Former Weinstein assistant slams morally lacking gag order

first_imgLONDON – Harvey Weinstein’s former British assistant said Wednesday that a gag order she had to sign when she left his film company was “morally lacking in every way” and failed to stop the movie producer’s harassment and abuse of women.Zelda Perkins quit Weinstein’s firm Miramax in 1998 along with a colleague who accused the movie mogul of trying to rape her. Each received a 125,000-pound ($177,000) settlement and signed a non-disclosure agreement.Perkins told a committee of British lawmakers that she felt “defrauded” by the agreement, which contained clauses intended to stop Weinstein from sexually harassing or abusing staff.The agreement committed Weinstein to attend therapy and required the company to act if he made any more payouts over alleged wrongdoing. Perkins said she has no evidence that these actions were carried out.Multiple women have accused Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault over many years. He denies all allegations of nonconsensual sex.“I believed we had done the best we could in terms of stopping his behaviour,” Perkins told Parliament’s Women and Equalities Committee. “Essentially we were defrauded.”The committee is investigating sexual harassment and the use of non-disclosure agreements, or NDAs.NDAs are common in the corporate world, but Perkins said her experience shows they can be used to let perpetrators get away with wrongdoing while silencing their victims.“The problem is they are used abusively … and there isn’t enough regulation and there isn’t a framework to protect the victims of the situation,” she said.The agreement Perkins signed kept her quiet about Weinstein’s behaviour for almost 20 years. He continued to be one of Hollywood’s most powerful producers until last year, when women — including Hollywood stars — publicly accused him of groping, exposing himself to them or forcing them into unwanted sex.Weinstein has since been fired by the company he co-founded and expelled by Hollywood’s film academy. Police in the U.S. and Britain are investigating multiple claims of sexual assault.Perkins was in her early 20s and said she had barely heard of Weinstein when she began working for Miramax in London. She called him a challenging employer.“Everybody knew that he had a roving eye and he pushed it with women,” she said. He had a fearsome temper and didn’t respect usual office boundaries, sometimes walking around naked or in his underwear, she said.“I was 22 and I was like, ‘OK, this is what it must be like in the big league,’” Perkins told The Associated Press on Tuesday. “This guy is really important — he doesn’t have time to wear his trousers.”Perkins said she wasn’t aware of any allegations of sexual assault until a younger colleague came to her in distress during the 1998 Venice Film Festival and said Weinstein had tried to rape her. The pair flew back to England and went to lawyers “with the presumption that we were going to prosecute him in court.”Told they could not prosecute in England because the alleged crime took place in Italy, the two women ended up negotiating a settlement.While Perkins managed to get the agreement to impose conditions on Weinstein, she said the negotiating process “was humiliating and degrading. I was made to feel like I was in the wrong for trying to expose his behaviour.”She was told she would be held responsible if her family or friends disclosed details of Weinstein’s behaviour. She couldn’t see a therapist unless the therapist also signed a non-disclosure agreement. Perkins was not even allowed to have a copy of the agreement she had signed.Perkins said the experience left her “trapped in a vortex of fear.”“I think I’m only just beginning to realize what it stole from me,” Perkins said of her experience with Weinstein and his lawyers. “It stole my belief and my confidence in myself and in society.”Perkins said the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements against harassment and inequality which have erupted in the wake of the Weinstein revelations have made her feel “hugely liberated” and given her faith again in society.“The fact that Harvey was the beginning of this snowball, to me, is just completely thrilling.”___Follow Jill Lawless on Twitter at read more

Video: Armed Thieves Raid Morocco’s Attijariwafa Bank in Mauritania

Rabat- A group of masked individuals armed with guns and sharp weapons stormed the Attijari Bank agency in Mauritania’s capital Nouakchott on Tuesday and stole UM 7 million, equal to MAD 190,000.The bank’s CCTV footage captured the crime scene, showing the culprits breaking into the bank, threatening the staff and hitting clients with weapons.An investigation has been opened to catch the perpetrators, according to local authorities. The Attijari Bank is a subsidiary of Attijariwafa,  Morocco’s leading bank. It has several subsidiaries in Africa, including Egypt, Congo, Gabon, and Mauritania. read more

Climate change the focus as Ban kicks off visit to Seattle

There are just 42 days left until countries meet in Copenhagen to ‘seal the deal’ on a new global pact to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change, which Mr. Ban has called “the defining challenge of our era.”Today in Seattle, the Secretary-General is slated to attend an event for children as part of the Shrinking Bigfoot programme, an interactive project sponsored by Seattle City Light to help young people learn about climate change and environmental issues. Launched in November 2008, the initiative focuses on empowering children to shrink their carbon footprints with easy, everyday actions such as turning off the lights and recycling. Mr. Ban is also scheduled to meet today with local leaders, civil society groups, the private sector and community representatives to discuss climate change and environmental and economic sustainability.In addition, he will call for renewed multilateralism and greater engagement on the major challenges of the day, including for climate change and for an agreement in Copenhagen, when he addresses the local chapter of the UN Association of the US (UNA-USA). 25 October 2009Climate change was the focus today as Ban Ki-moon kicked off his first visit to Seattle as United Nations Secretary-General, setting out to see firsthand the efforts of United States citizens, communities and businesses to protect the environment. read more

Korean peninsula Annan welcomes accord between two countries on dialogue

The United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, today welcomed the agreement by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea to “bring back on track the inter-Korean relations.”The Secretary-General was “particularly encouraged by their pledge to actively pursue inter-Korean dialogue and cooperation, which is crucial to establishing lasting peace and security on the Korean peninsula,” a spokesman for Mr. Annan said at a press briefing in New York.The Secretary-General also hoped to see an early resumption of dialogue between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the United States, Japan and other interested countries, in order to address issues of mutual concern, the spokesman added. read more

