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OTTAWA – They did not see it coming, but they knew that something likely would derail their plans.More than a year ago, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould convened a meeting of people engaged in the criminal justice system to hear their views on reform, which included a sober and prescient reflection.“Extraneous circumstances and events, which are unforeseeable to us today, will hijack the agenda — use them as they can be an effective way to attract and commit public interest,” said a summary of the May 2016 discussion obtained through an access-to-information request.Seven weeks later, the Supreme Court of Canada released its groundbreaking ruling, R v. Jordan, that urged everyone to get serious about reform.“It lit a fire under me,” Wilson-Raybould said in an interview.The Charter of Rights and Freedoms gives someone charged with an offence the right to have their case tried within a reasonable amount of time and in the drug-related case of Barrett Jordan of Surrey, B.C., it had taken more than four years.“A culture of complacency towards delay has emerged in the criminal justice system,” the high court wrote in a 5-4 ruling that sent a strong message that enough was enough.The Supreme Court imposed strict limits on the amount of time a case could take to make its way through the system — 18 months in provincial courts and 30 months in superior courts.Those presumptive ceilings were upheld in another ruling last month.The only remedy for a case that goes on so long is a stay of proceedings, no matter how serious the charge, and a dissenting minority opinion argued the new time limits could lead thousands of cases being tossed.The ruling came with a transitional measure for cases already in the system, but there have been some high-profile examples of stayed proceedings, including murder charges, which has brought a greater sense of urgency.Rick Woodburn, president of the Canadian Association of Crown Counsel, said there was a crisis in the justice system long before the ruling came out.“The Supreme Court of Canada just put the exclamation point on it.”Eric Gottardi, one of the lawyers who argued for the defence in the Jordan case, said a stay of proceedings should be viewed as a health check on a system that needs fixing.“It’s not a reward for the person who has been accused of a terrible crime,” he said.There have been a number of different solutions proposed.A recent report from the standing Senate legal committee on legal and constitutional affairs proposed a wide range of ideas, including having the federal government fill a judicial vacancy the same day a Superior Court judge retires and moving most impaired driving cases out of the criminal courts.The province and territorial justice ministers, meanwhile, came out of an emergency meeting on judicial delays this spring having agreed to think about criminal law reforms, changes to mandatory minimum penalties, bail, preliminary inquiries and the reclassification of offences.“My approach is recognizing there isn’t one solution,” said Wilson-Raybould.Many of these suggestions were familiar to those who took part at that first roundtable in Toronto last year, where Wilson-Raybould spoke of finding more off-ramps from the criminal justice system and getting serious about how to tackle the overrepresentation of Indigenous Peoples and those living with mental health issues and addictions.There was also a sense in the room that no one wanted to wait much longer.“We know what is needed and in what areas,” said the summary of the discussions. “We should do them and move beyond the normal reflex of problem identification exercises, which delay action.”Topping the list of things the participants told Wilson-Raybould she could rather quickly review was existing and mandatory minimum penalty provisions.Wilson-Raybould said she remains committed to this, especially since more than half of the charter challenges her officials are tracking involve mandatory minimums.She said other research by the department has shown they do not even increase sentences.“They are becoming the ceiling, rather than the floor,” she said.More than a year since they gathered in Toronto for what they described as a refreshing and inspiring roundtable with the relatively new federal justice minister, some are tired of waiting.“People are going to jail that shouldn’t be going to jail because there are mandatory minimum sentences — every day that is happening,” said Jonathan Rudin, program director at Aboriginal Legal Services in Toronto.Sen. Kim Pate, a long-time advocate for female prisoners, said she understands broader reforms could take longer, but that is not the case for everything.“Some of these criminal law approaches really could be implemented now,” she said.Patrick Baillie, president of the Canadian Psychological Association, said his ongoing patience will depend on the result.“I think if we end up with a process that gets rid of some of the silos so that health and social services and housing and education and justice and Aboriginal services and immigrant and refugees services are all talking about what we can do to address the overrepresentation of certain groups within the justice system, then that’s a worthwhile dialogue,” he said.Bill Trudell, chair of the Canadian Council of Criminal Defence Lawyers, noted that Wilson-Raybould has had a lot on her plate, including the legalization of marijuana.So, he too is willing to wait for legislative changes — for a little while.“I think they’ll come, but if they don’t, six months from now, we’ll feel like it was a lot of words,” he said.Wilson-Raybould said she, too, is “anxious about time frames” and she understands those who are frustrated by the pace of reform.“I am hopeful they will see their voices in those reforms and they will contribute to the dialogue around potentially improving in the fall when we introduce measures for change,” she said.— Follow @smithjoanna on Twitter
APTN National NewsThis week we are putting indigenous resistance InFocus.Sakej Ward, who is a member of the Warrior Alliance, Ellen Gabriel, from Kanesatake, and Jo Redsky from the Warrior–Ogitchida Society, join this week’s APTN’s InFocus panel.For part 1 click here.
