Researchers honoured for identifying Newfoundland curse

first_imgST. JOHN’S, N.L. – A research team was honoured Wednesday for identifying the cause of the “Newfoundland curse” — a deadly heart condition that has afflicted Newfoundland families for centuries.The condition, known to the medical community as arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy, is a genetic cardiac muscle disorder that often shows no symptoms before sudden cardiac arrest.A team from Memorial University of Newfoundland received the Governor General’s Innovation Award for leading research that identified the genetic mutation and the cause of the lethal heart attacks.The team also developed a blood screening test for people at risk.“It really is a life-saving kind of research endeavour,” said Daryl Pullman, who is being honoured along with fellow researchers Terry-Lynn Young, Kathy Hodgkinson and Sean Connors.“We’re accepting the award on behalf of many others, on behalf of the many families who have participated, coming forward to donate their samples and their histories.”ARVC affects people worldwide, but there is a concentration in Newfoundland, where the mutation has already been specifically linked to more than two dozen families.Many people with the condition feel perfectly healthy before the first fatal heart attack.Eighty per cent of men and 20 per cent of women with ARVC die by age 50. Pullman said it has claimed the lives of men in their late teens and early twenties.As well as developing a blood test to detect the previously hidden condition, the team also developed a preventative treatment for the disease.Connors, a cardiologist, developed a small defibrillator to be inserted into the heart that can recognize abnormal rhythms and restore the heart to its regular pattern before a heart attack can happen.Pullman said the award recognizes work that began two decades ago.Hodgkinson was working with families in Newfoundland and Labrador, collecting their blood samples and family stories, when she learned that similar research had already begun. Researchers from Texas had visited the province and left with blood samples and personal medical information, but never reported back with their findings.Pullman, a medical ethics professor, came on board to tackle the ethical oversight aspect of the project. He helped create unique legislation in Newfoundland and Labrador that requires all medical research done in the province to be reviewed locally.“It was a major issue for us in Newfoundland. Researchers were coming from outside the province, taking valuable information with them, but not sharing it with local people,” said Pullman.The Memorial University findings are being shared with medical practitioners in other parts of the world where the cause of ARVC has long baffled families and physicians.Pullman says there are still more pieces of the puzzle to figure out. For example, it’s still unknown why women are less severely affected than men, despite carrying the same genetic mutation.But Pullman is hopeful that further research will uncover more of the science behind this longstanding medical mystery, and lead to more lives saved.“You hear a story about a single vehicle accident on a nice clear summer day, a car went off the road for no apparent reason, and the driver’s dead, and I immediately wonder, ‘I wonder if that’s ARVC, that’s some person who has this condition,’” said Pullman.“So there’s still work to be done.”last_img read more

Female dies after being in Police custody in Dawson Creek

first_imgThe IIO has commenced an investigation into the incident to determine what role, if any, the officers’ actions or inaction may have played in the death of the female.The IIO is the independent civilian oversight agency of the police in British Columbia. It investigates all officer-related incidents that result in serious harm or death, whether or not there is any allegation of wrongdoing. DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. will be deployed to Dawson Creek after a female went into medical distress while in RCMP custody.The IIO of B.C. says that April 13, 2019, members of the Dawson Creek RCMP arrested a male and female and transported them to cells as a result of an ongoing investigation..@iiobc IIO Deploys to Incident in Dawson Creek (2019-067) https://t.co/2q4baK2V8E— IIOBC (@iiobc) April 14, 2019Later that morning, due to the behaviour of the female, Emergency Health Services were requested. On arrival, the female went into medical distress and was transported to the hospital in Dawson Creek. Medical assistance was given, but the female was airlifted to Prince George Regional Hospital and was pronounced deceased in the early hours of April 14, 2019.last_img read more

Police Arrest 9th Suspect Linked to ProISIS Cell Dismantled in Morocco

Rabat – The Ministry of Interior announced the arrest of a new suspect connected to an eight-member terrorist cell dismantled on Thursday in Tangier and Oued Zem, a city in the Khouribga Province.While investigations are underway to arrest other suspects in connection with the dismantled terror cell, security officials have managed to arrest another suspect for his alleged involvement in the said cell. According to initial investigations carried out by the Central Office for Judicial Research, which is affiliated to the General Directorate for Territorial Surveillance of Morocco (DGST), the ninth suspect was arrested while in the process of obtaining financial aid from members his arrested cohort for the acquisition of materials involved in the preparation of IEDs (simple bombs made and used by unofficial or unauthorized forces). The ministry statement added that the suspects were plotting to exploit a deserted area owned by one of the detainees in order to manufacture bombs, with the greater view to undermine the stability of several places across the country.The statement concluded that the suspects will be presented before the court after investigations that have been carried out under the supervision of the public prosecutor.On Thursday, the Ministry of Interior announced the arrest of an eight-member cell in the cities of Oued Zem and in Tangier. All members were between the ages of 21 and 31 years old. The Counterterrorism Bureau (BCIJ) seized a shotgun, ammunition, knives, paramilitary clothing, computer equipment, and ISIS propaganda documents in the process of the arrest operation. read more

Midwives needed now more than ever UN agency says as it marks

6 May 2010Three million newborns and hundreds of thousands of women die each year because they lack access to maternity health services and skilled midwifery care, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said on the occasion of International Day of the Midwife. Three million newborns and hundreds of thousands of women die each year because they lack access to maternity health services and skilled midwifery care, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said on the occasion of International Day of the Midwife.“No woman should die trying to give life. Increased investment is needed to provide midwifery skills and life saving services and to make midwives a priority within health programmes, policies and budgets,” said Thoraya Obaid, Executive Director of UNFPA, in a joint statement issued yesterday with Agneta Bridges, the head of the International Confederation of Midwives.“The world needs midwives now more than ever to protect the lives of women and babies,” the statement said as it marked the Day, which is observed on 5 May.Midwives can prevent up to 90 per cent of maternal deaths where they are authorized to practice their competencies and play a full role during pregnancy, childbirth and after birth, according to the UNFPA. They can also help lower long-term illness effects brought on obstetric fistula, a severe medical condition where a hole or fistula develops after severe or failed childbirth.In addition, midwives provide information on family planning, counselling, and prevention of HIV transmission from mother to child.Reducing maternal mortality ratio, cutting the mortality rate among children under five and halving the spread of HIV are three of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which world leaders agreed to reach by 2015. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will host a special thematic session on accelerating progress towards the MDGs during the high-level General Assembly debate in September in New York. read more

