Wrangling over classified information delays Lindhout hostagetaking trial

first_imgOTTAWA – A legal dispute about secret information is delaying the trial of a man accused of taking journalist Amanda Lindhout hostage in Somalia nine years ago.An Ontario Superior Court judge is slated to rule Tuesday whether the criminal trial will begin Thursday or remain on hold — possibly for months — while the wrangling over classified files play out.Defence counsel told Justice Robert Smith on Monday that Ali Omar Ader cannot get a fair trial at this point because of side proceedings over how much sensitive information can be admitted.The Federal Court of Canada ruled last week that several classified records related to the case must remain under wraps — a decision Ader’s lawyers are challenging in the Federal Court of Appeal.The Crown, meanwhile, is opposing the defence request for a delay in the criminal trial, which was set to begin Monday.Lindhout and photographer Nigel Brennan were seized by masked gunmen near Mogadishu in August 2008. Both were released on Nov. 25, 2009.Ader, a 40-year-old Somalian national, faces a criminal charge of hostage-taking for his alleged role as a negotiator. He was arrested by the RCMP in Ottawa in June 2015.It emerged during pre-trial motions last spring that the Mounties had lured Ader to Canada through an elaborate scheme to sign a purported book-publishing deal.Behind the scenes, proceedings have played out in Federal Court over prosecution service concerns about sensitive information that, if disclosed during the trial, could harm international relations, security or defence.In addition to the RCMP, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the cyberspies at the Communications Security Establishment, Global Affairs Canada and National Defence were involved in the Canadian response to the kidnapping. Each identified information to be shielded from disclosure.For instance, the information Global Affairs sought to keep confidential related to the federal government’s policy of not paying ransom to terrorists, the identity of third parties that provided information to the department, and Canadian assessments of foreign officials, operations and policies, says the Federal Court ruling handed down last week.The ruling confirmed that dozens of documents must remain confidential because the competing interests weigh in favour of protecting the information.Trevor Brown, an Ottawa lawyer representing Ader, told Smith on Monday that an appeal of that ruling should be allowed to fully unfold before a criminal trial begins, since it might dislodge information relevant to Ader’s defence.“The best chance of getting a fair trial is doing it right the first time,” Brown said.Federal lawyer Croft Michaelson told the judge that waiting for the Federal Court of Appeal process to finish could put the criminal proceedings in jeopardy due to unwarranted delay.Under new rules issued by the Supreme Court, an unreasonable delay is presumed should proceedings — from the criminal charge to conclusion of a trial — exceed 30 months in Superior Court.The Ader proceedings are now at the 27-month mark.Michaelson said the appeal over the confidential information has only a “faint hope of success” and, in any event, there is no reason to believe the information in dispute would affect the fairness of a trial.Trial witnesses are expected from Alberta, the United States, Europe and Australia.Ader sat expressionless as he listened to a translation of the arguments Monday on a headset in the prisoner’s box.Lindhout, 36, has published a best-selling memoir of her 460 days as a prisoner in which she discusses being sexually assaulted in captivity.In 2009, the native of Red Deer, Alta., established The Global Enrichment Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering leadership in Somalia through educational and community-based programs.In recent years she has also written articles and given speeches focusing on forgiveness, compassion, social responsibility and determination.— Follow @JimBronskill on Twitterlast_img read more

Helena Christensen Photographs For Small Steps Project

first_imgFor three years model Helena Christensen has been donating her shoes for auction to support Small Steps Project in supplying children with shoes and school uniforms, but now she is taking it a step further – she is raising awareness about the charity through her own photography.On the Small Steps website, Christensen says, “I am very honoured to be joining the organization, in their tireless efforts of supporting children and their families living on rubbish dumps around the world. I am in awe of these hard-working women, who so selflessly help out in so much work and time to make the living conditions acceptable for thousands of kids growing up in filth.”Beyond shoes, boots and school uniforms, Small Steps also provides supplies and school buses, hygiene education, protective clothing and mosquito nets, food, water and first aid to the children who work through the night scavenging dumps and sorting through trash for reusable products, such as plastic bottles, to sell.At the 2014 Celebrity Shoe Auction, Small Steps raised over £43 thousand, but Christensen says she wants to support the organisation in more ways than just by donating her shoes. She wants to put her photography skills to work: “I’m excited to start this venture with the organization and the kids.”Copyright ©2015Look to the Starslast_img read more

Criminal shot at in Narela encounter

first_imgNEW DELHI: In an encounter with Delhi Police special cell, a criminal was injured in police firing in Narela on Monday evening.The accused was shot by Delhi Police on his leg and wa admitted to the hospital. The accused has been identified as Sumit alias Tinka. He is also said to be involved in the liquor business. The Delhi police was looking for him in several cases of robbery and murder cases in the capital. DCP Special cell PS kushwah said that Sumit was wanted in robbery and murder cases. Also Read – More good air days in Delhi due to Centre’s steps: JavadekarWhen the police tried to arrest him he opened fire at the police team and in the retaliatory fire, Sunit was hit by a bullet in the leg. The police team acted on secret information that Sumit alias Tinka would be coming to Narela where the police team laid tap. As they confronted him he opened firing forcing the police team to return fire in self-defence. “He is undergoing treatment, He is a notorious criminal wanted in several cases,” said a senior police officer.last_img read more

