WASHINGTON – The two top officials in charge of security and toxic-waste cleanups at the Environmental Protection Agency have abruptly left their jobs, days after EPA administrator Scott Pruitt told lawmakers that his subordinates were to blame for alleged ethical lapses that have prompted more than a dozen federal investigations of the agency.In statements Tuesday, Pruitt praised the two men — security chief Pasquale “Nino” Perrotta and Albert Kelly, a former Oklahoma banker who ran the EPA’s Superfund program — and gave no reason for their unexpected departures.Perrotta is due to appear Wednesday for a transcribed interview by staffers of the House Oversight Committee, one of the congressional bodies and federal agencies that are probing reported excessive spending by Pruitt and other issues at the agency. Committee aides said Perrotta’s resignation was not expected to derail his appearance.EPA spokespeople Jahan Wilcox said the two men’s departures were unrelated to the ongoing federal investigations, and said the agency was fully co-operating with the congressional probe, led by House Oversight Chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy, a South Carolina Republican.Pruitt’s spending on security, and some of the security contracts with Perrotta, are among the topics of the federal probes involving the EPA under Pruitt, a former Oklahoma attorney general. Pruitt, an ardent advocate of minimizing regulation who moves in conservative political circles, evangelical Christian ones, and business groups, has survived the kind of scandals that have brought down several other Cabinet appointees of President Donald Trump.On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that a Pruitt trip to Morocco last December was partly arranged by a longtime friend and lobbyist, Richard Smotkin, who last month received a $40,000-a-month contract with the Moroccan government to promote its cultural and economic interests. The trip, which has drawn scrutiny from federal watchdogs, cost more than $100,000, more than twice the amount previously estimated, the Post said.At House hearings last week, Pruitt weathered six hours of scathing questions, criticism, and a couple calls from congressional Democrat to resign over the steady flow of news reports and announcements of new investigations involving alleged ethical lapses at his agency. They include spending on Pruitt’s behalf for round-the-clock security guards, first-class plane tickets, and a $43,000 soundproof telephone booth.Pruitt repeatedly deflected blame last week, describing subordinates as going too far in carrying out their duties, in excesses that occurred without his knowledge.In the case of the $43,000 booth, for example, Pruitt acknowledged to lawmakers he had asked for a private and secure phone line when he arrived at the agency, but said staffers took it upon themselves to spend tens of thousands of dollars in providing it. It was security officials, not Pruitt, who decided he should fly first-class, he said.Pruitt pledged last week to take care of the problems. “Ultimately, as the administrator of the EPA, the responsibility of identifying and making necessary changes rests with me and no one else,” Pruitt told lawmakers then.Notably, most Republican lawmakers at the hearings declined to join the Democratic dog-pile on Pruitt.It was unclear Tuesday whether lawmakers from Pruitt’s majority party would take the internal shake-up as a needed and promised house-cleaning by Pruitt or indication of even greater trouble at the agency.“I don’t know how to take this, yet,” Rep. Ryan Costello of Pennsylvania, one of the few Republican lawmakers last week to fault Pruitt on expenditures such as taking bodyguards with him to Disneyland and the Rose Bowl, said in a statement by email. “I’m waiting on more details …to shed more light on what, if anything, to make of it.”Pruitt said in his statements that Perrotta was retiring after a 23-year government career that included time in the Secret Service and under previous EPA administrators. He praised Perrotta for hard work and dedication.Pruitt thanked Kelly for what he said was his “tremendous impact” in Kelly’s year overseeing the nation’s Superfund program, charged with handling the cleanup of toxic waste sites.Pruitt hired Kelly, an Oklahoma banker, at the EPA after federal banking regulators banned the man from banking for life. Regulators have not publicly specified the actions that led to the banking ban. . Days ago, Rep. Scott Peters, D-Calif., pressed Pruitt for more details about why exactly Kelly had been sanctioned by regulators.“I think Mr. Kelly, if he’s willing to share that with you, he should do that,” Pruitt said Thursday.The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, believing Kelly “violated a law or regulation,” a year ago fined him $125,000. The undisclosed incident involved a loan by SpiritBank — which Kelly’s family has owned for generations — allegedly made without FDIC approval.Democrats in Congress also are asking for federal investigations of Kelly’s reported loans to Pruitt himself while the two were still in Oklahoma. Kelly is not among the EPA officials whom the House Oversight Committee members had summoned for questioning.Rep. Don Beyer, a Virginia Democrat who has been one of those pushing for more federal probes into newspaper reports of ethical problems under Pruitt, said in a statement Tuesday that “Pruitt should be the next to go.”“Albert Kelly was never qualified to run Superfund, his banking ban was a huge red flag, and his resignation is a positive development,” Beyer said.Separately, three House Democrats raised new allegations Tuesday that staffers working on Pruitt’s behalf in early 2017 looked into the possibility of opening an EPA office in Tulsa, a city of 400,0000 and Pruitt’s home.They provided no supporting documentation. Neither EPA spokesmen nor any of the people supposed to have knowledge of the alleged request could be reached for comment at the close of the business day, when the Democrats’ letter with the allegations was released. Pruitt has drawn criticism for frequent trips home to Tulsa at taxpayer expense.
