Cultivation of Unpopular GM Maize in Europe Hangs in the Balance

first_imgBRUSSELS—A debate over a genetically modified (GM) maize variety ended in a paradox today. Nineteen out of 28 member states of the European Union oppose the cultivation of maize 1507, manufactured by DuPont Pioneer. And yet the countries’ vote authorized the European Commission—the European Union’s executive arm—to allow the crop on fields across the union.The political knot highlights the complexity of E.U. rules in this area, and may revive the commission’s attempts to renationalize the bloc’s GM decision-making system.In November, the European Commission proposed to drive forward the approval of maize 1507 after a lengthy stalemate. The crop is engineered to produce its own pesticide against the European corn borer, a notorious pest insect. The European Union has authorized the crop’s importation for food and animal feed, but not its cultivation—although the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has given it the green light in several scientific assessments. (At the moment, only one GM crop can be grown in the European Union, a maize variety made by U.S. agrochemical company Monsanto.)Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)In a public debate of the Council of Ministers held here today, five out of 28 member states approved the crop’s cultivation on E.U. soil: Estonia, Finland, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. But 19 governments rejected it and four countries abstained, including weighty Germany. In the council’s voting system, each country has a different number of votes in the ballot (depending on their population size, among other factors), so the 19 opponents did not reach the required “qualified majority” to turn down the commission’s proposal to approve the crop.According to the European Union’s “comitology” rules, the commission shall authorize the crop’s cultivation in the absence of a qualified majority at the council. Health Commissioner Tonio Borg today insisted that the commission should respect these rules and take action. “No one can say we rushed or pushed this file,” Borg said at today’s meeting, reminding ministers that the application “has been languishing for 13 years” and that EFSA considers maize 1507 safe to grow.But several ministers countered that abiding with the rules to authorize the crop despite significant opposition would make the union appear stubborn—and the process flawed—to European voters. “This is dangerous for the image of E.U. institutions, it will fuel the idea that Europe doesn’t work or works badly,” Thierry Repentin, France’s minister in charge of E.U. affairs, said during the debate.To avoid similar impasses in the future, Borg urged ministers to reconsider the commission’s so-called cultivation proposal, put forward in 2010 to revamp authorization procedures for GM crops. Under this plan, the commission would still grant pan-European authorizations, but individual member states would be able to ban a given product on their territory. That proposal has been stalled so far, but environment ministers are now expected to discuss it in March.Last month, the European Parliament—which does not have a formal say in this matter—had also spoken out against the approval of maize 1507, in a resolution passed by 385 votes to 201 with 30 abstentions. The parliament echoed concerns from environmental groups that the crop could harm nontarget insect species, and that its cultivation could lead to a surge in the use of glufosinate, a toxic herbicide that will be phased out of the European Union by 2017.“Two-thirds of Parliament, of member states and of European citizens don’t want this authorization. The commission cannot hide behind old, antidemocratic procedures to justify [it],” said Corinne Lepage, a liberal member of the European Parliament from France, one of the countries that oppose the crop’s cultivation. “Europe doesn’t need this transgenic maize, and doesn’t want it,” Lepage added in a statement issued today.Greenpeace claims that the commission would break the law if it approved the crop anyway. In December, the Court of Justice of the European Union annulled the authorization to grow BASF’s Amflora potato because the commission had not respected E.U. procedures. In a statement issued today, Greenpeace says that the case of maize 1507 is similar and that the authorization would not hold in court.But the crop’s manufacturer is still confident and hopeful that its product will hit the market shelves “sooner rather than later,” a DuPont Pioneer spokesman in Manno, Switzerland, tells ScienceInsider. “1507 maize meets all EU regulatory requirements and should be approved for cultivation without further delay,” he adds in an e-mail.last_img read more

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SPORT-WT20-LD FINAL 3 LAST

first_imgBefore the collapse occured, the boundaries were flowing Before the collapse occured, the boundaries were flowing at that time when Brathwaite dismissed Buttler. The batsman tried to pull the bowler over deep mid-wicket only to be holed out by Bravo. Ben Stokes (13) and Root, who had hit seven crisp boundaries had added 26 runs together when Bravo bowled a sharp boouncer to get rid of the former. Moeen Ali (0), who has perennial problem with short ball tried to tuck one fired in his rib cage to Denesh Ramdin. Root, who was getting edgy then played an uncharacteristic lap shot to be caught at short fine-leg as England never recovered from the blows. England though benifitted from David Willeys cameo of 14-ball 21 (1×4, 2×6) which helped tjem get past 150-run mark. (REOPENS DEL 63) Already charged up after their womens teams win, the West Indies set the ball rolling as Badree bowled a perfect top spinner that breached Jason Roy (0)s defences. There was more in store for the rampaging Windies when Russells sloppy bowling waiting to be dispatched by Alex Hales (1) found Badree at short fine leg. West Indies had their gameplan straight against the spin -wary Englishmen by sticking to Badree up front and the legspinner bowled a rare wicket maiden in his third over by dismissing Eoin Morgan. Continuing his lean patch with the bat, the English skipper was deceived by a googly and England were staring at doom at 23/3 after 4.4 overs. Thankfully for England, Root remained a bystander and looked at ease with three fours in the previous over by Benn. Desperately needing a partnership, England found Butler to repair the damage with Root. On a track that looked batting friendly with little in it for the spinners, the duo cleverly rotated the strikes with the odd four or six in between to step up their run-rate. Buttler was not there to be bogged down by the Windies and exploded against Benn in the 11th over with two clean hits soaring into the crowd. But just as England looked to roll on there was another breakthrough for the Windies in the form of the big-hitting Buttler who smacked at midwicket only to be caught by Bravo. PTI TAP KHS KHSadvertisementlast_img read more

