First Nations women finally to be treated equally under Indian Act Bennett

first_imgCrown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett. APTN file photo.Justin BrakeAPTN NewsCanada says First Nations women will finally be treated the same as men under the Indian Act.On Thursday Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett announced the federal government has now brought the final provisions of Bill S-3 into force, allowing registration by First Nations descendants born before April 17, 1985 who lost their status or were removed from band lists due to marriages to non-Indigenous men.Until now, provisions within the Indian Act meant women lost their status when they married non-Indigenous men, while men who married non-Indigenous women kept their status.“Gender equality is a fundamental human right and for far too long, First Nations women and their descendants have continued to face the effects of historical gender discrimination in Indian Act registration going back to its inception 150 years ago,” Bennett said in a statement Thursday.“I stand in solidarity with the Indigenous women who have been working so hard for decades to end sex-based discrimination in the Indian Act registration and am proud that today all remaining gender discrimination has been eliminated from Indian Act registration provisions.”Parliament passed the Indian Act in 1876, giving the federal government enormous power over the control of registered First Nations people, bands and the reserve system.A decade ago the B.C.’s court of appeal ruled in McIvor v. Canada that the Indian Act discriminated against First Nations women, contravening Section 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.The case was initiated by Sharon McIvor, who under amendments to the Indian Act in 1985 was eligible for Indian status but could not pass status on to her son the same way a man could to his children.In 2010, Canada passed Bill C-3, which was intended to address sex discrimination under the Indian Act but still excluded many women from eligibility for status.The federal government passed Bill S-3 in December 2017, though that legislation still excluded some women where men could still be eligible for status.Grandchildren of an Indigenous woman could still be denied status if the grandchild was born prior to Sept. 4, 1951, where the same exclusion did not exist for Indigenous men under the same circumstances.In January of this year, the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) ruled that Canada, through the Indian Act, was still discriminating against First Nations women and their descendants and needed to remove those barriers for women.McIvor and her son Jacob Grismer filed the complaint in 2010.The Trudeau government says bringing in the final provisions of Bill S-3 “responds to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls’ calls to Justice and is in line with the United Nations Human Rights Committee decision on the claim brought forward by Sharon McIvor and Jacob Grismer,” according to Thursday’s statement.“This means that as of August 15, 2019, all descendants born prior to April 17, 1985 to women who lost status or were removed from band lists because of their marriage to a non-Indian man dating back to 1869, will be entitled to registration, bringing them in line with the descendants of men who never lost status.“Once registered, First Nations individuals will be eligible for federal benefits and services such as Treaty payments, post-secondary education funding, and Non-Insured Health Benefits.”Estimates range in terms of the number of individuals who will be newly eligible for Indian Status, from 270,000 to 450,000, depending on who chooses to apply and whether they can provide adequate supporting documentation.With files from The Canadian read more

Oilsands price discounts expected to rise as output exceeds export pipeline room

first_imgCALGARY – Canadian oilsands producers face rising price discounts as growing production “materially exceeds” export pipeline capacity to the United States in the first quarter of 2018, RBC Dominion Securities says in a new research report.The report comes as the price differential between oilsands crude and its U.S. counterpart posted recently widened to more than US$25 because of recent events including reduced volumes on the Keystone pipeline system between Alberta and the U.S. Gulf Coast after a leak in South Dakota.Production from the northern Alberta oilsands is set to climb by nearly 620,000 barrels per day over the next four years to 3.3 million bpd in 2021 before levelling off, it says.About 75 per cent of the growth will be in raw bitumen — which must be blended with light petroleum products to flow in a pipeline, thus increasing volume by another 30 to 40 per cent.“The oilsands are witnessing unprecedented growth that we now peg at roughly 250,000 barrels per day in 2017 and 315,000 bpd in 2018, before downshifting to roughly 180,000 bpd in 2019,” says the report from analyst Greg Pardy.“This is a double-edged sword because Western Canada’s oil exports are set to materially exceed export pipeline capacity in the first quarter of 2018 — structurally widening Western Canadian Select spreads until new pipeline expansions move into place.”The difference between WCS, a diluted bitumen crude, and West Texas Intermediate, a North American benchmark for conventional oil, will widen to average US$15.50 per barrel in 2018 and US$17.50 per barrel in 2019, the report says.That’s $3.50 higher for both years than previous RBC forecasts. The average differential through the first 10 months of 2017 was US$11.86, versus US$13.71 through the same period of 2016, according to Alberta’s Energy ministry.Stephen Kallir, an upstream analyst for Wood Mackenzie, said he agrees the average differential could be much higher than usual over the next few years.“Whenever our producers aren’t getting the most value for their product it is a negative,” he said, adding the price outlook is part of the reason investment in new oilsands projects has dried up.“If you look at what that downside case is on pricing if we don’t get new pipe, all of a sudden the economics get even more challenged because you’re looking at a differential that’s quite a bit bigger than what we consider historical norms.”He pointed out that Enbridge Inc. (TSX:ENB) reported its oil export pipelines were fully spoken for earlier this week.Oilsands production next year is expected to grow mainly because of the ramp up of Suncor Energy Inc.’s (TSX:SU) 194,000-bpd Fort Hills mine and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.’s (TSX:CNQ) 80,000-bpd Horizon mine expansion.RBC said its wider forecast discount for WCS will be driven in part by increasing reliance on crude-by-rail shipments, adding it will cost producers an average of about US$4.50 per barrel more to use rail than shipping by pipeline.It pointed out that Alberta’s railway loading capacity is about 620,000 bpd, leaving lots of room for growth.The National Energy Board recently reported crude-by-rail exports of 134,000 bpd in September, up from 120,000 bpd in August and almost double the 69,000 bpd in September of 2016. The highest level in the past five years was 179,000 bpd in September 2014.RBC said it estimates the U.S. Gulf Coast refining centre could accept another 1.8 million bpd of heavy oil from Canada if producers can get it there.Pipeline congestion is expected to ease by 2020 if the 830,000-bpd Keystone XL and 590,000-bpd Trans Mountain Expansion are built and come on stream as their builders hope, RBC said. Both, however, face vocal opposition from environmental activists and local politicians.Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter.last_img read more

