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Vermont Tech adds three sustainable design and technology degree programs

first_imgVermont Technical College,The growing fields of sustainable design and technology are quickly developing in the state of Vermont and beyond, and Vermont Tech is pleased to announce the addition of three expanded Bachelor of Science degrees to educate students in these innovative areas. Enrolling first-year students for the fall of 2014, the new degrees are Green Building Design, Renewable Energy and Sustainable Land Use. These degrees are designed to prepare students to secure meaningful work in these technical fields or pursue graduate studies.’ ‘The development of these three degrees provides expert preparation for students in a series of cross-disciplinary and growing technical fields,’ said President of Vermont Tech, Dr Philip Conroy. ‘Graduates of these programs will have the skills and expertise to develop into industry leaders or continue their education in a master’s degree program.’The curriculum for the expanded Sustainable Design and Technology degrees emphasizes the application of sustainable technologies in service to a vibrant and adapting economy. The Green Building Design degree focuses on the design of buildings and communities that can power themselves without the use of fossil fuels, using efficient and innovative technologies to harness the energy of the sun, earth and wind.The Renewable Energy degree integrates studies in engineering, technology, science and business to prepare graduates to design, implement and manage renewable energy systems and similar technologies. Students learn to evaluate renewable resources, complete site assessments, design systems, model system performance, utilize data acquisition tools and integrate energy systems into landscapes, buildings and communities.The Sustainable Land Use degree prepares graduates to design and manage land use projects through the combined studies of engineering, technology, science and business. Students learn to evaluate natural and cultural resources, perform site assessments, design conserved land and residential/commercial development projects, model system performance, utilize data acquisition tools, and integrate sustainability into land use and human practice.‘As Vermont continues to position itself as a leader in sustainable technologies and design, Vermont Tech is proud to be able to provide the practical education our workforce and economy needs,’ noted Conroy.About Vermont Tech ‘ Vermont Tech is the only public institution of higher learning in Vermont whose mission is applied education. One of the five Vermont State Colleges, Vermont Tech serves students from throughout Vermont, New England, and beyond at its two residential campuses in Williston and Randolph Center, regional campuses in Brattleboro and Bennington, and at five nursing campuses located throughout the state. Vermont Tech takes an optimistic, rooted and personal approach to education to support students in gaining the confidence and practical skills necessary to not only see their potential, but to experience it. Our academic programs encompass a wide range of engineering technology, agricultural, health, and business fields that are vital to producing the knowledgeable workers needed most by employers in the state and in the region.’  www.vtc.edu(link is external).last_img read more

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Leahy slams border wall funding as ‘bumper sticker budgeting’

