Quebec in spat with group representing Canadas generic pharmaceutical industry

first_imgQUEBEC – The association representing Canada’s generic pharmaceutical industry is slamming the Quebec government’s plan to resort to tendering in order to get cheaper generic prescription drugs.Health Minister Gaetan Barrette said Wednesday the government will proceed with tendering as of July 1.He said talks with the industry fell apart after its representatives walked away without giving a reason.Without accusing pharmaceutical companies of collusion, Barrette did say prices are often “very similar from one company to another, which is very surprising.”Jim Keon, president of the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association, said the organization gave Quebec a proposal earlier this month that would enable the province to save $1.5 billion over five years.“The proposal includes further price discounts on top-selling generic prescription drugs and additional savings through the launch of new cost-saving generic medicines,” Keon said in a statement.He said the government has instead decided to proceed with a “risky tendering scheme” that could threaten jobs as well as the supply of cost-saving generic pharmaceutical products.The association argues that limiting the number of suppliers for a given product increases the risk of drug shortages and could lead to higher prices in the long term as manufacturers are forced out of the market.It says Quebec’s generic pharmaceutical industry supports 4,100 direct jobs and creates a direct economic impact of $769 million.The order that represents Quebec’s pharmacists acknowledges drug costs are too high but says changing one drug for another could bother some patients.“Take epileptics for example,” Ordre des pharmaciens du Quebec president Bertrand Bolduc told The Canadian Press. “Do we want to change something that works? I’m not sure.“Do we want to change things for mental-health patients who are sometimes confused just by a change of colour in their pills? I’m not sure.“Let’s go about it intelligently and gradually.”last_img read more

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Battle over vegan cheese label is a freedom of expression issue lawyers

