APTN National NewsVancouver’s Downtown Eastside is plagued with crime, prostitution and drugs.Recently a forum on Aboriginal justice was held in the city.As APTN’s Tina House reports the goal is to come up with long term solutions for people who need help the most.
SHANGHAI – It was looking like a banner year for business in China. The U.S. clothing company was expecting a 20 per cent jump in online sales on Alibaba’s Tmall, thanks to the e-commerce giant’s massive reach.But executives soon learned that what Alibaba gives, it can also take away.The company refused to sign an exclusive contract with Alibaba, and instead participated in a big sale promotion with its archrival, JD.com Inc. Tmall punished them by taking steps to cut traffic to their storefront, two executives told The Associated Press. They said advertising banners vanished from prominent spots in Tmall sales showrooms, the company was blocked from special sales and products stopped appearing in top search results.The well-known American brand saw its Tmall sales plummet 10 to 20 per cent for the year.“Based on our sales record, we should have been in a prominent position, but we were at the bottom of the page,” said the brand’s e-commerce director, who spoke only on condition of anonymity for fear of further retaliation. “That’s a clear manipulation of traffic. That’s a clear punishment.”As the Trump administration pushes China to play by fair trade rules, companies are caught in a quieter but no less crucial struggle for fair access to a $610 billion online marketplace, an AP investigation has found.Executives from five major consumer brands told the AP that after they refused to enter exclusive partnerships with Alibaba, traffic to their Tmall storefronts fell, hurting sales. Three are American companies with billions in annual sales that rely on China for growth.In a statement, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. said pursuing exclusive deals is a common industry practice and called the charges of coercion “completely false.”“Alibaba and Tmall conduct business in full compliance with Chinese laws,” Alibaba said. “Like many e-commerce platforms, we have exclusive partnerships with some of the merchants on Tmall. The merchant decides to choose such an arrangement because of the attractive services and value Tmall brings to them.”Imagine a company twice as profitable as Amazon that each year serves more people than live in all of North America. That’s Alibaba. It claims to be the marketplace for nearly $550 billion a year in sales — more than is sold online in the entire U.S. economy.The trials of the affected companies offer a rare window onto a bruising business culture forged in China that could spread as Alibaba takes its aggressive, innovative and hugely profitable model of e-commerce global. To the extent that their products are manufactured in the United States — and some are — constricting sales in China’s critical growth market can also deepen the imbalance of trade between China and the U.S., a gap that is a top concern for the Trump administration.The competition between Alibaba and JD.com is so infamous in China — and so dirty — it’s been dubbed the “great cat-and-dog war,” after Tmall’s black-cat mascot and JD.com’s white dog.The executives spoke to the AP only on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals, but their concerns were echoed by a U.S. industry group, brand consultants and policy makers in China and JD.com itself.In a speech about cyberspace last week, Chinese president Xi Jinping said ensuring free and fair competition online was a regulatory priority, citing the need “to cultivate a fair market environment, strengthen intellectual property protection, and oppose monopoly and unfair competition,” state media reported.In its months-long investigation, the AP interviewed more than 30 people and reviewed two contracts from Alibaba that contained previously unreported exclusivity clauses. The AP found that the platforms that control access to Chinese consumers online wield such enormous power that even multibillion-dollar foreign companies can have trouble fighting back.“We urge the authorities to quickly investigate and take steps to ensure such practices are eliminated from the growing Chinese marketplace,” said Stephen Lamar, executive vice-president of the American Apparel & Footwear Association, adding that members of his industry group had complained about unfair competitive practices by Alibaba.JD.com is a member and sponsor of the trade group.Wang Hongbo, a consultant who helps Chinese brands sell online abroad, echoed the problems cited by the companies who spoke to AP.“Many brands complained about this to us. Because they didn’t fall in line, they faced restrictions on Tmall,” he said.It’s not clear whether Alibaba’s actions would be illegal, nor is it certain that the evidence of coercion that brands have managed to collect would hold up in court. Under China’s anti-monopoly laws, companies that dominate a market cannot demand exclusivity without justification. A 2015 regulation also specifically bars e-commerce platforms from restricting brands’ participation in promotions on other platforms.The rules are designed to prevent dominant players from squeezing out the competition, which could ultimately hurt both brands and consumers by giving a single, monopolistic player absolute control over prices.JD.com said that over 100 Chinese brands defected last year due to pressure from its main rival, an assertion Alibaba and some brands have contested. The exodus appears to have had a lasting impact.“Based on the feedbacks we received from these merchants, the move was mainly due to the coercive tactics from our competition, which if proven true would be illegal and clearly against the merchants’ will,” said Sidney Huang, JD.com’s chief financial officer, said in a November earnings call.Peacebird, a Chinese fashion company, is among those that left JD.com last year. But Weng Jianghong, the company’s general manager of e-commerce, said Alibaba had not coerced them and the decision to focus on Tmall was strategic.“We will centralize and develop the limited resources of our company on Tmall,” he said.Many companies, including JD.com, do exclusive deals. However, JD.com maintains that it doesn’t strategically push merchants for exclusivity.“We support fair and open competition because greater choice is always better for brands and users,” JD.com said in a statement. “We are winning over customers by providing a superior shopping experience, rather than by limiting the options of brands or consumers.”JD.com is still trying to get brands to return. “We do believe there will be more merchants coming back,” Huang said in a call last month with analysts. “But I do not expect a very quick fix.”PLAY OR PAYTmall controlled six of every 10 dollars spent overall for business-to-consumer sales online in China in the second half of last year — and even more for sectors like apparel — giving it enormous power over companies that rely on Alibaba for access to Chinese consumers online.The contracts reviewed by AP offered a suite of benefits in exchange for exclusivity. One contract specified that brands must not operate storefronts on other e-commerce platforms without Tmall’s written permission. The other contract mandated that new products not be launched on competing platforms and barred brands from sales promotions on other platforms without Tmall’s written permission.Such sales events are the lifeblood of online commerce in China. The country’s massive Singles Day promotion in November, which started as an anti-Valentine’s Day gimmick, is now the world’s largest e-commerce event. Last year, Alibaba said $25 billion worth of merchandise was sold on its platforms alone, compared with just $14.5 billion in total online sales in the U.S. for Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined, according to data from Adobe Systems Inc.Brands cited commercial, ideological and legal reasons for refusing to cut off business with JD.com.Some said that different people shop in different ways on JD.com and Tmall, so cutting off JD.com means cutting off access to a pool of potential shoppers.“It’s clear from the data we look at these are distinct consumer pools,” said the China head of a publicly-traded company. “If I lost the JD business I would lose a certain part of that business. Another part is on principle: This is blatant anticompetitive behaviour.”Others cited legal concerns. “We didn’t want to go for it in part because we thought it might be an illegal agreement in restraint of trade,” said an executive for a second publicly-traded company.“We’re chided when we participate in promotional events on other platforms,” he added. “What’s never said but actually happens when we don’t co-operate in the way they want us to is our traffic falls. It’s not a coincidence.”Two companies said they granted concessions to Alibaba, agreeing to exclusive product launches, raising their prices on JD.com, or removing ads promoting JD.com sales. Traffic to their Tmall shops rebounded. One company said it ultimately closed its flagship on JD.com to salvage Tmall sales.