Purulia youth killing turning another flashpoint between TMC, BJP

first_imgWith Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee vowing to turn Purulia into an “opposition-free district”, West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh on Friday warned that situation could be “dangerous” as several people were being killed to achieve the objective. Killing of a 20-year-old Dalit youth whom BJP claims as its member in Purulia district has turned out to be new flashpoint between ruling TMC and the saffron party seeking to gain ground in the state.“The manner in which the TMC is trying to make the state opposition-free by killing people is going to be dangerous. What kind of politics is this? What type of administration is this?,” Mr. Ghosh said while addressing a rally held in North 24 Parganas district’s Habra. The rally was to protest the killing of Trilochan Mahato in Balarampur in Purulia district on May 30 last. He was found hanging from a tree near his home. An unsigned handwritten note in Bengali found near Mahato stated that he was “punished for working for the BJP” during the recent panchayat polls in the state.“We can also free up many things. We have already made the entire India opposition-free. And you [Abhishek] are in a corner of West Bengal and even you will also disappear,” he said. The state BJP chief highlighted several incidents of violence in the state during the recent panchayat elections to drive home the point. Mr. Banerjee, who heads TMC youth wing, during a rally held in the city last Tuesday had vowed to turn Purulia into an “opposition-free district“.Mr. Banerjee had said that he would visit the region along with party secretary-general Partha Chatterjee for the purpose.“They [the BJP] are flying high following their electoral performance in Purulia. But you have to keep in mind that TMC has also performed well in Purulia. I will visit the district on June 1 [Friday] and make sure the opposition’s (panchayat seats) tally is reduced to zero,” he had said at the rally. In the Balarampur block where Trilochan’s village is located, BJP won majority in seven gram panchayats and the panchayat samiti, snatching them from Trinamool. The BJP state president also hit out at the state police and alleged that they were “working” for the TMC resulting in the common people losing their faith in police.“Today police in West Bengal is not working for the public. But they are working for the TMC and that is why the common people have lost their faith in them. That is why these days there are several incidents where policemen are attacked by common men,” the BJP leader said. Meanwhile, TMC secretary-general Partha Chatterjee said that that the BJP was busy with issues which had nothing to do with the common people.“They [the BJP] are still busy with the panchayat elections. But they are not at all interested about the people’s sufferings because of the everyday hike of petroleum prices. They have no responsibilities towards the real issues of the people. We (TMC) under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee, are always for the cause of the common people,” Mr. Chatterjee said.last_img read more

Ronaldinho plays soccer exhibition with Chechnya leader

first_imgNonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Kadyrov himself took to the field and scored for his team, which was largely made up of Russian ex-pros with a smattering of government officials.The Chechen leader is fond of sports, particularly soccer and martial arts, and has often brought foreign sports stars and other celebrities to Chechnya as a sign of prestige for the formerly war-torn region.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutInternational rights groups have accused Ramzan Kadyrov’s feared security forces of extrajudicial killings, abductions, torture and other human rights abuses. LATEST STORIES Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Costa Rica clinches World Cup berth on Waston’s late goal View comments Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games MOST READ Brazilian soccer star and former FC Barcelona player Ronaldinho, prepares to play in the Chechnya’s regional leader Ramzan Kadyrov’s team against the Italian former players team in Grozny, Russia, Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017. The Chechen leader, who is fond of sports, particularly soccer and martial arts, enjoys bringing foreign sports stars and other celebrities to Grozny. (AP Photo/Musa Sadulayev)GROZNY, Russia — Brazil great Ronaldinho has played a game in Chechnya alongside the Russian region’s authoritarian ruler Ramzan Kadyrov.Ronaldinho, a two-time world player of the year, scored for Kadyrov’s team as it won an exhibition 6-3 against a lineup of Italian former players, including World Cup winners on Saturday.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Next LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversarylast_img read more

Cervical spine CT scan

first_imgDefinitionA computed tomography (CT) scan of the cervical spine makes cross-sectional pictures of the neck. It uses x-rays to create the images.Alternative NamesCAT scan ? cervical spine; Computed axial tomography scan ? cervical spine; Computed tomography scan ? cervical spine; CT scan – cervical spine; Neck CT scanHow the test is performedYou will lie on a narrow table that slides into the center of the CT scanner.Once you are inside the scanner, the machines x-ray beam rotates around you. (Modern “spiral” scanners can perform the exam without stopping.)A computer creates separate images of the body area, called slices. These images can be stored, viewed on a monitor, or printed on film. Three-dimensional models of the cervical spine can be created by adding the slices together.You must be still during the exam. Movement can cause blurred images. You may need hold your breath for short periods of time.The scan take 10-15 minutes.How to prepare for the testSome exams use a special dye, called contrast, that is put into your body before the test starts. Contrast helps certain areas show up better on the x-rays.Contrast can be given in different ways:It may be given through a vein (IV) in your hand or forearm.It may be given as an injection into the space around the spinal cord.If contrast is used, you may also be asked not to eat or drink anything for 4-6 hours before the test.Let your doctor know if you have ever had a reaction to contrast. You may need to take medicines before the test to avoid this problem.advertisementBefore having the contrast, tell your health care provider if you take the diabetes medicine metformin (Glucophage). You may need to take extra steps before the test if you take this drug.Too much weight can cause damage to the scanners working parts. Find out if the CT machine has a weight limit if you weight more than 300 pounds.You will wear a hospital gown during the study. You will need to take off all jewelry.How the test will feelSome people may have discomfort from lying on the hard table.Contrast given through an IV may cause a slight burning feeling, a metal taste in the mouth, and a warm flushing of the body. These feelings are normal and go away in a few seconds.Why the test is performedCT makes detailed pictures of the body very quickly. The test may help look for:Birth defects of the cervical spine in childrenSpine problems, when a spine MRI cannot be usedInjury to the upper spineBone tumors and cancersBroken boneDisc herniations and compression of the spinal cordNormal ValuesResults are considered normal if the cervical spine looks okay.What abnormal results meanAbnormal results may be due to:Birth defects of the cervical spineBone problemsFractureOsteoarthritisDisc herniationWhat the risks areRisks of CT scans include:Being exposed to radiationAllergic reaction to contrast dyeCT scans expose you to more radiation than regular x-rays. Having many x-rays or CT scans over time may raise your risk for cancer, but the risk from any one scan is small. Talk to your doctor about this risk and how it weighs against the benefits of the test.Some people have allergies to contrast dye. Let your doctor know if you have ever had an allergic reaction to injected contrast dye.The most common type of contrast given into a vein contains iodine. If a person with an iodine allergy is given this type of contrast, nausea or vomiting,sneezing, itching,or hives may occur.If you must have this type of contrast, your doctor may give you antihistamines (such as Benadryl) or steroids before the test.The kidneys help remove iodine out of the body. People with kidney disease or diabetes may need to get extra fluids after the test to help flush the iodine out of the body.Rarely, the dye may cause a life-threatening allergic response called anaphylaxis. If you have any trouble breathing during the test, you should notify the scanner operator immediately. Scanners come with an intercom and speakers, so the operator can hear you at all times.ReferencesTorg JS. Cervical spine injuries. Huber FG. Arm. In: DeLee JC, Drez D Jr, Miller MD, eds. DeLee and Drez?s Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2009:chap 16.Gardocki RJ, Camillo FX. Other discorders of the spine. In: CanaleST, Beaty JH, eds. Campbellss Operative Orthopaedics. 12th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2012:chap 44.advertisementGrainger RG, Thomsen HS, Morcos SK, Koh DM, Roditi G. Intravascular contrast media for radiology, CT, and MRI. In: Adam A, Dixon AK, eds. Grainger & Allisons Diagnostic Radiology: A Textbook of Medical Imaging. 5th ed. New York, NY: Churchill Livingstone; 2008:chap 2.Shaw AS, Dixon AK. Multidetector computed tomography. In: Adam A, Dixon AK, eds. Grainger & Allisons Diagnostic Radiology: A Textbook of Medical Imaging. 5th ed. New York, NY: Churchill Livingstone; 2008:chap 4.Review Date:1/17/2013Reviewed By:C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.last_img read more