TORONTO — Vegan restaurant owner Melanie Boudens proudly excludes dairy, eggs and meat from her menu but it’s still full of references to cheese, mayo, bacon and sausages.At the same time, large letters on her storefront and at the top of her menu declare the food “100 per cent vegan” and quirky spellings for “chick’un” and “bacun” signal that these are not your traditional comfort staples.Nevertheless, Boudens says her Kanata, Ont., eatery has come under the scrutiny of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency after a customer complained of being misled by the description of a dish.The flap has baffled Boudens, who says she has no intention of deceiving anyone at Grow Your Roots and believes she had “covered her bases” with multiple disclaimers.She recalls facing off against a woman who complained about a coconut-based product that is listed on the menu as “cheddar cheese,” without qualifiers.“Word for word, I said, ‘Well, I think I can call it whatever I want to call it,’” she says from her home in nearby Ashton, Ont. “But I guess I was wrong, I can’t call it whatever I want.”Vancouver lawyer Anna Pippus says she’s seen similar run-ins with the CFIA across the country, including the recent case of a small Vancouver vegan cheesemaker told to stop describing her products as cheese and a Quebec bakery called out for the way it described its vegan cheesecake.Pippus is also director of the Plant-based Policy Centre, and she says her advocacy group is looking at launching a constitutional challenge in the coming months, believing the matter to be “a clear freedom of expression case.”Vancouver litigator Arden Beddoes of the firm Arvay Finlay is leading the legal team and says the case would look at section 5 of the Food and Drug Act, which says food labels should not be false, misleading or deceptive.However, if the purpose is to ensure people aren’t tricked, some of the current restrictions are too broad and the language outdated, Beddoes argues.“What the regulation also contains is effectively a prohibition on using the word ‘milk’ in respective of anything that doesn’t come from a cow,” says Beddoes, who specializes in constitutional public law.In addition to the Act, he points to detailed regulations that further specify what dairy products must consist of, such as the moisture content of gruyere. While he supports such efforts aimed at protecting producers and consumers, he notes a lack of similar definitions for vegan foods and the ingredients used to make them, for instance soy.“If the regulation is about ensuring consumers are protected, why does it not even cover this vast group of products that are now very common?”Pippus says definitions employed by the CFIA are decades-old and pre-date today’s proliferation of plant-based beverages such as those made from soy, coconut, oats and nuts.The CFIA website defines milk as “the normal lacteal secretion, free from colostrum, obtained from the mammary gland of an animal,” while dairy products such as butter, ice cream and cheese are “foods produced from the milk of mammals.”That makes it difficult for plant-based producers to market and label their products, and difficult for consumers to purchase any plant-based products that they’re looking for, says Pippus.A media relations officer for the CFIA said a spokesperson was not immediately available and referred questions to the agency’s website, which details labelling guidelines. They include the directive that, “a dairy product that deviates from a prescribed standard may not use the common name associated with that standard unless the standardized common name is modified to indicate how the food differs in every respect.”Beddoes questions whether the average consumer really has such a hard time distinguishing between animal and vegan products.“On its face you can be deemed to be in violation if you say, ‘Oh, I’m selling cashew cheese’ because you’re using the word cheese,” he says. “But are you actually tricking people or is anybody actually deceived?”Boudens says an agent from the CFIA visited her restaurant and suggested adding more qualifying words to the menu, such as changing a reference to “cashew mozzarella” to “cashew mozzarella-style” and “mayo” to “mayo-style sauce.” She says the agent was also unsatisfied with a reference to a “GYR Burger” but did not suggest an alternate name.Boudens says she asked for a list of acceptable terms in email and has yet to receive them. Until then, she says she’s not adding “a lot of extra words that are just kind of unnecessary.”“I don’t feel obligated or under pressure to change the menu or anything,” says Boudens, estimating that more than half her diners eat meat and likely need familiar terms to help them understand her non-traditional dishes.“People need to understand that we’re not trying to hide anything. I’m very proud of the ingredients that I use in my restaurant. It’s all healthy alternatives to everything.”If it seems like vegan outlets get a disproportionate amount of scrutiny — as Pippus believes — it’s because “people who are doing things that are less traditional are going to experience a greater degree of regulatory enforcement than those who are doing traditional activities,” says lawyer Glenford Jameson, who runs a food-focused practice in Toronto, called G.S. Jameson and Company.“The CFIA is not out to get anyone. The CFIA is, generally speaking, science-driven, a very fair agency that has insanely broad policy goals and also an enforcement agenda,” says Jameson, who also teaches Canadian food law and regulation at Michigan State University.Nevertheless, Pippus expressed frustration over what appears to be the CFIA’s ad-hoc approach to individual cases, saying producers like Boudens are essentially told to try to come up with their own descriptions: “There are no real proactive answers or clear sense of how the language can be used.”Canadian cattle producers in Quebec have also raised concerns about branding used by plant-based giant Beyond Meat, arguing it’s misleading to use the word “meat” when advertising the California company’s burgers.But compared to the same conversation unfolding south of the border, Jameson considers the Canadian approach to be relatively flexible, pointing to U.S. battles such as one waged by a state senator who recently sponsored a bill banning meat words.“There’s actually a fairly sensible, reasonable consumer test that’s performed by the regulatory body to see if something is really creating an erroneous impression or not and I think that’s really helpful because in a lot of jurisdictions they’re simply unwilling to have a discussion about it,” he says.Pippus suggests that if a phrase has entered common usage that’s enough to make the case for its broader adoption.“I make my kids (vegan) grilled cheese. I don’t make them grilled cheddar-style sandwiches because that would be ridiculous. We’re just calling it grilled cheese just like their friends have and this is a good thing,” she says.“It promotes a common language and social cohesion and prevents confusion.”On the other hand, having to “decipher the codes on the labels” of plant-based foods is confusing, she says.“When it comes to some of these other alternative products — sour cream, cream cheese, yogurt — there is a little bit more capacity for confusion,” Pippus says.“‘Cultured cashew spread,’ for example. Well, what is that? Do I put that on perogies? Do I spread that on toast? Do I eat it with a spoon? What is this?”The Dairy Farmers of Canada declined to comment, but said in an emailed statement that its members “fully support the rules put in place by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency regarding food labelling standards.”Pippus says for many years the food guide referred to “milk and alternatives” and “meat and alternatives,” phrases that are widely disliked by the vegan community.“Language is very powerful. What that does is it says: ‘You Hindu vegetarians, you Buddhist vegetarians, you ethical vegetarians, you lactose-intolerant people — you are alternative. You are different. You are not really of the mainstream. You’re not part of us.’ This is a problem for social cohesion in a diverse country.”Cassandra Szklarski, The Canadian Press read more

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TSX closes lower amid strong jobs report data showing slowing Chinese growth

