Ways and Means Democrats Criticize IRS Overreach

first_imgHouse Ways and Means Democrats, in a March 5 letter to Acting IRS Commissioner David J. Kautter, criticized the Service’s interpretation of certain provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) (P.L. 115-97). In the letter to Kautter, lawmakers accused the IRS of alleged “bureaucratic overreach.”Kautter was confirmed as acting commissioner last year. He is expected to remain as head of the Service until the Senate confirms President Trump’s nominee for commissioner, Charles P. Rettig.IRS OverreachThe letter from Democratic members of the Ways and Means Committee expressed concerns about the IRS’s interpretation of the new tax law’s impact on taxpayers’ prepayment of 2018 state and local taxes. According to the lawmakers, the TCJA did not include any language disallowing prepayment of 2018 property taxes during the 2017 tax year.The IRS issued IR-2017-210 shortly after the TCJA was enacted. The news release states that 2018 state and local property tax prepayments would only be an allowable deduction in the 2017 tax year if the property taxes were assessed in 2017. Ways and Means Democrats argue that the word “assessed” does not appear in the provision of the TCJA related to the State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction. Therefore, the IRS has “invented” restrictions on property tax prepayments that the statute itself did not create.Income Tax Prepayments“When Congress singled out a prohibition on only state and local income tax prepayment for future years, it is entirely reasonable to conclude that the omission of state and local property taxes was the express intention of the law,” the lawmakers wrote. “There is no reason to believe that Congress made a mistake in omitting property tax prepayments, and there was certainly no basis for the IRS to substitute its own policy judgments that departs from the act of Congress, especially when the consequence of the IRS’s determination may have cost taxpayers millions of dollars.”To that end, Senate Finance Committee (SFC) Chairman Orrin G. Hatch, also has cautioned against misinterpreting Congress’ legislative intent. “I’m going to keep working to ensure that everyone recognizes and respects Congress’ role in this process and the fact that the best place to get an explanation of Congress’s intent is Congress itself,” Hatch said regarding implementation of the new tax law in a recent SFC hearing.AnswersWays and Means Democrats requested an update by March 16 on how the IRS intends to implement this particular aspect of the new tax law. Additionally, lawmakers requested answers to the following inquiries:the IRS’s plan for real estate audits;statutory language IRS may have considered when disallowing the itemized deduction of 2018 property taxes;the basis for IRS’s determination of authority on the matter; anddetails concerning taxpayers who claimed the property tax prepayment deduction.By Jessica Jeane, Wolters Kluwer News StaffKautterletterLogin to read more tax news on CCH® AnswerConnect or CCH® Intelliconnect®.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.last_img read more

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University Settles Suit With Astronomer

first_imgThe University of Kentucky has paid astronomer Martin Gaskell $125,000 to settle his discrimination suit, as reported in our sister blog Science Careers. The university doesn’t admit to any wrongdoing, and Gaskell has taken a job at the University of Valparaiso in Chile.last_img

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Olympic gymnastics ex-doctor pleads guilty to sex charges

