Early Morning Blaze Destroys Texas Mosque

By Constance RentonToronto – In the early morning hours of January 28, firefighters were called to a fire at a mosque in Victoria, Texas.Just hours after U.S. President Donald Trump signed his executive order, barring entry into the U.S. of anyone originating from a list of seven predominantly Muslim countries on Friday evening, the Victoria Islamic Center in Victoria Texas was burned to the ground. According to TIME magazine, the congregation’s Imam awakened in the early hours of the morning tocheck the center’s surveillance equipment and discovered that the alarm was off and the doors appeared to be unlocked. Getting into his car to investigate, he was met at the center by firetrucks and a prayer home which was completely engulfed in flames.An Exxon gas station employee had earlier witnessed the flames and dialed 911 around 2 a.m.The Associated Press (AP) has reported that the Victoria Fire Marshall, Tom Legler,requested assistance from the State Fire Marshall’s office and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATFE). The Islamic Center’s director, Shahid Hashmi, has not yet been provided with any information as to the cause of the blaze. “We don’t have any lead or information as to what started the fire and what happened. So, I’m sure it’s going to be a few days, they told us, before they can come up with any answers for us.”This is the second time in three weeks that a Texas mosque has been burned. The Victoria Islamic Center was the victim of a burglary just last week.Watching the destruction of his community’s prayer home, AP quoted Hashmi as saying, “It’s sad to stand there and watch it collapse down. It looks completely destroyed.”According to TIME magazine, the center was constructed in 2000 and served a congregation numbering approximately 140 worshippers, who arrived Sunday morning for pre-dawn prayers only to find themselves without a point of worship.TIME also has reported that Hashmi has already received several offers of temporary worship sites until the centre can be rebuilt. The donation collection process has already begun. read more

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The Angel in a Tan Djellaba Caring for Chellahs Cats

