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Skiers warned after tracks found in Rogers Pass bombed for avalanches

first_imgROGERS PASS, B.C. – Parks Canada is investigating a recent incursion into a prohibited area that’s regularly blasted to bring down avalanches along the highway through Rogers Pass, B.C.Staff discovered fresh ski and snowboard tracks in Macdonald West, part of a closed area in Glacier National Park on Wednesday.No one was found at the site and the breach is still under investigation by park wardens.On Thursday, park wardens were called to the Quartz Creek area inside the Glacier National Park boundary because a group of snowmobilers had become stuck.It was the second time last week that someone was illegally snowmobiling: an earlier incursion was reported in the Saint Cyr area of Mount Revelstoke National Park.Both are being investigated because snowmobiling is illegal in the mountain national parks and, along with skiing in a closed area, can result in a maximum fine of $25,000.last_img read more

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Woman tells trial Toronto cop raped her says she was afraid of

first_imgTORONTO – A woman who accused a Toronto police officer of raping her told his sexual assault trial Monday that she was afraid of being hurt if she didn’t comply with his demands.The woman, who cannot be identified, told Const. Vincenzo Bonazza’s trial the alleged incident took place nearly a decade ago during what was supposed to be a casual encounter at her apartment.“He didn’t take my words, didn’t take my body language,” she said. “I was afraid he was going to hurt me.”Bonazza has pleaded not guilty to sexual assault at the judge-alone trial.Court heard that the woman only reported the incident in 2015, after becoming a police officer herself.“Now I can write that a Toronto cop raped me, no problem, but I couldn’t write that then,” she testified, noting that working on a sexual assault case as an officer made her decide to go forward with her own allegations.The woman told her supervisor about the alleged incident and then contacted Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit, which examines allegations of sexual assault involving police. Bonazza was charged in 2016.Court heard the woman first met Bonazza in September 2008, while he was in his squad car near her home and she was looking for help dealing with an ex-boyfriend.The woman said she thought she had seen her ex-boyfriend, who had been charged with criminally harassing her, and asked Bonazza to track the licence plate of what she thought was his car. She said Bonazza told her he couldn’t do that.The woman then ran into Bonazza the next day, when he was out on a bicycle patrol, court heard. A day or two later, the officer called her, the woman testified.“I didn’t remember giving him my phone number,” she told the court. But, she testified, the officer said he had sushi for her and wanted to drop it off.The woman thought the situation was strange, but wondered if Bonazza was just making “a kind gesture as a kind police officer,” she said.The two met at her place where he gave her the food and asked to use the washroom, she testified. On the way out, the woman, a former actress, said she noticed a package containing a DVD of a movie she had appeared in.“He said ‘maybe we could watch it together sometime,’” she told court, adding that she thought the officer was making small talk.Bonazza called a day or two later, the woman testified, and asked if she wanted to watch that movie. He also said he wasn’t looking for a romantic relationship, the woman said.The officer came over on Sept. 11, the woman said, and while the pair watched the movie, Bonazza kissed her, then unbuttoned her jeans.“Woah, woah, woah, I don’t do this with anyone who isn’t my boyfriend,” she recalled telling Bonazza.The woman said Bonazza went on to have sex with her without her consent and later forced her to perform oral sex.“This is a police officer, nobody would believe me and he’s trained to fight people,” she said. “I think, ‘it’s going to be worse if I fight this.’”Bonazza’s lawyer, Gary Clewley, focused on inconsistencies in the woman’s previous statements to police and her testimony at a preliminary hearing about her state of undress and other details of the night.Clewley grilled the woman about her memory “flashes” that helped form her testimony.“There are snapshot moments of this event that are clear as day,” the woman said.last_img read more

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As UK EU battle over Brexit Indian investments on rise

