• APL Vancouver Hit by Fire off Vietnam

    first_imgzoomImage Courtesy: Screenshot from Youtube video by TRAN THE HUANG The Singapore-flagged containership APL Vancouver suffered fire in the early morning hours of January 31, while it was sailing from Shekou to Singapore.The source of the fire aboard the 115,060 dwt vessel is currently unknown, and no dangerous cargo has been loaded in the cargo hold as per the stowage information.APL Vancouver still had signs of fire aboard on February 3 and firefighting action continued, OOCL cited data from the ship’s operator, Singapore-based container shipping company APL.The company earlier informed that emergency response procedures were immediately activated by the APL team, adding that the company established continuous contact with the vessel’s Master and local authorities to coordinate all necessary actions to ensure the fire is safely and promptly extinguished.The vessel was being attended by the Vietnamese Maritime Rescue Coordinating Center, fire fighters, firefighting tugs and a salvage master. APL Vancouver remains at anchorage off the Vietnamese coast.APL could not confirm which containers were involved in the fire nor the condition of containers and cargo onboard the vessel.There were no reports of injuries to the crew members aboard the 2013-built containership.Unconfirmed media reports suggested that the vessel was loaded with around 4,500 containers at the time of the incident, more than a hundred of which were carrying hazardous materials.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

  • Three shipyards set to share 7billion in navy maintenance contracts

    first_imgOTTAWA – The federal government says it plans to divvy up $7 billion in maintenance and repair contracts for Royal Canadian Navy frigates to three shipyards, a political compromise that was met with mixed reaction.Public Services and Procurement Canada announced the advance contract award notices on Thursday for Halifax’s Irving Shipbuilding Inc., Seaspan Victoria Shipyards in Victoria, B.C., and Davie Shipbuilding in Levis, Que.The contracts are to maintain Canada’s 12 Halifax-class frigates until the end of their operational life, estimated at another 20 years.Ottawa said in a statement that after consultations, it was decided the three Canadian shipyards were needed to complete the work on the warships.It was not immediately clear how the money would be divided among the three shipyards. A government spokesman said the value of each contract would be variable as the number of “docking periods” per shipyard may vary.David Baker-Mosher, president of the Unifor Marine Workers Federation Local 1 union at Halifax’s Irving shipyard, called the government’s plans an “utter disappointment.”“Workers feel their future is being jeopardized,” he said, noting that the decision could mean layoffs.“It’s disappointing that our government cannot understand how these ships are worked on and how much skill is needed.”At issue is a gap between the end of the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships program and the start of the Canadian Surface Combatant program.Irving has indicated in the past that repair work on the Halifax-class frigates would help mitigate that gap and sustain jobs.An Irving spokesman declined an interview on Thursday’s announcement, but said the company would provide comment following an announcement by Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan at the Halifax Shipyard Friday morning.In B.C., Tim Page with Seaspan said the company was pleased with the government’s intent to contract the Victoria shipyard.“We have been repairing and refitting those vessels now for some time on budget and on time and that elicits great pride in our workforce in Victoria,” said Page, Seaspan’s vice-president of government relations.However, he pointed out that “it’s not the end of the road” as there is a 15-day “cure period.” The deal gives other interested suppliers 15 days to come forward if they wish to bid on the contract and submit a statement of capabilities that meets the requirements laid out in the contract notice.In Quebec, the announcement was greeted with relief by Davie Shipbuilding, which has laid off hundreds of employees over the past year as work dried up.“There is finally stability,” company spokesman Frederik Boisvert said.Ottawa has faced strong pressure from the Quebec government to send more work Davie’s way.The company had 1,500 employees during work to convert a civilian ship into a new interim resupply vessel for the navy, but the workforce has fallen to 250 since that ship was delivered in 2017. Davie has been seeking a contract to produce a second resupply vessel.Ken Hansen, an independent defence analyst and former navy commander, said dividing the work between three shipyards through untendered contracts is about politics.“Any work that is awarded to Davie is done for the sake of politics,” he said. “It tells you that the power of the Quebec caucus in the Liberal party is really strong.”Hansen said international best practice is to do repair and maintenance work in the ships’ home port.“If the ships have to travel a distance and get their work done elsewhere, it’s both ineffective and uneconomical,” he said.The Royal Canadian Navy’s Atlantic fleet is based at CFB Halifax while the Pacific fleet is based at CFB Esquimalt near Victoria, B.C.Hansen added that the decision hearkens back to a historic approach to shipbuilding in Canada“The various regions all had a slice of the shipbuilding pie and what ended up happening … was this boom and bust cycle,” he said, noting that it led to repeated gaps in work and layoffs.Michael Byers, a University of British Columbia professor and expert on Canadian defence policy, agreed that the decision was likely influenced by politics but called it a “defensible policy choice.”“It’s likely a decision made for a political reasons, but it’s not a decision that threatens the viability of the shipyards in Halifax or B.C.,” he said.“It’s a defensible decision even if the motivation was probably political.”Byers added that Irving can also bid on work on the commercial market and shouldn’t expect government to fill every gap.“From a political point of view, it is interesting that the government has found a way to potentially satisfy everyone,” he said. “From a vote winning perspective, that’s an optimal outcome for the federal government.”Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, in Quebec City to meet with Premier Francois Legault, accused the federal government of “neglecting the Davie Shipyards.”He said the resupply vessel was delivered “on time, on budget, and now they’re delaying the second ship unnecessarily, which is costing jobs here.”Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil said his government has spoken with Ottawa about maintaining work at the Halifax Shipyard.“We’ve made the case to the national government that we believe the level of work should be maintained at the shipyard so they can hold on to the high quality talent that they currently have,” he told reporters.Ottawa says the work on the frigates is necessary while the navy awaits the delivery of replacement Canadian Surface Combatant ships.last_img read more