After a turbulent two months during which oil prices plummeted from a four-year high to a one-year low, investors may wonder what comes next for U.S. crude.Analysts at Swiss bank UBS are among those who predict prices will recover in 2019, as oil cartel OPEC, the U.S. and Russia curb output from the current record level.“We believe the market’s cautious turn is overdone,” UBS analysts wrote in their recently published 2019 outlook. “On balance, we keep a positive view on crude.”U.S. crude plunged 22 per cent in November, its worst month in a decade. That followed a nearly 11 per cent drop in October. “The decline in oil over the last month or two has been shocking to the market,” said Lindsey Bell, investment strategist at CFRA.The sudden sell-off was sparked after investors grew concerned the global economy was slowing even as major producers continued to pump oil at high rates. The U.S. decision to hold off sanctioning countries that import oil from Iran boosted supplies further, and uncertainty over the escalating trade dispute between the U.S. and China added to concerns of a slowdown.After peaking at $76.41 a barrel on Oct. 3, oil prices bottomed out at $50.31 a barrel on November 28. Since then, oil has edged higher in choppy trading. It settled at $52.15 a barrel on Wednesday.UBS forecasts U.S. crude oil will climb back to $73 a barrel by mid-2019, as supply cuts offset lower demand due to the slowing economy. Oil should pull back to around $68 a barrel by the end of next year, UBS predicts, assuming that OPEC will “maintain production discipline.”Oil prices steadied last week after OPEC and other major oil producers, including Russia, agreed to cut global crude production by 1.2 million barrels a day. The cuts are slated to begin in January and last six months.In its forecast, UBS sees other factors supporting higher oil prices next year. The analysts noted that global oil spare capacity is running at around a 10-year low. That can set the stage for prices to climb, especially if there’s unexpected, sharp rise in demand for oil, say in the event a major hurricane strikes production facilities or a key port.UBS also predicts a slowdown in U.S. shale production next year because new pipelines are not expected to be operational until the second half of 2019.Alex Veiga, The Associated Press
A resolution endorsing the tribunal’s formal establishment was adopted after 10 Council members voted in favour and no members voted against. Five countries – China, Russia, Indonesia, Qatar and South Africa – abstained.The resolution was introduced after Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora sent a letter to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon earlier this month asking for the Council to put the tribunal into effect as a matter of urgency.Mr. Ban told Council members in a subsequent letter that he concurred with Mr. Siniora “that, regrettably, all domestic options for the ratification of the Special Tribunal now appear to be exhausted, although it would have been preferable had the Lebanese parties been able to resolve the issue among themselves based on a national consensus.”The tribunal will be of “an international character” to deal with the assassination of Mr. Hariri, who was killed along with 22 others in a massive car bombing in downtown Beirut in February 2005.Once it is formally established, it will be up to the tribunal to determine whether other political killings in Lebanon since October 2004 were connected to Mr. Hariri’s assassination and could therefore be dealt with by the tribunal. In April 2005 the Security Council set up the International Independent Investigation Commission (IIIC) after an earlier UN mission found that Lebanon’s own inquiry into the Hariri assassination was seriously flawed and that Syria was primarily responsible for the political tensions that preceded the attack. Serge Brammertz, the current head of the IIIC, told the Council last September that evidence obtained so far suggests that a young, male suicide bomber, probably non-Lebanese, detonated up to 1,800 kilograms of explosives inside a van to assassinate Mr. Hariri. 30 May 2007The Security Council agreed today that the special tribunal set up to try the suspected killers of the former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri will enter into force on 10 June unless Lebanon ratifies the tribunal itself before that date.
6 May 2011The countries of Central and Eastern Europe that experienced their transitions to democracy 20 years ago offer important lessons for the Arab nations that are currently undergoing revolutions, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today during a visit to Bulgaria. “As the people of North Africa look for experience, you in particular have much to offer,” Mr. Ban said in an address to a major conference in the capital, Sofia, which is looking at how Europe in 1989 can help show the way forward for the emerging democracies of 2011.“You know the difficulties of transforming political and economic systems… establishing effective political parties… retooling State-owned industries… dismantling a police state and fighting corruption. “You also know the mistakes – the disappointments that can cause people to doubt democracy and its benefits. You are already reaching out, I know. This is encouraging, for the emerging democracies of North Africa need your help and engagement. Your experiences offer important lessons for everyone.” He also noted that fundamental principles of freedom, democracy and human rights are on the line in Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and Syria – where authorities have engaged in crackdowns on protesters demanding greater rights and freedoms. “What we are seeing in Libya, and elsewhere, is more than a conflict rooted in the aspirations of a long-repressed people seeking a better future,” said the Secretary-General. “We are also seeing the international community acting quickly, with resolve, to protect civilians facing violence from their own government,” he added, noting that the same happened in the case of Côte d’Ivoire.Mr. Ban described what is happening in Libya, Côte d’Ivoire and elsewhere as “an historic precedent… a watershed in the emerging doctrine of the responsibility to protect,” referring to the principle agreed to by world leaders in 2005 to come to the aid of civilians under attack by their own governments. “The age of impunity is dead,” he stated. “Today, we are moving decisively towards a new age of sovereignty as responsibility… an era where those who commit crimes against humanity and violate the human rights of their people will be held accountable.“More broadly, we can expect that, in the future, the Security Council will increasingly place civilian protection at the centre of the UN peace and security agenda,” he added.While in Sofia, the Secretary-General held talks with President Georgi Parvanov and Foreign Minister Nickolay Mladenov and visited the ancient city of Plovdiv. Earlier in the day, he met members of the Global Compact Network and with UN staff based in the capital.
Four Maldivians and three Sri Lankans were arrested in Katunayake today with 3 kgs of heroin, the police said.
