BELOVED TRADITION STEPHEN HAIR MARKS 25 YEARS AS SCROOGE

first_imgStephen Hair as Ebenezer Scrooge in Theatre Calgary holiday classic, A Christmas Carol. Photo courtesy Trudie Lee. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Advertisement Facebook “Though I welcome the sentiment, I have stopped counting the number of times people have come up to me to say … that coming to see me in A Christmas Carol marks the start of their Christmas season. Some people tell me they started bringing their children to the show 20 years ago and now they are bringing their grandchildren.center_img Advertisement Some gifts really do keep on giving.For the past 25 years, actor Stephen Hair has played Scrooge in Theatre Calgary’s annual holiday version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. He says the opportunity to reinhabit one of the most famous characters in English literature is a gift and one he has learned to cherish.“I don’t take this role lightly because I have seen what Theatre Calgary’s production of A Christmas Carol has come to mean to so many people. Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

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Business Highlights

first_img___Dow sinks another 464 points as slowdown fears worsenNEW YORK (AP) — Stocks took another dive on Wall Street, adding to the steep losses in recent days as investors remain concerned that economic growth around the world and in the U.S. could slow dramatically over the next few years. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost more than 400 points, putting it on track for its biggest monthly loss in almost a decade, and the benchmark S&P 500 index is now nearly 16 per cent below the peak it reached in late September.___Stock market woes raise a nagging fear: Is a recession near?BALTIMORE (AP) — Fears of a recession have been mounting with the U.S. stock market appearing to be headed for its worst December since 1931 — during the Great Depression. Wall Street’s sustained slump has been fueled by investor concerns about lower corporate profits, higher corporate debt, a festering trade war between the United States and China and a broader global slowdown. So is a U.S. recession imminent? Not necessarily.___Mnuchin says market’s negative reaction to Fed ‘overblown’WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says that the negative market reaction following the Federal Reserve’s rate hike this week was “completely overblown.” Mnuchin says the market overreacted and that computerized program trading took over and drove stock prices down further.___Apples pulls iPhone 7, 8 from German stores in patent spatBERLIN (AP) — A court in Germany has sided with chipmaker Qualcomm in a patent dispute with Apple that could see sales of older iPhone models halted. The Munich regional court ruled Thursday that Apple and its subsidiaries had breached a European patent held by San Diego-based Qualcomm.___Dushku says CBS agreed to monitor ‘Bull’ star’s behaviourNEW YORK (AP) — Eliza Dushku says she struggled with her decision to keep quiet about the sexual harassment she says she endured from actor Michael Weatherly on the set of the CBS show “Bull.” In the end, the actress agreed to stay silent as part of a $9.5 million settlement reached with CBS. But Dushku says she took solace in a requirement she imposed on the company: that CBS designate someone trained in sexual harassment compliance to monitor Weatherly and the show in general.___Human rights group report gains traction, Twitter hammeredNEW YORK (AP) — A report on Twitter by the human rights group Amnesty International is gaining traction and the company’s shares are being punished. The report, released earlier this week, said the social media platform has permitted a toxic online culture that allows pervasive abuse of women. While reports from Amnesty International are not regular reading on Wall Street, the Citron Research newsletter is. On Thursday, Citron cited the report and called Twitter the “Harvey Weinstein” of social media.___APNewsBreak: US miscalculated benefit of better train brakesBILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Critics say the Trump administration should reconsider ending a stricter safety rule for trains that haul explosive fuels after The Associated Press found the government miscalculated the potential benefits. A government analysis omitted up to $117 million in estimated future damages from train derailments that could be avoided by installing more advanced brakes. The administration pointed to the analysis when it scrapped an Obama-era rule requiring railroads to use better brakes.___In a record year, the movie theatre strikes backNEW YORK (AP) — Ticket sales this weekend will reach a new record for the year, passing the previous 2016 high of $11.4 billion. Driven in part by zeitgeist-grabbing cultural events like “Black Panther,” ”Crazy Rich Asians” and even documentaries like “Won’t You Be My Neighbour?” the box office sped past $11 billion faster than it ever has before. The overall domestic gross is up nearly 9 per cent from last year.___Administration moves closer to opening Arctic refuge for oilWASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is acknowledging its plan to open Alaska’s pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas development would affect polar bears, tribal hunters and many others. The administration released its environmental impact statement Thursday for its plan to sell oil and gas leases in the refuge. The release moves the administration a step closer to realizing the plan.___The S&P 500 index skidded 39.54 points, or 1.6 per cent, to 2,467.42. The Dow fell 464.06 points, or 2 per cent, to 22,859.60. The Nasdaq fell 108.42 points, or 1.6 per cent, to 6,528.41. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies dropped another 23.23 points, or 1.7 per cent, to 1,326.Benchmark U.S. crude fell 4.8 per cent to $45.88 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, slipped 5 per cent to $54.35 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline lost 4.6 per cent to $1.32 a gallon and heating oil slid 3.1 per cent to $1.75 a gallon. Natural gas gave up 3.8 per cent to $3.58 per 1,000 cubic feet.The Associated Presslast_img read more

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Oncefeted BC auto insurer is a wreck no clear path to a

