Former Donegal Minister back out on the election trail!

first_imgFormer Donegal TD Dinny McGinley is back on the canvass trail after being appointed Director of Elections for Glenties Electoral Area candidate Evelyn Sweeney.The former Fine Gael Minister – who fought in 12 general elections – will bring his vast experience to help elect mother of three and Gaoth Dobhair native Sweeney.“I was delighted and honoured to be asked to be Evelyn’s director of elections,” said Mr McGinley. “Evelyn is a young mother of three who brings vast experience having worked with Minister Joe McHugh. She understands the issues on the ground because she is dealing with them every day.“That experience in representing local people is of huge benefit to her and it’s important for politics that people like Evelyn are elected to the next Donegal County Council.“It is very important for the Fine Gael party too that we have someone like Evelyn working on the ground at a grassroots level, helping to deliver change for people in the Glenties Electoral Area. She’s a brilliant candidate.”Mr McGinley, who served as a TD for 35 years, added: “We have brilliant candidates across Donegal and I am very optimistic that the party can do very well on May 24. It’s important that we have grassroots councillors working alongside Minister McHugh at Government level to deliver for Donegal.” Evelyn Sweeney is backed by former Minister Dinny McGinleyMcGinley and Education Minister Joe McHugh will be guest speakers at Sweeney’s election launch at Teach Jack in Gaoth Dobhair this Friday at 8pm.“I am delighted and honoured to have Dinny as my director of elections,” said Sweeney.“His vast experience in election campaigns is unrivalled. I’ve been overwhelmed by the positive response on the ground and the positive response too to Michael McClafferty who is running with me in the Glenties Electoral Area.“This is a very important local election; Michael and I want to work hard on the ground on local issues and use that effort at Government level so that north and west Donegal benefits in the years ahead.”She added: “I am also delighted that I am one of four female candidates in this election – Eimer Friel in Milford, Michelle McKenna in South Inishowen and Bernie Moran in Letterkenny. We are all working together and supporting each other and we are all very hopeful for May 24.” Former Donegal Minister back out on the election trail! was last modified: April 10th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Dinny McGinleyelection trailMinisterlast_img read more

Read more →

Six new digital hubs announced for across Donegal

first_imgPlans for six new digital hubs across Co Donegal have been unveiled by Udaras na Gaeltachta.The hubs are part of an ambitious plan to create remote working spaces for businesses across the seven Gaeltacht counties.Under the ambitious plan, a new hub will be opened in Kilcar before the end of this year. There are also now firm plans for similar innovative hubs to be opened in Termon, Carrigart, Arranmore Island, Tory Island and Dungloe.A similar hub already exists in the Gaoth Dobhair area.gteic Gréasán Digiteach na Gaeltachta is a network of 31 innovation & digital hubs with highspeed broadband being developed by Údarás na Gaeltachta.The new gigabit enabled Gaeltacht network will be launched by Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for Gaeilge, Gaeltacht and Islands, Seán Kyne, in the Italian Room in Government Buildings today. The innovation hubs are to be dotted along the majestic Wild Atlantic Way in Donegal, Mayo, Galway, Kerry and Cork in addition to Waterford and Meath in Ireland’s Ancient East.Six Gaeltacht islands also form part of this growing digital ecosystem to support the sustainability of these communities and off-shore islands.Údarás na Gaeltachta has invested over €1.5 million in the development of the hubs, with additional funding in excess of €3.5 million from the Government’s Rural Regeneration and Development Fund by year end.The gteic hubs, tailored to suit each unique location, will include hot desk and shared space facilities for remote workers and eworkers in addition to fully equipped office spaces and incubation units with high speed internet access to facilitate innovation and concept development.The Vision The development of gteic Gréasán Digiteach na Gaeltachta network of innovation and digital hubs is one of 5 key initiatives included in the Údarás na Gaeltachta Strategic Plan 2018-2020.The gteic digital hubs will provide a vibrant network of high speed broadband facilities in rural Gaeltacht areas to stimulate job creation, to assist remote working, to encourage and enable the return of Diaspóra na Gaeltachta, to facilitate concept development and new business and to develop a community of hubs where the unique Gaeltacht culture drives creativity and innovation.The OpportunityThese developments will give the Gaeltacht community, both at home and abroad, an opportunity to return to or live in their home area by providing remote working opportunities at hot desks, co-working spaces or private offices at these hubs. This in turn will support, bolster and assist these unique language communities and help them to face the challenges of rural depopulation. An opportunity of improved worklife balance will not be the only benefit of gteic membership! A reciprocal arrangement agreed with the Guinness Enterprise Centre in Dublin means that any member of the GEC can avail of the gteic facilities anywhere along the network and members of the gteic digital community can avail of the facilities in GEC in Dublin free of charge.The Offeringgteic hubs include hot desk and shared space facilities for remote workers and eworkers in addition, depending on location, to fully equipped office spaces and incubation units with highspeed internet access to facilitate innovation and concept development. These hubs will facilitate people who wish to develop a business concept and will provide access to Údarás na Gaeltachta’s range of mentoring and business supports also.This growing digital ecosystem is providing an excellent opportunity for new technology companies to establish or locate themselves in the rural areas which encompass the Gaeltacht and for their employees to enjoy the excellent worklife balance that these picturesque areas can offer.Six new digital hubs announced for across Donegal was last modified: September 27th, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:broadbanddigital hubsdonegalGAELTACHTinternetplanlast_img read more

