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July 31, 2014

Purina’s new natural brand has ’super foods’ for pets

Filed under: loans, term — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 2:16 am

Nestlé Purina PetCare’s new brand of dog and cat food, Beyond, features natural ingredients, including ’super foods’ such as sweet potato and pumpkin. 

St. Louis-based Purina, a division of Swiss-based Nestlé, said Wednesday that the new Beyond line of natural dog and cat foods are made from meat, poultry or fish as the number one ingredient, with no corn, wheat, soy, poultry by-product meal or added artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.

Beyond’s ingredients include nutrient rich ’super foods’ such as salmon, sweet potato, pumpkin and cranberries, the company said when announcing the new brand. 

Beyond is being rolled out nationwide at mass and grocery retailers and at pet specialty stores. 

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July 29, 2014

Waste Management selling subsidiary for $1.94B

Filed under: finance, online — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 3:04 pm

HOUSTON (AP) — Waste Management is selling a subsidiary to Energy Capital Partners for $1.94 billion as part of its effort to focus on its core business.

It is selling Wheelabrator Technologies Inc., which owns or runs 17 waste-to-energy facilities and four independent power-producing plants in the U.S. The business also has four ash monofill landfills, three transfer stations and an ongoing development and construction project in the U.K. Wheelabrator’s 2013 revenue totaled about $845 million.

Houston-based Waste Management Inc. said Tuesday it plans to use proceeds from the sale to buy assets related to its core business and for stock repurchases.

The deal is targeted to close later this year. It still needs approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

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July 26, 2014

Nevada gambling revenue jumps 14 percent in June

Filed under: business, technology — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 5:20 am

LAS VEGAS • Nevada officials say casino revenues shot up more than 14 percent in June thanks to a banner month on the Las Vegas Strip.

The state Gaming Control Board reported Friday that Nevada casinos brought in about $907 million in June.

Las Vegas Strip casinos pulled in $532 million in June, up more than 22 percent from the same month a year ago. Downtown Las Vegas casino revenues of $41million were up 12 percent.

Reno casino revenues of $48 million were down 3 percent compared with June 2013, while South Lake Tahoe casinos brought in $12 million and were down 2 percent payday loans.

The state collected $44 million in taxes based on the June winnings, which is up less that 1 percent compared with a year earlier.

Source

July 19, 2014

NBA: Cavaliers now willing to include Andrew Wiggins in Kevin Love trade talks

Filed under: loans, technology — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 4:20 pm

The Cleveland Cavaliers have finally shown a willingness to put Andrew Wiggins in a trade for the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Kevin Love, a person familiar with the situation told USA TODAY Sports.

While no deal is imminent, this development jump-starts the conversation between the two teams.

Minnesota has been adamant that any deal with the Cavs for Love include Wiggins. Cleveland had been reluctant to include the No. 1 overall pick in June’s draft in trade talks. It remains unclear what else the T’wolves would want in a trade and whether that will be enough to get a deal done.

RELATED:

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Right now, the T’wolves are playing hardball for teams who want the all-star power forward. Cleveland has numerous young players and several future draft picks to offer, but Wiggins is high on Minnesota’s priority list. USA TODAY Sports previously reported the Golden State Warriors balked at including shooting guard Klay Thompson in a trade for Love, but their interest remains.

Love is coming off the best season of his career, averaging 26.1 points and 12.5 rebounds a game. He can opt out his contract after this season, meaning teams that look to trade for him may want a commitment that he won’t leave after one year. That option also puts pressure on the T’wolves to trade him before losing him for nothing.

But Wiggins was drafted No. 1 with considerable hype. He is averaging 13.7 points, 1.7 steals and 1.7 blocks in summer league action the past week and is expected to play well with LeBron James, who signed with the Cavs last weekend.

Love also would be a great fit with James, replicating the stretch big man role played so well by Chris Bosh for James’ Miami Heat’s four consecutive NBA Finals runs. Love played with James for Team USA at the 2012 London Olympics.

