Abducted businessman rescued

first_imgKolkata: A businessman from Sonarpur was allegedly abducted from Esplanade on Thursday afternoon.The victim, identified as Abhishek Mukherjee, was rescued by the police team of Sonarpur Police station on Saturday evening from Dunlop. Two accused persons have been arrested and three others are absconding. Mukherjee said, on Thursday, he was called by a person identified as Partha Banerjee at a lavish hotel in Esplanade area for a discussion about his business. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaAccording to reports, Banerjee was known to Mukherjee. After reaching the hotel, Mukherjee saw three more persons identified as Abhishek Ballav, Purushottam Verma, and Biswajit were waiting there. Ballav said he worked in media. While the discussion was under way, there was a heated exchange of words and it was blamed by others the argument took place because Mukherjee said something inappropriate. Guests of the hotel raised objections because of the altercation and Mukherjee along with the accused persons were asked to leave the hotel. After coming out of the hotel, accused persons asked Mukherjee to come with them as they wanted to resolve the matter. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayWhen Mukherjee agreed he was asked to board a car. After he boarded the car, he was gagged and they tied his hands. Mukherjee said he was taken to some place in Dankuni. There he met another man, who said he was an advocate. He asked Mukherjee to sign on a paper, which looked like an affidavit. In the paper it was written that Mukherjee borrowed Rs 70 lakh from them which he failed to return within the stipulated time. After Mukherjee signed on the paper he was confined there. On Friday, Mukherjee was again tied up and forced to board a car. Following that he was taken to some place in Diamond Harbor and was allegedly assaulted. Meanwhile, Mukherjee was asked to call up his mother instructing her to get Rs 70 lakh to a place decided by the accused persons. After getting the call, Mukherjee’s mother lodged a complaint at the Sonarpur police station. After initiating a probe, the police asked Mukherjee’s mother to tell the kidnappers that at present she can arrange for only Rs 10 lakh. After the negotiation, the police packed Rs 2,000 along with papers cut to match the dimensions of the Rs 2,000 note. The notes and paper-cuttings was placed together so that it looked like an bunch Rs 2,000 notes. The victim’s mother was told to reach the designated place with the money. On Saturday evening, Mukherjee’s mother went to Dunlop where the accused persons had called her. After reaching the place she could see no one so she waited for the accused persons. But before anyone could approach her, a special team, which followed Mukherjee’s mother, identified the culprits and surrounded them. Out of three, one managed to flee from there but other two identified as Priyangshu Polle and Jagannath Gupta were arrested. The police are trying to find out about other accused persons by interrogating the arrested duo.last_img read more

Experts renew call for challenge changes jury lists with more Indigenous names

first_imgSome legal experts and Indigenous advocates say the trial of a Saskatchewan farmer accused of murdering a Cree man highlights a long-standing need for more diversity on juries.A jury has acquitted Gerald Stanley, who testified that he accidentally shot Colten Boushie when the young man and four others drove onto Stanley’s farm near Biggar, Sask.Boushie’s family voiced frustration after no visibly Indigenous jurors were selected at the beginning of the trial and after the verdict was returned Friday night. Boushie’s uncle Alvin Baptiste said the verdict from “a white jury” shows how First Nations people are treated in the justice system.Several Indigenous people were rejected by the defence during jury selection with what are called peremptory challenges.“Peremptory challenges just are really asking lawyers to rely on their stereotypes about the person they see,” said Jonathan Rudin with Aboriginal Legal Services in Toronto.“The message that it sends is just awful … In this case, that Indigenous people cannot be trusted to serve as a juror.”During jury selection, the Crown and defence are each given a set number of peremptory challenges and don’t have to give reasons for rejecting a potential juror. Lawyers can also “challenge for cause,” which involves a judge asking potential jurors pre-approved questions, including whether they may have a bias in the case.Rudin said it’s time for peremptory challenges to go.“You never see white people being excluded from the jury because they’re white.”At the beginning of Stanley’s trial, the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations called on the federal government to make it mandatory for juries to include First Nations people.Federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould responded by saying she’s concerned about the under-representation of Indigenous jurors in several provinces. But she added that any changes to the justice system would require careful study and consideration.In 1991, the Manitoba Aboriginal Justice Inquiry report detailed how Indigenous people were historically denied the right to sit on juries since names were drawn from voting lists. Status Indians were not considered citizens or allowed to vote.Over the last few decades, there has been little improvement, with lists still lacking names from Indigenous communities.The report called Manitoba’s jury system a “glaring example of systemic discrimination” and called for peremptory challenges to be eliminated.Murray Sinclair, Manitoba’s first Indigenous judge and now a senator, co-chaired the inquiry. He tweeted about the Stanley trial last week.“Without Indigenous people on the jury, how will they understand?” he wrote.His son Niigaan Sinclair, a professor of native studies at the University of Manitoba, said Indigenous jurors bring history and experience into a room. He suggests all jurors undergo some sort of educational training before a trial starts.“The situation in Saskatchewan demands competency in understanding the relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, and I would say that, on the whole, Canadians are not adequately prepared for the complexities of the past 150 years,” he said.“Understanding the Indian Act, understanding how Canada has been built off the exploitation of Indigenous peoples and resources … all of that goes into the (killing) of Colten Boushie.”Toronto lawyer Jessica Orkin said problems with Canada’s jury system can’t be solved with one fix.She represented an Aboriginal man, Clifford Kokopenace, in his battle over jury fairness before the Supreme Court in 2015. Kokopenace was convicted of manslaughter but argued the verdict wasn’t by a jury of his peers.The Appeal Court ordered a retrial but the Supreme Court ruled the province had done an adequate job of trying to get Indigenous people on the list of potential jurors.Each province is responsible for sending notices for jury duty. In Ontario, Orkin said, it’s done using names on municipal and property rolls. Other provinces use driver’s licences and health records.It’s a problem when people don’t own property or drive.Instead of abolishing peremptory challenges, Orkin suggests change needs to start with getting more Indigenous people on voting lists.An inquiry report by former Supreme Court justice Frank Iacobucci in 2013 recommended several changes to get more Indigenous people on juries in Ontario. So far, nothing has been implemented, Orkin said.She hopes that Wilson-Raybould, Canada’s first Indigenous justice minister, may finally be able to bring about some change.“This is a really challenging issue and unfortunately one that has been left to fester for an extremely long time.”last_img read more

