A Canadian who was arrested in northern Thailand for spraying paint on an ancient wall says she’s sorry for what she did and terrified about what comes next.Brittney Schneider, 22, was in Chiang Mai last Thursday when she said she and some others got “ridiculously drunk.” They started to walk back to their hostel, but came across a bottle of spray paint and picked it up.“I came to as I finished writing the B and I stopped because I knew it was bad,” she said Tuesday in an email interview with The Canadian Press. “But it was already too late.”Security camera footage shows Schneider, who is from Grande Prairie, Alta., and Furlong Lee, 23, spraying paint on the walls of the Tha Pae Gate in the city of Chiang Mai.They have been charged with vandalizing registered ancient artifacts, which carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of one million baht ($40,000).Police said Lee, who is from Liverpool, England, admitted that he wrote “Scouser Lee” on the wall, while Schneider wrote the letter “B” underneath it.The 13th-century Tha Pae Gate is part of an ancient wall that forms a square around Chiang Mai’s inner city.After they sprayed the wall, they walked back to the hostel and went to sleep, Schneider said.“The next morning we woke up and were sitting beside the pool and I just remembered what we did and looked over to one of the guys from the night before and said, ‘OMG, we spray-painted a wall last night. I’m so scared we’re going to get in trouble.’”She said she had gone upstairs to her room to call a friend when a hostel employee knocked on her door and said there was an issue downstairs.“My heart dropped. I knew,” said Schneider. “I walked downstairs, opened the door and there were like seven police officers standing there.“They showed me a video and asked if it was me in the video spray-painting the wall. I said, ‘Yes, it was me.’”Schneider said they were arrested and taken to the police station where they spent the night before court.“The judge said we could face up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of $40,000,” she said. “We had the chance to get bail that day, but it was too late at home so I couldn’t get the bail. I spent three nights in prison and got bailed out yesterday.”Schneider said her mother and aunt have arrived in Chiang Mai and, while she’s thankful they’re there, she said she’s not OK mentally.“I’m terrified for my life. I’m so sorry for what I did, beyond sorry,” she said.“I’m just so overwhelmed and just want to go home.”
TORONTO — A ticket holder in British Columbia won Friday night’s $25.9 million dollar Lotto Max jackpot.The exact location where the winning ticket was purchased was not immediately revealed.The jackpot for the next Lotto Max draw on Mar. 1 will be approximately $10 million. The Canadian Press
APTN National NewsClothing giant The Gap has found itself in hot water after the release of a T-Shirt with a term normally used in relation to the genocide of Native Americans in the 19th Century.The company is now facing an online storm and calls for boycotts until the shirt design is removed from shelves.Artist Steven Judd made his own version of the “Manifest Destiny” T-shirt and he spoke to APTN National News from Oklahoma.
APTN National NewsA resolution at a meeting of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) is calling on the RCMP to look into a number of charged comments on Facebook associated with a toddler who was killed in Edmonton.The Facebook user, Allison Wiese, posted three comments on the page of Global News including this one; “I’m so glad this baby didn’t get a chance to breed we have enough natives in Regina.”Reaction on the social network site was immediate and the issue found its way into a resolution at the AMC.“We’re not going to sweep this under the rug anymore,” said AMC Grand Chief Derek Nepinak. “We as Indigenous people have a responsibility to stand up against racism and we’re calling on a broader Canadian society to stand up against racism because it’s been a significant detriment to a peaceful society.”On social media, people are calling it a fake account – something that Nepinak said doesn’t matter.“If it is a fake account that’s fine,” said Nepinak. “A fake account is still being actioned by somebody and behind that fake account exits a human being who is strongly demonstrating hatred against our people … and that person needs to be helped on some level but they also need to be held accountable.”Anthony Raine is the 19-month-old who was murdered in Edmonton.His body was discovered Friday on the grounds of the Good Shepherds Anglican church.His father, Joseph Crier, 26, and his girlfriend, Tasha Mack, 25, have been charged with second-degree murder.According to police, the toddler died from blunt force trauma to the email@example.com
There will be a Photo Booth and a DJ for the dance and other prizes to be won.Free tickets can be picked up at;-Party Town in Fort St John-The Taylor Hub in TaylorTo view the FB Event Page; CLICK HERETo view the Phoenix Volunteer Club FB Page; CLICK HERE TAYLOR, B.C. – The Phoenix Volunteer Club is hosting their 2nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day, Free Family Dinner and Dance to say thank you and give back to the community.Friday, March 8th from 5 pm – 9 pm at the Taylor Community Hall, there will be prizes for best dressed in St. Patrick’s themed outfit.Hot dogs and hamburgers will be served for dinner, with pop, water and coffee to drink.
Rabat – In conformity with the instructions of King Mohammed VI and as part of Morocco’s active solidarity with the brotherly African countries, Morocco sent Tuesday to flood-hit Burkina Faso its first batch of humanitarian aid.A plane carrying the first batch of humanitarian aid granted by Morocco, which includes 16 tons of food, medicines and blankets, arrived in Burkina Faso on Tuesday.Five other planes carrying a total of 80 tons of Humanitarian aid are expected to land at the Ouagadougou International Airport as of Wednesday, Morocco’s embassy in Burkina Faso told MAP. The kingdom’s support had been provided following a request from Burkina Faso’s government to ease the sufferings of victims of floods in the country.Morocco will deliver a total of 100 tons of humanitarian aid to Burkina Faso, including food, medicines and blankets.Floods caused by torrential rainstorms in Burkina Faso affected thousands of people in the country.
