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Presenter injured in latest attack on a Gaza radio station

first_img RSF_en Reporters Without Borders today firmly condemned a shooting attack on 1 November on radio Sawt al Shaab, a station affiliated to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (FPLP), in which presenter Shadi Shamiya and one of his guests were injured while taking part in a live broadcast. The attack was believed to have been prompted by the broadcast of an incorrect report about a government reshuffle that was picked by many other media.“Palestinian journalists have once again fallen victim to local political rivalries,” the press freedom organisation said. “We are stunned by the disproportionate nature of this attack. It is senseless to raid a news media and fire on its journalists for disseminating a wrong report.” It was the third attack in less than six months on a Gaza media without any security measures being taken by the authorities.Around 10 gunmen took part in the afternoon attack on the radio station, located in the central Gaza City neighbourhood of Al Sabra. They ransacked computer equipment, destroyed the station’s only transmitter and fired on employees before departing.Dozens of journalists gathered outside the station yesterday in protest against the attack and the climate of violence to which they are exposed.Al Aamal, a Gaza radio station operated by the Workers Union, was invaded on 12 October by gunmen who smashed equipment and then set fire to the premises. In June, gunmen overran the studios of the national Palestinian TV station in the south of the Gaza Strip, attacking staff and ransacking the premises. May 16, 2021 Find out more Organisation News PalestineMiddle East – North Africa Receive email alerts PalestineMiddle East – North Africa Follow the news on Palestine WhatsApp blocks accounts of at least seven Gaza Strip journalists Newscenter_img to go further RSF asks ICC prosecutor to say whether Israeli airstrikes on media in Gaza constitute war crimes June 3, 2021 Find out more May 28, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information News News Israel now holding 13 Palestinian journalists November 3, 2006 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Presenter injured in latest attack on a Gaza radio stationlast_img read more

Touchline: Kwaku Manu takes over E-Chat segment

first_imgYou won’t  believe just who turned up on the E-chat segment on this weekend edition of Touchline.Celebrated Kumawood actor, Kwaku Manu, – Yes  and you need to hear him out on a number of sports issues and his failed attempt to sing the national anthem.But you will have to watch the video beneath to satisfy your curiosity..However the ladies took over the Big preview with detailed analysis on Black Stars and Chelsea defender Baba Rahman.After his costly mistake against Southampton some weeks ago ,his position at left back seems to  have been taken over by a young Kennedy.An even bigger statement was his selection ahead of Baba for the crucial champions league night. What could the technical team be thinking off? Has Baba Rahman  fallen short of expectation, what are the repercussions to his Chelsea career? All these  questions plus  a look ahead to the weekend football action were addressed in this  week’s edition of Touchline anchored by JOY sports George Addo Jnr.–Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @JoySportsGH. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img read more

