Tropical bird rescued by British Columbia SPCA dies despite treatment

first_imgVICTORIA – A tropical seabird rescued by a Vancouver Island animal rehabilitation centre last week has died.The British Columbia SPCA’s wild animal rehabilitation centre says the brown booby was in critical condition when it was discovered on the Victoria waterfront last Monday.Spokeswoman Marguerite Sans says despite intensive care by specialized staff, the bird’s health declined dramatically over the weekend.Sans says tube feeding, antibiotics and pain relief were not enough to reverse the bird’s desperate condition, and staff are finding solace in the fact it is no longer suffering.The bird is usually spotted in Mexico, California and Hawaii, where it’s renowned for dramatic 20-metre plunges into the sea to catch food such as squid and anchovies.Sans has it wasn’t clear why the bird ended up so far north, although recent storms could have affected its migration.last_img read more

WHY THIS TORONTO COMEDIAN IS FOLLOWING THE MASS EXODUS OUT OF CANADA

first_imgAdvertisement Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Comedian Andrew Johnston wants that American game show money. (Photo by Samuel Engelking) Twittercenter_img A couple weeks ago, I hosted the London, Ontario, Yuk Yuk’s and in the middle of my “whose birthday is it?” routine, I called on a 31-year-old audience member named Joe.“What do you do for a living?” I asked him. “I’m a window tinter,” he replied, before adding, “And I probably make more money than you!”“You’re probably right,” I responded, wistfully gazing toward an invisible horizon before telling him that my primary occupation was fucking his mother. Welcome to Canadian comedy! I’m Andrew Johnston, Toronto’s resident alpha-gay comedian with over a decade spent concussing myself on the Canadian entertainment industry’s thick, cold, concrete ceiling. I’m a veteran stand-up comic who has toured coast to coast. I created, host and produce Toronto’s Bitch Salad, a show founded in 2007 featuring female comedians ­before Sarah Silverman and Ali Wong were household names.For several years, I enjoyed micro-celebrity as a regular on MuchMusic’s Video On Trial – and by that I mean I once got to cut the line at a gay bar in Ottawa. And I’m one of countless Canadian comedians who have recently spent a small fortune on my U.S. Green Card (cue Kelly Clarkson’s Breakaway).Don’t get me/us wrong: Canada is an amazing country and will always be home. There are many things to love about living here: health care for all, sparkling infrastructure, little-to-no guns, which makes it so frustrating that in a country that’s never looked more desirable to the rest of the world, our entertainment industry is barely on life support.READ MORE Advertisement Facebooklast_img read more

CANADAS OLDEST QUEER FILM FEST EMBRACES UNIVERSAL STORIES

first_img Facebook Shorts and features from local filmmakers and abroad are part of the 11-day film festival, which runs until Dec. 2. (Couteau Dans le Coeur/Image+nation) Advertisement Login/Register With: This wasn’t a problem when a motley crew of intellectuals and activists launched the festival.It was the only film festival of its kind in Canada at the time.Programming director Katharine Setzer said that the tone of the stories being told has evolved since the festival’s inception.“There used to be an urgency to see oneself on the screen, because you couldn’t, but that’s changed,” Setzer said.As mainstream television and movies increasingly include queer characters, it has given Image+nation the space to tell more rounded-out stories — not just ones focused on coming out.Boudreau said the films are “moving past validation” into themes that speak to a larger human experience.Canadian issuesOne festival spotlight is Made Au Canada, which showcases the best in Canadian cinema.Among films under the spotlight is the second feature by filmmaker, multimedia artist and former CBC broadcaster Sook-Yin Lee.It’s called Octavio Is Dead and is based on a paranormal experience Lee had in Catalonia.A dead poet was still inhabiting a Barcelona home she was staying in, and she could tell it did not appreciate the intrusion.“Growing up Chinese-Canadian, ghosts are not new,” she said.It’s common practice in Chinese culture to leave offerings and food for dead relatives, she said. Advertisementcenter_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement The boom in queer Quebec filmmaking has organizers of Montreal’s Image+nation, an LGBTQ film festival, looking at expanding from a handful of venues to an online space, as well.Festival director Charlie Boudreau said there was a time when all submissions could find a place in the fest, but those days are long gone.“This speaks to a community that wants to see itself,” Boudreau said. “We get 700 to 800 [short films] per year but are showing 25.” Twitterlast_img read more

