Etsycom stops letting Alaska Native artists sell ivory work

first_imgANCHORAGE, Alaska – A policy intended to deter the illegal trade of ivory and items made with the parts of endangered or threatened animals led the online sales website Etsy to remove such artwork sold by Alaska Native artists, who can legally use ivory in their pieces.U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan asked the chief executive officer of Etsy.com to reconsider its policy to allow Alaska Natives to keep selling products made from materials such as walrus tusks or from petrified wooly mammoth remains found in the nation’s most remote state.Sullivan said he assumes the basis of the policy is to combat elephant poaching in Africa and India and that he supports such efforts.“However, your policy fails to recognize that Alaska Natives are explicitly authorized under federal laws, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, to work with and sell walrus ivory, whale tooth and bone, and other non-elephant ivory,” the Alaska Republican wrote in a letter sent Friday to the Brooklyn, New York-based company.Etsy has not responded to the letter, according to Sullivan spokesman Matt Shuckerow.In an email to The Associated Press, Etsy said it can no longer allow Alaska Natives to sell animal products such as ivory but that their accounts remain active.“We have updated our policies to reflect the increasingly global nature of our business and our community,” the company said. “With increased global regulation surrounding ivory and animal products, we can no longer accommodate such products produced by Native Alaskans in our marketplace.”Sullivan heard about the issue from Alaska Native leaders and a handful of artists whose accounts were disrupted, Shuckerow said. In his letter, Sullivan notes that Alaska Natives have used animal products for subsistence, survival and cultural expression for thousands of years.Marcu Gho, an Inupiat Eskimo who lives in Juneau, is among the affected artists. He had sold gloves, key chains, scarves and other artwork made from sea otter fur for about five years until then items were delisted Tuesday.He said that occurred after he began a conversation with Etsy officials last week in response to social media posts he saw from other artists complaining about such problems.Gho said he had been warned that it appeared his artwork was derived from Alaska’s northern sea otters. A portion of that population is listed as threatened but it doesn’t include southeast Alaska otters, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.“In the past, we have allowed an exemption for Alaska Natives,” a company official wrote in an email to Gho. “However, we’ve determined that we are unable to make exceptions for these items in our marketplace going forward. Removing this exemption helps us create a single global policy prohibiting endangered or threatened animals.”Gho said he explained the difference to the official, to no avail. The experience has left him frustrated that he can’t share this part of his culture. He also believes the policy perpetuates a perception that Alaska Natives are barbarians.“When they’re telling me that they don’t feel it’s acceptable that I sell these things, I take it a little bit more personally,” he said.___Follow Rachel D’Oro at https://twitter.com/rdoro .___This story has been corrected to say Gho’s items were delisted, not his Etsy account, and to show that accounts of Alaska Native artists have had ivory items removed, not that the accounts were cancelled.last_img read more

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Tariq Ramadan: Paris Attack a “Pure Betrayal of Our Religion”

Rabat – Responding to reports suggesting that the Charlie Hebdo attack was carried out by Islamist militants affiliated with Al Qaeda, Tariq Ramadan, professor of contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford University, said that the attack “is a pure betrayal of our religion and our principles.”Ramadan, who is considered to be one of the most prominent Muslim intellectuals in Europe, condemned the attack on the French satirical weekly that claimed the lives of at least 12 people, including four cartoonists, saying that “this is unacceptable and a betrayal to our principles and everything we stand for.”He wrote on his official Facebook page that “contrary to what was apparently said by the killers in the bombing of Charlie Hebdo’s headquarters, it is not the prophet who was avenged. It is our religion, our values and Islamic principles that have been betrayed and tainted.” “My condemnation is absolute and my anger is profound (healthy and a thousand times justified) against this horror!!! Allow me to express my deep sympathy and sincere condolences to the families of the victims,” he added. read more

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President reiterates no foreign judges in domestic process

However he says his Government has taken steps to ensure the local judiciary is allowed to operate freely without any political pressure.He also said that he has instructed the police to investigate some incidents where judges have been intimidated by groups not linked to the Government. (Colombo Gazette)Audio Playerhttp://colombogazette.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/LAW-Confernce-Wadduwa-HE-speech-FM.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. The President had made a similar comment a few weeks ago to the international media and that created a storm with human rights groups insisting that he reconsider his stand.The President said that there were times the local judiciary faced various allegations and times where local judges were removed from office in an unfair manner. President Maithripala Sirisena has reiterated that he will not agree to have foreign judges in the local judicial process after investigating incidents related to the war.Speaking at the Law Conference in Wadduwa, the President said that he has faith in the local judiciary and he feels all that needs to be done is to strengthen the judiciary and ensure it is independent. International human rights groups have been calling on Sri Lanka to invite foreign judges to ensure the domestic process to investigate human rights abuses related to the war are credible. “If there is a need to conduct a judicial process after investigating human rights abuses, I will not agree to invite foreign judges to come to Sri Lanka and be involved in that process,” he said. read more

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UN agency resumes repatriation by sea of Sierra Leone refugees in Liberia

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has resumed the effort to repatriate Sierra Leonean refugees from Liberia by sea, a spokesman for the agency said today in Geneva. Speaking to the press, Kris Janowski said UNHCR has resumed the voluntary repatriation of thousands of Sierra Leonean refugees, keen to leave Liberia because of renewed fighting over the past few weeks. “Repatriation by sea is currently the only reasonable safe way to bring Sierra Leoneans home, as recent fighting has made overland movements unfeasible,” said Mr. Janowski. On Sunday, a ship carrying 300 refugees arrived in Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown and another 300 people were scheduled to be picked up on Wednesday. Some 4,500 Sierra Leoneans refugees have signed up to go back and the resumed programme will repatriate about 600 people per week. UNHCR has been considering options other than road convoys to safely repatriate refugees since the June attack on Sinje camps which had prevented its staff from travelling to the region and providing aid. Meanwhile, repatriation of Sierra Leoneans refugees from Guinea will remain on hold for the next two or three weeks because of financial and logistical constraints, the spokesman said. read more

