Advertisement CALGARY, March 19, 2018 – TINEPUBLIC is pleased to announce that Ellen DeGeneres will be coming to Calgaryfor a moderated Q&A conversation on Saturday April 21st 2018 at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Login/Register With: Facebook Advertisement Through the power of media, Ellen has created an unparalleled connection with people around the world. Her accomplishments as an entertainer and philanthropist have established her as one of the most respected and admired figures today.TINEPUBLIC has had the pleasure of producing events for the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, Stephen Hawkingand many more.Tickets go on sale Wednesday March 21st at 10amEvent Details:A Conversation With Ellen DeGeneresDate: Saturday April 21st 2018Time: 6:00pmVenue: Calgary Scotiabank SaddledomeTickets: www.ticketmaster.ca or call 1-855-985-5000 Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Ellen DeGeneres continues to deliver uplifting, inspiring, and hilarious experiences for her fans. Her distinctive comedic voice and infectious personality have earned her recognition as a household name and a global entertainer. Ellen DeGeneres continues to be the destination for laughter, generosity, and fun. “A Conversation with Ellen DeGeneres” will highlight Ellen’s one-of-a-kind humor, warmth, and kindness.The Ellen DeGeneres Show upholds its reputation as a leader in the daytime talk show genre with unparalleled celebrity interviews, musical performances, topical stories, extraordinary human-interest guests, and sought-after viral sensations worldwide. The Ellen DeGeneres Show has earned an impressive total of 59 Daytime Emmy® Awards since its inception in 2003, including 10 for Outstanding Talk Show/Entertainment crowning it the record holder in this category. Twitter
The Indonesian contingent will be based in El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur and headquarters of the joint force, known as UNAMID, which has been lacking troops and police, as well as key assets, since it was deployed at the start of this year.FPUs are comprised of police officers who have received specialized training in high-risk operations. The Indonesian unit is only the second FPU, along with the Bangladeshi unit deployed earlier this year – in the region out of the 19 such contingents recommended for UNAMID.The new unit has arrived at a crucial time, UNAMID Deputy Police Commissioner for Operations, Adeyemi Ogunjemilusi, said yesterday, noting that its services are especially needed to support the work of the UNAMID Police, particularly in providing security to the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the region.“The success of this mission will largely depend on your specialized training. I have no doubt that you have the ability to cope with the challenging environment in Darfur and will deliver your services to the people of Darfur,” he told the unit upon their arrival.Security for Darfur’s IDPs was among the issues raised during Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Alain Le Roy’s visit to the region last week. During a stop in El Fasher, representatives from three IDP camps requested Mr. Le Roy to boost the presence of UNAMID in and around the camps to ensure the security and protection of civilians.Some 2.7 million people have been displaced and 300,000 killed across Darfur, where rebels have been fighting Government forces and allied Janjaweed militiamen since 2003. Mr. Le Roy reassured them that UNAMID is taking measures to address their concerns, including plans to deploy at least another 4,500 troops by the end of this year. This would bring the total deployment level to about 65 per cent of the envisioned 26,000 troops and police.The UN peacekeeping chief is still in Sudan, where yesterday he met with government officials in the capital, Khartoum, and reviewed the deployment of UNAMID. “Both the Government of Sudan and the United Nations are committed to accelerate the deployment of UNAMID,” Mr. Le Roy told reporters afterwards. He welcomed last week’s tripartite meeting in Khartoum between the Government, the UN and the AU, which he said would speed up deployment of the force in the coming weeks and months. Mr. Le Roy noted that the security situation in Darfur had improved recently but that there were still serious concerns about banditry and potential clashes. The political process offered the only means to achieve peace, he stressed, adding that the Joint AU/UN Chief Mediator Djibril Bassole is working hard to engage the main actors in order to reach a framework agreement. He also welcomed the Qatari initiative in support of the Chief Mediator’s work. Mr. Le Roy and Sudanese officials also discussed the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) – the 2005 peace deal which ended the 21-year north-south civil war. 13 October 2008A group of 130 officers from the Indonesian Formed Police Unit (FPU) has arrived in Darfur to strengthen the efforts of the joint United Nations-African Union (AU) peacekeeping force working to quell the violence in the strife-torn Sudanese region.
