SAMIR Refinery Glencore and Carlyle Present Their Bid

Rabat – Swiss giant Glencore and US investment fund Carlyle Group have teamed up to bid on the Samir refinery in hopes of recovering about USD 600 million in loans they issued to the plant before it went bankrupt.According to Reuters, “two sources close to the process said the Moroccan government wanted at least $2 billion for the plant at Mohammedia, on the Atlantic coast near Casablanca,” although no decision on a sale is imminent, in part because of the complexity of the case. If this deal is concluded, it will allow the refinery to restart production. The Samir refinery, once a flagship of the refining industry in the Maghreb, has entered a spiral of difficulties since late 2014. On the June 1, 2016, the Court of Appeal of the Casablanca Commercial Court decided its final judicial liquidation. In August 2015, the government froze the bank accounts of its loss-making operator, a procedure which involved the sale of the assets of the company to the benefit of its creditors. Since then, the identified debt of the refinery amounts to MAD 35 billion, 13 billion of which are in unpaid taxes, says Reuters. While Glencore and Carlyle have yet to issue any official confirmation of the news, Reuters states that “if the deal goes through, it would become Glencore’s (GLEN.L) first oil refinery and allow the plant to restart production.”Glencore, an Anglo–Swiss multinational commodity trading and mining company with headquarters in Switzerland, has a USD 200 million prepayment deal with Samir funded by loans from banks Natixis and APICORP. “A source familiar with the situation said negotiations to restructure the debt were on hold until there was clarity on the fate of the plant,” reports Reuters.The company has repeatedly insisted the plant needs to restart production so creditors can gradually recoup the money, stated the press agency, adding that the oil trader giant has “now joined Carlyle(CG.O), which already co-owns refineries in Switzerland and Germany with Vitol, in offering to buy the plant.” read more

UN assisting thousands uprooted by insecurity in eastern DR Congo

Since last December, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has registered 15,508 new internally displaced persons (IDPs) who fled the troubled eastern province of North Kivu.UNHCR spokesperson Andrej Mahecic told reporters that this latest wave of displacement brings to 116,000 the population of camps in and around Kitchanga. The agency is currently managing 47 IDP camps in the region, providing protection and assistance.Fierce fighting has persisted in eastern DRC, particularly in North and South Kivu, where Hutu militants blamed for the Rwandan genocide of 1994 have fled. Last year the Congolese Government launched several offensives targeting the group known as the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), with logistical support from the UN peacekeeping mission in the country (MONUC).UNHCR noted that other militias and armed groups have taken advantage of the situation, attacking civilians, looting property, committing rape and burning homes.“We estimate that so far we have registered only a part of the recently displaced population and that many more could be sheltering with host families or hiding in the woods fearing to return to their homes,” said Mr. Mahecic. “These IDPs cannot be accessed due to insecurity and impassable roads.”UNHCR estimates that there are some 2.1 million IDPs in eastern DRC where it says harassment, human rights abuses, rapes and intimidations against civilians are regularly reported by the local population.Meanwhile, the UN and its aid partners have voiced concern about the dire humanitarian needs in Sud-Ubangi district in the country’s north-west Equateur province as a result of recent armed violence.While the efforts of the national army and MONUC have helped to restore calm, there are at least 60,000 IDPs in the province, where clashes that erupted last year over fishing and farming rights between different ethnic groups in one area later turned into widespread violence. “After weeks of insecurity, the area is now sufficiently safe for humanitarian operations and we are stepping up our response efforts,” said Abdou Dieng, acting Humanitarian Coordinator in DRC.The World Food Programme (WFP) has already distributed 48 metric tons of food aid for one month to almost 5,740 people in Boyazala and Bozene, while food rations for a further 30-day period are expected to reach an additional 22,400 IDPs in Bokonzi as soon as the security situation permits.Also, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is planning a number of measures, including a measles vaccination campaign for all children under five, the provision of food and safe drinking water, and the rehabilitation of schools and the distribution of educational materials.The violence in Equateur province also resulted in 109,000 people fleeing to neighbouring Republic of Congo, and 18,000 to the Central African Republic (CAR). 26 January 2010The United Nations refugee agency said today it is assisting over 100,000 civilians who have fled eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in recent months due to the ongoing military offensive against Hutu militants and banditry by armed groups. read more

UN relief agencies pitch in to help Pakistan flood areas

Thanks to grants by Norway and Denmark, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has approved the disbursement of over $50,000 in relief goods. The supplies, which included rice, beans, milk, lanterns and candles, were handed over to relief authorities for distribution to the affected population in the provinces of Punjab and NorthWest Frontier that had been badly damaged by the 23 July floods. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) has launched an effort to assess the quality of drinking water in different parts of Rawalpindi and has provided 50,000 water purification tablets and $5,000 worth of medicine for distribution to the local population.For its part, the World Food Programme (WFP) has sent 7.5 tonnes of wheat flour and 4.5 tonnes of edible oil to Mansera and 4 tonnes of oil to Rawalpindi. UNICEF, the UN Children’s Fund, and UNHCR, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, are also contributing to the relief effort. read more

