The Paris Massacre—What Next?

first_imgBefore midnight last Friday the world was alarmed by the massacre of over 123 people as a result of a spate of indiscriminate shootings and suicide bomb blasts in the center of France’s glittering capital, Paris.As people enjoyed a casual Friday evening witnessing a concert and having dinner and drinks in one of the world’s most beautiful cities, gunmen and women, who claimed to be Islamists, with deadly automatic weapons, stormed the Bataclan Theatre and neighboring cafes, shooting people at random. In the end, 123 people were counted dead and over 352 people wound, 99 of whom are in critical condition.As predicted by most political and security watchers, the Islamic State (IS), whose trademark is ruthless kidnapping, killing and indiscriminate destruction, immediately claimed responsibility for the massacre.How long can the world be expected to put up with this Islamic State which, since it declared itself a caliphate in June 2014 after acquiring huge tracts of land in Syria and Iraq, has been noted for barbarity, mass killings, abductions and beheadings?But before tackling this question, we must ask another: how did the Middle East become so terribly destabilized? Without claiming to be experts in international affairs, we can say without fear of contradiction that the root of the problem has been the shortsighted policies of some Western governments, notably the United States, which perennially and blindly backed some of the most oppressive Islamic regimes, such as Iran. The USA’s backing of the Shah of Iran for so long because of oil, led to the popular Iranian Revolution in 1979 and the invasion of the US embassy in November of that year, the taking over 60 hostages, leading to the fall of the Carter administration.The second major American mistake was President George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq, against the better judgment of many other nations and tens of millions of his own fellow Americans. But no, GW had to invade Iraq, to avenge the alleged attempt by Saddam Hussein to kill young Bush’s father. And GW carried out his ruthless invasion under a false pretext, that Saddam had a stockpile of “weapons of mass destruction.”One of the most painful consequences of that invasion was what happened to the Christian churches in many parts of the Middle East, especially Iraq and Syria. These churches had existed since the time of Peter and the other early Christian fathers. Remember, Saul, who later became the eminent Apostle Paul, was, shortly following the crucifixion of Christ, on his way to Damascus, the Syrian capital, to kill Christians. Saul was suddenly struck down by a voice from Heaven asking the very serious question, “Saul, Saul, why persecuteth thou me?”The rest is history. Saul was led to a man named Ananias, who restored Saul’s sight, renamed him Paul – who went on to become the church’s greatest Apostle. Christians have had a presence in the Middle East ever since.Say what you may of Saddam Hussein, but though himself a Muslim, he was committed to religious tolerance and vigorously protected the Christians in Iraq. Today the Christians have been run out of Iraq, and Syria, by the Islamic State. Does this make George W. Bush look like the anti Christ? Only history will tell.Another problem that has caused the Middle East to be destabilized is America’s blind support of Israel and its ruthless atrocities inflicted upon the Palestinians. This is one of the primary causes of the hate and resentment Washington experiences throughout the Middle East and the Islamic world. Heaven knows when this will end, for America seems to believe that Israel can do no wrong. Washington has done nothing to stop the Israelis from occupying Palestinian land.Perhaps the most serious cause of instability in the Middle East is Syrian President Assad who, because of his lust for power, has effectively destroyed his country and caused his own people so much pain, distress and anguish. It is he more than anyone else that has given rise to the ruthless and bloodthirsty Islamic caliphate.Finally, we lay a lot of the blame for the power that IS now has at the feet of President Barrack Obama and his timid approach to the Syrian crisis. Surely the USA is the world’s most powerful nation and leader of the also powerful Western alliance. We firmly believe that Obama, backed his committed partners, Britain, France, Germany, the EU, could have nipped IS in the bud from its very beginning. But oh! The problem of indecisiveness and the terrible consequences it is now wreaking.How long will indecisiveness cause innocent people to suffer and die?France and all other European nations, the USA and Russia must mount a joint response to terrorism from wherever it comes. Evil can be defeated, and defeated it must be. But also, America and its allies MUST be more sincere and more proactive and decisive in their dealing with the Palestinian issue. There can be no real peace in the Middle East—or anywhere else—until the Palestinian problem is fully and decisively resolved.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Hundreds of unemployed youths hungry for work attends job fair

