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Karnataka Congress leader Shivakumar appears before ED again

first_imgNew Delhi: Former Karnataka Minister and senior Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar on Saturday appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for questioning for the second consecutive day in a money laundering case. Shivakumar was questioned for over five hours on Friday by the ED as he deposed before the agency in the evening. The Karnataka High Court on Friday rejected Shivakumar’s petition for interim protection from arrest by the financial probe agency. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ The ED had issued the summons on Thursday night, asking Shivakumar to appear before it on Friday afternoon over his alleged involvement in ‘hawala’ transactions in violation of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002. According to ED sources, Shivakumar was questioned about an amount of Rs 8.59 crore seized during Income Tax department raids in August 2017. Shivakumar has been on the radar of the I-T department and the ED since demonetisation in 2016. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K The alleged money laundering came to light after I-T sleuths raided Shivakumar’s flat in New Delhi on August 2, 2017 which led to the seizure of unaccounted cash to the tune of Rs 8.59 crore without any evidence about its source. Cases were filed against him and four of his associates under Sections 277 and 278 of the Income Tax Act, 1961, and Sections 120(B), 193 and 199 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Shivakumar has accused Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa of indulging in vindictive politics by targeting him and other opposition leaders. Before appearing for questioning before the ED, Shivakumar said, “I am a law-abiding citizen, and I have legal options which I am exploring.” The Congress leader added that he will face the proceedings “legally, politically and socially”.last_img read more

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Take steps against those visiting pandals in inebriated state

first_imgKolkata: Puja committees across the city have requested Kolkata Police to act tough against those visiting the pandals in an inebriated state. They have also urged the cops to take measures against those who create unnecessary ruckus inside the pandals to click selfies.On Thursday evening, senior Kolkata Police officials including Kolkata Police Commissioner Anuj Sharma met various representatives of the Puja committees at Rabindra Sadan. During the interactive session, almost all the Puja committees requested the police to keep a strict vigil over people visiting the mandaps, especially at night. It has been observed on earlier instances that people visit the pandals in huge numbers after consuming alcohol and create pandemonium. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaRequests have been made to the police to prevent such people from entering the Puja pandals which would in turn result in running the whole process smoothly. This step will also prevent incidents like molestation or stalking of women. Several Puja committees also felt that steps should be taken to prevent people from taking selfies inside the pandals which can, at times, block the pandal-hoppers and give rise to unnecessary congestion inside the pandal premises. Sharma said: “Police will do everything to maintain the law and order situation and protect the citizens from any untoward incident. Regarding taking selfies, we will request people not to do so which can create problems for other pandal-hoppers. The message will be circulated through social media as well.” The police have also been requested to look into the parking issue and arrange the same near the Puja pandals.last_img read more

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BC film production to top 26B in 2017 setting new record

first_imgIf you’ve spotted one of the many crews set up around Metro Vancouver recently, it’s likely no surprise to you that B.C.’s film industry is booming.According to Creative BC, the independent agency charged with promoting creative industries in the province, that’s not just movie magic: the latest numbers show motion picture productions are set to spend a record amount in the province this year.Boosted by a low Canadian dollar, motion picture expenditures in B.C. are estimated to top $2.6 billion this fiscal year – the highest ever – up 35 per cent from 2015-2016. Advertisement Login/Register With: Facebook Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement The agency says 338 productions qualified for tax credits this year, up from 297 last year.According to B.C.’s 2017 budget, those credits will cost taxpayers $391 million.READ MORE Twitterlast_img read more

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Alberta carbon tax jumps but NDP says its connected to improving economy

first_imgEDMONTON – Alberta’s carbon tax jumped on New Year’s Day, but the province’s NDP government maintains the tax played a vital role in Alberta’s improving economic outlook.Deputy premier Sarah Hoffman told reporters there was a clear link between the approval of several pipelines last year and the tax that Alberta first introduced on carbon on January 1, 2017.Hoffman noted the federal government was clear that its approval for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion from Alberta to the B.C. coast was due to Alberta putting a price on carbon, as well as other pieces of its climate change policy.Alberta’s carbon levy jumped from $20 per tonne to $30 per tonne on Monday, which Hoffman says will mean an extra two-and-a-half cents per litre at the gas pumps.Opposition Leader Jason Kenney of the United Conservative Party posted a video to social media on New Year’s Eve where he gassed up his truck before the hike, similar to a video he posted last year where he did the same thing.Kenney says the tax has already killed thousands of good paying jobs, put entrepreneurs out of business and made life more expensive for families.“The carbon tax is all economic pain with no environmental gain,” Kenney said Monday in a statement.The province says revenue from the levy, which also includes a tax on heating bills, will continue to be invested in green infrastructure, encouraging Albertans to be energy efficient and renewable energy.It says low- and middle-income Albertans will also see an increase in rebates the province provides to offset the carbon tax.Hoffman noted that 2017 continued to be “tough,” but said Alberta has “definitely rounded the corner” and that there were “tens of thousands of new jobs.”The government said a couple with two children earning up to $95,000 per year will receive a rebate of $540.“I don’t think it has been as shocking to Albertans on the cost side as many would want you to believe it would be. It hasn’t necessarily been easy. Any time you’re paying a bit more, it’s a challenge,” Hoffman said.“But we’ve done it in a way that protects ordinary Albertans and gets us that very important environmental leadership profile that we need to ensure we have a strong economy for future generations.”Kenney, however, noted that since the NDP announced its climate change plan, the prime minister vetoed the Northern Gateway pipeline proposal, former U.S. president Barack Obama vetoed Keystone XL and the National Energy Board effectively killed Energy East.He added the NDP government in B.C. was also trying to stop Trans Mountain from proceeding.“Not one single government, party or special interest group has gone from ‘no’ to ‘yes’ on pipelines as a result of the NDP’s failed tax on everything,” Kenney said in the statement.Kenney also repeated a point that the Opposition has made since the tax was first announced — that the NDP never mentioned a carbon tax during the 2015 election campaign. But in his video, Kenney’s message was that the NDP told Albertans they wouldn’t introduce a tax.“This is the carbon tax they claimed they had no intention of imposing in the last provincial election,” Kenney said in the video.UCP spokeswoman Annie Dormuth said Monday that both messages are the same.“There is no discrepancy. The NDP implementing a carbon tax they never mentioned during the campaign is a lie by omission,” Dormuth said in an email.Hoffman responded the NDP was clear during the 2015 campaign that it was going to take leadership on the environment and that it was working on details of a plan.“Jason Kenney says a lot of things I find unusual or are contrary to the reality that we’re all living in,” she said. “He’s been cheering for Alberta to fail and he wants to pretend that only he can put the economy on the right track.”last_img read more

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Twitter posts better than expected revenue in 1Q

SAN FRANCISCO — Twitter Inc. (TWTR) on Tuesday reported first-quarter earnings of $190.8 million.On a per-share basis, the San Francisco-based company said it had net income of 25 cents. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, came to 9 cents per share.The results fell short of Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 14 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 15 cents per share.The short messaging service posted revenue of $786.9 million in the period, surpassing Street forecasts. Twelve analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $774.9 million.For the current quarter ending in July, Twitter said it expects revenue in the range of $770 million to $830 million. Analysts surveyed by Zacks had expected revenue of $821 million.Twitter shares have increased 20 per cent since the beginning of the year. The stock has risen 9 per cent in the last 12 months._____Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on TWTR at https://www.zacks.com/ap/TWTRThe Associated Press read more

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Lack of communal reconciliation in Kosovo risks social unrest UN envoy warns