South Africa gets serious about water

first_imgSonjica said it was still being determined how much water agriculture, which accounts for about 62% of South Africa’s usage, was wasting, as well as how much water was being illegally extracted. “We need to quantify the impact of this,” she said. “We are engaging farmers so that we can have a mutual understanding of how to deal with the matter. This is not an easy process. It is a difficult situation, and there is a lot of hostility.” New legislation to establish the specialist “Green Scorpions” environmental crime-fighting unit, which will include the “Blue Scorpions”, a unit to tackle water-related crime, is almost complete, while environmental courts are expected to be established in South Africa within eight months. “We will ensure, through the ‘polluter pays’ principle, that behaviour such as pollution and illegal water use do not go unpunished.” “One of our big issues is to enforce compliance with the law,” Sonjica said. “The prospect of a single enforcement unit, from the possible integration of the ‘Blue Scorpions’ and ‘Green Scorpions’, will strengthen our resolve against wrongdoers. 24 June 2009 “We have completed studies in areas like Taung, and we are ready to re-commission the dam so it can be used to also benefit the community. We will do this throughout the country, where such needs exist,” she said. “Another point that we are looking at is how good water is being used by golf courses to sprinkle their lawns, while some communities do not have any water. Water needs to be used as effectively as possible in this country,” she said. This would increase the capacity of South Africa’s existing water resource infrastructure to provide water to strategic installations such as Eskom, Sasol and the mining sector, as well as for domestic needs. Infrastructure development Sonjica said that a very important part of water security was infrastructure development, and that the department would spend about R30-billion over the next five to eight years on the continued construction of 15 mega water resource infrastructure projects.center_img ‘Blue Scorpions’ There was a real danger that areas of the country could run out of water in the next few years, Water and Environment Minister Buyelwa Sonjica told a media briefing in Cape Town this week. Focus on agriculture She added that the department was also looking closely at the issue of single-purpose dams, some of which were allocated within communities that had no ready access to water. South Africa is to embark on a number of programmes to conserve and diversify its water sources this year. These will including desalinating sea water in coastal areas, and increasing effluent recycling. She added that the government would intensify its public awareness programmes on the value of water, as well as its aims of curbing water losses by at least 20% by 2014. The minister said the government would ” engage with mining and industry to ensure they do something to recycle the water they use,” adding that her department would act “harshly and decisively against defaulters”. “We are a water scarce country, and our water resources are finite,” Sonjica warned. “We cannot afford an uncoordinated programme of blue-sky water-thirsty projects.” Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Insect Management Knowledge Program from Monsanto announces research grants

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Monsanto Company has announced that six recipients will be awarded research grants as part of the Insect Management Knowledge Program (IMKP). The program, which started in early 2013 as the Corn Rootworm Knowledge Program, provides merit-based awards of up to $250,000 per award per year for up to three years for outstanding research that will not only enhance the collective understanding of insect management, but help address significant challenges and issues in agriculture.“The valuable research that is being generated through this program will provide industry and academia further opportunity to enhance our collective understanding of insect management, leading to even more effective solutions for farmers in the future,” said Dr. Sherri Brown, vice president of science strategy for Monsanto and co-chair of the program.The IMKP is guided by a 10-person Advisory Committee that is co-chaired by Dr. Brown, and Dr. Steven Pueppke, associate vice president of research and graduate studies for Michigan State University. The committee consists of academics and growers, and provides guidance on integrated pest management, as well as recommendations for areas of basic research on insect resistance and management that would be of interest to growers, the academic community and Monsanto. Earlier this year, the program expanded its focus to include insects that are economically damaging to any U.S. row crop.“This IMKP grant will allow us to move our laboratory-based studies of the molecular mechanisms of gene silencing in insects into an actual field testing setting, which I couldn’t do with more traditional biomedical research funding agencies,” said Dr. Philip Zamore, professor of biochemistry and molecular pharmacology, and co-director of the RNA Theraputics Institute at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.The six awards granted focus on a number of items from addressing the management of insect threats such as whitefly, soybean aphid, and corn earworm resistance to creating a new model for determining how key risk factors affect the development of insect resistance in transgenic Bt corn. The award recipients are: Peter Ellsworth, University of Arizona; Felicia Wu, Michigan State University; Jeff Gore, Mississippi State University; Matthew O’Neal, Iowa State University; Tom Coudron, USDA-ARS; and Philip Zamore, University of Massachusetts.“I am very appreciative that the Insect Management Knowledge Program is providing a grant for our team to model how the most devastating pest of U.S. corn, the corn rootworm, develops resistance to insect control products, and how management practices can help combat this problem,” said Felicia Wu, university distinguished professor at Michigan State University.A listing of the winners and background on their projects is available on the Monsanto Insect Management Knowledge Program webpage.last_img read more

