Two more bodies were recovered, while three people remained missing on the second day of rescue operation in Leh’s avalanche-hit Khardung La Pass, located at an altitude of 18,380 ft.“After two days of rescue operations, seven bodies have been recovered. Three remain missing, for whom the rescue will resume at the first light on Sunday. The seven bodies are being airlifted to Zanskar on Sunday morning so that they can be handed over to their families,” deputy commissioner of Leh, Avny Lavasa, told The Hindu. The rescue was called off on Friday evening due to inclement weather and was resumed on Saturday morning. High-tech gadgets, including human detectors, and sniffer dogs were used to trace the civilians buried under snow, said an official.Five locals killed in the avalanche were working as porters with the Army. Two vehicles carrying 10 civilians were swept away and buried under the avalanche of approximately 20 ft depth and 800 m length which hit the Khardung La Top-South Pullu stretch on the world’s highest motorable road on Friday morning. The rescue is being jointly carried out by the State police, the Army and the State Disaster Response Force. It is likely to enter a difficult phase on Sunday as the meteorological department forecast more snow in Kashmir and Ladakh in the next three days and possibility of more avalanches in the upper reaches.Fresh avalanche warnings Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan on Saturday issued avalanche warning for nine avalanche-prone districts of Kashmir division.“The warning has been issued for the avalanche-prone areas of district Anantnag, Kulgam, Budgam, Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Kargil and Leh,” said Mr. Khan.People living in areas were advised “not to venture out to avoid the loss of lives”.“Deputy Commissioner are asked to take all the precautionary measures and to keep the SDRF, police and para-medical staff with ambulances in readiness to avert any untoward incident,” said Mr. Khan.
The Defence Ministry on Saturday denied reports of an Army jawan being abducted by militants from his home in central Kashmir’s Budgam district, saying he is “safe”.The family of Mohammad Yaseen, who is posted with the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JAKLI) Regiment, had on Friday informed the police that some people came to their house at Qazipora Chadoora in Budgam and took him away.Mr. Yaseen was on leave. However, a Defence spokesperson on Saturday said the reports of the abduction of the jawan were incorrect.“Clarification. Media reports of the abduction of a serving Army soldier on leave from Qazipora, Chadoora, Budgam are incorrect. Individual is safe. Speculations may please be avoided,” the spokesperson said in a tweet.An Army official said they are trying to ascertain where the jawan had been on Friday night which prompted his family to approach the police.
Napoli coach Ancelotti delighted for matchwinner Milikby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveNapoli coach Carlo Ancelotti was pleased with their 1-0 win over Cagliari.Arkadiusz Milik struck late to earn the points for Napoli.“He is a smart guy, who is able to deal with various situations in a balanced manner,” Ancelotti told Sky Sport Italia.“The Liverpool defeat was a heavy blow, but the reaction had already come a long time before this evening. I didn’t need to win at Cagliari to know this team had already shaken off the Anfield game.“This is a team with good prospects and we are doing very well, but in my view can do far better. We are very competitive. We were in the Champions League, we are in Serie A and will be in the Europa League.“I share the project with the club, so this is a structure that doesn’t let itself be influenced by one victory or defeat. We can really do well here.” About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say
Real Madrid convinced Levy faces having to sell Spurs ace Eriksenby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveReal Madrid are convinced they can prise Christian Eriksen away from Tottenham in 2019.AS says Real management believe the Dane’s decision to suspend new contract talks has handed them an advantage in their battle of wills with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy.With Eriksen’s deal due to expire in 2020, this summer represents the best time for Levy to sell – a situation even manager Mauricio Pochettino recognises is now becoming reality.”Of course he is an important player and as coach you want to have him with you, but in the end it is a negotiation and there are different parties that have different interests, it would be great if he stays here, but, if not, it is in your right to do what you want,” said the Argentine.For their part, Real are prioritising Eriksen as the player to succeed veteran Luka Modric as their prime playmaker. TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say
Maguire tells Man Utd fans: Goals coming soonby Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the loveHarry Maguire is confident he’ll break his Manchester United scoring duck. The summer signing has yet to score in six Premier League appearances for United. Speaking ahead of Monday’s clash with Arsenal, Maguire said: “I see myself as a threat.”I’ve had a couple of headers this year up to now and I’m sure to get on the end of many more crosses and create chances in the box. It’s something I take pride in as I work on it on the training pitch. “I like to say I’ll chip in with some goals to help the team out in terms of getting some good results.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say
Speaking at the St. Mary Agricultural Show at Gray’s Inn Sports complex, Annotto Bay, St. Mary, on Monday (April 2), Mr. Shaw said more investments from Jamaicans are needed in the agricultural sector, “so that we can ensure food security and decrease our importation to satisfy the demands of our local market”. New Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, has reiterated calls for Jamaicans to invest more in farming on idle lands across the island. New Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, has reiterated calls for Jamaicans to invest more in farming on idle lands across the island.Speaking at the St. Mary Agricultural Show at Gray’s Inn Sports complex, Annotto Bay, St. Mary, on Monday (April 2), Mr. Shaw said more investments from Jamaicans are needed in the agricultural sector, “so that we can ensure food security and decrease our importation to satisfy the demands of our local market”.“In Jamaica, we are too blessed with so many acres of idle lands. We have got to put them into production,” the Minister emphasised.“I am tired to see idle lands [of which] a lot was in sugar, and all over the world, sugar is a declining business, but even in sugar, we can rationalise our sugar lands and make them produce more efficiently while we make other lands available for use,” he added.The Minister pointed out that numerous hectares of idle lands already have irrigation, which investors will not have to worry about before planting.“Plenty of the idle lands are between St. Catherine and Clarendon. There are 18,000 hectares that are idle, and 70 per cent already has irrigation,” he noted.Mr. Shaw also called on more Jamaicans to set up small gardens in their back yards, as is done in other developed and developing nations.“Last week, I went to a conference in Argentina in a place called Mendoza, and when I was flying across the South American continent (Colombia, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina), all I could see is production. Everywhere, something was being produced, whether grapes or corn…Where you don’t see crops growing, you see cattle. When I fly over Jamaica, I am tired to see idle lands,” he said.The Minister pointed out that countries such as Guatemala, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic export a lot of fresh vegetables and processed foods to the United States, and Jamaica needs to do more of this.Mr. Shaw said since he has been working in the capacity of Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, he has been impressed by the interest, involvement and initiatives of youth in agriculture.“I’ve seen so much initiative and enterprise. I’ve seen so many young entrepreneurs who are committed to doing something and devising new products from our locally produced material, and this is how we are going to move in Jamaica, from poverty to prosperity,” he said.The St. Mary Agricultural Show was being held for the 32nd year, under the theme ‘Climate Smart Agriculture, the Key to Food Security’.Annually, the event is hosted to bring farmers from the parish of St. Mary, neighbouring parishes and other stakeholders together, where ideas for innovation are shared, along with the introduction of new technology, which they can incorporate in their practice. “I am tired to see idle lands [of which] a lot was in sugar, and all over the world, sugar is a declining business, but even in sugar, we can rationalise our sugar lands and make them produce more efficiently while we make other lands available for use,” he added. Story Highlights
