Mortgage rules delaying home purchases for first time buyers

TORONTO — Ottawa’s move to tighten Canada’s mortgage rules a year ago helped cool down the country’s real estate market by forcing some first-time home buyers to delay their purchases, economists say.A Bank of Montreal study suggests roughly one in five potential first-time homebuyers have postponed their purchase since Finance Minister Jim Flaherty introduced his new lending rules a year ago Tuesday.The rule changes included a reduction to the maximum amortization period to 25 years from 30 for insured mortgages.It was the fourth time Flaherty tightened mortgage lending rules in as many years, incrementally dropping the longest amortization period from 40 years.“It did take a bit of steam out of the market because it essentially forced quite a number of potential buyers, especially first-time buyers, to wait a while longer,” BMO’s chief economist Doug Porter said in an interview.About 19% of those polled by BMO said they decided to wait longer to buy their first home, while 66% said the changes have not affected their timeline.Meanwhile, 14% said they planned to buy sooner.A recent report by the Bank of Nova Scotia estimated the mortgage rule changes may have pushed 10% of potential buyers out of the market.Both Porter and Scotiabank economist Adrienne Warren said the changes helped the country’s overheated real estate market achieve its desired soft landing.“I think it was almost the perfect soft landing for policy makers,” said Porter.“It cooled, but it didn’t undergo a so-called hard landing. Sales did drop pretty heavily the first couple months, but then they stabilized and they’ve started to creep back up again.”Housing sales in the Greater Toronto Area were down by less than 1% in June from a year ago while the average selling price climbed 4.7%, according to recent figures from the Toronto Real Estate Board.Meanwhile, sales in Vancouver were up about 12% in June compared to the previous year.Going forward, rising mortgage rates could block more prospective buyers out of the market, Warren said.Mortgage rates have been at all-time lows since the economic downturn, but fixed rates have slowly started to rise in the past two months.“The recent upward drift in mortgage rates could dampen housing demand in the second half of the year, especially in high-priced markets such as Toronto and Vancouver where affordability is more strained,” Warren said in a statement.The Bank of Montreal online survey polled 2,000 Canadians between Feb. 25 and March 5.The polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.The Canadian Press read more

Scotiabank hikes dividend amid solid earnings as international banking focus pays off

TORONTO — The Bank of Nova Scotia raised its dividend Tuesday as it reported better-than-expected adjusted profit of roughly $2.275 billion for its first quarter, with strong earnings internationally as well as at home.Scotiabank increased its quarterly payment to common shareholders by three cents per share to 82 cents per share, the third of the big Canadian banks to do so this quarter after CIBC and Royal Bank.On an adjusted basis, Canada’s third-largest lender reported $1.87 earnings per diluted share, up from to $1.58 per diluted share a year ago and higher than the $1.68 per share expected by analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.Wealth-hungry Scotiabank to buy investment manager Jarislowsky Fraser for $950MCanadian banks raise prime lending rate to 3.45% in wake of Bank of Canada hikeA year earlier, Scotiabank’s adjusted profit attributable to shareholders was $1.946 billion or $1.58 per diluted share.“All of our businesses delivered strong results, contributing to solid top line growth and a continued improvement in efficiency…. We are pleased with our strong start to the year,” said Brian Porter, Scotiabank’s president and chief executive, in a statement.The lender’s Canadian banking division reported net income attributable to shareholders of $1.1 billion, up 12 per cent compared to the same period a year earlier.Scotiabank’s Canadian residential mortgage portfolio was $208 billion, up roughly 6.7 per cent from $195 billion a year earlier. For comparison, the bank saw 2.6 per cent growth in its domestic residential mortgage portfolio in the fiscal first quarter of 2017, up from $190 billion in the first quarter of 2016.The Canadian banks’ mortgage portfolios are being closely watched for any impact from new stiffer rules for uninsured mortgages introduced on Jan. 1. The revised underwriting guidelines require would-be homebuyers with a 20 per cent down payment or larger to prove they can continue to make their mortgage payments if interest rates rise. Banking executives have signalled that these new rules could act as a headwind to the business. CIBC and RBC executives said last week that it is too early to tell what impact the new rules have had thus far.Meanwhile, earnings attributable to shareholders in Scotiabank’s international banking division was up 16 per cent year-over-year to $667 million, as Scotiabank continues to focus its expansion efforts on the Pacific Alliance countries of Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru.“The strong momentum in our business was driven by double-digit growth in loans in the Pacific Alliance countries, positive operating leverage and good credit quality,” Porter said in a statement.Its global banking and markets division, however, reported net income attributable to shareholders of $454 million, marking a decrease of $15 million or three per cent from the same period a year earlier.The bank’s common equity tier 1 ratio (CET1), a key measure of financial health, was 11.2 per cent, down from 11.3 per cent a year ago and 11.5 per cent in the previous quarter.Scotiabank’s provisions for credit losses, or money set aside for bad loans, dropped slightly in the latest quarter to $544 million, compared with $553 million a year earlier. However, this quarter was the first to reflect a new accounting standard, known as IFRS 9. The new standards puts a greater emphasis on a banks’ expected losses over the life of the loan, and in turn, introduces more volatility to the measure. read more

