Rough waters Spill raises new questions about fastgrowing NL oil industry

first_imgST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Newfoundland and Labrador’s ambitious plans to dramatically expand the province’s lucrative offshore oil and gas industry got a nasty jolt on Nov. 16.Amid a fierce winter storm, an estimated 250,000 litres of oil spilled into the ocean from Husky Energy’s SeaRose platform, about 350 kilometres from St. John’s.It was the largest spill in the history of the province’s offshore industry, and has prompted calls for regulatory change.Critics are calling for tighter control of the industry, just as the province moves to expand the size and range of offshore drilling, and fast.“This incident, we hope it will shine a light on the laws and how we undertake offshore oil and gas in Canada and how we regulate it if and when it proceeds,” said Gretchen Fitzgerald of Sierra Club Canada Foundation.“If they are going to undertake this large industrial activity in the rough waters of the North Atlantic there has to be a better regulatory scheme.”There are currently four platforms producing oil off Newfoundland: Hibernia, Hebron, Terra Nova and SeaRose.Expansion plans include a proposed 100 new exploration wells and over 650,000 barrels of oil per day by the year 2030. This long-term vision also includes “shortened time from prospectivity to production.”The expansion will also take the industry into uncharted territory with its first deepwater drilling site at Bay du Nord in the Flemish Pass, after announcing an agreement with Norway’s Equinor earlier this summer.The remote Bay du Nord parcel, about 500 kilometres east of St. John’s, lies in more than 1,100 metres of water — 10 times deeper than the SeaRose, the current deepest site.Premier Dwight Ball called the announcement a “new frontier” for the province’s offshore industry, but deepwater expansion also raises fresh concerns about worker safety and the possibility of a swift cleanup if another spill were to occur.Oil royalties promise a much-needed economic boost for the financially strapped province.A report this month from the Conference Board of Canada predicts Newfoundland and Labrador will lead all provinces in economic growth in 2019, just a year after having the weakest economic outlook in 2018, with oil revenue getting all the credit.In an interview, Ball said the November spill was “unfortunate” and reiterated his government’s prioritization of worker and environmental safety.The premier said his government would consider regulatory changes, including more transparent, public and accessible summaries of operators’ safety plans, based on the findings of the SeaRose investigation.“Once this investigation is done and completed, if there’s changes that will need to be made, we’re more than willing to implement those changes,” Ball said.The premier said his government is looking to other jurisdictions around the world as it plans to expand its industry and prepare for potential incidents in the future.The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) regulates the industry’s development in the province, as well as its safety and environmental responsibilities.The spill occurred as Husky began to restart production on Nov. 16 as the storm began to wane — a decision that was up to the company, not the offshore board.Operators like Husky are responsible for following their own internal safety and environmental plans that are approved by the board, which monitors and investigates if things go wrong.Production on the SeaRose remains halted as the offshore board investigates whether the company followed its own internal procedures.Husky provides its procedures to the board, but a Husky spokesperson told The Canadian Press in an email that the company “does not disclose its specific operating procedures publicly for security and commercial reasons.”Critics say operator transparency is a key area of possible reform, especially as the industry braces for expansion into even riskier conditions.Ball said his government is giving Equinor time to properly assess the deepwater drilling site before construction is tentatively slated to begin in 2020. He said his government will look to other jurisdictions as it prepares for new deepwater ventures, adding that he considers the industry’s track record to be fairly clean over the long term.“Our track record when you look at it is pretty solid,” said Ball.The province’s offshore industry doesn’t have a history of multiple major oil spills, but it has been marked by devastating tragedies.The memory of the 1982 Ocean Ranger disaster still haunts the province. An offshore rig sank during an intense storm, claiming the lives of all 84 people on board.In March 2009, Cougar Flight 491 crashed into the ocean while carrying workers and staff to the oil fields, killing 17 of the 18 people on board.After an inquiry into helicopter safety, commissioner Robert Wells in 2010 called Newfoundland’s offshore conditions “probably the harshest in the offshore world,” citing bitterly cold water, high winds, sea ice, fog, severe sea states and long helicopter flights.Wells recommended establishing a stand-alone, independent safety regulator for the province’s offshore industry.The recommendation was echoed by the provincial NDP after the recent SeaRose spill, asking the premier to establish a separate safety and environmental board similar to those in Norway and the United Kingdom.Lana Payne, Atlantic regional director for Unifor, which represents about 700 offshore oil workers on the Hibernia and Terra Nova rigs, said the industry has seen some safety improvements since the helicopter safety inquiry.But she said the union still sees room for more — including establishing a separate safety and environmental board, especially in light of the recent close call.“You should never use this word around safety, but we just felt that we got lucky,” Payne said.There were 81 people on board the SeaRose at the time of the spill, and while there were no injuries, the incident called to mind another safety incident on the same rig not long ago.An investigation by the offshore board found the company failed to follow its ice management plan during a 2017 near-miss with a large iceberg. The rig was not disconnected as the iceberg approached, with 84 people and upwards of 340,000 barrels of crude oil onboard.Fitzgerald thinks Environment Canada and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans should have regulatory power, to ensure people with more environmental expertise oversee the industry.More federal involvement in the industry would also help keep national environmental priorities like climate change and protecting endangered species in view, Fitzgerald said.Payne said at a minimum, the regulator needs more expertise and staffing for the rapidly expanding sector.“There’s going to be a lot of pressure on the system to get things done quickly, and when you do that in an environment like the offshore things can go amiss,” Payne said.“We’ve got to do everything possible here to make sure it doesn’t happen.”Holly McKenzie-Sutter, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Montreal school evacuated as children suffer mysterious nausea dizziness

