zoom Workers of South Korean shipbuilding company Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) plan to go on strike on February 22-27 to voice their opposition to the firm’s restructuring plans, IndustriALL Global Union informed. “Korean analysts and unions believe that Chung Mong-Joon, HHI’s controlling shareholder and part of the Hyundai chaebol dynasty, is restructuring the company to transfer ownership to his son Chung Ki-seon, a move that would be illegal under Korean law,” the union explained.The restructuring plans are included in the agenda of HHI’s shareholders’ meeting scheduled for February 27 and the workers are said to be planning to block the meeting.HHI revealed plans in November 2016 to split into six parts – Hyundai Robotics, Hyundai Electric & Energy Systems, Global Services, Hyundai Construction Machinery, Green Energy, and Hyundai Heavy Industries – in an effort to improve its financial status.The Korean Metal Workers’ Union (KMWU), IndustriALL’s affiliate, pledged to support HHI workers in their resistance to the company’s restructuring efforts. HHI workers voted to join KMWU in December 2016.The planned strike comes just a week after some 4,000 metalworkers rallied in front of the HHI Shipyard in Ulsan, vowing to smash plans to restructure one of the three biggest shipbuilders in the country.KMWU brought together union officers from across the country for the rally, which coincided with a four-hour work stoppage.Speaking at the rally, Kim Sang Gu, KMWU President, stated: “The KMWU will stop this restructuring, which is an attempt by Chung Mong-joon and the Park Geun-hye government to shift the responsibility for the shipbuilding industry downturn onto the backs of workers.”“The Hyundai Heavy Industries spin-offs will lay the foundations for the third-generation succession of management by Chung Mong-joon and his family. They aim to monopolize all the wealth built from the hard work of the workers. We cannot approve of a shareholders’ meeting that is for the benefit of Chung Mong-joon only. We will stop this,” Baek Hyeong-rok, a union leader at HHI, said.HHI has refused to recognize the KMWU as collective bargaining representatives, even though KMWU is recognized by Hyundai Motors, according to IndustriALL.Earlier this month, the shipbuilder released financial results for 2016, reporting a net profit of KRW 682.3 billion (USD 596.6 million) compared to a loss of KRW 1.36 trillion (USD 1.18 billion) seen in 2015.The company’s operating profit also marked a turnaround as it stood at KRW 1.64 trillion, against an operating loss of KRW 1.54 trillion. Operating profits rose mainly due to increased volume of ships that HHI won at profitable prices, continued efforts to cut costs and streamline shipbuilding processes and improved oil refining margin and increased sales of Hyundai Oilbank.
Kolkata: Sajibur Rahman (29), a civic volunteer was allegedly murdered by another civic volunteer Motahar Shaikh at Jalangi in Murshidabad. Two police personnel suffered injuries while they were trying to save Rahman and had to be admitted to hospital.According to sources, Sajibur and Motahar were posted at the Jalangi police station. On Tuesday night, Sajibur came to know that some persons were trying to smuggle cattle. He was instructed by his duty officer to work on the information. Sajibur reached Barabila as tipped- off by sources and seized two cattle but failed to detain the smugglers. Also Read – City bids adieu to Goddess DurgaHowever, the cattle belonged to Chhaber Shaikh, who was a relative of Motahar. When he reached the designated place where the seized cattle by the cops are kept, Motahar along with Chhaber arrived there and started beating Sajibur. Motahar took out a sharp weapon and stabbed him multiple times. Hearing him scream, two police personnel who were nearby came to rescue Sajibur. One of them identified as Jahangir Alam said he was attacked by Motahar and Chhaber when he tried to stop them. Hearing the injured people screaming in pain, local residents rushed to help. Seeing the locals, Motahar and Chhaber fled the scene. The trio was rushed to Sadhikhnar rural hospital where Sajibur was declared brought dead by doctors. Two police personnel were shifted to Murshidabad Medical College and Hospital. Police arrested Motahar and Chhaber for allegedly killing Sajibur and murder attempt on cops.
New Delhi: Answering critics of her maiden Budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Friday said every estimate in the Budget 2019-20 was “realistic” and that the focus on agriculture and investments lay foundation for nearly doubling size of the economy to $5 trillion in five years. Replying to the debate on the Union Budget in Rajya Sabha, she said adequate provisions for expenditure particularly for defence, pension and salary and internal security have been provided for with necessary mobilisation of tax and non-tax resources. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepShe said the big picture presented in the Budget is backed with a plan to increase investment without compromising on the fiscal consolidation roadmap. “It is not without a plan,” she said on increasing the size of the economy from $2.7 trillion to $5 trillion by 2024-25. Besides focus on agriculture, the plan includes increasing investment coming by way of further liberalisation of FDI rules, lowering of corporate tax to 25 per cent to companies with turnover of upto Rs 400 crore, tax cut on electric vehicles, widening scope of voluntary pension scheme for retail traders and shopkeepers and giving push to infrastructure development with an investment of Rs 100 lakh crore over the next five years. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to CustomsPro-growth measures include reduction in import duty on some raw material and boosting ‘Make in India’, widening scope of cash support to farmers and constitution of a five-member Cabinet Committee on Investment and Growth under Prime Minister for taking comprehensive steps, she said. Rebutting former finance minister P Chidambaram’s assertion of “unachievable” tax projections, she read out numbers to say income tax, excise and GST collection targets are achievable. While excise collections will boost with Rs 2 per litre increase in tax on petrol and diesel and an amnesty scheme, GST collections will boost by over 14 per cent on simplified return filing and tracking of evasion. On his assertion that the Budget for 2019-20 did not have any “bold structural reforms” which should have come with the massive mandate the BJP got in recent elections, Sitharaman said the Goods and Services Tax (GST) introduced in July 2017 and Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code brought in 2016 were structural reforms. She went on to list 16 reforms such as bank recapitalisation and direct benefit transfer (DBT) done in the first term of the Modi government. To criticism of her Budget speech on July 5 not featuring allocations, she read out allocations made in schedules such as employment guarantee scheme, irrigation, rural roads, drinking water, health, education, crop insurance and mid-day meal scheme to say funds made available for 99 schemes having impact on common man have all gone up. Sitharaman said inflation has not been allowed to raise it head and keeping it under tight control is “a powerful tool to gauge” achievement of the government. The Budget has given a vision, she said. “It is a vision for 10 years with a mid-course target of $5 trillion economy we wish to reach.” “Budget reflects firm commitment to boost investment in agriculture, and social sector particularly healthcare,” she said. On the Economic Survey, prepared by the Chief Economic Adviser to the Finance Ministry, and the Budget 2019-20 giving different numbers, she said statistics in both documents are all authentic but used different base. “Every estimate of projection given are realistic. Projection made in Budget are realistic and adequately provided,” she said. Sitharaman said over the last five years, public sector banks have been recapitalised by Rs 3.19 lakh crore. “NPA problem has been comprehensively addressed by the government.” On farmer support schemes, she said extending scope of cash support of Rs 6000 to every farmer, giving 50 per cent margin of profit on cost of production and timely announcement of MSP increase will help double farmer income by 2022. Sitharaman on Friday spent almost half her speech in making a point by point rebuttal to Congress leader and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram, who raised doubts over government’s vision of making India a $5 trillion economy in five years.