17 May 2010The absence of a significant process of reconciliation between the communities in Kosovo, which declared its independence from Serbia in 2008, together with economic difficulties, continues to present the risk of social unrest, a senior United Nations envoy warned today. But the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) continues to devote close attention to issues affecting relations between the majority Albanian and other communities, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative Lamberto Zannier told the Security Council. UNMIK administered Kosovo from 1999 when North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces drove out Yugoslav troops amid bloody ethnic fighting between Serbs and Albanians, but it gave up its administrative role after the independence declaration. The declaration was rejected by Serbia, which still seeks a robust role from the mission as opposed to that envisaged by the authorities in Pristina, Kosovo’s capital. “Relations between UNMIK and the Kosovo authorities are courteous, if at arm’s length, and UNMIK staff continue to maintain a variety of daily, fruitful contacts at the working level with their Kosovo counterparts,” Mr. Zannier said. With UNMIK’s facilitation, the sides continue to have direct dealings on missing persons – according to Red Cross estimates there are still 1,862 people missing across Kosovo – but “regrettably, direct practical cooperation between Belgrade and Pristina has not extended” to other areas generally, he added. The Mission continues “to offer its good offices for the resolution of practical issues between Pristina and Belgrade, in the expectation that more direct channels of dialogue for the resolution of such issues can be activated between the parties.” Mr. Zannier noted that the situation in Kosovo has remained stable, although the potential for volatility and instability, especially in northern Kosovo, remains. “The absence of a significant process of reconciliation between the communities continues to be a challenge and that, coupled with economic difficulties, continues to present the risk of social unrest,” he said. He was presenting to the Council Mr. Ban’s latest report, which highlighted UNMIK’s unique position to facilitate dialogue between the communities and called for ongoing international support for the operation. Mr. Ban today met with Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic, who attended the Council session, and reaffirmed the UN commitment to status-neutral engagement, including facilitating regional cooperation and communal dialogue. He stressed the need for flexibility and pragmatism from both sides. read more

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UNESCO voices alarm at escalating violence against journalists in Philippines

Condemning the second murder of a Philippines reporter in a week – and the 11th this year – the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has voiced alarm at the escalating violence against journalists in the southeast Asian country, calling it a direct attack on democracy. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), reported that 23 year-old Stephen Omais, a staff writer of the bimonthly community paper Guru Press, was found dead with torture marks on his body in Tabuk Town, northern Philippines, after the entire paper received death threats in relation to a story about a public works project. “The murderers of Mr. Omais, whose body was found in a garbage bin, appear to be bent on meting out the same treatment to democracy and rule of law,” UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura said in a statement. “Violence against journalists in the Philippines has recently escalated and is reaching a truly alarming level. To protect democracy and rule of law, adequate measures must be taken to bring the criminals responsible for these barbarous acts of violence to trial,” he added. Professional organizations said Mr. Omais was the 46th journalist to have been assassinated since the establishment of democracy in the Philippines in 1986, and they denounce the fact that not one successful prosecution has been made in connection with these murders. read more

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Application period for 2020 hemp program starts in November

Photo Courtesy: MGN Online FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – Kentucky officials say growers and processors wanting to participate in the state’s 2020 hemp program can start applying for a license in mid-November.State Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles says an online application is being added to the application process with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.- Advertisement – Quarles says the department will accept grower applications from Nov. 15 to March 15 next year. Processor applications also can be submitted starting Nov. 15. The department says it eventually hopes to move to a year-round processor application.Kentucky has been at the forefront of hemp’s resurgence. Hemp was legalized as a farm commodity as part of the new federal farm bill.Two Kentucky lawmakers, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and U.S. Rep. James Comer, played key roles in pushing Congress to legalize the crop. read more

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Brock University at Buffalo launch crossborder economic research project

A research project between universities in neighbouring countries will take a close look at the economy on both sides of the Niagara River.Brock University’s Niagara Community Observatory and the University at Buffalo’s School of Architecture and Planning have teamed up to create a one-year research project that is taking an inventory of the two neighbouring economies.The project aims to lay the groundwork for regional economic growth stemming from the start-up of cross-border partnerships.“The ambition of this project is to begin to leverage Niagara’s assets as a border community, to extend the hand of partnership across the border,” says NCO Director Charles Conteh. “Both sides of the border are in economic transition. Recent reports suggest that cross-border regions are becoming more globally competitive for firms and talent.”Collaborating with the NCO are Brock’s Goodman School of Business and the Niagara Community Foundation. UB’s School of Architecture and Planning is heading up the American research.The bi-national team’s first workshop will take place at 4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 7 at University at Buffalo’s School of Architecture and Planning. It will focus on the life sciences sector.“The binational team is conducting relevant economic, legal and planning research that will shed light on economic opportunities presented by virtue of the fact that we live, work, and play in a cross-border region,” says Conteh.“Collaborating and positioning ourselves as a binational region would strengthen our position in the global marketplace,” says Kathryn Friedman, research associate professor at the UBRI and project co-coordinator.“We would become a very attractive region for investment and economic growth,” she says.The Cross-Border Innovation and Prosperity research project focuses on four key sectors: health/life sciences; advanced manufacturing; cultural/heritage tourism; and natural resources stewardship.Researchers on both sides of the border will collect, map and analyze data on the Niagara, Ontario and Buffalo, New York regions’ economic strengths and weaknesses in these sectors.The research includes holding three workshops that provincial, state, regional and municipal public sector officials, business representatives and officials from the non-profit sector from Niagara, Ontario and Buffalo Niagara.“Although Brock and the University at Buffalo are anchoring this effort, we are truly looking for this to be a cross-sectoral, binational initiative,” says Friedman.UB’s School of Architecture and Planning is hosting the first workshop on Nov. 7, 2016, where Conteh and other researchers will present information collected so far on the life sciences sector “to engage key stakeholders in exploring a cross-border approach to economic growth and prosperity,” says Conteh.He explains that an economically strong and prosperous Niagara will attract and employ young people, which will help to stem the problem of youth outmigration.A host of high-level funders are backing the initiative.Funders include: the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)’s Borders in Globalization initiative, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Niagara Community Foundation, the Oishei Foundation, the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission, the Peace Bridge Authority, the Regional Municipality of Niagara, and Meridian Credit Union.Studies have shown economic potential in the Niagaras of both countries.According to the 2016 Buffalo Niagara Economic Guide produced by the privately funded economic development organization Invest Buffalo Niagara, “the region’s strategic location on the Canadian border is within 500 miles (800 km) of 40% of the binational population.“Our binational gateway for commerce facilitates $78 billion in annual trade between Canada and the United States,” says the report.The City of Welland’s Economic Development Office notes in a 2015 Community Profile that, “Welland is within… 60 percent of the North American industrial market.”“This market area comprises three-quarters of the purchasing power of Canada and the United States,” says the study. “As well, seven of the top ten U.S. industrial states are within one day’s trucking of Welland. Welland is closer to the bulk of the U.S. market than Florida, Texas and California.” read more

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Preachers son led gaslighting plot to seduce pensioners before killing them court

