Members of group that rallied outside Vernon, B.C., courthouse. (Facebook photo)Kathleen MartensAPTN NewsA judge has denied bail for a suspect charged with violence against women in B.C.’s Okanagan district.The decision to keep Curtis Sagmoen behind bars was cheered by Indigenous activists gathered on the steps of the Vernon courthouse.“It did have an impact,” rally organizer Jody Leon told the small but vocal group.“At every bail hearing they heard your voices.”Allies and advocates from Vancouver and Kamloops were in the crowd, Leon said on Facebook.“When it comes to the next decision we’re going to be here.”Sagmoen faces a number of charges alleging violence against women in various B.C. communities.Evidence disclosed at the bail hearing cannot be published under a publication ban.But not in relation to the death of Traci Genereaux, whose body RCMP discovered on a farm owned by Sagmoen’s parents outside Vernon.Sagmoen was living in a trailer on the property prior to his arrest a year ago.Genereaux is one of five women – two Indigenous – missing from the area.Leon’s group has been helping families of the missing women search for clues.APTN Investigates documented their efforts in this story.They were also outside the courthouse for each of Sagmoen’s court appearances over the past few weeks in Vernon.The group drummed, waved homemade banners and chanted, “No more stolen sisters” as passing motorists honked their horns. email@example.com@katmarte
Washington – Only days after the blockade countries issued their list of demands to Qatar to end the Gulf crisis, Qatari foreign minister, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani is scheduled to meet with US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, on Tuesday in Washington.Qatar described the list of demands, which it received Thursday from the blockading countries, as unworkable. Citing Tillerson’s earlier urging that the demands be both “reasonable and actionable,” Qatar’s official response was to find them neither.Included in the demands were the complete shutdown of state-funded network, Al Jazeera, a significant scaling down of Qatar’s relationship with Iran and the closure of a Turkish military base in the country. The list of demands came weeks after three Gulf states, led by Saudi Arabia, announced they were severing all diplomatic ties with Qatar, alleging financial support for terrorist organizations and a relationship to Iran which they found too close for their comfort. The blockade followed this announcement almost immediately. The allegations have since been proven to be unfounded, prompting many to believe the reasons for the blockade to be more closely related to an intense dislike for Qatar’s foreign policy.Bahrain Changes its Opinion on Turkish PresenceMonday was a day for statements on the crisis, starting with Bahrain’s curiously timed reversal on the issue of Turkish increased military presence in Qatar. Originally, Bahrain regarded Turkish military personal in Qatar a non-issue. Now, however, the Bahraini foreign minister, Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, describes his country’s official opinion as markedly different:“The disagreement with Qatar is a political and security dispute and has never been about military… But the deployment of troops with their armored vehicles is a military escalation for which Qatar will bear the consequences.”Modest US DefianceRepublican US Senator, Bob Corker, vowed Monday night to withhold his consent regarding any US arms sales to GCC countries until the crisis in the Gulf has been resolved.Any sale of arms is mandated to go through a preliminary approval process before heading to full Congress for a 30-day review period. In his position as Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, Corker finds himself uniquely positioned to apply pressure for a resolution.In a letter to US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, with whom he shares a close relationship, Corker stated that “all countries in the region need to do more to combat terrorism, but recent disputes among the GCC countries only serve to hurt efforts to fight ISIS (ISIL) and counter Iran.”Iran Asks Europe to Step Up Pressure for ResolutionSpeaking in Berlin on Monday, Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, urged European countries to use their influence more effectively to intercede in the crisis to bring about a timely solution.Accusing the blockade countries of “punishing Qatar and Iran to deflect attention away from their governments’ handling of their own people,” Zarif said, “When foreign policy becomes a commodity, then purchasing military equipment becomes your yardstick for measuring who is a terrorist and who isn’t a terrorist.”As if to signal his agreement, Zarif’s German counterpart, Sigmar Gabriel, called the blockade’s list of demands against Qatar “very provocative.” Gabriel made the remark during a speech at an event presented by the European Council on Foreign Relations.Students in an UproarThe blockade, now in its third week, has affected all areas of Qatari life, including students from three of Qatar’s neighbours. Unable to complete their exams, the students have been refused their certificates and had their educational accounts closed. Their school registrations have also been revoked, prompting Qatar’s Human Rights Watch Committee to declare its official objection to the “serious threat” to students posed by the blockade.Al Jazeera Issues its Own ResponseIn an open letter published on Monday, Qatar-funded network Al Jazeera issued its own response to the list of blockade demands, which included the network’s closure.According to the statement, “The attempt to silence Al Jazeera is an attempt to silence independent journalism in the region, and to challenge everyone’s freedom to be heard and to be informed. This must not be allowed to happen”Espousing professional journalistic pride, the network affirmed its determination to carry out “our responsibility of providing reliable information, and giving those we cover a voice.”“We will continue to do our job with integrity. We will continue to be courageous in the pursuit of the truth. And we will continue to respect people’s rights to be heard,” it continued.