Aurora completes acquisition of CanniMed

first_imgVANCOUVER – Aurora Cannabis Inc. says it’s completed its acquisition of CanniMed Therapeutics Inc.The company says in a statement it has acquired all the remaining issued and outstanding shares of CanniMed that it did not already own.It says CanniMed’s shares were delisted from the Toronto Stock Exchange at the close of business Tuesday.Aurora CEO Terry Booth says in a statement that CanniMed will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Aurora and will spearhead initiatives such as scientific research, education and product development.In January, Aurora struck a stock-and-cash deal valued at $1.1 billion to buy CanniMed.The agreement ended a sometimes-terse takeover battle between the two companies.Companies in this story: (TSX:ACB)last_img read more

EMPACT Program Empowers Green Businesses in Morocco

Casablanca – The EMPACT acceleration program creates a number of green projects in Morocco with tremendous socio-economic impact. The acceleration program, dubbed EMPACT, was launched by Enactus Morocco, in partnership with the OCP Entrepreneurship Network.  Since its inception it has contributed to a rising interest in environmentally-friendly businesses in Morocco. The program caters to young entrepreneurs with innovative projects aimed at creating solutions to face today’s tough environmental challenges.Hydrobarley and Amendy Foods are just two of the 22 socially conscious businesses launched by the program to encourage self-employment among students and boost job creation. Both of these businesses provide practical solutions to address environmental challenges in the agricultural sector. Amendy Food, founded by three college graduates, focuses on the production, processing and marketing of agricultural products with a high nutritional value. This socially responsible business focuses specifically on the quinoa plant, seeing it as an opportunity to “address nutritional challenges and poverty in Morocco,” as well as a viable economic opportunity to generate considerable revenue.Speaking with French language newspaper, Le Matin, Amendy’s co-founder, Manal Mhada, outlines his company’s philosophy; ” At Amendy, we are committed to working with small farmers in Chichawa area, where we are based, to help them live better through a sustainable agriculture that respects the people, animals and the environment, while allowing them to make considerable gains in terms of productivity and income.”Hydrobarley, another environmentally and socially responsible business that sprang from the EMPACT program, has selected to focus on the production of animal feed. The company encourages farmers to diversify their agricultural activity through the production of so-called green feeds. Hydrobarley makes use of hydroponics, which economizes 1500 times more water and 4,000 times the land for fodder crops and makes the fresh forage it produces accessible to farmers around the village of Moulay Driss Aghbal, 60 km from Rabat.Hydrobarley’s CEO, Hanane Rifaii, is quoted in the same source as saying;“This project has succeeded in changing the lives of farmers in this village by allowing them to develop new activities in their fields and have a new source of income to improve their living standards.”Edited by Constance Guindon read more

Eleven suspects arrested over Mattakuliya shooting incident

Eleven suspects have been arrested over the shooting incident in Mattakuliya, the police media unit said.The police said that among those arrested is “Kudu Roshan” a notorious underworld gang member. Four people were killed and two others were injured during a shooting incident in Mattakuliya on Sunday.Among those killed was an underworld figure. (Colombo Gazette)

Senior UN officials express growing alarm for Iraqi civilians children

“The impact on civilians must never be underestimated, for it is truly terrible in a way that words simply cannot convey,” the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR), Sergio Vieira de Mello, said of reports of the increasing number of civilian deaths and injuries.“This conflict has reminded us once again of the cruelty of war and that the innocent are invariably its main victims,” he said in a statement in Geneva. He cited reports from humanitarian agencies that hospitals could no longer cope with the influx of wounded or were running low on essential medicines, and that some had been affected by the damage to water supplies and electricity.“The remarkable job all those who care for victims continue to carry out in the most difficult circumstances – Iraqi medical staff and volunteers, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) – is a courageous and truly inspiring tribute to humanity,” Mr. Vieira de Mello added.He urged all parties to observe the principle of distinguishing between combatants and civilians. “The most precious right of all is the right to life. Once life is taken away, the damage is irreparable,” he said. “There are inescapable obligations on the parties to the conflict. Human rights and international humanitarian law cannot be put on hold.”For its part, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned that despite significant progress in humanitarian cross-border trucking operations into Iraq, early attempts to reach children and women were being significantly hampered by what it called “a residue of fear and chaos.”Praising the courage of civilian contract drivers venturing into recently fought-over towns and cities to deliver aid, UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy said all forces that controlled territory were also obliged to provide secure access to civilian populations. “When UNICEF talks about access, we mean ensuring that humanitarian aid reaches the children and women who need it most,” Ms. Bellamy said. “That means that we have to be able to physically get to a town, get to those who most urgently need aid and deliver it in a way that ensures it’s being used by those weakened and besieged by thirst, fear and hunger. Although we’re beginning to reach many places, we’re encountering a residue of fear and chaos.” read more

