Audit Committees Urged to Adhere to Governance Framework

first_img Financial Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Planning, Devon Rowe, is urging strict adherence by the government’s Audit Commissionto ensure that state agencies and entities conform to the governance framework legislated for their operations. The Financial Secretary commended all stakeholders, whom he said, have “become part of the governance framework” and have “stayed the course”, despite challenges arising. “We all have a role to play in this fight and the audit committees have been strategically placed to enforce these principles of accountability, probity, and transparency,” Financial Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Planning, Devon Rowe, is urging strict adherence by the government’s Audit Commission and its affiliated committees to the principles of accountability, probity, and transparency.This, to ensure that state agencies and entities conform to the governance framework legislated for their operations.Mr. Rowe contended that having a “robust” monitoring and governance mechanism is necessary to ensure that the government and country “stay the course” to provide the requisite support for the four-year International Monetary Fund (IMF) Extended Fund Facility (EFF), which has seen Jamaica passing the first review test for the April to June quarter.Speaking at the Commission’s annual conference at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston on Tuesday, October 15, the Financial Secretary said in the administration’s thrust for growth, under the economic reform programme, the governance structure has to be “solid with little or no opportunity for error.”“As a result, all components of the governance machinery have to be activated in order to prevent the misuse of government resources, prevent waste, and fight or eliminate corruption. We all have a role to play in this fight and the audit committees have been strategically placed to enforce these principles of accountability, probity, and transparency,” he stated.The Financial Secretary pointed out that Jamaica is constantly being graded internationally in terms of the level and extent of implementation, monitoring, and follow-up of internal and external audit procedures. He stressed that if Jamaica is to remain “credible” in this regard, “audit committees must continue to execute on their mandate.”Mr. Rowe noted that the conference’s theme: ‘Recalibrating Your Audit Committee: Performance at the Next Level’, is “quite apt”, relative to “where we are currently.” He warned that if international grading for public finance monitoring is negative, this can “impact badly” on the government’s credibility, “and conflicts with our fundamental principles of governance.”“Indeed, you (audit commission and committees) are being depended on to ensure that these principles are upheld. Your vigilance, critical analysis, and expert knowledge will assist in ensuring that the organisations operate in keeping with the operating procedures and practices. But though I stress the need to ensure accountability and transparency, we must also ensure that not only are things being done right, but that the right things are being done,” he said.The Financial Secretary commended all stakeholders, whom he said, have “become part of the governance framework” and have “stayed the course”, despite challenges arising.He described their commitment as “testament to your dedication to ensuring that the principles that embody our corporate governance (structure) are adhered to.” He also pledged the Ministry’s “full and continued support” to the commission in the execution of its mandate.“So as you seek to recalibrate your audit committees and performance at the next level, please also consider means to strengthen outputs for improving the performance of the entities to which you are attached, bearing in mind relevant risk mitigation considerations,” Mr. Rowe urged.Over 50 private and public sector members of the 31 active committees, currently under the purview of the Audit Commission, as well as other accounting officers, attended Tuesday’s conference, where they were addressed by several other speakers, and participated in a number of sessions.Other speakers included: National Integrity Action (NIA) Executive Director, Professor Trevor Monroe; Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman, Audley Shaw; Audit Commission Chairman, Leighton McKnight; and Deputy Chairman, Collin Greenland.Topics covered in the sessions held included:  ‘Building an Effective Audit Committee’; ‘Bridging the Communication  Gaps’; ‘Audit Committees: Strategies for Success’; ‘Understanding the Public Procurement Process’; ‘Analyzing Financial Statements’; ‘Professional Skepticism and Professional Judgment’; and ‘Ethics in Corporate Governance’.The Audit Commission, which falls under the Ministry of Finance and Planning, was first established on April 12, 2005, as an independent body charged with the responsibility of ensuring the continued effectiveness of the audit committees by monitoring their performance against the appropriate regulation.The Commission was enacted as a body corporate in 2009, consequent on amendments to the Financial Administration and Audit (FAA) Act, which resulted in the statutory establishment of its functions and authority.It was reconstituted on July 1, 2011, with six members duly appointed by the Governor-General, and the Solicitor General or his designate being an ex officio member. 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Neil Finn Releases Live Download For Charity

first_imgNeil Finn is offering a live download of one of his biggest hits to help charity appeals for victims of war in Gaza and Syria.Video: Neil Finn – Don’t Dream It’s Over (live 2014) – Humanitarian AidThe new and poignant version of his Crowded House hit “Don’t Dream It’s Over” was recorded during Neil’s Dizzy Heights tour this year.“I have been distressed to see so many innocent people become victims of war in Gaza and Syria,” said Neil. “A few weeks ago I received a message from a man on Twitter drawing my attention to the lyrics of Don’t Dream It’s Over and how fitting the sentiments were in relation to these people’s suffering. It got me thinking and I took that as a timely cue to put my song to work for a year to assist in humanitarian aid for those affected. It seems like the least I can do. That song has been good to me and I hope it can do some good for others for a while.“This is a live version of the song recorded and filmed on my last tour. I edited the video myself. If you wish to download the song for NZD $2 or more we will ensure the money gets to Kia Ora Gaza and The Red Crescent Appeal for Syria. I have researched the many worthy organisations that are working in these places and chosen these two that I believe to be effective and focused.”To download the song, click here.last_img read more

