Praise be Supreme Court orders new trial for couple convicted in sons

first_imgOTTAWA – A couple who had been convicted in the meningitis death of their son say they have been vindicated by the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision to order a new trial.David Stephan and his wife, Collet, were found guilty in 2016 of failing to provide the necessaries of life to 19-month-old Ezekiel.Their trial in Lethbridge, Alta., heard evidence that they treated the boy with garlic, onion and horseradish rather than take him to a doctor. The Stephans eventually called 911 but the toddler died in hospital in 2012.“We’re grateful because this is a move in the right direction and we now have the opportunity to bring the whole truth forward,” Stephan said outside the Supreme Court on Tuesday. “We’re just so excited to have the ability to do that and to be able to uphold parental rights here in Canada.”The Supreme Court heard arguments from the couple’s lawyer and the Crown before making the unusual move of ruling immediately from the bench.Justice Michael Moldaver, speaking for the high court, said the trial judge did not properly instruct jurors on what would be a marked departure from reasonable behaviour “in a way that the jury could understand.”“Accordingly we would allow the appeal, quash the convictions and order a new trial.”Karen Molle, lawyer for the Stephans, had argued the trial judge didn’t instruct the jury properly to determine whether the Stephans acted differently than other reasonable parents.“This jury charge gave this jury little choice but to convict,” Molle said.Julie Morgan, representing the Crown, said the trial judge’s language was generalized but it was enough for the jury to understand the case.“The jury would have understood what their job was,” she told the court. “They found that the appellants did not meet the community standard, when they failed to take their child to a doctor when he had meningitis, and that endangered his life.”The Alberta Court of Appeal upheld the conviction last November, but because the ruling wasn’t unanimous, the couple had an automatic right to take their case to the Supreme Court.A spokeswoman for Alberta Justice said the file will return to Lethbridge Court of Queen’s Bench to set a new trial date.“The Crown has an obligation to continually assess the evidence/file against the prosecution standards of a ‘reasonable likelihood of conviction’ and if it is ‘in the public interest to proceed’ with a case,” said spokeswoman Katherine Thompson.Although David Stephan said the prospect of a new trial is “deeply uncomfortable for us,” he rejoiced in the Supreme Court’s decision.“Praise be to the Lord God Almighty!!” Stephan wrote on Facebook.“Justice over the errors of our conviction has finally been served, our convictions have been overturned and we now have the opportunity to go back to trial. We take comfort in knowing that aside from the medical evidence that is still withheld or destroyed, the whole truth will be established and the tremendous lies surrounding the passing of our son will be exposed.”Witnesses at the trial said the toddler’s body was so stiff he couldn’t sit in his car seat, so he had to lie on a mattress when his mother drove him from their rural Alberta home to a naturopathic clinic in Lethbridge, where she bought an echinacea mixture, which is believed to be a natural immune booster.The trial also heard that Ezekiel’s parents believed he had croup, an upper airway infection, and that he seemed to improve at times.The Stephans never called for medical assistance until Ezekiel stopped breathing. He was taken to a local hospital and died after being transported to Calgary’s Children’s Hospital.— By Bill Graveland in Calgary. With files from Terry Pedwell in Ottawalast_img read more

Sri Lankan suicide attack condemned by UN human rights chief

11 April 2008The United Nations’ top human rights official has deplored the suicide bombing last weekend at the start of a marathon in Sri Lanka that claimed the lives of at least 15 people, including a minister in the national Government. Louise Arbour, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, issued a statement yesterday in which she also extended her condolences to the families of the victims.“Such violence shows a complete disregard for the right to life and security of Sri Lankans, and breaches the most fundamental principles of international law,” she said.Last Sunday’s bombing killed Highways Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, the national athletics coach and a former top marathoner among others as they waited to see off runners in Weliweriya. It also injured dozens of athletes and onlookers.Ms. Arbour said the attack is alleged to have been committed by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which has been fighting a decades-long civil conflict with the Government. The rebel group is also accused of other recent attacks, including the bombings of public transport and other public places.“I remind the LTTE and other armed groups that attacks which directly or indiscriminately target civilians are crimes under international law. Violent attacks on people taking no active part in hostilities are strictly prohibited.”The High Commissioner noted that the violence also undermined efforts to develop “a meaningful dialogue on improving the situation” of Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority. read more

