first_imgFORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) – A white ibis has been given another chance at life, after it was nursed back to health following injuries it sustained in the wake of Hurricane Matthew.The bird spent last week at the Wildlife Care Center in Fort Lauderdale and was released Friday.The Director of Wildlife Rehabilitation at the center, Renata Schneider says the best part of her job is being able to see an animal get released.“It’s what we’re here for,” Renee says. “We know we can’t save everyone so every animal we are able to really makes us feel like we’re doing our jobs, and it pays off.”The ibis was saved by a good Samaritan who found it by the side of the road.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

first_imgThe couple is offering a $500 reward for Jax’s return.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. CONCORD, N.H. (WSVN) — An Iraq War veteran said she was attacked by a man who then stole her service dog.Ashley McCall said she had just put her 3-year-old pit bull, Jax, in her car after taking him for a walk. She was about to go run some errands when she said a man approached her and started asking her questions about Jax.“He starts asking me questions about what kind of dog he was, what his name was and then wanted to see the dog. And I told him, I really need to get going,” said McCall.McCall said the man then reached for her car’s door handle and opened it. McCall said she shut the door and he shoved her onto the ground. The suspect then grabbed Jax and got into an awaiting silver Ford Focus. McCall said the man then threw Jax’s service vest and leash out of the car before taking off.“I’m screaming at him, this is my dog, what are you doing, you can’t do this! He just takes off,” said McCall.McCall’s husband Christopher said Jax is trained to help his wife with anxiety and depression.“He is a provider of unconditional love,” she told Fox News. “Jax helps calm me when anxious.  Could really use him now.” last_img read more

first_imgFormer information technology (IT) workers have sued Walt Disney for firing and replacing them with contractors from India two years ago. The group of 30-odd former employees filed a lawsuit against Walt Disney Parks and Resorts on Monday in an Orlando federal court. The group alleges that they were laid off “based solely on their national origin and race and were replaced with Indians, who received special treatment,” the Chicago Tribune reported. Additionally, the workers said they were forced to train the people replacing them, which was humiliating. The lawsuit claims that about 250 IT workers in Florida were asked to train their replacement workers in order to earn severance pay. They said they were replaced specifically by “Indian workers” who were brought in from overseas or on H-1B visas. However, the court papers do not specify the race, nationality or ethnicity of the workers who have filed the lawsuit, Press Trust of India reported. The workers said that they had applied for other  roles in the same company, but were not hired. Refuting the allegations, Disney said: “like the two other dismissed cases brought by this lawyer, this latest lawsuit is nonsense and we will defend it vigorously.”Two similar lawsuits were dismissed by a federal judge a few months ago. In those cases, two ex-Disney IT workers claimed that the contractors made false statements on the visa forms for the workers who replaced them. However, the judgement ruled that Disney and its outsourcing contractors did not violate any rules, the Chicago Tribune added.last_img read more

first_imgReutersThe engineering, marketing and infrastructure sector will add up to 58,000 new jobs in the April-September half of financial year 2020, according to a new report. The TeamLease Services biannual ‘Employment Outlook’ report evaluated job openings from 19 sectors and 14 geographies and surveyed 775 enterprises in India and 85 across the globeHalf of the 14 cities surveyed show positive growth in the job structures while the other half shows a negative scroll for 2019-20, compared with the previous survey. According to the reprot, Pune, Coimbatore, Indore, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, and Delhi show a positive growth of about 3 percent. At the same time, the report revealed that Mumbai, Chandigarh, Nagpur, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Gurgaon, and Kochi might witness a decline in job growth.Teamlease Services Limited is engaged in employment activities. The temporary staffing company provides human resource services to various industries and acts as a people supply chain.As per the report; manufacturing, engineering and infrastructure industries will see job growth of about 8 percent in 2019-20.Internet of Things”The manufacturing, engineering and infrastructure sector has employed 6.42 crore people as of HY2 of 2018-19. With the electronic manufacturing ecosystem is expected to reach investments worth Rs 26 lakh crore by 2025 the sector is expected to witness an exponential growth in jobs,” explained Sudeep Sen, head of industrial, manufacturing and engineering vertical, Teamlease.Sudeep claimed that exposure to the Internet of Things in the manufacturing sector will help in massive job creation and will contribute around 25 percent of the country’s GDP by 2022. As per his analysis tier-II cities will see a rise in hiring by 5 percent followed by a 2 percent growth in the tier III cities and rural areas.The sectors such as office services, manual labour and marketing are estimated to see a hiring growth of more than 3 percent while hiring in sales and IT will see stagnation in the near future.last_img read more

