first_imgNew Delhi: India’s trade deficit, difference between imports and exports, has widened during the past three years with as many as 25 major countries including South Korea, Japan, Germany, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, Parliament was informed Wednesday. Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha that trade deficit depends upon relative fluctuations in the imports and exports of different commodities due to the global and domestic factors such as demand and supply, currency fluctuations, cost of credit, and logistics costs. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepThe increasing trade deficit in spite of positive growth of exports is mainly due to higher imports of products such as crude oil, electronic goods, iron and steel, chemicals, coke, fertilisers, and machinery, he said. These products contribute over 70 per cent share in total imports in 2018-19. Trade deficit with Korea, Japan, Germany, Iraq and Saudi Arabia increased to $12 billion, $7.9 billion, $6.25 billion, $20.58 billion and $22.9 billion, respectively, in 2018-19. The minister added that the government has taken several steps to boost India’s exports and minimise the impact of trade deficit. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to CustomsThe steps include improving ease of doing business, scheme for development of trade-related infrastructure, and scheme to mitigate disadvantage of higher cost of transportation for export. India’s overall trade deficit, including both goods and services, has increased to $103.63 billion in 2018-19 from $84.45 billion in the previous financial year. “As per Foreign Trade Policy 2015-20, the government aims to increase India’s export of merchandise and services from $465.9 billion to about $900 billion by 2019-20 and to raise India’s share in world exports (goods and services) from two per cent to 3.5 per cent,” he said.last_img read more

first_imgTORONTO – Canada’s main stock index closed down despite a rising crude oil price and strong performance from gold and metals stocks a day after Barrick Gold Corp. announced a deal to buy Randgold Resources.“We think the Barrick Randgold merger announced yesterday probably woke up some interest in the gold sector,” says Patrick Bernes, a portfolio manager for CIBC Asset Management.Base metals led the TSX, gaining about one per cent, following by the health-care, gold materials and industrials sectors.“The bid we’re seeing in base metal stocks likely reflects a bit more comfort that the trade war may not cause too much damage to global growth,” he said in an interview.The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 47.82 points at 16,159.50, after hitting a low of 16,159.50 on 237.4 million shares traded.The consumer discretionary sector led on the downside, driven by autoparts companies Martinrea International, Magna International and Linamar Corp.Bernes attributed the companies’ share losses to higher commodity prices and ongoing unresolved NAFTA issues.Crude prices rose for a fourth-straight day with the November crude contract rising 36 cents at US$72.44 per barrel, mainly related to tight supply.Data suggests Iranian production is dropping off rapidly and anticipated offsetting purchases from India and China aren’t materializing, Bernes said.A published report said Indian energy companies are expected to eliminate Iranian imports in November, likely because of pressure from U.S. sanctions, he said.Also, Saudi Arabia appears comfortable with higher oil prices and has been unwilling to fill the production drop off.Canadian energy equities did not benefit from Tuesday’s higher crude price because the country is still having a problem moving the oil, resulting in a widening gap between Western Canada Select and the West Texas Intermediate, Bernes said.In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average closed off 69.84 points at 26,492.21. The S&P 500 index shed 3.81 points to 2,915.56, while the Nasdaq composite was up 14.22 points to 8,007.47.Wednesday’s forecasted interest rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve is already priced in to stocks, added Bernes.“Markets are probably in a wait-and-see mode for the Fed,” he said in an interview.The November natural gas contract was up 2.9 cents at US$3.06 per mmBTU.The December gold contract was up 70 cents US at US$1,205.10 an ounce and the December copper contract was down 1.25 cents at US$2.82 a pound.last_img read more

By Tatiana FlowersRabat –  At the Democratic National Convention, Muslim leaders urged the community to vote, insisting that it’s a powerful mechanism to challenge and even combat the rise of hate speech and Islamophobia right now in America.“We can defeat hate. Islamophobia is not a Muslim issue; it’s an American issue,” said Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “Hate crimes are on the rise. The biggest victim of Islamophobia is America and its future prospect,” Awad said at the convention. Muslim leaders at the Democratic National Convention insisted that getting involved with politics and economy is more important now that ever, adding that the United States has never had a presidential candidate who has targeted the community so largely. “We never had a leader of a major party openly calling for religious hate against a particular community,” said Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota, a Muslim Democratic Party affiliate.Ellison’s comment comes after Donald Trump’s proposition to ban Muslims from entering the United States, a tactic he sees fit in combating the rise of radicalized terrorism, which has caused conflict between Americans who agree with the ban and those who don’t agree.But Donald Trump isn’t the only one who believes in this solution.According to Al Jazeera, “former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said in an interview, people from a Muslim background should be tested to see if they believe in Sharia law, and be deported if they do.”  His comment came after the recent attacks in Nice, France at Bastille Day, that left more than 80 dead and more than 300 injured, after a radicalized terrorist drove a truck into crowds of people.And it isn’t only Americans who support this ban.Sonia Kruger, who hosts “Today Extra,” said in a live broadcast that she would support a ban on Muslims in her home country of Australia, because it’s “important.”  Her Donald Trump approach came after the attacks in Nice, and she added, “Especially as a mother, I want to feel safe, as all of our citizens do when they go out to celebrate Australia Day, and I’d like to see freedom of speech.”Others in the spotlight who support this ban include, Mike Tyson, Dutch leader, Geert Wilders, French leader, Marine Le Pen, Obama’s half-brother, Malik Obama, and even a Texas imam.Muslims only make up one percent of the national vote, according to Voice of America.  But some say, in states where Muslims make up a larger percentage of the population like Michigan, Virginia, Minnesota, and California, their vote is crucial.Omar Ahmadzai, and artist in Virginia told Voice of America, “If we want to be heard or even feel the need to better our lives in the U.S., then our only option is to be involved in politics. read more