Jaffna on strike in support of Wigneswaran as CM

The strike was staged following moves to remove Wigneswaran as Chief Minister. The TNA is pushing for the removal of Wigneswaran. The official website of the TNA reported yesterday that Wigneswaran is likely to be removed from office soon by the Ilankai Thamil Arasuk Katchi (ITAK) which fielded him as the Chief Ministerial candidate of the political formation known as the TNA in September 2013. The website reported that ITAK is seriously contemplating the removal of Wigneswaran as Chief Minister in the context of the current corruption scandal that has rocked the Northern province. (Colombo Gazette) A strike was staged in Jaffna today in support of Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran.Most shops were closed and public transport was at a standstill in support of the strike.

Security Council members urge Israel to pull out from Palestiniancontrolled areas

In a statement to the press released late Thursday evening, the Council President, Ambassador Richard Ryan of Ireland, deplored the loss of life on both sides that has resulted from the recent escalation. “Members supported statements in capitals calling for immediate withdrawal of all Israeli forces from Area A,” he said, referring to the Palestinian-controlled vicinity. The Council President said the members “fully supported the important diplomatic initiatives to de-escalate the situation on the ground,” and “strongly supported” elements contained in a statement issued in the region on Thursday by representatives of the European Union, the United States, the Russian Federation, and the Secretary-General’s Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process. That statement, which was read out in Gaza by Special Coordinator Terje Roed-Larsen, noted that the Palestinian Authority’s steps to ensure strict implementation of the ceasefire had been undermined by the assassination of Israeli Cabinet Minister Rehavam Zeevi. It noted statements by Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat detailing steps to control violence and combat terrorism, and welcomed his commitment to take additional measures to adhere to the ceasefire. Mr. Arafat was urged to ensure full and strict compliance “including through arresting those who defy his orders and taking further steps against terrorist organizations.” Concerning Israel, the statement called for its immediate withdrawal from Area A. Israel was also called on to halt extra-judicial killings, ensure greater restraint by its defence forces, fully respect the ceasefire, move swiftly to ease closures, and implement the Mitchell Report and Tenet plan, “which will lead to a resumption of the political process in order to address the fundamental issues between the two parties.” “We stressed the importance of bringing a rapid end to the current crisis so that hope could be restored to the Palestinian and Israeli people,” the envoys said. “We stressed that the international community stood ready to undertake vigorous efforts to restore the Palestinian economy following the devastating losses caused by the crisis and the closures.” read more

UN war crimes tribunals call for more help from Member States in

Member States must do more to assist the United Nations war crimes tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia in bringing perpetrators to justice, the top legal officials from those bodies told the Security Council today, as they highlighted the progress made and challenges remaining to completing their work.Carla Del Ponte, Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), said that in particular cooperation by Serbia “has been and remains very difficult and frustrating,” adding she remains unconvinced that Serbia is ready to arrest Ratko Mladic who, along with Radovan Karadzic, has been indicted on genocide charges relating to the Balkan wars in the 1990s.“I want to stress again before the Council that impunity for these two most serious architects of the crimes committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina, both accused of genocide, would represent a terrible blow not only to the success or failure of the Tribunal, but to the future of international justice as a whole.”Ms. Del Ponte also called on the Republika Srpska within Bosnia and Herzegovina to “increase substantially its efforts to locate and arrest fugitives,” adding that the search for Mr. Karadzic “must intensify rapidly.”As well as stressing the need for more cooperation from Member States, the Prosecutor said that another priority of her Office was to speed up its proceedings, something that was also highlighted in remarks to the Council made by ICTY President Judge Fausto Pocar.Judge Pocar said that the trials would run into 2009 but whether they would finish by that date would depend on various factors, including the speed with which the “six remaining high-level fugitives are transferred to the jurisdiction of the International Tribunal.”The top legal officials from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) voiced similar concerns and priorities in their briefings to the Council, with Prosecutor Hassan B. Jallow highlighting the continuing “challenges in tracking and arresting the 18 indicted fugitives,” and in particular Felicien Kabuga who continues to reside in Kenya.Mr. Kabuga was indicted for his role in the creation and management of a “hate” radio station and for helping to fund and arm the Interahamwe militias during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.“In my meetings with the African NGOs (non-governmental organizations) in May 2006 some 60 NGOs signed a petition calling upon the Government of the Republic of Kenya to cooperate with the ICTR in tracking, arresting and transferring Felicien Kabuga to the custody of the ICTR,” Mr. Jallow said.“We continue to emphasize the need for the cooperation of Member States to ensure the arrest of these fugitives and their eventual trial either at ICTR or in countries willing to accept cases on referral from the Tribunal. Unfortunately in the past six months we have not registered any arrest or transfer of a fugitive to the Tribunal.”ICTR President Judge Erik Møse also stressed the “vital” need for cooperation from Member States in the Tribunal’s work but added that it remains on course to complete the trials of 65 to 70 persons by the end of 2008 as indicated in its Completion Strategy. read more

