Families now have a single point of access to more than 3,000 government, community and social programs provincewide, thanks to government investment in the new 211 information and referral system. The 211 service is live today, Feb. 11. “There are Nova Scotians who are looking for information on resources to help them care for their children, their aging parents and themselves. 211 can help them find the right government service or community program when they need it,” said Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations Minister John MacDonell, on behalf of Premier Darrell Dexter. “Through 211, government is keeping its commitment to make life better for families.” Cape Breton Nova MLA Gordie Gosse will attend an event celebrating the 211 service in Cape Breton on Tuesday, Feb. 12, and will speak about the benefits the program will have for people in rural areas. In 2011, government committed $585,000 for start-up funding, which will gradually increase over the next five years to $945,000. 211 differs from other similar numbers in that it connects Nova Scotians to non-emergency government, community, and social programs and services. “With the launch of 211, we’ve reached a major milestone on the path to connecting Nova Scotians with the community and social services they need, as soon as they need them,” said Chuck Hartlen, chair of the 211 Nova Scotia board and senior vice-president, customer experience, Bell Aliant. “Whether it’s through 211’s highly trained information specialists or the website, the service offers access to the most thorough database of community and socials services in Nova Scotia. “It’s a great, collaborative system that will save valuable time for the organizations involved, and, most importantly, for Nova Scotians who call in looking for help.” While the 211 service is confidential, it will serve a valuable role in gathering data and helping government and community planners identify any gaps in services. “I’ve looked forward to this moment from the day I arrived at United Way,” said Catherine Woodman, president and CEO of United Way Halifax Region. “Since 2002, we’ve been advocating for a 211 service. We brought together people and organizations from across the province to help make 211 a reality. “From now on, Nova Scotians don’t have to struggle through a complex network of services and service providers to find the help that is available. Help is literally now at our fingertips.” 211 is available in English, French and a variety of other languages, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Nova Scotians can access 211 by phone, e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or online at ns.211.ca .
The province and Halifax Regional Municipality announced today, June 24, the appointment of the first board of directors of the Halifax Convention Centre Corp. “This board brings the right mix of skills, expertise and business background to ensure the organization’s success now and into the future,” said Business Minister Mark Furey. “They will play a key role in ensuring the Halifax Convention Centre creates a positive impact for Nova Scotia well beyond its opening.” The board includes a mix of Nova Scotia business and community leaders who will provide strategic guidance to the organization. “It was a very hard choice between extremely well-qualified candidates,” said Mayor Mike Savage. “The result is a board that will serve the Halifax Convention Centre and the broader community with experience and professionalism.” The provincial appointees are: Louise-Anne Comeau, co-founder and managing director of CM Advisory, a business consultancy company Jeff Forbes, president and managing partner of Knightsbridge Robertson Surrette and a member of the Trade Centre Ltd. board of directors Greg Keefe, former chief financial officer for Halifax Regional Municipality and has held deputy minister roles with the province Nancy MacCready-Williams, chief executive officer of Doctors Nova Scotia The Halifax Convention Centre Act, which came into effect on April 1, requires the two levels of government to jointly appoint the board of directors. The 10-member board consists of eight appointed members in addition to the deputy minister of the Department of Business and the chief administrative officer of Halifax Regional Municipality. The board’s primary role is to oversee the strategic direction of the organization and ensure it carries out its mandate effectively. The legislation also requires reporting to the provincial and municipal governments, including annual audited financial statements, a report on the effectiveness and competitiveness of the centre’s operations, and a five-year strategic plan. The municipal appointees are: Wayne Crawley, senior advisor for a number of private companies and current vice-chair for Trade Centre Ltd. board of directors James MacNeil, managing partner of the law firm BOYNECLARKE LLP Barbara Manning, past president and CEO of Genieknows , a digital advertising service provider Justin McDonough, partner and certified financial planner with Matthews McDonough Financial Planning and the current chair for Trade Centre Ltd. board of directors