first_imgLondon: The number of Indian companies investing in the UK registered a jump over the previous year despite the ongoing uncertainties around Brexit, according to a new report tracking Indian investments in the UK. The annual ‘India Meets Britain Tracker’ released in London on Wednesday finds that the number of Indian companies doing business in Britain has increased from 800 in 2018 to 842 in 2019, with a combined turnover of 48 billion pounds. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalThe report, published by business advisory firm Grant Thornton UK LLP and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), revealed a more than doubling of the Corporation Tax paid by these companies to hit 684 million pounds, up from 360 million pounds in the previous year. “The headline figures in the Tracker are startling. They are testament to the strength and entrepreneurialism of the Indian business community, with some companies growing by more than 100 per cent year on year,” UK minister for investment Graham Stuart said at the launch. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostThe minister pointed out that the figures are likely to see a further jump from next year, when the UK’s Corporation Tax, from the current level of 19 per cent, will drop to 17 per cent. “We will always welcome Indian investments and we recognise India’s importance as one of our most critical bilateral investors,” he said. Among some of the other highlight figures from the Tracker, 24 per cent of Indian companies in the UK have at least one woman on their board, up from 19 per cent last year, and they employ an estimated 104,783 people in the country. “The report brings out in such graphic terms the contribution that Indian businesses are making to the UK. We all wondered how the Brexit process would have affected the investment sentiment from India and now we have the answer Indian business retains its positive outlook towards the UK,” said Ruchi Ghanashyam, the Indian High Commissioner to the UK. The report, now in its sixth year, provides a tracker of the fastest growing Indian companies in the UK with turnover of more than 5 million pounds, year-on-year revenue growth of at least 10 per cent and a minimum two-year track-record in the UK. Among these Accord Healthcare Ltd, Milpharm Ltd and Secure Meters (UK) Ltd have been consistently recorded as fast growing ever since the Tracker was launched in 2014. Anuj Chande, Partner and Head of South Asia Group at Grant Thornton UK LLP, noted: “Given the continuing uncertainty driven by the UK’s exit from the European Union (EU), it is encouraging to see that Indian investors continue to invest confidently in the UK and in fact, there are now more Indian businesses active in the UK than ever before.” “The fall in the value of sterling has also had a role to play, making UK assets increasingly attractive to overseas investors. Low rates of corporation tax and the ease of doing business in the UK also remain significant draws.” Lakshmi Kaul, Head & Representative UK, CII, added: “As India’s economy continues to grow, Indian companies will increasingly have greater choice over where to invest and the UK must ensure that, beyond Brexit, it remains a leading investment destination.” Three companies in this year’s Tracker reported growth of more than 100 per cent, with the fastest growing of these being TMT Metal Holdings Limited, with a growth rate of 649 per cent.last_img read more

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Moroccan Government Hails Importance of Moroccans Living Abroad

Fez – Mr. Anis Peru, Minister in Charge of Moroccans Living Abroad and Migration Affairs, lauded the strong attachment of the first generation of Moroccans living abroad to their homeland, in connection with the ceremony celebrating the National Day of Immigrants in Rabat on August 10.He noted that the ceremony “is a recognition of the great services this generation of immigrants has rendered to Morocco.”“Celebrating this holiday this year is special because we have decided to pay tribute to the first generation of Moroccan citizens living abroad who have endured the hardships of alienation and have overcome the linguistic, cultural, and natural barriers, [in their host countries]” said Mr. Birou. He added that those citizens “have undertaken the difficulties of working in difficult circumstances to contribute their energy and their sweat in building the civilization of their host countries and in constructing and strengthening bridges of convergence and cooperation between their countries of residence and Morocco.”Looking back in history, Abdullah Boussouf, Secretary General of the Council of the Moroccan Community Living Abroad (CCME), highlighted the crucial role Moroccan volunteers played during World War I and World War II, in addition to the immigrants who left Morocco after the second World War in defense of the lofty human values to nurture the rules of co-existence, stressing their effective contribution in building modern Europe.He pointed out that Morocco places great importance on the Moroccan diaspora through assigning the Ministry of Immigration Affairs to handle their affairs, in addition to establishing other institutions that look after the community inside and outside of Morocco, including the Council of the Moroccan Community Living Abroad (CCME), the Hassan II Foundation for Moroccans Living Abroad, and the Mohammed V Foundation for Solidarity. read more

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Ban condemns West Bank shooting of four Israelis

The four Israelis – two men and two women, one of whom was reportedly pregnant – were travelling in a car near Hebron last night when they were shot dead. In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban extended his condolences to the families of the victims and called for the perpetrators of the attack to be promptly brought to justice. “This attack must be recognized for what it is: a cynical and blatant attempt to undermine the direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations starting tomorrow,” noted the statement.The United States Government will host Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for direct negotiations starting on 2 September.Adding that negotiations are the only way for the parties to resolve all final status issues, the Secretary-General called on both sides to “show leadership, courage, and responsibility to realize the aspirations of both peoples.”The attack was also condemned by UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry, who in a statement issued last night urged all sides “not to allow the enemies of peace to affect the negotiations about to be launched, and to progress with determination and courage on behalf of both peoples, towards a final settlement.” 1 September 2010Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the killing of four Israeli citizens in the West Bank city of Hebron on Tuesday, just days before Israeli and Palestinian leaders are set to begin face-to-face talks in Washington. read more