An online auction for a luxury home in Abbotsford, B.C., is drawing attention for its novel approach, which some observers say has potential to inspire new sales even if it doesn’t have any notable impact on the housing landscape.Bidding opens Tuesday on the 12-bedroom, 10-bath restored train power station known as the “Sumas Powerhouse,” which was previously listed for $5 million and has an assessed value of $2.2 million on B.C. Assessment.It’s one of three properties in Canada listed on global firm Concierge Auction’s website. A news release says it’s targeting Chinese buyers and will be sold in co-operation with Re/Max.The market is motivated because there’s a fear of missing out Canadian Press/HO-Concierge Auctions Scott Pate, a project sales manager with Concierge, said luxury real estate has been a buyers market for quite some time in both the United States and Canada and auctions are a way to give sellers more certainty.“We’ll bring the market to this sale instead of the normal way of selling real estate, which is putting it on the market and waiting for an offer, which could take years and years,” he said.“The market is motivated because there’s a fear of missing out. This auction is going to end on a certain day … so it creates a lot of interest.”A room in the Abbotsford, B.C. house shown online. Real estate auctions are typical in Australia and New Zealand, but the model is less common in Canada.A real estate agent in Victoria tried the in-person auction approach in 2016 with a property in the city’s upscale Rockland neighbourhood, holding a public auction featuring a pianist playing a grand piano in the ballroom at the event.But local media reported that although 60 people filled the room, only one was an interested buyer so the auction was cancelled. In 2017, the B.C. Supreme Court accepted a $1.8-million offer for the historic mansion in foreclosure.Tom Davidoff, director of the University of British Columbia’s Centre for Urban Economics and Real Estate, said online auctions aren’t all that different from the way we buy and sell homes traditionally in Canada, especially in cases where there are multiple interested buyers and a bidding war.That could make it comfortable for Canadian buyers to transition to the model.“It certainly could be a direction the market could go. In segments where the market is slow today, people will try different approaches to move product, so it’s certainly possible,” he said.The deck at the Abbotsford house. Online auctions allow the company to post more information than might be available through MLS listings, like copies of home inspections and agreements of purchase and sale, which makes it less likely for a sale to fall through. But beyond creating another way for potential buyers to bid, he said he doesn’t believe there will be an impact on the market in terms of housing prices or competition.“This will have no impact on the market overall,” Davidoff said.In Toronto, On the Block sells real estate both the traditional way and through its online auction platform but doesn’t focus on luxury sales.Co-founder Daniel Steinfeld said online auctions offer a way around some of the frustrations that come with silent bidding wars under the traditional system.As part of the company’s model, buyers must sign agreements to make the value of their bids public while their identities remain protected. Real estate board regulations otherwise prohibit real estate agents from disclosing the substance of competing bids.“Buyers, especially in the Toronto and Vancouver markets, have grown pretty frustrated with the blind bidding approach,” he said.The platform also allows the company to post more information than might be available through MLS listings, like copies of home inspections and agreements of purchase and sale, which makes it less likely for a sale to fall through.The most important factor in a successful real estate auction is the starting price, which can inspire competitive bids, Steinfeld said. So when identifying potential properties for auction, the company interviews the sellers to determine their objectives and market expectations.If the seller has unreasonable expectations about the market value of their property, it’s probably not the right fit for auction.Market conditions matter less, he said.“We have seen in both good and bad market conditions that it can work, it really just comes down to the appropriate pricing strategy,” Steinfeld said.Auction properties are typically first-time listings and the company sets a reserve price, which represents the minimum value at which the seller is obligated to sell.“Once bidding reaches that number, everyone knows for sure that property will sell,” he said.“Then everyone starts to bid quite a bit more because they know at that point that if they win, it’s theirs.”
In a press release issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban said he learned “with great sadness the sudden passing” of Lieutenant General José Luiz Jaborandy, Jr., 30 August 2015 in Miami, while was on a trip to Brazil, where he was born.Lieutenant General Jaborandy, Jr., has been the Force Commander of MINUSTAH since March 2014.The Secretary-General said he was grateful to the Lt. General for his ledership and dedication to the cause of peace he has shown during his deployment.Mr. Ban expressed his sincere condolences to the bereaved family and to the Government of Brazil for this “tragic loss.”
Midseason is rapidly approaching, and the Chicago Cubs are still making the rest of Major League Baseball look bad. They’re World Series favorites by a mile according to our Elo predictions — which also have them pegged for 104 wins — and they’ve outscored their opponents by an average of 2.3 runs per game, the most of any team through 70 games since the legendary 1939 Yankees.The Cubs have excelled on offense, scoring the third-most runs in the majors, but to an even greater degree the team owes its extreme success to run prevention. Chicago’s current 2.73 team ERA would be the lowest full-season1So, not counting the strike-shortened 1981 campaign. figure in the designated hitter era (since 1973), and the lowest relative to the MLB average since World War II.This Cubs staff is pretty good at making guys miss — it ranks fifth in the majors in K-BB rate — but that alone isn’t enough to explain such a microscopic ERA. Chicago has also allowed a .254 batting average on balls in play, 42 points below the major-league average and 19 points lower than the next-closest team. If the Cubs were to finish the year that far below the norm, their BABIP would also be the lowest relative to average since World War II. As a byproduct, the gap between Chicago’s ERA and its Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) is 0.64 runs, the widest positive gap in the majors.We know of three things that could contribute to such a separation. One is flat-out luck, but the others are a good defense and a pitching staff that induces especially fieldable batted balls. Prior to the advent of Statcast, MLB’s new radar-based motion-tracking system, it was almost impossible to separate the latter two elements, parsing out a pitcher’s impact on batted balls from that of his fellow defenders. But now we can start to unravel those relationships and assign partial credit to each possible factor at work.To do that, we built a couple of models. The first model estimated each MLB pitcher’s effect on the exit velocities and launch angles he allows by comparing his rates to the same hitters’ numbers against all other pitchers.2Specifically, we used two mixed models that incorporate effects for each batter, pitcher and park to predict exit velocity and launch angle. Because 20 to 25 percent of batted balls are missed by the tracking system, all models in this piece imputed missing Statcast data using the average of similarly classified batted balls and outcomes. Then we calculated what would happen if we replaced each team’s actual pitchers