What happens if Trump cancels NAFTA 10 lawyers agree Lotsa lawsuits

first_imgWASHINGTON – He can huff, and he can puff, but can Donald Trump really single-handedly blow NAFTA down? It’s more than fairy-tale conjecture now. It’s a question of practical importance as the president has now demonstrated he intends to wield it as a threat during negotiations.The Canadian Press has gathered analysis from 10 trade-law experts in an attempt to settle that question, some via interviews and others via research papers that explored the limits of presidential power to end the trade deal.Here’s the one thing everyone agrees on: It would get messy.That much is clear. There’s widespread consensus that it would trigger a period of uncertainty, marked by court fights between the White House, industry groups, state governments and possibly federal lawmakers.The reason it’s such a legal question mark is that it has never happened before. A paper for U.S. lawmakers by the Congressional Research Service last year said the United States has never cancelled a free-trade agreement and has only suspended one, the original deal with Canada which was replaced by NAFTA.A presidential scuttling of NAFTA would create a historic conflict.On one side would be the powers of the presidency, which include foreign affairs, control over tariffs delegated through various laws, and the provision in NAFTA that allows him to cancel the deal on six months’ notice.On the other side is Congress, which has constitutional power over international commerce and duties; which passed a law to implement NAFTA; and which could argue that the president’s withdrawal violates that 1993 law.Tim Meyer thinks Congress would win.“If the president were to rip up NAFTA and then sort of jack tariffs way up, I think somebody would be able to come in and say … ‘You’re actually violating U.S. domestic law’,” said Meyer, a Vanderbilt professor, former government lawyer, and one-time clerk for Neil Gorsuch, whom Trump appointed to the Supreme Court.“I think courts are going to be sympathetic to the idea that the president can’t ignore the legislation that implements these trade agreements. Congress has not repealed that legislation and they’ve given no indication they intend to.”He points to the landmark Youngstown steel case of 1952, which established the limits of presidential power — it determined that the president cannot contradict an existing law passed by Congress.Joel Trachtman agrees and adds several other cases to the body of jurisprudence limiting Trump’s power: a 1994 Barclays Bank case, a 2003 American Insurance case and the 2005 Zivotofsky case.The professor of international law at the Fletcher School also examined 112 cancelled treaties through history and concluded a maximum of four occurred without congressional co-operation. He wrote in a just-released paper: “It would be strange to allow a president, operating alone, to … (terminate) trade agreements.”On the other side, Gary Hufbauer sides with the president.He’s one of Washington’s foremost authorities on trade. And he counts eight laws that explictly transfer tariff powers to the president. He also points to NAFTA: the three-country agreement has a clear termination clause and, in addition, the domestic U.S. NAFTA-implementation law’s section 415 says that if a country pulls out, key provisions cease being in effect.He predicts five things would happen if Trump cancelled NAFTA:—The dispute-resolution systems would disappear quickly.—Trump would re-institute tariffs on Mexico, averaging 3.5 per cent as per the U.S’s WTO standard.—He would decide whether to keep the old one-on-one agreement with Canada.—Congress would wage war on Trump, launching investigations, impeding his agenda on other fronts.—There would be lawsuits.Hufbauer said some cases could move through the court system quickly. When a state government sues the federal government, he said, it could zoom its way to the Supreme Court within a few months.It’s unclear Trump would have public support on his side.A recent poll by Harris for Livingston trade consultants concluded a plurality of Americans were happy to renegotiate NAFTA, but a mere six per cent wanted it ripped up entirely.“I agree there would be great political difficulty,” Hufbauer said, acknowledging a messy outcome.“Legal (rights) is another story.”There was no perfect clarity in the study U.S. lawmakers received from their Congressional Research service last fall. The report spent 22 pages trying to answer what would happen and it’s filled with nuances and arguments both sides might make.Its conclusions: Congress would need to be consulted on new tariffs, but it’s unclear what that consultation requires and, finally, if Congress refuses to pass a law withdrawing the 1993 NAFTA Implementation Act, the president could still try increasing tariffs.One trade lawyer envisions a worst-case scenario for the economy.It involves a legal fight that drags on. NAFTA gets ripped apart in stages. What’s left is a patchwork quasi-agreement and lingering economic uncertainty. Based on the personality of the president, he’s not betting against it.”I think it’s a very grey area,” Dan Ujczo says of the law here.“And as we’ve seen with this president, there is nothing that will stop him. If it’s a grey area he’s going to use the full extent of his executive power.”—With files from Joan Bryden in Ottawalast_img read more

Most actively traded companies on the TSX

TORONTO — Some of the most active companies traded Friday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (16,694.27, down 96.13 points).The Bank of Nova Scotia. (TSX:BNS). Financials. Up 11 cents, or 0.14 per cent, to $76.25 on 6.6 million shares.Encana Corp. (TSX:ECA). Energy. Down two cents, or 0.33 per cent, to $6.11 on 6.1 million shares.New Gold Inc. (TSX:NGD). Materials. Down 13 cents, or 8.5 per cent, to $1.40 on 5.6 million shares.Yamana Gold Inc. (TSX:YRI). Materials. Down 14 cents, or 3.13 per cent, to $4.33 on 5.5 million shares.B2Gold Corp. (TSX:BTO). Materials. Down 10 cents, or 2.24 per cent, to $4.36 on 5.4 million shares.Brookfield Asset Management Inc. (TSX:BAM.A). Financials. Down 23 cents, or 0.32 per cent, to $71.45 on 5.3 million shares. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 27, 2019.The Canadian Press Companies in the news:Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. (TSX:ATD.B). Down $1.34 to $80.66. A growing move to ban flavoured e-cigarettes due to health concerns particularly in youth could actually benefit convenience stores in the long run, say retail analysts. Bonnie Herzog of Wells Fargo Securities says a majority of retailers surveyed believe the removal of e-cigarettes would migrate smokers to combustible cigarettes that represent a larger portion of convenience store sales. Couche-Tard CEO Brian Hannasch says these products aren’t currently “material” to the company’s revenues and it’s OK with a ban for youth as long as the decision is done in a “thoughtful fashion and based on facts.”ARC Resources Ltd. (TSX:ARX). Up two cents to $6.52. Oil and gas industry insiders say demands by organizers of Friday’s Global Climate Strike to transition swiftly away from fossil fuels to 100 per cent renewable energy are naive and unrealistic. But the leaders reached on the sidelines of the Global Business Forum in Banff add they support the right of participants to draw attention to the issue and applaud their emotional commitment. Hal Kvisle, chairman of ARC Resources Ltd. says the protests raise the “emotional urgency” of the situation but unfortunately don’t offer any solutions on how to end the current global demand for about 100 million barrels per day of oil. read more