Angulana Christian church attacked Pictures updated

A Christian church in Angulana was attacked last night, police sources told the Colombo Gazette.The police said that an unidentified group had attacked the building and then set fire to the holy bread served for communion on Sundays. There are no reports of injuries caused to anyone as a result of the attack. Report by Indika Sri Aravinda Worshipers of the church were seen praying outside the premises this morning following the attack.The attack comes just days after the US State Department released its international religious freedom report for 2012 in which it said that last year U.S. embassy officials conveyed U.S. government concerns about religious freedom in Sri Lanka, particularly attacks on churches, to government leaders and urged them to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators. Police spokesman S.P Budhika Siriwardena confirmed the incident and said that two statues were among the church property damaged in the attack. The report which looks at religious freedom, or the lack of it in all countries for 2012, noted that in certain instances, local authorities in Si Lanka failed to respond effectively to communal attacks, including attacks on members of minority religious groups.The report said that there were reports of societal abuses and discrimination based on religious affiliation, belief, or practice.“Sporadic violent attacks on Christian churches by Buddhists and some societal tension due to ongoing allegations of forced or “unethical” conversions (i.e., the use of bribes to persuade people to convert) continued, although the number and scale of attacks were reportedly fewer than in recent years. Intolerance of, and discrimination against, Muslims by some Buddhists increased during the year,” the report said. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Actor Idris Elba pleads for an end to stupid knife crime

The British actor Idris Elba has spoken out about the menace of knife crimeCredit:Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images Jodie Chesney, 17, who was fatally stabbed in a park in Romford, east London on March 1, 2019 Knife crime has risen rapidly in Elba’s native London in recent years, resulting in the deaths of scores of young men across the capital. Idris Elba in the BBC series Luther Jodie Chesney, 17, who was fatally stabbed in a park in Romford, east London on March 1, 2019 His statement comes as Manuel Petrovic, 20, from Romford, was charged with the murder of 17-year-old Jodie Chesney in East London. Another man remains in custody in connection with the attack of the Girl Scout in Harold Hill, East London.Meanwhile, a 15-year-old boy has been charged with murder in connection with the fatal stabbing of a Ayub Hassan, 17, in West Kensington, West London. A 17-year-old boy has been bailed pending further enquiries regarding the attack on the Somalian teenager that took place in broad daylight. Idris Elba in the BBC series LutherCredit:Des Willie/BBC The British actor Idris Elba has spoken out about the menace of knife crime Ayub Hassan who was named locally as the the 17 year-old boy that was stabbed in West Kensington and later died in hospital  Ayub Hassan who was named locally as the the 17 year-old boy that was stabbed in West Kensington and later died in hospital Credit:PA 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. “Entertainers, do me a favour man, put out similar videos, let’s try and put out something and say that we care for our communities. Stop the knife crime, please.” “Because you’re just going to stab your future if you go and stab someone else. You become a murderer, you go to prison, you ain’t got s***. For what? For some beef that lives within your community. You need to see past that.” Expressing the urgent need for a shift in attitude towards knife crime to come from the communities where youngsters are most likely to carry such weapons, he added: “Waiting for the police to do something isn’t a real solution, we cannot wait for that. We need to make noise in protest about the dumb stabbings, out of respect for the dead and to protect the living.” Elba, the star of the Luther television series, also posted a number of statistics alongside his impassioned plea for action, including claims there were more than 14,000 knife-related offences in London alone in 2017/18.He added: “We have to say something about it as well, entertainers that are out there, there’s young people that look up to us, man, we need to just vocalise this. Send a message out saying put the knives down. It’s dumb. It’s dumb.”We don’t need to be killing ourselves. We have so much more we can offer. And you’re going to kill your future, you’re going to kill someone else’s future, and it’s dumb. The actor Idris Elba has issued a passionate plea to young people carrying knives to stop making their communities “look stupid”.The 46-year-old television star who grew up in Hackney, East London, posted a video online urging those tempted to stab someone to instead turn the blade on themselves “because you’re stabbing your future”.As he called on other celebrities to speak out about “dumb stabbings,” he said there was an urgent need to “send a message out saying put the knives down”. In the clip he posted to his millions of followers on Instagram, he said: “Knife crime is not new. I grew up in the 80s and there was knife crime back then, between blacks and white, and now it’s definitely between young black men in small, tiny communities.”And it’s affecting everyone, we all look stupid. You look even more stupid, if you’ve got a knife, or you know someone that’s got a knife, tell them to stab themselves right now, trust me. read more

