Facebook busts Israelbased campaign to disrupt elections

first_imgJerusalem: Facebook said Thursday it banned an Israeli company that ran an influence campaign aimed at disrupting elections in various countries and has canceled dozens of accounts engaged in spreading disinformation. Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, told reporters that the tech giant had purged 65 Israeli accounts, 161 pages, dozens of groups and four Instagram accounts. Many were linked to the Archimedes Group, a Tel Aviv-based political consulting and lobbying firm that boasts of its social media skills and ability to “change reality.” Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: ReportGleicher said Facebook could not speculate about Archimedes’ motives, which “may be commercial or political.” But he said Facebook discovered “coordinated inauthentic behavior,” with accounts posing as certain political candidates, smearing opponents and presenting as local news organizations peddling supposedly leaked information. The activity appeared focused on Sub-Saharan African countries but was also scattered in parts of Southeast Asia and Latin America. The pages have racked up 2.8 million followers and hundreds of thousands of views. Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protestsGleicher said Archimedes had spent some 800,000 on fake ads and that its deceptive activity dated back to 2012. He said Facebook has banned Archimedes. Facebook has come under pressure to more aggressively and transparently tackle misinformation aimed at sowing division and confusion around elections, since the revelation that Russia used Facebook to sway the 2016 U.S. presidential election. On its website, Archimedes presents itself as a consulting firm involved in campaigns for presidential elections. Little information is available beyond its slogan, which is “winning campaigns worldwide,” and a vague blurb about the group’s “mass social media management” software, which it said enabled the operation of an “unlimited” number of online accounts. The site, featuring a montage of stock photos from Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, boasts of its “own unique field within the social media realm” and its efforts to “take every advantage available in order to change reality according to our client’s wishes.” A message seeking comment from the company was not immediately returned.last_img read more

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San Francisco prosecutors turn to AI to reduce racial bias

SAN FRANCISCO — In a first-of-its kind experiment, San Francisco prosecutors are turning to artificial intelligence to reduce racial bias in the courts, adopting a system that strips certain identifying details from police reports and leaves only key facts to govern charging decisions.District Attorney George Gascon announced Wednesday that his office will begin using the technology in July to “take race out of the equation” when deciding whether to accuse suspects of a crime.Criminal-justice experts say they have never heard of any project like it, and they applauded the idea as a creative, bold effort to make charging practices more colorblind.Gascon’s office worked with data scientists and engineers at the Stanford Computational Policy Lab to develop a system that takes electronic police reports and automatically removes a suspect’s name, race and hair and eye colours. The names of witnesses and police officers will also be removed, along with specific neighbourhoods or districts that could indicate the race of those involved.“The criminal-justice system has had a horrible impact on people of colour in this country, especially African Americans, for generations,” Gascon said in an interview ahead of the announcement. “If all prosecutors took race out of the picture when making charging decisions, we would probably be in a much better place as a nation than we are today.”Gascon said his goal was to develop a model that could be used elsewhere, and the technology will be offered free to other prosecutors across the country.“I really commend them, it’s a brave move,” said Lucy Lang, a former New York City prosecutor and executive director of the Institute for Innovation in Prosecution at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.The technology relies on humans to collect the initial facts, which can still be influenced by racial bias. Prosecutors will make an initial charging decision based on the redacted police report. Then they will look at the entire report, with details restored, to see if there are any extenuating reasons to reconsider the first decision, Gascon said.Lang and other experts said they look forward to seeing the results and that they expect the system to be a work in progress.“Hats off for trying new stuff,” said Phillip Atiba Goff, president for the Center for Policing Equity. “There are so many contextual factors that might indicate race and ethnicity that it’s hard to imagine how even a human could take that all out.”A 2017 study commissioned by the San Francisco district attorney found “substantial racial and ethnic disparities in criminal justice outcomes.” African Americans represented only 6% of the county’s population but accounted for 41% of arrests between 2008 and 2014.The study found “little evidence of overt bias against any one race or ethnic group” among prosecutors who process criminal offences. But Gascon said he wanted to find a way to help eliminate an implicit bias that could be triggered by a suspect’s race, an ethnic-sounding name or a crime-ridden neighbourhood where they were arrested.After it begins, the program will be reviewed weekly, said Maria Mckee, the DA’s director of analytics and research.The move comes after San Francisco last month became the first U.S. city to ban the use of facial recognition by police and other city agencies. The decision reflected a growing backlash against AI technology as cities seek to regulate surveillance by municipal agencies.Jocelyn Gecker, The Associated Press read more

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UNESCO condemns murder of magazine editor in Dagestan Russia