first_imgVermont Business Magazine Slamming the proposal as “bumper sticker budgeting,” Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) Tuesday focused on a provision in the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill that would provide $1.6 billion from American taxpayers for President Trump’s border wall with Mexico.Leahy said:  “This is bumper sticker budgeting to save face for one of President Trump’s failed campaign promises.  Instead of wasting billions of taxpayer dollars to fund this costly and ineffective proxy for real action on immigration reform, we should be directing our resources toward finding cures for cancer, building schools for our children, feeding the hungry, rebuilding our infrastructure and real security.  We should be investing in what brings us together, not building walls that drive us apart.”Placed in strategic locations identified by the Department of Homeland Security as being in need of additional security to prevent illegal border crossings or other illicit activities, the United States already has 654 miles of pedestrian fencing or vehicle barriers along its southern border.  The additional 74 miles of President Trump’s border wall proposed in the appropriations bill is estimated to impact 900 landowners and cost as much as $22 million per mile.  With legal disputes still ongoing from border wall construction a decade ago in Texas, the legal costs of new construction are expected to be astronomical and drawn out over years.With illegal border crossings on the decline and apprehensions along the southern border reaching historic lows, Leahy argued that American tax dollars should be spent elsewhere and invested in the American people.  If the bill had gone through markup in the full Senate Appropriations Committee, Leahy would have offered an amendment that would have blocked funding for the wall unless it was paid for by Mexico, as President Trump promised.Leahy said:  “President Trump ran on a clear campaign promise – he was going to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, and Mexico would pay for it.  He could not have been clearer.  I have also been clear about how I feel about this misguided campaign promise.  Building a wall along our southern border is a waste of taxpayer dollars and an insult to our neighbor to the South.  From every perspective, this costly wall is an unwelcome turkey.”    SUMMARYDEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITYFISCAL YEAR 2018 APPROPRIATIONS BILLChairman’s Mark: November 21, 2017The Senate Appropriations Committee Tuesday made public the Chairman’s Mark of the fiscal year 2018 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill. The bill provides a total discretionary appropriation of $51.565 billion.  The net discretionary total is $44.050 billion after the following amounts are excluded:  $559 million in emergency appropriations for disaster relief; cap adjustment funding of $6.793 billion for disaster relief; and $163 million for Overseas Contingency Operations.   U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Ranking Member of the Department of Homeland Security Subcommittee, said:“The annual Homeland Security Appropriations bill is critically important for our national security, cybersecurity, airport security, and our emergency responders.  Unfortunately, this bill funds a costly and ineffective border wall that is wasting taxpayers’ money and blocking a bipartisan debate on this important legislation.  We can’t spend billions of dollars on a wall at the expense of our firefighters, airports, ports, transit hubs, and local communities. We can secure our borders more effectively with better technology and more manpower without saddling our kids and grandkids with the debt a border wall will require. As the appropriations process moves forward, I hope we can reignite a spirit of compromise and working together.”U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said:“President Trump ran on a clear campaign promise – he was going to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, and Mexico would pay for it.  He could not have been clearer.  I have also been clear about how I feel about this misguided campaign promise.  Building a wall along our southern border is a waste of taxpayer dollars and an insult to our neighbor to the South.To pay for Trump’s wall, vital programs have been slashed out of this bill, which will make our country less safe.  This is bumper sticker budgeting at its worst, and it is why it is important that we reach a bipartisan budget deal as soon as possible.  A budget deal that allows us to invest in the American people – not waste their tax dollars on a misguided wall.”Key Points & HighlightsWhile the bill rejects the Administration’s request to hire 850 deportation officers and denies the request to increase the number of detention beds, full funding is provided for the President’s unnecessary border wall.  