UN rights expert warns against measures to restrict freedom of religion

Asma Jahangir, the newly appointed Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, says in her office’s annual report to the General Assembly that governments must play “a delicate role” to ensure that religious tensions do not transform into violent confrontations.”Increasing polarization between various shades of opinion and across religious lines has to be addressed at a national level. Open discourse at the regional and international levels is also necessary,” she states.Presenting her report today to the General Assembly’s social, humanitarian and cultural committee (also known as the Third Committee), Ms. Jahangir said some States had unduly restricted freedom of religion when they introduced anti-terrorism measures, thereby running the risk of breeding further intolerance.In the report, based mostly on the work of her predecessor Abdelfattah Amor, Ms. Jahangir criticizes the move of some countries to restrict the practice of certain religious rites or ceremonies in the belief that those rites encourage intolerance.”Such measures would be counter-productive and would be violative of the international norm of freedom of religion or belief.”Ms. Jahangir also notes the numerous reports of intolerance or hate towards Muslims and Islam, as well as “an equal number of reports of the use of highly inflammatory speech against other religions and their followers by certain recognized Muslim individuals and Islamic groups.”She cautions governments in these situations to remain steadfastly neutral and to not propose laws that could discriminate between various religious communities.The report also details the Rapporteur’s communications to 29 nations about concerns of possible restrictions of freedom of religion there, and those countries’ responses. read more

Wynne says Ontario Liberals ready to campaign on new revenue tools for

Wynne says Ontario Liberals ready to campaign on new revenue tools for transit by Keith Leslie, The Canadian Press Posted Sep 28, 2013 4:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email HAMILTON – Ontario’s minority Liberal government is ready to campaign on new tolls or fees to fund public transit, even though the opposition parties will accuse them of raising taxes, Premier Kathleen Wynne said Saturday.New revenue tools to pay for upgrades to public transit in the Toronto-Hamilton corridor are just one of the policy ideas being debated by about 500 Liberals at a provincial council meeting this weekend, the first get-together since Wynne took over as premier last January.Wynne said Liberals know it will be a tough sell but that money must be found for transit and other infrastructure projects.“I believe that the people in this party understand, and I have talked to many of them, that if we don’t take this responsibility, if we don’t find a way to do this in the fairest way possible, then we’re abdicating our responsibility to the next generation and the generation after that,” she said.The public is ahead of politicians on the need to ease gridlock and boost transit and don’t want the Liberals to back down on raising new revenues, added Wynne.“We’re at the point right now where people’s quality of life is so affected that they can see what the negative impact will be if we don’t do something about this right now,” she said.“What I hear from people is fear, that because successive governments have not made the investments necessary that we won’t be able to hold onto that resolve to build what’s necessary going forward.”The New Democrats said they don’t want to see any tolls or higher taxes for transit until the government makes big businesses pay more in taxes, and warned the issue could trigger an election.“We’re not going to support new taxes and tolls that hit households while the Liberal government is opening new loopholes with billions to Ontario’s biggest corporations,” said Hamilton New Democrat MPP Paul Miller.In her first address to a Liberal convention as premier, Wynne said she does not want the party to get dragged into being mean or engaging in personal attacks like she has been subjected to.“Even when it gets hard, even when the real campaign battle begins — when it can be hard to resist old style politics — we are going to show people that there is another way to do politics,” said Wynne.“The people of Ontario don’t want that negativity, and I hear that over and over again.”The Liberals are meeting to begin their process to develop policies for the next election, which will include asking the public for ideas.Wynne defended the Liberals’ 10-year record in government and said they had turned Ontario around.“I’m not going to let anyone diminish these accomplishments or rewrite the history of our contributions,” she said in a speech to the party faithful.The Progressive Conservatives and New Democrats say the Liberals are reaching out to the public because they’re out of new ideas, especially on ways to turn the economy around and create jobs.But Wynne said the Liberals intend to set targets for each sector of the economy to make sure there are proper supports to help businesses grow and expand their workforce.“We cannot slash our way to success,” she said in a shot at the Conservatives.“We are investing in people. We are investing in infrastructure and we are supporting businesses by creating an innovative and dynamic environment where everyone can succeed.” read more

