Tamara PimentelAPTN NewsSome Indigenous leaders say bringing the Olympics back to Calgary will benefit urban Indigenous youth and First Nation communities.The city is trying to find support to bring back the Olympic Games – something it hasn’t done since 1988.Calgary is making a bid for the 2026 firstname.lastname@example.org@tamara_aptn
HARARE, Zimbabwe — Dressed as Father Christmas, a man dozes off while sitting in a supermarket in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare. No one seems to care.The holiday mood is not catching on in a country where a currency crisis has forced people to risk jail time to buy basics such as medicine and food. Many Zimbabweans navigate from one currency to another, often tapping the black market, while the government issues salaries in forms of payment it later refuses to accept.The frustration has sparked a new round of anti-government sentiment in a country that once saw July’s presidential election, the first without longtime leader Robert Mugabe, as a chance to start over. New President Emmerson Mnangagwa declared the country “open for business.” But citizens are now asking: How?This is Zimbabwe’s most severe economic meltdown since a decade ago, when the local currency was abandoned due to hyperinflation that reached more than 1 billion per cent. Since then, daily transactions have been dominated by the U.S. dollar.But a dollar shortage has pushed most people to use a government-issued surrogate currency called bond notes, as well as mobile money, which are funds electronically deposited into bank accounts. Both are devaluing quickly against the dollar on the black market.A major problem comes when Zimbabweans try to spend their money. Retailers, who source most of their foreign currency on the black market, require customers to pay in dollars. Others post separate prices for dollars and mobile money.Even the government is not accepting bond notes and mobile money for some transactions such as taxes on imported cars, though most Zimbabweans are paid in electronic form. As people turn to the black market, the government last month introduced regulations prescribing up to 10 years in jail for illegal foreign currency trade.Many Zimbabweans, like Takudzwa Ndlovu, an office worker in Harare, are confused.“How can the government refuse to accept the money that it uses to pay its own people. And then arrest us for looking for the only currency that actually works?” he said.Changing one’s salary into foreign currency can be a nightmare.Ndlovu gets his $450 monthly salary in mobile money. His bank, like every other bank in the country, no longer issues foreign currency for electronic bank balances, even though the government insists that mobile money and bond notes are on par with the dollar.“The black market is my only option. We are innocent people just trying to survive, but the government has turned us into criminals,” Ndlovu told The Associated Press.The vice-president of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, Patience Taruvinga, called the mobile money worthless.“Salaries are being eroded daily,” Taruvinga said, criticizing the new government, which has promised to turn the country into a middle-class economy by 2030. “We cannot talk of Christmas anymore.”The currency crisis is causing unrest. In November, thousands of opposition supporters protested in Harare, while doctors at public hospitals are on strike over low pay and poor working conditions. They earn a basic salary of about $350 in mobile money, which translates to $100 in dollars using black market rates.Zimbabwe’s teachers and nurses have threatened to join the strike if their salaries are not converted into dollars.Demand for dollars is high. Police routinely carry out street raids to flush out illegal foreign currency dealers, who have turned to WhatsApp groups to connect with clients.Many Zimbabweans fear a repeat of a decade ago, when pensions and savings were wiped out by hyperinflation. The signs are worrying. Inflation rose to 28.5 per cent in October, the highest since 2009.To encourage use of the bond note at its introduction in 2016, the government’s central bank put up billboards saying it was on par with the dollar. “No need for a separate account,” they read.Two years on, Zimbabweans are being asked to open separate dollar accounts. Existing electronic bank balances and bond notes now count separately.“There is a collapse of trust,” said Briggs Bomba, an economist and leader of Citizens Manifesto, an activist group.Bomba described the government’s demand to be paid in foreign currency for some transactions as “myopic acknowledgement” of a parallel market exchange rate.For Zimbabwe’s revenue generation and debt management, dollars are crucial. “But the issues that benefit citizens such as salaries, pensions and savings, the government doesn’t want to acknowledge that the official exchange rate is fictitious,” Bomba said.The frustration is bubbling over.Charlton Tsodzo, a development expert, commented on the crisis recently at a public discussion in Harare titled “Austerity for Poverty,” mocking the title of the 2019 government budget: “Austerity for Prosperity.”“We are being asked to tighten our belts,” he said, “but do the politicians know we can’t even afford the belts anymore?”___Follow Africa news at https://twitter.com/AP_AfricaFarai Mutsaka, The Associated Press
