First Feature Project Partnership Renewed

first_imgFilm and Creative Industries Nova Scotia and Telefilm Canada are working together to support emerging filmmakers with the First Feature Project. “We continue to support the careers of emerging filmmakers in Nova Scotia because we believe that they are important to the success of the creative economy,” said Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Michel Samson. “This innovative collaboration has delivered strong results over the last three years and has established itself as an important program for Nova Scotia’s creative talent and our vibrant industry.” Established in 2011, the project provides support to a producer-director-writer team to produce their first feature film. To date, the First Feature Project has funded three feature films, Roaming, Bunker 6 and Lure. In 2013, local producer Chris Turner was selected. His psychological thriller Lure was shot locally in February. “The First Feature Project was an incredible learning experience,” said Mr. Turner. “Having the opportunity to both write and produce a feature film will bring my career to a whole new level. It could not have happened without the support of Film and Creative Industries Nova Scotia, Telefilm Canada and our talented cast and crew who worked so hard to bring Lure from script to screen.” The selected team will receive $120,000 in funding from the Canada Feature Film Fund and Film and Creative Industries Nova Scotia. To qualify, the applicant must have produced at least two professional short films, one of which has been screened at a major Canadian or international film festival. “Throughout the past three years the calibre of films produced through the project has showcased the high level of talent we have here in Nova Scotia,” said Linda Wood, director, Business and Legal Affairs at Film and Creative Industries Nova Scotia. “We look forward to receiving more creative proposals from our local filmmakers and working with the selected team.” “We’re thrilled to be able to partner once again with Film and Creative Industries Nova Scotia,” said Anne Frank, interim regional feature film executive, Atlantic Region, Telefilm Canada. “Telefilm has been in the talent development business for more than 40 years, supporting dynamic companies and creators from across the country. “But to do this we rely on partners who share our passion for discovering new and emerging talent to create the next cinematic gems.” Project guidelines can be found at http://film.ns.ca/content/first_feature_project. The deadline to apply is June 23. Film and Creative Industries Nova Scotia is the lead development agency for the creative industries in the province. Providing a variety of loan and investment programs and services, the agency works to support the growth and development of Nova Scotia’s creative enterprises.last_img read more

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The Video and Text Of Mélanie Jolys Speech Outlining Our Cultural Future

