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Caribbean tsunami warning system to take step forward with UNbacked group

The creation of the real-time sharing system for existing seismic monitoring networks will be discussed at the third session of the Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Tsunami and Other Coastal Hazards Warning System for the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions (CARIBE EWS) taking place in Panama through Friday, according to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). An implementation plan for the system, drafted by a group of experts from the Member States and the Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), will be submitted for approval by Member States during the meeting, UNESCO said. The new system will replace the temporary service being provided by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre. UNESCO’s IOC set up a tsunami early warning system for the Pacific Ocean as early as 1965 and, after the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004, has been instrumental in putting rapid warning systems in place in that region as well as in the Mediterranean, North-East Atlantic and the Caribbean. The goal, according to UNESCO, is a rapid tsunami early warning system for the entire globe. The Caribbean region, with its population of nearly 40 million, is by no means spared the risk of tsunamis, the agency said. The most recent catastrophes occurred in the San Blas Islands of Panama in 1882, Puerto Rico in 1918 and the Dominican Republic in 1946. 12 March 2008An independent tsunami early warning system for the Caribbean region, in place by 2010 at the latest, is likely to be a major step closer today when a United Nations-backed coordination group decides whether to give the go-ahead for a regional data-sharing system. read more

UN invites Palestinian and Israeli youth from peace camp to visit Vienna

One hundred ten members of Israel and Palestinian youth organizations will take an hour-long guided tour through the UN complex in the Austrian capital, the UN Office in Vienna (UNOV) said.Unable to get to know one another in their own countries, the young people are taking part in a peace camp in Döbriach, Austria, at the invitation of the Österreichischen Kinderfreunde, a non-governmental organization (NGO) for youngsters, the UN said. The camp winds up its work on Wednesday.The delegates represent Hashomer Hatzair (Israel), Noar Oved Vehalomed (Israel), the Arab Youth Movement (Israel), the Palestine Red Crescent Society (Palestine), the Independent Youth Union (Palestine), Österreichische Kinderfreunde – Rote Falken (Austria) and Woodcraft Folk (United Kingdom), it said.

UN agencies urge G8 leaders to step up to the plate on

“Remember a simple fact: hunger and malnutrition are still the world’s biggest killers, taking the lives of more people every year than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined,” the UN World Food Programme (WFP) said in a statement ahead of the summit opening in Gleneagles, United Kingdom. “Nowhere is this more apparent than in Africa, where forgotten conflicts and hidden disasters continue to expose millions to the scourge of hunger. One African in three is malnourished and there has been little sign of change in that over the last decade,” it added.“Hunger is a symptom of failure – failed harvests, failure to cope with natural disasters, and failure to overcome social inequities, ethnic strife and racial hatred.”Citing a litany of enormous challenges, WFP noted that in Africa alone, it is together with its partners to deliver emergency food to 26 million people in more than 20 different countries.In southern Sudan, where civilians are finally returning home after decades of war, its operations are still less than half funded; in southern Africa, where the triple threat of HIV/AIDS, drought and weak government capacity threaten the lives of at least 8 million people, it has received less than 20 per cent of the requested funding; in Niger and Mali, where a lethal combination of locust infestation and drought has left hundreds of thousands hungry, less than a third of the $11 million needed has been received. “While there have been encouraging signs of increased aid commitments from donor governments, the food aid component, which is so critical in Africa, is falling short,” WFP said. “Food is the ‘first aid’ solution to Africa’s problems. It brings hope in often turbulent circumstances, and stabilizes regions so there is an opportunity to work on longer-term humanitarian and political solutions.”For its part the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) reiterated calls for a new effort to move beyond targets and timetables agreed under the Kyoto treaty against global warming towards the even deeper cuts in greenhouse gases necessary to stabilize the world’s climate.Of the summit participants only the United States has not ratified the Kyoto Protocol to the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), under which industrialized countries are to reduce their combined emissions of six major greenhouse gases during the five-year period from 2008 to 2012 to below 1990 levels.UNEP Executive Director Klaus Toepfer said he hoped the G8 leaders would send a strong and determined message on climate change which is “the spectre at the feast capable of undermining all our goals.”He also urged them to back investments in nature to defeat poverty and deliver economic development. “Targeted investments in the planet’s ecosystems and the services they provide will give a high rate of return in terms of fighting poverty, hunger and disease and delivering long-lasting economic improvements,” he said in a statement.He cited the link between a damaged environment and malaria, noted that many illnesses affecting people in developing countries are water borne, and called for giving full economic value to tropical forests in developing nations, which economists now put at $60 billion in terms of the greenhouse gases they absorb and store. read more

UN General Assembly core group continues working on World Summit document

With barely a week left before the 2005 World Summit brings together the largest ever gathering of international leaders at United Nations Headquarters in New York, a General Assembly panel today continued its marathon sessions aimed at drafting an outcome document for the 14-16 September meeting. The General Assembly Core Group, set up by Assembly President Jean Ping of Gabon had already spent the weekend in intensive consultations and heard progress reports form its sub-groups.The most recent version of the document, reflecting the current state of play on all the issues, was presented this afternoon and will serve as the basis for further negotiations among Member States. The sub-groups are tackling seven priority issues identified by Mr. Ping: development, UN Secretariat reform, establishment of a Human Rights Council, creation of a Peace Building Commission, disarmament and non-proliferation, terrorism, and the responsibility to protect civilians under threat of genocide, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.The Summit has been convened to discuss UN reform and the status of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that seek to cure of a host of global socio-economic ills by 2015, and is expected to be attended by some 180 leaders. Ever since he put forward in March a comprehensive plan for tackling poverty, security threats and human rights abuses while reforming the UN, in his report “In Larger Freedom: towards development, security and human rights for all,” Secretary-General Kofi Annan has spoken of the unique opportunity offered by the Summit in this 60th anniversary year of the world body. He returned to this theme in an interview with the BBC yesterday, calling for “a maturity and leadership and appreciation of what we are trying to do” in reaching agreement on the outcome document.“I think this is a once in a generation opportunity that we have to do this,” he said. “And if we fail, I don’t know when the opportunity will come again.” read more

