EPA chemical safety nominee drops out amid strong opposition

first_imgWASHINGTON – President Donald Trump’s pick to oversee chemical safety at the Environmental Protection Agency withdrew his nomination Wednesday after bipartisan opposition made his Senate confirmation unlikely.Officials at the White House and the Senate told The Associated Press that Michael Dourson had sent a letter asking his name to be removed from consideration to serve as head of the EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. The two officials were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.North Carolina’s two Republican senators, Richard Burr and Thom Tillis, said last month they would vote against Dourson’s nomination after The Associated Press and other media outlets detailed his past work as a toxicologist hired to defend major chemical companies.The Senate’s 48 Democrats were united in opposition, meaning only one more GOP defection would be needed to defeat Dourson’s nomination.In his letter asking the president to withdraw his name from consideration, which was obtained by the AP, Dourson said his stepping aside “avoids unnecessarily politicizing the important environmental protection goals of Administrator Pruitt.”“I sincerely and deeply appreciate all the love and support by my family, friends and colleagues during this ‘surprising’ confirmation process,” he went on to say.Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware, the top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said his staunch objections to Dourson’s nomination were never a matter of partisanship.“I sincerely believe he is the wrong person to hold this important position, and it’s become clear that, even with a Republican majority in the Senate, he could not be confirmed,” Carper said. “Dourson, an individual who has spent most of his career promoting less protective chemical safety standards, had no business overseeing our nation’s chemical safety laws.”The EPA’s press office did not respond to requests for comment Wednesday evening. Dourson has already been serving at the agency as a senior adviser to EPA administrator Scott Pruitt. It was not immediately clear whether he will continue in that role, which does not require Senate confirmation.The AP reported in September that Dourson has for years accepted payments for criticizing studies that raised concerns about the safety of his clients’ products, according to a review of financial records and his published work.Past corporate clients of Dourson and of a research group he ran include Dow Chemical Co., Koch Industries Inc. and Chevron Corp. His research has also been underwritten by industry trade and lobbying groups representing the makers of plastics, pesticides, processed foods and cigarettes.Burr and Tillis, both of whom are considered reliably pro-business conservatives, cited Dourson’s past work and worries among their home-state constituents about tainted drinking water in opposing his nomination.Marine veterans and their families have blamed decades-old contamination of wells at a North Carolina base with solvents and dry-cleaning chemicals for infant deaths and serious health problems, including cancer.More recently, concerns have been raised about undisclosed discharges of chemicals used to manufacture Teflon and GoreTex into the Cape Fear River, a source of municipal drinking water for Wilmington and other southeastern North Carolina communities.Dourson worked at the EPA for more than a decade, leaving in 1994 as the manager at a lab that assessed the health risks of exposure to chemicals. The following year, he founded Toxicology Excellence for Risk Assessment, a private, non-profit organization that tests chemicals and produces reports on which chemicals are hazardous in what quantities.Dourson’s views toward industry are consistent with others Trump has selected as top federal regulators. Among them is Pruitt, who in March overruled the findings of his agency’s own scientists to reverse an effort to ban chlorpyrifos, one of the nation’s most widely used pesticides.Court records show Dourson and his work have also often been called on when his corporate clients are seeking to fend off lawsuits.Dourson’s withdrawal was first reported Wednesday by Bloomberg News.___Follow Associated Press environmental reporter Michael Biesecker at http://twitter.com/mbiesecklast_img read more

Alberta premier ready to talk but wants action at Trans Mountain meeting

first_imgEDMONTON – Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says she will attend a meeting about the Trans Mountain pipeline in good faith and with an open mind, but the bottom line is the expansion project must get built without delay.Notley also says she will bring in legislation next week that would allow her to curtail oil shipments to British Columbia — regardless of the outcome of her Sunday meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and B.C. Premier John Horgan.Such action is expected to cause gas prices and other costs to spike in B.C.Trudeau has called the meeting for Ottawa amid increasing public pressure to resolve the impasse over Kinder Morgan’s pipeline from Edmonton to the port at Burnaby, B.C.The $7.4-billion expansion would triple the amount of oil headed to the coast, which Notley says is critical to ease transportation bottlenecks that are causing Canadian heavy oil to sell at a deep discount.The project already has federal approval, but Kinder Morgan says delay tactics and court challenges by B.C. have put the financial viability of it in jeopardy.(Companies in this story: TSX:KML)last_img read more

Morocco condemns terrorist attacks against Chadian capital

Rabat – Morocco condemns, in the strongest terms, the terrorist attacks that targeted on Monday a police station and a police school in Chad’s capital N’Djamena, claiming several lives, said the Foreign Affairs Ministry.Morocco extends its heartfelt condolences and compassion to the Chadian authorities and the victims’ families, expresses its solidarity with the Chadian people and reiterates its firm condemnation and flat refusal of terrorism under all its forms, said the ministry in a statement.The Kingdom deems it necessary to reinforce regional and international efforts to counter the phenomenons of terrorism and extremism mainly in the Sahel-Saharan region, it added.