A $3 million dollar arts grant promised by the former Liberal Government in 2017, was pulled.It was dedicated to help turn Ancaster’s former Memorial School into an arts hub with a 450 seat theatre, gallery, and multiple rooms for art, theatre and dance.The Progressive Conservative government now says, “through review, it can’t proceed with the grant.”The “Ancaster Arts Centre” was supposed to be completed this year. On their website, they write: “If community and government support continues as it has been, we have an excellent chance of breaking ground late 2019, for a possible grand opening early 2021.”To date, $ 362, 5000 has been raised by community fundraising.Organizers are now scrambling to make up the money to finish the $16.5 million dollar project. read more

In a statement read out at an open meeting by its President, Ambassador Alfonso Valdivieso of Colombia, the Council reaffirmed its concern at the hardships borne by civilians in conflict situations and the need for parties to ensure the safety, security and freedom of movement of UN personnel and other relief workers.”The Council recognizes that secure humanitarian access, a clear separation of civilians and combatants, and the swift re-establishment of the rule of law, justice and reconciliation are essential for an effective transition from conflict to peace,” the statement said.On 10 December, the Council held a daylong meeting coinciding with International Human Rights Day to discuss the issue of protecting civilians in armed conflicts. During the debate, most speakers agreed with the need for concrete and systematic action to protect civilians in armed conflict, including the universal application of international human rights law.Participants also welcomed the Secretary-General’s emphasis on secure humanitarian access, the clear separation of civilians and combatants and the swift re-establishment of the rule of law, justice and reconciliation during the transition from conflict to peace.In its statement today, the Council underscored the importance of the “aide-memoire” it had adopted in March as a “practical tool that provides a basis for improved analysis and diagnosis of key protection issues during deliberations” on peacekeeping mandates, and stressed the need to implement the approaches set out in the document on a more regular and consistent basis.The Council also noted that the number of obstacles undermine efforts aimed at providing humanitarian access to those in need, including attacks on relief workers, and acknowledged the emerging issues that could “seriously effect” the capacity of Members States to protect civilians in armed conflict, including sexual exploitation, the plundering of natural resources and terrorism.The text recognized the importance of a comprehensive, coherent and action-oriented approach to the protection of civilians in armed conflict and encouraged further cooperation among States and various UN agencies and programmes. read more

Mr. Eliasson, who came to Geneva with the negotiation co-chairs to meet with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour and other members of the human rights community, told a news conference that his team had received some interesting input from yesterday’s consultations.They would spend the weekend in New York working on these ideas so as to present them to the 191 Member States in intensive negotiations. Starting next Wednesday, the co-chairs, from Panama and South Africa, would meet government representatives every second day and work from 9 a.m. until the evening to iron out difficulties, he said.”Those consultations I hope will be finalized by the end of the year so that we can produce a document, hopefully in consensus, which reflects what our leaders wanted and, I think, what the world wants when it comes to human rights,” he said, adding that some countries believed the Council should have around 30 members, while others suggested up to 70 or 80 members.There were also different views on how the members would be elected, whether by a two-thirds majority or just a simple majority vote, but there was general agreement that the Council should meet more often than the Commission’s annual six-week period and occasional special sessions, and that it should be prepared to hold emergency meetings, Mr. Eliasson said.”Everybody realizes that there has to be continued attention over a year. How this is divided up, whether it is three or four segments with some regularity every second month or so, I cannot tell you. It is going to be decided later on. The main principle is that it is going to be an exercise which requires our continuous attention,” he said.The Human Rights Commission had produced some very good results and practices, which should be retained, while other aspects had been criticized, he added.The Commission has 53 Member States, elected by region for three-year terms, and it concluded its work on the landmark Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.The reasons to move quickly in the Council negotiations was not only to have a smooth and effective transition, but also to put the proposed financing into the UN’s biennium budget, which is scheduled to be decided in December, Mr. Eliasson said.”I think we are facing a test of multilateralism. I think the next few years are absolutely decisive, whether we will move in the direction of multilateralism or not. There are different other methods in dealing with world problems – unilaterally, or in smaller groups against other groups – and there is so much mistrust in this world. We now have to prove that multilateralism works,” he said.”With this reform effort, with our leaders sending us this message that they want to reform the United Nations, deal with development more effectively, deal with security more effectively, deal with human rights more effectively. We are now challenged to produce multilateral solutions. And if we do not pass that test of multilateralism, I think we are facing a very bleak future,” Mr. Eliasson stated. read more