As for Wiggins, the 19-year-old Canadian is receiving a crash course in the NBA rumour mill.

Since he arrived in Las Vegas and found out LeBron James was coming to Cleveland with him, Wiggins has heard his name brought up in possible trade scenarios as the Cavaliers pursue Love. Two people familiar with the situation told The Associated Press that the Cavaliers’ position has remained unchanged despite the reports Thursday and that no offer including Wiggins has been made to Minnesota.

“Rumours are rumours. That’s why they call them rumours,” Cavs coach David Blatt said. “Sooner or later in one’s career, you’re going to have to deal with it. If he has to deal with it now, then so be it. It’s summer league. He’s learning everything as he goes along.”

Wiggins scored 21 points in 31 minutes on Thursday night in a loss to the Houston Rockets. He showcased his superior athleticism by creating mismatches and getting to the free throw line at will, making 15 of 20 free throws and getting one jaw-dropping, chase-down block in transition.

Several fans made remarks during the game about the Cavaliers getting Love, but Wiggins was unfazed. He was unavailable to reporters after the game, but Blatt said he felt no need to talk to him about the speculation.

“What you’ve got to like about the kid is that it doesn’t make a difference if it’s the fourth game of summer league in seven or eight days, or if people are keying on him or the crowd has funny things to say to him,” Blatt said. “He goes out there and really plays and has a nice calm about him and a real good demeanour. Andrew’s going to be a high-level player. It’s good to see.”

The Cavaliers and Timberwolves have been engaged in discussions since before the draft for Love, who can opt out of his contract next summer. That stipulation gives Love tremendous influence on where he ends up, and he initially balked at joining a Cavaliers team that appeared to be in rebuilding mode after missing the playoffs and firing coach Mike Brown.

That all changed when James decided last week to leave the Miami Heat and return to Cleveland, where the Akron native played for the first seven seasons of his career. James’ signing changed Love’s mind about going to Cleveland and the Cavaliers again started conversations with the Wolves.

General manager David Griffin, Blatt and owner Dan Gilbert have to this point refused to include Wiggins in any offer.

That has been a deal-breaker for the Wolves, who want Wiggins to headline any package that the Cavs would offer.

It’s not known if James would prefer the Cavs to hold onto Wiggins in any deal for Love, his U.S. Olympic teammate. But what’s certain is that the Cavaliers will take James’ feelings into consideration before making any move. The four-time MVP is hugely influential, and his return to the Cavaliers has restored hope in a franchise that has been down and out since he left for Miami in 2010.

Wiggins has yet to sign his rookie contract, which has led to speculation that the Cavaliers were stalling on that front to make it easier to execute a trade. The minute Wiggins does sign the deal, he cannot be traded for 30 days under league rules.

But keeping him unsigned also gives the Cavaliers more flexibility to pursue free agents. They have already agreed to terms with veteran shooters Mike Miller and James Jones, and have reached out to Ray Allen as well.

Source

June 22, 2014

British couple convicted of killing parents:

Filed under: marketing, term — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 5:01 am

LONDON—A British husband and wife were convicted Friday of murdering the woman’s parents, burying their bodies and collecting their pension checks for 15 years.

A jury at Nottingham Crown Court found Susan and Christopher Edwards guilty of shooting William and Patricia Wycherly in May 1998.

Prosecutors said the debt-ridden Edwards collected almost 250,000 pounds ($457,000) by pretending her parents were still alive. In 2005 they sold the parents’ home in the central England town of Mansfield, with the bodies buried in the backyard.

Read more on thestar.com:

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How a cat helped convict a U.K. killer

Police Detective Chief Inspector Rob Griffin said the couple, desperate for money, “decided an easy way to get their hands on it was to kill their parents, and that’s what they did.”

“I think cold is the word,” he said.

