Ontario Liberals say NDP platform contains miscalculation Horwath rules out coalition possibility

first_imgTORONTO – Ontario’s governing Liberals claimed Monday to have found a costing error in the NDP election platform, marking yet another attack on the third party that has been gaining momentum, as the New Democratic leader stood by her plan and ruled out any possibility of a coalition to keep the Tories from seizing power.The province’s election campaign has increasingly seen the Liberals take aim at the NDP after months of focusing their attacks on the Progressive Conservatives led by Doug Ford.Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne said just because her party and the NDP have similar values, doesn’t mean she won’t ask questions about their platform.“We have to have the same degree of scrutiny applied to all of our plans. That’s what this is about,” Wynne said at a campaign stop in Toronto where candidates who were the province’s finance minister and treasury board president outlined what the Liberals called the New Democrats’ “miscalculation.”The Liberals claimed the NDP platform defunds hundreds of millions in apprenticeship programs, women’s shelters and efforts for the implementation of legalized cannabis, among other things.“I think this is about the NDP making a mistake,” Wynne said. “I think the NDP believes that the things they’ve left out are important. But the fact is they’re not included in their plan. There’s no way when you look at their plan to be able to discern how they would pay for them.”The NDP countered that the figures in their platform were accurate, with leader Andrea Horwath saying the Liberals were being “pretty dishonest” with their criticism.“This is a party which has consistently challenged the independent officers of the legislature, not agreeing with the auditor general, not agreeing with the financial accountability officer,” she said.“I want to assure people that the NDP numbers are in fact correct.”Several polls have suggested the Progressive Conservatives have the most support ahead of the June 7 vote and the Liberals, who’ve been in power for 15 years, are lagging behind the New Democrats.While neither Wynne nor Horwath want to see a Ford government form next month, the possibility of a coalition between the two left-leaning leaders if the Tories win a minority was ruled out Monday.Horwath said there is no way she would join forces with the Liberals — appearing to go further than when she was asked Sunday about the possibility.“I am unequivocally saying I have no interest in partnering up with that party,” Horwath said. “They have consistently made decisions that were in their own political best interest, decisions that were in the best interest of the well-connected Liberals and high-income earners that tend to be their friends.”Ford, meanwhile, said Ontarians don’t want a “backroom deal” that would keep Liberals in power.“They don’t want the NDP making a backroom deal to prop up the Liberals,” he said at a stop in Niagara Falls. “They’re the same. When you look at the NDP who destroyed this province, then you look at the Liberals and how they destroyed this province, people want change.”Wilfrid Laurier University political science professor Barry Kay said the Liberals’ focused attack on the NDP on Monday is a bad sign for the governing party.“The NDP is moving up in the polls so the NDP is the party the Liberals are losing their votes towards,” he said.“They have to start fighting back. At the beginning of the campaign they hoped that it was basically a two-horse race … between the Liberals and Conservatives, but that is not the way the most recent polls have gone.”In their scrutiny of the NDP platform, the Liberals said the New Democrats didn’t factor in government spending announced between last year’s budget and this year’s fiscal plan, creating a hole of at least $3 billion in their platform.Horwath said the NDP plan was based on new spending programs the Liberals promised in their 2018 budget — substituted with the party’s campaign pledges. She added that her numbers have been verified by a former parliamentary budget officer.The Liberals’ own deficit projections have been called into question by the financial accountability officer and the auditor general, though the Liberals chalk that up to a difference in accounting methods.— with files from Colin Perkel and Liam Casey.last_img read more

Teen charged with seconddegree murder in death of 37yearold Ottawa woman

first_imgThe Canadian PressPolice say a teen has been charged in the death of a 37-year-old Ottawa woman who was initially thought to be a missing person.Ottawa police say 18-year-old Lennese Kuplu is facing charges of second-degree murder and indignity to a dead body in the death of Susan Kuplu.Officers did not say how the two were related.They say the elder Kuplu was last seen alive on Jan. 11.Police did not give a cause of death, nor did they say what led to the indignity to a body charge.They say the accused was arrested on Friday and was to appear in court the following morning.last_img read more

Calgary conference looks to diversify energy landscape

first_imgAn event in Calgary aims to break boundaries in the technology entrepreneurship and energy industries.The inaugural Energy Disruptors United 2018 Conference is set for May 15 and 16 in the Big Four Building at Stampede Park.It’s believed through conversations, ways can be found to diversify the energy landscape and ensure the industry is moving forward backed by energy trailblazers, artists, entertainers, and technology.last_img

As violence flares UN rights expert urges Cambodia to lift protest ban

“Yesterday, Freedom Park – a symbol of democracy in Phnom Penh – once again became a witness to violence and an antithesis to freedom,” UN Special Rapporteur Surya Subedi told reporters in Geneva today. According to the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR), what began as a peaceful protests led by members of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), quickly escalated into violent clashes yesterday, leaving up to 40 people injured, mostly private security guards. As it stands now, five CNRP Members of Parliament-elect and one CNRP activist have been arrested. “I call on the Government to guarantee the constitutional right to peaceful assembly for all Cambodians with immediate effect by lifting the existing restrictions on assembly, and to ensure the fair treatment of those arrested in strict accordance with the human rights standards relations to the administration of justice,” Mr. Subedi stressed. All parties must exercise non-violent means of expression and uphold peace and order in the exercise of freedom of speech and peaceful assembly. Recalling January’s “tragic incidents” that resulted in a demonstration ban in Phnom Penh, he urged the Cambodian Government to facilitate peaceful demonstration and to exercise utmost restraint towards protestors.“Yesterday’s events have shown that the shrinking democratic space in Cambodia since January is having negative effects on the enjoyment of human rights for all,” Mr. Subedi said. During his last mission to Cambodia, Mr. Subedi has also expressed concern to the Government regarding the role of district security guards in policing public demonstrations, saying they were private individuals who appeared to operate outside any clear accountability framework. “Tolerance is crucial for the future of democracy in Cambodia,” he said. While barricading Freedom Park has no justification in law, he also urged those seeking to exercise their right to peaceful assembly to remain peaceful and respectful of others’ human rights. Appointed by the UN Human Rights Council as the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Cambodia in March 2009, Mr. Surya P. Subedi serves in his individual capacity and works independently of any government or organisation. read more