“Too many lives are being tragically cut short, too many families and communities left shattered. There is an urgent need to understand how violent crime is plaguing countries around the world, particularly affecting young men but also taking a heavy toll on women,” said Jean-Luc Lemahieu, Director for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs at UNODC, during the launch of the agency’s 2013 Global Study on Homicide today in London.Globally, men represent some 80 per cent of homicide victims and 95 per cent of perpetrators. While almost 15 per cent of all homicides stem from domestic violence (63,600), more than two thirds of domestic violence fatalities are women (43,600, almost 70 per cent).“Home can be the most dangerous place for a woman,” deplored Mr. Lemahieu, adding that “it is particularly heart-breaking when those who should be protecting their loved ones are the very people responsible for their murder.”Over half of all homicide victims are under 30 years of age, with children under the age of 15 accounting for just over 8 per cent of all homicides (36,000), the study highlights.UNODC also spotlights that almost 750 million people live in countries with the highest homicide rates – mostly in the Americas and Africa – meaning that almost half of all murders occurs in countries that are home to just 11 per cent of the earth’s population. At the opposite end of the spectrum, 3 billion people – mainly in Europe, Asia and Oceania – live in countries where homicide rates are relatively low.Globally, the male homicide rate is almost four times higher than for females (9.7 versus 2.7 per 100,000), especially in the Americas (29.3 per 100,000 males), where it is almost seven times higher than in Asia, Europe and Oceania (all under 4.5 per 100,000 males). While men are mostly killed by someone they may not know, almost half of all female victims are killed by those closest to them such as their intimate partners/family members, in domestic violence situations. This is particularly true in Asia, Europe and Oceania. The study also spotlights that the consumption of alcohol and/or illicit drugs increases the risk of perpetrating homicide, revealing that, in some countries, over half of homicide offenders acted under the influence of alcohol. Although the effects of illicit drugs are less well documented, cocaine and amphetamine-type stimulants have also been associated with violent behaviour and homicide.Firearms are the most widely used murder weapons, causing 4 in 10 homicides globally, whereas about a quarter of victims are killed with blades and sharp objects and just over a third die through other means (such as strangulation, poisoning etc.).Post-conflict societies awash in arms and grappling with weak rule of law and impunity are conducive to organized crime and interpersonal violence, for example in Haiti, where homicide rates doubled between 2007 (5.1 per 100,000) to 2012 (10.2 per 100,000), or in South Sudan, the homicide rate this past year was among the highest in the world. In contrast, in Sierra Leone and Liberia, where reconciliation processes and anti-crime strategies are taking root, security is gradually improving.As for conviction rates, UNODC says they are on average of 43 convictions per 100 intentional homicides. However, the study highlights strong disparities across regions, with a conviction rate of 24 per cent in the Americas, 48 per cent in Asia and 81 per cent in Europe. read more

first_imgIn a time when Australia’s liquid transport fuel supplies are declining and its transport needs are growing, a research partnership between Australia and India could provide a solution to a number of energy concerns and ultimately reduce the reliance of both countries on imported fuels.  The widespread introduction of a clean-burning synthetic fuel, dimethyl ether (DME), is a step closer following the announcement of a $6 million partnership between CSIRO and its Indian equivalent, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). The project will focus on improving processes involved in the production of DME, which is a liquid fuel produced from natural gas (NG), coal, biomass, or even directly from carbon dioxide.Both Australia and India are currently unable to meet demand for petroleum products with domestic production alone. DME could help meet demand and consequently reduce both nations’ reliance on imported petroleum products.According to CSIRO’s Dr Nick Burke, “There are over half a million vehicles currently using liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in Australia – all of which could be powered using DME. The fact that DME can be used as a blend in existing LPG engines makes it an effective transitional fuel”.“Australia’s heavy reliance on diesel could also be lessened with the added possibility of DME being able to replace diesel in the future” he said. The leader of the Indian consortium Dr Garg explained that India’s demand for LPG is currently unable to be met by domestic production. “In India, LPG is currently used for cooking in more than 33 million homes and demand is increasing with imports rising rapidly” he said.Prof Paul Webley from The University of Melbourne said in addition to the economic benefits, DME will provide significant environmental benefits for both countries. “DME produces significantly less pollution than conventional fuels and will therefore reduce urban pollution,” he said. The research will also assist in the development of small plants that may be suitable in remote and rural areas.“More efficient processing of gas into transportable fuels at remote locations would make Australia and India’s remote gas reserves more economically viable,” said Prof Suresh Bhargava from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT).  “CSIRO has been collaborating with India across a range of areas for many decades, so we are excited to be expanding our relationship and collaborating on key issues affecting both nations,” said Burke.In addition to CSIRO and the Indian Institute of Petroleum (CSIR-IIP), the project will draw on the expertise of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-Roorkee), Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL), The Centre of Advanced Materials and Industrial Chemistry (CAMIC) at RMIT, and The University of Melbourne.The three-year project is being jointly funded by the Australian and Indian governments, through the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF).last_img read more