  • Cryptocurrency fund NextBlock scraps plans to go public underwriter withdraws

    first_imgTORONTO – A blockchain-focused venture capital fund headed by a Toronto-based expert is abandoning plans to go public amid reports alleging it made misleading statements in its marketing materials.NextBlock Global, whose chief executive is business author Alex Tapscott, said it is “no longer doing a go-public transaction” and is in the process of reaching out to investors to discuss next steps, including the return of their original investment.“As a young company, we have stumbled in our efforts to take our company public and we will work hard to rebuild the trust of those we have disappointed,” NextBlock Global said in a statement late Sunday.NextBlock describes itself on its website as early stage investor of companies involved in blockchain, with a focus on infrastructure to support the technology. NextBlock had aimed to go public via a reverse takeover of Nobelium Tech Corp., which is listed on the TSX Venture Exchange.The fund’s statement on Sunday follows reports that NextBlock Global’s investor presentation allegedly incorrectly named four people as its advisers.Last week, Forbes reported that NextBlock in its efforts to raise $100 million named four blockchain experts as the fund’s advisers, who told the publication they had not signed on in that capacity.Forbes reported on Nov. 1 that NextBlock listed former U.S. Department of Justice prosecutor Kathryn Haun; blockchain entrepreneur and chief executive of startup Civic Vinny Lingham; Dmitry Buterin, the father of Canadian Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin; and Karen Gifford, a special adviser for global regulatory affairs at Ripple among its eight advisers. All four told Forbes that they were not NextBlock advisers.On Monday, an underwriter on the planned NextBlock private placement pulled out. Canaccord Genuity’s president of capital markets Patrick Burke sent an internal email to employees on Monday about its decision, and asked them to communicate the change to clients.“As a result of ongoing developments related to the NextBlock private placement and consultation with our institutional clients, we have made the decision to withdraw participation from the private placement,” Burke said in the email obtained by The Canadian Press.NextBlock did not immediately respond to requests for comment.This comes months after Tapscott and his father, Don Tapscott, launched the Blockchain Research Institute. The Toronto-based firm was launched in March, funded by companies and governments from several countries, with the aim of conducting research into blockchain use cases and opportunities in a variety of sectors including financial services, manufacturing and healthcare, the institute said then in a statement. Founding member companies who funded the initiative included Accenture, IBM and SAP, the institute said.In addition to co-founding the institute, the Tapscotts also co-wrote the book Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin is Changing Money, Business and The World.last_img read more

  • Dutch Senate Votes to Terminate Social Security Benefits Treaty with Morocco

    By Zainab CalcuttawalaRabat – The Dutch senate voted on Tuesday in favor of a bill that will unilaterally terminate a 1972 treaty that allowed Moroccans with a Dutch citizenship to collect social security benefits from the Netherlands while living in Morocco. The termination will allow the Dutch government to cut social security benefits for Dutch orphans and widows in Morocco. Late last year, Netherlands pulled the plug on talks with Morocco that were designed to revise the treaty and cut benefits to Dutch orphans and widows living in Morocco by 40% in order to match the cost of living in Morocco. A majority of the members of the Dutch parliament had argued that benefit payouts should reflect local needs, not Dutch standards, according to DutchNews.According to the same source, Dutch-Moroccans had argued that those who have paid social insurance premiums in the Netherlands, but have been living outside the country, should be entitled the same level of benefits as those living in the Netherlands.Lodewijk Asscher, Dutch minister of social affairs and employment, said that talks failed due to the Moroccan government’s insistence that the treaty be expanded to include the Western Sahara region as part of Morocco at the “eleventh hour of negotiations.”In order to implement the proposed cuts, the treaty needed to be terminated, according to Asscher.No dates have been set for the implementation of the bill or the proposed cuts.The minister noted that the termination of the treaty does not mean that “400 years of friendly relations” between Morocco and the Netherlands have been severed. Netherlands is still willing to restart talks with the Moroccan government on the issue before July, he said.Dutch Senator Paul Schnabel expressed regret at the termination of the treaty due to issues of excessive national pride, especially because benefits to Dutch Moroccans in the Western Sahara are in low amounts. He argued that the bill should have been prevented and will probably sour long term relations with Morocco – a country that the Netherlands cooperates with in trade, counterterrorism, and more.The senator said that defending moral rightness for its own sake delivered little in this situation.“If Morocco and the Netherlands would be prepared to lessen national pride in the interests of their own citizens and the maintenance of good relations, there still would be a clear solution to this problem.” read more