They used some of the money to buy celebrity memorabilia, including autographs of Gary Cooper and Frank Sinatra.

They told friends and relatives that the Wycherlys were travelling or had moved away.

Police unearthed the bodies in October after being tipped off by a family member that Christopher Edwards had admitted burying the bodies.

The couple had moved to France but were arrested at a London railway station after emailing police to say they wanted to surrender.

They pleaded not guilty to murder. Susan Edwards testified she had been provoked into shooting her mother after her mother killed her father.

But a jury did not believe the story.

Source

April 29, 2014

Audit finds issues with Toronto trustee expenses

Filed under: mortgage, news — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 7:11 am

Toronto trustees like to have their say in the boardroom, but they do a lot of talking outside of it as well — racking up thousands of dollars worth of calls to and from the Virgin Islands, Panama, Cuba, Greece and Mexico.

A detailed internal audit of Toronto District School Board trustees found numerous examples when they were, mostly without question, reimbursed for unauthorized or dubious expenses, including conference costs six days after the end of a three-day conference, $100 for alcohol and a $250 parking violation — issued for either blocking a fire route or a fire hydrant.

Trustee John Hastings, chair of the audit committee, said he could not explain the claims but wants the board to move quickly to address spending.

“I think it’s a combination of training that has to be provided to trustees, plus clearer policies and procedures … we need to bloody well pull up our socks and get at it,” he said before heading into a meeting Monday afternoon to discuss the audit.

The board paid out an additional $3,500 in international texting and data roaming charges from September 2010 to last January. “There appears to be no monitoring of trustee’s board cellphone charges,” the audit notes.

“We need to have a tracking system on that,” Hastings added. “We need to probably have better phone plans that adapt to the individual circumstances of trustees. Again, I see this as a big opportunity to get this ship turned around in this regard.”

The audit comes after a December report by Ernst and Young raised red flags about financial processes at Canada’s largest school board home insurance. It also comes amid revelations of trustee misbehaviour, after senior educators complained staff have been bullied, harassed and intimidated by elected officials.

There is no indication trustees harangued staff to approve expenses, Hastings added.

The audit details current differences in the rules for Toronto public and Catholic boards — showing limits and controls for the latter, with very few for the former.

(Spending at the Catholic board was tightened in 2009 after trustees made outrageous expense claims for things like lingerie and vacations.)

Toronto public trustees have annual expense accounts of $27,000, with extra money available through a fund for non-ward business such as professional development.

While some expenses “contradicted the policy … the estimated costs of these exceptions represent a small percentage of the total $2.5 million in trustee and governance expenses during the audit period” of September 2010 to this past January, the audit notes.

A new policy firming up expense reporting will go before another committee this week, and Trustee Sheila Cary-Meagher continues to push to have all expenses posted online, in detail, as soon as possible.

The audit also revealed that trustees have hired board employees as their constituency assistants — not allowed — or have assistants who have no contract on file with the board.

It also raises questions about two trustees who charged taxpayers for stays at Ottawa’s luxury Chateau Frontenac hotel for a national school boards’ conference — one billing $354 a night for three nights, the other $414 a night for four nights.

Hastings himself said he had to reimburse the board for $60 for mileage he mistakenly claimed for meetings he didn’t attend.

“We’re all fallible,” he said.

He also defended a $2,100 expense for lanyards, with his trustee business card tucked inside, given to each graduating high school student last year.

Another unnamed trustee spent $11,600 for newsletter printing and graphic design.

Hastings said up to eight staff members were approving expenses without sufficient documentation, and feels that no more than two or three should be in charge.

TDSB audit highlights

Seven trustees incurred long distance charges on their cellphones: $55 for calls to and from Panama in one month; $947.50 to and from Cuba over one month; $2,218.47 to Barbados, Switzerland and the Virgin Islands; $1,473.90 in calls to China, Chile, Hong Kong, Greece and Polynesia; $320 in calls to and from Israel during one month; $800.43 to Guyana and Trinidad; $492.90 to Greece and Mexico over two months.

