Stars Celebrate UNHCR Nansen Award Winner

first_imgAfghan refugee teacher Aqeela Asifi, who has dedicated her life to bringing education to refugee girls in Pakistan, has won the 2015 UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award.Aqeela Asifi, 49, is being recognised for her brave and tireless dedication to education for Afghan refugee girls in the Kot Chandana refugee village in Mianwali, Pakistan – while herself overcoming the struggles of life in exile. Despite minimal resources and significant cultural challenges, Asifi has guided a thousand refugee girls through their primary education.Afghanistan is the largest, most protracted refugee crisis in the world. Over 2.6 million Afghans currently live in exile and over half of them are children. Access to education is vital for successful repatriation, resettlement or local integration for refugees. Yet globally it’s estimated that only one in every two refugee children are able to go to primary school and only one in four attend secondary school. And for Afghan refugees in Pakistan this falls further, with approximately 80 per cent of children currently out of school.UN High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres paid tribute to the efforts of the winner of the global humanitarian award: “Access to quality and safe education helps children grow into adults who go on to secure jobs, start businesses and help build their communities – and it makes them less vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. Investing in refugee education will allow children to play a part in breaking the cycle of instability and conflict. People like Aqeela Asifi understand that today’s refugee children will determine the future of their countries, and the future of our world.”UNHCR has released a contextual report Breaking the cycle: Education and the future for Afghan refugees, to coincide with today’s announcement. The report outlines the challenges that children, especially refugee girls, face in accessing education in Pakistan.Asifi is a former teacher who fled from Kabul with her family in 1992, finding safety in the remote refugee settlement of Kot Chandana. Asifi was dismayed by the lack of schooling for girls there. Before she arrived, strict cultural traditions kept most girls at home. But she was determined to give these girls a chance to learn. Slowly but surely she convinced the community, and began teaching just a handful of pupils in a makeshift school tent. She copied out worksheets for the students by hand on sheets of paper. Today the tent school is a distant memory and over a thousand children are attending permanent schools in the village thanks to her early example.She believes that instilling a belief in the power of education for girls in this generation will transform the opportunities of the next. “When you have mothers who are educated, you will almost certainly have future generations who are educated,” she said. “So if you educate girls, you educate generations. I wish for the day when people will remember Afghanistan, not for war, but for its standard of education.”“Access to education is a basic human right. Yet for millions of refugee children it is a lifeline to a better future which they have been heartbreakingly denied,” said UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, Khaled Hosseini. “I have met many young refugees who have been torn from everything that makes them feel safe: their homes, their families, their friends and their schools. Investing in their education is an investment in their future, giving them hope and the chance to one day be a part of rebuilding their broken home countries.“UNHCR is working to give all refugee children the chance to go to school. Aqeela Asifi has shown us all that with courage change can happen. We must continue her fight.”Since the fall of the Taliban in 2001 5.7 million Afghans have returned home, yet insecurity still remains. UNHCR has embarked on a strategy to assist remaining Afghan refugees to return home and a key element of this is ensuring they can access quality education. A ministerial level meeting in early October in Geneva will seek to advance this strategy with key regional partners.UNHCR’s Nansen Refugee Award honours extraordinary service to the forcibly displaced, and names Eleanor Roosevelt, Graça Machel and Luciano Pavarotti among its laureates. The 2015 ceremony will be held on 5 October in Geneva, Switzerland. Speakers and performers at the event will include UNHCR Honorary Lifetime Goodwill Ambassador Barbara Hendricks, UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Ger Duany, Unicef Goodwill Ambassador and singer Angelique Kidjo and visual artist Cedric Cassimo.last_img read more