“The best way to avoid even deeper [economic] crises consists in rebuilding world financial and economic governance,” Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci told the General Assembly’s annual session.He added: “A governance which leaves less room for the hazards of the market and speculation, a governance that would ensure equitable representation for developing countries, both in adopting new regulations and in managing the financial institutions of the 21st century.”Mr. Medelci stressed that the fall-out from the world economic crises is felt more severely in the countries that are the most deprived, particularly in Africa, and he called on the international community to abide by its commitments with regard to official development assistance and to adopt additional measures to allow these countries at least to approach, if not to reach, the anti-poverty Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by their 2015 deadline.On specific issues he proposed a debt moratorium for those developing countries which are facing difficulties and improved access for their produce to the markets of the industrialized world. He underscored the need for a reinforced UN role in protecting biodiversity in developing countries and promoting north-south cooperation and called increased assistance to developing countries, especially in Africa, to combat climate change, including technology transfers and financial flow. 27 September 2010Algeria today called for reform of the world economic system, including debt relief for developing countries, a reinforced United Nations role in protecting biodiversity, and full international engagement in combating climate change.
He also told the officials to appoint a special investigation team to look into the allegations leveled by some section of the society regarding the deforestation taking place in the Puttalam and Mannar districts.The President also said that this investigation team should comprise officials of the Ministry of Environment, Department of Forest Conservation and the Department of Wildlife Conservation, representatives of the environmental organizations as well as the journalists. During the meeting the officials apprised the President that there is no forest degradation taking place in the Wilpaththu National Park. Some incidents emphasized by some media institutions and the environmental organizations are taking place beyond demarcated areas of the Wilpaththu National Park and those incidents taking place as a result of giving permission during the past regime in 2007 to resettle the people in those areas.Nevertheless, if any, illegal forest degradation occurred in those areas, the President instructed the officials to enforce the law against them and instructed the officials to implement a special program to identify land outside the forest areas for the purpose of Resettlement.The officials pointed out recently they have taken steps to take legal actions against two persons who are caught with equipment including a backhoe during a raid conducted on deforestation in Musali Divisional Secretariat Division in Mannar. The President gave these instructions during a special meeting with officials of the Ministry of Environment at the Presidential Secretariat, today. President Sirisena further instructed the officials to enforce the law against the persons who are responsible for the forest destruction irrespective of their social status. He further said that he will request the Judicial Service Commission to fully implement the penalties and sentences within the existing laws against the deforestation and forest degradation. President Maithripala Sirisena has given instructions to the relevant authorities to issue a gazette notification declaring a larger Wildlife Reserve, including the surrounding forest area which is not under the purview of the Department of Wildlife, further expanding the forest area belonging to the Wilpattu National park.Furthermore, the President ordered the expeditious implementation of a programm to monitor the forest, including the Wilpattu National park with aerial monitoring utilizing the modern technology. Secretary to the President, P. B. Abeykoon, Mr. Udaya R. Senevirathne, Secretary Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment, Mr. R.M.D.B. Meegasmulla, Secretary, Ministry of Sustainable Development and Wildlife, Additional Secretary, L.J.M.G.C. Bandara, Mr. K.H. Muthukudaarachchi, Director General of Central Environmental Authority, Mr Manjula Amararathna, Deputy Director of Wild Life Conservation and other officials participated at this meeting.
by Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press Posted May 31, 2016 6:49 am MDT Last Updated May 31, 2016 at 11:33 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email WASHINGTON – Consumer spending surged in April by the largest amount in more than six years, led by a big jump in purchases of autos and other durable goods.Consumer spending rose 1 per cent last month after a flat reading in March, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. Incomes were up a solid 0.4 per cent, matching the March gain. Wages and salaries, the most important component of incomes, gained 0.5 per cent.The strong April showing for consumer spending, which accounts for 70 per cent of economic activity, is a good sign that the economy is performing notably better this quarter after nearly stalling out at the start of the year. Many economists believe the economy is growing at a 2.5 per cent rate, outpacing a 0.8 per cent gain in the first quarter.“American shoppers came racing back to the malls, auto shops and online stores in April,” said Sal Guatieri, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets.The April spending figure was the biggest one-month climb since a 1.3 per cent increase in August 2009.Meanwhile, the Conference Board reported Tuesday that its May confidence index fell to a reading of 92.6 from 94.7 in April. This stood in contrast to the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment survey, which rose in May to its highest reading in a year.Economists said that given the surge in consumer spending seen in April, they believed the Michigan survey was a more accurate reflection of how consumers are feeling at the moment.All major spending components showed solid gains in April, led by a 2.3 per cent surge in spending on durable goods such as autos. Spending on nondurable goods, such as clothing and food, expanded a solid 1.4 per cent, while spending on services such as rent payments and utility bills increased 0.6 per cent.An inflation gauge closely watched by the Federal Reserve showed prices are up 1.1 per cent over the past year. Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy costs, rose 1.6 per cent. Both measures are still below the Fed’s target of 2 per cent annual price increases, but they have ticked up in recent months.Fed Chair Janet Yellen said Friday that a hike in a key Fed interest rate would be appropriate in coming months if the economy keeps improving and inflation keeps moving toward the Fed’s 2 per cent goal. Yellen did not specify an exact date for what would be the Fed’s second rate hike, but many economists think it could come as soon as the Fed’s next meeting in June.The saving rate slipped to 5.4 per cent in April, down from 5.9 per cent in March, as spending outstripped income growth. FILE – In this Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, file photo, shoppers are shown in Miami. On Tuesday, May 31, 2016, the Commerce Department issues its April report on consumer spending, which accounts for roughly 70 percent of U.S. economic activity. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File) US consumer spending scores biggest jump in 6 years
“For the first time, we have noted that the Taliban had made a statement about a unilateral ceasefire to allow assistance to reach all the people of Afghanistan. This highlights the fact that there is an overall concern that humanitarian assistance needs to be provided for all the people of Afghanistan based on their needs alone,” said Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan, Mark Bowden, in a press briefing at UN Headquarters in New York.Mr. Bowden added that the ability to deliver assistance in Afghanistan has improved over the last year and added that it could be possibly continued even in the coming year. “This comes from a better recognition the international humanitarian law by all parties of the conflict. And that means that despite a difficult security situation, the ability to meet the needs of the population are there,” he added.Mr. Bowden noted that the rise in violence has been more noticeable since the handover of security from international forces to Afghan security forces.“The conflict is changing in nature, in the way it is being fought and the impact is primarily on civilian population […] also, there has been a change in control of areas. Twenty-three districts’ administrative centres in 2015 have at one time or another been captured compared to [only] three in 2014,” he stated, highlighting the differences in the level of conflict.Mr. Bowden, who is also the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Afghanistan, said that an estimated 6.3 million Afghans have been affected by the widespread conflicts and displacements that are occurring at a rapid pace with nearly 196,000 people fleeing their homes during the last year.He added that by the end of the year, an estimated 200,000 people would be displaced, marking a 64 per cent increase in that population from 2014.Afghanistan, Mr. Bowden continued, is plagued by many natural disasters, such as recurring floods that displace many people every year; and in 2015, the earthquake in Badakhshan province had added to the humanitarian burden.On a positive note, he reported that in the last year there was a reduction in the number of attacks against humanitarian workers, humanitarian organizations, schools and health centres.He also said that the international community responded well to the crisis in Afghanistan, with the current humanitarian assistance programme being funded up to 70 per cent, which is one the highest levels of response of the humanitarian appeal.Looking ahead to the coming year, the Deputy Special Representative said that one of the critical factors that would need to be addressed is to be able to respond to the spikes in humanitarian need, such as a surge in displacement.Citing the example of the recent attacks in Kunduz, Mr. Bowden said the UN had been able to provide non-food items and immediate support to the displaced due to availability of adequate contingency stocks and the financial mechanism to provide rapid assistance.“I think we will need to be prepared for the same sort of situation to occur in the coming year, which is why the common humanitarian fund is going to be a critical element of our response… [as it will be] the mechanism that will enable the humanitarian community to respond nimbly to meet the needs of any potentially large displacement that takes place,” said Mr. Bowden.Expressing concerns at the increasing migration out of Afghanistan, most notable in Europe, Mr. Bowden said most of those migrants are driven by economic circumstances in a country where the economy has shown no signs of growth. But it is also fuelled by continuous population displacement from the rural areas and urbanization, he added.He said the UN will be looking over the next year to address the migration issues, especially the number of returnees to Afghanistan.“Pakistan has 1.4 million undocumented Afghans there who are at risk of being returned. The capacity of Afghanistan to cope with that number or the numbers of returnees is quite limited,” Mr. Bowden concluded.
OSU junior H-back Curtis Samuel (4) celebrates as he scores a rushing touchdown in second overtime to win the game for the Buckeyes on Nov. 26 at Ohio Stadium. The Buckeyes won 30-27. Credit: Mason Swires | Assistant Photo EditorSix Ohio State Buckeyes were named to Associated Press All-American teams on Monday. Redshirt senior center Pat Elflein, junior H-back Curtis Samuel and redshirt sophomore safety Malik Hooker were named first-team All-Americans. Samuel was first-team all-purpose player.Junior linebacker Raekwon McMillan, redshirt junior guard Billy Price and senior punter Cam Johnston were named second-team All-Americans.Elflein was the leader of the OSU offensive line, and won the Rimington Award which is given to the nation’s best center. Elflein was also the Big Ten’s best offensive lineman.When OSU needed to make a play, Samuel was the guy to get the ball. He racked up 1,526 total offensive yards and scored 15 touchdowns, including the game-winner in double overtime against Michigan.Hooker was perhaps the biggest surprise star for the Buckeyes, breaking a school record for most interception returns for touchdowns and leading one of the nation’s best defenses with six interceptions. Hooker and Elflein were named to Sports Illustrated and Sporting News first-team All-American lists. McMillan and Price were also named to the second team on those lists. Samuel was not named to the Sports Illustrated first or second teams.
