New Delhi, Aug 2 (PTI) The Deafolympians, who had staged a protest at the airport here for not getting a proper welcome by the Sports Ministry, have demanded that they should be treated at par with para-athletes. The Deafolympians, who had won five medals including a gold in the Deafolympics held at Samsun in Turkey from July 18 to 30, had refused to leave Delhi airport, protesting that no top official from the Sports Ministry came to receive them. Later on, they met Sports Secretary Injeti Srinivas and put forth the demand that Deafolympians should be treated at par with para-athletes. Virender Kumar (74 kg freestyle wrestling) was the lone gold winner for India and his coach Maha Singh Rao said that Srinivas has promised to put up the matter (treating Deafolympians at par with para-athletes) before a Ministry committee. “We met the Sports Secretary who is also the SAI Director General and we put the demand that Deafolympians should be treated at par with para-athletes and he has promised to put up the matter to a committee of the ministry to take a decision,” Rao of Guru Hanuman akhara told PTI today. “We also put forward other issues like allowing the Deafolympians to use SAI facilities, consideration of Deafolympians for Arjuna Awards and financial incentives to these athletes,” said Rao, who himself is a Dronacharya Awardee. Rao said his ward Virender has won the Arjuna Award and he would want another deafwrestler to be nominated for the coveted honour. Asked about yesterdays protest at the airport, he said, “We were told about two events on our arrival. The athletes from Haryana were to meet the Haryana Sports Department Director at 10 am. We also have been told that Sports Secretary also would meet us and we came to know that Sports Minister was not well. “But we did not understand why the Sports Secretary was not at the airport to receive us. Only a project officer of the SAI/Ministry was there to receive us,” he added. India had sent a strong contingent of 46 athletes for the Deafolympics and won a gold, silver and three bronze to take the 26th spot in the medals tally. PTI PDS BS BSadvertisement
Transfers I don’t know what will happen in January – Barcelona target Coutinho Robin Bairner Last updated 1 year ago 16:41 12/8/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Transfers Barcelona Villarreal v Barcelona Primera División Liverpool v Everton Liverpool Premier League Philippe Coutinho Liverpool fans face an anxious spell over the coming weeks after the Brazil international refused to rule out a transfer to Camp Nou Philippe Coutinho has admitted that he does not know what his future holds ahead of the January transfer window.The Liverpool star pushed for a summer transfer to Barcelona but the Anfield club held firm over their stance of keeping their ace, yet the Camp Nou side may move for the Brazil international again at the beginning of 2018.While Coutinho has pledged to give his all for the club, fans remain fearful of another unsettling spell and the 25-year-old has been unable to calm their fears. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player “I am at Liverpool and I always do my best when I have the opportunity to play, respecting the jersey and the supporters,” he said.“I do not know how the future is going to be. What will happen in January, we will know it in January. I do not know if there will be an offer.“Last summer there was a job offer in the same way that happens with any employee and I was interested in it. Since I stayed I have played with will and desire.“Of course a lot happened in the summer but my will is always to play and do the best wherever I am – that has not changed.“I am here, we have a lot of games and I try to do my best to help.”After a start to the season that was plagued by injury and uncertainty, Coutinho has responded with a bang, scoring nine times in 13 outings, including a hat-trick in the midweek Champions League win over Spartak Moscow.
Chief among these is the National Export Strategy (NES) Several pieces of legislation have been advanced to support an enabling business environment Story Highlights Exporters urged to invest in continuously upgrading their operations, as well as accessing various legislative and policy provisions Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, is urging exporters to invest in continuously upgrading their operations, as well as accessing various legislative and policy provisions being piloted by the Government in order to ensure that their outputs are deemed export-ready.Speaking at Tuesday’s (September 3) launch of the Jamaica Exporters Association’s (JEA) CARICOM market access website, at the JEA’s Winchester Road offices in Kingston, Mr. Hylton contended that while the government facilitates the environment for business, exporters must determine their state of readiness.“The role and goal of government is to ensure that the most enabling business environment is in place by providing the most appropriate legal and policy framework to support businesses. The export community must (however) be introspective and ask the question- ‘are we ready to compete on the global platform?’ – and if not, ‘how do we propose to re-tool and re-organize with the end game of increased competitiveness and integration into the global economy?’. In other words, ‘how do we make ourselves more export-ready?’” he said.The Minister cited several pieces of legislation, which have been advanced to support an enabling business environment.Chief among these is the National Export Strategy (NES), the review of which he said the Ministry is “advancing”, through its agency, Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO).He said “an early exchange” with the JEA on a process is anticipated, arguing that it is long overdue.Major initiatives under the NES, which Mr. Hylton said are geared towards capacity building for exporters, include the Inter-American Investment Corporation’s the FINPYME Export Plus Programme, coordinated by JAMPRO in collaboration with the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA) and JEA.