Speech from the Throne to be Broadcast Live

first_imgNova Scotians interested in viewing the Speech from the Throne on Thursday, Sept. 17, will be able to watch it live on television and the Internet. Legislative Television will broadcast the ceremony on EastLink Digital Cable channel 95 and Eastlink Cable channel 10, beginning at 2 p.m. The ceremony will also be available live on the provincial government website at http://gov.ns.ca/legislature/HOUSE_BUSINESS/legislative_tv.htmllast_img

PNB narrows Q4 loss to Rs 4750 cr

first_imgNew Delhi: State-owned Punjab National Bank Tuesday said it has narrowed its loss to Rs 4,750 crore in the last quarter of the fiscal ended March 2019. The scam-hit lender had posted a staggering loss of Rs 13,417 crore during the corresponding January-March period of 2017-18. On assets front, the bank witnessed improvement with the gross non-performing assets (NPAs) reducing to 15.50 per cent of gross advances at end of March 2019, as against 18.38 per cent by March 2018. Likewise, the net NPAs or bad loans were trimmed to 6.56 per cent against 11.24 per cent, the bank said here at a news conference. Stock of PNB traded at Rs 88.10 on BSE, down 1.34 per cent from its previous close.last_img read more

850 kilometre trek to Montreal ends with message about uranium mining

first_imgAPTN National NewsA long march ended Monday for 22 Cree from northern Quebec.For the past three weeks, they’ve been walking nearly a marathon a day to Montreal for the last day of public meetings into the future of uranium mining in the province.APTN’s Danielle Rochette reports.last_img

Ban Kimoon calls for probe into murder of peacekeeper in southern Sudan

26 January 2007Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned today’s killing of an Indian peacekeeper serving with the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) and called for an investigation into the attack in the country’s south. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned today’s killing of an Indian peacekeeper serving with the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) and called for an investigation into the attack in the country’s south.The unnamed peacekeeper was shot dead by unidentified attackers earlier today while escorting a de-mining team near the town of Magwe in southern Sudan, where UNMIS has been operating since 2005 to oversee the implementation of a peace pact ending a 21-year civil war. Two other Indian peacekeepers were also injured.Mr. Ban “extends his condolences to the Government of India and to the family of the deceased soldier and wishes a speedy recovery to the injured,” his spokesman said in a statement. Mr. Ban also called on all Sudanese parties to cooperate with the UN in any inquiry into the murder.Earlier this month, Emmanuel Chaku Joseph, a Sudanese national who served as a driver for the UN World Food Programme (WFP) in the south, was shot dead during a roadside ambush on the road between the regional capital of Juba and the town of Torit.There are some 8,700 troops, 680 police officers and 590 military observers serving with UNMIS. read more

Canadian dollar flat amid rising commodities weak inflation reading

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Malcolm Morrison, The Canadian Press Posted Apr 19, 2013 8:53 am MDT Canadian dollar flat amid rising commodities, weak inflation reading TORONTO – The Canadian dollar closed little changed Friday amid rising commodity prices and data showing inflation pressures remain weak.The loonie was off 0.03 of a cent to 97.44 cents U.S. as Statistics Canada reported that the consumer price index rose one per cent in March compared with a year earlier, down from a 1.2 per cent rise in February.Economists had expected a reading of 1.1 per cent.The slower increase in the CPI was mainly the result of gasoline prices, which fell 0.3 per cent on a year-over-year basis in March, after rising 3.9 per cent in February.The soft inflation data further cemented the view that rate hikes by the Bank of Canada are a long ways off.“Today’s figures are consistent with the Bank of Canada’s updated view of more restrained inflationary pressures ahead, confirming the central bank’s scope to keep policy stimulative for the foreseeable future,” said CIBC World Markets economist Emanuella Enenajor.Commodity prices were mixed Friday at the end of a punishing week when prices for oil and metals tumbled amid new worries about the pace of the global economic recovery.Markets got off to a weak start Monday amid data showing growth in China coming in lower than expected. Losses picked up mid-week after the International Monetary Fund downgraded its estimates for global growth.Additionally, worries that the worst-hit countries of the eurozone debt crisis might use their gold reserves to deal with their problems helped sent bullion prices to their lowest levels in more than two years.June bullion gained $3.10 to US$1,395.60 an ounce. But copper remained stuck at 18-month lows, with the May contract down six cents at US$3.15 a pound.The May crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange was up 28 cents to US$88.01 a barrel. read more

