BEIJING, China – After a brief truce with China to co-operate on North Korea, President Donald Trump arrived in Beijing on Wednesday amid mounting U.S. trade complaints, with limited prospects for progress on market access, technology policy and other sore points.The strains between the world’s two biggest economies are fueling anxiety among global companies and advocates of free trade that they could retreat into protectionism, dragging down growth.Washington accuses Beijing of backsliding on market-opening promises, and Trump said last week that the U.S. trade deficit with China — $347 billion last year — is “so bad that it’s embarrassing.”“I don’t want to embarrass anybody four days before I land in China, but it’s horrible,” said Trump.His government has raised import duties on Chinese aluminum foil, stainless steel and plywood, and is investigating whether Beijing improperly pressures foreign companies to hand over technology.If they discuss trade during the two-day visit, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s government is unlikely to offer enough “to appease U.S. negotiators,” said John Davies of BMI Research.That is likely to lead to “more protectionist measures on the part of the U.S.,” said Davies.While Trump is looking to boost sagging public approval ratings, the Chinese leader enters their meeting on a political high.The ruling Communist Party added Xi’s name to its constitution at a twice-a-decade congress last month, giving him status equal to Mao Zedong, founder of the communist government, and Deng Xiaoping, who launched economic reforms in 1979.At the congress, Xi promised to open the economy wider but affirmed plans to build up state-owned companies that dominate industries including finance, energy and telecoms. That, along with plans for government-led development of electric cars and other technology, makes foreign companies worry that Beijing is squeezing them out of promising fields.The chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, William Zarit, expressed concern that Trump appears to have done too little to prepare and said some companies worry his focus on trade in goods will mean he does too little about such “structural issues.” Zarit said those include limits on access to finance, health care and other industries.In contrast to “advance work” for previous presidential trips to Beijing, “there really hasn’t been much of that for this visit, which makes us a bit concerned that there may not be much discussion on the structural issues,” said Zarit, a former American diplomat.A senior administration official who briefed reporters in Washington denied that Trump hasn’t adequately prepared.“We’ve analyzed this probably more than most administrations,” said the official, who spoke on condition that he not be identified further.The official said Beijing has shifted to “moving away from market-based principles” and Washington wants movement toward a “market-oriented” system.That echoes complaints by foreign companies that despite a 2013 pledge by the ruling party to give market forces a “decisive role,” restrictions on them in some industries are increasing. That led to a 1.2 per cent fall in foreign investment in China in the first seven months of this year, breaking a series of annual double-digit gains.Business groups have warned that Beijing’s efforts to shield its fledgling competitors in electric cars, clean power and other fields are fueling a backlash against globalization.A possible U.S. response might be “closing down certain industry sectors that are now open to Chinese investment,” said Zarit. “I know we do not want to see any kind of a tit-for-tat, which could end up in a trade war.”For its part, Beijing is pressing Washington and the European Union to grant “market economy” status to its state-dominated system. That would make it harder for trading partners to bring anti-dumping and other cases against China.China says that when it joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, it was promised that status would take effect last December. The United States, Europe and Japan reject that and say Beijing has yet to meet market-opening goals to qualify.Chinese economists argue their country isn’t to blame for U.S. problems. They say global companies benefit from low-cost Chinese labour and a growing consumer market.The loss of American factory jobs is due not to Chinese exports but to U.S. manufacturers moving to lower-wage countries, said Sun Lijian, an economist at Shanghai’s Fudan University.“In the end, it is U.S. companies that have gained large profits,” said Sun.Trump temporarily set aside trade complaints in April after meeting Xi for the first time in Florida and said he hoped Beijing would help discourage North Korea from pursuing nuclear weapons. They issued a “100-Day Plan” under which Beijing agreed to discuss expanding market access for electronic payments and financial services.Despite renewed criticism on trade, “the U.S. needs continued Chinese co-operation” over North Korea, economist Rajiv Biswas of IHS Markit said in an email.That means Trump will feel compelled to negotiate instead of using “blunt bilateral trade measures that could endanger the overall bilateral geopolitical relationship,” said Biswas.Potential options for a possible new package of immediate measures include raising Chinese ownership limits in fields including securities, in which foreign firms can own only 49 per cent of a venture, said Zarit.“If you raised it to 51 per cent, I think that would be progress,” he said.China criticized Trump’s order in September to investigate whether Beijing violates its free-trade commitments by pressing foreign companies to hand over technology in return for market access. They complained that Trump was jeopardizing the global system by launching the probe under U.S. law instead of the World Trade Organization.Few American companies have provided evidence for the investigation, possibly due to fear of Chinese retaliation.The U.S. Commerce Department also is investigating whether Chinese exports including metal tubing, industrial resin and polyester fiber benefit from improper subsidies.Trade is a smaller share of China’s economy than it was a decade ago and the U.S. market is losing importance for its exporters as sales to other developing markets grow. That blunts the potential impact of American tariffs or other sanctions, but the United States still accounts for about one-third of China’s trade surplus, and export industries employ millions of workers.“The U.S. does have leverage to realistically threaten to damage China’s economic prospects,” said BMI Research’s Davies.