CALGARY — TransAlta Corp. deliberately timed outages at power plants in Alberta at peak times in order to drive up electricity prices, the province’s utilities commission said in a ruling Monday.The Alberta Utilities Commission conducted hearings after the province’s market surveillance administrator alleged that the Calgary-based company manipulated the electricity market by shutting down coal-fired power plants in late 2010 and early 2011 to drive up power costs during periods when demand was high.“The commission concludes, based upon clear, cogent and convincing evidence that TransAlta could have deferred each of the above described outages to off peak hours but chose instead to take them during peak or super-peak hours so as to maximize the benefit to its own portfolio,” the commission said in its decision.“In other words, the timing of the outage was determined by market conditions rather than by the need to safeguard life, property or the environment.”The timing of the outage was determined by market conditions rather than by the need to safeguard life, property or the environmentThe commission also found that TransAlta breached a regulation by allowing its energy trader Nathan Kaiser to use privileged information related to plant shutdowns so that the company could benefit in the market.“TransAlta knew, or should have reasonably known that Kaiser had information regarding the capability of Sundance 1 and 2 to produce electricity that could reasonably be expected to have a material impact on market prices and would give him an advantage over market participants who did not have that information,” the commission found.But the commission said Kaiser established a defence of due diligence based on repeated assurances from senior TransAlta management that he could direct trades despite possessing information that wasn’t public.The commission also found that the market surveillance administrator did not prove allegations that TransAlta’s compliance policies, practices and oversight were inadequate and deficient.TransAlta Corp buys solar and wind projects in U.S. for US$75.8 millionCoal-fired power plants feel the heat of Alberta’s new carbon tax rulesTransAlta Corp cutting 20% of workforce in Canadian coal unitTransAlta’s shares fell to $8.40 at 10:31 a.m. in Toronto, the lowest since the stock debuted in 1992. The S&P 500 Utilities Index was down 0.5 per cent.TransAlta’s credit rating may be at risk if it’s hit with a penalty, Ben Pham, an analyst with BMO Capital Markets, wrote in a note Tuesday. The company has enough liquidity to cover the cost of a fine, which probably won’t affect TransAlta’s dividend, he said.In a release late Monday, TransAlta said it has received the decision and will be reviewing the ruling.It said its response could “include the possibility of an appeal to the Alberta Court of Appeal.”The company has previously denied all of the allegations, calling them “categorically false” and saying that it triggers outages for maintenance, operations and safety purposes.The commission said it will resume proceedings later to determine how much TransAlta benefited from the closures and what penalties to impose against the company.Jim Law, a spokesman for the commission, said it could fine up to $1 million per day per offence, plus claw back any benefits if it finds TransAlta gained from any offences.Brad Hartle, press secretary to Alberta Energy Minister Margaret McCuaig-Boyd, said in a statement that the government is “very concerned” that TransAlta was found to be breaking the rules.“Alberta families need to know that they can get the power they need at a reasonable price,” said Hartle. “When the process is complete, we will take a good look at what happened, as well as what has happened since to determine whether there are steps our government should take to better protect consumers.”With a file from Bloomberg
Toronto-Dominion Bank expects its first-quarter results will be cut by about US$400-million due to changes in U.S. taxes, but says that a lower corporate tax rate will have a positive effect on future earnings.Tax changes signed by U.S. President Donald Trump late last year cut the corporate income tax rate to 21 per cent, from 35 per cent.The Toronto-based bank has extensive operations in the United States and the new tax rate will force it to adjust its U.S. deferred tax assets, liabilities and carrying balances.The one-time impact from the adjustments is expected to reduce Toronto-Dominion’s common equity tier 1 ratio by approximately nine basis points.TD Bank will report its first-quarter financial results on March 1.
Ahead of World No Tobacco Day, the United Nations health agency is calling on countries to raise taxes on tobacco to encourage users to stop and prevent other people from becoming addicted to tobacco. “Raising taxes on tobacco is the most effective way to reduce use and save lives,” says Margaret Chan, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO). “Determined action on tobacco tax policy hits the industry where it hurts.”Based on 2012 data, WHO estimates that by increasing tobacco taxes by 50 per cent, all countries would reduce the number of smokers by 49 million within the next 3 years and ultimately save 11 million lives.Today, someone dies from tobacco use every six seconds, the agency noted in a news release issued ahead of the Day, observed on 31 May. Tobacco kills up to half of its users. It also incurs considerable costs for families, businesses and governments. “Treating tobacco-related diseases like cancer and heart disease is expensive. And as tobacco-related disease and death often strike people in the prime of their working lives, productivity and incomes fall,” WHO pointed out.High prices are particularly effective in discouraging young people – who have more limited incomes than older adults – from taking up smoking. They also encourage existing young smokers to either reduce their use of tobacco or quit altogether.“Price increases are 2 to 3 times more effective in reducing tobacco use among young people than among older adults,” said Douglas Bettcher, Director of the Department for Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases at WHO. “Tax policy can be divisive, but this is the tax rise everyone can support. As tobacco taxes go up, death and disease go down,” added Dr. Bettcher.WHO calculates that if all countries increased tobacco taxes by 50 per cent per pack, Governments would earn an extra $101 billion in global revenue.“These additional funds could – and should – be used to advance health and other social programmes,” Dr. Bettcher stated.Countries such as France and the Philippines have already seen the benefits of imposing high taxes on tobacco. Between the early 1990s and 2005, France tripled its inflation-adjusted cigarette prices, and subsequently saw sales decrease by more than half. A few years later the number of young men dying from lung cancer in France started to go down. In the Philippines, one year after increasing taxes, the Government has collected more than the expected revenue and plans to spend 85 per cent of this on health services.Tobacco use is the world’s leading preventable cause of death, killing nearly 6 million people each year, of which more than 600,000 are non-smokers dying from breathing second-hand smoke. If no action is taken, tobacco will kill more than 8 million people every year by 2030, more than 80 per cent of them among people living in low- and middle-income countries.