“You have to go beg,” said the China director of a multi-billion dollar publicly-traded company.THE GREAT CAT-AND-DOG WARTmall and JD.com have different business models but they are increasingly pushing onto each other’s turf.Alibaba’s online marketplaces connect buyers and sellers. Alibaba earns money from advertising, as well as commissions and fees. JD.com runs a similar marketplace but, like Amazon, also buys products from brands, then sells and distributes the merchandise itself.Alibaba has taken aim at JD.com’s long-standing dominance in electronics, while JD.com hopes to cut into Tmall’s core apparel category. Both have expanded into groceries and poured hundreds of millions of dollars into acquisitions to extend their reach into brick-and-mortar businesses.The result is an escalating turf fight that carries a chilling message for brands: Either you’re with us or against us. The Chinese have a name for this unwritten rule, “er xuan yi,” choose one of two.“‘Choose one of two’ is a tacit understanding that has been reached by everyone, but you do not say it directly,” said Zhuo Saijun, who until 2015 was a general manager of e-commerce research at Analysys Ltd., a Beijing-based big data consultancy. “This is certainly a problem for the development of retail sales channels. It is a business ethics problem, and this is how monopolies develop.”Some policymakers have raised concerns about monopolistic tendencies in Chinese e-commerce and called for more effective regulation and enforcement.“Unfair competition still exists,” Wang Bingnan, a deputy director at China’s Ministry of Commerce, said in a June speech about China’s e-commerce market. “Behaviours like forced ‘choose one of two,’” he added, “are hard for regulators to define, prove or deal with accurately.”JD.com has complained about anticompetitive tactics before. In 2015, the company filed a complaint with the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, a corporate regulator, accusing Alibaba of pressuring brands into doing exclusive Singles Day sales promotions — a charge Alibaba denied. The complaint was kicked to a regional office in Zhejiang province, where Alibaba has its headquarters.Nothing more was ever heard about it.The regulators did not respond to requests for comment.Alibaba said that while JD.com focuses “on groundless complaints to explain why they are losing brands, we at Alibaba are squarely focused on making our platform the best for our merchants.”MR. MA GOES GLOBALThe battles now being waged within China’s e-commerce sector could well impact the culture and norms of e-commerce globally — at least if Alibaba’s chairman, Jack Ma, has his way.Alibaba aims to serve 2 billion consumers by 2036 — or about one in four people now on the planet. Already, the value of goods sold on Alibaba’s platforms in fiscal year 2017 was $547 billion, larger than the gross domestic product of Sweden.In June, Ma told investors that his company will rank as the fifth largest economy in the world. “Just say USA, China, Europe, maybe Japan and us,” Ma said.The company has been aggressively recruiting foreign brands to sell on its platforms, and they have come, in droves. Alibaba said it signed up 60,000 international brands for its massive Single’s Day sale in November, up from 5,000 in 2015.Alibaba’s retail sales outside of China also are growing fast — they more than doubled last fiscal year to 7.3 billion yuan ($1.1 billion), or 5 per cent of total revenue.America remains at the heart of Ma’s ambition. He told president-elect Donald Trump in Jan. 2017 that he would create a million U.S. jobs by facilitating trade between businesses in the U.S and consumers in China — a pledge he now says is imperiled by the brewing trade war between the two countries.Brands now caught in the great cat and dog war have adopted different strategies to avoid becoming collateral damage.An e-commerce manager at a major European brand said she’d be happy to offer totally different products on Tmall and JD.com to stay out of trouble, but worries her bosses won’t go for it because it cuts off potential buyers.Sometimes, she said, it feels “like we’re working for those platforms.”___Associated Press writer Anne D’Innocenzio in Las Vegas and researchers Si Chen and Fu Ting in Shanghai contributed to this report.Follow Kinetz on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ekinetzSend news tips, documents, etc. securely and confidentially to AP at https://securedrop.ap.org/
New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) filed a supplementary chargesheet against former Haryana chief minister O P Chautala in connection with a money-laundering case on Thursday.The agency mentioned in the chargesheet that immovable assets worth Rs 3.68 crore were attached by it on April 13 in relation to four properties in Delhi, Panchkula and Sirsa. It said the investigation conducted so far under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) had revealed that Chautala laundered the disproportionate assets by depositing illegal cash in the bank accounts of his and his family members. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The ED said this was done to avoid the back trail of money, merge the illegal cash with genuine income and show it as untainted. This laundered money was further used to purchase new properties or carry out construction on the already acquired properties. The chargesheet was filed before special judge Kamini Lau, who posted the matter for consideration on May 16. Referring to Chautala’s affidavits filed before the 2005 and 2009 Haryana Assembly polls, the agency said he had disclosed his assets to publicly Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&Kproject the tainted properties as untainted. “During the period between May 24, 1993 and May 5, 2006, O P Chautala, while functioning as a public servant (the CM of Haryana), allegedly acquired assets disproportionate to his income to the tune of Rs 6,09,79,026. The value of the disproportionate assets acquired by O P Chautala is in the form of various movable and immovable properties which constitutes ‘proceeds of crime’ in this case. “The calculation of these accumulated disproportionate assets of Chautala was based on oral and documentary evidence collected by the CBI during investigation and included all sources of income and expenses. Chautala had invested these disproportionately acquired assets mainly in the following properties…,” the chargesheet said.
Ohio State football won’t play its annual game against Michigan until Nov. 24 , but there’s a rivalry game this Saturday to tide the Buckeyes over. Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema labeled this weekend’s matchup with the Buckeyes as a rivalry game Tuesday at the weekly Big Ten football coaches teleconference. “It’s a big one,” Bielema said. Last year, OSU upset then-No. 12 Wisconsin in a game that Bielema called “heartbreaking.” The year before, Wisconsin gave a then-No.1 OSU squad its only loss of the season. Dating back to 2005, either Wisconsin or OSU has won at least a share of the Big Ten conference title. “What makes a good rivalry is when two good teams play significant games,” said first-year OSU coach Urban Meyer. “Over the past decade, certainly in recent history, these two teams have been near the top of the Big Ten. That’s made this a very interesting rivalry.” The current landscape of the Big Ten conference has allowed the OSU-Wisconsin rivalry to blossom. The Buckeyes and Badgers are both members of the Leaders Division, guaranteeing a meeting between the programs every year. Meyer said he has no doubt that Wisconsin will always compete for the division championship, making the OSU and Wisconsin game a pivotal one in determining the Leaders Division champion for years to come. That will be the case this weekend; a win against Wisconsin, and OSU will be crowned as king of the Leaders Division. Badgers not holding back Because OSU and Penn State are ineligible from postseason play, Wisconsin secured a spot in the Big Ten Championship game last weekend with a win against Indiana . But that doesn’t mean the Badgers will hold back this weekend against the Buckeyes. “Our goal year in and year out is to win our division,” Bielema said. “Obviously, we have to beat Ohio State for that to happen this year.” Nearly every year in the NFL, teams will rest their starters during the final weeks of the regular season once their playoff destinies are finalized. Bielema said, however, that the thought of benching his key players until the Big Ten Championship Game on Dec. 1 hadn’t even crossed his mind. “We would probably have a mutiny if I tried to take anyone out of the game,” Bielema said. “This is a chance to play the team that’s No. 1 in our division. I want to win in the worst way because Ohio State has set the standard for winning in this league.” Although the goal is to beat the Buckeyes, the Wisconsin coach said his team doesn’t need to win the division outright to legitimize their inevitable spot in the conference championship game. “We’re going to play the schedule that’s laid out,” Bielema said. “All we do is play the schedule that’s in front of us and live with the results.”
