GRiZ And Lettuce Perform A Funk-Filled Outside Lands Late Night In San Francisco

first_imgAfter scorching their respective sets at Outside Lands in San Francisco on Sunday, GRiZ and Lettuce kept the heat coming at an intimate, sold-out get down at The Independent.With fans lining the sidewalk of one of the most musically rich areas in the city, the two acts came correct for this late addition to the list of afterparties, capping off an incredible festival weekend for many, or simply an epic Sunday for the rest of the Bay Area faithful.Lettuce delivered a classic performance to help lay the foundation for the night. The funky ways of their older originals like “Lettsanity,” “Madison Square” and “The Last Suppit” unhinged any feet that may have been stuck as the group’s flawless timing and chemistry were on full display.In a more favorable setting than their gig a few hours earlier on the Panhandle Stage at Golden Gate Park, Lettuce got to indulge in their improvisation, jettisoning to spaced-out boundaries that hypnotized the crowd.Nigel Hall even had a chance to ignite the room with his simmering vocals, charging through “Don’t Change for Me” off his 2015 solo project, Ladies & Gentlemen.The anticipation for GRiZ had to overcome an inauspicious start once the soundboard went kaput barely two minutes into his set. He handled like a pro, and calmed the anxious crowd with a saxophone-led “When the Saints Go Marching In” sing-along while the crew reset the system.When the show resumed, the small venue atmosphere became even more electrifying as GRiZ and the gushing crowd finally synced up, matching the beloved producer’s sounds with an ear-to-ear grin and righteous move on the dance floor.GRiZ’s refreshing approach to futuristic funk resonates with every crowd because he lets his influences shine so organically. The vibrations of his saxophone and tension-release beats flow together in perfect harmony as he let the good times roll.It was a party in every sense of the word, and more evidence for the case that few can host them as well as Lettuce and GRiZ.[Photo via The Independent//Instagram]last_img read more

Making Boston streets safer for bicyclists

first_img Read Full Story More than painted bike lanes are needed to keep bicyclists safe on Boston’s busy streets, a Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health researcher said Sept. 14 at a Boston City Council public hearing on how to make roads safer for cyclists in the city.Anne Lusk, research scientist in the Department of Nutrition, was among the bicycle safety advocates who urged members of a council committee to do more to protect bike riders. She advocated for more cycle tracks, which are physical barriers next to sidewalks that separate cars and bikes.“Bike lanes are safer for the pedestrians, bike lanes are safer for the car drivers — bike lanes are less safe for the bicyclists,” Lusk said in a September 15, 2015 WBUR article. “And Boston will proudly talk about the miles and miles and miles of bike lanes that are going to be put in. You’re putting in bicycle facilities that are less safe for the bicyclists.”About 12 bicyclists have been killed in Boston in the last five years, including two recent cases in which the cyclists were reportedly inside painted bike lanes, according to WBUR.last_img read more

European countries report more H5N1 in poultry

first_imgDec 27, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Germany, Poland, and Russia recently reported fresh outbreaks of H5N1 avian influenza in poultry, according to media accounts and reports from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).On Christmas day, German officials said the virus was found on a small poultry farm in Brandenburg state, near Berlin, according to a report from Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA). The virus was detected among 15 chickens, which prompted the culling of 46 remaining birds, the report said.The farm’s owner was also looking after a neighboring farm’s flock over the holiday, and 31 chickens at that farm were culled as a precautionary measure, according to the DPA report. Poultry owners in the area have been advised to keep their birds in closed pens and to report any signs of illness among the birds.The outbreak is the third detection of H5N1 in Brandenburg state in recent days, according to media reports. In mid-December, an H5N1 outbreak was reported in a small flock of chickens in the Oberhavel region. On Dec 21, a state veterinary official confirmed the virus was found at a small chicken farm in Bensdorf, about 53 miles west of Berlin, according to an earlier DPA report.Over the summer, two other German states—Bavaria and Thuringia—also reported H5N1 outbreaks, which mainly involved geese and ducks.Meanwhile, agriculture officials in Poland reported an H5N1 outbreak at six farms near the northern village of Sadlowo Parcele, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported on Dec 22. The area is within a security zone surrounding Zuromin, the site of a previous outbreak, the AFP report said.A report from Poland’s agriculture ministry said 200,000 birds on the Sadlowo Parcele farms were slaughtered to control the virus, according to AFP.In southern Russia, emergency officials in the Rostov region reported an outbreak at a small farm in Krasnodar territory, RIA Novosti, Russia’s state news agency, reported on Dec 25. Seventy-nine birds were culled, the report said.Earlier this month the virus was detected at three other sites in the Rostov region, according to OIE reports. In September officials in Krasnodar territory reported another H5N1 outbreak at a chicken farm. The area is vulnerable to the virus because it is on a bird migration route, according to the RIA Novosti report.In other avian flu developments, animal health officials in the Dominican Republic reported an outbreak of low-pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza at two sites, one of which is a live-bird market in Santo Domingo, the capital, and the other is in the village of La Otra Banda in the southeast, according to a Dec 21 report from the OIE. The findings were confirmed at the US Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa.Two cases were reported, but there were no bird deaths. The OIE report said 130 birds were destroyed to control the virus.In April, 25,000 turkeys at a West Virginia farm were culled after tests indicated they probably had been exposed to a low-pathogenic H5N2 virus, according to previous reports. Countries are required to report all H5 and H7 avian flu detections to the OIE.See also:OIE reports on 2007 H5N1 outbreaks in RussiaApr 2 CIDRAP News report “Mild avian flu suspected in West Virginia turkeys”last_img read more