Rabat – On a hot Friday afternoon, a dozen tour buses and vans line the long driveway of Chellah, one of Rabat’s busiest historical sites. Blue taxis make their way around the cul de sac, dropping off parents with their children before making a hasty departure. Tourists and locals alike swarm the front gate of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, navigating through the electric turnstiles being installed in preparation for Mawazine. A red carpet has been set on the floor for the music festival, and workers race to cover it with plastic tarps before Chellah’s visitors soil it with their dirty shoes.   Despite the flashy decor and high-tech security measures, Chellah remains frozen in time. Throughout the stone remains of the Roman city and the old Islamic complex, storks nest atop the exposed pillars and arches of the old Quranic school. A pair have proudly claimed the peak of the tall minaret of the old mosque, while dozens more make their homes in the “stork condos” just past the lower gardens. In Chellah’s eastern quarter, the white walls of the marabout tombs with their seafoam-green accents shadow le Bassin aux Anguilles–the eel pool. Legend has it that feeding boiled egg whites to the eels will bring fertility and easy childbirth, attracting women who wish to fall pregnant.In this lush corner of the medieval necropolis, Chellah’s cats find their sanctuary.A group of kittens in Chellah, Morocco. Photo Credit: Morocco World News/ Morgan HekkingCats can be found all throughout the site, but in the area surrounding the eel pool and the tombs, several dozen are gathered at any given time to eat, drink, and rest.Read Also: Moroccans Accuse Jazz au Chellah of Killing Cats and DogsA quick Google search of “Chellah’s cats” will produce dozens of images and blog posts from travelers who were captivated by these beauties and charmed by the new varieties of life that now occupy these crumbling ancient ruins. While the historical landmark is an attractive enough destination in its own right, animal-loving tourists are undoubtedly thrilled to discover that Chellah is also a paradise for stray cats.An angel in a tan djellabaLike the perpetual ruins of Chellah, the calm atmosphere surrounding the basin and the tombs is unchanging. Although the place is packed on this particular summer day, the cats lounging by the tombs appear unbothered. Five cats are perched on the low wall facing the pool of the sacred eels, legs tucked under their bodies and eyes closed, visibly content. A litter of seven-week old kittens lay on the ground next to the pool. A lone rooster clucks his way past the sleeping kittens and settles in the bushes. Upon first glance, all seems right in the world of Chellah’s cats.A cat posing for a photo in Chellah, Morocco. Photo credit: Morocco World News/ Morgan HekkingA closer look, however, will reveal that some of the cats are actually dirty, sick, and weak. Some have severe eye infections, others are very thin, and one kitten, visibly soiled, appears to be dead–that is, until you look close enough to notice his haggard breathing. Read Also: Man in Morocco Sets Fire to Cats Shelter, Kills at Least 25 CatsWhen I first visited Chellah on a rainy April day last year, the cats seemed healthy and well taken care of. And I, like most tourists, took this for granted. I remember seeing one kitten with an eye infection, and I watched as a woman in a tan djellaba applied medicine to the kitten’s eye. After finishing with the kitten, the woman brought out dry cat food, called croquettes, and distributed it among two terracotta tajines. A dozen cats, who had been quietly resting nearby, instantly perked up and flooded the feeding area. The woman smiled as she watched over them. “She’s an angel,” I thought. The woman in the tan djellaba left an impression on me, and I’m surely not the first to be captivated by her. As an animal lover, I am always happy to see Moroccans looking out for neighborhood strays. Doing so is no easy task, especially given the risks of disease and the high costs of food and medicine for cats and dogs. To see someone taking care of cats full-time was touching, and I wanted to learn more about this generous woman. After arriving in Rabat this June, I had the privilege of meeting her and hearing her story.A family legacy Fatima* has been in this corner of Chellah for ten years, entirely of her own accord. She has followed in the footsteps of her late father, who started caring for Chellah’s cats in the 1950’s. After he passed away, Fatima’s mother took his place until she fell ill a decade ago. Since then, Fatima has been carrying on this benevolent tradition. Every day, she takes care of the cats, feeds the eels, keeps the area clean, and preserves the integrity of the basin and the tombs.Tombs in Chellah, Morocco. Photo Credit: Morocco World News/ Morgan HekkingContrary to my own assumptions, she is not employed by the site’s administrators, nor does she get paid for any of the work she does. She is there as a volunteer purely out of love for the cats, and doesn’t work anywhere else to make up for her lack of pay. All that she can offer the cats comes from the donation bowl, the few dirhams she can make selling eggs to tourists who are looking to feed the eels, and the two or three dirhams to be made from selling candles sporadically brought to the tombs. Even though the cats of Chellah are adored by so many tourists, the administrators who benefit the most from their presence are largely uninterested in their wellbeing–and that of their caretaker.   Fatima had been living in the marabout tombs for almost six years, which allowed her to dedicate more attention to the cats and provide them with special care if they got sick. However, she was asked to leave by Chellah’s administration. “They told me, ‘it’s a historical site, not a living facility,’” she recalls. “The government wouldn’t approve if they found out.”Whatever it takesSince moving, her time with the cats is now limited to Chellah’s regular hours of operation, which are usually from 8:30 am to 6:30 pm. Working for ten hours without pay is no easy feat, especially when your work offers a lifeline to creatures that otherwise have to fend for themselves. However, Fatima does not complain about the lack of compensation for her time, and she has never asked the administration to give her an official position. She is there as a cat-loving volunteer–nothing more, nothing less. She loves what she does, even if it is taken for granted. Of course, donations are greatly appreciated, but Fatima is not concerned with money. “I don’t know how much it costs,” she says when asked about her cat-related expenses. “I don’t count. I just do whatever I can to take care of them.”A brief asideThe donation bowl on the ground has a decent amount of coins. Mostly ones, twos, halves, and quarters. Maybe a couple fives. Just a few feet away, the mossy floor of the eel pool is littered with change. Several ten dirham coins, distinguished by their size and gold details, catch my eye.I can’t blame visitors for wanting to throw coins into the pool. No matter where you’re from, tossing a coin into some form of water is almost an instinctual urge. Who am I to tell people where they should put their money? Of course, I’m biased. Personally, I would much rather offer my spare change to the kind woman who feeds the cats that I’m posting on my Instagram.I know that for my fellow American travelers, ten dirhams is only about a dollar, which seems like a meager addition to a steep food bill. But those ten dirhams can be the difference between feeding the cats croquettes or crumbs. I must admit, it broke my heart to see those gold-lined coins at the bottom of the pool. Dozens of mouths to feedFatima keeps track of every cat living near the basin and tombs. At present, she takes care of 33 cats on a daily basis, although cats from all over Chellah visit her for food.   “There used to be more than 40 here, but a lot of them died recently,” she sadly admits.  She explains that when the cats get sick, she either can’t afford their medicine or doesn’t know what to do for them. Without access to a veterinarian, she can only offer them basic or substandard treatment. For almost five years, Fatima’s efforts were abetted by a woman from an animal association in France. The woman, who was living in Morocco, would bring Fatima cat food, take sick cats to the vet, and help with anything else the cats needed. Additionally, the cats were vaccinated and sterilized by a local association in Rabat. But as the association struggled with its own bills and mounting debt, they had to stop helping Fatima. As for the French woman, she returned to her home country a few years ago. Since then, Fatima hasn’t been able to provide the same care. Without any formal assistance, Fatima relies entirely on donations. However, donations will never be enough to maintain the services provided through associations: sterilization and vaccinations cost about 1200 MAD per cat. On top of that, feeding 33 cats basic dry food or a rice-based mixture likely costs around 2000 MAD a month. Medicine for infections and other illnesses is yet another cost to consider. Even on a busy day, Fatima barely earns enough in donations to feed the cats. When she is short on funds, she has to improvise with food scraps. During this visit the tajines are peppered with stale chunks of bread. Empty promisesNot once throughout the 60+ years of her family’s involvement with Chellah have any officials stepped in to improve the cats’ quality of life. “I have never heard of the government coming to check on the cats,” Fatima says.  Consequently, it is up to generous visitors and animal associations to enable the proper care of these cats.Over a year ago, a member of a foreign animal association visited Fatima and promised to fund her work. But this promise was empty. “I never heard from him again,” she says. “He didn’t keep his word. ”Although Fatima is no stranger to disappointment, not all hope is lost.Once a month, a local resident brings her a large bag of croquettes and some pate, which is a type of wet food. She receives daily donations from visitors and has friends who stop by on occasion to offer their help. Perhaps as local associations get their footing, they will be able to resume sterilizing and vaccinating Chellah’s cats.   Looking after these animals, especially without the financial means to fully care for them, is undoubtedly emotionally exhausting. But Fatima doesn’t dwell on what she can’t provide for them; rather, she hopes her efforts will inspire others to treat their neighborhood strays with the same kindness they see at Chellah. The future of animal welfareAlthough there have been calls to develop the kingdom’s position on animal rights, Fatima is not optimistic about the future of animal welfare in Morocco. In order to reduce the stray population and end the widespread suffering of unwanted animals, reforms are needed locally and nationwide. However, in a country that also needs better schools, hospitals, and infrastructure, stray cats and dogs don’t place very high on the official list of priorities. Fortunately, there are people like Fatima all over Morocco. Moroccans in every city are caring for strays. Whether this be putting out food and water for cats, assembling makeshift shelters for dogs, or donating time and money to local animal associations, the social aspect of animal welfare is progressing every day. But until a large-scale government effort is made to improve the living conditions faced by animals in the streets, the cats and dogs inhabiting Morocco’s bustling medinas and quiet villages will have to rely on friendly neighbors to survive. If you would like to learn more about the fight for animal rights in Morocco, check out some of these organizations:  Association de Defense des Animaux et de la Nature (ADAN) – RabatLa Tribu des Quat’pattes – RabatSFT Animal Sanctuary – TangierL’association Mchichates read more

