New Halifax court to try therapeutic approach to domestic violence cases

first_imgHALIFAX – A new domestic violence court is set to open in Nova Scotia next month, moving cases from the traditional slow-moving, adversarial justice system to one that aims to quickly put a stop to the abuse.The court, presided over by Judge Amy Sakalauskas, will hear its first case on the eve of International Women’s Day next month at Halifax provincial court.“The criminal court process isn’t always the most appropriate to deal with these very complicated cases involving human interaction, dysfunction and difficulties,” said Pamela Williams, chief judge of the Provincial and Family Courts of Nova Scotia.The court will take only those who accept responsibility by pleading guilty, and use “more of a problem-solving, therapeutic approach,” she said.Abusers are thoroughly assessed, and given education and therapy that could last five to 25 weeks. Only then will they be sentenced — a reversal from how it usually works.“What will help in domestic violence court is the victim and the accused will be offered services at the get-go,” said Dolly Mosher, victim services co-ordinator with Halifax Regional Police.Many provinces have had similar courts for years, but Nova Scotia only created its first permanent domestic violence court in Sydney in last year’s provincial budget, after a four-year pilot project.The Halifax court opens March 7, with an annual budget of $600,000.It’s a sweeping change from the current approach to domestic violence cases, which often take many months to wind through the criminal justice system, Williams said.“Although matters were coming before the courts and people were charged, the reality was that we were having difficulty with either the accused not showing up for the trials or the victim didn’t feel comfortable coming forward,” said Williams.Recent figures underscore the need for a new approach to domestic assault in Nova Scotia.In 2016, there were 2,462 victims of police-reported violence committed by an intimate partner in the province, an increase of more than five per cent from the year before, according to Statistics Canada figures compiled for the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women.Female victims of intimate partner abuse, meanwhile, rose nearly eight per cent to 1,913 in 2016 from 1,778 in 2015.The new court aims to curb these numbers through a focus on early intervention and rehabilitation. Mosher said that means education and counselling will come when the abuser is often more remorseful and willing to change.“A lot of them grew up with constant fighting and arguing. They saw Grandpa beat Grandma and they don’t know any other way,” Mosher said. “A lot of men say they want help.”As with Nova Scotia’s special court for opioid addicts, the new court represents a shift away from simply punishing behaviours rooted in complex societal problems.It’s also part of an ongoing shift away from an era when domestic violence was largely dismissed a private matter.In the past, only the most egregious cases of intimate partner abuse would lead to charges and even then, an assault that involved spouses was seen as a family law issue rather than a criminal law issue, Williams said.Although sexual assault against a spouse became an offence in 1983, and the Criminal Code was amended to clarify consent issues a decade later, in the past police remained reluctant to intervene in domestic disputes.But a series of high-profile homicides and growing awareness about violence against women in the mid-1990s prompted a number of provinces — including Nova Scotia — to adopt a zero-tolerance approach to domestic abuse.“Nova Scotia was in line with a national movement to recognize that domestic violence is a crime,” Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Gillis said in an email. “The pro-arrest, pro-charge, pro-prosecution policy, was put in place to take the burden off the victim to press charges.”Now, if police find evidence of an assault, they have to press charges, Mosher said.“Women will have blood running down their face and say ‘No, he never hit me. I hit my eye on the corner of the door,” she said. “Women who have been in the system or abusive relationships for a long time come up with really good excuses of how they got hurt, and police are trained for that.”But while the zero-tolerance policy has been effective at ensuring police treat spousal abuse as a criminal matter, the justice system has historically been less equipped at responding to intimate partner violence, said Claudia Mann, court services director with the Department of Justice.“The criminal justice system is set up really as an adversarial process that basically assumes there is no ongoing relationship between the perpetrator and person who has been harmed,” she said. “A specialty court where everyone involved is trained in the dynamics of intimate partner violence makes the criminal justice system response more nimble.”Mosher said many assaults are plead out to a peace bond — meaning, the abuser promises to stay away — because “at the end of the day, the woman just wants him out of her life and doesn’t want him to be allowed to contact her.”But in cases with children involved or when accused is the breadwinner, women just want the abuse to end, and a peace bond forbidding contact is unrealistic, she said.“They don’t necessarily want their partners to be prosecuted,” Mann added. “They want the violence to stop, they want the behaviour to stop, they want their children and themselves to be safe. But they don’t necessarily welcome state intervention.”Abuse is often exacerbated by mental health, addictions or similar issues. The court has ushered in community-based groups that can help address the problems and assist with long-term change once the court-ordered program wraps up.Williams said the “million-dollar question” is whether one sitting a week — on Wednesdays — will be enough to meet demand for the program, but she said it’s possible it could be expanded in the future.Mann said some cases of domestic violence will still require a “traditional approach” and a criminal trial. But she sees the potential of a different kind of court.“We have a lot of expertise at the table. We are trying to be more open to what the victim wants from the process in a way we haven’t been able to.”last_img read more