On visit to region UN food relief agency chief praises Lebanon for

“We are grateful for the generosity of the Lebanese people and their Government for keeping an open door policy to displaced Syrians in search of safety and for facilitating WFP’s work in Lebanon to assist Syrian refugees,” said the UN World Food Programme’s (WFP), Ertharin Cousin. The UN official’s comments came at the end of the first day of a three-day trip to the Middle East – involving Lebanon and Jordan – to see the increasing humanitarian needs of Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries. In addition, the trip is her first official visit to the region since she assumed her post as head of WFP in April. Syria has been wracked by violence, with at least 20,000 people, mostly civilians, killed since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began some 20 months ago. The violence has spawned more than 380,000 refugees – many of them seeking safety and aid in neighbouring countries – while more than 2.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, according to UN estimates. WFP has launched a regional emergency operation to cover the food needs of Syrians who have fled to Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. In Lebanon, it aims to reach more than 85,000 refugees with food vouchers in November alone. While in the Lebanese capital of Beirut today, Ms. Cousin held talks with the country’s President Michel Sleiman and Prime Minister Najib Mikati on the situation and challenges facing Lebanon and the humanitarian response from WFP and partners. “My responsibility is to provide a voice to the humanitarian needs of the displaced Syrians whom I met today and to work with the international community to ensure that we continue to address the basic needs of Syrians whether still inside Syria or in neighbouring countries,” Ms. Cousin told a news conference in Beirut. In the afternoon, Ms. Cousin travelled to the Bekaa Valley, in eastern Lebanon, and visited a distribution centre where refugees receive WFP food vouchers. Under the voucher system, often used by the UN agency in urban settings, beneficiaries can buy their own groceries, including fresh food, from local shops, which also helps boost the local economy. The WFP chief also went to a grocery shop in the town of Britel in the Baalbek area and met Syrian families redeeming their vouchers. Visiting a Syrian family in its temporary accommodation in Baalbek, she heard first-hand how the family members left their home in Rural Homs – and the difference that the agency’s food vouchers have meant for them. “We left our home and fled with only the clothes on our backs as bombing and shelling hit our neighbourhood nine months ago and our home was totally destroyed,” said Abeer, a 35-year-old wife and mother of four daughters, according to a WFP news release. “We left everything behind and are struggling to make ends meet. The food vouchers that we receive from WFP are giving us a break and we don’t have to worry about feeding our children.” On Thursday, the WFP Executive Director will visit Jordan. read more

Ohio State mens tennis opens season strong shuts out Northern Kentucky Youngstown

Then-junior Kevin Metka returns the ball during a match against North Carolina Feb. 28 at the Varsity Tennis Center. OSU won, 4-1. Credit: Ben Jackson / For The LanternThe No. 5 Ohio State men’s tennis team started its 2015 season on a high note by shutting out both Northern Kentucky and Youngstown State at the Varsity Tennis Center on Sunday.The Buckeyes started their first home match by taking on Northern Kentucky, the redshirt-freshman team of Matt Mendez and Riley Reist lead on the doubles court defeating freshmen Jack Carney and Nick Lang, 6-1.Redshirt-senior Hunter Callahan and his doubles partner redshirt-junior Chris Diaz were also successful for the Buckeyes, defeating their opponents by the same score of 6-1.OSU also set the tone in the singles matches with Callahan leading the way with a perfect 6-0, 6-0 score. Mendez was also perfect on the match with a two-set sweep against sophomore Balint Zsidai.Redshirt-sophomore Ralf Steinbach and Reist also secured victories for the Buckeyes with Diaz coming out on top of a battle with NKU’s Mate Virag. Diaz struggled fighting off three straight break points in the second set, taking the match 6-1, 6-4.The Buckeyes remained consistent as they faced off against the Youngstown State Penguins late Sunday.Mendez and Reist gained some college exposure by winning their doubles match 6-0. Doubles teams of Diaz and Callahan along with Steinbach and sophomore Herkko Pollanen also won for the Buckeyes.In singles against the Penguins, OSU’s Callahan, Diaz and Mendez each picked up wins. Steinbach finished off the match with a 6-1, 7-6 (7-5) win over Hugo Morth.Redshirt-senior Kevin Metka said OSU’s main goal is to build on the success from last season, helped by two big wins to start off the year.“We’re just hoping to match what we had last year,” Metka said. “We are looking to win the season, the Big Ten and the tournament.”With those lofty goals, he added that leadership will be key for another strong season.“We need to continue the good leadership we had last year,” Metka said. “We need to fight for each other and play each match as it is instead of looking on to the next one.”With it being his final year with the Buckeyes, Metka said he wants to “cross the T’s and dot the I’s.”“I’m going to give the Buckeyes everything I have, and just take the team as far as I can,” he said.The Buckeyes are set to return to the Varsity Tennis Center on Wednesday agaisnt Butler at noon and Xavier at 6 p.m. read more