first_imgChina will cut down its present military force of 2.3 million, the world’s largest army, to below one million, the biggest troop reduction in the People’s Liberation Army’s history.”This is the first time that active PLA Army personnel would be reduced to below one million,” said a report in a social media outlet run by PLA Daily.The article on structural reform in the military said: “The old military structure, where the army accounts for the vast majority, will be replaced after the reform.”In 2015, Chinese president Xi Jinping had announced a reduction of 300,000 troops in the PLA.According to the report, the number of troops in the PLA Navy, PLA Strategic Support Force, and the PLA Rocket Force would be increased, while the PLA Air Force’s active service personnel would remain the same.”The reform is based on China’s strategic goals and security requirements. In the past, the PLA focused on ground battle and homeland defence, which will undergo fundamental changes,” said the WeChat article.China has cut down its defence spending in the past two years, with the military budget in 2017 remaining seven per cent, lowest hike in more than a decade.Xi wants a lean but modernised armed forces.China has been becoming a major sea power and its disputes are more on seas than land.Of the 14 neighbours, China has land disputes only with India and Bhutan.According to the Chinese defence ministry, PLA had about 850,000 combat troops in 2013.”This reform will provide other services, including the PLA Rocket Force, Air Force, Navy and Strategic Support Force (mainly responsible for electronic warfare and communication), with more resources and inputs, and the PLA will strengthen its capability to conduct overseas missions,” Xu Guangyu, a senior adviser to the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association, was quoted as saying by Global Times.”The PLA must be capable of spotting overseas threats and destroying hostile forces thousands of kilometers away before they enter our 12 nautical mile territorial waters,” Xu said.”China’s overseas interests are spread around the world and need to be protected. These are beyond the army’s current capabilities,” said Xu.The PLA structure should also fit China’s international status, Xu added.last_img read more

