Nova Scotians Receiving Better Care at Collaborative Emergency Centre in Pugwash

first_imgNova Scotians living in the Pugwash area are already seeing the benefits of same-day or next-day medical appointments and 24/7 access to emergency care thanks to the collaborative emergency centre at the North Cumberland Memorial Hospital. Premier Darrell Dexter joined representatives of the Cumberland Health Authority in Pugwash today, Jan. 9, to officially open the province’s newest CEC. “This government is committed to ensuring families across Nova Scotia have access to the care they need, when and where they need it,” Premier Dexter said. “Collaborative emergency centres are an innovative solution that is helping to deliver on this commitment. In fact the model has proven so successful that other provinces are now jumping on board.” Since the Pugwash facility opened in September, more than 1,100 patients received better care sooner from the team of doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners and paramedics that staff the centre. Pharmacist Walter McCormack of O’Brien’s Pharmacy in Pugwash said the collaborative centre has improved access to primary care for patients. “People in the community have said there is more flexibility in the new system to see a physician or nurse practitioner,” said Mr. McCormack. “Patients are finding it a little easier to see a provider for prescription renewals and other regular appointments.” The North Cumberland centre serves communities in north-eastern Cumberland County, including Pugwash, Malagash, Wallace, Wentworth and Northport. “We’re also investing in a new building for this CEC,” said Premier Dexter. “I look forward to returning to Pugwash, touring the new facility and seeing the positive change it will bring to the community.” The province is investing more than $2-million to plan and design the facility. Cumberland Health Authority and Department of Health and Wellness staff will work with the community to develop a plan for the new health centre. Construction is expected to begin in spring 2014. The community, led by the North Cumberland Community Health Foundation, will fundraise 25 per cent of the cost for the new building. The Cumberland Health Authority is pleased with the success of the collaborative centre in Pugwash. Board chair Bruce Saunders said the authority is looking forward to a new building. “It is clear that the CEC has enhanced the delivery of health care in this community and being able to offer our dedicated health care professionals and patients a new facility designed specifically to meet their needs will be yet another positive step forward,” Mr. Saunders said. Services at the collaborative emergency centre include: access to primary health care by a team of professionals, including doctors and nurse practitioners, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., seven days a week same-day or next-day access to medical appointments 24/7 access to emergency care Collaborative emergency centres are now open in Parrsboro, Springhill, Tatamagouche and Annapolis Royal. CECs have are also planned for Musquodoboit Harbour, Lunenburg and New Waterford. Other provinces are following Nova Scotia’s progressive and innovative approach to health care. Saskatchewan announced it will implement a similar model after visiting Parrsboro, and Prince Edward Island is also looking into adopting the model. For more information on the province’s Better Care Sooner plan, visit www.gov.ns.ca/health/bettercaresooner.last_img read more

B2B sales GST Council sets up 2 subgroups on legal technical aspects

first_imgNew Delhi: The GST Council has set up two sub-groups to look into the policy and technical aspects, such as turnover threshold and mode of generation, for e-invoice generation by businesses. While one sub-group will examine the business process, policy and legal aspects for generation of e-invoice, the other will recommend technical aspects for its roll-out. The sub-group on policy issues would also suggest some “immediate steps” to check fake invoices in case of business-to-business (B2B) supplies with a high threshold turnover and also recommend a carve-out for sectors like banking and telecom. Electronic invoice, or e-invoice, has been envisaged by the revenue department to mainly curb goods and services tax (GST) evasion. Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documentsThe sub-group on policy issues for e-invoice would recommend legal aspects including invoice format, threshold turnover for invoice generation from the portal and immediate steps for ‘B2B’ supplies with a high threshold turnover. It would also suggest optional treatment for some sectors such as banking, telecom, tentative timeline for execution and phase-wise implementation. The sub-group on technical issues would suggest mode of generation, like app-based or mobile or SMS or offline and online, data security and system integration. Depending on the success of the project in the B2B segment, the revenue department would look at extending it to business-to-consumer (B2C) sales, especially in sectors where the probability of tax evasion is high. Also Read – World suffering ‘synchronized slowdown’, says new IMF chiefA 13-member officers’ committee, comprising central and state tax officials as well as the GST Network chief executive officer, has been set up to look into the feasibility of introducing e-invoice system to streamline generation of invoices and easing compliance burden. The two sub-groups have been set up under the committee. The proposed e-invoice is part of the exercise to check GST evasion. With almost two years into the GST implementation, the government is now focussing on anti-evasion measures to shore up revenue and increase compliance.last_img read more

GreatWest Lifeco reports lower Q3 profit due to hurricanerelated losses

first_imgWINNIPEG – Great-West Lifeco Inc. reported a drop in its third-quarter profit compared with a year ago as it was hit by costs related to hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.The insurance company says it earned $581 million or 59 cents per share for the quarter ended Sept. 30 compared with a profit of $674 million or 68 cents per share a year ago.Great-West (TSX:GWO), through its subsidiary London Reinsurance Group Inc., offers property catastrophe coverage to reinsurance companies.It says the most recent quarter’s results included losses related to estimated claims resulting from the hurricanes totalling $175 million after taxes.However, it noted that the loss estimate may change as additional information becomes available.Excluding the hit, the company says it earned $756 million for the quarter, up $82 million from a year ago, primarily due to higher fee income and lower expenses.last_img read more