19 May 2011The head of the United Nations agency charged with promoting press freedom today deplored the murder in Dagestan, Russia, of the editor of an Avar-language magazine. The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), citing information from the non-governmental organization (NGO) Reporters Without Borders, said the editor Yakhya Magomedov was shot four times as he left the home of his brother, a police officer, near the northern city of Khasavyurt.Mr. Magomedov was the editor of Avar-language version of As-Salam, which is also published in Russian and six Caucasian languages and distributed by volunteers. The magazine covers Islamic beliefs and practices.“The news of Yakhya Magomedov’s killing is troubling,” said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova. “The death of a journalist in violent and unexplained circumstances is always a setback for freedom of expression and freedom of the press. I deplore this killing and call on the authorities to investigate this murder and bring those responsible for it to justice.” read more

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Outlining disarmament tasks for Iraq Blix laments lack of time for inspections

Top United Nations arms inspector Hans Blix today presented a work programme to the Security Council on the key remaining tasks for disarming Iraq, expressing also his sadness that inspections had run out of time and that it appeared war was “imminent.”In his remarks to the Council, which also heard from Gustavo Zlauvinen, a representative for Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mr. Blix, the Executive Chairman of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), pointed out that he had speeded up the presentation of the work plan from 27 March to last Monday at the request of the Council. “I note that on the very same day we were constrained together with other UN units to order the withdrawal of all our inspectors and other international staff from Iraq,” he said.Secretary-General Kofi Annan ordered the withdrawal of UN personnel – including the UNMOVIC and IAEA inspectors, the UN agencies, programmes and funds implementing the humanitarian oil-for-food programme and the UN observers in the demilitarized zone along the Iraq-Kuwait border – after receiving advice from the United Kingdom and the United States over the weekend regarding their continued safety and security in the region.”I naturally feel sadness that three and months of work carried out in Iraq have not brought the assurances needed about the absence of weapons of mass destruction or other proscribed items in Iraq, that no more time is available for our inspections and that armed action now seems imminent,” Mr. Blix told the Council at the outset of its meeting, which was chaired by Foreign Minister François Lonseny Fall of Guinea.Mr. Blix also told the Council that Iraq had recently provided further information on a number of unresolved issues, and that these efforts by Iraq should be acknowledged, although “the value of the information thus provided must be soberly judged.” UNMOVIC experts, he added, “have found so far that in substance only limited new information has been provided that will help to resolve remaining questions.”Noting that the work programme, which was prepared by a large staff of UNMOVIC inspectors and other resources, would seem to have only limited practical relevance in the current situation, Mr. Blix stressed that UNMOVIC was a subsidiary organ of the Council. Until the Council took a new decision on the Commission’s role and functions, previous resolutions remained valid to the extent practicable and “it is evidently for the Council to consider the next steps,” he said. read more

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Fierce fighting continues to rage in southern Lebanon – UN mission

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) reported today that heavy fighting continues in its area of operation in the country’s south, with Hizbollah rockets striking a UN position during the past 24 hours and the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) shelling close to another UN post.Two Hizbollah rockets hit a UNIFIL position near Hula within a half-hour period, the mission said in a statement issued in the Lebanese city of Naqoura. The strikes caused “extensive material damage,” but no casualties were reported. Hizbollah also launched rockets from the vicinity of four other UN positions: Alma Ash Shab, Marwahin, Tibnin and At Tiri.There were two incidents of IDF firing from close to the UNIFIL post near Kafr Kila, while an IDF tank fired machine gun rounds from the vicinity of a UN position near Marwahin, the mission said, noting it has protested to Lebanese and Israeli authorities about the firing from both sides.The clashes are not confined to the areas around UN posts, with UNIFIL reporting that the IDF has made several ground incursions into Lebanese territory in the past 24 hours.As the fierce fighting continued, the Security Council received briefings behind closed doors today from Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Marie Guéhenno and an official from the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on the latest developments in the crisis.Speaking to reporters, UN spokesman Ahmad Fawzi said that during the closed talks, Mr. Guéhenno “repeated the Secretary-General’s call for an immediate cessation of hostilities and the restoration of UNIFIL’s freedom of movement, and he emphasized the obligation of the parties to ensure the safety and security of United Nations personnel, among many other things.”The Council’s President for August, Ambassador Nana Effah-Apenteng of Ghana, told reporters that the Council has asked to receive daily briefings from OCHA and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) while the conflict persists.Mr. Effah-Apenteng said informal discussions were ongoing about a possible Council resolution to end the combat. “We want a comprehensive solution to the crisis,” he said.Since the conflict began three weeks, the violence has forced about 1 million people to flee their homes in Lebanon and northern Israel, including an estimated 800,000 people in Lebanon. Hundreds of others have been killed and thousands more injured.Four UNIFIL military observers were also killed on 25 July when IDF bombardment destroyed their post at Khiyam, and three of their bodies have been recovered so far. UNIFIL said today that an engineering contingent from the mission assessed the site yesterday to determine the equipment needed to remove debris as part of the continuing search for the body of the fourth observer. read more

