Panel to hire teachers in 4th phase on Sep 4 5

first_imgKolkata: The West Bengal Central School Service Commission (WBCSSC) will conduct the 4th phase for recruitment of assistant teachers in Classes XI and XII on September 4 and 5.The candidates whose name figure in the waiting list has been asked to appear for counselling. A notification in this regard has been published by WBCSSC. According to the notification, the counselling of waitlisted candidates in the first state level selection test (SLST) for recruitment in government aided and sponsored higher secondary schools will be held during this period. The counselling will be held at WBCSSC office at Acharya Sadan in Salt Lake. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThe schedule of counseling will be notified in the commission’s website www.westbengalssc.com on Monday evening and the details of vacancies will also be available in the website from Monday evening. Intimation letter for counseling can be downloaded by the concerned candidates from the commission’s website by putting their 14 digit roll number and date of birth from Monday evening. A senior official of WBCSSC said there were around 600 vacancies of assistant teachers in Classes XI and XII. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayThe candidates in the Hills will not come under the purview of this counselling. “After we finish the counseling for XI and XII we will do 4th phase of counseling of teachers for class IX and X,” the official added. It may be mentioned that the state Education department is all set to introduce online procedure for declaration of vacancies and will also do away with the existing system of publication of waiting list. “We have gone through all School Service Commission (SSC) related documents. We are ushering in change in the SSC rules with the aim to have more transparency in the system. The schools would upload their vacancies online and the School Education department would allot teachers accordingly. This system would do away with the role of district inspectors, who presently forward the schools’ vacancy lists to the department,” a senior official of the state Education department said. Education minister Partha Chatterjee during the assembly session in July had said that his department has proposed a revision in the rules of SSC and Teachers Eligibility Test (TET) for transparency and fast tracking of teachers’ recruitment. “If things go as per plans, the rules will come into effect before the next SSC examination,” the official added.last_img read more

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Germany’s Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank to hold talks on merger

BERLIN — Germany’s biggest bank, Deutsche Bank, and domestic rival Commerzbank plan to open talks on a possible merger.Commerzbank said in a brief statement Sunday that the two lenders “have agreed today to start discussions with an open outcome on a potential merger.”Deutsche Bank said its management board had decided to “review strategic options” and stressed that there is no certainty of any transaction emerging. It added that “in this context we confirm that we are engaging in discussions with Commerzbank.”Sunday’s announcement follows months of speculation that the two lenders, with encouragement from the German government, would explore a possible combination.The banks had more than 133,000 full-time employees between them at the end of last year.The Associated Press read more

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UN rushes aid to over 8000 Bhutanese after fire destroys refugee camp

3 March 2008United Nations agencies, the Nepalese Government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are sending emergency aid to about 8,000 Bhutanese refugees left homeless after a fire swept through a camp in eastern Nepal at the weekend. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reports that around 100 people were slightly injured in Saturday’s fire, which destroyed almost 90 per cent of the buildings in the Goldhap camp. Its cause is being investigated.The agency distributed plastic sheeting and bamboo for building new huts, while the UN World Food Programme (WFP) provided emergency food aid for the refugees.The Nepalese army has built 200 emergency shelters in the camp, which is one of seven in the eastern part of the country housing some 108,000 refugees who left Bhutan in the early 1990s.The disaster was “absolutely traumatic” for the camp residents, said UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres. “We are urgently mobilizing all resources, with a lot of help from the Government, to get them shelter, food and comfort.”Daisy Dell, UNHCR’s representative in Nepal, hailed the emergency response as remarkable. Some humanitarian organizations and local residents have also joined the relief effort, distributing hygiene kits, cooking utensils, clothing and food. The Nepalese Government is assisting by giving 500 rupees – or about $8 – per family, while UNHCR will provide cash grants to help the refugees meet basic needs.Recently, Nepal announced that it will issue exit permits to refugees from Bhutan, including those in Goldhap, so they can be resettled in third countries. UNHCR, which lauded the Government’s decision, has submitted the details of some 10,000 interested refugees for consideration by the resettlement countries and the first refugees are expected to begin departing this month. read more

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Central America faces major crop losses due to El Niño warns UN

El Niño, a weather phenomenon characterized by abnormal warming of surface waters in the eastern Pacific Ocean, is accompanied by dry spells that can delay planting, reduce planting areas and stifle crop development. The resulting crop loss this year will put a large number of farmers in need of agricultural assistance as the sub-region tries to recover, FAO said in a news release.“This year’s El Niño’s impacts are even more intense than last’s,” said Felix Baquedano, an economist at FAO’s Global Information and Early Warning System unit, which covers Latin America. “After two years of intensifying dry weather, it’s critical that we support farmers to recuperate some of their losses by helping them achieve stronger yields in the second season,” said Mr. Baquedano.In Guatemala, FAO is supporting the Government, which is building early warning systems and developing management plans, as well as in making seeds and training available to farmers to mitigate the effects of El Niño. FAO is also providing direct assistance to production and to support food and nutrition monitoring systems in Honduras, and continues to support the Government of El Salvador in its strategy to adapt local agriculture to the effects of climate change.The Central American Agricultural Council, which is headed by agriculture ministers of the sub-region, has declared a state of alert after hundreds of thousands of subsistence farmers suffered crop loss. The Governments of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua have begun distributing agricultural aid packages to help farmers recover as much as possible in the second planting season. Three of the countries are also distributing food aid to help families cope.Countries across the sub-region have increased imports of staple foods from other parts of Latin America to increase availability of food and keep prices stable. Even so, maize prices in El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua, are significantly above last year’s level. Guatemala is the only country in the dry corridor that has managed to bring prices down from August last year because of imports from Mexico, among other factors. read more

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Tax hike will pay for repairs on century old Kentucky school