Dutch princess named UN envoy on literacy

According to UNESCO, one in six adults is still not literate – two-thirds of them women – while 75 million children are out of school.The Princess was chosen as Special Envoy on Literacy for Development in recognition of her “outstanding commitment to the promotion of education and her profound dedication to the Organization’s ideals and objectives,” according to a news release issued by the Paris-based agency.She has already worked closely with UNESCO to promote reading among children and young people, and participated in its 2008 Regional Conference in Support of Global Literacy in Europe.The Princess serves as Chair of the Dutch Reading and Writing Foundation and Honorary Chair of the Dutch Association of Public Libraries. She is the patron of the Dutch language society and of the Netherlands Listening and Braille Library. “Princess Laurentien has a long record of fighting against illiteracy in the Netherlands, where it is now recognized as a problem that has been neglected,” UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura said at the nomination ceremony on 24 March. “As UNESCO Special Envoy, she will act as a spokesperson for the Organization and advocate for the cause of literacy as one of the building blocks for economic growth and development, and essential for the health and well-being of people everywhere,” he added. At the nomination ceremony, Princess Laurentien also highlighted the need to work with developed nations to address the “uncomfortable truth” that a high proportion of adults in those countries do not have the skills required to meet the demands of daily life and work. In May she will travel to Brazil to participate in Confintea VI, a global conference organized by UNESCO on adult education. 26 March 2009The head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has designated Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands to assist the agency in promoting literacy. read more

Shooting for your goals with a Harlem Globetrotter

It’s tough as an individual to make your way through the world sometimes.Harder still sometimes for immigrants, refugees, and especially young women.So when a world-famous basketball superstar who’s been through all of that drops by the Hamilton YMCA to offer some advice, it’s a message that can be taken to heart.28 year-old Harlem Globetrotter Joyce Ekwrarmadu spent Wednesday with a group of young immigrants and refugees.Between trying to sink baskets from half-court, her message whether you are pursuing academics or other pursuits, the journey is often the same: Whatever your goal is you have to work harder to get there.

How major US stock indexes fared Monday

Stocks closed broadly higher on Wall Street Monday after President Donald Trump said China wants to make a deal on trade.Traders were encouraged after Trump said his negotiators had received encouraging calls from China on Sunday, however China’s foreign ministry denied knowledge of any such calls.On Monday:The S&P 500 rose 31.27 points, or 1.1%, to 2,878.38.The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 269.93 points, or 1.1%, to 25,898.83.The Nasdaq rose 101.97 points, or 1.3%, to 7,853.74.The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies picked up 16.52 points, or 1.1%, to 1,476.For the year:The S&P 500 is up 371.53 points, or 14.8%.The Dow is up 2,571.37 points, or 11%.The Nasdaq is up 1,218.46 points, or 18.4%.The Russell 2000 is up 127.44 points, or 9.5%.The Associated Press

Shopify CEO Lutke keeps close watch on NDPs stock options promise

WATERLOO, Ont. – Shopify Inc. chief executive Tobias Lutke is keeping a close watch on an NDP election pledge that could change the way stock options are taxed, despite reassurances from Tom Mulcair that technology startups wouldn’t be impacted by the new rules.Lutke said Thursday that he wants to ensure Canada’s burgeoning startup community doesn’t get sideswiped by new taxation on stock options, described by Mulcair as a “loophole” used by the wealthiest Canadians which he has pledged to close if the NDP wins power in the Oct. 19 federal election.The co-founder of the Ottawa-based e-commerce startup said stock options were one of the crucial ways Shopify was able to attract employees when it was getting off the ground and money was tight.“(Stock options were) a reason why many amazing people ended up joining Shopify and that made a big difference for the success of the business,” Lutke said.A potential clash between Mulcair and tech entrepreneurs like Lutke was quickly extinguished last week after they expressed concerns about the taxation plan. The party leader sent a personal letter to Lutke and fellow Canadian startup founder Ryan Holmes of HootSuite saying that “early stage companies” would be excluded from the new taxes.The NDP has also proposed to raise corporate taxes, which Lutke considers less of an issue.“Canada has really low taxes for companies to begin with so (taxes) going up doesn’t make a lot of difference,” he said.“Everyone should pay their fair share,” he added.Shopify has been growing in leaps and bounds this year after listing on the public markets in May.The company has about 780 employees across its existing Canadian operations and plans to add hundreds more with the opening of a larger office in Waterloo, Ont., a hotbed of the country’s technology startups.The bigger space, located in the former Seagram’s Distillery building, can house up to 300 employees, which the company hopes to primarily attract from local universities and other tech companies.It’s an unconventional office for technology company, but it leaves a big impression.Walking inside the front doors of the new Shopify office, guests are greeted with shelves upon shelves of old wooden kegs which stretch from the floor to the ceiling.Company executives say the space will become even more stunning when it undergoes renovations throughout the winter. An official opening date is set for April 2016.Shopify, which built its business on helping other companies launch their own web stores using Shopify software, already has offices in Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto, as well as a small operation in Waterloo that has about 20 employees.The new office will be mostly focused on Shopify Plus, its higher-tiered service for heavy-volume merchants.In the wake of BlackBerry’s (TSX:BB) financial troubles, other companies have moved into Waterloo in a big way, either by buying up old facilities that were often part of the manufacturing sector, or through new buildings.Over the past two years, the city has come alive with widespread road construction and new condos which are reshaping areas that were once rundown or vacant.Among the companies placing bets on the region is TD Bank (TSX:TD), which said Wednesday that it would beef up its local staff by adding more than 120 jobs over the next year dedicated to improving digital platforms for its clients.Earlier this month, news and data company Thomson Reuters announced plans to open a research space in Waterloo where it would experiment with new ways to deliver information to its customers.Lutke said he’s encouraged by the growing awareness of Canada’s young startups and the fact that politicians are discussing the future of the industry.“Startups are not obvious things to talk about,” he said.“It’s much easier to talk about the manufacturing jobs that are going away, rather than the startups which would create the equivalent amount of jobs.”Shopify (TSX:SH) stands as one of Canada’s most recent startup success stories.Since going public, the company has seen its market value soar to about US$2.6 billion. Its stock began trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange on May 21 at C$35.03 and closed Thursday at $46.38, a gain of 32 per cent.This month alone, Shopify has secured a new partnership with Seattle-based e-commerce giant Amazon for its web store merchants and reached an agreement with Twitter that allows retailers to post one-click purchase buttons on the social media platform.Follow @dj_friend on Twitter. by David Friend, The Canadian Press Posted Oct 1, 2015 4:00 am MDT Last Updated Oct 1, 2015 at 5:05 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Shopify CEO Tobias Lutke checks out the new Shopify office space in Waterloo, Ont. on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015. The new office is a former Seagram’s Distillery building in Waterloo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Hannah Yoon Shopify CEO Lutke keeps close watch on NDP’s stock options promise read more