Romelu Lukaku Scores on Debut as Conte’s Inter Make Flying Start With 4-0 Win Over Lecce

first_img Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time. Antonio Contefootballinter milanmauro icardi First Published: August 27, 2019, 11:29 AM IST Milan: Forward Romelu Lukaku scored on his debut for Inter Milan as they made a flying start under new coach Antonio Conte with a 4-0 win over promoted Lecce in Serie A on Monday.Marcelo Brozovic, with an exquisite curling shot, and Stefano Sensi gave Inter a 2-0 halftime lead before Lukaku, signed from Manchester United this month, opened his account on the hour. Antonio Candreva completed the rout with a stunning strike from 35 metres.Chinese-owned Inter appointed Conte, who previously won three Serie A titles with Juventus and one English Premier League title with Chelsea, to replace Luciano Spalletti in the close season in a bid to end eight seasons without a major trophy.As expected, there was no place for forward Mauro Icardi who has been told he is not part of Inter’s plans but has yet to negotiate a move away from the club.”I am very happy and satisfied; I like working with these guys who have always shown great willingness,” said Conte.”Romelu has entered the Inter world with great humility, he is ready to work for the team.”Lecce, back in the top flight after a seven-year absence, made a bright start, forcing Brozovic to make an acrobatic clearance and then Milan Skriniar to clear away Gianluca Lapadula’s effort with goalkeeper Samir Handanovic beaten.But Inter quickly began playing the whirlwind football associated with Conte and Lautaro Martinez hit the crossbar with a free header from a Candreva cross.Brozovic broke the deadlock in the 21st minute when he curled a delightful shot into the far corner from the edge of the area.Sensi, making his debut after his move from Sassuolo, added the second three minutes later, scoring with a low shot which went through a defender’s legs.As Inter continued to pour forward after halftime, Lukaku snapped up a rebound after Martinez’s shot was parried by goalkeeper Gabriel to add the third.Lecce finished with 10 men after second-half substitute Diego Farias, making his debut after a move from Cagliari, was sent off for a reckless tackle from behind on Danilo D’Ambrosio.Candreva’s dipping, long-range effort capped a near-perfect start for Conte’s side and sent Inter fans home with hope that this season they can finally challenge Juventus for the title. last_img read more

Chelsea must improve in order to win Premier League: Antonio Conte

first_imgChelsea manager Antonio Conte has warned his players that they need to improve their performance in order to win the English Premier League (EPL).Chelsea made a strong statement by outplaying fellow title contenders Manchester City 3-1 here on Saturday evening. The victory at the Etihad Stadium saw the London outfit take the sole lead at the top of the EPL ladder with 34 points from 14 matches. (Also read: Ruthless Chelsea fight back to sink Manchester City)Fellow Londoners Arsenal – formerly the joint leaders – are now second with 31 points while Manchester City share the third spot with Liverpool at 30 points.Chelsea have now notched up eight wins in a row, but Conte feels that there is still room for improvement.”We have to wait for the first part of the season because we know this league is not easy. Now we are playing very well. We are playing good football, we have good confidence, but it’s important to continue to work and improve. There is room to improve,” Conte was quoted as saying by Chelsea TV.Chelsea had conceded the lead due to an own goal by defender Gary Cahill, but fought back to score thrice in the second half through Diego Costa, Willian and Eden Hazard.  (Also read: Chelsea’s Brazilians lead tributes to Chapecoense victims)Conte praised the Chelsea players for their performance, but also felt that there was some about of luck as well.”It’s a big win and a big result against a really strong team.advertisement”With the quality of players in their squad I think it’s the most complete in this league. For this reason, I am pleased with the result, and with the players. They showed me great character,” the former Italy international said.”We were lucky at the start of the second half because there was one crossbar, and also a good save from Thibaut kept the result at 1-0. Then we found great strength to score the goal to draw, and then to score the second goal and the third goal.”It’s fantastic this because I repeat, it’s not easy to come here and win this game. Now we have to continue,” he added.The Manchester City players lost their cool towards the end with Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho being sent off. Aguero made an ill-timed challenge on David Luiz while Fernandinho reacted to provocation from Cesc Fbregas by grabbing the Spain international by the neck.Conte, however, supported the referee’s decision and praised the Chelsea players for their behaviour.”The final (stage) wasn’t good. I hope only Luiz is not injured after this tackle. It’s very difficult to explain this final part of the game. I support the referee. It is important that the referee whistles and we ‘finish’.”I’m happy because I always tell my players to be focused on the game on the pitch, and always to keep calm. It’s normal when you play these big games it’s not easy to keep calm in every single moment, but I’m pleased because all my players tried to keep calm,” he said.last_img read more