Prosecutors allege that Field then began secretly slipping sedatives into Mr Farquar’s drinks to make it appear as if he was falling into the grip of “crippling” alcoholism. Friends soon began to notice Mr Farquhar’s decline from a neat, well dressed man into a “dribbling shambles of his former self”, the court heard.Field would also hide Mr Farquhar’s possessions, then pretend to find them, sometimes in the fridge. The older man began to believe that he was “losing his mind”, perhaps due to dementia, and even considered suicide, jurors were told. Former University of Buckingham student and church warden Benjamin Field The pair then became “betrothed” at a formal ceremony, after which Mr Farquhar wrote in his journal: “It is one of the happiest moments of my life. Gone are the fears of dying alone.”A private email written by Ben Field around that time betrayed different intentions, the court heard. In it he described Mr Farquhar as a  “closeted, Christian, homosexual, English teaching pedant, with a seriously problematic attraction to teens”.He went on to admit “seeking to exploit both Peter’s vanity and his desire for companionship”.“This is needlessly cruel, of course,” he is said to have written.Mr Farquhar was besotted, however, and was soon persuaded to alter his will so that his home would pass to Field after his death, rather than his own brother Ian. Martyn Smith pictured performing as a magician Martyn Smith pictured performing as a magician “I first met Peter in my sixth term of university.”Peter usually acts in a fashion that betrays his fearful nature, over cautious and aged.”Example: when making a cup of tea, he will go to throw the bag into the cup, but is then stricken by apprehension, and goes to toss the thing several times before dropping it in from a distance of three or five inches.”It’s small, but summarises his entire demeanour – desiring to appear masterful, he contemplates showmanship; his aversion to failure inhibits; he ends up looking far more insecure and shaky than if he was not trying to present himself to the world.”At the end of term, I called Peter and invited myself over. The reasons for this are manifold, but centre on career-minded avarice – I wanted to work at the university (where he was a guest lecturer), or at Stowe school (where he had been head of English for 21 years), etc.”So I went over and was amusing and cheered the poor man up. He retired early, to be a novelist, and his day to day existence was lonely. It is also alleged that Tom Field, Ben Field’s younger brother defrauded Miss Moore-Martin by pretending to be “mortally ill” in order to deceive her into giving £27,000 for a dialysis machine.Benjamin Field and Smith deny charges of murder, conspiracy to murder and posesssion of an article for use in fraud. Field also denies an alternative charge of attempted murder. But he has admitted four charges of fraud and two of burglary. Smith also denies two counts of fraud and one of burglary.The trial continues.Email extract written by accused about victim Benjamin Field was a prolific writer, documenting his “thoughts and activities” in diaries, notes and also electronically, a court heard.Among them was a document titled, An email about Peter.Oliver Saxby QC, prosecuting, read extracts of the two page document to the jury.”Peter A Scott Farquhar is a man of many contradictions,” Benjamin Field wrote.”He is a closeted, Christian, homosexual, English teaching pedant, with a seriously problematic attraction to teens, and who continues to privately tutor fourteen and fifteen year old boys in his home.”I do not suspect him of ever acting inappropriately in any way. This is because I know he is a virgin. A cororner concluded however that Mr Farquhar had died from alcohol related causes.Field duly collected his inhertitance, a life interest in Mr Farquhar’s home plus £20,000, while SMith was left £10,000.The pair then allegedly moved onto their next target, Anne Moore-Martin, a deeply religious retired headteacher who lived three doors down the road. The son of a Baptist minister murdered an elderly lecturer as part of an elaborate “gaslighting” plot to seduce pensioners, kill them and keep their homes, a court heard.Ben Field and his alleged accomplice Martyn Smith, a part-time magician, are accused of conspiring to kill Peter Farquhar, 69, and retired head mistress Ann Moore-Martin, 83, in the quiet village of Maids Moreton in Buckinghamshire.Field, 28, gradually deceived both into falling in love with him before persuading them to alter their wills in his favour, it is alleged.Using a psychological technique known as “gaslighting”, he convinced the pensioners they were losing their minds while secretly planning their deaths so he could inherit their wealth, jurors were told.Psychoactive drugs were secretly placed into Mr Farquar’s drinks, while messages were written on Mrs Moore-Martin’s mirrors to trick her into believing she was being contacted by God, prosecutors said.Field allegedly devised the elaborate “project” while Smith, 32, was his willing follower. When the pair were arrested, Smith had already moved in with another elderly woman, now aged 101, and had secured a copy of her will, the court heard.Officers then found a long list of other pensioners that the pair planned to target for their money, labelled “clients”. They also found plans for what Field called “exit strategies”; possible murder methods including car crashes, unwitting overdoses and ‘accidental’ heart failure during sex. Peter Farquhar When Mr Farquhar’s body was exhumed, a second autopsy found traces of sedatives in his hair. Mrs Moore-Martin reversed the changes to her will, but died in a care home shortly afterwards, apparently from natural causes.Ben Field and Martyn Smith’s final target was a woman now aged 101, the court heard.Jurors were told that at the time of their arrests, Smith had started lodging with Liz Zettl, then aged 99, at her home in Buckingham.During their investigation, police found a copy of Mrs Zettl’s will on Field’s university server, prosecutors said. Smith had also emailed a copy of the will to himself.This was “presumably with a view to committing some sort of deception on her”, Oliver Saxby QC said.Smith is said to have helped Field after becoming “carried away” in his friend’s “world of plotting and deceit and death”, the court heard. There were other “antics” carried out by Field, such as burgling the homes of elderly people,“The common theme: Death made to look like accident or suicide – an elderly, ailing life coming to a sad but predictable end,” Mr Saxby told jurors.“For Field, this was a project: Befriend a vulnerable individual, get them to change their will and then make sure they died. Indeed, piecing things together, it is clear that his project became his life’s work – a life’s work of which he was proud and for which he admired himself.” Like Mr Farquhar, the 83-year-old was unmarried, childless and lonely. Flattered by the attentions of a man 57 years younger, she soon fell in love and embarked on a full-blown sexual relationship, prosecutors said.Soon, though, Field began to leave Biblical messages written in white marker on her mirrors, suggesting it was the “will of the Lord” that she should leave her house to him. A devout Roman Catholic and regular churchgoer, Mrs Moore-Martin is said to have interpreted these as direct messages from God.She told a friend that Field was giving her “white powder” to help her sleep. He also took a photograph of Mrs Moore-Martin performing a sex act on him without her knowledge, the court heard.“Something to blackmail her with, presumably, if the need arose,” Mr Saxby said.Eventually, Mrs Moore-Martin agreed to alter her will to leave her home to Field. However a solicitor and Mrs Moore’s concerned niece both raised the alarm and the police were called. “Note: Later in our friendship I edited his second novel for him, and suggested that we collaborate on a book. Retired headteacher Ann Moore-Martin was once pictured meeting Nigel Farage on her doorstep Credit:Paul Rogers/Times Newspapers Retired headteacher Ann Moore-Martin was once pictured meeting Nigel Farage on her doorstep  Former University of Buckingham student and church warden Benjamin Field “This is, once again, my own ambition seeking to exploit both Peter’s vanity and his desire for companionship.”Time passed, I saw Peter again and again. He once came to Olney, and I showed him round the various churches and spoke about the history of the Baptist Christian Tradition in Britain, Blah and Blah.”Typically, though, I would visit him during a free hour or two while I was in Buckingham anyway, and he would make us a meal.”I had, and still have, a very clear model of relationship’s reciprocity or mutuality, which is vulgarly commercial: he gives me things, and he gets me for a length of time.”Historical example: he lets me stay in the spare room, makes me dinner and breakfast, and in exchange he wins at chess and feels a little less lonely.”This is needlessly cruel, of course; I do like the man, and appreciate some of the things he’s done for me. However, that’s not really an interesting thing to say.” It was a classic example of so-called “gaslighting”, Mr Saxby QC said.“It is a form of psychological manipulation where the perpetrator sows seeds of doubt in the mind of a victim so the victim ends up doubting their memory, their sanity,” he told the court.The term comes from the 1938 Patrick Hamilton play Gaslight and its later film adaptations, in which a man dims the lights in his home while convincing his wife that she is imagining the change.“Nobody knew they were drugging him, least of all Peter Farquhar,” Mr Saxby added.It was around this time that Tom Field, Ben’s younger brother, raised concerns about the “project” in an email read out to the court.“Has it gone too far? The will thing isn’t OK,” the younger Field is said to have warned his brother.“It’s all good fun but it’s got to stop at some point.”Mr Farquar was eventually taken into a care home, where his condition markedly improved, it was said. Shortly after returning home, however, he was found dead at home  by his cleaner in October 2016, the court heard.“Peter Farquhar did die. Ben Field killed him. Almost certainly by suffocating him,” Mr Saxby told jurors. “If he was to inherit their houses, they had to die. And if he was to enjoy his inheritance, of course, he had to get away with it.”Their first target was Mr Farquhar, a “highly respected” former head of English at Stowe school who had retired to write a series of novels, the court heard.Jurors were told that Field first met Mr Farquhar in 2011, shortly after becoming an English student at Buckingham University, where the retired teacher was a part-time lecturer. Shortly afterward both Field and Smith began lodging at his home.At the time Mr Farquhar was a well-respected figure with a large circle of friends and former Stowe pupils. He was “clever, organised, alert and capable; Christian; and private”, prosecutors said.But he was also “torn” about his homosexuality, which he had kept secret for years, and found it difficult to reconcile with his religious beliefs, the court heard. He had never married, had no children, and struggled with a degree of “emotional repression”.Shortly after meeting Mr Farquhar at university, Field allegedly decided to exploit his loneliness, with Smith’s help. He began a relationship with the older man, told him he was “through with girlfriends” despite still seeing other women, and started sleeping and cuddling in his bed. Mr Farquhar’s writings suggest the relationship became sexual, the court heard. 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. Peter Farquhar Oliver Saxby QC, prosecuting, said: “The motive was financial gain – laced, as far as Ben Field is concerned, with a profound fascination in controlling and manipulating and humiliating and killing. read more