“The Export Plus programme is geared towards improving access to export markets for small and medium size enterprises, and to develop trade related skills and infrastructure, all in conjunction with the World Trade Organization’s Aid-for-Trade goals. This is done through the offering of technical assistance in areas such as certification, operations and management, geared towards improving international competitiveness in the global export sector,” he explained.The Minister pointed out that Jamaica is among a select number of countries in which the FINPYME Programme has been established, and is the only one, to date, that has implemented the undertaking’s six initiatives.Another initiative, he informed, is the Enterprise Development Programme, also called export-max. This focuses on developing of a cluster of export-ready clients, facilitating market opportunities, and increased export earnings.“The first phase of the programme assisted 15 companies, and the second phase has earmarked some $54.9 million for technical assistance to an additional 10 companies,” he stated.Mr. Hylton also cited the National Competitiveness Council (NCC), which he chairs, as another significant initiative, noting that it facilitates companies conducting businesses easily, and trading across borders.He pointed out that the Council has developed a “comprehensive” reform agenda, which outlines key initiatives to be implemented by 2015. This is in order to increase the ease of doing business in and with Jamaica and, ultimately, shoring up the country’s ranking in key benchmarking reports such as the World Bank’s Doing Business Report.He asserted, however, that the reforms “must go beyond the report”, to address fundamental issues affecting Jamaica’s businesses, the business environment, and their readiness to support the business community.“There are too many areas in which our exporters find themselves severely handicapped in their attempt to penetrate and to maintain an advantageous presence in overseas markets. (In addition to) operating at global standards…. we must also strengthen our capacity-building programmes, fix the business environment, and improve market access,” he contended.The Minister also argued that removing bureaucratic impediments and improving the business environment remains a key focus of the Council, “which constantly seeks to implement reforms to foster a more investor and export-friendly business environment to support the growth agenda.”The CARICOM market access website is the result of a Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ)/JEA workshop, done in collaboration with the Caribbean Development Bank, which represents an attempt to provide exporters with accurate information on the country’s export process, and guidelines foe exporting within CARICOM.
zoom French port Marseille Fos handled 60.9 million tons of cargo in the first nine months of 2015 – up 4% on the same period last year – with passenger results boosted by a 14% rise in cruise numbers.Container traffic gained four points in tonnage and unit terms on 8.8 MT and 915,036 TEUs, after further advances in both the Marseille and Fos harbor areas.Deepsea volumes at Fos were helped in early September with the maiden call of the 14,000 TEU CSCL Venus following the company’s decision to increase capacity on its Asia-Mediterranean-Europe service.“The CSCL initiative is another sign of customer confidence in our offer as a cost-effective southern gateway alternative for major markets across Europe. In addition we continue to gain market share in our natural hinterland, which is key at a time of static economic growth in Asia. Such progress will help to support various development projects in the pipeline for 2016,” a port spokesman said.The container performance nudged general cargo to a 1% rise on 13.5 MT, which included 2.9 MT from ro-ro (+4%) and a 6% increase in new car imports/exports for a total of 126,747 vehicles.Liquid bulk cargo finished four points better on 36.6 MT, driven by 4% growth in crude oil and petroleum products to 33.9 MT.Dry bulk volumes repeated the 8% half-year increase to reach 10.8 MT for the nine months.Passenger throughput was lifted 3% to 1.978 million thanks to the 14% rise in cruise numbers, which reached almost 1.1 million.This included 728,000 passengers in transit, up 19%, and 362,000 home port passengers, up 5%.Ferry passenger numbers fell 9% to 887,000 with a 2% rise on North Africa services outweighed by a continued 13% drop for Corsica.
The province has awarded three separate contracts worth $2.4 million for road improvements that will help traffic roll smoothly and safely in Antigonish County. The first contract is for repaving on Highway 104, from west of the intersection of Taylors Road east for 7.2 kilometres to the intersection of Pomquet River Road. The winning contractor was Cumberland Paving & Contracting Ltd. with a bid of $1,498,450. Also awarded was a contract for the replacement of the bridge over the Clydesdale River, south of Clydesdale on the Clydesdale Road. The winning contractor was Laredo Construction Co. Ltd. with a bid of $508,012. The third contract is for gravelling, crack filling, and coating on Lower West Road for 2.3 kilometres from the intersection of Trunk 7, and on Ohio East Road, west from Trunk 7 for 5.1 kilometres. The winning contractor was Industrial Cold Milling Limited with a bid of $391,350. “Highways are a major economic driver for the province,” said Michael Baker, acting Minister of Transportation and Public Works. “Projects like these help smooth the way for Nova Scotia’s economy.” The Department of Transportation and Public Works’ highways division manages more than 23,000 kilometres of roads in Nova Scotia. It maintains 4,100 bridges and operates seven provincial ferries. Staff provide services from offices in Bridgewater, Bedford, Truro and Sydney.