The Administration has yet to provide a comprehensive plan on how the Department plans to secure the southwest border, including the total number of miles required for the wall, its full cost, an extensive analysis of alternatives, a cost-benefit analysis, and how eminent domain concerns will be addressed.In order to fund the border wall and other assets not requested in the budget, the bill cuts funding for border security technologies, aviation security, and Federal assistance to secure our local communities.  Three critical laboratories are eliminated, weakening our defenses against biological, radiological, and chemical attacks.  Making matters even worse, there is a Department-wide reduction that will make it more difficult for front line components to operate effectively.  Customs and Border Protection. The bill provides $13.543 billion for CBP.  In order to fully fund the border wall, significant reductions are made to other smart, proven, and immediately deployable border security technologies.  This includes significant reductions to non-intrusive inspection systems, targeting enhancements, and unattended ground sensors.  There are major cuts to investments in air and marine assets including no funding for a requested upgrade to a Blackhawk helicopter, funding only one multi-role enforcement aircraft (a key land and maritime border security asset) and other aircraft sensors and spare parts.  Additionally, no funds are included to hire more CBP officers at our ports of entry.  When combined with the reductions in the bill and the primary focus on border security between the ports, travelers will likely experience longer wait times to cross our land borders and longer lines to enter through our airports while importers will experience longer wait lines to deliver manufactured goods and fresh vegetables.  Language is included, however, focusing on security and travel requirements on our northern border and directing enhanced staffing. Importantly, $15 million is directed to procure equipment to interdict shipments of opioids being smuggled into this country.  This epidemic is touching every American life and all means must be marshalled to stop this threat from outside our borders.Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).  The bill includes $6.665 billion for ICE. The bill rejects the requests to hire 850 deportation officers and to fund 51,379 detention beds.  Funds are included to maintain the average daily bed population assumed in fiscal year 2017.  The Alternatives to Detention (ATD) program is funded at the requested level of $178 million with language regarding the use of ATD on children and immigrant families and release of those who do not pose a public security risk.  The bill includes funds to hire 150 criminal investigators and support staff for child exploitation; smuggling and trafficking of humans, weapons, and drugs; and other transnational crime cases.Transportation Security Administration.  TSA is funded at $7.142 billion.  With fee revenue offsetting this amount, the net appropriation is $4.672 billion. Funding for Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) is reduced by $83 million at a time when passenger volume continues to increase.  This will result in a reduction of over 1,000 TSOs and longer security wait times for air travelers.  The bill cuts TSA’s Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) teams from 31 to 8.  These security teams provide a visible security presence and deterrence at all modes of transportation.  Eighteen cities would lose VIPR teams if this bill is enacted and the number of operations would be cut by approximately 74 percent.  Importantly, the bill rejects the request to eliminate the TSA Law Enforcement Reimbursement program and provides $45 million for its continuation, the same level as in fiscal year 2017.  Over 300 airports nationwide participate in the program to assist TSA in ensuring the safety and security of persons and property at TSA-passenger security checkpoints.  The bill includes $77 million to continue staffing airport exit lanes, rejecting the Administration’s proposal to eliminate the program and shift the burden to airports.  Coast Guard.  The Coast Guard is funded at $9.338 billion, excluding mandatory and overseas contingency funding.  Of note, funding is included for the first Offshore Patrol Cutter and four Fast Response Cutters, as requested.  These ships are replacing aging cutters that are long passed their expected service life and will enhance the Coast Guard’s ability to conduct search and rescue operations, enforce border security, interdict drugs, and respond to disasters.  The bill also includes $7.3 billion to sustain front-line operations, including funds to operate new assets, military and civilian pay, and parity with DoD Services for military benefits.Secret Service.  The bill funds the Secret Service at $1.956 billion.  This includes: $47 million for protective countermeasures for emerging threats against the President and Vice President; $8.4 million in support to investigators of missing and exploited children; and $19.8 million for support to computer forensics training for state and local law enforcement, legal, and judicial professionals.National Protection and Programs Directorate.  