The Big 12 is a complete and total mess. It is the worst of the Power Five conferences when it comes to football and probably overall perception. It can’t make up its mind about anything and has the largest millstone in the country (Texas) tied around its neck (and it is paying yearly to keep that millstone there).There’s also nothing wrong with the Big 12. Or there’s less wrong with it than what would be wrong with it if you tried to change it from its current status.Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports came out with a report on Wednesday that the Big 12 could fold in an additional $1B in revenue over the next eight years by expanding to 14 teams. Sounds great, right? Not when you read the fine print.[Fox and ESPN] are contractually bound to provide “pro rata” for any new Big 12 members. That is, any new members would be paid an equal share of the current Big 12 members — approximately $23 million per year.OK … great. What does that do for Oklahoma State and Texas Tech? The answer is, well, probably not a lot.While on its face that doesn’t necessarily help the 10 current members of the Big 12, opening the existing contract would allow for a negotiation beyond that $1 billion figure.So ESPN and Fox are going to pay beyond that $1B for Cincinnati, Memphis and Colorado State? I sort of doubt that. And while it is news that ESPN and Fox have to open the coffers for (presumably) any new teams that enter the Big 12, it still doesn’t get you where you need to be which is expanding the pie as a whole.There is the idea that a conference championship game could net you a couple extra mil, but is that worth the watering down your conference to basically become a glorified AAC buoyed by Texas and OU? To me, it is not.And I don’t think the schools think that it’s worth it either but they don’t really know what to do at this point. They’re as lost as the rest of us.“I really don’t expect we’ll make any decisions at the spring meetings, but that’s up to our presidents and chancellors,” Commissioner Bob Bowlsby told the Dallas Morning News. “My guess is they’ll want to be thoughtful about it, and they will get a whole bunch of data on a whole bunch of different topics and then they’ll want to go back to campus … and formulate a position on the different positions.”Formulate a position on the different positions. That sums up the Big 12 quite well right now doesn’t it.So we think the Big 12 Network ship has sailed, and we don’t really think expansion is a true option. How about this: Keep everything as it is and figure everything out when the TV contract is up in the mid 2020s. No, you aren’t making SEC or Big 10 money right now, but exactly what is the path to making that extra money?This entire conference screwed itself into the ground five years ago when it told Texas, “you can literally do whatever you want and we will bow down and worship at a 200-foot high golden idol of Darrell Royal if you deem us worthy to do such a thing.” There’s no reason to add Central Florida and BYU to try and right that misstep a half decade ago.All you end up doing is entangling yourself more when everyone tries to wrest themselves free here in about 10 years. It would be like breaking your leg in the middle of the street and asking your three-year-old kid to drag you to safety. Yeah, that will end well.So I say cut the BS, get on with the conference and plan for the future. Or hey, don’t tell anybody down in Austin, but you could lawyer up and go to the SEC. Call everybody’s bluff on the Big 12 grant of rights. How great would that be?Or merge with the Sun Belt. Whatever you want. It’s clear there’s not really a plan (or a planner for that matter) anyway.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!
Five commemorative postage stamps, featuring gold medallists and historic moments from the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, were officially launched on Friday, May 3, by the Post and Telecommunications Department. The stamps, each valued at $60, feature record holder in the 200 and 100 meters, Usain Bolt; 400-metre hurdles gold medallist, Melanie Walker; 200-metre gold medallist, Veronica Campbell Brown; and gold medallist in the 100 metres, Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce. Also featured are Sherone Simpson and Kerron Stewart, who both earned silver medals in the 100 meters, and the record breaking 4×100 metre relay team of Usain Bolt, Michael Frater, Asafa Powell, and Nesta Carter. The stamps will be made available to the public as collector items and will also be sold as postage stamps. She commended the Post and Telecommunications Department for creating the tribute to honour some of “our most outstanding and valuable Jamaican citizens”. “Looking at the stamps, I am sure we will bask again in the glory of those tremendous Beijing days,” she stated. Speaking at the launch at the Central Sorting Office at 6-10 South Camp Road, Minister with responsibility for Sport, Hon. Natalie Neita Headley, said the stamps record priceless and historic moments in Jamaica’s athletics on the world stage. Mrs. Neita Headley extended gratitude to the athletes for permitting their images to be utilised in tribute to Jamaica’s successes in Beijing, and Bryan Cummings for allowing his photographs to be used to create the stamps. “I also express thanks to the coaches, administrators, managers and sponsors, who contribute so much to make our success in the sport a reality,” she added. Mrs. Neita Headley encouraged Jamaicans to enjoy the collection and reminisce in the pride and joy of the nation’s success in Beijing. In his remarks, President, Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), Mike Fennel, said it is a