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Christine Dimer announced as Kazzie of the Year

first_imgIt’s the time of the year when the Kastellorizian Association of Victoria announces the person to receive the organisations’ greatest honour. This time round, it is Christine Dimer, who was announced as Kastellorizian of the Year 2017. President of the Kastellorizian Seniors Citizens Club for the past decade, Christine Dimer is well-known to the Kastollerizian community for her work. “Christine Dimer embodies ‘philotimo’ as evidenced by her many professional and volunteering roles over the years in the wider community,” said the Association’s president, Dr. Nick Lolatgis. “It is reassuring to know that people like Christine are taking an active role in ensuring that the needs of the elderly and vulnerable in our wider community are properly addressed,” he added, describing the 2017 ‘Kazzie of the Year’ as somebody who “embodies the Kastellorizian ethos of ‘faith, hope and love’ both in her selfless commitment to the social welfare of our Kastellorizian seniors, and in her volunteering roles in the wider community”. Born in Melbourne in 1949, Christine Dimer is the daughter of Steve and Ann Paltos, both coming from Kastellorizo (though Ann Mavris was born in Queensland). The youngest of three children, she studied at the Dacomb Business College and worked as a secretary, before getting married and devoting herself to raising her three children (she has now six grandchildren); in the ’80s, she started volunteering in aged care, assisting isolated elderly people which led her to get back to studying, getting an Associate Diploma of Welfare in 1995, followed by a Bachelor of Human Services in 1996, both at Monash University. Christine Dimer went on to get a position with the Association of the Blind, now trading as Vision Australia, were she worked until 2002. At the same time, she has been deeply involved with the Kastellorizian Association, volunteering as a Honorary Welfare worker presiding the Kastellorizian Senior Citizens Club since 2007. At the same time, Christine Dimer started working with the Justice Department’s Office of the Public Advocate, having trained as a Community Visitor volunteering in the southern region, looking after vulnerable residents of Supported Residential Services. “This is my most rewarding role,” she says. “After 11 years in this role, I continue to see the injustices done to our fellow human beings and feel that I can still contribute in a meaningful way to help these residents have a quality of life that is their right. I feel very privileged to have had these opportunities throughout my life. This involvement with my wider community is something I will cherish forever.” Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

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Rain likely to persist

first_imgObservers throughout southwest Washington had to do little more than look out the window to see rain, wind or hail, even blue skies, depending on the timing of the glance.Suffice it to say, it’s been weird stretch of weather these past 24 hours.“May is acting more like March,” e-mailed Steve Pierce, an executive board member of the Oregon chapter of the American Meteorological Society. Pearson Airport has accumulated more than a half-inch of rain over the 24-hour stretch ending at 1 p.m. today.“If we continue adding to the rain bucket, we have a chance to go above normal for May. That would follow a wetter than normal April,” Pierce wrote. “It has been almost three years since we last experienced back-to-back ‘above normal’ precipitation months at the Portland International Airport.”Pierce expects wet weather to persist through the weekend, although it shouldn’t be as “stormy as it has been over the past 24-48 hours.”Temperatures will remain colder than normal, wrote Pierce, who added that a warm stretch is unlikely anytime soon.Advises Pierce: Keep your umbrellas handy.A day after high winds caused power outages in at least four spots around Clark County, Mick Shutt of Clark Public Utilities said today’s been a different story. No outages have been reported.“It’s been pretty quiet, although it has been pretty weird out there,” Schutt said.Weird, yes, but it could be worse.last_img read more

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Alaska pretrial services might see change

first_imgGeri Fox is in charge of developing Alaska’s new pretrial program, part of which is an assessment tool that will be used to determine if someone awaits trial in prison or in the community. She says “It measures the likelihood of an individual committing a new criminal event between the time they are arrested and their case is disposed of. … The other thing our tool will measure is whether or not you are likely to fail to appear in a future court hearing between arrest and disposition of your case.”It’s basically using statistics in place of human judgment to assess risk. Fox likened it to car insurance: “If you are low risk, we want to help you stay out in the community, and here’s why … most people that are in jail for more than three days end up losing things like a job, an important significant other in their life, their apartment. And as those things begin to unravel, they become more desperate, and so what happens is we actually increase the crime rate.”Joshua Quintal, like many in Juneau and Douglas, is worried about the upcoming releases. Quintal was arrested for multiple property crimes about two years ago. Unable to afford his $75,000 bail, he sat in Lemon Creek Correctional Center for three months. Quiatal said, “It was rough on me, but … it gave me time to find out what was important to me. So I’m not going to say that sitting there in jail wasn’t good for me. I think it probably was.”If it weren’t for his wife, Brianna Heller, who agreed to be his custodian for nine months, he would have been in for much longer. Heller said she’s glad her husband got out, but she knows that many in Juneau do not have the same support they had to make it work.Heller adds, “I think a lot of people are almost relieved to be in jail, believe it or not, because they don’t have to hustle anymore. There is a huge, huge amount of people that are like the “undesirables,” and it really kind of sucks for them that jail is almost a better option because they’ll have a shower, or they’ll be fed…”Quintal has a lengthy criminal history going back to age 14, when he says his drug addiction began.Fox said that criminal history will likely be a factor in the new assessment, “One of the most likely pieces of the tool will be what does your criminal pattern look like? For example, have you committed three crimes in five years or eight crimes in five years? So the density or your involvement in the criminal justice system matter.”In addition to the new assessment tool, pretrial defendants will be monitored through in-person visits and ankle monitors. Minus a few exceptions, this is something that hasn’t been done before, even for those currently out on bail. She also said connecting people to treatment, especially those with addiction, will be crucial to the program’s success. The new tool will be piloted in September. Fox said they’ll do about 8,000 assessments before full implementation in January. Sitka Police Officer Noah Shepard serves coffee to inmates in Sitka’s jail, while supervisor Dave Nelson looks on. (KCAW photo/Rachel Waldholz)At any given time over a quarter of the beds in Alaska prisons are occupied by people who haven’t been convicted of a crime. That’s according to the Alaska Judicial Council. That may change in the coming months as a result of one piece of 2016’s Senate Bill 91 that establishes pretrial services.LISTEN NOWlast_img read more