Remains of hoarder found dead in her home buried under clutter as

first_imgThe house was described as “heavily cluttered” and people living nearby said the pair were reclusiveCredit:Tom Martin/Wales news service Search teams used skips to remove furniture and clutter from the home when they discovered the decomposed bodyCredit:Tom martin/Wales news service Search teams used skips to remove furniture and clutter from the home when they discovered the decomposed body “They were well known, not for being seen about, but as the old Welsh family who kept themselves to themselves. They were very reclusive.”You certainly wouldn’t pop over for a cup of tea. I guess you could describe them as odd.”Local residents said the mother and daughter were “well known” in the area, but described them as “odd” and said they rarely left their property.Local county councillor Elizabeth Evans said that she had known Mrs Jones and her daughter all her life.”The most important thing at the moment is that Valerie is safe and in hospital,” she said.The house was described as “heavily cluttered” and people living nearby said the pair were reclusive.One said: “They are a well-known Aberaeron family who keep themselves to themselves and certainly do not seem to welcome visitors. The remains of a missing 87-year-old hoarder have been found buried under clutter in her home as neighbours say they hadn’t seen her for four years.Gaynor Jones was found dead in her cottage in Aberaeron, West Wales, which she shares with her daughter, after neighbours raised the alarm.The elderly woman was feared missing on Monday after emergency services found her daughter Valerie Jones collapsed under mounds of papers and was taken to hospital.It took police four days to find the human remains of her mother in another part of the cottage.Search teams used skips to remove furniture and clutter from the home when they discovered the decomposed body.Believed to be in her 50s, the daughter was taken to Bronglais Hospital in Aberystwyth in a “poorly condition” and is believed to be suffering from severe dehydration.Emergency services found the daughter on Monday after a tip-off from neighbours who had grown concerned. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.center_img The house was described as “heavily cluttered” and people living nearby said the pair were reclusive It remains unknown as to how long the widow had been dead for, but one neighbour said he’d not had sight of the women in four years.The pair are believed to have mainly spoken Welsh and did not regularly mix with their elderly English neighbours. One woman said: “I think the mother was born there herself, so the cottages have been in her families hands for about a century. Historic photographer Paul White said on his website that the cottages were “all now empty or ruined.”Writing about the cottages, he noted that: “Number 1 I believe was lived in until quite recently, the middle one has recently been purchased, the land cleared away and the third and smallest is still filled with personal belongings and is much ruined and damp.”A police spokesperson said: “Dyfed-Powys Police received a report concerning the welfare of two women from the Aberaeron area.”On police attendance at the property one female was taken to hospital.”Following a search of the property the remains of a body have been found. The death is currently being treated as unexplained.”Police say Ceredigion coroner Peter Brunton has been informed and an inquest is due to be opened.The coroner’s officer confirmed that they were aware of a death but that no further information had been passed on to them by police. “Valerie is a single woman who has been living alone with her mother since her father passed away several years ago. What has happened there is all a bit of a mystery.”Their home is the first of three stone buildings known as the Dolheulog Cottages.The cottage, which is believed to be the oldest dwelling in Aberaeron, was left so dilapidated and cluttered that a website giving a history of Welsh ruins stated it was abandoned in 2016.last_img read more