first_imgThe Canadian Press MONTREAL — Emergency crews have been called to a Montreal school where more than a dozen children were suddenly overcome by illness today.A spokesman for the ambulance service says students at Ecole des Decouvreurs in the city’s LaSalle neighbourhood reported nausea, dizziness and vomiting. Between 15 and 20 people were affected, including one adult.The illness could be related to carbon monoxide poisoning, but the cause has not been confirmed, says Stephane Smith of Urgences-Sante.Paramedics are on site to assess the children and the adult. According to the ambulance service, 15 children and one adult were taken to hospital.It was unclear whether the children affected were all in the same classroom.The school was completely evacuated, and the other students are safe in a neighbouring school, the school board says.last_img read more

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New Zealand Country Music Singer Launches Sheep Whispering Institute

first_imgNew Zealand-born country music sensation Outlaw Dicky Dawg is urging farmers around the world to embrace the animal-friendly technique of sheep whispering.Outlaw Dicky DawgCredit/Copyright: TR Saunders/LookToTheStars.orgAt a press conference held earlier today in a shed in his neighbor’s garden, Dawg announced plans to open the first ever Sheep Institute of Technology and Education (Sh.I.T.E.) in his hometown of Palmerston North.“Sheep are kinda, like, awesome,” he said. “We need to build a society that accepts sheep as equals. It’s time to take sheepology to the world.”Sheep Whispering Techniques at Sh.I.T.E.Credit/Copyright: TR Saunders/LookToTheStars.orgThe new Sh.I.T.E. facility will employ over 100 sheep specialists from 23 different nations, and will teach techniques such as quantitative alertness methods (how to count sheep without falling asleep), sheep aggression studies, sheep exercise training, and sheep fashion analysis.“The Sheepus species is now so intertwined with New Zealand’s culture that it exemplifies our international image,” said Outlaw Dicky. “Perhaps one of the most important facets of sheep whispering is its effect on our treatment of each other. As the world sinks into a bed of economic and political sludge, perhaps we can learn a little from our woolly counterparts.“Sheep accept what they are, they are not weighed down by cumbersome power battles. They never moan that some sheep are higher in the hierarchy than others, they know that hard work and luck may one day put them at the top. Both black and white sheep live in total harmony, they understand they are all just sheep, and to stick together is to survive. Perhaps we can learn our most valuable lessons from this fact alone, as families, as a country, as a planet.”There are currently close to 5000 scientists working in sheep-based research institutions in New Zealand. Per capita, that is higher than anywhere else in the general Pacific Ocean area. In fact, sheepology is one of the fastest growing career options in the country, along with flag designing and acting as extras in films.“I can see a future that is better for sheep,” said Outlaw Dicky Dawg. “There will be more job opportunities and a more comprehensive education system. Talented sheep, those that show attributes suitable for particular jobs, will no longer fall through the cracks. The world, once seemingly big and scary to adolescent lambs, will accept sheep with open arms, only too willing to welcome them to their workplaces, their homes, and their families.“I can see a species that will one day be at peace.“But only with your help will we succeed. Only with your dedication, your commitment, will we finally make life easier for sheep.”Work on the new Sh.I.T.E. facility was expected to start earlier today, except April Fools Day is regarded as a holiday in New Zealand.Copyright ©2016Look to the Starslast_img read more

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UN tribunal unseals indictment against Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic

The United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has unsealed its indictment against Radovan Karadzic, charging the former Bosnian Serb leader with only the most serious counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity.A Tribunal judge ordered on Friday that the indictment against Mr. Karadzic be unsealed following a request from the Office of the Prosecutor, the UN court said today.In May 2000, the Prosecutor consolidated the charges contained in two earlier indictments against Mr. Karadzic, reducing their total number and leaving only the most serious counts. The move was taken because, in the Prosecutor’s view, “the amendments were more in keeping with the current charging practices of the Office of the Prosecutor and reflected the evolving jurisprudence of the Tribunal,” the court said.Moreover, the Prosecutor believed the amended indictment would allow her Office to move more quickly to trial if Mr. Karadzic was arrested. It also facilitates joinder of his case with other indictments against the Bosnian Serb political leadership, according to the Tribunal.Mr. Karadzic is charged with one count each of genocide, complicity in genocide, and wilful killing as grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions. He is also accused of five counts of crimes against humanity and three counts of violations of the laws or customs of war.Mr. Karadzic was first charged, along with Bosnian Serb Gen. Ratko Mladic, in 1995 with 16 counts of genocide and other war crimes, including the taking of UN peacekeepers as hostages in Sarajevo and using them as human shields. Later that November, the Prosecutor filed a second indictment against both leaders, charging Mr. Karadzic with another 21 counts, including murder.The amended indictment does not affect the charges against General Mladic. read more