Ikea set to open only East Coast store touting it as Canadas

first_imgHALIFAX – Ikea is set to officially open its only store in Atlantic Canada on Wednesday as thousands from across the region are expected to descend upon the popular Swedish furniture chain’s new Halifax-area location.The store in the Dartmouth Crossing retail district — the size of four football fields, including its parking lot — features a bright, streamlined showroom with rooms that were furnished based on the needs of Maritimers.Ikea Canada president Marsha Smith said the company visited more than 70 local residences to determine what people in the Halifax area needed in their homes, such as waste storage solutions.“We have a lot of local architectural features such as fireplaces. The size of the windows are locally relevant. There are a lot of areas where you will see familiarity with what you see locally,” said Smith during an exclusive tour of the new store with The Canadian Press on Monday ahead of an evening media event.“We take a lot of time to do home visits and studies in the local area so that when you walk into the store, you should really see yourself.”Overlooking the store’s restaurant and seating area is a “living wall” — a floor-to-ceiling surface filled with green and yellow plants meant to help purify the air. Ikea Halifax also has a children’s play area and a massive warehouse stacked high with brown boxes containing the company’s trademark unassembled furniture.Social media has been abuzz since Ikea announced about two years ago it was opening a store in the region. It previously had a smaller location in the Halifax area, but it closed nearly three decades ago.“We really have seen a huge enthusiasm from the community and from the coworkers,” said Smith while sitting on a cream-coloured couch in a model living room at the entrance of the store’s showroom.Smith said the Halifax store is Ikea’s most sustainable in the country and also the first store to be LEED-certified.“That’s something that’s incredibly important to us,” said Smith, adding there are charging stations for electric vehicles in the parking lot and also a free light bulb and battery take-back service.“We have solar panels on the roof which help to generate electricity, which we then use in the building. We also have a solar wall on the side of the building and the way that works is that as air passes through, it actually heats the air and which reduces the heating we need to tap into.”The store employs about 250 people.The arrival of Ikea recently stirred up some local online controversy from people who took issue with the store being called Ikea Halifax. The building is in Dartmouth, which was once a separate city.Smith says the Halifax name was chosen because the company wanted to reach as many people as possible, from the Halifax area and beyond. The company compared this approach to other stores such as Ikea Montreal, located in the Saint-Laurent area of that city.The grand opening is on Wednesday.Follow (at)AlyThomson on Twitter.last_img read more

Companies divided on raising prices or slashing benefits to handle wage hike

first_imgTORONTO – Signs announcing price increases and letters to employees slashing benefits have grown rampant in Ontario, revealing two very different approaches businesses have gravitated toward in the wake of province’s minimum wage hike.Some Tim Hortons franchises have faced significant backlash after cutting paid breaks and forcing workers to cover some of their dental and health benefits to compensate for the minimum wage jump from $11.60 and hour to $14 an hour last week, while chains such as Pizza Nova say they will be upping prices instead.But how some companies settle on the route to take might have come down to a factor as simple as timing, said Sylvain Charlebois, the dean of Dalhousie University’s faculty of management.He said there is little to no evidence that Restaurant Brands International Inc., the parent company of Tim Hortons, and franchise owners worked on a strategy before Ontario’s new minimum wage rate came into effect Jan. 1. “It is not a surprise. Everyone knew it was coming,” Charlebois said.Price increases take time to calculate and roll out, he said, so large companies with many locations or franchises that didn’t plan ahead might have been in a scramble to adjust to the hike and target their workers instead.“Food services are heavily affected because most of their workers are paid minimum wage and they can’t rely on robotics and automation, but things like changing benefits or asking employees to pay for uniforms are things you can change very quickly,” Charlebois said.Raising prices can also be problematic because there’s only so far you can increase them without driving away customers. A study published in the Journal of Labour Research has shown food service companies can only sustain a three per cent increase over a few years, which Charlebois said often pales in comparison to the amount needed to offset higher labour costs.Despite that research, Ontario Labour Minister Kevin Flynn seemed to be nudging businesses to at least consider price increases.He said Monday that companies struggling to cope with the minimum wage legislation have many ways to handle cost constraints and “to pretend that maybe pricing isn’t a part of that, I think it would be unfair.”“I think any business having to make decisions would take a look at, is my pricing fair?” Flynn said. “Is this something where I can make a profit, but make sure that the people that I’m paying, the people that I’m employing, aren’t living in poverty?”Those aren’t questions all business owners can mull over. Franchisees, for example, often aren’t allowed to raise prices.The Great White North Franchisee Association, a group created last year to give voice to the concerns of some Tim Hortons franchises, has said that without help from their parent company in raising prices among other cost offsetting requests, franchisees have been forced to take steps to protect their business.In a statement Monday, Tim Hortons head office said franchisees could offset costs by analyzing their top-line sales, operational efficiencies, and savings on equipment and costs such as waste management.The statement came days after head office called franchisees who took aim at employee benefits, calling them “reckless” and “completely unacceptable,” and said staff “should never be used to further an agenda or be treated as just an ‘expense.’”Pizza Nova CEO Domenic Primucci said restaurant franchises at his chain will pass along the cost of Ontario’s new minimum wage rate to customers rather than transfer the brunt of the hike to employees, though he wouldn’t say when or by how much.While he said the legislation has been “contentious” and has started to have an impact on everyone from owners of small mom-and-pop shops to large corporations, “it doesn’t affect one more than the other.”“There is not much we can do about it other than accept it and move forward.”last_img read more