OSU senior guard Ameryst Alston (14) during a game against Illinois on Feb. 21 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Brooke Profitt | Lantern PhotographerThe postseason is upon the Ohio State women’s basketball team. It’s the time of the year that every team plays for. One loss is all it takes to dash a team’s desires. For OSU, that second season begins with the Big Ten tournament in Indianapolis at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse this weekend. No. 9 OSU enters the tournament hungry for wins and a chance to play for the hardware. The Buckeyes are the second seed in the tournament, which earns it a two-round bye. That rest could provide the Buckeyes a little bit of time to regroup after a tough end to their regular season.“We have a great opportunity heading to Indianapolis. It’s going to be a competitive tournament,” OSU coach Kevin McGuff said. “We had a tough week last week, but we control our destiny, and I think we can beat anybody that we are going to play if we have the right mindset and we really compete to win.” The Buckeyes are scheduled to kick off their tournament journey Friday night at 6:30 p.m. against the winner of a game between Rutgers and Nebraska. OSU beat both teams handily during the regular season.The contest between the Scarlet Knights and the Huskers is scheduled for Thursday evening, and the Buckeyes will have their eyes glued to the television to scout their two possible opponents.OSU is not satisfied with completing the regular season on a two-game losing streak, sophomore guard Kelsey Mitchell said. The Buckeyes first lost to Minnesota in overtime and then to Michigan State in triple overtime in the finale. However, Mitchell said they have put the past behind them and have been focused on the task at hand.“We didn’t have the week we wanted to have,” she said. “It’s just one of those things where we have to turn the page. We have to get back to how things were.”Rating RutgersRutgers enters the Big Ten tournament as the No. 10 seed with hope to prove itself to the rest of the conference. Coming off a 72-50 win over Michigan, the Scarlet Knights have a lot of confidence. They lean on senior forward Kahleah Copper, who averages 17.3 points per game and earned second-team All-Big Ten honors. Against the Buckeyes, Copper scored 19 points in the first meeting and 18 the second. The Philadelphia native is known for her ability to drive to the basket and finish with authority. Copper’s counterpart is junior guard Tyler Scaife, who was also selected to the All-Big Ten second team. The speedy Scaife averages 17.6 points per game and has had OSU’s number this season, putting up 27 points when visiting Columbus earlier in the year. When OSU traveled to Piscataway, New Jersey, a couple of weeks later, Scaife contributed 13 points and four assists. If Rutgers is the team OSU plays on Friday, the Buckeyes will likely put their focus on stopping Copper and Scaife in order to come out on top.Nebraska notesNebraska is full of standout players who could potentially give the Buckeyes trouble if the Cornhuskers defeat Rutgers on Thursday. The No. 7 seed enters the tournament on the heels of a 76-67 victory over Northwestern on Sunday afternoon.Nebraska forward Jessica Shepard was awarded Big Ten Freshman of the Year, as she averaged 19.5 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-4 forward is adept at scoring down low and has proven to be one of the top post players in the conference throughout the course of the season. Last time out against the Buckeyes, Shepard dropped 20 points, all of which came inside the paint. All-Big TenOn Monday night, the Big Ten announced its all-conference teams, and four Buckeyes were chosen.Joining Mitchell, a unanimous selection, on the first-team is senior guard Ameryst Alston.Alston is No. 7 in scoring in the Big Ten with 19.5 points per game, while also being tied for 10th in the Big Ten in assists with 3.9 dimes per game.“I appreciate that award,” Alston said. “It’s not something that we really pay attention to, but I am grateful that I was chosen.”The second-team All-Big Ten squad included junior forward Shayla Cooper and sophomore forward Alexa Hart. Hart was also named to the All-Big Ten defensive team. She has been the defensive anchor for the Buckeyes this season, swatting away 2.6 shots per game. Despite the individual accolades that they receive, McGuff said his team is more focused on winning games.“They are into the team stuff and they want the team to do well, and that’s what makes them great kids and great players,” McGuff said.The Buckeyes will look to have a productive Thursday prior to hopping on the bus to Indianapolis. If they win Friday, the tournament semifinal is set for the next day.