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Electricity and energy needs of poor emerge as priority issue as UN

“We have heard about the need to provide access to energy for some time now,” said the Chairman of the Committee, Georgian Finance Minister Aleksi Aleksishvili. “But at this meeting we heard about the ways we are going to meet these energy needs.”Countries identified a number of actions to meet the needs of energy-starved communities, including the development of new, clean technologies, renewable technologies, innovative market and monetary mechanisms and increased South-South cooperation.More than 80 ministers attended the session on the four closely linked issues of energy, climate change, air pollution and industrial development. During the meeting, countries identified progress, best practices, obstacles and areas where urgent action is needed.The Commission will propose specific initiatives and policy proposals to address these issues at its 2007 session.The meeting, taking place during a time of high oil prices and anxiety over energy security, brought renewed calls to accelerate energy access to the poor. Lesotho Minister of Natural Resources Mamphono Khaketla said his country was struggling to increase access to electricity from the current level of 11 per cent to 35 per cent by 2015 because of “unaffordable up-front investment costs and limited technological capacity to manufacture renewable energy devices.” Some progress was reported in expanding energy access. United States Under Secretary of State Paula Dobriansky said that, through partnerships, 15.7 million people have been connected to modern energy services. Netherlands Minister for Development Cooperation Agnes van Ardenne-Van der Hoeven said that progress was being made on a pledge to provide 10 million people with modern energy and had already delivered clean stoves to 4.5 million people and lighting to 1.5 million.Progress was also reported in phasing out the sale of leaded gasoline throughout the world, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Countries acknowledged that the private sector is vital for addressing energy issues and climate change, and that public-private partnerships were essential. While there was considerable concern about the price of oil, there was also recognition that there will be continued reliance on fossil fuels in the future and that market stability and predictability were necessary for ensuring investment in a clean energy supply.Qatar Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Industry, Abdullah bid Hamad Al-Attiyah, who has been elected as Chair next year’s session, said, “the priorities of the oil and gas exporting developing countries centre on non-interrupted supply and assured energy product markets, with no use restrictions.” read more

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UN Human Rights Council opens with calls to protect support civil society

Noting that more and more people around the world are taking to the streets to lay claim to their rights, United Nations officials opened the latest session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva today with calls for the protection of members of civil society who pursue justice in their countries.“Streets, airwaves, entire countries are buzzing with demands for economic, social and political justice,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said, as she opened the high-level segment of the 25th session of the Council, the Organization’s major human rights organ. The session, which runs through 28 March, will include presentations by the independent commissions of inquiry on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and on Syria, as well as discussions on human rights mainstreaming, the death penalty and genocide as well as the promotion and protection of civil society activities. The 47-member body will also review the rights records of members and hold events addressing the prevention of large-scale abuses and on combatting sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, along with the annual full-day meeting on the rights of the child and the annual debate on the rights of persons with disabilities.Setting out this agenda and acknowledging the hard work that lay ahead in ensuring that all people enjoyed equal rights, Ms. Pillay emphasized the important role of civil society in those efforts. “We need to work together to ensure that the space, voice and knowledge of civil society is nurtured in all our countries,” she stressed.Recalling reports of what she labelled “intolerable” reprisals against people who cooperate with the UN’s human rights activities, she called for more action to protect them. “The UN itself is required to protect and support those who contribute to its work, often at great personal risk,” she said.Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, also present at the opening today, added that, “No one should have to risk their life for standing up and speaking out on violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.”Mr. Ban said that civil society was the representative of “We the Peoples,” as cited in the opening of the UN Charter, and that it must be able to carry out its vital work, “free of reprisals and intimidation.”In that context, the Secretary-General highlighted the “Rights Up Front” action plan that he launched last year to ensure that human rights considerations were the top priority in all UN activities. “This initiative seeks to ensure that the United Nations system leverages the full breadth of its mandates to protect people at risk,” he said. In their opening statements, Ms. Pillay and Mr. Ban, along with General Assembly President John Ashe, reported progress in legal tools and awareness of human rights, as well as great obstacles in ensuring that everyone enjoyed those rights.They regretted the continuation of intolerable abuses and impunity for perpetrators in conflicts from Syria to South Sudan and the Central African Republic. Those tragedies, Mr. Ban said, “are sad testaments to what can happen when perpetrators feel free to abuse without consequences.”Mr. Ashe, drawing attention to upcoming initiatives on human rights issues in the General Assembly, stressed the human rights relevance of his body’s work in setting the stage for a new international development agenda following the 2015 deadline of the Millennium Development Goals.Overcoming the rise in inequality around the world and the increasing marginalization of people living in poverty is particularly important in that light, he said. He too pointed to the importance of civil society in pursuing those goals, given “how much courage and fortitude is required by those who champion human rights, when it is so easy to look the other way or take a less courageous stand.”While in Geneva, the Secretary-General met today with representatives of the following non-governmental organizations: the International Service for Human Rights, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the International Commission of Jurists.They discussed, among other things, the role of human rights defenders and the importance of protecting them from attacks and supporting their essential work, according to a readout of the meeting. read more

