Kansas to audit water park where boy decapitated

first_imgTOPEKA, Kan. – A Kansas agency plans to conduct a full audit of a water park’s inspection records before it reopens this spring, a state official said Wednesday, after criminal charges were filed over the decapitation of a 10-year-old boy on the world’s tallest waterslide there in 2016.The state Department of Labor said it will review reports from daily inspections of rides by park staff at the Schlitterbahn park in Kansas City, Kansas, before it is scheduled to reopen May 25 for its annual season. A state law enacted last year after Caleb Schwab’s death requires amusement parks to keep daily reports on their rides and to give them annual inspections.A grand jury has issued indictments with multiple criminal charges against the park; the construction company that built the giant waterslide; former park operations director Tyler Austin Miles; the ride’s co-designer, John Timothy Schooley, and a co-owner of Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts, Jeffrey Wayne Henry.Henry, Schooley and the construction company face one felony count of second-degree murder and Miles and the park, one count of involuntary manslaughter, over Caleb’s death. The raft the boy was riding on the 17-story Verruckt ride went airborne and hit an overhead loop.State law allows parks to have their own staff do daily inspections and to have private inspectors do the annual inspections, rather than state inspectors. The inspectors doing the annual reviews must be either licensed engineers with two years’ experience with amusement rides, have five years’ experience in inspecting rides or have been certified by one of three industry groups.Hersh said the audit will show whether the park has been conducting the required inspections and maintaining proper records on them as it prepares to reopen for the sesason.“They will have a notebook full of inspections,” she said.Schlitterbahn spokeswoman Winter Prosapio said in a statement Tuesday that the latest indictment against Henry, Schooley and the construction company “is filled with information that we fully dispute.”The company also posted a statement on its website that all park attractions are “thoroughly inspected daily” by supervisors and managers.Also, it said, before the park opens for the season, each ride has a thorough internal review and an inspection from “an independent third party.” The statement said the park’s insurance provider also conducts annual inspections.Henry, Schooley and the construction company are charged with second-degree murder in connection with Caleb’s death, and Miles and the park are charged with involuntary manslaughter over it. All are charged with multiple counts of aggravated battery and aggravated endangering a child in connection with injuries to other riders on the 17-story waterslide.Miles was arrested last week and released from a Kansas jail on bond. jail in Wyandotte County, Kansas, on $50,000 bond. Henry was arrested Monday in Cameron County, Texas, and waived extradition to Kansas during a court hearing Wednesday.As for Schooley, family attorney Kit Yam, of Houston, said he was travelling in Asia. Yam said Schooley is in the process of hiring a Kansas City-area attorney.“He is out of the country at this point on a business trip,” Yam said.___Associated Press writers Heather Hollingsworth in Kansas City, Missouri; Tim Talley in Oklahoma City, and David Warren and Terry Wallace in Dallas also contributed to this report.___Follow John Hanna on Twitter: https://twitter.com/apjdhanna .last_img read more

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Indonesia plane crash search finds remains debris at sea

first_imgJAKARTA, Indonesia – Rescuers in inflatable boats retrieved human remains, pieces of aircraft and personal belongings from the Java Sea on Monday after a new-generation Boeing jet operated by an Indonesian budget airline crashed minutes after takeoff, killing all 189 people on board.Distraught family members struggled to comprehend the sudden loss of loved ones in the crash of the 2-month-old Lion Air plane with experienced pilots in fine weather.They gathered at crisis centres set up by the authorities at airports, hoping desperately for a miracle. But a top search official, citing the condition of the remains recovered, said no survivors are expected.The disaster is a setback for Indonesia’s airline industry, which just emerged from decadelong bans by the European Union and the U.S. over safety concerns.President Joko Widodo ordered an investigation and urged Indonesians to “keep on praying.”The crash of the Boeing 737 Max 8 is the latest in a series of tragedies that have struck Indonesia this year, including earthquakes and a tsunami that killed several thousand people.An air transport official, Novie Riyanto, said the flight was cleared to return to Jakarta after the pilot made a “return to base” request two to three minutes after taking off. It plunged into the sea about 10 minutes later. Weather conditions were normal but the plane, which Lion Air received in August, had experienced an unspecified technical issue on its previous flight.Relatives and friends wept, prayed and hugged each other as they waited at Jakarta’s airport and at Pangkal Pinang’s airport on Bangka island off Sumatra where the flight was headed. Some including Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani headed to the search and rescue agency’s headquarters in Jakarta for information. About 20 ministry staff were on the flight.Latief Nurbana said he and his wife Yeti Eka Sumiati stayed up late Sunday talking to their 24-year-old son Lutfi Nuramdani, squeezing every moment they could from his weekend visit to Jakarta to catch up on his life in Pangkal Pinang.Nurbana said they talked until falling asleep and Sumiati woke up early to take their son, a post office worker, to the airport.“Last night, we were chatting together about his wife who is now seven months’ pregnant, his plans and his dreams with his own small family until we fell asleep,” he said as his wife wept and clung to him.“Now he’s gone. We can’t believe that he left us this way, we can’t believe that his plane crashed. That’s something we only see on TV news, now it happened to my son,” Nurbana said. “We want to see his body, his face, his remains.”More than 300 people including soldiers, police and fishermen are involved in the grim search, retrieving aircraft debris and personal items such as a crumpled cellphone, ID cards and carry-on bags from the seas northeast of Jakarta.Search and Rescue Agency chief Muhammad Syaugi said he’s certain it won’t take long to locate the hull of the aircraft and its black box due to the relatively shallow 25 to 30 metre (100 to 115 foot) depths of the waters it plunged into. Three specialized search ships, including one from Singapore, were headed to the crash location.The jet, on a 1-hour flight, was carrying 181 passengers, including one child and two babies, and eight crew members.Lion Air said there were two foreigners on the plane: one of the pilots, Indian national Bhavye Suneja, and an Italian citizen.Friends and relatives gathered at the pilot’s family home in New Delhi to comfort his immediate family.“His father is stunned and not in a condition to talk or do anything. Sister and mother have not come out. They are distressed,” said family friend Anil Gupta.The pilot of Flight 610 had more than 6,000 flying hours while the co-pilot had more than 5,000 hours, according to Lion Air.The Transport Ministry said the plane took off from Jakarta at about 6:20 a.m. and crashed just 13 minutes later. Data from FlightAware showed it had reached an altitude of only 5,200 feet (1,580 metres).Boeing Co. said it was “deeply saddened” by the crash and was prepared to provide technical assistance to Indonesia’s crash probe.The 737 Max 8 was leased from China Minsheng Investment Group Leasing Holdings Ltd., according to the official China News Service.Malindo Air, a Malaysian subsidiary of Lion Air, was the first airline to begin using the 737 Max 8 last year. The Max 8 replaced the similar 800 in the Chicago-based plane maker’s product line.Lion Air president-director Edward Sirait said the plane had a “technical problem” on its previous flight from Bali to Jakarta but it had been fully remedied. He didn’t know specifics of the problem when asked in a TV interview.“Indeed there were reports about a technical problem, and the technical problem has been resolved in accordance with the procedures released by the plane manufacturer,” Sirait said. “I did not know exactly but let it be investigated by the authorities.”The crash is the worst airline disaster in Indonesia since an AirAsia flight from Surabaya to Singapore plunged into the sea in December 2014, killing all 162 on board.Indonesian airlines were barred in 2007 from flying to Europe because of safety concerns, though several were allowed to resume services in the following decade. The ban was completely lifted in June. The U.S. lifted a decadelong ban in 2016.Lion Air, a discount carrier, is one Indonesia’s youngest and biggest airlines, flying to dozens of domestic and international destinations. Earlier this year it confirmed a deal to buy 50 new Boeing narrow-body aircraft worth an estimated $6.2 billion.It has been expanding aggressively in Southeast Asia, a fast-growing region of more than 600 million people. In a record transaction, Lion Air signed a deal to buy 230 Boeing jets for $21.7 billion during a visit by then-President Barack Obama in November 2011___AP journalists Elaine Kurtenbach in Bangkok, Shonal Ganguly in New Delhi and Achmad Ibrahim and Ali Kotarumalos in Jakarta, Indonesia, contributed to this report.last_img read more