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Legal disputes between parents over where to send their child to school

Legal disputes between parents over where to send their child to school is on the rise, a leading family lawyer has said, amid increased competition for places.Earlier this week, thousands of families across England found out which secondary school their children will attend with a higher proportion than ever expecting to miss out on their top choice.Joanne Edwards, head of family law and partner at the solicitors firm Forsters, said: “In the past four to five years I have really noticed an increase in the number of parents in disputes about which school their child should attend.“The legal position is that both parents have parental responsibility. I always say try to go to mediation first, and that sometimes leads on to solicitor negotiation. In extreme cases, one issues a court application.”  Under the Children Act, parents can apply to the courts for a “child arrangement order” where a judge can rule on a specific issue. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. “Often a judge will say if you can afford private, send your child there. Judges tend to be quite angry about having to determine these dispute and tend to say ‘come on parents, sort this out’.”  Jeremy Corbyn and his ex-wife Claudia Bracchita divorced after a disagreement over whether their son should be educated at one of the country’s best grammar schools or at the local inner city comprehensive.More than half a million 11-year-olds are finding out which secondary school they will be attending from this autumn on what is commonly known as National Offer Day.Secondaries have experienced an increase in numbers prompted by a spike in the birth rate in the early 2000s that is now making its way through the school system.The number of pupils who failed to get a place at their preferred school was expected to increase by up to a third compared to last year in some parts of the country following an application surge.Around 115,000 children across England were left disappointed due to a continuing shortage of places, according to analysis by The Good Schools Guide. Jeremy Corbyn and his ex-wife divorced after a disagreement over where to send their son to school Jeremy Corbyn and his ex-wife divorced after a disagreement over where to send their son to school Credit:REX Shutterstock Ms Edwards said that her cases have included parents with differing views over whether to send their children to religious school or not, private versus state and boarding versus day.  “I was acting for someone who felt very strongly he wanted his child to go to local state but wife felt equally strongly about private. He felt morally he preferred state,” Ms Edwards said. read more

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Tech giants threaten to pull out of UK if new regulator gets

IA is also arguing that forcing social media companies to build a “backdoor” into message encryption for the police and security services would “undermine civil liberties” and that allowing a regulator to investigate their secret algorithms would be “unfair”…. Tech giants are threatening to pull out of the UK if a new law allows senior executives to be prosecuted, the Telegraph has learned. The Internet Association (IA), the official lobbying arm for companies including Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and Microsoft, has warned the Government that arming a new online regulator with such powers would create “a disincentive for existing businesses to continue to provide their services in the UK.” read more

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Research into discovering Australias mineral resources

first_imgNext week, IM will report extensively on the CSIRO’s Minerals Down Under Flagship research. We begin today with exploration. Australia’s share of global mineral exploration spending has decreased from 20% in 1996 to 13% in 2009 (up from 11.9% in 2007) and there has been a corresponding drop in new discoveries. CSIRO is working to reverse this trend and assist the mineral exploration sector to find new minerals to replace those we have already mined. AuScope Grid consortium – Mineral explorers have found it difficult to access and manipulate publicly available geological data held in different databases around Australia. AuScope through the Minerals Down Under Flagship and partners have developed the AuScope Grid to seamlessly share geoscience data. Technologies developed by AuScope as part of the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy are now being deployed beyond the Earth Sciences through a new study collaboratively funded via the Australian National data Service which will deploy groundwater and environmental data sets through the web. Integration of these data sets with more traditional geological data promises to unlock new value from these traditionally disparate data sets.Towards a mineral map of the Australian continent – One of the Flagship’s longer-term goals is to develop a new suite of publicly available 2D and 3D mineral maps of the Australian continent that can enhance not just exploration effort across Australia, but also other applications such as soil mapping for agriculture and water catchment modelling. This goal is now achievable because of the emergence of a new suite of satellite, airborne and drill core logging hyperspectral technologies and related geoscience information processing and delivery systems.Northeast Yilgarn hydrogeochemical mapping project – This MERIWA-supported project is investigating if large mineral systems can be seen at 5-8 km sample spacing – and through cover – in the groundwater chemistry. It also provides geochemical background data and crucial information on water quality for human and livestock consumption. The data show significant trends relating gold and uranium to major ore systems and is also delineating other areas that may have mineralisation that are currently under-explored.HyLoggers delivered to State Surveys – As part of the AuScope National Virtual Core Library project activity, CSIRO has delivered six HyLogger hyperspectral core logging systems to the State and Northern Territory Geological Surveys. A seventh instrument will be leased to the Geological Survey of Victoria. unprecedented rate to provide new perspectives on the 3D structure of ore systems with implications for exploration, mining and processing.For more details on any of these: Jonathan Law, +61 3 9545 8764, Jonathan.Law@csiro.aulast_img read more

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Federal Government attitude and rising costs not helping Australias declining gold industry