first_imgWaylon Cunningham for The Texas TribuneVoters take a selfie outside an early voting station in Austin on Feb. 23, 2018.Texas voters will head to the polls Tuesday in the country’s first statewide primary of the Trump era, with voters weighing in on their party’s nominees for a rare eight open congressional seats as well as several high-profile statewide races.Unlike many previous election cycles, Texas is the only state hosting a primary on Tuesday and the first in a midterm election cycle drawing intense national interest over whether a possible Democratic wave could flip control of the U.S. House or Senate in November.After two weeks of early voting, Texans who haven’t yet cast a ballot have until 7 p.m. today to do so.Here’s seven questions likely to draw the most attention as the returns roll in Tuesday night: From El Paso to Houston, there are so many candidates running for these nominations that the lift to clear a majority of the vote is near impossible. The likeliest to do so is state Sen. Van Taylor, R-Plano, who has dominated in a three-way Republican primary for the seat currently held by U.S. Rep. Sam Johnson, R-Richardson.Other possible exceptions are state Sen. Sylvia Garcia, who is running for Houston’s 29th District and Republican fundraiser Kathaleen Wall in the nearby 2nd Congressional District. Who came out on top in the costly primary fight between Phillip Huffines and Angela Paxton?The Republican primary for Senate District 8 could be the most expensive and nastiest contest on the ballot Tuesday. It pits Angela Paxton, the wife of Attorney General Ken Paxton, against Phillip Huffines, the twin brother of state Sen. Don Huffines, R-Dallas.With a price tag expected to top $10 million, the race has turned into an all-out brawl between two candidates who are similarly conservative. It’s divided some of the most powerful players on the far right in Texas, not to mention two of the most well-known families in conservative circles.The two are battling to replace state Sen. Van Taylor, R-Plano, who is running for Congress.Which Democrat is going to run against Abbott?Nine Democrats have lined up to challenge Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, with most attention centering on two of them: Lupe Valdez, the former Dallas County sheriff, and Andrew White, the son of late Gov. Mark White. Other contenders include Dallas businessman Jeffrey Payne and Tom Wakely, a former congressional candidate from San Antonio. Uncertainty runs deep about how exactly the primary will shake out. Public polling has identified Valdez and White as the most likely prospects for an anticipated runoffs, though it has also indicated there are many voters who have not made up their minds.Whoever becomes the Democratic nominee will have a daunting task in trying to dislodge Abbott. The governor consistently ranks as the most popular statewide official, and he has over $40 million saved up for his re-election campaign. What happened in the Texas 7th?This is where Texas’ role as the first-in-the-nation midterm primary caused a local race to explode onto the national scene.A crowded field of Democrats are running for the nomination to take on Republican U.S. Rep. John Culberson in the fall. National Democrats are fairly quiet about which candidate they would most like to see take him on. But they know who they don’t want: journalist and activist Laura Moser, who some Democrats argue is too liberal for the district. To underscore this point, the House Democratic arm dumped a pile of opposition research on her online, a move that quickly transformed the race into a local rehash of the bitter 2016 Democratic presidential nomination fight between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders. Even some Houston Democrats who agree with their national counterparts’ move in spirit worry it only strengthened Moser ahead of Tuesday. And what if Moser does well enough to make an expected runoff? A one-on-one fight between her and an establishment-supported Democrat will certainly turn West Houston into the newest battlefield of a burgeoning Democratic civil war. What happened with Land Commissioner George P. Bush’s re-election bid?Bush is facing three Republican primary challengers, including his predecessor in the job, Jerry Patterson. All three challengers have targeted Bush’s oversight of the Alamo, particularly his work on restoration of the site of the historic 1836 battle. He’s also faced questions about his handling of funds related to the recovery effort following Hurricane Harvey.Patterson and Bush’s two other primary challengers are hoping to keep Bush below the majority of the vote he needs to avoid a runoff. That Bush, the nephew and grandson of former presidents and a popular former Texas governor, may not be able to win his primary outright Tuesday has put a national spotlight on the race.How many primaries for those eight open congressional seats will have to be settled in runoffs?In all likelihood, most of them.Six Republicans and two Democrats in the 38-member Texas congressional delegation opted not to run for re-election, drawing dozens of candidates, including 18 Republicans and four Democrats vying to replace U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio. Share Will more Democrats vote than Republicans?The snapshot we’ve seen so far of turnout from early voting suggests Texas Democrats have been more motivated to cast ballots than Republicans.In the state’s ten counties with the highest number of registered voters, 370,219 Democrats voted early compared to 282,928 Republicans.During the primaries in the last midterms four years earlier, Republicans outvoted Democrats in early voting in those ten counties 253,019 to 184,489, respectively. That means Democratic turnout more than doubled from four years ago, while Republican turnout rose less than 15 percent.What we won’t know until Tuesday evening: Did those early voting trends hold throughout Election Day and throughout the state?How did the Republican incumbents Gov. Greg Abbott tried to unseat do?After a contentious special session last summer, Gov. Greg Abbott took the extraordinary step of endorsing primary challengers to a trio of House Republicans: state Reps. Sarah Davis of West University Place, Wayne Fairclothof Galveston and Lyle Larson of San Antonio.While Abbott has helped out all three candidates in one way or another, he has taken a particularly intense interest in unseating Davis, who’s being challenged by Susanna Dokupil. His campaign has spent close to a quarter million dollars on the race, much of it brutalizing Davis on TV.Faircloth’s challenger, Mayes Middleton, is seen as the Abbott-backed opponent with the best chance of victory Tuesday. But how all three challengers perform will provide a gauge of Abbott’s political sway — and no doubt color his relationships under the pink dome next session.last_img read more

first_imgDallas nurse, Amber Joy Vinson.ATLANTA (AP) — A second Dallas nurse diagnosed with Ebola was transferred Wednesday from Texas to a specialized hospital isolation unit in Atlanta that has already treated three Americans with the virus.Helicopter footage from local television stations showed 29-year-old Amber Joy Vinson leaving a jet and being helped into an ambulanceWednesday night. A police motorcade escorted the ambulance as it traveled to Emory University Hospital.Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, which had been treating Vinson, confirmed her arrival in a tweet. Emory later released a statement saying “a patient with Ebola” had arrived at the hospital at 8:30 p.m.An ambulance carrying Amber Joy Vinson, the second health care worker to be diagnosed with Ebola in Texas, arrives at Emory University Hospital on Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014, in Atlanta. Vinson was one of the nurses who cared for Thomas Eric Duncan, who died at the Dallas hospital last week of the Ebola virus. (AP Photo/David Tulis)Vinson was one of the nurses who cared for Thomas Eric Duncan, who died at the Dallas hospital last week of the Ebola virus. Another of Duncan’s nurses, Nina Pham, is also being treated for Ebola at the Texas hospital and was in “improved condition” Wednesday, said Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Meanwhile, an American doctor undergoing treatment for Ebola said he had been critically ill but is now recovering and expects to be discharged soon from Emory University Hospital.The unidentified patient — a doctor working for the World Health organization at an Ebola treatment center in Sierra Leone — arrived at the hospital on Sept. 9. He said in a statement released by Emory that his condition worsened soon after he arrived but he is now much better.The doctor is one of three American aid workers brought to Emory from West Africa; the other two recovered. Emory and three other U.S. hospitals have specialized isolation units to care for Ebola with less risk of spread to health care workers.The WHO doctor had asked Emory to release the news about his improved condition following reports of the two recently infected Texas nurses. But he did not give his name, and hospital officials have refused to identify him, citing the wishes of the patient and his family.last_img read more