Ontario police investigator sets date to release review of dozens of Thunder

first_imgWillow FiddlerAPTN NewsThe results of a two-year investigation by the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) into dozens of investigations conducted by the Thunder Bay police service is set to be released Dec. 12.The OIPRD launched a systemic review, the first of its kind in the province of Ontario, that examined Thunder Bay police service’s policies, practices and attitudes on missing persons and death investigations involving Indigenous peoples.According to a statement released Wednesday, the OIPRD reviewed more than three dozen investigations by the Thunder Bay police.“The systemic review report is a culmination of an extensive review and analysis of 37 TBPS investigations, dozens of interviews with former and current TBPS members, First Nations Police Services, Ontario’s Chief Coroner and Chief Forensic Pathologist, and more than 80 meetings with Indigenous and non-Indigenous community and service organizations, individuals and Indigenous leaders,” the release from the OIPRD said.“The majority of the investigations were sudden deaths, including those deemed homicides, suicides and accidental.”First Nations leaders welcomed the review when it was announced in 2016.“There’s a lot of things that are coming to the surface where there has been situations where our people have been mistreated either verbally or physically,” said Anna Betty Achneepineskum, former deputy grand chief of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation in 2016.“A lot of things those allegations were proven to be true. It’s very important that we start addressing this and working together and that our people, our indigenous citizens have a voice at the table.”Wound from the student inquest that examined the deaths of seven First Nation students in the city were still fresh.Along with strong concerns over how police handled some of those missing person reports and death investigations.Officials with Nishnawbe Aski Nation declined to comment until the report is released.About six months into the director’s investigation, Gerry McNeilly said he was troubled by what he was seeing and hearing in the city.“It’s a bit of a crisis that’s why I have started and why I’m carrying out this systemic review,” he said at the time. “We need to bring some reconciliation, we need to bring some changes, we need to bring a better relationship between the police and the indigenous community and how they interact.”The Thunder Bay police say its open to any recommendations from the report.Officials say the force is already addressing some of the issues that are expected to come up.“I can truly tell you though that we haven’t stood idle for the last year and a half so it’s not like we’re sitting, waiting to say okay, please tell us where we’re deficient, said Police Chief Sylvie Hauth the day she was sworn in. “I’ve really made an effort in the last year and a half to really focus on the areas that were highlighted or the areas that were problematic.”In the winter of 2017, the OIPRD found two Thunder Bay investigators guilty of discredible conduct for how they handed the Stacey Debungee death investigation.The body of the man from the Rainy River First Nation was found in the McIntyre River in 2015.His family filed a complaint to the OIPRD which prompted the review.wfiddler@aptn.ca@willowblasizzolast_img read more

US NGO urges population in Tindouf to seize opportunity of Moroccos

New York (UN)  – American NGO “Teach the Children International” urged Wednesday the Sahrawi population in the Tindouf camps in Algeria “to abandon the role of the victim imposed on them” by the leaders of the Polisario and “seize the opportunity offered by the Moroccan autonomy initiative, the only way to enhance their living conditions and restore their dignity”.“Diplomacy may have good resonance, but what the Sahrawi population in the Tindouf camps really need today are programs which can enhance their living conditions and restore their dignity”, Nancy Huff, president of the Oklahoma-based NGO said. “While the population is shut away in the camps in a wait-and-see attitude hoping the UN diplomacy will find a solution to their problems, the solution, in fact, lies in the society project offered by the Moroccan plan”, Huff added in her address to the 4th UN Committee. The population in the Tindouf camps “need meet their parents, brothers and sisters”, she went on to say, noting that the Moroccan autonomy initiative is a “real basis for the settlement of this conflict”. read more

Federal Judge Blocks Donald Trumps Muslim Ban

Rabat – Before a packed courtroom, U.S. District Court Judge, Ann M. Donnelly, issued a stay on Saturday, against the executive order president Donald Trump issued Friday night. The order barred anyone originating from a country on the Trump 7 list from attempting to enter the U.S.According to US media, the stay was set down in a ruling by District Court Judge Ann M. Donnelly, in response to a challenge her court received from the ACLU, on behalf of two Iraqi nationals on Saturday. They had been detained since Friday evening when the executive order was signed and made immediately effective. The ACLU estimated that approximately 100-200 people, including the two plaintiffs named in the challenge, found themselves detained at airports across the country, threatened with deportation.The stay offers a temporary reprieve until a hearing set for February 21 decides if the stay will be granted permanent status.Trump’s executive order imposed an immediate ban on anyone attempting to enter the U.S. from the Trump 7 countries; Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Libya and Yemen.It was clear in comments appearing online, following the judge’s ruling, that the ACLU is considering this an important victory.Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project tweeted the following: “We won… Stay is national… Nationwide injunction- no one can be removed- gov’t must provide a list of names of people affect.”The ACLU office in Ohio also tweeted, “Stay covers all those who were in transit or are being detained at airports. Important first win-thank you attorneys.”The Guardian reported Saturday that, during the stay hearing, Judge Donnelly made it clear that she felt the executive order ill-prepared and rushed, as were the government lawyers tasked with arguing the Trump administration’s case. “I think the government hasn’t had a full chance to think about this,” Donnelly told a packed courtroom.Supporting this theory, CNN is reporting a White House source as saying no legal guidance had been sought by the two men thought to be the main architects of the order, members of Trump’s inner circle, Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller and that the order “did not follow the standard agency review process that’s typically overseen by the National Security Council.”Another White House source told CNN that officials were shown details of the order at the last possible moment before it’s signing, which resulted in them being “caught off guard.”Judge Donnelly was nominated to the Federal District Court by Barack Obama. Quoted in The Guardian, Donnelly issued the stay, citing that the deportations could cause “irreparable harm” by returning people holding valid visas and green cards to countries where they could be put in danger.In addition to issuing the stay on deportations, Donnelly’s ruling also orders the government to provide a list of names for the people currently being detained in violation of the order. This will ensure they can be contacted by appropriate legal counsel and released as soon as possible.Challenges against the executive order are coming in from other quarters as well.  Online website, Just Security, published an article on Saturday afternoon in which it highlights that Trump’s ban on Muslims contravenes the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution.According to the U.S. Supreme Court, “the clearest command of the Establishment Clause is that one religious denomination cannot be officially preferred over another.” Written by David Cole, the article also reported that, in an interview with Christian Broadcast News, Trump stated that “the order was intended to give priority to ‘Christians’ seeking asylum over ‘Muslims.’”Just Security also announced its intention to file a legal challenge against Trump and his administration over the order, arguing the Establishment Clause. read more

