Azar calls on Congress to help eliminate drug rebates

first_img WASHINGTON — Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar called on Congress Friday to upend the way drugs are paid for by “immediately” passing a law banning rebates that drug makers pay to insurers.His push comes the morning after after HHS announced a policy proposal that would eliminate rebates in the Medicare program, which the department claims will lower the amount of money seniors spend on prescription drugs at the pharmacy. Though HHS estimates it will raise premiums in the program, it believes patients will ultimately save money. Politics HHS Secretary Alex Azar Chris Kleponis/Getty Images Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. What’s included? GET STARTED Log In | Learn More Unlock this article — plus daily intelligence on Capitol Hill and the life sciences industry — by subscribing to STAT+. First 30 days free. GET STARTED What is it? By Ike Swetlitz Feb. 1, 2019 Reprints Azar calls on Congress to help eliminate drug rebates STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. Tags Congressdrug pricinggovernment agenciespolicylast_img read more

David Lahr named Workforce Development Director

first_imgVermont Business Magazine Vermont Commissioner of Labor, Lindsay Kurrle, announced the appointment of long-time Department of Labor employee David Lahr as the new Workforce Development Division Director. Lahr first joined state government over 30 years ago, and has been working in various leadership capacities in workforce development since then. A Norwich University Adult Degree Graduate, Lahr has served for the last five years as the Assistant Director of the Workforce Development Division. During his time at the Department of Labor, Lahr was integral in two very large Workforce Development reorganizations that not only successfully mitigated federal cuts to the Division, but also produced the footprint the Department uses today to deliver training and assistance services to all Vermonters.“As we work to align statewide workforce, education, and economic development resources necessary to develop a vibrant economy where businesses can thrive and people want to work and live, it is critical that we have a leader who is innovative, creative, knowledgeable and motivated. David Lahr has the experience, leadership skills, and the energy we will need to be successful in reaching our goals. Vermonters deserve good jobs and businesses should be able to find employees with the skills they are seeking. I am confident that with David’s leadership we can achieve this.”“One of my priorities as Director of the Workforce Development Division is to make sure that Vermonters’ skills are matching with new technologies and the needs of businesses. I am also fully committed to ensuring that Vermonters who have generally been unengaged in skills training or skills upgrading, and those individuals who have been disenfranchised or face barriers, are able to participate in a successful Vermont economy,” said Lahr. VBM vermontbiz.comSource: DOL 6.14.2017last_img read more

Planning reforms disappoint

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Air Liquide investor day update

first_imgGet instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270. Subscribelast_img

With Herlings falling, Lithuanian Jasikonis pulls out victory in Ķegums –…

first_imgVideo: Lithuanian Jasikonis pulls victory in Ķegums when Herlings falls – Motor sports – Layout: current: getContentLayout (Cid: CacheTemplatingLayoutCustomizationsEsportsCustomizationSource512 ), alternative: getContentLayout (Cid: CacheTemplatingLayoutCustomizationsEsportsCustomizationSource512), Fid:376, Did:0, useCase: 0 On Wednesday, an exciting race at the World Motocross Championship was held on the Ķegums track, with the title of Antonio Kairoli winning two MX races in the MXGP class. In the second race of the Riga Grand Prix “shortly before the finish, dramatic events took place, the current leader Jeffrey Herlings fell, who also collided with his teammate Cairo, but in the meantime the Lithuanian Armins Jasikonis took the lead and won. Video source: https://www.www .com / watch? v = cs3 …last_img read more