CHACO CANYON NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK, N.M. — U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt has met with tribal leaders who are supporting legislation to prevent drilling on land they consider sacred around Chaco Culture National Historical Park.The meeting Tuesday at the centuries-old site in northwest New Mexico came at the urging of Democratic U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich amid a yearslong dispute over oil and gas development surrounding the park.Legislation sponsored by Heinrich and other members of New Mexico’s all-Democratic congressional delegation would halt new oil and natural gas lease sales on federal land within a 10-mile (16-kilometre) buffer zone around the park’s ancient stone structures and avenues.Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez has previously said that many tribes want a greater area around Chaco protected from industrial incursions.Oil developers say robust protections already are in place.The Associated Press
Gerry Adams, the Sinn Fein president, has denied sanctioning the murder of a British spy in the IRA.The allegation about the 2006 killing of Denis Donaldson was made by a man who claimed he was also a paid state agent in the IRA.The man made a series of claims, on an anonymous basis, to BBC Northern Ireland’s Spotlight programme.The most explosive was that Mr Adams sanctioned the killing of Mr Donaldson.Mr Donaldson, 55, a Sinn Fein official and close colleague of Mr Adams, was shot dead at an isolated cottage near Glenties in Co Donegal in April 2006.He had been living in the remote area of Donegal following his exposure as a state agent a year before his death.The Real IRA, a dissident republican group, claimed responsibility for the murder in 2008. A masked member of the Real IRA splinter group, which claimed responsibility for the murder of Denis Donaldson, reads a statement during a ceremony in Londonderry in 2011Credit:Peter Morrison/PA But the circumstances surrounding Mr Donaldson’s outing as a British agent and subsequent death have long been shrouded in mystery.The man interviewed by Spotlight said the IRA was responsible for the murder and that it was sanctioned by Mr Adams.The claim was rejected by the Sinn Fein leader, who has always denied he was in the IRA. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Paramilitary groups killed or injured an estimated 3,000 people during the TroublesCredit:PA His lawyer told the programme his client had no knowledge of or involvement in Mr Donaldson’s death and denied being consulted over the killing.On Wednesday morning, Mr Adams wrote on Twitter: “Last night’s BBC Spotlights totally untrue allegations about me.” On the way 2 Ploughing.,doing LMFM’s Mike Reid Show @ 9.30 on last night’s BBC Spotlights totally untrue allegations about me.— Gerry Adams (@GerryAdamsSF) September 21, 2016 Mr Adams’s party colleague Gerry Kelly dismissed the documentary as a “collection of discredited conspiracy theories”.”The programme-makers have had no regard for the feelings of families of the victims of the conflict, including the family of Denis Donaldson,” said the North Belfast Assembly member.
Does an extension increase the chances for the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement? Source: BBC Politics/Twitter 81 Comments By Gráinne Ní Aodha 33,699 Views Tánaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney As the clock ticks down, get all the best Brexit news and analysis in your inbox: He added that the political declaration could be made “more ambitious” if a majority in the House of Commons wanted that.If the reason for an extension is neither of the above, Barnier asked what the purpose would be: “…How can we ensure that, at the end of a possible extension, we are not back in the same situation as today?”Extending the uncertainty without a clear plan would add to the economic cost for our businesses but could also incur a political cost for the EU.Coveney also warned that “it’s important that the British government gets the message from EU countries that while … there is an openness to an extension of Article 50 that EU leaders will be demanding in the context of a persuasive plan to accompany that extension”.He said this is to ensure “we can all move forward with some confidence that the outstanding issues relating to the Brexit process can be resolved”.Barnier said that the European Council, which is made up of the leaders of the EU’s 27 countries and is due to convene this Thursday and Friday, will need to assess what is in the best interest of the EU.“Voting against a no-deal does not prevent it from happening,” he continued, adding that it was “for the British government to decide what the UK wants to do next”.Everyone should now finalise all preparations for a no-deal scenario. On the EU-side, we are prepared.Taoiseach Leo Varadkar met with European Council President Donald Tusk at Government Buildings in Dublin this morning; meanwhile, Tánaiste Simon Coveney is in Brussels and has held meetings with UK Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington and Michel Barnier, among others.With reporting by Hayley Halpin https://jrnl.ie/4550531 Short URL Image: Sam Boal via RollingNews.ie Michel Barnier: “Everyone should now finalise all preparations for a no-deal scenario”EU’s chief #Brexit negotiator says leaders are ready to consider a delay to Brexit, but MPs “voting against no-deal does not prevent it happening”https://t.co/0AC7mqcItP pic.twitter.com/EEaYcO1XPR— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) March 19, 2019 Mar 19th 2019, 4:36 PM Tánaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney Image: Sam Boal via RollingNews.ie ‘A lot of concern’ among EU states over prospect of Article 50 long extension, Coveney warns EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier earlier said that EU member states should prepare for a no-deal Brexit. Updated Mar 19th 2019, 9:32 PM TÁNAISTE SIMON COVENEY has said there is a lot is concern among EU member states about the prospect of a long extension of Article 50, as the British Prime Minister Theresa May is on the cusp of asking to delay the date by which Brexit must happen, currently set for 29 March.His comments come after the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier said that EU member states should prepare for a no-deal Brexit.If MPs vote for Theresa May’s draft Brexit deal this week, May said that she would ask for an extension to Article 50, and delay the Brexit date by three months until 30 June.But to do this, the UK must get the permission of the EU’s 27 countries. EU leaders have said previously that without a clear reason for leaving, the request to push that date out wouldn’t be likely to be accepted by the EU.Speaking after Cabinet this evening, Coveney said that “there is a lot of concern among EU member states and partners about the prospect of a long extension to Article 50″.“The disruptive effect of Brexit for another nine months or another whatever period of time is something that I think people will need convincing on,” Coveney said.He said that if there is a request for a long extension, “there will need to be a very persuasive plan” to go with that which would explain why that’s needed and how the UK will use the time to “conclude the outstanding issues that haven’t been able to be agreed in London in the context of the Brexit process”. Coveney also said it has been “very clear” that there is “absolutely no appetite” to reopen the Withdrawal Agreement” from the EU.Making similar comments at a press conference today, Barnier said: “EU leaders will need a concrete plan from the UK in order to be able to make an informed decision.”He added that the “key questions” for the EU would be: Tuesday 19 Mar 2019, 9:32 PM Will the UK request an extension because it wants a bit more time to rework the Political Declaration? Share287 Tweet Email Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article
