Stock options to be taxed more like regular income under new federal

OTTAWA — Executives at big established companies who get paid with large stock grants will owe more in tax under changes promised in the new federal budget.Under the current rules, employee stock option benefits are taxed at half the normal rate of personal income — the same rate as capital gains.The plan announced in the federal budget Tuesday will put a $200,000 annual cap on the stock-option grants that get the preferential treatment, for employees of large firms.The government plans to exclude start-ups and rapidly growing businesses from the cap, to allow them to use potentially lucrative stock options as a tool to attract and reward employees without necessarily paying big salaries.“We will take action to limit the benefit of the stock option deduction for executives of large, long-established corporations — while ensuring that everyday employees aren’t affected, and that start-ups and emerging Canadian businesses can continue to grow, attract talent, and create more good jobs,” Finance Minister Bill Morneau said.The government said the rationale for preferential tax treatment of employee stock options is to support younger and growing businesses and that it does not believe that they should be used as compensation for executives of large, mature companies only because they come with favourable tax treatment.Further details of the plan are expected to be released in the summer.Bruce Ball, vice-president for taxation at the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, said the details of the plan will be key.“The have to figure out exactly which companies the new rules will apply to and which ones they don’t,” Ball said. “There are references to start-up companies and growth companies and there are references to mature companies at the other end, so I think we’ll need some sort of clarification in the middle.”The Liberals set themselves up similarly in their 2017 budget, promising changes to restrict the use of private corporations by professionals such as doctors to get better tax treatment for their incomes, with details to come. When Morneau released those details the following summer, the angry reaction ultimately caused the government to back down.The government noted the change to the taxes on stock options will only apply to options granted in the future and will not apply to those granted before the announcement of legislation to implement the new plan.Employee stock options allow workers to buy shares of their employers at a set price, which might be less than the market price.In their 2015 campaign platform, the Liberals had promised to set a cap on how much could be claimed through the stock option deduction.Craig Wong, The Canadian Press read more

Read More →

DR Congo UNbacked health insurance plan provides coverage for refugees

28 December 2009A $6,000-per-month United Nations investment in a pioneering health care scheme is paying significant dividends for nearly 1,500 refugees living in the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) who fled neighbouring countries. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) spends just $30 a month for each refugee family, up to seven or eight people, on a life-saving medical insurance plan administered by the Bureau Diocésain des Ouvres Médicales. Under that plan, which was established in 1978 and covers 2 million people in Kinshasa, refugees in the Congolese capital are assigned to a health centre close to home for primary care and can be referred to a major hospital, for more complicated treatment.UNHCR joined the BDOM system this year after an extensive evaluation of refugees’ complaints about the quality of medical services they received.“Now that half of all refugees are living in cities, we are having to look at more innovative ways of delivering services to them,” said Paul Spiegel, head of UNHCR Public Health and HIV Section. “The health insurance programme in Kinshasa may be one example we will want to consider duplicating for refugees in other major cities,” he added.Local health care experts say the system is more efficient, with less bureaucracy and more focus on the health of the patients, and refugees are not only assured medical treatment but are free from discrimination when they arrive at the hospital. read more

Read More →

Social sciences play vital role in tackling environmental challenges says UNESCO report

The 2013 World Social Science Report takes stock of the “unprecedented and staggering environmental challenges” facing society and their potentially devastating consequences on the well-being of people worldwide, according to a news release issued by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).“Global environmental change impacts everything for everyone on this planet: life support systems, livelihoods, ways of life, actions and interactions,” said the agency, which published the report along with the International Social Science Council (ISSC) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).It added that problems encountered by individuals and communities struggling with social, economic and political crises, persistent poverty, increasing inequalities and social discontent are already exacerbated by environmental change.The 600-page report, which will be launched on Friday at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, features articles by more than 150 leading experts from all over the world and represents the full gamut of social science subjects: anthropology, economics, development studies, geography, political science, psychology, and sociology.The issues presented in the report highlight the need to draw on the social sciences to bring about the economic and behavioural changes required to achieve sustainability. To this end, the report issues an urgent call to action to the international scientific community. “Social scientists need to collaborate more effectively with colleagues from the natural, human and engineering sciences to deliver knowledge that can help address the most pressing of today’s environmental problems and sustainability challenges,” said UNESCO. “And they need to do so in close collaboration with decision-makers, practitioners and the other users of their research.”The report urges a new approach to social science that is bold enough to reframe and reinterpret global environmental change as a fundamentally social process; better in terms of incorporating social science insights into problem-solving; and bigger in terms of the need for more social scientists to address the challenges of global environmental change.The new approach should also be different by changing the way the social sciences view and practice science to help meet current complex interdisciplinary challenges, UNESCO added. read more

Read More →

Sudan is committed to dialogue and will knock on every door in

He reaffirmed his Government’s unswerving commitment to the UN Charter and dialogue within the international community on such issues as international justice and the fight against impunity through mechanisms that are not selective and not politicized. “In our eyes, it is clear that the Rome Statute, which created the International Criminal Court,” rather than dispensing justice, hampers efforts to achieve peace. “One has to differentiate between justice and politicization of justice,” he said, stressing that achieving peace requires cooperation and hard work. “We are going to knock on every door” in pursuit peace, he said, adding that dialogue is the only solution. In that light, Sudan is today strengthening its social fabric and rebuilding the country. “Thanks to God, the Government and the people of my country, Darfur has become a safe region, where peace and security prevail,” and which UN has witnessed, he noted. His Government reiterates its call for the withdrawal of the African Union-UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID). “There are no more reasons for its presence,” he said, adding that its forces could be better employed elsewhere to ensure that the served to consolidate peace in other parts of the world. He also called for the removal of sanctions against his country and the writing off of its billions of dollars in foreign debt, which was hampering Sudan’s economic capabilities and ability to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. read more

