New Deputy Ministers for Treasury and Policy Board Environment and Labour

first_imgPremier Rodney MacDonald today, Nov. 20, announced new deputy ministers for the Treasury and Policy Board, and Environment and Labour. Margaret MacDonald, assistant deputy minister of the Treasury and Policy Board, will move to deputy minister. Nancy Vanstone, acting deputy minister of Environment and Labour, will become deputy minister. Robert Fowler, currently deputy minister of the Treasury and Policy Board, will retain his portfolio of deputy minister to the Premier’s Office, CEO of Communications Nova Scotia, head of the Public Service, and clerk and secretary of the Executive Council. “I am pleased to recognize the contributions of both these outstanding individuals,” said Premier MacDonald. “They represent important leadership roles in the senior public service.” Ms. MacDonald has been assistant deputy minister with the Treasury and Policy Board since 2002. Before that, Ms. MacDonald was a senior solicitor with the Department of Justice, and was legal advisor to a number of government departments, including the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Finance. She also practiced for five years with a private law firm. Before becoming acting deputy minister of Environment and Labour earlier this year, Ms. Vanstone had been the assistant deputy minister since 2004. She has served as executive director of Registry and Information Management Services with Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, and also worked with the Department of Municipal Affairs, the Council of Maritime Premiers, the deputy minister’s Land Use Secretariat, and the Department of Economic Development. Both appointments take effect immediately.last_img read more

Review of scientific studies suggests man flu may be more intense researcher

first_imgA researcher who blended scientific review with humour is suggesting those who believe “man flu” is more intense than the female version have some evidence to back their views.The piece was published by a Canadian physician in the December edition of the British Medical Journal.Dr. Kyle Sue, a family physician based in Arviat, Nunavut, found studies on mice and humans going back to the 1990s suggesting flu symptoms in men are often more acute.His study also noted that a seasonal influenza study from 2004 to 2010 in Hong Kong found men had higher rates of hospital admission, and a decade-long American observational study that ended in 2007 suggested men had higher rates of flu-related deaths in comparison to women.The latter study held true regardless of underlying heart disease, cancer, chronic respiratory system disease, and renal disease.“Perhaps now is the time for male friendly spaces, equipped with enormous televisions and reclining chairs, to be set up where men can recover from the debilitating effects of man flu in safety and comfort,” Sue wrote.The British Medical Journal’s December issue is meant to be a special issue that has peer-reviewed articles, but allows authors to use some humour, said Navjoyt Ladher, the editor who put the issue together.“The spirit of the issue is quite light hearted and often tackles quirky subjects … But it’s real work,” she said.In his study, Sue also notes that the term man flu has become so common that it is included in the Oxford and Cambridge dictionaries, with Oxford defining it as “a cold or similar minor ailment as experienced by a man who is regarded as exaggerating the severity of the symptoms.”Sue writes: “Since about half the world’s population is male, deeming male viral respiratory symptoms as ‘exaggerated’ without rigorous scientific evidence could have important implications for men, including insufficient provision of care.”Sue’s study also considered the hypothesis that testosterone may have a relationship to influenza by acting to suppress the male immune system.He notes there are numerous potential weaknesses in the “immunity gap” theory, including that it doesn’t always consider other influences on the flu such as the rates of smoking.“The evidence is not definitive. It’s only suggestive,” he said during an interview, in reference to the Hong Kong and American epidemiological studies.He says another factor not considered was the influence of men tending to take longer to seek medical care than women.The physician also cites theories that evolution plays a role in men taking more rest than women for flu, and includes one hypothesis arguing that “the increase in male sickness may be a strategy important for survival since ‘it promotes energy conservation and reduces the risk of encountering predators.’”“Further high quality research is needed to clarify other aspects of man flu,” says Sue’s article, with possible topics including the impact of environmental conditions on flu in males.In addition, he raises the question of whether men who have the flu are more successful at finding mates.“In other words, can the blame for man flu be shifted to the people who select these men as sexual partners rather than the men themselves?”In his conclusion, Sue says the idea of “man flu” and suggestions males exaggerate their suffering is potentially unjust.“Men may not be exaggerating symptoms but have weaker immune responses to viral respiratory viruses, leading to greater morbidity and mortality than seen in women,” says the journal article.Sue said in an interview from his clinic that he decided to do the study for a masters level class about a week after he experienced the flu.“It seemed like a pertinent and possibly entertaining topic to look into. And when I looked into the literature I realized that there are a lot of interesting studies and nobody had actually put it together into something coherent,” he said.last_img read more