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Retd prof moves Madras HC seeking directive to demolish

first_imgChennai: A retired professor has moved the Madras High Court, seeking a direction to demolish the Vedanta group’s Sterlite Copper unit in Tuticorin and restore the site to its previous state by re mediating the environment, including the soil and water on Tuesday. The Tamil Nadu government closed down the copper smelter unit on May 28, 2018 over pollution concerns. Also Read – One arrested for firing outside Satna college in Madhya Pradesh Advertise With Us Fatima, the 65-year-old petitioner, submitted that though over a year had passed, no steps have been taken to restore the area and remediate the damage caused to the environment. She also claimed that such steps can be taken only after demolishing or dismantling the existing structure and prayed that the court direct the government and the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board to take immediate steps to assess the contamination caused by various hazardous installations in the factory premises and evolve a scientific remediation plan. The PIL, which has been posted along with the main plea moved by Vedanta, challenging the closure order and seeking access to maintain the factory premises, is likely to be heard by a special bench of Justices T S Sivagnanam and Justice Bhavani Subaroyan after the final hearing of the main plea. ​last_img read more

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UPDATE 10 Dead And 10 Wounded At Santa Fe High School Shooting

first_imgThe Santa Fe ISD detailed in a tweet that the suspect has also been charged with aggravated assault of a peace officer.Law enforcement can officially confirm that the SFHS suspect has been identified as student Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17. He is charged with capital murder & agg assault of a peace officer. He is in the Galveston County jail on no bond. @FBIHouston #HouNews— Santa Fe ISD (@SantaFeISD) May 18, 2018Texas Governor Greg Abbott said there were few prior warnings about the suspected gunman, unlike in other recent mass shootings.Abbott commented that “unlike Parkland, unlike Sutherland Springs, there were not those types of warning signs.” The Texas governor was referring to the Feb. 14 school shooting in Florida and one in November inside a church in a town near San Antonio.Abbott added “the red-flag warnings were either non-existent, or very imperceptible” in the case of the suspected Santa Fe shooter.————–Members of the Texas House Democratic Caucus, led by State Representative  Chris Turner, Chair of the Caucus,  made a statement on Friday afternoon regarding the Santa Fe High School shooting.  Texas Governor Greg Abbott said on Friday afternoon 10 people were killed and another 10 were wounded in the shooting that happened at the Santa Fe High School and categorized the shooting as “one of the most heinous attacks” in the history of the state and the “worst disaster” in the history of the city of Santa Fe.“We mourn with them,” Abbott underscored in reference to the parents of the victims during a press conference held around 2 p.m.The governor noted there he has now set two goals. The first one is working on the “immediate aftermath” of the shooting and the second one is to “take action” to prevent that a “tragedy” like the one that happened in Santa Fe ever happens again.In that sense, Abbott detailed he intends to hold round table discussions with members of the Texas Legislature, as well as with any other persons who have an interest in preventing gun violence, particularly in schools.In regards to the investigation, the governor explained searches were being conducted because of the existence of explosive devices, including a CO2 device and a ‘Molotov cocktail’, that were found in the high school and surrounding areas.Abbott also noted that the suspect, Dimitrios Pagourtzis, was at the Santa Fe Police Department and added that his journal indicates he wanted to perpetrate the shooting and also commit suicide.The governor also commented there were “one or two other people of interest” who were being interviewed by investigators.Abbott detailed that the weapons the suspect used were a shotgun and a 38 caliber revolver. According to the governor, the suspect obtained the weapons from his father.In regards to the condition of some of the people who were being treated at area hospitals, Clear Lake Regional Medical Center discharged six of the eight patients they received. One patient was still hospitalized around 2:25 p.m. and was in fair condition, while the other patient was in critical condition.—————————————–A law enforcement official has identified a person in custody in the Houston-area school shooting as 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis, the Associated Press (AP) reported.The official was not authorized to discuss the shooting by name and spoke on condition of anonymity to the AP.Authorities say eight to 10 people, mostly students, were killed in the nation’s deadliest such attack since the massacre in Florida that gave rise to a campaign by teens for gun control.#BREAKING: Federal law enforcement source confirms suspected #SantaFeShooting suspect is Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17. #KHOU11 Investigates @JRogalskiKHOU pic.twitter.com/Q0sGUjJtP0— Lauren Talarico (@KHOULauren) May 18, 2018A woman who answered the phone at a number associated with the Pagourtzis family declined to speak with the AP.She said: “Give us our time right now, thank you.”Pagourtzis plays on the Santa Fe High School junior varsity football team, and is a member of a dance squad with a local Greek Orthodox church.Houston Public Media’s Gail Delaughter talked to father of a Santa Fe High School student who said that the suspect had been persistently bullied:Video Playerhttps://cdn.hpm.io/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/18135007/HPM-Red-2018-05-18-at-12.53pm.mp400:0000:0000:47Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.—————————————–Listen to these interviews by Houston Public Media’s Florian Martin, reporting from Santa Fe:Video Playerhttps://cdn.hpm.io/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/18172443/Audio-1-Shooting.mp400:0000:0001:44Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Video Playerhttps://cdn.hpm.io/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/18172502/Audio-2-Shooting.mp400:0000:0002:46Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.—————————————–Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo also reacted to the shooting through his Twitter feed:The men and women of @houstonpolice stand with @SantaFeISD & the entire community of Santa Fe. Our thoughts & prayers are with all involved and we feel privileged to have assisted in a small way. Please Continue to pray for all of the victims, their families and friends. https://t.co/6OHKEblUt1— Chief Art Acevedo (@ArtAcevedo) May 18, 2018 https://t.co/dWz6QQFn6t— UTMB News (@utmbnews) May 18, 2018 Share To the students and faculty of Santa Fe High School, we are with you. #MarchForOurLives pic.twitter.com/3DYXOhmwsP— March For Our Lives (@AMarch4OurLives) May 18, 2018———————————————————————-—————————-The Santa Fe Independent School District provided an update via Facebook on the shooting at the Santa Fe High School:————————–Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner discusses the shooting at the Santa Fe High School with mayors form other Texas cities:Mayor is joined by mayors across Texas to discuss the #SantaFeSchoolShooting https://t.co/abopg02VH0— City of Houston (@HoustonTX) May 18, 2018————————-KHOU-CBS Channel 11 is reporting that, according to law enforcement sources, 17 year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis has been identified as the suspect in the investigation of the shooting at the Santa Fe High School.BREAKING: Santa Fe shooting suspect has been identified as 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis, law enforcement sources tell CBS News https://t.co/Cu8Usi6zsN #KHOU #SantaFeShooting pic.twitter.com/k2GfnVL1Sn— KHOU 11 News Houston (@KHOU) May 18, 2018———————————Jeff Powell, chief of the Santa Fe Police Department, said he anticipates the number of fatalities at the Santa Fe High School shooting to be fewer than 10.Powell added during a press conference held around 11:30 a.m. that at least six people, including one police officer, have been transported to area hospitals.The Police chief noted that a a suspect is in custody and added that “one person of interest” has been detained.Powell also reported that explosives were found in the high school and surrounding areas and asked the public to be on the lookout for any suspicious devices.The Police chief detailed that the FBI, the ATF and the Texas Department of Public Safety, among other law enforcement agencies, were assisting in the investigation.Media briefing on shooting incident at @SantaFeISD high school. #HouNews https://t.co/YtIfpWjGoc— HCSOTexas (@HCSOTexas) May 18, 2018 – / 38THE LATESTAffidavit: Gunman didn’t shoot students he likedInvestigators said a 17-year-old admitted to authorities that he went on a shooting rampage at Santa Fe High School that left 10 dead, most of them students.According to a probable cause affidavit, however, Dimitrios Pagourtzis told investigators that when he opened fire, “he did not shoot students he did like so he could have his story told.”Pagourtzis is being held without bond at the Galveston County Jail. He is charged with capital murder of multiple persons and aggravated assault against a public servant.