  • UN report on Bhutto murder finds Pakistani officials failed profoundly

    Security arrangements by Pakistan’s federal and local authorities to protect assassinated Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto were “fatally insufficient and ineffective” and subsequent investigations into her death were prejudiced and involved a whitewash, an independent United Nations inquiry reported today.The UN Commission of Inquiry, appointed last year by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the request of the Pakistani Government, reached no conclusion as to the organizers and sponsors behind the attack in which a 15-year-old suicide bomber blew up Ms. Bhutto’s vehicle in the city of Rawalpindi on 27 December 2007. But it found that the Government was quick to blame local Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud and Al-Qaida although Ms. Bhutto’s foes potentially included elements from the establishment itself.“A range of Government officials failed profoundly in their efforts first to protect Ms. Bhutto and second to investigate with vigour all those responsible for her murder, not only in the execution of the attack, but also in its conception, planning and financing,” the Commission said. “Responsibility for Ms. Bhutto’s security on the day of her assassination rested with the federal Government, the Government of Punjab and the Rawalpindi District Police. None of these entities took necessary measures to respond to the extraordinary, fresh and urgent security risks that they knew she faced.”General Pervez Musharraf was president at the time of the suicide bombing in Rawalpindi. The report said the then federal Government lacked a comprehensive security plan, relying instead on provincial authorities, but then failed to issue to them the necessary instructions.“Particularly inexcusable was the Government’s failure to direct provincial authorities to provide Ms. Bhutto the same stringent and specific security measures it ordered on 22 October 2007 for two other former prime ministers who belonged to the main political party supporting General Musharraf,” it stated.“This discriminatory treatment is profoundly troubling given the devastating attempt on her life only three days earlier and the specific threats against her which were being tracked by the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence agency),” it added, stressing that her assassination could have been prevented if the Rawalpindi District Police had taken adequate security measures.Turning to the immediate aftermath of the attack, the Commission found that police actions and omissions, including the hosing down of the crime scene and failure to collect and preserve evidence, inflicted irreparable damage to the investigation.“The collection of 23 pieces of evidence was manifestly inadequate in a case that should have resulted in thousands,” it said. “The one instance in which the authorities reviewed these actions, the Punjab (provincial) committee of inquiry into the hosing down of the crime scene was a whitewash. Hosing down the crime scene so soon after the blast goes beyond mere incompetence; it is up to the relevant authorities to determine whether this amounts to criminal responsibility.”It also found that City Police Officer Saud Aziz impeded investigators from conducting on-site investigations until two full days after the assassination and that the Government’s assertions that Mr. Mehsud and Al-Qaida were responsible were made well before any proper investigation had started, pre-empting, prejudicing and hindering the subsequent investigation.“Ms. Bhutto faced serious threats in Pakistan from a number of sources,” the Commission said. “These included Al-Qaida, the Taliban and local jihadi groups, and potentially from elements in the Pakistani establishment. Notwithstanding these threats, the investigation into her assassination focused on pursuing lower-level operatives allegedly linked to Baitullah Mehsud.” It stressed that investigators dismissed the possibility of involvement by elements of the Pakistani establishment, including the three persons identified by Ms. Bhutto as threats to her in her 16 October 2007 letter to General Musharraf. It also noted that investigations were severely hampered by intelligence agencies and other Government officials, which impeded an unfettered search for the truth.“The Commission believes that the failures of the police and other officials to react effectively to Ms. Bhutto’s assassination were, in most cases, deliberate,” it declared.The three-member panel, which was headed by Chilean Ambassador to UN Heraldo Muñoz and included Marzuki Darusman, former attorney-general of Indonesia, and Peter Fitzgerald, a veteran official of the Irish National Police, urged the Government to undertake police reform in view of its “deeply flawed performance and conduct.”It also recommended the establishment of a fully independent Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate political killings, disappearances and terrorism in Pakistan in recent years in view of the backdrop of a history of political violence carried out with impunity. Ms. Bhutto’s widower, Asif Ali Zardari, is the current Pakistani President.In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban commended the commissioners and their staff for completing their challenging nine-and-a-half month-long task “expeditiously and in a professional manner.”In a later news conference today, Mr. Muñoz stressed that the Commission interviewed more than 250 interviews with Pakistanis and others both inside and outside Pakistan, reviewed hundreds of documents, videos, photographs and other documentary material provided by federal and provincial authorities in Pakistan and others.In the report, the Commission said it was “by the efforts of certain high-ranking Pakistani Government authorities to obstruct access to military and intelligence sources” but during an extension of its mandate until 31 March it was able eventually to meet with some past and present members of the Pakistani military and intelligence services. 15 April 2010Security arrangements by Pakistan’s federal and local authorities to protect assassinated Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto were “fatally insufficient and ineffective” and subsequent investigations into her death were prejudiced and involved a whitewash, an independent United Nations inquiry reported today. read more

  • Angola UN panel recommends measures to deal with sanctions busters

    The UN Monitoring Mechanism on Angola Sanctions against the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) said in a document released today that sanctions continue to play an important part in efforts to resolve the Angolan conflict. With no fixed arms supply lines and diminishing revenue from diamonds, UNITA’s military capacity has been significantly reduced, according to the panel. The monitors warn, however, that despite serious military setbacks, “it should not be taken for granted that all possibilities for UNITA rearmament have been exhausted.” The document, which is an addendum to the panel’s final report submitted last December, provides an overview of an investigation of companies that are accused of busting the UN sanctions aimed at reducing UNITA’s capacity to wage war.Although UNITA diamond trading has been driven deeper underground by the sanctions, the document notes, there are still major weaknesses in the system to control diamond trading, in part because of the many available routes that traders can use. “UNITA gems will find a market as long as illicit diamonds can be traded and until those involved in this trade are exposed and penalized,” the panel warns. It describes UNITA as “still very active, conducting guerrilla warfare, attacking mostly civilian targets, destroying infrastructure, killing innocent people and laying landmines.” Noting that it needs more time to complete its mandated tasks, the panel says that leaving its work unfinished “would send a very bad signal.” In carrying out its investigations, the Mechanism visited a number of countries in the region and Europe, including Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania, the Sudan, Belgium, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and France. read more