Final defendant dismissed from deadly Indiana State Fair stage collapse lawsuit

Final defendant dismissed from deadly Indiana State Fair stage collapse lawsuit by The Associated Press Posted Sep 16, 2015 6:53 am MDT Last Updated Sep 16, 2015 at 10:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email INDIANAPOLIS – A security company is the final defendant to be dismissed from a class-action lawsuit filed by victims of the deadly 2011 Indiana State Fair stage collapse.Marion County Superior Court Judge Timothy Oakes granted ESG Security’s motion for summary judgment Monday, effectively dropping it as a defendant. Oakes’ order says he found “no genuine issue of material fact” but did not elaborate.Stage collapse victims had sued 19 other companies, but the two sides reached a nearly $50M settlement in December.ESG Security did not take part in that settlement, and the company contended that it wasn’t involved in crucial events leading up to the August 2011 collapse, including weather monitoring and emergency planning, The Indianapolis Star reported (http://indy.st/1Kex4Ls ).A longtime ESG employee was among the seven people killed when high winds toppled stage rigging onto fans awaiting the start of a concert by country duo Sugarland. Nearly 100 other people were injured.An ongoing legal case continues over the state’s financial responsibility in the collapse.The Indiana Supreme Court in July upheld a lower court ruling which found that Indiana would not have to pay any additional damages and decided not to hear an appeal of an Indiana Court of Appeals ruling which upheld the state’s $5 million liability cap.But in a separate case, the Court of Appeals said in March that Indiana may still be responsible for additional damage claims faced by Mid-America Sound Corp., which supplied materials for the stage. The state’s attorney general’s office has appealed that case, which is scheduled for oral arguments Sept. 23 before the state Supreme Court.Indiana has paid out $11 million to victims of the collapse, including $5 million under the state’s liability cap and $6 million in public funds freed up by the General Assembly.___Information from: The Indianapolis Star, http://www.indystar.com read more

Ohio State mens hockey ready for Golden Griffins

Loose Pucks-Junior defenseman Blake Doerring (upper-body), senior defenseman Craig Dalrymple (upper-body) and freshman forward Nick Jones (upper-body) will all be out this weekend, Rohlik said.-Dalrymple skated after Wednesday’s practice, but Rohlik said he’s still “a ways away” from returning to the lineup Senior forward Tanner Fritz (16) controls the puck during a game against Miami (OH) Oct. 17 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU lost 5-1.Credit: Michael Griggs / For The LanternChristian Lampasso’s former teammates used to laugh at him, but now they’re probably wishing they hadn’t.The freshman forward who once took flack for taking lessons from a figure skating coach has established himself as a speedy winger on the Ohio State men’s hockey roster. This week, Lampasso has more energy than usual. The Buckeyes (1-3-0) will travel less than 30 minutes from his childhood home to play Canisius College (4-2-0, 3-1-0) in Buffalo, N.Y.“I recruited pretty much the whole team’s tickets,” Lampasso said. “I’ve got 32 people coming for each game. I told them they all have to wear scarlet or they can’t come.”Lampasso’s homecoming series is long overdue. Since he moved away from New York as a freshman in high school, he’s called six states home. “I was pretty much living on my own at 15,” Lampasso said. “I had to grow up fast, but a lot of hockey players do.”As Lampasso moved through junior hockey, he did it with the speed that has come to characterize his game. His short, choppy strides followed him the whole way, he said. Former coaches’ attempts to change Lampasso’s skating style have been met with rejection, he said. The lessons from his figure skating coach Sarah Potter, who gave him instruction until age 12, have stuck the most, he said.Potter recalled working with Lampasso’s posture and leg extensions during 6:30 a.m. lessons. Dedication and natural ability drove Lampasso’s progression, Potter said.“The first time i saw him skate I thought, ‘this kid’s got it’,” Potter said. “There was no question in my mind.”This weekend, OSU coach Steve Rohlik is tasked with slowing down the winger who’s defined his game with speed.“Its funny because that’s his M.O., is his energy,” Rohlik said. “He just doesn’t need to go up and do too much. Just go up and play like he always does with great energy.”The energetic play is not foreign to the Buckeyes’ roster. Lampasso’s line mate and senior forward Chad Niddery has made his career playing in a similar fashion.As a result, Niddery said he offers Lampasso advice with regard to patience in the corners or placement of pucks on dump-ins. “He reminds me a lot of my  freshman year,” Niddery said. “Good forechecker, good hitting, good speed. He’s pretty close to me, that’s for sure.”Niddery, who began his career as a winger but has transitioned to center, said he depends upon Lampasso for his own success as well. Coming off a bye week, the line mates have had plenty of time to develop additional chemistry.Rohlik said OSU’s bye week came at a good time, as it allowed the team to readdress fitness and recover from injuries.After sustaining an injury in OSU’s first game of the season, sophomore forward Nick Schilkey is expected to make his return to the lineup on Friday, Rohlik said.  Canisius enters this weekend following a road series sweep against American International in an Atlantic Hockey Association matchup. The Golden Griffins are set to open their new rink, HARBORCENTER, located in downtown Buffalo on Friday.The Buckeyes traveled to HARBORCENTER on Thursday to get accustomed to the new rink, Rohlik said. “There’s only one opening night and for us to be a part of that is certainly pretty special,” Rohlik said. “We’re going to have to play our best hockey.”  read more

