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Review to probe three NL inmate deaths We want to find out

first_imgST. JOHN’S, N.L. – Newfoundland and Labrador has announced an independent review of three deaths in provincial jails since August — including two young women in the last five weeks — as grieving families wait for answers.Justice Minister Andrew Parsons said retired police Supt. Marlene Jesso will examine policies, procedures, and how corrections staff responded.“We’re accountable for these individuals that are in our care and control,” Parsons said in an interview.“When you have three in this short span of time, we want to find out what is going on.”Police say an inmate at the Clarenville Correctional Centre for Women died suddenly Saturday, but offered no details on the cause or circumstances.In April, a 27-year-old woman died at the same facility. Police said she had choked on food.And on Aug. 31, a 37-year-old male inmate at Her Majesty’s Penitentiary died suddenly. Police did not indicate the death was suspicious.In the legislature Monday, NDP Leader Gerry Rogers said the death Saturday of Samantha Piercey has left her mother desperate for information.“What’s the minister doing right now to ensure all inmates are safe and properly treated while incarcerated?” she asked.Rogers said the family of Skye Martin, the inmate who died in April, is also without answers.“This is not about casting blame. This is about getting information in a timely manner to the family,” she said during question period. “And it’s about the mental health services in our prisons.”Rogers said Martin spent six weeks at the Waterford psychiatric hospital in St. John’s and was on effective medication when she returned to jail “stable and healthy” in the weeks before her death.“After less than a month, the psychiatrist at the correctional facility altered her medication regime,” Rogers said. “The day she died, she was begging to go back to the hospital for help.”St. John’s lawyer Bob Buckingham said he has been retained by the family of Douglas Neary, the inmate who died Aug. 31, to assess any potential liability.There should be an automatic inquiry when inmates die, he said in an interview. “We should not have had to wait for three deaths before the minister announced an investigation or a review.”Buckingham said it’s not clear whether Jesso is qualified to lead such a process, if she’ll be able to compel evidence or retain experts.Justice officials did not immediately respond.But Parsons said the review, which is to start once investigations by the RCMP and chief medical examiner conclude, does not suggest guards were at fault.“Maybe we have to look at — even if procedure was being followed appropriately — do we require a change of the procedure itself?”Parsons said there’s growing recognition that many people wind up behind bars because of mental health and addiction issues. It’s a revolving door, he added.“To put somebody back inside, without recognizing why they might be there, I think it’s counter-productive and I think there’s a way to do things better.“This is not a Newfoundland and Labrador issue. This is a Canadian, an international issue.”Parsons said Jesso has more than 34 years of investigative experience, including work with the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary.Jerry Earle, president of NAPE, the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees, represents more than 300 correctional staff.“This is really a difficult situation and first I want to pass on condolences to family and friends in this latest incident,” he said in an interview.“We were a little bit taken aback,” he said of frontline staff and union reps. “We heard of this review through a press release.”Earle said a broad analysis could be helpful if it looks at concerns raised by corrections workers for years. They include the long delayed replacement of Her Majesty’s Penitentiary in St. John’s, the province’s largest jail. Critics of all political stripes say it’s an abysmal Victorian throwback that should be razed.Training, equipment, procedures and programs should be assessed to consider growing numbers of inmates with mental health challenges and addictions, Earle said.“Our correctional officers have to attempt to care for these individuals 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”Follow @suebailey on Twitter.last_img read more


Supreme Court of Canadas Clement Gascon stepping down for family reasons

first_imgOTTAWA — Supreme Court Justice Clement Gascon is retiring in September after five years on the high court.The court says Gascon, 58, is stepping down for personal and family reasons.Chief Justice Richard Wagner praises Gascon’s thoughtful, rigorous, and collegial approach that helps the court get to the heart of complex issues.Wagner says Gascon has served Canadians with integrity and wisdom, and that colleagues will miss his commitment and friendship.Gascon says he is profoundly grateful to those who put their trust in him over the years.Gascon was appointed to the Quebec Superior Court in 2002 and joined the Quebec Court of Appeal 10 years later, becoming a Supreme Court justice in June 2014.The Canadian Presslast_img


Kraft Heinz brand baby food recalled due to possibility of insects

first_imgOTTAWA — The federal food safety watchdog says it is recalling a certain brand of baby food due to the possibility of insects being in the product.The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says it is recalling Kraft Heinz Canada’s turkey stew product for babies over eight months.The agency says the baby food was sold in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador.There have been no reported illnesses.The agency says the product should not be consumed and it should be thrown out or returned to the store where it was purchased.The Canadian Presslast_img


Valeant Pharmaceuticals to spend 275 million to upgrade Canadian manufacturing plants