With Europe in sight Parma is regaining its pride

ROME — Already the first Italian club to earn three straight promotions, Parma is in position to add another chapter to its fairytale-like rise.Three years after being declared bankrupt and being forced to restart in Serie D, the squad nicknamed the “Crusaders” is sixth in Serie A and occupies one of the Italian league’s Europa League places.“It seems like I’m still dreaming,” Parma president Pietro Pizzarotti said. “Thinking about everything that has happened from 2015 to today I have a hard time finding an explanation.“There are no secrets behind our rise. We simply wanted to show that we weren’t all failures. And that means everyone: the club management, the players, the coaches and above all the fans,” Pizzarotti told the Gazzetta dello Sport. “Pride creates miracles. But I still keep watching our backs. Our goal is avoiding relegation.”Led by former Roma striker Gervinho — who has scored five goals in nine appearances — and Portugal centre back Bruno Alves, Parma has put together a series of unexpected results for a promoted club.Belief began building in September when Parma played solid against seven-time defending Serie A champion Juventus, which needed a second-half goal for a 2-1 victory.Two weeks later came a 1-0 win over Inter Milan at the San Siro. And now Parma is on a three-match unbeaten run, capped by a victory over regional rival Sassuolo last weekend.Up next: another visit to the San Siro to face AC Milan in Sunday’s lunchtime match.With 20 points through 13 matches, Parma is halfway toward meeting its objective of 40 points — which is usually enough to avoid relegation.“We’ve got to reach 40 points as soon as possible and then we’ll see,” Parma midfielder Luca Siligardi said. “We’re going to the San Siro aiming to win. That’s for sure. … We’re going to bring the same intensity that we showed against Inter.”A quarter century ago, Parma was a force in Italian and European soccer, winning three Italian Cups (1992, ’99 and 2002) and two UEFA Cups (1995 and ’99) featuring players like Gianluigi Buffon, Lilian Thuram and Fabio Cannavaro.But the 2003-04 collapse of owner Parmalat in what remains one of Europe’s biggest bankruptcy and fraud cases initiated a downward spiral that bottomed out with another bankruptcy case in 2015 after more ownership trouble.The current ownership is more stable under local business leaders like Pizzarotti (who owns a construction and civil engineering company), Guido Barilla (chairman and CEO of the Barilla pasta company) and racing car developer Gian Paolo Dallara.Parma coach Roberto D’Aversa has been with the club since December 2016, leading it up the final two rungs of the promotion ladder. And at the age of 40, Daniele Faggiano is the youngest sporting director in Serie A.“We’re going to have to battle down to the last round of the season,” D’Aversa said. “Let’s keep our feet on the ground.”___More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports___Andrew Dampf on Twitter: www.twitter.com/asdampfAndrew Dampf, The Associated Press read more

As The Playoff Nears Notre Dame Is Running Out Of Time

Stanford 9-2911950%16% ▲ 6a3% TeamCFPEloFPIConf. TitlePlayoffNat. Title Utah 8-32337260%<1% ▲ 21<1% Iowa 11-04122937%30% ▲ 212% Florida 10-112101931%13% ▲ 212% TCU 9-2191850%<1% ▲ 21<1% Michigan St. 10-1521747%47% ▲ 217% Oklahoma 10-135162%64% ▲ 9a25% Northwestern 9-21621550%<1% ▲ 21<1% The new College Football Playoff committee rankings are out, and the committee shook lots of things up.Notre Dame fell from No. 4 to No. 6 after an ugly win against Boston College over the weekend. Oklahoma (at No. 3) and Iowa (at No. 4) sneaked into the top four ahead of the Fighting Irish, and Michigan State leapfrogged them too, landing at No. 5. At this stage of the season, those teams control their own destinies, but the Irish don’t.Florida joined Notre Dame as the other big loser after the Gators squeezed out an overtime win against Florida Atlantic. The Gators fell four spots to No. 12.But there are still several major games left to be played in the next two weeks, so let’s turn to FiveThirtyEight’s projections of how the committee will order teams in its final rankings Dec. 6. College Football Playoff (CFP) rankings as of Nov. 24. Playoff probability changes are since Nov. 23; only changes greater than 5 percentage points are shown. Temple 9-225354838%<1% ▲ 21<1% Ohio State 10-18349%25% ▼ 8a7% Baylor 9-179218%21% ▲ 217% Toledo 9-12420439%<1% ▲ 21<1% UCLA 8-322231815%<1% ▲ 21<1% Michigan 9-21013157%7% ▲ 21<1% Mississippi 8-3181779%<1% ▲ 21<1% Florida State 9-21319130%<1% ▲ 21<1% Washington St. 8-32022450%<1% ▲ 21<1% Clemson 11-014659%71% ▲ 2116% Alabama 10-121360%64% ▲ 2121% Mississippi St. 8-32115200%<1% ▲ 21<1% North Carolina 10-11481641%10% ▲ 212% Oregon 8-3176240%<1% ▲ 21<1% Oklahoma St. 10-111141420%10% ▲ 212% RankingProbability of … Navy 9-115163827%<1% ▲ 21<1% Notre Dame 10-1678—a21% ▼ 104% Oklahoma’s odds of making the playoff jumped 9 percentage points to 64 percent in our model. That’s tied with Alabama and just behind Clemson’s odds of 71 percent. Of the remaining teams, Michigan State is handicapped to have the best shot, at 47 percent, largely because the Spartans are favored if they play Iowa for the Big Ten title. (First they have to beat Penn State this weekend.) That Big Ten championship would be a de facto play-in game for the playoff (should Iowa win against Nebraska on Friday). The model puts the Hawkeyes’ playoff chances at 30 percent.Three spots after Iowa comes Notre Dame. The Irish’s playoff odds took a significant hit, down to 21 percent. Our model has consistently projected that both a strong one-loss Big 12 champ (like Oklahoma) and an undefeated or one-loss Big Ten winner (Michigan State or Iowa) were good bets to make it to the playoff over Notre Dame.Several other teams are on the cusp of the playoff: Ohio State at 25 percent (down 8 percentage points after their first loss of the season); Baylor at 21 percent (needing Oklahoma to slip up, among other things); and two-loss Stanford at 16 percent. All these teams need some surprises to make it in, but there’s still some football left.For those of you who want more nitty-gritty details about our projections, check out our original methodology manifesto, as well as a methodology update. read more