On Moore, GOP picks votes over morality

first_imgJust when you think you have seen and heard everything from the leader of the free world, he announces his full support for a pedophile to join the Senate. Is this one way of making America “great” again?As far as the majority of Republican senators who claimed they believed Roy Moore’s accusers, they have now back-tracked, saying the decision belongs to the voters of Alabama. It appears that the almighty Senate vote is the most important consideration. That says a lot about them. Decency, morality, pride of country and Congress all take a back seat. It is shameful and disgusting.Jane ReisengerRotterdamMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsCar hits garage in Rotterdam Sunday morning; Garage, car burnEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the census Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Saturday, Aug. 31

first_imgFocus on the danger from cars, not gunsThe Daily Gazette is spending a lot of time on mass shootings, which affect only a handful of people. Why doesn’t the headline of tomorrow read “100 people killed in the United States today in motor vehicle accidents” and what are the politicians doing about it? Why don’t you do some research on how many children are killed each day in car accidents and put that on the front page of your newspaper?Today while driving, I did not see one person pointing a gun at me; however I did see many distracted drivers and sloppy driving. I fully support local law enforcement and would like to see more traffic enforcement in the Schenectady area.Most people stand a great chance of being hurt or injured in a motor vehicle accident, and just today I saw a man nearly hit by a car in a gas station.Guns are necessary for protection for us as an individual and as a state. There are not enough law enforcement or military personnel to protect us if something unusual happens, and it’s part of our Bill of Rights to protect ourselves. Gov. Andrew Cuomo should try harder to keep New York state from going bankrupt and stop offending sportsmen all over the state. He’s an embarrassment and lacks any foresight necessary to guide us in the future.The limo accident that happened around here affected more people that any shooting incident. Don’t minimize the real danger that motor vehicles represent.Donald ReaSchenectadyBridge needs alarms and flashing lightsFifty-six times in 10 years.I doubt very much you can fix stupid with signs.Signage assumes the driver will read the sign and that he knows the height of his truck. Both assumptions have been proven wrong 56 times.What is needed is an automated system that alerts a driver with flashing lights and audible alarms that his vehicle exceeds the safe height.Marc DuquetteGlenvilleTrump achievements outweigh other flawsTrump’s name calling aggravates his conservative base and helps divide the country.  I too, dislike his tweets, his comments about fake news and his constant wanting the last word against his critics, as well as his criticisms of our allies. He would be a more effective president if he ignored his critics and learned only to speak about the people’s business. However, I realize how impossible that would be.At one time, I had problems with CEOs making millions of dollars, with which many liberals will agree. However, I don’t care how much a CEO makes, as long as their company makes a profit and creates jobs. Bernie Sanders calls them the “greedy rich,”  which seems odd, when he himself is a multi-millionaire.  The key word in discussions about global warming, free education, free health care and free pre-kindergarten can all be contained in one word: jobs. And Trump is a job creator.As much as I dislike Trump’s statements, when I look at his opponent’s socialists’ solutions to a capitalistic system, I say unequivocally, “God bless Donald Trump.”Vince AlescioClifton ParkLicense plate plan another money grabWell, it looks like our extremely narcissistic governor has blown up another molehill into a mountain. I refer to the change-the-license-plate brouhaha now going on by the man who basically is only the governor of New York City. It seems like most he does or doesn’t do is beneficial to the wasteland at the end of the Hudson River.As may people in the city do not have cars, this new tax fee charge will not affect them. By a form of magic, a good bit of it will end up in New York City and never be seen again.They want serious money for the new plates. Yes, I have seen some plates in bad shape, but the majority have a lot of life left. As for the items he wants displayed on the plates, of course, one of them is keeping the Cuomo name up in lights. Let me ask you, do we need a logo at all on those plates? I have a vanity plate that uses all 8 spaces and does not have the state symbol embossed on it. We don’t need two plates. Nineteen states have a single plate, and the cameras and other devices they use to make money and surveil us work out OK on just one plate. By not forcing us to have two plates, they could save a good amount of money. You know they won’t reduce the price to us, just have more to pocket.David G. DemarcoHadleyTrump is losing it and needs to be replacedSo, Trump declares himself the “chosen one” while looking up into the sky. He actually states he wants to award himself the Presidential Medal of Freedom, to which his staff has to tell him, uh, no, that’s not a good idea. And after all of his crazy name calling of practically