by Malcolm Morrison, The Canadian Press Posted May 11, 2012 4:43 pm MDT TSX closes lower amid strong jobs report, data showing slowing Chinese growth AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – The Toronto stock market closed lower Friday as traders weighed data showing another month of strong job creation in Canada while another report showed the Chinese economy slowing more than thought.The S&P/TSX composite index edged 41.50 points lower to 11,694.67 amid sliding resource stocks.The Canadian dollar was 0.08 of a cent higher at 99.91 cents US after Statistics Canada reported the economy cranked out 58,200 jobs, much higher than the 10,000 that economists had expected. The strong showing followed job growth in March of 82,300.Still, the jobless rate edged up 0.1 of a percentage point to 7.3 per cent as more people were looking for work.The strong employment showing suggested the Bank of Canada may move sooner than previously expected to hike interest rates. The currency had earlier traded lower as traders shunned risk and sought the safety of U.S. Treasuries.The TSX Venture Exchange lost 9.73 points to 1,345.58.The loss capped a week of steady declines that are partly a result of political chaos in Greece following inconclusive elections last Sunday. The vote produced no clear winner and negotiations to form a government failed, which likely means Greeks return to the polls next month.New York markets were weak amid a shock announcement from JPMorgan that it lost US$2 billion in the past six weeks in a trading portfolio designed to hedge against risks the company takes with its own money. The company’s stock plunged 8.75 per cent.The Dow Jones industrial average gave back 34.44 points to 12,820.6.The Nasdaq composite index inched up 0.18 of a point to 2,933.82 and the S&P 500 index was 4.6 points lower to 1,353.39.TSX commodity stocks lost ground following the release of data showing growth in the Chinese economy slowing faster than previously believed.Data released Friday showed that industrial production rose 9.3 per cent from a year earlier in April, slowing from a nearly 12 per cent increase in March.Another report showed inflation also eased, to 3.4 per cent in April from 3.6 per cent the month before, giving the government greater leeway to ease policy to boost growth.China’s economy grew 8.1 per cent in the first quarter of the year, a still robust rate but its slowest pace since 2009.“Inflation has now been below four per cent for three months in a row,” said Gavin Graham, president of Gavin Investment Strategy.“So once there is some confidence on their part that that’s a sustainable slowdown and that the most important thing, which is social stability, is not being threatened by too rapid increases in . . prices (particularly food), then you might see they flick the switch and go back to starting to allow growth to accelerate.”The energy sector lost one per cent while commodities backed off following the release of the Chinese data with the June crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange down 95 cents to US$96.13 a barrel. Suncor Energy (TSX:SU) shed 55 cents to $28.75.Metal prices also retreated with July copper off four cents to US$3.65 a pound. China is the world’s biggest consumer of the metal which is viewed as an economic barometer as it is used in so many different industries. The base metals sector was down a shade over one per cent as Teck Resources (TSX:TCK.B) gave back 43 cents to $32.99 while Ivanhoe Mines (TSX:IVN) declined 51 cents to $9.48.Bullion prices also faded with the June contract in New York down $11.50 to US$1,584 an ounce. The sector lost about two per cent and Barrick Gold Corp. (TSX:ABX) gave back 72 cents to C$37.09.Blue chips helped provide lift to the TSX as the financial sector rose 0.4 per cent. Sun Life Financial (TSX:SLF) ran ahead 75 cents to $23.30.Telecoms also advanced with Telus Corp. (TSX:T) up 89 cents to $59.83.The resource-heavy TSX lost ground for a second straight week, losing 1.48 per cent. In addition to eurozone worries, energy and metal stocks continued to lose ground on worries that the global economy is downshifting, eroding demand for commodities. The disappointing Chinese data came on the same day the European Union estimated that the economy of the 17 countries that use the euro is in recession. The culprit is a debt crisis that has prompted savage spending cuts and a jump in unemployment to record highs.“We just had the best couple of months for Canadian job numbers in 30 years, and really strong earnings numbers across most sectors,” said Graham.“Everything that isn’t Europe-related is doing very nicely, thank you, and the markets don’t care.”In earnings news, TMX Group Inc. (TSX:X) reported a 10 per cent drop in first-quarter net profits to $56.8 million Friday as the operator of Canada’s major financial markets saw a decline in quarterly revenues. Its shares were off three cents at US$47.22. read more

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Value of building permits down in April StatsCan

OTTAWA – Statistics Canada says the value of building permits issued last month slipped 5.2 per cent to $6.5 billion, mostly because of lower construction intentions for institutional buildings and multi-family dwellings in Ontario.After two consecutive monthly advances, the value of permits in the non-residential sector fell 8.4 per cent to $2.7 billion..In the residential sector, the value of permits fell 2.8 per cent to $3.8 billion in April, a fourth consecutive monthly decrease.In the institutional component, the value of permits dropped 43 per cent to $556 million after two months of gains.The commercial sector held up, however, recording a third consecutive monthly increase with the value of permits rising 1.9 per cent to $1.6 billion.Industrial construction bounced back, with the value of permits rising 34.7 per cent to $554 million, following a 42.4 per cent decline in March. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by News Staff Posted Jun 5, 2012 8:49 am MDT Value of building permits down in April: StatsCan read more

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Ban condemns coordinated bombings in Syrian capital urges move towards dialogue

According to media reports, two simultaneous suicide bombings killed dozens of people at a Syrian air force intelligence complex in Harasta, northeast of Damascus. One of the suicide bombers was reportedly driving an ambulance packed with explosives. “The Secretary-General is extremely concerned that the spiral of violence in Syria is creating a fertile ground for terrorism and criminal actions of all kinds,” his spokesperson said in a statement, adding that Mr. Ban is also concerned about the fate of detainees reportedly held at the facility where the bombings occurred. “The Secretary-General reiterates his firm conviction that resorting to violence and military means will only lead to more suffering and destruction, and that the only way out is through a political solution,” the statement said. More than 20,000 people, mostly civilians, have died in Syria since the uprising against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad began last year. A further 2.5 million Syrians urgently need humanitarian aid, according to UN estimates. Mr. Ban urged all sides to move toward a political transition and work closely with the Joint Special Representative of the UN and the League of Arab States, Lakhdar Brahimi, who just arrived in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to hold talks with regional leaders on the prolonged Syrian crisis. Yesterday, Mr. Ban also called on the Syrian Government to take the initiative in declaring an immediate unilateral ceasefire, and on the opposition to then accede to it, in a renewed bid to end what he called a “regional catastrophe with global ramifications.” read more