BERLIN – Chancellor Angela Merkel finally reached a deal Wednesday to form a new German coalition government, handing the powerful finance ministry to the country’s main centre-left party in an agreement aimed at ending months of political gridlock.The centre-left Social Democrats’ leaders now have one last major hurdle to overcome — winning their skeptical members’ approval of the deal.Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union, its Bavaria-only sister, the Christian Social Union, and the centre-left Social Democrats agreed after a grueling final 24 hours of negotiations on a 177-page deal that leads off with the promise of “a new awakening for Europe.”“I know that millions of citizens have been watching us closely on this long road over recent weeks,” Merkel said. “They had two justified demands of us: First, finally form a government — a stable government — and second, think … of people’s real needs and interests.”The coalition deal could be “the foundation of a good and stable government, which our country needs and many in the world expect of us,” she added.Germany has already broken its post-World War II record for the longest time between its latest election on Sept. 24 to the swearing-in of a new government. That is still at least several weeks away.Merkel currently leads a caretaker government, which isn’t in a position to launch major initiatives or play any significant role in the debate on the European Union’s future, led so far by French President Emmanuel Macron.A key role in the EU is particularly dear to Social Democrat leader Martin Schulz, a former European Parliament president.On Wednesday he declared that, with the coalition deal, Germany “will return to an active and leading role in the European Union.” The agreement states, among other things, that Germany is prepared to pay more into the EU budget.Before addressing Europe’s future, Schulz faces hard work at home.The coalition accord will be put to a ballot of the Social Democrats’ more than 460,000 members, a process that will take a few weeks. Germany’s highest court said Wednesday it had dismissed a series of complaints against the ballot.Many Social Democrats are skeptical after the party’s disastrous election result, which followed four years of serving as the junior partner to Merkel’s conservatives in a so-called “grand coalition.” The party’s youth wing vehemently opposes a repeat of that alliance.If Social Democrat members say no, the new coalition government can’t be formed. That would leave only an unprecedented minority government under Merkel or a new election as options.Schulz’s zigzag course in recent months has undermined his authority. He vowed to take the party into opposition on election night, but reversed course in November after Merkel’s efforts to build a coalition with two smaller parties collapsed.On the conservative side, Merkel needs only the approval of a party congress of her CDU, a far lower hurdle.“I am counting on convincing our members that we have negotiated a very good coalition agreement,” Schulz said.His party reached compromises on two key demands: curbing the use of temporary work contracts in larger companies and at least considering narrowing differences between Germany’s public and private health insurance systems.The Social Democrats are set to get the foreign, labour and finance ministries — the latter a major prize, held by Merkel’s CDU for the past eight years and an influential position given Germany’s status as the eurozone’s biggest economy. The interior ministry, also held by the CDU, would go to Bavaria’s CSU, which has pushed hard to curb the number of migrants entering Germany.Merkel’s party would keep the defence ministry and get the economy and energy ministry, held by the Social Democrats in the outgoing government.One CDU lawmaker, Olav Gutting, wrote on Twitter: “Phew! At least we still have the chancellery!”Unconfirmed reports in German media said that Schulz plans to become foreign minister while the new finance minister and vice chancellor would be Olaf Scholz, Hamburg’s centre-left mayor.Schulz, according to the reports, would hand over his party’s leadership to Andrea Nahles, the head of its parliamentary group. After the election, Schulz had ruled out taking a Cabinet position under Merkel, and seeking a ministry could complicate his efforts to sell the deal to members.Merkel defended the carve-up of ministries.“Of course, after many years in which Wolfgang Schaeuble led the finance ministry and really was an institution, many find it difficult that we can no longer hold this ministry, and the same goes for the interior ministry,” she said. “But we have important jobs. We have the economy ministry for the first time in decades.”She dismissed suggestions that Social Democrat-led ministries would force her to open Germany’s purse wider for Macron’s European reform proposals than she would like.“Regardless of whether a ministry is led by the Social Democrats or the (Christian Democratic) Union, you can only spend the money you have,” Merkel said. “To be honest, I’m not at all worried.”If the coalition comes together, the nationalist Alternative for Germany will be the biggest opposition party. Co-leader Alexander Gauland criticized the deal, particularly the possibility of deeper European financial integration.“You ask yourself why Mr. Macron doesn’t just move into the chancellery,” he said.___Coalition agreement (in German): https://tinyurl.com/y8zpyxq9___David Rising contributed to this report.
SOREL-TRACEY, Que. – The Bel Group says it will spend $87 million to build a factory to produce Mini Babybel cheese snacks in Quebec at its first Canadian plant.The cheese snacks, which are encased in red wax, are currently imported.The project will create 170 jobs between the plant in Sorel-Tracy and Bel Canada’s Montreal head office.The new plant is expected to begin commercial production in early 2020 and use Canadian milk.It will be built on a site adjacent to Laiterie Chalifoux.The Bel Group has 12,700 employees in some 30 subsidiaries around the world.
MONTREAL – Cogeco Communications Inc. says its earnings fell by about 15 per cent in the third quarter, primarily due to asset impairment and financial charges.The Montreal-based company said after the markets closed Wednesday that its quarterly profit was $64.5 million, down from $76.2 million in the same period of fiscal 2017.Cogeco said that was primarily due to increases in depreciation and financial costs, which were partly offset by a decrease of income taxes and other factors.Revenues increased 12.7 per cent to $637.1 million, driven primarily by 44 per cent growth in the U.S. broadband sector. Revenues held stable in the Canadian Internet services sector.Earnings per share in the quarter were $1.24, compared with $1.55 a year ago.The company also announced a quarterly dividend of $0.475 per share.Cogeco, the parent company, said it posted a gain of $70.1 million in the quarter, down from $82.1 million in the same quarter last year while revenues grew by about 11 per cent to $668.9 million.Cogeco announced last month that its subsidiary, Cogeco Connexion, had acquired 10 spectrum licenses of 2500 megahertz in non-metropolitan areas of Ontario, from Kian Telecom, for $8 million.In May, Cogeco Connexion successfully bid for 23 spectrum licenses of 2500 and 2300 megahertz primarily in its Ontario and Quebec wireline footprints for $24.3 million.The cost of these licenses will be recorded in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018.“Overall we are satisfied with our performance for the third quarter of fiscal 2018,” said Cogeco Communications president and CEO Louis Audet.“Results at Cogeco Connexion have remained stable compared to the third quarter of fiscal 2017, despite the fact that our Canadian broadband services subsidiary implemented a new advanced customer management system and had consequently temporarily reduced its marketing and sales activities.”Audet also said the positive results in the company’s American broadband services are in line with expectations following the acquisition of the MetroCast cable systems in January.“We are now ready to launch TiVo and Internet speed upgrades to these customers,” he said.Companies in this story: (TSX:CCA)
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Two students from the Energetic Learning Campus (ELC) are going to host a mini music clinic at Margaret Ma Murray Community School.Aurora Fredericks and Jay-Cee Siemens as part of their school’s community project wanted to make a positive impact on the community.Fredericks and Siemens decided to host a mini music clinic at Ma Murray for grades 4-5 students from all schools in the Fort St. John school district on Saturday, June 8th.The student team will teach how to play the recorder, by playing games and playing fun songs will help teach the young students to learn notes. Participants will learn to play the recorder, learning notes and a few songs.The event runs from 1 pm -5 pm and you are required to RSVP to attend the event by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
New Delhi: Sterlite Power Friday said it has signed an agreement for Pampa transmission project in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, entailing an investment of Rs 1,394.79 crore. “The agreement is for batch 13, won at energy transmission auction held by ANEEL ( Brazilian Electricity Regulatory Agency),” Sterlite Power said in a statement. Completion of the project is expected in March 2023, and signing of the pact represents an important milestone in the company’s evolution, it added. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalThe company however said it will ensure ahead of schedule delivery just like other projects in India. The project includes construction of three energy transmission lines totalling 316 km, two substations and 1,544 MVA transformation capacity, with annual allowed revenue of 74.72 million Brazilian real ( about Rs 133.98 crore) and an investment of 777.8 million Brazilian real (about Rs 1,394.79 crore). “Given the strong contractual framework, including long concession tenures (30 years) and inflation-protected revenues (which help lower the forex risk), the Brazil market presents us with a clear vision to implement projects in a time bound manner. We hope to replicate our successes in India in Brazil too,” said Ved Mani Tiwari, CEO – Global Infrastructure Business, Sterlite Power. Sterlite Power develops power transmission infrastructure and has projects exceeding 12,500 km in circuits and 20,500 MVA in India and Brazil.