Swedish generation 2000 – European champions

Sweden is the EURO champs in generation 2000! The Swedish U18 team beat Iceland 32:27 at the final match in Varazdin. Bronze medal goes to Denmark after the second victory over host Croatia in one week.All-star teamGoalkeeper – Fabian Norsten (SWE)Left wing – GAUTASON Dagur Gautson (ISL)Left back – Juri Knorr (GER)Centre back – Sadou Ntanzi (FRA)Line player – Thor Christensen (DEN)Right back – Jovica Nikolic (SRB)Right wing – Valter Chrintz (SWE)Best defender –  Gianfranco Pribetic (CRO)MVP – Haukur Thrastarson (ISL)Top scorer: 56 goals – Ludvig Hallbäck (SWE)Final ranking1. Sweden2. Iceland3. Denmark4. Croatia5. Spain6. Germany7. France8. Serbia9. Slovenia10. Hungary11. Norway12. Portugal13. Russia14. Israel15. Poland16. Romania ← Previous Story RK Celje Pivovarna Lasko win Struga 2018 Next Story → IHF find new media partner – Lagardere Sports and Entertainment Sweden handball read more

Firefox for Windows 8 Metro under development by Mozilla

first_imgMozilla developers already have a lot on their plates. In addition to dealing with shorter release cycles for Firefox and Thunderbird, they’re now looking after tablet and smartphone versions of Firefox for Android, Firefox Home on iOS, and there’s a new long-term support version of Firefox, too. On top of that, they’re starting work on a Metro version of Firefox for Windows 8.The Foundation plans on having the first test builds ready to go before summer, with alpha and beta releases slated for some time during the second half of 2012. Getting Firefox re-tooled using the WinRT programming model is important as it will allow Mozilla to submit the browser to the Windows Store, which will be front-and-center in Windows 8 — and will quickly become the destination for Windows users who are hunting for new software.Firefox for Metro will be built with full-screen use in mind and a UI that’s focused on touch interaction. It will also support Windows 8’s 1/6th and 5/6 screen-snap sizes — which allow users to view multiple apps on the Metro desktop at the same time. Mozilla’s Asa Dotzler also proposes building in Live Tile support, feeding information like the presence of Firefox friends and Firefox Home updates, as well as the option to add additional tiles to the Start Screen for web apps that run inside Firefox.Will competing browsers have Metro offerings, too? Google certainly has the resources to put together a Chrome remaster. It’s all but certain that Opera will offer an immersive app as well, since already offers a version of its browser that’s customized for Windows tablets. The Windows Store presents a significant opportunity for alternative browsers to attract new users, so expect to see these three pop up on its digital shelves.Mozilla will take any new users it can get, what with Firefox’s user share slipping steadily as Google Chrome’s stock continues to rise.More at Mozilla Wiki, via Cnetlast_img read more

