43 projects receive a total of 9M through the CMF Convergent Digital

first_imgAdvertisement Click Here to view a complete list of new projects that received fundingAbout the Canada Media FundThe Canada Media Fund (CMF) fosters, develops, finances and promotes the production of Canadian content and applications for all audiovisual media platforms. The CMF guides Canadian content towards a competitive global environment by fostering industry innovation, rewarding success, enabling a diversity of voice and promoting access to content through public and private sector partnerships. The CMF receives financial contributions from the Government of Canada and Canada’s cable, satellite and IPTV distributors. Please visit cmf-fmc.ca. Facebook Toronto, October 18, 2018 – The Canada Media Fund (CMF) announced today an investment of $9M to 43 projects that applied for funding through the 2018-2019 Convergent Digital Media Incentive. The Incentive is designed to encourage the production of digital media components that are related to CMF-funded television productions, so as to provide audiences with the opportunity to access content on different platforms.Of the 43 selected projects, 15 are in English and 28 in French; 12 are children’s and youth projects, 13 are documentaries, 17 are drama projects, and one is in the Variety and Performing Arts genre.Including this round of funding, since 2010, the CMF has invested more than $85.2M in 496 projects that received funding through the Convergent Digital Media Incentive. Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitterlast_img read more

Two decades of studies undercut Ottawas plan to combat violence against Indigenous

first_imgAPTN National News OTTAWA — The federal government’s strategy to deal with the high number of murdered and missing Indigenous women is not supported by nearly 60 studies that have examined the issue, according to a new report.The Harper government has rejected calls for a national inquiry into the causes behind the nearly 1,200 Indigenous women who have been murdered or gone missing since 1980, arguing the issue has been studied enough and now is the time for “action.” Justice Canada has even released a list of 40 reports to support that position.A report released Thursday shows that those 40 studies do not “support the government’s stance.” The report, by the Legal Strategy Coalition on Violence Against Indigenous Women (LSC), reviewed a total of 58 studies dating back to 1994.The LSC report said the federal government wrongly believes that violence against Indigenous women is not a sociological problem, but rather one as a “series of crimes.” Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said he personally doesn’t believe the issue to be a sociological one.“Despite diverse authors, the reports reviewed show strong consensus about the root causes of this violence; it is a sociological issue,” said the report. “The recommendations that are repeated time and again in so many of the reports highlight exactly why and inquiry is needed: to ascertain the extent to which these recommendations have been implemented and to identify and address obstacles to implementation.”The report said that many of the studies “stress that the economic and social marginalization of Indigenous women makes them more susceptible to violence and less able to escape violent circumstances.”The LSC report found that many of the studies found that a toxic mix of family breakdowns, overcrowded housing, food insecurity, lack of access to education and chronic underfunding for services targeting Indigenous women increased their exposure and vulnerability to violence.Added to this is the continuing racism and sexism in Canada, the legacies of colonialism, the shadow of residential schools and discriminatory legislation like the Indian Act.“And yet, police and health care professionals fail to adequately prioritize the health and safety of Indigenous women and a lack of culturally sensitive programs prevent the services that already exist from addressing challenges specific to Indigenous women’s experiences,” said the report.Executive Summary of LSC reportDownload (PDF, Unknown)The report was released a day before a planned roundtable on murdered and missing Indigenous women that will include federal and provincial premiers and cabinet ministers along with Indigenous leaders and the families of victims.The roundtable aims to hammer out a strategy to stem the disproportionate level of violence faced by Indigenous women.LSC includes a number of First Nation, universities and human rights organizations including Amnesty International, the Nova Scotia Native Women’s Association, Dalhousie University, University of Saskatchewan, Aboriginal Legal Services Toronto and the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies, among others.news@aptn.ca@APTNNewslast_img read more

Lone Wolf Golf Club hires new General Manager

first_img“I’m just really excited to be a part of the District team and the Lone Wolf Team. I had a chance to meet everyone over here at the Office and at the Golf Course. I’m excited to be a part of that brand and team.”Mayor Rob Fraser says he is looking forward to seeing Galay and the new team work together.“Thank you very much for taking the position and we’re looking forward to you and the team, there’s a new team there at the Golf Course, so we’re interested in how you are going to gel them together and we’re interested in your new ideas. Welcome, and thank you.”Prior to this position, Galay was General Manager and Lead Pro at Lakepoint Golf and Country Club in Charlie Lake. TAYLOR, B.C. – At a recent District of Taylor Council Meeting, Council introduced the new General Manager for the Lone Wolf Golf Club.Ryan Galay was hired by the District as the new General Manager for the Golf Course, replacing Dave Callum.Galay says he is very excited to join the Lone Wolf Team as a General Manager.last_img read more

Fort St John Tourism seeks separation to be own entity

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Recently the FSJ Tourism Board made a presentation to City Council regarding their role working with the City as well as their desire to change a bylaw to allow them to become a society.In 2010, Tourism Fort St. John board was developed with a bylaw that has prevented and limits potential growth opportunities for the tourism organization to operate efficiently in Fort St John.The Board made a request to Council to rescind the bylaw and allow the board to incorporate as registered Society in BC rather than a Board of Council as well as retaining ownership of the branding and name ‘Tourism Fort St. John’. The Tourism Board also requested a financial commitment in the amount of $52,000.00 annually for a three year period (2020 – 2022). The annual funding would continue to provide Fort St. John with tourism services and capacity development through the creation of a business plan, a Tap Know & Go development study, professional development, stakeholder engagement, marketing, administration costs and would take over the NE BCTourism Marketing Cooperative, currently undertaken by the Visitor Centre.Council approved the motion and a repeal bylaw will be drafted for Tourism Fort St.John Bylaw No. 2049, 2010 and a fee for service agreement developed.last_img read more