Iron Maidens Bruce Dickinson Visits Music Therapy Charity

first_imgIron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson visited Nordoff Robbins at their London music therapy centre ahead of the O2 Silver Clef Awards this week.Video: Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson visits Nordoff RobbinsDuring his visit Bruce took part in a music therapy session with children from the Richard Cloudesley School, a special needs school in London, who have been bringing their children to Nordoff Robbins for music therapy for over 20 years.Bruce said “I’ve always thought that music therapy makes sense because music is a universal language, and it crosses every border, every disability. People just like making a racket and it’s very fulfilling, especially if you can make a good racket with somebody. It’s sharing, it’s communicating but it doesn’t have to be in words.”Bruce will attend the O2 Silver Clef Lunch later this week, where Iron Maiden will be receiving the O2 Silver Clef Award. Rita Ora, Mark Ronson, Duran Duran, Jake Bugg, James Bay, Kasabian, Gladys Knight, Primal Scream and Il Divo will also be honoured with awards as the charity enters its 40th anniversary of bringing music therapy to vulnerable children and adults across the UK.Source:Nordoff Robbinslast_img read more

Took police years to declare Winnipeg woman missing inquiry told

first_imgKathleen MartensAPTN NewsJanet Lowther can no longer recall her younger sister’s voice.“I can’t remember how she sounds,” Lowther said of the 22-year gap since Amanda Bartlett disappeared.But she hasn’t forgotten the lengthy battle it took to get police to file a missing person report.“Police in Winnipeg told me, ‘We don’t do family reunions here,’” Lowther told the National Inquiry into Missing and MurderedIndigenous Women and Girls in Thompson, Man., Wednesday.Lowther and her mother, Helen Flett Bignell, vented years of frustration and anger about the way they say Amanda’s case was ignored. They say they were shunted between police agencies in The Pas, Man., and Winnipeg before Amnesty International intervened.It was years after Amanda disappeared from Winnipeg’s notorious North End in July 1996 before she was officially declared a missing person.The struggle was exhausting, Lowther said, and led her to conclude that she – like her sister – was not valued.“I am not an equal person. I’m an Aboriginal woman…I’m not worth looking for. I’m not worth finding,” she said.The pair said they have no clues, tips or idea what happened to the 17-year-old with the jet black hair and smiling dimples.“I still pray for my daughter. I still have hope someone will know about my daughter and where she is,” Flett Bignell said.The inquiry heard how lack of interest from police compounded the family’s grief and left them unable to process what happened and move forward with their healing.Child and Family Services, which had Amanda in its care in a group home in Winnipeg, seemed unaware she had run away.“Amanda was stolen from us. Amanda went to Winnipeg. Someone took her away,” Lowther said.Adding to the mystery around what happened was the family’s shock at learning Amanda was in a group home. They only found out later Amanda put herself in care voluntarily to access programs there.“I didn’t know she was put in a safe house,” said her mom. “I thought she would go to school.”Lowther said she employed different strategies to get police to search for Amanda. She said they seemed interested when she described her sister as “a hooker.” And were more sympathetic when she hid her accent to sound “white.”She said that indifference helped her to understand why “we hear in the news every day another child is gone.”Lowther and her mom are calling it quits after appearing before the inquiry and putting their search to rest.“Being part (of the #MMIWG movement) is not healing us,” she said, noting she will keep her sister close via a tattoo on her arm and wait to reunite with her in the spirit world.“I want her to grow old with me. Old and wrinkled.”kmartens@aptn.calast_img read more