first_imgSochi gold medalist among 4 Russians banned for doping “For all those involved … I’m so horribly sorry that this was like a match that turned into a forest fire out of control,” he said in a courtroom packed with tearful accusers and others. “I pray the rosary every day for forgiveness. I want them to heal. I want the community to heal.”Nassar, who lost his physician’s license in April, admitted his conduct had no legitimate medical purpose and that he did not have the girls’ consent. The 125 girls and young women who have filed reports of abuse with campus police will be able to speak at his Jan. 12 sentencing.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingThe plea deal in Ingham County calls for a minimum prison sentence of 25 years, but the judge could set the minimum sentence as high as 40 years. Nassar is expected to also plead guilty Nov. 29 in neighboring Eaton County — the location of an elite gymnastics club — resolving state prosecutors’ charges against him. Separately, he is scheduled to be sentenced next month in federal court for possessing child pornography.A former Michigan State Univ. and USA Gymnastics doctor pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting seven girls, saying he is “horribly sorry” and prays “for forgiveness every day.” Three Olympic gold medalists are among his more than 125 accusers. (Nov. 22) MOST READ Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ “Michigan State University continues to be shocked and appalled by Larry Nassar’s now-admitted criminal conduct,” he said. “Any suggestion that the university covered up this conduct is simply false.”In a statement, U.S. Olympic Committee spokesperson Mark Jones said the organization is “disgusted that these acts occurred, heartbroken for the victims” and “proud of their courage for confronting this tragedy.”Jones also thanked “law enforcement personnel for ensuring (Nassar) is never able to abuse young women again.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Dr. Larry Nassar appears in court for a plea hearing in Lansing, Mich., Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017. Nasser, a sports doctor accused of molesting girls while working for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, pleaded guilty to multiple charges of sexual assault and will face at least 25 years in prison. APLANSING, Michigan — A former sports doctor accused of molesting at least 125 girls and young women while he worked for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University pleaded guilty Wednesday (Thursday Manila time) to multiple charges of sexual assault and will face at least 25 years in prison.Larry Nassar, 54, admitted to digitally penetrating seven girls, mostly under the guise of treatment at his Lansing-area home and a campus clinic, between 1998 and 2015.ADVERTISEMENT MRT 7 on track for partial opening in 2021 ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims Malditas save PH from shutout Olympic gymnasts Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney and Gabby Douglas are among the women who have publicly said they were among Nassar’s victims.“You used your position of trust … in the most vile way to abuse children,” Judge Rosemarie Aquilina told Nassar after his plea. “I agree that now is a time of healing, but it may take them a lifetime of healing while you spend your lifetime behind bars thinking about what you did in taking away their childhood.”She called the victims “superheroes for all of America, because this is an epidemic.”They had testified that Nassar molested them with his hands, sometimes when a parent was present in the room, while they sought help for gymnastics injuries. Several accusers were angry with his apology.“The fact that he just thinks, ‘Oh, I pleaded guilty and now you guys can start healing’ is ridiculous to me. I don’t think he truly understands how many people are hurting and how bad people are hurting over this,” said Lindsey Lemke, a Michigan State gymnast.ADVERTISEMENT The criminal cases against Nassar followed reports last year in The Indianapolis Star about how USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians, mishandled complaints about sexual misconduct involving the doctor and coaches. Women and girls said the stories inspired them to step forward with detailed allegations of abuse.Many of the accusers have sued Michigan State, USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee.“We are more than a year from my police report. Our abuser has pled guilty, but MSU, USAG and the USOC, you have yet to take responsibility for what happened on your watch,” said victim Rachael Denhollander. She said officials kept Nassar in power for decades after ignoring repeated reports of sexual assaults and brushing off the victims as being unable to tell the difference between a medical exam and a sexual violation.John Manly, an attorney for 105 accusers, said the three institutions “miserably failed children,” and he likened what happened with Nassar to the child sex abuse scandal at Penn State University. He criticized an internal review at Michigan State and called for an investigation of university officials by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, whose office is prosecuting Nassar.Women’s gymnastics coach Kathie Klages resigned earlier this year, but others remain on the job.“We’ve never been given the documents either in litigation or anywhere else to show who knew what when,” said Manly, who added that Michigan State President Lou Anna Simon should resign if she does not release an internal report about the scandal.He also said USA Gymnastics officials should be investigated — possibly by an FBI task force — citing laws that require people in certain professions to report suspected child abuse to children’s protective services.USA Gymnastics said in a statement that it was “very sorry that any athlete was harmed by Larry Nassar” and that it fired Nassar and reported him to the FBI after first learning of concerns in 2015. Manly said the organization never informed Michigan State, however, which had investigated a complaint in 2014 only to clear Nassar.Michigan State spokesman Jason Cody said the university “unequivocally denies” accusations that it covered up misconduct by school administrators. He disclosed for the first time that university police and the FBI conducted a joint investigation earlier this year to determine if any school employees besides Nassar committed crimes.The results were sent to the U.S. attorney for western Michigan, and “we have no reason to believe that any criminal conduct was found,” Cody said in a statement. Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH The Fatted Calf and Ayutthaya: New restos worth the drive to Tagaytay Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES After 30 years, Johnlu Koa still doing ‘hard-to-make’ quality breadslast_img read more

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Ronaldo helps Juventus lift Italian Super Cup

first_imgEuro 2020 qualifiers: Portugal through after 2-0 win Spain great Iker Casillas: Wrong to award Ballon d’Or to Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo scored the only goal to hand Juventus their first trophy of the season with a 1-0 win over ten-man AC Milan in the Italian Super Cup on Wednesday in Saudi Arabia. Ronaldo — signed by the Italian giants last year from Real Madrid as they target a first Champions League title since 1996 — headed in a 61st-minute winner. AC Milan played the last quarter of an hour a man down after Ivorian midfielder Franck Kessie saw red for a bad tackle on Emre Can. “I have my first title with Juventus so I’m happy,” said the Portuguese star who now has 28 trophies including five Champions League and league titles from England and Spain, and a European Championship with Portugal. “I really wanted this, to get off to a good start in 2019.Related News “This is only the start, we’ll take it one step at a time. We’ve got this cup, now we must keep working hard to achieve the next trophy,” warned Ronaldo. The match had been overshadowed by controversy with calls for it to be relocated over human rights issues in Saudi Arabia with women only allowed to attend the game if they were accompanied by a man. Italian football league president Gaetano Micciche hailed the match as a success, with reports there were up to 15,000 women among the 62,000 crowd in the stadium. “It was a wonderful evening, a festival of sport in a full stadium,” said Micciche. “I hope that it’s the starting point for social evolution in this country.” On the pitch the players suffered in the heat with temperatures hitting 25 degrees Celsius amid freezing conditions in northern Italy. In the end Juventus came away with a record eighth Super Cup title, one more than AC Milan who have won seven. “It was very hot and the important thing was to win,” said coach Massimiliano Allegri who won the trophy for the second time, having lost to AC Milan in 2016 and Lazio last year. “Ronaldo? We always say the same thing… that’s why we signed him. He is decisive and scores big goals, but the whole team put in a good performance.” AC Milan forward Gonzalo Higuain only played the final 20 minutes against his parent club, ahead of a touted move to Chelsea, having moved away from Turin to make way for Ronaldo last summer. Coach Gennaro Gattuso said the Argentine was suffering from a fever and missed the team photo because they were afraid he would infect other players. “It might seem like a joke, but it’s true. Higuain wasn’t in the picture when the Saudi Prince came to visit because I was afraid the virus would spread among the other players, so that was my decision. “He had a fever last night, we did everything to get him better, but he didn’t play much, so I preferred a fresher player.” Milan’s best shot on goal was a Patrick Cutrone effort after the break with their hopes dwindling after Kessie’s sending off. “We had to climb a mountain and we tried,” said Gattuso. Catch up on all the latest sports news and updates here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever Kane, Ron do the ‘trick last_img read more