Read More →

Growth and Innovation Fund

In November 2010, government announced in its skills strategy paper, Skills for Sustainable Growth, the establishment of a Growth and Innovation Fund (GIF) of up to £50 million a year. Government have produced a prospectus setting out how eligible organisations can apply to the investment element of GIF, with employer-led proposals to raise skill levels and business performance. The investment fund has up to £25 million available in each of the next two financial years for applications in response to this prospectus, which invites applications under three strands: Best Market Solutions, National Skills Academies and Joint Investment Programme. Government intends to invite applications to the investment fund annually from 2011 through to 2013.DOWNLOAD REPORTClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more

Read More →

Bus driver nabbed with ganja cocaine at Mabura

…24.9 kilograms cannabis, 200 grams cocaine found in vehicle transporting passengers to LethemA bus driver of Tabatinga, Lethem is now in custody of the Police after he was, in the wee hours of Sunday morning, found with a large quantity of cannabis and cocaine in his possession.The 55-year-old man was said to be transporting passengers to Lethem at the time of the discovery. He was attempting to pass through a checkpoint at the Mabura Police Station, Linden at around 04:00hrs.The 24.9 kilograms of cannabis and 200 grams of cocaine that were unearthedThis publication understands that the vehicle was thoroughly searched by ranks, acting on a tipoff, and the 24.9 kilograms of cannabis and 200 grams of cocaine were unearthed.The minibus that was stopped and searched at a Police checkpoint at Mabura Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedLethem bus driver remanded for trafficking cocaine, cannabisOctober 3, 2017In “Court”Man wrapped in over 1000 grams of ganja heading to Mahdia bustedApril 27, 2018In “Crime”Kwakwani resident arrested with 1654 grams cannabisDecember 3, 2017In “Crime” As such, the man was questioned about the discovery and later taken into Police custody, where investigations are still being conducted.He is being processed for Court.The suspect in custody read more

Read More →

Russia and Argentina get victories in Moscow

← Previous Story Javier Sabate leads Veszprem until June 2017! Next Story → Slovenia demolish Croatia without Duvnjak – 32:17 argentinaBelarusehf euroehf euro 2016 polandNetherlandsrussiarutenka Argentina beat Belarus for 29-28 on the opening match of the Orthodox Christmas Tournament in Moscow, Russia. The conducted by Eduardo Gallardo obtained their second victory against the Europeans in less than three months as they had already beat them in the Provident Cup in Hungary last November (30-23). Russia defeated the Netherlands for 35-28.The South American team traveled to the Russian capital without some of their key players, such as Diego and Sebastián Simonet, Nantes’ goalkeeper Matías Schulz and team captain Gonzalo Carou, but that did not make it less dangerous. The first half finished 15-13 for Argentina, which had a very good performance despite the constant rotation of the line-up. A characteristic tough defence and the dynamic on the attack were key for the victory for Gallardo’s squad.Siarhei Rutenka’s 9 goals were not enough to change the result on the second half and the Argentinians were able to keep up the pace of the match to reach the last minutes with a two goal lead. A last minute save by Fernando García and a goal by 23-year-old centre-back Julian Souto Cueto (top scorer for Argentina with 5 goals) sentenced the match. The negative aspect was the injury of Juan Pablo Fernández, who sprained his right knee, the extent of the injury will be further determined after examinations in Buenos Aires, but he will miss the rest of the tournament.While Yuri Shevtsov’s team is wrapping up the preparation for the upcoming EHF Euro in Poland, where they will be on group B together with Croatia, Iceland and Norway; Argentina will take full advantage of these matches to prepare for the Pan American Champíonship (qualifier for France 2017) in June in Buenos Aires.Julian Souto Cueto in action against Belarus.Later on, Russia took a victory for 35-28 against the Netherlands. The home team is also finalizing details ahead of the EHF Euro, where they will be part of group D along with Denmark, Hungary and Montenegro. The top scorer of the match was Valentin Kovalyov with 8 goals. Tomorrow, Belarus will play against the Netherlands at 15hs, while Dmitri Torgovanov’s team will face Argentina at 17hs (Moscow time) in a rematch of last year’s encounter on the World Championship in Qatar, when the South Americans obtained a 30-27 victory to reach the eight finals.Photo credit: http://www.rushandball.ru/ read more

Read More →

Tatran Presov and ABC UMinho close EHF CL 201617 list

The winners of the two VELUX EHF Champions League qualifications tournaments are Portuguese champions ABC UMinho and Slovak best team Tatran Presov.Slovakians won tournament final over Slovenian RK Gorenje Velenje 23:21 in front of home fans in Presov, while Portuguese team managed to beat Austrian Bregenz Handball 33:32.ABC UMinho will join Group D with HBC Nantes, Team Tvis Holstebro, HC Motor Zaporoże, Besiktas JK and Dinamo Bucharest.Slovaks will play in Group C against  Naturhouse La Rioja, Metalurg Skopje, Chekhovskie Medvedi,  Montpellier Handball and Elverum Handball. ← Previous Story IHF SUPER GLOBE 2016: Fuchse Berlin step closer to defend title Next Story → “Cologne is forgotten” – Voices before PSG – Kielce clash in Doha

Read More →

Fresh Firefox OS screen mockups leaked

first_imgYou may have seen the images of the Firefox Marketplace that leaked out recently. Those have now been joined by a fresh batch of screen mockups of the operating system itself, as Firefox OS steams ahead toward its public launch.Brazilians will get first crack at Mozilla’s fledgling OS when it arrives on their shores early in 2013, and they’ll be treated to something that looks a bit more like what you see above than previous peeks offered up by the Foundation.Soft gradients abound, but there’s signs that Mozilla is going to clutter up the experience with skeumorphism. It also looks as though Mozilla is pushing for FM radio support — a good move, since customers in the emerging markets it wants to target will no doubt appreciate a streaming music alternative that doesn’t require a data plan from a mobile carrier.Don’t like the look of the perfectly round icons on the home screen? Don’t forget that Firefox OS is totally open source. You’ll be able to dive right in and modify the underlying code to customize things any way you see fit — in much the same way that you can tinker with Firefox’s userchrome.css file to personalize your browser.Regardless of how much you like or dislike this latest round of mockups, it’s important to remember that they’re not the actual OS. What we ultimately get to poke at next year may wind up looking dramatically different. But since the code will be out in the open, we’ll get additional glimpses between now and launch day.More at Soren Hentzschel’s Bloglast_img read more