Imagine Dragons To Perform At LOVELOUD Festival

first_imgImagine Dragons will perform at LOVELOUD on August 26, a concert designed to ignite the relevant and vital conversation of what it means to unconditionally love, understand, accept, and support LGBTQ+ youth in our communities.Video: LOVELOUD FestivalThe LOVELOUD concert will be held on August 26, 2017 in Orem, Utah at the Brent Brown Ballpark at UVU.“I want the LOVELOUD concert to engage a passionate and supportive audience in the fight against teen suicide and to bring communities together to start the conversation and celebrate individuality,” said Imagine Dragons singer Dan Reynolds. “We want to offer hope to young people, let them know they’re not alone and encourage acceptance in the home and community.”One of the most troubling issues with a lack of communication or an absence of acceptance amongst young people in the LGBTQ+ community is teen suicide. The numbers are staggering. Consider the following: • Suicide is the leading cause of teen deaths in Utah. • LGBTQ+ youth that come from a home or community where they are not accepted are eight times more likely to commit suicide.“LOVELOUD is committed to creating a community of inclusion,” continued Reynolds. “Our goal is to create support and resources for those in crisis, specifically by providing insight into recognizing and helping those in need, resources to those wanting to learn more, and guidance on how to more effectively start a conversation with family and friends.”LOVELOUD Fest will feature live music from Imagine Dragons, Neon Trees, Krewella, Nicholas Petricca of Walk The Moon (Acoustic), Joshua James, and Aja Volkman; all of whom are donating their time and performances to this cause. All proceeds from this concert will go to the LOVELOUD Foundation which lends support to various charities such as Encircle and Stand4Kind, as well as national charities, The Trevor Project and GLAAD.Doors open for the LOVELOUD concert at 5:00pm and the music begins at 6:00pm. The festival will feature food, beverages, and a number of other activities for fans of all ages and interests. The goal is to make the LOVELOUD concert an annual event in Utah, around the United States, and the world. For more information about the 2017 LOVELOUD concert or to purchase tickets now, visit was founded in 2017 by Dan Reynolds, the lead singer of Imagine Dragons to help ignite the relevant and vital conversation of what it means to unconditionally love, understand, accept, and support LGBTQ+ youth in an effort to keep families together. LOVELOUD is the catalyst for bringing communities together to start the conversation and celebrate individuality. Talking, sharing and showing the realities of what teens in our society face daily is where it all begins.last_img read more

Family crowdfunds to sue social services over death of child

first_imgAPTN National NewsFive years after the tragic drowning death of 22-month-old Evander Lee Daniels in an overcrowded foster home, the Ministry of Social Services has apologized for their mishandling of the toddler’s case.His parents have accepted that apology, but are now raising money through a crowd funding campaign to sue social services.APTN’s Larissa Burnouf spoke with Evander’s father.last_img

Floating Dirham Fitch Group Predicts Successful Transition

Toronto – BMI Research Group, a Fitch Group Company, is predicting a successful, gradual and smooth transition toward a “free float” in Morocco over the coming years.The resulting improvement to exchange rate flexibility will help Morocco in its strategy to become a manufacturing and export hub between Africa and Europe. According to BMI, this is due to “a strong fiscal position, low inflation, a sound banking system and the broad alignment of the dirham with macro fundamentals.”Encouraged by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), BMI is expressing confidence in Morocco’s ability to move successfully toward a greater exchange rate flexibility. “Morocco’s currency regime is currently a crawling peg to a basket of currency (60% euro; 40% US dollar), with a ?uctuation of +/- 0.5% allowed.” Leading the way is Bank al-Maghrib (BAM). Over the past few years they have made their intent to move toward a more flexible exchange rate regime apparent. Recognizing the transition to a free float in Morocco will be a multi-year process, the first step on that road will be to widen the trading band, most likely in H217.Destabilization of Economy UnlikelyThe experience of Egypt in November 2016, is still fresh. A severe deterioration of 60 percent of the pound was suffered due to the sudden and drastic move to a free ?oat. It was forced by a sharp deterioration of the macroeconomic environment.  The lesson was learned and BMI is confident the Moroccan economy won’t suffer the same fate because of BAM’s decision to progress slowly.Sound ?scal fundamentals and a comfortable level of reserves, “combined with the current exchange rate broadly in line with fundamentals and BAM’s willingness to move only gradually towards a free float over a multi-year period, we do not expect any major shock in the dirham’s value.”The Moroccan government has worked hard over the past five years to shore up the economy’s vulnerable areas. Efforts included an ambitious reform of the subsidy regime and an expansion of the tax base. As a result, “subsidies have declined from 6.5% of GDP in 2012 to around 1.0% of GDP in 2016.”A gradual weakening of the dirham is predicted to have only a “modest impact on repayments.” This will be the result of fiscal consolidation working to contain the debt level in years to come. Such consolidation has already resulted in a “reduction of the budget deficit from 5.4% of GDP in 2012 to an estimated 1.7% of GDP.”Sharp moves in the value of the dirham are thought to be unlikely as BAM loosens its grip on the exchange rate. Because the transition is being accomplished in a gradual manner, the exchange rate is appreciating but not suffering from over valuation.Steady as She GoesMaintaining a comfortable level of reserves, limiting inflationary pressures and operating a “sufficiently robust banking sector” will ensure this trend will continue. According to BMI, “We believe that moving towards a free ?oat over the coming years is consistent with the kingdom’s development strategy, as it seeks to boost foreign investment to become an exporting and manufacturing hub between Europe and Africa.” read more