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Premier League: Jamaal Lascelles is Newcastle hero in victory over Swansea

first_imgNewcastle United captain Jamaal Lascelles saved a certain goal at one end before scoring his side’s winner in a 1-0 victory at Swansea City in the Premier League on Sunday.Lascelles powered home a close-range header from Matt Ritchie’s corner in the 76th minute to give Newcastle their second successive victory after losing their first two games.Just past the hour mark defender Lascelles made a last-ditch intervention as Swansea’s Tammy Abraham rounded Newcastle keeper Rob Elliot and shot goalwards only to see Lascelles move in and prevent a certain goal.Swansea gave a debut to new loan signing from Bayern Munich Renato Sanches but the Portuguese midfielder faded.Newcastle had the best chance before the break when striker Joselu’s flicked header was superbly saved by Lukasz Fabianski.Alfie Mawson headed wide for the hosts before the break while Tom Carroll’s left-footed volley was well saved by Elliot shortly before Lascelles’s saving clearance.Newcastle have six points to Swansea’s four.last_img read more

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CROPS MATURING SLOWLY FOLLOWING LATE PLANTING

first_imgMild August temperatures have slowed crop growth in what was already going to be a late harvest for many farmers this season.Iowa State University Crop Specialist Joel DeJong says we have been losing critical growing degree units this month:Audio Playerhttp://kscj.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/JOEL1.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC……….season too. ;24DeJong says the corn is starting to enter the dent stage, which is the first stage for maturity.He says it takes about 35 days under normal conditions for the corn to fully mature, which places the corn maturity at around early October:Audio Playerhttp://kscj.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/JOEL3.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC………….all the crop producers. :26And DeJong says soybeans are starting to fill their pods, but they have a lot of maturing left to do:Audio Playerhttp://kscj.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/JOEL2.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC………game yet. ;14DeJong says he expects to see mediocre yields in northwest Iowa for both corn and soybeans.last_img read more

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Australian teams announced for the 2017 Youth Trans Tasman Series

first_imgTouch Football Australia (TFA) is pleased to announce the Australian Youth teams who will compete in the 2017 Youth Trans Tasman Series in Auckland, New Zealand.The Australian 17’s and 19’s Boys, Girls and Mixed Teams will travel to Auckland in January with hopes of continuing their recent success in the Youth divisions, having won the past four Youth Trans Tasman events following the concept’s reintroduction in 2009.TFA wishes to congratulate the following players who have been named in the Australian teams for the 2017 Trans Tasman Series.Australian 17’s BoysDaejarn Asi QLDDarnell Bennett (QLD) Adam Boumelhem NSWAntonio Buncuga (QLD) Jayden Fielding-Smith (QLD)Conor Hickey (NSW)Paul Karaitiana (QLD)Baillie List (QLD)Jordan Little (NSW)Blake Moore (QLD)James Price (QLD)Luc Sciglitano (NSW)Mathew Smith (NSW)Floyd Tighe (NSW)Australian 19’s BoysTjadyn Ashby (NSW)Zach Bouzounis (NSW)Justin Cridland (QLD)Mitchell De Rossi (QLD)Matthew Egan (QLD)Jake Grech (NSW)Malcolm Kenny (QLD)Tyla Love (WA)Jacob Marrinan (QLD)Jackson Mills (NSW)Hayden Moffat (QLD)Damon Moore (QLD)Luke Osborne (NSW)Kai Simbolon (NSW) Australian 17’s GirlsTarryn Aiken (NSW)Tiarni Bryce (QLD)Brittney Clifford (NSW)Pihuka Duff (NSW)Amy Dufour (NSW)Rebecca Goulding (QLD)Madison Higgins Ashby (NSW)Rachel Jeffs (NSW)Kobe Nona (QLD)Sabine Marsters (QLD)Faith Nathan (NSW)Kathleen Nicholls (QLD)Aaliyah Paki (NSW)Marama Thomas (QLD) Australian 19’s GirlsChloe Cheney (NSW)Tayla Clifford (NSW)Madison Crowe (NSW)Rachelle Davis (NSW)Hannah Dyball (NSW)Mia Johnstone (QLD)Stephanie Maiolo (NSW)Katee Maller (QLD)Kayla Mi Mi (QLD)Rebecca Mi MI (QLD)Emma Sykes (QLD)Tahlulah Tillett (QLD)Tamika Upton (QLD)Samantha White (QLD)Australian 17’s MixedBrittney Brown (QLD)Leesa Mi MI (QLD)Rhiannon Podmore (NSW)Jessica Potts (NSW)Kiara Taylor (QLD)Elise Wilson (ACT)Ali Bakhach (QLD)Lachlan Crowe (QLD)Liam Grant (QLD)Aaron Moore (QLD)Ben Stevanovic (NSW)Jacob VanZanden (QLD)Raymond Wehbe (NSW)Jack Wright (QLD)center_img Australian 19’s MixedRae Barker (QLD)Brittany Donovan (QLD)Brytten Reyonalds (QLD)Shannon Rose (NSW)Mackenzie Sadler (SA)Chloe Watt (QLD)Chris Elbitar (NSW)Nicholas Donghi (VIC)Harrison Griffin (QLD)Connor Harvey (QLD)Jack Hughes (QLD)Luke O’Brien (QLD)Adam Russell (QLD)Marley Simbolon (NSW)Related Files2017_ytt_announcement_media_release-pdfRelated LinksYTT Team Announcementlast_img read more