FORT MITCHELL, Ky. (AP) – The wooden frame of a K-12 Kentucky school complex is so worn; administrators say they need a new building that’ll be partially funded by an 11% tax increase.The Cincinnati Enquirer reports the Beechwood Independent School Board unanimously approved the increase to help fund the estimated $16 million school. Residents will see the hike on their fall statements for the 2020 calendar year.- Advertisement – The increase will be used specifically for the renovations, bringing in about $700,000. The state needs to match a portion of the funding but that decision won’t be made until 2020.Superintendent Mike Stacy says the wood frames from the 1920s have extreme water damage. He says renovating the building would cost astronomically more than building a new one.Construction is estimated to begin in December 2020. read more

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We Calculated Advanced Stats For The Congressional Baseball Game

The 2020 field is good at baseballDemocratic presidential candidates’ statistics in the Congressional Baseball Game, 2009-2018 Tim Ryan8.500.560.6364/00.27 Jay Inslee3.545.545.5450/00.08 A fierce political free-for-all will be waged on Wednesday night — but it has nothing to do with the Democratic presidential debate.Under the lights at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., Republican and Democratic members of Congress will don their uniforms and take the field to play in the annual Congressional Baseball Game. The event may be for a good cause, but it’s also a serious athletic contest: Bones have been broken in past games, and pitches have been clocked as high as 80 miles per hour. This year, Republican congressmen got up at 6 a.m. two to three times a week to train for the game under the tutelage of former pros including Darrell Evans. (It was at such a practice two years ago that a gunman opened fire on the Republican team, injuring then-Majority Whip Steve Scalise and three others.)The Republicans may be practicing extra hard this year in an effort to catch up to the dominance of the Democratic team, which has won nine of the past 10 matchups. That’s thanks largely to the fact that Democrats have the seven players with the most wins above replacement over that span.Wait, what?That’s right — the sabermetric revolution has reached the halls of Congress. Using the game’s official box scores, I’ve calculated advanced stats for all members of Congress to play in the game since 2009.1WAR, and all statistics in that spreadsheet, are calculated based on the formulas in the FanGraphs library. The linear weights used to calculate Weighted On-Base Average are those originally developed by Tom Tango. Unfortunately, the data is insufficient to calculate certain metrics, with the main consequence being that my version of WAR is incomplete — there is no defensive component, nor does it factor in baserunning outside of stolen bases (i.e., Ultimate Base Running and Weighted Grounded into Double Play Runs). That includes on-base plus slugging, adjusted earned run average, batting average on balls in play … and, yes, WAR, the sabermetric statistic of choice for totaling up a player’s value on all sides of the ball. And while most players haven’t played enough to accrue a significant number of WAR, some players’ talent does shine through. Rep. Cedric Richmond is such a talent. The Democrat from Louisiana has amassed 2.5 WAR in just eight games. That would work out to 50 WAR in a 162-game season; in other words, Richmond is like Mike Trout combined with Max Scherzer — if Scherzer pitched every single game. Richmond was the starting pitcher for the Dems in all eight games he’s played, finishing seven of them2Congressional Baseball Games last seven innings instead of the usual nine. and striking out 25.4 percent of batters. He has a 2.20 ERA and a 35 ERA-minus (i.e., his ERA is 65 percent better than league average). But he is also the best hitter in the game, with a .652/.758/1.087 slash line and the game’s only home run in the past 10 years.Democrats also claim most of the game’s next-best players, although several of them will not be on the active roster for this year’s game. Former Rep. Joe Baca (0.4 WAR in 14 innings pitched and seven plate appearances) was ousted from Congress by fellow Democrat Gloria Negrete McLeod in 2012 after his California district was redrawn in 2011; former Rep. Tim Bishop (.500/.684/.583) lost his seat on Long Island to Republican Lee Zeldin in 2014.The Democrats’ best active players, other than Richmond, are probably Reps. Pete Aguilar and Jimmy Panetta of California. They are far behind Richmond in WAR (0.2 and 0.1, respectively), but they’ve also had a fraction of his plate appearances. Their OPS marks of 1.470 and 1.5503Small-sample-size caveats apply, although I will say that it doesn’t take very many at-bats for players’ true skills to be exposed in this league. suggest that they are in his league talent-wise.Rep. Linda Sánchez, who owns a .944 OPS, is both one of the Democrats’ best players and one of only two women on the 2019 roster.4The other is Nanette Diaz Barragán. A handful of women have played in the Congressional Baseball Game since 1993, when Reps. Maria Cantwell, Blanche Lambert and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen together broke the game’s gender barrier, but the Congressional Women’s Softball Game is more popular with female legislators. Last week, the press team defeated the congressional team in the 11th iteration of the CWSG.5Unfortunately, we don’t have statistics for the CWSG.The best Republican baseball player has been Texas Rep. Kevin Brady. The 64-year-old is the game’s grizzled veteran, having played since 1997, his first year in Congress. In the past 10 contests, he has put up a .996 OPS and 0.2 WAR. An honorable mention goes to North Carolina Rep. Mark Walker, the GOP’s starting pitcher in the past four games. He has just a 6.46 ERA, but that’s actually about average (104 ERA-minus) in the high-scoring run environment of the Congressional Baseball Game.But because my stats are only for past games, they obviously don’t measure rookie talent. And Republicans think they can level the playing field a bit this year with freshman Rep. Anthony Gonzalez — that’s the same Anthony Gonzalez who played five years for the Indianapolis Colts. However, Democrats will trot out a secret weapon of their own: freshman Rep. Colin Allred, who played four years for the Tennessee Titans and was a star baseball player in high school.Gonzalez and Allred will be far from the only former pros to play in the Congressional Baseball Game. The game was founded in 1909 by former Republican Rep. John Tener, who pitched in the majors from 1888 to 1890. In 1986, Republicans thought they scored a coup when now-Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning was elected to Congress, but he gave up seven runs in two innings in the next year’s game; his nonathlete catcher couldn’t glove his curveball, and the 55-year-old’s fastball lacked its prior zip. Former Rep. Steve Largent, the football Hall of Famer, was far more effective for the GOP; he went 5-1 with a 2.44 ERA in six starts from 1995 to 2001.Some big political names have played in the game as well. Before the 2017 shooting, Scalise, one of the highest-ranking members to ever play the game, had reached base in three of his four career plate appearances and stolen two bases; he returned to the game briefly last year, throwing a runner out from second base on the first play of the game and being mobbed by his teammates. In 2015, Sen. Rand Paul became the first active presidential candidate ever to play in the game; he’s got a .615 OPS for his career. (Rand plays in the game as a tribute to his father, Ron, who in 1979 hit one of the only over-the-fence home runs in Congressional Baseball Game history.) Even former Rep. Anthony Weiner took one at-bat back in 2009; as he did at politics, he struck out.Finally, it turns out there’s a ton of baseball talent in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary field. Jay Inslee, Beto O’Rourke, Tim Ryan and Eric Swalwell all played during their congressional careers — and most of them played well. Eric Swalwell5.250.250.2509/00.08 Beto O’Rourke1.000.000.0000/0-0.03 *WAR does not include baserunning other than stolen bases.Source: Congressional Baseball Game box scores PlayerGAVGOBPSLGSB/CSOffensive WAR* In fact, the presidential bids of Ryan and Swalwell have been big blows to the Democratic baseball team. Both are still in Congress, and Ryan’s bat and Swalwell’s speed have been big assets to Democrats in the past several games. But with the first Democratic primary debates scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday in Miami, they are both apparently skipping the bout this year. read more