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IPL 2017: Hashim Amla, bowlers help Punjab end four-game losing streak

first_imgKings XI Punjab put up a strong all-round show to end their four-match losing streak with a 26-run victory over Gujarat Lions in an Indian Premier League (IPL) contest on Sunday.Opening batsman Hashim Amla played a crucial knock of 65 as Punjab posted a challenging total of 188/7 in 20 overs. In reply, Gujarat could muster only 162/7, driven largely by Dinesh Karthik (58 not out) as the eighth-placed team succumbed to its fifth loss in seven matches.Medium pacer Sandeep Sharma (2/40) and the spin pair of K.C. Cariappa (2/24) and Axar Patel (2/36) impressed for the visitors, who now have six points and are fourth on the points table.Punjab, who were coming into the match with four consecutive defeats, had to be thankful to Amla (65; 40b; 9×4, 2×6), who shared a 70-run stand for the second wicket with Shaun Marsh (30 off 24 balls) at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium here.The partnership came after Manan Vohra (2) edged a Nathu Singh delivery to wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik in the second over. Both Amla and Marsh played aggressive cricket to put the pressure on the Gujarat Lions.While Amla utilised his strong off-side stroke-making to good effect, Marsh decided to take more risk, hitting over the infield. By the end of the Powerplay overs, they reached 50/1, with Amla leading the charge.The partnership was broken in the 10th over when a slow delivery from medium pacer Andrew Tye saw Marsh mistime and giving an easy catch to Suresh Raina at mid-wicket, with Punjab at 81/2 in 9.2 overs.The same over saw Amla complete his fifty in 30 deliveries and the stage was set for Punjab’s power hitters. Amla was joined by Glenn Maxwell and the pair went on the offensive from the word go.advertisementMaxwell took only 18 deliveries to score 31 before being dismissed lbw against left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja in the 14th over. Amla fell an over before him, driving one straight back at leg-spinner Shubham agarwal.However, the fireworks from Punjab didn’t stop as Axar Patel batted with disdain, playing a quickfire 34 off 17 deliveries, of which three went for fours and two were deposited in the stands against Dwayne Smith as Punjab ended at 188/7.Punjab then got about their job of defending the total very strongly, removing openers Brendon McCullum (6) and Aaron Finch (13) with the batsmen falling to medium pacers Sandeep Sharma and Mohit Sharma respectively.Suresh Raina (32) and Karthik showed some resilience but the former was caught at deep midwicket by Maxwell off a delivery from Axar Patel, as the hosts lost were reduced to 70/3 in nine overs.Later, leg-spinner Cariappa stole the show with two quick wickets. First, he caught Ravindra Jadeja (9) of his own bowling in the final ball of the 12th over and then getting rid of Akshdeep Nath (0) in the first ball of the 14th over. In the 13th over, Dwayne Smith (4) had given Axar his second wicket and following Akshdeep’s wicket, Gujarat were looking down the barrel at 102/6, with 87 required of 6.5 overs.However, Karthik, who had dragged Gujarat till then with occasional fours and ones and twos, got a good partner in Andrew Tye to give some hopes to the hosts.Tye played a useful cameo of 22 from 12 deliveries as Sandeep bowled him to further dent the chase of Gujarat, who were at 137/7 in 16.4 overs. Punjab then had no trouble in getting a 26-run victory.last_img read more

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S African driver claims Guinness world record for car drifting

first_imgBy Fakir HassenJohannesburg, Jun 13 (PTI) A South African journalist has set a record for drifting, a sport genre using a technique where the motorist deploys skill to drive a long distance with the front wheels pointing in the opposite direction of the turn he is taking.Jesse Adams drove 165 kilometres in 1,000 laps at the internationally-acclaimed Gerotek testing facility for motor vehicles in Pretoria in a time of 5 hours 6 minutes to better the three-year-old record set by the German Harald Muller in Turkey, when the latter completed 612 laps of a 235.5-metre course in 2 hours and 25 minutes in his second attempt.Both drivers used a Japanese-built Toyota GT86.Although four official witnesses were among the crowd at the event, official verification of the record from Guinness is still awaited.Adams admitted there were at least two stages in the test of endurance when he considered giving up.”At about 400 laps I started to think to myself, what excuses can I give because I wanted to give up, and at 600, I wanted to give up again when the rear wheels started to do funny things,” Adams told fellow motoring journalists.”I didnt think I was going to make it, but I did, and probably could have done another 200,” he added.Drifting competitions started in Japan in the 1970s and today are held worldwide and are judged according to the speed, angle, showmanship and line taken through a corner or set of corners. PTI FH ABHlast_img read more