A little over two months after committing to Ohio State, four-star defensive end Andrew Chatfield reopened his recruiting process Monday evening.I just open my recruitment please respect my decision — Andrew Chatfield™ (@Drew_Chatfield) August 8, 2017The Fort Lauderdale, Florida, native committed to the Buckeyes June 1. Two weeks ago, he received an offer from the Florida Gators, fueling speculation he might flip his commitment to the in-state program.Chatfield is the No. 297 overall play in his class and the 14th-best weakside defensive end, according to 247Sports composite rankings.Ohio State now has 16 commitments in its 2018 recruiting class. One defensive end – five-star Georgia native Brenton Cox – remains committed to the Buckeyes.
The Buckeyes prepare to take to the field prior to the start of the game against Purdue on Oct. 20. Ohio State lost 49-20. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorOhio State (7-1, 4-1 Big Ten) comes in ranked No. 10 in the first College Football Playoff Rankings released on Tuesday.Coming in behind No. 5 Michigan, the Buckeyes are the second-highest team in the rankings in the Big Ten, along with No. 14 Penn State and No. 16 Iowa.Ohio State is coming off a bye week, with its last game being a 49-20 loss to Purdue. The Buckeyes are ranked No. 8 in both the AP Poll and the Coaches Poll.Ohio State plays a home game against Nebraska at noon on Saturday.Here are the full rankings:1.) Alabama2.) Clemson3.) LSU4.) Notre Dame5.) Michigan6.) Georgia7.) Oklahoma8.) Washington State9.) Kentucky10.) Ohio State11.) Florida12.) UCF13.) West Virginia14.) Penn State15.) Utah16.) Iowa17.) Texas18.) Mississippi State19.) Syracuse20.) Texas A&M21.) NC State22.) Boston College23.) Fresno State24.) Iowa State25.) Virginia
Only 1,000 of these cards were printed and sold. At a shilling each they represented a luxury item at the time.By the 1870s the cost of sending Christmas cards, had dropped to half a penny, establishing them as popular tradition.One of the original cards, sent by Sir Henry Cole to his grandmother in 1843, was sold at auction in Devizes, Wiltshire for £20,000 in November 2001 – making it the most expensive Christmas card on record. Everyone predicted the end of the greetings card, but it’s the one area of print communication that proved extremely resilient.Sharon Little, chief executive of the Greetings Card Association The world’s first commercial Christmas card, commissioned by Sir Henry Cole and designed by John C Horsley, goes on display at the Ironbridge Gorge Museum in Telford, Shropshire, in 2011Credit:NTI Media Ltd / Rex Features A Gibson Doyle card retailing for £16.95 each When it came to Christmas greetings it used to be a case of picking a card from a charity multi-pack and jotting a quick festive message.But people are increasingly willing to spend considerably more on individual cards, choosing to buy fancier, more fashionable and altogether more expensive cards to send to a loved one.It appears that in an era when traditional handwritten letters are in decline the novelty of receiving a personal Christmas card has become all the more welcome. Festive cards at Harrods retail for as much as £24.95 for six (£4.15 each), or even £42.95 for eight (£5.36 each), while a set of Katie Leamon’s 12 days of Christmas cards sells for £25 at Harvey Nichols.On top of that is the continued desire for a personalised, handwritten message which can be hung on a mantlepiece, rather than an impersonal email which can be deleted with the press of a button.A study by the Royal Mail this month has found that 72 per cent of people who celebrate Christmas would prefer to receive printed cards.Only six per cent would rather get a festive greeting via social media and 10 per cent via text.Indeed more than 60 percent of people questioned still keep addresses and postcodes of friends and relatives written down in a physical address book.Mrs Little said: “Sending and receiving a greetings card is still a prized form of communication. There’s an emotional connection between people by something that is handwritten and expresses a personal message.“Furthermore a Christmas card can be hung up and re-read over the festive period, brightening up a house in a way an easily deleted email simply can’t.”Christmas Cards: A brief historyThe habit of sending festive greetings dates as far back as the Middle Ages, when worshippers began distributing wood prints with religious themes at Christmas.The custom of sending Christmas cards as we know them today took off in Britain from the 1840s onwards, when the first “Penny Post” postal deliveries began where launched.Indeed the first Christmas card was commissioned in 1843 by Sir Henry Cole, who had helped to introduce the Penny Post service three years earlier. It was designed by John Horsley to be printed and then hand-coloured, either by the sender or receiver. Latest figures show that 105 million individually sold cards have been bought this year and although that number has remained the same the amount spent on each card has gone up.UK consumers have spent £184 million on 105 million individual cards this year, £15 million more than in 2015, according to the Greetings Card Association.And despite the long-heralded death of the Christmas card in the face of e-mailed greetings and postings on social media, the total number of cards, individual and multi-pack, sold this year has dropped by only 10 million ( 0.01 per cent) to 1.05 billion.The GCA estimates the total value of UK Christmas card sales this year to be worth £384 million.Sharon Little, chief executive of the GCA, said: “People are sending slightly fewer cards but are spending more on the ones they are sending to family and close friends.“Everyone predicted the end of the greetings card because of the fashion for digital. But it’s the one area of print communication that proved extremely resilient.”Industry experts put this down to a vogue for more personalised or bespoke Christmas cards, hand made by small-scale artists and frequently sold through high end stationers and department stores.The online handmade card retailer Gibson Doyle sells a range of individual Christmas cards for as much as £18.95 each. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
← Previous Story Ljubomir Vranjes is new Serbian headcoach! Next Story → Karabatic and Liscevic MVP in France! VIVE TARGI KIELCE BECOME POLISH CHAMPION AFTER DEFEATING WISLA PLOCK IN THE THIRD MATCH IN PLOCK!Third match of the Polish play-offs belonged to Vive Kielce. Kielce beat Wisła Płock 27:24 and won their 10. Polish Champions title. As much as previous matches had more or less similar course, beginning of the third match was nothing like it. Kielce started brilliantly from the very beginning and gained considerable advantage. It may have seemed that the game would not bring any excitement but defending champions slowed down and Wisła stared catching up. Both teams had their good and bad phases and result was changing all the time from 6 goal to 2 goal advantage of Kielce. Even though the course of the match was different, half time result was exactly the same as in 2 previous matches – Vive’s 3 goal advantage. Second half brought much more nerves than it could have been expected. Kielce were still leading but they played worse, especially in attack, while Wisła seemed to improve. Płock were getting closer and closer but they did not manage to draw. In one moment both teams gave their fans a show of missed chances; it was Kielce that scored at last and got 2 goal advantage. Last minutes belonged to Iskra; they did not let go lead until the final whistle. The top scorer for Kielce was Michał Jurecki (9) and for Wisla Valentin Ghionea (8).TEXT: Martyna Usnarska Michal Jureckimistrz polskiPolish HandballValentin Ghioneavive kielce