Australian Women’s team to train at RAAF Base Amberley

first_imgThe Australian Women’s Open team’s final weekend training camp before the 2015 World Cup will look a little different to usual. The team will travel to the Royal Australian Air Force Base Amberley, Brisbane this Saturday to take part in a day of training. The day will include a range of activities, including a photo shoot with a Super Hornet, over-pool obstacle course, meet and greet with a range of Air Force female personnel and a ‘social’ game against the Amberley team. After that it will be back on the field for a final training session in the lead up to the 2015 World Cup, which will be played from Wednesday, 29 April until Sunday, 3 May at C.ex Coffs International Stadium, Coffs Harbour. Australian Women’s Open coach, Peter Bell said that the opportunity to participate in a day like this in the lead up to the World Cup was too good to miss. “The coaching staff had been looking for a variation to their usual/normal hard training sessions and in the lead up to the World Cup an opportunity to visit the RAAF Base came up,” Bell said. “We thought it would be good doing the ropes course out there as well as some interaction with personnel that actually represent their country in a more serious and important role – namely the security of our country. “We thought it would make for a good bonding opportunity too, given it was our last hit out before the World Cup. Most of the girls are so young I saw it as an educational opportunity as most of them wouldn’t know what a Super Hornet is let alone the enormity of the 60-plus different jobs that Air Force women do.”Group Captain Michael Gray said “it is a great opportunity for the RAAF to host Australia’s best players and have them interact with Air Force personnel. The Australian players are clearly dedicated, motivated and have great levels of fitness. Those traits are common with our Air Force people, many of who play Touch at various representative levels around Australia. “We are proud of the work-life balance that we offer our people. Sport, fitness and teamwork is an integral part of Air Force life and essential in all our challenging but rewarding positons.“We are really looking forward to hosting the team at our great facilities at Amberley and hopefully help them win the World Cup for Australia. Who knows we may even sign some up for a career in the Air Force afterwards!”  For more information about jobs in the Air Force, please click on the following link – http://www.defencejobs.gov.au/airforce/jobsDirectory/Stay tuned to the TFA website and social media channels for stories and photos over the weekend:Website – www.touchfootball.com.auFacebook – www.facebook.com/touchfootballaustraliaTwitter – www.twitter.com/touchfootyausInstagram – www.instagram.com/touchfootballaustralia Related LinksTouch World Cuplast_img read more

Shubman Gill looks to Virat Kohli for inspiration in New Zealand

first_img India Today Web Desk NapierJanuary 22, 2019UPDATED: January 22, 2019 17:04 IST Shubman Gill will look to learn plenty from Virat Kohli in New Zealand (Photo tweeted by @RealShubmanGill)HIGHLIGHTSShubman Gill is in New Zealand as part of India’s ODI squadGill had played a starring role in India’s successful Under-19 World Cup campaign in 2018Gill credited Virat Kohli for changing the trends in the Indian cricket teamShubman Gill had become a household name in early 2018 after his 372 runs helped India lift the Under-19 World Cup for the fourth time. A year later, Gill is back where it all started. In New Zealand with the senior Indian team, Shubman Gill is ready for the big stage.Immediately after his sensational World Cup campaign, Gill played in the IPL for Kolkata Knight Riders and scored 203 runs incuding a fine 57 not out. Gill made his mark in the Ranji Trophy too with a 328-ball 268 against Tamil Nadu.Shubman Gill watched as his Under-19 captain from the World Cup Prithvi Shaw scored a hundred on Test debut. After an impressive performance against the visiting West Indies, Shaw was the first choice opener for the Test series in Australia before an injury ruled him out of the tour.With the World Cup round the corner, Gill would have given up hope of an India call-up. But when Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul were banned for their sexist remarks on Koffee with Karan, a door opened up for Gill. He and Vijay Shankar were named replacements.Shubman Gill had his first net session with the Indian team and he will look to learn plenty from Virat Kohli, who is the undisputed king of the cricket world. On Tuesday, he became the first man ever to win all three ICC awards in a single year.”I am really looking forward to meeting him [Kohli], having a chat with him, and closely looking at the way he practices for games,” Gill told kkr.in.advertisement”I think because of him, a lot of trends have changed in Team India. Fitness levels have changed for most players, and India is one of the best fielding sides in the world right now.All these things are very important. When your role is purely of a batsman or a bowler, it’s possible that two out of five games, you could fail to impress. So you need to find other ways to contribute to your team. These are really important aspects of cricket,” Gill said.Gill may not immediately get a game in New Zealand but watching Virat Kohli from close quarters will be a huge inspiration. He looked solid at practice and some pleasant memories from his last tour of New Zealand will keep Shubman Gill in good spirits for what will be his most cherished moment if he does get a maiden India cap.(Written by Rajarshi Gupta)Also Read | New Zealand focused on how to best combat Virat Kohli, says Kane WilliamsonAlso Read | Virat Kohli not New Zealand’s only concern: Ross Taylor wary of Rohit and DhawanAlso Read | MS Dhoni eyes Sachin Tendulkar’s record in New Zealand after hitting form in AustraliaFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byJepher Nickels Tags :Follow Shubman GillFollow Virat Kohli Shubman Gill looks to Virat Kohli for inspiration in New ZealandIndia vs New Zealand: Shubman Gill said he was looking to talk to and learn from Virat Kohli in New Zealand. Gill has replaced KL Rahul in the Indian ODI side after the former was suspended for his comments on Koffee with Karan.advertisementlast_img read more

Labour Ministry to Focus on Facilitating Job Creation

first_imgGovernor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, says the Government, through the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, will be focused on measures to facilitate job creation during the new fiscal year.“This is being executed through a two-pronged approach. The first is to undertake measures to equip the workers with the necessary training and certification to enhance their ability to take advantage of available opportunities,” he said.“The second is to identify and secure new job opportunities in the United States and Canada. Discussions are being held with a major university in Canada to facilitate training programmes for our farm workers,” he added. The Governor-General was delivering the Throne Speech to open the 2018/19 fiscal year in Gordon House on February 15 under the theme: ‘Continuing on the path to propsperity’.Other areas of priority for the Labour Ministry include enhancing labour productivity in order to boost economic growth and enactment of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act.The Bill, on which debate began in the House of Representatives on February 13, recognizes the rights of workers to do productive work in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity.Emphasis will also be placed on amending the Minimum Wage Act in order to incorporate provisions under the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 189 relating to domestic workers.The Convention was adopted during the 100th session of the ILO held in Geneva, Switzerland in 2011 and was entered into force in September 2013.last_img read more