Réintroduction de caïmans en Colombie : écologie ou économie ?Colombie – L’opération visant à réintégrer progressivement 7.000 caïmans dans leur biotope d’origine a pour but de disposer de reproducteurs en milieu naturel. Cela permettra à l’entreprise Colombian Croco de diminuer ses coûts de production et d’augmenter les bénéfices générés sur le dos des caïmans.Bien que la Colombie affiche une intention écologique dans cette réintroduction d’animaux en milieu naturel, l’intérêt économique sous-jacent est manifeste. En effet, chaque année, la Colombie exporte 350.000 peaux de caïman vers des pays comme le Mexique, Singapour ou la Thaïlande. Vendues entre 10 et 25 dollars pièce, la peau des caïmans est très prisée et permet la confection de sacs, ceintures et autres accessoires de luxe.À lire aussiL’effrayante maladie de l’homme-arbre dont la peau se change en ”écorce”Pour le moment, 800 reptiles ont été réintroduits. Âgés de 2 ans,certains mesurent déjà entre 75 et 90 cm et iront repeupler les cours d’eau de Barranco de Loba. Cette petite ville bâtie sur les berges du fleuve Magdalena, le plus important de Colombie, s’inquiète de cette initiative. En effet, les caïmans risquent de décimer les populations d’arencas, un poisson qui constitue la base de l’alimentation de la population locale. Les conséquences seraient désastreuses pour cette région de Colombie extrêmement pauvre. De plus, la zone était déjà le théâtre d’affrontements entre les paramilitaires, les FARC, l’Armée de libération nationale (l’ELN) et l’extrême-droite armée (l’AUC), qui cherchaient à s’approprier les mines d’or qui s’y trouvent.Le 26 septembre 2010 à 16:02 • Emmanuel Perrin
Harry Kane is under pressure to deliver in every game according to his Tottenham team-mate Christian Eriksen.Kane failed to deliver for Spurs in their last two Premier League games, despite breaking his deadlock in August.The striker has faced criticism this season for his poor scoring form and there have been calls from different pundits to rest the player after a hectic World Cup campaign.“Everyone expects him to score three goals every game,” Eriksen told the Independent.“As a team we know we have to feed him, but in a team that is losing it is very difficult to score goals, even one that keeps creating chances.“I know Harry wants to score more, and so do the rest of the team. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter who is scoring and who is not scoring. It’s about winning games.”Pochettino admits Wanyama remains in his Spurs plans Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Kenyan international, Victor Wanyama, was the protagonist of a summer transfer saga, but in the end, he is set to stay at Tottenham Hotspur.But Eriksen has brushed aside fatigue claims as they resume their Champions League campaign away to Serie A giants Inter on Tuesday.“We are not tired after the World Cup. Everyone has had near enough the same break,” Eriksen added.“Of course we are unfortunate we had so many players going so far in the tournament, which meant they started their pre-season later.“But our performances have had nothing to do with tiredness. And personally, I haven’t felt tired.“There is no better place to put things right than at the San Siro. It’s the perfect stadium to play in.“And there will be no better way to start a Champions League campaign than with a win at the San Siro. It’s going to be an exciting game.”
The Atlantic says it turned its first profit in decades in the fourth quarter of 2010, driven by double-digit revenue increases year-over-year in digital (up 70 percent), events (up 37 percent) and even print (up 27 percent). Overall advertising revenue grew 37 percent. Online traffic grew 34 percent, with TheAtlantic.com and TheAtlanticWire driving a monthly average of 5 million unique visitors. The Atlantic‘s November issue boasted the most ad pages of any issue in the magazine’s 153-year-history and out of 11 issues, eight were up double digits over 2009, according to publisher Jay Lauf. Much of the magazine’s success over the last year can be attributed to custom packages, such as cover unit packages sold against The Atlantic‘s “Brave Thinkers” issue. In his keynote address at the FOLIO: Show in June, Atlantic Media president Justin Smith said The Atlantic was projected to have a profitable fourth quarter and a “multi-million dollar” profit in 2011. According to Smith, the comeback was structured around creating a solid brand identity; a digital-first strategy; building a marketing services operation; expanding live events; and maintaining a relentless focus on hiring top talent.
Social media posts of Donald Trump and Shinzo Abe huddling with aides in a public dining room after North Korea’s missile test raised questions Monday about his administration’s handling of sensitive information.The conversation — which would ordinarily take place behind closed doors and be classified — was captured on camera from close range by a member of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida on Saturday.Facebook user Richard DeAgazio posted pictures of Trump huddling with aides and Abe, and taking calls.One caption of the now removed posts read: “The President receiving the news about the Missile incident from North Korea on Japan with the Prime Minister sitting next to him.”DeAgazio later wrote: “The Prime Minister Abe of Japan huddles with his staff and the President is on the phone with Washington DC. the two world leaders then conferred and then went into another room for hastily arranged press conference. Wow…..the center of the action!!!”North Korea launched a new ballistic missile Sunday, as it edges ever-closer to marrying nuclear and missile technology that could deliver a devastating payload to the continental United States.When the president is away from the White House, many crisis conversations take place in a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility — or SCIF.The facilities are normally out-of-bounds for individuals without security clearance and common digital devises such as unsecured mobile phones.The White House said that Trump was briefed in such a room “prior to dinner” and that no sensitive information was shared at the table.”There is no one in that picture around him or whatever that isn’t part of the US delegation or the Japanese delegation, they were reviewing the logistics for the press conference,” said White House spokesman Sean Spicer.”The president was subsequently briefed again in a classified setting, after the dinner, before they went out and spoke.”But Democrats were fuming, and quick to recall Trump’s criticism of 2016 election rival Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.”There’s no excuse for letting an international crisis play out in front of a bunch of country club members like dinner theater,” said the Democratic leader in the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi.