Much Turns Up the Heat this Month with New Series TASKMASTER and

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement Twitter Facebook Also on June 19, class is back in session as DRUNK HISTORY returns with six new episodes. Airing Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT, Season 5B of the Emmy®-winning series delivers a fresh batch of enlightening historical stories told by boozed-up comedians. Guest stars featured this season include Jack McBrayer (THE MIDDLE), Rachel Bloom (ROBOT CHICKEN), Tony Hale (VEEP), Vanessa Hudgens (Grease Live!), Jack Black (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle), and more. From the classroom to the showroom, the ad men of Motor City keep their creativity flowing as DETROITERS returns June 21 with two back-to-back episodes beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. Airing Thursdays at 10:30 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT after its two-episode premiere, the series stars real-life best friends and Detroit natives Sam Richardson (VEEP) and Tim Robinson (SNL) as small-time ad men in the Motor City. Whatever they do, they do it together, and no matter what, Tim and Sam’s love for each other and their city never wavers. In the second season, Tim and Sam work with bigger clients, including the Michigan Science Center; Sam pursues new romantic interests; Tim’s brother starts working at Cramblin Duvet and has a disruptive effect on the office; and the guys produce an ad with their hero, legendary Detroit news anchor, Mort Crim. Guest stars featured this season include Tim Meadows (Mean Girls), Bobby Moynihan (SNL), Mary Lynn Rajskub (24), and more. AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR: NINJA VS NINJA returns for Season 3 beginning June 27. Airing Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT, the biggest names from AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR compete on teams in an epic race to become the ultimate champions. Hosted by comedian Matt Iseman and former NFL player Akbar Gbaja-Biamila, this season sees the teams take on newly designed obstacles testing speed, human agility, and teamwork skills.DRUNK HISTORY – Tuesday, June 19 at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT – “World War II” – *Season 5B Premiere*A group of artists known as the ghost army trick German troops, a resistance movement grows within Japanese internment camps, and Adolf Hitler’s nephew fights for the U.S. Guest stars are Randall Park (VEEP), Lyric Lewis (MADTV), Jack McBrayer (THE MIDDLE), and Aaron Takahashi (COMEDY BANG! BANG!).TASKMASTER – Tuesday, June 19 at 10:30 p.m. ET/ 7:30 p.m. PT – “Physics” – *Series Premiere*Taskmaster Reggie Watts challenges contestants to play basketball without using their hands, finagle their way into a onesie, and record themselves doing something that will look impressive when played backward.DETROITERS – Thursday, June 21 at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT – “April in the D” – *Season 2 Premiere* Cramblin Duvet hits a hot streak, and Sam and Tim help Sheila (Pat Vern Harris) find a lawyer after she gets a DUI.DETROITERS – Thursday, June 21 at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT – “Jefferson Porger” – *New Episode* Tension builds between Sam and Tim after Sam appears in one of their commercials, and Sheila’s relationship with Lea (Lailani Ledesma) becomes strained after she makes an off-color joke.AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR: NINJA VS. NINJA – Wednesday, June 27 at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT – *Season 3 Premiere*The new season kicks off with the qualifying rounds. This episode features AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR superstars Meagan Martin and Flip Rodriguez.Social Media links Advertisementcenter_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With:  Much on Twitter Detroiters on Twitter Drunk History on Twitter Ninja Warrior on Twitter Taskmaster on TwitterAbout MuchMuch is the hub for everything that’s relevant and trend worthy, delivering a diverse stable of irreverent and topical programming as well as exclusive live events. From the IHEARTRADIO MMVAs to its industry-leading online and social media platforms, including Much.com, Twitter (more than 1 million followers), Facebook (more than 1.2 million likes), Instagram (almost 70,000 followers), and the multi-channel network Much Studios (more than 7 million combined subscribers), Much continues to deliver unique and entertaining content to its audience. Much is a division of Bell Media, which is part of BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company. – New series TASKMASTER starring Reggie Watts and Alex Horne, and returning series DRUNK HISTORY, begins June 19 –– DETROITERS returns with two, back-to-back episodes June 21 –– AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR: NINJA VS NINJA premieres June 27 –– Previous episodes of DRUNK HISTORY and DETROITERS now streaming on CraveTV –TORONTO – Game shows, comedy, and plenty of beer are on the menu as new series TASKMASTER and returning favourites DRUNK HISTORY, DETROITERS, and AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR: NINJA VS NINJA touch down this month on Much.All-new gameshow TASKMASTER, an adaptation of the popular U.K. format, premieres June 19. Airing Tuesdays at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT, the eight-episode, 30-minute series sees musician and comedian Reggie Watts (THE LATE LATE SHOW WITH JAMES CORDEN) and co-host and series creator Alex Horne set a series of off-the-wall tasks for a group of celebrity players to complete. Contestants include Freddie Highmore (THE GOOD DOCTOR), Kate Berlant (SEARCH PARTY), DJ and producer Dillon Francis, and stand-up comics Lisa Lampanelli and Ron Funches (Trolls). Watts and Horne award points based on how players performed, with the winner taking home a prized possession that they or their competitors have offered up.last_img read more

A rising concern After straws balloons get more scrutiny

first_imgNEW YORK, N.Y. – Now that plastic straws may be headed for extinction, could Americans’ love of balloons be deflated?The joyous celebration of releasing balloons into the air has long bothered environmentalists, who say the pieces that fall back to earth can be deadly to seabirds and turtles that eat them. So as companies vow to banish plastic straws, there are signs balloons will be among the products to get more scrutiny, even though they’re a very small part of environmental pollution.This year, college football powerhouse Clemson University is ending its tradition of releasing 10,000 balloons into the air before games, a move that’s part of its sustainability efforts. In Virginia, a campaign that urges alternatives to balloon releases at weddings is expanding. And a town in Rhode Island outright banned the sale of all balloons earlier this year, citing the harm to marine life.“There are all kinds of alternatives to balloons, a lot of ways to express yourself,” says Kenneth Lacoste, first warden of New Shoreham, Rhode Island, who cites posters, piñatas and decorated paper.Following efforts to limit plastic bags, the push by environmentalists against straws has gained traction in recent months, partly because they’re seen as unnecessary for most. Companies including Starbucks and Disney are promising to phase out plastic straws, which can be difficult to recycle because of their size and often end up as trash in the ocean. A handful of U.S. cities recently passed or are considering bans. And the push may bring attention to other items people may not have considered — like festive balloons.“The issue of straws has really broadened the marine debris issue,” says Emma Tonge of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. People might not realize balloons are a danger, she says, because of their “light and whimsical” image.Balloons are not among the top 10 kinds of debris found in coastal cleanups, but Tongue says they’re common and especially hazardous to marine animals, which can also get entangled in balloon strings.Chelsea Rochman, an assistant professor of ecology at the University of Toronto, says people should think systemically about waste and pollution, but that efforts to bring attention to specific products shouldn’t be dismissed as too minor.“If we said that about everything, we wouldn’t get anything done,” she says.Already, a few states restrict balloon releases to some extent, according to the Balloon Council, which represents the industry and advocates for the responsible handling of its products to “uphold the integrity of the professional balloon community.” That means never releasing them into the air, and ensuring the strings have a weight tied to them so the balloons don’t accidentally float away.Lorna O’Hara, executive director of the Balloon Council, doesn’t dispute that marine creatures might mistake balloons for jellyfish and eat them. But she says that doesn’t mean balloons are necessarily causing their deaths.Clean Virginia Waterways still thinks balloons can be harmful. Included in its report last year: A photo of a soaring bird with a deflated balloon trailing behind it.The report addresses the “rising concern” of balloons, which also often use helium, a non-renewable resource. It notes the difficulty of changing a social norm and that even typing “congrats” in a Facebook post results in an animation of balloons. It even claims the media play a role and that some groups conduct balloon releases “just so reporters will cover the event.”“We don’t want to say don’t use them at all. We’re saying just don’t release them,” says Laura McKay of the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program.Some states such as California ban balloon releases for other reasons. Pacific Gas & Electric, which serves northern and central California, says metallic balloons caused 203 power outages in the first five months of this year, up 22 per cent from a year ago.Lacoste thinks other towns, particularly those along the coasts, will also ban balloons as people become more aware of environmental issues. He notes that plastic bags were once seen as harmless, but many places now ban them.___Follow Candice Choi at www.twitter.com/candicechoilast_img read more