UN human rights experts reports human rights abuses in Mexican crackdown on

An independent United Nations human rights expert has expressed concern about reports of serious abuses, including murder, perpetrated by a paramilitary group taking place amid the Mexican Government’s efforts to regain control of the city Oaxaca where protestors have run parts of the city for the past five months.The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people, Dr. Rodolfo Stavenhagen, said in a statement he has received reports of human rights violations “including the killing and wounding by gunfire of innocent victims, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, illegal searches and breaches of due process.” The incidents are reported to have taken place on 27 October in Oaxaca and neighbouring towns and left 4 dead and several others wounded. “The Special Rapporteur is extremely concerned with the use of force to counter protests arising from deeply entrenched social issues and recommends the Federal and State authorities to fully comply, at all times, with Mexico’s international human rights commitments,” the statement said. Dr. Stavenhagen called on the Mexican authorities to investigate the violence, and to prosecute those responsible, according to international standards. He also appealed to both the Federal and state Governments to continue to seek a negotiated solution to the conflict, and to refrain from any further action that could block negotiations. He also called on the Popular Assembly of Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) and other social organizations involved in the protests “to continue promoting dialogue between all the parties involved, in the search for a peaceful and negotiated solution to their various demands, and to avoid violent confrontations.”In a report on a mission to Mexico in 2003, he recommended that the Mexican Government “should take urgent steps to disband, disarm and punish armed paramilitary or civilian groups that are operating in indigenous regions.”He also recommended that “the federal and State judiciary and the national system of ombudsmen should ensure that legislation and justice are not used in the interests of caciques and local authorities to treat legitimate protest or social dissent as a crime or penalize it.”Special Rapporteurs are unpaid independent advisory experts with a mandate from the Human Rights Council who also make periodic reports to the General Assembly. read more

Westminster terror attack raises parliamentary security questions

first_img“And another is the security parameter around Parliament. Part of this horrific incident was on Westminster Bridge, where you had a car that appears to have mounted the pavement and injured more than a dozen people. Do they need to widen out that security  parameter?” 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. He said there will be two areas that any review would likely focus on.”The first is this entrance on Parliament Square into Parliament Yard. It is quite often open, all be it manned by a number of policemen. I think there will now be questions as to whether this can continue to be open often.”If ultimately if you are able to run as a member of the public into Parliament, clearly that is an area they are going to look at.  He said that despite this there is a big call to defend people’s access to MPs, which lies at the heart of parliamentary system”Yes we need protect Parliament and parliamentarians but we also need to make sure it does remain open to the public, that they can come an meet their MP, lobby them, talk about issues.” In the wake of the terrorist attack on Parliament, there will questions raised again about security at the Palace of Westminster and the public’s access to MPs.Telegraph political correspondent Ben Riley-Smith, who saw the aftermath of the terror attack from  Telegraph’s office on the top floor of the Houses of Parliament, said while the parameter was breached, the attacker “barely got beyond a dozen steps” inside before being held back.last_img read more