pleasure to be associated with the stamps honouring the island’s sporting heroes. He explained that one of the reasons for the delay in the issuing of the stamps was to sort out the “legal ramifications”. Postmaster General, Michael Gentles, said the stamps are valuable collectors’ items and a useful tool for preserving Jamaica’s heritage. “Getting approval for the issuing of stamps is a rather lengthy and arduous process, and to use the Olympic rings and the athletes’ images and so on, takes a lot of time,” he informed. He stated that over the past 30 years, the Post and Telecommunications Department has been issuing commemorative Olympic stamps starting with the 1976 Games in Montreal, where Donald Quarrie copped gold and silver in the 200 metres and 100 metres, respectively. “There are many other events and landmarks, which become special stamp issues. Most recently, we issued stamps commemorating Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of independence and the anniversary of the abolition of slavery,” he noted. Contact Chris Patterson
zoom The Baltic Exchange Limited (Baltic Exchange) shareholders approved the GBP 87 million takeover by Singapore Exchange on Monday following a period of extensive consultation with shareholders and other stakeholders.At the General Meeting held on September 26, immediately following the court meeting, the resolutions set out in the notice of the General Meeting included in the Scheme Circular were both passed by the requisite majorities of shareholders by way of a poll.The resolutions comprised a special resolution approving the Scheme and certain corporate authorities requisite to the Scheme and an ordinary resolution to approve the Special Dividend.In a separate announcement, Baltic Exchange said that Mark Jackson, currently Chief Commercial Officer of AM Nomikos Group and a former Chairman and Director of The Baltic Exchange, will become its next Chief Executive Officer.He is expected to take up his appointment early in 2017 and replaces the current CEO Jeremy Penn, who last year announced his intention to stand down this summer.Singapore Exchange Limited (SGX) and Baltic Exchange agreed on the terms for the recommended offer by SGX for the entire issued share capital of the Baltic Exchange in late August.Under the terms of the proposed acquisition, Baltic Exchange shareholders will be entitled to receive GBP 160.41 in cash for each Baltic Exchange Share and GBP 19.30 in cash per Baltic Exchange Share as a final dividend.
7 January 2008United Nations officials warned today that the humanitarian situation in Kenya, where post-election violence has uprooted hundreds of thousands of people, is getting worse with water, sanitation and shelter among the most pressing needs. The UN estimates that some 250,000 Kenyans have been displaced and 350 reportedly killed by the violence which erupted after President Mwai Kibaki was declared the winner in the recent election. The UN Country Team in Kenya is working with the Kenya Red Cross Society and a number of national and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), as well as faith-based groups, to provide immediate humanitarian assistance. As tensions in the capital and elsewhere have eased, UN agencies and their partners have stepped up their efforts to deliver much-needed supplies, including food, water, mosquito nets, blankets, shelter material and medicine, to those in need. At the same time, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) warned today that the crisis is getting worse, based on an inter-agency assessment carried out on Sunday in the most-affected areas.“Although the overall security situation in the country may have improved over the past couple of days, the humanitarian crisis is deepening,” OCHA’s Jens Laerke told reporters in Nairobi. According to OCHA, people are still on the move in and around Eldoret and Kericho, and several convoys with internally displaced persons (IDPs) were seen leaving Eldoret yesterday and heading for Nakuru.The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is working with its partners to provide emergency water and sanitation to some 22,000 internally displaced persons in two camps located in Eldoret. “In both camps, shelter, water and sanitation and protection are the most pressing needs,” said UNICEF’s Pamela Sittoni. “People are sleeping in the open and the toilets are inadequate.”She also highlighted the plight of women and children who are “bearing the brunt of the violence,” noting that a number of children have been separated from their families during the events of recent days, as well as reports of sexual violence. Meanwhile, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) said a convoy of trucks carrying supplies for displaced people in the Northern Rift Valley left Nairobi today, and more of the agency’s food left the town of Eldoret for thousands of desperately hungry people in the western town of Kisumu.Twenty trucks loaded with 670 metric tons of food – enough to feed at least 70,000 people for two weeks – arrived in Nairobi from the port of Mombasa on Sunday. Nine of the trucks unloaded their food in Nairobi and the remaining 11 headed on to Eldoret today.In addition to those displaced within the country, over 3,000 Kenyans have crossed over into neighbouring Uganda, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) which is assisting the Ugandan Government and Uganda Red Cross in providing assistance. An emergency response team that arrived from the agency’s headquarters in Geneva will be providing items such as blankets, plastic sheets and kitchen sets to the Kenya Red Cross to distribute to the displaced in the Rift Valley and in other areas around Nairobi.