Chic trophy honors Big Ten history

With the Big Ten becoming bigger and better, one might expect the victors of the Big Ten Championship to receive a trophy that reflects the opulent pride — bordering on arrogance — that comes with besting 11 other teams. It seems that despite the recent addition of Nebraska to the burgeoning Big Ten, though, those in charge of the trophy design have opted for a delightfully-understated, yet cutting edge aesthetic that channels a classy and simplistic piece of art in lieu of the oversized embodiments of hubris seen in other conferences. Perhaps it’s the downtrodden economy cutting frivolous spending money from the Big Ten budget, but the conference has crafted a product that, without the football topper, could easily be found in upscale Hollywood homes as an accent piece or in highbrow museums where it would be lauded as a bold statement in modern beauty. No matter the reason, it is nice to see a trophy that is not impressive just because someone managed to fix an LCD TV to it, but impressive because it is a sophisticated symbol of decades of rich history and hundreds of hours of hard work for deserving athletes. read more

Police force sells its former chief constable a valuable number plate for

first_imgPersonalised number plates have soared in value in recent yearswith the most sought after registrations being snapped up by wealthy celebrities, sports stars and business people for hundreds of thousands of pounds.West Mercia’s AB1 plate had traditionally been used on the Chief Constable’s car, but was removed six years ago for security reasons. If they were trying to raise money for the force they have not done a very good jobAlan Hebbs, who works for a plate dealer “I know the significance of the number plate to the people of Worcestershire and have pledged that it will not be sold in my lifetime. What happens after that will obviously be something for my family to decide at that time.”But Peter McDonald, the Labour leader on Worcestershire County Council said the sale had been handled “disgracefully”, adding that Mr Campion had some serious questions to answer.He said: “Withdrawing the plate from an auction sale to sell privately to a former Chief Constable does not demonstrate the sort of openness and transparency that we would expect.”If you are going to sell the family jewels it is important you achieve the best price available. We may well have missed out on hundreds of thousands of pounds of much needed money to help make up for cuts in manpower and equipment.”You can’t blame Paul West for buying it, but the PCC has some serious questions to answer about how this sale was handled.”However defending the sale, Mr Campion said: “In 2017 I think the public would rightly expect me to use the assets at my disposal, such as AB1, to help support their police service, rather than just providing a status symbol for senior officers, which they cannot use anyway for security reasons. “I will be putting the plate on my car and it will be seen around Worcestershire in the not too distant future. I hope it will put a smile on people’s faces when they see it. A police boss has been accused of short changing his force after he sold off a rare number plate for hundreds of thousands of pounds less than its market value to a former chief constable.John Campion, who was elected Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Mercia force last year, put the AB1 plate – which had adorned police vehicles in the region since 1904 – up for sale in a bid to raise funds for his cash-strapped force.It was bought for £160,000 by West Mercia’s former Chief Constable, Paul West, who made a private bid rather than go through an authorised dealer.But questions have been raised over the sale after it emerged that the rare plate could actually be worth in excess of £500,000.Local politicians have now accused Mr Campion of selling off the “family jewels for a knock down price” and securing a terrible deal for local taxpayers. He told the Telegraph: “I was not in favour of the decision to sell the number plate in the first place and I would never have agreed to it being sold in my time in office, but after a number of people told me that they had seen it being advertised I sat down with my family and we discussed making an offer.”I had the AB1 plate on my official Police Authority owned car for eight years when I was Chief Constable, and so have a very personal connection to it.”As it happens, I have owned personalised number plates for over 25 years and so I understand how the business works. The plate was advertised on the open market for sale through a dealer, who obviously would have taken a significant commission for the sale.”I decided to make a direct offer to ensure that if the offer was accepted, all of my money would go to West Mercia for the purposes of policing and none would be wasted in commission for a straightforward transaction that involves nothing more than a signature on a document.”The only figure that was being talked about in the media at the time I made my offer was £175,000. Whilst I am not willing to divulge what I paid, I am quite happy to say that the offer I made was for more than West Mercia Police would have received if AB1 had been sold for £175,000 minus any dealer’s commission.  Following Mr Campion’s election as the Conservative PCC last May, he decided to put the plate up for sale, ignoring complaints from many serving and retired police officers that it was part of the force’s proud history and was not his to sell.Despite being advertised with a guide price of £175,000, Mr Campion accepted a lower offer after cutting out the dealer.But the final price has sparked widespread anger after it emerged that the plate could have actually fetched more than three times as much.Alan Hebbs, who works for the plate dealer, Mark Hunt, said: “If they were trying to raise money for the force they have not done a very good job as they have done themselves out of a couple of hundred thousand pounds.“The AB1 plate is as rare as you can get and it is like owning a piece of fine art or a valuable antique. The AG1 plate is on sale at the moment for £500,000 that is arguably not as desirable as this one.“It will only increase in value and in a couple of years it could be worth as much as £700,000.”Last night Mr West, who was Chief Constable of West Mercia Police between 2003 and 2011, insisted he had purchased the plate because he did not want to see its connection to the force lost forever. “I am confident that proper process was followed regarding the sale. The registration was advertised openly and the highest offer was accepted.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