VANCOUVER — British Columbia’s once-celebrated public auto insurer has become a financial train wreck, its critics say as studies into the beleaguered Crown corporation call for dramatic rate hikes and drastic structural changes to save it from ruin.But while everyone appears to agree the system is broken, there is disagreement over how the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia went off the rails in the first place and what must be done to fix it.The crisis at ICBC is shaping up to be the first major financial hurdle for B.C.’s new NDP government.Attorney General David Eby, who is also the minister responsible for ICBC, blames the previous Liberal government for problems at the corporation.“ICBC, as described to me by senior bureaucrats, is on the path to insolvency,” Eby said. “It’s very unfortunate that it’s been left for so long, because I think there was really an opportunity to address this much earlier.”ICBC was created in the early 1970s by the province’s first NDP government to provide affordable and universal auto insurance.All B.C. vehicle owners are required to purchase basic coverage through the corporation, though in 1976 the government began allowing private insurers to compete in offering additional optional coverage.Eby and other ICBC supporters single out the actions of former Liberal premier Gordon Campbell as marking the beginning of the corporation’s troubles.Campbell required ICBC to keep much higher amounts of backup capital. The resulting stockpile proved irresistible to politicians in 2010 following the global financial meltdown, critics say, when the government began siphoning hundreds of millions of dollars of “excess capital” almost every year.In all, the Liberals withdrew $1.2 billion from the lucrative optional side of ICBC’s business, and also transferred $1.4 billion to offset deficits on the compulsory side providing basic coverage beginning in 2012.“The reason we’re in a bind right now is that there’s no more money left in the optional piggy bank,” said retired civil servant Rick McCandless, who has written extensively on ICBC.“The music has stopped. You can’t play the game anymore. Somebody has to make some hard decisions. And that somebody is government.”Liberal member of the legislature John Yap said the New Democrats are playing politics in trying to lay blame for the problems at ICBC, which he largely attributed to the increasing number of collisions and claims year-over-year along with rising repair costs.The Liberals’ priority was to keep rates low and stable while improving the operations and finances of the corporation through a number of measures, including foregoing the dividends from the optional side of the business as of last year and rolling in a new information technology system that would save the corporation millions, he said.“Government did take action,” Yap said.He said the Liberals understood there were challenges and had ICBC commission a third-party report on the financial situation to make recommendations, which the new government will be responsible to act on.A recent report from Ernst & Young painted a dire picture at the Crown corporation, concluding that rates must increase by 30 per cent by 2019 to cover costs. A separate forecast released last November by ICBC indicated rates would need to increase by 42 per cent over the next five years to make up for expenses.McCandless pointed to a footnote in the ICBC report that an additional $1.5 billion is required in “capital from other sources” between 2017 and 2020. He calculated the cumulative rate hike to be closer to 117 per cent over four years.ICBC says an increase in accidents as well as both the number and cost of claims are contributing to its financial predicament. But experts say the insurance corporation has been slow to respond to the changes, which apply equally to other jurisdictions outside of B.C.Greg Basham, senior vice-president of ICBC in the late 1990s, said the Liberals’ decision to cut funding for the corporation’s road safety program undermined efforts to curb that trend.ICBC operates a full-tort legal system, as opposed to the no-fault model used in some other provinces that saves on pay-outs and legal fees by preventing victims from litigating for better compensation.It becomes a question of affordability versus treating victims fairly, McCandless said.“How much fairness can you afford?” he added.While the Liberal government withdrew money from ICBC coffers, they were not the only government to artificially depress rates, McCandless said. The NDP in the late 1990s also “started playing games” with the Crown corporation when they introduced a five-year rate freeze.While advocates tend to see ICBC as a good program gone awry, some free-enterprise proponents view it as fundamentally flawed, arguing it worked as well as it did for so long not because of the system but in spite of it.Scott Hennig of the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation said consumers suffer because of B.C.’s mandatory basic insurance model, which he described as a monopoly that is vulnerable to political interference.“Private or public, monopolies are bad for consumers,” Hennig said.“Politicians can’t help themselves,” he added, describing ICBC as a cash cow. “When you’ve created a system that’s susceptible to it, it doesn’t matter what party is in power.”B.C. drivers pay some of the highest auto insurance rates in the country while receiving some of the lowest pay-outs, said Aaron Sutherland of the Insurance Bureau of Canada.Sutherland said a 2017 review of auto insurance in Ontario listed the average premium cost in B.C. in 2015 as $1,316, second only to Ontario. The report also said the average cost of an injury claim was $42,084, second last in the country ahead of only Nova Scotia.“If we want to have a real discussion and truly fix the auto insurance system, competition needs to be included,” Sutherland said.The NDP government has not released a comprehensive plan for addressing the crisis at ICBC, though Eby described the situation as urgent.The government faces an Aug. 31 deadline to submit filings ahead of ICBC’s rate-setting hearing at the B.C. Utilities Commission.— Follow @gwomand on Twitter read more

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AG advise sought to release full report on treasury bond scam

The advice of the Attorney General (AG) has been sought to release the full report of the Presidential Commission on the Central Bank treasury bond scam.President’s Secretary Austin Fernando said that he has sought the advise of the AG to make public the full report. The report found that the public suffered a loss of Rs. 11.5 billion as a result of the treasury bond deal. The report of the Presidential Commission which investigated the treasury bond scam was handed over to the President last December and to Parliament last January. The report also found that Perpetual Treasuries had made profits over 11,145 million. (Colombo Gazette) read more

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Paskapoo Slopes proposal passes first reading at City Hall

by Chris Bowen Posted Jul 22, 2015 6:11 pm MDT Last Updated Jul 22, 2015 at 6:13 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email The City of Calgary is reviewing a proposed development for the East Paskapoo Slopes, located just east of Canada Olympic Park. This land would have to be rezoned and a new area structure plan would have to be created to accommodate this proposed development. If approved by City Council, this will change what development is allowed on the site. City of Calgary Developments and Projects http://www.calgary.ca/councillors/ward-1/Pages/Developments-in-Ward-1.aspx Paskapoo Slopes proposal passes first reading at City Hall While thoughts of tornados swirled outside, a whirlwind few days inside City Hall has seen a first reading pass on the redevelopment of the Paskapoo Slopes. The controversial proposal would allow condos, stores, hotels, and office space to be built on some of the nature-rich land just east of Canada Olympic Park. City Council voted 12 to 3 in favour of a bylaw allowance that would take up one-third of the 105 hectares of land owned by the Trinity Hills. The remainder would be left in its natural state.Before the vote, Mayor Naheed Nenshi noted an unprecedented level of public engagement on the issue, including a petition against the development that garnered thousands of signatures.“Even if 30 per cent of them are fake, that’s far more signatures than we’ve received on anything else that we’ve had since I’ve been mayor, except for shark fin soup, but less said about that the better,’ Nenshi said, alluding to a troublesome issue brought up a few years ago surrounding a push to ban the shark fin delicacy. Councillors have proposed a number of amendments to the development, including that it have a minimal impact on the environment. read more

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Judge drops charge against Democracy Now reporter

