Kenyan star Rudisha out of world championships

first_imgThose conditions have not yet been met in full, and several important steps remain outstanding, he said.“I can confirm that our impression is that they really want to meet all the criteria that has been set,” Andersen insisted.“We need to work with Russia, RusAF and the authorities to remedy (the problems) and meet the criteria.“The main issue is that no meaningful testing is being conducted.”The Russian anti-doping agency (RUSADA), which Andersen said used to carry out 19,000 tests a year — a figure currently down to a couple of thousand — is also “still not code compliant (with WADA)… it needs to be reinstated”.There has been an evident culture of change, Andersen added, “but they haven’t demonstrated that this is in place”.The Norwegian also said that Russian authorities have still not acknowledged the McLaren report that pointed the finger at the state-sponsored doping. “That needs to be resolved,” he said.“We haven’t outlined in details to RusAF or Russian authority on how they deal with this acknowledgement or possible rebuttal of the findings in the McLaren report,” said Andersen.“I think that needs to be delivered by the Russians.“It’s difficult to get an excuse, but we need some sort of an explanation on how they deal with this report in the most effective way.”Andersen, who stuck with the timeline of a Russian return to international action in November, said the report was “not something they put away and say it was falsified” as they have done in the past “from the very top level down”. “We’ll see how we move forward on that.” London, United Kingdom | AFP |  Kenya’s David Rudisha’s hopes of adding world 800 metres gold to the Olympic title he won in a world record time at the same track in the 2012 London Olympics have been dashed because of injury.The 28-year-old — who ran an astonishing time of 1min 40.91sec to take gold in 2012 — took to Twitter to reveal he could not take his place in the London Stadium for the championships.“It’s sad and disappointing to announce my no show in the forthcoming #london2017 WC due to a quad muscle strain,” tweeted Rudisha, who was the defending champion.The absence of the two-time Olympic champion — whose run in 2012 was acclaimed as the standout performance of the Games by London 2012 chairman and athletics great Sebastian Coe — could pave the way for compatriot Emmanuel Korir or the man who chased him home in London in 2012, Nijel Amos of Botswana. The championships get underway on Friday.IAAF upholds Russia banRussia remains banned from international track and field competition after the IAAF ruled Monday that it had not made sufficient progress in its anti-doping fight to merit reinstatement.Russia was accused in a World Anti-Doping Agency report last year of widespread state-sponsored doping. Its athletics team was barred from last summer’s Rio Olympics and will also miss the IAAF World Championships that get under way in London on Friday.A number of Russian athletes, however, have been granted permission by the IAAF to compete as neutrals after meeting the exceptional eligibility criteria, essentially demonstrating that they’ve come through transparent anti-doping testing.IAAF president Sebastian Coe confirmed that 19 Russian athletes were in London to compete at the worlds.But the country remains excluded as a whole after the Council of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), meeting in London, voted unanimously to maintain the ban on the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF).“The report has been unanimously approved by the Council,” confirmed Rune Andersen, independent chairman of the IAAF Taskforce looking into doping in Russia.“Material progress has been made but there are still issues that need to be resolved” in terms of reaching several of the conditions established by Council for reinstatement of RusAF to IAAF membership. Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