“The TDSB may have paid for personal long distance charges of the trustees,” the audit notes. Policy says they must reimburse such charges, and the audit recommends creating a special form for trustees to do so.

Almost $3,500 was billed for data roaming, international texting and text roaming life insurance for retirement.

One trustee charged the board for home Internet at two addresses in one month.

“A number of trustees submitted expenses for travel, accommodation, meals or other expenses in their conference claims that were outside of the conference dates … One trustee attended a three-day conference and incurred hotels, tours and other accommodation charges for up to six days after the conference. There were also two hotel rooms paid during one day of the trip.” One trustee billed $300 in tour costs and $400 in food at a conference with no explanation. Four trustees billed for a night at a Toronto hotel for a conference, when all live in the city and the conference took place during the day. One trustee expensed 181 kilometres in a day, with no details. One trustee billed cabs totalling $2,500, another $4,700. The audit notes there are no rules and that other transportation might be less expensive. Citing no clear policy on gifts, the audit found $40 spent on flowers for a parent council chair; $1,054 in glassware to “an organization in relation to the signing of a board agreement,” $30 for a music CD for a guest speaker, and Hastings’ lanyard giveaway. Parking receipts with no details, or details that don’t match mileage claims. $2,210 in “professional development” costs for constituency assistants.

Source

April 25, 2014

Don’t assume you’re safe from Heartbleed

Filed under: canada, money — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 1:35 pm

It sounds alarmist, but it’s true. Email, social media, banking — all of it is at risk.

The Heartbleed Internet bug is particularly nasty because it’s pervasive. It affects apps, hardware and websites.

Two weeks on, companies are still moving to address the bug:

, Fortune 500)didn’t release a firmware update for its AirPort routers until Tuesday. Dell’s SonicWALL app, which lets you connect to corporate networks from home, just got patched Monday. QNAP updated the firmware for its Turbo NAS data storage centers last week. Many of Cradlepoint’s 3G and 4G modems, used by businesses, weren’t patched until recently.

On April 17, there were still 150 million vulnerable apps running on Android smartphones, according to cybersecurity provider ). All must be updated.

“The fallout from this is likely to continue for weeks and months to come,” said Tom Brennan, a computer security expert who developed a free add-on to the Firefox Web browser that detects if a website is vulnerable.

To be safe from Heartbleed, you need to know that everything you use to connect online is updated and fixed: smartphone apps, Wi-Fi routers, office servers, the websites you visit — and their servers too.

The risk is inherent in the complicated way the Internet works. Signing into your bank might bounce you to data centers around the globe. That’s why solving the Heartbleed problem is a herculean task that’s largely outside of your control.

All you can do is change your passwords often — all of them — and update your software to the latest version. And don’t trust any app, device, computer environment or website until those in charge specifically say they’ve patched the problem.

“At this point, the best thing the average consumer should do is simply pay close attention to vendors’ notices and apply any fixes,” said FireEye researcher Hui Xue car warranty. Then change all your passwords again.

But many companies aren’t making it easy for you to figure it out. Banks aren’t placing announcements on their website homepages to reassure customers they’re safe. Information about whether routers are vulnerable — and how to fix them — are located deep within the websites of Apple, D-Link and Netgear.

Rick Dakin, CEO of IT department auditor Coalfire, said websites should be alerting customers, and company IT departments should be informing employees about their own company’s situation.

“If you go to a website today, and they don’t have a statement on Heartbleed, I would be wary,” Dakin said.

It’s difficult to overstate the problem. Heartbleed isn’t a computer virus that automatically gets deleted by your computer’s antivirus program. It’s a flaw in the software devices use to talk to one another. And because these are all interconnected, it only takes one weak point to let hackers peek in. Even some versions of )Norton AntiVirus software were impacted. Bryan Harris, a researcher at analytics software maker SAS, called it “a systemic issue” with a long, uphill road ahead.