Toronto stock index racks up minor gain as loonie and the price

TORONTO — Falling energy shares weren’t enough to drag Canada’s main stock market into the red, as BlackBerry Ltd. and Bombardier Inc. provided some of the lift.The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 8.59 points to 15,618.25.“Overall, it’s a flat day for the TSX,” said Michael Currie, vice-president of TD Wealth Private Investment Advice. “But I think we’re seeing a bit of a reversal and a little bit of profit taking in some places.”The information technology subsector was a top performer, anchored by a nearly 13 per cent increase for BlackBerry stock (TSX:BB) after it reported record software and services revenue on Thursday. Shares were up $1.47 to $13.00 at the close of markets.A bright spot for industrials was Bombardier (TSX:BBD.B). Its shared closed up 11 cents, or 5.24 per cent, to $2.21 — a reversal from the day before when they fell 7.49 per cent after investors weighed the prospect of a 220 per cent duty on U.S. sales of its flagship CSeries passenger jets and the European merger of its railway rivals Siemens and Alstom.Meanwhile, oil and gas companies fell 0.84 per cent on the commodity-heavy TSX as oil prices tumbled.The November crude contract gave back 58 cents to US$51.56 per barrel.South of the border, it was a positive day on Wall Street despite meagre movements.The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 40.49 points to 22,381.20 and the Nasdaq composite index inched up 0.19 of a point to 6,453.45.The S&P 500 index added 3.02 points to 2,510.06, hitting a record high. September is historically the weakest month of the year for stocks, but the S&P 500 has risen 1.6 per cent this month.In currency markets, the Canadian dollar was trading at an average price of 80.32 cents US, down 0.25 of a cent.Elsewhere in commodities, the December gold contract was up 90 cents to US$1,288.70 an ounce.The November natural gas contract gave back four cents at US$3.02 per mmBTU and the December copper contract added five cents to US$2.98 a pound.Follow @DaveHTO on Twitter. read more

Keepers of Norfolk culture

Art Hayward accepts the Group Dogwood Award from Councillor Michael Columbus on behalf of the Norfolk Remembers Committee. (ASHLEY TAYLOR/SIMCOE REFORMER) Councillor Michael Columbus alongside Lifetime Achievement Award winner John B. Lee at the Dogwood Awards event on May 29. (ASHLEY TAYLOR/SIMCOE REFORMER) Councillor Ian Rabbits with Youth Award winner Abi Boatright at the Dogwood Awards on May 29. (ASHLEY TAYLOR/SIMCOE REFORMER) John B. Lee giving his acceptance speech after being given the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Dogwood Awards on May 29. (ASHLEY TAYLOR/SIMCOE REFORMER) Dogwood Award winners John b. Lee, Abi Boatright, Mary Jane Kekes, Art Hayward, Heather King, David Stelptra, Jim Nicholls, and Mary Caughill. The award ceremony took place May 29 at the Delhi Tobacco Museum. (ASHLEY TAYLOR/SIMCOE REFORMER) Members of the Norfolk Remembers Committee accept their Dogwood Award from Councillors Michael Columbus and Ian Rabbitts. Members from left are Art Hayward, Heather King, David Stelpstra, Beverley Slater, Jim Nicholls, and Trevor Delvaux. (ASHLEY TAYLOR/SIMCOE REFORMER) In a building full of Norfolk’s history, members of the Norfolk community were recognized for their efforts in preserving Norfolk’s culture.The 2019 Dogwood Awards, named after Norfolk’s official flower, were held at the Delhi Tobacco Museum on Wednesday night. The event was led by Melissa Collver, director of heritage and culture for Norfolk County.“Norfolk’s lively heritage and culture community has been built on the tireless efforts of countless dedicated individuals and groups, and it is a privilege to work with them,” said Collver. “What a wonderful way tonight is to end May is Museum Month.”Awards were handed out for youth, individual, group and lifetime achievement.Abi Boatright, a Grade 10 student at Waterford District High School, was the recipient of the youth award.Boatright began her interest in Norfolk as a young camper at the Waterford Heritage & Agricultural Museum (WHAM) program. Boatright now is involved in WHAM, Waterford Old Town Hall, her school’s student council, along with multiple sports teams, music, and drama clubs. With her involvement in all of these activities she is still able to maintain a 95 per cent average in her classes.“I feel really honoured to be accepting this award. I really appreciate being recognized,” said Boatright. “I really enjoy all of the different experiences, and all of the different people I get to meet.”Boatright said her drive to participate in the community so extensively is the opportunity to share experiences.“It’s just to get to enjoy and experience as many different things as I can in this county, and in the process be able to meet others and share the experience with others within the community.”Two individual awards were delivered, one to Mary Caughill, and the other to Mary Jane Kekes.Caughill is involved in the Norfolk Heritage Committee (NHC), serving as chair for the committee, the Vittoria and District Foundation, and volunteers with multiple different organizations, including the Norfolk County Archives at the museum.Caughhill is active in the NHC, creating requests to be reviewed by council regarding historic significance of buildings, participating in site visits, and presentations at community events.Caughill sits on many committees involving Vittoria, and has conducted walking tours of Simcoe.“She is thoughtful, yet passionate in her approach,” said Collver.Kekes is active in the Delhi community, as a member of the Hungarian Hall, acting as president for a few years, and is now president of the Multicultural Heritage Association.“It’s wonderful, it means the world to me. It came as a real surprise,” said Kekes. “I’ve made so many wonderful friends through all of the organizations I belong to. I’m so proud of my heritage.”Kekes took a moment to consider the biggest highlight of her volunteering career.“Being part of the Multicultural Heritage Association is very special because it began with Reverend (Laszlo) Pandy many years ago, and I was so close to the Pandy family. To carry on his legacy means a lot to me,” said Kekes.The group award was given to Norfolk Remembers Committee, which has published a series of books about the soldiers from Norfolk that have risked or given their lives for the freedom of everyone in Norfolk. Art Hayward accepted the award on behalf of the committee.Members of the committee in attendance were Hayward, Heather King, David Stelptra, Beverley Slater, Jim Nicholls, and Trevor Delvaux.King said she had only been the CEO of the library for two weeks when she was approached by members of the committee with the idea of writing and publishing the first book of their series.“I am overwhelmed that our committee has been honoured with the 2019 Norfolk County Heritage and Culture Dogwood Group Award,” Grant Smith, Norfolk Remembers Committee member, said in an earlier press release. “I can remember sitting in a Grade 1 class in Delhi in 1946 and learning that the trillium was our provincial flower and that the dogwood was our county flower, and now we can place a dogwood pin beside the poppy and the lapel pin of the 133rd Norfolk Battalion.”Smith was unable to attend the event.The lifetime achievement award was presented to John B. Lee, a retired educator and a poet laureate for Norfolk County.Many of Lee’s poems are inspired by living in Norfolk County. He has written poems about sunbathers along Lake Erie, and special finds from Norfolk.Lee inspired and established the Poet’s Garden at the Port Dover branch of the library, and the annual tree planting on the grounds to honour writers.“What an honour to be here amongst my fellow Norfolkians,” said Lee. “It means a great deal to me to be honoured. They say a prophet is never honoured in his home, and I can hear my wife saying ‘who said you were a prophet?’”“If I can make a prophecy of Norfolk, it will flourish as long as it has people like yourselves in its midst,” Lee said to the crowd.astaylor@postmedia.com  Mary Jane Kekes says a few words after recieving her Dogwood Award on May 29. Beside her is Councillor Ian Rabbitts. (ASHLEY TAYLOR/SIMCOE REFORMER) Councillor Michael Columbus with Dogwood Award winner Mary Caughill on May 29. (ASHLEY TAYLOR/SIMCOE REFORMER) read more

