first_imgA vigil for the fifty Muslims killed in Christchurch, New Zealand brought together over 200 people in Oxford on Friday afternoon. Attendees were asked to bring individual flowers, which werelaid one-by-one below the flagpole. After a few days the flowers will be castinto the Thames, as per New Zealand tradition. The service was held to honour those killed when a white supremacistattacked two mosques in the city of Christchurch. New Zealand’s flag was flown at half-mast as students, staff, academics and local residents gathered in Christ Church college’s Peckwater Quad to sing the country’s national anthem. A statement by the organisers read: “Christchurch is a citythat has already suffered so much, but the people have proved time and againthat strength and resilience come through unity. Dr. Sheikh Ramzy of the Oxford Islamic Information Centre saidthat the attack had “backfired” by uniting New Zealanders of all faiths andcalled for Muslims and non-Muslims to ensure that future attacks continue tobackfire. The historic college, after which Christchurch was named, was chosen in order to symbolise the historic links between Oxford and New Zealand. Prayers were read out for the victims, their families and forMuslim communities worldwide. “In the wake of these horrific attacks on the mosques in Christchurch, it is more important now than ever, to stand together in unity and show that actions born of hate, intolerance and bigotry will fail to incite violence.”last_img read more

first_img AGENDA of the VANDERBURGH COUNTY COUNCILAUGUST 1, 2018 Meeting at 8:30 A.M. in ROOM 3011. OPENING OF MEETING2. ATTENDANCE ROLL CALL3. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE4. INVOCATION5. APPROVAL OF MINUTES:(A) Personnel & Finance June 27, 20186. PERSONNEL REQUESTS:(A) PUBLIC DEFENDER/Request to fill vacancy for Public Defender(B) HEALTH DEPARTMENT/Request to fill vacancies for Ozone Officer (with job title change) and Extra Help – Administrative Aide7. APPROPRIATION ORDINANCE:(A) VOTER REGISTRATION (C) LOCAL ROADS & STREETS(B) JAIL (D) LIT – PUBLIC SAFETY (2)8. REPEAL:(A) (B)9. TRANSFERS:(A) SUPERIOR COURT (3) (C) HIGHWAY(B) CUM BRIDGE10. OLD BUSINESS:(A) CONFIRMING RESOLUTION/Tax Phase-in for Star Hospitality Inc11. NEW BUSINESS:(A) SOLID WASTE DISTRICT/Request $12,000 from SWMD Fund for Grants & Subsidies(B) ORDINANCE/Amendment of the Ordinance of the Vanderburgh County Council’s Authorization of the Imposition of an Annual License County Excise Tax and a Wheel Tax(C) REVIEW OF PROPERTY TAX LEVY LIMITS & ESTIMATED REDUCTIONS DUE TO CIRCUIT BREAKERS12. AMENDMENTS TO SALARY ORDINANCE:(A) JAIL (C) SUPERIOR COURT(B) PUBLIC DEFENDER (D) HEALTH DEPARTMENT13. PUBLIC COMMENT14. REMINDER MEETING DATE/TIME:BUDGET HEARING/August 2, 2018 @ 9:00 a.m.JOINT DEPT BUDGET HEARING/August 22, 2018 @ 3:30 p.m. SPECIAL COUNTY COUNCIL/August 29, 2018 @ 8:15 a.m. PERSONNEL & FINANCE/August 29, 2018 @ 8:30 a.m.15. ADJOURNMENTPERSONNEL AND FINANCE MEETING JULY 25, 2018 3:30 P.M. ROOM 301Red denotes Personnel and Finance meeting Blue denotes County Council meeting*PLEASE NOTE CHANGE IN COUNTY COUNCIL MEETING TIMEFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

first_img want to appeal a decision about a Personal Independent Payment; and You can check if you can use the service by entering the name of your benefit and your post code in the online appeal service before you start your appeal.With your permission, another person can also help you to make the online appeal, as long as you type in your name on the online appeal form. You can also sign up to receive progress updates by email and text.Submitting your appeal online means that you do not need to complete and post a paper form. You can access the online appeal service from your computer, mobile phone or tablet. It is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.Once your appeal is submitted it is registered on our case management system by the next working day and transmitted electronically the same day to the Department for Work and Pensions, which is quicker than post.We are currently testing the online service with a small group of people so that we can get their feedback and make improvements before it is made available more widely.These changes are part of an over £1 billion programme to transform the court system – making it quicker, more accessible and easier to use for all. We are currently testing the service with people who:center_img live in one of the following areas: Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, East Sussex, Hertfordshire, Kent, the Midlands, Norfolk, Oxfordshire, Suffolk.last_img read more