Barrett Buckeyes run away from Bearcats 5028

Redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) carries the ball during a game against Cincinnati on Sept. 27 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 50-28.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorThe Ohio State football team gained more than 700 yards of total offense on its way to a 50-28 win against Cincinnati. OSU (3-1) scored 23 points in the first quarter and another 20 in the second half to seal a 40th consecutive win against in-state opponents Saturday night at Ohio Stadium. The Buckeyes’ offensive output fueled a 30-point run in the first half and a 17-point run in the second to help negate a huge day from Cincinnati redshirt-sophomore quarterback Gunner Kiel. With the score at 36-28 in favor of OSU in the second half, the Buckeye defense forced four consecutive punts and the offense scored two touchdowns in that span to take a 50-28 lead. Senior wide receiver Evan Spencer said the Buckeyes’ quick start on offense was drawn up in the game plan coming in. “It was a big emphasis in the locker room coming into this game and we just put our foot on the pedal right away,” Spencer said after the game. “It means the world to play offensively the last two games like we have. Now it’s time for us to get on a roll.” OSU coach Urban Meyer said he was happy with the Buckeyes’ ability to move the ball, but left room for improvement from his defense. “Other than a dropped third down and a fumble, I was very pleased for the night, offensively,” Meyer said after the game.“Defensively, we’re back to the drawing board.” OSU redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett powered the offensive output with 330 yards and four touchdowns in response to Kiel’s 352 yards and four scores. Beyond Barrett’s big day, the Buckeyes had a balanced attack throughout the game as they totaled 380 on the ground. Sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliott led all OSU ball carriers with 28 attempts for 182 yards and a touchdown. Meyer said OSU’s offense is powered by the offensive line, and said the linemen led the way to the Buckeyes’ victory. “They won the game for us,” Meyer said. “And they controlled that line of scrimmage, they protected our quarterback.” Barrett echoed his coach and said the offensive line’s play was a key to the win. “All the credit goes to the offensive line,” Barrett said after the game. “They got it started for us and that’s what coach Meyer always talks about in relying on them to keep the offensive going.” Kiel hit junior wide receiver Chris Moore for a 60-yard touchdown on the game’s fourth play from scrimmage to put the Bearcats ahead early. OSU responded with a run of 30 straight points — including a safety after a sack-and-strip by sophomore defensive lineman Joey Bosa. Senior defensive lineman Michael Bennett said Bosa’s play was the turning point for the Buckeyes. “Today I think he (Bosa) changed the whole course of the game by hitting Gunner Kiel like that and forcing the safety,” Bennett said after the game. “It gave us incredible momentum and Gunner was kind of looking at him from that point on.” The Cincinnati signal caller responded with two more touchdown passes toward the end of the half, including an 83-yard strike to Moore to cap a four-play, 97-yard drive. Despite the charge from Cincinnati, OSU still entered the break ahead, 30-21. Kiel finished the half 14 of 19 on pass attempts for 234 yards and all three Cincinnati touchdowns. Barrett was 15 of 20 for 185 yards and a pair of scores at the break. The Buckeyes opened the second half with a 14-play, 67-yard drive that ended with a 25-yard field goal by freshman kicker Sean Nuernberger to bring their lead back to double digits. Cincinnati responded with another long touchdown from Kiel to Moore, this time for 78 yards to make it 33-28 in favor of OSU. The three connections between the pair totaled 221 yards and three touchdowns. Meyer said he was “pissed” when the Bearcats stormed back with big plays through the air, but recognized that Cincinnati is “probably the best throwing team” OSU has faced during his tenure in Columbus. “I asked (Cincinnati coach Tommy Tuberville) after the game, and he’s got a good team,” Meyer said. “But we’re Ohio State, too, so we better learn how to play pass defense and get that fixed. In response to the Bearcats’ touchdown, OSU was forced to settle for another field goal on the ensuing possession, which Nuernberger put through the uprights from 42 yards out, extending the lead to 36-28.Senior wide receiver Evan Spencer (6) celebrates a touchdown during a game against Cincinnati on Sept. 27 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 50-28.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorAfter the Buckeyes’ defense forced a punt, Barrett hit sophomore H-back Dontre Wilson in the end zone without a defender within five yards. Another Cincinnati punt lead to another touchdown pass for Barrett as he hit senior wide receiver Devin Smith from 34 yards out to make the Buckeyes’ lead 50-28. Barrett added 79 yards on the ground while Wilson led all OSU receivers with 71 yards to go along with one touchdown. Elliott finished the game with 233 total yards. Sophomore safety Vonn Bell led OSU with seven total tackles while Bosa’s sack was the only tackle for loss by the Buckeyes in the game. Barrett’s 409 yards of total offense rank second in OSU history behind Art Schlichter’s 412-yard output against Florida State in 1981. The team’s total output of 710 yards is third most in school history after a late 10-yard loss negated what would have been the new OSU record. The Buckeyes gained 718 yards against Mount Union in 1930 and 715 yards against Utah in 1986. Moore led all players with his 221 yard receiving while the Bearcats were held to just 70 yards on the ground. The official attendance of 108,362 set a new Ohio Stadium record, passing the total from the Sept. 6 loss to Virginia Tech. The Buckeyes are scheduled to head to College Park, Md., to take on Maryland on Oct. 4. Kickoff is set for noon. For highlights from Saturday’s game, watch the video below. OSU cheerleaders lead players into Ohio Stadium prior to kickoff against Cincinnati on Sept. 27. OSU won, 50-28. Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editor read more