BREAKING Bandit killed in failed attempt to rob diamond establishment

One person is now dead, while three are in custody after a failed attempt to rob a diamond establishment at 288 Thomas Street, South Cummingsburg.According to eyewitnesses, Police arrived at the location around 12:00h and began conducting a search on a suspected vehicle which had three male occupants. The suspects were taken into custody after information spread that their accomplice who entered the building with the intention to commit a robbery was shot and killed.The body of the unidentified man was removed by undertakers and remains at the Lykens Funeral Home as investigations continue.Undertakers removing the dead bandit’s body Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedUPDATE: Two Bandits killed in failed robbery attempt on BusinessmanMay 18, 2018In “Crime”Body of murdered miner arrives at OgleNovember 21, 2013In “Crime”Battered body of fisherman found close to home, 3 in custodyDecember 7, 2018In “Crime” read more

Plan due at end of month

first_imgGreece will submit its growth and stability plan to Brussels at the end of January after getting the nod from European Commission officials on an agenda it hopes will help to restore confidence in the economy.The three-year plan is seen as being crucial to convincing investors and the European Commission that Greece is able to control its swelling budget deficit and growing public debt through a combination of spending cuts and increased tax revenues.A team of officials from the European Commission and the European Central Bank were in Athens last week for three days during which they looked at how the proposed plan will meet its goal of reducing the budget deficit by 4 percentage points this year to 8.7 percent of gross domestic product.“They want to see the measures we have announced mapped out,” said a source from the Finance Ministry.“We won’t send a plan to Brussels until we have a green light from one of the officials. There will be no issue of this plan being rejected by the Commission.”A hike in levies on cigarettes and alcohol, aimed at raising some 500 million euros, and an overhaul of the tax system as of March aimed at helping catch tax cheats, are among the measures the government will use to boost revenue.On the expenses side, civil servants earnings more than 2,000 euros per month will see their wages freeze this year, while a 10 percent cut in allowances paid in the public sector will save the government about 500 to 600 million euros.Meanwhile, a senior ministry source confirmed that the Greek government intends to raise 2.5 billion euros of privatisation revenue in 2010 without providing details as to how the money is to be raised.Speculation that Greece may not be able to meet its borrowing needs and could face bankruptcy has made markets nervous, pushing the premium investors demand to hold 10-year Greek government bonds rather than eurozone benchmark German Bunds to record highs in recent months. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Cyprus joins Red Cross family