Talking With Pat Mills The Creator Of 2000 AD

first_imgI was lucky to, earlier this week, screen the new documentary Future Shock! The Story of 2000 AD. Releasing on DVD and VOD May 30th, the film (directed by Paul Goodwin) assembles a rogue’s gallery of writers, artists and devotees (like Scott Ian of Anthrax) to tell the story of the revolution in British boys’ comics in the 1970s.The thing with British comics is that, for much of the 20th century, they were unfailingly genial. Dull, bloodless boy’s adventure stories and Archie-level humor was the order of the day, and readers were getting a little sick of it, especially as the real world changed around them.One of the most important voices the movie brings in is Pat Mills, a veteran of the industry for nearly fifty years. Mills was working in this system with frequent collaborator John Wagner in 1975when publisher IPC tasked them with coming up with a more modern publication. The result was Battle Picture Weekly, which took inspiration from EC’s legendary American war comics to depict working-class soldiers with grit and realism.Future ShockThe immediate success of that magazine made Mills a hot property, and he followed it up in 1977 with 2000AD. That magazine took the staid, formulaic science fiction that was on the stands and tweaked it with the attitude of early punk rock and the black humor that Britain does so well. I talked to Mills about how the market received it and what his peers thought.“It was a big success; the biggest hit boys comics had for a long time. Fan magazines and fandom regarded it warily at first because we didn’t fit orthodox fan thinking, E.G. We were not like American SF comics or past British SF comics. But, once they saw it was a success, they, reluctantly, at first, embraced it. That slight diffidence could be seen with comic shop owners. Normally the owners are superhero lovers, who don’t cater to a mainstream British audience that don’t share their enthusiasm, so they were often slow to accept a mainstream comic like 2000AD, which was not their personal cup of tea. That diffidence is still there today.”I Am The LawThe one character most closely associated with 2000 AD is Judge Dredd, a masked lawman who hews to the rules with psychotic seriousness. Dredd made his debut in the second issue, a leather-clad fascist avatar designed by Spanish artist Carlos Ezquerra and drawn by Mike McMahon. He quickly grew in popularity and few issues of 2000 AD have hit the stands without a Dredd story in them.What makes the character so popular? The ultraviolence plays a big part, but one writer interviewed in the film hit on his key for putting together good Dredd stories. You have a card with two sides: one says “Dredd as hero, villain” and the other says “Drevillain,” and they should always be in balance. The system of Mega-City One is a hateful, irredeemable bureaucracy that the future cop defends with his entire being because the alternative is anarchy. The best Dredd stories are vicious, satirical takes on humanity’s desire to be dominated and the lies we tell ourselves to make it happen.Robots At WorkIf 2000 AD had just introduced Judge Dredd to the world it would be historic, but the magazine featured some of the greatest comics creators of all time on other serials. Alan Moore wrote some 50 short stories for the magazines, as well as creating the serials D.R. and Quinch (a weird sci-fi pastiche based on the O.C. and Stiggs short stories from the National Lampoon) and The Ballad Of Halo Jones, which was never finished. Grant Morrison made one of his first steps into superheroes there, with 1987’s Zenith.Dozens of other 2000 AD series never got attention on this side of the pond, including Mills’ ABC Warriors and Nemesis the Warlock, the latter drawn with psychotic gusto by Kevin O’Neill, and Gerry Finley-Day and Dave Gibbons’ wild Rogue Trooper.Also-RansNot every series in 2000 AD was destined for greatness. I asked Mills to tell me one that he thought didn’t get his due.“A comic serial called Finn. He was an eco-activist and a witch. It was very popular with the readers and more successful than Slaine. Because it was about witchcraft, the editor Dave Bishop effectively banned it. He didn’t want paganism in the comic.”His loss. Finn is a wild character design but might have been too close to another serial, Slaine for comfort. The list of concepts introduced in the pages of 2000 AD is flabbergasting, and the vast majority of them have never been collected after the magazine goes off the stands. An effort to reprint all of Judge Dredd in chronological order has been successful, but aside from that, there’s not much.Despite his long, successful career, Mills does have regrets. The corporate comics system in Britain is very similar to the one in the United States, where if you create a fictional character they belong to the guy who signs the checks. Judge Dredd has inspired two live-action movies and a whole spin-off universe, but his creators don’t see a cent from it.“We lost, the publishers won. This is why so many British creators went to work for America and – in my case, as I don’t like superheroes – France.”A Different Sort Of CopIn 1991, Mills launched Toxic! which took the wild sensibility of Heavy Metal! and opened its pages to creator-owned work. The magazine was also in full color, making 2000 AD look dated. That mag would soon change its format to catch up with the times.Toxic! saw the publication of one of Mills’ most successful characters on the American market, the superhero-hunting cop Marshal Law. Taking the psychopathy of Dredd and ramping it up to include Mills’ hatred of men in tights, it was gruesomely violent and wildly hateful.It’s rare to find a creator with a pedigree like Pat Mills, someone who has ridden out multiple waves of industry fads and is still putting out lively, challenging work. Time doesn’t seem to be slowing him down at all, and he continues to contribute to the magazine he created.Here’s the trailer for Future Shock. I thoroughly recommend it.You can stream the film for free here with your Amazon Prime account.last_img read more