first_img Twitter SpeechFrom Canadian HeritageSeptember 28, 2017 – Ottawa, Ontario Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement IntroductionLadies and gentlemenMesdames et messieursThank you for being here in person or joining us live.I want to begin by acknowledging that we are gathered on the traditional territory of the Algonquin Peoples.History of our systemLet me start with a question. Two questions, actually.Why has culture always mattered to Canadians?Why should it matter now?The answers to these questions are, fundamentally, about who we are and who we want to be.We are a small, diverse population spread over a large land mass.We are all bound by reconciliation. Indigenous Peoples lived on this land for thousands of years before the arrival of settlers and the founding of Canada.We are a country rooted in our linguistic duality. English and French are at the heart of who we are. We celebrate the fact that eight million Francophones have a vibrant culture all the while surrounded by millions of English-language speakers.We are a democracy. We believe in and promote gender and racial equality, and human rights. We promote these values to the world.We are a culturally diverse country that welcomes immigrants. We are a country that looks like the world.All of these strengths make our culture—and our identity—dynamic.They make us unique.And we’ve spent the last 80 years developing cultural policies that preserve these strengths.A good part of this work has been done in the shadow of the largest English-language content producer in the world—the United States.Canada has long understood the need to promote Canadian culture. To build identity, pride and a shared sense of values.From the very first national cultural institutions founded in our country, the government’s goal was to create a space for Canadian voices.This goal was top-of-mind when Parliament adopted Canada’s first Radio Broadcasting Act in 1932—and launched CBC/Radio-Canada four years later.We knew then, as we do now, that Canadians need access to a system of broadcasting from Canadian sources.Other federal institutions and laws followed. The National Film Board. Telefilm. The Canada Council for the Arts. The CRTC. The Official Languages Act. The Multiculturalism Act. The Museums Act.Our policies have evolved over time to reflect shifting Canadian identities and values: our commitment, enshrined in legislation, to official languages, and to pluralism. And more recently, our commitment to responding to the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.The digital shiftToday, we find ourselves in another shift.We listen to radio, watch TV, go to the movies. We visit museums, read books and magazines.More and more, we have the opportunity to do these online.When it comes to content, Canadians want choice.But we know that access and affordability of Internet and wireless are real issues for many.Broadband coverage is uneven across the country.We pay some of the highest rates in the world.Our government won’t increase the cost of these services to Canadians by imposing a new tax.We’ve lowered taxes for the middle class, and we will continue to do that.However, we will make sure our creative industries succeed and make the content that we love—by using all of the tools we have.When Canadians are asked to give great Canadian content, it’s amazing how many talk about the books, shows, movies and songs they loved as kids: Passe-Partout. Mr. Dressup. Takuginai. The Log Driver’s Waltz. Anne of Green Gables, or, as I knew it as a child, Anne…la maison aux pignons verts.For me, this speaks to how important it is for our children to see and hear stories that reflect back who we are as they are growing up.And it’s no different now than it was on the floor of the House of Commons in 1932 when the government of the day adopted the first Radio Broadcasting Act.Strength and disruption in our creative industriesThe arts and culture sector provides jobs for more than 630,000 Canadians.It’s a $54.6-billion-dollar industry.And there are thousands more working in new fields. Like the 20,000 Canadians designing and composing for video games.These are the jobs of tomorrow.And not just in big cities: Northern Ontario hosted 28 full-length productions in 2016. Shows such as CTV’s Cardinal, Hallmark’s Flower Shop Mysteries and CraveTV’s Letterkenny employed 1,530 people.Our industries are doing well—not just well, great.Two Sundays ago, Montréal writer Louise Penny took over the #1 spot on the New York Times best seller list for her book Glass Houses;At the same time, young Canadian poet Rupi Kaur was #13 – remarkably, it was her 34th consecutive week on the best seller list;The same night, Margaret Atwood, Lorne Michaels and director Jean-Marc Vallée were each feted at the Emmy Awards. A few days earlier it was announced that Donald Sutherland would be receiving an honorary Oscar.These are incredible, internationally recognized accomplishments.Still, I know there is anxiety here at home.For creative industries that were born digital or have made the shift, the change has brought expansion, new jobs and new markets: we are leading in gaming, post-production and animation.In others—like media and broadcasting—the transition is more disruptive.Today, Facebook, Netflix, Spotify and YouTube reach Canadians directly—outside of our traditional regulated system.That content is predominantly English, mostly developed outside of Canada. So this disruption plays out differently in our French- and English-language markets.It is also experienced differently in urban and rural areas of the country where broadband isn’t as readily available.We must take these realities into account.And we must act.If we’re complacent, this new wave of information can drown out our own content—our French-language TV and films; our Indigenous music; our multicultural programming.This worries me. It worries our creators. And it worries Canadians.Because we care about Canadian content. We are fiercely proud of our stories and our talent.We will continue to champion the Internet as a progressive force and an open space without barriers.As a government, we stand by the principle of net neutrality.At the same time, we are fierce advocates of the importance of cultural diversity. We are champions for our creative industries.We must find a new way—a Canadian way—to support our content creators, to ensure they can compete, and to create a space for them in markets and platforms at home and around the world.Our vision for a Creative CanadaToday, I am announcing our Government’s vision for a Creative Canada.Creative Canada sets the policy direction for our programs, legislation and Portfolio agencies for the coming years.And it includes new initiatives and new funding to get us there.In our vision, Canada is a world leader in the quality of its creative industries, with creators empowered to make great content that stands out at home and around the world; and,That Canada is a pioneer in ensuring there is a space online for a diversity of voices at home and abroad, including Canadian content in French and English, multicultural and Indigenous expression.This is our vision.It is ambitious. It should be.Creative Canada will focus our efforts on three things:We will invest in our creators and their stories.We will promote the discovery and distribution of Canadian content at home and abroad.And we will strengthen public broadcasting and support local news.I’ll talk about each one of these.First…Pillar 1: Invest in Canadian creators, cultural entrepreneurs and their storiesThe talent and imagination of our creators is at the heart of our approach.From the first days of our government, we made a historic investment of $1.9 billion in new funds in the arts and culture.But there is more to do.Our new approach will help creators develop new ideas, take risks and make content that stands out.Increase funding to the Canada Media Fund (CMF)It begins with addressing deep anxieties I’ve heard across the sector, especially about funding for independent production.Writers, producers and directors have serious concerns about whether there will be a domestic market for their work, especially in the face of declining private-sector cable and satellite subscription revenues that contribute to the CMF.We are turning that around.Today, I’m announcing that, starting in 2018, the Government will increase the federal contribution to maintain the level of funding in the Canada Media Fund to counter these declines.Last year, the CMF supported 28,000 industry jobs in projects like Kim’s Convenience, Orphan Black, 19-2, Unité 9 and Mohawk Girls.With this new funding, we’re investing in jobs for our writers, showrunners, producers, directors, actors and crews.So whether your job depends on building a set, catering for the crew or standing in front of the camera, we want to make sure you know we believe in the strength of our production sector and its importance to our communities.This increase in funding will allow us to see what the next few years bring in the industry, and to work together to develop a model that will be viable for the CMF over the long term.Support skills, development, innovation and collaborationGreat productions rely on great stories, and the talent and time needed to develop them.Creators and producers across the country told me we need to do more to support great stories at their roots.I heard repeatedly how hard it is to get seed money to get a script or a pitch off the ground.That’s why we will also work with the CMF and explore what more might be done to enhance early-stage development such as scriptwriting.In music, we’ll help artists and entrepreneurs develop the skills they need to promote their music at home and connect with fans in new markets.Through the Canada Book Fund, we’ll continue to support print and digital production and will experiment with innovative approaches to marketing and promoting Canadian books.And we’ll cut the red tape no one likes: we will improve the administration of the film and TV production tax credits by CAVCO. We will work with Telefilm to explore ways to streamline the application process.In all of our programs, we will continue to make sure that they support work that reflects Canada in all its diversity, including Indigenous-led production, work in both of our official languages, and work that represents our multicultural fabric.And we will work with our Portfolio organizations and other partners to achieve greater gender parity in our creative industries.Support for the next generation of cultural spaces: Creative HubsIn the tech sector, entrepreneurs benefit from a start-up culture to nurture new ideas.They have incubators where they can grow their businesses.We need these same networks to grow our creative industries: collaborative spaces where creative entrepreneurs can access tools, training, equipment and mentorship.This year, we announced $300 million in new funding to the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund.Today, we’re setting aside part of this investment for new creative hubs to incubate the next generation of creative start-ups.Places like 312 Main in Vancouver’s downtown eastside, la SAT in Montréal, or cSPACE King Edward in Calgary.Our strongest start-ups also need capital to innovate and scale up.That’s why creative industries can now access our government’s $1.26-billion Strategic Innovation Fund.We want more Canadian creative entrepreneurs to be inspired by the international success of Cirque du Soleil, DHX or Robert Lepage—and to have the support to get there.Copyright Act – Focus on creatorsInvesting in creators also means ensuring they are fairly compensated and can protect and make the most of their intellectual property.We will soon launch a parliamentary review of the Copyright Act and I will work hard to ensure that review is focused on creators.Similarly, we will reform the Copyright Board to ensure that we support cultural content, pay our artists faster and reduce costs for all parties.Together, all of these initiatives will support creators as they turn great ideas into great content.Our message to them will be clear: take risks, put forward bold and unique material, and we will help you succeed.Pillar 2: Promote discovery and distribution at home and globallyOnce we’ve got great content, our next challenge is to make sure it finds its audience in Canada and around the world.There are three main parts to the challenge of distribution:How do we structure our own domestic market?How do we deal with foreign services that come into our domestic market?How do we make sure our domestic content reaches the international market?Domestic market: BroadcastingLet’s start with the question of the domestic market.The way we access content today is increasingly open, mobile and individual.Let me be clear: a strong domestic market is vital. It’s a launch pad for homegrown talent and a precondition for global success.It remains a core responsibility