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Samsung planche sur un nouveau processeur Exynos

first_imgSamsung planche sur un nouveau processeur ExynosAprès avoir conçu l’Exynos 4210, la puce qui équipe ses smartphones Galaxy S II, Samsung travaille sur l’Exynos 4212. Un processeur double coeur toujours développé sous l’architecture ARM, mais cette fois gravé en 32 nanomètres (nm), dont pourrait être dôté un Samsung Galaxy S III.Samsung a annoncé en fin de semaine dernière être en train de plancher sur le successeur du processeur ARM Exynos 4210, qui équipe actuellement son smartphone Galaxy S II. Comme le rapporte Clubic (lien non disponible), la puce SoC 4212 sera grâce à une nouvelle technique de fabrication gravée en 32 nm, contre 45 nm pour le modèle actuel.À lire aussiSamsung : Une tablette contrôlée par le cerveau en développement Fonctionnant à une fréquence de 1,5 GHz, le processeur disposera de deux coeurs conçus selon l’architecture ARM Cortex-A9. Il gagnera ainsi considérablement en performances, avec une amélioration de 25% par rapport à l’Exynos 4210. En matière de 3D, l’augmentation devrait atteindre 50%. Enfin, la nouvelle puce de Samsung verra sa consommation diminuer de 30%, promet la firme coréenne.Les premiers échantillons de l’Exynos 4212 devraient être mis en production dès le quatrième trimestre de l’année. La production en masse est quant à elle prévue pour début 2012, laissant imaginer que Samsung pourrait déjà préparer un Galaxy S III.Le 3 octobre 2011 à 20:32 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

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Luis Enrique Rodri can surpass Busquets

first_imgThe British publication, FourFourTwo, have broadcasted the words of Spain national team head coach Luis Enrique concerning Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodri.According to the former Barcelona manager, the 22-year-old hotshot has all characteristics to become a ‘new Sergio Busquets.’Although Rodri is yet to establish himself as a regular starter at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano following his summer’s arrival from Villarreal, Enrique seems to be a huge fan of the prosperous youngster.“I have already spoken about their similarities,” he told a news conference.“It’s not good to give too much praise and he is very young, but Rodri comes across as very professional and prepared mentally.“He can reach Busquets’ level and maybe surpass it. Who knows what limits he has?”Robert Moreno says he would step aside if Luis Enrique asks him Manuel R. Medina – September 3, 2019 The Spanish national team manager, Robert Moreno, took the job after Luis Enrique stepped down because his nine-year-old daughter passed away after a bone tumor.Rodri will be better than Barcelona icon Busquets – Luis Enrique https://t.co/ohoDJdkoz2 pic.twitter.com/VRS5qnE5za— Goal Nigeria (@GoalcomNigeria) October 4, 2018Now it’s up to the Rodri to give his answer on the field, but a comparison with a figure such as Busquets can only be flattering.The highly-rated midfielder will in the Spain squad for the matches against Wales and England along with Busquets, as well as, his two Atletico companions, Saul Niguez and Koke.last_img read more

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CES 2019 Imax Enhanced digital movies to be exclusive to FandangoNow

first_imgIMAX Imax Enhanced digital movies are coming exclusively to the FandangoNow video-on-demand service in the US in 2019.The higher-end format will play best on equipment that is also certified as Imax Enhanced. Imax Enhanced gear could adjust the video’s audio mix and aspect ratio with the aim of making your home viewing experience more like watching a movie on an Imax screen. You can find out more about the Imax Enhanced format with our explainer. Cameron Douglas, the head of FandangoNow, said in the Monday announcement at CES 2019 that the movie store is working with Imax and DTS toward bringing the films to its digital storefront. They’re are expected to be available later in 2019. “We are thrilled to be collaborating with Imax and DTS to serve as the exclusive digital retailer in the US for Imax Enhanced content releasing later this year, helping consumers access premium 4K HDR content as the filmmaker intended in the home,” Douglas said. The Imax Enhanced news is the latest digital movie store announcement in the past year. Previously we’ve seen Google Play Movies upgrading previously purchased movies to 4K and Sunday’s news that iTunes movies will be available on Samsung televisions. CES Products See also Share your voice 0 1:48 Samsung MicroLED TV comes closer to reality in 75-inch… Over-the-air wireless charging will come to the smartphone Samsung’s CES 2019 robots just want to give you a helping hand The weirdest, wackiest products from the show See all our CES coverage All the cool new gadgets at CES 2019center_img CES 2019: Every story so far: See all of CNET’s coverage of the year’s biggest tech show. CES 2019 schedule: It’s six days of jam-packed events. Here’s what to expect. Now playing: Watch this: CES 2019 Tags 85 Photos Media Streamers TV and Movies Post a commentlast_img read more