Coalition party forms majority government ends provinces twoparty rule

first_imgMONTREAL – Quebecers charted a new course for their province Monday by giving the seven-year-old Coalition Avenir Quebec a majority mandate in an election result that could create waves beyond its borders.Quebec, Canada’s second most-populous province, has joined the even bigger province of Ontario in voting for change following about 15 years of Liberal governments. There’s also more potential for conflict between Quebec and the federal Liberals.On its path to victory Monday, the right-leaning Coalition shattered nearly a half-century of two-party political rule in Quebec with a majority government that will redraw the province’s electoral map.The party was elected in 74 of the province’s 125 ridings, compared with 32 for the incumbent Liberals.One of the major surprises of the night was the near-disintegration of the Parti Quebecois, which earned just 17 per cent of the popular vote — its worst ever electoral performance — and won just nine seats.Coalition Leader Francois Legault guided his troops to victory after pitching himself as the candidate for change.“Today, Quebecers chose hope, hope for a government that will bring positive change,” he told supporters in his victory speech.“Tonight, we will celebrate the victory, then we will rest a few hours. But starting tomorrow (Tuesday) we will roll up our sleeves and we will work to do more, to do better for all Quebecers.”Many predicted the tightly fought campaign would shake up the political landscape.It was more like an earthquake.The win delivered something Quebec hadn’t seen in 48 years — a provincial government headed by a party other than the Liberals or the PQ.In terms of popular support, the Coalition had more than 37 per cent, compared with about 25 per cent for the Liberals.Legault’s party left the Liberals in second place, Quebec solidaire in a distant third and the stunned PQ reeling in fourth.With support for independence sliding, the PQ is now facing an existential crisis. The party has steadily watched its backing slip after spending about 20 of the last 48 years in office.To be considered an official party, the PQ needed either 20 per cent of the popular vote on Monday or 12 seats. It got neither.PQ Leader Jean-Francois Lisee suffered a double blow by also losing his Montreal riding. It prompted him to announce his resignation in his post-election speech.Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard salvaged some pride by being elected in his own riding. In his concession speech, he said he would take a few days to ponder his political future.“I wish his government all the success that Quebec deserves — despite our significant differences of opinion, we are all Quebecers,” he said after congratulating Legault on his victory.“We must stay united — we are stronger united.”Couillard had touted his government’s balanced budgets as well as the province’s falling unemployment rate and strong economic performance. But early in his mandate he faced criticism for cutting health and education budgets.The departure of Couillard, a staunch federalist, could have implications for Canada. He had smooth relations with Ottawa during his four years in power.It’s unclear what Legault’s win will mean for Quebec’s relationship with the Trudeau government.But there have already been signs of potential friction between Legault, a former sovereigntist and PQ cabinet minister, and the federal government.Last week, a recording of Legault’s wife, Isabelle Brais, captured her telling a party meeting last month that while Trudeau’s father, former prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, was “brilliant,” his son is not.She described the younger Trudeau as incompetent and suggested a Coalition government could have strained ties with his federal government. Brais later apologized.Legault declined to say whether he endorsed his wife’s comments about the prime minister, saying she’s “an independent woman who has her opinions, who is spontaneous, who apologized.”Trudeau issued a statement Monday to offer his “sincere congratulations” to Legault on the win.“I look forward to working with Premier Legault to make Quebec, a province we are all proud of, an even better place to live,” said Trudeau, who represents a Montreal riding.Looking ahead, the Coalition and Trudeau’s Liberals could also find themselves at odds over Legault’s pledges on immigration.He grabbed national headlines during the campaign when he proposed lowering Quebec’s annual immigration levels by 20 per cent. Legault also said he wanted to force newcomers to pass French and values tests within three years of their arrival — or face removal from the province.Responsibility, however, for such expulsions would fall to the federal government.In his victory speech, Legault, 61, appeared to address the issue of immigration:“I intend to govern for all Quebecers — all Quebecers,” he said.Legault’s win follows Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s majority victory in June. Ford’s Progressive Conservatives defeated the Ontario Liberals to end their run of 15 years in power.In Quebec, the Coalition win put an end to nearly 15 years of continuous Liberal rule, expect for a 19-month break when the PQ had a minority mandate between 2012 and 2014.The emergence of Legault’s party, which won just 22 seats in 2014 to finish third, came in large part at the expense of the PQ. Legault created the Coalition party in 2011 after quitting the PQ two years earlier.The PQ’s raison d’etre — Quebec sovereignty — has lost its lustre with voters and, for the first time in decades, talk of a referendum on independence was not a ballot-box issue.Faced with the shift in public sentiment, Lisee entered the race vowing not to hold a referendum on sovereignty in his first mandate as premier.“We absorbed a shock tonight, but we stand up straight and strong because Quebec still needs the Parti Quebecois,” Lisee said after the vote.“For as long as there are battles to fight for justice, equality, environment, secularism, French — Quebec will need the Parti Quebecois. For as long as Quebec isn’t a country, Quebec will need the Parti Quebecois.”The PQ finished one seat behind Quebec solidaire, which expanded its reach beyond its urban roots of central Montreal.“Today, our movement is bigger, stronger, more resolute than ever,” said Masse.“Quebec solidaire is not the party of Le Plateau-Mont-Royal (a hipster Montreal neighbourhood). Quebec solidaire is the party of the people who want things to change for real.”The Liberals had 68 seats at the legislature’s dissolution, while the PQ had 28, the Coalition 21 and Quebec solidaire three. There were five Independents.last_img read more