25 million displaced persons still need protection and aid UN rights commission

Although the crisis of internal displacement remained daunting, the international community appeared resolved, and was certainly better equipped, to respond commensurately, Francis Deng, Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Representative on internally displaced persons, told the Geneva-based Commission as it began its discussion of the rights of specific groups and individuals, including migrant workers, minorities, mass exoduses and displaced persons and other vulnerable groups and individuals.Mr. Deng noted that in 2003 the number of people forced from their homes remained at 25 million because while some 3 million people were able to return to their areas of origin in places such as Angola, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina and parts of Indonesia, an equal number were newly displaced. Most of them were in Africa – including in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Sudan and Uganda – and in Colombia, Myanmar and the Aceh region in Indonesia.Mr. Deng said the challenge was to be effective and comprehensive on the ground, where the needs of displaced populations for protection and assistance were real and pressing. What should be avoided was complacency and pessimism.In a separate briefing, Hessa Khalifa bin-Ahmed al-Thani, the Commission for Social Development’s Special Rapporteur on disability, said that the past 10 years had seen steady progress in dealing with disability as a human rights issue.She told the Commission the Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities adopted by the General Assembly in 1993 had served as an authoritative guide for countries in implementing disability programming and developing national plans and policies to ensure that persons with disabilities were brought from the margins of society into the mainstream of the economic, social, cultural, civil and political lives of their communities.The Special Rapporteur recalled that the UN General Assembly had begun in 2001 a process of discussing the adoption of a treaty on the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities. The elaboration of a new convention and the integration of disability into the work of existing human rights mechanisms should be seen as complementary approaches, she added. This so-called multi-track approach, which also included the continued efforts to address the social development dimension of the problems faced by persons with disabilities, had received broad support in the international community. read more

TSX heads sharply lower amid falling commodity prices weak US retail data

TSX heads sharply lower amid falling commodity prices, weak U.S. retail data TORONTO – The Toronto stock market sold off Friday as concerns about the strength of the world’s biggest economy raised demand worries and helped send oil and metal prices tumbling.The S&P/TSX composite index dropped 143.79 points to 12,337.59.Falling commodities helped push the Canadian dollar down 0.3 of a cent to 98.64 cents US.U.S. indexes recouped most of earlier losses resulting from earnings disappointments from banks and a reading on March retail sales that missed expectations.The Dow Jones industrials dipped 0.08 of a point to 14,865.06 as U.S. retail sales for March were down 0.4 per cent. Economists had expected a flat reading following a 1.1 per cent rise in February.The weak showing indicated that higher taxes and weak hiring have made consumers more cautious about spending.An increase in Social Security taxes, which kicked in on Jan. 1, has lowered take-home pay this year for nearly all workers. Someone earning $50,000 has about $1,000 less to spend in 2013.“I had been a little puzzled as to why the markets haven’t been paying more attention to this story because it’s a very big dollar item,” said Robert Gorman, chief portfolio strategist at TD Waterhouse.“Increased payroll taxes (are) coming off the bottom line for most people, and they’re having to make choices and so, things… that you can defer are being deferred.”The Nasdaq composite index declined 5.21 points to 3,294.95 while the S&P 500 index was down 4.52 points to 1,588.85.Gains this week have pushed the Dow industrials and the S&P 500 index further into record territory. However, traders wonder if the rally, which has gone on non-stop all year, is looking a bit stretched.The TSX is now back in negative territory for the year, down flat for the week and with a decline of 0.77 per cent for the year so far.The Dow industrials finished the week up 2.05 per cent, or about 13 per cent year to date and the S&P is ahead about 11 per cent so far in 2013.But analysts think the TSX faces greater challenges since it is so weighted in favour of energy and mining companies.Those sectors put in a weak showing Friday as prices for commodities further declined in the wake of the weak U.S. retail data.The gold sector led decliners, down about six per cent as June bullion fell $63.50 to US$1,501.40 an ounce.Gold has fallen this week by almost five per cent after Goldman Sachs dropped its forecast for 2013 to US$1,545 an ounce, down from a prior forecast of $1,610. Also, minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting showed members were at odds about when to stop quantitative easing.The program, involving printing more money to buy bonds, has had a depressive effect on the U.S. dollar in the past and helped hike gold prices since bullion is seen as an inflation hedge.“Without an immediate crisis and with risk of a financial meltdown fading, the haven component of gold pricing continues to erode, while a slow global economy and falling commodity prices reduce the need for an inflation hedge,” said Colin Cieszynski, market analyst at CMC Markets Canada.Goldcorp Inc. (TSX:G) gave back $1.44 to C$30.77.Barrick Gold (TSX:ABX) faded $2.06 or 8.24 per cent to $22.94. Barrick shares have been under particularly selling pressure this week, tumbling nine per cent on Wednesday after a Chilean court suspended its Pascua-Lama mine after indigenous communities complained that the project is threatening their water supply and polluting glaciers.The energy sector fell 1.95 per cent as May crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange dropped $2.22 to US$91.29 a barrel.Oil continued to lose traction after the International Energy Agency lowered its forecast for global oil demand in 2013 by 45,000 barrels to 90.6 million barrels a day. Its predictions were similar to those made earlier this week by OPEC and the U.S. Energy Department. Canadian Natural Resources (TSX:CNQ) shed $1.21 to C$31.28 while Cenovus Energy (TSX:CVE) fell 51 cents to $30.43.May copper stepped back eight cents to US$3.33 a pound and the base metals sector declined 2.92 per cent. Rio Alto Mining (TSX:RIO) was down 27 cents at C$4.33 and Teck Resources (TSX:TCK.B) dropped 56 cents to $28.14.Weakness spread across all TSX sectors with the tech sector down one per cent as CGI Group (TSX:GIB.A) down 95 cents to $26.19.Shares in BlackBerry (TSX:BB) edged three cents higher to $13.85 after the smartphone maker said it will file a formal complaint with Canadian and U.S. securities regulators about a “false and misleading” analyst report that the BlackBerry Z10 touchscreen devices are being returned in unusually high numbers. The Canadian company and U.S. carrier Verizon Wireless are disputing the report.Traders also got their first look at earnings from American banks in the first quarter.Shares in JPMorgan Chase were down 30 cents to US$49.01 as the bank made US$6.1 billion in the quarter, after stripping out payments to preferred shareholders. That was up 34 per cent from a year ago and amounted to $1.59 per share, 20 cents better than forecast.Revenue was down three per cent from a year ago to $25.8 billion, after stripping out the effect of an accounting charge. That beat analysts’ estimates of $25.7 billion.The TSX Venture Exchange lost 25.92 points to 1,022.61. by Malcolm Morrison, The Canadian Press Posted Apr 12, 2013 8:14 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Federal approval for Site C sparks outrage from First Nations advocacy groups