Rabat – The Moroccan-French relation recovered, over the past months, all its usual vigor and serenity, said on Tuesday in Rabat France’s ambassador to Morocco Charles Fries, on the occasion of commemorating France’s national day (July 14).During a reception organized at France’s residence, Fries said that a new confident and ambitious dynamic of cooperation was launched between Morocco and France in all areas, following the meeting early February of the president of the Republic with HM King Mohammed VI, a revival that was made possible thanks to the conclusion of an agreement that “would help our judiciaries work together while respecting our laws and international commitments.”He also voiced satisfaction with this text which was voted for by the national assembly late June and will be adopted this Wednesday by the French senate, noting that its parallel approval by the Moroccan parliament will help its enforcement. A new chapter in the Moroccan-French cooperation was written in 2015, he said, adding that this relation is exceptional due to its richness and diversity, as show the visits paid to Rabat by French ministers of foreign affairs, interior and finance, in addition to the prime minister.The reception was attended mainly by the head of government, the speaker of the house of representatives and government officials.
WASHINGTON — Acting Environmental Protection Agency head Andrew Wheeler has moved a step closer to Senate confirmation for the full-time job.The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted 11-10 along party lines Tuesday to approve President Donald Trump’s nomination of Wheeler as EPA administrator.Wheeler is a former coal lobbyist and has served as EPA acting head since Scott Pruitt resigned amid ethics allegations in July.Senate Republicans praise Wheeler for rolling back Obama-era environmental measures, calling that good for the economy.Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (KAP’-ih-toh) of West Virginia says she voted for Wheeler after he assured her the EPA would “look at all available statutory authorities” to deal with a manmade industrial contaminant hitting her state particularly hard.Democrats say Wheeler is cutting environmental protections to benefit fossil fuel and other industries.Ellen Knickmeyer, The Associated Press
During what UNMIK described as “warm and intensive” talks, Mr. Steiner and senior Orthodox officials discussed the difficulties, progress and opportunities facing the people of Kosovo. The UNMIK chief also said he was encouraged by the discussions, during which he received support for his recent seven-point plan to normalize the situation in Mitrovica. For his part, Patriarch Pavle also encouraged Kosovo Serbs to participate in the 26 October elections, saying he wanted a better future for the new generation in the province.
Environment Canada is investigating Vale SA’s Sudbury, Ont., smelting operations for allegedly leaking toxic runoff into local waterways since at least 1963.The allegations are contained in a warrant the government agency used to seize documents, computers and related materials from Vale’s Sudbury offices on Oct. 8 as part of its investigation into potential violations of the Fisheries Act.In the warrant, Environment Canada accuses the company of allowing “acutely lethal” seepage from the smelter waste piles into water frequented by fish, and of knowing about the leakage for years. The warrant contains allegations not proven in court.The accusations indicate the seepage started well before Vale took control of the smelter when it acquired Inco Ltd. in 2006 for US$17.6 billion.The Environment Canada investigation was triggered after a Sudbury resident noticed a “foamy, lime-green coloured substance in a creek” in October 2012. The federal agency’s officers followed the seepage back to Vale’s Copper Cliff smelter slag storage area, the document says.It says the slag storage area is a massive, 200-hectare waste dump in active use since 1929, with more than 115 million tonnes of smelter waste.Gordon Moore, who drafted the warrant and was one of the Environment Canada enforcement officers who responded to the 2012 incident, said in the document that at the time he found light greenish-coloured water flowing from the smelter waste heaps onto a Sudbury Catholic District School Board property and then into the city’s storm drains.The warrant says those storm drains flow into Nolin’s Creek and then into Junction Creek, both of which, according to Environment Canada, are considered fish-bearing creeks.Vale is quoted in the warrants as disputing that Nolin’s Creek is fish-bearing, and says the runoff would be diluted by the time it reaches Junction Creek.Moore says in the warrant that tests on the substance found in the creek in October 2012 showed it killed all fish in the test within 24 hours. To be considered “deleterious” — or harmful under the Fisheries Act — a sample has to kill at least 50 per cent of fish within 96 hours.Samples from the creek showed nickel levels to be 68 times higher than regulated limits and copper levels 2.6 times higher, while tests on water from the school board property showed nickel levels to be 305 times the limit, the warrant says.The document adds that Environment Canada spoke with Denis Faucher, manager of facility services at the school board, who told investigators that the back of the property was always wet, even in dry summers, and that “he had observed various coloured water coming through Big Nickel Mine Drive onto the school board property since at least 1988.”Moore says in the warrant that aerial photographs from 1963 show water flowing from the waste heaps onto the nearby property, and that the width and depth of the erosion around the stream also indicate the flow has been going on for decades.The warrant also says that a study done for Vale by independent environmental consultant Water Earth Science Associates in 2012 found that water was seeping onto the school board property during dry times at a rate of 45 litres per minute in one area, and 180 litres a minute in another for a total of 324,000 litres a day.Moore says in the warrant that studies dating back to the 1990s showed further evidence of waste water seeping from the slag piles, but that the company did nothing about it until ordered to by Environment Canada.