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China suspends imports from Canadian pork company over food safety issues

MONTREAL — China is targeting another Canadian pork producer by temporarily halting imports allegedly over food safety issues at a time when diplomatic tensions are intensifying between the two countries.The decision follows the reported discovery of ractopamine, a food additive banned in China, in a shipment of frozen pork tongues shipped to the city of Nanjing from Quebec-based Frigo Royal, according to the Xinhua News Agency.“We have been briefed by China,” Federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said in Ottawa on Tuesday. “We have no scientific confirmation that (this substance) has been found.”A company representative who did not want to be identified told The Canadian Press that there was “an investigation” but declined to provide more details.Based in Saint-Hyacinthe, the company offers warehousing, distribution and exportation of food products. It became part of Expedi-Go Transit in February 2018 and is on the Agriculture Department’s list of export licence holders.Used as an additive to pork, ractopamine is banned in China, Russia and the European Union, but is accepted in Canada and the United States.Bibeau explained that when the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) issues an export certificate, it “confirms that the product complies with the rules” of the country where it is exported. She added that Ottawa had “homework” to do.“I do not want to speculate on the consequences that this may have on our relationship, but this is definitely not good news,” she told reporters.According to Quebec Pork Producers, 70 per cent of provincial production is exported, with $283 million worth of product shipped to China last year.Association spokesman Merlin Trottier-Picard said he’s not aware of anyone in Quebec or Canada using ractopamine for breeding.“This is a concern of the industry in Canada to ensure that we can meet the needs of the requirements of all our export markets,” he said. “In China, they want to make sure they have ractopamine-free pork. We want to respond to this concern.”The move will likely fuel speculation that China is again retaliating against Canada for arresting Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou in December at the request of the U.S.In early May, China also temporarily suspended export permits for Quebec producers Olymel and Drummond Export, apparently due to a labelling problem. In the case of Olymel, this decision affects its Alberta plant in Red Deer.“Our licence is still suspended,” said Bruno Mussely, director of international development at Drummond Export. “We presented an action plan to the CFIA and it was given to the Chinese authorities. It’s not in the hands of the Canadian government, but the Chinese.”China also decided in March to suspend export permits for Canadian canola producers by claiming that their product was contaminated.Canada exports about 40 per cent of its canola products to China, valued at $2.7 billion in 2018, according to the Canola Council of Canada.Julien Arsenault, The Canadian Press read more