The Iranian flag flutters in front the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters in Vienna, Austria on 4 March. Photo: Reuters Iran nuclear deal signatories meet in ViennaWorld powers will warn Iran to stick to the terms of their nuclear deal when they meet on Friday for “last chance” talks, but with Tehran feeling the pressure from punishing US sanctions expectations of saving the 2015 accord are low, diplomats say.President Donald Trump last year pulled the United States out of the multinational deal under which sanctions on Iran were lifted in return for curbs on its nuclear programme, verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).Washington has since re-imposed tough sanctions on Iran, aiming to cut the Islamic Republic’s oil sales to zero to force it to negotiate a broader deal that would also cover its ballistic missile capabilities and regional influence.Senior diplomats from Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia meet with Iranian officials in Vienna on Friday, with Tehran threatening to exceed the maximum amount of enriched uranium it is allowed under the deal, adding to fears of a military escalation in the region.“We will repeat to the Iranians that nuclear issues are not negotiable. We want them to stay in the accord, but we won’t accept them messing us around,” a senior European diplomat said.Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi on Friday described the talks as a “last chance for the remaining parties … to gather and see how they can meet their commitments towards Iran.”An Iranian official told reporters ahead of the meeting that his country’s main demand was to sell its oil at the same levels that it did before Washington withdrew from the accord.However, he cautioned that Tehran had lost patience with the European signatories. Until its demand is met, Iran will continue on its current path and go over limits of the deal one by one, starting with the uranium enrichment level, the official said, although none of the actions are irreversible.“For one year we exercised patience. Now it is the Europeans’ turn to exercise patience,” he said. “They should try to find solutions, practical solutions and there’s always enough time for diplomacy and there’s always the possibility to go back, to reverse.”Reluctant To Pull The PlugGoing over such central limits of the deal could prompt European powers to re-impose sanctions through a process known as ‘snapback’. European officials have warned that Europe could go down that road, but are likely to hold back for now and wait for an assessment from the IAEA.“Europe will react cautiously. Despite strident warnings about the consequences of an Iranian violation, Europe will be reluctant to pull the plug on one of its most important multilateral accomplishments in recent years. It will instead play for time,” said Eurasia analyst Henry Rome.The cornerstone of European efforts to placate the Iranians is the creation of a mechanism for barter trade called Instex that would net out amounts at either end.Almost six months after it was created, it is still not operational and diplomats say it will only be able to handle small volumes for items like medicine, not the large oil sales Iran is seeking.European officials argue that it is crucial to show Iran that it is not isolated. At Friday’s meeting they will demonstrate that it is progressing by offering credit lines to facilitate its implementation. But when and if there is a first transaction remains unclear.“They are impatient on Instex, but it’s complicated,” said one European diplomat. “We’re able to show progress now, but they say it’s not enough. Well that’s tough luck for them. We are doing our best.”The European powers will also stress their frustration with Tehran publicly pointing the finger at them. They say neither Russia or China, which imported some 40 per cent of its oil from Iran prior to sanctions, have done much to ease Tehran’s economic woes.“It’s about time they also stepped up,” said the diplomat.
The Berduo family traveled nearly 2,000 miles from Guatemala to the international bridge between Matamoros, Mexico, and Brownsville, Texas, but they could go no further.Under a new policy, federal border agents stationed in the middle of international bridges are turning away asylum seekers like the Berduos, telling them there is no room in U.S. Customs and Border Protection stations for them.Since arriving on Monday, the family said they had tried three times to cross into the U.S., and three times border agents turned them back. On Tuesday, the nine family members, who range in age from 58 years to nine months, sat glumly at a picnic table on the Mexican side of the bridge.“We’ve been here on the border for two days asking for asylum, but the U.S. government won’t pay attention to us,” said Victor Samuel Berduo, the family patriarch, with an expression of resigned exasperation. “They tell us to wait or go to a different bridge. But we don’t know any other bridges.”Immigrant advocates say these are the latest victims of White House policies meant to discourage asylum seekers from coming to the nation’s borders to ask for protection.Up and down the southwest border, courtrooms are packed with immigrants arrested for unlawful entry. Youth shelters are filling up with immigrant children. Migrants are worried because Attorney General Jeff Sessions has sharply curtailed which cases qualify for asylum.And now, border agents have begun turning away asylum seekers at ports of entry, telling them to come back another time. That leaves some immigrants, like the Berduos, in limbo.“If we go back home,” Berduo said, “they will kill us.”Then, in a gruesome show and tell, he presented his 23-year-old son, Wayner. He removed sunglasses to reveal a left eye socket mangled by a bullet, and he pulled away a towel to show an ugly scar that zigzags up the length of his right arm, the result of four more bullets.His father said a drug lord sent two assassins to kill his sons one day last December. As Victor explained it, his boys made a living taking tourists to a place called the Blue Waterfall in the Peten province of northern Guatemala. But the narco owns the property and doesn’t like visitors.Berduo’s wife, Estafania, opens a plastic bag containing a stack of papers, the documentation they will use to back up their plea for asylum.One document, that bears an official-looking stamp and a signature from a local judge, affirms the family is a victim of “real threats” and urges any “civil, military or diplomatic” authority in a receiving country to allow them “to live peacefully.”Customs and Border Protection, which is in charge of the nation’s border crossings, says it is overwhelmed with asylum seekers fleeing domestic abuse and gang violence in Central America. Statistics show a 58 percent jump in families and a 14 percent increase in unaccompanied children asking for protection at ports of entry this year compared to last year.Agents have been posted in the middle of pedestrian bridges across the U.S.-Mexico border to check documents and turn away applicants.“No one is being denied the opportunity to make a claim of credible fear or seek asylum. CBP officers allow more people into our facilities for processing once space becomes available,” the agency says in a statement.Immigrant advocates say this is just the latest obstacle for asylum seekers under the Trump administration.Under a new “zero tolerance” policy announced last month, immigrants who cross the border illegally will be prosecuted, even if they are seeking asylum, and they may have their children taken away and sent to government-contracted shelters.Then, earlier this week, Sessions narrowed the path to asylum and said domestic abuse would no longer be accepted as a valid claim.Christina Patiño Houle, director of the Rio Grande Valley Equal Voice Network, says the administration is giving a mixed message. Federal officials are telling asylum applicants to stop wading across the river and entering unlawfully. Rather, they should come through an official port of entry.