Turtle leads online tour of biosphere

A turtle is giving tours around the Long Point biosphere.You can join Maya the Blanding’s Turtle for a tour of her home in the southwestern area of Norfolk County that was chosen as a top priority for conservation investment by the federal government over the next three years.Designated as the Long Point Walsingham Forest (LPWF) Priority Place, Maya’s home is one of 11 such Priority Places in Canada and the only Priority Place identified in Ontario to date.The LPWF Priority Place includes the Long Point Biosphere’s core areas on Long Point and Backus Woods, its buffer zone that includes the Big Creek National Wildlife Area and Turkey Point marshes and its zone of cooperation in the southwestern portion of Norfolk County.It was selected by Environment and Climate Change Canada because of its high biodiversity, large number of species at risk, the highly engaged local conservation community and the significant environmental threats. Since 2018 ECCC has been working with over 23 organizations to complete and implement a conservation action plan for the Priority Place.Maya can explain why her home is such a special place and the three top threats it faces.The top three threats are the invasive species phragmites, the loss of tallgrass prairie habitat, and road mortality.But Maya also says there’s an opportunity to work with local farmers in supporting sustainable agriculture practices and reducing agricultural runoff. Much progress has already been made as farmers work with Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS) program to sustain agriculture and natural spaces.In addition to telling Maya’s story, the Long Point World Biosphere Reserve Foundation has collaborated with the Canadian Wildlife Service, Norfolk County, the local conservation community and universities to create and host a single “one stop” database for sharing research and conservation information about the Long Point Walsingham Forest area and all of Norfolk County.“Sharing access to this information will help all participants to be more effective in tackling the threats this Priority Place and find better ways to preserve it for Maya, her friends and the rest of us,” said Rick Levick, president of the LPWBRF, in a press release.The federal government has earmarked up to $15.6 million to be spent on species at risk conservation through the program.Maya’s interactive video tour has been posted on Long Point World Biosphere Reserve Foundation’s website www.longpointbiosphere.com. read more

Iraqis themselves must make the decisions that affect them UN envoy

A day after he gave his first major press conference since arriving three weeks ago, repeatedly stressing that the UN will do all it can to help Iraq move as quickly as possible towards running its own affairs, Mr. Vieira de Mello also met with members of the United States-run interim administration, the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA).The session with the jurists focussed on lessons learned from UN experiences in post conflict countries, and on Iraqi perspectives. General (Judge) Campbell, Head of the Justice Section at the CPA attended, giving a presentation on its activities in this area. The Iraqis asked Mr. Vieira de Mello to continue this dialogue and support them in developing their own vision on justice reform.The envoy later met with the chief British representative in the CPA, Ambassador John Sawers, discussing the security situation in general as well as the killing yesterday of six British soldiers and the wounding of eight more in attacks in southern Iraq. They also reviewed the CPA’s current efforts in the political track, which is intended to lead to the formation of a political advisory council, followed by a constitutional convention.In his news conference yesterday, Mr. Vieira de Mello, Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Representative, explained that his first priority had been to speak with and listen to as many Iraqis as possible to find out what they wanted for themselves.”It is their country, after all and they should run it,” he said. “And it will be vital to the success of the international community in Iraq that Iraqis have ownership of all decisions made affecting them. This is and will remain axiomatic for the UN in Iraq for us as long as we are here.”He added that there had been no clashes with the CPA and there need be no clash “as long as we have the same objective, which is to serve the Iraqi people.” The CPA had listened “very carefully to our views, again based on what the Iraqis have told us” on such issues as the constitutional process, elections, a census, the electoral system and political parties.”These are all questions that the United Nations has experienced and I would say has a good record in recent years,” he said. “And based on the opinion of the Iraqis these are probably areas in which they, the Iraqis, would want the UN to play a very active, objective, supportive role, never in substitution for them.” read more

AC Milan sold to Chinese consortium

by The Associated Press Posted Apr 13, 2017 6:50 am MDT Last Updated Apr 13, 2017 at 8:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email MILAN – The takeover of AC Milan was completed Thursday, with Silvio Berlusconi selling the club to a Chinese consortium after 31 years in charge.The group, led by Chinese businessman Yonghong Li, has been attempting to buy Milan for some time but the deal has hit a series of delays and the sale has been postponed twice.“I thank Berlusconi and Fininvest for their trust and the fans for their patience, from today we will build the future,” Li said.Berlusconi’s holding company, Fininvest, released a statement announcing that it had completed the transfer of its 99.93 per cent stake in Milan to Rossoneri Sport Luxembourg — which was formerly known as Sino-Europe Sports.“Today’s finalization gives full effect to the takeover agreement,” Fininvest said in the statement.The deal, which values Milan at 740 million euros (about $800 million), requires the investors to spend 350 million euros ($372 million) over three years on improvements.“The buyers have confirmed their commitment to fulfil important recapitalization investments to the balance sheet and strengthen AC Milan’s finances and assets,” Fininvest said.A general shareholders’ meeting has been called for Friday when the names of the new president and directors will be announced. There is also expected to be a news conference on Friday.The new owners’ first match will be Saturday’s derby against Inter Milan, which is also owned by a Chinese company.During Berlusconi’s reign, Milan won a number of trophies at home and abroad. The Rossoneri won eight league titles, one Italian Cup and seven Super Cups as well as five Champions League trophies and five UEFA Super Cups.But the famous Italian club has slipped from the top in recent years and is currently sixth in Serie A.Milan won the Italian Super Cup in December, beating Juventus for its first trophy in six years. FILE – In this Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016 file photo, AC Milan’s Suso, center, celebrates with his teammates after he scored during a Serie A soccer match between AC Milan and Inter Milan, at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy. The Milan derby should generate heightened interest in China, especially after Saturday’s kickoff was moved to 1230 local time – perfect for prime time Chinese television audiences seven hours ahead. Inter Milan is owned by Chinese group Suning, while the delayed sale of AC Milan to a group of Chinese investors was expected to be completed Thursday, April 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno, file) AC Milan sold to Chinese consortium read more