New Delhi: After a lengthy suspense, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership finalised 2008 Malegaon blast accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur as the party’s face from the Bhopal constituency of Madhya Pradesh. The Central Election Committee released its 22nd candidate list for the ongoing Lok Sabha elections on Wednesday.The Hindu Sanyasini joined BJP on the same day morning and will take on Congress veteran and former MP chief minister Digvijay Singh from its 30 years-bastion. On the other hand, Bhopal has a sizeable Muslim population and to woo the multi-layered demography, Digvijaya Singh was asked by his party top leadership and even by Chief Minister Kamal Nath to contest from tough seat, where the Congress hasn’t won in years. Challenge accepted, was Digvijaya Singh’s response, and he was named for Bhopal. Sadhvi Pragya is out on bail in the case, in which she was cleared under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) on 27 December, 2017, but faces other charges. Reportedly, the former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, Shivraj Singh Chauhan and BJP veteran and Union Minister, Uma Bharti declined to contest the general elections from the constituency. Chouhan, party general secretary Ramlal, and senior leader Prabhat Jha also held a meeting in the party headquarters in Bhopal. “I have formally joined the BJP, I will contest elections and will definitely win. It won’t be difficult for me,” Sadhvi Pragya told the media persons. She also added, “We all will fight together with all those who are conspiring against the nation and defeat them.” The BJP power corridor further refused to affirm the criminal charges against her and claimed her ‘innocence’ and said that “a woman has been harassed and no charges have been proved against her.” Six persons were killed and 101 were injured when an improvised explosive device strapped on a motorcycle went off at Malegaon on September 29, 2008. The incident also promulgated the term “saffron terror”- widely used by the erstwhile Congress-led- UPA government. Sadhvi Pragya has always been known for her mooted comments and provocative speeches. She had been associated with the right-wing all India student organisation affiliated to the Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh- Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and ‘Durga Vahini’ or women’s wing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP). Meanwhile, Digvijaya Singh welcomed Sadhvi to Bhopal, tweeting – he hopes she likes the calm, educated and sophisticated ambience of the city. Alok Sanjar of BJP is the incumbent Lok Sabha MP from Bhopal. The party also preferred a secured seat Vidisha for a new candidate Ramakant Bhargava. Union Minister Sushma Swaraj is the incumbent Lok Sabha MP from the constituency. But she refused to contest this election due to her health problem. Bhargava is also a Brahmin face and has a big vote bank. In this seat, Brahmin plays a decisive role. He is also known for his clean image. He is in the state leadership for a decade now. To woo the Yadav voter of Guna Parliamentary seat, BJP also put K P Yadav as its nominee from Guna to take on Jyotiraditya Scindia. Raj Bahadur Singh is going to contest from Sagar constituency. However, the BJP is still delaying in the announcement of its Indore candidate, which is only left in 29 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state.
Rabat – Saudi Airlines launched the first direct Jeddah-Marrakech flight on Thursday.A Boeing (B787-9) Dreamliner with 274 passengers landed at the Marrakech Menara Airport on Thursday, marking the airline’s first ever Marrakech-Jeddah flight.The flight will serve the destination with three times a week: Tuesdays, and Thursdays, Saturdays. Commenting on the flight, the General Director of the Saudi Company in Morocco, Mohammed Saad Al Semrani,said that the fight will expand the network of scheduled flights provided by the Saudi airline to Morocco.He added that the flight also seeks to strengthen air traffic between the two countries. He added that number of passengers aboard Saudi Airlines to and from Morocco in 2018 amounts to more than 400,000 passengers.Officials celebrated the first ever flight between the two destinations with an inaugural ceremony on Thursday, which was attended by Ambassador of Saudi Arabia in Rabat, Abdellah Ben Saad Al Ghariri; the Director General of the Saudi Arabian Company in Morocco, along with Al Semrani, and the director general of civil aviation, Zakaria Belghazi.Al Ghariri said that the direct flight between the two cities represents an added value for Morocco, “a country considered a tourism destination by excellence.”He added that the opening of the flight will encourage tourism and will serve as a “byceus to inaugurate other lines to other tourism cities across Morocco.”Director of the Marrakech-Menara airport Naoual Mounir supported Al Ghariri’s statements, emphasizing that the new flight will stheten air offers at the level of flights for Umrah and Hajj pilgrimage in the Marrakech-Safi region.She added that the new flight “represents a qualitative leap for Marrakech-Menara airport.”In May, the airline announced that Marrakech “becomes the carrier’s second destination in the country.”
Joua Va Yang, who led a team of BBC journalists in Laos to document the plight of the Hmong in 2004, is reportedly in danger of being deported to his home country, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). There have been allegations that he was mistreated at Petchabun province’s Huay Nam Khao camp, home to over 5,000 Hmong to whom UNHCR has never had access. Mr. Joua Va is believed to now be in Khao Kho prison, in the same province, with his wife and four children. UNHCR spokesperson Ron Redmond said that the agency has asked the Thai Government to respect the customary principle of non-refoulement, by which no refugee or asylum-seeker should be forced to return to a country where he or she could face persecution. He said the agency urges the Thai Government to review the status of Lao Hmong in the country in a “fair and transparent manner.” Further, UNHCR “is concerned that the continued lack of transparency in the treatment of the Lao Hmong in Petchabun undermines confidence in the commitment of Thailand to ensuring that international principles are respected,” the spokesperson noted. The group began gathering in Huay Nam Khao camp in large numbers in 2005, with 2,000 of them having been sent back to Laos since Thailand began repatriating them in 2007. UNHCR again offered its assistance to the Thai Government in helping find solutions for Lao Hmong, including through the traditional role the agency plays in voluntary returns. 3 April 2009The United Nations refugee agency is asking the Thai Government for clarification regarding allegations that a Lao Hmong man, who served as a guide for BBC journalists in Laos’ jungles, was mistreated in a camp in northern Thailand.