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At CES 2019 Cyberfishing wants anglers to fish smarter

first_img CES 2019: What tech to expect Tags 1:44 Share your voice The Smart Rod Sensor attaches to your existing fishing pole and can track casts, catches, weather conditions and locations. Cyberfishing We live in a world filled with smartphones, smartwatches, smart appliances — even smart toothbrushes — and now we can add smart fishing to that list. But this isn’t just some CES 2019 branding gimmick. Cyberfishing’s new Smart Rod Sensor works with your existing fishing pole to track casts, catches and locations in the same way a runner uses a smartwatch to capture the route and pace of a run. The Smart Rod Sensor weighs just 9 grams (0.3 ounces) and attaches to a pole with a couple of heavy duty rubber bands. So it shouldn’t have any effect on the action of your fishing rod. On the inside is an accelerometer, rechargeable batteries and Bluetooth for connecting to your phone. The idea is for you to focus on fishing while the Smart Rod Sensor tracks the number of times you cast a line, weather conditions and locations of successful catches and strikes. There’s no worry about wet hands: Cyberfishing claims that the Smart Rod Sensor is waterproof. After a day of angling, you sync the Smart Rod Sensor with Cyberfishing’s mobile app on your phone. What I like about Cyberfishing’s approach is that it doesn’t reimagine the fishing rod. It’s a simple and straightforward way to enhance the fishing pole you already have.  The Smart Rod Sensor costs $89 (roughly £70 or AU$125) and is available for preorder now. It’s expected to ship at the end of January. Originally published Jan. 8.Update, Jan. 9: Adds shipping date. CES 2019 CES 2019: Every story so far: See all of CNET’s coverage of the year’s biggest tech show. CES 2019 schedule: It’s six days of jam-packed events. Here’s what to expect. All the cool new gadgets at CES 2019center_img 85 Photos Now playing: Watch this: Post a comment 0 Wearable Tech Gadgets Sports CES Productslast_img read more

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Students of Srinagars NIT reached Karimnagar

first_imgKarimnagar: The students belonging to Karimnagar district on Tuesday reached their natives places safe with the initiation taken by BJP Karimnagar MP Bandi Sanjay Kumar along with the cooperation extended by Union Minister of State (Home) G Kishan Reddy.It should be reminded here that in view of taking a vital decision on Jammu and Kashmir, three days ago the Central government declared holidays for NIT, Srinagar and asked the students to leave the campus. Also Read – Non-bailable warrant to Congress leader Renuka Chowdhury Advertise With Us Karimnagar MP Bandi Sanjay Kumar came to know about the students of Karimnagar district studying in Srinagar’s NIT and took initiation in making arrangements to transport them safe to their houses and food also. The students reached Karimnagar on Tuesday and thanked the MP for his help. Meanwhile, BJP district unit president Basa Satyanarayana, city president Bethi Mahendar Reddy, Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) Boinapally Praveen, Karimnagar assembly segment convenor Dubbala Srinivas received the students in Karimnagar and transported them to their native places after enquiring their details.last_img read more

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Brazils Lula plays kingmaker from his prison cell