Croatia win Croatia Cup in Umag

← Previous Story GOLDEN LEAGUE: Norway beat Brasil – Denmark lost against France! Next Story → GOLDEN LEAGUE: Second defeat for Brazil – France scores only 15! Women’s Croatia national team won the Croatia Cup in Umag, which was the last test before the preparation for the Women’s EHF EURO 2014 on the home soil in December. The girls of Vladimir Canjuga beat Serbia 31:26 in the last match of the tournament and took the first place in front of Poland, Germany and Serbia.STATISTICSPoland beat Germany 33:24 in the first match of Round 3.FINAL STANDING:Croatia 4Poland 4Germany 3Serbia 1

Flexible sensor sheet is so light you cant tell youre wearing it

first_imgBeing able to monitor a person’s health while allowing them to go about their daily lives can be tough. You need sensors that can be attached to the body in such a way as the patient forgets they are even wearing them. Weight, bulk, and the need for batteries to power everything currently make such a setup less than ideal.Progress is being made, though, and in the area of on-body sensors the University of Tokyo has made a breakthrough. A research group there has managed to create a sensor sheet that’s incredibly light, to the point where it would be very difficult to know it is even attached to your body.So how light is this sensor sheet? Well, a typical sheet of paper weighs 81g/m2. The sensor sheet is only 3g/m2, or 1/27th the weight of the paper. It’s also incredibly thin, measuring just 2 micrometers.As it’s a flexible sheet, it can be cut to a range of sizes and will wrap around the contours of the body quite easily. A number of medical sensors can be integrated with it, allowing for monitoring of body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, and any number of other body-related information we have skin sensors available for.The sensor sheet is actually a progression of technology developed in 2010 that placed an array of organic TFTs on to a plastic film substrate. The end result was a flexible pressure sensor sheet 25 micrometers thick. In this latest version the thickness has been reduced by 90 percent to just 2 micrometers.It’s probably going to be a while before we see doctors using this super lightweight sheet to monitor their patient’s health. Currently the research group has just finished a thesis on the technology, although they have usable prototypes of the sheet in their lab.last_img read more

New Dark Phoenix trailer hints at end for XMen

first_img #XMenDay wouldn’t be complete without a ticket drop for #DarkPhoenix:— Fandango (@Fandango) May 13, 2019 More on movies Tolkien movie taught me I’ve been saying Tolkien wrong all this time It: Chapter 2 teaser trailer delivers a spooky look at upcoming film Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner marries Joe Jonas in Las Vegas In the new Dark Phoenix trailer, released Monday, Turner’s Gray admits that “when I lose control, bad things happen, but it feels good.”It might not be all good for her fellow X-Men, however, who suddenly must face off against one of their own. Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender,  James McAvoy, Tye Sheridan,  Alexandra Shipp, Nicholas Hoult and Evan Peters reprise their roles from previous X-Men movies. Jessica Chastain  joins the series as a  mysterious shape-shifter.Dark Phoenix is expected to bring the past 20 years of X-Men movies to a close, CNET sister site ratings.Twentieth Century Fox Studio declared Monday to be “X-Men Day,” and also released a video looking back at the series.Tickets for the movie also went on sale Monday. Tags 57 Photos 1 Commentcenter_img Game of Thrones stars, from season 1 through today Marvel Target X-Men Dark Phoenix opens June 5 in the UK, June 6 in Australia, and June 7 in the US. TV and Movies Forget Sansa Stark. Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner, who played Ned Stark’s beautiful and battered daughter in the HBO hit series, has more power than ever before. Share your voicelast_img read more