Federal approval for Site C sparks outrage from First Nations, advocacy groups by Geordon Omand, The Canadian Press Posted Aug 1, 2016 1:55 pm MDT Last Updated Aug 1, 2016 at 7:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email VANCOUVER – First Nations, landowners and environmental groups are accusing Justin Trudeau of reneging on promises made during last year’s election campaign as the federal government quietly authorizes construction to ramp up for a controversial hydroelectric dam proposed for northeastern British Columbia.In a permitting document issued without fanfare late Friday before the August long weekend, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Transport Canada authorized B.C.’s power utility to move ahead with Site C.This includes building the actual kilometre-long earthfill dam, along with the spillways, drainage tunnels and generating stations and, ultimately, permission to divert the Peace River and flood what will become an 83-kilometre reservoir.Site C is a $9-billion megaproject that BC Hydro says will provide British Columbia with clean, renewable electricity for more than a century starting in 2020, though the proposal faces steadfast opposition from various groups over its environmental impact and a lack of consultation.“If this were the Harper government, I wouldn’t be surprised at all,” said Ken Boon of the Peace Valley Landowner Association, adding that he was both shocked and disappointed by the news.“(Trudeau) ran on a platform of doing things a new way, and having a nation-to-nation relationship with First Nations, and having greater environmental awareness,” he added. “And then we get this.”Boon’s organization filed a lawsuit against Site C, which has since been rejected, though an appeal is pending.By BC Hydro’s estimates, the Site C reservoir would expand the Peace River up to three times its width and flood 5,340 hectares of land, seven per cent of which is privately owned.In an email, BC Hydro confirmed permits had been issued for the project by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, as well as Transport Canada, which also authorize operating the facility for the next 50 years.“Site C is a complex project with many different elements and the permits are an important part of construction proceeding as planned,” wrote spokeswoman Simi Heer. “There are more than 1,500 people working on the project and it is on time and on budget.”The Department of Fisheries and Oceans did not respond to a request for comment.Stewart Phillip, head of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, described the approval as a bitter disappointment, especially in light of Canada’s pledge announced earlier this year to embrace the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.“It represents an absolute betrayal of all of the commitments and promises Prime Minister Trudeau made during the last election,” Phillip said.“We’re not the least bit impressed with Trudeau’s actions in comparison to his lofty public platitudes. There’s certainly a vast difference between the two.”The project is the subject of multiple legal challenges, from First Nations, landowners and environmental groups alike. But last week’s authorization means construction of the megaproject won’t be held up while grievances make their way through the courts, including an appeal court decision on a Treaty 8 First Nations lawsuit that is expected this September.Caleb Behn, a Treaty 8 member and the executive director of the advocacy group Keepers of the Water, described the permit approval as a politically motivated decision that reinforced the Trudeau Liberals’ business-as-usual approach to First Nations relations.“We are the heart and soul of the oil and gas economy in this country. We have given coal. We have given oil. We have given trees. My dad went to residential school. We gave souls,” Behn said in an interview.“And this is how you’re going to treat us in the 21st century? This is the kind of hypocrisy that makes me question the wisdom of my ancestors choosing to sign on to treaties.”Behn predicted Site C will be a hot topic in next year’s provincial election.— Follow @gwomand on Twitter read more