Tehran: Iran’s Revolutionary Guards denied on Thursday that they had impeded a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, the force’s Sepah news agency said. “There has been no confrontation in the last 24 hours with any foreign vessels, including British ones,” the Revolutionary Guards said in a statement. Britain said Thursday three Iranian boats had attempted to “impede the passage” of a British oil tanker in Gulf waters, forcing UK warship HMS Montrose to intervene. Also Read – Imran Khan arrives in China, to meet Prez Xi JinpingThe Guards’ statement said that if they were ordered to seize foreign vessels they would do so “immediately, decisively and speedily.” The incident follows the detention of an Iranian oil tanker by Britain on July 4 off the coast of Gibraltar, a tiny British overseas territory on Spain’s southern tip. The 330 metre (1,000 feet) Grace 1 tanker, capable of carrying two million barrels of oil, was halted by police and customs in Gibraltar with the aid of a detachment of British Royal Marines. Also Read – US blacklists 28 Chinese entities over abuses in XinjiangIran condemned the detention as an “illegal interception,” but Gibraltar officials said that the cargo was believed to be destined for Syria, which is subject to European sanctions. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned Britain on Wednesday of the “consequences” of what he described as “a foolish act”. “I point out to the British that you initiated insecurity (on the seas) and you shall grasp the consequences of it later on,” Rouhani said in comments to the cabinet broadcast by state TV. On Monday Iran’s defence minister had vowed to respond to Britain’s move. Calling the tanker seizure an act of maritime piracy, Brigadier-General Amir Hatami said it “will not be tolerated by us and will not go without a response.” The secretary of Iran’s Expediency Council, a key advisory and arbitration body, warned that if Britain failed to release the tanker Iran would be forced to take tit-for-tat action. “If Britain does not release the Iranian oil tanker, the relevant authorities will be duty-bound to take reciprocal action and seize a British oil tanker,” said council secretary Mohsen Rezai. The incident follows a spike in Iranian-US tensions in recent weeks, with Washington blaming Tehran for multiple attacks on tanker ships, and the Islamic republic shooting down an American surveillance drone. It also comes as Europe mulls how to respond to Tehran breaching the uranium enrichment limit it agreed to under a landmark 2015 nuclear deal abandoned by the United States.
HALIFAX – A provincial court judge in Nova Scotia has been appointed to preside over the fatality inquiry into the deaths of Afghanistan war veteran Lionel Desmond and his family.The Nova Scotia judiciary issued a statement Thursday saying Warren K. Zimmer was appointed to the post by Judge Pamela Williams, chief judge of the provincial court.The provincial government promised an inquiry last December, almost a year after Desmond fatally shot himself and his mother, wife and 10-year-old daughter in rural home in Upper Big Tracadie, N.S.The 33-year-old soldier had been diagnosed with PTSD after two harrowing tours in Afghanistan in 2007.When the inquiry’s terms of reference were released in May, provincial Justice Minister Mark Furey said the Nova Scotia government hoped to learn the circumstances of the deaths and how they could be prevented in the future.Among other things, the inquiry will examine whether Desmond had access to appropriate mental health services, and whether his family had access to domestic violence intervention services.Zimmer will also consider whether health care and social services providers who interacted with Desmond were trained to recognize occupational stress injuries or domestic violence, and also whether Desmond should have been able to keep or obtain a licence enabling him to purchase a firearm.In addition, the final report is to consider if there were any restrictions in the flow of Veteran Affairs or Defence Department records to provincial health personnel.The rare probe will be the first in the province in over a decade.Zimmer was called to the Nova Scotia bar in 1978. He worked as a Crown prosecutor until 1983 when he entered private practice, specializing in criminal law. He was appointed to the bench in 2011.As well, the Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service has appointed Allen Murray as the inquiry’s prosecutor.Murray, the chief Crown attorney in Antigonish, spent four years as a staff lawyer with Nova Scotia Legal Aid in Antigonish before joining the prosecution service in 2001.The start date for the inquiry has not been announced, but a spokeswoman for the judiciary confirmed hearings will start later this year. They will be held in Guysborough in eastern Nova Scotia, near the community where the deaths occurred.The push for an inquiry began with family members, after they expressed dissatisfaction with internal reviews.They have long said the veteran did not get the help he needed from Defence Department or Veterans Affairs.Some of them have also said they are anxious to learn what Desmond experienced overseas and how his increasingly debilitating mental illnesses were treated.However, a leading expert on public inquiries has said it remains uncertain whether the inquiry will be able to compel federal officials to testify at the hearings.Ed Ratushny, a University of Ottawa law professor, has said the inquiry may be unable to examine why Afghan veterans have been taking their own lives and, on rare occasions, the lives of others.More than 130 serving military personnel have taken their own lives since 2010, according to the Defence Department. Officials have not been able to determine the number of suicides among veterans, but previous studies have suggested former service members are more at risk than those still in uniform.
DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – Fresh off winning their first Canadian Country Music Association’s Group of the Year and Roots Artist or Group of the Year for the 3rd consecutive time, The Washboard Union will be riding into Dawson Creek. The award-winning trio will be headlining the PBR Bull Riding event on December 1st at the Encana Events Centre.The Washboard Union have defied classification and have become one of the most exciting and talked about bands in Country music. Led by Aaron Grain, Chris Duncombe and David Roberts, The Washboard Union share an innate love for the art of songwriting and storytelling that has resonated with audiences from North America to Europe. “They are destined to be the new kings of country music” (CBC Canada). The band was certified gold this past year and have now had 3 Top 10 hits in Canada with more on the way from their latest album “What We’re Made Of”.One of the busiest bands touring in Canada, The Washboard Union have shared the stage with Zac Brown Band, Keith Urban, Reba McEntire, Dwight Yoakam, Jason Aldean, Thomas Rhett, Lonestar, and were direct support for Old Dominion on their 2018 Happy Endings Canadian Tour. Bull riding enthusiasts will have the opportunity to enjoy what Canada has to offer and has been celebrating this year with these boys. The Washboard Union are excited to be part of this great PBR event that features some of the top Canadian Bull Riders as they bring the toughest sport on dirt to Dawson Creek December 1st As the top men on the PBR Tour ride their way into town, joining them will be reigning PBR Champion, Zane Lambert. Lambert is also the top bull rider in the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association’s standings.With top pro Bull Riders and the award-winning Washboard Union, Dawson Creek will be rocking this December. Get your tickets today and don’t miss all the fun and excitement.Tickets for the event are on sale and can be purchased at the Tiger Box Office Plus, Systems Sound Source in Fort St. John, or at www.tigerboxboxofficeplus.ca or by phone at 1-877-339-8499.
More than 50 per cent of the world’s food fish will come from aquaculture, making it a crucial method to reduce poverty and combat food insecurity, said a United Nations report released today, while calling for governments to step up their efforts to support this practice.Aquaculture, which involves cultivating fresh water and saltwater populations of fish under controlled conditions as opposed to catching fish in the wild, is the world’s fastest growing source of animal protein, growing by more than 60 per cent between 2000 and 2008, from 32.4 million tons to 52.5 million tons, according to the report.“With stagnating global capture fishery production and an increasing population, aquaculture is perceived as having the greatest potential to produce more fish in the future to meet the growing demand for safe and quality aquatic food,” said the report, World Aquaculture in 2010.The report, released by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), states aquaculture has played an important role in reducing poverty in many parts of the world. However, it says it has not grown evenly throughout the planet.Eleven out of the 15 leading aquaculture-producing countries are located in the Asia-Pacific region, and in 2008 they accounted for 89.1 per cent of global production. Most remarkably, China alone contributed to 62.3 per cent of production in the region that year.The report also states that there are marked differences in production levels and types of production. China, Thailand, Viet Nam, Indonesia and India for example, lead production levels of shrimp and prawns, while Norway and Chile produce mostly salmon.The report warns that governments need to invest in aquaculture so they can continue to enjoy its benefits and address the challenges that are linked to this practice. “Achieving the global aquaculture sector’s long-term goal of economic, social and environmental sustainability depends primarily on continued commitments by governments to provide and support a good governance framework for the sector,” the report says. Key concerns regarding aquaculture include quality and safety standards, traceability, certification and eco-labelling. In addition, aquaculture faces major challenges due to climate change and the economic downturn in many countries, which could particularly affect small producers in Asia and Africa, where they make up the backbone of the industry. The report calls for governments to increase their efforts to assist small-scale producers by organizing them into associations and through the promotion of better management practices to ensure the industry can continue to meet the global demand for fish. 9 November 2011More than 50 per cent of the world’s food fish will come from aquaculture, making it a crucial method to reduce poverty and combat food insecurity, said a United Nations report released today, while calling for governments to step up their efforts to support this practice.
