BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) — Central African Republic soldiers killed at least 44 rebel fighters in an offensive against the rebel coalition that has been launching attacks in efforts to overtake the newly reelected president, the government said. The offensive was launched in the village of Boyali, about 90 kilometers (56 miles) from Bangui, the capital, Prime Minister Firmin Ngrebada said. The army also regained control of Boda in the southern part of the country, with the support of Rwandan and Russian soldiers.
The Junior Bombers, one of two teams entered from LVR, dominated the West Kootenay finals in Castlegar, with 5-0-1 record.The Bombers posted wins over host Stanley Humphries Rockers, Lucerne Lakers of New Denver, Grand Forks Wolves, Salmo Falcons and J. Lloyd Crowe Hawks of Trail before defeating the Wolves for a second time 25-23, 25-21 in the final.Great job winning the zone title girls and congrats on being selected Mallard’s Team of the Week.The team includes coaches Megan Rushton and Jen Kidd and players Jessica Kidd, Caitlyn Maida, Annette Augsten, Laurel Halleran, Isobel Morely, Morgan Livingston, Megan Poetsch, Megan Tennant, Emma Willow, Maddie Sternloff, Avery Archambault, Kaylin O’Connor and Elena Gustafson. The future looks bright for girl’s volleyball at L.V. Rogers High school after the Bombers captured the West Kootenay Junior Girl’s Championship recently.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest No significant changes to the forecast this morning. We still see chances of moisture in over at least parts of the state through the end of the week. We are tweaking next week slightly this morning. For today we have scattered showers developing over the state once again, mostly from midday through afternoon and evening. These will bring a few hundredths to .5” over 80% of Ohio. Tomorrow, we have scattered showers with 60% coverage from I-70 northward, giving another few hundredths to .4”. Then for Thursday, scattered showers and thunderstorms arrive in the state with 90% coverage and rain totals of .1″-1″. For Friday, will be slow to exit off to the south and east, meaning we likely add a few hundredths to half an inch, mainly in far southern and far eastern Ohio, although it is likely too soon to confine the biggest rains to just those areas. We do start to dry down Friday afternoon in NW Ohio. Aver the next 4 days, almost all parts of the state see at least some minor rains.Dry weather in is for the weekend and next Monday. However, temps will be cooler, and we actually expect our daytime highs to be below normal for the period, as the front late this week ushers in a nice drop in temps.Tuesday clouds will be on the increase and we cant rule out scattered showers here and there. Still most of Ohio stays on the dry side. Wednesday sees a good chance of showers in NE Ohio bringing a few hundredths to .3″, but all other parts of the state see at least partly sunny skies. We see sunshine everywhere for next Thursday. The map below shows cumulative 10 day rains over the state. Note that a majority of these rains fall in the next 4 days, not very intense on any given day (save for perhaps Thursday), but the totals for the period look adequate.We see 2 systems in the extended 11-16 day period. One batch of moisture for Friday the 13th through Sunday the 15th will bring moderate rains with totals from a half to 1.5” and coverage at 100%. Then after a dry window for the 16th and 17th, we have another wave arriving around the afternoon of the 18th that can bring moisture back and may have potential of .25”-.75” and 80% coverage.Temperatures, outside of the cool down this weekend, will not be too extreme. We should be slightly above normal today and will see the warmest days of the coming period tomorrow and Thursday with well above normal temps. Then, after the weekend cool down, we go back to normal and slightly above normal levels for most of next week.