of all the players in the system to support our domestic market. That will not change.But our laws and regulations need to work in an online environment.That’s why, after nearly 30 years, it’s time to review the Broadcasting Act.We will announce more details of the review of the Broadcasting Act and Telecommunications Act later this fall.Together, these two Acts will continue to form the backbone of our communications system.There is no question that the CRTC has a critical role to play in this transition.That’s why, today, Minister Bains and I have sent a letter to Ian Scott, the new Chair of the CRTC, to set out the issues we see as important for the regulator in fulfilling its mandate.That’s also why, today, we are invoking our power to request the CRTC to report back to the government on how they see the system evolving.We are asking them to look at how new models will support the creation and distribution of Canadian entertainment and information programming, in both official languages.We look forward to receiving the CRTC’s report to inform our legislative review.New Players, New PartnersOn the second question of foreign platforms in our market: What is their role? What obligations do they have to Canadians?Our goal is clear: as a government, we have a responsibility to continue to protect and promote our stories and our culture.We want to make sure these platforms work for Canadians and that they understand the importance of being a partner to support Canadian content.As many of these platforms become content producers themselves, it becomes even more important to ensure that there is a diversity of voices—Canadian voices—on their platforms.I’ve already started meeting with these companies to establish ties and bring them to the table.We want them to participate in our goals to support the creation and discovery of Canadian content that showcases our talent, our cultures and our stories.I’m pushing for commitments that benefit our industries.Today, I am announcing the first of these agreements on behalf of the Government of Canada and Netflix.Under this agreement, Netflix will create Netflix Canada – a permanent film and television production presence here in Canada, the first time that the company has done so outside the United States.And building on the strong track record of investing in Canadian producers and content with shows like Anneand Alias Grace with the CBC, Travellers with Showcase, and Frontier with Discovery, they have agreed to invest a minimum of $500 million in original productions in Canada, in both official languages, over the next five years.The Francophone market has great potential for growth, and Quebec has a unique and talented creative community. That is why Netflix is committed to investing $25 million in a market development strategy for French-language content and production—both within Quebec and in Francophone communities across Canada.Netflix will also work to promote Canadian films and programs on its platform so that they are discovered by Canadian audiences and millions of viewers around the world.These partnerships will allow our creators and producers to make top-shelf, high-quality content that competes with the best in the world.This is what is possible, this is what we expect, and this is the type of commitment we will work to achieve with other platforms, as well.So that our creators and industries remain strong, valued and, ultimately, Canadian.Export StrategyThirdly, how can we make sure our content gets to other markets?More than ever, creative entrepreneurs must look to global markets to be competitive, generate revenue and jobs, and grow.In our first budget, we hit the ground running, investing a one-time $35 million over two years to establish our cultural presence internationally and promote our creative industries abroad.One of the first things we did was put boots on the ground.We now have cultural trade experts working in missions around the world to help our industries reach key markets.We have invested in Canada’s presence in major trade fairs and events: the places where relationships are built and deals are made.This summer, Canada was the official partner country at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany.In 2020, we will be the country of honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair. It will have a major impact for our book industry and other creative sectors.This work must continue and grow.How will we do this?We will launch the first federal cultural trade mission in Canada’s history. We’ll support taking our best creators and companies to major foreign markets to make deals and build business-to-business relationships.We will expand and modernize our international co-production treaties to grow production budgets and attract new financing partners.And we will establish a Creative Industries Council, co-chaired with the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.To grow the sector, the different industries need to talk to one another. This group of experts drawn from across the creative industries will work on concrete strategies to open up new markets and coordinate Canada’s international presence and brand.Today, as part of our Creative Canada vision, we are announcing a new investment of $125 million over five years to support Canada’s first Creative Export Strategy. And we will work to enrich this investment as we continue to open up new markets and opportunities for Canada’s creative entrepreneurs.Cultural Diversity: Leadership on the World StageWe’ve been leading an international conversation on how we can ensure that a free and open Internet supports a diversity of voices and national content.I’ve said we believe the Internet is a progressive force, but all players—governments, Internet companies, civil society—have a role to play to give this meaning.It means that in a world of algorithms, there is a value—a public interest—in bursting the filter bubbles that exist.It’s why we want to see diverse Canadian content easily discoverable on all platforms available in Canada.We’ve been working at UNESCO, the G7, the World Economic Forum, and even in Silicon Valley itself to raise the importance of this issue.And we will work with our Canadian experts, including Waterloo’s Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), and with the Digital Global Policy Incubator at Stanford University, to organize an international forum to engage governments, civil society and global Internet companies in discussion of these issues.We will also work to safeguard the right of states to put in place measures to protect and promote their domestic industries to support the global diversity of cultural expressions.Let me be clear: culture is a priority in our NAFTA negotiations.And it’s why we are committed as a government to maintaining the flexibility for Canadian culture in NAFTA by exempting our cultural industries.Pillar 3: Strengthen public broadcasting and local newsSupporting Local NewsThere is no place to be more concerned about filter bubbles and the vital need for local information than in the news sector.During our consultations—and through the hard work of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage—I heard first-hand the importance of local news and information.In some communities, public broadcasting—on radio or over-the-air TV—is an essential source of local coverage.For others, it’s their local newspaper, which could be online like AllNovaScotia, an online source for local and business news in the Atlantic region.There are no easy solutions to the challenges facing this sector.We start from the premise that this is a shared responsibility between government at all levels, the private sector and civil society.Our approach will be guided by our belief that reliable journalistic content is critical to a healthy democracy. And that any action or measure by government must respect journalistic independence.Our approach will not be to bail out industry models that are no longer viable.Rather, we will focus our efforts on supporting innovation, experimentation and transition to digital.There is no one-size-fits-all approach.We have to foster experimentation and continue to take into account regional and linguistic differences.A few minutes ago, I talked about our expectations of platforms that create and share cultural content. We expect them to contribute to our goals.We expect Internet companies that aggregate and share news to do the same.We’ve asked Facebook to do more. Today, I’m pleased to announce that they will partner with Ryerson’s Digital Media Zone and the Ryerson School of Journalism to create a digital news incubator—the first of its kind in Canada.Participants will receive start-up funding and mentorship to accelerate innovative ideas that contribute to the digital development of journalism.This is a welcome first step; our intention is to foster many more.In our own program, the origins of the Canada Periodical Fund began before Confederation, as a postal subsidy to ensure Canadians across our vast country could have access to periodicals at an affordable price.Today, the Fund aims to ensure Canadians have access to diverse Canadian magazines and community newspapers. But eligibility is still built upon dwindling numbers of print subscribers.As more publications add mobile versions or move fully online, what’s important to Canadians is that they continue to publish original Canadian content.And that our programs provide the support they need to innovate, adapt and transition onto the platforms Canadians choose.A Vital Public BroadcasterIn this environment, the need for a strong, national public broadcaster has never been more clear.CBC/Radio-Canada broadcast its first newscast—a bilingual radio report—in 1936. For nearly 81 years, it has been a source of news stretching to the furthest communities of our country.In many parts of the country, it is an essential source of information, sometimes the only source.Never before has a public broadcaster been so needed, so vital, to so many.To tell the stories that must be heard—on television and radio, and through documentaries, films and programming for young audiences.To report on news that must be covered.To convene the conversations that must happen in a space built on the public’s trust and in public’s interest.The CBC carries a huge public responsibility. Canadians’ expectations for it are fiercely high. They ought to be.We’ve put $675 million of new funds into CBC/Radio-Canada, which it is using to support local content, the transition to digital, and to help bring on board the next generation of creative talent.We’ve also launched a new, open and independent process to select the next CBC leadership to ensure that Canadians are well-served by a team that reflects Canada’s incredible diversity and talent.This is an important moment for the CBC to look ahead and consider the critical role they have in providing a uniquely Canadian experience on a uniquely Canadian platform.As we review the Broadcasting Act, we will strengthen the mandate of our public broadcaster.We want the CBC to be a leading partner among Canada’s news and cultural organizations.And we want the CBC to play a leading role in showcasing Canadian cultural content—in both French and English, and reflecting the country’s diversity and Indigenous Peoples—at home and around the world.Where do we go from here?During the past 12 months, I’ve heard from thousands of Canadians, including many of you here in this room today.We all know that this is a very complex subject.No one is able to say with certainty what the new business model for creation, production and distribution of Canadian content will be in a digital world.This is a challenge and an opportunity. It generates anxiety and optimism.It is with humility and a deep sense of responsibility that I present to you today our government’s vision for a Creative Canada.While we deal with the transition, we will build our new system.This vision, and the strength of our creative industries, is our foundation and a roadmap for our sector.We are investing in our creative industries and creators, tackling the issues of distribution, and strengthening our media sector and public broadcaster.This morning, we published our policy framework for a Creative Canada.I invite you to read through it to digest more of the details.But our work isn’t done.In the year ahead, we will work with you, our partners, and across government to build on the direction I’ve outlined here.We will work with our Portfolio partners. Each of them will contribute to this vision.If we get this right, we will be a leader in the world.And, this will be our legacy.Generations from now, we want Canadians to have touchpoints that bring them together, that are markers of shared experience, of who we are.That is what culture does. And that’s why, now and in the future, culture matters more than ever.Let’s build this future together.Let’s build our Creative Canada.last_img read more