Zidane tells Real Madrid to adopt World Cup mentality for La Liga finish

first_imgReal are playing at the Alfredo di Stefano Stadium to allow renovation work to continue at the Santiago Bernabeu this summer.The capacity is only 6,000 which would mean far fewer fans could attend if the ban is relaxed.“My players want to play in front of an audience and right now, there isn’t one,” Zidane said. “But if those in charge say we can, well then we’ll see. I have been a player and I prefer to play with fans. But it is not an excuse, we are going to play well.”Eden Hazard has been included in the squad to face Eibar after he was able to use the break to recover from a foot injury and Marco Asensio is also available again after rupturing his cruciate ligaments last year.But Zidane said striker Luka Jovic could miss the run-in after injuring his foot at home and Lucas Vazquez is also out. Share on: WhatsApp Madrid, Spain | AFP | Zinedine Zidane wants Real Madrid to treat their remaining 11 games in La Liga like a World Cup as they aim to overhaul Barcelona to win their second league title in eight years.Real sit two points behind Barca and return after three months away against Eibar on Sunday, when they will play in their new training ground home at the Alfredo di Stefano Stadium.La Liga is due to finish on July 19, meaning there will be fixtures every day while clubs will be in action almost every three days for five and a half weeks.Asked if felt like the start of a World Cup, Zidane said on Saturday: “I like the comparison, I buy into it. My players know what it’s like to play in the final stages of a World Cup or European Championship.“The important thing is the preparation and I think we have prepared very, very well. Our first match starts tomorrow and we will give everything. I have faith what we have done with the players and now we have to show it on the field.”La Liga matches are being played behind closed doors because of the coronavirus pandemic, although league president Javier Tebas has said stadiums could be allowed to be 10 to 15 per cent full before the end of the season.“I don’t like playing without fans, that’s my opinion,” Zidane said. “But as always, we have to adapt. This is the situation. There is a government with people who do their work and we have to do ours.”center_img Real Madrid play Eibar on Sunday as they return to the La Liga title race after three months awaylast_img read more

Care to Give Council Gives Back to the Community

first_imgRED BANK – The Care to Give Council (formerly the Riverview Medical Center Auxiliary) is a dynamic and welcoming volunteer organization dedicated to working with Riverview Medical Center and Bayshore Com­munity Hospital to advance the quality of health care in the community.Since its establishment in 1929, the Riverview Medical Center Auxiliary has played an integral role in raising funds for the hospital; and as Bay­shore Community Hospi­tal, Riverview’s sister organization, joined Meridian Health in 2010, the River­view Auxiliary merged with Bayshore’s establishing the Care to Give Council (CTGC).The Care to Give Coun­cil’s mission is to raise funds and awareness for the technologies and services at both hospitals. For more than 84 years, the council’s fundraising efforts have contributed thousands of dollars for state-of-the-art technologies, facilities and services that enhance patient care.During the past year and a half, the council has donated approximately $50,000 to benefit patients at the Riverview Medical Center and Bayshore Community Hospital. These funds allowed for the purchase of robes and totes to provide physical and emotional warm­th for patients awaiting diagnostic treatment. This generosity helps make it possible to continue advancing the facilities cancer center by keeping up with the most modern treatments available.The Cancer Center and Women’s Center, which have been the recipient of the Care to Give Council’s donations in the past, provides a full continuum of care for patients including family risk assessments, clinical trials, diagnostic imaging and diagnosis through the use of PET/CT scans, breast MRI, endoscopic ultrasound, digital mammography and other various screenings. Treatment is then administered through the latest chemo- and immuno-therapy options, radiation therapy using the region’s only Cyber­Knife System and numerous other options particular to each patient’s needs.The Care to Give Council hosts numerous events through­out the year, such as its signature 300-person Party for Pink which benefits Paint the Town Pink, as well as a biannual art show and luncheons. Other less formal functions, such as walks and “get-togethers,” also exist.Sally Harris, here with her husband Norman, will be honored at the Care to Give Council’s Party for Pink on May 31 at the Navesink Country Club.For the third consecutive year, CTGC will host Party for Pink to benefit the Pink Fund on Friday, May 31, at the Navesink Country Club. The Pink Fund provides free mam­mography to uninsured and underinsured women in the community. This year’s event will honor Tria Deibert of Riverview Medical Center and the inspiration behind Paint the Town Pink, now in its seventh year, and Sally Harris of Ocean Grove, the very first volunteer to support Paint the Town Pink.Deibert will receive the Vision Award, sponsored by Peter T. Hetzler, M.D. FACS. “As a husband, a father, a surgeon, and a community member, I am inspired by the way Tria Deibert and Sally Harris have brought our communities together, and empowered women to fight this disease that has so deeply affected my family and our patients,” Hetzler said.The community has truly embraced the mission of the Care to Give Council and Party for Pink. Presenting sponsor, femme by Ashley, Red Bank, saw the need to support the women in her community. “As a new mom I can’t imagine not being there for my child. The medical progress that has been made in fighting breast cancer is amazing and early detection has made such a difference in so many women’s lives. I am once again honored to support Meridian Health’s, Paint the Town Pink’s, and The Care to Give Council’s united mission of creating awareness about annual mammography and making a difference in the lives of women in our community.”Since her diagnosis in 2006, Harris has been a passionate voice in the fight against breast cancer. An advocate for an annual mammogram and prevention; she was one of the first women to be featured in and participate in Paint the Town Pink.“The Care to Give Council will forever be grateful for her dedication to this cause and we are proud to honor her for everything she has done for us, our mothers, our daughters, our sisters, and our friends,” said Kelli O’Brien, Party for Pink chairwoman.Sally’s husband and big­gest fan Norman agrees. “Sally is a giver and a doer. She has been involved in volunteer work forever. Pink Bank was just the right thing at the right time and she has been committed to fight breast cancer in this way, through this journey,” he said.Visit PainttheTownPink. com or call 855-PINK411 for more details about Party for Pink and to purchase tickets.The Care to Give Council offers an exciting and reward­ing opportunity to volunteer and learn new skills, meet new friends, explore new interests and gain personal satisfaction. There are many ways to get involved. Volun­teer efforts are welcome whether on a regular basis, or for a particular special event or service project. Care to Give Council committee work and special events appeal to a wide range of interests and talents.“Most volunteers say the greatest reward is the personal fulfillment of supporting worthwhile causes, helping to make our community a better one, and assisting people at their time of need,” O’Brien said.For more information about the Care to Give Council call 732-888-7343.last_img read more