Read More →

ConocoPhillips To Begin 1 billion North Slope Oil Development This Winter

first_imgThe development plan is for up to 48 wells, and the company says it anticipates production of up to 40,000 barrels per day. The project is expected to employ up to 700 workers. The Greater Mooses Tooth 2  is a satellite drill site and the second project proposed to be developed in the Greater Mooses Tooth Unit, in the Northeast NPR-A on the North Slope. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享ConocoPhillips approved the funding for the roughly $1 billion development project in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A), on October 25. GMT2 will begin construction in the winter of 2018/2019, with the first oil planned for 2021. ConocoPhillips announced on October 9 that the Greater Mooses Tooth 1 drill site in the NPR-A had achieved first oil production ahead of schedule on October 5.last_img read more

Read More →

Village of Wales Starts Polar Bear Patrol to Protect Community

first_imgPhoto via Flickr Creative Commons courtesy of Christopher Michel.Representatives from four agencies arrived in Wales recently, equipped with 40 pizzas and a slideshow on polar bear deterrents. It was one of the final meetings in a years-long effort to start a community-run polar bear patrol with help from the Alaska Nanuuq Commission, the North Slope Borough, the World Wildlife Fund, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.Events kicked off on June 14th with a pizza party for the Wales community and continued all week with training sessions and discussions of patrol logistics.Download AudioThere isn’t a huge number of polar bears passing through Wales, but the community has had several close encounters. During one session, people shared stories of opening the front door to find a polar bear just outside and even seeing one chase a teacher into the school.For Christine Komonaseak, school safety is a key reason for creating the patrol. She’s a cook at the Wales School and said she worries about students during the winter when they walk to class in the dark.“The kids who have been beating me to work — I want the safety for them, because they walk from up here to down there,” she said. “The bears have been spotted by the parsonage, by the school. The one that they last killed — I spotted that one below the house eating on a walrus. That was the one they killed by the playground.”The patrol’s mission is to minimize conflicts between people and polar bears for the safety of both. If bears do enter the community, the patrol will scare them away with noise, light, or non-lethal ammunition. Protecting the people comes first, but conserving the bear population is important too, given their status as a threatened species and their role as a subsistence resource.When the volunteer patrol starts, as early as December, Greg Oxereok will be on the squad. He said creating a patrol in Wales just makes sense as a proactive safety measure.“Safety should be number one, especially somewhere like this where it’s rural and it’s hard to get transportation and facilities,” he said. “It’s good to try to stop a problem before it starts. It just makes sense to protect and try to serve our community.”For now, details are still being discussed — where the patrol will be based, when it’ll sweep the town’s perimeter, and how many patrollers will be on duty at a time. While the agencies are providing equipment like ammunition, radios, and a snow machine, the Wales community will manage the patrol itself. The IRA will take the lead, but the City Council and the Wales Native Corporation are also involved, with all three bodies recommending patrollers for the job.Jack Omelak, executive director of the Alaska Nanuuq Commission, emphasizes the patrol is a Wales initiative. The community makes the decisions and the agencies are there to help with training and supplies.“We get our authority to work on your behalf from you,” Omelak told the community. “We don’t just take it upon ourselves to do it. So we need to be informed and people [from Wales] need to be involved.”That includes letting traditional knowledge shape the patrol’s strategy. Craig Perham, a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, encouraged patrollers to work with elders and learn how the community has dealt with polar bears for generations.“Certainly, there are biologists like myself in Anchorage, and we can help when we can. But you’ve got that experience right here — the older guys who have been out hunting,” he said.Oxereok, who’s 30, says he looks forward to connecting with elders through the patrol, especially since he doesn’t have much firsthand experience with hunting or warding off polar bears.“There is a generation gap. And this might help dispel some of that distance between the older generation and my generation,” he said. “The more we can work together, the more we can grow as a whole.”The four agencies will evaluate the Wales polar bear patrol once it’s up and running to identify what works and what doesn’t. Omelak said they’re treating it as a pilot program for a polar bear management plan that will develop over 10 years and cover the Bering Strait Region.last_img read more

Read More →

AK For TlingitUnangax artist Nicholas Galanin first retrospective a lifetime in the