In a land hit by the resource curse, a new gold mine spooks officials

first_imgA company in Indonesia plans to start mining gold in a district in the country’s West Papua province that forms part of the ecologically important Cendrawasih Bay National Park — an ostensibly protected area.The company is currently applying for an environmental impact assessment that would allow it to obtain a mining permit, but local officials involved in the process say they see little benefit to the proposed mine. They say they prefer a development model built on tourism based on the region’s rich biodiversity.The district chief, who has the final say in issuing the permit, has signaled he approves of the project — flip-flopping on a pledge he made at the end of last year to prioritize an environment-focused development framework. JAKARTA — Environmental officials have warned of the potentially catastrophic impact of a planned gold mine in a conservation zone in eastern Indonesia, amid mixed signals from the district chief responsible for approving the project.The proposed mine would cover 233 square kilometers (90 square miles), an area four times the size of Manhattan, in Wondama Bay district in West Papua province. Eighty five percent of the district, though, sits within Cenderawasih Bay National Park, while parts of it also overlap onto or border the Wondiwoi Mountains Nature Reserve — both protected areas. The planned site also straddles the ancestral lands of three indigenous groups: the Kuri Wamesa, the Rasiei and the NaikereThe company applying for the mining permit, PT Abisha Bumi Persada (ABP), is based some 3,000 kilometers (1,860 miles) west, in the city of Bandung on the island of Java. It reportedly plans to operate for 15 years, and expects to mine 800,000 tons of ore per year, yielding 200 kilograms (440 pounds) of gold annually.A company in Indonesia plans to mine for gold in Wondama Bay district in West Papua province, with the proposed site marked by the red pin. Much of the district falls within Cenderawasih Bay National Park, a protected area. Image by Google Maps.Ben Saroy, head of the agency that manages Cenderawasih Bay National Park, warned that establishing a large-scale gold mine like ABP has proposed could damage the wider conservation area. Among his top concerns, he said, was the waste from the mining operations, such as mercury, that could pollute the environment and wind up in the food chain.Mercury is often used to bind gold from ore, and is typically burned off and discarded afterward, eventually ending up in rivers. In 2017, the Indonesian government ratified the Minamata Convention on Mercury, committing to phase out the use of the heavy metal in small-scale gold mining by 2020.“The impacts from any mercury contamination will be only apparent in 10 to 20 years, as babies are born blind, permanently disabled, and with other diseases,” Saroy told local media. “The waste must not be dumped into the sea.”He also warned that tourist arrivals to the national park could go down “if they know that the area has been contaminated with mercury.”The pristine marine ecosystem of Cenderawasih Bay National Park has attracted tourists from around the world. Image courtesy of Cenderawasih Bay National Park Agency.ABP is reportedly in the process of obtaining an environmental impact assessment, known locally as an AMDAL, as a prerequisite for getting a mining permit.Rudolf Rumbino, the head of the West Papua government’s environmental agency, said his office would not issue an AMDAL without assurances from environmental NGOs and the provincial government’s research and development agency that the benefits of the mine would outweigh any disruption to the environment.“Although some of the local communities have given their support, we will rely on the advice of NGOs and the R&D agency because they know better about the positive and negative impacts from this mining,” he told local media.Charlie Heatubun, who heads the R&D agency, was also skeptical about allowing gold mining in the district, saying it would create a lot of risks, including the further impoverishment of the local people.