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Significant Digits For Friday Dec 4 2015

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the telling numbers tucked inside the news.0.12An attorney who wrote a book called “The Drinker’s Guide to Driving: The Secrets of DUI from One of America’s Top DUI Lawyers” was arrested for drunk driving Sunday, with a blood alcohol level of 0.12. Yes, it did happen in Florida — excellent guess. [The Herald Tribune]2nd-longestAfter his team trailed all night against the Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw a 61-yard game-ending Hail Mary pass for a touchdown with no time on the clock. The pass was the second-longest come-from-behind game-ending touchdown ever, and from a distance where such passes have a terrible completion rate. It was the worst thing to happen to the city of Detroit since globalization and systemic mismanagement. [ESPN Stats & Info, Brian Burke]20:24Elvira Montes, an 81-year-old grandmother, was the oldest finisher in this year’s Beer Mile World Championships, finishing four beers and running 1 mile in 20 minutes, 24 seconds. She is what we in the business call a “role model.” We should all be so lucky reach age 81, let alone sustain a reliable competitive drinking habit. [Runner’s World]44.9 percentPercentage of U.S. adults who worked for an employer at least 30 hours per week in November, as measured by Gallup’s Good Jobs rate. [Gallup]92 countsThe other shoe has dropped, people, and it is feigning catastrophic injury in order to procure a yellow card as we speak. U.S. prosecutors announced a 92-count indictment against 16 FIFA officials yesterday, following up on a raid of a Swiss hotel where several officials were staying. [CNN] 95.7 degrees FahrenheitA spokesperson for the upcoming Olympic Games said that organizers did not consider it critical to pay for air conditioning in athletes’ quarters in Rio de Janeiro and that someone else will have to handle the costs. Keep in mind that this year, Aug. 19, which would be towards the end of the events this coming year, hit 95.7 degrees in Rio. [ESPN]589 reportersIn 2014, the number of reporters from niche outlets accredited by the U.S. Senate press gallery exceeded the number of reporters from daily newspapers. As someone from a niche outlet, I guess this is cool? Go niche outlets! [Pew Research Center]220,000 jobsAshton Carter, whose name makes him sound like he is a member of One Direction but who is actually America’s secretary of defense, announced yesterday that the U.S. military will open all combat jobs to women. About 220,000 such jobs within the armed forces had been closed to women. [The Washington Post]$5 millionThat’s the amount brilliant negotiator and world-renowned dealmaker Donald Trump wanted CNN to donate to charity to ensure his participation in an upcoming presidential debate. CNN declined, but the legendary businessman and genius arbitrator, who as we all know could strike an absolutely flawless deal with anyone, especially the Chinese, relented and decided to participate in the debate anyway, because the negotiating strategy of “giving up when your primary request isn’t met” is just a tactic from page one of “The Art of the Deal,” a book Trump definitely wrote all by himself. [The Washington Post]$117 millionAmount raised on Giving Tuesday, another manufactured holiday trying to chew the crumbs left over by the capitalist orgy that is Black Friday, albeit for charity. This is frankly encouraging, because I personally had a lot of trouble getting into the Small Business Saturday spirit this year. [NBC News]If you haven’t already, you really need to sign up for the Significant Digits newsletter — be the first to learn about the numbers behind the news. read more

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BBC will have more gay characters in its shows to combat heteronormative

The BBC is going to increase the number of LGBT people appearing in its programmes and news output as part of new diversity reforms.They will be “incidental” portrayals, meaning that their sexuality is not part of a storyline or directly relevant to a news item.Off-screen and off-air, LGBT staff will be encouraged to “bring their whole self to work” and be open about their sexuality.Other recommendations include the use of non-binary pronouns used by staff where appropriate, and a network of “straight allies” who will announce their status with pin badges or special email signatures.They are included in a new report based on a survey of LGBT staff attitudes, which found that many perceived the corporation to have a “heteronormative culture”.LGBT staff account for 11 per cent of the total BBC workforce and 12 per cent of senior staff. BBC bosses say they have acted to ensure they retain and attract the best LGBT talent as an employer, and to appeal to a younger audience as a broadcaster.James Purnell, director of radio and education, said: “One of our big challenges currently is around young audiences.”In a recent YouGov survey only 51% of 18 to 24-year-olds said they identified as completely heterosexual. “An organisation that appears to have a heteronormative culture is not one that is going to cut ice with them either as a consumer or an employee.”We’re aiming to create the most open, inclusive culture we can.”An internal survey of 300 LGBT staff at the BBC revealed areas requiring improvement, including a heteronormative culture, a need for inclusive non-binary language, insufficient support for trans staff, and a need to “adopt LGBTQ or LGBTQ+”.Concerns were also raised that gay men were the most visible members of the LGBT community at the company, that intersectionality of race and background within the LGBT community was not reflected enough, and that there was a need for more visible LGBT leaders.Karen Millington and Matt Weaver, said: “We hope this makes everyone feel included – whether genderqueer, bisexual, gay, lesbian, transgender, non-binary, pansexual, intersex, asexual, queer, questioning or an ally.” 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. read more

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Jack Shepherd apologises to family of speedboat victim but denies sole responsibility