SANTA ANITA DONATES VINTAGE STEINWAY PIANO TO ARCADIA PERFORMING ARTS FOUNDATION; MANUFACTURED IN 1908, GRAND PIANO GRACED TRACK’S CHANDELIER ROOM FOR DECADES

first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (March 30, 2016)–Ensconced for decades in Santa Anita’s luxurious Chandelier Room, a vintage Steinway Grand Piano has been donated by Santa Anita to the Arcadia Performing Arts Foundation, located on the campus of Arcadia High School.“We are extremely excited about this extraordinary donation to the Arcadia Performing Arts Foundation by Santa Anita Park,” said Gary Kovacic, Arcadia Mayor and President/CEO of the Arcadia Performing Arts Foundation. “This piece of Arcadia history will find a loving home at the Arcadia Performing Arts Center, and it will continue to provide musical magic to Arcadia students, residents and theatre patrons for generations to come.”Arcadia Unified School District Superintendent David Vannasdall was equally appreciative.“I know our students will absolutely love playing this beautiful Steinway Grand Piano,” said Vannasdall. “It’s such a great opportunity that we can now offer our students for years to come, thanks to Santa Anita.”Manufactured in 1908, this magnificent instrument provided melodic background music to generations of race-goers that included legendary Hollywood figures such as Clark Gable, Betty Davis, the Marx Brothers, John Wayne, Fred Astaire, Judy Garland, Marlene Dietrich and many others.“We are delighted to be able to donate this beautiful instrument to such a worthy cause as the Arcadia Performing Arts Center,” said Pete Siberell, Santa Anita’s Director of Community Services and Special Projects. “To think of all the many thousands of people this piano has helped to entertain, it’s only fitting that it remain close by, here in Arcadia.”Santa Anita’s Chandelier Room, which was part of a recent $35 million renovation, remains a popular race day destination for weekend race goers and offers an ambiance befitting Santa Anita’s standing in the racing world.last_img read more