APTN National NewsNunavut legislators are demanding a public inquiry into the territory’s housing corporation.MLA’s are calling for an inquiry to get to the bottom of the housing corporation, which has found itself $100 million in the red.The Nunavut government, however, is resisting the call.APTN National News reporter Kent Driscoll has more on this escalating political battle that could topple the premier.
APTN National NewsFor the past few days APTN’s Annette Francis has been meeting with a homeless Inuk man in Ottawa.Danny Toolooktook speaks about his long struggle on the street and the lifestyle he’s trying to leave behind.
8 October 2009Rejecting “unacceptable” media accusations ranging from partiality in Afghanistan’s presidential election process to fraud concealment, the top United Nations envoy to the South Asian nation today reiterated his resolve to do all he can to ensure that a final outcome to the polls is determined. “My silence is now being exploited, to a point where these allegations are impeding the ongoing election process,” Kai Eide, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, said in a statement.“I have been motivated by my determination to make every effort to bring the election process to a conclusion,” he added.The audit of suspicious ballot boxes being carried out by the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) and Independent Election Commission (IEC), in the presence of monitors and candidates’ representatives, is nearing an end.“We need to allow both these bodies, which were created under the laws of this country, to conclude their investigations, identify fraud, and deliver a credible result in the next few days,” Mr. Eide, who also heads the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), said.The mission reported yesterday that just over 100 of the 358 suspicious ballot boxes remain to be examined by the auditing process, with the remaining boxes slated to be inspected today.The Special Representative also underscored in today’s statement that “the accusations that the United Nations has covered up or that I asked for fraud to be covered up are patently false,” adding that he plans to deal with these allegations “at the appropriate time.”The world body, he said, is mandated by the Security Council to support the election process but not to interfere in it. “This has been, and remains, the basis of all my efforts.”Yesterday, UN officials stressed that the envoy has only ever sided with electoral institutions in the country’s recent presidential ballot, and never with any of the candidates.In recent days, former Deputy Special Representative Peter Galbraith has accused Mr. Eide of favouring incumbent Afghan President Hamid Karzai in the run-up to and after the country’s 20 August election by allowing voting irregularities to occur.“What Kai Eide did, what he was supposed to do and what he did very faithfully, is side with the institutions,” a Director of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), Wolfgang Weisbrod-Weber, told reporters yesterday in New York.“He was always keen and he still is keen to let the institutions work out the process,” said Mr. Weisbrod-Weber, who runs the Asia and Middle East Division of DPKO.In the preparations for the election and in the aftermath, Mr. Eide has been dedicated to strengthening the ECC and IEC – especially regarding the rules and regulations governing the ballot – to make it as credible as possible, said Mr. Weisbrod-Weber. Assistant-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Edmond Mulet said yesterday that Mr. Galbraith made “all sorts of assertions that were not true and that are completely out of bounds with our mandate in UNAMA regarding the election.”Mr. Mulet added that Mr. Galbraith wanted to close 1,500 of the 6,900 polling stations in volatile regions, a measure that would disenfranchise a large number of potential voters. The Government decided to close down 500 of the stations. He also proposed to annul the elections and set up a transitional government, said Mr. Mulet. “The fact that he was proposing this unconstitutional change and establishing a de facto government in Kabul was one of the elements that convinced us that he was not the right person to be in UNAMA at this point.”Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recalled Mr. Galbraith from Afghanistan at the end of September, terminating his appointment with UNAMA.