“A message is being broadcast across the nation that migrants should be seeking asylum through official channels, and it’s just not possible,” Patiño Houle says. “What we’re seeing on the ground is that people are being turned away. They’re being told that either there’s no room or they cannot enter the bridge.”U.S. officials say there may be a holdup at some bridges but that, ultimately, immigrants who wait a matter of hours or days are permitted to enter.“Port of Entry facilities were not designed to hold hundreds of people at a time who may be seeking asylum,” CBP says in its statement.But there are not hundreds of migrants a day trying to cross the Matamoros/Brownsville bridge, according to Mexican officials interviewed on the Matamoros side. They estimate only 10 to 15 asylum seekers show up a day, and they’re surprised that U.S. agents are saying there’s no room in their station.Late Tuesday, the Berduo family decided to try again. They pick up their bags and troop up the concrete walkway that spans the murky, sluggish Rio Grande.Two immigration agents sweating in dark blue uniforms await them at the top of the bridge.“Did you bring documents to enter?” one of them asks.Victor Berduo answers, “We are asking for asylum because we cannot return to Guatemala.”The officers frown and call a supervisor when they see a reporter with a microphone accompanying the Guatemalan family. The supervisor is bald and wears sunglasses. He examines their papers and passports. He tells the reporter to stop recording.“You can either stop or we won’t do anything,” he says.The reporter answers that he is on the Mexican side of the international boundary.“It doesn’t matter,” the supervisor replies. “I’m actually trying to help them.”Another agent gets a call on his radio: “We have room for one family.”The agent tells the Berduos family they will only accept three people: their daughter-in-law, Yeni Johary Leal Cruz, and her two small children. The six remaining family members will have to return to Mexico and wait.On this sweltering afternoon, American tourists are passing by on the bridge walkway, carrying bottles of tequila and pictures of Pancho Villa, and looking on quizzically as an anxious family conversation ensues.“We can’t do it. We’re one family. She always goes with us,” says an anguished Estefania.The agents are adamant: They will only take three.Finally, the family relents. The 20-year-old daughter-in-law, her eyes brimming with tears, collects her children, a nine-month-old and a two-year-old. The agent shoulders her pink backpack and escorts her into America.The rest of the family walks back down the concrete bridge to the picnic area on the south side of the river to wait some more.“Tomorrow I hope they’ll attend us and our family can be complete again,” says Victor Berduo, hopefully. “This is what we want.” Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Share
Apple is one of the most successful tech companies of the world, selling products that are wanted by almost everyone. Loyal fans of the company believe that there isn’t a single person who will hate an Apple product, if they were actually able to afford it. Fans aside, no one can deny the annual Apple sales numbers which keep beating other manufacturers by a few long miles. However, the cost remains a big deterrent for many to buy Apple products. If you have always wanted to get yourself an iPhone or the Apple Watch, you can now buy that or any other Apple product using $1,000 Apple Store credit.Apple is about to launch a new iPhone and a new iPad is also expected to be featured at the event later today. Sign up for this giveaway today and you could be one of the first few to buy the new iPhone with this Apple Store giveaway.The $1000 Apple Store GiveawayWinning loads of cash to the Apple Store is like winning the tech lottery. All you have to do is enter to take home $1000 of Apple credit–to use as you see fit. From a brand new iPhone 6s to a new Apple TV, the choice will be yours, and yours only.Apple’s gadgets come with some serious price-tags attached. Enter this Apple Store giveaway and you could be the lucky winner to get anything that you like from Apple Store.Wccftech Deals $1,000 Apple Store giveaway Share Tweet Submit
Earlier this month, the AI Now Institute published a report, authored by Sarah Myers West, Meredith Whittaker, and Kate Crawford, highlighting the link between the diversity issue in the current AI industry and the discriminating behavior of AI systems. The report further recommends some solutions to these problems that companies and the researchers behind these systems need to adopt to address these issues. Sarah Myers West is a postdoc researcher at the AI Now Institute and an affiliate researcher at the Berkman-Klein Center for Internet and Society. Meredith Whittaker is the co-founder of the AI Now Institute and leads Google’s Open Research Group and the Google Measurement Lab. Kate Crawford is a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and the co-founder and Director of Research at the AI Now Institute. Kate Crawford tweeted about this study. The AI industry lacks diversity, gender neutrality, and bias-free systems In recent years, we have come across several cases of “discriminating systems”. Facial recognition systems miscategorize black people and sometimes fails to work for trans drivers. When trained in online discourse, chatbots easily learn racist and misogynistic language. This type of behavior by machines is actually a reflection of society. “In most cases, such bias mirrors and replicates existing structures of inequality in the society,” says the report. The study also sheds light on gender bias in the current workforce. According to the report, only 18% of authors at some of the biggest AI conferences are women. On the other side of the spectrum are men who cover 80%. The tech giants, Facebook and Google, have a meager 15% and 10% women as their AI research staff. The situation for black workers in the AI industry looks even worse. While Facebook and Microsoft have 4% of their current workforce as black workers, Google stands at just 2.5%. Also, vast majority of AI studies assume gender is binary, and commonly assigns people as ‘male’ or ‘female’ based on physical appearance and stereotypical assumptions, erasing all other forms of gender identity. The report further reveals that, though there have been various “pipeline studies” to check the flow of diverse job candidates, they have failed to show substantial progress in bringing diversity in the AI industry. “The focus on the pipeline has not addressed deeper issues with workplace cultures, power asymmetries, harassment, exclusionary hiring practices, unfair compensation, and tokenization that are causing people to leave or avoid working in the AI sector altogether,” the report reads. What steps can industries take to address bias and discrimination in AI Systems The report lists 12 recommendations that AI researchers and companies should employ to improve workplace diversity and address bias and discrimination in AI systems. Publish compensation levels, including bonuses and equity, across all roles and job categories, broken down by race and gender. End pay and opportunity inequality, and