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India’s Prajnesh Gunneswaran qualifies for 2019 Australian Open main draw

first_img India Today Web Desk MelbourneJanuary 11, 2019UPDATED: January 11, 2019 14:14 IST World number 112 Prajnesh Gunneswaran faces higher-ranked Frances Tiafoe in the opening round (Reuters Photo)HIGHLIGHTSPrajnesh beat Japan’s Yosuke Watanuki 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 6-4 in the final qualifying round on FridayPrajnesh agonisingly missed an opportunity to make his Grand Slam main draw debut at French Open 2018Prajnesh will face higher-ranked Frances Tiafoe of USA in the first round on MondayIndia’s Prajnesh Gunneswaran has qualified for the main draw of the season’s first Grand Slam tournament – Australian Open 2019, staring January 14 in Melbourne.Prajnesh, ranked 112 on ATP men’s singles charts and India’s top-ranked player, came back from behind after losing the first set in a 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 6-4 against Japan’s Yosuke Watanuki in the third qualifying round. The sixth seed had defeated Spain’s Enrique Lopez Perez 6-3 6-3 in the men’s singles second round.Prajnesh will face world number 39 Frances Tiafoe from the USA in his maiden main draw match at a Grand Slam on Monday.Prajnesh had been in fine form in 2018 as the 29-year-old from Chennai won two ATP Challenger titles, including the $150,000 event in Bengaluru. He had jumped 131 places after starting last year as the 243rd-ranked player on the ATP charts.Prajnesh had an opportunity to make his Grand Slam main draw debut at last year’s French Open. However, the lucky loser did not play the clay-court major as he had left to play a Challenger event in Italy.Meanwhile, Prajnesh’s compatriot, Ramkumar Ramanathan failed to qualify for the main draw after losing the qualifying second round to 7-5, 5-7, 6-7(6) world number 207 Rudolf Molleker of Germany.Women’s singles star Ankita Raina also exited the qualifying competition in the second round after a 6-4, 2-6, 4-6 defeat to Paula Badosa Gibert.Also Read | Andy Murray mulls retirement after Australian Open: The pain is too muchAlso Read | Australian Open 2019: Tricky draw for Federer as Swiss legend eyes hat-trick in MelbourneadvertisementFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAkshay Ramesh Tags :Follow Australian Open 2019Follow Prajnesh GunneswaranFollow Frances TiafoeFollow Australian Open main draw India’s Prajnesh Gunneswaran qualifies for 2019 Australian Open main draw India’s top-ranked men’s singles player, Prajnesh Gunneswaran won the final qualifying round in Melbourne on Friday to reach the main draw of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career. advertisement Nextlast_img read more

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Oppn clamours for PMs clarification on Trumps Kashmir mediation comment

first_imgNew Delhi: Opposition parties, led by the Congress, on Tuesday demanded a clarification from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on US President Donald Trump’s stunning claim that the Indian leader had requested him to mediate in the Kashmir dispute. The Ministry of External Affairs has rejected Trump’s remarks, made during his meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, that Modi had asked him to mediate in resolving the Kashmir issue with Pakistan. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details But it was not enough for the Opposition, which walked out of the Lok Sabha over the demand for the prime minister’s response. The Rajya Sabha also saw frequent disruptions on the issue. If Trump’s claim that the Indian prime minister had asked him to mediate on the Kashmir issue is true, Modi had betrayed the interests of the country, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said on Twitter. Gandhi also asserted that a “weak” foreign ministry denial wouldn’t do and the prime minister must tell the nation what transpired in the meeting between him and the US president Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday His party welcomed the government’s reiteration of India’s ‘no third party involvement’ stand on the Kashmir issue but asked why Modi was “mum” over Trump’s claim. The US president’s remarks “relate to a meeting between him and PM Modi, wherein our PM had asked him to mediate”, Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said in a tweet. “Why is PM ‘mum’ on what transpired between the two heads of states, more so when it affects our sovereignty?” Surjewala asked. Opposition leaders met in his colleague Ghulam Nabi Azad’s chamber in Parliament and called for suspension of all business. They also sought an explanation from the PM in both the Houses on Trump’s statement. Flanked by Opposition leaders, including CPI’s D Raja, NCP’s Majeed Menon, DMK’s Tiruchi Siva, SP’s Ramgopal Yadav and AAP’s Sanjay Singh, Azad told reporters outside Parliament that his party was ready to believe the prime minister’s side of the story but he needed to clarify the issue on the floor of the House. Trump, he added, was unlikely to make these remarks in jest. “No matter which government was in power at Centre in past, our foreign policy has been that Kashmir is a bilateral issue and no third party can intervene and President Trump knows it… I don’t think President Trump would tell Pakistan’s PM that India’s PM has asked the US to mediate,” Azad said. “The US president is expected to know the complexity of the Kashmir issue, and also India’s long-standing position that the dispute must be resolved bilaterally,” he added. The Trinamool Congress’ Derek O’Brien also demanded a clarification from the prime minister “Along with all opposition parties, we, Trinamool, have a simple demand. The PM of India has to come to Parliament, make a statement and clear the air,” O’Brien said. Trump claims that Modi asked him to mediate on the Kashmir issue when they met in Osaka, Japan, on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit last month. “If I can help, I would love to be a mediator. If I can do anything to help, let me know,” Trump said in response to a question, adding he is ready to help, if the two countries ask for it. “I was with Prime Minister Modi two weeks ago and we talked about this subject (Kashmir). And he actually said, ‘would you like to be a mediator or arbitrator?’ I said, ‘where?’ (Modi said) ‘Kashmir’,” Trump said.last_img read more

