Minister Mckenzie Urges Portlanders to Stay Alert

first_imgStory Highlights Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, is appealing to residents of Portland to be prepared for disasters and to be ready to move to higher ground in case of rising waters.Speaking at a town hall meeting at the Errol Flynn Marina on Wednesday (Nov. 22), the Minister said that while the country has not been hit by a hurricane, the heavy and continuous rainfall affecting the island is having a severe impact on infrastructure and personal property.“This parish has been experiencing severe rainfall since the start of the year, some serious rains. It is expected that we are going to have continuous rains right through until January.  It is therefore in your interest to be on the alert,” he said.“So, when the Meteorological Service (of Jamaica) says within the next 48 hours (your community) is going to be affected, don’t sneer at the warning. We want you to move to higher ground. It is easier to replace the property but impossible to replace lives,” he noted.He said that failure to adhere to the warnings puts first responders at risk during rescue operations.“We’re going to be providing some funds to the municipal corporation to have further community meetings in communities where there are constant problems when it rains.  We want you, the residents of Portland, to be fully aware of what the requirements are,” he added.  “We’re going to be providing some funds to the municipal corporation to have further community meetings in communities where there are constant problems when it rains.  We want you, the residents of Portland, to be fully aware of what the requirements are,” he added.  “This parish has been experiencing severe rainfall since the start of the year, some serious rains. It is expected that we are going to have continuous rains right through until January.  It is therefore in your interest to be on the alert,” he said. Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, is appealing to residents of Portland to be prepared for disasters and to be ready to move to higher ground in case of rising waters.last_img read more

Brazil president suggests NGOs setting Amazon fires gives no proof

first_imgRIO DE JANEIRO – Brazil’s official monitoring agency is reporting a sharp increase in wildfires this year, and President Jair Bolsonaro suggested Wednesday, without citing evidence, that non-governmental organizations could be setting them to make him look bad.Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research, a federal agency monitoring deforestation and wildfires, said the country has seen a record number of wildfires this year, counting 74,155 as of Tuesday, an 84 per cent increase compared to the same period last year. Bolsonaro took office on Jan. 1.“Maybe — I am not affirming it — these (NGO people) are carrying out some criminal actions to draw attention against me, against the government of Brazil,” Bolsonaro told reporters.When asked if he had evidence, the president did not provide any.“There is a war going on in the world against Brazil, an information war,” Bolsonaro said.Earlier this month, the head of the space research institute was forced to leave his position after standing up to the president’s accusations that deforestation data had been manipulated to tarnish the image of his administration.The states that have been most affected by fires this year are Mato Grosso, Para and Amazonas — all in the Amazon region — accounting for 41.7 per cent of all fires.“It is very difficult to have natural fires in the Amazon; it happens but the majority come from the hand of humans,” said Paulo Moutinho, co-founder of the Amazon Environmental Research Institute.Moutinho, who has been working in the Amazon forests for nearly 30 years, said fires are mostly used to clean up vast areas of land for farming or logging.The fires can easily get out of control, especially now during the Amazon’s dry season, and spread to densely forested protected areas.This year, the Amazon has not suffered from serious dryness, Moutinho said. “We’re lucky. If we had had droughts like in the past four years, this would be even worse.”Bolsonaro, who once threatened to leave the Paris climate accord, has repeatedly attacked environmental nonprofits, seen as obstacles in his quest to develop the country’s full economic potential, including in protected areas.Bolsonaro and Environment Minister Ricardo Salles are both close to the powerful rural caucus in Congress and have been urging more development and economic opportunities in the Amazon region, which they consider overly protected by current legislation.Some NGOs, environmentalists and academics have been blaming the administration’s pro-development policies for a sharp increase in Amazon deforestation shown in the latest data from the space research institute.The government is also facing international pressure to protect the vast rainforest from illegal logging or mining activities. The Amazon is often referred to as the lungs of our planet because it is a major absorber of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.Citing Brazil’s apparent lack of commitment to fighting deforestation, Germany and Norway have decided to withhold more than $60 million in funds earmarked for sustainability projects in Brazil’s forests.French and German leaders have also threatened not to ratify a trade deal between the European Union and Mercosur countries to pressure Brazil into complying with its environmental pledges within the Paris Climate Agreement.But experts say Brazilians and particularly farmers could be the first victims of excessive deforestation, as it could affect the regional climate, bringing higher temperatures and less rain.Meanwhile, the environment minister was booed Wednesday as he took the stage at a five-day U.N. workshop on climate change in the northern state of Bahia — an event he had tried to cancel earlier this year.Some in the audience shouted while waving signs reading, “Stop Ecocide” or “The Amazon is burning.”Salles spoke briefly, saying climate change needs to be addressed.“People are asking for more and more actions. … There is an acknowledgment that we are in a situation of crisis and emergency,” said Manuel Pulgar Vidal, former environment minister of Peru, who attended the event.Vidal, who now works for the non-profit WWF, said the criticism directed at Salles could eventually prod the administration into taking action on climate change. “There is no room for negationism,” Vidal said.Associated Press journalist Victor Caivano in Salvador, Brazil, contributed to this report.last_img read more