FIFA President Joseph Blatter probably figured he’d be hearing a question from the press about Uruguay’s World Cup status during his visit to Costa Rica on Thursday. When the time came to make the address, Blatter turned toward the president of the Costa Rican Football Federation, and smirked.“Do you all think that Uruguay will be punished?” Blatter asked the media Thursday afternoon. “No Uruguay will play in the World Cup, and will be in your group.”Speculation arose earlier this week that the Uruguayan squad — who Costa Rica plays in its World Cup opener on June 14 — could be disqualified from the tournament due to a dispute between Uruguay’s president and the Uruguayan Football Association about fan violence and stadium security. On Monday, the entire board of the football association resigned. Then Uruguayan newspapers began publishing stories about how President José Mujica’s squabbling with the board could be seen as government “interference with football affairs,” an offense that could lead to sanctions from FIFA.But Blatter quashed the possibility (hope?) that the 2010 semifinalists would be taken out of Group D — a fierce group that also includes European powerhouses England and Italy in addition to Costa Rica and Uruguay. He said that in the morning FIFA received a report that the government was adopting measures to guarantee security in the stadiums.“The problem of Uruguayan football is resolved,” Blatter said.Blatter is in Costa Rica for the Under-17 Women’s World Cup final Friday. During a press conference at the Hotel Real InterContinental in Escazú, Blatter touched on a range of FIFA-related topics. He jested about Costa Rica’s “easy” World Cup group that features three former World Cup champions. He pledged that Brazil 2014 will be a grand tournament despite setbacks regarding stadium construction.The FIFA president chose not to comment on the blizzard game between Costa Rica and the United States that took place last year, and still appears to strike a nerve with Costa Rica supporters. He said the issue is in the past, and both teams should be pleased about qualifying for Brazil 2014. Blatter also declared his satisfaction with Costa Rica’s hosting duties during this current World Cup.“Costa Rica showed the quality that makes up women’s football,” Blatter said. “As for hospitality, it was exemplary. The 15 other teams that participated depart receiving exceptional treatment in Costa Rica.”Japan and Spain will meet in the Under-17 Women’s World Cup final on at 5 p.m. Friday in the National Stadium. Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rica’s first World Cup opponent Uruguay could lose spot in the tournament Uruguay star Luis Suarez could miss Costa Rica match after knee operation Injured Uruguay star Suárez in camp; England crushes Peru; key Italian player breaks leg Against the odds, Costa Rica plot 1990 repeat in Brazil
Fancy spending days sunning yourself beside a 5-star swimming pool in a luxurious hotel? Escape the cold winter weather and take a peek at these poolside paradises. And don’t just dream, find your perfect plunge on Skyscanner Hotels.For many of us, the hotel swimming pool plays a big part in any holiday itinerary. From afternoons splashing around with the kids, to romantic couples cuddling up on sun loungers, the aquatic activities hotels offer can be the deciding factor when choosing holiday accomodation. Here are 16 swimming pools with stunning views to tempt you into a last-minute getaway or start planning next year’s summer hols.1. Santorini, GreeceWant traditional white-washed buildings, winding cobbled streets lined with pink blossom trees and guaranteed sunshine? Santorini, one of the Cyclades group of Greek islands offers all of this charming beauty. Enjoy it from the comfort of your own cliff-side swimming pool and stay put for dramatic sunset views. 9. Fajardo, Puerto RicoKnown as ‘the city that guards the sun of the Caribbean’ it may be a mouthful to say, but Puerto Rico promises lazy beach days and perfect pool weather. A territory of the US, this small paradise island is packed with Caribbean and South American charm, making it the perfect long haul holiday destination with a tropical twist. 3. Bangkok, ThailandThailand’s capital, Bangkok is famous for its frenetic streetlife, sidewalks filled with street food vendors, $5 massage salons and scooters whizzing through crowds of bewildered tourists and determined locals. Find a retreat away from the chaos and chill out in a rooftop swimming pool and enjoy views over this vibrant city’s skyline.Read more: Top 10 things to do in Thailand 2. MauritiusA firm favourite with honeymooners, Mauritius is the perfect place for lazing on pristine sandy beaches. Get plenty of selfie material and spend a day posing in one of the impressive infinity pools that hotels on the island offer. 10. The Côte d’Azur, FranceCheap red wine, delicious cheeses and plenty of small mountain villages to explore; the French Riviera is the perfect spot to go-slow and enjoy some cultured cuisine. Rent your own château for a fraction of the price with the Skyscanner hotel mobile app. Read more: 8 ways to explore the Côte d’Azur on a budget 14. Sentosa Island, SingaporeWhen you get sick of wandering around shopping malls and sipping cocktails in colonial hotels (as if!) then make sure you check out Sentosa Island. Singapore’s most popular tourist attraction and home to Universal Studios theme park, there’s plenty here to keep the kids, big and small, entertained.Read more: 10 best things to do in Singapore 13. MaldivesHead to the Equator and experience a small piece of paradise in the Maldives. With some of the best diving spots in the world, dive beneath the waves, or sit serenely on golden sands watching the world go by. However you fill your days, make sure you’ve got a luxury place to lay your head down without blowing the holiday budget with our hotel search tool. 5. Cancun, MexicoPool by day, party by night; that’s one way of experiencing the luxury hotel facilities and exciting nightlife in Cancun, often referred to as the Mexican Caribbean. Want to find the best bargain on hotels in this popular coastal resort? Check out Skyscanner’s hotel search. Click here to find out how to bag a bargain on the move with the Skyscanner hotels app, available for iOS and Android.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedThe Maldives: The ultimate luxury island escapeThe Maldives has a bit of a spectacular reputation – and it’s well-deserved. Jewel-coloured water, acres of creamy white beaches, a wind strong enough for windsurfing but not quite strong enough to muss up your hair…15 fabulous hotels in EnglandFrom arty boutiques to sprawling country manors; check out 15 of England’s finest hotels.All aboard: 8 of the world’s most amazing floating hotelsBe lulled to sleep by the sound of crashing waves, without staying in a cramped cruise ship cabin. If you’re after the riviera lifestyle book into the brand new OFF Seine in Paris recently launched on the famous Seine river. Start daydreaming about spending the night in one of these… 11. Dubai, United Arab EmiratesPopular with footballers’ wives and the rich and famous, you’re guaranteed 5-star luxury in Dubai. Rooftop or infinity, whichever type of swimming pool you prefer, find it for pennies with Skyscanner. 16. TunisiaLooking for a winter sun getaway? The small north African country of Tunisia enjoys balmy temperatures for most of the year. So if you’re desperate to leave the snow boots behind and get your poolside posing on, then a trip to Tunisia makes a great last-minute winter sun escape. 8. IsraelGet your fill of golden sands of a non-beach kind, and beautiful vistas, with a trip to the Negev Desert, which covers much of southern Israel. Check in to your very own oasis and find the perfect hotel pool to cool off in with our hotel search tool.Read more: 10 best things to do in Jerusalem – a local’s guide 6. Bodrum, TurkeyEscape to the southern shores of Turkey and the ancient city of Bodrum. Take it easy poolside in a luxury hotel, or scrub up in a traditional _hanam _or Turkish bath. Bag a bargain on accommodation in Bodrum with Skyscanner. 15. Koh Tao, ThailandThe tiny island of Koh Tao has long had a reputation for awesome scuba diving sites. Take the opportunity to spot triggerfish, turtles and clown fish. If you prefer your waters creature free, then check out one of the many luxury resorts springing up all over the island. 12. Bahia, BrazilCopacabana may be Brazil’s most famous beach, but Bahia has some stunning sandy stretches, without the jostling crowds. Alternatively, swap the seashore and stay in one of the area’s premiere hotels and eco-resorts, where you can enjoy the sunshine without the stress of fighting for a spot to throw down your beach towel. Read more: 7 best beaches in Brazil 4. Atlas Mountains, MoroccoStick you head above the clouds and go on an adventure, mountain climbing and rambling in the spectacular Atlas Mountains, Morocco. After a hard day sweating it out in the hills, head straight to the swimming pool to cool off in the midst of the mountains. 7. Halkidiki, GreeceFly to Greece’s second largest city, Thessaloniki, and head south to the peninsula of Halkidiki, famous for it’s beautiful beaches. Get some honey for your honey as a sweet souvenir, it’s the coastal town’s most famous produce.