Alberta fires still rage forcing Cenovus to evacuate oil site north of

WABASCA, Alta. — An out of control wildfire in northern Alberta has prompted Cenovus Energy Inc. to evacuate its Pelican Lake heavy oil facility.The company says the fire was discovered about one kilometre away from its complex about 300 kilometres north of Edmonton.Cenovus says safety is its top priority and the evacuation and shutdown are a precaution.There was no damage to facilities or infrastructure.Suncor oilsands production back to normal by end of June following Fort McMurray fireFires to shave $928-million from Suncor’s cash flow as it looks to restart operationsAlberta Wildfire officials say the blaze is about 55 hectares in size and is being fought by four air tanker groups and a ground crew.The wildfire threat in Alberta’s forest protection zone ranges from high to very high.“We had 118 staff working at Pelican Lake when the evacuation began. The majority of them have been safely transported by bus or personal vehicle to our temporary evacuation centre in Wabasca,” the company said Tuesday in a release.“Remaining staff are being evacuated in an orderly fashion. This includes some staff who were working in the northern part of our Pelican Lake operations who are being evacuated by helicopter.” read more

President Granger pays tribute to late President Burnham

President David Granger during the wreath laying ceremonyPresident David Granger, on Monday paid tribute to Guyana’s first Executive President and founder of the People’s National Congress (PNC), Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham, on the occasion of the 33rd  anniversary of his death.The wreath laying ceremony was held at the Mausoleum at the Seven Ponds in the Botanical Gardens, where the former President was laid to rest.President Granger in his remarks said that the late Forbes Burnham understood that even though political independence ended more than 350 years of colonial rule, it did not bring economic independence. Political independence, for the Founder-leader, President Granger said, was hollow unless it was strengthened by the sinews and substance of economic independence.Ministers of the Government and executives of the PNC were among others present“Our Founder-leader initiated a system of free education from nursery to university. He built community high schools, multilateral schools and technical institutes, opened the first campus of the University and established the Cyril Potter College of Education – all to provide the best education for the post-Independence generation. Our Founder-leader encouraged self-reliance to stimulate economic independence and to generate employment by promoting agro-processing, small- and medium-sized enterprises to empower poor households and boosting village economies.  Our Founder-leader’s policy of economic independence resulted in the expansion and renovation of aerodromes, bridges, highways and stellings to ensure greater access to markets and to boost riverine, rural and hinterland agricultural production,” he said.The Head of State said that the establishment of the Mahaica-Mahaicony-Abary Agricultural Development Authority (MMA/ADA) and the enhancement of the Boeraserie, Black Bush Polder and Tapacuma Irrigation Projects measurably strengthened the country’s agrarian economy.“The Founder-leader’s policy of economic independence laid the bases for expanding and extending electricity, telephone, transportation and water supply services to previously unserved communities and to improve productivity and the people’s quality of life. We, his heirs and successors, remember him with reverence. We recommit to continuing his efforts to achieve the goal of economic independence, which he so passionately pursued,” said Granger.Chairman of the PNC, Basil Williams, in his remarks, said that the late leader was ‘a colossus of a man’ from the day he was born to the day of his death. He noted that he was a visionary and laid the foundation for social cohesion in Guyana.The ceremony was also attended by members of the late President’s family, Ministers of the Government and executives of the PNC among others. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedBurnham’s fight against inequality, poverty and illiteracy rememberedAugust 6, 2017In “Politics”PNC/R remembers Burnham on 29th death anniversaryAugust 6, 2014In “Politics”President Hoyte remembered as “an example of selfless service”December 22, 2015In “Politics” read more

Public sector reorganisation gets under way

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram New organisational charts were rolled out in Greece’s public administration with the aim of reducing the number of top-level civil servants and saving taxpayers more than 10 million euros per year.According to the Administrative Reform Ministry, the civil service should have 40 per cent fewer structures at the end of the process, while the number of department chiefs will be reduced from 7,717 to 4,558. The number of departments is due to fall from 5,763 to 3,324.“After decades, we are changing the public administration,” said Administrative Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. “The new organizational charts have more sparing and cohesive structures that will contribute toward creating a less bureaucratic state.”The changes will lead to public spending on salaries being reduced from 27 million to 16.2 million.Ironically, Mitsotakis’s department will see the biggest change. His ministry’s structures are due to be reduced by 63 per cent. Costs are also due to be decreased by 62 per cent.One of the knock-on effects of the reorganization is that the management of some museums, which fall under the auspices of the Culture Ministry, will be merged. But perhaps most significantly, the National Archaeological Museum in Athens will finally have its own director. A new department, responsible for the guarding of the country’s museums, will also be created.Source: Kathimerinilast_img read more

Southgate blasts media over leaked training notes

first_imgEngland manager Gareth Southgate, says the English media will have to choose whether they want to “help the team or not”, following a picture of England’s training notes that was published online and in newspapers.A piece of paper held by assistant manager Steve Holland containing an indication that suggests England’s line-up for Sunday’s World Cup Group G game against Panama leaked online and in newspapers but Holland has apologised to the squad, according to BBC.Reacting to that, Kyle Walker said:“It’s not going to help us because all the rest of the world has now seen that team,” said defender Kyle Walker.Jadon Sancho, Borussia DortmundCrouch: Liverpool could beat Man United to Jadon Sancho Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Peter Crouch wouldn’t be surprised to see Jadon Sancho end up at Liverpool one day instead of his long-term pursuers Manchester United.Southgate said the teamsheet was “just a squad list”, and “it doesn’t bother me in the slightest”.But he added: “Obviously any time, if we were to give the opposition the opportunity of having our team it’s a disadvantage to us.“So of course our media has to decide if they want to help the team or not.”Holland’s teamsheet indicated that striker Marcus Rashford could be in line to start alongside captain Harry Kane.last_img read more