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Terex Trucks lays groundwork for Russia expansion with Mining Eurasia pact

first_imgTerex Trucks has signed Mining Eurasia as its new official distributor in the Russian Federation as the Scotland-based manufacturer looks to improve availability as well as return on investment for its customers in the region.The company said: “As the single largest country in the world, it’s no great surprise that Russia has an abundance of coal, metal and minerals. In fact, it is home to 17% of all mineral deposits, 18% of all coal reserves, and produces more chromium, nickel and palladium than any other nation.”According to Terex Trucks, this is one of the reasons why mining equipment provider Mining Eurasia has gone from “strength to strength” over the years. Now, it will be the official distributor of Terex Trucks’ TA300 and TA400 (pictured) articulated haulers in the Russian Federation.Vladimir Startsev, Chief of Service, Mining Eurasia, said: “Russia is a tough market, with many of our customers running 24/7 operations. This firstly requires reliable equipment, but it also requires a lot of support from us.“The harder you make machines work, the more you’ll need access to spare parts and knowledgeable technicians. We’ve always prided ourselves on the quality of our aftermarket support. This has helped us to build a strong reputation within our sector and strike up partnerships with companies like Terex Trucks.”John Rotherford, Global Key Accounts Director, Terex Trucks, said: “In close collaboration with their (Mining Eurasia’s) team in Russia, we’ll be working together to improve availability as well as return on investment for our customers.”Mining Eurasia has its headquarters in Moscow, along with a repair centre, four regional offices and 11 service centres situated across Russia. “The majority of our employees are dedicated service specialists,” Startsev said. “We plan to use that expertise to ensure that our customers can get the most out of their Terex Trucks machines.”The Terex TA300 ADT is powered by a Scania DC9 engine and has a maximum payload of 28 t, maximum torque of 1880 Nm and can achieve gross power of 276 kW, according to Terex Trucks. “It is equipped with true independent front suspension as standard, resulting in excellent traction control and operator comfort,” the company said.The TA400, the largest articulated hauler on offer from Terex Trucks, has a maximum payload of 38 t and a heaped capacity of 23.3 m³. “The Allison HD4560 transmission boasts high performance oil and up to 6,000 hours between service intervals,” Terex Trucks said.Both machines come with hydrostatic power steering and all-hydraulic braking systems, helping to ensure a safe and comfortable ride, according to the company.last_img read more

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Poland Vive Kielce again easily with Azoty one win away from the

In the second match of the Polish League Play-Off’s semi-final Vive Targi Kielce beat Azoty Puławy 39:23. After the first game there have been no illusions left that Azoty is a team that could take the final away from Kielce. Today’s result was not as degrading as yesterday’s one though, for defending champion won “only” by 16 goals. First half began well for Vive; after 10 minutes they gained 6 goal advantage. Doing so well, Kielce started playing a little carelessly and Puławy got their chance to catch up a bit with the opponent. Coach Bogdan Wenta had to call his players to order by taking a time out and after a while everything got back on the right track. Just as it was in the first game, first half belonged to Manuel Štrlek who scored 6 goals. Second half was even more predictable than the previous one. Azoty did not get close even once; what is more, two of their players got injured during this game. Untroubled Kielce kept scoring; sometimes it looked more like training or fun than a serious match. Ivan Čupić gave a good performance again and became top scorer with 7 goals. The entire match was not flawless though; Kielce players made quite a few mistakes but it did not affect the final result much.Third match is going to take place on Saturday in Puławy.TEXT: Martyna Usnarska ← Previous Story Women’s EHF CL: Gyor with +3 for the last 60 minutes! Next Story → Metz HB and Hypo put hands on trophies! azoty-pulawyBogdan WentacupicKielcepulawystrlekvive kielce read more

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Yiannis Arvanitis about Greek success We are small on EURO handball map