first_imgCyprus has become the 188th member of the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) this week after being admitted officially as a National Society. “It was a long process which was upsetting for us,” explains Deputy Vice President of the Cyprus Red Cross Leda Koursoumba, “but then finally in February 2012 we were officially recognised, and then on Tuesday we were finally admitted, which is very exciting for us”. In 2004, Ms Koursoumba, along with other members of the Cyprus Red Cross, decided to relaunch their campaign after the country was accepted into the European Union. Following this, she said the country and the Red Cross were able to begin negotiations again. The political problems on the island may have thwarted their application – due to the 1974 foreign occupation – yet Ms Koursoumba says that the Cyprus Red Cross is inclusive of all citizens on the island. “We cater for all Cypriots – to everybody on the island,” she says, pointing out that her fellow vice president is Turkish Cypriot. The Cyprus Red Cross also assists in international appeals such as the Greek earthquakes and the tsunami in Sri Lanka. In Australia for the 2013 Statutory Meetings of the international Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, Ms Koursoumba estimates that there are more than the 10,000 volunteers that are registered as part of the Cyprus Red Cross. She says that when there is an appeal, many Cypriots gather to assist the Red Cross, from the young to the old. Cyprus Red Cross president Fotini Papadopoulos told the media that it was “the generous support of our volunteers [that] has enabled [Cyprus Red Cross] to carry out a diverse range of humanitarian actions over the years”. Ms Koursoumba says that although the members of the Cyprus Red Cross were “shocked” by the inclusion by the IFRC, she adds that “it was well deserved by our National Society”. * For full interview, read this Saturday 23 November’s English edition of Neos Kosmos. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

59 say CEOs are focused on finances rather than their employees

first_imgMore than half (59%) of respondents believe that chief executive officers (CEOs) are focused on finances rather than employees, according to research by Coleman Parkes and the Workforce Institute at Kronos.Its The £60bn question report, which surveyed 200 employees, 150 HR managers and 150 business and operations managers, also found that around a third (34%) of all respondents rate employee engagement as strong within their organisation.The research also found:82% of operations and business manager respondents think that employees need to feel more engaged at work.Almost two-thirds (60%) of all respondents believe that better technology would enhance employee engagement.40% of all respondents rate employee productivity as strong within their organisation.More than half (57%) of respondents think that rewards and incentives would increase productivity.Joyce Maroney, director at the Workforce Institute at Kronos, said: “Strong employee engagement is fundamental to a business’ bottom line, with engaged employees much more likely to go the extra mile.“However, this report demonstrates that engagement is not currently a core focus for HR teams or business leaders. To retain talent and create a motivated, productive workforce, businesses need to put their focus on their people through better communication and collaboration.”last_img read more

Search underway for Pembroke Pines bank robber

first_imgPEMBROKE PINES, FLA. (WSVN) – Federal authorities are seeking the public’s help in locating a man who, they said, robbed a bank in Pembroke Pines, Wednesday morning.The FBI released surveillance pictures of the subject seen inside the TD Bank along Pines Boulevard and Interstate 75, just before 10 a.m.Investigators said the bank was full of customers when the thief entered the branch and demanded money from an employee. He then fled the scene with an undisclosed sum of cash.If you have any information on this robbery, call the FBI at 754-703-2000 or Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Sonakshi Sinha arrested Here is a crazy reason revealed by Dabangg actress

first_imgSonakshi SinhaCollage of her Instagram photosA day after the video of her arrest created ripples, Bollywood actress Sonakshi Sinha has revealed that she was arrested because it is a crime to look that good. It is a promo of new makeup collection Pose.A couple of videos featuring Sonakshi Sinha getting arrested went viral on the social media on Tuesday. Many of her fans were shocked and saddened to see the Dabangg actress in handcuffs. Many reports emerged in various media houses, but nobody mentioned the reason for her arrest, which led to confusion. Some speculated that it must be in connection with a complaint filed by and event organiser.But later, Sonakshi Sinha cleared the air through her Instagram story and revealed that she has become the face of MyGlamm’s new collection of makeup Pose and those leaked videos were that part of its promotion. The actress also wrote, “Hey guys, I know there are some concerning videos doing the rounds. It is me, but then that’s not the entire truth. I will share everything in detail with you all soon…”Today, we know for sure that she got arrested for ‘looking too good’ as another video is doing the rounds where she is sitting in handcuffs in an investigation cell and she’s trying to clarify that she has not done anything wrong. This was all a part of the promotional campaign by MyGlamm, and this was their way to announce Sonakshi’s association with the brand, as she has become the new face for POSE.Sonakshi Sinha posted, “YEAH… I got arrested!!! WHY, you ask? – BECAUSE ITS A CRIME TO LOOK THIS GOOD!!!! SO excited to announce that I’m the face for POSE by @myglamm , their new collection of camera-ready HD makeup. It makes you look so good, you can POSE whenever, wherever! #MyGlamm #POSE #POSEMakeup #POSEHDMakeup #HDMakeup #Makeup #CameraReady #InstaMakeup #CrueltyFreeMakeup #VeganBeauty #AsliSonaArrested #WhereIsSonakshiSinha.”On the work front, Sonakshi Sinha released Khandaani Shafakhana on August 2, but the movie failed badly at the box office. Her next release will be Mission Mangal, which is slated to hit screens on August 15. Besides she has another two films like Dabangg 3 and Bhuj: The Pride of India, which is slated for next year.last_img read more

