No doubt Assam could be the best place for tourism, thanks to the green mountain ranges, tea gardens, rich culture, and the gigantic Brahmaputra. In order to make the state’s presence felt on a global level, the ongoing Rongali carnival in Guwahati hosted a seminar on ‘Assam as Tourist Destination’ recently, emphasising how rich heritage of the state could be used to woo the tourists.The seminar was attended by the various dignitaries from the tourism including PP Khanna, President ADTOI; Ranjit Das, President TOAA; Dipak Jalan, President HRAA among others. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainShyamkanu Mahanta, Chief Organiser of Rongali, said that the idea of conducting Rongali is to make Bihu a tourism festival of the state. “Like West Bengal, has become a destination for Durga Puja, similarly our dream is to make Assam destination for Bihu.” It was also mentioned that the tourism ministry of NE is also thinking about making Assam and North East as tea tourism and adventure sports destination. Ranjit Das, however, feels that Assam can focus on the adventurous side of it to cash in on the young footfall, who are much into trekking and adventure sports. Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma Award”There is a renewed interest among the domestic and international visitors. Now, tourism here is not only restricted to wildlife. Rather, culture and cuisine are also high points. Recently, we had the opportunity of attending a workshop on eco-tourism policy, envisaged by the Forest Ministry, Government of Assam. If the policy is put in right perspective then many nature-based activities will open up for the tourists,” he added. PP Khanna believes that Assam has everything to make it one of the top tourist destinations in the country. Rajesh Prasad in his keynote, addressed to Prime Minister’s effort in promoting the rich craft of Assam. Bhaskar Phukan, MD, ATC emphasised on various ways which have been taken to promote Assam tourism. Now, it should also focus on cultural tourism, golf amidst tea garden and more.
WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (mih-NOO’-shin) says there are no plans yet for President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) to meet to finalize a trade deal.Trump has said no agreement will be final until he meets with his Chinese counterpart.Trump announced in his State of the Union address that he’ll travel to Vietnam, which borders China, at the end of February to meet with North Korea’s leader on nuclear issues. The trip will put Trump in the region just before a March deadline for the U.S. to boost tariffs on Chinese goods.Mnuchin and trade representative Robert Lighthizer (LYT’-hy-zur) are leading a team to Beijing next week to continue the negotiations.Mnuchin said Wednesday “there’s nothing planned at this time” for the presidents to meet.The Associated Press
TORONTO — The Toronto stock market closed slightly higher Friday as traders shrugged off a weak U.S. manufacturing report and hopes rose for another dose of economic stimulus from the U.S. Federal Reserve.The S&P/TSX composite index gained 19.72 points to 12,082.23, while the TSX Venture Exchange added 3.80 points to 1,251.88.The Canadian dollar was ahead 0.21 of a cent at 100.85 US cents.U.S. markets also advanced after the U.S. Commerce Department said that orders for durable goods rose a seasonally-adjusted 4.2% in July. But there had been initial dismay as the data showed that excluding aircraft and other transportation goods, orders dropped 0.4%. Economists had expected a 2.5% rise.“Is it really realistic to exclude the whole aircraft and auto industry from the numbers?” asked Robert Gorman, chief portfolio strategist at TD Waterhouse. “No.”“The auto sector numbers continue to be quite strong, they’re a big part of the economy and I wouldn’t get too bent out of shape about the ex-transport number being below expectations. I’m not sure this is really going to make a huge difference at the end of the day and the … market reaction reflects that.”Sentiment improved on markets late in the morning after the Wall Street Journal reported that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke made it clear in a letter to a House Republican lawmaker that he thinks the Fed can do more to bolster the economic recovery and help reduce unemployment.Bernanke says in the letter to Darrell Issa that with interest rates already at record lows, the Fed has had to deploy other means to strengthen the economy, such as buying bonds.The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 100.51 points to 13,157.97.The Nasdaq composite index was 16.39 points higher to 3,069.79 while the S&P 500 index rose 9.05 points to 1,411.13.The Fed has been in focus after minutes released Wednesday from the Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting showed bankers favoured more stimulus.But doubts about Fed intentions grew Thursday after St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank president James Bullard said the minutes from the Aug. 1 meeting were stale because the economy had picked up since then.Adding to uncertainty was Chicago Fed president Charles Evans, who said Thursday the Fed should take action to bolster the economy.The durable goods report added to the debate over whether the U.S. economic recovery has weakened to a point where the Federal Reserve will launch another round of stimulus measures.Commodities were lower and the energy sector led advances, up 0.41% as the October crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange slipped 12 cents to US$96.15 a barrel. Petrominerales Ltd. was ahead 40 cents to $9.84 while Talisman Energy improved 29 cents to $13.56.The financials rose 0.35% with Royal Bank ahead 44 cents to $53.73 and Manulife Financial up 10 cents to $10.96.The TSX base metals component led losers, down 0.91% as copper eased a penny to US$3.48 a pound following a 12-cent jump over the last three sessions. Inmet Mininggave back $1.32 to $45.16 while Sherritt International lost 16 cents to $4.56.Techs were weak as Research In Motion Ltd. gave back 15 cents to $6.88.The gold sector fell about 0.22% while bullion added a dime to Thursday’s US$32 rise, closing at US$1,672.90 an ounce. Iamgold Corp. faded 14 cents to $12.98.A three month rally on the TSX looked frayed by Friday with the main index up a slight 0.16% for the week. But the TSX is up 6.6% from the lows of early June.Markets have been