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Cabinet Satisfied With Pace of IMF Negotiations

first_imgInformation Minister, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, says Cabinet is satisfied with the pace of negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Responding to questions on the issue at Jamaica House press briefing, on November 21, 2012 at the Office of the Prime Minister, Senator Falconer emphasised that Cabinet has confidence in Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips. “Minister Phillips has said that he hopes that we will have a deal by December, and certainly we hope to have a Letter of Intent by December. In negotiations, there are gives and takes…we can never definitely say that it is going to be by the end of the year, but we certainly hope that it will be by the end of the year; if not, in January,” the Minister  said. “We are not trying to get a quick fix. What we are looking for is the best deal that is going to redound to the benefit of the Jamaican people. As the Prime Minister has said, any deal we get, that deal must ensure that the Jamaican people are factored into it, and those persons who are the most vulnerable, are protected,” the Senator added.last_img read more

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Senate Approves SERP Resolution

first_img Piloting the Resolution, Leader of Government Business in the Senate, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, said of the 829 applications received, a total of 430 have so far been approved. Special incentives have been included in the programme, such as two weeks’ salary for each year of service up to a maximum of one year’s salary and payment for accumulated vacation leave. The Senate on Friday (March 23) approved the Pensions Public Service Special Early Retirement Programme Order 2018 Resolution. The Senate on Friday (March 23) approved the Pensions Public Service Special Early Retirement Programme Order 2018 Resolution.The Special Early Retirement Programme (SERP) is a voluntary separation initiative that allows public sector employees, aged 50 to 59, under the non-contributory Government pension scheme, to take up early retirement through an incentivised package.Special incentives have been included in the programme, such as two weeks’ salary for each year of service up to a maximum of one year’s salary and payment for accumulated vacation leave.The SERP, which is being undertaken through the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, was opened on January 2, 2018.Piloting the Resolution, Leader of Government Business in the Senate, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, said of the 829 applications received, a total of 430 have so far been approved.“I would like to remind members that the programme has a dual process for consideration of applications. First, it goes to the Permanent Secretary to ensure that there is an impact assessment in respect of the relevant Ministry, Department or Agency. Where it is not a Ministry that is being impacted, the Permanent Secretary is to consult with the management or leadership of theparticular agencies in order to ensure that approval of the person’s application will not result in a prejudicial impact on the functions of the organisation,” she explained.Senator Johnson Smith said the process continues for the remaining applications.She pointed out that the effective date for persons who are approved will be May 1, for their retirement to actually take place.Senator Johnson Smith said although the target of 1,600 was not attained, “829 is not a bad record to have achieved.”She expressed gratitude to the persons who have been integral to the process, including Permanent Secretaries and the staff at the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service.Responding to questions posed by Opposition Senator, Lambert Brown, regarding the demographics and category of applicants, Senator Johnson Smith said a report is expected to be presented once completed.The SERP was offered in light of the recently passed Pensions (Public Service) Act 2017, which adjusts the terms under which public sector workers will retire.The new Act will gradually increase the retirement age from 60 to 65 years; facilitate mandatory contributions by all pensionable officers towards their pension; and harmonise the legislation governing public sector pensions in a single statute. Story Highlightslast_img read more

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Turkey President Erdogan hosts Putin Rouhani for Syria summit

first_imgAnkara: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will host his Russian and Iranian counterparts on Monday for their latest summit on Syria, with attention focused on Damascus’s push on the last rebel-held bastion of Idlib. Presidents Vladimir Putin and Hassan Rouhani will join Erdogan in the Turkish capital Ankara for their fifth summit on the conflict since 2017. Iran and Russia have been staunch supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Turkey has called for his ouster and backed opposition fighters. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USBut with Assad’s position looking increasingly secure, Turkey’s priority has shifted to preventing a mass influx of refugees from Idlib in Syria’s northwest. Turkey is concerned by the steady advance of Syrian forces into the region, backed by Russian airpower, despite a series of ceasefires. Turkey has 12 observation posts in Idlib to enforce a buffer zone agreement struck a year ago with Russia to prevent a full-scale Syrian offensive. But the posts look increasingly threatened, with one of them cut off from the rest of Idlib when Syrian forces advanced last month. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsRussian air strikes have continued in the region despite the latest ceasefire between Ankara and Moscow on August 31. “A large number of terrorists are still present in this zone… and fighters continue to fire on the positions of government forces,” Kremlin advisor Yuri Ushakov said on Friday. The Turkish presidency said the leaders would discuss the latest developments in Syria as well as “ensuring the necessary conditions for the voluntary return of refugees and discussing the joint step to be taken in the period ahead with the aim of achieving a lasting political solution.” Moscow is keen to see progress on establishing a constitutional committee to oversee the next stage of the political settlement in Syria. That would give Putin a political win to add to its military victories, said Dareen Khalifa, senior Syria analyst at International Crisis Group. But she said expectations should remain low. Even if they could agree on who will form the committee, “this leaves a crux of issues unaddressed for the future of the political process including the regime’s ability and willingness to undertake any kind of political reform,” Khalifa said. All three leaders are expected to hold one-on-one meetings before the summit, the Kremlin said. They will also hold a closing news conference with a view to presenting a joint declaration. Meanwhile, Turkey has other concerns regarding Syria. It has repeatedly threatened to launch a cross-border offensive against Syrian Kurdish forces, whom it sees as allied to Kurdish militants in its own territory.last_img read more