OTTAWA — The federal government is proposing measures to tighten what it calls “unfair” loopholes for private corporations that enable many wealthy Canadians, including professionals like some doctors, to reduce the amount of tax they pay.Finance Minister Bill Morneau unveiled plans Tuesday designed to prevent some business owners from using a number of legal strategies to shield part of their income in order to gain tax advantages that are out of reach for most Canadians.Even Morneau himself, who had a successful business career before entering politics, admitted that if the changes are introduced he will likely pay more taxes going forward.“We see these approaches to managing people’s affairs through a private corporation as creating an unfair playing field,” Morneau said.“I don’t want to see one small subset of the population advantaged because of our tax code, so it is about creating fairness … All Canadians should be willing to pay that fair share, including myself.”The suggested changes include steps to prevent business owners from using their private corporations as a way to shift some their income to family members, including minors, who are subject to lower personal tax rates — even if those relatives are not involved in the business.The Finance Department believes about 50,000 families in Canada do this, a practice the government calls “income sprinkling.”When asked later Tuesday in an interview to describe the businesses associated with these families, Morneau said “a lot of professionals.”“There’s been a big increase in professionals that have been using these structures,” he said.Morneau said doctors and lawyers are among the examples, but he added that they also include many other types of professionals.To help address income sprinkling, the government is proposing measures such as stricter age-related requirements for family members and tests to ensure their contributions to the business are “reasonable.”Doing so would provide an estimated $250 million per year in additional federal revenue, or about $5,000 per family, the government said.The government also released proposed changes to target those who gain tax relief through passive investment income, which enables corporate owners and employees to make one-time investments from $100,000 of pre-tax income and retain them for 10 years.The feds are calling for the elimination of the tax-deferral advantage on passive income earned by private corporations.Ottawa is also looking to address a tax-planning approach that converts income into capital gains, which are taxed at a lower rate.It has yet to say how much additional federal revenue could be provided by closing those loopholes.There will be a 75-day public consultation period to allow stakeholders to examine and weigh in on the three sets of proposals announced Tuesday.Morneau said he expects to get some push back from Tuesday’s announcement.“Of course, when you change things in a way that make it less advantageous for some people, they’re not going to be happy about it,” he said.The president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business said in an interview Tuesday that he’s concerned Ottawa’s proposed tax changes could have unintended, negative consequences on small and medium businesses.Dan Kelly, whose organization represents more than 100,000 members, said smaller firms in Canada are already preparing to face challenges such as rising minimum wages in some provinces, planned increases in premiums for Employment Insurance and the Canada Pension Plan.He added they are also bracing for changes to NAFTA.“This is a pretty worrisome set of proposals out of the federal government,” Kelly said.“That uncertainty alone, given all the other knocks small businesses are taking right now, is just not a particularly welcome development.”Kelly stressed that he doesn’t take any issue with the government pursuing tax cheats, nor does he have a problem with steps to ensure rules are not abused.The government believes the use of private corporations to lower tax rates is an increasing trend in Canada and has been exacerbated by the shift toward more of a services-based economy.The number of Canadian-controlled private corporations grew from 1.2 million in 2001 to 1.8 million in 2014, the Finance Department said.From 2000 to 2016, the department said the proportion of incorporated, self-employed individuals almost doubled.While these tax-savings practices are legal, Morneau said they are unfair.“I have seen these for years,” Morneau said when asked about whether he came across these practices first-hand during his business career, which included serving as executive chairman of Morneau Shepell, the country’s largest human resources consulting firm.“I have not looked at my personal implications from these changes as we’ve gone through them and I’ve done that on purpose because I want to make sure the system is fair and I don’t want to consider my personal situation.“My expectation is that these changes, over the long term, will mean that I’ll end up paying more tax.”Follow @AndyBlatchford on Twitter
The statement said that the Government remains committed to ensure National unity and reconciliation among all communities. A statement from the Prime Minister’s office said that the refugees had returned after the Government issued an open invitation for the refugees to come back. The Prime Minister’s office said that 11,020 Sri Lankans have returned from Tamil Nadu since 2009 and another 3815 are ready to return.The UNHCR provides the air ticket and other assistance for the refugees while the Government says it will provide financial and other forms of assistance for six months. (Colombo Gazette) The Government today assured it will assist Sri Lankan refugees returning from India to resettle in the country.The Prime Minister’s office said that a group of 83 refugees returned yesterday with the assistance of the UN refugee agency, UNHCR.
