statistics. Sponsored Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober In a speech to Bosnia’s three-member presidency, Francis called for Bosnians to oppose the “barbarity” of those who want to continue sowing division “as a pretext for further unspeakable violence.” Rather, he urged Bosnians to continue working for respectful coexistence through patient, trustful dialogue.“This will allow different voices to unite in creating a melody of sublime nobility and beauty, instead of the fanatical cries of hatred,” he said.The Serb chairman of Bosnia’s three-member presidency, Mladen Ivanic, welcomed the pontiff by saying Bosnia-Herzegovina is a country of contrasts where “every word echoes much stronger and longer than elsewhere.”“We believe that the times of misunderstandings, intolerance and division are behind us forever, that we have learned our lessons from the past and that new times are ahead of us, times of reason, reconciliation and cooperation,” he said.Security was tight as thousands of police officers stood guard along Francis’ motorcade route through the city, which was expecting an influx of an extra 100,000 people. Shops and cafes were closed and residents along the route were told not to open their windows or stand on balconies. But they lined the route in droves and Francis’ open-sided car ambled slowly by. SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — Pope Francis heard about the horrors of Bosnia’s fratricidal war of the 1990s and its slow process of healing Saturday as he visited Sarajevo to urge Muslims, Orthodox and Catholics to put the “barbarity” of the past behind them and work together for a peaceful future.Thousands of cheering Bosnians gave Francis a joyous welcome, lining his motorcade route through the mostly Muslim city of 300,000. Another 65,000 people, most of them Catholics, packed the same Sarajevo stadium where St. John Paul II presided over an emotional post-war Mass of reconciliation in 1997.
Tiger Airways Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T Tiger Airways says last year’s fleet grounding down under and high fuel prices have affected its operations, with the airline posting a net loss of up to $104 million for the financial year ending March 2012.The Singaporean carrier reported the substantial deficit this week, a staggering contrast to net profits of $40 million for the previous year.Tiger claim the under-utilisation of its fleet in Australia during the imposed suspension, coupled with persistent fuel price hikes were the primary factors that determined the negative profit yields.“Clearly, the Tiger Airways Australia suspension by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Australia from 2 July 2011 to 11 August 2011 contributed significantly to the poor financial result,” Group chief executive Chin Yau Seng said.Mr Seng explained the airline had analysed the reasons behind the dramatic drop in revenue and has begun to take steps to amend poor business practices.“Following the suspension, Tiger Airways Australia conducted a thorough internal review of its processes and procedures, and has made major improvements,” he said. “These have included changes in its governance practices, organisational structure, management systems and approach in dealing with external stakeholders.”In looking to the future, the carrier was positive about bouncing back and eager to face the challenges accompanying this task.“The new financial year presents us with an opportunity to close the books on FY11-12 and focus on our growth strategies to pull the Group back into profitability,” Mr Seng added. “Fuel prices continue to hover at uncomfortably high levels and our challenge is to improve yields and boost ancillary revenue to compensate for the fuel cost impact.”In keeping with this strategy, Tiger have announced increased frequency on flights from Singapore to Kuching and Penang in Malaysia, and Haikou in China over the August holiday period.“With the increased frequencies to Kuching and Penang over the Hari Raya Puasa season, our customers will find it easier to make plans to celebrate and spend time with family and friends over the holiday season,” Tiger Airways Singapore managing director Stewart Adams said.Twice daily services to Penang will operate between 17 and 26 August, while flights to Haikou will jump from three per week to five for the entire month.
