WASHINGTON – The United States has confirmed a breakthrough in the NAFTA negotiations unlocking a major irritant involving automobiles, while stressing that a few remaining disagreements need to be settled before a deal is concluded.A sense of optimism that the unofficial No. 1 issue in the NAFTA talks might be close to resolution lifted the Canadian dollar more than a cent Wednesday, while the U.S. trade czar confirmed the positive developments on autos.“We’re finally starting to converge,” Robert Lighthizer said, while delivering a progress report to the U.S. Congress.“I think we’re in a pretty good place.”The U.S. is pushing for a deal within weeks. Otherwise, the process risks being punted into 2019. By mid-spring, it will be too late to complete the legal steps that would allow a ratification vote in the U.S. before midterm elections usher in a new Congress.Lighthizer summarized the state of the talks this way: “I believe that we have made a great deal of progress — but we still have a ways to go. I have urged our trading partners to recognize that time is short if we are to complete a deal in time for consideration by this Congress.”Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday he believes that a deal is “eminently possible.”“There seems to be a certain momentum around the table now that I certainly take as positive,” he said at a Toronto news conference.That said, serious irritants remain.The blunt-spoken Lighthizer minced no words while listing several of them — he referred specifically to Canadian policies on dairy, culture, wine, and intellectual property. Dispute settlement rules and Buy American issues are also sticking points.— Of Canada’s intellectual-property rules, Lighthizer said: “Canada has Third World intellectual property protection. Getting them to accept First World is not easy.” In its annual report on the topic, the U.S. lists its main concerns as Canada’s enforcement of counterfeit crimes, and its looser rules for educational exemptions.— On cultural protections: A lawmaker complained that Canada has abused the exemption on cultural products. He referred to Canada’s blocking the QVC shopping network on cultural grounds. Lighthizer replied: “There’s a legitimate case for some cultural exceptions. But it’s not for this kind of thing. … The cultural exemption is very often just cultural protectionism.” Trudeau, though, tied culture to bilingualism, “which highlights just how incredibly important it is for us to protect our culture, our languages, our creative sectors, our artists.”— Online shopping: The U.S. wants more online purchases of American goods. Lighthizer ridiculed the disparity between what the U.S. allows citizens to import duty-free versus what Canada allows — US$800, versus $20 in Canada: “(That’s) just ridiculous… There’s no one that can argue that.”— On wine sales, the U.S. is already fighting Canada at the WTO for discriminatory rules on store shelves. Lighthizer said: “It’s just rank protectionism at the provincial level in Canada.”— Dairy remains a major problem. Lawmaker Devin Nunes, a third-generation dairy farmer, lamented Canada’s limits on imports under supply management. “Canada has been getting away with murder in their dairy industry,” he said. “It’s causing tremendous problems for farmers here in the United States.”Lighthizer concurred. He said it’s also a problem in other supply-managed sectors, poultry and eggs. He expressed some sympathy for Canada’s challenges in dismantling the system, but he said he hopes to negotiate reforms.“It’s difficult for them to change their policies in these areas,” Lighthizer said.“Having said that it’s a very high priority to make changes in the Canadian dairy programs. … I’m hopeful that when we put the final deal together it’s something we will make real headway on.”Trudeau suggested that will mean a fight: “We’re going to continue to defend supply management, because it works.”Lighthizer predicted how the final hours of bargaining will unfold: he said the last issues to be sorted out will include sensitive agricultural areas, such as dairy and wine, as well as intellectual property.But he said he envisions a new NAFTA with 33 chapters — up from the current 22 — that benefits every country.He said his primary goal is to steer back some manufacturing from Mexico, through several means: driving up wages in Mexico, new auto rules and weakening the investor-state protections that allow companies to sue foreign governments under Chapter 11.“The Canadians, to be honest, have a similar objective,” Lighthizer said.He said he wants guarantees that Mexican workers will get to vote by secret ballot on collective bargaining agreements. On dispute resolution, he was pressed by 103 Republican lawmakers who released a letter demanding that he maintain the investor-state system.Lighthizer pushed back.If an American company wants to move a plant from Texas to Mexico, and is frightened that, for example, socialist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador might win the presidential election and discriminate against foreign companies, why, Lighthizer asked, should U.S. trade policy help provide reassurance?