first_imgThe Federal Government has been slammed for further jeopardising investment in Australia’s gold sector at a time the sector was described today as being “a long time between major gold discovery drinks”. Addressing the first day in Perth today of the Paydirt 2012 Australian Gold Conference, Integra Mining’s Managing Director, Chris Cairns, said that despite being the third highest export earner for Australia at A$18.9 billion a year, gold remained unloved by the Federal Government. “What we have is a Government which is encouraging industrial disputes, considering expanding the MRRT to other metals and ignores the fact that any idiot can find a coal or iron ore deposit but gold is invariably in highly complex systems which are difficult to find,” Cairns said.“On top of that, the Government is looking at cutting the diesel rebate for our mining trucks – which don’t leave the mine sites and don’t use the public roads which the tax pays for – and is removing exploration expenditures as carried forward tax losses. That action will not encourage gold exploration investment, discovery and therefore contributing gold revenues.”Cairns said it had been a long time between drinks in Australia for major gold discovery – the last being the 5 Moz Tropicana deposit in southern Western Australia – an orebody discovered six years ago. “In the six years since Tropicana, Australia has produced 40-50 Moz of gold but the best recent discovery of 5-6 million ounces was made 7 years ago so our discoveries are not replacing the volumes mined.”Cairns said Australian gold production had peaked at 300 t/y in 1999 whereas global gold production peaked in 2001. “The perspective gets skewed because of the really dramatic increase in the gold price which has quintupled over the past 12 years,” he said.“The gold exploration spend has increased but compared to 1990 dollars, has actually decreased by one third compared to the spend in 1997.“What the equities market has to factor in is that of the Top 10 gold producers in Australia, most of them are very mature mines and will be coming offline over the new few years. I expect Australian gold production to ease to around 200 tonnes per annum in the next five to 10 years. Part of the reason for this is that while the gold price is up significantly, the global all-up cost of gold production is $1,100/oz with forecasters predicting a hike by 2017 to around $1,700/oz. So the gold price has been rising but so too have costs so marginal gold mining operations will continue to remain marginal mines.”The Integra head pointed to gold’s grassroots exploration spend which had collapsed from 47% of new deposit discoveries across major minerals in 2004 to 35% in 2011. “We are certainly not looking for gold deposits in the same way we used to in Australia.”A warning was also issued today by one of the sector’s main proponents, the Chamber of Minerals and Energy WA. The biggest challenge facing .Australia’s gold sector is to wind back its alarming rise in production costs where in worst case scenarios they are now nudging $1,200/oz. Addressing the conference, the Chamber’s Director, Damian Callachor, said such a cost profile was “disappointing”.“There are three contributing factors – labor, energy and grade impacts,” Callachor said. “If we do not start constraining our gold production costs, Australia’s gold costs will be comparable to that of the worst performing country to date, South Africa. This is starting to emerge at a time something like 90 countries around the world can claim to be gold producers and are competing for investment dollars from overseas.“Australia will become increasingly less attractive as a gold investment play against this backdrop – let alone the ongoing threat that the minerals resource rent tax will be expanded to include gold in addition to July’s carbon tax imposts.”Callachor said it was easy to overlook the energy intensive nature of gold mining where projects were generally based in regional or remote locations reliant totally or diesel fired energy.“For those lucky enough to be close to or part of a mainstream power grid, those grid costs also increasing alarmingly – and unlike other commodities, increases in gold production costs cannot be passed onto customers. One solution is to use the high price to process more lower grade gold into the mining and processing stream.”Western Australia’s “flat” gold sector contributed 8% of the State’s resources output last year worth royalties to the WA Government of A$4.8 billion.last_img read more

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Mammoet and Scheuerle unveil Trailer Power Assist innovation for heavy mining logistics

first_imgMammoet and Scheuerle (Member of the TII Group) have unveiled the Mammoet Trailer Power Assist (TPA), a new engineered heavy transport solution designed to improve transport efficiency and significantly lower the carbon footprint of major projects around the world. Manufactured by Scheuerle according to Mammoet’s specifications, the first TPA units were unveiled at a ceremony held at Scheuerle’s headquarters in Pfedelbach, Germany.Delivering more traction than any other solution in the powered trailer category, each TPA trailer has a 1,000 horsepower diesel engine powering an innovative new hydraulic drive system. The result is a trailer with twice the pulling force of a conventional prime mover unit but with no ballast requirements. The overall weight and length of transports will be greatly reduced, thus lowering emissions and eliminating the need for multi-truck configurations. In so doing, it will mitigate risks caused by the complexity of steering and breaking. This means a big plus for safety and reliability in heavy transport operations.“Trailer Power Assist is the most efficient, sustainable and cost-effective answer for the complex transport demands of large scale construction projects,” said Jan Kleijn, COO Mammoet. “TPA is the Formula 1 vehicle in heavy transport,” said Bernd Schwengsbier, President of TII SalesThe technologically innovative TPA transport solution is based on the self-propelled K25 modular platform vehicle which hydraulically drives four of the six axle lines by means of a Power Pack Unit (PPU). The transport solution has a number of significant advantages. With a performance of 735 kW (1,000 hp) as well as a traction force of 400 kilonewtons, one vehicle in the version featuring a drive unit and a 6-axle platform trailer replaces two fully loaded heavy-duty truck tractors. Thanks to the modular design the TPA can be coupled together and a network of multiple vehicles means even more power.The TPA has an assisted road speed up to 28 km/h – which is up to 20 times faster than a self-propelled modular transporter (SPMT) solution. Above 28km/h, TPA will switch to freewheel mode, leaving the prime movers to haul the load at up to highway speeds. TPA is designed for international transportation, with permissions in place it is possible to use TPA on public roads in Germany and across Europe.TPA’s hydraulic hub motors can be re-engaged to slow the load down hydrostatically, reducing wear and tear on its brakes, and provide the precision and control required to navigate narrow or winding sections of the route.By reducing the overall weight of the transport – fewer trailers and less or no ballast – TPA improves fuel efficiency. And, by reducing the overall length and number of powered units involved in a transport, TPA reduces complexity, boosts project safety and requires only one driver.“Designed to operate between -40°C and +50°C, TPA is the reliable solution for transporting heavy modules to facilities in remote locations. With four powered axle lines per six-axle trailer, TPA provides supreme traction in difficult conditions. Should power fail on one axle, the remaining three will continue to function and the operation can continue. Once a load has been delivered, TPA units can be towed back to base in freewheel mode with their engines off, again improving efficiency and enhancing the project’s sustainability.”“Mammoet and Scheuerle have a 40-year history of cooperation, collaborating on game-changing engineering solutions in the heavy transport sector, and together developed the self-propelled mobile transporter (SPMT) in the early 1980s. Today SMPTs are an industry standard. The Trailer Power Assist is expected to make a similar impact on the industry.”last_img read more