Dutch report More info needed on flying over conflict zones

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — A Dutch safety watchdog says airlines around the world need more and better information to make risk assessments about flying over conflict zones.The Dutch Safety Board issued a report Thursday following up on its publication in 2015 of a probe into the cause of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over war-ravaged eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. That report concluded that the plane was shot down by a Buk missile launched from territory controlled by pro-Russian rebels.The board says progress has been made since the downing of MH17 in sharing information about potential risks of flying over conflicts, but more needs to be done.It says “very few changes relating to airspace management by nations dealing with armed conflict within their territories have been made.”The Associated Press read more

Michigan governor proposes nearly tripling the gas tax

LANSING, Mich. — New Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who campaigned on a bold plan to “fix the damn roads” in the capital of the U.S. auto industry, will propose nearly tripling the state’s per-gallon fuel tax, her office said Monday.The Democrat’s budget proposal, which will be a tough sell in the Republican-led Legislature, would boost the 26-cent gasoline and diesel tax by 45 cents by October 2020. The tax hikes would coincide with relief “to help offset the cost to people’s pocketbooks,” which Whitmer will discuss further when she presents her spending plan Tuesday, said spokeswoman Tiffany Brown.Whitmer also will outline a proposed $500 million increase to state K-12 classroom spending, including a $180 boost in the minimum per-student grant and substantial funding hikes to teach low-income, vocational and special education students.She wants to boost the 26-cent gasoline and diesel taxes by 15 cents in October, an additional 15 cents in April 2020 and 15 more cents in October 2020. That would generate an additional $2 billion annually.A top GOP lawmaker, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, did not rule out a tax hike to better fund roads and bridges but said his initial priority is lowering the high cost of car insurance in the state.“He’d first like the governor to work with him and his caucus to save families money by reforming car insurance,” said spokeswoman Amber McCann. “Then he would entertain having a discussion about new revenue for roads.”Higher fuel and vehicle registration fees took effect two years ago as part of Republican-enacted laws to gradually pump $1.2 billion more annually into transportation — following a failed ballot initiative — but many agree it is not enough new spending. Four former legislative leaders from both parties have said fuel taxes should be increased by 47 cents over nine years.Business Leaders for Michigan, a group of the state’s top executives, on Monday urged legislators to act. President and CEO Doug Rothwell stopped short of backing a specific proposal but said the roads “are an embarrassment,” are getting worse and becoming more expensive to fix.“We are not an organization … that likes to talk about raising taxes, and we don’t take that lightly at all,” he said. “But we’re on record saying that we need to make a significant increase in investment in our infrastructure, and that we believe user fees — which could be a gas tax — is the best and fairest way to do it.”The state Republican Party criticized Whitmer, however, saying her proposal would “break many Michiganders’ budgets.”Michigan drivers pay some of the country’s highest taxes at the pump, but not all of the revenue goes to the transportation budget. The sales tax on fuel mostly goes to schools and local governments under the state constitution.Whitmer also will call for new “weighted” K-12 funding formula to factor in higher costs for certain students, according to details first reported by The Associated Press. The plan includes $235 million in additional base aid — a 2.5 per cent bump — along with $120 million more for special education, an extra $102 million for economically disadvantaged and other at-risk students, and $50 million more for career and technical education students.Whitmer’s administration is billing it as the largest increase in classroom spending in 18 years, if state payments for retirement costs are not counted. It was not immediately clear how she will propose paying for the plan, though she has previously called for stopping the practice of shifting K-12 funds to universities and community colleges.The minimum per-student allowance — which most districts receive, including charters — would increase from $7, 871 to $8,051, a $180 increase. Districts at the higher end would get $8,529, or $120 more than the current $8,409 allotment.Her plan was applauded by the Michigan Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union, which called it a “huge step” toward addressing how education has become underfunded over decades .“It doesn’t cost the same amount of money to educate every student, and this budget proposal reflects that reality,” said president Paula Herbart. “Additional funding for at-risk, special education and career/technical education puts additional funds where they’re needed most to help all students achieve.”___Follow Eggert on Twitter at https://twitter.com/DavidEggert00David Eggert, The Associated Press read more