first_imgThere are a number of Xbox One launch day games that have captured our attention. One of those is the latest entry in the Dead Rising series–Dead Rising 3.The third Rising game is interesting not only because nobody minds a new entry in the series, but because it has been in development for such a long time. It turns out that’s because Dead Rising 3 wasn’t actually meant to be a next-gen game.The game is being developed at Capcom Vancouver, with all work being carried out on a PC development environment. But what the team discovered was their scope for the game didn’t fit with the ageing Xbox 360 hardware. It simply couldn’t handle the size and detail Capcom wanted in the game.With a choice between scaling things back or moving to a next-gen platform, Capcom Vancouver chose the latter and shifted its focus to Xbox One. What that means is we will get to enjoy much larger environments, a lot more zombies running around, and the removal of loading zones. For Microsoft it also means they are getting a solid launch title that has had a lot of extra time spent on it because of this platform shift. It also means another title supporting Kinect and SmartGlass.If you’re wondering just how big Dead Rising 3 is set to be compared to previous games, Capcom claims Dead Rising and Dead Rising 2 environments would fit into Dead Rising 3 many times over. We look forward to finding out just how big it is come November when the console and game launches.last_img read more

first_img“We’re starting in Sydney and then looking to go across Australia,” Google spokesperson Shane Treeves said. ”Hopefully it will encourage more people to jump on a plane.” Source = ETB News: T.N. Google is using its ‘Trekker’ technology to capture images of Australian destinations accessible only by foot. The images will be used to incorporate remote places into the Street View of Google maps, Sydney Morning Herald reported.center_img The pictures gathered will be incorporated into Street View later this year once they have been edited using special software that stitches them together and blurs individual faces. Trekker has been all over the world to create images for Street View including the Galapagos Islands, Venice, Mt Fuji, Everest and the Grand Canyon. Google hopes to allow tourism groups, not for profit groups, universities and research teams to borrow Trekker in future.last_img read more

first_img Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Every week we will catch up with one Arizona Cardinals player and give our listeners the opportunity to submit questions to be answered on video. Submitting a question is easy, head on over to @AZSports on Twitter and tweet as many questions as you can think of, the best ones will make the cut! This week features Arizona Cardinals safety, Tony Jefferson (@tonyjefferson1). This is Four Downs. 0 Comments   Share   Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