“I have learned of cases of borrowers who tried to sell their kidneys to repay the loans. Some leave their villages, suffer domestic violence as a punishment for the “contract breach,” or have to work much harder and more hours to earn sufficient money to repay the debts. Suicides committed by borrowers have been associated to this abusive microcredit dynamic,” he said. As of today, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Japan, Korea, India and China’s project loans alone account for a total USD 19.3 billion or 48 percent of the total loans taken by the State. Therefore, he says he advised international financial partners to establish more robust frameworks to assess the human rights implications of the projects, covering both substantive and procedural rights. (Colombo Gazette) He noted that because these lenders do not follow any particular guideline to assess the credit risks of these loans, combined with usurious terms, a very high number of women in the country default on their debts and get trapped in an exploitative financial system.Meanwhile, Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky also said that there were concerns there was no human right impact assessment of the major infrastructure projects carried out in Sri Lanka.Bohoslavsky noted that after the end of war in 2009, large-scale infrastructure projects have flourished over the country. The United Nations has found that some women in Sri Lanka are pressured by debt collectors to exchange sexual favours for installments.Speaking to reporters in Colombo today following the end of an official visit, the UN Independent Expert on foreign debt and human rights, Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky said that women are at times exposed to psychological and physical violence by these collectors. However, he says the number, frequency and seriousness of the lenders’ abuses he has have found in the country call for an urgent State action.“I learned that while the universe of borrowers is broad, women in poor and war affected areas are specially targeted by microfinance financial institutions, which charge their loans with up to 220 per cent interest rate and apply compound interest,” he said. During his visit, he says, a number of concerns were expressed pertaining to whether and how the positive slipovers of these -and other- projects are capitalized by the country to boost inclusive development and address inequalities as well as to prevent their adverse consequences for human rights.He said that all international lenders and donors he met in Colombo expressed concerns for the environmental and human rights implications of the projects they finance.“However, none of them have in place a human rights impact assessment framework. Some mentioned “social” and “gender” impact evaluations conducted before taking the final decision on the projects but the legal standards against which the projects are assessed were not clear, and the result of these evaluations are not publicly available,” he said. Pablo Bohoslavsky said that microcredit has actually helped lift many people out of poverty by enabling borrowers their livelihoods.
Mr. Annan, who flew to London earlier this week following a tour of the Middle East, discussed the situation in that region during detailed talks with Prime Minister Tony Blair, according to a United Nations spokesman. The two leaders also touched on Iraq, the Balkans, the proposed global AIDS fund, economic assistance to Africa, and progress in Sierra Leone.”Following that meeting, the office of the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Jack Straw, issued a statement supporting the Secretary-General’s bid for a second term as UN Secretary-General,” said spokesman Manoel de Almeida e Silva. “The Secretary-General received the Prime Minister’s personal warm endorsement today,” he added.The Secretary-General later held talks with the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Donald McKinnon, who briefed Mr. Annan on Commonwealth activities in Fiji and land reform in Zimbabwe. They also touched on the situation in West Africa, including the proposed special court for Sierra Leone, as well as the upcoming World Conference on Racism and UN efforts to combat AIDS.Mr. Annan later attended a working lunch with Clare Short, the Secretary for International Development. “Their wide-ranging discussions included issues in Africa, peacekeeping training and rapid reaction, the architecture of the proposed Global Fund for AIDS, and humanitarian situations as well as security for humanitarian workers, among other topics,” Mr. de Almeida e Silva said.During a subsequent meeting with Geoffrey Hoon, the Secretary of State for Defence, Mr. Annan raised “the issue of the training of African troops for peacekeeping in Africa by the United Kingdom and other advanced military countries,” the spokesman said. Discussions also covered UN peace operations as well as the situations Sierra Leone, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo.
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – The Canadian dollar closed slightly lower Monday as traders look ahead to the Bank of Canada’s next scheduled interest rate announcement on Wednesday.Crude oil at a two-month low also helped push the loonie down 0.06 of a cent to 97.3 cents US.No one expects Canada’s central bank to change its key rate from one per cent because of persistently weak economic conditions, but it could make subtle changes to its statement about its interest rate intentions.The tepid pace of the economy was highlighted Friday when data showed fourth quarter growth came in at an annualized rate of 0.6 per cent, with growth actually contracting during December.“Although Friday’s Q4 GDP release came in line with expectations… it was also below the Bank of Canada’s forecast from the January Monetary Policy Report,” said Scotia Capital currency strategist Eric Theoret.“As such, there is the risk of a further moderation in the BoC’s hawkish bias.”At its last meeting in late January, the bank lowered its economic estimates.That was enough to push the loonie below parity with the greenback, where it has stayed ever since, falling to an eight-month low. And economists don’t expect it to rise above parity any time soon.Disappointing Chinese data helped commodity prices remain weak after losing ground on Friday.Expansion in China’s services sector slowed last month to its lowest level since September. The non-manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 54.5 in February from 56.2 in January.Buying sentiment was also depressed Monday by a move by the Chinese government to cool surging housing prices. The government said it will raise required minimum down payments in areas where prices are deemed to be rising too fast and crack down on efforts to evade limits on how many properties each buyer can acquire.Any move to tighten China’s economy is usually taken as a negative because the world’s second biggest economy has played a huge role in helping the overall global economy recover from the 2008 financial collapse and subsequent recession.The April crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell 56 cents to US$90.12 a barrel, its lowest close since Dec. 24, 2012.May copper was unchanged at US$3.50 a pound while April bullion inched up a dime to US$1,572.40 an ounce.There is plenty of major economic data coming down this week that would weigh on the Canadian dollar.On Friday, Statistics Canada releases the February jobs report.Economists anticipate job creation for February to come in at 8,000 after a plunge of 22,000 positions during January, with the jobless rate edging up 0.1 of a point to 7.1 per cent.The U.S. government’s employment report for February also comes out Friday. It is expected that the economy cranked out 155,000 jobs, roughly the same amount as January. by Malcolm Morrison, The Canadian Press Posted Mar 4, 2013 8:30 am MDT Loonie down: commodities slip, traders look to Bank of Canada rate announcement