UNESCO launches plan to safeguard Yemens cultural heritage sites

“It is evident that the destruction of their culture directly affects the identity, dignity and future of the Yemeni people, and moreover their ability to believe in the future,” UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova said when the plan was announced.The Emergency Action Plan for the Safeguarding of Yemen’s Cultural Heritage was announced upon the conclusion of a two-day expert meeting over this past weekend held at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, and aims to respond to the recent widespread destruction of important heritage sites and museums caused by the conflict. The Action Plan is also seen within the leading role UNESCO is undertaking to coordinate an international response through the Global Coalition and the Unite4Heritage campaign.Ms. Bokova appealed for funding for the plan, saying “it is clear that local government does not have the resources to undertake these efforts alone.”According to UNESCO, cultural heritage sites in ancient cities such as Sana’a, Aden, Taez, Zabid, Saa’da and Marib have been heavily affected in the conflict in Yemen, mostly through collateral damage, but the intentional destruction of ancient tombs was reported to have occurred, for the first time, in Hadramout, last July.Sana’a, for example, has been inhabited for more than 2,500 years. The religious and political heritage can be seen in the 103 mosques, 14 hammams and over 6,000 houses, all built before the 11th century. Three cultural World Heritage properties (Old Walled City of Shibam, Old City of Sana’a, Historic Town of Zabid) are now inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Old City of Sana’a and the historic centre of Saa’da were hit by shelling and gravely damaged, UNESCO said. read more

Adder population could nearly vanish within two decades

“When surveyors visit these sites, they typically record fewer than 10 adders. Only 10 per cent of sites have large populations, which seem to be doing ok.”If these trends continue, within 10-20 years, adders will be restricted to just a few sites in the UK, significantly increasing the extinction risk for this priority species in Britain.”Although the scientists cannot say what the exact UK population of adders is, over the last 11 years “small population sites” have seen their numbers decline by 55 per cent.It is feared that human disturbance – including people trying to photograph them or vegetation being mechanically cut – could be contributing to their demise.The decline also has prompted concern for other species which depend on similar habitats. The adder is in danger of vanishing from the UK countryside within two decades, according to research by the University of Reading.The findings, published in The Herpetological Journal, are the culmination of 11 years of the venomous snake’s habitat being monitored across the UK by so-called ‘citizen scientists’.The data shows that 90 per cent of the adder population surveyed was in decline. Experts warn that if that trend continues adders could be restricted to just a handful of sites within just 10 to 20 years.Although concern has been growing among reptile experts for decades that the numbers of adders was is in decline, this latest study suggests the creatures are in “serious trouble”.The data was collected by Amphibian and Reptile Groups of the UK (ARG UK) through the ‘Make the Adder Count’ project, a citizen science survey set up in 2005. Adders are Britain's only venomous snake 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. Each spring, volunteers visited their local adder sites to count the numbers of animals, in order to assess whether populations were changing. Dr Emma Gardner, a researcher from the University of Reading, said: “Our analysis shows that 90 per cent of the sites surveyed have small populations and on average these small populations are declining. Adders are Britain’s only venomous snakeCredit:John Cancalosi/Photolibrary RM read more

Penny Mordaunt calls for more honesty as she pledges to take on

The Defence Secretary has said she will take on the Treasury to secure more money for the MoD, saying there should be more “honesty” about the cost of defence.Seeking to end the “vicious circle” of unfulfilled defence reviews, Penny Mordaunt said she was “determined” the equipment pledges made in 2015 are delivered.In her first speech as Defence Secretary, she announced a new policy to “lay the blueprint for how we use [the aircraft carriers] to deliver global Britain’s objectives around the world”.“I’m not going to be shy about asking for more money,” she said. The Treasury will not welcome or agree with her, she warned, but said: “I can promise though, that the Treasury will hear this message”.Speaking at the First Sea Lord’s last conference as head of the Royal Navy, she said the 2015 Defence review committed to buying eight new Type-26 Frigates, a further five Type 31E, two offshore patrol vessels and four nuclear-missile armed submarines.So far only three Type-26 ships, the offshore patrol vessels and the submarines have been ordered.“What is the point of methodically reviewing threats and tasks…and then not delivering it?” Ms Mordaunt asked. A recent review of MoD equipment programmes found average costs rose 35 per cent and delivery time by 45 per cent.In her speech, during which she mentioned former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher three times, Ms Mordaunt said this was not just costing time and money, “it’s damaging our operational effectiveness.“The old days of changing requirements on a whim and being vague about what we need in the long-term must end. Let’s have some honesty about what it will cost.”No detail was given about how Britain’s two new £6 billion aircraft carriers would be used and Ms Mordaunt would not repeat her predecessor’s controversial commitment to ordering HMS Queen Elizabeth to the Asia-Pacific region next year, a move that soured relations with Beijing.However, she said there would be no change to the MoD’s policy towards China, describing the country’s rise as a “challenge” and said she wanted the armed forces to be “more forward deployed” in future.“When HMS Prince of Wales joins the fleet in the near future we will have one carrier available at very high readiness at all times,” she said.“Our citizens want our nation to be able to affect and improve the world,” Ms Mordaunt said,“they want us to go and sort out problems”. There is widespread concern in defence circles as to whether the Type-31E ships be delivered for the £250 million the government says it is prepared to pay for them. The MoD hopes that the Type-31E will prove to be such a value-for-money ship that it will drive defence exports. Any increase to costs will be a blow to that aspiration. She called Britain’s new aircraft carriers “a mighty symbol of our intent”. 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

Garth Brooks has announced a FIFTH date at Croke Park

first_imgGARTH BROOKS will be playing a FIFTH date at Croke Park this summer.Tickets for the show on Tuesday July 29 – the fifth successive night after concerts on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday – are on sale now.The date was announced this morning after tickets for Brooks’ fourth show, which went on sale at 9am, sold out in minutes.If the fifth show sells out too, Brooks will play to a total of 400,000 people – or just under one-tenth of the population of the Republic of Ireland – over the giant comeback event.He’ll be needing one of these to call his mam so: Source: @KickFlipsIreland is very confused about how to spell Garth Brooks>Irish parents play the cruellest Garth Brooks prank on 10-year-old son>last_img