Bahamas AG Response to Erroneous News Reports and Commentary

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, January 21, 2018 – Nassau – Based upon news accounts and commentary upon my Report to the United Nations in Geneva during the recent Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process on Human Rights it has become apparent that there is a great deal of misunderstanding of the nature of the exercise.The Bahamas has been a member of the United Nations since Independence, and every five years is called upon, along with every other member State, to report on what it has done to live up to the commitments that it made five years previously to address international concerns about Human Rights, which it has previously committed to undertake at the previous UPR held five years before.Each country is obliged to show the extent to which it has lived up to its commitments or what they are in process of doing to live up to commitments made, and also whether or not it will seek to address other concerns of the international community, which it has not yet committed to address.Over the past several days and during my absence abroad I have been accused of announcing government policy to the international community without having first announced these matters to the Bahamian people.Nothing could be further from the truth. Over the past month or more I have given Press interviews and read Press reports or seen TV newscasts in which I have spoken about:(1) “Marital Rape” and clearly stated that we were drafting an amendment to the Sexual Offences Act. I also clearly stated that the new proposed offence of “aggravated spousal abuse” was a preferred means to avoid stigmatizing incidents in a subsisting marriage as “rape”, but was necessary also as a means to provide protection to abused spouses;(2) “The intention to amend the Bahamas Nationality Act” where I spoke to the Press about the government’s intention to provide a legal framework where children of Bahamian males or females, born in or out of marriage anywhere in the world could receive citizenship by being registered “upon application”.(3) “The Independent Committee to review the backlog of constitution-based citizenship applications by persons born in The Bahamas to non-Bahamian parents after Independence”. Again, a number of Press reports covered my comments on this matter.(4) “Immigration Law reforms” comments that I made were also reported, particularly the proposed increased penalties for harbouring and providing employment to undocumented migrants.In each case mentioned in my remarks at the UN UPR in Geneva I was careful to state that these initiatives were “draft” Bills, “proposed” Laws or “being finalized”. Where I spoke about the Independent Committee on Citizenship applications, I mentioned the fact that the government “plans to introduce” a Review Committee chaired by a retired Chief Justice.I further, in respect of the draft “aggravated spousal sexual abuse” amendment Bill, specifically stated in Geneva that the Bill had been forwarded to religious leaders and civil society for consultation; (each of whom having been specifically asked to consult with their associates or affiliated organizations).  This had been done since early January, 2018.  Up to the day of my comments I had received only one reply from civil society which reflected what I viewed as general support, with a few points of criticism as to certain aspects of the proposed Bill, such as the time limit.All of these statements are facts; facts that I have spoken to the Bahamian People about, through the news media, on a number of occasions, and before going to defend my country’s Human Rights record in Geneva.Each of these items were mentioned specifically to show the ongoing seriousness with which the government was either addressing previous commitments made to improve Human Rights, or grappling with the means to effect social progress, protect the vulnerable and take The Bahamas to a better place for the benefit of all Bahamians.It is therefore deeply distressing to see my words apparently deliberately distorted, contorted and twisted out of all recognition.I therefore urge all Bahamians to actually read the words in the Report that I gave to the UN, rather than to be driven by the excesses and errors depicted in Social Media and, most of all, to avoid knee-jerk commentary. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Senator the Hon. Carl Bethel, QCAttorney General and Minister of Legal AffairsJanuary 19, 2018center_img Related Items:last_img read more

Fire Departments Warn Of Thanksgiving Day Cooking Dangers

first_imgGrimes: “We also want to make sure that you’re not drinking and driving. So, if you’re having a great time on Thanksgiving stay right where you are at or get someone sober to drive you. Also, watch out for the roads because it’s that time of the year.” Unattended cooking is the leading cause of Thanksgiving fires. Items catching fire because they are too close to a burner ranked second, and leaving the oven or stovetop on by accident ranked third. From 2014 to 2016, an estimated 2,400 residential building fires were reported to fire departments in the U.S. on Thanksgiving Day and caused an estimated 5 deaths, 25 injuries and $19 million in property loss. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Cooking a Thanksgiving dinner can be an all day affair which requires all day attention in order to be safe.center_img According to the State Fire Marshal’s office almost 75% of the state’s total reported residential structure fires are caused by cooking and heating-related incidents. Dan Grimes Deputy Fire Chief with Central Emergency Services reminds everyone that unattended cooking fires are one of Alaska’s leading causes of residential fires:  “We hope that people will be safe this holiday season. We’re looking for people to be very careful with their deep fryers, if they are thinking about deep frying one of those beautiful turkeys on Thanksgiving. We hope people will pay attention to their ovens, keep things safe, and a watchful eye.” last_img read more