Former Miramarbased Marine found not guilty of murder in DUI crash that

first_img January 22, 2018 Categories: Local San Diego News Tags: Jason Riley King KUSI Newsroom, FacebookTwitter 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) — A former Miramar-based Marine who drove drunk and caused a head-on freeway crash that killed two UCSD medical students was acquitted of murder Monday but convicted of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and DUI.Jason Riley King, 24, faces a maximum of 17 years and four months in prison when he is sentenced April 6 for the May 16, 2015, deaths of 23-year-old Madison Cornwell and 24-year-old Anne Li Baldock. Three others in Cornwell’s car were seriously injured.“This was a case that was 100 percent preventable,” Deputy District Attorney Cally Bright said after the verdicts. “We lost two women who were in med school — were very bright lights — (and) three others were badly injured. The impact of one person’s decisions to decide to drink and drive — drink in excess and drive — basically changed the lives of five separate families, as well as the defendant’s own family.”King’s attorney, Rich Hutton, said the jury got it right by acquitting the defendant of murder.During the trial, Hutton conceded that King caused the wrong-way accident that killed the victims and injured their friends, leaving one in a coma for some time after the accident. Another victim is struggling to resume his studies in medical school. But he argued that his client was guilty of gross vehicular manslaughter and DUI, not murder.“The whole issue in this case was, was it a murder or not?” Hutton said. “We firmly believed it never was, and that’s what the jury determined today.”Hutton told jurors that what they learned about drinking and driving during the two weeks of trial was much more than King learned from the military.In her closing argument, Bright said King was warned not to drink and drive but chose to do it anyway, acting with a conscious disregard for human life.After getting kicked out of a country western bar, King told a female Marine friend who asked for his keys, “I got myself here, I’ll get myself home,” Bright told the jury.Eight days before the fatal crash, a police officer at an on-base “stand-down” told King and hundreds of other Marines that if they drank and drove and hurt or killed someone, they could go to jail, the prosecutor said.Asked by CHP officers why he drank and got behind the wheel, King “remembered people telling him not to drive” and did it “because I was ignorant,” Bright told the jury.The victims had just left a party in Hillcrest to celebrate the completion of their second year in medical school when Cornwell’s Prius was hit head-on by King’s raised Ford F350 truck about 1:30 a.m. on northbound state Route 163 near Interstate 8.An expert testified that King’s blood-alcohol content was between .15 and .20 percent at the time of driving, according to the prosecutor. Posted: January 22, 2018 Former Miramar-based Marine found not guilty of murder in DUI crash that killed two UCSD medical students KUSI Newsroom Updated: 4:02 PMlast_img read more

Lifx teases colorchanging candelabra bulbs at CES 2019

first_img CES 2019 CNET Smart Home Tags Mentioned Above Lifx Tile Check out all the smart home products at CES 2019 Best Buy Review • Smart, multicolor Lifx Tiles might drive you up the wall CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Multicolor candelabra bulbs, coming soon from Lifx. Ry Crist/CNET Lifx is adding color-changing candelabra bulbs to its lineup of smart LED lights, the company tells me at CES 2019 here in Las Vegas. Pricing isn’t set yet, but Lifx expects them to launch in the third quarter of 2019. What makes these lights especially interesting is that they can put out multiple colors at once — a fairly uncommon feature, even among larger-sized smart bulbs. That lets them simulate a flickering flame, or put out some of the same animated, tie-dye-type effects that you get with the multicolor Lifx Tile wall panels. The controls for the bulbs are similar to the Tiles, too. Along with controlling and automating them, you’ll be able to paint designs onto each bulb by dragging your finger over a bulb-shaped canvas in the Lifx app. Lifx tells me that each color-changing diode inside of the bulb is its own individual zone of light. That adds up to a total of 30 zones that you can paint colors across. lifx-cnadelabra-bulbs-appEnlarge ImageYou can paint colors onto the bulb by dragging your finger across a bulb-shaped canvas in the Lifx app. Ry Crist/CNET Beyond basic color control, Lifx claims that it sees growing interest in smart lighting that feels artistic and expressive. “It feels like the tide is shifting,” Lifx CEO Tim Peters tells me, expressing hope that the candelabra bulbs will help scratch that itch for its customers. The question is how much these things will ultimately cost at launch. It’ll likely be a lot. Color-changing candelabra bulbs from Philips Hue currently sell for about $50 each — and those only put out one color at a time. It wouldn’t surprise me if the multicolor Lifx versions cost even more, which could fast get prohibitively expensive for folks looking to upgrade a fixture with multiple bulbs in it. When we know more on that front, we’ll let you know — and expect a full review from the CNET Smart Home as soon as the bulbs arrive. Google Assistant CES Products Alexa Philips Siri Apple HomeKit See It See it 52 Photos Lifx Tile Light Bulbs Post a comment 0 $189 Share your voice Preview • Light up your walls with Lifx Tile LED panels CES 2019: Every story so far: It’s the year’s biggest tech show. CES 2019 schedule: It’s six days of jam-packed events. Here’s what to expect. $193last_img read more