supported this month after European Central Bank president Mario Draghi pledged to do whatever was necessary to protect the euro currency by lowering borrowing costs for vulnerable members such as Spain. Traders had hoped this would be backed up by definitive measures at the ECB’s next interest rate meeting Sept. 6.But bank officials say that Draghi may wait until Germany’s Constitutional Court rules on the legality of Europe’s permanent bailout fund before announcing any new measures to buy government bonds.The court is set to rule on Sept. 12.Traders also digested a report from Reuters that the European Central Bank was considering yield targets in a bond-buying program. There were also fresh questions about how the European Central Bank plans to decisively deal with the eurozone debt crisis.Also, the German Finance Ministry confirmed for the first time that a scenario involving a Greek exit from the eurozone “and accompanying contagion firewalls are being examined.”The news came as Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras visited Berlin for talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.In corporate news, shares of Score Media Inc. jumped nearly 46.67% to $1.54 following reports that the specialty TV sports broadcaster was in discussions to be purchased by Rogers Communications.China National Offshore Oil Co. raised the takeover price for Calgary-based oil and gas giant Nexen Inc. twice before the $15.1-billion bid was ultimately accepted, according to an information circular sent to shareholders. Nexen shares dipped nine cents to $25.45.Eli Lilly’s potential Alzheimer’s disease treatment failed to slow mental decline in two late-stage studies, but combined data from both trials showed promising results in patients with mild-to-moderate cases of the mind-robbing disease. Its shares were up 3.44% to US$43.86.The Canadian Press
“The war has come to an end and more importantly there is no more a demand for a separate state,” he said.The LTTE had pushed for a separate state but Sampanthan says the demand was dropped even before the war ended. (Colombo Gazette) He said the Tamils hope the new Constitution which has been proposed, will resolve the National issue. Sampanthan said that the demand for a separate state resulted in a war which pushed the country backwards. Opposition leader and Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader R Sampanthan today insisted that there is no more a demand for a separate Tamil state in Sri Lanka.Speaking in Parliament today the TNA leader said that the Tamils have, during the recent elections, backed a political solution within the framework of a united and undivided and indivisible Sri Lanka.
He said that while efforts taken to boost tourism have shows results, the authorities cannot be complacent. The Prime Minister said that more remains to be done in the tourism sector. Despite the ‘Lonely Planet’ recognition of Sri Lanka as the best country in the world to visit in 2019, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today admitted that there are shortcomings which must be addressed.The Prime Minister said in a statement that since 2015, tourism was the top priority of the Government. Almost 10 years after the end of its civil war, Sri Lanka was named the best country in the world to visit in 2019 by Lonely Planet. Better transport links, new hotels and a growing number of activities were cited as the reason the south-Asian island was chosen for the top spot in the guidebook publisher ’s annual Best in Travel awards, the Guardian reported yesterday.“Already notable to intrepid travellers for its mix of religions and cultures, its timeless temples, its rich and accessible wildlife, its growing surf scene and its people who defy all odds by their welcome and friendliness after decades of civil conflict, this is a country revived,” says Lonely Planet author Ethan Gelber in the Best in Travel 2019 book, published yesterday. Tourist visits to Sri Lanka have increased dramatically since the end of the 26-year conflict, from 447,890 in 2009 to an all time high of 2.1 million last year, a figure the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority hopes to double by 2020.Renovations made to the rail system have opened up Jaffna and much of north for the first time since 1990 – an area that was previously considered too dangerous for tourists. The scenic rail routes in Sri Lanka are now widely thought to be some of the best in the world.Motorways have also been built as far south as Matara, and the number of domestic flight routes has increased in recent years, too: for instance, from the capital Colombo, on the west coast, to Batticaloa, on the opposite side of the island, in 45 minutes. (Colombo Gazette)
At the outset of its meeting this morning, the Assembly observed a minute of silence in memory of the late President, who died in Dhaka on 10 July at the age of 72.The current President of the General Assembly, Harri Holkeri of Finland, stressed that Mr. Choudhury had had a “long and very distinguished diplomatic career,” which included service as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1985 to 1988 as well as Ambassador of Bangladesh to various countries. “A Member of Parliament of Bangladesh for several years, he was the Speaker of the National Assembly at the time of his death,” Mr. Holkeri noted. “A skilful negotiator and diplomat, he will be remembered for his devotion to his country and to the ideals and principles of the United Nations.”Also addressing the gathering, UN Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette said Humayun Choudhury “was not only a wonderful envoy for his country and a fine Speaker of his country’s parliament; he was also a world citizen and a veteran of world diplomacy.” She added that “during a long and distinguished career, he not only witnessed history being made; he took part in making it happen.” “Our thoughts today go to his family and the Government and people of Bangladesh,” she said, offering condolences also on behalf of Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who is travelling in Europe. Speaking for Bangladesh, the country’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury, described this morning’s tribute as “a genuine recognition of the lifelong achievements and endeavours of late Ambassador Choudhury, who had been a key figure in the arena of diplomacy and politics both national and internationally.”