Auto sales fall 37 per cent in February as downward trend continues

TORONTO — DesRosiers Automotive Consultants Inc. says light vehicle sales fell 3.7 per cent in February from a year earlier as a downward Canadian auto sales trend continued.The automotive consultant says light vehicle sales totalled 120,891 for the month, down from 125,530 last year, to make it the third-highest sales for the month on record.The dip in February marked the 12th month of sales declines when compared to the previous year.The consumer shift away from passenger cars towards various SUVs and pickup truck options continued in February, with car sales down 16 per cent for the month while light truck sales rose 1.2 per cent.Fiat Chrysler Automobiles took the top spot in sales with 18,461 vehicles sold after only a two per cent dip from a year earlier. Ford came second after a 1.4 per cent dip, while General Motors was third with a 9.1 per cent drop from last year.Hyundai saw a 14.6 per cent increase and Kia a 10.5 per cent climb. European luxury car brands Audi, Jaguar, Maserati, and Mercedes-Benz all saw drops of more than 20 per cent. The Canadian Press read more

UN food relief reaches isolated Haitian villages hit by last months deadly

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) delivered food aid to some of the most isolated villages in Haiti’s mountainous Mapou district, bringing the first relief for those inhabitants since their homes were cut off after deadly floods and landslides devastated the area on 23 May. Using a helicopter supplied by the outgoing Multinational Interim Force in Haiti, WFP staff handed over 15 metric tons of rice, flour and vegetable oil to residents in remote parts of Mapou – enough for 3,710 people for one week. Officials also transported 4.4 tons of food – enough to help 1,150 people – to the village of Pichon. WFP Regional Coordinator for Latin America, Omar Bula-Escobar, said the agency would focus much of its efforts in the weeks ahead on reaching the most vulnerable people in the most remote areas. Already it has delivered more than 60 tons of food supplies to the major towns in Mapou. Although the relief effort is gaining ground, concerns over financing persist. In a statement released today, WFP said it has so far received less than half of the $7.9 million it called for in an emergency humanitarian appeal for Haiti earlier this year. read more

Draft climate deal adopted as UN talks reach midway point in Paris

LE BOURGET, France – Negotiators adopted a draft climate agreement Saturday that was cluttered with brackets and competing options, leaving ministers with the job of untangling key sticking points in what is envisioned to become a lasting, universal pact to fight global warming.As the U.N. talks outside Paris reached their midway point, the 48-page draft agreement was sent along to environment and foreign ministers who will work on it next week.“So let’s work,” French President Francois Hollande said in a speech Saturday. “It’s up to the ministers and officials of every government to remove options, find compromises and make decisions on the difficult issues without undermining the ambition” of the climate pact.Many disagreements remain, almost all related to defining the obligations and expectations of rich and poor countries, as well as those who don’t fit neatly into either category. The draft had multiple options on that issue — everything from who should pay for a global transition to clean energy to what happens to countries that miss their targets to fight climate change.One of the most radical proposals called for an “international tribunal of climate justice” to deal with wealthy countries that don’t fulfil their commitments. Rich nations are certain to reject that idea.“We would have wished to be further along than we are at this point, but the text being forwarded so far reflects our key priorities,” said Maldives delegate Thoriq Ibrahim, who chairs an alliance of small island nations on the front lines of climate change.Although 184 countries have already submitted national plans to reduce climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions, how to anchor those pledges in a legally binding deal remains to be worked out.Chief Chinese negotiator Su Wei told reporters Saturday that “all the provisions, starting from the preamble to the final clauses, would be legally binding.”That contrasts with the U.S. position, which is for some parts to be legally binding, but not countries’ pledges to limit the greenhouse gas emissions. Binding emissions cuts would likely require the Obama administration to send the deal to the Republican-controlled Congress, where it would likely be struck down.After the news conference, Su indicated the issue was still up for negotiation.“We have to further discuss … try to find some proper solution,” he said.Jake Schmidt of the Natural Resource Defence Council, a New York-based environmental group, said the issue could be resolved by avoiding words like “shall” in key paragraphs about emissions targets.The Paris accord is meant to be a turning point in the world’s efforts to fight climate change. Since they started in 1992, the U.N. talks have not been able to stop the rise in emissions, mostly from the burning of fossil fuels, blamed for warming the planet.Previous agreements only required rich countries to reduce their emissions. The new agreement would apply to all countries, but many developing nations are resisting language that would indicate a shift in responsibilities.The U.S. and other developed countries have traditionally been the only ones expected to provide financing to help poor countries deal with rising seas and other impacts of climate change. They want the new agreement to expand the donor base to include the most advanced developing countries.But major developing countries including India and China are pushing back, amid worries that wealthy countries are trying to dodge their responsibilities. The developing bloc says the parts of world that industrialized first — the U.S., Canada, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand — have a historical duty to address climate change.“There is an obligation on the part of the developed nations to provide finance and there is an entitlement on part of developing nations to receive funds for climate action,” Indian negotiator Susheel Kumar said. “We don’t want dilution of that paradigm.” by Karl Ritter And Sylvie Corbet, The Associated Press Posted Dec 5, 2015 7:43 am MDT Last Updated Dec 5, 2015 at 12:20 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Draft climate deal adopted as UN talks reach midway point in Paris; long way to final pact read more