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Plot twists suspense mark George Lucas plans for museum

by Jocelyn Gecker, The Associated Press Posted Jan 3, 2017 12:04 am MDT Last Updated Jan 4, 2017 at 6:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email SAN FRANCISCO – George Lucas is no stranger to epic struggles on the big screen, but he didn’t expect one off-camera when it came to his art collection.For nearly a decade, the filmmaker has tried to build a museum to house an extensive personal collection that includes 40,000 paintings, illustrations and film-related items. But legal entanglements and other complications have thwarted his efforts.After several false starts, Lucas and his art team say they will decide later this month whether to put the museum in San Francisco or Los Angeles, a strategy that has stirred a California rivalry.The prize is big, and both cities want it badly.“This is the largest civic gift in American history,” LA Mayor Eric Garcetti told The Associated Press. “I think Los Angeles is the natural home for it” — a notion that San Francisco officials enthusiastically contest.The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, as it will be called, promises hundreds of jobs and a high-profile attraction — and it’s essentially free.The “Star Wars” creator is financing the project himself. He plans to spend more than $1 billion to build the museum, endow it and provide a trove of initial artworks valued at over $400 million. Together with Chinese architect Ma Yansong, Lucas has proposed a sleek, futuristic design looks like a cross between the Guggenheim and a galactic starfighter.The museum’s bold design and concept make clear that the 72-year-old filmmaker sees it as part of his legacy, and he is increasingly impatient to break ground.“It’s not just an enormous philanthropic gift to a city and to the world, but it is a unique museum in the way it is envisioned,” said Don Bacigalupi, an art historian and respected museum director Lucas hired as its founding president. “Certainly, we’ll be looking forward to the day we can move the art into a museum.”The museum will not, as many assume, be a repository for “Star Wars” memorabilia.It will, however, show how Lucas spent some of his filmmaking fortune and that his interest in art extends beyond movies.An avid collector for more than 40 years, Lucas is giving the museum some 10,000 paintings and illustrations that include dozens of Norman Rockwells and works from French impressionist Edgar Degas to American contemporary artist Keith Haring. There are illustrations for classic children’s books by Beatrix Potter of “Peter Rabbit” fame and Jean de Brunhoff, who created “Babar.”The museum gets its pick from some 30,000 film-related pieces including storyboards and costumes from “The Wizard of Oz,” ”Casablanca,” and, naturally, “Star Wars.”There’s art from comic books, graphic novels and other popular works that Lucas hopes will attract people who don’t typically visit museums.In 2010, Lucas first pitched his project to San Francisco and considered a site in the Presidio, but the trust that oversaw the park ultimately rebuffed him. He then took his project to Chicago, his wife’s hometown, but preservationists sued to keep it off the lakefront.Lengthy delays prompted Lucas to abandon that bid in June and change strategy.In October, Lucas unveiled similar but competing designs for Los Angeles and San Francisco sites, turning the project into a public competition. It seems to have worked.Government leaders in both cities have unanimously approved it. And officials are quick to stress that this time there is no apparent opposition, and construction could begin quickly ahead of a projected 2020 finish date.Later this month, Lucas is convening the museum’s board to decide between two distinct locations.In San Francisco, his project would virtually have an island unto itself.The city offered Lucas a 4-acre waterfront plot on Treasure Island, a man-made creation in the middle of the bay with cinematic views of the city skyline.The island was built for the 1939 World’s Fair, then used as a World War II naval base. These days it’s populated mainly by seagulls, boarded-up barracks, some art studios and old warehouses, but officials hope the museum triggers its transformation. A massive $6 billion redevelopment project includes apartments, hotels and a ferry terminal.“It’s a risk they would be taking, but it’s a bet on the future,” said Adam Van De Water, project manager for the museum at San Francisco City Hall. “We think his heart is here in the Bay Area.”Lucas has spent most of his life in the San Francisco area, and Lucasfilm was based in the city before he sold it in 2012 to Disney Co.“Put yourself in his shoes. You could be on Treasure Island, where you’re visible throughout downtown San Francisco,” said Van De Water, pausing to take a swipe at Los Angeles. “Or you could be a museum in a park with other museums.”Los Angeles has offered Lucas a 7-acre spot in Exposition Park, a sprawling cultural compound that holds three other museums and the Coliseum, home to the LA Rams. It has its own light rail station and is near the main campus of the University of Southern California, where Lucas went to film school.“A museum should not be cloistered away from the people,” LA Mayor Garcetti said. “We don’t live life on islands.”Exposition Park also is near eight public high schools and could help expose young people to Lucas’ collection, Garcetti says.If Lucas has a favourite, Bacigalupi won’t say.But Bacigalupi calls Treasure Island “sort of magical.” Not only does it offer stunning views, but the island would give the museum an iconic location on the water’s edge, which he compares to the Sydney Opera House. And, he says, Lucas is deeply devoted to the Bay Area.Los Angeles is exciting for different reasons, he said. Its proximity to schools and being part of a community of museums “is certainly attractive,” he said. And, like San Francisco, Los Angeles is part of Lucas’ history.“These are two spectacular places. Two great cities,” Bacigalupi says. “It’s a tough decision. But for all the right reasons.” Plot twists, suspense mark George Lucas’ plans for museum FILE – In this July 28, 2016 file photo, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti speaks during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. For nearly a decade, George Lucas has been trying to build a museum for his extensive personal art collection.Los Angeles has offered Lucas a site in Exposition Park, near a science museum, natural history museum, the African American museum and the University of Southern California, where he went to film school. Garcetti calls the museum “the largest civic gift in American history.” (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File) read more