UN commander of EthiopiaEritrea force voices hope for peace process breakthrough

Addressing a meeting of the Military Coordination Commission in Nairobi, Kenya, on Saturday, Major General Rajender Singh, who heads the peacekeeping troops serving with the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE), said the international community is working to forge a lasting solution to settle the conflict.After Ethiopia and Eritrea signed a peace accord ending their 1998-2000 border war, UNMEE was deployed to monitor a Temporary Security Zone (TSZ) separating the two Horn of Africa countries. Eritrea has been critical of the UN for not forcing Ethiopia to accept the border delineated in 2002, awarding Badme – the town that triggered the conflict – to Eritrea.Last month, the Security Council urged the two parties to sit down with the commission charged with setting a permanent border and to abide by its decisions.General Singh recalled the Council’s statement at Saturday’s meeting, which brought together military leaders from both sides, and cited other initiatives aimed at fostering a breakthrough. “We remain hopeful that with the support of the international community, these initiatives will indeed be the watershed in the peace process,” he said.On the overall situation in the Mission Area, Major General Rajender Singh noted that there had not been any significant changes in recent months, but voiced concern about the continued presence of groups of Eritrean armed personnel in certain areas within the TSZ.He also spoke about constraints faced by UNMEE as a result of Eritrea’s restrictions, including helicopter flight ban, which continues to impede the rapid evacuation of sick or injured peacekeepers while reducing the mission’s monitoring capability. Last week, an UNMEE peacekeeper, Lance Corporal Kamble Ramesh Annappa, died of cardiac arrest after Eritrea refused the mission’s request for a medevac.General Singh also voiced concern about the number of mine incidents registered in the last two months – six in all on both sides of the border. “These have not only resulted in fatal and serious casualties to civilians, but have also emerged as a major threat to the peacekeepers on both sides of the southern boundary of the TSZ,” he pointed out, urging both parties to address the menace.Also speaking at the meeting, Brigadier General Otisitswe Tiroyamodimo of the African Union (AU) appealed to Eritrea to remove the flight restrictions against UNMEE.Ethiopia’s representative, Major General Yohannes Gebremeskel, expressed his Government’s commitment to the cause of peace and promised full cooperation with UNMEE. “UNMEE is an instrument of peace and stability between Ethiopia and Eritrea,” he said, urging the international community to take the necessary steps to restore the mission to its full operating capacity. Eritrea’s delegate, Colonel Zecarias Ogbagaber, said his country was committed to the peace agreement but stressed that it was “up to Ethiopia to abide by the decision of the Boundary Commission.” He said the flight ban and other restrictions were only expressions of Eritrea’s frustrations. “UNMEE is here to facilitate demarcation; not to manage an indefinite stalemate,” he said. “Eritrea has the right to resort to whatever measure it deems necessary to assert its territorial rights.” read more

Reruns and sports were last weeks mostwatched gifts to TV viewers from

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Football and reruns prevailed on television Christmas week, according to the Nielsen ratings company.NBC’s Sunday night clash between the New York Giants and the Minnesota Vikings claimed the lead with almost 18 million viewers.But CBS was not to be outdone with its slate of encore dramas and comedies (a trio of repeats of “The Big Bang Theory” made it into the Top 20), along with such popular holiday fare as an Andy Griffith special and a colorized hour of classic “I Love Lucy.” For the week, CBS led in prime time with an average 5.7 million viewers.Not so successful: ABC’s four-episode block of “Muppets” reruns on Sunday, the first of which drew a puny 1.9 million viewers, and the final half-hour attracting a Scrooge-like 955,000.NBC, in second place for the week, averaged 5.3 million viewers, while ABC had 3.6 million, Fox had 3.1 million, Univision had 1.7 million, Telemundo had 1.4 million, ION Television had 1.3 million, and the CW had 1.1 million.ESPN was by far the week’s leading cable network, averaging 3.37 million viewers in prime time. USA had 2.30 million, and ABC Family had 2.21 million viewers.NBC’s “Nightly News” topped the evening newscasts with an average of 9.3 million viewers. ABC’s “World News Tonight” was second with 8.7 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 7.5 million viewers.For the week of Dec. 21-27, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: NFL Football: New York Giants at Minnesota, NBC, 17.87 million; “Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick,” NBC, 14.22 million; “The OT,” Fox, 13.09 million; NFL Football: Detroit at New Orleans, ESPN, 10.90 million; “NCIS,” CBS, 10.80 million; “Football Night in America,” NBC, 10.67 million; “60 Minutes Presents,” CBS, 10.54 million; “The Big Bang Theory” (Monday, 8:30 p.m.), CBS, 8.52 million; “The Big Bang Theory” (Monday, 8 p.m.), CBS, 8.42 million; “NCIS: New Orleans,” CBS, 8.20 million.___ABC and ESPN are owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox. NBC, USA and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks.___Online: by Frazier Moore, The Associated Press Posted Dec 30, 2015 12:20 pm MDT Last Updated Dec 30, 2015 at 1:20 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Reruns and sports were last week’s most-watched gifts to TV viewers from the networks read more