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Libya ISIL attacks highlight need for implementation of peace accord says UN

“Every wasted day in failure to implement the Libyan Political Agreement is a day of gain for Da’esh (an alternative name for ISIL),” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative Martin Kobler said of the attacks on Sidra and Ras Lanouf oil terminals.“These oil resources are property of the Libyan people and future generations. Libyan parties must spare no effort to block any attempt by Daesh to finance its terrorist agenda through seizure of Libyan oil. This attack serves as a strong reminder to all Libyans of the need to immediately implement the Libyan Political Agreement and form the Government of National Accord.”In December Mr. Kobler facilitated the final stages of the Agreement to form a Government of National Accord with a Presidency Council, Cabinet, House of Representatives and State Council, in talks between the sides in Morocco in a bid to end four years of factional fighting that has killed many Libyans and left nearly 2.4 million in desperate need of humanitarian aid.Mr. Kobler, who is currently based in neighbouring Tunisia, began the New Year with visits to Libya as part of his efforts to broaden support for the Agreement.Last month the UN Security Council called on the new Presidency Council to work within the 30 days prescribed by the Agreement to form a Government of National Accord, and finalize interim security arrangements needed to stabilize the North African country, which has been plagued by factional fighting since the 2011 revolution. read more

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Ohio State synchronized swimming aims to win honor memory of former Buckeye

Members of the OSU synchronized swimming team compete in the U.S. Collegiate National Championships on March 28 at McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. The Buckeyes clinched their 29th national title in program history.Credit: Lantern File PhotoThe Ohio State synchronized swimming team is continuing its quest for a second consecutive national championship and 30th overall on Saturday by competing in the Jessica Beck Memorial, its final home meet of the season.The Buckeyes, who finished first out of four teams in their season-opening meet, the OSU Invitational, are set to host another three opponents at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion: Michigan, Miami (Ohio) and Wright State.After starting the 2016 season on a good note, the Buckeyes are hoping to keep their successful ways going. The team has previously been successful in the Jessica Beck Memorial, winning nine consecutive times.The Buckeyes have several members of their 2015 national champion squad competing, including junior Emma Baranski.Baranski had a major contribution to the Buckeyes’ win in their first meet this season by sealing a victory in both a solo routine and a duet alongside teammate, Monica Velazquez-Stiak.“Team unity is a large contributing factor to the success of the team,” Baranski said. “Before we swim, we come together and do a big team cheer. Throughout the entire meet, whether you are swimming a duet, a trio or a solo, you are staying with your team.”Along with the unity of the team, Baranski said the team’s general hard work is key in its ability to win.“Before competition, we train even harder,” Baranski said. “We push ourselves every day because we are striving for perfection.”OSU coach Holly Vargo-Brown stressed the importance of that conditioning, saying all the unity in the world can only get you so far if you’re not up for the task at hand physically.“At this point of the season, it’s really a competition against yourself,” Vargo-Brown said. “Are you going to remember what you are supposed to be doing? Are you going to be there for your teammates?“We are just making sure that we are doing the work that we have prepared for.”Baranski emphasized the importance of home meets and how the energy of the crowd benefits the team.“Synchronized swimming isn’t a popular sport around the country, but at Ohio State we have so many fans,” Baranski said.“There is so much support and it is absolutely amazing.”Unfortunately for the team, Saturday’s meet marks just its second and final one in Columbus this season. As a result, the team’s two seniors, Amrian Johnson and Julia Toro, are set to be honored before the meet as part of the traditional senior day festivities.While winning is a goal, there is a deeper meaning going into the weekend’s event, which began in 2007 to honor Jessica Beck, a former OSU synchronized swimmer who died in September 2005. Beck, who was a 21-year-old senior at the time of her death, passed away in her sleep. The cause was later found to be acute cardiac arrhythmia, an irregular heartbeat. “I think when we swim at this meet it is not just about winning,” Baranski said. “It is about being a part of something bigger than ourselves and the opportunity that we have to swim together every single day.”The Jessica Beck Memorial is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. on Saturday at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. read more