first_imgSummer tans are fading and lounging around in the sunshine seems a dim and distant memory. It’s time to think about your next holiday, so Skyscanner brings you some ideas to dispel the gloom of winter.Cape Town, South AfricaAverage January temperature: 26°CArguably one of the most stunning cities in the world, Cape Town offers the visitor a multitude of attractions. Table Mountain stands over beautiful beaches which bring surfers from all over the world, and the oceans (Indian and Atlantic) are a mecca for whale watchers. The surrounding area boasts famous vineyards and as an area of natural beauty, it’s hard to beat. Find cheap flights to Cape TownBuenos Aires, ArgentinaAverage January temperature: 30°CThe capital of Argentina is now back to its former glory having suffered under military rule. The city is a European style metropolis made up of areas with a distinct style. Browse through chic boutiques in Palermo Viejo before heading to the cobbled stone streets of San Telmo and then the best steak dinner in the world. Find cheap flights to Buenos AiresMarrakech, MoroccoAverage January temperature: 19°CIn the heart of the old city is Djemaa el-Fna – a busy square with a carnival-style atmosphere which draws tourists to witness the entertainers and performers and to sample delicious Moroccan food from local stalls. The city also affords the visitor the opportunity to explore a maze of alleyways full of bazaars and shopkeepers selling local products. Find cheap flights to MarrakechRunaway Bay, JamaicaAverage January temperature: 30°CNothing beats the Caribbean in the winter time, and Jamaica has the beaches, the relaxing atmosphere and the cocktails to make all your winter blues disappear. There are hotels to suit all tastes and “interests”, but one of the best is the Breezes Runaway Bay Resort and Golf Club so you can have a round on the course before enjoying a round at the bar. Find cheap flights to JamaicaKey West, Florida, USAAverage January temperature: 23°CAs the final destination in a chain of small islands in Florida, Key West is the most southerly point of the US. With its balmy climate, it is perfect for all kinds of watersports and one of its most famous former residents, a certain Ernest Hemmingway, would have enjoyed the big game fishing. The town comes alive at night with numerous bars, clubs and restaurants so there’s always something to do. Find cheap flights to FloridaPerth, Western AustraliaAverage January temperature: 29°CEveryone always heads to the east coast of Australia but far fewer visitors go to Perth. The city is bustling and cosmopolitan and offers the tourist an extensive range of shops, and then if you want to relax, the Sunset Coast is just a short drive away where you can enjoy miles of beautiful beaches. If you’re done with the sea, head inland to the Yanchep National Park to see indigenous wildlife like koalas, kangaroos and cockatoos. Find cheap flights to PerthZighy Bay, OmanAverage January temperature: 25°CThis beautiful mile long stretch of sand is home to the luxury Six Senses Hideaway. You travel there by boat, or if you’re feeling brave, a tandem paraglider. Oman is a country of mysticism and beauty, and whilst having a rich history, it is very much becoming a twenty first century holiday destination as luxurious hotels and resorts are developed to rival those of neighbouring Dubai. Find cheap flights to OmanDenis Island, SeychellesAverage January temperature: 28°CIf you’re not feeling the effects of the credit crunch, then why not head for the Seychelles and stay on one of the most exclusive resorts in the archipelago. Denis Island has just twenty five elegant cottages on an island of picture postcard beauty. The island offers some of the best diving and snorkelling in the area or if the sea is not your thing, then perhaps enjoy nature walks to see the island’s abundant flora and fauna. Find cheap flights to SeychellesBali, IndonesiaAverage January temperature: 29°CThe island of Bali combines a tropical paradise with a rich cultural history. Beach lovers can find water and waves to suit all tastes whilst if you prefer exploring, then head inland to visit temples, soaring volcanoes and dense tropical jungle. There are local crafts galore to choose your souvenirs from, and sample the delights of Balinese cuisine in restaurants whose standards would rival those of any in the world. Find cheap flights to BaliMadeira, PortugalAverage January temperature: 19°CThe island of Madeira is in fact the top of a volcano which rises 6km from the Atlantic seabed. For a small place, there is plenty to do and see, and visitors can enjoy the fascinating volcanic landscape, visit picturesque villages, explore the squares and streets of the capital Funchal and take part in a wide variety of water-based activities including dolphin and whale spotting. Find cheap flights to MadeiraRead about European Winter sun ideasReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedTop 10 winter sun destinations under £350: in picturesEscape to the sun from just £37 – start dreaming with these gorgeous pics of 10 of our top winter warmer destinations.Where to go on holiday in JanuaryChristmas is over and winter is here. What have you got to look forward to? With our help, lots of holidays in the new year! We’ve chosen the best January holiday destinations and added information on where to stay, when to book flights and what weather to expect when you…Where to go on holiday in MayIn need of some travel inspiration for late spring? Whether it’s balmy beaches, heart-thumping festivals, or a slice of city culture you’re after, we’ve got the scoop on where’s hot in May. Read on to find out the best time to book your flights and what the weather will be…last_img read more

first_img Categories: News,Sheppard News 07Sep Rep. Sheppard joined by first responders for Sept. 11 ceremony PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Jason Sheppard, of Temperance, today was joined by (from left) Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputies Jeremy Peters and Marjorie Martin, Monroe Police Chief Charles McCormick and Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputy Tony Modica as his guests for the Michigan House’s annual Sept. 11 Memorial Service at the Capitol. The service remembers first responders and members of the military from Michigan who died in the line of duty in the past year.last_img read more