SOFIA, Bulgaria — Hundreds of Bulgarian coal miners and energy workers are protesting to demand government guarantees that their jobs will be preserved amid bids by the European Union to close mines and tackle climate change.Buses carried protesters from across Bulgaria for the march in downtown Sofia. Over 2,000 demonstrators chanted “victory” as they marched to the headquarters of the EU offices in Bulgaria and rallied there Thursday.Bulgarian miners say the EU’s timeframe for closing down coal mining and coal extraction is too short and argue it should not come at the expense of the bloc’s poorest and most carbon-dependent regions.Union leader Dimitar Manolov said 150,000 jobs are at risk should the biggest coal mines and energy plants in southeastern Bulgaria close down.The Associated Press
Miami Heat+21 The phenomenon that appears to have a chance of overtaking the Warriors’ box office supremacy is Kobe Bryant’s farewell tour with the Lakers, who are now 4-21. Bryant announced his retirement just before an eight-game Lakers road trip, and seven of those games were the biggest Lakers road draws of the year, relative to their hosts’ average ticket prices. The buyers weren’t there to watch the Lakers, but to see one of Bryant’s last visits to their town as a pro. The priciest ticket by far this season, according to StubHub, is the Lakers’ April 13 game in Los Angeles against the Utah Jazz, who are now 10-13. It’s Bryant’s last regular-season game and — barring the single unlikeliest playoff run in the history of time — his final game in the NBA as well. If public interest in squeezing the last drops of enjoyment out of Kobe’s senescence persists or even accelerates as the finality sets in, the Lakers could keep pace with the Warriors and Cavs, which is really saying quite a bit.Speaking of the Cavs, LeBron James remains a draw. Two of the 10 biggest box-office bumps for games this season have been Cavaliers road games. But the Warriors have five — four of those this month, as their win streak mounted.The excitement as the Warriors stacked win on top of win enriched ticket holders who decided to sell off their seats. SeatGeek sent us day-by-day median listed prices for each of the games the Warriors have played this season, from 60 days before tipoff to the day before. (Listed prices this time, not sale prices, because daily sales volume isn’t high enough — especially weeks before tipoff — to be a reliable gauge of market shifts.) For each date, we averaged the Warriors bump over each home team’s median ticket price for the season, for each remaining game. And we found that from opening night until days before the end of the streak, the average Warriors premium on ticket prices kept growing, until prices were being listed at more than four times the median sales price for the teams hosting the Warriors late in their just-completed road trip. Portland Trail Blazers-19 Dallas Mavericks-8 New Orleans Pelicans-9 12/12309151 Oklahoma City Thunder+19 VISITING TEAMPRICE INCREASE Denver Nuggets-30 Chicago Bulls+13 Los Angeles Clippers+10 Prices for Wednesday night’s Golden State home game against Phoenix fell steeply after the Warriors’ loss to the Bucks on Dec. 12 — though average prices on Tuesday were still $196 — or $21 more than the Warriors’ league-best average home ticket-resale price. Not bad for a team on a one-game losing streak.Read more:Stephen Curry’s Bombs Are Too Good To Be True*It’s Time To Take The Warriors’ Chances Of Going 73-9 SeriouslyStephen Curry Is The RevolutionHow The Golden State Warriors Are Breaking The NBANBA Predictions 12/8$286$141 Golden State Warriors+117% Utah Jazz-29 Atlanta Hawks-12 Brooklyn Nets-13 Toronto Raptors-24 Boston Celtics-17 12/11338137 Houston Rockets0 Charlotte Hornets-20 Detroit Pistons-21 Washington Wizards-16 Phoenix Suns-32 Minnesota Timberwolves-13 New York Knicks+1 12/13251124 The streak is over, which means Warriors ticket prices could regress to the mean — at least until late in the season, when demand could spike if Golden State’s march to 73 wins remains plausible.Average ticket-resale price for Dec. 16 Warriors game Memphis Grizzlies-23 12/15252116 Orlando Magic-29 Cleveland Cavaliers+102 12/14305121 SEATING LEVEL DATELOWERUPPER Los Angeles Lakers+90 Indiana Pacers-26 12/9274160 12/10282138 Sacramento Kings-24 Milwaukee Bucks-38 Golden State’s appeal this season is hardly a mystery. The Warriors are defending champs. Before they lost to Milwaukee on Saturday, they’d won their first 24 games, the best start for a team in a major U.S. pro-sports league ever. Stephen Curry is canning enough threes to tilt the NBA paradigm, often from 30 feet out, and drawing crowds for his warmups hours before tipoff. Several friends of mine in New York City have suggested getting together this season to watch the Warriors on TV; none has suggested we watch a Knicks or Nets broadcast. (Several people suggested that we go together to just one game: Warriors at Nets.)But while the Warriors’ magnetism is obvious, the NBA’s ticket-price standings aren’t as clear-cut as the win-loss column. According to sales data for games this season through Sunday — provided by SeatGeek at FiveThirtyEight’s request — the Warriors’ average road-game ticket-resale price of $144 trails the Cavs’ by $1 and the Lakers’ by $2. StubHub, a ticket-resale site, sent us data that also includes sales for the rest of the season’s games. That shows the Warriors ($173) trailing the Cavs by $9 but leading the Lakers by $17 in road-game ticket prices. Both data sets show that the Warriors are comfortably in first place in average home ticket prices. And they agree that Golden State’s box-office draw is way up from a few years ago.1So is its social-media following: Golden State had the league’s biggest percentage increase in Twitter followers on Nov. 30, 2015, compared with Nov. 30, 2012, according to data provided by social-media analytics company Socialbakers, and the second-biggest percentage increase in Facebook fans, after the Pacers.Merely looking at average ticket prices undersells how much of a draw the Warriors have been. They’ve made the box offices of usually sleepy arenas come to life. Of Golden State’s 15 road games, four have been against teams that rank in the bottom-five in home ticket prices on the resale market and eight have been against teams that rank in the bottom 11. Once you adjust for the teams that Golden State has visited, the Warriors have had by far the league’s biggest upward pull on road-game ticket-resale prices; ticket-resale prices for their road games are an average of 117 percent higher than the average resale price in those arenas this season. The Cavs are the next closest at 102 percent.Average ticket-price effect for road games, 2015-16 Philadelphia 76ers-28 It’s gotten a lot more expensive to watch the Warriors play basketball. Golden State fans are paying the highest prices on the ticket-resale market to attend home games this year. On the road, the Warriors are vying with LeBron James’s Cavaliers and the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant retirement tour to be the league’s biggest box-office draw on the road.That’s a big change from previous years, according to data from SeatGeek, a search engine scouring dozens of ticket-resale sites. (Resale prices move more freely than face values, which depend on teams’ more-rigid pricing rules.) Last season, the Warriors ranked third in average ticket-resale prices both at home and on the road, despite winning a league-high 67 games and playing some of the most thrilling ball in the league. Two seasons before that, a 47-win Warriors team ranked near the middle of the league in box-office mojo, selling tickets at prices around one-third of what they’re getting this year. Since the 2012-13 season, Golden State has had by far the biggest jump in home ticket-resale prices and trails only Cleveland — which went from no-LeBron to yes-LeBron during that period — in increasing its road-ticket appeal. San Antonio Spurs+16
Mechel PAO, one of the leading Russian mining and metals companies, reports it is leasing 10 BELAZ trucks in the framework of agreements signed with the State Transport Leasing Company (STLC). The agreements signed with STLC for supply of heavy-duty trucks total approximately 900 million rubles. The financing term is five years. The BELAZ trucks were acquired in the framework of the program on preferential financing of export industrial products made in Belarus.The new mining equipment with a 90 t load capacity arrived at the production site of Korshunov Mining Plant which is part of Mechel’s mining division. The first six BELAZ trucks have already been assembled and begun working in the plant’s Rudnogorsky open pit. According to the company’s technical revamping program, over 90 mining and auxiliary equipment units, including trucks and excavators, will be supplied to the group’s mining facilities in 2018. In 2017 over 100 new equipment units were added to the fleet of Mechel’s mining companies.“We try to use all financial instruments available to us to fulfil our investment program on increasing our mining equipment fleet, and we are grateful to our partner, State Transport Leasing Company, for their constructive approach. New BELAZ trucks will enable us to begin restoring iron ore mining volumes at Korshunov Mining Plant,” Mechel Mining Management OOO’s Chief Executive Officer Pavel Shtark noted.
