INDIANAPOLIS — The Raiders never fail to stay relevant, regardless of their standing in the NFL hierarchy, and this week at the combine was no different.From Antonio Brown rumors to owning the most first-round picks in the league, the Raiders have plenty circulating this time of the offseason.With free agency less than two weeks away and the draft less than two months in the distance, here are five things we learned about Jon Gruden’s team in Indianapolis entering his second year back at the …
12 June 2012 South Africa’s report to the United Nations on its progress on human rights has been well received, with a number of member countries praising SA for its commitment to improving the lives of its citizens, and for its leading role on the UN Human Rights Council. South Africa presented its second report to the UN Universal Peer Review Mechanism Working Group in Geneva on 31 May. The group reviews the human rights records of all 192 UN member states every four years. In Johannesburg on Monday, the departments of Justice and International Relations and Cooperation met with representatives from South Africa’s Chapter 9 Institutions – including the SA Human Rights Commission and the Commission on Gender Equality – to give feedback on the country’s presentation to the UN. “South Africa’s country report highlighted a consolidation of constitutional democracy, as well as progress made in the realisation of socio-economic and cultural rights such as housing, health and social development as well as civil and political rights enshrined in the Constitution,” said Deputy Justice Minister Andries Nel.Positive achievements According to Nel, the report was warmly received by many member states, who commended South Africa for its commitment to human rights and improving the lives of its citizens, and for the delivery of basic services such as housing, health and education. In addition, South Africa was also praised for its leading role in the UN Human Rights Council, especially with regards the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons. Positive achievements were also noted in areas such as: Step up efforts to combat racism, racial discrimination and, in particular, xenophobia.Intensify the prevention, investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and publicly denounce such crimes.Ensure that the new Protection of State Information Bill fully complied with international human rights laws so as to ensure the freedom of the press, and engage civil society, activists, NGOs and media to seek common ground on the Bill.Ensure that efforts to eliminate HIV/Aids-related discrimination continued.Maintain and build on HIV/Aids prevention and treatment programmes.Take measures to guarantee access to clean drinking water for all. Nel said South Africa’s report generated a number of recommendations on how to tackle racism and xenophobia, gender-based violence, maternal and infant mortality, the ratification of international instruments, as well as the protection of state information.Recommendations Member countries made a number of recommendations, including that South Africa: Efforts to provide universal healthcare and steps taken to improve school enrolment rates.The provision of ARV treatment for HIV/AIDS and the fight against HIV/AIDS in general.Setting up a national agency on youth development.Promoting regional human rights programmes.Promulgating a law on national languages.Setting up the Ministry for Women, Children and People with Disabilities. Nel said the government would consider the recommendations carefully before deciding which were acceptable to South Africa. “An indication in this regard will be submitted to the 21st Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva during September 2012.” South Africa’s Chapter 9 institutions – statutory bodies set up in terms of the Constitution to promote democracy and a culture of human rights in the country – are expected to study the recommendations. Source: BuaNews
I have a not-so-dirty secret. Every house I have built for the last three years (except one) has a bathtub that cost well upwards of $3,000.What is the payback on a $3,000 bathtub? Is it more or less than the payback on a $6,000 solar water heater? Are either of these truly rational purchases?What is the value of the enhancement to your equanimity and marital harmony from that iconic bathtub? Do I calculate the payback on that solar panel based on today’s energy cost or that in five or ten years? What about resale value?Seriously, what has logic got to do with it? It’s an emotional thing.People buy as much green as they can justify—but they work to justify as much as they can afford.I can work with that.