SC seeks reply from Vodafone Airtel on CBIs plea alleging noncooperation

first_imgNew Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday sought reply form Vodafone and Airtel on a plea by the CBI alleging that they were not cooperating with the investigation in the Saradha chit fund case.A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi listed the agency’s plea on April 8 after the mobile service providers denied the allegations. A bench also comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna was told by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for the CBI that there was complete lawlessness and anarchy in West Bengal. He said recently police tried to arrest a custom officer for checking the baggage of wife of a TMC leader at the international airport in Kolkata. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’He said the complete incident was recorded in the CCTV. The agency had recently filed a status report relating to the interrogation of the then Kolkata Police commissioner Rajeev Kumar in connection with the scam. The apex court had on March 26 termed as “very very serious” the revelations made by the CBI in its status report relating to interrogation of Kumar. The top court had said that it cannot “close its eyes” if some “very very serious facts” were disclosed to it and directed the agency to file an application seeking appropriate relief against Kumar, who had earlier headed the state SIT to probe the chit fund scam. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KThe top court had refused to drop the contempt proceedings against the West Bengal DGP, the chief secretary and Kumar. It was hearing CBI’s contempt application against various senior officials of the West Bengal government on the ground of non-cooperation in its probe and alleged tampering of evidence, including call data records (CDRs) of key accused and Sardha group CMD Sudipta Sen and Debjani Mukherjee. The court, which had earlier directed the CBI director to file an affidavit giving details about the alleged contempt committed by West Bengal cops and others in the case, had perused the reply of the CBI chief and the fresh status report, pertaining to quizzing of Kumar. The agency had earlier alleged non-cooperation on the West Bengal Police for providing incomplete information and tampering with details to the probe agency. The apex court had said that the allegations made by the CBI were serious enough and it was an “obligation” on part of the agency to disclose full details of the alleged contempt committed by the then police commissioner.last_img read more

UNmanaged Asian tsunami trust fund broadened to cover disaster preparedness

“The Tsunami Regional Trust Fund has served its purpose well, especially with the establishment of a regional early warning service,” said Noeleen Heyzer, ESCAP’s Executive Secretary, during the signing of the agreement with Kasit Piromya, Thailand’s Minster of Foreign Affairs, at the Commission’s headquarters in Bangkok.“It is now time to step forward in expanding this fund to target disaster preparedness to counter all coastal disasters threatening our communities,” said Ms. Heyzer.Mr. Piromya noted that “Thailand’s contribution to the fund is part of our comprehensive efforts to enhance regional and international disaster management.”One major result of the fund was the establishment of the Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System for Africa and Asia (RIMES), which provides early warning services to 26 members for tsunamis and extreme weather events.The fund was established in 2005, with generous support from Thailand and Sweden, following the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami of 26 December 2004 which killed at least 200,000 people.Contributions to the fund have also been received from the Governments of Turkey, Bangladesh, Nepal and the Netherlands.Since 2005, the fund has supported projects resulting in improved risk knowledge, monitoring and warning services, communication and community preparedness.ESCAP, Thailand and Sweden recently agreed to expand the core areas of support of the fund to include climate and disaster preparedness in the light of the increased number of extreme weather events, as well as the to strengthen early warning systems, changing its name to the ESCAP Multi-Donor Trust Fund for Tsunami, Disaster and Climate Preparedness in Indian Ocean and Southeast Asian Countries.Sweden, a significant donor to the fund, strongly supported transforming its work. “Sweden welcomes the decision to broaden the scope of the fund to include overall disaster and climate preparedness,” said Lennart Linner, Sweden’s ambassador to Thailand. “We look forward to continued fruitful cooperation with the partners of the new ESCAP Multi-Donor Trust Fund.” 7 March 2011The head of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and Thailand’s foreign minister today signed an agreement expanding the scope of the regional tsunami trust fund to include support for disaster preparedness projects. read more

Modi Sirisena discuss reconciliation process

The Indian Prime Minister’s office said that the reconciliation process and Indian investment in various projects in Sri Lanka also came up for discussion. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met President Maithripala Sirisena in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.Modi complimented the Sri Lankan President for the two elections that were successfully conducted in Sri Lanka this year, saying that this showed the deep-rooted democratic traditions of that country.

UN labour chief urges textile industry actors to smooth rough edges of

“This sector symbolizes the potentials and problems of global production systems,” Juan Somavia, the Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO), told the Tripartite Meeting on Promoting Fair Globalization in Textiles and Clothing on Monday. “We need to address the transformation of the textiles and clothing sector in a socially responsible way,” he added.Since the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing terminated at the beginning of year while the international system of import/export quotas under the Multifibre Agreement was phased out, the $350 million textile and clothing industry employing 40 million workers has shifted to accommodate the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), creating huge uncertainty among producing countries, workers and enterprises worldwide, according to the ILO.”The goal is to craft strategies and policy responses on how best to adapt to the changing environment so that …we can combine competitiveness, decent work, and fair rules of the game,” Mr. Somavia said of the shift.He noted that recent global agreements, including the Outcome Document adopted by the 2005 World Summit, have reaffirmed the need for attention to decent work and fair globalization. The challenge now, he added, is translating the broad vision into a practical approach.Now that quotas have been lifted, ILO said more work is flowing to large, low-cost producer countries, and markets drying up in smaller nations that benefited previously from the restrictions. In response, Mr. Somavia called for efforts to “upgrade the skills and employability of workers and managers entering and leaving the industry.””If we have the vision and the will, the end of the quota system can herald the beginning of a commonly agreed, new people-centred approach to promoting fair globalization in the textile and clothing industry,” Mr. Somavia said.The ILO three-day tripartite meeting and will review strategies that have been put in place for promoting fair globalization in the worldwide textiles and clothing sector. read more

US filings for jobless aid climbed to 282000 last week but job

by Josh Boak, The Associated Press Posted Dec 10, 2015 6:39 am MDT Last Updated Dec 10, 2015 at 12:20 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email US filings for jobless aid climbed to 282,000 last week; but job market still looks healthy FILE – In this April 22, 2015, file photo, a job seeker fills out an application during a National Career Fairs job fair in Chicago. According to information released by the Labor Department on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, applications for U.S. jobless aid climbed in the week earlier, but the number of Americans seeking benefits remains close to historic lows in a positive sign for the job market. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File) WASHINGTON – Applications for U.S. jobless aid climbed last week, but the number of Americans seeking benefits remains close to historic lows in a positive sign for the job market.THE NUMBERS: Weekly applications for jobless aid rose 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 282,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The less volatile four-week average was 270,750.The weekly filings have stayed near historic lows for the past nine months. Applications below 300,000 usually correspond with net monthly job gains in excess of 200,000.THE TAKEAWAY: The low numbers point to a solid environment for hiring, suggesting that employers are holding onto workers and potentially looking to add staff on the expectation of further growth.KEY DRIVERS: More Americans have returned to work during the past three years, as the economy has slowly recovered from the Great Recession. The influx has enabled the economy to grow at a moderate pace of roughly 2 per cent a year, enough for employers to retain their workers and steadily expand their payrolls.BIG PICTURE: Jobless claims are a proxy for layoffs, so the low level indicates that job growth will continue. The economy added roughly 211,000 jobs in the November and 298,000 in October, the government said last week. The unemployment rate has held at 5 per cent. Monthly job growth has averaged more than 200,000 so far this year, enough to lower the unemployment rate over time. read more