Oilrich South Sudan faces fuel shortage as people suffer

first_imgJUBA, South Sudan – “In September there was no fuel anywhere,” Samson Kamuya says.The exhausted 45-year-old hangs his head. He’s been waiting four days at a gas station in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, to no avail.Wedged among hundreds of cars, trucks and desperate civilians carrying empty jerry cans, he says the fuel situation is unlike anything he’s seen in his eight years as a driver.It is a cruel irony in the world’s youngest nation: Ninety-eight per cent of South Sudan’s economy comes from oil, but the country faces one of its worst fuel crises since civil war began in 2013.South Sudan has Africa’s third-largest oil reserves, with 3.5 billion barrels. Based on government figures, current production should bring in hundreds of millions of dollars a year. But without refineries, the country exports crude oil and must import fuel.Some observers blame the government and Nile Petroleum, the sole state-owned oil company, for nationwide fuel shortages.The situation deteriorated when the government “started monopolizing the fuel trade” by kicking out private oil companies to control access to U.S. dollars, says Edmund Yakani, executive director of the non-profit Community Empowerment for Progress Organization.Nile Petroleum says it can afford to bring in only enough fuel to serve one-third of South Sudan’s population. It denies expelling private companies, saying the economic crisis forced them to leave.“NilePet became responsible for the whole country,” says Yiey Puoch Lur, its public relations director.However, some say the numbers don’t add up, accusing government corruption of worsening the country’s overall crisis. South Sudan soon will enter its fifth year of fighting amid starvation, mass displacement and allegations of war crimes.“Instead of using oil revenue to provide public services and improve the livelihoods of South Sudan’s population, the ruling clique has used these funds to procure weapons, finance a horrific civil war and enrich themselves,” says J.R. Mailey, director of the investigative team at The Sentry, a Washington-based group that has reported on links between corruption and mass atrocities.“The money’s being kept abroad,” a member of South Sudan’s parliament, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of his safety, told The Associated Press. The money the government should be receiving for oil exports is enough to fuel the entire country, the lawmaker says.Nile Petroleum denies wrongdoing, blaming the lack of funds on a reduction in South Sudan’s oil production from almost 300,000 barrels a day before the civil war to roughly 130,000. It says declining global oil prices and the civil war’s damage to oil facilities have hurt.As South Sudan held its first oil and power conference on Wednesday, Minister of Petroleum Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth said the government is moving “aggressively” to produce more oil, with target production of 280,000 barrels per day in the coming year. The minister said four refineries would be built in the country, with one in Bentiu underway.Gatkuoth welcomed foreign investors, saying they would team up with NilePet, then quipped that he wasn’t “encouraging them to leave — immediately”.Civilians feel the brunt of the crisis. Drivers like Kamuya often hire people to sleep in their parked cars at the pumps while they borrow other transport to keep working.Kamuya says he has been forced to buy fuel on the black market for almost 10 times the usual price. Instead of paying 1,200 South Sudanese pounds ($6.50) for 60 litres at the pump, he has paid up to 10,800 South Sudanese pounds ($58) for just 20 litres.In addition, government soldiers have been accused of threatening civilians at gas stations and cutting in line to stock up on fuel to sell illegally.“If someone tells you to move with a gun you can’t argue,” says Simon Kinuthia, a driver in Juba.The army denies the allegations. Other than a few isolated incidents soldiers “don’t break the rules,” says spokesman Lul Ruai Koang.Last month the Trump administration took initial steps to target those responsible for undermining stability in South Sudan, imposing sanctions on two senior members of government, the former military chief of staff and three local companies.“Corrupt officials and their facilitators that participate in the oil sector should be subjected to targeted network sanctions,” says Brad Brooks-Rubin, policy director for The Sentry, adding that an embargo should not be placed on South Sudan’s oil industry as a whole.“Fuel is connected to everything,” Kinuthia says. “And right now, it’s making people suffer.”last_img read more

Kauai officials sue vacation home owners for rental fines

LIHUE, Hawaii — Kauai officials are suing the owners of a vacation home, claiming they are violating county zoning ordinances for using the property as a short-term rental.The Garden Island reports the Kauai County Planning Department filed the lawsuit last week, seeking to compel Greg and Joanne Allen to pay $130,000 in fines.According to the lawsuit, county officials have been trying for more than a year to stop the couple from renting out their four-bedroom Wailua house that is outside the area designated for transient vacation rentals.A hearing officer sided with the county last year after the Allens contested the fines.Greg Allen says the planning department has been “overzealous,” and the previous proceedings were unfair.He says he has no immediate plans to stop renting the place out.___Information from: The Garden Island, http://thegardenisland.com/The Associated Press read more

Canadas Freeland says she has full confidence in PM Trudeau as leader

OTTAWA — Canada’s Foreign Minister Chyrstia Freeland said on Friday that though she was “troubled and disappointed” by images of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in blackface, she had full confidence in his leadership of the party.“We do happen to have an election and I have tremendous confidence in Justin Trudeau as the leader,” said Freeland, the most visible minister of Trudeau’s government and a key ally.“The prime minister absolutely has my full and complete support,” she said in a telephone interview with Reuters from Toronto.Freeland’s comments are proof that Trudeau’s team is squarely behind him as he forges ahead with his campaign with less than five weeks to go before the Oct. 21 vote.Freeland said she reached out on Thursday to her constituents and government colleagues after the emergence the night before of damaging images of a 29-year-old Trudeau wearing dark make-up at a 2001 “Arabian Nights” party. Other Trudeau images from the early 1990s came to light on Thursday.Story continues belowThis advertisement has not loaded yet,but your article continues below.“I spent a lot of time yesterday speaking with some important members of my own riding, in particular some students who have been working on my campaign. It was important for me to talk to them,” she said.In a statement issued late Thursday, Freeland said she believed Trudeau’s apology was “sincere and deeply felt. I believe in his commitment to do better.”On Friday she pointed to the government’s commitment over the past four years “to fighting racism and to breaking down the systemic barriers in our country to people of color,” and said that Trudeau would help make more progress in the future.Freeland was one of at least four cabinet members who attended a Trudeau campaign announcement in Toronto on Friday. She sat directly behind him and could be seen clapping and nodding her support on the television broadcast.Due to the official campaign period, Freeland said she is unlikely to attend next week’s gathering of world leaders at the United Nation’s General Assembly in New York.“At the moment, it is looking very unlikely that I will be at UNGA next week,” Freeland said. Traditionally, ministers do not travel outside the country during the official election campaign period.Whether or not Freeland goes, several high level representatives will attend, including former Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and former Conservative Prime Minister Joe Clark, a foreign ministry official said.Deputy Minister Marta Morgan will head the delegation, the official said, supported by Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations in New York, Marc-André Blanchard.Trudeau, who has long run on his progressive credentials, introduced a gender-balanced cabinet when he took office in 2015 and appointed a number of minorities to top cabinet positions, including the defense, immigration and natural resources portfolios.In the past, Freeland also offered unwavering support for Trudeau when a top watchdog said that he had breached ethics rules by pressuring his former justice minister to ensure a major construction firm avoid a corruption trial. (Reporting by Steve Scherer; Additional reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by David Gregorio and Daniel Wallis) read more