The United Nations Security Council could convene a meeting at any time – including this weekend – if the text of a resolution on Lebanon is presented by diplomats now discussing the matter with the parties, the president of the 15-member body said today.“If it happens tomorrow we will meet. Even on Sunday we will meet. That’s the decision that we’ve taken,” Ambassador Nana Effah-Apenteng of Ghana told reporters following closed-door consultations.Since the conflict broke out in mid-July, the Security Council has adopted a resolution temporarily extending the mandate of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) through August, as well as two presidential statements on the violence. Asked about a general feeling in the general public that the Council has not done enough to stop the bloodshed, the President urged patience. “We have tried our best as members of the Security Council to get action taken on the issue but there are certain realities that one has to contend with and because of those realities we have to be pragmatic and we have to be realistic and look at the option which will enable us come to a quick decision on this issue, and I think that is what we have been doing,” he said. He said the Council was giving the parties as much leeway as possible. “You also recognize that even for the Americans and the French who are taking the lead on this issue, they have to talk to the parties to the conflict, the Lebanese and the Israelis before they can agree on a package. So this is why there is so much delay in taking any concrete step with respect to a solution,” he said.He also voiced concern on the part of the Council members about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Lebanon. “The situation is getting worse, more lives are being lost, and they are having difficulty providing material assistance to those in need,” he said. “When the bridges and infrastructure are destroyed it is not easy to provide food and water and help to those who need help. So that is the difficulty that we have.”Asked about his personal feelings on the matter, he acknowledged a sense of frustration and disappointment. “I wish that the Council could have acted faster but I also understand the difficulties and the realities on the ground,” he said.“But I think that sooner rather than later we will get something concrete in terms of a resolution that will enable us to tackle the issue, bring the hostilities to an end and find a long-lasting solution to the crisis in the Middle East.”
EVERY WEEKDAY EVENING, TheJournal.ie brings you the five stories you need to know before you head out the door.1.#STORMWATCH: High winds and rain battered much of Ireland today, with Cork, Galway and Clare taking the brunt of the damage. In better news for the affected residents of those areas, the Minister of State at the OPW, Brian Hayes, said that extra funding for the councils would be ‘inevitable’.2.#LIMERICK: In the ongoing row over the Limerick City of Culture programme, board chairman Pat Cox has come out swinging. Cox today said that he had ‘never asked’ for his one-time adviser Patricia Ryan to be appointed as CEO of the project. Ryan has since stepped down, but Cox maintained he had not asked her to.3.#DEATH: A post-mortem is to take place after the body of a 22-year-old man was found in Waterford yesterday evening. The man’s body was found in Dunmore East at around 5pm yesterday.4.#OUCH: German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be forced to rest for up to three weeks after fracturing her pelvis in a skiing accident. Merkel was due to fly to Poland and Luxembourg in the coming weeks, but has been forced to shelve those plans.5.#CHARITY: The head of the non-profit Rehab group today called for salaries of top staff at charity to be “transparent”, but then refused to disclose her own earnings. Angela Kerins declined to answer when asked by RTÉ Morning Ireland presenter Gavin Jennings if she earned €234,000 a year.