SAN FRANCISCO — A new report says partners in Facebook’s cryptocurrency-based payments network, Libra, are wavering in their support amid a backlash from U.S. and European officials.The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that Visa Inc., Mastercard Inc. and others that signed on to help build Libra are reconsidering their involvement. The newspaper cited people familiar with the matter who were granted anonymity.Facebook, Visa and Mastercard did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.Facebook has faced regulatory pushback over Libra since unveiling it in June. The idea is to open online purchasing to millions of people who do not have access to bank accounts and reduce the cost of sending money across borders. But Facebook already faces scrutiny over its poor record on privacy and its dominance in social media.The Associated Press
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by The Associated Press Posted Dec 16, 2013 4:37 am MDT NEW YORK, N.Y. – AIG is selling aircraft leasing business International Lease Finance Corp. to AerCap in a cash-and-stock deal valued at approximately $5.4 billion.The transaction includes $3 billion in cash and about 97.6 million shares of AerCap Holdings NV.American International Group Inc. said Monday that this is the last major sale of one of its non-core assets.The insurer initially had a deal to sell up to 90 per cent of International Lease Finance’s stock to Jumbo Acquisition Ltd., but ended that agreement before striking its deal with AerCap.The transaction is expected to close in 2014’s second quarter. It still needs approval from AerCap shareholders.AIG share rose 42 cents to $50.15 in premarket trading. AIG selling aircraft leasing business to AerCap in cash-and-stock deal valued at about $5.4B
Since 2000, over 115,000 children have been released as a result of action plans and advocacy. Engagement with non-State armed groups is growing and recently contributed to a historic agreement between the Government of Colombia and the FARC-EP to release all children in the ranks of the FARC-EP.The advocacy generated by this mandate, and reinforced by the campaign Children, not Soldiers, has led to a global consensus among UN Member States that children do not belong in security forces in conflict. This progress in addressing recruitment and use over the last 20 years has been built upon and utilized in work to reduce other grave violations, notably sexual violence and attacks on schools and hospitals.Yet, the report cites complex and emerging issues needing particular attention, including protection challenges posed by violent extremism, attacks on health case and protected persons, and displacement, specifically noting that armed conflict has resulted not only in human casualties, but also in an ever growing number of displaced children.Indeed, according to the UN refugee agency, an unprecedented 65.3 million people around the world have been forced away from their homes among them are nearly 21.3 million refugees, over half of whom are children. As such, Ms. Zerrougui encourages Member States and other partners to support initiatives to help displaced children rebuild their lives, particularly through ensuring that education is prioritised in emergency settings.Among the key recommendations to the General Assembly and Member States that warp up the report are: To ensure that Member States engagement in hostilities, including in efforts to counter violent extremism, are conducted in full compliance with international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law; To highlight the rights of children displaced by conflict and the obligations of States of origin, transit and destination; To treat children allegedly associated with non-State armed groups as victims entitled to the full protection of their human rights; Encouraging Member States concerned by the “Children, not Soldiers” campaign to redouble their efforts to fully implement their Action Plan; To take appropriate measures to reintegrate children, giving special attention to the needs of girls; and To ensure that special attention is paid to children affected by armed conflict in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. In her annual report to the UN General Assembly, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui, highlighted the devastating impact on children of increasingly complex conflicts, despite concerted efforts and significant progress achieved over the past year.The report, which covers the period from August 2015 to July 2016, notes that the proliferation of actors involved in armed conflict and cross-border aerial operations created highly complex environments for the protection of boys and girls.A news release on the report explains that in 2015, and again in the first half of 2016, Afghanistan recorded the highest number of child deaths and injuries since the UN started systematically documenting civilian casualties in 2009. In addition, in Syria and Iraq, violence continued unabated.And in South Sudan, following a year during which children were victims of brutal violations, hopes for improvement “all but evaporated” with the resumption of conflict last month. In Yemen, the escalation of conflict continued with alarming levels of child recruitment, killing and maiming and attacks on schools and hospitals.The current report also marks the twentieth anniversary of ‘children in armed conflict’ mandate, and takes stock of the achievements accomplished since the publication of Graça Machel’s A ground-breaking report, “Impact of armed conflict on children,” which led to the creation of the mandate of the Special Representative by the General Assembly. Children during their recreation time as part of the psychosocial support programme for many of them suffering from trauma caused by the Boko Haram insurgency in northeast Nigeria. Photo: UNICEF/Andrew Esiebo