“I have reasonable grounds to believe Vale had knowledge of the seepage discharge, as previously described, and had failed to take action to address the seepage discharge until a direction was issued,” wrote Moore.Vale lawyer Douglas Hamilton is quoted in the warrant as saying the runoff from the waste pile had not been identified as an issue.Company spokesman Cory McPhee said in an emailed statement that Vale disagrees with the conclusions drawn in the warrant.He said the company continues to co-operate with Environment Canada and that Vale has a comprehensive water quality management plan to deal with issues associated with its long history in Sudbury.Following the events of 2012, Environment Canada directed Vale to take action, including installing additional water catchments, conducting further studies and drawing up plans to permanently capture the waste seepage.“Vale acted swiftly to address the issue raised in 2012 when the matter came to our attention and at no time was the community at risk as the water had no connection to any of the City’s drinking water sources,” stated McPhee.He said Vale was unable to comment further because the investigation is ongoing.Follow @ibicks on Twitter. Vale under investigation for possibly decades of toxic Sudbury smelter runoff by Ian Bickis, The Canadian Press Posted Oct 23, 2015 11:20 am MDT Last Updated Oct 23, 2015 at 4:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email
by Sandra Prusina Posted Mar 3, 2016 2:17 pm MDT Last Updated Mar 3, 2016 at 2:17 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email The Alberta government and the Business Development Bank of Canada are working together to grow small and medium-sized businesses.The two have signed a memorandum of understanding to boost venture capital funding through the bank.The agreement was signed by Economic Development Minister Deron Bilous and bank president Michael Denham.The province is undertaking a number of initiatives to help grow and diversify the economy.It is already making $1.5 billion in capital available through ATB Financial for loans to small and medium-sized businesses.Continuing low oil prices have led to thousands of job losses in Alberta. Alberta partners with Business Development Bank of Canada to grow economy
The alarm has been raised by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as some 44 migrants and refugees – including women and children – are reported to have succumbed to extreme dehydration when the truck they were travelling in (to Libya) broke down in the desert in northern Niger, exposing them to extreme heat and lack of drinking water.Only six could be saved.“It is quite clear that human smugglers will go to any extent to exploit desperate refugees and migrants,” said the UN agency in a news release today.“These shocking deaths are part of the bigger picture of exploitation as smugglers broaden the death trap from the Mediterranean to the Sahara Desert.”Further, according to the UN International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Niger to Libya route is the one most sub-Saharan African migrants take when trying to reach Europe via the Mediterranean Sea.Each week, thousands of desperate migrants are crammed into pick-up trucks for the days-long ride, often with only enough room for a few litres of water attempting to cross one of most inhospitable and deadliest places on the planet.SEE ALSO: Recent tragedies at sea highlight urgency for safe pathways to Europe“The migrants are often lied to and cheated on their way [and] smugglers usually run away with their money, [leaving them] in the middle of nowhere, in a country they don’t know, trying to gain enough money to either continue the route or go back home,” said Guiseppe Loprete, the head of IOM operations in Niger.Both IOM and UNHCR have been working to support refugees and migrants in the region, as well as warning them of the perils of the desert and sea journeys but operations remain constrained in the want of additional resources.The UN refugee agency is currently in need of $75.5 million to meet the increased humanitarian and protection needs of people in Libya – including those internally displaced, host communities, as well as refugees and asylum seekers.The appeal includes protection monitoring and interventions, as well as advocacy on issues related to respect for human rights, access to basic services, asylum procedures and freedom of movement.Additional resources are also required in Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali and Chad to help prevent and respond to risks associated with such deadly journeys.According to estimates, so far this year, the perilous Mediterranean crossing has claimed more than 1,700 lives.“This latest tragedy was a grim reminder that probably more migrants die in the Sahara desert than in the Mediterranean, but due to the inhospitable nature of the region, it was virtually impossible to know the exact number,” said Mr. Loprete.