MONTREAL — Canadian softwood lumber producers are getting a temporary reprieve as a large portion of preliminary duties in place for four months have ended pending a final decision.Most lumber companies will pay 6.87 per cent in anti-dumping tariffs after a 19.88 rate for countervailing duties formally ended as of Saturday.Five producers singled out have paid duties between 9.89 and 30.88 per cent. All others paid 26.75 per cent.U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced late Monday that the Department of Commerce postponed the final determinations in the anti-dumping duty and countervailing duty investigations of imports of softwood lumber from Canada until no later than Nov. 14“I remain hopeful that we can reach a negotiated solution that satisfies the concerns of all parties,” Ross said in a statement. “This extension could provide the time needed to address the complex issues at hand and to reach an equitable and durable suspension agreement.”Although countervailing duties formally came off in recent days, Canadian producers have been able to ship products south of the border without CVDs since Aug. 14 by delaying paperwork by up to 10 days, says lumber analyst Hamir Patel of CIBC World Markets.Countervailing duties target what the U.S. considers unfair subsidies, while anti-dumping tariffs go after the alleged selling of softwood below market value.Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard said Monday that higher lumber prices have raised prices for American consumers buying new homes and hurt U.S., not Canadian, workers.“It will become more and more apparent that the most threatened jobs by these policies are not Canadian but American jobs in several states, notably in the construction sector,” he told reporters after a meeting in Charlottetown between eastern Canadian premiers and New England governors.Lumber prices, which ran up in anticipation of export duties, have begun to soften partly due to the lowering of duties.Western SPF prices were US$398 per thousand board feet on Friday, said Madison’s Lumber Reporter, which tracks prices. That’s down four per cent from US$414 a month ago but up from US$330 a year ago.Lumber prices are typically weaker in the fall after the main home building season.“This is sort of this limbo period of 10 days or two weeks,” said Madison’s editor and publisher Keta Kosman.“It will be interesting to see what the new floor is now.”Hurricane Harvey, which has battered Texas, and the impact from wildfires in Western Canada could be factors influencing lumber prices this year.Canada’s share of the U.S. softwood lumber market fell to 23 per cent in July, down from 32 per cent in September 2015 before the expiry of the 2006 softwood lumber agreement, according to monthly Canadian government reports.The Conference Board of Canada has said U.S. softwood lumber duties paid at current export levels will cost Canadian producers $1.7 billion a year and cut about 2,200 jobs until a settlement is reached.Efforts to reach a new softwood lumber agreement appear to have been overtaken by the United States’ efforts to negotiate an update to the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico.
“These executions undermine previous trends towards abolishing, in law and practice, the death penalty in the country,” UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns, said in a statement.“I am concerned that capital punishment appears to have been imposed without due process safeguards in violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Nigeria acceded to on 29 July 1993,” the Special Rapporteur underscored. He added that without full respect for due process guarantees, capital punishment constitutes a summary or arbitrary execution.The independent UN expert also noted that the Government of Nigeria had in 2009 reaffirmed its commitment to a de facto moratorium on the death penalty when the situation of human rights in the country was studied under the UN Universal Periodic Review. The Geneva-based Council’s Periodic Review subjects each country’s human rights record to a State-led peer examination on the basis of information submitted by the country concerned, UN entities, civil society and other stakeholders.“I call on the Government of Nigeria to refrain from executing further individuals and to return to the moratorium on the use of death penalty in the country,” Mr. Heyns said.Independent experts, or special rapporteurs, are appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back, in an unpaid capacity, on specific human rights themes.