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Amsterdam pays alcoholics in beer to clean streets

first_imgThey’re no longer in the park, they drink less, they eat better and they have something to keep them busy during the day.“Heroin addicts can go to shooting galleries, so why shouldn’t we also give people beer?” she said.Project participants also say they are happy to be there, all taking part voluntarily.“It gives our lives some structure,” said one alcoholic who asked not to be named.“Lots of us haven’t had any structure in our lives for years, we just don’t know what it is, and so this is good for us,” said Frank.Opinions differPeople living in the neighbourhood also seem happy, greeting the cleaners as they work.“They’re doing something useful instead of hanging out in the park,” said a woman stood on her doorstep, declining to give her name.Opinions however differ about how much the work affects the group’s drinking habits.“When I get home, I’ve already had a busy day and I don’t necessarily want to drink,” said Vincent, 48, a former baker.“We also feel satisfied, a job well done, contributing to society despite the fact that we drink,” he said.“What’s also good is that the beer they give us is light, 5 per cent, not 11 per cent or 12 per cent like I used to drink,” he said.Frank is more sceptical. He said:Of course we drink in a more structured way, but I don’t think that we drink less. When we leave here, we go to the supermarket and transform the 10 euro we earned into beers…And when the group isn’t working, the old habits return.“When the supermarket opens at 8am, we’re the first there so we can get some drinks,” he said.- © AFP, 2013Dutch test new system to tackle traffic bans>Irish people are drinking 700 times more than we should> AT NINE O’CLOCK in the morning in a garden shed behind a house in Amsterdam, a handful of alcoholics are getting ready to clean the surrounding streets, beer and cigarette in hand.For a day’s work, the men receive €10, a half-packet of rolling tobacco and, most importantly, five cans of beer: two to start the day, two at lunch and one for after work.“This group of chronic alcoholics was causing a nuisance in Amsterdam’s Oosterpark: fights, noise, disagreeable comments to women,” said Gerrie Holterman, who heads the Rainbow Foundation project, financed by the Dutch state and donations.“The aim is to keep them occupied, to get them doing something so they no longer cause trouble at the park,” she told AFP.The alcoholics are split into two groups of around 10 people, with each group working three days a week.Shocking or pragmatic?This approach to the problem of anti-social behaviour demonstrates typical Dutch pragmatism which could be found shocking in other countries, but not here.The day begins at around 9am, with the workers drinking two beers and some coffee, if desired, before going to clean the streets.Sat at a large table, Gerrie carefully notes each person’s beer consumption, but there is an atmosphere of trust: if she gets called away, the alcoholics themselves record how much they have drunk.“I think I can speak for the group and say that if they didn’t give us beers then we wouldn’t come,” said Frank, wearing a fluorescent street cleaner’s bib and carrying a bin bag and litter-grabber.“We need alcohol to function, that’s the disadvantage of chronic alcoholism,” said the 45-year-old.Frank says he has been jailed for violence, has never worked for anyone and has no fixed abode.‘Gives our lives structure’For lunch, the team returns to the shed where they get two beers and a warm meal, before heading off again for the afternoon shift.The working day ends with a final beer at around 3.30pm.“You have to see things like this: everyone benefits,” said Gerrie.last_img read more

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Column In Irish America theres far more to the celebration of St

first_imgMUCH ATTENTION HAS been paid in recent months to the exclusion of the LGBT community from the St Patrick’s Day parades in Manhattan and in Boston. The decision of newly elected New York Mayor Bill de Blasio not to march in his city’s parade is noteworthy in that it represents a departure from the practice of his predecessors.Yet the reticence of Boston’s new Irish American mayor, Martin Walsh, to march, is nothing new. Because of the parade organisers’ move to ban openly gay and lesbian participants, bolstered by a unanimous 1995 US Supreme Court decision confirming that they have a right to do so, it’s been two decades since Boston’s first citizen did march.There is far more, however, to the celebration of Ireland’s national day in Irish America than parades. As someone born and raised in the Boston area, it’s important to clarify that our city’s parade doesn’t even take place in the city centre, but in the historically heavily Irish neighbourhood of South Boston.The paradeIn the past, the parade was largely a local event for the people of South Boston. Although it might understandably seem strange to outsiders, it is an event at least as dedicated to honouring US military veterans as to celebrating all things Irish. That parade organisers are now under severe pressure to include the LGBT community is as much a testimony to the dramatic changes in the neighbourhood – many long-time residents have left and scores of newcomers have moved in – as to anything else.Not being from the neighbourhood, I’ve only been to the parade a handful of times, when friends who either had moved there or who were Southie natives invited me. Accordingly, it was not ordinarily a focal point of St Patrick’s Day for me and lots of other Boston Irish.What are likely to be the most prominent elements of 2014’s weekend-long celebrations in America’s most Irish city then? And how do these compare with what will be happening here?The religious aspect of a day that, after all, commemorates the life of a saint is infinitely more pronounced and visible in Irish America than in Ireland. In Boston, especially, the notion of being Irish is inextricably intertwined with being Catholic. As a student in a Catholic primary school, Mass in our adjacent parish church was always the first order of business on March 17th, which was typically followed by a programme of Irish entertainment from our school’s numerous accomplished Irish dancers and musicians, most of whom were the daughters and sons of emigrants from the west of Ireland. The churches of the Boston archdiocese will surely be packed again this Monday with people for whom St Patrick’s is a holy day, as well as a time for revelling in their Irish heritage.Ancestral pride in a relatively young country of immigrantsThe vigour with which Irishness will be trumpeted, as being distinct from other nationalities and ethnicities in a heterogeneous US, is an example of clear transatlantic difference that will similarly be in evidence this weekend. There is no question that some of the images of St Patrick’s Day in America broadcast around the world are over the top, twee and, frankly, embarrassing. Claims of Irishness, whether legitimate or not, advanced by many Americans on this day above any other equally provoke disdain from some people on this island.By way of explanation, the images are, to an extent, manifestations of pride in their ancestry from people who inhabit a relatively young country of immigrants. Moreover, notwithstanding the fact that exceedingly tenuous claims of Irishness may be made, Irish visitors to Boston invariably meet genuine Irish Americans with close ties to here and a comprehensive understanding of Irish history, geography, politics or sport. But yes, tweed caps, Aran sweaters, green everything and unverifiable declarations of county connections will be hard to escape in Boston this weekend. And what harm?Perhaps unusually, politics is another big element of the celebrations in Boston. The annual StPatrick’s Day political breakfast in South Boston draws a substantial number of elected officials from throughout Massachusetts and at least one Government Minister from Ireland. It sometimes features national politicians and is closely monitored by political observers. Traditionally, the state senator representing South Boston has served as host of the breakfast. And the state senators – Powers, Bulger, Lynch and Hart among them – were all Irish Americans, until now.The changing face of Irish AmericaIn 2013, Linda Dorcena Forry, a Haitian American whose husband’s family publishes the Boston Irish Reporter, was elected state senator and will host the breakfast. She has been to Ireland several times and proudly asserts her “Irishness by marriage.” Senator Dorcena Forry, who has reportedly been working for weeks on her hosting and joke telling skills, is an embodiment of the continuing changes in her city and her multi-racial children are a welcome part of the ever-expanding fabric of Irish America.Lastly, just as in Ireland, alcohol will be a dominant presence in Irish America on March 17th. In Boston, at least one Irish pub will open its doors at 6 AM. The others will have massive lines outside and will collect exorbitant cover charges (up to $100) from customers all day and night long just to walk in the door. It’s a pity that so many see the day exclusively as an excuse to get absolutely inebriated. I’m no prude and will certainly be having a few pints myself; I just hope people there and here stay safe and remember that it’s not just about alcohol.St Patrick’s Day is about celebrating Irishness – and it’s a party that innumerable millions around the globe want to come to. All things considered, it’s an extraordinary occasion every year.Larry Donnelly is a Boston attorney, Law Lecturer at NUI Galway and political columnist with IrishCentral.com.Read: The all-important weather report for the bank holiday weekendRead: The Irish show Berlin how to celebrate St Paddy’s Daylast_img read more