“Gold mining promises quick profits for the area, but that profit may not be worth the negative impacts,” he told local media.He said tourism remained the best option for the long-term development of Wondama Bay district. “If we develop tourism, we can ensure that the environment won’t be damaged,” he said. “The people can profit from the tourist visits and from related tourism businesses.”A swath of rainforest in Indonesia that was destroyed for gold-mining operations. Image by Boyhaqie/Mongabay-Indonesia.Prioritizing ecofriendly tourism over resource exploitation was the same argument used earlier by the Wondama Bay district chief, Bernadus Imburi, who has the final say on whether the mining permit is issued.“We don’t have forests or gold that can be exploited to help [develop the economy] in this area,” Imburi said last December at the signing of an environment-focused development framework with representatives from WWF-Indonesia and Cenderawasih Bay National Park.“We are confident that the potential of Cenderawasih Bay National Park and Wondiwoi Mountains National Reserve will serve as valuable capital to increase our regional revenue,” he added.“The tourism sector is the only top priority for Wondama Bay district in increasing our local revenue.”By February, however, Imburi appeared to have changed his mind, attending a discussion hosted by ABP with community representatives at which he spoke of a “win-win” situation for all sides.“I hope [ABP] manages everything by the book so that the company can operate and the local people can also live,” he said as quoted by local media.The discussion was part of ABP’s AMDAL obligation to allow communities that would be affected by its proposed operations a chance to weigh in. The district chief, though, appeared to discourage any opposition when he told those in attendance that “the local people must not act in such a way that the company can’t proceed.”In any case, there was little pushback from the community representatives, who said they approved of the proposed mining operation, as long as their rights as indigenous people were upheld and they weren’t “disadvantaged” further down the road. They also called on ABP to prioritize the hiring of workers from local communities over those from outside.The pristine forests of West Papua are being increasingly targeted for mines and plantations. Image by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.The Indonesian half of the island of New Guinea, administratively split into the provinces of West Papua and Papua, is all too familiar with the “resource curse.”For decades, a subsidiary of U.S.-based Freeport McMoRan has run the world’s biggest copper and gold mine, Grasberg, in Papua province. But its operations, wildly profitable for the company and for the central government in Jakarta, have done little for the development of local communities. Papua and West Papua remain the most impoverished provinces in Indonesia, with life expectancies and infant and maternal mortality rates that are among the worst in Asia.Freeport’s subsidiary has also long been criticized for a litany of environmental offenses, as well as for funding security forces that have been widely accused of rights violations against indigenous Papuans.In recent years, another resource has threatened to destroy the ancient and pristine rainforests that make the island a biodiversity hotspot like no other: palm oil. Major plantation operators, having largely depleted the forests of Sumatra and Indonesian Borneo, are now increasingly eyeing the vast, untouched wildernesses of Papua and West Papua.Charlie Heatubun, the West Papua R&D agency head, summed up the quandary of a region awash in natural wealth but falling short of most human development metrics: “Right now, we may be [financially] poor, but we are so rich in natural resources. We could end up being poor in both ways, and that’s a huge problem.”FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by Basten Gokkon Deforestation, Development, Environment, Forest Destruction, Forests, Gold Mining, Mining, Natural Resources, Pollution, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforest Mining, Rainforests, Threats To Rainforests, Tropical Deforestation, Tropical Forests, Waste, Water Pollution center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