OSU softball players during a game against Penn State on April 6 at Buckeye Field. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo EditorThe Ohio State softball team has another busy week ahead, beginning with a game against Dayton set for Wednesday at 6 p.m. After the Flyers, the Buckeyes are scheduled for three games against No. 1 Michigan from Friday to Sunday in what could be their toughest matchup of the season.The No. 24 Buckeyes (24-8-1, 9-1-1) have just under a month of regular-season play left before heading to the Big Ten tournament. Last weekend at Rutgers, OSU swept the Scarlet Knights in three games, continuing its five-game win streak.OSU coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly said she is eager to head into the second half of the season with a team that is building momentum.“What a fun week for us,” she said of last week’s sweeps of Rutgers and Penn State. “So we’re not really working on anything specific this week.”Scouting DaytonThe Flyers (17-14-1) have won seven of their last eight games, including a 2-1 series win at George Mason last weekend. The team is ranked second in the Atlantic 10 Conference, in which it claimed the No. 1 spot in 2015 with a 39-14 overall record.At the plate, Dayton is led by junior Gabrielle Snyder, who is hitting .412 with 10 extra-base hits. The Flyers’ highest individual RBI total is 11, shared by freshman Lisa Tassi and junior Katie Ryan. Nine Buckeyes best this figure, as they have 215 RBIs to their opponents’ 118. Dayton’s roster has combined for 79 RBIs this season, while OSU redshirt junior Alex Bayne has 43 alone.The Flyers are boasting the Atlantic 10’s reigning pitcher of the week in sophomore Manda Cash. The left-hander pitched two shutouts last week, including a career-high 13 strikeouts in seven innings on Saturday. While Cash’s ERA is 1.51, Snyder’s falls at an impressive 1.29 with a 6-1 record.OSU junior Shelby Hursh continues to lead OSU’s pitching staff with 105 strikeouts and a 12-3 record. Hursh pitched her second career no-hitter in the team’s first game against Penn State on April 6.“I’d still like to cut down on my walks,” Hursh said, noting her 72 walks. “It’s still a testament to my defense though when I walk a lot of hitters and they still can’t put up any runs.”Fellow junior Lena Springer made her mark with a shutout against Rutgers last weekend, which brought her career ERA to 2.73.“It has been a very interesting season with the pitching staff. Each has found their moment to shine, and we have relied on them in so many different situations,” Schoenly said. “I’m hoping for them to continue to shut down batters.”Monitoring MichiganHeading into its rivalry matchup against the Buckeyes, Michigan (29-4, 7-2) has claimed the No. 1 spot in both the USA Today and ESPN polls. Despite this title, the Wolverines, who have had 38 consecutive winning seasons, are ranked third in the Big Ten standings behind Minnesota and OSU.In the conference, Michigan, Schoenly’s alma mater, leads in team batting, pitching and fielding percentages as it ventures into a midweek matchup against Michigan State.The Wolverines’ offense is the crown jewel of the Big Ten, boasting the top three conference hitters: senior Sierra Romero, junior Sierra Lawrence and sophomore Tera Blanco.Romero, who has earned two Big Ten Player of the Week honors so far this season, is hitting .500 with 55 RBIs, 12 home runs and a .989 slugging percentage.The senior infielder, a member of the 2015 United States Women’s National Team, was named Big Ten Player of the Year in 2013 and 2014, along with being a first-team All-American the past two seasons. She also holds program records for all-time runs scored, home runs, RBIs, slugging percentage, batting average and grand slams. She owns single-season records in runs scored, home runs, RBIs and batting average, too. Michigan is outhitting its opponents .364 to .204, with six players hitting above .350. The team has collected 261 RBIs, while holding its opponents to only 84.In the circle, the Wolverines rely on two pitchers, junior Megan Betsa and redshirt senior Sara Driesenga. The right-handed duo has struck out 218 batters and only given up 69 earned runs in 45 appearances.Driesenga, a two-time first-team All-Big Ten selection who missed most of last season with an injury, currently holds a perfect 14-0 record on the mound. Blanco, on the other hand, has pitched 25.1 innings with 22 strikeouts in 2016 but spends most of her time at first base.Swinging for the fencesEleven Buckeyes have hit home runs so far this season, led by Bayne with 17. Schoenly said that her hitters are feeling good and expressed her confidence in their continued success at the plate, especially Bayne.OSU junior Alex Bayne (2) is welcomed by her teammates at home plate after hitting a homerun during a game against Penn State on April 6 at Buckeye Field. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo Editor“Bayne is within two home runs of the Ohio State home runs record, and there have been some unbelievable hitters in this program in the past,” Schoenly said. “I’m most proud of her for keeping a consistent approach at the plate.”Bayne was named Big Ten Player of the Week on Monday, making her the second OSU player after senior Erika Leonard to earn the honor this season. Over the last five games, she hit .579 with a slugging percentage of 1.368.Another player who Schoenly lauded was freshman Emily Clark, who has now taken on a full-time starting role at second base.“I think she really gained her confidence when she started playing every day. She definitely packs power in her swing,” Schoenly said.The second baseman hit .429 last week, and three of her four home runs on the year were recorded in the series against Rutgers. On the season, she has a .606 slugging percentage, which is third highest on the team behind Bayne and senior catcher Cammi Prantl.“(Clark) had those kind of numbers this fall and we had high expectations for her, so we are glad she’s more comfortable,” Schoenly said. “I think it comes down to her being aggressive at the plate.”Coming upAfter the Wolverines, OSU is scheduled to face another nonconference opponent when it heads to Ohio University for a doubleheader on Tuesday, with an expected first pitch at 4 p.m. After the Bobcats, the Buckeyes are set to continue their Big Ten schedule with a home series with Purdue from April 22 to 24.“This time of the year is a grind, and we’re feeling confident right now,” Schoenly said. “We want to ride that wave.”
Ohio State redshirt junior forward Keita Bates-Diop (33) embraces head coach Chris Holtmann on senior night prior to the start of the game against Rutgers on Feb. 20. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo Editor
Tuesday 13 Jun 2017, 6:15 AM Share44 Tweet Email1 Leo Varadkar and Enda Kenny 7,928 Views 40 Comments IT’S BEEN THE Leo and Simon Show over the last few weeks, but in the coming days it will very much be the Leo and Enda Show.After months of speculation about when Taoiseach Enda Kenny would step aside, he finally made his intentions known last month when he stepped down as Fine Gael leader.With a new Fine Gael leader now in place, the time has come for Kenny to move on from the office of Taoiseach.It’s expected that Kenny will announce his resignation as Taoiseach in the Dáil chamber today, clearing the way for Leo Varadkar to be nominated for the position tomorrow.So, how’s it all going to play out? It’s understood that Kenny will address the Dáil chamber, formally confirming his resignation.Leaders from other parties and other TDs may well make contributions (be they good or bad) and wish Kenny well on his next endeavour.Most likely, normal business of the day will be suspended and adjourned until the next day.Kenny will then go to Áras an Uachtaráin to meet President Michael D Higgins and ask him to accept his resignation.Last week, there had been speculation that Kenny would step down and Varadkar could be voted in, all in one day. But it’s understood that in order to give Kenny a good send-off today, the vote has been put off till the next day.Therefore all the platitudes and congratulatory speeches on Kenny’s tenure will take place today, before Varadkar’s big day tomorrow.On Wednesday, nominations for the next Taoiseach can be put forward. Due to the makeup of the Dáil, other parties can also put forward their own candidates if they wish (though they would never get the support). Leo Varadkar and Enda Kenny. Source: Sasko LazarovLast year, it took four votes for Enda Kenny to finally be made Taoiseach. With the Independent Alliance group already stating that they will support Leo Varadkar as Taoiseach, no surprises are expected and he should get enough votes to be elected the next Taoiseach of Ireland.Kenny made his Cabinet appointments known the same day he was made Taoiseach last year, but it is unclear if Varadkar will do so.He may announce his Cabinet reshuffle on Thursday, and even hold off on announcing the junior ministries until Friday, in order to drag the media coverage mileage.It’s really the new Taoiseach’s prerogative. We’ll just have to wait and see what Varadkar’s reign will bring.Read: Independent Alliance confirms it will support Leo Varadkar as Taoiseach>Read: Kenny raises Good Friday Agreement concerns with May over DUP deal> Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article By Christina Finn Leo Varadkar and Enda Kenny http://jrnl.ie/3440089 Enda Kenny is expected to resign as Taoiseach today It’s all about the Enda and Leo Show this week. Short URL Jun 13th 2017, 6:15 AM