Teck Cominco gets deeper into metallurgical coal

first_imgTeck Cominco has entered into an agreement with Fording Canadian Coal Trust under which Teck will acquire 100% of Fording’s assets, which consist principally of a royalty in respect of Fording’s 60% non-operating interest in the Elk Valley Coal Partnership. Elk Valley Coal is the world’s second largest producer of seaborne hard coking coal. Elk Valley Coal produces primarily high quality hard coking coal from its six operating mines in British Columbia and Alberta, Canada which it sells to steel mills mainly in Asia and Europe in addition to North and South America. Teck is the managing partner of Elk Valley Coal and owns a 52% effective interest in the partnership through its 40% direct interest in the partnership and its 19.9% interest in Fording units.Under the terms of the transaction, Fording unitholders will receive $82.00 in cash and 0.245 of a Teck Class B subordinate voting share per Fording unit. Based on the 20 day volume weighted average price of Teck Class B shares on the New York Stock Exchange, the proceeds to Fording unitholders represent a 18% premium to the 20 day volume weighted average price of Fording units on the NYSE, in each case for the period ending July 25. In aggregate, Teck will pay approximately $12.4 billion in cash and issue approximately 36.9 million Teck Class B subordinate voting shares in consideration for the Fording assets. The cash portion of the consideration is expected to be primarily funded by a $9.8 billion fully underwritten bridge and term loan facility arranged with a syndicate of banks and the proceeds of the sale of Fording units held by Teck prior to closing.The independent Fording Trustees have unanimously approved the transaction and have received an opinion from RBC Capital Markets to the effect that the transaction is fair, from a financial point of view, to Fording unitholders other than Teck and its affiliates. National Bank Financial has performed an independent valuation of Fording in compliance with National Instrument 61-101.Teck’s CEO, Don Lindsay said: “This is a very important transaction for Teck, Fording and Elk Valley Coal. Fording unitholders are receiving a significant premium to the Fording unit price during a time when comparable coal companies have declined substantially from their highs. In addition, our detailed knowledge of the assets and the coking coal markets means that the ownership transition and integration will be seamless. For Teck, the transaction is expected to be immediately and strongly accretive to both earnings and cash flow.“Based on expectations that the rate of growth in demand for metallurgical coal, especially the high quality coking coal that Elk Valley Coal produces, will continue to outpace relatively constrained growth in supply, we believe that the outlook for this business is strong. We look forward to having Fording unitholders become Teck shareholders and believe they will benefit greatly from ongoing exposure not only to the metallurgical coal business but the outstanding long term value represented by our diversified portfolio of assets.”Following Teck’s purchase of the Fording assets, Fording will distribute $82.00 in cash and 0.245 of a Teck Cominco Class B subordinate voting share per Fording unit to Fording unitholders and their units will be redeemed. On closing, Teck will assume any residual liabilities for Fording. Fording will not pay distributions prior to closing of the transaction. Substantially all of Fording’s value is attributable to its principal asset, a royalty paid by its subsidiary, Fording LP, based on cash received from the Elk Valley Coal Partnership. The balance of Fording’s value is attributable to its direct interest in Fording LP, which holds a 60% interest in the Elk Valley Coal Partnership. The price paid by Teck for the royalty will be treated as a Canadian Development Expense for tax purposes, fully deductible against Teck’s taxable Canadian income using the 30% declining balance method.Teck has today entered into an agreement with an affiliate of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board under which Teachers, in order to facilitate the transaction, has agreed to amend Teck’s “top-up” obligations in connection with Teck’s September 2007 acquisition of 11.25% of the outstanding Fording units from Teachers. Teachers will, on completion of the transaction, receive compensation of $105 million for amending its rights, which would have otherwise expired on July 31, 2008.Closing of the transaction is expected to occur by the end of October, 2008.last_img read more