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Saskatoon video game publishing company partners with Chinese firm

Saskatoon video game publishing company partners with Chinese firm SASKATOON – A Chinese video game publishing company, Z-Play, has bought 70 per cent of Saskatoon’s Noodlecake Studios in a $6.3-million deal.Noodlecake officials say they will use the money and new partnership to design more games and enter the Chinese market.CEO Jordan Schidlowsky says China is the biggest market in the world for mobile gaming, but it’s hard to get into the market unless you have a partnership.He says the Chinese government has strict restrictions on foreign companies.Noodlecake Studios, the seven-year-old mobile game developers, has created hundreds of games, both in-house and for third-party companies.Their most notable game is Super Stickman Golf.Schidlowsky says since the acquisition, Noodlecake’s games have had five times more downloads in China than the U.S.(CTV Saskatoon) by The Canadian Press Posted Aug 3, 2017 8:25 pm MDT Last Updated Aug 3, 2017 at 9:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

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States must prioritize migrants human rights UN independent experts reiterate

“This tragedy is just one in a long line of migration-related deaths at borders, be it in deserts, in mountainous regions, as well as at sea, not only in the Mediterranean but around the world,” said the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau, following a recent visit to Italy.He warned that if countries continue to criminalize irregular migration, without adopting new legal channels for migration which would create possibilities for asylum seekers and migrants to securely and regularly reach safe destinations, “the number of migrants risking their lives on dangerously overcrowded and unseaworthy vessels over perilous sea routes can only increase.”Mr. Crépeau, who completed a year-long study of external border management, had called on European Union member States to prioritize a new human rights framework in the development of their migration policies. According to reports, more than 300 migrants aboard the overcrowded ship were killed when a fire caused a panic that led to the ship capsizing. Most of the victims are Somalis and Eritreans, including women and children. The UN Independent Expert on Somalia, Shamsul Bari, and the UN Special Rapporteur on Eritrea, Sheila B. Keetharuth, echoed the call.“This tragic incident shows the level of desperation of the people living in areas of Somalia which are still stricken by insecurity and the lack of enjoyment of basic economic, social and cultural rights,” Mr. Bari said. “I urge Somali authorities to address the root causes of the smuggling and trafficking in persons in Somalia, with the collaboration of the international community and the UN,” he added. In neighbouring Eritrea, the “alarming” human rights situation is triggering a constant stream of refugees to neighbouring countries and far beyond, Ms. Keetharuth said, including a large number of unaccompanied children, some as young as seven or eight years old.“I call on the international community to keep monitoring the human rights situation in Eritrea and to protect and support those fleeing the country, in particular the increasing numbers of unaccompanied children,” she restated.The experts extended their thoughts to the families of the deceased, and those who survived the incident.Independent experts or special rapporteurs are appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back, in an unpaid capacity, on specific human rights themes. read more