  • Top UN officials urge stronger support for Syrians and host communities amid

    500,000 people with community-led protection services “We are deeply shaken and distraught by the brutality and utter disregard for civilian lives we are witnessing in Eastern Ghouta and other parts of Syria today,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, UN Development Programme Administrator Achim Steiner and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock in a joint press release.“We are urging an immediate ceasefire, protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure and unfettered humanitarian access to Eastern Ghouta, swift evacuation of sick and injured people and safe passage for civilians wishing to leave,” they said.“Now more than ever, it is critical to sustain and reinforce international support to the neighbouring countries and communities hosting some 5.5 million Syrian refugees in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt. They continue to provide a profound service to humanity at a time when inside Syria, inhumanity seems to be prevailing,” they added.According to the UN, nearly seven years of relentless violence in Syria has displaced half of Syria’s population, including 6.1 million internally displaced, and 5.5 million Syrians living as refugees in the region.Despite the generosity of the neighbouring countries, most Syrian refugee families – and many in their host communities – fall below the poverty line and struggle to meet basic needs, the release said.In December last year, UN agencies and some 270 non-governmental organizations released the 2018 Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan seeking $4.4 billion to support Syrian refugees and host communities in neighbouring countries.The Plan aims to provide protection for refugee populations, education, health, food security, livelihoods, and water and sanitation services to vulnerable groups.The UN Security Council is considering adopting a resolution that would establish a 30-day ceasefire across Syria. UN migration agency seeks $194 million in funding to help Syrians   Meanwhile, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) on Friday launched an appeal for $194 million to help displaced Syrians living in and outside their war-torn country as well as the communities hosting them.Seven years into the armed conflict in Syria, the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate. Over 13 million people are still in need of humanitarian assistance inside the country, with nearly 3 million people living in hard-to-reach or besieged areas.With its 2018 appeal, the UN migration agency seeks to assist: 1 million people with non-food items and shelter support 35,000 children to attend school 200,000 people with livelihood opportunities 500,000 people with health services 135,000 displaced people to receive adequate services in camps 800,000 people with access to safe water and services “These interventions are vital to ensuring that Syrians get the life-saving assistance and livelihood support that many desperately need,” said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing, from the Organization’s headquarters in Geneva.Since the crisis began, economic growth within host countries has been severely affected. With high unemployment rates, especially among young people, and limited resource availability, it is challenging for governments and municipalities to provide basic services.IOM tracked 850,000 internally displaced persons returning to their areas of origin during 2017. During the same period, however, 2.9 million people continued to flee their homes, illustrating the continuing adverse effect of violence and conflict on the Syrian population.Access to primary health care has been drastically reduced inside Syria, while agricultural production has been cut in half compared to 2011 levels.In 2017, IOM organized the transportation of over 37,000 Syrian refugees from Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt to 23 countries including Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Sweden, Norway, the United States and the Netherlands, among others. read more

  • Brock researchers and longterm care residents collaborate on scientific research

    As Canada’s population ages, people are looking for ways to improve the quality of life for their loved ones. One approach, which is becoming increasingly popular, is to get people connected — or reconnected — with nature.A group of researchers from Brock’s Environmental Sustainability Research Centre (ESRC) is exploring the link between nature and health through a partnership with The Woodlands of Sunset, a regionally owned long-term care home in Welland.This initiative, “Wetlands of Sunset: Connecting Memories with Nature,” aims to show the importance of the location of long-term care facilities for the well being of their residents. What makes this an excellent case study for the research is that it is surrounded by wetlands and forests that are also owned by Niagara Region.Two members involved in this initiative, Marcie Jacklin, an avid birder and librarian at Brock, and Kerrie Pickering, a nurse and researcher, were recently awarded an ESRC seed grant to begin a pilot research project.Combining their knowledge on birds and health, they are currently working on a transdisciplinary study to explore if engagement in citizen science, specifically bird watching, has an impact on the well-being of long term care residents. They hope to see if engaging the residents as citizen scientists improves their well-being and to populate the Cornell University eBird database for the area surrounding Woodlands, which at present, has no data.Earlier this month, they installed two bird-feeding stations that residents can view from inside the building.“This project has been a win-win for me,” says Jacklin. “Working with everyone has been wonderful; the staff is so supportive at all levels and residents have really embraced the project, even those who aren’t official participants in the study.”“The potential benefits of this project will extend beyond this one long term care facility,” says Pickering. “This study has the potential to provide valuable insights for researchers, other long term care facilities, and the general population.”The researchers say benefits of the research project include:Helping residents understand what citizen science is and showing them that they are still a valuable member of society.Helping homes expand the types of activities they can offer to their residents.Giving residents and staff the opportunity to be exposed to nature and see birds.Populating the eBird database to better understand what kind of birds are in the area and their migration routes.Getting the broader community involved in citizen science.Transferring knowledge learned in this case study to other LTCs in Niagara and beyond.Jacklin says she is seeing how the project is making a difference at The Woodlands of Sunset.“When I walk down the hall at Woodlands and say I’m with the bird project everyone wants to stop and chat about it,” she says. “So far it seems like the benefits of this project are going far beyond what we had initially expected.”Jacklin and Pickering are looking for donations of binoculars, baby monitors, grape jelly (for orioles) and posters or books of common birds of Ontario and Eastern Canada.For more information or to donate, contact University researchers Kerrie Pickering, left, and Marcie Jacklin fill a bird feeder at the Woodlands of Sunset long-term care facility in Welland. read more

  • Camborne School of Mines celebrates 125 year anniversary

    first_imgA centre of mining excellence which has pioneered the very best in industry-led teaching, research and technological advances is celebrating a truly special landmark. This year marks the 125th anniversary of the UK’s Camborne School of Mines (CSM), one of the world’s foremost mining and minerals engineering institutions. To celebrate, CSM is organising a series of events help share the passion, enthusiasm and excellence that has become the hallmark over the years. These include a distinctive Live Wall, an interactive forum designed to showcase the highlights, milestones and achievements since its inception in 1888.The Live Wall features memories and anecdotes from alumni based across the globe, interesting facts and figures about the industry and its relevance and importance to today’s society, and fascinating insights into the history of CSM. It will bring together contributions from the CSM community, past and present, over the coming weeks, with regular updates and additions.Frances Wall, Head of CSM, said: “We are all very excited about celebrating this landmark occasion with the most important part of our history: our staff, students, alumni, collaborators and supporters.   CSM has grown from fairly humble beginnings to now be regarded, quite rightly, as one of the best mulitdisciplinary mining schools anywhere in the world.“Our achievements over the past 125 years are a source of pride, inspiration and motivation for everyone who is part of the CSM community, past and present. We are sure that the celebrations will highlight just what we have achieved together so far, and also our plans for the future.”CSM has developed an enviable reputation of producing pioneering research, focusing on the key challenges of resource sustainability, environmental production and mine health and safety. In addition to the 125th anniversary celebrations CSM staff are organising the 35th International Conference of Safety in Mines Research Institutes. The event is in London, October 15-17 and highlights the latest developments in safety technology and disaster management around the globe. CSM researchers will speak about the use of laser scanning and 3D modelling in mining accident investigation, analysis of major hazards like mine roof fall and quarry rock fall as well as long range rescue communication techniques. CSM is recognised as having had a global impact on the mining and minerals industry, by training graduates who are now leading the sector in new and exciting ways.It has also built close relationships with local, national and international business, and these collaborations have helped to promote advances in sustainable mining, geological exploration and renewable energy. 2013 is also the 20th anniversary of CSM’s association with the University of Exeter. It is now located in purpose-built facilities on the Penryn Campus.last_img read more