Read more →

MOCA to Help Weed out Corruption

first_img “We will not only focus on the little man or on street-level criminals. We will intensify our efforts at nabbing the persons who facilitate criminal organisations –the corrupt businessmen, elected or non-elected public servants, doctors, lawyers and anyone else who benefits from the proceeds of crime. Criminal enterprises depend on a network like any other corporation,” he said. Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, says establishment of the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA) as an independent body will help to address corruption within the society.The Senate, on June 8, approved the MOCA Bill, with 77 amendments. The MOCA Bill was passed in the House of Representatives in January.“We will not only focus on the little man or on street-level criminals. We will intensify our efforts at nabbing the persons who facilitate criminal organisations –the corrupt businessmen, elected or non-elected public servants, doctors, lawyers and anyone else who benefits from the proceeds of crime. Criminal enterprises depend on a network like any other corporation,” he said.Dr. Chang made the remarks during his contribution to the 2018/19 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on June 12.He said corruption undermines the institutions of the State and leads to inefficiency, loss of growth and loss of economic prospects.“This Government is committed to dealing with this problem without prejudice or equivocation,” he pointed out.MOCA will be dedicated to combatting serious crimes in collaboration with other local and foreign law-enforcement agencies and strategic partners. The agency will have a dedicated and specialised team of investigators, who will investigate and prosecute the complex cases that are characteristic of organised criminal networks.In the meantime, Dr. Chang said the revision of the anti-gang law is expected to be finalised during this legislative year.“These amendments will include clarity about how a gang would be declared, special measures in court proceedings to protect witnesses, strategies to monitor gang members and other provisions to address inherent weaknesses in the current legislation,” he noted.Turning to the review of the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA), Dr. Chang said this is being undertaken with a view to strengthening provisions and ensure compliance with the recommendations emanating from the Caribbean Financial Action Taskforce, including effective criminal sanctions for money-laundering offences.“We will be using the full force of the law to go after these criminals, taking the profit out of crime, seizing their assets and those assets that they have placed in the names of members of their families,” he pointed out.Dr. Chang said the Government will ensure that those who align themselves with organised criminal groups are punished “as we go in relentless pursuit and disruption of serious and organised crime”.He added that the Government will continue to pursue areas to improve citizen security. These include public order and law enforcement, strong anti-gang and anti-corruption strategies, targeted social-intervention initiatives in volatile communities, and transformation of the police force into a modern service. The Senate, on June 8, approved the MOCA Bill, with 77 amendments. The MOCA Bill was passed in the House of Representatives in January. Story Highlights Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, says establishment of the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA) as an independent body will help to address corruption within the society.last_img read more

Read more →

Acquittal of accused in Tina Fontaines death disappoints Winnipeg police chief

first_imgThe Canadian PressWinnipeg’s police chief says he’s disappointed that a jury acquitted a man accused of killing 15-year-old teenager Tina Fontaine.Raymond Cormier was found not guilty last week of second-degree murder in the 2014 death of the teen, whose body was wrapped in a duvet cover and weighed down with rocks when it was found in the Red River.Chief Danny Smyth told the city’s police services board that he had hoped for a different outcome.He said it’s clear the jury didn’t find enough evidence to convict and he wished police could have brought forward a more compelling case.But Smyth commended the officers who he said worked hard on the case and thanked prosecutors for taking it to trial.He said Tina’s death has prompted change and pointed to Manitoba no longer housing children in care in hotels.“If not anything else, this trial provided transparency,” Smyth said Friday. “The community was able to learn about the investigation. They were able to see evidence and learn about the circumstances that led up to Tina’s death.”Tina was raised by her great-aunt, Thelma Favel, on the Sagkeeng First Nation, 120 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg. She left to visit her mother in Winnipeg at the end of June 2014 and became an exploited youth.Favel called Child and Family Services with concerns about Tina, who ran away repeatedly from a youth shelter and hotels where she was placed.She was last seen leaving a downtown hotel, where she told a private contract worker employed by child welfare that she was going to a shopping centre to meet friends.It’s not known how Tina died. A pathologist testified at the trial that the girl’s death was suspicious because of the manner in which her body was found.last_img read more