The normally resolute Urban Meyer paused, carefully considering the ramifications of the next few words to come out of his mouth. His Buckeyes had just dispatched their most hated rival, Michigan, 26-21 in Meyer’s first taste of The Game to complete an undefeated season. No ties, no losses, the Buckeyes record stood at 12-0, but now the coach, staff and players were forced to face what they had been putting off all year. Due to NCAA sanctions dating back to infractions committed under former coach Jim Tressel’s tenure, there would be no postseason for Meyer’s Buckeyes. No conference championship game – the Big Ten Leaders Division would send a 7-5 Wisconsin team in OSU’s place – no BCS bowl bid and certainly no national championship game. The question that had been asked all year could no longer be sidestepped with “We’re just focusing on the next game,” or “We’ll worry about that at the end of the year.” No, the time had finally come for an answer, and even then Meyer didn’t seem completely sure how to phrase his response. If OSU is the last unbeaten team at the end of this season, should Ohio State be No. 1 in the Associated Press Poll? “Just trying to picture the headline here,” Meyer said after his long pause. “You know, I don’t know enough to – I think we’re at this point – like I said, the quote I’d like out there is I think this team could play and compete with any team in the United States of America as of now. I didn’t say that several weeks ago because we couldn’t. I understand, but I’m not going to get into the what if’s and can’t control what you can’t control.” What Meyer can’t control is the perception of his team and the conference it plays in, and right now that perception is that the Buckeyes had a relatively easy road to an unblemished record – especially with no bowl game to use as a final measuring stick. The Buckeyes are ranked No. 4 in the latest edition of the AP poll, which is a collection of 60 sportswriters from across the country that rate what they believe are the best 25 teams in America. Ranked ahead of the Buckeyes are, in order, Notre Dame, Alabama and Georgia. Out of that group, only Notre Dame is undefeated and Alabama and Georgia each have one loss. Seventeen voters ranked OSU as the No. 2 team in the country, and 24 voters ranked the Buckeyes fifth or worst, with the lowest ranking being No. 12. Pete DiPrimio, an AP voter who covers college football for the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel in Fort Wayne, Ind., ranked the Buckeyes No. 11 in his poll, the second lowest of any voter. “They had a fairly weak non-conference schedule and the Big Ten this season is, maybe, historically weak,” DiPrimio told The Lantern. “Now, if there is a playoff, life is different, but there’s not … Through no fault of their own they haven’t beaten any top-10 caliber team, not even close.” OSU’s players, who were muzzled from talking about the issue throughout the season, weren’t as hesitant as their coach to express where they think the team fits into the national picture. “Yeah I think we should be No. 1,” said junior running back Carlos Hyde. “I feel like we’re the best team in the nation, so yeah, I feel like we should be No. 1 at the end of the season.” Hyde wasn’t alone in his opinion. Redshirt senior receiver Jake Stoneburner, redshirt senior linebacker Etienne Sabino and junior receiver Corey Brown also said they believed OSU should be at least considered for the No. 1 ranking if they are the only undefeated team at the end of the season. More players probably share that opinion as only about a dozen players were made available to speak to the media after the game. But no matter how the rest of the season pans out, the Buckeyes’ chances at being crowned national champions are slim, maybe impossible. “I just don’t think it’s going to happen,” said Joe Walljasper, the sports editor of the Columbia Daily Tribune in Columbia, Mo., who ranked OSU No. 6 in his rankings. “I think there’s too many teams between them and not enough of the right teams could possibly lose.” Clearly, the players on OSU’s team believe their resume is better than the AP voters think it is. The Buckeyes beat two teams currently ranked in the top 25 this season in No. 14 Nebraska and No. 21 Michigan compared to Georgia, which has beaten one (No. 4 Florida), and Alabama, who’s beaten two (No. 6 LSU and No. 21 Michigan). Notre Dame has beaten three (No. 8 Stanford, No. 12 Oklahoma and No. 21 Michigan). Not playing a team ranked in the top-10 in or out of conference is something holding some voters back. “It’s not like (OSU is) playing in the WAC or something,” Walljasper said. “Normally between Michigan, Wisconsin, Nebraska you’d have a top-10 team in there and you just don’t this year.” OSU beat seven bowl-eligible teams (including 8-win Penn State) compared to Notre Dame’s nine, Alabama’s five and Georgia’s four. Georgia and Alabama play next Saturday in the SEC Championship with the winner presumably going to play Notre Dame in the BCS Championship Game. Many fans have taken issue with Georgia being ranked ahead of the Buckeyes because the Bulldogs suffered a 28-point loss to South Carolina. “They played an SEC schedule,” DiPrimio said of his reasoning. “An average SEC team this year is stronger than most of the Big Ten. I think Georgia gets credit for its SEC schedule.” Walljasper said OSU would probably lose “two or three games” in the SEC. Though the players believe otherwise, they’re satisfied with their accomplishments. “Hey, we’re 12-0. That’s all I can say,” Sabino said. “People can talk what they want. (There are) a whole bunch of what-if’s now. I know we took care of what we had to do. We set out to win every single game this year and that’s what we did. It wasn’t pretty but it happened. We’re happy.”