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All eyes on Williams Lake BC as firefighters brace for lightning wind

first_imgThe Canadian PressWILLIAMS LAKE, B.C. – Firefighters on the front lines of British Columbia’s raging wildfires are bracing for expected lightning and wind today, with all eyes on Williams Lake where more than 10,000 people are under an evacuation alert.Residents of the Central Interior community have been told to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice, with municipal officials warning that today’s ominous weather forecast could push fires toward the city at a rapid pace.More than 14,000 people have been displaced by about 200 fires burning across the province, and Bob Turner of Emergency Management BC says the province is preparing for the possibility of mass evacuations.He says if an evacuation order goes into effect in Williams Lake, people will be sent north on Highway 97 to Prince George, but Canadian Armed Forces aircraft and helicopters are also standing by in case airlifts are necessary.Turner says the province’s priority is public safety and he encourages people to heed evacuation orders when they are issued.But the chief of the Bonaparte Indian Band north of Ashcroft says they defied an evacuation order over the weekend and successfully stopped flames from overrunning their reserve.“My community has some really skilled firefighters, like a lot of First Nations reserves, and they came together and they stopped that wildfire from wiping out that whole community,” Chief Ryan Day said in an interview. “We actually didn’t lose anything other than the guys who had livestock, they lost a bunch of range land.”He said 60 of the band’s 280 members stayed to fight the fire.The community doesn’t have a firehall, a new water reservoir hasn’t been connected to their main supply yet and they don’t have a formal emergency response plan in place.But Day said the experience of the trained forest firefighters in his community and access to heavy equipment from other members’ agricultural businesses contributed to their success.“We weren’t prepared for it of course because it happened in a blink of an eye, but we snapped into action and everyone did their part,” he said.Evacuees who are staying in communities from Kamloops to Vancouver can’t return home yet, Day said, as hot spots and a fire near Cache Creek remain a cause for concern.news@aptn.calast_img read more

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Western Sahara Tanzania in Favor of a Mutually Acceptable Political Solution

Casablanca – According to a statement released by the MAP, following King Mohamed VI’s visit to Tanzania from October 23 to the 25, the Tanzanian President has expressed his support for a fair, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution to the Sahara issue. It also supports Morocco’s efforts to reintegrate the African Union. President Jon Pombe Joseph Magufuli expressed his support for efforts by the United Nations to find a fair and just solution to the Sahara issue.“In a spirit of reconciliation and of finding a lasting solution, Tanzania understands Morocco’s established position and welcomes its serious and credible efforts, and is ready to contribute to the implementation of relevant resolutions of the United Nations Organization on this issue,” said the joint statement carried by MAP.  During the visit, Tanzania also expressed support for Morocco’s decision to reintegrate the African Union. “We support Morocco’s integration into the Pan African family as soon as the next summit. President Magufuli also declared that Moroccans will now be able to enter Tanzania without a visa. He and King Mohamed VI also discussed the idea of opening a Moroccan Embassy in Tanzania and a Tanzanian Consulate in Morocco. read more

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Republican lawmakers in Kansas revive tax relief legislation