Overall bus and coach volumes down 5.0% in the month and 17.5% for the rolling year to April.Coach volumes up 19.5% in April and up by 1.5% for the rolling year.Bus registrations fell by 10.4% in April and fell by 19.7% for the rolling year.“The rate of decline in the bus and coach market has slowed significantly and while it is too soon to talk of sustained recovery, it could be a sign of stability entering the marketplace,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive. “Registration volumes continue at very low levels as market uncertainties, higher fuel costs and the anticipation of regulatory changes ahead weigh heavily on confidence to invest in new vehicles. However, there is evidence of an uptick in some areas, boosted by the seasonal rise in coach demand and new hybrid bus orders coming through.”Follow this link to download the full bus and coach news release and data tables.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
BASF and Ji’Ning Hock Mining & Engineering Equipment have received approval from the relevant antitrust authorities in China for the formation of BASF Hock Mining Chemical (China) Company Ltd. BASF has a 75% majority stake in the new venture, which will continue Hock’s existing business activities in the field of chemical injection and cavity filling products for coal mining and other underground applications. “With this investment BASF demonstrates its long term commitment to the underground construction and coal mining industry on a global basis. We will bring our best technologies to the industry in China and around the world,” said Dr Tilman Krauch, President of Construction Chemicals at BASF.Dr Krauch added: “With its well-established market position and reputation in the coal mining industry, Hock provides both product expertise and a strong customer base. Combined with BASF’s technology capabilities, expertise in environment, health, and safety as well as strength in innovation, the new venture is set to be an important partner to local as well as global mining experts.” In 2010, Hock had sales of roughly €50 million. While injection technology has been present in European markets such as Germany for the past 30 years, it was only introduced in China some 10 years ago. Through chemical injection and cavity filling, substances such as polyurethanes or other construction chemicals can be introduced into fractured rock, sands, gravel or coal to avoid water or gas accumulation and stabilise cavities in tunnels.“Both BASF and Hock share the same philosophy on developing high quality safety measures for mining and underground construction projects. I am happy to stay and contribute to the new company,” said Jingsheng Cui, General Manager of the new group and founder of Hock. “With this new joint venture we can match local and international expertise to better serve mining customers in this important growing market.” There is a growing market for solutions serving the coal mining industry, driven by the continuing growth in demand for coal. Demand is expected to rise for at least the next 20 years, primarily in the non-OECD countries such as China and India where coal is used for power generation, for steel and cement production, and as a raw material in the chemical industry.
Shell can celebrate all they want, but the fight is by no means over.She noted that there were a number of court cases coming down the line in relation to the Corrib pipeline and a final decision would be made then on the project.She also mentioned that it was timely to remember Lars Wagner who died while working on the construction of the tunnel in September of last year.The 26-year-old had worked as a subcontractor to the firm building the tunnel and was part of the machine maintenance support crew on the TBM.Wagner would have celebrated his birthday yesterday.Read: Shell to Sea calls for whistleblowers to ‘expose malpractice and corruption’ at gas project>From The Pipe to the Atlantic: telling the story of Irish marine resources> THE COMPLETION OF the longest tunnel in Ireland is being celebrated by Shell Ireland – but the works have not been without disruption or tragedy.The construction of the 4.9 kilometre-long tunnel has been mired in controversy over the years with many residents and activists protesting to stop the building of the pipeline and the tunnel that runs under Sruwaddacon Bay, a special area of conservation.The tunnel, which will house the onshore section of the Corrib gas pipeline, is located in county Mayo and has surpassed – by 300 metres – the Dublin Port Tunnel as the longest tunnel in Ireland.The tunnel will be used to connect the previously laid 83 kilometres offshore pipeline from the Corrib Field to the Bellanaboy Bridge Gas Processing Terminal.Excavation of the Corrib tunnel started in January 2013 using a German designed tunnel boring machine (TBM) called ‘Fionnuala’. The 140-metre long TBM and its crew have been working around the clock, drilling through rock, sand and clay at depths of between 5.5 metres and 12 metres under Sruwaddacon Bay. Inside the tunnel.Emerging from the tunnel after breaking the final metres of rock, Shell worker Thomas Gander held up a small statue of St Barbara.Speaking to TheJournal.ie, a spokesperson for Shell said that St Barbara is the patron saint for tunnelers.“The project is a joint venture between BAM Civil and Wayss & Freytag, who are based in Germany. Before every tunnel dig there is usually a blessing. In November 2013, there was a blessing in Mayo and the TBM was christened ‘Fionnuala’ because the area has a connection to the Children of Lír,” he said. Shell’s Irish and German tunnelling team celebrate the completion of 4.9km long Corrib Gas Pipeline Tunnel yesterday.He explained that once the final rock had been broken, Gander brought out the statue. “It is a tremendous sense of achievement for the workers to complete the tunnel,” he explained. Shell’s TBM Fionnuala reaches Glengad, Co Mayo.The spokesperson explained that now the tunnel is complete, work will begin in the next few weeks to install the gas pipeline. Gas testing will then be carried out with flow of gas to begin by 2015, he said.Also speaking to TheJournal.ie, Shell to Sea activist Maura Harrington said:
DOZENS OF SOMALI extremists wielding automatic weapons attacked a small Kenyan coastal town for hours, assaulting the police station, setting two hotels on fire, and spraying bullets into the street.At least 48 people were killed, officials said.The assault began around 8 pm local time on Sunday night as town residents were watching World Cup matches on TV. The attack met little resistance from the country’s security apparatus, and lasted until early this morning.Authorities blamed al-Shabab, Somalia’s al-Qaida-linked terror group.Kenya’s top police commander, David Kimaiyo, said the death toll was 48. Another police commander said that as residents were watching the World Cup at the Breeze View Hotel, the gunmen pulled the men aside and ordered the women to watch as they killed them.The attackers told the women that that’s what Kenyan troops are doing to Somalia men inside Somalia. The police commander insisted on anonymity because he was not authorized to share that detail of the attack.A police spokeswoman said authorities believe that several dozen attackers took part.The assault occurred in the town of Mpeketoni, which is about 20km southwest of the tourist center of Lamu. Any tourism in Mpeketoni is mostly local, with few foreigners visiting the region. The town is about 100km from the Somali border. Mpeketoni is about 600 km from the capital, Nairobi.Recent attacksKenya has experienced a wave of gunfire and explosive attacks in recent months. The US, UK, France, Australia, and Canada have all recently upgraded their terror threat warnings for the country. U.S. Marines behind sandbag bunkers are now stationed on the roof of the US Embassy in Nairobi.The Interior Ministry said that at about 8 pm Sunday two minivans entered the town. Militants disembarked and began shooting. Kenya’s National Disaster Operations Center said military surveillance planes were launched shortly afterward.The nearby town of Lamu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is the country’s oldest continually inhabited town.The region saw a spate of kidnappings of foreign tourists in 2011 that Kenya said was part of its motivation for attacking Somalia. Since those attacks and subsequent terror warnings tourism has dropped off sharply around Lamu.Al-Shabab has vowed to carry out terror attacks to avenge the Kenyan military presence in Somali. At least 67 people were killed in September when four al-Shabab gunmen attacked an upscale mall in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. Kenya sent it troops to Somalia in October 2011.Read: Man arrested over shooting of 6-year-old still being questioned by gardaíTake two: Aer Lingus flight to try the journey to the US again after cabin crew fell ill
What’s the deal with tech companies taking much longer than they should to respond to major issues? We saw this with the PlayStation Network being down and Sony waiting a week to respond to the issue, and then we have the huge privacy debacle with the discovery that Apple has been collecting location data on iPhones and iPads. After almost two weeks, Apple responded Wednesday with a Q&A answering some of the questions iOS users have about why and how Apple is tracking their every move.Though the issue was brought up earlier, the news broke on April 20 when two data researchers revealed that an unencrypted file was being stored on iPhones that was keeping a history of the owners location since the iOS 4 update in June.Two customers have already filed suit against Apple, which may be one reason as to why the company is finally coming out to “clear the air.”The company responded to the question of “Why is everyone so concerned?” by saying that users are confused, in part because the creators of the technology, which includes Apple, haven’t been provided with enough education about these issues as of now.Steve Jobs responded to the issue earlier this week by saying Apple absolutely does not track its users data. In the Q&A published today, Apple still said it’s not tracking the location of your iPhone. “Apple has never done and has no plans to ever do so,” according to the Q&A. But this is a little confusing, since it seems like Apple is tracking your location.Apple said that the iPhone isn’t “logging your location,” but instead is “maintaining a database of Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers around your location” that is said to help your iPhone “rapidly and accurately calculate its location when requested.” The company said that calculating a phone’s location using only GPS satellites can take up to a few minutes sometimes, but the iPhone can reduce that time to only a few seconds by using Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers to quickly find the GPS satellites. Apple said that when GPS isn’t available, like when you’re inside or in a basement, the technology even triangulates its location using the towers and hotspots.Apple refers to this as “crowd-sourcing” location data, since tens of millions of iPhones are collecting the data and are then sending the geo-tagged locations of nearby towers and hotspots in “an anonymous and encrypted form” to Apple so it can build up its location database to better is location services.The company said in the Q&A that it only downloads “an appropriate subset (cache) onto each iPhone” since the entire crowd-sourced database is too big to store on an iPhone. The company admitted that the file shouldn’t be storing that much data, and especially not when the location services are turned off. Apple said that the location data that people are seeing on the iPhone is not the phone’s past or present location, but rather the locations of Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers that are around the location of the iPhone. This can be more than 100 miles away from the phone’s actual location.Apple said it plans to stop backing up the cache in a software update that’s on its way.The fix will be a free software update that will encrypt the database file. No word on when that will be coming exactly.Read more at Apple