Patients promised speedier access to GPs as long waits named and shamed

first_imgThe 111 line has been plagued by criticism since its launch, much of it centred on decisions taken by those without medical training.Under the reforms, every hospital has been ordered to introduce “front-door streaming” by October, with GPs stationed at A&E departments to assess patients and keep the least sick away.Paramedics will be told to treat more patients on the spot, and GPs will be sent in to care homes to reduce the number of needless hospital admissions.Later this month, NHS England will announce plans to simplify emergency care, replacing an “alphabet soup” of walk-in-centres, minor injury units and urgent care centres with one consistent service.Trusts have been told they have to get their A&E performance up to 90 per cent by September and 95 per cent by March 2018.Doing this will mean they receive extra performance-related funding.In a speech  on Thursday Jeremy Hunt said it was “critical for patient safety” that the target is reached. NHS England has warned the health system is under strain The Royal College of GPs (RCGP) recently warned that lives were being put at risk by waits of up to one month to see a doctor.“We will start collecting that data later this year and we want to publish those so people can see what different waiting times are,” Mr Stevens told MPs. “It will be good for patients, it will be good for GPs.” NHS England has warned the health system is under strainCredit:Lynne Cameron/PA Wire But GPs hit out at the idea. Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chairman of the RCGPs, said: “GPs and our teams will today see more than 1.3m patients – we are working flat out, delivering the vast majority of NHS patient care, for a fraction of the overall budget. We want to do more for our patients, we want to offer more services that our patients will find useful and will be of benefit to their health, but with the intense resource and workforce pressures we are facing, this will simply not be possible.“Data can be a very useful tool in improving patient care – but data on waiting times should not be used as a measure of performance, as this will be affected by too many variables. Average waiting times will be influenced by population demographics and deprivation levels in an area, for example, as well as factors at a practice level, such as recruitment difficulties.“It is essential that any data derived from general practice is used in a meaningful way to inform and improve the health service and the care that patients receive, and is not  simply used as a stick to beat hard working GPs and our teams with,” she said. The reforms follow a £2bn investment in social care and a £100m injection for schemes to divert the least sick away from A&E, announced in Wednesday’s budget.Mr Stevens told the Public Accounts Committee that a “beefed up” 111 service would in time take over GP out-of-hours calls, with far greater use of those with medical training.   Prof John Appleby, Nuffield Trust chief economist said the number of patients stuck on trolleys had “gone through the roof” and said that even with extra Budget funding, there was no guarantee of any let up soon. 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. Hunt  The new plans will see GPs stationed in A&E departments center_img Patients will be promised speedier access to GPs with family doctors named and shamed for long waiting times, under new NHS plans.The new targets come alongside a major overhaul of emergency care, with promises to increase the proportion  of 111 calls assessed by medics, amid concern that too many decisions are being made by ill-trained handlers.The plans come as official figures show record waits in Accident & Emergency departments, and warnings that the number of patients stuck on trolleys is “going through the roof”.Simon Stevens, head of the NHS, has ordered hospitals to empty up to 3,000 beds as soon as possible, in order to relieve pressure on services. It is part of sweeping changes in the way care is provided, in a bid to reduce the number of people turning to hospitals, by improving access to family doctors.Health officials have brought forward a manifesto pledge, which promised all patients 8am to 8pm access to GPs, seven days a week, by 2020. The target for longer hours on weekdays has now been shifted forward, to March 2019.Mr Stevens said that every GP practice will be ordered to publish waiting times, in order to drive improvements, and allow patients to choose surgeries with better access. Meeting A&E targets is “critical” for patient safety, Jeremy Hunt said  New figures show A&E performance is the worst on record, with just 85 per cent of cases treated within four hours in January, dropping to 78 per cent in major casualty units.Almost 80,000 patients were kept waiting more than four hours, while nearly 1,000 faced a wait of over 12 hours. Mr Hunt said: “NHS staff have worked exceptionally hard this winter and, despite the additional pressure, treated more than 1.6 million people in A&E within four hours in January.”We have however seen a number of unacceptable cases of poor performance and patient care that cannot be repeated – that’s why NHS England has today launched a plan to get hospitals back on track to meet the 95% standard, supported by the Budget announcements of £100 million for A&E and the £2 billion social care funding that will help to improve hospital discharge.” GP  “Frankly we need a higher proportion of the calls dealt with by a doctor, a nurse or a paramedic and we want to increase that proportion from 22 per cent of calls right now, to north of 30 per cent by this coming winter,” Mr Stevens said.last_img read more

US authorities nab American passenger arriving from St Lucia with cocaine

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedJ’can nabbed with cocaine hidden in bottles at JFK airportOctober 4, 2018In “Regional”Fly Jamaica crew member held with drugs at JFKMarch 22, 2018In “Regional”Mobile Passport Control App for Caribbean travellers expands at American airportsJune 21, 2016In “latest news” NEW YORK, United States (CMC) United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has arrested a United States national arriving from St Lucia at the John F Kennedy International Airport in New York after discovering a quantity of drugs in a wheelchair.CBP said that officers stopped Yoncela Stanley earlier this week after they ‘noticed that the back seat cushion of her wheelchair appeared unusual. The back seat cushion was removed and felt ‘unusually heavy’.“CBP officers probed the cushion, producing a white powder that tested positive for cocaine,” CBP said, adding that Stanley was arrested for the importation of a controlled substance and was turned over to the US Department of Homeland Security Investigations.The total weight of cocaine seized was about 27 pounds, with an estimated street value of US$468,000, CBP said.“This latest seizure demonstrates the vigilance of our CBP officers, and their excellence in detecting those who would try to smuggle these illegal substances,” said Leon Hayward, Acting Director, Field Operations New York.Hayward said Stanley now faces US federal narcotics smuggling charges and will be prosecuted by the US Attorney’s Office in the US Eastern District Court of New York. read more

Gardaí launch text alert service to tackle rural crime

first_imgIf you have trouble viewing this, click here. A NATIONAL COMMUNITY text alert service has been launched today to help prevent rural crime and offer support to communities.The service was launched by An Garda Síochana, Muintir na Tíre and Neighborhood Watch. It allows local residents to report suspicious behaviour in their area and, through gardaí, this is passed on to the rest of the community through text messages.Flyers around communities alerting people to the service will provide the phone number of the local garda station, which they can call, and if the incident is deemed worthy, gardaí will pass the information to the service provider Pin Point Alerts. This company has already done similar work with councils, sending alerts like severe weather warnings and road closures.Managing Director of the company Brendan Cunnigham told that this tool will be particularly useful for older people living in rural areas who may be isolated.“If someone sees people selling things door-to-door and they’re suspicious they can get an alert out telling people to be aware of someone claiming to be a salesman,” he explained. “It can also be used for telling people about individuals entering areas they they shouldn’t.”Cunningham said that an automated calling service will also be set up as part of the system for people who would prefer to get alerts on their landline phone.“I think is timely because there are a lot of disgruntled people out there, with the closure of garda stations so this is all about offering support to the community,” he added. (Image: An Garda Síochána/Facebook)Speaking at the Ploughing Championships today, Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan said the emphasis of the initiative is on “preventing crime through active partnerships with communities”.Active community alert groups looking to join the initiative can contact Pin Point Alerts.Related: Councils use new service MapAlerter to spread information to public>last_img read more