Mnuchin Next round of trade talks this month

first_imgWASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the next round of trade negotiations with China will likely occur later this month in Washington.Mnuchin told reporters that Vice Premier Liu He was expected to lead a delegation to Washington “later in the month.”The Treasury secretary says that the partial government shutdown “would have no impact” on the efforts to reach a trade deal by a March 1.The Trump administration has suspended the imposition of planned tariff increases on $200 billion of Chinese goods until March 1 to give negotiators time to reach a wide-ranging agreement.Mnuchin did not provide a specific date for the talks, but The Wall Street Journal quoted unnamed sources as saying the tentative date for the meeting was Jan. 30-31.Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Presslast_img read more

Stuck in reverse gear

first_imgOne step forward, two steps back. That seems to be the story of reforms in India’s forest sector. The forest departments (FDs), like irrigation and revenue departments, were originally created to serve the interests of colonial power. After Independence, the designers of a democratic India overlooked the crying need to redefine the goals and restructure the governance of this sector. States simply cut-pasted the Indian Forest Act (IFA) into state acts. Thus re-sanctified, the FDs have successfully resisted or co-opted all subsequent attempts at reform. Also Read – A special kind of bond Continued control and exclusion The Chipko Andolan in the 1970s demanded rights for people over their forests, including timber. Instead, they got a green-felling ban in the name of environmental conservation. The National Forest Policy, 1988 (NFP88) demanded people’s participation, a demand echoed by donors in the ’90s. After initially resisting the idea, FDs co-opted it into joint forest management (JFM), wherein they tightly control the extent, location, form, and ambit of so-called decentralised decision-making. When the green felling bans drastically reduced revenues from forestry, the FDs attracted international donors in the name of biodiversity conservation and climate mitigation. Also Read – Insider threat managementWhen the World Bank gave up on forest sector lending, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation was inveigled into almost single-handedly sustaining India’s forest sector. More recently, India’s forests have been peddled as potential sinks for carbon, so as to attract REDD+ funds. REDD+ turned out to be a mirage, but the Rs 60,000-crore Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) funds have become the new gravy train. Foresters themselves sit in CAMPA committees that disburse funds to themselves. Just as foresters run the Forest Survey of India that monitors India’s forests. The Forest Rights Act (FRA) of 2006 is perhaps the biggest threat to the FDs. Not just because it sought to free cultivators from the harassment they faced as ‘encroachers’ because of the mislabelling of their land as forests. Not just because it sought to free the 4,000-odd ‘forest villages’ from the yoke of the FDs, but primarily because it introduced Community Forest Resource (CFR) rights that would give forest-dwellers the right to manage their forests autonomously. So FRA has been resisted tooth and nail. Retired forest officers’ associations have filed writ petitions challenging its constitutionality. Serving foresters have, by and large, obstructed the granting of forest rights, especially CFR claims, and continued to promote (non-statutory) JFM as an alternative to CFRs. Going backwards As if this was not enough, the draft National Forest Policy of 2018 attempts to reverse key elements of NFP88 by promoting production forestry at the cost of local livelihoods, and ignoring the FRA. And the latest draft amendment to the Indian Forest Act is an attempt to translate this (non-approved) NFP2018 into law! The blatant disregard for due process is only matched by the shocking attempts in this amendment to undermine the FRA, to increase the power and immunity of officials, and to arrogate control to the Centre. I would not be surprised if eventually, we end up with ‘National Forests’ controlled by a National Forest Service. Rationale for reform What is wrong with such an idea? Aren’t forests a national treasure, to be managed for national and global public goods like biodiversity, watershed protection, and carbon? Such thinking misses the fundamental social-ecology of South Asia’s forests — a landscape historically populated by a variety of Adivasi and non-Adivasi communities, with complex dependence on the forested and non-forested landscape. Thus, local livelihood needs have to be the first goal of forestry, as important as regional and global benefits. And these needs cannot be met by a bureaucracy, just as agricultural livelihoods cannot be organised by agriculture department officers, and industries cannot be run by bureaucrats. Worse, giving forest officers police powers in a landscape populated by marginalised and illiterate communities that continue to be forest-dependent, allows for serious abuse of these powers. Of course, local forest-dependence is uneven and changing, possibly