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Police fed information to stoned Crown witness to build murder case againstPolice fed information to stoned Crown witness to build murder case against

first_img(Wendy Scott alleges in an affidavit she was stoned during interrogations where police fed her evidence to build a murder case against Connie Oakes. Facebook photo)By Jorge Barrera APTN National NewsA star witness for an Alberta Crown prosecutor says she was fed evidence by police while stoned during “coercive” interrogations to build a murder case against a Cree woman, according to court documents filed with the Court of Appeal of Alberta.The mentally “frail” witness also says police interrogated her for six months longer than was disclosed during the murder trial of Connie Oakes, 49, who is now serving a 14 year sentence in the Edmonton Institution for Women, according to appeal documents filed by Oakes’ lawyer.A Medicine Hat, Alta., jury found Oakes guilty in April 2014 of second-degree murder in the killing of a local man named Casey Armstrong who was found dead in the bathtub of his blood-splattered bathroom.Oakes, who is from Nekaneet First Nation in Saskatchewan, insists she’s innocent. Oakes says she was nowhere near Armstrong’s trailer during the May 2011 long-weekend when the 48 year-old man was killed by a knife plunged through the throat.With no murder weapon, DNA evidence or fingerprints, Andrea Dolan, a Crown prosecutor in Medicine Hat, built her murder case against Oakes on the testimony of Wendy Scott, 29, a self-described small-time crack dealer. Scott pleaded guilty to the killing in a separate case and later testified she saw Oakes kill Armstrong.Now Scott has a lawyer and is trying to have her own guilty plea struck down, according to the appeal documents. She is also recanting the testimony used by the Crown to convince a jury that Oakes murdered the father of two children, according to appeal documents filed Dec. 12 in Calgary.Oakes’ Edmonton lawyer Aleksandra Simic is seeking to have the appeal court hear the case based on “fresh evidence” with the aim of having the murder conviction quashed and Oakes acquitted. The fresh evidence is based on two sealed affidavits, according to the appeal filing.One affidavit is from Scott and the other is from Kim Pate, the executive director of the Elizabeth Fry Society. Pate’s affidavit is based on a discussion with Scott during which she allegedly recanted her testimony placing Oakes at the scene of the murder.In her affidavit Scott “provides an explanation of why she implicated Ms. Oakes in the homicide,” according to a summary of the sworn document contained in the appeal filing. Scott alleges in the affidavit she was shown crime scene photographs and provided evidence during allegedly coercive police interrogations that occurred on a weekly basis for six months. She alleges in the affidavit police provided the details of the case before she was sat down for “eventual recorded interviews.”Scott alleges in her affidavit she wasn’t taking prescribed medication during those interrogations, but “was under the influence of drug contraband.”The appeal filing alleges those six months of interrogations were also not disclosed during Oakes’ trial.“At trial, it appeared to be common ground that Ms. Scott…participated in police interviews and/or provided statements on Dec. 6, 2011, (and) Jan. 5, 7 and 10, 2012,” according to the filing. “Ms. Scott now swears that she participated in weekly interviews and meetings with police between the periods of June 2011 to December 2011.”In a previous interview with APTN National News, Medicine Hat police Sgt. Brent Secondiak said investigators believed Scott was telling the truth based on the level of details she provided about the murder.“She knew details about this that no one else could have known unless they were there or where told by the person who did it,” said Secondiak, who took over the investigation after it had stalled for several months.Scott also swears in her affidavit that she suffers from mental illness and has a “demonstrated IQ of 50.” According to Statistics Canada’s “health state descriptions” an IQ score ranging from 50 to 69 indicates “mild retardation.”In a previous interview with APTN, Dolan, the Crown prosecutor, said Scott’s child-like testimony made her believable to the jury.“Almost child-like, her evidence was…Children and people who present in that cognitive manner often exude a credibility that many adults don’t,” said Dolan.Oakes’ appeal filing interprets Scott’s mental state in a different light.“The proposed evidence is relevant and bears upon decisive issues of potential outstanding disclosure, which could have impacted trial fairness, conduct of  trial and impeachment of chief Crown witness…as well as the reliability and credibility of important evidence…relied upon (by) the Crown to identify Mr. Armstrong’s killers and marshalled in support of Ms. Oakes’ guilt,” said the filing. “Ms. Scott’s recantation is not only significant from a potential impeachment value, given that this is the sole evidence which implicated the applicant, but also tackles the very reliability of a frail witness both in terms of mental health difficulties and limited cognitive abilities who admits to not only having failed to avail herself of prescribed medication, but also admits to illicit drug use in the course of her interactions with police.”Connie OakesThe appeal filing states that Oakes’ Edmonton trial lawyer Daryl Royer learned Scott recanted her testimony at some point between the jury’s finding of guilt in April and Oakes’ sentencing on June 5 of this year.“Subsequent to sentencing of Ms. Oakes, Ms. Scott engaged counsel to assist her in striking her own guilty plea and has provided an affidavit indicating, among other things, her now belief that Ms. Oakes was never present at the crime scene and that her evidence, both self-incriminating and that which served to implicated Ms. Oakes in the homicide…was the product of coercive police tactics,” said the filing.There were problems with Scott’s story throughout Oakes’ trial.Royer, the defense lawyer during the trial, counted 55 inconsistencies in Scott’s testimony, including whether Armstrong was dead before or after he was placed in the bathtub where he was later found by a friend. It also emerged that Scott accused three other people of the murder before naming Oakes.There were also problems with a knife submitted by the Crown as evidence against Oakes. The kitchen knife, which Scott initially claimed was Oakes’ favorite, came back negative for any trace of blood despite two forensic examinations.Secondiak admitted to APTN police couldn’t prove the knife was used in the murder despite the fact it was entered as evidence at trial.There was also the issue of a large, bloody boot-print found in Armstrong’s bathroom. Medicine Hat police were never able to trace the source of the print.Oakes has two sons, including one who is battling read more