Legislation also forgives outstanding debt State Rep. David Maturen today voted for a bipartisan legislative package to end driver responsibility fees on Oct. 1 and forgive all outstanding debt associated with the fees.Maturen, of Vicksburg, said he voted for the bills because too many families have been burdened with the senseless fees since they were put into place by a previous administration trying desperately to balance the budget.“It’s ridiculous to think that paying a fee – on top of court costs and fines – will do anything to improve someone’s driving skills,” Maturen said. “The fee schedule amounts to nothing more than a money grab to fill a budget shortfall nearly 15 years ago. The fees have caused hardships for families and cost many people their jobs when they had no source of transportation.”In addition to the fees ending on Oct. 1, Maturen said all associated debt will be forgiven at that time. The legislation also creates a grace period from enactment of the bill thorough Dec. 31 that enables them to get their driver’s licenses back without paying a $125 restoration fee. People on monthly payment plans will receive immediate forgiveness, and others may participate in workplace development training programs to regain their driver’s licenses prior to Oct. 1.The bills now go to the governor for consideration.##### Categories: Maturen News,News 14Feb Rep. Maturen votes to end punitive driver responsibility fees
SeaChange and TiVo have launched a joint solution targeting cable operators looking to launch advanced VOD services.The new Cardio solution comprises SeaChange’s interactive consumer electronics gateway software and servers that interface directly to TiVo’s user interface and set-top boxes including the Premiere, Premiere Q and Preview models. The solution supports platforms Cisco and Motorola.“Cardio improves upon a simple and hugely popular goal to give operators more choice in set-tops and subscriber experience while further leveraging their SeaChange video back office,” said Anthony Landamia, executive director, product management, SeaChange. “SeaChange and TiVo solved a fundamental challenge for operators who invested in VOD yet wanted to expand set-top options without disruption. Its capabilities will continue to evolve and support more devices and digital network vendors.”
(Click on image to enlarge) The CME’s Daily Delivery Report showed that only 24 gold and 3 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Wednesday. JPMorgan Chase stopped 22 of the gold contracts in its in-house [proprietary] trading account, and was the short/issuer on all three silver contracts. I thank California reader Jon De Weese for helping me out with these numbers again today. The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here. I was rather surprised to see that an authorized participant withdrew 96,586 troy ounces of gold from GLD yesterday. I don’t know what to make of that. And as of 9:45 a.m. EDT yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV. Since yesterday was Monday, there was a guaranteed sales report from the U.S. Mint. They reported selling 500 troy ounces of gold eagles, and 500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes. They also sold 850,000 silver eagles. The gold sales numbers from the mint for August continue to be shockingly low. A back-of-the-envelope calculation based on sales up to yesterday show that silver eagles are outselling gold eagles and gold buffaloes by 305 to 1 month-to-date. There was some gold movement on Friday within the Comex-approved depositories. They reported receiving 32,108 troy ounces, and shipped out 50,044 troy ounces. Virtually all of the gold shipped out came out of JPMorgan’s warehouse. The link to that activity is here. Friday was a busy day in silver as well, as 1,041,474 troy ounces were shipped in, and 1,12,187 troy ounces were shipped out the door to parts unknown. JPMorgan was not involved in Friday’s silver action at all. The link to that is here. I had to take an axe to my list of stories that I received from readers over the last three days, but I still have a lot more than I would like, and some of them had to wait for tomorrow’s column because there were so many. I hope you approve of the ones that are posted below. As of the [Tuesday] cut-off, JPMorgan was net long 23% of the COMEX gold futures market (once spreads are removed). On that same basis, JPMorgan is short 16% of the COMEX silver futures market. This is down substantially [from] the 40% net short position in COMEX silver that JPMorgan held a couple of years ago, but is still outrageously high and also qualifies as a short corner on the market. Whereas JPMorgan is likely decreasing its gold long corner on the market, it is increasing its silver short market corner. Our nation’s most important bank has two market corners going at the same time; all while the regulators pretend not to notice. – Silver analyst Ted Butler, 17 August 2013 As bad as the take-downs in all four precious metals were in Far East trading on their Monday morning, they pale into insignificance compared to what’s happening to silver as I write The Wrap. Starting at 1:45 p.m. in the very thinly traded Hong Kong market [1:45 a.m. in New York] on their Tuesday afternoon, JPMorgan’s high-frequency traders had the silver price down more than 70 cents in under fifteen minutes. The low print I saw was $22.32 spot. Here’s the screen shot I saved off the Kitco website shortly before 2 a.m. EDT. High-frequency traders had the silver price down more than 70 cents in under fifteen minutes The early Monday morning rally in gold in Far East trading got dealt with in the usual manner, and by the time that London opened for the day, gold was back below Friday’s closing price in New York. The smallish rally in London went nowhere, and it was all downhill from there, with the low tick of the day [$1,361.80 spot] coming minutes before 12 o’clock noon in New York. The high tick was in Far East trading at precisely 10 a.m. in Hong Kong trading, and it checked in around $1,385 spot. The subsequent rally off its New York low wasn’t allowed to get far, and gold closed at $1,365.60 spot, which was down $11.60 from Friday’s close. Volume was 135,000 contracts, with 48,000 of that amount coming in Far East and London trading. Despite the fact that silver only finished down pennies from Friday’s close, the silver stocks got it in the ear as well, as Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed down 3.07%. The dollar index closed on Friday at 81.28 and traded basically flat in a fairly tight range on Monday everywhere on Planet Earth, closing the day where it started at 81.28. Nothing to see here, folks. It was also pretty much the same story for platinum and palladium, and their respective lows also came at the 10 a.m. EDT London p.m. gold fix. Here are the charts, It was more or less that same chart pattern in silver, except there wasn’t much in the way of price action after London began to trade at 8 a.m. BST, which was 3 a.m. in New York. Silver’s low tick came at the London p.m. gold fix, and Kitco recorded that as $22.91 spot, and the high tick was around $23.70 at 11 a.m. in Hong Kong. Silver closed at $23.19 spot, down 6.5 cents from Friday’s close. Volume, net of August and September, was 36,000 contracts, and 16,000 of that came before New York opened at 8:20 a.m. EDT. As I said in my Saturday column, it’s a mug’s game trying to analyze the precious metal markets when JPMorgan et al are allowed to do what they wish, when they wish. As Ted Butler so correctly pointed out in his quote above, JPMorgan Chase has a long-side corner on the gold market and a short-side corner on the silver market. No one is going to stop them from doing whatever they want to, or have to do. And Peter Hambro can do no better than meekly blame the hedge funds. When is some mining executive, blessed with gonads of steel, or some other equivalent material, going to say what has to be said in the public press? You’d figure that with the likes of Eric Sprott and John Embry over at Sprott Asset Management shouting from the rooftops about this issue for years, and now joined rather guardedly by John Hathaway over at Tocqueville, that the gold and silver mining companies might step out from behind the skirts of their masters at the World Gold Council and The Silver Institute, and do what is right for their shareholders. Based on what I’ve witnessed over the past thirteen years, I have a feeling that we’re not going to see that day any time soon, if at all. Thus ends the lecture for the day. And as I hit the “send” button on today’s missive at 5:15 a.m. EDT, the gold price is back within four dollars of Monday’s close, but silver is still down a bit over 50 cents. Both platinum and palladium are still down a bit as well. Gold’s volume [all of it of the HFT variety] is within a