St Lukes Appeals Loss of Heart Transplant Medicare Funding

first_imgBaylor St. Luke’s Medical Center is appealing the loss of federal funding for its heart transplant program.The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) canceled reimbursement funding for the program after a Houston Chronicle and ProPublica investigation revealed high rates of patient deaths and other problems within the transplant program.“We do not believe CMS’ recent decisions reflect our ongoing progress and accomplishments to improve the quality of our care, and we look forward to presenting the facts so that heart transplant reimbursements can be reinstated,” St. Luke’s president Gay Nord said in a statement. The hospital said the loss of funding only affects its heart transplant program. Its kidney, liver, and lung transplant programs, as well as other heart surgery programs, remain funded.St. Luke’s appeal will be heard by a Department of Health and Human Services appeals board. Sharelast_img read more

Outpouring of grief and prayers flood social media

first_imgHashtags like #Pray4Nepal, #NepalEarthquake, #CandleLightVigil, #Dharahara and #earthquake trended through the day with millions of tweets and posts appearing on social media. PM Narendra Modi’s tweet promising help to Nepal was retweeted more than 2,100 times and ‘favourited’ by around 2,200 users.“Spoke to PM Sushil Koirala, who is in transit in Bangkok on his way to Kathmandu. Assured all support & assistance during this tough time,” Modi had tweeted. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also took to the microblogging website, where she tweeted, “My prayers with the people of #Nepal and across India after the massive #earthquake. Hope everyone is safe. Stay calm.” Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdulla, too, sent out a message. “Heart wrenching imagines coming out of Nepal. #NepalEarthquake #PrayForNepal Can’t help but remember 2005 in Kashmir. Terrible memories,” posted Omar.  Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan tweeted the picture of a damaged temple in Nepal and wrote, “O! God .. this is Nepal earthquake ..!!! I shot a song here for ‘Mahaan’ with Zeenat Aman .. pray all well.” Shahrukh Khan wrote, “May Allah look after all… Prayers with all in Nepal.”  The first pictures of the destruction that were shared on Instagram went viral across online platforms.A person with the username ‘harbrapper’ posted a picture of a devastated house in Kathmandu and wrote, “Terrible site, brick and stones lying everywhere.” That post drew comments from people in countries like China, Japan and the US, who said they were praying for the “ill-fated” victims.last_img read more

Women are more athletic than men

first_imgChallenging the popular notion that men are more fit for exercise of all sorts, a new study has shown that women have a natural capacity to process oxygen more quickly than men during aerobic exercises, making them more athletic. The findings showed that the faster processing of oxygen enabled the cells of a woman’s body to undergo less strain especially during aerobic exercises – such as cardio, spinning, running, swimming, walking, hiking – which require oxygen to help produce energy.”The findings are contrary to the popular assumption that men’s bodies are more naturally athletic,” said lead author Thomas Beltrame, Professor at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.”We found that women’s muscles extract oxygen from the blood faster, which, scientifically speaking, indicates a superior aerobic system,” added Richard Hughson, another researcher at the varsity.The study, published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, compared the oxygen uptake and muscle oxygen extraction between healthy and active young men and women of similar age and weight during a treadmill exercise.Women were found to consistently outperform men with around 30 per cent faster oxygen handling throughout the body during the exercise.These women were also less likely to accumulate molecules linked with muscle fatigue, effort perception and poor athletic performance.last_img read more