Anthony Ralph joined the Ohio State wrestling program as a volunteer assistant coach in October 2016. Credit: Courtesy of Ohio State AthleticsAnthony Ralph started in collegiate wrestling as a competitor at Kent State, but it wasn’t until he took a post-graduation job as an assistant coach at Notre Dame College that he realized the nuances of recruiting.“It was selling a school, getting the people to trust in you, building relationships that start through the recruiting process,” Ralph said. “If the student-athlete trusts you enough to come to a school that you believe in, it kind of builds that bond and friendship.” Now, as a volunteer assistant coach for the Ohio State wrestling team, Ralph has taken his love of recruiting and combined it with an analytical approach to find unheralded recruits who might bring success to the program. He calls his strategy “moneyball,” a reference to the analytics-driven success the Oakland Athletics had in 2002. “At Notre Dame, myself and a couple of the other coaches kind of came up with a system, an algorithm to find value in guys that other schools don’t see,” Ralph said. “It’s recruiting those guys that aren’t getting the everyday call from Penn State or Michigan, Iowa, Oklahoma State.”Ralph came to Notre Dame College in 2006 at the invitation of his former Kent State coach, Frank Ramano, who was creating the Falcons’ wrestling program. By 2012, Ralph had helped bring in No. 1 recruiting classes in the NAIA from 2012-16. During his time as an assistant coach, he helped lead the Falcons to three NAIA national titles as well as an NCAA Division II team championship in 2014, producing 18 national champions and 62 All-Americans. “Before I left, I think we were No. 1 in the country the last five years,” Ralph said. “So, something I kind of took pride on because I couldn’t compete anymore. That was kind of my way of competing, as far as with other programs.” Ohio State associate head wrestling coach J Jaggers noticed Ralph’s success and kept his childhood friend from northeast Ohio on his radar.By December 2016, the old friends were reunited in Columbus, using the same algorithm that brought him success with the Falcons. “What his system is designed to do is provide depth, find value in some kids that the [recruiting] rankings may not indicate at the time,” Jaggers said.Ralph said the secret of the algorithm is to focus on wrestlers who specialize in scoring. It spots kids who are taking the most risks on the mat, showing consistency in shot attempts and points scored. This helps find wrestlers who are assertive rather than passive, head coach Tom Ryan said.“There are a lot of guys that win at the high school level that are not points scorers, lots of state champions, lots of highly ranked guys that are not point scorers,” Ryan said. “When you look at one of the critical ingredients to success at the next level, it’s a desire to put yourself in scoring positions all the time, so a lack of fear.”Ryan said Ralph has already become a key part of the coaching staff, pointing to the amount of work he does to find guys who fit the culture of Ohio State wrestling. “The biggest thing in the biggest way is that he digs so much that he finds people that want to be here,” Ryan said. “We need depth and I would say that he has already, in his short time here, helped a lot with our depth.”Ralph said “moneyball” is more than just finding athletes to round out the wrestling roster. It is to continue to build what Ryan and the rest of the coaching staff has built at Ohio State. “Using that ‘moneyball’ system, we are not just looking for depth,” Ralph said. “We are looking for guys that can wrestle at the Big Ten level and become All-Americans and national champs.”Jaggers said he thinks Ralph could become the nation’s best recruiter. “When he put his mind to, ‘I’m trying to be the best recruiter in college wrestling,’ with his personality and his skill set, yeah it could easily happen,” Jaggers said.
More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed Hot Takedown Embed Code Welcome to the latest episode of Hot Takedown, FiveThirtyEight’s sports podcast. On this week’s show (March 29, 2016), we try and understand Syracuse’s miraculous run to the Final Four in both the men’s and women’s NCAA tournaments, Ben Lindbergh joins the crew as we preview the 2016 baseball season and wonder whether this just might be the Cubs’ year, and we gab about the Cricket World Cup with Cricinfo’s Andrew Miller and ask whether there is greater parity in the shorter, 20/20 form of the game than there is in test matches. Plus, we check in on our bracket competition and find out which of our hosts is in the lead going into the last weekend of games.Stream the episode by clicking the play button, or subscribe using one of the podcast clients we’ve linked to above. Links to what we discuss are here:Neil Paine explains how the hell Syracuse made it to the Final Four.Reuben Fischer-Baum and Neil Paine discuss the parity in this year’s men’s NCAA tournament.Kate Fagan’s tweets about whether UConn’s women’s team is ruining the sport.There’s an 85 percent chance the Cubs won’t win the World Series this year, says Neil Paine.Rob Arthur asks whether 2016 will herald the end of balance in basketball.The Royals will look to be projection breakers once again, writes CBS’s Matt Snyder.The Guardian’s Vic Marks says anyone can win this year’s Cricket World Cup.Sexist discrimination is happening in cricket, according to the Telegraph’s Jonathan Liew.The English cricket team is rough and aggressive but raw around the edges, says ESPN’s Andrew Miller. If you’re a fan of our podcasts, be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts and leave a rating/review. That helps spread the word to other listeners. And get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments. Tell us what you think, send us hot takes to discuss and tell us why we’re wrong.