Most actively traded companies on the TSX

Most actively traded companies on the TSX by The Canadian Press Posted Jul 18, 2017 2:35 pm MDT Last Updated Jul 18, 2017 at 3:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Some of the most active companies traded Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (15,149.57, down 15.79 points):Element Fleet Management Corp. (TSX:EFN). Financial Services. Up 66 cents, or 7.62 per cent, to $9.32 on 3.9 million shares.Encana Corp. (TSX:ECA). Oil and gas. Up 11 cents, or 0.93 per cent, to $11.97 on 3.8 million shares.Lundin Mining Corp. (TSX:LUN). Miner. Down 14 cents, or 1.69 per cent, to $8.15 on 3.7 million shares.First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (TSX:FM). Miner. Down 27 cents, or 1.97 per cent, to $13.42 on 3.2 million shares.Rogers Communications Inc. (TSX:RCI.B). Telecommunications. Up 31 cents, or 0.49 per cent, to $62.96 on 3.01 million shares.Toronto-Dominion Bank (TSX:TD). Bank. Up 23 cents, or 0.35 per cent, to $65.09 on 2.99 million shares.Companies reporting major news:Champion Iron Ltd. (TSX:CIA). Miner. Up six cents, or 6.06 per cent, to $1.05 on 134,296 shares. It has conditionally agreed to pay an unspecified sum to the Port of Sept-Iles in eastern Quebec to settle their dispute surrounding a 2012 deal. The company, which is the parent of Champion Iron Mines Ltd. and Quebec Iron Ore Inc., plans to use the port for shipping iron ore from the Bloom Lake Mine near Fermont, Que.Tembec Inc. (TSX:TMB). Forestry. Down one cent, or 0.23 per cent, to $4.26 on 608,502 shares. The takeover of the forestry company could be in jeopardy after its second-largest shareholder said Tuesday it will vote against a US$807-million friendly offer by Rayonier Advanced Materials. Restructuring Capital Associates (RCA), which owns 17.1 per cent of Tembec’s stock, said it will join Oaktree Capital Management in opposing the transaction at a vote July 27. read more

Ohio State womens ice hockey shutout swept by No 2 Wisconsin

OSU freshman goalie Alex LaMere looks back into the net after a goal by Western Ontario Sept. 28 at the Ohio State Ice Rink. OSU tied 2-2 in OT. Credit: Melissa Prax / Lantern photographerThe Buckeyes lost to No. 2 Wisconsin, 3-0, Sunday thanks in large part to Badger redshirt-senior forward Brittany Ammerman, who scored two of the three Wisconsin goals.With 7:09 left in the first period, Badger sophomore forward Sydney McKibbon scored on a power play for the first goal of the game.Halfway through the second period, Ammerman scored to pull Wisconsin ahead, 2-0. The final goal came in the last few seconds of the third period when Ammerman scored on a power play after OSU senior defenseman Kari Schmitt was called for roughing.OSU was outshot, 47-18, by Wisconsin. Freshman goalie Kassidy Sauve played a total of 59:37 minutes and recorded 44 saves.The Badgers also beat the Buckeyes in the first game of the series Friday night. Wisconsin was victorious in a 6-0 shutout. The Badgers showed their balanced offense, having six different players record goals in the game.Recording a total of 28 shots on net in the first series of their season, the Buckeyes couldn’t get anything past Wisconsin sophomore goalie Ann-Renée Desbiens.In the eighth minute of play, Wisconsin senior forward Karley Sylvester beat the Buckeyes during a power play to put the Badgers on the board, 1-0.The Badgers scored their second goal with less than five minutes remaining in the second period. Wisconsin later scored two goals each in the second period and the third period. The final goal was an empty netter in the last seconds of the third period.Sauve had her first conference start against Wisconsin. She played for a total of 43 minutes and let up five goals. Sauve saved a total of 18 shots during this game. Red-shirt junior goalie, Stacy Danczak was put in the net in the third period, playing for a total of 16 minutes, only letting one goal passed her.The Buckeyes look to bounce back this weekend when they are scheduled to host Bemidji State in a two-game series. The first game is scheduled for Friday at 6:07 p.m. before they face-off again Saturday at 12:07 p.m. read more

Football Fourstar linebacker Teradja Mitchell commits to Ohio State

The rich just got richer. Four-star inside linebacker Teradja Mitchell announced his commitment to Ohio State at his high school Friday evening. The Virginia Beach, Virginia, native is rated as the No. 38 overall prospect and the second-best at his position, according to 247Sports.He is the 12th player in his class to verbally commit to the Buckeyes and the second four-star linebacker to join OSU’s 2018 recruiting class. The Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School linebacker is the sixth-highest rated played by 247Sports committed to OSU.Mitchell would be the first Virginia native to sign with OSU since redshirt freshman cornerback Wayne Davis, Virginia’s 2015 Gatorade player of the year, in the Buckeyes’ 2016 recruiting class. read more