Attached is Ausport Online, the Australian Sports Commission’s monthly newsletter that keeps you up to date with all of the latest news and events in Australian sport.Touch Football Australia’s Technical Coordinator Tara Steel is even quoted about her involvement in the ASC Coaching and Officiating Workshop.Related Filesausport_online-pdf
STARKVILLE, MS – NOVEMBER 22: Dak Prescott #15 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs reacts to a touchdown during the third quarter of a game against the Vanderbilt Commodores at Davis Wade Stadium on November 22, 2014 in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)Monday night, it was reported by a number of sources that Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott and at least one of his teammates were attacked outside a Waka Flocka Flame concert in Panama City, Florida while on spring break. Tuesday morning, video of the incident has surfaced. The alleged perpetrator might have also boasted on his Twitter account about his involvement.In the below clips, both Prescott and one of his teammates are brutally attacked by a group of men in a parking lot immediately following the concert. Prescott can be seen struggling to get up after the encounter. The Bulldogs signal-caller suffered a number of cuts and bruises, but according to the school, he does not have any significant injuries.One Twitter user, @str8fam_dwilson, reportedly took to social media after the incident to boast about attacking Prescott and his teammates. He’s since deleted the tweets, but a number of users screenshotted them. We can’t confirm that he was involved.So these are the ignorant fools, @str8fam_dwilson, that allegedly jumped on @DakPrescott? Just stupid @Yep_ItsCheryl pic.twitter.com/DTTTPBiINk— JoeAMorton (@theJunebugg731) March 10, [email protected] @str8fam_dwilson pic.twitter.com/Pg5RvkaUtw— James Thurman (@coachthurman) March 10, 2015Luckily, none of the players were seriously injured. But it’s still clear that this was a scary situation for all.
VANCOUVER – A medical clinic in British Columbia and a social service agency in Alberta are set to expand their programs to meet the often-hidden and growing problem of South Asians battling addiction to opioids.The Roshni Clinic opened last spring in Surrey to provide services for South Asian clients addicted to alcohol and stimulants including amphetamine and cocaine. But more programs will be offered in the coming months to deal with the use of opioids such as heroin, oxycodone and Percocet, said Dr. Rupinder Brar, an addiction specialist who works at the facility.“Thirty per cent of the population in Surrey is Punjabi speaking,” she said.“There are physicians out there who’ve been there for a while providing services, and I’m sure these patients bring their friend or a doctor may have a translator but it would be nice to expand those services in a way that is culturally sensitive and provide therapy to the family as well.”However, she said immigrant patients urgently need treatment and counselling from health-care providers who speak Punjabi or Hindi, and that’s what Roshni — which means light — will offer them.Brar lauded the Alberta government for providing $560,000 in funding last December for Punjabi Community Health Services in Calgary and said she is hoping for increased resources from the B.C. government.Rimpy Hehar, a registered psychologist with the Alberta social services agency, said starting in March, provincial funding will be used to offer culturally tailored services including counselling and distribution of the overdose-reversing drug naloxone as well as referral to harm reduction services at supervised consumption sites.It’s difficult to know how many people in the South Asian community are struggling with opioid use disorder in the Calgary area, Hehar said.“We’re finding that there is an overwhelming number of people within the northeast region of Calgary who are using opioids,” she said, adding the area is home to a large South Asians population. “People may be less likely to seek help because of keeping issues of the family within the family house.”Providing support to family members who have shouldered the burden of a loved one’s opioid use until finances and relationships may have collapsed will be key, Hehar said.“What we find is that family structure, family support, those can play a huge role in recovery or even the way that addiction progresses within a family setting,” she said.In Ontario, naloxone distribution and counselling are already offered through Punjabi Community Health Services in Brampton and Mississauga, said CEO Baldev Mutta.He said 90 per cent of their clients struggling with opioid addiction are Punjabi Sikhs and services are also available in Hindi, Gujarati and Malayalam, a language mostly spoken in the south of India.Families are offered counselling in every case at the organization, which last year had its annual budget doubled to $180,000 as the opioid epidemic spread, said Mutta, who is also a social worker.Opioid addiction is a big issue among men working in the trucking and taxi industries, he said.“They are city and long-haul truck drivers,” Mutta said. “All these youngsters who are between the ages of 21 to about 30, they are into the trucking industry and that’s where these drug dealers prey on them.”Drivers are often offered $5,000 to make a round trip between the Toronto and Vancouver areas in four days, he said.“They say, ‘All the truck drivers do it.’ And they hook them on a mixture of heroin and crystal meth. You just don’t fall asleep and then you crash after about four days and you don’t wake up for two days,” Mutta said.“They keep on driving long distances to make $5,000, only to realize that within six months they are spending more than $2,000 per month on their habit. So now you have not only a problem of taking heroin but in order to sustain your drug habit you become a drug dealer.”Many of the drivers are enticed to make money so they can get settled in Canada as new immigrants but often find themselves facing drug charges without any knowledge of the legal implications, he said, adding families often to end up financially ruined.“Painkillers are becoming rampant because they are relatively cheap,” he said of oxycodone as well as Tylenol 3s that are often mixed with a cola drink.Mutta said he regularly raises the issue of opioid abuse on Punjabi TV and radio programs, but said more community leaders must step up to create awareness about the crisis.“The silence is deafening in our community around it.”— Follow @CamilleBains1 on Twitter.