Back in 2008 there was an Israeli company by the name of Modu going in a very different direction to anyone else with its smartphone designs. Rather than come up with a single smartphone unit, the company instead decided to produce a tiny phone module that could be plugged into different functionality jackets.Unlike other smartphones where you keep them for a couple of years and then get a new one, Modu gave you a core module, and let you buy the jackets that fitted your needs as and when they came to market. Or you could buy multiple jackets to fit different situations such as a large display touchscreen jacket for gaming, or a low power small jacket for work. There was even a plan to let the module plug into a laptop for 3G Internet.The idea was sound, but the implementation took far longer than it should have with more than a year passing before we heard anything from Modu again after that initial idea launch.Skip forward to today and the company has had its doors closed for a few months having run out of cash in January. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing of value left in Modu’s assets, and Google has decided to buy its patent portfolio for $4.9 million. While that money will be used to pay off Modu’s debts and give ex-staff money they are owed, Google now has itself a few dozen new patents to play with.What intrigues us is what Google intends to do with those patents. We don’t know specifics, but they must relate in some way to modular phone designs and communications between devices. Could a future Nexus smartphone have such functionality and accessories? Otherwise, Google may have just spotted a few gems in the patent collection it was worth getting hold off for future patent battles with other companies.Read more at BGR
Marée noire : du gaz a aussi fui dans le golfe du MexiqueLa marée noire provoquée l’an dernier par l’explosion de la plateforme pétrolière du groupe BP a entraîné non seulement la dispersion de 4 millions de barils de pétrole mais également le rejet de près de 500.000 tonnes d’hydrocarbures gazeux.Le 20 avril 2010, la plateforme pétrolière de la société BP explosait, laissant s’échapper en trois mois 4 millions de barils de pétrole dans l’océan. Mais une étude qui vient d’être réalisée par Samantha Joye de l’université de Georgie, indique que des gaz d’hydrocarbures se sont également déversés dans le golfe du Mexique. Si les rejets de gaz d’hydrocarbures ne sont pas comptabilisés, l’évaluation d’une marée noire est faussée. Or, les calculs indiquent que les déversements atteignent entre 1,6 et 3,1 millions de barils équivalent pétrole.À lire aussiUn plongeur se fait attaquer par un lion de merDans le cas de la plateforme Deepwater Horizon, l’explosion qui a eu lieu à 1.480 mètres de fond a subi les contraintes d’importantes pressions et de basses températures. Cela a entraîné la libération de gaz d’hydrocarbures à une profondeur comprise entre 1.000 et 1.300 mètres. Ils sont, à cette distance, digérés par différents microorganismes ou bien ils s’oxydent, entrainant la raréfaction de l’oxygène.Les chercheurs américains expliquent que “l’oxydation microbienne du méthane et des autres alcanes élimine l’oxygène du système pendant un certain temps parce que la reconstitution de l’oxygène à cette profondeur prendra de nombreuses décennies”, rapporte Sciences et Avenir. Mais comme tous les hydrocarbures participent à cette hypoxie, il est difficile de déterminer quelle part est imputable aux gaz et laquelle est imputable au pétrole brut. Le 14 février 2011 à 13:29 • Emmanuel Perrin
L’utilisation d’embryon humain désormais interdite de brevet en EuropeMardi, la justice européenne a décidé d’interdire de breveter à des fins de recherche scientifique tout procédé utilisant un embryon humain et entrainant sa destruction. Un arrêt critiqué par les chercheurs et qui aura des conséquences pour l’industrie pharmaceutique du continent.Il y a plusieurs mois, la Cour fédérale de justice allemande avait saisi les juges de l’Union européenne pour fournir une décision dans l’affaire concernant le professeur Oliver Brüstle de l’Institut de neurobiologie reconstructive de Bonn. En 1997, ce spécialiste a fait breveter un procédé permettant de créer à partir de cellules souches embryonnaires des cellules précurseurs neurales utilisées pour traiter des maladies neurodégénératives. Une technique que l’organisation Greenpeace avait jugée inacceptable, demandant à la justice allemande son annulation. Mais une fois cette dernière accordée, la Cour fédérale saisie en appel par le chercheur a décidé de s’adresser à la juridiction de Luxembourg, afin de statuer sur l’interprétation de la notion d’embryon humain. Hier, la Cour européenne a ainsi rendu son verdict : il est désormais interdit de breveter à des fins de recherche scientifique tout procédé qui utilise “le prélèvement de cellules souches obtenues à partir d’un embryon humain au stade du blastocyste et qui entraîne la destruction de l’embryon”. Les juges ont également précisé que la notion d’embryon humain devait être comprise “largement”. Autrement dit, “tout ovule humain doit, dès le stade de sa fécondation, être considéré comme un embryon humain dès lors que cette fécondation est de nature à déclencher le processus de développement d’un être humain”, ont-ils statué.De même, la notion d’embryon humain comprend également “l’ovule humain non fécondé dans lequel le noyau d’une cellule humaine mature a été implanté, et l’ovule humain non fécondé induit à se diviser et à se développer par voie de parthénogenèse”, ont-ils encore ajouté. Pour sa part, le professeur Brüstle dont le brevet a été annulé a condamné cette “décision malheureuse”, ajoutant : “elle efface d’un coup les fruits d’années de recherches transnationales des chercheurs européens, et les abandonne aux mains de l’étranger non européen”. Le brevet autorisé à des fins thérapeutiques ou diagnostic À lire aussiIg Nobel : de la banane glissante aux couche-tard psychopathes, le palmarès farfelu des “anti-Nobel” 2014En revanche, la Cour européenne a précisé que l’interdiction ne concernait que les brevets à des fins de recherche scientifique. Autrement dit, “l’utilisation à des fins thérapeutiques ou de diagnostic, applicable à l’embryon humain et utile à celui-ci, peut faire l’objet d’un brevet”, ont ajouté les juges. Pour exemple, ils ont notamment cité les procédés s’appliquant à l’embryon l’humain et qui lui sont utiles pour corriger une malformation et améliorer ses chances de vie. D’après les 23 évêques de la commission de l’épiscopat de la communauté européenne (COMECE), la décision rendue par la justice européenne est “une interprétation juridique claire de la notion d’embryon humain”. Cités par l’AFP, ils ont ainsi estimé : “cet arrêt pourrait donner un nouvel élan à la recherche scientifique sur des sources alternatives, jusqu’à présent restées dans l’ombre de la recherche sur les cellules souches embryonnaires”.Le 19 octobre 2011 à 10:40 • Maxime Lambert
Alerte Météo France orange : 19 départements du nord toujours en vigilance verglasJeudi, Météo France a maintenu en vigilance orange 19 départements du nord de l’Hexagone. Les températures restant basses, le verglas est très fréquent. Si la situation s’est arrangée en plusieurs endroits, 19 départements sont toujours en alerte orange après l’épisode neigeux qui a eu lieu en début de semaine. Depuis mercredi, des routes ont pu être dégagées et les couches de neige ont fondu dans de nombreuses villes. Néanmoins, les températures restent toujours proches de zéro et le verglas est particulièrement fréquent. C’est pourquoi Météo France a décidé de maintenir la vigilance orange dans tout le nord de la France. Les départements concernés se situent en Basse-Normandie, en Haute-Normandie, dans l’Ile-de-France, dans le Nord-Pas-de-Calais et en Picardie. Une liste à laquelle s’ajoute l’Eure-et-Loire. “Sur le nord du pays, avec des températures en fin de nuit souvent proches de -2 à -4 degrés, le verglas reste fréquent sur le réseau routier alors que quelques brouillards givrants se sont développés. Soyez prudents. Le froid est encore plus saisissant ce matin sur le Nord-est avec près de -6 degrés à Nancy, -8 à Colmar”, explique Météo France sur son site.Moins de difficultés sur la route et dans les transportsLes températures redeviendront positives dans l’après-midi mais il regèlera dans la soirée et au cours de la nuit prochaine. Par ailleurs, des averses de neige ajouteront localement des centimètres de neige supplémentaires. Météo France recommande donc de limiter les déplacements en voiture et de privilégier les transports en commun. Depuis mardi, le trafic dans les transports franciliens s’est grandement amélioré mais reste un peu perturbé sur les RER B, C, D, E ainsi que sur les Transiliens. Il est redevenu normal sur les bus, tramway et métro.