Trump versus California

Trump versus California

first_img 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium kicked off a week of action aimed at dissuading county supervisors from joining the Trump administration’s lawsuit against California’s so-called sanctuary laws.The consortium this week plans to meet with members of the Board of Supervisors, call residents, campaign via social media and continue an online petition effort ahead of the supervisors’ April 17 meeting, when the board and county attorney are scheduled to discuss the lawsuit.“This lawsuit against California is an affront to our state’s efforts to strengthen public safety for all while protecting families from the president’s abusive and overreaching deportation force,” said Lilian Serrano, chair of the Immigrant Rights Consortium. “We are mobilizing communities across the region to urge county supervisors to side with California, not Trump, and reject joining this misguided lawsuit.”A petition started by the consortium last week has attracted more than 400 signatures.At least one supervisor appears to have made up her mind about the case. Supervisor Dianne Jacob has publicly rallied against the state laws and says she agrees with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions that the laws are unconstitutional and undermine public safety.Chairwoman Kristin Gaspar, on the other hand, has been more restrained in her statements on the issue. But on one of several recent Fox News appearances, Gaspar indicated she not only supports the lawsuit, but may also be interested in using county resources to join the fight.“We want to do something more than a resolution, or at least I personally do, because that’s seemingly meaningless,” Gaspar said. “We’ll be working in closed session with our legal team to really explore any and all options that we have as a county to provide meaningful input into this lawsuit.”Local governments in recent weeks have taken varying approaches to weighing in on the lawsuit, from resolutions to voting to file lawsuits themselves.The San Juan Capistrano City Council last week passed a resolution against Senate Bill 54, which limits cooperation between local police and federal immigration authorities.Aliso Viejo, Escondido and Mission Viejo are among the cities whose leaders have voted to file amicus briefs in support of the Trump administration’s position. Such briefs are often submitted by those who have an interest in a court case but are not parties in the lawsuit.The Orange County Board of Supervisors voted last month to join the lawsuit, while the Huntington Beach City Council last week voted to file its own suit.The Los Alamitos City Council voted to “exempt” the city from the sanctuary laws.Meantime, the Santa Ana City Council voted last week to file a brief siding with the state.Jacob has said she believes the all-Republican San Diego supervisors will vote at least 3-2 to support the lawsuit.Supervisor Bill Horn has not made public his views on the matter.Supervisor Ron Roberts has not been specific in his views, though he told Voice of San Diego that he has no plans to bring a motion forward to join the lawsuit.Supervisor Greg Cox has said sheriff’s deputies “should not be forced to carry out immigration duties.”Regardless of the vote, the supervisors’ options for weighing in could be limited.The meeting next Tuesday comes after the deadline for filing an amicus brief in the case, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported. Steve Bosh Steve Bosh, April 10, 2018 Posted: April 10, 2018center_img Updated: 7:02 PM Trump versus California Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

Energy Water Appropriations Bill Fails in the House

first_imgLast week, the Fiscal Year 2017 Energy & Water Appropriations bill was voted down by the House of Representatives by a vote of 112-305. The measure included record increases in funding for operations and maintenance of ports and inland waterways infrastructure that are priorities for the American Soybean Association (ASA).The bill was expected to pass in the House after a similar version in the Senate passed by a vote of 90-8. The failure in the House resulted from a combination of opposition from Democrats on spending and policy priorities, and opposition from Republicans to the inclusion of an amendment that would codify into a law a 2014 executive order that prohibits federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.On a more positive note, an amendment that did pass on the House floor by voice vote was offered by Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) to fund $10 million in Pre-Construction Engineering Design (PED) for the Navigation Ecosystem Sustainability Program (NESP), which encompasses construction of new, bigger locks and dams on the Upper Mississippi River System.The inclusion of the controversial sexual orientation discrimination amendment and subsequent defeat of the Energy & Water bill reinforces that getting the appropriations bills completed this year will be difficult. The House Leadership has not indicated what the next step will be for the failed Energy & Water bill. It is increasingly likely that Congress is again headed toward a year-end omnibus appropriations bill or Continuing Resolution.last_img read more

Alleged Elmer Fudd bank bandit goes to court

first_img An alleged prolific Clark County robber dubbed the “Elmer Fudd” bandit because of his signature hunting clothes — including an earflap hat — made his first appearance in court Monday.Superior Court Judge Rich Melnick set bail at $200,000 for the defendant, Daniel L. Teeples, 39, and his alleged getaway driver, Anne L. Bradley, 31, but ordered a second hearing Tuesday to establish what evidence there is against both Vancouver defendants.Teeples stands accused of seven robberies in east Vancouver over the past two months, while Bradley is alleged to have been an accomplice to five.Both defendants “waived” a probable cause report, meaning they agreed at their arrest that a police officer did not have to write a report outlining the evidence against them.Considering the seriousness of the charges, though, Melnick asked the deputy prosecutor in court to explain the allegations.Deputy Prosecutor Jeff McCarty said he didn’t have the reports with all the facts of the case.The judge wanted to know what evidence supported holding the two defendants in jail on suspicion of first-degree robbery.“Was there a weapon?” the judge asked. “Were there (demand) notes?”McCarty said the case surfaced when Teeples and Bradley were caught by police Thursday evening fleeing the Bank of America branch at 13411 S.E. Mill Plain Blvd. Police found money and a money tracker on them. During an interview with investigators, the two admitted to the other robberies, McCarty said. Anne L. Bradley makes her first appearance on suspicion of being the getaway driver in several bank robberies at the Clark County Courthouse on Monday. She was accompanied by her court-appointed attorney Jeffrey Barrar.last_img read more