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Cameroons flourishing Islam exemplary Muslims

first_imgDOUALA – Islam is one of the fastest growing religions in the world, and Cameroon is no exception.In the coastal city of Douala, Cameroon’s economic capital, local Muslims build a new mosque at least every two years to accommodate with the growing number of believers.“The expansion of existing mosques and building of new mosques clearly shows that Islam is growing very fast in Douala and Cameroon in general,” Sheikh Mohamed Malik Farouk, the chief imam of Douala, told Andolu Agency in an exclusive interview. “Alhamdulillah [thank God] we have now many mosques for Friday prayers in Douala and this is a sign of the growth of Islam,” he added.The Muslim religious leader said although Islam was first introduced in Cameroon in the 1800’s, it only came to Douala in 1922 after Muslims from northern Cameroon and foreign traders came to the coastal city.“The first big mosque was built in 1922,” recalled Sheikh Farouk, adding that the number has increased significantly over the years.“In Douala alone we have over 90 mosques and about 500,000 Muslims out of the 3 million population of the city.”On Friday, a special ceremony was organized in Malaape Mosque to inaugurate Sheikh Ahmed Babikir as a new imam.The colorful occasion was attend by over 20 members of the Muslim traditional association who represent several tribes in the region.The traditional elders dressed Babikir in Muslim headgear as a sign of his installation as an imam.He was also given a copy of the holy Quran to use for guidance in conducting his daily activities.According to the CIA Factbook, Muslims constitute about 20 percent of Cameroon’s total population of 20.5 million.Most of them live in northern Cameroon and hail from major tribes such as the Fulani and the Peuhl.Muslims in Cameroon are mostly engaged in trade and own large businesses in the African country.Unlike in other African countries, the Cameroonian Constitution provides for freedom of religion and the government generally respects this right in practice.-Exemplary Muslims-The chief imam of Douala boasts that whenever they ask the local community to help build a Muslim school or mosque Muslims always donate generously.Like the followers of other faiths, Cameroonian Muslims run schools, hospitals and other community uplifting projects.Sheikh Farouk said many Cameroonians were also embracing Islam because of the exemplary behavior exhibited by local Muslims.“Muslims here conduct themselves morally well. They treat their non-Muslim neighbors with respect,” he asserted.“They also don’t engage in any immorally activities, which has attracted many non-Muslims to our faith,” added the local religious leader.“Many people who want to live a clean life from drugs, alcohol and casual sex, which could lead to HIV, are rushing to join the faith.”Sheikh Farouk asserted that Muslims in Cameroon live peacefully with their non-Muslims compatriots.“Despite our huge population, we have never had a religious conflict with any community in Cameroon,” he noted.In Cameroon, mosques and churches are often located near each other in a sign of religious tolerance.“As imams we always preach unity, solidarity and brotherhood,” said Sheikh Farouk.“We tell our believers to treat their non-Muslim neighbors with respect and that’s the example the people of Central African Republic need to emulate.”last_img read more

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Trump Says Gun Supporters Could Kill Hillary Clinton if She Becomes

By Lauren MorganRabat – Donald Trump, US presidential nominee, has made yet again another controversial comment during his campaign.The controversial candidate suggested on Tuesday that if Hillary Clinton were to win and become elected president then the only way to prevent her from choosing Supreme Court justices would be to shoot her. “Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish the Second Amendment,” he said, referring to the law that gun rights activists claim gives them the freedom to bear weapons.“By the way, and if she gets to pick – if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.”Trump’s dangerous suggestion to the general public came during a rally in Wilmington, Delaware.Hillary Clinton reacted to Trump’s statement and describe is as “dangerous” and fit for a presidential candidate.“This is simple – what Trump said was dangerous. A person seeking to the president of the US should not be suggesting violence in any way.” read more

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UN scheme to boost urban resilience to disaster launched in Arab region