declining. But that brings us to the core rationale for reform: democratic governance requires recognition of the fundamental right of forest-dwelling or forest-fringe communities to govern their immediate environment, just as city-dwellers (ought to) have substantial control over theirs. This does not mean that regional or national interests are to be ignored in decision-making about forests. But that does not justify making foresters into managers, policemen, regulators, funders and policy-makers rolled into one. Reform is therefore needed at multiple levels: a change in goals of forest management, a corresponding change in how forests are categorised, a devolution of day-to-day management to forest-dwellers, separation of monitoring and managing from funding and policymaking, and introducing much greater transparency and accountability in all of this. Cure worse than the problem The proposed Amendment to the IFA, unfortunately, reveals that the mindset of policymakers regarding India’s forest sector has not changed. The IFA created two main legal categories of forests — Reserved Forest (RF) and Protected Forest (PF) — and empowered the FDs to manage and protect them. Manage for what? Implicitly, for meeting colonial (later national) needs of production. Single goal, two levels of protection, single manager-cum-protector. The third category — Village Forest — was never seriously activated. The Wild Life Protection Act of 1972 added another goal — conservation — and created additional categories — national parks (NP) and wildlife sanctuaries (WLS). The manager/protector remained the same. But if production is no longer the primary goal, and if local livelihood needs have ‘first charge’ (at least outside NPs), and if forest-dwellers are rights-holders, then what sense do the old categories and roles make? What is the role of RFs and PFs in the new (post-1988) dispensation? What role does the FD have in the post-FRA dispensation? All reasonable estimates of the potential CFR area (area used by local communities) suggest that PFs and most RFs should simply be replaced by CFR Forests, which should be recognised as the main legal forest category. If any RF outside of NPs and WLSs remains unclaimed as CFR, it could be re-designated as a ‘Conservation Forest’. Correspondingly, the CFR Gram Sabhas should be recognised as the main manager/custodian for the CFR Forests by the forest law, and an agency (possibly hived off from the current FDs) created for providing technical and protection support to them. Even in NPs and WLSs, communities can have the first charge on tourism benefits and can become co-managers, with technical and protection support from a Wildlife Service. The task of regulating CFR Gram Sabhas is also important — not all of them may be oriented towards sustainable use or equitable management. But given the FDs’ conflictual history with local communities, a different regulatory structure with adequate transparency, accountability, and voice for local communities will have to be created. And funding decisions such as the deployment of CAMPA funds must be made by independent bodies, not by the forester managers. The Joint Committee of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and the Ministry of Tribal Affairs constituted in 2010 to examine the implementation of the FRA was also asked to define a new role for the Forest Department post-FRA. After months of intense discussions among members, which included senior foresters, the Joint Committee articulated a new vision on the lines above. The waning of interest in environmental issues in the government at that time led to the shelving of these ideas. It is high time we resurrected them and developed a new vision for the forest sector, rather than rushing backwards with a ‘more-of-the-same’ IFA amendment. (The author is Distinguished Fellow in Environmental Policy & Governance at the Centre for Environment & Development, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment. The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

Ice storm warnings

A major ice storm is brewing in Southern Ontario. It has people remembering the frozen nightmare of 1998, when four million people lost power, and some of them stayed in the dark for months. This storm isn’t expected to be as severe, but weather warnings are still in effect for Ontario.So far it hasn’t been cold enough in Hamilton for the constant rain to freeze and accumulate on power lines and trees, but if temperatures hover much below zero overnight, we could have some serious problems.In Milton, it was cold enough that trees started growing sparkly tentacles of ice. It wasn’t as slippery as Kingston, where people were skating down their streets.Larry Roberts from Horizon warns, “trees get ice accumulation, which causes them to break and fall on the lines.. or the lines could break under the weight of the ice. That’s what we’re trying to prepare for. We have crews on standby ready to go.”Wet roads could also soon turn to black ice. Acting Sergeant Mike Hall from Hamilton Police says, “it can be difficult for us because we get more calls, drivers put themselves in positions… the ice increases chances of rear ending, hitting poles, possibly pedestrians.” read more