In this photo taken Wednesday Oct. 19, 2016, a woman poses beneath a 55-foot nude statue in San Leandro, Calif. The statue of a naked woman is stirring controversy and a lot of conversation. City officials and the sculptor of the steel nude, which was unveiled this week across from San Leandro’s main commuter train stop, say they want to draw attention to “feminine energy.” Critics say the 13,000-pound towering nude is not appropriate public art. (AP Photo/Jocelyn Gecker) by Jocelyn Gecker, The Associated Press Posted Oct 21, 2016 2:33 am MDT Last Updated Oct 21, 2016 at 1:51 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email A giant nude statue in California is stirring controversy SAN LEANDRO, Calif. – There have long been complaints about the lack of women in the tech industry. Now there’s a towering female figure, in a tech park across the bay from San Francisco, although not quite what some people had in mind.A 55-foot tall statue of a nude woman unveiled this week in the working-class community of San Leandro is stirring controversy and a lot of conversation.The statue — roughly three times as tall as Michelangelo’s David — is made of steel mesh in the form of a graceful dancer, with an arched back and arms stretched overhead. At the base of the statue is a message in 10 languages that says: “What would the world be like if women were safe?”The debate is not over the statue’s artistic merit or its message of female empowerment, which is aimed at the general public, not the tech industry. It centres on whether the 13,000-pound nude is appropriate in public.“If she’s a ballerina, she should have some clothes on,” said Tonette Watts, 57, a resident and mother of a teen girl, who stopped and stared at the statue on her way to work. “If you’ve got kids you do not want them seeing that.”Another parent, Keith Verville, 48, studied the sculpture and then asked: “Why is it so big? And SO not clothed?”The statue, called “Truth is Beauty,” is on private property at the edge of a new tech office complex — in a highly trafficked and visible area just across from San Leandro’s commuter rail station.Many people, including city officials, have welcomed the statue as a reflection of the changing demographics in San Leandro, where young millennials now outnumber older residents.“This is something I’d never have thought would come to San Leandro,” said Mayor Pauline Russo Cutter. “It’s edgy and modern, and it makes me proud.”The statue debuted in 2013 at Burning Man, the annual counterculture celebration in the Nevada desert. It was then bought by developers of the complex, for a price they haven’t disclosed, under a requirement by the city to include public art at the site.Cutter said some city officials initially weren’t thrilled by the choice but ultimately liked the idea of starting a conversation about art. The mayor says the statue sends a powerful message of female strength that’s more apparent when seen up close.The sculptor, Marco Cochrane, says he was marked as a child by the rape of a neighbourhood friend and tries through art to bring attention to sexual assault and to the fear of many women, but also to the strength women feel when not afraid.“She feels safe and she is loving herself in that moment, and hopefully people can feel that feeling,” Cochrane said of the statue. “It’s a beautiful woman, and part of it is to draw men in. Then they look down and see the message and they go, ‘Ohhhh.’ I hope that happens thousands of times.”As word spreads about the statue, it’s becoming a popular selfie spot.“She is exceptional,” said Jo Sutton, 43, a high school art teacher who hopes to bring her class to see the statue.Businessman Michael Fennell, 73, stood taking pictures from several angles to send to his son, a sculptor in New York.“This is a world-class statue,” Fennell said. “This is not a woman cowering because the world is against her. This is a woman saying, ‘Here we are! We have arrived!’ I love it.”
Police are now investigating a mysterious fire which consumed a home located in Glasgow Housing Scheme, East Bank Berbice during the late hours of Sunday evening.Based on reports received, the fire of unknown origin began in the bedroom of the one story concrete home at around 22:30hrs.Inews was reliably informed that no one was at home during the ordeal but, the neighbours in the area who noticed the blaze informed the fire service.Eyewitnesses told the media that the sound of an explosion erupting from inside of the building made them aware of the fire.While persons commended the Guyana Fire Service for their prompt response, they were unable to save the building which was scorched significantly on the inside and had its roof burnt completely, leaving millions in losses.The owners of the home were not immediately available to speak to Inews on Monday.Investigations are ongoing. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Related
Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore this morning announced that he will be contributing $20,000 to help bail WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange out of jail. The Fahrenheit 911 director didn’t go too far into the sexual assault charges for which Assange is being held, instead using the opportunities to extol the virtues of his site, calling support of WikiLeaks “true patriotism.” “Just imagine if the men who planned this war crime back in 2002 had had a WikiLeaks to deal with,” wrote Moore. They might not have been able to pull it off. The only reason they thought they could get away with it was because they had a guaranteed cloak of secrecy. That guarantee has now been ripped from them, and I hope they are never able to operate in secret again.”Moore also promised to offer “my website, my servers, my domain names and anything else I can do to keep WikiLeaks alive and thriving as it continues its work to expose the crimes that were concocted in secret and carried out in our name and with our tax dollars.”