everyone, including leaders of allied countries, he takes issue with the prime minister of Denmark? She simply said his offer to buy Greenland was absurd, which it was. His remarks are proving he’s a danger and unfit for the highest office of this country. He’s unraveling before our eyes.Mary BakerPerthAnyone who sides with Trump must goWhite nationalist and Grand Wizard Donald Trump and the GOP are morally bankrupt, particularly Moscow Mitch McConnell.The former is a documented racist and divider-in-chief who does not believe we have a domestic terrorism problem, while the latter is blocking important legislation to move our country forward. Sensible gun control that even NRA members support is going nowhere in the U.S. Senate. Bipartisan bills just collect dust on Moscow Mitch’s desk. And speaking of Russia’s intervention in the 2016 election that is continuing now and likely in 2020, McConnell and other Republicans are blocking legislation to provide funding so states can protect their election systems.The GOP is rooting for the Russians to blanket social media with their propaganda opposing fair elections. Putin wanted his loyalist friend Trump to win, and it worked.How anyone could call themselves a Republican and watch what Trump and McConnell are doing to this country is astounding. Their gullible supporters accept substandard behavior and subscribe to Trump’s war on minorities, the poor, immigrants, women, health care, etc. Besides all of Trump’s personal and professional shortcomings that we see and hear every day that diminishes the office of the presidency, he has his corrupt and ruthless administration of immigration haters (Miller), environmental saboteurs (EPA and Interior Department heads), war mongers (Bolton, Pompeo) and incompetents (DeVos, Carson, Ross, all need to be eliminated in the next election, and if there are Democrats who are siding with them, they should go, too.Raymond HarrisGlenvilleTrump followers have lost moral compassRegarding Bill Denison’s Aug. 17 letter (“Left is not objective when judging Trump”), I would characterize it as an unsubstantiated rant.The author makes the broad claim that Obama nearly broke our country without providing any word as to what Obama did to justify that criticism. Next, he states that most of us can see the amazing progress that Trump has made for our country without citing a single example of what Trump has done to justify that claim.One can, on the other hand, point out dozens of things that Trump has done that I believe are very bad for our country, including dismantling the laws protecting our environment and the inhumane treatment of immigrants involving separating children from their parents and detaining them in deplorable conditions.I find it depressing and incomprehensible that anyone with any concern about morality can support such an incompetent bully, inveterate liar and moral leper as Donald Trump I don’t know what moral compass Trump supporters are guided by, but I fear that the needle has completely fallen off of it.John VohrNorthvilleNRA positions hurt legit gun ownersRed flagging — more bricks on the road to hell. Necessary, yes, but who decides by what means. Former Bishop Howard Hubbard would tell you that once accused, you are guilty for life. Due process cannot get out of its own way. Burn, witch, burn.The NRA is an albatross hanging around the neck of politicians accepting handouts. The NRA is entitled to its opinion, no more.Registration of firearms is a slippery slope. Politicians fearful of citizens owning guns need to look inward to what they are doing that ticks people off. Self-correction is called for, not fascist nostrums.Background checks are good; a record of an applicant’s transaction is bad.‘Paramilitary arms’ have no place in civilian’s hands. Shotguns (non-semi-automatic), bolt-action, lever-action, single-shot long guns provide adequate fire power for hunting or target practice.Guns that resemble military arms provide emotional reinforcement to a person with issues. “Looking for love in all the wrong places” is more than a lyric. In the absence of love, a void will be filled with pain.Handguns, that is another letter.The NRA feeds off the fears of legitimate guns owners.Edmond DayRotterdamSchroeter left legacy of helping and caringIt is with great sadness to me and many others to hear of the passing of Helga Schroeter. Helga was such an important figure in Schenectady and well beyond.I moved to Schenectady in 1980. At that time, I was only familiar with the schooling system and General Electric. I immediately joined the League of Women Voters, and the first person I got to know was Helga Schroeter.She encouraged me to join several committees that she chaired, including the Justice system, court monitoring and alternative courts.Through Helga, I learned all about Schenectady, its policies, politics and Schenectady in general.Over the years, I was absolutely amazed regarding her wealth of knowledge regarding the United States and its laws and policies, citizenship, the Constitution, human rights, voting and more.Helga helped so many people, particularly new citizens, in navigating the sometimes overwhelming system in acquiring the information needed in solving a situation.  