August 24, 2019
  • 11:55 pm Good news out of Florida No Zika found in samples so far
  • 7:07 am Costa Rican lawmakers approve two of three fiscal reform bills on first
  • 6:54 am Strong winds whip Escazú Curridabat
  • 6:42 am Both candidates claim win in Salvadoran presidential runoff
  • 6:37 am Verdict in on Latin American leftwing leadership

first_imgTags: Florida, Zika Share Good news out of Florida: No Zika found in samples so far << Previous PostNext Post >> Friday, April 28, 2017 Source: The Associated Press TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida agriculture officials say no mosquitoes in the state have tested positive for the Zika virus so far this year.A statement from the state’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says nearly 90,000 individual mosquitoes have been tested for the virus linked to severe birth defects. None of the mosquitoes from more than 6,500 samples have tested positive for the presence of Zika so far.Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam has said as summer begins, it’s important that Florida communities have the resources they need for Zika response efforts.A Zika outbreak in Miami’s Wynwood arts district last year was the first on the U.S. mainland. It lingered for more than a month but was limited to a small geographic area, much like previous outbreaks of mosquito-borne viruses in Florida.last_img read more

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first_imgNo related posts. Lawmakers on Monday night approved in a first round of debates two bills to help ease Costa Rica’s fiscal woes. The two bills, which aim to increase fiscal transparency and strengthen tax management, are part of a reform package of three bills that are an alternative to President Laura Chinchilla’s failed fiscal plan.If passed in a second round of voting and signed into law by the president, the Fiscal Transparency Bill would allow authorities to lift banking secrecy for individual account holders and businesses if authorities suspect tax evasion or money laundering.The Strengthening Tax Management Bill seeks an amendment to the Tax Code to streamline customs procedures and improve collection processes from private companies.A third piece of legislation, known as the Euro Bonds Bill, would allow the executive branch to accrue up to $4 billion in bond debt to curb rising interest rates, mostly for personal loans.Lawmakers could vote on that bill Tuesday afternoon, as it is first on the legislative agenda for today’s session. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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first_imgNo related posts. Hold onto your hats and umbrellas, as strong winds that swept through the Central Valley on Friday are expected to continue through the weekend, along with possible heavy showers.Winds topping 60 kilometers per hour blew through the San José metropolitan area, particularly in the eastern suburb of Curridabat and the southwestern suburb of Escazú, National Meteorological Institute spokesman Werner Stolz told The Tico Times. Strong winds were also felt in the northern and Caribbean regions of the country, he said.Residents reported downed tree branches, but as of midday on Friday, no injuries had been reported. A high-pressure front over the Caribbean is causing the heavy winds, and is expected to bring significant rainfall over the weekend. Stolz urged residents to be vigilant for flash floods and rising rivers. Readers can follow weather developments and advisories on the institute’s website, http://www.imn.ac.cr/alertas/. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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first_imgRelated posts:Ex-rebel commander favored in El Salvador runoff Conservative in Salvadoran vote demands fresh polls as political divisions intensify Voters head to the polls in El Salvador to elect legislators, mayors Final election results in El Salvador give ARENA majority in congress SAN SALVADOR – The parties of both candidates in El Salvador’s surprisingly tight presidential runoff clash claimed victory late Sunday.Pre-election polls indicated that ex-guerrilla leader Salvador Sánchez Cerén of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) would easily defeat Norman Quijano with the conservative ARENA party.But with all of the returns tallied, the leftist candidate was leading by a tiny margin: 50.11 percent to 49.98, electoral authorities reported.“We won the first round and now we have triumphed again in the runoff,” Sánchez Cerén told enthusiastic supporters amid an explosion of fireworks.But his ARENA counterpart was convinced its side had won.Quijano claimed victory in a speech to supporters, and insisted that he would not allow “fraud of the Chavista or [Nicolás] Maduro style like in Venezuela.”He claimed that El Salvador’s military was “aware of the fraud that is being perpetrated” by election authorities along with the FMLN.Sánchez Cerén had conciliatory words for his rival.“We can say right now that you have the doors open to work with us to move El Salvador forward,” he said.Election officials, likely expecting that vote results will be challenged and there will be calls for a recount, urged both sides to wait for final results.“This tribunal recommends and orders that no party declare itself winner given such close results,” said Supreme Electoral Tribunal president Eugenio Chicas in a TV and radio message. Salvadoran presidential candidate for the National Republican Alliance party, Norman Quijano, right, accompanied by one of his daughters, gives a thumbs up after casting his vote during the runoff election, in San Salvador, on March 9, 2014. AFP/Inti OCONTeacher, rebel, vice presidentSánchez Cerén, 69, is El Salvador’s vice president. A former teacher and ex-education minister, he was one of five top guerrilla commanders during El Salvador’s bitter 1979-92 civil war, which pitted the FMLN against the U.S.