OTTAWA – Diplomats from some of Canada’s closest allies are quietly expressing frustration with how the Trudeau government handled this week’s announcement that it plans to send military helicopters to Mali.The news that Canada had finally committed resources to the peacekeeping mission was greeted with relief-tinged applause, but diplomats — speaking on condition of anonymity given the sensitivity of the matter — say the government has failed to explain that the mission is both necessary and that the Canadians will be relatively safe, compared to the thousands of other peacekeepers working across the country.They fear the government has allowed incorrect information to spread unchallenged, threatening to undermine Canadian public support for what they say is a critical contribution to the UN peacekeeping effort.“It seems the government missed the opportunity to inform (Canadians) about the mission,” one diplomat said. “I believe they have to do more.”The government is still hammering out the details after what appears to have been a quick decision to help the UN, which appealed for Canada’s assistance last week.Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland announced Monday that Canada will send six helicopters to Mali to help with medical evacuations and the transporting of UN troops and supplies.The 12-month mission was in direct response to an urgent request from the UN, sources have said, but many specifics remain up in the air, including when the helicopters will arrive and how many troops will accompany them.That is despite the government and military officials having studied the possible deployment of Canadian military helicopters to Mali in late 2016, which was subsequently shelved for more than a year.“Details regarding the final structure and chain of command of the Canadian mission in Mali are still to be determined, as negotiations with the United Nations have yet to begin,” Sajjan’s spokeswoman, Byrne Furlong, said in an email Friday.“It is important to keep in mind that preparing for a mission can take several months. Mission requirements need to be defined.… All of this must be supported by ongoing diplomatic engagement with the UN, partners, and host nations.”Jocelyn Coulon, an expert on peacekeeping at the University of Montreal who advised then-foreign affairs minister Stephane Dion, said that could partly explain what he also felt was the government’s understated approach to Mali.But he said questioned the government’s failure to challenge allegations that Canadian peacekeepers will be at grave risk or explain the broader importance of the mission, which he believed had resulted in a proliferation of misinformation.“And I find this very strange because we have been working on a Mali plan since summer 2016,” Coulon said. “I don’t understand what happened.”The government is sending a delegation to Berlin next month to meet with officials from Germany and the Netherlands, both of which have previously operated helicopters in Mali and have large contingents in the country.The Department of National Defence is also planning a reconnaissance mission to the West African nation to get a firsthand look at the UN base in Gao where the Canadians will be stationed, known as Camp Castor.One diplomat described the base as being up to “gold standards,” with protections that include Dutch and German guards and equipment including anti-aircraft weapons and surveillance drones to monitor the surrounding area.“They’re not going into a Third World camp with Third World soldiers defending them,” the diplomat said of the Canadian troops.In criticizing the Trudeau government for agreeing to the UN’s request for Canadian helicopters, the Conservatives have questioned the purpose of the mission and emphasized the potential dangers.More than 160 peacekeepers have died in Mali since 2013, only nine have been from western countries and six of those fatalities were caused by accidents — a point that defence chief Gen. Jonathan Vance has made in interviews.But the diplomats felt the government has not done enough to challenge the narrative that Canadian troops will face significant danger in Mali.The envoys also said the government failed to explain how the UN mission in Mali is helping secure the country after years of war and ensure it doesn’t become a safe haven for Islamic militant groups.The Canadian helicopters will essential to that effort, they said, by supporting the thousands of other peacekeepers who are out working and patrolling in different parts of the country.— Follow @leeberthiaume on Twitter.
The Duchess of Cornwall served up sausages and mash at a tea party for children with terminal illnesses last week.The Duchess of Cornwall meets some of the patients of Helen & Douglas HouseCredit/Copyright: www.princeofwales.gov.uk/Her Royal Highness refused to stand on ceremony as she rolled up her sleeves and handed round plates to youngsters from the Helen & Douglas House children’s hospice who were visiting her official London home, Clarence House.Each year The Duchess invites 12 young people and their families from the home, of which she has been patron since 2007, to come in and help her decorate the Royal Christmas tree.Helen & Douglas House is a hospice in Oxford that cares for terminally ill children, young adults and their families.It provides medical, emotional and practical support, helping families deal with the implications of living with a child who will die prematurely, so that they can make the most of their time together.Opened in 1982, it was the world’s first children’s hospice and cares for children from birth to 16.Sporting a fuchsia dress and matching patterned scarf, The Duchess chatted to each of the children and their families about their often heartbreaking stories.Among them were Andrew and Kay Lyon from Oxford and their daughter Sienna, three, who suffers from a rare genetic condition that affects her brain.The couple told The Duchess of the unparalleled support the charity had given them, even looking after Sienna, who suffers from regular seizures and is unable to walk or talk, in order to take their two eldest children on holiday.“Helen House has been remarkable and the care they give Sienna just unparalleled,” Mrs Lyon said.“It is something we never expected, and has opened up a whole new life for us. We don’t know how long we will have Sienna with us, so this is about helping us to create some very happy and special memories.“Today has been huge part of that.”The Duchess then opened the doors to her drawing room, behind which her assistant equerry from the Welsh Guards, Captain Fred Lloyd George, was waiting. Resplendent in his uniform, he saluted the children.Her Royal Highness then helped them to choose several decorations each and carefully placed them on the twinkling tree.Afterwards it was time for tea and sausages and mash, as well as chocolate Christmas trees and decorated biscuits.The Duchess told the gathering: “It’s lovely to see you all and I hope you have enjoyed yourselves. This is one of my favourite things to do each year and seeing your faces as the door opens is magical.“Helen & Douglas House is a wonderful, uplifting place. Everyone should visit it.”Her Royal Highness also comforted Marie McVicar from Wiltshire, who lost her son Ollie Samways, seven, as a result of complication from pre-existing brain damage on November 1. Ollie’s sister Shayla, four, put his decoration on the tree instead.Marie, who is pregnant with a baby boy due in February, said: “Ollie sadly died at the hospice from a chest infection last month and I would do anything to support them. They have become my family.“Ollie was a very special little boy and met The Duchess when she visited the hospice earlier this year. She remembered him immediately and was a huge comfort.”Clare Edwards, chief operating officer at Helen & Douglas House, described the event as “magical”.“It’s such a unique day, so special,” she said. “It makes the children feel so worthy and special and important.“It’s a real privilege to have The Duchess as our Patron. She takes such an interest in the work we do and her patronage helps to shine a light on children’s palliative care.”Source:www.princeofwales.gov.uk
Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall travelled with UNICEF this week to visit a centre in Belgrade, Serbia, which is supporting vulnerable children and their families.On her visit, The Duchess of Cornwall met children and their families supported by the centre, which is also supported by The Novak Djokovic Foundation. She met those living in extreme poverty or with mental health illnesses or disabilities as well as family outreach workers who are empowering parents to look after their children in healthy environments, keep them safe and avoid the risk of them being placed in institutions.The centre works to keep families together and teams also support parents whose children are returning home after time spent in foster care. They ensure the family’s reunion is successful and the child returns to a safe and stable environment.On her visit to the UNICEF supported centre, The Duchess of Cornwall met with families who spoke to her about their experiences and the invaluable and life changing help they receive. One mother emphasised how important this centre is to her and her family and the difference it’s made to their futures.UNICEF UK Executive Director, David Bull, said: “We are thrilled that The Duchess of Cornwall took time in her two-day visit to Serbia to meet vulnerable families supported by Unicef in Serbia. Unicef is working to keep families together and help keep more children safe and protected.”Speaking on behalf of his Foundation and as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Novak Djokovic said in a video message to the Duchess of Cornwall: “I want to thank The Duchess of Cornwall for deciding to visit families from the project Families at Risk, jointly implemented by the Government of Serbia, UNICEF and the Novak Djokovic Foundation.This project is of great importance for all of us because it focuses on empowering families, and strong families are the pillars of every society.“We cannot have happy, playful and inquisitive children without providing them with a safe environment in which they can grow, play and develop. My family was my safe haven while I was growing up and this fact alone helped me to become the man I am today. Now, both my wife and I wish to provide the same nurturing environment to our son. “So far, 400 families and children have passed through this project and all of them have said that their family outreach worker helped them to strengthen their parenting skills and to enhance relationships in the family; in essence that they made them feel better and safer.“Some of the families were fortunate enough, for the first time, to celebrate their children’s birthdays together, others were never again separated from each other; many children improved their school grades because they could come back home to loving and caring parents.”The Duchess of Cornwall visited UNICEF’s programmes as part of a visit to the Western Balkans alongside The Prince of Wales from 14th- 19th March 2016.
APTN National NewsThe Air Tindi pilot who died in a 2011 plane crash near Yellowknife, that also claimed the life of a passenger, was stoned on marijuana the Transportation Safety Board said Wednesday.The Cessna 208B Caravan went down Oct. 3 near Lutsel K’e, Northwest Territories. Two other passengers survived but were seriously injured.“Toxicology testing revealed that concentrations of cannabinoids found in the pilot’s bloodstream were sufficient to have impaired pilot performance and decision-making during the flight,” said TSB in a press release.Investigators also determined the pilot was flying too low which “prevented the pilot from seeing and avoiding terrain.”Weather was marginal and the aircraft did not have a terrain awareness and warning system or terrain-warning features on its GPS.The pilot was flying using visual flight rules, which means the pilot must maintain constant visual reference to the ground.He could have flown using instrument flight rules, which pilots fly using cockpit instruments and doing so would have provided a margin of safety, according to the report.Air Tindi has since taken measures to improve safety according to TSB, including installing cockpit imaging and flight data monitoring devices in its Cessna 208B fleet.The company also does random drug and alcohol tests for employees in “safety-sensitive positions.”
WASHINGTON – The FBI failed to notify scores of U.S. officials that Russian hackers were trying to break into their personal Gmail accounts despite having evidence for at least a year that the targets were in the Kremlin’s crosshairs, The Associated Press has found.Nearly 80 interviews with Americans targeted by Fancy Bear, a Russian government-aligned cyberespionage group, turned up only two cases in which the FBI had provided a heads-up. Even senior policymakers discovered they were targets only when the AP told them, a situation some described as bizarre and dispiriting.“It’s utterly confounding,” said Philip Reiner, a former senior director at the National Security Council, who was notified by the AP that he was targeted in 2015. “You’ve got to tell your people. You’ve got to protect your people.”FBI policy calls for notifying victims, whether individuals or groups, to help thwart both ongoing and future hacking attempts. The policy, which was disclosed in a lawsuit filed earlier this year against the FBI by the non-profit Electronic Privacy Information Center, says that notification should be considered “even when it may interfere with another investigation or (intelligence) operation.”Last week, the FBI declined to discuss its investigation into Fancy Bear’s spying campaign, but did provide a statement that said in part: “The FBI routinely notifies individuals and organizations of potential threat information.”Three people familiar with the matter — including a current and a former government official — said the FBI has known for more than a year the details of Fancy Bear’s attempts to break into Gmail inboxes. A senior FBI official, who was not authorized to publicly discuss the hacking operation because of its sensitivity, declined to comment on when it received the target list, but said that the bureau was overwhelmed by the sheer number of attempted hacks.“It’s a matter of triaging to the best of our ability the volume of the targets who are out there,” he said.In the face of a tidal wave of malicious phishing attempts, the FBI sometimes passes on information about the attacks to service providers and companies, who can then relay information to clients or employees, he added.The AP did its own triage, dedicating two months and a small team of reporters to go through a hit list of Fancy Bear targets provided by the cybersecurity firm Secureworks.Previous AP investigations based on the list have shown how Fancy Bear worked in close alignment with the Kremlin’s interests to steal tens of thousands of emails from the Democratic Party . The hacking campaign disrupted the 2016 U.S. election and cast a shadow over the presidency of Donald Trump, whom U.S. intelligence agencies say the hackers were trying to help . The Russian government has denied interfering in the American election.The Secureworks list comprises 19,000 lines of targeting data . Going through it, the AP identified more than 500 U.S.