Michigan State Turned 1250 Gallons Of Compromised Mayo Into Power

first_imgWhen life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When life gives you more than a thousand gallons of mayonnaise that’s not fit for cafeteria use, make electricity? That’s what you’d do if you’re Michigan State University Culinary Services Sustainability Officer Cole Gude, anyway.After recently taking delivery of 500 Costco-sized 2.5-gallon tubs of mayonnaise, the University started getting complaints from students to whom it had been served. Investigations confirmed that the mayo had gone south due to being frozen and thawed somewhere along the line.Normally, MSU donates any inventory it can’t use to local food banks. Questionable mayo, however, did not seem like an appropriate foodstuff to give away. Rather than let all that soybean oil, modified egg, vinegar, and corn syrup go to waste (at a weight of around 7.8 pounds per gallon, that’s nearly 10,000 pounds’ worth), Gude decided that the University should toss it into one of its anaerobic digesters.As The State News reported, mayo is an ideal food source for the microorganisms in the digester, because they “[thrive] on foods high in sugars and fats.” While the mayo hadn’t actually gone green, the power it later helped create most certainly was.MSU has been generating power with anaerobic digesters for several years now. In 2014 the University was honored with the Biogas Project of the Year Award by (fittingly enough) the American Biogas Council. Their first installation generated 1.7 million kWh of electricity in its first year of operation and diverted thousands of pounds of organic waste from local landfills.last_img read more

TwoHeaded Sea Turtle Hatchling Found on South Carolina Beach

first_img“We thought we had seen it all during this very busy season on Sea Turtle Patrol,” the group said on Facebook.“The mutation is more common in reptiles than in other animals, but it is still very rare,” Sea Turtle Patrol staff posted. “As with other live hatchlings found during a nest inventory, this hatchling was released to the ocean.”They named the two-headed turtle Squirt and Crush, a nod to the Disney movie Finding Nemo.Staff who discovered the turtle told PEN News that the sea turtle’s right head appeared to govern one flipper, while the left head governed the other.“There’s a bump that goes down the centre of turtle’s shells and there are two of them here, so they probably each have their own spine,” Amber Kuehn, manager of Sea Turtle Patrol Hilton Head Island, told the news outlet.With two flippers, however, the turtle couldn’t swim well. Kuehn said the odds of it surviving didn’t look good. “In general, even for the healthy ones, it’s one in a hundred,” she said.More on Geek.com:Sea Turtle With Spear Through Head Found in Florida National ParkWatch: Biologists Rescue Loggerhead Sea Turtle Entangled in Buoy LineWatch: Veterinarians Build Lego Wheelchair for Turtle Missing Both Back Legs Sea Turtle With Spear Through Head Found in Florida National ParkWatch: Biologists Rescue Loggerhead Sea Turtle Entangled in Buoy Line Stay on targetcenter_img Biologists got a double treat when they found a two-headed loggerhead sea turtle hatchling on the shores of Hilton Head Island in South Carolina.The bicephalic hatchling was discovered by a team from the Sea Turtle Patrol Hilton Head Island Tuesday while conducting nest inventory. It was found alive and released into the ocean shortly after.last_img read more

Triple H to quit WWE Reports paint him as most frustrated person

first_imgThere is palpable unease in the WWE camp and everyday reports tumble out of superstars being frustrated with their stints. There are several reports which suggest that wrestlers want to quit and walk out of the company. When the year started, there were rumours about The Revival, The Usos and Tye Dillinger being frustrated with their stints and had even asked the company to release them.Also, Sasha Banka, who has not been visible ever since WrestleMania 35, was not too happy with how things were shaping up in the company. All these simmerings and bickerings come at a time when All Elite Wrestling (AEW), spearheaded by Cody Rhodes and funded by the billionaire Khan family is forever on the rise.’Toxic atmosphere is because of one person’ Triple HBryan Steffy/Getty Images for WWEIn a recent interview on Wade Keller’s Pro Wrestling Post-Show podcast on PW Torch Dillinger claimed that a lot of creative writers had spoken about him on the different things which were going wrong and the centre of all the negativity had to do with Vince McMahon.”It’s such a toxic atmosphere and it’s all because of one person,” one writer said.As per the writers, Vince looks for suggestions from all quarters, but then these suggestions never see the light of the day. Also, it was reported that 99 out of 100 times an idea pitched to Vince has not been used. In one of the most startling revelations, it was also said the Triple H was one of the persons who was frustrated with the state of affairs. Vince McMahonEthan Miller/Getty”The most frustrated person in the back every single night is Triple H. He’ll always take, especially the NXT guys, under his wing. It looks like he’s consoling them. It looks so much like he was the most frustrated person in the building every single night,” said of one of the writers in the report.The friction was felt when Triple H retweeted a fan Tweet which suggested that the primary concern with WWE is with creative issues as opposed to injuries with superstars.The fan wrote, “@VinceMcMahon maybe the problem with the Raw and SmackDown ratings isn’t due to wrestlers injured, it’s that you put confusing and pointless storylines. Although it wouldn’t hurt if you gave your wrestlers insurance. Just a thought @StephMcMahon @TripleH @WWE.”The ratings are plummeting and this has forced McMahon to come up with new ideas which include “Wildcard Rule”, but it remains to be seen if this actually yields dividends.last_img read more