Donorconceived children Its time to ban anonymous sperm donation

first_imgDonor-conceived children: It’s time to ban anonymous sperm donation Recent studies on donor-conceived children reveal that an overwhelming number of such individuals want information relating to their donor, writes Dr Brian Tobin. By Dr Brian Tobin Short URL Dr Brian Tobin https://jrnl.ie/4083400 Share62 Tweet Email Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Law lecturer center_img Tuesday 26 Jun 2018, 7:00 AM Floundering forests: The challenges facing the Irish forestry industry>I’m 27. I’m living at home. Going through the same hall door since I was in a school uniform’> Jun 26th 2018, 7:01 AM 50 Comments THE CHILDREN AND Family Relationships Act was signed into law by the President, Michael D Higgins, in April 2015, yet over three years later Parts 2 and 3 have not been commenced.The government’s failure to do so means that the provisions of the 2015 Act that prohibit anonymous donor sperm from being used in Irish fertility clinics are not yet in force. Further, the National Donor-Conceived Person Register proposed by the 2015 Act to protect the donor-conceived child’s right to knowledge of genetic identity has not been set up.The register would record the identifying details of the child’s donor, such as his name, date and place of birth, nationality and contact details, and such information would be made available to the child upon reaching the age of 18.Information about donorThe upshot of the government’s ongoing inactivity in this area is that Irish fertility clinics can continue to use anonymous donor sperm imported from abroad to help their clients to conceive a baby and, upon reaching adulthood, that donor-conceived person will never be able to access any information about their donor.This is unacceptable in a country where the people voted to insert express protection for children’s rights into the Constitution in 2012. Under Article 42A, the State affirms the ‘natural and imprescriptible’ rights of the child and promises, by its laws, ‘to protect and vindicate those rights.’One imagines the right to knowledge of one’s genetic parentage, something so fundamental to each individual, must surely constitute one of the ‘natural and imprescriptible’ rights of the child. It is arguably a corollary of the child’s right to know its natural mother as enunciated by the Supreme Court in 1998.Genetic identityBy failing to commence Parts 2 and 3 of the 2015 Act, how is the State ‘by its laws’ protecting and vindicating this constitutional right for all children who are donor-conceived?Both the Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights have long-since recognised the importance to a child of accessing information about their genetic identity. Indeed, as far back as 2005, the Report of the Commission on Assisted Human Reproduction recommended to the Oireachtas that all Irish donor-conceived children should, on maturity, ‘be able to identify the donors involved’.Recent studies on donor-conceived children reveal that an overwhelming number of such individuals want information relating to their donor; there is also growing international evidence that identifying information about one’s genetic parentage can be essential to the mental health of donor-conceived persons.This is why countries like the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Finland, New Zealand and the UK prohibit anonymous sperm donation.Mixed viewsIrish fertility experts have mixed views on the proposed ban on anonymous donor sperm contained in the 2015 Act, with some clinicians for, and others staunchly against.Some clinicians choose to ignore the phenomenon of children’s rights, and would prefer that their adult clients retain the right to use anonymous donor sperm to conceive a child – of course they would adopt such a position – assisted human reproduction is big business for the private fertility clinics and they do not want any potential clients deterred.In addition, if Parts 2 and 3 of the 2015 Act were enacted, such clinics would have to radically alter their practice and start importing sperm from those countries that respect the child’s right to genetic identity by only permitting the non-anonymous donation of sperm. At present, the vast majority of sperm used in procedures that take place in Irish fertility clinics is imported from countries where there is anonymous donation, ie Spain.However, forcing the fertility clinics to adapt their practice is far more acceptable than that clinical practice which is currently allowed – the creation of children who will never be able to know who their genetic parents are.‘Transition period’In March 2015, the then Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald, together with the then Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar, assured the Dáil that Parts 2 and 3 of the 2015 Act would not be commenced for a ‘transition period’ of one year to ‘give clinics time to prepare for the new regulatory framework.’This dispensation was understandable. However, it is now over three years later and private enterprise has been indulged at the expense of children’s rights for long enough. The commencement of Parts 2 and 3 of the 2015 Act is the responsibility of the current Minister for Health, Simon Harris, and it must occur as soon as possible.Perhaps the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone, who is currently and admirably attempting to champion the rights of adopted children in the context of identity rights, can spare a thought for donor-conceived children and finally spur her colleague into action?Dr Brian Tobin is a Lecturer in Law at NUI Galway. 25,867 Views last_img read more

France le pic épidémique de la grippe est atteint

first_imgFrance : le pic épidémique de la grippe est atteintD’après une information révélée par les réseaux français Sentinelles, la grippe aurait atteint son pic épidémique en France, ce qui signifie que l’incidence de la maladie devrait diminuer ces prochaines semaines.Depuis le début de l’épidémie de grippe, le nombre de cas ne cessait d’augmenter de semaine en semaine. En revanche, le responsable du réseau Sentinelles (réseau chargé de surveiller l’évolution de la grippe sur le territoire) a fait savoir à l’AFP : “Le pic de l’épidémie a été atteint la semaine dernière”.Le Dr Thierry Blanchon ajoute : “En quatre semaines, 1.050.000 personnes présentant une fièvre de plus de 39 degrés ont consulté leur médecin généraliste”. De son côté, le réseau des Groupes régionaux d’observation de la grippe ont fait savoir que si le pic épidémique avait été dépassé, cela ne signifie pas pour autant que la maladie a disparu du territoire ou est moins dangereuse. Au total la semaine dernière, 597.000 cas de grippe ont été observés par les professionnels de santé.Le 19 janvier 2011 à 17:50 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