UNbrokered Cyprus talks to reconvene on 20 November significant progress achieved

“During these past five days, the chapter on territory and all other issues were discussed interdependently. Significant progress has been achieved,” the UN spokesperson for Cyprus said in a statement released to the press yesterday. The Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akıncı, and the Greek Cypriot leader, Nicos Anastasiades, have been engaged in sustained negotiations in Mont Pèlerin, Switzerland, since 7 November under the auspices of the UN. Upon request of Mr. Anastasiades, it has been decided by the two leaders to take a recess and reconvene in Geneva on Sunday, 20 November, to continue their deliberations, the spokesperson said. “The two leaders, once again, wish to express their gratitude to the Government of Switzerland for its generosity and hospitality in hosting this event and for the invaluable support provided to them and their teams throughout the week,” the spokesperson added. According to the UN Department of Political Affairs, while efforts to reunify Cyprus continue, the UN exerts a stabilizing presence by deploying a peacekeeping mission on the island since 1964. The UN also works through the good offices of the Secretary-General to assist the two sides in the search for a comprehensive and mutually acceptable settlement to the Cyprus problem.In addition to other methods, the UN chief uses his ‘good offices’ – diplomatic steps taken publicly and in private, drawing upon his independence, impartiality and integrity – to prevent international disputes from arising, escalating or spreading. read more

Marcus Ahlm to retire at the end of season

Legendary THW Kiel captain, Marcus Ahlm (35) has decided to end his fantastic career next summer. Swedish star spent fantastic 10 years in one of the best team on the Earth since 2003. Before his transfer to “Zebras”, Ahlm has played for several Swedish club. It was an option that Marcus continues his time in handball in some of the Swedish teams, but he decided to stop after this season and start another career in bussiness in Swedish city of Malmo. ← Previous Story DKB Bundesliga: Kiel win over HSV – Flensburg demolish Fuchse in Berlin! Next Story → Serbian derby: Vojvodina beat Partizan – Fans was beaten by Police! (VIDEO) MalmoMarcus AhlmTHW Kiel read more

Une feuille artificielle capable dassurer les besoins énergétiques dune maison

first_imgUne feuille artificielle capable d’assurer les besoins énergétiques d’une maisonUne équipe de chercheurs du Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) a mis au point une feuille artificielle capable de produire de l’énergie bien plus rapidement que la photosynthèse naturelle. Une création conçue pour aider les pays en développement.Conçue avec du silicium, des circuits électroniques, et des catalyseurs, cette feuille artificielle a la taille d’une carte à jouer, mais elle est encore plus fine. Ses concepteurs l’ont présentée lors de la conférence annuelle de l’American Chemical Society en Californie. À lire aussiLa fusion nucléaire pourrait bien devenir prochainement une réalitéIl suffit de déposer cette feuille dans un récipient d’eau pour produire de l’énergie. Si la photosynthèse réalisée par une feuille naturelle utilise la lumière du soleil et l’eau pour fournir de la nourriture à la plante, la feuille artificielle utilise la lumière du soleil afin de séparer l’oxygène et l’hydrogène de l’eau, puis de les convertir en électricité. Si la feuille flotte dans quatre litres d’eau sous un ciel d’été, elle peut assurer les besoins en électricité quotidien d’une maison, assurent ses créateurs.”Cette feuille artificielle est la promesse d’une source d’énergie peu coûteuse pour les foyers pauvres des pays en développement. Notre but est d’offrir à chaque maison sa propre centrale électrique”, a souligné Daniel Nocera, chercheur au Massachusetts Institute of Technology dont les propos sont rapportés par le site Softpedia News. “Nous pouvons imaginer dans un futur proche des villages d’Inde et d’Afrique achetant un système de production d’électricité abordable basé sur cette technologie”, s’enthousiasme-t-il.Une feuille artificielle avait déjà été développée il y a une dizaine d’années. Mais le prototype ne fonctionnait pas plus d’une journée, en plus de coûter trop cher à la production pour être commercialisé.Le 30 mars 2011 à 12:01 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

County to expand use of EVerify

first_imgClark County commissioners on Tuesday voted to increase the number of public contracts that require bidders to prove they have signed up with a federal database that allows them to check the citizenship of their workers.As of Nov. 1, companies bidding on county contracts worth $25,000 or more will have to show they’ve entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Homeland Security, which administers the federal E-Verify database.Making E-Verify a requirement for contracts that trigger the sealed bid process means the county has taken the toughest stance locally on trying to ensure no public dollars are going to companies that employ illegal aliens.In the sealed bid process, the county has to advertise and go with the lowest bid that meets county requirements. Lack of controversyThe city of Vancouver uses E-Verify for contracts worth $500,000 or more. The city of Washougal uses it for contracts worth $100,000 or more. When Washougal’s policy took effect in February, city councils in Ridgefield and Camas discussed using E-Verify but decided to wait and see how well it works elsewhere.last_img read more

Scouts to haul away Christmas trees in annual fundraiser Saturday

first_img• Central Transfer and Recycling, 11034 N.E. 117th Ave., Vancouver (360-256-8482): Open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; $1 per tree (first three trees).• City Bark, 2419 N.E. Andresen Road, Vancouver (360-253-8461): Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday; $1 per tree.• H&H Wood Recyclers, 8401 N.E. 117th Ave., Vancouver (360-892-2805): Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday; $1 per tree.• McFarlane’s Bark, 8806 N.E. 117th Ave., Vancouver (360-892-6125): Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday; $3 per tree.• Triangle Resources, 612 S.E. Union St., Camas (360-834-7253): Open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday; $2 per tree.• Washougal Transfer Station, 4020 S. Grant St., Washougal (360-835-2500): Public hours 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays; $1 per tree (first three trees).• West Van Materials Recovery Center, 6601 N.W. Old Lower River Road, Vancouver (360-737-1727): Open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; $1 per tree (first three trees).A Christmas tree doesn’t come with an expiration date. There is no “Best if used by …” label on the trunk.But really, Saturday will be long enough, won’t it?That’s when hundreds of Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts and volunteers will stage their annual Christmas tree roundup around Clark County.The Scouts will provide a one-day disposal option for all the firs and pines that have been stripped of their tinsel, ornaments and lights.last_img read more