Story Highlights The National Quality Policy (NQP) 2017, which articulates the Government’s position on the quality of goods and services produced and consumed in Jamaica, was presented to critical stakeholders during a workshop at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel recently. Chief Technical Director in the Ministry, Andrene Collins, said the review addresses several areas of standards that will bring about product integrity and help to build consumer confidence and trust in the quality of the service or good being offered. The policy, which is an update of the 2001 document, supports the achievement of the National Development Goals as expressed in the National Development Plan – Vision 2030 Jamaica, by facilitating the production and export of quality goods and services through the establishment and use of the National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) to ensure compliance with global market requirements. The National Quality Policy (NQP) 2017, which articulates the Government’s position on the quality of goods and services produced and consumed in Jamaica, was presented to critical stakeholders during a workshop at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel recently.The session, staged by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, through its entity, the Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC), was attended by representatives from regulatory and testing bodies such as the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) and the National Compliance and Regulatory Authority (NCRA).The policy, which is an update of the 2001 document, supports the achievement of the National Development Goals as expressed in the National Development Plan – Vision 2030 Jamaica, by facilitating the production and export of quality goods and services through the establishment and use of the National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) to ensure compliance with global market requirements.Chief Technical Director in the Ministry, Andrene Collins, said the review addresses several areas of standards that will bring about product integrity and help to build consumer confidence and trust in the quality of the service or good being offered.She noted that “a lot of work, consultations and support from the World Bank have gone into this revised document, taking into account what is happening globally and to ensure that the quality policy is relevant, current and timely”.She said that the 2001 policy was a simple document, but it served the country well, pointing out that from it, JANAAC and the NCRA were created.She noted, however, that it is time to improve on the document based on new international best practices.Mrs. Collins said the revised policy will better enable Jamaica to compete in the international marketplace, thereby fostering economic growth.“Quality is the linchpin in global competitiveness. If Jamaica is serious about growth, then we have to look at the inputs, the standards and how we position ourselves… so we can think of the quality infrastructure as an enabling environment that allows us to pursue a path of growth,” she said.“On a larger scale, having internationally accredited certification, which JANAAC offers, also facilitates trade, and it makes doing business easier because you are systematically accredited,” she noted further.For her part, Chief Executive Officer of JANAAC, Sharonmae Shirley, noted the importance of stakeholder support for the policy.“Accreditation is built on quality, which is why we want to ensure that all stakeholders are in agreement with the NQP, which will speak volumes about our competence to check assessment procedures in labs, conformity and certification bodies, as well as our manufacturing and testing environments, and increase trading possibilities in the international market,” she noted.
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Generators are still humming. Candles are still flickering. Homes are still being repaired.Puerto Rico was hit by Hurricane Maria exactly six months ago, and the U.S. territory is still struggling to recover from the strongest storm to hit the island in nearly a century.“There are a lot of people with needs,” said Levid Ortiz, operating director of PR4PR, a local non-profit that helps impoverished communities across the island. “It shouldn’t be like this. We should already be back on our feet.”Some 250 Puerto Ricans formed a line around him on a recent weekday, standing for more than two hours to receive bottles of water and a box of food at a public basketball court in the mountain town of Corozal. Many of those waiting were still without power, including 23-year-old Keishla Quiles, a single mother with a 4-year-old son who still buys ice every day to fill a cooler to keep milk and other goods cold amid rising temperatures.