Dragan AdzicMVM EHF FINAL4ŽRK Budućnost Superb ZRK Buducnost, ruthless Buducnost, amazing Buducnost. Dragan Adzic girls smashed one of the biggest rivals – ZRK Vardar Skopje in the semi-final of the MVM EHF FINAL4 tournament in Budapest – 27:17. Experienced coach, who already won the Women’s EHF Champions League in 2012, reminded his players on the level of performance which would be necessary to take trophy for the second time, against Larvik on 17 hrs.– I am satisfied and proud on my girls. This was our best game this season. We expected more from Vardar, but the girls were amazing from the first to the last second. They put Vardar on only 17 goals, amazing team. Larvik didn’t waste the energy too much against Dinamo, they have more experience than we have. We need one evening like the one from EHF EURO 2012 in Belgrade against Norway, but I am sure that this generation can make it – said Adzic after the semi-final. ← Previous Story MVM EHF FINAL4: Larvik and Buducnost for the glory! Next Story → German Cup F4: SG Flensburg and SC Magdeburg for the trophy!
They maybe lost IHF Super Globe title in the last 20 minutes, but that was only a good school for Zvonimir Noka Serdarusic and his boys. PSG Handball won the French “Trophy of the Champions” with an impressive triumph over HBC Nantes 35:26 (19:11).Outstanding performance has been seen by Thierry Omeyer, who had 19 saves in total.Paris Saint Germain – HBC Nantes 35-26 (19-11)PSG Handball: Omeyer (19/44), Skof, Gensheimer (4/5), Mollgaard (2/2), Accambray (0/2), Stepancic (5/9), Remili (2/5), Kempf, L. Karabatic (6/7), Hansen (5/5), Narcisse (cap) (4/6), Nielsen (3/5), N. Karabatic (4/5), M’Tima. Stepancic (17′), Nielsen (27′).HBC Nantes: Dumoulin (5/21), Siffert (6/25), Lagarde (1/3), Gharbi, Claire (5/11), Nyateu (0/1), Klein (4/5), Buric (1/3), Tournat (0/1), Derot (2/7), Matulic (5/6), Delecroix (2/3), Gurbindo (0/2), Balaguer (3/5), Pechmalbec (3/3).Montpellier ended on third place by beating Saint Raphael 33:27.Semi-final results:Saint Raphael Var HB – HBC Nantes 28:29 (18:14)Paris Saint-Germain HB – Montpellier Agglomeration HB 32:27 (17:13)PHOTO: PSG Handball PSG Handball ← Previous Story RK Celje PL set new “black record” in disasterous defeat against RK Vardar Next Story → SEHA: Veszprem win chess game in Brest
Image: Laura Hutton/RollingNews.ie Share Tweet Email Wednesday 1 Feb 2017, 1:30 PM Noonan: Chance of Nama recovering €74bn from bad loans ‘was lost in the crisis’ The Finance Minister also poured cold water on a commission of investigation. Take me to Fora http://jrnl.ie/3216888 94 Comments By Fora Staff ANY CHANCE OF Nama recovering the full value of loans it acquired for knock-down prices in 2009 “was lost during the financial crisis”, according to Michael Noonan.The Minister for Finance today also poured cold water on calls for a commission of investigation to be set up to look into the dealings of the state bad bank.It had been expected that the commission would be launched after the long-running controversy over the sale of Nama’s Northern Irish loan book, known as ‘Project Eagle’.Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath previously called for an independent investigation into the sale of Project Eagle that would also look at what he called the “government’s strategy (for) Nama to accelerate its sales process”.However, speaking in the Dáil today, Noonan defended Nama’s performance and damped expectations for the establishment of a Commission of Investigation.“Nama have now appeared before the PAC (Public Accounts Committee) to answer questions relating to Project Eagle on eight separate occasions,” he said. Source: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland“Hundreds of hours of witness testimony and thousands of pages of documentary evidence is publicly available on the internet to anyone interested.“I would encourage those considering a Commission of Investigation into Nama’s activities to study this evidence if they have not already done so. Nama has answered every question that has been put to it by the C&AG (Comptroller and Auditor General) and the PAC.”The minister said that the PAC will soon publish its findings “and I look forward to reading that report”.However, he added: “I do not believe we can currently progress a commission of investigation, without first taking the views of the PAC into account.” 18,295 Views Get Fora’s NEW daily digest of the morning’s key business news: Feb 1st 2017, 1:30 PM Image: Laura Hutton/RollingNews.ie Michael Noonan with Nama chairman Frank Daly Source: Mark Stedman/Photocall IrelandGoodbye €74 billionHe also defended Nama’s commercial performance, which has come under fire in the last few years as many have accused the agency of selling off assets too quickly at rock-bottom prices.The bulk of the loans and related assets have been snapped up by foreign buyers, including so-called vulture funds.However today Noonan said: “Nama expects to have repaid all of its €30.2 billion of senior debt by the end of this year and to ultimately deliver a surplus of €2.3 billion.“Many commentators attempt to disparage Nama’s achievements, referring to the original amount borrowed as the ‘value’ of the loans when reporting on loan sales and claiming that selling loans for less than the original borrowed amount constitutes a loss by Nama. This could not be further from the truth.“Unfortunately, in the context of the financial crisis, the fact that the amount owed on those loans was €74 billion really has no direct bearing on their value. The chance of recovering €74 billion on these loans was lost in the financial crisis.”Figures released last week following questions from Sinn Féin finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty revealed the majority of the borrowers who had ‘exited’ Nama after having their loans transferred to the bad bank paid less than half their debts.Of the 505 debtors who had exited Nama, 51 had repaid sums worth less than 10% of their original borrowings.Written by Paul O’Donoghue and posted on Fora.ie Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article
DAILY AGRICULTURAL AND EDUCATIONAL DISPLAY AWARDSAgriculture and Education Award, 4-H Hogs.Educational Award, Future Farmers of America.4-H DOGS – SENIOR OBEDIENCEVeteran, Champion, Miranda Dudley, Vancouver.Graduate Novice, Champion, Lexi Darienzo, La Center.Advanced Novice, Champion, Kaitlin Sipes, Vancouver.Pre-Novice, Champion, Jaimie Smith, La Center.Beginner NoviceChampion, Jaimie Smith, La Center.Reserve Champion, Megan Dollar, Vancouver.TeamChampion, Sarah Blackwell, Miranda Dowler and Kaitlin Sipes, Vancouver.Reserve Champion, Jamie Smith, Lexi Darienzo, Sarah Child and Jordan Wilkinson, La Center and Woodland.4-H DOGS – INTERMEDIATE OBEDIENCETeamChampion, Alyse Osborn, Sierra Gramm, Gracie Shoemaker and Alyse Webberley, LaCenter and Woodland.Reserve Champion, Ella Gardner, Logan Guinn, Magdelana Morrow, Gracie Shoemaker, Battle Ground, Brush Prairie, Vancouver and Woodland.Novice, Champion, Sarah Child, Woodland.Pre-NoviceChampion, Alyse Osbon, La Center.Reserve Champion, Jordan Wilkinson, Woodland.Sub-NoviceChampion, Gracie Shoemaker, Woodland.Reserve Champion, Madison Davidson, Camas.BeginnerChampion, Gracie Shoemaker, Woodland.Reserve Champion, Alyse Webberley, La Center.ShowmanshipSpecial