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Ban calls on youth to act now to ensure planets sustainable future

10 December 2011Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called today on young people to help combat the multiple threats faced by the planet such as climate change and environmental destruction, to ensure a sustainable future for generations to come. “We have only this Earth, and it is up to us to preserve it,” Mr. Ban told young people at the closing ceremony of the youth event at the Alliance of Civilizations Forum in Doha, Qatar.“Our future is at risk, yours and mine, but also more broadly the future of humankind. You know the threats as well as I: climate change, environmental destruction, growing scarcities of essential resources – water, food, energy, the clean air we breathe,” he said.Mr. Ban stressed the global nature of these problems, and their need for global solutions. “You understand that, with just one Earth, we cannot afford to fight over religion, race, or any of the other categories that separate us,” he said. “We are, indeed, all under the same roof. We live at a unique moment in human history. We recognize the fragility of our beautiful planet. We recognize our vulnerability to changes in the air and resources around us,” he added.Mr. Ban underscored the importance of nations working multilaterally to tackle global issues and said events like the UN Sustainable Development Conference (Rio+20) in Brazil next year are crucial instruments for international cooperation and progress.“In Rio, we hope to chart a new path for development – sustainable development, which means growth consistent with the limitations and opportunities of our natural world.”Mr. Ban made invited young people to join the UN and its campaigns for peace, human rights and environmental sustainability.“Let us, together, create a movement – a movement for change, a movement of all nations and all people, united, to advance the great causes of our day,” he said.The fourth annual forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations will start tomorrow and will count with more than 2,000 participants, including political and corporate leaders, civil society activists and faith communities who will meet to discuss joint actions to improve relations across cultures, combat prejudice and build lasting peace. read more

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No more strikes by GMOA expected following talks

“The Prime Minister told the GMOA not to attack any Minister personally. He told the GMOA all decisions taken on SAITM are with the backing of the Government,” Senaratne said.Senaratne said that at the meeting with the Prime Minister, the GMOA also put forward two names for Chairman of the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) to replace Professor Carlo Fonseka. He said that the GMOA had sought the meeting with the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister agreed to meet only with the blessings of the Health Minister. The Government does not expect more strikes by the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) following talks held with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne told reporters today that the talks between the Prime Minister and GMOA held last night on the SAITM issue were successful. Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said the talks took place with his blessings and participation. Professor Carlo Fonseka’s term as chairman of the SLMC ended recently. (Colombo Gazette) read more

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Lyra McKee murder Two teenagers arrested under Terrorism Act

Hundreds gathered in cities across Northern Ireland on Friday to hold vigils for McKee, who was also known as an activist for lesbian and gay rights.Politicians around the world condemned the attack, with former U.S. President Bill Clinton saying he was “heartbroken.””We cannot let go of the last 21 years of hard-won peace and progress,” Clinton, a key player in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement peace accord, said on Twitter. Two men have been arrested in connection with the killing of Northern Irish journalist Lyra McKee during a riot in Londonderry on Thursday, police said, as politicians in the divided region united to condemn the attack.McKee, an award-winning 29-year-old journalist who was writing a book on the disappearance of young people during decades of violence in Northern Ireland, was shot dead as she watched Irish nationalist youths attack police following a raid.”Major Investigation Team detectives have arrested two men, aged 18 and 19 under the Terrorism Act, in connection with the murder,” the Police Service of Northern Ireland said in a statement.Northern Ireland’s political parties, which are broadly split between Irish nationalists aspiring to unite the British region with Ireland and unionists who want it to remain British, united to condemn the attack.In a joint statement, six parties said they were “united in rejecting those responsible for this heinous crime.” Major Investigation Team detectives have arrested two men, aged 18 and 19 under the Terrorism Act, in connection with the murder of Lyra McKee in the Creggan area of Derry on Thursday, 18th April. They have been taken to Musgrave Serious Crime Suite.— PSNI DC&S District (@PSNIDCSDistrict) April 20, 2019 Police said they believed the shooting was likely carried out by the small New IRA group of “dissident” Irish nationalist militants opposed to the Good Friday deal. The group was blamed by police for planting a car bomb outside a courthouse in Londonderry in January.Politicians in Northern Ireland have also warned that Britain’s plans to leave the European Union could also undermine the peace deal and that any return of restrictive infrastructure along the Irish-Northern Irish border would become targets for militants.Michel Barnier, the European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator, said the peace accord had to be preserved.”The tragic murder of Lyra McKee is a reminder of how fragile peace still is in Northern Ireland,” he said.”SENSELESS”Police said Thursday’s rioting began after a raid aimed at preventing attacks during Easter weekend.Saoradh, a political party with links to dissident militants, said in a statement on Friday that it understood McKee was killed accidentally by a “Republican volunteer.”McKee was watching with a crowd of bystanders as local youths attacked police with petrol bombs and set cars on fire, video footage showed. Police said McKee was hit when a gunman opened fire in the direction of police. British Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday described the attack as “shocking and truly senseless.” The 1998 deal largely ended three decades of violence in the region, in which over 3,600 died, but several smaller militant groups remain active and launch occasional attacks. 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. read more