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Nouveau Monde Graphites allelectric Matawinie mine plan stacks up

first_imgQuebec, Canada-based Nouveau Monde Graphite’s latest economic study on the West Zone deposit of the Tony Claim Block, part of its Matawinie graphite property, in Saint-Michel-Des-Saints, has shown an all-electric open-pit mine can be built that delivers ample shareholder returns and the reduced carbon footprint the company was after.The feasibility study builds on a prefeasibility study that envisaged a 52,000 t/y graphite concentrate operation being built for C$179 million ($137 million) for a post-tax internal rate of return of 25.9%.The latest study has upped the production ante – looking at a 100,000 t/y concentrate operation over 25.5 years – as well as the potential shareholder returns. The feasibility study estimates the mine can be built for C$276 million, can operate at a cash operating cost of C$499/t and bring in a 32.2% after-tax IRR based on a life-of-mine average sales price of $1,730/t.These results have proven so favourable the company is already set on completing the project’s Environmental and Social Impact Assessment, in addition to starting the engineering, procurement, construction and management phase. This could see the mill constructed in 2020 and production starting in 2022.Met-Chem, a division of DRA Americas, prepared this latest study, which has fleshed out some of the company’s plans for an all-electric open-pit mine.“The mine will be using an all-electric, zero-emission mine fleet, consisting of electric battery-driven 36.3-t mining trucks, battery-driven front-end loaders, cable reel excavators and bulldozers, and battery-driven service vehicles,” Nouveau Monde said.The mine will also use an electric in-pit mobile crusher and overland conveyor system to feed crushed material to the plant, according to the company.Medatech Engineering Services Ltd and ABB Inc were responsible for developing the technology used in this fleet. The two companies, part of Nouveau Monde’s Task Force Committee for the project, assisted Met-Chem in preparing a fully-electric equipment fleet estimate. This information was then passed onto a mining contractor to establish a technical and commercial proposal for the mine operation on a contractual basis as well as on the basis of a fully-electric equipment fleet, Nouveau Monde said.Nouveau Monde’s COO, Karl Trudeau previously told IM that Doppelmayr Canada would supply the company with ore handling solutions (RailCon® technology), while a mobile charging station, including fast-charging capability of up to 600 kW,  was to be positioned in the pit to charge the trucks and other equipment.In addition to the eco-friendly nature of the mining fleet, the company has also looked to reduce the footprint of the mine’s infrastructure.The processing plant and the co-disposal of tailings and waste rock will be located less than 500 m from the mine to minimise truck cycle times and lower the project’s operating costs, while progressive backfilling of waste rock and tailings will take place to “further minimise the project’s environmental footprint”, while allowing site rehabilitation during the operating life of the mine. The mine waste rock and tailings management plan, as well as the water management infrastructure, was designed by SNC-Lavalin.The flowsheet for the 2.35 Mt/y mine consists of in-pit crushing, followed by multiple steps of grinding and flotation separation circuits. The graphite concentrate is then filtered, dried and classified to recover over 94% of the graphite and produce four products with various flake sizes, all with finished product purity above 97%.Eric Desaulniers, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nouveau Monde, said: “We have designed a state-of-the-art mine that not only maximises efficiency but also aims to be one of the most eco-friendly mines in the world, having a very low carbon footprint relative to our peers. This is a key product differentiator, especially for our electric vehicle manufacturing customers whose environmental and social acceptability values align perfectly with our own.”Karl Trudeau, Chief Operating Officer, Nouveau Monde Graphite; Michel Serres, VP Mining Solutions North America, ABB Canada and David Lyon, Business Development Manager, MEDATECH will be presenting ‘The NMG journey to the all-electric open-pit mine: innovation from collaboration’ at The Electric Mine conference in Toronto, Canada, on April 4-5, 2019. For more information about the event, please click here.last_img read more

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California sales tax law sees Amazon terminate affiliates

first_imgAmazon affiliates in California are yet another casualty in the battle between online retailers and local governments who want to enforce the collection of a sales tax for online purchases.Affiliates are website operators who receive a commission from Amazon when they successfully promote a product that is then purchased. New laws, which have already been passed by some states including Illinois and Colorado, are based on a 1992 Supreme Court ruling that opened the door for local governments to collect a sales tax from online retailers if they maintain a physical presence within the state. That ruling has been interpreted by some to include affiliates of online retailers who may live or operate an office within the state.AdChoices广告Though the Supreme Court ruling has stood for some time, it has only been within the last couple of years that state governments have forced the issue due to the immediate need to replace revenue which has been lost as a result of a struggling economy.The latest state to jump in the online sales tax revenue trough is California whose governor signed legislation earlier this week. The new law would mandate sales tax collections from online retailers who maintain a physical presence in the state which would include affiliates. Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, has labelled the law as “unconstitutional and counterproductive” due to his belief that the tax issue needed to be resolved at the federal level. The company also took quick action to communicate with its California-based affiliates notifying them they would cancel contracts with them the same day that the new California law goes into effect.Amazon threatened the same action against California in 2009 when similar legislation was passed. That legislation was then vetoed by the governor in part due to the potential loss of jobs the new law would have on terminated affiliates.Read more at the Wall Street Journal and ZDNetlast_img read more