The Greek handball is “on fire” after surprising win over big rival from neighborhood – 28:26. Chances of Yiannis Arvanitis team to qualify for the first ever EHF EURO event are now much bigger. Even that Greece finish third in the group, they will have two points which gives them quite good position to be among four best third placed teams at the end. Greek handballYiannis Arvanitis ← Previous Story NEW MONTPELLIER PROBLEM: Diego Simonet to miss action in November Next Story → SEHA: RK Vardar junior team with -15 from Brest We are in very good position in this group. Guys have experiences, mood, talent, quality and work a lot. The result has come, it could not have come, but what we have shown is that we are here. And in Iceland we managed it for 40 minutes, today we did it for 60 minutes. This victory means that we are very strong now in claim 3 ththe position of the group that could lead us to EHF EURO 2020. This gives us motivation and vision and I believe will help to make our work even better. We have a small name on the European map of handball, but our talent is bigger – said Arvanitis, writes e-handball.grPHOTO: e-handball.gr read more

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As it happened Manchester United v Swansea Premier League

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Latest Tiger Woods game glitch allows players to golf topless

first_imgBritish tabloids will try to make news of anything, especially if its sleaze, so try not to have a heart attack as the venerable Sun tries to make hot coffee out of one Briton’s report that the latest Tiger Woods game, Tiger Woods PGA 11 for the Sony PlayStation 3, has a glitch that allows you to golf naked. Heaven forfend!According to the Sun reader who reported the glitch, after creating her avatar in-game, she suddenly lost her top when her character took a swing…. and now she can’t get her in-game top back. She says she believes a programmer put the glitch in on purpose to reference Tiger Woods’ sordid affairs back in 2009.Of course, the truth is a lot more pedestrian: even console games have bugs. Even if it’s not a bug, Electronic Arts is being extremely firm about the matter:“We have extensively investigated and have determined that this situation is not possible through a retail copy of the game. The player model is clearly modified as a result of hacking.” Given how easy it is to hack the PS3 these days, they may be right, although the girl in question doesn’t exactly seem bright enough for it. My guess? This is just a titillating bug, not a conspiracy on either side.Read more at The Sunlast_img read more

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PlayBook OS 20 lands February 2012 with no BBM

first_img2011 has been a very up-and-down year for Waterloo, Ontario’s Research in Motion. Apart from the massive worldwide service failure that crippled BlackBerry email delivery and BBM, the BlackBerry PlayBook has never quite lived up to its tablet potential. Recent temporary price cuts helped shift truckloads of stale stock, but now RIM appears to be faltering again.The increased sales should have done loads of good for the PlayBook, but the fact is that until the PlayBook OS 2.0 update gets pushed to all these new users it’s still missing some cornerstones of the BlackBerry experience: email, contacts, calendar apps and BBM. At least we thought BBM was coming.The BBM icon has been seen in loads of pre-release screenshots of PlayBook OS 2.0, but now RIM has officially announced that it is shipping the update without BBM. The company has decided to delay the release of BBM until an unnamed future update. You can, of course, still pair the PlayBook with a BlackBerry phone and use the BBM Bridge app — but that’s not quite the same thing as a full-on native app.Couple news of this delay with the arrival of iMessage in iOS 5 and the speedy new iPhone 4S, and one more bit of news that hit the headlines isn’t at all shocking: gadget trade-in site Gazelle has announced that BlackBerry swaps are up more than 80% in the wake of the iPhone 4S launch.So now it’s going to be four more months until the missing native apps arrive on the PlayBook — and even then it’s still going to lack BBM. It’s another misstep by RIM, and one that isn’t going to help it compete in the tablet market once the iPad 3 and Windows 8 slates start arriving on retail shelves early next year.More at BlackBerry.comlast_img read more

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Qatar hits out at baseless Saudi terrorism blacklist