A yellow severe weather warning for #rain and #snow has been updated: https://t.co/QwDLMfRBfs Stay #weatheraware @metofficeuk pic.twitter.com/wC1fOTRMBR— Met Office (@metoffice) December 26, 2017 TrainsMajor improvement works on Britain’s rail network will be undertaken during Christmas and into the New Year.Many of Britain’s mainline routes will be partially shut as Network Rail carries out its biggest ever Christmas investment programme.Great Western RailwayLondon Paddington will be closed between Christmas Eve and December 27. Passengers are being urged to complete journeys by Saturday “at the latest”.The West CoastThe West Coast main line will be halted between Preston and Lancaster from Christmas Eve to December 27, with buses replacing trains.London and GlasgowPassengers travelling between London and Glasgow during this time are advised to go via Edinburgh, adding around an hour to journeys.SoutheasternSoutheastern, which serves London, Kent and East Sussex, will not be able to run trains to London Bridge, Charing Cross and Cannon Street between Saturday and January 1.Virgin TrainsStrike action by Virgin Trains workers over pay has now been called off after talks. MerseyrailMerseyrail said it will run a reduced service across its network on Friday, with RMT members pressing ahead with a 24-hour stoppage in a dispute over the role of guards.AirAbta, the travel trade organisation, has urged flyers to allow extra time to get to the airport during the period from December 18 to January 2. Fun in the snow in West Lothian on Boxing DayCredit:Ger Harley/EdinburghEliteMedia Strong gale force winds and the high tide combine to whip waves crashing into the sea defences on the promenade in Aberystwyth on Christmas DayCredit:Keith Morris/LNP A Met Office weather warning for snow and ice is in force for between 7pm on Christmas Day to 11am on Boxing Day. Boxing Day sunrise at the snow-covered Mam Tor in North DerbyshireCredit:Charlotte Graham The Met Office has now broadened its definition to extend to other parts of the country, although the snow still has to be recorded by a professional. “The rain is likely to turn to snow in places, initially across Wales and then across parts of central England and eventually some of the higher ground in counties north and west of London.”Some roads and railways are likely to be affected by longer journey times due to standing water or snow. There is also a smaller chance that individual homes and businesses could be flooded.” Tips for travellingIssuing a warning to travellers, the Met Office said: “The secret to a successful and stress-free Christmas is planning and preparation. HOT OF THE PRESS – Spadeadam (in Cumbria) has recently reported light snow. Parts of southern Scotland are also seeing rain turning to snow. This has officially made it a white Christmas for some (just in the nick of time!)— Met Office (@metoffice) December 25, 2017 It was estimated that 11.5 million leisure trips will have been made by car between December 17 and Christmas Eve.But this is expected to be eclipsed by the 17.5 million between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day as people take advantage of post-Christmas sales at shops.Airports will also be exceptionally busy over the festive period , with more than 4.5 million people expected to head abroad over Christmas and the new year.Latest travel informationRoadsThe Highways Agency has lifted almost 400 miles of roadworks due to take place over the Christmas and New Year period to ease festive congestion. Airports will be exceptionally busy over Christmas and New YearCredit:Reuters The Met Office warned that roads and railways “likely to be affected by longer journey times due to standing water or snow”. It added there is also a chance that homes and businesses could be flooded.Spadeadam in Cumbria and parts of southern Scotland saw rain turn into snow at about 10pm on December 25.The last officially white Christmas was recorded in 2014, when parts of Scotland had some snowfall. Another Met Office yellow weather warning for rain and snow has been issued for between 6pm on Boxing Day until 11am on Wednesday.Warning of heavy rain turning to snow in places, it said: “An area of heavy rain will extend north and east across the area later on Tuesday and last though Tuesday night, easing away from eastern areas on Wednesday. Britons are being warned of Boxing Day travel disruption as rain turns to snow, threatening road and rail delays.After those dreaming of a white Christmas Day had their wishes granted in parts of the UK, the Met Office said more wintry showers are expected on Tuesday and Wednesday.The forecaster said temperatures would turn colder on Boxing Day and there is the chance of 4in (10cm) of snow on the highest ground in Scotland.Despite a largely mild Christmas Day – the highest temperature recorded was 12.6C (54.6F) in Bude, Cornwall – weather warnings for snow and ice are in place on Boxing Day for southern, central and eastern Scotland, and the most northern parts of England.A further warning for rain and snow is in place for the Midlands and Wales running from 6pm on Tuesday until 11am on Wednesday. For years, Christmas was declared “white” if a single flake of snow was observed by a professional meteorologist falling on the roof of the London Weather Centre. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Long delays are expected on many roads over the festive season. File pictureCredit:PA Highways England’s customer service director Melanie Clarke said: “We’re doing everything we can to make journeys as smooth as possible this Christmas and that’s why we’re keeping 99 per cent of the road network we manage free from roadworks.” Fog shrouds Shap in CumbriaCredit:CumbriaWeather/Twitter The high of 12.6C is a few degrees off the record for the warmest Christmas, when 15.6C (60.08F) was recorded at Killerton, Devon, in 1920.And while mild, it was still chillier than last year when temperatures reached 15C (59F) in a number of places including Hull, east Yorkshire. Met Office forecaster Mark Wilson said temperatures would turn colder on Boxing Day, with averages of 2C and 4C in Scotland and between 7C and 9C in the south of the UK.Speaking on Monday night, he said: “To be a white Christmas, we only need to see one flake but we have reported snowfall in Spadeadam for the last couple of hours.”It will turn a bit colder – but nothing like the temperatures we saw earlier this month – I think it would be fair to describe the Boxing Day temperatures as ‘around average’.”Two to four degrees (35-39F) in Scotland and seven to nine in the south. It will start bright, but there will be some wet weather in the south west and it will meet cold air over Wales and the Midlands towards the end of Boxing Day.” “Just as you wouldn’t want to buy your presents in a Christmas Eve panic, it’s never sensible to leave planning your travel arrangements until the last minute either.” Warning that temperatures will fall with a risk of ice and snow in some areas, it said: “Rain will turn to sleet and snow in parts of southern, central and eastern Scotland, as well as the north Pennines, with further wintry showers in places overnight. “So a cover of snow in places, chiefly over high ground (0-2 cm over some low ground, 2-5 cm above 200 m elevation and perhaps 10 cm on the highest routes). Ice is looking to become more widespread later as skies begin to clear into Boxing Day. “Some roads and railways may be affected by longer journey times, with icy surfaces leading to the possibility of slips and falls on roads, pavements and cycle paths.”