Miss Brown, from Welling in Bexley, south London, died when she was flung from his vessel in December 2015.The pair had met online and were on their first date. They had eaten at The Shard before taking to Shepherd’s boat late at night.Shepherd, a web designer, married a childhood friend two months after the tragedy and had a son later that year. Jack Shepherd, the speedboat killer, has finally apologised to the family of Charlotte Brown after she died when his defected speedboat crashed in the Thames. Shepherd, who has so far refused to take responsiblity for the 24-year-old’s death, has now said he is remorseful for the undeniable part that he played in the accident. Asked if he would now apologise to Charlotte’s parents Graham Brown and Roz Wickens he told The Sun: “Absolutely, unreservedly, I apologise for the role I played, and undeniably I did play a part.“They have my sincere sympathies and condolences and I understand why they apportion the blame as they do.“If I was in the same situation I would probably feel the same way. I am very sorry for what happened. It was a tragedy and if I could do anything to change what happened, I really would.” Charlotte Brown died when she was flung from a speedboat in December 2015 Charlotte Brown died when she was flung from a speedboat in December 2015Credit:Metropolitan Police/PA 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. He said his memory of the incident was “quite hazy” because they had been drinking “heavily”. But he claimed she was at the wheel at the time of the crash and was going “full throttle” whilst steering “slightly erratically.”“Neither of us were wearing lifejackets…I  didn’t even ask if she could swim or anything,” he added.He was charged in September 2017 but absconded the following March, just a day after allegedly knocking a barman unconscious with a vodka bottle in a Devon pub.Before handing himself into police in Tbilisi, Georgia, in January, he told a local TV station: “It was unwise to go out on the water but not mad.”I blamed myself at the time and said I was very drunk and driving too fast but an assessment of the facts shows we were below the speed limit.” Despite the apology the 31-year-old added that he did not hold sole responsibility for her death, adding: “There were a number of factors that led to the accident — some were my decisions, some were Charlotte’s.“It was a joint decision to go out on the boat that night, her desire to drive the boat, but it was my decision to permit her to drive. Perhaps I ought to have instructed her further — more so than I did.“But it was ultimately Charlotte’s action to accelerate in the manner that she did, even though I failed to prevent her. You see, it’s shared [responsibility]. And there are matters of luck or fate — an unseen log in the path of the boat.“In the end I survived while Charlotte lost her life. These things could have been very different.”On the night Miss Brown died, Shepherd was pulled from the Thames by emergency services. Police officers said he stank of alcohol, was slurring and unsteady on his feet.He was interviewed as a witness the following day, when he revealed he had purchased the speedboat to “pull women” and admitted he had taken Miss Brown, from Bexley, south east London, out on the river as part of his seduction routine. read more

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Rabbis share duties with women for first time in turning point for

Rabbis will share duties with women for the first time as the Chief Rabbi says there is a “real need” within the Jewish community for females to be put in a position to offer others advice. Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis launched his new scheme, known as the Ma’aynot Project for female Jewish leaders, in a bid to create roles for women within modern orthodox Judaism. Female rabbis are not permitted within orthodox Judaism, unlike in more liberal denomination such as Reform and Liberal Judaism. Ten women have now become figureheads within the modern orthodox community and have been endowed with pastoral and educational roles after undergoing training by the Chief Rabbi. The women – known as Ma’aynot…

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Netters to fish lower Columbia River on Wednesday

first_imgAt Bonneville Dam: 23 spring chinook (262 year total) and 87 steelhead (2,549 year total) on Sunday.Streamflow is a very high 375,000 cubic feet per second, visibility is down to 3.0 feet and the temperature is 45 degreesCommercial fishing for spring chinook in the lower Columbia River will resume Wednesday with a new six-salmon-per-vessel limit.The net fleet will fish from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday from Beacon Rock downstream to the ocean with 41/4-inch-mesh tangle nets. The first six hatchery-origin chinook must be kept, then no additional drifts made.Biologist John North of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said the commercials have 911 upper Columbia-origin spring chinook on their initial allocation. The fleet caught 1,263 chinook in four hours on March 29, including 951 upper Columbia salmon.North predicted the commercials will catch 900 to 1,300 chinook on Wednesday. About 70 percent of the catch is expected to be upper Columbia chinook.The landing limit is designed to keep the netters from exceeding their allocation.“I know we haven’t done that with spring chinook prior to this in the Columbia River, but we’ve done it several times for sturgeon,” said Guy Norman, regional director for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. “It would certainly work for spring chinook as well, particularly with the situation we have with a limited number of spring chinook left.”Spring chinook, especially caught early, bring the commercials the highest price per pound of any salmon in the Columbia River.“It’s important the consumers get every last fish they’re entitled to,” said Steve Fick, owner of Fishhawk Fisheries in Astoria.Commercial and sport fishing conditions in the Columbia are poor, with very high streamflow.“The river is wild now,” said Jack Marincovich of the Columbia River Fisheries Protective Union, a commercial group.John McKinley, a Wahkiakum County commercial fishermen, also said it is important to catch the commercial allocation completely.“Us leaving impacts on the table is like throwing a lamb in front of a lion,” he said. “They may not be here. The sports will probably gobble them up.”State officials will meet at 3 p.m. Wednesday to review the sport catch and determine if more fishing is possible.Sport salmon fishing is closed beginning Tuesday in the lower Columbia.Randy Woolsey, a member of the bi-state Columbia River Recreational Advisory Group, asked the states to keep sport fishing open through Friday.Catches have been poor and leaving the river open through Friday would give the states time to adopt an extension without a temporary closure, he said.last_img read more