FEATURE UN teams with Revolution TV show to highlight real challenges of

Portrayals of endless tents at “Savannah Refugee Camp” and war lords offering hostages sweet tea at the beginning of a meeting are taken directly from experiences UN workers have had in places like Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Sudan, and Syria.“We spent a lot of the first season talking about ‘what ifs’ and that has become ‘what can we use,” said actor Billy Burke during a post-screening panel that brought together some of the cast and crew, and the UN experts who had collaborated on the second season of the show.‘Revolution’ is a post-apocalyptic science fiction television drama series that takes place in the United States 15 years after the start of a worldwide blackout, according to NBC.Series creator Eric Kripke said it was “surreal” when the UN reached out to ask for help in highlighting the global energy crisis to the show’s audience in a meeting that included Under-Secretary-Generals Valerie Amos, who heads the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), and Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal at the Department of Public Information (DPI).Worldwide, almost 3 billion people rely on traditional biomass for cooking and heating, and about 1.2 billion have no access to electricity, according to UN figures.Lack of electricity impacts every aspect of life ranging from how people store food, to how they learn, to their sanitation and access to medical aid, Mr. Launsky-Tieffenthal said in his welcoming remarks.UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched in 2011 the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative. It aims to achieve three inter-linked global targets by 2030: universal access to modern energy services; the doubling of energy efficiency; and the doubling of the share of renewable energy in the world’s energy mix.Speaking on the panel, UN Development Programme (UNDP) energy policy specialist Bahareh Seyedi stressed that living without power is not just a developing country issue.“We are all interconnected. We all rely on the same ecosystem that sustains life on earth. Our actions in New York affect a woman in rural Bangladesh,” Ms. Seyedi said, adding that Manhattan on its own consumes as much energy as all of Kenya.She suggested a greater emphasis in future episodes on sustainable energies, such as wind turbines and solar panels that use the power of sun and wind.The opportunity to work with UN field experts such as Derk Segaar, who had spent several years in South Sudan and Darfur providing humanitarian support with OCHA, and to get stories directly from people on the ground is “ideal” for the show, said Steve Tao, head of TV for J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot production house which is responsible for “Revolution.”It was the UN Creative Community Outreach Initiative (CCOI) through its partnership with the UN Foundation that initially approached Good Robot, the philanthropic arm of Bad Robot, about collaborating with the show. “The United Nations is sometimes bad about getting its messages out to the world, particularly in a way that makes sense to the general public,” said Mr. Segaar, OCHA Chief of Communications in New York.Following a screening of the season premiere, he said the portrayal of a warlord, whose character emerged fully from conversations between the show writers and the UN, was realistic.“We were a week’s travel in the middle of nowhere to meet one of the most notorious war lords and spread under a tree was a picnic with little tea cups,” Mr. Segaar told the panel recollecting negotiations for safe passage of food convoys in Darfur.The leader was well-educated and polite, “and then in the middle of the picnic he takes out his gun,” Mr. Segaar said.He also made reference to portrayals of refugee camps, “Just imagine the scale. In every single tent there is a family that doesn’t want to be there. It is a history of broken dreams times a thousand.”The relationship with the UN also impacted filler dialogue. At one point, one of the main characters offhandedly remarks that someone he had gone to school with came down with polio, a reference to lack of vaccinations and re-emergence of long eradicated diseases – also priority themes for the UN’s work.“Power is literal and metaphorical,” said Mr. Kripke about ‘Revolution.’ “Financial power doesn’t matter. Political power doesn’t matter. It is about how fragile our society really is.”Actors Giancarlo Esposito and Tracy Spiridakos also participated on the panel, which was moderated by director and producer Fisher Stevens.Season two of ‘Revolution’ premieres on 25 September on NBC in the United States, as well as on Foxtel in Australia and CityTV in Canada. It will also air on 27 September on Syfy in Spain; 2 October on Star in India, TVNZ in New Zealand and SOHU and IQIYI online outlets in China; 5 November on Cinemax LATAM (HBO) in Latin American countries and February 2014 on NOTTV in Japan. Building on successful collaborations with films such as The Interpreter, starring Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn, and Che, with Benicio del Toro, the CCOI was established by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2009 to help story tellers in the entertainment industry include global issues on the UN agenda into their productions. read more

Tallying fewer crossings UN agency reports rise in migrant deaths at USMexico

“Some 232 migrant fatalities have been recorded in the first seven months of 2017, an increase of 17 per cent compared with the 204 deaths recorded between January and July 2016,” said Julia Black, coordinator of the Berlin-based Missing Migrants Project (MMP) at the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Global Migration Data Analysis Centre. “These numbers are especially concerning considering that, according to US Border Patrol figures, fewer migrants seem to be crossing into the US in 2017. The US Border Patrol has apprehended 140,024 migrants between January and June 2017, about half the number recorded in the first six months of 2016,” she added. “Fifty bodies were recorded as discovered in July, the most recorded in any month so far this year,” Ms. Black said, explaining that their remains were found across the border region. “Nine were recorded in various locations along the Río Grande; ten in a truck in San Antonio, Texas; and 16 in other locations in Texas,” she elaborated. Fifteen others were recovered in Arizona’s Pima County, a notoriously dangerous crossing, where seasonal temperatures regularly soar above 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius between the months of May and September. So far this year, 96 bodies have been recovered in Pima County. According to the briefing, its Missing Migrants Project has recorded more than 1,250 migrant fatalities on the US-Mexico border since 2014. MMP staff reflecting on the deaths see each as an individual tragedy that serve as reminders of the many migrants who continue to risk their lives pursuing their ‘Sueño Americano,’ or ‘American Dream.’Migrant apprehensions and fatalities recorded on the US-Mexico border, 2016-2017 Source: US Customs and Border Patrol, 2017; IOM’s Missing Migrants Project, 2017 Although the story of 10 migrants who died trapped in the back of a tractor-trailer in Texas last Sunday was covered in the media, most recorded deaths in the border region – which occur in single digits on a nearly daily basis throughout the summer – rarely make headlines. Many of those pursuing el Sueño Americano travel from Mexico to Texas, compelled to cross the swift-flowing Río Grande to the US. For example, on Wednesday, a five-year-old child migrant drowned in the Río Grande near Tamaulipas, Mexico, as the father went missing during the river crossing. According to the IOM, 57 people drowned in the border river in 2017 – a 54 per cent hike over the 37 deaths recorded in the Río Grande between January and July 2016. IOM’s office in Mexico cites heavy rainfall in recent months, which has made the river faster and deeper, as a possible cause for the increase. However, the upsurge in migrant deaths in other border areas, such as the Arizona desert, remains unexplained. Though migrant fatalities on the US-Mexico border represent 65 per cent of the total number recorded in the Americas, it is likely that many migrant deaths occur in Central and Southern America that go unrecorded. Notably, several bodies, presumed to be migrants, were seen floating off the coast of Nicaragua on Tuesday; another migrant was killed near Oaxaca, Mexico on Sunday after being struck by a train; and another, from El Salvador, was the victim of a stabbing. Noting that the true number of migrant fatalities in 2017 is likely to be higher than the MMP indicates, Ms. Black concluded by pointing out that “it’s something that is true for all regions of the world, unfortunately.” read more