  • Mozilla mulls blocking Java plugin to thwart dangerous SSL attacks

    first_imgRecently, security researchers revealed a rather frightening browser exploit that allowed them to decrypt data that had been secured using SSL. Dubbed BEAST, the attack was demonstrated using a Java applet to bypass browser safeguards and lay intercepted encrypted communications bare. Since it was a Java shortcoming that allowed the browser to be compromised, Mozilla developers are now actively considering adding Oracle’s Java plug-in to the Firefox blocklist.This wouldn’t be the first time Mozilla has added Java to the Firefox plug-in blocklist. Back in April of 2010, a critical bug in Java was identified and patched by Oracle. Many Firefox users (and browser users in general) neglected to install the update, however, leaving themselves vulnerable. Mozilla opted to block all outdated versions of the Java plug-in to encourage updates and mitigate the risk.Unlike last time, however, Oracle has yet to release a patch — or even to publicize any plans to do so. Mozilla would, then, be blocking all versions of Java until a fix is made available.Though Java use on websites isn’t quite so widespread as it used to be, blocking the plug-in could still cause some blowback against Mozilla — especially in corporate environments where Java is still used. Mozilla drew the ire of network administrators when it switched to a rapid release cycle this year, and any moves that could adversely affect corporate goodwill need to be carefully considered.Chrome developers have already come up with an alternative solution — by adding a randomization element to the encryption process. That change has caused breakage on certain websites, however, so it might not be an ideal solution either.More at The Registerlast_img read more