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A Perfect Storm for Virtual Events

first_imgAt the Circulation Management Show in June, keynote speaker and Access Intelligence CEO Don Pazour highlighted the shift his company is making to online media but drew the line at virtual events, which he said make as much sense as “virtual sex.”For other publishers, however, virtual events aren’t a replacement for face-to-face events but a complement. And as more end-users experience social networking via LinkedIn and Facebook, the idea of connecting during an online show is becoming more appealing. Adoption rates are growing. Unisfair says 225 events will use its virtual platform this year while business-to-business publisher PennWell will do 20 virtual shows.UP Media launched its first virtual event in February and will do another in November. “We have been looking at virtual events for the past four or five years but the market didn’t seem ready for it,” says vice president of sales and marketing Frances Stewart. “Earlier this year the planets came together with travel budgets cutting back, the rise in social networking and the ability to reach an international audience.” While typical virtual show attendance ranges from a couple hundred to 1,000, eComXpo, which runs on the InXpo platform, draws between 5,000 and 8,000 attendees. But with the cost of a virtual event starting between $20,000 and $50,000, virtual events remain the purview of larger and mid-sized publishers. Vendor Breakdown: Which To Choose?With Webinar platform provider ON24 introducing a virtual event solution, the choices are growing for publishers that typically had to choose between InXpo and Unisfair. From personalized formats to audience reporting, the providers are offering many of the same features. Choices will be made on the balance between price, glitch-free platforms and customer service.UnisfairClients: Forbes, TechTarget, Penton Media Price: $20,000 to $50,000Best features:Professional Networking: Has the ability to visually match attendees with sponsors and exhibitors. Participants note their interests and experiences and the system automates a list of the other attendees and or/exhibitors with similar interests.VOIP: Voice over Internet Protocol allows attendees and exhibitors to have conversations in real time without typing. Chatting can occur via a computer headset or via phone through an anonymous phone number.InXpoClients: Nielsen, PennWell, ZDECost:$20,000-$50,000. Best features:Scalability: The system has a high capacity and can handle events with a couple hundred people and 10 booths to tens of thousands of attendees with hundreds of booths without performance degradation.No downloads: InXpo is Web-based and requires no downloads for the host, the attendees or exhibitors. You can enter the event from home, work, a hotel or business center or any Internet-ready computer in the world. Booth builder: InXpo can send attendees a link that walks them through step-b-step instructions on how to create and enhance their own booths. Hosts can have very little involvement or they can build the booths with their exhibitors. Ziff Davis Enterprise, for example, handled the entire creation of its recent virtual event itself, relying only on InXpo for its technology. ON24Clients: UP Media GroupCost: Can range from $20,000 to $50,000 depending on the number of booths in the show. Best Features: Real-time audience tracker: The solution also provides real-time information on attendee activity during the show, including document downloads, presentations viewed, average viewing times, participation in discussions and responses to polls and surveys. Publishers as MatchmakersTwo years ago, a FOLIO: editor participated in an online “cocktail reception” in which attendees could interact via their own personal avatars. Or that was the idea anyway; in reality, the technology failed to let anyone communicate. Today, most virtual event platforms allow attendees to create personal profiles, set privacy preferences and chat with other attendees. ON24, a leader in Webcasts that recently launched a virtual show solution, offers a communications center with scheduled or ad hoc group discussions as well as the chance to post and reply to forum discussions on the message board. “Virtual events have always been very good at the education part, now you’re starting to see better social networking,” says Unisfair vice president of marketing Brent Arslaner.The social networking opportunities are getting more sophisticated with virtual events. InXpo now offers video chat. “When someone can see someone else it’s like the difference between HDTV and a black and white set,” says InXpo CEO Malcom Lotzof. Forbes.com hosted its first “iconference” in May with the All-Weather Portfolio Strategies Show featured investment gurus and the chance to connect with those advisors almost on a one-on-one basis. Live Q&As were held after each session. “In one section, one of the speakers was really bullish on silver and this conversation developed between attendees on the merits of investing in silver,” says vice president and editor Matt Shifrin. “Occasionally Forbes.com editors would chime in but by and large attendees had their own conversation.”Forbes.com is looking to go beyond the audio-conference portion of its iConferences and add more rich media. “This surpassed our revenue expectations,” says Shifrin (who declined to say what the revenue was). “This was ROI positive at launch.”Ziff Davis Enterprise has developed a series of custom virtual events for IBM that expanded the client’s original objective of online seminars to include social networking. “The seminars would have been a one-way dialogue,” says Johanna Rivard, vice president of demand generation at ZDE. “It wouldn’t have had peer or vendor interaction. Now IBM gets the benefit of an educational platform and peer interaction.” ZDE has expanded the custom virtual event series for other clients, with pricing ranging from $50,000 to $125,000, according to Rivard.Virtual events typically let exhibitors create “smart booths” that offer personalized content based on attendee profiles (such as providing technical specifications to IT or tips on business strategy for business professionals). ON24 offers a “moving” exhibit floor in which the building, booths and exterior landscape move at different speeds to create a sense of “walking” through the exhibit hall. Most services also let vendors track attendee activity. “The exhibitors can get access to the attendee database in a way they can‘t get at a live event,” says Stewart. ‘They have the ability to see who’s attending and chat with them one on one.” UP offers a three-tiered pricing plan for exhibitors at $5,000, $7,000 or $10,000 based on how much content they to put on the booth. UP Media will work with ON24 for its next virtual event, partially because of customer support. “Forty-five percent of our attendees are outside North America so we better be ready to man the booths virtually 24-7,” says Stewart. Next Step: From Mass to NichePublishers continue to explore optimum use for virtual shows and are adding rich media and leveraging the events as niche vehicles. “We’re looking at coupling online events with more targeted tabletop events,” says Stewart. “When we compare our virtual events to a live event on contribution levels, it was as successful if not more successful because you don’t have expenses like hall rental and F&B. I think this event can stand side-by-side with our largest live event and at some point may exceed it in revenue and contribution.” SIDEBARS: Training Exhibitors on Virtual EventsWhile virtual events offer new opportunity for exhibitors, they also require a new set of rules. “The dynamics of how attendees want to walk a virtual show is something we need to further understand,” says UP Media vice president of sales and marketing Frances Stewart. “If I walk into a live show, the pouncing begins. How can we train our exhibitors to not pounce on attendees virtually? We need to train the exhibitors on maximizing their participation.”Below, Stewart offers advice to exhibitors on how to approach a virtual show.• As an exhibitors, be sure your company has no firewalls in place prior to the event that could limit or deny access. Unlike in a live event, firewalls and other such “tech” issues can stop you dead in your tracks. All booth staff should thoroughly text their O/S prior to the event.• Live booth etiquette still pertains. For instance, don’t go “squat” in someone’s virtual booth and steal attendees.• Use a photo for your avatar. Attendees may recognize you and photos actually come across more professionally than some of the avatars. Of course, each market/industry varies, but in ours, the photo seemed to work better.• Post surveys and giveaways in your booth to make the experience for attendees as interactive as possible. This avoids “pouncing,” but still allows for interaction.• Completely fill out your profile prior to the event. This helps attendees get to know you, determine if you are a fit for their networking, etc. • Learn to “leave” your booth periodically. Unlike a live event, in a virtual event you can “walk” the floor, check out the lounge and other booths and still receive pings/alerts and continue to chat.last_img read more