Producer Khadija Alami First Moroccan Woman to Join Oscars Jury Committee

Rabat – Moroccan film producer, Khadija Alami, has been invited to serve on the panel of film experts that form the Oscars Jury Committee, becoming the first Moroccan woman to take on such a position, alongside Moroccan filmmaker, Nabil Ayouch.Sitting down with Moroccan French speaking newspaper, Leseco, the producer spoke of how hard it was to believe that she is now a member of the closed circle of the Academy: “I met American producers at the last Marrakech International Film Festival. We kept in touch. They were impressed with my resume and suggested me to the academy. I was asked for supporting documents, and a few months later I was called and told the big news,”The critically acclaimed national and international producers known for her production of Tala Hadid’s “The Narrow Frame of Midnight” (“Itar El Layl”) and Jawad Rhalib’s “Insoumise.. She has also contributed to the production of important feature films Such as “The Exorcist, Beginning” by Paul Schrader, and “Captain Phillips” by Paul Greengrass.Known for her determination and ambition, she has collaborated with more than forty international film producers.“I’m not used to interviews, flashes and photos, that’s not why I do this job. We [Film Producers] do it because we like challenges.”Proud of her nationality and keen on pushing Moroccan cinema forward, Alami said “When I am asked where I come from, I tell them that I come from Morocco.”“It makes them curious and they ask questions about our cinema. I try to be the voice of Moroccan cinema in Hollywood, I have already been asked to recommend some scenarios of the country. This is a great opportunity for us,” she continued, convinced more than ever that it is high time to improve the quality of Moroccan cinema.The producer believes that in order to propel the country’s cinema in a forward direction, the egos of director and screenwriters must be put aside.“The problem of Moroccan cinema is script writing. When I advise directors to review their scenario and get help, they take it wrong. While everyone needs help, rewriting and correction with scenario. There is no harm in that. We have to put our ego aside and work seriously.”Currently shooting on location in Morocco for the series “The Nine,” produced by FOX, which will be broadcast in 50 European and African countries, and which expects an audience of 250 million viewers, Khadija Alami continues advancing her cinema, while promising that Morocco will benefit from her privileged status as a member of the Oscar’s jury.Among the 774 jury members from 57 countries, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences explained that of 2017’s invitees,39 percent are female and 30 percent are people of color,to ensure diversity among its pre-dominantly white membership. read more

NBA MLB using data to chase better deals with sportsbooks

BALTIMORE — For NBA and MLB executives, a cut of sports betting revenue is pretty much a no-brainer. The wagers wouldn’t even exist, they argue, without their teams playing the games, so they should be paid and sportsbooks should be required to use their data to determine the outcomes of bets.The problem for the leagues has been convincing anyone else in the sports betting world.They’ve been rejected by lawmakers in at least 10 states on both payments and the use of official stats, weakening their positions for private deals with sportsbooks beyond the benefits of vast marketing muscle.But giving casinos a taste of official data this season has given MLB and the NBA new confidence as they attempt to negotiate agreements under deadlines. The newest argument: Pay us up front or give us a cut of what’s bet on our games, or lose our data feeds and good luck setting and settling in-game wagers at the speed of sports.The NBA ended its data services for some sportsbooks during the playoffs, when interest in pro hoops is at its highest. The MLB could follow suit later this season, hoping for new deals with sportsbooks by the All-Star break next month and cutting off anyone else without an agreement.Gleefully or begrudgingly, some sportsbooks are signing up, less for the logos and more for the data, which they can use for a wide variety of live wagers — a type of betting expected to expand in the coming years as betting shifts toward smartphones and away from physical lounges. In-game bets for baseball, for example, may include which team has a lead after the sixth inning or the total runs in the first five innings.While neither league nor several sportsbooks would discuss the financial specifics of the agreements with The Associated Press, the NBA is pursuing deals that require sportsbooks to pay either a percentage of handle to the league or a fixed fee.“The fee that we are charging for that bucket of rights, and again it’s not just for the data, it’s relative to the size of the operator’s business,” said Kenny Gersh, MLB’s executive vice-president of gaming and new business ventures. “So, we are not going to charge somebody who is a small operator the same as somebody who is a large operator.”The fees could be reworked, league officials tell sportsbooks, if the payments ever become enshrined in law. Gersh said the MLB would net the legally required payments against the fees in the private agreements.Fans can currently place wagers in eight states after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled a year ago that states were free to legalize sports betting, ending Nevada’s monopoly. Four more states and the District of Columbia have passed laws for sports wagering but haven’t begun taking bets yet.The ruling last May quickly gave way to leagues chasing a piece of the action, with the gambling industry quickly balking at effort by the leagues to bake a 0.25% cut of all bets into laws.The commercial agreements have been more successful, tying data with rights to use recognizable logos and trademarks, advertise on league broadcasts and market sports bets without the generic touch seen for years in Las Vegas, where sportsbooks often try to convince gamblers to bet on the “Big Game,” the Super Bowl.FanDuel, a household name in fantasy sports competitions but a relatively new player in the sports betting market, gained access to the NBA’s official data, marks and logos after becoming an “authorized gaming operator” of the league. Kip Levin, president and chief operating officer of FanDuel Group, said the data was a key driver of the partnership, citing that more than 50% of the action the company has seen in New Jersey during this NBA season has been in-play betting.“To do that well, it’s really important that you have real-time stats feeds and data feeds that are sort of input into your models that sort of then help you efficiently and effectively price all the in-play odds,” Levin said. “So, working in conjunction with the league, being able to get access to their official data feeds, just creates a better end consumer product.”Levin declined to provide financial details of the agreement with the NBA.The NBA allowed its data distributors to give access to all operators this season while it negotiated deals, but it ended the service to those with which it didn’t reach an agreement. MLB is using a similar strategy, hoping to reach deals well ahead of its playoffs in September and October.“We provided a season-long grace period for other betting operators to have access to official NBA data while we discussed partnership terms,” said Scott Kaufman-Ross, NBA senior vice-president and head of fantasy and gaming. “While that period is ending — something distributors and operators have known since the start of the season — we remain committed to securing additional sports betting partnerships.”While the commercial agreements are customized to each sportsbook, some longtime operators disapprove of the approach by the leagues and would rather go it on their own. Their viewpoint is that sports betting is already a low-margin business, and revenue specifically from live betting — the only version for which near-real-time, official data is truly useful — is a tiny sliver of the national market. Sportsbooks often set low limits on those wagers or don’t offer them at all, and leagues have been asking for a cut of wagers even for bets where their data doesn’t make a material difference.“We respect the leagues; we want to work with the leagues,” said Jay Kornegay, vice-president of race and sports books operations at the Westgate Las Vegas. “There are marketing deals to be made. When it comes to revenue sharing, we just don’t have the room for that. … If we just pay one league, we are in the red. That’s how it’s so minimal on in-progress betting.”Longtime oddsmakers say sportsbooks in Nevada have been in business for four decades without having to rely on league-licensed data. They also point out that data suppliers are lining up for opportunities to enter the market.“My database in my brain is just as much or more than the database that they can send out,” said Jimmy Vaccaro, who is now the director of sports relations for Rivers Casino Pittsburgh after working in Las Vegas for decades. “People like me have been doing it for their entire life and it always comes out about the same, we hold about the same percentage wise. … We don’t need help. What are they going to offer me that I can’t already see? We don’t need their database that bad.”Some oddsmakers believe in-game betting could end or never flourish in some markets if the leagues continue to push the issue.The NBA and MLB have offered various reasons for their intentions to profit from the legal betting market. They have argued that they have to take steps to ensure their games are not manipulated and have invested millions in technology needed to track data.League officials have also said the data is a matter of intellectual property. Courts, however, have disagreed, holding in previous cases that fantasy sports operators weren’t required to pay for the use of statistics that are widely known.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_SportsRegina Garcia Cano, The Associated Press read more