Award, Jaimie Smith, La Center.Champion, Miranda Dowler, Vancouver.Reserve Champion, Sara Blackwell, Vancouver.Special Award, Emily Dodge, Battle Ground.Special Award, Tessa Bosckis, Vancouver.Blue AwardHannah Graham, La Center.Julia Griffin, Vancouver.Kaitlin Sipes, Vancouver.Lexi Darienzo, La Center.Megan Dollar, Battle Ground.Ayde Gardner, Battle Ground.Gabriel Root, Vancouver.Madison Goetz, Battle Ground.Sadie Brackeen, Ridgefield.4-H DOGS – SHOWMANSHIPSenior ShowmanshipChampion, Miranda Dowler, Vancouver.Reserve Champion, Sara Blackwell, Vancouver.Special AwardJaimie Smith, La Center.Emily Dodge, Battle Ground.Tessa Bosckis, Vancouver.Blue AwardHannah Graham, La Center.Julia Griffin, Vancouver.Kaitlin Sipes, Vancouver.Lexi Darienzo, La Center.Megan Dollar, Vancouver.Ayde Gardner, Battle Ground.4-H DOGS – NOVICE OBEDIENCEJuniorPre-Novice Champion, Tailyr Gromelski, Vancouver.Sub-Novice Champion, Isabelle Swingley, La Center.Beginner NoviceChampion, C.J. Lindell, Battle Ground.Reserve Champion, Helen Browne, Battle Ground.4-H DOGS – BRACE SHOWMANSHIPSeniorChampion, Lexi Darienzo, La Center.Reserve Champion, Jaimie Smith, La Center.IntermediateChampion, Taylor Carey, Battle Ground.Reserve Champion, Gracie Shoemaker, Woodland.Sub-Novice, Champion, Gracie Shoemaker, Woodland.4-H KITCHENBeverage – Blue AwardMarah Klemz, Battle Ground.Aiyanna Hann, Vancouver.Karoline Loose, Battle Ground.Salads – Blue AwardMakayla Loose, Battle Ground.Blakeley Gardner, Ridgefield.Quick to Fix MealSpecial Award, Blue Award Meredith Meats Vancouver.4-H CATFemale PurebredChampion, Heather Christenson, Ridgefield.Male PurebredChampion, Taylor Carey, Battle Ground.VeteranChampion, Cora McGill, Vancouver.Reserve Champion, Jeanette Magnusson, Battle Ground.Household Pet MaleChampion, Heather Christenson, Ridgefield.Reserve Champion, Rosalie Bauer, Battle Ground.Household Pet FemaleChampion, Alex Fry, Ridgefield.Reserve Champion, Faith Peterson, Battle Ground.Special Award, Daniella Magnusson, Battle Ground.Judges Choice, Shelby Ford, Vancouver.4-H TABLE SETTINGIntermediate, Blue, Catherine Hartrim-Lowe, Vancouver.OPEN CLASS CLOTHINGRecycled, Elsie Thompson Award, Carol Lindauer, Vancouver.4-H FOOD AND NUTRITION JUDGINGJuniorsChampion, Blue, Samuel Hartrim-Lowe, Vancouver.Reserve Champion, Blue, Cora McGill, Vancouver.IntermediateChampion, Blue, Best Oral Reasons, Meredith Meats, Vancouver.Reserve Champion, Blue, Catherine Hartrim-Lowe, Vancouver.SeniorChampion, Blue, Randi Richards, Ridgefield.Reserve Champion, Blue, Best Oral Reasons, Natalie Dean, Ridgefield.BlueBreana Wood, Amboy.Nicole Hayes, Vancouver.Sidney Dean, Ridgefield.Bethany Tuchardt, Battle Ground.4-H PERFORMING ARTSJuniorsChampion, Blue Aliza and Addie Cummins, Vancouver.Reserve Champion, Blue, Karoline Loose, Battle Ground.IntermediateChampion, Blue, Catherine Hartrim-Lowe, Vancouver.Reserve Champion, Blue, Makayla Loose, Battle Ground.Blue, Gabrielle Sanseri, Vancouver.SeniorChampion, Blue, Bridgette McCarthy, Washougal.Reserve Champion, Blue, Annika Dowler, Vancouver.Judges Award, Blue, Bethany Tuchardt, Battle Ground.Blue, Madelyn and Catherine Hartrim-Lowe, Vancouver.4-H HORSE – INTERMEDIATE PERFORMANCENovice Fitting and ShowingChampion, Lucy Miller, Vancouver.Reserve, Champion, Emily Ward, Vancouver.Novice Hunt SeatChampion, Lucy Miller, Vancouver.Reserve Champion, Emily Ward, Vancouver.Novice Stock SeatChampion, Madaline Snyder, Ridgefield.Reserve Champion, Lucy Miller, Vancouver.Novice TrailChampion, Lindsay Terry, Vancouver.Reserve Champion, Rylee Waliezer, Amboy.Fitting and ShowingChampion, Jaylee Lentz, Vancouver.Reserve Champion, Allison Kane, Ridgefield.BarebackChampion, Tatum Goode, Vancouver.Reserve Champion, Rylie Lowery, Brush Prairie.Hunt SeatChampion, Tatum Goode, Vancouver.Reserve Champion, Sydney Clark, Vancouver.Stock SeatChampion, Allison Kane, Ridgefield.Reserve Champion, Briana Franklin, Vancouver.TrailChampion, Jaylee Lentz, Vancouver.Reserve Champion, Briana Franklin, Vancouver.Disciplined Rail – Hunt SeatChampion, Alicia Vega, Ridgefield.Reserve Champion, Tatum Goode, Vancouver.Disciplined Rail – Stock SeatChampion, Briana Franklin, Vancouver.Reserve Champion, Tatum Goode, Vancouver.4-H HORSE – SENIOR PERFORMANCENovice Fitting and ShowingChampion, Elizabeth Reynolds, Vancouver.Reserve Champion, Makayla Gaspar, Vancouver.Fitting and ShowingChampion, Ellie Ossenkop, Amboy.Reserve Champion, Lisa Biscieglia, La Center.BarebackChampion, Lisa Biscieglia, La Center.Reserve Champion, Randi Richards, Ridgefield.Hunt SeatChampion, Gwen Bruck, Brush Prairie.Reserve Champion, Lisa Biscieglia, La Center.Saddle SeatChampion, Emma Lewis, Ridgefield.Reserve Champion, Abby Durrent, La Center.Stock SeatChampion, Korrie MacIntyre, Camas.Reserve Champion, Josie Rinta, Ridgefield.TrailChampion, Josie Rinta, Ridgefield.Reserve Champion, Madeleine Sheppard, Camas.Disciplined Rail – Hunt SeatChampion, Lisa Biscieglia, La Center.Reserve Champion, Julianne Ramme, Washougal.Disciplined Rail – Stock SeatChampion, Hailey Whidden, Vancouver.Reserve Champion, Josie Rinta, Ridgefield.4-H HORSE – JUNIOR PERFORMANCENovice Fitting and ShowingChampion, Alyson Ruffalo, Ridgefield.Reserve Champion, Hailey Kane, Ridgefield.Novice Hunt SeatChampion, Heidi Williamson, Vancouver.Reserve Champion, Naomi Wainwright, Ridgefield.Novice Stock SeatChampion, Naomi Wainwright, Ridgefield.Reserve Champion, Brooklynn Slaby, Brush Prairie.Novice TrailChampion, Naomi Wainwright, Ridgefield.Reserve Champion, Brooklynn Slaby, Brush Prairie.Fitting and ShowingChampion, Cami Sundstrom, Battle Ground.Reserve Champion, Lauren Guinn, Battle Ground.BarebackChampion, Megan Truman, Yacolt.Reserve Champion, Mackenzie Domingos, Brush Prairie.Hunt SeatChampion, Cami Sundstrom, Battle Ground.Reserve Champion, Lilah Tyrrell, Ridgefield.Stock SeatChampion, Megan Truman, Yacolt.Reserve Champion, Lilah Tyrrell, Ridgefield.TrailChampion, Cami Sundstrom, Battle Ground.Reserve Champion, Mackenzie Domingos, Brush Prairie.Disciplined Rail – Hunt SeatChampion, Cami Sundstrom, Battle Ground.Reserve Champion, Lilah Tyrrell, Ridgefield.Disciplined Rail – Stock SeatChampion Megan, Truman Yacolt.Reserve Champion, Lilah Tyrrell, Ridgefield.4-H HORSE – JUNIOR DRESSAGESeat EquitationChampion, Lilah Tyrrell, Ridgefield.Reserve Champion, Taryn Egan, Vancouver.Test Champion, Lilah Tyrrell, Ridgefield.4-H HORSE – INTERMEDIATE DRESSAGEFitting and ShowingChampion, Tahlinna Kerr, Brush Prairie.Reserve Champion, Gabi Nedich, Battle Ground.Dressage Seat EquitationChampion, Rebecca Stone, Vancouver.Reserve Champion, Gabi Nedich, Battle Ground.TestChampion, Gabi Nedich, Battle Ground.Reserve Champion, Tahlinna Kerr, Brush Prairie.4-H HORSE – SENIOR DRESSAGEFitting and ShowingChampion, Randi Richards, Ridgefield.Reserve Champion, Faith Chertudi, Camas.Dressage Seat EquitationChampion, Madeleine Sheppard, Camas.Reserve Champion, Emily Sheppard, Camas.TestChampion, Madeleine Sheppard, Camas.Reserve Champion, Faith Chertudi, Camas.4-H RABBITSJunior Fitting and ShowingChampion, Victoria Labadorf, Brush Prairie.Reserve Champion, Cheyenne Coss, Woodland.Intermediate Fitting and ShowingChampion, Kadence Wiemer, Washougal.Reserve Champion, Makenna Conner, Vancouver.Senior Fitting and ShowingChampion, Ella Konency, Vancouver.Reserve Champion, Ellie Peterson, Vancouver.