GERMANY GOES TO the polls on the 22nd of this month. Don’t stop reading just yet. It’s hard enough to get interested in our own elections never mind paying attention to elections in other countries. But what happens in the German elections matters to all of us. And in Ireland we are guaranteed to feel the impact of the outcome.One of the key points of interest for Ireland and Germany is Germany’s low wage economy.Germany is the EUs largest economy. It retains an AAA rating with the markets and had a trade surplus of over €200 billion last year. It’s in good shape. But despite all these positive market indicators, much of the German workforce is trapped in a low wage economy.This low wage economy is putting economic pressure on other member States.An unfair economic advantageGermany has no national minimum wage and therefore has an unfair economic advantage against its fellow EU member States. Clearly, this goes against the principles of the EU. And clearly, this ought to be against the rules.According to the German Federal Employment Agency almost 30 per cent of the German workforce earns less than €9.50. Lithuania is the only country within the EU with a higher percentage of low paid workers.Low-wage employment is not evenly spread across the population; low wages are concentrated among migrant workers who are earning significantly less than their German counterparts.In addition, German laws encourage the creation of “mini-jobs” where the employee will receive €450 per month. These have become very popular with German employers.These “mini-jobs” were introduced – and excused – in the 1990s at a time when the German economy was in the doldrums. Yet the “McJobs”- as they have been nicknamed – continue to exist at a time when Germany can boast a huge trade surplus and a lower unemployment rate than the EU average.So why is the question of whether Germany has a minimum wage and a low wage economy important for Ireland?Although it is offensive to think that in the largest economy in Europe people are being paid wages as low as €3 an hour, this isn’t just a question of social solidarity.Producing goods at a significantly cheaper rateThere is also the matter of economic self-interest. German policy gives it an undue and unfair advantage over Ireland and other member States who have national minimum wages. It allows Germany to produce certain goods at a significantly cheaper rate than other EU member states. A lower cost of labour translates into lower prices than would be profitable for companies based outside Germany.This process is called “social dumping” and it distorts trade unfairly in favour of the low wage economy.In recent years we in Ireland have heard a lot from the bigger EU countries about how there needs to be a level playing field in the EU when it comes to corporate tax rates. Ireland should not be shy about calling for a change in Germany’s labour laws and wage levels. The current inequality in wage laws presents a much more imminent and powerful obstacle to achieving a level economic playing field in Europe.Ireland would not be on its own if we did call for change. The Belgian government has made a formal complaint to the EU Commission about Germany’s low wages. The complaint was triggered by Belgian abattoirs who were being threatened with closure due to cheap German imports being dumped in Belgium. In Belgium abattoir workers are paid a minimum of €12 an hour compared to between €3 and €4 for migrant workers in German abattoirs.In February, the German steel conglomerate ThyssenKrupp announced the closure of one of its Spanish plants, not because it was undergoing economic, financial or production-related difficulties, but because it wished to transfer production of the type of steel coils made there to two plants in Germany where the wages could be lower. Spanish MEPs have raised the issue in parliament and called for action from the Commission.Worries about the negative economic impactThe Commission itself has also started to express worries about the negative economic impact Germany’s labour policies and wage levels are having on other EU member States. The Commissioner for Social Affairs, László Andor, has called on Germany to raise it wage levels and reverse its export strategies.Even in Germany the issue is now a live one. The current leader of the opposition Peer Steinbrück is committed to introducing a national minimum wage if he is elected. He recently challenged Chancellor Angela Merkel on the issue during a televised election debate.Ireland needs to give its support to these voices.This isn’t just a case of sour grapes from one hard pressed EU country looking over the fence at its thriving neighbour. The German policy of maintaining low wages and subsidising exports into EU member States is destabilising to the EU economy. It represents a real threat both to economic growth and EU social cohesion.Germany is having its cake and eating it at a time when across the EU other member States are having to make hard and painful choices about fiscal policy.Solidarity is supposed to be one of the key tenets that binds the EU together.Germany has not been slow to remind Ireland and other EU countries of same in recent times. It’s time for Germany to heed their own message.Tiernan Brady is an MA in International Relations and one of the directors of GLEN –The Gay and Lesbian Equality Network. He is writing in his personal capacity.
WeWork cofounder Rebekah Neumann, cousin of Gwyneth Paltrow, reportedly demanded employees be fired within minutes of meeting them because she disliked their ‘energy’ No, the UFOs or ‘unidentified aerial phenomena’ in those grainy Navy videos probably aren’t aliens Tesla trolls Porsche with a new Supercharger at the Nürburgring where a modified Model S beat the Porsche Taycan’s lap time by 20 seconds (TSLA) exposure to contaminants;exposure to disease and infection;exposure to hazardous conditions; exposure to radiation;risk of minor burns, cuts, bites, and stings;and time spent sitting, since studies show that frequent inactivity shortens your lifespan.O*NET scores these factors on a scale from 0 to 100, with a higher score indicating an increased health risk. The countdown:15. Refuse and Recyclable Material CollectorsWhat they do: Collect and dump refuse and recyclable materials into trucks.Top three health risks: Exposure to contaminants: 97Time spent sitting: 69Exposure to disease and infections: 63Overall unhealthiness score: 5514. Nuclear Equipment Operation TechniciansWhat they do: Operate equipment used for the release, control, or utilisation of nuclear energy to assist scientists in laboratory or production activities.Top three health risks:Exposure to radiation: 89Exposure to hazardous conditions: 77Exposure to contaminants: 65Overall unhealthiness score: 55.213. Medical, Clinical and Cardiovascular TechniciansWhat they do: Perform complex medical laboratory tests for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease.Top three health risks:Exposure to disease and infection: 96Exposure to hazardous conditions: 