No Chaos Trump Insists As He Swears In New Chief Of Staff

first_img Share Pablo Martinez Monsivais, APPresident Donald Trump talks with new White House Chief of Staff John Kelly after he was privately sworn in during a ceremony in the Oval Office with President Donald Trump, Monday, July 31, 2017, in Washington.Hoping to turn the page on a tumultuous opening chapter to his presidency, President Donald Trump insisted on Monday there is “no chaos” in his White House as he swore in retired Marine Gen. John Kelly as his new chief of staff.In an Oval Office ceremony, Trump predicted Kelly, who previously served as Homeland Security chief, would do a “spectacular job.” And the president chose to highlight the rising stock market and positive jobs outlook rather than talk about how things might need to change in his White House under Kelly.Trump on Friday ousted Reince Priebus as chief of staff and turned to Kelly, who he hopes will bring military discipline to an administration weighed down by a stalled legislative agenda, infighting among West Wing aides and a stack of investigations.While Trump is looking for a reset, he pushed back against criticism of his administration with this tweet: “Highest Stock Market EVER, best economic numbers in years, unemployment lowest in 17 years, wages raising, border secure, S.C.: No WH chaos!”In fact, economic growth averaged 2 percent in the first half of this year, a pace Trump railed against as a candidate and promised to lift to 3 percent. The stock market first hit a record under President Barack Obama and has kept growing. The unemployment rate, too, started to decline on Obama’s watch. And wage gains have been weak.Trump on Monday convened his first Cabinet meeting with Kelly at his side, telling his team it is “doing incredibly well” and “starting from a really good base.” On how he would deal with rising tensions with North Korea, Trump said only: “It will be handled.”Seated across from Trump was Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has stayed on the job while Trump has publicly savaged him in interviews and on social media.Kelly’s success in a chaotic White House will depend on how much authority he is granted and whether Trump’s dueling aides will put aside their rivalries to work together. Also unclear is whether a new chief of staff will have any influence over the president’s social media histrionics.Former Trump campaign manager Cory Lewandowski, who was ousted from the campaign in June 2016, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he expected Kelly would “restore order to the staff” but also stressed that Trump was unlikely to change his style.“I say you have to let Trump be Trump. That is what has made him successful over the last 30 years. That is what the American people voted for,” Lewandowski said. “And anybody who thinks they’re going to change Donald Trump doesn’t know Donald Trump.”Kelly’s start follows a wild week, marked by a profane tirade from Trump’s new communications director, the president’s continued criticism of his attorney general and the failed effort by Senate Republicans to overhaul the nation’s health care law.In addition to the strains in the West Wing and with Congress, Kelly starts his new job as tensions escalate with North Korea. The United States flew two supersonic bombers over the Korean Peninsula on Sunday in a show of force against North Korea, following the country’s latest intercontinental ballistic missile test. The U.S. also said it conducted a successful test of a missile defense system located in Alaska.Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that she hopes Kelly can “be effective,” and “begin some very serious negotiation with the North and stop this program.”Another diplomatic fissure opened Sunday when Russian President Vladimir Putin said the U.S. would have to cut its embassy and consulate staff in Russia by several hundred under new sanctions from Moscow. In a television interview, Putin indicated the cutback was retaliation for new sanctions in a bill passed by Congress and sent to Trump.Trump plans to sign the measure into law, the White House has said. After Putin’s remarks, the State Department deemed the cutbacks “a regrettable and uncalled for act” and said officials would assess the impact and how to respond to it.While Trump is trying to refresh his team, he signaled that he does not want to give up the fight on health care. On Twitter Sunday, he said: “Don’t give up Republican Senators, the World is watching: Repeal & Replace.”The protracted health care fight has slowed work on Trump’s other policy goals, including a tax overhaul and infrastructure investment. But Trump aides made clear that the president still wanted to see action on health care. White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said on CNN’s “State of the Union,” that senators “need to stay, they need to work, they need to pass something.”Asked if nothing should be voted on in Congress until the Senate votes again on health care, Mulvaney said: “Well, think — yes. And I think what you’re seeing there is the president simply reflecting the mood of the people.”On Saturday, Trump threatened to end required payments to insurance companies unless lawmakers repeal and replace the Obama-era health care law. He tweeted that if “a new HealthCare Bill is not approved quickly, BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies and BAILOUTS for Members of Congress will end very soon!”The payments reduce deductibles and co-payments for consumers with modest incomes. Trump has guaranteed the payments through July, but has not made a commitment after that.White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said on “Fox News Sunday” that Trump would make a decision on the payments this week.Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who opposed the efforts to move a health bill forward this week, said on CNN that cutting the payments would “be detrimental to some of the most vulnerable citizens” and that the threat has “contributed to the instability in the insurance market.”The House has begun a five-week recess, while the Senate is scheduled to work two more weeks before a summer break.last_img read more

French honour for Manish Arora

first_imgThe world of fashion in India saw a new beginning, when a veteran fashion designer was honoured by the French Government for his dedication to the world Fashion.His Excellency, The Ambassador of France, Francois Richier, conferred the Chevalier de la légion d’Honneur on veteran fashion designer Manish Arora, at the Residence of France, in the national Capital on Tuesday. The Ambassador of France bestowed Manish with the medal and the two clinked champagne glasses celebrating the ceremony.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The Legion of Honour, the highest distinction is a French order established by Napoleon Bonaparte on 1802. The award, is bestowed on both citizens of France as well as foreigners. In the past, eminent Indian personalities like Pandit Ravi Shankar, Amitabh Bachchan and JRD Tata have been honored with the prestigious award.  The award is a recognition by France for Manish’s distinguished and critically applauded work and contribution to the world of fashion. Beginning the investiture ceremony, Fashion Features Director of Vogue and a close friend of Manish, Bandana Tewari, read out an entrancing personal note on the veteran fashion designer. The account narrated by Tiwari spoke of Manish’s humble beginning and his journey though the world of fashion, in India and abroad. Following the personal account, the guests were treated with an audio-visual, highlighting some of the successful shows of the designer and the comments and best wishes from eminent personalities on his triumph. Manish thanked everyone present at the event and said, “I’m amazed and honoured by the recognition I have received from the country that I love with all my heart. I hope to keep getting inspired by France, the beauty and elegance of the French.” He also thanked the French government for, “doing this for the first time in the world of fashion, in India. Only the French can do this, they can spot you, pick you up and tell you, ‘you deserve it’”.Ambassador François Richier said, “Manish has a long-standing connection with France, which is like a second home for him. He is a pioneer in bringing the fashion culture of both countries together with his lively imagination. I am delighted to confer this high honour on him.”last_img read more