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Daring Greatly is a family band from Canada now living in San Diego that’s been touring the country for the past four years.Daring Greatly has partnered with Music House to build a stronger community while sharing positive messages in music and wil perform at the Winston’s in Ocean Beach on February 16th at 9 p.m.The five piece consists of a father, his two adult sons and their two best friends.For more information about the band Daring Greatly click here. Categories: Entertainment, Good Morning San Diego, Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter Daring Greatly to perform in Ocean Beach Posted: February 15, 2019 February 15, 2019 KUSI Newsroom, KUSI Newsroom
FRIDAY HARBOR — A scientist who tracks a group of endangered killer whales that frequents Puget Sound says he’s spotted a second baby born to the pod in the past two months.Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research confirmed the newborn orca in J-pod after it was spotted Thursday, the Kitsap Sun reported.He said the week-old calf, whose gender isn’t yet known, appears healthy and is dubbed J-51. “It’s a good one,” Balcomb said.The presumed mother is 36-year-old J-19. Balcomb said two whales were seen swimming protectively alongside the baby.The addition joins J-50, a baby spotted in late December. The two bring Puget Sound’s southern resident orca population to 79, which is still dangerously low. A 19-year-old female from J-pod died in early December.The southern resident orcas spend a lot of time in the Puget Sound and off the coast of British Columbia. They depend on salmon for food, while the ocean-roaming transient orcas hunt marine mammals such as seals.Scientists say the southern resident orcas suffer from malnutrition and chemical contamination from polluted waters.
Twitter https://twitter.com/oprahmagazine/status/1108405269179043841 At the 45th GRAMMY Awards, Sheryl Crow was nominated for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for “Soak Up The Sun,” and Vanessa Carlton drew three nominations for her “A Thousand Miles,” including Record Of The Year and Song Of The Year. Two songs from O’s list received nominations at the 56th GRAMMY Awards, Katy Perry’s “Roar” and “Brave” by Sara Bareilles. The latter topped the playlist and its curator reassured us that if you give it a morning listen, “You’ll believe you can conquer anything.”Beyoncé made the list twice, once for her solo “Run the World (Girls)” and again for Destiny’s Child’s “Happy Face.” Lady Gaga offers “The Cure” and Kirk Franklin’s “I Smile” might help you tackle your day smiling, too. Two songs to help you find up when you’re down are “No Tears Left to Cry” by Ariana Grande, from her 2018 album Sweetener, and Demi Lovato’s “Skyscraper.” Whether you say “Hello, Good Morning” with P Diddy or have a “Lovely Day” with Bill Withers, prepare to get out of bed with a spring in your step. Spring is almost here. Check out other songs ready to assist at O — from Earth, Wind & Fire, Ice Cube, Lil’ Duval, and Bob Marley.Alessia Cara On Aretha’s Inspiration: “You Could Tell That It Came From Her Soul”Read more Songs To Wake Up & “Roar” With From Katy Perry, Aretha Franklin And More News Facebook Email Roar Into Your Day With These Wake-Up Songs songs-wake-roar-katy-perry-aretha-franklin-and-more Power up for the day with this energizing playlist, including songs by the Christina Aguilera, Bill Withers, Kanye West, Britney Spears and morePhilip MerrillGRAMMYs Mar 20, 2019 – 4:37 pm On March 20, O magazine published a playlist meant to wake you up and start the day off right. It credits research in psychology for revealing that “songs with a slow build, a positive message, and a strong beat” can confer mood-enhancing benefits. Just for fun, we also took a look at how GRAMMY recognition shines a spotlight on some of these tracks. It’s no surprise that the Queen of Soul herself stood out, as Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” took two wins at the 10th GRAMMY Awards.Other GRAMMY winners in the selection include Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful,” Shania Twain’s “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” and “Stronger” by Kanye West. With Britney Spears’ song “Stronger” making the list as well, from her Oops!…I Did It Again album, a double-shot might give you twice the energy.
The Funny River fire is now considered 60 percent contained, with minimal fire growth over the past few days. As the fire slowly burns out, scientists are excited about new research possibilities in the area.Download Audio
Malakpet: With just a couple of days remaining for Bakrid (Eid-ul-Azha), sheep from across the State and even a variety of breeds from northern States like UP and Madhya Pradesh, besides neighbouring States, are flooding the city. There appears to be less price compared to the last year on account of better weather conditions and good production.According to traders, the prices were higher last year due to transportation problems caused by heavy rains. For different sizes and breeds, the prices vary. Roadside temporary markets have sprung up in view of the festival of sacrifice. Areas including Malakpet, Chandrayanagutta, Chanchalguda, Bahadurpura, Nagar, Mehdipatnam, Tolichowki and Golconda and many other areas in city can be seen teeming with sheep both from farms and countryside. Also Read – Hyderabad: Wall collapse in Kukatpally damages four cars Advertise With Us “A pair of sheep ranges from Rs 14,000 to Rs 70,000 depending on the breed, whereas last year a sheep was sold at an initial price of Rs 16,000,” said a local trader, Mohammed Zaheer, who has been engaged in this business for two decades. The traders hope to do good business as there is ample supply of sheep compared to the previous year. “It appears that the stock in the market is good when compared to under supply of the animals in 2018. We hope to make some profits this time,” Zaheer added. Also Read – With 61 feet high, Khairatabad Ganesh claimed to be tallest idol in India Advertise With Us Mukarram Qureshi, another trader near Chanchalguda, who sells big sized sheep, said that the price of a pair of local breed (Telangana potla), ranges from Rs 40,000 to Rs 55,000. This breed weighs more than 40 kg compared to others, and prices are expected to go up. Most of these sheep in city were procured from local markets like Jalpally and Jiyaguda farms and from nearby districts like Bhongir, Nalgonda, Mahbubnagar, Gadwal, Sangareddy, Zaheerabad, Vikarabad, Tandur, Kurnool and Anantapur and also from other states like Karnataka, Maharashtra, AP, MP and UP,” said Akhlaq Ansari, an old timer. Advertise With Us “The sheep are of different types like Telangana Potla, Dumba, Kadga, Nasi, Khassi, Menda, Jamunapuri (with long ears) and many other varieties. The Khassi is the costliest breed which starts from Rs 50,000 a pair and depending on the size may touch up to Rs 1 lakh. This breed is generally bred as pet in most of the households in countryside in northern India,” he added. Some observers feel that there is no major impact of the State government’s sheep distribution programme, where it has already spent close to Rs 4,000 crore funded by National Co-operative Development Corporation (NCDC). The Phase 1 of the much-touted programme saw distribution of 70 lakh sheep (3,60,000 units), as per the figures of TS Sheep and Goat Development Co-operative Federation. But due to inefficient handling of the entire programme, scores of officials at different levels were also suspended during the last two years. “If it were a successful scheme, the traders should have brought down the prices of meat in the market. Even today, the price of meat remains about Rs 600 per kg,” said an observer.
Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said on 4 March, he hoped and expected the oil market to balance and prices, which hit a near six-year low in January, to stabilise.In a speech, he said his country was committed to helping balance the oil market, but added it was not up to Saudi Arabia, Opecs top exporter, to subsidise higher-cost producers and that circumstances required non-Opec nations to cooperate.With the recent price drop, Opec and Saudi Arabia have yet again been maliciously and unfairly criticised for what is in reality a market reaction. Some speak of Opecs war on shale. Others claim Opec is dead. Theories abound. They are all wrong, Naimi said.Going forward, I hope and expect supply and demand to balance and for prices to stabilise, he added.The comments are a further sign from Naimi of cautious optimism about the market outlook. Last month, Naimi signalled satisfaction with developments, saying he saw oil demand growing and that markets were calm.Oil LCOc1 was trading just above $60 a barrel on Wednesday, up more than 30 percent from a near six-year low close to $45 on 13 January.Prices collapsed from $115 in June due to oversupply, in a decline that deepened after Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries at a November meeting refused to cut output.At the meeting, Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies argued that the group needed to ride out lower prices in order to defend market share against shale oil and other competing supply sources, rather than cut output. Close
The death toll in Tuesday’s ghastly bus accident in Telangana of India rose to 57 even as the state government suspended an official of the state road transport corporation and ordered an inquiry.As many as 43 people were also injured in the accident that occurred when an overcrowded state-run bus fell into a gorge in Telangana’s Jagtial district.The Telangana State Road Transport Corp (TSRTC) bus carrying 100 passengers fell off Kondagattu Ghat Road while returning from Anjaneya Swamy temple atop Kondagattu Hills, about 190 km from Hyderabad.Overload and brake failure is suspected to be the cause of accident. Telengana’s transport minister Mahender Reddy has ordered a probe into the tragedy.The dead include 30 women and four children, officials said.The injured are undergoing treatment in hospitals at Jagtial, Karimnagar and Hyderabad. The toll could further go up as the condition of some of the injured is stated to be critical.The dead include driver B Srinivas who apparently lost control when the bus approached a speed breaker.Telengana’s chief minister K Chandrashekhar Rao expressed shock over the accident. He has announced Rs 500,000 ex-gratia each for the families of the dead. TSRTC announced Rs. 300,000 ex-gratia each.The transport minister, who visited the accident site, also announced suspension of Jagtial TSRTC depot manager Hanumantha Rao.Jagtial Superintendent of Police Sindhu Sharma said the accident occurred around 11:00am when the bus was coming down from the hill and was to join the highway.The victims belonged to Jagtial and Peddapalli districts.Heart rending scenes were witnessed at the accident site as some of the injured lay amid bodies crying for help. Wailing relatives of the victims crowded Jagtial Hospital, where the medical staff struggled to deal with the large number of casualties.Meanwhile, locals have voiced their anger against the authorities over poor condition of the road and the alleged negligence of TSRTC.
Share John L. Mone/APIn this March 30, 2017 image taken from video, Cardinal Daniel Dinardo of the Archdiocese of the Houston-Galveston, speaks during an interview in Houston.When Cardinal Daniel DiNardo first met Laura Pontikes in his wood-paneled conference room in December 2016, the leader of the U.S. Catholic Church’s response to its sex abuse scandal said all the right things.He praised her for coming forward to report that his deputy in the Galveston-Houston archdiocese had manipulated her into a sexual relationship and declared her a “victim” of the priest, Pontikes said. Emails and other documents obtained by The Associated Press show that the relationship had gone on for years — even as the priest heard her confessions, counseled her husband on their marriage and pressed the couple for hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations.She says she was assured that the priest, Monsignor Frank Rossi, would never be a pastor or counsel women again.Months after that meeting, though, she found out DiNardo had allowed Rossi to take a new job as pastor of a parish two hours away in east Texas. When her husband confronted DiNardo, he said, the cardinal warned that the archdiocese would respond aggressively to any legal challenge — and that the fallout would hurt their family and business.On Tuesday, three years after the meeting with DiNardo and after written inquiries by the AP last week, the church temporarily removed Rossi, announcing in a statement from his new bishop that he was being placed on administrative leave.Laura Pontikes, a 55-year-old construction executive in Texas, had been at a low point in her life when she sought spiritual counseling from Rossi, the longtime No. 2 official in the Galveston-Houston archdiocese DiNardo heads. Instead, she said, Rossi preyed on her emotional vulnerability to draw her into a physical relationship that he called blessed by God.“He took a woman that went into a church truly looking for God, and he took me for himself,” she told the AP.Rossi’s sexual relationship with Pontikes is now the subject of a previously undisclosed criminal investigation in Houston. Yet it is DiNardo’s handling of the case that poses far-reaching questions for the church in the #MeToo era, when powerful men and institutions are being called to account over sex abuse.As the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, DiNardo will lead a meeting next week in Baltimore to address the church’s credibility crisis over its failure to fully reckon with sexual abuse, 17 years after it committed to cleaning house. DiNardo is expected to present his brother bishops with new proposals to hold one another accountable for sexual misconduct or negligence in handling abuse cases.But Pontikes’ case lays bare that even leaders in the Catholic hierarchy who have vowed to do right by victims continue to fail them. Pontikes said DiNardo has been negligent by keeping in ministry a priest who “seduced, betrayed and ultimately sexually victimized” her, Pontikes’ therapist told Texas prosecutors.The June 11-14 meeting in Baltimore is part of the church’s effort to confront sexual abuse worldwide. In a little more than a year, Pope Francis admitted he made “grave errors” in Chile’s worst case of cover-up, an Australian cardinal was convicted of abuse and a French cardinal was convicted of failing to report a pedophile.In the U.S., a Pennsylvania grand jury blasted church leaders for following “a playbook for concealing the truth,” and attorneys general in at least 15 states are investigating sex abuse by Catholic clergy and its cover-up.Archdiocese’s reactionThe Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston acknowledged an inappropriate physical relationship between Rossi and Pontikes, but asserted that it was consensual and didn’t include sexual intercourse. In a written statement to The Associated Press, it defended its handling of the case, saying Rossi was immediately placed on leave and went for counseling after Pontikes reported him.The archdiocese said in a statement sent out on Tuesday afternoon that “(A)t each step in this matter, Cardinal DiNardo has reacted swiftly and justly — and has always kept the welfare of the Pontikeses in mind.”The statement added that DiNardo removed Rossi from the parish in April 2016, after Pontikes’ first report. Rossi was subsequently sent to a “treatment center” for an assessment and resigned from the parish upon his return from the treatment center in May 2016. Afterwards, according to the archdiocese, Rossi went to a rehabilitation program.The archdiocese also said Rossi completed the rehabilitation program and “was recommended to be returned to active ministry by the professionals who assessed him.”The statement added that, at the request of the Pontikeses, DiNardo “agreed not to reassign Monsignor Rossi in any capacity in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.” The archdiocese said the cardinal communicated the decision to the couple and “Mr. Pontikes expressed his gratitude.”The archdiocese said it entered into a confidential mediation process with the Pontikeses. The mediation is “ongoing,” according to the archdiocese.Police reportLaura Pontikes filed a police report in August. Under Texas criminal law, a member of the clergy can be charged with sexual assault of an adult if the priest exploited an emotional dependency in a spiritual relationship.Rossi’s attorney, Dan Cogdell, said Rossi is cooperating with the investigation and has met with police. He declined further comment.Pontikes’ allegations against DiNardo add to questions about how he has dealt with abuse in the past. SNAP, a national group of survivors of clergy abuse, has called for him to resign as head of the bishops conference because he allowed predator priests to remain in ministry in Houston, as well as in his previous diocese in Sioux City, Iowa.And when law enforcement raided DiNardo’s offices in November as part of an investigation into an alleged abuser, they found files locked away in a bank vault that the archdiocese had failed to turn over, according to police documents released last month.Rossi previously helped handle Galveston-Houston’s abuse cases for more than two decades. But in a church bulletin in February, he minimized the number of abusers nationwide, accused the media of hyping the scandal and insisted that while even one case of abuse was too many, the vast majority of accused were “good men” who simply made a “terrible single decision.”Pontikes provided the AP with seven years of her email correspondence with Rossi, therapists, priests and friends, along with financial data and communications with the archdiocese. She told the Vatican in April that Rossi heard her confessions after their relationship became physical — a potentially serious crime under church law that DiNardo never asked her about. The Vatican said her complaint was under review.The church, which has been grappling for decades with the sexual abuse of children, is now being forced to reckon with the idea that adults too can be sexually exploited by clergy. Last summer, amid revelations that ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick had preyed on adult seminarians, DiNardo used his pulpit to apologize for the leadership’s failures. “This is especially true for adults being sexually harassed by those in positions of power,” DiNardo said Aug. 27. “We will do better.”That statement gave Pontikes hope, but nothing changed, she said. She said she came forward to protect other women and expose DiNardo’s handling of her case, which has left her so distraught that she can barely sleep or work.