Abbotsholme School’s GCSE results from the summer of 2015 were lower than the national average, with just 60 per cent of pupils received five grades between A* and C.Figures released by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) show the national average for the same grades was 69 per cent.Just 8.2 per cent of Abbotsholme students received an A* or an A, which is almost three times lower than the national average of 21.2 per cent.Abbotsholme’s 2015 figures were also lower than the school’s results for 2014 where 27.7 per cent of pupils got an A* or an A and 76.5 per cent got between an A* and a C. A father is suing a private school for the £125,000 he paid for his son’s education after the teenager left with just one GCSE.Scott Craddock, 57, has served papers on Abbotsholme School, claiming it did not deliver on its promises with his 17-year-old son David.The retired truck driver worked in the Middle East to pay for his son to have the best education at the independent boarding and day school in Rocester, Staffordshire.Mr Craddock paid £28,000 each year for five years for David to go to Abbotsholme, but the teenager left last year with just a single GCSE out of eight – a grade C in science.He said he did not believe David was the only pupil with poor results because GCSEs and A-levels at the school were down across the board last year.Abbotsholme headmaster Steve Fairclough admitted that last year’s exam results at the school were “not as good” as in previous years. Mr Craddock, a divorced father of two, of Burntwood, Staffordshire, said: “David was disheartened when he got his results. He said ‘you spent all that money on my education and I walk away with one GCSE’.”I was always told my public school was a privilege – but I think he would have done better at a local comp. They have not provided what they promised in any shape or form.”The teachers said he would come away with at least five GCSE’s – but he has got one. He wasn’t the only one to underachieve so the standard of teaching there is way below what one would expect from a public school education.”Mr Craddock served legal papers to headmaster Mr Fairclough and the chairman of the governors at the school’s summer gathering.He also asked the pair what they were going to do about the school’s failings in the middle of their speeches.Mr Craddock added: “I wanted David to have the same access to education I did, so I saved in order to provide him with the opportunity.”Public school should give you a leg up in life, but £125,000 is a lot of money and I have not got what I paid for.”I feel like I’ve been ripped off, they just don’t do what they say on the tin. I paid money for a public school education and I did not get a public school education.”They are obliged to meet certain results and should be held accountable for not providing the standards they should be achieving.”The money I spent could have paid for a house for him when he turns 18. I will be taking legal action to try and get this money reimbursed.” I think he would have done better at a local comp. They have not provided what they promised in any shape or formScott Craddock Scott Craddock (left) claims the school did not deliver on its promises with his 17-year-old son David, who is now at collegeCredit:SWNS.com Mr Fairclough said: “I am unable to comment on any contact or dealings that Abbotsholme School has with Mr Craddock for legal reasons.”The school has followed our published complaints procedure to the letter and Mr Craddock has had every chance to present his case in the appropriate manner.”In regard to last year’s results, we recognised at the time that our results were not as good as in previous years, and have taken a number of steps this year – and for future years – to reverse this situation.”In doing so, we are now on course to receive excellent results this year due to the hard work of all the teaching staff.”Abbotsholme School prides itself on providing a balanced education and creating an environment where a passion for learning and continuous improvement is the norm for both pupils and staff.”Our balanced approach to education encourages both academic excellence and character development through outdoor activities and practical learning – both are treated with equal importance.”This means our pupils leave Abbotsholme confident, resilient, and respectful of others and their abilities, and are able to adapt to life’s challenges both personally and in the workplace.”David is now studying arboriculture and horticulture at Reaseheath College, in Nantwich, Cheshire, and has passed the second part of his horticulture diploma with merits. He is also re-sitting some of his GCSEs. 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.