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New government compound for Mahdia

Moves are apace to bolster regional development service in Mahdia, Region Eight.Deputy Regional Executive Officer, Gavin GungaAccording to Deputy Regional Executive Officer (DREO), Gavin Gunga a plot of land has been identified along Brian Sucre’s Junction in Mahdia to house several government offices including the Guyana Revenue Authority, Guyana Lands and Survey and Guyana Forestry Commission.This new compound will complement the two others in Mahdia which houses the Regional Administration and the fire station which is currently being constructed.The almost completed fire stationThe compound will also facilitate the building of a town hall, a Magistrates Court along with new apartments.According to the REO, the Guyana Water Incorporated had already indicated their need for a space in the compound to build their office.“Other agencies are expected to come on board, so we can have all the services provided in the town for the people of Mahdia and other parts of Region Eight,” Gunga added.It is expected with the new government compound coming on stream, 180 house lots in the vicinity of the compound, will finally be occupied.The bolstering of the government services, is part of upgrading of the Region Eight community to township status. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedFire ravages government building in Region 8April 27, 2015In “Crime”Consultations begin to transform Mahdia into a townSeptember 7, 2015In “Business”G$700M Mahdia internal road work to begin shortlyMay 3, 2016In “latest news” read more

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Google hid MENSA puzzle in Chrome OS video geek wins Cr48 figuring

first_imgThis morning we posted a marketing video Google had released to promote Chrome OS and the Cr-48 netbook. What we didn’t spot at the time was that Google has been sneaky and hid an equation in plain sight. Of course, one geek did, and set about solving it.A software engineer named Sylvain Zimmer, working at Jamendo, noticed the equation while watching the video. He freeze-framed the video and noted down the whole thing even though some of the characters are quite fuzzy. Then he set about trying to figure it out with fellow geeks at Jamendo.AdChoices广告This was a tough equation, and their first attempt at solving just returned:X = 90091/191605050401140404051920181525 ~= 4.7*10^-27 After spending a full day on the puzzle, and having a few “aha!” moments, Sylvain finally figured it out while travelling home. We’ll let him explain as it’s a bit complicated:I tried to convert the 30 numbers into 4 characters, like all goo.gl URLs. Didn’t have much luck, I was trying to prepend “00″ at the beginning to have 32 characters, but couldn’t make sense of the resulting sequence “00191605 05040114 04040519 20181525″.That was when I noticed there were far too many zeroes in that sequence, even without the ones I added So I tried different splits, and ended up with “19 16 05 05 04 01 14 04 04 05 19 20 18 15 25″. There, any geek would have known what to do I translated it to letters and got “s p e e d a n d d e s t r o y”. Obviously, at this point my fingers were very shaky but I managed to type goo.gl/speedanddestroy in my browser and got to a form telling me that I was the “first to figure out our MENSA-certified puzzle” and would receive a Cr-48. WIN ! Here’s the original video with the equation clear to see (2:24 mark) now you know what to look for:Congratulations to Sylvain, he clearly deserves that Cr-48.Read more at Sylvain Zimmer’s website (Google cache version), via HNlast_img read more

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Ralph McQuarrie the man behind Darth Vaders iconic image dies at 82

first_imgIt was a sad weekend for sci-fi enthusiasts. Ralph McQuarrie, the legendary concept artist behind Darth Vader, passed away Saturday, March 3th. He was 82 years old. McQuarrie was most well-known for designing the art for the original Star Wars Trilogy, Battlestar Galactica 1978 television show, Back to the Future, Star Trek, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and a number of other sci-fi classics. McQuarrie was the first person George Lucas hired to help create his vision for the Star Wars universe (when the movie was still titled the Adventures of Luke Starkiller), after having worked with McQuarrie on Lucas’ lesser-known feature film THX-1138. The director reminisced about McQuarrie’s contributions to the movie, explaining Ralph’s illustrations conveyed his ideas perfectly and were regularly better than words.He was responsible for creating the paintings of C-3PO, which you can see from the image below shows some influences from Metropolis, light sabers, and even the Death Star. These pre-production images were a crucial element in getting 20th Century Fox to back Star Wars—to show that the project was something more than “trashy science fiction.” It makes you wonder if the Adventures of Luke Starkiller stood a chance without him? It’s amazing to think that one man created some of the most iconic images that ignited my generation’s imagination, images that continue to define our visions of the future, as well as the future of sci-fi cinema. He will be missed. via Torlast_img read more

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Missick brothers guilty says jury sentencing May 30th