Baseball Ohio State brings early confidence into Big Ten opener against Nebraska

Then-junior relief pitcher Seth Kinker delivers a 1-1 pitch to UNCG sophomore second baseman Austin Embler in the top of the sixth inning. Credit: Edward Sutelan | Assistant Sports EditorWith nine wins in the past 10 games, the Ohio State baseball team will begin Big Ten play feeling confident.The red-hot Buckeyes welcome Nebraska (13-12, 1-2 Big Ten) to Columbus Friday night for the first three games of Ohio State’s Big Ten conference schedule, hoping to carry over some of the momentum built up from the team’s out-of-conference success.The Buckeyes’ most recent 19-4 win against Toledo on Thursday only helps matters.“We’ve been playing pretty good baseball,” head coach Greg Beals said. “It was critical to keep that momentum going into conference play this weekend.”Ohio State (17-7) gets production top-to-bottom in the batting order, with five hitters now batting above .310 and seven with double-digit RBI totals. The Buckeyes have averaged 10 runs per game in the past six matchups.Nebraska’s primary strength is its pitching staff, which is headlined by Friday night starter Luis Alvarado and his 3.24 ERA. Junior Matt Waldron adds a 3.27 ERA to the starting rotation while fellow junior Zack Engelken and redshirt freshman Paul Tillotson have provided a combined 26 innings of relief with a cumulative 2.42 ERA. “They’re going to pound the fastball at the bottom of the strike zone,” Beals said. “[Alvarado], their Friday guy, he’s got a real good arm.”Senior right fielder Scott Schreiber provides the bulk of support for Nebraska’s pitching staff, batting .364 with six home runs. Junior catcher Jesse Wilkening (.330, 25 RBIs) and senior outfielder Zac Repinski (.321) also have the potential to damage Ohio State.Outside those three, Nebraska could be at a real disadvantage in terms of quality at-bats throughout the lineup with only one other regular starter batting above .260.Facing that lineup Friday night for the Buckeyes is junior Connor Curlis, who is off to an impressive 4-0 start. Junior Ryan Feltner (2-1) will take the hill Saturday, with redshirt senior Adam Niemeyer (1-2) going on Sunday.“I think that no one on this team is complacent, and I think that’s a big part of how hard we work in the cages, how hard we work in our throwing program,” senior relief pitcher Seth Kinker said. “We’re gonna be ready to play Nebraska.” read more

Football Tennessee Titans hire former Ohio State player and coach Mike Vrabel

Just five years ago, Mike Vrabel was on head coach Urban Meyer’s staff, coaching Ohio State’s defensive line. On Saturday, the Tennessee Titans named him their latest head coach, replacing Mike Mularkey, who was fired five days prior.This will be his first head-coaching job at any level. Vrabel spent the past four seasons on the Houston Texas’ staff. He was the team’s defensive coordinator last season and coached Houston’s linebackers the three prior seasons.Before heading to the NFL, Vrabel was hired by Ohio State to coach linebackers in 2011. Then, when Meyer was hired in December 2011, Vrabel remained on the staff, but switched responsibilities and became the defensive line coach.This was not his first time as a Buckeye. Vrabel played defensive end for Ohio State from 1993 to 1996. He was named Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year his final two seasons and earned first-team All-American honors for his 48-tackle, nine-sack senior year. He was inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2012.Vrabel went on to be picked in the third round of the draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers and play 14 season in the NFL, the majority of which he spent as a New England Patriot. He won three Super Bowls and was a first-team All-Pro member in 2007. Vrabel, who played linebacker in the NFL, collected 704 tackles, 57 sacks, 17 forced fumbles and 11 interceptions during his career. He also had 10 catches, all of which went for touchdowns. read more

Step out of the box – Harmon tells Region Six private

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedClosure of Rose Hall Estate postponed to 2018- HarmonNovember 17, 2017In “Business”Acres of GuySuCo land being considered for Govt’s housing projectMarch 6, 2017In “Local News”Sugar woes: President promises severance, says ‘we won’t sell off the family jewels’October 13, 2018In “Business” …urges businesses to develop proposals for way forward for sugar industry Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon issued a call to members of the business community in the East Berbice-Corentyne Region (Region Six) to develop proposals for the way forward for the sugar industry over the next six months, as well as to pursue options for diversification, even as he urged them to explore non-traditional sectors and value added production.According to the Ministry of the Presidency, the Minister made these comments, on Sunday evening, at a fundraising dinner hosted by the Berbice Chamber of Commerce at the New Amsterdam Town Hall.Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon speaking at the Berbice Chamber of Commerce’s fundraising dinner at the New Amsterdam Town HallNoting that Government has embarked on a consultative process to determine what are the best options to ensure the viability of the industry, the Minister called on stakeholders in the region to be drivers of economic diversification as Guyana cannot continue to rely on what the President calls the six sisters; sugar, rice, timber, bauxite, gold and fish. “There are greater opportunities that present themselves for businesses individually or working with the workers’ union or workers’ organisations to take the benefit of what is going to happen in the short space of time,” Minister Harmon pointed out.According to the MOTP, Minister of Business, Mr. Dominic Gaskin, who also spoke at the event, said that when the annual bailouts and investments in sugar are considered against the current price of sugar it is clear that things cannot continue as they are and Guyana has to expand local manufacturing. “This might be a good time for us to invest more in value-added productive businesses. If your imports aren’t selling, I can guarantee you that Guyanese want to buy local products. Guyanese are proud whenever we put quality local products on the market and this, for us, is a direction that we have been trying to nudge investors towards,” Minister Gaskin said.Minister Harmon added that while it is the Government’s responsibility to continue to develop an investment friendly and more enabling environment for the growth of businesses, it is the responsibility of the private sector to tap into available resources to grow their businesses. Many of the concessions that were placed in the 2017 National Budget and resources allocated for Guyanese businesses are yet to be tapped into, Minister Harmon said.Private sector officials were encouraged to recognise Guyana as a single investment space and were called on to bid for contracts as well as invest in other parts of the country. “Step out of the box in which you operate and see that greater opportunities are available for you as business people,” Mr. Harmon said.Minister of Public Telecommunications, Ms. Catherine Hughes told members of the private sector gathered at the event that embarking on “out of the box” business ideas in the technological sector can result in profitable economic activity. Pointing to the use of robotics, Minister Hughes said numerous possibilities exist in the digitised environment and Guyana is poised to take advantage of the strides being made in Information and Communications Technology (ICT).Meanwhile, newly elected President of the Berbice Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Ryan Alexander committed that the private sector in Region Six will be working arduously to seek other opportunities outside of the traditional sectors. He touted the idea of using the vast estate lands for the development of micro-enterprises.Representatives of the Indian High Commission, members of the Upper and West Berbice Chambers of Commerce and other Government officials were in attendance at the fundraising dinner, which provided the opportunity for private sector officials to mingle with the Ministers as they discussed the future of the business in the region and how they can work together to push economic development, the MOTP reported. read more