first_imgAt 39, Nicholas Galanin is a globally recognized name in the indigenous art world. He has no intentions of relocating, working out of the Devilfish Gallery and his home in Sitka “Winter here is a wonderful time to create,” he said during a recent visit by KCAW. He poses with his published monograph, “Let Them Enter Dancing and Show Their Faces.” (Emily Kwong/KCAW photo)Nicholas Galanin strives to create fearlessly. The Tlingit-Unangax artist works in multiple mediums and from his home in Sitka, has made a name for himself in the indigenous art world. At 39, Galanin just finished a solo retrospective at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona. “Dear Listener” is the largest exhibit by a contemporary artist at the Heard Museum in a decade.Listen nowAt his workshop in Sitka, all of Galanin’s attention is on a thin and shining piece of silver.“I am working on some silver jewelry right now, so this is an engraving and it’s going to be a bracelet when it’s done,” Gallanin said.Rubbing oil based clay on the silver, Galanin sketches a small circle. He brings a pneumatic hand engraver to the metal, moving slowly.Jewelry is where Galanin got his start. At 14, he began carving under the apprenticeship under his father, Dave Galanin. Pretty soon, the newly born eye of a Raven looks back at us.At 39, Nicholas Galanin is a globally recognized name in the indigenous art world. He has no intentions of relocating, working out of the Devilfish Gallery and his home in Sitka “Winter here is a wonderful time to create,” he said during a recent visit by KCAW. He poses with his published monograph, “Let Them Enter Dancing and Show Their Faces.” (Emily Kwong/KCAW photo)Galanin used to design everything on paper and transfer the image to the silver. Now, he trusts his line work and creates freely. His last desk job was at 18-years-old at Sitka National Historical Park, greeting visitors.“Nobody was there [one day] and I didn’t have anything to do, so I drew. I was told that I can’t do Tlingit art drawing there. I could only read Russian history books. So I quit. That was my last job that was non-creative related,” Galanin recalled.Galanin’s made a living from his art ever since, earning national and international recognition. Singer Erykah Badu is wearing his silver work in her latest Instagram photo. Galanin is a musician too, releasing an album last year with his band Indian Agent.The entrance of Nicholas Galanin’s mid-career retrospective “Dear Listener” at the Heard Museum features a split photograph of the artist and his piece “We Dreamt Deaf,” a polar bear melting into a plinth. The multi-media artist uses multiple techniques to make bold political and social statements. (Photo courtesy of Nicholas Galanin’s website)2018 has been a busy year for Galanin, but a lifetime in the making. In addition to the solo retrospective at the Heard Museum, Galanin’s released a 140-page monograph called Let Them Enter Dancing and Showing Their Faces and led the carving of a totem pole.“That was a big side job,” Galanin said with a laugh. “I was flying to Juneau and working three days a week, 12 hour days to start. At the end we were working 20-hour days to finish it up.”Galanin and his five apprentice carvers hit their mark. The 40-foot healing pole was raised in June to memorialize when the City of Douglas burned down the Douglas Indian Village in 1962.Even when working with traditional materials, Galanin has a call-and-response relationship with history. He tracks on the ways that indigenous people are displaced, often through violent and traumatic means, and indigenous culture appropriated. His work calls attention to that, boldly challenging the viewer and asking him or her, “Where do you stand?”Take for example a pair of iron handcuffs, intricately engraved by Galanin with Tlingit imagery. He calls the work, “Indian Children’s Bracelet,” in reference to the separation of families through Native American boarding schools.“That’s representation of that selective amnesia. Somebody will look at these children’s bracelets. If they just want to look at the surface, they’ll see the engraving and they’ll see the Tlingit art from that they might appreciate. They will not see the full object or the history that that object tells,” Galanin explained.That’s one of 50 such works in the exhibit. Galanin flips through his monograph, pointing out others. There’s “God Complex,” police riot gear made out of porcelain. “White Noise, American Prayer Rug” evokes the fuzz on a television screen. “We Dreamt Deaf” is a taxidermied polar bear from Shishmaref. His unstuffed hindquarters appear to melt. It’s a provocative statement about climate change.“They offer room for dialogue and progress. They’re tools. The work is doing the work,” Galanin said.“Indian Children’s Bracelet” is made from hand-engraved iron, one in a set of three. The other two are in permanent collection at the Portland Museum and the Alaska State Museum. The three bracelets are never to be reunited to emphasize the separation of Native American families.Viewers have reacted all kinds of way, he tells me, some saying the work made them uncomfortable. Opening night was particularly overwhelming. The group Shabazz Palaces were performing and Galanin was getting approached on all sides.“It was like I walked into a pit of piranhas at  the opening and was being fed upon by docents, white old ladies. They were vicious. They were like demanding me to explain the work and myself and these titles and all these things,” he says.Other viewers, especially Native viewers, said the work made them feel seen and empowered. He reads his favorite comments from Instagram.“‘I finally got the family to see the brilliant Dear Listener at the Heard Museum. This experience has forever changed my spirit,’” Galanin reads, grinning.“Dear Listener” is the name of the exhibit and Galanin’s fully aware some of his most attentive listeners are his three children. They’ve seen the home studio in Sitka grow over the years.“Forever holding new things and new objects. Every object is a conversation. These conversations we’re having now, I have with them,” Galanin said.That is the most important part for Galanin — not the art in the exhibit, but the conversation that comes out of those willing to take the time, look, and listen.last_img read more