set pay and benefit equity goals that include contract workers, temps, and vendors. Publish harassment and discrimination transparency reports, including the number of claims over time, the types of claims submitted, and actions taken. Change hiring practices to maximize diversity: include targeted recruitment beyond elite universities, ensure more equitable focus on under-represented groups, and create more pathways for contractors, temps, and vendors to become full-time employees. Commit to transparency around hiring practices, especially regarding how candidates are leveled, compensated, and promoted. Increase the number of people of color, women and other under-represented groups at senior leadership levels of AI companies across all departments. Ensure executive incentive structures are tied to increases in hiring and retention of underrepresented groups. For academic workplaces, ensure greater diversity in all spaces where AI research is conducted, including AI-related departments and conference committees. Remedying bias in AI systems is almost impossible when these systems are opaque. Transparency is essential, and begins with tracking and publicizing where AI systems are used, and for what purpose. Rigorous testing should be required across the lifecycle of AI systems in sensitive domains. Pre-release trials, independent auditing, and ongoing monitoring are necessary to test for bias, discrimination, and other harms. The field of research on bias and fairness needs to go beyond technical debiasing to include a wider social analysis of how AI is used in context. This necessitates including a wider range of disciplinary expertise. The methods for addressing bias and discrimination in AI need to expand to include assessments of whether certain systems should be designed at all, based on a thorough risk assessment. AI-related departments and conference committees. Credits: AI Now Institute Bringing diversity in the AI workforce In order to address the diversity issue in the AI industry, companies need to make changes in the current hiring practices. They should have a more equitable focus on under-represented groups. People of color, women, and other under-represented groups should get fair chance to get into senior leadership level of AI companies across all departments. Further opportunities should be created for contractors, temps, and vendors to become full-time employees. To bridge the gender pay gap in the AI industry, it is important that companies maintain transparency regarding the compensation levels, including bonuses and equity, regardless of gender or race. In the past few years, several cases of sexual misconducts involving some of the biggest companies like Google, Microsoft, have come into light because of movements like #MeToo, Google Walkout, and more. These movements gave the victims and other supporting employees the courage to speak against employees at higher positions who were taking undue advantage of their power. There are cases were the sexual harassment complaints were not taken seriously by the HRs and victims were told to just “get over it”. This is why, companies should publish harassment and discrimination transparency reports that include information like the number and types of claims made and the actions taken by the company. Academic workplaces should ensure diversity in all AI-related departments and conference committees. In the past, some of the biggest AI conferences like Neural Information Processing Systems conference has failed to provide a welcoming and safer environment for women. In a survey conducted last year, many respondents shared that they have experienced sexual harassment. Women reported persistent advances from men at the conference. The organizers of such conferences should ensure an inclusive and welcoming environment for everyone. Addressing bias and discrimination in AI systems To address bias and discrimination in AI systems, the report recommends to do rigorous testing across the lifecycle of these systems. These systems should have pre-release trials, independent auditing, and monitoring to check bias, discrimination, and other harms. Looking at the social implications of AI systems, just addressing the algorithmic bias is not enough. “The field of research on bias and fairness needs to go beyond technical debiasing to include a wider social analysis of how AI is used in context. This necessitates including a wider range of disciplinary expertise,” says the report. While assessing a AI system, researchers and developers should also check whether designing a certain system is required at all, considering the risks it poses. The study calls for re-evaluating the current AI systems used for classifying, detecting, and predicting the race and gender. The idea of identifying a race or gender just by appearance is flawed and can be easily abused. Especially, systems that use physical appearance to find interior states, for instance, those that claim to detect sexuality from headshots. These systems are urgently in need to be checked. To know more in detail, read the full report: Discriminating Systems. Read Next Microsoft’s #MeToo reckoning: female employees speak out against workplace harassment and discrimination Desmond U. Patton, Director of SAFElab shares why AI systems should be a product of interdisciplinary research and diverse teams Google’s Chief Diversity Officer, Danielle Brown resigns to join HR tech firm Gusto
Representing people society might view as unsavoury, THEO PANAYIDES meets a lawyer moved by what he sees on stage with enough human connection to want to change the world You can tell that Andreas Christou is going places. For one thing, he’s 29 – he’ll be 30 in October – but could pass for 10 years older, a bulky, bearded man with a booming voice, receding hairline and a kind of declamatory eloquence that only adds to the impression of maturity. For another, he was on TV just a couple of weeks ago, talking passionately of Law 41(I)/2016 – it concerns the sentencing of drug offenders – which he feels should be changed. And, for yet another, he’s a lawyer but has also excelled in the world of amateur theatre, not just fooling around on a Saturday afternoon but directing award-winning (albeit still amateur) productions in Greece and Cyprus.Andreas belongs to a very specific category of people: the activists, the congenitally righteous. You might call them ‘people with a sense of mission’. They’re the people who want to change the world, even as kids. They do well at school, and impress adults with their extracurricular activities; as a youngster, Andreas was very active in the Red Cross – preparing Christmas packages and so on – and also took part in the ‘Parliament of Teens’ (the Greek youth programme that brings selected teenagers together in a four-day facsimile of the real Parliament). He was the only ‘MP’ from his school, and wrote an essay on the plight of people with “special abilities” in order to be selected.These are the civic-minded folks who grow up to be teachers, or priests, or missionaries (it’s no surprise to learn that Andreas is devout and religious, even if he seldom has time to go to church these days) – or of course lawyers, but not corporate lawyers. He only does criminal law, he explains, “and I deal quite a lot with juvenile offenders, with drug offences and with sexual offences, which derive a bit more from human psychology”. He’s not a state lawyer, working at the firm of Elias A Stephanou in Nicosia, which invariably means that he’s almost always a defence lawyer, often for people whom the rest of society might find unsavoury. He hasn’t had to defend any