King Salman Calls King Mohammed VI, Discuss Saudi-Morocco Relations

Rabat – Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has called King Mohammed VI and requested Morocco to review their “brotherly relationship.”The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) announced the phone call in a statement on March 21.The phone call comes two months after Moroccan foreign minister Nasser Bourita vaguely announced in an Al Jazeera interview that Morocco had withdrawn its troops from the Saudi-led coalition at war in Yemen against Houthi rebels. Many have speculated about the seemingly stormy relationship between Saudi Arabia and Morocco.Morocco took a neutral stance in the Saudi-led blockade on Qatar. A few days after the start of the blockade, King Mohammed VI asked the Moroccan government to dispatch food assistance to Qatar. In November 2017, King Mohammed VI flew from the United Arab Emirates to Qatar, being the first head of state to break the air blockade imposed on the small Gulf nation. Morocco’s neutrality and its offer to mediate the Gulf crisis did not resonate with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who many regard as the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia. In the months leading up to a FIFA vote in which Morocco was vying to host the 2026 World Cup, an advisor to the Saudi royal family and Saudi sports authority Turki Al Sheikh made unfriendly comments about Morocco. Morocco lost the vote to the North American bid in June 2018.Read Also: Timeline: All You Should Know About Morocco-Saudi Arabia FrictionIn February, Bourita denied Morocco’s relationship with Saudi Arabia was under stress after international media reported that Morocco recalled its ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Mustapha Mansouri. Bourita said the ambassador had returned to Rabat for a consultation.The Moroccan move came after the Saudi pro-government Al Arabiya television channel aired a documentary on Western Sahara, which was viewed as hostile to Morocco’s position on the conflict.The documentary displayed Western Sahara as an “occupied” territory, making the Polisario Front’s claims legitimate.Moroccans also took offense when the Union of Arab Football Associations (UAFA) posted on Facebook a map showing Western Sahara removed from the Moroccan map.It remains to be seen whether this phone call will contribute to rekindling the strained relations between the two countries and give them a new impetus. read more

THW Kiel and Milutin Dragicevic – The End

← Previous Story Alen Blazevic to Pick Szeged? Next Story → “Battle for ALL” in Austria: Alpla Hard or HIT Tirol? After two season, THW Kiel and Milutin Dragicevic (29) made an mutual agreement about contract termination. Serbian line-player doesn’t found himself in Germany, where he came in 2010 as the Best player of Danish League. Dragicevic well known as “Hercules” played in Denmark for BSV Silkeborg, before that in Romania for HCM Constanta.He signed contract with THW Kiel in time of Zvonimir Noka Serdarusic. After only six months among “Zebra” it was clear that he isn’t capable to fit in the system of Alfred Gislason, but he had contract until 2014.From the next season, THW Kiel will have three line-players, Marcus Ahlm, Patrick Wienzek (VfL Gummersbach) and Rene Toft Hansen (AG Copenhagen). BSV SilkeborgMilutin DragicevicTHW Kiel read more

HP TouchPad to get Kindle app MovieStore and music store with webOS

first_imgThe HP TouchPad only recently arrived on retail shelves, but consumers are starting to take notice. That has a lot to do with HP’s massive marketing campaign, with its giant banners outside big box stores like BestBuy, TV spots featuring Mr. Katy Perry, and a whopping 50GB of free cloud storage for life from the folks at Box.net.There’s also excitement building for the upcoming 4G TouchPad that is due to launch on AT&T’s network in August. In addition to breaking free from the Wi-Fi only constraints of the original TouchPad, the 4G model will also feature an amped-up processor running at 1.5GHz. That will rectify some early concerns reviewers had about the TouchPad’s speed, but HP is well aware of certain software niggles that need to be addressed.Those, of course, can be easily rectified via over-the-air updates, and there’s a big one coming to the TouchPad fairly soon. Though the release will only bump webOS to 3.02 on the tablets, it comes bearing three very big gifts: the Amazon Kindle app, HP MovieStore — which will allow you to leanback and rent your favorite flicks — as well as a music store of some sort.It had been previously revealed that MovieStore would be powered by Roxio, which has a long-standing relationship with HP and plenty of experience with digital content delivery. The music store, however, remains a bit of a mystery. If HP follows the lead of Songbird — which we already know powers the HP Play desktop app — it could very well be 7Digital who is serving up the tunes.The update is due by the end of July, so we won’t have to wait much longer to gets some eyes-on time with the news apps.via PreCentrallast_img read more