chip shot of 50,000 contracts, and silver’s net volume is around 15,000 contracts. Not that it matters, but the dollar index dropped 20 basis points about half an hour after London opened. Today, at the 1:30 p.m. close of Comex trading, is the cut-off for this Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report and, hopefully, all of today’s trading data will be in it. I await the New York open with great interest. See you tomorrow. Despite the fact that the gold price was down in New York all day long, their associated shares rallied into the New York lunch hour, before heading south at the same rate they rallied. But a thoughtful seller showed up with an hour left in the trading day and sold the stocks down hard into the close. The HUI finished down 2.35%. Sponsor Advertisement Uranium Energy Corp. (NYSE MKT: UEC) is pleased to announce that the final authorization has been granted for production at its Goliad ISR Project in South Texas. As announced in previous press releases, the Company received all of the required authorizations from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, including an Aquifer Exemption which has now been granted concurrence from EPA Region 6. Amir Adnani, President and CEO, stated, “We are very pleased to have received this final authorization for initiating production at Goliad. Our geological and engineering teams have worked diligently toward achieving this major milestone and are to be truly commended. We are grateful to the EPA for its thorough reviews and for issuing this final concurrence. The Company’s near-term plan is to complete construction at the first production area at Goliad and to greatly increase the throughput of uranium at our centralized Hobson processing plant.” Please contact Investor Relations with questions or to request additional information, email@example.com.
We should be done to the downside in the precious metals Well, you don’t need me to tell you what happened in gold yesterday, as it’s pretty much self-evident from the Kitco chart posted below. After the HFT boyz hit the price at 7 a.m. GMT in London on their Friday morning, the price traded pretty flat until the Comex open—and then more short selling appeared, with gold hitting its low tick a minute or so after 9 a.m. in New York. The price retested that low shortly after 11 a.m. EDT—and then rallied until shortly before the Comex close—and then chopped sideways for the remainder of the Friday session. The CME Group recorded the high and low tick as $1,202.40 and $1,160.50 in the December contract, which is the new front month for gold. Gold finished the day at $1,172.90 spot, down $25.90 on the day—and well off its low. Net volume was over-the-moon at 275,000 contracts. Sponsor Advertisement It was more or less the same price chart for the silver equities—and Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index got creamed for 5.09 percent. The dollar index closed at 86.18 late on Thursday afternoon in New York—and then did nothing until around 12:35 p.m. in Hong Kong on their Friday afternoon. Then away it went to the upside in two separate rallies, with the second one starting at 8 a.m. in New York. The 87.11 high tick came about 11:15 a.m. in New York. By noon the index had sold off a bit—and from there it traded flat into the close. The index finished the day at 86.91—up another 75 basis points. After an up/down/up move that netted out to zero during early Far East trading, palladium also got hit at the Zurich open. From that low it rose quickly into positive territory—and rallied unevenly until shortly after 1 p.m. EDT—and from there it traded sideways for the remainder of the Friday session. Palladium finished up a very respectable 15 dollars on the day. The prices of both have very similar structures over that period of time, but look at the big difference in tonnages held. In gold, the tonnage held topped out at the very end of 2012—and has been falling ever since. Silver tonnage bottomed out just before mid-2012—and has been increasing ever since. You have to ask yourself why this is the case in silver—and who is depositing all this metal? Then there’s the record U.S. Silver Eagle/Canadian Maple Leaf demand so far this year in the face of a less-than-robust investor/retail market. I know this to be true, because I work in it three days a week. Ted Butler’s ‘Mr. Big’ has been buying every coin in sight and, once again you have to ask yourself why this is happening. Then there’s the “unblinking” long holders in the Managed Money category of the Disaggregated COT Report. Ted says that, at least in silver, they’ve been building this long position for a bit over a year now—and at the moment it’s a hair over 40,000 contracts, or 200 million ounces—something I mentioned in my COT commentary further up. But these “unblinking” long holders exist in all four precious metals in the Managed Money category—and one wonders how deep their pockets have to be to withstand the margin calls they must be getting. Once again the question—who are they and why are they doing it? Then there’s the little matter of the over-the-top and manic in/out movements in silver at the Comex-approved depositories for the last three and half years. And as I mentioned in my discussion of the HUI and Silver 7 charts, you have to wonder who was buying all the mining shares that have been falling off the table lately. As Ted Butler pointed out in his quote today, the stars appear to be all lined up to resolve these dichotomies—and maybe answer some of the questions asked—with a violent move to the upside, as the Comex table is set. The only thing missing is some sort of triggering event—and whatever it is, it will most likely be ugly. So we wait some more. That’s all I have for the day—and the week. See you on Tuesday. Here’s the 6-month dollar index chart—and looking at the price action vs. the RSI trace, I’d be hitting the bid at the open on Monday if I was long the U.S. dollar. Platinum’s price action on Friday was a mini version of what happened to gold and silver—and the low tick in that precious metal came after 9 a.m. EDT. From there it recovered a decent amount—and was only closed down 8 bucks on the day. The gold stocks gapped down 7.5 percent in the first few minutes of trading on Friday. They recovered a bit in the next half hour before chopping unsteadily sideways for the remainder of the day. The HUI finished down another 5.0 percent. Here’s Nick’s chart. It was more or less the same chart pattern in silver, although there was a bit of rally around the noon London silver fix. That all vanished, as the low tick of the day came minutes after the open of Comex trading. From that low, the silver price chopped unsteadily higher into the close. The high and low were recorded as $16.515 and $15.635 in the December contract, an intraday move of a bit over 5 percent, which is the second day in a row that sort of intraday move has occurred. Silver finished the Friday session at $16.175 spot, down 28.5 cents from Thursday’s close. Net volume was sky-high once again at 74,000 contracts, which was the same net volume as we had on Thursday. As you can tell, we’re back to being oversold in both these metals—and in crude oil, it appears that all attempts to break the price much below the $80/barrel mark haven’t been overly successful. I would suspect that we’ve seen an important bottom in the price of WTIC as well—as Ted Butler pointed out in his quote above. As I ponder the big silver deposit that was made in SLV yesterday, which I just stumbled upon before I started on this paragraph, I thought it might be worthwhile to take a look at the tonnages held vs. the share prices of both GLD and SLV over the last six years. Of course I thank Nick Laird for the charts. The HUI has lost almost 17 percent during the last three trading days of the week. I haven’t kept track of the loses for the silver equities, but I’m sure they’re of the same magnitude. However, one serious question you should be asking yourself at this point is who the buyers are that are scooping up all these shares that John Q. Public and the mutual funds are selling in a blind panic? Whoever they are, they have very deep pockets—and I would guess that they own a large chunk of the outstanding shares of most precious metal mining companies by now. If not that, then at least almost all of the ‘float’ in each one—and it will be interesting to see how willing they are to sell on the next rally, if they sell at all. The CME Daily Delivery Report for Day 2 of the November delivery month showed that zero gold and 3 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Tuesday. Nothing to see here. The CME Preliminary Report for the Friday trading session showed that November open interest in gold is down to 55 contracts—and silver’s November o.i. is sitting at 119 contracts, down 45 contracts from Thursday’s