Lanka makes compensation plea in UN climate pledge

In 2004, a calamitous tsunami killed an estimated 36,000 people as 30-metre high walls of water lashed its low-lying coastal plains.Triggered by an earthquake near the Indonesian island of Sumatra, that can’t be blamed on climate change. That concern suffuses a seven-page document delivered to the UN on Thursday. But it underlined the country’s vulnerability to natural disasters, some of which will be stoked by warming temperatures in future. Government disaster relief stood at US$130 million between 2007 and 2011. Officials fear the bill could grow as global warming makes intense storms or failed monsoons more likely.Sea-level rise menaces Sri Lanka’s tourism and fishing industries, and the export of agricultural produce, the document warned.Some threats can be reduced with investment in sea defences or drought-resistant crops, for example. Officials calculate $420 million is needed for climate-proofing over the next decade. “Sri Lanka is largely affected with climate induced extreme weather events and slow onset disasters,” read its national contribution to a global warming treaty due to be finalised in December.“Losses and damages (L&D) due to these disaster events are heavy, creating a huge pressure on the economy and public spending.” Envoys from 195 nations are crafting a new global warming treaty to be finalised in Paris in December. National pledges form the backbone of the deal.Sri Lanka’s plan outlines greenhouse gas cuts to play its part.It plans to shave 7% off forecasts of future emissions in 2030. That can rise to 23% with help from international partners.While its energy demand is on track to double within 20 years, it said it will tackle a dirty transport system which belches half of the energy sector emissions.It plans greener vehicles, enhancing its public transport system and laying electric railways.Biodiverse rainforest and mangroves, which cover 30% of the country, will be increased to 32% to act as carbon sinks. (Courtesy Climate Change News) For the developing country of 20 million people, which emits just 0.1% of global greenhouse gas emissions, it is a matter of fairness.“Sri Lanka intends to join hands to develop a fully-fledged Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage to address the loss and damage issues and in parallel develop an appropriate local mechanism,” reads a highlighted box in the climate pledge, or INDC in UN lingo.That is a tall order. Rich countries have pushed back on the vexed issue, worried they would be opened up to a litany of lawsuits. Analysts forecast that “loss and damage” will get just a fleeting mention in a new climate agreement. Yet inevitably, there will be impacts people cannot adapt to. Sri Lanka is rallying with its low-lying cousins to force climate change’s wealthy culprits to pay out damages. read more

Liberia UN envoy assures secure environment during upcoming elections

The October polling will constitute “a vital first step in returning Liberia to a free and democratic State,” Jacques Paul Klein, Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Representative, said on Friday.His remarks came during a ceremony marking the launch of the International Republican Institute Liberia Project, which aims to help political parties in areas such as campaign and message development, fund-raising and leadership.During the ceremony, 18 registered political parties signed a memorandum of understanding with the Project, a non-profit, non-partisan organization based in the United States.Through the disarmament and demobilization of ex-combatants and the restructuring of Liberia’s police, UNMIL is fostering conditions for political parties to campaign without constraints and for people to cast their votes “without fear of intimidation,” Mr. Klein said.“The final goal of the peace process in Liberia is to build lasting democracy and to forge good governance as well as ensuring that the rule of law takes firm root throughout the country,” he added.The Vice Chairman of Liberia’s National Transitional Government, Wesley Momo Johnson, said the authorities would ensure that the 2005 elections will be “free, fair, transparent and credible.” “As Liberians, we all know what crooked and unfair elections have done for all of us,” he observed.“The world is watching Liberia and they have given us another opportunity,” he added, urging the country’s citizens to seize the chance for change. read more

Coast Guard Part of Mississippi River closed to traffic after tow boat

by The Associated Press Posted Sep 3, 2015 9:47 am MDT Last Updated Sep 3, 2015 at 3:20 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Coast Guard: Part of Mississippi River closed to traffic after tow boat collision, oil spill COLUMBUS, Ky. – Part of the Mississippi River was closed as crews investigated and cleaned up an oil spill caused by the collision of two tow boats, the U.S. Coast Guard said Thursday.The collision Wednesday evening near Columbus, Kentucky, damaged at least one barge carrying clarified slurry oil. The cargo tank was ruptured, causing an unknown amount of oil to spill into the river, the Coast Guard said.The river is closed from mile markers 938 to 922, Petty Officer Lora Ratliff said.The barge was carrying approximately 1 million gallons, but the breach was only in one area, affecting just one of its six tanks, Ratliff said. That tank holds 250,000 gallons, but it wasn’t known how much spilled.The Coast Guard said it was working with the barge owner, Inland Marine Services, and an oil spill response organization to determine the exact amount of oil that poured into the water.It wasn’t known how long the river would be closed. The tow boats were moored on opposite sides of the river and a long gash was apparent in the smaller vessel. River traffic was backed up on both sides.The cause of the collision, which happened near Columbus, Kentucky, was being investigated. The spill stretched 17 miles south to the city of Hickman.Keleia McCloud, assistant director of the Hickman port, says both the port and ferry service were operating normally.Hickman County official Kenny Wilson said local communities experienced no disruptions from the spill and the water supply in Columbus was not affected because it comes from wells. He said Columbus-Belmont State Park remained open.A May 19 oil pipeline rupture in California caused a spill of what has been estimated to be up to 143,000 gallons of crude, according to documents from Texas-based Plains All American Pipeline. That spill forced a popular state park to shut down for two months, and goo from the spill washed up on beaches as far as 100 miles away.A July 2008 spill caused by a collision between a tugboat and a barge carrying oil on the Mississippi River in New Orleans sent 282,000 gallons into the water and caused the closure of the river.___AP reporter Stephen Lance Dennee contributed. read more