UN experts on mercenaries seek stronger regulation of private security companies

26 July 2010The United Nations group of independent experts on the use of mercenaries says it will present a proposal for a possible international convention to regulate activities of private military and security firms during its five-day meeting at the UN Headquarters in New York this week. The UN Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries will brief permanent missions at the UN, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and academics on the content and scope of its proposal aimed at closing the legal gap covering such activities at the international level.The Working Group has, since its creation in 2005, been monitoring the impact on human rights of the activities of mercenaries and private military and security companies (PMSC), and in particular their lack of accountability.The independent experts, who serve in their personal capacities, are calling for more stringent regulations, oversight and monitoring of mercenaries and PMSC at both national and international levels.The panel will report on the progress achieved in the elaboration of a possible draft legal instrument which will be considered by the Human Rights Council on 14 September. The Working Group will also make presentations to the General Assembly in September.During the Group’s session this week, the experts will also prepare their missions to Equatorial Guinea, due to take place next month, and to South Africa later this year, as well as review recent allegations regarding the activities of mercenaries and PMSCs and their impact on human rights.Shaista Shameem (Fiji), who is ending her term as chairperson/rapporteur of the Group on 31 July, will be attending the meeting for the last time. She will be replaced by Faiza Patel (Pakistan). Other members are Amada Benavides de Pérez (Colombia), José Luis Gómez del Prado (Spain), Alexander Nikitin (Russia) and Najat al-Hajjaji (Libya). read more

No ban on pandols or dansals on Vesak or Poson Poya

However the Government says there is no such ban and pandols or dansals can be operated with approval from the appropriate institutions. (Colombo Gazette) The Government says there is no ban on pandols or dansals on Vesak or Poson Poya.According to earlier reports the Government had decided to ban pandols on Vesak and Poson Poya in order to ensure the focus is kept on Buddhist religious activities.

Annan praises Ireland for contributing troops to UN missions in Africa

“Ireland has been one of the few industrialized States to deploy formed military units to sub-Saharan Africa, providing niche capabilities that really hold a peacekeeping operation together,” he said in an address to troops assembled at the McKee Barracks in Dublin, some of whom will soon ship out to the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL). “We need these specialist units very, very badly.”He also noted Ireland’s key role, especially during its recent presidency of the European Union (EU), in promoting cooperation between the EU and the United Nations in crisis management, particularly in the possible use of EU “battle groups” to support UN operations.”Whatever and wherever the mission, the skills of Ireland’s troops, and your country’s credibility with the parties, have been great assets in our efforts,” he said.Looking to the broader picture, the Secretary-General said UN peacekeeping benefits when diverse countries participate. “UN peacekeeping is strongest when the entire range of Member States participate on the ground, sending a signal of broad international commitment to the local parties – and in particular to the people suffering the most direct impact of conflict.”This theme was echoed during talks between the Secretary-General and the country’s Defence Minister, William O’Dea. Mr. Annan emphasized that highly trained and specialized troops make the best peacekeepers, and hailed Ireland’s contributions, particularly to UNMIL, according to a UN spokesman. They also discussed the prevailing conditions in Sudan and Iraq.The Secretary-General then met with Lt. Gen. James Sreenan, the Irish Army Chief of Staff, who briefed him on the activities in Liberia of the 600-strong rapid reaction unit made up of Irish and Swedish troops. read more