-based people or groups and reached out to more than 190 of them, interviewing nearly 80 about their experiences.Many were long-retired, but about one-quarter were still in government or held security clearances at the time they were targeted. Only two told the AP they learned of the hacking attempts on their personal Gmail accounts from the FBI. A few more were contacted by the FBI after their emails were published in the torrent of leaks that coursed through last year’s electoral contest. But to this day, some leak victims have not heard from the bureau at all.Charles Sowell, who previously worked as a senior administrator in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and was targeted by Fancy Bear two years ago, said there was no reason the FBI couldn’t do the same work the AP did.“It’s absolutely not OK for them to use an excuse that there’s too much data,” Sowell said. “Would that hold water if there were a serial killer investigation, and people were calling in tips left and right, and they were holding up their hands and saying, ‘It’s too much’? That’s ridiculous.”___“IT’S CURIOUS”The AP found few traces of the bureau’s inquiry as it launched its own investigation two months ago.In October, two AP journalists visited THCServers.com , a brightly lit, family-run internet company on the former grounds of a communist-era chicken farm outside the Romanian city of Craiova. That’s where someone registered DCLeaks.com, the first of three websites to publish caches of emails belonging to Democrats and other U.S. officials in mid-2016.DCLeaks was clearly linked to Fancy Bear. Previous AP reporting found that all but one of the site’s victims had been targeted by the hacking group before their emails were dumped online.Yet THC founder Catalin Florica said he was never approached by law enforcement.“It’s curious,” Florica said. “You are the first ones that contact us.”THC merely registered the site, a simple process that typically takes only a few minutes. But the reaction was similar at the Kuala Lumpur offices of the Malaysian web company Shinjiru Technology , which hosted DCLeaks’ stolen files for the duration of the electoral campaign.The company’s chief executive, Terence Choong, said he had never heard of DCLeaks until the AP contacted him.“What is the issue with it?” he asked.Questions over the FBI’s handling of Fancy Bear’s broad hacking sweep date to March 2016, when agents arrived unannounced at Hillary Clinton’s headquarters in Brooklyn to warn her campaign about a surge of rogue, password-stealing emails.The agents offered little more than generic security tips the campaign had already put into practice and refused to say who they thought was behind the attempted intrusions, according to a person who was there and spoke on condition of anonymity because the conversation was meant to be confidential.Questions emerged again after it was revealed that the FBI never took custody of the Democratic National Committee’s computer server after it was penetrated by Fancy Bear in April 2016. Former FBI Director James Comey testified this year that the FBI worked off a copy of the server, which he described as an “appropriate substitute.”___“MAKES ME SAD”Retired Maj. James Phillips was one of the first people to have the contents of his inbox published by DCLeaks when the website made its June 2016 debut.But the Army veteran said he didn’t realize his personal emails were “flapping in the breeze” until a journalist phoned him two months later.“The fact that a reporter told me about DCLeaks kind of makes me sad,” he said. “I wish it had been a government source.”Phillips’ story would be repeated again and again as the AP spoke to officials from the National Defence University in Washington to the North American Aerospace Defence Command in Colorado.Among them: a former head of the Defence Intelligence Agency, retired Lt. Gen. Patrick Hughes; a former head of Air Force Intelligence, retired Lt. Gen. David Deptula; a former defence undersecretary, Eric Edelman; and a former director of cybersecurity for the Air Force, retired Lt. Gen. Mark Schissler.Retired Maj. Gen. Brian Keller, a former director of military support at the Geospatial Intelligence Agency, was not informed, even after DCLeaks posted his emails to the internet. In a telephone call with AP, Keller said he still wasn’t clear on what had happened, who had hacked him or whether his data was still at risk.“Should I be worried or alarmed or anything?” asked Keller, who left the spy satellite agency in 2010 and now works in private industry.Not all the interviewees felt the FBI had a responsibility to alert them.“Perhaps optimistically, I have to conclude that a risk analysis was done and I was not considered a high enough risk to justify making contact,” said a former Air Force chief of staff, retired Gen. Norton Schwartz, who was targeted by Fancy Bear in 2015.Others argued that the FBI may have wanted to avoid tipping the hackers off or that there were too many people to notify.“The expectation that the government is going to protect everyone and go back to everyone is false,” said Nicholas Eftimiades, a retired senior technical officer at the Defence Intelligence Agency who teaches homeland security at Pennsylvania State University in Harrisburg and was himself among the targets.But the government is supposed to try, said Michael Daniel, who served as President Barack Obama’s White House cybersecurity co-ordinator.Daniel wouldn’t comment directly on why so many Fancy Bear targets weren’t warned in this case, but he said the issue of how and when to notify people “frankly still needs more work.”___“CLOAK-AND-DAGGER”In the absence of any official warning, some of those contacted by AP brushed off the idea that they were taken in by a foreign power’s intelligence service.“I don’t open anything I don’t recognize,” said Joseph Barnard, who headed the personnel recovery branch of the Air Force’s Air Combat Command.That may well be true of Barnard; Secureworks’ data suggests he never clicked the malicious link sent to him in June 2015. But it isn’t true of everyone.An AP analysis of the data suggests that out of 312 U.S. military and government figures targeted by Fancy Bear, 131 clicked the links sent to them. That could mean that as many as 2 in 5 came perilously close to handing over their passwords.It’s not clear how many gave up their credentials in the end or what the hackers may have acquired.Some of those accounts hold emails that go back years, when even many of the retired officials still occupied sensitive posts.Overwhelmingly, interviewees told AP they kept classified material out of their Gmail inboxes, but intelligence experts said Russian spies could use personal correspondence as a springboard for further hacking, recruitment or even blackmail.“You start to have information you might be able to leverage against that person,” said Sina Beaghley, a researcher at the RAND Corp. who served on the NSC until 2014.In the few cases where the FBI did warn targets, they were sometimes left little wiser about what was going on or what to do.Rob “Butch” Bracknell, a 20-year military veteran who now works in Norfolk, Virginia, said an FBI agent visited him about a year ago to examine his emails and warn him that a “foreign actor” was trying to break into his account.“He was real cloak-and-dagger about it,” Bracknell said. “He came here to my work, wrote in his little notebook and away he went.”Left to fend for themselves, some targets have been improvising their cybersecurity.Retired Gen. Roger A. Brady, who was responsible for American nuclear weapons in Europe as part of his past role as commander of the U.S. Air Force there, turned to Apple support this year when he noticed something suspicious on his computer. Hughes, a former DIA head, said he had his hard drive replaced by the “Geek Squad” at a Best Buy in Florida after his machine began behaving strangely. Keller, the former senior spy satellite official, said it was his son who told him his emails had been posted to the web after getting a Google alert in June 2016.A former U.S. ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, who like many others was repeatedly targeted by Fancy Bear but has yet to receive any warning from the FBI, said the lacklustre response risked something worse than last year’s parade of leaks.“Our government needs to be taking greater responsibility to defend its citizens in both the physical and cyber worlds, now, before a cyberattack produces an even more catastrophic outcome than we have already experienced,” McFaul said.___Donn reported from Plymouth, Massachusetts. Associated Press writers Vadim Ghirda in Carcea, Romania, Chad Day in Washington, Frank Bajak in Houston, Justin Myers in Chicago and Lori Hinnant in Paris contributed to this report.___Satter, Donn and Butler can be reached at:http://raphaelsatter.com , https://twitter.com/jadonn7 and https://twitter.com/desmondbutler___EDITOR’S NOTE — Raphael Satter’s father, David Satter, is an author and Russia specialist who has been critical of the Kremlin. His emails were published last year by hackers and his account is on Secureworks’ list of Fancy Bear targets. He was not notified by the FBI.EDITOR’S NOTE _ One in a series of stories on the findings of an Associated Press investigation of the Russian hackers who disrupted the U.S. presidential election in 2016
“The Agreement on peace and reconciliation and the extension of the mandate of MINUSMA [UN Integrated Multidimensional Stabilization Mission] are encouraging signs,” said Suliman Baldo, the Independent Expert on human rights in the country, on the final day of his 10-19 October visit. “I call the various parties to seize this opportunity to establish a lasting peace, with respect for everyone’s rights,” he added.The UN expert stressed, however, that significant challenges remain in terms of human rights, including the recent violations of the peace agreement and the ceasefire by the politico-military movements, giving rise to violations of human rights.“Terrorist attacks are rising in the north and gradually extending towards the centre and south of the country, targeting in particular Malian security forces, MINUSMA, humanitarian actors and civilian passenger transport and trade” explained Mr. Baldo, also emphasizing that international drug trafficking, transnational economic crimes and local traffic networks were fuelling the violence.Mr. Baldo has also pointed to the rise of banditry, which is compounding the suffering of populations and hindering humanitarian work.“The precarious security situation creates a favourable environment for the proliferation of serious violations of the most fundamental rights, particularly in areas affected by conflict,” said Mr Baldo.While calling for the perpetrators of these attacks to be brought to justice, the UN expert concluded his statement with a call to the international community to strengthen its technical cooperation and financial support for Mali.Independent experts or special rapporteurs are appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a country situation or a specific human rights theme. The positions are honorary and the experts are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work.
On Sunday, in a 30-24 overtime win in Tampa Bay, the Oakland Raiders were flagged for 23 penalties, which cost them an even 200 yards. That was the most penalties for one team in a single game since at least 1940 and the third-most penalty yards that any one team has racked up in a single game in that same span. The Raiders have a history of committing penalties — the franchise led the NFL in that category for four straight years in the nineties and set the single-season record with 163 back in 2011 — so adding the single-game record to that legacy is at least in character. Heck, Oakland was already leading the NFL in penalties this season even before that, um, historic performance in Week 8. But what if I told you that the same factors that are driving the Raiders’ penalties are likely driving their surprising success?The Raiders have the second-most penalties through eight games of any team since 1940, but Oakland is also 6-2. That may not be as surprising as it appears, because committing more penalties isn’t as strongly correlated with losing as conventional wisdom suggests. I looked at all team penalties through Week 8 of each season since the NFL’s realignment in 2002, and there was only a slightly negative correlation between penalties and winning (i.e., the more penalties a team has, the lower its winning percentage).1The correlation coefficient between winning percentage and penalties over that span was just -0.10. And that correlation is actually positive for the 2016 season, thanks to the Bay Area teams: Not only is Oakland an outlier, but also the 1-6 49ers have the fewest penalties in the NFL this season. And while most coaches stress to players that they shouldn’t incur penalties, the relationship between penalties and success (as we can see from the chart) isn’t as clear as you might think. Sure, on any given play, a penalty is bad, but penalties are also associated with aggressive, physical play, and those can be very good things on the plays where penalties aren’t called.Of Oakland’s 103 total penalties (both accepted and declined), a league-high 53 (51 percent) of them have come on offense. (On average this season, 49 percent of all penalties have come on offense, compared to 37 percent on defense and 14 percent on special teams.) Of Oakland’s offensive penalties, 18 have come from offensive holding, which is tied for first with the Patriots (who have only played seven games), and 14 have come via false start, second in the league to Washington’s 16. And Oakland’s offense has been flagged a league-high four times for unnecessary roughness, with tackle Donald Penn owning two of those infractions.So far this season, 45 players have been flagged for at least five offensive penalties, and six of those players are Raiders: backup lineman Vadal Alexander (8), followed by Penn (7), center Rodney Hudson (6), guard Gabe Jackson (6), WR Michael Crabtree (5) and guard Kelechi Osemele (5). In total, Raiders offensive linemen have been flagged for 33 penalties, nine more than any other offensive line in the league.That’s a lot of penalties, but what that analysis is missing is what’s happening on all the plays that don’t result in a penalty — especially if those plays include ones where the refs don’t throw a flag because they’ve already thrown so many. And Oakland’s offensive line is doing really, really well on those plays. No team has spent more 2016 salary cap dollars on its offensive line than the Raiders, and it’s paid off: Oakland has been sacked on just 2.7 percent of all pass plays this season, the lowest rate in the NFL. And Oakland’s top three running backs — Latavius Murray, DeAndre Washington, Jalen Richard — aren’t highly-regarded and weren’t drafted with premium picks, but they have rushed 156 times for 763 yards and 6 touchdowns, averaging 4.9 yards per attempt. The Oakland line is getting things done.We don’t often think of offensive linemen as boom-bust players, but that’s what the Raiders have created under OL coach Mike Tice. Because while that unit has been responsible for an enormous share of the team’s penalties, on most other plays, it’s operating as one of the best units in football. The Raiders have talked about building a nasty, physical, aggressive offensive line — and for better or worse, that’s exactly what they’ve done.CORRECTION (Nov. 2, 12:34 p.m.): An earlier version of the chart in this article misstated the time period of the penalties and win percentages shown in light purple. The correct time period is 2002 to 2016, not 2012 to 2016.