À lire aussi(VIDÉO) Un radar détecte un nuage de coccinelles de 80 kilomètres de largeCôté autoroute, après des heures de fermeture, l’A1 a enfin été rouverte à la circulation dans le sens Paris-Lille. La circulation n’avait néanmoins pas retrouvé une fluidité normale, selon le Centre régional d’informations routières. “Le trafic va rester intense tant que toutes les voies n’auront pas été intégralement dégagées”, prévient le ministère de l’Intérieur cité par le Parisien. Les autres points noirs de mercredi, notamment sur l’A29 entre Amiens et Saint-Quentin et sur l’A2 près de Cambrai, se sont résorbés.Trois départements en vigilance vents violents Outre les 19 département en vigilance verglas, trois autres du sud de la France sont également en alerte orange, cette fois-ci pour vents violents. La Drôme, le Vaucluse et les Bouches-du-Rhône connaitront dans la journée de fortes rafales qui iront de 90 à 100 km/h voire 130 km/h dans le delta du Rhône. Les deux alertes sont valables jusqu’à vendredi matin 6H.Le 14 mars 2013 à 11:01 • Maxime Lambert
But Fjelstad acknowledged litigation “plays, certainly, a real role in things here” due to the vast amount of federal land in the state. But now, they’re gearing up for the most high-profile court battle yet: oil development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge’s Coastal Plain. The first major opportunity for groups to sue will come this fall, when Interior is slated to release its final environmental analysis on a planned oil lease sale there. Eric Fjelstad, a partner at the law firm Perkins Coie in Anchorage who often represents oil, gas and mining companies, cautioned against giving lawyers too much credit for influencing the fate of the Trump Administration’s plans in Alaska. Economics are key, he said. Grafe lives and works in Anchorage, but Earthjustice is a national group, headquartered in San Francisco. Still, he rejects that narrative. In response to that charge, Interior officials have asserted they are not cutting corners, claiming that because the Coastal Plain oil lease sale is a top priority, more staff time and resources are being devoted to the project. The offshore drilling case highlights the key role of the courts as the Trump administration pursues its vision for Alaska. Two and a half years into this administration, when it comes to the “path for energy dominance,” lawyers in Alaska like Grafe have proven to be significant impediments. “The tax law did not wipe any of those off the books,” Brisson said. “What we do in our work now is to make sure that whatever program they are going to try to put in place complies with the law, and if they don’t, our role will be to hold them accountable.” Grafe is an attorney with Earthjustice in Anchorage. He was one of the lawyers behind a significant court decision in March, when a judge in Anchorage struck down Donald Trump’s executive order re-opening vast portions of the Arctic Ocean to oil leasing, after former President Barack Obama banned development there in 2016. The Trump administration is appealing. But for the time being, the ruling has effectively hobbled the administration’s push to expand oil drilling opportunities in some 125 million acres of the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. And no matter what the White House’s agenda is — whether it’s to halt oil drilling to deal with climate change, or to pursue “energy dominance” — all Americans have a right to challenge that agenda in court. Grafe added that public lands belong to all Americans, not just Alaskans. “BLM’s draft EIS is so lacking and its analysis so flawed that bringing it into compliance with legal mandates will require significant revisions,” the letter stated. Earthjustice, Grafe said, “is built for this moment.” “From my perspective in the trenches, the markets, what’s happening with the economics of a project, its marketability, its ability to get financed — those are still the outsize issues that primarily drive whether things happen or not,” Fjelstad said. Brook Brisson, an attorney with Trustees for Alaska, in the Arctic Refuge near the Kongakut River and Brooks Range foothills in 2012. (Photo courtesy Brisson) Environmental groups and their lawyers have been critical of the work Interior has done so far. In March, they sent an over 400-page letter to the Bureau of Land Management picking apart the agency’s draft environmental analysis for oil leasing on the Coastal Plain. Legal teams working for environmental groups have been preparing for this fight from the minute Trump took the White House, according to Brook Brisson, a senior staff attorney at Trustees for Alaska. Another criticism often lodged against Interior’s efforts to hold an oil lease sale in the Refuge has been speed. “We’re there to stop them by making sure that the laws that are meant to protect those areas, that are meant to allow the public to be involved in those decisions — that they’re upheld,” Grafe said. Along with coalition of other environmental groups, Grafe won against the President of the United States. In response to an interview request for this story, Interior spokesperson Molly Block declined to comment on litigation directly. In an email, Block said, “Congress has given the Department clear direction to establish and administer a competitive oil and gas program on the Coastal Plain.” “We are no more interlopers than the oil companies, for example, which are multinational corporations, after all, interested in extracting resources, which by its definition means taking wealth from the state, out of the state,” Grafe said. Erik Grafe at Earthjustice’s office in downtown Anchorage (Photo by Elizabeth Harball/Alaska’s Energy Desk) “You just can’t create an oil and gas leasing program, much less analyze fully a potential lease sale in an area that hasn’t had a history of that in two years or even less, really. You’re not going to make the right call on that,” said Peter Van Tuyn, a longtime environmental attorney in Alaska. “When you have that kind of rush, you’re guaranteeing litigation — that’s no surprise to anybody. I also think you’re increasing the likelihood of being reversed in court.” In Alaska, the pro-oil development side frequently points out that big green groups that sue to halt oil drilling are often based out of state. For that reason, environmental litigation is often cast as the work of interlopers, set on shutting down one of the state’s primary economic drivers, and who don’t have Alaska’s best interest at heart. Early on, the Trump administration made expanding oil development in Alaska’s federal lands and waters a priority, with former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke proclaiming “the only path for energy dominance is a path through the great state of Alaska.” Drilling in the Refuge may now be legal, but it still must comply with a bevy of other laws, like the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act and the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, to name a few. As with the dispute over Arctic offshore drilling, the courts will likely determine who is right. And to be sure, lawyers on both sides acknowledge lawsuits over Arctic Refuge drilling are virtually guaranteed, no matter how long Interior works on it. This March, lawyer Erik Grafe won a big case. And he didn’t win against just anyone, either.