TOPEKA, Kan. — Republican legislators in Kansas revived tax relief legislation Thursday night without assurances that Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly would accept a new, smaller plan for helping individuals and businesses who are paying more in state income taxes because of changes in federal tax laws.The Senate approved, 27-13, a measure that is less than half the size of a tax relief bill that Kelly vetoed in March after describing it as fiscally irresponsible. Drafted by GOP negotiators for the House and Senate, it would save taxpayers roughly $90 million during the budget year beginning in July and about $240 million over three years. The House could vote on it as early as Friday to determine whether the bill goes to Kelly.Kelly has urged legislators to wait until at least next year to pursue tax legislation, arguing that Kansas must be sure first that its finances are stable. However, Republican leaders made tax relief a top priority and contend the state is receiving a “windfall” that it doesn’t deserve because of the federal tax changes at the end of 2017.The Senate’s vote came a day after the Kansas Department of Revenue reported that the state collected $81 million more in taxes than anticipated during April.“How dare we realize in one month the money it takes to pay for this bill, knowing that it’s going to increase for many months to come, and not pass the savings on to Kansas businesses and Kansas individuals?” said Senate President Susan Wagle, a Wichita Republican.Kelly framed the first, larger tax relief bill as an irresponsible return to a tax-cutting experiment under former Republican Gov. Sam Brownback that made Kansas nationally notorious because of the persistent budget woes that followed. Bipartisan legislative majorities repealed most of the Brownback tax cuts in 2017, and Kelly ran successfully against Brownback’s political legacy last year.“Folks, we’re playing the same game,” said Sen. Tom Holland, a Baldwin City Democrat.The governor said Thursday that the state has in recent years made “impulsive, poorly reviewed” tax changes and instead should do a comprehensive study of its tax system.“Above all, I believe this discussion should be guided by a thoughtful, data-driven, big-picture vision for Kansas — not by a hasty attempt to achieve an immediate political victory,” Kelly said in a statement.Wagle said supporters of the first tax bill, including the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, cut back on the potential cost of the state with the second bill to make it more palatable to Kelly.But Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, a Topeka Democrat, predicted, “This bill is destined for a veto.”Like other states, Kansas faced revising its income tax code because it is tied to the federal tax code. The federal tax changes championed by President Donald Trump lowered rates but also included provisions that raised money for Kansas, in part by discouraging individual filers from claiming itemized deductions.“This is clearly a tax increase if we don’t fix this,” said Sen. Rick Billinger, a Goodland Republican.Like the earlier bill Kelly vetoed, the new measure would allow individuals to itemize on their state tax returns even if they do not itemize on their federal returns. The bill also provides relief to corporations, particularly large firms with operations outside the U.S., but it is less weighted toward those business taxpayers than the previous measure.Unlike the earlier measure, the new plan does not attempt to apply the changes retroactively so that filers could receive refunds on what they paid this spring for 2018.___Follow John Hanna on Twitter at https://twitter.com/apjdhanna .John Hanna, The Associated Press read more

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UN welcomes 15 million in donations so far to Chinas earthquake survivors

Contributions of nearly $11 million came from commitments by Canada ($7 million Canadian), Norway ($1.5 million), Saudi Arabia ($1.5 million), Belgium (€500,000) and the European Union (€300,000). “We are very grateful for the contributions of the four nations and the European Union,” said the UN Resident Coordinator in China Khalid Malik. “By joining forces with the United Nations on the Appeal, they will help the survivors of the earthquake recover their livelihoods, return to school and have more sustainable access to health care and better living conditions.”The UN Appeal is part of its overall effort to assist the communities affected in Sichuan, Gansu and Shaanxi provinces, where an estimated 5 million buildings collapsed, 21 million buildings were damaged and over 40 million people were affected.“We have emphasized from the beginning that the needs are tremendous. We very much hope that these contributions are the beginning,” Mr. Malik said.The $33 million UN China Appeal for the Wenchuan Earthquake Early Recover Support, launched on 16 July, was designed to bridge the immediate relief effort with longer-term processes of reconstruction.The UN system in China has already delivered over $18 million in emergency relief to the affected populations and has begun working closely with the Chinese Government and the international community in the reconstruction efforts. 22 August 2008The United Nations today welcomed the $15 million received so far from the international community in response to the UN appeal to assist the survivors of May’s devastating Wenchuan earthquake, which killed some 70,000 people and left almost 5 million homeless. read more

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Annans envoy in Angola to see how UN can help reenergize peace

During his weeklong visit, Ibrahim Gambari will hold consultations with Government leaders, politicians and representatives of civil society. He is expected to brief the Security Council on his trip next Friday, the spokesman said.The raging conflict in Angola continues to drive new flows of refugees into Zambia, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).Since the beginning of December, a total of 1,184 Angolan refugees have crossed into Zambia’s Western Province, UNHCR spokesman Rupert Colville told reporters in Geneva. In the last three months, an estimated 6,700 Angolan refugees have arrived at Nangweshi and are being assisted at the temporary site. Transfers from the border are organized daily. Angolans now constitute 214,524, out of the 274,000 refugees currently hosted by Zambia.Meanwhile, refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) were also arriving in Northern Zambia, reporting isolated skirmishes and mobilization of troops from both the Government and rebel forces in the area of Fizi, in Eastern DRC, Mr. Colville said.”The persisting instability in Eastern Congo over the months has caused many civilians to flee to Zambia, which now hosts a total of 50,000 Congolese refugees,” the spokesman said. “Depending on how the situation in Eastern Congo evolves, especially the Inter-Congolese Dialogue, arrivals are expected to continue at the present rate of at least 250 per week.” read more

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Turkey open to tackling problem of internally displaced persons – UN expert