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Muslims, Christians, and Jews Share an Iftar in Brussels

By Safae KajouaneRabat – The European Council of Moroccan Ulema (CEOMA) organized a banquet in Brussels attended by Belgium’s Muslim, Christian and Jewish figures on Tuesday evening June 14, 2016. Tahar Toujgani, president of The European Council of Moroccan Ulema stressed the virtues of the holy month of Ramadan, especially the values of sharing, fellowship, and living together. After condemning the brutal terrorist acts that occurred purportedly in the name of Islam, he stressed that nothing can justify such a crime committed against innocent citizens. Mr. Samir Addahre, Morocco’s ambassador to Brussels, stressed the need to defend the values that unite the three religions, particularly after the current terrorist acts in different parts of the world. He added that these acts have nothing to do with Islam.“This Iftar allows us to send a twofold message to those who want us to stand divided: that we are united around principles and universal values of brotherhood, solidarity, and friendship, and that those who cloak themselves in religion and commit these unspeakable acts have nothing to do with religion” stated Mr. Samir AddahreThe ambassador also highlighted the efforts of the Moroccan Kingdom to preserve spiritual safety and ensure that the practice of Islam remains in harmony with the noblest democratic values that Morocco has consistently upheld under the leadership of HM King Mohammed VI, Commander of the Faithful. read more

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Appointment of New Head of MINURSO Raises Concerns about UN Approach…

Rabat – The appointment of Canadian Colin Stewart as head of the MINURSO is putting Morocco on its guards.Stewart’s former position as the UN’s Acting Chief of Staff and Chief of Political Affairs in Timor-Leste is raising concerns about a similar approach to that of his predecessors on the Western Sahara issue.“I wonder what criteria the United Nations Secretary General has used in appointing his new head of MINURSO,” a UN staff member who spoke on the condition of anonymity told Morocco World News. Stewart’s profile is an interesting one. While the diplomat has extensively worked with the UN, it is his 10 years’ mission in Timor-Leste that is raising many questions on the Moroccan side.“Knowing the experience of Stewart, it makes one wonder whether the appointment of someone who has experience in Timor-Leste is the appropriate person to lead MINURSO at this juncture, knowing the differences that existed between Timor-Leste and the Western Sahara,” adds MWN’s source.The history of East Timor and how it came to independence is a “life-altering” one, as Stewart described it in an interview with The Globe and Mail back in 2002, but it is a very different one from that of the Sahara.As Moroccan political analyst, Samir Bennis, put in one of his articles about the topic, “while Timor-Leste was under Portuguese sovereignty from the 16th century until 1975 when it was invaded and taken over by Indonesia, Western Sahara was under Moroccan sovereignty until the end of the 19th century.”“Morocco’s claim to sovereignty is supported by historical (colonial) records and a number of international agreements, such as the accord signed between Morocco and the United Kingdom in March 1895, in which the British government acknowledges that the Sahara belonged to Morocco.”According Bennis, another factor demonstrating the absence of similarities between the two cases is linguistic, religious, and ethnic unity among the regions. There is a linguistic, religious, and ethnic unity between the rest of Morocco’s territory and the Sahara: Saharawis are a mixture of Arabs and Amazigh, are Muslims and speak Arabic and Berber in addition to the Hassani language. Such similarities did not exist between Indonesia and Timor-Leste.While Indonesia is a Muslim country, the population of Timor-Leste is predominantly catholic, making the country after its independence the second largest Roman Catholic country in Asia after the Philippines. Likewise, as to the language, while Indonesia’s language is Indonesian, the two main languages used in Timor-Leste are Portuguese and Tetum.“What raises more questions about the pertinence of this choice is that the appointment of a new head of MINURSO who served in Timor-Leste comes amid reports that the UN Special Envoy for Western Sahara [Christopher Kohler] is allegedly leaning towards proposing some sort of commonwealth or federation under which the Western Sahara would have its own constitution.” reveals our source.“While the latest Security Council resolution adopted last April seemed to give preeminence to the Moroccan autonomy plan, it remains to be seen what orientation the UN Secretary General [Antonio Guterres] will give to his mediation efforts now that the MINURSO will be headed by personality who served in UN mission that led to a different outcome from the one called for Morocco,” explains the UN member.“The upcoming UNSG report scheduled to be released in April 2018 will be critical in shedding a cleared light on the new orientation that the Guterres will give to the conflict,” concludes our source.Legitimate concerns?Morocco has often questioned the criteria governing the choice of certain UN officials to take control of the UN mission in the Sahara. Seeing the past of Stewart and his pressed actors, Canadian Kim Bolduc and German Weisbrod-Weber, all whom served in the organization of referendums of independence in East Timor (August 30, 1999) or in South Sudan (January 2011), Morocco’s concerns might be in the right place after all.Weisbrod-Weber had overseen the popular consultation in the former province of Indonesia as Chief of Staff at the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste. Stewart also worked for the United Nations in the Political Affairs Division from 1999 to 2009 as an analyst specializing in Timor-Leste and Indonesia. This experience has paved the way for him to be appointed, from January 2011 to March 2016, Deputy Head of the United Nations Office at the African Union.Knowing that Weisbrod-Weber has never set foot in Rabat during his position as head of MINURSO during his tenure, and Bolduc barely visited the capital once, while both had made numerous visits to the Tindouf camps, will Stewart take the same route? read more

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Canadian economy posts weakest back-to-back quarters of growth since 2015

OTTAWA – Canada’s economy expanded at an annualized pace of just 0.4 per cent in the first three months of the year, giving the country its weakest back-to-back quarters of growth since 2015.Statistics Canada says the real gross domestic product reading for the first quarter follows a revised reading of just 0.3 per cent in the previous quarter.Following a 0.2% decline in February, gross domestic product increased 0.5% in March 2019. https://t.co/TeectjltUK #GDP pic.twitter.com/LYzxiCpPbb— Statistics Canada (@StatCan_eng) May 31, 2019The first-quarter reading was slightly higher than the prediction of the Bank of Canada, which has stressed the slowdown was temporary and that growth has been accelerating in the second quarter.The report says downward pressure on growth was driven by weakness in net trade as imports rose and export volumes saw their first quarterly decrease since 2017.Canada saw substantial declines in its exports of farm and fishing products as well as a drop in crude-oil shipments.On the positive side, the agency says overall economic growth was boosted by the highest quarterly level of household spending in two years and the biggest jolt of business investment in equipment and machinery in 23 years. read more