first_imgA packed auditorium at the National Sports Hall on Friday…701 online applications receivedHundreds of young people who are unemployed, on Friday morning crowded the National Sports Hall, Homestretch Avenue, Georgetown, where the Department of Youth held its first job fair to address the scourge of unemployment, which affects some 40 per cent of youths.Senior Research, Planning and Development Officer within the Department, Adeti De Jesus told Guyana Times that the unemployed youths turned up to the Sports Hall before 07:00h to be interviewed.According to her, when the officials arrived to open the doors, youths were already standing outside.In fact, youths who had become desperate for employment after being at home for a number of years took the opportunity to apply online for the job fair prior to Friday’s event.Some 701 online applications were received, De Jesus said, while other youths showed up to the event without being registered. Those persons were referred to the Central Recruitment and Manpower Agency where they were interviewed for future employment.The officer further explained that there was a specific process to avoid confusion among the hundreds of young people. She said, “We colour coded it (so) each company is given a code and when persons come in, they register (and) we’re giving them a chit with a number and a code and they are expected to sit in accordance with their colour in chronological order so they will be interviewed based on that”.De Jesus could not say how many youths would be hired but noted that the Department is seeking to have such initiatives held at least once quarterly to help youths become employed.Moreover, she appealed for more businesses to come on board with the hiring strategy.Guyana Times caught up with a few youths who shared their experiences and all called for more of such activities to reduce the high number of youths at home.Shania Gomes, a youth who has been at home for several months, told this publication that she felt excited about the event. She added, “I’m glad that there is actually an initiative for young people as myself who are unemployed to actually come out and be interviewed to learn more and get to know more about the working world and even (take advantage) because they are offering training”.Gomes said she was made to understand that over 700 young people had registered for the fair and noted, “For 700 to be interested in a first-time something like this you can just imagine what would happen if it happens every three to six months”.Towana Boucher of Plaisance, East Coast Demerara, who hurried down to the event for 06:00h said she feels the event was a good and timely one. “It’s good whereby it’s a lot of young people out here. They have the opportunity to get a job,” Boucher explained.Samuel Samuels, a youth from Agricola, Greater Georgetown, said he was looking to be hired by Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL), but hopes other companies, especially those from the oil sector can come onboard and offer employment opportunities to the youths of Guyana. He said, “I think it’s a great initiative because we never had this before in Guyana so it’s something we were always pushing for and I’m thankful for it… but I think they should get like more companies coming into it, like different sectors”.A few of the agencies who participated in the job fair were Courts, Qualfon, GTT, Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) and Giftland.On Wednesday, the Director of Youth, Melissa Carmichael said she was looking forward to the event being successful in hiring youths, to lower the amount of jobless young people.The issue of unemployment among Guyanese youths has been on the rise and has been the cause for the hike in robberies and other crimes.Presidential Candidate for the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Irfaan Ali on Thursday told the media that the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government has failed to deliver most of its manifesto promises to the Guyanese people in the more than four years the Administration has been in office.According to Ali, Guyanese have to hold Government accountable for this failure, which has resulted in the hardships many citizens face, especially among the vulnerable groups such as women, the elderly and youths.He reminded of Government’s promise to stimulate job creation, especially for youths, but instead they have caused the country to face 37,000 job losses in various economy-driven sectors. He went on to revealed that under the APNU/AFC, Guyana has slipped four positions in the employment rate for the 25-54 age group and seven positions for the age group 54 to 64 on the Global Human Capital Index.Among the host of promises the PPP has mentioned that will be in its manifesto, is the creation of 50,000 new jobs and according to the Party’s Presidential Candidate, even this figure is too conservative.A youth being interviewed at the job fairlast_img read more