NPPD is funded at $1.803 billion.    Major investments include: $731 million in cybersecurity for federal network protection; $257 million for nationwide cyber incident response teams and cybersecurity technical assistance to state, local and tribal governments;  $341 million to continue working with industry sectors to safeguard critical infrastructure (from dams to banks) against catastrophic failures due to terrorism or natural disasters; and $164.8 million for nationwide emergency communication network protection and call prioritization during disasters.  The bill also includes $1.476 billion, in fee funding, for the Federal Protective Service to safeguard federal employees and property.Office of Health Affairs.  OHA is funded at $113 million.  Major investments include $79 million for early detection of a chemical or biological attack.  The bill eliminates   the National Biosurveillance Integration Center (NBIC) as proposed in the budget.   NBIC played a major role in information sharing and decision-making during the recent ebola, zika, and other emerging threats incidents.  This termination will reduce the Nation’s and the Department’s awareness and early warning of biological threats. Federal Emergency Management Agency.  FEMA is funded at $4.518 billion, including $559 million designated as emergency and excluding disaster cap adjustment funding of $6.793 billion.  Funding will support a portion of FEMA’s past preparedness and response efforts to support disasters and provide grants to state, local, tribal and territorial governments to maintain core capabilities for extraordinary events.  Funding is reduced for port, transit, and pre-disaster mitigation grants.       Funding highlights include:$2.849 billion for grants and training to state, local, tribal and territorial governments for terrorism prevention; disaster mitigation; firefighting equipment and hiring; and maintaining emergency management core capabilities.  Some of the deep cuts proposed in the budget are rejected, however funds to protect ports are cut by 50 percent, security funds for transit systems are cut by 40 percent, and pre-disaster mitigation grants are cut by 25 percent.The bill provides only $27.5 million for Urban Search and Rescue teams, a reduction of $10.8 million or 28 percent.   The capabilities of USAR teams, many of which responded to recent hurricanes and wildfires, would be greatly diminished by this bill. $80.9 million for capital projects related to emergency communications infrastructure and maintenance of Mt. Weather Emergency Operations Center. $7.352 billion to fully fund disaster relief efforts known prior to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, Nate and communities affected by wildfires, which are being funded through separate legislation.  This amount includes $6.793 billion in cap adjustment funding and $559 million in emergency funds. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.  USCIS is funded at $132 million in direct appropriations. USCIS is an almost entirely fee-funded agency and the budget assumes collection of $4.31 billion in fees to process applications for green cards, naturalization, asylum and refugee claims among many other categories.  The bill permits the use of $10 million for citizenship assistance grants to lawfully present aliens. The appropriated funds are used for operation and expansion of the E-Verify employment verification system.Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers.  FLETC is funded at $241 million.  Funding will allow interagency law enforcement training for 91 United States government federal law enforcement agencies on four main campuses. Science and Technology. S&T is funded at $720 million.  The bill eliminates funding for three laboratory facilities — the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center, the Chemical Security Analysis Center, and the National Urban Security Technology Laboratory.  This decision will result in a national security gap in countering biological, radiological, and chemical threats.  In addition, the bill provides $37 million for University Programs, $7.1 million more than the request.Domestic Nuclear Detection Office.  DNDO is funded at $310 million.  Included in this amount is a $1.2 million increase in support to state and local detection programs.  The Securing the Cities program is funded at $21.135 million – the same as fiscal year 2017 and the request.  The bill includes a reduction of $31.6 million for acquisitions of large scale detection systems and human portable rad/nuclear detection systems.Office of Inspector General.  OIG is funded at $127 million, $48 million or 38 percent less than fiscal year 2017.  The bill includes a $48 million transfer from the Disaster Relief Fund.   However, because DRF funds can only be used for disaster audits, all other DHS investigative work will be reduced, including border security and immigration activities.Source: WASHINGTON (TUESDAY, Nov. 21, 2017) – Leahylast_img read more