LAVAL, Que. — Valeant Pharmaceuticals says it will expand its Canadian manufacturing and export capacity by spending a total of $27.5 million on plants in Manitoba and Quebec.The plant in Steinbach, Man., will receive $15 million by the end of this year.Valeant will also spend $12.5 million on its plant in Laval, Que., where the company’s headquarters is located.Valeant Pharmaceuticals CEO Joe Papa open to selling core assets if price is rightValeant on buying hiatus, may sell assets to cut $30-billion debt: CEOIts new chairman and CEO said earlier this week that he hopes to revive the battered drug manufacturer following a year of “major distractions.”Joseph Papa took on the leadership role at Valeant about six weeks ago and told the company’s annual shareholder meeting on Tuesday that he hopes it will one day once again be ranked among Canada’s most valuable companies.Its shares closed Thursday at $29.05, down about 90 per cent below the current 52-week high of about $348. read more


Key suspect in bank blast tied to armed raids

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Police investigating a car bomb explosion outside the Bank of Greece last Thursday believe the prime suspect behind the attack is Revolutionary Struggle leader Nikos Maziotis – might have been involved in two armed robberies in the Peloponnese last month, Kathimerini has learned.A source said there were “indications, not evidence, of the possible involvement of Maziotis” in a robbery at a branch of ATEbank in Kleitoria, Achaia prefecture, on March 10 and at a branch of Piraeus Bank in Dorio, Messinia, two weeks later.Police already have linked Maziotis to another four armed raids, one last August in Velestino, in the central prefecture of Magnesia, and the other three in 2012. The 42-year-old has been at large since July 2012, when he violated the terms of his conditional release from prison. In all four raids, the perpetrators were armed with heavy weaponry such as Kalashnikov assault rifles and Skorpion submachine guns.Police suspect that another missing terrorist – November 17 convict Christodoulos Xeros – might have helped Maziotis plan last Thursday’s car bomb attack outside the central bank, which caused damage but no injuries. Xeros has been at large since January, when he violated the terms of a prison furlough.Maziotis and Xeros each have a 1-million-euro bounty on their head.In a letter posted on an anarchist website recently Maziotis denied working with Xeros and participating in armed raids on banks.Source: Kathimerinilast_img read more


Forages en eau profonde ladministration Obama instaure un nouveau moratoire

first_imgForages en eau profonde : l’administration Obama instaure un nouveau moratoireÉtats-Unis – Suite à l’annulation par la justice d’un premier moratoire sur les forages en eaux profondes, le gouvernement américain en a instauré un nouveau lundi. Celui-ci doit être maintenu jusqu’au 30 novembre prochain.Alors que BP tente toujours de trouver un moyen de colmater la fuite de pétrole qui s’échappe depuis le 20 avril dans le golfe du Mexique, l’administration Obama n’a pas perdu de temps pour instaurer un nouveau moratoire visant à sécuriser l’industrie pétrolière.À lire aussiUne marée noire de 50 000 litres souille l’île de Koh Sameh en Thaïlande”Plus de 80 jours après le début de la marée noire, une pause dans les forages en eaux profondes est essentielle et appropriée pour protéger les communautés, les côtes et la vie sauvage face aux risques que font actuellement peser ces forages”, insiste dans un communiqué le secrétaire américain à l’Intérieur, Ken Salazar. Et d’ajouter avoir fondé sa décision “sur l’évidence chaque jour plus importante de l’incapacité du secteur pétrolier à endiguer une explosion catastrophique, à réagir à une marée noire et à opérer de manière sûre”.Ce nouveau moratoire d’une durée de six mois n’interdit pas les forages selon la profondeur d’eau comme le premier, mais selon les configurations et les technologies de forage. Comme le précise le communiqué, sont autorisés les forages en eaux peu profondes qui correspondent aux exigences sécuritaires et environnementales.Le 14 juillet 2010 à 10:32 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more


Incendies en Russie les habitants désertent la capitale enfumée découvrez la vidéo

first_imgIncendies en Russie : les habitants désertent la capitale enfumée, découvrez la vidéoMoscou, Russie – Alors que l’air de la capitale russe devient chaque jour un peu plus irrespirable, les habitants inquiets pour leur santé désertent la ville. Autour de Moscou, les incendies continuent à faire rage. Malgré l’annonce d’une légère amélioration hier et la déclaration de Sergueï Choïgou, ministre des Situations d’urgence, qui a évoqué une possible maîtrise des incendies de tourbières “en cinq à sept jours”, les inquiétudes grandissent dans une capitale russe obscurcie par la fumée des feux de tourbières et de forêts qui l’entourent. À lire aussiL’étrange comportement d’une flamme dans l’espaceLa visibilité minimum perturbe sérieusement le trafic aérien, et cloue au sol de nombreux appareils à l’aéroport de Domodedovo. Et pourtant, “au cours de la semaine écoulée, la demande pour des billets au départ de Moscou vendus en ligne a augmenté de 20 %”, annonçait à l’antenne d’Echo, une radio moscovite, la porte-parole de l’Union russe des tour-opérateurs. Les habitants ne supportent plus les températures suffocantes (38°C à Moscou hier) et les niveaux de monoxyde de carbone, trois à six fois supérieurs à la normale le week-end dernier. Alors que grandissent les craintes concernant la santé publique, la mauvaise gestion de cette crise par les autorités provoque la grogne de la population. Le maire de Moscou, Iouri Loujkov, vient ainsi seulement de rentrer de vacances, vacances qu’il avait refusé d’écourter pour une prétendue blessure due à la pratique sportive. Le bilan des incendies dans le pays s’élève aujourd’hui à cinquante-deux victimes, tandis que 190.400 hectares sont la proie des flammes. Découvrez une vidéo de Moscou prisonnière de la fumée : https://www.maxisciences.com/incendie/moscou-etouffee-par-la-fumee-des-incendies-qui-l-039-entourent_art8651.htmlLe 9 août 2010 à 12:08 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more