Central Bank assessing issues at 100 credit unions

first_imgTÁNAISTE EAMON GILMORE was grilled in the Dáil today about the future of credit unions in Ireland with reports suggesting a large percentage of them are in trouble.Responding to a question from Fianna Fáil TD Sean O’Fearghaíl, Gilmore said the reference in reports to one in four credit unions being in difficulty arises from the 100 credit unions portfolios that are being assessed by the Central Bank because of a range of supervisory issues and concerns such as levels of arrears.The Tánaiste said that of the 392 credit unions in the country, twenty of them have reported regulatory reserves below the minimum requirement of ten per cent of assets.This gives rise to a capital shortfall of about €11 million but Gilmore added this must be put in the context of the €500 million in funds the government has made available.Newbridge Credit Union was taken over by Permanent TSB this week as it emerged that it had given out loans of up to €3.2 million – considerably more than the average credit union loan of €7,764. While Gilmore asserted that the action taken was “necessary” he said the government “supports the credit union movement” and will support the establishment of a new credit union in Newbridge.Yesterday the Tánaiste insisted that the takeover by PTSB is a “one-off case” and that it would not have ramifications for other credit unions around the country.Youth unemploymentIn today’s round of Leaders’ Questions, Gilmore was also challenged by Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams on the government’s commitment to tackling youth unemployment, with the Taoiseach over in Paris for a conference on the topic.The tense mood in the Dáil chamber was somewhat lifted when Adams said that Chubby Checker would envy the Tánaiste’s “ability to do the twist” with issues.Adams questioned why the government had not specifically included a commitment in the 2014 Action Plan for Jobs to address levels of unemployment and emigration among the young people in this country.However Gilmore responded that the whole plan is “designed and dedicated and directed at the creation of employment, including employment of young people.”Read: Newbridge Credit Union taken over by Permanent TSB>Read: Gilmore: Newbridge Credit Union is a one-off case>last_img read more

Play Katamari Damacy on any web page

first_imgIf you have ever owned a PS2, then chances are you’ve played or own one of the Katamari titles. It was a puzzle-action game published by Namco and created by Keita Takahashi that sees the player rolling an adhesive ball around a landscape picking up as many objects as possible. The aim is to get the ball large enough to become a star.Katamari and its sequels proved very popular on Sony’s hardware, but now all you need is a web browser to play a version of it. Alex Leone, David Nufer, and David Truong have created something they call Katamari Hack which allows any web page to become a play area for the game. It doesn’t look as good as the Namco games of course, but the mechanics are the same.AdChoices广告Using a bookmarklet for activation, a JavaScript file is loaded into your page of choice and splits all the text and image into separate blocks. A ball is then added to the page which is controlled via the mouse and by holding down the right mouse button. When this is done the ball rolls towards your mouse pointer collecting and text and images as it goes.The end result is a highly playable game of Katamari. There’s also options such as whether to play background music or not, controlling the maximum number of objects that can attach to the ball, and the speed of the ball growth. You can even toggle realistic pickups on or off. We also found you can click the bookmarklet multiple times to get more Katamari balls active at once.To give it a go yourself just visit the Katamari Hack website and drag the bookmarklet to your Bookmarks/Bookmarks Toolbar. Then load a page of your choice and click the bookmarklet. This will bring up the options box and allow you to start playing.last_img read more

Hazard Sarri told me I could be a great striker

first_imgEden Hazard revealed that Chelsea coach Maurizio Sarri always believed he could make an excellent central strikerThe 27-year-old, who normally plays down the wing, has been deployed as a false nine recently for Chelsea with Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud benched as a result.Hazard has repaid Sarri’s confidence in him by contributing a staggering nine goals in the Blues’ last seven games and leads the Premier League assists charts with nine.And the Belgium international is relishing the change in the role he has at Stamford Bridge.“Sarri told me before the season started that playing as a number nine could be an option,” Hazard told the club website.Sacchi explains Sarri, Conte, and Ancelotti Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Arrigo Sacchi talked about how Sarri has a tougher time at Juventus than Conte at Inter; while Ancelotti’s “blood is boiling” at Napoli.Arrigo Sacchi…“It is good not just to be a target man, but also as a false nine where I can move, I can drop, I can go deep, I can go on the wing.“I like to change a lot, but we also have two great strikers. We will see. It depends on who is on the pitch. He’s a good guy, he’s from another generation because he’s an older man, but he is close with the players.“He is laughing a lot with us, and then when we are on the pitch we are working a lot also. It’s not just fun.”Chelsea will face Crystal Palace in another Premier League match on Sunday with kick-off set for 13:00 (CET).last_img read more