Baseball Ohio State attempts to get things going again in Tuesday game

Jake Post, redshirt senior starting pitcher, throws a pitch during the game against Campbell Camels on Mar. 4, 2017. Credit: Courtesy of OSU AthleticsThings finally seemed to be going right for the Ohio State baseball team. It had won three-straight games that included a 5-4 win against now-No. 12 Florida Gulf Coast. Then this past weekend came rolling around. The team played a game at home for the first time all season and traveled to Cincinnati for a double-header, and lost all three games to Xavier University.But heading into a midweek matchup against Youngstown State, the team has a chance to gain some momentum back. The Penguins sit at 2-14 on the season and have lost each of their past three games. The Buckeyes hope to pick up some steam and find their way back into the win column before heading into their Big Ten opener against incumbent outright Big Ten regular-season champion Minnesota this weekend.Scouting Youngstown StateIt has been a season to forget so far for the Penguins. They have been held scoreless through their past two games and have struggled in nearly all facets of the game this season.Offensively, the largest bright spot has come from the long ball. The club has 19 home runs compared to only 17 from opposing teams.Beyond that, the team has found it difficult to outscore the opposition. The team is batting .229 and has scored only 68 runs compared with 152 from opposing teams. Only four players on the roster have more than one double and more players on the roster have double-digit strikeouts than double-digit hits. In addition, six players currently have more strikeouts than hits.Youngstown State’s most potent threat at the plate has been junior first baseman Andrew Kendrick. The junior college transfer has produced a .255/.338/.600 slash line with six home runs and a team-leading 16 RBIs. His six home runs have already surpassed his previous career-high season home run total of four, set last year.Pitching also has been a weak spot for the team. Two pitchers have ERAs of 0.00 (one has thrown three innings and the other has 1.1 innings of work), but everyone else on the roster has an ERA of at least 4.00 and nine of their pitchers have ERAs above 6.00. As a team, that combined ERA is 7.70.The source of the Penguins’ ability, or lack thereof, to keep runs off the board can be traced to an issue keeping the opposition off the bases. The team has walked 81 batters in 135.2 innings (5.39 BB/9) and has surrendered 192 hits over that same innings total (opponent average of .332).Pair of Buckeyes find power over weekendOSU might not have come away with a win this past weekend, but the team started to see some home run production, especially in Sunday’s doubleheader.All nine of the runs scored against Xavier University on Sunday were driven in by the home run ball. But between the six home runs hit and nine RBIs in the past two games, only one home run and one RBI came from someone besides the Buckeyes’ two middle-infielders.Senior shortstop Jalen Washington tied a career-high with two home runs in the first of Saturday’s games, bringing his career home run total to six. His two-homer day brought his season total up to three on the season, tying a career-high single-season home run total with only 19 games played this season.But Washington was not the only middle-infielder to find the power stroke over the weekend.Junior second baseman Noah McGowan blasted three home runs in the second game of Sunday’s double-header, tying an OSU record for most home runs in a single game. The junior college transfer has accounted for nearly a fourth of OSU’s home run total on the season as he is already up to five on the season. His career-high single-season home run total is seven, which he set last year while playing for McLennan Community College.The first pitch of the game against Youngstown State will be thrown out at 5:05 p.m. on Tuesday at Bill Davis Stadium in Columbus. read more

British teenager achieves incredibly rare perfect International Baccalaureate score

first_imgIt is a superb achievement to get full marks on the IB, something incredibly rare across the whole global cohortDavid Walrond, School Principal Miss Ovens said her career plans included looking into working at the Foreign Office or for a charity.When this year’s results came out, Dr Siva Kumari, IB director general, said: “I’d like to congratulate all the students who are receiving their results, a fitting return for all the hard work and commitment they’ve shown in completing their learning.”This year IB exams were taken in 76 languages.  A British teenager is being hailed as one of the world’s brightest students after getting a rare perfect score in the International Baccalaureate (IB). Lowenna Ovens is now studying philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford University having scored 45 out of 45 in the tests, cementing her place among the very best students across the globe.The 18-year-old sat her exams in the summer at Truro and Penwith College. Her results are equivalent to more than four A*s or more than five A grades at A Level. 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. Of the 150,000 IB students around the world this year, only 146 received the perfect score of 45. The average score was 30.07. Miss Oven said: “I chose the IB Diploma because of the breadth of study and the fact I didn’t want to narrow down my GCSE subjects too much. I would definitely recommend the course.”The IB diploma offers a broader programme of study than A levels. Students take six subjects including three at “higher level”.These can include a second language, biology, chemistry, physics, history, theatre studies and psychology. 1.3million DP graduates in over 140 countries #stats #IBBCN16 #IBresearch pic.twitter.com/YBtdMt5OI3— IB official (@iborganization) October 7, 2016 David Walrond, principal at Truro and Penwit, said the college was incredibly proud of Miss Oven’s achievements.He said: “It is a superb achievement to get full marks on the IB, something incredibly rare across the whole global cohort.”This mark puts Lowenna at the very top not just of national, but world performance in the International Baccalaureate… even with her remarkable ability you need real organisation and stamina to do what she has done.”last_img read more

HC Alpla Hard defend Austrian title

← Previous Story Nikola Manojlovic to Meshkov Brest Next Story → EHF CL TOP scorer, Momir Ilic: It’s about who wants it the most HC Alpla Hard have showed once again that are the best Austrian team! Team from Hard secured the third Championship title in a row by victory over biggest rival Fivers 31:28 in the third match of the Play Off Final for the 2:1 at the end. Success is even bigger if you know the fact that this is the first “double crown” for Hard’s guys…Alpla HC Hard – Raiffeisen Fivers WAT Margareten 31:28 (15:12)Hard scores: Thomas Weber 6, Kosina Kresimir 4, Dominik Schmid 4, Marko Krsmancic 4, Marko Tanaskovic 4, Boris Zivkovic 3, Gerald Zeiner 3, Michael Knauth 2, Lukas Herburger 1 Austriafivers handballhc alpla hard