——————————-Student: Gunman was wearing “Born to Kill” shirtA sophomore at Santa Fe High School said he was in his art class when he suddenly heard three louds booms.Zachary Muehe tells The New York Times he then “saw the kid who’s in my football class … and I saw him with a shotgun.”Muehe said that classmate, 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis, was wearing a trench coat and a T-shirt emblazoned with the slogan “Born to Kill.” The sophomore said Pagourtzis started shooting as soon as he entered the classroom.Muehe said “it was crazy watching him shoot and then pump.” He was able to flee to another classroom through a shared ceramics closet.——————————-Student: “Normal day” before gunman opened fireA student at Santa Fe High School said it was a “perfectly normal day” before shots rang out in her art classroom.Breanna Quintanilla, a 17-year-old junior, said that when Dimitrios Pagourtzis walked into the room, he pointed at one person and said, “I’m going to kill you.” She did not identify the student who was shot.Quintanilla also said the suspect fired in her direction as she tried to run out of the room. She said the bullet ricocheted and hit her right leg. She was still wearing a hospital bracelet on her wrist as she spoke after a Friday night vigil.——————————-A leader at a program for foreign exchange students and the Pakistani Embassy in Washington, D.C., say a Pakistani girl is among those killed in the Texas high school shooting.Megan Lysaght, manager of the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange & Study Abroad program, sent a letter to other students in the program confirming that Sabika Sheikh was killed in the shooting at Santa Fe High School.The letter says the program is devastated by Sabika’s loss and would be holding a moment of silence for her.Lysaght declined further comment when contacted by The Associated Press and referred calls to a State Department spokesman.The Pakistan Embassy in Washington identified Sabika as a victim of the shooting on Twitter and wrote that “our thoughts and prayers are with Sabika’s family and friends.”——————————-The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee says he expects the Justice Department to pursue additional charges against the suspected gunman at a Texas high school.Texas Rep. Michael McCaul told The Associated Press on Friday that federal prosecutors are looking into possible weapons of mass destruction charges against 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis.The Santa Fe High School student was in custody on murder charges and made his initial court appearance Friday evening by video link from the Galveston County Jail. He’s accused of killing 10 people, most of them fellow students. Authorities say he also had explosive devices that were found in the school and nearby.McCaul is a former federal prosecutor. He thinks the Justice Department “wants to ramp this up as much as they can to send a message of deterrence.”——————————-Family members say a substitute teacher whose passion was her children and grandchildren is among the victims of the shooting at a Texas high school.Leia Olinde said authorities confirmed to her family that her aunt, Cynthia Tisdale, was killed in Friday morning’s shooting at Santa Fe High School.She said Tisdale, who was in her 60s, was like a mother to her and helped her shop for wedding dresses last year.Olinde said Tisdale was married to her husband for close to 40 years and had three children and eight grandchildren. She said she “never met a woman who loved her family so much.”Olinde’s fiance, Eric Sanders, said “words don’t explain her lust for life and the joy she got from helping people.”——————————-Officials have canceled classes at schools in the Santa Fe Independent School District through at least Tuesday in the wake of a shooting at Santa Fe High School that left 10 dead, most of them students.In a statement posted on the district website, officials indicated that no plan has been made for resuming classes.Seventeen-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis is charged with capital murder in the shooting rampage. A judge denied him bond at a court hearing Friday evening.——————————-A judge has denied bond for the 17-year-old accused of killing 10 people and wounding 10 others at a Texas high school.Dimitrios Pagourtzis made his initial court appearance Friday evening via closed circuit video from the Galveston County Jail. The judge also took Pagourtzis’ application for a court-appointed attorney.Pagourtzis has been charged with capital murder in the Friday morning shooting at Santa Fe High School. He did not enter a plea at the hearing.——————————-Reacting to the deadly shooting at the Santa Fe High School, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said school districts across Texas should consider installing metal detectors in all campus buildings.Turner said in a statement that “the tragedy at Santa Fe High School is a painful reminder that our children are vulnerable in the very place we send them to be nurtured and educated,” and added that “expressions of support are not enough.”Turner noted the cost of installing metal detectors may be an obstacle for some school districts and, therefore, called on “state elected leaders” to “make funding metal detectors and other security measures in schools a priority across Texas.”“When schools open in the next school year, metal detectors should be in place to provide additional safety for our children,” underlined Turner in his statement, while adding that he will “explore further possible policy changes” in consultation with the Mayor’s Commission Against Gun Violence.Turner will announce who are the members of the commission in a few days.——————————-U.S. Senator John Cornyn says the 17-year-old student accused in a fatal shooting at a Texas high school used a semi-automatic pistol and a sawed-off shotgun to kill 10 people.The Republican from Texas says investigators are still determining whether the shotgun’s shortened barrel is legal.Dimitrios Pagourtzis (Puh-GORE-cheese) has been charged with capital murder in the Friday shooting that also wounded 10 people at Santa Fe High School near Houston.Cornyn says the suspect had a variety of homemade explosives in his car and at the school, including pipe bombs and “pressure-cooker-like bombs” similar to those used in the Boston Marathon attack.Cornyn says the suspect “planned on doing this for some time, he advertised his intentions but somehow slipped through the cracks.”Multiple vigils have been organized across the state.——————————-A hospital spokesman says a school resource officer who was shot in the arm when he engaged a gunman during the shooting at the Santa Fe High School is undergoing surgery.David Marshall, the University of Texas Medical Branch’s chief nursing officer, says Santa Fe school resource officer John Barnes is in stable condition Friday afternoon.Marshall says a bullet hit Barnes’ arm, damaging the bone and a major blood vessel around his elbow. He says the blood vessel has been repaired, and that Barnes is expected to emerge from surgery within a few hours.Marshall says Barnes was the first person to engage a student armed with two guns who opened fire at Santa Fe High School Friday morning. The shooter killed 10 people and injured 10 more. The Houston field office of the FBI detailed that nine of the fatal victims were students and one was an adult, although they didn’t specify whether the adult was a teacher.___President Donald Trump ordered that U.S. flags fly at half-staff as a mark of “solemn respect” for those affected by the school shooting.Flags are to be flown at half-staff until sunset on May 22. The order applies to the White House and all public buildings and grounds, military posts and naval stations and vessels, as well as at U.S. embassies, consular offices and other facilities abroad. The flag atop the White House was immediately lowered on Friday.————————————–A sheriff says the 17-year-old suspect in the fatal shooting of at least 10 people at the Santa Fe High School is being held on a capital murder charge.Galveston County Sheriff Henry Trochesset said in a press release that the student, Dimitrios Pagourtzis, is being held without bond in the Galveston County jail. —————————– Do not touch any items out of place and call 911 as we have agencies that can respond. Our thoughts and prayers are with our students, staff and our community. Please pray for our Santa Fe ISD community. #SantaFeISD— Santa Fe ISD (@SantaFeISD) May 18, 2018The Houston Independent School District released the following statement: “The Houston Independent School District sends condolences to the entire Santa Fe ISD community. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the students, staff, and families affected by this senseless tragedy. We offer our full support to Santa Fe ISD during this difficult time. The HISD Police Department has more than 200 officers assigned to schools and facilities across the district, and they work diligently every day to keep HISD students and staff safe. Today, the department is operating on high alert, and all available officers are on patrol. Additionally crisis counselors are available to students upon request.”