Rising scruples in European countries over Saudi arms salesRising scruples in European countries over Saudi arms sales

first_imgBERLIN – The killing of writer Jamal Khashoggi has prompted soul-searching in some European countries about their sale of arms to Saudi Arabia, long one of the biggest buyers of sophisticated Western weaponry.While the United States ranks first among Saudi’s arms suppliers, Europe, too, has been selling billions of dollars’ worth of weapons to the kingdom for decades.Appeals have mounted in recent days calling for such deals to be halted: On Sunday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that arms exports to Saudi Arabia “can’t take place in the situation we’re currently in,” citing Khashoggi’s death. But despite the outrage, no European country has yet taken concrete action to change how business is done.Spain’s prime minister said Wednesday his government would fulfil past arms sales contracts with Saudi Arabia despite his “dismay” over the “terrible murder” of Khashoggi earlier this month in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.Pedro Sanchez told lawmakers that protecting jobs in southern Spain was central to his decision last month to go ahead with a controversial bomb shipment to Saudi Arabia.In London, British Prime Minister Theresa May also rebuffed a call from opposition lawmakers to end weapons sales to the Arab kingdom, telling Parliament on Wednesday that “the procedures we follow are among the strictest in the world.”Spain, Germany, Italy and Switzerland each accounted for about two per cent of Saudi Arabia’s arms imports between 2013 and 2017, according to figures compiled by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, or SIPRI.France accounted for about 4 per cent, while Britain took a 23 per cent share of the business — behind the United States with 61 per cent.Merkel’s economy minister, Peter Altmaier, called Monday for a common European Union position on arms sales to Saudi Arabia, telling a public broadcaster that “only if all European countries agree would this make an impression on the government in Riyadh.”Even if Germany were to stop the exports, “it will have no positive consequences … if at the same time other countries fill this gap,” he said.Slovakia’s Foreign Ministry said Wednesday it was willing to discuss the German proposal. In neighbouring Czech Republic, Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek said he also supported a discussion as he summoned the Saudi ambassador to Prague to tell him “any attacks on journalists are unacceptable.”But Britain’s foreign secretary highlighted the difficulty in agreeing on a common EU stance on Saudi arms exports when he pointed out last month that “With countries like Saudi Arabia, countries like China, the way you make the most progress is by talking to them in private.”“If you talk about these things publicly you lose the access, they say ‘we don’t want to deal with you’ and you put yourself in a position where you have no influence over what’s happening,” Jeremy Hunt told Sky News.Should Western nations halt their sales, one country that might step in is Russia.Russian and Saudi officials discussed possible arms sales including S-400 air defence systems during a landmark visit by King Salman last October, but no contract was signed.Saudi Arabia also has expressed interest in setting up production of Russian Kornet-EM anti-tank missiles, TOS-1A rocket launchers and AGS-30 automatic grenade launchers and the latest version of the Kalashnikov assault rifle in their country. It is unclear if any of those deals are nearing implementation.Russia’s cautious stance on Khashoggi’s murder could be changing that, experts say.Kirill Semenyov, a Middle East expert on the Foreign Affairs Council which advises the Kremlin, said the Saudis would be looking for alternatives like Russia if one of their key partners were to pull out of the deals.“If the U.S. or Britain were to renege on the contracts to supply fighter jets or other weapons like tanks, it would be a serious blow, that would push Saudi Arabia to buy arms from Russia like T-90 tanks or Su-35 planes,” he said.A sizeable Russian business delegation on Tuesday descended on an investment conference in Riyadh to show that Moscow is unfazed by the accusations against the royal family.Kirill Dmitriev, chairman of the state-owned Russian Direct Investment Fund, told state-owned Rossiya 24 channel that “Saudi partners are appreciative of our balanced position.” ”We continue to co-operate with Saudi Arabia’s investment fund and other partners,” he added.Dmitriev likened the investigation into Khashoggi’s killing to recent accusations levelled against Russia over the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain and cyber-attacks around the world.“There’s a lot of speculation and unverified information around,” he said.French government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux said Wednesday that Paris will agree to sanctions against Saudi Arabia only if it’s proven they are to blame in the journalist’s killing.“As long as these facts are not corroborated by our intelligence services, we will withhold our response,” Griveaux said. “But once the light is made, that these facts are corroborated by our services, and in the event that Saudi Arabia’s responsibility is proven, then we will draw the consequences and we will take sanctions. And I will tell you something, it would not be just about weapons.”Diederik Cops, a researcher at the Flemish Peace Institute in Belgium, suggested that the European focus on military goods would have been more appropriate years ago in reaction to the Yemen conflict, where Saudi relies heavily on foreign arms and equipment. It may have taken the Khashoggi killing to force a change, he said.“Most governments are threatening with arms and questioning arms exports because they know that is the most strong … political pressure instrument they can use at this moment toward the Saudis,” he said.But, he added, it’s hard to tell if a global initiative on prohibiting arms exports to Saudi Arabia will take hold because of geopolitical and economic factors.Rights groups have long called unethical the multibillion-dollar U.S. and European arms sales to Saudi Arabia, for decades one of the world’s largest buyers of weapons. They point to the growing number of civilian casualties in Yemen’s ongoing civil war, in which the Saudis lead a mostly Arab coalition against Iranian-supported Shiite rebels known as the Houthis.Calls for the deals to be suspended have often surfaced in the wake of airstrikes by the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led coalition fighting against the Iranian-supported Shiite rebels in Yemen. The airstrikes have killed hundreds of Yemeni civilians, including women and children, since the commencement of the war in 2015.After an August airstrike hit a bus carrying Yemeni children on their way to school in the country’s north, killing more than 40, Human Rights Watch said the incident highlighted the “callous indifference of the Western powers enthusiastically arming the Saudi-led coalition.”On Wednesday, Spanish activists protested outside Parliament holding bomb-shaped signs reading “Decisions that kill.”Haizam Amirah Fernandez, an expert at Madrid-based think-tank Elcano Royal Institute, said Saudi Arabia’s current leadership “is aware that it has taken bold steps in the past three plus years with an absolute impunity” because the White House is its biggest backer.“Everybody else, including the Europeans, look at Washington to see what signals come out of the White House regarding support to the Saudi monarchy. And the signal so far has been of an unshakable support with timid criticism toward Saudi Arabia,” said Amirah Fernandez.___Parra contributed from Madrid. Mark Carlson in Brussels, Samuel Petrequin, Jill Lawless in London, Colleen Barry in Milan, David Rising in Berlin, Karel Janicek in Prague and Nataliya Vasilyeva and Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow, and Hamza Hendawi in Cairo contributed to this report.last_img read more