-backed conservative government.Conservatives were in power for two decades until 2009, when Salvadorans elected FMLN candidate Mauricio Funes, a former journalist, as their first leftist president.The FMLN fell just shy of an outright victory in a first round vote last month, and Sánchez Cerén was expected to easily win the runoff vote.Meanwhile Quijano, 67, the mayor of the capital city San Salvador, is a law and order candidate who campaigned on the country’s high crime rate and the notorious “mara” street gangs behind much of El Salvador’s drug dealing and extortion.After the first-round vote, Quijano overhauled his image and talked more about keeping children out of gangs and rehabilitating those already ensnared by them.Quijano however suffered from his links to ex-president Francisco Flores, a former campaign adviser, under scrutiny over $10 million donated by Taiwan that went missing during his 1999-2004 government.ARENA removed Flores from his advisory job, but the controversy has damaged Quijano.A civil war legacyAfter the civil war, El Salvador found itself facing violence from the street gangs, which control whole neighborhoods and run drug distribution and extortion rackets.Homicides were running at 14 per day until a truce was reached between the two main gangs in March 2012, which helped to halve the murder rate. But extortion and other crimes persist.The maras are believed have around 60,000 members, 10,000 of whom are behind bars.Sánchez Cerén wants to rehabilitate former gang members, but said he would fight those who refuse to give up street life.Whoever wins and takes office on June 1 will face a shaky economy.Forty percent of El Salvador’s six million people live in poverty, and the country relies heavily on remittances sent by Salvadorans living abroad — around $4 billion a year, or 16 percent of the country’s GDP.Sánchez Cerén vows to spend more money on social programs which he said he would finance via a “progressive fiscal policy.”“The main thing is to use those funds honestly,” he has said. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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first_img(Screenshot of Social Progress Index)There’s an enduring myth in Latin America that left-wing populist governments somehow do a better job of promoting economic growth and social development than their political counterparts. For those wedded to that belief the 2014 Social Progress Index should be compulsory reading.The index has impeccable credentials — Michael Porter, the celebrated Harvard Business School professor and expert in national competitiveness, had a hand in designing it along with Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto. And for those who hold the view that GDP isn’t the sole measure of human happiness, the index also incorporates measures of basic human needs and quality of life. It’s worth noting that the survey didn’t give a pass to U.S.-style capitalism, ranking the country 16th out of 132 countries evaluated, two steps ahead of Slovenia.The headline here is that Costa Rica (25th), Uruguay (26th) and Chile (30th) are the region’s top three socially progressive countries. Set aside the fact that Costa Rica — a small Central American nation — managed to best much larger economies. Far more significant is that in all three countries center-left politicians have either run things or helped shape economic policy for the last decade or more.The result is that Uruguay’s economy has grown at roughly 6 percent annually for the past 10 years, according to Moody’s. Chile and Costa Rica have paired strong growth with low debt levels. All have attracted foreign investment, protected private property and score well in health and education. In other words, in these countries the poor can really get ahead.In contrast, regimes that claim to defend the poor such as Venezuela (67th), Bolivia (71st), Nicaragua (74th) and Cuba (79th), score poorly. President Nicolás Maduro’s Venezuela earned the lowest rating possible in personal safety, offers substandard secondary education and violates basic political rights. The study also found that radical leftist regimes tend to ignore things like proper sanitation and often trample on violate private property rights.By comparison, Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet was considered a subversive by the right-wing dictatorship of Agusto Pinochet, which tortured her, but in power she has a track record of fiscal conservatism and respect for private enterprise. Likewise, Uruguay’s José Mujica — a former guerrilla fighter — knows what it takes to maintain the country’s top-notch credit record.The social index study found that economic growth isn’t enough to achieve social gains. But economic development does require sustainable economic policies.Moreover, the study found that more government spending doesn’t necessarily result in social progress. Tell that to Venezuela, where unchecked state spending has resulted in inflation running at a 56 percent annual rate, a chronically weak currency and shortages of basic goods.The problem with Latin American populists such as Venezuela’s Maduro or Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega isn’t so much their commitment to useless ideologies; it’s that their failed economic tinkering is mostly aimed at keeping them in power.Bloomberg View contributor Raul Gallegos covers Latin American politics, business and finance.© 2014,  Bloomberg News Related posts:Exiles in Costa Rica denounce alleged Venezuelan kidnapping plot Obama orders deeper Venezuela sanctions over abuses Struggles loom as Venezuela opposition vows to fix crisis Former Colombian, Bolivian leaders warn of looming humanitarian crisis in Venezuela Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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first_imgRelated posts:Appliance company Mabe closes Costa Rica plant, lays off 445 employees Faced with a $500,000 Caja debt, La Condesa Hotel closes, firing 140 workers Local cargo company dismisses 65 employees US company Suttle to relocate its Costa Rica operations to Minnesota Mexican appliance manufacturer and distributor MABE will close its stove division in Costa Rica, terminating 350 jobs.MABE’s General Manager for Central America Diego Artiñano said the company will focus its operations in the country on manufacturing refrigerators for the local market and export.Layoff notices began arriving on Tuesday for a first group of employees whose jobs end next month.Most of the terminated jobs are in manufacturing, but some administrative jobs also will be eliminated. The process will last through September, Artiñano said.The company began operating in Costa Rica in 2008 after acquiring a local appliance company. Currently, the company employs 950 workers at facilities in the province of Heredia.Artiñano said the changes would not affect the availability of products or customer support in the region.“The decision is part of our plans to maintain our leadership in Central America. Our company is commited to secure a proper, transparent and respectful transition according to Costa Rican laws,” he added.MABW was founded in 1946 and designs, produces, and distributes appliances to more than 70 countries. It also holds the rights to distribute products in Latin America under a variety of well-known brands such as GE.Costa Rica’s industrial sector this year has been hit hard by layoffs. Last month, Intel and Bank of America announced 3,000 jobs would be terminated this year.President-elect Luis Guillermo Solís on April 30 said he would travel to the U.S. to court investors, and he pledged to maintain and improve the business climate in Costa Rica. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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first_imgWhen my daughter reached down and picked up the little fish from the surface of the deep blue sea, she asked me what kind it was. Since I knew she was wanting something more specific thansardina roja, I told her I didn’t know. Neither did the old and famous marine biologist standing next to us who has sailed and dived the seven seas for seven decades. We had just spent hundreds of hours filming the largest dolphin pods known, for the biggest documentary ever made about the oceans – but no one had thought to identify, or even really look at, the fish that made the vast bait balls that the dolphin megapods, and much more, feasted on. So I took this photo.Turns out the photo was the first known identification of the sardina roja in Costa Rica. The books showed it to be the little lantern fish, Symbolophorus, the secret to the Costa Rican deep-carbon sink: They make carbon sink to the bottom of the sea with their fins.Little lantern fish are smaller than your finger and live so deep that very few people have ever seen one alive, unless you hang out southwest of the Isla del Caño Biological Reserve, off the shores of Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula. Further offshore than the island, where the continental shelf plunges to the deep sea, the sardina roja stain the surface of the blue sea red.This is the only place known in the world where these fish can be reliably seen alive. People using sonar see them every night.  On sonar, these fish – the most numerous animal on the planet with a backbone – swim in such thick clouds that they appear to be the bottom of the ocean. Every night, all around the world, this false bottom of fish rises up just a bit from the depths of the sea, eats heaps of carbon-rich plankton, and then drops back down again and poops carbon.During a week in which climate change has taken center stage, in a world in which carbon emissions have become an enormous ecological threat, and in an era when great minds are searching for ways to achieve carbon sequestration to remove it from the atmosphere, it is amazing to consider that these tiny lantern fish sink far more carbon than all of the world’s forests combined. Because offshore Osa is the only place in the world where these fish can be reliably seen and studied, it offers an astounding opportunity to better understand the crucial little lantern fish carbon-sink dynamics and help us negate having burned way too much carbon.During the shoot of the biggest dolphin documentary ever made, we sailed at night off the shores of Osa, watching the dolphins glowing and throwing brilliant trails of bioluminescent plankton. We saw that on the windless and smooth surface glowed countless lights brighter than the spectacular stars above, even without the movement that makes most bioluminescent organisms light up. The famous badass underwater cameraman who was with us said it must be the reflection of the stars. I said it might be sea worms or spawn. My daughter said it was little lantern fish. We laughed. She grabbed a net, went astern, and dipped it full of little lantern fish.On dark nights, lantern fish fill the sea off Osa with lights. This glittering surface mesmerizes those lucky enough to glimpse this extraordinary phenomenon. But they are not just beautiful – these fish are tremendously powerful, too. If we can learn more about their secrets, they may help Costa Rica and the world light the way to carbon neutrality, and perhaps a brighter future.Contact costacetacea@gmail.com or visit www.costacetacea.com for more from columnist Shawn Larkin. Facebook Comments Related posts:Let the gas prices climb, but give us electric cars The Guardian names Costa Rican journalist among ‘young climate campaigners to watch’ ahead of Paris 2015 World failing to meet emissions level required to stave off disastrous global warming, analysts say Costa Rica boasts clean energy — and bad car pollutionlast_img read more

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first_imgRelated posts:CELAC should become an extreme poverty-free zone, says Ecuador’s foreign minister Delays expected next week in Belén during meeting of Latin American presidents Absences, again, shine at Ibero-American summit Costa Rica’s President Solís to meet with leaders of Chile, Colombia, Jamaica, Haiti and Ecuador The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) – whose third heads of state summit kicks off today in Costa Rica – should be seen by the region’s social movements as an ally for integration, according to one Guatemalan indigenous leader.CELAC seems like a step forward in the transformation process taking place in Latin America, José Luis Siguil, a member of Tzuk Kim-Pop – which translates to “Highland Peoples Interwoven” – told The Tico Times.“In the future, we have to see CELAC as an instance where we have an ally in the sense that these governments … may, in effect, include the opinion of social movements in the citizen-participation model for integration processes,” he said.“We have right here before us the general transformation of Latin America,” Siguil said. “We see CELAC as a most important step forward, because it isn’t – as is often thought – the OAS’ [Organization of American States’] competitor.”Siguil said the United States’ and Canada’s exclusion from CELAC “gives us a perspective of hope” because the organization would be expected to make key decisions in three fundamental areas, including: “reclaiming people’s sovereignty” over resources and territory; a “new vision of the use of these resources for the common good of Latin America”; and the economy “from a different perspective, because it isn’t about putting the economy at the center of the process, but the economy in terms of society.”Regarding CELAC’s third summit this week, he noted that there is “an abundance of expectation” in terms of fighting poverty – particularly extreme poverty – which is the meeting’s central topic.“A powerful answer is expected, one with a different vision, something that is difficult,” he said. The challenge, he added, is “how to come up with an economic model based on a new paradigm” in the framework of a “global crisis.”See also: CELAC should become an extreme poverty-free zone, says Ecuador’s foreign minister A drum band performs in the streets of Antigua, Guatemala, on Aug. 21, 2014 as part of a parade to mark the 150th anniversary of a local school. Washington Post photo by Michael S. Williamson“It’s a major challenge, because [it implies] maintaining a social policy that requires large public investment,” he said.Heads of state and government from 33 member nations will meet on Wednesday and Thursday in what is described by Costa Rican officials as the largest international summit in this country’s history.During the closing session Ecuador will receive from Costa Rica the bloc’s yearly rotating presidency.A leaders’ debate follows a two-day technical meeting to finalize documents to be presented to heads of state, and a one-day meeting of foreign affairs ministers.CELAC was created in 2011 in México as a “regional space uniting all [Latin American and Caribbean] states.” Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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first_imgRelated posts:In heroin fight, White House tries to break down walls between public health, police US ex-President Jimmy Carter declares he’s free of cancer US President Obama tasks VP Biden with ‘moonshot’ bid to cure cancer Obama seeks $1.9 billion to combat spread of Zika virus WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday hailed the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold his legacy-gilding health care law, casting it as a win for ordinary U.S. citizens.“Today is a victory for hard-working Americans all across this country,” Obama said in the White House Rose Garden, eschewing overt political gloating despite a victory that cements his signature domestic policy achievement.Obama’s Republican foes have tried repeatedly to overturn the law, which expanded insurance coverage to millions more U.S. citizens.The Supreme Court decision was the most serious challenge to those reforms among 50 votes in Congress and a plethora of court filings.In this instance, the high court’s nine justices could have gutted subsidies essential to the program.“This is not about the Affordable Care Act as legislation or Obamacare as a political football. This is health care in America,” Obama said. “The Affordable Care Act is here to stay.” U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden after speaking about the Supreme Court’s ruling to uphold subsidies that comprise the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C., on June 25, 2015. Saul Loeb/AFPSlamming “misinformation campaigns” and “doomsday predictions,” Obama quickly said he was ready to work with Republicans on further reforms.“My greatest hope is that rather than keep refighting battles that have been settled again and again and again, I can work with Republicans and Democrats to move forward.”But in a sign of how central Obama believes the law is to his presidential legacy, he described it as on par with the passage of health care coverage for the oldest and very poorest Americans during Lyndon B. Johnson’s 1960s “War on Poverty.”“This generation of Americans chose to finish the job, to turn the page on a past when our citizens could be denied coverage just for being sick,” he said.Obamacare prevented insurers from barring people from coverage who had pre-existing medical conditions.Following the ruling, health and hospital stocks surged. The biggest gains came in companies that operate hospitals and acute-care facilities: Community Health Systems (+11.3 percent), HCA Holdings (+9.1 percent), LifePoint Health (+6.7 percent), Tenet Healthcare (+13.1 percent) and Universal Health Services (+7.2 percent).Health insurers were also higher, including Dow member UnitedHealth Group (+2.5 percent), Humana (+2.6 percent) and Cigna (+0.4 percent). Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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first_imgFormer U.S. President Jimmy Carter announced Wednesday that he has cancer and will be undergoing treatment at Emory Healthcare in Atlanta.Carter, 90, said the disease was discovered during recent liver surgery to remove “a small mass” and that the cancer “is now in other parts of my body.”“I will be rearranging my schedule as necessary so I can undergo treatment by physicians at Emory Healthcare,” Carter said in a statement on the Carter Center website. “A more complete public statement will be made when facts are known, possibly next week.”Carter currently is the second-oldest living former president, and he recently release an autobiography titled “A Full Life.” His liver surgery had “proceeded without issues” and he was expected to make a full recovery, according to a statement from the Carter Center last week.Carter’s brother, Billy, and his two sisters died of pancreatic cancer, as did his father. His mother died of breast cancer. In an interview with The New York Times in 2007, Carter ruminated on why so many in his family had suffered from the disease.“I’m deeply religious, I’m a fatalist, I’m 82 years old and I’ve had a good life,” he said then. In a recent interview on PBS NewsHour, he said his family members all smoked cigarettes but he never did, suggesting that might have been a “triggering device” for genetic causes of the disease in them.© 2015, The Washington Post Facebook Comments Related posts:Former US President Jimmy Carter says cancer has spread to his brain US ex-President Jimmy Carter declares he’s free of cancer How Jimmy Carter has long pursued peace, justice and care for those on the margins US President Obama tasks VP Biden with ‘moonshot’ bid to cure cancerlast_img read more

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first_imgRelated posts:‘Culture of violence’ behind Costa Rica’s jump in homicides, says OIJ chief US man killed in Costa Rica was target of real estate scam; 4 arrested Ann Patton in new battle with Costa Rican government over $7 million in seized gems US man among four arrested for cloning credit cards in Costa Rica On Tuesday morning, Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) raided the Tres Ríos home of a man suspected of defrauding U.S. residents and cloning as many as 400 credit cards, according to a statement. OIJ did not announce the amount believed to be stolen in the scam.The OIJ’s fraud division received complaints from U.S. cardholders who started to see unauthorized purchases on their credit cards from stores in Costa Rica starting in December 2015, even though they had never been to Costa Rica. After several months of investigation, authorities identified their suspect, a young man with the last name Castillo.In the suspect’s home in Cartago, east of Costa Rica’s capital, police found roughly 400 fake credit cards, two skimmers (devices that pull data off a credit card’s magnetic strip), and two credit card duplicators and card stamping machines. Along with the credit card fraud equipment, police seized a television, laptop computer, cellphones, fake identification cards and passports and more than $5,000 in cash in colones and dollars.OIJ spokesman Marco Monge told The Tico Times that authorities are still trying to uncover how the suspect got the credit card information. One theory police are investigating is that Castillo had an accomplice in the U.S. who supplied him with the card information.In 2013, OIJ arrested four Canadians for allegedly withdrawing $48,000 in cash using cloned credit cards from that country. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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first_img Facebook Comments President Luis Guillermo Solís took a medical leave to undergo prostate surgery Wednesday after postponing the procedure last week to overseerelief efforts related to Tropical Storm Nate.Solís visited a private clinic in San José early Wednesday morning for surgery on a benign prostate enlargement. His doctors announced later in the day that the two-hour surgery was successful.The medical staff indicated that the president was in good spirits, asked them about the procedure and chatted with families who arrived to visit him.Surgeon Mario González said at a press conference that Solís will be released Thursday and must spend two weeks taking it easy.“He can get up and go to the bathroom, perform some minor tasks. He doesn’t have to stay in bed,” the doctor explained. “We recommend that he move around and walk.”In a video released Tuesday, Solís announced the operation alongside First Lady Mercedes Peñas.“I postponed my surgery in recent days to dedicate myself to the after effects of Nate, but the time has come to have the operation, which can’t be postponed any longer,” Solís said in the video.According to Costa Rican law, Vice President Helio Fallas stepped in as acting president during Solís’ leave. Related posts:UPDATED: Tropical storm causes deaths, flooding in Costa Rica and region Various INCOFER routes suspended after two trains collide head on BREAKING: Costa Rican prosecutor dies after shooting at his home ICE seeks annulment of $112 million payment to Italian companylast_img read more

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first_img Sponsored Stories Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements He said it was the first time a Red Cross staffer has been injured since the start of violence last year in Syria, where thousands have died in a government crackdown on a popular uprising against President Bashar Assad’s regime.Several members of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent have been killed, however, including the head of its branch in Idlib, who was shot dead in January. The government blamed terrorist groups for the killing.“We do not know if we were targeted, and we do not know who was responsible for this,” Hassan said. He added that the aid group would contact the government and opposition forces to discuss the incident.Intentionally targeting a person or vehicle displaying the Red Cross or Red Crescent symbols is a violation of the laws of war.“This may put at risk humanitarian action in a country where the needs are steadily increasing,” Hassan said.The Syrian Arab Red Crescent has thousands of volunteers helping those affected by the conflict, while the international Red Cross has quadrupled its staff in Syria to 60 in recent months.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 4 must play golf courses in Arizona New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologistcenter_img Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Associated PressGENEVA (AP) – A roadside explosion hit a convoy of aid workers in northwest Syria on Wednesday, causing three people to suffer minor injuries, the International Committee of the Red Cross said.The two Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteers and an ICRC staff member were traveling with other aid workers from Aleppo to Idlib when the blast hit their marked vehicles, the Geneva-based group said.“They were taken to a medical facility and their injuries are minor,” Red Cross spokesman Hicham Hassan told The Associated Press. Comments   Share   Top Stories 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breacheslast_img read more

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first_imgAssociated PressJOHANNESBURG (AP) – A cargo train collided with a truck carrying farm workers at a crossing in South Africa Friday, killing at least 26 people and leaving bodies strewn across the scene of the accident, officials said.Provincial spokesman Joseph Mabuza said at least 25 others were injured in the accident in Mpumalanga, an eastern province, which highlighted once more South Africa’s problems with road safety. New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Sponsored Stories Top Stories More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes 5 ways to recognize low testosterone The truck driver, who was trying to cross the tracks but apparently miscalculated the speed of the approaching train, was arrested late Friday, he added. The truck was carrying about 50 farm workers when it was hit by the train carrying coal.Traffic accidents with high death tolls are common in South Africa, and are often blamed on negligent drivers and badly maintained roads.According to Gary Ronald, a spokesman of the Automobile Association of South Africa, one million crashes are reported annually, leading to about 14,000 fatalities.Ronald said the country needs to implement a strategy to lower its high level of fatal road accidents.“To turn it around is going to be one hell of a job,” Ronald said.He added a lack of effective policing and an increased number of vehicles on the roads are some of the factors contributing to the high death tolls.“South Africa is getting further and further away from a resolution for road safety,” Ronald said. “For most South Africans there are no consequences for breaking the law.”Friday’s accident came less than a month after a bus crash left 19 people dead in Johannesburg.“The accident was messy,” said government spokesman Thulani Sibuyi describing heads and limbs severed from bodies. The death toll rose to 26 by late Friday, said Malusi Gigaba, South Africa’s Minister of Public Enterprises. Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates In 2010, a man driving 14 children to school evaded barriers at a crossing near Cape Town and a train crashed into it, killing 10 of his young passengers. The driver was convicted of murder in the deaths of the students and attempted murder in the case of the four surviving children. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Transportation officials hailed the tough charges and sentence, saying that could help deter reckless driving.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments   Share   Top holiday drink recipeslast_img read more