  • PM Christie Remarks at at Yes Bahamas Campaign Referendum Launch

    first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppRemarks by The Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie Prime Minister Commonwealth of The Bahamas at the Launch of the YES Bahamas Campaign “Equal Rights for our Sons and Daughters” on Sunday, April 10, 2016 Harry C. Moore Library College of The Bahamas:It is my very great pleasure to be here today in order to welcome — with excitement and with gratitude — Lady Sharon Wilson and Lynn Holowesko, as the official Co-Chairs of the YES Bahamas Campaign.I look out at this room and I see people from all of the nation’s political parties, happy and excited to work together in service of this great cause – and it underscores for me the importance of what is at stake. All of us here today are in full agreement that some things are bigger than politics – equal rights for our sons and daughters certainly meets that standard.Although he couldn’t be here today, I want to thank the Honourable Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Minnis, for his unquestionable commitment to equal rights for Bahamian citizens. He has worked with the Constitutional Commission, he and I have sat with church leaders, and he worked with me to recruit the very impressive Co-Chairs we are introducing today. I thank him for his resolve and his determination.He and I agree that the YES Bahamas Campaign must be one that brings Bahamians together. Already, so many people have asked how they can help – we have heard from students and teachers, mothers and fathers, leaders in the church, artists and athletes, Bahamians from across our islands.The YES Bahamas Campaign will bring people together in common cause, and the Co-Chairs who will run the campaign will bring their very considerable determination, experience, and energy to this historic movement for change.Lady Sharon Wilson has been a teacher and a Chief Magistrate, runs one of the nation’s leading law firms, and is currently serving as President of the Senate. She is active in her church, the recipient of awards too numerous to list here today, a member of multiple boards, and known for her considerable philanthropic and charitable work.Mrs. Lynn Holowesko has served as a Senator and as President of the Senate, Chaired both the Bahamas Environment, Science and Technology Commission and the National Trust, Co-Chaired a Panel of Experts on Environmental Law for the United Nations, and is – clearly — a very distinguished member of the Bahamian Bar.In other words: these women are formidable and outstanding leaders! They have already done so much to contribute to our country, but clearly they are not content to rest on their laurels – their presence here today shows their deep patriotism and their dedication to building a more just Bahamas. They will be supported by an excellent team lead by former Senators Cheryl Bazzard and Heather Hunt who will act as Co-Executive Directors. Both of these ladies represent the next generation of outstanding leaders. Each in their own right continues to serve our nation well.Thank you all so much for bringing on board your enthusiasm and your expertise. I am confident that under your leadership, the YES Bahamas Campaign will both educate and inspire.Before I turn things over, I want to take a moment to outline how we arrived at this moment – to put this referendum in context, and explain its purpose and importance.The Bahamas Independence Order of 1973 was an Act of the British Parliament that provided for The Bahamas to become an independent sovereign nation, and our Constitution is an appendix to that Act. The 15 Bahamian men who attended a Constitutional Conference in London in December of 1972 are known as the Framers of our Constitution. To this day, the students in our schools learn of their leadership and contributions.They created a Constitution which prevented Parliament from passing laws which would discriminate based on race or creed or place of origin – but they did not include sex – that is, they did not insert any language in the Constitution which would prevent Parliament from passing laws which discriminate against men or women.This referendum is simply about bringing our Constitution up to date to reflect our shared values as a society. Men and women will always be different, and no law or change to the Constitution could or should ever change that – in fact, we celebrate our differences – but we do believe that as citizens who share the same responsibilities, the time has come for men and women, our sons and daughters, to share the same rights.I know this is a value shared by Bahamians because a long process of consultation has led us to this moment. The Constitutional Commission, appointed in 2012, has traveled far and wide throughout the country, holding town halls and meeting with citizens. The Commission consulted not just widely but deeply, holding extensive meetings with lawyers, academics, church leaders, and many other citizens who wanted to share their views. I acknowledge in particular the very substantial role that was played in the process by the late Dr. Myles Munroe, the founder of Bahamas Faith Ministries. He and other Leaders met many times with the Constitutional Commission and me. They gave excellent suggestions, were very energetically involved, and very committed to seeing the Constitution reformed so that men and women could achieve equal rights as citizens.Earlier this month, the bills received overwhelming support in the House of Assembly, and then passed unanimously in the Senate. So now they go to the people – and this is a constitutional referendum, so the people’s word is final and binding.On Tuesday, June 7th, Bahamians will be asked to vote YES on four common sense changes to our Constitution, so that Bahamian men and women are able to pass citizenship to their families in the same way, and so that it will be impossible for any future Parliament to pass laws discriminating against either men or women.I want to be clear: these bills do not propose radical change. Instead, this is about making sure that the supreme law of the land reflects our values and our commitment to fairness.The First proposed Amendment would allow children born abroad to obtain Bahamian citizenship from either their Bahamian father or mother, in those circumstances where the other parent is not Bahamian. Right now, only Bahamian men are entitled to pass their Bahamian citizenship to their children born abroad in these situations.This amendment says: Bahamian mothers and their children should have the same rights as Bahamian fathers and their children.Amendment Two would enable a Bahamian woman who marries a non-Bahamian man to secure for him the same ability to apply for Bahamian citizenship – following the same steps, and subject to the same considerations – currently afforded to a Bahamian man married to a non-Bahamian woman.I would like to emphasize that the second bill would NOT make citizenship automatic for foreign husbands of Bahamian women, just as it is not currently automatic for foreign wives. It merely grants those spouses the same right to apply for citizenship, following the same very long process.There is nothing easy or quick or convenient about becoming a citizen this way – the process typically takes more than 10 years, and involves interviews and inspections to ensure the marriage is legitimate.Immigration officers are given the same investigative powers as police officers as they determine whether a marriage is legitimate. And as of 2015, it is now a criminal act to participate in a fraudulent marriage, punishable by a fine or jail or both.Thus, amendment two is designed only to help real Bahamian families, and its purpose is to give Bahamian women the same rights as Bahamian men.Amendment Three would correct that provision in our Constitution that currently discriminates against men. The change would mean that an unmarried Bahamian man could pass on his Bahamian citizenship to a child fathered with a non- Bahamian woman, if he is able to prove by DNA evidence that he is the father. This right currently belongs only to women.We are ready for a Constitution that supports fathers who want to keep their children close.Amendment Four would update Article 26 of the Constitution, so that it would become unconstitutional for Parliament to pass any laws that discriminate based on sex, which is defined as “male or female”.There have been some questions about the intent and the possible effects of this change. The purpose of this amendment is only to ensure that Bahamian men and women are equal under the law.I am going to emphasize that in The Bahamas, by law – under the Matrimonial Causes Act — marriage must be between a man and a woman, and this amendment will not change that.In fact, the lawyers who drafted the language of the amendment went out of their way to protect traditional marriage, by defining “sex” as meaning “male or female”. The language is clear, and the intent of Parliament – which any future court is likewise obliged to consider – is also crystal clear.And I am advised that there have been NO cases in Commonwealth countries like ours, with a Westminster-style Constitution, in which the right to non- discrimination on the basis of sex led to a judicially-created right to same-sex marriage.I repeat: this referendum will not cause same-sex marriage to become legal in The Bahamas. Marriage in The Bahamas will be legal only if it is between a man and a woman, and male and female are determined at birth.I am so emphatic because it is so important for Bahamians to vote on what is really at stake – equal rights for our sons and daughters – and not let false rumours or incorrect information hold sway.This referendum does not seek to change Bahamian society or our traditional values – instead it seeks to change the Constitution so that it more clearly reflects those values, and our shared belief in fairness.And so with full confidence, with immense gratitude, and with great anticipation — the baton is passed – to these very distinguished Co-Chairs, and to the many Bahamians who believe in equal rights.I know the coming weeks will see a great celebration, an outpouring of support from those who are excited to make history, and in particular, the involvement of first-time voters, who have become eligible to vote since the previous election.The YES Bahamas Campaign will be relying on Bahamians young and old for their creativity and enthusiasm, visiting each of our islands, and providing information to Bahamians on each of the amendments. And the Constitutional Commission will continue a very intense schedule of information sessions, which will also be held across the islands, where Bahamians can ask their questions in person and receive answers and information from legal experts.In carrying out this work the Commission will continue to operate independently and with neutrality. Its job is to educate not to advocate for a Yes or No vote.I want to share a conversation I had recently with an old-timer in my constituency. He asked me about the referendum, and I explained it the way I’ve done so here today. I’m not sure he was completely with me, though, until I asked him to think about his grandchildren who were playing near us in the street. Did he think that his grandsons and his granddaughters should have different rights as Bahamian citizens? He was indignant at the very thought. He wants the best for all his grandchildren – his dreams for the girls are no less grand than his dreams for the boys. And so he agreed — he wants them to grow up in a country where they are equal under the law.I know this gentleman will be voting YES on June 7th, and that in this he will be joined by Bahamians from all walks of life, across our beautiful islands. Because there are moments to unite as a nation, moments when we come together to do the right thing, and this is one of those moments. Related Items:last_img read more