first_img QATAR HAS DISMISSED as “baseless” a terrorism blacklist published by Saudi Arabia and its allies which linked individuals and organisations in Doha to support for Islamist militant groups.The emirate was responding just hours after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain published a list of 59 people and entities linked to “terrorism”.“The recent joint statement issued by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE regarding a ‘terror finance watch list’ once again reinforces baseless allegations that hold no foundation in fact,” Qatar’s government said in a statement.Qatar does not support terrorist groups, it stressed, pointing out that “our position on countering terrorism is stronger than many of the signatories of the joint statement – a fact that has been conveniently ignored by the authors”.Included on the list were Doha-based Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi and Qatari-funded charities.The list and response add to the diplomatic and political tensions in the Gulf that have erupted since Saudi Arabia and its allies severed ties with Qatar over its alleged support for extremism.Qatar has vehemently denied the claims and on Thursday its foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, said his country would not “surrender”.‘Hour of diplomacy’ Qatari foreign minister Sheik Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani. Source: Darko VojinovicIn a bid to drum up support for his country with the crisis showing no signs of abating, the minister made a surprise visit Friday to Germany where he pledged to pursue a diplomatic path out of the deadlock.The actions taken by Saudi Arabia and its allies amounted to “a clear breach of the international law and won’t result in a positive impact on the region but will have a negative one”, he said, also hitting out at the terrorism blacklist.“There is a continuous escalation from these countries … but our strategic options are still diplomacy and dialogue,” added Sheikh Mohammed, after holding talks with German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel.“There are ongoing efforts from friendly countries to contain the crisis and lift the unjust blockade on Qatar and start negotiations,” added the Qatari minister, who is travelling to Moscow on Saturday to meet his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.Kuwait has taken on the mediator role in the crisis, and French President Emmanuel Macron has also reached out to Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Iran in a bid to kick off talks.Russian President Vladimir Putin has also spoken to Qatar’s emir over the crisis.Gabriel stressed that “this is the hour of diplomacy” as he vowed to “do everything, along with our European friends, to ensure that this conflict does not further escalate”.CrisisThe spat is unlikely to do anything to relieve tensions in the region in a spiralling political crisis, which also threatens to involve the US, Russia, Europe and other major players such as Turkey and Iran.Turkey’s parliament has approved deploying troops to a base in Qatar and Iran has offered to send food to Doha. On Monday, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain led a string of countries that cut ties with Qatar over what they say is the emirate’s financing of extremist groups and its ties to Iran, Saudi Arabia’s regional arch-rival.They also banned Qatar Airways from using its airspaces and closed the country’s only land border, which it shares with Saudi Arabia, moves which Doha’s foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, has termed a “blockade”.Sheikh Mohammed today held surprise talks in Germany with his counterpart Sigmar Gabriel.In a press conference held in the small town of Wolfenbuettel, he claimed the actions taken by Saudi Arabia and its allies amounted to “a clear breach of international law”.Hitting out at the blacklist, he added: “There is a continuous escalation from these countries … but our strategic options are still diplomacy and dialogue.”So far, European countries have largely stayed on the sidelines in the dispute involving several of their allies.© – AFP, 2017Read: Bomb disposal unit attends scene as police arrest hostage taker in NewcastleRead: Catalonia is set to vote on independence from Spain 12,124 Views The Qatari flag waves in front of the capital, Doha. By AFP Short URL The Qatari flag waves in front of the capital, Doha. Image: DPA/PA Images Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article https://jrnl.ie/3435450 center_img 38 Comments Jun 9th 2017, 1:19 PM Image: DPA/PA Images Friday 9 Jun 2017, 1:19 PM Qatar hits out at ‘baseless’ Saudi terrorism blacklist The emirate was responding after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain published a list of 59 people and entities linked to “terrorism”. Share1 Tweet Email last_img read more

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Black Widow Venom Gene Hijacked By A Virus

first_imgWe tend to think of an organism’s genetic code as monolithic and isolated, but nature is actually very leaky. Genes can move around, be duplicated, and even end up in completely different organisms. Scientists from Vanderbilt University have identified a particularly interesting example of this. A virus has been found to borrow a genes from the black widow spider, which it uses to gain access to the bacteria it infects.The virus in question is called WO, and it’s what is known as a bacteriophage. That means it infects (and kills) bacteria rather than eukaryotic cells that make up spiders, plants, humans, and all other higher life forms. WO lives in the bodies of spiders and other arthropods because that’s where you find a bacterium known as Wolbachia that WO infects. This bacteria actually lives inside the cells of its host, so WO needs a few special tricks to get close enough to strike.The researchers tested the genome of WO, and found that it contains several genes that also appear in the black widow’s genome. One of these codes for a neurotoxic protein called latrotoxin; the main active ingredient in black widow venom. This is a big gene and protein, so WO wouldn’t be carrying it around without good reason. The most likely reason, according to the researchers, is that WO can use latrotoxin to penetrate the cell membrane of eukaryotic cells, which is where it will find the Wolbachia bacteria.BacteriophagesOnce WO is in, it can infect Wolbachia and use its cellular machinery to make more copies of itself. The team has not nailed down the mechanism by which the spider’s genes found their way into a bacteriophage.Since WO doesn’t infect the spider’s cells, it can’t have picked the genes up directly. The team hypothesizes the genes could have been incorporated accidentally into phage particles during assembly, or they might have ended up in a Wolbachia bacteria to be transferred to WO when it was infected. Whatever the mechanism, it’s a really fascinating example of evolution at work.last_img read more