2B to fix dilapidated First Nations homes in Manitoba alone government report

first_imgThe Canadian PressWINNIPEG – Internal government documents say Manitoba First Nations live in some of the most dilapidated homes in the country and it will cost $2 billion to eliminate mould and chronic overcrowding in that province alone. That’s almost 13 times more than the $150 million the federal government has budgeted for housing on all reserves across Canada this year. Reports from Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, obtained by The Canadian Press under access-to-information legislation, say the housing situation in Manitoba has worsened as infrastructure funding has been siphoned off to other areas. “As a result, Manitoba First Nations continue to face further deterioration in infrastructure,” says the internal report dated January 2015. “Current estimates indicate a $1.9B need to address existing overcrowding, replacement and major repairs related to mould and substandard conditions of housing units. Key challenges continue to include affordability, low income and high social assistance rates.” The report notes Manitoba has among the highest percentage at 29 of Indigenous people living in poor housing in Canada. Officials say Alberta is the only other province in a similar situation. One quarter of existing homes on reserves in both provinces need to be repaired or replaced. Chief David McDougall said the situation is a “ticking time bomb” in his remote Aboriginal community of St. Theresa Point in northern Manitoba. The waiting list for housing on the cluster of four reserves in his tribal council is 1,500. Last year, his reserve got 18 units. They were the lucky ones. Other reserves got less than that. It’s not uncommon for 18 people to live in a small bungalow, McDougall said. Last year, there were 23 people living in a two-bedroom home. “They had to take turns sleeping.” While the government’s own estimates put Manitoba’s housing needs at $2 billion, the department said $50 million is budgeted for on-reserve housing in the province this year. That is to drop to $29 million next year. Some reserves can build additional homes with a ministerial loan guarantee, but McDougall said that isn’t available if the reserve is under third-party management. The department’s internal report said only 30 per cent of Manitoba reserves operate independently. People on McDougall’s reserve are losing hope, he said. Suicides are on the rise while others turn to a homemade alcoholic concoction called “superjuice.” The federal government spent the last few years hooking up the reserve’s homes to water and sewer, but McDougall compared that to putting new tires on a rusty, decrepit car. “We need to find a proper, sustainable solution _ what is realistic in terms of how we can begin to even make a dent in this huge backlog.” Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett said she’s not deterred by the $2-billion price tag. She couldn’t explain exactly how the new Liberal government will tackle the backlog, but said improving First Nations housing is a priority. “I’ve been in those homes,” Bennett said in an interview. “It is a disgrace for Canadians to watch. There is a consensus in this country that we have got to get going on this. “The sticker shock on any of these things can’t get in the way of us beginning what has to happen.” Ottawa has been warned before about the housing situation on Manitoba reserves. A 2011 internal assessment of on-reserve housing said communities don’t have the means to maintain the homes they have, which often require “aggressive maintenance.” “The consequences are manifold: maintaining housing stock is costly, poorly maintained housing is unsafe and contributes to poor health, which in itself generates additional costs,” stated the report. An evaluation three years before found people on reserves were living in homes that were “falling apart” and rife with mould, which made them “not suitable for people with breathing problems.” It noted two people died in one community “related to wiring and lack of heat. People were using a dryer to help heat a home.” Craig Makinaw, Alberta regional chief with the Assembly of First Nations, said the situation is dire for some First Nations. While some reserves with a source of income can afford to go above and beyond government funding, residents on other Alberta reserves wait up to 30 years for a home, he said. “All the cuts that have happened over the years have caused this backlog,” he said. “It needs to be addressed because it’s not going to get any better.”last_img read more

I Fear For My Life Benkirane

Rabat – Head of government Abdelilah Benkirane made a surprising statement on Tuesday in the northern city of Tetouan in which he said that he fears for his life. The Secretary General of the Justice and Development party (PJD) was in Tetouan in preparation for the upcoming municipal and regional elections scheduled to take place next month.Benkirane said: “”I swear to God I fear for my life, but these people are worth dying for in the name of God. And today I say that whatever happens happens. If we remain alive we will reap the benefits and if we died there will be others who will continue the journey.” This comes after Benkirane was forced to walk offstage at an electoral event in Taza earlier this week after he was booed and jeered by members of the audience.Benkirane was boxed in by an angry crowd who were calling him a ‘traitor’ during a party event in the northern city of Taza on Monday.Earlier this year, King Mohammed VI reportedly put armored vehicles and bodyguards at the disposal of members of the government, including its head Abdelilah Benkirane, following threats issued by terrorist groups to assassinate many Moroccan politicians and public figures.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission read more