At Texas border tech cant keep pace with immigrant influx

first_img“We can’t take you anymore,” said Trump, whose grandfather was a 16-year-old German immigrant. “We can’t take you. Our country is full.”Then, changing his position on Friday, the president tweeted that he’s “giving strong considerations” to placing migrants in mostly Democratic “sanctuary cities,” a move Democrats called a politically motivated stunt. Tall Order: Building the Border Wall It’s a big, dark, windowless room equipped with a wall of large-format TV monitors. The screens show surveillance camera views of the curves and bends of the Rio Grande and its grassy, weed-choked banks. Some displays are in black-and-white, others are in infrared or color. A screen in the middle plays Trump’s favorite network, Fox News.Sitting in rows of desks in front of the TVs are a mix of about five Border Patrol agents and five National Guard troops (some of the same 5,000 active-duty troops the Pentagon has sent to the border over the last year). They’re each tasked with closely monitoring one area of the river. Not only can they control the cameras, but they’re also paying attention to inputs from buried seismic ground sensors that can pick up footsteps and vehicle movement. If they see anything suspicious, they immediately radio agents in the field.”The agents know what looks right and what looks wrong,” says Jose A. Martinez, an assistant chief patrol agent with a close-cropped crewcut, green eyes and a no-nonsense demeanor. “Rain, sleet, snow, they’re capturing video for us.”laredo-texas-borderlands-4382US Border Patrol can monitor all movements on the Rio Grande at a nerve center in Laredo, Texas. James Martin/CNET It’s up to Customs and Border Protection officers to police the US-Mexico ports of entry, but it’s up to Border Patrol agents to monitor everything in between. In the Laredo sector, Border Patrol has 34 remote video surveillance systems that focus on the 30 to 40 miles of river with the most activity.Martinez shows me a couple of these hotspots in person. We hop into his SUV with two other agents and head to a large tree-filled park on the river. People jog on dirt trails that weave around soccer fields and baseball diamonds. Cormorants skim across the water in search of fish, and redwing blackbirds chatter in the bushes. Martinez says people tend to cross the river here because they can run up the bank and easily blend in with park-goers.Set back a few dozen feet from the river is a steel tower that’s about 120 feet tall. Fixed on top is a system of daylight and infrared cameras that face up and down the Rio Grande. The footage from these cameras is what agents back at the nerve center are monitoring. They’re looking for people swimming across the river or traversing it in canoes, inflatable rafts or inner tubes.Border Patrol is increasingly relying on technology to help agents do their jobs. To spot people and vehicles crossing the border, they use everything from the surveillance towers to radar- and laser-equipped drones to a complex system of ground, radio frequency, seismic and imaging sensors.laredo-texas-borderlands-4536A remote video surveillance system keeps watch over the Rio Grande. James Martin/CNET Martinez says the tech has its drawbacks. In Laredo, the cameras are limited in how far up and down river they can scan. That means people can take advantage of gaps in the system and sneak in without being seen.”They have the advantage because they can see us, but we can’t see them,” Martinez says, pointing to thickets of trees and hilly ridges on the Mexican side. And once they get to the US side, people can still evade the cameras. He shows me a steep embankment next to the water. “Someone can just hang off the ledge right there.” We can have all the technology in the world. But if we don’t have personnel to respond, what are we going to do? Jose A. Martinez, assistant chief patrol agent for US Border Patrol Politics Texas border sees tense confrontations for immigrants 22 Photos As Martinez keeps driving, the nerve center radios saying they see about “10 bodies” aiming to cross the river near us. Martinez flips a U-turn and hits the gas. We race down a busy street, pull into an H-E-B grocery store parking lot, turn off the headlights and sit. It’s bustling with kids running around and people pushing shopping carts.”They have reached the US riverbank,” Martinez says as he gets word from the nerve center.Below the parking lot, the Rio Grande’s shore is covered with thick, head-high weeds. The nerve center agents will now rely on signals from the buried ground sensors to figure out which way the crossers are moving. Martinez gets a call that they’ve found the group about a block away.In a dark and dusty lot behind a commercial strip, a Border Patrol truck already has two people sitting in the back seat. It’s a man and woman, both from Mexico City. Other agents by the river are chasing three more immigrants and their guide. One by one, everyone is caught. They’re all from different parts of Mexico.laredo-texas-borderlands-4986Mexican immigrants are apprehended by Border Patrol agents in Laredo, Texas. James Martin/CNET A young man appears wearing tight black jeans tucked into work boots and a grey sweatshirt. The agents put him up against the truck, pat him down and inventory what’s in his pockets. He has a cellphone and charger, a notepad and a wallet with photos of people in small plastic sleeves.”We have to chase them down. We have to work for these apprehensions,” Martinez says. “These agents will drop them off and then come back out here again.”All six people will be transported to the Centralized Processing Unit, where their information will be recorded and officials will decide what to do with them, Martinez says. Most likely they will all be deported back to Mexico.Braving the riverAs the days ticked by at the former factory in Piedras Negras, people in the caravan became increasingly desperate to leave. Reports of families sneaking out and heading to the river became near daily occurrences.Mexican officials shut down the facility on Feb. 19, about two weeks after it opened. The caravan was split up. Some people stayed at shelters in Piedras Negras, but most were bused to other cities across Northern Mexico.laredo-texas-borderlands-6662The facility holding around 1,800 migrants in Piedras Negras, Mexico, closed on Feb. 19. James Martin/CNET Throughout February and March, dozens of immigrants attempted to cross the Rio Grande into Eagle Pass. In one event, Border Patrol agents apprehended a group of 56 Hondurans, mostly women and children. At least two dead bodies have been found in the river and several families were rescued from drowning. In three separate incidents, 17 Central Americans were pulled out of the same spot of the river in just one day. A couple days later, a 12-year-old Honduran boy had to be resuscitated.Given the scope of law enforcement waiting on the US side, it’s clear most immigrants trying to cross would get caught. But that was their intention. Once a person sets foot in US territory, they have the right to apply for asylum. By braving the river, migrants can jump the indefinite metering line at the bridge.When I spoke to Zuniga through that yellow chain-link fence at the Albergue Migrante, I asked her if she’d ford the river if it came to that.”Crossing the river? No. I came here with the wish to do it right. To cross the bridge calmly and to respect the laws,” she said. “I just