Rite Aid’s warehouse crew rallies

first_imgLANCASTER — About 20 current and former Rite Aid employees were joined Friday by union organizers in protesting what they described as untenable working conditions and unfair labor practices. They gathered in front of a warehouse where they say they were forced to work in triple-digit temperatures. Their complaints are the basis of charges under investigation by the National Labor Relations Board, NLRB spokesman Tony Bisceglia confirmed. A spokeswoman for the International Longshore Warehouse Union, which represents the Rite Aid workers, said it has filed 49 separate charges against Rite Aid for acts committed by 14 managers at its Lancaster warehouse. The charges include unlawful termination of two union members, and threatening and disciplining others, the ILWU’s Marcy Rein said. Rite Aid employees testified before state lawmakers Wednesday that the company has failed to provide adequate cooling systems in its Lancaster warehouse, which it blames for a fatality last summer. Rite Aid spokeswoman Jody Cook said the accusations were “without merit.” She said a coroner’s report and the company’s own investigation determined that the employee’s death was not heat-related, nor was it caused by the company’s actions. Cook said that although not air-conditioned, Rite Aid distribution centers feature high-speed fans and swamp coolers, and are designed to meet or exceed regulatory codes. Rite Aid, she said, is committed to employee safety, and denied that the company intimidates union organizers. “We’re not surprised that former associates or union supporters would make false claims against the organization,” she said. Rite Aid employee Tim Patrick, who was among the protesters, accused the drug store chain of engaging in a pattern of “intimidation and threats.” He said a company executive told him his active union membership, which he said includes organizing workers, imperiled his employment status. Patrick said he was soon demoted from backup lead — a warehouse position equivalent to assistant manager — to a “Joe-Blow worker” for what he described as a minor infraction. “They said I violated company policy, but it was all about the union. I’ve been strong about the union since it started, and I’ve never been afraid to show it,” Patrick said. Warehouse employees say they work in temperatures that frequently exceed 100 degrees in the summer, and have been recorded as high as 119 degrees in certain rooms. They say the 1 million-square-foot plant on Avenue H has air conditioning in its business offices, cafeteria and break rooms — but not where they work. “It feels like you’re in a heater,” Rite Aid employee Faye Rollf said. — Gideon Rubin (661) 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

City gauging interest from rural property owners in extending municipal boundaries

first_imgRight now, 15 property owners have been acknowledged, and Prestley says there are at least few more nods to count when the total goes to council – around September 30th.She urges property owners interested to get in touch by the end of the month, but the city will still take into consideration submissions that come in slightly late. The city is still looking to hear from rural property owners on the Eastern edge of the city who may want their property to shift from being from the Peace River Regional District to Fort St. John.Director of Legislative and Administrative Services Janet Prestley says that all the city is conducting is a survey of interest, and not by any means a call for property owners to sign up for inclusion in the city.This move would involve extending the boundaries of Fort St. John.- Advertisement -She adds that the numbers will go before council and a decision will be made there, with many factors in mind – such as where they are located, if it’s realistic to incorporate the property owners, and what kind of impact it would have on future infrastructure.“With any boundary extension, it has to be a large percentage of the people in the area that want to be incorporated,” Prestley said.The biggest benefit for rural residents if boundaries were extended, she notes, would be access to services such as fire protection, and the ability to tie into the mainline for sewage and water – given that the city extends there services that far out.Advertisementlast_img read more

Feist Night (Premier League Ownership Special) – Monday, September 28

first_imgStan Collymore and Mark Saggers bring you another Feist Night special – this time dissecting the issue of Premier League ownership and parachute payments.last_img

CONFIRMED! West Ham man becomes latest addition to Chinese football

first_img Nikica Jelavic Nikica Jelavic has completed his move to Chinese second division side Beijing Renhe.The striker was surplus to requirements at West Ham following the January arrival of Emmanuel Emenike.Now Hammers co-chairman David Gold has confirmed the Croatian has joined the ever-growing list of international footballers to make the switch to the Far East.“Nikica Jelavic has completed his move to Chinese second division team Beijing Renhe. Good luck Nikica,” tweeted Gold.Jelavic only started one game for West Ham in the Premier League this season.He was behind Andy Carroll, Enner Valencia and Diafra Sakho in the forward pecking order and his chances of game time were furher limited following the signing of Emenike.His move to China underlines the country’s increasing financial clout to recruit stars from the world’s top leagues, given his new club were relegated from the Super League last season. 1last_img read more

Maginn to host Good Friday derby: Finn Harps’ full fixture list confirmed

first_imgFINN HARPS will take on Derry City on Good Friday 2017 at Maginn Park in Buncrana.Due to refurbishment works at Brandywell Stadium, Derry have had to find an alternative home for their 2017 home games. Following talks with the Inishowen League, Derry will now be based at Maginn ParkDerry will take on Limerick at Maginn Park on March 5th in the first competitive fixture for the Candystripes at the venue. The standout fixture is the first North-West derby of the campaign on Friday night April 14 – Good Friday.Harps are at home to Derry on June 30 while the third meeting of the sides will take place at Maginn Park on Sunday, October 15.Maginn to host Good Friday derby: Finn Harps’ full fixture list confirmed was last modified: December 22nd, 2016 by Chris McNultyShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more