Read More →

Engineers Lives Lost In Mexico Quake Could Have Been Saved

first_img Share Twitter user @CBSnewsRescuers and hundreds of volunteers are working nonstop to search for survivors of Mexico’s deadly earthquakeWarm lighting would enhance the wood floors’ natural glow, the developer promised, so when all the custom lightbulbs burnt out, Anahi Abadia and her husband grudgingly drove to Home Depot to replenish supplies for their chic new flat in central Mexico City.They had just reached the register when the earthquake hit, shaking the store so fiercely the structure screeched. Minutes later, a text came in from their neighbor: The elegant apartment they had purchased only six months earlier had collapsed, rendering their new home a pile of crushed concrete.They were among the fortunate: Two women working in their building and dozens more perished on Sept. 19 in structure failures that several prominent engineers now say could have been prevented. Nearly two-thirds of the 44 buildings that fell in Mexico City were designed with a construction method called flat slab — in which floors are supported only by concrete columns — now forbidden in parts of the United States, Chile and New Zealand according to data compiled by a team of structural engineers at Stanford University and obtained by The Associated Press.Mexico City officials were widely lauded for tightening their building codes after thousands died in the 1985 earthquake. But they left out one crucial reform: a prohibition on the building technique that caused 61 percent of the building collapses in last month’s magnitude 7.1 quake, which killed 369 people and blanketed tree-lined avenues in rubble.“I keep thinking about what would have happened if I had still been in bed that afternoon.” said Abadia, 26, who was in her bedroom that morning recovering from thyroid cancer, dreaming of furnishing the home she and her husband moved into in March. “That was where we used to feel safe.”The concrete slabs used to build floors and ceilings can be cast to include some rebar for reinforcement, and give builders greater flexibility in room layout and allow for higher ceilings.But in an earthquake, without reinforced concrete walls or lateral bracing to resist forces pushing structures sideways, buildings with that design can move too much. The columns, and connections between the slabs and columns, can easily break, prompting collapse, as was the case at a school where 26 people died, most of them children.“We have known for 30 years that this system killed lots of people, so why are we still using it?” asked Eduardo Miranda, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford and global expert on earthquake-resistant design who compiled the data. “The right decision after ’85 would have been to completely ban this kind of construction. We could have saved lives.”Abadia’s trendy, ecofriendly apartment building with its wood-paneled balconies and solar-paneled roof collapsed when a corner column failed, and the flat-slab structure pancaked, Miranda said. There, the construction method was only the start of the problems: The units were designed by an architect whose license lapsed, and approved in a borough where auditors previously found illegal construction occurred unchecked.Experts concur that the devastation caused by last month’s earthquake in the city of 8.9 million people could have been much worse had the building codes not been so strong, but it also has forced an uncomfortable conversation about their shortcomings. Now, as experts race to toughen standards to retrofit hundreds of damaged buildings, they are grappling with the reality that corruption has allowed hundreds of structures to be built outside the rules atop the soft soils of Mexico City’s ancient lakebed.___Twitter User @BBCWorldPeople form human chains to reach those who are trapped in Mexico City after the deadly earthquake.After the quake, Abadia and her husband made their way home to find their flat in ruins, concrete and rebar tangled in the parking lot, pieces of Styrofoam filler used in the slabs floating in the breeze. Frantic neighbors gathered to search for a missing mother and daughter-in-law they knew cleaned an apartment down the hall, but the builder never appeared, so residents were left to sketch out their own graphs of the building’s structure for rescue crews seeking a safe entry point.“The two people working in #404 couldn’t get out,” said Abadia, the scars from her operation still fresh at the base of her throat. “How is it possible that after less than a year after it opened, the building was completely demolished?”The day after the earthquake, the builder, Canada Building Group, sent residents an email saying that the company was not responsible for the collapse because the earthquake was a “fortuitous event” out of its control.Little did residents know that the private engineer who designed the building had been working under a license that expired in July 2015, online records show. City officials and the engineer did not return calls seeking further details about the expiration.And the borough official who heads the department that signed off on the plans the engineer submitted, including the waffle slab construction, reportedly had been suspended for illicit enrichment after an investigation by Mexico City’s controller found he failed to report a home and two cars on his income statement. Neither the builder nor the official, Nicias Rene Aridjis, responded to AP’s calls or messages but Aridjis has disputed the claim on Twitter.An audit performed by Mexico City’s controller in 2015 shows that the same borough, Benito Juarez, had been rubber stamping construction drawings, allowing unpermitted and illegal construction to sail through its offices.“It was found that the department of public works and urban development does not have a specific program to administratively verify construction drawings,” the audit said.Borough officials did not return calls seeking comment, but previously announced they were investigating possible sanctions against the developer of Abadia’s apartment building and planned to file a criminal complaint.“It will need to be investigated ,” said Renato Berron, head of the Institute for the Security of Constructions of Mexico City, a city agency. “It can’t be that something so new fell down.”___Guillermo Arias/AFP/Getty ImagesA rescue worker collects himself as others gather around him in Mexico City last week.In the crisis following the 1985 quake, a group of academics, building officials and engineers worked day and night to draft emergency recommendations to strengthen Mexico City’s seismic codes, which were swiftly passed into law.The committee was under pressure to analyze what caused the collapses and quickly issue new norms, and some architects and builders were opposed to an outright ban on flat slab construction, said Miranda, whose work at the time was to write reports that informed the committee as they crafted tougher rules.“There were lots of builders and owners who were not going to be happy that you just stopped their construction,” said Miranda, who later went on to serve on Mexico’s code committee in the 1990s, as well as on committees funded by the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency. “These things start as technical conversations but then you run into policy and politics very quickly.”The new codes allowed flat slab construction if developers designed the building to be seismically stronger than structures with beams or concrete walls.Authorities did not focus enough on evaluating if existing flat slab structures needed a seismic retrofit after 1985, Miranda said.“It would have been better to have insisted very much about not using flat slab, or using it only it in very special cases,” said Roberto Meli, a renowned structural engineer who served on the code committee in 1985, and went on to head the federal Center for Disaster Protection founded after that quake. “There should have been more of a public information campaign to designers and builders that this was not a good solution.”The new codes gave more responsibility to a network of private engineers who are hired and paid by developers, and who submit structural plans to borough authorities. In practice, that means private engineers — not government experts — vet projects’ structural safety, and even city officials say the process can be vulnerable to corruption.“Corruption can come in many forms, from the moment someone accepts a bribe to when someone falsifies documents, or fails to present the right structural plans to borough authorities,” said Berron. “If the construction rules were implemented as they are written, then this could be avoided. But that hasn’t always worked out.”In recent decades, middle-class enclaves close to the city’s professional center have experienced vertiginous growth, and a dizzying array of unpermitted helipads and illegal, multi-floor garages have sprouted up between historic neoclassical homes. In the last 15 years, residents of Abadia’s Benito Juarez borough and two others nearby have sent in the highest number of complaints about land-use violations to a city watchdog agency.Now, those same boroughs are home to dozens of damaged buildings that may need to be demolished or require emergency retrofitting, according to data from the Mexican Society of Structural Engineers. Miranda, whose team compiled the data on the 44 collapses through in-person visits and detailed structural analysis, estimates that hundreds of damaged buildings were built with flat slab systems, including some built relatively recently. Some 57 percent of the collapsed buildings had a soft story, a garage or other similar opening on the ground floor, Miranda’s data shows.Meli said he and others on the expert committee will seek to strengthen retrofitting standards first, and by early next year he said they may reexamine flat slab, although he is not convinced prohibiting the method outright would have worked.Abadia, who is living temporarily at her mother-in-law’s apartment on the other side of the vast city, said she hopes shoddy builders will be held responsible.“We lost everything,” she said. “We know an earthquake is an unexpected event. But a new building should not fall down.”___Associated Press writer Mark Stevenson in Mexico City contributed to this report.last_img read more