Finding decent work among major obstacles faced by todays youth – UN

18 December 2007While today’s youth are the best educated generation in history, they face a number of obstacles in an increasingly globalized world – foremost among them finding decent work – which affect their transition to adulthood, according to a new United Nations report released today. The “World Youth Report 2007 – Young People’s Transition to Adulthood: Progress and Challenges” draws attention to the challenges faced by youth in seven geographical or economic groupings of countries – Asia, Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East and North Africa, small island developing States, economies in transition and the developed market economies. The report, which comes more than 10 years after the adoption of the World Programme of Action for Youth, emphasizes that much progress has been made by governments, and especially by young people themselves, to promote the well-being of youth.“All regions have made impressive achievements in raising school enrolment and more and more girls are going to school,” stated Johan Scholvink, Director of the Division of Social Policy and Development at the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA).Launching the report at UN Headquarters, he said “the report argues that the 1.2 billion young people in the world today are determined to engage in the social, political and economic fabric of society and have much to contribute to the global debate on major development and policy issues.”This is evident in their efforts to constantly improve their education, upgrade their skills and find employment through their use of information and communication technology and their participation in volunteer activities, he added.However, the report notes that there are also major constraints to youth development that are prevalent in all regions – the primary one being the difficulty in finding decent employment in the formal sector. “This is often related to the fact that the education they have received is of low quality and does not prepare them specifically for the needs of a global job market,” Mr. Scholvink stated. “The educational gains that girls have made, in particular, have not translated into increased employment opportunities.”As a result, the report states that many young people with high levels of education are forced to seek work in the informal economy, often at the expense of benefits or job security. “It is clear that while globalization has offered many opportunities around the world, young people continue to face obstacles in accessing its benefits,” noted Mr. Scholvink. The focal point for youth in the DESA agreed that what is happening to youth in terms of unemployment relates to globalization, to the contraction of labour markets and to difficulty in the “school-to-work” transition across the world, in both developed and developing countries. “There seems to be some mismatch between the skills that young people gain in school and the skills that the labour market is demanding,” said Patience Stephens. In addition, the skills needed in today’s globalized job market are changing constantly.The report calls on countries to address the obstacles that continue to limit youth participation in the development of their societies, and provide them with an environment in which they can access not only quality education but also decent work opportunities. read more

Sri Lanka decides to free Indian fishermen held in custody

The Ministry of External Affairs in India had said last week that Sri Lanka currently holds 34 Indian fishermen and 96 Indian fishing boats in custody. (Colombo Gazette) Following the talks it was reported that both sides sought a permanent solution to the issue of frequent arrests of Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy and that India reiterated the need to build a dedicated mechanism. The move follows talks held between President Maithripala Sirisena and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week. Sri Lanka has decided to free Indian fishermen who are now in custody for violating maritime boundary laws.Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that the Government has decided to release 34 Indian fishermen today.

CoucheTard wants to be a player in the sale of cannabis

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 18, 2019.Company in this story: (TSX:ATD.B, TSX:WEED)The Canadian Press LAVAL, Que. — Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. wants to be one of the “key players” in the North American cannabis market by using its position in Canada, where the use of this substance for recreational purposes is legal, to achieve this goal.But the expertise to be developed by the operator of convenience stores and gas stations will have to be done outside of Quebec because of provincial rules governing the sale of marijuana, company founder and executive chairman Alain Bouchard said following its annual meeting.Unable to penetrate the Quebec market, the Quebec multinational has invested in Alberta retailer Fire & Flower, which could enable it to eventually acquire a majority stake in this company.This is in addition to its existing partnership with Canadian cannabis giant Canopy Growth surrounding the operation of private stores.Even though the recreational cannabis market is still in its infancy, Couche-Tard wants to go out of its way to set up a strategy that is ready to be deployed where regulations allow it, Bouchard adds.The parent company of Circle K has turned its sights to the United States, where some states have eased the rules on marijuana, says CEO Brian Hannasch, who notes the retailer has long experience selling age-restricted products.Couche-Tard has already started selling cannabidiol (CBD) products, a compound with potential medicinal qualities but without significant levels of THC — a compound in cannabis that produces a high. read more

On anniversary of Hiroshima bombing Ban urges all States to galvanize global

In a message delivered to the Peace Memorial Ceremony in Hiroshima, Japan, by Kim Won-soo, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, the Secretary-General commended the solemn gathering to remember the victims of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, the first use of nuclear weapons in war. Recalling his 2010 visit to Hiroshima taking part in the Ceremony, Mr. Ban said he had been moved and inspired by the determination of the survivors to ensure that such a tragedy would never happen again. That visit, noted the Secretary-General, reinforced his resolve to advance the efforts of the UN to work for a world free of nuclear weapons.“In Hiroshima, I saw a memorial to tragedy, but also a city of resilience and hope. The people of Hiroshima are striving to be defined not by the city that was destroyed, but by the world they are seeking to build. That spirit is exemplified in the Hibakusha,” the UN chief stressed in his message. Indeed, the Hibakusha have turned their tragedy into a rallying cry for humanity, he continued, noting that they have shared their stories so the horror experienced by Hiroshima will never be forgotten. You can count on me to continue spreading your message: No more Hiroshimas. No more Nagasakis. Never again“They have become true champions of peace and a better world,” he said, underscoring that this is the very spirit that is needed now, in a world where tensions are rising and progress on nuclear disarmament is hard to find.“At this sober memorial, I ask all States to heed the message of the Hibakusha and overcome their differences to galvanize global will for disarmament. This is essential to peaceful cooperation,” said Mr. Ban, explaining that those States with nuclear weapons have a special responsibility to prevent another Hiroshima.They must honour their commitments and lead the way to dialogue, and he called on all States to find common ground through inclusive dialogue.He went on to stress that the bombing of Hiroshima shows that nuclear weapons do not discriminate between gender, age, religion, ideology or nationality. “Let us keep striving together for a safer and more secure future and a better world for all. You can count on me to continue spreading your message: No more Hiroshimas. No more Nagasakis. Never again,” he concluded. read more