National Poetry Month National Grief By Rohan Chhetri

National Poetry Month National Grief By Rohan Chhetri

first_imgCourtesy of the poetRohan Chhetri This poem was first published in Literary Hub and is reprinted with permission of the author.Music used: Qi: Garden (excerpt) by Evan Ziporyn from Brooklyn Rider: Spontaneous Symbols, Seinfeld Theme (excerpt) by Jonathan Wolff, Junk (excerpt) by Paul McCartney from Working Classical and Icefloe (excerpt) by Zoë Keating from SnowmeltTo learn more about this series, go here. Share To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: In this sound portrait, we meet poet Rohan Chhetri. He tells us what he finds miraculous about poetry, why he writes it and how he unwinds after a long day. He reads his poem, “National Grief.”Rohan Chhetri is a Nepali-Indian poet. He is the author of Slow Startle (Emerging Poets Prize 2015) and a chapbook of poems, Jurassic Desire (Per Diem Poetry Prize 2017). His second book of poems is forthcoming from Tupelo Press in 2021 (Kundiman Poetry Prize 2018). His poems have appeared in Prelude, Wildness, Rattle, Vinyl, EVENT and Literary Hub, and they have been recently translated into French for Europe Revue. He was a 2016 Norman Mailer Fellow. National GriefAfter L. CohenToo many of ours were taken, & we grewheavier not with grief but numbers, as if we’dsuddenly become aware of the air we stood in.As if we’d only walked lightly in a dream before.But we heard on the news a man had trekked sevenhours across the war-torn border into Aleppoto smuggle toys for the children, so they could playinside a bomb shelter. Someone heard the madsultan’s ghost weeping near the old mausoleum in Delhi,the day an old man died in a stampede outside a bank.In a lab in Berlin, scientists tickled rats till they giggledto their little deaths. One morning in early November,a stunned silence sealed the air of fall, as ifsome brute had risen to power. Nervous laughterbroke in corridors, & all day yellow leaves emptiedaspens in a feverish spell. A man drew a knifeinside a city bus, & the thick snow curtainedthe world outside in a vast white of indifference.The quiet that followed, just as the one that settlesafter the barbarians come down. History, that slowchild, kept working on an infinite homework.center_img X Listen 00:00 /06:54last_img read more

The history of erotic video games

first_imgMost video games concern themselves with violence, but what about the other thing that humans love to do? We’re talking sex. Although gaming has been about blasting and dodging since Spacewar, it wasn’t long before clever souls started adding humping into the mix.Come with us as we travel through the history of electronic gaming to unearth the X-rated games that helped build an industry. From early titillating text adventures to highly polished sex simulators, these games slaked the libidos of generations of geeks.We’re not going to cover games that feature sexuality as a side element – the button-pressing coitus minigames in God of War are a good example. We’re talking about games where getting off is the number one reason you’re playing. Needless to say, this slideshow is NSFW. So lock the doors, grab the lotion, and let’s get down and dirty. We begin in the seriously primitive era. 1981’s Softporn Adventure was a text-based piece of interactive fiction for the Apple II, published by On-Line Systems, who would morph a few years later into Sierra On-Line. The game is more famous for its box art – featuring three nude women in a hot tub, being waited on by a fully clothed butler – than its programming. In it, you play a thirsty dude looking to seduce three ladies by hook or by crook. It was very scandalous when it was released (and sold a staggering 50,000 copies) but seems painfully tame now.<><>last_img read more

New Pokemon and the evil Team Skull revealed for Pokemon Sun and

first_imgWhile Pokemon Go continues to enjoy astonishing success, we’d be remiss if we didn’t cover Sun and Moon — the upcoming main sequence Pokemon game for the 3DS. Earlier today Nintendo unveiled several new Pokemon, new forms for old favorites, as well as Team Skull, the antagonists of the tropically themed games.If you’ve been out of the loop, Pokemon Sun and Moon are due out later this year — November 18 in North America. The games take place in the tropical islands of Alola, loosely based on real-world Hawaii. Alola has a varied geography which has caused some Pokemon to find new forms. In previous trailers we saw Vulpix, a classic Fire-type Pokemon from Pokemon Red and Blue, get an Ice-type form. Similarly, this latest trailer shows off a Fire/Ghost-type Marowak, a Dark-type Meowth, and more. So that’s it. Those are the big additions we get this time. What do you think? Is Nintendo showing a bit too much too soon, or, like me, have you caught the hype bug? Alolan Marowak1/9Alolan Marowak takes after its ghastly inspirations and adopts Fire/Ghost typing. It lights its signature bone club and spins it around as a conjuring dance.<><>last_img read more

Check Linux for Spectre or Meltdown vulnerability

Check Linux for Spectre or Meltdown vulnerability

first_imgCheck Linux for Spectre or Meltdown vulnerability by Martin Brinkmann on January 11, 2018 in Linux – 16 commentsDevices running Linux are affected by Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities as much as their Windows counterparts.Development teams work on updated kernels for the various distributions, and users need to update browsers and other software to protect data against potential attacks.We talked about identifying whether your Windows PC or web browser is vulnerable already. A recently published script does the same for Linux systems. You may use it to check whether your Linux distribution is vulnerable.Spectre and Meltdown detection for LinuxYou run the script if you want to know whether a Linux distribution is vulnerable to Spectre variant 1 and 2, or Meltdown attacks.Check it out on the official GitHub project page. You find the source there so that you may analyze it before you run it on a system.You may run the script without parameters to check the running kernel or use options to check a kernel that is not used.A simple shell script to tell if your Linux installation is vulnerable against the 3 “speculative execution” CVEs that were made public early 2018.Without options, it’ll inspect you currently running kernel. You can also specify a kernel image on the command line, if you’d like to inspect a kernel you’re not running.Here is how it works:Open Terminal on the Linux system you want to check.Type cd /tmp/Type wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/speed47/spectre-meltdown-checker/master/spectre-meltdown-checker.sh. This downloads the script from the GitHub server.Type sudo sh spectre-meltdown-checker.sh. This runs the script with elevated privileges.Type the password.The script checks each variant individually and lists its finding. If you get “status: vulnerable,” the system is vulnerable to the variant. The checks for Spectre variant 2 and Meltdown reveal additional information.A system that is vulnerable needs a kernel update to protect against potential attacks exploiting these vulnerabilities.How you get the kernel update depends on the Linux distribution. You select Menu > Administration > Update Manager in Linux Mint to check for available updates. The kernel is not available yet, however.Once you run the update, rerun the script to verify that the system is no longer vulnerable.The Spectre & Meltdown Checker supports the scanning of offline kernels as well. Use the parameter −−kernel vmlinux_file for that and if available  −−config kernel_config and −−map kernel_map_file as wellSummaryArticle NameCheck Linux for Spectre or Meltdown vulnerabilityDescriptionDevices running Linux are affected by Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities as much as their Windows counterparts. Spectre & Meltdown Checker is a script for Linux that checks whether the Linux kernel is vulnerable.Author Martin BrinkmannPublisher Ghacks Technology NewsLogo Advertisementlast_img read more

Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires

Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires

first_img Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Comments   Share   Here’s a closer look at 2013 Big 12 Co-Defensive Player of the Year.Strengths:• Elite short-area quickness, change of direction ability and mirroring make Verrett the ideal slot corner for the NFL.• A true ball hawk that attacks the ball in the air.• Stays low in and out of backpedal.• Disciplined cover man that stays attached at the hip in coverage.• Excellent hand usage and physical ability against short routes.• Fluid hips with turn and run ability on deep and intermediate routes.• Physical, determined tackler, not afraid to stick his nose in to help in the run game.Weaknesses:• Size/strength ratio is on the extreme low end of the spectrum.• Loses on outside, downfield routes too often due to size limitations.• Overly aggressive, which will cause him to draw penalty flags often early in his career.• Can be overpowered by good blocking wide receivers.Overall:Unbelievable coverage ability coming out of TCU. Concerns about his size and physical strength are real, though, as he could struggle to play the outside corner position in the NFL. One of the first things that general manager Steve Keim talked about when identifying the Arizona Cardinals’ team needs heading into the offseason was getting younger, longer and more athletic on the defensive side of the ball.That makes sense in a lot of ways, as the Cardinals have added two names to their private workout list that embody that mantra (check it out here).Then there is the interesting private visit the Cardinals have scheduled, and that’s the one with TCU cornerback Jason Verrett, maybe the most talented cover man in the draft. Top Stories (All comparable data is purely number-driven, not comparing style of play and courtesy of mockdraftable.com).center_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Projects more as an elite slot corner in the NFL, one that can match up with anyone in the slot because of his sticky coverage ability, but he could be a mismatch liability at times.He has to get in with a team that has bigger corners and one that can slowly bring him along as a slot guy and give him opportunities against bigger wide receivers before he is asked to match up one on one on an island with bigger wideouts in the NFL.Cardinals Spin:Visiting with a plyaer like Verrett shows some of what the Cardinals are thinking.Elite coverage guys always have a place in the NFL, and the Cardinals have one in the slot already in Tyrann Mathieu. But bringing in another potentially elite slot guy like Verrett could mean the Cardinals are looking at moving Mathieu around even more than they did in 2013. Only about 28 percent of his snaps occurred at the safety position in 2013 — this could be a sign they want to play him more at that position in the future.It could also mean that the Cardinals want as much flexibility as possible, and that means bringing in players with similar abilities so they can interchange parts and not miss a beat. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

New York New York – Reported by Christine Wei for

first_imgNew York, New York – Reported by Christine Wei for Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazineInvestors have been watching the rise and fall of gold nervously, but another honey-hued commodity has been inspiring more and more financial confidence as of late. In the past four years, the top ten performing whiskeys have shown a whopping gain of over 400 percent, shooting past the growth rates of gold and diamond at 146 percent and ten percent.The similar concept of putting money toward valuable vinos is not a new idea, but it turns out that investment grade scotch (IGS) is turning a pretty profit too. Whiskeys in this high-ranking group share two characteristics beyond the potential to significantly increase in value: They are single malts and are stored in fully sealed bottles—not casts. Topping their sales charts are a 64-year-old Cire Perdue Macallan, which was sold at an auction for $460,000, and a coveted Dalmore that retailed at a record £125,000 (around $202,000 today).But financiers know that investments are all about growth and demand—and that’s exactly what sets whiskey apart from wine. “Wine is being produced every single year, but with whiskeys what’s distilled today will be released 20 years down the line. That adds an element of exclusivity,” says Andy Simpson, founder of the Whisky Highland valuation library. And especially when stocks start running dry in the future, demand for old, rare whiskeys will continue to rise. One distillery, Port Ellen, had already closed in 1983, followed by much speculation about remaining supplies and accelerated price increases.Those interested in getting in the game can keep an eye out for several categories of liquor. The “trophy bottles,” like the aforementioned Cire Perdue as well as Dalmore’s Drew Sinclair and Trinitas, are the rarest whiskeys that are hard to come by because they’re often one-offs. Though not quite as impossible to nab, antique bottles from the turn of the 20th century are also tied to high auction values.Whisky Highland keeps an index of the most promising distilleries—based on the metrics of total value, most expensive bottle, average price and percent increase—but the right bottle matters just as much as the producer. While Glenfiddich and Balvenie join Macallan and Dalmore in their platinum status, it’s not guaranteed that every bottle will perform exceptionally. As Simpson’s tongue-in-cheek words of caution are: “Get the wrong bottle from the wrong distillery and you’re better of buying Highland Spring than Highland Park.”At the same time, while many collectors favor turning to distilleries that have historically shown gains more rapidly, some older releases of independent bottles (for example, Cadenheads and Gordon & Macphail) have also quickly increased in value. Both have their own appeal—some distilleries can’t be acquired through independent bottlers, though the latter group is becoming the go-to for aged stocks—so an open mind will lead to better results.As with all investments, timing in buying and selling can be everything. Because it’s typical for first releases to sell at an inflated amount, and values can come down by as much as 50 percent within the first two months, patience is key. Be watchful of when previously successful distilleries might be changing directions or releasing too many “limited editions” and you’ll have better chances of being golden.last_img read more