first_imgA man who killed a young student and then hid his car in his garage before fleeing the country has applied to get back on the road.Laura Hegarty was killed when she was struck during a hit-and-runJames McDevitt, 31, knocked down student Laura Hegarty as she walked home on St Patrick’s Night in 2007.Laura, from College Farm Road in Letterkenny, was just a couple of hundred yards from her home when she was hit by a car which then took off. The 18 year old had been walking across the road as she was afraid someone was following her.After hitting Ms Hegarty, McDevitt fled and hid his car at his home in Dooen Glebe, Newmills.The following day he fled to Scotland.Gardai launched a massive manhunt and interviewed 96 people as part of their investigation. Their search led them to McDevitt’s home where his mother Lynne showed them his car in the family garage.Forensic results showed the silver Honda Civic car had been the car that struck tragic Laura.McDevitt returned from Scotland to face trial a number of days later.In 2008 he was found guilty of careless driving, hit and run and failing to remain at the scene of an accident and jailed for five months and disqualified from driving for five years.Laura’s heartbroken mum Marie said at the time that her family had been left devastated by Laura’s death. “In that instant the world stopped turning, then it froze, and cracked and fell down around me like shards of glass.“The protracted nature of the case and the late guilty plea has painfully dragged out Laura’s death…The real victim of this is Laura who was robbed of her life at 18 years of age.”At Letterkenny District Court today McDevitt applied to have his license back – four years into a five year ban.His solicitor Patsy Gallagher said the incident would live with his client for the rest of his life but he was now just trying to get on with his life. Garda Superintendent Vincent O’Brien said McDevitt did not submit his license at the time of the disqualification and the endorsement would begin if a new license was granted.Judge Paul Kelly said he would adjourn the case until January 21st to consider the matter.MAN WHO KILLED STUDENT IN HIT-AND-RUN APPLIES TO GET LICENSE BACK was last modified: December 18th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:James McDevittkilled hit and runLaura HegartylicenseNEWMILLSlast_img read more

Genetic makeup of dogs shows science new tricks

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals Collins and other researchers made their announcement at a Boston dog show. The research, overseen by the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, was published in today’s issue of the journal Nature. The researchers used the DNA of a family pet whose owners wish to remain anonymous. The female boxer named Tasha was chosen from more than 100 candidates because her DNA looked especially amenable to identifying its 2.4 billion chemical building blocks. But it turned out that any dog would do, said Eric Lander, director of the Broad Institute. “It is a historic occasion today for the relationship between humans and dogs,” he said of the animal domesticated 30,000 years ago. “Dogs are prepared to teach us new tricks.” The results are more complete than those announced in 2003 for the DNA of a male poodle named Shadow. Scientists have also deciphered the DNA of mice, rats, chimps, chickens and of course humans, as well as many other organisms. At the DNA level, two randomly chosen dogs differ only about as much as two randomly chosen people, yet the variation in appearance, size and behavior in dogs is “just mind-boggling,” Lander said in an earlier interview. “How is it within one narrow gene pool you can produce Chihuahuas and Great Danes?” he asked. Much of the answer involves differences in turning gene activity on and off, he said, and further study could improve the understanding of that. The new work also identified signposts along the canine DNA that will help spot genes that predispose dogs to certain diseases, some of which they share with humans. In fact, it may be vastly easier to find disease genes in dogs than in people. Intensive breeding has left its mark in the dog genome so that finding DNA regions with disease genes “is like hitting the side of a barn,” Lander said. Such research should benefit dogs and their owners, said William Truesdale, a board member of the American Kennel Club’s Canine Health Foundation, which put $2 million into the dog DNA project. “We’re trying to erase these genetic frailties” by screening dogs for disease genes prior to breeding, he said. That effort is in its infancy, but over time, many of these genes can be eliminated through breeding, he said. And puppies can be tested to assure their owners that they won’t get certain diseases, “like a Good Housekeeping seal,” Truesdale said. Dog DNA is already teaching several lessons about human DNA. For one thing, comparisons between DNA of dogs, humans and mice revealed elaborate controls on the activity of certain human genes active in early development, Lander said. The three-way comparisons also showed that some genetic features found in humans but not mice aren’t really unique to people, but also appear in dogs, he said. “The more species we look at, the more, frankly, we find that humans are not exceptional here,” Lander said. Researchers also estimated that dogs have 19,300 genes, almost all of them canine versions of genes found in people. Prior studies have indicated that people have about 3,000 more, but Lander said the dog analysis “is leading us to question whether those are in fact real human genes.” Some proposed human genes, he said, are now “suspect” and may not be genes at all. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! BOSTON – Mankind’s best friend for thousands of years is ready to teach new tricks to science. The genetic makeup of the dog – in this case a boxer named Tasha – has been deciphered and should help identify genes that make both dogs and people vulnerable to cancers, heart disease, diabetes, epilepsy, blindness, deafness and even some psychiatric disorders, scientists said Wednesday. The work is the first virtually complete decoding of the species and illuminates the blueprint that shapes everything from the smallest Chihuahua to the biggest Great Dane. “Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read,” quipped Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, crediting the late comic Groucho Marx. “We’re here to unveil the book of the dog.” last_img read more