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Overcoming a fear of hights through rock climbing

first_img August 1, 2013 Regular News Overcoming a fear of hights through rock climbing WHAT TO DO WHEN you have fear of heights? Climb up 1,000 feet, and get over it. That’s the phobia-busting strategy Broward County lawyer Lori Barkus used when she started rock climbing three years ago. Barkus, a member of the Family Law Section, said she loves the physical and mental challenges of rock climbing. It’s also a stress-buster because she has to stay focused on what she’s doing and can’t really think about anything else. Barkus recently returned from a trip to Colorado to tackle the rugged terrain. When she’s home in Ft. Lauderdale, she goes to a rock-climbing facility to keep up her cliff-clinging skills.last_img read more

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Daily Breakdown: Gophers open up as two-touchdown favorites over Miami of Ohio

first_imgThe Redhawks have allowed 317 yards through the air this year and have yet to intercept a pass. Matchup to watch: Wide receiver Rashod Bateman vs. defensive back Deondre DanielsAdvantage: Minnesota When Miami throws the ball: The RedHawks have thrown the ball 87 times, connecting on 47 of those throws for 496 yards. Quarterback Gus Ragland has three touchdowns this year on one interception. Last season he threw for 2,032 yards, and the season before he threw for 1,537 yards. In his career he has thrown for 42 touchdowns. He threw for 357 yards against Marshall, but threw for 139 against Cincinnati. The RedHawks’ best receiver is James Gardner, who had seven receptions last week for 80 yards. Minnesota’s passing defense has held opponents to an average of 222 yards per game. They have three interceptions through the first two games. Matchup to watch: Cornerback Terell Smith vs. wide receiver James Garner Advantage: MinnesotaPrediction: Minnesota 28, Miami 13 Minnesota is the superior team in this matchup. If the Gophers can stay away from mistakes such as turning the ball over, they should be able to handle the RedHawks. If the Gophers are able to stay on track, it would not be surprising for Minnesota to emerge with the victory.Everything else you need to know: Start time: 2:30 p.m. CDTNetwork: Big Ten NetworkRadio: KFAN 100.3Line: Minnesota -14 Daily Breakdown: Gophers open up as two-touchdown favorites over Miami of OhioMiami (OH) opened their season with two straight losses. Max BiegertSeptember 12, 2018Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintThe Gophers jumped off to a quick start in their 2018 campaign with wins against New Mexico State and Fresno State. This week Minnesota (2-0) will battle Miami of Ohio from the Mid-American Conference. The RedHawks have opened up their season 0-2. In their opening game, they lost to Marshall 28-35, and last week they were shutout by Cincinnati 21-0. Last year, Miami finished with a record of 5-7. When Minnesota runs the ball: Redshirt senior Rodney Smith left Saturday’s game in the first quarter with a left leg injury and on Monday it was confirmed that he will miss the remainder of the season. The Gophers will be left to fill the shoes of a player who was 38 yards short of eclipsing 3,000 career total yards. The man who took on this responsibility on Saturday was true freshman Bryce Williams, who rushed for 87 yards on 25 carries. The original back-up, Mohamed Ibrahim, was inactive last week because of a leg injury, leaving Jonathan Femi-Cole to be Williams’ back-up. Minnesota has rushed for 427 yards through its last two games. Expect to see tight end/quarterback Seth Green once the ball is near the goal line. He has punched the ball into the end zone four times this season. He is a weapon near the goal line and with the injuries that have hampered the Gophers, they may rely heavily on the redshirt junior.  Miami rushed for 59 yards last week against Cincinnati on 19 attempts. Through two games, the RedHawks’ rushing defense has allowed 359 yards on the ground. Cincinnati only attempted 11 passes and had 51 carries for 188 yards against them last week.  Matchup to watch: Bryce Williams vs. Junior McMullen, linebackerAdvantage: Minnesota When Miami runs the ball: The Redhawks have rushed for 146 yards in the first two games of the season. Their leading rusher is Kenny Young with 44 yards on 10 carries. Alonzo Smith leads the team with 15 carries. The RedHawks have averaged 23 rushing attempts per game, in comparison with their average of 44 passing attempts per game. Minnesota’s rushing defense has been stout, holding opponents to 63 rushing yards per game. The previous two teams they have played are more pass-heavy, and that will continue with the RedHawks coming to Minneapolis. Matchup to watch: linebacker Blake Cashman vs. running back Alonzo Smith Advantage: MinnesotaWhen Minnesota throws the ball:True freshman walk-on quarterback Zack Annexstad has impressed in the first two starts of his career, including leading an eventual game-winning drive against Fresno State. What has also improved for the Gophers has been the the play on the outside from receivers Tyler Johnson, freshman Rashod Bateman and Chris Autman-Bell. Bateman had five catches for 78 yards and Johnson had six catches for 50 yards in the game against Fresno State. Autman-Bell has six catches for 74 yards in the season. last_img read more

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Texas health officials probe severe flu-like illness cluster