Some Christian Colleges Love Darwin More than Jesus

first_img“If you love me, keep my commandments,” Jesus said.  He told his disciples to expect persecution.  He commanded them to take up their cross and follow him, explaining that as the world hated him, it would hate them.  Counting the cost, the early disciples did indeed love and follow him to the death.    In the intervening 2,000 years, disciples of Jesus Christ have flourished around the world.  Institutions of higher learning have been among their varied achievements.  The University itself is arguably a bequest of the Christian world view to modern civilization.    Less than 150 years ago, another man garnered disciples.  This man, Charles Darwin, lost his faith in the Bible and replaced his world view with one involving chance, necessity and purposelessness.  Some followers have combined Darwin’s mechanical process of natural selection with forms of religious faith, such as deism and theistic evolution, but none of these coexist easily with the Bible’s account of miracles, especially Christ’s resurrection from the dead.  Christ Jesus himself spoke of Adam and Eve and Noah as real people and their stories as real historical events.  Attempts to harmonize the teachings of Jesus with those of Darwin have been as problematic as combining iron with clay.  At one end of the theological spectrum, theistic evolutionists, wishing to hold the Bible in one hand and The Origin of Species in the other, have try to reinterpret what Jesus meant by what he said, or have had to diminish his divinity.  At the other end, Biblical creationists have called out, like Joshua, “Choose you this day whom you will serve,” arguing that there can be no compromise.    Today, some Christian colleges and universities are choosing or have chosen whom they will serve.  If actions speak louder than words, let the news coming from three ostensibly Christian colleges, representing three different denominations, illustrate the tension between Christ and Darwin when it comes to loyalty and willingness to bear the reproach of Christ (see Hebrews 13:13).Olivet Nazarene College in Illinois is a battleground over Christ and Darwin, indicated Sharon Begly in a Newsweek column entitled, “Can God Love Darwin, Too?”  She illustrated the tension on campus over professor Richard Colling and his theistic evolutionist beliefs.  Colling, who wrote a book called Random Designer, which by its very title reveals his attempt to harmonize Darwinian randomness with the creative power of God, is the target of outrage by Nazarene churches and parents over his unorthodox position.  The furor resulted in the college president recently banning other professors from assigning Colling’s book.  That’s not enough, feel some Nazarene parents and pastors who are calling for Colling’s dismissal.  His supporters, meanwhile, are decrying the decision as a breach of academic freedom.    Begley mentioned other professors who are joining in the attempt to “save Darwin” from the “godless” rap.  She described the opinions of other theistic evolutionist professors and scholars, like Arthur Peacocke, who died last year.  He had tried to argue that God showed his humility by voluntarily limiting his omnipotence, submitting his creation to Darwin’s mechanism of random mutation and natural selection as the means of creation.  “Thank God for Evolution,” is the call to worship from Michael Dowd, an itinerant preacher, who runs a website with that slogan and mixes the Jesus fish with the Darwin fish.  He preaches a doctrine of “evolutionary spirituality.”    As for Colling, he appears to justify his belief by attributing any and all doubt to the Bible, not to Darwin.  Begley said, “He explained that ‘evolution has stood the test of time and considerable scrutiny,’ and that evolution through random mutation and natural selection is ‘fully compatible with’ faith.”  Faith in what? is the begged question: the miracles of Christ?  His resurrection?  His claims to the historicity of Adam and Eve?  Colling’s certitude about random evolution seems to suggest what his answer would be.    Robert Crowther commented on Begley’s column at Evolution News.  According to an article by Kurt Wise at Answers in Genesis, the teachings of professors like Colling at Olivet Nazarene College is turning many Bible-believing freshman into theistic evolutionist seniors.Baylor University, a Southern Baptist institution in Texas, reopened old wounds this month.  Seven years ago, the university had ousted intelligent-design theorist William Dembski and his Michael Polanyi Center for the study of intelligent design, because of protests by science faculty over charges he was dragging religion into science (see commentary from Oct. 2000 by Answers in Genesis).  Though intelligent design is arguably as distinct from literal belief in the Bible as a phylum from a genus, even that very unspecified, generic suggestion of divine intent was drummed out of Baylor in 2000.  Now, a distinguished professor of Bioinformatics, Dr. Robert Marks, has had a similar fate.  The events were described by Anika Smith at Evolution News on Sept. 6, and by Robert Crowther on Sept. 9.  The story also made the Waco Tribune on Sept. 9.    Dr. Marks had participated in a podcast with the ID think tank, the Discovery Institute (see ID the Future), on July 20.  In the interview, he cast doubt on the Darwinian mechanism’s ability to account for specified complexity, and referred to Dembski’s book No Free Lunch in agreement.  This summer, Marks had set up a Baylor website describing his research in bioinformatics.  