first_imgFormer Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is carried by supporters in front of the metallurgic trade union in Sao Bernardo do Campo. Photo: ReutersIt is Thursday outside a government building in this tidy city in southern Brazil. Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the country’s former president, is receiving visitors to plot his political future.Never mind that this compound, the regional federal police headquarters, doubles as a prison for corrupt politicians. Or that Lula, as this leftist icon is universally known, is serving a 12-year sentence for graft.Despite his predicament, Lula is still calling the shots in his Workers Party (PT) and engineering another presidential run, underscoring his stature as the most popular modern political figure in Brazil. During his two presidential terms, which ran from 2003 to 2011, the economy soared, poverty plunged and Brazil basked in the international spotlight, winning bids to host the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games.PT lieutenants regularly visit Lula in prison to map out strategy ahead of October’s presidential balloting, eight party insiders told Reuters. This day’s crop included Vagner Freitas, head of Brazil’s most powerful trade union. Lula’s vice presidential running mate Fernando Haddad, and Gleisi Hoffmann, the PT’s president, showed up the following day.Outside the lock-up, vendors sold T-shirts with Lula’s bearded visage to the partisan crowd. Occasional chants of “Lula president, Lula innocent” filled the air.His candidacy is the longest of long shots. Convicted felons are banned from running for office. An electoral court is expected in coming weeks to declare him ineligible for October’s race.Critics decry Lula’s bid as a stunt aimed at motivating the base and propping up Haddad, his likely stand-in. The former mayor of Sao Paulo, Haddad is little-known outside that city – and disliked by many in it.But in a chaotic political season in Brazil, Lula could be the kingmaker. The presidential contest is unpredictable, loaded with candidates struggling to connect with voters. Brazilians are despondent over their nation’s stagnant economy, rampant violence and ineffective political class.The PT is betting Lula’s star power can remind voters of more prosperous times when he ran the show. At 72, the charismatic former metal worker still dominates the party he founded and shows no signs of letting prison constrain him.“There is no question that Lula is a key political actor,” said Ricardo Ismael, a political scientist at the Catholic University in Rio de Janeiro. “Lula will have tremendous influence even if he is not a candidate. He has prestige and is a political force, mainly with the poorer voters.”In handwritten letters and conversations relayed by visitors tasked with carrying out his orders, the former president has quelled infighting that had threatened his leadership, both inside the PT and in a coalition of allied parties, several senior party members who have met with Lula in jail told Reuters.They say he effectively knee-capped a political rival with designs on his mantle, and arranged for his surrogate Haddad to take his place atop the PT ticket should he be barred from running.Federal prosecutors are fed up with Lula’s manoeuvring.The team whose investigation put him in jail has asked a judge to restrict his jailhouse visitors. In a sealed court document dated June 28 and obtained by Reuters, they said Lula has transformed his cell “into his campaign headquarters.” They want to limit the list to family, clergy and lawyers working specifically on his legal defense.The judge has yet to make a decision.Meanwhile, polls show Lula leads a pack of 13 candidates in a potential first-round matchup; the top two vote-getters advance to a run-off if no one wins a majority.Still, plenty of Brazilians despise the former president, whose big-spending policies and scandals they blame for plunging Brazil into a tailspin. Others are eager to move on to fresh leadership. Some fear his meddling could ultimately deliver the presidency to the race’s most extreme candidate, Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right ex-military man who has cheered Brazil’s former dictatorship and delights in sullying Lula’s legacy.SERENADES, SUNBATHS, SOLITUDEUntil Lula arrived, Curitiba was best-known as the base of Judge Sergio Moro, who is overseeing a sweeping corruption probe known as Operation Car Wash.That ongoing investigation revealed a massive bribes-for-public works scheme that ensnared Lula along with scores of business leaders and politicians from all major parties. Lula was convicted last year for accepting renovations to a luxury beach apartment from a construction firm in exchange for helping it win contracts with state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA or Petrobras. He faces five additional corruption trials. He maintains his innocence.Since Lula was jailed on April 7, the area around Curitiba’s federal police headquarters has morphed into the epicentre of leftist resistance. Supporters have proclaimed Lula a political prisoner. They allege right-wing enemies conspired to drive the PT from power by jailing him and impeaching his hand-picked successor, former President Dilma Rousseff. She was tossed from office in 2016 for fudging government accounts, which she denies.Now unions, the Landless Workers Movement and private citizens have rented a few houses in Curitiba to stay while keeping vigil.Among the roughly 150 supporters who assemble daily outside the jail is Adinaldo Aparecido Batista, an unemployed construction worker. He recounted the abundant jobs, anti-poverty programs and consumer credit that flourished under Lula.“I was able to buy three cars and even a little inn,” said Batista, 52. “Now, I have almost nothing.”These faithful gather every morning to chant “good morning, President Lula!” After night falls, they call in unison to bid him sweet dreams. On weekends, musicians belt out ballads to raise his spirits.Lula occupies a 160-square-foot room at the federal police building that once housed visiting officers. A handful of other politicians and businessmen are incarcerated in formal, shared cells. Lula is not allowed to mix with other prisoners.Those familiar with his routine spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly. They said Lula is allowed to wear his own clothing, often a soccer jersey, and can spend up to two hours daily in an open courtyard. His room contains a TV and a treadmill where he logs four miles daily. He has access to books and devotes hours to writing.Still, the gregarious Lula lives for his visitors, the people said. Clergy come on Mondays. Thursdays are for family and friends.But the real access belongs to Lula’s legal team, whose members can come at any time and stay as long as they like, without supervision or electronic eavesdropping from jailers. The PT’s Haddad and Hoffmann, both lawyers, are on that team, enabling them to carry out Lula’s directives and spread his message.Among the most visible moves, people familiar with the situation say, was Lula’s order to undercut the presidential chances of Ciro Gomes of the centre-left Democratic Labor Party (PDT). Gomes appeals to some Brazilian progressives and could siphon votes from Lula or Haddad.So the PT struck a deal with another leftist party. The Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) agreed to withhold support from Gomes and remain neutral in the presidential contest, the people said. In exchange, the PT agreed to back a PSB candidate in a gubernatorial contest.Gomes, who has yet to catch fire in the polls, is steaming at what he sees as betrayal. Long an ally of Lula and the PT, Gomes said in a TV interview that he has been repaid with “disrespect and hostility.”The PT acknowledges playing hardball.“The number one priority was Lula’s candidacy,” a PT spokesman said.Such bare-knuckle tactics have not dissuaded true believers like retired teacher Gliceria Polak. She was among those chanting to Lula on a recent morning in Curitiba.“If he has to serve out his 12-year sentence here, I will never leave this place,” she said. “Under no circumstances will I abandon Lula.”last_img read more

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Trumps love affair with Fox News fading