Opera singer Panayiota Kalatzis hopes that her performance this Wednesday night will get her through to the finals of one of Australia’s most prestigious singing competitions. The 23 year old from Brisbane is one of 10 semi-finalists who will perform in the Australian Singing Competition at the Independent Theatre in North Sydney. Panayiota Kalatzis will perform Oh! Quand je dors by Franz Liszt, and Anne Boleyn by Libby Larsen from the song cycle The Last Words of the Wives of Henry the VIII. “I am really excited about this competition and have been studying really hard,” she says. “I have discovered a genuine love of atonal music and find the dramatic context of a song really drives my performance.” Kalatzis’s keen interest in music began as a young child, when she took up singing lessons at her local primary school. This led her to perform in various local competitions including music festivals, eisteddfods, and the Paniyiri Brisbane Greek festival. She went on to study at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, performing in various productions including Mozart’s Die Zauberflote (2004), Ravel’s L’Enfant ET les Sortileges (2006), Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo (2007) and Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice (2007). In 2008 she played the role of Hermia in Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and later this year she will sing the role of the Israelite Woman in the Conservatorium’s operatic realisation of Handel’s oratorio Saul. The Australian Singing Competition awards the The Marianne Mathy Scholarship, established through a bequest made in the will of Marianne Mathy-Frisdane, a distinguished teacher who trained many Australian singers. In 1981, the Music Board of the Australia Council, along with the Trustees of Marianne Mathy Estate, created a scholarship honouring Marianne Mathy. If Kalatzis makes it through the semi-finals, she will perform in the finals concert at His Majesty’s Theatre, in Perth, in November. Booking enquiries for the Semi Finals Concert on Wednesday 2 September: www.theindependent.org.au or ph: (02) 9955 6580. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 08 Jul 2015 – Payments to British Atlantic Financial Services policy holders started last week and one report to Magnetic Media is that the customer in question received 25% of the cash value of their life insurance plan.It means the liquidation process is done and that, the forecast that the losses would be huge, by the Managing Director of the Financial Services Commission, Kevin Higgins was on point. BAFSL gave a vigorous fight in order to salvage the company, but Higgins told media: “Unfortunately because US interest rates went down so low the company was not able to meet the guaranteed interest rate given to policy holders.” It was said BAFSL was 6.2 million dollars in the red and at one point the PNP Administration had weighed in; asking for some leniency and proposing to bail out the indigenous company which was owned by the Methodist Church. Notices went out on Monday and policy holders have been streaming in to collect what is left of their savings after a liquidation process by PriceWaterhouseCoopers. We expect to have more on this in another newscast. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp IMF report gives warning and suggestion to refund insurance company clients Related Items:bafsl, fiancial services commission, liquidate, policy holders, pricewaterhousecoopers Surplus but no savior in PNP Administration for BAFSL Recommended for you
BATTLE GROUND — Any thoughts that a debate about proposed changes to Clark County government would sway public opinion were quashed Tuesday night at the Battle Ground Community Center, where partisans on both sides of the issue convened to bicker.The debate, jointly sponsored by Clark County Citizens United and the Clark County Farm Forestry Association, was ostensibly for the fence-sitters. But the majority of the attendees, roughly two dozen, came with firmly entrenched beliefs. The debate was between factions in favor of and opposed to a proposed home rule charter, represented by former county Commissioner Betty Sue Morris and Sheriff Garry Lucas, and those against, represented by Tracy Wilson and state Rep. Liz Pike, R-Camas. Pike, Wilson and Lucas, all Republicans, were also all freeholders, a 15-member board elected in November and tasked with drafting a new county charter. The new charter, completed in May, calls for sweeping changes to how county government would run, including the hiring of a county manager to oversee day-to-day operations and the addition of two new commissioners who, under the charter, would be called councilors. One of the new councilors would serve at-large.Although Wilson and Pike were freeholders, they voted against approving the charter. Clark County voters will have an opportunity to approve or reject it in November.