Hundreds gather in Dublin to protest Jobstown teens guilty verdict

first_imgAnother was the fact that he chanted ‘No way, we won’t pay’ and that he encouraged others to sit down.A post on the Socialist Party’s Facebook page last night warned: “If you tolerate this then your children will be next.”With reporting from Gráinne Ní AodhaComments have been disabled as legal proceedings are ongoing. Read: Teenager found guilty of false imprisonment of Joan Burton during water charges protest> If this was happening anywhere else in the world, we’d be saying that’s mad. The protest began at 1pm at the Central Bank on Dame Street making its way towards the Children’s Court.Last night the Anti-Austerity Alliance put a call-out on their Facebook page for “those who favour civil liberties” to mobilise to defend their right to protest at the ‘Rally for Justice‘.There were criticisms of the verdict yesterday, with the Anti-Austerity Alliance describing the decision as setting “a very dangerous precedent for civil liberties in Ireland”. No Comments 27,897 Views Some of the material being handed out at a protest happening in Dublin now against the #Jobstown verdict. More to follow on @thejournal_ie pic.twitter.com/g9f7KS8VMc— Gráinne Ní Aodha (@GAodha) October 22, 2016 http://jrnl.ie/3040469 Share524 Tweet Email1 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article At #Jobstown protest: Around 200 people gathered, someone’s playing a drum, and ‘Protesting is not kidnapping’ posters are being handed out pic.twitter.com/DGoM3MxrIO— Gráinne Ní Aodha (@GAodha) October 22, 2016 The verdict, rather than the sentence, is the key issue. It has set a very low threshold by which ‘false imprisonment’ can be proved. In his summing up the judge suggested that one incident that proved the state’s case was when the young man momentarily stood in front of Joan Burton to ask her to answer a question.center_img Oct 22nd 2016, 2:45 PM Short URL Source: Gráinne Ní Aodha/Twitter Hundreds gather in Dublin to protest Jobstown teen’s guilty verdict “If this was happening anywhere else in the world, we’d be saying that’s mad.” Saturday 22 Oct 2016, 2:45 PM Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy told TheJournal.ie that the verdict set a ‘dangerous precedent’, and ‘lowered the bar’ of what false imprisonment meant.“One of the instances they gave for false imprisonment was the boy going up to Joan Burton and asking a question. If that is false imprisonment, then people who stop you to ask for money on the street are guilty.”He also said that the verdict was worrying for those who go on strike, and that the aim of the protest was to mobilise people.“We’re looking to get the trade unions on board and organise a conference and international events. By Michelle Hennessy Updated 2.50pmAROUND 200 PEOPLE gathered in Dublin today to protest against a guilty verdict handed down yesterday to a teenage boy.The 17-year-old was convicted of the false imprisonment of then Tánaiste Joan Burton, who was allegedly trapped in her car for two hours during the protest in Jobstown.The teenager, who was 15 at the time, had denied the charges and was spared a criminal record in the case.‘Protesting is not kidnapping’ posters were handed out, and some people had travelled from as far as Offaly to join in the protest. Source: Gráinne Ní Aodha/Twitterlast_img read more

Player ratings How the Boys in Green fared against Gibraltar

first_img Mick McCarthy 6Our Rating 5 ReadersRating Saturday 23 Mar 2019, 7:07 PM Showed some nice link-up play with Coleman at times, but didn’t manage to replicate the superb form he’s shown at Wolves, having started in an unfamiliar right-wing role. Replaced by Robbie Brady on 56 minutes.   62 Comments YourRating Richard Keogh 7Our Rating Mar 23rd 2019, 7:07 PM Subscribe Share1 Tweet Email ReadersRating 5 ◆ 44,276 Views Sean Maguire 5Our Rating Enda Stevens 6Our Rating ◆ ◆ YourRating YourRating ◆ 5 ReadersRating David McGoldrick 6Our Rating By Paul Fennessy Jeff Hendrick 7Our Rating Subs: Robbie Brady injected a bit more creativity into Ireland’s attacks while Harry Arter did everything asked of him to help see the game out. 6Murray Kinsella and Andy Dunne dissect Ireland’s disappointing Six Nations campaign, and discuss the pros and cons of rugby’s new law proposals in the latest episode of The42 Rugby Weekly: Had little to do defensively and didn’t do enough going forward, giving the ball away needlessly at times. Conor Hourihane 7Our Rating YourRating ReadersRating 5 5 ◆ Named man of the match by RTÉ, Hourihane passed the ball about confidently, having been afforded plenty of space by his opponents, while his delivery from dead balls was frequently excellent. Also had a hand in the goal. ReadersRating Played through the pain barrier with a broken hand and barely put a foot wrong, though stiffer tests of his defensive ability will inevitably come down the line. James McClean 5Our Rating ReadersRating YourRating Played virtually as a right winger at times and got himself into some promising positions, but his final ball was invariably disappointing. Matt Doherty 6Our Rating Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloudSubscribe to our new podcast, The42 Rugby Weekly, here: ReadersRating 5 5 Made one clever pass to Coleman in the first half that almost resulted in a goal, but his hold-up play was often sub-par and he will be frustrated at failing to score his first international goal in what looked like an ideal opportunity to stake his claim for a more regular place in the side. ◆ Showed a nice touch in the build up to the goal, but otherwise offered little in attack and gave away a couple of needless free kicks that eventually resulted in him receiving a yellow card. ReadersRating Short URL YourRating ◆ ◆ ReadersRating Tried to link-up play but struggled at times amid difficult conditions, but did superbly to create the goal at the vital moment. YourRating ReadersRating 5 5 5 Not the assured start to his tenure that McCarthy would have been hoping for. The 4-4-2 formation was not totally convincing as a viable long-term plan, while he still doesn’t appear to have figured out how best to accommodate Matt Doherty and Seamus Coleman in the same team.    ◆ YourRating ReadersRating Did pretty much everything that was asked of him and had a comfortable evening against a fairly toothless Gibraltan attack. 5 Not quite back to his Euro 2016 best and made a few sloppy passes, but took his goal superbly, stepping up at the vital moment to ensure Mick McCarthy’s reign gets off to a winning start. YourRating Seamus Coleman 6Our Rating https://the42.ie/4557596 Player ratings: How the Boys in Green fared against Gibraltar Ireland got Mick McCarthy’s tenure off to a less-than-satisfactory start with a 1-0 defeat of their opponents. ◆ ◆ YourRating ◆ YourRating ReadersRating YourRating 5 Shane Duffy 7Our Rating They often say the sign of a good goalkeeper is one that can make a vital save despite having little to do for most of the game, and Randolph showed good concentration levels to prevent Roy Chipolina’s header giving Gibraltar a shock lead early in the second half. Darren Randolph 7Our Rating Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