Karluk Manor evacuated turns to church for shelter

first_imgRussell Alexie and 45 other residents of Karluk Manor took shelter at St. John United Methodist Church after the Nov. 30 earthquake. (Hillman/Alaska Public Media)All 46 residents of Karluk Manor, an apartment building in Anchorage for people with disabilities, were evacuated after the earthquake. They won’t be able to return home until Wednesday at the earliest because of a broken water main and damages to the building. But the community pulled together to make sure they were safe.When the earthquake started on Friday morning, Russell Alexie was sitting in his room at Karluk Manor in Fairview.“It was scary. I got to watch my TV fall, my dishes fall,” he recalled. “All the shaking and rattling. It was scary.”When it ended, he joined the rest of the residents in the building’s cafeteria. He left his room with just his jacket, shoes, and most of his medications. He normally uses a walker, but he couldn’t get it down the stairs and the elevators weren’t working.“Then the cafeteria, the dining area, (the ceiling) started leaking really crazy,” he said. “Then everyone was trying to get back in their rooms and get their clothes.”The power, heat, and water were out, and it was unclear when it would all be restored. Some staff made sandwiches while others made plans.Corrine O’Neill is the supportive housing division director for RurAL CAP, which runs Karluk Manor. She said that by late afternoon it was clear residents needed a new place to live, but the logistics were difficult.“All of our people are disabled and a majority of them are seniors with mobility challenges,” she explained.When other housing options for the large group fell through, they got in touch with St. John United Methodist Church on O’Malley, where Andy Bartel is a pastor, who offered to house people in the church’s gym.“We weren’t sure exactly how we were going to do this,” he said. “It was almost zero notice, and we were busy cleaning up our own messes in our homes, just like everybody else in Anchorage. But when we heard that there would be people without a roof, without a warm place to sleep, without food, the answer was ‘yes.’”Within an hour the church community pulled together mattresses and bedding. Sal’s New York Grill and Catering donated meals, and other volunteers hosted BINGO games and provided entertainment.“If the church doesn’t exist for this,” Pastor Bartel said, “then why do we exist?”Betty Sanchez Sopcak (l), her husband Daniel (bottom), and her uncle James Sugar (r) take shelter with other residents of Karluk Manor at St. John United Methodist Church after the Nov. 30 earthquake. (Hillman/Alaska Public Media)Karluk resident Betty Sanchez Sopcak, who said she prayed like she never had before during the earthquake, was happy to be welcomed at the church.“And I thank God for this wonderful church that took Karluk Manor in,” she said. “And the people here are just wonderful. God’s blessing them through helping.”But she said she is also ready to go home, or at least move closer.After two nights at the church, the group was moved to the Red Cross Shelter at Fairview Recreation Center, not far from Karluk. The shelter housed about 15 people Saturday night, according to their spokesperson Cari Dighton. They expected about 60 people on Sunday, including all of the Karluk Manor residents. The shelter will remain open until it is no longer necessary.RurAL CAP is seeking donations to fix the water main and other damages, such as broken televisions that provide entertainment to people with major mobility challenges. You can give here.last_img read more

Ancient Hidden City Discovered Under Lake Titicaca

first_imgFive minutes away from the town of Tiquina, on the shores of Lake Titicaca, archaeologists found the remains of an ancient civilization under the waters of the lake. The find was made 10 years ago, by Christophe Delaere, an archaeologist from the Free University of Belgium, by following information provided by the locals. 24 submerged archaeological sites have been identified under the lake, according to the BBC.The most significant of these sites is at Santiago de Ojjelaya, and the Bolivian government has recently agreed to build a museum there to preserve both the underwater structures and those which are on land.Lake Titicaca. Photo by Alex Proimos CC BY SA 2.0The project is supposed to be finished in 2020 and will cost an estimated $10 million. The Bolivian government is funding the project with help from UNESCO and is backed by the Belgian development cooperation agency.The proposed building will have two parts and cover an area of about 2.3 acres (9,360 square meters). One part of the museum will be on the shore, and it will display artifacts that have been raised from the lake bottom. The second part will be partially submerged, with enormous glass walls that will look out under the lake, allowing visitors to see the “hidden city” below.Old pottery from Tiwanaku at the Ethnologisches Museum, Berlin-Dahlem.According to the Bolivia Travel Channel, the museum will facilitate the beginning of an archaeological tourism enterprise, which “will be a resort and archaeology research center, geology and biology, characteristics that typified it unique in the world [sic],” according to Wilma Alanoca Mamani, holder of the portfolio of the Plurinational State. Christophe Delaere said that the building’s design incorporates elements of architecture used by the Andean cultures who inhabited the area.Jose Luis Paz, who is the director of heritage for Bolivia’s Ministry of Culture, says that two types of underwater ruins will be visible when the building is complete: religious/spiritual offering sites, primarily underwater, and places where people lived and worked, which were primarily on the shoreline. He went on to say that the spiritual sites were likely flooded much later than the settlements.Chullpas from Tiwanaku epoch. Photo by Diego Delso CC BY-SA 4.0A team of archaeological divers and Bolivian and Belgian experts have located thousands of items in the underwater sites. Some of these pieces will be brought up, but the majority will remain underwater as they are quite well-preserved.Wilma Mamani said that more than 10,000 items have been found including gold and ceramic pieces and various kinds of bowls and other vessels. The items are of pre-Inca Tiwanaku civilizations. Some of the artifacts have been estimated to be 2,000 years old, and others have been dated back to when the Tiwanaku empire was one of the primary Andean civilizations.Gateway of the Sun, Tiwanaku, drawn by Ephraim Squier in 1877.Tiwanaku was a major civilization in Bolivia, with the main city built around 13,000 feet above sea level, near Lake Titicaca, which made it one of the highest urban centers ever built.The city reached its zenith between 500 AD and 1000 AD, and, at its height, was home to about 10,000 people. It’s unclear exactly when the civilization took hold, but it is known that people started settling around Lake Titicaca about 2,000 BC.The Gateway of the Sun from the Tiwanaku civilization in Bolivia.According to Live Science, the city’s ancient name is unknown, since they never developed a written language, but archaeological evidence suggests that Tiwanaku cultural influence reached across the southern Andes, into Argentina, Peru, and Chile, as well as Bolivia.Tiwanaku began to decline around 1,000 AD, and the city was eventually abandoned. Even when it fell out of use, it stayed an important place in the mythology of the Andean people, who viewed it as a religious site.Besides the obvious benefits of being able to study and share the artifacts of ancient civilizations, the project has another benefit as well. Most of the people who currently live in the area make their living in agriculture or fishing.Read another story from us: 9,000-yr-old Stone Mask Gives Face to Ancient CultureThis project brings the possibility of new jobs for local residents, which can keep people from leaving the area due to lack of opportunities, helping revitalize local communities.last_img read more