Last customers being reconnected to Puerto Rico power gridLast customers being reconnected to Puerto Rico power grid

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Crews were preparing Wednesday to shut down generators that have powered an island off Puerto Rico’s coast — the last customers to be reconnected to the U.S. territory’s main power system 18 months after Hurricane Maria destroyed the grid.The Electric Power Authority said it would connect an underwater cable to Culebra by the afternoon, despite wariness from the more than 1,000 people who live on the island, which is popular with tourists.“One year and six months relying solely on a generator that if the gasoline runs out, we don’t have power,” said Culebra resident Grace Monel, adding that people were hit with several outages a month that have damaged home appliances. “It has taken so long.”She said she now worries that the electrical grid is still fragile, noting that two major outages were reported on the main island of Puerto Rico this week alone. Officials said a cat was responsible for the first outage, which left thousands of people without power in the capital of San Juan on Saturday. Another outage, on Tuesday, was blamed on an iguana that made contact with a 115,000-volt bar, leaving some 100,000 people without power.Jose Sepulveda, the power company’s transmission and distribution director, acknowledged to The Associated Press that the current system, which serves 1.5 million customers, is a patch-up job following the Sept. 20, 2017, hurricane, and that it needs further repairs and updates.“Some codes were ignored because of time and lack of equipment,” he said, adding that safety was never compromised. “Now that the emergency is over, we will start rebuilding the system.”Sepulveda said he did not know how long that process would take, saying only that it would be “months” as crews inspect a grid that was destroyed by Maria and rebuilt with help from the U.S. government and millions of dollars in federal funds. He said that in some cases, cables of a substandard calibre were used to help restore power across Puerto Rico, which was fully energized by August 2018, nearly a year after a storm that caused more than an estimated $100 billion in damage.In addition, officials will be installing three backup generators in Culebra to replace the three that are being retired. They were operated and fully funded by the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency.The Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1 and Sepulveda said the grid is not ready for another major storm. If one hits, “We will experience something similar to what happened in 2017,” he said.Danica Coto, The Associated Press read more

Annan urges steppedup efforts to fight HIVAIDS epidemicAnnan urges steppedup efforts to fight HIVAIDS epidemic

Delivering the keynote address to the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize Luncheon in New York, the Secretary-General painted a grim picture of the reach of HIV/AIDS, which has infected more than 40 million people today. “Every day, more than 8,000 people die of it. Every hour, almost 600 people become infected. Every minute, a child dies of the virus,” he said. Despite these bleak trends, the Secretary-General said the world had reached a new level of commitment to fight the epidemic. “Never before, in the two decades that we have faced this growing catastrophe, has there been such a sense of common resolve and collective responsibility,” he said. “People are grasping the seriousness of the crisis, but they are also realizing that we are not powerless against this disease.” In order to meet the challenge of building on the current momentum, he said greater resources would be needed. The Global AIDS and Health Fund had received pledges of over $1.5 billion, but that amount was insufficient to the task. “We need $7 to $10 billion a year to tackle this disease.””It is clear that we now have the roadmap, the tools and the knowledge to fight AIDS,” said Mr. Annan. “And if we all work together and pool our efforts, I think we can win this war on all fronts. This year’s Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize was awarded to Dame Cicely Saunders, the founder and President of St. Christopher’s Hospice. The luncheon was held at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Manhattan. read more

Action on climate change crucial to water and food security Ban stressesAction on climate change crucial to water and food security Ban stresses