US PRESIDENT DONALD Trump attempted to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller nearly two years ago from the probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.The Mueller report, which was released today in full, describe Trump’s efforts to remove the special counsel following press reports that the president was under investigation for obstruction of justice.Following the report’s release today, Trump hailed its conclusions as an exoneration, reiterating his now-famous mantra: “No Collusion. No Obstruction.”The Mueller report, however, does reveal interesting details and insights into Russian meddling and the White House reaction to Mueller’s investigation.On 17 June 2017, the Mueller report notes, Trump called White House counsel Don McGahn at home “and directed him to call the Acting Attorney General and say that the Special Counsel had conflicts of interest and must be removed.”“McGahn did not carry out the direction, however, deciding that he would resign rather than trigger what he regarded as a potential Saturday Night Massacre,” the report said, a reference to an effort by US president Richard Nixon in 1973 to thwart the Watergate investigation.As with the president’s firing of former FBI Director James Comey in May 2017, the attempt to remove Special Counsel Mueller “would qualify as an obstructive act if it would naturally obstruct the investigation and any grand jury proceedings that might flow from the inquiry,” the report notes.The report also notes that there is “substantial evidence” indicating that Trump’s attempts to remove Robert Mueller were linked to the special counsel’s oversight of investigations that involved the president’s conduct – and, most immediately, to reports that the president was being investigated for potential obstruction of justice.There is also substantial evidence that “the president’s effort to have former Attorney General Jeff Sessions limit the scope of the special counsel’s investigation to future election interference was intended to prevent further investigative scrutiny of the president’s and his campaign’s conduct,” the report notes.‘I’m f****d’The main findings of the Mueller report, a heavily redacted and colour-coded manuscript, were already pre-rempted by Attorney General William Barr’s March 24 statement which said the Mueller investigation found no criminal collusion by Trump’s 2016 campaign with Russia, and insufficient evidence of obstruction of justice.At a press conference this morning, Barr that there was not enough evidence to conclude that Trump obstructed justice.The report, however, concludes that “if we had confidence a thorough investigations of the facts that the president clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state.”For two years, the White House has denied any wrongdoing or collusion with Russia in 2016′s Presidential Election.The report notes that when former Attorney General Jeff Sessions told Trump that Mueller had been appointed Special Counsel to oversee the investigation in 2016, the President “slumped back in his chair” and said: “Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my Presidency. I’m fucked.”Trump then became angry and “lambasted” Sessions for his decision to recuse himself from the investigation, asking: “How could you let this happen Jeff?”Trump felt that Sessions had let him down and that Sessions recalled that Trump said words to the effect that “you were supposed to protect me”.Trump then described Mueller’s appointment as ” the worst thing that ever happened to me.”The report also notes that the investigation team sought “a voluntary interview ” with the President. “After more than a year of discussion the President declined to be interviewed [REDACTED].”“We made the decision in view of the substantial delay that such an investigative step would likely produce at a late stage in our investigation.”‘Pursued to some degree’The investigation into Russian meddling in 2016′s election receieved testimony from 500 witnesses, issued 2,800 subpoenas, executed nearly 500 search warrants and examined more than 1.4 million pages of documents.The report notes that, throughout 2016, the Trump campaign expressed interest in Hillary Clinton’s private email server and whether approximately 30,000 emails from that server had in fact been permanently destroyed, as reported by the media, the report notes.“Several individuals associated with the campaign were contacted in 2016 about various efforts to obtain the missing Clinton emails and other stolen material in support of the Trump campaign.”“Some of these contacts were met with scepticism, and nothing came of them; others were pursued to some degree.”The investigation, however, did not find evidence that the Trump campaign recovered any such Clinton emails, or that these contacts were part of a coordinated effort between Russia and the Trump campaign.Top Democrats have already called for Special Counsel Mueller to testify before the House and Senate.In a joint-statement today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer criticised Barr for holding a press conference before Mueller’s report was delivered to Congress and hit out at what they described as his “slanted” letter from 24 March.“We believe the only way to begin restoring public trust in the handling of the Special Counsel’s investigation is for Special Counsel Mueller himself to provide public testimony in the House and Senate as soon as possible. The American people deserve to hear the truth.”Representative Jerry Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said this afternoon that “even in its incomplete form, the Mueller report outlines disturbing evidence that President Trump engaged in obstruction of justice and other misconduct.”“The responsibility now falls to Congress to hold the president accountable for his actions.”Nadler called for Mueller to testify before Congress no later than 23 May. At a press conference this afternoon, Trump declared of the Mueller probe: “This should never happen to another president again.” Apr 18th 2019, 6:01 PM Thursday 18 Apr 2019, 6:01 PM ‘I’m f**ked’: Trump tried to fire Mueller from Russia probe but claims victory now after no collusion found The Mueller report was released in full today. 25,936 Views Share10 Tweet Email1 By Cónal Thomas With reporting from Sean Murray 50 Comments https://jrnl.ie/4599279 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Image: PA Images Short URL Image: PA Images