Venezuelan authorities say they are putting down a small coup attempt after opposition leader Juan Guaidó announced he was in the “final phase” of ending President Nicolás Maduro’s rule.He appeared in a video with uniformed men, saying he had military support. Guaidó, who declared himself interim president in January, called for more members of the military to help him end Maduro’s “usurpation” of power.But military leaders appeared to be standing behind Mr Maduro. Venezuela’s defence minister appeared on television to stress the point. However, photos from Caracas show some soldiers aligning themselves with Guaidó’s supporters.Maduro’s detractors hope the military will change its allegiance as resentment grows following years of hyperinflation, power cuts, food and medicine shortages.So far, they have stood by Maduro – despite dozens of countries, including the UK, the US and most of Latin America, recognising Guaidó as Venezuela’s rightful leader.Protesters supporting both sides have gathered at different points in the capital, Caracas.There are running clashes between Guaidó’s supporters and armed military vehicles. Protesters were also seen throwing rocks, but being repelled by tear gas and water cannon.Television cameras also caught the moment armoured vehicles drove into a crowd but it is unclear if there were any injuries. El Universal newspaper said that at least 37 people had been injured across Caracas.The BBC’s Guillermo Olmo, in Caracas, said Tuesday marked the most violent episode of the Venezuelan political crisis so far.Meanwhile, Venezuelan Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino said the uprising by some members of the military had been “partly defeated”, but warned of possible bloodshed.“The weapons of the republic are here to defend the nation’s sovereignty and independence,” he warned. He also revealed one soldier had suffered a bullet wound. (BBC) Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedVenezuela crisis: Guaidó ‘considering asking US for military intervention’May 6, 2019In “latest news”Maduro rallies military as Venezuela opposition plans protestJanuary 30, 2019In “Regional”Venezuela’s Maduro thanks military for defeating ‘coup’March 10, 2019In “latest news”
A 46-year-old shop owner of Wisrock Housing Scheme, Wismar, Linden Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) was today charged with the murder of Mark Jacobus.Troy Wharton was not required to plea to the indictable charge when he was hauled before the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court.Police Prosecutor Shellon Daniels told the court that the accused told investigators that he attacked the now dead man, as he (victim) was armed with a gun and had fired a shot in his (accused) direction. The accused had also informed the police that the now dead man was trying to rob his shop.Reports are that on May 31, 2019, at Kurubarang Landing, Potaro River, Jacobus was drinking at the shop owned by Wharton.However, Jacobus proceeded to ask the shop owner for credit, which was refused. Reports are that Jacobus then allegedly tried to enter the shop by force, when the owner armed himself with a cutlass and dealt the man several chops about his body.Jacobus was rushed to the hospital but he later succumbed to his injuries while receiving medical attention.Wharton is being represented by Attorney-at-Law Trenton Lake who expressed surprise that his client was charged for murder instead of manslaughter.Wharton was remanded to prison and his next court appearance is slated for June 14, 2019 at the Bartica Magistrate’s Court. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedHotel owner placed on $1.5M bail over shooting death of Kitty manAugust 8, 2018In “Court”Youth jailed 25 years for killing man with a cricket batJune 10, 2019In “Court”Man who allegedly killed suspected bandit charged with murderMay 19, 2015In “Crime”
Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has proposed urgent meetings with President David Granger to ensure a new GECOM Chair is appointed as early as Monday.See letter dispatched by the Opposition to Director General of the Ministry of the Presidency:Director GeneralJoseph HarmonMinistry of the PresidencyFor the urgent Attention of the PresidentDear Mr. Harmon,The Leader of the Opposition, Hon. B. Jagdeo, M.P. has noted that the President in his Address to the Nation today indicated that the appointment of the Chairperson of the Guyana Elections Commission “could be done as early as Monday.”I, therefore, wish to convey to you and His Excellency the President, the Leader of the Opposition’s availability to meet with the President at any time, and throughout the weekend of July 13-14 as required, to work on a list of names for consideration for appointment to the Chair of the Guyana Elections Commission in accordance with the constitution.Mr. Jagdeo’s personal cell number is xxxxxxx.Please also feel free to contact me at anytime. sincerelyGail Teixeira Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedPresident, Opposition Leader likely to meet tomorrowJuly 25, 2019In “latest news”Opposition Leader says willing to meet President anytime, and daily to chart way forwardJune 26, 2019In “latest news”Granger wants new GECOM Chair appointed “within days”July 4, 2019In “latest news”
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedCDC opens oil spill planning and readiness assessment workshopMay 8, 2019In “Business”Stakeholders receiving training for possible oil spillsApril 24, 2018In “Business”Local fishermen to get oil spill response training – ExxonMobilJuly 17, 2018In “Business” Guyana’s National Oil Spill Response Contingency Plan which is ninety percent complete is being drafted by local experts in key sectors.In an exclusive interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI), Director General of the Civil Defence Commission (CDC), Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig explained that the planning, drafting of the plan was done by local agencies with some technical advice from international bodies.“We decided to use our in-house experts within the country because these persons understand their roles and responsibilities better than those (international) experts when it comes to developing a plan that is tailored to Guyana and is specific to our environment,” he said.Consultation development of the oil spill response plan commenced in 2017 with technical support from the United States Coast Guard. In February of this year, more emphasis was placed on the development of the plan and a National Oil Spill Planning Committee. The committee comprised representatives from the CDC, Guyana Geology and Mines Commission, Guyana Energy Agency, Maritime Administration. Coast Guard and the Environmental Protection Agency.Since the establishment, the team has met regularly on Tuesdays to identify key roles, responsibilities and to craft the plan.“We are about 90 percent complete and we are now making final edits and developing some of the annexes.”Craig explained that the annexes in the plan will be used for guidance on the types of resources, contact information and call-out procedures. The DG emphasised that the most critical aspect in the development of the strategy was the planning process.“Going through the planning process with key stakeholder would ensure that people know what their roles are,” he stressed.The CDC has already begun procuring oil spill response equipment. According to Lt. Col. Craig, there approximately four containers containing millions of dollars’ worth of response equipped stored at the commission’s warehouse in Timehri, East Bank Demerara.“We are now working with the main agencies to identify some of the key resources and where they will be deployed because once something happens, you want to have almost immediate response and having the resources deployed and having persons trained in the use of these resources is very essential in responding, containing and minimising the impact of an oil spill,” he explained.Craig also related that as part of the plan, volunteers are being trained and equipped to respond in the unlikely event of an oil spill on or offshore.It was noted that operators in Guyana’s basin are also required to have an oil spill plan which must be approved by the CDC. In the event of a spill offshore, each operator is responsible for responding and managing that spill.The Government of Guyana and its agencies are required to ensure that there is an enabling environment for effective response in place. Lt Col. Craig explained mechanisms would have to be in place to expedite procedures such as customs and immigration in the event international assistance is required to manage an oil spill.Before the end of October, the CDC will host a broader stakeholder engagement.