Peru must place human rights at heart of development urges UN rights

“I welcome Peru’s efforts to fight poverty and exclusion, and its economic progress is undeniable,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Tuesday at the end of a two-day visit to the country – where he met with President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, authorities from Congress and the Judiciary, civil society representatives and the private sector. “The country must now consolidate such advances by continuing to strengthen the rule of law and the protection of human rights,” he added. “Development, to be truly sustainable, should not leave anyone behind, and should never be at the expense of the rights of some members of society,” the High Commissioner stressed. The High Commissioner highlighted the Government’s development of a National Human Rights Action Plan and called for the meaningful participation of all sectors, particularly civil society groups. “It is our sincere hope that the resulting National Action Plan can adequately address Peru’s human rights needs, particularly those of the most vulnerable groups,” he said, reiterating his office’s readiness to continue providing support and technical expertise. Mr. Zeid also urged the Government to protect human rights defenders, saying “Peru is no exception to a trend across the Americas – and indeed the world – of harassment, intimidation and alarming attacks on human rights activists.” The implementation of the 2016 legal framework and National Plan to search for people missing between 1980 and 2000 is also urgent, according to the High Commissioner who voiced concern that “the recommendations made more than a decade ago by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission have to date been insufficiently implemented.” “The high level of impunity for violations committed during this period is deeply troubling,” the High Commissioner recalled, saying that victims’ needs must be addressed, including their right to truth, justice and reparations and “resources must be made available to ensure that the search for the missing can be fully carried out.” Turning to the presidential pardon for former President Alberto Fujimori, who was sentenced in 2009 to 25 years in prison, Mr. Zeid stressed: “Fujimori was convicted of crimes amounting to crimes against humanity, that is, crimes of interest to the international community as a whole. The international community must be approached and engaged in this highly important matter.” Mr. Zeid acknowledged that with women and girls at high risk of gender-based violence, laws designed to prevent and punish those crimes, including domestic violence and femicide, are important, however rigorous implementation and strong preventive measures are also required to ensure punishment for the perpetrator. “I urge the Government to address the social and cultural attitudes that continue to be used to justify violence against women,” he said. Mr. Zeid also appealed for improvements in women’s sexual and reproductive rights, calling the country’s recent amendments aimed at promoting gender equality and LGBTI a “setback.” read more

500 million to be spent training rebels as US steps up Syria

first_imgTHE WHITE HOUSE has asked lawmakers for $500 million to train and equip vetted Syrian rebels, in what would be a significant escalation of US involvement in a conflict that has spilled into Iraq.Following several signals in recent weeks by President Barack Obama’s administration — and months of pressure from lawmakers like Senator John McCain — the White House said it intends to “ramp up US support to the moderate Syrian opposition.”The request is part of a $1.5 billion Regional Stabilization Initiative to bolster stability in Syrian neighbors Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, and to support communities hosting refugees.In a clear acknowledgement that Syria and Iraq face a common threat, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki earlier “welcomed” strikes by Syria’s air force on the Syrian side of the Al-Qaim border crossing, controlled by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fighters.The proposed US funding would serve “vetted elements of the Syrian armed opposition to help defend the Syrian people, stabilize areas under opposition control, facilitate the provision of essential services, counter terrorist threats and promote conditions for a negotiated settlement,” the White House said in a statement.But Damascus ally Moscow lashed out at the move, saying “there are better uses for these 500 million dollars.”The Americans “are moving things in their own direction, they keep the fire burning instead of doing something political,” Russian ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin told reporters during a reception at the Russian mission.The proposal was part of the $65.8 billion overseas contingency operations request to Congress for fiscal year 2015, which begins October 1. The bulk of that amount, $58.6 billion, was allocated to the Defense Department.In a separate statement, National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said the funding “would build on the administration’s longstanding efforts to empower the moderate Syrian opposition” and allow the Pentagon to increase its support to vetted armed rebels.- © AFP 2014Read: Boko Haram have abducted another SIXTY women and girls>Read: At least 21 dead in bomb attack on World Cup viewing centre in Nigeria>last_img read more

Seeing off 2011

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The Greek Club in Queensland, in conjunction with the Greek Orthodox Community of St George, bring you a show-stopping New Years party. A night of Greek dancing, food and entertainment is the best way to see in the new year in the decorated ballroom of Odyssey Taverna Restaurant. A four course menu will be provided, and with DJ George Kassos providing the entertainment, a night of fun is guaranteed for all. Upstairs will be kicking on way into the night, and with views of the city, you won’t miss out on the fireworks display. For only $20, entertainment is provided by Rythmos band. For more event info and ticket information call (06) 3844 1166.last_img read more

Police raid two squats fuelling political tensions

first_imgPolice raided two squats in central Athens, including the notorious Villa Amalia, which had been reoccupied following a police sweep last month, as the government clashed with leftist opposition SYRIZA over the intervention.A total of 100 suspected members of anti-establishment groups remained in detention at Athens Police Headquarters last night following the two raids. The first sweep on Villa Amalia prompted a brief sit-in at the Athens offices of Democratic Left, the coalition’s junior partner.The sit-in, which comprised a few dozen people expressing solidarity with the 92 Villa Amalia squatters, was broken up without reports of violence. A few hours later, police raided another squat a few blocks from Villa Amalia, on the corner of Patission and Skaramanga streets, and detained another eight people, after confiscating dozens of empty bottles, gas masks, helmets and chunks of marble resembling those hurled by hooded youths at police during protest rallies from the premises.Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias said the government would “not back down on the issue of squats.” Government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou went further, accusing SYRIZA of “supporting acts of violence and lawlessness” and challenging it to clarify its position on the squatters. SYRIZA responded by accusing the government of trying to deflect public attention from a burgeoning scandal regarding the so-called Lagarde list of Greeks with deposits at a Swiss bank. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Football Leaks PSG Man City FFP coverup revealed