Independent TD threatens to withdraw support for government over post office closures

first_img Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article http://jrnl.ie/3312290 Michael Harty says he wants to put the Govt on notice that he may withdraw support pic.twitter.com/mTFsIqJEVG— TheJournal Politics (@TJ_Politics) March 29, 2017 By Sean Murray Image: RollingNews.ie Source: TheJournal Politics/Twitter 26 Comments ResponsibilityEarlier, the government had changed who is responsible for the country’s post office network, with Minister Denis Naughten re-taking control from Minister Michael Ring.The issue of who exactly in the government was responsible for the post office network in Ireland was the subject of much debate in recent weeks, with both Naughten and Ring saying that it wasn’t up to them on several occasions in the Dáil.Yesterday, Minister Naughten requested that responsibility for the network be handed back to him and his request was “happily accepted” by Michael Ring’s senior Minister, Heather Humphreys.The office of Michael Ring said he had “no comment to make” in response to a request from TheJournal.ie.A spokesperson for Naughten, the Minister for Communications, said he is “delighted to have responsibility for the An Post network back in his portfolio”.The future of the post office network is in doubt, with postmasters recently holding a protest inside the GPO amid reports that post offices across the country are set to close.In the face of falling incomes and uncertainty about the future, postmasters want the measures suggested in the Bobby Kerr report implemented in order to modernise the service that post offices offer, to guarantee their viability going forward.The issue has been important for both rural and urban TDs alike, with both Ministers Ring and Naughten frequently asked about the future of the post office network.In feisty scenes in the Dáil recently, Ring drew a withering response from opposition deputies when he said that he had “no statutory responsibility for An Post” and that decisions on whether there are to be any closures are matters “for the board and management of An Post”.Fianna Fáil’s Éamon Ó Cuív called it “the most extraordinary performance ever by a Minister of State” and Independent TD Mattie McGrath said Ring claiming he had no responsibility was the “greatest Pontius Pilate act” he had ever witnessed.McGrath also accused the Minister of washing his hands of the problem, when Ring said it was Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten who was responsible for these matters.Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Solidarity-PBP TD Bríd Smith said the government was “passing the parcel” on the issue and said that if it continues to ignore the problem, post offices will inevitably close.She said: “No one is taking responsibility, and it is local post offices that are suffering.”Taking it backNaughten has said in the Dáil on numerous occasions that the responsibility for the post office network was switched from his communications department to the Department of Rural Affairs last summer, following a cabinet decision.Despite this, Minister Ring said that, at the start of the month, the final decisions rested with Naughten anyway.He said: “My department [rural affairs] is also willing to continue to work with An Post and the Irish Postmasters Union, which were both members of the post office hub working group that I establish.I was given the role in government to establish that and I did establish it. I am making recommendations to government and the person who has responsibility for this is the minister, Denis Naughten. I do not have responsibility for it.When Naughten reiterated his position that it was not his responsibility in a Dáil debate last week, Fianna Fáil’s Timmy Dooley said that he had “succeeded in confusing just about everybody” on whose responsibility it was.A spokesperson for Naughten said he was delighted to have the post office network definitively back in his portfolio, saying “he has a genuine interest in it”.He is also said to be “looking forward to helping to deliver a sustainable postal network across the country by focusing on new digital opportunities working closely with the board, management and staff of An Post, postmasters and the whole of government”.Naughten is also seeking the return of the rollout of broadband in rural areas into his portfolio.Read: The long, slow death of the Irish post officeRead: Postmasters’ protest storms the GPO Mar 29th 2017, 1:30 PM center_img Independent TD threatens to withdraw support for government over post office closures It is feared that post offices around the country are set to close in the near future. Updated 1.30pmINDEPENDENT TD MICHAEL Harty has “put the government on notice” that he will withdraw his support for it on Dáil votes if it doesn’t guarantee the future of the post office network.Speaking today, the Clare TD said that the government had not followed through with its commitments on post offices as agreed with independent TDs.“I will not stand over a reduction in our post offices,” Harty told reporters, saying that when the government was being formed Fine Gael had guaranteed independent TDs that the future of rural post offices would be safeguarded.When asked if he was preparing to withdraw his support for government on the issue, he said “absolutely”.He did not give a timeline on when he would withdraw support, but any loss of votes could hit the government hard with very tight numbers in the Dáil at the moment meaning it is a case of every vote counts.Harty fears as many as 500 post offices could go and said there was a “lack of governance and accountability on the issue”. Wednesday 29 Mar 2017, 1:30 PM Share33 Tweet Email1 14,089 Views Short URL Image: RollingNews.ielast_img read more

Oppo dévoile le smartphone le plus fin du monde

first_imgOppo dévoile le smartphone le plus fin du monde !Le fabricant chinois Oppo est de retour avec un smartphone qu’ils clament être le « plus fin au monde », avec trois dixième de mm en moins que le record, mais surtout beaucoup moins que la moyenne des smartphones.La dernière fois Oppo avait parlé de lui avec une pub impliquant une belle jeune femme et Léonardo Di Caprio, qui restait estomaqué lorsqu’elle lui soufflait « Find me »… le nom d’un téléphone Oppo. Pour nous autre français, les téléphones Oppo sont en fait difficiles à trouver car ils sont en général circonscrits à la Chine.À lire aussiDengue : symptômes, traitement, prévention, où en est-on ?L’attention se porte cette fois vers leur nouveau smartphone, épais d’à peine 6,65 mm, un record ! La plupart des smartphones « fins » de nos jours font plutôt dans les 9 mm. Huawei, toutefois, avait sorti le Ascend P1 S avec 6,68 mm, à peine plus !On en sait pas beaucoup plus pour l’instant, mais l’appareil semble noir cerclé de métal, avec des boutons capacitifs et trois pins de contacts pour être posé sur un dock.Le 26 avril 2012 à 12:45 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