All you happy-go-lucky students are getting ready to return to school, and for some of you that means college. For us deal hunters this is one of the highlights of the year as retailers kick off promotions to get you equipped for the school year.While there are a few competitive PC offers out right now, like the one in the list below, this deal on a Samsung HDTV is the best one we’ve seen yet. It’s especially noteworthy because we normally see deals on larger TVs, 50-inches and up, making this 32-incher even more rare. The Samsung UN32EH5300 is a unique model, blending high-end features like built-in WiFi, web apps, and an ultra-slim design with a smaller LCD panel. Normally smaller TVs are stripped of features and sometimes even support just 720p resolution, so this 1080p Smart TV is a great option for those with limited space.Listed at a discounted price of $377.99 with free shipping, this is already a good price for the TV. Dell is tossing in a $125 e-gift card as well, which can be used for anything on Dell.com. This is the perfect way to get a hefty discount on a new PC, monitor, or really most any other piece of consumer electronics since Dell stocks most such items.If you really want to maximize your loot, you can also get a $200 gift card with the purchase of certain laptops and desktops from Dell. We also found 50% off a premium Linksys router and a cool Lego Darth Vader LED desk lamp. Scroll down to get the details on these deals.Samsung UN32EH5300 32-inch 1080p LED Smart TV and $125 gift card for $377.99 plus free shipping (reg. $499.99 | e-gift card delivered by email) Our other top deals:Free $200 gift card on select Dell Inspiron/XPS laptops and desktops (students only)Refurbished Linksys dual-band N900 4-port gigabit router (EA4500) for $69.99 plus free shipping (reg. $139.99)Lego Darth Vader desk LED lamp for $49.99 plus shipping (reg. $59.99)
The Education Ministry in Greece gave thumbs up for the operation of about 33 new private colleges in major Greek cities, including Athens, Thessaloniki, Larissa and Herakleion. In autumn, Greece will fall in line with an European Union (EU) directive and grant professional accreditation to graduates of private colleges that cooperate with EU universities. Academics and university students expressed their objections. Of the 39 colleges licensed to operate, five have contracts with American universities and eight do not cooperate with any foreign university. This means that the diplomas issued from the colleges will not grant professional accreditation to their graduates, since they are not covered by the EU directive. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
It has become something of a trend in Europe for prime ministers to start with themselves when announcing cuts to government salaries. Spain’s Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, for example, reduced his own salary from 91,982 euros before taxes to 78,185. This means his successor, Mariano Rajoy, now earns as much as a Greek MP.Of course, as with every rule, there are exceptions. For example, Irish prime ministers are exceptionally well paid, even for European standards and despite a reduction of 14,000 euros a year in their salary, which now stands at 200,000 euros, while the British prime minister receives 172,000 from 194,000 pounds, a reduction agreed to by both Gordon Brown and his successor David Cameron.The best-paid ministers in Europe are the Italians, with salaries of around 16,000 euros a month, followed by British deputies, who, after a 5 percent reduction imposed by Cameron, now receive 14,000 euros a month. French President Francois Hollande was stricter in his budget cuts and slashed his cabinet’s salaries by 30 percent as soon as he assumed office, meaning that French ministers now get paid about 10,000 euros a month. In contrast, Germany recently introduce a small raise for its ministers, who get 13,800 euros a month. Meanwhile, their Spanish counterparts get the lowest monthly income, at 5,800 euros.Even with the reductions, these salaries are still very good, especially in a time of crisis.At the beginning of the year, the Italian statistical service Istat compiled a list of the earnings of Italian and other European deputies, which shows that, contrary to logic, the salaries of MPs do not reflect a country’s general economic health. This list revealed that Italian deputies are the best paid in Europe, as they supplement their salaries by around 60 percent with various bonuses and perks.French MPs’ salaries seem more reasonable, as France is Europe’s second-biggest economy and its deputies come second in the pay rankings, at 13,500 euros a month, though Germany, which is the EU’s biggest economy, ranks thirds in terms of what its MPs get paid.Life for British MPs is much harder as they have to make do in one of the most expensive cities of Europe on just 6,562 euros. Belgian MPs, meanwhile, who earn around 17,000 euros a month, must rankle knowing that Euro MPs in Brussels are earning significantly more than them.Greek deputies, like their Irish counterparts, should feel fortunate in comparison given that they are among the top earners in Europe, even though their countries’ economies are among the worst performers. Greek MPs earn around 8,700 euros a month before taxes, even though the country has a debt of approximately 160 percent of GDP.Over in the United States, President Barack Obama announced a freeze on the salaries of all high-ranking White House staffers as well as state administrators as soon as he entered office, resulting in American politicians and civil servants earning significantly less than their European peers. For example, the average wage for the head of the American Federal Reserve is half that of the chief of the European Central Bank.Furthermore, Obama, who is in theory the most powerful man in the world, earns 317,000 euros a year, which is almost as much as European Council President Herman Van Rompuy. Of course, most American officials also have careers in the private sector before and after their term office, such as Obama, who was a millionaire before he was elected on the sales of his book “The Audacity of Hope,” while Bill Clinton declared an income of 13 million dollars after the end of his term, which he had made delivering lectures.Source: Kathimerini Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
Two people were injured Saturday, one critically, in a head-on collision on state Highway 500 west of Camas, according to the Washington State Patrol.The accident occurred at 4:15 p.m. when a westbound 1993 Suzuki Sidekick driven by Jaime L. Saemann, 45, of Camas crossed the center line and crashed into an eastbound 2004 Honda Element driven by Makayla M. Yost, 17, of Vancouver.Saemann suffered leg and facial injuries and was taken by ambulance to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center. She was reported in critical condition Saturday night.Yost suffered bruises and was taken to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center by a parent. She was being evaluated in the hospital’s emergency room Saturday night.Both vehicles were totaled. The accident remains under investigation.