Read More →

Harris County Deputies Seize More Than 100 Animals from Southwest Houston Apartment

first_imgPhoto: Houston Humane Society via FacebookThe Houston Humane Society rescued Tuesday 105 animals that were found when law enforcement was serving an eviction notice at a southwest Houston apartment.The Houston Humane Society rescued Tuesday 105 animals that were found when law enforcement was serving an eviction notice at a southwest Houston apartment.The organization detailed in a Facebook post that the animals were seized from an apartment located at the 10200 block of Sugar Branch Drive.The animals include 32 cockatiels, 22 chinchilla, 16 sugargliders, 13 ferrets, 11 guinea pigs, six African Grey parrots, three dogs and two prairie dogs.Photo: Houston Humane Society via FacebookDeputies from the Constable’s Office for Harris County’s Precinct 5 obtained a warrant to seize all of the animals in the apartment unit.The Harris County Animal Cruelty Taskforce was notified and deputies from the Constable’s Office for Harris County’s Precinct 5 obtained a warrant to seize all of the animals in the apartment unit.The animals will be housed and cared for at the Houston Humane Society until a court appearance determines permanent custody. Sharelast_img read more

Read More →

You can make 14000 building 10 realworld estates in Minecraft

first_imgElysian Estates, a luxury accommodation company based out of the United Kingdom, is looking for expert-level Minecraft players to build 10 of their real-world estates in-game. Each property built will earn participants £1,000, with all 10 estates built netting them £10,000 (or $14,000). It’s a great opportunity for hardcore users of the game to essentially be paid a ton of money to do something they normally do for free.The job is open to anyone who is a UK citizen and is above the age of sixteen. In order to enter, participants have to construct the Aldourie Castle within Minecraft. There is an image pack available which contains hi-res pictures of the estate. Those entering the contest only have to build the exterior of the castle. The listing says: “Property specialists at Elysian Estates are looking specifically for intricate detail, imagination and creativity. All entries will be judged by the property specialists, who will select and inform the successful ‘virtual estate builder’ a week later on 25 April via email.”This is obviously a great opportunity for devoted Minecraft players. Elysian Estates says if this project proves to be successful within Minecraft that it will plan other similar projects once this one is finished. If that happens, it could give more folks another chance to try and win some money. Registration closes on April 18, so if you’re interested in participating then you should get to it pronto. Make sure to follow the link above for more details on where to send your screenshots.last_img read more