Casting doubt on Darwinism was apparently too much for the university.  After some initial waffling from certain administrators, the university pulled the website without explanation and forbade Marks from describing his research as something Baylor sponsored.  No such restrictions applied to the pro-Darwin science faculty and their research websites.  Some of them presumably pressured the administration to back off from this latest attempt to cede an inch to intelligent design.  Dr. Marks’ disputed website has now been hosted by a third party, Evolutionary Informatics, with an added disclaimer, “The material on this Web site does not necessarily represent the views of, and has not been reviewed or approved by, Baylor University or any other of the employers of the participants in the Evolutionary Informatics Lab.”    William Dembski blogged on the story at Uncommon Descent on Sept. 6 and Denyse O’Leary Sept. 14.  Anika Smith at Evolution News claimed that academic freedom has been expelled from Baylor – at least when it comes to intelligent design.  Evolution News posted a satire with a picture of Dr. Robert Marks leaning over a huge pile of his publications, with the caption, “Will this man ruin the scholarly reputation of your university?”Southern Methodist University science professors had vivid words for those wanting to discuss Darwinism vs intelligent design on that campus: “You don’t have to teach both sides of a debate if one side is a load of crap.”  Casey Luskin tells the story on Evolution News.  Not only did SMU refuse to allow a debate over intelligent design on campus, it offered a new course called “The Scientific Method – Critical and Creative Thinking (Debunking Pseudoscience).”  Intelligent Design is apparently the target of that charge of pseudoscience, because every assigned reference was pro-evolution and anti-intelligent design.  “There is not a single article by an ID-proponent to balance out the 3 dozen or so articles that they list in this ‘Intelligent Design’ section,” Luskin said.    Chief among the anti-ID professors at SMU is professor John Wise, who described God’s role this way: “If we have evolution, we no longer need a Creator to create each and every species.  Darwinism is dangerous because it infers that God did not directly and purposefully create us.  It simply states that we evolved.”  He has called his opponents “IDiots,” giving the shovel to what he considers a load of intellectual refuse.  It should come as no surprise that the university website and mission statement describe the institution’s academic reputation, but say nothing about loyalty to Jesus Christ.   The “Methodist” in the name today seems to have little to do with the 18th-century revival fervor of John and Charles Wesley.  The information page merely acknowledges that the university was founded by Methodists in 1911, but quickly follows with the buzzwords of academic correctness: “The University is nonsectarian in its teaching and committed to freedom of inquiry.”  No Statement of Faith is provided.  Apparently SMU is CIMO – Christian in name only.Only a few Christian colleges remain loyal to Jesus Christ as presented in the Scriptures: the fulfiller of prophecy, the miracle worker, the teacher who affirmed Genesis 1-11, God’s Son who rose from the dead, the Creator who incarnated himself in his creation.  Among these are Bob Jones University, The Master’s College, Liberty University, Grace College, Bryan College, and Cedarville University.  Most others seem content to relegate their “designer” to an uninvolved role at the origin of the universe – someone who does not “intervene” in the ongoing processes of nature.  Yet is not Christ’s incarnation, as taught in the Bible, the ultimate example of God’s intervention into nature and the affairs of man?    Numerous secular universities today, like Princeton and Yale, were founded long ago by Christians to promote the gospel.  Over the years, their focus shifted from loyalty to Jesus Christ to a desire for academic respectability.  This included allegiance to the leading scientific theory of the day, Darwinism.  The academic credentials of professors became more important than their beliefs about Jesus.  These three colleges appear to be at various stages of that same trend.  In their eagerness to promote their campuses as paragons of academic respectability, these ostensibly Christian institutions glow with blurbs about their academic reputations, while hastening to distance themselves from ideas unpopular in secular academia, chiefly “intelligent design” or (God forbid) “creationism” – even though Jesus Christ is described as the Creator in at least three places in the New Testament, by three different writers (John 1:1-3, Colossians 1:16-18, Hebrews 1:1-3), and Jesus identified himself with the titles of God (e.g., John 8, John 10).  One would think Christ’s words, therefore, would be considered authoritative at an institution that bears his name.Jesus wept (Luke 13:34-35, Matthew 15:14, John 12:42-46).    Let these universities at least be honest about their loyalty.  Let them rename themselves after their idol.  How about Huxley College (sports team, the Huxley Hucksters), Random House, or Southern Methodological Naturalism Multiversity?    Darwin is the Baal of our time.  The syncretists think they can have it both ways, Baal and Jehovah.  Compromise on God’s word has always produced theological disaster and the judgment of God (e.g., II Kings 17).  College presidents, choose you this day (Joshua 23, I Kings 18, I Kings 22, Acts 4, Hebrews 11:24-26).(Visited 18 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

The Problem With A 100-Word Privacy Policy

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting adam popescu Tags:#privacy#security 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Last Thursday a new bill was introduced by California Assemblymember Ed Chau that seeks to cut legalese in online privacy policies to a minimum and give people easy-to-digest policies.From the bill itself:“The privacy policy required by this section shall be no more than 100 words and shall be written in clear and concise language at no greater than an eighth grade reading level. The privacy policy shall include a statement indicating whether the personally identifiable information may be sold or shared with others, and if so, how and with whom the information may be shared.”  Assembly Bill 242 proposed by California Assemblymember Ed Chau (D-Alhambra).It sounds good. It really does. A privacy policy in 100 words or less, in simple language that even an eighth grader could understand. But is this a realistic answer to industry concerns, or just the latest in a slew of half-baked attempts by lawmakers to tackle the privacy issue? Does the bill have a chance of passing – and if so, would it be the answer to very public privacy problems?  Maybe we’ve finally discovered the holy grail of privacy. But wait. Don’t sip from the chalice just yet.CautionWhile it’s true people often skip over lengthy policy documents because they’re lengthy, limiting the amount of words may do more harm than expected, by shackling and curbing just what developers and creators can tell consumers. And, long or short, people are going to skip disclosure policies.That’s not the issue with which we should be concerned. Our concerns should lie in just what personal data our feudal lords are sharing with third parties and what kind of data retention policies they’re practicing. That’s the inherent problem with our security. Not how long the text of the policy is.Jim Fenton, the chief security officer of digital identity service OneID, says the data-use issue is the real problem with the bill, which “doesn’t include information about how the recipient of the data may use it and how long any of the personally identifiable information may be kept.”Parker Higgins, a free speech activist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation calls the new bill a “stunt, plain and simple.” He says a word count basically guarantees writing a bad privacy policy for users.“You can’t write a good privacy policy in 100 words, but you can write a bad one,” Higgins said. “It’s a real problem that privacy policies are too long and hard for most people to understand. But a limit of 100 words is not a real solution. A privacy policy that isn’t appropriately tailored to the actual data use is bad for users.”Higgins isn’t the only one in the space who remains unconvinced. “This proposal is a bad joke, though it’s not very funny,” added Eric Goldman, an Internet law professor at Santa Clara University’s School of Law.Better SolutionsGoldman thinks the bill has a very low chance of passage and believes there are better options to shortening privacy policies. One is enacting new legal immunity to protect websites from being sued over what he calls “minor and inconsequential privacy breaches or omissions in a privacy policy” (ironically, most policies are written in legalese to fend off aggressive litigators, not to enlighten consumers). Goldman also cited efforts to develop logos and icons as ways to save space and eliminate text.Brian Draves, OneID’s general counsel offers another option to improving the legislation. He posits that “a better solution would be to enforce a set of required disclosures at the beginning of each policies.” Draves thinks this notification would be easier to understand for consumers than limiting text to word counts.“Our goal is to engage the public by creating a dialogue,” Chau wrote in an email to ReadWrite, encouraging interested parties to visit the Assemblyman’s website. Such dialogue could improve this bill, or lay the foundation for something better down the road.Image courtesy of Shutterstock Related Posts last_img read more