Genadij ChalepoVelimir Petkovic German ThSV Eisenach decided to make a change on the coaching position in the most important part of the season. Four defeats in a row forced Management to sack Bosnian coach Velimir Petković, with whom team reached promotion last summer from 2. Bundesliga.Eisenach is under relegation line with only 8 points, when less than Bergischer HC, and two more than TUS Lubbecke.The “fireman” who will try to save the team from the relegation is Belarussian coach Genadij Chalepo. ← Previous Story AMAZING: Serbian girl Andrea Mijailović scores 40 goals in away win! Next Story → Croatia without Alilović in battle for Rio read more

first_imgThe ACT Government has knocked back an unsolicited bid by Aquis Entertainment for the AU$330 million redevelopment of Casino Canberra.Chief Minister Andrew Barr revealed on Wednesday that although the government recognizes the potential benefits of developing the Casino Canberra site, Aquis’ proposal was untenable due to ongoing uncertainty surrounding regulation as well as financing details. Ainsworth launches review of product development after Asia-Pacific struggles see FY19 decline RelatedPosts In a filing to the Australian Securities Exchange, Aquis – which is controlled by Hong Kong businessman Tony Fung – blamed “certain decisions taken by the ACT” for rejection of its bid. They include changes to legislation regarding electronic gaming machines, including how many gaming machines Aquis would be allowed to install and how they would be obtained.The ACT Government previously rejected a request by Aquis to operate 500 slot machines at Casino Canberra, offering 200 slot machines and 60 EGMs instead subject to certain strict conditions. Casino Canberra is not allowed to operate any slot machines under current law.Aquis said in this week’s filing that such restrictions “meant it was difficult to progress Aquis’ original proposal. In addition, Aquis could not provide detailed information in relation to the financing of the proposal requested by the ACT Government without the ACT Government providing the certainty sought by Aquis in respect of various key aspects of its proposal including tax rates, license fees and the legislative framework.”However, it added that the company has been invited to work with the Economic Development Division of the Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development on a revised proposal.“Aquis continues to believe that the development of an integrated entertainment precinct in Canberra’s CBD offers Canberra and the ACT a once in a lifetime tourism infrastructure opportunity,” the company said. “Therefore, Aquis will continue to engage with the ACT Government on development opportunities.”Aquis also revealed that it has received a number of preliminary proposals to acquire either Casino Canberra or a controlling stake in the company. Cairns targeting up to 500,000 tourists a year with Global Tourism Hub Revenue falls, losses widen for Aquis Entertainment Load Morelast_img read more

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR The fiscal 2018 omnibus spending bill unveiled Wednesday includes $654 billion for DOD, representing a $61 billion increase over FY 2017 and the largest year-over-year increase in defense funding in 15 years. The department’s $589.5 billion base budget would be its largest since the end of World War II, Todd Harrison, director of defense budget analysis at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told CQ. Adding in the department’s $65.2 billion allocation for its overseas contingency operations account would make the defense budget the highest it has ever been in inflation-adjusted terms, with the exception of FY 2010, when the armed forces were at the height of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.Photo by David B. Gleasonlast_img read more