MANDAN, N.D. – “Democracy Now!” reporter Amy Goodman won’t face a riot charge stemming from her coverage of a protest against construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline in North Dakota, with a judge saying Monday that there was no cause for it.Judge John Grinsteiner refused to sign off on the misdemeanour riot charge, which prosecutor Ladd Erickson had pursued after dismissing a misdemeanour criminal trespass charge against the journalist on Friday. However, authorities would not rule out the possibility Goodman could face other charges.Erickson has said Goodman was acting like a protester when she reported on a clash between protesters and pipeline security last month. Her defence attorney, Tom Dickson, maintains Goodman was doing her job.The protests have drawn thousands of people to the area where Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners is trying to wrap up construction on the $3.8 billion, 1,200-mile pipeline from North Dakota to Illinois. Opponents of the pipeline worry about potential effects on drinking water on the Standing Rock Sioux reservation and farther downstream, as well as destruction of cultural artifacts.Goodman is one about 140 people who have been charged in recent weeks with interfering with the pipeline’s construction in North Dakota.After the judge’s decision Monday, Erickson referred questions to Morton County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Donnell Preskey. Asked whether authorities would pursue other charges, Preskey said, “It’s all under review.” She would not elaborate.Goodman told reporters outside the courthouse that Grinsteiner’s decision was a “vindication for all journalists and a vindication for everyone.”Dickson said prosecutors are wrong to continue to pursue charges against Goodman.“The first charge was frivolous and the second charge was even more frivolous,” Dickson said. “Enough is enough. They need to let it go.”An arrest warrant was issued for Goodman after she reported on a clash on Sept. 3, when Standing Rock Sioux officials said crews bulldozed several sites of “significant cultural and historic value” on private land. Energy Transfer Partners denies those allegations.Law enforcement officials said four security guards and two guard dogs received medical treatment. A tribal spokesman said six people were bitten by guard dogs and at least 30 people were pepper-sprayed.Goodman, who is based in New York, said she “came to North Dakota to cover this epic struggle … what we found was horrifying.”About 200 protesters gathered outside the county courthouse Monday as Goodman was set to appear for a hearing that never happened. Many held signs that included, “This is not a riot.” About 100 officers in riot gear were stationed outside the courthouse to monitor those protesters.Morton County sheriff’s spokesman Rob Keller confirmed one man was arrested on charges including disorderly conduct.Authorities said pipeline protesters earlier Monday briefly blocked a Bismarck-Mandan bridge across the Missouri River. They dispersed when ordered by law officers.Carlos Lauria, senior Americas co-ordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists, said any charges against Goodman are an attempt to intimidate reporters from covering protests of “significant public interest.”Goodman’s show airs daily on hundreds of radio and TV stations and over the internet.It’s not the first time Goodman has had a brush with the law while covering events. She and two of her producers received $100,000 in a settlement over their arrests during the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota.St. Paul and Minneapolis agreed to pay a combined $90,000 while the federal government agreed to pay $10,000. The lawsuit named the federal government because a Secret Service agent confiscated the journalists’ press credentials.Goodman said at the time the money would go “to support independent, unfettered” journalism about such events. by James MacPherson And Blake Nicholson, The Associated Press Posted Oct 17, 2016 4:19 pm MDT Last Updated Oct 17, 2016 at 5:02 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Judge drops charge against ‘Democracy Now’ reporter read more

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October new car preregistration figures

Today, SMMT released figures for October pre-registrations in the UK new car market. The data shows the number of cars disposed of by vehicle manufacturers in October 2015 that were defined as pre-registrations.CLICK HERE: Download the October 2015 release.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)

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Opinion 5 keys to Ohio State mens basketballs run at a conference