Tanisha Harris announces run for 17th District

first_imgTanisha Harris, a child advocate and a familiar face on the local political scene, has announced that she’s running for state Legislature.Harris, a Democrat, will challenge state Rep. Vicki Kraft, a Vancouver Republican who is in her first term representing the 17th Legislative District.“I just felt that our (legislative district) can have better representation, and we need someone who shares our middle and working-class values,” Harris said on why she’s running.Harris said she took issue with Kraft’s vote against a recent bill concerning mental health (Harris didn’t have the specifics at the time). She also faulted Kraft for voting against a bill that would have barred landlords from refusing to rent to people who receive federal housing subsidies.Kraft has offered legislation to look at the possibility of adding a third bridge between Oregon and Southwest Washington. Most of Clark County’s legislative delegation is focused on restarting talks with Oregon to replace the aging Interstate 5 Bridge, which is often congested. Harris said she wants more transportation options for the bridge. She said she’s not opposed to light rail, but she’s not insistent on it either.last_img read more


Police search for missing Miami teen

first_imgMIAMI (WSVN) – Miami Police are asking for the public’s help in locating a missing 14-year-old boy.Nathaniel Anderson has been missing since Aug. 25.He was last seen in the area of Northwest 10th Avenue and 42nd Street in Miami.Nathaniel is a black male, who stands at 5 feet and weighs 90 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes.Police said he was last seen wearing a white Polo shirt and khaki pants.If you have any information on Nathaniel’s whereabouts, contact the Miami Police Department at (305) 603-6300 or (305) 603-6310.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img


Virgin Denies Playboy

first_imgAfter rumors of his interest in acquiring Playboy sent its stock on a short flight, Virgin Atlantic CEO Richard Branson said today his company has no interest in buying the magazine.”Reports that Virgin Group is looking to buy Playboy Enterprises are untrue,” a Virgin spokesperson said in an-email to Reuters.On Wednesday, the Daily Mail reported Branson was “tipped as a potential buyer.” The story followed a report in the New York Post that Playboy was quietly floating an asking price of $300 million, or about three times its market cap, for the company.The Virgin/Playboy rumor sent the publisher’s stock from $2.80 cents per share at the market open Wednesday to $3.38 a share—or about 20 percent—by midday Wednesday. (The stock closed at $3.20 per share Thursday.) During a February conference call, interim Playboy CEO Jerome Kern said the company would be open to discussions of a possible sale. Even without a sale, though, it has already been a transformative—and rocky—year for Playboy’s business.In January, Christie Hefner, daughter of founder Hugh Hefner and Playboy’s CEO of 20 years, stepped down.That same month, Playboy said it would close its New York offices and combine its print and online editorial operations. Jimmy Jellinek—former top editor of Maxim who served as senior vice president of Playboy’s digital content division—was promoted to editorial director, overseeing the company’s combined editorial content. Chris Napolitano, who served as editorial director of the print magazine, stepped down.Earlier this month, while the company reported a $13.7 million quarterly loss, Kern said Playboy is considering “radical changes” of the print business model, including price increases, a frequency reduction and lowering its rate base of 2.6 million. The company also said it would combine Playboy’s July and August issues into a double issue. Last October, Playboy eliminated 80 positions across the company in a cost-cutting effort, and closed its DVD business.last_img read more