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Dont Count Dish Out Yet

finger-2056030_1920.jpg Mobile Voice, Data, Text: Unlimited for $20 a Month?! Michael Finneran September 19, 2019 Calling itself an ‘infrastructure-based MVNO,’ cable operator Altice sets new price point for cellular service. See All in Mobility » Dissecting Microsoft’s ‘Discovery’ of Firstline Workers Michael Finneran September 24, 2019 The mobile field is rife with meaningful examples of business process automation. Can Microsoft be a factor? It’s hard to keep up with – or care about – the on-again, off-again status of the T-Mobile-Sprint merger. As a rule, isn’t it best when our carriers are invisible?For now, the T-Mobile-Sprint merger is on (read related No Jitter post). U.S. regulators approved the $26.5 billion combination, with a key stipulation – creation of a new fourth cellular provider. The need for a fourth carrier is questionable, as wireless expert Michael Finneran pointed out in his No Jitter post on the news. But, for whatever reason, the regulators insisted. The question of the need was lost after the focus shifted to the nominee: Dish Networks.As currently agreed, the new T-Mobile will allow Dish to acquire Sprint’s prepaid brand Boost. However, Boost is a brand and not a network, so T-Mobile also agreed to provide Dish with wholesale service on the newly combined T-Mobile/Sprint network for the next seven years. There’s a series of other transactions between the three companies, but in the end, Dish becomes an mobile virtual network operator near term and a 5G mobile network operator long term. It seems like a longshot. Dish has no experience in cellular service, no cellular network, and its planned acquisition of the Boost service only gives it nine million (prepaid) subscribers. In comparison, Verizon has about 120 million subscribers, while AT&T has about 90 million subscribers, as will the combined T-Mobile-Sprint.Most of the cellular experts believe that Dish will either fail or not even try. Either way, the result will be three U.S. 5G carriers. Regulators were concerned enough to have T-Mobile agree to a no-fourth-competitor penalty of up to $2.2 billion if/when Dish fails.Having casually followed the satellite company since the ‘90s, I’m not so quick to write-off Dish. I’ve outlined several reasons why Dish could emerge as a successful cellular provider below. Founder-powerCharlie Ergen, Dish founder and executive chairman, is a fighter, survivor, and self-made billionaire. When selling giant satellite dishes at a Denver retail store, he understood the disruptive potential of the next wave of tech. The dish antennas were going to get much smaller, and picture quality was going to improve. He created satellite communications solutions provider EchoStar in 1980, which then created and eventually spun out the Dish brand in 2008. He has nearly lost these companies several times yet survives. He bets big and somehow wins despite failed mergers, failed satellites, and other failures. Ergen used the new digital technology to disrupt the cable television industry. He had regular fights with competitors and suppliers. Most of these battles took place behind the scenes, but some were visible. For example, it wasn’t uncommon for Dish to black out channels during content negotiations. Ergen even survived a very public failed deal with media mogul Rupert Murdoch.  Here’s a story that shows how Dish survives. The company introduced the Dish Hopper in 2012 — a commercial-skipping, whole-home DVR and satellite receiver. In 2002, ReplayTV introduced a commercial-skipping DVR and then filed for bankruptcy in 2003 after the networks filed lawsuits. The major networks also sued Dish for skipping commercials, yet the Hopper and Dish continue. The Hopper even won the Best of Show at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show, following a controversy where CNET’s parent company CBS initially pulled the device for consideration due to on-going litigation with the company — Dish won the award and CNET lost its contract with CES.Tags:News & ViewsSprintT-MobileDish NetworksM&AIndustry perspective5GtelecomMobilityNews & ViewsVendor Strategy12nextlast Articles You Might Like Habits of the ‘Always’ Connected Worker Gary Audin September 20, 2019 How connected are we? Wilson Electronics tries to find out in their latest survey. 5G Insights: IoT Opportunities, Vulnerabilities Gary Audin August 13, 2019 5G will provide an opportunity to connect IoT devices across the enterprise, but security vulnerabilities may follow. CBRS: A Threat to Wi-Fi? Gary Audin September 27, 2019 Have enterprises unjustly dismissed Citizens Broadband Radio Service in favor of Wi-Fi? Log in or register to post comments read more

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280 HP Chromebook 11 charges via micro USB just like a smartphone

first_imgHP’s been revealing a truckload of new laptops lately. The latest is the HP Chromebook 11, a jolly little plastic number that charges up just like your smartphone or tablet via a micro USB port.That’s pretty slick, since it means you only have to pack a single charger to power up a whole backpack full of devices. The specs page for the Chromebook 11 doesn’t specify the charger’s amperage, but it’s rated at 15.75 watts. That probably means it’s a 2 amp, 5 volt charger like the one that ships with the Galaxy S4.Unfortunately, the charger is probably the only feature of the HP Chromebook 11 that really stands out. For $280, you’re getting an 11-inch ARM-powered (Samsung Exynos to be exact) notebook with a 1366×768 resolution display, 2GB of RAM, a 16GB SSD, and a VGA webcam.If you’re willing to spend just a little more cash, you can pick up a Windows laptop with comparable battery life and a processor with a lot more muscle. You can also install Chrome and get pretty much the full Chrome OS experience in Windows 8 anyway.On the other hand, if you want to save a little money you might like to check out the Samsung Chromebook instead. It’s also an 11-incher, it runs an Exynos 5 processor, and it’s got a 16GB SSD, too. It sells for $30 less than the HP Chromebook 11 and has a standard HDMI output (the HP has a SlimPort) and a USB 3.0 port (HP only includes USB 2.0).The HP Chromebook 11 does get you some decent freebies, however, like 12 GoGo in-flight wireless sessions, 100GB of Google Drive space for two years, and 60 days of free Google Play Music All Access use (30 more than you’d normally get).Is that enough to make you spend your hard-earned cash on HP’s ARM Chromebook?last_img read more

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YouTube déclare Internet Explorer 6 obsolète

first_imgYouTube déclare Internet Explorer 6 obsolèteÉtats-Unis – YouTube invite ses utilisateurs à actualiser leur navigateur Web. Internet Explorer 6 ne correspond pas aux nouvelles fonctionnalités de la plus célèbre des plates-formes de vidéos en ligne.YouTube invite ses utilisateurs à abandonner Internet Explorer 6. Certains navigateurs obsolètes peuvent en effet les empêcher de profiter des dernières fonctionnalités intégrées. Désormais, un internaute qui tente de regarder une vidéo avec un outil précédant les versions d’IE 7, Firefox 3, Chrome 4 ou Safari 3 devra actualiser son navigateur pour bénéficier d’une qualité optimale. Avec d’anciennes versions de ces outils, les concepteurs de sites sont obligés de niveler par le bas les performances de leurs pages et ainsi, freiner leur évolution. L’internaute est de plus en plus sollicité, avec notamment la suite bureautique de Google et l’écran de choix de navigateurs Internet de Microsoft. Le 25 février 2010 à 11:14 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