first_imgHealth officials in Montgomery County, Tex., are investigating an outbreak of an influenza-like illness that has so far hospitalized eight people with severe infections, four of them fatal, and health officials said this afternoon that tests show one of the surviving patients has a 2009 H1N1 flu infection.The Montgomery County Hospital District (MCHD), based in Conroe, Tex., said in a statement yesterday that so far 1,920 flulike illnesses have been reported since the flu season started, and that a local facility reported eight severe cases. Montgomery County is in eastern Texas and is considered part of the Houston metropolitan area; the county seat of Conroe is about 40 miles north of Houston.In an update e-mailed to reporters today and posted on its Facebook page, the MCHD said that of the other three hospitalized patients, two tested negative for all flu viruses, and results were pending for the fourth patient. It pointed out that H1N1 infections are on the rise nationally and said it expects that more cases will be reported.The hospitalized patients had initially tested negative for common flu strains, which prompted further tests to determine the cause of the infections.”The Montgomery County Public Health District is grateful for Conroe Regional Hospital’s astute physicians who recognized the unusual nature of the illness and began the appropriate testing to reach a diagnosis,” the department said in its statement.So far the investigation suggests that none of the patients who died had been vaccinated against flu, and it urged county residents to be vaccinated and observe other flu prevention measures.The Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) yesterday issued a statement that said the level of flu-like illness is “high” and that health providers are seeing illness increases in several parts of the state. With disease activity ramping up, it urged state residents who haven’t been vaccinated to get flu shots for themselves and their families.Texas and a handful of other southern states have been the nation’s flu hot spots so far, according to the latest surveillance reports from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Nationally, flu activity registered a modest jump, and the 2009 H1N1 has been the most common among subtyped strains, according to the CDC’s most recent report.Mark Escott, MD, the MCHD’s medical director, said in an audio recording posted on the Montgomery County Police Reporter Web site that health officials are seeing an unusual pattern of serious illnesses, with patients having symptoms similar to flu, such as fever, sore throat, body aches, and fatigue. The eight patients have had complications such as pneumonia, which is expected in severe flu cases, he said.The patients with serious illnesses range in age from 41 to 65, which Escott said is a bit unusual, because flu complications are most common in the very young and in adults older than age 65. “Because of the significant number of cases—half died—we are concerned about it, and we are investigating the cases,” he said.He said the numbers of flu-like illnesses have piled up over the past few months, and about 250 of the roughly 1,900 patients tested positive for influenza A or B.The MCHD is in contact with health officials in the TDSHS and the city of Houston to coordinate efforts to identify what’s causing the illnesses, Escott said. On its Facebook page the MCHD said the CDC is not in Texas assisting with the investigation and that the events so far don’t meet the criteria that would trigger the CDC’s involvement. However, in its update today the MCHD said the CDC is part of the discussions.Escott urged area residents to take the usual infection control steps, such as using hand sanitizer, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home when sick.The MCHD today established a phone hotline to field questions about the flu-like illness cases and responded to questions from the public on its Facebook page.The outbreak in Texas resembles a cluster of severe respiratory infections that occurred in Dothan, Ala., in May, an event that also raised public concern initially. However, tests revealed that the hospitalized patients had a variety of common respiratory viruses and bacteria, with no unusual pathogens. Ten patients in the same southeastern corner of the state were hospitalized with similar symptoms, and at least two deaths were reported.See also:MCHD Facebook page with Dec 18 updateDec 17 MCHD statementMCHD Facebook pageDec 17 Montgomery Country Police Reporter postDec 17 TDSHS news releaseMay 23 CIDRAP News story “Unusual pathogens ruled out in Alabama illness cluster”last_img read more