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares August 10, 2014; Post-GazetteAn interesting advocacy battle is occurring with the backdrop of the Marcellus Shale gas industry. Earlier this month, a Buffalo NY-based entity, the Public Accountability Initiative, issued a scathing report describing the Center for Sustainable Shale Development as an “industry front group”.The Marcellus Shale area extends through parts of New York, West Virginia, Ohio, and 60 percent of Pennsylvania. For Western Pennsylvania, the Marcellus Shale area’s holdings of trillions of cubic feet of natural gas represent jobs and other economic benefits—and controversies regarding the environmental impact of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”).The 501(c)(3) CCSD describes itself as “an unprecedented collaboration built on constructive engagement among environmental organizations, philanthropic foundations and energy companies from across the Appalachian Basin…[focused on] the development of rigorous performance standards for sustainable shale development and a commitment to continuous improvement to ensure safe and environmentally responsible development of our abundant shale resources”.The Pittsburgh-based Post-Gazette’s editorial board took the Public Accountability Initiative’s report to task, suggesting that the Initiative “is not interested in details,” “uses inaccurate shorthand to disparage four of the center’s participants,” and ultimately “reads like a conspiracy theorist’s screed.” The newspaper’s editors summed up their critique with the conclusion that the Public Accountability Initiative “has painted itself into a corner, offering half-baked critiques and nothing constructive.”This report of the Public Accountability Initiative, Anatomy of an Industry Front Group, follows up on a report PAI released last year called The Big Green Fracking Machine and concludes, like last year’s analysis, that the oil and gas industry basically runs the Center.In Big Green, PAI noted the presence of industry representatives (from Chevon, Consol, EQT Resources, and Shell on the board, occupying four of twelve board seats), close ties between the environmental groups on the CSSD board (notably, the Environmental Defense Fund) and the oil and gas industry, and at the time, undisclosed relationships between then president of the Heinz Endowments, Bobby Vagt, who served as chair of and provided funding for CSSD, and the oil and gas industry, including his personal board service at the Kinder Morgan natural gas pipeline company (a story we described as “Fracking Down the House”). In Anatomy, PAI added more:Since the release of Big Green, Vagt resigned from the Heinz Endowments and then left the CSSD board. After Vagt’s departure, the Heinz Endowments along with the William Penn Foundation terminated their philanthropic support of the Center, though joining the Center in their place has been the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation. PAI referred to Benedum as the “family foundation of West Virginia’s ‘king of the wildcatters” and is chaired by Lloyd G. Jackson II, who also serves as vice president of the West Virginia Oil and Gas Association. The Post-Gazette counters that the Benedum Foundation is much more than an oil and gas foundation, citing its grantmaking “for education, economic development, community development, health and human services and the arts.”PAI charged that the executive director hired by CSSD is an attorney from an oil and gas industry firm, one Susan Packard LeGros, who had been an environmental attorney at Stevens & Lee. The Post-Gazette noted, however, that LeGros had also worked for the Environmental Protection Agency, and her legal work at Stevens & Lee included clients in the renewal and solar energy fields as well as oil and gas.PAI’s third core big finding was that Vagt has been replaced as board chairman by Jaren Cohon. PAI wrote that Cohon “once selected projects for funding by the tobacco industry’s Center for Indoor Air Research…[which] was set up by the tobacco industry as it battled claims that secondhand smoke was harmful to human health.” The Post-Gazette counters that Cohon has long been associated with Carnegie Mellon University (the CSSD website identifies him as CMU’s president emeritus) and implies that he is a legitimate, thoughtful participant in the CSSD structure.From the outside, NPQ is hardly in a position to weigh in on whether CSSD’s ideas on sustainable shale mining are legitimate and we are not about to disparage the bona fides of any of its board or staff members. However, the observations of the PAI explaining the connections of the Center to the oil and gas industry are important to keep in mind. It is not illegitimate to disclose that information for the public to make judgments about what the Center ultimately recommends.For the Post-Gazette editors, while it is important to defend people like Cohon and LeGros from unsubstantiated allegations, they ought to acknowledge their own potential business benefits from Marcellus Shale development. With many people tying the economic future of Western Pennsylvania to shale drilling, the Post-Gazette has its own stake to acknowledge in the potential direct and indirect economic impacts of the industry’s progress, the journalistic “boosterism” for local business interests that is hardly unknown in the American press.All of us can remember that in the array of political interests arrayed pro and con gas drilling, the economic power lies strongly on the side of Chevron, Shell, CONSOL, and other corporate players in the Center’s mix. The Public Accountability Initiative’s reports raising questions about the Center’s agenda and priorities are tiny counterweights to the deep-pocketed industry’s role in the Center’s research and advocacy. But it hardly hurts at all for a group like the Public Accountability Initiative to raise issues and point out conflicts of interest in order to promote a higher quality approach to the exploration of “sustainable shale development.”—Rick CohenShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