“People living in poverty, and other marginalized groups, are disproportionately suffering as a result of the stringent economic measures in a country once considered as an example of progressive policies to reduce poverty and promote social inclusion,” said a statement released by a group of seven UN human rights experts on Friday.According to the experts, data recently made available, reveals a rise in child mortality rates for the first time in 26 years, attributable in part to the Zika disease virus epidemic and economic crisis of recent years.This is a serious concern, especially considering public health system budgetary restrictions and other social policies that compromise the State’s commitment to guarantee human rights for all, especially children and women, the experts elaborated.“Some of the financial and fiscal decisions made in the last years affect the enjoyment of several rights, including to housing, food, water, sanitation, education, social security and health, and are worsening pre-existing inequalities,” they added.While the Government has underlined various measures to alleviate the adverse consequences, the experts find them largely insufficient.“Women and children living in poverty are among those hit hardest, as are Brazilians of African descent, rural populations, and people living in informal settlements,” said the experts. “We regret that efforts in relation to targeted policies addressing systemic discrimination against women have not been sustained.”Austerity measures should be taken only with the most careful analysis of their impact – UN Human Rights ExpertsThey stressed that austerity measures, which have been popular across the world since the 2008 economic crisis, should never be the only – or first – solution to tackling economic problems.They explained that economic crises do not justify cuts to services and social rights.“Austerity measures should be taken only with the most careful analysis of their impact, in particular as they would affect the most disenfranchised individuals and groups,” they stressed. “They must be considered only after a comprehensive human rights impact assessment.”The experts added that such an assessment should consider less harmful policy alternatives, like raising taxes for the richest before placing bigger burdens on the poor: “Steps to reduce public debt and to regain not only financial but also social sustainability, should also be considered,” the experts stressed.Once a champion in the fight against hunger and malnutrition, Brazil, is dramatically reversing major policies on food security; cutting housing; and, according to 2018 forecasts, reducing water and sanitation. Moreover, public spending is expected to remain capped for 20 years, further underscoring the need to review economic policies with a human rights lens.
TACOMA — A deputy who “had a clear shot” fired once at the suspect in the fatal shooting of a Tacoma officer, killing the man who had used two children as human shields inside a home during a lengthy standoff, authorities said.The suspect was shot at about 3:30 a.m., ending an 11-hour standoff, said Pierce County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Ed Troyer. He did not identify the suspect but said the man refused to surrender during negotiations.“We were able to get the suspect cornered and trapped, even though he had two kids,” Troyer said. “We had a SWAT member who had a clear shot. We fired one round, which struck him.”A girl and a boy were found unharmed inside the house, where authorities also discovered multiple weapons.Earlier, the working class East Tacoma neighborhood of single-family homes was locked down while officers tried to bring about a peaceful resolution.Kristi Croskey, who rented the home to the suspect and his wife, was inside the home at the time and barricaded herself in the bathroom before she was able to escape, KOMO-TV reported.
A program starting next year aims to clean up downtown Vancouver and employ homeless people in the process.Talkin’ Trash is the name of a joint effort between the city of Vancouver’s solid waste department and Share, a local homeless service provider.“We are always addressing litter issues,” said Tanya Gray, the city’s solid waste supervisor. “We’ve heard from both residences and businesses downtown.”A couple of months ago, Gray noticed that the city wasn’t fully spending its budget for inmate work crews, which are hired to supplement cleanup efforts by city employees. With those leftover funds, a $72,000 grant was created to pilot Talkin’ Trash. The city will provide a truck.“We’ve never had a project that was funded by the sanitation department,” said Amy Reynolds, deputy director of Share.The plan is to hire a small crew from Share’s clientele. Workers will be paid Washington’s 2017 minimum wage, $11 per hour. They would work about 15 hours weekly. Most of that time will be spent outdoors doing cleanup, but it will also include job training through Partners in Careers, Reynolds said. Participants will get help crafting r?sum?s, setting employment goals and learning skills such as conflict resolution and interviewing.Gray sees the benefit as twofold: The solid waste department gets a more regular presence to help clean up downtown, protecting public health and the environment. And Share’s clients work toward self sufficiency. Share used to take part in the Adopt-a-Highway program, where volunteers clean up an “adopted” stretch of state highway periodically.