David W Hedrick I like to fight for what I believe

first_imgThe Columbian is profiling the six candidates who are running for the open 3rd Congressional District seat. With Democratic U.S. Rep. Brian Baird’s retirement from Congress, the seat representing Southwest Washington has grabbed national attention as one of a handful of toss-up congressional races in the nation.Republicans see a chance to retake control of the U.S. House and their first opportunity in a dozen years to win the 3rd. Democrats hope to hold onto the seat by coalescing around a single leading candidate. Voters’ first chance to weigh in on this important race will come in the Aug. 17 top-two primary. Ballots will be mailed late next week.In conjunction with this series, The Columbian is publishing all the candidates’ responses to its questionnaire on major issues that will face the next Congress. Those responses are available at http://www.columbian.com/politics.o Wednesday: David Castillo, Republican.o Thursday: Denny Heck, Democrat.o Friday: Jaime Herrera, Republican.o Today: David W. Hedrick, Republican; Cheryl Crist, Democrat; Norma Jean Stevens, Independent.Republicano Age: 31.o Residence: Camas.o Occupation: Management accountant.o Political background: None.o Campaign funds raised: $41,358.o Quote: “I am not a career politician! Like you, I’m sick of career politicians bankrupting our nation and stealing our liberty.”o Campaign website: www.david4congress.comDavid W. Hedrick found his voice last August at a Vancouver town hall meeting on health care reform. He hasn’t stopped voicing his views since. A self-described Tea Party Republican and a Marine Corps veteran, Hedrick is at ease on a stage with microphone in hand. A video clip of his tirade at U.S. Rep. Brian Baird’s August 2009 town hall on health care reform, at which he warned the federal government to “stay away from my kids” and told Baird, “You don’t have the right to tell me who I pick for my health insurance,” went viral on YouTube, receiving more than a million hits.last_img read more

People on the Move

first_imgNational Journal has announced several new additions to it leadership team. These hires come as the brand looks to beef up its political coverage. Stephanie Craig joins the brand as executive director of marketing and communications.  A veteran of Capitol Hill, Parliament Hill in Ottawa, the campaign trail and the Washington trade association world, Craig brings a unique perspective and experience in communications and marketing in Washington.  Angela Salazar has been named senior editor at InStyle. She had been deputy style editor at The San Francisco Chronicle. Additionally, Johnson Publishing Company has named Chan C. Smith its multimedia producer. She had been content creator at Chan C. Smith Media. Jenny Jin has been named editor at PureWow. She had been associate beauty editor at Real Simple. IBT Media announced that Arbell Noach has joined the marketing team as VP, director of social media. Noach joins IBT Media from Doremus where she was the engagement lead focusing on content, social media and influencer and experiential marketing.center_img Joining Craig on the marketing and communications team is Shannan Bowen as director of audience strategy. Bowen returned to Atlantic Media earlier this fall from The Hill, where she served as Director of Audience Engagement, where she guided the development of a new mobile site and managed an audience development strategy that set records for the publication’s mobile traffic and Facebook engagement.  Danielle Whelton joins National Journal as the senior director of membership services, overseeing the team serving the brand’s more than 1000 member organizations with custom research and strategy services. Prior to leaving journalism, Whelton spent five years as senior executive producer of CNN’s White House Unit.  LaToya Cross has been named social media manager, Jet, and digital editor at Johnson Publishing Company. She had been associate editor at N’Digo Magapaper.  Here are the rest of this week’s people on the move:last_img read more

Suspected JMB terrorist nabbed from Sealdah

first_imgKolkata: The Special Task Force (STF) of the Kolkata Police nabbed a person from Sealdah area suspecting him to be a member of the Jamat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) on Friday night. He was produced before the Bankshall Court on Saturday and was remanded to police custody till February 23. This is the second arrest in connection with terrorist activity within a week.According to sources, on Friday evening, the STF sleuths got information that one Manirul Islam who was wanted for his anti-national activities were seen in Sealdah. Immediately, a team of STF went to the area and kept a strict vigil. At night, the sleuths located Islam there and nabbed him. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseSources informed that Islam was involved in the blast which took place at Bodh Gaya in Bihar during July, 2013. A series of 10 bombs exploded in and around the Mahabodhi Temple. Five including two Buddhist monks were injured in the blast. Though the terrorist group called Indian Mujahideen were behind the blast, it is suspected that JMB terrorists are also connected with the same case. It is also suspected that Islam has a deep-rooted connection with JMB terrorist Kausar who was the mastermind behind the blast at Khagragarh in Burdwan. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataPreviously, the STF had arrested a JMB terrorist, identified as Abdul Matin from Kerala, a few days ago. Matin had obtained training from Simulia Madrasa and Mokimnagar Madrasa along with other accused persons of Khagragarh blast case. He became an active member of the JMB since 2010 when he was studying at Sher Shah Madrasa of Kaliachak in Malda. He had close connections with other JMB terrorists such as Nasirullah, Moulana Yousuf, Saidul, Jahidul and Saikul. Currently, Matin is in police custody.last_img read more