“They’re not going to play with my life like this,” said Pontikes. “They just can’t get away with it…Somebody had better stand up and tell the damned truth.”_______________Pontikes first met Rossi in the confessional at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in December 2007. At the time, Pontikes sought to fill the void of an emotionally distant husband and mounting pressures at the family business by throwing herself into her faith, giving sizeable weekly donations at Mass.Rossi’s easy manner and laughter broke the ice.Soon the coiffed and charismatic preacher was calling her “Laura dear” and attending family dinners. In 2008, while she showed him a religious painting in their downstairs wine cellar, Rossi slipped his hand under her jacket and rested it on her bare waist, she said.She froze, embarrassed, but didn’t know what to do, she said. So she did nothing.During a 2009 dinner, Rossi asked the couple to give to an ambitious capital campaign that included rebuilding the St. Michael rectory where the parish priests lived. Their firm built the new rectory for $900,000, more than half of which the couple donated themselves. In addition, Laura Pontikes donated nearly $250,000 in religious art and furnishings, including $20,000 for an 18th-century scroll depicting the Virgin Mary as the Good Shepherdess, according to a list of vendors provided to AP.In all, the Pontikeses said they gave the church about $2 million over nine years, and Rossi asked for more, including $750,000 for a new school chapel they couldn’t afford. The archdiocese countered that their construction firm benefited from contracts worth $24 million over that time.Pontikes began seeing Rossi for regular spiritual direction in 2010, at the same time her husband was trying to get an annulment for his first marriage. The couple wanted their civil marriage of two decades to be recognized by the church.Rossi married the Pontikeses in a religious ceremony at St. Michael’s in August 2012. Less than four months later, during a session of spiritual counseling in his office, Pontikes said, Rossi started their physical relationship with an intimate, sexual embrace. The next day, Rossi wrote her an email with the subject line “blessings.”“It was wonderful to visit with you yesterday and continue to unfold the love of God in your life,” he wrote.She felt blessed and special to him, but also conflicted, knowing a boundary had been crossed. That same confusion tormented her during the many times he induced her to perform sexual acts in his office during spiritual direction, she said.Pontikes phoned and emailed Rossi several times a day with spiritual musings and work and family problems, and he responded with the attention she sought. In time, she was increasingly questioning her feelings for him.“I have blocked my faith mightily over my fear of my love for you,” she wrote him Jan. 5, 2013.Rossi assured her that such feelings are common in spiritual direction and that “holy touches” were not only sanctioned but encouraged by St. Paul the Apostle.Houston architect Ken Newberry was dismayed at seeing his longtime friend and client fall under Rossi’s spell. “She was like someone that was hypnotized or mesmerized,” Newberry said.Newberry recognized a process of grooming that he went through when he was abused by a Catholic priest at the age of 15. He eventually told Pontikes he couldn’t bear to hear any more, because it was triggering his own trauma.“Someone is talking to you about God,” he says, “and they’re pulling you in and telling you that this is right…It is very, very confusing and overwhelming.”___________Throughout the relationship, Pontikes said, Rossi was her confessor. On Dec. 20, 2012, about two weeks after their first sexual embrace in Rossi’s office, he agreed to hear her confession: “I would be most happy to celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation with you if you would like.”A few months later, Pontikes was rushing to catch a flight to visit a friend whose husband had died. Guilt-ridden about her growing intimacy with Rossi, she wanted to ease her conscience with confession before leaving town.He was not happy with her request and said he didn’t have time. But she chased him down, followed him out the side chapel and made him hear her, according to Pontikes. She confessed that she had been inappropriate with her priest. He absolved her of their sin, she said, and told her, “Go forth and sin no more.”The so-called “absolution of an accomplice” crime, one of the most serious in canon law, must be reported to the Vatican and can carry the penalty of excommunication. It occurs when a priest absolves someone with whom he has engaged in a sexual sin, including merely a lustful touch.The archdiocese claims Rossi never heard Pontikes’ confession during or after their physical relationship, but the emails Pontikes turned over to church officials include several references to confession.Edward Peters, a leading U.S. canon lawyer and consultant at the Vatican high court, says that “as a matter of good governance” the bishop in question — DiNardo — should have asked Pontikes about possible confession-related crimes. Pontikes said neither DiNardo nor his subordinates ever did.The sexual relationship grew during a March 2013 trip to Taormina, Sicily, one of several family vacations Rossi joined at the Pontikeses’ invitation and expense. The family also had begun building a guest cottage for him at their weekend retreat on Trinity Bay.George Pontikes, who knew nothing of the sexual encounters with his wife, reached out to Rossi for advice after the trip. She was growing more distant, irritable and distracted, he said, and the couple was on the verge of separation.“I don’t know whether I’m asking for help or sympathy,” he wrote on April 3, 2013. “I know Laura listens to you.”Rossi responded that she was going through strong mood swings. “My gut feeling is that she is on the verge of a breakdown due to the stress,” he wrote.George Pontikes reached out again two weeks later.“Frank: Laura is close to losing it,” he wrote Rossi. “I want to help. She does not want it. I think you should give it a try. She trusts you.”Four days later, on a Friday night after George had gone to bed, the priest and parishioner consummated the relationship in the pool house bathroom of her Houston home, Laura Pontikes said. It was the first of up to half a dozen such sexual encounters over more than a year, according to Pontikes.“I wish I could have walked away from it, but I just didn’t and I just couldn’t,” she said.The archdiocese denied key portions of Pontikes’ claim, saying the relationship included encounters of a sexual nature but not intercourse. It also said Rossi ended the physical relationship, but Pontikes continued sending him “hundreds of unsolicited messages primarily by email and phone.”Although Pontikes acknowledged the continued correspondence, she said she was desperate to hold onto the spiritual relationship because she believed it an essential part of her faith. Rossi assured her that their relationship was “a blessing from God.”“I am praying fervently and digging deeper and deeper into my own soul,” he wrote her in 2015, after the physical relationship had ended. “I ache at my very core.”__________The turmoil tore Pontikes up so much that she sought therapy. Gradually, painfully, she came to believe that Rossi had preyed upon her. Her suspicions were confirmed when she watched him interact with other women, and she remembered seeing him touch one on the bare shoulder at her wedding.Then two friends told her about his inappropriate attentiveness to yet another woman on a Holy Land pilgrimage. It was the tipping point. She confided in her friends, and they urged her to turn him in.Pontikes reported Rossi to the archdiocese April 7, 2016. She met with Auxiliary Bishop George Sheltz and Sister Gina Iadanza. They didn’t ask questions, Pontikes recalled, but Iadanza wrote down everything she said, and she left them with a stack of email correspondence.That night, as she sat in the prayer chair in her living room, she finally told her husband. “What have you done?” George Pontikes asked his wife in shock.Over the next few days, Laura checked herself into a residential clinic to cope with the trauma. George spoke with her therapists, read the emails between Rossi and his wife and began to realize that the priest had manipulated and betrayed them both. He was livid.Less than a month after reporting Rossi, Laura Pontikes said, she got a phone call from Iadanza. She and her husband listened together.