Concern in Passport Office as 66000 applications outstanding and the numbers growing

first_img Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Concern in Passport Office as 66,000 applications outstanding (and the number’s growing) The number of applications outstanding has been consistently on the rise in recent times in the wake of the Brexit vote. http://jrnl.ie/3454074 53,381 Views Source: Shutterstock/AstroetteA SIGNIFICANT BACKLOG in passport applications has developed at Ireland’s Passport Office.Figures released to TheJournal.ie by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) show that currently 65,916 applications are outstanding (ie awaiting process).This represents an increase from the 60,404 such applications that were outstanding at this time last year.The single greatest reason for the backlog would appear to be Brexit.Since the UK voting to leave the EU in June 2016, applications for Irish passports have increased to a huge extent from eligible citizens living in Britain hoping to avoid issues with free travel (and employment) throughout the union once Brexit becomes official in March 2019.Last year saw a 33% increase (33,008) year-on-year of the number of applications received from Northern Ireland and mainland Britain.The first five months of 2017 have seen that trend explode – with a staggering 55% increase in the number of applications received from this time last year (29,792 additional applications received year-on-year until end May 2017).It’s understood that there is a deal of concern within DFA regarding the ongoing backlog in the process of applications, although waiting times currently vary depending upon the manner of application.TheJournal.ie contacted DFA for a statement in relation to this matter. A response had not been received at the time of publication. Source: DFAThe 66,000 applications currently outstanding are totalled from applicants in Ireland, Northern Ireland and Great Britain, and via DFA’s online passport renewals service.The breakdown of outstanding applications at present is:Irish applicants – 43,274 (66%)Northern Irish applicants – 10,288 (16%)British applicants – 8,609 (13%)Online renewals – 3,745 (5%) By Cianan Brennancenter_img Thursday 22 Jun 2017, 12:05 AM Share3929 Tweet Email20 Separate to the 66,000 applications waiting to be processed, nearly 97,000 such applications were received last month, a 7.6% increase on the same month in 2016.The lowest number of applications received and registered this year was in January – 70,771 (a massive 33% increase on the previous year’s total of 53,175).In the last three months there have never been fewer than 85,000 applications received.With the current outstanding total of 66,000, this suggests that applications are being received at a faster rate than the Passport Office can deal with them.Waiting timesThis does not as yet suggest that the backlog is creating a situation where applicants are having their passports significantly delayed.However, the average waiting times for applications vary depending on how and from where they were applied for.When applying (by mail, the only means to do so is via the Passport Express option through a post office – all other mail applications are returned), people are ‘strongly advised’ to get their applications in six weeks prior to travelling.Passport renewals typically take 14 working days, while first time applicants can expect a minimum wait of 20 days (four weeks).Emergency applications meanwhile necessitate an appointment with the Passport Office in either Cork or Dublin.The wait-time on online renewals (new applications can only be made via post) is significantly shorter at just 10 working days (not counting postage times).Applications traditionally spike prior to, and during, the summer months as people ready themselves for travelling abroad on holiday.Last year, 733,060 were issued in total, a 15% increase on the 635,600 figure from just five years ago in 2012.Backlogs regarding such State-issued documents or payments are not uncommon, with staffing issues often to blame.In recent times the Department of Social Protection, for example, has struggled with a backlog in the payment of maternity benefits which has seen many women having given birth for a number of weeks before receiving their payments.Read: Longford is getting natural gas for the first time after €3 million Center Parcs dealRead: Who got the nod? And who lost out? Here are Varadkar’s new junior ministers 48 Comments Jun 22nd 2017, 12:05 AM last_img read more

Renovations of Panagia Soumela Monastery reveal stunning hidden chapel

first_imgThe restoration of the Panagia Soumela Monastery in Turkey has revealed a stunning surprise.Closed to tourists for the past two years, restoration specialists undertaking the project have since stumbled upon a hidden chapel that is only accessible via a hidden passageway.Located in the Trabzon province in northern Turkey, formerly known as Trapezounta, the area was once inhabited by a large community of Pontian Greeks.The chapel features intricate murals with depictions of heaven, hell, life and death, and are believed to date back centuries.Once restorations of the entire monastery are complete, including the chapel, visitors will for the first time in years be able to access the chapel by climbing wooden ladders to a secret passage of corridors.Built in 386 AD, the monastery complex is a dedication to the Virgin Mary and is considered one of the most sacred Greek Orthodox sites in the world. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Port of Vancouver issues 30 million in bonds

first_imgThe Port of Vancouver issued $30 million in revenue bonds late last month, the second in a series of releases.Due to strong order activity, the port’s “A stable” credit rating and good market conditions, the port received an interest rate that will save $4.2 million over the life of the bonds, according to a news release from the port.The repayment of revenue bonds is guaranteed solely by the port’s operating revenues; unlike the general obligation bonds issued in the past, which are secured by a municipality’s pledge to repay with any legal resources available.The 2017 revenue bonds will allow the port to complete large capital projects including the West Vancouver Freight Access Project and repairs to port properties and facilities.In December, the port’s Board of Commissioners voted to adopt a resolution approving the 2017 revenue bonds. They are the second in a series of three major debt issuances that support the port’s capital program.Next year, the port plans to issue the third and final bonds in the series, worth between $15 and $25 million.More information on the port’s finances is available at www.portvanusa.com.last_img read more