Sideline video of gameending Patriots interception shows confused Mike Tomlin trying to

first_imgThe end of the Steelers/Patriots game has been analyzed to death since Sunday, but a video released by NFL Films shows the chaos from the perspective of the Pittsburgh sidelines leading up to Big Ben’s game ending pick.It’s not a great look for Mike Tomlin, who appears to confused as he tries to get a play in to Roethlisberger so he won’t spike the ball and stop the clock. By now, you know the result. The Pats were ready for the situation, the Steelers weren’t. Ball game.Whatever the play Tomlin wanted to run, this wasn’t it. This begs the obvious question: Why didn’t they have a play ready?“Give him a play! He can’t clock it! Give him a play. We’re not clocking it.”“Give him a play! He can’t clock it! Give him a play. We’re not clocking it.”Mike Tomlin, via @NFLFilms, before Ben Roethlisberger’s interception. QB perspetive from @kurt13warner on #UpToTheMinute @nflnetwork 4pm ET. pic.twitter.com/mb6HowHsgg— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) December 20, 2017last_img read more

Cold weather expected in Ladysmith

first_imgDID YOU KNOW?Click on the words highlighted in red to read more on this and related topics.If you are reading this on your cellphone and there are telephone numbers provided in the text, you can call these simply by clicking on them.To receive news links via WhatsApp.For the latest news, visit our webpage or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Join us there! WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite Ladysmith residents should brace themselves for some chilly weather, as a cold front is expected this weekend.Judging by the grey skies overhead, the drizzle and the nippy wind swirling around, it’s already here!The South African Weather Services reported that the significant drop in daytime temperatures forecast this weekend over several parts of the country could signal the start of the winter season.So get out those hot water bottles, grab some movies and snuggle up tight as the cold weather sets in outside!last_img read more