More than 100 Trinis linked to terrorist activities overseas

Some 128 Trinidadians have been linked to terrorist activities in other countries, but Trinidad and Tobago is no terrorist state, National Security Minister Edmund Dillon has declared.T&T’s NATIONAL SECURITY MINISTER EDMUND DILLONDillon made the comments in Senate yesterday as lawmakers raised concern about the issue on the heels of charges levelled by a United States commentator on MSNBC network last weekend, that the radical group ISIS, had dozen of members in the twin-island republic.Malcome Nance, referring to US President Donald Trump’s recent visa ban for seven majority Muslim countries, said the US “hadn’t banned terrorists from Brazil and ISIS which has dozens of members from Brazil or Trinidad or the Bahamas, who have more terrorist members than any of those (seven countries).”Dillon, who condemned the statement, one day after Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley slammed Nance, said “based on our information at this point in time, there are almost 130 nationals who have left T&T involved in terrorist activities in countries away from T&T.“Information at hand right now reflects about 70 adults and roughly about 58 family members.”The Minister admitted that the issue was a challenging one but he assured that the Government was working with partners to crack down on the problem.“It’s [Government] working closely with international partners – the US, Canada, UK – on strategic areas such as intelligence sharing, concerning nationals found to be associated with any terrorist group, whether locally or internationally.”Prime Minister Rowley was not so measured in his response to Nance in a statement issued Monday.“Mr Nance’s broad and simplistic statement is not supported by fact and ignores the robust and substantial national security cooperative partnership between T&T and the US,” he said.Dr Rowley insisted that Trinidad and Tobago’s effort to combat terrorism could not be called into question, maintaining that his Government would continue to partner with the international community to tackle terrorism.Nance had also charged that ISIS had significant numbers in the Bahamas but Prime Minister Perry Christie had denounced the claim as false.“I was astonished by it. In the region we have heard from time to time of the people going to the Middle East in connection with the fighting going on there, but never have Bahamians been named as being a part of that. And so I was astonished to hear the claims…because it is not true,” he said. ( Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedTrinidad police detain more suspects in alleged carnival “terror threat”February 14, 2018In “latest news”T&T Gov’t building profile on those going to SyriaAugust 3, 2016In “latest news”Caribbean News Round-upNovember 15, 2015In “Regional” read more

The text messages between Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp

first_img The EU accuses Boris Johnson of only ‘pretending’ to negotiate a Brexit deal In another text Steenkamp sent on Feb. 7, 2013, she tells Pistorius that she was hoping to make him proud in a certain social situation, but he criticised her loudly.Police did note that 90 per cent of the messages they discovered between Steenkamp and Pistorius were normal and loving.There will be a break in the trial in April, and it will continue 16 May according to the Associated Press.- Pamela EngelRead: 7 things we heard at the Oscar Pistorius trial this week >Read: Pistorius defence team say police moved evidence, police admit it’s possible > WeWork CEO Adam Neumann told employees he’s ‘humbled’ by the collapse of the firm’s IPO TEXT MESSAGES OSCAR Pistorius sent to his model girlfriend show the track star was by turns controlling and extremely apologetic to the woman he would later kill.The messages, sent in January on WhatsApp, were revealed during Pistorius’ murder trial in South African court.Pistorius shot and killed Reeva Steenkamp in his house on 14 February 2013. He denies that he murdered her, claiming he fired four shots through a locked bathroom door because he believed she was an intruder.In one of the messages Steenkamp sent to Pistorius, she says she’s “scared of [him] sometimes.”Eyewitness News reporter Barry Bateman tweeted screenshots of two of the messages. The first is from Steenkamp, sent on Jan. 26, 2013: (Source: Twitter/ Barry Bateman) She also tells Pistorius that he has “picked on [her] incessantly” and complains about things like how she talks and chews gum.Pistorius’ apologetic response is below: These 10 cities are most at risk of an OB-GYN shortage, according to a troubling new study (Source: Twitter/ Barry Bateman)Steenkamp’s message suggests that Pistorius got angry with her for “flirting” with another man at a party, and she says she feels like she’s living in a “double standard relationship.” South Korea kicked up its trade war with Japan by making it 3 times harder for companies to export goods there last_img read more