AP source KState coach Snyder retiring after 27 seasons

MANHATTAN, Kan. — A person with knowledge of his decision tells The Associated Press that Bill Snyder is retiring as the coach of Kansas State. The move ends his three-decade relationship with the program that included 27 years on the sideline interrupted by a brief retirement.The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because an announcement was planned later Sunday.The 79-year-old Snyder has been considering his future since the Wildcats finished a 5-7 season with a disheartening loss to Iowa State that eliminated them from bowl eligibility.The Manhattan Mercury was first to report that Snyder was retiring.Snyder turned around one of the worst programs in college football when he arrived in 1988, making it a perennial powerhouse in the Big 12. He finishes his career with a record of 215-117-1, trips to 19 bowl games, two Big 12 championships and a spot in college football’s Hall of Fame.___More AP college football: and Skretta, The Associated Press read more

Introducing The NCAA Tournament Excitement Index

Every March Madness features a couple of exhilarating games, but can we measure which games were the most exciting? In this video, Neil Paine and Reuben Fischer-Baum introduce FiveThirtyEight’s excitement index for this year’s NCAA tournaments, which will measure how exciting each game was based on swings in in-game win probability. Plus, a friendly wager: What first-round game will be the most exciting?

Boy 3 in acid attack and his mother put under police protection

A three-year-old boy targeted in an acid attack has been put under police protection along with his mother after the arrest of four men for an “unspeakable crime” caught on camera.The boy suffered burns to his face and arms after a substance – described as a “pungent pink chemical” – was thrown or sprayed on him in a home discount store in Worcester while he sat in a buggy pushed by his mother.Sources have told The Telegraph that police believe the boy was targeted on Saturday at the Home Bargains store as part of a wider community dispute. Police have refused to discuss any motive for the attack on the child but insisted it was not related to a march by the English Defence League, a far-Right, anti-Islamic organisation, held in Worcester at the same time. One theory for the assault is that the mother and child had recently moved to Worcester and that the attacker, or attackers, followed her there. CCTV footage A 39-year-old man was arrested in Wolverhampton on Sunday and three men, aged 22, 25 and 26 were detained on Monday in an early morning raid at a house in Walthamstow in east London. All four are being questioned on suspicion of conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm. A West Mercia Police source said: “The mother fears for her safety and wellbeing and that of her little boy. This is an unspeakable crime.“Police also fear for the safety of the mother and child and they’ve been temporarily moved away from their home while our investigation continues. They are under police protection. They are safe but still in a state of shock by what happened.”The child suffered serious burns but was discharged from hospital on Monday. A well-placed source said: “It would appear to be an issue within a community rather than linked to some of the wilder theories going around. I understand the woman and child only moved to Worcester recently.” Police conduct a search of the Worcester retail park Home Bargains store in Worcester where the attack took place on Saturday Police conduct a search of the Worcester retail park Home Bargains store in Worcester where the attack took place on SaturdayCredit:James Ward/Caters News CCTV footage The officer said: “Our thoughts are with the little boy and his family at this time and we are absolutely committed to getting to the bottom of this incident.  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 went on: “The family are coming to terms with something that is quite shocking. It’s a difficult time for them and we need to make sure that while we work through the investigation they are safe and secure and are allowed to deal with the issues that they face.“What we will do is work to make people understand that this is not the way to resolve issues and disputes in communities.”The attack was caught on CCTV in the store but police said that would not be made public at this stage. But the footage is alleged to suggest it could have been a deliberate act against the little boy.The substance was either an acid of alkali  but strong enough to cause burns. A paramedic who treated the three-year-old boy described the liquid as a pungent pink chemical. “There is still work to do and we are keeping an open mind as to the circumstances of the incident.”But Chief Supt Travis added: “There is nothing to suggest that this incident is in anyway motivated by race or anything to do with the EDL protest that took place in Worcester this weekend.“I think it’s a natural question people would ask but we’re really, really confident that they’re not connected.” Police said they were still seeking a motive but sources said the child had acid hurled in his faceWitnesses described seeing the boy’s distraught mother in tears and screaming: “My baby, my baby, what have they done to my baby?”West Mercia Police insisted on Monday they were “keeping an open mind” over the motive. But Chief Superintendent Mark Travis suggested it was a result of a “dispute in communities”. Nick Carson, of West Midlands Ambulance Service, told the BBC: “It’s horrific, absolutely horrific. We had no inkling or reason to suspect that it was an acid attack, we just thought that maybe he’d come into contact with some sort of chemical.“But to find out that afterwards that that was the case, it’s shocking. The fluid that I saw was pink in colour. It had quite a strong smell, no bleach or acidy type smell but it was an astringent kind of smell. It just smelt like a chemical really.”Beth Sidhu, 21, a shop worker on her lunch break when the attack happened at about 2.15pm on Saturday, said: “I was outside getting some lunch and fresh air in the car park when I heard a kid screaming and suddenly there was all this commotion.“Customers were being ordered out of the shop and then police and fire services arrived at the scene.“No one knew what was going on and it was quite scary. The place was swarming with police, they were looking under all the cars and a huge fire engine was blocking the entrance not allowing anyone out.” read more