Francis Deng, Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Representative on Internally Displaced Persons, said his visit to Turkey from 27 to 31 May had revealed “that an opportunity now exists for the international community to assist the Government of Turkey in the challenging task of facilitating the voluntary return, resettlement and reintegration of the displaced population.”Mr. Deng had initiated his trip in response to international concerns over the conflict in the southeast of the country between security forces and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). There was a “widely shared perception that the Government has been largely in denial of the problem to the point of not seeking international assistance in meeting the needs of those affected,” he noted.Following his extensive talks with Turkish officials, Mr. Deng reported a gap between the negative perception of Government policy and the positive attitude he found during his mission. “Discussions with ministers and officials at all levels revealed surprising openness and transparency on the part of the authorities to discuss the various aspects of the displacement problem, including its causes, in particular the conflict in the south-east and the responsibility of both sides for the displacement of the civilian population, as well as the steps which are being taken to facilitate the return and resettlement of the internally displaced,” he said.He also hailed the Government’s decision to lift the state of emergency in two of the four affected provinces during his mission, and the declared policy of lifting it in the remaining two in the near future. The Representative, who will report his findings to the Commission on Human Rights and the Secretary-General, called attention to the need for the Government to formulate a clear policy on the issue. He also recommended close cooperation among non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the service of the affected communities. “An open and constructive partnership involving the Government, civil society, and international agencies would serve to facilitate the timely and effective implementation of the Government’s return policy, while at the same time alleviating the concerns expressed by NGOs and improving the perception of the problem, both within and outside the country,” Mr. Deng said. read more

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Waning BlackBerry had 19 of Canadas smartphone market in June comScore

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Michael Oliveira, The Canadian Press Posted Sep 23, 2013 11:26 am MDT Waning BlackBerry had 19% of Canada’s smartphone market in June: comScore TORONTO – BlackBerry still had a 19 per cent share of the Canadian smartphone market as of June but that number has been declining, says measurement company comScore.Google’s Android platform had 43 per cent of the market, Apple’s iOS had 35 per cent and Microsoft’s mobile operating system had two per cent, according to comScore.“When we first started measuring mobile a couple of years back what we saw was that at the end of the day, the BlackBerry share was close to 40 per cent,” said vice president of sales Bryan Segal at a Social Media Week event on Monday.“Definitely share is changing. BlackBerry in Canada is still a stronghold, we measure this across the globe and this is the highest percentage of BlackBerry usage.“I’m not a forecaster … but obviously the trend is going down.”ComScore said there are now 23 million mobile phone users in Canada, with 72 per cent on a smartphone and 28 per cent still using an older so-called feature phone.About 61 per cent of Canadians had a smartphone in June, which was third highest globally. About 66 per cent of U.S. consumers and 62 per cent of U.K. mobile users had smartphones.ComScore has often reported that Canada leads the world in Internet usage and that’s still the case in a few — but not all — categories.Canadians are tops in the rankings for most web pages viewed per month and the number of monthly visits to websites. Canada’s 28 million users are second in time spent online at an average of 41.3 hours per month, behind American users who are online an average of 43 hours monthly.Canadians were also second worldwide in terms of viewing videos online.“The average Canadian watches about 25 hours per month of video, that’s all types of video: short form, long form, porn form,” said Segal.He also said Canadian users watch 300 videos per month on average. read more

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Liverpool grabs bizarre late winner in Merseyside derby

LIVERPOOL, England — Divock Origi scored a bizarre winner in the sixth minute of stoppage time as Liverpool beat Everton 1-0 in dramatic fashion on Sunday to maintain its 19-year unbeaten record over its Merseyside rival at Anfield.Virgil van Dijk mishit a speculative volley high into the air from outside the area, with the ball landing on the crossbar off the fingertips of Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford. It bounced a second time onto the bar and dropped down to the waiting Origi, who headed home from a meter out.The victory kept second-placed Liverpool within two points of Manchester City after 14 games. Everton hasn’t won at Anfield in the league since 1999.Origi, who came on as a substitute for Mohamed Salah, hadn’t scored for Liverpool since May 2017, having spent last season on loan at Wolfsburg.___More AP English soccer:https://apnews.com/tag/PremierLeague andhttps://twitter.com/AP_SportsThe Associated Press read more

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For Ohio State football The Chase is on