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From Game of Thrones to Dark Souls The Best Onion Knights

first_img There’s just something about the term “Onion Knight.” Along with being disturbingly fun to say, it evokes a certain kind of image perfect for our modern love of grounded, morally murky medieval fantasy. An Onion Knight has the capacity for strength and nobility like any knight should. But the Onion Knight is also humble, knows how the dirty real world works, and can operate within it.Maybe it’s because they grew up poor. Maybe they’re just disillusioned with the hypocrisy of royal life. The Onion Knight succeeds in low places while still maintaining an inner layer of dignity. Although they’re typically found in European-inspired fantasy, the Onion Knight is America.For the longest time, I was convinced that every single Game of Thrones character was also known as “The Onion Knight.” And to be honest I still kind of believe that. But no, true Onion Knights are a rare breed. So let us honor these vegetable warriors of valor. These are the best Onion Knights.View as: One Page Slides1/71. Davos Seaworth: The only actual Onion Knight on Game of Thrones, or so they tell me, this former smuggler tends to support the more honorable rulers in Westeros, from Stannis Baratheon to Jon Snow. Perhaps to make up for his less respectable past stealing onions?2. The Onion Knight from Final Fantasy: For players who feel being a Onion Knight is the best Path for them, they can choose it as a job class in multiple Final Fantasy role-playing games. Onion Knights are tough to play at first, but they reward patience and perseverance with later access legendary equipment and fantastic stats.3. Siegmeyer of Catarina: I kind of really hate Dark Souls but this super-difficulty action-RPG series sure is one great place for an Onion Knight. Not only does Siegmeyer of Catarina have the best onion armor I’ve ever seen, his desire to quest despite being totally ill-suited for is peak onion knight. He even has a little onion knight daughter!4. Shrek: Ogres are like onions. They thrive in dirt, they smell, and they have layers. Shrek is an ogre. Shrek also battles evil monsters and tyrants in fantasy kingdoms, rescuing princesses along the way. Shrek is a knight. Math tells us that Shrek is absolutely an Onion Knight of the highest order.5. Shovel Knight: The star of the excellent retro platformer Shovel Knight may not explicitly be an Onion Knight, but he is Onion Knight-adjacent. He has a similar title that combines nobility with willingness to get down in the dirt. And out of all the rest of the game’s colorful knights, he is the most humble and honorable. 6. Chop Chop Master Onion: This literal rap scallion teaches you the art of karate and hip-hop in the OG rhythm game PaRappa the rapper. Along with being an actual onion, he shows us how the concept of Onion Knight needn’t be tethered strictly to the Western European idea of what a “knight” is.7. Bruce Onion: Another actual onion, Bruce Onion is… look, he’s a talking onion. That’s Onion Knight enough for me. Plus he’s from VeggieTales, so he probably has no problem taking up a cute little onion sword and leading the armies of the God against liberal heathens or something. Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on target ‘Game of Thrones’ Targaryen Prequel Series Is Reportedly Coming to HBO‘Game of Thrones’ Star Kit Harington Joins Marvel’s &#… last_img read more

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Car fire in Vancouver leads to traffic backup on Highway 14

first_imgA car fire stopped traffic in spectacular fashion along Highway 14 Wednesday morning.The fire was reported about 10:35 a.m. in the westbound lanes of the highway near Ellsworth Road, just west of Interstate 205.Vancouver firefighters arrived to find everyone was safely out of the burning car and were able to knock down the flames within a few minutes, said Kevin Stromberg, a fire department spokesman.Traffic was stopped for about a half-hour while firefighters worked, providing a good view for motorists including Camas resident Jodhi Mather-Pike, who surveyed the scene.last_img

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Semi loses driveshaft two cars hit it one car explodes on I5

first_imgA minivan driver was taken to a hospital with burns Friday afternoon after his vehicle hit a metal shaft that had fallen from a semi truck on Interstate 5 southbound in Salmon Creek.Seconds later, the minivan was engulfed in flames, possibly because the shaft pierced its gas tank, said Trooper Ryan Tanner with the Washington State Patrol.About 2:50 p.m., a piece of the semi truck’s drive shaft came loose and fell onto the freeway just north of the junction with Interstate 205. The semi driver, his tractor disabled, pulled over to the right. One minivan hit the shaft, sustained a flat tire and pulled over to the right.A second minivan hit the shaft and was more heavily damaged. Its driver also pulled over to the right, then got out just as the van exploded, Tanner said.The driver was taken to a hospital by AMR Northwest ambulance paramedics. No one else was reported injured.The explosion sent up a large plume of black smoke.The accident snarled traffic for miles on I-5 in both directions, and also on part of I-205, Tanner said. In an update about 4:30 p.m., Tanner said a tow-truck operator was taking the gutted van away and traffic was clearing slowly.last_img read more

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Weather Eye Spring makes brisk rainbowfilled entry

first_imgYes, spring rolled in early Wednesday, ushered in locally by those brisk 30 to 40 mph winds blowing from the west in the lowlands.A Facebook friend posted Wednesday: “Here Comes Spring!” In small print, it had this disclaimer: “Except for Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, well pretty much everywhere except California and Florida!” It made me chuckle.Spring around these parts certainly doesn’t go by the calendar. We all know that.Today will see more scattered showers, maybe some hail or thunder and cool temperatures in the 40s, plus more snow in the mountains — winter-weather stuff.I got to see several rainbows scattered around Wednesday. Did you see one? That’s the fun part in March and April. Along with those showers come the rainbows — always a delight to see. Sometimes, you can see a double or triple rainbow.Remembering back when my children were young, on occasion on a showery and blustery March day like Wednesday, we would bounce out to the car and drive around chasing rainbows. Trying but not succeeding looking for that elusive pot of gold. Many times we found the “end” of the rainbow, but it just moved right along with us as we drove. The search was never-ending, so no treasure was found, but maybe an ice cream on the way back for good measure.Rainfall amounts with Tuesday night’s storm were just as I figured: right around one inch here in the lowlands but much more in the higher, wetter locations, I’m sure.last_img read more