Ashley BensonVancouver woman’s body found Dec. 26 in a Portland hotel PORTLAND– New court records show detectives used phone records to track down a Washington man accused of killing an escort last month at a Portland hotel.Search warrant affidavits filed in Seattle and obtained by The Oregonian show Tae Bum Yoon sent or received more than 25 text messages from Ashley Benson on Christmas and called her twice. The records indicate he arrived at the hotel Christmas night and got a room where Benson had gone to meet a man. The records show Benson and Yoon had previous encounters and had some type of disagreement over money owed.Benson’s body was clothed when it was found Dec. 26 just inside a stairwell door at a DoubleTree hotel near downtown. The affidavit says a medical examiner believes Benson’s attacker strangled her.Yoon, 24, pleaded not guilty to murder at a court appearance last week. He remains in custody at a Portland jail.According to the affidavits, Yoon, who also goes by Chris and lives in Bellevue, had checked into his room at the hotel under a reservation made by another Bellevue man with a similar name: Chris Youn, was expected to arrive the next day.Yoon showed up at the hotel’s front desk about 9 p.m. Christmas and pretended to be Chris Youn, the records state. He said he wanted to check in early.
Publishers with multiple adjustments to their financial statements won’t have much wiggle room with loan terms. “Lenders are looking for clean financial statements—free of adjustments and/or add-backs, particularly for acquisition targets—and consistent, solid financial performance from the existing company,” says Tom Flynn, chief financial officer at Summit Business Media (which completed its last major refinance last July right before the credit market soured). “There is not as much flexibility in the market place on terms and conditions as there was in prior years.”Publishers with existing loan agreements shouldn’t feel that their terms are locked in. “I have noticed that, for existing credit agreements, especially those that were negotiated prior to the credit markets becoming much more challenged, the lenders are holding you ‘to the letter,’” says Flynn. “There is a general feeling that banks are much more inclined to charge not just fees for changes and amendments but will also implement a re-pricing for what, in the past, may have been a rather minor change to an existing agreement. This can be frustrating to a business even with an existing agreement.”What Lenders Look ForStill publishers that have positioned themselves with multiple revenue streams and emerging new media models are more likely to receive favorable terms which have always been differentiated depending on business model, scale of the company, competitive positioning, etc. An established publisher with a category-leading product offerings and scale is generally going to receive more favorable financing terms and conditions than a smaller, less-seasoned publisher with developing product offerings. In the current environment, lenders and investors are placing more value on publishing companies with successful e-media and event businesses as part of their total company mix and as such are more willing to provide more favorable financing terms. Subscription-based and usage-driven revenue sources in particular are considered a valuable component, especially in the weaker advertising environment, according to Shu.“Generally, in the b-to-b space, we look for companies with either the #1 or #2 position in their category that can deliver their content to audiences in a variety of ways, from print to online to in-person events such as trade shows or conferences,” says Shu. “The #1 or #2 position is important since in a slower economic environment, advertisers or sponsors with a smaller budget will typically gravitate toward the market leaders. A seasoned management team that has operated through various economic cycles is critical as well.”Mangan says the most important consideration is diversity of cash flow. “Properties with single titles are the toughest to finance,” he adds. “Diversity of flagship titles and a complement of events and trade shows demonstrate that diversity of collateral, for a lack of better phrase. With the loss of eyeballs on the print side, you want to see the Web at least bridging that gap.” But being a proven performer can go a long way toward a favorable relationship with your lenders. “You must continue to deliver the financial results as agreed to in your financing agreements,” says Flynn. “You have to focus on having your existing assets perform and continue to invest in assets with upside potential and take advantage of areas for consolidation to mitigate risk in sluggish economy. Remember, this is a challenging market for everyone right now. Once the market settles a bit, you want to be a proven performer whom the lending partners want to continue to do business with and help grow your business.” The credit crunch, which began in July 2007 as result of the subprime fallout and subsequent fall-out in liquidity, is pinching the magazine industry well beyond just magazine M&A. “You’ve got to spend money to make money” or so the old saying goes, and at a time when publishers are trying to reinvent themselves and investing in both online staff and technology (as well as buying new media companies), loans are necessary to fund the growth. But getting those loans at a favorable rate is much harder than it was two years ago. “Lending levels and terms are much less liberal,” says Ray Shu, media team leader for GE Media, Communication and Entertainment Group, part of GE Capital Markets Inc. “Funded leverage (on both a senior and total basis) has dropped meaningfully.”Previously, financing was available at up to 5.5x senior debt and up to 7.5x with a second lien for many publishing deals of scale ($15MM+ EBITDA companies), according to Shu. Average equity-to-total capital levels were typically in the 25 percent to 30 percent range. In today’s market, senior debt leverage levels are in the 3.5x to 4x range with total debt levels topping out at 5x to 5.5x. Average equity-to-total capital requirements are typically in the 45 to 55 percent range, says Shu.“Gone are the days when the senior first lien piece was up in the fives and maybe a little bit more with the second lien or mezzanine,” says Chris Mangan, managing director and head of U.S. media finance with Stamford, Connecticut-based Bank of Ireland. “If you consider we’re a year into this credit crunch, leverage multiples are off at least a full turn at the senior and mezzanine levels.”