“Since we’re a family of few resources, we have not been able to afford a generator,” she said. “It’s been hard living like this.”Crews already have restored water to 99 per cent of clients and power to 93 per cent of customers, but more than 100,000 of them still remain in the dark and there are frequent power outages. Justo Gonzalez, former interim director for Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority, said he expects the entire island to have power by May, eight months after the Category 4 storm destroyed two-thirds of the island’s power distribution system — and just as the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season is about to start.Gonzalez was replaced on Tuesday by Walter Higgins, former president of a power company that provided electricity in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.Officials in Puerto Rico have pledged to inspect dozens of wooden and cement poles still leaning haphazardly across the island after a wooden telephone pole fell on a car. It killed an elderly couple on Sunday as they returned from a town fair in the mountains of western Puerto Rico. The deaths of Luis Beltran, 62, and Rosa Bosque, 60, have angered Puerto Ricans and raised concerns about the safety of people as they recover from the hurricane.“It worries me because … it can happen anywhere,” Mayor Edwin Soto told The Associated Press, adding that crews were going to inspect poles across the mountain town of Las Marias to ensure they are in good condition.Beltran’s youngest sister, Migdalia Beltran, said her brother was living in New Jersey when Hurricane Maria hit, but that he moved back three months ago to be with family.“He was No. 1,” she said as her voice cracked and she began to cry. “He was the one who gave me support to keep going.”The storm caused an estimated $100 billion in damage, killed dozens of people and damaged or destroyed nearly 400,000 homes, according to Puerto Rico’s government.In the six months since the hurricane, more than 135,000 people have fled to the U.S. mainland, according to a recent estimate by the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College in New York.More than 40 per cent of them settled in Florida, followed by Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York and Pennsylvania, the study found.Meanwhile, those who stayed behind say they need more help.The AP recently found that of the $23 billion pledged for Puerto Rico, only $1.27 billion for a nutritional assistance program has been disbursed, along with more than $430 million to repair public infrastructure. The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency also has spent more than $6 billion from its standing emergency fund.Tom Bossert, U.S. President Donald Trump’s homeland security adviser, said Tuesday that Puerto Rico would soon receive another $10 billion for various restoration efforts.“We’re going to redouble our efforts to work as fast as we can on their behalf,” he said of Puerto Ricans during a three-day visit to the island. However, he said the administration of Gov. Ricardo Rossello needs to come up with a plan on how to rebuild a stronger power grid and create financial accounting methods to ensure federal funds are being appropriately spent. “It makes no sense for the people of the United States to continue to pay money for repetitive loss in these disasters.”He also said federal hurricane recovery efforts in Puerto Rico have exceeded his expectations.“That doesn’t mean I’m satisfied. It doesn’t mean the president is satisfied,” Bossert said. “We still have some challenges.”Meanwhile, the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources issued a letter on Friday demanding that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers explain why it is reducing the number of crews helping restore power when there are still people who remain in the dark.“While we recognize that much progress has been made in restoring power to the majority of customers, the job is not done,” the letter stated.Col. Jason Kirk, who is overseeing power restoration efforts for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said Tuesday that Puerto Rico’s power company will be primarily responsible for restoring electricity to remaining customers.
CALGARY – Crescent Point Energy Corp. is doubling down in its battle with an activist investor, criticizing the company, its leader and even the ages of two of the four directors it has nominated for election at the annual general meeting next month.A lengthy letter to shareholders asking them to reject the dissident slate repeats criticism Crescent Point levelled Monday of activist Cation Capital Inc.’s “unreasonable” bid to have four new directors elected, saying it will disrupt the oil and gas producer’s five-year business plan.Crescent Point says the nominees are unqualified or offer experience that isn’t needed on the board and two nominees, Dallas Howe and Herbert Pinder, are close to the company’s director retirement age of 75, which means they wouldn’t be able to serve very long.In a response letter, Cation says Crescent Point CEO Scott Saxberg is attacking its nominees and placing blame to divert attention from the company’s “disastrous track record,” which includes a poor market valuation, high administration costs and executive pay and rising debt.CIBC analyst Dave Popowich says in a report to investors that Cation’s campaign “strains the limit of credibility” and is unlikely to succeed.He says Cation’s complaints about executive compensation at Crescent Point have been raised by shareholders in the past and added it has offered few details on how it would force change at the company to deliver more value to investors.The two sides seem entrenched in their opposing positions.“We welcome directors who will be a positive catalyst for shareholders, but these nominees will be a destructive force in the boardroom and on the share price,” said Crescent Point in its letter released late Thursday.“Our view is simple: This broken company needs new leadership that is committed to restoring the market’s confidence, significantly enhancing Crescent Point’s share price and ensuring long-term sustainability,” countered Cation president Sandy Edmonstone in the response on Friday.He and Thomas Budd are Cation’s third and fourth nominees.The company’s annual meeting is set for May 4.Companies in this story: (TSX:CPG)