Vivos Upcoming NEX 3 Phone Proves the Headphone Jack Isnt Completely Dead

first_imgSamsung may have put the final nail in the 3.5-millimeter minijack’s coffin, but there’s a tiny band of small manufacturers that are resisting what seems inevitable. The latest one: Vivo.The Chinese manufacturer is known for its experimental flagship phones. In fact, I would say that Vivo is perhaps the company that takes more risks that anyone else. It introduced pop-up cameras and in-display fingerprint scanners for the first time, adopted dual-screen phones, and made this completely seamless phone with a sound-emitting vibrating display with no ports whatsoever. Which is why the announcement of a 3.5-millimeter jack in the upcoming Vivo NEX 3 flagship is quite shocking. According to a post by Vivo NEX product manager, “the 3.5-mm headphone jack will be in the future NEX flagship.”The phone — which you can see in sketches above — will also have a display with a tight curve on the sides. And, from the look of it, it may have an in-display or a pop-up selfie camera. Check out the glass Vivo will use, which shows no punch holes or water drops.RECOMMENDED VIDEOS FOR YOU…logoCreated with Sketch. Tech This Out: New Nintendo Switch Battery, Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus, iPhone 11 LaunchMore VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpTech This Out – Warner Streaming Service, Galaxy Note Renders And Nintendo Switch Lite02:14OffAutomated Captions – en-USLive00:0003:1603:16 (Image credit: Vivo)Why is the vanguardist Vivo adding a technology to a flagship that has been effectively deprecated by the top 5 manufacturers in the world — Samsung, Huawei, Apple, Xiaomi, and Oppo? Even Sony got rid of it. Perhaps small manufacturers with single digit market shares are looking for ways to distinguish their flagships from the Big Five’s. Like LG and its upcoming LG G8x ThinQ, the Asus Zenfone 6Z or this future Vivo NEX. It may not be that, but that seems like a plausible answer. And, while I don’t know how long this is going to last, it’s good that there are still options available for people who want a flagship with a 3.5-mm minijack.The Best Phones that Still Have a Headphone Jacklast_img read more

Mothers Day at Mount View

first_imgAs part of Ladysmith Secondary School’s 30th anniversary celebrations, they hosted a Mother’s Day ‘High Tea’ at Mount View Lodge (conference room) on Saturday afternoon. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite The ladies were decked out in their finery for the occasion and thoroughly enjoyed the programme of entertainment that had been organised for them. The conference room was decorated in pink and white drapes, with tantalising treats accompanying the lovely table decorations.The guest speaker was Acting Judge Roshni Mansingh, who gave an insightful talk about the importance of being a woman and a mother in the modern-day society in which we live.Lasec learners entertained the guests with songs, dances and poems, and the Prakash Orchestra produced masterful melodies to soothe the soul. The ladies who attended then had the opportunity to mingle with one another while they enjoyed a cup of tea and some tasty snacks.last_img read more