Oireachtas committee to discuss measures to boost job creation in the notforprofit

first_imgSTRATEGIES FOR INCREASED private funding and the introduction of better shared services will be among the suggestions put to an Oireachtas committee today on how to boost jobs in the not-for-profit sector.Representatives from Philanthropy Ireland, Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, and the Carmichael Centre for Voluntary Groups will meet the Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation to discuss the sector’s potential for job creation.Speaking to ahead of the meeting, Executive Director of Philanthropy Ireland Seamus Mulconry described how the not-for-profit sector is “hugely significant” for Ireland“People who look at it as the poverty industry are looking at it through the wrong lens,” he said, “It supports 100,000 jobs across Ireland, which is more than the IT and Pharmaceutical sectors combined.”Raise €300 millionPhilanthropy Ireland, an association of philanthropic organisations, aims to outline how a strategy has been developed to raise €300 million in funding for the sector by 2016. Part of this will be the One Percent Difference Campaign that encourages business and individuals to contribute 1 per cent of their time or profit to a charitable cause.A reduction of 15 to 30 per cent in operating costs, as well as an increased focus on core mission activities, could be the result of better access to shared services as proposed by the Carmichael Centre.However they say that the “current fragmented structure” of the sector will hamper this.Committee Chairman Damien English said that members of the committee “will be keen to assess how the philanthropy sector could support jobs in the not-for-profit sector and boost economic activity, while meeting social needs”.The meeting takes place at 1.30pm today in Committee Room 2. Watch it live here.Look: TDs and Senators to strut their stuff on the catwalk for charity >Column: Charities need our trust – so they require tighter regulation >last_img read more

Deal reached on EU rules that could see Budgets in October

first_imgTHE ERA of Ireland’s annual Budgets being announced in December has come one step closer to ending, after a European deal reached this morning.Representatives from the Council of the EU – currently chaired by Ireland, under its presidency – reached an agreement with the European Parliament and European Commission about the introduction of a series of financial governance measures known as the ‘two-pack’.The regulations include one programme of special measures for countries in an ‘excessive deficit procedure’ – the EU’s programme of financial adjustments for countries with large budget deficits – and another for countries participating in bailouts.Among the proposals in the two-pack is the idea that every member state would submit its Budget to the European Commission for its scrutiny in October every year, to ensure that it meets the conditions of the Stability and Growth Pact from 1999.Michael Noonan has previously said that this will mean Ireland will either have to formulate a draft Budget in October, to be sent to the Commission in Brussels for its oversight, or bring forward the Budget entirely.He has suggested that the Irish political culture means a draft Budget would not withstand two months of attack from lobby groups, and commented that bringing forward the Budget to October would appear a more sensible option.Countries which do not propose Budgets in keeping with their obligations would face a veto from the European Commission, and in some cases could lose their funding under European social and cohesion funds.last_img read more

Government shocked by creche claims Its every parents worst nightmare

first_imgA NUMBER OF créches in North and South Dublin are being investigated following revelations that children were mistreated in their care.Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin raised the issue at Leaders’ Questions this morning in the Dáil and asked the Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore what assurances the government could give that children across the country are being looked after in public or private care.“As the government we are deeply concerned about these reports,” Eamon Gilmore said, speaking on behalf of the Taoiseach Enda Kenny who is in Athens today.He continued that it is “deeply shocking” that anyone could behave in the way described.(Image: Dáil TV)RTÉ’s Prime Time Investigates programme secretly recorded staff at a number of créches and is set to broadcast the programme next week.“It’s every parents’ worst nightmare… Every parent who is dropping a child to créche this morning should have confidence and trust that their children are being cared for,” added Gilmore.He said “mistreatment is unacceptable in any setting”.Martin detailed how parents were notified of the allegations at a meeting held last week in Malahide and that one staff member has been dismissed.The Fianna Fáil leader added that the behaviour of those involved is “inexcusable and unacceptable” and that the “parents concerned are furious”.“All cases of mistreatment should be reported as they have been in this case,” Gilmore responded.He added that the HSE have been in contact with RTÉ and would be shown the undercover footage later today. “RTÉ are also liaising with the gardaí on the issue,” he told the house.Gilmore said the Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald is giving the investigation her highest priority and denied that vetting could have led to this issue, but accepted that the vetting process is “very slow”.Read: HSE and Gardai investigating creches after RTE exposé>last_img read more