with a staff full of generic arms that allowed league-average exit velocities and launch angles. The difference between those actual and generic figures gives us a number of runs attributable to each pitching staff’s contact-management skills, i.e., its tendency to allow batted balls that do less damage.Next, we modeled fielding on a team-by-team basis by estimating how much each batted ball “should” have been worth (in terms of linear-weight run value) based on its exit velocity and launch angle.3This was a random forest model, as described in an earlier piece. Then we compared those estimated values to the actual values of the same batted balls.4Using a separate model to adjust for ballpark effects. If a batted ball with an exit velocity and launch angle that would typically produce a single actually yielded an out, the model credited some of the difference to the defense, which we assume prevented the single through some combination of good range, good hands and good positioning.Finally, we combined those two values into one total figure to see how many runs each team has saved on its balls in play, relative to a team with average contact-management and defense. TEAMFIELDINGPITCHINGTOTAL Angels-6.42.4-4.1 Braves3.1-5.4-2.4 Diamondbacks4.6-23.4-18.8 Reds1.8-49.9-48.1 Pirates-6.815.58.7 Dodgers2.927.330.2 Royals0.5-12.6-12.0 Cardinals6.413.419.8 RUNS SAVED Rangers18.5-6.212.3 Indians6.7-7.1-0.4 Nationals-3.816.312.6 Phillies-3.9-31.2-35.1 Marlins5.3-2.82.5 Twins-12.1-39.0-51.1 Yankees-188.8.131.52 Blue Jays14.16.520.6 Brewers-10.9-3.4-14.4 Giants6.717.524.2 Red Sox9.7-3.85.9 Padres2.4-9.2-6.8 White Sox3.125.428.5 Mariners-0.27.67.4 Cubs12.644.557.1 Mets-4.026.422.3 Rockies9.8-24.9-15.1 There’s a moderate, statistically significant relationship5A correlation coefficient of 0.44. between a team’s ERA-FIP gap and our estimate of its runs saved from contact management and defense. Add in sequencing (as measured by Left on Base Percentage), and we can explain about 60 percent of the difference between a team’s ERA and its FIP. The rest can be chalked up to random variation, plus a variety of smaller factors6Such as the way pitchers influence other batted-ball characteristics (i.e., spray angle), the tendency of good pitch-framing catchers — such as the Cubs’ Miguel Montero and David Ross — to produce more favorable counts and make batters swing at bad pitches (which can’t be hit as hard), and the ability of batters and pitchers to restrict the running game (the rare area in which the Cubs don’t excel). and, admittedly, other unknown elements that we can’t conceive of or are unable to calculate using current data.According to our models, the Cubs’ defense — aided perhaps by data-driven positioning, if not frequent infield shifting — has been the third-best in baseball, behind the Rangers and Blue Jays. But fielding is a relatively small piece of Chicago’s run-preventing puzzle. Its pitching staff’s collective ability to manage contact leads the next-best team by close to 20 runs. As a group, Cubs pitchers have depressed exit velocity by 0.4 miles per hour and launch angle by almost 2 degrees, relative to average.7As of June 19.That leads to a larger takeaway from our models: Leaguewide, the impact of pitchers’ contact management is more than twice that of defense, which seems to contradict the traditional defense-independent pitching theory that most pitchers have little ability to prevent hits on balls in play. (It’s probably no coincidence that the career leader in Inside Edge’s Soft Contact rate is fabled bat breaker Mariano Rivera.) In other words, much of what appears to be good or bad defense might really be good or bad contact management, which can produce easier (or more difficult) fielding opportunities that make certain fielders look better or worse than they are. In theory, only a Statcast-derived defensive stat could account for this heretofore-camouflaged effect.Exit velocity is meaningful even over small samples, but at this early stage of the Statcast Era, we still don’t know enough about how pitchers control contact to say whether the Cubs’ BABIP is sustainable, or if it stems from a conscious pitching (or even pitching-acquisition) approach. As with any extreme observation, it seems safe to expect some regression to the mean for Chicago’s pitchers. Still, we can conclude that the Cubs’ historically low BABIP through their first 69 games isn’t merely luck. One way or another, the Cubs have earned a lot of those outs. Tigers-10.69.9-0.7 Includes games through June 19Source: MLBAM, PitchInfo Astros-10.310.0-0.3 Rays4.2-19.6-15.4 The Cubs Are The Best At Controlling Contact Athletics-5.7-8.8-14.5 Orioles-2.7-4.9-7.7
James Harden, one of the Oklahoma City trio of stars that led the Thunder to the NBA Finals in June, was traded to the Houston Rockets when he refused a $55-million contract extension offer.The news that OKC had broken up its dynamic young core of Harden, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook was met with shock around the league. But it came down to money. Harden, an all-star who was a member of the London Olympic gold-medal-winning team, wanted a maximum contract of $60 million. The Thunder, according to reports, offered four years and $55 million.“We wanted to sign James to an extension, but at the end of the day, these situations have to work for all those involved,” Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti said. “Our ownership group again showed their commitment to the organization with several significant offers.”Finally, OKC made a move, acquiring veteran scoring guard Kevin Martin and rookie Jeremy Lamb, two first-round draft picks and a second-round selection, too. Oklahoma City also sent center Cole Aldrich, Dequan Cook and Lazar Hayward to the Rockets, who will sign Harden to the max deal he sought.Wednesday’s deadline to extend Harden or allow him to become a restricted free agent next July had been hanging over the Thunder from the moment they reported to training camp, but sources told ESPN.com late Saturday the Rockets intended to sign the swingman to the max contract extension he was seeking before Wednesday’s midnight deadline.“We were unable to reach a mutual agreement, and therefore executed a trade that capitalized on the opportunity to bring in a player of Kevin’s caliber, a young talent like Jeremy and draft picks, which will be important to our organizational goal of a sustainable team.”The small-market Thunder had already signed Durant, Westbrook and Serge Ibaka to long-term deals, and apparently realized Harden was going to want a bigger salary than they would offer.Harden averaged 16.8 points and 3.7 assists last season, and joined Durant and Westbrook on the U.S. men’s Olympic team. He struggled badly in Oklahoma City’s loss to Miami in the NBA Finals, but the Thunder felt good about their chances of getting back there with another year of experience for their young stars, all 24 or younger.The Thunder got back a good scorer in Martin, who has averaged 18.4 points in his eight NBA seasons, and a promising young player in Lamb, the No. 12 pick in the draft who helped Connecticut win the 2011 NCAA championship. He led Houston’s summer league team in scoring with 20 points per game.Had the Thunder been able to ink Harden to that $13.5 million annual contract, a franchise playing in the league’s third smallest market would have owed $69 million to just five players next season. That figure would have increased to $72 million in 2014-15 for those same five players.The tax threshold for this season is $70.3 million. Starting next season, teams must pay an incremental rate starting at $1.50 for every dollar they exceed the threshold.“At the end of the day, you have to do the best thing for the organization,” Presti said at his preseason press conference. “That’s what my job is. The day that I stop doing what’s in the best interest of the organization is the day that you should get somebody else.”