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Sen Benton files complaint against colleague Rivers

first_imgThe Majority Coalition Caucus is implementing at least three attempts at remedies for the strife between the two senators.• The two will have their seats moved in caucus so they will not be seated near one another.• After the end of the 2013 special session, the two will no longer share a staff person for public information.• As Rivers is the caucus whip, Benton will use an intermediary to communicate with her on matters such as attendance.Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver, said Thursday afternoon he has filed a complaint against Sen. Ann Rivers, R-La Center, over two incidents this year where Rivers directed expletives at him.Benton says Rivers shouted at him on April 19 on the floor of the Senate in what he calls “an uncontrollable tirade” and again during a June caucus meeting.Rivers said she hasn’t seen the complaint, but when contacted by The Columbian offered this response:“I will stand my ground against anyone who attempts to bully, intimidate or threaten me.”Rivers confirmed she clashed with Benton on the two occasions. She said she intends to release today her documentation of the incidents, which she had filed with the Secretary of the Senate’s office. The secretary wasn’t in the office Thursday afternoon, so the documents weren’t available.Benton made several documents regarding the matter available Thursday afternoon, including a written complaint from April 22 in which he describes the first incident as “unacceptable in any venue, especially on the floor of the Senate.”“At one point during her uncontrollable tirade, I was actually afraid that she may even physically strike me,” Benton wrote to Hunter Goodman, secretary of the Senate. “It was a very uncomfortable feeling. I have been on the receiving end of many heated comments over the years, but I have never before felt the threat of physical violence.”last_img read more

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John Paul biographer aide defend popes sex abuse record

first_imgVATICAN CITY — Pope John Paul II’s biographer and longtime spokesman sought Friday to defend his record on sex abuse against evidence that he didn’t grasp the scale of the scandal until very late in his papacy.John Paul’s record and his support for the founder of the Legion of Christ religious order despite credible allegations he was a pedophile have come under fresh scrutiny in the run-up to the pontiff’s canonization Sunday, the fastest in modern times.Spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls and official biographer George Weigel pointed to John Paul’s decision in April 2002 — the year the scandal exploded publicly in the U.S. — to summon U.S. cardinals to Rome as evidence he acted decisively once he learned about the problem.“I think there was an information gap between the United States and the Holy See in the first months of 2002 so that the pope was not living this crisis in real time as we were in the USA,” Weigel told a Vatican press conference. “Once he became fully informed in April of that year, he acted decisively to deal with these problems.”Yet U.S. bishops had been petitioning the Holy See for faster ways to defrock pedophile priests since the late 1980s. Then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger had asked the Vatican legal office for ways to accelerate the process for the universal church in 1988 because he too was seeing cases piling up.last_img read more

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New Office to Press for Business Transformation within Navy

first_imgThe Navy is establishing a new office to accelerate improvements in the department’s business operations, officials announced Tuesday. The new office of the chief management officer will replace the current deputy undersecretary for management and will be composed of “a small team of highly skilled experts and change agents,” according to a memo from Undersecretary Thomas Modly. The office initially will focus on improving audit outcomes and financial accountability, rationalizing and modernizing business systems, developing a data strategy for improved business operations, and reforming business operations across the Navy and Marine Corps, according to a news release.“We must build a business operations culture that employs faster access to accurate information, reduces overhead and bureaucracy, and streamlines processes that impede rapid decision making,” said Modly, who, as the Navy’s chief management officer, will oversee the new office.Illustration courtesy of the U.S. Navy Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

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LIVE MUSIC in Wilmington Week of January 13 2019

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Here are several opportunities to catch live music in Wilmington this week:Larry GilbertTuesday, January 15, 6pmThursday, January 17, 6pmRocco’s Restaurant & Bar193 Main Street, WilmingtonGreat Songs From Great Movies with David PolanskyThursday, January 17, 2:30pmWilmington Memorial Library175 Middlesex Avenue, WilmingtonJoin musician David Polansky as he performs great songs from great movies on the trumpet and keyboard and sings a few as well.  Favorites such as Somewhere over the Rainbow, Moon River, The Shadow of Your Smile, and many more will take you down memory lane. Register HERE.Winter Coffee HouseFriday, January 18, 7pmWilmington Memorial Library175 Middlesex Avenue, WilmingtonNothing better than live music to chase away the winter blues! Hear the sounds of the 60s and 70s with Dan Sirois and Greg Decoteau, who together are The Last Duo. They bring a full and exciting sound to songs by the Eagles, America, Van Morrison, and the Beatles and more.  Coffee, tea, and dessert served. Tickets on sale at the main desk. $10. Ages 18+.Karaoke with Winnell EntertainmentFriday, January 18, 8pmPacific Grove211 Lowell Street, WilmingtonNOTE: Know of any other musical performances happening in town this week or in the coming weeks?  Let me know at wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedLIVE MUSIC in Wilmington (Week of May 13, 2018)In “Business”LIVE MUSIC in Wilmington (Week of October 15, 2017)In “Community”LIVE MUSIC in Wilmington (Week of November 12, 2017)In “Community”last_img read more