Legal action on some websites
The government is to file legal action against some websites which published defamatory articles on the Sri Lankan President and his family. Yapa said that while Sri Lankan newspapers and the electronic media can be monitored and approached for clarifications, it is difficult to do the same on the various websites which publish articles on Sri Lanka from unknown locations both in Sri Lanka and overseas. He said that these websites which are not registered with the Media Ministry violate media ethics and the media culture.The government had recently requested news websites operating in Sri Lanka to register with the government. Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena told reporters today that he had submitted a report to President Mahinda Rajapaksa regarding websites which continuously target the President . Yapa said that the government does not endorse the Minister’s comments. However of the 100 applications received only 50 were registered as the rest had failed to meet the stipulated requirements, the government said.Yapa said that appropriate action will be taken against the websites which have an agenda at tarnishing the image of the President and subsequently legal action will also be considered.Meanwhile Yapa also condemned the actions of fellow government Minister Minister Mervyn Silva who had said recently that he will break the limbs of some journalists and human rights activists. (Report by Indika Sri Aravinda)
MR and Maithri to meet in Parliament
President Maithripala Sirisena and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa will meet at the Parliament complex tomorrow.The key meeting will take place in the presence of several Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) members who are supporting both sides. Sirisena and Rajapaksa are expected to discuss the upcoming Parliament elections.Rajapaksa is a senior adviser of the SLFP while Sirisena is the Chairman of the party. (Colombo Gazette)
Coventry SME presses on with 150 new employees
West Midlands-based pressings company, Covpress has announced a £15 million investment in its Canley facility, creating 150 new jobs.The investment will see Covpress’s facility grow in the next two years and secure state-of-the-art robotic and laser equipment. Covpress’s workforce will expand from 550 to 700, making it one of the area’s largest private sector employers.Covpress made the announcement as it celebrated its first year of ownership by Chinese firm Shandong Yongtai, which acquired the manufacturer for £30 million. Since then it has already invested £10 million in another of Covpress’s sites, producing 75 new jobs.You Xiaoming, CEO of Shandong Yongtai Group, said, “We have exciting plans for the future. Over the next two years plans are already in place to inject a further investment that will modernise and expand our facility here at Covpress.“This will add much needed capacity to our automotive and non-automotive clients and further jobs opportunities within the facility.”Kit Halliday, Joint Chief Executive (Europe) for Covpress, said, “The confidence that the Chinese partnership is showing in this company is plain to see.“Their investment is very welcome and it is a direct result of the hard work and dedication of the workforce in this company. We are looking forward to the future with great excitement.”In the past 18 months, more than £3 billion worth of investment has been announced in the UK automotive industry. See our investment page for more information.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
Dennis Sherwood, a consultant who has previously been commissioned by Ofqual to research exams,said the findings were “dynamite” and demonstrated the scale of the lottery candidates faced.It meant a candidate with four A-levels was likely to have one wrongly graded. For a pupil with eight GCSEs, two could be wrong. “It’s outrageous one grade in four is wrong. It’s not acceptable,” he said.Neil Sheldon, a former chief examiner and ex-vice president of the Royal Statistical Society, said: “I don’t think any candidate wants to be told you have got a B but it might be a C or an A. I don’t think any university would be happy admitting anybody on a similar basis.He advocated scrapping “crude” grades and instead giving candidates their marks, alongside a margin of uncertainty, as the Office of National Statistics (ONS) did for some data.The Ofqual study, entitled Marking Consistency Metrics and quietly released this week, is the first to analyses the chances of receiving the “definitive qualification grade” for a GCSE, AS or A-level. This is defined as the mark a candidate would have got from a senior examiner who sets the standard for all other examiners to follow.“The probability of receiving the ‘definitive’ qualification grade varies by qualification and subject, from 0.96 (a mathematics qualification) to 0.52 (an English language and literature qualification),” it said.“The probability of receiving the definitive or adjacent grade is above 0.95 for all qualifications, with many at or very close to 1.0 (ie suggesting that 100% of candidates receive the definitive or adjacent grade in these qualifications.”It adds: “Consistency of marking for mathematics components and qualifications is higher than that for more ‘subjective’ English language components.” A diagram suggests that for History the probability is approximately 56%, English literature (58%), English language (61%), Sociology (63%), Geography (65%), Business Studies (66%), Religious Studies (66%), Economics (74%), Psychology (78%), Biology (85%), Physics (88%), and Chemistry (92%). The report also shows the probability of receiving a definitive grade is “significantly influenced” by the location of grade boundaries – which are drawn up by exam boards. Where grade boundaries are close together, the marking consistency would have “more of an impact” on the probability of being awarded the definitive grade. The wider the grade boundaries, the greater probability of candidates receiving the definite grade. One mark could make a significant difference. “A script where the mark is on or near the grade boundary but which is marked severely or leniently by a single mark is at greater risk of not receiving the definitive grade compared to a script several marks away from a grade boundary,” said Ofqual. An Ofqual spokesman said: “Each subject lends itself to being assessed in different ways, from multiple choice questions to long essays, which we know can have a direct effect on marking reliability but also more importantly the learning experience of students in the classroom.