Vibrating screen OEM, Kwatani, has been named a finalist in the SACEEC Exporter of the Year Awards recently held in Johannesburg, South Africa.Kwatani, one of few local manufacturers that holds an ISO 9001:2015 quality certification as well as a Level 1 B-BBEE rating, it says, placed in the Exporter of the Year Large category and came second in the Export of the Year Africa category.The company said: “As one of South Africa’s leading vibrating screen OEMs, Kwatani understands the major role that local manufacturing has to play in the country. In addition, and of enormous advantage to mining operations in Africa, the company is the only South African vibrating equipment OEM independent of international technology and employs a far higher percentage of engineering personnel than others in this sector.”Kim Schoepflin, CEO of Kwatani, said while recent amendments to the South Africa Mining Charter place even greater emphasis on the local manufacturing of mining equipment and products, it is vital to meaningfully measure exactly what ‘local content’ means in the mining environment.“We can proudly say that Kwatani’s screening machines are locally manufactured,” Schoepflin said. “Our equipment is designed in our own in-house facility by our competent engineers and then built under stringent quality control conditions in our Spartan plant. This allows us to contribute significantly to job creation and economic transformation.”She said Kwatani’s long history of manufacturing locally has brought many benefits to mining customers. The company has a legacy of more than 43 years and can reference fit-for-purpose screening machines installed across a wide spread of commodity sectors including coal, iron ore and other heavy metals.“A key benefit of being a fully local OEM is that we can control quality,” she said. “With our suppliers close by, this facilitates close collaboration, quick turnaround and integration into our quality systems.”
BHP says it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Mitsubishi Development Pty Ltd to work together in the pursuit of emissions reductions, including from the life-cycle use of marketed products.BHP and MDP are reviewing opportunities to undertake research, pilot new ideas, and develop and deploy new emissions reduction technologies, BHP said.The collaboration with Mitsubishi Development forms part of BHP’s global program of projects in China, Canada, the US and Australia to progress low emissions technology. This is in addition to the near-term and longer-term targets BHP has set for emissions reductions within the company’s global operations.BHP Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Mackenzie, said the MoU marked the start of an important collaboration with one of BHP’s essential long-term industry partners.“BHP is committed to accelerating the development of emerging technologies that have the potential to achieve material reductions in greenhouse gas emissions,” Mackenzie said.“Our new collaboration with Mitsubishi Development demonstrates the important role the private sector can play in bringing these technologies to market.“Both companies are committed to emissions reductions in a range of industries, including the steel industry.“Our Japanese partners and customers are critical to the development of new technologies and approaches to emissions reductions that stand to benefit countries across the globe.”Mitsubishi Development Managing Director and CEO, Sadahiko Haneji, said the MoU is an important initiative for a company engaging in mineral resource activities in Australia, such as Mitsubishi Development Pty Ltd (MDP).“Mitsubishi Corporation Group, and therefore MDP, is committed to simultaneously generating economic value, environmental value, and societal value through all business activities it conducts,” Haneji said.“In line with this principle and guided by commitment to corporate social responsibility as well as global climate targets, MDP is enhancing its efforts to generate further environmental value, to help society transition to a low-carbon future.“We are confident that this partnership with BHP will help us to achieve our goal, as well as contribute to the sustainable future of our local and global communities.”Mackenzie said: “At BHP, we work with customers, suppliers and parties along our value chain to influence emissions reductions across the full life-cycle of our products.“As well as investments in emerging technologies, we set greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets for our operations, we build the resilience of our operations and communities to the physical impacts of climate change, and we work across sectors to strengthen the global policy and market response.”Examples of BHP’s low emissions technology investments include:Trials of light electric vehicles powered by lithium-ion batteries in BHP’s Olympic Dam underground fleet of light vehicles;Participation in the Lakeland Battery Storage and Solar project featuring a 13 MW solar PV installation with storage of 5 MWhr in regional Queensland, Australia;A $7.37 million three-year partnership with Peking University to identify barriers to Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) deployment in the industrial sector, with a focus on the iron and steel industries, and;Around C$20 million ($15 million) to establish the SaskPower CCS Knowledge Centre at the Boundary Dam project in Saskatchewan, Canada, the world’s first commercial-scale CCS process on a coal-fired power plant.BHP already has an existing partnership with MDP in the form of the BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), Australia’s largest coal producer and supplier of seaborne metallurgical coal. BMA, owned 50:50 by the partners, operates seven Bowen Basin mines, in Queensland (Caval Ridge pictured), and owns and operates the Hay Point Coal Terminal, near Mackay.