7inch Archos GamePad features integrated controller for Android gaming

first_imgWikipad might have gotten an early jump on building an Android gaming tablet, but Archos isn’t about to give the company a free pass. It’s working on a gamer-friendly slate of its own, unsurprisingly dubbed the GamePad.Archos has chosen to go with a 7-inch display, which should make the GamePad slightly more comfortable to hold for extended periods than the 10-inch Wikipad. The GamePad is also scaling back the processor, using a 1.5GHz chip instead of a more high-end quad-core one. That’s textbook Archos, of course, as the company tends to build devices for the budget conscious consumer.Do you really need integrated gaming controls on an Android tablet? Most games are built for touch, so you can probably get along without just fine. But for those who can’t get enough emulator action, the physical d-pad and buttons will be a welcome addition. It’s also virtually guaranteed that studios will start offering more controller-friendly games in the near future — as more Android devices like the GamePad, Wikipad, and Ouya console — arrive on the scene.The GamePad’s biggest selling feature might not be the controls anyway, but its price. It’s reportedly going on sale in Europe for less than €150 (about $190) in October, and its stateside price could end up even lower. Archos has yet to announce when (or even if) the GamePad will cross the pond, however, so you may have to track down an online shop that offers international shipping if you want to get your hands on one as soon as possible.More at Liliputinglast_img read more

Talks between INMO and government to return to Labour Court as union

first_img Mar 11th 2019, 7:46 AM Image: 30 Comments By Cormac Fitzgerald 20,612 Views Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Share354 Tweet Email2 Image: Talks between INMO and government to return to Labour Court as union rejects new nurses’ deal The negotiations come after nurses went on general strike for a number of days last month. Updated Mar 11th 2019, 6:08 PM TALKS BETWEEN THE government and nurses have been referred to the Labour Court after nurses’ unions rejected government draft contracts as “unreasonable”.It follows an extraordinary general meeting of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation this afternoon to decide what steps to take in the ongoing nurses’ dispute.  Negotiations ended without a deal last night, when representatives for the nurses and midwives said there remained “a very large gap” between their side and the Government.Talks come after nurses went on general strike for a number of days in February, protesting against what they call a recruitment and retention crisis in the sector.The government initially refused to budge on its position over wage increases for nurses, before the Labour Court intervened to avert further strikes. As part of that recommendation, negotiations are ongoing between all sides on a new contract for nurses. Balloting on the proposals had been expected to start today, but INMO chiefs decided to postpone the start of balloting by two weeks, in line with a decision that members would not be balloted without what the union felt was a satisfactory contract.Following the latest breakdown in talks, discussions have once again been referred to the Labour Court.The Court is expected to examine the disputed clauses of the new draft contract, and the HSE, the Department of Health, and the Department of Public Expenditure are expected to attend.“We are deeply disappointed with the government’s attempt to stretch the limits set by the Labour Court in these contract talks,” INMO general secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said.“The government’s contract proposals are unacceptable to us and would only worsen the recruitment and retention problems.“We believe that the government’s proposed contract goes far beyond the Labour Court recommendation and will be making this case firmly to the Court on behalf of our members.”INMO general secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha previously told RTÉ Radio One’s Today with Sean O’Rourke that they were “very disappointed” that their employer only met with them this week following the Labour Court recommendation last month.“We engaged all over the weekend and on a couple of evenings last week with the employer, with the view to getting a contract that would actually improve recruitment and retention,” Ní Sheaghdha said.“The contract that was presented was way outside of the scope of what the Labour Court had instructed and we sought to get it back into that space over the weekend,” she said, adding that “at the moment, we’re at a point where it still isn’t there”.“There isn’t any indication from our end that this contract would be acceptable to our members,” she said.The union’s executive council is expected to meet again on 20 March.With reporting by Hayley Halpin and Stephen McDermott Short URL Monday 11 Mar 2019, 6:08 PMlast_img read more

Florida City Police hand out warm meals to homeless

first_imgFLORIDA CITY, FLA. (WSVN) – – A group of South Florida police officers gathered several warm meals and handed them to homeless people who had to bear the recent cold snap.Florida City Police went to a Pollo Tropical Wednesday night and purchased 50 meals that were handed out to the homeless.“We went to Pollo Tropical here in Florida City,” said Florida City Corporal Ken Armenteros. “We partnered up and we put our money together and bought about 50 meals. We’ve been going out to the city tonight, handing them out to everybody. On a cold night, we know everybody’s going to have a hot meal and that’s one less thing that they have to worry about and that’s our gift from us to them because at the end of the day, we’re all in it together.”Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Pakistan commando behind capture of Abhinandan killed in firing