Elon Musk wants to send 80,000 people to live on Mars, and there’s a good chance he may be relying on Chinese tech once he gets there to keep them alive. That’s because the Chinese Astronaut Research and Training Center (CARTC) in Beijing is hard at work testing systems that make living on another planet possible.This week CARTC has tested a 300 cubic meter ecological life support system. The structure will apparently allow food to be grown and oxygen and water produced/purified on another planet, with the Moon and Mars being key targets for the system.The life support structure works by allowing the growth of vegetables, plants, and algae inside. In so doing, they provide a source of food, water, and oxygen that will allow a group of humans to live well beyond the life of the supplies carried on the spacecraft that ferried them there.Little is known about the test CARTC carried out other than the fact they managed to grow four types of vegetable. It seems likely China will deploy the life support system on the Moon for testing first as there are already plans for a manned mission to the lunar surface in the future.China will begin visiting the Moon next year when an unmanned craft will make the journey. That will eventually lead to Chinese astronauts setting foot on the Moon, and if China’s first astronaut Yang Liwei is to be believed, they intend to set up a branch of the Communist Party there, too.via AFP
Marée noire : Washington poursuit BPLes Etats-Unis ont déposé une plainte contre le pétrolier britannique BP, suite à la marée noire historique dans le Golfe du Mexique, causée par l’explosion de la plateforme de forage Deepwater Horizon, le 20 avril dernier. Environ 5 millions de barils de pétrole s’étaient alors écoulés dans l’océan.L’administration Obama s’en remet à la justice huit mois après la catastrophe. Dans le cadre des lois Clean Water et Oil Pollution, elle veut déposer une série de plaintes contre BP, mais aussi contre Transocean et son assureur, et enfin Anadarko Petroleum (filiale du japonais Mitsui).Si la justice reconnaît des cas de négligence grave, l’amende pourrait s’élever à 4.300 dollars par baril de pétrole déversé, soit au total plus de 20 milliards de dollars (15,11 milliards d’euros).Selon l’AFP, le groupe britannique a immédiatement réagi à cette annonce, à travers un communiqué : “BP répondra en temps voulu aux accusations du gouvernement et poursuivra sa coopération dans toutes les enquêtes menées par le gouvernement et ses demandes de renseignements par voie de communiqué”.Eric Holder, ministre américain de la justice, évoque l’absence de maintenance des équipements et des outils, sur la plateforme Deepwater Horizon, et estime qu’il y a eu “violation des règles de sécurité, notamment parce que les précautions nécessaires afin de sécuriser le puits avant l’explosion n’ont pas été prises”, rapporte Eviro2b.com.Le gouvernement américain espère ainsi, grâce à ces arguments, obtenir des compensations financières pour les pertes “en nettoyage (…) et les dommages environnementaux” causés par la marée noire.Le 16 décembre 2010 à 12:16 • Emmanuel Perrin
Fire Emblem is coming to mobile. Hooray! Nintendo’s strategy RPG series makes perfect sense on the platform, and the upcoming Fire Emblem Heroes gives you access to classic characters from the franchise’s long history. But you know what else it gives you access to? A store full of “optional” in-game currency that requires you to spend real money on this “free” download. And once you realize getting the characters you want relies on “gacha” chance, suddenly that in-game currency doesn’t feel so optional.None of that should be surprising. Disappointing, but not surprising. Fire Emblem Heroes is a mobile game, and that’s what the most successful mobile games do. In this case, Nintendo’s understands the modern gaming market too well. But who can we blame for this? Obviously, the developers are at fault for including these free-to-play mechanics, but the real culprits are the customers who keep demanding them.I’ve been writing about mobile games for years, and my biggest takeaway is this: Mobile gaming is simultaneously super underrated and way more terrible than anyone on the outside even realizes. There are some truly fantastic games on mobile, and downloading games to an always-online mobile device you constantly carry with you is the height of convenience. But apathetic platform holders, short-sighted consumers, and greedy shareholders have fostered a toxic economic atmosphere that has led to the free-to-play stranglehold ruining mobile games.This isn’t the first time I’ve written about this problem. I bring it up in nearly every review I’ve written about a free-to-play game. My editors have noticed. But it’s an important issue to raise because the problem isn’t fixing itself. My moral objection to free-to-play is simple. It is inherently exploitative. Once the game developers are incentivized to get players to spend money after the initial purchase, the game’s design itself can’t be trusted.You can never shake the feeling that anything bad or annoying or time-wasting or inconvenient or punishingly difficult about the game is actually there to encourage you to spend more money. Quality is no longer the priority. Even ugly visuals could be the result of developers trying to get you to buy pretty cosmetic upgrades. Also, I don’t care how good your game is, no game is worth an infinite amount of money. But free-to-play games rely on “whale” players spending as close to an infinite amount of money as possible. At least a game like Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball limits the amount of money one can ultimately spend.Free-to-play is terrible, obviously terrible. Yet time and time again customers reward these tactics. People were outraged when Nintendo’s previous mobile effort, Super Mario Run, was a free download that then charged $10 for the rest of the game, something old mobile games used to do. But they are totally cool with “free” games like Candy Crush or Clash of Clans or, yes, Fire Emblem Heroes that are happy to accept $10 ten times over and then some.I hate to chastise “casual gamers” because everyone should feel comfortable playing whatever games they like and that kind of exclusionary