first_imgShare11TweetShare14Email25 SharesMy Mane Man / David GoehringOctober 4, 2016; Daily PrincetonianIn New Jersey, many municipalities are in the process of suing their local hospitals based on a ruling made last year by Judge Vito Bianco, where he found the “the modern nonprofit hospital is a legal fiction.” The same judge will be sitting on the property tax trial of Princeton University, and it does not look particularly good for the college.The trial is scheduled to begin October 17th in the Tax Court of New Jersey, but significant rulings have already been made in the case. Specifically, the burden of proof is on the university to prove the extent of its tax exemption, rather than the plaintiffs having to demonstrate its absence. Four residents of the town of Princeton brought the suit, and the exemptions in question are for tax years 2011, 2014, and 2015.In an attempt to gather support, University Vice President and Secretary Robert Durkee warned, “As this trial goes forward, there will be many people who are paying attention. This trial has great implications for people doing research and managing nonprofit organizations.”In July 2015, Bianco ruled in a case brought by the town of Morristown against the Morristown Medical Center that certain sections of the hospital were not entitled to tax exemptions. However, Durkee explained that unlike the Morristown case, the Town of Princeton is not a plaintiff.Princeton currently pays taxes on some buildings, such as the Garden Theater, but the suit questions the University’s overall tax-exempt status in addition to particular sites owned by Princeton.University officials point to the contributions they have made to the town for capital purposes, including buying a new fire truck, seeding the town’s first aid and rescue squad, and the maintenance of nine miles of private roads that allow public use. These expenditures are nice, but strike us a bit like buying Pampers instead of making child support payments.—Ruth McCambridgeShare11TweetShare14Email25 Shareslast_img read more

first_imgShare14Tweet2Share2Email18 SharesMay 7, 2017; Daily Times (Farmington, NM)Voting in primaries varies state to state. As voter dissatisfaction apparently grows, nonprofit organizations like New Mexico Open Primaries have started to pop up.New Mexico Open Primaries is trying to change the primary system in the state to an open election, one in which all candidates are on the same primary ballot and any registered voter may vote for any candidate, regardless of party. The nonprofit’s founder and president, Bob Perls, led a meeting recently to educate on the issue and urge residents to participate.Perls emphasized that his organization is pushing for a nonpartisan independent committee for the 2021 redistricting process, getting open primaries in the state, and making ballot access fair and equal for both independent and minor-party candidates. Another effort the nonprofit hopes to start this year is providing classes to independent candidates about campaigning.Those in attendance at the meeting hosted by Perls were mostly lifelong Democrats who were frustrated with the recent elections.Two arguments, according to Perls, that are often used against open primaries are (1) The primaries belong to the parties, and only members should vote, and (2) Voters from the other party will vote for the weaker of the candidates to ensure their party’s candidate wins. Perls argued that if taxpayer money is used to partially pay for primary elections, they should be open to all voters, regardless of party affiliation.The idea of open primaries was entertained earlier this year in New Mexico’s legislative session, but several bills that were introduced died in committee. Before one of the bills expired, some New Mexico lawmakers raised concerns about a provision added by a previous committee that would allow not only independent voters but voters registered with the smallest political parties to cast ballots in their choice of either the Democratic or Republican primary election. For example, because the Green Party does not hold its own primary election, voters registered as Greens would be free to vote in either the Republican or Democratic Party’s primary.According to state voting records from December 2016, 19 percent of New Mexico voters are not affiliated with any party, and four percent are registered with minor parties.Other states are considering moving to open primaries as well. Nonprofit Let Colorado Vote has been leading efforts in that state. A proposition was passed in November 2016 for open primaries, but Colorado state lawmakers were making late deals on Monday, tweaking a provision that would ask independent voters to declare a party preference. Although there were some changes to the original proposed bill, Let Colorado Vote said it was pleased with the results.—Angie WierzbickiShare14Tweet2Share2Email18 Shareslast_img read more