rapists yet but has dealt with a few sexual-harassment cases, mostly to mitigate a guilty plea – though “it’s not always black and white”, he cautions, nor is it so impossible that the victim (or alleged victim) has their own agenda. Still, even if a client is guilty as sin, he believes there are always mitigating factors: “The principle of justice is that we are all potentially criminals. A person ends up being a criminal because something happened”.On paper, he might seem impossibly virtuous. In addition to his ordinary caseload, he’s also been active in the Cyprus branch of Transparency International (his boss, Elias Stephanou, was the public prosecutor in the case of former deputy attorney-general Rikkos Erotokritou), and rails against the “koumbarokratia” – the nepotism and all-pervasive favours for one’s koumbari, ie close friends – that holds sway in Cyprus. He’s unshakeably polite, seemingly unable to address me in the informal singular form of Greek (I’m an older person, you see) despite my repeated pleas. His personal habits are frugal: he doesn’t smoke and very seldom drinks, maybe half a glass of wine every few months, though admittedly he doesn’t exercise as often as he should. “I neglect myself, generally,” he laments. “I neglect Andreas”. He also tends to talk about himself in the third person.On paper, he might seem a little humourless. It’s easy to imagine that, in 20 years – once he’s reached the places where he’s undoubtedly going – he might turn into one of those ponderous middle-aged people, a pillar of the Establishment going on about ‘Andreas’ and his many solutions to the world’s problems. At the moment, though – right now, at 29, sitting in the conference room in the empty office on a Saturday morning – he just seems passionate, a young man with ideas and unstinting energy. He’s emotional, indeed his eyes grow moist more than once as he recalls this or that example of human connection (“Because always, at the epicentre [of our job], is the person!” he booms). And of course there’s the theatre.Mother Courage on stageTheatre is a huge part of his life, says Andreas; “I love the law, but I’m in love with the theatre”. He’s been involved since the age of 12, having caught the bug thanks to a theatre-going auntie. First it was school plays, then an ambitious production – a mediaeval farce, of all things – during his National Service, with fellow soldiers learning their parts in between furloughs and sentry duty. Then he went to Thessaloniki to study Law in 2008 (Law was his first choice, and Thessaloniki his first-choice university; he’s not the type to drift into things by chance) – and, once there, founded a theatre group called ‘Mute Applause’, which became wildly successful. There’s a Panhellenic festival of amateur theatre in the town of Distomo, he tells me; dozens of groups apply from all over Greece, and six or seven finalists are chosen. Mute Applause made the list three years in a row, and swept the board in 2011 with a play called I Ksetheomeni (‘The Exhausted Ones’) – a lively satire, with the 12 gods of Olympus turning up to skewer modern Greece – winning Best Production, Best Director for Andreas himself (he’s an actor and director, mostly concentrating on the latter in recent years), a music award and two acting awards. “Just talking about it makes my hair stand on end,” he admits, his voice shaking slightly, rubbing his arm as if to feel the upturned hairs. “Because, you know, the feeling was intense. And the feeling is what remains”.Still, directing plays while you’re a student is one thing. Directing them when you’re a criminal lawyer with a full slate of clients is something else – especially since Andreas’ current theatre company, Dimiourgin, isn’t even based in Nicosia but in the village of Avgorou. He has no connection to the village but a friend wanted to start a company there, primarily to heal the local feud between Left and Right. That’s now been healed, Dimiourgin rising above party politics and also attracting actors from all over Cyprus. Last year they staged Brecht’s Mother Courage and decided to apply to Distomo (which is also open to Cypriots) – and the result, once again, was a triumph, with a second win for Andreas as well as the top prize and assorted acting awards. He recalls one detail of the production, the mute daughter singing a poem after her death, dressed all in white – actually an improvement on Brecht, who has her stay mute – and seems about to cry again. “These are beautiful moments,” he explains, “and it moves me to think about them.”It’s a big deal, a troupe from a small Cyprus village beating out productions from all over Greece. Andreas deserves a lot of credit, being the one who inspires these young actors (most in their teens and 20s) and gets them to dig deep. Unsurprisingly, he doesn’t do it with dry acting exercises: “I’m always there for the team,” he explains. “Their psychologist, their friend who they can share their problems with”. His directing is, again, a kind of human connection, emphasising one-on-one meetings with each actor in addition to group rehearsal. Indeed, his two vocations seem to complement each other: theatre makes his courtroom orations a bit more dramatic – while being a lawyer trains him in intimacy, in listening to people and honing in on their strengths and weaknesses.“I get close to the people who come here,” he tells me – the ‘people’ in question being troubled, scared, often young, often junkies or suspected sex offenders. “I believe there are people who come here as defendants who [also] need help and support. And you can’t view it in a sterile way – that you’re just their lawyer, and that’s all you’re doing. You’re here for another reason too, that’s why you do this job. It’s not just sterile legal stuff.”It’s a tricky one, because he’s not doing corporate work: he’s dealing with vulnerable people who may have done terrible things – and it’s also not a balanced relationship, since he’s always in control. “I want to help,” he insists. “Not to satisfy my ambitions or ego. I want to help my fellow man.” His precise relationship with his clients is delicate: you become involved, he says – you can’t help it – but you do have to keep a certain distance. Andreas seems to keep less of a distance than most lawyers: he’ll often head down to the Central Prison on a Sunday to visit clients, even after their conviction, and he almost tears up again when he recalls the young sex offender who entrusted him, Andreas, with the awkward task of picking him up from prison after his release and taking him home to his family.He’s a friend, lawyer, social worker; you have to be, in Cyprus, since the infrastructure is so limited. Law 41(I) is a case in point, on the one hand allowing judges, for the first time, to assign an addict to a rehab programme instead of a prison sentence – but, on the other, excluding serious crimes like robbery and burglary (which of course are what an addict is most likely to have committed). That’s why he was on TV, he insists, to try and correct this obvious injustice, “not to play the big-shot lawyer”. He tries hard to be humble (or to sound humble, some may add cynically); he insists he has no desire to go into politics, though he’d very much like to be a judge someday. What might he be like at 39? Can he stay so attached to the humanistic side of the job? “I believe I won’t betray my principles,” he replies, adding that he’ll quit the profession if he ever feels that “Andreas is being alienated… I often tell my friends, if you ever see that something’s going wrong with me, slap me!”