first_imgLast month after Donald Trump watched Fox News lob what he called “softball questions” at a Democratic lawmaker, the US president delivered a crisp smackdown of his favorite network: “Fox sure ain’t what it used to be.”After years of often fawning coverage by Fox, particularly from its pro-Trump anchors like Sean Hannity, the commander in chief appears to be tilting his media gaze toward a younger, more right-wing rival, cable outfit One America News Network (OANN).The small upstart broadcaster was launched only recently, in 2013, by technology millionaire Robert Herring, who sought a more conservative alternative to mainstream media behemoths like CNN.Today it seeks to outfox Fox by drawing extra attention from Trump, who has been voicing his displeasure with the ratings leader over everything from presidential polling to its hosting of Democratic candidate town halls.Last week in a tweet to his 63 million followers, the president managed to disparage Fox and his mainstream news foil CNN, while heaping praise on the new object of his media affection.Embracing a newcomer “Watching Fake News CNN is better than watching Shepard Smith, the lowest rated show on @FoxNews. Actually, whenever possible, I turn to @OANN!” Trump posted.Since March he has tweeted links to OANN stories or shared his appreciation of the network 13 times.The relationship has been years in the making. In 2015 Trump was interviewed by Sarah Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee in 2008, when she guest-hosted OANN’s show “On Point.”At his first press conference as president-elect, in January 2017, Trump took a question from an OANN reporter. OANN was then called on dozens of times at the daily briefings in Trump’s first 100 days in office.During his June 2018 press conference in Singapore, following the summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, Trump took a question from OANN White House correspondent Emerald Robinson, but not before gushing about her network.’It’s really beautiful’ “Thank you for the nice way you treat us. We appreciate it,” he said. “Really, it’s very good. It’s really beautiful what you do.”The San Diego-based operation describes itself as “straight news, no opinion.” But the pro-Trump agenda is crystal clear, more than a dozen current and former employees told The Washington Post in 2017.Herring himself, in his pinned tweet, describes OANN as “the president’s favorite new outlet.”When Fox cut away from broadcasting a Trump rally in New Hampshire on Thursday, Herring tweeted, “We will never cut away!”‘Wasting airtime’ OANN has faced accusations of promoting conspiracy theories and peddling Kremlin propaganda.”Yeah, we like Russia here,” a staffer assigned to brief new OANN producer Ernest Champell told him, according to The Daily Beast. Champell left, disillusioned, four months later.”The network has a history of race-baiting and presenting anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant and anti-abortion reporting,” according to Media Matters, a progressive nonprofit group that says its mission is “analyzing and correcting conservative misinformation.”While OANN’s influence in the White House may far outweigh its position in the news media landscape, Trump clearly retains an affinity for several people in the Fox organization.The show “Fox & Friends” remains his go-to morning program; Trump has phoned in on numerous occasions as president.Perhaps that is why Democratic longshot contender Julian Castro purchased ad time during “Fox & Friends” this week, airing a spot in which he directly addresses Trump and blames him for inspiring the El Paso shooter who massacred 22 people early this month.Polls ‘have been terrible’ Sean Hannity, the network’s popular anchor, appeared alongside Trump at a campaign rally ahead of the 2018 mid-terms.But friction emerged this week when Hannity expressed support for CNN anchor Chris Cuomo after a video of Cuomo in a heated argument at a New York bar went viral.It was a sharp contrast to Trump, who tweeted that Cuomo — the brother of New York’s Democratic governor Andrew Cuomo — was “nuts” and showed a “total loss of control” in the incident.The president expressed frustration when Fox aired multiple town halls in recent months featuring Democrats who are trying to unseat him in 2020, including South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, currently fifth in major polling.”Hard to believe that @FoxNews is wasting airtime on Mayor Pete,” Trump tweeted in May. “Fox is moving more and more to the losing (wrong) side in covering the Dems.”Fox News presidential polling is also a concern for Trump, whose job approval rating in the network’s mid-August poll dipped substantially, to 43 percent, while his disapproval rating spiked to 56 percent, its highest since October 2017.In head-to-head matchups, the poll shows Trump losing to major Democratic candidates, including to frontrunner Joe Biden by 12 percentage points and to liberal Bernie Sanders by nine.”There’s something going on at Fox, I’ll tell you right now. And I’m not happy with it,” Trump told reporters on Sunday as he headed back to Washington from vacation.last_img read more

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Companies Steal Billions from LowIncome Workers

first_imgWASHINGTON (NNPA) – Employers pickpocket billions of dollars from low-wage workers, a crime that disproportionately hurts Blacks and often goes underreported, according to a recent report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).Researchers at EPI, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank focused on economic issues that affect low- and middle-income families, said that employers steal wages from their workers by paying sub-minimum wages, failing to pay for overtime, writing bad payroll checks and cheating workers out of their tips.“When a worker earns only a minimum wage ($290 for a 40-hour week), shaving a mere half hour a day from the paycheck means a loss of more than $1,400 a year, including overtime premiums,” stated the report. “That could be nearly 10 percent of a minimum-wage employee’s annual earnings – the difference between paying the rent and utilities or risking eviction and the loss of gas, water, or electric service.”Blacks account for 11 percent of the total work force, but more than 14 percent of the low-wage workforce, according to EPI. In Southern states, including Georgia and Louisiana, Blacks account for more than 40 percent of the low-wage workforce; in Washington, D.C., Blacks hold more than half of all low-paying jobs. This worker status leaves Blacks vulnerable to wage theft at higher rates than their White counterparts who occupy low-wage jobs at lower rates compared to their share of the total workforce.The study reported that two-thirds of low-wage workers deal with at least one pay-related violation in any given week.It can start with a boss telling shift workers to wait on standby just in case they’re needed or asking them to work through a 10-minute break. Workers living hand-to-mouth and marginalized by society feel obligated to comply with these practices that are often illegal.A worker that earns $17,616 annually may lose $2,634 due to wage theft.Kentucky labor laws require that workers get a paid, 10-minute break for every four hours of work. A McDonald’s in Berea, Ky., violated the 10-minute break regulation and was forced to return $29,000 to 203 employees, the EPI report said.In 2013, when all robberies in the Bluegrass State added up to $2.5 million, employers returned $4.4 million in stolen wages to employees, a criminal trend that ripples across the nation, according to the EPI reportAn investigation into the treatment of front-line workers in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles found that victims of wage theft lost $3 billion. EPI researchers used that figure to estimate that wage theft cost workers across the nation $50 billion, annually.The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports 2012 data showed that “All of the robberies, burglaries, larcenies, and motor vehicle thefts in the nation cost their victims less than $14 billion,” the report said.Front-line workers are often the first point of contact between a company and the customer.According to another recent EPI report on restaurant workers, “Blacks are disproportionately likely to be cashiers/counter attendants, the lowest-paid occupation in the industry.”Blacks account for 27.1 percent restaurant workers living in poverty compared to Whites who make up less than 14 percent of restaurant workers who share the same fate.Some employers skirt wage and overtime laws, because the relative penalties are so low. Currently, for employers who fail to pay minimum-wage or overtime, the maximum civil money penalty is about $1,000.“For giant corporations such as Wal-Mart and Dollar General, maximum civil money penalties per violation should probably be at least $25,000, while small businesses should be subject to smaller fines – perhaps $5,000 per violation,” said the report. “Clearly, the fines should be sufficient to deter violations and to make it economically unwise to violate the law.”The United States Labor Department and state-level labor officials managed to recover close to $1 billion in stolen wages in 2012, according to data collected from 44 states.That “is only the tip of the wage-theft iceberg, since most victims never sue and never complain to the government,” stated the report.In a blog post in April 2014, Ross Eisenbrey, vice president of EPI wrote: “Few local governments have any resources or staff to combat wage theft, and several states have closed down or so severely cut back their labor departments that workers are left mostly unprotected and vulnerable to exploitation.”The EPI report on wage theft recommended adding hundreds of investigators to the staff of the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division and prohibiting companies that have been convicted of wage theft from receiving federal contracts.“No one knows precisely how many instances of wage theft occurred in the U.S. during 2012, nor do we know what the victims suffered in total dollars earned but not paid,” the report stated. “But we do know that the total amount of money recovered for the victims of wage theft who retained private lawyers or complained to federal or state agencies was at least $933 million – almost three times greater than all the money stolen in robberies that year.”last_img read more