Read More →

The STEM Skills That Turn Engineers Into Entrepreneurs

first_img 7 min read How Success Happens Listen Now Recently, we’ve seen a surge of initiatives to help prioritize STEM education in schools across the United States. From Google, to Microsoft, to the White House, organizations are spending millions of dollars to integrate technology and computer science into classrooms.Related: How Humanities Degrees Cultivate Marketable Business SkillsAnd, while introducing and encouraging the understanding of STEM principles is critical for young students aiming to find success in science and math skills, these principles are equally important for those looking to build businesses of their own someday.Becoming an entrepreneur inevitably involves business, marketing and finance skills; however, many do not realize the value that STEM skills can also contribute to running a company.The top STEM skills entrepreneurs need for successPerhaps it’s no coincidence that many entrepreneurs started their companies in a garage – from Apple to Harley-Davidson. For many, the idea of a garage is synonymous with tinkering. I grew up visiting my uncle’s farm, seeing him working with tractors and equipment.I realize now that this must have sparked my interest in systems at a young age. It was fascinating to figure out how to fix machines when they were broken and to devise the most effective ways to make crops grow. I got to understand, hands-on, the beauty of how systems really worked, rather than being satisfied by the illusion of seamlessness.It’s clear that curiosity, creativity and innovation lead to a deeper exploration of entrepreneurship. In fact, these are among the top traits that encourage the younger generation to pursue successful futures.Attending Imperial College London for mechanical engineering opened my eyes to the vast career opportunities technology holds. A 2017 study conducted by my company, SAM Labs, found that 69 percent of teachers surveyed believed that technology can be used to support any subject, ranging from English and reading to math and science.Related: These Skills Will Boost Your Salary by 20 PercentSTEM can be useful for everyone in every field.From the music industry to exploring outer space, STEM concepts are consistently making a real-world impact. Some of the top STEM skills that we learn at a young age have proven their value for all entrepreneurs. Some examples:●  Teamwork and collaboration. Working in STEM is all about working together. As engineering teaches, a well-oiled machine can  run efficiently only when all moving parts are in sync and producing no friction. The greater the efficiency, the greater the momentum.When Satya Nadella began as Microsoft’s CEO three-and-a-half years ago, he recalled noticing teamwork being replaced by internal politics; he saw the need for a deeper understanding among team members. In this context, Nadella has made the point that working with people and working together are vastly different concepts and that a company’s success depends on its teams’ collaboration and mutual understanding.●  Resilience. Practitioners of STEM are all essentially trying to do one thing: face a problem that’s both challenging to understand and solve. Therefore, to begin an experiment, a researcher must first create a hypothesis.Analyzing a problem from an “if … then” point of view allows this researcher to face a challenge with an open mind and to reach an educated solution. If the solution is not met, the experiment is not a failure; it is simply restarted.Entrepreneurs are constantly faced with problems. Keeping an open mind to constant learning will allow the growth needed to adapt and continuously take on new challenges with energy. There is an endless list of successful entrepreneurs who have failed, sometimes many times, before they’ve been successful. This includes people like Evan Williams, co-founder of Twitter; Vera Wang, the famous fashion designer; and Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post. All were rejected, denied and fired before finding success.●  Establishing relationships between disparate areas of a project. Just as happens in engineering, entrepreneurs start with a big goal they have to break  down into smaller, more achievable parts. If you are a computer scientist building a website, you have to imagine the final site, but in order to begin, you need to first break down the javascript line by line, class by class, in order to eventually reach the final goal. Just look at The Walt Disney Company, which started with a cartoon animation and grew into a worldwide entertainment empire. Entrepreneurs need the ability to connect seemingly unrelated topics to create one coherent solution.Simple advice for a complex jobThough a background in business, rather than STEM fields, may seem a more efficient route to entrepreneurship, I’d argue that the skills it takes to succeed in STEM fields provide unparalleled value to the way that an entrepreneur works – boosting common sense and decision-making business skills. In fact, STEM skills will make you an invaluable asset to many lucrative industries and career fields in the following ways.●  You’ll trust yourself. The most important value engineering taught me that translates to being an entrepreneur is to trust yourself. Ultimately, no one has the perfect answer. Most decisions don’t get made simply because people are scared to make them, not because they “need more data.” You have to trust your abilities to take the course of action you think will lead to success. Whether you feel inexperienced or underrepresented, you’ve gotten to the point you’re at for a reason and need to trust in your knowledge and abilities.●  You’ll get the facts. It is important to realize that most people don’t know the answer, and those who are critiquing you don’t have your data set. Further, they might not even have the strength to make the decision if they were in your shoes. If you gather all of the information possible and try your hardest, you become a mini-expert, while keeping in mind that your conclusion is subjective. If the result doesn’t turn out as well as you hoped, at least you know you took action and learned something new.●   You’ll inspire others. All entrepreneurs can do their part in encouraging others to understand how technology and STEM skills intersect with real life. All businesses require some level of technology to work, starting with the most basic form of communication, the company website. It’s important to be a role model and tell your company’s story by mentioning the tools that helped you get there. This allows children to picture how to use the skills that they’re learning in school, in real life. Look at Google as a great example of a site with purpose.Related: 3 Educational Trends That Will Change How You Hire in the FutureA lack of STEM knowledge should not deter entrepreneurs from pursuing their passion. These skills are extremely achievable and can be learned by everyone. There is a common misconception that STEM skills can be used only in math and the sciences, but the truth is that they are valuable in any career path, especially entrepreneurship. Running a business takes common sense and basic life skills. Having some STEM education provides value and enhances these abilities. July 6, 2018 Hear from Polar Explorers, ultra marathoners, authors, artists and a range of other unique personalities to better understand the traits that make excellence possible. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.last_img read more

Read More →

Google tests new permasilence feature for sites in Chrome

first_imgGoogle tests new perma-silence feature for sites in Chrome by Martin Brinkmann on August 26, 2017 in Google Chrome – 14 commentsGoogle tests a new feature in Chrome Canary currently that gives you options to silence websites in Chrome permanently so that they are blocked from playing audio.Audio is an important part of the Internet, especially when it comes to multimedia content and entertainment in general.Audio can be annoying as well, for instance when sites play video ads with audio, play videos with audio, or play audio to notify the user. Basically, any playback of audio that is not user initiated is problematic from a usability point of view.Most web browsers come with options to mute sites open in the browser. Some display icons on the tab bar of the browser that users can click to mute the site, others require that users right-click on tabs to mute the site in question.Google tests a new feature in the company’s Chrome browser currently that gives users an option to silence websites permanently.A site that is silenced this way cannot play audio anymore in the browser. This is different to Chrome’s tab muting functionality as tab muting is only temporarily while audio muting is permanently.The feature is tested in Chrome Canary only currently. Chrome users who are interested in giving it a try need to run Chrome Canary with a special parameter to enable it.Here is how that is done on Windows:Right-click on the Chrome Canary icon in the Windows taskbar, right-click on Chrome Canary in the menu that opens, and select properties from it.Locate the target field on the Shortcut tab, and append the following characters to the end of it: –enable-features=SoundContentSettingMake sure there is a space between the last character of the target field and the new parameter.Select OK to save the change.Restart Google Chrome.This adds sound to the browser’s content settings, and you may use the new option to control sound in two ways in the browser afterwards:Click on the “i” icon in front of a website to display content settings for that particular site. You find Sound as a new option there, and may switch the default setting to “always allow” or “always disallow” for that particular site.You find the second option in the Chrome Settings. Load chrome://settings/content in the browser’s address bar and locate the Sound option there. The default is allowed. You can disallow sound there, and manage the allow and blocked listing as well.Closing WordsThe new Sound content setting adds several interesting options to Chrome. You can disallow sound on specific sites that you visit regularly for instance, or you may disallow sound completely and allow it only on specific sites that you want sound to be enabled on.SummaryArticle NameGoogle tests new perma-silence feature for sites in ChromeDescriptionGoogle tests a new feature in Chrome Canary currently that gives you options to silence websites in Chrome permanently so that they are blocked from playing audio.Author Martin BrinkmannPublisher Ghacks Technology NewsLogo Advertisementlast_img read more