Steven Universe televisions most inclusive show

first_imgFor a show about aliens, intergalactic conspiracies, and gay gem moms, Steven Universe is remarkably human.Major spoilers for Steven Universe.In a recent episode, amidst the world-defying apocalypse scenarios, threats to our heroes’ morality, and revelations about characters long dead, Steven and his best friend Connie learn how to process anxiety. They are told that in order to deal with intrusive thoughts, they need to confide in each other, accept that horrible things have occurred, and most importantly, to just breathe.I’ve struggled with anxiety since I was a kid, going in and out of therapy for most of my life. I bounced around from psychiatrist to psychiatrist, hoping to find one with the techniques in order to control the nausea and sheer panic that came from everyday situations. None of them took the time to tell me that the first step to dealing with these oppressive emotions is to just “take a moment” and “find yourself,” as Garnet sings. To reach out to your companions and trust them to be by your side even when you think you’re broken. For an 11-minute cartoon, that’s a powerful message.I’m 26 and have a mental illness, so I feel like I’ve run the gamut of coping mechanisms. I’m tired of having to find a corner to breathe when I’m feeling overwhelmed in a crowd, so seeing this episode was nice–a calming reminder of the things I’ve learned and a sweet episode that made me smile. For the kids and teens that are also watching this show, its honesty about mental illness only adds to its long list of positives. Steven Universe is a well-written, absurd, and colorful cartoon filled with shenanigans, but it’s also become a platform for serious conversations about non-traditional family dynamics, gender nonconformity, and acceptance in the face of paralyzing trauma.I’ve spoken before about how the show manages to have mature conversations about healthy relationships and consent better than shows made for adults and dozens of episodes later, that remains truer than ever. Steven Universe has shifted its focus away from the entertaining banality (I don’t mean this in a bad way) of its Beach City residents and the shenanigans of Steven as he learns to control his powers, instead providing the detail fans have been waiting for in terms of plot and back story.It’s in these drama-filled episodes that we discover the pain that goes along with building a life for yourself on an unfamiliar planet, away from the people that have abused and cast you out for your differences. The Crystal Gems–Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl–are experiencing the fallout of an intergalactic war and that’s not going to come without baggage.The character Garnet is one of the most discussed, as she’s a fusion: a combination of the two gems Ruby and Sapphire who want to stay together out of love. This is a Steven Universe highlight for a number of reasons. First, Garnet is cool as hell. Two, the two gems are both coded as women. While gems are “genderless,” they are presented with female characteristics, done on purpose to present Garnet as a lesbian couple. In the episode “The Answer,” we find out that this kind of pairing was considered taboo on their home planet, making Garnet’s decision to remain, well, Garnet, a beautiful one.Garnet’s first fusion. YouTube screenshotBut she’s not the only one. Pearl was in love with Steven’s mother Rose Quartz, but it was unrequited, hence many situations where Pearl expresses complicated emotions towards Steven and his father. Lapis Lazuli, who was once a trapped and nearly corrupted gem, in the latest season is dealing with the consequences of an actual abusive relationship based on an unhealthy fusion with Jasper, who pawns after her like a lover scorned. Their encounter in “Alone at Sea” plays out uncomfortably, with Jasper begging Lapis to take her back. For those that have been in abusive relationships, this was silencing. I couldn’t speak for a few minutes after the episode ended.Steven Universe is great for its representation of gay relationships, something that’s unheard of in children’s television, which is still hesitant to present anything behind a heterosexual pairing. Even Legend of Korra, which surprised everyone when its lead character got together with another woman at the end of the series, didn’t have them do more than hold hands.For younger audiences to see these relationships depicted on screen and to have the creators, such as Rebecca Sugar, be open about their own sexuality, is important. It’s important to the point that I can’t fully express it with words. However, what’s more noteworthy is how the show describes these relationships as complex; not as blissful as you would think but full of conflict that can threaten to tear people apart, but doesn’t.Pearl and Rose Quartz. Youtube screenshotAll these things make certain conflicts within the fandom that much more confounding. When a Steven Universe storyboard artist recently had to leave Twitter because of harassment from one subset of fans that preferred one coupling over another to most it was just another example of the toxic nature of fandom. To people like myself, it made no sense. How could a show that is all about acceptance, specifically of members of the LGBTQ community, be so misinterpreted?Yes, it’s a show about gay gems in gay relationships, but to simplify that into who should end up with who is insulting, especially in the light of what the show represents. It’s not just about love, but about what love means, something that most of us only learn as we get older and experience heartache.Steven Universe is a great show. I don’t need to tell you that much. It’s one of my favorite shows currently. And yes, it has gay gems and hilarious side characters and that’s great too. But to say that Steven Universe is “inclusive” is less about its LGBTQ representation and more about how that’s incorporated into the structure of the narrative and the characters’ arcs. There are consequences to actions, and not just destroyed buildings.The characters, even the gems, are troubled and hurt emotionally, dealing with intrusive thoughts over multiple episodes, sometimes multiple seasons. Things just don’t get wrapped up in 11 minutes. Pearl will always long for Rose Quartz and Lapis will always have post-traumatic stress over her multiple imprisonments. Steven, being our main protagonist, has it worst of all, as he deals with the weight of everyone’s problems and puts them on his shoulders, eventually cracking.Steven Universe is wonderful and inclusive because it includes all the things that make us human, including some of our more frustrating faults and tells us that it’s all okay to be that way. The different body types, races, and character shapes are unique enough to make them stand out in that way in terms of representation (see the slider below), but to have people react in such complex ways is what makes it believable. 1/8Our lead character, Steven Universe. 1/8Garnet. 1/8Amethyst. 1/8Pearl. 1/8Connie. 1/8Peridot. 1/8Lapis Lazuli. 1/8Rose Quartz. <>last_img read more