ERAMET announces takeover offer for Mineral Deposits Ltd

first_imgERAMET has announced that it proposes to make an off-market takeover offer to acquire all of the issued shares in Mineral Deposits Ltd (MDL) that it does not already own for A$1.46 cash per share. This is an all-cash transaction that values the equity of MDL (on a fully diluted basis) at approximately A$291 million. As part of the offer, ERAMET has acquired a relevant interest in 13.3% of MDL shares from key institutional shareholders of MDL. This includes the acquisition of 8.0% via outright purchases at the same price as the Offer Price and the execution of a pre-bid acceptance agreement in relation to an additional 5.3% of MDL. ERAMET and MDL each hold a 50% interest in the TiZir joint venture, which operates an integrated mineral sands (titanium dioxide and zircon) business in Senegal and Norway. The Offer is intended to enable the full consolidation of the joint venture after its formation in 2011.Christel Bories, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ERAMET, commented: “We are convinced that our Offer is a unique opportunity for MDL shareholders. The Offer provides certainty of value at a genuinely attractive cash price for MDL shares. For ERAMET, this is a logical step, in line with the Group’s strategy, that consolidates the ownership of the TiZir asset within its portfolio at a time when the Group has improved financial flexibility. Giventhe nature of TiZir and the mineral sands industry, we believe that the TiZir asset would be best placed being wholly-owned within a larger, diversified portfolio such as ERAMET’s. It is the right move done at the right time.”MDL management is currently opposing the offer: “For reasons that will be disclosed in its target’s statement, MDL views the offer as highly opportunistic. It takes advantage of sharply improving commodity prices and improved operational and financial performance of the TiZir joint venture. In doing so, the offer denies MDL shareholders the opportunity to realise what MDL considers to be the true value of their investment. That ERAMET, a partially French government-owned corporation and trusted joint venture partner in TiZir, did not approach MDL before announcing its offer and has elected to pursue a hostile transaction supports MDL’s view of the opportunistic nature of the offer.”TiZir is a vertically integrated zircon and titanium business which owns the Grande Côte mineral sands mine in Senegal and the TiZir Titanium and Iron ilmenite upgrading facility in Norway. The company is jointly owned 50/50 by MDL and ERAMET.last_img read more

Deadline To Remove Studded Tires Approaching

first_imgFacebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The deadline to take off studded tires for a majority of the Kenai Peninsula is May 1, according to the Alaska Department of Transportation. Another option to avoid the deadlines: studless winter tires. Craig Wortham of Alyeska Tire said they still need to be changed over in the summer, to protect the heat-sensitive material, but some provide better traction than studded tires, and there’s no DOT deadline. Shannon McCarthy, DOT Spokeswoman: “Studded tires cause a tremendous amount of damage to our roads when the roads are dry, it causes even more damage when the roads and warm and dry, which is the conditions we are starting to move into right now.” center_img The deadline for Anchor Point and Homer is on April 15. Studded tires are only legal between September 15 and May 1 every year on a majority of the Kenai Peninsula.last_img read more

BCL leader detained over Pabna teacher assault

first_imgMiscreants assault college teacher for preventing his students from adopting unfair means in the examination.Police detained the head of Bangladesh Chhatra League’s Government Shahid Bulbul College unit on Saturday morning for assaulting his teacher, reports UNB.Shamsuddin Junnun, 24, a resident of the municipality’s Shalgari area, was detained from the town, additional superintendent of police Gautam Kumar Biswas said.He was produced before the court which sent him to jail pending further investigation.Masudur Rahman, a teacher of the college, was assaulted on 12 May after preventing his students from adopting unfair means in the examination. A video clip of the incident went viral on social media.Although the case filed over the incident does not have Junnun’s name, the CCTV footage showed him assault the teacher.last_img read more