WHISTLER, B.C. — An annual migration involving tens of thousands of creatures is underway in Whistler, B.C., but observers could miss it if they don’t look down.Up to 40,000 tiny western toadlets are climbing out of Whistler’s Lost Lake where they hatched as tadpoles and are moving into the surrounding forest.The dime-sized toads, which are native to British Columbia and listed as a species of special concern, grow to full size in wooded areas before returning to the lake to breed.The Resort Municipality of Whistler says western toads are an important part of the Lost Lake environment because the tadpoles feed on residue in the lake, keeping the water clean.But the little amphibians are particularly vulnerable during the toadlet stage as they cross beaches, trails, lawns and busy roads in their journey.The Whistler website says the road to Lost Lake, as well as the beach and lawn are still open, but closures are possible at the height of the migration when as many as 1,800 tiny toads can hop over roads and paths every hour.A statement on the website says environmental technicians and volunteers monitor the migration, while temporary fences, signs and boardwalks have been installed to protect the toadlets from getting crushed.The migration will continue for the next three or four weeks. People are encouraged to observe but are urged to leave pets at home.“Dogs are not allowed on the beach area, as they may trample tadpoles and can become sick from ingesting or licking amphibians,” the statement says. Whistler’s migration has been monitored since 2005 because western toads are very sensitive to environmental changes and the municipality says the amphibians offer an insight into the health of the area’s entire ecosystem.The Canadian Press
The Consumers Association of Canada say a lot of people are not happy with the service they receive from airlines.The numbers have not changed much since the federal government introduced a passenger bill of rights back in the spring, but the bill has yet to become law.President of the CAC Bruce Cran says he can’t understand why Ottawa won’t finalize Bill C-49 — pushing the matter into 2018.Cran says air travellers deserve to know what they are entitled too, if their flight is disrupted for whatever reason.“That should be all listed out in this passengers bill of rights but we have no evidence that we’re going to get anything that we want to see and they’re having another hearing on it at the moment,” said Cran.Other major concerns being raised by Canadian consumers are the fact that health and life insurance companies don’t really advertise that there is an ombudsman to help people with policy claims.
OTTAWA – The national unemployment rate was 5.9 per cent in November. Statistics Canada also released seasonally adjusted, three-month moving average unemployment rates for major cities. It cautions, however, that the figures may fluctuate widely because they are based on small statistical samples. Here are the jobless rates last month by city (previous month in brackets):— St. John’s, N.L. 8.5 per cent (8.8)— Halifax 7.2 (7.4)— Moncton, N.B. 6.3 (5.8)— Saint John, N.B. 6.8 (6.4)— Saguenay, Que. 6.0 (6.2)— Quebec 4.4 (4.5)— Sherbrooke, Que. 5.7 (5.4)— Trois-Rivieres, Que. 5.0 (5.6)— Montreal 6.6 (6.7)— Gatineau, Que. 5.4 (5.8)— Ottawa 5.9 (5.8)— Kingston, Ont. 5.8 (5.6)— Peterborough, Ont. 5.4 (5.5)— Oshawa, Ont. 5.4 (5.1)— Toronto 5.9 (5.8)— Hamilton, Ont. 4.2 (4.0)— St. Catharines-Niagara, Ont. 7.1 (7.0)— Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo, Ont. 5.0 (5.1)— Brantford, Ont. 4.8 (5.3)— Guelph, Ont. 6.7 (5.9)— London, Ont. 6.3 (6.3)— Windsor, Ont. 6.3 (6.9)— Barrie, Ont. 3.4 (4.4)— Sudbury, Ont. 6.2 (6.1)— Thunder Bay, Ont. 6.1 (5.8)— Winnipeg 5.7 (5.6)— Regina 4.8 (5.4)— Saskatoon 7.6 (7.6)— Calgary 7.8 (8.3)— Edmonton 7.8 (8.2)— Kelowna, B.C. 6.1 (6.0)— Abbotsford, B.C. 4.9 (5.2)— Vancouver 4.2 (4.2)— Victoria 3.3 (3.8)