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Full Show Primary Election Roundup And Houstons Best Spots For Breakfast March

first_imgOn Wednesday’s Houston Matters: Houston City Council members are remembering their colleague, Larry Green, who was found dead yesterday morning. We bring you the latest on that story. Then, we recap the results of the Texas Primary Election and discuss the week’s other political stories with our local experts.Also this hour: Our team of local food writers discusses the best places to go for breakfast in Greater Houston. And we go kayaking down Buffalo Bayou. Yep, you can do that.WATCH: Today’s Houston Matters 360-Degree Facebook Live VideoWe offer a free daily, downloadable podcast here, on iTunes, Stitcher and various other podcasting apps. This article is part of the Houston Matters podcast Sharelast_img

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15 militants killed in Afghanistan

first_imgAt least 15 Taliban militants were killed by the bodyguards of a district governor in Afghanistan’s Takhar province on Thursday morning, a government spokesperson said. “A group of armed Taliban fighters attacked the residence of Mullah Omar, the governor of Khwaja Ghar district, at around 5 a.m. on Thursday. The bodyguards of the district governor returned fire, leaving 15 attackers dead,” Xinhua quoted provincial government spokesperson Sunatullah Timor as saying.last_img

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VIDEO A fantasy football owner made a hilarious fake newscast to mock

first_imgColin isn’t into fantasy football, but even he can appreciate the lengths to which one fantasy owner went to mock his crappy opponent, Steve.The guy didn’t just rip Steve on a league message board, he made a fake newscast and reported on just how bad Steve – also the league’s commissioner – sucks. He even interviews Steve’s sister to get to the bottom of why her brother sucks so bad.It takes serious dedication to be this hateful, but this is beautiful. Steve, you suck.last_img

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Costa Ricas Moon Run highlights Monteverdes hidden side