rhetoric is a huge problem with games culture. That said, the largely casual mobile audience simply doesn’t value games enough to even spend a dollar on them upfront, and that’s a real problem, too. It’s actively making games worse. We can see it happening. Because people couldn’t be bothered to spend two dollars on Threes!, one of the greatest modern puzzle games of all time, it led to the rise of the shameless and vastly inferior but free clone 2048.This crisis has plagued mobile gaming since not too long after its inception. But it feels extra personal now that Nintendo, arguably the greatest and most influential gaming company ever, has been ensnared by free-to-play hooks. It sucks that there’s going to be a new Fire Emblem I can’t fully trust to be good for goodness’ sake.What’s even worse, the problem isn’t limited to mobile. Free-to-play elements have also begun cropping up in AAA console and PC games. Overwatch and Deux Ex: Mankind Divided are great. Being asked for more money inside a game, I already spent full-price for isn’t. I’m not talking about DLC. That’s just paying for new content. I’m talking about travesties like Mortal Kombat X selling “easy fatality” tokens that can only be used once.So how can we fight back against this terrible tide? With our wallets. Support good, premium mobile games with your money. Pay for games like Threes! and Square Enix’s Go series and Piloteer. And if you must play free-to-play games, don’t give them the cash they want. Don’t reward those bad decisions. Only you can stop free-to-play. The Witcher’s ‘Gwent’ Coming Soon To MobileSteelSeries Arctis 1 Is World’s First USB-C Wireless Gaming Headset Stay on target
NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks came back from an early loss and finished almost unchanged Monday. Technology companies like Apple and Microsoft took big losses on fears about their overseas revenue, but bank stocks continued to surge along with bond yields.Technology stocks have been weak since last week’s election, and they fell further Monday as investors wonder if Donald Trump’s policies as president will hurt their sales in China and other markets. Bank stocks built on their post-election gains as bond yields continued to rise. That paves the way for banks to make more money from lending. Government bond yields are now at their highest levels since January.“The market is sniffing out the belief that some of these Trump policies may drive some better economic growth but also may in fact be somewhat inflationary,” said PNC Chief Investment Strategist Bill Stone.The Dow Jones industrial average gained 21.03 points, or 0.1 percent, to close at 18,868.69, another all-time high. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index dipped 0.25 points to 2,164.20 after it fell as much as 0.4 percent earlier. The Nasdaq composite sank 18.72 points, or 0.4 percent, to 5,218.40.Technology companies fell sharply. Apple gave up $2.72, or 2.5 percent, to $105.71 while Facebook declined $3.94, or 3.3 percent, to $115.08 and Microsoft slid 90 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $58.12. Alphabet, the parent company of Google, slipped $18.53, or 2.4 percent, to $753.22.
BP Alaska, a major player in the state’s oil industry, is planning to lay off 275 employees and contractors early next year.Spokeswoman Dawn Patience says the business in Alaska will be smaller due to the previously announced sale of interests in four North Slope oil fields to Hilcorp.Patience says the layoffs, combined with the 200 individuals who have accepted jobs with Hilcorp., represents about 17 percent of the total number of BP employees and contractors in the state.The company’s regional president, in announcing the sale in April, said it would allow for BP to focus on maximizing production from Prudhoe Bay and advancing plans for a major liquefied natural gas project. BP is working on the latter with the state, Exxon Mobil Corp., ConocoPhillips and TransCanada Corp.
Toy Story 4 full-movie leaked onlineToy Story 4 (@toystory/Instagram)Tom Hanks’ biggest animated movie Toy Story 4 full-movie has leaked online on several torrent websites.Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 4 has become the latest victim of the cybercrime as the full-movie 720p CAM print is currently available on torrent websites and it is predicted that the movie’s leak will directly affect the box-office collection.Over the last couple of months, several big Hollywood movies have been leaked online on several torrent websites. As previously stated, movies like Aladdin, Pet Sematary, Venom, and others become the victim of torrent downloads and now the animated movie, Toy Story 4, has also joined the list.In several countries, downloading and sharing the illegal contents from the torrents are punishable. It is always advised to the fans not to share or download the illegal content from the torrent websites.The recently released Disney and Pixar’s movie continues from Toy Story 3, where Sheriff Woody and Buzz Lightyear, among their other toy pals, have found new admiration after being given to Bonnie. In the movie, they are being introduced to Forky — a spork that has been made into a toy and who embarks on a road trip adventure.Toy Story 4 is made against a total budget of $200 million and earned $47 million on its first day in the domestic market of North America. As per movie experts, the movie is projected to gross somewhere around $160 million in its opening weekend. At the same time, there are several who are stating that the movie could debut as high as $200 million. Since the movie is already leaked online, there are several fans who will choose to watch it online — this may directly affect the box-office collection in the long run.Meanwhile, the movie is critically loved by most of the reviewers. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 97 percent. The website’s critics consensus reads, “Heartwarming, funny, and beautifully animated, Toy Story 4 manages the unlikely feat of extending – and perhaps concluding – a practically perfect animated saga.” While other reviewers have stated that Tom Hanks’ Toy Story 4 takes us into that era of a computer-animated cartoon feature film which we all longed from a very long time.