Oscars 2013 Who won what

first_imgTHE ACADEMY WASN’T kidding. There are loads of losers on Oscars night.Even films that win can feel like losers. Lincoln only picked up two of the 12 gongs it was nominated for, while the Academy’s snub of Ben Affleck could have been seen as a bit of a dampner despite its two wins.But there were still plenty of people breaking out the bubbly at various after-parties. Here’s a round up of who won what…and unlike other years, the judges spread the love around with Life on Pi coming out on top with just four awards.Best PictureArgoBest DirectorAng Li, Life of PiActor in a Leading RoleDaniel Day Lewis, LincolnActress in a Leading RoleJennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings PlaybookActress in a Supporting RoleAnne Hathaway, Les MiserablesActor in a Supporting RoleChristoph Waltz, Django UnchainedBest SongAdele, SkyfallAdapted ScreenplayChris Terrio, ArgoOriginal ScreenplayQuentin Tarantino, Django UnchainedBest ScoreMychael Danna, Life of PiBest Animated FeatureBraveVisual EffectsLife of PiSound EditingSkyfallSound MixingLes MiserablesShort FilmCurfewAnimated ShortPapermanForeign Language FilmAmourProduction DesignLincolnMakeup and HairstylingLisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell, Les MiserablesCinematographyLife of PiCostume DesignAnna KareninaFilm Editing ArgoDocumentary ShortInocentDocumentary FeatureSearching for Sugar ManLiveblog: The Oscars 2013 ceremony as it happenedFROCK-WATCH: Oscars 2013 Red Carpet as it happenedlast_img read more

The 9 at 9 Saturday

first_imgEVERY MORNING, brings you the nine things you need to know as you start your day.1. #DOMESTIC ABUSE: Overcrowded refuges for women and children who suffer from domestic abuse had to turn people away on 2,537 occasions in 2011, has learned. Overcrowding means many victims of abuse have no choice but to be accommodated in a Garda cell, as they fear for their safety after leaving an abusive home environment.2. #DRUNK: Some TDs who took part in the Dáil votes on whether to liquidate IBRC – as part of the deal to abolish the promissory notes – were drunk when they did so, Gerry Adams has claimed. The Sinn Féin president told us he knew of at least two TDs who were intoxicated during the debates, as the Dáil’s bars remained open during the late sitting last month.3. #GARDAÍ: Garda anger at the proposals of the Croke Park deal will be evident in Dublin this evening, according to reports. The Irish Times and The Star both claim that Gardaí are opting against taking overtime by working at Croke Park (the stadium) tonight, for Dublin’s NFL clash with Mayo – meaning the game will have to be policed by people reassigned from other shifts. The GAA usually pays Garda authorities for the extra work, with the money passed on to staff in overtime.4. #CROKE PARK: One of the country’s largest public unions, representing an estimated 32,000 primary school teachers, has decided not to make any recommendations to its members about whether to approve the proposed ‘Croke Park 2′ pay deal. The Irish National Teachers’ Organisation will issue ballot papers to members in two weeks’ time. On the topic of Croke Park, meanwhile: here’s our Explainer on how the deal is approved (or rejected) by the nation’s public workers.5. #VAT: Ireland’s mobile phone networks have been urged to take action and drop VAT on text messages intended as donations to charities – with those charities saying the networks are failing to implement a Revenue ruling that VAT on donation texts could be waived. “We’re losing valuable income, as are some other well deserving Irish charities, with no mechanism to claim back the over-charged VAT,” said the Jack and Jill Foundation’s Jonathan O’Brien.6. #POST: The cost of sending a letter is to rise. The communications regulator has approved a request from An Post to raise the price of a postage stamp for an ordinary letter, from 55c to 60c. An Post had originally sought an increase of 10c – bringing the price to 65c – but revised the request downward in January, and had it approved by ComReg yesterday.7. #UNITED STATES: Barack Obama has signed an executive order, giving immediate effect to US budget cuts worth $85 billion. The order came after the Democratic and Republican parties in Congress failed to reach an agreement on how to avert the spending cuts, even though both opposed the one-off measures that have now been necessary. The cuts relate to the ‘fiscal cliff’ saga from a few months ago.8. #FORNICATION: The government of the Maldives says there’s nothing it can do to stop a 15-year-old girl from being sentenced to 100 lashes, and eight months’ house arrest, for having premarital sex. A court has given the girl the option to defer the lashes until she turns 18 – but CNN says Amnesty International is calling for a review, alleging that the ‘premarital sex’ was actually sexual abuse by her stepfather.9. #AWKWARD: A Californian mother demanded that the Peruvian government issue a nationwide alert, seeking information on her ‘missing’ son and his girlfriend – simply because her travelling son had stopped posting updates to Facebook. Garrett Hand and his girlfriend were trekking around South America in areas without much electricity, internet or phone coverage, Gawker reports, and Hand’s panicked mother prompted a major search to try and track down the couple.last_img read more