Democracy vital in fight against terrorism says SecretaryGeneral

17 December 2007Democracy is one of the most effective tools against terrorism, but the increasing gap between rich and poor around the world threatens to undermine its potential, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today. Along with social justice and greater respect for human rights, democracy gives “people hope of achieving a decent life by peaceful methods, thus alleviating the despair and alienation that can drive some towards extremism,” he said in an address to the International Conference of New or Restored Democracies, held at United Nations Headquarters in New York.“A democratic system also contributes to improved forms of conflict management, and it promotes equitable social and economic development,” Mr. Ban said in the message, delivered by Angela Kane, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs.Today’s conference comes just six days after Algiers, Algeria, was rocked by terrorist attacks which took the lives of 17 UN personnel.“The international community must be resolute in opposing those who prey on the innocent and vulnerable,” Mr. Ban declared.He also underscored the threat to democracy posed by the gap between rich and poor, calling for the benefits of globalization to extend equally within and among States.“To fully unleash the democratizing potential of globalization, we must ensure that it serves to improve the lives of all people,” the Secretary-General said.The Conference offers a special opportunity to focus attention on the promotion and consolidation of democracy at all levels, and last month, the General Assembly recognized that 2008 marked its twentieth anniversary. read more

Unifor CAMI talks in Detroit were constructive but GM hasnt responded

TORONTO — The Unifor bargaining team representing striking workers at the GM CAMI assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ont., has been assured that the company will respond to the union’s latest proposal later today.Unifor Local 88 president Dan Borthwick says that the two sides met in Detroit on Thursday and had “constructive” talks but he declined to discuss details.Borthwick says the GM negotiators understood the union’s position and committed to providing a response within 24 hours, which would be about 6 p.m. Friday.The strike began when members of Unifor Local 88 walked out on Sept. 17 as negotiators worked to have General Motors designate the plant as the lead producer of the Equinox sport utility vehicle.The Equinox is currently the only product built at the plant but it’s also made at two GM plants in Mexico, heightening concerns about job security at the CAMI plant. read more

PM Trudeau Responds to US Tariffs

Prime Minister Trudeau imposes counter-tariff The Trudeau government has retaliated against a 25% U.S. tariff imposed this morning on Canadian steel and aluminum by levying similar tariffs on U.S. steel and aluminum coming into this country.  The counter-measures go into effect on July 1st and will stay in place until  the U.S. drops its tariffs, according to Foreign Affairs minister Chrystia Freeland.

DR of Congo UN mission helps rebel factions in northeast reach ceasefire

On Monday, the three – the Movement for the Liberation of the Congo (MLC), the Congolese Rally for Democracy-National (RCD-N) and the Congolese Rally for Democracy-Liberation Movement (RCD-ML) – agreed to immediately stop all fighting in the Isiro-Bafwasende-Beni-Watsa quadrangle. MONUC said it would deploy military observers to the area immediately.All three groups also agreed to guarantee the freedom of movement of the civilian population and humanitarian organizations.The signing ceremony was attended by the deputy head of the UN mission, Lena Sundh, along with the UN Force Commander in the DRC, Gen. Mountaga Diallo, and the Ambassadors to the DRC of China, France, United States, Russia, United Kingdom, South Africa and Belgium. read more