The No. 8 North Dakota women’s hockey team swept Ohio State this weekend, winning two physical games by a goal each. OSU coach Jackie Barto sees these close losses as a positive, knowing her team is just one step away from getting over the top. “I thought we competed hard and played six good periods this weekend,” Barto said. The Buckeyes (14-14-2, 8-14-2-2 WCHA) have lost three games to the Fighting Sioux (17-8-3, 15-7-2-0 WCHA) by one goal this season, losing Friday, 4-3, in overtime and Saturday, 3-2. “We need to take that step and get over that last hurdle in these games,” Barto said. “Stay positive, keep working and keep getting after it.” On Saturday the Buckeyes led North Dakota in shots, 32-31, but failed to cash in on five power-play opportunities. “The power play never really got settled,” Barto said. “It’s a combination of winning face-offs, winning battles, outnumbering the puck, having good retrieval skills and then having the poise to set your power play up under pressure.” The referees had to break up a number of skirmishes over the weekend after a few big hits and several rushes on goal left players down on the ice. “We knew we were in a war and we had to battle,” Barto said. “North Dakota’s a physical team and the refs let them play.” Junior forward Laura McIntosh continued to shine, adding two more points to her career assists record and cashing in a goal this weekend. With the Buckeyes down, 1-0, on Saturday, McIntosh led a three-on-one breakaway that featured a nifty pass across the crease to junior defenseman Kelly Wild, who passed it back across the crease where sophomore forward Paige Semenza buried the puck in the net to tie the game. “When everyone gets involved it’s good for the team,” McIntosh said. “I think this weekend we played really well and a lot of people were involved.” The Buckeyes ran out of time in both games, though, as North Dakota scored with seconds left in overtime Friday night, and the Buckeyes failed to score in the third period Saturday. “Getting down to the end of the season we’re just gonna have to keep working hard,” McIntosh said. “Other teams know that we work hard, so if we keep doing that and battling through we’ll be good the rest of the way.” The Buckeyes host Minnesota Duluth (16-7-3, 14-7-3 WCHA) at 7 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Saturday at the OSU Ice Rink. “We need to keep our heads up,” senior defenseman Shannon Reilly said. “We played two awesome games this weekend and we didn’t get the bounces we wanted. I think that we can carry how hard everyone worked and gave 110 percent on every shift into next weekend and then the following weekend to come.”
Sandvik is proud to announce it has partnered with Newtrax, the global leader in wireless IoT for the underground metal mining industry, “to deliver world-class mining safety, efficiency, and productivity to underground metal mines through digitalisation.”Sandvik’s OEM-independent OptiMine® digital platform “will seamlessly integrate with Newtrax’s system of wireless IoT to provide all relevant data in one source, delivering both real-time and predictive insights to improve operations.”“We are eager to see our partnership with Sandvik’s OptiMine® help our customers more rapidly and effectively realise their crucial mine digitisation objectives. Sandvik shares our core values, and this partnership ultimately will deliver more value to our joint customers faster, and at a lower cost,” said Alexandre Cervinka, CEO of Newtrax.“Together, I truly believe we truly have the best solution for our customers. With OptiMine® software as the ‘brain,’ and the Newtrax IoT system as the ‘nervous system’ monitoring machines, people, and the environment, our customers will have all they need to leverage the power of machine learning, and more effectively realise the value of their digital investments,” said Patrick Murphy, President, Rock Drills & Technologies, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology.The integrated system will be deployed at select mines and showcased in the Sandvik test mine in Tampere, Finland in early 2019. Hindustan Zinc’s Sindesar Khurd (SK) is the first mine to implement integrated Newtrax and OptiMine® solutions to drive their digital transformation.
Ukraine goes home as the first team after two rounds at the Women’s EHF EURO 2012 in Serbia. Norway had hard 60 minutes against good Czech Republic 21:19 (10:12) and broke resistance of the rival in the last 10 minutes. Now is known that Norway will take all four points to the Main Round, while Serbia and Czech Republic will fight for the last two.In Nis, Denmark beat France 28:27. Macedonia still have chances for the Main Round after another “black day” against Sweden 15:26.STANDING:Norway 4Serbia 2Czech Republic 2Ukraine 0STANDING:Sweden 4France 2Denmark 2Macedonia 0 ← Previous Story Draw for EHF Cup Group stage: KIF and RNL in Group B! Next Story → Women’s EHF EURO 2012 DAY 4 – Croatia or Germany, Iceland or Russia? Women’s EHF EURO 2012
Kadetten SchaffhausenRares JurcaSwiss handballSwiss play offwacker thun After an away win, Kadetten Schaffhausen beat Wacker Thun 32:26 (15:13) for 2:0 lead in the Swiss Play Off Final series. In front of 1600 domestic fans Kadetten came only one step ahead of 7th championship trophy!Kadetten Schaffhausen – Wacker Thun 32:26 (15:13)Kadetten Schaffhausen: Quadrelli (45. – 52. Aleksejev); Bucher, Emrich, Jurca (10/6), Kukucka (1), Mamic (5), Pendic (6/1), Prieto, Starczan, Stojanovic (1), Tominec (3), Ursic (4), Göpfert (2).Wacker Thun: Merz (45. Winkler); Buri, Caspar (3/1), Dähler (4), Franic (1), Friedli (3), Isailovic (3), Lanz (1), Linder (2), Rathgeb (2), Studer (1), von Deschwanden (6/1).Results: 0:2, 1:3 (4.), 4:3 (10.), 4:5, (13.), 7:5, 9:6 (18.), 9:8, 11:8, 11:11, 13:11, 13:13, 15:13; 16:13, 18:14 (36.), 18:17 (38.), 19:18, 21:18, 22:19, 23:20, 24:21, 24:24 (49.), 26:24 (51.), 26:25, 30:25, 32:26. – ← Previous Story Anouar Ayed to leave Toulouse Next Story → Officialy: Katarina Bulatovic to Gyor!