hope that Donald Trump helps us.”Tall Order: Building the Border Wall is our Texas border series exploring what a wall and tech alternatives might mean to the people, communities and law enforcement agencies living in its shadow. Read the first story here: Trump wants a border wall. Texas may want a smarter alternative, and the third story here: In a Texas border town, a church on the edge and wildlife at risk.Originally published April 11. Update, April 12: Adds President Trump’s statement on placing migrants in “sanctuary cities.” There’s no debate that a wall — and the government’s surveillance tech — will affect people along the river. So I set out to travel the entire length of the Texas-Mexico border to see firsthand what people think and how tech is helping, or not helping, the situation. Border Patrol already relies on a complex network of cameras, videos, drones and sensors to see at night, into the water and through dense foliage. But agents say it’s not enough. What’s happening along the Texas border is like nothing seen before, according to more than 30 interviews with people who live here, federal agents, lawyers, humanitarian groups, local law enforcement and immigrants.The standoff in Eagle Pass marked one of the first times standard border security was paired with military might.And it could be a signal of what’s to come.The nerve centerOn a nondescript street in Laredo, a large border city about 125 miles south of Eagle Pass, there’s an unassuming one-story beige building built in 1969 under President Richard Nixon. This is the Border Patrol Sector Headquarters for the Laredo region, which is responsible for 171 miles of the Rio Grande.Parked out front are a handful of Border Patrol’s green-and-white pickups. Inside, the hallways are lined with basic offices. But behind one door something wholly different is going on. “The gang said it was me who called the police,” Zuniga says. “People in the community warned me that the gang members said they were going to kill me.””With 18th Street, you don’t mess around because they kill people. They massacre people,” she adds. “I can’t return to Honduras.”Zuniga’s story isn’t unique. Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala are some of the most dangerous countries on Earth because of the violence perpetrated by 18th Street and rival gang MS-13, according to investigative nonprofit Insight Crime. After Venezuela, El Salvador had the highest homicide rate in the world in 2018. Honduras came in at No. 4 and Guatemala at No. 10.The gangs first formed on the streets of Los Angeles during the 1980s and were then exported to Central America in the 1990s when the Clinton administration stepped up deportations of criminals back to their home countries. In that region, then ravaged by civil war and poverty and flooded with weapons, 18th Street and MS-13 not only thrived but became increasingly more brutal. Now, 25 years later, the gangs have become the de facto rulers of the Northern Triangle.laredo-texas-borderlands-6364Honduran immigrant Oeli Zuniga and her daughter are hoping to seek asylum in the US. For now, they’re forced to stay in Mexico. James Martin/CNET “[The migrants] are fleeing failed governmental systems that aren’t able to protect their own population from organized crime, cartels and gangs,” says Goodwin. From women, “I hear stories of rape, multiple rapes, gang rapes. … Men often talk about being kidnapped, being beaten, tortured, being hit with two-by-fours, having their feet burned.”At the Albergue Migrante, rows of folding tables and chairs are set up on one side of the yard. Migrants can sit down with Mexican immigration officials and sign up for a humanitarian visa. This would allow them to live, work and travel freely in Mexico for a year. Some people tell me they’ll take the visa and stay in Mexico. Others are determined to get to the US.But the prospects don’t look good. Even if they make it across the bridge to apply for asylum, the chance of their case making its way through the courts anytime soon is slim. Asylum applications have skyrocketed over the last decade, from around 7,000 in 2010 to more than 325,000 in 2018, according to US Citizenship and Immigration Services. And even though the number of asylum cases is only 6.5 percent of overall immigration cases in the US, there’s a backlog of roughly 320,000 claims. The average wait time for an asylum case to be heard is about three years. Once these cases finally do make it to court, they’re approved just 21 percent of the time.graph-combined Amy Kim/CNET Meanwhile, migrants like Zuniga and the hundreds of other people in the caravan are in limbo.”If you wanna stop people from coming, you have to stop the factors that are pushing them out of their homeland,” Goodwin says. “You can put as many troops down here as you want, you can beef up border patrol by 20,000 agents, and that’s not gonna solve the systemic issues.””Boots on the ground, that ain’t gonna cut it.”Cat and mouseAs Agent Martinez navigates his SUV along dirt roads next to the Rio Grande in Laredo, the sun sets in flares of orange and red over the river. This is the time when illegal activity picks up, he says.”It’s going to be 11 bodies, possibly more,” a voice pipes over his radio, using Border Patrol jargon. It’s an agent from the nerve center saying he spotted 11 people about to cross the river on his surveillance camera.Martinez says they mostly apprehend people from Mexico and the Northern Triangle, although they’ve seen people from all over the world, including Brazil, Venezuela and Bangladesh. Along with migrants, Border Patrol is also looking for drug smugglers. Laredo agents have seized 14,500 pounds of marijuana, 216 pounds of cocaine and 154 pounds of meth since October.Laredo is one of the top five border cities where people cross the river illegally. That’s mainly because it’s an urban center where they can disappear without being noticed.laredo-texas-borderlands-4804A drainage tunnel in Laredo, Texas, that Border Patrol has covered with a metal gate so no one can sneak in. James Martin/CNET “Aliens cross here every night,” Martinez says. “Why? Because they can come up and run there or there and get lost.”Martinez drives downtown to show me a 4-foot-wide drainage pipe that empties into the Rio Grande. People cross the river and then run into the drainage tunnel. Once inside, they look for a manhole cover to pop off and exit into the city. Border Patrol has covered the pipe with a metal gate and sealed manhole covers, but people still get through with bolt cutters and a hammer.”When people ask, ‘Do we need a wall?’ This right here shows you the disadvantage we’re at and how a wall will be beneficial to us,” Martinez says. “It’s a little cat and mouse game.”He says a wall would be a deterrent and give border agents more time to respond. Laredo is on the shortlist to get a wall, but the city’s mayor, Pete Saenz, is opposed to the idea. “We don’t need a physical wall,” Saenz told NPR in an interview. “We have a natural barrier.” This right here shows you the disadvantage we’re at and how a wall will be beneficial to us. Jose A. Martinez, assistant chief patrol agent for US Border Patrol 12 3:47 Now playing: Watch this: • Comments On the one hand, migrants seeking asylum are fleeing extreme violence and poverty in the Northern Triangle, which has the highest murder rates in the world and has been deemed a humanitarian crisis by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Under US law, asylum seekers are considered legal immigrants.On the other hand, Trump has vowed to halt all immigration at the US-Mexico border.So where does that leave Texas? The president has made it clear he believes a big part of the solution to stemming immigration is an 18- to 30-foot cement or steel wall. California, Arizona and New Mexico, already have fencing or walls along 60 percent of their borders, but Texas only has around 20 percent because of its natural barrier with Mexico: the Rio Grande. Everyone is leaving because it’s dangerous. The gangs have taken over all the neighborhoods. Oeli Zuniga, Honduran immigrant See Allcenter_img Tags Aug 7 • Trump’s emissions and fuel economy rollbacks will cost Americans money, study says US Tech Policy Share your voice Jul 28 • Apple’s Q3 earnings are all about the iPhone 11 hints It’s also difficult for border agents to respond before whoever has crossed the river is gone, Martinez adds. Border Patrol is stretched thin, with only 1,750 agents deployed in the Laredo sector, which covers 110,000 square miles.”We can have all the technology in the world,” Martinez says. “But if we don’t have personnel to respond, what are we going to do?”‘They were going to kill me’When the caravan of Central American immigrants made it to Piedras Negras on Feb. 4, the Mexican authorities were expecting them. Off a highway on the outskirts of town, officials had prepared a former factory with sleeping mats, blankets, food, Wi-Fi and mobile health and dental trucks.At the entrance, a big red-and-white sign reads “Albergue Migrante, Migrant Hostel.” The entire facility is roughly the size of a football field and encircled by a yellow chain-link fence topped with barbed wire. Soldiers and police guard the building. Only officials are let in. The migrants aren’t allowed to leave.Up until last summer, asylum seekers could simply show up at a US port of entry to begin their application process. But now, under a new process called “metering” instituted by Customs and Border Protection, only a limited number of asylum requests are allowed per day, depending on the bridge and port of entry. Immigrants are being forced to wait in Mexico indefinitely.laredo-texas-borderlands-6646Detained migrants line up in a former factory in Piedras Negras, Mexico. James Martin/CNET “The so-called crisis is totally manufactured by the fact that they’re metering people at the port of entry. It creates dangerous situations for the migrants who are waiting at the foot of the bridge and in the border towns,” says Jodi Goodwin, a Texas immigration lawyer. “Those individuals become desperate and have no other option but to cross the river.”In a dusty yard at the facility in Piedras Negras, hundreds wait for their chance to cross the bridge to Eagle Pass. It’s a decidedly low-tech affair, with people standing around for hours waiting to be called. The migrants say about 15 people per day are let out.”So many families are here and single mothers,” the Honduran migrant Zuniga tells me through the chain-link fence. Her light brown hair is tied back in a messy ponytail and she’s wearing a pilled green fleece over a tight pink T-shirt. “I just want them to let me out and let me go and ask for political asylum with my daughter.”Back in Honduras, Zuniga’s neighborhood in the city of San Pedro Sula was ruled by the notorious 18th Street gang. She says she tried to keep a low profile working as a grocery store clerk and raising her young daughter. But all that came to an end in early January. One evening, members of 18th Street gathered in a field near her house. All of a sudden the police arrived, Zuniga says. A shootout ensued, and some of the gang members were killed. If you wanna stop people from coming, you have to stop the factors that are pushing them out of their homeland. Jodi Goodwin, Texas immigration lawyer. reading • At Texas border, tech can’t keep pace with immigrant influx US Tech Policy Trump wants a border wall. Texas may want a smarter alternative In a Texas border town, a church on the edge and wildlife at risk Aug 6 • Trump says he’s watching Google ‘very closely,’ slams CEO Sundar Pichai Aug 6 • President Trump wants social media to catch shooters before they strike. It’s going to be hard Drones Military Donald Trump A high-tech, low-tech game of cat and mouse along the border It had all the makings of an old-fashioned Texas standoff.Hundreds of state troopers and US Border Patrol agents sat behind the wheels of black SUVs and green-and-white pickups facing the Rio Grande, their eyes fixed on the jade-colored water. A helicopter buzzed low overhead, winding along the bends of the river, while agents in a swamp boat cruised below. Four men, wearing army green uniforms and cowboy hats, rode horses up the shore, guns at the ready.Enlarge ImageThis is the second story in our Texas border trilogy, Tall Order: Building the Border Wall. Click here for the first story and click here for the third story. Amy Kim/CNET It was a quiet February morning, and all these law enforcement officers in Eagle Pass, a small Texas border town about a seven-and-a-half hour drive southeast of El Paso, were waiting for one thing: immigrants.Across the river, in the Mexican city of Piedras Negras, a caravan of about 1,800 Central American immigrants, including families with young children, had arrived at the start of the month — the first such caravan to make it to the Texas border. They had trekked more than 1,500 miles to ask the United States government for asylum. Most said they were escaping threats of violence and death in their home countries.”Everyone is leaving because it’s dangerous. The gangs have taken over all the neighborhoods,” Oeli Zuniga, 26, a Honduran immigrant traveling with her 7-year-old daughter, tells me. “We do this for our kids, so they can be in a country without so much crime and so many ugly things taking place.”In preparation for the caravan’s arrival, the US had beefed up border security. Under the direction of President Donald Trump, the Pentagon sent 250 active-duty military troops. Texas Governor Greg Abbott sent 500 officers from the Department of Public Safety. And US Customs and Border Protection outfitted its local agents with cement traffic barriers, riot gear and spools of concertina wire. That’s in addition to the high-tech cameras, sensors and radar tracking tools already in place to help monitor the 1,200 miles of Texas’ border with Mexico.laredo-texas-borderlands-6793Law enforcement lined the banks of the Rio Grande in Eagle Pass, Texas, in anticipation of a migrant caravan that arrived across the river days earlier. James Martin/CNET By the end of March, Trump declared he was cutting all foreign aid, approximately $450 million, to El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala — collectively known as the Northern Triangle. He also said he’d close the nearly 2,000-mile US southern border if Mexico didn’t do something about the migrants heading north. On Sunday, Kirstjen Nielsen, the head of the Department of Homeland Security, resigned as the president said he wants to go in a “tougher direction” on immigration.A “colossal surge” of people is entering the US and “overwhelming” the immigration system, Trump said after a visit to a California border town last week. And Customs and Border Protection confirmed it apprehended more than 100,000 immigrants on the southwest border in March, double the number for the same time period last year.last_img read more