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Disgraced GP avoids prison over video of man having sex with snake

first_imgGP Cyprian Okoro arrives at the Old Bailey for sentencingCredit:Mark Thomas/REX/Shutterstock GP Cyprian Okoro arrives at the Old Bailey for sentencing You have betrayed the high standards of conduct required by your professionJudge Richard Hone QC They featured women having sex with dogs, a man having sex with a snake and a woman having sex with a horse, the court heard.Okoro also had an indecent video of a two-year-old boy, which was among images moved from his photo gallery into a password-protected “vault” app on his phone.The defendant, of Streatham, south-west London, denied five charges of possessing extreme pornography and one of possessing an indecent image of a child.Earlier this month, a jury at the Old Bailey found him guilty of all but two charges of possessing extreme pornography relating to bestiality with dogs.Following the verdict, the jury was told that it was the second time Okoro had been convicted in what the judge described as a “quite unusual case”.The Court of Appeal ordered a retrial after he was sentenced to nine months’ jail suspended for 18 months at Norwich Crown Court in 2014.He had also been ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for 10 years, complete an internet sex offenders’ programme, do 200 hours of unpaid work and be subject to 18 months of supervision. His biggest regret is he did not delete the material the moment it arrivedStephen Akinsanya, mitigating The court also heard how in April 2000, Okoro was found guilty by a General Medical Council panel of serious professional misconduct relating to “inappropriate comments of a sexual nature” at work.He was suspended for 18 months, extended for a further 12 months in 2001, the court was told.Okoro came to the attention of police after a woman made an allegation of sexual assault against him, but no further action was taken over the claim.In mitigation, Stephen Akinsanya said it was “regrettable” that such a man had lost his good character and possibly his career. A disgraced doctor has avoided prison after being convicted for a second time of having a stash of “extreme” pornography, including a video of a man having sex with a snake.GP Cyprian Okoro “betrayed” the high standards of his profession and was lucky not to have been jailed over his collection of obscene videos sent to him via WhatsApp, a judge said.Following a retrial ordered by the Court of Appeal, the doctor was handed six months in custody – suspended for 12 months – and ordered to re-sign the sex offenders’ register.The court had heard how 55-year-old Okoro had five videos of a “grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise obscene character” on his Samsung phone. He told the court: “His biggest regret is he did not delete the material the moment it arrived and did not seek to cut off the ties with those who sent the material to him.”Mr Akinsanya said it was through “reckless stupidity” he had risked his whole career and it was unlikely Okoro would be able to work in the UK again.He said the GP had been “traumatised” by the stigma attached to his conviction, but insisted he was not a paedophile.He had never posed a danger to his own children or those he interacted with through his work, the court heard.Sentencing, Judge Richard Hone QC told Okoro: “You have betrayed the high standards of conduct required by your profession.”The judge said he had to allow for the fact the defendant had completed the unpaid work, supervision requirement and most of the sex offenders’ programme.Although he was “constrained” by the earlier sentence, he echoed the appeal court judge by saying Okoro had been “fortunate” he had not been sent immediately to prison before.Okoro qualified as a doctor in Lagos, Nigeria, in 1986, and received an interim suspension by the General Medical Council in September 2013. 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.last_img read more

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MORK DYNASTY leads Larvik to victory in Romania

← Previous Story Women’s EHF CL: Larvik, Budućnost and Bucharest celebrate away wins! Next Story → Vardar smash Kielce 34:24 Larvik HKThea and Nora Mork Norwegian Larvik HK showed capability to play serious role again at the Women’s EHF Champions League. Last season’s finalists made the life much more easier in the upcoming weeks by important win in Romanian Baia Mare 31:29 (19:14) after surprising home defeat at the start of the competition against Russian Rostov Don – 21:27.The true leaders in the away success have been twin-sisters Mork, Nora and Thea. Right back and left wing of the Norwegian roster scored nine goals each – 18 in total! They have been followed by Amanda Kurtovic who netted seven goals.The second match of the Group A will be played in Rostor on Don, where Russian girls waiting for Slovenian RK Krim Mercator. read more