By Associated Press 42,339 Views WHILE HUNDREDS OF thousands of US citizens marched in Chicago, Washington and New York against his election as US president – Donald Trump was at church.President Donald Trump opened his first full day as president today at a national prayer service, the final piece of transition business for the nation’s new chief executive before a promised full-on shift into governing. Source: Manuel Balce CenetaThe interfaith service is a tradition for new presidents and is hosted by the Episcopal parish – but even the decision to hold a prayer session for President Trump sparked debate among Episcopalians opposed to his policies.But Bishop Mariann Budde of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington wrote in a blog post that while she shared “a sense of outrage at some of the president-elect’s words and actions” she felt an obligation to welcome all people without qualification, especially those who disagree and need to find a way to work together. Short URL While Americans have been marching against him – where has Trump been? Hundreds of thousands of Americans have turned up to march against their new president. The dustup over the service marked another example of the backlash against Trump by religious leaders, artists, celebrities and others.Meanwhile… Source: APWearing pink, pointy-eared “pussyhats” to mock their new president, hundreds of thousands of women massed in the nation’s capital to send Donald Trump an emphatic message that they won’t let his agenda go unchallenged over the next four years.There were signs that the crowds in Washington could top those that turned out for Trump’s inauguration yesterday. City officials said organisers of the Women’s March on Washington more than doubled their original turnout estimate to 500,000 – meaning the crowd was too huge for them to lead.Retired teacher Linda Lastella, 69, who came to Washington from Metuchen, New Jersey, said she had never marched before but felt the need to speak out when “many nations are experiencing this same kind of pullback and hateful, hateful attitudes.”“It just seemed like we needed to make a very firm stand of where we were,” she said. Source: John Minchillo“We march today for the moral core of this nation, against which our new president is waging a war,” actress America Ferrera told the Washington crowd. http://jrnl.ie/3198961 Whoops! We couldn’t find this Tweet 129 Comments Share Tweet Email Jan 21st 2017, 7:30 PM Our dignity, our character, our rights have all been under attack and a platform of hate and division assumed power yesterday. But the president is not America… We are America and we are here to stay.Cher, in the nation’s capital, said Trump’s ascendance has people “more frightened maybe than they’re ever been.” In Park City, Utah, it was Charlize Theron leading demonstrators in a chant of “Love, not hate, makes America great.”In New York, actresses Helen Mirren and Cynthia Nixon and Whoopi Goldberg joined a crowd of protesters marching to Trump’s local home. Source: John MinchilloThe CIA and dismantling ObamaCareAfter church, Trump planned to visit the CIA for a meeting with members of the nation’s intelligence community that could be fraught with tension.Trump has sharply criticized top US intelligence officials over their conclusions that Russia interfered in the 2016 election on his behalf, as well as over leaks about classified briefings he received in the weeks before his he was sworn into office yesterday.Trump has signaled an intention to make a quick and clean break from the Obama administration – and he hasn’t been slow to show he means business.Before dancing with the new first lady at three inaugural balls last night, Trump signed an executive order aimed at former President Barack Obama’s health care law.The order notes that Trump plans to seek the law’s “prompt repeal.” It allows the Health and Human Services Department and other federal agencies to delay implementing parts of the law that might impose a “fiscal burden” on states, health care providers, families or individuals.He also plans on taking a regressive stance on climate change policies – much to the worry of environmentalists and other world leaders.Read: Women’s March Dublin attracts thousands as part of global protest against TrumpRead: ‘Yesterday, a new America. Today, a new Europe’: Right-wing buoyant after Trump’s inauguration Saturday 21 Jan 2017, 7:30 PM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article
Skamania County sheriff’s deputies have located a woman and her infant daughter who were being sought by Clark County authorities for several weeks.Dannielle “Danni” Williams, 30, was taken into custody without incident on multiple outstanding warrants Wednesday morning during a traffic stop on state Highway 14 near Milepost 30, according to a Skamania County Sheriff’s Office news release.Williams’ baby was with her in the vehicle. The baby is being cared for by Child Protective Services.“The condition of the infant is unknown at this time but appeared to be in good health when contacted,” Skamania County deputies said.Law enforcement and Washington State Department of Children, Youth and Families officials reported that they were looking for Williams on Dec. 18. The Clark County Sheriff’s Office said at the time that detectives “have received information that the baby may be in need of urgent medical care.”Officials once again asked for help finding Williams last week, stating that she was known to frequent the Camas-Washougal area and may have been avoiding contact with Child Protective Services.Around 10:50 a.m. Wednesday, a Skamania County patrol deputy observed a black Honda sedan preparing to turn east onto Highway 14 from Salmon Falls Road. Law enforcement and Washington State Department of Children, Youth and Families are searching for Dannielle “Danni” Williams and her 3-week-old baby. (Clark County Sheriff’s Office)
SPOKANE — A proposal to ship North Dakota crude oil by train to Vancouver drew more opponents than supporters to a Wednesday night public hearing in Spokane, which could see four more oil trains a day if the project is approved.Most of the 75 people at the hearing said they were worried about the risk of train derailments, spills or fires, as well as global climate change from using the oil.Opponents also dominated a public hearing in Vancouver at the end of October. Supporters say the terminal is needed because there’s no major oil pipeline on the route. The companies behind the project say it will meet regulations. They hope to begin construction by the end of next year.The Washington Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council is reviewing the proposal by Tesoro Corp. and Savage Cos. for the terminal at the Port of Vancouver to handle up to 360,000 barrels of crude oil a day. Oil arriving by train would be stored temporarily and then shipped to refineries on the West Coast. The public can submit comments on the Vancouver project through Dec. 18 to the evaluation council. After an environmental impact statement is complete, the council will make a recommendation to Washington Gov. Jay Inslee for a decision on whether it should be built.