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UN humanitarian chief discusses peace talks with Ugandan President

John Holmes, who is also Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, met Mr. Museveni in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, at the start of the second leg of his African tour.Mr. Holmes described the meeting as “a lively exchange” and said the latest round of peace talks in Juba, southern Sudan, between the Ugandan Government and the LRA topped the discussions, according to a press release issued by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).The peace talks resumed on the weekend, a month after the two sides agreed to extend an agreement on a formal cessation of hostilities – first struck last year – until the end of June.Mr. Holmes said he emphasized to Mr. Museveni the importance of meeting humanitarian needs during the anticipated return process for some of the vast population of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees.“We agreed that the United Nations and the Government of Uganda should work on humanitarian and development issues in the coming years and also enhance partnership to ensure a smooth transition process,” he said.He added that the two men discussed the security situation in Karamoja, one of Uganda’s poorest regions, where there has been escalating violence since November last year. Last month UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour said “the indiscriminate and excessive use of force” by Government forces had led to the deaths of 69 civilians in Karamoja between last November and the end of March.Tomorrow Mr. Holmes is expected to travel to Kitgum district in the north to meet aid workers and local authorities and tour settlement camps for IDPs, including ex-combatants. Kitgum is home to about 260,000 IDPs spread across 23 settlements.Thousands of people have been killed and an estimated 1.5 million others have become displaced in Uganda or neighbouring countries since the LRA insurgency began in 1986. During that time, the rebel group has become notorious for abducting children and then using them as soldiers or porters, while subjecting some to torture and allocating many girls to senior officers in a form of institutional rape.In October 2005 the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued its first-ever arrest warrants against Joseph Kony, the LRA leader, and four of the group’s commanders – Vincent Otti, Okot Odhiambo, Dominic Ongwen and Raska Lukwiya – on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. 14 May 2007The United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator held talks today with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, stressing the importance of protecting civilians and meeting their humanitarian needs during the current peace process between the African country’s Government and the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). read more

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Nuclear terrorism is still urgent risk says UN atomic watchdog chief

“For those of us in the nuclear field, it has become obvious that our work to strengthen nuclear security is both vital and urgent – and that we must not wait for a ‘watershed’ nuclear security event to provide the needed security upgrades,” International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei told the opening session of a three-day conference in London.”Ultimately, our success will only be as strong as our weakest link,” he said, stressing the need for cooperation, assistance, regional and international networks, and the importance of learning from each other.Noting that the terrorist attack against the United States in September 2001 had propelled the rapid and dramatic re-evaluation of the risks of terrorism in all its forms, he categorized four potential nuclear risks: theft of a nuclear weapon; acquisition of nuclear materials to build a device; malicious use of radioactive sources such as a “dirty bomb;” and radiological hazards from attacking or sabotaging a facility or transport vehicle.”These risks are real and current, but they are not all the same,” he told the IAEA’s “International Conference on Nuclear Security: Global Directions for the Future,” underscoring the importance of international cooperation.”While the probability of a nuclear explosive device being acquired and used by terrorists is relatively small, it cannot be dismissed, and the consequences would be devastating,” he said. “On the other hand, a dirty bomb would likely have far less impact in terms of human life, but the relative accessibility of radiological sources makes it more likely that such an event could occur.”The IAEA’s security plan to guard against thefts of nuclear and other radioactive material and protect related facilities against malicious acts rests on the three pillars of prevention, detection and response.The first requires effective physical protection of materials and of related nuclear facilities including strong state accounting systems. The IAEA has provided a range of advisory missions, training workshops and technical guidance documents.The second seeks to ensure that systems are in place to help countries to identify, at an early stage, illicit activity and here, too, the IAEA has been assisting countries from many regions in training customs officials, installing better equipment at border crossings, and ensuring that information on trafficking incidents is shared effectively.The third aims to strengthen programmes to ensure that the response to any illicit activity, including nuclear or radioactive terrorism, is prompt and well coordinated. To date, most such responses have involved helping governments with the recovery of radioactive sources that have been stolen or lost.Since September 2001, working in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America, the IAEA has conducted more than 125 security advisory and evaluation missions, and convened over 100 training courses, workshops and seminars.The agency’s illicit trafficking database shows over 650 confirmed incidents of trafficking in nuclear or other radioactive material since 1993. Last year, nearly 100 such incidents occurred, 11 of which involved nuclear material. read more

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DR Congo vote count on schedule says UN mission there

The mission says that the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), the sole authority permitted to release the vote total, has counted 90 per cent of the ballots from the 30 July elections. Nonetheless, the IEC will not be able to issue provisional results before the originally scheduled deadline of 20 August, the mission reports.In an interview with MONUC, Dieudonné Mirmi, the first reporter of the IEC, stressed how important it was for the Congolese people to remain patient in the meantime, and to disregard the results that appear daily in the local media.“These are partial results and one should not speculate or extrapolate from these data,” said Mr. Mirmi.Meanwhile, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for the DRC, William Lacy Swing, welcomed former Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano in Kinshasa yesterday. Mr. Chissano is serving as Chairman of the International Committee of the Wise, a UN-backed advisory group on the Congolese elections.In an interview with MONUC, Mr. Chissano said he believed the elections had been successful, citing the strong turnout and high level of enthusiasm among the Congolese people.“They recognized the value of the vote, and they recognized this as their right, but they also wanted to participate in choosing their leaders,” he said.In a statement, Chissano and his fellow members of the Committee called on the Congolese to remain calm and patient while the ballot counting continues. During the largely peaceful elections, millions of voters went to some 50,000 polling stations to choose from among 32 candidates for president and more than 9,000 candidates for the National Assembly. read more

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Draft federal government report says bitumen spill effects unknown