22 February 2010More than a decade after its civil war, Liberia is heading towards reconciliation but significant challenges remain in the development of its security and legal institutions, which will impact the future of the United Nations mission there, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a new report. Noting the need to ensure that the Liberian National Police are independently operational and that Liberia redoubles its efforts in the area of rule of law, the Secretary-General identified financial resources as a requirement for continued progress in Liberia.“I urge the Government to also take steps to adopt legislation to institutionalize the national security architecture,” Mr. Ban wrote in his latest report to the Security Council on the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).“Ensuring successful security sector reform in Liberia will require sustained donor support for the Liberian National Police and other security agencies,” the Secretary-General added, noting that little concrete assistance has materialized from the Justice and Security Partners’ Forum held in New York in September 2009.Among the areas that need sustained donor support, as highlighted by the Secretary-General, is the establishment of an efficient communications system, provision of technical assistance in key operational areas, including women and child protection, and the construction of a new Monrovia Central Prison to replace the existing structure which is “overcrowded and dilapidated.”Mr. Ban called on the Government to assume greater responsibilities for the development of the Armed Forces of Liberia, calling it a “major step towards the progressive assumption of responsibilities for security by national authorities.” With this as a goal, he highlighted the need for an effective management and regulatory framework which would be “rigorously, transparently and fairly enforced at all levels.” Among the challenges to security is the increased illegal cross-border activities at the Mano River which forms part of the border with Sierra Leone, the Secretary-General noted. “Instability could spread across borders to destabilize the fragile subregion and, combined with the likely humanitarian consequences of a large population movement, could impede much of Liberia’s peacebuilding and development efforts,” he wrote, noting that Liberia will have to cooperate with its neighbours to address these issues as UNMIL draws down.On the political front, the Secretary-General welcomed the release of the final edited version of the report by the Parliament-enacted Truth and Reconciliation Commission ordered to investigate and report on gross human violations that occurred in Liberia between January 1979 and 14 October 2003.“The time has come for Liberia to define the road it will take towards reconciliation,” he wrote. “I urge continued constructive dialogue within Liberian society on the road ahead regarding the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.”As a component of the follow-up on the implementation of the Commission’s recommendation, the Secretary-General urged the Liberian Senate to formally establish the planned Independent National Commission on Human Rights, urging the Liberian Senate to act on the nominees “as soon as possible.” Furthermore, he wrote that more action is required to tackle corruption in Liberia, including through prosecution, when required. He noted that the public’s perception of corruption among officials undermined “confidence in the Government’s commitment to good governance and the rule of law.” This is especially pertinent ahead of preparations for the 2011 general and presidential elections which will be under the full charge of Liberians, with international assistance.
Angry customers who say they have endured months of leaks have hit out at United Utilities after the water company imposed a hosepipe ban.Many have accused the company of ignoring water leaks to boost profits, as reservoir levels fall low after a dry start to the summer.Millions of people in the North West will be forbidden from using hoses or sprinklers from August 5 unless there is a sustained and unexpected period of rain in the next three weeks.The announcement follows the long-running blaze on Saddleworth Moor, near Manchester, where emergency services relied on hundreds of thousands of gallons a day from nearby mains water sources to protect life and property. The company said the firefighting effort, which involved helicopter water dumps, coincided with a 25 per cent increase in customer demand in what is thought to be the longest heatwave since 1976.Customers have blamed the company for not fixing leaks, and say the ban could have been avoided. No other water company is yet putting a ban in place, with Anglian Water saying it is business as usual despite serving one of the driest parts of the country.Reservoirs in East Anglia remain full, with some at 93 per cent, which is above average for this time of year.”We’re used to lots of people needing water, and having little rain – ours is the driest region in the UK with just two thirds of the national average rainfall, and it’s also one of the fastest growing,” Paul Valleley, Director of Water Services for Anglian Water said.”Two of the five fastest growing cities are in our patch, with new homes being built all the time. So it’s something we have been planning for and investing in for a long time.” Essex Water proudly tweeted photographs of its full reservoirs, although it told customers to avoid running the tap while washing up. Sophie Gorner wrote: “Hosepipe ban…3 1/2 months there’s been a leak on this hill. It’s gushing down and all they’ve done is mark it…. this is the main issue round here! One tweeted: “Wait… So I have a hosepipe ban next month when there has been a leak at the end of my street for over a month?? (still a leak, not been fixed) How many litres could have been saved if that had been fixed? (btw, its a quite serious leak)” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. A United Utilities spokesperson said: “Reducing leaks is a top priority. We have cut leakage by half since the 1990s and are working hard to do even more. For instance we now use satellites to help to detect leaks and we have just recruited a team of sniffer dogs trained to pinpoint leaks in rural areas where the water does not always show on the surface.” Twitter user Lucy complained: “I am not entirely