So severe are the problems with OpenSSL, the encryption software that had the Heartbleed bug, that some are ditching it entirely. A Canadian computer programmer recently created another version of it, called LibreSSL, in an attempt to simplify and clean it up.

But even if everything seems patched, we’ll never know for sure, said Joe Touch, director of the Postel Center of computer research at the University of Southern California. New computer systems are often built relying on older ones which are no longer maintained.

“Like most bugs, there are some systems that will correct very quickly, some less so, some never,” he said.

Source

April 18, 2014

Defend ‘Obamacare’ unabashedly, some Democrats say

Filed under: economics, management — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 8:36 am

WASHINGTON • With enrollments higher than expected, and costs lower, some Democrats say it’s time to stop hiding from the president’s health care overhaul, even in this year’s toughest Senate elections.

Republicans practically dare Democrats to embrace “Obamacare,” the GOP’s favorite target in most congressional campaigns. Yet pro-Democratic activists in Alaska are doing just that, and a number of strategists elsewhere hope it will spread.

President Barack Obama recently announced that first-year sign-ups for subsidized private health insurance topped 7 million, exceeding expectations. And the Congressional Budget Office — the government’s fiscal scorekeeper — said it expects only a minimal increase in customers’ costs for 2015. Over the next decade, the CBO said the new law will cost taxpayers $100 billion less than previously estimated.

Republicans already were pushing their luck by vowing to “repeal and replace” the health care law without having a viable replacement in mind, said Thomas Mills, a Democratic consultant and blogger in North Carolina. Now, he said, Democrats have even more reasons to rise from their defensive crouch on this topic.

“Democrats need to start making the case for Obamacare,” Mills said. “They all voted for it, they all own it, so they can’t get away from it. So they’d better start defending it.”

Even some professionals who have criticized the health care law say the political climate has changed.

“I think Democrats have the ability to steal the health care issue back from Republicans,” health care industry consultant said Bob Laszewski said. “The Democratic Party can become the party of fixing Obamacare.”

In truth, some Democratic lawmakers often talk of “fixing” the 2010 health care law arrest records. But it’s usually in response to critics or in a manner meant to show their willingness to challenge Obama.

For instance, Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., who faces a tough re-election bid, used her first TV ad of the campaign to highlight her demand that Obama let people keep insurance policies they like.

But Landrieu and other hard-pressed Democrats have not gone as far as a pro-Democratic group in Alaska that is unabashedly highlighting the health law’s strongest points.

The independent group Put Alaska First is airing a TV ad that praises Democratic Sen. Mark Begich for helping people obtain insurance even if they have “pre-existing conditions,” such as cancer. The ad doesn’t mention Obama or his health care law by name, but it focuses on one of the law’s most popular features.

Other Democrats should consider such tactics, political consultant David DiMartino said.

“There is still time to tell the story of Obamacare to voters,” he said. Democratic candidates don’t want to be defined entirely by the health law, he said, “but now they can point to its successes to fend off the inevitable distortions.”

GOP strategists don’t agree. The recent upbeat reports might help Democrats temporarily, but “the negative opinion of Americans toward Obamacare is baked in,” Texas-based Republican consultant Matt Mackowiak said. “If Obamacare was truly trending positively,” he said, “Sebelius would have stayed, and Democrats in tough races would be picking a fight on Obamacare, instead of mostly hiding from it.”

Kathleen Sebelius, the health and human services secretary closely associated with the health care law, is stepping down. Democrats say it’s a sign that the biggest problems are past, but Senate Republicans vow to use her successor’s confirmation hearings as another forum for criticizing the law.

Democrats hardest hit by anti-Obamacare ads — including Sens. Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Mark Pryor of Arkansas — continue to defend the health law when asked, but they generally focus on other topics, campaign aides say.