.Not that his friends see a lot of him. “My personal life has become quite negligible, I would say,” he admits ruefully. He’ll often do a day’s work in the office then head off to Avgorou in the evening for rehearsal – not to mention the prison visits, and one-on-ones with actors, and reading up on cases and preparing his courtroom speeches (which tend, unsurprisingly, to be quite emotional). It’s a seven-day week, “there isn’t a day when I’m not busy with something, and I say that honestly”. He sleeps around four hours a night, and tries to catch up on the weekends.It’s a pretty intense lifestyle, I point out. Why does he do it?He sighs deeply: “Because that’s how Andreas is. Andreas will never change. Even though I always say I want more time to myself, I want a personal life, I want, I want…”Does he even feel like a young man anymore?“Yes. I do feel young. I feel like a very tired young man, I should say!” he adds, and laughs wryly.What makes Andreas Christou tick? It’s hard to get a rounded understanding of a man who devotes his life so completely to one thing – or two things, but in his case the two are just sides of the same coin. “It’s all about people, always,” he declares in his booming voice; trying to help, trying to make things better – and the quest for connection, his profound sense of mission. “Criminal cases aren’t going to disappear. They’ll still be there. Let’s just try and reduce these bad situations that people have to go through. Reduce them. Lawyers are never going to run out of clients… Right now, everything’s out of control,” he sighs. “No-one cares if the problems exist – or they might care, but I don’t see any action”. It’s not so much that he’s liberal while society is conservative (he’s against the legalisation of non-medical marijuana, for instance, despite his experience with drug offenders). It’s more that he puts himself out there, while society stays home reading Facebook.It does seem like he gives a lot of himself, I note sympathetically.“Yes, yes, yes,” he nods. “And I’m not just saying that, it’s the reality. You know, I’m not into selling myself. This is Andreas Christou,” he adds, as if to say ‘Take him or leave him’. “I don’t even care about selling myself. I don’t even care if people like me or they don’t like me.”Some are bound to say ‘He’s just doing it to get ahead’, I point out. ‘He’s doing it because he’s ambitious. He’s doing it to stand out from all the other lawyers’.“He’s doing it for Andreas,” he replies, cutting off those hypothetical critics. “Above all for Andreas, so he can feel at peace with himself as Andreas, and be able to give all that he can give in this world. Because Andreas wants to give.” He sounds pretty cool, this Andreas.You May LikeFigLeaf Beta AppGet Maximum Privacy with Minimum EffortFigLeaf Beta AppUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoTotal Battle – Online Strategy GameIf You’re PC User This Strategy Game Is A Must-Have!Total Battle – Online Strategy GameUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoTwo arrested in connection with attempted murderUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
Auditor-General Odysseas Michaelides said on Friday he is investigating another scandal, this time concerning a former high-ranking official of a co-operative bank who received half a million in 2009 as early retirement compensation only to be re-hired by the same company as a consultant, while his son was appointed to the post he had vacated.Michaelides told state broadcaster CyBC radio that this case concerns a well-known official of the co-operative bank of a district and the “scandalous ways” in which he retired receiving a fat check, only to be re-hired while arranging for his son to get his old post.According to Michaelides, the man was working as a secretary at the bank with a very high salary until September 2009 when he left on early retirement, ‘after arranging with the bank, which he was running, that he would be given, the day after his departure, a contract with another job title’.The man received a €500,000 lump sum as early retirement compensation, Michaelides said, and arranged with the tax department to get that money tax-free as it was meant for his loss of career.The very next day, he said, he started working at the same bank as a consultant on an €100,000 annual salary plus a range of benefits that increased his income by around €20,000 more.“To top it all up, the day he assumed duties as a consultant, his son was appointed in the secretary post. You realise these are very scandalous procedures,” Michaelides said.In 2013 when the supervision of the co-op banks came under the central bank, Michaelides said, ‘he realised he could not keep this up, and left, receiving yet another bonus, around €70,000, for his services as a consultant’.Michaelides said he sent the file to the attorney general to rule whether criminal offences arise.You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoYahoo SearchThese SUVs Are The Cream Of The Crop. Research Best Compact SUV CarYahoo SearchUndoKelley Blue BookSubcompact Luxury SUV Best Buy of 2019Kelley Blue BookUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoOur View: Argaka mukhtar should not act as if he owns the beachUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
The Stelios Philanthropic Foundation on Friday awarded cash prizes of €10,000 each to 76 bicommunal organisations for various joint ventures, as part of Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou’s endeavour to encourage co-operation between Greek and Turkish Cypriots.Speaking during the ceremony at the Filoxenia conference centre, Haji-Ioannou said the number of applicants since 2009, when the awards began, has skyrocketed, noting that during the first year only 10 people turned up.“The attitude of all Cypriots on the island towards the other community is changing in a positive and favourable direction,” he said. “This comes despite the apparent inability of the politicians to find common ground. Our objective as a charity is to continue to build positive co-operation between the real people of Cyprus to ensure lasting peace on the island.”He expressed hope that Greek and Turkish Cypriot politicians would also follow the real people in due course.The awards are a celebration of and for lasting peace, he added.Since 2009, the foundation has paid €2,760,000 to bicommunal collaborations. This year’s applications surpassed all previous times, as 850 Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots collaborated and submitted their bids for the bi-communal awards.Before awarding the 152 winners, all 850 applicants participated in a conference along with a panel of journalists from both communities and international media.The discussion focused mainly on bicommunal relationships on the island, while many gave their opinions on how a solution could work between the two communities.Prizes were awarded to teams engaged in the arts, business, NGOs, science, sport, mixed marriages and partners in life from the two communities.The purpose of the annual award is to strengthen the socioeconomic ties between the two communities on the island.You May LikeUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementAdd This One Thing To Your Dog’s Food To Help Them Be HealthierUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementUndoLuxury Crossover SUV I Search AdsThese SUVs Are The Cream Of The Crop. Search For 2019 Luxury Crossover SUV DealsLuxury Crossover SUV I Search AdsUndoDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoOur View: Argaka mukhtar should not act as if he owns the beachUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
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