Russell Westbrook Isnt Built For The Playoffs

first_imgAlso:-Arizona should take Bosa over Murray-Where Colin was right, where Colin was wrong-Bad look for Paul George joining Westbrook’s media beef-Colin’s Top 10 Worst sports contracts Guests:Chris Broussard, Ric Bucher, Joel Klatt, and DeAngelo Hall Westbrook isn’t built for the PlayoffsRussell Westbrook looks like he’s headed for his third opening round playoff exit in three years after an abysmal 5-21 shooting performance in the Thunder’s crucial Game 4 first round loss to Dame Lillard and Portland.Colin has taken heat for being a vocal critic of Westbrook from the fawning NBA media and fans, but it’s hard to argue that he’s wrong as “Mr. Triple Double” melts down in the postseason again. At this point, it’s clear that Westbrook isn’t built for the playoffs because of his unwillingness to adapt his game, and he’s now a liability to the franchise because he’s scheduled to make around $40 million over the next three seasons. It will only all get worse.last_img read more

Contiki pulls out all the stops in Asia with 5 brand new

first_img Posted by Contiki “pulls out all the stops” in Asia with 5 brand new trips Share Travelweek Group TORONTO – Contiki is ramping up its 2017 Asia program with the addition of five new itineraries, including trips to Singapore and India for the very first time.“Asia has been, and continues to be a key destination for young Canadian travellers looking for an adventure. As a youth focused brand, we recognized the need for an Asia product that delivers an adventurous, immersive and culturally authentic experience,” said Sheralyn Berry, Director of Sales at Contiki Holidays Canada. “I’m proud to say that we’ve pulled out all the stops for our Asia 2017 program, adding five new trips and five improved itineraries, including expanding our Thailand and Bali offerings with more departures. Not to mention the No Regrets Experiences and Me Time Optionals, which are all unparalleled in terms of diversity and memorability!”The five new trips include ‘Cambodia & Laos Uncovered’, which visits Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng, Vientiane, Phnom Penh and Siem Reap over nine action-packed days. This package includes internal flights, licenced local guides and a Contiki Trip Manager throughout, plus the chance to see Angkor Wat Temple at dawn. The first departure is on April 8, 2017.More news:  ‘Turn around year’ for TPI brings double-digit growth‘Bangkok to Singapore’ first departs on April 2 and is labelled as a ‘Discoverer’ itinerary that takes in the sights of Bangkok, Krabi, Langkawi, Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore over 14 days. In addition to private air conditioned coaches, this itinerary includes an overnight train from Bangkok to Khao Sok, an overnight stay at a Thai jungle treehouse hotel as well as a night onboard a floating lake raft.‘Northern Thai Highlights’ first departs on April 1 and follows Contiki’s ‘In Depth Explorer’ style. This new eight-day trip journeys through northern Thailand and visits Chiang Mai, Kanchanburi, Ayutthaya and Bangkok. Highlights include a cruise on a traditional longtail boat, guided bike tour of Ayutthaya, a guided tour of Ayutthaya and a trip on the River Kwai. Also, guests have the option to visit an elephant sanctuary or Pai hot springs, or participate in a Thai cooking class.Also new is ‘Japan – City to Slopes’, a 12-day voyage that visits Osaka, Kyoto, Tokyo and the Hakuba ski fields. This ‘Winter & Ski’ style sibling of last year’s hugely popular ‘Japan Unrivalled’ itinerary includes private coach travel and a three-day lift pass, and also includes optional experiences like a sushi-making class and a Japanese Tapas dinner. First departure runs on Jan. 7.More news:  Flights cancelled as British Airways hit by computer problemLastly, ‘Eternal India’, which first departs on Dec. 4, 2016, returns to the region after a 40-year hiatus. This 12-day trip follows Contiki’s ‘In-Depth Explorer’ style and visits Delhi, Agra, Ranthambore, Jaipur, Udaipur, Mumbai and Goa. Highlights include the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Delhi’s old town and optional experiences like a visit to the famous cricket ground, Maiden Oval, and chapatti making lessons.Clients who pay in full on or before December 22nd, 2016 can save up to 10% off as part of Contiki’s “Early Payment Discount” program. For more information go to << Previous PostNext Post >> Tuesday, October 25, 2016 Tags: Asia, Contikilast_img read more