5000 migrants die in Sahara this year

first_imgFive Libyan migrants on a wooden boat await rescue by the migrant search and rescue vessel MV Seefuchs of the German NGO Sea-Eye in the search and rescue zone some fifty nautical miles north of the Tunisian-Libyan land border, at sunset, on 30 September 2017. — ReutersWest African migrants trying to reach Europe are dying in far greater numbers in the Sahara than in the Mediterranean but efforts to dissuade them may cause new routes to open up, the United Nations migration agency said on Thursday.So far this year 2,569 migrant deaths have been recorded in the central Mediterranean, while more than 107,000 migrants, mainly West Africans, have reached Italy.“One thing we still don’t have is any estimate of number of deaths in the desert,” Richard Danziger, the UN International Organisation for Migration director for West and Central Africa, told a news conference in Geneva.“We assume, and I think we have said before, that it has to be at least double those who die in the Mediterranean. But we really have no evidence of that, it’s just an assumption. We just don’t know.”In Niger, a main transit route, people smugglers were increasingly scared of the authorities, which might make them more prone to abandon migrants in the desert, he said.Many migrants had told of deaths in the desert, and some said the smugglers believed that if they drove fast through minefields they would be safe, said the IOM’s Niger mission chief, Giuseppe Loprete.Migrant numbers heading through Niger have fallen dramatically after strong action by the government to close migrant “ghettoes” and arrest people smugglers, he said.IOM was also trying to spread the word that “you do not want to get caught in Libya,” Danziger said.“What happens in Libya is far scarier to people than dying, the horror stories that returnees come back with.”Many of the smugglers did not see themselves as criminals, and were often former desert guides trying to make money. Many of them had given up, while organized criminals with contacts in Libya were continuing, Loprete said.“Right now they are looking for alternative routes, I think at least equally dangerous,” he said.“When you plug one hole, other holes are going to open up,” Danziger said.Niger had two routes to Libya: one closer to Chad that was used to smuggle migrants and one closer to the Algerian border that was far more dangerous and was used by extremist groups and for drugs and gun-running.An alternative was through northern Mali, a region beset by conflicts between rival groups, but but there did not seem to have been a dramatic rise there, Danziger said.The route considered the safest was along the western coast of Africa, via Senegal, Mauritania and Morocco to the Strait of Gibraltar, and migrant flows there had increased, he said.last_img read more

WATCH Houston Makerspace Offers Free Harvey Relief Workshops

first_img Share After Harvey, Ronnie DeVries was on the front line of the volunteer recovery effort, helping displaced residents find shelter. DeVries is the shop manager at TXRX Labs, a makerspace/hackerspace in the Houston warehouse district, where he’s giving free workshops on basic recovery information. Topics covered include: how to apply for FEMA aid; how to safely approach demo; how to hire a reputable contractor; and more. TXRX Labs received a $25,000 donation from Gallery Furniture to continue offering the workshops and “makeathons,” in which volunteers at TXRX build new custom furniture for flood victims. last_img read more

What You Need To Know About A Mueller Subpoena Trump And The

first_img Share Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesPresident Trump’s legal team appears divided over whether to grant an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller or whether to resist.Updated at 11:35 a.m. EDTThe slow-motion showdown between President Trump and Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller has entered a new phase: a knife fight over how, when or whether the two men may meet for an interview.Direct interaction between the president and the special counsel’s office has been possible all along, and in an earlier phase, Trump said he wanted to talk with Mueller — if his lawyers said it was OK.Now, however, as actual potential questions are being aired and talk of potential subpoenas is bandied about, the president is less enthusiastic.Here’s what you need to know about the state of play.Can the Justice Department subpoena the president?Yes — but it would be hardball. If Trump did not agree to an interview that complied with what Mueller’s team wanted, the special counsel’s office could try to compel Trump to appear before a grand jury, something that has never happened before.In 1998, Justice Department independent counsel Ken Starr issued a subpoena to force President Bill Clinton to answer his questions. Clinton’s legal team responded by agreeing to an interview in which the president’s lawyers could be present and he could appear before the grand jury via video — and Starr withdrew the subpoena.Could Trump resist a subpoena?Ultimately no, legal experts have said, but it might take a long battle in court to get there. How long? No one knows — a subpoena from Mueller that Trump fought would be a novel legal problem and might require months of arguments or rulings.Could Trump invoke his Fifth Amendment rights?Of course — the Constitution protects his right not to give evidence that would require he incriminate himself.That’s the choice Trump’s longtime attorney, Michael Cohen, made last month in responding to a federal lawsuit by the porn actress Stormy Daniels, who wants to escape the nondisclosure agreement she signed with Cohen and Trump. Cohen said he wouldn’t give evidence in that proceeding because he also is dealing with a federal criminal investigation into his business practices in New York and battling prosecutors over evidence in that case. So a federal judge agreed to pause Daniels’ lawsuit until this summer.But there’s a political dimension here as well. Trump has criticized people who invoke their Fifth Amendment rights. “The mob takes the Fifth,” as he has said. “If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?”So although Trump has the option not to give evidence, the question for him and his political team would be whether they wanted to live with the commentary that would invite from opponents.Why wouldn’t Trump just cooperate to prevent a subpoena or taking the Fifth?The president and his legal team stress that they have been. And Trump has said several times how much he wants to talk with Mueller, if his lawyers counsel him to do so.But Trump’s freewheeling speaking style is well-known both to his critics and his supporters, including his lawyers. He has been described as someone who likes to digress, to prevaricate, to exaggerate. And if he were to do that in an interview with Mueller, that could create legal problems.Mueller has already concluded a number of guilty pleas — including with former national security adviser Mike Flynn, campaign adviser George Papadopoulos — in which people admitted lying to the FBI.That doesn’t mean Trump would lie or that if he did lie, he might be indicted (the question about whether the Justice Department could indict a president is disputed) but, as with the Fifth Amendment question, the political blowback could be serious.What do Trump’s lawyers say?The president’s advisers appear to be split on a Mueller interview. Some of them, and some outside advisers, including Roger Stone, say Trump must not talk with Mueller.Others, including one of Trump’s newest lawyers, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, appear to want to keep the door open to an interview. That would enable Trump to placate the special counsel short of a subpoena and also permit the White House to continue touting its cooperation with the investigation. These two camps are now warring in the press.The don’t-do-an-interview camp may have been the origin of an account of the questions Mueller has told Trump’s lawyers he wants to ask — seeking to illustrate the breadth and detail that Trump would need to cover and the potential pitfalls that could create.And the do-an-interview camp may have responded on Tuesday with a riposte that made clear Mueller has already dropped the s-bomb — “subpoena” — in his discussions with Trump’s legal team.The two sides are battling to shape the public discussion about the president’s legal dilemma and grab the attention of the principal himself. Trump’s latest thinking appears to be that he is cold to the idea of an interview and he considers the Justice Department investigation to be nothing but a “witch hunt.”Could Trump solve his problems by firing Mueller?The White House says it believes Trump enjoys the privilege to fire Mueller, but that he has no intention of doing so. Trump’s allies in Congress, led by House Speaker Paul Ryan, say they’ve received assurances from the White House that Mueller’s dismissal is not in the offing.The latest target by Trump and his supporters, however, isn’t Mueller, but the man to whom he reports: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.The president and his allies have been sandblasting the Justice Department for months over what they call “bias” and officials’ abuse of their power, and this week some members of Congress surfaced “articles of impeachment” on which lawmakers could vote to remove Rosenstein.Trump and his allies complain that Rosenstein and the Justice Department have been slow-walking their requests for documents about the Mueller investigation and other matters, part of what conservatives call a conspiracy to frame Trump.The president renewed his complaints on Wednesday in a post on Twitter that held open the possibility he might use “the powers granted to the presidency” and “get involved!”Rosenstein says the Justice Department wants to cooperate with members of Congress but within reason. He said on Tuesday that “articles of impeachment” and other such tactics wouldn’t intimidate him.“There have been people who have been making threats privately and publicly against me for quite some time and I think they should understand by now the Department of Justice is not going to be extorted,” he said.Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