———————————David Marshall, Chief Nursing Officer at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), said in a press conference his hospital is treating three people, two males and one female.Marshall explained one of the male patients is a middle aged man who was shot in the upper arm and who is in critical condition, although another doctor detailed he is “stable.”Marshall also noted that the other male patient, a 16 year-old boy, was shot in one of his legs, same as the female patient.———————————The Santa Fe Independent School District reported on Twitter that possible explosive devices have been located at the school and off campus. The Santa Fe ISD added that law enforcement is in the process of rendering them safe.#UPDATE Possible explosive devices have been located at the school and off campus. Law enforcement is in the process of rendering them safe. School has been evacuated. Call 911 if you see any suspicious item. #HouNews #SantaFeISD— Santa Fe ISD (@SantaFeISD) May 18, 2018———————————Santa Fe High School student Zack Wofford said he was in class a couple doors down from where the shooting started. He says his teacher went to investigate after hearing the shots, Houston Public Media’s Florian Martin reports.“Our teacher ran out to go see what it was, he ran back in and said he saw someone with a shotgun, so we started immediately barricading the room after we pulled the fire alarm, so we could, you know, save the other people, save as many people as we could.”Wofford says he heard more than 20 shots.Video Playerhttps://cdn.hpm.io/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/18120950/Audiogram-1-Shooting.mp400:0000:0000:14Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.———————————Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said the number of fatalities at the Santa Fe High School shooting is between eight to 10 with the majority of them being students. Gonzalez said a police officer is among the injured but the extent of the officer’s injuries is unknown.Sheriff Gonzalez also said that the two people who were detained are believed to be students.Media briefing from @SheriffEd_HCSO https://t.co/c8HUyarBYp— HCSOTexas (@HCSOTexas) May 18, 2018Video Playerhttps://cdn.hpm.io/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/18121017/Audiogram-2-Shooting.mp400:0000:0000:08Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.———————————Reacting to the shooting, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner called for a “policy change” through his Twitter feed:For government, next step after thoughts/prayers is policy change. That’s why I’ve been forming a commission against #gunviolence. @HoustonTX is unrestrained in protecting our children and their communities. #SantaFeHighSchool #SantaFeShooting #SantaFeSchoolShooting— Sylvester Turner (@SylvesterTurner) May 18, 2018The City of Houston also reacted to the shooting on Twitter:The City of Houston is saddened by what is happening to our neighbors in #SantaFeTexas. We lift up all students and their families, teachers and law enforcement involved. #SantaFeHighSchool #SantaFeHighSchoolShooting @SantaFeISD— City of Houston (@HoustonTX) May 18, 2018——————————— Santa Fe is a city of about 13,000 residents, located 30 miles (48 kilometers) southeast of Houston.In response to the shooting, Dickinson ISD tweeted it was also in protect mode as a precaution because of reports of a shooting at Santa Fe High School.We’re currently in protect mode as a precaution because of reports of a shooting at Santa Fe HS. Doors are locked & personnel are stationed at outer doors to let people in and out. No students allowed outside of building. Field trips are postponed until we go off of protect mode.— Dickinson ISD (@DickinsonISD) May 18, 2018Harris County Sheriff Gonzalez also tweeted units were on route to assist.Shooting incident reported at Santa Fe High School in Galveston County. We have @HCSOTexas units enroute to assist. Large police presence, please avoid the area. #hounews #lesm— Ed Gonzalez (@SheriffEd_HCSO) May 18, 2018The Harris County Sheriff’s Office reported on Twitter they are assisting, but noted this is no longer an “active shooting situation.”We are assisting @SantaFeISD with a multiple-casualty incident at Santa Fe High School. This is no longer an active shooting situation and the injured are being treated. #hounews pic.twitter.com/m7Wuauk9jk— HCSOTexas (@HCSOTexas) May 18, 2018EDITOR’S NOTE: The Santa Fe Independent School District is in Galveston County, and not in Galveston, as we reported by mistake in a previous version. Photo: Harris County Sheriff’s Office via Twitter / @HCSOTexasLaw enforcement agencies are deployed at Santa Fe High School, located in Galveston County, because of the shooting incident that happened in the morning of May 18, 2018.Texas Governor Greg Abbott en route to Santa Fe High School, according to officials, Houston Public Media’s Florian Martin, reports.———————————At least eight people were killed at a shooting that occurred Friday morning at the Santa Fe High School, located in Galveston County, according to multiple media outlets, including the Houston Chronicle, that are citing law enforcement sources.The Santa Fe Independent School District (SFISD) reported at 9:05 a.m. (Central Time) that the active shooter situation was “active,” but had been “contained,” although the district noted there have been “confirmed injuries.”Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said in a tweet that one person was “in custody” and a second person was “detained.”One is in custody, a second one detained. An injured police officer is being treated, the extent of his injuries are unknown.— Ed Gonzalez (@SheriffEd_HCSO) May 18, 2018President Donald Trump tweeted about the shooting:We grieve for the terrible loss of life, and send our support and love to everyone affected by this horrible attack in Texas. To the students, families, teachers and personnel at Santa Fe High School – we are with you in this tragic hour, and we will be with you forever… pic.twitter.com/LtJ0D29Hsv— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 18, 2018Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued the following statement saying:“The thoughts and prayers of all Texans are with the people of Santa Fe and those affected by today’s tragic shooting. As horrific reports come out of Santa Fe High School, my office stands ready to assist local law enforcement as needed.”Joe Gamaldi, president of the Houston Police Officers Union (HPOU), said on his Twitter feed that one officer was being transported to a hospital by life flight.Just spoke to my counterparts who represent the Officers from Santa Fe and let them know that the @HPOUTX is here to provide any and all assistance they may need.Please keep the officers in your prayers as one officer is being life flighted to the hospital.— Joe Gamaldi (@JoeGamaldi) May 18, 2018In a Facebook post, the SFISD added that law enforcement will continue to secure the building and initiate all emergency management protocols to release and move students to another location. All other campuses are operating under their regular schedules.The Santa Fe ISD’s post also detailed that from the high school are being transported to the Alamo Gym located at 13306 Highway 6. Parents may reunite with their students at this location.A doctor from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) said during a media briefing that, as of 10:15 a.m. (Central Time) they had received three patients, two adults and one minor. Raul Reyes, director of Media Relations at UTMB, detailed later that one of the persons they were treating, a middle aged man, was in critical condition. Law enforcement responded to a high school southeast of Houston after an active shooter was reported on campus Friday, with at least one student saying she saw a man with a gun enter her classroom and start shooting as the class evacuated.The Santa Fe ISD issued an alert around 8 a.m. saying Santa Fe High School was on lockdown. Major Douglas Hudson, from the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office said units were responding to reports of shots fired, but said he had no immediate details on whether anyone had been hurt.SFISD District Response to SFHS Active ShooterThis morning an incident occurred at the high school involving an active shooter. The district has initiated a lockdown at the high school. We will send out additional information as soon as it is available.— Santa Fe ISD (@SantaFeISD) May 18, 2018One student told  KTRK-ABC Channel 13 in a telephone interview that a gunman came into her first-period art class and started shooting. The student said she saw one girl with blood on her leg as the class evacuated the room.“We thought it was a fire drill at first but really, the teacher said, ‘Start running,’” the student told the television station.The student said she didn’t get a good look at the shooter because she was running away. She said students escaped through a door at the back of the classroom.Authorities have not yet confirmed that report. Aerial footage from the scene showed students standing in a grassy field and three life-flight helicopters landing at the school.The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said it was responding to a shooting at the school.BREAKING: ATF is responding to a school shooting at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas. pic.twitter.com/LXC6d8jTYZ— ATF HQ (@ATFHQ) May 18, 2018Santa Fe is a city of about 13,000 residents located 30 miles (48 kilometers) southeast of Houston.last_img read more