Effort planned to split LAUSD

first_imgThe battle for control of Los Angeles’ public schools escalated Wednesday as a state lawmaker vowed to introduce legislation that would splinter the nation’s second-largest district. Entering the fray over how to improve Los Angeles Unified, Assemblyman Keith Richman, R-Granada Hills, said he will introduce a measure next year that would break the 727,000-student district into more than a dozen smaller districts. “Mayoral control is important for accountability, but I think what is needed is a massive reform,” said Richman, a Republican candidate for state treasurer. “The LAUSD is a behemoth. … It is a district that is bloated with administrators and a failure to improve fast enough.” The latest reform proposal comes a day after LAUSD Superintendent Roy Romer questioned the tactics and motivation behind an offer by Los Angeles City Controller Laura Chick to audit the district’s operations. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake On Wednesday, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said he was “surprised and chagrined” at school officials’ opposition. “I can’t believe what I heard about the tone of their response,” Villaraigosa said. “We are trying to be partners with them. I think they should welcome an audit as a way to bring transparency to their process and help improve public credibility. “If they want, I can bring 200 people to a board meeting to show that people want this.” But Romer, who called the city’s move a “political-style campaign,” said he was unfazed by Villaraigosa’s threat to pack a school board meeting with audit supporters. “We could just as well do that to the City Council,” Romer said. “Look, I’m a reluctant warrior, but if someone brings it to my doorstep, I’m prepared to fight.” He called Villaraigosa on Wednesday afternoon and said the mayor agreed to sit down and talk after Jan. 1 about ways to improve education. Chick said she also was taken aback by the district’s negative response. “I’m offering to help rebuild the public confidence in the school district and they are saying I didn’t ask politely enough,” Chick said. “I am elected by all the people of the city and I feel I owe (it) to them to let them know what I can and cannot do.” Villaraigosa, who has vowed to seek mayoral control of the LAUSD, welcomed Richman’s proposal for breaking up the district. “It is something certainly worth study,” Villaraigosa said. “You can’t say you oppose the breakup of the district, that you oppose vouchers or charter schools or the small-school movement and say you are for reform of the district. “I remember my mother once telling me, when I was in college, that you have to let people know what you stand for,” Villaraigosa said. “It is easy to be against things. Tell me what you are for.” In addition to creating smaller districts by 2010, Richman’s proposal would give broader authority to Villaraigosa and the mayors of the 26 other cities in the district in determining how best to reorganize it. The breakup would be overseen by a nine-member commission of the various mayors, the state superintendent of public instruction and university professors. Richman said he developed his proposal from reviewing documents prepared by the Rand Corp., and in consultation with education and business leaders. Romer said it’s too “premature” to talk about breaking up the LAUSD, which is in the middle of a $14 billion construction program. “We’re making very rapid gains on (test) scores and our building program is one of a kind in the nation,” he said. “At some point in time, this discussion is appropriate, but it’s premature right now.” The Richman plan does not specifically address how the district’s construction program – the largest public works project in the nation – might be affected, but he said a reorganization would equitably divide the district’s property, facilities and obligations. The proposal also would prohibit the LAUSD from entering into any contracts that extend into 2010, which would affect long-term facilities contracts and business contracts, district officials said. “The timing is way off. It can delay the construction program, distract the progress that we’re making; it can do a lot of things,” said school board President Marlene Canter, calling the recent conversations about overhauling the governance of the district “distracting.” Richman is the second lawmaker in recent months to propose legislative action to revamp governance of the district. State Sen. Gloria Romero, D-Los Angeles, introduced a bill in July that would have given the mayor authority to appoint seven school board members and the superintendent if the district met certain conditions of “educational failure.” That measure was killed after state officials deemed it unconstitutional and Villaraigosa opposed it. And with all of the varied reform efforts under way, some question whether any of them can gain prominence. “Because the ideas are all conflicting, the resources are diluted over the different ideas,” said Lisa Snell of the nonprofit free-market Reason Foundation. “Somebody needs to win to have successful implementation.” — Rick Orlov, (213) 978-0390 rick.orlov@dailynews.com160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more