Ian Cornfoot, Managing Director of G&G Mining, is getting ready to educate Truck & Shovel conference delegates about how innovative excavator bucket designs can increase productivity for miners.The 100%-owned subsidiary company of SSAB has been using advanced high strength steel in the design and production of stronger, lighter and more productive excavator buckets for many years.The company has long worked with designs to offer increased productivity to miners – with reduced weight and increased volume offering, and an increase in payload, while remaining within the machine suspended load limits.Cornfoot’s presentation at the event – taking place at the InterContinental Singapore, September 19-20 – will address challenges and offer innovative solutions to four interrelated objectives – weight reduction, volume increase, structural life and resistance to wear – through the development and production of G&G’s XMOR High Productivity Mining Buckets. These high strength buckets use a range of advanced HARDOX steels, including HARDOX 500Tuf, which delivers exceptional wear life at a much lower weight than conventional buckets, the company says.To hear Cornfoot speak at the event – along with 17 other speakers – click here to register.
WITH THERE BEING more than two million apps across the three main app stores, smartphone and tablet users have never been more spoilt for choice.Not only has the quantity of apps have risen, but the quality has increased as well. While covering all of them is an impossible task, here are a small selection of the best apps from 2013.Anyone who’s only recently received a smartphone should check out our list of the best starter apps here.DotsFor: iOS, AndroidCost: FreeDeceptively simple, but incredibly addictive, Dots is a compulsive game that will swallow up all your free time as you try to beat your own high score.Robot Unicorn Attack IIFor: iOS, AndroidCost: FreeA eccentric platform runner, Robot Unicorn Attack II is every bit as bizarre as the name suggests. The theme tune alone will be stuck in your head.Super Stickman Golf 2For: iOS, AndroidCost: Free (Android), €2.69 (iOS)A fun and quirky golf game, Super Stickman Golf 2 puts you through numerous unconventional worlds as you try to get a below par score for each course.Clumsy NinjaFor: iOSCost: FreeAn impressive ragdoll physics engine is the basis for this great tamagotchi-style game as you train your ninja up to become the best.Infinity Blade IIIFor: iOSCost: €2.69An action packed hack and slash game which pits you against knights and other monstrosities, Infinity Blade III is one of the sharpest games around, both graphically and gameplay-wise. The original is now free should you want to try before you buy.Cut The Rope IIFor: iOSCost: €0.89The sequel to one of the most popular smartphone games arrived last week on iPhone and is every bit as addictive. An Android version is expected in the new year and is worth the download.Duolingo For: iOS, Android Cost: FreeWant to learn a new language? Duolingo will teach you the basics of French, Spanish, German and Portuguese in bite-sized chunks that’s both fun and easy to handle.VSCO Cam For: iOS, Android Cost: FreeOne of the best photo editing apps out there, VSCO is an essential download for anyone serious about photography.IFTTT For: iOS Cost: FreeFor those unfamiliar with IF This Then That (IFTTT), it’s a web app which combines actions together. For example, if you post photos on Instagram, you can create a IFTTT formula where every time this happens, it’s automatically posted on Twitter as well.Downloading and using it is much easier than explaining it (thankfully) and the iOS app builds upon the foundations set by the web app.Soundwave For: iOS, Android Cost: FreeThe music discovery app lets you see what songs people are listening to in your area. A novel way of discovering new tracks and artists.Ridiculous FishingFor: iOS, AndroidCost: €2.69A wonderfully crafted game, send your line down as far as possible, hook as many fish as you can, bring them back up and blast them with your shotgun. Exactly the way fishing should be.OceanhornFor: iOSCost: €7.99If you’re a fan of The Legend Of Zelda: Wind Waker, Oceanhorn is a nice homage to the series and is a decent game in its own right.LimboFor: iOSCost: €4.49A puzzle platformer that will play upon your fears, Limbo is a work of art that everyone should play. For a game that practically expects you to fail before completing a puzzle, it’s tense and the art direction adds to this atmosphere.FoldifyFor: iOS (iPad)Cost: €3.59Anyone who’s interested in arts and crafts will love this app. Draw, create and print out your 3D creations for the world to see.Digg ReaderFor: iOS, AndroidCost: FreeDigg’s resurrection from a forum to a content aggregation site has paid off massively. Not only is its content fantastic, it also has a RSS reader which former Google Reader users will love.Swype Keyboard For: Android Cost: €1.46A gesture type keyboard that is an essential download for all Android users. It takes a bit of getting used to, but once you do, you’ll wonder how you’ve ever lived without it.Nokia Camera For: Windows Phone Cost: FreeOne of Nokia’s biggest strengths is the quality of camera its Lumia range has so it’s only fitting that the best Windows Phone camera app comes from it as well. A plethora of features and editing options means it one of the best camera apps around.MyAppFree For: Windows Phone Cost: FreeThis app searches the Windows Phone app store to find the latest and best apps that have been made free. With one new app every day, it can uncover some real gems making it an essential download.Strata Free For: Android Cost: FreeA smart puzzle game, the premise of Strata is to strategically create layers of patterns. Like all good puzzle games, it starts off simple but becomes more complex as you progress.Rayman Fiesta Run For: iOS, Android Cost: €2.69Another platform runner, Rayman Fiesta Run is definitely one of the more colourful and vibrant versions of the genre out there. A number of clever twists means it’s worth a look.Asphalt 8: Airborne For: iOS, Android, Windows Phone Cost: Free, €0.99 (Windows Phone)A fun arcade racer that doesn’t take itself too seriously, Asphalt 8 focuses on tricks and aerial stunts as you race to the finishing line.Flow Free For: iOS, Android, Windows Phone Cost: FreeA relaxing puzzle game, the aim is to connect the same colours pipes together and is another example of being easy to learn, but gets challenging the further you progress. Should you finish the free game, you can purchase the expansion packs which will allow you to continue the fun.Box For: iOS, Android, Windows Phone Cost: FreeA collaboration tool for businesses, Box syncs with Google Docs and Salesforce and is a brilliant productivity tool for those regularly using either service. It also allows you to assign tasks and update in real-time so that everyone is up to date.Fresh Paint For: Windows Phone Cost: FreeIf you’re feeling creative, Fresh Paint is a very polished app and one of the best of its kind on any platform. There’s a whole variety of features and templates to get you started, but should you wish, you can draw whatever comes to mind.StreambelsFor: AndroidCost: FreeThis app allows you to stream video and photos from your smartphone or tablet directly to your TV. Handy for those waiting for Chromecast to arrive over here.MovesFor: iOS, AndroidCost: €2.69 (iOS), Free (Android)Moves is a unique activity tracker as it only requires your smartphone to track your progress and not an accompanying gadget. The app is always on and it tracks the distance you’ve covered, how many calories you’ve burned and locations so you get the full picture of how active you are.Read: 10 messaging apps that are worth downloading >Read: 10 ways to improve your smartphone’s battery life >