Game of Thrones season 8 episode 4Game of Thrones (@gameofthrones/Instagram)Game of Thrones season 8 episode 6 will feature Arya Stark attempting to kill the Mad Queen Daenerys Targaryen.Spoilers for recently released Game of Thrones episode:In Game of Thrones season 8 episode 3 “The Long Night,” we saw Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) finally coming on terms with her destiny and killing the Night King and his entire army of White Walkers. It was a shocking moment for all the viewers as we always thought that it would be Jon Snow / Aegon Targaryen (Kit Harington), who will use his Valyrian steel sword to kill the Night King.After killing Night King, we all knew that Arya will now head to the South to kill Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) and finally avenge her father’s death. But as it turned out, Cersei and Jaime Lannister died after getting buried under the pile of rubble. Facebook / Game of ThronesThat being said, Arya Stark has literally been training to become the faceless man all her life. After learning from Brienne and The Hound, she mastered her swordsmanship but she has not used her powers of becoming a faceless man ever since she ended Walder Frey’s entire friends and family. Fans speculated that Arya will use the face of Littlefinger to kill Cersei but that did not happen.In the last and final episode of Game of Thrones season 8, Arya Stark will try her best to kill Daenerys Targaryen. She might need Jon Snow’s help in doing so as the Mad Queen will now be surrounded by her entire Dothraki and Unsullied army. Arya might wear the mask of someone Daenerys knew in the past but the chances of doing that are pretty slim.If Arya Stark does not use her skills of becoming the faceless man, then it would be a total waste of her extraordinary skills as well as it won’t make any sense to not use that in your final battle.In the upcoming final episode of Game of Thrones, we are hoping to finally get the answers to these questions about Arya Stark and how she is going to use the face of someone Daenerys will recognize. Game of Thrones season 8 episode 6 is going to air on Monday morning at 6:30 on Hotstar in India.
By Mark F. Gray, Staff Writer, firstname.lastname@example.orgA Bowie man was indicted on 20 counts for defrauding the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (V.A.) of $300,000 by a federal grand jury for allegedly using his business to deceive a program for disabled military veterans on April 22.Francis Engles, 63, is alleged to have used his company, Engles Security Training School, which he co-owned and operated, to overcharge the V.A.’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) program for services that either were shortened, or not performed altogether. After an extensive federal investigation, Engles was arrested on April 18 then indicted four days later.A Bowie man was indicted on 20 counts for defrauding the United States Department of Veterans Affairs of $300,000, after turning in misleading information about a program for disabled veterans on April 22. (Courtesy Photo)According to the Soldier of Fortune military blog, the formal announcement was made by representatives of the law enforcement agencies who collaborated on the investigation. Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu for the District of Columbia, Special Agent in Charge Matthew J. DeSarno of the FBI’s Washington Field Office Criminal Division and Special Agent in Charge Kim Lampkins of the V.A. Office of Inspector General (OIG), Mid-Atlantic Field Office made the public statement after unsealing the indictment.Engles Security became an approved vendor of the VR&E program in 2015. The VR&E program is designed to help disabled military veterans with education and employment-related services. The Temple Hill-based company specialized in security guard and related courses. The indictment claims Engles falsified documents regarding how he administered it’s course.However, the investigation found evidence that the company provided veterans far less than what Engles presented to the Veterans Administration. He allegedly submitted documents to the V.A. stating that he was providing 15 veterans with months-long courses for 40 hours per week and over 600 total hours. However, in some instances, he allegedly offered only a few hours of class per day, while claiming that the students were in class for 40 hours per week.According to the indictment, Engles frequently cancelled classes without notice or any provision to make them up. Instructors often were late and ended class early. Engles is also alleged to have ended some classes after less than a month although he represented to the V.A. that the veterans’ classes would last for several months.The elaborate scheme also included Engles allegedly creating and sending to the V.A. “Certificates of Training” stating that veterans had completed courses that they had not completed or taken. Engles allegedly submitted letters to the V.A. falsely stating that the veterans had been employed by his private security business. Engles also allegedly instructed veterans to sign attendance sheets representing that they had attended class sessions, which they didn’t attend.Engles allegedly charged the VA thousands of dollars more for veterans’ courses than he charged non-veterans who took the same or similar courses. The V.A. paid Engles Security over $300,000 for the education of 15 veterans.The FBI’s Washington Field Office and the V.A. OIG are leading the investigating the case. Trial Attorney Simon J. Cataldo of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney David Misler of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia are lead in prosecuting the case.There hasn’t been an announcement about when the trial will begin or what jurisdiction will hear it.
Nintendo’s latest console has had something of a rough start. It wasn’t totally clear at the official unveiling what was actually announced, and then later on it was made clear that this was a whole new console. The Wii U is Nintendo’s grand attempt at combining the explosive popularity of the original Wii and the unique gaming experience found in the Nintendo DS in the living room. But what exactly are we getting on November 18?ConsoleNintendo is the last of the consoles to push HD gaming as a standard feature, and doing so means they need the hardware to make that happen. The Wii U is an entirely new console in a familiar looking glossy white or black shell. The console itself is only slightly larger than the original Wii, and almost always laying flat in promotional shots, partially hidden behind that tablet GamePad controller. It’s the guts Nintendo want you to hide away under your TV.Driving the new HD Wii U experience is an Radeon GPU from AMD along with an IBM “Broadway” tri-core processor. Nintendo hasn’t divulged specifics about either the CPU or GPU yet. The two models being offered, Basic ($299.99) and Deluxe ($349.99), are identical interally with the excpetion to the storage. The Basic package will have 8GB of onboard storage, while the Deluxe ships with 32GB. Both models will also have the ability to add removable storage through any of the four USB slots. Any USB storage device will be usable for additional storage, but only after being formatted to function with the Wii U file system.The Wii U will be able to connect to just about any TV, be it through HDMI, S-Video, D-Terminal, Component, or AV and actually ships with a HDMI cable in the box. Onboard WiFi includes 802.11 b/g/n, but also allows for a USB to Ethernet connection for wired access to the Internet. The AV Multi-Out connector allows for analog stereo connections, while HDMI is used for audio otherwise.ControllersThe star of the Wii U show is the all new controller. The Wii U GamePad is a huge 1.1lb controller with a 6.2-inch LCD touchscreen taking center stage. What makes this GamePad unique is how it interacts with the games on the Wii U. The new controller acts almost as a standalone gaming console when in range of the Wii U. There’s still a lot of unknowns when it comes to its features, like the resolution of the screen or the capacity of the rechargeable batteriey, but so far the GamePad feels like a great addition to the Wii U experience.Both versions of the console will come with one of the GamePads and you can only use one at launch. During the Wii U presentation, Reggie Flls-Aime explained that since there were already over 100,000 Wii remotes in circulation, they didn’t feel the need to include one with the console for player two. They will, however, be selling Wii U branded motion controllers, but chances are you have a Wii lying around and spare controllers to make use of.The Nintendo press release confirms the Wii U only supports one GamePad and multiple Wii motion controllers at launch, but some applications and games will possibly support multiple GamePads in the future. When I spoke to Nintendo employees at the US launch event I was told that applications like Nintendo TVii supported two GamePads, allowing the users to access separate profiles and control the television individually. There were no two GamePad demonstrations to show this off, so if it is going to become available it will be part of a future update Nintendo rolls out. Don’t be surprised if it doesn’t appear though, as there’s thought to be technical problems relating to handling communication of multiple GamePads.Not sold with the console, but sure to be available everywhere with the Wii U is the new Pro controller. This accessory bears a striking resemblance to some of the other console controllers on the market right now, but the button layout is just different enough to set them apart when you see them side by side. The Pro controller feels incredibly familiar, and playing games on it is very comfortable.Other AccessoriesAs mentioned above, if you want to play multiplayer games then you are going to need a few Wiimotes and Nunchuks. The Wii versions are compatible with the Wii U, but Nintendo is taking the opportunity to rebrand its Wii peripherals and offer them as true Wii U accessories.Depending on which version of the console you get you may also want or need to invest in a stand for your console and controller. The other confirmed official accessory is a mic. Beyond that we are sure to get a mass of third-party accessories. GamePad screen protectors, charging cables, battery extender add-ons, and of course storage units for the games. All of which is expected to join the Wii U on its November 18 launch day.Final ThoughtsWhen the Wii U is released in November, it will be the first next-gen console on the market with Microsoft and Sony expected launch new hardware within the next couple of years. The Wii U launch is timed just right to catch the holiday season, but will be the most expensive console on the market. Will that count against it? The answer to that question will ultimately come down to the games and just how good Nintendo TVii turns out to be.What Nintendo has achieved is another unique console that has everyone wondering whether it’s any good. But Nintendo will take that as a positive because we all had the same feeling in the weeks before the Wii launched.