Pure Plays Beat You by Loving Search More

first_img“The most financially successful local Web operations are venturing into page designs and product lines that have little to do with the medium that gave birth to them. Like their “new media” predecessors in radio in the 1920s and television in the 1950s, they are creating unique identities and breaking away from their print and broadcast roots.” On how pure plays get their traffic: “Part of the growth is being driven by traditional local media companies selling advertising on their own sites. Most of it, however, comes from pure-play companies delivering lower cost advertising that intercepts consumers not as they are reading news online, but as they are using the Web to research products and prices.” “Intercept” web visitors as they “research products and prices”? That’s “search.” Without a print brand to drive visits to a site “search” is how they do it. Simply put, “pure plays” are playing the Search Engine Optimization game better, and are able to establish competitive brands as result. Many print publishers I talk to are surprised by upstart “web only” media companies that drain online ad dollars out of their markets. Established media should hold all the cards; an established brand, a history in the market, and access to online list development via the magazine subscription process. How do these web only “pure plays” stand a chance? Simple, they love search more than we do. A study from Borrell Associates entitled “What Local Media Web Sites Earn,” uncovers the strategy in the regional magazine market that should raise alarm for any magazine, anywhere.First, some news from the survey that challenges the conventional wisdom that your print brand gives a huge advantage online: last_img read more

VIDEO Magazines Hot or Not FOLIO on Fox

first_imgEarlier this week I appeared on the Fox Business Channel’s “Money for Breakfast” show along with Samir “Mr. Magazine” Husni and Dave Kansas, a Wall Street Journal editor and president of, to discuss whether the magazine industry is really in as dire straits as recent press suggests. While Samir blamed publishers for boosting newsstand prices while at the same time selling annual subscriptions at bargain basement prices for much of the recent newsstand woes, the fact is reader habits are changing and the newsstand is going through a much needed self-correction.To watch the interview, click below. [EDITOR’S NOTE: If you have trouble viewing, click host Alexis Glick’s blog post on the segment here, or from the Fox Business video page here and here.]last_img

The youth factor

first_imgWhat happens when the youth of the city gather at the heart of the Capital? It results into the biggest vibrant cultural event. Called the Youth Festival, the extravaganza is being celebrated with full fervour in Delhi.Organised by the Department of Art, Culture and Languages and Sindhi Academy, the festival is an initiative the Delhi government.The first day of the carnival comprised live performances by Guru Rajendra Gangani’s disciples who performed a Kathak recital, cultural performance by students of SES Baba Nebhraj Sr Secondary School, contemporary dance performance, cultural performance by DAV public School, Vasant Kunj, cultural performance by Ability Unlimited Foundation, Hindi rock performances by the band Aayudh, laser and beam show and giant puppet shows by Ishara Puppet Theatre. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting”Delhi has one of the most energetic audience and we are overwhelmed with their response,’ said Hindi rock band Aayudh.Commenting on the participation at the youth festival, Guru Syed S Pasha, of the NGO Ability Unlimited said: ‘We have been preparing since a long time for this festival. The disabled children will get enormous support from the audience response. We are thankful to Sathiya Kala Parishad and Delhi government for giving this opportunity to our NGO. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix’I firmly believe that the energy of the youth should be directed onto a constructive path. Young artistes in the age group 13-30 are put to good use which will help them inculcate better professional attitude in future. More so they are all achievers in various cultural fields,’ said Sindhu Mishra, secretary, Sindhi Academy.Bringing about such a festival to the fore at this mass scale has its own challenges. ‘I agree, there were too many of them. Foremost being that the Delhi Government did not have a great name to pull in the crowd. Similarly managing the crowd in between breaks to keeping the audience’s attention glued to the activities were difficult tasks,’ added Mishra.There are more performances lined up.last_img read more