Global stocks steady as Fed minutes fail to sway investors

Global stocks steady as Fed minutes fail to sway investors A man walks past an electronic stock indicator of a securities firm in Tokyo, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017. Asian shares slipped Thursday after the latest Fed minutes raised the possibility that a U.S. rate hike could come sooner than expected. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi) by The Associated Press Posted Feb 22, 2017 8:21 am MDT Last Updated Feb 23, 2017 at 6:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email LONDON – Global stock markets were trading in narrow ranges Thursday after the minutes to the last policymaking meeting of the Federal Reserve failed to provide much of a steer as to the timing of the U.S. central bank’s next interest rate increase.KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was down 0.1 per cent at 7,294 while Germany’s DAX fell 0.2 per cent to 11,981. The CA 40 in France bucked the trend somewhat to trade 0.1 per cent higher at 4,890. U.S. stocks were poised for a steady opening with Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures unchanged.RATE HORIZON: At their meeting last month, Federal Reserve officials discussed the need to raise a key interest rate again “fairly soon,” especially if the world’s No. 1 economy maintains its strength, according to the minutes. Analysts said next week’s official U.S. jobs figures for February could have a major impact on the prospects of a rate hike as soon as March.ANALYST TAKE: “It was always likely that the Fed would want to keep its policy options open, fiscal policy uncertainties notwithstanding, which is why last night’s minutes from the January Fed meeting were unlikely to add anything new to what we already knew, that a rate hike was coming ‘fairly soon’,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets.ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 lost less than 0.1 per cent to close at 19,371.46 and South Korea’s Kospi finished 0.1 per cent higher at 2,107.63. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 0.4 per cent to 24,114.86 and the Shanghai Composite index retreated 0.3 per cent to 3,251.38. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.4 per cent to 5,784.70.CURRENCIES: The euro rose 0.2 per cent to $1.0564 while the dollar fell 0.4 per cent to 112.92 yen.ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil futures rebounded, rising 76 cents to $54.35 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the standard for pricing international oils, rose 81 cents to $56.85 a barrel in London. read more

Brock team finds first Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in Canada

Brock University scientists found what are believed to be the first Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in Canada during surveillance in Windsor.The species, commonly known as the yellow fever mosquito, is responsible for the majority of human cases of Zika virus infections in the Caribbean, South America and Florida. Three Aedes aegypti mosquitoes were collected in Windsor earlier this month during enhanced surveillance activities following the recent discovery of another invasive species, Aedes albopictus. The discovery was made by a team from Brock University, Public Health Ontario, Entomogen Inc. and the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.Bryan Giordano, PhD candidate in the Centre for Biotechnology at Brock, tested the three Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in Brock’s CL3 laboratory and all tested negative for Zika.The discovery of Aedes aegypti is believed to be the first time the species has been found in Canada.Giordano said the specimens were found in garbage, specifically in a discarded Styrofoam container.“This is the species of major concern world wide as the vector for Zika virus,” Hunter said during a press conference held at Brock Friday afternoon.She said if there are more Aedes aegypti in Windsor, they will be killed off in the winter.“They are not cold hardy in the least,” she said.Hunter said surveillance for these mosquitoes will continue and researchers will start using both CDC light traps and a new trap that provides more darkness and uses human flesh to lure the pests.“This is something of concern so we are keeping an eye on it,” she said.Hunter said finding these two species so far north is not believed to be a threat to human health.She said because Aedes albopictus is more adaptable to cold, the biggest threat is whether that species can establish this far north. It is believed to be a potential vector for Zika virus. However, she said without a population of infected people, it’s unlikely the species will cause an outbreak in the near future.Hunter said finding these species was a surprise for researchers.“I always thought we’d get albopictus here but never in a million years did I think we’d find Aedes aegypti,” she said. “It was a huge surprise but it’s also frightening.”It is believed both types of mosquitoes came into Canada due to human activity.Although it is unknown exactly how the larvae arrived in Ontario, one possibility is that the eggs were transported from the U.S. in shipping containers or other cross-border vehicle traffic. Aedes aegypti eggs could also have been imported in recycled products, such as tires or other containers, Windsor-Essex Public Health said.Giordano, who specializes in range expansion and Zika virus, is working to trace the origins of the mosquitoes found in Windsor.“We have access to an entire world of knowledge,” he said in discussing the database that contains samples of mosquito DNA from around the globe.He is going to sequence the genes of the mosquitoes found in Windsor to try and determine where they came from.In the United States, the Aedes aegypti mosquito primarily exists in the southern states and along the eastern seaboard, where temperatures are more favourable for its survival.The Windsor-Essex health unit said the biting behaviour of Aedes aegypti is different than those that transmit West Nile Virus in Ontario. It is a sneaky, human, daytime biter; it tends to approach humans from behind and bite them on the elbows and ankles. Like Aedes albopictus, these mosquitoes do not breed in ponds, puddles or marshes. They typically lay eggs in and near standing water in items such as buckets, bowls, animal dishes, flower pots and vases. It is important to change water regularly, especially in pet dishes and water in bird baths. read more

Toronto Blue Jays nontender infielder Yangervis Solarte

TORONTO — The Toronto Blue Jays have non-tendered infielder Yangervis Solarte, who will become a free agent.The Blue Jays announced the move Friday night. MLB teams had until 8 p.m. (ET) Friday to tender a contract to arbitration-eligible players.The Blue Jays said all remaining unsigned players on our 40-man roster have been tendered contracts for 2019. The Canadian Press