2 killed in clash at terrorlinked Kenyan mosque

first_img Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   Quick workouts for men Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober “We condemn strongly the move by police to cause violence inside a place of worship,” Hussein said.Kenyan police have linked the Masjid Musa mosque to recruitment of militants for Somalia’s al-Shabab terrorist organization, which claimed responsibility for an attack last year on an upscale shopping mall in which up to 67 people were killed in Nairobi, the capital. The al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab group said that attack was in retaliation for Kenya’s military involvement in Somalia.Rights campaigners say the Kenyan government’s harsh counterterrorism measures are pushing some Muslim youths toward extremism.A Human Rights Watch researcher reported last year that many Somalis who have fled to Kenya because of al-Shabab violence have sometimes faced “serious abuses” at the hands of security forces who wrongfully accuse them of supporting al-Shabab.Last October, following the mall attack, gunmen killed a Muslim cleric and three others in a hail of bullets in Mombasa, sparking street violence by youths who accused the police of targeted killings of Muslim leaders.The Masjid Musa mosque has produced terror-linked Muslim preachers including Aboud Rogo Mohammed, who was shot and killed by unknown gunmen in Mombasa as he drove his wife to a hospital in Aug. 2012. The death sparked two days of rioting in which four people, including three members of the security forces, were killed and three churches were damaged in Mombasa. Hundreds of angry young Muslims who took to the streets blamed police for the killing of Mohammed, who had been sanctioned by the U.N. and U.S. for supporting al-Shabab. A Kenyan government task force did not establish who killed Mohammed. A police officer who was stabbed in the face died of his wounds, said Mombasa police commander Robert Kitur. Another officer was stabbed in the stomach and is being treated at the hospital, he said.Police later occupied the mosque and its precincts, Kitur said.“We have arrested dozens of youths who attacked our officers while on duty at the mosque and they are under interrogation,” he said. They also recovered a gun stolen from an officer.Kitur said the officers were “on a mission to remove radical paraphernalia from the mosque when they faced resistance.”Henry Ondieki, the Mombasa chief of criminal investigations, said police forcibly entered the mosque after getting intelligence that a meeting to recruit militants was underway. “This was not a normal day of prayers,” he said. “Their intention was clear: they were planning to recruit and attack innocent Kenyan civilians.”But the head of a Mombasa-based rights group criticized the police.“There was no need for excessive force and the police should have restrained themselves to avoid bloodshed,” said Khalid Hussein, executive director of Haki Africa. He said it came the day after they asked police to avoid violence and talk to the youth. (Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories center_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility MOMBASA, Kenya (AP) – Police opened fire on Muslim youths wielding daggers at a mosque linked to recruiting Islamic extremists, and at least one officer and a young man were killed Sunday, witnesses and officials said in the coastal resort and port city of Mombasa.Police said they raided the Masjid Musa mosque acting on intelligence that a meeting to recruit militants was going on.A reporter at the scene saw police shoot and kill one person as they tried to disperse a growing crowd screaming “Allahu Akbar” or “God is Great” outside the mosque, which has been the recent site of violent confrontations between young Muslims and police. 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 3 international destinations to visit in 2019last_img read more

Economists Forecast Moderating Price Gains

first_imgEconomists Forecast Moderating Price Gains in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News June 3, 2014 445 Views As home price increases keep showing signs of slowing down, economists expect gains to continue moderating through the next two years, according to a poll conducted by Reuters.In a survey of 31 economists, Reuters arrived at a median forecast of price growth of 7.5 percent this year, down significantly from the 13.4 percent improvement recorded in the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city index last December.Price growth is expected to slow further from there, dropping to 4.0 percent by 2016.The survey also found that, despite concerns from some analysts of overheating as price gains far outpace the historical average, the median judgment of economists surveyed is that the housing market is situated right in the middle between extremely overvalued and extremely undervalued.Meanwhile, even as price increases start to come down, analysts don’t expect any major pickup in housing activity as lending standards, slow job growth, and stagnant wages prevent more potential homeowners from entering the market.According to Reuters, existing-home sales are forecast to reach an annualized rate of 4.75 million this quarter, continuing to march upward to a rate of 5.10 million by the first quarter of 2015.Existing-home sales achieved a rate of 4.65 million in April, according to the National Association of Realtors, a modest improvement following a slow start earlier this year.center_img Forecast Home Prices 2014-06-03 Tory Barringer Sharelast_img read more