UX Thursday Detroit 2014 Recap

first_imgLast week’s UX Thursday Detroit 2014 conference was an amazing day for all things user experience. Over 180 user experience professionals and web workers gathered at the Gem Theater in downtown Detroit for the one-day event to learn from our fellow UX practitioners.Jared Spool of User Interface Engineering kicked off the day with a discussion of how we can use the Kano model to understand basic expectations in his Building a Winning UX Strategy Using the Kano Model talk. He pointed out that we’re good as getting rid of frustrations, but not as good at adding in delight to user [email protected] discussing #UXStrategy at #UXThursday – more features aren’t always better! #customerexperience #delightful— Mark Peznowski (@MarkPeznowski) June 26, 2014By focusing on three elements, pleasure, flow, and meaning, we can create a more delightful experience across the entire experience. Using Progressive‘s online insurance application as an example, Jared explained how Progressive removed the friction by changing the flow of the process (streamlining the process, asking the right questions, and reducing 11 screens to three screens) to create a delightful experience for their customers.Our first local speaker for the day, Stephanie Rosenbaum from TecEd, spoke about setting up similated environments for early user research work in the lab when you can’t get do onsite field work. She focused on the challenges faced by similated environments and shared recommendations for conducting simulated field research. Fascinating to see the bar set up!A photo of TecEd’s Stephanie Rosenbaum at UX Thursday in Detroit #uxthursday— Darren Hood, MSUXD (@darrenhood) June 26, 2014In his Designing with Data for Humans presentation, Ivo Gasparotto of GE Capital explained how the display of data impacts your vantage point for approaching user experience. As user experience professionals, we need to be more involved in shaping how the data we use can be used for [email protected] is sharing patterns for UI controls and elements such as color in data viz. #uxthursday— Chris Farnum (@crfarnum) June 26, 2014I loved hearing Amy Montgomery’s talk about how user-centered design methods are being used on State of Michigan websites. By involving testers in the UX process, testers become more aware of user needs and goals, and can help the product better match UX requirements.Several ways to get testers engaged in the design process from a UX perspective | #uxthursday— EmergeUX (UXPulse) (@UXPulse) June 26, 2014Dan Klyn kicked off the afternoon sessions with his introduction to his Ducks and Decorated Sheds talks, Hello, my name is Dan Klyn. And I’m a master [email protected] introduces himself at #uxthursday as a master debater who specializes in deconstructing definitions.— Chris Farnum (@crfarnum) June 26, 2014Instead of doing it right, do it good, Dan said. Four ways to get good structure for what you’re working on:Get systematic about your intention. Rendering our intent, will we service the customers we have now, or the ones we plan to acquire?Get systematic with meaning. One way to get systematic with meaning is to use arguments.Structural languageUse simple models to work it outI think everyone at the conference connected with Lauren Colton’s Confronting the Egos in the Room presentation. The client experience toolkit she shared is a must-have tool for all user experience professionals. I’m a big fan of team retrospectives. How many of us ask at the end of a project, what did you want to get out of the project? And her recommendation when you’re annoyed with a client brought the loudest applause of the day.If you’re annoyed with your clients, you’re not charging enough. — Lauren Colton #uxthursday— Jared Spool (@jmspool) June 26, 2014My friend Keith Instone spoke about visual literacy and shared his own journey for learning about visual literacy and how it’s important for people in every field. He encouraged attendees to embed visual literacy in our user interfaces and invited attendees to learn more about visual literacy at the 2014 International Visual Literacy Conference in Toledo, Ohio. The Venn of closures X and Visual Literacy @keithinstone #uxthursday— Alaina Kraus (@AlainaRachelle) June 26, 2014In the closing keynote address, Fooled by Best Practice, Dana Chisnell spoke about what happens when we follow best practice, and it doesn’t work out. She shared a case study of building a responsive, accessible ballot and how the “choice” of words had unexpected consequences. Using Rapid Iteration Testing & Evaluation (RITE) showed where best practices failed. Illustrations got in the way and wordy messages couldn’t help people recover from mistakes. Fewer direct words worked.Plain interaction #UXThursdayShared from Google Keep— Jason Yu (@jbirdux) June 26, 2014Speaker SlideshowsSeveral of the speakers have posted their slideshows online. Here’s a partial list:Building a Winning UX Strategy Using the Kano Model: Jared SpoolBringing Ethnographic Methodology Into The Usability Lab: Stephanie RosenbaumWhen Testing Professionals Are Involved in User-Centered Design Research : Amy MontgomeryDucks and Decorated Sheds: Dan KlynConfronting the Egos in the Room: Lauren ColtonVisual Literacy: Keith InstoneFooled By Best Practice: Dana ChisnellThe talks were recorded; User Interface Engineering will update the UX Thursday Detroit 2014 site with the recordings once they’re available. I’ve posted several photos from the event on my Flickr account. You can also check out fellow Detroit User Experience member and speaker Darren Hood’s photos from UX Thursday Detroit 2014. Great talks, great conversations, and a beautiful setting. What better way to spend a day learning about UX and networking with fellow professionals. Can’t wait til next year’s event!Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading…Related32 UX Tips: Keep the Conversations GoingWe had a great turnout today at Team Detroit for Rosenfeld Media’s 32 Awesomely Practical UX Tips virtual conference. Hosted by Detroit User Experience, close to 30 people attended, including many newcomers as well as our frequent attendees. Thank you to Team Detroit for hosting and supporting our event. (Personally,…In “Conference”UX Thursday Detroit 2014: Speakers AnnouncedI’m thrilled UX Thursday Detroit announced the rest of their speakers this week. Speakers who will be sharing case studies at the event on June 26, 2014 include: Stephanie Rosenbaum, TecED Ivo Gasparotto, GE Capital Amy Montgomery, State of Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget Agency Dan Klyn, The…In “Conference”Recap: Ignite UX Michigan 2014Ignite UX Michigan 2014 was a great success, with over 150 user experience professionals gathering in downtown Ann Arbor on October 22 for five-minute presentations focused on usability. Organized by Mike Beasley and Whitney Ferdon, it was an evening of inspiring talks and a reunion for UX professionals and students,…In “Event/meeting recap”last_img read more