In his first news conference as head of the world’s leading central bank, Jerome Powell avoided any professorial lectures.His replies were briefer than his predecessors’. He said nothing of himself personally. He projected the air of an experienced technocrat, more steeped in finance than the complexities of economic theory.If anyone was wondering how the new chairman of the Federal Reserve would differ from his two immediate predecessors, Janet Yellen and Ben Bernanke, Wednesday’s exchange with reporters offered some clues. Powell, unlike the longtime scholars Yellen and Bernanke, is not an economist. He hasn’t spent years delving into why economic growth leaves behind some segments of society.The chairman instead came across as a consensus builder and only one member of a large committee of policymakers. And at times Wednesday, he appeared a bit nervous as he twisted open a water bottle or reached for his reading glasses.His stated mission, he said, was to convey that Fed officials had made one policy change this week — and nothing more. The officials voted unanimously to raise the federal funds rate — what banks charge to lend to each other — by a modest quarter percentage point to a still-low range of 1.5 per cent to 1.75 per cent.Yet reporters lobbed questions at Powell about tax cuts, a possible trade war, sluggish wage gains, the 2018 elections and the Fed’s seeming optimism about growth over the next two years without the threat of high inflation.“We made one decision at this meeting,” Powell said, speaking a month after ascending to the Fed’s top job, chosen by President Donald Trump, after having served nearly six years as a Fed governor.Unlike Bernanke or Yellen — who had to grapple with the 2008 financial crisis and its aftermath — Powell is presiding over a generally healthy U.S. and global economic picture. Accordingly, he was pressed about what Trump’s policies might mean for the trajectory of the economy and for the Fed.Powell acknowledged that the president’s policies came up in discussion as Fed officials and the leaders of its regional banks met Tuesday and Wednesday. They had discussed how the tariffs introduced this month by Trump — with additional import taxes to potentially follow — could slow global trade. But the conversation didn’t go further than that risk, Powell said in response to multiple questions.With the tax cuts in place, Fed officials did estimate that growth would accelerate slightly. The economy would likely expand 2.7 per cent this year, more than the Fed’s prior forecast of 2.5 per cent, according to a survey of projections released after the meeting. The median growth estimate for 2019 was 2.4 per cent, up from 2.1 per cent previously. This acceleration is far more tepid than the 3 per cent growth being predicted by the Trump administration.But when asked about the Fed’s growth estimates and the tax cuts, Powell downplayed them. And sounding a note of modesty, he observed that the central bank’s estimates came not from him personally but from a 15-person committee with differing opinions.“The whole thing is very uncertain,” he said of the likely consequences of $1.5 trillion worth of tax cuts over the next decade.Powell was similarly non-committal about whether the Fed might tolerate inflation running above its annual 2 per cent target level, after having had inflation run below that target for several years.The Fed wants to take the “middle ground,” Powell said.The chairman’s inaugural news conference ran roughly 45 minutes, about 15 minutes shorter than Bernanke’s and Yellen’s sessions with reporters typically lasted. But Powell — a long-standing veteran of the investment world — entertained about as many questions as those two Ph.D. economists had yet was visibly hesitant to give answers that might betray his own views about the economy.Asked whether he might consider holding a news conference after each of the Fed’s policy meetings — rather than after every other meeting — Powell measured his words. He said he hadn’t yet decided. But he added that no one should assume that holding more news conferences would signal that the Fed intends to raise rates more than investors expect.At one point, Powell forgot momentarily that he had been asked about the possibility of additional televised news conferences.“Ah, press conferences,” he said. “That is something I’m going to be carefully considering.”