Nellore RTC Zone incurs 39 crore loss

first_imgChittoor: Despite initiating several measures for improving performance of Nellore Zone of the APSRTC, the zone has incurred a loss of Rs 39 crore in the last three months, according to Corporation’s Nellore Zone Executive Director G Venkateswara Rao. He attributed loss to hike in diesel prices and salaries of employees, and private bus travels operating services illegally in long distance routes. Also Read – Three of a family commits suicide at Amalapuram in East Godavari Advertise With Us Speaking to The Hans India here on Tuesday, the ED said that the Nellore Zone consists of Nellore, Prakasam and Chittoor districts has stood in second place among the zones in the State in incurring loss in the last 3 months. “Out of 14 depots, Chittoor depot has incurred a loss of Rs 22 crore. Followed by, 12 depots of Nellore district have incurred a loss of Rs 12.5 crore and 8 depots in Prakasam district have suffered a loss of Rs 4.4 crore,” he stated and added that 532 out of 3,189 are hired buses. Also Read – Saaho movie tickets pricey in Nellore Advertise With Us Explaining about staff working in the zone, the ED mentioned 15,000 employees are working in Nellore Zone in which 6,000 are conductors, 5,000 drivers and 2,000 mechanical staff including administrative personnel. The ED further said that the State government has to reimburse Rs 50 crore to Nellore Zone for supplying the buses to them. Deputy Chief Traffic Manager P Ramu and other officials were present.last_img read more

Zomato in advanced talks with Alibabas Ant Financial to raise 200 million

first_imgSign board of Ant Financial is seen at its office in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China September 21, 2016.ReutersOnline food ordering firm Zomato is in an advanced level of discussions with Ant Financial — an affiliate company of China’s Alibaba — to raise funds.If the deal fructifies, Zomato will raise up to $200 million from the online payment service provider.The deal is yet to be finalised and may put the value of the company at about $900 million. The value may also exceed $1 billion, according to the sources of Mint.Zomato received another round of funding from Info Edge, Vy Capital, Sequoia Capital and a Singapore government-owned investment company in 2015.The company is growing fast and has expanded its operations worldwide within a short span of time. Its revenue has doubled in the past one year, and its revenue from advertising is growing at 11 percent.Zomato’s performance so farZomato started its delivery business in 2015, which incurred losses. The 2016 financial year was a tough time for the company. Investors like HSBC Securities and Capital Markets (India) Pvt Ltd also slashed its valuation by about half to $500 million.”We make Rs 20 profit on every delivery fulfilled by restaurants, while losing Rs 2 on every delivery we undertake,” said Zomato’s Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Deepinder Goyal.The company had also withdrawn its operations from nine countries last year out of the 23 where it was present in order to maintain its cash burn rate.Besides scaling back its operations and facing valuation markdown last year, the company had also trimmed its workforce. ZomatoFacebook/ZomatoHowever, the food-ordering platform now seems to be on the path of recovery as its March 2017 revenues alone have touched the $5-million mark. The company crossed 2 million orders in March 2017 – a move that gave it a 23 percent month-on-month growth.At present, besides being on talks with Ant Financial, Zomato is also planning to bank on the more high-margin advertising business this year along with its food-ordering business.Over and above, the company is still fighting for a leadership in the food delivery space that is right now dominated by startup competitor Swiggy in India.last_img read more

Geek Pick Ikea Sonos Symfonisk Is A WiFi Bookshelf Speaker

first_imgStay on target Living in a cramped New York City apartment, I’ll always appreciate bulky technology that does the courtesy of also doubling as straight-up furniture. If I ever got an arcade cabinet, it would be a cocktail style one that also works as a table. The Ikea Sonos Symfonisk WiFi Bookshelf Speaker marries some of the best audio tech with the most beloved named in easy furniture. Geek Pick: Beats Powerbeats Pro Are the Better Apple EarphonesGeek Pick: Galaxy Buds Are Samsung’s Best EarphonesGeek Pick: JBL Endurance Peak Are Excellent Exercise Headphones Geek Pick: Fi Smart Dog Collar Sniffs Out Your PetGeek Pick: Bose Headphones 700 Cancel All the Noise The Ikea Sonos Symfonisk WiFi Bookshelf Speaker (not to be confused with a table lamp in the same line) is a foot-long speaker monochrome speaker. The audio quality doesn’t disappoint even considering the $100 price, with both bass and highs impressing our original audiophile reviewer. There’s no Bluetooth connection but you can integrate it with other Sonos speakers and control it through a mobile app through your own home Wi-Fi network. It’s also compatible with music services like Apple Music, Audible, and Bandcamp.You don’t have to use this Symfonisk as a shelf. You can stand it up however you like and just use it as a nice affordable speaker. However, it’s nifty that there is the option to mount this thing on a wall and prop up some books, cups, or other knick-knacks on top of it. You just need to buy Ikea’s hook, or slot it into Ikea’s various rail systems. Anything you pick up off this shelf will feel exponentially cooler while music is playing out of it.For more on the Ikea Sonos Symfonisk WiFi Bookshelf Speaker check out the extensive review on our sister site PCMag.com. For more cool audio tech check out the Marshall Stanmore II Voice and these cheaper AirPod alternatives.More on Geek.com:last_img read more

Ontario cutting government run out of country travel insurance program

first_img By: The Canadian Press Thursday, May 2, 2019 << Previous PostNext Post >> Ontario cutting government run, out of country travel insurance program Share Tags: OHIP, Travel Insurance TORONTO – Ontario is pushing ahead with a plan to eliminate basic out-of-country travel insurance, saying the program is very costly and does not provide value to taxpayers.The insurance currently covers out-of-country inpatient services to a maximum of $400 per day for a higher level of care, and up to $50 per day for emergency outpatient services and doctor services.Health Minister Christine Elliot announced the decision to scrap the program on Wednesday, following a six-day public consultation.The province spends $2.8 million to administer approximately $9 million in claim payments through the program every year.“We know that is not good value for Ontarians,” Elliott said. “People should be making their own plans to obtain coverage, which can be obtained quite inexpensively and provide them with full compensation if they sustain any health problems while out of the country.”The change is expected to come into effect Oct. 1.Elliott said a broader public outreach effort will be needed to remind travellers to purchase health insurance before they leave the country.More news:  Le Boat has EBBs along with its new 2020 brochure“I think many people didn’t even know there was any level of coverage before,” she said. “But it is important and we will have a public campaign to advise people because we don’t want people to have that unfortunate shock if they have a health problem while out of country, to have those costs which can be quite extraordinarily high.”Opposition politicians have said ending the program will hurt snowbirds and frequent travellers.NDP Leader Andrea Horwath criticized the move, saying it was part of the province’s larger plan to reduce health-care spending.Green party Leader Mike Schreiner said people deserve to have health coverage wherever they are, at home or travelling abroad.“Changes to the program are essentially equivalent to taking away health insurance from people,” he said.Last week, the Canadian Snowbird Association urged the government not to make the move and said it would not only impact the snowbird community who travel south during the winter months, but also cross-border shoppers and anyone planning a family vacation.More news:  Sunwing offers ultimate package deal ahead of YXU flights to SNU, PUJIn her 2018 report, Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk said the Ministry of Health processed an average of 88,000 out-of-country claims per year over a five year period and paid an average of $127 per claim.Lysyk also noted the high administrative costs of the program, but said they arise because staff must check varying physician services fee rates and process claims manually. She recommended that the government seek ways to reduce administrative costs by adopting a single reimbursement rate for all health services obtained out-of-country.She also recommended the government bolster efforts to inform Ontarians of the limit on reimbursement rates under the program and on the need to purchase private health insurance before travelling.last_img read more