Redshirt-freshman guard Kam Williams (15) is shooting just 26 percent from 3-point range in Big Ten play.Credit: Samantha Hollingshead / Lantern photographer4. Someone please find Kam WilliamsThe redshirt-freshman guard lit the world on fire in non-conference play, then completely disappeared.Sure, Russell and Loving can score plenty of baskets, but neither of them have the same sort of spark-plug impact off the bench that Kam Williams brought early in the season.He’s shooting about 38 percent from long range, but only 26 percent in Big Ten play. And in the conference overall, he’s shooting just 33 percent from the field, and doesn’t average a full rebound, assist or steal per game.Yes, OSU has other options, but the Buckeyes know exactly what Kam Williams can do, and coach Thad Matta needs to find a way to bring out his best as postseason play approaches. 1. Keep on riding play of the youngster(s)Nobody will question it. Freshman guard D’Angelo Russell is OSU’s best player.Through the first 26 games — all starts — of his collegiate career, Russell has averaged 19.1 points, 5.8 rebounds and 5.5 assists. As a 6-foot-5-inch rookie, he leads the Buckeyes in two of the three most important statistical categories (senior guard Shannon Scott averages 6.2 assists).And just to put some extra frosting on the cake, he shoots 43 percent from 3-point range and turns the ball over less than three times per game.In the Big Ten, Russell’s numbers have only gotten better, as he’s averaged 20.5 points, 7 rebounds and 5.7 assists in 13 conference games, making him the best on the team in all three categories. He even has an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.4 in the conference which is, again, best on the team.He’s not only OSU’s clear-cut best player, but one of the best in the nation, and if the Buckeyes keep riding his production, he’ll have a great shot at leading them to conference glory before (probably) heading to the NBA.Oh, and just a heads up, the guy who has been OSU’s second-most important player in Big Ten play is another freshman, forward Jae’Sean Tate. He’s averaging 10.3 points and 4.8 rebounds in conference play and has become a reliable spark plug since entering the starting lineup. OSU coach Thad Matta has seen his team shoot just 63 percent from the charity strip in Big Ten games, and 68 percent for the entire season.Credit: Samantha Hollingshead / Lantern photographer5. Make free throwsMissing free throws is probably the thing that makes basketball coaches momentarily turn into fire-breathing dragons more than anything else.And the Buckeyes miss a lot of free throws.A 68 percent clip from the charity stripe overall and a 63 percent clip in Big Ten play are not good enough. The Buckeyes have a few good shooters, but players like Thompson (63 percent) and Tate (54 percent) have to improve.If not for Matta’s well-being, the Buckeyes need to make their free throws in order to make a run and eventually win the conference tournament.OSU is scheduled to return to the court against Michigan on Sunday in Ann Arbor. Tip off is set for 1 p.m. After their matchup with the Wolverines, the Buckeyes will have four more conference games before the Big Ten Tournament begins on March 11 in Chicago. 3. Speaking of Marc LovingLoving returned from a three-game suspension in the loss to the Spartans on Saturday, but basically didn’t play any significant minutes and didn’t impact the game.Sophomore forward Marc Loving is the Buckeyes’ second leading scorer, despite sitting out three games with an undisclosed suspension.Credit: Samantha Hollingshead / Lantern photographerIf OSU wants to win going forward, that’ll have to change.Sure, the Buckeyes went 2-1 when he was out of the lineup, but when the Big Ten Tournament rolls around, a 2-1 record means a loss in the semifinals.Whatever Loving did, it didn’t warrant a particularly lengthy suspension, and therefore probably shouldn’t warrant a big decrease in playing time. He’s OSU’s second-best offensive player and currently shoots about 53 percent from 3-point range.Russell can carry the team, but the Buckeyes need to get Loving back in the mix as a second option to score the basketball. Freshman guard D’Angelo Russell (0) leads OSU in points, rebounds and assists so far in Big Ten play.Credit: Samantha Hollingshead / Lantern photographerThe Ohio State men’s basketball team won’t be winning a regular season Big Ten title in 2015, but conference hardware could still be in the Buckeyes’ not-so-distant future.OSU dropped to No. 24 — just a one-spot slide — in the Associated Press top 25 on Monday after losing to Michigan State on Saturday. That loss put the Buckeyes at 19-7 overall and 8-5 in the Big Ten, well out of reach of Wisconsin’s 23-2 overall record and 11-1 Big Ten mark.But, unlike football, there’s more than one way to win a Big Ten basketball title, and OSU could be poised to do just that with a strong finish to the regular season and a run in the conference tournament. Senior center Amir Williams (23) averages just 6.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per game.Credit: Samantha Hollingshead / Lantern photographer2. If they have to play small, play smallSenior centers Amir Williams and Trey McDonald have combined to average 7.5 rebounds per game this season, which is considerably less than the combined average of OSU’s starting guards, Russell and Scott.Inside presence has been, well, not a presence at all for most of OSU’s season, and while the Buckeyes fared well with redshirt-senior forward Anthony Lee in the starting lineup, they’re at their best with none of the three on the court.It’ll be hard to do when other top teams in the conference have a size advantage (read: Wisconsin’s 7-foot senior star Frank Kaminsky), but a combination of Russell, Scott, Tate, senior forward Sam Thompson and sophomore forward Marc Loving might be the Buckeyes’ best chance to win week in and week out. read more

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Prince Charles presented with a king during card game in Florence

first_imgCarlo Petrini (R), president of the gastronomic movement Slow Food presents some local fareCredit:AFP It was a royal flush – with an Italian twist.Prince Charles sat down to a card game in a social centre in the heart of Florence on Monday, as he and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, continued their European tour.“I’ve got a lot to learn,” he said as he surveyed the hand he was dealt, looking as though he would quite happily have settled in for the afternoon with the five elderly men sitting around the table. One of the card players, a sprightly 83-year-old with white hair, offered to show him some card tricks.The Prince of Wales jokingly looked up the pensioner’s sleeve to see if there were any cards hidden there.“Ah yes, very clever,” he said after the man pulled off a deft sleight of hand which ended with him presenting the heir to the throne with a King. “Years of misspent youth, I see.”The Casa San Paolino shelter, which is run by Caritas, a Catholic charity, is home to around 80 people, including single women with young children, immigrants and the elderly.The royal couple also visited a world-class art restoration institution which is renowned for its skill in repairing and restoring centuries-old stone statues, paintings, tapestries and bronzes. Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall at the Palazzo Pitti in Florence In the workshops of the Opificio Pietre Dure, they watched experts repair ancient Roman mosaics.“It’s like a terrifying jigsaw puzzle,” the Prince of Wales said. “Marvelous, you have great talent.”The technicians use traditional techniques that have not changed for centuries, including hand-driven bow saws which can cut through stone. The royals also visited an organic food market where the Prince entered into friendly rivalry with an Italian farmer over the quality of their respective products.Charles makes a cold pork cut called “coppa” from the pigs he rears – as does Mario De Santis from his herd.The Prince accepted a taste challenge from Mr De Santis, who insisted: “We are very good at making “coppa” because we have very good meat – so I think I will beat the Prince.” The heir to the throne was introduced to a range of local produce by campaigner Carlo Petrini, who started the Slow Food movement in the 1980s to defend regional food. Prince Charles was due to accept the Renaissance Man of the Year award on Monday night at a dinner in a Renaissance palazzo hosted by Dario Nardella, the mayor of Florence.The award, which recognises achievements in the fields of philanthropy and the arts, is presented by the Palazzo Strozzi Foundation, which stages art exhibitions and cultural events in the Tuscan city.The royal couple’s nine-day tour began in Romania last week.On Tuesday they will meet the Pope at the Vatican, before ending their trip in Austria.center_img Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall at the Palazzo Pitti in FlorenceCredit:Maurizio Degl’ Innocenti In the courtyard of the institute, Charles and Camilla were photographed in front of a bronze statue of St George – a replica of a marble original by Donatello. Carlo Petrini (R), president of the gastronomic movement Slow Food presents some local fare Years of misspent youth, I seePrince Charles to a Florentine card shark Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