Tax Deductible Investments Hiked to ₹44 lakh

first_imgNot changing the income tax rates or increasing the exemption limits for individuals, union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Saturday proposed increasing the range of tax deductible investments/ spend.Presenting the budget proposals for 2015-16 in the Lok Sabha, Jaitley said the government is proposing to rationalise various tax exemptions and incentives to reduce tax disputes and improve tax administration.The proposals mentioned by the finance minister made clear the government’s focus on enlarging the tax-exempt investments/spend.Jaitley said the proposals would result in tax deductions to the tune of around Rs.440,000 crore.Jaitley said in order to encourage savings and to promote health care among individual tax payers, it is proposed to increase the limit of deduction on account of health insurance premium from Rs.15,000 to Rs.25,000 — for senior citizens this limit is to be increased from Rs.20,000 to Rs.30,000.For senior citizens above the age of 80 years — who are not eligible to avail of health insurance — deduction will be allowed for medical expenses up to Rs.30,000.The deduction limit of Rs.60,000 on expenditure on account of specified diseases — like cancer — will be enhanced to Rs.80,000 in the case of senior citizens.The minister also proposed additional deduction of Rs.25,000 for differently-abled persons, increasing the limit from Rs.50,000 to Rs.75,000.It is also proposed to increase the limit of tax deduction from Rs.1 lakh to Rs.1.25 lakh in case of severe disability.According to Jaitley, investment in Sukanya Samriddhi Scheme will be eligible for deduction under section 80C of the income tax and any payment from the scheme shall not be liable to tax.Limit on deduction on account of contribution to a pension fund and the new pension scheme is proposed to be increased from Rs.1 lakh to Rs.1.5 lakh. Additional deduction of Rs.50,000 will be allowed for contribution to the new pension scheme under section 80 CCD of Income Tax Act — increasing the exemption from Rs.1 lakh to Rs.1.5 lakh.Jaitley also doubled the transport allowance exemption to Rs.1,600 per month.According to him, the details of tax deductions proposed are as follows:Deduction u/s 80C – Rs.150,000; Deduction u/s 80CCD – Rs.50,000; Deduction on account of interest on house property loan (Self-occupied property) – Rs.200,000; Deduction u/s 80D on health insurance premium – Rs.25,000; Exemption of transport allowance – Rs 19,200; Total – Rs.444,200Reacting to the budget proposals, Prashant Khatore, tax partner, Ernst and Young told IANS: “The finance minister is connecting various proposals to the Make In India programme. Though there is no change in personal income tax rates, the corporate tax rate has been proposed to be brought down to 25 percent over a four-year period.”last_img read more

PEOPLE Trafalgar draws winner for European Highlights contest

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Share Samantha KniggeTORONTO — Vancouver Flight Centre agent Samantha Knigge has been drawn as the winner of Trafalgar’s European Highlights contest that ran in the Europe edition of Travel Professional.Trafalgar’s nine-day ‘European Highlights’ includes accommodation for eight nights, 11 meals, all land transfers, luxury air-conditioned coachs, hand-picked Insider Experience, all porterage and restaurant gratuities, must-see sighseeing experience and surprise extras, an expert travel director and VIP entry to many of the sights.“I am so happy to receive this opportunity Travelweek and Trafalgar. I have been selling and recommending Trafalgar to all of my clients in my three years in the travel industry. All of my clients who I send away come back telling me how amazing their experience was, so I am so excited to experience it firsthand. I can’t wait to learn more about this fantastic company so I can continue to pass on my knowledge to many more clients,” said Kinge about her win.For more about Trafalgar, go to trafalgar.com.For more travel agent contests, go to travelweek.ca/contests. Tuesday, April 18, 2017 [PEOPLE] Trafalgar draws winner for ‘European Highlights’ contestcenter_img Posted by Tags: Contests, People, Trafalgar Travelweek Group last_img read more