first_imgFootball Leaks revealed UEFA helped Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain cover up massive Financial Fair Play violations in the form of inflated sponsorship deals.The latest edition of the European Investigative Collaborations (EIC) expose as a result of leaked documentation makes remarkable allegations.“European football association UEFA arranged secret settlements with Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain that allowed the clubs to cheat its own Financial Fair Play rules by hundreds of millions of euros, a new investigation by EIC Network can reveal.’Football Leaks’ have alleged that PSG’s owners injected €1.8bn into the club against Financial Fair Play regulations, with Gianni Infantino and Michel Platini helping to cover it upIf caught, the French club would have faced a ban from all European competitions 😳 pic.twitter.com/cmEHLArnwf— Ladbrokes (@Ladbrokes) November 2, 2018“Senior UEFA administrators, including the ex-secretary general and current FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, personally intervened to encourage settlements with big clubs, while the Club Financial Control Body (CFCB), the UEFA department that investigates rule breaches, aggressively pursued poorer clubs in the likes of Turkey and Romania.”This is of particular interest to a club such as Milan, which was excluded from the Europa League this season for FFP violations before winning an appeal for its reinstatement.norwich city, manchester city, premier leagueReport: City are stunned by Norwich George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Manchester City was stunned by Norwich City in todays Premier League clash.Much has been made in recent days of the potential impact of Aymeric…👀 #LaLiga President Javier #Tebas fires shots at #MCFC and #PSGHe claims that it was clear all along that the both clubs cheated UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules – after allegations this evening from Football Leaks that the two clubs were allowed to breach the rules in place. pic.twitter.com/vyw96M8RDt— CalcioMercato (En) (@CmdotCom_En) November 2, 2018Their financial status remains under question and the same issues could be raised next summer.“The new revelations are based on a batch of tens of millions of Football Leaks documents obtained by German weekly magazine Der Spiegel and shared with its partners in journalism network European Investigation Collaborations (EIC).“The combined dataset contains more than 70 million documents, around 3.4 terabytes, and is the biggest journalistic data leak to date.“Over the past eight months, around 80 journalists and technologists from 15 media partners have collaborated to document and expose illegal or secret deals across the football industry from this trove and other sources.“But owners of several clubs have continued to supply excessive amounts to cover losses using highly inflated – and sometimes deceptive – sponsorship contracts, in a practice known as ‘financial doping’.last_img read more

McGarry wants McLeish to pick players in form

first_imgGraeme McGarry tells Alex McLeish to select players in form ahead of Scotland’s game against Albania.The Scotland national team head coach faces a selection dilemma ahead of the team’s UEFA Nations League doubleheader against Albania and Israel due to player withdrawals.However, McGarry insists McLeish must select players who are currently playing well for their club sides.“James Forrest has been outstanding for Celtic, and it is one of life’s great mysteries why he is yet to score in 24 appearances for the national side. He is due for a really big performance for his country, and there would be no more opportune time to provide it,” McGarry said, according to Evening Times.“I’m a great believer in going with players that are in form if you have any, and mercifully we do in the shape of Ryan Christie. The former Inverness man has really made his mark at Celtic lately, and he deserves a chance to transfer that form to the international stage.”“Beside him, is the tantalising prospect of Ryan Fraser finally getting a chance to shine in his natural position.”Scotland v Israel - UEFA Nations League CAlex McLeish: We were nervous in parts of the game Boro Tanchev – March 24, 2019 Scotland coach Alex McLeish admits his players were a bit nervous during the away game at San Marino.“He has been causing havoc in the English Premier League for Bournemouth playing off the left, so it is absolutely essential he is deployed there for Scotland. If you play him where he is effective, he will produce for you.”“He has the most assists so far this season in the EPL with six, eclipsing the likes of Eden Hazard, and has also chipped in with four goals.”“Up front, I would have liked to have tried out Paterson, but with him filling in at right-back, I would go with Matt Phillips. He has the best mix of experience, physical presence and pace to perform the role of the men available.”I still think this is a decent enough team despite having Supergran, PC Murdoch and Groundskeeper Willie on the bench…https://t.co/flc2DmXyXR #bbcsportscot via @bbcsport— Graeme McGarry (@Graeme_McGarry) November 16, 2018last_img read more

Alaska House Backtracks On Full Dividend Vote

first_imgFacebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The Alaska House’s populist vote to pay Alaskans the full amount for their oil-wealth fund checks has been undone. Lawmakers rescinded the vote Friday after debate over Alaska Permanent Fund dividends derailed efforts to pass a state operating budget. Monday’s vote for a fully funded dividend, held during a drawn-out budget debate, split the House majority and spurred minority Republicans to seek bigger budget cuts to win over their members. The size of the oil check was cut roughly in half the last two years amid gridlock over Alaska’s budget deficit.center_img A handful of majority members who supported a full dividend Monday backed undoing that vote Friday. Rather than a full payout, estimated at about $2,650, lawmakers voted for a $1,600 dividend this year.last_img read more