4 October 2010The United Nations initiative to bolster cities’ resilience against natural hazards was unveiled in Kuwait today, with a senior world body official voicing hope that Arab cities will sign on to the scheme. More than 100 cities around the world – such as Mexico City; Durban, South Africa; Bogotá, Colombia; Port-au-Prince, Haiti; and Colombo, Sri Lanka – have already joined the Making Cities Resilient: My City is Getting Ready campaign, coordinated by the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR).“No region of the world is immune from disaster,” said Margareta Wahlström, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, in Kuwait.The two-year programme calls for leaders and local governments to commit to a 10-point checklist to make their cities more resilient, including reinforcing drainage systems to reduce the likelihood of floods, installing early warning systems and carrying out public preparedness drills.Several cities in the Arab region – including Hadramount, Yemen; Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; and Agadir, Morocco – have experienced floods in recent years, with many more set to be exposed to disasters in the future due to increasingly unsafe urban settlements and climate change.“I hope that when these Arab cities join, they will inspire many more to do the same,” Ms. Wahlström said.The city of Nis in Serbia became the 100th city to sign on to the campaign last week, joining 17 other cities in the Balkan nation. read more

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Kosovo UN mission forms energy committee to deal with lightning hit on

“It makes no sense to hide the fact that we will now have shortages. We have lost half of our capacity,” Mr. Steiner said on Saturday in Obiliq, where he toured the damaged Kosovo B power plant, which was struck by lightning during a storm late Friday night. “There is no doubt that this is a tragedy,” he said, noting that one person had been killed. Thirty-two other people were also wounded and we also lost nearly 500 megawatts of power capacity, so it is a very serious situation.”Mr. Steiner said he was “very impressed” at how the different international and local institutions managed the incident. “Despite the seriousness of the situation, we can overcome the hardships if we follow the example of those on the ground who did a great job responding to the crisis,” he said. read more

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UN adviser urges Security Council missions to Africa to focus on women

In a briefing note to the 15-nation Council, Angela King, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Gender Issues and the Advancement of Women, noted “women and girls have been plagued with violence, loss of loved one, destruction of communities and untold hardships in these regions riddled by internal conflict and war.” With the Council delegation set to leave for Central Africa tomorrow, Ms. King’s note highlights trafficking, forced displacement, massacres targeting women and, particularly, the use of rape as a weapon of war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). She emphasized recent reports from the DRC’s bloodied north-eastern Ituri district of a disturbingly high number of mass rapes and brutal atrocities committed against women and girls as young as two years old. Ms. King also offers practical recommendations and outlines benchmarks on gender issues that the Council should consider throughout its assignments in Africa, particularly in its meetings with women’s organizations. The note, prepared jointly with an Inter-agency Task Force on Women, Peace and Security, encourages the Council to look for the impact of the conflict on women and girls, equal participation of men and women in consultations, mechanisms to address victims, and programmes to respond to and prevent violence, abuse and exploitation of women and girls. It also encourages examination of the role of women ‘s human rights issues in reconstruction and nation building. In October 2000, the Council adopted a resolution calling on “all actors, when negotiating and implementing peace agreements, to adopt a gender perspective.” Two years later, a Council Presidential statement recognized “the vital role of women in promoting peace,” and noted that the 15-member body had undertaken to “integrate gender perspectives into the terms of reference of its visits and missions to countries and regions in conflict.” read more

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On visit to Benin UN humanitarian chief calls for more to help

The United Nations humanitarian chief has called for a change in the way the international community deals with humanitarian crises and supports governments in improving preparedness and increasing the capacities and coping mechanisms of communities and households faced with floods. “Humanitarian and development partners must support the efforts of the authorities to informpeople better, so they are able to cope with the consequences of climate change,” added the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Valerie Amos, while in Cotonou, the largest city in Benin, on Friday. “We cannot prevent floods, but we can make sure that people know about the consequences,” she said, according to a news release from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which Ms. Amos heads. Visiting the West African nation at the invitation of President Boni Yayi following severe flooding in the country, the UN official travelled to the lower Ouémé valley, where more than 2,000 people were displaced by floods in September. While there, she met with people who had been forced to flee their homes and seek temporary shelter with other families, as well as with children who missed weeks of education because their school was under two metres of water. In 2010, more than 1.7 million people were affected by floods in West Africa, 700,000 of them in Benin, according to OCHA. This year, more than three million people have been affected by floods in West and Central Africa, including 500,000 in Niger and 1.4 million in Nigeria. Dozens have died in both countries. In addition, the rise of the River Niger has also affected more than 55,000 people in the north of Benin. read more

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Trump tweets support for NRA but backs raising gun possession age to