Andhra Ruchulu attracts foodies in Visakhapatnam

first_imgVisakhapatnam: The menu has ‘pandumirchi kodi pulao’ made with chillies sourced from Guntur, ‘Godavari chepala pulusu’, ‘avakai’ rice which can be paired with chicken or mutton or prawns, among other items in the list. The on-going ‘Andhra Ruchulu’ food festival at Vivana Hotel, has options for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians to pick up from. Also Read – Three of a family commits suicide at Amalapuram in East Godavari Advertise With Us Though the number of dishes that dot the menu seem to be a little short, what makes this festival distinct is the amount of care taken to prepare them to incorporate hand-ground spices sans preservatives, tasting salt and non-permitted colours. “The idea is to serve safe food to the diners, retaining natural colour and flavours. We are very particular about the ingredients we use for cooking and our kitchen shelves do not have dalda or synthetic food colours,” says D Manik Raj, Managing Director of the hotel. The kitchen here is open to those who want to get a glimpse of its maintenance. Also Read – Saaho movie tickets pricey in Nellore Advertise With Us The comforting ‘avakai pappu annam’ and unique ‘kakarakai karam annam’ are some of the flavoured rice available for vegetarians. Executive chef K Gopal Krishna, who worked in Maldives-based restaurants for a couple of years, says that ‘Koremanu fish fry pulav’ is done marinating the deep-fried fish and steaming them along with rice over a low flame. “Similarly, ‘menthi vankaya karam’ rice is dished out using stuffed brinjal with assorted spice powder and steamed with rice. The process of cooking is pretty slow to derive an outstanding flavour,” he explains. Soon the hotel intends to add an array of sea food items to its menu, catering to the needs of locals.last_img read more


Karnataka Gujarat decide to lift ban on Maggi noodles

first_imgThe Karnataka government on Monday lifted its ban on the sale of Maggi noodles across the state with immediate effect, Health Minister U.T.Khader said in Bengaluru.”As no food testing laboratories have quantified the extent of lead and monosodium glutamate (MSG) content in Maggi noodles, the ban on its sale in the state is withdrawn with immediate effect,” he told reporters.The popular instant noodle brand of Nestle was banned in the state in June following a directive from watchdog Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).Meanwhile, PTI has reported from Ahmedabad that the ban on the sale of Maggi noodles was removed in the state after the Bombay High Court lifted the nationwide ban on the popular instant noodles in August.”FDCA had lifted the ban on Maggi in Gujarat during August after the Bombay High Court passed an order to lift the ban across India. We took the decision based on the court order,” Gujarat Food and Drug Control Authority (FDCA) Commissioner HG Koshia told Press Trust of India.The Gujarat government had banned the sale of Maggi for a month in June this year after the lead and monosodium glutamate levels in the noodles were found to be above the prescribed limits. Later, the ban was subsequently extended till September. However, the Gujarat FDCA revoked the ban mid-way in August after the court order.last_img read more


Tata Steel board removes Nusli Wadia as independent director

first_imgTata Steel shareholders, late on Wednesday, voted to remove Nusli Wadia as independent director of the Tata Steel board. Almost 90 percent of shareholders have voted in favour of Wadia’s ouster.On Thursday morning, Tata Steel issued a regulatory filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange making public the results of the voting. As per the company statement, 56.79 crore votes of the total 62.55 crore votes were in favour of removal of Nusli Wadia. Tata Sons had called for the Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) to vote out independent director Nusli Wadia from the board of Tata Group companies on the grounds that he (Wadia) was acting in concert with ousted Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry. By voting Wadia out, the shareholders have shown strong support to Tata Sons interim chairman Ratan Tata. The latest development comes in the background of the legal tussle currently going on between Ratan Tata and Cyrus Mistry. Incidentally, Nusli Wadia had been accused of “acting in concert” with the ousted chairman. On December 16, Wadia filed a defamation lawsuit against Tata Sons and is seeking a compensation of Rs 3,000 crore in damages.On his part, Wadia had claimed that Tata Sons could not provide proof to support its accusations made against him. Relations between old friends Ratan Tata and Nusli Wadia have soured over the last few weeks, with allegations flying both ways.last_img read more