Hindu activists urge Wayfair CEO to stop selling beds to migrant camps

first_img Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,BOSTON (RNS) — A progressive Hindu organization is calling on the Hindu CEO of home goods retailer Wayfair to turn down business dealings with a federal contractor that is helping to operate facilities detaining children near the U.S.-Mexico border.“As Hindus and scholars and practitioners of Hindu traditions who share your concern about poverty and human suffering, and your demonstrated commitment to addressing it, we hope you will reconsider Wayfair’s involvement in the humanitarian crisis at our US-Mexico border,” reads the open letter to Wayfair’s Niraj Shah, published by board members of Sadhana.The letter was also signed by more than a dozen other Hindu scholars, activists and spiritual leaders, including Princeton University Hindu chaplain Vineet Chander and Indian human rights activist Swami Agnivesh.Founded in 2011 by New York activists Sunita Vishwanath and Aminta Kilawan-Narine, Sadhana is a social justice organization that aims to build a progressive Hindu movement.RELATED: Raising a progressive Hindu voice to counter Indian Modi’s increasing powerSelling furniture to the government for migrant detention centers is “tantamount to being an accomplice to the inhumane policies of the United States government towards the migrant families,” the letter warned Shah.The open letter is an apparent attempt to turn up the pressure on Wayfair, which has encountered dissent from its employees over providing furniture to the contractor. Two weeks ago, Wayfair workers drew crowds of supporters as they staged a walkout at the company’s Boston headquarters to protest the retailer’s reported plans to fulfill a $200,000 order placed by BCFS Health and Human Services for beds for a detention camp in Texas.Wayfair reportedly would have made about $86,000 in profit, which employees asked the company to donate to the nonprofit Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services.Company executives responded to employees with an internal letter saying they would “sell to any customer who is acting within the laws of the countries within which we operate.” Executives then announced the company would donate $100,000 to the Red Cross.The letter from Sadhana is not Wayfair’s first run-in with Hindu activists. Last year, the company was forced to apologize to Hindu activists who called it out for selling a cutting board with the image of Lord Ganesha.In June, several prominent South Asian activists signed another open letter, this one by South Asians Against Child Separations, addressed to Shah and his family’s foundation.“We urge you, Mr. Shah, to stop profiting off an inhumane policy that separates, criminalizes, and incarcerates children,” the letter reads. “We ask you to join us and all Americans who care about human dignity.”Sahdhana’s Vishwanath signed that letter too, along with Hindu activists Anirvan Chatterjee, Deepa Iyer and Varshini Prakash; Muslim activists Taz Ahmed, Zahra Billoo, Namira Islam, Darakshan Raja and Kifah Shah; Sikh activists Valarie Kaur, Simran Jeet Singh and Arjun Singh Sethi; and others.But this week’s letter was a more pointed appeal to Shah’s Hindu faith and his values as a son of Indian immigrants. The letter invokes the Hindu principles of ahimsa, or nonviolence, and “‘Atithi Devo Bhava,’ which calls on us to see God in every guest, every foreigner, every person who is different from ourselves.”“By immigrating to the United States from India, your parents were able to carve out a path for you to succeed in life,” Sadhana’s letter reminded Shah. “That path is being closed to increasing numbers of immigrants searching for that same opportunity.”The letter also noted the spike in undocumented South Asian migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in recent years, as well as the recent death of Gurupreet Kaur, a 6-year-old Sikh girl whose family was seeking asylum from India. Kaur’s remains were found in the Arizona desert last month after she died of dehydration.Wayfair did not respond to a request for comment. Aysha Khan Aysha Khan is a Boston-based journalist reporting on American Muslims and millennial faith for RNS. Her newsletter, Creeping Sharia, curates news coverage of Muslim communities in the U.S. Previously, she was the social media editor at RNS.,Add Comment Click here to post a comment Columns • Opinion • Simran Jeet Singh: Articles of Faith By: Aysha Khan ayshabkhan Share This! Indiana teacher fired for same-sex marriage sues archdiocese By: Aysha Khan ayshabkhan Share This! Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Opinion Anti-extremism program won’t stop hate, say Muslims who’ve seen its flaws August 30, 2019 By: Aysha Khan ayshabkhan Share This!center_img Tagsborder protests corporations Hinduism homepage featured Niraj Shah Top Story Wayfair,You may also like We are not all the same, and in our difference we are divine August 30, 2019 Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,About the authorView All Posts Share This! Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email By their tweets you will know them: The Democrats’ continuing God gap August 30, 2019 Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.,No bones found in Vatican tombs searched for missing girl Aysha Khan ayshabkhan Share This! News Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Emaillast_img read more