She always assisted people with a smile and calming disposition.Besides her work with the LWV, Helga showed her overall love for the United States and its citizens with her activities as a member in other organizations that advocated for justice for all, equality for those whose needs were neglected, women’s rights and basically the downtrodden.Helga was not only known in Schenectady, but also throughout the Capital Region and as far away as New York City and by members of its court system.Though she will be missed, may Helga’s family members and all who knew her take warm comfort in the fond memories of such a gracious person.Flora L. RamonowskiSchenectadyEnough evidence now to impeach TrumpTrump is a threat to our democracy. Given the overwhelming evidence Mueller documented, and the willingness of the Trump regime to let foreign powers interfere in our democracy, it’s past time Congress began formal impeachment hearings.The Mueller investigation found extensive criminal activity committed by Trump and his team, led to 37 indictments and at least seven convictions or guilty pleas, uncovered over 10 instances of obstruction of justice by Trump himself, and revealed over 100 secret meetings and communications between his campaign and Russians.If any other American had obstructed justice as Trump has, they’d be in jail.And he continues this with his contempt of Congress, disobeying subpoenas and witness tampering by forcing his people to claim a non-existent executive immunity to avoid giving damaging testimony.Add to that his conspiring to violate campaign finance laws, profiting from the presidency through emoluments, violation of his oath of office, abuse of power, human rights abuses, economic malpractice, attacks on the free press, pathological lying, racism, misogyny and abdication of America’s role as a leader on the world stage, and you’ve got a laundry list of impeachable offenses.Congress needs to step up now, before it’s too late. Doing nothing sets a dangerous precedent.As Trump defies the Constitution, it’s time for the House to exercise its sole power of impeachment.Kevin DobiesAlbanyMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesGov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the census Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionShooters are to blame for shootingsIn Ms. Donahue’s Aug. 23 letter (“Put blame on guns, not mental illness”), she took Dr. Barlyn to task because he dared to defy liberal logic and blame the shooter, not the gun.The following is from an article in the New York Times on December 18, 2018: “According to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 39,773 gun deaths in 2017, nearly two-thirds were suicides.”Unfortunately, they did not break down the number by type of weapon, handgun vs. rifle.But an article from BBC News on August 5 used FBI data from 2017 to indicate that 64 percent of homicides were by handgun, 4 percent by rifle, 2 percent by shotgun, 2 percent by other and 28 percent by unknown. I wonder which category assault weapons fell into.From that, I get about 26,500 suicides, 13,270 homicides and accidental shootings. If the person committing suicide is guilty of the act, why isn’t the murderer guilty as well? No, the liberals blame the gun for that statistic.  Not the knife, the hammer, the sharp spoon – just the gun.How about death by automobile, ban cars? You can ban every object that can be used to kill and you won’t stop murders.If the Democrats were serious about gun deaths, they would try to eliminate the gang killings in Chicago, which they have controlled for decades with very draconian gun regulations. A shame it doesn’t fit their narrative. Besides, it’s not about the guns with them; it’s all about control.Jeffrey A. Falace    SchenectadySeek out fact-based news programmingWe must have a free, unbiased news media and must also recognize the difference between facts and opinions — also the important difference between journalism and entertainment.Mr. Trump is the consummate entertainer. He entertains all day, every day. Unfortunately for us, his best tools are hate, anger and fear. He rarely if ever avoids using them. Why not. The stage is his 24/7.All of you out there in TV news land, we’d be better off and probably better informed if four times a day, you provide an hour of unbiased news from experienced journalists, a short commentary, and then just fill remaining time with old movies.For 24/7, the chatter never ends. Even the talk shows do it. It doesn’t matter if you’re watching Hannity on Fox or Behar on The View, it’s opinion not fact. And both, by the way, are entertainers, not journalists.Recently, we watched Mr. Trump look to the heavens and declare himself “The Chosen One.” Has the messiah arrived? Are we now a theocracy instead of a democracy, or is it entertainment? Perhaps in this twilight zone, we find ourselves in the Academy Award is in order. In any case, isn’t that an impeachable offense in a government that claims to be a democracy?Do you still think Mr. Trump is harmless? He isn’t. Our democracy is fragile. There are many unbiased fact-based new outlets, and it’s our responsibility to find them, and soon.Livia CarrollSchenectadyWhen paving, raise manhole levels, tooI applaud the area paving projects I have noticed while driving around the Capital District this summer.What I don’t understand is why manhole covers and drains are not brought up to the repaired surface of the road. The point of repairing a road is to make the surface compatible with a smoother ride, safety and hopefully avoid costly auto repairs. I still find myself trying to dodge these man-made potholes. Why bother paving?Jack HamScotialast_img read more