Sandra Blands Phone Video Of Her Own Arrest Surfaces Reviving Calls For

first_imgNearly four years after Sandra Bland was pulled over by a Texas state trooper, arrested and put in a jail cell where she was found dead days later, a cellphone video that Bland took of her traffic stop has surfaced.Bland’s family members now say they want her case reopened.“Open up the case, period,” Bland’s sister Shante Needham said after seeing the video, according to TV station WFAA in Dallas. The family’s former lawyer says the state never turned over the footage, which Texas officials dispute.The main record of Bland’s controversial arrest had been dashcam footage captured by a state trooper’s SUV in Prairie View, Texas. But that changed Monday night with the release of Bland’s recording, which was acquired by reporter Brian Collister of the Investigative Network and broadcast on WFAA.“What this video shows is, it’s almost literally through Sandra Bland’s eyes,” Collister tells member station Houston Public Media, in an interview Tuesday for the Houston Matters show.The newly released video shows 39 seconds of the roadside encounter that sharply escalated after state Trooper Brian Encinia pulled Bland over for failing to signal a lane change.In the footage, Encinia is heard ordering Bland out of her car. She asks why — and Encinia responds by drawing his Taser, pointing it directly at Bland and yelling at her, “I will light you up!”“Wow,” Bland says as she gets out and moves around the back of the car with the officer. “You’re doing all this for a failure to signal.”“Yeah, let’s take this to court,” she adds. “Let’s do it. For a failure to signal.”Encinia then orders Bland to put down her phone, prompting her to say she has the right to record what is happening. It ends moments later.The video, which had not been seen publicly, prompted the Bland family’s former attorney, Cannon Lambert, to accuse the Texas Department of Public Safety of not divulging the footage’s existence during the civil case over her death. In an email to Houston Public Media, the state agency responded by saying the phone video “is not newly discovered and has in no way been concealed by the department.”The statement Tuesday adds that “the video from Ms. Bland’s cellphone has been treated as public information and made available upon request.”Bland’s death by hanging was ruled a suicide — a finding that her family and their advocates have questioned. Bland’s mother and sister have also said that regardless of how her death was classified, the 28-year-old should not have been jailed for three days over a traffic stop.Bland died in Waller County, northwest of Houston. In late 2016, her family reached a $1.9 million wrongful-death settlement with the county and the Texas Department of Public Safety. But Bland’s relatives have also pushed for criminal charges against Encinia, who was fired by the Texas DPS.The only criminal charge filed in Bland’s case was one of perjury against Encinia. He was accused of lying on his official report about what happened during the traffic stop. But prosecutors dropped that charge after he agreed to forfeit his license and not work in law enforcement again.As Collister sees it, the new video undermines a key assertion by Encinia and his defense lawyer — that he was in fear for his safety.“He clearly is not acting as though he was in jeopardy,” Collister says. “He sees the phone in her hand — in fact, he tells her to put it down.”The reporter says Darrell Jordan, who was one of the special prosecutors who worked on the criminal inquiry into the case, confirmed that prosecutors had received the cellphone video. But Jordan, who has since become a judge, was not able to say whether a grand jury had seen the footage, citing secrecy rules around grand juries.Bland’s family believes the video was intentionally not made public, Collister says. According to Houston Public Media, the reporter first obtained the video in 2017, but it wasn’t used in a story at the time. It was only after Collister realized Bland’s family had not seen the recording that he decided to make it public.Collister says the video should raise questions for state Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office, which represented the Department of Public Safety in the federal wrongful-death lawsuit. Collister says he had been seeking information on whether prosecutors from that office complied with a discovery order and turned over the video during the civil suit.“We have not gotten a word, and we’ve been trying for a week,” he says.Houston Public Media’s Davis Land contributed to this report.Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org. Sharelast_img read more


Baltimore City Circuit Court Clerk Lavinia Alexander Dead at 62

first_imgLavinia Alexander, who succeeded long-time Baltimore City Circuit Court clerk Frank Conaway Sr. after his passing in 2015, died Nov. 8 of a heart attack at Sinai Hospital at age 62, according to media reports.Baltimore City Circuit Court Clerk, Lavinia Alexander. (Courtesy Photo)“We are profoundly saddened by the untimely death of our clerk of court,” said W. Michel Pierson, administrative judge for the Circuit Court, who further praised the Northwest Baltimore resident for her “professionalism” and “considerable knowledge of court operations,” in a statement to the press.Before she was appointed to the position of clerk of courts, Alexander served as chief deputy clerk under Conaway for more than 14 years. Before that, she spent more than two decades in the financial industry, including stints as a loan acquisitions officer for Signet Bank and as manager of corporate customer relations for Explore, Inc., a national educational enrichment program for youth.“The Baltimore City Circuit Court is the busiest in the state, particularly the criminal docket,” Pierson said at the time of Alexander’s appointment. “It is essential to maintain the efficiency of this high functioning, high-traffic court. Ms. Alexander is uniquely and eminently qualified for this position, having extensive experience and expertise in managing the services the Clerk’s Office provides.”Chief Deputy Clerk Marilyn Bentley will serve as acting clerk.A native Baltimorean, Alexander matriculated at Edmondson High School, Morgan State University, the American Banking Institute and the National Center for State Court’s Institute for Court Management.According to The Baltimore Sun, Alexander is survived by her husband, Curtis Alexander and daughter, Kristal Pickett; parents, Robert Wyatt and Clementine Watkins; three brothers, Wayne Wyatt, William Wyatt and Wesley Wyatt; and two sisters, Veronica Barnes and Sharon Myles, all of Baltimore.last_img read more


Metropolitan Hosts Intersect DC to Close Faith Gap

first_imgAs part of the Metropolitan AME Church’s mission to educate they masses, the church is currently holding Intersect DC—to help close the gap that exists between faith and questions. Each Wednesday at noon, the church, located at 1518 M Street NW, is making the word real and relevant through honest conversation, rooted in the teachings of the Bible and led by William Lamar, IV, pastor at Metropolitan AME Church. The event is scheduled from noon until 1 p.m.last_img