Groupon button may be coming to a cash register near you

first_imgIf Groupon has its way you may be able to use their coupons as easy as you use a credit card.Groupon’s business model consists of daily deals which the company teams up with local businesses to offer. If enough consumers participate, the deal becomes valid and Groupon takes a 50% cut of all coupons sold. Businesses are attracted to Groupon because there is no upfront costs and the offered deals help to establish a customer base. The only thing Groupon has going against it is that the coupons it offers may be difficult for small businesses to process. Rather than talk directly to businesses about easier ways for customers to use the website’s deals, Groupon is talking to the manufacturers of the cash registers businesses use.One such manufacturer is VeriFone, the second-largest manufacturer of electronic-payment systems. Groupon wants to make it easier for customers to use its deals by making them as easy to process as credit card transactions at the register. When asked about discussions with Groupon, Lindsay Durfeea, a spokeswoman for VeriFone, declined to speak on the matter. Rob Solomon, President of Groupon says that the company plans to do initial tests with cash registers which may feature a special Groupon button.Expanding its business is in the best interests of Groupon which hopes to have a $15 billion IPO offering some time later this year. The company was started in April 2008 with $1 million in seed money from Eric Lefkofsk, and then received a $1.35 billion valuation in April 2010. By October 2010 Groupon had expanded to 150 markets in North America with an additional 100 markets in Europe, Asia and South America. In December, Google attempted to acquire the company for $6 billion, but their offer was turned down.Read more at Bloomberg BusinessWeeklast_img read more

DARPAs LS3 walking robot gets more intelligent

first_imgIf the robots ever do wage war on humanity, we’ll probably have DARPA to thank for it. DARPA has been working with Boston Dynamics to develop a robotic platform that can walk, run, and even follow its human controllers around. In its newest demo video, the Legged Squad Support System (LS3) is seen executing a number of enhanced maneuvers.The system is being developed for possible use by the Marine Corps on the battlefield, and the newest video finally makes that seem plausible. This is not the first time the LS3 platform (sometimes called Alpha Dog) has been able to follow a human around, but this time it’s actually close enough to be useful. The LS3 also has improved walking capabilities that can get it through rough terrain. If things get a little too topsy turvy, that’s no problem. The LS3 can tumble down a hill and right itself. It can also understand more voice commands than it could last time.The LS3 is just the most recent incarnation of the four-legged walking robots from DARPA and Boston Dynamics. Big Dog made waves when it was first shown off in 2005. Even then, the robot moved in a concerningly-organic way. The more elegant successors like Alpha Dog are beginning to take on the appearance of a very small metallic horse, prancing along behind the controller.The LS3 can carry up to 400 lbs of equipment and be outfitted as a mobile power source, allowing troops to charge radios and other devices in the field. The LS3 will be in testing through at least early 2014, so you’ve got that long to prepare for the robot invasion.last_img read more

Un site internet répertorie en images la grande famille des fourmis

first_imgUn site internet répertorie en images la grande famille des fourmisDes spécialistes d’entomologie de l’Académie des Sciences de Californie ont développé Antweb, un site Internet qui répertorie en images les espèces de fourmis connues actuellement par les scientifiques. Antweb est une véritable mine d’informations pour les scientifiques et les curieux. Sa base de données considérable rassemble des informations et des images de haute qualité pour près de 10.000 espèces connues de fourmis. Actuellement, la classification se concentre sur deux régions particulières : l’Amérique du Nord et Madagascar. De façon générale, Antweb représente un aperçu très fidèle de l’importante diversité qui réside au sein de ce groupe d’insectes. Les fourmis sont partout et sous des formes et tailles extrêmement diverses allant d’une tête d’épingle à une grosse noix. Cet outil permet de faciliter les programmes d’inventaire et de surveillance en fournissant aux taxonomistes un accès aux données de tous les spécimens types.En outre, l’intégration de Google Earth parmi les informations fournies par Antweb rend unique cette base de donnée taxonomique. Le logiciel gratuit, permet aux internautes de naviguer et zoomer en vue satellite en trois dimensions. Grâce à ce programme, les chercheurs peuvent superposer leurs données taxonomiques et géologiques.À lire aussiIl laisse une fourmi coupe-feuille lui découper le doigtAutre particularité de Antweb, son créateur Brian Fisher laisse à qui veut le droit de baptiser l’une des nouvelles 600 espèces découvertes par ses soins à Madagascar. Toutefois, les personnes désireuses de donner leur nom à l’un des membres de la grande famille des fourmis doivent verser un don de près de 73.000 euros.Découvrez les espèces les plus étonnantes en images en cliquant ci-dessous : 17 mai 2011 à 14:01 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Panel forms to address seniors concerns