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Mortgage Application Volumes Pick Up

first_img Mortgage Applications Mortgage Bankers Association Mortgage Rates Purchase Loans Refinance 2014-07-23 Tory Barringer July 23, 2014 463 Views Share After experiencing a post-holiday decline, applications for home mortgages picked up again last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported.MBA’s Market Composite Index, a weekly measure of mortgage loan application volumes, bumped up 2.4 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis for the week ending July 18, the group said.Unadjusted, the index performed slightly better, climbing 3 percent week-over-week.Most of the uptick came from an increase in refinance application activity, which was up an unadjusted 4 percent from the previous week. That bump brought the refinance share of mortgage activity up to 54.4 percent of total applications, the highest share since March.Meanwhile, the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index rose 0.3 percent. Removing seasonal adjustments, the index ticked up 1 percent and was 15 percent lower than the same time last year.For the week, MBA’s measure for the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage interest rate remained more or less unchanged at 4.33 percent, with points increasing to 0.23 for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio loans, the group reported.center_img Mortgage Application Volumes Pick Up in Daily Dose, Headlines, News, Originationlast_img read more

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Obstacles Dont Deter Optimism Toward Housing

first_img Housing Market Nationwide 2016-06-28 Seth Welborn The national U.S. housing market is sustainable, despite slower-than-expected household formations and the slowdown in energy sector jobs, according to the latest Health of Housing Markets report from Nationwide Insurance.Much of the reason for the optimism lies in the fact that delinquency rates are down nearly across the board and are zeroing in on pre-bust levels, Nationwide reported.  Though the report did not cite specific numbers, graphics indicate heartily decreasing delinquency rates in almost all markets eat of the Mississippi, with notable declines in the Northeast and Florida.Steady declines in delinquency in the western half of the U.S. were also generally good, though delinquency rates were on the rise in that far southwestern ends of Arizona and California.Regionally, however, the housing markets in the vast majority of metropolitan statistical areas were deemed sustainable, suggesting that most local housing markets are unlikely to see declines in the near term.  Job and mortgage market conditions steadily improved as well, helping to boost housing sustainability in much of the country, the report stated.”We are seeing positive signals for homeowners, as well as local economies, in most metro areas.”David Berson, SVP and Chief Economist, NationwideHowever, there are some job concerns. Energy sector slowdowns are weighing on job growth and housing sustainability for a number of metros in energy-intensive areas, especially in North Dakota, Wyoming, and Texas. Nationwide’s assessment matches very closely to stats released by Arch Mortgage Insurance Tuesday that housing markets in these areas are at higher risk for seeing price declines over the next two years.Overall, though, the health of the U.S. market remained steady at just north of 100 on Nationwide’s index. The current value of 104.3 is the lowest level in two years, but an index value over 100 suggests “that the national housing market is healthy, with lower chances of a housing downturn over the next year as the index moves increasingly above the 100 break-even value,” the report stated.”We are seeing positive signals for homeowners, as well as local economies, in most metro areas,” said David Berson, Nationwide’s senior vice president and chief economist. “The drop in serious mortgage delinquency rates supports sustainable home price gains and housing activity. The more sustainable housing markets should allow for positive feedback loops in local economies, with strengthening job and income gains for residential real estate agents, mortgage bankers and home improvement workers.” June 28, 2016 495 Views in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Newscenter_img Obstacles Don’t Deter Optimism Toward Housing Sharelast_img read more

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Go back to the enewsletter Crystal Cruises contin

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterCrystal Cruises continues to explore the world in new ways, calling in new locales for its 22nd annual World Cruise in 2017.  Four new ports are part of Crystal Serenity’s ‘Southern Celebración’ voyage (which sails in full, 94 days round-trip from Miami on 10 January 2017). The marathon journey travels an intensive route through some of the most historically and culturally rich cities and ports in Mexico, Belize, Honduras, Peru, Ecuador, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, the Caribbean and even Antarctica.“Whether one is venturing to a region for the first time or is seeking new ways to explore long-beloved destinations, there are always new places to see and new cultures to encounter,” says Crystal President and CEO Edie Rodriguez. “The 2017 World Cruise voyages offer guests the valuable opportunity to experience a diverse and holistic journey, with the varied history and traditions among the countries visited, while also fully engaging with the customs and beauty of South America as a region.”Crystal’s maiden call destinations on the 2017 World Cruise are:Santo Tomás de CastillaSet along the Caribbean coastline between Honduras and Belize, this remote stop boasts a down-to-earth atmosphere that will give travellers a glimpse of the authentic Guatemalan lifestyle, complete with rugged adventures, ancient UNESCO-listed Mayan ruins, and exotic foliage and wildlife at one’s fingertips. Along the way, guests can take part in snorkelling, horseback riding on the beach and kayaking in the warm coastal waters.MataraniThe small fishing port of Matarani is a gateway to one of the most stunning spots on the Peruvian map: Arequipa, the UNESCO-listed town surrounded by three volcanoes, each towering at heights of around 6000 metres. An adventurous, architectural and intellectual hub, Arequipa boasts a pretty town centre featuring white buildings made of volcanic stone called sillar, and draws thinkers and diplomats, along with climbers and adventurers to its iconic sites.IquiqueIquique’s mining history evokes a vibe reminiscent of the American Old-West, while restored Georgian and Victorian architecture, duty-free shopping, wide swaths of beach and a sea with terrific surfing and paragliding, balance the atmosphere with that of a classically welcoming Latin beach community.Castro Island (Chiloé)Situated on the island of Chiloé, Castro is Chile’s third oldest city in continued existence. Castro’s history is tangible and resplendent UNESCO World Heritage Sites, its palafitos and archaeological and contemporary art museums showcasing the island’s diverse and innovative culture are renowned. Crystal’s 2017 Southern Celebración World Cruise is also available for booking in six segments of 10 to 26 days, with all-inclusive segment cruise fares starting at US$4190 per person double occupancy including all taxes when booked by 29 February 2016. All-inclusive full World Cruise fares begin at US$38,645 per person double occupancy including all taxes when booked by 29 February 2016 Full World Cruisers also enjoy special amenities, including exclusive events on board and ashore, specially selected gifts, private chauffeured transfers between the ship and airport, and US$1000 per person in ‘As You Wish’ shipboard credits.Additional savings are also available for first-time Crystal guests, as well as returning Crystal Society members.Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more

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Fraser told the council he is an experienced carpenter and can do a lot of the work himself. is a demonstration of how Pope Francis appeal transcends religion and speaks to a continent-wide craving for recognition and compassion.-Gen.

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