When A Police Force Doesnt Match the Population It Serves – Still

first_imgSubmitted to the AFRO by George H. Lambert, President & CEO of Greater Washington Urban LeagueA recent lawsuit filed by Prince George’s County police officers along with key area civil rights groups shows us something that is an all too familiar narrative in the fabric of American life: there are not only increasing tensions between law enforcement and the diverse, particularly Black and Brown, citizens they are sworn to protect, but many of the officers themselves are engaged in behavior that can only be characterized as active targeting of both residents and fellow officers of color.This is what’s alleged in the complaint filed as part of a joint legal effort between the Hispanic National Law Enforcement Association and the United Black Police Officers Association, in conjunction with the Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland and law firm Arnold & Porter providing support.We’ve seen this trend accelerating like wildfire throughout the rest of the nation. It is the routine racial profiling of diverse citizens and the alarmingly incessant rate at which Black citizens are targeted by false 911 calls and, more tragically, police officers who are more inclined to gun down unarmed Black people than dangerous, armed white men committing mass murder. Hence, we are sadly adapting to a world whereby an innocent Black man is shot by a police officer in his own apartment for simply being there – while an armed-to-the-teeth white man, for example, murders 11 people in a synagogue then injures several officers afterwards … and survives his encounter with responding police.In some ways the Washington, D.C. community, particularly places like majority-Black Prince George’s County, considers itself relatively insulated from these trends.  Perhaps, because 65 percent of county residents are Black, it enjoys a Black-led government, and because it possesses the highest concentration of middle-class to affluent African Americans (including African and Caribbean migrants) in the nation. As a result, there is an occasional tendency to assume Prince George’s County, Maryland could never turn into Ferguson, Missouri.What’s alleged in this latest lawsuit, however, warns us against complacency. These are also familiar concerns. While the complaints from Black and Latino officers provide a fresh glimpse into the inner workings and racially-charged psyche of the county’s police department, they are not new. Maryland has the 5th largest Black statewide population in the country, according to Census figures, and yet state and local law enforcement are not proportional to various city and county demographics. In Prince George’s County, while 65 percent of the population is Black, only 43 percent of the police force is the same. Meanwhile, Whites are over-represented: while White residents account for just under 27 percent of the county’s population, they constitute 47 percent of county police officers.That doesn’t look like culturally competent policing.  If anything, it’s culturally lopsided. And it’s one obvious ingredient creating an unnecessary breakdown in trust from residents and officers of color.  This reality should prompt county leaders and the county police chief to take immediate and dramatic steps toward achieving racial parity in the police department.In meeting that goal, the county must be a lot more transparent with the police department’s data than it’s ever been.  Those numbers aren’t available on the agency website for all residents to access when they should be.  We also don’t know how many county officers live within the community they patrol versus the number of officers who don’t. A comprehensive annual report which includes crucial information such as officer demographic data, the percentage of officers who live within the county and a tally of citizen complaints and officer-involved shootings would be an important first step in the right direction.  Prince George’s County residents shouldn’t have to wait for a lawsuit or a Justice Department probe to finally access information on how their local law enforcement agency works.Diversity recruitment efforts should also be an immediate and top priority for the department, with a mission towards matching agency demographics to community demographics.  Transparency around that effort is also key, but greater inclusion of the general public in that process, including collaboration with local non-profits and community institutions would be essential.  Diversity by itself is not the complete key; research, such as a 2004 National Research Council study and a 2006 Fayetteville State University study, offer a mixed picture on outcomes. But diversity, when combined with a mission to ensure racially proportional agency leadership and the aggressive training of officers, is proven to help substantially.Perhaps it’s time to also revisit residency requirements for Prince George’s County police officers.Research on the effectiveness of residency requirements in major police departments is still ongoing.  But there are clear economic, social and political benefits. There is consensus around an urgent need to design a police department that is as familiar as possible with the community it patrols and protects. Even if there is no appetite for a mandatory residency provision, the department should re-examine its efforts to not only recruit diverse candidates, but to give more priority to county residents and to also encourage others to live in the county.  Should policymakers and police unions disagree with that proposal then perhaps its worth looking into creative versions. For example, it could be viewed as a major “option” with incentives. Or there could be “tours of duty” in which non-resident officers become stakeholders by rooming briefly in the districts they patrol.It will be a long and difficult process to eliminate any form of racial discrimination in the Prince George’s County police department.  But it will be necessary, especially during the age we live in. Plus, it’s just smart governance.  County law enforcement should be much more proactive at addressing these issues given rising tensions and current events. It has no choice and it is duty bound to do so.George H. Lambert, President & CEO of Greater Washington Urban League.The opinions on this page are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the AFRO.Send letters to The Afro-American • 1531 S. Edgewood St. Baltimore, MD 21227 or fax to 1-877-570-9297 or e-mail to editor@afro.com.last_img read more