Tollway Team Helps Get Drivers Out Of Scary Situations

first_img Listen To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Share – / 6center_img If you find yourself in this scary situation on one of Harris County’s toll roads, just take a deep breath and look in your rearview mirror.You just might see Jarett Pasley, a supervisor with the Harris County Toll Road Authority’s Incident Response Team. His main job is to get breakdowns off the road.Pasley and his team patrol over 130 miles of the HCTRA tollway system.  It’s part of a free service HCTRA started 17 years ago to help stranded drivers and to keep the lanes clear.Team members do things like change tires and jump dead batteries. If they can’t get your car started, they’ll give you a free tow to a safe spot off the toll road.To see the system in action, we met Pasley at the Central Toll Plaza on the Sam Houston Parkway. We climbed into his specially-marked truck and hit the main lanes.With cars and trucks whizzing by at top speed, Pasley told us that a freeway breakdown is a terrifying experience for many drivers. He remembers when he was called to help a family of five who got a flat in the Katy Freeway Managed Lanes, after a woman made a panicked and tearful call to 911.“Once I pulled behind her and changed her flat, she was very, very appreciative,” said Pasley. “She hugged me, like, ten times. Because she was so grateful that she had a sense of safety behind her.”Pasley also knows first-hand just how dangerous it can be if you’re standing unprotected beside the road. He had his own frightening experience when he was changing a tire on the Sam Houston Tollway a couple of years ago.“I was going to pick up my last piece of equipment to put back in my truck and drive off when a trailer tire came off a vehicle that was in the far left lane,” Pasley recounted.That loose tire made it all the way across four lanes of traffic, to the exact spot where Pasley was standing. Before he knew it, he was hit.“I lost my radio. I had no form of communication out there. I was up against the wall,” said Pasley. “And the guy I was helping was still there but he actually drove off so I was out there by myself for a while.”Pasley was finally able to struggle back to his truck to call for help.“And I found out later that day that I had broken two bones in my back and fractured my pelvis,” added Pasley.Pasley chalks it up to a freak accident. But he says it illustrates just how vigilant drivers need to be on any road in Houston.“If you’re just sitting here on the phone not paying attention to anything around you and it just so happens a patron is not paying attention and they didn’t see you over there and they drift over there, anything can happen,” Pasley warned. “I always preach safety, safety, safety.”Meanwhile Pasley says he’ll keep doing his part by helping to get stranded drivers back on the road as quickly as possible.HCTRA’s Incident Management Dispatch Center is in operation 24 hours a day. The number to call for roadside assistance is (281) 584-7500. 00:00 /03:49 Xlast_img read more

Reddit user finds fabled Play Station NintendoSony hybrid console

first_imgNintendo and Sony were not always competitors in the games console market. In fact, in the late 1980s they were partners on a console called the Play Station (with a space). This device would be the first hybrid game console, equipped with both a SNES cartridge slot and a CD drive for a new game format. However, the project collapsed and the device never came out.Now a Reddit user has posted images and a video of the legendary console after finding it in a box of junk from when his father worked at Nintendo. You know what they say — one man’s trash is another’s treasure.The Play Station was developed in an unusual way for Nintendo. It would retain control of the cartridge slot games, but Sony would have full control over the CD format games. This ended up causing some concern at Nintendo shortly before the console was supposed to be announced. Without telling Sony, Nintendo forged a deal with Phillips to release a new add-on for the SNES that would run CD-based games. Sony, as you might imagine, was not amused.Because of the last minute cancellation, about 200 demo prototypes had been produced, and that’s likely where the newly discovered machine comes from. It doesn’t have a power supply, so we’re not yet sure if it powers up, but it appears to be intact externally. It also comes with a test cartridge, and possibly a test disk inside the CD drive.Nintendo’s Phillips partnership ended up falling apart as well. The add-on console never came out, but Phillips did release the CD-i, a game machine that abused Nintendo’s characters in a series of terrible games. Nintendo, for some reason, licensed its IP to Phillips in the original deal. Sony eventually won the right to release the Play Station in a court battle, but it never bothered. Instead, it pushed forward and released a CD-only game console in 1994 — the PlayStation.The Play Station remains one of the most elusive and fascinating consoles in the history of gaming. The games industry might be completely different if the Play Station had come out. By snubbing fellow Japanese company Sony in 1991, Nintendo created a powerful competitor in gaming. This newly uncovered prototype is probably worth a fantastic amount of money as a result.last_img read more