first_imgRelated posts:4,500 runners prepare for Tamarindo Beach Marathon Monteverde’s community radio station aims to inform and entertain town’s diverse population Dealing with climate change in Costa Rica’s treasured Monteverde cloud forest To pave or not to pave? Monteverde’s ongoing roadway saga MONTEVERDE, Puntarenas — As they race this daunting, 62-kilometer ultramarathon, there’s a small stretch where the runners are required to do the most counterintuitive thing imaginable: walk.Participants in Saturday’s Moon Run in Monteverde had to stroll along the 150-meter-long hanging bridge that drapes over the brilliant canopy of one of the world’s rare cloud forests like a string made of metal, so as not to shake it.“If they’re caught running here they could be disqualified,” said freelance photographer and fourth generation Monteverde native Félix Salazar, who has covered the race annually since its inception here five years ago.Besides a few athletes looking for record times, it’s hard to see why anyone would want to rush across this scenic bridge without first taking in the intense onrush of nature around them. A blue hummingbird chased butterflies through the maze of leaves and branches that swayed underneath. Early morning clouds motored on at the same tranquil pace of the runners on the bridge, and each runner seemed to be smiling and joking as they passed by.“Another tough day at the office,” one runner joked before he advanced from the bridge and descended back into a vegetation so dense that any trace of his figure disappeared in seconds. Within the forest at the privately owned Selvatura Park, runners were greeted with mud-ridden paths that quickly turned swamp-like and large fallen branches that impeded their pace.Quetzals flitted in front of the path as if to cheer the runners on, while echoing cries from wild hogs and monkeys rang through the mist. The route created just for the race was far off the paved steps of the park’s visitor trail and is normally off-limits, as are most of the non-paved trails in Selvatura and other area reserves.“That’s the biggest complaint about Monteverde is that so many of its reserves are restricted from the average traveler,” Salazar said. “The runners get to see a whole different side of this place.”From Selvatura’s cloud forest reserve, runners then proceeded west towards the remote mountain town of La Florida de Tilarán where they were met with a punishing climb that foreshadowed a 10-kilometer circuit of steep hillside track. The Moon Run’s 60-kilometer Ultra trail stretches as far west as La Florida de Tilaran of Puntarenas province. (Courtesy of Unlimited Productions)Atop the copper-colored, rocky hill, a pair of falcons soared at eye-level. Marching legs churned towards the menacing loop of narrow dirt trail carved through these chains of mountains that no one seems to know the names of. Here, during what most runners described as the hardest part of the ultramarathon, Moon Run co-founder and Monteverde native Andrés Vargas snapped pictures and shouted encouraging words at the runners. With a mural of flowering clouds and wavy green hills behind him, the curly-haired 36-year-old said this race was partly designed to offer up an often-hidden side of Monteverde.“They see what 99 percent of tourists aren’t going to see,” Vargas said. “It’s a totally virgin area and they’re passing through the same tracks that tapirs or pumas come through. There is flora and fauna that exist here in Monteverde that aren’t in any other place in the world.” Amanda Zuniga/The Tico TimesVargas should know. Afterall, he was born and raised in these mountains and mapped out the courses for the 62-kilometer ultramarathon, the 42-kilometer marathon and the 22-kilometer adventure race, among other shorter races that took place Saturday. Vargas first hiked from Monteverde to Arenal volcano when he was 12, giving him an intimate knowledge of the terrain.“I was raised between the moss and the mud,” Vargas said. “I had spent some time away from Monteverde for awhile, but still I always felt connected to the mountain.”The initial Moon Run was held in Dominical in 2008 and started in the afternoon so that runners would finish after sunset, hence the event’s name. But in search of better infrastructure — and because of Vargas’ ties to his hometown — the race began to be held in Monteverde two years later. “There the seed was planted,” he said.This year, because of troubles securing permits from public agencies like the Public Works and Transport Ministry to race on public roads after dark, the races were done almost entirely during the day for the first time. Moon Race founder and Monteverde native Andrés Vargas took pictures and provided oversight at this year’s event, though he says he wants to compete next year. Amanda Zuniga/The Tico TimesDespite the bureaucratic hiccup, akin to having to change the Super Bowl from Sunday, Sergio Sánchez, who co-founded the event with Vargas, said it gave the opportunity for participants to fully take in one of Costa Rica’s most beautiful locales.“That’s the whole objective of this — to show off Monteverde as it really is,” Sánchez said. “They’re going through the most internal parts of the forest and there you get a very up-close relationship with this nature that not a lot of people get to ever see.”Sánchez, whose company Unlimited Productions hosts adventure sports across Costa Rica, said Monteverde is such a unique backdrop in a country full of natural riches because of its community.“The community of Monteverde is so unified and there’s a great environment of people here,” he said. “These are a diverse set of people that have a vision and don’t depend on the government to do everything for them because they can do everything on their own.” Ultra trail runner Diania Marisa Qusipe makes her way through the 2015 Moon Run on Saturday, December 12. Amanda Zuniga/The Tico TimesAnd the community of Monteverde is linked to the event as more than just a beautiful backdrop. This year’s edition of the Moon Run partnered with the Tropical Science Center, a non-governmental research center in Monteverde that prioritizes environmental conservation and education, to spread awareness among racers and community members.At Saturday’s event, more than 600 runners registered in five different Moon Run races, including 71 in the Ultra Trail. Vargas said each racer brings two family members or friends, on average, meaning that nearly 2,000 people injected money into the local economy this weekend because of the race.“In the case of assisting Monteverde, that was one of the reasons for bringing the race here,” Vargas said. “So I’m satisfied with that.”Runner Fidel Ramírez Hernández from Cartago, who finished third place in the ultramarathon for the second straight year, said he’ll continue coming back to the trail run in Monteverde because of the sheer diversity it offers runners in just a single route.“It’s a very special place,” he said. “Monteverde is unique and it’s always worth it to run here because of how beautiful it is.” The 2015 Moon Run in Monteverde hosted over 600 participants, including 71 runners that competed in the ultramarathon. Amanda Zuniga/The Tico Times Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Russia says the Wallenberg case is still open