first_imgWhat: Professional Senior Resource Panel.When: 4 p.m. Jan. 17, April 17, July 17 and Oct. 16.Where: The Quarry Senior Living, 415 S.E. 177th Ave., Vancouver.Information: 360-944-6000 or group of senior-services professionals has scheduled a series of free panel sessions to provide information and answer questions about senior issues.“One reason seniors get frustrated is that it takes so much work to get answers, and they don’t know who to trust,” said Maria Jokela, community outreach director at The Quarry Senior Living in Vancouver.The panel will offer a trustworthy and objective source of information where seniors can obtain answers to questions and be able to make informed decisions about long-term care, personal finance and estate planning, Jokela said.The first panel session is at 4 p.m. Jan. 17 at The Quarry Senior Living, 415 S.E. 177th Ave. in Vancouver. The topic is “Tax Issues of the Greatest Generation.”Experts will discuss tax issues seniors may face in retirement, how congressional decisions could affect their financial picture and tax advantages and drawbacks of living in Oregon vs. Washington. The guest panelist will be Scott Louchney, a financial planner with Ameriprise Financial.Self-promotion prohibitedSubsequent events are scheduled for 4 p.m. April 17, July 17 and Oct. 16. The one-hour events include a 15-minute presentation followed by a 45-minute question and answer period.last_img read more

Vittal Reddy inspects desilting ops of nala

first_imgMansoorabad: Muddy rain water is clogging an open nala at Hakeemabad in Agamayya Colony in Mansoorabad division. Corporator Koppula Vittal Reddy asked the GHMC officials to desilt the nala and take steps to ensure free flow of water. People complained that the nala overflows during rains and makes their lives difficult. They requested the nala be properly declogged and cleared of all obstacles.Water stagnation is also causing mosquito menace, they pleaded. GHMC officials responded to the corporator’s request and immediately allotted workers and started clearing open nalas. On Monday, Vittal Reddy visited the area and inspected the progress of works.last_img read more

Savannah Guthrie Hoda Kotb Sheinelle Jones Launch Today Digital Series

first_img Popular on Variety Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb log plenty of hours each week hosting NBC’s “Today.” But they will add a few more to their schedules as NBC News works to expand its digital offerings around the venerable morning program.A fall slate of programming related to “Today” will continue a plan aimed at making available streaming-video series centered around cooking, life hacks and other topics related to the flagship program. Kotb will host “Quoted by Hoda,” in which she sits down with celebrities to discuss their favorite quotes and words of wisdom. Guthrie will lead “Savannah’s Dressing Room Diaries,” during which she talks with celebrities, artists and newsmakers from her dressing room. In “Through Mom’s Eyes,” Sheinelle Jones interviews moms of celebrities and solicits advice and memories. ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15center_img The goal, says Ashley Parrish, executive producer for Today Digital and vice president of strategic content, is to extend viewers’ attachment with “Today,” leading them from morning hours with the TV program to afternoon hours with online content. “There’s still a whole day of digital programming ahead of us” after Hoda and Kathie Lee Gifford wrap up the fourth hour of “Today” at 11 a.m., she says. The programming is available on, the show’s YouTube channel and on NBC News’ OTT apps, including Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Roku.NBC News wants to offer between 8 and 12 digital series per season, she says, each consisting of 8 to 10 episodes each.Other new programs include “Change for a $20,” in which “Today” editor Brooke Sassman travels around New York City to find style, home and food solutions for under $20; “Out and About,” featuring “Today” editors Zach Pagano and Tyler Essary exploring amusement park rides, outdoor adventures, and unique thrills; and ” Survivors,” a docu-series showcasing the resilience of the survivors of some of the nation’s worst tragedies.The new, regularly scheduled series, as well as several returning digital video shows, will run throughout the Fall and early Winterlast_img read more