by Bob Weber, The Canadian Press Posted Feb 2, 2015 2:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email An unpublished federal report on environmental threats from oil and bitumen pipelines says little is known about the potential toxic effects of oilsands products in oceans, lakes or rivers.“In particular, research on the toxicology of bitumen is lacking,” says the draft report, commissioned in response to concerns raised at the Northern Gateway pipeline hearings.The document comes as Canada debates pipeline proposals for moving large amounts of diluted bitumen from Alberta’s oilsands to refineries and ports on both coasts and into the United States. It was obtained by Greenpeace under freedom-of-information legislation.Although it has been through several versions, the 2013 report has never been released.“A more complete, peer-reviewed report was produced by (Fisheries and Oceans), and will be published in the coming months,” wrote department spokesman David Walters in an email.All drafts of the report warn that the behaviour and effects of bitumen remain largely unknown.“Research on the biological effects of oilsands-related products on aquatic organisms is lacking,” it says.An early draft lays out 10 specific “knowledge gaps” about bitumen and the various substances used to dilute it when it’s pumped through pipelines.“Very little information is available on the physical and chemical characteristics of oilsands-related products following a spill into water,” it says.“A better understanding of the fate and behaviour of these products is critical for assessing the potential risk to aquatic organisms.”More research is needed on what would happens to heavy metals in bitumen in the case of a spill. There is a “lack of information” on how condensate — a lighter hydrocarbon used to dilute bitumen for pumping — would behave in water.The understanding of how chemicals in bitumen would interact with fish should be improved, the report says. Specific research on possible oil impacts on the Pacific, Arctic and Great Lakes is needed.The impact of sunlight, which can make some chemicals in bitumen vastly more harmful, is also unknown, says the report. The combined effect of bitumen and dispersants — chemical agents used to break up oil spilled in water — hasn’t been studied.As well, little is known about the potential impacts of a spill in the Arctic.The early draft of the report examines research on Orimulsion, a Venezuelan product about two-thirds bitumen and one-third water.Studies say Orimulsion tends to sink in fresh water, but remain suspended throughout the water column in salt water. It is also “highly toxic to fish” — 300 times more toxic to embryos than heavy fuel oil.The 61-page draft includes 14 pages of references to peer-reviewed academic studies as well as government and industry publications. They date from 1976 to 2013 and include articles from a wide variety of scientific journals.Walters said new research is already underway.“The information collected during this exercise has already resulted in (the department) providing Canadian universities with funding for five projects related to the effects on fish and shellfish,” he said.The government also recently released research that found bitumen tends to float on sea water, but responds poorly to dispersants and shows “significant” differences from conventional crude.Prominent ecologist David Schindler, whose work is cited in the review, said the real state of knowledge about the potential effects of a bitumen spill is even sketchier than the review suggests.The report adopts a piecemeal, substance-by-substance approach instead of considering the combined effect of all chemicals, he said. It also doesn’t ask what happens if a spill gets under river ice, which has already happened on Alberta’s Athabasca River.“The recommended list of new activities will not solve these shortcomings,” Schindler said in an email. “They are simply recommending more of the same deficient tests, fine for initial screening, not for protecting ecosystems.” Draft federal government report says bitumen spill effects unknown read more

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Repair world in pieces and create world at peace UN chief Guterres

“We are a world in pieces. We need to be a world at peace,” said Mr. Guterres as he presented his annual Report on the work of the Organization ahead of the general debate of the UN General Assembly, in which Heads of State and Government and other high-level representatives from around the world discuss key global issues. He said that the world is seeing insecurity rising, inequality growing, conflict spreading, climate changing, societies fragmenting and political discourse polarizing. The UN chief noted that global anxieties about nuclear weapons are at the highest level since the end of the Cold War due to provocative nuclear and missile tests by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. “The solution must be political. This is a time for statesmanship. We must not sleepwalk our way into war,” he warned, as fiery talk can lead to fatal misunderstandings. On terrorism, the Secretary-General stressed the need to address the roots of radicalization. “It is not enough to fight terrorists on the battlefield,” he said. Stressing the need for “a surge in diplomacy today” and “a leap in conflict prevention for tomorrow,” he said that it is possible to move from war to peace, and from dictatorship to democracy. Only political solutions can bring peace to the unresolved conflicts in Syria, Yemen, South Sudan, the Sahel, Afghanistan and elsewhere. That was why he announced the creation of a high-level advisory board on mediation, he added. On Myanmar, Mr. Guterres said the Asian country’s authorities must end the military operations in Rakhine state, allow unhindered humanitarian access, and address the grievances of the Rohingya Muslims, whose status has been left unresolved for far too long. He went on to take note of State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi’s address today – and her intention to implement the recommendations of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State that was chaired by Kofi Annan within the shortest time possible. On the Israel-Palestine conflict, the two-state solution remains the only way forward, he said. Turning to climate change, Mr. Guterres urged Governments to implement the historic Paris Agreement with greater ambition. “We should not link any single weather event with climate change. But scientists are clear that such extreme weather is precisely what their models predict will be the new normal of a warming world,” he said, noting that mega-hurricanes, superstorms and rain bombs are added to the vocabulary to describe what is happening. While explaining how globalization and technological advances have brought uneven benefits, he also highlighted the dark side of innovation, such as cybersecurity threats as well as the possible negative implications of artificial intelligence and genetic engineering. Lastly, Mr. Guterres said safe migration cannot be limited to the global elite and stressed the need to do more to face the challenges of migration. Refugees, internally displaced persons and migrants are not the problem; the problem lies in conflict, persecution and hopeless poverty. To tackle these challenges, he said, the UN has launched initiatives to reform itself. Looking over the packed General Assembly Hall, he said that the UN is needed, and “multilateralism is more important than ever” when there are competing interests and even open conflict. “We call ourselves the international community; we must act as one,” he concluded. read more

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Cholera surges children in urgent need one month after Idai slammed southern

Zimbabwe: Providing over 60,000 people with information to prevent waterborne diseases; distributing hygiene  kits; rehabilitating water systems; restoring sanitation facilities; providing vital health and nutrition supplies; and, with partners, delivering psychosocial support to vulnerable children in child-friendly spaces. Citing one million children in Mozambique, followed by more than 443,000 in Malawi and 130,000 in Zimbabwe, UNICEF said that the needs of children remain “massive”, including for healthcare, nutrition, education and water assistance.Since the cyclone hit Mozambique, cholera has surged in to 4,600 cases and malaria to 7,500 cases. UNICEF said that any prolonged interruption to essential services could lead to disease outbreaks and spikes in malnutrition – where children are especially vulnerable. “The road to recovery will be long”, asserted Ms. Fore. “It is imperative that humanitarian partners are there every step of the way”. According to the UN Children’s Fund, over 200,000 homes were destroyed in Mozambique alone and because the storm demolished crops just weeks before the harvest, food security is precarious.Meanwhile, as thousands of people remain in evacuation camps, UNICEF expressed particular concern over the more than 130,000 displaced children, mostly in Mozambique and Malawi. “We need to help children and families survive and then get back on their feet”, stressed the UNICEF chief.To support its humanitarian response for children and families affected by the storm and its aftermath in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi over the next nine months, UNICEF has launched an appeal for $122 million.UNICEF response actions to date include: Mozambique: Providing vaccines to immunize 900,000 people against cholera; distributing 500,000 mosquito nets to protect against malaria; and helping to restore Beira’s water supply for 500,000 people.  Malawi:  Providing safe water to more than 53,000 people  and toilets to over 51,000 people; in evacuation centres, provided child friendly spaces, water trucks, toilets, medicines, recreation kits and volunteer teachers. “Children living in crowded shelters or away from their homes are at risk of diseases, exploitation and abuse,” said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director, who visited Mozambique’s busy port city of Beira immediately after the cyclone hit.Luca is bringing urgent aid to families and children who need it most in Mozambique after the worst natural disaster to hit southern Africa in two decades. #CycloneIdai pic.twitter.com/OCIYmHV3aX— UNICEF (@UNICEF) April 13, 2019 read more