Virat Kohli can learn from mistakes Aussies made

first_imgThis is going to be one long celebration weekend for the Englishmen as Alastair Cook’s boys played fearless and entertaining cricket to grab back the Ashes urn at Trent Bridge on Saturday.As much as one saw the bubbly flow at the venue and elsewhere for the cheering hosts, there were quiet tears being shed by Australian captain Michael Clarke, whose decision to retire from Test cricket after the last match at The Oval was on expected lines.For someone who has served Australian cricket so durably and as recently as March won the ICC World Cup, this series in England turned out to be a disastrous one. He has worn the Baggy Green with pride but if the 34-year-old Clarke is going to reflect on his last away tour, memories can only be painful.To have scored close to 8,700 runs in 114 Tests with an average close to 50, Clarke didn’t once look the inspirational captain the world has known him to be. To compare Test cricket as hard as the Ashes with the World Cup would be wrong, yet the comparison has to be made as it was the same Clarke who turned the Aussie campaign around at home at the start of the year.A captain is known as much for his wins at home as for the way he marshals his resources abroad. And this Aussie side was not just brittle, it was devoid of ideas as to how cricket should be played in conditions where the ball seams so much.advertisementAgreed, Test cricket has become harder and run scoring more brisk but one stills need batsmen who can apply themselves and stay at the wicket. Cricketers like Steve Waugh and Ian Healy showed grit and gumption when Australia were in trouble. Sadly in this series, we could not see one Aussie batsman show application which reflected in their dismissal for 60 runs in the first innings at Trent Bridge.When one is going to score so low, even miracles by the bowlers cannot help, which is why Australia are going to be weighed down by tons of criticism back home. It is a cruel world these days when social media scans every inch of action and comments like ‘Australia A should be sent to play in the Ashes’ revealed the inner hurt of the Aussie fans.Clarke’s handling of Shane Watson was also not the best as this guy could have hung around boldly.Quite often, old timers who have played cricket at the highest level will engage in conversation over the behaviour of the red cherry and how technique is crucial for a batsman. The Aussies use the Kookabura ball at home and in England it’s the Duke, which assists seam movement.The Aussie batting line-up did not adjust to this movement and dismissals were cheap with Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Ben Stokes and Mark Wood catching the eye. Anderson, however, did not play at Trent Bridge.When we criticise the Indian Test team for its inability to win matches overseas, the debate is about how a side looks champion stuff at home and then stutters abroad.The same today can be said about Australia as well since they won the Ashes so easily at home in 2013-14 and now look a rag-tag side.Moving on, there are lessons for Indian Test skipper Virat Kohli in The Ashes when they take on the Sri Lankans starting next week. Kohli and his supporters have spoken about playing aggressive cricket, looking to take 20 wickets and so on. Yet, the fact remains in Test cricket batsmen have to show willingness to stay in the middle and scoring runs is sometimes not as important as durability at the crease.This is Kohli’s first full series as Test captain and though he did not do badly in Australia, the big test is now. Very recently, the Pakistan side did the job in Lanka and Kohli knows there are people watching him closely.In the past, when MS Dhoni was the captain and the team did badly in away Test series, critics came down on him like a ton of bricks. ‘Sack Dhoni’ was a chant which would reach a crescendo now and then.Kohli has has had a bad run with the bat in recent times but conditions in Sri Lanka will be to his liking. On paper, the Lankan bowling looks mediocre but one cannot take them for granted and batsmen like Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane have their task cut out.advertisementThe duo has the technical wherewithal to bat like true Test pedigree where throwing the bat at the ball will be suicidal. Aussie batsmen floundered in technique and Kohli would do well to have a chat with his boys so that the puzzle of Test victories abroad can be [email protected]last_img read more