Polls don’t suggest public sentiment is shifting toward Democrats, said Robert Blendon, a professor of health policy and political analysis at the Harvard School of Public Health. But with at least 7.5 million people enrolled despite last fall’s disastrous rollout of insurance markets, Blendon said, Democrats have some strong new material to use.

“Each of the Democratic candidates is going to have to make a calculation on whether or not they can motivate Democrats,” Blendon said. “For Democrats to get an advantage out of the law, they have to convince people they have something to lose if the Senate changes hands.”

Republicans need to gain six seats to control the 100-member Senate.

New political problems might arise for the health care law before the Nov. 4 election. For instance, the individual requirement to carry health insurance remains generally unpopular, and now penalties may apply to millions of people who remain uninsured.

So far, Republicans have had an edge in public opinion, particularly when those with strong sentiments about the law are considered. A recent AP-GfK poll found that strong opponents outnumber strong supporters, 31 percent to 13 percent. And motivated voters often make the difference in low-turnout nonpresidential elections criminal search. But the poll also found that most Americans expect the health law to be changed, not repealed.

That puts Republicans in a tricky situation: GOP primary voters demand repeal, but general election voters in November are looking for fixes.

“It’s not a cheap and easy political target anymore,” Laszewski said. “Republicans are going to have to tell us what they would do different.”

Democrats deride GOP proposals to “replace” the 2010 health care law, saying they collapse under close scrutiny. Since they generally contemplate a smaller federal government role, many of the GOP ideas are likely to leave more people uninsured. Some approaches do not completely prohibit insurers from turning away people with pre-existing medical conditions.

Economist Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who advises many top Republicans, said the emerging GOP plans aren’t tied to the ups and downs of Obama’s law but look ahead to the 2016 presidential election, when the party will need alternatives.

Ultimately, he said, “there can’t be a Republican ‘replace.’ … There needs to be a bipartisan reform.” That doesn’t seem likely, but Holtz-Eakin said it was the only kind of change that will prove durable.

Democrats can cheer the latest statistics, “but they are not out of the woods yet,” he said. “They have waived and deferred a million things they knew were unpopular, and those are still out there.”

AP Director of Polling Jennifer Agiesta contributed to this report.

Source

April 13, 2014

Foster families have been

Filed under: economics, term — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 1:48 am

MONTREAL—They speak Yiddish, follow the Jewish law to the letter and they’ve been on standby for months, waiting to welcome into their homes the children of Lev Tahor, the ultra-orthodox sect at the centre of a two-province child abuse probe.

Four months after child-welfare authorities in Quebec first went to court to have 14 children from two families taken into protective custody, the hassidic community of Montreal has been waiting to play its part.

Foster families able to meet some of the exacting needs of the children — namely, speaking Yiddish and keeping a high degree of religious observance — have been located. Now they are waiting for the ruling of an Ontario court judge Monday that could send the children along Highway 401 from Chatham-Kent to the hassidic enclave of Outremont in central Montreal.

“It was last week that they were expecting the children would be returned to Quebec, and so they have made contingency plans,” said David Ouellette, associate director of public affairs with Montreal’s Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs. “As far as the foster families are concerned in Quebec, they’ve been ready for months.”

Four months, to be exact. It was last November that Quebec’s director of youth protection first went to court seeking an order that the 14 children be taken into temporary foster care for physical and psychological examinations. Social workers testified that the children were living in filth, lacked access to doctors and dentists, received a religious education that didn’t come close to meeting the provincial curriculum and were subject to a regime of psychological abuse and underage marriages.

A few days before that court order was granted, the entire Lev Tahor community fled to Ontario. They hoped to find escape from the snooping social workers and freedom to follow their strict interpretation of the Torah. Instead, they have been subject to the scrutiny of Ontario social workers, a police raid and an immigration probe that resulted in the detention and deportation of several adult members of the group.