Photos of the Week August 30, 2019 Catholicism Religion or remembrance? Supreme Court to mull cross-shaped war memorial Instagram apostasy stirs controversy over Christian ‘influencers’ August 30, 2019 News • Photos of the Week Emily McFarlan Miller Emily McFarlan Miller is a national reporter for RNS based in Chicago. She covers evangelical and mainline Protestant Christianity.,Load Comments,Photos of the Week Share This! By: Emily McFarlan Miller emmillerwrites Share This! Share This! Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Emily McFarlan Miller emmillerwrites Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email By: Emily McFarlan Miller emmillerwrites Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,The ’Splainer (as in, “You’ve got some ’splaining to do”) is an occasional feature in which RNS gives you everything you need to know about current events to help you hold your own at the water cooler.(RNS) — You’ve probably heard that the United Methodist Church is meeting this weekend in St. Louis and that it has something to do with sexuality and a possible schism.The special session of the United Methodist Church General Conference runs Sunday (Feb. 24) to Tuesday at the Dome at America’s Center in St. Louis. Saturday has been designated a day of prayer and preparation.RELATED: Ahead of St. Louis meeting, one United Methodist offers prayers along the wayWhat is this meeting all about, and what are all these plans? Let us ’Splain…Didn’t the United Methodist Church just have a meeting?Yes, the General Conference — the denomination’s decision-making body — meets every four years. The last meeting was in 2016 in Portland, Ore.Locked in a stalemate over petitions regarding LGBTQ inclusion — with rumors swirling about schism and one delegate fretting, “I believe we are confusing God at this point” — delegates at that meeting voted to defer all decisions on related legislation to a specially appointed commission. They also left the door open for a special session.RELATED: United Methodist conference seen as confusing even to GodCurrently, the denomination’s rulebook, the Book of Discipline, includes language that bars gay and lesbian members from ordination and marriage.Now the 864 General Conference delegates, which include both clergy and laypeople from around the world, will gather to receive and act on a report from the Council of Bishops, based on recommendations from that specially appointed commission, the Commission on a Way Forward.The last time such a special session was called was in 1970, also in St. Louis, according to General Conference Secretary Gary Graves. That session completed the merger of the former Evangelical United Brethren Church and the former Methodist Church to create what is now the United Methodist Church.A copy of the Book of Discipline rests on a table during an oral hearing on May 22, 2018, in Evanston, Ill. The United Methodist Judicial Council, the denomination’s top court, heard arguments regarding a request from the Council of Bishops for a ruling on whether United Methodist organizations, clergy or lay members can submit petitions for the special General Conference in 2019. The hearing was part of the court’s May 22-25 special session. Photo by Kathleen Barry/UMNSIs this is a new debate?Whether to ordain and marry LGBTQ people in the United Methodist Church didn’t suddenly become a topic for debate at the 2016 General Conference. The question has been part of the denomination from its beginning in 1968, said Barry E. Bryant, associate professor of United Methodist and Wesleyan studies at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary near Chicago. And it has been debated at every General Conference since 1972.RELATED: Historic United Methodist church sees ‘hopeful’ time for LGBTQ ChristiansThat year, responding to a growing push for LGBTQ rights in the U.S. at the time, language was added to the Book of Discipline stating that “the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching” and that “self-avowed practicing homosexuals” cannot be ordained as ministers, appointed to serve or be married in the church.In 2000, nearly 200 people were arrested in a peaceful protest against the denomination’s policies outside the Cleveland Convention Center at that year’s General Conference meeting.What are these plans we keep hearing about?The Commission on a Way Forward included three plans for the church in its final report.Those plans include:The One Church Plan, which would allow individual churches and regional annual conferences to decide whether to ordain and marry LGBTQ members.The Traditional Plan, which would strengthen enforcement of current language regarding LGBTQ people in the denomination’s rulebook.The Connectional-Conference Plan, which would reorganize United Methodist churches by conferences based on their LGBTQ policy, rather than by geography.Last year, the Council of Bishops voted to recommend the One Church Plan, which gained two-thirds of all bishops’ approval.Later, the United Methodist Church’s top court, the Judicial Council, decided to allow any organization, clergy member or lay member to submit petitions for consideration by delegates as long as they are “in harmony with the purpose” of the special session, which is to act on the bishops’ report. It also ruled parts of the One Church Plan and Traditional Plan unconstitutional, meaning delegates will have to amend those plans, according to Graves.RELATED: United Methodist court filings detail proposals for averting schism on sexualitySo far, the General Conference Committee on Reference has approved 78 petitions to be considered by delegates. That includes the petitions that make up the three plans put forward by the Commission on a Way Forward.It also includes two more plans: a modified Traditional Plan and the Simple Plan. The Simple Plan would remove all language about “the practice of homosexuality” from the Book of Discipline.Pride flag colors at Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington in 2013. Photo by Elvert Barnes/Creative CommonsSo what’s going to happen at this meeting?Nobody can say.To begin, Graves said the Commission on the General Conference has proposed a “prioritization plan” that would have delegates assign high priority or low priority to each plan or petition that is not part of a plan in a vote on Sunday. That would determine what order delegates would vote on those plans and petitions.Then the meeting could pass one of the five plans or parts of a plan or an amended version of a plan. It also could become deadlocked in the same amendments, motions and points of order that have paralyzed past General Conferences.RELATED: What will happen at the special session? Here’s what United Methodists predictAnd some say whatever happens in St. Louis will not be decisive. The Rev. Jim Harnish — one of the coordinating team members of the advocacy group Uniting Methodists, which supports the One Church Plan — said, “Whatever decisions are made in St. Louis, the conversations regarding human sexuality will continue. The changing concerns around this important subject will need continued attention from a biblical and theological perspective.”Is a schism really likely?It has happened in other denominations — Lutherans, Presbyterians and Episcopalians all have split over similar theological differences.RELATED: A flourishing United Methodist church considers a way outOne group, the Wesleyan Covenant Association, which supports the Modified Traditional Plan, has said if another plan passes, it likely will form its own denomination with its 1,500 member churches in the U.S. The association has been preparing for that, according to WCA President Keith Boyette.