Israeli draft pits secular Jews vs ultraOrthodox

first_img How men can have a healthy 2019 Many ultra-Orthodox sects aren’t even Zionist and refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish state until the coming of the Messiah. Some tiny extreme sects even side with the Palestinians and Israel’s archenemy Iran.Most object to change on much simpler grounds. In Hebrew, the ultra-Orthodox are known as “Haredim,” or “those who fear” God. But it’s not death they fear in the military _ it’s immersion in what they see as a secular and hedonistic society.“The main reason that we can’t serve is that the military simply doesn’t suit us. The military is a secular melting pot,” said Chaim Walder, a well-known ultra-Orthodox author and activist.It’s not clear how much the military even wants Haredi conscripts. While it formally calls for everyone to serve, military officials acknowledge it will be extremely difficult to incorporate them into the army.Many Haredi men lack basic skills, like rudimentary math, because their independent school systems barely teach them. Their aversion to direct contact with women would require segregation and could undercut the military’s record of giving female soldiers equal opportunities. Sponsored Stories Last week, the deep divisions between religious and secular parties inside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government led to the collapse of a special committee formed to draft new legislation.Netanyahu’s largest governing partner, the centrist Kadima Party, is now threatening to quit the government, just two months after joining the coalition with the goal of reforming the draft. Netanyahu has vowed to find a compromise.Dan Halutz, a former Israeli military chief turned Kadima politician, visited the reservists’ protest tent in Tel Aviv Saturday and announced that he was leaving the party.A glimpse into the world of the ultra-Orthodox shows just how intractable the issue has become. The draft exemptions date back to the time of Israel’s independence in 1948, when founding father David Ben-Gurion exempted 400 exemplary seminary students to help rebuild great schools of Jewish learning destroyed in the Holocaust, when 6 million Jews were murdered.As ultra-Orthodox parties became power brokers, the numbers mounted. Ultra-Orthodox officials now estimate there are about 100,000 full-time Torah learners of draft age.The pattern has lasting ramifications. The heavy emphasis on religious study, begun early on in a separate system of elementary schools, has pushed many ultra-Orthodox men to shun the work world, relying on welfare as they spend their days immersed in holy texts. The ultra-Orthodox make up about 10 percent of Israel’s 8 million citizens. But polls show the vast majority of Israelis, who risk their lives and put their careers on hold while serving in the military, object strongly to the arrangement, and many see it as the essence of everything that is wrong with their country.This resentment has fueled a broader high-decibel culture war. In recent months, secular activists have rebelled against what they consider growing religious coercion by the ultra-Orthodox, such as attempts to enforce gender segregation on buses and public places, and a religious backlash by ultra-Orthodox who feel unfairly persecuted.“It is something so ethical, so basic, that we have all grown up upon: service, giving to the state. Everyone here has to give something to society because we are one society,” said Boaz Nol, a reserve officer who was among those planning a massive protest in Tel Aviv against the continued exemptions.More than 10,000 reservists and their supporters turned out for the rally Saturday night, many of them carrying placards reading “everybody serves.”The Supreme Court earlier this year ruled the draft exemptions illegal and gave the government until Aug. 1 to figure out a new, fairer system. That is proving far more difficult than expected. Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Associated PressJERUSALEM (AP) – Deep in the heart of Mea Shearim, a Jerusalem bastion of hardline ultra-Orthodox Jews, hundreds of bearded young men in black suits have their noses burrowed into books, immersed in biblical study and oblivious to their surroundings.They are the creme de la creme of a cloistered community, the Harvard of the ultra-Orthodox world, who are expected neither to work for a living nor serve in the military with other Israelis. But it’s not just the students at the prestigious Mir Yeshiva for whom prayer and study of scripture is a full-time job. Nearly the entire community has been granted sweeping exemptions that have infuriated the general public. Insubordination could also grow if ultra-Orthodox men found themselves forced to choose between religious beliefs and commanders’ orders. No one can predict what could happen if armed soldiers took their orders from rabbis.The costs would also be high: Drafting this community would require special arrangements, such as kitchens conforming to the strictest interpretation of Jewish dietary law and a large chunk of the day set aside for bible study. And as those who are married and with children are entitled to higher salaries _ the military would face another financial burden.Inclusion has been successful in some areas however. The army has designed a number of roles specifically for the needs of ultra-Orthodox soldiers, including a segregated infantry unit as well as computer, technology and intelligence units.A military official involved in the effort said 85 percent of discharged ultra-Orthodox soldiers went on to find jobs in civilian life.But altogether, the numbers remain small. Fewer than 1,300 conscripts participated in these programs over the past year, military figures show.Some leading rabbis have ruled that those not cut out for intensive seminary life or those who were already married _ and perhaps less susceptible to the lure of the secular world _ could be eligible to serve or take part in a range of civil service options being considered. 0 Comments   Share   Top Stories Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help With the clock ticking, Netanyahu now faces a near-impossible task as he tries to satisfy the demands of the secular masses, the Supreme Court and various coalition partners all while preventing sectarian unrest.Before the parliamentary committee collapse, ultra-Orthodox parties boycotted the panel. And in a sign of what may lie ahead, thousands of black-clad ultra-Orthodox took to the streets of Jerusalem last week to protest the committee’s work. Some wore sacks in a sign of mourning over the prospect of being forced into service.Einat Wilf, a lawmaker with the secular Independence party, said the ultra-Orthodox have no right to complain, adding that Israelis are fed up with a system in which they take and give nothing back in return.