A PEDESTRIAN WAS hit by a van on the N4 outbound at the Palmerstown Bypass today.The man in his 5os was struck by the van at approximately 12.15pm and gardaí and the ambulance service were called to the scene.The gardaí confirmed that he was taken to St James’s Hospital in a “serious condition”.The road was reduced to one lane following the incident today but it has since reopened.Read: Man dies in road traffic accident in Galway>Read: Man reunited with rescue workers who helped save his leg>
Panda : Yuan Zi et Huan Huan sont arrivés au zoo de BeauvalLes deux pandas géants prêtés par la Chine au zoo de Beauval sont arrivés dimanche matin à l’aéroport de Roissy. Ils ont été accueillis en grandes pompes par l’ambassadeur chinois, les responsables du zoo et des centaines de journalistes.C’est un véritable tapis rouge qui leur a été déroulé. Dimanche matin, Huan Huan (“joyeuse” en chinois) et Yuan Zi (“rondouillard”) ont atterri à l’aéroport de Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle devant un parterre de journalistes et des officiels qui les attendaient de pied ferme. Leur avion “Panda Express”, un Boeing 777F spécialement affrété par la société Fedex et décoré d’un portrait de panda, s’est posé sur le tarmac vers midi sous les applaudissements notamment de Kong Quan, ambassadeur de Chine en France. Les deux “trésors nationaux” chinois sont arrivés après 8.833 kilomètres de vol direct, soit onze heures et quart de voyage, entre la province de Chengdu et Paris. Apparemment à l’aise dans des cages perforées avec des feuilles de bambous tout autour, ils ont débarqué sur des palettes porteuses avant d’être réembarqués dans un camion à destination de Saint-Aignan, où se trouve le zoo de Beauval, rapporte l’AFP. Un dernier périple qui s’est fait sous bonne escorte. Le convoi est arrivé vers 17H30 et a été accueilli en grandes pompes par des curieux brandissant des drapeaux ou arborant des casquettes à l’effigie de pandas. “Ils ont apprécié le transport, ils ont beaucoup mangé, ils commencent à apprendre le français. Je ne doute pas qu’ils fassent encore des progrès”, a plaisanté l’ambassadeur chinois. “C’est un vrai bonheur. Aujourd’hui, c’est un jour exceptionnel”, a commenté de son côté Rodolphe Delord, directeur du zoo qui a accompagné les plantigrades depuis leur départ de Chine. La consécration de six années d’effort À lire aussiCes 18 animaux méconnus à l’aspect étonnant pourraient disparaître avant vousC’est la première fois depuis 1973 qu’un zoo français accueille des pandas géants. Le couple d’animaux “symbolise l’amitié entre la Chine et la France, entre le peuple français et le peuple chinois (…) c’est un geste extrêmement fort dans l’image amicale entre nos deux peuples”, s’est réjoui Kong Quan. Si la direction du zoo a refusé de donner le prix d’un tel prêt, une source citée par l’AFP a évoqué une somme de 750.000 euros. Bien arrivés au zoo, Huan Huan et Yuan Zi vont désormais faire connaissance avec leur nouveau domaine qui a été spécialement conçu pour eux : deux enclos intérieurs climatisés de 400 mètres carrés, deux enclos extérieurs de plus de deux hectares, vidéosurveillance et bambous à volonté ou presque. Mais les animaux ne sont pas venus tout seuls, ils sont arrivés accompagnés de deux experts chinois en soin animalier et de leur gardien qui restera six mois à Beauval le temps que les pandas s’acclimatent. Au cours des jours prochains, le couple recevra de nombreuses visites, notamment celle du président Nicolas Sarkozy mais le public devra attendre jusqu’au 11 février pour découvrir ces “trésors” chinois. Pour sa part, Françoise Delord, fondatrice du zoo, a salué la “consécration” de son zoo, fruit de six années d’efforts : “ce n’est pas seulement parce que l’animal est beau. C’est une consécration pour un parc zoologique qui fait de la conservation”, a-t-elle commenté très émue et citée par le Nouvel Obs. Le 16 janvier 2012 à 10:49 • Maxime Lambert
A local firefighter-paramedic has joined a group of medical professionals who have deployed to Texas to assist in the emergency response to Hurricane Harvey.Mark Widlund, who works at Camas-Washougal Fire Department, deployed Saturday as part of the National Disaster Medical System. He is joining a team of 65 nurses, physicians and other medical professionals to help with disaster relief.The team was given orders to assemble at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport where they will be deployed in the field to assist with disaster relief efforts.Coast Guard personnel from the region, including a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter, have also deployed to Texas to help with those affected by the flooding.The Coast Guard has 20 helicopters in the area to conduct rescue operations and the agency has helped rescue more than 1,450 people as a result of the hurricane’s impact.