first_img New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like “Believe me, had such an information been known to us, the Russia archivists would have been the first to publish and show it,” Khristoforov told The Associated Press. “When some people say that we are defending the pride of the uniform … it’s ridiculous. This is another state and a different special service.”Khristoforov insisted that he and his colleagues would have no inclination to whitewash the record of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin’s much-feared secret police, known under its Russian acronym, NKVD.“I doubt that any of the Federal Security Service officers today would associate himself with the NKVD and would try to defend the uniform of the NKVD,” he said. “That’s why this argument doesn’t stand criticism.”Khristoforov was taking part in an international conference that included researchers from Sweden, Hungary, Israel and Russia. Some of the speakers strongly urged Khristoforov’s agency to give independent researchers investigating the Wallenberg mystery free access to their archives.“I think full access is really needed,” said Ingrid Carlberg, a Swedish author who recently published a book about Wallenberg. “They can’t possibly know what kind of puzzles I have that could be matched with pieces of information in those archives. If we put them all together, we will have a clearer picture.” Wallenberg is credited with saving thousands of Jews in Budapest by distributing Swedish travel documents or moving them to safe houses.He was arrested in Budapest by the Soviet Red Army in 1945. The Soviets initially denied Wallenberg was in their custody, then said in 1957 that he died of a heart attack in prison on July 17, 1947.The Russian government has never formally retracted the initial Soviet version, but some officials acknowledged that Wallenberg likely had been killed. In 2000, Alexander Yakovlev, the one-time chairman of a presidential panel investigating the fate of repression victims, said he had been told by a former KGB chief that Wallenberg was killed in Lubyanka prison.That year, Russia also conceded that Soviet authorities had wrongfully persecuted Wallenberg and posthumously rehabilitated him as a victim of political repression.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments   Share   Top Stories More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Patients with chronic pain give advice New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Sponsored Stories Check your body, save your life Associated PressMOSCOW (AP) – The chief archivist of Russia’s counterintelligence service said Monday it will continue searching for clues about the mystery of Holocaust hero Raoul Wallenberg, who vanished while in Soviet captivity.Lt.-Gen. Vasily Khristoforov said that his agency, the Federal Security Service, has no reason to withhold any information about the Swedish diplomat from the public eye. He rejected critics’ allegations that his service, the main KGB successor, could be hiding documents related to Wallenberg’s fate.last_img read more

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China Eastern sees massive surge in profit

first_imgChina Eastern Airlines is banking on its net profit for 2010 to exceed the previous year’s figures by almost ten times.The airline’s 2009 net profit was US$81.7 million, with expectations for 2010 exceeding US$800 million.The airline cited growth in domestic passenger travel as one of the primary influences for the surge in profits.“The air transportation market has been recovering rapidly and continued to grow in 2010. “In particular, the air transportation market of the People’s Republic of China has continued to grow rapidly,” the airline said in a statement released on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.In addition to increased domestic travel, the soaring profits were also attributed to the acquisition of smaller rival Shanghai Airlines and the World Expo in Shanghai last year, according to the statement. China Eastern Airlines Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.Tlast_img read more

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Citigroup to Sell OneMain to Springleaf for 425 Billion

first_img March 4, 2015 493 Views in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Uncategorized Share Citigroup will sell OneMain Financial Holdings Inc. to Springleaf Holdings Inc for $42.5 billion in cash, according to Reuters. The deal would make Springleaf the largest subprime lender in the U.S, with $15 billion in assets and nearly 2,000 branches.Citigroup has been trying to sell OneMain since 2011 as a plan the bank has implemented to sell unwanted assets and focus on wealthier clients. OneMain is a part of Citi Holdings, which was created during the financial crisis to place assets that Citigroup wanted to divest or wind down. It provides loans to buy small-ticket items and meet unexpected expenses. The company posted a loss of $2 billion in 2010, but has since been profitable, with profits rising 7 percent to $415 million in nine months. OneMain has 1,140 branches in the U.S.According to the article, OneMain had filed to go public in October, but Citigroup had always preferred an outright sale. However, potential buyers had trouble raising funds and Citi was unwilling to sell at prices being offered. Industry experts thought OneMain would sell for more money. Jefferies & Co said it expected OneMain to sell for $5 million.Citigroup said it will use a part of the sale proceeds to retire certain funding that supports Citi Holdings. The combination of the debt retirement and the remaining proceeds is expected to add about $1 billion to Citi’s earnings before income taxes. Citi Holdings’ assets had been reduced to 5 percent of total assets in 2014 from a peak of more than 30 percent, by Citi.Springfield shares rose 38 percent to a record $52.44 on Tuesday, while Citigroup’s shares were slightly higher at $53.73. Springleaf CEO Jay Levine said the combined company is expected to earn $800 to $900 million in 2017, according to Reuters.center_img Citigroup to Sell OneMain to Springleaf for $42.5 Billion Citigroup One Main Springleaf. Citi Holdings 2015-03-04 Samantha Guzmanlast_img read more