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Ever heard of Alpha1 deficiency Heres why you might want to get

first_imgEVER HEARD OF Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency? You might not, but you could be a carrier of this genetic disease – and if you’re a smoker, you may want to get tested.This year marks the 50th anniversary of the discovery of Alpha-1 by Dr Sten Eriksson and Dr Carl-Bertil Laurell in Malmo, Sweden. Here’s more on the abnormal genes that cause the deficiency.Due to the similarity of its symptoms to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the condition is often misdiagnosed. Over 10,000 Irish people are severely affected by the deficiency, with another 170,000 at risk if they smoke.With one in 25 people in Ireland a carrier for the gene that causes the disease, many people are at risk from Alpha-1, which affects the lungs and liver. The Alpha One Foundation has been working to raise awareness, while the RCSI Education and Research Centre at Beaumont Hospital is home to the National Centre for Alpha-1, where new treatments are being worked on and people can get tested and treated in relation to the disease.TheJournal.ie spoke to an expert on the condition, and a woman who was diagnosed with Alpha-1, to find out more.The expertProfessor Gerry McElvaney is a Respiratory Consultant, Alpha-1 Specialist, and also Chairman of the Alpha One Foundation.He explained that about 20 years ago there was a meeting in Geneva of the World Health Organisation (WHO), where the lack of public awareness of Alpha-1 deficiency was discussed.“The take home messages was that it was a strong recommendation that everyone with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) should be tested for Alpha 1, and everyone with poorly responsive asthma.”He pointed out that it is estimated it takes seven doctors five years to diagnose someone with Alpha-1 deficiency in the USA, so the number is thought to be similar here. We do know for example in Ireland there should be at least 3000 individuals with [severe symptoms of Alpha-1 deficiency] and we have identified 300 or so. We know we are misdiagnosing or under-diagnosing it.Alpha-1 deficiency can present itself as emphysema, where if a person who smokes has the deficiency they will get early aggressive emphysema in their 40s or so. The other group, which makes up 10 per cent of people, present with severe jaundice at birth. In about two-thirds of these cases, it clears up but the remainder may require a liver transplant.The other group finds through a liver blood test that they have increased risk of cirrhosis, and a small but increased risk of liver cancer. There is also a rare skin disease that can be found in some patients.“More recently we have found that there may be an autoimmune element,” added Prof McElvaney.What they see most commonly at the clinic in Beaumont is lung disease, even in people who don’t smoke.“We are very fortunate in Ireland as we have a targeted detection programme,” he pointed out. He said that people with poorly responsive asthma and cirrhosis of an unknown origin, or vascultis inflammation should all get tested for Alpha-1 deficiency.Thanks to the Government setting up the targeted detection programme, everyone in the country can get tested free of charge.“We’re finding out it’s more common than we would have thought,” said McElvaney.We would have thought it was more common in Scandinavia than Ireland but it’s not – it’s more common in Ireland.Prof McElvaney and his colleagues want to diagnose the deficiency early; to get people to stop smoking, and to improve their lung function.One new treatment they are working on is infusing purified blood from someone with normal Alpha 1 to someone who is antitrypcin deficient. A study is out soon on whether this works. Genetic therapy is another form of treatment.The patientJosephine McGuirk has personal experience of Alpha-1, and attends the centre in Beaumont.She was diagnosed with Alpha-1 because her brother Brendan Richmond passed away from Alpha-1 14 years age, aged just 49.It was only then that her was the family told that he had a genetic condition and that they should be testedThere is a  massively increased risk in Alpha-1s who smoke.  “I already smoked; he smoked as well. I already smoked for a long time, but I’m 10 years off them now,” said McGuirk. Her brother was ill for about five years, and had other underlying illnesses as well. But it took some years for him to be diagnosed.“It’s hereditary – my parents must have been carriers, and none of us knew. But I’ve two other siblings who have been diagnosed and they have no symptoms.”She has emphysema and attends the Beaumont clinic for treatment. She also fundraises with others from the patient support group to raise awareness and funds.For the last seven years she has been on a trial drug, which is “going very well”. Now in her late 60s, McGuirk doesn’t let her Alpha-1 deficiency affect her attitude. “I am a very positive person anyway so I just kind of get on with it”.I was raging I didn’t know when I was younger and I wouldn’t have smoked. Maybe I wouldn’t have had emphysema.She recommends people who suspect they could be at risk to speak to their GP and get tested.She didn’t have symptoms before her diagnosis, but did get emphysema. “It’s great that there’s been some transplants – people are becoming more aware of it,” she said.All four of her children were also tested, and were found to be carriers. None of them smoke.“It’s incurable but controllable – that’s my message,” she said, appealing to people “not to be afraid – go and be tested.” She moved near the coast at the age of 58 and hasn’t looked back.For more information on how to get tested for Alpha-1, see www.alpha1.ie or contact the National Centre for Alpha-1 at Beaumont Hospital by emailing alpha1@rcsi.ie.Read: Meet the people beginning a new life in 2014 thanks to organ transplants>last_img read more

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Judge fails to remove stories on Macris attempted murder

first_imgThe thousands of stories that appear online about the conspiracy to murder bikie associate John Macris will stay online, said a court ruling. An NSW judge, who launched a court order urging media to remove thousands of online stories about Sydney’s Ibrahim family, has failed to do so, with the appeal court ruling the direction as “futile” there are many places on the internet outside of the court’s control. Bikie gang members Fadi Ibrahim is in court with brother Michael and associate Rodney Atkinson charged with conspiring to murder bikie associate John Macris in Broken Hill, Sydney in 2009. They have all pleaded not guilty. As court proceedings are still going on, NSW District Court Judge James Bennett ordered stories referring to criminal matters involving the three defendants to be taken off the internet in case they prejudiced the jury. However, last week the Court of Criminal Appeal agreed with media law experts that the judge’s order was impossible to carry out entirely because of the large amount of information on the internet that is beyond the court’s control. The court also said the judge’s order unfairly restricted access to information for people across Australia, even though jurors for the trial would have been picked from people living in New South Wales. The CCA judgment is likely to affect online coverage of other court and criminal matters in New South Wales. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