Watch IBMs Watson Created a Super Creepy Movie Trailer All By Itself

first_img Register Now » Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. 3 min read IBM’s artificial intelligence powerhouse Watson can now add “cinematic genius” to its virtual resume.For its forthcoming suspense/horror movie, Morgan, 20th Century Fox looked to IBM’s Watson to create one of its movie trailers. The movie is about an artificially enhanced human who gets herself into a lot of trouble.An AI creating a movie trailer for a movie about an AI-infused human. So meta. The result is 100 percent creepy goodness. See for yourself above.Related: No Bull! This Robot Could Put Cowboys Out of Work.To do this, IBM researchers enabled Watson to analyze the trailers of 100 horror movies, looking at the visuals, the audio (such as the character’s tone of voice and the musical score), and each scene’s composition (such the location of the shot, the image framing and the lighting).Then, Watson “watched” Morgan and selected 10 scenes its algorithms “believed” would make for the perfect trailer — a total of six minutes of footage. IBM worked with a human filmmaker to splice the scenes together and voila, a movie trailer is artificially born!Morgan hits theaters September 2. As of this writing, the Watson-generated trailer has 800,000+ views on YouTube.Related: This Gizmo Literally Lets You See Through Walls“There are patterns and types of emotions in horror movies that resonate differently with each viewer, and the intricacies and interrelation of these are what an AI system would have to identify and understand in order to create a compelling movie trailer,” John R. Smith, IBM Fellow and manager of multimedia and vision said in a post announcing the project. “Our team was faced with the challenge of not only teaching a system to understand, ‘what is scary’, but then to create a trailer that would be considered ‘frightening and suspenseful’ by a majority of viewers.The traditional process of sorting through movie footage and creating a movie trailer can take anywhere between 10 and 30 days to complete, Smith said. With Watson at the wheel, this trailer was whipped up in just about 24 hours. “That is the true power of AI,” he said.Related: Your Next Trip to Disney Could End in a Real Lightsaber FightFor me, what “made” the trailer was how those suspenseful movie scenes were paired with creeeeeeepy sounds and music. While Watson picked the scenes, IBM’s filmmaker chose the score.Score one for Watson. Score one for humans, too.center_img September 1, 2016 Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Globallast_img read more