Mixed in with those Ontario tribulations was the failed exodus of the children and their parents, who took a run for Guatemala last month. That incident resulted in six children being forcibly returned to Canada when they landed at the Trinidad airport; one infant child being apprehended with his 17-year-old mother at the Edmonton airport; and another six who made it to the Central American country and are currently fighting attempts to have them brought back.

The seven children who did not escape the long arm of Canadian law are currently with Ontario foster families fast payday loans.

Stephen Doig, executive director of Chatham-Kent Children’s Services said there are three possible outcomes of Monday’s court decision: the children could be returned to their families; the children could remain with foster families in Chatham-Kent; or the children could be returned to Quebec.

He said that the agency has been sensitive to religious considerations in their dealings with the children and has had help from nearby social service agencies that have Yiddish or Hebrew-speaking staff members that can act as translators.

“Some of the children and many of the adults in Lev Tahor speak or understand some English as well,” Doig said.

But adding to the difficulty of handling kids from a community like Lev Tahor — one that frowns on speaking any language but Yiddish, whose interpretation of kosher means extreme dietary restrictions and whose contact with the outside world is said to be next to nil — is what the children are said to have endured since last November. Put it all together and long-term care for the children may require a more intensive effort that only an ultra-orthodox Jewish clan can provide.

Eluzor Moscowicz, who has been caring for five Lev Tahor children for more than a year, said that when the children arrived in his home, they were unclean and wore too-small shoes that had left them with a stunted gait when they walked.

He told the Canadian Jewish News in February that they were suspicious and uncertain about such things as using scented soap or bathing. He said the children also had a habit of informing on one another, which coincides with testimony by a former Lev Tahor member that they were encouraged to report bad habits or breaches of the community’s strict rules to the group’s leadership.

The seven children affected by Monday’s court ruling may be in better physical shape, but the ordeal they have gone through since last November will have left psychological marks all the same, Ouellette suggested.

“The whole idea of having hassidic foster families is to ease the trauma that these kids are going to go through,” he said.

And even when the final decision is handed down, there could still be one additional snag that draws out the fate of the Lev Tahor children just a little bit longer. Monday will be marked by a flurry of preparation for the Jewish holiday of Passover, which would prevent observant Jews from travelling or working on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Source

November 29, 2012

BP banned from federal contracts

Filed under: online ads, term — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 8:56 am

The U.S. government temporarily banned oil giant BP from bidding on any new federal contracts as a result of its recent criminal pleas stemming from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The move prevents ) from getting new federal government “contracts, grants or other covered transactions,” according to the Environmental Protection Agency, which was charged with issuing the ban.

Among BP’s government contracts are hundreds of leases it has signed to drill for oil or gas in the United States and agreements worth billions of dollars to supply the government with fuel. Wednesday’s move does not impact existing agreements.

“EPA is taking this action due to BP’s lack of business integrity as demonstrated by the company’s conduct with regard to the Deepwater Horizon blowout,” the EPA said in a statement. “Suspensions are a standard practice when a responsibility question is raised by action in a criminal case.”

The ban will remain in effect “until the company can provide sufficient evidence to EPA demonstrating that it meets federal business standards,” the agency said.

BP said it is already working with the EPA to prove it is meeting standards, and said that this temporary suspension should be lifted “soon no fax cash advance.”

Shares in BP fell earlier in the day, but recouped most of their losses by noon.

Earlier this month, BP pleaded guilty to 11 counts of misconduct or neglect of ship officers, a felony count for obstruction of Congress, a misdemeanor count under the Clean Water Act and a misdemeanor count under the Migratory Bird Treaty in relation to the 2010 explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon drill rig that killed 11 people.

The explosion and subsequent oil spill poured millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, and led to what EPA called “the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history.”

BP also agreed to pay $4.5 billion in fines as part of the settlement earlier this month. The company said it has now spent over $40 billion on spill related costs.

In addition to charging BP as a company, the federal government also brought criminal charges against two high ranking BP employees involved with the drilling, who now face jail time if convicted.

Source

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