Have you been on a hospital waiting list for six months Here

first_img By Hayley Halpin Share287 Tweet Email4 Mar 12th 2019, 1:06 PM PATIENTS WAITING MORE than six months for some high volume procedures, including cataracts, joint replacements, tonsils and angiograms will be offered treatment this year, the Department of Health has said. Minister for Health Simon Harris has published a new plan – the Scheduled Care Access Plan 2019 – aimed at reducing waiting times for patients. The plan aims to improve access for patients waiting for hospital operations or procedures, as well as patients waiting for a first outpatient appointment. In 2019, the HSE will deliver 1.155 million elective hospital procedures and over one million new outpatient appointments, according to the Department of Health. It added that the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) will deliver 25,000 inpatient day case treatments, 5,000 gastrointestinal scopes and 40,000 first outpatient appointments.Under the plans, a particular focus will be put on 10 high volume procedures including cataracts, joint replacements, varicose veins, tonsillectomies, cystoscopies, angiograms, lesions, laparoscopic cholecystectomies, septoplasties, and dental/maxillofacial surgery.The Department said that all clinically suitable patients waiting more than six months will be offered treatment in 2019. The number of people waiting for a hospital procedure was reduced to 70,200 by the end of 2018, from a peak of 86,100 in July 2017. At the end of December 2018, the number of patients waiting longer than three months had dropped to 40,200 from just under 58,000 in July 2017, a decrease of 31%.“However, it must be acknowledged that due to a number of factors, planned activity for January and February this year is behind target and waiting lists are higher than projected in the plan,” Minister Harris said. “The challenge now will be to catch up on lost activity and meet the targets set out in the plan. The HSE and the NTPF are fully committed to meeting these targets and I look forward to progress in this regard. Irish patients want and deserve timely access to hospital procedures and appointments.” Have you been on a hospital waiting list for six months? Here are the government’s latest plans Minister for Health Simon Harris has published a new plan aimed at reducing waiting times for patients. 20,781 Views 14 Comments Tuesday 12 Mar 2019, 1:06 PM Image: Shutterstock/Andrei_R Image: Shutterstock/Andrei_R Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Short URLlast_img read more

Liberals get edge in Anchorage elections massive school bond fails

first_imgIn Tuesday’s local elections, Anchorage voters gave a boost to the liberal-leaning camp on the city’s Assembly. But they also voted down a controversial change to the municipality’s tax-cap formula, and did not pass a major capital bond for dozens of public schools.Download AudioA John Weddleton supporter holding a sign shortly before the candidate was pronounced the winner in the South Anchorage race. (Photo by Zachariah Hughes/Alaska Public Media)At the end of the night, as staff clear tables and TV crews pack away their gear, South Anchorage Assembly candidate John Weddleton and his supporters are running through the math on whether or not he’s won. But with just two small precincts left to be counted, Weddleton’s victory appears extremely likely.“I am excited because I have been frustrated that people who come from a community council background, learn how the city works, get involved with the city really deeply, aren’t winning seats on the Assembly,” he said.Wheddleton says the race became extremely partisan, and in spite of his focus on policy details he came to viewed as the liberal candidate.Eric Croft making his victory lap at Election Central. (Hughes/KSKA)“I don’t identify as a liberal, I like my government simple: small is better, local’s better,” he said.Whether they identify with it or not, liberal-leaning candidates in four of the five Assembly races beat conservative rivals.In West Anchorage, former legislator and school board member Eric Croft was elected. Incumbent Dick Traini held onto his Midtown seat. And in East Anchorage, Forrest Dunbar, the former Democratic challenger to Representative Don Young’s House seat, won by a wide margin.“I’ll go where I’m needed,” Dunbar said. “There’s a lot of work to be done. Obviously the budget and public safety are the two priorities, that’s what our campaign goals were.”Forrest Dunbar supports march in Election Central as the candidate declares victory. (Hughes/KSKA)In the Chugiak-Eagle River race, incumbent and former mayoral candidate Amy Demboski held a sizable lead over challenger Nicholas Begich III.School board incumbent Bettye Davis held on to her seat. But in the second race for school board seat B, the divide between Kay Ellen Schuster and Starr Marsett is too close to call just yet. That race will be decided as the last ballots are tallied in the days ahead.Turnout in the municipality was low, just 21 percent. For many who did cast ballots, the most controversial issues weren’t the candidates, but the propositions over charter amendments and bonds.Ned Harshberger voted with his young daughter at the Alaska Zoo, which hosts a polling site in South Anchorage.“I mean, I hate raisin’ my property taxes, but school bonds, and just seeing schools out there, they’re always hurting, so I did vote yes,” he said.That puts Harshberger in the minority.To the surprise of many, the $49 million school bond looks like it will not pass, failing to garner a majority of votes.In a statement, Anchorage School District Superintendent Ed Graff says he believes “the results show a mix of community support as well as concern and uncertainty regarding the state’s fiscal climate.”The ‘no’ vote on the school bond is one of two budget kinks the Assembly and Administration will have to iron out in the weeks ahead.Proposition 8 received the 60 percent of votes necessary for amending the municipal charter, fixing a firmer interpretation of the formula for calculating the city’s tax-cap.Mayor Ethan Berkowitz says the passage of five other bonds related to roads, parks, and public safety demonstrates the voters’ faith in Anchorage’s economic prospects. But the Prop 8 vote means the Administration will have to adjust its budget.“We’ll figure something out,” he said. “We always have. We’ll find a way forward.”The proposal to put a 5 percent tax on retail sales of cannabis products passed with 79 percent support. The city expects revenues from that tax to cover local administrative costs once the new industry opens for business.21 percent of Anchorage voters went to the polls for Tuesday’s elections, which decided the fate of five Assembly races, two School Board seats, and nine bond proposals. With more than 98% of the precincts reporting, here are the unofficial results as of Tuesday night.As of Wednesday, the Municipal Clerk’s Office says they’re still calculating more than five thousand absentee ballots.Returns from those ballots have the potential to change the results in multiple races, including School Board Seat B and the question of whether Girdwood property owners will pick up the cost for police protection when the State Troopers leave the area this summer.The Clerk’s Office expects to have a better count of the outstanding balance by Thursday. Results won’t be official until they’re certified on April 19.CandidatesAssembly District 2- Seat A – Chugiak/Eagle River Incumbent and formal mayoral candidate Amy Demboski beat political newcomer Nicholas Begich with 58 percent of the vote.Assembly District 3 – Seat D – West Anchorage Eric Croft won the four-way race for the seat being vacated by Ernie Hall, who decided not to run for re-election. Croft took 46 percent of the vote.  His conservative opponent Adam Trombley had 34 percent. Ira Perman had 15. Former mayoral candidate Dustin Darden had 5 percent. Croft served both in the state legislature and on the Anchorage School Board.Assembly District 4 – Seat F – Midtown Anchorage Incumbent Dick Traini beat challenger Ron Alleva by a sizable margin. Traini has served on the Assembly for 17 years, and been chair for 12 of them.Assembly District 5 – Seat H – East Anchorage Forrest Dunbar beat Terre Gales 61 to 39 percent. Dunbar first entered the political scene in his failed run against Rep. Don Young in 2014. The seat is currently held by Paul Honeman, who decided not to run for re-election.“I’ll go where I’m needed,” Dunbar said when asked if there were committees or issues he was particularly eager to take up.“There’s a lot of work to be done. Obviously the budget and public safety are the two priorities, that’s what our campaign goals were.”Assembly District 6 – Seat J – South Anchorage John Weddleton squeaked out a last minute win in the closest of the Assembly races. He had 43 percent to Treg Taylor’s 41 percent. Mark Schimscheimer had 15 percent. Weddleton owns Bosco’s Comics in Spenard, and has served on the city’s planning and zoning commission in the past.“I am excited because I have been frustrated that people who come from a community council background, learn how the city works, get involved with the city really deeply, aren’t winning seats on the Assembly,” Weddleton said as final results trickled in at Election Central in the Dena’ina Center.School Board – Seat A Incumbent and former state senator Bettye Davis beat challenger Brent Hughes by more than 13 percent.School Board – Seat B As the night ended Kay Schuster, a special education teacher, had a 379 vote lead over realtor Starr Marsett. The race is too close to call. Former teacher David Nees lags behind with less than 30 points. The seat was vacated by Eric Croft.Ballot PropositionsProp 1 – Anchorage School District Capital Improvements The $49.2 million bond has failed by 2 points. The money was aimed at capital improvements for dozens of schools across the municipality, including new roofs, security camera upgrades, and replacing 27 school buses.In an emailed statement, Superintendent Ed Graff said, “We know our community supports public education. I believe the results show a mix of community support as well as concern and uncertainty regarding the state’s fiscal climate.”Prop 2 – Marijuana Sales Tax The measure to tax marijuana sales at 5 percent passed by a wide margin — 79 to 21 percent.Prop 3 – Area Safety Capital Improvements This $3 million bond is for things like upgrading the 911 system. It passed 59 to 41.Prop 4 – Parks & Recreations Capital Improvements – The $3.3 million bond to upgrade city parks and trails, including Campbell Creek Trail, passed by more than 6 points.Prop 5 – ARDSA Storm and Drainage Voters passed this $36.6 million bond which improves roads and drainages through out the city and revamps Spenard Road.Prop 6 – Fire Protection This $1 million bond blazed through with 61 percent of the vote. It’s mostly going toward buying a new fire engine.Prop 7 – Police Facilities The police department will get $3.8 million for facility improvements thanks to a vote of 53 percent in favor.Prop 8 – Tax Increase Limit This political proposition received the 60 percent it needed to pass. It reverts the tax cap formula back to a previous version.Prop 9 – Girdwood Police Protection The initiative provides police protection for the community at the expense of property owners in the Girdwood Valley Service Area. At 11 p.m. Tuesday, it’s too close to call. There are only four more ‘No’ votes.Girdwood property owners would pay 1.18 mils additional to the current Muni mil rate to pay for community law enforcement, if the measure should gain voter approval. The additional cost to the owner of a home assessed at $100,000 would be $118 a year in the Girdwood Valley Service Area.The police protection starts on July 1 of this year, if the ballot initiative passes. The means of providing protection is up to the Girdwood Board of Supervisors.last_img read more