LucasFilm and EA just killed the Star Wars Galaxy in Turmoil game

first_imgFan-made video games based on existing properties are always in danger of being cancelled by the company or companies who they belong to. When it comes to the Star Wars IP, it’s almost a safe bet that any fan-made project will be shut down. This is exactly what has happened to fan-project Star Wars: Galaxy in Turmoil. Today, developer Frontwire Studios, announced that LucasFilm and EA forced it to terminate the game just weeks after making a distribution deal with Valve to release the title on Steam.Star Wars: Galaxy in Turmoil was going to be a remake of the cancelled Star Wars Battlefront III. The game was cancelled back in 2008, but leaked footage of it surfaced in 2013. Unlike the latest Battlefront game, this title was more akin to the first two titles in the franchise. Though the leaked footage was still a work-in-progress, it showed an ambitious game that featured large-scale ground battles, space battles, vehicle combat, and even an epic story. Frontwire was going to take all of this and complete the title.In a press release, Frontwire Studios’ Tony Romanelli stated that he had a conference call with LucasFilm to see if there was a way that the studio could still release the game after the company received a cease and desist letter from LucasFilm on June 22. Though LucasFilm wasn’t entirely against Galaxy in Turmoil, the decision to shut down the project was due to Electronic Arts’ insistence.EA signed an exclusivity deal with LucasFilm to make Star Wars games and the developer has a number of games based on the property in the works — including another Battlefront. EA felt that Galaxy in Turmoil would take attention away from its Battlefront series. Frontwire attempted to reach out to EA but haven’t gotten a response.While this is unfortunate news, it shouldn’t surprise anyone. Just like the fan-made remake of Metal Gear Solid, this project was ultimately doomed to be cancelled. Frontwire Studios will take everything they have done for this title to make a different, albeit similar game, that features 64-player battles, ground-to-space combat, and a single player mode. Galaxy in Turmoil, minus the Star Wars header, will be available as a free game on Steam.last_img read more

Madrid approach former Chelsea manager

first_imgFormer Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has been approached by representatives of Real Madrid president, Florentino Perez over his willingness to become the club’s manager.The Italian gaffer is Perez’s first choice to replace current head coach Julen Lopetegui should he get removed from his role as manager at the Bernabeu.Lopetegui who left his role as head coach of the Spanish national team to become manager of Madrid already finds himself under pressure after winning just six of his 13 games in charge of the club.Representatives of the Madrid president have made contact with Conte, who has been away from football since he was sacked by Chelsea in July.Sacchi explains Sarri, Conte, and Ancelotti Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Arrigo Sacchi talked about how Sarri has a tougher time at Juventus than Conte at Inter; while Ancelotti’s “blood is boiling” at Napoli.Arrigo Sacchi…Sky Sports are reporting that the former Juventus manager rejected the chance to join Real Madrid last summer in order to take a break from football following his departure from Stamford Bridge.However, Conte is understood to be ready to return to management if Los Blancos want him.Madrid director Emilio Butragueno has confirmed Lopetegui will still be in charge for Sunday’s El Clasico game against Real Madrid at the Camp Nou.last_img read more

TCI interCaribbean launches new Tortola flights

first_img Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#TurksandCaicos, December 5, 2017 – Providenciales – interCaribbean Airways celebrating 25 years of continuous service is pleased to announce new schedule services from Tortola to five new cities this winter season, making 22 cities served.New services will begin from February 1, 2018 with nonstop flights from Tortola’s Terrence B. Lettsome International Airport (EIS) to: –St Thomas (STT) (Cyril E. King Airport                                                                                           2 flights dailySt Croix, (Henry E Rholsen Airport)                                                                                                 1 flight dailySint Maarten (SXM) (Princess Juliana International Airport)                                           2 flight dailyDominica (DOM) (Douglas-Charles Airport                                                                               3 flights weeklyOne stop to Castries, St Lucia (SLU) continuing from Dominica (DOM),                   3 flights weeklyToday interCaribbean provides competitively priced nonstop flights between Tortola and Antigua, San Juan, and Santo Domingo, with same day connecting flights to the Turks and Caicos Islands, Jamaica, Cuba, Haiti, and the Bahamas.“We believe interCaribbean is the first schedule airline to offer 7 nonstop destinations from the British Virgin Islands,” said Mr. Trevor Sadler, CEO for interCaribbean. Our planned connections current and new are designed to minimize layover times.Founded as Inter Island Airways in 1991 by Turks Islander, Mr. Lyndon R. Gardiner, Chairman of interCaribbean, the airline started as a charter service, and embarked on a program of adding scheduled international destinations, gradually adding larger and faster aircraft.“The plan to connect the Caribbean and the wider international market continues to grow and is coming along nicely,” said Mr. Gardiner.   There are now a lot of connections between residents of the destinations we serve, and, by offering new connective options we hope to stimulate an increase in tourist and business travel in the region.interCaribbean entered the BVI market in 2016 with direct flights between the BVI and Antigua, and San Juan, Puerto Rico.   By July 2017, the airline introduced three, weekly scheduled direct flights between the BVI and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.For more information on destinations and reservations, visit www.intercaribbean.com Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img read more