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Cultural Diversity Week kicks off on Saturday

first_imgA week-long of events and celebration of cultural diversity in Victoria will begin today and run till Sunday 25 March. Cultural Diversity Week gives all Victorians a chance to celebrate and participate in events, share, engage nad learn from and also experience the diverse cultures within the community.Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship Nicholas Kotsiras said: “Cultural Diversity Week highlights Victoria’s leadership in harnessing social, cultural and economic benefits of cultural and linguistic diversity .” Melbourne is a key destination for international students, the state’s multicultural services, diverse cuisines, arts, events and cultural tourism assets as the best in Australia. “The economic and social benefits multiculturalism offers Victoria suggests we should cherish and preserve our cultural and linguistic diversity,” Mr Kotsiras said. Over 200 community groups, schools and local councils are expected to participate in the week which will close on Sunday 25 March with the Viva Victoria Festival at Federation Square. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

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Ft Jackson to Convert Hospital to Outpatient Clinic

first_imgThe 24-bed Moncrief Army Community Hospital at Fort Jackson, S.C., will be scaled down to a health clinic next month that no longer offers inpatient medical and behavioral health services, officials said Tuesday.Complex surgical or behavioral health cases requiring overnight stays will be sent to nearby hospitals in Columbia or the Dwight David Eisenhower Army Medical Center at Fort Gordon, about 80 miles away. Those facilities already provide inpatient and surgical care for higher complexity cases that cannot be performed at Moncrief, according to a press release.“Moncrief will continue to provide full-service primary care to all eligible Fort Jackson beneficiaries,” said Moncrief commander Col. Traci Crawford.Seventy-four civilian physicians, nurses and medical technicians will be affected by the change, reported the State. All are either accepting early retirement or buyouts, or are expected to transfer to other positions at the clinic.“No one is being fired,” said Moncrief spokesman Nicholas Spinelli. The hospital has 1,045 civilian and military workers.“I want all our beneficiaries to know that your access to care isn’t changing,” Crawford said. “Those needing referrals to surgical or specialty services will still receive them from their primary care provider.”The primary change will be the location where surgeries are performed.“Although this transition is necessary, the Army’s commitment to ensuring soldiers and their families have access to timely, safe, quality care will never change,” Crawford said. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

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Lok Sabha Election 2019 voter list Check if your name is on

first_img Amit Shah: NDA will fight the 2019 Lok Sabha elections under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi Close IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:01/1:46Loaded: 0%0:01Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-1:45?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading …center_img With the Lok Sabha elections 2019 fast approaching, voters across the country are in sheer anticipation of exercising their constitutional right. As important it is to vote for your next government or candidate, it is equally important to for your name to appear on the electoral rolls.The voter lists keep changing and it is possible that your name appeared during the state elections and could go missing from the list in general elections. Every vote matters and it’s best to check if you’re eligible to vote these coming elections well in advance instead of having to go to the booth to find out otherwise.Having an election ID card or voter ID is the first step towards casting your vote during elections and the second one is for your name to appear in the electoral roll. With the power of the internet, you can easily check if your name is on the electoral rolls in India. [Representational image]TwitterHow to check if your name is on voter list?If you have your voter ID or the EPIC number handy, the process is quite simple.Step 1: Go to National Voter Services Portal’s (NVSP) Electoral Search pageStep 2: Select Search by EPIC No.Step 3: Enter your unique EPIC number (appears in bold on your voter ID)Step 4: Select your state and enter the captcha code and hit search Check voter’s listNVSPIf your name appears below then you should be heading to the polling booth on the day of election to cast your vote. If nothing shows up, your name is probably not on the list.In case, you do not have your EPIC number handy, you can select “Search by Details” and enter all the information such as name, gender, age, Assembly Constituency and such on the National Voter Services Portal. Since it is common to have misspelt names in voter ID or in the electoral database, an EPIC number is the best way to search and get accurate results.In an event of lost voter ID, voters can still cast their vote if the name appears on the list. Voters can use other documents such as passport, PAN card, driving license, service ID card, and Aadhaar card. The Lok Sabha election 2019 is going to take place in seven phases starting from April 11 all the way through May 19.last_img read more

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Chinas state media defends comrade Xi

first_imgSouvenir plates featuring portraits of former and current Chinese leaders including President Xi Jinping and the late Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong are displayed for sale at a shop in Beijing. Photo: ReutersChinese state media on Monday attacked critics of ending presidential term limits, which effectively now allows President Xi Jinping to stay in office indefinitely, saying the key to China’s path was following the Communist Party.China’s largely rubber stamp parliament on Sunday overwhelmingly voted to amend the constitution, scrapping term limits and adding clauses to further strengthen the party’s already dominating role in politics.In the run up to the vote, critics on Chinese social media attacked the move and drew parallels to North Korea or suggested a Mao Zedong-type cult of personality was forming. The party only announced the proposals last month.In an editorial, widely-read tabloid the Global Times said Western political theories were of no use to China.“We are increasingly confident that the key to China’s path lies in upholding strong Party leadership and firmly following the leadership of the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core,” it said.“In these years we have seen the rise and decline of countries and particularly the harsh reality that the Western political system doesn’t apply to developing countries and produces dreadful results.”The official China Daily reiterated a point previously made by the party’s People’s Daily that the amendment did not “imply lifetime tenure for any leader”.“Yet some people in the West insist otherwise, even though it is only through specious speculation that they claim to know better,” the English-language paper said.Such people – it did not name names – have a deep-rooted ideological bias against China and have made one failed prediction after another about China, it added.“Their erroneous judgements are only a litany of short-sighted calumnies against the party and the nation.”While social media accounts of major state media outlets either disabled their comments section or only made visible comments praising the party, some words of dissent did manage to make it past the censors.“How is it that socialism which is praised has become a monarchy making law?” wrote one user on the Twitter-like Weibo micro-blogging site.“Why have they not released the voting tally?” wrote another.Only two “no” votes were cast, with three abstentions, from almost 3,000 delegates in parliament.The U.S.-based group Human Rights in China said there were huge risks in allowing such a concentration of power.“Ending the two-term limit ignores the painful lesson of the Mao era and exposes the Chinese people again to the massive human suffering, abuses and national catastrophe that could result from unaccountable power concentrated in the hands of one person,” Sharon Hom, the group’s executive director, said in a statement.last_img read more