No quiet retirement for Gerry Adams as Mary Lou has big plans

first_img Sinn Fein’s president Mary Lou McDonald Image: PA Wire/PA Images Short URL Feb 17th 2018, 10:01 PM 41,559 Views 103 Comments Sinn Fein’s president Mary Lou McDonald Image: PA Wire/PA Imagescenter_img By Christina Finn Share165 Tweet Email1 No quiet retirement for Gerry Adams, as Mary Lou has big plans to put him to work In a wide-ranging interview, Mary Lou McDonald talks party reform, bullying, and why she won’t be asking Gerry Adams to run for President of Ireland. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Saturday 17 Feb 2018, 10:00 PM IF GERRY ADAMS had notions of putting his feet up during retirement, he can think again.Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald has plans to put her predecessor to work.In a wide-ranging interview with, it was made clear that Adams will still play a role within the party – although she won’t be asking him to run for the job of President of Ireland.After 35 years as leader of Sinn Féin, Adams finally left the stage last week. In a raucous Ard Fhéis in the RDS, McDonald was formally elected to take the helm.She has an immediate body of work, not least to address the bullying allegations that have plagued the party in recent months.But what next for Gerry? Will he have an “ambassadorial” position, as some are suggesting? And, if so, will it be in an official capacity?McDonald told that Adams is still a TD, and will continue to work for his constituents. But she has grander plans for the former party president – ones that could take him overseas.“I am going to ask him to do different pieces of work. I think the first thing he needs to do is rest, I’ve said that to him,” she said, adding:He has a huge international profile. They say Gerry is the best-known Irishman – maybe him and Bono are on a par –  but he has immense standing internationally. I want to see how to use that. I am sure he has views as to what he might to with that.“I don’t know how many prime ministers, taoisigh, American presidents [he has dealt with] That is a vast reservoir of experience and we would be very, very foolish not to have that in reserve,” she said.“Certainly Gerry is very experienced, he is very insightful. I haven’t asked him just yet, as I want him to relax a small bit. And he will have to look to his constituency. Ruairí Ó Murchú (a Sinn Féin councillor in Louth) is the young man who has been selected to run in the next election in Gerry’s place and we have a job to do to hold on to those two seats. So I think Gerry will have to roll up the sleeves and be part of that effort,” she added.Gerry for president? With McDonald’s admiration over Adams’ dealings with international powerhouses evident, what about asking him to run for president? Is that on the cards?“Absolutely not. Absolutely not. I know he has not the remotest interest in that. In fact I think he would freak if somebody lifted the phone and suggested that. That could end our friendship if I even suggested that to him,” she laughed. Mary Lou McDonald with her predecessor Gerry Adams. Source: Niall CarsonDespite the effusive praise unleashed for his external diplomatic skills, the party under Adams was dogged by infights and public claims of internal bullying.So this switch in leadership will have to lead to a change within.In her maiden speech as leader, McDonald said it was time for Sinn Féin to “modernise” and become “fit for purpose”.She knows the party has problems, and insists she is going to introduce concrete measures to deal with them.She said the “dilemmas” that have emerged recently can be put down to the party’s rapid growth.“It’s been reflected in local disputes, unpleasantness, some people upset, some people leaving the party, some people being asked to leave the party. And I think we have to be honest in saying that we have tried to manage and organise a growing party, and now a large party, in the same way that we managed and organised a small party, and that doesn’t work. So we have issues there.”It has been a focus point for rival deputies in the past number of months, providing an easy deflection in a difficult debate. To remove that threat, McDonald has to eradicate all perceptions that the party doesn’t take bullying seriously. She says she is doing this but will there be a zero tolerance approach?Party reform“Everyone needs to know there are rules, there are standards, there is a charter of ethics and we didn’t write and produce them just for the craic, they actually mean something, and if they are breached, we have to deal with that,” said the Rathgar native. The Sinn Féin Ard Fheis last weekend in the RDS in Dublin. Source: Niall Carson“The one thing, and I have made this very clear to colleagues, is that I am a great believer in sorting things out informally and in a friendly way. I am quite a relaxed person in that way. When that doesn’t work, you apply the rules, and I can be a bit of a stickler in that regard as well.McDonald says she knows what immediate reforms are needed – and that there is an appetite for same among her members.We have 250 to 260 councillors… a huge number. They are the frontline of your politics. I am very conscious that they can be a little bit out on a limb so I have put in train a consultation and an intervention with our councillors to establish better channels of communication, supports, training so that you don’t feel that they are out on a limb…McDonald also plans to establish a commission on equality and inclusion in the party.“I am going to structure it like a commission… We are going to go out and have a conversation with our grassroots – not about our politics, but actually about the party and the dynamics of inclusion, the culture and all of those things.”This type of exercise is commonplace in other organisations that have seen rapid expansion, and she said Sinn Féin can learn from it.“We need to modernise, we need to get with it, we need to borrow from best practice outside of politics and I am very confident that we will do it,” she said.Going into government It’s a means to an end. McDonald began to shift the talk about her party going into government long before she became leader – being the first to suggest it should consider discontinuing the view that it should only enter a coalition as the larger party.“I am going to fight for every vote, every seat we can get and I will talk to everybody. I  think that is the right thing to do,” she says now.Even ‘smarmy’ guys?“Can I work with a ‘smarmy’ guy?” she returns our question, referring to an interview she gave earlier this week.“I mean can he work with a ‘cranky’ woman – these are all the questions of our time,” she jokes, referencing a comment made about her by Fine Gael leader and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in the Dáil. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Mary Lou McDonald Source: Niall CarsonThe only problem is, both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have categorically ruled out talking to Sinn Féin about possible government formation.The new leader said political parties should “wind their necks in” and let the electorate choose, but McDonald said there is one thing for certain – she plans to win big.Realistically, though, Sinn Féin’s only chance of being in government in the near future is as a minority party. Would she be concerned about that?“Yes of course. It is dangerous and problematic and there would be a lot of nervousness within our party around that. Of course you would be stupid, you’d be absolutely foolish not to take account of that. You have to ask yourself the question about the other casualties (Labour for instance).“Was the damage done by going into government or was the damage done by what was done or not done in government – that’s the question.”McDonald said there is no obvious party that Sinn Féin could enter into coalition with.Fianna Fáil are a problem, Fine Gael are a problem – it is all problematic. We may have a new politics or configuration emerge, I would very much like that to happen, but rather than get hung up on ‘the who’, our focus is: what would a government do, what could Sinn Féin deliver? I would still prefer a progressive alliance. That would naturally give us more scope, and would naturally give us more clout.In the run up to the last election, Sinn Féin signed up to a vote pact made up of left-wing parties and independents, but the possibility of an alternative left government has withered away. Ahead of last year’s Budget, Solidarity-PBP said Sinn Féin was moving more to the right – a clear indication that it is not interested in doing business.But McDonald said she thinks an alternative left could still be a possibility. Extending an olive branch, she said:“During the last election we had the discussion around the alternative and at that point we had the Right to Water movement and Right to Change… and it looked like the maths would be possible.Coming into the next election, that might also be the case. I think that would be very good for Irish politics.“We have a political message and political team that is relevant and can resonate, not just with our core base, but with what is called ‘the middle class’ or the ‘coping classes’.”Personalities in politics “When it comes to government formation, it is about the big ticket items and it is about the big ideas, rather than the personality, the personality thing wouldn’t enter into my head for a second,” she said.Her own persona – within the party and outside it – will be under intense scrutiny, however, in the coming months as she settles into the top job, not least because of the continuing impasse in Stormont.McDonald wants people to look at her performance over six months or over a year, and then judge. Source: Shutterstock/turtixIn the coming weeks, she will carry out duties we associate with Adams – and one of the first is heading to the US for St Patrick’s Day.Often seen as a big fundraising drive for the party with their Irish-American base, there’s a busy itinerary for McDonald: meeting the diaspora, events with Irish-American trade union groups and handshaking with politicos, as well as a women’s leadership conference.Adams was a regular guest at the White House, though she recalls the one year he was refused entry when we ask of her plans with the Trump administration.“Whether or not I will be in the White House, I don’t know.I was only in it once. The year that there was all the confusion about Gerry not being let in. I was standing there and I said I will wait with you Gerry. He said, ‘No, go on in’. I said, ‘No, I’ll wait with you.’“We waited and waited. We met everybody on the way in, I was saying, ‘Hello congressman, hello senator.’ It was nearly finished, so Gerry said, ‘For the love of God, just go.’ I said: ‘Are you sure?’ He said yes. I walked off and I had literally taken three steps away and I heard him whisper: ‘Traitor.’ I didn’t live that one down, I was the deserter, I left him to fend for himself,” she laughs.“Anything that is to be done for the Uachtarain Sinn Féin, for the leader of Sinn Féin – that’s me now, not him, so he’s out of all that,” she said.“He’ll be waiting outside the gates of the White House again so?” we ask.“Exactly. Bye Bye Gerry,” she jokes.Shane Ross: ‘I was just drinking far too much in my 30s and it was affecting my life in every way’>Read: ‘If someone breaks into your house you should do whatever you have to to take them on’>last_img read more