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Psittocosaurus 3 espèces de dinosaures qui nen font quune

first_imgPsittocosaurus : 3 espèces de dinosaures qui n’en font qu’une ! Grâce à un scanner 3D, des paléontologues américains ont pu analyser des crânes de 3 espèces différentes de dinosaures pour se rendre compte qu’ils ne constituaient en fait qu’une seule espèce.Même s’il n’est pas aussi connu du grand public que son cousin le Tricératops, le Psittacosaurus n’en est pas moins célèbre chez les paléontologues. En effet, il s’agit d’un des dinosaures les plus étudiés et les plus abondants qui existe. On recense pas moins de 9 espèces différentes et des centaines de fossiles ont été mis à jour depuis sa découverte en 1922 en Mongolie. Toutefois, malgré son abondance, on peut désormais retirer deux espèces de la liste : des chercheurs de l’université de Pennsylvanie ont révélé, grâce à des techniques de scanner en 3D, que 3 espèces n’en formaient en réalité qu’une seule.74 crânes étudiésLes espèces du genre Psittacosaurus ont vécu au Crétacé, il y a environ 125 millions d’années, dans une zone de répartition qui s’étendait sur une large partie de la Chine jusqu’en Sibérie au Nord et en Thaïlande au Sud. Herbivores, leur crâne présente un énorme bec, qui leur a valu leur nom de “lézard perroquet” (psittaco signifie perroquet en latin, et saurus lézard).Pour leur étude, les chercheurs ont analysé les crânes de spécimens originaires du nord-est de la Chine, dont les précédentes analyses les avaient attribués à 3 espèces distinctes :Psittacosaurus lujiatunensis, P. major et Hongshanosaurus houi. Ils ont au total étudié 74 crânes classifiés comme appartenant à ces 3 espèces. Deux techniques de comparaison ont été utilisées : la première, classique, de comparaison des caractères morphologiques. La deuxième technique consistait à un scannage en 3D de 30 crânes. En choisissant 56 points de repères précis sur les crânes, l’ordinateur a pu rapidement comparer et classer les crânes en fonction de leur ressemblance.Le temps entre la mort et la fossilisationLa technique classique révéla l’erreur des précédentes analyses : on a affaire à une seule espèce, les autres étant en fait des formes juvéniles. Mais la technique 3D apporta une explication pour soutenir ces résultats : les différences morphologiques des crânes étaient dues aux aléas du processus de fossilisation, certains crânes étant compressés ou déformés par le temps et les éléments extérieurs.Peter Dodson, auteur de l’étude parue sur le journal en ligne PLOSONE, explique : “à cause de la variété des processus de fossilisation, il n’y a pas deux fossiles de semblables. Les animaux vivent et meurent, mais ce qui est crucial en paléontologie, c’est ce qui arrive après leur mort. Notre étude a montré que ces ‘fausses espèces’ ne sont pas biologiquement correctes, mais en fait, la même modifiée par la fossilisation”.Une nouvelle arme pour les paléontologuesÀ lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?Les chercheurs estiment en conclusion que cette technique de 3D géométrique ouvre de nombreuses possibilités pour la paléontologie. Bien que ne pouvant remplacer la méthode classique, elle peut être extrêmement utile si utilisée en plus de l’analyse habituelle, et pourrait modifier bien des choses dans la classification des dinosaures.Dans le cas de Psittocosaurus, c’est le nom P. lujiatunensis qui est retenu comme nom d’espèce unique.Le 14 août 2013 à 18:00 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

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This Umbrella Lets You Feel Like Youre Living in A Manga

first_img Invisible umbrella creates shield of wind, soaks innocent bystandersThe wet umbrella problem has been solved with a simple design tweak Stay on target Village Vanguard is at it again, with a brand new eye-catching umbrella. The novelty shop whose credits previously include frilly bra eye masks and blue Dragon Quest Slime curry now has something known as the Manga Umbrella. It’s exactly what it sounds like, and it’s totally awesome, too. Okay, well, you can’t read it. So it’s not technically exactly like manga, but it’s still pretty cool all its own. Hear me out now.The Manga Umbrella features the Japanese sound effects “BAAAH!” or “DON!!” sort of like American comic book sound effects like “biff!” or “wham!” except not as antiquated or pulled from the ’60s like from the Batman adventures. With your head centered in the middle of the umbrella, it looks like something action-packed is going on with you, other than rain falling down to pitter patter all over the umbrella.via en.rocketnews24.comThese sound effects may not make a lot of sense to you if you’re not a manga reader, but consider the same effect if you had some arrows drawn on an umbrella with sound effects and a striking pose outlined on it as you strolled in somewhere. It would make for a pretty dramatic effect, right? It’d be like carrying around your own special manga panel backgrounds and shaders.The creators of the umbrella were lauded with praise and prize money of 200,000 yen (about $1,700) and the chance to have the Manga Umbrella sold at Village Vanguard stores for about $40 apiece, or 4,104 yen. It should definitely kick up some attention if you happen to snag one and use it out during a rainstorm. You might even start looking forward to the rain and hoping you get caught out in it with something so awesome to use like this unique umbrella.center_img Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

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Mans Hand Foot Discovered in Florida Alligators Stomach

first_imgStay on target According to Ford’s family and friends, they had not heard from him since Sunday, June 23. The accident is still being investigated by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.More on Geek.com:Michigan Resident’s Pet Alligator Escapes Home, Gets Struck By CarWorld’s First Batch of Albino Alligator Eggs Laid in FloridaAlligator May Have Killed Man Found in South Carolina Pond Georgia Man Catches Gigantic 14-Foot AlligatorHunters Catch ‘Monster’ 13-Foot Alligator in Mississippi River center_img A man who reportedly died near Fort Meade, Florida, was partially eaten by an alligator, according to local authorities.Polk County Sheriff’s Office officials are investigating the death of Michael Ford III, a 45-year-old man who reportedly drowned in a nearby body of water, FOX 35 News noted. On Thursday morning, Ford’s body was found in a canal on Peeples Road and a 911 caller said there was a giant alligator in the area, which could have left a mark on the body. When police officers arrived at the scene, the massive reptile was reportedly holding a body part in its mouth.The alligator, which was almost 12 feet in length and weighed roughly 450 pounds according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, was shot and killed by officials. The alligator’s body and Ford’s body were transported to the medical examiner’s office to determine what happened during the fatal incident. Ford’s hand and foot were discovered in the alligator’s stomach, The Lakeland Ledger reported.last_img read more