first_img Image: Xinhua News Agency/PA Images What many people don’t understand, or don’t want to understand, is that Wayne, Chris and the folks who work so hard at the @NRA are Great People and Great American Patriots. They love our Country and will do the right thing. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 22, 2018 Share242 Tweet Email1 16,818 Views Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Source: Donald J. Trump/Twitter Feb 22nd 2018, 3:36 PM Trump tweets support for NRA – but backs raising gun possession age to 21 He made the comments on Twitter. The current federal minimum age for buying or possessing handguns is 21, but the limit is 18 for rifles including assault-type weapons such as the AR-15 used by a former student in last week’s attack on a Florida high school that killed 17 students and staff members.A White House official said the president was not endorsing or ruling out any specific policy.Trump also said he will be meeting with lawmakers today to discuss school safety, and that next year he will meet with governors on the issue.In another tweet, Trump repeated his urgent call for trained teachers or others in schools to carry guns as a deterrent to attacks.“If a potential ‘sicko shooter’ knows that a school has a large number of very weapons talented teachers (and others) who will be instantly shooting, the sicko will NEVER attack that school. Cowards won’t go there…problem solved. Must be offensive, defense alone won’t work!” Trump tweeted.He has previously expressed an interest in efforts to strengthen the federal background check system. It was not clear if he would back closing loopholes that permit loose private sales on the internet and at gun shows.NRAYesterday, the National Rifle Associated quickly rejected any talk of raising the age for buying long guns to 21.“Legislative proposals that prevent law-abiding adults aged 18-20 years old from acquiring rifles and shotguns effectively prohibits them for purchasing any firearm, thus depriving them of their constitutional right to self-protection,” the group said in a statement.In a speech today, the NRA head Wayne LaPierre said that the NRA wants armed guards outside schools – and would fund them.Speaking to US conservatives, he said that gun control advocates “hate the NRA, hate the Second Amendment, they hate individual freedom”. He also said that the elites don’t care about children and that if they did, “they would protect them”.“They care more about control,” he said, saying that in wanting to eradicate second amendment freedoms, they want to eradicate all individual freedoms.Yesterday, Trump listened intently at the White House as students described the horror of the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida. The students and their parents appealed to him to press for stricter gun controls.“I turned 18 the day after” the shooting, said tearful student Samuel Zeif. “Woke up to the news that my best friend was gone. And I don’t understand why I can still go in a store and buy a weapon of war. An AR. How is it that easy to buy this type of weapon? How do we not stop this after Columbine? After Sandy Hook?”Trump promised to be “very strong on background checks.” And he indicated he supported allowing some teachers and other school employees to carry concealed weapons to be ready for intruders.Gun violenceThe president had invited the teen survivors of school violence and parents of murdered children in a show of his resolve against gun violence in the wake of last week’s shootings in Florida and in past years at schools in Connecticut and Colorado.Trump asked his guests to suggest solutions and solicited feedback. He did not fully endorse any specific policy solution, but pledged to take action and expressed interest in widely differing approaches.Besides considering concealed carrying of weapons by trained school employees, a concept he has endorsed in the past, he said he planned to go “very strongly into age, age of purchase.” And he said he was committed to improving background checks and working on mental health.Most in the group were emotional but quiet and polite.But Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was killed last week, noted the previous school massacres and raged over his loss, saying this moment isn’t about gun laws but about fixing the schools.“It should have been one school shooting and we should have fixed it and I’m pissed. Because my daughter, I’m not going to see again,” said Pollack. “King David Cemetery, that is where I go to see my kid now.”Trump embraced gun rights during his presidential campaign, though he supported some gun control before he became a candidate.- Additional reporting Aoife BarryRead: Here is what Trump’s notes for meeting with shooting survivors said>center_img Short URL Image: Xinhua News Agency/PA Images By Associated Press 81 Comments Thursday 22 Feb 2018, 3:36 PM PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP endorsed stricter gun-control measures today, including raising the minimum age to 21 for possessing a broader range of weapons than at present.He tweeted his strongest stance as president one day after an emotional White House session where students and parents poured out wrenching tales of lost lives and pleaded for action.Trump said on Twitter: “I will be strongly pushing Comprehensive Background Checks with an emphasis on Mental Health. Raise age to 21 and end sale of Bump Stocks!”Shortly afterwards, he tweeted his support for the National Rifle Association, saying: https://jrnl.ie/3866521 last_img read more

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Déchets Paris autopsie ses poubelles

first_imgDéchets : Paris autopsie ses poubellesDans le cadre de la Semaine européenne de la réduction des déchets, qui doit s’achever le 28 novembre, le Centre national d’information indépendante sur les déchets (Cniid) a lancé une campagne pour le moins originale afin de sensibiliser à la nécessité d’une réduction substantielle des déchets. Samedi, place de la Nation à Paris, les sacs poubelles de nombreux volontaires ont été “autopsiés”, avec pour visée de déterminer les déchets évitables.Samedi, deux jours avant le lancement de la Semaine européenne de réduction des déchets, la place de la Nation a accueilli un immense sac poubelle, haut de 1,5 mètre, qui symbolisait les 400 kilos d’ordures ménagères que jette en moyenne un Français chaque année. Un chiffre impressionnant, qui représente notamment 44 kilos de plastique, 20 kilos de prospectus publicitaires et 110 kilos d’emballages.À lire aussiDémuni face au rapport sur le climat ? Voici ce que vous pouvez faire dès maintenant pour l’environnementSelon le Cniid, 150 de ces 400 kilos, soit 38% du total, pourraient pourtant être évités, et c’est pour enseigner aux Français quels sont ces “déchets évitables”, comme les suremballages en carton, les bouteilles en plastique ou les dosettes en aluminium, qu’a été organisé l’événement. “Il s’agit de faire prendre conscience de l’aberration où nous mène la société de consommation”, souligne Sébastien Lapeyre, directeur du Cniid, cité par l’AFP. Ainsi, des Parisiens volontaires ont été invités à apporter leurs propres sacs poubelles, minutieusement autopsiés par deux militantes de l’association qui ont rangé du côté des déchets évitables les détritus organiques. Chaque année, ce sont 7 kilos de denrées non consommées qui partent ainsi dans les poubelles de chaque Français, la totalité des déchets organiques représentant le quart de nos ordures ménagères, soit quelque 100 kilos par habitant et par an.Préférer le café en vrac aux très chères dosettes en aluminium, utiliser des bouteilles en verre recyclable au lieu des canettes en métal ou des bouteilles en plastique, consommer l’eau du robinet, composter les déchets organiques, ou encore utiliser une éponge à la place de lingettes ménagères : le Cniid n’est pas avare de conseils pour réduire de plusieurs dizaines de kilos le poids de nos poubelles.Le 23 novembre 2010 à 17:46 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