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Gwyneth Paltrow claims a skier is suing her to exploit her fame

first_imgGwyneth Paltrow claims a skier is suing her to exploit her ‘fame and wealth’ The incident happened in 2016. By Associated Press Image: SIPA USA/PA Images Feb 21st 2019, 3:24 PM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Thursday 21 Feb 2019, 3:24 PM ACTRESS GWYNETH PALTROW has said that a man who accused her in a lawsuit of crashing into him at a Utah ski resort was actually the culprit in the collision and is trying to exploit her celebrity and wealth.Paltrow was skiing with her children and friends in 2016 during a family holiday at Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah, when Terry Sanderson smashed into her from behind and delivered a full “body blow,’ the actress’ attorney alleged.Paltrow said she was shaken by the collision and quit skiing for the day.She said Sanderson apologised and said he was fine, her response to Sanderson’s lawsuit said. Paltrow previously denied blame for the crash in a statement but had not offered a full version of the events.“She did not knock him down,” Paltrow’s court filing said. “He knocked her down. He was not knocked out.”Paltrow, known for her roles in Shakespeare in Love and Iron Man movies and her lifestyle company named goop, said her injuries were minor and that she is seeking “symbolic damages” of $1 plus costs for her lawyers’ fees. Her legal response to Sanderson also called his lawsuit an “attempt to exploit her celebrity and wealth”.Paltrow’s account differs greatly from the sequence of the events on 26 February 2016,  alleged by Sanderson in his lawsuit filed last month. He said Paltrow was skiing out of control and knocked him out, leaving him with a concussion and four broken ribs. He referred to it as a “hit and run” and is seeking $3.1 million in damages.Sanderson, a retired Salt Lake City optometrist, told reporters on the day he sued that he waited to file the lawsuit for nearly three years because he had problems with attorneys and could not function properly because of the concussion.Sanderson’s attorney, Robert Sykes, said his client’s version of events is the truth and corroborated by a friend he was skiing with who saw Paltrow hit Sanderson from behind.“It is unfortunate that Ms Paltrow would fail to tell the truth about what happened,” Sykes said.Sanderson’s lawsuit and Paltrow’s response both cite an incident report filed by a Deer Valley ski instructor.The instructor, who was skiing with Paltrow’s 9-year-old son, said Sanderson was uphill and hit Paltrow from behind. He said she had been making short turns as she skied behind her children, who were getting lessons downhill from her on the same trail, according to the report provided to The Associated Press by the actress’s attorney through the actress’ spokeswoman, Heather Wilson. The report will be an exhibit in the court case, Wilson said.But the instructor said in his report said he did not actually see the collision and only heard Paltrow scream and hit the ground. He did not explain how he knew that Sanderson caused the collision. 19 Comments Short URL https://jrnl.ie/4506047 Image: SIPA USA/PA Images Share2 Tweet Email 25,262 Views last_img read more

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Higuain reveals why he left Turin

first_imgFormer Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain who is on loan at Milan has revealed that the decision to leave Juventus was made for him.Pipita was so loved by the Bianconeri that it became a surprise when he left Turin. However, the striker has taken his time to explain why.“That’s not a question for me. I played for Juventus, everyone knows what I won there and how much I gave to Juventus. The decision was not mine, it was made by others. Milan then showed that they wanted me and I came here,” Higuain said via Football Italia.“I think the reaction of the Juve players tonight proves I was loved there.”Romelu Lukaku, Inter MilanLukaku backed to beat Ronaldo in Serie A scoring charts Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Former Inter Milan star Andy van der Meyde is confident Romelu Lukaku will outscore Cristiano Ronaldo in this season’s Serie A.During Juventus Vs Milan clash on Sunday, Higuain had demanded to take the penalty against his former teammate Wojciech Szczesny, who saved it.“Szczesny moved first, that’s why he got it. I thought it was going into the side-netting, it was a great save. Only those who take penalties can miss them, it’s easy to say afterwards that it was wrong.”“I took the responsibility, I felt good about taking it. I think at the end of the day, we’ve got to keep our heads up because we played well against a very strong Juventus side.”last_img read more