sure why the NW are getting a hosepipe ban when we’ve had 2 days of rain and no doubt we’ll have much more over the rest of July and August”Professor David Hall from the University of Greenwich, an expert on the water industry, told the BBC that privatised water firms have an incentive not to fix too many leaks, because the cost of work would bite into profits.”They can’t recoup the cost of making reductions in leakage levels except by reducing profits, that’s not what they want to do,” he said.”If the leakage levels were not so high, the daily volume of water delivered would be higher, therefore we would reach the point of hosepipe bans much later.”Any restriction on water use is a restriction on people’s quality of life.” Andrew Tucker, water efficiency manager at Thames Water, said: “We’ve really ramped up our water saving efforts to meet the record demand levels during the ongoing heatwave. That’s why we’re also asking our customers to care for water as much as possible and see if there are any simple changes they can make to help ensure there is enough to go around, and prevent the need for restrictions later in the year. Some water companies, however, are advising customers to preserve water as resources threaten to dwindle.Thames Water has advised customers to re-use paddling pool water to water the garden and bathe children, and said gardeners should hold off on watering the lawn.The water company also advised customers take 4-minute showers instead of having a bath, and wash the car with a sponge instead of a hose. The hot weather means we’re seeing a huge increase in demand for water in the area. As a result of the amount of water being used, some areas are experiencing low water pressure, particularly at peak times. This is because water cannot travel around the network quickly enough.— Thames Water (@thameswater) July 16, 2018 “[The] hosepipe ban is ridiculous if they won’t fix a leak that has been reported numerous times over 3 1/2 months. Gallons must have been wasted and all they’ve done is draw a box around it. We’re suffering die [sic] to their lack of care.” Why don’t you fix the leaks instead of imposing a hosepipe ban? You lost 454 megalitres through leakage in the last year. You can’t expect us to save water if you don’t.— Kirsty Hewitt (@hewittkirsty) July 17, 2018 @VictoriaLIVE hosepipe ban is ridiculous if they won’t fix a leak that has been reported numerous times over 3 1/2 months. Gallons must have been wasted and all they’ve done is draw a box around it. We’re suffering die to their lack of care. pic.twitter.com/nQoc2vZQXw— Sophie Gorner (@SophieGorner) July 17, 2018 “Water is a precious resource and, with a growing population and impact of climate change, there will continue to be pressure on the supplies across our region.”Those in the Midlands need not expect water restrictions. South Staffs Water, which supplies more than a million customers, said: “The water levels in our reservoirs are healthy – we’ve got no issues.”Severn Trent Water, which serves more than 4 million homes and businesses in the Midlands and mid-Wales, said similar, adding that its reservoirs are in a “healthy position”.Wessex Water has not implemented a hosepipe ban since 1976, and said there are no plans to do so this year.However, it did advise customers to do one less load in the washing machine and leave their lawns to go brown.
An AA spokesperson added: “If they implement a 15mph limit, what is there to gain? “What happens with 20mph zones is they bring the vast majority of drivers below 30mph. “The majority of drivers drive at 25mph in these areas and we would get the same with 15mph zones.”London traffic moves no faster than a horse and cart anyway and it won’t help with pollution as you have more cars stopping and starting all the time.” “Slower speeds save lives and help make our streets more liveable environments.” Chris Hayward, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Planning and Transportation Committee said: “The radical proposals follow visits last year to New York City, Paris and Stockholm to learn from other cities’ efforts to reduce congestion, manage freight and wider transport projects applicable to dense city centres. The AA and IAM suggested efforts should instead be concentrated on road safety infrastructure like crossings, pinch points and speed humps to encourage drivers to stay within speed limits.Councils are currently able to set their own speed limits on local roads with many bringing in 20mph zones around schools and in town centres.But some authorities have questioned its effectiveness.In June Hampshire County Council declared it would no longer implement 20mph limits because it had not noticed any improvements in terms of road accidents.But road safety charity Brake said actions designed to reduce speed would help save lives as it hailed the idea.A spokesperson said: “Speed is a critical factor in many deaths on our roads, and we welcome any measure that can help make communities safer. 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. Plans to introduce ‘safer’ 15mph zones on major city roads would be worse for the environment than higher speeds, motoring campaigners warned.The City of London Corporation this week unveiled draft proposals to reduce speed limits in the Square Mile as part of its first ever long-term strategy to improve road safety and cut pollution.Officials said while 20mph zones had helped to curtail the number of deaths and serious injuries to cyclists in the City, record levels of workers meant the overall number of fatalities had not decreased.The corporation, which governs the City of London, suggested a city-wide 15mph restriction could help “eliminate” deaths on the streets by encouraging motorists to show safer behaviours behind the wheel.The Department for Transport would have to approve any 15mph restriction, thought to be the first of its kind on city centre roads, which the corporation said it wants to adopt by 2022.But motoring groups IAM RoadSmart and The AA claimed the the move would not help save lives and could even worsen pollution levels with the constant stop-start of engines causing more harmful emissions to be released.IAM RoadSmart spokesman Rodney Kumar, said: “IAM RoadSmart is against blanket reductions to 20mph as is the case in many town centres, and we don’t see a proposed reduction to 15mph having the desired effect in terms of congestion, pollution or road safety.