69Exposure to contaminants: 68Overall unhealthiness score: 55.312. Airline Pilots, Co-Pilots and Flight EngineersImage: Martin Rickett/PA Archive/Press Association ImagesWhat they do: Pilot and navigate the flight of fixed-wing, multi-engine aircraft, usually on scheduled air carrier routes, for the transport of passengers and cargo.Top three health risks:Time spent sitting: 93Exposure to radiation: 73Exposure to contaminants: 68Overall unhealthiness score: 55.711. Derrick OperatorsWhat they do: Rig derrick equipment and operate pumps to circulate mud through a drill hole in the oil and gas sector.Top three health risks:Exposure to contaminants: 100Exposure to burns, cuts, bites and stings: 93Exposure to hazardous conditions: 91Overall unhealthiness score: 5610. Surgical TechnologistsImage: ABC What they do: Assist in operations, under the supervision of surgeons, registered nurses, or other surgical personnel.Top three health risks:Exposure to disease and infections: 82Exposure to contaminants: 81Exposure to hazardous conditions: 59Overall unhealthiness score: 57.39. Stationary Engineers and Boiler OperatorsWhat they do: Operate or maintain stationary engines, boilers, or other mechanical equipment to provide utilities for buildings or industrial processes.Top three health risks:Exposure to contaminants: 99Exposure to hazardous conditions: 89Exposure to burns, cuts, bites and stings: 84Overall unhealthiness score: 57.78. Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System OperatorsImage: Brian Lawless/PA Wire/Press Association ImagesWhat they do: Operate or control an entire process or system of machines, often through the use of control boards, to transfer or treat water or wastewater.Top three health risks:Exposure to contaminants: 97Exposure to hazardous conditions: 80Exposure to burns, cuts, bites and stings: 74Overall unhealthiness score: 58.27. Immigration and Customs InspectorsWhat they do: Investigate and inspect people, common carriers, goods, and merchandise to detect violations of immigration and customs laws and regulations.Top three health risks:Exposure to contaminants: 78Exposure to disease and infections: 63Exposure to radiation: 62Overall unhealthiness score: 59.36. PodiatristsImage: Podiatry/Shutterstock What they do: Diagnose and treat diseases and deformities of the human foot.Top three health risks:Exposure to disease and infections: 87Exposure to radiation: 69Time spent sitting: 61Overall unhealthiness score: 60.25. Veterinarians What they do: Diagnose, treat, or research diseases and injuries of animals and perform medical tests in a laboratory environment for use in the treatment and diagnosis of diseases in animals.Top three health risks:Exposure to disease and infections: 81Exposure to burns, cuts, bites and stings: 75Exposure to contaminants: 74Overall unhealthiness score: 60.34. AnesthesiologistsWhat they do: Administer anesthetic or sedation during medical procedures, using local, intravenous, spinal, or caudal methods or administer anesthetic, adjuvant or accessory drugs under the direction of an anesthesiologist.Top three health risks:Exposure to disease and infections: 94Exposure to contaminants: 79Exposure to radiation: 71.8Overall unhealthiness score: 61.83. Flight AttendantsAir Stewardesses of British Overseas Airways Corporation in 1946. (Image: General/Topham Picturepoint/Press Association Images)What they do: Provide personal services to ensure the safety, security, and comfort of airline passengers during flight. Greet passengers, verify tickets, explain use of safety equipment and serve food or beverages.Top three health risks:Exposure to contaminants: 88Exposure to disease and infections: 77Exposure to minor burns, cuts, bites or stings: 69Overall unhealthiness score: 62.32. Dentists and Dental HygienistsWhat they do: Examine, diagnose, and treat diseases, injuries and malformations of teeth and gums. May treat diseases of nerve, pulp and other dental tissues affecting oral hygiene and retention of teeth. May fit dental appliances or provide preventive care.Top three health risks:Exposure to disease and infections: 87.8Exposure to contaminants: 76.2Time Spent sitting: 73.6Overall unhealthiness score: 62.91. Histotechnologists(YouTube: TheHistoTube)What they do: Prepare histologic slides from tissue sections for microscopic examination and diagnosis by pathologists.Top three health risks:Exposure to hazardous conditions: 94Exposure to contaminants: 91Exposure to disease and infections: 75Overall unhealthiness score: 63.8.Read: 8 strange jobs you’ve never heard of Pompeo inadvertently admitted the Iran crisis is a ‘direct result’ of Trump’s actions INTRINSICALLY, SOME JOBS have more health risks than others.A nurse working in a hospital is far more likely to catch an infectious disease than a lawyer working in an office.To rank the most unhealthy jobs in America, Business Insider used data from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET), a US Department of Labor database full of detailed information on occupations.In order to analyse jobs by their impact on workers’ health, authors Andy Kiersz and Max Nisen took O*NET measures of six health risks in each of the 974 occupations in the database:
The Incident is an iPad game that’s a throwback to 8-bit games of the eighties, but the game’s developer, Big Bucket software, thinks you shouldn’t play games on your iPhone and iPad separately. That’s why the developer is offering a sneak peak into the beta version of their game The Incident v1.3. The game uses the iPad as a screen and an iPhone or iPod touch as a wireless controller by pairing the two devices together. The latest version of the game being worked on enhances this ability by bringing the game’s menus to the controller. Also, the game’s artwork has been widened for a specific purpose.The folks at Big Bucket have made it so that the game can be played on a widescreen television. Developers have connected the iPad to the television using an Apple iPad Dock Connector to VGA Adapter, though they plan to also test the setup using an Apple Component AV Cable before release.The Incident puts players in the inconceivable plight of avoiding a rain of objects as they pummel down on you from the heavens. Rather than just avoiding items, which include vehicles, instruments and appliances, you also must use the pile the items are creating on the ground to climb up. Climb up to what you may ask? Why, the source of The Incident which gives the game its name.The game is available for download from the App Store for only $1.99. Since there is only one version of the game, regardless of platform, you need only buy the game once to play it on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. That’s a pretty sweet deal, especially since when version 1.3 comes out you will get the update for free.Read more at the Big Bucket Software Blog and at the game’s website.If you’re interested in how the developers had to change the game to make it look good on a television be sure to check out their latest blog entry.