21 days agoSouthgate says Man City whiz Foden not ready for England

first_imgSouthgate says Man City whiz Foden not ready for Englandby Paul Vegas21 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveGareth Southgate says Phil Foden isn’t ready for an England call-up.Raheem Sterling vouched for his young Manchester City teammate after his goal in Tuesday’s win over Dinamo Zagreb.Despite the snub, Southgate believes the talented attacking midfielder is at the right place to develop.”Every player has a different journey,” said Southgate.”Some go straight into a Premier League team, others have been in the lower divisions and worked their way up, and Tammy Abraham has been at a big club and then had the loan moves.”There’s no perfect path, it doesn’t exist. It’s different for them all. Phil Foden’s training with great players every day. He’s still young and developing physically, and sometimes it’s not right to put them in too soon.”You can’t put young players in just to put young players in. We’ve only put them in because we think they’re good enough.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Albertas wine war with BC uncorks criticism

first_imgReaction is pouring in after pipeline politics escalated into a wine war between Alberta and British Columbia.Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has announced the province will ban imports of B.C. wine effective immediately.It’s in retaliation to the B.C. decision to limit how much diluted bitumen can be shipped to the coast, which ultimately affects the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.Bin 905 Wine & Spirits General Manager Geoff Last understands Notley is obligated to do what she can to help the energy sector, but he said this will fall at the feet of vintners.“While it outwardly may seem to be a glamorous industry, they still have to work really hard to make a profit,” he explained. “Things are run fairly tight, especially in Canada where it’s a small industry.”He doesn’t expect the ban to impact local retailers.“Our B.C. section, I could replace those with European wines tomorrow,” said Last. “If all of these came off the shelf tomorrow, by Friday I could fill that space no problem, that’s not the issue.”But Mark Von Schellwitz, Vice President of Restaurants Canada Western Canada, said the move will punish small businesses and consumers.“We certainly don’t believe that using Alberta consumers and B.C. businesses as pawns and pitting them against each other in a provincial trade war makes much sense,” he said, adding it sets a dangerous precedent.“Here we are, we’re trying to renegotiate NAFTA, we’ve successfully just negotiated a trade agreement with Europe, the TPP, and yet we have these internal trade disputes that we can’t seem to resolve,” said Von Schellwitz.Notley estimated 17 million bottles of B.C. wines worth $70-million were sent to Alberta last year, however some experts think the retail value was more than double that.B.C. Premier John Horgan released a statement urging Alberta to step back from this threatening position saying the province can make its argument in the court system.He added he stands with B.C. wine producers and will respond to the unfair trade actions.last_img read more