On February 4, 2018, Guyana signed an Air Services Agreement with Singapore.This is according to a statement from the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) which posited that under the Agreement, the airlines of Guyana and Singapore will be able to fly any number of services between both countries as well as beyond to any third country, with no restrictions on capacity, frequency, aircraft type and routing.Additionally, cargo carriers will be able to base aircraft in each other’s countries and use the base as a hub for operations to any third country.The agreement also makes provision for code-sharing where airlines of both countries can partner with other airlines to facilitate services to each others market.The Air Services Agreement (ASA) was signed on the sidelines of the Singapore Leadership Summit and Airshow 2018 by Singapore’s Minister for Education (Schools) and Second Minister for Transport, Ng Chee Meng, and Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Ms Annette Ferguson.Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Ms Annette Ferguson and Singapore’s Minister for Education (Schools) and Second Minister for Transport, Ng Chee Meng following the agreement signingAccording to GCCA, at the signing Minister Ng said, “we are very pleased to conclude this Open Skies Agreement, which will fully liberalise air services between Singapore and Guyana. This is testament to the strong bilateral relationship between Singapore and Guyana. This agreement will open up new opportunities for our carriers, enable greater movement of people and goods between the two countries, and benefit our economies and businesses.”Speaking at the signing ceremony, Minister Ferguson remarked that Singapore has been a friend of Guyana and provided support for Guyana in the form of training and capacity building for the aviation and maritime sectors.Many Guyanese, over the years would have benefited from fellowships and scholarships offered by the Government of Singapore. Complementing the existing relationship, this agreement creates opportunities for both countries to explore deeper trade relations.Changi Airport in Singapore is one of the busiest airports in the world facilitating the movement of some 60 million passengers annually from at least 100 countries.The GCCA posited that the signature of this Air Services Agreement is the first of 21 such agreements recently approved by the Cabinet for signature. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedNew Ghanaian High Commissioner pays courtesy call on GCAAMay 31, 2019In “latest news”Guyana to ink open skies agreement with TanzaniaDecember 14, 2018In “latest news”Guyana signs open skies agreements with India, South Korea, Dominican RepublicDecember 28, 2016In “Business”
Updated 11.25pmFORMER SOLICITOR THOMAS Byrne has been handed a sentence of 16 years at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court this afternoon, with the final four years suspended.It comes after the 47-year-old was found guilty of 50 charges, including theft, fraud, deception and forgery, last month.He was sentenced to nine years for theft from banks and seven years for forgery in relation to the fraudulent transfer of property. The terms will run consecutively with the last four years suspended.Byrne was also handed a number of five year sentences for forgery offences which will run concurrently with the other sentences.The jail term officially started on the date of his conviction on 18 November.In sentencing him this afternoon, Judge Patrick McCartan said that the scale of Byrne’s offences as “colossal”.“The thefts required careful planning and execution. They weren’t just dipping into the till. It was all very cunning”, he said.McCartan added that he had caused “considerable” damage to the reputation of his profession and that his crimes must be regarded towards the upper end of the ten year guideline for fraud offences.The judge said that “without solicitors, commerce and civil society wouldn’t function” and that as a result they are as a result given a significant degree of trust. “Byrne abused every aspect of that status and trust,” he said.Byrne denied all charges but was found guilty by a jury after a drawn-out, 27-day trial and more than 17 hours of deliberations.Judge McCartan said he had to consider consecutive sentences given the extent of criminality, monies unaccounted for and breach of trust.The charges detailed how he transferred the homes of his clients into his name and used them to obtain property loans.His actions came to light when one of his employees reported him to the Law Society for forging her name to borrow money.Earlier today, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard a summation of the evidence from Detective Sgt. Paschal Walsh on the litany of offences committed by Byrne.The evidence showed how Byrne fraudulently obtained properties from clients and associates and used them to secure loans totaling in excess of €50 million.The 18 separate loan applications from various financial institutions ranged in value from €1 million to €9 million.Vera McGrane, one of the victims of Byrne’s offences, leaving court after the sentence. Pic: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland.In falsely claiming ownership of the properties, Byrne falsified signatures in a number of cases, at least two of the cases involved elderly women known to him.The judge was asked to consider the ease with which Byrne committed his offences. Judge McCartan did make reference to the fact that at the time Dublin’s property market was “at boiling point”. Adding that Byrne was indeed headhunted by a number of institutions for his businesses. This, however, could not be given undue credence the judge said.“It ignores the fact that thousands of others abided by the law and didn’t committhe scale of fraud that you did.”The offences occurred between dates in September 2004 and 2007 when Byrne was solicitor based in Walkinstown.Following the earlier summation of the evidence, Judge McCartan praised investigating gardaí for the way they presented the evidence in the six-week long trial.“In particular the way you marshalled the evidence to be understood for everyone, including myself but especially the jury,” he told the court.Reporting by Rónán DuffyRead: Thomas Byrne found guilty of 50 charges in fraud trial