State Rep. Jack O’Malley, of Lake Ann, will meet with area residents during scheduled office hours later this month.“I want to make sure residents in all four of the counties in my district have their voices heard,” O’Malley said. “I encourage everyone to attend and share the issues that matter most to you!”This month, Rep. O’Malley will be splitting the office hours between himself and his legislative director, John Wells.Rep. O’Malley will be available on Friday, March 22 at the following times and locations:10 to 11 a.m. at the Leelanau County Government Center, 8527 E Government Center Drive in Suttons Bay; and12 to 1 p.m. at the Benzonia Township Offices, 1020 Michigan Ave. in Benzonia.John Wells will be available that same day at the following times and locations:10 to 11 a.m. at Manistee City Hall, 70 Maple St. in Manistee; and12 to 1 p.m. at Ludington City Hall, 400 S Harrison St. in Ludington.No appointments are necessary. Those who are unable to attend at the scheduled times but would like an opportunity to talk with Rep. O’Malley may call his office at (517) 373-0825 or email him at JackOMalley@house.mi.gov.### 13Mar O’Malley announces March in-district office hours Categories: O’Malley News
Share1TweetShareEmail1 Shares January 18, 2015; Daily BeastSince the beginning of his reign, Pope Francis has been somewhat different from his predecessors. For one, he got the job after Pope Benedict XVI voluntarily stepped down from the position, the first to do so since the early 1400s. And while we may now know about the papal power grabs that have taken place for centuries behind closed doors, we can see firsthand Pope Francis has charm and knows how to use it.What perhaps makes him even more charming is his softening, if not undefined, opinion of same-sex marriage. At the same time, the Vatican may also be opening up and acknowledging for the first time the not-so-subtle homosexuality present in the famous frescos adorning the walls of the historic Sistine Chapel, the principal watering hole for the High Renaissance, among other places in Vatican City.Quiiky, an LGBT-friendly travel group, is taking advantage of Pope Francis’s open-mindedness and orienting their guided tours through Vatican City around discussion of the masterpieces of Leonardo di Vinci and Michelangelo as seen through a gay lens—a lens through which they are often studied by art historians, given that the artists were gay. Church scholars have long denied these relations, even in the face of ample evidence that both artists were known to have had relationships with men.“[Visitors] discover new ways to look at [the] paintings and sculptures they [are] supposed to know well,” said the group’s CEO, Alessio Virgili. “Intelligent people like to look at the world from a new point of view. It is not [just] a question of homosexuality.”Indeed, in celebrating the work of these gay artists who created some of the most important art of their time and ours, Virgili also believes the tours may help young gay boys or men accept themselves.It is important to note that while Pope Francis has toed the line on same-sex couples, the Church has not come out and explicitly stated any formal change of their opinion of same-sex unions. In fact, they seemed to reaffirm their position only days ago. The Vatican has not shown any support for the tours either.The Church has certainly had a difficult history with homosexuality, and continues to do so. In an issue of Vanity Fair last year, writer Michael Joseph Gross identified cardinals, monks, and clergymen living in Rome with secret gay alternate lives. While popes in the past have notoriously been levied with allegations of adultery, some have also been accused of being homosexual, like John XII (955-964), Boniface VIII (1924-1303), and Paul II (1464-1471) and his successor, Sixtus IV (1471-1484). But nowhere is this thinly veiled relationship more evident than in the artwork of these great masters, a reflection of their own sins.“Michelangelo’s nudes are about a lot more than sex. But they make no sense without it,” says Jonathan Jones for the Guardian. “Of course they express his passion for male bodies; he left written evidence to confirm it.”The nudity that features in pretty much all of Michelangelo’s work on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, even in images depicting religious scenes, seems contrary to an environment that serves as the venue for papal elections and as the official residence of the Pope. While some of the most egregious nudes on Michelangelo’s frescos and statues were censored following his death, the question of why any of it is there at all still remains. In accepting Michelangelo’s genius, have they been rejecting the meaning of his frescos?As noted by Jones in his article, Michelangelo followed the neoplatonists concept of love, which sees love as a means to bring oneself closer to God. His writing and his art were expressions of that belief. It would seem an awful shame that the very images that expressed both Michelangelo’s love for man and God would be denounced and rejected while his art was still celebrated. Perhaps with these subtly changes in minds and attitudes, we will one day see not only the acceptance of LGBT equality, but also the slow acceptance of these artists’ true selves.—Shafaq HasanShare1TweetShareEmail1 Shares
Share3TweetShare1Email4 SharesNames of those who died due to gun violence this last year, in Michigan / Deb NystromDecember 14, 2016; Los Angeles TimesLast week marked the horrific four-year anniversary of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where 26 people, including six staff members and 20 children, lost their lives in the most ghastly way. Since the shooting, loved ones of the victims, school staff, and the Newtown community have searched for ways to cope with their unimaginable grief. Four years later, family members of those killed, while still bearing the great burden of their loss, continue to turn their pain into action through the nonprofit Sandy Hook Promise.The organization, formed in the days following the shooting, aims to “prevent gun-related deaths due to crime, suicide and accidental discharge so that no other parent experiences the senseless, horrific loss of their child,” according to its mission statement. Through advocacy, community outreach, and educational program development the group hopes to change the way our nation views gun legislation and engages in gun violence prevention.In the organization’s most recent effort, it delivers via a now-viral PSA a shockingly powerful message on recognizing the signs of gun violence. The 2:28-long video, simply titled “Evan,” takes the viewer through a supposed love connection between two young students, all while another student, left in their shadows, displays an unsettling obsession with guns. Although woven throughout the video more subtly, other themes are apparent as well, like bullying, challenges in the classroom, and generally antisocial behavior. In addition to leaving the watcher feeling completely jolted and somewhat ashamed for not noticing the student in the background, the video concludes urging us all to “know the signs.”While the organization’s core purpose is to advocate for stronger gun control laws, its founders believe that in order to influence policy, you must first effect a change of heart and mind.