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State backlog means long wait for health coverage for some Alaskans

first_imgJill Yordy and her daughter Raven, 5, are waiting for an application for Denali KidCare to be completed. The family is moving to Colorado. (Photo courtesy of Jill Yordy)There are 20,000 unresolved applications for Alaskans waiting for Medicaid and other public assistance programs.Listen nowThe state is taking action to reduce the backlog. But some people have been waiting for a long time.Anchorage resident Jill Yordy has been waiting since January to learn whether her five-year-old daughter Raven has qualified for Denali KidCare. That’s the state and federal program that provides health care to children in lower-income households, much like Medicaid does for adults.Yordy recently spent a day trying to learn more about Raven’s application. Since she couldn’t reach anyone on the phone, she waited in line at the Division of Public Assistance Anchorage office.“How are people supposed to keep jobs if they’re required to stand in these lines all day, without knowing when they’ll be seen, without knowing when their case will get an answer and you have to just stay there?” Yordy asked. “You’re chained to that office until your name is called, or you miss your chance.“Raven isn’t alone. More than 15,000 applications have been waiting more than four months to be processed. Some have it worse. One hundred and two have been waiting for more than three years.The state leaders who work on public assistance say the size of the backlog overstates the number of people actually waiting. The state uses two different computer systems to handle the applications. And they don’t always talk with each other when cases are resolved.Juneau resident Corey Peratrovich has a unique perspective on the backlog. Until February, he worked in a Division of Public Assistance office, including answering phone calls from those in the backlog.“There were times when I had over 100 calls per day … and they are very upset,” Peretrovich said. “There was a number of people who would use choice four-letter words and there were other people in tears.”Peratrovich left the job and applied for Medicaid in February. Now he’s part of the backlog. It’s been a confusing experience.“I’ve received a letter saying that I am approved for Medicaid; I was not approved for Medicaid; and then I was approved for Medicaid,” Peratrovich said. “So I received two letters saying approval, one letter saying denial and all these letters came in at the same time.”On the other end of the process is Matt Stangley. He’s been working on the backlog for the state as the chief of policy and program development for the division. He said the job of processing the applications has been stressful. The attrition rate doubled after the backlog grew four years ago.“They take these positions because they want to help people in need, right?” Stangley said. “They’re also human, so it’s hard not to take this job home. And they realize that there’s a large amount of work to be done, and they know the work that it takes to do that. So certainly that’s going to weigh on them and increase the stress that they feel.”The state plans to hire 20 new workers to handle the applications. The Legislature approved half the 40 workers Gov. Bill Walker’s administration requested.Stangley hopes that having more workers will improve the morale for the rest of the workers and reduce the attrition rate.“We’re grateful for the positions that we got,” Stangley said. “And we’re going to do the absolute best that we can with them. And then, obviously, we’ll report back to the Legislature next year.”Stangley said the backlog began to grow when the federal Affordable Care Act was rolled out. At the same time, a new state enrollment system wasn’t ready. People applied, didn’t hear back, and then they reapplied, adding to the backlog.Stangley said the state is working to speed up the applications for those with urgent needs. The state has hotlines to assist pregnant women and Alaskans requiring urgent care apply for public assistance.Stangley said the division has emphasized meeting applicants in person, rather than answering the phone. The new workers will be assigned to reduce the backlog and to rural offices.Jill Yordy won’t be waiting much longer for Raven’s Denali KidCare application to be processed. She and Raven are moving to Colorado. She would have liked to have seen the Legislature approve more workers to clear the backlog.“It sounds like a recipe for burnout to me for those employees,” Yordy said.Yordy is a former legislative aide who was statewide coordinator for Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign. She said legislative candidates should do more for those in the backlog.“I think they need to spend at least one day of their campaign standing in line with everyone who’s waiting to get assistance and hearing their stories and hearing the struggles this backlog causes,” Yordy said.The state will start hiring the new workers in July.last_img read more

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Alaska law says lobbyists cant fundraise for candidates But the invitations keep