first_imgShare12Tweet4ShareEmail16 SharesFrom OlmsteadRights.org.January 23, 2019; New York Times“I wake up and I look around and I don’t understand why I am here,” says CJ, a formerly incarcerated man being held at the Green Haven Correctional Facility in Stormville. CJ has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and antisocial personality disorder. Deemed at risk for homelessness, the state determined that he should be placed in supportive housing rather than released into the public. There’s just one problem: There is a massive supportive housing shortage in New York. Rather than release him to the streets, the criminal justice system determined it would be best to transfer CJ to a residential treatment facility, which happens to be inside of a maximum-security prison.CJ’s life in no way resembles that of a free individual who has served their time. According to one report, “He got a GED and a vocational certificate during his time behind bars, and had hoped to get a job and rebuild a life for himself near his family in Orange County. Instead, he’s spent the past year-and-a-half in and out of barren psychiatric observation cells where he’s been put on suicide watch after repeatedly telling prison staff he’d rather die than stay in prison.”Legal Aid Society and Disability Rights New York have filed suit and are seeking class-action status on behalf of all inmates held in state prisons beyond their release dates solely because they are waiting to be placed in supportive housing.The state continues to hold the men “because they are unable to secure a community-based mental health housing placement that does not exist due to lack of available beds,” the complaint said. In effect, the state has lengthened their incarceration, “undermining the most basic principle undergirding the criminal justice system: that a criminal sentence, once imposed by a judge, means what it says,” the lawsuit said.Releasing a prisoner only to keep them within the prison system for over a year afterwards is a gross transgression of an individual’s civil rights. When applied to people with mental illness, it also violates the Supreme Court’s Olmstead decision, which indicates that people with disabilities should reside in the least restrictive environment that is safely possible.Since Olmstead was decided in 1999, community-based solutions have been the gold standard, but New York and many other states have found it difficult to maintain community programs at the level required to serve the need. Oddly enough, the process of deinstitutionalization, which was catalyzed by Olmstead, has actually led to some of the individuals with greatest need not receiving adequate support, as state mental health institutions and other residential programs shut down.That being said, states have a responsibility to solve the problem. It’s not enough to merely recognize there is a shortage. Unless massive action is taken to remedy the situation, there will continue to be a supportive housing shortage. Then, what would the fate of CJ and those like him be—life in prison?— Sheela NimishakaviShare12Tweet4ShareEmail16 Shareslast_img read more

first_imgHistory UK, the factual channel owned by A+E Networks and BSkyB, recorded its highest-rating year ever in 2011, with the average number of adults watching up by 27%.The joint-venture said the second half of the year was particularly strong with the adult audience growing by 34% compared to the same period in 2010. During the year, History moved up 21 places in the list of most-viewed channels.Across the whole year, primetime viewing (20:00-00:00) was 64% above 2010.Tom Davidson, managing director at A+E Networks UK said: “History had an incredible 2011, by far its best performance ever and is set to continue that momentum in 2012. We have ambitious plans for History and our channel portfolio and will continue to invest in compelling content that informs and entertains.”History launched in the UK in 1995 and is currently available in over 300 million households in over 150 countries.last_img read more

first_imgVodafone Germany will not seek to acquire Bundesliga football rights, the company’s CEO Friedrich Joussen has said.Joussen told WirtschaftsWoche that he wanted to negotiate a partnership agreement with whoever won the rights after the bidding process was complete. However he said there was no business model that provided a positive return on the rights, which he said were too expensive.There had earlier been expectation that Vodafone could bid for mobile and online rights alone or with a partner.last_img read more

first_imgUK broadcaster Channel 4 plans to launch its first ‘playalong’ iOS and Android mobile app for gameshow The Million Pound Drop.Created by Remarkable Television, the producers of the TV show, and developed by Monterosa, the iOS version will launch this month, with the Android version to follow.The game features over 700 questions, including 250 new questions researched specifically for the app, plus questions included in the 2010 and 2011 TV series. It also includes social sharing on Twitter and Facebook.Jody Smith, Channel 4’s multiplatform commissioning editor for entertainment and comedy, said: “I’m pleased we’re taking the UK’s most successful play along show to an even bigger audience, by launching on smart phones. We’re expecting to reach even higher numbers, because pretty much everyone watches TV with their phone or tablet to hand. A lot of effort was put into the new Play Any Time game mode, to make the experience slick, exciting and worth paying for.”last_img read more

first_imgBBC Worldwide’s Global iPlayer on-demand service has passed the one million downloads milestone a year after its launch, the BBC’s commercial arm has revealed.The Global iPlayer is currently available in a pilot version in 16 countries in western Europe, Canada and Australia. BBC Worldwide has now extended the trial until the autumn, with the support of the BBC Trust.BBC Worldwide said that digital businesses now accounted for 12.8% of its overall revenue, an increase of 58% from the 8.1% accounted for by digital last year.BBC Worldwide’s sales to video-on-demand services almost tripled over the year.The organisation said it had further developed its presence on Facebook, where its key brands now had over 25 million fans, with Top Gear and its various spin-off pages being the most popular. The Top Gear, Top Gear USA and The Stig Facebook pages together now have a total of 17.6 million fans.The BBC News app gained a further 10.3 million downloads in June on iOS and Android devices, while the company’s gaming division, which launched 11 games over the last year with a further 12 in develop, secured 3.5 million downloads, boosted in particular by Top Gear’s Stunt School Revolution, which recorded two million downloads in its first month.BBC.com, the international version of its bbc.co.uk site, attracted 58.5 million unique users over the year, up from 55.1 million the previous year.last_img read more