Ode To Reverb: 8 Examples Of Delightful Decay Email Ode To Reverb: 8 Classic Examples ode-reverb-8-examples-delightful-decay Facebook Twitter News A look at some of the finest uses of one of music’s most powerful studio effects: reverb Nate HertweckGRAMMYs Oct 19, 2017 – 5:12 pm Reverb on a song is a lot like salt on a meal: The right amount can make it exponentially better, but add too much and it’s ruined. So which songs offer the best examples of the perfect pinch of reverb? The LANDR Journal recently rounded up their list of eight songs that belong in the “reverb hall of fame.”The selections cover a wide range of eras and genres, but in each instance, the mixing engineer struck the right balance of utility and style. For the former, reverb gives each sound a certain sonic space and can help organize disparate elements by placing certain instruments closer up or farther back in the mix. For the latter, style, reverb can be heavily manipulated and experimented with to create a signature sound.Such is the case with perhaps the most famous example on LANDR’s list, Led Zeppelin’s 1971 classic “When The Levee Breaks” from Led Zeppelin IV. John Bonham’s drums for this song were famously recorded in the hallway of a three-story staircase with microphones placed all the way at the top of the stairwell, giving the drums a massive sound that engineers have referenced (and tried to duplicate) ever since.Other notables on the list include Phil Collins’ signature use of gated reverb in his 1981 hit “In The Air Tonight,” and more recent examples like Grimes’ ethereally angelic vocal sound on 2010’s “Venus In Fleurs” and inventive artist/producer Blake Mills’ convincing and tasteful room sounds on his 2014 instrumental “Shed Your Head.”The next time you’re working on a song and need to choose a tracking room or reach for your favorite DAW plug-in, Lexicon 480L or EMT-250, remember to use reverb responsibly but don’t be afraid to experiment.Read More: Kanye West To The Beatles: 5 Expensive Albums By GRAMMY WinnersRead more
Email Facebook 5 Seconds Of Summer first became popular posting covers on YouTube in 2011. With Michael Clifford and Luke Hemmings on guitar, Hemmings sings lead vocals, and bassist Calum Hood and drummer Ashton Irwin sing too. Their successful third album arrives just in time to make a mark on summer 2018 that will be truly long-lasting.Catching Up On Music News Powered By The Recording Academy Just Got Easier. Have A Google Home Device? “Talk To GRAMMYs”Read more This week’s charts extend the young Aussie rockers’ unprecedented sales streakPhilip MerrillGRAMMYs Jun 25, 2018 – 11:35 am On June 25 preliminary news of toppers for Billboard’s June 30 chart rankings placed Australian rockers 5 Seconds Of Summer’s third studio album Youngblood at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. The band previously hit No. 1 with their self-titled 2014 album followed by 2015’s Sounds Good Feels Good, a record-breaking streak for any band, broken again by their threepeat.5SOS took to social media to push their LP sales over the top in a successful last minute surge, and they took to social gushing thanks for the accomplishment they shared with their fans. The No. 2 slot was taken by the Carters’ Everything Is Love, which might have been hampered by its slightly late release for the chart period and its initial exclusivity on Tidal. https://twitter.com/5SOS/status/1011027676885405697 Twitter 5 Seconds Of Summer Land Third No. 1 Album With ‘Youngblood’ NETWORK ERRORCannot Contact ServerRELOAD YOUR SCREEN OR TRY SELECTING A DIFFERENT VIDEO Dec 2, 2014 – 10:58 pm How 5SOS Used YouTube To Gain Fans Nasir from Nas came in at No. 5 and Liberation from Christina Aguilera at No. 6. Post Malone was at No. 4. The tragic killing of rapper XXXTentacion propelled his former No. 1 album ? to No. 3 and his album 17 to No. 7. The other three artists rounding out the top 10 album spots were Juice WRLD, Cardi B and Jason Aldean. 5 Seconds Of Summer’s ‘Youngblood’ Hits No. 1 5-seconds-summer-land-third-no-1-album-youngblood News
Alaska is about to become the first state to have pot cafes where people can buy and consume marijuana, similar to Amsterdam.Right now, that’s not legal in other states that have recreational marijuana.Download AudioJames Barrett. (Photo by by Elizabeth Jenkins/KTOO)Brothers James and Giono Barrett, who own a marijuana business, Rainforest Farms, in Juneau, also plan to produce a line of chocolate bars infused with pot. They’ll be an alternative to the sugary, processed edibles Giono says he has eaten recently in Colorado.“Man, when I was down there there was just a lot of products I didn’t want to put in my body at all — not because of the cannabis,” he says. “I actually got sick off one of them. I got nauseous.”Unlike Colorado, Rainforest Farms can have a cafe for its customers to eat their pot-infused treats. In November, the Alaska state marijuana control board approved on-site consumption at retail stores. Those businesses could start popping up as early as summer. Each municipality has to give the ultimate OK.“I am not thinking, ‘Oh, goody, goody, we’re going to get rich because of pot.’ That is not in my thought process at all,” says Mary Becker, Juneau’s mayor.She’s a retired middle school teacher. Drug aversion programs, she says, were a regular staple in her classroom.“I have grandchildren and I’ve taught school and I want to see these young people have good jobs. They can’t even get a job in the mine if they test with a drug in their system,” she says.Pot cafes in Alaska give people a legal place to consume marijuana, but some municipalities have anti-smoking laws. Juneau has a strict clean air ordinance that prohibits smoking tobacco and marijuana in public places, in businesses like restaurants and even in private clubs like an Elks Lodge.Becker says while she’s not excited her state would be the first to have marijuana cafes, a pot brownie doesn’t bother her as much as a joint.