CBCs Georghadji says NPLs currently at €219bn Update1

CBCs Georghadji says NPLs currently at €219bn Update1

first_img(Updates with governor comment in fourth paragraph)By Stelios OrphanidesCentral Bank of Cyprus governor Chrystalla Georghadji said that the amount of non-performing loans in the Cypriot banking system “currently” stands at €21.9bn or 44 per cent of total loans.The non-performing loans ratio in the system was 44 per cent of total loans and 120 per cent of economic output, Georghadji said according to the transcript of her speech at an event in Nicosia on Monday. Net non-performing loans stand at €11.7bn and banks have terminated half of the non-performing loans.According to the latest publicly available central bank data, the amount of non-performing loans in June was €22.4bn. The net non-performing loans is the amount of unserviced loans minus total provisions for loan impairments, which in June stood at €10.5bn.Georghadji said that the future reduction of non-performing loans needs a coordinated strategy and additional reforms, on top of the modernised foreclosure and insolvency legislation.While macroeconomic conditions are improving gradually, with growth consolidating this year at 3.6 per cent after last year’s 3 per cent, and the unemployment rate falling to 10.6 per cent in August and expected to fall further over the coming years, the economy is still facing risks, which include geopolitics and Brexit as they may both potentially affect tourism.“The efficiency of the new foreclosure and insolvency legal framework has not yet been tested and possible unpredicted delays in the effective implementation of the refined foreclosure framework could result in further inefficiencies,” the governor said. “Although significant progress has been made in the operational capacity and expertise of the banks, there is still room for improvement. Banks need to remain focused and committed to their non-performing loans strategies”.Georghadji said that the central bank does not rule out mass disposals of real estate to result in plunging immovable property prices. The recovery of real estate sector which set off late last year as reflected in stabilised and recovering property prices, “is not expected to be easy both due to internal and external factors,” she added.The Cypriot banks which following the 2013 banking crisis, beefed up their loan recovery and restructuring capabilities, in part by resorting to joint ventures with external partners, lack the capacity to aggressively increase their provisioning levels or “capital destructive” sales of non-performing loans, she said. “On the other hand, pre-impairment profitability should remain positive in the medium and long term so that the building up of additional provisions is feasible. In this regard, banks should pay particular attention to viable business models”.Georghadji added that a secondary market for distressed assets may not operate efficiently under the current conditions as a result of the size of the portfolios and the real estate market being illiquid.“In addition, transactions may require high haircuts on net book value due to uncertainties over the recovery value,” she said. “However, the recent collaborations of two significant banks with foreign servicing platforms for the management of non-performing loans, the gradual recovery of the real estate sector and the continuous increase of non-performing loans provisioning can potentially support distressed assets transactions”.You May LikeLuxury Crossover SUV I Search AdsThese SUVs Are The Cream Of The Crop. Search For 2019 Luxury Crossover SUV DealsLuxury Crossover SUV I Search AdsUndoYahoo SearchThe Early Signs Of Type 2 Diabetes. Search Type 2 Diabetes TreatmentsYahoo SearchUndoDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoOur View: Argaka mukhtar should not act as if he owns the beachUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

MPs repeat call for new psychiatric hospital

MPs repeat call for new psychiatric hospital

first_imgDespite recent improvements at the Athalassa psychiatric hospital, infrastructure problems persist, MPs said on Monday calling for the construction of a modern new unit.Two more wards of the existing hospital are expected to be renovated in the near future, following  the renovation last year of wards 21 and 34.Members of the House human rights committee visited the hospital on Monday to inspect current conditions and learn about the problems faced.The Athalassa hospital is the only state psychiatric hospital on the island. MPs, political parties, hospital staff and patients’ relatives have been lamenting for years the sorry state of the building, calling for a new one.It was built in 1964 and funds for the construction of a new one were removed from the state budget in 2005 due to other priorities.Head of the state mental health services, Dr Anna Paradisioti, who welcomed the MPs along with acting director of the hospital, Dr Maria Pitta, said that her service submitted to the public works department in the autumn of 2017 the required specifications for the new psychiatric hospital and that she was informed that the project would be outsourced due to the department’s workload.Two more wards of the existing hospital are to be renovated, she said. The wards in question have a 104-bed capacity and today host 72 patients. The permanent residents of the hospital are 19 men and four women – with the oldest resident being there since 1971.The gap concerning care for minors with mental health problems, Paradisioti said, had been filled by the inpatient unit created at the Makarios children’s hospital. The unit has eight hospital beds.MPs said that they would push for a speed up of the procedure for the construction of the new hospital. You May LikeLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoGundry MD PrebioThrive Probiotic SupplementCardiologist: This Is What Happens To Your Body When You Eat GlutenGundry MD PrebioThrive Probiotic SupplementUndo Remand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)UndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoThree arrested in connection with hotel theftsUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

most likely in Augu

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“Design is more objective in a way because we always consider the audience and how people will react to your product. read more