The Army will continue to focus on rebuilding readiness over the next four years, upgrading equipment, refurbishing stockpiles of munitions and bulking up its end strength. Already, the service has made tremendous strides in regaining past readiness levels, Lt. Gen. John Murray, deputy chief of staff for Army G8, said this week at an industry conference. The service is on track to add 7,500 active-duty soldiers this year and plans to increase its active forces by 4,000 personnel each of the next three years. By 2022 when officials believe the Army will reach its readiness goals, the service’s priority will shift to modernizing its weapons and equipment.At that point, the service will shift funding from readiness to modernization as officials prepare future budgets, reports Military.com. “I have commitment from the secretary and the undersecretary that, if we achieve that readiness rate, we will work the readiness accounts as we invest more into the modernization accounts,” Murray said.Photo by Spc. Patrick Kirby Dan Cohen AUTHOR
Lauren Oakes paddles to a research site in the West Chichagof-Yakobi Wilderness of Southeast Alaska. (Photo courtesy of Lauren Oakes)Scientists have known for a while why yellow cedar is dying across its range. Without a blanket of snow in the spring, the roots can freeze during cold snaps.Climate change has been linked to killing at least a million acres of trees across the Pacific Northwest. So one ecologist wondered, for the yellow cedar forests and the people who care about them, what comes after environmental loss?Lauren Oakes says a dead standing yellow cedar tree looks out of place, like a telephone pole on the landscape.Over time, the branches fall off. What you’re left with is a ghostly hull. It’s the kind of image that leaves an impression.“It made climate change that much more real to me,” Oakes said. “It often seems like it’s something future or far off or not affecting me yet.”Oakes is an ecologist, and she calls yellow cedar “the canary tree.” As in that old saying, “The canary in the coal mine” — a sign of impending danger. However, Oakes is quick to point out she doesn’t see yellow cedar’s fate as a doom-and-gloom story.“It is a story of loss. But it’s also a story of regrowth,” Oakes said.Yellow cedar is an iconic species that grows from the top of California all the way to Prince William Sound. It has been used for centuries by Indigenous carvers and weavers. And commercially, it’s some of the most valuable timber for harvest. But yellow cedar is declining across its range, and that decline is expected to continue. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering listing it as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act.Oakes says the science on why the decline is happening is pretty much settled: Warming is largely to blame. So, as part of her doctoral research, she traveled to Southeast Alaska with a different set of questions in mind: “How is the forest community changing in response to the death of these trees, and how might people be coping with those changes in their community?”That is, how could she still find hope in a forest that’s turning into a graveyard?To answer her first question — how the ecosystem itself is changing — Oakes set out to survey dead stands of yellow cedar across the region. A task she said was overwhelming because of the volume.But she found the forest was adjusting: New tree species were growing in the newly-opened understory, and shrubs were coming up that deer like to eat. Oakes said focusing on that regrowth gave her some hope.She also interviewed people affected by the loss and found they were adjusting, too. Oakes spoke to the late Tlingit weaver Teri Rofkar. During their conversations, Rofkar referred to yellow cedar as the “tree people.”She appears in this Rasmuson Foundation video from 2013, gathering materials outside for weaving.“So you look for an areas where there’s just moss starting to mature,” Rofkar explains.In the video, Rofkar is looking for spruce roots. She explained to Oakes she was using them more in her weaving as a substitute for yellow cedar.Rofkar thought yellow cedar could use “a break,” due to climate change.“She was someone who had a real emotional tie to these trees,” Oakes said. “(She) certainly talked of the grief she was experiencing. But it was also something that inspired her to not only share with others the importance of offering some restraint for these trees, themselves, but then educate others about climate change.”Like Oakes, other scientists are also starting to document more examples of environmental grief to understand how humans are adapting to a warming planet.Oakes said acknowledging a personal loss — in this case, a culturally valuable tree species — may lead to less apathy and potentially more individual action.It can spark a feeling of, “Wow, this is bigger than me. This is hitting home. How can I cope with that?”Oakes recently wrote a book about this feeling called “In Search of the Canary Tree,” which is about her time spent doing research on yellow cedar in Southeast Alaska.She said despite the tremendous loss, life is still growing. She thinks people can still change the narrative.