“It’s about influencing attitudes and behaviors,” Mark Barden, co-founder of Sandy Hook Promise whose son Daniel was one of 20 first-graders killed, told the Los Angeles Times. “If you do that, the policies will follow.”Sandy Hook Promise aligns its strategy with those of other organizations that have successfully shifted attitudes toward certain societal issues, like drinking and driving and marriage equality, and in turn have helped gain big policy wins. Despite the impact gun-related violence has had on our nation (over 13,000 deaths caused by gun violence this year alone) the debate over whether to institute stricter gun laws remains a contested topic and one that will likely continue to face numerous hurdles during the upcoming Republican-led administration.The creative grassroots messaging created by Sandy Hook Promise is nothing short of compelling. But is it gripping enough to make important strides in influencing policy and shake up the way citizens think about gun violence and the prevention of it? Here’s hoping.—Lindsay WalkerShare3TweetShare1Email4 Shares
Share5Tweet13Share5Email23 SharesMaxPixel. Creative Commons 0. Public domain.October 15, 2017; San Francisco Chronicle (Associated Press) and the Connecticut Mirror.Although not in the national news as much as some states, Connecticut faces many challenges. These include the fact that the state has the nation’s largest income gap and the nation’s largest achievement gap. Yet another complication is a 2016 state Supreme Court ruling that found the state’s education funding system to be unconstitutional.Most states run on a July–June fiscal year. Passing budgets late is not unusual. For example, as of this past July 2nd, 11 states had not passed budgets. But today, Connecticut is the only state that has not enacted a budget. As such, it operates under the authority of a gubernatorial executive order, updated on August 18th to restore $40 million to services and programs provided by nonprofit organizations.The state missed a key deadline on October 1st, when the executive order zeroed out education funding for 85 school districts and significantly reduced aid to 54 districts. With no county governments, Connecticut’s structure forces its 169 self-governing cities and towns to compete for state aid to supplement property taxes. The continuing standoff has widespread implications as the state’s financial crisis worsens. For example, an approved state budget includes the funding Hartford needs to avoid bankruptcy in the coming weeks. As just reported by the Connecticut Mirror, the “budget fight threatens credit for a third of [Connecticut] municipalities.”Susan Haigh’s reporting for the Associated Press provided an update on the state budget process as of Sunday, October 15th.For the past week, Democratic and Republican legislative leaders have been holed up in the state Capitol, without Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, combing line-by-line through budget documents. They said they have been discussing ways to not only cover a projected $3.5 billion deficit in a roughly $40 billion two-year budget, but to make lasting fiscal changes in hopes of stopping what’s become a cycle of budget crises in one of the nation’s wealthiest states.On Monday, October 16th, Malloy offered his fourth budget proposal for the new biennium asking the state’s General Assembly to reduce tax increases by accepting even deeper cuts to town aid, education and social services. Malloy presented his first budget on February 8th, followed by revised two-year plans on May 15th and September 8th. Malloy continues to insist that the state meet its pension obligations, according to Haigh’s reporting.The governor, who expressed frustration Thursday over the slowness of the process, has warned that he’s willing to veto another budget, even a bipartisan one, if he believes it includes “gimmicks” to cover the red ink, such as reducing payments to state employee pension funds.NPQ reported several days after the Connecticut fiscal year began on July 1st on what nonprofits might expect with no state budget. Haigh provides an update on how the governor’s executive order reduced funding for “social service programs, such as day services to people with developmental disabilities and initiatives serving people leaving prison.”The Connecticut Mirror offers perhaps the best daily update on the budget process and the consequences of the impasse. Malloy’s signature prison reform “Second Chance Society” legislation is a national model for reducing penalties for drug possession and helping people charged with nonviolent crimes to apply for parole. Despite this exemplary commitment, the state’s Department of Correction lost 4.5 percent in this fiscal year’s first-quarter funding.Jeff Grant, the executive director of Family ReEntry, which helps inmates leaving prison and their families, said his agency escaped specific cuts this month but said its non-residential behavioral health programs were cut last year and services to former inmates are diminishing across the state.He said he has seen hundreds of former inmates, including himself, who were helped by mental health and addiction counselors as well as housing and employment placements provided by state-funded non-profits.“When I came out, I went to court-ordered drug and alcohol counseling, which I did do in state here. Thank god it was available for me,” Grant said. “With the opioid epidemic that’s going on now and the cutbacks of a lot of these services, there are a lot of sick and suffering people out there. I had an opioid addiction. I’m clean and sober 15 years this week actually, but I don’t know what would have happened without the programs.”As the state moves into its fourth month without a budget, the Connecticut Nonprofit Alliance provides tools and on its website homepage to help people urge the state’s 187 legislators to pass a budget soon that protects nonprofit programs and services.—Jim SchafferShare5Tweet13Share5Email23 Shares