Surveying the 14 undefeated teams remaining in FBS

first_imgA month ago at this time, there were (more or less) 130 undefeated teams in FBS. As we sit now on the first day of October, roughly 10 percent remain. Fourteen teams made it through September without a loss. The schedule tells us at least half of those teams are guaranteed to lose at some point between Oct. 1 and Dec. 1, but history tells us it’ll be a whole lot more.AmericanCincinnati (5-0)The road ahead: vs. Tulane, at Temple, at SMU, vs. Navy, vs. South Florida, at UCF, vs. East CarolinaPrognosis: Perhaps the most under-discussed undefeated team in the country, the Bearcats knocked off UCLA in Chip Kelly’s first game and have already surpassed the four wins they enjoyed in Luke Fickell’s first season. Cincinnati has been getting it done with defense: the Bearcats are No. 9 nationally in yards per play and No. 2 in scoring defense. Chances are they’ll lose at some point during their Florida Two-Step, but a defense like this will give them a shot in every game.South Florida (4-0)The road ahead: at Massachusetts, at Tulsa, vs. Connecticut, at Houston, vs. Tulane, at Cincinnati, at Temple, vs. UCFPrognosis: Many expected the Bulls to drop off after losing franchise quarterback Quinton Flowers, but graduate transfer Blake Barnett has taken Sterlin Gilbert’s offense in a new direction. USF has won its last two games by single digits and beat Georgia Tech with the help of two kickoff return touchdowns. Chances are this team will run its record to 7-0 until we found out what it’s really made of.No. 12 UCF (4-0)The road ahead: vs. SMU, at Memphis, at East Carolina, vs. Temple, vs. Navy, vs. Cincinnati, at South FloridaPrognosis: The entire coaching staff left from last year’s claimed national championship team, but the players stuck around — and they’re still significantly better than anyone they’ve played to this point. The Knights have won every game by at least 20 points, and three by 31 or more. Considering this is largely the same team that finished last year ranked No. 6 in the AP poll with four first-place votes, it’s frankly insane they’re not in the top 10 right now. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Sponsored By Connatix ACCNo. 4 Clemson (5-0)The road ahead: at Wake Forest, vs. No. 23 NC State, at Florida State, vs. Louisville, at Boston College, vs. Duke, vs. South CarolinaPrognosis: Everyone’s preseason pick to take down Alabama hasn’t looked it so far. Clemson has played two above .500 Power 5 teams and beaten them by six points. Combined. Sure, Clemson has won a dozen games over its ongoing streak of three straight ACC crowns and CFP trips, so winning close games is part of this program’s DNA. But those teams weren’t quarterbacked by a true freshman who’s currently hurt. And this year’s team also doesn’t have a schedule that would allow them to overcome a WTF loss (vs. Pitt in 2016, at Syracuse last year). Stay tuned to this one.No. 23 NC State (4-0)The road ahead: vs. Boston College, at No. 4 Clemson, at Syracuse, vs. Florida State, vs. Wake Forest, at Louisville, at North CarolinaPrognosis: Hurricane Florence robbed NC State of its chance to host No. 9 West Virginia, so you can bet Dave Doreen, fifth-year senior senior quarterback Ryan Finley and company are chomping at the bit for their trip to Clemson. I have no idea if they’re going to win, but they’ll give Clemson their absolute best shot.Big 12No. 7 Oklahoma (5-0)The road ahead: vs. No. 19 Texas, at TCU, vs. Kansas State, at Texas Tech, vs. No. 25 Oklahoma State, vs. Kansas, at No. 9 West VirginiaPrognosis: Blowouts of Florida Atlantic and UCLA appeared to show Mike Stoops fixed OU’s Achilles heel defense. Subsequent games against Iowa State, Army and Baylor erased such a thought. OU is 97th in pass defense — and that includes a game where Army threw for 40 yards. Remove that from the equation and they’re 124th. However, the offense is still the offense. Remember last year, when Baker Mayfield broke his own FBS passing efficiency record en route to the Heisman Trophy? Kyler Murray is more than 30 points ahead of him — while also running for close to 60 yards and a touchdown per game.No. 9 West Virginia (4-0)The road ahead: vs. Kansas, at Iowa State, vs. Baylor, at No. 19 Texas, vs. TCU, at No. 25 Oklahoma State, vs. No. 7 OklahomaPrognosis: The NC State cancellation barred us from knowing how good this team really is, though a 35-10 first half at Texas Tech showed us their potential. Will Grier could easily toss 30 touchdowns before he throws one that truly matters.Big TenNo. 3 Ohio State (5-0)The road ahead: vs. Indiana, vs. Minnesota, at Purdue, at Nebraska, at No. 20 Michigan State, at Maryland, vs. No. 15 MichiganPrognosis: TCU and Penn State came at the kings, and they both missed. Ohio State is not a perfect team, but how many teams will they play before Selection Sunday that has the firepower to expose those vulnerabilities?IndependentsNo. 6 Notre Dame (5-0)The road ahead: at No. 24 Virginia Tech, vs. Pittsburgh, vs. Navy, at Northwestern, vs. Florida State, vs. Syracuse, at USCPrognosis: Ian Book completely changes the equation for Notre Dame. In wins over Wake and Stanford, he hit 49 of 67 throws for 603 yards with six touchdowns and no interceptions while the Irish racked up 94 combined points. Losing captain Alex Bars at left guard for the year will test the team’s depth and mettle.Pac-12No. 21 Colorado (4-0)The road ahead: vs. Arizona State, at USC, at No. 10 Washington, vs. Oregon State, at Arizona, at Washington State, vs. Utah, at CaliforniaPrognosis: An apparent breakthrough of a 2016 season that saw CU win 10 games and take the Pac-12 South title washed away in a 5-7 season in 2017. But the yo-yo is on the upswing now; CU is up nearly 15 points a game to 40 points per game thus far. This is the part where we mention CU’s wins have come against Colorado State, Nebraska, New Hampshire and UCLA — who are not exactly lighting the world on fire. Those four are a combined 1-16.SECNo. 1 Alabama (5-0)The road ahead: at Arkansas, vs. Missouri, at Tennessee, at No. 5 LSU, vs. Mississippi State, vs. The Citadel, vs. No. 8 AuburnPrognosis: The defense may be an A instead of an A-plus, but who cares? It’ll be an upset when this team wins a game by less than two touchdowns, and the shocker of a decade if they lose a game.No. 2 Georgia (5-0)The road ahead: vs. Vanderbilt, at No. 5 LSU, vs. No. 22 Florida, at No. 13 Kentucky, vs. No. 8 Auburn, vs. Massachusetts, vs. Georgia TechPrognosis: It certainly appears that we’re all on a collision course where a 12-0 Alabama meets a 12-0 Georgia in an SEC Championship Game That’s a Rematch of Last Year’s National Championship Game And Also a De Facto National Championship Game Ahead of the Real National Championship Game. (We’ve got a couple months to come up with a snazzier title.) But at least Georgia will have to earn its trip to Atlanta.No. 13 Kentucky (5-0)The road ahead: at Texas A&M, vs. Vanderbilt, at Missouri, vs. No. 2 Georgia, at Tennessee,  vs. Middle Tennessee, at LouisvillePrognosis: If this was Florida and not Kentucky, we’d be talking about them as legitimate national championship contenders and not just a nice story. No one has come within 11 points of these Wildcats, and Mark Stoops’s crew has a tried-and-true formula to win: defense and running game. Benny Snell leads the SEC in rushing and rushing touchdowns, and UK shares the SEC lead with Auburn in scoring defense. We’re officially neutral here at FootballScoop, but it’d sure be fun to see an undefeated Kentucky host undefeated Georgia.No. 5 LSU (5-0)The road ahead: at No. 22 Florida, vs. No. 2 Georgia, vs. Mississippi State, vs. No. 1 Alabama, at Arkansas, vs. Rice, at Texas A&MPrognosis: LSU shoved it in the face of its many skeptics with a Labor Day Sunday blowout of Miami… and, let’s be honest, a chunk of those skeptics are still skeptical, especially after that miracle comeback at Auburn. Get by Florida, though, and LSU has a chance to make a run at a No. 1 ranking without leaving Baton Rouge.last_img read more

RitzCarlton Hotel Company signs F1 Mercedes partnership

first_imgOlderMadeira prepares for World Travel Awards Europe Gala Ceremony The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company has announced a multi-year agreement with Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport to be the first official hotel partner of the team.Kicking off at the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Montreal this weekend, the partnership brings together two likeminded brands committed to excellence and promises exclusive access and special experiences for members of Marriott Bonvoy, Marriott International’s newly renamed travel program, which includes The Ritz-Carlton.At various races throughout the season, Marriott Bonvoy Members will have an opportunity to interact with Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, experience races from the paddock, and enjoy exclusive at-track VIP hospitality. For the first event in Montreal, a Ritz-Carlton concierge desk will be available in the Silver Arrows Lounge where attendees can receive insider tips for exploring the city.  As part of the collaboration, the Ritz-Carlton logo will also appear on the racing suits of drivers Hamilton and Bottas.ADVERTISEMENT“I’m thrilled that Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport has chosen the Ritz-Carlton to be its first official hotel partner,” said Lisa Holladay, global brand leader for the Ritz-Carlton. “This exciting opportunity brings together two legendary brands that share a commitment to excellence and allows us to create unique and lasting memories for our guests.”This unmatched access will be available through packages Marriott Bonvoy members can bid on through Marriott Bonvoy Moments, exclusive experiences available to Marriott Bonvoy members. “We are delighted to be taking our collaboration with the Ritz-Carlton to a whole new level,” said Toto Wolff, team principal and chief executive, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport. “F1 offers the possibility to deliver unique, once-in-a-lifetime experiences to our brand partners and their customers thanks to the equally exciting and exclusive nature of the sport. “We are pleased to be delivering those experiences to The Ritz-Carlton guests and Marriott Bonvoy members.” NewerUnited States arrivals drive tourism growth in Caribbeanlast_img read more