Nagababu joins Pawan Kalyans Jana Sena set to contest Lok Sabha elections

first_imgTHE VILLAIN-NBK‏ @JhonnyOpines The right for PK to become a CM is almost nil… And…… then this Joker Nagababu is joining the party after talking pages about family politics Downgraded Leaders….Actor Nagababu joined JanaSena Party.Full album :— JanaSena Party (@JanaSenaParty) March 20, 2019 Nagababu joins Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena PartyTwitterMegastar Chiranjeevi’s brother Nagababu aka Nagendra Babu has joined power star Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena Party (JSP) and will contest from Narasapuram constituency in Andhra Pradesh.Pawan Kalyan has been touring Andhra Pradesh for some time now and has single-handedly brought the Jana Sena Party to power in the state. Though there was a lot of criticism, he has received little support from his mega family. His brother Nagababu came in for his support and slammed people, including Balakrishna, for mocking him on various occasion.Now, Nagababu has gone a step ahead and decided to plunge into active politics. The actor has joined Jana Sena Party and Pawan Kalyan has announced to field him as a candidate for the Narasapuram constituency. Suresh Kondi, a publicist of Telugu films, tweeted a photo and wrote, “Actor #Nagababu joins #JanaSena in the presence of #PawanKalyan. He will contest for #Narasapuram MP. #JanasenaParty #Elections2019″Many supporters of Jana Sena Party are happy with Nagababu’s decision and his presence will make a huge difference for the party. A follower named Venkey (@ursvenkey) tweeted, “Good Move #Nagababu Anna.. This will definitely helps for @JanaSenaParty”Shiva Prasad (@shivaravuri5) tweeted, “If chanchalgooda prisioner turned into the opposition leader what’s wrong with #Nagababu sir ….!unlike jail Anna…he is lawyer and represents state interest in parliament with sound #JanasenaRevolution2019 @Pawankalyan #Janasena @TrendPSPK”But some people are not happy with Nagababu, who was one of the people, who opposed dynastic politics. They took to Twitter to mock the Jabardasth judge. Here are couple of comments.Somesh‏ @urs_someshcenter_img Perfect planning from mega family one after another.. now what you say about family politics..first cheated with prajarajyam now with @JanaSenaParty @PawanKalyan #Nagababu now the janasainiks are became fools.. Mata medha nilabadatam kastam veellulast_img read more