first_imgThe Alaska State Capitol in downtown Juneau. (Photo by Tripp J Crouse/KTOO)Some of Alaska’s most prominent lobbyists are boosting the fundraising efforts of political candidates – a practice that, according to a top enforcement official, appears to violate a state law that’s designed to limit lobbyists’ influence over the legislative process.Listen nowIn the past year, lobbyists Ashley Reed and Jerry Mackie have emailed clients and friends invitations to political fundraisers for candidates including Gov. Bill Walker, House Speaker Bryce Edgmon and state Sens. Kevin Meyer and Lyman Hoffman, both of whom sit in Senate leadership.That’s in spite of a state law that bars lobbyists from helping with legislative and gubernatorial candidates’ fundraising efforts. Penalties for violations include a fine capped at $1,000 and up to a year in prison.Both lobbyists said they received permission to send the invitations from the state’s lobbying enforcement agency, the Alaska Public Offices Commission. But the commission’s director, Heather Hebdon, said one of her employees had only issued non-binding, informal advice that won’t protect lobbyists against a complaint.Lawmakers approved the fundraising ban in 1992 as an anti-corruption measure, according to one of the advocates for the ban, former state Rep. David Finkelstein. When lobbyists help raise money for politicians’ campaigns, it can give them more leverage when they ask those politicians to vote in a particular way, Finkelstein said.“If someone raises you thousands and thousands of dollars, it’s hard not to feel beholden to them,” Finkelstein said. “I can say that out of personal experience.”Before the Legislature approved the ban, lobbyists were allowed to participate in political campaigns. And lawmakers often pressured them to help with fundraising, Finkelstein said, since many lobbyists’ clients are business and industry leaders who can write big checks.The law that Finkelstein helped pass says lobbyists can’t “directly or indirectly collect contributions” for candidates, and they can’t “otherwise engage in the fundraising activity of a legislative campaign or campaign for governor or lieutenant governor.” State regulations implementing the law say that lobbyists can’t solicit, collect, accept or deliver campaign funds or goods.Reed and Mackie represent some of the state and country’s largest corporations, plus a slew of nonprofits and tribal organizations. Each makes more than $700,000 a year to push the interests of their clients in the state Legislature and with executive branch agencies.In July, Reed – whose 15 clients include CVS Health, Wells Fargo Bank and Enstar Natural Gas – forwarded an emailed invitation to a fundraising lunch for Hoffman and Meyer.The event was held at Enstar’s Anchorage offices. The original invitation was written by one of the co-hosts of the lunch, Alaska State Chamber of Commerce President Curtis Thayer. Reed added his own message.“From my vantage point and perspective, these individuals have served the state well over the years. They are deserving of your support,” Reed wrote. “Please read the invitation below.”Reed’s email also included a disclaimer that acknowledged the legal prohibition on fundraising. It said: “This correspondence is NOT a solicitation; rather, it is intended to be advisory in nature.”Reed has also sent invitations on behalf of two Anchorage Republicans – Josh Revak, who’s running for a state House seat on the lower Hillside, and incumbent Sen. Mia Costello, according to copies obtained by Alaska Public Media.Mackie, meanwhile, last month sent an email that attached an invitation to a fundraiser for Hoffman and House Speaker Bryce Edgmon. Mackie, whose 20 clients include AT&T, Arctic Slope Regional Corp. and cruise line Holland America., did not write a message of his own.He also texted invitations last year to a fundraiser for Walker and to another event jointly benefiting Hoffman and Edgmon, according to a copy of the texts obtained by Alaska Public Media.In phone interviews, Reed and Mackie both said they thought their activity was authorized by the public offices commission.Mackie cited a legal interpretation he asked for last year from an employee at the commission, also known as APOC.The interpretation came from the commission’s lobbyist coordinator, Heather Dalberg, who’s a paralegal, not an attorney. She wrote that Mackie could inform people about fundraisers for candidates that Mackie personally supports, “as long as you are just informing and are in no way connected to the fundraiser.”The law contains a caveat that allows lobbyists to “personally advocate” for candidates in spite of the fundraising ban, Dalberg wrote.“Informing others of upcoming fundraisers for a candidate that a lobbyist personally supports is not prohibited,” she said.Mackie, a former state senator, said in a phone interview: “I did exactly what I was told by APOC that I could do, and nothing more.”Reed said he did not have any written guidance like Mackie’s. But he said he’s received similar advice in phone calls with commission employees.Any guidance that the lobbyists received from commission employees won’t insulate them from complaints, though, according to Hebdon, the commission’s executive director.Hebdon said information from phone calls like Reed’s, and even from a letter like Mackie’s, is non-binding, “informal advice” from staff that hasn’t been approved by her agency’s politically-appointed commissioners.The lobbyists could have asked the commissioners to issue a formal advisory opinion, Hebdon added. And she said she interprets the law differently from Dalberg, her employee who wrote the letter to Mackie.“A plain reading of the statute clearly prohibits anything to do with fundraisers,” Hebdon said. It’s pretty clear, she added, that lobbyists are barred from sending invitations.Lobbyists could cite informal advice to argue for reduced penalties if they’re found to have violated the law, Hebdon said. But, she added, “it certainly doesn’t protect them from a publicly-initiated complaint.”Reed and Mackie both said they would stop sending emails if Hebdon’s agency asks.“If the commission says we’re not supposed to do that, I won’t do it and I doubt any of the other lobbyists will do it,” Reed said.After the lobbying law was approved in the 1990s, the public offices commission addressed several formal requests for advisory opinions from lobbyists who wanted to understand the limits of the fundraising ban. But even after those opinions, the differences between allowed and illegal activity are still subtle.Lobbyists can’t work with a candidate or campaign staffer to determine the details of a fundraiser. But they can do limited “clerical” work to help clients, like businesses, that are organizing fundraisers, the commissioners said in a 1994 ruling.When asked, the commissioners couldn’t agree on whether it’s legal for a lobbyist to prepare a list of guests that their clients would use when sending fundraiser invitations — though the commission’s staff recommended that such activity be considered illegal.The commissioners have never issued an opinion directly addressing whether it’s legal for lobbyists, under their own names, to send invitations to fundraisers in email or text messages, like Mackie and Reed did.Reed described that practice as commonplace among lobbyists. He also said that legislators running for re-election often ask him to distribute invitations to their fundraisers.“When they ask for a favor, you try to help them,” Reed said.Four of the candidates whose fundraiser invitations were emailed by the lobbyists — Edgmon, Hoffman, Walker and Meyer — didn’t respond to requests for comment.Revak and Costello, whose fundraiser information was emailed by Reed, both said they didn’t asked him to do that.“I didn’t ask for his help,” Revak said. “I’m not trying to game the system here.”last_img read more

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Uttam invites Vivek to join Congress

first_imgHyderabad: Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee president N Uttam Kumar Reddy on Sunday visited the residence of former MP G Vivek and invited him to join the Congress. According to sources, Uttam went to the residence of Vivek in the afternoon and held talks with the later for few minutes. However, Vivek has not given any assurance. Vivek who lost from Peddpalli constituency, contesting from Congress, in Parliament elections of 2014 had joined the TRS later. He left the TRS before the Parliament elections of 2019. He expressed his intention to join the Bharatiya Janata Party. Also Read – Hyderabad: Intermediate student dies of cardiac arrest in class Advertise With Us According to sources he wanted working president post in State BJP. But the saffron party leaders rejected the proposal, and this has made Vivek to rethink his political future. The Congress which has been witnessing exodus from it to the BJP has seen a chance to win over Vivek to its side and the TPCC president made an attempt in this regard.last_img read more

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Delhi HC order copied from ED note say Chidambaram counsel