Read more →

Raf Simons leaves Calvin Klein over creative differences

first_imgNEW YORK — Less than two years after he shook up the New York fashion world with a splashy debut for Calvin Klein, designer Raf Simons is leaving the company.In a joint announcement, the company and the Belgian designer said they were parting ways amicably after Calvin Klein “decided on a new brand direction different from Simons’ creative vision.” A representative for Simons said in an email Friday night that the designer would have no further comment.Simons revitalized Calvin Klein with his hip European sensibility after being appointed chief creative officer in 2016. His New York Fashion Week shows were the talk of the industry, beginning with his February 2017 debut, which had a clear political message, opening and closing with the David Bowie song “This is Not America.”Celebrities flocked to his shows, critics raved, and the fashion establishment rewarded him with three top awards in two years. He won the Council of Fashion Designers of America award for womenswear in both 2017 and 2018, and in a rare feat also took the menswear award in 2017.But critical raves don’t necessarily translate to commercial success. There was reportedly disappointment on the part of PVH, the corporation that owns Calvin Klein, in sales under Simons.Simons, who previously worked at Dior, brought an artsy European approach to the iconic American brand, often citing numerous cultural references — but especially Hollywood — as inspirations. In September, his runway show riffed on the movie “Jaws,” with models in various types of wetsuits strolling in front of enormous screens depicting a glistening ocean.Many of the garments had big bites taken out of them — as in shark bites. Simons said the shark represented danger.“Very often we are attracted to things that we actually know are dangerous,” he said in an interview. “But we can’t stay away from it.”Some of models wore tasseled caps and robes; Simons was also riffing on “The Graduate.”At his show last February, Simons coated the former American Stock Exchange Building in downtown Manhattan with a huge bed of popcorn. Guests slogged through the kernels to get to their seats, with bits of popcorn falling into boots and shoes and coating one’s clothes with powder.It was Simons’ version of an American landscape, including a huge barn house. But the clothes evoked not so much rural America as a dystopian world on another planet, with balaclavas, huge gloves, and bits of Mylar flowing from the garments.As was typical, that show was attended by a slew of celebrities including Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie, Laura Dern, and — straight from a premiere party — the cast of “The Black Panther,” including Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o and Chadwick Boseman.Calvin Klein will not show during New York Fashion Week in February 2019. No word was given about a successor.Jocelyn Noveck, The Associated Presslast_img read more

Read more →

North Peace SPCA reducing cat adoption fees by 50 percent

first_imgResidents looking to adopt a furry friend can do so by visiting the North Peace SPCA at 9311 81st Avenue. All “Purr-fect” adoptable companions can be found here.For more information contact the North Peace SPCA at (250) 785-7722. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The BC SPCA’s North Peace Branch in Fort St. John is hoping to find as many good homes as possible for cats this month by offering an intriguing promotion.As of July 10th, all cat adoption fees at the North Peace SPCA will be for half the original cost. In a release the SPCA said that the promotion will be running until the end of July.“We have so many cats and kittens in our care right now and we’d like to find them loving homes,” said North Peace SPCA manager Candace Buchamer. “We’re hoping this promotion will encourage anyone who has been considering cat adoption to take the next step and make it a reality.”last_img read more