Forest Holidays Enjoy wild adventure or just relax in the woods

first_imgForest Holidays offers everything you need for a therapeutic getaway – a luxurious cabin with a hot tub, a taste of the wild and a fully-equipped kitchen to prepare the local gourmet food.We headed to Thorpe Forest to check out one of the nine Forest Holidays locations dotted around Britain. The concept is the same in all of them. You get to immerse yourself in Britain’s beautiful woodlands in complete luxury.Inside the Forest Holiday lodgesThe lodges are cleverly positioned so you don’t overlook your neighbors and can enjoy peace and privacy.The best feature of all the cabins is outside – the terrace and hot tub. As soon as you arrive you’ll want to sink yourself into the hot water with a plastic glass (safety first) of prosecco in hand. Then just lie there and look up at the trees.In the hot tub at Forest Holidays.If you are anything like us, you’ll still be lying there through the sunset and find yourself staring up at the Milky Way.Beside the hot tub, the terrace is so completely integrated with forest that trees grow through the decking.Even inside you feel part of the woodland. The high, pitched ceilings are supported by exposed wooden beams. And floor to ceiling windows frame stunning views of the forest.The open-plan kitchen, dining and living room area feels spacious and the underfloor heating makes it snug even on frosty winter days.Relaxing in the comfortable Forest Holidays lodge lounge.Our Silver Birch cabin had two bedrooms, one double with an ensuite shower room and the other a twin with a separate bathroom. But Forest Holidays has a range of lodges for two people upwards. At the top of the range is a stunning treehouse sleeping 10.Also on site, the Forest Retreat has a shop selling quality, ready-prepared meals, wine and beer. Alternatively, the Forest Retreat Café is on hand for every meal from cooked breakfasts to snacks to burgers, pizzas and curries.If you are feeling even more lazy, you can order food to be delivered to your lodge. In fact, you can even organise a masseur to drop by for some deep tissue relaxation.Mountain bike, canoe or zip wireFor all the pampering you can get inside your lodge, the best thing about a Forest Holiday is getting out into the open air.Enjoy an adventure in the woods.All the locations offer bike and cycle helmet hire. We found it totally exhilarating to jump on a mountain bike and try some of the trails. There’s plenty of choice from safe cycle paths to more challenging rides, so you shouldn’t feel nervous.Thorpe Forest also offers canoeing on a calm river. Again, even beginners can take this on as the staff give you a full safety briefing. If you haven’t tried it before you’ll find it’s the most peaceful way possible to get close to the river’s wildlife. And it feels like a real adventure.If you are a true adrenaline junkie, many of the Forest Holidays locations are near Go Ape centers. This is the UK’s premier outdoor adventure chain.It’s the way to get off the forest floor and up into the canopy as you leap off Tarzan swings, walk across rope bridges or sail down zip wires. They tailor the experiences to all ages and tastes, so even mini monkeys can get involved. And Forest Holidays guests get a 10% discount.Once upon a time, England had the finest archers in the world. In fact, in 1363 King Edward III decreed that every able-bodied man had to spend their holidays practicing archery. It may not be the law anymore, but Forest Holidays lets you step back in time and try your bow hand at this traditional skill.And even if none of that is right for you, there’s more to choose from. You can choose from 4×4 driving, clay target shooting, climbing or more.Forest bathing, where you relax and absorb the peace of the woodlands, is a new activity for Forest Holidays.Take a stroll and breathe deepYou don’t have to make any special effort to get close to wildlife once you’re in Thorpe Forest.If you are lucky and stay quiet, you may see an elegant muntjac deer wander past your cabin. You’ll certainly hear the hoots of tawny owls and perhaps the rustle of hedgehogs in the undergrowth.Out in the nearby meadows, get out your binoculars to spot kestrels, buzzards or barn owls swooping over you. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) GAYSTARNEWS-center_img Highland cattle graze in the meadows.The real experts are the dedicated Forest Rangers. They offer a range of activities to help get you closer to nature. You can learn bushcraft on a forest survival course or don night vision goggles for a tour of the woodland’s nocturnal wildlife.A walk in the woods can relieve even the most stressed urbanite. Now Forest Holidays have taken that a step further by introducing the Japanese healing practice of Forest Bathing to the UK.Very simply, the Japanese believe that spending time in the woods can be medicinal. In fact, it’s a cornerstone of preventative healthcare in Japan. They spend millions on researching it and a quarter of the population regularly visit one of 48 officially designated Forest Therapy bases.Take the chance to look at nature up close.Here in Thorpe Forest, the guides tell you to leave all your devices behind for the three-hour Forest Bathing session. Once in the forest, you walk slowly, breathing, opening up your senses. The idea is to shed your stress and become mindful and relaxed among the beauty of nature.After you have fully immersed yourself, you finish with a traditional Japanese tea ceremony with your guide and other guests. Even this is part of the woodland experience, as the tea is made from plants foraged from the forest.Exploring beyond Thorpe ForestForest Holidays is part owned by the Forestry Commission which cares for woods across England and Wales. And one of the commission’s most beautiful sites is Lynford Arboretum, a short drive from the Thorpe Forest lodges.The arboretum showcases an incredible range of trees, set in beautiful parkland with a range of walking trails.A forest glade at Lynford Arboretum.When we visited, it was autumn and the trees were dressed in every shade of copper, gold and bronze. Right now, the spring flowers will be poking their heads through the forest floor and the large glades will be painted purple by bluebells. Soon, blossom will cover the trees.To explore a very different natural landscape, head to The Broads, where you’ll find a postcard-perfect landscape of waterways and thatched cottages. Get into a boat – even if it’s only a canoe. That’s the very best way to explore the lakes and rivers and get close to the wildlife.This part of the UK is also famous for the food it produces. We headed over to the seaside town of Cromer, famous for its crabs. You can enjoy stunning views from the fading grandeur of its promenade. And there are multiple fishmongers to buy the delicious dressed crabs. The sea around Cromer is particularly nutrient rich, giving the brown crabs a fragrant flavour with tender meat.The market at the nearby town of Bury St Edmunds is another great place to buy local. There are lots of food stalls from fresh, local vegetables and fruit to exotic foreign delicacies.We bought the ingredients for this traybake at the local market.Bury St Edmunds also boasts some good independent shops, including a retail outlet for the local Adnams Brewery. Adnams has been turning out cask ales in the area since 1872.A little further afield you can explore the little city of Ely. It’s cathedral is particularly stunning with a richly painted ceiling in the nave. Or you could head to the university city of Cambridge, board a punt on the River Cam, lay back and float under the Bridge of Sighs.Find out more about Forest HolidaysForest Holidays has modern, comfortable cabins and cool treehouses in nine Forestry Commission locations around Britain. Locations are child and dog friendly. Visit their site here.Also on Gay Star NewsForest of Dean: Outdoor adventure with added hot tub and prosecco Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . 5 incredible UK beach destinations for a perfect seaside summer6 rustic lodges with a view for your next UK sweet escape10 gorgeous luxury lodge locations in the UK that are perfect for couplesRead the full article on Gaystarnews:  :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/forest-holidays-enjoy-wild-adventure-just-relax-woods/last_img read more


April 14 1997 Pouring a small utility slab near t

first_imgApril 14, 1997Pouring a small utility slab near the batch plant.last_img