report, after subtracting out Monday’s delivery. There were no reported changes in GLD—and as of 8:43 p.m. EDT yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV, either. But when I checked back at 2:41 a.m. EDT this morning, I was amazed to see that an authorized participant had added 958,452 troy ounces of silver to SLV. Just think about that for a second. Since its $17.40 spike high at the Comex open on Tuesday morning, to its $15.80 spot low around 8:25 a.m. EDT Friday morning, the silver price has been clubbed for $1.60. Not only was no silver been removed from SLV during that time period—but the above amount was added. We’ll see what SLV has to report on Monday and Tuesday, as there’s always some delay. It was another big sales day over at the U.S. Mint yesterday. They reported selling 8,000 troy ounces of gold eagles—and 425,000 silver eagles. Assuming that October’s sales numbers aren’t revised on Monday, the U.S. Mint sold 67,500 troy ounces of gold eagles—21,000 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes—5,790,000 silver eagles—and 400 platinum eagles during the month just past. Based on these sales figures, the silver/gold ratio stands at 66 to 1. By the way, the 5.79 million silver eagles sold last month is the highest sales month of the year, at least so far. Ted’s big buyer[s] has been gorging itself/themselves because, as I said the other day, these sales in no way represent actual consumer demand, which still remains quiet. But, having said that, our bullion store had one of its biggest sales day of the year on Friday. I’m sure that was a scenario repeated all across North American during the last day or so. It was another decent day for gold over at the Comex-approved depositories on Thursday. They reported receiving 75,100 troy ounces of the stuff—and shipped out only 3,547 troy ounces. The big receipt was at the HSBC USA depositories. The link to that activity is here. In silver, there was nothing reported received, but 419,317 troy ounces were shipped out the door for parts unknown—and three quarters of that was out of the JPMorgan depository. The link to that action is here. The Commitment of Traders Report, for positions held at the close of Comex trading on Tuesday, was more or less what I expected, as there was slight improvement in the Commercial net short positions in both gold and silver. In silver, the Commercial net short position in the legacy COT Report declined by 436 contracts, or 2.18 million troy ounces. The Commercial net short position now sits at 70.8 million troy ounces. Ted Butler said that JPMorgan’s short-side corner in the Comex silver market remained more or less unchanged during the report week at 12,500 contracts, or 62.5 million ounces—which represents almost 90 percent of the total Commercial net short position. Under the hood in the Disaggregated COT Report, the Managed Money increased their record short position in silver to another new record, as they added 1,161 short contracts during the reporting week. The unblinking non-technical funds that also reside in the Managed Money category, added another 344 contracts to their long positions, which now totals 40,577 contracts. In gold, the Commercial net short position in the legacy COT Report improved by 6,034 contracts, or 603,400 troy ounces. Their short position now sits at 9.89 million troy ounces. Ted said that it appeared that JPMorgan added about 2,000 contracts to their long-side corner in the Comex gold market—and they are now net long 18,000 contracts. Under the hood in the Disaggregated COT Report, the traders in the Managed Money category actually covered 1,994 contracts of their short position in gold, but they also sold 4,415 long contracts which more than made up for it. There were no changes in the Managed Money in palladium—and in platinum the Managed Money sold 1,196 long contracts and added 530 short contracts. As I said in The Wrap in yesterday’s column, whatever minor improvements that appeared in Friday’s COT Report, would pale into insignificance compared to what that report would show if it were generated at the close of Comex trading yesterday. Without doubt we’re at a new record high short position in silver in the Managed Money category, along with improvements in the Nonreportable/small trader category as well. But, as Ted pointed out on the phone yesterday, the really big changes will show up in gold, as these same Managed Money traders dumped what was left of their long positions—and went massively to the short side. If we get past the Tuesday cut-off without a price incident to the upside, next Friday’s COT Report, along with the companion Bank Participation Report, should be one for the record books. So we wait. I don’t have all that many stories for you today—and some of which I’ve been saving for today’s column. Some of the best absolute must read stories that I had been saving, ended up in the Critical Read section of my Friday missive, so if you didn’t get the opportunity to read them all yesterday, you have the remainder of the weekend to make amends. We are set up for violent price reversals to the upside for silver and for all the COMEX/NYMEX metals. Maybe the setup can get stretched out a little longer, but it looks stretched out enough to me by historical standards. We’ve gone too low in price on too many important commodities as a result of this stupid and manipulative machine trading. There’s a payback and a counter-reaction to the price distortions we’ve witnessed and it seems to me that the payback is at hand. I think the technical funds have been lulled into a sense of complacency, particularly in silver, by how easy the commercials have let them off the hook when they held extreme short positions recently. But just because the commercials have let the technical funds buy back shorts at prices close to upside penetrations of important moving averages previously, doesn’t mean that will always be the case. Just because the technical funds think they will be able to buy back silver shorts near the $18 mark, that doesn’t necessarily make it so. The commercials can demand much higher prices before selling. There will come a day when the commercials won’t be nearly as accommodative to the technical funds as they had been previously and that will be a great day for silver investors. That day seems at hand to me. – Silver analyst Ted Butler: 29 October 2014 Today’s pop ‘blast from the past’ is from 1967—Canada’s centennial year—and I remember that event and this tune like it was yesterday, even though both happened 47 years ago. Linda Ronstadt does the honours—and it was her first big hit. The link is here. Today’s classical ‘blast from the past’ is something that I’ve posted before, but it’s been awhile, so I thought I’d revisit it today. It’s the Élégie, Op. 24 composed by Gabriel Fauré back in 1880. It was originally written for cello and piano—and the orchestral version of the work was premiered in 1901. It was a smash hit. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a great video of it in either iteration, so I had to settle for the one linked here. It’s the youtube.com video I posted last time, with Julian Lloyd Webber and Peter Pettinger. The video quality isn’t great, but the audio track is wonderful. Enjoy! Well, unless I’m entirely off base, we should be done to the downside in the precious metals. Both gold and silver were taken down to lows that I, quite frankly, didn’t think were possible—especially in silver. But as long as the Managed Money in the technical fund category are prepared to go short, that kept the down-side pressure in place—and that has certainly been the case since 2 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon. And if silver prices remain low for any length of time, it’s Ted Butler’s opinion that a lot of primary silver producers will be out of business, despite whatever gold, zinc, lead and copper credits they’re getting. Here are the 6-month charts for gold, silver—and WTIC Cypress Development Corp. is a Canadian gold, silver and base metals exploration company developing projects in Red Lake, Ontario, Canada, and in Nevada, U.S.A. Cypress holds a 100% interest in the approximately 1140 acre Gunman Zinc-Silver Project located in White Pine County, northeast of Eureka, Nevada. Three RC drill programs totaling approx. 38,000 feet have been completed by Cypress on the Gunman project with significant grades between 5% to 33% per ton zinc and 0.5 to 15.0 oz per ton silver over considerable widths encountered. Zinc could represent the next big base metal play due to ongoing demand growth and the closures of 3 major mines in Canada, Australia and Ireland and not enough supply coming on stream from new projects. Sentiment could shift towards zinc, with prices potentially rallying in anticipation of tightening supplies. Please visit our website for more information.