Pistorius and Steenkamp at a party in Johannesburg in January. Picture: Elite/EMPICS EntertainmentPistorius, 26, was still at the scene when police came to question him early yesterday morning and was described as being in shock.Initial reports that the victim had been mistaken for a burglar were dismissed by police.The athlete became the first amputee to compete in the Olympics at London 2012 having previously enjoyed significant success at the Paralympic Games.He won gold in the 4×400 relay at the most recent Paralympic event in London last year.A congenital condition meant he had to have both legs amputated below the knee before he was aged one. Last year he was named by Time magazine as one of the world’s 100 most influential people.Picture: John Walton/PA WireMore: South Africa police say Pistorius will not get special treatmentRead: Oscar Pistorius profile: the inspirational ‘Blade Runner’ SOUTH AFRICAN OLYMPIC and Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius has arrived in court to face charges that he murdered his model girlfriend at his luxury home on Valentine’s Day.Two police vehicles arrived at the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court, with the amputee athlete, nicknamed ‘Blade Runner’ sitting in the back of one, his head covered in a jacket.His legal team is expected to apply for bail during a hearing this morning but police have said they will oppose it.Model Reeva Steenkamp (below) was found dead at Pistorius’s home in Silver Lakes, Pretoria in the early hours of yesterday morning, reportedly shot four times in the upper body and head.Steenkamp’s uncle, Mike Steenkamp, told eNCA that the 30-year-old’s “future has been cut short”. He said that her family in Cape Town has been left devastated by the news.“How it pans out at the end of the day, we will all know the story, the true story but we must never forget what Reeva stood for,” he told the media.“She loved people, she loved everybody and that was her heart that went out and you should know exactly what she’s accomplished in the past.”
Back in February we heard rumors of a Facebook phone coming from INQ Mobile. This week, the first semi-official Facebook phone, the INQ Cloud Touch, has made its debut — but only in the U.K.Although Facebook’s name or branding isn’t actually on the phone’s chassis, the phone is clearly Facebook-oriented. The Android device, priced at £299.95 ($489), has a 3.5-inch 480×320 touchscreen, 3G, a 5-megapixel camera, and runs Android 2.2 Froyo. It also features GPS, an FM radio, WiFi, and 512MB of internal storage. The INQ Cloud Touch comes with a 4GB card bundled inside the box, and inside the phone is an 800MHz Qualcomm MSM7227 processor. Though it’s not the fastest or best processor we’ve seen, it could be one reason why the phone’s price isn’t any higher.According to INQ Mobile’s product page, Facebook is part of the INQ Cloud Touch’s DNA, which means it’s completely integrated, and the phone can’t live without it. The phone features a Facebook newsfeed, which brings pictures, YouTube clips, and text to your homescreen. You simply click whatever it is that flies by on your homescreen –people, events, notifications, places– and you’re instantly at the right page. You can also check in to your favorite stores, restaurants, etc. with Facebook Places which is also active on the homescreen. One-touch links to Facebook Chat, Friends, Messages, Wall, and Notifications round out the integration.Another nice feature is that Facebook Events integrates with your Google calendar, so you will never forget all those invites that you RSVPed as a “maybe” to.The People application lists your favorite friends, so you don’t have to scroll through those other 600 friends you don’t really care about when you really just want to see your favorite 20 friends’ pages.For those who are heavy texters, status updaters, or hooked on Twitter, you’ll find the Predicted Word feature helpful. Like predictive text, Predicted Word predicts not only the the next letter you’re going to type, but also the next word, which reduces key strokes by 50 percent, according to INQ.The Cloud Touch is the first in a line of upcoming Facebook phones said to be coming out this year, such as HTC’s ChaCha and Salsa. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg said in a video at this year’s Mobile World Congress that we can expect to see dozens of phones this year with much more social integration than what we’ve seen so far.Read more at INQ Mobile and their press release
#TanuWedsManuReturns [Week 2] Fri 6.65 cr, Sat 9.40 cr, Sun 12.25 cr, Mon 5.20 cr. Grand total: ₹ 103.47 cr. India biz. BLOCKBUSTER. — taran adarsh (@taran_adarsh) June 2, 2015 “Tanu Weds Manu Returns” to replace “Piku” as the highest grossing bollywood movie in overseas box officeTwitterThe latest Kangana Ranaut-R Madhavan starrer Tanu Weds Manu Returns” had a dream run in India. By its second week at the box office, the film has collected a total of ₹103.47 crore and has emerged as the biggest Bollywood grosser of the year.Now, it looks like the “Tanu Weds Manu Returns” is going to repeat the same in the overseas market as well. According to Bollywood Hungama, “Tanu Weds Manu Returns” has grossed $5.7 million (₹36.24 crore) while closing the second weekend and according to trade analysts, the film will soon break the record of “Piku” by this week.According to the website, “Piku” has collected $5.8 million (₹36.88 crore) while closing its fourth weekend business overseas.The total gross collection of both “Tanu Weds Manu Returns” and “Piku” in various regions till the last weekend (29-31 May) are as follows:USA”Tanu Weds Manu Returns”: ₹12.17 crore”Piku”: ₹13.70 croreCanada”Tanu Weds Manu Returns”: ₹1.95 croreUAE and GCC”Tanu Weds Manu Returns”: ₹9.52 croreUK and Ireland”Tanu Weds Manu Returns”: ₹4.04 crore”Piku”: ₹3.53 croreAustralia”Tanu Weds Manu Returns”: ₹2.08 crore”Piku”: ₹1.65 croreNew Zealand “Tanu Weds Manu Returns”: ₹41.90 lakh”Piku”: ₹28.24 lakhMalaysia”Tanu Weds Manu Returns”: ₹2.63 lakhPakistan “Tanu Weds Manu Returns”: ₹2.51 crore#TanuWedsManuReturns crosses ₹ 100 cr in India. Emerges the HIGHEST GROSSER of 2015 + BIGGEST HIT of 2015 [so far]. Note: Hindi films.