Brock undergrads research aims to increase efficiency of radiation therapy

Her goal is laser-focused — Alicia Martin wants to help improve cancer treatment.The fourth-year Brock University physics student has been conducting research in partnership with the Niagara Health System, investigating ways to make radiation therapy more efficient.Martin has been working closely with Dr. Ranjini Tolakanahalli, Manager of the NHS’s Department of Medical Physics at the Walker Family Cancer Centre, to improve the effectiveness of external beam therapy, a common cancer treatment.Cancer cells lack the programmed cell death — apoptosis — found in healthy cells. As a result, cancer cells divide and grow uncontrollably. To stop cancer cells from being able to divide, external beam therapy and other radiation treatments break the cells’ DNA strands.Patients lay under a radiation machine called a linear accelerator, which focuses high-energy beams on a tumour to kill the cancer cells within it. Radiation beams of precise shapes are aimed from various angles so as to deliver the maximum dose to malignant cells while minimizing exposure to normal tissues.A linear accelerator speeds up electrons and aims them to hit a section of the machine called the target, which is made out of the heavy metal tungsten. This collision results in the generation of high-energy X-ray photons, particles of light that are at much higher energies than common medical X-rays.The X-ray beam is focused on cancer cells in the tumour site.Once in the body, the photons are absorbed by atoms within the cancer cells by producing electrons, which deposit energy from the radiation dose into the cells.Linear accelerators are constantly tuned to high precision to ensure the accurate delivery of radiation beams.The place where the beam hits the tungsten target – the ‘beam spot’ – has to be precise. If it veers off to the edge of the target, it could affect the quantity and quality of the dose going to the cancer cells.Manufacturers give wiggle room of about 13 per cent to the precise location of the beam spot on the target, but the impact of that variation on the dose delivered  is not well understood.As a result, Martin has made that impact the focus of her research.To help medical physicists better understand how a change in beam spot location affects radiation treatments, Martin is creating a computer model to simulate the movement of electrons and photons in the linear accelerator.To do so, she is using a scientific prediction model called ‘Monte Carlo.’“An electron could go in a million directions,” explains Tolakanahalli. “Once it hits a particle, there are multiple things it could encounter; it could go this way and interact with the next thing in its path or maybe get deflected and interact somewhere else. Or maybe lose its energy instead of getting deflected. The electron can take so many different paths.”Being able to predict the movement of electrons and photons is important so that the beam reaches the diseased cells without affecting healthy cells.Martin says it’s “interesting to see how physics applies in the real world.”While she has enjoyed school-based research, it has been rewarding to see how her most recent work “interacts with and can affect people in their lives.“I’ve always wanted to help people, but I never wanted to be a medical doctor. This is a really happy medium where I can help people but continue doing the thing that I love, which is physics.”Martin runs her simulations on the super-computing facilities of Compute Canada and the Shared Hierarchical Academic Research Computing Network, or SHARCNET, of which Brock is a member.She is working under the direction of Tolakanahalli, medical physicist Dr. Josef Dubicki and Brock University Associate Professor of Physics Thad Harroun.Both Tolakanahalli and Martin say they are thrilled with the Brock-NHS partnership.“The ability I had to work at the hospital in partnership with Dr. Harroun and everybody who works here is fantastic,” says Martin. “It’s really interesting to find out all the places physicists can get work and how applicable our skills set is to a lot of different aspects.”Tolakanahalli says a “significant portion of our work is contributing to the research area.“It cannot happen if we don’t have such close collaborations with Brock University and the students putting in their dedicated hours. It’s a dream come true to have this.”Harroun, Martin’s supervisor, says he is excited about this new research direction. “We foresee several exciting new opportunities for Brock physics students.” read more

These brown bears now live in the lap of luxury after a

first_img Short URL DENTAL TREATMENT BY the best vets, open-air accommodation and fresh fish instead of dubious leftovers and abuse – life has changed markedly for brown bears rescued from Ukrainian circuses and restaurants.Tortured for years by humans, the animals have received a second lease of life in the city of Zhytomyr in northwestern Ukraine.Opened in 2012 by the Vienna-based animal welfare charity Four Paws, the shelter soon became one of the region’s prime attractions.“I saw bears before in Kiev zoos, but they were much sadder than here,” Myroslava (10), says in reference to the Ukrainian capital.“Here they are happy,” she says after coming to the shelter with her school class and being particularly taken by a scarred female bear named Masha.“I don’t like the fact that she was severely beaten before and that she has scars. I was scared for her.”A home for fiveThe whole shelter was initially built for only one bear named Nastya, who was seized from her mother when she was three months old and sold to a private zoo.It took two months for volunteers to find her and return her to her birthplace, but Nastya’s mother refused to accept her as her own.Nastya was soon joined by another brown bear, Masha, who was rescued from a hunting dog training centre, where she served as the bait.“We received her in a terrible state: the hair on her neck had been worn away by a collar, her tail was torn off, nose scratched,” shelter manager Oleksandr Leonov tells AFP. Apr 21st 2017, 12:02 PM 15,130 Views Friday 21 Apr 2017, 12:02 PM Share Tweet Email1 http://jrnl.ie/3350634 These brown bears now live in the lap of luxury after a life of horrendous abuse A specialised centre in northern Ukraine seeks to give such bears a better life. The abuse of brown bears in the country is a longstanding cultural problem.center_img Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Abused circus bears get second lease of life in Ukraine #Zhytomyr #AFPTV pic.twitter.com/v6kn7nhzXA— AFP news agency (@AFP) April 18, 2017 10 Comments If you cannot view this video, click hereA law banning the training of hunting dogs on bears was only adopted in Ukraine in 2015, and it has noticeably simplified the work of animal rights activists across the country.The shelter’s staff usually finds out about abused animals from ordinary people and goes straight to the location to verify the tip.Once the bear is transported to Four Paws, a group of veterinarians from Austria and Germany come to Ukraine to make a physical examination and carry out all the necessary vaccinations.The bear is then released into the shelter’s spacious enclosure, where the creature can finally start a new life.Four Paws park is now home to five brown bears saved from places such as roadside cafés and private circuses.“Olya (the oldest bear in the shelter) was blind when she came here. Possibly she was blinded on purpose”, manager Leonov says.And her teeth were in a very bad condition. Last year dentists came here to treat her teeth and everything is much better now.Bears for sale“It is considered fashionable to have a bear at home or in a restaurant, or to make money off people who get amused by seeing a bear on a chain,” says Taras Boyko from the Four Paws wild animals department.This complex problem is rooted in the mentality of our people.Maryna Shkvyrya, widely considered to be the leading scientific expert on bears in Ukraine, explains that most privately owned bears were already born in captivity, but that there was also a black market on which bears are sold.Some bears come from the Carpathian Mountains in Ukraine’s west, but most are smuggled in across the border with Russia, where hunting for bears is legal and a lot of cubs are motherless. The east of the country has been ravaged by a three-year war with Russian-backed insurgents.“These cubs are sold as a gift, as a living toy, as an animal that will be the object for training hunting dogs”, Shkvyrya says.“On the black market, prices start from $1,000 (€945) and go up to several thousand dollars per cub,” she adds.Four Paws plans to open another large shelter for bears in the western Lviv region in September 2017 to bring them closer to their natural habitat.But there are no plans to release the saved bears into the wild.Their behaviour changes dramatically while in human captivity and they may be unable to cohabitate with other animals.“Our project gives these bears an opportunity to spend the rest of their life in normal conditions,” Shkvyrya says. “And also to show people the consequences of animal abuse.”© – AFP, 2017Read: Dublin protest against anti-gay violence in Chechnya as Russia seeks to play down controversyRead: The son of the world’s new oldest person has died aged 97 By AFP Source: AFP news agency/Twitterlast_img read more