Earliest Known Depiction of Jesus is not so Flattering

first_imgGraffiti is not a modern form of expression. People have been leaving their marks, or making comments on their world, on walls for thousands of years. Graffiti has famously been found in Pompeii, Egyptian pyramids, ancient Chinese caves, and even a Viking church.In 1857, however, an excavation on the Palatine Hill in Rome revealed a particularly interesting piece of graffiti on a plaster wall.Palatine Hill at the Roman forum in Rome, Italy.Since named the Alexamenos Graffito, it is believed to date from around 200 AD and is possible the earliest surviving depiction of Jesus. And it is not at all flattering.Along with being one of the oldest surviving representations of Jesus, it may also be one of the earliest depictions of the Crucifixion of Jesus, since the event was only rarely depicted in Christian art before the 6th century.The so called Alexamenos graffito. It represents a satirical representation of Christian worship and it dates back to a period between the year 85 to the 3rd century.The drawing, scratched crudely into the soft plaster, shows a male person worshiping a figure on a cross, only the figure is wearing has the head of a donkey.There is an inscription in Greek, “ΑΛΕ ξΑΜΕΝΟϹ ϹΕΒΕΤΕ ϑΕΟΝ”, or “Αλεξαμενος σεβετε θεον” in standard Greek, which translates roughly to “Alexamenos worships his god,” or “Alexamenos worships God” (there are several variations of the translation).The originator of the graffiti manages to mock both Jesus and Alexamenos at the same time.Tracing of the drawing.The illustration has been interpreted as Alexamenos being a Roman soldier or guard. His left hand is raised in a gesture that is suggests worship.The Greek letter upsilon or a tau cross is at the top right of the image. There has been no real consensus as to the date of the image, and estimates have ranged from the first to the third century.Uppercase and lowercase Greek letter upsilon.The figure on the cross (presumed to be Jesus, although some scholars argue it could be another deity) is as we would think of a modern depiction of Christ Crucified (minus the donkey head).His arms are outstretched, pinned to the horizontal cross bar. His feet are fixed to a platform on the vertical section of the cross, and he is wearing a garment that covers the lower portion of his body.Alexamenos graffito in the Palatine Antiquarium Museum. Photo by Comrade King CC By 2.0With the Jesus figure wearing the head of a donkey, however, it is not farfetched to conclude that this illustration was meant as a mocking portrayal of a Christian performing an act of worship.During the early Christian period, non-believers (who remained the majority for centuries), ridiculed Christians for worshiping a man who had been crucified – the execution method reserved for the worst criminals until it was abolished in the 4th century by emperor Constantine, a devout converted Christian.Marble head representing Emperor Constantine the Great, at the Capitoline Museums. Photo by I, Jean-Christophe BENOIST CC BY 2.5The relationship between Christians and Romans was testy at best for a few centuries, and often changed. Sometimes Christians would be put to death for their beliefs, after being hunted down by Roman authorities.At other times, they were allowed to (discreetly) worship their God, but they were often still mocked and shamed for it.Mysterious Ancient Societies That DisappearedAt the time, it was commonly believed that Christians practiced a form of religion called onolatry, or donkey worship.This came about through the misconception that Jews had worshiped a god in the form of a donkey, as claimed by Apion, an Egyptian grammarian, in the first century BC. Tertullian, an early Christian author, also reported that Christians were accused of worshiping a donkey-headed deity.Plan of the Palatine Hill.The intentions of the author of the graffiti are, and will forever remain, unknown. Did he (or she) mean to simply mock Alexamenos and/or Jesus in relatively harmless way? Or was the purpose to “out” or intimidate Alexamenos?It may be the latter, as the location of the graffiti is also of interest. It was discovered in the domus Gelotiana, which was a house that had been acquired by the emperorPortrait of Caligula from Palazzo Massimo in Rome. Photo by Tomk2ski – CC BY-SA 4.0The wall on which the graffiti was located was not in what would have been a public area, but it would have been visible to many other people in the house. Either way, it likely succeeded in making Alexamenos rather uncomfortable, to say the least.Read another story from us: Afghanistan’s Amazing Last Buddhist Relics – the Taliban Blew Them UpWhen the street where the domus Gelotiana sits was walled off to support extensions to buildings above, the graffiti was hidden and sealed off for hundreds of years. Since the excavation, the piece of wall on which the figure was etched has been removed and is now in the nearby Palatine Hill Museum.Patricia Grimshaw is a self-professed museum nerd, with an equal interest in both medieval and military history. She received a BA (Hons) from Queen’s University in Medieval History, and an MA in War Studies from the Royal Military College of Canada, and completed a Master of Museum Studies at the University of Toronto before beginning her museum career.last_img read more