first_imgNew Delhi: Senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram’s lawyer on Friday alleged that the Delhi High Court order, denying him anticipatory bail in the INX Media case, was a “cut-copy-paste job” from an Enforcement Directorate note submitted by the Solicitor General, who represents both the ED and the CBI. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Chidambaram, told the bench headed by Justice R. Banumathi: “If a court does a cut-copy-paste job of a note, which is against my client, what are the chances that I can get relief from it? And, this was done after reserving the judgement for seven months.” Also Read – Shah urges women to shun plastic bags Advertise With Us He argued, in the packed courtroom, that Chidambaram’s right to liberty was suspended, as he was apparently denied an opportunity to challenge the Delhi High Court order. Sibal said this note played a crucial role in influencing the final order passed by the Delhi High Court, without filing even an affidavit. Asking how this note could become the basis to deny bail, and virtually became an order, when in fact the paragraphs copied from the note concerned the allegations against Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram, he argued. Also Read – Free bus travel for women gets Cabinet nod Advertise With Us The ED note is part of the case diary. “Certain paragraphs of ED note were pasted as it is in the High Court order, comma to comma, full stop to full stop, word by word and para by para,” Sibal said. Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, also appearing for Chidambaram, contended before the court that the High Court’s “mind was working to deny bail” to his client, and the aspect of cheating and conspiracy comes at a later stage and not at the stage of anticipatory bail. Advertise With Us Solicitor General Tushar Mehta denied these charge and termed it a baseless accusation to malign a judge. Justice Banumathi then intervened and asked Sibal to stick to the merits of the case. Mehta, appearing for the Centre, argued that the Delhi High Court referred Chidambaram as the “kingpin”, after considering the gravity of the offence, and it is apparent from the case diaries. “Gravity of the offence was the base to deny him anticipatory bail,” he submitted, adding that “there are certain individuals who will never divulge the truth if they are under the umbrella of anticipatory bail”. He said that in its order, the court recorded arguments by the ED, which maintained it has collected innumerable documents/evidence to show that the money has been transferred from one company to another shell company and Chidambaram has various properties in India and various other countries in the name of shell companies and also has bank accounts in banks abroad in the name of shell companies. Therefore, custodial interrogation is necessary for unravelling the truth, Mehta added. The court will conduct a further hearing on the matter on August 26.last_img read more

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Giant size of his genitals killed my daughter alleges Indonesian man

first_img[Representational image]FlickrAn Indonesian man named Nedi Sito has claimed that his daughter Jumantri’s death may have been caused due to the giant size of her husband’s genitals. The 55-year-old man accused Jumantri’s husband Barsah for killing her daughter using his giant penis during the time of sexual intercourse.Nedi Sito approached police officers later and asked them to probe the genital size of Barsah. Sito made this move after several people claimed that Barsah has a giant genital, and it may be the reason behind his daughter’s death. Even though authorities had ruled her death was due to epileptic fits, Nedi Sito was not ready to accept the fact, and he demanded investigation and examination of Barsah’s penis.Upon Sito’s repeated requests, investigative officers called up Barsah to examine the size of his genitals. Barsah was later ordered to show his penis to the investigative officers, police and village officials. After examining his penis, police officers revealed that the size of Barsah’s genitals was not that big as claimed by Nedi Sito. Police officers also revealed that the size of Barsah’s penis has a standard Asian size.”After seeing directly the genitalia that was thought to be oversized, it turned out to be of the standard Asian size. So right there and then the father-in-law dropped the report against Barsah and they apologized to each other,” said the police officer after analyzing the penis size of Barsah, Detik Today reports.As police officers inspected the penis of Barsah, and found nothing strange with his genitals, Nedi Sito finally admitted that his daughter has died due to epileptic disorders which she had suffered since the age of 14.The news of the penis-investigation conducted by Indonesian police soon went viral on online spaces like Facebook, and people argued that the size of the penis has nothing to with the death of a woman.last_img read more

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US Class action lawsuit accuses big banks of swapping interest rates

first_imgA class action lawsuit, has accused 10 of Wall Street’s biggest banks and two trading platforms of conspiring to limit competition in the $320 trillion market for interest rate swaps.The class action lawsuit, filed in the US District Court in Manhattan, has accused Goldman Sachs Group, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Credit Suisse Group, Barclays Plc, BNP Paribas SA, UBS, Deutsche Bank AG, and the Royal Bank of Scotland of colluding to prevent the trading of interest rate swaps on electronic exchanges, like the ones on which stocks are traded.As a result, the lawsuit has alleged that banks have successfully prevented new competition from non-banks in the lucrative market for dealing with interest rate swaps – the world’s most commonly traded derivative.The banks “have been able to extract billions of dollars in monopoly rents, year after year, from the class members in this case,” the lawsuit alleged.Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Bank of America, BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse and Royal Bank of Scotland declined to comment.JP Morgan, Barclays, Deutsche Bank and UBS were not immediately available to comment.The suit was brought by The Public School Teachers’ Pension and Retirement Fund of Chicago (CTPF), which purchased interest rate swaps from multiple banks to help the fund hedge against interest rate risk on debt. The plaintiffs are represented by the law firm of Quinn, Emanuel, Urquhart, & Sullivan LLP that has taken the lead in a string of antitrust suits against banks.As a result of the banks’ collusion, the suit has alleged that CTPF had overpaid for those swaps.The suit alleged that since at least 2007 the banks “have jointly threatened, boycotted, coerced, and otherwise eliminated any entity or practice that had the potential to bring exchange trading to buy-side investors.””Defendants did this for one simple reason: to preserve an extraordinary profit center,” the lawsuit said.The banks masked their collusion by using code-names for joint projects such as “Lily”, “Fusion,” and “Valkyrie,” according to the suit.The suit also accused broking platforms ICAP and Tradeweb, which control key cogs in the infrastructure of the swaps market, of facilitating the antitrust violations by acting as a forum for collusion and making business decisions on the banks’ behalf.Nine of the ten defendant banks own equity stakes in Tradeweb and hold positions on the company’s board and governance committees. Tradeweb is majority owned by Thomson Reuters. Thomson Reuters is not named as a defendant in the suit.Tradeweb, ICAP and Thomson Reuters declined to comment.Bankers used those positions to control the direction of the Tradeweb and collectively blocked the development of more investor friendly swaps exchanges by firms such as the CME Group, TrueEX, Javelin Capital Markets, and TeraExchange, according to the suit.”During the time period relevant here, Tradeweb board and governance committees… were organised specifically for the purpose of protecting the ‘dealer community’ from the growth of exchange trading,” reads the suit.Similar allegations of bank collusion in the market for another type of derivative known as credit default swaps have been the subject of investigations by the United States Department of Justice and the European Commission, as well as a separate class action lawsuit brought by investors.In September, 12 banks and two industry groups settled that lawsuit by agreeing to pay $1.87 billion, making it one of the largest antitrust class action lawsuits in U.S. history.last_img read more

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