“Reformed GCSEs, AS and A levels reflect this trade-off between the absolute reliability of any assessment and the value of qualifications to individuals.“There is not a single, right mark for every answer given in every subject. For many assessments different – but equally legitimate marks – can be awarded for the same answer by expert examiners.” It said the probability of being awarded the “definitive” grade rose to 95% when the adjacent grade – the one above or below what the candidate might have got – was included.However, schools warned that just one dropped grade could be the difference between a pupil entering the university or job of their choice and the disappointment of being forced to find alternatives.Mike Buchanan, executive director of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference, which represents Britain’s top private schools, welcomed Ofqual’s decision to publish the study but said: “It is extremely worrying around a quarter of exam grades are not reliable.“This directly affects hundreds of thousands of young people every year. The unreliability is most extreme in the humanities, meaning girls, who are the majority of those taking these subjects, are particularly disadvantaged.“The implications are grave, as a questionable grade can have a significant effect on a pupil’s life chances in a high stakes exam-focused environment.“Hundreds of thousands of children are being forced to retake English and Maths GCSE or may be missing out on university places or jobs because they did not get the grade.” Students open their GCSE results Candidates in up to 40% of GCSE and A-level exams are being awarded incorrect grades, a study by the regulator has revealed.In the first analysis of its kind, Ofqual has calculated the probability of a pupil getting the correct grade in “subjective” subjects like English or History as between 52% and 58%. That means more than four in ten could be incorrectly graded.For Maths and Chemistry where examiners can be more definitive about answers, the chance of a correct grade rises to more than 90%.Overall across the 13 popular subjects analysed by Ofqual, statisticians estimated that meant one in four grades at GCSE, AS and A-level could be incorrect because of marking inconsistencies and the design of the tests.Ofqual maintains the quality of its marking is among the best in the world but that it is required by the government to put the “value” of qualifications ahead of “absolute reliability” of assessment that could be achieved by reducing exams to multiple choice papers. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
Posted: February 20, 2019 Convicted sex offender soon to be released, public comment period opens KUSI Newsroom, 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – A convicted sex offender could soon be released from a state hospital and placed in the Jacumba Hot Springs community, but local residents can weigh in on his potential release beginning today.Alan Earl James, 56, was convicted in 1981 and 1986 for several sex-related felonies involving at least three minor victims and sentenced to 28 years in state prison, according to the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office.James, who is classified as a “sexually violent predator,” was committed to Coalinga State Hospital, where he was undergoing treatment “for an indeterminate term.”James petitioned for a monitored conditional release last July, prosecutors said, and on Tuesday, the California Department of State Hospitals proposed to place James at 45612 Old Highway 80 in Jacumba Hot Springs, a property under the jurisdiction of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.From Wednesday until March 6, the public will have the opportunity to submit comments regarding James’ placement, which will be forwarded to the California Department of State Hospitals and San Diego County Superior Court prior to a March 22 court hearing regarding James’ proposed placement.The Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement — or SAFE — Task Force will submit the comments to the court in a formal response on March 22.Comments can be submitted via email to email@example.com or by calling (858) 495-3619, or by mailing to SVP Release/SAFE Task Force, 9425 Chesapeake Drive, San Diego, CA, 92123.Public comments will also be accepted during the March 22 hearing. KUSI Newsroom Updated: 6:54 PM February 20, 2019 Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter
Washington AG Oregonled CRC passes legal muster
A top assistant to Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said this week that an Oregon-led Columbia River Crossing would pass legal muster — as long as funds from Washington aren’t used in the project.In letters to Gov. Jay Inslee and U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral F.J. Kenney, Senior Assistant Attorney General Bryce Brown wrote that Washington can legally authorize Oregon to build and operate the proposed Interstate 5 Bridge replacement on Washington soil.The Washington Legislature adjourned earlier this year without giving any money to the CRC. After being declared dead by leaders in both states, the project has re-emerged as a pared-down effort with Oregon at the helm. The revised plan would still build a new bridge over the Columbia with light rail and tolls, but would not immediately include any freeway work north of state Highway 14. The revised project would cost an estimated $2.7 billion.Brown weighed in on the project in response to questions by the Coast Guard, which is mulling whether to approve a bridge permit the CRC must have to move forward. After reviewing those questions, “we see no fatal flaws that would preclude Oregon’s lead on the project,” Brown wrote.The Coast Guard had asked primarily about the ability of various state agencies to authorize Oregon conduct work on the CRC in Washington. In each case, Brown’s letter found that such arrangements are possible with intergovernmental agreements — and without legislative approval. A memo to Inslee reached a similar conclusion on light rail, permitting, mitigation agreements and tolling.