Steady Mortgage Rates Good News for FirstTime Home Buyers

first_img Federal Funds Rate Federal Open Market Committee first-time home buyers Fixed-Rate Mortgages Jerome Powell 2017-11-06 David Wharton Share in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, Headlines, journal, News Following a meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) last week, the short-term Federal Funds rate will remain unchanged. This should prove a boon for shorter-term debt such as car loans and or adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs). But with more than half of U.S. households having 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, what does this mean for first-time home buyers?First American’s chief economist, Mark Fleming, suggests that the future looks bright for first-time home buyers. Since short-term rate changes by nature don’t impact long-term fixed-rate mortgages, Fleming argues in a new blog post that the most important question to consider is what mortgage principal and interest payment most renters could feasibly borrow in order to secure their first home, and how this is affected by mortgage rates.While some experts use the median household income of all households to approach that question, Fleming points out that most homeowner households have a considerably higher income than the average renter household, which skews the median. In fact, based on 2016 Census data, the income gap between homeowner households ($70,000) and renter households ($37,000) is $33,000. As such, using the median household income for all households presents an inaccurate view of the actual borrowing power of a typical renter household. Assuming a renter can spend one-third of their income on a mortgage, that works out to $12,333 for an annual income of $37,000. With the current mortgage rate of approximately 4 percent, that hypothetical renter should be able to borrow around $213,000. During 2012’s 30-year rate lows, that same renter could have borrowed around $242,000.While President Trump recently nominated Jerome Powell to succeed current Fed Chair Janet Yellen, Fleming points out that Powell is “widely believed to hold a similar stance on monetary policy as [Yellen].” With most economists forecasting a rate hike to 5 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages in 2018, a renter earning $37,000 a year could still feasibly borrow $190,000 for their first home.“While borrowing power for the potential home buyer has fallen relative to the low point of 2012, it remains high today and will remain high next year, relative to the long run average,” said Fleming. “If you don’t want to rent anymore and are considering becoming a homeowner, even if mortgage rates rise next year, your borrowing power will remain strong by historic standards.”center_img November 6, 2017 651 Views Steady Mortgage Rates Good News for First-Time Home Buyerslast_img read more

Efforts underway to boost air connectivity reduce fares

first_imgThe government and tourist businesses decided on Friday to launch efforts to boost competition in a bid to cut air fares.In abroad meeting at the transport ministry, officials exchanged views on ways to boost air connectivity in a bid to cut ticket prices.“The public considers fares to be high,” Transport Minister Vasiliki Anastasiadou said, after a meeting with Deputy Minister for Tourism Savvas Perdios, tour operators, airlines, and the airports operator.“This is not always the case; price fluctuations are seasonal. We cannot intervene and set fares.”Anastasiadou said the aim was to create the necessary conditions to force companies to reduce fares.The meeting decided that each of the participants would undertake efforts within their sector, but also increase cooperation between them, to build on existing or future bilateral agreements and convince countries to fly to Cyprus.The island lost two airlines this year, Cypriot firm Cobalt, and German low-cost carrier Germania, which were bringing in thousands of tourists.The minister said incentive schemes were already in place but they could be boosted if necessary.Currently, 70 airlines fly from Cyprus to 40 countries and 120 destinations, Anastasiadou said, with new routes expected to be added, mainly from Paphos to Lebanon, Mykonos, and Berlin.Anastasiadou said the government has recently asked a Saudi airline to look into the possibility of launching flights to Larnaca and from there to other destinations like Athens.Similar efforts will be made with other countries, she added.Perdios briefed participants on his ministry’s objectives for the next decade, which would focus on the region, on countries Cyprus has struck agreements with.“To us, the wider Eastern Mediterranean region is the focal point of our tourism and we want to invest in that,” Perdios said.“We all believe that we can increase connectivity to Cyprus. This automatically means increasing competition and it is something that will reduce air fares, not only to Cyprus, but also from Cyprus.”The previous day, addressing the 9th Nicosia Economic Congress, Perdios said the tourism industry had the long-term potential to contribute to Cyprus’ economy by 25 per cent.Perdios said his ministry would take a holistic approach including actions until 2030.The targets set in 2015 provided that by 2030 Cyprus would have around three million tourists with 40 per cent visiting during the winter season. The income target would be €7 billion.Last year, Perdios said, Cyprus attracted around four million tourists, which marked a 54 per cent increase since 2015, but only 25 per cent of that was distributed over the winter months, while total contribution to GDP did not exceed €3 billion.The ultimate mission, he said was to “sustainably increase contribution to Cyprus’ GDP in a way that will positively impact our local community.”He has also warned that the uncertainty of Brexit and a slowdown in the German market would put a downward pressure on prices and reduce revenue this year and next. On Wednesday, latest arrival figures showed that visitor numbers in March recorded a decrease of 11.5 per cent compared with the corresponding month in 2018, marking the first decline in tourist arrival figures in almost four years. Almost four million tourists visited Cyprus in 2018, an all-time high.You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoModernizeIf Your Home Has Old Roofing, Read ThisModernizeUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCypriot tycoon launches ‘Bank of Cannabis’Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Rep Bumsteads bill to assist with prison reopening receives Senate approval