“Action on climate change remains a major piece of unfinished business,” Mr. Ban told an event hosted by Qatar on the sidelines of the General Debate of the 67th session of the General Assembly.Last December, Member States agreed to reach a legally binding agreement on climate change by 2015, he said, referring to the decision taken by the 194 parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at their conference in Durban, South Africa. “Two days ago I called on Member States to make good on this promise. Time is running out on our ability to limit the rise in global temperature to 2 degrees centigrade.”It is vital for everyone to work together to make the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference, to be held in the Qatari capital of Doha from 26 November to 7 December, “a major stepping stone to a global, robust and legally binding climate regime,” said Mr. Ban.The world, he said, is witnessing the highest levels of emissions ever; the Arctic sea ice is again at an all-time low; and it is another record year for wild fires, droughts and flooding. Climate change is making weather patterns both extreme and unpredictable, contributing to volatility in global food prices, which means food and nutrition insecurity for the poor and the most vulnerable. The Secretary-General has made food security a top priority through the Zero Hunger Challenge he launched at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), held in Brazil in June. The initiative aims for a future where every individual has adequate nutrition and where all food systems are resilient. Its five objectives are to make sure that everyone in the world has access to enough nutritious food all year long; to end childhood stunting; to build sustainable food systems; to double the productivity and income of smallholder farmers, especially women; and to prevent food from being lost or wasted. Ending hunger will mean climate-smart, climate-resilient agriculture, as well as policies that are water-smart, energy-efficient, and that promote inclusive green growth, Mr. Ban said. Also crucial is more private and public investment in science, innovation and applied research, as well as innovative partnerships among farmers, governments, businesses, academia, international organizations and civil society.“But our efforts will come to naught if we don’t work together to slow down the carbon emissions that are warming the planet,” Mr. Ban stated. He called on governments to adopt the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol when they meet later this year in Doha. The first commitment period of the Protocol, the legally binding treaty to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, expires this year. “The emission reduction targets of the new Kyoto treaty are not sufficient – we know that – but they are necessary starting point from which to build a future global agreement by 2015,” he stated.It is also important to address the gap between fast-start finance and long-term finance so that by 2020 climate finance is being mobilized at the agreed level of $100 billion a year, he said, calling for accelerating efforts to make the Green Climate Fund, approved last year in Durban, fully operational. “This is the path to water and food security,” he stated. read more

UN atomic energy watchdog will need more than 10 million a yearUN atomic energy watchdog will need more than 10 million a year

“There is now a historic opportunity to resolve the Iran nuclear issue,” IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano said in an address to the agency’s Board of Governors he convened to consider the UN Security Council’s request for the agency to undertake verification and monitoring of Iran’s nuclear-related commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).“I hope that full use will be made of this opportunity,” Mr. Amano said.Reminding member States on the IAEA Board that the joint plan of action was agreed Initiative by international negotiators (the ‘E3+3’ – composed of China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States) and Iran on 14 July, he said his agency was ready to undertake the necessary work subject to the approval of the Board.Explaining the plan of action and its budgetary implications, Mr. Amano said, “Iran has agreed to implement extra nuclear-related commitments, which are known as transparency measures. These include enhanced access for Agency inspectors to uranium mines and mills, and continuous surveillance of centrifuge manufacturing and storage locations.”“These measures go beyond the scope of Iran’s comprehensive safeguards agreement and additional protocol and will help the Agency to have a better understanding of Iran’s nuclear programme,” he said.Mr. Amano said his agency will require additional resources to implement the activities described in IAEA’s report on Verification and Monitoring in the Islamic Republic of Iran in light of UN Security Council Resolution 2231.“We estimate that implementation of the JCPOA will involve expenditure by the Agency totalling 9.2 million euros per year,” he said. “I call on all Member States in a position to do so to contribute towards the financial needs of the Agency related to implementation of the Joint Plan of Action, as well as preparatory and implementation work under the JCPOA.”Saying that the arrangements made with Iran are “technically sound and consistent with established IAEA safeguards practices,” Mr. Amano assured member States that “they do not compromise our standards in any way.”He also said IAEA has “top-class technical experts, high-tech equipment and state-of-the art analytical laboratories” and nearly six decades of experience of implementing comprehensive safeguards agreements. “We are now doing so in 173 countries,” he said. “We have been implementing the additional protocol for nearly 20 years.”And looking ahead, he said he will present his final assessment to the Board by December 15th. read more

Message from the ProvostMessage from the Provost

Message from the Provost, Murray KnuttilaI am writing to inform you that some of your student information was inadvertently made accessible through Internet searches. This occurred when a file containing some student information was accidentally uploaded onto a publicly accessible Brock website by a library employee. The information file included all student names, student numbers, phone numbers, mailing addresses and email addresses. The file that was inadvertently uploaded has been deleted. All student files are now safe and secure.University officials were alerted to the situation on Jan. 28 when a student told library staff that he had accessed some of his own information when he did a Google search of his name. University staff immediately deleted the file and contacted Google to have all of the information erased from any search archives or indexes.  It is extremely unlikely that the information contained in the file could be used to access any further personal information at the University, because of password protection and security measures that are in place.A situation like this is not something we take lightly, and immediate steps were taken to reduce the risk of any recurrences. Brock University is committed to the highest level of security of student information and the protection of privacy, and has informed the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario of the incident to ensure that all obligations under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act are fullfilled.Although there is no immediate risk posed by this incident, we routinely encourage students to regularly change their passwords for security purposes.  Students can access the passwords for their campus accounts through the portal at my.brocku.caIf you have any questions regarding this matter, please contact University Communications at or at 905-688-5550 x4687.Murray KnuttilaProvost and Vice-President Academic read more