British Airways to join Red Arrows at Royal International Air Tattoo this

first_imgNewerFosun in Thomas Cook acquisition talks OlderWorld Travel Awards honours best of European hospitality in Madeira The Red Arrows will join forces with a special British Airways Boeing 747, which has been painted in the airline’s predecessor British Overseas Airways Corporation livery, for a spectacular fly-past this summer.The event will take place at the Royal International Air Tattoo in Gloucestershire on July 20th.To mark the airline’s centenary this year, the specially decorated 747 will perform a joint fly-past alongside the RAF’s aerobatic display team at the world’s largest military air show.Spectators will have the chance to see the vintage design, which flew between 1952 and 1974, at the air show that takes place at RAF Fairford. British Airways has painted four aircraft in heritage liveries to mark its 100-year-history, the other two featuring the Negus (1974 to 1980) and Landor (1984 to 1997) liveries. ADVERTISEMENTCompleting the line-up is an Airbus 319 painted to reflect its British European Airways heritage.Captain Richard Allen-Williams, who has been flying for 17 years and will be in command of the BOAC aircraft on the day, said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by how our heritage liveries have been received by customers and colleagues. “There’s certainly an air of excitement and pride and we’re sure the sight of our BOAC liveried 747 will provide a wonderfully nostalgic moment for the Air Tattoo audience. “I am honoured to fly alongside the Red Arrows at RAF Fairford this summer.”The airline has a long history of displaying in the Air Tattoo and first joined the flying programme in 1985 when Concorde and the Red Arrows flew together in a display. In the early 2000s several British Airways 747s and 777s performed a fly past, and in 2013, the airline performed with the Red Arrows once again, to the delight of the large Air Tattoo crowd.Andy Armstrong, chief executive of the Air Tattoo, said: “The participation of British Airways aircraft in our flying displays over the years have often provided the most memorable aviation moment of the year and I am confident this summer will be no different. I can think of nothing better than to have one great British institution helping celebrate another.”last_img read more