Read More →

Cartago football champs win local Super Bowl

first_imgLos Leones de Cartago nabbed the “Súper Tazón” trophy last Sunday during the final game of the American football season. Courtesy of NTFLCompared to soccer, “American football” is a pretty quiet sport in Costa Rica. But during last Sunday’s game, Los Leones F.C. of Cartago gave fans something to get rowdy about: a 47-16 victory over the San José Panthers.The 2 p.m. face-off was the last game of the season for the private National Tico Football League (NTFL), one of the two leagues in Costa Rica, making Leones F.C. the inaugural champions of this new league.The American Football championship calendar always takes place during the dry season and wraps up just before the start of rainy season. Other teams affiliated with the NTFL include Bears Football Team, Cartago Dragons F.A. and the Santo Domingo Saints F.A.While this final championship unfolded at Quincho Barquero Stadium in the small town of Paraíso, “American” football games take place in various venues throughout the Central Valley. Two matches are usually scheduled for the same stadium on game days.But football season isn’t over yet: Tropic Bowl V, co-organized by the Federation league and the NGO Athletes Without Borders, takes place this Saturday, May 9 at 2:30 p.m. For an epic battle between the U.S.-based North East All*Stars (semi-pro) and the Costa Rica All*Stars, head to Cancha de Racope (behind El Pueblo Commercial) in San José this weekend. Info: Tropic Bowl Facebook page or American Football in Costa Rica. Facebook Comments Related posts:FIFA now officially an international joke Keylor Navas moves up in Champions League record book Jamaica Part II: Will Costa Rica’s La Sele find its killer instinct? Costa Rican footballer Álvaro Saborío suddenly retires due to ‘unfair insults’last_img read more

Read More →

Tourists stand on Pennsylvania Avenue by the White

first_img Tourists stand on Pennsylvania Avenue by the White House at sunset, Friday March 22, 2019, in Washington, after the news that special counsel Robert Mueller has concluded his investigation into Russian election interference and possible coordination with associates of President Donald Trump and delivered his final report to Attorney General William Barr. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) by David Bauder, The Associated Press Posted Mar 23, 2019 3:10 am PDT Cable viewers digest Mueller news through Hannity, Maddow AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email NEW YORK — For Sean Hannity, the “witch hunt” was finally over. Rachel Maddow considered it the start of something.The diametrically opposed opinion hosts, who vie for the distinction of the most popular in cable news, were the windows through which many Americans digested Friday’s news that special counsel Robert Mueller had concluded a nearly two-year investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 election. While his report, or even a summary, has not been released, television news still had hours to fill talking about it.Fox News Channel’s Hannity, a close Trump ally, focused on reports there will be no additional indictments stemming from Mueller’s probe.“The left’s favourite conspiracy theory is now dead,” Hannity said. “It is buried, and there was no collusion, no conspiracy, no obstruction. The witch hunt is over and there will be no further charges.”He lamented that lives were ruined by the investigation and said that people who have been prosecuted or convicted had committed “process crimes.”The accusations against Trump were “what we always said, a hoax, a lie conceived by hate.”While Hannity’s Fox colleague Tucker Carlson suggested it was a night Americans “should be celebrating the great news” that no crime was apparently found regarding collusion, Hannity said citizens should be outraged by the amount of time and money spent on the case. He promised a reckoning in the coming weeks of politicians and media figureshe claimed were guilty of a rush to judgment, and his first target was U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Investigations Committee. “Schifty Schiff” read the words onscreen behind him.“What is Maddow and all the other MSNBC conspiracy theorists, what are they going to ever do now?” he said.As he talked, Maddow was doing the same. Unlike most evenings, when the two figures work in studios across Manhattan’s Sixth Avenue from each other, Maddow had rushed to a studio in Tennessee where she had spent the day trout fishing.“Finally, it happened,” she said. “In terms of what that means and what Mueller has found, we know only the smallest little bits. This is the start of something, not the end of something.”In meticulous fashion, she detailed how the news that Mueller’s investigation had concluded was reported and what a letter by Attorney General William Barr meant about what will be released to the public. Democrats in Congress have already demanded the full report be released and that they see background materials; Maddow read a letter by Schiff about that on the air.“Right now we mostly have just a ton of questions, as to what Mueller’s report says, who gets to see it, who gets to decide who gets to see it and when,” she said.It wasn’t until 16 minutes into her program that she discussed the reports that there will be no new indictments stemming from the probe.Many Fox News Channel guests, not just Hannity, focused on that detail on Friday evening. Former Trump aide Corey Lewandowski called it “a very clear signal that this entire hoax is over.”Still, some Fox personalities, including Chris Wallace and Harris Faulkner, had to caution guests that Mueller’s report hadn’t been seen yet. “To say that somehow this clears the president seems like the height of rushing to judgment,” Wallace said. He dismissed the idea that those prosecuted had been charged of process crimes, saying they were very serious.Meanwhile, on CNN, analyst and frequent Trump critic Jeffrey Toobin had an answer to colleagues who warned Trump and his supporters against prematurely celebrating.While he isn’t necessarily in the clear, the fact that the president’s sons or son-in-law Jared Kushner were not indicted “is unambiguously good news for him,” Toobin said.David Bauder, The Associated Presslast_img read more

Read More →

Accused Turkish Cypriot spy took over 200 photos in 16 days –

first_imgA Turkish Cypriot man who was arrested in the north last week on suspicion of spying for the Republic took 201 photos of Turkish soldiers and military bases in 16 days, according to Turkish newspaper Hurriyet.Citing the Demirören News Agency, the paper said the information was obtained from judicial sources.Mehmet Besimoglu, 70, according to the reports, admitted in his police statement that he took the photos of the soldiers and the military base at Famagusta port to deliver them to a Greek Cypriot.You May LikeObsevKitten’s Reaction To Meeting His New Family Is IncredibleObsevUndoInsurance | Search AdsAre You Sure Your Life Insurance Is The Best?Insurance | Search AdsUndoActivlyThese Artery-Cleansing Foods Can Help Prevent A Heart AttackActivlyUndo Iran’s Revolutionary Guards publish purported exchange with British warshipUndoAt least 20 killed, 50 injured in attack on VP candidate’s office in KabulUndoVerstappen wins crazy German Grand PrixUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Read More →