The House Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee is directing the Defense Department to conduct a study to determine whether a new round of base closures is necessary, as part of its fiscal 2016 spending bill.The panel directs DOD to report by the end of the year its “initial assessment of excess inventory and cost personnel associated with that,” reported the Tampa Tribune.Florida Rep. David Jolly (R) told the paper he supports the provision calling for a BRAC justification study and isn’t hesitant to consider the administration’s request to hold a base closure round in 2017.“We have too much cement,” he said citing the department’s assessment that it has a surplus of capacity of more than 20 percent.Jolly said he believes that MacDill Air Force Base and the Tampa area would benefit from another BRAC round. The installation hosts Special Operations Command, Central Command and other joint commands, along with two refueling wings, putting it in a favorable position to gain additional missions.The $94 million in construction projects at MacDill included in the milcon spending bill is another good sign for the installation, he said. The full Appropriations Committee is scheduled to mark up the milcon bill on Wednesday. Dan Cohen AUTHOR
Stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @AKPublicNewsListen nowDunleavy names Alaska Republican chairman as his chief of staffAndrew Kitchenman, KTOO – JuneauGovernor-elect Mike Dunleavy told mining industry leaders today that Alaska is open for business. He also named Alaska Republican Party Chairman Tuckerman Babcock to be his chief of staff and chairman of the transition team.House member named as next speaker lacks votes he needs to be electedNathianiel Herz, Alaska’s Energy Desk – AnchorageThe representative identified Wednesday as the next speaker of the Alaska House currently lacks the 21 votes needed to be elected to the job, according to an interview with one of his colleagues.Trump administration downsizes NPR-A lease sale after little interest last yearElizabeth Harball, Alaska’s Energy Desk – AnchorageAt its annual oil and gas lease sale, the Bureau of Land Management will offer 254 tracts for bid. Last year, the Trump administration put 900 tracts up for bid.As more ballots are counted, Kreiss-Tomkins opens lead in House raceEnrique Pérez de la Rosa, KCAW – SitkaThe results of the House District 35 race were delayed on election night due to a technical issue in voting across Southeast. But election returns are finally in for Sitka, Petersburg and other communities affected by the malfunction.Sitkans tell Roadless Rule committee that best action is ‘no action’Emily Kwong, KCAW – SitkaOver half of the Tongass National Forest is federally protected from road construction. The so-called “Roadless Rule” has been in place since 2001, and the subject of nearly-continuous litigation since then. But now, the state has petitioned the Forest Service to craft an Alaska-specific rule that would make way for economic development in the Tongass.Fall whaling in Utqiaġvik: joy, excitement and this year, mourning tooRavenna Koenig, Alaska’s Energy Desk – FairbanksWhaling Captain Crawford Patkotak says many in the community are still mourning the loss of two whalers in an accident this season, but the overarching dedication to continuing the tradition of whaling remains strong.Nine thousand-year-old tooth holds clues to ancient AlaskaCasey Grove, Alaska Public Media – AnchorageA roughly 9,000-year-old tooth found in Alaska is part of new research published recently in the journal Science. It came from a child, part of a group of Ancient Beringians that crossed into Alaska from Asia across the Bering Land Bridge. The tooth itself has taken quite a journey. After it was initially found more than seven decades ago, the tooth sat in storage in Denmark.At Anchorage library open mic, teen performers take center stageKirsten Swann, Alaska Public Media – AnchorageIn Anchorage Public Libraries, a new series of teen open mics draws young performers from all kinds of genres. Teens come to sing, dance, play instruments and recite poetry.