Provo man arrested on Robbery suspicion Charged with Possession of Drugs

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, Turks and Caicos, July 11th 2017: A 20 year old Providenciales man has been arrested on suspicion of Robbery in connection with a report that was made on Saturday.Officers say they were alerted to a robbery at Good Taste Liquor Store around 8am Saturday. Upon arriving, officers were told by a witness that they noticed a man wearing a ski-mask entering the store and carrying a small gun. They said he then ran into the store room and hid. The culprit is said to have taken a small sum of money from the cash register and then exited the store and ran towards Five Cays. No one was injured during the incident.This led the Police to launch an investigation. Officers say around 6pm that day, detectives identified the suspect who was seen in the Stammers Road area. He was arrested on suspicion of robbery. However, while executing a search on him a quantity of suspected cannabis was found in his possession.He was later charged and cautioned for Possession of Controlled Drugs namely Cannabis. Investigation into the incident is said to be ongoing. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp #MagneticMediaNews#ProvoManArrestedOnRobberySuspicioncenter_img Related Items:last_img read more

Mental health court a safe zone of help

first_imgMENTAL HEALTH CARE CRUNCH: A TWO-DAY SERIESRelated coverageSunday: Mental health services under increased pressureKey points:o Those dealing with mental health crises find care options are limited.o Local agencies respond: Southwest Behavioral Health plans to add services; free clinic explores adding services for the uninsured.Did you know?More than 320 people have graduated from Clark County’s mental health court.Tracey Anne Green walks 9 miles round-trip to make her Clark County Mental Health Court appearances.“That’s my meditating time,” Green said Wednesday following a five-minute check-in with a judge.Green, 53, has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression. She doesn’t travel by bus from her Hazel Dell mobile home to the Clark County Courthouse in downtown Vancouver because she’s uncomfortable in confined spaces with strangers, a result of being sexually assaulted. She had a clean record until a few years ago, when she was arrested, on separate occasions, for driving under the influence and attempting to steal clothes from a Wal-Mart. The sudden spiral of offenses triggered a referral to mental health court.For the first time in her life, she was evaluated and began receiving treatment.“I just kept thinking that was a part of life,” she said Wednesday, referring to panic attacks she’d been experiencing.She’s on track to graduate Oct. 22 from the 16-month mental health court program. On Wednesday, she was praised by District Court Judge John Hagensen for staying on track despite challenges such as the retirement of her therapist. Hagensen asked Green how it was going with a new therapist. She said it was fine, and she thanked Hagensen and the court staff for their support.“You’re the one who has done it all,” Hagensen told her. “Hopefully, you take some pride in that.” Before she started out on her walk home, Green expressed gratitude for the program. “This is like a safe zone,” she said, adding that the 16-month commitment has helped her stay clean and settle into a routine with therapy and taking medication. “It’s not just, ‘Hey, wham, bam,’ and they push you out the door,” she said. Court resourcesModeled after drug courts through which nonviolent addicts receive substance abuse treatment, mental health courts attempt to reduce the number of mentally ill defendants cycling through the criminal justice system for minor, nonviolent offenses.While the number of people eligible for mental health services through Southwest Washington Behavioral Health Regional Support Network has grown by more than 30,000 since the Medicaid program expanded this year, the extra pressure on the already stressed system won’t affect mental health court, said Shane Wolf, District Court’s therapeutic speciality courts coordinator. The network works with the program to make sure clients are able to receive treatment from providers such as Columbia River Mental Health, Community Services Northwest and Lifeline Connections.last_img read more

Print Magazines Quietly Testing Barcodes for Mobile Phones

first_imgCar and Driver published more than 400 barcodes in its annual Buyer’s Guide in late December. Each car in the guide had a corresponding barcode linking to a microsite with pictures, reviews and a link to the full road test, says Olivier Griot, managing director, mobile, at Car and Driver parent company Hachette Filipacchi. All three have partnered with mobile marketing solutions company Scanbuy. Users download Scanbuy’s free software—compatible with 130 different camera phone models—and then use the camera feature as a scanning device, directly linking from the barcodes to the magazines’ WAP (wireless access protocol) sites. At this point, the magazines pay nothing to Scanbuy, according to the company’s CEO Jonathan Bulkeley. In the next phase, Bulkeley says the pay structure will likely be a cost-per-click model. Right now, the goal at Hachette is to educate and build an audience of mobile readers—all of which is “indirectly monetized,” says Griot, as users are bounced to the ad-supported WAP sites. The next step is to open the opportunity up for advertisers to link to their sites and for the company to include barcodes in other Hachette titles magazines. Griot says all signals are positive in this test phase—a “healthy number” of readers have downloaded the Scanbuy software, and the WAP site has seen “quite a bit of return usage,” as users scan multiple bar codes in the guide. “The magazine is portable, and the cell phone is too,” says Griot. “[The platform] helps readers navigate seamlessly between the two.” Bulkeley, naturally, thinks barcodes could be ubiquitous with magazines—and everything else—within the next three-to-five years, appearing in “every magazine ad,” revealing a reader’s demographics—even his or her location. “It brings advertisers back to print,” says Bulkeley. “It makes it measurable. If it becomes ubiquitous, it will change the magazine business forever and, in my opinion, it needs to change.” For example, Bulkeley says a reader could scan a pair of shoes in Vogue magazine, find out which retailers in a five mile radius carry the shoes and even pay for them, all via cellphone. “We think of it today as a communication device. It will become a content access and transaction device,” he says. Magazine publishers love to talk about their mobile initiatives, but asking users to type even the most basic URLs into their phones has proven to be a challenge. Now, some are offering an alternative: cellphone-readable barcodes. Billboard, Wired and Car and Driver have been the first American magazines to test publishing the barcodes in their pages. Billboard was the first in October when it ran two ads for Sprint—a cover-wrapped ad with a bar code linking to the Billboard Top 10 list and a two-page ad with codes linking to music downloads and artist information via Sprint’s deck. Wired ran a barcoded Sprint ad in December. last_img read more