Whats causing Anchorages wave of homicides

first_imgAnchorage Police Chief Chris Tolley addresses reporters during a brief press conference in July of 2016. (Photo: Zachariah Hughes – Alaska Public Media, Anchorage)24 people have been killed so far in the municipality this year. That makes 2016 the fourth deadliest year in two decades, according to data provided by the Anchorage Police Department. In July alone there were nine homicides within the city. The figures come on the heels of 2015, which saw the highest number of murders since 1995.Listen nowTaken all together, the persistent news of violent incidents has many residents asking whether something has changed and made the city more dangerous.During a recent interview, APD Chief Chris Tolley quickly shared a sentiment heard often in Anchorage lately.“There’s no doubt about it,” Tolley said, seated in an office on the eighth floor of City Hall, “right now we’re having a lot of crimes. And I’m concerned, and I know the community is concerned.”APD tracks a lot of data related to crime, and is seeing a 15 percent increase in calls for service, according to Tolley. That uptick in the overall volume includes everything from assaults to property theft to reports of suspicious activity.But what has most people’s attention is what seems like a lot more violent crime –shootings, stabbings, and a rash of murders, twelve of them clustered around just six weeks this summer between June 27th and August 5th.Two of the deaths this year, including one in July, were officer-involved, which some feel should not be counted alongside other homicide or non-negligent manslaughter cases.But what concerns Tolley most about the incidents this year is the how persistently it’s young people being killed.“We’re seeing a trend here where half the victims are under the age of 21,” he said.Tolley is quick to point out that there is no one cause that explains all of this year’s homicides. Investigators have found no compelling evidence the murders are linked to gang activity. Mental health problems have played a prominent role in some of the events. But the most consistent factor is the presence of drugs and alcohol.“Most of these incidents are things that went too far,” Tolley explained. “Disputes over different things, over drugs or things like that.”30 percent of the cases are connected to domestic violence, which is up from an average closer to 20 percent, according to Tolley.Across the municipality, neighborhood crime watch groups post information to Facebook pages, much of it unconfirmed, according to APD spokesperson Jennifer Castro. And a growing number citizens are signed up to get crime alerts sent straight to their phones. It can be easy to feel like chaos is descending, simply because a torrent of ominous information is constantly pouring in. But Tolley and other city officials are urging a bit more hesitation and consideration, based on the actual number.Over the last decade, the homicide rate in Anchorage has fluctuated between 3.7 and 7.7 deaths per 100,000 residents. If 2016 ends with no more murders — which would be unlikely — it would equate to a rate of close to eight. By contrast, the murder rate in St. Louis last year was 59.Tolley called a violent year like this in Anchorage a “fluke,” but does not consider it either unprecedented or an anomaly.“Over eight and 10 year trends you do see spikes like this,” he said. “Is this one of those spikes? Probably.”But the year is far from over, he adds.In response to violence, particularly among young people, the department plans on relying more heavily on School Resource Officers — the police who are permanently stationed within schools — once classes resume. As staffing levels within APD rise, the department is re-evaluating its policies and procedures to find updates and efficiencies. They’re also trying to develop better lines of communication with communities.But Tolley cautions that police are only one part of a comprehensive solution, and one that’s often called upon only in the aftermath of violence.“This isn’t about the police department solely. It’s about our community,” Tolley said, urgency creeping into his voice. “I can’t fix this by myself, the administration can’t fix it by itself — it takes the community to take ownership over this. Police are not a substitution for health services. Police are not a solution for school teachers.”It’s a view shared by Mayor Ethan Berkowitz’s administration, which is committed to restoring police staffing levels that saw a dramatic reduction under the previous administration.“The police force has grown substantially over the last year. We’re almost at 400 officers now, which was the goal,” Berkowitz said during an interview.More police officers is the starting point for improved public safety, in Berkowitz’s view, because the extra capacity means officers can be more proactive, instead of constantly responding to incidents once they’ve already occurred.Like Tolley, the mayor sees the recent violence as beyond any single, easy explanation. However, he believes problems are being exacerbated by shrinking state support in areas that overlap with violent crime, like reduced drug and alcohol treatment options, and the release of prisoners from correctional facilities.But Berkowitz is adamant that even amid recent upticks, Anchorage is still a relatively safe city.“The idea that you can have a totally safe community is something we aspire to, but it’s not gonna happen,” he said of the notion that crime could be fully eradicated.Berkowitz and Tolley also share the view that the recent violence is overwhelmingly connected to the drug trade and what the mayor calls “bad lifestyle choices.”The other substantial piece in the administration’s approach to community policing has been trying to foster and rebuild community partnerships.“The community also has a responsibility to help the police do their job,” Berkowitz said.But some see the administration’s manner so far as more dictatorial than an equal partnership.“If our community is not involved in providing the solutions, then we’re already missing the peace,” said Mao Tosi, a community advocate who’s been deeply involved with the city’s anti-gang efforts and supporting at-risk youth.His diagnosis traces the escalation in violent crime to cuts in social services and opportunities for low income communities started in 2009 under the administration of Mayor Dan Sullivan. Those reductions to services and staff haven’t yet been recouped, according to Tosi.“So we have less police officers,” he said, counting off lessened support in the last few years. “In our school district they’re cutting funds in our education, so we have less teachers, less programming.”“All these things are almost the perfect storm of issues coming together,” Tosi added.He supports the administration’s efforts to pursue a better community policing model, but thinks that after several years of worsening relations between APD and communities experiencing the heaviest toll from violent crime the gap is dauntingly wide. Efforts at improved communication are great, but he says that so far policy has come from the top floor of city hall, without enough input from those closest to what’s happening on the street.last_img read more

Birthday joyride ends in disaster 2 DU students killed

first_imgPolice found the Honda City car in a damaged condition and the pole and railing uprooted from the road divider.IANSA young man and a woman were killed and two others were injured early on Sunday when their car hit an electric pole and railing at high speed in east Delhi’s Vivek Vihar area, police said.The accident occurred at 5.40 a.m. at Surya Nagar. The driver, identified as Lakhshye, 22, was detained.Police found the Honda City car in a damaged condition and the pole and railing uprooted from the road divider, Deputy Commissioner of Police Meghna Yadav said.The car’s four other occupants were identified as Keshav, 21, a resident of Kamla Nagar, Prabhjot Singh, 18, from Malkaganj, Arshpreet, 19, from Haryana’s Sirsa, and Rubal, 20.They were taken to GTB Hospital where Prabhjot and Rubal were declared dead, the officer added.”Prabhjot Singh was pursuing graduation from correspondence in DU. He worked in a call centre co-owned by Lakhshye in Kamala Nagar. Rubal was a student of Daulat Ram College. She was a native of Sirsa and best friend of Arshpreet,” she added.Keshav also works in the same call centre, she said.”Arshpreet is a student of Vivekanand College in DU and stays in a flat at Dilshad Garden. It was Arshpreet’s birthday celebration on Saturday night. All the friends first assembled at his flat and had a party where they consumed liquor heavily the entire night,” she said.”Later they all went for a joyride in Lakhshye’s car at 5 a.m. They also consumed liquor inside the car before it hit the divider, electric pole and signboards and turned turtle. Lakhshye who was at the wheel escaped major injury due to the airbag. He fled from the spot but later in the evening appeared before the investigators,” she added.”Lakhshye also received minor injuries. Some liquor bottles and cigarette packets were recovered from inside the car,” the officer added.”It appears that the driver was speeding and lost control of the car,” said a senior police officer.last_img read more