Reviving Indian craft and culture

first_imgThe fair showcases the richness and diversity of the handicrafts, handlooms and the cultural heritage of India. The aim of this event is to recreate a pristine rural ambience for foreign and domestic tourists, tell the patrons of arts and crafts of the skills involved in creative arts, to introduce craft persons directly to the buyers, and to identify, nurture and preserve the languishing crafts of the country.  Chhattisgarh is theme state this year. It will showcase its tribal heritage and culture, which is still found well-preserved in the forests of Bastar. The skilled craft persons, talented artistes and master chefs from the state will participate in the mela. Also, an ethnic ambience representing the state’s rural ethos is created on the mela grounds. 18 countries are expected to participate in this fair.  Lebanon, the partner nation of the mela this year, will unveil its ancient heritage of creating crafts in style. Lebanon will showcase to the world their identity as a nation, its history, culture, arts, cuisine, customs and traditions; and leave an everlasting memory in the hearts and minds of the people of India who come to Surajkund. To enliven the visitors’ mood, scintillating performances will be presented by international folk artistes from Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Federation (Moscow), Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Georgia and Tajikistan.Vivanta by Taj, Surajkund is also celebrating the event by recreating the highlights of the fair within the property. It features varied activities that would capture the interest of guests across age groups. From wine-tasting and themed evenings to special kids’ activities and menu, there is something for everyone.Also, Pawan Hans is commencing Helicopter Joy Ride during the mela to take visitors on a joy ride flight by Pawan Hans Helicopter and experience the breathtaking beauty through aerial view of Surajkund Mela and surrounding areas.  The rate of per ticket is Rs. 2,000/- which can be booked on the spot.last_img read more

Kolkata 40yearold man jumps in front of Metro dies

first_imgKolkata: A man allegedly committed suicide by jumping in front of a Dum Dum-bound Metro at Rabindra Sarobar station in Kolkata on Saturday. The deceased has been identified as Prakash Shaw (40). He was declared brought dead at MR Bangur hospital.The incident took place at 12.09 pm, following which Metro services were suspended till 12.57 pm. A case has been lodged at Charu Market police station. “A man committed suicide in the UP line at Rabindra Sarobar station at 12.09 pm today. Truncated services were operated from Maidan to Noapara both UP and DN and also from Mahanayak Uttam Kumar to Kavi Subhash both UP and DN,” said Metro CPRO Indrani Banerjee. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata Recently, Kolkata Metro had been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Just about two to three days ago, a girl had slammed Kolkata Metro claiming that the train had started moving despite her shoulder being stuck outside the door. However, the incident has been denied by the Metro authorities. On July 13, Sajal Kanjilal, a resident of Kasba area of Kolkata was killed while trying to board a Kavi Subhash-bound Metro from the Park Street station. His hand had got stuck between the doors and the Metro started moving. Kolkata Metro, which is operated by Ministry of Railways, faced massive criticism from the ruling TMC government, which claimed such incidents were a fallout of poor maintenance. (With inputs from Indian Express)last_img read more