  • Chugach tree fulfills holiday destiny on Capitol lawn

    first_imgThe Chugach tree arrived at the Capitol but winds kept it horizontal all day. Photo: Liz Ruskin/APRN.A 74-foot tree cut from the Chugach National Forest near Seward nearly a month ago arrived at the U.S. Capitol today. It’s the first time the Capitol Christmas tree has come from the 49th state.Download AudioThe Lutz spruce tree arrived on a flatbed, resting on wooden cradles. The tree’s 40-gallon hydration bladder and the trailer sidewalls were removed ahead of time, for the tree’s grand entrance at the base of Capitol Hill. Fairbanksan John Schank, a trucker for four decades, drove the whole 4,000-mile journey – other than the ocean part. (The tree went by ship from Anchorage to Tacoma, Wash.)“Oh the trip was awesome. The help along the way with the law enforcement from the Forest Service… They’ve been with me from Day 1,” he said. “Without them clearing the lanes for me to make these turns, it would’ve been a real tough job.”John Schank, the Fairbanks trucker who brought the tree, looks uncannily like Santa Claus. Photo: Liz Ruskin/APRN.The Lynden Transportation driver normally plies the Dalton Highway. He was chosen for this mission in part because of his long, accident-free career. But Schank just happens to have a long white beard and – no kidding — red-apple cheeks and twinkly eyes. He patiently stood for back-to-back media interviews as the tree was detached from the truck and hoisted by crane.Bruce Ward was part of the tree’s cross-country entourage, which had its own band: Blackwater Railroad Company, of Seward. Ward says the good-natured Alaska trucker was a big hit at the 15 events they held along the tree’s route.“Couldn’t get him to wear the Santa Claus hat, though,” Ward said. “But he didn’t need it.”Bruce Ward, president of Choose OutdoorsWard leads a nonprofit called Choose Outdoors that coordinates with the Forest Service to bring a tree to the Capitol from a different national forest each year. The organization raised $650,000 in corporate donations to transport the Alaska tree. Shell, he says, gave the most: $50,000, plus fuel.Ward says the Lutz is a great specimen, nice and full.“Last year when we brought it from Minnesota, it really looked a lot more like a Charlie Brown tree,” he said. “This one looks beautiful, by comparison.”Ward says there were countless special moments on the tree’s journey, starting when they were in the Chugach to fell it. This was after a big search, after the superintendent of the U.S. Capitol Grounds had already flown to Alaska to select it from among the finalists. Ward says on the big day they asked Kenaitze elder John Ross to bless the harvest.“An eagle actually circled the tree before it was cut, and he said afterwards he asked the Great Spirit to let him know if it was OK to cut this tree,” Ward recalls. “And the message he got was ‘If the eagle lands on the tree you’re not to cut it.’ And so, I’m kind of praying so he doesn’t land on the tree, right? Because we’ve gone through a lot.”A crane moved the tree from the truck to the Capitol lawn this morning, but it remained horizontal today due to high winds. Crews hope to set it upright this weekend, weather permitting.The tree will be lit at a ceremony on Dec. 2 by Soldotna fifth-grader Anna DeVolld, with help from the Speaker of the House.The tree makes its final turn at the Capitol. Photo: Liz Ruskin/APRN.last_img read more

  • Indonesia police apologise for using snake in interrogation

    first_imgA snake. AFP File PhotoIndonesian police have apologised and pledged disciplinary action after officers draped a live snake around the neck of a suspect to persuade him to confess during an interrogation session in the easternmost area of Papua.A video circulated online shows a man being questioned about stolen mobile phones seated with his hands tethered behind his back yelling in distress as a snake is pushed towards his face by an officer.The man, who can been seen writhing on the ground for much of the time is asked by an officer, “How many times have you stolen mobile phones?”The suspect later responds by saying, “Only two times.”During the video, a voice can be heard ordering the man to open his eyes and at one stage threatens to put the snake into his mouth and under his trousers.In a statement, Jayawijaya police chief Tonny Ananda Swadaya issued an apology, saying, “The investigator was not professional in doing his job”.Swadaya added that the officers had been acting on their own initiative to try get a confession, saying the snake was non-venomous and tame.“We have taken stern action against the personnel,” he said, adding the officers themselves had not physically attacked the man.Papua police spokesman Ahmad Musthofa Kamal said the case was being investigated by the internal affairs unit and if violations of the law or code of conduct were proven action would be taken.Reports of human rights abuses by security forces often emerge from Papua, where a separatist movement has simmered for decades.The former Dutch colony, the resource-rich western part New Guinea island, was incorporated into Indonesia after a widely criticized U.N.-backed referendum in 1969.Veronica Koman, a human rights lawyer focused on Papua, said by text message that using a snake in this way represented torture and was not a one-off incident in the area.Koman said a snake had also been used in an interrogation of one of her clients, whom she said was a pro-independence activist.Papua police spokesman Kamal said he was not aware of another case.last_img read more

  • Harris County Starts Expansion Of Program To Remove Submerged Vehicles From Bayous

    first_imgVideo Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. 00:00 /01:13 Share To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: center_img X – / 4An expansion of a 2016 pilot program to remove submerged vehicles from Harris County’s bayous started on Wednesday.A crew from the company the county has hired for the program through its Flood Control District began working at the intersection of Brays bayou and Lidstone Street, southeast of downtown Houston.The program is expected to last about 60 days and the goal is to remove approximately 50 vehicles from both the Brays and Sims bayous.Auto theft investigators from the Houston Police Department (HPD) will be on site when the vehicles are being extracted.Sandra Ortiz, a spokeswoman for the Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD), explains that during the pilot phase of the program “we did find that 18 of those vehicles were reported stolen and two of them were used for aggravated robbery.”“So we expect that, you know, something very similar will happen here with this expansion of the program,” Ortiz added.Once removed, the vehicles will be transported for police processing, storage or disposal.According to the HCFCD, the budget for the program is 218,255 dollars and the funding comes from Harris County Precinct 2 and the City of Houston. Listenlast_img read more

  • July 10 2018

    first_imgJuly 10 , 2018 Chilean citrus: Clementines end with 18% volume dr … Chilean blueberries fetched lower prices in 2018-1 … Chile: SAG launches phone app to identify ag pests … You might also be interested incenter_img Kiwifruit in Charts: With stocks at five-year high … “At the moment we don’t know how it is going to affect us, but it is not good, because we know how it starts, but not how it ends. It’s difficult to quantify in what way it is going to hit the export sector,” he said.”We hope that Chile doesn’t pay the consequences of this trade war between these two countries. We have a very successful history in the U.S. and more recently in China in terms of exports, so we hope that it doesn’t affect us.”Walker also highlighted the importance of free trade for Chile, saying it had helped the country to gain a strong foothold in foreign markets for various products.”We believe in free trade, open globalization, and for us these two countries are the most important in terms of trade because both China and the U.S. are very important markets for Chilean agriculture,” he The trade war that recently began between the U.S. and China is not good news for Chile, according to the South American country’s Agriculture Minister Antonio Walker. The U.S. and Chinese governments both implemented 25% tariffs for US$34 billion of goods on each other on Friday, with many U.S. fruit products affected including cherries, apples and citrus.It does not appear there will be a swift end to the conflict, with no talks currently scheduled between the two countries and U.S. President Donald Trump having indicated he may impose much greater tariffs.Walker said that while it was unclear how Chile could be affected by the situation, he did not believe it would be positive given the strong trade relationships Chile has with both countries.last_img read more