“I, for one, do not believe that their prayers are protecting soldiers and they can’t force their ways upon me,” she said. “If they want to pray, fine, but not at my expense.”She said that despite ultra-Orthodox intransigence, the doomed committee she was a member of had sought a compromise _ even if it was not to the liking of secularists like her.“Will it be better than the current situation? Yes,” she said. “Will it be fair and just? Absolutely not.” Steep unemployment, believed to hover around 50 percent, coupled with a high birthrate has fueled deep poverty in the ultra-Orthodox sector. With families of eight to 10 children commonplace, more than a quarter of all Israeli first graders today are ultra-Orthodox. Experts say if these trends continue, Israel’s long-term economic prospects are in danger.But changing the ways of the ultra-Orthodox will not be easy. Leaders speak proudly of centuries-old traditions of prayer and learning that they believe has allowed the Jewish people to survive such tragedies as the Spanish Inquisition, European pogroms and the Holocaust. Study in Yeshiva seminaries, they say, is no less important than military strength in protecting the country from modern threats in a hostile region.“You have to understand, we are part of the Jewish army,” said Aharon Grossman, a 30-year-old student at Mir Yeshiva. “Some people serve in tanks. We serve in yeshiva.”Ultra-Orthodox leaders insist they will never be forced to serve in the military.For decades, a string of secular-led Israeli governments have maintained the status quo, either because of their dependence on ultra-Orthodox political kingmakers or out of fear of an angry backlash from a sector that hasn’t hesitated to block roads, clash with police or mobilize tens of thousands of activists into the streets when ordered by their rabbis. (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) A day after Netanyahu disbanded the committee, its chairman nonetheless released his recommendations. Among the proposals: that no more than 20 percent of ultra-Orthodox males, roughly 1,500 people a year, be granted exemptions, while others be permitted to defer service for no more than five years. A national service option was also introduced for those who didn’t fit into the military.The details of the debate have dominated political discussion in Israel, handing Netanyahu his biggest challenge yet since he formed a 94-member coalition in early May. His office says he will meet quietly with political leaders in the coming days in order to formulate a fair draft law.The ultra-Orthodox reject the idea that they are leeching off the state. They say employment numbers are skewed, and that they contribute to public coffers through sales tax on purchases they make for large families. They also note that the government subsidizes areas that they have no interest in, such as culture, sports and the arts.Unlike other Israelis, who mark graduations, military promotions, and professional accomplishments, the ultra-Orthodox only celebrate study. Later this month, for instance, thousands of believers are scheduled to pack a basketball arena to mark the completion of a full study of the Talmud _ a seven-year odyssey in which 2,700 pages of rabbinical debates over Jewish law are meticulously dissected at a pace of one page a day. New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths These young men, and their sheltered lifestyle, are at the heart of a battle that is tearing Israel apart in a clash between tradition and modernity, religion and democracy. The fight centers on whether ultra-Orthodox males should be drafted into the military along with other Jews, but it really is about a much deeper issue: the place of Judaism in the Jewish state.The question has come to the fore as the government races to meet a Supreme Court-ordered deadline to revamp the nation’s draft law. In its current form, secular males must perform three years of compulsory service when they turn 18. Ultra-Orthodox men, like the young scholars at the Mir Yeshiva, have special exemptions that allow them to continue studying in their isolated enclaves while collecting government subsidies.For their supporters, seminary students are preserving a tradition that has served as the very bedrock of Judaism for thousands of years.“Jews need to study the Bible. That is what makes us unique as a people,” Yerach Tucker, a 30-year-old spokesman for the ultra-Orthodox community, said proudly as he guided a visitor through the Mir Yeshiva. “It is the essence of our lives.” Still, any arrangement would likely involve inducting thousands of unwilling men over the objection of their rabbis.Walder, the activist, insists Jewish study is sacrosanct and non-negotiable, saying that state must continue to fund it.“The only thing that is truly keeping us safe here is bible study,” he said. “We are protecting the country with our prayer. We are making sure that there is something here to protect.”____Follow Aron Heller at http://www.twitter.com/aronhelleraplast_img read more

Fiji Airways appoints two new GMs

first_imgThe Fiji Airways Group have announced the hiring of two new general managers, both of whom have worked locally in previous roles.Shaenaz Voss has been appointed general manager industry, international and government affairs, and she will report directly to the managing director and chief executive officer.Ms Voss was previously the general manager for Fiji Link, the domestic and regional subsidiary of Fiji Airways.In her new role, Ms Voss will be accountable for all aero-political and public affairs priorities, memberships and relationship with the industry, the trade and Government bodies for the Fiji Airways Group.Thomas Robinson will take over the role as general manager for Fiji Link from Ms Voss and will also report directly to the managing director and CEO.Prior to his new role Mr Robinson was general manager maintenance and engineering, Mr Robinson will move into this new role working to further embed the fleet transition process at Fiji Link.He will aim to leverage the additional capacity from the new aircrafts into a significantly higher profitability of the regional subsidiary.Fiji Airways managing director and chief executive officer Stefan Pichler, said that 2014 was a good year and these new staff changes will help the airline grow in 2015.“A key part of our growth plan has been to develop local management talent in various areas of our business. The appointments of Shaenaz and Thomas is testament to the great potential of local Fijians who have grown in their experience and leadership,” Mr Pichler said. Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more