Twenty-five years ago this month, more than 800,000 Rwandans, mostly Tutsi, were slaughtered over the course of 100 days by members of the country’s Hutu majority.Among those who lived through the terror is Clemantine Wamariya. Her memoir, The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War And What Comes After, recounts in wrenching detail her six-year trek in search of refuge from her country’s killing fields. Co-authored with Elizabeth Weil, the book was published to acclaim in 2018 and is now out in paperback. The title comes from a favorite story that Wamariya heard from her childhood nanny about a girl who disappears leaving no trace except beads. In her prologue, she writes, “Often, still, my own life story feels fragmented, like beads unstrung.”Wamariya was just six and her sister Claire, 14, when the fighting began in 1994. Their parents sent them to their grandmother’s house, located closer to the border with Burundi, with the hope that they’d be safer there.After several days of sleepless nights filled with the noise of bombs exploding, there was an ominous knock on the door. Their grandmother told the sisters to run. Together, they traveled thousands of miles, often by night, usually by foot, sometimes by truck and once by boat on a route that took them to Burundi, Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique and South Africa before being granted asylum by the United States in 2000.Wamariya went on to graduate from Yale. Now 31, she is a human rights advocate and speaker based in San Francisco. We spoke to her about her experiences and about the 25th commemoration of the Rwandan genocide. The conversation has been edited for clarity and for length.Was it difficult to relive your story in your book?I have spent 15 years learning how to best share our experiences and I had to sacrifice every part of my privacy to share my story. You have said you don’t like the word genocide. The word is clinical. It has been used to quantify the numbers of those killed. But it does not tell you about the [individual] people who were hurt or lost.It is just the entry point for talking about the horrors and what actually happened [in Rwanda] and elsewhere. I am more interested in expanding on how it feels, the emotional, personal side of the horror, the before, during and after.You also prefer not to be called a “refugee.” What vocabulary should we use? I would prefer being called by my name or a person who sought refuge.The word refugee leads to stereotypes or expectations that don’t allow us to see who someone is. During our travels, Claire and I learned to speak seven languages, but you could see the surprise in the faces of anyone who thinks that people seeking refuge [could not have such knowledge or] did not have a meaningful life before they fled. We need to see beyond the projections that we cast onto each other. In America, we all have stories about how we [or an ancestor] sought refuge. We clash when we forget that was the case or when [we] start to believe that one person’s refuge story is better than or worse than another’s. You wrote that you found a way to begin talking about those horrors after you read Elie Wiesel’s Night, his memoir about the Nazi genocide of the Jews during the Holocaust. I read it when I was in eighth grade [in Chicago]. It awakened me to a shocking side of humanity. It offered me words to feel what I had thought was unspoken, and Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison gave me the freedom to speak. You later wrote about Elie Wiesel in a submission to the Oprah High School Essay Contest and said that maybe if Rwandans had read Night, they wouldn’t have decided to kill one another. That essay also led to your appearance on Oprah, who arranged to fly your parents and siblings from Rwanda to her studio for a surprise on-air family reunion.We had not seen each other in 12 years. I felt gratitude and joy that I still have yet to find words to describe. But also anger that nothing could restore the time we had lost with each other. I have learned to forgive … all that happened to separate us.Do your parents talk about the past?My parents live in a never-ending present, unable to talk about what happened to us. At first it was frustrating, but now I can understand that attitude. Your story is deeply intertwined with that of your older sister, Claire. Tell us about her. She is a heroine, like Xena the princess warrior, real and of our time. The map [of where the sisters traveled] is all Claire, her decisions about which place would be farther from wars and give us opportunity to live freely and to be seen for who we are and have a sense of agency and where we would have respect. For the past 10 years she has worked with many who have sought refuge in Chicago and with an organization called Women United for Immigrants and Refugees.You discuss the many difficulties of living in refugee camps in Burundi and elsewhere. How did you feel as a person?It is easy to get lost because all aspects of who you are, at least the things that used to make you a person, are stripped away.What are the important points for refugees to share?The person who has lived and survived in these conditions has to break the silence and talk not only of gratitude but the horror in these camps. In most, people have to walk at least hours to fetch water. Monthly food portions, if camps are lucky to receive any, are [often] maize.I invite everyone who is involved with refugee camps to have a meaningful conversation [with the refugees] they serve about what would make these places a place of refuge.What are your thoughts as you commemorate the 25th anniversary of the start of the Rwandan genocide? Every American and every person who wants to know what hate can do should look at what happened in Rwanda. If you want to know that peace is possible, you should also look at Rwanda now: [Rwandans] working together every day to create peace and to live beyond hate. I am very proud of Rwandans.Diane Cole writes for many publications, including The Wall Street Journal and The Jewish Week, and is book columnist for The Psychotherapy Networker. She is the author of the memoir After Great Pain: A New Life Emerges. Her website is dianejcole.com. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
By Raya Al JadirThe only wheelchair-user to secure accreditation as a nightclub bouncer is fighting “discriminatory” new rules that have led to the loss of his licence, just as he is being recognised for three decades of community service.John Young is to be presented later this month with a British Citizen Award (BCA) – which recognises “individuals doing extraordinary things in the local community” – only weeks after being told he had lost his (pictured (SIA) licence because of new regulations.He had held his licence for six years, but it was downgraded in December because new rules state that a door supervisor must be able to escort a person up and down a flight of stairs and, if necessary, be able to restrain a customer.Although he has some martial arts training – has a blue belt in karate – he is unable to “sit on somebody”, as he says he would need to be able to do under the new rules, because of how long it would take to get out of his wheelchair safely.As a result, he can now work at retail locations such as Primark or Marks and Spencer, but not at licensed venues such as bars and nightclubs.SIA has told Young (pictured) it is looking at whether it will be able to make reasonable adjustments for him and other disabled people, but that any changes to its licensing rules are unlikely to be introduced until early 2017, because they would need to be approved by the home secretary.Even if that happens, he will have to complete another course – costing £240 – and resit his exams later in 2017 before he can resume his career.He said: “If a black or Asian or gay person can do the job, why can’t a disabled person? If you are not discriminating against others, why the disabled?”He said that “if SIA had their way then no disabled person would be able to apply for the licence in the future.“Given the right opportunity and reasonable adjustments being made, we can contribute to the economy.”He said his fight against SIA had been a “one-man crusade”, although he praised the support of his Conservative MP, Richard Harrington, and the Hertfordshire council-funded employment agency Work Solutions.An SIA spokesman said the organisation did not comment on individual cases, but was “committed to tackling equality and diversity issues”.He said: “Following a number of deaths and injuries involving physical intervention by door supervisors, we were directed by the Home Office to require all door supervision licence holders to obtain a top-up qualification on physical intervention when they renewed their licence in order to ensure public safety. “Those not wishing to take the top-up training are eligible instead to renew their licence as a security guard.” He said the top-up qualification “includes escorting and disengagement skills”, and added: “We understand that some door supervisors may not be able to complete the training that leads to the top-up qualification. “We are fully considering what steps can reasonably be taken to avoid the disadvantaging of disabled people, while at the same time ensuring the safety of members of the public.