Full Show New Sandra Bland Video And Barbara Bush The Matriarch May

first_imgListen To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /50:51center_img X On Tuesday’s Houston Matters: Sandra Bland was found dead in her Waller County jail cell in 2015. Now, a newly uncovered video of her arrest is raising questions about how the case was handled. We examine Bland’s arrest and suicide further with Brian Collister, who is a reporter for Investigative Network.Also this hour: On May 8th, 1980 the World Health Organization announced smallpox was eradicated. But, in 2019, more than 700 cases of the measles have been reported in 22 states with ten of them confirmed here in Texas as of March. We examine what lessons can be learned from efforts to eradicate smallpox, polio, and other diseases that we couldn’t accomplish with measles.Then, journalist Susan Page discusses The Matriarch, her biography of former First Lady Barbara Bush.And Houston’s very first poet laureate Gwendolyn Zepeda tells us about the stories and authors featured in her new anthology Houston Noir and how our city lends itself to the noir genre.We offer a daily podcast here, on iTunes, Stitcher and other podcasting apps. This article is part of the Houston Matters podcast Sharelast_img read more

A Definitive Ranking Of Female Barbarians

first_imgThe whole point of fantasy is to smash boundaries, and one of the most enduring archetypes that does just that is the female barbarian, who can swing a sword and cleave a skull just as well as her male counterparts. Come with us as we quantify every lady berserker in history, using a complex series of rating mechanisms that no ordinary broadsword could handle.14. ShakiraNo, not the “Hips Don’t Lie” singer. DC Comics has always experimented with other genres outside of superheroes, and during the 70s put out a bunch of sword & sorcery titles. Warlord was created by the great Mike Grell and told the story of a Vietnam War pilot who flew through a hole in the Earth to the kingdom of Skartaris. One of his allies there is Shakira, a nubile barbarian woman with the ability to shapeshift into a black cat. She’s a fantastic combatant in either form but loses a few barbarian cred points for using highfaluting weapons like guns.13. Mira & MaraTwo for one in this entry. Sorceress is a 1982 cheapie that stars real-life Playboy Playmate twins Leigh and Lynette Harris as Mira and Mara, a pair of girls who are set to be sacrificed so their father, the evil wizard Traigon, can keep his powers. Who exactly the sorceress is doesn’t get explained – their mom, maybe? – But the two girls get raised in the barbarian tradition by the warrior Krona. They proceed to kick a bunch of ass, but unfortunately, their best fight scene has them both dressed as boys, so Sorceress loses a few points. They do pop some arrows into Daddy’s back at the end of the flick, though.AdChoices广告12. Tyris FlareThe female playable character in the Golden Axe series, Tyris Flare was raised a princess until the armies of the rapacious Death Adder savaged her kingdom and murdered her parents. She found shelter with an Amazonian tribe who taught her the ways of the blade, and her powerful fire magic can wreak havoc on the battlefield if you kill enough gnomes for potions. Her lack of any other distinguishable character drops her down towards the bottom half of the list though.11. Wild OneMasters Of The Universe was probably the peak of barbarian sensibility on TV, but the cartoon didn’t really boast too many female villains. It inspired a knock-off line of toys from Galoob called Golden Girl, and that brought us one of the only female barbarian action figures ever released. “Wild One” was an axe-wielding crony of the evil Dragon Queen, and although the toy line never got a TV show to expand on its mythology, we have to give her props for her wild face paint, hair wraps, and Gene Simmons-esque boots.10. ZonaThe world of webcomics is a great place for less popular genres to flourish, and J.E. Draft’s The Chronicles Of Zona shows that female barbarians are still a going concern. Princess Zona Zonn-Ipola is a buxom warrior who protects a weedy loser from Southern California warped to her fantasy kingdom. She’s got all of the trademark qualities of a classic barbarian heroine – an insatiable appetite for sex and violence, a strong moral code, and a leather bikini. It’s obvious that she’s a major wish-fulfillment fantasy for her creator, though, which knocks her down a point or two.9. HundraAmazonian warrior Hundra is the last survivor of her tribe when they get slaughtered by rapacious barbarians, and with vengeance on her mind, she seeks advice from a seer who tells her to get pregnant after she slaughters them all. What follows is bizarre and unconventional swords & sandals epic that feature seriously weird supporting characters. For all of her legendary badassery, Hundra doesn’t do all that much in the movie but manages to inspire a revolt of enslaved women, which is a pretty alpha female move.8. Shardan1988’s Sword Of Sodan let players take control of female barbarian Shardan or her brother… Brodan. Cool name, bro. The duo hacked and slashed their way through multiple side-scrolling stages on their quest to dethrone the evil Zoras. The game sold a stunning 55,000 copies on the Commodore Amiga, but in the pantheon of female barbarians, Shardan rests pretty near the bottom. It was cool to have a sword-swinging woman as a playable character, but she doesn’t have much in the way of personality.7. Queen AmetheaThe titular character of sleazy 85 fantasy film Barbarian Queen is pressed into a life of sword-swinging violence after her wedding is interrupted by evil forces. Her climactic moment comes when a jailer is attempting to force himself on her, so she uses her muscled thighs to painfully crush his penis and then throws him into a pool of acid. She loses a few points because Amethea actually loses the film’s climactic battle, only to be saved when the evil king’s concubine stabs him in the back.6. AxaThe 1970s were probably the prime period for barbarian action, and over in England starting in 1978 daily readers of the Sun were treated to the adventures of Axa, written by Donne Avenell and drawn by the singular-named Romero. One of many futuristic barbarians, the titular Axa got bored of sterile life inside a domed city and made her way to the wasteland beyond, where she threw on a fur bikini and got into all kinds of scrapes. Axa’s pretty low on the list because she was marketed more on sex appeal than combat skills, although she did have a remarkably long run, even showing up in a mobile phone game in 2011.5. SonyaThe Diablo series has spawned a rich fantasy universe, and when the design for the female barbarian in the third installment dropped Blizzard nailed it. Sonya, as the character is incarnated in Heroes of the Storm, is a lowkey thicc berserker who lays down some tremendous carnage on the battlefield. She hails from a nomadic tribe that ravages the steppes, repelling any who dare enter their territory. It’s fair to say that Sonya is the top barbarian woman in the world of video games.4. JirelOne of the first warrior women to ever hit the pages of the pulps, C.L. Moore, described Jirel of Joiry as “tall as most men and as savage as the wildest of them.” The warrior queen of ancient France stared in a pile of stories during the 1930s, penned by Moore (one of the first female science-fantasy writers, who worked under a gender-neutral pen name for that very reason). They took the heroine on mysterious journeys into dark supernatural realms where victory was won by emotion and empathy just as often as by bloodlust and the sword. Jirel laid the groundwork for barbarian queens to come and deserves her spot. 3. UlgaThe protagonist of YA comic Princess Ugg is a young barbarianess who enrolls in a boarding school for princesses so she can learn how to stop her people’s endless warfare. Right there we’ve got a pretty compelling concept for a heroine. Ulga doesn’t push the sex appeal that we typically get from a sword-swinging she-devil, instead delivering a complex and nuanced portrait of a young woman balancing bloodlust and responsibility. She certainly kicks ass when it counts, though, and isn’t afraid to lop off limbs and set heads flying.2. XenaThe debate over whether Xena, Warrior Princess qualifies as a true barbarian is a tale as old as time. Let’s settle that now: she is. OK? Now on to why she deserves the second to highest spot on this list. Xena epitomizes so many barbarian values. She’s nomadic, unstoppable with sword or chakram, and lives by a moral code forged in the flames of a sadistic past. Her adventures make her one of the most visible barbarians in pop culture history, and she inspired a whole generation of ass-kicking women across all genres.1. Red SonjaAs created by Robert E. Howard, Red Sonja is barely a footnote in Conan lore, but thanks to the efforts of Roy Thomas at Marvel she’s become objectively the greatest female barbarian of all time. The crimson-haired swordswoman was lovingly brought to life by the pen of Frank Thorne and has enjoyed a storied publishing career since, most recently in a successful series written by Gail Simone. Sonja really laid the groundwork for so much of what we consider a female barbarian to be, and we don’t see her being dethroned from the top of this list anytime soon.last_img read more