There was a time when Tucows was the place to go to find software for your Windows computer. You can still find software there, but the company is throwing its weight behind a new venture: a discount cellular carrier called Ting.Ting is utilizing Sprint‘s wireless backbone to provide service, and they’re not doing contracts. Instead, they offer six usage tiers for minutes, text, and data, and they’ve sized them like clothing (XS through XXL). For $50 per month, you can build a plan that offers 500 minutes of airtime, 4,000 text messages, and one gig of data. A similar plan from Sprint runs $49.99 without data — which adds another $15 to the price tag.If you use more minutes than you’ve planned for or send a few too many texts, Ting turns a blind eye and bumps you up to the appropriate level for the next billing cycle. They’ll also automatically bump you down if you’re way under your pre-selected limits. There’s also a handy dashboard that’s constantly updated so that you can keep watch over your usage — even though they’re not going to ding you if you get a little carried away. Need multiple devices on your account? They’re $6 a piece (even if you have just one) and there’s no limit to how many you can add. All your devices draw on the same pool of minutes, text, and data.As for hardware, since Ting is running on Sprint’s airwaves it’s also running their phones. They’ve got a small line-up at the moment with notable models including the Motorola Photon at $545 ($4.99 less than the off-contract price from Sprint) and the HTC Detail (better known as the Evo Shift 4G) for $395. The rest of Ting’s smartphone range is populated with low-end options like the Sanyo Zio, LG Optimus S, and Samsung Transform. Data-only devices are available as well, with USB sticks from Novatel and Sierra on offer — as well as the MiFi 2200 for those who want to share their data plans among a number of devices.Ting certainly seems to have clear, uncomplicated billing policies, and good rates. But with only a couple of good handsets on offer and off-contract pricing required to take one home, how good do you think their chances are in an era when the sudbsidized superphone is king?More at TechCrunch and Ting
https://jrnl.ie/4544416 By Hayley Halpin The scene of the incident Image: @Terminalfour via Twitter Source: Iarnród Éireann/Twitter Mar 15th 2019, 1:35 PM 50 Comments Thanks to our colleagues from @DubFireBrigade who are working to clear the truck from under the bridge. Services are operating Pearse to Greystones/Bray & Connolly to Howth/Malahide pic.twitter.com/mGfQ3nW9HW— Iarnród Éireann (@IrishRail) March 15, 2019 Short URL Source: Iarnród Éireann/Twitter Image: @Terminalfour via Twitter Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Share3658 Tweet Email8 Services remain suspended between Tara Street and Connolly Station due to vehicle hitting bridge on Amiens Street. Crews are working to clear and carry out inspection of bridge pic.twitter.com/tlBr42B6yv— Iarnród Éireann (@IrishRail) March 15, 2019 Train services resume in Dublin city after earlier collision where a truck hit a bridge The truck struck the bridge on Amiens Street just after 1pm. Friday 15 Mar 2019, 2:52 PM Updated Mar 15th 2019, 2:52 PM TRAIN SERVICES BETWEEN Connolly Station and Pearse Station have been resumed this afternoon following an incident where a truck struck a bridge on Amiens Street. The incident happened just before 1.10pm.Gardaí and emergency services attended the scene of the incident. The road was blocked in both directions with local diversions in place. Services were suspended between Connolly Station and Pearse Station for over an hour but they resumed after 2.30pm – albeit with a strict speed restriction until further notice.Crews worked to clear the area and carry out an inspection of the bridge. The scene of the incident 143,491 Views Irish Rail spokesperson Barry Kenny earlier said they hoped to have services back up and running soon.“Typically it wouldn’t be a prolonged closure for these things but each incident is different,” Kenny said. “We will have to check to verify that there isn’t any structural damage,” he said.“We hope to be open reasonably soon but we’re just awaiting an update from the bridge crew on site.”Knock on delays are expected.With reporting from Sean Murray
Hasbro’s Mighty Muggs: Because Funko Pops Have Soulless EyesThe Best Cartoon Network Funko Pops! Stay on target Ah, the ’80s. One of the greatest times the world will have ever lived through. Even though some of us only got to see the last shred of ’80s culture, it still echoes throughout our lives in several touching ways. Why not pay tribute to the things we loved during that decade (if you’re old enough to remember) by collecting some awesome retro Funko Pops? Here’s a selection of ’80s Funkos you’ll want to stockpile.View as: One Page Slides1. VoltronWhat could be more ’80s than Voltron?Currently $14.35 at Amazon. Buy It Here.2. He-Man (Masters of the Universe)It doesn’t get much manlier than He-Man. Currently $199.99 at Amazon. Buy It Here.3. Strawberry ShortcakeStrawberry Shortcake is too sweet to be real. But wouldn’t it be cool if she were?Currently $8.36 at Amazon. Buy It Here.4. RaphaelRaphael is objectively the best Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. Currently $10.95 at Amazon. Buy It Here.5. Ms. Pac-ManSure, Pac-Man was part of the arcade craze, but this is his much better half. Currently $7.50 at Amazon. Buy It Here.6. Q*BertYou can’t think of an ’80s arcade without this guy. Currently $16.95 at Amazon. Buy It Here.7. BeetlejuiceBeetlejuice! Beetlejuice! Beetle–you should go ahead and get this one before we finish that sentence. Currently $16.23 at Amazon. Buy It Here.8. RobocopBuy this iconic symbol of justice or pass? Your move, creep. Currently $18.04 at Amazon. Buy It Here.9. AlienIn space, no one can hear you scream. Currently $10.42 at Amazon. Buy It Here.10. E.T.E.T. won’t phone home if you give him room and board. Currently $26.72 at Amazon. Buy It Here.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.
APD squad cars (Photo by Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage)A man was indicted last week by an Anchorage grand jury for allegedly attacking a woman with a machete.According to a Department of Law press release, 19-year-old Jonathan Anaruk faces one count of 1st degree attempted murder, one count of 1st degree assault, one count of 2nd degree assault, and two counts of 3rd degree assault.Police responded to the Aug. 18 incident near Anchorage’s Valley of the Moon Park and made contact with a woman covered in blood.According to the release, officers observed deep cuts to her shoulder and hand, and multiple cuts to her head.She was treated at Providence Alaska Medical Center.Anaruk was arrested on September 19th for the attack and has remained in custody.If convicted of attempted murder in the 1st degree, he faces up to 99 years in prison.