VIDEO 12yearold 7footer dominates undersized opponents on 8foot rims

first_imgIf there was ever a kid who should keep a copy of his birth certificate in his back pocket, it’s Canadian 12-year-old Oliver Rioux. Born in 2006, Rioux is already an astounding 7’0” and dominating his regular sized competition. To make things even less fair, the league shown in the below highlights uses 8-foot rims, so he doesn’t even have to jump to throw down.Rioux’s coordination is comparable to a baby giraffe, and he’s built like a telephone pole, but his highlights are still a blast to watch. It’s impossible to tell if he has a pro future. At this point, he looks a lot more like the next Chuck Nevitt than the next Shaq.Hey Ollie, maybe time to move up to big boy rims.last_img read more

In Lebanon antifilm protests underscore divide

first_img___AP correspondent Karin Laub contributed to this report from Beirut.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) The vital role family plays in society Hezbollah’s leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, has called for a series of massive protests this week over the amateurish movie produced in the United States, which depicts Muhammad as a fraud, a womanizer and a child-molester. Nasrallah has called the video an “unprecedented” affront to Muslim people all over the world.Two Hezbollah-led protests took place earlier this week, and they are expected to continue through the weekend. But Hezbollah appears to be trying to ensure the gatherings don’t descend into violence, planning them only in areas where the group has control. None of the rallies targets the heavily fortified U.S. Embassy in the hills outside Beirut.At Friday’s rally in the Hezbollah stronghold of Baalbek in the eastern Bekaa Valley, tens of thousands of people marched peacefully, shouting “Death to Israel” and “Death to America.”“We are all, Sunnis and Shiites, united against our common enemies,” said Batoul al-Bazzal, an 18-year-old student. “The Sunni-Shiite divide has been created by politicians and the media to serve the U.S. and Israel,” she claimed. Al-Bazzal stood among thousands of overwhelmingly Shiite protesters carrying a yellow Hezbollah flag in one hand. Moreover, a U.N.-backed special tribunal has accused four Hezbollah members in the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, Lebanon’s most powerful Sunni leader. Hezbollah says the tribunal is a tool of Israel and the West.Hezbollah still is Lebanon’s single most influential player with considerable support among Shiites and unprecedented political clout. It holds a dominant role in Beirut’s government and the prime minister is an ally, after the fall of the previous government sidelined Hezbollah’s opponents, the U.S.- and Western-backed factions led by Hariri’s son, Saad. As a result, its extensive arsenal of weapons and rockets is virtually untouchable for the moment.Jihad Bahlo, a 23-year-old salesman in a Beirut clothing shop, said differences between Shiites and Sunnis are largely over politics, and that followers of the two sects often get on well on a personal level. A Sunni, he said his co-workers included Shiites and Christians, and no one discussed politics at work “because we are sick of it.”However, Sunnis tend to be fearful of Hezbollah’s military might, said Bahlo, who is from a Sunni village in the predominantly Shiite Bekaa Valley. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project The rallying cry for both demonstrations was the same: Outrage directed at America and Israel over what they believed was a grave insult to Islam’s prophet.But participants in the two demonstrations could not be further apart, underscoring a years-old divide that has been exacerbated by the crisis in Syria, where the overwhelmingly Sunni opposition is struggling to oust a regime dominated by Alawites, an offshoot of Islam. The 18-month armed rebellion against President Bashar Assad has claimed nearly 30,000 lives, according to activists.Hezbollah’s Sunni opponents accuse the group of using the protests against the movie to distract from the group’s support for its ally Assad in the civil war.“They are doing this so they will move the eyes from what is happening in Syria,” said Ahmed Honeneh, a 37-year-old toolmaker among a few thousand at the Beirut rally Friday called by a Sunni firebrand preacher, Sheik Ahmad Assir.Sitting with friends in a row of white plastic chairs lined up in Beirut’s Martyrs Square, Honeneh said he expects Hezbollah’s popularity to drop further because of its backing to Assad. He hopes that will offer a chance for Lebanon’s Sunnis in Lebanon to gain some of the ground they have lost. Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Top Stories Backed by Syria and Iran, Hezbollah is Lebanon’s dominant political faction and, with its well-armed guerrillas, the most powerful armed force. But as the Syria war rages, it is treading carefully to retain the power it has built up over the past 30 years in Lebanon, a deeply divided country where its strength is resented by Sunnis and some in the Christian community.Its main strategy for doing so appears to avoid aggravating the volatile fault line between the Sunni and Shiite communities, which each make up about a third of Lebanon’s population of 4 million.It is to Hezbollah’s advantage that the crisis over the film has reinvigorated militant rhetoric that U.S. and Israel are the real enemies of Muslims, taking the heat off of both Assad and his loyal and powerful ally in lebanon.But Hezbollah’s flagrant support for Assad’s regime which stands accused by much of the international community of war crimes has angered many Arabs.The presenter of a political show on Future TV, owned by Sunni Lebanese leader Saad Hariri, went on a 15-minute rant against Hezbollah this week, accusing its leader of “hypocrisy” in calling for the anti-film protests while remaining silent over Assad’s deliberate destruction of mosques in Syria and killings of his Muslim countrymen. Sheik Assir, speaking at the rally Friday, took a jibe at the Hezbollah protests without naming the group, saying it was shameful that posters of the “butcher” Assad were held up during Lebanese protests against the anti-Islam movie.In remarks earlier this week, he accused Hezbollah “exploiting” the movie to recover some of the group’s lost popularity and accused Nasrallah of trying to “snatch” leadership of the Islamic world.“Why didn’t Sheikh Nasrallah do anything when the prophets of freedom were martyred in Syria?” he asked.Assir’s rapid rise and growing following are symptoms of the deep frustration among Lebanon’s Sunnis who resent the Hezbollah-led Shiite ascendancy in Lebanon.The 44-year-old, bespectacled, skinny cleric with a long beard typical of hardline Sunnis was previously little known, a preacher at the Bilal Bin Rabah Mosque in Sidon. Now he is openly challenging and taunting Hezbollah like few have dared before, even taking aim at Nasrallah, a revered figure usually considered a red line in Lebanon.Sunni bitterness still runs deep over clashes in May 2008, when Hezbollah gunmen swept through Sunni neighborhoods in Beirut after the pro-Western government of that time tried to dismantle the group’s crucial telecommunications network. More than 80 people were killed in those clashes. 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories Associated PressBAALBEK, Lebanon (AP) – The urge to defend Islam’s most unifying figure, the Prophet Muhammad, wasn’t enough to bring together Lebanon’s divided Sunni and Shiite Muslims. The two sects, which have been locked for years in a sometimes violent political rivalry, held separate protests Friday against an anti-Islam movie.Tens of thousands of supporters of the Shiite Hezbollah movement held a raucous protest in the eastern Lebanese city of Baalbek. Soon after, a few thousand supporters of a hardline Sunni cleric held gathered in the capital, Beirut.last_img read more