Senior Republican Congressman Steve Scalise was among several victims shot and wounded at a baseball practice ahead of an annual game between lawmakers in a Washington suburb, one of his colleagues said Thursday.Fellow Republican lawmaker Mo Brooks told CNN that Scalise was shot in the hip, adding that at least two law enforcement officers and one congressional staffer were shot in Alexandria, Virginia.Scalise, the majority whip who rallies Republican votes in the House of Representatives, “was not able to move on his own power. He was dragging his body from the second base infield to the outfield to get away from the shooter while all this firing was going on,” Brooks said.The suspect is “believed in custody,” ABC reported, according to Alexandria police. Majority Whip Steve Scalise and two Capitol Police officers were shot, according to multiple reports. A reporter from Fox News also tweeted that staffers were hit.
By CAROLINA VELLOSO, Capital News Service WASHINGTON – For the second time in as many years, the Supreme Court heard arguments on partisan redistricting cases from Maryland and North Carolina Tuesday, but it remains unclear whether a constitutional standard for regulating the practice will be issued.North Carolina’s entire congressional map is being contested, which is currently made up of 10 Republicans and three Democrats despite the state being almost evenly split politically.At issue in Maryland is the state’s 6th Congressional District. Democratic lawmakers are accused of moving Republican voters out of the district that covers most of the state’s rural Northwest and putting in large numbers of Democratic voters from the Washington suburbs in order to turn the district blue.In this Feb. 13, 2016 file photo, the Supreme Court building is seen Washington. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick, File)The justices seemed to be split evenly down philosophical lines, with the more liberal wing of the court encouraging the deliberation of a manageable standard to apply to future questions of gerrymandering, while the conservative wing seeming wary of intervening in a process left largely to the states.The question, said Chief Justice John Roberts, is whether “any partisanship that has a consequence is impermissible.”The conservative justices pointed out dozens of times that the Constitution does not require proportional representation — the idea that the percentage of seats awarded to any party should correspond with the percentage of votes it won in the states.Michael A. Kimberly, attorney for the voters challenging Maryland’s 6th District, said that proportional consideration should be considered when debating a possible constitutional standard. He argued that “it is a legitimate state interest to pursue proportional representation in redistricting.”Justice Samuel Alito wondered whether “the First Amendment might require or even tolerate the regulation of speech, and in this instance, the speech is the votes, for the purpose of providing a proportional representation of viewpoints.”The justices repeatedly asked counsel for the appellees for a test that would appropriately determine which cases of gerrymandering were so extremely partisan that they crossed a constitutional line.The conservative justices, however, did not seem to find a suitable measure that could determine when an innately political process became too political.“Is another way…of putting the test: I know it when I see it?” Justice Neil Gorsuch asked derisively.The court’s liberal justices pushed back, saying the problem of extreme partisan gerrymandering had gotten out of control and seemed willing to conceive of some sort of regulatory measure.Justice Elena Kagan characterized “the court leaving this all to professional politicians who have an interest in redistricting according to their own partisan interests” as “dramatically wrong.”Another concern expressed by the conservative justices was the possibility that the judicial branch would essentially become the arbiter of elections should the court get involved in setting a standard for redistricting.The gerrymandering of Maryland’s 6th District, which was at issue in Lamone v. Benisek, was unique in that the map in question had been put to a referendum and was approved by 64 percent of voters.Gorsuch still seemed hesitant to judicially intervene.“So, in effect, you are asking the court, no matter how good the referendum might be, no matter how much the people themselves might approve these lines, this court has to tell them it — it’s unconstitutional?” Gorsuch asked counsel for the appellees.Justice Stephen Breyer proposed a standard that would only catch the “extreme outliers,” so that not every single election would be judicially contested.“What I’m trying to do is to figure out if there’s a way to catch real outliers,” he said, so that it would not “lead to every election contested and throw it all to the judges instead of the people.“Breyer said he considers a scenario where a party wins a majority of the statewide vote but the minority party wins two-thirds of the state’s congressional seats to be “pretty extreme.”Breyer thus proposed a mathematical standard whereby congressional election results would be re-examined if one party won a majority of the statewide vote but one-third or less of the congressional seats.Steven M. Sullivan, the solicitor general of Maryland and representative of the appellant, seemed doubtful that a formula that would only catch extreme outliers for review is unrealistic.“If you’re concerned about limiting the Court’s intervention to the extreme circumstance,” he said, “you would not be limiting it to extreme. You would be saying ‘get ready, Arkansas, Kansas, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee.’”The court is expected to issue a decision on whether to keep the drawing of congressional district maps in the hands of the states by July.