Harvest fun is countys heritage

first_imgThousands of visitors got in touch with Clark County’s agricultural roots on Saturday — in some cases, literally so.The Clark County Historical Museum for the first time moved its annual Harvest Fun Day celebration to the county’s 78th Street Heritage Farm in Hazel Dell. For the past six years, the event had been held on a vacant block across from the museum in downtown Vancouver.The change of venue afforded new opportunities for residents to tap into the county’s rural heritage.On a slope above the old Washington State University research station, hundreds of tiny hands yanked fat orange carrots out of the soil and into buckets.All of it will go to the Clark County Food Bank.Bill Coleman, a food bank board member, said he expects the harvest will reap nearly 75,000 pounds of carrots for local people in need. The carrots are planted on four acres in 190 neat rows; stretched end to end, this gargantuan carrot crop would go on for 11 miles.“It’s an awareness, it’s an education of where food comes from,” said Laura Pederson, program manager for the Heritage Farm.Annie Hobson, a nurse who lives in Vancouver, helped her children, Hunter, 9, and McKenna, 6. Despite living in an apartment in the city, Hobson said, they’ve become regulars at area farm events.“We have made it a tradition,” she said.Organizers counted almost 3,000 people who turned out to the admission-free event on a sunny and warm early-fall afternoon. They enjoyed low-tech entertainment that included contests in scarecrow-building, pie-eating and corn-shucking, as well as exhibits of antique tractors, draft horses and demonstrations of historic logging techniques.last_img read more

Five predictions for employee benefits in 2016

first_imgNeed to know:April 2015’s pension freedoms have formed a gap in the market for bespoke pensions.Increasing pressure to publish pay data may lead to more employers doing so voluntarily.Technology and staff-driven benefits are likely to increase in popularity. Through 2016 and beyond, employee benefits will evolve as staff wants and needs vary, and technology improves.1. Bespoke pensionsOwing to the pension flexibilities introduced in April 2015, it is likely that employers will still be piecing together their strategy to assist employees in understanding their options. Pension products and communication to counteract lack of understanding could seep onto the horizon. Paul Craven, reward and benefits manager at Eversheds, says that the pension freedoms have created a “need for understanding and clarity for [employees] who do not feel able to make those decisions alone”.The way in which employers communicate the pension changes is integral to staff comprehension of these, says Dupe Olowokere, global benefits manager at Travelex Global Support Centre. “The best thing employers can do is inform and educate; general financial education will equip employees with an understanding of the impact of the changes,” she explains.The pension freedoms have also created opportunities for organisations to offer their workforces bespoke communication and financial education around the options available to them. Gary Brewer, head of reward, organisational development and HR at William Grant and Sons, says: “There is a clear responsibility upon employers to support, if not guide, employees through what is a veritable maze.”2. Transparent pay reportingIt is no surprise that 2016 will bring more transparency from businesses when it comes to revealing what they pay staff, particularly because employers with over 250 workers will have to reveal differences in pay between male and female staff after a new clause was added into the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act in March 2015. This year may there see a keener eye passed over the pay differentials between males and females, says Evershed’s Craven.Organisations may also face pressure through 2016 to voluntarily publish their pay data to reveal whether they have a gender pay gap, prior to it becoming a formal requirement later in the year.3. Revamped salary sacrifice In June 2015, former pensions minister Steve Webb, now director of policy and external communications at Royal London, stated that the Conservative government may reduce its £15 billion salary sacrifice bill in the July emergency Budget. Although that did not occur, the government is still monitoring salary sacrifice schemes.Craven believes the popularity of salary sacrifice schemes is declining, which increases the likelihood of these ceasing over time, due to concerns around how the government may seek to recoup losses of revenue. However, he adds: “When one considers that the government benefits from schemes [such as] car salary sacrifice, in terms of increased registration fee revenue for example, and new cars bring greater environmental benefits in terms of lower or zero emissions, I suspect moves on this front may not happen, and we may see continued, even increased use.”4. Technological developmentsTechnology-driven health benefits, such as telemedicine and health and fitness tracker apps, have blossomed in popularity over the last couple of years, which is why 29% of human resources professionals intended to spend more on benefits technology in 2015 than they did in 2014, according to Thomsons Online Benefits’ 2015 Global employee benefits watch, published in October 2015.To counteract the potential spending cuts to the NHS, it is imperative to pledge greater investment in health and wellbeing benefits, says Mark Carman, director, communication services at Edenred. “Technology will continue to drive the benefits agenda over 2016, enabling [employers] to access and update benefits packages tailored to their needs,” he adds.Travelex Global Support Centre’s Olowokere believes that telemedicine may come into its own in 2016’s benefits market. “Telephone and web-based GP services will continue to gain a foothold as employees seek speed and convenience, and providers seek to differentiate their offering,” she says.John Fitzgerald, global compensation and benefits partner at insurance firm XL Catlin, adds: “More virtual employee engagement will continue to grow simply because the cost is so much lower than face-to-face communication.”5. Personalised benefitsAs employees’ personal situations vary, it is likely the market will react to their ever-changing needs by offering more bespoke and personalised perks.There is great potential for employers to utilise such arrangements, says Andrew Drake, head of flexible benefits at JLT Employee Benefits: “Employers are likely to offer more benefits that affect employees’ everyday lives, such as voluntary benefits and work-life balance perks.”Choice is key when it comes to engaging the workforce of the future with benefits, which is why 2016 may bring a wave of evolutionary and technology-driven benefits to support, motivate and retain employees.last_img read more