Gen Vo Nguyen Giap of Vietnam succumbs at 102
HANOI, Vietnam — Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap, the brilliant and ruthless commander who led the outgunned Vietnamese to victory first over the French and then the Americans, died Friday. The last of the country’s old-guard revolutionaries was 102.A national hero, Giap enjoyed a legacy second only to that of his mentor, founding president and independence leader Ho Chi Minh.Giap died in a military hospital in the capital of Hanoi, where he had spent nearly four years because of illnesses, according to a government official and a person close to him. Both spoke on condition of anonymity before the death was announced in state-controlled media.Known as the “Red Napoleon,” Giap commanded guerrillas who wore sandals made of car tires and lugged artillery piece by piece over mountains to encircle and crush the French army at Dien Bien Phu in 1954. The unlikely victory — still studied at military schools — led to Vietnam’s independence and hastened the collapse of colonialism across Indochina and beyond.Giap then defeated the U.S.-backed South Vietnam government in April 1975, reuniting a country that had been split into communist and noncommunist states. He regularly accepted heavy combat losses to achieve his goals.“No other wars for national liberation were as fierce or caused as many losses as this war,” Giap told The Associated Press in 2005 — one of his last known interviews with foreign media on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the fall of Saigon, the former South Vietnamese capital.
Kolkata: A training programme was organised on online filing of Self Appraisal Report for Group-A officers, from the state Personnel and Administrative Reforms and e-Governance on Thursday.Sources said that similar training will also be a part of the curriculum of the deputy secretary level officers, who are undergoing training at the Administrative Training Institute (ATI) at Salt Lake. There will be a training programme on the same for the deputy secretary level officers at ATI on Friday. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeIt has been made mandatory to file the Self Appraisal Report online from the 2017-18 financial year. In a bid to make the task easier for the officials, the training programme was organised, which was also attended by some section officers.There are nine pages that need to be filled up under the report. The officer’s particulars have to be filled up in the first page. The part I A is in page 2, where the officer needs to key in more details including personal data like date of birth, present posting, date or declaration of assets, etc. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedPage 3 comprises the part I B that is related to attendance of the officer. Page number four, five and six comprise the Part II of the application, where the officer needs to key in information including a short account of his or her work, target and achievements, if he/she underwent any training and if he or she is having additional charge.Page seven is for “reporting” by the immediate senior officer, while the next two pages are for “reviewing” and “accepting” respectively.The officers on Thursday underwent training on how to key in the details easily and knowing the steps that need to be followed for the same.
The approximate location of the accident (Image: Inrix) A van driver has been taken to hospital after an accident on the A500 this morning. There was queueing traffic and the D-road partially was blocked due to the collision involving a van and a lorry on the A500 Westbound near the junction with the M6 at J16 (Crewe / Stoke-On-Trent). The accident took place on the approach to the roundabout, according to traffic data company INRIX. Traffic England reported congestion in the area – with the crash believed to have taken place shortly before 10.45am. A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman confirmed one patient had been taken to hospital, but his injuries are not serious. He said: “We were called at 10.43am and it initially came in as quite serious. “We mobilised two ambulances and a BASICS Doctor. “On arrival the first ambulance found the driver of the van had managed to get out of the vehicle and the second ambulance and doctor were stood down. “We have taken a 53-year-old gentleman to hospital for a minor laceration to his head and an injury to his knee. “He was taken to Royal Stoke University Hospital.” Read More18-year-old arrested after hoax threats sent to schools The air ambulance also called to the accident but was not required. A Cheshire Police spokesman said: “We assisted Staffordshire Police with an RTC on the A500. Amazingly very minor injuries. “The North West Air Ambulance was also in attendance but not required.” Two fire engines from Crewe were also sent to the scene after being called at 10.53am. For more live updates on other incidents and breaking news in North Staffordshire and South Cheshire visit today’s live news service here. Want to keep up to date with the latest traffic and travel news?Each day Stoke-on-Trent Live journalists bring you the latest news on the roads and railways across Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire, South Cheshire and further afield to help keep you on the move. For the very latest updates on roads including the M6, A500, A50 and more, visit our dedicated traffic and travel news channel here. We also run a live news feed each weekday, which you can access on our website’s homepage from 7am to 9pm from Monday to Friday. And for more as-we-get-it updates on the roads across the region and beyond, join The Sentinel’s traffic and travel Facebook group here.13:21Photos from the scenePhotos from the accident on the A500 (Image: Cheshire Police)12:55Road now clearThe road has now cleared and there are no longer restrictions in place.12:31Fire engines from Crewe attendedTwo fire engines from Crewe were called to the accident.12:19A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “We were called at 10.43am and it initially came in as quite serious.“We mobilised two ambulances and a BASICS Doctor.“On arrival the first ambulance found the driver of the van had managed to get out of the vehicle and the second ambulance and doctor were stood down.“We have taken a 53-year-old gentleman to hospital for a minor laceration to his head and an injury to his knee.“He was taken to Royal Stoke University Hospital.”12:13Van had gone into back of lorryThe van has gone into the back of the lorry.12:11One man taken to hospital with minor injuriesOne man has been taken to hospital with a minor laceration to his head, the ambulance service have confirmed.12:10Accident not as serious as first thoughtWest Midlands Ambulance Service said the accident was not as a serious as first reported.11:48Delays continueDelays continue on the A500 but the road remains passable.11:2310 minute delays against expected trafficThere are currently ten minute delays against expected times on the route, according to Traffic England.11:20Queues forming back to Audley turn-offOne motorist who contacted the Sentinel said: “The accident is in the right hand lane just before the M6. There was traffic queuing back to Audley junction by 11am.”