Read more →

A Divine Offering

first_imgA scene from the movie Ratatouille: A tall, lanky man walks into a classy French establishment and opens the menu. His name is Anton Ego. The waiter, Mustafa, walks in. Mustafa: Do you know what you’d like this evening, sir?Anton Ego: Yes, I think I do. After reading a lot of overheated puffery about your new cook, you know what I’m craving? A little perspective. That’s it. I’d like some fresh, clear, well-seasoned perspective. Can you suggest a good wine to go with that? Also Read – Torpedoing BengalMustafa: With what, sir? Anton Ego: Perspective. Fresh out, I take it? Mustafa: I am, uh . . . Perspective was what was on our minds as we rumbled along the dirt paths into Rongmesek, our last stop of this journey. It’s hard to come by these days. With all the advances in technology one would think that we’ve become more global of a community, when the reality is that we’re still living in bubbles – from newsfeeds to friend circles – huddled together in Plato’s cosy cave. Also Read – Educational model of coexistenceBut as we turned away from the concrete and into a lush wilderness tucked behind the hills of Meghalaya, a tribal community changed all that. Before we knew it, it had started. That indescribable ooey-gooey warm brownie feeling deep in our souls in a week that began with an animal sacrifice and ended with a fashion show. There’s a lot going on in this community straddled between a traditional past and modern future. Perspective is ripe and served daily. SPIRITS OF LIFE As with most days in Ri-Bhoi, there was a glass of rice beer in our hands before we trekked behind Albinus Timug, the head of this riad, or village-state, to one of the sixteen communities on the outskirts. (It’s quite possible that we accidentally called him Albus a couple times. Although unfortunately not a wizard, he was equally eccentric.) It was there that we would witness a ceremony only imaginable in a Hogwarts Divination class: a reading of entrails. But before we could take our seats Albinus spotted our bamboo mugs were empty and called for a refill, an offer we couldn’t refuse. A chicken slowly bled to death in the hands of one of the village elders who chanted from the depths of his throat. Next to us sat Dr Fabian Lyngdoh – also with a bamboo mug of rice beer – translating the local Khasi dialect of the man to his right (he wasn’t having any rice beer so we question his judgment). The ritual that was unfolding in front of us was one that falls under ‘animism’ or an indigenous faith sometimes referred to as Ancient Hinduism – but due to the variety of influences from East Asia, these titles are mere political classifications rather than a true reflection of the faith. What exists here is a rich and robust tradition with unique mythologies such as the mythical bird, voplakpi, that propagated mankind. Before the elder were two gourds – representing two deities, or Spirits of Nature. According to myth, one of these deities, Peng, was at first a wild, evil ‘forest entity’ with a proclivity for trickery. After mankind tamed him, he took his spot above their doorways, protecting them from other malevolent spirits as the new household guardian (in exchange or the occasional meal). The ceremony continued as the elder placed the chicken at the foot of these deities and brought out a bamboo mug of his own. These deities were being called upon through these prayers to aid in the village’s request, to ensure a successful start to the sowing cycle that would begin the next day. He sprinkled the rice beer on to the gourds, inviting the deities to give their blessing. After this, he made an incision in the chicken’s rear end to pull out the entrails. Took a moment with them. Then finally announced that the ceremony had been a success – how he determined so was not something we were made privy to. But the village elder wasn’t alone in that decision. To help him, he had, at the very beginning, also called upon his ancestors, another important facet of their faith. From deities to ancestral spirits, these communities pay homage to their lineage as well as nature, fostering a connectedness to the world around them. The offering of rice beer represents their gratitude, but no ceremony can end without feeding the deities. The chicken, along with rice used in the ceremony, was then cooked and served to the deities before parting ways. VILLAGE ON FIRE Some traditions, however, fade with time. The vibes of the main town of Rongmesek are more modern. And smack dab in the middle is a church. Our story begins in Rome, 1889. A religious congregation – the Society of the Divine Saviour – is preparing to send the German Father Otto Hopfenmuller to Assam to indoctrinate communities into their faith. Otto makes his way over to Shillong where his first few months are spent learning the tribal culture and translating Christian scriptures into Khasi. The legend goes, as Dr Fabian’s brother, Constantine, narrates, that there once was a village called Phahamingding, or the village on fire. For years a great mystery had plagued the residents: every spring, a fire would ravage the village, destroying land and houses alike. Until one fortunate day a French priest encountered this village and baptized its community into the Catholic faith, and suggested they rename the village to Rongmesek. Then—the fires stopped. Becoming Christian has made this community no less Indian But faith was only a pinch of what followed. A church was founded in the heart of the village, and a school at its side. Education led to improvements in language, agriculture, macro-economics and societal welfare. To appease the pessimist in you, crediting the new life of this village – away from magical fires – to education wouldn’t be a stretch. Today, Sunday mass has become an ingrained part of the lifestyle with the entire town closing for the day. While the Catholic doctrines might not have changed, the spirit of Karbi culture has affected how Christian practices manifest themselves in this once burning village: during mass, traditional dances are a part of the ceremony. The custom of blessing grains with the ceremonies of the indigenous faith continues in its own fashion at the church. Constantine finds an enthusiasm behind the newfound Christian faith. There’s a joy that this once isolated village has now become part of a bigger community. Whether wrong or right, everything that happened has led to this moment for the village. We have no control over the past. There is no point in regret. Whether it was truly a miracle, coincidence or simply strategic planning—ultimately faith is what you make of it. And in this community, it served as a step forward. In the month of August, prayers are dedicated to India with the national flag proudly swaying inside the church. (Photographs extracted and text excerpted with permission from Bhagwaan Ke Pakwaan; written by Devang Singh & Varud Gupta; published by Penguin. The excerpt here is a part of the chapter titled ‘Rongmesek, Meghalaya’.)last_img read more