“She said they had completed their investigation and that a committee had determined that he must be turned over to the authorities,” Pontikes said. “I panicked. I did not want to ruin anyone’s life, even as mine appeared to be in shambles.”The archdiocese maintained that it was not legally obliged to report Rossi to police at the time, and that Pontikes “vehemently resisted” their suggestion that she do so. However, Joe Bailey, a onetime assistant district attorney in Harris County who is now advising the Pontikeses, said Rossi’s wrongdoing is clear and should have been reported immediately. The archdiocese did report the case last year, and said it is cooperating with the investigation.__________For Pontikes, this case is as much about DiNardo as it is about Rossi.DiNardo’s archdiocese is known for its secrecy among victim advocates. In the November raid on the diocese, prosecutors backed by 60 members of the Texas Rangers and federal agents seized records related to the Rev.Manuel La Rosa-Lopez, who has been charged with sexually abusing minors. Two of LaRosa-Lopez’s alleged victims have accused DiNardo of downplaying their claims and keeping him in ministry, around children, until his arrest in September.DiNardo also allowed the Rev. John Keller to celebrate Mass on the same day his name appeared on the archdiocese’s list of accused priests, even though allegations that he fondled a 16-year-old boy had been public since 2003.In 2002, during his tenure as bishop of Sioux City, Iowa, DiNardo apologized for allowing the Rev. George McFadden to continue working as a priest after he molested at least 25 children.Rossi, for his part, helped handle Galveston-Houston’s abuse cases as vice-chancellor, chancellor and vicar general of the archdiocese. Pontikes recalls he boasted that his bosses couldn’t take action against him since “I know where all the bones are buried.”In 1998, Rossi signed a form letter stating that the Rev. Jesse Linam was a validly ordained priest who had been granted “complete retirement for medical reasons,” according to documents obtained by AP. The letter didn’t mention that Linam had been removed from ministry five years before after admitting to sex abuse. In a 2003 letter with a $2,000 loan to Linam for legal fees, Rossi wrote, “Jesse, I realize that this has been a very difficult time for you. It has been for Bishop (Joseph) Fiorenza and myself as well.”In his new posting in east Texas, Rossi continues to express sympathy for accused priests.“These men need our prayers, as they too are suffering due to the harm they know they have caused,” he wrote in the Feb. 2-3 parish bulletin.____________A month after Pontikes reported him, Rossi sent an email to the staff of St. Michael’s with a letter to parishioners announcing his resignation as pastor, effective May 7, 2016.“I am being faced with some very difficult personal issues affecting my priesthood which require my full and single focused attention;” Rossi wrote. He vowed to return after “a period of renewal.”Pontikes said Iadanza later told her that Rossi would never be a pastor again, and that the archdiocese was looking for a position for him as a port chaplain or in prison ministry — where he wouldn’t have access to women. The archdiocese said Pontikes’ account of Iadanza’s comments is “not accurate,” but did not elaborate.The Pontikeses found out about Rossi’s return to Houston when they learned a parishioner had invited them all to the same Christmas party. George Pontikes pressed DiNardo in a subsequent meeting to hold Rossi accountable, but said he came away feeling threatened.“He told me that this could be headed for some type of civil or criminal matter and that we should resolve this problem because ‘Laura can’t handle it, you can’t handle it and your business can’t handle it,’” George Pontikes recalled DiNardo warning him.“I told him, ‘Neither can you.’ He said, ‘You’re right. I’ll put money, art and everything on the table. Let’s have a mediation.’ “Scott Allen, an attorney representing Pontikes, also thought the church was bullying the couple. After a May 31, 2017 meeting, he wrote that archdiocesan lawyer Robert Schick had tried to warn them off litigation by mentioning the “public domain exposure to Laura, George their business” as well as the potential for “St. Michael’s community fallout.”“Despite attempt at ‘cordiality,’ I found the tone and content purposefully vaguely & opaquely threatening and somewhat insulting,” Allen wrote.The archdiocese didn’t respond to questions about the exchanges.Rossi’s “retirement” from the archdiocese was announced that spring, along with his new appointment as pastor of Our Lady of the Pines in Woodville, Texas, a humble parish that seats about 100 people. Laura Pontikes said Iadanza assured her Rossi would be under a strict monitoring protocol. In the meantime, DiNardo defended his actions to George.“They started telling me things like, ‘His life is ruined, George. We’ve already punished him,’” George Pontikes said. “‘We’ve sent him out to east Texas… He will never ever be looking at an upward mobility anymore.’”By October 2017, Dr. Ken Buckle, Laura Pontikes’ Catholic therapist, had outlined mediation proposals. They included a formal apology for actions by Rossi and by the archdiocese; ongoing monitoring of Rossi along with five years of therapy, with annual reports to the couple; and “more compassionate” policies in cases of inappropriate conduct.But Pontikes said that during two years of mediation, the church focused exclusively on a financial settlement.What happened between Pontikes and Rossi is under investigation by the Houston police department, and Harris County prosecutors have subpoenaed her therapists in the name of a grand jury.In an affidavit seen by the AP, Buckle wrote that Pontikes was in crisis as a result of “sexual and religious abuse” and that the decision to relocate Rossi to another parish was “highly distressing” to her. Texas law states that sex is without consent if a clergyman exploits a person’s emotional dependency on him.“It’s recognized that the person really can’t give consent,” said Tahira Khan Merritt, a Dallas lawyer who represents abuse victims. “And the church knows that.”The archdiocese said it informed Rossi’s new bishop of his violation of his vow of chastity and time in a renewal program.Beaumont Bishop Curtis Guillory didn’t respond to questions about what other information or monitoring recommendations DiNardo had provided. He told AP that he accepted Rossi into his diocese as a retired Houston priest “in good standing,” and that he has received no allegations of misconduct in his parish. In a press release Tuesday put on the Beaumont website, he announced Rossi had been placed on temporary administrative leave pending the investigation.Until the suspension, neither the criminal investigation nor the years-long mediation with the archdiocese appeared to have crimped Rossi’s ministry. As usual, he led a 13-day pilgrimage to the Holy Land and Jordan in early November. The pews at his new parish were full on Palm Sunday, when Rossi celebrated Mass and then greeted visitors in near-perfect Spanish.“At times, we betray the Lord, through our evil acts of sin,” Rossi said in his homily. “And then we regret our sins.”Rossi’s parish bulletins included posts on spousal love and sexuality, including how husbands and wives should communicate. Laura Pontikes read them in disgust, seeing them as an attempt by Rossi to find women in troubled marriages who might seek counseling.She enclosed the bulletins in her April letter to the Vatican, including one from November that read: “Holding hands, kissing, embracing and sexual intimacy are all ways of communicating marital love… For a person whose primary love language is touch, physical contact with their spouse is essential.”In a news release, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) asked for Dinardo’s resignation. “If he doesn’t, he should at least step aside and let another prelate run next week’s USCCB meeting,” SNAP added, in reference to the meeting that will take place in Baltimore.AP writer Nomaan Merchant contributed to this report.
Kolkata: Forty-five artistes from the Royal Russian Ballet will stage the iconic ballet ‘Swan Lake’ in the city from April 12 to April 14, after performing in other cities of the country. The production of the current edition of ‘Swan Lake’, has been choreographed by Vladimir Troschenko and directed by Anatoly Kazatsky, both veteran ballet artistes.’Swan Lake’ is a ballet having a 140-year old history and its central plot originates from Russian folk tales. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsIt is about Odette, a princess turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer s curse and how she breaks the curse with the power of love.’Swan Lake’ is performed on the classical compositions written by Russian composer, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. It was composed in 1875 76 The ballet had previously held 36 shows in Mumbai, Delhi and Ahmedabad with the last phase of the tour being Kolkata.The show will be brought by Navrasa Duende, a leading production house and there will be four shows between April 12 and April 14.Dinesh Singh from Navrasa Duende said, “We can clearly feel the buzz among audiences regarding the maiden performance of Swan Lake ballet in Kolkata. The response from the audiences across the country has been unprecedented, especially for a niche performing art like ballet.”
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