A sultry evening in Delhi was proof. Shiro at Samrat Hotel opened its doors for intellectuals, book lovers and friends as the black and red interiors played host to Sreemoye Piu Kundu’s book Sita’s Curse (Hachette, Rs 350) launch in the Capital. Apsara Reddy, actor Adil Hussain and Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal (of the Vagina Monologues fame) along with Kundu opened the evening with discussions about sex, sexuality and desire before they read parts of the novel and engaged in some very riveting conversations with the packed house. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Sita’s Curse tells the story of Meera who, after the death of her twin brother and a rather unhappy marriage, manages to find desire her way. What ties you down to the novel is the vivid imagery and the stunning words Kundu uses to express Meera’s wants. Wants and needs are a world apart and in the domain of desire, the former rules supreme. Kundu revealed that she crafted Meera along the lines of this beautiful, sensuous woman she used to see in a chawl in Mumbai, everyday, on her way to office. Mumbai floods hit and Kundu never saw Meera again, but Meera’s sad melancholic eyes plagued her and eventually came Sita’s Curse. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe panelists discussed at length that in India, desire and women were divorced concepts and how more often than not, a woman loses her sexuality once she is married. A married woman ends up prioritising her husband, in-laws, kids and her house over herself and somewhere a beautiful woman just vanishes into nothing. Sita’s Curse is a rescue from that. Kundu, without a doubt, is the first of the gutsy breed of writers I spoke of in the beginning. Her language of desire started with Faraway Music and has gained a more sensual font in Sita’s Curse. Published by Hachette this book is now in its second print run and roaring ahead. The country does not have much erotic English literature to talk of and most books, if they exist and written in rather distasteful prose – we could well call Sita’s Curse a first for many other reasons including the genre it carves out for itself. The enthusiastic audience agreed whole heartedly with the discussions about women setting their minds on the path to find desire and accept that all of them deserve to be desired. A Meera in all of us. Pick up the book, you won’t regret it.
Astronaut Harrison “Jack” Schmitt, who also has a Ph.D. in geology from Harvard University, landed on the Moon along with Eugene A. Cernan on December 11, 1972, and began collecting rock samples. While other missions had collected rocks, no one had been familiar enough with geology to know what types were important.With an expert picking the specimens, more stories could be told of the Moon’s history.Astronaut Harrison H. Schmitt.During the mission, Schmitt unintentionally breathed in some lunar dust and for the rest of the day exhibited signs similar to hay fever or an allergy — sneezing and watery eyes.In 1972, the NASA doctors thought he was allergic to the Moon.The ground crew at NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center were highly amused and, according to Mental Floss a member of mission control, Joseph Allen, remarked, “It’s funny they don’t check for that. Maybe that’s the trouble with the cheap noses, Jack.”Apollo 17 landing site, photographed in 2011 by Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.Moondust is composed of the remnants of micrometeorite impacts that remain sharp due to the lack of erosion because of no air or water movement on the Moon.Small bits of iron are also in the dust, giving it properties similar to a blanket with static cling; the dust is attracted to everything.It gets stuck in equipment, on the folds of spacesuits and, according to the director of the Planetary Geosciences Institute, Larry Taylor, in a 2008 interview at the Soil Science Society of America, “The dust was so abrasive that it actually wore through three layers of Kevlar-like material on Jack’s boot.”Schmitt collects lunar specimens during the Apollo 17 mission.When the astronauts left the earth, their spacesuits were clean and white but when they returned it looked as though they had been playing football in the dirt. With no place to shake out their suits before returning to the lunar module, moon dust quickly coated the interior of the module. Cernan and Schmitt were breathing it and getting it in their mouths.Since then, NASA has done extensive studies on the effects of moon dust. In the spring of 2018, GeoHealth conducted tests on man-made moon dust using similar materials of volcanic ash, lava flows, and an artificial powder to simulate the sharp particles.Apollo 17 lunar rover at its final resting place on the Moon. The Surface Electrical Properties (SEP) receiver is the antenna on the right-rear of the vehicleThe dust was able to embed itself into the lungs’ interior causing a type of respiratory disease similar to Black Lung Disease experienced by coal miners.According to the test, the dust caused cell damage down to the DNA level and cell death, as well as hypertension which many of the Apollo astronauts are now experiencing.Apollo 17: Inside the Lunar Module training simulator, Gene Cernan drapes the cords for the LM cabin utility lights on the handle of the rendezvous hatch. The two utility lights are just to the right of Jack Schmitt’s right hand and are attached to the Alignment Optical Telescope (AOT) guard with clamps.The findings have led NASA to begin development of ways to combat the lunar space dust.The Apollo 17 mission aimed for the Taurus-Littrow Valley because of the varied geological content and the proximity to a crater that has produced volcanic rock in the past.Lunar Regolith collected during Apollo 17. Photo by Wknight94CC BY-SA 3.0They also deployed a lunar rover to travel around to different test sites. Cernan holds the distinction not only of being the last man on the moon but also of being the only astronaut who broke a rover on the moon.He and Schmitt were able to repair the fender that broke when a hammer in one of Cernan’s pockets caught the back of the right fender and pulled it off.This is Gene Cernan’s photo from the end of the north arm of the SEP transmitter array, showing Jack Schmitt on the south arm beyond the transmitter.Without a fender, so much moon dust would have been thrown up it would have been nearly impossible to see where they were going, and the equipment they were carrying would have been destroyed.Initially, they tried duct tape, one of NASA’s required items on the official stowage lists, but the dust kept it from adhering well.Mission Control came up with a solution using four maps held together with duct tape (before they were exposed to dust) which were then clamped to the end of the broken fender.Read another story from us: Apollo 11 Astronauts were Quarantined for 21 Days after Returning from the MoonThe solution worked and the mission was completed successfully.