As a class, periodicals continued to decline for the USPS. Volume was down 1.2 percent, contributing to a 1-percent revenue loss from magazines, newspapers and other publications distributed by mail. Operating revenue was up 1.3 percent, or $223 million, to $16.9 billion, on the strength of 14.4-percent growth in shipping and package volume. Total mail volume fell by 1.3 percent however. Meanwhile, the USPS posted a net loss of $1.5 billion in the quarter. Excluding a retiree health benefit prefunding expense, the net loss would have dropped to $44 million though. The U.S. Postal Service saw operating revenue increase in its fiscal second quarter, though it continued its record of net losses. “For years, trends in hard-copy reading behavior and advertising shifts from print to other media have impacted this segment,” the report notes. “Periodicals are not expected to rebound as e-readers and electronic content continue to grow in popularity with the public.”
Stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprn.Download AudioIvy Spohnholz named to fill vacant Gruenberg seatAndrew Kitchenman, KTOO – JuneauGovernor Bill Walker named Ivy Spohnholz Tuesday as his choice to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Representative Max Gruenberg in February.USFW chief says no to delay of Tongass timber transitionLiz Ruskin, APRN – Washington D.C.This morning in Washington, Forest Service chief Tom Tidwell said the same thing several different ways. He repeatedly insisted the plan to move to young-growth trees in the Tongass can sustain Southeast Alaska’s timber industry. Sen. Lisa Murkowski is unconvinced.Foster care and services for Native children now handled by largest tribal governmentEd Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – JuneauThe largest tribal government in Southeast Alaska now has authority over foster care and other services for Native children facing abuse or neglect. An agreement signed Wednesday this week transfers state management, as well as funding, to the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska.Brent Sass, Noah Burmeister, and Dallas Seavey race on to McGrathBen Matheson, APRN Contributor – AnchorageDallas Seavey has surged to the front of the Iditarod pack between Nikolai and McGrath. The defending race champion dropped one dog and rested four hours in Nikolai, about 250 miles into the race. His father Mitch Seavey and Wade Marrs are following closely behind as of 4:00 p.m. this afternoon, according to the Iditarod Insider GPS tracker. Pete Kaiser and Aily Zirkle round out the front pack.Dallas Seavey: Iditarod reaches a turning point in Nikolai Emily Schwing, KNOM – NomeNikolai was bustling all day as dog teams pulled in and out of the sixth checkpoint. It’s a turning point in the race. Teams have passed over some of the roughest trail. From here, mushers will evaluate their dogs as they try to decide how best to execute their race plans.Aging Southeast: Assisted living comes up shortLisa Phu, KTOO – JuneauDue to a shortage of assisted living homes, some of Southeast Alaska’s aging residents can’t stay in their home communities. Facilities in Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka and Petersburg provide assistance to seniors needing help with daily activities, such as cooking, dressing and medication management. As part of the CoastAlaska series Aging Southeast, KTOO’s Lisa Phu reports on how the region isn’t keeping up with the demand for assisted living, and that demand is only expected to grow.Alaska musicians get creative for Tiny Desk ContestKiera Alkema, KTOO – JuneauLast week, NPR Music announced the winner of its second-ever Tiny Desk contest, Duluth, Minnesota’s Gaelynn Lea. More than 6,000 hopeful bands and solo musicians submitted videos of their original music for a chance to play NPR Music’s coveted Tiny Desk at headquarters in Washington, DC. Though there can only be one winner, here are some of the stand out Alaskan performers who competed for the title.