first_imgBeloved musicians Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady had the opportunity to celebrate their recent Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammy Museum last weekend, as the two were on hand to discuss the legacy of Jefferson Airplane and perform a handful of songs for an intimate, acoustic performance. The Grammy Museum appearance was hosted by Scott Goldman, Vice President of the Museum and the MusiCares program, who engaged in a conversation with the legends about their careers. The two then played a short set, focusing mainly on slower, blues-driven numbers.Watch the full Jefferson Airplane tribute in four parts, thanks to YouTube user Jeff Allen:last_img read more

first_imgFormidable challenges stand in the way of controlling and eventually eliminating nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons in the Middle East. A new discussion paper issued by the Project on Managing the Atom at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs outlines both the challenges and a set of near-term measures designed to fast forward the development of political solutions to the weapons dilemma.“A WMD Free Zone in the Middle East: Creating the Conditions for Sustained Progress” is co-authored by Martin Malin and Paolo Foradori.“The political, security, and economic benefits of establishing a WMD-free zone in the Middle East are potentially great and would be broadly shared. Many of the region’s most vexing problems—from the Iranian nuclear standoff, to threat of Syrian chemical weapons, to the proliferation of ballistic missiles, to the sense of fear and injustice surrounding Israel’s nuclear program, to concern over the spread of nuclear energy—would be eased or erased with the entry into force of a region-wide treaty banning all weapons of mass destruction and their delivery vehicles,” the authors write. Yet they admit that, “the obstacles to establishing a WMD-free zone in the Middle East are numerous and long-standing. They will not soon be overcome.”last_img read more

first_imgAfter more than six weeks of temperatures in the 90s and low 100s with very little rain, many Georgians are asking, “How dry is it?”The Aug. 21 statewide Palmer Drought Severity Index value was -2.7. This means that the state as a whole is classified as being in moderate drought. A statewide PDSI value of -3 would classify Georgia as being in severe drought. Across the state, drought conditions range from mild to severe. A historical perspective adds more meaning to the PDSI. The statewide value of -2.7 is at the 2nd percentile for the third week in August. This means that in 98 out of 100 years, the statewide PDSI value for the third week in August would be higher, or less dry. In short, Georgia is having one of the worst August droughts on record. The PDSI is a long-term drought indicator and responds slowly to recent weather. Statewide PDSI values are available back to 1895. August 1998 through July 1999 was the 12th driest statewide August-through-July since 1895. July 1999 was the 24th driest since 1895. How Hot Is It? Another common question among Georgians is “How hot is it?” In July, statewide average temperature was above normal. But it was only the 60th warmest statewide July since 1895. The statewide average for May through July was actually below normal. The period ranked as only the 25th warmest May-through-July since 1895. However, because of a very warm winter, the average statewide for August 1998 through July 1999 was the 98th warmest since 1895.Stream Flow Rates a Concern The drought is having different impacts across the state. As of Aug. 23, the flow in many rivers and creeks was in the bottom 10th percentile. Low flow rates and water table levels are becoming a concern statewide. Outdoor watering bans are common across the state.Short-term Relief Scattered rain Aug. 23-24 brought short-term relief to many parts of the state. But this rain won’t break the drought. Most of the state needs more than half a foot of rain to end the drought. Northeast Georgia needs more than a foot. As of Aug. 21, the PDSI classifies northeast, west central, southwest and southeast Georgia as being in severe drought. North central, central, east central and south central Georgia are in moderate drought. Northwest Georgia is in mild drought.Soil Moisture Short The Georgia Agricultural Statistics Service reports that moisture is short to very short in 81 percent of the state’s soils. This is unchanged from a week earlier. The 81 percent compares to 28 percent last year and 41 percent for the five-year average. GASS reports that more than 50 percent of the state’s pastures are poor to very poor. Some farmers are doing supplemental feeding and culling herds. The hot weather has stressed dairy cattle. The Crop Moisture Index is a measure of soil moisture available for use by crops. The Aug. 21 CMI indicates that southwest Georgia is extremely dry, with dryland crops in danger of being ruined. West central Georgia is severely dry, with potential yields severely cut. Excessively dry soils reduce yield prospects in northwest and northeast Georgia. And abnormally dry soils are hurting yield prospects in central, east central and southeast Georgia. The CMI indicates that soil moisture is short in north central and south central Georgia.Drought Links PDSI and CMI values and rankings are calculated by Climate Prediction Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. You can get updates on drought conditions in Georgia and across the Southeast at the University of Georgia drought Web site. Or call your county Extension Service agent. Get updated weather data at the Georgia Automated Environmental Monitoring Web site.last_img read more