CHAMBER CORNER Learn About Banyan Treatment Center In Wilmington

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — The Wilmington-Tewksbury Chamber of Commerce profiles a different member in the local media each week. In this week’s “Chamber Corner,” the Chamber is spotlighting Banyan Treatment Center at 66K Concord Street in town..Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedCHAMBER CORNER: Meet Assunta Perez Of DaMore LawIn “Business”CHAMBER CORNER: Learn About Align Credit Union’s Student AccountsIn “Business”CHAMBER CORNER: Learn About Michaela Klofac From AFLACIn “Business”last_img read more

50 quota bill for SCST in nominated posts introduced in AP

first_imgAmaravati: AP Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has said the government introduced historical bills in the Assembly. He said that these bills would bring the good name to the government. Chief Minister said that the government has decided to provide 50% reservation to SC, ST, and BC in nominated posts and works. But, the Opposition has the lousy intention to prevent these bills, he said. Also Read – Three of a family commits suicide at Amalapuram in East Godavari Advertise With Us CM YS Jagan said that he had put those promises in the YSRCP manifesto and that he had reiterated them in meetings held in each constituency. Chandrababu has never thought about BCs, SCs, and minorities, he said. “As promised in the manifesto, we are bringing the bills. Chandrababu is in fear that our government gets the good name. We are providing 50% reservation for women in nominated posts and works,” Jagan said. Also Read – Saaho movie tickets pricey in Nellore Advertise With Us As nowhere in the country, the government is providing 50% reservation for BC, SC, ST, and minority in the nominated posts. He said the paper clipping shown by Chandrababu belongs to October 2017. Jagan said that he promised ‘YSR Cheyutha’ scheme on September 3, 2018. “During the Praja Sankalpa Yatra, I mentioned ‘YSR Cheyutha’ scheme in all meetings. Even in the election manifesto, we have placed the YSR Cheyutha scheme. The people who saw our manifesto has voted for us,” he said. Advertise With Us Speaking on the occasion, Jagan said that during the first Assembly sessions, they introduced the historical bills to ensure justice to BC, SC, ST, and minorities. Meanwhile, a debate on pensions was taken up in the Assembly session on Tuesday, which led to the war of words between the ruling and opposition members.last_img read more

After Harvey One Family Found Some Unusual Housemates

first_img To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Listen Laura Isensee | Houston Public MediaYES Prep teacher Erica Kang took in her student Bitia Alanis and her family after Hurricane Harvey.This holiday season, many Hurricane Harvey survivors are still living with friends or family, as they try to rebuild or find new homes.But some have found even more unusual housemates.After Harvey hit, Bitia Alanis and her family bunked up with her uncle until his two-room duplex proved too cramped. So they moved back to their flooded Pasadena home before it was repaired.“And so it was already moldy. Things were really smelly. Everything felt really sticky,” Bitia recounted.Then her teacher Erica Kang at YES Prep Southeast found out their living situation.“And when she told me that, I was like, ‘You guys should not be staying at that house!” Kang said.And where did they move? To Kang’s house in Timbergrove: Bitia, her two younger brothers and her parents. Kang said that after Harvey, she and her fiance knew they wanted to take in another family.“If a person has the means to help, then they should. And so that’s what I did,” Kang said.They’ve all settled into a new normal, for now. Kang now takes Bitia and one of her brothers to school. And Bitia said that she’s feeling better emotionally after the flood.“Just being able to be in a space where things were normal and things were OK made me feel a lot more safe because I had already been invaded in by water,” Bitia said.Her family hopes to move back to their home in the spring. 00:00 /00:59 X Sharelast_img read more