Parents slam Irish abortion laws after woman dies

first_imgNEW DELHI (AP) – The parents of an Indian woman who suffered a miscarriage and died after being refused an abortion in an Irish hospital slammed Ireland’s abortion laws Thursday.Savita Halappanavar was 17 weeks pregnant when she miscarried and died last month. Ireland’s government confirmed Wednesday that Halappanavar suffered from blood poisoning and died after being denied an abortion, reigniting the debate over legalizing abortion in the predominantly Catholic country. Top Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Parents, stop beating yourself up Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix How men can have a healthy 2019 Comments   Share   Three separate investigations are looking into the cause of Halappanavar’s death.Ireland’s constitution officially bans abortion, but a 1992 Supreme Court ruling said the procedure should be legalized for situations when the woman’s life is at risk from continuing the pregnancy. Five governments since have refused to pass a law resolving the confusion, leaving Irish hospitals reluctant to terminate pregnancies except in the most obviously life-threatening circumstances.An estimated 4,000 Irish women travel next door to England every year, where abortion has been legal on demand since 1967. But that option is difficult, if not impossible, if the woman’s health is failing.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Sponsored Stories “In an attempt to save a 4-month-old fetus they killed my 30-year-old daughter. How is that fair you tell me?” A. Mahadevi, Halappanavar’s mother, told several Indian television stations. Her daughter actually was 31 when she died.“How many more cases will there be? The rules should be changed as per the requirement of Hindus. We are Hindus, not Christians,” she said.Savita Halappanavar’s father, Andanappa Yalagi, said the combination of medical negligence and Irish abortion laws led to his daughter’s death.The spokesman for India’s Ministry of External Affairs, Syed Akbaruddin, said in a Twitter post that the Indian Embassy in Dublin was “following the matter.”Halappanavar’s husband, Praveen, said doctors at University Hospital Galway in western Ireland determined that his wife was miscarrying within hours of her hospitalization for severe pain on Oct. 21. He said over the next three days, doctors refused their requests for an abortion to combat her searing pain and fading health.It was only after the fetus died that its remains were surgically removed. Within hours, Savita was placed under sedation in intensive care with blood poisoning, her husband said. By Oct. 27, her heart, kidneys and liver had stopped working, and she was pronounced dead the next day. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairylast_img read more