first_img House Bill 4467—which aims to lift a burdensome restriction on a private Lake County prison—has been passed by the Michigan Senate with a vote of 23-14, announced bill sponsor state Rep. Jon Bumstead.“This legislation simply gives North Lake Correctional Facility in Baldwin the ability to house inmates classified at Level V and higher, giving Lake County and the surrounding community the opportunity to grow economically,” said Rep. Bumstead, R-Newaygo. “The facility was designed as a maximum security prison and is already equipped with the ability to safely house these inmates.”Currently, the North Lake Correctional Facility is restricted to only housing inmates classified under the first four of six security levels. By allowing inmates of a higher security classification, the prison will become a more viable option in contract negotiations with other states and would provide new revenue and up to 400 new jobs in one of Michigan’s poorest counties.The Michigan Department of Corrections has toured the facility and confirmed that the prison is capable of housing high-security inmates. “I want to thank Senators Darwin Booher and Goeff Hansen for their testimony on the Senate floor,” Rep. Bumstead said. “I would especially like to thank Sen. Hansen for his hard work leading up to this bill and his help passing this legislation in the Senate.”HB 4467 now moves to the governor for gubernatorial signature.### 27May Rep. Bumstead’s bill to assist with prison reopening receives Senate approval Categories: Newslast_img read more

Committee approves Theis bills to protect minors who are victims of sex

first_img27Feb Committee approves Theis bills to protect minors who are victims of sex crimes Categories: News,Theis News Legislation inspired by Livingston County case to safeguard students at schoolThe House Law and Justice Committee today approved legislation by state Rep. Lana Theis to help local school districts better protect their students who are underage victims of sexual-based crimes from the perpetrators of the crime.The three-bill package was prompted by a recent Livingston County case where a 16-year-old was convicted of criminal sexual conduct against multiple victims as young as 12. Two of the underage victims joined Theis for testimony before the committee on Feb. 20.“These bills are needed to ensure we better protect victims of criminal sexual conduct. No survivor should ever have to move schools to avoid riding the bus or attending school with their assailant,” said Theis, a member of the committee. “We had two young victims before this committee to tell us how they faced the possibility of being in the same school, classroom and even bus route with their manipulative predator. That should not even be a consideration.”Theis’ bills requires schools to permanently expel students who are convicted of criminal sexual conduct against another pupil enrolled in the same school district. Once the offender has been expelled under current law, they would be prohibited from attending another public school in Michigan, unless they go through a reinstatement process. A bill sponsored by state Rep. Sylvia Santana, of Detroit, requires that if a personal protection order (PPO) is ordered for the victim of sexual assaults, the offender would be prohibited from entering the victim’s school.An amendment approved by the committee today expands the protections to include transportation to and from school, such as on school buses, and allow anyone who have been expelled to attend a cyber-school.Currently, a school is only required to expel a student who commits criminal sexual conduct in a school building or on school grounds.“The determination and strength shown by the young victims and their families from Brighton is inspiring,” said Theis, of Brighton. “We have to work together to ensure we are protecting all our students, especially when they are at school.”House Bills 5530, 5531 and 5532 advance to the House for its consideration.#####last_img read more

Microsoft has put its proposed online subscription

first_imgMicrosoft has put its proposed online subscription video platform on hold, according to news agency Reuters.
Microsoft is understood to have concerns about the cost of licensing content having concluded talks with a number of potential programming partners. It was hoping to offer current shows and live channels.The company has recently turned its focus to Xbox Live, the online portal of its gaming platform. It has signed over 40 global content partners including the BBC, Lovefilm and Netflix.last_img

Discovery Networks International has acquired a 20

first_imgDiscovery Networks International has acquired a 20% stake in French pay broadcaster Televista. The move will see the global factual broadcaster help develop Televista’s female-skewing lifestyle channels including Via, which has applied for a license to run a digital terrestrial television (DTT) channel.Discovery will give Televista access to its library of female skewing content, while local French programming developed by Televista will be aired on Discovery’s raft of channels internationally including TLC and Real Time.The deal was struck between Televista CEO Gaspard de Chavagnac and Dee Forbes, president and managing director, Discovery Networks Western Europe.Chavagnac said: “I am very pleased to welcome Discovery Networks International, the largest non fiction media company in the world to Televista.  Discovery will bring both  expertise and content we need to accelerate our development especially in Free DTT channels where Discovery is already present in Italy, Spain and Germany.”last_img read more