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There is good news for Bury FC

first_imgBury’s potential re-entry into the English Football League is being studied by the EFL following the team’s expulsion last week.Bury Football Club was expelled from the English Football League Two last week after the owner failed to sell the club.But today there seems to be good news for the century-old club.“We think this is common sense. We think it’s very positive and we welcome the news,” club’s general manager Scott Johnson said according to Sky Sports.Police will investigate fraud allegations at Bury FC Manuel R. Medina – September 3, 2019 According to the Greater Manchester Police, the department will conduct an investigation to see what happened at Bury Football Club.“What we’ll do now is prepare and move forward and assist Bury Football Club’s application to the Football Association.”“If we were to be relegated to League Two we would obviously still have the football league status and my understanding is that one of the buyers would still be prepared to purchase the club,” he added.“Of course, if we are re-admitted it does set a precedent, not just for Bury Football Club but any other club that does get into difficulty.”“Football is very reciprocal, you can get promoted or relegated and fall into difficulties and it is important that everyone is looked after in the football family going forward,” the director concluded.last_img read more

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8yearold girl with 3Dprinted hand throws out first pitch at Padres game

first_img— Haileys_hand (@haileys_hand) March 20, 2018Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Update. 25 of 27 confirmed. @Dbacks @Rockies @Dodgers @Padres @SFGiants @Cubs @Brewers @Pirates @Cardinals @Braves @Marlins @Mets @Phillies @Angels @Athletics @Mariners @Rangers @Indians @whitesox @tigers @Royals @Twins @Yankees @RaysBaseball @BlueJays pic.twitter.com/kj1MVACKtS SAN DIEGO (WSVN) – Eight-year-old Hailey Dawson stepped up to the mound Saturday and threw out the first pitch for the San Diego Padres.Hailey was born with Poland Syndrome, a birth defect that left her without three fingers on her right hand, but it hasn’t stopped her.Hailey has a 3D-printed hand that allows her to grab, grasp and even throw a baseball. The 3D-printed hand has been three years in the making. Students and faculty from Hughes College of Engineering collaborated to make the creation.Now, with her 3D-printed hand, Hailey and her family are using their love for baseball to create awareness about Poland Syndrome.Hailey’s goal is to eventually throw out a pitch at all 30 MLB parks. She has previously pitched for the Washington Nationals, Baltimore Orioles and game four of the World Series in 2017. The Padres were Hailey’s fourth stop in her “Journey to 30.”Hailey is slated to throw the first pitch at 24 more MLB parks this year, including Marlins Park on August 10.last_img read more

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Reducing food waste to feed hungry Alaskans

first_imgEvery year, 133 billion lbs. of food end up in landfills in the United States. That’s 31 percent of the country’s food supply. To curb that, today the federal government announced it’s first-ever food waste reduction goals. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced they aim to reduce waste by 50 percent by 2030. But some stores in Alaska are already doing what they can to reduce their waste, and feed hungry Alaskans.Download AudioStephen Longnecker stands beside the reduced price produce stand in Fred Meyer in Anchorage. (Hillman/KSKA)Fred Meyer Store Director Stephen Longnecker strides through the store, greeting everyone he sees.“Hector, how are you?” he says, smiling at an employee. “What’s the count down to vacation?”He knows the names of all 289 of his coworkers. He also knows what’s going to sell in his grocery store and what’s not.“In our business, Back to School season, overnight, with the flip of a switch you may go from selling one unit of pint-sized milk to a hundred units in a day.”Longnecker steps into the massive dairy refrigerator and slips into back office business speak. They have sales histories, metrics and data that help him order the right amount of each product for each season. But the calculations aren’t perfect. Sometimes cranberry sauce just isn’t popular that year, or they have a couple of random items that just won’t be bought before they expire. And sometimes a pallet full of bananas is still good enough to eat but not pretty enough to sell.“That banana’s traveled a long way by the time it gets to Alaska, and at times you will find you have some product that we’re not going to be able to sell our way out of,” Longnecker says.So instead, it’s donated to the Food Bank. Last year, Anchorage Fred Meyer stores donated 283,000 pounds. Longnecker says they started donating the perishable food instead of throwing it away about five years ago. Since then, Kroger, the company that owns Fred Meyer, has reduced their costs for disposing of waste by 70% nationwide.The produce display at Fred Meyer on Abbot in Anchorage. What doesn’t sell will be donated. (Hillman/KSKA)“And that’s pretty revolutionary for all of us because it cut the costs of expenses in a big way, and it also really benefits our communities.”In 2014, Alaska’s food industry donated nearly 4.9 million pounds of food to the Food Bank. Twenty-seven percent of that was produce. That’s a big change from nine years ago when the Food Bank couldn’t offer individual families much in the way of fresh fruits and veggies. Food Bank Development Director Karla Jutzi says that’s what people want to buy to stay healthy, but they can’t afford it.“People in need tell us they know they are buying high calorie, highly processed food that’s not very good for them, but they can more of that for their dollar than they can get healthy fresh food,” she explains. “So that’s why having fresh produce and other fresh food available from our food industry partners makes a huge difference for folks who can’t afford it themselves.”Jutzi says even community gardeners are bringing in fresh produce. It’s distributed through the mobile food pantries. Jutzi says they do receive some donations that are too far gone to give to people, so they try to give as much as possible to local pig farmers.Other stores donate directly to food pantries, like St. Francis House, giving about 25 grocery carts full of food and bread every week.Back at Fred Meyer, Longnecker says they do have to throw away some unsafe foods. A composting system is still a few years away.Heading past the towering shelves of goods in the storage area and back into the main store, Longnecker presents me with a disposable white hairnet and we proceed into the meat department.Food manager and former butcher Anthony Gurule slices into a stack of short ribs, the massive saw screeching like an angry bird.The meat display at Fred Meyer in southeast Anchorage. What doesn’t sell will be donated. (Hillman/KSKA)He starts trimming the sides of the meat. Bits of red flesh are tossed into a pile to be ground into burgers. The rubbery white fat is set aside in a box. In the Lower 48, it’s sold to companies that render it into makeup and other goods. In Anchorage, “we will sell all of this right here to a lot of hunters in hunting season,” Gurule explains. Hunters add it to ground moose and caribou to help make sausage and burgers.“We do our best to be as streamlined as best we can and keep as minimal waste as possible. Somebody will buy something. They’ll all buy something.”With that, he lines up the ribs on a white Styrofoam tray, ready to pack them up and put them on the sales floor. If they don’t sell, they’ll be frozen and put aside to be donated to the Food Bank.last_img read more