The global blueberry industry gathering in British

first_img The global blueberry industry gathering in British … July 24 , 2018 Araya explained that varietal reconversion is a complex task, with challenges including the low availability of plants. “You need to order the number of plants that you need to make the change one or two years in advance, as they are not available in the market,” said Araya.Furthermore, according to Arrieta, there are high costs involved which not all local farmers can afford. However, Araya said that change is essential for those who want to remain in the market.This coming season is expected to provide a greater idea of how some of the new varieties perform in the different growing areas.Climate changeAnother important topic in the Atacama grape industry is climate change, with two adverse weather events that included flooding and even snowfall severely damaging growers in 2015 and 2017.Fernando Santibañez, director of the environmental and agricultural organization Agrimed, said it will be key to plant varieties that are better adapted to the varying weather conditions.A possible increase in the frequency of high temperatures, above 35°C, has the potential to affect the quality of the fruit, “in terms of size, health, appearance and ability to travel to the final market”, he explained.In addition, high winter temperatures could produce “a greater aggressiveness in pests”, and phytosanitary strategy will therefore be key for the future, he said.www.freshfruitportal.com Apeel Sciences to join Europe’s fight against fo … Several new table grape varieties are being planted in Chile’s Atacama region, under a project that now 15% complete and expected to be finished by 2025.Growers in the northern region are searching for larger, sweeter, juicier seedless grape varieties amid intensifying competition in markets like the U.S., according to Lina Arrieta, president of the Copiapo Valley Agricultural Producers and Exporters Association (APECO).U.S. demand over recent years has declined for the region’s predominant varieties, such as Red Globe, Flame and Superior, she said.In addition, Peru has been significantly increasing its production of newer, seedless varieties and has been gaining increased U.S. market penetration at the expense of Chile.Regional Agriculture Secretary Patricio Araya told Fresh Fruit Portal varietal reconversion has become essential for the region to be able to remain competitive, explaining that varieties typically found in the area are becoming obsolete both due to market preference and yield.During the 2017-18 campaign, more than 10 million boxes were exported from the Atacama region, of which four million went to the U.S.The new varieties being planted are Timco, Arra15, Unknown Black Seedless, Ralli Seedless, Allison, Sugarthirteen and Sheegene 13. But the APECO president said that production is still small, and a clear idea of the market response is not expected for three years.center_img You might also be interested in Europe’s heatwave intensifies with dangerous tempe … Australian table grape season in China “outstandin …last_img read more

Manx2com is launching twicedaily flights to Belf

first_imgManx2.com is launching twice-daily flights to Belfast from Cork as it names George Best Belfast City Airport its new Northern Ireland hub.Services to the province’s capital take off from Ireland’s second-largest city at 09:20 and 17:40 each day, with these services landing at 10:30 and 18:50 respectively.The airline also confirmed that from October 31st, it will move all its Northern Ireland operations at Belfast International to Belfast City Airport.Noel Hayes, the airline’s chairman, explained that changes in the aviation industry this year have “presented opportunities” to smaller carriers like Manx2.com.”One such dynamic is capitalising and growing our operations in Ireland and introducing Belfast City Airport as our key hub,” he commented.”Our regular passenger surveys confirm that our commuter routes, such as our new twice-daily service to Cork, are very well suited to this airport, where speed of transit through the terminal and fast access to the city centre are seen as key benefits.”On July 9th, Manx2.com launched new flights to Galway from the Isle of Man, with services operating every Friday and Sunday.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedFlights to Belfast City from London to be introduced by easyJetFlights to Belfast City from London to be introduced by easyJetBelfast International Airport opens new passenger airbridgeBelfast International Airport opens new passenger airbridgeJet2.com launches new flights to Newquay and JerseyJet2.com has launched new flights to Newquay and Jersey from Belfast International Airport.last_img read more

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On whether the sect’s kingpin.

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The Pentagon is engineering humans for war. read more