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Riddle vs Ohno on NXT Fatal 4 Way Qualifiers on 205 Live

first_imgFacebook Wrestleview Live #65: Reviewing and discussing WWE Clash of Champions from Charlotte Adam Martin RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR NXT UK, 205 Live and WWE NXT will all air today and tonight on the WWE Network.Kicking things off on Wednesday is two new episodes of NXT UK beginning at 3:00 p.m. Eastern/2:00 CT. Advertised for both episodes is WWE United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne and Joe Coffey vs. Gallus and Moustache Mountain and a contract signing between Dunne and Coffey for the upcoming NXT TakeOver: Blackpool special.205 Live returns at 7:00 p.m. Eastern/6:00 CT featuring two matches to determine who will advance to the Fatal 4 Way at the Royal Rumble for the Cruiserweight Championship featuring Lio Rush vs. Kalisto and Drew Gulak vs. Akira Tozawa.WWE NXT closes out the night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern/7:00 CT with a two hour special featuring Matt Riddle vs. Kassius Ohno and a look back at highlights from 2018. WhatsApp Twittercenter_img Video: Watch the live WWE Clash of Champions Kickoff Show from Charlotte tonight Pinterest WWE Clash of Champions Results – 9/15/19 (Rollins vs. Strowman, Kingston vs. Orton) Google+last_img read more

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FLOW AND MANCHESTER UNITED PARTNERSHIP LAUNCHED

first_img Related Items:flow, manchester united, partnership Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Flow in TCI says many areas up and running, encourages reports to 611 FLOW Mobile Top Up Made Easy with Scotiabank Young Footballers from Antigua and Trinidad emerge as winners of Flow Ultimate Football Experience Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppKINGSTON, Jamaica (March 9, 2016) – Cable & Wireless’s retail brand Flow has delivered yet another major landmark deal in the Caribbean with Manchester United. The deal between Manchester United and Flow, the only telecoms provider in the region with extensive partnership and broadcast rights for the world’s most popular football club was officially launched in Kingston, on Thursday, February 18.Flow will also have exclusive distribution rights of the dedicated MUTV channel in the region. This will give Flow subscribers access to exclusive Manchester United programming as well as behind-the-scenes access to the club, starting with the upcoming 2016/17 Premier League season.As the region’s leading quad-play operator, Flow will also enable access to Manchester United content “on the go” via mobile, tablets and desktop devices. Fans will be able to access Manchester United’s Red Alerts and download the Manchester United App. Manchester United is an industry leader making an excellent fit with C&W as the Caribbean’s most innovative operator providing products and services across multiple platforms. The Manchester United partnership provides Caribbean fans with unique experiences including the chance to win tickets to Manchester United games, signed merchandise, as well as interaction with Manchester United Legends.John Reid, C&W’s President Consumer Group welcomed the exciting regional partnership and said, “This deal with Manchester United is certainly paving the way for Flow to truly become the undisputed Home of Sports in the Caribbean. FLOW is bringing sports fans closer to football through our new association with the biggest club in the world. With Flow and Manchester United, we can truly say, ‘together we are in a different league.’”last_img read more

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Parlour Ramsey will be a great catch for Ronaldo Juventus

first_imgArsenal legend Ray Parlour highlighted the main reasons why Aaron Ramsey will prove to be a great signing for both Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus.After over a decade at Arsenal, Ramsey is set to leave this summer as a free agent after talks over a new contract broke down between the player and club.With just six months remaining on his current deal, Ramsey is free to enter negotiations with clubs outside of England over a pre-contractual agreement and he’s reportedly agreed to join Juventus for the start of next season.Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and Inter Milan were all linked with moves for the Wales international this month.Despite the uncertainty surrounding his own future, however, Ramsey has not allowed it to affect his performances on the pitch for Arsenal with manager Unai Emery praising him for his commitment.The 28-year-old’s latest exploits saw him produce a brilliant performance in Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Chelsea last Saturday and he’s continued to leave the club’s highest earner Mesut Ozil benched.Speaking on Ramsey’s future, Parlour praised the Welsh star’s professionalism and added what he thinks makes him a great signing for Juventus.“It is very disappointing from an Arsenal perspective,” Parlour told Goal. “Arsenal fans would love to have seen him sign but it is also exciting for Ramsey.“He is going to a different culture and league. Obviously, Juventus have a great history in the Champions League.Cristiano Ronaldo, Nemanja Vidic, Manchester UnitedVidic: “Ronaldo is the most professional footballer I’ve seen” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Nemanja Vidic opened up on how a 21-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo’s professionalism left him stunned at Manchester United.“He will be playing with Ronaldo, I wish him all the best. He has been a great servant to the club and I really praise him for the Chelsea performance.“That’s exactly how you should act when you know you are leaving the club, to give your all for the players and fans.“He showed he will play for his shirt until the end of the season. You have to give it all for the fans. He scores some vital goals in big games. His energy is excellent.“He is decent on the ball, gets about the pitch and he makes good runs. What he has done well for Arsenal is that he makes that run into the back four which allows [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang or [Alexandre] Lacazette to find that little gap. That’s what Ronaldo and company will be getting.“He gives that space for the opportunity because he takes defenders away. So, that’s what he will bring to the team.“Hopefully, he will be in the team for Arsenal on Friday (against Manchester United in the FA Cup fourth round) because he deserves to be.“It is a shame because I would love to see him stay but I am not negotiating his contract. Arsenal want the best deal for themselves, Aaron’s representative wants the best deal for him. In the end, they came to this agreement.”Ramsey will likely start in Arsenal’s FA Cup fourth-round tie against Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium tonight with kick-off set for 20:55 (CET).last_img read more

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Washougals downtown growing up

first_imgDowntown Washougal welcomed a new crop of tenants in the last few weeks at 1887 Main St., a commercial building built this year by one of the city’s main developers, Lone Wolf Development.Several new businesses have started to fill up the 7,500-square-foot, two-story structure. The building is about half-full and still has three retail spaces and one office space to be filled.One of the new tenants is Friends of the Columbia Gorge, a group that creates and maintains trails in the Gorge while protecting the area’s natural resources.“The Washougal area was becoming a bigger and bigger part of what we do,” said executive director Kevin Gorman.Other newcomers are Body Bliss Yoga Studio and medical billing support company Provider Assistants, which recently moved from Vancouver to Washougal. They join the building’s previously lone tenant, glo Beauty Lounge.The recent activity is a sign of a renewed interest in Washougal’s downtown core, said Adam Taylor, spokesman for Lone Wolf.“For a long time, it wasn’t on the map. People didn’t think twice about Washougal,” Taylor said. “Now companies are choosing it.”last_img read more