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Report Houston Lags Behind Nation In Corporate Leadership Diversity

first_img 00:00 /01:21 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Listen Houston is by many accounts the most diverse city in the country. But that diversity is not mirrored in its companies’ executive leadership and boards of directors, according to a report by the National Diversity Council, which looked at all Fortune 1000 firms headquartered in Texas.It found that in those companies white men hold nearly 80 percent of board and leadership positions in the state.In Harris County, women account for 12.3 percent of those positions, and minorities just 6.5 percent.Angeles Valenciano, CEO of the National Diversity Council, said they sent the report to all the firms they researched.“Our hope is that in seeing this report, organizations and senior leadership teams – board of directors, CEOs – take a look at it, really analyze the information that is presented, which is public for all to obtain, and that they provide us feedback of that information,” she said.In a state where Hispanics make up almost 40 percent of the population, that group is especially underrepresented in corporate boards.The report finds only 2.4 percent of board positions are held by Hispanics in Texas-based Fortune 1000 companies.That compares to a little over 3 percent nationwide, where the proportion of the Hispanic population is less than half that of Texas.Interestingly, the overall percentage of white men in leadership positions didn’t change significantly if a company had a diversity and inclusion statement.Valenciano said if companies want to increase their leadership diversity, they’ll have to make a conscious effort. Share Xlast_img read more

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Central Americas first penguins adapt to new home in Guatemala

first_imgThe six male and six female penguins were donated by France’s Beauval ZooParc on the condition that Guatemala would try to breed them and deliver their chicks to other zoos in South America and if possible release some of them into the wild.With money donated from local Guatemalan businesses over a four-year period, the zoo built a 240-square-meter aquatic park with a pool and nesting area to welcome their new guests. The pool holds 95,000 liters of water and is regulated at a temperature of between 19 and 23 degrees Celsius.“The penguins can tolerate temperatures up to 28 degrees. They were in quarantine for three weeks, in air conditioned rooms which we gradually adjusted, so that they’d acclimatize to the temperature in Guatemala. When they came out into the area they’re in now they were so happy, they went straight into the water and we couldn’t get them out,” said Silvia Rodríguez, another vet at La Aurora Zoo.It is reportedly the first time that there have been penguins in Central America, and the flightless birds have drawn quite a crowd. In June, the zoo had its busiest month since it first opened on Christmas Day in 1924 with visitors increasing by 20 percent.“The public’s reaction has been incredible; they’ve visited us a lot. We’ve had about twice the amount of people coming on the weekends and they’re so excited and interested to learn about the penguins. Many of them have doubts because there’s no ice, so they’ve been asking a lot of questions,” Castañeda said.The penguins, which are 1- and 2-years-old, are native to Chile and Peru and are expected to grow up to 70 centimeters in height.Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina attended the penguins’ inauguration and congratulated his country for working towards the protection and preservation of endangered species.“We’re confident that the Humboldt penguins will settle in well to their new habitat and what’s more that they will breed,” Pérez Molina said.Aurora Zoo currently hosts more than 110 different species and almost 1,000 animals. The park says it now wants to focus more on Guatemala’s native species and start conservation programs to protect them. Facebook Comments GUATEMALA CITY – Twelve Humboldt penguins (Spheniscus humboldti) have become the star attraction at a zoo in Guatemala City. The aquatic birds arrived from a conservation park in France last month as part of a European threatened species program and have been settling in well to their new habitat.“They’ve been adapting to the environment really well and to the people too. They really like swimming in the pool and they’re eating well. We’ve also been lucky with the weather as the heat’s passed,” said veterinarian Andrea Castañeda, who is in charge of looking after the penguins at La Aurora Zoo.center_img Related posts:Guatemala’s Busito del Sabor: It’s a trip! Power outages, landslides after strong Guatemala quake Guatemala’s message to investors: ‘You can feel safe here’ Guatemalan ex-dictator Ríos Montt denies being ‘genocidal’ as historic trial wraps uplast_img read more