Federal Biologists to Manage Kuskokwim Kings

first_imgFederal staff will again manage king salmon on the lower Kuskokwim River after requests from tribes. Earlier this year, a handful of tribal governments asked the federal subsistence board to implement federal management. The Federal Subsistence Board deferred last month, but at a Friday meeting of the Kuskokwim River Salmon Management Working Group, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service leaders announced a plan for federal management.Federal staff plan to limit the chinook fishery to federal qualified users from 32 Kuskokwim villages and manage the fishery day-to-day within the boundaries of the Yukon Delta refuge. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Biologist Brian McCaffery, the in-season manager last year, points to guidance from federal law and the weakened state of king salmon.2015 is predicted to be a below-average king salmon run. (Photo by Ben Matheson / KYUK)“In a time of conservation needs, in resource shortage, if anyone gets a shot at the resources within the conservation unit, it has to be first the federally qualified subsistence users. By implementing the federal special action, we set that sidebar as the bounds for which any harvest can occur,” said McCaffery.Only residents of the 32 villages would be able to fish for king salmon under federal management. The reason dual management exists is because state and federal law don’t match. While both have subsistence priorities, federal law includes a rural preference the state doesn’t have.Federal staff managed the king salmon run last summer on federal lands after the Federal Subsistence Board took action on a request from the village of Napaskiak. Five tribal governments asked this year for federal management. The fishery has been in decline for years, and with another poor run expected, Yukon Delta Refuge Manager Neil LaLonde says king salmon fishing may not even be a possibility.“We expect little to no harvestable surplus,” said LaLonde.The state estimates the run at 96 to 163-thousand kings, well below the average run of 240-thousand fish. The drainage wide escapement goal range is 65 to 120 thousand kings. LaLonde says his team is still working out management details.“The season framework itself will likely look very similar to what it was last year in 2014. It wouldn’t be things that would be drastically different. We want to improve on things we did last year and be more effective in different ways,” said LaLonde.One area to improve is the early season set net fishing. Managers expect to close the river in mid-May to big salmon gear and allow fishing for white fish with four-inch set nets for a period each week, instead of 24/7 fishing like 2014, in which thousands of king salmon were caught.If there are enough kings for some harvest, LaLonde says it’s too early to say how the harvest would occur. They could implement a limited community permit system or, as the state has proposed, allow a very short king salmon fishing period, with limits on net length, to keep the number of salmon harvested to a minimum.At a meeting Friday of the Kuskokwim River Salmon Management Working Group, fishermen from the length of the river tried to make sense of what this year’s version of dual management means. Working Group Chair Bev Hoffman emphasized that however it pans out, the goal should be the same for managers and subsistence fishermen.“We’re going into another year of chinook conservation,” said Hoffman. “Any opportunity, 4” or 6” is not to target chinook for the drying rack.”Members asked for consistency between federal and state regulations, which could change at Aniak. The state retains management outside of the boundaries of the refuge and the federal action only concerns king salmon. The state has new management options this year that should make it easier to match federal rules, like requiring set nets to be within 100 feet of shore and limited driftnet lengths. State and federal staff emphasized that they plan to work closely this summer and include the working group. The next Working Group meeting is not yet scheduled.last_img read more

Is China blackmailing India into using Huaweis 5G infrastructure

first_img Close Representative ImageReutersChina is blackmailing India into using Huawei for its 5G infrastructure, said a US Congressman on Tuesday. The news comes a day after a similar report claimed that China has threatened Indian businesses operating in China of  ‘reverse sanctions’ if India decides to block the tech firm.”China is now blackmailing India into using Huawei for its 5G infrastructure — they know no bounds!” PTI quoted Congressman Jim Banks as saying.The Chinese Communist Party “moves to strong-arming countries into exposing themselves to surveillance and espionage”, added Banks.Huawei Technology, a Chinese telecom and electronic equipment maker, has been the bone of contention between the United States and China after US President Donald Trump’s administration threatened to impose tariffs worth $300 billion on the company citing national security threats. The US accused China of spying on America and its allies through the devices.The US also exerted pressure earlier this week after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned that the country “won’t be able to share” information with others who decide to adopt Huawei technology. “We won’t be able to work alongside them,” he said. Huawei caught between US-China conflict India will be conducting trials for the installation of the next-generation 5G cellular network in the next few months. However, New Delhi has not decided whether it would invite Huawei to take part in the trial, Telecoms minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told Reuters.Prasad had earlier stated that the matter concerns security issues in India and said, “Whether a particular company is allowed to participate or not is a complex question including security issues.”He also said that six proposals have been received for 5G technology trials, including from Huawei. While the names of the firms have not been revealed, companies such as Sweden’s Ericsson, Finland’s Nokia and South Korea’s Samsung Electronics are expected to participate.The telecoms minister had also stated that India plans to develop its own 5G network.The US Congressman’s allegations came a day after Reuters reported that the Chinese foreign ministry recently invited India’s ambassador to Beijing Vikram Misri for discussing the 5G issue. Citing two sources, the report revealed that Chinese officials spoke about their concerns regarding the US’s push to keep Huawei out of participating in the 5G mobile infrastructure worldwide. The Chinese officials warned India of “reverse sanctions” on Indian companies operating in China if the Indian government goes ahead and blocks Huawei.China has responded to the report and said that Beijing hopes India makes an independent decision on 5G bidders, away from American pressure. “Huawei has carried out operations in India for a long time, and has made contributions to the development of Indian society and the economy that is clear to all,” spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement.”On the issue of Chinese enterprises participating in the construction of India’s 5G, we hope the Indian side makes an independent and objective decision, and provides a fair, just and non-discriminatory commercial environment for Chinese enterprises’ investment and operations, to realize mutual benefit,” said Hua Chunying.The Indian foreign ministry has not commented on the statement. IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:01/0:57Loaded: 0%0:01Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-0:56?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading …last_img read more

Playboy Deletes Facebook Pages Citing UserData Scandal and Sexually Repressive Policies