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppTurks and Caicos, May 4, 2017 – Providenciales -After a six-day trial, Jamal Thompson Missick and his younger brother Paul Missick were found guilty of entering a hotel room at Ocean Club East Hotel in Grace Bay in July 2016 where they attempted to rob the tourist occupants of their money, credits cards, jewelry and other expensive items. Jamal Missick managed to escape but left his brother behind. Paul Missick was then beaten and subdued by one of the guests and handed over to the police.  A jury of seven members in the Providenciales Supreme Court gave the verdicts of guilty on the charge of burglary for both brothers. Sentencing for the brothers is on May 30th . #MagneticMediaNews#Missickbrothersguilty#robberyatOceanClubEastHotel Related Items:#magneticmedianews, #Missickbrothersguilty, #robberyatOceanClubEastHotellast_img read more

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Farmers to grow Medicinal Plants on MinedOut lands

first_img Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Jamaica, September 9, 2017 – Kingston –  The Jamaica Bauxite Institute (JBI) has entered into an agreement with Timeless Herbal Care, an international nutraceutical and pharmaceutical company, for the growing of medicinal plants on mined-out bauxite lands.Under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed on Tuesday (September 5), the JBI will provide technical training for farmers in the growing of the crops.   The farmers will sell the yield at market value to Timeless Herbal Care, which will extract the medicinal contents for the various markets that they serve.   The plants to be cultivated are guinea hen weed, moringa, black castor bean, and medical cannabis.At the signing ceremony held at the Ministry of Transport and Mining’s Maxfield Avenue offices, Portfolio Minister, Hon. Mike Henry, welcomed the partnership, which, he said, will offer major economic benefits for the farmers.He noted that the crops targeted under the initiative are in high demand world-wide because the “nutraceutical value is immense”.“We must now move with urgency to capitalize on what is truly ours,” he said.Minister Henry noted that the farmers will be taught new skills, so that they can produce the plants to internationally accepted standards.Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, who attended the signing ceremony, said that the project will create a new source of revenue and jobs from the growing, reaping, and export of nutraceuticals.   She said that there are buyers in Canada who are waiting for products from Timeless Herbal Care.Meanwhile, the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Courtney Betty, said the initiative is about working with communities, establishing international partnerships and “developing Jamaica’s natural plants, which are so valuable”.Release: JIS Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img read more

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County foreclosure rate down 91

first_imgIn April2010 — 4422009 — 4862008 — 3042007 — 902006 — 150SOURCE: RealtyTrac. Irvine, Calif.Clark County foreclosure filings retreated a bit in April, but still represented the highest rate of foreclosure out of Washington’s 39 counties, California database company RealtyTrac reported on Wednesday. Some credit the Obama administration’s beefed-up foreclosure prevention plan for pushing rates down across the nation, including Clark County, which reported filings on 442 properties in April. That was down 9.1 percent from 486 foreclosures filed in April 2009, a sign that mortgage lenders are more willing to negotiate with underwater homeowners.Nevertheless, the county’s overall foreclosure rate remained the state’s highest for the second month in a row, with one out of every 368 households in some stage of foreclosure. And when compared month to month, Clark County’s total foreclosure filings — which includes default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions — increased by 32.3 percent compared with the 334 foreclosures filed in March, “For us, it has not slowed down a bit,” said Teri Duffy, executive director of the Community Housing Resource Center in Vancouver, which provides free mortgage default counseling and helps struggling homeowners with loan modification.last_img read more

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Imperial Pacific to include partners new 1700room development under mandatory Saipan room

first_img Calls for 10% gaming tax renewed as report reveals Imperial Pacific tax payments of just US$21,000 in 2019 Saipan’s casino law requires IPI, which recently acquired a 50% stake in American Sinopan, to develop a 2,000-room integrated resort, however in May the Lottery Commission granted an IPI request to credit the company with rooms built by partners or investors in the future.According to Marianas Variety, IPI Chairman Mark Brown said the Imperial Casha development meant that it was “building on an unbelievably beautiful site with over a thousand rooms,” adding the development “creates excitement and investments for Saipan.”Lt. Governor Arnold I. Palacios said the groundbreaking was “another promising sign of economic recovery for our islands. This groundbreaking ceremony will unveil one of the core projects of IPI that will build upon quality visitor infrastructure on our island,” he said. Lack of premium mass strategy begs questions of SJM’s Grand Lisboa Palace launch: analysts Imperial Pacific International is planning to include up to 1,700 hotel rooms being developed in Saipan by American Sinopan LLC under its room count requirement.Chairman of the Commonwealth Casino Commission, Juan M. Sablan, hinted that IPI would be legally allowed to incorporate the new rooms under its count during a ground-breaking ceremony for American Sinopan’s Imperial Casha hotel over the weekend. Imperial Pacific adds to Board of Directors as regulator looks to impose US$375,000 fine for late license fee payment RelatedPosts Load Morelast_img read more