Police search for missing woman Driver named following fatal collision Hello and welcome to StokeonTrentLive’s breaking news service bringing you all the latest updates from Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire on Monday, June 17. Our team of reporters will be updating this live service with all the latest on the traffic and travel and weather updates – as well as news and entertainment through the day. We’ll be bringing you the very latest updates in our live news feed below. For the latest news and breaking news visit www.stokeontrentlive.co.uk Get all the big headlines, pictures, analysis, opinion and video on the stories that matter to you. Read MoreTop stories on StokeonTrentLive Dad slams ‘disgusting’ hospital window Follow StokeonTrentLive Download our app – You can download our free app for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store , or get the Android version from Google Play. Follow StokeonTrentLive on Facebook – Like our Facebook page to get the latest news in your feed and join in the lively discussions in the comments. Click here to give it a like! Follow us on Twitter – For breaking news and the latest stories, click here to follow SOTLive on Twitter . Follow us on Instagram – Featuring pictures past and present from across Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire & South Cheshire – and if you tag us in your posts, we could repost your picture on our page! We also put the latest news in our Instagram Stories. Click here to follow StokeonTrentLive on Instagram.Key EventsSainsbury’s sign catches fire09:1622:43End of live reporting20:37A500 roadworks20:20Scheduled reoad works.A53 Leek New Road in both directions closed due to resurfacing work during the night from Sandbach Road to A5272 Hanley Road (Holden Bridge). Between 6:57 and 5:00 Mondays to Fridays until 5:00 on 21st June. 19:30Longport trafficBrownhills Road / Davenport Street / Newcastle Street busy but moving between A500 (Porthill Bank) and Tunstall.19:02Heavy traffic on Leek Road Heavy traffic on A53 Leek New Road at A5009 Baddeley Green Lane.17:58Smallthorne roundaboutsUsual congestion on A5272 Hanley Road / High Lane around Moorland Road (Smallthorne Roundabouts). 17:10M6 reopen after fallen tree All lanes open, fallen tree removed on M6 Southbound between J16 A500 (Stoke-On-Trent / Crewe) and J15 A500 D Road (Stoke-On-Trent). Lane one (of three) was closed. 16:55Fallen tree on M6 One lane closed due to fallen tree on M6 Southbound between J16 A500 (Stoke-On-Trent / Crewe) and J15 A500 D Road (Stoke-On-Trent). Traffic is coping well. Lane one (of three) is closed. 16:14M6 in StaffordshireTwo lanes closed and queuing traffic due to accident on M6 Northbound from J13 A449 (Stafford South) to J14 A34 (Stafford North). Travel time is 15 minutes. Lanes two and three (of three) are closed. 15:50Chell Street busyA5272 Chell Street busy but moving at A5272 Merrick Street / B5047 Hulton Street (Providence Square).15:44Chell traffic Slow traffic on A527 Biddulph Road coming from Brindley Ford Southbound at A5272 High Lane roundabout. 15:37One lane on M6 blocked15:34A50 westbound easingTraffic easing, earlier broken down vehicle on A50 Westbound between A518 Derby Road (Water Bridge roundabout) and B5030 Ashbourne Road (McDonalds roundabout). Lane one (of two) was closed. All restrictions were lifted prior to 13:55. There was a separate break down within the queues.15:13M6Toll issues15:05M6 in Cheshire One lane blocked and slow traffic due to broken down van on M6 Northbound from J18 A54 Middlewich Road (Middlewich / Holmes Chapel) to J19 A556 (Knutsford). Lane one (of four) is blocked. Affecting traffic heading towards Warrington.12:1140-minute delays on A50 One lane closed and queuing traffic due to shed load and lorry having a tyre changed on A50 Westbound between Derby Road (Cubley, Sudbury) and A518 Derby Road (Water Bridge roundabout, Uttoxeter). Travel time is 40 minutes.Lane One (of Two) is closed. 12:00The week ahead…In need of a forecast for the week ahead? Here you go… ��️⚡️⚠️ pic.twitter.com/GYKwoEkD44— Met Office (@metoffice) June 17, 201911:43Traffic still heavy on Victoria RoadHeavy traffic on A50 Victoria Road at A5007 City Road. 11:03Lane closure due to shed load on A50One lane closed and queuing traffic due to shed load on A50 Westbound from Derby Road (Cubley, Sudbury) to A518 Derby Road (Water Bridge roundabout, Dovefields Industrial Estate).Lane One (of Two) is closed. Also not helped by traffic leaving Download Festival. 11:03Storms a-coming…⚠️A #thunderstorm warning will be in force from 1800 on Tuesday until 2100 on Wednesday ⚠️ Here are the details ⚡️ pic.twitter.com/e0MDdlLfVq— Met Office (@metoffice) June 17, 201910:13Breakdown on M6Lane 1 is closed between #J16 #Barthomley and #J17 #Sandbach #M6 due to a live lane breakdown. #TrafficOfficers en route to assist clearing. Please obey the lane closure signals @NWmwaypolice— Highways England (@HighwaysNWEST) June 17, 201909:31Leek Road busy at Joiners SquareA52 Leek Road in both directions busy but moving at A50 Lichfield Street (Joiners Square). 09:30Fallen tree in IpstonesHigh Street in both directions partially blocked, heavy traffic due to falling tree colliding with a telegraph pole from Belmont Road to Brookfields Road.Police are waiting for services to come and deal with fallen telegraph pole and cabling. 09:16KEY EVENTSainsbury’s sign catches fireMore here09:15Breakdown at J15 of M6M6 Southbound lane closed on exit slip road, queuing traffic due to broken down vehicle at J15 A500 D Road (Stoke-On-Trent).Lane one (of two) is closed heading up to the motorway bridge. 08:41Breakdown on M6Broken down vehicle in lane 1 (of three), #M6 northbound J14 #StaffordNorth to J15 #StokeOnTrent. #Freerecovery and#TrafficOfficers en route to deal— Highways England (@HighwaysWMIDS) June 17, 201908:21Slow in Werrington Road Slow traffic on A52 Werrington Road Westbound before A52 Leek Road (Lime Kiln Traffic Lights). Travel time is four minutes. 08:21Busy at Porthill and Lime Kiln banks- A527 Porthill Road busy but moving at A500 D Road / Longbridge Hayes Road / Longbridge Hayes Road (Porthill Bank).- Heavy traffic on Bucknall Road inbound from A52 Leek Road (Lime Kiln Traffic Lights) to Hanley Town centre. 08:20Heavy traffic on Vicky Road Heavy traffic on A50 Victoria Road at A5007 City Road. 07:54Busy in Hanley RoadA5272 Hanley Road / High Lane busy but moving around Moorland Road (Smallthorne Roundabouts) Punter found hiding in bushes
United Airlines expands with 31 new destinations across U.S., Europe Share CHICAGO — United Airlines will be adding a slew of new destinations in the U.S. and Europe, with more connections for both domestic and international markets.“Starting this summer we’re offering more flights, to more destinations at more convenient times than in recent memory,” said Scott Kirby, President, United Airlines.Starting May 5 United will operate one of its Newark-Tel Aviv flights with new B777-300ER aircraft. This will be United’s second route – in addition to the carrier’s flights between San Francisco and Hong Kong – on the B777-300ER.Meanwhile United’s seasonal flight between San Francisco International Airport and Munich Airport starts May 24 with service from MUC to SFO returning the next day. The route will be operated with the B787 Dreamliner.United is also adding service to 13 cities in the U.S and expanding domestic service with new daily summer flights in six markets with Salt Lake City, Fort Lauderdale, Tucson and New Orleans now offered for year round service.More news: War of words between Transat, Group Mach ramps upUnited will also add additional daily flights to key business and leisure areas in 15 existing markets. In total United is adding 47 new daily roundtrips to its domestic schedule. The flights will be on a variety of mainline and regional jets that will add nearly 8,700 additional seats per day and approximately 90,000 new flight miles. Travelweek Group Monday, February 27, 2017 << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: United Airlines Posted by