Whats got game developers excited about Unity 20182

first_imgThe undisputed leader of game engines over the last few years has been Unity. It brings .NET professionals and enthusiasts from across the globe under the gaming umbrella with its C# game scripting feature . Unity also boasts of a very active community and an even busier release schedule. Unity has been following a semantic versioning. Under this scheme, version numbers and the way they change convey meaning about the underlying code and what has been modified from one version to the next.  Unity have just released their 2018.2 beta version. Here are some exciting features you can look forward to while working in Unity 2018.2. Texture Mipmap streaming feature: If you are a game developer then saving GPU memory is probably one of your top priorities. Unity 2018.2 gives you control over which graphical map or mipmap you will load in the CPU. The previous versions used to load all the mipmaps at the same time and hence put a huge amount of load on the GPU. While this memory allocation helps in reducing GPU load, it does increase a little bit of CPU load. Improved Package manager: Unity 2018.2 comes with an improved package manager. The improvements are in the UI font, and the status of package label. It also now has the ability to dock the window and provides easy access to both documentation and the list of changes. Improvements in the Particle system: Unity 2018.2 beta comes with an improved particle system and new scripting APIs for baking the geometry of a Particle System into a Mesh. Unity now allows up to eight texture coordinates to be used on meshes and passed to shaders. Particle Systems will also now convert their colors into linear space, when appropriate, before uploading them to the GPU. Camera Improvements: Unity has come up with some major improvements in their camera and and the way it functions and renders the objects in the game to portray them like real life objects. Animation Jobs C# API: Unity 2018.2 has improved the AnimationPlayables by allowing users to write their own C# Playables that can interact directly with the animation data. This allows integration of user made IK solvers, procedural animation or even custom mixers into the current animation system. These features along with some other improvements and bug fixes are sure to help the developers create better and smarter games with the latest Unity 2018.2. To know more on the Unity 2018.2 features, you can visit the official Unity blog. Read Next How to use arrays, lists, and dictionaries in Unity for 3D game development Build an ARCore app with Unity from scratch Implementing lighting & camera effects in Unity 2018last_img read more