Mens Volleyball Ohio State sweeps Loyola to capture third straight MIVA tournamentMens Volleyball Ohio State sweeps Loyola to capture third straight MIVA tournament

Junior setter Sanil Thomas sets the ball during the second set of No. 3 Ohio State’s match against No. 8 Penn State on Jan. 28, 2018 in St. John Arena. The Buckeyes defeated the Nittany Lions in straight sets (25-19, 25-15, 25-17) to pick up their fifth win of the season. Credit: Aliyyah Jackson | Senior ReporterThe Ohio State men’s volleyball team clinched a third MIVA tournament title Saturday night in front of 1,364 fans at St. John Arena, defeating Loyola 3-0 and clinching a spot in the NCAA tournament. The victory also marked head coach Pete Hanson’s 700th career win.Though Ohio State has often struggled to put teams away up 2-0, the Buckeyes finished off the Ramblers in the third set 25-19 to claim the title. “Early in the season, we didn’t beat the better teams like BYU or UCLA,” Ohio State senior outside hitter Nicolas Szerszen said. “That kind of changed us in the RPI where we didn’t get a bid, so it was either all-in today or nothing.”Szerszen was everywhere he needed to be in both the front and back rows, ending the opening set with seven kills and five digs. Junior setter Sanil Thomas had 16 assists in the first set alone — six more than his 10.59 assist per game average. Though Loyola was able to avoid taking many attacking errors, the Ramblers struggled offensively, failing to find the right power or strategy to bring in the kills. Loyola’s top attacker, junior outside hitter Collin Mahan, struggled alongside his team, ending the first set with only one kill.The Buckeyes won the first set 25-20.In the second set, the Ramblers came onto the court with a renewed energy. Big on the net, Loyola intimidated Ohio State attackers into hitting the ball over Rambler blockers’ hands and out of bounds. After four attacking errors in a matter of seven plays from his team, Hanson called a timeout with his team trailing 9-5. A back-row attack from Szerszen won the Buckeyes the side-out and brought some elevated energy onto Ohio State’s side of the court. Hanson said that during the timeout, he told the Buckeyes to stay calm and maintain a consistent push against the Ramblers.“I heard this quote from the national team coach one time. It said, ‘You don’t have to be playing great volleyball all the time, but if you play good volleyball for a long period of time you’re going to be successful,’” Hanson said. “We just told them, ‘You don’t have to make the ultimate play. You don’t have to make the ultimate kill. Just be good, settle in and do what we have been doing.’”Senior outside hitter Maxime Hervoir and redshirt junior middle blocker Blake Leeson each registered a pair of kills with the Buckeyes trailing around the middle of the set to give Ohio State the advantage in the second set. Ohio State used the momentum to win the second set 25-23 and take a 2-0 lead.Szerszen said that given Ohio State’s struggles to put teams away after going up 2-0, he was a little bit worried going into the third set. “I got a little bit scared, I’m not going to lie. I saw some of the players getting a little relaxed, a little less involved than in the two first ones,” Szerszen said. “I made sure that some of the players kept going until the end. and were focused till the end and had a little bit of hate in them when they played. Because if you just go back and play to pay, you’re not going to be as efficient as if you just want to kill the opponent.”Loyola fell behind early to start off the third set. Though Rambler Mahan and senior opposite Ricky Gevis scored their fair share of kills with four each, Loyola could not keep up with the Buckeyes. Determined to end the match in the third set, the Buckeyes came out swinging with a hitting percentage of .500 and three-plus kills each from Szerszen, Leeson, Hanes and redshirt senior middle blocker Nick Laffin. A kill from Hervoir ended the match and sent Buckeye players running onto the court in celebration of the end of one tournament and the beginning of another.“It feels good to go there, and honestly, I think it’s gonna be good because we have nothing to lose,” he said. “All the other teams are technically ranked higher than us. We’re the underdog just like two years ago, and it’s always good to come in a game as the underdog.”At the end of the night, three Ohio State players were awarded MIVA All-Tournament Accolades — Thomas, redshirt freshman opposite Jake Hanes and Szerszen, who was named Most Outstanding Player. read more

Man accused of chasing girl with machetes facing assault resisting chargesMan accused of chasing girl with machetes facing assault resisting charges

first_img KUSI Newsroom, Posted: May 25, 2018 Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter SAN DIEGO (KUSI) —  A man who allegedly had two machetes as he chased a 13-year-old girl in La Mesa and who was shot by a police officer whom he allegedly charged while brandishing one of the weapons is scheduled to be arraigned from his hospital bed Tuesday.Bernard E. Graham, 34, is charged with two counts each of assault with a deadly weapon and resisting an officer.Related Story: La Mesa police officer shoots a man who threatened a child with a knifeGraham was shot in the abdomen and one of his arms during the Monday morning encounter with La Mesa police on Fletcher Parkway, a short distance from Amaya Drive, according to La Mesa Police Capt. Ray Sweeney.The events that led to the shooting began just before 8:30 a.m., when a man in a black leather jacket confronted a 13-year-old near a trolley station as she was walking to school and threw a closed pocket knife at her, striking her with it, police said. The terrified girl ran off, and Graham gave chase according to police. The teen managed to elude her pursuer by fleeing into a nearby sandwich shop, Sweeney said.Graham ignored officers’ commands to drop a large machete-style knife and allegedly charged toward one of them, prompting the officer to open fire.The defendant — who has a 2004 conviction for arson — faces 55 years to life in prison if convicted.The officer involved in this incident is La Mesa Police Officer, Peter West. Officer West has been with the La Mesa Police Department for one year. Prior to La Mesa, Officer West was employed by Calexico PD for eight years. Updated: 6:41 AMcenter_img KUSI Newsroom Man accused of chasing girl with machetes facing assault, resisting charges May 25, 2018last_img read more