The chase is on for the Ohio State football team, and it’s clear the Buckeyes are the hunters, not the prey. OSU held its first of 15 spring practices Tuesday indoors at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, which houses a full indoor football field. At the south end of the facility hangs a new banner with two big words adorned on the scarlet background. “The Chase,” it reads. What exactly is the chase? Coach Urban Meyer said it’s different for everyone. “We’re all chasing something,” Meyer said. “We’re 15 practices behind every team that played in a bowl game last year, so the chase is on. Some guys are chasing starting positions, some guys are chasing bowl games, some guys are chasing NFL contracts.” But though Meyer acknowledges every individual’s pursuit has a different path, it seems clear that they all are aiming to intersect at the same place: the top of the college football world. It’s no secret what Meyer and his staff are chasing. On the team schedule listed in the media room, all the regular season games are listed. Then there’s the Rose Bowl. Then there’s BCS National Championship. That’s the prey, and everything – even the stretching and calisthenics during the very first spring practice – is designed to track it down. The expectations for this OSU team could not be higher. Rising junior quarterback Braxton Miller graced the cover of the latest “Sports Illustrated,” most preseason rankings have the Buckeyes somewhere in the top three and with nine returning starters on offense, nothing short of a championship will be viewed as a success. A perfect 12-0 season during a year with a postseason ban was enough to quench the fans’ thirst during year one of the Meyer era, but with one conquest comes higher goals. The Buckeyes’ first spring practice was open to the media, and it was clear what type of operation Meyer was running. Fast. Intense. Efficient. When he huddled the team briefly before breaking out into position drills, the only audible phrases from the sideline were “as fast as you can, go for four to six seconds” and “relentless.” There were no lengthy water breaks or team meetings, and there was no time to dwell on a failed rep. Everything was under the microscope. When a long, blond-haired kicker (who was not listed on the preseason roster) dared to take a swig of water during calisthenics, it was noticed. “What, do you need water, sunshine?” defensive backs coach Kerry Coombs yelled. “We’re stretching and you’re a kicker.” He wasn’t alone. No less than a half dozen assistant coaches were roaming up and down the field yapping at players for not running in a straight line or not going fast enough. “What are you chasing?” Coombs yelled at no one in particular. “What are you chasing today? Who are you chasing today? Let’s get to work. “Today’s not a good day, not a great day. It’s toughness Tuesday.” The transition between drills was a sprint, with the veterans going first, and the newbies waiting their turns so as not to waste time with lengthy drill instructions. The whole operation was a hyper-organized chaos and that seemed to be precisely how Meyer wanted it. Meyer praised Miller afterward, who looked about as good as a quarterback with no pads and no pressure can. “I thought Braxton Miller had a heck of a day,” Meyer said. “Fundamentally, his footwork was not very good last year. I thought it was outstanding today.” He also singled out rising senior Jordan Hall, who moved to a H-back position after a 2012 season riddled with injuries. Overall the second-year coach was pleased with what he saw. His team is in much better shape than it was at this point last year, something probably best illustrated by the fact that the third question of Meyer’s press conference was about the punting situation. But if Day 1 is any indication, there will be no resting on laurels. Meyer is constantly looking toward – chasing – the future. “Who’s going to be the (former offensive lineman Reid) Fragel?” Meyer said. “We’re going to call that the Fragel award, who was a very below average football player who turned out to be a very good football player for Ohio State University. “Who’s going to be that guy that’s coming out of nowhere?” OSU won’t be a team that comes out of nowhere this season. Everyone knows about the Buckeyes and everyone knows where they want to go. Will they get there? The chase continues. read more

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Five British men arrested by Cambodian police over pornographic dancing

first_imgA Cambodian Tourist Police officer was unable to confirm any further details at the time, when contacted by the Press Association, mentioning only that the British ambassador had called.The Foreign Office confirmed they were in contact with British nationals in Cambodia, on Saturday evening (GMT).”We are assisting five British men arrested in Cambodia and are providing support to their families,” a statement said.The group confirmed during the call that all of their embassies had been in contact, and were helping the foreign nationals and their families.They said their lawyer told them they could face up to a year in prison, and that they could be detained on a six-month waiting period if the case went to trial. The group arrested confirmed their identities, They include five British men; Vincent Harley Robert Hook, 35, Daniel Richard Leeming Jones, 30, Thomas Alexander Jeffries, 22, Billy Stevens, 21, and Paul Francis Harris, 32.Job Robertus van der Wel, from The Netherlands, 22, Canadians Jessica Drolet, of Ottawa, 25, and Eden Koazoleas, 19, of Alberta, were also arrested, along with David Nikolaus Aleksandr Ballovarre, of Oslo, Norway, 22, and Paul Martin Brasch, 32, of New Zealand.They said they had been assigned a Cambodian lawyer, and were due in court on Sunday.The police website pictured a group line-up, which the prisoner confirmed to be the detained group. Two of those arrested 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. “Honestly, it was really confusing. Everyone was confused. They raided, rounded us up – there was about 80 to 100 people at this party, some of them were tourists. There were about 30 of them [police officers.]”They said they did not understand why they were being arrested, saying they saw one of the men vomiting in shock. The prisoner said from their makeshift cell on Saturday that their families were “worried sick”.”Our parents are doing what they can. It’s really just trying to keep a good vibe until we know the outcome.”They said they have been sleeping on the floor of an office at a police station in Siem Reap for three days, and emphasised they had been treated well by their captors – saying officers were friendly and had brought them pizza.An official Cambodian Police statement posted online on Saturday afternoon (GMT) referenced pornography and dancing in publicising the arrests, naming 10 suspects, who had been charged following an investigation by the Office Combating Human Trafficking and Protection of Juveniles.The prisoner said the group believed the investigation was targeting foreign expats in the south-east Asian country over foreign tourists and expats wearing bikinis in public, and in relation to expat-run pub crawls in Siem Reap.”We’re innocent,” they said. “We don’t know why we’ve been arrested – we’re getting different stories from different people.”center_img The group's ages range from 19 to 35 Two of those arrestedCredit:Cambodia Police/PA The group’s ages range from 19 to 35Credit:Cambodia Police/PA Five British men and five foreign nationals, including two women, have been arrested by Cambodian police for what officials describe as “pornographic dancing” after a raid on a party in the popular tourist destination Siem Reap.A member of the group, whose ages range from 19 to 35, told the Press Association from their cell, under condition of strict anonymity, that they were confused over their arrest.A Cambodian Police website published photographs online, appearing to show clothed and laughing tourists demonstrating sex positions.The prisoner claimed none of those arrested were in the photographs.Most of the group were described by police as expats – but some were travellers, including a British tourist who claimed to have been in the country just two weeks when he was arrested.The prisoner said they were manning the barbecue at a villa party on Thursday at 4pm local time when police arrived and began picking out revellers from the crowd.last_img read more