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Gerry Adams The Taoiseachs salary undermines his agenda

first_imgHe said that Sinn Féin had a party position that had been determined at its last Ard Fheis that it would not allow a free vote on legislation for the X Case.Last year the party stripped its Meath West Peadar Toibín of a number of Oireachtas committee chairmanships after he abstained from a vote on private members’ legislation for abortion.Adams said that any TD who votes against the party whip on the government’s forthcoming legislation will be dealt with:Border pollOn the issue of a united Ireland and a border poll, which his party recently called for, Adams acknowledged that the “majority of the people in the North don’t want a united Ireland”.“Unionists don’t want a united Ireland so we’re not running away from that issue. That’s a challenge for us to persuade [them],” he said.He said that a border poll – which a recent opinion poll found would be rejected by voters in the North – was not something that would be “foisted” by the Sinn Féin hierarchy but insisted it was part of the Good Friday Agreement.“Let’s continue the debate, let’s set a date, and let’s give the people their say on this big issue,” he said.Adams added: “Of course the British government will try to avoid a border poll unless an Irish government lives up to its responsibilities.“Constitutionally the government is obliged to work for a united Ireland and it’s not enough for the Taoiseach to say it’s inevitable. He has to work for it as well.”Sinn Féin in oppositionAdams also said that his party was fundamentally opposed to austerity and the general policies of the government.But he insisted that despite claims to the contrary there were some things the government is doing that Sinn Féin actually supports:More from TheJournal.ie’s extensive interview with Gerry Adams:‘I’ll certainly lead Sinn Féin into the next election’There were TDs intoxicated on night of promissory note debate, Adams claimsOn Twitter: I don’t mind if people think my tweeting is weirdOther Leader Interviews: Fianna Fáil’s Micheál Martin SINN FÉIN PRESIDENT Gerry Adams has said that Taoiseach Enda Kenny should earn the same salary as a working TD and believes that the new Croke Park deal is only “tinkering with those at the top”.In a wide-ranging interview with TheJournal.ie at Leinster House last week, Adams said that he expects his TDs to vote as one on any legislation for the X Case on abortion and also acknowledged that most people in the North do not want a united Ireland.Adams said that the negotiated successor to the Croke Park deal on public sector pay and reform was not a good deal but said it was up to the trade unions to decide whether or not they want to accept the proposals.The Louth TD said: “The fact is there was an opportunity for the government to take a different position and that was to bring in a wealth tax, to bring in an extra tax for those who are earning over €100,000.”‘Tinkering at the top’He said that the government was “tinkering with those at the top” in its decision to reduce the pay of those earning over €65,000 by between 5.5 and 10 per cent.“If you take eight per cent off a nurse you’re taking a huge amount out of that nurse’s salary. If you take eight or ten per cent off something that the Taoiseach’s earning he can live with that without any problem whatsoever,” Adams said.He said that Sinn Féin would introduce a wealth tax and a temporary third tax band in order to raise the type of savings that the government is seeking through the public sector pay deal and said that the Taoiseach should be on an ordinary TD’s salary:On the issue of abortion Adams said that he resented the belief that legislating for the Supreme Court verdict in the  X Case – which provides for abortion where a woman’s life is at risk including risk of suicide – would be exploited.“That has not been my experience of Irish women,” he said. “I just think that’s scaremongering, it’s hysterical and it’s just not respectful of women.No women that I know, and I’m sure this goes for all women, ever wants to have an abortion or to terminate their pregnancy. No woman wants to do that.last_img read more

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Windows 8 Release Preview can be upgraded for 40

first_imgMicrosoft’s introductory Windows 8 upgrade offer is a pretty sweet deal. Through January 31, 2013 owners of a licensed copy of Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 7 can purchase Windows 8 for just $40. But there’s an interesting twist to the offer that wasn’t previously announced. It turns out that the discounted upgrade is going be offered to users of the Windows 8 Release Preview, too.That’s an even better deal, since the Preview doesn’t cost anything. That means if you’ve built your own computer or have  a machine running an alternative OS, you’re not necessarily stuck paying full price for an OEM or retail copy of Windows 8.There’s a slight downside, however. You won’t be able to migrate all of your data during the upgrade process. If you’ve used the Windows Store to install apps, they’ll be easy enough to reinstall and your personal files and settings will be moved over, too. Desktop apps and games won’t be moved, and you may lose your preferences for some programs — depending on where their settings files are saved.It’s a small price to pay to get your hands on a fully licensed copy of Windows 8 Pro (and the optional Media Center Pack)… for a small price.According to Computerworld, this isn’t a U.S.-only offer, either. Windows 8 Release Preview users in more than 30 countries will be able to take advantage of the savings when the upgrade is released to manufacturers later this year.One stipulation worth noting is that Microsoft is putting a cap of 5 upgrades per user. They haven’t clarified how this will be done yet, but if you’re planning on moving a whole fleet of machines to Windows 8 you might need to use a backup credit card and email address.More at Computerworldlast_img read more