“I mean, I’d rather people didn’t put their calories in their bodies with edibles of drugs, but it does not damage the smoking ordinance and that’s been one of my real concerns,” she says.Attorney Kevin Higgins says he smokes marijuana at his home to relieve job stress but would consider going to pot cafes.He says the number of local pot enthusiasts like himself probably isn’t big enough to sustain businesses. But there is another possibility.“Tourists are obviously willing to pay a premium on a lot of things just to be part of the experience of floating up the Inside Passage,” he says.And with close to a million cruise ship passengers each year, marijuana cafes could mean an added attraction in Juneau.But Becker says pot pales in comparison to the city’s other attractions.“Have we looked at the Mendenhall Glacier? Have we gone out on the water and seen the whales? I have a hard time thinking people are going to come to Juneau to get their pot,” Becker says.Read Original Article – December 24, 2015 4:55 AM ETAlaska’s Pot Cafes Will Give Patrons A Taste Of Cannabis
On Thursday’s edition of Houston Matters: Many refugees in Greater Houston are facing financial challenges after after Harvey wreaked havoc on the area. That’s because many work hourly jobs and lost wages while businesses were shut down. But refugees are resilient people, having already escaped war, famine, and other challenges in their native countries. We learn more about how Harvey affected Houston refugees and what their needs are still.Also this hour: An expert offers advice on how to help children cope with the stress and emotional effects of the storm and its aftermath. And a historian talks about how early migration to Houston set the stage for the city to become the most diverse in the nation.We offer a free daily, downloadable podcast here, on iTunes, Stitcher and various other podcasting apps. Share
Canadian company Gildan Activewear confirmed Friday morning in Montreal, Canada, that their next major investment will be the construction of a textile manufacturing plant in Costa Rica’s northwestern province of Guanacaste.During a second quarter report to shareholders, company representatives said they chose Costa Rica based on its strategic location near Gildan plants in Nicaragua, its access to ports both on the Pacific and the Caribbean coasts, and the ease of accessing markets in the United States via CAFTA. Benefits from Costa Rica’s free zone regime also were determining factors.Gildan’s decision followed several months of negotiations between the company and the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE).Total investment, location and an exact date for the start of construction were not disclosed, but the new Guanacaste facilities will create 1,000 new jobs for the province, CINDE said.CINDE General Director Gabriela Llobet said Gildan’s operation here “will allow Costa Rica to join the global value chain of the textile sector in a very sophisticated segment.”Company representatives earlier this week met with President-elect Luis Guillermo Solís at an event with leaders of 150 foreign companies with presence in the country. At the meeting, Solís said he would travel to the U.S. to court investors.Gildan Activewear distributes products in the U.S. and Canada and is one of the largest suppliers of T-shirts, socks and underwear. In 2013, the company reported sales of $2.2 billion and 69 percent growth over 2009.The company employs 33,000 workers at facilities in the United States, Nicaragua, Honduras and the Dominican Republic. Facebook Comments Related posts:South Korean company confirms opening of yarn spinning plant in Costa Rica Wanted: bilingual professionals in Costa Rica Bosch opens business outsourcing company in Costa Rica 800 new jobs coming to Costa Rica
19Dec Cotter-sponsored bill increases competitive bidding for townships As part of the road funding bill package that moved through the state Legislature today, the Michigan House approved a bill to encourage competitive bidding on local road improvement projects.“This bill is about making sure future road projects are more efficient and more transparent with our taxpayer dollars,” said state Rep. Kevin Cotter, R-Mt. Pleasant. “Speaking with local officials, I continue to hear how important it is that we transform our state’s competitive bidding requirements to help local road dollars go further. I know how important it is for our townships to see a good return on their investment, and it is great to work alongside local officials to make sure our tax dollars do as much as possible.”House Bill 4251, sponsored by Cotter, allows townships and local units of government who contribute 50 percent or more to a road project to require the county road commission competitively bid the project and award the contract to a responsive and reasonable best value bidder.HB 4251 is a key part of a large bill package to reform Michigan’s transportation infrastructure. Other bills in the road plan include HBs 4539, 4630, 5167, 5460, 5477, 5492, 5493, and Senate Bill 847. Visit GOPHouse.org/permanent-roads-solution/ to learn more about the package.The bills now head to the governor for his signature.### Categories: News