“Any proposals regarding amendments to our licensing criteria for disabled people would be subject to a consultation.”A Home Office spokesman said the department did not think there was anything it could add to the SIA statement.Young had wanted to join the armed forces as a child but was unable to do so because of his impairment.He decided instead to join the security industry, as it was “a way of serving the country and making it secure in some way”.He said: “I thought there are so many disabled people who spend huge amounts of money in pubs and nightclubs… so why not apply to security jobs and show people that disabled people like me can do the job.”He qualified after attending a college in Hertfordshire in 2009, where the only adjustment he needed was a scribe to write his answers for him, with his exam held in private with his own invigilator.Young, who also works as a disability awareness trainer, has been a member of the charity Bushey and Watford Physically Handicapped and Able Bodied (PHAB) since the age of 17, nearly 30 years ago.As a former chair of the club, which takes its members on activities such as bowling and rock-climbing, he has worked to improve access within the community and to promote PHAB’s work, as well as improving the outlook of young disabled people.He has also qualified as a disability athletics coach, and runs coaching sessions in the community.Young will be one of 33 recipients of a BCA medal of honour at a ceremony in the Houses of Parliament next week.He said he was “elated” to be recognised with a British Citizen Award, and added: “It is a good thing to be recognised, but I don’t do it for the applause, I do it because it is something that needs doing for the good of the disabled community.”He said: “I do what I can do; I know that if my work will help me that it will also help many other disabled people.“My voice is not just my own, but it is for the disabled community. For me, it is about keeping disabled issues and disabled rights in the public domain and in the public interest.”He added: “Sometimes I feel like a third-class citizen when it comes to goods and services, and in 2016 you should not feel like that.”
The decision of some disability charities to sign contracts that prevent them criticising the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is proof that they cannot be trusted to speak up on behalf of disabled people, according to grassroots activists.Last week, Disability News Service (DNS) reported that – in exchange for lucrative government contracts under the Work and Health Programme – some organisations have promised to “pay the utmost regard to the standing and reputation” of work and pensions secretary Esther McVey (pictured).They have also promised in the contracts that they will never to do anything that harms the public’s confidence in McVey or her department.So far, Shaw Trust, Leonard Cheshire Disability and RNIB have confirmed that they have signed contracts – either with DWP or with one of the five main Work and Health Programme contractors – that include clauses that prevent them bringing DWP and McVey into disrepute.Shaw Trust is itself one of the five main contractors and has signed up to DWP’s contract and its “publicity, media and official enquiries” clause.RNIB has signed agreements as a subcontractor with Shaw Trust that say that it must have “regard to the standing and reputation” of DWP, do nothing to bring McVey and her department into disrepute in delivering those contracts, and must not “attract adverse publicity” to them.But it is unclear whether the wider clause agreed by Shaw Trust and the other main contractors – which applies to all their “affiliates” – also applies to all their sub-contractors, including RNIB.Leonard Cheshire said this week that its involvement in the programme was “extremely limited” and restricted to providing support in two London boroughs, but admitted that there was “a clause in our contact with Ingeus related to actions that brings Ingeus/DWP into disrepute”.It insisted that the clause “would not affect what we say publicly on issues related to the DWP or wider campaigning” and that it had no other contracts with similar clauses.It has so far declined to share the clause with DNS.Other disability charities that appear to have agreed to act as key providers of services under the Work and Health Programme, such as Action on Hearing Loss and the Royal Association for Deaf People*, have refused to answer questions about the contracts and clauses they might have signed up to.Another, Turning Point, said that it had “in principle partnership agreements with a number of organisations delivering the programme to provide specialist support when and if needed” but had “not been presented with nor asked to comply with such a clause”.By noon today (Thursday), Turning Point had failed to say if it expected to sign contracts at some point, which contractors it had agreements with, and whether it was concerned about the presence of the clause in contracts signed by the main Work and Health Programme contractors.Other charities mentioned in the contract documents, including Mind, Rethink and Carers UK, made it clear this week that they had not signed any Work and Health Programme contracts.But a spokesperson for the Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance – a network of disabled people and their organisations across England, whose members include Sisters of Frida, Equal Lives, Inclusion London and Disabled People Against Cuts – said the clauses were “further proof that disabled people cannot trust the charities to speak up for our best interests and that they put their financial interests ahead of the people they purport to represent.“Since 2010 the charities have consistently let themselves be used as cover by the government while they have continued to systematically dismantle our rights.“They have failed to speak out in any way that is appropriate given the severity of the situation we are facing.“Disabled people have many criticisms of the Work and Health Programme and the dangerous policies associated with it.“We can now add to that list that it is being used as a tool to buy silence.”There are major concerns about the Work and Health Programme, which is part of the government’s much-criticised Improving Lives work, health and disability strategy, with its “cruel and disastrous” emphasis on “work as a cure”, the placement of employment advisers in health services, and the continued use of benefit sanctions to “punish” disabled claimants.In the wake of last week’s report, DNS was contacted by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO), both of which were keen to examine the clauses.But the Disability Benefits Consortium, whose 80-plus members include Action on Hearing Loss, Leonard Cheshire, and RNIB, and which often speaks out on DWP issues, failed to raise any concerns.Its co-chairs refused to say this week if they were concerned that the clauses could harm the ability of the consortium or its members to criticise the government.Laura Wetherly and Phil Reynolds, DBC’s co-chairs, insisted that the consortium was “independent” and does “not hesitate to call for change when it is needed”, and that the coalition itself “is not signed up to these clauses”.They added: “The DBC cannot speak for or comment on behalf of individual members.”When asked whether they and the consortium were concerned about the clauses, they refused to comment.Kristiana Wrixon, head of policy at ACEVO, said she had been concerned to read the DNS report, and said that her organisation was now seeking clarification on the purpose of the media clause from DWP.She said the clause in the contracts signed by the main providers was “ambiguous and therefore open to wide interpretation”.She said: “The Department for Work and Pensions should clarify the purpose of the clause and publicly reassure those involved in the delivery of the programme that it is not meant to restrict campaigning and advocacy activity.”NCVO refused to say if it was concerned about the clause but said that it would be talking with its members “about how they’re working with the clause”.*An earlier version of this story said that Down’s Syndrome Association had refused to answer questions from DNS. This was not correct. The charity did not receive two emails containing questions about the Work and Health Programme, due to a mistake made by DNS. The charity has made it clear that it does not have formal links with the DWP and has not been asked to sign any Work and Health Programme contracts. Apologies for the error.