Town Centre Securities snaps up C&A bargain

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Powell warns of ‘heartbreaking’ harm of virus, Fed holds rates

first_imgUS stocks held gains after the Fed’s statement while yields on 10-year Treasury notes edged up slightly to 0.62 percent.Powell emphasized several times the importance of fiscal policy to help and said “this is not the time” to allow concerns about the size of the federal deficit to hinder the scale of the response.Target rangeOfficials Wednesday left unchanged their vague guidance on the future path of rates. The statement repeated language from March 15 saying the committee would keep the benchmark target range near zero “until it is confident that the economy has weathered recent events and is on track to achieve its maximum employment and price stability goals.” “I think everyone is suffering here but I think those who are least able to bear it are the ones who are losing their jobs,” Powell said. “It is heartbreaking to see all that threatened right now.”Time frame extendedWednesday’s statement also acknowledged the extent and breadth of the damage being wraught by the ongoing contagion.“The coronavirus outbreak is causing tremendous human and economic hardship across the United States and around the world,” the committee said. “The virus and the measures taken to protect public health are inducing sharp declines in economic activity and a surge in job losses.”Regarding asset purchases, the FOMC used wording similar to last month, saying the buying of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities will continue “in the amounts needed to support smooth market functioning, thereby fostering effective transmission of monetary policy to broader financial conditions.”It made specific mention of lower oil prices and their role in holding down inflation.Policy makers also began to extend cautiously the time frame within which they see the economic blow from the virus lasting, though they are still offering no precise forecast.Medium term“The ongoing public health crisis will weigh heavily on economic activity, employment, and inflation in the near term, and poses considerable risks to the economic outlook over the medium term,” the committee said.The central bank has mounted an unprecedented push to limit the economic harm of the virus, which has plunged the global economy into recession and likely sent US unemployment well above 10 percent after businesses shuttered to slow the contagion.Government data released earlier on Wednesday showed US gross domestic product shrank at an annualized 4.8 percent rate in the first quarter, the largest drop since 2008. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expect the central bank to keep rates near zero for three or more years.Policy makers last month slashed their benchmark rate and launched a massive bond-buying campaign to stabilize markets for Treasury and mortgage-backed securities that had become dangerously unsettled amid the pandemic. The federal funds rate has stood in a range of zero to 0.25 percent since mid-March.The central bank’s Board of Governors has also responded to the crisis by announcing nine extraordinary lending programs, pledging to make funds available to banks, money market funds, companies, cities and states in an unprecedented use of the Fed’s emergency powers.Topics : Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the coronavirus has brought the economy to an “abrupt halt” and it was uncertain how long the slowdown would last, as officials held interest rates near zero – and pledged to keep them there until the nation was back on track.“Economic activity will likely drop at an unprecedented rate in the second quarter,” Powell told a video press conference Wednesday. “It may well be the case that the economy will need more support from all of us, if the recovery is to be a robust one.”The Federal Open Market Committee said in a unanimous statement that it “will use its tools and act as appropriate to support the economy” and cautioned the pandemic would weigh on the economy over the medium term.last_img read more, report cyberattacks to Jakarta police