23Jan Bizon co-sponsors measure to restore income tax exemption for pensions Categories: Bizon News Individuals earning a pension in Michigan could see their tax exemption restored under a new proposal co-sponsored by state Rep. John Bizon.“A promise was made to retirees that their pensions wouldn’t be taxed, and we have to live up to that promise,” said Bizon, R-Battle Creek. “It’s my view that all retired individuals should have been grandfathered into the exemption when it was removed, instead of creating carve-outs for certain retirees based on age. By restoring the full exemption, we can work to institute a plan that is fair for all Michigan retirees.”In 2011, changes were made to the way pensions were taxed. Previously, retirees were fully exempt from paying income taxes on their pensions. Now taxes on a pension are determined based on age and income from the pension.“These retirees are living on a fixed income and weren’t planning on their income becoming taxed,” Bizon said. “They worked hard to get to retirement, and we need to come up with a way to keep our promise to them by ensuring their pensions aren’t being taxed.”The bill, House Bill 4027, has been referred to the House Committee on Tax Policy.###
Categories: Kesto News The Michigan House today approved a long-term roads plan that will generate $1.2 billion annually to fix the state’s crumbling roads and bridges at the lowest possible cost to Michigan taxpayers.The House GOP roads plan includes the use of $600 million in existing funds and $600 million in new revenue to fix roads and bridges. The compromise plan also provides $200 million in tax relief by expanding the Homestead Property Tax Credit for middle-class families, low-income residents and seniors.“After months of deliberations, we have approved a fair, solid plan for all Michigan residents that will restore our crumbling roads and bridges,” said Rep. Klint Kesto, R-Commerce. “The plan funds our infrastructure with responsible, targeted dollars, and represents a compromise for all sides of the debate in addition to giving our seniors and lower income families relief.”The plan also creates more than $1 billion each year for our infrastructure by increasing registration fees by about $40 on average for all personal vehicles. In addition, the bills phase in a small, 3.3-cent gas tax increase per gallon by 2019.The bills now go to the Senate for consideration. 21Oct House approves long-term funding solution to fix Michigan’s crumbling roads and bridges ######
Categories: Featured news,News,Runestad News 04Jan Rep. Runestad has perfect voting record State Rep. Jim Runestad, R-White Lake, had a perfect voting record during his first term as member of the Michigan Legislature in 2015-2016.“I am pleased that for the second year in a row I was able to achieve a perfect voting record,” said Rep. Runestad. “I know some legislators may have health issues or family disruptions that may prohibit them from being able to make it for all the votes. However, it is imperative that we show up and take the votes that will impact the State of Michigan.”Rep. Runestad serves House District 44, which includes the residents of Highland Township, White Lake Township, Springfield Township, Milford Township and parts of Waterford Township, as well as the Village of Milford.Last session, Rep. Runestad served as the vice chair of the Committee on Families, Children, and Seniors and is also a member of the House Committees on Insurance, Judiciary, and Local Government. 2017-2018 session committee assignments are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.“In my second term, I will focus on ensuring that legislation introduced is consistent with our state and federal constitutions and with our Bill of Rights,” Rep. Runestad said. “Our forward momentum for economic growth must continue to be a primary focus while correspondingly constraining the scope and size of our state government.”##### Tags: #SB
Categories: Albert News 03Jan Rep. Albert opens Lansing office, announces contact information State Rep. Thomas Albert, R-Lowell, today announced his Lansing office is staffed and open to serve residents of the 86th House District.People can contact Rep. Albert by calling (517) 373-0846 or emailing ThomasAlbert@house.mi.gov. Correspondence can also be mailed to N-1190 House Office Building, P.O. Box 30014, Lansing, MI 48909.“The residents of our district selected me to represent their interests in Lansing, and I take that responsibility very seriously,” Rep. Albert said. “The people here at home are my priority, and I encourage them to contact me if I can provide any assistance. I look forward to answering their questions about state government, and listening to their concerns and ideas.”Brian Sapita, a Kent County resident who has worked for the Michigan House of Representatives for seven years, will serve as Rep. Albert’s legislative director. Allison Gilbert, also a Kent County resident, will serve as his legislative aide.Residents can view updates from Rep. Albert or subscribe to his newsletter by visiting www.RepAlbert.com.###
Categories: Crawford News,News 06Feb Rep. Crawford chairs first House Committee on Families, Children and Seniors State Rep. Kathy Crawford today led the first Families, Children and Seniors Committee meeting at the state Capitol.State Rep. Kathy Crawford, of Novi, today led the first Families, Children and Seniors Committee meeting of the new legislative term at the state Capitol.Rep. Crawford began the House committee meeting with introductions from members followed by a presentation from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on Child Protective Services.“I look forward to working with all committee members to help families, children and seniors across the state,” said Crawford. “We must continue to provide support and help to all of our most vulnerable residents who need assistance in a time of need.”###