CocaCola CEO meets with Costa Rica president on expansion plans

first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rica ranks 83rd in the world for doing business Costa Rica, China to explore creation of ‘special economic zones’ Live Stream: 2015 Latin American Cities Conference San José World Bank: Doing business in Costa Rica has never been easier President Luis Guillermo Solís and Muhtar Kent, CEO of U.S. soft-drink giant Coca-Cola, met at Casa Presidencial Wednesday morning to discuss the company’s expansion here and an initiative to incorporate more diverse producers into the company’s supply chain.Foreign Trade Minister Alexander Mora told reporters after the meeting that the company would expand a citrus juice facility in Costa Rica, and that talks would start next week to start to incorporate small producers and women producers in Guanacaste or the Northern Zone into Coke’s global supply chain at a “fair” price.Mora noted that discussions also took place about adding Costa Rican coffee to the company’s offerings, such as Café Blak.Coca-Cola employs more than 2,000 people in Costa Rica. Despite Coca-Cola’s decision to lay off between 1,600 and 1,800 people in the United States and internationally in January, Mora said the company is looking to grow its operations here.Besides the company’s eponymous soda, Coca-Cola also produces Fresca, Minute Maid, Jugos del Valle and Odawalla, among others.The trade minister added that a possible visit to the Atlanta headquarters of the soft drink giant is in the works for Solís.AFP contributed to this report. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Kurdish fighters seize large parts of IS border stronghold

first_img Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall BEIRUT (AP) — U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters captured large sections of a strategic town on the Syria-Turkish border on Monday, dealing the biggest setback yet to the Islamic State group, which lost a key supply line for their nearby self-proclaimed capital.The seizure of Tal Abyad threatened to flare tensions between Kurds and ethnic Arabs, who accused the Kurdish militia of deliberately displacing thousands of people from the town, which has a mixed population. Sponsored Stories The loss of Tal Abyad, some 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of Raqqa, the capital of the Islamic State group’s self-declared caliphate, is the extremists’ biggest setback since Kurdish fighters took control of the Kurdish border town of Kobani near Turkey, after fighting IS for months.A Kurdish victory in Tal Abyad deprives the militant group of a direct route for bringing in foreign militants and supplies, and links the Kurds’ two fronts, putting even more pressure on Raqqa.An anti-IS media collective based in Raqqa said the extremists set up checkpoints in the center of the city on Monday and installed security cameras in a main square.Earlier, Kurdish units marching west from Kobani and others marching east from the Kurdish town of Ras al-Ayn met up in the village of Qaysariyeh, some two miles (three kilometers) south of Tal Abyad as they encircled the town from three sides, leaving Turkey as the only outlet.As with the Kurdish victory in Kobani, the YPG fighters’ advance under the cover of the U.S-led air campaign highlighted the decisive importance of combining airstrikes with the presence of a cohesive and motivated ally on the ground — so clearly absent in Iraq and other parts of Syria. Khalil, the YPG spokesman, strongly refuted the claim, and seeking to calm nerves, said the YPG is a Syrian national group whose battles are directed solely against the Islamic State group.“We say to residents of Tal Abyad, there is no reason for you to cross to another country (Turkey). Our towns are open to you, you are our people and you will return to your towns, villages and properties,” he said.He pledged that the YPG will not interfere in administering Tal Abyad once it falls, leaving it to civilian committees.___Associated Press writers Lefteris Pitarakis in Akcakale, Turkey, and Bassem Mroue in Beirut contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Comments   Share   Top Stories Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Redur Khalil, a spokesman for the main Kurdish fighting force, known as the YPG, said Kurdish fighters entered from the east and were advancing west toward the town’s center amid fierce clashes with pockets of IS resistance.“We expect to have full control over Tal Abyad within a few hours,” he told The Associated Press by telephone. A few hours later, the YPG announced on its Facebook page that it had liberated the town.The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed the Kurdish fighters had “almost full control” of Tal Abyad by Monday evening, and had taken command of the border crossing with Turkey. It said some 40 Islamic State militants were targeted by U.S.-led airstrikes as they tried to flee south.An AP photographer in Akcakale, on the Turkish side of the border, saw several dozen YPG fighters waving their yellow triangular flag and flashing victory signs. Earlier, several dozen Kurdish gunmen were seen running up a hill, moving west.A few people on the Syrian side of the border were seen raising the green, white and red flag of the Free Syrian Army before being apprehended by Turkish security after they broke a hole in the border fence. A contingent of Free Syrian Army fighters is battling alongside the Kurds in an effective alliance against the Islamic State group called “Burkan al-Furat,” or Volcano of the Euphrates. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Syrian refugees carry a baby over the border fence into Turkey from Syria in Akcakale, Sanliurfa province, southeastern Turkey, Sunday, June 14, 2015. Thousands of Syrians cut through a border fence and crossed over into Turkey on Sunday, fleeing intense fighting in northern Syria between Kurdish fighters and jihadis.The flow of refugees came as Syrian Kurdish fighters closed in on the outskirts of a strategic Islamic State-held town on the Turkish border. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis) Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of With most of Syria now controlled by either Islamic State militants or forces loyal to President Bashar Assad, the U.S. has found a reliable partner in the YPG, a group of moderate, mostly secular Kurdish militiamen driven by revolutionary fervor and the desire for self-rule.Since the beginning of the year, they have wrested back more than 500 mostly Kurdish and Christian towns in northeastern Syria, as well as strategic mountains seized earlier by the Islamic State group. They have recently pushed into Raqqa province, an IS stronghold where Tal Abyad is located.The Kurdish advance has caused the displacement of more than 16,000 people who fled to Turkey in the past two weeks. On Monday, up to 3,000 more refugees arrived at the Akcakale border crossing, according to Turkish state-run TRT television. An AP photographer saw large numbers of people at the border and thick smoke billowing as U.S.-led coalition aircraft targeted IS militants in Tal Abyad.As Kurdish fighters push deeper into Islamic State strongholds in northern Syria, tensions with ethnic Arabs and Turkmen in the region have risen.On Monday, more than a dozen Syrian rebel groups accused the Kurdish fighters of deliberately displacing thousands of Arabs and Turkmen from Tal Abyad and the western countryside of predominantly Kurdish Hassakeh province. In a statement, they accused the YPG of committing “ethnic cleansing” — a charge strongly denied by the Kurds. The accusation, which was not backed by evidence of ethnic or sectarian killings, threatened to escalate tensions between ethnic Arabs and Kurds as the Kurdish fighters conquer more territory in northern Syria.“YPG forces … have implemented a new sectarian and ethnic cleansing campaign against Sunni Arabs and Turkmen under the cover of coalition airstrikes which have contributed bombardment, terrorizing civilians and forcing them to flee their villages,” the statement issued by rebel and militant groups said.The 15 rebel groups, including the powerful ultraconservative Ahrar al-Sham and Jaish al-Islam, said the alleged ethnic cleansing was concentrated in Hassakeh province and in Tal Abyad, and was part of a plan by the Kurdish Democratic Party, or PYD, to partition Syria. The YPG, or People’s Protection Units, is the armed wing of the PYD. The movement is affiliated with the Kurdish PKK, which has waged a long and bloody insurgency in southeastern Turkey.The statement echoed comments last week by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.“On our border, in Tal Abyad, the West, which is conducting aerial bombings against Arabs and Turkmen, is unfortunately positioning terrorist members of the PYD and PKK in their place,” Erdogan said.last_img read more