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Lyft yanks ebikes from San Francisco after possible battery fires

first_img Tags Mobile Roadshow Don’t think I’ll be going on a @lyft @baywheels any time soon. Yikes. pic.twitter.com/MOU9wIjgII— Zach Rutta (@zrutta44) July 27, 2019 0 Share your voice The San Francisco Fire Department told the Examiner that the fire wasn’t suspicious and it classified the incident as a “battery pack issue” and a “fire from battery pack.”Lyft immediately said it was pulling its e-bikes from the city, adding that it wanted to be proactive and put rider safety first. Lyft said it’s had no reports of injuries.”Out of an abundance of caution, we are temporarily making the e-bike fleet unavailable to riders while we investigate and update our battery technology,” a Lyft spokeswoman said in an email. “Thanks to our riders for their patience and we look forward to making e-bikes available again soon.” After acquiring bike rental startup Motivate last year, Lyft became the largest bike operator in the US, with rentals in cities across the country. In the Bay Area, Lyft has roughly 1,000 e-bikes out on city streets. It operates those bicycles under the name Bay Wheels.Though the electric bikes are still on city streets, the Lyft spokeswoman said they’ve been disabled and no one can use them. Lyft will be collecting the e-bikes over the next few days.This isn’t the first time Lyft has experienced issues with its bikes. The company had to pull an earlier model of its e-bikes from New York and San Francisco in April after overly responsive brakes sent riders flying over the handlebars. Electric scooter and e-bike fires have also been reported in other cities over the past few months. One of Lyft’s bikes reportedly caught fire in New York City in March, according to the New York Daily News. And according to TechCrunch, scooter companies Lime and Skip have also dealt with exploding battery issues. Originally published July 31, 5:15 p.m. PT. Update, Aug. 1: Adds information on the e-bikes being disabled and collected.     Lyft rolled out its new e-bike model to the Bay Area in June. Lyft Lyft debuted its new electric bike model just last month, and it’s already having issues with the vehicle. One of its e-bike’s battery packs, which are connected to the bike frame, appears to have exploded in San Francisco on Wednesday, according to the San Francisco Examiner. This is the second time this has reportedly happened in the past week. Another e-bike appeared to have caught fire in the city on Saturday. The aftermath of what happened was captured by Twitter user Zach Rutta. “Don’t think I’ll be going on a @lyft @baywheels any time soon. Yikes,” he tweeted.  Post a comment Lyftlast_img read more

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New joint tribalstate court established

first_imgA disproportionately high number of Alaska Natives are incarcerated in the state of Alaska. In 2014, nearly 32 percent of the prosecuted criminal offenders in Alaska were Alaska Natives; they only constitute less than 20 percent of the population. Recidivism rates are higher for that group as well. Now, the state is working on new ways to partner with tribes to help solve both problems.Download AudioFor the first time in Alaska, there will be a joint tribal-state court. A Kenaitze tribal judge will sit side-by-side with a state judge and have equal say in decisions. It will be a wellness court that hears criminal cases involving substance abuse, and will start taking up to 20 participants in March. Currently, tribal courts only have jurisdiction over civil matters, like adoptions, divorces, domestic violence petitions, and child protection cases.Kenaitze Chief Judge Kimberly Sweet, who will be one of the two judges who preside over the court, says it will be run like most tribal courts. Everyone will sit together around a large conference table to talk about the problems.“Parties are allowed to seek legal counsel,” she explains. “They can bring their legal counsel to court with them. Legal counsel are allowed to advise them, but we don’t speak to their legal counsel, we hear directly from the parties themselves.”Sweet says the process helps get to and treat the root of the problem. Program developers are currently working on a handbook of procedures so the model can be repeated throughout the state.“It’s not just based on personalities of people who have big hearts that are driving this,” she says. “(We’re writing the manual) so that it actually becomes institutionalized, so it can be picked up and taken by anybody.”Sweet says having the tribes involved in substance-related criminal charges will also help them when working on child protection cases. The majority of those involve substance abuse and sometimes criminal charges which aren’t known to the tribal courts. The joint court can help solve some of those disconnects.“So being able to collaborate and cooperate and work in the best interest of these families will do nothing but create a healthier community.”Similar joint courts already exist in Minnesota and California.A 2014 change in court rules also allows the state’s court system to use collaborative methods for sentencing adults, like circle sentencing. The Kenaitze tribe and others are already using the method with juvenile offenders. Sweet explains that circle sentencing brings the offender, community members, family members, and sometimes the victim into the same room to discuss the issue and the solution.“Nobody is an authority in the circle. The circle collaborates and works together as a little mini-community to come up with a plan to put that youth or the adult on the right path with as much input from the youth and the adult as possible.”For adult cases, the state judge would make the final sentencing decision.The state is also working on a plan to improve the outcomes for Alaska Natives who end up incarcerated. The Department of Corrections is convening an Alaska Native Focus Group for reducing recidivism.Alaska’s recidivism rate is 63 percent for everyone leaving the prison system. For Alaska Natives, it’s 74 percent. DOC Commissioner Ron Taylor discussed the formation of the group during AFN.“We’re concerned about the higher rates of recidivism among that group and looking for ways to improve those outcomes. How do we do a better job of providing programming and resources? Of linking them to services once they get released? And how do we do a better job of ensuring they go back to their communities if they chose to do so.”The group will be chaired by Lt. Gov. Bryon Mallott and meet for the first time next week in Anchorage. It’s unclear why recidivism rates are higher for Alaska Natives, Taylor said. It could be linked to cultural and language barriers with the department’s reentry and treatment programming.last_img read more

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3D printing Proto Labs CEO on the rise of digital manufacturing across