Tunisian democracy threatened by weak opposition

first_img 5 treatments for adult scoliosis He pointed out that he’s traveled the world, met U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, appeared on international panels with Tunisian ministers and is followed online by thousands, yet has never been contacted by a political party.Instead, he said, people like him become involved in the burgeoning civil society, but in times of economic crisis, activism pays little and many have become consumed with just making a living.Some disenfranchised youth haven taken to the streets in riots, loosely linked to a growing movement of Salafis, or ultraconservative Muslims trying to impose strict interpretation of Islam on what was long a largely secular society.“The opposition’s role is important to push the party in power to self-criticism and revise its policies,” said Slaheddine Jurchi, a longtime political analyst and rights activist. “There is a problem of political culture, there is an absence of the culture of coalitions and working together and there are problems of egoism and clashes of personalities among the heads of parties.”In last year’s elections, the disciplined Islamist Ennahda took 37 percent of the vote and 89 seats in the 217-person assembly, three times more than the next best performer. It then joined in a coalition with two other liberal parties to form an unassailable majority of 138 seats. Tunisia has had a smoother transition than its turbulent neighbors. Voters chose between a bewildering array of parties in Tunisia’s first free elections in October in what was described at the time as a sign of democracy’s exuberance, with the assumption that later elections would feature fewer, more sober choices.Halfway between those landmark elections and the next round of voting early next year, the political scene in this North African nation of 10 million remains a fractured sea of small parties that share little in common aside from dissatisfaction with the moderate Islamists who dominated the last election.Part of the problem is that the established opposition parties have been unable to reach out to the young and often secular Tunisians who were instrumental in taking to the streets and overthrowing longtime President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011.These Tunisians, many known for their deep immersion in online social networks, have been almost totally excluded from the political scene, which is dominated by politicians from the older generation.“In Tunisia, we live in the era of the old, not the young,” said Slim Ayedi, 32-year-old blogger, journalist and activist. “When I look at the Constituent Assembly, I see old people, old and incompetent. The deputies who don’t have email, can’t use the internet and don’t speak three languages won’t go far.” 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Essebsi’s party may only increase the competition among Ennahda’s opposition. “Its immediate result will be to weaken the other parties on the center left because they are all going after the same electorate,” cautioned analyst Gheriari.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments   Share   The fear is that in this power vacuum, Ennahda will rule unchecked and start repeating the behavior of the former ruling party, the Constitutional Democratic Rally of Ben Ali, which dominated all aspects of political and economic life before it was disbanded.Critics say Ennahda is already running roughshod over the opposition, antagonizing the unions, quarreling with civil society and showing little interest in building democratic institutions.The key to the next election will be the new voters, since more than 40 percent of eligible voters weren’t registered in October, as well as the third of the electorate, some 1.3 million voters, that voted for parties that didn’t make it into the assembly.But unless the opposition dramatically ups its game, chances are the Islamist machine will snap these up as well.Maya Jribi, one of the only women leading a political party in the country, admits that her secular, center-left Progressive Democratic Party made a lot of mistakes in the last election.Believed to be a frontrunner at the time, the historic opposition party came in a distant fifth place with just 16 seats. The party has now united with several others to form the Jumhouri or Republican Party, with 21 seats total and hopes to join up with more to create a more viable opposition. More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Top Stories center_img Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths “We called on the other parties to create the conditions allowing the alternation of power but they didn’t do enough . so we have created a movement open to all political forces in the country,” he told The Associated Press.Essebsi has also opened the door to former members of the ruling party and at a rally in March, thousands came to pay him homage, including many figures from Ben Ali’s time _ something that has left him open to accusations he wants to revive the old regime.Despite his advanced age and that of many of his supporters, Essebsi insists his will be a party of youth and will be open to the activists who oppose the regime but don’t have a political party of their own. How he integrates ex-regime figures will be key to any future he has with the rest of the opposition.With the year-long mandate for the elected assembly running out in October, Essebsi said the only future for the country is a consensus government run by a cabinet of technocrats.“(Consensus) is a fairly difficult idea for the people here to accept,” he said. “They have difficulty understanding what I say, but I am sure this is the only solution.”How he integrates ex-regime figures will be key to any future he has with the rest of the opposition, and already Jribi has expressed reservations about uniting with his party. Sponsored Stories Associated PressTUNIS, Tunisia (AP) – Tunisia’s fledgling democracy is threatened by a weak opposition that isn’t offering a viable alternative to the well-organized Islamists in power, and discontent is taking the form of angry riots with extremist overtones instead.The return to a single, overbearing ruling party has grave implications for Tunisia and the countries across the region watching its journey to democracy after it kicked off the Arab Spring. “The clear lesson from the Oct. 23 elections is that the democrats must move together, united towards elections. What that formula is, however, is not yet clear,” she said.The party will also try to deepen its roots in the Tunisian countryside with more grassroots activists and “develop a discourse that is much simpler than before,” Jribi added.Political scientist Ghazi Gheriari of Tunis University noted that one alliance of leftist parties, the Democratic Political Axis, only won seats in the capital and among the expatriate community in France.“The opposition has little penetration into the Tunisian countryside,” he said. “The results of this election showed two Tunisias, a Tunisia in tune with the opposition where it did respectably and the countryside where this opposition is not credible and has no voice.”In the past two weeks, a new political party known as Nida Tunis or Tunisia’s Call, has appeared, led by Caid Beiji Essebsi, who at 85 years-old embodies the phrase “veteran politician” with years of service under Tunisia’s first post-independence president Habib Bourguiba.He was the country’s interim prime minister from March 2011 until the elections and has said that his new party will reunite the opposition and restore balance to the nation’s politics. Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milklast_img read more