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4 Children Baptized At St Dorothys This Month

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — The following four children were baptized at St. Dorothy’s on Sunday, June 17, 2018:Elijah Michael GodinAva Lee Anne MastrangeloWilliam Thomas Porter Jr.Griffin Edward PerrielloCongratulations to these children and their families.(NOTE: List is from the latest St. Thomas/St. Dorothy church bulletin.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Related2 Children Baptized At The Parish Of The TransfigurationIn “Community”4 Children Baptized At The Parish Of The TransfigurationIn “Community”5 Children Baptized At The Parish Of The TransfigurationIn “Community”last_img read more

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Mayor asks officials to gear up for Ganesh festival

first_imgHyderabad: Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) Mayor Bonthu Rammohan on Tuesday asked the officials of various departments to gear-up arrangements for the ensuing Ganesh festival Immersion programme. While speaking in the meeting with officials of various departments like Police, TSPCL, HRCL, HMR, Revenue, R&B, etc., the Mayor asked them to provide better arrangements then last year by overcoming any shortfalls if any. Immersion of Idols should be completed before dawn as was done during the last 2 to 3 years. Further, he suggested that they conduct preparedness meeting at respective Commissionerate Zones concerned to have better coordination between various stakeholders departments for above arrangements and R&B department to put up more efforts as most of the roads under R&B. Also Read – Man tied up to a tree and thrashed in Nalgonda for harassing woman Advertise With Us GHMC Commissioner Dana Kishore said instructions issued to the sanitation wing to take up all necessary measures to lift garbage, leftover waste as when formed during immersion process and after immersion. Further said bleaching powder and fly ash to be done and fogging operations enroute and at water bodies. The S.E. Electrical is instructed to ensure all street lights glowing enroute of the procession and Chief Engineer to look after road repair works and asked the HMRL officials to pay special attention where HMR works ongoing to get repair of potholes and patchworks and to remove construction materials all along the route from JBS to Secunderabad Station Road route. Also Read – With 61 feet high, Khairatabad Ganesh claimed to be tallest idol in India Advertise With Us The Commissioner further asked the TSPCL to provide Generators at the specific places as suggested by the CP Hyderabad., apart from arrangements done as per last year and also ensure the tree branches and low lying wires should not obstruct free movement of idols. Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar suggested for removal of hoardings, cement barricades and for strong Barricading, sufficient cranes at Necklace Road and on Tank Bund and ensure driver of the cranes, mechanic and spare parts available at spot during the immersion processes for quick and smooth movement of vehicles and also for providing 80 watchtowers and mobile toilets etc. Advertise With Us HMWS&SB officials informed they are arranging 32 lakhs water sachets at various water camps, 2 lakhs more than last year, preventive measures an overflow of drainage and have super sucker machines ready to attend any emergency work. HRDCL officials informed, that they sufficient stock of Shell Mac material to take up road repair works. Fire Department officials informed they are prepared as per the arrangement is done in last year. Zonal Commissioners Dasari Hari Chandana, Musharaff Ali, CP Rachakonda Mahesh Bhagawath, Vigilance Director Vishwajit Kampati and other senior officials of different departments were present in the meeting.last_img read more