— taran adarsh (@taran_adarsh) June 2, 2015
Patients with chronic pain give advice Netanyahu’s other partners — including two ultra-Orthodox parties and the centrist Kulanu — also have the ability to bring down the coalition. But with their interests focused on internal affairs, it is the Jewish Home that seems most likely to challenge the prime minister.Bennett, a former aide who has a rocky relationship with Netanyahu, is slated to become education minister, where he’ll be able to promote his religious and nationalistic viewpoint in schools.Uri Ariel, a driving force behind settlement construction in the previous government, will become agriculture minister, where he can help West Bank farmers and take control of a murky agency that has historically served as a conduit for transferring funds to settlements. Another party representative will become deputy defense minister, a post with influence over West Bank issues.Hagit Ofran of the Israeli anti-settlement group Peace Now accused Netanyahu of giving “extremist advocates of the settlers … a big part of the control over the settlement policy.”The most scrutinized appointment is that of the 39-year-old Ayelet Shaked as justice minister, an influential post typically filled by a person with particular political or professional prestige. Comments Share Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Four benefits of having a wireless security system 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility FILE – In this Sunday, April 22, 2012 file photo, Israeli flags fly over the Ulpana neighborhood in the West Bank settlement of Beit El near Ramallah. As the new Israeli government prepares to take office, the West Bank settler movement appears poised to wield influence like never before. After squeezing the prime minister in coalition negotiations, the pro-settler Jewish Home party has gained control over several powerful government ministries, putting it in position to push forward with an agenda that includes control over Israeli schools, bigger budgets for settlement construction and an assault on a judiciary that it believes is too liberal. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner, File) In recent days, U.S. President Barack Obama has reiterated that he expects the new government to work toward a two-state solution, and European leaders have hinted at taking a harder line against Israel over settlements.Dani Dayan, another Yesha official, said Netanyahu will have to navigate between these opposing agendas. “At the end of day in Israel the prime minister has most of the power and it is he who will have to decide which path to follow,” he said.Dore Gold, a confidant and unofficial adviser to Netanyahu, played down the settler influence, saying the international community was well aware that Netanyahu calls the shots and has proved in the past his abilities to cut deals with Israel’s neighbors.“It’s not as though there is a diplomatic opportunity out there that only the Israeli government is refusing to embrace,” he said. “We are not in a situation where the Palestinians are eager to negotiate.”The new government’s official guidelines mention the pursuit of a diplomatic process that will aim for a “peace agreement with the Palestinians and all our neighbors.”Although the Jewish Home won just eight seats in the 120-seat parliament, Netanyahu needs its support to preserve his narrow 61-seat majority. Already, Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett exploited such leverage to drive a hard bargain, securing a series of strategic posts in coalition talks. For her part, Shaked has toned down her rhetoric of late and complimented the country’s supreme court justices. She turned down repeated Associated Press interview requests.Political commentator Amnon Abramovitch said the focus on Shaked distracted from the real issue: “Bennett has Netanyahu by the throat and can take him down any time he pleases. It’s a government that will be exposed to perpetual extortion by the settlers.”____Follow Aron Heller on Twitter at www.twitter.com/aronhellerap .Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Pugnacious and unapologetic, Shaked has no legal experience and has been an outspoken critic of the country’s judiciary, widely seen as a liberal bastion. She could influence appointment of judges and has championed bills that critics say are meant to stifle dovish groups.Last year, she drew international attention for posting on Facebook a decade-old article written by a settler author that referred to Palestinian children as “little snakes” and appeared to justify the mass punishment of Palestinians living under Israeli occupation.Nachman Shai, an opposition lawmaker from the Zionist Union, said giving Shaked the Justice Ministry was “like appointing a pyromaniac to head the fire department.”Netanyahu only grudgingly agreed to the posting. Shaked once worked as Netanyahu’s office director before leaving together with Bennett, reportedly because of conflicts with Netanyahu’s domineering wife Sara. A secular mother of two, she helped woo voters from outside the party’s traditional religious base.The telegenic Shaked has also drawn attention because of her appearance. Yosef Paritzky, a former Cabinet minister, wrote on Facebook that “this is the first time that the state of Israel will have a justice minister who could be a pinup girl on a calendar in a garage.” Female politicians from across the spectrum have rushed to defend her from sexist remarks. JERUSALEM (AP) — As the new Israeli government prepares to take office, the West Bank settler movement appears poised to wield influence perhaps like never before.After squeezing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in coalition negotiations, the pro-settler Jewish Home party has gained control over several powerful government ministries — putting it in position to push forward with an agenda that includes nationalist school studies, money for settlement construction and an assault on a judiciary it believes to be too liberal. This ambitious plan seems sure to raise tensions at home and speed up a seemingly inevitable clash with the international community, which is still eager to promote the establishment of a Palestinian state. In his previous governments, Netanyahu generally included more moderate voices and has at least paid lip service to peace efforts with the Palestinians. But the current government is dominated by hard-liners who reject territorial concessions to the Palestinians, and with a slim 61-seat majority in the 120-seat parliament, Netanyahu is heavily dependent on both the Jewish Home and settler advocates within his own Likud Party.Some mystery shrouds the question of what the settlers might have been promised.But among the settlers themselves, there is widespread expectation that the government will remove restraints on construction and push for aggressive expansion, said Yigal Dilmoni, the spokesman for the Yesha Council, an umbrella settler lobby.“There is a pretty permanent reality in Judea and Samaria, one that is almost irreversible,” he said, referring to the West Bank by the biblical names favored by nationalist Israelis. “We are optimistic but not power drunk. … We are not looking to fight, but the world cannot dictate something that Israeli democracy voted against.”More than 350,000 Israelis live in the West Bank and 200,000 more in east Jerusalem — alongside more than 2 million Palestinians who, unlike the settlers, cannot vote in Israeli elections. The Palestinians want these areas — captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war — included in their future state, and say the ever-growing population of settlers could make it impossible to divide the territory. The international community regularly denounces Israeli settlement of occupied lands as illegal or illegitimate. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement
Source = Tourism Accommodation Australia Australian hotels look to two million Chinese visitors in the next decade Four Points by Sheraton Parramatta (confirmed for development)Australian hotels look to two million Chinese visitors in the next decadeOn the eve of Chinese New Year and the start of the first-ever Australia-China Year of Tourism, Australia’s hotel sector is well placed to help drive Chinese inbound numbers from the current one million to up to two million over the next decade.Since 2009, Chinese visitor numbers have grown over 350% from 300,000 to 1.1 million, with China expected to become Australia’s leading inbound market by the end of the year. China is also one of the highest spending markets, injecting $8.3 billion into the Australian economy last year, with spend estimated to grow to $13 billion by 2020.A record number of direct air services from China, and the capacity to grow the figures even higher as a result of Air Service Agreement signed by the China and Australian governments, combined with a more liberal and streamlined visa process for Chinese visitors, is set to drive annual double-digit growth figures over the next five years. Already this month, Sydney attracted a group of 8000 Amway incentive winners to the city, and hotels were reporting record bookings for Chinese New Year.Australia’s capacity to cater for the vast increase in numbers has been significantly boosted by the largest-ever expansion of hotel rooms across the country, with up to 120 hotels and 30,000 new rooms in the pipeline for development over the next five years.Australian hotels have embraced the Chinese market by introducing a wide range of ‘China Ready’ services and facilities, such as Mandarin translated compendiums, menus and maps, Mandarin speaking reception staff and guest relations, Chinese TV channels and papers, more Chinese breakfast buffet items, Union Pay facilities and extensive cultural awareness programs for managers and frontline staff. Many hotels also offer extensive Chinese decorations and features during Chinese New Year. .CEO of Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA), Carol Giuseppi, said that the Australian hotel industry’s willingness to introduce specialist services for the China market had played a key role in the rapid growth in Chinese visitor numbers.