first_imgNEW DELHI: A Pakistani commando who was behind the capture of Commander Abhinandan Varthaman when his IAF jet crashed in Pakistani territory in February this year, and had reportedly tortured the IAF pilot, has been killed in firing by Indian forces along the Line of Control. According to reports, Ahmed Khan, a subedar with the Pakistan Army’s Special Service Group, was killed by the Indian Army in Nakyal sector of the LoC on August 17 when he was trying to facilitate more infiltrators into India. Also Read – Watch: Donald Trump says Florida faces absolute monster hurricane Advertise With Us In photos released by Pakistan after Abhinandan’s captured on February 27, the bearded Khan can be seen behind the IAF officer. Abhinandan was captured after his MiG 21 was shot down by Pakistani forces when he went chasing after a Pakistani jet in the aftermath of the Balakot airstrike. It is reported that Ahmed Khan used to facilitate infiltration in the Nowshera, Sundarbans and Pallan Wala sectors. He was specially roped in by the Pakistani army to facilitate infiltration. Also Read – Pakistan test-fires 290-km range missile Advertise With Us Sources said that Khan used to mobilize well-trained militants of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) outfit at a forward post as part of Pakistan’s plan to keep terrorism alive in Kashmir. On August 17, India retaliated fiercely to Pakistan launching a mortar fire attack on Indian forces in the Krishna Ghati sector in Poonch. Pakistan was firing mortar shells to allow infiltrators to enter India. Khan was killed in the return fire by India.last_img read more

eincentive Govt thinks over 2 per cent GST relief on digital payments

first_imgMobile paymentsReutersMaking digital payments pays. If the government is serious about its plans to give a 2 percent incentive over the applicable GST tax rate in case of digital payments where the bill is up to Rs 2,000, the move would also help discourage cash payments.Sources told The Times of India (TOI) that the proposal intended to give benefits in the form of discounts or cash-back, is being discussed between the finance ministry, RBI, cabinet secretariat and ministry of electronics and IT.The idea was said to have been raised at a recent meeting which analysed digital payment transactions post demonetisation last November, said a TOI report on Monday. The meeting was attended by IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and senior officials from other wings of the government, including the finance ministry and the cabinet secretary’s office.”The idea is to incentivise all kinds of digital payments, especially smaller transactions, in line with the government’s plan of making India a less-cash economy,” a source told TOI. The IT ministry is leading the government’s efforts on digital payments and has been taking stock of initiatives to further popularise electronic payments, the report said.The relief is being mooted for smaller transactions of upto Rs 2,000 as these are larger by way of volumes and mostly preferred through cash mode. Any incentive here will provide impetus to digital payments. The source said that transactions of up to Rs 2,000 are very high in volumes and any incentive here will provide impetus to digital payments. This would also facilitate the entry of more people within the formal economy, and help play a credible part in countering the development of black money.The nature of the route through which the incentive of 2 percent would be provided was not clear, the source told TOI, adding that the issue is being discussed in the finance ministry.More initiatives are being considered by the government to further encourage digital transactions, especially when electronic transaction volumes have fallen over the past few months as the availability of cash post demonetisation improved. RelatedAre ATMs being driven to extinction? Demonetisation, digitisation have the answerPaytm plans messaging service to rival WhatsAppBuy, buy, baby: RBI’s checks can make the banks bouncePayU India launches online deferral payment facility ‘LazyPay’States, UTs will now be ranked for digital transactions by Niti Aayoglast_img read more

Houston Reacts To Dallas Shootings Of Police Officers

first_imgFlorian MartinHouston Mayor Sylvester Turner, HPD Interim Chief Martha Montalvo and city council members react to Thursday’s shooting of police officers in Dallas.Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said he called Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings Friday morning to express his support and condolences to the families of the officers who were killed in the ambush.At least one gunman killed five officers and wounded seven others as well as two civilians after a Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas Thursday night.Police killed the suspect after a lengthy standoff.At a Friday news conference to respond to the shootings, Turner also said he wants to sit down with different groups to come up with a strategy to improve trust between police and the community to avoid a similar event in Houston, “so that people have confidence that justice will prevail and that people will know that law enforcement is here for them and not to work against them and is respectful of them.”The mayor cautioned not to hold a whole group accountable for the acts of an individual — whether that be a bad cop or a member of the community.Tamara Gillard, who is working on her MBA at Texas Southern University, fears the shootings will worsen the situation between police and the community.“It’s terrible,” she said. “I don’t think anyone’s life should be taken in just cold blood for no reason, because cops save lives every day for us, so that was just out of control for me, especially with everything that’s going on, it just makes things worse.”Gillard said she is upset about the recent high-profile killings of young black men by police. But she said anger and violence doesn’t help to achieve change.She said the black community needs to unite and make sure lawmakers and other decision-makers hear their voices.Interim police Chief Martha Montalvo said the Houston Police Department meets with community groups every few months to build relationships and trust.She also said the HPD administration has sent out alerts to its officers after the shooting in Dallas, “to be vigilant, to be alert. Actually, I’m also stressing that they use their vest, their bullet proof vests and to just be vigilant. I mean, these type of situations, I don’t care how prepared we are, how much training we have, they happen.”The chief also said any officer who requests to ride in the car with another officer is accommodated.Houston Police Officers Union president Ray Hunt is encouraging all officers to ride with a partner.“A lone gunman is less likely to shoot at two people than he is to shoot… He’s more likely to shoot at one if he can take him out because he has to make sure he gets them both or he’s going to get killed,” Hunt said. “So it just makes sense.”He said this may affect less urgent calls, for example for burglaries, since there will be fewer units on the street but not emergency response times.The Black Lives Matter movement is planning a rally Friday night at Discovery Green to show solidarity with the peaceful protesters in Dallas.Ashton Woods, an activist for Black Lives Matter in Houston, emphasized that in Dallas not just the police were targets.“They actually shot into the crowd, not just at police but at everybody,” he said. “Lives were lost and people were wounded by someone who had no regard for life in general.”He said the goals of the protest in Dallas were overshadowed by the shooter’s actions.Chief Montalvo said HPD is prepared and will treat the Houston rally like any other.“People come up and tell us if there are issues,” she said. “And that speaks to the relationship that these officers have with the people.”Both the chief and Mayor Turner emphasized Houston’s diversity. But the mayor said it doesn’t mean anything if communities are segregated. To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Listen 00:00 /02:29 X Sharelast_img read more