first_img Robot Dog Astro Can Sit, Lie Down, and Save LivesYou Can’t Squish This Cockroach-Inspired Robot Stay on target The San Francisco SPCA has been ordered by the city to stop using security robots to clear the area near its Mission District offices.Last month, the local chapter of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals launched bot cops to patrol the parking lot and sidewalks around its city-block-sized campus.Their objective: to prevent crime.The shelter, a spokeswoman told TechCrunch, was broken into twice over the summer, the inside vandalized and property and cash donations stolen. And while the organization employs security guards, its large campus is too big for human patrollers.In response, the SPCA rolled out autonomous guards, dubbed K9, from robotics startup Knightscope (maker of now-infamous bot Steve, caught lying down on the job). Both organizations claim that, in the month since the digital units launched, crime dropped significantly.So did the nearby homeless population. Which, according to SPCA and Knightscope, was not intentional (but perhaps a fringe benefit).“Contrary to sensationalized reports, Knightscope was not brought in to clear the area around the S.F. SPCA of homeless individuals. Knightscope was deployed, however, to serve and protect the SPCA,” a company spokeswoman told Geek in an email. “The SPCA has the right to protect its property, employees, and visitors, and Knightscope is dedicated to helping them achieve this goal.”“[We were] exploring the use of a robot to prevent additional burglaries at our facility and to deter other crimes that frequently occur on our campus—like car break-ins, harassment, vandalism, and graffiti—not to disrupt homeless people,” S.F. SPCA President Jennifer Scarlett said in a statement emailed to Geek.“We piloted the robot program in an effort to improve the security around our campus and to create a safe atmosphere for staff, volunteers, clients and animals. Clearly, it backfired,” she continued. “We sincerely hope our robot pilot program does not overshadow the incredible work our staff and volunteers do to serve animals and people—all people, regardless of their living circumstances.“We are also hopeful that it has drawn attention to the challenges facing the homeless, a problem that needs all of our attention,” Scarlett added.Resident Fran Taylor recounted to the San Francisco Business Times an incident when the K9 robot approached her and her dog near the SPCA campus. Taylor, who had coincidentally been working with an advocacy group to limit sidewalk delivery bots, emailed the non-profit and several government officials about the episode.Soon after, the Department of Public Works ordered the SPCA to shut down K9—or face a fine of $1,000 per day for operating in the public right-of-way “without a proper approval,” the Business Times reported.“Effective immediately, the San Francisco SPCA has suspended its security robot pilot program,” Scarlett said. “Although we had already limited the use of the robot to our parking lot, we think a more fully informed, consensus-oriented, local approach on the appropriate use of these new devices will benefit everyone—whether it’s on public space or in private parking lots. We welcome guidance from the city on policies for the use of autonomous security robots.”Since the story went viral this week, the group has received “hundreds of messages inciting violence and vandalism against our facility, and encouraging people to take retribution,” according to Scarlett, who reported two acts of vandalism on the campus.“We are taking this opportunity to reflect on the ‘teachable moment’ afforded by the negative reaction on social media and in the press,” she said.Editor’s Note: This story was updated on Dec. 15 with comment from the San Francisco SPCA.center_img Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

first_imgKolkata: State Power minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay on Saturday held a meeting with various stakeholders to ensure uninterrupted power supply during the Durga Puja. Top officials from various power production and distribution agencies like Coal India, CESC, IPCL and DVC attended the meeting.”All of them have assured us that there would be no interruption of power supply during the festive days. It is projected that the demand would go up to 8,850 megawatt (MW) on the day of Shashthi which will probably be the highest. The demand will be on the higher side from the day of Tritiya till Ekadashi. All necessary steps will be taken for smooth power distribution,” Chattopadhyay assured. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeHe further said that assuming that the requirement may go up further by 700 MW, the department is keeping a reserve of it to meet the demand.It has been decided that out of 8,850 MW, West Bengal Power Development Corporation Limited (WBPDCL) and West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company (WBSEDCL) will supply 6660 MW, Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation (CESC) will provide 1,860 MW, India Power Corporation Limited (IPCL) 70 MW and Durgapur Projects Limited (DPL) will ensure 260 MW.Officials from Coal India and the Railways who attended the meeting also assured of coal supply for the power units.Referring to queries about power cuts in certain areas of the state, the minister said maintenance work is going on in different parts of the state resulting in short spell power cuts in certain areas. He also assured that the problem will soon be sorted out.last_img read more

first_imgWASHINGTON, D.C. — A United States federal judge on Monday condemned the military’s practice of force-feeding detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as “painful, humiliating, and degrading” and said President Barack Obama has the authority to stop it.In a forceful four-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler dismissed a Syrian detainee’s request to end the force-feeding, saying she lacks jurisdiction to rule on conditions of confinement at the prison. But, Kessler wrote, “there is an individual who does have the authority to address the issue.”Kessler quoted Obama’s national security speech from May, in which he was critical of the practice and promised to restart the process of transferring detainees out of the facility. As commander in chief, she wrote, “it would seem to follow” that the president “has the authority — and power — to directly address the issue of force-feeding of detainees at Guantanamo Bay.”The opinion came in response to a detainee’s request for a preliminary injunction to halt the force-feeding, one of four such requests filed in federal court in Washington by prisoners who have been on a hunger strike since February.The hunger strike began as a protest against searches of the detainees’ Korans, which the military said had been used to hide contraband. It since has become a broader protest of the president’s failure to close the facility.The detainee in the case, Jihad Dhiab, has been held at Guantanamo Bay for 11 years. He was cleared for resettlement in a third country in 2009, and Kessler wrote that his detention has “for all practical purposes, become indefinite.”There are 166 detainees at Guantanamo, and 86 have been cleared by an interagency task force for transfer home or to a third country.In his May speech, Obama pledged to restart efforts to close the facility.The judge on Monday appeared swayed by concerns expressed by the American Medical Association, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights and other organizations that have condemned force-feeding as unethical. The military has said it will do everything it can to preserve the lives of the hunger strikers.But Kessler wrote, “It is perfectly clear from the statements of detainees, as well as the statements from the organizations just cited, that force-feeding is a painful, humiliating, and degrading process.”There were 106 detainees on hunger strike Monday, including 45 who are being force-fed a liquid nutritional supplement through a tube that runs through the nose and into the stomach, according to a statement Monday from the military.Dhiab’s lawyer, Jon B. Eisenberg, called Kessler’s decision “remarkable” for its harsh assessment of the practice and the president.“A federal judge has tossed the ball in the president’s court,” Eisenberg said. “What is he going to do about it?”When asked about the court opinion Monday, a White House spokeswoman said the president had made his views on force-feeding at Guantanamo clear in his speech this spring.Eisenberg said he is waiting for rulings on the requests from the other three detainees before appealing Kessler’s decision.David Nakamura contributed to this report.© 2013, The Washington Post  Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