WASHINGTON D.C. — The United States is to expand its refugee resettlement program to cover citizens of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday.These three Central American countries are suffering from drought and an intense crime wave, pushing thousands to seek a better life by heading north and crossing the U.S. border illegally.Kerry, in a speech at the National Defense University laying out U.S. foreign policy priorities for 2016, said allowing people from these countries to apply for asylum as refugees would offer a safer option for the most vulnerable migrants.The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program would, he said, “offer them a safe and legal alternative to the dangerous journey many are currently tempted to begin, making them easy prey for human smugglers who have no interest but their own profits.”“Global efforts also need to focus on ways to better integrate refugees into foreign communities, to help them regain their dignity after the turmoil they’ve endured,” he said.“That’s why measures to help refugees build self-reliance through education and opportunities for legal employment are so important, so that the men, women and children who come to our nations are better equipped to contribute to the communities that welcome them.”The United States plans to admit 85,000 refugees from around the world during the 2016 fiscal year, but had previously planned on welcoming only 3,000 from Latin America and the Caribbean.Kerry did not say how many more from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras might be accepted under the new policy, but the refugee program has a reserve of 6,000 places not allocated to regions to provide flexibility.Refugees have long been seen primarily as fleeing war or political persecution, but the gravest problem now driving thousands from Central America is gang violence linked to trafficking and extortion rackets.In Guatemala, there were 5,924 homicides in 2014 while Honduras saw 5,936. El Salvador experienced more than 6,000 last year — with reportedly the highest per-capita rate in the world — including massacres targeting employees and passengers on public transport, which is subject to gang extortion.The State Department said it would work with the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) and others on the ground to identify at-risk families and individuals and bring them to the United States for resettlement as permanent residents.“We will collaborate with UNHCR and its NGO partners to identify persons in need of refugee protection: people targeted by criminal gangs, human rights defenders who have been targeted, and others,” it said in a fact sheet issued after Kerry had spoken.“We also continue to explore additional options, including for those who may be at imminent risk of harm.”The Obama administration has faced sharp criticism from Democratic politicians this year for its recent raids targeting scores of recently arrived undocumented immigrants. Facebook Comments Related posts:Central American leaders offer plan to slow child migrant surge Central American foreign ministers meet in Washington to lobby Obama on immigration crisis For Central America’s migrant women, life can change in a second US to grant refugee status to Central American child migrants
Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement She agreed to leave the U.S. in 2006 and remains the only woman the Justice Department’s Nazi-hunting unit ever initiated deportation proceedings against. Yet after Rinkel departed, the U.S. Social Security Administration kept paying her widow benefits, which began after her husband died, because there was no legal basis for stopping them until late last year.Rinkel is among 133 suspected Nazi war criminals, SS guards, and others that may have participated in the Third Reich’s atrocities who received $20.2 million in Social Security benefits, according to a report to be released later this week by the inspector general of the Social Security Administration. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the report.The payments are far greater than previously estimated and occurred between February 1962 and January 2015, when a new law called the No Social Security for Nazis Act kicked in and ended retirement payments for four beneficiaries. The report does not include the names of any Nazi suspects who received benefits. But the descriptions of several of the beneficiaries match legal records detailing Rinkel’s case and others.The large amount of the benefits and their duration illustrate how unaware the American public was of the influx of Nazi persecutors into the U.S., with estimates ranging as high as 10,000. Many lied about their Nazi pasts to get into the U.S. and even became American citizens. They got jobs and said little about what they did during the war. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility The details match the case of Jakob Denzinger, a successful plastics industry executive in Akron, Ohio. Denzinger’s U.S. citizenship was revoked a few months after he departed. Denzinger’s son, Thomas Denzinger, said Sunday his father is living in Croatia but suffers from congestive heart failure and near blindness. “His end is near,” he said.He said his father was entitled to the benefits after paying Social Security taxes for 33 years. “He’s never been convicted of anything,” Thomas Denzinger said.Efraim Zuroff, the head Nazi hunter at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem, said the Justice Department did what was necessary to get Nazi suspects out of the U.S. But “it’s a travesty,” he added, that so many of them ended up keeping their benefits.“The issue is the principle here — do you sign deals with Nazis to get them out of the country?” he said Sunday. “The Department of Justice said yes, but who wants to think that taxpayer dollars went to people who served as guards in camps? On the other hand, the government was trying to maximize what it could do with the tools that they had.”