In New Hampshire Clinton pledges to stand up to the gun lobby

first_imgRelated posts:Oregon school shooting: ‘He just tried to do the right thing,’ one victim’s family says Gunman at Oregon college appeared armed for an extended siege In compelling speech, President Obama announces executive actions on gun safety US President Obama weeps as he pleads for ‘urgency’ of gun control MANCHESTER, New Hampshire – Insisting that “our country is better than this,” an emotional Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday that the U.S. must get serious about gun control and be willing to take on the entrenched politics surrounding guns.“This epidemic of gun violence knows no boundaries, knows no limits of any kind,” Clinton said.Her voice broke as she introduced the mother of a 6-year-old boy killed in the mass school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, three years ago.Both spoke at Manchester Community College, where Clinton drew a link to the Oregon community college where a lone gunman killed nine people in a classroom last week.When such tragedies occur, “people are quick to say that they offer their thoughts and prayers,” Clinton said. “That’s not enough. How many people have to die before we actually act? Before we come together as a nation?”She drew loud applause from the audience in New Hampshire, a rural state with strong hunting traditions and a mixed outlook on gun control, when she called on hunters to boycott the National Rifle Association and instead join “a different organization” that would support what she calls common-sense safety measures.By highlighting her gun control plans here, Clinton is making plain that she sees the issue as timely and broadly politically palatable for Democrats and independent voters.Clinton is promising tighter controls on sales of firearms at gun shows if she is elected, and pledging to go around Congress if necessary. She released a plan Monday to take executive action to crack down on high-volume gun sellers at gun shows, where rules differ from brick and mortar stores. If elected, Clinton says she would require that anyone attempting to sell a significant number of guns be deemed “in the business” of selling firearms. That would narrow but not close what is frequently called the “gun show loophole.”Her campaign said that designation would ensure that high-volume gun sellers are covered by the same rules that apply to guns stores, including requiring background checks on gun sales. Some 40 percent of guns are now sold via shows or online, Clinton said.Clinton challenged Republicans to confront what she called “the extremism that has taken over this debate.”“A majority of Americans support universal background checks. In fact, a majority of gun owners support universal background checks,” Clinton said.Pointing to former Florida governor Jeb Bush’s controversial “stuff happens” remark following the Oregon shootings, Clinton said “that’s an admission of defeat and surrender.”“It’s time for us to say, ‘wait a minute. We’re better than this. Our country is better than this.’” “I am UCC.” Scott Olson/Getty Images/AFPClinton has been more forceful and passionate about gun control than almost any other issue during this campaign, telling audiences that she is fed up with the intransigent politics of the issue and blaming Republicans for inaction in the face of repeated mass shootings.The remarks echoed Clinton’s impassioned discussion of gun issues before a Florida audience following last week’s shooting, when she accused Republicans of putting “the NRA ahead of American families.”“What is wrong with us that we can’t stand up to the NRA and the gun lobby and the gun manufacturers,” Clinton had said Friday, one day after the campus killings. “This is not just tragic. We don’t just need to pray for people, we need to act. We need to build a movement.”Clinton called for new legislation to ban convicted domestic abusers for buying guns, and said she would repeal a 2005 law banning victims of firearm violence from suing gun manufacturers and dealers. Clinton voted against the law as a senator from New York. It was signed by then-president George W. Bush.The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence cheered Clinton’s proposals, calling it a “watershed moment” for a leading presidential candidate to make a significant push for new gun restrictions.“Nobody has come out, until today, to so clearly make this issue a cornerstone of a major candidate’s platform in decades,” Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign, said in a conference call with reporters Monday.Clinton’s campaign said she would accomplish these changes by pushing for new legislation and possibly issuing executive orders. She also said she would press Congress to repeal the “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act,” a bill passed in 2005 that shields gun manufacturers from lawsuits brought by victims of shootings and their families. (As a senator, Clinton voted against that bill.)“This is the type of bold leadership that we’ve been missing in Washington,” Gross said. “I certainly hope politicians in both political parties are paying attention and will come forward with proposals of their own to help keep all of us safe by stopping gun violence.”In New Hampshire Monday morning, Clinton also sharply denounced congressional Republicans who she accused of exploiting the 2012 attacks in Benghazi that left four Americans dead, though she stopped just short of calling for the House committee investigating the assault to be disbanded.“Look at the situation they chose to exploit, to go after me for political reasons: the death of four Americans in Benghazi. I knew the ambassador. I identified him. I asked him to go there. I asked the president to nominate him,” Clinton said during a town hall event in New Hampshire hosted by NBC’s “Today” show Monday morning. “This committee was set up, as they have admitted, for the purpose of making a partisan political issue out of the deaths of four Americans. I would have never done that.”Clinton said Monday that the committee’s work is “not appropriate … from obviously their own admission.” She said that if she were president, “and there were Republicans or Democrats who were thinking about [launching a politically-influenced investigation], I would have done everything to shut it down.”But she added that she intends to move forward with her scheduled testimony before the committee later this month, “if they’re going to have it still running.”The Democratic hopeful also fielded several questions about her primary rival Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who recent polls show has surged ahead of her in New Hampshire. She said that while he is beating her in the Granite State, polls show “me winning in Iowa, South Carolina, Nevada and nationally.”“As you point out, I’ve got work to do in New Hampshire. I’m very excited to be leading everywhere else,” Clinton said, laughing. “And I’m going to keep working hard everywhere else. But I always thought this would be a great contest.”She added later: “Bernie’s a neighbor here. He represents Vermont.”Clinton’s critics have repeatedly knocked the former secretary of state on her retail campaign talents, saying that her public persona does not energize voters. Clinton downplayed any problem she might have connecting with voters, admitting — as she has done in the past — that she’s not always the most magnetic candidate in the field.“You know, I’ll admit, I’m a more reserved person than maybe some people in politics are. But as you can see from the skit, I also like to have a good time,” Clinton said, referring to an appearance on Saturday Night Live over the weekend. “So we’ll mix it up a little bit in the campaign.”Washington Post staff writers Mark Berman and DelReal contributed to this story from Washington.© 2015, The Washington Post Facebook Commentslast_img read more