Citing fraud LL Bean imposes limits on its return policy

first_imgFREEPORT, Maine – L.L. Bean’s generous return policy is going to be a little less forgiving: The company, which has touted its 100 per cent satisfaction guarantee for more than a century, is imposing a one-year limit on most returns to reduce growing abuse and fraud.The outdoor specialty retailer said returns of items that have been destroyed or rendered useless, including some purchased at thrift stores or retrieved from trash bins, have doubled in the past five years, surpassing the annual revenue from the company’s famous boot.“The numbers are staggering,” CEO Steve Smith told The Associated Press. “It’s not sustainable from a business perspective. It’s not reasonable. And it’s not fair to our customers.”L.L. Bean announced Friday that it will now accept returns for any reason only for one year with proof of purchase. It will continue to replace products for manufacturing defects beyond that.The company is also imposing a $50 minimum for free shipping as part of a belt-tightening that includes a workforce reduction through early retirement incentives and changes in workers’ pension plans.The Freeport-based company joins a list of other retailers that have been tightened return policies. Outdoors retailer REI, which was once jokingly dubbed Rental Equipment Inc. and Return Everything Inc. because its unlimited returns policy, imposed a one-year restriction five years ago. Other retailers have been narrowing the window for returns or imposing new conditions.L.L. Bean’s announcement in a memo to employees and in a letter to customers represents a seismic policy shift for a 106-year-old company that used its satisfaction guarantee as a way to differentiate itself from competitors.Leon Leonwood Bean, the company’s founder, is credited with launching the policy when 90 of his first 100 hunting shoes were returned. He earned goodwill by returning customers’ money, and he came back with a better boot. Thus the satisfaction guarantee was born.But the merchant never intended for his satisfaction guarantee to become a lifetime replacement policy, company executives said. Abuse of the generous return policy with no time limit has accelerated thanks to people sharing their return stories on social media, they said.The family-owned company is prepared for a backlash, but the changes honour the spirit of the founder’s original guarantee, said Shawn Gorman, L.L.’s great-grandson and the company’s chairman. Internal surveys indicate 85 per cent of customers are OK with the new return policy, he said.“There is no one in this family who would’ve allowed this to happen if they thought that L.L. would be upset with us, like, if he would be rolling over in his grave,” Gorman said.The news drew a mixed reaction on social media, with some excoriating the retailer and others saying the change is justified.Maine native Justin Franz recalled that virtually all kids returned to school each fall with a brand-new backpack from L.L. Bean when he was a kid. He said he learned later in life that some of those backpacks were being returned every year for the latest model.“It was bound to happen,” the Montana resident said of the end of unlimited returns. “It doesn’t change my opinion of the company at all. I understand why’re they’re doing it.”Over the past five years, the company has lost $250 million on returned items that are classified by the company as “destroy quality,” said L.L. Bean spokeswoman Carolyn Beem.“Destroy quality” items are destined for the landfill. First-quality products are returned to store shelves and “seconds” are sold at outlets or donated to charity.It’s not uncommon to hear stories of people clearing out basements of used or unwanted L.L. Bean products, sometimes decades after their purchase. Some customers replace the same items year after year to get the latest outdoor gear. Some even head to thrift stores, yard sales or junkyards to retrieve L.L. Bean items that they then return.Gorman knows firsthand: He said a shirt that he had donated to Goodwill, with his name printed in it, was once returned to a store.On a recent day in the returns department, Dawn Segars recounted the story of a family that cleared out their grandfather’s attic and returned a pile of 20- to 30-year-old clothes. They ended up walking away with a $350 gift card.Behind her, in the next room, an unpleasant odour wafted from a bin containing returned items, including well-worn boots, ripped bedding, dog cushions and other items.Unlimited return policies are fraught with peril, said Edgar Dworsky, consumer advocate and founder of ConsumerWorld.org.“I consider a one-year limit to be very pro-consumer. It’s not as good as unlimited, but still good,” he said. “Frankly, unlimited returns open the door to abuse.”___This story has been corrected to show the web address is ConsumerWorld.org, not ConsumerWorld.com.last_img read more