From Mighty Mouse to Church Mouse Dara Calleary on Enda Kennys week

first_imgFIANNA FÁIL TD Dara Calleary said Taoiseach Enda Kenny is behaving like “a church mouse” in the aftermath of the publication of the Garda Inspectorate report into penalty points yesterday.Calleary said that Kenny’s “army of spin doctors” portrayed him as “mighty mouse” following Frank Flannery’s resignation from Fine Gael and Rehab earlier this week. However, he said that failing to make Justice Minister Alan Shatter apologise to whistleblower Garda Maurice MccCabe in light of the report’s vindication of his actions, made him seem “lily-livered” and like “a church mouse”.“Minister Shatter abused the privilege of this House to seek to sully and destroy the reputation of [McCabe],” Calleary said. He added that people “shouldn’t be surprised” by Shatter’s actions as he “did it before” – alluding to Deputy Mick Wallace. “Why does [Shatter] not say sorry? Is it not in his dictionary?”Calleary said the report highlighted “severe sloppiness to say the least” and that it “would not have happened without the persistence of whistleblowers”.The refusal of Minister Shatter to acknowledge their role … is beyond belief.Jobs Minister Richard Bruton, who was answering Leaders’ Questions as the Taoiseach and Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore are in America and France respectively, denied that Shatter had failed to acknowledge the whistleblowers’ contribution to the report.Bruton said Shatter had not failed “in any respect” and that the report was “a consequence of his action”. Bruton noted that the report revealed “very severe weaknesses in the process that was there” and said people had to “learn from the shortcomings”.“The government’s intention all the time has been to restore confidence [in An Garda Síochána], ” he added.Bruton said the government accepts all 37 recommendations made in the report and that a joint committee would be meeting this afternoon to discuss their implementation. He added that the government was moving to introduce legislation to “ensure better protection” for whistleblowers.Bruton said that there was “danger in seeking to politicise every objective” and told Calleary “a lot of this was happening on your own watch”.‘Biggest problems’Meanwhile, Independent TD Séamus Healy asked Bruton if the government would bring in legislation that would allow “the writedown of all mortgages to their present value”.Bruton responded: “Very clearly that wouldn’t be possible. Someone would have to provide capital to the banks, probably €40 or 50 billion.” He added that the taxpayer could not be asked to do this as they have already “put in €64 billion to the banks”.Bruton admitted that tackling mortgage arrears was “one of the biggest challenges we face in getting over the legacy of the banking crisis”.However, he noted that the numbers of people in mortgage difficulty was “beginning to decline”, adding that the figure of mortgages in arrears for more than 90 days stood at 79,000 at the end of 2013, down from 81,000 in the third quarter of last year.Read: Damning report finds “inconsistent and widespread” breaches of penalty points policyRead: ‘I had no role in advising the government’: Frank Flannery resigns from Rehab and Fine Gaellast_img read more

Dr Rania Katavouta to receive Shanghais Silver Magnolia Award for teaching Greek

first_imgRania Katavouta, a doctoral candidate of modern Greek literature at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, relocated to China back in September 2014 to teach Greek language and literature at the Department of Greek Studies of the University of International Studies in Shanghai.On 6 September, exactly three years later, the city of Shanghai is to award her the Silver Magnolia Award for her exemplary work, the Athens News Agency (AMNA) reports. “The criterion for my candidacy,” Katavouta said, “was my teaching as well as the organisation and participation in a series of events related to Greek and Chinese culture.”The Magnolia Awards are bestowed on foreigners working in Shanghai, who contribute to the development of the city and to strengthening relations between China and their country of origin. The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the Shanghai International Studies University signed the Scientific Co-operation Agreement in 2013 and have been in collaboration since.“Teaching Greek to Chinese students, who are interested in Greek culture and know a lot about ancient history and mythology, was an interesting challenge,” the professor explained.“Even though Greek is not their first choice, they show determination and they manage and overcome the linguistic differences and difficulties.”According to Katavouta the main challenges for Chinese students learning Greek is pronunciation and sounds in the Greek language that don’t exist in Chinese.Katavouta was nominated as a candidate for the award by the Shanghai University of International Studies. “The criterion for my candidacy,” she noted, “was my teaching as well as the organisation and participation in a series of events related to Greek and Chinese culture.”Katavouta said the main challenge Chinese students are faced with when learning Greek concern pronunciation and certain sounds that do not exist in Chinese, something that requires a lot of training. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Pension at 67 – Morrison drops the age change plan

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram In a sudden decision pre-empting formal approval by cabinet, Australia’s new Prime Minister Scott Morrison scraped the Abbott government plan to increase the age of retirement to 70.The 2014 treasurer Joe Hockey had announced an increase in the pension age to 70 by 2035, saying that we should “celebrate the fact that Australians are living longer but we must prepare for the adjustments in our society”.Because the proposed increase in the pension age was almost a decade into the future, there was no indication of its net effect on the bottom line in the forward estimates. Moreover, it had never properly received the seal of the senate to be legislated, yet it remained official government policy up to this point.“I don’t think we need that measure any longer when it comes to raising the pension age,” Mr Morrison told Nine Network on Wednesday, responding to a question from a member of the audience.“I was going to say this next week but I may as well say it here … I’ve already consulted my colleagues on that. And next week, cabinet will be ratifying a decision to reverse taking the [pension] age to 70. It will remain at 67,” he said.Delving into the PM’s announcement who was seen by the Opposition as a desperate cry for approval leading up to the national election next year.“Mr Morrison for years has wanted Australians to work to the age of 70. As recently as July this year he said that was his commitment,” Labor leader Bill Shorten noted, stressing that the Coalition had argued for the policy since 2014.“Now he wants to drop it because he is worried about losing his day job.”Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack told Sky News that he find’s Mr Morrison’s thinking to be “pragmatic and rational” as the Government is also avoiding a budget crisis by foregoing saving that won’t affect crucial decisions.“If you are a tradie, or a brickie or a shearer in rural and regional Australia, you don’t want some suit in Canberra telling you you are going to have to work until you’re 70,” he said.Meanwhile, the Council on the ageing (COTA) welcomed the move, while Chief Executive Ian Yates suggested the Government instead focus on lifting the workforce participation rate for people over 55 and supporting people who want to work into their 70s.“That would contribute more to the budget than raising the pension age further could ever save, and it will result in better retirement incomes for many retirees, again saving the budget,” he said.The pension age has already started going up from 65 with those turning 66 in the first half of 2019 having to wait till July before they apply for a pension. The next age increase will be launched in 2021 when to be eligible for a pension, applicants should be over 65 years of age and six months.last_img read more