BOGOTÁ, Colombia – Colombians voiced anger Monday after 32 children burned to death when an overcrowded bus burst into flames as authorities arrested the driver who was seen fleeing the inferno.Authorities have arrested the driver who, according to a survivor, had gotten off the bus to refuel with a jerrycan when flames suddenly engulfed the vehicle on Sunday.The children, aged 3 to 12 years old, were returning from evangelical church services in the small northern town of Fundación. The driver lost two of his own children in the tragedy.Fundación Mayor Luz Stella Durán said another 20 were hospitalized. Most of the injured have second- or third-degree burns. She declared three days of mourning and banned alcohol consumption.President Juan Manuel Santos, who rushed to the scene to console grieving families, said an investigation was underway while many Colombians denounced the accident as an example of the country’s poor enforcement of road safety.“I am shattered, the entire country is in mourning for the death of these children,” Santos said. “We will go through everything with a fine-toothed comb.”Crews at the scene pulled little charred bodies from the blackened wreckage before transporting them to the medical examiner’s office in the regional capital of Barranquilla to be identified — a task which could take days.Authorities said the explosion occurred around noon, and that the fire was so intense they had problems determining the number of casualties.Driver without license flees The bus driver turned himself in to police after the relatives of victims chased him and hurled rocks at his home.He was due to appear at a court hearing to explain himself.The prosecutor’s office said the driver lacked a license to drive and was under investigation.Transport Minister Cecilia Álvarez said the bus had lacked the authorization to provide services since 2012.“It is an illegal vehicle that also lacked transport insurance,” Álvarez told RCN radio, adding that the initial investigations are leaning toward “driver recklessness.”The driver apparently used contraband gasoline to refuel the bus, the minister said.Local media quoted an 11-year-old girl who lost two brothers as saying that, at one point, the driver got off the bus to refuel while his young charges remained on board.“Sparks flew,” she recalled. “It was then that the driver went to get water and then he left,” she said. “I broke a window and got my little sister out but I couldn’t save my two brothers.”The tragedy became a political issue ahead of Sunday’s presidential election, in which Santos is seeking a second term.Leftist candidate Clara Rojas said the accident “shows the country’s backwardness.”“It is not only the driver’s irresponsibility. It is also the lack of rigor and presence of the authorities,” she said.Colombians vented their fury on Twitter, one user with the handle @manialolita calling it “another tragedy foretold” while @ALCISERRATO said “the state does not fulfill its duty.” Facebook Comments Related posts:32 children burn to death in Colombia bus accident Cúcuta: Colombia’s city of contraband and a broken Bolivarian dream Colombia suspends peace talks with FARC after general kidnapped Demining Colombia will take ‘a generation’: minister
Behind the scenes at Auckland Diwali FestivalBehind the scenes at Auckland Diwali FestivalAuckland Diwali Festival organisers are determined that the event delivers as much behind the scenes as it does to festival-goers.About 55,000 people gather in the heart of Auckland every year for the colourful, joyous celebration of Auckland’s Indian cultures and communities.New Zealand’s international city, Auckland is home to more than 220 ethnicities, with nearly 10 per cent of its multicultural population identifying as ethnically Indian.Auckland Diwali Festival is New Zealand’s largest pan-Indian festival, inspired by and timed to coincide with the Hindu celebration of Deepavali.While the religious festival is a Hindu festival, Diwali is celebrated by non-Hindu Indian communities throughout India and the world. For example, it is a national holiday in Fiji, Guyana, India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Mauritius, Myanmar, Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.Aucklanders and visitors of all backgrounds flocks to the annual free, family-friendly event, coming to enjoy the best of traditional and contemporary Indian culture, including live performance and music from local and international acts, street food, craft, art and fireworks. Hundreds of local performers, artists and artisans take part.Now in its 17th year, the festival is delivered by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), on behalf of Auckland Council, in conjunction with founding partner Asia New Zealand Foundation. ATEED produces Auckland’s major cultural festivals as part of a portfolio of events that generate social and economic benefits for the region.ATEED’s Head of Major Events Stuart Turner says it is widely accepted that large-scale cultural festivals create a sense of community, inclusion and pride for citizens. They also help show a region’s diversity and vibrancy.“We also want to make sure that behind the scenes, the festival is delivering the best it can for Auckland and its people, including our organisation’s ultimate purpose of supporting quality jobs for all Aucklanders.”Backstage at Auckland Diwali Festival, ATEED is focused on building skills and sharing best events management practice.“We want to build capability in our local events industry. This year we are running an observer programme for the first time, which allows student and young event professionals with a proven interest in Indian culture to get a first-hand look at the delivery of a major cultural festival. It complements the intern and volunteer programmes we run, and the mentoring work our programming team does with local performers.“We work with public health agencies to run healthy menu and food safety programmes with our festival food stallholders. The team looks at healthy traditional cooking ingredients and techniques to ensure festival-goers have healthy options, including traditional festival treats.The festival team also work closely with stallholders to ensure all food packaging is recyclable, compostable or biodegradable, and all waste generated at the festival is sorted live on site to divert as much as possible from landfill.“Diwali Festival is a significant date on Auckland’s calendar, not just for our performers, stallholders and festival goers. It’s also part of the working year for many other Aucklanders, a wide range of local Auckland suppliers for everything from portable toilet and fencing rental to electricians and lighting technicians.”“For some community groups, a stall at the festival is a key fundraiser for the year or the chance to promote what they do to a large, diverse group of people. Our commercial sponsors, whose support is a vital part of producing events of this scale and quality, are increasingly embracing the spirit of the festival with their activities on site, often collaborating with local artists or even dance schools.”The 2018 Auckland Diwali Festival takes place at Aotea Square and Queen Street, from 12 noon to 9pm on Saturday, 20 and Sunday, 21 October. For more information, go to www.aucklandnz.com/diwaliSource = Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED)