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Trudeau leans on Trump to help Canadians detained in China at G20

first_imgOTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is leaving for a major international summit in Japan this morning, hoping to make progress, or at least find allies, in a multi-front dispute with China.The G20 leaders’ summit in Osaka comes at a critical moment for Trudeau, months ahead of the October election and as Canada continues to push for the release of two Canadians in China’s custody — Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor.China detained the two, a former diplomat and an entrepreneur, days after Canada arrested Chinese high-tech executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver on a U.S. extradition warrant in December.Tuesday, China sought to suspend imports of Canadian meat on the grounds that its authorities don’t trust Canadian assurances about the quality of its exports, and has previously obstructed shipments of Canadian canola, peas and soybeans.Canadian ministers and officials have had little luck getting to speak to their opposite numbers in China about any of it.In order to get a message across, Trudeau will lean on the power and influence of the mercurial Donald Trump to raise the issue of two detained Canadians during a one-on-one meeting with China’s president Xi Jinping.Earlier this month in Normandy, France, Trudeau said he was looking forward to attending the G20 and that the “opportunity to engage with the Chinese president directly is certainly something that we are looking at.”A Canadian government official now says it is “unlikely” to request such a meeting in Osaka, where key themes include the global economy, trade, investment and innovation.The G20 includes countries with large economies from all over the world, with much more divergent interests than the smaller G7. Its members include Russia, China, Turkey, Indonesia, Brazil and South Korea.Ahead of the meeting, Trump pledged his support for Canada’s detainees in China during a meeting with Trudeau last Thursday in the Oval Office, where the two leaders sat together in bright yellow armchairs and the president vowed to bring up the issue with China’s Xi.“Are you trying to get a meeting?” Trump asked of Trudeau in response to a reporter’s question, to which the prime minister replied: “We’ve got a lot of things to discuss. ““Anything I can do to help Canada, I will be doing,” Trump said.Trudeau needs that assistance.David Mulroney, a former Canadian ambassador to China, said it should not come as a surprise that China is not interested in a meeting between its president and the prime minister.Trump will be Canada’s best shot to address the issue of the detentions, said Mulroney.“That would be the strongest card that could be played in our interests,” he said.“It would be an American card played to say … ‘If you want a normal relationship with us, you’ll leave our allies alone.’”Mulroney said he would also use the G20 to talk to other leaders who face similar challenges with China and are susceptible to its bullying.“If we can build this sense of shared purpose in pushing back against China, in not allowing ourselves to be isolated like this, that’s a big step forward,” he said.“It is in America’s interest and it is in the interest of a lot of other countries to see China pull back from hostage diplomacy and bullying … The only way to counter that is through collective action and that is a long, hard slog.”Trudeau is expected to meet with European partners to discuss a range of issues on Friday.Christopher Sands, the director of the Center for Canadian Studies at John Hopkins University, said Canada doesn’t play offence very much but agrees it would be advisable for Canada to talk to other leaders about the detained Canadians.Beyond asking for Trump’s support, countries like Japan, South Korea and perhaps India might be willing to do the same, Sands said, adding that would only strengthen the U.S. president’s commitment to the cause.An official confirmed Trudeau is expected to sit down with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the summit — a conversation where the detentions are likely to be raised.To date, a list of countries including Australia, France, German, Spain, the U.S. and the U.K. have spoken in support of the detained Canadians. Rohinton Medhora, the president of the Centre for International Governance Innovation, said he will be watching to see who else Xi meets in one-on-one sessions — called “bilaterals,” or just “bilats,” in diplomatic circles.“Beyond the Trump bilat, how many other bilats does he grant?” Medhora said. “If it turns out that he has very few others, then I wouldn’t read that much into it. On the other hand, if he has half a dozen and Canada isn’t one of them, then I would read something into that.”The G20 is an opportunity to show whether Canada is a player or not and its place in the world, Medhora added.“I would say the pressure (is on), especially going into an election when you have to demonstrate that Canada is better and different than four years ago,” he said.Conservative foreign-affairs critic Erin O’Toole echoed that point, saying it is critical Canada not let the opportunity afforded by the G20 pass, especially given the upcoming election campaign.“As of September, the writ will drop,” he said. “This is really the last major time to really shake up and try to stop the spiral of the China relationship.”—Follow @kkirkup on TwitterKristy Kirkup, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Beware of the taxman File before the April 30 deadline or face

by Linda Nguyen, The Canadian Press Posted Apr 3, 2017 8:00 am MDT Last Updated Apr 3, 2017 at 4:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Beware of the taxman: File before the April 30 deadline or face penalties TORONTO – Like many Canadians, Justin Schaefer gets stressed every year as the tax deadline approaches.And he has good reason to be.That’s because the last time the 32-year-old reported his income to the Canada Revenue Agency was for the 2011 tax year, and now he’s on the hook for $28,000 in back taxes and penalties.He’s not alone.According to the CRA, 8.6 per cent of Canadians who filed their tax returns last year did so after the April 30 deadline, triggering penalties, interest and in Schaefer’s case, warning letters, phone calls and even his missing returns completed for him by the federal government agency.“Tax season gives me a lot of anxiety,” said Schaefer, who is a contract worker in audio visual production in Toronto.Sheryl Troup, a director of tax and estate planning at the Investors Group in Winnipeg, says there are many reasons why Canadians file their taxes late, ranging from being too busy, dealing with personal or professional issues or just forgetting or not caring about the deadline.For the self-employed or those whose spouse or common-law partner is self-employed, the deadline to file is June 15. But for those who have a balance owing, it must be paid by April 30.If someone owing taxes forgoes the filing deadline, they can expect to pay a five per cent late penalty on the balance they owe, plus one per cent of their balance owing for each full month their return is late, to a maximum of 12 months. And if being late is something that they’ve done before, it could be worse.If the CRA charged a late-filing penalty on someone’s return for 2013, 2014 or 2015, the late-filing penalty for 2016 may be 10 per cent of their 2016 balance owing, plus two per cent of the 2016 balance owing for each full month the return is late, to a maximum of 20 months.“Procrastination is the worst,” says Troup.Another common excuse she hears for delaying filing is that people believe they are entitled to a refund, and will not face any penalties if they file late.But that isn’t necessarily true because late filers, especially those who are low- to middle-income, risk losing government benefits such as child tax credits, access to provincial assistance programs and GST rebates if they don’t file on time. The CRA uses current tax reports to calculate eligibility for those programs each year.“The other thing too is that the concept of the refund is that you’re owed money,” Troup says. “So why let the government use your money rather than have it for yourself?”She also notes that on-time filers will benefit from receiving their refund earlier rather than later because that money can immediately be put towards personal savings or investments.Lisa Gittens with H&R Block Canada says a key to meeting the deadline is to ensure all the paperwork, including T4 slips and receipts, are in order, and to make sure you have the professional help of an accountant if you need it.There are also strategies for late filers once they begin to catch up.The CRA has a voluntary disclosure program that gives Canadians a “second chance” to correct a previously filed tax return or to file one that is late.Taxpayers will still be required to pay any tax and interest that is owed, but under the program a filer can apply for relief from prosecution and penalties.The agency may also be able to put you on a payment plan if you are unable to pay the whole amount of owed taxes at once.“The CRA is good at communicating with clients and taxpayers so just communicate with them and let them know what’s happening,” said Gittens, a tax professional in Toronto.For Schaefer, he’s optimistic that he will eventually be up-to-date with his returns.He has scheduled an appointment with his accountant to get help with his 2012 taxes, and has been making progress with the CRA to get his tax bill down.Follow @LindaNguyenTO on Twitter.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version incorrectly stated the penalty charged for late tax filers. read more

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Urban Meyer This is not another game this is The Game

With a spot in the Big Ten Championship Game locked up and a 42-27 win against Indiana in the rearview mirror, Urban Meyer and Ohio State have their sights set on archrival Michigan.Meyer — entering his third Michigan week as the Buckeyes’ coach — met with the media on Monday to discuss The Game and what it means to everyone involved, and also touched on some key points from OSU’s Saturday win over the Hoosiers.Meyer said he is “very pleased” to have another crack at the Big Ten title game this season.He said junior offensive lineman Taylor Decker, redshirt-sophomore offensive lineman Pat Elflein, senior wide receivers Evan Spencer and Devin Smith, and redshirt-junior wide receiver Corey Smith graded as champions on offense against Indiana.Sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliott and redshirt-freshman H-back Jalin Marshall were the players of the game on offense, Meyer said.Marshall was also the player of the game on special teams.Meyer said sophomore safety Vonn Bell, junior linebacker Joshua Perry, sophomore defensive lineman Joey Bosa, junior defensive lineman Adolphus Washington and freshman linebacker Raekwon McMillan were champions on defense.He said senior defensive lineman Michael Bennett was the defensive player of the game.Meyer on the Indiana game: “We put that one to bed rather quickly” with Michigan on the horizon.He said OSU-Michigan matchup is not like any other game. “That’s the way it is here, and that’s the way it should be.”“This is not another game, this is The Game,” Meyer said.“How to have fun is to sing the fight song in the locker room after a win against your rivals,” he said of the mindset he wants his players to have going into the game.Meyer said he likes to educate the players about the rivalry to make sure they understand the significance.He said “there are great players there,” in reference to Michigan.Meyer said he expects the Wolverines to raise their level of play against the Buckeyes: “Their personnel will play their very best against us.”He said Bennett has been “outstanding” for the last month.Meyer said it is “very important to be hitting your stride” at this point in the season.He called the Buckeyes the “most improved team out there.”Meyer said “motivation won’t be an issue” even though Michigan has a 5-6 record this season.When asked if he ever thought he would be recruited by OSU in high school, Meyer joked: “Of course I did, my mom told me I was a great player. Things didn’t work out. I was waiting for that letter, it never happened.”He stressed that having a chance to sing the fight song after a win is the way to have fun with a rivalry game.The Game is scheduled for Saturday at Ohio Stadium. Kickoff is set for noon. read more

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Energold Drilling buys Dando Drilling – expanding exploration rig line up

first_imgIn a strategic acquisition, Dando Drilling International has been bought by Canada’s Energold Drilling, a growing drilling contractor in the international mining sector. Dando says it is delighted with the acquisition by Energold Drilling. This deal secures the Dando operations that have been established in Littlehampton, West Sussex [UK] since 1867.Managing Director, Martin Fitch-Roy said: “Becoming part of the Energold group of companies will allow the small and dedicated engineering and sales team in the south of England to focus on producing and supplying the best equipment possible. Dando hopes that the new arrangements will see renewed development of Dando’s core heavy-duty water well rig range for sale into the difficult African markets where we have unique experience. We are also looking forward to the new product opportunities that Energold’s extensive mining operations will bring.”Dando is currently engaged in the manufacture of 17 secure rig orders for UK and export markets including Mozambique, Sudan, Indonesia, Somalia, Singapore, Pakistan and the Gulf. These machines are for the water well drilling, geotechnical and mineral explorations industries. Dando will continue to support the many hundreds of previously supplied rigs in the field.last_img read more

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DISGRACEFULL Knezevic headbutts Gorbitz

Anita GorbitzMilena Knezevic headbutts Derby match of the Women’s EHF Champions League between Buducnost and Gyor 26:26 have been played in Podgorica last weekend, but the biggest story from “Moraca” hall wasn’t a fantastic performance of two teams – the biggest favorites for the winning F4 tournament in Budapest on May 4. The biggest “hero” of the match became home team playmaker Milena Knezevic who kicked Anita Gorbitz in the head in the last attack on the match…Shamefull act who must be punished…PHOTO: http://www.zrkb.me ← Previous Story BUDUCNOST VS GYOR: No winner again! Next Story → O LA LA: Look what Gasper Marguc did! read more

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The 5 at 5 Wednesday

first_imgEACH WEEKDAY EVENING, TheJournal.ie brings you five things you should know before you head out the door.1. #TRAP DOOR Giovanni Trapattoni is leaving his post as Republic of Ireland soccer manager in the wake of last night’s 1-0 defeat in Austria, which effectively ends hopes of World Cup qualification. A statement from the FAI says it’s “by mutual consent”. Marco Tardelli also resigns as assistant boss.2. #BUS SERVICES: The National Transport Authority has launched a public consultation process, proposing to reduce services in its contracts with Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann and start an open tender process.3. #DNA: The Minister for Justice has announced that DNA samples will be taken from criminals convicted of serious crimes for inclusion in a new database. The move is aimed at assisting gardaí in tackling crime — helping them link cases and identify suspects.4. #SEANAD: Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has indicated that there will be no consequences for Labour politicians who campaign to keep the Seanad. Meanwhile, a Fine Gael councillor has erected posters calling for a ‘no’ vote in the 4 October referendum.5. BACK TO EARTH: Three astronauts landed back on Earth today after spending almost half a year on the International Space Station. Their capsule touched down in Kazakhstan this morning.last_img read more

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First crematorium in Greece to be up and running in 2019

first_imgThe construction of Thessaloniki’s first crematorium is well underway at the First Municipal Cemetery in Thermi.On Wednesday during a tour of ongoing municipal initiatives the port city’s mayor, Yiannis Boutaris was optimistic it would be up and running by the first half of 2019.“The process has moved forward quite significantly,” he said.“All that is left is the local zoning plan, which we believe will be finished and approved by the end of the summer.”Since cremations were legalised in Greece in 2006 there has been strong opposition from the Church of Greece.Aside from religious motivations, traditional burials are also a significant source of revenue for the funeral industry, local churches and municipalities.Currently those seeking to cremate their deceased loved ones have been transporting the bodies to Bulgaria with the estimated price tag of €10,000.Once local cremation centres are open and running, the average cost will be around €500 to €600.In addition to the crematorium underway in Thessaloniki, there are also plans to construct similar centres in Athens and Patra. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

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The Full Moon is Electric Boogie Woogie Woogie

first_img Rare Harvest Moon Will Light Up Night Sky on Friday the 13thIndia Finds Lost Vikram Lander on Moon’s Surface Stay on target Sure, the Moon shines because its surface reflects light from the Sun. But a new study suggests there is more to that bright lunar glow than meets the naked eye.As reported by National Geographic, Earth’s satellite is surrounded by an electric shell, which gathers power when the Moon shows its full face once a month.“In effect, when you gaze at a bright full Moon shining in the sky, you are probably seeing the lunar orb at its most electric,” the magazine said.Despite its barely there gravitational field, the Moon does possess a very tenuous atmosphere, called the exosphere. Even more surprising, though, was the discovery of a lunar ionosphere.The ephemeral layer of charged particles—roughly 1 million times more nebulous than the one topping our planet—is so weak it’s barely detectable when drenched in solar and cosmic radiation.“There’s a lot we don’t know about it, and it’s fair to say there’s still some controversy,” lead study author Jasper Halekas, an associate professor of experimental space physics at the University of Iowa, told NatGeo.In an effort to answer their questions, Halekas and his team turned to NASA’s Acceleration, Reconnection, Turbulence and Electrodynamics of the Moon’s Interaction with the Sun (ARTEMIS) mission.The operation features two probes, placed in unusual orbits near the Moon, which can peer into the orb’s diffuse exosphere. The best views, however, come around once a month.“When the Moon passes through the near vacuum of the geomagnetic tail of the Earth each lunar month around Full Moon, its presence becomes more important,” according to the study, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.“In this unique environment, the lunar-derived charged particle density becomes comparable to the ambient value,” the team wrote, “and the presence of the lunar ionosphere can appreciably affect its surroundings.”During this window, ARTEMIS can track the plasma waves coming from the sun-saturated lunar dayside, and create a more detailed picture of the Moon’s ionosphere.“We utilize measurements from lunar orbit to investigate the density, structure, and dynamics of the faint lunar ionosphere and its interaction with the local environment of the geomagnetic tail,” the study said.This points to a higher density of lunar-derived plasma during the full Moon, suggesting, NatGeo explained, that the planetoid’s ionosphere becomes more prominent while in Earth’s protection.The Moon remains a mystery to most people—but maybe not for long. Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa will fly to Earth’s satellite as SpaceX’s first private astronaut. And NASA’s kilopower project could enable crewed missions to the Moon. Keep an eye out for the Full Harvest Moon on Sept. 24, and read more about our lunar companion here.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

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Wilshere If Wenger had stayed I would have stayed at Arsenal

first_imgJack Wilshere revealed that Arsene Wenger’s departure from Arsenal in the summer led to his own exitThe 26-year-old midfielder signed for West Ham United on a three-year deal in July as a free agent after ending a 17-year association at Arsenal.Wilshere opted to leave the Emirates Stadium following talks with new manager Unai Emery over his role at the club.But Wilshere admits that Wenger would have convinced him to stay with the Gunners as the Frenchman would have ensured his place in the team.“If Arsene had stayed I would have stayed because of the influence he had in my career and the trust he had in me,” Wilshere told the Islington Gazette.Daniel Fark, Norwich City, Premier LeagueDaniel Farke, From mid-table in the Championship to the Premier League Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Norwich City manager, Daniel Farke, has taken his team from the middle of the table in the English Championship to play with the big boys in the Premier League.“He gave me the armband and respected me a lot. So, I had pretty much agreed to stay. And then he left and that changed things.“Arsene had said to me previously ‘stay and fight your way back into the team’. Because I knew Arsene and knew he had trust in me, I knew I could do that and fight my way into the team.“I knew that if I got myself fit and was training well that Arsene would put me in – and he did.“But things were changing at the club and they were going into a new era and maybe it was time for me to leave as well.”Wilshere, who has made four Premier League starts for West Ham, is currently sidelined with an ankle injury.last_img read more

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South Floridians pick up pigs make final preps ahead of Nochebuena

first_imgHIALEAH, FLA. (WSVN) – With Nochebuena hours away, South Florida residents spent their weekend preparing for the festivities.In Hialeah, shoppers lined up outside of Mary’s Ranch/Cabrera’s to pick up their pigs, Sunday. Some said waiting in line at the slaughterhouse is part of the tradition.Meanwhile, 7News cameras captured the Morgado family in West Miami-Dade as they started prepping a day early. They said their Christmas Eve celebration dates back decades.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

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Senators Add Community Infrastructure Money to Defense Spending Package

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR The Senate on Thursday approved an amendment to a two-bill spending package allocating $20 million to the new authority allowing DOD to provide funding to state and local governments for off-base infrastructure projects, bringing the opportunity for communities to obtain funding under the Defense Community Infrastructure Pilot Program in the new fiscal year one step closer. By Thursday evening, the chamber approved the underlying $857 billion minibus made up of the defense and Labor-HHS-Education appropriations measures.The Senate’s approval of the fiscal 2019 defense spending bill in August positions Congress to possibly avoid starting the new fiscal year with a series of continuing resolutions to fund the Pentagon. The path to working out a compromise spending bill with the House that could be sent to the president is uncertain, however. The House passed its FY 2019 defense spending bill in June, but its Labor-HHS-Education measure has not been debated on the floor. One option is for the chambers to hash out a conference report for the defense bill by itself, but that’s not the first choice of Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.). “We’d like to go to conference as soon as we can with the House with the bills coupled together,” Shelby said, reported CQ.The chairman of the House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee also indicated he would like to see the two spending bills move together as a way to gain House Republicans’ support for a large domestic spending measure. Attaching the two, though, likely would complicate the path toward a House-Senate compromise, slowing enactment of the defense title. The good news is there are five weeks before the new fiscal year gets under way.At this point, passage of the Senate amendment funding the defense community infrastructure initiative represents a significant achievement for ADC, with much of the credit going to Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), co-chair of the Senate Defense Communities Caucus, and the association’s Federal Outreach Advisory Committee.The provision was included in a package of non-controversial amendments that passed by unanimous consent. Another provision, offered by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), would allocate $45 million to clean PFOA and PFOS contamination at military bases.The defense spending bill would provide about $675 billion for military and intelligence programs, including almost $68 billion for the overseas contingency operations account, matching the topline in the House version. Still, there are considerable differences in funding for individual programs between the two versions that need to be reconciled.last_img read more

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Googles pricey Pixel phones arent selling even at steep discounts

first_img Comments Preview • Pixel and Pixel XL unveiled: Google’s post-Nexus phones come out swinging (hands-on) Tags Mentioned Above Google Pixel (32GB, Quite Black) 5:52 Pixel 3: 6 months in 15 Pixel 3 features you should use right now See it How To • How to transfer your data from an iPhone to Android phone Phones Rumors Google The company has become more aggressive in trying to get more people to switch to its phones, with a new promotion on the Google Play Store knocking the prices down by $200, bringing the regular Pixel 3 to a $599 starting price and the 3 XL to $699.  Earlier this month the company went so far as to take 50% off the Pixel 3 price if purchased on Google Fi, though that deal has since ended.  Luckily for the company, and fans of the brand hoping to save a bit more, rumors point to the Pixel 3 getting cheaper siblings shortly. Dubbed the Pixel 3a or Pixel Lite, the new phone is expected to share the same general look as the current Pixel line, but switch to a slower Snapdragon 670 processor, lower standard storage (32GB instead of 64GB) and plastic as opposed to glass, to get to a cheaper price.  Noted leaker Evan Blass recently tweeted images of the forthcoming handset, including one in a new purple hue.  News • Google Pixel 3A: Where is AT&T? Review • Our Google Pixel review: Pure Android at its absolute best In purple. pic.twitter.com/hgcC1V7zxK— Evan Blass (@evleaks) April 26, 2019 Google Pixel Share your voice $219 13 Now playing: Watch this: Angela Lang/CNET Google’s Pixel 3 line of phones may be praised for its speedy performance and excellent cameras, but that hasn’t done much to help the company gain traction in the smartphone market. Speaking on parent company Alphabet’s earnings call Monday, chief financial officer Ruth Porat acknowledged, as transcribed by Seeking Alpha, that the company’s phones haven’t been selling as strongly as they would’ve liked. Porat said that Pixel sales were lower year over year, in part due to “heavy promotional activity industry-wide, given some of the recent pressures in the premium smartphone market.” Google’s latest Pixels, available from Verizon, Google’s Fi or unlocked in the US, launched last October starting at $799 for the 5.5-inch Pixel 3 and $899 for the 6.3-inch Pixel 3 XL. The high prices put the phones in close competition to rival flagship devices from Apple and Samsung.  17 Photos CNET may get a commission from retail offers.last_img read more

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Fatal Attack on Interracial Couple in Arizona Heads to Trial

first_imgBy Jacques Billeaud, The Associated PressAn interracial couple was walking near a Phoenix, Ariz. park when authorities say a shirtless neo-Nazi began angrily yelling a racial slur and harassing the Black man in the couple over dating a White woman.Authorities say the men exchanged tense words before Travis Ricci rushed back to a home where other White supremacists were partying, grabbed a shotgun and returned in a sedan driven by an associate. Ricci leaned out the car and fired two buckshot blasts, missing the Black man — the intended target — and killing his girlfriend, investigators said.These undated photos provided by the Arizona Department of Corrections shows Travis Ricci, left, and Aaron Levi Schmidt, right. Ricci, who authorities said was a member of a white supremacist group, is being tried in Phoenix on a murder charge in a woman’s 2009 shooting death; Schmidt, who drove Ricci, has pleaded guilty to charges of murder and assisting a criminal gang. Prosecutors say the woman, who was white, was killed because Ricci was upset that she was dating a black man. (Arizona Department of Corrections via AP)Lawyers are now picking a jury to decide whether Ricci should be convicted of murder and sentenced to death in the 2009 attack, which prosecutors say was a hate crime. Opening statements are tentatively scheduled for June 6.The case has offered several unexpected turns.Ricci, whose defense is expected to include an argument that he’s not the man he used to be, claims his great-grandfather was a member of the French Resistance killed by Nazis during World War II.Authorities are seeking the death penalty, saying 39-year-old Kelly Ann Jaeger’s killing was meant to further the interests of the Vinlanders Social Club, a neo-Nazi group with a reputation for violence that was later targeted in a law enforcement crackdown.Since prosecutors have called the attack a hate crime, they can seek as many as 11 additional years in prison — above the maximum penalty — if Ricci is convicted of other charges, such as attempted murder, drive-by shooting, aggravated assault and assisting a criminal gang.Ricci pleaded not guilty, and his lawyers have raised questions about the ability of Jaeger’s boyfriend, Jeffery Wellmaker, to identify him as the triggerman. They note that nearly two years after the attack, Wellmaker was jailed in an unrelated case and played chess with Ricci behind bars without recognizing him.Aaron Levi Schmidt, who authorities say was driving the car used in the shooting, pleaded guilty to murder in Jaeger’s death. He is already serving 11 years for assisting a criminal gang. It’s unclear if he’s been sentenced on the murder conviction.Lawyers for Ricci and Schmidt, both now 36, have said their clients weren’t members of the Vinlanders.Police reports say Ricci told associates before the attack that he saw black men hitting a white woman, though it’s unclear if that claim was accurate.Rebecca Wilder, a spokeswoman for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, which is prosecuting Ricci, declined to comment on the case. The Phoenix Police Department, which investigated the attack, also declined to comment.Prosecutors said in court records that Wellmaker, who was unarmed, was extremely distraught over the attack and tried to help his girlfriend after she was shot. They say Wellmaker didn’t provoke the attack and tried unsuccessfully to push Jaeger out of the path of the shotgun blast, according to court records.Ricci’s attorneys declined to answer questions about the allegations against their client.“He is a very sensitive person who cares about people in general,” said Jennifer Willmott, one of his lawyers. “He has had a very difficult life.”The attack started brewing after Ricci left his friend’s home angry and drunk, making his way into the neighborhood where he eventually noticed Jaeger and Wellmaker, according to a police report.Prosecutors say Ricci hurled a racial slur at Wellmaker and yelled, “What are you doing with a White girl?”He also told Wellmaker he was going to get “something for him,” prosecutors said.Sometime later, Jaeger and Wellmaker were near a pay phone when the sedan pulled up. Ricci fired two shells, hitting Jaeger in the stomach from about 10 feet (3 meters) away, prosecutors said.In an unrelated crime months after Jaeger’s shooting death, police say Ricci stabbed two men who tried to stop him from attacking his girlfriend. He is serving a 22-year sentence for assault and weapons misconduct convictions.last_img read more

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CarbonNanotube Toxicity Test Tricks Scientists

first_img Citation: Carbon-Nanotube Toxicity Test Tricks Scientists (2006, September 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2006-09-carbon-nanotube-toxicity-scientists.html Recent research has revealed that a standard cell-viability test may be causing carbon-nanotubes to “fake” toxicity. This work may explain why some studies have concluded that carbon nanotubes – which are being studied for their potential to improve building materials, drug-delivery systems, and electronics, to name a few applications – are dangerous to human health while others have not. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.center_img Researchers from the Institute of Toxicology and Genetics at the Karlsruhe Research Center in Karlsruhe, Germany, exposed human lung cells to single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) – large cylindrical carbon molecules – and conducted several tests to determine the nanotubes’ effect on the cells’ viability. Three tests showed the nanotubes to be non-toxic, but a fourth curiously produced the opposite result.“Each of the four tests gauges the toxicity of the SWCNTs in a different way, using different indicators, but we would expect them to yield the same result,” said the study’s lead scientist, Harald Krug, to PhysOrg.com. “The fact that one test appears to produce a ‘false positive’ in terms of toxicity suggests that past carbon-nanotube toxicity studies may be flawed.”The first test, known as the MTT assay, works by measuring how a salt, methylthiazol tetrazolium (MTT), is chemically converted to formazan, a purple dye, after being applied to nanotube-exposed cells. This conversion only takes place when certain cell mitochondria enzymes are active – that is, if the cell is alive and well. According to the results of the MTT assay, the nanotubes compromised cell viability.Krug and his colleagues attempted to verify the results of the MTT assay using another salt-based viability test, the water-soluble tetrazolium (WST) assay. According to this test, the nanotubes had no negative effect on the cells. Two other tests also showed no reduction in cell viability.Why the discrepancy between the MTT assay and the other tests? The answer seems to be due to the non-soluble nature of MTT and formazan. Using an electron microscope, the researchers saw that MTT-formazan crystals had covered the nanotubes, clumping everything together. The nanotubes were reacting with the MTT, causing the formazan to withdraw from the assay. This made the formazan undetectable and, as a result, made the nanotubes appear toxic. Several attempts to dissolve the crystals, as well as heat treatments, were unsuccessful.“In these studies, the viability assay of choice really needs to be double-checked, since interferences and disturbances are likely,” said Krug. “Further, we think our work demonstrates that standards should be established when testing the toxicity of carbon nanotubes and other nanomaterials.”An in-depth paper on this work can be found in the June 2006 edition of Nano Letters.Citation: Nano Lett., Vol. 6, 1261-1268 (2006)By Laura Mgrdichian, Copyright 2006 PhysOrg.comlast_img read more

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Afghanistan says Pakistan will help in peace talks

first_img How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation _Nooruddin Turabi, former Taliban justice minister._Jahangirwal, a special assistant to Taliban leader, Mullah Omar._Qutub, a Taliban leader._Abdul Salaam, former Taliban governor of Baghlan province._Maulvi Matiullah, the Taliban’s director of the customs house in Kabul._Mahamad, the Taliban’s former governor of Kunduz province._Sayed Saduddin Agha, a former Taliban commander._Allah Dad, the Taliban’s former deputy minister of communication.The ninth prisoner released was Anwarul Haq Mujahid, the son of the late Mohammad Yunus Khalis, who fought against the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s. He has joined his family in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar, according to a cousin and family friend who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.Afghan officials are still hoping for the release of the Taliban’s former deputy leader, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who was captured in Pakistan in 2010. Baradar was reportedly conducting talks with the Afghan government that were kept secret from the Pakistanis.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Some members of the peace council suggested that Pakistan’s religious and political leadership might be having a change of heart _ in part because of violence committed by Pakistan’s branch of the Taliban movement.“This is the first time that we really saw some changing of the minds while we were speaking,” said Qayumuddin Kashaf, a member of peace council and head of the top religious council in Afghanistan. He said that in the past, Pakistani religious leaders insisted that insurgents were waging a holy war in Afghanistan. “Now we see some changing of the mindset because the security situation in Pakistan is very bad if not worse than Afghanistan.”Others in Kabul believe, however, that Pakistan may simply be playing a waiting game, trying to appease Afghanistan with small gestures until international troops leave Afghanistan and the Taliban can try to mount a comeback.Despite the prisoner release, the peace process still has little traction and has experienced many setbacks, including the assassination of Rabbani’s father in September 2011. Burhanuddin Rabbani, a former Afghan president and the first leader of the peace council, was killed in his Kabul home by a suicide bomber posing as an emissary from the Taliban. Associated PressKABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – A top Afghan peace mediator hailed Pakistan’s recent decision to free nine members of the Taliban who favor negotiations, saying Saturday it was a sign Islamabad is willing to help bring the militant group to the table and end Afghanistan’s 11-year-old war.The cooperation of Pakistan, which has longstanding ties to the Taliban, is seen as key to jumpstarting the stalled Afghan peace process. The Afghan and U.S. governments accuse Islamabad of backing insurgents _ an allegation Pakistan denies _ and say many militant leaders are hiding in the country. Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Comments   Share   Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Top Stories It’s unclear whether the Taliban are interested in negotiating peace, but the insurgent group welcomed the release of the prisoners. “Without a doubt, releasing prisoners fosters confidence between two neighboring countries and their nations,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement issued Friday.During the delegation’s trip, both countries appealed to the Taliban to join the peace process and sever ties with al-Qaida and other international terror networks. They said Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United States would provide safe passage to members of the Taliban who want to talk with negotiators.They agreed to work with the international community to remove prospective Taliban negotiators from the U.N. sanctions list so they can participate in any peace talks. The sanctions include a travel ban, arms embargo and assets freeze.Afghanistan and Pakistan also agreed to hold a conference of religious leaders and scholars from Islamic countries to address violence in the name of Islam, council members said.The peace council did not identify the prisoners who were freed, but an Afghan official familiar with the peace process gave The Associated Press a list of eight. They were: Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Afghanistan needs Pakistan’s help in reaching out to top Taliban leaders, but still insists that peace talks be led by Afghans, saying it will fight those who try to interfere.Salahuddin Rabbani, the head of the High Peace Council who led a delegation to Islamabad this week, said Pakistan’s prisoner release marked a shift in the neighboring country’s policy. In the past, the Pakistanis have arrested Taliban figures interested in peace talks with the Afghan government, he said, but now the government is releasing them and pledging to give them safe passage to negotiations.“It seems that Pakistani officials have realized that a close cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan can be effective for the peace initiative,” Rabbani said. “Of course, this is a vision we have been insisting on for a long time.”Rabbani, whose delegation spent four days in Islamabad this week meeting with high-ranking government, political and religious leaders, said Pakistan has pledged to release additional Taliban prisoners who will be allowed to stay in Pakistan, return to Afghanistan or seek residence in a third country. While nothing can guarantee they won’t rejoin Taliban fighters, Rabbani said he was confident that they would continue to cooperate with the peace council. “We will be in contact with those released,” he said. Sponsored Stories Bottoms up! 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