VA adds more MEL – PER

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: K.W Virgin Australia’s additional A330 services between Perth and Melbourne commencing 21 September has been welcomed by Melbourne Airport.Melbourne Airport CEO Chris Woodruff said he was delighted with the expanded services to one of the airlines busiest domestic airports.The additional services will increase capacity on the Perth – Melbourne route by 30 percent.“It’s a great vote of confidence for the Melbourne market, strengthening its status as a premier Australian destination,” Mr Woodruff said.The additional services will increase Virgin Australia’s A330 flights to five daily.Continuing work on the refurbishment of Melbourne Terminal 3 is expected to be completed by the end of the year, unveiling a more contemporary and modern space for travellers.last_img read more

Rail Europe GSAs offer youth travellers exclusive Eurostar deal

first_imgRail Europe GSAs offer youth travellers exclusive Eurostar dealRail Europe GSAs offer youth travellers exclusive Eurostar dealWith the aim of helping youth travellers better plan and budget for their festive year-end Christmas and snow holidays, Rail Europe GSAs released an exclusive Eurostar offer that agents can now pass on to their clients when bookings are made by 4 November 2016.For the next month, agents can advise their under 26yo clients of these special one-way fares of AUD69 / NZD72 for journeys between London, Ashford and Ebbsfleet, and Paris, Brussells, Lille and Calais. Travel must be completed between 2 November 2016 and 12 April 2017.Agents are reminded that Rail Europe tickets are distributed by Rail Plus, Rail Tickets, CIT Holidays and Infinity Rail in Australia; and Rail Plus and Go Holidays in New Zealand.Forex fluctuations, blackout dates and terms and conditions apply. See for more details. Eurostar buy your tickets hereSource = Rail Europelast_img read more

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