Asian shares extend rally relieved at China growth

first_imgAsian shares rose for a second session on Wednesday as a barrage of Chinese data confirmed the economy had stabilized on the back of government spending and a hot housing market, even if worries about debt continue to mount.The initial reaction was muted with few fireworks in the figures and Shanghai stocks edged up 0.2 percent.MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.4 percent, on top of Tuesday’s 1.4 percent jump.Australian shares firmed 0.4 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.2 percent.Chinese gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 6.7 percent in the year to September, exactly as forecasted. Private investment remained subdued with government spending and property strong.Other data showed retail sales rising a solid 10.7 percent and urban investment 8.2 percent, but industrial output disappointed by growing only 6.1 percent.”The upshot from today’s data is that economic activity seems to be holding up reasonably well, with few signs that a renewed slowdown is just around the corner,” said Julian Evans-Pritchard, China economist at Capital Economics.”Nonetheless, the recent recovery is ultimately on borrowed time given that it has been driven in large part by faster credit growth and a property market boom, both of which policymakers are now working to rein in.”Sentiment had got an early lift from Wall Street which benefited from encouraging corporate earnings. The Dow ended Tuesday up 0.42 percent, while the S&P 500 added 0.62 percent and the Nasdaq 0.85 percent.Of the 52 S&P 500 companies that have reported results to date for the third quarter, 81 percent had earnings that topped average analyst estimates, according to forecasts collated by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.One company seemingly disappointing investors was Intel, which slid 5.4 percent after the bell despite beating expectations on its earnings.POUND UP AMID BREXIT CONFUSIONA report on U.S. consumer prices showed underlying inflation moderated slightly in September to 2.2 percent, leading the market to slightly pare back bets on a December rate hike.Fed fund futures imply around a 65 percent probability of a move, down from 70 percent.Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said last week the U.S. central bank could allow inflation to run above its target.U.S. Treasury yields dipped, in line with their UK counterparts, amid confusion on whether parliament will have to ratify Britain’s exit from the European Union.British lawmakers are seen as less inclined to take a hard line on Brexit than Prime Minister Theresa May.The news headlines caught the market very short of sterling and left the pound up at $1.2291, after a rally of 1 percent on Tuesday.The dollar was steady on the yen at 103.82, after edging back from 104.20 the previous session. Against a basket of currencies it dipped 0.1 percent to 97.809 .DXY.The euro remained vulnerable at $1.0987 ahead of Thursday’s meeting of the European Central Bank where some investors wager President Mario Draghi will push back against talk of a tapering in its asset buying.In commodity markets, oil prices extended gains as an industry group’s data showed an unexpected draw in U.S. crude inventories last week. Brent crude LCOc1 was quoted up 47 cents at $52.15 a barrel, while U.S. crude CLc1 added 47 cents to $50.76.last_img read more

Ranbir Kapoor Aishwarya Rai or Prabhas Shraddha Kapoor Who aced the steamy

first_imgRanbir Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Prabhas, Shraddha KapoorInstagramBaahubali star Prabhas and Shraddha Kapoor turned on the heat with their new Saaho poster wherein the two lead actors were seen posing in an intimate position. But before Prabhas and Shraddha, Ranbir Kapoor and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan had taken the internet by storm when they had posed in a similar way in their steamy photoshoot.In 2016, before the release of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, Ranbir and Aishwarya had become the talking point in the industry thanks to their steamy chemistry in the movie. The two hotties had grabbed all the attention with their hot photoshoot which soon became viral on social media.There’s no doubt that Ranbir and Aishwarya looked unimaginably hot together, Prabhas and Shraddha seem to be trying too hard to match up to their level by imitating them on Saaho poster.It may seem like the makers of Saaho could be trying to generate curiosity among the audience by adapting the promotional strategy of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, but the movie has surely worked out for them.While there’s no doubt that Prabhas and Shraddha are looking stunning in their intimate photograph, many would agree that the Saaho stars were not even close to beat the crackling chemistry of Ranbir and Aishwarya.Saaho is a high octane action thriller which is directed by Sujeeth and is set to hit the theatres on August 30. Starring Prabhas and Shraddha Kapoor in the lead, the movie is being shot in three languages, Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu, simultaneously. The movie also has an ensemble cast of Jackie Shroff, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Mandira Bedi, Chunky Panday, Mahesh Manjrekar, Arun Vijay, Murali Sharma, amongst others.last_img read more

Bobby Hajjaj quits DNCC mayoral race

first_imgBobby HajjajFive mayoral contenders will contest the by-polls to Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) after Jatiya Ganotantrik Andolan candidate Bobby Hajjaj quit the electoral race.Hajjaj withdrew his candidature within the stipulated time that expired on Saturday, said returning officer Abul Kashem.The remaining candidates are – Awami League’s Atiqul Islam, Jatiya Party’s Shafin Ahmed, NPP’s Anisur Rahman Dewan, PDP’s Shahin Khan and independent contender Mohammad Abdur Rahim.The by-elections to the vacant mayoral post will be held on 28 February.Besides, by-polls to councillor posts of 36 new wards – 18 in DNCC and as many in Dhaka South City Corporation – will be held on the same day.last_img