Experienced firefighters can earn up to 60-thousand dollars in a few months, which may seem like a lot of money. But considering their working conditions, and hazards, many of them would say they earn every bit of their pay. A few dozen Alaskan firefighters are mopping up the McHugh fire south of Anchorage.Listen nowFire responders at the McHugh fire daily briefing Tuesday morning. Alaska’s Chena, Tanana Chiefs Conference and White Mountain firefighter crews are mopping up hot spots.(Photo by Joaqlin Estus, KNBA – Anchorage)Everyone working a fire – from incident commanders to accountants – sleeps in tents. Firefighters sometimes camp just a short hike from the fire. And at most camps, everyone eats military style field rations known as MREs – or meals ready to eat — three times a day.Firefighters go to the fire carrying all the food, water, and safety gear — including an emergency shelter — needed for that shift, which typically will be 12 hours long but can run to 20 hours. To qualify for the job, they have to show they can carry a 45-pound pack for 3 miles in less than 45 minutes.Firefighter James Ludecker, of Fairbanks, is a member of the Tanana Chiefs Conference fire crew. He said months before the fire season he and other crew members start working out a minimum of three hours a day.“Sometimes we like to go for a hike for at least 45 minutes, just like at a 45-degree angle,” Ludecker said. “Or we like to go for like an 8-mile run, because we like to switch up the body, what we’re doing. We’re not going focus on just the biceps and the chest. We’re going to work the back. We’re going to work the legs. But the main thing I like to get the guys to do is to work the lungs.”Ludecker said jogging up 45-degree slopes paid off at the McHugh fire.“Thank God we did do the hills,” Ludecker said. “The fire we’re on now, it’s a good 45-minute hike straight up.”On scene, crews work to create a fireline, a strip of land maybe 30 feet wide with no fuel for a fire. They remove standing and fallen trees, brush, grass, even tree roots. They remove or bury embers and mix the soil until it’s cool to the touch.“It’s not a sprint. It’s a marathon,” Kale Casey said. Casey has fought fires for several years himself. This season he’s a public information officer for the Alaska Interagency Management Team. He said he got his start in firefighting as a medic where he saw many injuries related to overuse, as well as everything from blisters to bronchitis and pneumonia. Casey said the job is demanding, but firefighters are passionate about saving lives and property, and become part of a strong fellowship.“It challenges you on all levels. You’re away from home. You’re away from your loved ones and family, missing weddings, birthdays, music festivals, all the cool stuff other people are doing, the boat trips, canoe, kayak, fishing,” Casey said. “You’re out sucking smoke with other people who love their job, so it creates a tight family.”Safety is top priority. Firefighters practice what they’ll do if a fire overtakes them. They go over recent accidents, and review the conditions that led to decades-old fatalities. Casey said many firefighters also contribute to the Wildland Firefighters Foundation, which supports firefighters and their families in the event of serious injury or death.Statistically, most fatalities occur between two and five p.m., when fuels are at their driest and fires are apt to pick up and roar. So, Casey said, firefighters “Take five at two” – a five minute break at two o’clock every day to think about safety.“Things get extreme,” Casey said. “We stop to get our heads straight and say ‘do we have a safety zone? Do we have an escape route?,Do we have lookouts? Are we in communications? Are we engaged for the right reasons?.What are we trying to achieve? We’re learning how to step back as a culture and ask ‘Is it time to let this fire burn for a bit? This is when people die.’”Delbert Frank, of Minto and a member of the White Mountain fire crew, said sheer determination is needed to stay in the game.“It’s a mental thing,” Frank said. “If you see yourself at a wall where it’s going to stop you from doing your work, you’ve gotta break through it.”The Chena fire crew is also working the McHugh fire, which has been contained. Protective equipment placed in nearby housing subdivisions has been removed. A 35-mile per hour speed limit remains in effect between miles 110 to 112 of the Seward Highway where there is still falling debris. And pullouts outside that stretch of the road have been reopened.Fire responders will host an Open House at Goldenview Middle School Wednesday, July 27, at 6 p.m. where you can meet responders and get the latest information about the fire.
Arelene Soxie is considered a grandmother of the Community Health Aide Program. She started in Wales in the early 1960s. (Hillman/Alaska Public MediaFifty years ago, Alaska had a really big problem. It was hard to get medical care in small, rural communities. If someone was injured or if there was a tuberculosis outbreak, there was no one to turn to. To solve the problem, the Indian Health Service worked with local governments and Congress to create the Community Health Aide Program.Arelene Soxie was one of the first health aides in the country, and taking the position in her home village of Wales was not an easy decision.“I had to think very deeply on whether I could do it,” she said as she sat in a recliner in her small apartment at the senior center in Nome. The local government had asked her to apply for the position. “I knew it involved helping people. It involved scary situations, which can occur in life and death.”Soxie eventually decided to become an aide because two of her small children had recently passed away, and she thought she could help prevent other tragedies.When Soxie started in the early 1960s, she only knew the basics, like taking temperatures and blood pressure. She began seeing patients immediately with only the support of a thin little health aide manual and a handheld radio to call the doctor, who was stationed a plane flight away. She’d pass on messages from other health aides, too, when the radio signal wasn’t strong enough to go directly from a village to the hospital.Arlene Soxie’s old stethoscope hangs from her lamp, a reminder of her 38-year-long career as a health aide. (Hillman/Alaska Public Media)Through these radio calls, the health aides across the region became friends and supported each other through emotional challenges. Sometimes, because of patient confidentiality, other health aides were the only people they could share their grief and stress with.“You feel very helpless,” Soxie said about some of the situations she encountered. “And another thing that causes that helpless feeling is when people don’t understand mental problems within the village.”Her son had schizophrenia, and no one locally could support their family.Though Soxie was a health aide for 38 years, most don’t last that long. The position has a high turnover rate, even now. The stress of treating your own family and having the entire village depend on you doesn’t go away.Dan Thomas, a health aide trainer based in Nome, said the job is stressful but necessary. Doctors can’t visit small villages very often but health aides are always there, keeping people healthy.Patients’ “problems are just going to be addressed a lot sooner than they otherwise would, so they are going to be healthier,” he said. “They’re not going to suffer from some medical problem for weeks or months before they finally get treated.”New technology is making the job even more effective, if more complicated. Thomas trains the aides to use telemedicine carts for transmitting photographs, videos, EKGs, photos of the inner ear, and other data directly to doctors in larger towns.Health aides also draw blood, run lab tests, and dispense medicines.“They function like what takes multiple departments in the hospital to do,” Thomas said.The aides have to learn things very quickly. They start seeing patients during one-on-one sessions with medical providers during their first week of training. After four different month-long classes, health aides can do everything from taking care of the common cold to responding to trauma to treating chronic illness.They take in a lot of knowledge in very little time. But they don’t have to remember it all. During every patient visit, health aides consult their Community Health Aide Manual.Norma Kavairlook (l) and Phyllis Farrell (r) were both long-time health aides in the Norton Sound region. (Hillman/Alaska Public Media)Long-time health aide turned-instructor Phyllis Farrell said they go through every step, every time, even if they’ve been aides for dozens of years.“You have to follow the manual because there might be just one question in there that could turn what’s going on with the patient,” she explained. If you miss that question then the case could go in the wrong direction.The manual used to be a small bound book with hand-drawn images. Now it’s an iPad with internal links and photos. Health aides ask the patients questions and depending on the answers, follow the instructions in the manual about what to do next.Farrell said the work can be stressful and traumatic, but it never gets boring. Despite the challenges, she said it’s worth it because the patients needed you.“They were supportive in their own way, too. Encouraging,” she said.The Community Health Aide Program is unique to Alaska and has grown to include behavioral and dental health aides, too. An Indian Health Service Tribal Advisory Group is looking to expand the program to the Lower 48.Want to hear more Solutions Desk stories? Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, or NPR.
Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: AFPIsraeli police were expected to question Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Monday over whether he illegally accepted gifts from wealthy supporters, media reports said, in a probe shaking the country’s political scene.The long-running inquiry has looked into whether Israeli and foreign businessmen have offered gifts worth tens of thousands of dollars as well as another unspecified issue, according to the reports.Attorney general Avichai Mandelblit has reportedly decided to upgrade the inquiry to a criminal probe, though he has yet to confirm this.Police and Netanyahu’s office declined to comment on Monday.Public radio said Netanyahu has agreed to be questioned at his residence. It was not clear when it would occur, though some reports said it would not be until 7:00 pm (1700 GMT).Screens were mounted at the entrance to the compound in central Jerusalem in an apparent bid to shield the investigators’ arrival.In a Facebook post at the weekend, Netanyahu rejected all allegations against him and said his political opponents and some news outlets wanted to bring down his government.Police have carried out the inquiry in secret over the course of some eight months and recently arrived at an important breakthrough, reports said. Some 50 witnesses are said to have been questioned.In July, Mandelblit said he had ordered a preliminary examination into an unspecified affair involving Netanyahu, with no details given.US billionaire and World Jewish Congress president Ronald Lauder has been among those questioned in the probe over gifts he allegedly gave Netanyahu and alleged spending on trips for him, Israeli media reported.Lauder, whose family founded the Estee Lauder cosmetics giant, has long been seen as an ally of Netanyahu, who in the late 1990s put him in charge of negotiating with then Syrian president Hafez al-Assad. ‘Campaign of provocation’ Netanyahu has acknowledged receiving money from French tycoon Arnaud Mimran, who was sentenced to eight years in prison over a scam amounting to 283 million euros involving the trade of carbon emissions permits and the taxes on them.Netanyahu’s office said he had received $40,000 in contributions from Mimran in 2001, when he was not in office, as part of a fund for public activities, including appearances abroad to promote Israel.He has also come under scrutiny over an alleged conflict of interest in the purchase of submarines from a German firm.Media reports have alleged a conflict of interest over the role played by the Netanyahu family lawyer, David Shimron, who also acts for the Israeli agent of Germany’s ThyssenKrupp, which builds the Dolphin submarines.Beyond those issues, Israel’s state comptroller released a critical report in May about Netanyahu’s foreign trips, some with his wife and children, between 2003 and 2005 when he was finance minister.Netanyahu, 67, is in his fourth term as prime minister and currently heads what is seen as the most right-wing government in Israeli history.He has served as premier for a total of nearly 11 years, fast approaching revered founding father David Ben-Gurion’s 13 years.Polls have shown that if elections were held today, his Likud party would finish behind the centrist Yesh Atid, but that voters still prefer Netanyahu as prime minister.The inquiry has led to fierce debate in Israeli politics, with Netanyahu’s allies accusing opposition politicians and some in the news media of unfairly pressuring the attorney general.Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi, in comments on army radio on Monday, denounced what he called a “campaign of provocation and incitement” against Mandelblit.Others have however accused Mandelblit of moving too slowly.Netanyahu’s predecessor as prime minister, Ehud Olmert, was forced to resign while dogged by corruption allegations.He entered prison in February and is serving 27 months for corruption, making Olmert the first former Israeli premier to serve jail time.
By Kevin McGill, The Associated PressThe sixth-grader who tearfully left a New Orleans area Catholic school after she was told her hair extensions violated its policy might soon return to classes there, her attorney and school officials said Aug. 24.Video of Faith Fennidy leaving Christ the King school with family members this week spread quickly on the Internet, sparking angry online comments and charges that the school’s hair policy discriminated against Black students.Faith Fennidy, center, walks with her parents Montrelle Fennidy, left, and Steven Fennidy, Sr. to a press conference outside the offices of their attorney James Williams Friday, Aug. 24, 2018 in Metairie, La. An attorney says Faith Fennidy, the sixth-grader who tearfully left a New Orleans area Catholic school after she was told her hair extensions violated its policy might soon return to classes there. (Matthew Hinton/The Advocate via AP)Attorney James Williams won a restraining order Aug. 23 on behalf of Faith and another student. It temporarily blocks the school from enforcing the policy.Williams said Friday, during a news conference with Faith, her parents and her brother, that he will discuss the matter Monday with officials of the elementary school and the Archdiocese of New Orleans.Archdiocese school officials issued a statement later, saying they had sought the upcoming meeting and that their goal is to welcome the girls back to class “as soon as possible.”“We’d like to take this opportunity to announce that the Office of Catholic Schools is reconvening the Superintendent’s Advisory Council to address school policies, particularly those that might affect cultural differences in school communities, as well as other topics such as racial harmony, social justice and urban Catholic education,” the statement said.Steven Fennidy Jr. posted the Facebook video of Faith, her braids pulled back and hanging just below the neckline, that won her recognition and support from, among others, social activist Shaun King on Twitter and rapper T.I. on Instagram.“Faith has received overwhelming support from thousands of people all over the world — ranging from celebrities to children her age living in different cultures,” he said Aug. 24, reading a prepared statement the brief news conference outside a suburban New Orleans office building.On Aug. 21, his Facebook post explained that there were practical reasons for Faith’s use of extensions. “Extensions make the hair easier to maintain. It allows my sister to have access to the swimming pool without having to get her hair re-done every night,” his post said.School officials had said they had communicated the extensions policy to parents over the summer and that school leaders had worked with parents to help ensure compliance.