Act Fast TCLs Excellent Soundbar Is Now 52 Off

first_imgTCL is renown for its excellent budget TVs, but 4K TVs aren’t the manufacturer’s only forté. Its Alto 7+ 2.1 Soundbar system is rated one of the best budget soundbars around and it’s currently on sale. Best Buy has the TCL Alto 7+ 2.1 Soundbar System on sale for $149.99. During checkout, use coupon code “15TCLSOUND” to drop its price to $127.49. That’s a total of $52 off and the lowest price we’ve seen for this rarely discounted soundbar. TCL Alto 7+ 2.1 Soundbar: was $179 now $127 @ Best BuyThe Alto 7+ is one of the best budget-friendly soundbars on the market. Use coupon “15TCLSOUND” during checkout to drop its price to an all-time low of $127.49.View DealThe Bluetooth-enabled Alto 7+ features dual 1.5-inch tweeters and dual 4.5-inch midrange drivers. It measures 36 inches in length (suitable for 55-inch and larger TVs) and comes with a wireless 12.9-inch-tall subwoofer.The system features built-in sound modes for music, movies, or news. It also comes with cables that support auxiliary, optical, HDMI, and IR pass-through connections. There are no other gimmicky features included, but the system has been praised for its clear dialogue and hefty bass. Best Buy’s coupon is valid through August 31.last_img read more

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier Release Date Cast and Plot

first_imgOf course, beware spoilers for Avengers: Endgame and previous MCU films.As rumored for months, and confirmed earlier this year, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier are coming to your TV set in a new show on Disney+. But since we’ve got a while to wait, we’ve already started thumbing through the internet to see what we can find out about this new show.The big news about this show is that it’s ostensibly the next Captain America film, as it will show us the next steps of the person taking over Steve’s shield. Marvel’s keen on making its Disney+ shows matter much more than its ABC and Netflix titles did, so expect this show to segue into a Phase 4 or 5 film.The Falcon and The Winter Soldier release date: when is it coming out?At San Diego Comic-Con 2019, Marvel exec Kevin Feige laid the entire Phase 4 lineup on the table, including release dates. The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, he noted, is scheduled for the fall of 2020.RECOMMENDED VIDEOS FOR YOU…logoCreated with Sketch. Amazon Kindle Oasis 2019 Dunk Tank TestThe latest Kindle Oasis is here, so let’s watch a $250 e-reader take a 60 minute bath and survive.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpTech This Out – Warner Streaming Service, Galaxy Note Renders And Nintendo Switch Lite02:14OffAutomated Captions – en-USLive00:0003:3703:37 Just announced in Hall H at #SDCC, Marvel Studios’ THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER, an original series with Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, and Daniel Brühl. Streaming exclusively on Disney+, Fall 2020. pic.twitter.com/COes9WV7WvJuly 21, 2019The Falcon and The Winter Soldier cast: who’s in it?As the name of series implies, Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan will reprise their roles of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, respectively. Also returning is Daniel Brühl, as Zemo, who we last saw in Captain America: Civil War as the villain that drove a proverbial wedge between our heroes. The other revealed cast member for the show is Emily VanCamp, who is reprising her MCU role as Sharon Carter, the great-niece of Peggy Carter. Disney re-confirmed this news at the 2019 D23 Expo, where it also announced the casting of Wyatt Russell (Black Mirror) to play John Walker aka US Agent.What have we seen or learned about The Falcon and The Winter Soldier’s plot?As you’ll recall from the closing scenes of Avengers: Endgame, Captain America himself, Steve Rogers, handed his iconic shield to The Falcon aka Sam Wilson. Based on that, we’re guessing this new show might give us glimpses of Wilson dealing with the heavy responsibility of being the new Captain America.Aside from that, we have one other clue as to the story of the series:Yes, Daniel Brühl’s already given us a tease of what Zemo will look like in this new series. Based on these creepy looks, with and without his face obscured, we’re guessing that he will be one of the villains facing Sam and Bucky, if not the primary baddie. As to what Bruhl’s caption means? Those are the words Zemo used to activate The Winter Soldier’s Hydra brainwashing and temporarily turn him back into a bad guy in Civil War, so it’s possible that the villain is out to wreak havoc on Bucky once more.Deadline reports that the series will run 6 episodes.MCU Phase 4: Movie List, TImeline, Disney Plus Shows and Morelast_img read more