first_imgRepresentatives from news websites and visited the Jakarta Police headquarters on Tuesday to report recent cyberattacks they have encountered.“As the owner of, I feel like my house has been ransacked by thieves. Therefore, I’ve made the police report [today] in the hope of finding the perpetrators,” editor in chief Atmaji Sapto Anggoro said in a statement made available to The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.He explained that someone had broken into the media company’s website and deleted at least seven articles, including some that scrutinized the coronavirus drug development involving the State Intelligence Agency (BIN) and the Indonesian Military (TNI). The attack occurred on Friday. chief editor Setri Yasa, meanwhile, said the website was not accessible starting on Thursday midnight. The hacker took down the homepage replacing it with a statement that read “Stop hoaxes. Don’t lie to the Indonesian people, return to true journalistic ethics, obey the Press Council. Don’t [bow to] people who pay. Defaced by @xdigeembok.”The problem was resolved by at around 2:26 a.m. the @xdigembook Twitter account claimed to be responsible for the hacks on the following morning. It also replied to one of the Tempo articles, saying “Just wait. I will stick boogers onto your system again.”Read also: Civil groups condemn cyberattacks on Indonesian government, which is a part of Tempo Media Group that also publishes Koran Tempo daily and Tempo weekly magazine, claimed to have suffered material and other losses because of the attack, hence it had filed the report to the police. In their reports, they said the hackers had violated the 1999 Press Law by hindering the work of journalists, as well as the 2016 Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) Law by destroying or removing electronic information.The Legal Aid Institute for the Press (LBH Pers), and’s lawyer in the case, hoped that the police could soon proceed with their investigation and find the perpetrators to protect press freedom in the country.“We want the police to be serious in handling our clients’ reports to prove that the state is there to protect the rights of its citizens,” LBH Pers director Ade Wahyudin said.The social media account of a University of Indonesia (UI) epidemiologist, Pandu Riono, was also hacked previously. He is known to be critical of the government’s COVID-19 related policies, such as tourism promotion amid the pandemic and the ineffectiveness of rapid antibody tests that have become a requirement for traveling.Prior to the hacking, the scientist criticized Airlangga University in Surabaya, East Java, for not reporting its potential vaccine to the Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) to undergo clinical trials, but handing it over to BIN and TNI instead.Topics :last_img read more

Timor Leste kicks off process to join WTO

first_imgImpoverished Southeast Asian country East Timor on Friday kicked off official accession talks to join the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Geneva-based body said Friday.At the first meeting of a working party set up in 2016 to shepherd the small Portuguese-speaking country into its ranks, member countries “expressed their support”  and “commended the work done so far” by authorities in capital Dili, the WTO said in a statement.Joaquim Amaral, East Timor’s Coordinating Minister of Economic Affairs, said that joining the WTO would “accelerate growth and economic diversification”. “It would also set a stepping-stone for (East Timor’s) accession to Asean,” the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, he added.Speaking via videoconference, Amaral said his country was “fully committed… to implement structural, legislative and policy reforms” to live up to WTO rules.A former Portuguese colony, East Timor was occupied by Indonesia for two decades before securing independence in 2002.Its territory extends over half of Timor island, while the western side belongs to Indonesia.WTO accession procedures usually last several years given the complexity of modern trade and the need for consensus among members. The next meeting on Timor’s case could take place early next year.Topics :last_img read more

Australians jump at Kiwi marriage 24 January 2014Almost a third of the same-sex couples married in New Zealand since the law was changed last year are Australian, official figures show.There were 361 same-sex marriages from August 19, 2013, when the law change was enacted, to December 19, figures from the Department of Internal Affairs show.That included 202 New Zealand couples, registrar-general of births, deaths and marriages Jeff Montgomery said.“We are seeing continued national and international interest by same-sex couples in getting married in New Zealand,” Montgomery said.“We expect the number of same-sex weddings to increase during the summer wedding season.”The Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Act enabled couples to marry regardless of their gender or sexual orientation.Marriage is now defined as “the union of two people, regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity”. read more