“While the WCA Council will make the final decision at the meeting on February 27 and 28,” Boyette said, “if the One Church Plan or the Simple Plan passes, my recommendation to the Council will be for us to announce the formation of a new denomination.” Why is everybody paying attention to this meeting?For one, the United Methodist Church is a huge denomination, with more than 12.5 million members around the globe. It’s growing quickly in many African countries and the Philippines, and it’s the second-largest Protestant denomination in the United States, with nearly 7 million members alone. It includes not only churches, but also colleges, universities and theological schools; a publishing house; and more.RELATED: Methodist university presidents call on denomination to amend LGBTQ policiesJan Lawrence, executive director of pro-LBGTQ Reconciling Ministries Network, said the debate over LGBTQ inclusion is “a symbol for a lot of other stuff.”“Don’t think this General Conference is about queer people or church unity,” she told supporters at a Reconciling Ministries event last month outside Chicago, adding there are “a lot of things we need to fix.”Bryant pointed to different interpretations of Scripture and tradition, issues of race and the tensions of being a global denomination, to name a few.“We’re certainly not the first and we’re not the only denomination dealing with it,” he said, “it’s just that, historically, Methodism is sort of a microcosm of American society.” As Amazon burns, Vatican prepares for summit on region’s faith and sustainabilit … August 30, 2019 Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Share This! 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Kolkata: Two persons have been arrested for running a cricket betting racket here, Kolkata Police said on Sunday. Based on prior information, a team of the Kolkata Police conducted a raid at a residence in Rabindra Sarani and arrested Rajkumar Lihala, 54, and Amit Kumar Gupta, 24, on Saturday, an officer said. Two mobile phones, a television and cash amounting to Rs 1,02,200 were recovered from their possession, the officer said.
&Beyond has been listed as the world’s 5th Top Safari Operator in the US Travel + Leisure 2012 World’s Best Awards readers’ survey. As one of Africa and South Asia’s leading experiential travel companies, &Beyond is renowned for designing luxury safaris and personalised travel adventures whilst remaining committed to its core ethic of “Care of the Land. Care of the Wildlife. Care of the People.” “With over 30 years’ experience in tour operating, we are honoured to be recognised by Travel + Leisure and its readers in this prestigious listing”, says Joss Kent, &Beyond CEO. “We have ambitious plans to take our guest experience at our lodges and safari adventures to even greater heights and to achieve our focused mission of being the finest luxury experiential travel company in Africa and South Asia.” In addition to the above accolade, &Beyond Kichwa Tembo and &Beyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge were voted among the Top 100 Hotels overall and the Top 20 Hotels in Africa and the Middle East. Kichwa Tembo was also listed 27th in the Top 50 Hotels and Ngorongoro Crater Lodge received ‘Hall of Fame’ recognition for being listed in the awards every year for the past decade. &Beyond’s travel business and portfolio of luxurious safari lodges are deeply committed to the company’s founding principles of creating extraordinary guest experiences in order to achieve ongoing conservation development and community empowerment. Together with its community development partner, Africa Foundation, &Beyond has built up a highly successful track record in empowering and enriching the lives of communities living in and around its conservation areas. Africa Foundation completes &Beyond’s model of integrating conservation, high-end tourism and communities to their mutual benefit. As more and more guests are interested in getting involved with the positive legacy that high-end travel can leave, &Beyond’s sustainability and conservation ethic has never been more relevant and compelling. It is for this reason that &Beyond’s guests and the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine choose to travel with &Beyond, and in this way assist the company to make numerous small but meaningful differences to conserve Africa and South Asia’s natural heritage, and most importantly, its people. Source = &Beyond
02Jun Rep. Garcia: DPS reform package puts students first Categories: Garcia News,News A bicameral financial and educational reform package for Detroit Public Schools (DPS) was approved by the state House today, including two bills sponsored by Rep. Daniela R. Garcia.“This legislation is putting students first,” said Rep. Garcia, R-Holland. “Not just the 110,000 children calling Detroit home, but for all of Michigan’s students. We needed to ensure all DPS students’ education continues beyond the current school year, while not affecting children in the other 900 school districts across Michigan.”House Bill 5384 facilitates the structural foundations for a new Community Schools district while enacting educational reforms which will help improve academic outcomes for our students in Detroit.House Bill 5387 would allow for the State Superintendent, Attorney General, and most importantly parents to initiate proceedings in response to an illegal school strike.“The time has come not only to guarantee education, but to reform it in Detroit,” said Rep. Garcia, vice-chair of the House Committee on Education. “Financial mismanagement and corruption have broken the education system in Detroit, leaving the lowest performing urban district in this country. None of that is acceptable and this package of bills addresses that.”“There are no more excuses,” said Rep. Garcia. “Our students deserve better.”