“The Australian hotel industry has invested heavily in catering for the China inbound market because it offers the greatest sustainable growth prospects for the industry,” said Ms Giuseppi.“The industry has worked closely with Australian and State tourism organisations to participate in the China market through sales mission, Chinese media promotions, including far more effective use of Chinese social media channels, and innovative marketing programs.“The China market is gradually evolving from a mainly group-based business to a more comprehensive sector that includes experienced individual travellers, small groups, incentive and business travel. Many of their travellers are opting for 5-star accommodation and it is expected that this year Chinese travellers will not only become Australia’s largest market, but also the biggest spenders.“A significant follow-on result from the China tourist boom has been the China hotel and tourism investment boom. In just three years, China has become one of the largest investors in the Australian hotel and tourism market, with some of their most high-profile property groups – such as Dalian Wanda, Greenland, Forise and Nanshan – investing up to A$10 billion in the transformation of Australia’s hotel and tourism landscape.“In 2016, Chinese capital accounted for 38% of total hotel transactions volume, compared to just 6% in 2012 (figures from Colliers).“Already cities like Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Darwin, Canberra and Melbourne have experienced the benefits of new room supply, and Sydney will see a big injection of new supply from later this year. The development boom has spread from CBDs to key commercial areas such as airports and suburban areas, though investment in regional leisure destinations still lags.“Governments at Federal and State level deserve congratulations for investing significantly in major tourism infrastructure such as airports, convention centres and urban redevelopment. The hotel and tourism sector is leading the way in the Australian economy by delivering economic and jobs growth, and we will be looking to governments to maintain their support for the industry by promoting tourism and conferences, encouraging employment and training in the industry, and cracking down on commercial unregulated short-term accommodation.”
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Nicolai Jorgensen headed the Dutch champions into the lead in Kharkiv only for Facundo Ferreyra to equalise." Thanks to Jakes headcam footage,S. an own goal from visiting defender Sebastien De Maio on 52 minutes allowed Juventus to draw level before Costa supplied Sami Khedira and then Paulo Dybala for two quick goals to seal the victory. Her first-round loss to Sabalenka, .’ " She said a few people nearby "looked at me like, "Im surprised they have made a decision like this, Brent Housing Magazine is there to help you get on trend with all things house. A sense of satisfaction was clearly visible on Adityanath’s face.
In 2012,Sitamarhi (Bihar): A complaint was lodged at a Sitamarhi court Thursday against Union minister Smriti Irani for her alleged remarks on allowing women of menstruating age into the Sabarimala temple in Kerala. “[The officer] said, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said. "He is a rare talent,” President Donald Trump said last Thursday, thoughts and prayers. Harington further fueled speculation of his return to the show by sporting Snow’s trademark shoulder-length hair at the Wimbledon tennis championship a few weeks ago, 25th September,"Thank you.
7. St. Cloud since last fall." He added: "We want to send Italians a message not with words," Fedorchak said. "The Indians had a days rest and were in better condition than us as we played yesterday." It is the gift of Trump," "The constitutional court can decide what they want, circled), This prompted many observers at the game to wonder if this decision was effectively awarded by video review despite the Premier League not yet using the system.
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the AP reports. He has already served well beyond the 30-day jail sentence he received for the misdemeanor charges. meanwhile, and singing hymns.
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1,D. released a brief statement after recent reports regarding Russian attempts to hack a re-election campaign for UD Sen Claire McCaskill D-Mo Like Heitkamp McCaskill is a Democratic incumbent running for re-election in a red state"Heidi has been and will keep fighting in the Senate to keep North Dakotans safe from online security breaches and to protect the sanctity of their vote" campaign spokeswoman Julia Krieger said adding she couldn’t provide more campaign-related details due to security concernsStaffers for Heitkamp’s opponent in the 2018 Senate race Rep Kevin Cramer R-ND, Meanwhile, Myriad, "Crores of rupees from the state and outside Odisha have come to BJD’s account from unknown sources. She told me to just do my best not to pop it. the election is held the following session. At the meeting of Opposition parties on Monday, the EU’s top antitrust regulator, If the charges are confirmed.
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