The new year marks the start of numerous new state laws affecting a broad swath of life — from birth to marriage to death and, of course, taxes. Most take effect Tuesday. A look at some of them:ABORTIONStates continue to move in different directions. A new Washington law will require contraception coverage in health insurance and, if a policy covers maternity care, also will require it to cover abortions.A Kansas law, facing a court challenge, bans telemedicine abortions, in which patients seeking abortion pills consult with doctors through teleconferencing.In Tennessee, a new law says if an ultrasound is performed before an abortion, the woman must be given the opportunity to learn the results.Arizona will require increased state reporting about abortions, and providers must ask women if they were coerced into seeking the procedure or are victims of sex trafficking or sexual assault.ASSISTED SUICIDEHawaii will become the sixth state, along with Washington D.C., to legalize medically assisted suicide. The law will allow doctors to fulfil requests from terminally ill patients for fatal prescription medication. Two health care providers must confirm a patient’s diagnosis, prognosis and ability to make decisions about the prescription.CRIMINAL JUSTICEA Louisiana constitutional amendment, approved by voters, will require unanimous juries in order to convict people of serious felony crimes. It reverses a Jim Crow-era practice that had allowed as few as 10 members of a 12-person jury to convict defendants in cases not involving death sentences. Oregon will now be the only state to allow convictions under split juror verdicts.A California law will prohibit people age 15 and younger from being tried as adults for crimes.DRUNKEN DRIVINGUtah is adopting the nation’s strictest drunken driving threshold — 0.05 per cent blood alcohol content. The state’s hospitality and ski industries have expressed concern that the new law will exacerbate Utah’s reputation as a Mormon-dominated state where it’s tough to get a drink. But proponents include the National Transportation Safety Board, which says people start to become impaired with a first drink.An Idaho law will require first-time convicted drunken drivers to have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicles for one year.EQUALITYA new Oregon law will expand equal pay requirements. The law extends an existing prohibition on sex-based pay discrimination to also include race, colour, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, veteran status, disability and age. Pay differences must be based on seniority, merit, experience and other factors. Employees who prevail in complaints with the state Bureau of Labor and Industries can recover back pay for up to two years.California will require corporate boards of publicly traded companies to include women by the end of 2019.GUNSOne new Illinois law will extend the current 72-hour waiting period for purchasing handguns to all firearms; another will allow relatives or law officers to ask courts to remove guns from people believed to be a danger to themselves or others.California, which already bars people younger than 21 from buying handguns, will extend that to long guns with a few exceptions for military members and licensed hunters. The state also will ban guns for people with certain domestic violence misdemeanours and require eight hours of training and live-fire exercises to carry concealed weapons.IMMIGRANTSA Tennessee law will ban local governments from having “sanctuary” policies for people living in the country illegally. It bans local government policies that restrict compliance with federal immigration detainers. The law threatens to withhold future state economic development money from those that don’t comply.Colorado will make it easier for immigrants living in the country illegally to renew state driver’s licenses. The state has been issuing such licenses since 2014, but they had to be renewed in person every three years at one of just three state offices devoted to that purpose. The law’s Republican sponsors argued the economies of their rural districts were at stake.MARRIAGEThe minimum marriage age in New Hampshire will rise to 16 — up from 13 for girls and 14 for boys. The new law was championed by Cassie Levesque, who was a senior in high school in 2017 when she began her two-year push to raise the marriage age as part of a Girl Scouts project. The experience led her to run for a state House seat, which she won in November. Another new law prohibits judges from signing off on marriages involving a person under the age of consent unless there is clear and convincing evidence the marriage is in the child’s best interest.SEXUAL HARASSMENTA new Delaware law will require employers with 50 or more employees to provide sexual harassment training to current workers within the next year, or within one year of hiring new employees. Training must be offered every two years thereafter.California employers with at least five employees will have to provide at least two hours of sexual harassment prevention training to supervisors and at least one hour of training to all other employees, conducted this coming year and every two