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Yet another warning against Greece has come from Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu who said that if the dispute with Greece over the Aegean Sea is not resolved soon, “there is another option”.“Are we going to solve this problem with Greece via diplomacy or are we going to go to court? For us there is another option,” he stressed.“If the national assembly and the state considers that option as well, then it will be a unilateral option,” he told Turkish lawmakers during a briefing of the House budget committee, Kathimerini reports.It is not the first time Mr Cavusoglu has mentioned “casus belli” one way or the other, promising that Ankara will resort to desperate measures if Greece extends its territorial waters in the Aegean from 6 to 12 nautical miles.When asked whether Turkey has forfeited islands to Greece after the Imia incident back in 1996 he said that “there have been no de facto or legal changes on any island”.
WASHINGTON — A draft Republican bill replacing President Barack Obama’s health care law would end its Medicaid expansion, scrap fines on people not buying insurance and eliminate taxes on the medical industry and higher earners.Instead, it would create tax credits worth up to $4,000, allow bigger contributions to personal health savings accounts and impose a new levy on expensive health coverage some employees get at work.The 105-page measure largely tracks talking points that House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., unveiled last summer and a similar outline that GOP leaders recently gave lawmakers. The document is 2 weeks old, and GOP aides said it is subject to change.Still, it provides some new details of Republican thinking and reaffirms others, such as blocking federal payments to Planned Parenthood for a year.It also shows Republicans have begun translating their ideas into legislative language, even as they continue their seven-year struggle to unify their party behind a bill repealing Obama’s 2010 overhaul.Though just a preliminary document, the package drew quick criticism from Democrats.“This isn’t a replacement, it’s a recipe for disaster,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. He said it would “put insurance companies back in charge” while boosting health care costs for millions and kicking millions of others off their plans.
As many as 60 Clark County youth who seem headed for trouble — dropping out of school, failing to find work — will benefit from a $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor that aims to help them stay in school or earn equivalency diplomas while also building construction skills.Six local nonprofit agencies will share the “YouthBuild” grant: the Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council, Partners in Careers, Innovative Services NW, Evergreen Habitat for Humanity, the Vancouver Housing Authority and WorkSource.“Youth unemployment is high in our region, and these funds will enable us to provide opportunities for youth to complete their high school education while learning construction and other skills,” said Jeanne Bennett, CEO of the Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council, the lead agency in managing the grant. “We anticipate a need for additional construction workers in the near future and this program will give our youth the training they need to compete for these jobs.”Classroom studies, onsite work experience and community service activities will help at least 45 and perhaps as many as 60 disadvantaged Clark County youth, ages 17 to 21, complete their high school graduation requirements and earn a diploma or a General Educational Development certificate.At the same time, they’ll be able to serve apprenticeships and earn industry certifications in the construction trades. Some participants may even be able to get “transitional” housing via the Vancouver Housing Authority.“We may be working with youth who are potentially aging out of the foster care system — in which case they may need a place to live,” said SWWDC spokeswoman Julie Maglione. “If we have individuals in need of housing, we have a partner who can help.”
The Meredith Corporation is set to launch a print version of its popular Allrecipies.com brand. The magazine is being rolled out as a bi-monthly publication and is slated to unveil a test run in August and will officially debut in mid-November with its December issue. In addition to print, Allrecipes is also entering the television space with a branded segment tied into Meredith’s The Better Show, which airs on the Hallmark Channel. Meredith is looking to buck the trend of print magazines moving into digital-only publishing by going the opposite direction. “We believe in multi-platform publishing and delivery,” says Tom Witschi, executive vice president of Meredith’s Women’s Lifestyle Group. “We are very good at print and have had a lot of success with it, and it was clear from our testing that this was going to be very well received,” he adds. “Our feeling is that it will be brand buying across platforms. I can’t predict exactly when it’s going to happen, but on the selling side you’re seeing more sellers capable of selling multiplatform offerings, and on the buying side you’re increasingly seeing buyers and marketers interested in strong brands and the many different platforms they offer,” Witschi says. Witschi implies that a major opportunity for Meredith here is that the trend of packaging media sales into silos is slowly shifting towards an all-in cross-platform approach, which is good for strong brands that may want to jump onto new platforms. Allrecipes reports that its site receives an average of 30 million monthly unique visitors. Not only that, but it has more than 7 million registered users, and more than 5 million email newsletter subscribers. The magazine, on the other hand, will be rolled out with a guaranteed rate base of 500,000, however Witschi expects that to be a temporary figure. “We will be aggressively increasing that over time, our intention is to grow very quickly,” he says.