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first_imgScrutiny of Morsi began even before he named a new prime minister. Activists set a “Morsi Meter” to evaluate how much the president follows through on promises for his first 100 days. Morsi has begun speaking on a daily radio program during the whole month of Ramadan to lay out his vision, an unprecedented public exposure for an Egyptian president.But policy is likely to be overshadowed by political battles. Before Morsi’s inauguration on June 19, the military dissolved the Brotherhood-led parliament and took on legislative powers, including approving state budget. They approved next year’s before Kandil was named. The military says it will name the defense minister.Appointing the interior minister, in charge of security forces, is an early test. It is widely believed the military and powerful security chiefs want to be responsible for picking the new minister.Emara said he didn’t think Morsi would approve of the military naming one.“The biggest problem Egypt is facing is lawlessness. For 18 months, the military council that was in charge didn’t make any progress in this file. Why?” he said.He acknowledged Morsi faces deep resistance from security forces that once led the suppression of the Brotherhood under Mubarak. There has already been friction: A decision believed to have been negotiated by Morsi to allow Palestinians freer entry into Egypt was resisted by some in the Interior Ministry. Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Comments   Share   Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Doctors, for example, say that not a day passes without an attack on a hospital, most by people angry over lack of services.The emergency center at Cairo’s biggest public hospital al-Qasr al-Aini was shut down Thursday when men armed with knives and machetes attacked workers and guards. The men were furious after the gynecologist who delivered the baby of a female relative asked them to purchase their own blood bags for her from outside the hospital because the facility was short. The daily Al-Masry al-Youm reported the assault left three security guards in critical condition.Some doctors in several cities shut their hospitals in protest over police failure to protect them. For three days, the emergency center at Ras el-Teen hospital in Alexandria has been closed after an angry mob beat up the sole doctor on duty and threw stones, demanding the doctor examine a relative.“The curve and frequency of the assaults are going up,” said Mona Mina, a member of the doctors’ syndicate. “Patients and their families are more and more angry because of poor service, doctors can’t answer, security is absent and assaults are horrendous.”Attacks began when security forces pulled from the streets during last year’s uprising against Mubarak, but they have accelerated dramatically from one a month to up to four a day, she said. “One would expect the choice to be someone who understands economic policies or has a proven record and achievement as a technocrat. He has neither. What he does have is a beard and he is religious,” said Mahmoud Salem, a liberal activist.Saad Emara, a leading member of the Brotherhood’s political party, said that’s unfair and that others should back the government but aren’t doing so to undermine Morsi.“The country is weak enough that it needs cooperation of all forces. We need to be one hand. The opposition doesn’t want that. It just doesn’t want an Islamist in the leading position.”Since Mubarak fell in February 2011, Egypt has had interim governments appointed by the military. The government headed by Kandil will be the first formed by an elected president. Theoretically, this is the civilian government that Egyptians hope could finally stop the country’s deterioration.Over the past year and a half, Egypt has seen a dramatic surge in crime, deadly street protests, a faltering economy and seemingly non-stop strikes. Police have abandoned many of their duties, and public services, already in bad shape under Mubarak, have further declined. Top Stories More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Sponsored Stories “For the longest time, members of the Interior Ministry were brought up to think of the Brotherhood as enemies of the nation,” he said. “Now they are surprised to find that they are at the helm of power and the former regime is in jail. This is a shock that needs some time to get used to.”But the Brotherhood has few allies to help it.Emad Gad, of the liberal Social Democratic Party, one of the secular parties created since Mubarak’s fall, said many of the well-known figures suggested for prime minister refused because they felt the job would just be a vehicle to execute the Muslim Brotherhood’s program.Salem, the liberal activist better known by his blogger name Sandmonkey, has little sympathy for the idea that the Brotherhood can’t fix problems without overcoming the military.“He has full executive power in appointing the government …This is his job, the service of the people and the protection of the population,” he said. “If he wishes to engage in a political battle, the smart thing to do is to get a qualified prime minister that fits with the ambitions of the Egyptian people. Neither is happening.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) “One day we will wake up on news of a murder of a doctor or nurse on the hands of patients or residents setting fire to a hospital,” she said. “And you can’t blame an angry citizen.”In an attempt to show action, Morsi on Tuesday asked the military police to provide protection to hospitals.Anger is also soaring over expanding power outages and water cut-offs in some districts. In Saft el-Laban, an impoverished district of Cairo’s twin city Giza, angry residents took over the governor’s office Saturday. They sealed outside gates with chains and held prayers, leaving the office only on Tuesday after promises they would have water in a few hours.Labor unrest has expanded. In Mahalla el-Kobra, the Nile Delta city that is the center of the textile industry, some 20,000 workers at the Misr Spinning and Weaving Company were on strike for eight days demanding better conditions and the removal of the administration.They suspended the action on Monday after getting an increase in bonuses and promises on further demands. But a day earlier, workers at another textile factory launched their own strike.The grievances of Mahalla workers sparked the first mass protests against Mubarak on April 6, 2008 _ seen as a first seed of last year’s revolution. Workers tore down a poster of Mubarak, an image that became an icon for the protest movement against the longtime leader. Labor uprisings were also a crucial part of the Jan. 25-Feb.11, 2011 protests that eventually brought down the president. Associated PressCAIRO (AP) – Almost daily, armed Egyptians angry over poor services storm hospitals, beating up or menacing doctors. Others took over a governor’s office to protest weeks without running water. Fabric workers shut down factories with strikes demanding better conditions.Lawlessness, economic troubles and public frustration have been growing in Egypt for months under the country’s uncertain leadership. Now, Egypt’s first elected president, Mohammed Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood president has taken his first step to forming his own government, but there is deep skepticism he will be able to fix anything amid a power struggle with the military. Morsi on Tuesday designated a young, largely unknown technocrat, Irrigation and Water Minister Hesham Kandil, as his prime minister, raising criticism that the choice is not experienced or strong enough to face the country’s problems.Political fighting puts heavy limitations on the new government. The military, which ruled the country since last year’s ouster of Hosni Mubarak, still holds overwhelming powers, including legislative authority. Powerful security agencies are largely out of Morsi’s control, even though officially they fall under his preview. Liberal parties have refused Morsi’s calls to join a unity government, saying they do not want to carry out the Brotherhood’s agenda and that the Brotherhood should bear responsibility for its results.Treading through its first experience with an elected president, the country of 82 million is deeply divided over Morsi’s Islamist background. Many wrote off Kandil _ an independent in his late 40s who wears the light beard of a religious conservative _ as a lightweight with no track record. It took Morsi almost a month to name a prime minister, reflecting the difficulty of finding a stronger consensus figure. Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Daylast_img read more