Read more →

PV Sindhu Srikanth seek to reclaim India Open crowns

first_imgNew Delhi: Former champions P V Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth will look to shrug off their erratic form and ensure an Indian sweep at the USD 350,000 India Open, which is shorn of star power this time. With Saina Nehwal pulling out of the country’s blue-riband tournament after failing to recover from acute gastroenteritis, the onus will be on Sindhu and Srikanth to keep the tricolour flying at the business end of the tournament starting Tuesday. Olympic silver-medallist Sindhu, who claimed the World Tour Finals in December last year, will be the firm favourite to secure the women’s title after receiving the top billing following the pullout of Chinese top seed and reigning All England champion Chen Yufei due to medical reasons. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhThe absence of Japanese players will also help Sindhu’s case. Sindhu had a decent start to the new season with a quarterfinal finish at the Indonesia Masters but a first-round exit at the prestigious All England Championship came as a major jolt. The Indian ace, who won silver medals at the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and the World Championship in 2018, will draw inspiration from her performance in the last two editions where she had reached the finals and claimed the title in 2017. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterSindhu will open against compatriot Mugdha Agrey and is expected to face fast-rising Danish Mia Blichfeldt, seeded eighth, in the quarterfinals. A win is likely to pit her against Chinese third seed He Bingjiao. Youngsters Vrushali Gummadi and Sai Uttejitha Rao Chukka will also be in the fray in women’s singles at the World Tour Super 500 event. The tournament will hold a lot of prominence for third seed Srikanth, who has endured a title draught for the last 17 months. With defending champion and top seed Shi Yuqi pulling out, Srikanth will be at the forefront along with former world champion Viktor Axelsen, who had claimed the title in 2017 after three back-to-back finals. Srikanth, who clinched as many as four titles in 2017, consistently reached the quarterfinals in 2018 but couldn’t come close to claiming a title with the 2017 French Open triumph being his last win. The 26-year-old from Guntur, who clinched the title in 2015, will begin his campaign against familiar foe, Hong Kong’s Wong Wing Ki Vincent, and might come across fellow Indians Sameer Verma or B Sai Praneeth later as both are in the same half of the draw. Fifth seed Sameer, after reaching the semifinals at the World Tour Finals, will open against Denmark’s Rasmus Gemke, while Praneeth faces a qualifier. RMV Gurusaidutt too is in the same half and will start against Thailand’s Sitthikom Thammasin. Praneeth, who had clinched the 2017 Singapore Open for his first maiden Super Series title, is coming into the tournament after securing a final spot at the Swiss Open and he will look to extend his good run. The other half of the men’s singles draw will have HS Prannoy, Subhankar Dey, Ajay Jayaram and Parupalli Kashyap. Prannoy, troubled by a gastro-esophageal reflux disease last season, is coming to the event after competing at the Asia Mixed Team championship and will take on Thailand’s eighth seed Kantaphon Wangcharoen. SaarLorLux Open champion Subhankar, who had stunned Asian Games champion Jonatan Christie of Indonesia on way to a quarterfinal finish at the Swiss Open, will open against fourth seed Indonesian Tommy Sugiarto. Ajay and Kashyap, two careers marred by injuries, will look to continue their comeback with first-round matches against Chinese Taipei’s Wang Tzu Wei and Hong Kong’s Lee Cheuk Yiu respectively. In doubles, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty withdrew with the former still recovering from a shoulder injury. Sixth seeds Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy will lead the challenge in men’s doubles, which also features Arjun MR and Ramchandran Shlok. Arun George and Sanyam Shukla will also be a pair to look out for after they stunned World No. 14 pair of Liao Min Chun and Ching Heng last week at Hong Kong. In women’s doubles, Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy and Meghana Jakkampudi and Poorvisha S Ram will be in fray, while Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Sikki will be the best hope in mixed event.last_img read more

Read more →