60 of housing associations offer defined contribution pensions60 of housing associations offer defined contribution pensions

first_imgAlmost two-thirds (60%) of housing association respondents offer staff a defined contribution (DC) pension scheme, according to research by EMA Business and Management Consultancy.Its 2015 Total rewards survey, which is based on responses from 94 UK housing associations, found that the average contribution rates for DC schemes was 7% for employers and 5% for employees.The research also found:18% of respondents provide a local government final salary pension scheme for staff.Just over three quarters (78%) of respondents offer bonus or performance-related pay (PRP) for their employees, with eligibility for consideration ranging from 57% among directors to 25% among employees involved in sales activity.74% of respondents say that staff are not entitled to sick pay during their probationary period, and 11% are not entitled to sick pay during the first year of employment. Just over a third (36%) intend to review their contractual sick pay within the next two years.Around half (49%) of respondents offer flexible working.12% offer car salary sacrifice schemes and a company car or car allowance, which are available to 81% of directors, 66% of senior managers and 62% of office employees.Ian Robertson, executive director at EMA Business and Management Consultancy, said: “Having being tasked with improving output, it should come as no surprise that housing associations are having to look at more diverse commercial measures to incentivise performance and reduce expenditure.“It is important however, that such policies are approached with care; using bonuses to improve performance, for example, must be implemented with a robust management framework, ensuring clear service standards and targets are visible to all.“It is the combination of benefits, with the more commercial incentives discussed, which help to make a career within housing associations an attractive prospect.”last_img read more

Cheaper Turboprops Lower Some AK Jet FaresCheaper Turboprops Lower Some AK Jet Fares

first_imgCost-cutting on an Alaska Airlines Railbelt route is lowering fares in Southeast.The airline began flying smaller, turboprop planes between Anchorage and Fairbanks earlier this year. They also flew summer routes between Anchorage and Kodiak.A southbound Alaska Airlines jet takes off from Petersburg’s airport Sept. 13, 2014. Some of the airline’s fares have been reduced and other price cuts may be coming. (Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska News)Alaska Vice President Marilyn Romano says they’re cheaper to operate.“It’s a cost savings because you’re not using a jet that’s designed for a longer flight, and running it back and forth on a very short segment,” she says. “And so by doing that, then you take it to the next level. Our ultimate goal was to bring down our costs. Then we could, at the same time, look at bringing down fares.”Romano says some cheaper fares went into place last spring and more are coming. She says they’re separate from steep discounts on summer Seattle-Juneau flights that came after Delta Air Lines began competing on that route.It’s fairly difficult to pin down those discounts, because of the large number of factors affecting fares. Our own comparison showed some current prices lower and some higher than last fall, winter or spring.Airline officials were reluctant to release such details, but did provide a few examples.They say a one-way fare from Juneau to Anchorage purchased two weeks in advance has dropped around 10 percent. Ketchikan to Sitka is down about 12 and a half percent. And Juneau to Seattle was discounted by about a third.It’s part of a larger effort to make sure Alaskans stay with the airline, if they’re booking a route where they have a choice.“We have over 500,000 mileage plan members in the state of Alaska. And of that number, we’re over 330,000 Club 49 members,” she says.The new Alaska Alaska Airlines Recaro seats include plug-ins for phones, computers and similar devices. (Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska News)Alaska Airlines is also adding new interiors to more jets flying in its namesake state.The airlines’ three larger models have new seats by designed byRecaro, which also makes racing-car seating.Romano says they’re thinner with the same comfort level and allow for more leg room. Industry observers say they also allow airlines to put more passengers on planes. But they have another feature: They include outlets than can power laptops, tablets and cell phones.Those seats are mostly on flights traveling longer routes, such as Juneau-Anchorage. They’re not being put on smaller jets, such as “combis,” which fly to smaller communities. Combis carry passengers and freight.But Romano says smaller aircraft are getting recycled interiors from larger jets with the new seating.“You’re going to see some newer seats, even on Combis. We’re switching out some of the older seats and putting in newer seats. They’re not Recaro seats, but they’re newer,” she says.She says smaller communities may occasionally see more recent jets when larger passenger loads are expected.Read earlier reports:Juneau remains part of ‘battle for Seattle’ between Delta & AlaskaDelta, Alaska Airlines fight for market share in SeattleAlaska Airlines adds outlets, but not on Southeast flightslast_img read more

Boy Found Dead In St MarysBoy Found Dead In St Marys

first_imgA two-year-old boy was found dead in a creek in St. Mary’s Saturday. The boy’s mother reported to Alaska State Troopers the boy was missing Saturday afternoon.Troopers and local search crews initiated a hasty search of the area. They also diverted an aircraft with a pilot and  spotter to fly over the area. Searchers combed the creek near the house and eventually found the child’s body caught under a sunken wood pallet.Troopers say there are no signs of foul play. The boy’s body will be sent to the medical examiners office for an autopsy.last_img read more