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first_img 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Adejobi said the junction, which has no traffic lights, is notoriously dangerous.Ogun State Federal Road Safety Commander Ayobami Omiyale said authorities could not immediately give a tally of those who had been killed and injured because they were taken to different hospitals.Crashes are common on Nigeria’s poorly maintained road network.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 0 Comments   Share   Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) – Police in Nigeria’s southwest say at least 15 people have died in a crash involving two trucks and many other vehicles.Ogun state police spokesman Olumuyiwa Adejobi said Wednesday a truck driver collided head-on with cars and motorbikes on a highway leading to the commercial capital of Lagos on Tuesday.He said the truck driver was trying to avoid hitting a truck coming from another road at a major intersection, but that his speed was too high. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementcenter_img Top Stories Check your body, save your life Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Sponsored Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion projectlast_img read more

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first_img Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Comments   Share   Quick workouts for men Top holiday drink recipes SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea on Tuesday confirmed the country’s first two deaths from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome as it fights to contain the spread of a virus that has killed hundreds of people in the Middle East.South Korea has reported 24 cases of the disease since diagnosing the country’s first MERS illness last month in a man who had traveled to Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries. Most of South Korea’s cases have had connections to the first patient — either medical staff who treated him or patients who stayed near him at the hospital before he was diagnosed and isolated, and their family members.center_img Tests on a 58-year-old woman who died of acute respiratory failure Monday showed she had been infected with the disease before her death, the Health Ministry said in a statement. A 71-year-old man who tested positive for the virus last week also died, it said.The statement said both stayed at the same hospital with the first patient.Health officials said Tuesday that about 750 people in South Korea were isolated at their homes or in state-run facilities after having contact with patients infected with the virus. They said the number could rise and that depending on their conditions many of the isolated could be banned from leaving the country.More than 50 schools and kindergartens near a hospital near Seoul where the 58-year-old patient who died was treated have canceled classes from Wednesday to Friday to let children stay home, according to the education agency in Gyeonggi province, which surrounds Seoul. The measure was taken after many parents asked the schools to take action, agency officials said.There is a growing sense of public alarm over the virus, with South Korean media criticizing the government for failing to swiftly cope with MERS in the initial stage of its landing in the country. Major shopping malls have reported a sharp increase in sales of masks, hand sanitizers and mouthwashes, and many people have been seen wearing masks on Seoul streets over the past few days. Sponsored Stories Last week, the son of one of the patients ignored doctor’s orders to cancel a trip to China, where he was later diagnosed as that country’s first MERS case. China isolated the South Korean man at a hospital, and Hong Kong authorities said Sunday that 18 travelers were being quarantined because they sat near him, but they were not showing symptoms.MERS was discovered in 2012 and has mostly been centered in Saudi Arabia. It belongs to the family of coronaviruses that includes the common cold and SARS, and can cause fever, breathing problems, pneumonia and kidney failure. The virus has spread primarily through contact with camels, but it can also spread from human fluids and droplets.There have been about 1,170 cases of the virus worldwide and about 480 of the patients have died, according to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Top Stories A woman wears a mask as a precaution against Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus as she uses her smartphone on a street in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, June 2, 2015. South Korea on Tuesday confirmed the country’s first two deaths from MERS as it fights to contain the spread of the virus that has killed hundreds of people in the Middle East. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)last_img read more

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first_img Comments   Share   Oh, really? Where are they hiding? Since that day, Williams has not lost a Grand Slam match, winning 27 in a row — on the hard courts of the U.S. Open and Australian Open, then the red clay of the French Open, and now the grass of Wimbledon — heading into Saturday’s final against 21-year-old Garbine Muguruza of Spain.It will be the No. 1-seeded Williams’ 25th career Grand Slam title match — she is 20-4 in the others — and the 20th-seeded Muguruza’s first.At the Grand Slam tournament that immediately preceded Wimbledon in 2014, the French Open, Williams lost even sooner, 6-2, 6-2 in the second round, her most lopsided defeat in 318 career matches at majors. The opponent that day just so happened to be Muguruza, a big hitter who talks about the importance of putting on a “poker face” during matches.