Fresh hurdles to Afghan peace

first_imgAfghan peace effort has hit a strange speed breaker over the composition and size of representation, especially the insistence of the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani of a list of 250 participants including around 50 women, according to a senior government official. This is in contrast to the list of 243 people announced by Qatar. All this caused a postponement of the dialogue which was scheduled to begin in the Qatari capital Doha. A disgusted Sultan Barakat, director of Qatar’s Center for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies, tweeted “this is unfortunately necessary to further build consensus as to who should participate in the conference”. The Center has been sponsoring the dialogue that began in the tail end of 2018. Also Read – A special kind of bondThe most pessimistic in the US peace envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad who in a video message to some Afghan youth in the US embassy to Kabul made no bones of his despair: “No serious steps have been taken over intra-Afghan dialogue as well as there is no development for a prominent ceasefire and end of war.” He also tweeted in a mellowed tone “We’re in touch with all parties and encouraged that everyone remains committed to dialogue. I urge all sides to seize the moment and put things back on track by agreeing to a participant list that speaks for all Afghans.” However, he hastened to add, “Dialogue is and always will be key to a political roadmap and lasting peace. There is no alternative. I urge all sides to seize the moment and put things back on track by agreeing to a participant list that speaks for all Afghans. I stand ready to help if our help is needed.” Also Read – Insider threat managementNonetheless, the setback to the Afghan peace efforts is no surprise in as much as it’s a complicated process for which the US authorities are solely responsible, although the US President Donald Trump cannot be blamed. It is a hangover, imposed by his predecessors. Rather he took up the compulsion of the reality when he decided to initiate the process three days after his decision to withdraw from Syria (20 December 2018) that led to resignation of the US defence secretary James Mattis. Sticking to his stand, Trump told CBS on 23 December, ‘We’ll see what happens with the Taliban. They want peace. They’re tired. Everybody’s tired. I don’t like endless wars. What we’re doing has got to stop at some point.’ In September 2018, Khalilzad was picked up as Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation to refresh the dialogue with the Taliban that began in July last year. A US citizen, he is a Pashtun, belonging to the Noorzai tribe. He headed a department of the US think-tank RAND Corporation in the late 1990s and negotiated security arrangements for the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline project with the Taliban, then in power. His first diplomatic experience was participation as a representative in Afghanistan at the start of the US intervention in 2001. However, the former Afghan President, Hamid Karzai is not pessimistic and feels strongly that the intra-Afghan dialogue on Afghan peace has no spokes ahead. Addressing the delegates at the three-day Eighth Moscow Conference on International Security, he said, “The second intra-Afghan meeting which was already organised, will be likely held in the near future in Qatar. This is a kind of comprehensive format and should be continued. ” But like the Taliban, Karzai calls his successor in Kabul as ‘a US puppet’. The Moscow initiative is to a considerable extent a diplomatic panacea. Karzai who looks forward to a joint initiative by the US, Russia, and China on Afghanistan is to be treated as consequences of the defeat of terrorists in Syria imposing an assessment of threats to return militants to Africa and Asia which was analysed at the Moscow Conference. Actually, a plenary session was devoted to the Middle East topics, the consequences of the defeat of ISIS in Syria as also a political settlement and post-conflict reconstruction therein An important aspect seems to be the assessment of the threat of the return of terrorist terrorists to Africa and Asia, the problems of illegal migration and thus Afghan impasse was discussed. The Chief Executive of Afghanistan Abdullah Abdullah considers the Taliban as ‘the obstacle’ to a solution. The Taliban whose base area is not more than one-third of Afghanistan are still in touch with Al-Qaeda and other terrorists. In a detailed interview, he described Talibans as essentially a ‘terrorist’ outfit and ‘not a political entity’. The Taliban had previously refused to hold direct talks with Ghani’s government. Small wonder, Taiban leaders characterise Abdullah as a ‘comie’. Revolutionary postures notwithstanding, the Talibans are looking up to Washington – a realisation that a fatigue casts shadow over the highly risky guerrilla life. In an eight-minute audiotape, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who was released from Pakistan jail a few months back has assured Afghans of a peace settlement. “If [Afghans] think of us as brothers, I trust in God that all the problems will be solved,” Baradar said, speaking in Pushto. “I ask all our countrymen to be sure there is no need to worry. Everyone will be treated very well.” But they are to face up to resistance from the steadily growing woman rights groups that stress tradition of modernity and gender equality. Khalida Khorsand a women’s rights activist who was up against religious authorities’ ban on Valentine’s Day in Herat, her hometown and the capital of a large province of the same name in western Afghanistan bordering Iran , expressed concern over the mushrooming Islamic madrasahs that push Afghanistan back toward conservative values in the name of tradition and Islamic teachings. (The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more