In Credit Default AMI Skirts Bankruptcy Filing

first_imgThe publisher said it entered into a forbearance agreement with lenders last week that prevents any potential bankruptcy filing until February 4.  In a separate statement, AMI said it will increase Country Weekly’s frequency from 26 to 52 times per year. The change will be effective with the March 2 issue.Concurrently, the publisher is lowering the magazine’s cover price from $3.49 to $2.49. As part of its quarterly financial report, American Media Inc. said it is has again extended its loan payment, which was originally due September 25, until January 26. The payment was previously extended until January 15.AMI reported net income for the two fiscal quarters ended September 30 was $1.01 million up from a $17.8 million loss during the same period in 2007. Operating revenue was $247.6 million, down from $253 million during the same period the prior year.AMI said it agreed with bondholders to offer up to $21 million of its 9 percent senior payment in kind (PIK) notes which are set to mature in 2013, combined with $300 million of its 14 percent senior subordinated notes also due in 2013 and 5.7 million shares of stock. AMI carries approximately $570 million in senior subordinated debt.last_img read more

Markets brace for major data releases RBI meeting next week

first_imgAfter extending gains for the second straight week, domestic stock markets are headed for major economic data releases next week, while investors will also closely watch the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) meeting.In the week ended 27 November, benchmark indices have posted a gain of 1% on the hopes that the Modi government would be able to pass the key Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill in the ongoing winter session of Parliament.While the BSE S&P Sensex ended the week at 26,128.20, gaining 259.71 points, the 50-share Nifty was up 86.15 points to close at 7,942.70.”Nifty broke out on Friday from the recent trading band of 7,700-7,940. With BankNifty leading from the front, advancing ~1.8% in this week’s trade, we expect Nifty to sustain this momentum and attempt 8,050 in the near term. On the downside, 7,900 could provide a strong support,” said Anil Ambani, Head of Research, IIFL.Despite a weakness in other Asian markets, the indices showed strength amid increased efforts from the government to get GST bill approved by Parliament in the current session.Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with his predecessor Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Friday to discuss issues related to GST bill also spurred hopes on its passage in the Rajya Sabha in the session.Meanwhile, markets will closely monitor the major economic data — October fiscal deficit, Q3 GDP data and the Nikkei PMI manufacturing data-for clues on growth.While a Bloomberg poll estimates the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) to have grown by 7.3%, any sign of slower growth could dampen the sentiment among FIIs, resulting in further outflows.October fiscal deficit data will be also scrutinised closely, as the government may miss the fiscal deficit target set for the year 2015-16, upon the implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations from 1 January, 2016.However, the RBI meeting will likely be a non-event for the markets as it is widely expected to keep lending rates on hold.”After a hefty 50bps cut during September, markets do not expect much to happen on the rate front during the December RBI monetary policy review. RBI has undertaken four cuts this calendar year. It is likely that the central bank will pause to gauge the recent spike in food prices and assess whether lower inflationary levels are sustainable,” said Ambani.last_img read more