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MSC provides smelter conversion update

first_imgMalaysia Smelting Corporation (MSC) is engaged in a project to convert a lead smelter in Port Klang, Malaysia, into a tin smelting plant. The company plans to test-fire the converted furnace by the end of 2018 and start smelting from the plant from the second half of 2019 when it expects to receive environmental approvals.The company’s existing Butterworth tin smelting plant in Penang has been in operation since 1902. It utilises ageing reverberatory furnaces and currently has an annual refined tin production capacity of some 40,000 t. In response to environmental criticism and rising real estate prices in Penang, the company hopes to relocate tin operations to the secondary lead recycling facility in Port Klang, purchased in 2016. The smelting plant, first built in 2000, uses ISASMELT Top Submerged Lance (TSL) technology. Following its conversion, the company anticipates an increase in annual production capacity to up to 60,000 t/y of refined tin. It is intended that both smelting facilities will be run simultaneously until the new plant is operating at full-scale and any technical issues are resolved. All the companies’ production would then move to Port Klang.There are also significant technical and economic benefits to the relocation. The furnace should theoretically lower costs by improving the reliability and effectiveness of the smelting process and the extractive yield, reducing personnel requirements and improving environmental performance through improved energy efficiency and better capture of dust and emissions.The International Tin Association’s view is that “the conversion of the lead smelter’s TSL furnace to tin smelting has not been attempted before, so the project remains subject to significant technical risks. However, it is unlikely that any such technical problems will result in significant disruption to production, with both old and new smelters initially running concurrently, although underinvestment in the existing plant could present a heightened risk of disruption to output until the new smelter is operational. MSC is the world’s largest third largest refined tin producer, with output totalling 27,172 t in 2017.”last_img read more

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Sligo garda raising funds for guide dog charity after mothers freak accident

first_imgA SLIGO GARDA is raising funds for the Irish Guide Dog Association (IGDA) in honour of his mother who lost her sight two years ago in a farming accident.Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Raymond Wims said the incident was “life-changing” for his mother, who, before her accident, was a care worker with the HSE, specialising in care for people with disabilities.“It was just devastating, she went from working fulltime, being a housekeeper, doing the cooking and having full sight one day to no sight the next day and being dependent on other people,” he said.His mother had an operation in London to attempt to reattach her retina but this was unsuccessful and her son said after that “she felt like she did everything she could and was able to move on and deal with it”.In July this year, she received a guide dog called Guinness from the IGDA, and the Sligo garda said this has hugely improved his mother’s quality of life.“It’s just given her more independence and she’s healthier as well because she’s out exercising more and she can make her own way into the local town and go into all the different shops,” he said. “She lives in the country so it’s important for her to be able to navigate the country roads. It’s given her more confidence now and Guinness is a real ice-breaker when she meets people as well.” Monica walking with Guinness and her grandchildren Zara Wims (5) and Max Wims (3).Wims said he decided to raise money for the charity when he saw how hard everyone involved was working.“With what’s been going on with charities lately, people want to know what their money is doing, but I’ve been down in Cork and was happy that it was well run so I’m happy to fundraise for it,” he explained. “It’s a tight operation, there’s no waste and I couldn’t believe it when they told me they only get 20 per cent of their funding from the government.”The association needs €4.4 million a year to operate and 80 per cent of this is collected through fundraising.To contribute to this, celtic rock band ‘More Power to your Elbow’, has recorded a version of the song Molly Malone to raise funds and Wims is working with An Garda Síochana, well known Dublin nightclub Copper Face Jacks and music promotions agency MPI to promote it, with the hope it will raise much-needed funds for the association in the run up to Christmas.The single can be downloaded on iTunes here and all proceeds go to the IGDA.Read: Blind canoeist to paddle the length of the Shannon for charity>Column: Why are over two thirds of blind people in the world women?>last_img read more

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Port of Vancouver seeks tenant for Terminal 5

first_imgThe Port of Vancouver wants to find a business with a desire to build and operate a high-volume marine shipping terminal at a 40-acre site at the port’s Terminal 5.The port issued a request for statements of interest from prospective firms that may want to operate a dry or liquid bulk or auto-transport facility. Submissions are due by 5 p.m. Dec. 23. The terminal sits along a rail loop that was built in 2010 as part of the port’s $275 million West Vancouver Freight Access project. It also has an existing fixed dock and is near the Terminal 4 floating dock that is used for automobile imports.The available property is at the same terminal as the proposed Vancouver Energy oil terminal, but is not the same site. Part of the terminal is currently used for storing wind turbine parts.In a news release, port Chief Marketing and Sales Officer Alastair Smith said there are many potential uses for the site. “Terminal 5 is a very unique property on the U.S. West Coast. The access to river, road and rail is unparalleled; you have the 43-foot-deep Columbia River shipping channel, high-capacity rail and excellent surface transportation access for local as well as interstate deliveries.”For more information, visit: http://bit.ly/2fz612V.last_img read more

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Gambells new health clinic now open to patients

first_imgOne of the blue and white exam rooms in the new Gambell clinic. (Photo: Davis Hovey, KNOM)After several years of providing community health services in an overcrowded building, Norton Sound Health Corporation employees in Gambell now have a bigger and newer space to accommodate the community’s needs.Listen nowAt the new Gambell clinic, there’s a full waiting room of adults and about ten school kids who are taking time off from class to update their physicals.Other patients are visiting the clinic to get a blood test.Channa Koozaata, the lead health aide has been working with the Gambell clinic, in two different buildings, since 2011. As Koozaata showed the freshly painted, blue and white health facility, she exclaimed that the new clinic is significantly bigger than the old clinic.“Oh my gosh, the space is…There was not much space (at the old clinic) and there were more exam rooms than what we have now at the new clinic,” Koozaata said.Despite having fewer exam rooms, Koozaata said the new clinic building can better accommodate more patients, and many of those patients have generally reacted positively to the more modern clinic.In fact, Koozaata recalls that some people when they walk in, forget they’re still on St. Lawrence Island.“Whenever they come in they tell us they feel like they’re not in Gambell, because you know, new building,” Koozaata laughed.Lucy Apatiki is the Vice President for Community Health Services with NHSC and has been living in Gambell her entire life. For Apatiki, the new clinic represents the fulfillment of a dream.“It is a lifelong desire to actually work out of a new facility large enough to serve the population,” Apatiki said. “Yeah for a number of years we’ve had to work out of the old clinic which had very limited space and got really crowded especially when we had people come out – doctors’ visits, supervisors, instructors, providers from different departments”Apatiki also mentioned that the main advocate for the new clinic, who put in about 20 years of time and effort to make this project happen, was June Walunga.Walunga, who is the NSHC Board member for Gambell, was unavailable for comment before the airing of this story.Even though the upgraded health facility is open for business, boxes still need to be unpacked and the old building needs to be decommissioned. As the transition phase is ongoing, Edna Apatiki who works in Behavioral Health Services at the Gambell clinic, has been struggling to complete the online portion of her work.“Because I have some issues with downloading and the computer is locked,” Apatiki said. “We have to tell the technical folks over at Norton Sound, to request services from them”In spite of technical difficulties, Apatiki said she still sees her clients in person and continues her daily activities in a new building that has more reliable water and sewer access.“About transitioning over here, it’s amazing, it’s quite modern here and we don’t have that old carpet anymore, it would collect dust and we’d breathe it in. But we are very fortunate to be here and we’re very happy.”Once the old clinic is decommissioned and the transition is completely done, Lucy Apatiki said she would like for Norton Sound Health Corporation clinics to become more integrated and shift their focus to a newer model of healthcare.“I would like to see a lot more, instead of acute care, branching out to other prevention type healthcare – prenatal, women’s health, I’d really like to focus around that,” Apatiki said. “So that it’s not just all a reaction to what’s coming in, but you know a long term look at empowering the people to take ownership of their own health”One of the 15 other clinics in the area is located in Savoonga, Gambell’s next door neighbor on the island. Savoonga’s new health clinic also officially opened within the last week – it began seeing patients on Monday.last_img read more