New York New York – Reported by Elite Traveler t

first_imgNew York, New York – Reported by Elite Traveler, the Private Jet Lifestyle MagazineIconic views, one-of-a-kind accommodation eloquently embodying a destination, unusual services to pamper the jaded road warrior. Among The Leading Hotels of the World, there are suites to make even the most sophisticated travelers dream. Whether they have been the settings for historic events – or are the ideal venue for writing future’s history, these suites are meant to be experienced and enjoyed – at least once in a lifetime. What follows is just a tantalizing sample of the dozens of super suites at Leading Hotels.Ritz Paris, Paris, France The Imperial Suite, the most expensive at Ritz Paris, has been restored in the grand tradition of French decorative arts, and comprises four immense rooms with six-meter high ceilings, bas reliefs and paneling that have been classed as Historic Monuments, and is highlighted with marble fireplaces, huge mirrors in carved gilded frames, and monumental sculpted doors. One room is the replica of Marie Antoinette’s bedroom in Versailles. Her portrait decorates the wall, and a reproduction of her baldaquin bed, topped by a canopy of gilded wood, dominates the room. A PoggenPohl Porsche Design kitchen has been installed in the dining room, and there is also a small personal wine cellar filled with a selection of the finest French wines. Perhaps Hemingway summed it up best: “When I dream of afterlife in heaven, the action always takes place at the Ritz, Paris.” Rates from EUR 11,000 per night.Brenner’s Park-Hotel & Spa, Baden-Baden, Germany Echoes of the past breathe at Brenner’s Park-Hotel & Spa in Baden-Baden in the Brenner’s Parkvilla – where its Royal Penthouse Suite is located – and where significant chapters in the annals of German-French history were written. This was where Charles de Gaulle and Konrad Adenauer met in 1962 to hold preliminary talks leading up to the Franco-German Treaty of Friendship – a milestone on the way to a united Europe. On the second story of the villa, the Royal Penthouse Suite is a contemporary version of the traditional presidential suite, with a separate entrance, bulletproof windows and other safety characteristics, making it the ideal refuge for prominent people and heads of state. Additionally, it has a separate room with private cinema with a large-format screen. Rates from EUR 2000 per night.Hotel Okura Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Holland Hotel Okura Amsterdam invested EUR 2.3 million to create The Suite – the largest one in the Benelux countries. The London architectural firm of RPW was entrusted with the design and execution of The Suite, which occupies the 17th and 18th floors of the hotel. The almost 360-degree view of Amsterdam, the picture windows and the natural daylight form a beautiful backdrop to the architects’ creativity. Its central reception area features a dramatic fiber-optic chandelier, which cascaded through the space over the dining area below. A glass stairway with LED lighting leads up to the two bedrooms on the 18th floor. There is also a room with fitness equipment, so guests can exercise at their leisure without leaving the suite, and a private cinema seating up to 14, perfect for exclusive presentations. Guests can enjoy dinner in The Suite prepared by two of the hotel’s Michelin-starred chefs, and are accorded limousine service from and to Schiphol Airport. Rates from EUR 1050 per night.The Ritz London, London, England, UK The Royal Suite is located in the hotel’s William Kent House, the Grade II listed mansion house acquired by The Ritz in 2006. Completely restored to its 18th-century glory, and offering views of Green Park from all its rooms, the split-level suite includes a stylish salon and a magnificent dining room with seating for up to 10 people on the first floor. The boudoir-style bedroom is reached by hidden staircase from the main drawing room. Dominated by a canopied bed and a spectacularly patterned carpet, the oval shaped room has two en-suite dressing rooms. Guests of the Royal Suite are accorded 24-hour butler service, as well as chauffeured airport pick-up, and complimentary refreshments including full bar, replenished daily; afternoon tea; and champagne and canapés served each evening. Rates from GBP 3750 per night.Saxon Boutique Hotel, Villas & Spa, Johannesburg, South Africa The intimate Saxon Boutique Hotel, Villas & Spa is situated in Sandhurst, Johannesburg, South Africa. Among its 53 exceptional accommodations, the Nelson Mandela Platinum Suite is undoubtedly the finest. The 400-square-meter suite is set on the second level of the hotel, with access via a private lift and/or staircase. The suite is decorated with sophisticated African flair, and consists of two suites, a guest powder room, an open plan lounge and dining room, a fully equipped kitchen (with own butler’s entrance). Guests of the Platinum Suite are afforded complimentary round-trip airport transfer via a Mercedes sedan, and VIP assistance on arrival, including meet-and-greet at the airport via the diplomatic channel around passport control. In the suite, they will find Champagne – which is replenished each evening, and a complimentary minibar with soft drinks, waters and a selection of beers, replenished daily. Besides all the luxury fixtures, a housekeeper and butler are on hand to promptly fulfill guests’ every request. Rates from ZAR 35,000 per night.Rambagh Palace, Jaipur, India Once the residence of Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II and his beautiful queen, Rajmata Gayatri Devi, Rambagh Palace is a living legend of Rajputana history. One glimpse of the hotel’s Sukh Niwas Suite and you know you could be nowhere else in the world other than India. The suite is an evocation of this complex and fascinating country itself – an amazing amalgam of contemporary design with royal flourishes. Arched stone work, rich textured drapes and fabrics, crystal chandeliers, gold leaf frescoes, opulent furniture and embellishment creates an ambiance of sheer luxury and decadence. Large windows open to the picturesque royal gardens, and the spectacular Aravali hills. In addition to the grand sitting area, an intimate dining space, sun deck seating on the private terrace, four- fixture bathroom with a private Jacuzzi, there is a breathtakingly lush and glamorous bedroom with a large circular bed draped with full length gold-hued curtains from floor to ceiling. Guests of this opulent accommodation are accorded personal butler service, and arrival and departure transfers in a vintage luxury car. Rates for this suite and other Grand Suites from INR 210,000.The Hay-Adams, Washington, DC, USA The Federal Suite at The Hay-Adams in Washington, D.C. provides a magnificent view of the front of the White House and the north lawn. It has been home to heads of states, celebrities and high profile VIP’s. Designed by architect Thomas Pheasant, the suite has two bedrooms, three full bathrooms, and a separate living room that boasts a panoramic view of the White House, Lafayette Park, and St. John’s Church. The luxurious master bedroom opens onto a step-out Juliet balcony. The canopy bed is fitted with over-head reading lights and Frette linens. The bathroom radiates the same European ambiance as the rest of the suite. Featuring a marble tub and shower, Etro toiletries, brass fixtures and a state-of-the-art Toto toilet, it is more like a private spa than a hotel bathroom. Rates from USD 8550 per night.The Kahala Hotel & Resort, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA The 2,200-square-foot Imperial Suite at The Kahala Hotel & Resort in Honolulu has a lanai with broad vistas from Diamond Head to Koko Head. Named in honor of a recent stay by the Emperor and Empress of Japan, its details include 100% silk rugs that cost USD 20,000 apiece, custom parquet floors of Big Island koa and ohia woods, and backlit golden onyx countertops. A dramatic mixed-media mural of hand-painted silk and vivid embroidery adorns the pocket doors enclosing the living room. The mural, designed by artist Duff Paulsen, was inspired by the Bishop Museum’s collection of 1920s era depictions of old Hawaii. Like a James Bond movie, the entryway to the second bedroom is disguised as a functioning bookshelf. Equipped with a subtly high-tech bathroom – the shower has loudspeakers and programmable wall – and ceiling-mounted digital showerheads by Kohler, and a vanity mirror with an embedded flat screen television. Rates from USD 10,000 per night.The Greenwich Hotel, New York, USA Conceived as an artist’s atelier, the 2,500-square-foot North Moore Duplex Suite has two bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms – finished with individually hand-laid Moroccan tiles, an office with a separate entrance, and a living and dining area with working stone fireplace – and a soaring 30-foot skylight. Its floors were carefully fashioned from rare, reclaimed chestnut beams, and lend a special warmth. In the serene master bedroom, guests will find a working gas fireplace, an oversized seating area and a generously sized walk-in closet. Other features include a colorful Moroccan tiled Turkish hammam and Finnish sauna. There is a fully fitted chef’s kitchen and pantry and the option of booking a selection of private chefs to prepare and host a dinner en suite. And if more space is needed to accommodate family or friends, the duplex residence can expand to include up to five bedrooms. Rates from USD 5500 per night.Faena Hotel + Universe, Buenos Aires, Argentina The F Suite at Faena Hotel + Universe is the most expensive suite in Latin America. This suite reflects the interior design of a collaboration between Philippe Starck and Alan Faena, and incorporates Imperial-style furniture, red velvet curtains, lapacho wood and arabasceto marble. Traditional Argentine themes and patterns can be found throughout the space and are woven into rugs. A large red Murano glass chandelier hangs in the center of the living room and oil portraits of General and Eva Peron adorn the wall. Guests of the suite receive private access via a residential entrance, and an outdoor terrace with spectacular views of the city. Guests have round-the-clock personal service by a dedicated Experience Manager. Rates from USD 9500 per night.www.lhw.comlast_img read more