00:00 /01:28 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: X Listen Courtesy of The Menil CollectionRebecca Rabinow is the new director of The Menil CollectionThis story has been updated.When she worked as a volunteer at The Menil Collection after college in 1988, Rebecca Rabinow had no way of knowing she’d be returning nearly three decades later to run the place.“Never in my wildest dreams. I can just end that statement right there,” she said.The Menil Collection just named Rabinow as its new director. She grew up in Houston, but has spent the past 26 years as a curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.Part of her role will include overseeing the opening of The Menil Drawing Institute, scheduled for next year.“And that is going to be an amazing addition to the Houston arts scene,” Rabinow said. “So, it’s an exciting moment to really think about the vision of its founders and how that translates as we move forward into the 21st century.”Rabinow replaces Josef Helfenstein, who left The Menil in December to become director of the Kunstmuseum in Basel, Switzerland.The Menil’s president of the board of trustees Janet Hobby says Rabinow is coming on board at the right time.“We did our last strategic plan in 2006,” she said. “So, it will be prime time when she gets in place and after she’s settled to take another strategic plan on and evaluate how far we’ve come and where we want to head.”Rabinow’s first day as The Menil’s new director is set for July 11th. She’s the fifth person to hold the post and the first woman. Share
Submitted to the AFRO by Darriel HarrisHopkins is arguably the most power organization in the state of Maryland. It employs more people than any other private or public institution in the state. It has amassed some of the most intelligent people in the world to work on issues ranging from medicine, to social sciences, to engineering and at all the intersections between and across the three. Recently, the School of Public Health received $300 million from Michael Bloomberg to address domestic health issues. If that wasn’t enough, Michael Bloomberg later gave Hopkins $1.8 billion to be used for financial aid alone. Suffice to say, Hopkins is a powerful entity, shaping current and future generations through innovation, an ability to attract generous donors, and a bevy of top academic rankings that continue to lure the world’s greatest minds.Still, Hopkins has a problem and all of its power, wealth, and status cannot provide a quick fix, or at least it hasn’t. Hopkins is located in Baltimore City, a municipality recently dubbed the unenviable title as “the nation’s most dangerous.” Hopkins students and faculty have been told that as a result of the negative attention surrounding such titles, enrollment is down. Surely, it is understandable that parents may not want to send their 18-year old darlings to a city with more murders per capita than Chicago, New Orleans, or any other big city in America. And so one can predictably guess how the state’s arguably most powerful institution responds; by seeking additional power.Darriel Harris (Courtesy Photo/jhsph.edu)This is where all the intellectual capital of Hopkins falls flat and its primal instincts flare. Despite the institution’s ability to document cultural phenomena, write algorithms to quantify the movement of people, light and sound, birth businesses, and solve intractable medical dilemmas, it cannot help but be afraid, and be driven by that fear. It cannot prevent the caveman instinct of thinking power is the ultimate answer to every quandary, the quick fix to any lingering inconvenience. The institution’s intellect never stops to ask, “Is gaining more power the only option for the already powerful?” Or, “If the powerful need more power to survive, what becomes of those with much less power?”As a Hopkins public health doctoral student, I’ve grown increasingly disappointed with my university’s lack of imagination when it comes to safety. Their insistence on a private police force, an idea that poses as many dangers as it claims to deter, belies academic scrutiny in favor of the traditional divisive and shallow tropes that continue to plague our nation. Hopkins wants a police force in a location where police abuses are extensive and well documented. After having a full year to consider alternate solutions in the face of substantial internal and community opposition, the university has continued headstrong asserting its need for additional power. And to be clear, the power the university seeks is not the power to keep safe, but the power to kill.Lethal force is the heart of the issue. Safety can be accomplished through a number of means; improved lighting, increased patrol and security guards, free ride shares and free parking, are just a few relatively inexpensive tactics. However, Hopkins’ position is that without control of a group that is armed and licensed to use lethal force it can never be safe, that it cannot fulfill its mission. This is precisely the logic that has made our city unsafe; it’s rampant amongst the city’s perpetrators of violence. It is a logic that suggests the capacity to kill is more impactful than scholarly pursuits and creative ingenuity; that the ability to excel ultimately rests on a willingness to do great harm; and that academic solutions are far less effective then brute strength. Hopkins’ current quest for a private armed police force betrays its city, her citizens, and itself. America’s first research University has bowed to fear and thereby bowed to solutions that ignore research and knowledge in a favor of solutions that are irrational, expensive, and intentionally deadly.Darriel Harris is a fourth year Hopkins PhD student, pastor, Baltimore resident and Baltimore farmer.