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One body recovered in Buriganga boat capsize

first_imgThe body of a woman, who went missing along with five other members of her family following a boat capsize in the Buriganga river in Sadarghat on Thursday, was recovered from the river near Mill Barrack Police Lines area on Friday.The deceased was Jamshida, 20 of Sakhipur in Shariatpur district, reports UNB.The members of navy recovered the body from the spot around 12:30pm, said Abdur Razzak, officer-in-charge of river police.On Thursday, six members of a family went missing when a boat sank near the Sadarghat Launch Terminal around 10:00pm as the launch, ‘MV Suravi-7’ hit it, in the city’s Sadarghat area on Thursday night.Those who went missing were Shahida, 28, her two daughters — Meem, 8, and Mahi 6, her niece Jamshida, 20, Jamshida’s husband Delwar, 35, and their three month old son Junayed.They were residing in Kamrangirchar area of the city and going to the launch terminal to go to their home in Shariatpur district.Shahida’s husband Shahjalal, 35, managed to swim ashore after the incident and got admitted to a hospital as he lost his two legs during the accident.last_img read more

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Sony is shutting down Star Wars Galaxies

first_imgAfter eight years of serving Star Wars fans, Sony Online Entertainment and LucasArts have decided to shut down the Star Wars Galaxies MMO and associated Trading Card Game later this year.No specific reasons have been given for why both parties have decided to do this. Sony has just stated it was a really tough decision, but now it’s set in stone. However, the game is set to go out in style, and Sony have a number of things in mind for existing players.The game servers will be turned off on December 15. Before then, on September 15 you will no longer be able to purchase the trading card game or anything to do with the MMO. This will be followed by an end to all paid subscriptions on October 15, but SOE will allow those users to continue to play for free until the final hours on December 15.SOE has already removed the longer-term subscription plans from the site (3, 6, and 12 month options). Digital card packs for the Trading Card Game have also been removed, If you were signed up for a long-term subscription then expect a pro-rated refund in the next 90 days for whatever time you have left from October 15 onwards.If you do have an existing subscription then it’s worth hanging around until the end in December. SOE is planning a galaxy-ending event of which details will appear in the coming months. SOE is making it clear this will be an event to remember and one it wants all players to be present for.As an added bonus, and an attempt by SOE to get you to switch subscription next year, any player with an active Star Wars Galaxies account can start playing any and all of the following games from October 15 to December 31 for free, but with the same status as a paying subscriber: Free RealmsStar Wars: Clone Wars AdventureEverQuestEverQuest IIDC UniverseStar Wars Galaxies players will no doubt be upset by this news, but they can get their gaming fix elsewhere for a while safe in the knowledge a replacement Star Wars MMO is on the way. BioWare’s Star Wars: The Old Republic is set for release hopefully before the end of this year, and if not then definitely next year.Keep an eye on the SWG Forums for more details about the death of the game and what to expect in the run up to it happening.last_img read more

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Palawans El Nido Resorts lands on Travel Leisure US cover

first_imgT+L August.Photo courtesy of El Nido Resorts El Nido Resorts has landed the cover of one of the most influential travel magazines in the world, Travel + Leisure, in its World’s Best Awards August issue. El Nido Resorts sandbar shot by Francisco Guerrero, a Filipino photographer whose works have landed the covers of previous issues of both Travel + Leisure and Conde Nast Traveller, is highly prominent on the issue’s cover.Emerging to be the best island in the world, Palawan’s page in the issue shows the image of the famed Big Lagoon of Miniloc Island, one of the major highlights in the scenic and lush location of Bacuit Bay in El Nido, Palawan.“It is with great pride that El Nido Resorts was chosen as the cover of the Travel + Leisure US’s World’s Best Awards 2013 Issue this August. It brings recognition not only to our resorts and all the staff who have formed part of the protection and preservation of its natural beauty, but also to Palawan and the Philippines. It certainly gives a boost to the Department of Tourism’s efforts in showing the world that “It’s More Fun in the Philippines,” as it reaches an even larger market,” said Laurent Lamasuta, President of El Nido Resorts.The sustainable eco-islands of El Nido Resorts in Palawan have been drawing attention from the world travel industry, for its efforts in leading the protection of the environment and enriching the lives of the local community. Testament of which is the resort’s recent Tourism for Tomorrow Community Benefit Award by the World Travel & Tourism Council earlier this year.Before winning this prestigious award, El Nido Resorts was also named by The Wall Street Journal Magazine as the “Philippines’s best-kept travel secret,” CNN’s “9 Top Beach Resorts in South China Sea,” and The New York Times’ “Destinations to watch this 2013,” while Pangulasian Island, the newest eco-luxury resort of the group, was named one of the Best New Hotels in the World by Conde Nast Traveller“El Nido Resorts has received continuous accolades from the top media outfits and the tourism industry around the world, and we are proud to have our eco-islands, Miniloc, Lagen, Apulit, and Pangulasian, at the forefront of sustainable tourism,” says Joey Bernardino, Director of Sales and Marketing. Source = El Nido Resortslast_img read more

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Saudi Arabia set to open embassy in Nicosia

first_imgThe cabinet is set to approve in its next meeting the opening of an embassy of Saudi Arabia in Cyprus, it was reported on Monday.According to daily Politis, Saudi Arabia officially filed a request to the government for the opening of an embassy in Nicosia, which is to be discussed in the upcoming cabinet meeting. The answer is expected to be positive.The request, the daily said, follows the official visit of President Nicos Anastasiades to Riyadh last month. It was the first official visit of a Cypriot president to Saudi Arabia since the establishment of the Republic in 1960.At the moment Saudi Arabia is represented in Cyprus through its ambassador to Athens. Cyprus opened an embassy in Saudi Arabia in 2015.During Anastasiades’ visit to Riyadh, the two countries signed a number of bilateral agreements including the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of tax evasion.A Memorandum of Understanding was also signed on political consultations between the foreign ministries of the two countries.You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndoKelley Blue Book10 Electric Cars That Last the LongestKelley Blue BookUndo Turkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoThree arrested in connection with hotel theftsUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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