Digital manufacturing is on the rise across Europe as the 3D printing indsutry continues to develop, according to Proto Labs CEO Vicki Holt. The US company is the worlds fastest manufacturer of custom prototypes and low-volume production parts and has expanded its reach across Europe with the acquisition of German rapid prototyping company Alphaform AG, along with the launch of an additive manufacturing (3D printing) service in the UK.Vicki Holt, president and CEO of Proto Labs, told IBTimes UK the decision to start 3D printing operation at its Telford facility in September came after it discovered a huge demand for additive manufacturing among its customers.She said: Before we entered the 3D printing side we talked to our customers who were using us for our other services and 75% of them were using 3D printing in the front end of their development process for concept development and design.So for us it was a very simple strategic decision to add this to our portfolio, to get more share of wallet from our customers and really be able to help them bring their ideas to market from concept all the way through to low-volume production. So its being used more and more by design engineers to get a part in the hands of their customers very quickly.Exciting period for manufacturingWhere Proto Labs differs from other manufacturing companies is that it conducts all its business online. Developers upload a 3D computer-aided design (CAD) file on to Proto Labs website, before the company turns around an interactive quote in a matter of hours. Holt says it is an exciting time due to the rise of digital manufacturing and innovation in the industry.I tell you Ive never been more excited about manufacturing as I am today. Ive spent 35 years in manufacturing and this is the most exciting time to be here because of what is happening with digital manufacturing and innovation, she said.Were a digital manufacturer, combining that hardware and software, that delivers parts to customers very quickly, very cost-effectively in a part of one or five-thousand. And that accelerates innovation and more and more companies realise that innovation is the lifeblood of their company moving forward. And we help manufacturers move forward faster and more cost-effectively.Accelerating innovationHolt, hired as CEO in February 2014 with the aim of turning Proto Labs into a billion dollar manufacturing company, said two trends were helping them to grow: the increasing use of 3D CAD and the focus on speed to market.First theres the growth in designing and 3D CAD, and for us thats critical because our model starts with an engineer uploading on to our e-commerce website and then our software virtually manufactures that part in a matter of minutes, turns around a quote and we make a custom part in a matter of days. So the growth of 3D design and 3D CAD design is important, she said.The other thing thats really helped our model is the development of engineers and companies in general who are really focused on speed to market. Consumers and B2B environment are demanding innovations faster than we ever had before. We help enable speed to market. And theres also mass customisation taking place. Were all learning we want something unique. Its the world of my need. And that also is demanding that we innovate faster and we innovate in lower volume economic cycles and that we can do that very effectively at Proto Labs. Close read more

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No BNP support for Jamaat hartal Rizvi

first_img.Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) on Wednesday said it did not support Thursday’s hartal called by its key ally Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami protesting at the arrest of its top leaders, including ameer Maqbul Ahmad, reports UNB.Speaking at a press conference at the party’s Naya Paltan headquarters on Wednesday afternoon, BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi said their party has no decision to support the hartal.Replying to a question whether their party has any support for Jamaat’s hartal, the BNP leader said, “Our party secretary general issued a statement demanding the release of those arrested. Our party’s programme is limited to it in this regard, and we’ve nothing else.”As journalists pressed him to give a clear answerer whether they support the hartal or not, Rizvi said he did not get any direction from the party high-command about it.Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami on Tuesday called the countrywide dawn-to-dusk hartal for Thursday to register its protest against the arrest and remand of its top leadership, including ameer Maqbul Ahmad.Earlier on Monday night, detectives arrested Jamaat ameer Maqbul Ahmad, its secretary general Shafiqur Rahman, nayeb-e-ameer Mia Golam Parwar, also a former MP from Khulna-5 constituency, and six other party leaders from city’s Uttara area.A team of Detective Branch of police arrested them from a house at Road-3 of Sector-11 while they were allegedly holding a clandestine meeting.last_img read more

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Make MashUp Music Masterpieces With The Magic iPod

first_img ‘Astral Chain’ and Other Dumb Nintendo SongsGeek Pick: Ikea Sonos Symfonisk Is A WiFi Bookshelf Speaker Stay on target Mash-ups, two songs remixed into one, can produce truly transcendent new music synthesized into more than the sum of its parts. Or they make hilariously dumb juxtapositions. Sometimes mash-ups can be both at once. I already went into my love mash-ups while awarding the magnificent mash-up rhythm game DJ Hero (along with the miraculous mash-up album Mouth Moods) a coveted Geek.com Game of the Year award.But when you really get into mash-ups, you inevitably start to want to make your own. The joy of the art form is the creative expression that comes with playing with someone else’s toys. It’s like fan-fiction but good. Making original mash-up songs isn’t easy. You don’t just drag one MP3 file on top of another. It takes real musical talent. But if you’re a budding mash-up artist who doesn’t yet have the cutting chops, The Magic iPod is the website for you.The Magic iPod is an easy, hilarious, mash-up song generator. On the left is a list of 20 songs from rap and hip-hop artists like Kanye West, Jay Z, Missy Elliot, and Eminem. On the left are 23 songs from your favorite late 1990s/early 2000s pop acts like Avril Lavigne, Blink-182, Vanessa Carlton, and of course, Smash Mouth. Did Neil Cicierega make this site? Drag a song from one list onto a song from the other and listen to your resultant audio child. It’s just two things, but it’s so much more.Most of the songs simply take the lyrics of the raps and overlay them onto the instrumentals and chorus of the pop songs. Still, the combinations can be magical in ways you never expected. Some of my favorites include “Get Low x All Star,” “99 Problems x A Thousand Miles,” and “X Gon’ Give It To You x Bring Me to Life.” DMX’s barking has never sounded more emo.Unfortunately, not every combination works. The yellow outlines tell you which songs can and can’t be smashed together. These are premade mixes, not procedurally generated ones. But there are enough song combinations to discover to keep you entertained for a while. You can even download tracks and keep “Crank That x Boulevard of Broken Dreams” forever.So visit The Magic iPod and start mashing up songs. Also, instead of displaying ads, the site asks you to support the ACLU, which isn’t a bad idea. 2007 forever!last_img read more