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Alaska distilleries keep serving cocktails as the state reconsiders regulations

first_imgA matcha libre cocktail served at Amalga Distillery in July 2017. (Photo by Scott Ciambor)The fate of toddies, sours and mules at Alaska distilleries is still uncertain. The state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board is struggling to decide whether the businesses should be allowed to serve cocktails. At a meeting Monday, the board revisited an advisory instructing distillers to stop mixing drinks. But, they didn’t come to any new conclusions.“We’ve been doing this from the start,” Rob Borland told the board. “We’ve been making fine liquors. We’ve been squeezing our own juice for our cocktails, we’ve been doing all of that kind of stuff from the beginning.”Borland is the owner of Ursa Major Distilling in Fairbanks. He’s one of several distillers who called into Monday’s meeting to oppose banning mixed drinks.Last month, the ABC Board upheld an advisory prohibiting the sale of cocktails made with products not produced on-site.Since then, some distilleries have continued to serve cocktails made with mixers they produce themselves. Things like syrups, tonic water, ginger beer and liqueurs. The state hasn’t issued any violations for this.But in a memo ABC Board Director Erika McConnell said the cocktails distilleries are serving are not what she envisioned as ‘the distillery’s product’ when she sent out the advisory. So, she went back to the board for more guidance.Jared Curé owns the Narrows Bar in Juneau. He told the board anything considered distillery products should be bottled and sold like their liquor.“It’s just a slippery slope,” Curé said. “A lot of these people that are chiming in, I don’t think they’re bad actors but if we allow this kind of model to go on in certain ways without putting clear controls on it, people can push the limits even further.”The board was split on what to do.Ellen Ganley said they shouldn’t ban distillers from using non-alcoholic beverages.“I think we have to be really careful here because we do have nine businesses that are in at least some respect having the rug pulled out from underneath them,” Ganley said.Thomas Manning disagreed. He said for something to be considered a distillery product, it needs to be part of the manufacturing process.“I think that someone standing behind a bar and pouring orange juice into the vodka is not manufacturing onsite,” Manning said. “That’s mixing a drink.”Bob Klein recused himself from the discussion as the board’s chair. But, speaking as the CEO of Anchorage Distillery, he said regulating non-alcoholic products is a slippery slope.“It’s just very, very dangerous ground we’re treading on,” Klein said.Rex Leath asked whether the board is even allowed to have a say about products that don’t contain alcohol.“I’m not comfortable trying to regulate anything that’s non-alcoholic,” Leath said. “I don’t feel like I have the authority to do that.”While that is true, Assistant Attorney General Harriet Milks said once the drink is mixed, it’s a different story. Milks is counsel to the board.“If you have a glass of orange juice in one hand and a glass of vodka in the other hand, the board cannot regulate the hand with the orange juice,” Milks said. “But if you pour them together, then the board can regulate that.”After several failed motions, the board couldn’t come to an agreement. Instead, they’ll revisit the advisory at a November meeting. At that point, new draft regulations for distilleries should be available from Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office staff. Until the issue is clarified, the agency will not issue violations to distilleries selling drinks using products they make on-site.last_img read more

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Red State Blue Cities Local Control Battles Set To Dominate Special Session

first_img To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /03:58 Share Xcenter_img There’s a long tradition in conservative Texas politics of keeping big government out of people’s lives. We heard Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick make that point at last year’s state Republican convention. Patrick explained his opposition to the Obama administration’s transgender “bathroom” rules, saying, “This has everything to do with keeping the federal government out of local issues.”Over the years, that same custom often meant state officials left it up to local ones to decide what was best for their communities. But that tradition may be changing.This past March, Republican Senator Lois Kolkhorst introduced Senate Bill 6 at a committee hearing in Austin, saying the bill, “makes several changes in the law designed to increase privacy and protections in our locker rooms, showers, changing rooms, dressing rooms, and our restrooms.”SB 6, also known as the bathroom bill, sounded an awful lot like the Obama rule, in that it was telling local governments who could use which restroom or locker in a school building.The Texas bathroom bill died at the end of the legislative session. But the Legislature did pass other “preemptive laws,” laws that allow the state to preempt local control. The most controversial, the so-called Sanctuary Cities law, allows the state to remove local officials from office if they refuse to enforce federal immigration laws. And preemptive bills, including a revived bathroom bill, make up more than a third of Governor Greg Abbott’s agenda for the upcoming special session.“The governor has decided to make the issue of local control a primary sort of focal point,” says Jay Aiyer, assistant professor of political science at Texas Southern University. “The idea of stopping an expansive, socially expansive local government plays well for his political base. It never has hurt a Republican politician to go after the city of Austin, for example.”Not all such conflicts are as simple as a GOP-led state governments taking on majority Democratic cities. In fact, some Republican officials have a big problem with this trend.“Being in my sixties and having been in and out of politics for a long time, the conservative point of view was always, ‘Government closest to the people is best.’ Local control,” says Harris County Judge Ed Emmett.Judge Emmett parts company with Governor Abbott over one of Abbott’s top priorities for the special session, restricting property tax increases. Emmett is no fan of property taxes. But they are the only means Texas allows counties for raising revenue.“Harris County has over 2 million people who live in unincorporated Harris County,” says the judge. “We’re responsible for the roads, the parks, animal control, all that activity. Compare that to Dallas County, where they have fewer than 10,000 people in unincorporated Dallas County. So to do a one-size-fits-all tax plan doesn’t make any sense.”Then there’s the issue of tree ordinances, specifically those that let cities bar property owners from cutting down trees on their own land. Abbott wants a bill to override such ordinances. That would affect not only Austin, but also Emmett’s neighborhood of West University Place.“You know, West University Place has a pretty clear regulation of trees that need to be protected,” says Emmett. “The state somehow seems to think they should come in and make that decision for everybody in the state. I just don’t think that’s right, and I think it flies in the face of conservative principled government.”In many ways, Emmett’s and Abbott’s positions reflect a divide in the Texas GOP. That divide is one reason several of the preemptive bills that will come before the special session didn’t pass during the regular session. Stuart Seeger via Flickr Listenlast_img read more

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