first_imgPuerto Rico’s Privatization Scheme Draws Skeptics FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Associated Press:One of the largest public utilities in the U.S. might soon be up for sale, but many wonder who would want to buy a power company that is worth roughly half of the $9 billion debt it holds and has an infrastructure nearly three times older than the industry average.Concerns also are growing about whether plans to privatize Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority will translate into more affordable electric bills and better service. People in the U.S. territory say they cannot afford another financial blow amid an 11-year-old recession and many complain about receiving high power bills after Hurricane Maria when they didn’t even have electricity.“Some people have faith that privatization will improve everything, but it’s not a guarantee,” said Puerto Rico economist Jose Caraballo. “If a good deal isn’t hammered out, Puerto Rico can end up worse than it is.”The power company once known as the government’s crown jewel has seen a reduction in employees and a drop in the demand for energy amid a deep economic crisis and recent austerity measures. The agency now has some 5,800 employees and serves nearly 1.5 million customers with infrastructure that is roughly 45 years old, which officials say caused frequent power outages before the hurricane and an island-wide blackout in September 2016 that lasted a couple of days.The company also has long been criticized for political patronage and inefficiency, and recently faced accusations of corruption. In June 2016, the owner of the U.S. territory’s biggest oil supplier was arrested after being charged with misappropriating $11 million in public funds. Jose Gonzalez Amador and his company, PetroWest, are accused of charging the power company a 0.5 percent municipal tax even though some municipalities granted them a lower rate or waived the tax altogether. Authorities say the charge was then passed on to consumers.Given that situation, can the U.S. territory attract any takers?Industry analysts say it’s a bit too early to tell, noting that it all depends on the type of measure the governor expects to submit in upcoming days to start the privatization process.“It’s a complicated arrangement: What’s going to happen to the workers? Where is the debt going to land? What are the contracts going to look like? There are a lot of details here that have very real implications on how much electricity is going to cost for Puerto Rican customers,” said Cathy Kunkel, an energy analyst with the Ohio-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.She said her main concern is that privatization could occur without a regulatory body, which is needed in part to look after consumers’ interests on an island where power bills have been double the average of those on the U.S. mainland, in part because imported fuel supplies three-fourths of the energy consumed in Puerto Rico, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.The terms of the contract will determine the interest, Kunkel said, noting that the cost of any new investment in the electrical system will be paid by consumers.“Private investors will want to make a profit,” she said.More: Hope, Fear as Puerto Rico Moves to Privatize Power Companylast_img read more

first_imgU.S. State Department to conduct new review of Keystone pipeline FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:The U.S. State Department will conduct another environmental review of TransCanada Corp’s long-pending Keystone XL oil pipeline, a U.S. official said on Friday, a move that could lead to additional delays of the project.The so-called supplemental environmental impact statement was ordered by Judge Brian Morris of the U.S. District Court in Montana in his ruling on Nov. 8 that blocked construction of the pipeline planned to bring heavy crude from Canada’s oil sands to the United States.Morris said in his ruling that previous environmental analysis of Keystone XL fell short of a “hard look” at the cumulative effects of greenhouse gas emissions and the impact on Native American land resources.The $8 billion pipeline, which is supported by Canadian oil interests and U.S. refiners, but opposed by landowners and environmentalists, has been pending for a decade.TransCanada spokesman Terry Cunha said that the State Department’s announcement of an additional review was expected after the judge’s ruling. Earlier this week, TransCanada asked Morris, the District Court judge, to allow it to resume some U.S.-based pre-construction activities blocked by the initial ruling.More: U.S. to conduct additional Keystone XL pipeline reviewlast_img read more