Vijay and Nayanthara’s film takes off.PR HandoutOver the years, Vijay has been cautiously picking up subjects that will reach out to all section of audience. His policy has been to work on films which will have a right packaging, thereby winning the hearts of mass, class, family and kids. His latest film, presently referred to as Thalapathy 63, is no exception.The latest cover story of Tamil’s leading magazine Vikatan gives an insight into the content of the movie. According to the article, Thalapathy 63 deals with football, politics in sports and more importantly about friendship between two individuals played by Vijay and Kathir. The tale is being spiced up with action and romance.Looking at the article, one gets an impression that Thalapathy 63 is a revenge entertainer. As rumoured earlier, the name of Vijay’s character is said to be Michael and the title of the movie will have a strong connection to his character.Vijay plays the role of a football player as well as coach. The actor has undergone a short training so that his performance looks authentic to the audience. As per the report, Thalapathy will try hard to fulfil his friend’s dream of taking the latter’s team to the top place in their locality in the upcoming Tamil flick.Currently, the shooting of the movie is in progress in Chennai. The makers have plans to wrap up the filming by July with the plans of releasing Thalapathy 63 for Diwali in October. Atlee Kumar-directorial is produced by AGS Entertainer. Nayanthara is romancing Vijay in the Tamil flick.Meanwhile, Sun TV has acquired the satellite rights of Thalapathy 63. “We are very happy to announce that @SunTV has acquired the Tamil Satellite rights for #Thalapathy63 I am sure this will join the list of memorable movies that we watch again and again on Sun . [sic]” Archana Kalpathi, CEO of AGS Entertainment, tweeted. A collage of Thalapathy Vijay’s looks in recent movies.PR Handout
Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) – Rwanda’s foreign minister has indicated in social media that Rwandan troops could enter Congo.Louise Mushikiwabo said on Twitter late Thursday that Rwandan troops are not currently in Congo, and added the word “yet” in parentheses.She also wrote: “When they are, you will know” in a Twitter message directed to the TV news outlet Al Jazeera.Fighting from the war in eastern Congo that pits U.N. and Congolese forces against M23 rebels spilled over into Rwanda Thursday when multiple shells landed inside the country. In New York, the U.N. said the firing originated from positions held by M23. The fighting in recent days has been among the most intense in the past year, and comes after the United Nations Security Council in March authorized the creation of a special intervention brigade which, unlike the other 17,000 peacekeepers stationed in this vast nation, has a mandate to go on the offensive against the M23. The brigade, made up of soldiers from Tanzania and South Africa, was created in the wake of the criticism following the fall of Goma to the rebels last year.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) M23’s ranks are swollen with undercover Rwandan soldiers, according to repeated reports by the United Nations Group of Experts. Rwanda denies it supports M23.Mushikiwabo had said earlier the shells were fired by Congo troops. She later said Rwanda doesn’t care who fired the shells but only that the shelling ends.Mushikiwabo said a projectile fired by Congolese forces at 9:45 a.m. Thursday killed a woman and seriously injured her 2-month old baby in a market in Rubavu town, located 3 kilometers (2 miles) from the Congolese border. She said Rwanda has remained restrained “for as long as we can” but that provocations can no longer be tolerated. “We will not hesitate to defend our territory,” she said.In New York, the United Nations said the U.N. force “can confirm firing incidents into Rwandan territory originated from M23 positions” from Aug. 22-29, and stressed that “it has not witnessed any Congolese Armed Forces firing into Rwandan territory during this period.”Goma, a Congolese city of 1 million located on the Rwandan border, briefly fell to the M23 rebels last year. The soldiers from Rwanda join the M23 in small groups, hiking across footpaths into Congo, the United Nations Group of Experts has said in a report. Rwanda has also supplied them with arms and sophisticated equipment, including night vision goggles, the report said. Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories Comments Share New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies How do cataracts affect your vision?