The Thursday news briefing An ataglance survey of some top stories

first_imgHighlights from the news file for Thursday, June 15———HEARING TOLD LA LOCHE SHOOTER HAS PTSD: A psychiatrist says a teenager who killed four people in the northern Saskatchewan community of La Loche has symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Dr. Mansfield Mela told the teen’s sentencing hearing on Thursday that he has an intellectual disability, major depressive disorder and displays some symptoms of fetal alcohol syndrome. The hearing will determine if the teen is sentenced as an adult or a youth. The teen pleaded guilty last fall to two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder and seven counts of attempted murder.———ASYLUM CLAIM BACKLOG COULD HIT 11 YEARS: An internal government analysis has concluded an increase in asylum claims in Canada could eventually mean a staggering 11-year wait for a hearing and $2.97 billion in social supports for claimants in the meantime. The Immigration and Refugee Board is already trying to whittle down its current backlog, but received no new money in the latest federal budget. With 2017 application numbers expected to far exceed earlier projections, the board simply can’t keep up, says the memo, obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act.———OTTAWA TO UNVEIL DETAILS OF $2B CARBON FUND: Manitoba and Saskatchewan have been given until the end of December to sign on to the federal government’s national climate change agreement to avoid losing out on millions of dollars to help cut emissions. Environment Minister Catherine McKenna unveiled details Thursday of the Trudeau government’s promised $2-billion Low Carbon Economy Fund, to be spent in two streams over the next five years. The first is a $600-million Low Carbon Economy Challenge for industry and public sector projects, to be launched this fall and doled out on a merit-based, project-by-project basis.———GORD DOWNIE TO RECEIVE ORDER OF CANADA: Gord Downie and indigenous activist Sylvia Maracle will be appointed to the Order of Canada on Monday, while the other members of the Tragically Hip will also receive one of the country’s highest civilian honours at a later date. Maracle will be named an officer of the Order of Canada and Downie a member, both for their leadership in supporting indigenous issues. They are among 30 recipients to be honoured for leadership in supporting indigenous issues, including NHL player Jordin Tootoo, who will receive a meritorious service medal in the civil division.———TRUDEAU REJECTS CALL FOR BROADBAND TAX: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is swiftly shooting down a parliamentary committee’s recommendation that Ottawa impose a five per cent tax on broadband Internet services as a way to “level the playing field” in Canada’s rapidly changing news industry. Liberal members of the Commons heritage committee have released a long-awaited report with 20 recommendations aimed at helping the slumping media industry adapt to significant business challenges brought on by technological changes and evolving consumer habits. The majority report calls on Ottawa to apply the tax, levied on broadband Internet providers, to high-speed Internet services that allow for the streaming of music, movies and TV shows.———CRTC TO BAN UNLOCKING FEES: Cellphone companies will soon no longer be allowed to charge customers to unlock their devices under sweeping changes to Canada’s wireless code of conduct. The new code from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission also says all newly purchased devices must be unlocked, beginning Dec. 1. The telecom regulator is making several other changes to the code that it says will give Canadians more control over their wireless services.———DETAILS OF COHEN EXHIBIT ANNOUNCED: Montreal’s contemporary art museum will be hosting an exhibit later this year devoted to the life and work of Leonard Cohen. Organizers announced details Thursday of the show entitled “Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything.” What is planned is a five-month exhibition inspired by Cohen’s music, poetry and artwork that will include installations combining visual art, music, writing and virtual reality by artists from 10 countries. It is slated to open to the public Nov. 9 and run until early April 2018. Cohen died last Nov. 7 but his death was only announced a few days later.———SUPREME COURT DISMISSES DRUG CASE APPEAL: The Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed an appeal in a case involving an Alberta worker who was fired by a mining company after testing positive for drug use. In an 8-1 ruling, the court said the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal was right to conclude that the man was fired for breaching the company’s drug policy, not because of his addiction. Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin says while the employee may have been in denial about his addiction, he knew he should not take drugs before work and had the capacity to disclose his drug use to his employer.———CANADIANS SOUGHT IN U.S. PROTEST ATTACK: Two Canadians are among more than a dozen people sought in connection with a violent attack on protesters during an official visit by Turkey’s president to the U.S. capital last month. Police in Washington, D.C., say they have issued arrest warrants for Mahmut Sami Ellialti on charges of felony aggravated assault and felony assault with significant bodily injury, as well as for Ahmet Dereci on charges of felony assault with significant bodily injury and misdemeanor assault or threatened assault in a menacing manner. A police spokeswoman said the two are residents of Canada but it is not yet known whether they have Canadian citizenship.———CANADIAN HOME SALES DOWN IN MAY: The Canadian Real Estate Association says home sales across the country dropped sharply last month, driven by a plunge in transactions in the Greater Toronto Area. The number of residential properties sold last month fell by 6.2 per cent in May compared to April, the largest month-to-month decline in nearly five years. The industry group, which represents real estate agents, brokers and salespeople in Canada, noted sales were down a whopping 25.3 per cent month-over-month in the GTA.———last_img read more