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Where to Get Mental Health Help at Maryland Churches

first_imgBy Joi Thomas, Special to the AFROMay was Mental Health Month and during the entire month awareness of mental health issues was the focus of conversations and forums in various settings.  However, the focus on mental health continued earlier this month after two suicide deaths by prominent figures in the media and culture; Anthony Bourdain, the famous food expert, chef and host of the award winning  “Parts Unknown” on CNN, and Kate Spade, the internationally acclaimed designer of handbags, clothing and jewelry.Many people battle with mental illness in isolation;  as Christians, we have a spiritual source to go to, when we need guidance and comfort.  However, there are also other resources available to help get us through tough and trying times.   A few churches in our area operate licensed therapy centers that work to reinforce faith in God and good mental health. The following information is taken directly from several area church resources:The Reid Temple Restoration Center (Reid Temple A.M.E. Church), provides services to promote the educational, mental, physical, and spiritual well-being of it congregants, residents in the Glenn Dale community, surrounding underserved communities and the continent of Africa.  Services offered include one-on-one Christian care, psychoeducational groups, youth empowerment circle series and support groups.  Reid Temple Restoration center is located in Glenn Dale, Maryland.  For more information, (301) 352-1768 or reidrestoration.com.The Renaissance Center of Morning Star Baptist Church in Woodlawn is committed to promoting healthy relationships through excellent and accessible services to the Baltimore and surrounding areas.  These services are provided without regard to creed, color or socio-economic status or religious affiliation by competent, well-trained clinicians who strive to faithfully integrate Christian/biblical truths with principles of psychological health. Services offered include individual, marital and family therapy in multiple areas.  For more information (410) 265-7291 or therenaissancecenter.orgSafe Harbor Christian Counseling exists to provide Christian-based, clinically sound counseling to individuals, couples and families so that people experience life change emotionally, mentally, relationally and spiritually.  Safe Harbor has locations all over Maryland and in other states such as Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, New Jersey, and also in Washington DC.  Services provided include child/adolescent counseling, adult counseling, couples counseling, couples intensives, marriage checkup and coaching services.  For more information, 1-800-305-2089 or safeharbor1.com.If you find yourself needing help, reach out to one of these facilities and get the resources you need to keep going.  Maybe you know someone who would benefit from this.  Point them in the right direction.  It’s always good to talk to someone who has the tools to help you see the hope in your situation.  Don’t give up.  I Peter 5:7 (NIV) states, “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”  Once you have prayed about it, go and get the help you need to be successful in overcoming your situation.last_img read more

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New trailer for Deadpool 2 Will the pansexual superhero get a boyfriend

first_imgGAYSTARNEWS- Read the full article on Gaystarnews:  :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/new-trailer-deadpool-2-will-pansexual-superhero-get-boyfriend/ eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) The trailer for Deadpool 2 has finally been released.There is  a new antagonist in the shape of the time-travelling guns-blazing Cable. ‘I love that he can break any boundary,’ he said. ‘In the future, I hope we get to do that more.’On getting a male love interest, he said: ‘I certainly wouldn’t be the guy standing in the way of that. That would be great.’Producer Simon Kinberg said the filmmakers wanted to honor the character’s sexuality in the first movie and were definitely open to showing Deadpool with a boyfriend in a future installment.‘We did in subtle ways, there’s veiled references to it in this film,’ he said. ‘It’s in the DNA of the character.’The sequel will be released on May 18.Read more:Here are Deadpool’s 17 most homoerotic moments Secretly the child of Scott Summers (Cyclops) and the Phoenix (Jean Grey), Cable is set to be a hilarious foil for the quippy anti-hero played by Ryan Reynolds.Fitting the fourth-wall breaking of the first film, Deadpool throws some major shade at DC.‘Why are the visual effects not done? It’s a metal arm! It’s not like we’re trying to remove a mustache!’ he says.This is in reference to the poor attempts to remove Henry Cavil’s mustache in Justice League.Deadpool also references Toy Story and The All-New Super Friends Hour.But will the superhero have a boyfriend in the sequel?Will pansexual superhero Deadpool get a boyfriend in the sequel?When the first film was released in 2016, Reynolds said he ‘loved’ the character is pansexual. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading…last_img read more

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CLIA Australasia begins online training

first_imgTravel agents can now boost their cruise knowledge without leaving their desks, with Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia announcing it has moved the mandatory components of its cruise industry training program online.In what is a landmark move for the industry body, agents will now be able to undertake all compulsory CLIA training required to achieve Cruise Industry Accreditation online.CLIA Australasia general manager Brett Jardine, said that the new training program had been developed in conjunction with CLIA’s UK office.“This is a major step which will make it far easier for travel consultants to enhance their cruise knowledge, add to their confidence and grow their cruise sales without even leaving their desk,” Mr Jardine said.The online program will be available on tablets as well as desktop computers and will complement CLIA’s existing classroom training modules for membership accreditation.Access to the online accreditation training will be included in members’ annual fees, with consultants having direct access to their own password-protected personal profile so they can track the progress of their cruise industry knowledge.CLIA will still provide classroom training for elective modules across Australia and New Zealand for consultants who aspire to a higher level of accreditation or wish to expand their cruise industry knowledge.Source = ETB News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more