Arnold Schwarzenegger Lends Voice to Stan Lees Superhero Kindergarten

first_imgStay on target What do bodybuilder-cum-actor-cum-politician Arnold Schwarzenegger and late comic book writer Stan Lee have in common?An appreciation for ’90s comedy Kindergarten Cop.Nearly three decades after John Kimble traded his police badge for school supplies, Schwarzenegger returns to the classroom in the animated children’s show Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten.AdChoices广告Created by Lee as his final project, the series follows Arnold Armstrong (Schwarzenegger), an average gym teacher-turned-superhero.Armstrong acquired his powers, as one does, when Earth passed through the ionic dust left in the wake of a mysterious comet. Transformed into Captain Courage, he traveled the planet, stopping evil in the name of justice and fair play.But, five years ago, during his final battle with arch-nemesis Dr. Superior, Captain Courage was forced to expend his abilities and hang up his super suit.An average gym teacher once more, Arnold Armstrong gets a second chance at valor when a massive explosion of super-energy particles rains down, sparking rumors of mutant children.Now, Armstrong must serve humanity once again by going “undercover” as a kindergarten teacher whose main task is training this new generation of super-powered five-year-olds in secret.The show is a co-production between Genius Brands, Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment, and Schwarzenegger’s Oak Productions. Deadpool co-creator Fabian Nicieza is scripting the series.“It is an honor and privilege to work with Genius Brands and POW! Entertainment on this new series and help carry on Stan’s creative legacy by introducing this new group of superheroes to preschool children around the world,” Schwarzenegger said in a statement.Lee—famous for bringing to life fictional heroes like Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, Peggy Carter, Black Panther, Wolverine, Captain Marvel, Thor, Black Widow, and countless others—was apparently a long-time groupie of the 38th Governor of California.“Stan loved and admired Arnold as not just an actor, but a true hero in so many ways and always envisioned Arnold for this role,” Genius Brand CEO Andy Heyward said.The feeling seems to be mutual.“Not only does Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten feature comedy and action, but there are many valuable lessons to be learned along the way,” Schwarzenegger said.“Of particular pride to me is the fact that I am not only teaching kids to use their superpowers,” he continued, “but I am also imparting valuable lessons to kids worldwide about the importance of health, exercise, and nutrition.”Gone but not forgotten, Lee will make an animated cameo in every episode of Superhero Kindergarten, similar to his legendary appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.A release date has not yet been announced. In the meantime, you can relive the hilarity of Kindergarten Cop on Hulu starting June 1. (Schwarzenneger’s superior Jingle All the Way, meanwhile, is available on Amazon Prime Video.)Marvel Comics editor, writer, and producer Lee passed away in November at the age of 95.Through his work and collaborations with Steve Ditko, Jack Kirby, and other artists, Lee turned Marvel from a small business into one of the world’s largest comic book and multimedia ventures.“Stan is the greatest creator that Hollywood and pop culture has ever known,” Heyward said. “We are honored to continue his legacy of creating a new superhero franchise for kids with another iconic hero, Arnold Schwarzenegger.”More on Geek.com:World’s Tiniest Fly With Massive Legs Named For Arnold SchwarzeneggerArnold Schwarzenegger Faced With Terminating His Zombie Daughter in ‘Maggie’Stan Lee’s Best Characters SDCC 2019: Arnold Schwarzenegger on Why He’s ‘Addicted’ to ‘Terminator’‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ Trailer Teases a New Judgment Day last_img read more