The Debate Over Affordable Care Act Continues

first_imgDistrict residents have split views on the plan offered by U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) to keep the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for the next two years.Affordable Care ActThe Alexander-Murray plan would not only keep the ACA, otherwise known as Obamacare, subsidies in place for two years, 2018 and 2019, but also give states and the District of Columbia more flexibility to seek waivers from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from the requirements of the health care coverage law. In addition, it would allow insurance companies to sell less competitive plans to all customers, not just those who are under the age of 29.The Alexander-Murray proposal has the support of 12 Democrats and 12 Republicans but none of the Blacks in the Senate, including Corey Booker (New Jersey), Kamala Harris (California) and Republican Tim Scott (R-S.C.) have signed onto the bill, but that is just fine with Ward 7 resident Ralph Chittams Sr.“During the 2016 campaign, the Republican candidates for Congress ran on repealing the Affordable Care Act,” Chittams told the AFRO. “They promised to do it and they are a bunch of liars. We put them in office and what have they done?”Earlier this year, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that repealed President Obama’s signature accomplishment largely on party lines with Democrats against it and a majority of Republicans for the legislation. In the Senate, a measure pushed by some conservatives failed in the summer with three Republicans, U.S. Sens. Susan Collins (R-Me.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and John McCain (R-Ariz.), voting down the conservative proposal in late July and a bill by Sens. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) in late September was not voted on because of lack of majority support.Chittams, a former vice chairman of the D.C. Republican Party, said a health care plan he could support would allow consumers to purchase health insurance across state lines, saying that will increase competition and drive down prices.Regarding the Alexander-Murray plan, Chittams is dismissive.“They just kicked the plan down to 2018,” he said, pointing out the mid-term elections that will take place in November of that year.Chittams does like the spirit of President Donald J. Trump’s recent executive order halting Obamacare subsidy payments but not the process.“Executive orders are messy,” he said. “When a new president comes to office, he can change it. President Trump’s order needs to be done with legislation.”Trump initially said he supported the Alexander-Murray plan, but last week dropped his support, saying it would be a boon for the insurance companies. Theoretically, the bill would pass easily if all the Democrats and the two independents supported it, along with the 12 Republican sponsors.Oliver Spurgeon is a Ward 8 resident and serves as the chairman of the issues and legislation committee of the Ward 8 Democrats. He works in the health care policy and advocacy field and is well aware of the Alexander-Murray proposal.While he couldn’t comment directly on that bill, he does have ideas on what ideal health care legislation for District residents would be. Ninety-six percent of District residents are covered by some mode of health insurance, according to data from D.C. Health Link, and it is only second to Massachusetts in the country.Spurgeon told the AFRO that the enrollment period for keeping and obtaining new health insurance needs to remain open as long as possible.“In the District of Columbia, the enrollment period is from November 1 to January 31 and that is good,” he said. “This will give people enough time to make good decisions on what to do regarding health insurance enrollment.”Spurgeon said that the subsidies should remain.“D.C. is an expensive city,” he said. “Costs in housing and living expenses are increasing and the subsidies will help those who are at the lower end of the income scale gets some assistance to pay for health plans.“You cannot go to school and go to work when you are sick. Keeping the subsidies as low as possible is the right thing to do,” Spurgeon said.last_img read more

Teen Wins Google Doodle Contest With Heartwarming Message to Mom

first_img Congratulations to Arantza Peña Popo, winner of the U.S. 2019 Doodle for Google competition!The Georgia teen edged out more than 200,000 submissions from across the country to take first place in Google’s 11th annual contest.Popo’s Doodle, called “Once you get it, give it back,” shows her in the future, standing behind her mother. The pair are pictured in front of a framed photo of her mom holding Arantza as a baby.AdChoices广告“When I grow up, I hope to care for my mom as much as she cared for me my entire life,” Popo wrote in the statement submitted with her artwork.She was announced as the contest winner Monday night during The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Her design is featured on the Google homepage for 24 hours.“At first I initially wanted an invention or a career. But I wanted to make it more personal to me. So I decided to make it about my mother,” Popo told Fallon, one of this year’s competition judges. “She’s made so many sacrifices for me, so I kinda wanted to show me paying it back in the future.”The heartwarming spirit of Arantza’s design helped her secure the top spot among Google’s national finalists, including future farmer Natalia Pepe, child-at-heart Amadys López Velásquez, environmentalist Christelle Matildo, and comic book artist hopeful Jeremy Henskens.Popo started drawing when she was three years old, and wants to publish alternative graphic novels and comics in the future.“I think I will have more confidence in my artwork after this experience,” she told Newsweek. “I honestly saw it as a little sketch, but it surprised me that it seemed to have impacted people a lot more than I thought. I guess I will take my stuff more seriously.”Popo recently graduated as valedictorian of Arabia Mountain High School in DeKalb County, Ga., and will be attending the University of Southern California this fall.As part of her Doodle prize pack, Arantza took a trip (with her mom, of course) to Google’s headquarters in California; she also earned a $30,000 college scholarship and a $50,000 technology package for her high school.Described by her mother as someone who “lights up any room she is in,” Arantza is currently teaching herself how to skateboard.More on Doodle Takes You On a Journey to the Moon and BackGoogle’s Earth Day Doodle Celebrates the Beauty of Our PlanetGoogle’s Bach Doodle Shows Computers Are Great Composers Google Doodle Takes You On a Journey to the Moon and BackBatter up! Google’s July 4th Doodle Is BBQ-Themed Baseball Game Stay on targetlast_img read more