first_img Dodd-Frank Act Financial CHOICE Act 2017-06-08 Brianna Gilpin in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News, Secondary Market June 8, 2017 865 Views Sharecenter_img On Thursday, the House of Representatives passed a landmark bill–233 to 186–that, in its current form would dramatically change the future of financial regulation. The Financial CHOICE Act, originally introduced by Representative Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), Chairman of the House Financial Service Committee, on April 26, 2017, significantly amends the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.In mid-April, Republicans introduced the bill, arguing that Dodd-Frank and the subsequent regulation that ensued harms economic growth and ultimately, the American consumer. According to the proposal, Dodd-Frank’s particular brand of regulatory complexity and government micromanagement made basic financial services less accessible to small businesses and lower-income Americans.The CHOICE Act is the Republican response to reforms put in place after the 2008 economic collapse. Critics of Dodd-Frank have long argued that the law is too restrictive for financial institutions, driving up the cost of compliance, a cost that is ultimately born by the public. Republicans insist that the CHOICE Act offers financial institutions of all sizes a “Dodd-Frank off-ramp,” which, is an avenue to freedom from an overly burdensome and highly intrusive regulatory regime in exchange for the institutions maintaining significantly larger capital reserves than currently required.”Yes, there are a couple of particular things where we could tighten it up, but the assault on the major set of plans is greatly mistaken,” former Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., said recently on Squawk Box Asia. “Any comprehensive legislation needs some changes. If the Republicans hadn’t taken over the House in 2011, with an avowed purpose to get rid of the whole thing, we would have made the changes.”The CHOICE Act purports to achieve three major policy goals:Convert the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) into a consumer law enforcement agency subjecting it to the congressional appropriations process;Eliminate CFPB’s supervisory authority over financial institutions and limit its power to take action against entities;Remove “Too Big to Fail,” or the Financial Stability Oversight Council’s authority to designate non-bank financial institutions and financial market utilities as “systematically important”The bill’s sponsors say the intent of the bill is to create hope and opportunity for investors, consumers, and entrepreneurs by holding Washington and Wall Street accountable, eliminating red tape to increase access to capital and credit.“Supporters of Dodd-Frank promised it would lift the economy, end bailouts, and protect consumers,” Hensarling said in April. “Yet Americans have suffered through the worst recovery in 70 years, Dodd-Frank guarantees future bailouts for Wall Street, and consumers are paying more and have fewer choices. Dodd-Frank failed to keep its promises to the American people, but we will work with President Trump to follow through on his promise to dismantle Dodd-Frank. That’s not what Wall Street wants, but it is what hardworking Americans need to have a healthier economy with more opportunities so they can achieve financial independence.”Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Financial Services, quipped that she calls the act the “Wrong Choice Act” because it would be extremely harmful for hardworking Americans across the country.“Let’s first talk about why we passed Wall Street reform and created the Consumer Bureau in the first place,” Waters said. “Remember the financial crisis? At the core of it, there was an epidemic of irresponsible and malfeasant behavior by financial institutions. Under-regulated predatory lenders peddled and pushed toxic subprime loans to unsuspecting borrowers. Then Wall Street packaged those loans into securities, paid credit rating agencies to rate them AAA, and made bets that they would fail. When they imploded, it sent the economy tumbling into the Great Recession.”Waters went on to say the Democrats took action to ensure that this sort of abusive behavior could never happen again by passing Dodd-Frank and creating the CFPB and the passage of the CHOICE Act would lead the country down the road to another financial crisis.“Although financial services reform was necessary in the wake of the crisis, the passage of Dodd-Frank represented an overcorrection that ushered in an overly burdensome and unnecessarily complicated regulatory scheme for the mortgage industry,” said Five Star Institute President & CEO Ed Delgado. “Now nearly a decade later, the industry has partnered with government stakeholders and adapted to the new climate at great cost. I urge congress to be mindful of the business reality and enact any common sense financial reform in an incremental fashion to ensure continuity for the American Consumer.” House Passes Sweeping Regulatory Legislationlast_img read more