years thereafter.Another new California law will bar confidential settlements to resolve claims of sexual assault or harassment, gender discrimination or retaliation, although it still will allow the identity of the accuser and amount paid to remain secret in some cases. A new law also will bar contracts and settlements that waive a person’s right to testify about sexual harassment or criminal conduct.TAXESAt least a half dozen states will begin enforcing sales tax laws on some out-of-state retailers. Georgia, for example, will collect a 4 per cent sales tax on online retailers who make at least $250,000 or 200 sales a year in Georgia. The U.S. Supreme Court paved the way for states to collect billions in additional sales taxes from online retailers with a ruling in June. Some states began collecting those taxes before the new year.Missouri, which has not passed an online sales tax law, will cut its individual income tax rate by one-half of a percentage point. The tax cut will be partially offset by phasing in a reduction in the state tax break for taxes paid to the federal government.___Associated Press reporters David A. Lieb in Jefferson City, Missouri; Kathleen Ronayne in Sacramento, California; Rachel La Corte in Olympia, Washington; John Hanna in Topeka, Kansas; Jonathan Mattise in Nashville, Tennessee; Bob Christie in Phoenix; Audrey McAvoy in Honolulu; Melinda Deslatte in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Lindsay Whitehurst in Salt Lake City; Rebecca Boone in Boise, Idaho; Andrew Selsky in Salem, Oregon; Jim Anderson in Denver; Holly Ramer in Concord, New Hampshire; Randall Chase in Dover, Delaware; and Russ Bynum in Savannah, Georgia, contributed to this report.The Associated Press
REVELSTOKE, B.C. – A Special Public Avalanche Warning for recreational backcountry users, is effective immediately by Avalanche Canada, in partnership with Parks Canada and Alberta’s Kananaskis Country applying to all the forecast regions in western Canada.For a map of the regions involved, click here.According to the warning, there will be a significant warming forecast to hit BC and Alberta this week. With the temperature rise will increase the likelihood of avalanches throughout the mountains. As well as the warm weather and BC’s spring break, it is expected more people will be heading into the mountains. “This is the first big warming to hit our snowpack, which is still fairly complex and winter-like,” explains Senior Avalanche Forecaster Grant Helgeson. “Any time the snowpack is hit with a big change, it tends to de-stabilize. The temperatures are forecast to increase substantially this week, with no nighttime cooling. This will weaken the snowpack on all aspects, increasing the possibility of large natural avalanches as well making it easier for the weight of a person to trigger deeper weak layers.”Avalanche Canada, Parks Canada and Kananaskis Country warns all backcountry users, including those going outside ski area boundaries, to keep careful track of their regional avalanche forecasts at www.avalanche.ca.Everyone in a backcountry party needs the essential rescue gear—transceiver, probe and shovel—and the knowledge to use it. Ensure your party re-groups well away from avalanche slopes, including overhead hazard such as cornices says the warning.Those heading to the mountains to snowshoe or explore the front country should also be aware that many popular summer trails are exposed to avalanche terrain. Plan ahead and research your route to make sure you are avoiding these areas.
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – MP Bob Zimmer is calling on both the Federal and Provincial governments to step in and help after recent curtailment and closures in the forestry industry.In a statement Friday morning, Bob Zimmer Member of Parliament for Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies says, “It’s clear from these continued announcements of curtailments and closures throughout the province that both the federal Liberal government and provincial NDP government are simply not doing enough to support the forestry sector and its workers.”Zimmer goes onto say both levels of government seem content to leave the industry to languish. “It is thanks to their inaction and anti-natural resource development policies that this situation continues to worsen. Thursday Canfor announces another curtailment in Mackenzie and the removal of one shift in Prince George.According to the B.C. Liberals, since 2017, British Columbia’s forestry industry has lost more than 6,600 jobs.
Bamako – The signing on Thursday of bilateral cooperation agreements heralds a new era in relations between the Kingdom of Morocco and Mali, said Head of State of Mali, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta.In a statement broadcast by Moroccan television channel Al Oula, Keita considered that the strengthening of ties between the two countries “is consistent with history, geography, and anthropology, noting that His Majesty the King is right to confirm the African identity of the kingdom.”Morocco and Mali are about to herald “a new happy beginning, with cooperation taking place in a climate of trust and brotherhood, he added. King Mohammed VI and the Malian President chaired on Thursday the signing ceremony of seventeen bilateral cooperation, mainly in the fields of investment protection, livestock, industry, trade promotion, health, mining, oil and gas, finance, telecommunications, and vocational training.