UPDATE El Salvador Seeks Immigration Fix In US Congress

first_imgTwitter via #UndocumediaTrump administration just ended TPS (Temporary Protected Status) for 200,000 SalvadoransTHE LATEST on the Trump administration decision on ending protections for Salvadorans in the U.S. (all times local):1:45 p.m.El Salvador’s top diplomat says the end of special protections for about 200,000 Salvadoran immigrants in the United States underscores the need for legislation that would let them stay.Foreign Minister Hugo Martinez says he is confident that the U.S. Congress will develop a permanent fix by September 2019, when Salvadorans will be required to leave the country or face deportation.The diplomat says his government’s efforts to improve conditions in El Salvador will send a signal to U.S. counterparts.Jean Manes, El Salvador’s ambassador to the U.S., says there is now more urgency to improving conditions in El Salvador, with about 12 percent of its citizens living in the United States.___11:30 a.m.The U.S. Department of Homeland Security confirms that it is ending special protections for Salvadoran immigrants, forcing nearly 200,000 to leave the country or face deportation.Salvadorans will have until Sept. 9, 2019, to leave the United States or adjust their legal status.Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Monday that damage inflicted by a 2001 earthquake in the Central American country didn’t justify another temporary extension. She says that El Salvador has received significant international aid and that much of the country’s infrastructure is rebuilt.She says the 18-month delay gives Congress time to address the issue.___10:20 a.m.Officials say the Trump administration is ending special protections for emigrants from El Salvador, forcing nearly 200,000 to leave the country or face deportation.El Salvador is the fourth country whose citizens have lost Temporary Protected Status under President Donald Trump. They have by far been the largest beneficiaries of the program, which provides humanitarian relief for foreigners whose countries are hit with natural disasters or other strife.Two U.S. officials discussed the decision with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly before the announcement.One official said Salvadorans will have until September 2019 to leave the United States or adjust their legal status. Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen faced a Monday deadline whether to grant an extension.— By Associated Press writer Zeke Miller.___1:10 a.m.The Trump administration faces a Monday deadline on whether to extend protections that would allow nearly 200,000 Salvadorans to stay in the U.S. legally.Citizens of El Salvador are currently the beneficiaries of the Temporary Protected Status program. It provides humanitarian relief for foreigners whose countries are hit with natural disasters or other strife.Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen faces a Monday deadline on whether to grant an extension of up to 18 months.A decision to force the Salvadorans back to their native country would represent a serious challenge for El Salvador, which depends on remittances from wage-earners in the U.S.In November, the administration ended protections for citizens of Haiti and Nicaragua. Citizens of Honduras may be next. Sharelast_img read more

Supreme Court States Can Force Online Retailers to Collect Sales Tax

first_imgLet us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Drunk Shoppers Blow $48B Annually—Mostly on AmazonNew Etsy Initiative Helps Offset Carbon Shipping Emissions States can now require online retailers to collect sales taxes, even if the seller doesn’t have a physical presence in the territory.The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled to overturn a 1992 precedent that outlawed the collection of such tariffs in South Dakota.A regulation that, according to the court, provided “incentive to avoid physical presence” in various states, and led to a “judicially created tax shelter” for businesses.“When the day-to-day functions of marketing and distribution in the modern economy are considered, it becomes evident that [the] physical presence rule is artificial, not just ‘at its edges’ … but in its entirety,” the official document said.Ultimately, in this rapidly changing society, the 26-year-old statute is already antiquated.“The Internet’s prevalence and power have changed the dynamics of the national economy,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion.In 1992, mail-order sales (remember those catalogues thick with tempting merchandise?) in the US totaled $180 billion, the court said. Last year, e-commerce retail sales alone were estimated at $435.5 billion. Add to that remote sellers, and the numbers exceed half a trillion dollars.“This expansion has also increased the revenue shortfall faced by states seeking to collect their sales and use taxes,” Kennedy said, citing an annual loss of $694 million to $3 billion in 1992. Estimates now range from $8 to $33 billion.So what does this mean for customers? Well, you can expect to pay more for furniture from Wayfair, jewelry from Overstock, and electronics from Newegg—none of which have employees or real estate in South Dakota.The new legislation—aimed at larger online retailers—shouldn’t affect artisanal products from eBay and Etsy. South Dakota’s law applies only to sellers delivering more than $100,000 of goods, or at least 200 transactions, in the state each year.Thirty-one states already levy online sales taxes. It is unclear whether this week’s ruling will prompt them to adjust their laws, or encourage the remaining 19 states to follow suit.Proponents of the “landmark” decision—including South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley—regard this as a win for Main Street businesses “that will now have a level playing field and tax fairness.”House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), and Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) are less than thrilled, calling the reversal “a nightmare for American businesses and small online sellers.”“This decision will have broad ramifications well beyond the sales tax arena,” they said in a joint statement, suggesting that this ruling “will stifle online commerce, close businesses, and ultimately harm consumers.”In public statements released Thursday, Wayfair and Overstock agreed to comply with the law, which they believe will have little noticeable impact on the firms.“Wayfair has long supported a legislative solution that would establish a level playing field for brick-and-mortar and online retailers by permitting states to collect sales tax on online sales,” the company said. “While we believe the court was not the ideal venue for creating this level playing field, we expect that [Thursday’s] decision will bring clarity and certainty to this issue.” Overstock, meanwhile, is also urging the U.S. government to help soften the blow.“The framers of the Constitution intended Congress to regulate interstate commerce by thoughtful legislation,” executive Jonathan Johnson added. “To lessen the potential impact of [Thursday’s] ruling on Internet innovation, Congress can, and should, pass sound legislation allowing states to accomplish their aims while still permitting small Internet business to thrive.”center_img Stay on targetlast_img read more