Athens neighbourhood features among 5 most densely populated in Europe

first_imgWhile the Greek capital’s population has been in decline the past few years as a result of the financial crisis, particular areas of Athens continue to see a rise, a study revealing Zografou is one of the most densely populated neighbourhoods in Europe.Using Eurostat data, the research was conducted by Sheffield University’s Professor Alasdair Rae who highlighted that the Athenian neighbourhood has 28.880 people per square kilometre.Contributing significantly to this number is the fact that the campus of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens is located in Zografou, resulting in thousands of students living in the area.Topping the list was Barcelona with 53.119 inhabitants per square kilometre followed by Paris with 52.218, Poland’s Szczecin with 32.752, and Brussels came in fourth with 29.100 people. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Surprise siamang gibbon birth at the San Diego Zoo

first_img Categories: Local San Diego News, Trending Updated: 8:40 PM Posted: November 16, 2018 November 16, 2018 Surprise siamang gibbon birth at the San Diego Zoo KUSI Newsroom Photo taken by: Christina Simmons, San Diego ZooSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – A 37-year-old siamang gibbon at the San Diego Zoo recently gave birth to the zoo’s first siamang baby in 12 years despite being on birth control, the zoo announced today.The siamang, named Eloise, gave birth in its exhibit on Nov. 12 while zoo volunteers and guests looked on. Eloise and a 35-year-old male siamang had conceived six baby gibbons in the past, but the newest one came as a surprise to zoo officials.Given that their genes had clearly been passed on multiple times, the zoo had limited the two siamangs’ fertility with chemical birth control for an undisclosed number of years prior to the surprise birth.“It was amazing to see Eloise give birth this week, because she showed no outward signs of being pregnant,” said Zoo Animal Care Manager Jill Andrews.  “We’re not certain why birth control didn’t work in this case, but as with humans, it is not uncommon for contraceptive failure to happen from time to time. Still, we are overjoyed — because any birth of an endangered species is a reason to celebrate.”Siamangs are an endangered species of gibbon found in parts of India, Indonesia and Bangladesh. According to the zoo, their endangered classification by the International Union for Conservation of Nature is due to habitat loss brought on by logging and agriculture as well as illegal pet trading.Zoo guests can visit the three siamangs along the zoo’s Orangutan Trail. The zoo’s animal care staff will determine the baby’s gender in the coming months when they have a chance to give it a full health examination. FacebookTwitter KUSI Newsroom, last_img read more