The 5 at 5 Tuesday

first_imgThe 5 at 5: Tuesday Five minutes, five stories, five o’clock… Share Tweet Email Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 5,773 Views EVERY WEEKDAY EVENING, TheJournal.ie brings you the five biggest stories of the day.1. #DISPUTE: The Archbishop of Dublin has hit out at Culture Minister Josepha Madigan, accusing her of being “deeply disrespectful” to her parishioners.2. #LOWRY: Independent TD Michael Lowry and his refrigeration company have been convicted of two charges of delivering an incorrect corporation tax return and failing to keep proper sets of accounts. Lowry and the company were fined €25,000 following the conviction.3. #TRUMP: The US Supreme Court has upheld president Donald Trump’s controversial ban on travellers from five mostly Muslim countries – a major victory for the Republican leader after a tortuous legal battle.4. #BREXIT: A bill enacting Britain’s decision to leave the European Union has become law after months of debate, the House of Commons speaker announced this afternoon, to cheers from eurosceptic lawmakers.5. #CASE: A former partner of a man accused of infecting her with HIV has told a jury that he “wasn’t shocked” when she received her diagnosis. Jun 26th 2018, 4:58 PM http://jrnl.ie/4092758 No Comments Short URL Image: Shutterstock/Chernenko Maria Tuesday 26 Jun 2018, 4:58 PM By Cormac Fitzgerald Image: Shutterstock/Chernenko Marialast_img read more

Samoa Joe confirms jaw injury from TakeOver Triple H touts TakeOver Brooklyn

first_img Now Playing Up Next Comments are closed. WWE RAW Results – 9/2/19 (Clash of Champions contract signing, KOTR Quarterfinals) Jamie Stidiford Jason Namako RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Twitter Facebook I did seem Joe did call the ref over just after the second to last kick to the jaw just before the finisher. Videos Articles Samoa Joe confirms jaw injury from TakeOverSamoa Joe posted the following on Twitter confirming an injury to his jaw he suffered towards the end of his match with Shinsuke Nakamura at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II.Jaw dislocated & shortly relocated. Looking forward to being cleared soon.— Joey Headrocker (@SamoaJoe) August 22, 2016Triple H touts TakeOver: Brooklyn II’s successWWE COO Triple H posted the following on Twitter touting the success of this past weekend’s NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II live WWE Network special.#NXTTakeOver: Back to Brooklyn:The highest grossing..The most attended..The most watched #NXTTakeover in history..#ThankYou #WeAreNXT— Triple H (@TripleH) August 21, 2016 Intercontinental and Smackdown Tag Team Championship matches added to Clash of Champions Shinsuke Nakamura 1 COMMENT Baron Corbin, Samoa Joe, and Ricochet all advance to the Semifinals of the King of the Ring WWE Announces Rey Mysterio Match For SmackDown 1000center_img Recommended videosPowered by AnyClipRumored Plans For Rey Mysterio Upon WWE ReturnVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPauseUnmuteDuration 0:26/Current Time 0:02Loaded: 100.00%0:02Remaining Time -0:24 FullscreenUp NextThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Replay the list Dave Bautista Announces His Retirement From WWE August 22, 2016 at 6:08 pm WWE Rescheduling San Jose NXT Triple H Talks Neville On NXT Conference Call Now Playing Up Next Now Playing Up Next Now Playing Up Next Google+ Pinterest Now Playing Up Next WhatsApp Rumored Plans For Rey Mysterio Upon WWE Returnlast_img read more

Year in Review The Columbians Top 10 stories of 2016

first_imgSome problems can’t be solved in 12 months.So, the crunch in affordable housing and the homelessness problem are The Columbian’s top two stories of the year.Again.And — no surprise in a community with a lot of ongoing sagas — other familiar stories are making repeat appearances in the Top 10: David Madore’s role on the county council; the Cowlitz casino; and the proposed oil terminal at the Port of Vancouver.The 26-item ballot asked members of The Columbian’s news team to pick their top 10 stories of 2016 (worth one point each). Then they picked their story of the year (worth two points).Thirty-two ballots were returned. The affordable housing crunch and the homelessness issue were both listed on 29 ballots. But the housing crunch was the story of the year on 12 ballots (worth 24 points), netting a total of 53 points. The homelessness problem was No. 1 on six ballots (worth 12 points), for 41 points.1. Affordable housing(53 points)A local housing advocate has mixed feelings about the story’s staying power.“On one hand, it’s reflective of the deep need,” said Andy Silver, executive director of the Council for the Homeless. “In that sense, obviously we don’t want this to be a big story.”On the other hand, he said, the community is not  ignoring what’s happening.Awareness is how Proposition 1 passed in Vancouver in November, he said. The levy will raise $6 million a year for seven years to help increase affordable housing.last_img read more

Sigurdsson Everton fans must be patient with Silva

first_imgEverton midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson has urged for the supporters to remain patient with coach Marco Silva as he works on developing the teamThe Portuguese isn’t faring much better than predictor Sam Allardyce, who was fired last season, at this stage of the club’s campaign.But Sigurdsson believes Silva has done well at Goodison Park and insists that it will take time for them to be able to challenge the big teams in the Premier League.“Of course, yes, it does take time,” Sigurdsson told Sky Sports.“It’s his first season, when he came in he wanted to make changes to the way the club plays and how he wants to move the club on in the future.“It is a process when a new manager comes in and I think he’s doing a really good job at the moment.”Harry Maguire, Manchester UnitedLiverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.The Iceland international isn’t satisfied with Everton’s 10th-place in the standings right now, however, after a run of four defeats in six games.“Not just as a club, but as players and for the fans we would want to be higher up in the league,” he added.“When we were sixth in the league I don’t think any of the players were happy because it’s about where you finish the season and we kind of feel the same way at the moment and we’re not happy.“Our aim is to finish the season in a strong spot.”Everton will next travel to Southampton on Saturday in another Premier League game.last_img read more