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The fuel noone wants but the government must sell

first_imgA new waste management scandal is brewing, this time over the waste treatment unit in Pentakomo, in the Limassol district, which is slated to open on October 28.Just weeks before it opens no buyer has yet been found for the fuel the waste treatment plant will be producing, and it was only last week that the government rushed to launch a tender competition to find a company willing to take it. Finding a buyer is part of the terms of the deal with the European Commission, which co-funds the around €70m project.A cabinet-appointed committee to investigate why the tenders were not launched earlier and the general terms and conditions of a project – dating back to the Papadopoulos government –  was also sworn in last week.But even this late-stage investigation is now in jeopardy after auditor-general Odysseas Michaelides entered the fray this week. He has questioned the impartiality of the committee which is headed by Cyprus bar association chief Doros Ioannides who happens to be the brother of current labour minister Zeta Emilianidou.This is because some cabinet members should be a target of the investigation, Michaelides said – referring to agriculture and interior ministers Nicos Kouyialis and Constantinos Petrides, as well as Petrides’ predecessor Socratis Hasikos.Michaelides wrote a letter to the attorney-general, advising that the latter, rather than the cabinet, should empanel the investigative committee and define its mandate.Adding to the pressure is the European Commission which has described the methods the Pentakomo plant will use to produce the fuel as outdated. It is also concerned about the carbon footprint that the Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF) will leave if the government cannot find a local buyer and has to try and export it.Time is running out. The European Commission will give the government just two years to find a buyer from the day the plant opens.Agriculture Minister Nicos Kouyialis told the Sunday Mail this week that he was certain the government will be able to find a buyer within the deadline set by the European Commission and avoid any sanctions.“A way for disposing of the fuel will be found within the two-year period,” Kouyialis told the Sunday Mail, adding that a lot will depend on the quality of fuel.“Depending on the quality we might even have to pay for it to be taken,” he said.The construction of the unit was part of government plans to manage municipal waste which dates back to the late Tassos Papadopoulos administration.The interior ministry was tasked with implementing the creation of waste management units. One has already been constructed in Koshi, Larnaca, and that at Pentakomo was the second. Another, earmarked for Nicosia, was aborted after objections from the finance ministry.The consultant hired by the then government proposed that a waste management plant based on the mechanical biological treatment (MBT) system was the most suitable for Cyprus. The MBT system combines a sorting facility with a form of biological treatment.Pentakomo will produce Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF), produced by shredding and dehydrating solid waste such as biodegradable waste, food and kitchen waste, green waste, and paper.But SRF is a fuel only suitable for heavy industry, and apart from the Vassilikos cement factory, Cyprus has no heavy industry. An initial plan to build a facility near the waste treatment plant to turn the fuel to energy was rejected in 2012 over concerns of its environmental impact.Solid Recovered Fuel can only be used in heavy industryIn addition to that, the European Commission has in recent years been warning member-states to avoid constructing any more plants based on the MBT system because it is outdated technology.Despite all of this, the Christofias government decided in 2012 to propose the project to the EC. According to Sunday Mail sources, the Greek company Enviroplan who were the government’s consultants proposed the MBT system. It was a technology in which the German company Herhof – a subsidiary of Helector, the Greek waste-management company – specialised. Helector is currently embroiled in an overcharging scandal concerning the Paphos and Koshi landfills.But when later in 2012 a group of the Jaspers technical assistance group that assists countries aiming at applying for co-funded projects to the EC, arrived on the island for the first evaluation of the project, they warned that a waste-to-energy unit must be ready by the time the SRF is produced.Because such a unit had already been rejected, the government then counter proposed seeking a contractor to take in the SRF. They reassured the team of experts a year later when they visited the island again that it would launch a tender to find a taker.Despite strong reservations expressed by Jaspers, the government insisted that it would be able to sign a contract with a company to take the fuel.Meanwhile, the EC was pressuring for the tender competition to be announced as soon as possible to make sure that there was market for the fuel, and proposed for a Plan B in case there was no good response from the market.The government then asked the Vassilikos cement factory whether they were willing to take in the fuel, but the company told them this would depend on the quality of the fuel.But apparently this wasn’t enough for the EC’s directorate-general for environment. In 2014 it issued a negative opinion on the project stating that it had “some serious concerns about this project and more specifically the production of SRF”.The directorate general asked the government to take a clear decision on how they are planning to use the produced SRF.“Is there a market for it in the island? Has the quantity that will be produced been properly calculated, so as to be sure there will be an off-take for it?” the directorate asked.It also raised concerns over the possibility of the fuel being exported to other countries.“In such a case the carbon footprint may be significant and outweigh the environmental benefits of the production of SRF.”It is now 2017, the plant opening is just weeks away and the EC has given Cyprus two years to find a taker.Yet another headache for the government is the auditor-general’s demand that any investigation must look at the administration’s decision to scrap the original decision to set up a waste treatment plant in Nicosia which made closing the Kotsiatis landfill impossible. The continued operation of Kotsiatis may lead to a fine from the EU to the tune of €30,000 per day since 2013.Rubbish from Nicosia is deposited at Kotsiatis.Defending their actions, both Kouyialis and Petrides argued that scrapping the Nicosia plant was actually a money-saver because the problems arising from the Pentakomo facility – no domestic demand for SRF – would simply have doubled.Kouyialis said another reason for nixing the plant in Nicosia was that the Koshi, Larnaca, waste management facility is under-utilised.He added that if the Koshi plant were able to operate at full capacity, by also accepting waste from Nicosia, this would render Kotsiatis redundant.The Koshi facility currently serves the Larnaca and Famagusta districts. It converts waste to compost. You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoSmart Tips DailySeniors With No Life Insurance May Get A $250,000 Policy If They Do ThisSmart Tips DailyUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCypriot tycoon launches ‘Bank of Cannabis’UndoThree arrested in connection with hotel theftsUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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