first_img Census Bureau Construction Danielle Hale First American HOUSING Mark Fleming Permits residential building Single-Family Starts 2018-12-18 Scott_Morgan in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News, Servicing Share A slowdown in housing completions could be a sign of a corresponding slowdown in immediate housing supply relief.At least that’s how First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming sees it from what the newest U.S. Census numbers say. November’s New Residential Construction Report finds completions down almost 4 percent from a year ago, even as the number of housing units under construction grew by that very amount. At the same time, the number of housing units authorized to be built jumped by 16.4 percent.Last month’s 1.256 million single residential starts nationally was an uptick of 3.2 percent from October, but 3.6 percent lower than a year ago. Family starts totaled 824,000, which is 4.6 percent lower than in October.Starts were down double digits in the Midwest and West, but way up in the Northeast. The Northeast saw 124,000 starts last month, the most since January. That’s 38 percent above October and 33 percent above November 2017. The South also saw a 15 percent increase in starts from October and was up 1.3 percent from last year.“Looking ahead to 2019,” Fleming said, “single-family homebuilding will need to increase to keep pace with rising demand from the largest generation, millennials, as they enter their prime home-buying years.” But Fleming is optimistic.“Despite underwhelming housing starts data in the past two months, there are nevertheless reasons to feel cheerful about homebuilding in 2018,” he said. “We saw particularly strong growth in multi-family starts.”In fact, there were 417,000 starts for properties of five or more units in November—a 25 percent uptick from October and a 20 percent bump from a year earlier.Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at, is a little less rosy about what’s ahead, at least in the single-unit sector. Hale said the downswing in permits and completions stems from a spike in mortgage rates in early November that undermined buyer purchasing power and caused a dip in builder confidence.“As long as builders remain concerned about buyer demand, single-family starts are likely to decline as builders adjust production accordingly,” she said. “Rising home prices and mortgage rates have created high hurdles for homebuyers, while cost increases have made it difficult for builders to deliver homes at the most in-demand price points.”Hale added that recent easing in mortgage rates could help some buyers find homes to purchase.“But in most markets, we’ll continue to see stalemate between buyers and sellers, with fewer transactions than we saw a year ago,” she said.center_img December 18, 2018 690 Views Fits and Starts in Residential Homebuildinglast_img read more

first_img Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories Your browser does not support the audio element. Comments   Share   “I know he loves to win,” he began, rather tellingly of Snyder’s seeming intent to hold the name.But Snyder, Alexander said, shouldn’t be defined by this dispute.“Personally, he did a lot for me,” he went on. “Two years ago, my mother-in-law passed away. He put me and my wife on a jet to go out to the funeral and brought us back and did everything (he could) as far as supporting us. “I got nothing but love and respect for a man like that.”To Alexander, the Redskins name is unfortunately offensive, but Snyder lacks malice. Treatment of the owner hasn’t been the fairest, the linebacker seems to think.“Like anything, until you know somebody, it’s hard to really judge somebody,” he said.The Cardinals play the Redskins on Oct. 12 at University of Phoenix Stadium. Now in his second season with the Arizona Cardinals, Alexander has watched from as a distance as the anti-Redskins name debate accelerate in heat.On Wednesday, the linebacker gave his own perspective of the controversy while a guest of Bickley and Marotta on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “It’s a hard, sticky situation,” he said at one point in the interview.But, to Alexander, there’s more complexity than people realize, in that he doesn’t see anything overt about the usage of the name.“The intent is not for it to be disrespectful at all or for it to be demeaning,” he went on. “The guys that put the uniform on out there aren’t trying to badmouth Native Americans or anything of that sort, nor are the fans, but at the same time, once you’re educated about what the word means, out of respect, I think it does need to be changed.“Obviously, it’s up to Mr. Snyder whether he wants to do that. He did pay a lot of money for that name and what all that brings to it — the culture and the heritage of it.”Speaking of the Redskins owner, the much-maligned Daniel Snyder, Alexander seemed to come to the defense of his character. Lorenzo Alexander spent his first six seasons in the NFL with the Washington Redskins. Though going undrafted out of Cal in 2005, and spending a season and a half on practice squads, Alexander was given his first on-field break in 2007 and logged a start later that year. He jumped around from special teams to defensive tackle to offensive guard to tight end. Almost all of the maturation process — which included a Pro Bowl and an organizational player of the year award — happened there, with the Redskins in Washington. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires LISTEN: Lorenzo Alexander- Cardinals linebacker last_img read more

first_imgWithout going into too much detail (you know, spoilers and all), the players were part of a funny scene that, as is customary for the show, is not exactly what one would call “safe for work.” The two also made a brief appearance toward the end of the episode.Campbell said the experience was fun.“I think the best part was actually getting the paycheck, from the company,” he said. “It’s like oh, I’m an official actor, you get paid to do it, that’s when you’re official. So that’s kind of cool.”“It was good to see me get on camera and try to be funny,” Mathieu added, before adding it all took a couple hours to film.Both Mathieu and Campbell each had a good number of lines, though Campbell said he thinks his teammate got to say some of the stuff he would have liked to say. He complimented Mathieu’s acting chops, though.Asked to compare himself to a current actor, Mathieu went with Vin Diesel, while Campbell chose The Rock.And while neither is likely to quit their day jobs to pursue a career in Hollywood, the Honey Badger did express an interest in a post-football career in the entertainment industry. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling “Hopefully be acting because they pay really well,” he said. “There’s nothing like living in Hollywood.”Campbell too said he wouldn’t mind a little more acting, but that’s not where his head is at right now.“The acting thing is cool, but my number one goal is to be a good football for a few good years,” he said. “I feel like I have a couple good years left in me, so I won’t rush to the acting world.” Comments   Share   Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Sunday afternoon in Glendale, Arizona Cardinals fans will get a chance to see stars Tyrann Mathieu and Calais Campbell in regular season action for the first time in 2015.Those who cannot wait that long can turn to FXX’s “The League” to get a glimpse of the fan favorites.Mathieu and Campbell both appeared on the show’s season premiere –which aired Wednesday night — in cameo roles. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelolast_img read more