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La gastroentérite refait son apparition en France

first_imgLa gastro-entérite refait son apparition en FranceSelon le dernier bulletin du réseau Sentinelles, la gastro-entérite recommencerait à s’installer en France. Elle est pour l’heure davantage présente dans certaines régions du sud-est de la France.Avec la grippe et la varicelle, c’est l’une des épidémies d’hiver annuellement surveillées par le réseau Sentinelles. Et d’après le dernier bulletin publié, il semblerait que la gastro-entérite fasse son grand retour en France. En effet, pour la semaine du 18 au 25 décembre, le document fait état d’une incidence au niveau national de 175 cas de diarrhée aigües vus en consultation de médecine générale pour 100.000 habitants, soit une activité jugée “modérée”, rapporte le Parisien. À lire aussiEpidémie de varicelle en France : enfants et adultes sont concernésMais la gastro-entérite serait davantage présente dans certaines régions du sud-est de la France, bien que les médecins Sentinelles n’aient noté aucun foyer d’activité régionale particulier. Plus précisément, l’incidence serait plus élevée en Corse (276 cas pour 100.000 habitants), en Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (211 cas) et dans le Languedoc-Roussillon (139 cas). La Bretagne recenserait également davantage de cas avec une incidence de 197 cas pour 100.000 habitants.Mais si la gastro-entérite s’invite facilement dans les foyers, il est possible de s’en prémunir en suivant quelques conseils. “Il est indispensable de bien se laver les mains, car les germes traînent sur les surfaces inertes”, explique à 20minutes.fr le Dr Jean-Paul Hamon. Ajouté à cela, il est aussi évidemment recommandé de limiter les contacts avec les personnes qui pourraient être elles-mêmes malades. Enfin, dès que diarrhées ou vomissements apparaissent, n’hésitez pas à aller consulter votre médecin.  Le 29 décembre 2011 à 18:33 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

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New Dietary Exercise Guidelines Key to Developing HeartHealthy Youth

first_imgChronic diseases usually emerge in middle age after long exposure to unhealthy lifestyles that involve tobacco use, a lack of regular physical activity, and diets high in saturated fats, sugars and salt.  While the prevalence of health conditions like hypertension and heart disease have long been diagnosed among older African Americans, in recent years, children and young adults within the Black community have shown an increase in rates of cardiac-related illness and death.  Central to national health concerns is the pandemic rates of childhood obesity linked to the development of cardiovascular disease and death in adulthood.Each year, about 15,000 people under the age of 20 are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and healthcare providers are increasingly finding more children between the ages of 10-19 with type 2 diabetes – a disease normally diagnosed in adults over the age of 40.  Currently, more than 23.9 million children aged 2-19 are considered over their recommended weight; with 35.9 percent of all African-American children within that age range considered with overweight or obese.The American Heart Association recently made recommendations for updating federal Dietary Guidelines to promote diet and exercise as the key components to reducing the nearly 14 percent of kids (12-19) already suffering with hypertension.  The report, presented to the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Agriculture (USDA) stresses the importance of a healthy dietary pattern limited in saturated and trans-fat, added sugars, and sodium.“It’s clear that Americans need to change their eating habits and make more nutritious choices,” said Elliott Antman, M.D., president of the American Heart Association.  “Reducing excessive salt in our diets is critical to cutting our cardiovascular risk, and the association is pleased that the committee emphasizes this in their recommendations,” Antman said.The February 19 report noted the strong correlation between decreasing children’s sodium intake and lowering their blood pressure – a key factor in developing cardiovascular disease.“More of our kids are suffering from elevated blood pressure, and one-third of them are overweight or obese,” added Antman.  “Too much salt in our children’s diets will make this situation worse and put future generations on the road to heart disease and stroke.  There’s no question that we should continue to strive to reduce the sodium in the foods our kids eat.”Overweight and obese Black teenagers had four risk factors for cardiovascular disease, and 36 percent had five or more risk factors – the most common high blood pressure and low good cholesterol.Low levels of physical activity in young adults also accounts for a “substantial” proportion of high blood pressure incidence over time.  Nationwide, 26.7 percent of African-American teens said they had not taken part in any level of physical activity – including ball playing, jogging, aerobics, or cycling – in the previous week.Researchers with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that the number of hours spent watching television was positively associated with increased caloric intake and the prevalence of obesity.  The 12-17-year -olds studied viewed 14 percent more food product advertisements (usually processed or fast food advertisements) than their white peers.  Coupled with environmental factors that limited green spaces for exercise or outdoor sports, and few sources to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables (supermarkets or farmer’s markets), aggressive advocacy is needed to safeguard the heart health of Black youth.last_img read more

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