first_imgHefner added, “Learning of the recent meddling in a free U.S. election further demonstrates another concern we have of how they handle users’ data.”Worth noting: Playboy is maintaining its presence on Facebook-owned Instagram (where Hefner’s statement also was posted).For Facebook, Playboy’s move is part of a worrisome backlash against the company, exemplified by the #DeleteFacebook hashtag, that has grown in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica revelations. The U.K.-based political consulting firm obtained info on 50 million users, without Facebook’s knowledge and without the consent of the users themselves.Last week tech billionaire Elon Musk took action last week to delete the Facebook pages of two companies he heads, Telsa Motors and SpaceX. “I don’t use FB & never have, so don’t think I’m some kind of martyr or my companies are taking a huge blow. Also, we don’t advertise or pay for endorsements, so…don’t care,” Musk wrote in a tweet last Friday.And on March 20, Brian Acton, a co-founder of messaging app WhatsApp — which Facebook acquired in a deal valued at $19 billion — called for a boycott in a tweet: “It is time. #deletefacebook.” Acton is now executive chairman of Signal Foundation, a non-profit org developing open-source privacy technology.About 8% of Facebook users said they plan to stop using the service because of data-privacy concerns raised by the Cambridge Analytica scandal, according to a survey fielded by Raymond James & Associates. About 48% said they would not change their usage, while 26% said they would use Facebook “somewhat less” and 19% said they will use it “significantly less,” the survey found.Facebook has pledged to make several changes in an attempt to rebuild trust with users and partners. Those include making its privacy controls easier to use and implementing new restrictions on third-party developers’ access to user data. CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly has decided to testify before Congress in hearings scheduled for next month.Playboy in 2014 removed nude photos from its websites and said the print mag would no longer include nudity starting in early 2016. However, last year, Cooper Hefner reversed that decision. Playboy is leaving Facebook — for good, it says — with the social giant’s latest user-privacy scandal the straw that broke the camel’s back for the media company.Playboy Enterprises said it will deactivate its accounts on Facebook, which cumulatively have more than 25 million followers. “The recent news about Facebook’s alleged mismanagement of users’ data has solidified our decision to suspend our activity on the platform at this time,” Playboy Enterprises said in a statement.In a tweet Tuesday evening, Playboy chief creative officer Cooper Hefner — son of the late Hugh Hefner, the mag’s famed founder — said, “We are stepping away from Facebook.”“Facebook’s content guidelines and corporate policies continue contradicting our values,” the exec wrote. “We’ve tried to craft our voice for the platform, which in our opinion continues to be sexually repressive.” Popular on Variety center_img ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15last_img read more

Apple Stock Slides to ThreeMonth Low After Report of iPhone XR Production

first_imgApple shares sank as much as 4.5% Monday following a report that the tech giant has scaled back production orders for its new entry-level iPhone XR model.The company’s stock drop — pushing Apple’s market cap below $1 trillion — comes after shares closed down 6.6% last Friday, to $207.48 per share, as investors reacted to the September quarter earnings results with lower iPhone unit sales and weaker-than-expected December quarter revenue guidance. [UPDATE: Apple stock closed down 2.8% on Monday, to $201.59 per share, the lowest level since Aug. 1. Shares are up 20% year to date.]According to a report Monday by Japan’s Nikkei, Apple “signaled disappointing demand” for the iPhone XR by informing manufacturing partners Foxconn and Pegatron to halt plans for additional production lines of the smartphone targeted at price-conscious consumers. That suggested a 20%-25% reduced forecast in unit sales, per the Nikkei report, which cited anonymous sources. The drop in Apple’s shares since last Thursday has cut its market cap by more than $100 billion. Even so, the company still has the biggest market valuation of any company in the world.The iPhone XR — priced starting at $749 — is meant to replace the iPhone 8 introduced a year ago. The XR model borrows its looks from the iPhone X and features an all-screen glass and aluminum design with a 6.1-inch Liquid Retina LCD display.The XR model went on sale on Friday, Oct. 26, after Apple unveiled the new model along with the pricier iPhone XS and XS Max in September. It’s available in six different colors: white, black, blue, coral, yellow, and red.In discussing the September quarter results, Apple CFO Luca Maestri said the company will stop reporting unit sales, which Wall Street has long used as a barometer to measure the health of its hardware businesses.Through the 2018 holiday shopping season, Apple is reviewing iPhone demand weekly “to adjust orders quickly in response to the market,” according to the Nikkei report. Popular on Variety center_img ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15last_img read more

Morocco expels 19 foreigners from W Sahara

first_img Comments   Share   Check your body, save your life Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Patients with chronic pain give advice The U.N. decreed that a referendum should be held for the locals to decide if they want independence, but the Moroccans have instead advanced a plan to give them wide-ranging autonomy.Nine rounds of negotiations between the Polisario and the government have been unsuccessful, and in May Morocco criticized the special U.N. envoy, former U.S. diplomat Christopher Ross, for being biased and called for his replacement.U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon personally called Moroccan King Mohammed VI in August to resolve the situation, and Ross returned to the Western Sahara for meetings last week.Activists have criticized the government for repressing locals in the region, and in September officials from the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights visited and said they were followed during their visit by secret police, physically prevented from observing an attack on peaceful protesters, and verbally abused.Last week, Morocco recalled its ambassador to Ireland for consultations after the Polisario’s leader met with top Irish officials in Dublin on Oct. 25.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Associated PressRABAT, Morocco (AP) – Morocco has expelled 19 foreigners from the annexed territory of the Western Sahara, saying they were journalists who entered without permission.The action, which underlines Morocco’s intense sensitivity over criticism of its policies in the mineral rich region, came as activists calling for the independence of the Western Sahara were preparing to mark Thursday as two years since deadly clashes outside the regional capital, Laayoune. Spanish media reported that most of those expelled were activists, not journalists.Morocco’s Interior Ministry issued a statement _ carried by the state news agency on Wednesday _ that quoted local authorities as saying the 15 Spanish and four Norwegian journalists planned to meet with “separatist” elements in Laayoune to engage in demonstrations on the anniversary of the clashes.“These journalists entered the national territory without revealing their true identities, pretending to be on holiday in the kingdom,” said the statement, which added that they had violated the laws governing foreign journalists.On Nov. 8, 2010, Moroccan police clashed with thousands of locals at the tent city in Gdeim Izek who were protesting government discrimination. Human Rights Watch said 11 police and two civilians were killed and hundreds of civilians were beaten and detained. Morocco expelled three Spanish journalists following their coverage.Morocco occupied and annexed the mineral-rich Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony, in November 1975 after the Spanish withdrew. The Polisario Front declared independence on behalf of the inhabitants, the nomadic Saharawi people, and battled the Moroccan army until a 1991 truce brokered by the U.N. The dispute is one of the world’s longest unresolved conflicts. New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Sponsored Stories last_img read more