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Police detain suspect in Hatillo serial killer case

first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rica police struggle to track down suspected serial killer 30 years ago, La Cruz de Alajuelita massacre began the worst series of killings in Costa Rican history U.S. man says he’s dying in Costa Rica prison; officials say he’s getting proper care Costa Rica prosecutors seek 20 years in fraud case against US investor Cyrus Sepehr Read an update to this story here:There’s a serial killer on the loose in Costa Rica and no one seems to careCosta Rica police arrested a suspected serial killer early Wednesday morning in Hatillo, a southern suburb of San José, according to the Public Security Ministry. Seven women have been found dead in the area south of the capital since April, with the most recent victim discovered on Aug. 6.Luis Ángel Ávila, subdirector of the Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ), told The Tico Times that each of the seven victims was homeless and had not been in contact with family, forcing investigators to find most of their leads through other homeless people in the neighborhood.The 30-year-old suspect, who is reportedly from Curridabat, an eastern suburb, was identified by his last name, Berrocal. Police said the suspect was captured at 1:24 a.m. Wednesday in a squatter’s shack in Hatillo’s Bajo de María Reina after two people reported him to authorities.Three of the seven victims have yet to be identified, Ávila said.The daily La Nación reported that police had also confiscated a vehicle supposedly used by the suspect.The case has brought back grisly memories for some Ticos of the country’s first documented serial killer, nicknamed “El Psicópata” (The Psychopath), suspected of killing at least 19 people between 1986 and 1996 in the eastern part of San José.No suspect was ever charged in that case and the killings went unsolved. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Welcome to Skiscanner – Skyscanners regular ski r

first_imgWelcome to Skiscanner – Skyscanner’s regular ski report, letting you know where in the world the best snow is falling and how to get there. So grab your goggles, book a flight and head for the hills! Some fresh snow has fallen in some ski resorts across Europe and North America, though for many it’s been a relatively dry week. However, deep snow bases are ensuring that coverage remains excellent.Austria – most Austrian ski resorts are reported to be in excellent shape with the comfortably cold temperature preserving the snow that was received last week and over the last few days. Another 50cm of snow is expected to fall this week. Find cheap flights to Salzburg and InnsbruckGermany – lots of fresh snow for German ski resorts with superb conditions being reported and more snowy weather forecast, which is hoped to bring another half meter of snow. Find cheap flights to Munich and Friedrichshafen USA – ski resorts on the west coast of the USA have reported the most snow, with Californian resorts reporting the best conditions. Further snowfalls are expected to arrive this week. Find cheap flights to the USABest of the rest Norway – some fresh snow has fallen across several Norwegian resorts over the last three days, and another 30cm or so is expected to arrive this week. Find cheap flights to OsloScotland – the snow has showed up just in time for the half term holiday and all five of Scotland’s ski areas are hoping to stay open for the week. Milder weather has meant that soft snow and spring conditions dominate the Scottish slopes this week. Find cheap flights to Edinburgh and GlasgowCanada – fresh snow has fallen on many Canadian resorts over the last few days and further snowfalls are expected this week. Find cheap flights to Canada Snowfall information source: SkiClub.co.ukRead more Ski and Snowboard articles ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedSkiscanner ski report: 10/02/09Skyscanner’s regular ski report, letting you know where in the world the best snow is falling and how to get thereSkiscanner ski report: 24/02/09Skiscanner ski report: 24/02/09Skiscanner ski report: 13/01/09Skyscanner’s regular ski report, letting you know where in the world the best snow is fallinglast_img read more

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Metzingen – For the sixth year in succession HUGO

first_imgMetzingen – For the sixth year in succession HUGO BOSS will be an official co-sponsor of the Berlin International Film Festival, which is being held from February 5 – 15 this year. “Being an established partner to the event now, we are delighted at its increasing success and the growing international recognition it is receiving. The Berlinale represents an ideal platform for presenting HUGO BOSS as a professional and high-profile partner to the film industry,” says Philipp Wolff, Director of Communication at HUGO BOSS AG.Perfectly at home in the creative and emotionally charged world of the cinema, HUGO BOSS has been supporting films with products from its BOSS and HUGO brands for many years. The movie opening Berlin’s 2009 festival – “The International” by Tom Tykwer – exemplifies this association, with the stars Naomi Watts and Clive Owen both wearing BOSS Black. During the event, a POS promotion featuring a special window display is being held at the BOSS Store on the capital’s Friedrichstrasse. Additional Berlinale films supported by HUGO BOSS are the competition entry “Deutschland ’09” by Tom Tykwer and the forum film “Sometime in August” with Marie Bäumer.Other movies spotlighting the success of HUGO BOSS wardrobing include “Bride Wars” starring Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway, which is due to be released in Germany shortly; Desert Flower with Lyia Kebede, which will be hitting movie screens in the fall; and the German production “Männerherzen” by Simon Verhoeven.www.hugoboss.comlast_img read more

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