Today we’re lucky if a laptop can last six or seven hours. But what if, in a few years, notebook computers could have an uptime of days or weeks? That’s what Apple may be hoping to accomplish with a new patent. The filing shows plans to bring fuel cell power to MacBooks.A fuel cell is a device that uses a chemical reaction to convert chemical energy from a fuel into electricity. Bringing fuel cells to a portable computer has numerous obstacles in cost and portability, but Apple has a plan. Its method would use a hydrogen fuel cell in combination with a standard notebook battery — the fuel cell would both draw power from and provide power to the battery, creating a symbiotic relationship that would give the MacBook unreal battery life (or hydrogen life perhaps?).Apple’s filing takes on a bit of a socio-political tone, as it details the United States’ current dependence on unstable Middle East countries for oil. It uses this to segue into the need for renewable resources, which transitions into the benefits of fuel cell power in laptops. While we have no doubt that fuel cells can help to reduce dependence on foreign oil, the huge sales potential of a laptop that lasts for weeks on a single charge might also have something to do with Apple’s interest.This isn’t the first time that Apple has shown interest in fuel cell tech. Another Apple patent filing, uncovered in October, proposed a method of building a more efficient fuel cell by connecting them in parallel connection to a power bus.As with all Apple patent filings, you won’t want to hold your breath on seeing it on store shelves. The company is known for patenting a thousand ideas for every one that makes it into a product. Even if fuel cells end up powering future MacBooks, we’re looking at years — if not a decade — before we actually see it.via Free Patents Online  , via Apple Insider
Des oiseaux très rares voient le jour en captivitéOutre-Manche, un programme a été mis en place pour sauver les bécasseaux spatules de l’extinction. Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, une organisation de conservation des zones humides, s’échine à les faire se reproduire en captivité. Les premiers oeufs viennent d’éclore, entre l’Est de la Russie et le Gloucestershire (sud-ouest de l’Angleterre).C’est la première fois que ces oiseaux très rares naissent en captivité. Dix-sept petits bécasseaux spatules, issus d’oeufs provenant d’aires de reproduction de la Tchoukotka (Extrême-Orient russe), ont montré le bout de leur bec il y a quelques jours. Ils font partie du programme mis en place par les Anglais de Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) et Birds Russia, visant à sauver leur espèce en danger critique d’extinction en organisant leur reproduction en captivité. En effet, ces oiseaux sauvages sont extrêmement rares, et leur nombre a chuté ces dernières années pour atteindre les 120 à 200 paires seulement, en 2009.Les oeufs ainsi récupérés en Russie par les équipes du WWT doivent être acheminés jusque dans le Gloucestershire, au Sud-ouest de l’Angleterre. A terme, ils visent une réintroduction dans la nature.Sur les 17 nouveaux-nés qui font le bonheur du WWT, huit sont sortis de l’oeuf avant que les experts ne quittent la Tchoukotka en bateau, et neuf autres sont venus au monde alors qu’ils étaient sur le chemin du retour. Nigel Jarret, responsable de ce programme au WWT, a expliqué au Guardian : “Nous avons embarqué avec les huit nouveaux poussins, 12 oeufs prêts à éclore, une anxiété considérable par rapport au voyage sur des eaux aussi agitées, et une bonne dose d’espoir”.Elizabeth Tambovtseva de Birds Russia a confié au journal britannique : “L’excitation de l’équipe au moment où le premier oeuf a éclos et le minuscule poussin est apparu, était sans pareille. Nous n’avons pas pu dormir pendant des jours à cause du stress, c’était une expérience émotionnelle forte”.Tous les nouveaux-nés ne survivront pas À lire aussiVoici l’oiseau le plus dangereux au mondeMalgré ce premier succès, les équipes du WWT ont remarqué que deux des poussins étaient plus faibles que les autres, et ils s’attendent à en perdre quelques uns. Sauver des espèces reste une bataille très difficile, ont-ils déploré. Ces oiseaux, caractérisés par leur bec spatulé, sont principalement menacés par la chasse près de leurs nids ou par la destruction de leur habitat. Les experts pensent que si rien n’est mis en place par l’homme pour les protéger, les bécasseaux spatules pourraient disparaître de la planète dans une dizaine d’années seulement.Découvrez quelques uns des poussins qui ont éclos en images sur Maxisciences.Le 13 juillet 2011 à 12:12 • Maxime Lambert
Nicolas Petit races toward Nome in the 2017 Iditarod. (Photo: Ben Matheson, KNOM)We look at three major problems hitting Alaska’s mushing community ahead of the Iditarod. The Anchorage Daily News’ Tegan Hanlon and Alaska Public Media’s Zachariah Hughes sit down with host Casey Grove to discuss the whirlwind of recent news, including a doping scandal, musher mutiny, and increasing pressure from animal rights groups.
Hyderabad: Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Technology (MGIT) students staged a dharna against the college management here on Friday alleging that the college is forcing them to pay excess fee more than what was fixed by the Telangana Admission and Fee Regulation Committee (TAFRC). According to the protesting students, the TAFRC has fixed Rs 1 lakh for the admission into the MGIT for the block period of 2016-17 to 2018-19. Also Read – Hyderabad: Intermediate student dies of cardiac arrest in class Advertise With Us However, along with the fee fixed by the TAFRC, the college is asking them to pay Rs 60,000 more citing that they were allowed by the State High Court, the protestors alleged. Terming the management and principal are threatening to detain them if they raise questions on the fee issue, the students have taken out a protest demanding justice. Terming the attitude of management illegal the Telangana Parents Association demanded that the State government rein in the highhandedness of the private engineering college managements forcing students to pay excess fees. TPA president N Narayana said recently the Supreme Court had made it clear tasking even the High Courts should not interfere in the fixation of the fees and the decision of the fee regulation committee is final and binding.