Buyer search no longer exclusive as main Silver Heritage candidate misses second

first_img Strong VIP growth sees Okada Manila GGR climb 72% in August Lack of premium mass strategy begs questions of SJM’s Grand Lisboa Palace launch: analysts Genting’s Resorts World Las Vegas names five key additions to executive team RelatedPosts Silver Heritage said that while this latest incident was also beyond the control of both parties, the potential sale would no longer be exclusive.“Although this deadline has now passed and the deposit not yet been paid by the buyer, in circumstances which remain beyond the control of either party, the Company will continue to work with the buyer on a non-exclusive basis while also exploring alternative strategic funding opportunities,” it said.Silver Heritage owns and operates Tiger Palace Resort in Bhairahawa and the Millionaire’s Club and Casino in Kathmandu. Silver Heritage Group will recommence its search for a buyer of its Nepal assets after the original offeror missed a deposit deadline for the second time.The company revealed on Wednesday that local businessman Indra Bahadur Thapa, who made a conditional, binding offer in July to purchase its operations for US$33.9 million, had failed to deposit a previously agreed US$3 million deposit into an escrow account by the 10 September deadline. Thapa had previously missed the initial deadline of 15 August “due to reasons outside of the control of either the company or the buyer.” Load Morelast_img read more

Time Inc Reorganizes Corporate Sales Staff Emphasizes Marketing Services

first_imgTime Inc. is revamping its corporate sales and marketing structure, promoting Stephanie George to executive vice president and chief marketing officer and Paul Caine as executive vice president and chief revenue officer. In her new role, George will manage overall positioning of Time Inc. and expansion of marketing services. She also oversees Time Inc. Content Solutions, Media Networks Inc. and Targeted Media Networks, Research & Insights and corporate communications. Caine will lead corporate sales, while continuing to serve as president of the Style & Entertainment Group, which includes People, InStyle, Entertainment Weekly and Essence. “Having these two proven and trusted executives at the helm will allow for a highly collaborative, effective structure with clear lines of authority,” said Time Inc. CEO Jack Griffin in a statement. “This organization will drive faster, more coordinated decision-making and better align our resources against our goal of creating and delivering unmatched value in the marketplace.” The reorganization is the first major step Griffin [pictured] has made since he replaced Ann Moore as CEO of Time Inc. in August and indicates that he is pursuing a similar strategy to the one he championed as CEO of Meredith, which emphasized marketing services and the formation of integrated marketing groups such as Meredith 360. In an interview with FOLIO: earlier this year, Griffin attributed the success Meredith had bucking the advertising downturn of 2009 by making the buying process easier for advertisers. “We generate well over half of our advertising revenue through group and corporate sales units-one is Meredith 360, one is Meredith Corporate Sales, another is the direct response and travel group,” Griffin said at the time. “When we call on a client or agency, all of our magazines hang together. Meredith Corporate Sales does big deals, and serves more on the side of capturing existing demand whereas Meredith 360 is a demand creator. Meredith 360 is engaging clients on big ideas and going after budgets that aren’t about print while corporate sales is designed to obtain the largest possible share on the table.”last_img read more

Four Bases in Running to Host F35A Reserve Units

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR The Air Force will consider four locations — Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.; Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla.; Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas; and Whiteman AFB, Mo. — as candidates for the first Reserve-led F-35A Lightning II units, officials said Tuesday.The service expects to select the preferred and reasonable alternatives in the fall, with the fifth-generation fighter aircraft slated to begin arriving at the first location by the summer of 2023.“The Air Force is committed to a deliberate and open process to address F-35 basing,” Jennifer Miller, deputy assistant secretary for installations, said according to a news release. “As we progress through the basing process, we will share information so interested communities are aware of what to expect.”Separately, the Air Force released basing criteria to select candidate bases for two Air National Guard squadrons, which are scheduled to receive their first aircraft in the summer of 2022. The criteria include:mission requirements — weather, airspace and training range availability;capacity — sufficient hanger and ramp space, and facility considerations;environmental requirements; andcost factors.The Air Force will evaluate Guard installations with runways of at least 8,000 feet and operational A-10 Thunderbolt IIs, F-16 Fighting Falcons or F-15 Eagles against the approved criteria to identify candidate bases for the F-35A, according to the release.After identifying candidate bases, site survey teams from Air Combat Command and the Air National Guard will assess each location against operational requirements, potential impacts to existing missions, and infrastructure and manpower. Then the teams will develop cost estimates to bed down the F-35A.Officials plan to identify candidates for the Air National Guard locations this summer before selecting the preferred and reasonable alternatives and beginning the environmental impact analysis process later this year.last_img read more

Airtel Customers Get Free Mobile Internet in Google TieUp

first_imgMobile internet users can now use Google services for free on Airtel connection from Thursday onwards. The telecom company joined hands with the search giant to launch a ‘Free Zone’ for Airtel mobile customers.Airtel users get to access Google’s mobile services like Gmail and Google+ on the go and free of cost. To use the service, customers will have to visit the Free Zone webpage and sign in to their Google accounts.When the user puts up a query on the Google search bar, the first webpage of the site linked to search results pops up with no data charges.”In this market, where feature phones predominate, our association with Google to bring Free Zone to India will encourage millions of users to discover the power of mobile Internet for the very first time and leverage the amazing world of information search, email and social collaboration – at no incremental cost,” Bharti Airtel Chief Marketing Officer (Consumer Business) N Rajaram told PTI.Though Free Zone is initiated with a noble cause of bringing more people to use web services and also to empower netizens, there is a limit to using the service. Free data usage is available up to 1GB per month on Free Zone. Also, it cannot be accessed on tablets either. The telecom operator warns Blackberry users, specifically, that they could run into problems while using Free Zone.This is not the first time Airtel has taken an initiative to reach a wider audience. The operator recently slashed its 2G data charges by 90 percent and reviewed its data plans for 4G users as well.last_img read more