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Nikiski residents in limbo after LNG land grab

first_imgBill Warren, in the home on land he says he was negotiating to sell to the Alaska LNG project on Sept. 25, 2016 in Nikiski, Alaska. Warren, and others in Nikiski, say they are unsure what will happen to their land as the project transitions to state control. (Photo by Rashah McChesney, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Juneau)Over the last two years, the Alaska LNG project bought about 630 acres of land in Nikiski, on the Kenai Peninsula. That’s where the state and its partners hoped to build a giant natural gas liquefaction plant — and several homes were razed.Listen Now But now, the project’s future is uncertain — and so is the fate of that land. Those left behind in Nikiski aren’t sure what the community will look like going forward.Bill Warren’s house at the end of a long gravel driveway, tucked into the trees near a bend on the Kenai Spur Highway. It’s easy to miss. The driveway just south of his is on land owned by the Alaska LNG Project LLC. The lot is vacant and papered with no trespassing signs.There used to be a house there.“They tore it down. I built it and my mother lived in it,” Warren said.Warren is one of the holdouts in this neighborhood.They’re among the many residents of this small, unincorporated community whose properties butt up against land owned by the Alaska LNG project. But, for whatever reason, they refused to sell.Since 2014, the state’s three oil company partners in the Alaska LNG project — ExxonMobil, BP and ConocoPhillips — bought nearly 150 parcels of land in Nikiski.The area could eventually house a massive plant where North Slope natural gas would be processed and then exported.But, for now, all of that’s on hold.This illustration shows a rendition of what the liquefaction plant in Nikiski could look like if the Alaska LNG project is completed as planned. (Image courtesy of the Alaska LNG project.)On some of the land, the companies tore down the houses. It’s not clear when — or if — the promised project will replace them.Warren is not happy.“Well, they ruined us. I always call us a village,” Warren said. “We were a bona fide village here with people and businesses and they just cut a swath through here. Cut 600 acres out, tore the houses down and left us and I don’t like it.”Warren has been in Nikiski since 1969, and he’s no stranger to industrial development.Just to the north of his home, the ConocoPhillips and Agrium docks jut out into the inlet. There’s a tank farm nearby. Helicopters regularly hug the shoreline and fly along the bluff in front of his property.He shows off a cabin he built using money from Exxon — paid to him in exchange for putting a road through a thicket of his trees.“We’ve been working on it all summer. It’s a nice little, cute little place,” he said, pointing at the small cabin perched on the edge of his bluff.There are no trees blocking his panorama of the Cook Inlet, just a mind-boggling expanse of sky and water.The Redoubt volcano looms on the horizon — and, of course, there are the offshore platforms.Warren’s a welder. He helped build a lot of the infrastructure in Nikiski.And all that infrastructure is one reason the Alaska LNG partners chose Nikiski as the end of the line for North Slope natural gas.The Nikiski industrial area has four major petrochemical-processing facilities and is one of the largest existing industrial complexes in Alaska.With low oil and gas prices challenging the economics of the megaproject, ExxonMobil, BP and ConocoPhillips announced that they wouldn’t invest in the next stage of the project.Now, the workers on the Kenai Peninsula taking soil samples and testing the water are gone, and the project has shut down its land purchase office. The state has taken over the project, but details on the transition are hard to come by.Warren said he got a letter in September from Paragon Properties, the company handling land purchases for the project. It said they were suspending negotiations.And that leaves people like him in limbo.“It’s left us where we don’t really own our property. I mean, we do legally. But our plans, our hopes, our dreams  we can act on because it’s all on hold,” he said.Those 630 acres in Nikiski are a linchpin of the state’s plans to take over the project.If the state wants to move forward with permitting the project, then it must prove to the Department of Energy and the Federal Energy Regulatory Authority that it has access to that land.“You have to show that you have control of the land — either through ownership of the land, a long-term lease on the land or the option to buy the land. Because, without land, just like without a pipeline, without gas, without financing, you don’t have a project. And, the agencies are not going to accept a hypothetical project unless you can show that you have control of that land,” said Larry Persily, Kenai Peninsula Borough oil and gas adviser.Persily said the federal government doesn’t care how the state works out a deal with the companies that currently own the land — buying it or signing a long-term lease — just that it does.The state hasn’t released any details about how it’s going to do that.It’s not clear whether the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, which is heading up the state’s effort, has the money to buy nearly $30 million worth of land.The corporation wouldn’t make anyone available to talk about its plans.In a written statement, spokeswoman Rosetta Alcantra said it is currently negotiating with the producers.The lack of information has left residents frustrated.Rep. Mike Chenault. (Photo by Skip Gray/Gavel Alaska)House Speaker Mike Chenault, R-Kenai, whose district includes Nikiski, said the flurry of land buying in the area raised expectations in the community — expectations that now may not be met.“I’ve tried to explain to folks, they can go buy 600 acres of land. It’s $20 million or whatever. That’s nothing compared to a $65 billion project,” Chenault said.For Warren, that hope has given away to frustration.He tends to get worked up when he thinks about the future.He’s become a well-known fixture on the local morning talk-radio circuit, calling in to complain about what the project has done to the community.“I’m fearless. What the hell can they do to me? I’m 75 years old and they can’t withdraw me from work or anything and I pay my taxes, so they gotta listen,” he said. “Imagine cutting a swath through Anchorage like that.”If the Alaska LNG project does go forward, then it will need another 200 acres to piece together the site for its Nikiski plant.last_img read more