Expolice officer tried in assault case

first_imgClark County District Judge Sonya Langsdorf examines the inside of the patrol car Thursday, where former Washougal police Officer Robert Ritchie, right, allegedly assaulted a mentally ill man on July 1. A former Washougal police officer was tried Thursday in Clark County District Court on an accusation he repeatedly punched a mentally ill man restrained in the back of his patrol car in July.Robert E. Ritchie, 53, of Washougal is charged with fourth-degree gross misdemeanor assault for allegedly punching 26-year-old Tyler Lampman.Judge Sonya Langsdorf said she would announce her verdict at a March 20 hearing.Lampman, who has schizophrenia, was arrested July 1 on suspicion of domestic violence against his mother and brother. His mother said he hadn’t been taking his medications.Washougal police officers placed Lampman in Ritchie’s patrol car to be transported to jail. When Ritchie got into the driver’s seat, Lampman began screaming and calling out for his mother. Ritchie testified he told Lampman to “shut up.” That prompted Lampman to begin banging his head against the transparent thermoplastic screen between the front and back seats.Concerned about Lampman’s safety, Ritchie said, he got out of the vehicle and opened the door to the back passenger seat to try to stop Lampman from hurting himself. Then, Lampman spat on Ritchie’s face. Ritchie said he responded by punching Lampman in the face. He said he punched Lampman twice to stop him from spitting at him again.On the second strike, he said, he realized he had to stop.Witnesses, including Lampman’s brother, Boyd Peppers, and neighbor Glendon Bell said that Ritchie hit Lampman more than twice. The witnesses gave inconsistent numbers on how many times Lampman was hit. However, they ranged from four to eight times.last_img read more

Celebrate success at the Employee Benefits Awards and Summer Party

first_imgExcitement is building for the Employee Benefits Awards and Summer Party 2017, which will take place on Friday 9 June at the Artillery Garden at the HAC, London.The annual event, now in its 15th year, enables HR, reward, benefits and compensation professionals to come together and recognise best practice across the industry, applauding the hard work undertaken by both organisations and individuals over the course of the year.Attendees will have the chance to celebrate success in a sociable and relaxed environment, with plenty of opportunity to network with peers, colleagues and industry leaders.After a welcome drinks reception, the 2017 Employee Benefits Awards winners will be announced over a gourmet three-course lunch. The celebrations will then continue during the annual summer party, featuring fairground rides and games for guests to enjoy.See the full shortlist.Find out more or book your table.last_img read more

Police searching for man in botched robbery at Miami convenience store

first_imgMIAMI (WSVN) – Police are searching for a man who, they said, was behind a botched robbery at a convenience store in Miami, last month.Miami Police want to identify the subject captured in a surveillance photo. Detectives said he held a cashier and a customer at knifepoint while demanding money at the Stop & Shop off Flagler Street, near 47th Street, back in May.Investigators said the crook took off empty-handed when the employee refused.If you have any information on his whereabouts, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Swimming advisory issued for Sunny Isles Beach

first_imgSUNNY ISLES BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) – A swimming advisory for Sunny Isles Beach was posted Thursday, after samples of beach water failed to meet the recreational water quality standard for the bacteria enterococci.Two consecutive samples of beach water collected at the Sunny Isles Beach at 173rd Street and Collins Avenue exceeded the Federal and State standard for enterococci, according to the Florida Department of Health.The advisory recommends not swimming in the area for the time being.Enterococci is a type of bacteria that normally inhabits the intestinal track of humans and animals. The bacteria could cause disease, infections or illness, and is an indicator of fecal pollution, according to FDH.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Baby squirrel gets cast on broken leg after falling out of tree

first_img(WSVN) – A windstorm in western New York state left many residents without power last week, and also left one baby squirrel with a broken front leg.The cries of the tiny injured animal were heard by a woman who took it to the Orphaned Wildlife Center in Otisville. Carers at the Center then took the squirrel to be treated by Catskill Veterinary Services.A post featuring the squirrel from the Orphaned Wildlife Center reveals just how lucky she is to have been discovered.It reads: “A very kind woman heard a tree crash in the woods while working at a horse farm. She kept hearing crying sounds …so after she was done with her chores she went to investigate and found two tiny baby squirrels. They had been in a nest in the tree and now we’re lying helpless on the ground, cold and upset, no mom in sight. She scooped them up and called us.”The Orphaned Wildlife Center has since named the squirrel Katarina. Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Stylist Samidha Singh gets candid about quitting her job to work on