MIT Has the FlyingDriving Drones Youre Looking For

first_img Orville and Wilbur Wright may have paved the way for aviation. But a team of researchers at MIT are adding a new twist on human-invented flight.Students of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) are developing robots that can maneuver on land and in the sky.In a new paper presented in Singapore earlier this month, the group outlines a system of eight quadcopter drones that fly and drive through a “city” with terrestrial and atmospheric obstacles.“The ability to both fly and drive is useful in environments with a lot of barriers, since you can fly over ground obstacles and drive under overhead obstacles,” Ph.D. student Brandon Araki, lead author on the paper, said in a statement. “Normal drones can’t maneuver on the ground at all. A drone with wheels is much more mobile while having only a slight reduction in flying time.”This project builds on Araki’s previous work developing a “flying monkey” robot, which crawls, grasps, and flies—but can not travel autonomously.Enter independent drones. By integrating “path-planning” algorithms (ensuring the unmanned aerial vehicles don’t crash into each other) and installing motors with wheels, the robots were able to fly nearly 100 yards and drive 275 yards on their own, before the batteries ran out.Developed by Araki and CSAIL Director Daniela Rus, the program was helped along by MIT undergrads John Strang, Sarah Pohorecky, and Celine Qiu, as well as Tobias Naegeli of ETH Zurich’s Advanced Interactive Technologies Lab.Initial tests saw eight robots successfully navigate from Point A to Point B on a collision-free path.“As we begin to develop planning and control algorithms for flying cars, we are encouraged by the possibility of creating robots with these capabilities at small scale,” Rus said.“While there are obviously still big challenges to scaling up to vehicles that could actually transport humans,” she continued, “we are inspired by the potential of a future in which flying cars could offer us fast, traffic-free transportation.”In the latest step toward the futuristic utopia of The Jetsons‘ Orbit City, manufacturer PAL-V in February began sales of the Liberty Pioneer and Liberty Sport flying cars/driving planes. A month later, Intaldesign and Airbus unveiled their modular, fully electric, zero-emissions Pop-Up concept vehicle, which can be operated on the ground or in the air.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on target Watch: Drone Captures Incredible View of Sheep on Colorado PeakGeek Pick: DJI RoboMaster S1 Is an Educational Land Drone last_img read more

Windows 8 readies pushbutton PC refresh reset

first_imgResetting your Win 8 PC More information: … d-reset-your-pc.aspx Both functions will be at the push of a button to help users easily reset or refresh their PCs. “The power of personalization is something we all love about PCs,” said a Microsoft Steven Sinofsky,” but sometimes there is good reason to want to roll back to an earlier state. Most consumer electronics devices today can be reset to some factory state, and so we built this capability into Windows 8 too.” In the post authored by Desmond Lee, a Microsoft program manager, the new push-button options will empower the user to refresh or reset their machines. The latter function will be useful for those who want to give their machines to somebody else, such as a family member or coworker, and at the same time want to scrub everything off that they have downloaded. Hitting reset allows complete program and data wipeout and a fresh Windows install.As for the refresh function, Lee said that “misconfigured settings are sometimes the cause of problems that lead to customers needing to refresh their PCs. To ensure that Refresh is both effective in fixing problems and in making sure customers don’t lose settings that they might have trouble reconfiguring, we’ve thought a great deal about which settings to preserve.”In the refresh, Windows 8 is to preserve wireless network connections, mobile broadband connections, BitLocker and BitLocker To Go settings, Drive letter assignments, personalization settings such as lock screen background and desktop wallpaper. While the core settings are backed up, the refresh will not keep file-type associations, display settings, and Windows firewall settings.As for business environments, where Windows 8 might be deployed across the entire corporation’s PCs, a blogger outside Microsoft said that this does not necessarily spell out the demise of IT support; only that their troubleshooting rounds may be eased.In sum, the reset removes all personal data, apps, and settings from the PC and reinstall Windows. The refresh keeps all personal data, Metro style apps, and important settings from the PC, but reinstalls Windows. The time required doing a refresh or a reset is an estimated eight minutes and 22 seconds for a refresh and six minutes and 12 seconds for a quick reset. The Register notes that these numbers are based on a Samsung PC with an i5 processor and 4GB of RAM running the Windows 8 developer preview handed out at the Build Conference in September. A thorough reset takes 23 minutes and 52 seconds. The “thorough” option will write random patterns to every sector of the drive, overwriting existing data visible to the operating system. Microsoft gives further peek at Windows 8 © 2011 PhysOrg.comcenter_img ( — Windows 8 is to deliver two new features that could help mute a past history of being the company that delivers blue screens of death and malware magnets. Briefly, Windows 8 is going to make Windows easier to deal with than ever before. Considering the competition Microsoft now faces, the time is ripe for this kind of pronouncement. In a blog dated January 4, the Windows 8 engineering team reveals two new options, refresh and reset. Citation: Windows 8 readies push-button PC refresh, reset (2012, January 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more