UK wages rising at decade high while employment hits record

first_imgLONDON — Official figures show that wages in Britain are rising at their fastest rate in a decade while employment has hit a record high.The Office for National Statistics said Tuesday that average earnings were up 3.3 per cent in the three months to October from the year before. That’s the highest rate since the summer of 2008, just before the most acute phase of the global financial crisis. Meanwhile, employment rose by 79,000 to 32.48 million.The figures provide further evidence that the labour market remains robust despite the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.However, with concerns rising that Britain may crash out of the European Union in March with no deal, there are worries that firms may start laying off staff as they put in place contingency measures.The Associated Presslast_img read more

TSX rebounds on boost from key sectors loonie falls on lower crude

first_imgThe Canadian Press Index and currency in this story: (TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X) TORONTO — Canada’s main stock index was up in late-morning trading, boosted by the influential financial, industrial and materials sectors.The S&P/TSX composite index was up 70.56 points at 14,433.21.In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 167.79 points at 23,760.77. The S&P 500 index was up 11.75 points at 2,557.69, while the Nasdaq composite was up 47.81 points at 6,801.54.The Canadian dollar traded for 74.32 cents US compared with an average of 74.63 cents US on Monday.The February crude contract was down US$2.13 at US$48.07 per barrel and the January natural gas contract was up 15.4 cents at US$3.68 per mmBTU.The February gold contract was down US$1.50 at US$1,250.30 an ounce and the March copper contract was down 6.95 cents at US$2.68 a pound.last_img read more

New OffLeash Dog Park is not ready for play dates

first_imgRyan Harvey, Communications Coordinator for the City of Fort St. John said, ” the dog park is still not ready to be opened, but it is coming along nicely and an opening day will be announced in the near future.”To view the post; CLICK HERETo view Capital Projects; CLICK HERE FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The new Off-Leash Dog Park is still not open or ready for users.In a post to the CIty of Fort St. John’s FB page shares, ‘Please respect that the gates are locked and the park is still not ready. We need to allow the grass to be established before opening it to our four-legged friends.’The dog park is part of the City’s Captial projects and although the park looks like it is completed, City staff are asking potential patrons to be patient and will let the community know when the park is ready to use.last_img read more

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