Walker administration wont challenge veto reversalWalker administration wont challenge veto reversal

first_imgPat Pitney, director of the Office of Management & Budget, at a press conference, Feb. 5, 2015. The Walker administration is not challenging a decision to reverse his veto. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)Governor Bill Walker won’t challenge a decision to reverse his veto of education spending.In late June, Walker vetoed $6.35 million previously allocated to a formula that funds schools based on their enrollment numbers.The Legislative Finance Division reviewed the veto and decided it was ineffective for technical reasons. Basically, the governor’s veto cut one source of funding. But, there’s another source of funding would replace that amount automatically. Walker didn’t cut that.Listen nowPat Pitney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, says the governor could have challenged that analysis, but at a high cost.“It was possible because of all the intent that was written into the vetoes, and the backup information, that there was clarity in the $6.3 million reduction,” said Pitney. “But if it was challenged, it would be a lot of wasted time and court battle.”Pitney says the administration decided going to court would have left schools questioning how much money they would get from the state for too long. She says even if a court decision favored the governor, the amount of money saved might not have justified the effort.“There were $58 million in education-related vetoes and now by accepting Legislative Finance’s interpretation there’s $53 million in school-related vetoes,” said Pitney.The Walker administration’s cuts to education were part of a larger attempt to close the state’s spending gap. Pitney says the state’s revenue that legislators have the most power over has dropped by more than 80 percent since the average in the oil boom years between 2007 and 2013.“So it’s like if you were a $100,000 household and now you’re making $16,000. You have fixed costs. Education is a fixed cost. The amount of money we put into education exceeds the amount of money the state receives — just education,” said Pitney.Pitney says the state needs a sustainable fiscal plan.last_img read more

One nation one flag BJP leaderOne nation one flag BJP leader

first_imgKarimnagar: An historical decision of scrapping of Article 370 of Jammu and Kashmir will last forever in the Indian history, said BJP State Executive Member Kotte Murali Krishna here on Monday.”Leaders in the past had created uncertainty and communalism, filled the society with terror, robbed Kashmiri youth of opportunities and never gave freedom to them. Now Prime Minister Narendra Modi has delivered ‘one flag, one nation and one constitution’ by revoking Article 370,” he added. Also Read – Non-bailable warrant to Congress leader Renuka Chowdhury Advertise With Us Ex-servicemen Armguard Ereddy Ramana Reddy said that with the abolition of Article 370, Kashmir will acquire financial stability slowly. Also this will put a stop to the silent operations being conducted by Pakistan in Kashmir, Ramana Reddy added. Ex-Air Force man Kalidas said from now on only the Indian flag will fly and the court judgements and parliament laws will be applicable to Kashmir also like other States in the country.last_img read more

Sensex gains 328 points closes above 26000Sensex gains 328 points closes above 26000

first_imgA modest recovery in crude oil prices, coupled with gains in European stock markets and better corporate earnings by Indian companies lifted Indian stocks on Tuesday. The S&P BSE Sensex gained 328 points, or 1.28 percent, to close at 26,007, while the NSE Nifty ended the day at 7,963, up 108 points, or 1.37 percent. Oil prices saw a modest uptick, recovering lost ground in the past few sessions, while European equity markets buoyed on companies such as BP reporting better quarterly results, as reported by agencies.Fourth-quarter results reported by Indian companies also played a role in lifting market sentiments.”Results in general have been supportive of the market so that has established a good fundamental base for the markets,” said Sandip Sabharwal, fund manager,  However, a report in the Economic Times said that macroeconomic data and not corporate earnings are driving the indices. “The recent move in the market has surprised everybody because even on the global front, we have not seen any kind of meaningful uptick in the fundamentals. I think in India we have seen some good data points come in the last couple of months, at least on the macro side, so that gives us some kind of relief,” the daily quoted Mahesh Patil, Co-CIO, Birla Sun Life, as saying.”Most of the traders are not expecting two hikes by Fed this year,” Akhil Mittal, senior fund manager, Tata Mutual Fund, said. Shares of Maruti Suzuki, which has a 3 percent weightage in the Sensex, surged over 4 percent after the car-maker declared its March quarter results, added the ET.last_img read more

Troye Sivan talks gay conversion therapy movie Boy Erased It weighed onTroye Sivan talks gay conversion therapy movie Boy Erased It weighed on

first_img‘The subject matter was pretty intense’Speaking to The Herald Sun, he said: ‘It was a heavy shoot. The subject matter was pretty intense, obviously.’He furthermore added: ‘I was going to the camp every day for 14 hours a day, for a month.‘I’d hear this rhetoric of intolerance and seeing such talented actors bring them to life really made it feel very real.’Instagram/troyesivan Troye Sivan has discussed his upcoming gay conversion therapy movie Boy Erased, co-starring Nicole Kidman.The My My My! singer admits the film ‘weighed on’ him, adding he was glad when it was behind him. Read the full article on Gaystarnews:  : In the film Troye plays Gary, who is sent to the camp to cure him of his homosexuality. Based on Boy Erased: A Memoir by Garrard Conley, the adaptation also star Russell Crowe and gay director extraordinaire Xavier Dolan.The main character Garrard will be played by Lucas Hedges.‘I was happy to get out of there’Happy Little Pill singer Troye also added: ‘It weighed on me after a while, I was happy to get out of there at the end. But I think it’s going to be a very special and important movie.’Boy Erased is released in the US on 28 September.Elsewhere in the interview, Troye briefly mentions his model boyfriend Jacob Bixenman, saying: ‘He’s a big fan of pop music as well.’The star reveals that Jacob inspired his latest single, while his ex inspired new break up song The Good Side.‘There’s a lot of love songs on this album,’ Troye said. ‘That’s the most common theme, but there’s other stuff in there. These two songs demonstrate two different perspectives straight away so people know what to expect.’Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading…center_img GAYSTARNEWS- eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us)last_img read more