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Criminal round-up

first_img Recent guidance issued by the LSC has been justified by a decision of the High Court. In Lord Chancellor v McLarty & Co Solicitors [2011] EWHC 3185 (QB), the court held that if interviews were electronically recorded they could only count towards the page count to the extent that the interviews were transcribed by the Crown, and only to that extent could special preparation be claimed for listening to the disc if there was no transcript. The LSC has summarised the position as follows: Solicitors are being placed under more pressure by the greater use of case management powers at the first hearing in the magistrates’ court, and yet they must ensure that their client’s privilege against self-incrimination is honoured by the court in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Rules. Harassment A ‘trial’ exists, however short it may be, after the jury is sworn, unless there is no meaningful trial because there has been no opening for instance on a guilty plea. However, a ‘trial’ may begin, notwithstanding that a jury has not yet been sworn, if submissions have begun in a continuous process resulting in the empanelling of the jury. The undertaking of substantial elements of case management in such a continuous process may result in a trial fee being payable. See LC v Ian Henery Solicitors Ltd [2011] EWHC 3246 (QB). Number of cases Conduct that is targeted at an ­individual; That conduct must be calculated to produce alarm or distress; The conduct must be oppressive and unreasonable; Provocation may be relevant both to reasonableness and to causation; and The mental element is that the defendant knew, or ought to have known, that the conduct would cause the complainant to fear violence. No magistrates’ court may grant bail to a youth charged with murder. However, having refused bail, the court must still comply with section 23 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1969 and determine the nature of the custodial remand. That aspect cannot be delayed to the first hearing in the Crown court (R (A) v Lewisham Youth Court [2011] EWHC 1193 (Admin)). When a youth is committed for trial with an adult and the adult then pleads guilty, there is (to the regret of the court) no power to remit to the youth court for trial (R (W) v Leeds Crown Court [2011] EWHC 2326 (Admin)), though it may be possible to delay arraignment of the youth so that the proceedings can be discontinued and recommenced in the lower court. In fixed-fee cases, such as committals for sentence, the test is how many sets of proceedings there are. In R v Schilling (SCCO reference 22/11), two allegations were committed for sentence on the same day but amounted to two sets of proceedings. They were charged on separate occasions. There were two prosecution files and sets of disclosure; two applications for legal aid; different magistrates’ court and Crown court numbers; and, critically, two certificates of committal. This doubled the fee allowed by the Legal Services Commission. In graduated-fee cases the test is how many indictments there are before the court. In R v Otote (SCCO reference 08/11), three sets of allegations came before the court for guilty plea on different days. All resulted in a remand to the same day for medical reports to be prepared. A mental health disposal was then imposed on a single occasion. However, notwithstanding some similarity between the charges, there had never been any joinder and, though sentenced on the same day, three graduated fees were payable. Wasted costs Trials Claim pages of prosecution evidence (PPE) when material that had been in paper form is converted into electronic format by the Crown; Claim special preparation (reasonable time at hourly rates) if documentary evidence/exhibits has only ever existed in electronic format. The judge in McLarty confirmed obiter that enhancement is not available for such claims; and No additional claim may be made if other non-documentary evidence or ‘unused’ material has only ever existed in electronic format. Page count The provisions of section 4 of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 have come under critical observation in a series of cases, and requirements for harassment and oppression, additional to those in the statute, have been read in. This creates a group of cases involving people in relationships which will require ­particular care as to whether the ­proceedings should be brought and as to the proper plea. In R v Curtis [2010] EWCA Crim 123, the court ‘could not conclude’ that in a volatile relationship six incidents over a nine-month period could be classed as a course of conduct amounting to harassment. It noted that interspersed with those incidents were considerable periods of affectionate life together. In R v Widdows [2011] EWCA Crim 1500, the court emphasised that, when bringing a charge under section 4, the prosecution and the court should have in mind that the concept of harassment is at the core of the 1997 act, though the word does not appear in the section. Harassment is designed to include stalkers, racial abusers, disruptive neighbours, bullying at work and so forth. The section is not normally appropriate for use as a means of criminalising conduct, not charged as violence, during incidents in a long and predominantly affectionate relationship in which both parties persisted and wanted to continue. The section was reviewed in R v Haque [2011] EWCA Crim 1871 as requiring: Crown court costs R v Solicitors Reeves & Co [2011] EWCA Crim 819 may be particularly important in defeating orders for wasted costs. The court held that it was perfectly proper, on the facts of this case, for the defence not to volunteer emails (which on disclosure led the Crown to offer no further evidence) because the defence did not believe the prosecution would, in any event, be able to prove its case. While both litigators’ and advocates’ graduated fees can be calculated by using computer programs, it is critical that the correct data is entered. A number of crucial areas have recently been examined by the courts. Anthony Edwards, TV Edwardslast_img read more

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AGL takes to the road

first_imgThe components – some of which weighed up to 60 tonnes each, with with widths of 5.85 m and lengths of up to 24 m – were transported from the Brescia region of Italy to a steel plant in Žlobin, covering a distance of 2,100 km. Jürgen Weyhausen, director of projects at AGL, explained that extendable trailers and six-axle lowbeds were used to transport the over-dimensional cargo, while 12 conventional tilt trucks were employed for the delivery of the remaining general cargo.In addition to the trucking, AGL conducted an extensive road survey, as well as obtaining permits and Customs documentation.Alexander Global Logistics is a member of the Project Cargo Network (PCN) representing Germany, Russia and Mongolia.  www.alexander-logistics.comwww.projectcargonetwork.comlast_img read more

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Expertise and experience are vital