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PGE Vive Kielce and Barca to set new attendance handball world record

← Previous Story FULL SUPPORT: Talant Dujshebaev six more years in Kielce! Next Story → PGE Vive Kielce two months without Filip Ivic The president of PGE Vive Kielce, Bertus Servaas, informed also about his plans of organizing friendly matches between his team and FC Barcelona Lassa. At 21.12.2018. PGE VIVE Kielce will play in a prestigious 500 SuperFinal HBL. The winner will play against other opponent next year.Against Barca, Kielce will play also in the Summer of 2020 or 2021 at the PGE Narodowy national stadium. It will be the next friendly game with a foreign club taking place beyond the Świętokrzyskie region borders, after playing against PSG in Kraków, in August 2015. During the then show, that finished with a draw 32:32, the handball record attendance in the country was beaten thanks to 15.300 spectators present in the arena.This means that new world-record in attendance could be set after 44.189 fans at German Super Cup in Frankfurt a few years ago…Capacity is over 58.000 seats. read more

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Firefox easily outperforms Chrome with many tabs open

first_imgWhen the Chrome web browser appeared from Google it was notable for two reasons: the rate of development and the speed of the browser. Chrome continues to see regular releases that push forward with new/better functionality as well as continuing to get faster. It is one of, if not the fastest browser available at the moment.However, when you start to scale that performance Chrome apparently falls flat on its face. What we are talking about here is having multiple tabs open, which is a very common practice today due to the amount of content we like to look at. It’s not uncommon to have a tab open for your email, another for your social network, and another loading a YouTube video or showing your Twitter stream. The list goes on.Chrome is great for general usage up to a certain point, but when you start opening a lot of tabs it can’t cope. It’s closest rival–Firefox, can though, and in fact excels at coping with hundreds of tabs.Gregor Wagner, a PhD student at the University of California, is a part-time contributor to the Firefox browser. He decided to do some performance tests on Chrome compared to Firefox with particular focus on having lots of tabs open and how that is handled in memory.To do this he used a script that opens 150 of the most popular websites in a browser instance automatically. One page is opened in a new tab every 1.5 seconds. On the latest Firefox nightly build that process takes roughly 6 minutes and 14 seconds. On Chrome, it’s a totally different story with the time escalating to 28 minutes and 55 seconds. That’s well over 4x slower than Firefox.Here’s his actual results:In fact, Wagner found that once you get past 70 tabs Chrome really starts to struggle. The reason seems to be down to the different way in which each browser handles data and tabs. Chrome uses a multi-process model where a new process is started on a per tab basis. Firefox takes a different route and has a single process running that handles all tab data.It seems that either through a bug or design issue Chrome doesn’t end up handling every new tab as a new process. Instead some processes can end up having to cope with multiple tabs and it’s also handled unevenly e.g. one process has 2 sites where as another has 20 sites.At 150 tabs open this leads Chrome to stop responding and max out memory use at 5GB. Firefox on the other hand only used 2GB of memory and continued to work under the same conditions.Whatever the reason for this happening in Chrome, if you are someone who always has a lot of tabs open–a researcher or tech blogger, for example, then you are better off using Firefox until Google have this issue fixed. However, up to a certain point, and probably for the majority of users, you aren’t going to experience this problem.Read more at Gregor Wagner’s bloglast_img read more

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Brothers fake relationship to get out of tax

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Brothers Bill and Jim Karras went to drastic lengths to scam the Victoria’s State Revenue Office, pretending to be a gay couple to get out of paying extra tax on a property investment, a court has heard. The sham union profited them an extra $7000 on the first homeowners grant and saved them paying extra tax. Bill Karras, who in November 2010 posed as Dimitris Saravakios, made false statements in his application. He had owned three houses before 2000 and four after that year. A person is ineligible for the grant if they or their partner, before July 2000, own residential property in Victoria or interstate. Bill Karras claimed he began the relationship with Jim in 2009, and went to great lengths to prove their ‘love’, emailing a utility bill and photographs of the two hugging each other and one of them wearing blond wigs. Jim Karras, 34, was recently fined $2000 without conviction for making a false statement, while his brother, 41, pleaded guilty to four charges, including tax evasion. Bill Karras’s lawyer George Defteros described the circumstances as a “comical and farcical” attempt at fraud that was “doomed from the outset”. Bill Karras has paid back the $26,000 in stamp duty and is seeking treatment for depression and anxiety. In sentencing, magistrate Richard Pithouse told Karras his actions showed he continued to be dishonest and had not learned from previous convictions. He said Karras was “shameful” in involving his brother, who has multiple sclerosis and was a victim, and who had been ostracised by his family as a direct result of his brother’s conduct. He was jailed for nine months and convicted and fined $5000. He was bailed pending an appeal. Source: The Agelast_img read more

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