Akbar Travels, the largest travel agent in India with 54 IATA and 14 non-IATA branches, was the recipient today of the Abacus President’s Award at the Abacus International Conference (AIC) 2010.The honour is given to the company with the greatest achievements in the criteria of investment in its people, openness to new ideas and adoption of new technology tools including mobile, attention to customer service and investment in CRM, development of high-value niches for specialist customers, new business development initiatives, overall professionalism and innovation in marketing and business efficiency.“We are thrilled to win this prestigious President’s Award from our preferred and largest GDS partner,” said K.V. Abdul Nazar, Chairman and Managing Director of Akbar Travels. “Akbar Travels has always been in the business of great service and professionalism since 1978, and with the help and support of Asia’s leading provider of travel solutions and services, will continue to expand in its growth strategies to maintain a leadership position in the Indian market and rest of Asia.”Presenting the award, Mr Robert Bailey, President and CEO of Abacus International, said, “This award goes to the organisation that has shown the greatest foresight in strategies to drive value, innovation, professionalism and service to customers. Akbar Travels is truly unique in the industry for its achievements throughout the region. Abacus is proud to be the preferred partner for Akbar Travels in its continued growth efforts over the long-term.” Source = Abacus International
The Ailsa Course at the Trump Turnberry Resort on 27 April 2016 in Turnberry, Scotland.Go back to the e-newsletterKeen golfers can play on some of the world’s most famous courses including Gleneagles and attend the finale of the British Open Golf Championship as part of a new luxury cruise tour in the British Isles in July 2017.Luxury Journey to the British Open is an upscale, 17-night fly/cruise package offered by Cruise Express in partnership with Azamara Cruises and renowned golf travel experts, PerryGolf.The unique itinerary – curated for golfers and also non-golfing partners – begins on 16 July 2017 with a flight from Australia to London for a two-night stay at the five-star Pelham Hotel in fashionable South Kensingston, with a private car transfer from the airport to the boutique hotel.Guests then travel to Southampton to board the luxurious Azamara Journey for a 13-night cruise to Edinburgh with onboard beverages included. Guests will visit 10 ports during the cruise with the chance to play a round of golf at six of the destinations in Scotland and Ireland.Ports during the cruise include Guernsey in the Channel Islands, the quaint, seafaring town of Cobh near Cork and the Celtic-flavoured Welsh port of Holyhead, backdropped by the mountains and lakes of Snowdonia. In Liverpool guests will travel to nearby Southport for the final round of the prestigious British Open Golf Championship at Royal Birkdale, with entry to the historic event included.In Dublin, passengers can nurture a pint of Guinness in one of the city’s lively pubs while the next port, Belfast, is home to the Titanic museum. Scotch whisky can be sampled in the port of Glasgow while the Gaelic-toned Isle of Skye offers a rugged landscape of medieval landscapes, picturesque fishing villages and mist-shrouded hills. Meanwhile, the port of Invergordon provides a gateway to the beautiful Scottish Highlands and its mythical Loch Ness monster.The world-class courses golfers can play at during the cruise include the famous greens of Gleneagles Hotel near Edinburgh and the seaside Alisa Course at the glamorous Trump Turnberry Golf Resort south of Glasgow. Passengers can also play on courses near Cork and Dublin in Ireland, Belfast in Northern Ireland and at the spectacular, ocean-fringed Castle Stuart Golf Links near Invergordon.After a two-night stay aboard Azamara Journey amongst the castles and palaces of Edinburgh, guests will fly home to Australia.Including golf course fees and transfers, golfer social gatherings onboard the ship, lunch and beverages at each course and return flights from Australia, the 17-night package is available from $17,990 per person, twin-share, in an ocean-view stateroom. For non-golfers, including non-playing partners, fares start at $12,490 per person, twin-share, including entry to the British Open.Go back to the e-newsletter
November 23, 2015It was a night filled with Gumbo, swampy guitars and shouts of butter! Walter Parks, legendary songwriter, vocalist, guitarist and bassist originally from Jacksonville, FL returns to Arcosanti and filled the cafe with the bluesy sounds of his solo acoustic performance.[photo and text by Hildemar Cruz]The night kicked off with a delicious Louisiana style dinner of muddog chowder, butternut gumbo, quinoa jambalaya, three types of salads and double chocolate brownies with vanilla ice cream and honey orange soaked berries for dessert. Dressed up with an impromptu build stage, hanging swamp grass and a red chandelier, the cafe was warm and welcoming; setting the right mood of the intimate performance. Walter has been visiting Arcosanti since 2003 when playing with Richie Havens. Since then he has continued to visit and perform throughout the years. His performance Saturday night was both heart breaking and full of humor. He filled the spaces in between songs with personal stories and anecdotes, truly creating an intimate exchange with the crowd. Parks has a fascinating way of playing a guitar acoustically and creating a beat by simply tapping on his guitar. Things got really moving during the performance of one particular song about southern living, which got the audience chanting along and screaming out the word “butter”! As usual, Walter Parks filled Arcosanti with an array of laughs and sighs but mostly with smiles.