Geek deals roundup Save on gaming laptops video games and more with

first_imgOverwatch: Origins Edition on PS4 or Xbox One for $48.99Blizzard’s latest game is a team-based first-person shooter that’s been favorably compared to the likes of Team Fortress 2. Buy a copy for either console from Amazon, and you’ll save $11 off the MSRP.Linksys WRT1900AC wireless router with a $100 Dell gift card and 128GB flash drive for $229.98Need a new router? Pick up this dual-band Linksys 802.11b/g/n/ac wireless router from the Dell online store, and you’ll get an awesome 128GB flash drive and a $100 Dell gift card as well. Take advantage of the free three-to-five day shipping option, and you’ll save even more.HooToo 720p wireless surveillance camera for $29.99Want to keep an eye on your pooch while you’re at work? This HD camera from HooToo features night vision, a motion detection trigger, a mic, and a speaker. You can get a live view from your web browser, and with support for up to 32GB SD cards, you can store hours of footage for review.Our commerce group sources the best deals and products for the Geek Deals posts. We operate independently of Editorial and Advertising and may earn a percentage of the sale, if you buy something via a link on the post. If you are interested in promoting your deals, please contact us at more great deals head over to TechBargains. Alienware 15 R2 15.6-inch quad-core 1080p gaming laptop for $1199.99Today, Dell is discounting this awesome Alienware 15 R2 gaming laptop by 20%. With a Skylake Core i7-6700HQ CPU, a GeForce GTX 970M graphics card (with 3GB of memory), 8GB of DDR4 RAM, a 1TB 7200RPM hard drive, and a 1080p IPS display, this laptop is a steal. However, this is a limited time offer, so don’t wait too long to put your order in.Dell XPS 8900 quad-core desktop PC for $699.99If you’d prefer a nice affordable desktop PC instead, this XPS 8900 is being discounted by 26% on Dell’s online store. You’ll get a Core i7-6700 processor, a GeForce GT 730 graphics card (with 2GB of memory), 8GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 1TB 7200RPM hard drive for just 700 bucks. Grab a GeForce GTX 960 on the cheap, and you’ve got yourself a decent budget gaming machine.last_img read more

This KonMariInspired Twitter Unfollow Tool Sparks Joy in Me

first_imgStay on target Elon Musk’s Cheeky ‘Nuke Mars!’ Post Is Taking Over TwitterTwitter Tests Subscribe-to-Replies Feature It’s easy to get lost in the clutter of social media. Unfortunately, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram don’t usually make the spring cleaning to-do list.You don’t need to wait for warmer weather and longer days, though, to cleanse your feeds.Masses of people have already emptied closets, cupboards, and storage spaces in the name of Marie Kondo, the Japanese organizing expert whose Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo launched a nation of domestic gods.Now, using the same method of relinquishing objects that don’t “spark joy,” Julius Tarng launched Tokimeki Unfollow—a Twitter plug-in that expedites the scrubbing of your news feed.Tarng, a former product designer at Facebook, introduced the service this week.center_img So everyone was joking about Konmari-ing their Twitter, but I went ahead and made a tool for that:Say hello to Tokimeki Unfollow !Hang out with virtual me and go thru your follows one by one. Do their tweets spark joy? If not, hit [Unfollow]!— julius tarng (@tarngerine) February 4, 2019“So everyone was joking about KonMari-ing their Twitter, but I went ahead and made a tool for that,” he wrote in a Monday post. “If you’ve ever actually KonMari’d anything, you’ll know that it takes a LONG time and a LOT of hard decisions.”The process consists of gathering all of your belongings, one category at a time, then keeping only those items that “spark joy.”Pick up an item of clothing, for example. Look at it, hold it close, ponder its existence, and see if you get a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. If so, fold it neatly (Kondo can teach you how) and put it away. If not, thank it for its service, then place it gently in a pile to donate or discard.Similarly, take a moment to look through The Muppets’ latest tweets, determine their importance to your daily life, and keep or unfollow.“I’ve been working on this tool for three weeks and I still haven’t finished KonMari-ing my 1,000 initial follow” list, down to about 600 early this week, Tarng admitted.Yes, you can scroll through the Twitter app to do the same thing. But there’s a certain urgency to Tokimeki Unfollow that helps drive the process and insists you cut the digital fat.Over an agonizing 20 minutes, I chose to unfollow Emma Watson, Allison Janney, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Hillary Clinton, among other prominent accounts. Not because I don’t appreciate, respect, and enjoy these people. But because I know I tend to skim past their tweets on the rare occasions I actually look at Twitter.In the end, I whittled my feed down from 146 follows to a svelte 90 (mostly family and friends to whom I feel an obligation).Tokimeki Unfollow makes it easy to sit with someone’s tweets, hug them tight, then say thank you and goodbye.More on Social Media Sites Can Predict Behavior Even If You Don’t Use ThemJack Dorsey: Twitter Mulling Short Window to Edit TweetsTwitter Tests ‘Original Tweeter’ Tag to Identify Threat Creatorslast_img read more

1 injured in Lyell Street crash

first_imgOne person has been injured in a motor vehicle accident in Lyell Street.According to bystanders, a white bakkie’s tyre burst, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle. The bakkie swerved and crashed into a lamp pole.A passenger was slightly injured and treated by Sharaj Ambulance Services.Police, EMRS and Public Safety also responded to the scene. DID YOU KNOW?Click on the words highlighted in red to read more on this and related topics.If you are reading this on your cellphone and there are telephone numbers provided in the text, you can call these simply by clicking on them.To receive news links via WhatsApp.For the latest news, visit our webpage or follow us on Facebook and Twitter  why not join us there? WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite last_img read more