Meet the teen behind the weekly queer hashtags on Twitter

first_imgEvery Sunday, young queer people take to Twitter to share pictures of themselves.You may have noticed the different hashtags that fill your timeline – from #queersoftwitter to #embracethequeer. GAYSTARNEWS- Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . There’s usually a lot of mystery around where these hashtags actually come from.Well call us Sherlock because we’ve got your mystery solved.Mary Madinabeytia is in high school. She’s 16 years old, turning 17 this June.She explained that while she always knew she liked girls, she comes from a very catholic family.‘Being gay wasn’t an option for me,’ Mary continued.‘So I tried to push that thought away until I fell in love for the first time.’Mary was 13 at the time.‘At first I thought I loved her as a special friend, but that’s when I started questioning myself.‘A few months later I met someone online and we became best friends. She is gay, and we both helped each other realize it.’She came out to herself aged 14, ‘and it took me a long time to accept it.’So that’s how I came out to myself at the age of 14 and it took me a long time to accept it.Mary came out to her mother and father recently this week.While her mom struggled to understand, she still accepted accepted Mary and embraced her.Mary plans to tell the rest of her family soon.Photo: feministgayry‘Something to look forward to’When I asked how Mary first started creating hashtags, she explained ‘it’s kind of a funny story.’Mary first made her Twitter account in January 2017 when she wasn’t out to many people.‘Where weren’t any hashtags for over a week and I tweeted “so is anyone starting a hashtag today?‘People told me to start one, so I started it and it went viral – it was #1 everywhere.’Mary explained she’s a very organized person, and so decided to make weekly hashtags a thing!Now she keeps a list of hashtags names on her phone to pick from.The hashtags begin with a simple tweet from Mary, ‘every Sunday at 11 am cst/6 pm UK time.’Mary added that starting them at the same time every week gives people something to look forward to.‘They always dm me telling me that they took new pictures for Sunday and they’re excited, it’s such an amazing feeling.’Photo: feministgayry‘It just warms my soul’‘I’ve learned a lot about the Twitter queer community with the hashtags,’ Mary explains.‘Because you see so many people supporting each other, hyping each other up, meeting new people, even their soulmate and it just warms my soul.’ Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Queer Eye’s Kamaro on fatherhood and why he doesn’t identify as queerQueer Eye’s Karamo on fatherhood and why he doesn’t identify as queerMeet queerboudica, the ‘offensively gay’ queer woman on TwitterRead the full article on Gaystarnews:  : She explains that she loves people and so ‘if i’m doing something with this, then it makes me feel good.’Now she has people direct messaging her on Twitter to thank her for the hashtags.Some people ask her for advice, ‘even people who are still in the closet and can’t post tell me they’ve met wonderful people that have helped them.‘So it’s just wonderful honestly.’A big assumption is that people take part in the hashtags for vanity reasons, but Mary disagrees.‘They love meeting new people. Most of them are looking for a relationship!‘It’s a great way to meet people, like I said, even their soulmate.’Photo: feministgayry Despite regularly sharing pictures of herself online, Mary adds ‘I can’t say i’m 100% confident because who is 100% confident?’Mary learns to learn herself more every day, and thanks the people she’s met on Twitter for the support.‘I couldn’t be happier to have such amazing friends.’She believes that the hashtags really could help people with their own body confidence.The teen explained that there’s always someone to call you ‘beautiful or amazing.’She adds that it isn’t ‘about the likes or retweets’ but about ‘being yourself.’‘I want to encourage people to be themselves, post whatever they want,’ she said.When it comes to those who struggle with body confidence and don’t quite feel like they can take part, Mary has a message for them to.She explains that learning to love yourself takes time and figuring your identity out isn’t ‘something you have to rush.’Even if you already know how you identity but don’t feel comfortable enough to be out online, Mary encourages people to wait until they’re ready.‘I made my account in January 2017 when I wasn’t out to many people, and started posting on gay hashtags in March,’ She explained.‘That’s when I started meeting people who helped me become the person I am today.‘So I ‘d say don’t be scared, you’re not alone, always remember you’re beautiful inside and out and someday you’ll be able to be the person you want to be.’Read moreTwitter explodes with inspiring #LGBTProud hashtag eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) This new hashtag celebrates the work of LGBTI scientists from around the worldlast_img read more

Governments need to prioritise tourism WTM report

first_imgGlobal governments should take a leaf from China’s book and shift tourism higher up on their agendas said tourism ministers during the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Ministers Summit.“China is seeing the benefits from giving tourism a very high priority within government,” UNWTO secretary general Taleb Rifai. “It is an example other countries should try to follow.”The Summit of over 150 tourism ministers and aides revealed a massive difference in the importance countries place on tourism, with the United Kingdom’s tourism minister John Penrose stating he was “the first dedicated tourism minister” for the country.Findings from the Summit revealed that ministers needed to re-evaluate the ways in which they appeal to their governments, namely: rather than focusing on arrival numbers, data should incorporate economic value.According to China National Tourism Administration chairman Qiwei Shao, by showing that 109 other sectors were affected by tourism and 15 million people directly employed in the sector (as  well as 85 million indirectly employed), he enlisted the Chinese government to support tourism.Inevitably, taxes were a key theme of the Summit, as debate circulated around the UK’s controversial Air Departure Tax and the similar German and Austrian versions.Australia’s Tourism and Transport Forum managing director Christopher Brown warned that governments “could drown small island nations in a sea of taxes before the tidal waves arrive.”This was both China’s and Iraq’s first time appearance at the UNWTO Summit. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: G.Alast_img read more