49 years ago today (December 29th, 1967) one of the most iconic episodes of Star Trek (The Original) aired. The 44th episode that debuted in season two went through several forms until the final script and concept were decided on. The aptly named “Trouble with Tribbles” is a fan favorite and still is one of the most memorable episodes of the original series.The episode unfolds as the Enterprise the tasked with protecting a container of grain bound for Sherman’s Planet. As they crew arrives at the Deep Space Station K7, the Klingon’s control half of the Planet. And they don’t want to see any part that isn’t their’s successfully developed.Lt. Uhura meanwhile is enchanted by a purring tribble and has one gifted to her. Even Spock is taken by the tribble’s tranquil tons. But the tribbles begin reproducing and have other nefarious plans …to eat all the grain on board! Eventually, Kirk discovers that the grain has been poisoned.The production team made almost 500 tribbles for this episode; some were even made with beanbags and surgical balloons. They literally covered the entire station in them.As Bones says, “It is a human characteristic to love little animals.” Here are some of our favorite recreations of the crew and the adorable and destructive lil critters.View as: One Page Slides1. Commander Flowers2. Meghan Kirkpatrick3. Aiden R4. Naut Moon5. Hallaze6. Janey J7. Lee Sargent8. Malfey Vii9. Lee Draws Stuff10. Ella G11. Blatterbury12. Aanel D Flowright13. Olly Moss14. Rory B15. Annabel Doyle
Wells Fargo Home Lending’s EVP Brad Blackwell Announces Retirement After 17 years at Wells Fargo, Brad Blackwell, EVP, Housing Policy and Homeownership Growth Strategies at Wells Fargo Home Lending, has announced that he will retire, effective September 1, 2018.Blackwell leads the development and advocacy for housing policy and the development of strategies to increase homeownership in the U.S. at Wells Fargo. “My passion is helping minority and LMI families to become homeowners. In my remaining time at Wells, I will be working hard to increase our capability to serve these consumers,” Blackwell said in a social media post while announcing his retirement. “After that, I will be spending time with my two new grandchildren, traveling with the love of my life, and enjoying family and friends.”A veteran of the financial services industry, Blackwell was EVP, Portfolio Business Manager at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage until 2016, where he was responsible for building stronger capabilities to generate home equity and non-conforming mortgage loans for the bank.Blackwell’s passion for homeownership development in the country has resulted in Wells Fargo introducing new programs that promote diversity and inclusion not only within the bank but also towards its vendors and suppliers.Speaking to MReport for its June issue on Diversity, on the subject of Wells Fargo’s plans on supplier diversity, Blackwell said, “Wells Fargo is taking a leadership position within the banking industry by placing diverse supplier growth within its strategic business agenda. We establish aggressive spending goals with diverse suppliers, and each one of the CEO’s direct reports is accountable for delivering on the supplier diversity goals.” Over the past three years, Wells Fargo has added $300 million incremental diverse supplier spend and is investing over $1 million annually in programs designed to help a diverse business grow and scale.Though he’ll be retiring in September, Blackwell hinted at planning to continue his work to promote homeownership. “I’ll be back in the not-too-distant future to pursue my passions in some form or another,” he said in his post. Brad Blackwell Diversity Homeownership homes HOUSING 2018-05-14 Radhika Ojha Share in Daily Dose, Featured, Origination May 14, 2018 789 Views
What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Comments Share Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away “I hope,” Kolb said about being with the Cardinals. “Arizona would be a great place. I’ve obviously envisioned myself there.”It’s no surprise that Kolb has thought about what it would be to wear the No. 4 in Cardinal red, but hearing him admit that Arizona would be a ‘great place’ to live is music to some fans ears (although it’s probably poison to those fans who think the young quarterback will be a bust).Kolb won’t have much say in where the Eagles trade him. What he will have control over is if he re-signs with his new club at the end of the 2011 season. If the Cardinals really want the four-year veteran as their starter, his willingness to sign a contract extension will be just as important, if not more so, than what Philadelphia is asking for in exchange for him.After Kolb’s comments, a contract extension doesn’t seem like it would be an issue. That is unless when he envisioned himself in the Valley it was during the 100 degree summers rather than the 70 degree winters. That might change things a bit. Top Stories D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ It feels like we’ve heard from everyone about the Kevin Kolb to the Arizona Cardinals rumors over the last four months. While it’s nice to know what NFL analysts think and hear the coach speak from Ken Whisenhunt and Andy Reid in regards to the quarterback position, it’s even better to get it straight from the horse’s signal caller’s mouth.As a guest on the nationally syndicated Dan Patrick Show, Kevin Kolb revealed that it’s not just the Cards who are interested in seeing him in the desert, he’s actually thought about the possibility a lot himself.
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