No water at Ezakheni church

first_imgWebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite Father St John’s Church in Ezakheni E-Section has been plagued with problems regarding its water supply and also the rebuilding of the church itself.Church leaders Mr GS Hlongwane and Mrs Mvelase are now asking when their problems will come to an end.Women are often seen carrying buckets full of water on their heads from a tap outside the church premises, which is about 400 metres away. Men in the area are also seen pushing wheelbarrows full of water.There is no tap on the church premises, with about 30 people living in buildings around the church. Most of them are sickly. All of these people seek healing in the church, which is evidently well-known for healing people using holy water. The sickly, of course, cannot fetch their own water and rely on others for help. This means that about five people collect water for about 30 others, placing a burden on those kind enough to help.Another problem that faces the church is that people use the toilets, but don’t have any water to wash their hands.A councillor from the area was contacted in November last year and asked if there was a plan to bring water to the church premises. The feedback received was that this would be done the following week, but to date the situation has remained unchanged.Church leaders say the premises is occupied legally and that there was water before they were cut off by the municipality because they wanted to build a proper church structure. To date, a proper church has not been built.A letter dated August 18, 2011, was received by the church from the municipality, stating that the church leaders must demolish mud structures because the municipality had obtained funding to build a proper church structure, together with 12 other houses, including a mission house. The church complied with the municipality’s letter and demolished the houses so that construction could commence. However, to date, no construction has started.The church leaders say they have made enquiries with the municipality, but nobody can provide them with answers.The church members are now asking a lot of questions, such as: Why did the municipality ask the church leaders to demolish the structures they were living in peacefully? Also, why has the municipality not delivered on its promise when the church has complied with their instructions?last_img read more

No hypotheticals as Wotif books record year profit

first_imgOnline booking travel agency has reported a record year profit of AU$53 million, growing its share of the online booking market for accommodation and flights. The company posted a 21.6 per cent rise in full-year profit, including an increase in net profit after tax of AU$9.5 million on FY2009, the company reported. “It was never going to be an easy task to beat last year’s numbers, so it is a real credit to the team here to have delivered another record outcome – increasing profits by AU$9.5 million, up 22 percent on last year’s strong gains,” Wotif CEO Robbie Cooke said. The profit increase was attributed to strong sales of 7.1 million room nights across the Wotif Group and a 23 percent increase in revenues from the sale of flights. The flight sales totalled AU$6.4 million in revenue and included receipts from the newly-launched”We see the sale of flights as an incremental value-add and a logical expansion of our offering to Wotif’s large customer base,” Mr Cooke said.The company declared a final fully franked dividend of AUD 12.5 cents, taking the full year payout to AUD 21.5 cents (up from AUD 17.5 cents in FY2009). Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.Clast_img read more