first_imgYET ANOTHER public inquiry, this time into automatic train protection (but still with m’learned friends present in strength), opened in London on September 18. Chaired jointly by Lord Cullen and Professor Uff, who respectively held inquiries into the Ladbroke Grove (1999) and Southall (1997) collisions, it provides the third opportunity within a year for the safety of Britain’s privatised railways to be dissected under the microscope. A fourth is in prospect when Lord Cullen alone hears evidence on the broader question of how to manage safety in an industry that has been privatised and fragmented – as is happening in numerous countries after 160 years of unified control.Whatever framework is chosen, a key element of this reform process is an injection of managers with minimal understanding of why train brakes, for example, operate in a particular way. Yet at the same time, there is a powerful current of public opinion driving personal responsibility for accidents upwards from front line employees to professional engineers, managers and even directors. It is primarily with such people in mind that Ian Macfarlane has written what is beyond question the most comprehensive analysis of rail safety fundamentals ever attempted. It taps a rich vein of personal experience that spanned the globe, and covered manufacture as well as operation. And unlike the tonnes of paper generated by formal safety procedures, it is eminently readable, not to say colourful. There can be few in the industry who would not benefit from the insights it contains. The first volume, published by the Institution of Engineers Australia, covers braking. Having read in manuscript other sections of this remarkable account of how railways became safe – and how often that record has been compromised through ignorance – we can report that there is more, perhaps even better, to come. Railway Safety: Brakes is available from EA Books for A$63·50, on-line at www.engaust.com.au or by fax from +61 2 9438 5934. nlast_img read more

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Dora and the Lost City of Gold review

first_imgThe animated adventures of Dora the Explorer have been entertaining kids for years, so when news of a live action movie first broke, it seemed like an odd fit for a big-budget cinema extravaganza. But by making Dora a teenager, this has opened up her world for many cool big screen adventures, and on the strength of this film, it would be fantastic to see many more films in this series.We join Dora (Isabela Moner) as she embarks on a scary new adventure – dealing with high school and city life. Dora has grown up in the jungle with her explorer parents Cole (Michael Peña) and Elena (Eva Longoria). She’s fantastic at dealing with the perilous adventures that the jungle has before it, but after rushing into a treasure hunt that resulted in her getting injured, her parents decide that she shouldn’t come along on their next big expedition and instead she should spend time with some kids her own age.So boarding a plane to the city where she will stay with her cousin Diego and his family, Dora begins to sample life in the city and has a few hiccups along the way acclimatising to her new surroundings. Meanwhile, her parents go missing on their expedition and before long, some mercenaries kidnap Dora (and inadvertently her schoolmates too) to try and track them down. Luckily they are saved by Alejandro (Eugenio Derbez), a friend of her parents who is looking to find them too. So begins a race against time for Dora to save the day (and her parents).Director James Bobin, who is responsible for co-creating Flight of the Conchords and directing The Muppets and Muppets Most Wanted, brings his usual wit and style to the movie. This could have played by the numbers but instead, brings Tom Wheeler’s story and Matthew Robinson and Nicholas Stoller’s screenplay to vivid life. The film is full of hilarious gags and knowing winks to the audience and that makes the movie-going experience that much more fun. Credit: ParamountEarly on there’s a great scene when Dora starts breaking the fourth wall and talks to the viewers asking them to repeat a tricky word. Michael Pena just looks around questioning who she’s talking to, which is a great homage to the animated Dora and her trait of teaching kids tricky words in the TV series. Then there’s a fantastic sequence where a hallucinogenic flower makes the entire principal cast look like their animated selves, in a trippy and very funny spaced-out sequence.The cast make the film great fun to watch, with Isabela Moner doing really well as the lead. She brings charm, wit and humour to the role and can handle the action really well. Eugenio Derbez is always worth the admission price and he never fails to raise a smile. Michael Peña and Eva Longoria do great as Dora’s parents with Jeff Wahlberg, Madeleine Madden and Nicholas Coombe rounding off the principal cast well. Even Danny Trejo and Benicio Del Toro lend their vocal talents to the mix.Credit: ParamountDora and the Lost City of Gold is great family fun and gives the younger generation a cool Indiana Jones/Lara Croft movie with plenty to keep them entertained. There’s some genuinely funny comedy on-show too, and mixed in with the great cast performances makes Dora one of the most enjoyable family summer blockbusters you’ll see this year. Cast: Isabela Moner, Eugenio Derbez, Michael Peña, Eva Longoria, Jeff Wahlberg, Madeleine Madden, Nicholas Coombe, Danny Trejo, Benicio Del Toro Director: James Bobin Writer: Tom Wheeler, Matthew Robinson, Nicholas Stoller Certificate: PG Duration: 102mins Released by: Paramount Release date: 16th August 2019last_img read more

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