first_img Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo As an analyst for the Pac-12 Network, Neuheisel covered many of Rosen’s games as quarterback at UCLA.Related LinksCoach Rick Neuheisel, AAF believe in Arizona market for more pro footballKnocks on QB Josh Rosen bothered his UCLA coach, Jim MoraNFL evaluator on Cardinals draft pick Josh Rosen: ‘Nobody likes him’Although Neuheisel never coached Rosen at UCLA, he mentioned that after spending some time with the quarterback, Rosen’s intelligence stood out.“He is built for for the NFL game in terms of pocket presence and the ability to see the mini-field, that area between the hashes to about 22 yards. He can throw people open in that area,” Neuheisel said.Neuheisel, who discussed his new position as coach of the upstart Alliance of American Football team, which will be based in Tempe, saved his highest praise of Rosen for last.“I think great things are going to ensue. It wouldn’t shock me if he wins Rookie of the Year,” he said. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact 6 Comments   Share   The opinions on the Arizona Cardinals’ first round draft pick, Josh Rosen, have been both positive and negative from critics in the media.Former UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel falls into the former group.“I think he’s the steal of the draft. I think he’s the best guy of all the quarterbacks, at least at this point. Ready-made,” Neuheisel said while joining Bickley & Marotta on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling UCLA’s Josh Rosen (3) throws a pass against Arizona State during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Arizona State on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retireslast_img read more

first_imgGo back to the enewsletterIn 2018, 149.7 million overseas trips were made by Chinese residents, an increase of 1,326% from 2001 when the figure was 10.5 million. By 2030, this figure will reach 400 million – an increase of almost 4,000% – and will account for a quarter of international tourism. According to Agility Research, travel is the most popular item to spend money on among the affluent Chinese – they are travelling further and further away from the mainland and Hong Kong and are travelling more luxuriously. ILTM China 2019 (Shanghai, 30 October – 1 November) will once again be the forum for their luxury travel agents to research these opportunities on behalf of their clients.According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Chinese tourists overseas spent $277.3 billion in 2018, up from around $10 billion in the year 2000. During the same period, America’s globetrotters parted with $144.2 billion.Andy Ventris, Event Manager, ILTM China commented, “The proven growth in Chinese outbound travel is there for all to see, but we also realise that just 9% of Chinese travellers (120 million people) own a passport compared to 40% of Americans and 76% of Britons. Clearly the potential for further growth – China’s population is 1.42 billion – is staggering and ILTM China has been created to support today’s Chinese luxury traveller by introducing their travel agents to a new world of international travel.”The first edition of ILTM China in 2018 saw a demand from hosted Chinese luxury agents for Australasia, South East Asia, Northern Europe and North America. Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Singapore are also among the top 10 destinations for Chinese tourists with the US and Italy completing the list.Sri Lanka has seen steady growth from the high-end Chinese market since 2013. The Hon. John Amaratunaga, Minister of Tourism for Sri Lanka, which will once again take part in ILTM China, commented, “as a country, we have worked to add luxurious boutique properties with personalised DMC services – as well as bespoke shopping experiences – to specifically attract high end tourists from China.”And many other tourist boards are proactively wooing the country’s expanding army of high-end travellers. Berlin, Canada, Greece, Vienna, Berlin, Monaco, Dubai, Italy, New York and Spain will also attend ILTM China with this focus on their minds.Christina Freisleben of the Vienna Tourist Board commented: “There are now many direct flight connections to Vienna from Shenzhen and Guangzhou (via Urumqui) as well as Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, as our city is a premium destination with diverse and high-quality offers, especially in culture and music which are very important for the luxury Chinese market. At ILTM China, we know we will connect with travel designers and concierge services who design tailor-made itineraries rather than packages.”And Yannis Plexousakis, Director of the Greek National Tourism Association in China added, “Greece’s inbound tourist arrivals from China increased by 35% in 2017 and 25% again in 2018 – in fact almost 400% in total since 2012. The Chinese luxury traveller is a key focus for us due to their high spending, their ability to travel all year round and the fact that they often combine tourism with other investments. ILTM China is therefore essential in our marketing strategy.”ILTM China takes place in Shanghai, 30 October – 1 November.For further information on participating, contact or see back to the enewsletterlast_img read more