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Expect fireworks in digital wallet space PayPal starts payment services in India

first_imgReutersAmerican payments aggregator major PayPal launched its domestic operations in India. With the launch, Indian customers — both customers and merchants — now can do domestic transactions.Until now, PayPal was offering cross-border payment options to merchants in India for close to a decade, reported Business Today.”Both customers and merchants will be able to use the PayPal platform within India. We will also be providing one touch option for making payments through Facebook Messenger,” said Rohan Mahadevan, senior vice-president and chief executive for Asia Pacific.The firm has not yet decided on the launch of its payment wallet in India. In future, the company is willing to offer its other products like working capital to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), consumer credit, peer-to-peer transactions and remittances.”We are still examining the prepaid instrument guidelines. MSME will be a key focus sector for us,” said  Anupam Pahuja, managing director for PayPal India.PayPal accounts for nearly a third of the total business to customer export transactions in India.Post the note ban on November 8, 2016, Paytm, India’s largest digital payment firm, witnessed a monumental rise in the company’s user base, making a quantum jump from 140 million in October of 2016 to 270 million in November 2017.It makes good sense for global major like PayPal to enter the Indian market and broaden their business. The company stated that customers will be eligible for free returns and can claim refunds up to six months from the date of purchase.”It has been a year since demonetisation drive was announced. While a lot of people have started transacting digitally, it also exposes people to risks like theft and fraud. We will offer them a secure and fast means of transacting,” said Mahadevan.PayPal’s entery to Indian market will be give tough competition to home-grown digital payment companies like Paytm, Mobikwik and government-lauched BHIM app.last_img read more

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Microsoft Black Friday Deals on Xbox One X Forza Horizon 4 and

first_imgBlack Friday is almost upon us, and Microsoft has officially revealed their 2018 deals. Some outlets, including Target, Best Buy, and Walmart have already revealed some of these sales, but we now have a more complete idea of what to expect. These deals should be available at pretty much every major, and not-so-major, retailer you can name.Some of the best deals being offered include a Minecraft 1TB Xbox One S bundle for $200 and Xbox One X for $400 – the biggest discount to date on Microsoft’s souped-up console. Some major 2018 Microsoft exclusives, including Forza Horizon 4 and Sea of Thieves, are also being discounted. You can check out the full Microsoft Black Friday lineup, below.Hardware and PeripheralsXbox One X for $399.99Xbox One S Minecraft Creators Bundle for $200All other Xbox One console bundles get a $70 discountXbox Wireless Controllers $10 off. Includes custom controllers from the Xbox Design Lab.GamesForza Motorsport 7 – $25 (50% off)Sea of Thieves  – $30 (50% off)Forza Horizon 4 – $40 (35% off)State of Decay 2 – $20 (35% off)PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds – $20 (35% off)Super Lucky’s Tale – $13 (35% off)Disneyland Adventures – $13 (35% off)Rush: A Disney Pixar Adventure – $13 (35% off)Zoo Tycoon: Ultimate Animal Collection – $13 (35% off)Also, don’t forget, this holiday season new subscribers can get their first month of Xbox Game Pass for only $1. Microsoft is adding some major new games to the service, including PUBG, so you may want to check it out.Microsoft’s Black Friday sales kick off on November 18 and will continue until November 26. Xbox Live Gold subscribers will be able to grab some early bargains via the Microsoft Store on November 15. What do you think? See any deals you just can’t pass up? Share Tweet Submitlast_img read more

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Costa Rica promoted at tourism fairs this week in France and Brazil

first_imgRelated posts:Weekend tourism fair hopes to draw local tourists with special travel deals Costa Rica could launch 7 new airline routes and add 2 carriers this year Tourism sector wants government support to boost competitiveness Costa Rica’s health tourism market topic of upcoming forum Tourism officials and business representatives this week are promoting Costa Rican destinations at two international tourism fairs in Europe and South America.Officials from the Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT) and representatives from 11 tourism businesses, including hotels, tour operators and car rentals, among others, are participating in the international tourism fair Top Resa in Paris, France, held Wednesday to Friday.Tourism Minister Wilhelm von Breymann noted that France is the third largest source of European tourists, following Spain and Germany.“Top Resa is one of the most important events for Costa Rica as it brings together thousands of people in the industry,” the tourism minister said.Participants hail from 152 countries, and the fair is an opportunity to network and learn about innovative products, he added.According to the ICT, just under 40,000 French travelers visited Costa Rica last year, primarily drawn by nature-related activities, sustainable tourism and volcanoes. French tourists stayed in the country an average of 14 nights and spent about $96 per day, the report added.The ICT also joined local tourism business owners in São Paulo, Brazil, at the International Fair of the Brazilian Association of Travel Agencies, AVAB 2014, held Wednesday to Sunday.“The AVAB Fair is the country’s most important [tourism fair], bringing together 80 percent of the market share of Brazilian travel agencies,” ICT Marketing Director Alejandro Castro said.“Most Brazilians who visit our country rely on a travel agency, so it’s important to influence [the agencies],” he said.For the Costa Rican Tourism Board, recent efforts to promote this country as a destination in Brazil and elsewhere began before the FIFA World Cup earlier this year. During the World Cup, Costa Rica promotional campaigns took place in several newspapers and TV stations across the world.ICT officials say Brazil has important potential for the tourism market. Last year, 15,934 Brazilians traveled to Costa Rica, staying an average of 13 nights and spending about $125 a day. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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