first_imgSamidha SinghPR HandoutSamidha Singh is a renowned fashion and lifestyle blogger and stylist. She has collaborated with top brands in the world and has been a part of several big fashion shows. Samidha’s journey in the world of fashion is something that will leave everyone inspired.Singh studied Bachelors in Banking and Insurance from HR College in Mumbai and did Masters in Economis from Mumbai university. She has worked in a NBFC “Tata Capital” for two years as a credit underwriter. Samidha soon realised her passion fot fashion and wanted to do something in it.She resigned from her job and followed her passion for fashion. When she resigned, Samidha Singh told her parents that she can’t work in corporate world and do a desk job for 10-12 hours. She saved enough for her to decide how to go about fulfilling her dream of working in the fashion industry. She joined fashion designing in SNDT college and realised designing wasn’t her thing, but it was styling.She shared, “I used to get a lot of compliments about my style and there I came across ‘Fashion Blogging’. I researched about it and gave it a shot. I eventually started getting DMs from brands for barter collaborations. I still remember my first collaboration was with ‘Maddish the Style bar’, it was an instagram page where they sold stuff like bags and clothes. We did the collab but they never gave me my barter stuff. I was disgusted but I knew that if I have faith I can move ahead. And slowly I started getting barter collabs.”Life since then has been going well in fashion world for Samidha. She has been a part of London Fashion Week, Lakme Fashion Week, Goa Fashion Week, Bangalore Fashion Week and many others.last_img read more

Madras High Court halts expansion of Vedantas copper smelter after protest killings

first_imgVehicles damaged by protesters during a demonstration to press for the closure of Vedanta’s Sterlite copper smelter in Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi district; in Tuticorin on May 22, 2018.IANSAs the struggle continued on the streets of the port city of Thoothukudi, located at the tip of the subcontinent in Tamil Nadu, an Indian court ordered a halt, at least for a few months, to plans to double the size of the plant. The Vedanta Resources-run smelter is already one of the two biggest in the country.The Madras High Court told authorities on Wednesday to hold a “mandatory” public hearing over Vedanta’s application for environmental clearance and said a decision on environmental approval would be looked into by “appropriate authorities”.”One person was brought dead today, and up to eight cases of injuries due to gun shot are undergoing treatment,” said a doctor in charge of the casualty ward at Thoothukudi government hospital.It was not immediately clear if the dead person and the injured were protesters who had been shot by police.Two policemen were also injured, doctors at the hospital said, adding that all injured were stable.There had been instances of sporadic violence earlier on Wednesday, officials said.”The situation is tense, but under control,” said an official at the Thoothukudi police control room, who did not wish to be named as he was not authorised to speak to the media.Multiple doctors working in the casualty and accident ward alleged that stones were pelted at the medical team, and a senior doctor was manhandled. They blamed protesters. Charred vehicles could still be seen on the deserted roads with hundreds of policemen stationed outside the government hospital.The city’s Eral Bazaar, which is usually bustling with economic activity on a regular day, was almost deserted late evening.PETITIONED THE COURTThe plan by the London-listed firm to double the capacity of the smelter to 800,000 tonnes ignited the demonstrations and prompted activists to petition the court to intervene.”Vedanta shall cease construction and all other activities on-site proposed Unit-II of the Copper Smelting Plant at Tuticorin (Thoothukudi) with immediate effect,” the order from the Madras high court said.The plant has already been shut for more than 50 days and will remain closed until at least June 6 because the local pollution regulator has said the facility is not complying with environmental rules.Residents of the city and activists say emissions from the smelter are polluting the air and the water, affecting the health of residents and pose a risk to fisheries.”Truth and reasoning have prevailed,” said Fatima Babu, who had petitioned the court.On Tuesday, protesters set vehicles on fire and threw stones at police as they stormed the district government headquarters and an apartment block for Vedanta employees, the police and a company official said.Police said they opened fire to control the situation.Vedanta says the protests were based on “false allegations”.”We are shocked and saddened to hear about the incident and we are working with the relevant authorities to ensure the safety of our employees, facilities and the surrounding community,” said Kuldip Kaura, CEO of Vedanta Resources during a call with reporters.A Vedanta official said a majority of the employees from the copper smelter have been moved out of Thoothukudi to keep them safe.Vedanta shares were down 7.3 percent in London trading as of 1300 GMT.”Copper contributes almost 7-8 percent to the consolidated operating profit and as much as 30 rupees (44 cents) to the share price, therefore it definitely hurts the company’s numbers,” said Goutam Chakraborty, analyst with Emkay Global.The shutdown of the smelter could lead to higher imports of copper into the country and benefit rival Hindalco Industries Ltd , said securities analysts.India consumes close to 1.5 million tonnes of copper a year, of which almost 50 percent in imported into the country. Vedanta and Hindalco provide almost all of the rest between them.last_img read more