BNP rally begins at Suhrawardy Udyan

first_imgBNP`s public rally begins at Suhrawardy Udyan in the city on Sunday afternoon where the party leaders are expected to unveil their various demands and plans over the next general election. Photo: Dipu MalakarBNP’s public rally began at Suhrawardy Udyan in the city on Sunday afternoon where the party leaders are expected to unveil their various demands and plans over the next general election, reports UNB.The rally formally began around 2pm with recitation from the holy Quran.Though BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia has been in jail since 8 February, the party has made her the chief guest of the rally as a mark of respect to her.Party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir is presiding over the rally.Party insiders said Mirza Fakhrul Islam is likely to place a seven-point demand and a 12 or 13-point vision of the party at the rally.The party’s demands include releasing party chairperson Khaleda Zia from jail, forming a neutral election-time government, dissolving current parliament and cabinet, creating a level-playing field by withdrawing all the political cases and releasing all the political prisoners, reconstitution of the election commission, deploying army and discarding electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the election.In the 12-point vision, the party will say what steps it will take to improve the country’s political culture, get rid of the politics of vengeance, ensure good governance, democracy and fight against extremism and ensure Bangladesh’s territory not to be allowed to use to carry out criminal activities against other countries, including India.Hundreds of party leaders and activists started gathering at the venue in small processions since morning.Huge number of law enforcers have been deployed in and around the rally venue to maintain law and order.One of the conditions is that the rally will have to be concluded by 5pm.On Saturday, the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) authorities permitted BNP to hold the rally at Suhrawardy Udyan with 22 conditions.The conditions include not using any provocative words and refraining from carrying any sticks, large banners and creating any barriers to public life.BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said they will unveil their party’s future course of action and strategy at the rally. BNP standing committee member Moudud Ahmed hinted that their party may also announce fresh action programmes from it.last_img

Eat nuts to cut cancer risk Study

first_imgConsuming nuts is associated with a decreased risk of certain types of cancer, but not Type-2 diabetes, says new study.For the study, researchers conducted a systematic review of 36 observational studies, which included 30,708 patients on the disease-preventive powers of nut consumption to create a comprehensive analysis.”Our study suggests that nut consumption may be associated with reduced risk of cancers, which may have practical implication,” said lead author Lang Wu at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting'”Aligning with the known beneficial effect of nuts on heart diseases, our study may imply that individuals interested in making better food choices to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease can consider consuming nuts, after considering the caloric and fat contents of different types of nuts,” Wu said.”Nut consumption was inversely associated with risk of colorectal cancer, endometrial cancer, and pancreatic cancer, but not with other types of cancer or type 2 diabetes. Overall, nut intake was associated with a decreased risk of cancer,” said the authors. The study was published in the journal Nutrition Reviews.last_img read more

Chinese police rescue 92 abducted children

first_img Top Stories It said the group targeted children in Yunnan and Sichuan provinces in China’s southwest and transported them to other provinces for sale.Child abduction is a major problem in China, where such police operations have become regular occurrences as authorities crack down on child trafficking. Strict family planning laws, a traditional preference for boys, ignorance of the law, poverty and illicit profits drive a thriving market in babies and children.China also plans to introduce laws to punish buyers of children and parents selling their own children.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober BEIJING (AP) – Chinese police rescued 92 abducted children and detained 301 suspects in the latest operation to crack down on the country’s chronic problem of child trafficking, the Ministry of Public Security said.Police forces from 11 provinces were involved in the operation to break up a massive network that stole, bought and sold children in Henan province in central China and other provinces, the ministry said late Friday. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Sponsored Stories center_img 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Check your body, save your life Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Comments   Share   Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementlast_img read more

A taste of Malaysia in Sydney

first_imgA country rich in agricultural resources, Malaysia offers an abundance of such experiences to be discovered at orchards, animal and fish farms, fisheries, botanical gardens, estates and homestays. Following a successful durian sampling campaign in Sydney supermarkets earlier this week, Tourism Malaysia hosted a presentation on agro-tourism accompanied by a durian tasting at the Grace Hotel in Sydney yesterday afternoon. As visitor arrivals from Australia to Malaysia continue to grow year on year, (with over half a million Australians travelling to Malaysia last year alone), more tourists are looking for diversity, authenticity and culture, away from the usual tourist hot spots of shops, cities and beaches. Source = ETB News: L.B. “Agro-tourism is a concept that is rapidly gaining popularity in Malaysia as it offers visitors an assortment of authentic, culturally enriching and unique experiences relating to the agriculture sector,” Tourism Malaysia marketing manager Peter Power said. So it seems fitting then that the notorious and exotic “king of fruit” durian is the chosen ambassador to represent Malaysian agro-tourism, with Malaysia the first country in the world to export chilled, fresh durians and Australia the first foreign market to receive them. Agro-tourism offers visitors authentic, culturally enriching and unique experiences Malaysia. Malaysia agro-tourism stimulates Aussie appetites for authentic experiences and durians. With most visits structured around a tour offering insight into the cultivation, care, processing and manufacturing, agro-tourism aims to encourage Malaysia’s traditional, cultural and natural heritage.last_img read more