“It was an eye-opening loss for me. Some losses you’re angry about, and some losses you learn from. That loss, I think I learned the most from in a long time,” Williams said. “I got so much better after that loss. I was able to improve a lot. I worked on things. I didn’t see the results straightaway. But months later, I started seeing the results, more and more.” Serena Williams of the United States returns a shot to Maria Sharapova of Russia, during the women’s singles semifinal match at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon, London, Thursday July 9, 2015. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin) Top Stories Her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, gave a glowing scouting report on Muguruza.“She has the perfect game for grass. She serves well, she hits quite flat, takes the ball early, is aggressive,” he said. “It’s her first Grand Slam final, so we’ll see how, emotionally, she deals with it.”Muguruza is aware that, even if she knows she can beat Williams because she has, Saturday’s task will be tough.“Everything always depends on her — it’s Serena,” said Muguruza, who has defeated top-10 players Caroline Wozniacki and Angelique Kerber, along with 2015 French Open semifinalist Timea Bacsinszky and 2012 Wimbledon runner-up Agnieszka Radwanska on her road to the final. “It’s a match I need to go into with a cool head.”___Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrichCopyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. LONDON (AP) — Turn back the calendar more than a year, to June 28, 2014, when Serena Williams lost to Alize Cornet in the third round at Wimbledon.It was Williams’ earliest exit from the All England Club in nearly a decade. It also marked the fourth time in five Grand Slam tournaments she was beaten before the quarterfinals.Now examine what Cornet, who was seeded 25th and only once previously had been as far as the fourth round at a major, said afterward: “It might be a bit premature to talk about her decline, but when she plays someone who finds the right tactics, she looks a bit lost on the court. In my opinion, there are more and more players understanding how to play her.” On Thursday, after Williams easily eliminated 2004 champion Maria Sharapova in the semifinals 6-2, 6-4, the 33-year-old American was asked what she remembers about — and might have learned from — that setback against Cornet at the All England Club.Williams’ reply: “Um, you know, not much. I just realized that I just needed to run faster, I guess.”She paused, then smiled broadly and added: “I don’t want to talk about that.”Another topic five-time Wimbledon champion Williams has been reluctant to discuss is all that is at stake for her at the conclusion of this fortnight.If she beats Muguruza, Williams will have won her fourth consecutive Grand Slam title over two seasons, completing a self-styled Serena Slam, something she also did in 2002-03. That would also put Williams three-quarters of the way to a true Grand Slam — all four championships in a single year — which was last accomplished by Steffi Graf in 1988.When a reporter made a passing reference to such milestones after a fourth-round victory over older sister Venus on Monday, Williams rested her chin on her left hand and declared: “I no longer answer questions about Grand Slams.” Mesa family survives lightning strike to home How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizonalast_img read more

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first_img Comments   Share   It also said, “yes people will die, there’s no question about that.”Police computer expert Paul Wells said Lyburd’s laptop was used to access a “Dark Web” marketplace site called Evolution. A user named “Donald Trump” paid for gun parts and ammunition with the online currency Bitcoin.Lyburd was arrested Nov. 3 after police received a tipoff from someone alarmed by his Facebook posts.Dry said Lyburd told police he had planned a massacre — but also said the plot was a fantasy he did not plan to carry out.Lyburd has pleaded guilty to making pipe bombs and explosive devices, and possessing a 9mm Luger Glock gun, bullets and CS gas. He denies possessing the items with intent to endanger life.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. LONDON (AP) — A British teenager planned a gun and bomb attack on a college that had kicked him out for bad behavior, a prosecutor said Friday.Liam Lyburd, 19, is on trial for allegedly amassing an arsenal to target Newcastle College in northern England. He was expelled in 2012 for being disruptive in class.Prosecutor Nick Dry told jurors at Newcastle Crown Court that a file recovered from Lyburd’s computer titled “Newcastle College” said: “You ruined my whole life … I will teach you a little lesson on respect with my 9mm hollow points.” Top Stories Men’s health affects baby’s health too Sponsored Stories Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywallcenter_img How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Mesa family survives lightning strike to home New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t likelast_img read more

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first_imgSEIT Outback Australia says travellers can still experience and learn the Australian indigenous culture despite recent pay disputes axing the operations of Anangu Tours.Up to 20 employees with Anangu Tours said that the company had cut their pay in half in November and had since told them that some could even become redundant due to money issues, News.com reported.Since, the company has suspended its operations with no return date in sight but said in an online statement that the suspension was due to inconsistent tours being operated since October last .”It is the firm view of the board that all reasonable efforts have been made by the board and management to reach agreement with the guides so that tour services could resume on a regular and consistent basis,” an online statement from the company read.”However, because of other factors beyond the control of the board of management of Anangu Tours, this has not been possible.”The company said it is looking is hosting talks with local communities to discuss the future of the business and could consider selling the business to a third party.”There is no intention to resume services in their current form.”With issues disrupting tours in the Northern Territory, a culture touring company, SEIT Outback Australia stressed business is still on in the Northern Territory, with daily tours from Ayers Rock Resort at Yulara operating as per usual.A statement from the Outback company read that those interested in engaging and learning about the Aboriginal culture could still do so.“People think cultural tourism is no longer an option for people coming to central Australia but that is not the case,” SEIT Outback Australia director Kathy Graham explained. “A tour to Cave Hill and spending time with you Anangu hosts changes perceptions of Aboriginal people and offers an opportunity for the ancient and modern world meet, converse and learn from each other.”  Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

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