Share the wealth ATEC says

first_imgWith the number of visitor nights across Australia forecast to rise by 1.7 per cent annually to 2020, Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) chairman, John King, has urged the industry to work hard to ensure the benefits of growth are distributed across the entire country.Talking to figures released by the Tourism Forecasting Committee which assess the projected growth of travel in each state and territory, Mr King said the growing market represented a major challenge for the industry.“While growth in any part of the industry is welcome, Australia must continue to support and develop the unique opportunities our regions offer, particularly for the international visitor,” Mr King said. With revenue raised from the Federal Government’s Passenger Movement Charge expected to rise from AU$630 million to AU$755 million by 2014/15, the ATEC chairman has called on authorities to spend more on industry development.“With the bulk of these increased visitors coming from abroad, it is an important time for both the industry and government to recognise the importance of reinvesting in tourism infrastructure and facilitation,” Mr King said.Acknowledging the need for development, Minister for Tourism Martin Ferguson said “the tourism industry must improve on the supply side”.“By working with state governments and industry on capacity-building measures such as planning, transport and skills, Australia will be in better shape to welcome more visitors,” Minister Ferguson said. The 2020 forecasts show:•An additional 27 million visitor nights for NSW to almost 170 million a year•An additional 14 million visitor nights for Queensland to 125 million a year•An additional 1.6 million nights for the NT to 11.8 million•Tasmania’s visitor nights to grow to 12.2 million, an additional 1.1 million annually•An additional 5 million visitor nights for South Australia up to 30.8 million annually•Western Australia will see an extra 9.7 million visitor nights to 55.3 million•An additional half a million visitors to the ACT up to 9.3 million•Victoria up from 90.1 million in 2010 to 112.4 million annually NT can expect 11.8 million visitor nights by 2020 Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.Hlast_img read more

Alisters celebrate British Airways new Dreamliner route

first_imgSource = British Airways Orlando Bloom surveys the sweeping Abu Dhabi cityscapeBritish Airways yesterday celebrated the launch of its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on its daily London-Abu Dhabi-Muscat service by hosting a secret island party with a star studded line up.Australian actress Margot Robbie and fellow Hollywood star Orlando Bloom flew in for an exclusive VIP party on Zaya Nurai Island just off the coast Abu Dhabi.Margot Robbie at the British Airways launch event.Over 200 guests, celebrities and VIPs who attended the event were also treated to a live performance by Jessie J to celebrate the latest addition to British Airways’ fleet – which made its inaugural flight into Abu Dhabi on Thursday, 5 November.The UAE and Omani capitals become only the second and third destinations, respectively, operated by a British Airways 787-9 Dreamliner – an aircraft poised to become the mainstay of the UK carrier’s fleet.The Boeing 787-9 features an evolution of British Airways’ First cabin, with just eight seats compared to the usual 14. It is 20 feet longer and four inches taller than its predecessor, the 787-8, with 30 per cent larger windows and 60 per cent less engine noise both inside and outside the cabin.British Airways’ Head of Middle East, Africa and Central Asia Sales, Paolo De Renzis, opened last night’s event before award-winning British singer Jessie J took to the stage to perform a string of her hits, including Domino, Ain’t Been Done, Nobody’s Perfect, Masterpiece, Bang Bang and Price Tag.Jessie J doing a live performance at the British Airways launch event.Chart star and judge of TV’s The Voice Jessie said it was her first time visiting Abu Dhabi and that she had been hugely impressed by the new aircraft.She said: “Flying is a huge part of my life now. Over the years I have flown so many airlines but British Airways has always been my favourite. I love Abu Dhabi and am excited to have been able to perform for the people who have helped me travel around the world with my music safely and comfortably. What I love even better – my bed tonight will be on the new 787-9 British Airways plane!”Wolf of Wall Street actress Margot Robbie – who stars as Harley Quinn in the hotly anticipated cinematic adaptation of cult graphic novel, Suicide Squad – told guests she had fallen in love with the city. She added: “I’ve only been in Abu Dhabi for a day or so but it is a place of beautiful contrasts. I visited the desert yesterday and the vast tranquillity of that landscape is the opposite of the cosmopolitan modernity of the city – it is a beautiful place.”Actor Orlando Bloom also took to the stage to hail the new 787-9 and spoke of his love for Abu Dhabi. “Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved to travel. There’s nothing quite like the luxury of the new First cabin on British Airways. I’m sure it will be warmly received by British Airways’ passengers in Abu Dhabi. I have no doubt that travellers will love it,” said Bloom.British Airways’ Head of Middle East, Africa and Central Asia Sales, Paolo De Renzis, said the introduction of the new 787-9 Dreamliner, which is the most technologically advanced aircraft in the British Airways’ fleet, marked a new era of luxury travel for customers in Abu Dhabi and Oman.“We have a long heritage in the UAE with over 80 years of operations and it is entirely fitting that our loyal premium customers in Abu Dhabi can now experience the new First cabin that has been created specifically for this aircraft,” said De Renzis.British Airways’ first 787-9 Dreamliner recently launched on its Delhi route, with plans to roll out the aircraft on several more destinations including Kuala Lumpur, Austin and the airline’s upcoming new route next year to San Jose, California. Fly British Airwayslast_img read more