50 million people claim Scottish ancestry Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H Tourism authorities in Scotland are hoping to eventually attract up to 800,000 ‘ancestral’ tourists a year, as roots-based tourism in the nation continues to grow. Fuelling the boom in ancestral tourism are programmes like the BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are?, which is inspiring journeys to the old country from as faraway places as the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. According to Scotland’s Press and Journal (P&J), VisitScotland international marketing team member Gillian Swan believes the market is one well worth cultivating, particularly for areas off the usual beaten tracks. “Lots of the archives are being digitised now on websites like scotlandspeople.com, which is great for people doing family history research anywhere in the world,” Ms Swan said. “But what we are trying to do is encourage them to get away from their computers and actually touch the walls of the clan castle and breathe the same air.” According to P&J, Scottish family historians generated £67million for the nation’s tourism industry last year, a number which looks likely to increase greatly over the coming years. Working together with the country’s hotels and B&Bs are Scotland’s museums, libraries, archivists and tour guides who hope to turn this niche market into a thriving trade.More than 50 million people from around the world claim Scottish heritage, the newspaper reported.
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Mesfin Fekadu, The Associated Press Posted Nov 15, 2018 4:58 am PDT Miranda Lambert, left, and Jason Aldean perform “Drowns the Whiskey” at the 52nd annual CMA Awards at Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP) Chris Stapleton wins big at CMAs, Keith Urban nabs top prize Chris Stapleton won the most awards at the 2018 Country Music Association Awards and had the show’s best performance, almost capping a perfect night.That was until Keith Urban surprisingly won the top prize — entertainer of the year — moments before the three-hour show wrapped Wednesday night.Urban’s actress-wife, Nicole Kidman, was in tears as the singer walked onstage to collect the award at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee.“Baby girl, I love you so much,” he said. “I’m shocked beyond shocked.”Urban last won entertainer of the year in 2005 and also beat out Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean and Kenny Chesney for the prize.“I wish my dad was alive to see this,” the Australian performer said.Stapleton, however, cleaned house at the CMAs, winning four awards including male vocalist, song and single of the year.“I want to thank my kids who put up with me being gone quite a bit and not getting to be as a good daddy that I would always like to be,” said the father of four and soon to be five since his wife, singer-songwriter Morgane Stapleton, is pregnant.Stapleton also won the performance of the night: His supergroup featuring Mavis Staples, Maren Morris, Marty Stuart and his wife gave a soulful and powerful performance of “Friendship,” a song made famous by Pop Staples, the iconic singer’s late father. They then performed “I’ll Take You There,” jamming onstage along with a choir. They earned a standing ovation from the audience.When Stapleton won single of the year — where he won as both a performer and producer — earlier in the show, he said he was “thinking about the people in California right now” and he wants to “dedicate this award to them.”He was referring to the 12 people who were killed at a Southern California country music bar last week, who were also honoured at the top of the show when Garth Brooks held a moment of silence as the names of the victims were displayed on the screen.“Tonight let’s celebrate their lives. Let the music unite us with love,” Brooks said.The CMAs, which aired on ABC, also took time to honour those affected by the deadly wildfires in California.“We send our love to you,” said Carrie Underwood, also mentioning the “brave firefighters.”Underwood worked triple-duty as co-host, performer and nominee at the CMAs. She was teary-eyed when she won female vocalist of the year.“Thank you God. I have been blessed with so much in my life,” she said. “Thank you family. Thank you country music. Thank you country music family. …It’s all about family around here.”She kept the positive and uplifting theme of the show going when she gave a rousing performance of her song “Love Wins.” It features the lyrics, “I believe you and me are sisters and brothers/And I believe we’re made to be here for each other.”Kacey Musgraves, the only woman nominated for album of the year, won the prize for “Golden Hour.”“This is really, really crazy timing — 10 years ago today I moved to Nashville. That’s so crazy,” she said.“I’m so proud of it,” she said of the pop-leaning country album, which was inspired by Sade, the Bee Gees and others. “It’s inspired by this beautiful universe, and all of you, and mostly love.”Dan + Shay lost in all four categories they were nominated in but gave an impressive performance of their hit “Tequila.” When Brothers Osborne won vocal duo of the year, John Osborne said, “I thought this was going to go to Dan + Shay. Make some noise for those boys.”“I don’t know why we keep winning this,” John Osborne said when he first walked onstage.“If this was in Florida there definitely would be a recount,” added T.J. Osborne, which earned laughs from the crowd.Luke Combs, who has the year’s most-streamed country music album, sang onstage with a red cup in his hand and won new artist of the year.“God, I love country music, man,” said Combs.Brooks performed a touching new song dedicated to his wife, Trisha Yearwood, who was teary-eyed and was hearing the song for the first time. Recent Country Hall of Famer Ricky Skaggs performed alongside Brad Paisley and Urban.Underwood and Paisley returned as CMA hosts for the 11th time this year, telling jokes at the top of the show, which ranged from Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s “A Star Is Born” to Underwood’s pregnancy.Underwood seemingly revealed a secret about the child, saying it will be a “Willie” after Paisley repeatedly asked about the sex of the baby.Mesfin Fekadu, The Associated Press