Learn the Language That Makes up the Backbone of the InternetLearn the Language That Makes up the Backbone of the Internet

first_img Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. 2 min read Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now When it comes to programming, getting started is the hardest part. There are too many programming languages to choose from these days and each seems to be suited for a specific kind of work. The best thing you can do is build a foundation using the most popular programming language out there: JavaScript.If you want to learn JavaScript, but don’t want to pay an arm and a leg, enroll in this Comprehensive JavaScript Bundle. It’s like a gateway into the great wide world of programming, and it only costs $31.With eight courses and over 42 hours of expert instruction, this set of online courses will give you an in-depth introduction to everything JavaScript. And instead of just reading about it, you’ll actually do work along the way to feel confident in your coding abilities. You’ll build dynamic apps and web pages from scratch, create games that can actually be played online, and either work with other languages to increase functionality in your projects.Don’t worry if you have zero experience, the expert instructor will walk you through every step. Plus, you’ll get lifetime access so you can revisit the content whenever you need a refresher.No matter how many other languages you learn along the way, JavaScript will always serve as your foundation. Learn it now for just $31, discounted 97% from the original cost. This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Enroll Now for Free June 7, 2019last_img read more

Montgomery resigns from Creative Holidays moves to Virgin BlueMontgomery resigns from Creative Holidays moves to Virgin Blue

first_img<a href=”” target=”_blank”><img src=”;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Justin Montgomery has announced his resignation as Creative Holidays Managing Director, effective from 19 July. Justin said, “With almost nine years at The Travel Corporation, over eight of which were with Creative Holidays, it is with great sadness that I resign as Managing Director.”Justin will be joining the Virgin Blue Airlines Group as General Manager, Sales (excluding Virgin Atlantic). John Weeks, CEO the Travel Corporation said, “Justin has made an enormous contribution to Creative Holidays which has experienced significant growth over the past few years to become the largest independent wholesale company in Australia. We wish Justin every success in his new role with Virgin Airlines.” The Travel Corporation said a successor to Justin would be announced shortly. e-Travel Blackboard will update this story as further information comes to light.   Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.Flast_img read more

Australias first support network for Indigenous tourism staff lAustralias first support network for Indigenous tourism staff l

first_imgAustralia’s first support network for Indigenous tourism staff launchedThe Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) and corporate partner Echo Entertainment Group celebrated the creation of Australia’s first support network for Indigenous employees in the tourism industry in Cairns on Tuesday 7 July.The launch of the ‘QTIC Indigenous Employee Network – North Queensland Chapter’ coincided with NAIDOC Week (5 – 12 July), a nationwide celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and achievements.The new employee group is part of a $300,000 partnership between QTIC and Echo Entertainment Group to create and promote Indigenous job and career opportunities via peer mentoring and relationship building across the local community.The new network, for existing and potential Indigenous employees in Queensland’s tourism sector, is designed to support and retain staff in the industry and further strengthen the representation of Indigenous employees.Due to the strong concentration of tourism employers in Far North Queensland, the new state-wide network is commencing in Cairns with further chapters to be established across Queensland.Source = Queensland Tourism Industry Councillast_img read more

Domestic visitors spend record 16 billion dollars in NSWDomestic visitors spend record 16 billion dollars in NSW

first_imgDomestic visitors spend record 16 billion dollars in NSWMinister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres has welcomed new figures showing NSW has streaked further ahead as the nation’s Number One tourism destination with domestic visitors spending a record $16 billion last year. According to Tourism Research Australia’s National Visitor Survey for 2015, NSW attracted 28.1 million visitors from across Australia during 2015, up 4.4 per cent on the previous year, who stayed 91.1 million nights (up 4.1%) and spent $16.1 billion (up 5.1%). “This is fantastic news, tourism creates jobs in hotels, restaurants and world class attractions and provides a huge boost to the state’s economy. For the first time our guests spent more than $16 billion in Sydney and across Regional NSW,” Mr Ayres said. “NSW received 8 million more domestic visitors than Queensland and 6.5 million more visitors than Victoria – clearly we are outshining the rest of Australia.” “Regional NSW also recorded an increase with 19.5 million visitors (a 2.3 per cent rise) who stayed 66.3 million nights and spent $9.3 billion for the year,” Mr Ayres said. Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer Sandra Chipchase said the agency’s ongoing partnership activities, marketing campaigns and securing of key events continues to drive increased domestic visitor numbers.“We are very pleased our recent destination campaigns focusing on the Hunter, South Coast and Central Coast Regions, as well as a NSW-wide caravan and camping campaign have helped to boost visitor numbers,” Ms Chipchase said.Some of the events held in NSW in recent months that have attracted visitors from across Australia include the V8 Supercars Sydney 500, Extreme Sailing Series on Sydney Harbour, Junior World Gliding Championships at Narromine, Aria Week and Aria Awards, the AACTA Awards, Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht race, Emirates Australian Golf Open, NRL Grand Final, Eden Whale Festival, Orange Wine Festival, Taste Riverina Festival, and Deni Ute Muster. Destination NSWSource = Destination NSWlast_img read more