Face Recognition Lets Palestinians Cross Israe

first_imgFace Recognition Lets Palestinians Cross Israeli Checkposts… by NPR News Daniel Estrin 8.22.19 2:52pm It takes a few seconds: Palestinians place electronic ID cards on a sensor, stare at the aperture of a small black camera, then walk past panels fanning open to let them through.Israel is upgrading its West Bank checkpoints with facial recognition technology to verify Palestinians’ identities as they cross into Israel. The new system, which began rolling out late last year, eases their passage with shorter wait times — but is drawing criticism about the role the controversial technology plays in Israel’s military control over Palestinians.”Israel knows all the information about you,” said Palestinian university student Rina Khoury, as she walked through a checkpoint near Jerusalem this month.Some U.S. cities have banned the use of facial recognition technology over concerns that law enforcement could track the public — and human biases that creep into the technology could lead to misidentification of suspects. But it’s being adopted increasingly by police and airports in the U.S. and around the world — most notably in China, where experts say it is used to track and target its Muslim Uighur minority.Within an estimated few months, face recognition software will be installed at all West Bank crossings serving Palestinians, Israeli defense officials told NPR. Such screening is not used at separate West Bank checkpoints that Israelis drive through.The military checkpoints are part of a larger system regulating the entry of Palestinians into Israeli areas and even some predominantly Palestinian areas like East Jerusalem. Palestinians need special military permits to pass.Israel says checkpoints are needed to protect Israelis from potential attackers, following a period of suicide bombings in the early 2000s, while Palestinians consider them a degrading infringement on their freedom of movement and a symbol of Israel’s control over their lives.The facial recognition software used to identify Palestinians at checkpoints was developed by the Israeli tech company AnyVision, a company spokesman confirmed to NPR. TheMarker, an Israeli business newspaper, first identified the company’s involvement last month.AnyVision published a statement committing to ethical use of facial recognition and defending the technology’s use at “border crossings,” saying it is similar to what is used in some airports to verify travelers’ identity. A company spokesman told NPR the statement referred to the West Bank crossings.An AnyVision presentation says its technology has a 99.9% identification rate and is used at an unnamed airport it called “one of the most secure airports in the world.”TheMarker also reported that AnyVision’s technology is being deployed throughout the West Bank in a separate, “much more confidential” program to track “potential Palestinian assailants.” AnyVision and Israeli defense officials would not confirm this to NPR.Microsoft’s venture fund, M12, is an investor in AnyVision. “AnyVision agreed to comply with Microsoft’s facial recognition principles and that commitment is backed-up by verification mechanisms which we are discussing with them,” Microsoft’s venture fund said in a statement to NPR.AnyVision wouldn’t identify its clients but said its technology is installed in hundreds of sites in over 40 countries.”I don’t operate in China. I also don’t sell in Africa or Russia. We only sell systems to democratic countries with proper governments,” AnyVision CEO Eylon Etshtein told TheMarker.The company said it is now reconsidering a sales manager position it is advertising for Hong Kong, where pro-democracy protesters have been concealing their faces to protect from facial recognition technology used there. “In accordance with our ethical protocols, we’re re-evaluating whether the Sales Manager position is a fit at this time,” AnyVision said in a statement to NPR, adding that its technology is not used in Hong Kong and the company has no employees there.AnyVision markets its technology to banks and law enforcement agencies, according to a sales agent of the company based in Europe. It operates in some 40 countries.Following the Israeli media report about AnyVision’s technology in the West Bank, the sales agent said he fielded inquiries from law enforcement agencies in some Scandinavian countries that had been considering purchasing AnyVision’s technology and were concerned about how it might be used in the West Bank.”It doesn’t sound good,” the agent told NPR, referring to reports on the technology’s use in the West Bank and speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive matter. “Clients asked what we do.”TSG IT Advanced Systems, a Tel Aviv-based security technology company, said in an interview with an Israeli defense news website that it had developed technology for Israel’s Defense Ministry, using camera footage from West Bank roadways to locate a car according to its license plate, model and color. “We added a facial recognition capability to the system,” the company’s CEO, Michael Zinderman, was quoted as saying.Critics argue Israeli tech companies benefit from their country’s military involvement in the Palestinian territories.”The West Bank and Gaza Strip in the past were a laboratory to use the Israeli newly developed weapons,” said Nadeem Nashif, a Palestinian digital rights activist. “In the past few years, it’s more about the technologies of surveillance that [are] being tested and later on sold to other countries.”With facial recognition technology, the more images it processes, the more its algorithms improve. Processing images of the nearly 100,000 Palestinian day laborers who cross checkpoints daily could prove useful in improving the technology. AnyVision told NPR it does not “use customer information/data.”Palestinians who request permits to enter Israel must first get photographed and fingerprinted at an Israeli military office. Their photos are stored in a biometric database and are connected to electronic ID cards they scan at the checkpoint. Facial recognition software at the checkpoint matches their face to their photos in Israel’s biometric database.Palestinians entering Israel for “humanitarian” purposes — medical treatment, weddings, funerals — are not subjected to the procedure, officials said.The number of Palestinians in the biometric database is rapidly increasing. Out of the approximately 2.7 million Palestinians living in the West Bank, Israeli defense officials said about 450,000 possess electronic ID cards and have their photos stored in the biometric database, up from a reported 383,000 in May.Israel is also building a biometric database of its own citizens and uses facial recognition technology at its international airport to identify Israeli travelers at passport control.The technology, critics say, helps entrench Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank, now in its 52nd year. “All of the startup technologies around policing and surveillance enable us to maintain what should be an unsustainable situation of military occupation,” said Jessica Montell of the Israeli human rights group HaMoked.But Israeli officials, and many Palestinian day laborers, praise the new checkpoint system for its efficiency. Dubbed “Speed Gate,” it “allows the Palestinian population to cross in very short time spans,” said defense official Elisha Hanukayev.For years, Palestinians had to muscle their way through crowds to be checked by soldiers. “We used to spend a good two hours here … chaos,” said construction worker Imad Khalil at an upgraded checkpoint. “Today we arrive and we immediately pass.”Omer Laviv of Mer Security and Communications Systems, an Israeli company that markets AnyVision technology to law enforcement agencies around the world, said facial recognition technology is a few decades away from being able to locate a suspect by scanning crowds in real time but could be used to match the photo of a specific suspect with recorded footage from a specific location.”Security concerns override privacy,” Laviv said.Defenders of the technology say its use in the West Bank should not be surprising.”Israel [has] enemies,” said Shabtai Shoval of the Israeli security technology company Suspect Detection Systems. “Privacy … is not really an issue in the West Bank. Because it’s either us or the Palestinian authorities, everybody is monitoring everybody, because everybody’s afraid [of] everybody.”The Palestinian Authority’s security services monitor Palestinian social media accounts and have allegedly collaborated with the CIA to spy on the phone conversations of senior Palestinian figures, but a Palestinian official told NPR that Palestinian authorities don’t have face recognition technologies.Shoval’s company has developed a device that measures thermal responses in faces that detect changes in temperature indicating heightened emotion that could indicate possible suspects seeking to carry out an attack.The device has been used in a Moscow railway station and a border crossing in an Asian country that Shoval declined to identify. But he said he has struggled to sell it to “democratic countries,” as he put it, arguing that Western countries are slower to adapt such intrusive screening technologies.Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit NPR. Sebastian Scheinercenter_img https://ondemand.npr.org/anon.npr-mp3/npr/me/2019/08/20190821_me_israel_uses_con…last_img read more