___ WASHINGTON (AP) — Elfriede Rinkel’s past as a Nazi concentration camp guard didn’t keep her from collecting nearly $120,000 in American Social Security benefits.Rinkel admitted to being stationed at the Ravensbrueck camp during World War II, where she worked with an attack dog trained by the SS, according to U.S. Justice Department records. She immigrated to California and married a German-born Jew whose parents had been killed in the Holocaust. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Maloney, a senior member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said the IG’s report showed that dozens of alleged and confirmed Nazis actively worked to conceal their true identities from the U.S. government and still received Social Security payments.“We must continue working to remember the tragedy of the Holocaust and hold those responsible accountable,” Maloney said. “One way to do that is by providing as much information to the public as possible. This report hopefully provides some clarity.”The inspector general’s report used computer-processed data and other internal agency records to develop a comprehensive picture of the total number of Nazi suspects who received benefits and the dollar amounts paid out. The Social Security Administration last year refused AP’s request for those figures.The report said $5.6 million was paid to 38 former Nazis before they were deported. Ninety-five Nazi suspects who were not deported but were alleged or found to have participated in the Nazi persecution received $14.5 million in benefits, according to the report. Of that larger group, nearly half died or fled the country while their cases were pending. Still others settled with the U.S. government and were allowed to stay for health reasons or because they agreed to cooperate with investigators. Americans were shocked in the 1970s to learn their former enemies were living next door. Yet the U.S. was slow to react. It wasn’t until 1979 that a special Nazi-hunting unit, the Office of Special Investigations, was created within the Justice Department.Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., requested that the Social Security Administration’s inspector general look into the scope of the payments following an AP investigation, which was published in October 2014.AP found that the Justice Department used a legal loophole to persuade Nazi suspects to leave the U.S. in exchange for Social Security benefits. If they agreed to go voluntarily, or simply fled the country before being deported, they could keep their benefits. The Justice Department denied using Social Security payments as a way to expel former Nazis.By March 1999, 28 suspected Nazi criminals had collected $1.5 million in Social Security payments after their removal from the U.S., Social Security Administration records uncovered by AP showed. Since then, AP estimated the amount paid out had grown substantially. That estimate was based on the number of suspects who qualified and the three decades that have passed since the first former Nazis, Arthur Rudolph and John Avdzej, signed agreements that required them to leave the country but ensured their benefits would continue. FILE – In this April 6, 2012 file photo, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-NY, addresses a gathering of Indonesian immigrants at the Reformed Church of Highland Park in Highland Park, N.J. More than 130 suspected Nazi war criminals, SS guards and others who may have participated in the Third Reich’s atrocities during World War II collected $20.2 million in retirement benefits, according to the Social Security Administration’s inspector general. Maloney, a New York Democrat, requested the inspector general look into the scope of the payments following an investigation by The Associated Press. “This report is another reminder that we must never forget the atrocities committed by the Nazis,” Maloney said Saturday, May 30, 2015, in an emailed statement. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File) Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober The IG criticized the Social Security Administration for improperly paying four beneficiaries $15,658 because it did not suspend the benefits in time. The agency “properly stopped payment” to the four beneficiaries when the new law banning benefits to Nazi suspects went into effect. The agency did, however, continue payments to one suspect because he was not subject to the law.The Social Security Administration did not respond to a request for comment.But in informal comments to the IG, the agency and the Justice Department said the pool of 133 suspects included individuals who were not deported and may not have had any role with the Nazis. The Justice Department requested the report only include the names of 81 people it had provided to the IG. The department said those individuals had conclusively been determined to be involved in the Nazi persecution.Rinkel was deported to Germany in 2006. AP could not locate her, although she is believed to be alive. She would be 92. Before she left the U.S., Rinkel said she never told her husband of four decades about her past as a concentration camp guard.The IG’s report also describes a beneficiary who worked as a guard at several Nazi concentration camps and left the U.S. in 1989 after learning the Justice Department planned to strip him of his citizenship. The beneficiary received nearly $400,000 in Social Security until the payments were terminated in January when the new law went into effect. Sponsored Stories Comments Share Top Stories Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist On Twitter, follow Rising at http://twitter.com/davidrising, Herschaft at http://twitter.com/HerschaftAP and Lardner at http://twitter.com/rplardner.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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