  • Riviera Travel has added three more soloonly Euro

    first_imgRiviera Travel has added three more solo-only Europe sailings for late 2019, bringing the number of solo-only cruises for this year to a record 12 departures.All cabins are for sole occupancy with no single supplement. Fares include daily guided excursions, onboard meals and Wi-Fi. Fares and cabins are subject to availability.The new solo-only sailings are:* An eight-day ‘Blue Danube’ cruise from Budapest on November 1, 2019, bound for Slovakia and Austria and return. The cruise aboard the brand, new, five-star river ship, William Wordsworth, launched this month, takes in the imperial city of Vienna, the stunning baroque-style abbey at Melk and the romantic ‘Sound of Music’ city of Salzburg. Fares are available for solo travellers from $2769.* An eight-day ‘Douro, Porto and Salamanca’ cruise, round-trip from Porto in Portugal on November 10, 2019, aboard the five-star Douro Splendour, with fares for solo travellers from $3659. The cruise takes passengers along the spectacular Douro river, which is lined by charming medieval villages and cascading vineyards.* An eight-day Burgundy, River Rhone and Provence’ cruise from Lyon to Avignon in France aboard the five-star William Shakespeare, departing on November 4, 2019. The cruise features the wine region of Burgundy, the flower-flecked meadows of Provence, the spectacular Rhone Valley, the gastronomic capital of Lyon, the Roman aqueduct of Pont du Gard and the city of Arles – once home to famed painter, Vincent Van Gogh. Solo fares are from $3549. cruiseEuropeRiviera Travelsingle supplementsolo travellerslast_img read more

  • NASHVILLE Tenn – It was just meant to be Pop si

    first_img NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It was just meant to be: Pop singer Bebe Rexha and country duo Florida Georgia Line’s massive crossover hit “Meant to Be” has broken a new record on Billboard’s Hot country songs chart, remaining in the No. 1 spot for 35 weeks.Billboard reports the song, which was dually promoted to country and pop radio, passed Sam Hunt’s previous powerhouse “Body Like a Back Road,” which held the record for 34 weeks in 2017.The chart encompasses streaming, sales and airplay. Written by Rexha, FGL’s Tyler Hubbard, Josh Miller and David Garcia, “Meant to Be” has peaked at No. 2 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.The song has been No. 1 on the country charts since it debuted at the top spot in December. “Meant to Be” appears on Rexha’s 2017 EP, “All Your Fault: Pt. 2,” and her full-length debut album, “Expectations,” released last month.This isn’t Florida Georgia Line’s first time setting a record on Billboard’s Hot country songs chart. They had previously broken the record when their breakthrough hit, “Cruise” with rapper Nelly, topped the chart for 24 weeks in 2012 and 2013. They’ve also had major success with the hit “H.O.L.Y.” — which spent 18 weeks at No. 1.“Meant to Be” has also made history for Rexha. She surpassed Taylor Swift for the longest leading No. 1 on the country charts for a song sung by a lead female.With multiple hits, Florida Georgia Line have spent a total of 90 weeks atop the Hot country songs chart, surpassing country icon George Strait. FILE – In this April 15, 2018 file photo, Tyler Hubbard, right, and Brian Kelley, left, of Florida Georgia Line, and Bebe Rexha, center, perform “Meant to Be” at the 53rd annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas. The crossover hit “Meant To Be” has broken a new record on the Billboard Hot Country chart, remaining in the No. 1 spot for 35 weeks. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File) by The Associated Press Posted Jul 30, 2018 11:03 am PDT Last Updated Jul 30, 2018 at 3:00 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Emailcenter_img Bebe Rexha, Florida Georgia Line break country chart recordlast_img read more

  • Trapped couple rescued from sea

    first_imgAyia Napa police and the fire services on Thursday afternoon rescued two tourists who were trapped on a rock in the sea.After being alerted by the rescue coordination centre, marine police and firefighters went to the scene near the ‘Lovers’ bridge’ where they found the 22-year-old man and 21-year-old woman on a rock two metres above the sea.The couple said the sea had been calm when they first reached the rock but they became trapped when the sea turned rough.Firefighters managed to pull them to safety using ropes.The couple was examined by medical staff of an ambulance which arrived at the scene but they were not injured by their ordeal. You May LikeFigLeaf Beta AppHow to Become Fully Anonymous Online in Less Than 3 Minutes? Better safe than sorryFigLeaf Beta AppUndoYahoo SearchResearch Compact SUVs. New SUVs May Make You Want To Trade Yours In Today – See For Yourself!Yahoo SearchUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

  • Bogoro and Dass You

    Bogoro and Dass Youth Coalition.

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    " he said. I’m working on getting this museum as a federal repository.says women seeking abortions are often visibly unnerved by shouts from protestors Conte,上海贵族宝贝Dartha, -Key in the details as required on the login page -Hit "submit" -Result will be displayed on the screen. However, 12 months Seth Casteel Zelda Mae 7 months Seth Casteel Emerson 7 months Seth Casteel Adeline 10 months Seth Casteel Bailey 14 months Seth Casteel Colton 11 months Seth Casteel Warren M, He told his constituents that he would continue to fight for their interests and advised them to champion the course of peace, 2014. Its kind of a tricky balance. read more