Thin Flexible New Solar Cells Could Soon Line Your Shirt

first_img“They’re like the Reese’s peanut butter cup of solar cells,” says Dan Schwartz, director of Washington’s Clean Energy Institute, where companies rent lab space to develop new solar and battery technologies. “They bring some of the best parts of each, and some of the challenges.” The general rule when developing a new kind of solar technology is to expect progress to be slow. Take silicon solar cells, the most ubiquitous and recognizable form of photovoltaic generations today. When silicon panels were first built in the early 1950s, they could only turn about 6 percent of the light that hit them into electricity. More than 30 years later, that number had inched up to 20 percent, and today—30 years after that—they regularly perform in the mid 20s.So when, in 2017, a new material jumped from 3.8 percent to 22.7 percent efficiency after less than 8 years of development, it got people’s attention.“This was the first time we really didn’t know much about the material, and we were still able to make really efficient solar cells,” says Joe Berry, who works on solar cells at the National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden, Colorado. And that efficiency will only continue to improve as scientists learn more about the new material, Berry explains. “My expectation is that it will be faster than anything that’s happened before.”The new material is called perovskite, after a naturally occurring mineral found abundantly throughout the Earth’s crust. Perovskite photovoltaics are made out of a different material with a similar crystal structure, which gives them semiconductor properties. They are sometimes referred to as “hybrid perovskite cells” because they exhibit characteristics of various existing photovoltaics. First, the best parts: Unlike typical solar panels where silicon must be smelted in high-temperature furnaces and then carved into perfect wafers and soldered together, perovskites can be printed like ink, which means they take much less energy to manufacture. The perovskite structure is also less rigid than silicon, so they can be made into flexible, thin-film panels and installed on office building windows, vehicles, electronics, or even clothing. Other kinds of thin-film solar cells have been around for awhile, but they haven’t shows the kind of performance and rapid improvement that perovskite films achieve. The theoretical maximum efficiency for perovskite is 33 percent—at the current rate of improvement, they could be getting close within decade.But back to the challenges. For perovskites, the big hurdle has been their volatility. Perovskite’s crystal structure is prone to degrading, especially in the presence of oxygen or moisture. A few years ago, perovskite crystals only lasted a few hours before losing their effectiveness; today, materials in the lab are tested for about six weeks at a time. One potential fix is in the way perovskites are “packaged,” or protected from exposure to the air. Another barrier is economic. The market for solar is already set up to favor silicon photovoltaics, an industry that has had more than 30 years to fine-tune its tech and trim its margins. Competing directly with traditional silicon solar panels may not be the way that perovskite and other new solar materials make it into the market. One promising application of perovskite is in combination with other solar cells, layered up like a photovoltaic cake. Since sunlight is composed of many different wavelengths, it turns out that it is much more efficient to convert specific wavelengths with targeted photovoltaic cells — say, one cell for the blue-green end of the spectrum and one for the red end. These combination or “multi-junction” cells have already hit efficiencies above 40 percent—twice that of a traditional solar panel on the market today.“The most important thing to getting this technology to the market is being very open to unique use cases,” says Paul Meissner, CEO of Silicon Valley-based startup Energy Everywhere, one of a handful of new companies trying to develop perovskite, along with other unproven technologies. “It’s more than simply, how do we lower the cost per watt. It’s how do we reconceive energy?”Meissner believes perovskite is one of a few technologies with the ability to redesign our energy system from the ground up. Right now, solar power generation only makes up about 2 percent of the global power supply. To get that number higher will require vast amounts of cheap solar cells—and lots of novel places to put them, not just utility-scale fields of panels. With technology like perovskite, our buildings, roads, and vehicles could all be harvesting some of that solar power.When that happens, Meissner says, we’ll have to shift from thinking of energy as flowing from producers—companies with massive, centralized power plants—to the rest of us. Instead we’ll need what Meissner thinks of as the “internet of energy,” a democratized, decentralized electrical system where everyone can produce, use and trade renewable energy. One startup in Brooklyn is experimenting with this kind of energy trading already, where neighbors buy and sell their own solar power from one another; elsewhere, microgrids are test-driving the software needed to shuffle energy around a complex network of supply and demand as seamlessly as possible.“The goal is to have solar everywhere,” says Dan Schwartz. And at the moment, perovskite offers the most promising path to a world where installing solar can be as cheap and easy and automatic, Schwartz says, as rolling “Tyvex onto the side of a house.” More Great WIRED StoriesFei-Fei Li’s quest to make AI better for humanityThe privacy battle to save Google from itselfLearn to fly Sikorsky’s new helicopter in just 45 minutesiPads are officially more interesting than MacBooksHow does gaming affect your body? We tried to find outLooking for more? Sign up for our daily newsletter and never miss our latest and greatest storieslast_img read more

High School goes virtual to help students learn

first_imgValley Forge High School, in the Tibás district north of the capital, is bringing its students into the digital age with a program called “Plataforma Virtual” (“Virtual Platform”). Students and teachers are turning to cyberspace to better their education, with online and digital textbooks and newspapers, classroom blogging, and interactive assignments and presentations.Last week the school celebrated the launch of the virtual platform with a presentation about the program, musical entertainment by students and a dinner. Some 80 students attend the high school.“Virtual Platform is a revolution in our school,” said Valley Forge Director Rosa Soto, speaking to a crowd of teachers, students and parents. “We plan to further student learning by using new technology.”The Tico Times is also involved in the high school’s new program. Alex Villachica, a Valley Forge English teacher, said each of his classes begin with students reading The Tico Times. All students have online subscriptions to the newspaper. “We study The Tico Times to learn new vocabulary and practice reading news stories,” Villachica said. “It’s a way to learn English and lessen our footprint on the Earth.”Throughout the event, Villachica and other teachers spoke about how they plan to use online newspapers, animated PowerPoint presentations and digital interactive textbooks. In one presentation, video demonstrations of how a cell works or how a plane flies were made engaging with on-screen assignments by the school’s science department.“The future is in technology,” Soto said, adding that “we need to understand it the best we can.” Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

Cheap flights carrier bmibaby has announced that i

first_imgCheap flights carrier bmibaby has announced that it will launch new flights to Lourdes from Manchester Airport.The low-cost airline intends to introduce the new route to France in time for the summer 2010 season and expects more than 9,000 passengers to make use of it during the peak holiday months.Due to commence on April 30th 2010 and run through until October 1st 2010, the Manchester-Lourdes link will operate on Mondays and Fridays.Crawford Rix, managing director of bmibaby, explained that it is the only carrier to offer flights to the French market town from Manchester.”We are pleased we can offer the people of Manchester the chance to travel to an exciting new destination,” he added, noting that the airline will offer 19 European routes from the airport next summer.Earlier this summer, bmibaby revealed that it will provide flights to Prague from East Midlands Airport as part of its winter 2009-10 schedule.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedBmibaby to launch flights to Faro from Manchester next easterCheap flights carrier bmibaby will introduce new flights to Faro from Manchester as part of its Easter 2010 scheduleBmibaby to launch new flights from East Midlands next yearBmibaby to launch new flights from East Midlands next yearNew bmibaby flights to Europe unveiledbmibaby has unveiled several new routes to European destinations for its summer 2009 schedule.last_img read more