Gaming and Crime Bill Pass in the House

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppThe Bahamas, 19th Sept 2014 (Bahamas Information Services) – It is official. Webshop gaming in The Bahamas is no longer an underground industry but a fully regulated $600 million component of both the domestic tourism and financial services sector product offerings. Late Monday evening, 25 Parliamentarians voted yes, seven voted no and five were absent at the third and final reading, committal and vote on the historic Gaming Bill and attendant regulations that promised to transform the gaming industry, both land based and online.Defending the government’s decision to legalize and regulate this industry in the best interest of The Bahamas and responding to his critics, Prime Minister Christie said that it was important not to “attribute to one side sin, corrupt practices, when they are motivated to do….what all of the agencies of the world would reasonably expect them to do in the circumstances.” The Prime Minister was referring to concerns raised by the Governor of the Central Bank and the Compliance Commission about the unregulated gaming industry. These concerns were raised after the January 28, 2012 gaming referendum.The Prime Minister was emphatic in his position that “no government faced with the information this government was faced with…could arrogate unto itself the right to say, ‘let’s ignore that.’ This now… becomes a major matter for the Minister of Finance and Prime Minister of The Bahamas and that’s me.” The Prime Minister was referring to an external review and national risk assessment of The Bahamas’ economy by an anti-money laundering taskforce from the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) scheduled for 2015. The numbers industry must be a part of this risk assessment said the Prime Minister and the government will liaise with all financial industries in the country to determine areas of vulnerability.“Fostering growth, transparency and social responsibility comes as The Bahamas faces in 2015 a more thorough external review by CFATF than it has ever faced before. A review as to risk and areas of vulnerability in our economy” said the Prime Minister, referring to an October 2013 article published by one of the dailies about this extensive and thorough national audit of the country’s economy by the CATF in 2015. Legalizing and regulating the numbers industry was the correct and reasoned policy decision for any responsible government, given the circumstances facing The Bahamas argued Prime Minister Christie.The Prime Minister went further in hammering home the principal of probity which is the fundamental cornerstone of any credible gaming dispensation:“The most fundamental cornerstone of any credible gaming dispensation anywhere in the world can be distilled into a single word. That word is “probity”. Probity focuses on establishing that any given person who seeks to be involved in the gaming industry, whether as a regulator or as a licence holder, is fit and proper to do so, and moreover remains fit and proper on an ongoing basis. The currency of probity is therefore information concerning the relevant individual, ranging from information regarding the personal history of that person, or business history, where that person is a corporate entity, to information relating to the financial history, capacity and dealings of that person, as well as criminal history and associations with other persons.” The Prime Minister was confident that a fully regulated Bahamian gaming industry would pass the universally acceptable credibility litmus test of “probity.”Turning his attention to the taxes, fees, penalties and social and community contributions with respect to gaming houses, the Prime Minister had this to say:1. “As provided in section 85 subsection (16) of the Gaming Bill, after making a full and frank disclosure of all turnover and gross profit generated by the conduct of their businesses as defined in the Business Licence Act, for a period of six years for businesses which were in operation for six years or more, or from the date of start up for those operations who were in business for a lesser period than six years, make payment in full of:(i) All fees payable under the Business Licence Act for the review period, to the extent that any turnover or gross profits generated by the conduct of such business had not been disclosed.(ii) All gaming taxes which would have been payable by that business had such business been licenced under the Gaming Act, calculated at the prescribed rate commencing on 1st July, 2014.(iii) A penalty in the amount of (a) $350,000 in respect of a business with a gross turnover of less than five million dollars; and(b) $750,000 in respect of a business with a gross turnover of less than give million dollars. 2. Payment of the licence fees set out in Regulations 49-55 of The Gaming House Operation Regulations, 2014 3. As prescribed in Regulation 57 of the Gaming House Operator Regulations 2014, payment of gaming taxes whichever should be the greater of — (a) 11% of taxable revenue(b) 25% of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. 4. Regulation 57 of the Gaming House Operator Regulations 2014 also provides that the tax should be subject to review—(a) During the transitional period following the receipt of the RFP and audited financial statements;(b) At such time as the Minister may otherwise direct. 5. In accordance with Regulation 4 of the Gaming House Operator Regulations, 2014 the RFP may require gaming house operators to make monetary contributions of a minimum of 1% for corporate social investments initiatives and 1%for community improvement.”Amended Crime Bills passed in the HouseThe compendium of crime bills intended to improve the administration of justice was passed in the House on Wednesday, 17th September 2014. They were:· Bail Amendment Act· Coroners Amendment Act· Evidence Amendment Act· Abolition of the Mandatory Minimum SentenceUnder the amended Bail Act, the burden is now on the bail applicant to prove why the court should grant bail and the court must now take into account the safety of the victim in its consideration to grant bail.Under the amended Coroners Act, the Coroner is empowered to make homicide findings. The amended Evidence Act basically allows a witness to provide testimony via live television link. The conditions are when a witness is on another island; when being present in court creates fear and distress on the witness and when the court of trial considers it appropriate on its own motion.The minimum mandatory sentences were abolished for possession of drugs, firearms and ammunition and judges are given judicial discretion in each case. Recently, Justice Jon Isaacs ruled that a 4-year mandatory minimum sentence for drug possession with the intent to supply was unconstitutional. In passingThe Referendum date delayed to 2015; the CBTUC called off strike and returned to work this past Monday amid continuing negations with the government and the General Education Diploma program (GED) was launched by the government this week through a partnership between Atlantic College and the Urban Renewal Commission.The Antiquities, Monuments and Museums Corporation (AMMC) and the Bahamas Mortgage Corporation (BMC) both inked new labour agreements with the Bahamas Public Service Union; new immigration rules announced in the House and the once stolen and returned Bahamian Iguanas are released to the wild.The Clifton Heritage Authority will host the media this evening at the Hilton; Bimini gets a new ferry passenger port and more job opportunities; Prime Minister Christie tours the Grand Bahama Shipyard today and the HMBS Leon Livingstone Smith, the third of nine new patrol vessels for the RBDF to be commissioned at 6:30 pm this evening at the Kelly Dock.—Elcott ColebyDeputy DirectorBahamas Information Services326-5833477-7006 Related Items:bahamas, crime bill, Gaming bill, prime minister christie Bi-lateral talks with Bahamas to resume, UK gives green light to high-level TCI delegation Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Bahamian music legend gunned down at home in Turks and Caicos Recommended for you Hurricane Jose Not A Threat to The Bahamas, For Nowlast_img read more