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China concerned over North Korean launch plans

first_img Comments   Share   “We hope all relevant parties will do that which benefits peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, hope all sides will respond calmly and avoid exacerbating the situation,” ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in the statement.The North Korean launch, set for Dec. 10 to 22, is likely to heighten already strained tensions with Washington and Seoul as South Korea plans to hold a presidential election on Dec. 19 and President Barack Obama prepares to begin his second term.It would be North Korea’s second launch attempt under leader Kim Jong Un, who took power following his father Kim Jong Il’s death nearly a year ago. That first launch eight months ago earned North Korea widespread international condemnation, despite ending in an embarrassing misfire.Some analysts have expressed skepticism that North Korea has corrected whatever caused the first failure. North Korea says the rocket will be mounted with a polar-orbiting Earth observation satellite.Despite its close ties to North Korea, previous Chinese statements have had little perceptible effect.China is North Korea’s only major political ally and its main source of food and fuel for keeping the North’s moribund economy from collapsing. However, Beijing has been highly resistant to using any of its leverage to moderate North Korea’s behavior, fearing that could cause an implosion leading to political chaos and a wave of refugees crossing its border. BEIJING (AP) – China expressed concern Sunday over its ally North Korea’s plans to launch a long-range rocket in mid-December.All sides should work for stability and avoid acts that raise tensions, the Foreign Ministry said in a brief statement. It acknowledged North Korea’s right to the peaceful use of outer space, but said that had to be harmonized with restrictions including those set by the United Nations Security Council. 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Patients with chronic pain give advice Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Top Stories 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Centerlast_img read more

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IDS Creates Integrations Team for Doc Prep System

first_img International Document Services (IDS), a Salt Lake City, Utah-based mortgage document preparation vendor, announced the formation of an internal team with the sole function of developing and maintaining integrations between idsDoc, the IDS flagship document preparation system, and the company’s third-party vendors.The new integrations team will work in conjunction with IDS’s customer service department and collaborate with the company’s LOS partners to create various idsDoc interface functionalities, such as two-way transferring and blind interfaces. The idsDoc interfaces developed by the new interface team will minimize manual data entry by including more core data from mortgage documents.”Doc prep systems don’t operate in vacuum,” said Mark Mackey, EVP at IDS. “Collaboration and connectivity are the name of the game in today’s automated mortgage operations environment. Because our integrations play such a key role in the idsDoc user experience, we felt it was important enough to establish a team dedicated to keeping our integrations best-in-class.”All of the members of the new integrations team will attend training and certification courses for the Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization (MISMO) in order to apply the latest industry standards to implement mortgage document data. Part of the team’s responsibility will be not only to expand the offerings of IDS’s MISMO 2.6, but also to facilitate the company’s transition from MISMO 2.6 to MISMO 3.3.”We are excited to have gathered a team of highly-skilled individuals who will help IDS become more serviceable to our loan origination system (LOS) partners and our customers accessing idsDoc through an LOS,” said David Clement, director of operations at IDS. “With their combined knowledge and skillsets, this team will enhance our customer service offerings and heighten our capacity to support our customers.” November 6, 2014 482 Views Share Company News International Document Services 2014-11-06 Seth Welborncenter_img in Headlines, News, Technology IDS Creates Integrations Team for Doc Prep Systemlast_img read more

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Dodd and Frank Discuss Legislation Enforcement

first_img After the Dodd-Frank Act passed and financial institutions became open to scrutiny under regulators, the question arose, does Dodd-Frank go far enough to make the regulators, such as the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection crack down on enforcement? In an interview with Marketplace Radio host David Brancaccio, Chris Dodd and Barney Frank discussed how you can write a law, but you must also enforce a law. According to Frank, one half of the Act that bears his name, the Act “goes as far as you can.”“You can’t make anybody do something,” said Frank in the interview.According to Frank, there is only so much that can be done when it comes to enforcement.“I will say this though, even with the Trump administration, that bill is being administered much better than people might have thought, and the system is being run much more soundly and safely than it was before the bill was passed,” Frank added. “And the reason is that the powers are there and unless you’re a pretty irresponsible guy or woman, and you’re in charge of an agency, and it has the powers to do something — you’re going to be a little worried in the back of your mind that if you vigorously don’t use those powers and something goes wrong, you’re going to be in trouble.”Back in May, President Trump signed Senate Bill 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, into law. The bill is designed to ease the burden on smaller banks by raising the threshold to $250 billion from $50 billion under which banks are deemed too important to the financial system to fail.Frank and Dodd both note that they are relatively unfazed by these reforms. During the initial discussion on the threshold, Frank states that “We both felt 100, 125 would have been OK. They went for 125. They went to 250. So there were maybe, I don’t know, a dozen banks.”Frank goes on to note that Signature Bank, the bank where he serves as a board member, has benefited from recent tax cuts, despite Frank’s own opinion on regulation.“I have been a strong proponent for the tough regulation, but the best thing that happened to the bank of which I am a board member in the past few years was the Trump tax cut, which benefited that bank,” said Frank.Find the complete interview here. in Daily Dose, Government, News Dodd-Frank Regulation BCFP 2018-09-21 Seth Welborn Dodd and Frank Discuss Legislation Enforcementcenter_img Share September 21, 2018 582 Views last_img read more

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