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Sky Sports News presenter who covered Ireland football internationals passes away aged

first_img Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Subscribe Short URL Robertson passed away on Wednesday. 95,223 Views “Sorry to hear the news of the passing of Fraser Robertson,” Given tweeted.“Did lots of interviews with him over the years (Great man). Way to young to pass, thoughts and prayers with his family and friends.”David Jones, who currently presents with the network, added: “So sad to have lost Fraser Robertson so young.“A journalist always committed to the cause, digging and eager to get the stories. Full of energy off camera too and on the golf course. Thoughts with his family at a terrible time.”Subscribe to our new podcast, The42 Rugby Weekly, here: https://the42.ie/4552859 Share135 Tweet Email1 Wednesday 20 Mar 2019, 7:02 PMcenter_img Mar 20th 2019, 7:02 PM Sky Sports News presenter who covered Ireland football internationals passes away aged 47 Fraser Robertson was known for his coverage of Ireland international football games in recent years. SKY SPORTS NEWS presenter Fraser Robertson has died at the age of 47.The Scottish journalist is remembered fondly for his coverage of Republic of Ireland international games throughout recent years.Ireland manager Mick McCarthy, who’s tenure in charge of the national team Robertson covered, paid tribute on Wednesday.“It’s very sad. I really feel for his family,” McCarthy said.“He was a great lad, I used to laugh with him because he used to always end his reports with that ‘Sky Sports News’ line. I always repeated it to him any time I saw him.“Its just very, very sad and my thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”Gutted we have lost Fraser Robertson at such a young age. A journalist with integrity, enthusiasm and who cared passionately about @SkySportsNews. Rest in peace, Fraser, you were an inspiration. pic.twitter.com/HL6iblbh6F— Bryan Swanson (@skysports_bryan) March 20, 2019 By Aaron Gallagher 7 Comments Robertson passed away on Wednesday. Former Sky Sports presenter David Tanner also remembered his friend on Wednesday, saying: “I’m heartbroken that Fraser Robertson, my oldest pal in journalism, has died.“We met at Napier Uni as kids and grew up together at STV & Sky. He’s always been there, always wearing that big grin.“A fine journalist with an eye for a story, never happier than when offering help to teammates: generously sharing his time, vast knowledge and ideas.“Fraz loved sport and TV, working in both gave him structure in life, especially after his comeback from major illness.“We’ve lost a lovely man. I can’t believe he’s gone and I’m so terribly sad for his family.”Former Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given, who represented the national team between 1996 and 2016 also paid his respects.I’m heartbroken that Fraser Robertson, my oldest pal in journalism, has died.We met at Napier Uni as kids and grew up together at STV & Sky.He’s always been there, always wearing that big grin.A fine journalist with an eye for a story, never happier than when offering help… pic.twitter.com/U5gGZKgqGN— David Tanner (@DavidTannerTV) March 20, 2019last_img read more

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Mood upbeat as troika returns

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram At the end of another tense week for Greece, the mood within the government appeared to be one of cautious optimism and relief on Thursday as foreign officials returned to resume their audit of Greek finances and Germany’s parliament approved a European bailout fund. Addressing a cabinet meeting, Prime Minister George Papandreou thanked party cadres for taking the “difficult but necessary” decision of backing a controversial new property tax in a parliamentary vote on Tuesday – a move widely believed to have convinced foreign auditors of the government’s resolve – and stressed that his administration’s priority remained the implementation of a second Greek bailout, hammered out as part of a broader eurozone rescue fund in July by European leaders. “It goes without saying how crucial this agreement is for our country,” said Papandreou, who was due in Paris Friday to meet with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy. “These are decisions taken after months of negotiation, based on the sacrifices of the Greek people,” he said. Germany’s parliament on Thursday became the latest eurozone member state to ratify the fund, whose implementation would be a major step toward tackling the bloc’s broadening debt crisis. In a related development, Germany’s Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said that a decision on whether to release the sixth tranche of bailout loans to Greece, valued at 8 billion euros, would be taken on October 13. In an interview with German weekly Die Zeit, Schaeuble said Greece should be given more time to sort out its fiscal shortcomings. Papandreou told Thursday’s cabinet meeting, which focused on a new tax system being finalized and on a scheme to slash the public sector, that the new reforms were bound to provoke more political and social upheaval. “No one should take advantage of the pain of the Greek people which we are only too mindful of,” said the premier. There were some tense moments during the meeting, notably when Justice Minister Miltiadis Papaioannou accused Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos of “shilly-shallying” over a new policy obliging taxpayers to submit half their annual income’s worth of receipts with their tax returns. Source: Kathimerinilast_img read more

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Keylor Navas will not leave Real Madrid

first_imgReal Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas has no intention of leaving, despite the club’s pursuit of Thibaut CourtoisThe Champions League holders are believed to have had a breakthrough in their negotiations with Chelsea over the signing of their first-choice goalkeeper with a fee of €35m having been reportedly agreed on.But Maurizio Sarri’s side have delayed the sale of Courtois due to the fact that they need to find a replacement first, before they can sanction the sale.Meanwhile, Navas has been the number one goalkeeper at Real for the past three seasons but has always had to deal with constant speculation over being replaced by a more high-profile player.In fact, the Costa Rica international was close to joining Manchester United in 2015 as part of an exchange deal for David De Gea before the deal sensationally fell through due to technical problems in sending the paperwork.Sergio Ramos, Real MadridZidane reveals Sergio Ramos injury concern for Real Madrid Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane has put Sergio Ramos’ availability for Real Madrid’s trip to Sevilla next weekend in doubt after withdrawing him against Levante.Zinedine Zidane had chosen to stand by Navas and maintained faith in him throughout his two-and-a-half years in charge at Real.But now the Frenchman is gone, Navas has lost his greatest ally at Real and appears set to lose his spot in the team for the new season.The most likely candidate that will force the 31-year-old out of the line-up is Courtois, who appears set to join Real soon.But AS have reported that Navas is determined to fight for his place at Real and has no plans on leaving.last_img read more

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NonGMO Labeling Bill Gathers Steam CoSponsors

first_imgLegislation introduced by Reps. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) and G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) is gaining momentum in the House as it attracts additional co-sponsors from diverse districts around the country. The Pompeo-Butterfield bill is a key priority for the American Soybean Association (ASA) in the 114th Congress, as it would set a voluntary national framework for the labeling of foods containing GMOs.Most importantly, the bill would establish a single, national non-GMO label overseen by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, which would give consumers the information they want without unnecessarily demonizing modern agricultural technology.ASA and fellow members of the Coalition for Safe, Affordable Food met this week with prospective co-sponsors, even as more lawmakers signed on to the bill. Currently, there are 28 co-sponsors of the bill, including 19 Republicans and nine Democrats. ASA urges all members to continue reaching out to their representatives to encourage co-sponsorship.last_img read more

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New buses carry BG Hockinson students

first_imgStarting on Wednesday, north county drivers may notice dozens of brand-new school buses plying Battle Ground and Hockinson district routes.And, soon, Panama residents will see a similar fleet upgrade.In its fourth year of contract service for Battle Ground Public Schools, the Petermann Northwest firm will introduce 41 new models, fresh off the Thomas Built Buses assembly line in High Point, N.C.That’s a big share of the daily fleet of about 113 buses used to ferry more than half of the district’s 13,000 or so students roughly 10,170 combined miles each school day.An additional 18 replacement buses, included in the same joint purchase, will serve Hockinson School District students. That’s exactly half of Hockinson’s 36-bus fleet.Thirty-eight of the 41 Battle Ground buses are full-size. Each runs about 40 feet long with a 72-passenger capacity. There are three new mini-buses.All come with interior cameras and GPS units. The entire Battle Ground fleet has been retrofitted to add the cameras and global positioning system devices.Cost for each full-size bus is pegged by the Washington state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction at about $87,500 pre-tax, and $96,000 post-tax.Petermann is then reimbursed by the state each year for one-thirteenth of the total price, over an expected 13-year service life.To make way for the new purchase, Petermann put 39 older models purchased from about 1996 to 1998 up for online auction. (The district has 139 buses total.) A single buyer snatched them up, for a city bus system in Panama, said Mike Gately, Petermann general manager.last_img read more

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High school shooting victim mourned

first_imgEmilio Hoffman was prone to pranks and the kind of mischief that drove teachers crazy. He often woke his foster brother up in the middle of the night just to share a bowl of cereal. The Troutdale teen scrunched his face up in self-portraits.“He was actually a pest,” said his father, Abraham Gallardo.And they adored him.The 14-year-old hated to see people sad, friends and family said at his funeral Sunday afternoon. Every prank, every silly-faced selfie was intended to make people laugh.“You couldn’t help but smile when he smiled,” said Jesse Slick, Emilio’s sixth-grade teacher at Reynolds Arthur Academy. “If you were down in the dumps, he lifted you up.”It’s been nearly two weeks since Hoffman was fatally shot in the Reynolds High School locker room. On Tuesday, June 10, a 15-year-old freshman brought two guns, nine ammunition magazines and a large knife to the school, apparently prepared to shoot many more.“The questions play over and over in my head: Why?” said Emilio’s mother, Jennifer Hoffman. “I would give anything to know the answer.”last_img read more

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