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11 Bangladeshi crew released by Philippines

first_imgGovt-LogoEleven Bangladeshi crew detained by the Philippines authority from a Chinese ship were released on Tuesday, reports UNB.After lots of efforts, charges against all the crew, including the Bangladeshis have been dropped and the ship has been allowed to leave the port, a source at Bangladesh mission in the Philippines told UNB.The crew left Zamboanga port in Mindanao Island and will leave for Vietnam on Tuesday.In mid-April the ship carrying rice from Vietnam was reportedly trying for an offshore unload and was challenged by the navy. Rice is a commodity banned as imports in the Philippines.last_img

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Hawaii highrise blaze kills 3

first_imgThe charred exterior of the Marco Polo building is seen in Honolulu, Hawaii, after a fire that started on the 26th floor of the apartment complex. Photo: AFPAt least three people were killed and a dozen injured Friday when a massive fire tore through a 36-story apartment complex in Honolulu, local media reported.Flames and thick black smoke could be seen billowing from the building as the blaze, which burned for more than four hours, sent glass from the windows raining down.Authorities warned the death toll could rise as they scoured the scene of the charred building that had no sprinkler system.A woman and her adult son were among the victims, who all died on the 26th floor, the Honolulu Star Advertiser said.About 12 residents and one firefighter were injured, according to the newspaper. The firefighter and three others were taken to hospital in serious condition.Mayor Kirk Caldwell tweeted just before 7:00 pm (0500 GMT) that the fire at the Marco Polo Building was now “under control.”“Mahalo to all first responders,” Caldwell wrote, using a Hawaiian word for “thank you.”However firefighters later responded to a “flare-up” in the building.At least 100 fire personnel and more than 30 fire department units responded to the blaze, which was initially reported as burning through the 26th floor but then spread to multiple units across the 25th and up to the 28th floor.Hawaii Red Cross volunteers assisted evacuees in a local park and a shelter was opened at a local school.Emergency Medical Services spokeswoman Shayne Enright told the Star Advertiser that paramedics were carrying out “emergency treatment with a triage location inside the building.”Some residents complained about how long it took fire crews to reach the building and evacuate it.“With all of these fire trucks, I can’t understand why they can’t put it out,” Barbara Hudman, who has lived at the Marco Polo since 1979, told the Star Advertiser. “Something is screwed up.”Troy Yasuda, who lives in a building across the street, helped evacuees by giving them water. “They were choking from the smoke,” he said.last_img read more

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Parents Try to Keep Lawsuit Over STAAR Exams Alive

first_img To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Listen X 00:00 /01:17 At a hearing in Austin Wednesday, a group of parents will fight to continue their lawsuit against the Texas Education Agency over standardized exams.Those parents want to throw out the scores for STAAR exams for grades three through eight. They argue that they shouldn’t count because the Texas Education Agency didn’t follow new rules from lawmakers on how long the tests should take.But Education Commissioner Mike Morath and Attorney General Ken Paxton want a judge to throw out the case.“It’s purely a procedural argument as to whether or not we have the right to have a judge hear our case,” said Ben Becker, a Houston dad who leads the Committee to Stop STAAR. The grassroots group has raised more than $20,000 from over 300 donors for the lawsuit.Becker said that it’s also a fight for public information. He explained that the TEA and its testing vendor ETS collected data on how long it took students to complete the exams, but that state officials have refused to release that data.“That’s something that we believe is owed to the public whether we were having a lawsuit or not. The public deserves to know the data that TEA and ETS have on these tests,” he said.The TEA declined to comment on the case, citing pending litigation.The state uses STAAR exams to rate schools and scores can also impact if students advance to the next grade or attend summer school. Sharelast_img read more

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Supreme Court Wont Upend Arizona Licenses For Immigrants

first_imgShelby Knowles for The Texas TribuneThe U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on June 7, 2017.The Supreme Court is rejecting Arizona’s plea to stop issuing driver’s licenses to young immigrants known as “Dreamers” who are protected from deportation.The justices did not comment Monday in leaving in place an appeals’ court decision in favor of the immigrants who sought licenses.About 20,000 young immigrants in Arizona are protected from deportation under a 2012 program started by the Obama administration. The Trump administration is trying to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, but has been blocked by federal courts.The high court recently turned down an administration request to take on the DACA controversy.Arizona sought to prevent DACA-protected immigrants from getting licenses. Then-Gov. Jan Brewer cited a desire to reduce the risk of licenses being used to improperly access public benefits. Sharelast_img read more

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