first_imgI’d like to address a pretty common concern that we hear from our end users, and that’s the issue of trust. Trust based relationship selling can give your company an edge over the competition but, with all the spam and phishing scams floating around, how do you let your audience know they can feel secure and comfortable doing business with you?Helping your referral program users know they can trust you (and your website) is of paramount importance, and it can be as simple as simply telling them you’re worthy of their confidence. A study by Faun Li and Paul W. Miniard on the subject of trust and marketing raises a surprising (and kind of weird!) point.Their research concludes that the basic act of telling your customer they can trust you will markedly improve measured perceptions of trust. The statement, “You can trust us to deliver quality service,” will actually help trust based relationship selling. Li and Miniard’s research indicates that letting your users know they can trust you will also increase their perception of competency, quality, fairness and caring. This idea of a mental suggestion of trust to your program members might be worth a little split testing to see what kinds of results you get.6 Non-Verbal Signals That Establish TrustThere’s more to trust based relationship selling than simply telling your customers directly that they can count on you. There are a number of non-verbal signals you can send to your users to let them know they can do business with you with confidence. Here are some other trust signals to keep in mind… continue reading » 3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

first_imgWith biting irony, journalist Nicolas Quenel recommended poor families read the diary of her bucolic confinement in Le Monde newspaper to “ease the tension of living in 15 square meters”.Apartments in the French capital are often tiny, with nearly a quarter of the population living in 30 square meters or less. Celebrated writer Marie Darrieussecq got similar treatment for describing trips to the sea and deer grazing in the garden of her second home.Fellow novelist Diane Ducret was not impressed.  When bestselling French novelist Leila Slimani — the author of The Perfect Nanny– admitted that she felt “a little like Sleeping Beauty” contemplating the coronavirus lockdown from the comfort of her country home, she hit a very raw nerve.Class tensions, never very far from the surface despite the fine sentiments of the French national motto “liberty, fraternity and equality”, exploded.Parisians without second homes to flee to excoriated her on social media, with the economist Thomas Porcher, author of Les Delaisses (which roughly translates as “Those Left Behind”), calling Slimani “indecent”. Stuck in a two-room flat, and unable to see the sky, she said they were typical of a certain caste of France’s out-of-touch intellectual elite “for whom the revolution doesn’t seem to have happened”.She compared Slimani to the “Marie Antoinette playing at being a farmer” in the gardens of the Palace of Versailles, and “just about as in touch with fear and anguish of the people”.The French queen later lost her head to the angry Parisian poor.In a scathing take-down of Slimani’s diary in Marianne magazine, Ducret described how her elderly neighbour recently killed himself by throwing himself from the window of his tiny bedsit because the owner wanted to sell it, condemning him to the street.The virus has “shown up our inequalities,” she said. “When it comes to a  certain social class… when our precious liberty is called into question, equality becomes just an ideal,” she added.When France declared its lockdown three weeks ago, an estimated one fifth of the population of the capital escaped to the country and the seaside, sparking a wave of resentment in the provinces.Many accused “selfish Parigots” — slang for Parisians — of spreading the virus.Indeed Darrieussecq sheepishly wrote about using her second car in the country because “it’s not good to drive around” in Paris plates.Young fashion designer Romain Mittica chose to stay in his bedsit in a poorer corner of northern Paris rather than to travel back to the east of France and risk infecting his parents.Reaching out his arms he can almost touch the two walls. “I leave the window open so I don’t feel so closed in,” he said.But at least he only has to live with himself.An exasperated grandmother called Kouther told AFP that she was “losing her mind” trying to keep her five grandchildren entertained in a 30-square-meter apartment.”We are going to kill each other if this goes on any longer,” she said as the children ran around a bare square at the foot of a cluster of high-rise blocks.Playgrounds and parks have been closed since the start of the lockdown, with French people only allowed out for exercise once a day, as long as they don’t stray more than one kilometer from home.”You cannot keep children locked up like this. It’s wrong. They can’t play with their friends,” Kouther added. “They are fighting from morning to night.”The children’s father is a self-employed delivery driver who has had to keep working to keep his contracts. Their mother works in a supermarket, which is also open. Like Slimani, 63-year-old Kouther was born in Morocco, but the similarities end there. “The rich don’t care — they wouldn’t be rich if they did,” she said. But even as she continued to glory in the bliss of the country, Slimani — whose book, called Lullaby in the UK, is about two children murdered by their nanny — acknowledged that not everyone was so lucky. “We are not equal,” she wrote. “The days that come will deepen those inequalities with certain cruelty.”Topics :last_img read more