Black Lightning Is Something New and Exciting in Superhero TV

first_img Everyone wants a superhero show now. ABC has Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Syfy’s getting Krypton, Hulu has Runaways, and Netflix has all its Defenders shows. Nobody has pulled it off quite so well as The CW. It started with Arrow, which everyone assumed was going to be another Smallville, but with Green Arrow this time instead of Superman. Then, they spun off The Flash. The next year, it was Legends of Tomorow and Supergirl. The CW has built an interconnected DC universe that, despite working with a fraction of the budget, consistently turns out better stories than DC’s attempts at a Cinematic Universe. For its latest outing, it’s taking a bit of a risk. It’s giving us a different kind of superhero: a mature and thoughtful one. A hero that tells a story we haven’t already heard a million times before. It pays off beautifully.As much as I love superhero TV shows, it can start to feel like they’re telling the same story over and over again. An impossibly pretty 20-something is given some kind of extraordinary ability. They make some mistakes, learn how to control their powers and defeat the evildoer, only to find out there’s a bigger, more powerful villain out there. Black Lightning doesn’t tell that story. Or rather, it has a new take on it. The players involved are all still impossibly pretty. It is a CW show. And there is a bigger, badder villain that shows up right at the end of the pilot. That’s just how superhero TV works. But this isn’t Black Lightning’s first time fighting crime. He’s been there before and long since retired. A superhero show centered on a real, grown up adult who has his life together from the start is a refreshing twist on the genre.Cress Williams as Jefferson Pierce (Photo: Bob Mahoney/The CW)It also makes his motivations for getting back into the superhero game more powerful. This isn’t a superhero origin story. It’s a superhero resurrection story. The closest thing we’re given to an origin is a flashback scene where the hero makes the decision to retire. We see Jefferson Pierce bleeding in a bathtub. His wife Lynn, now his ex in the present day, begs him to stop his superhero double life. They have kids now, and she can’t bear to see him come home all beat up anymore. He promises he’s done, and you know it’s going to take something big to make Jefferson don the tights again. From the beginning of the episode, we see that present-day Freeland is in desperate need of a superhero. A gang called The 100 (no it’s not a crossover with that other CW show) runs the streets. Jefferson’s oldest daughter, the politically active Anissa, has just been arrested protesting the gang. Jennifer, his younger daughter still in high school (at which Jefferson is the principal), is starting to act out in the way you expect teenagers to. She’s a good student, but isn’t happy about the expectations put on her as the daughter of the principal. She doesn’t like being known as the good girl, so she sneaks out to a club. Which happens to be run by The 100.More than any other superhero show on the CW, Black Lightning feels like it has something to say. In its first episode, it’s a real, grounded family drama that addresses gang violence, racial profiling and police brutality. The show has something to say. Right away, that sets it apart from the CW’s usual Arrowverse fare. Those shows are a ton of fun, but Black Lightning is that and more. There’s something real behind the engrossing story and spectacular superhero fights. One of the opening scenes has Pierce being pulled over and handcuffed by cops who suspect him of robbing a liquor store. He’s let go when the victim of the crime says he’s not the guy, but the damage is done. Even worse, this appears to be a regular occurrence. Jefferson says it’s the third time this month this has happened. He points out that whoever robbed the store probably wasn’t wearing a suit and tie, driving a Volvo wagon. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out he’s not the guy. All it takes is, you know, not being racist.China Anne McClain as Jennifer Pierce (Photo: Mark Hill/The CW)The cops don’t seem to care too much for the citizens of Freeland. When Jennifer fails to come home from the club (and is almost forced into prostitution by The 100), Jefferson shows up looking for her. The brief display of his Black Lightning powers we see creates just enough chaos for Jennifer to escape. Not before beating and humiliating the guy who put her in that situation, though. We know both daughters eventually get superpowers, but it’s nice to see that they can kick some ass when they need to. When the cops show up at the club, the immediately target Jefferson, telling him to “get his black ass on the ground.” There’s no question about the attitude of these cops at this point. They shoot him with tasers (thankfully, that’s all they drew), which turns out to be a real bad idea. Jefferson ends up with a couple of minor cuts, and the racist cops get a satisfying dose of electricity.Even after his minor superhero adventure, Jefferson still tries to do things the “right” way. When the guy from the club shows up at his school looking for Jennifer, he deescalates, tells the guy that the police are on their way and sends him running. He then goes to the guy’s boss, a gang leader called Lala. Lala, it turns out, is a former student of Jefferson’s and there’s some respect there. It’s a welcome bit of nuance in the hero-villain relationship. The episode still proves Lala to be a terrible person, but it at least gives him some real motivation. Lala is the guy who got by on strength, and that’s how he keeps his friends and family safe. You see the reasoning behind his actions, even as he does some pretty horrible things. It’s still satisfying when he gets harpooned in the shoulder by Tobias, the season’s main villain and apparent kingpin of organized crime in Freeland.Nafessa Williams as Anissa Pierce (Photo: Bob Mahoney/The CW)Of course, this is a superhero show. Going about things the “normal” way isn’t going to work out. While Jefferson is talking to Lala, two 100 members walk into the school with guns and kidnap his daughters. That’s what it takes for Black Lightning to come out of retirement. His mentor/tailor/father figure (another well-written, interesting, fleshed-out relationship… God, the character work on this show is so good) has a new suit waiting for him, and he’s off to the motel on a rescue mission. Everything about the episode’s big action scene works so well. Cress Williams shows he’s able to play both the upstanding school principal and the bulky, intimidating hero. He storms through the motel, blasting people with lightning powers, deflecting bullets and generally being the coolest hero we’ve seen on the CW in a long time. He even gets a badass closing line as he suspends the guy who’s been hounding his daughter all show in the air. “Is that your car? It was nice,” before dropping the dude through his own windshield.Black Lightning is exactly the show superhero TV needs right now. It’s politically aware, relevant and has a message without getting preachy. It’s a story about a hero who already had his origin and gone through the learning periods we see from every other superhero show and movie. It tells a grounded, affecting story about a family, violence, corruption and prejudice. Best of all, it does all of that without skimping on the action. If all you want is a cool superhero, Black Lighting does that too. Everything else it does though, makes The CW’s latest superhero show the blast of fresh air the genre needs. Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Top Movie and TV Trailers You Might Have Missed This Week’Black Lightning’ Season 2 Finale Recap: Preparing for War center_img Stay on targetlast_img read more

EXCLUSIVE 93 believe childcare vouchers are best taxefficient benefit

first_imgEXCLUSIVE: The majority (93%) of respondents feel that childcare vouchers are the most popular tax-efficient benefit offered by their organisation, according to the Employee Benefits/Xerox HR Services Benefits research 2016, published in June 2016.The government’s tax-free childcare scheme, aimed at replacing childcare vouchers, will be phased in from 2017, with the current scheme remaining open until April 2018 to support the transition between the two.Those benefits exempt from the government’s suggested plans to limit salary sacrifice arrangements, such as pension contributions (72%) and bikes for work (78%), also feature in the top three tax-efficient benefits offered by respondents via a salary sacrifice arrangement. Meanwhile, more than a third of respondents provide holiday trading (36%) and give-as-you-earn and payroll giving (37%) in this manner, with 17% offering car salary sacrifice schemes for staff.last_img read more