17May Rep. VanderWall bill extends agricultural disaster loan program Categories: VanderWall News State Rep. Curt VanderWall (right) and Phil Korson, executive director of the Cherry Marketing Institute, speak before the House Agriculture Committee in support of legislation to extend the agricultural disaster loan program.State Rep. Curt VanderWall today was joined by Phil Korson, executive director of the Cherry Marketing Institute, to speak before the House Agriculture Committee in support of legislation to extend the agricultural disaster loan program.The low-interest loan program, which when funded provides the structure for financial institutions to offer assistance to farmers and agricultural producers to help alleviate the financial impact of crop damage caused by natural disasters, is currently set to end in February 2018.“In 2012, we had a big warm spell in March and April that caused tree fruit crops across the state to bud early. It was followed by a harsh cold spell at the end of April, which caused devastation to cherry, apple, peach, berry and asparagus crops across western and northern Michigan,” said VanderWall, of Ludington. “In many instances the crops were not insured and some farmers lost everything for the season. Following the damage, the state created the disaster loan program to help those farmers get through the year until the next growing season when they have the next chance to sell their crops.”VanderWall’s bill removes the program’s expiration date and keeps the structure of the program in law. Should another crop disaster be declared, the Legislature would then need to allocate funds for the program.“It’s doesn’t make sense for this program to end when it could be used again in the future,” VanderWall said. “This year may be a perfect example of why we need to keep this program, as parts of the state just went through a freeze about 10 days ago that may have damaged many of the blooms on our tree crops. We will know more in a couple weeks.”If another crop disaster is called by the governor, the Legislature would then need to allocate funds before farmers could receive loans from the program.Committee action on House Bill 4562 is expected later this month. It would then move to the full House for consideration.###
07Jun House approves Rep. Hornberger’s ‘right to carry’ legislation Categories: Hornberger News The Michigan House of Representatives today approved legislation introduced by state Rep. Pamela Hornberger to give law-abiding citizens back their fundamental right to bear arms without a government-issued permit.Hornberger’s legislation, House Bill 4417, is part of a four-bill package that removes the penalties for carrying a concealed handgun without first obtaining a concealed pistol license.“This is a common-sense reform that eliminates government over-reach to give honest, law-abiding people the freedom to exercise their right to carry a firearm for their personal protection without undue burdens,” said Hornberger, of Chesterfield Township. “If someone can currently openly carry a pistol without a permit, there’s no reason for that same person not to be allowed to carry concealed.”Under the plan, the current CPL permitting structure will remain in place to allow Michigan residents an option to obtain a CPL to continue to carry and receive reciprocity in states that recognize Michigan’s permit. A CPL will also continue to allow people to carry openly in certain restricted zones.Hornberger said the legislation does not give criminals more access to firearms because a background check would still be required when purchasing a handgun.“Our legislation won’t change who is eligible to purchase a pistol, it simply gives people who are already legally allowed to purchase guns the freedom to carry their guns in the manner they are most comfortable,” Hornberger said.House Bills 4416-19 now move to the Senate for consideration.###
Proposal saves tax dollars, improves transparencyState Rep. Jeff Yaroch has introduced legislation calling for a single-chamber legislature, which will save taxpayers an estimated $50 million dollars annually, increase transparency, and improve legislative dialogue, leading to better legislation.Yaroch, of Richmond, introduced House Joint Resolution R, which proposes putting the concept of a unicameral, or single-chamber, legislature before the voters. The resolution will require two-thirds approval from both the House and Senate to be placed on the ballot.A single-house legislature is not a new concept. Under the Articles of Confederation, the federal legislative body was unicameral and only became a bicameral, or two-house, legislature in the Constitution as a way to balance power between the big states and little states. It was not for checks and balances. The state of Nebraska changed from a bicameral to a unicameral legislature in 1937 in response to the Great Depression.“In 1835, when our state’s constitution was written, it would seem that there was no debate about the reasoning behind having two chambers in our state legislature. It seems that the founders of our state were focused more on other issues in our state’s constitution and simply followed the federal model out of expediency rather than debating the necessity of a two-chamber legislature,” Yaroch said. “But I think it’s time for that debate. If there is a sound policy reason for having two chambers, I have yet to hear it.”“Unlike the part-time legislature proposal, which only suggests saving ‘millions’ of taxpayer dollars, this resolution would actually cut $50 million dollars out of the state budget, and that’s a conservative estimate,” Yaroch said. “I think these tax dollars could be better spent on roads, schools and for local services like police, fire and mental health services. Alternatively, it could help with providing a tax cut. We would only have to pay for one set of legislators, legislative staffs, offices, analysts – it would reduce the current redundancy we have in government operations, which is not bringing better legislation.”The concept would also result in a more accountable government, Yaroch said, as it would be easier for our citizens to follow legislative activity if it was all in one chamber.“After serving seventeen years in local government and being told we had to do more with less, it is time for Lansing to lead by example, and do the same,” Yaroch said.The resolution has been referred to the Government Operations Committee. Categories: Yaroch News 27Jun Rep. Yaroch’s resolution calls for Real Reform: A single-chamber legislature
Categories: Griffin News 27Mar Rep. Griffin issues statement on new PFAS commission State Rep. Beth Griffin, of Mattawan, issued the following statement in response to the governor’s creation of a new panel to study the water advisory limit for PFAS: “From the day Michigan started testing for PFAS, we’ve used the Environmental Protection Agency’s drinking water limit as our environmental cleanup standard to ensure no polluted site went undetected. Since then, we have worked to detect, contain and respond to PFAS contamination around the state. It is this kind of decision-making that allowed us to identify the emerging contaminant in Parchment and the surrounding area and enabled us to communicate with residents and local officials to take action. But our work is not done. This record of proactive progress must continue. “Governor Whitmer today took an important step to continue our state’s progress toward better protecting the health of all Michigan families. Over the last 15 months, careful scientific investigation, research and management of PFAS has made Michigan a national leader in protecting the health and safety of its residents from this contaminant. We’ve set the standard for action, and by creating this science advisory workgroup we can set a science-based standard for PFAS drinking water safety that Michigan families can trust. “It is important we not only set science-based standards, but also find ways to clean up PFAS when it is detected. Detection, as we know, is just the beginning. I encourage the governor’s committee to focus their efforts on long-term solutions, in addition to detection. This will improve our existing efforts to protect Michiganders health— which is and must continue to be a top priority.”