Vancouver Farmers Market sprouts anew

first_imgFrom mostly near and occasionally far, new farmers and growers keep flocking to the Vancouver Farmers Market, which opened for the season March 17.“We’re seeing a lot of new interest,” said executive director Jordan Boldt. “We don’t usually see a ton of that every year. This is probably the most active we’ve been in a number of years.” There are 14 new produce and food vendors on the scene in 2018, he said.Thanks to the hot economy? Rising foodie fascination? All that and more, Boldt said.“We have at least two new farms from younger, more professional-background people who are coming from other industries and choosing to pivot into agriculture or the food industry,” he said. “I think we’re seeing people looking for secondary or supplementary careers where they can be creative and follow up their passions.“Starting a restaurant is so hard and expensive and risky,” he said, but launching a booth at the Vancouver Farmers Market “is a lower barrier to entry.”For example, there’s new mushroom maven Ash Tree Farms of Vancouver, which rents warehouse space in the city and grows its fungal delights indoors in bags of sawdust or on moldering old logs.“If you’re not a wild mushroom forager, this is a common way to cultivate mushrooms commercially,” Boldt said. (“It’s a crazy world,” he added.)last_img read more

Gerrard speaks about Rangers responsibility in Europe

first_imgThe Scottish team can come back to a UEFA competition after eight years without playing in one, but they need to beat Russian club Ufa at homeThe last time Rangers was in a European competition was eight years ago, but the Scottish team can change everything tomorrow.According to a report by The Scotsman, Steven Gerrard has urged his team to make history and win against Russian club Ufa at home this Thursday.“I wouldn’t say it’s the biggest game in our history because the history at Rangers is so big. The club has played in many games which have created our history for us,” he says.“It’s our responsibility to try to help that and to add to that. We have a responsibility to try to bring European football back.”Steven Gerrard, Michael OwenOwen reveals why Liverpool didn’t offer Gerrard a new contract Manuel R. Medina – September 6, 2019 According to Owen, the Reds wanted to sell Gerrard two years before he left the club and that’s why they didn’t offer him a contract renewal.“The journey we have been on has been about this moment,” he added.“We’ve worked so hard and put a lot of effort in to get this chance, I just hope the players seize this moment.”“I want them to play relaxed and play the way they have done in the previous seven games,” he commented.“We’ve had massive occasions against Skhupi, Osijek and Maribor and the players have done ever so well.”last_img read more

Sources Wasserstein is Cygnus Buyer

first_imgIt appears that there is some truth to the Cygnus sale rumors, and at a rocky time for magazine M&A.According to sources with knowledge of the process, the due diligence phase is complete and a verbal agreement has been reached between Penton Media parent Wasserstein & Co. and ABRY Partners on the acquisition of Cygnus Business Media. The deal is expected to close before the end of the month.The final sale price for Cygnus was not immediately clear. It had been estimated that the company was seeking $200 million to $240 million, or about 8x estimated EBITDA.A Cygnus spokesperson declined to comment. In a June interview with FOLIO:, Cygnus co-CEOs Carr Davis and Tony O’Brien indicated that the company was exploring a potential sale. Cygnus went on the block in 2006 but subsequently pulled off the market that year.The news comes about two weeks after the deal that would have had Texas-based private equity firm Austin Ventures acquiring Entrepreneur Media failed, in part, because of the difficult credit market.last_img read more

Heres why Huaweis motive to launch its HarmonyOS might fail

first_img Huawei caught between US-China conflict HuaweiReutersHuawei, the Chinese smartphone manufacturing brand, has been witnessing a dramatic halt after the US government put a ban on US companies collaborating with the Chinese firms. This has led to a drastic setback for Huawei’s smartphone users who are denied the updates for their Android operating system.Curbing its way to find a solution and cutting down the dependency on foreign operating systems, Huawei had announced an independent operating system, Harmony OS on August 9. The company claims that the new OS is self-sufficient and can work at par with Android in all the smart devices produced by Huawei.The launch event of the OS presented some mind-boggling benchmarks that proved that Harmony OS provided its user with better performance and security than the Android and Google’s latest in-development Android operating system, Fuchsia OS. The announcement came as a relief for the Huawei users who were worried about their purchases and the credibility of their devices. HarmonyOS launchtwitterHowever, Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei, claimed that pushing the OS globally against the widely accepted Android has some setbacks. He further added that, if circumstances remain unfavourable then the company will roll out its independent OS to the global market, going head-to-head against Android.Though everything seems viable in terms of an estimated contextualisation, here are a few reasons stated by The Conversation that show why Harmony OS might not produce the expected results.Competition against Play StoreWith a rise in storage space and the boost in internet usage, smartphone users dependent mostly on applications for their day-to-day usage. An average user has a massive app count on its app board to fulfil all the requirements available online through the apps. The dependency of the users on the apps has resulted in luring the app developers to target the operating system with a large user base.Even if Huawei pushes all its users from the Android services to its new operating system, it will face a tough time to compete against Google’s App Store which integrates more than 2 million applications. Even if not theoretically, but Huawei will need massive alteration and finances to collaborate with the app developers to port their apps to the new operating system. HarmonyOSTwitterRichard Yu’s claims of providing the customers with a similar app-drawer within two days might not be viable to compete against the massive app store and keep it updated within the short time span. It would take more than a theoretical claim to prove the credibility of porting everything to the new operating frame.Transferring dataThe global internet boom has made the lives of people easier by making them dependent on the system to curate and organise their passwords, cloud drives, online banking links, photos, emails, and linked-logins. An email has become the vault to dump in all the precious details that run a user’s day-to-day requirements.Though cloning seems to be a trendy option, it works on the same operating system. So shifting all the data from one OS to the other is a tedious process and with no clue about the new operating system and the transfer apps allowed, it might enhance the problems in the data recovery process.As per the security and technical norms of Google and the tech ban on Huawei, it would not allow a seamless data porting to the users from HarmonyOS. It will also hold a barrier against the click-and-link login process by obtaining the credentials from the new operating system. This might create a hindrance for the user who would lose long sustained data. HarmonyOS launchTwitterAndroid is not the only problemHuawei’s struggle in the trade ban is not only against Google but against all US companies that include Facebook, Amazon, Uber, Paypal and of course eBay. These being the US companies cannot be simply ported to Harmony OS by paying the app developers a huge sum of money. There is a struggle that Huawei has to go through to gain special licenses to port them to their new operating system.Considering the rising trade tensions, Huawei might not find a loophole to gain the rights which is again a problematic situation for the company. Thus, one of the biggest smartphone manufacturers will be selling its expensive devices with an independent operating system that does not integrate the most used apps by its users.The problem beyondThus, Huawei amidst the trade ban has been trying to build its own technology against the barriers of privacy and data protection. Though it seems to be an act of creating its own benchmark to cut down its dependency on the biggest tech firms in the world, it is affecting its own telecoms equipment business globally.Building a new mobile operating system and handing over the declining market share of Apple to Huawei as retaliation against Apple are not the only means of solving the tensions. The current trend of exposure will put massive pressure on Huawei’s exports outside China. Close The present scenario is only boosting the tensions between the two superpowers. Huawei is significantly retaliating against the US’s dominance in the technology sector. Tech advancement and dominancy being the only USP of the US, it will not surrender to the Chinese without giving them a hard blow. Thus, Huawei has to consider all possible situations that might kill the impact of the long-planned advancement for its mobile industry. IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:02/0:57Loaded: 0%0:02Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-0:55?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading …last_img read more

Trumps Tax Plan Pitch Aimed At Truckers

first_img Share Manuel Balce Ceneta/APPresident Trump speaks to reporters Saturday during a brief stop at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. The Trump administration sent a list of immigration policy priorities to Congress that includes overhauling the country’s green-card system, hiring 10,000 more immigration officers and building a wall along the southern border.President Donald Trump pitched his tax plan as a boost for truckers at an event Wednesday in Pennsylvania, saying, “America first means putting American truckers first.”Trump appeared before about a thousand cheering people at an airplane hangar dramatically draped with American flags. Two big rigs were in the background.“It will be rocket fuel for our economy,” Trump said of a plan that would dramatically cut corporate tax rates from 35 percent to 20 percent, reduce the number of personal income tax brackets and boost the standard deduction.Trump said a cut to business taxes would help truckers because there will be “more products to deliver and more contracts to fill.” He also said his plan would benefit middle-class families by lowering rates, creating new jobs and making it easier for business owners to pass companies on to their children.“So many people have come up to me and said give it to the middle class, give it to people who need it,” Trump said.Trump is diving back into the tax fight after weeks in which his attention has shifted to rapidly emerging crises — including the mass shooting in Las Vegas and the hurricane recovery effort in Puerto Rico — as well as dramas of his own making, such as his escalating feud with Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and public tension with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.Taxes are the chief legislative priority for Republicans hungry for a major legislative achievement. With the 2018 campaign year looming, GOP lawmakers want something to show for their time as the majority party, and tax legislation remains their best hope.Trump has left it up to Congress to fill in many specifics of his plan, which omits details such as the income levels for his new tax brackets. The outreach to truckers in Pennsylvania is an attempt to give a blue-collar appeal to a framework that outside tax analysts say would largely favor the wealthy.About two-thirds of trucking firms are structured as small businesses in which the profits double as the owners’ income, what’s commonly known as “pass-through” companies, said Chris Spear, president of the American Trucking Associations.The framework would cut the tax rate for these firms to 25 percent from 39.6 percent.“It’s pretty critical for our membership,” Spear said.But the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said few truckers would benefit from this preferential rate because the majority of truck drivers are employees rather than pass-through business owners, based on its analysis of Census data.Republicans in Congress aren’t solidly behind Trump, with some from high-tax states balking because the framework calls for eliminating the federal deduction for state and local taxes. That deduction is claimed by an estimated 44 million people and costs the government an estimated $1.3 trillion in lost revenue over 10 years.Fractious Republican lawmakers, especially those from New York, New Jersey and California, are wary of the potential financial hit to their constituents. They contend repealing the deduction would subject people to being taxed twice.“They need our votes” on the tax plan, said Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., a member of the group.Discussions with House leaders on a possible compromise took place last week but are on hold, Collins and other lawmakers in the group said Wednesday. They said they were confident of a compromise.Trump highlighted the tax plan’s provisions aimed at encouraging international companies to bring back, or repatriate, cash that they’ve kept overseas. All told, there’s more than $1 trillion in cash held abroad by S&P 500 companies, according to Deutsche Bank.“We will totally eliminate the penalty on returning future earnings back to the United States and we will impose a one-time low tax on money currently parked overseas so it can be brought back home to America, where it belongs and where it can do its job,” he said. He added that his Council of Economic Advisers estimates that the change, along with a lower tax rate, “would likely give the typical American household a $4,000 pay raise.”“Could be a lot more than that, too,” he said.The $4,000 in additional income estimate comes from a back of the envelope calculation by White House economics adviser Kevin Hassett based on companies returning 71 percent of their foreign profits over the course of eight years.This estimate appears to assume that the returned profits would flow to workers in the form of higher wages. But many economists say much of it would likely be returned to investors in the form of stock dividends and buybacks.___Associated Press writers Marcy Gordon and Jill Colvin contributed to this report.___This story has been corrected to show that Rep. Chris Collins is from New York, not New Jersey.last_img read more

Blizzard replaces BlizzCon 2012 with Battlenet World Championship

first_imgBlizzCon has been a highlight on the shows calendar for the past few years if you’re a fan of Blizzard games, but this year it isn’t going ahead. Blizzard have taken the decision to replace it in 2012 with an altogether different kind of gamer gathering.2012 will see the introduction of the Battle.net World Championships, which Blizzard hopes will bring together some of the best pro-gamers. Before you decide you can do without BlizzCon as long as you can attend the World Championships, think again. They aren’t being held in the U.S., so unless you’re willing to jump on a plane and fly to Asia, you’ll have to hope Blizzard streams the event.BlizzCon has been running since 2005, and with the exception of 2006 has been an annual event for gamers. The decision to replace it this year will surely be met with both anger and annoyance, but it can be tempered by the fact Blizzard have promised a BlizzCon 2013 will happen.The explanation for not running the show this year isn’t just because of the World Championships. Blizzard have simply said they are so busy trying to get Diablo III, the World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria expansion, and the StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm sequel/expansion out the door, they just didn’t have time to fit it in. I doubt many will complain about that if it means getting games and content faster.As for when the Battle.net World Championships will occur and where, we will be told in the coming months as they won’t actually start until near the end of 2012. BlizzCon 2013 is most likely going to happen sometime between August and October next year.Read more at Gamerfront and Battle.netlast_img read more

An Attempted Assassination Isnt Even the Wildest Part of Riverdale

first_imgLet us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on target SDCC 2019: ‘Riverdale’ Cast Spills Details on Core ‘Mystery’ for Season 4Top Movies and TV Panels to Keep on Your Radar for SDCC 2019 center_img The Riverdale Mayoral election is almost here, and Archie is out campaigning for his dad. He’s really thinking about the Black Hood, though. When Hiram Lodge confronts him about it, he says he’s really going door to door looking in people’s eyes. Hiram suggests reforming the Dark Circle, which I am all for. What is Riverdale without its over-the-top, vaguely fascist cabal of hot boys? And this time, they can work with the new Sheriff, a personal friend of Hiram Lodge.Despite their ally in the police department, things go off the rails immediately. Moose brings up that before the musical, he and Midge had a fight backstage. Midge was seeing a serpent behind his back. Since the very mention of anyone from the poor side of town sends Reggie into a rage, the whole group walks over to Jughead’s serpent club meeting and starts a fight. Honestly, what did Archie expect? Jughead questions Fangs, the guy Midge was seeing, and everyone knows he’s going to be a murder suspect now. Fortunately, Archie isn’t as dumb as he looks. Jughead reminds him that he’s looking for a middle-aged guy with green eyes. That’s enough for Archie to convince his Dark Circle to back off. Archie doesn’t have time to chase innocent Serpents anyway. He comes home late that night to find his dad still awake. The Black Hood left a threatening note on the door.KJ Apa as Archie and Luke Perry as Fred (Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW)That doesn’t satisfy the rest of the Dark Circle though. While Archie is out chasing down the real murderer, Reggie takes over as the de facto leader of the Dark Circle. And he’s all about messing with the Serpents. When the new Sheriff arrests Fangs, he leads the Dark Circle on a harassment rampage on the south side. They pick fights with serpents and slash their tires. When Archie hears about this, he yells at Reggie that he has the wrong guy. It’s no use though. He finds out that Hiram has been meeting with Reggie, and he’s bankrolling the Dark Circle. Finally, the union between Archie and Hiram Lodge is cracking. It’s about time Archie realized he was getting played. It only took Hiram moving onto a new favorite teen. It would have been better had this break been built up over a few episodes. If we got to see Archie slowly lose his awe of Hiram. But Riverdale doesn’t like to take its time with much.Archie isn’t the only one looking for the Black Hood. Betty’s also chasing the mystery, and she has a suspect. That puts her well ahead of Archie, who sometimes seems like he’s only in Riverdale out of obligation. She thinks her dad’s behind the murders, and she’s got some decent evidence. Every time someone was attacked, her father was conveniently absent. He was away on a business trip, for example, the night Ms. Grundy was killed. She’s also dealing with the fact that she delivered Chic to the Black Hood. In her eyes, that makes her just as much of a murderer. Fortunately, she has Cheryl to pull her back from the edge. I still have no idea what this show’s doing with Cheryl’s characterization. Sometimes she’s a mean girl, sometimes she’s a stalker… at least she’s been more consistently friendly ever since the musical episode. And hey, it makes sense she’d help out someone who’s dad might also turn out to be a murderer.Madelaine Petsch as Cheryl (Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW)As the episode goes on, Betty only becomes more convinced that her dad is the Black Hood. He’s not giving her much reason to think otherwise either. Every line of his in this episode is extra creepy. Especially when Betty confesses to corresponding with the Black Hood, just to see how Hal reacts. He says he has the same darkness inside him too. Where have we heard that before? Even more suspicious, Cheryl and Betty find out he’s still renting a ShareBnB (ha!) even though he’s moved back in the house. Upon further investigation, they find the Nancy Drew codebook the Black Hood used to send Betty messages.It looks like an airtight case, but then during the mayoral debate, the Black Hood shows up with a sniper rifle and tries to take out Fred. Archie saves him just in time, but in the ensuing panic, Betty runs into the arms of her decidedly un-hooded father. That complicates matters. I feel like this single episode handled the Black Hood mystery better than the whole first half of the season. So many twists, turns and red herrings crammed into the hour made for a tight, surprising, exciting episode. Betty still confronts her dad about the book, and he tells her he only found it recently. He was saving it as a birthday present for her, since she loved it so much as a kid. Betty accepts the explanation at first, but she really doesn’t believe him. In fact, she calls him later to set up a meeting at the auditorium where she first attracted the Black Hood’s attention. He doesn’t meet her, though. At least not right away. Instead, the Black Hood shows up at Cheryl’s house.Luke Perry as Fred, Madchen Amick as Alice and Marisol Nichols as Hermione (Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW)That’s where the episode ends, but it’s not remotely the biggest moment of the episode. Yeah, when a serial killer shooting up a political debate isn’t even the most dramatic scene of the episode, you know it’s a good week for Riverdale. Over in the Dark Circle vs. Serpents side of the story, Fangs gets released from prison because, you know, he didn’t do anything. The citizens of Riverdale decide they can’t let this justice stand, and form a protest all around the prison. The Serpents try to escort him through the crowd, and Archie runs to help, but Reggie starts approaching with a gun. What is wrong with this town? Archie’s able to tackle Reggie to the ground, but the gun goes off in the struggle. With both boys’ hands on it, of course. Expect that to be a thing, even though Reggie was the one who brought the gun in the first place. The bullet hits Fangs in the chest, and this storyline ends in tragedy. We can only guess that Archie is completely done with Hiram Lodge at this point. Especially since Hiram is now mentoring/manipulating Reggie the same way he did Archie.What a shocking, bonkers and sad episode of Riverdale this was. It’s the kind of episode that makes me wish there were more than two left in the season. Though I guess it’s because it’s so close to the end that it turned out like this. The writers realized how little time they had left, and had to get the plot moving fast. There was only one storyline that didn’t really work for me, and that’s because it felt so small compared to everything else. Veronica is meeting with the sons of other powerful mob families to choose what business interest the Lodges should align themselves with next. She chooses a riverboat casino, but her dad forbids it. And he stops her from going out on her own by putting her St. Clair extortion money in a trust. Like, as a subplot goes, it’s alright, but it’s such a nothing story compared to a serial killer attack and vigilante murder. All that came of it was a hint that some people might be gunning for Archie in the future, and Veronica supporting Archie’s dad. Right before showing Archie her new lingerie. It wouldn’t be Riverdale without a little trashiness.last_img read more

Grand Theft Auto V is Being Used to Teach AI Agents How

first_img Those who are building self-driving cars will now have the option to test their AI agents inside of Grand Theft Auto V thanks to OpenAI’s, Universe program.Universe connects game controls and video displays to machine-learning agents that can be trained by video games. Universe has actually been tested using a wide range of video games. Researchers use games to test out their AI agents because they learn the way humans do: through trial and error.This open-sourced MIT-licensed code is maintained by Craig Quiter, who works for the Uber-owned start up, Otto. They were responsible for delivering 51,744 cans of Budweiser over 120 miles by using a self-driving truck. This AI software comes programmed with a trained driving agent, so developers only need a copy of GTAV to get started.Grand Theft Auto V is based on Los Angeles. The game isn’t an exact replica of the city, but its streets are very similar and are perfect for teaching an AI car how to drive. In addition to that, the game’s wide variety of vehicles and weather patterns also provide researchers with a good deal of data to test out their algorithms and models.“[Integrating with Universe] was a perfect fit because GTA V runs in Windows, and Universe allows running the AI separate from the game; in Linux, for example, where most AI work is done,” Quiter told The Register.If you’re going to train AI to drive, GTAV is certain a great place to do it. Those who worry that training AI within the murderous world of Grand Theft Auto is a bad idea will be relieved to know that violence has been removed from the system. This is good news since the last thing we need is a swarm of AI cars running over pedestrians for the fun of it. ‘Saints Row: The Third’ and ‘Shakedown: Hawaii’ Are GTA on Nintendo SwitchThe History Of Farts In Video Games Stay on targetlast_img read more

MD Anderson Cancer Center Adopts BodyTom CT Scanner for Proton Therapy

first_img Videos | CT Angiography (CTA) | August 07, 2019 VIDEO: Walk Around of a GE Cardiographe Dedicated Cardiac CT Scanner This is a quick walk around of the GE Healthcare Cardiographe dedicated cardiac CT system on display at the… read more Catalyst PT image courtesy of C-RAD The MD Anderson Proton Therapy Center expansion is expected to be completed in 2023. Rendering courtesy of Stantec. Following radiation, the bone marrow shows nearly complete loss of blood cells in mice (left). Mice treated with the PTP-sigma inhibitor displayed rapid recovery of blood cells (purple, right). Credit: UCLA Broad Stem Cell Research Center/Nature Communications News | Computed Tomography (CT) | September 28, 2016 MD Anderson Cancer Center Adopts BodyTom CT Scanner for Proton Therapy Portable 32-slice scanner provides diagnostic-quality images for tumor-site checking September 28, 2016 — Samsung announced recently that The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston added BodyTom CT, the world’s first portable, full-body, 32-slice computed tomography (CT) scanner to its Proton Therapy Center. The center is now treating patients using images from the scanner as part of the process.Sometimes tumors shift locations or change in size from the time treatment is planned to when it is administered. Using a portable CT to confirm a tumor’s location and size before each treatment session can ensure the most accurate delivery of proton therapy. Building on the use of CT imaging in the proton therapy treatment planning process, MD Anderson is now using BodyTom’s diagnostic-quality imaging daily for tumor-site checking, said Steven J. Frank M.D., medical director of MD Anderson’s Proton Therapy Center.“Proton therapy is among the best cancer-fighting tools we have, and we are taking advantage of the newest technology available with the hopes of improving patient outcomes,” Frank said. “By incorporating three-dimensional imaging guidance into our treatment process, we aim to enhance the accuracy of proton therapy. Knowing the tumor’s exact location each time we treat a patient ensures radiation is deposited directly to the tumor while sparing adjacent, healthy tissue.”BodyTom is a self-shielded, multi-departmental imaging solution capable of transforming any room in the hospital into an advanced imaging suite. The system features an 85cm gantry and a 60cm field of view, the largest field of view available in a portable CT scanner, according to Samsung. Designed to accommodate patients of all sizes, BodyTom provides point-of-care imaging wherever high-quality CT images are needed, including the operating room, intensive care unit, oncology treatment facilities and the emergency department. The combination of rapid scan time, flexible settings and immediate image viewing makes the BodyTom a valuable tool to any facility needing versatile real-time portable imaging.Proton therapy is similar to traditional radiation therapy, but proton beams enter the body with a low dose of radiation, increasing as it approaches the target area and deposits its maximum radiation directly in tumors without traveling beyond them. This means tumors can be targeted precisely, usually within one millimeter, allowing for the delivery of a powerful dose of radiation.The BodyTom portable CT scanner is designed to help medical physicists and radiation oncologists map out a course of treatment at the point of care, in real time. Clinical studies have shown BodyTom CT to be a safe, highly precise tool for aiding the insertion of implants in anatomically complex procedures such as spinal surgery, enhancing outcomes.For more information: www.neurologica.com FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 News | Proton Therapy | August 08, 2019 MD Anderson to Expand Proton Therapy Center The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center unveiled plans to expand its Proton Therapy Center during a… read more Videos | CT Angiography (CTA) | August 07, 2019 VIDEO: Walk Around of a Siemens Go.Top Dedicated Cardiac Scanner This is a quick walk around of the new Siemens Somatom Go.top cardiovascular edition compact computed tomography (CT) read more Related Content News | Radiation Therapy | August 15, 2019 First Patient Enrolled in World’s Largest Brain Cancer Clinical Trial Henry Ford Cancer Institute is first-in-the-world to enroll a glioblastoma patient in the GBM AGILE Trial (Adaptive… read more News | Radiation Therapy | August 16, 2019 Drug Accelerates Blood System’s Recovery After Radiation, Chemotherapy A drug developed by UCLA physician-scientists and chemists speeds up the regeneration of mouse and human blood stem… read more News | Patient Positioning Radiation Therapy | August 07, 2019 Qfix kVue One Proton Couch Top Validated by Mevion Medical Systems Qfix and Mevion Medical Systems announced that a special version of the kVue One Proton couch top is now both validated… read more The CT scanner might not come with protocols that are adequate for each hospital situation, so at Phoenix Children’s Hospital they designed their own protocols, said Dianna Bardo, M.D., director of body MR and co-director of the 3D Innovation Lab at Phoenix Children’s. News | Brachytherapy Systems | August 14, 2019 Efficacy of Isoray’s Cesium Blu Showcased in Recent Studies August 14, 2019 — Isoray announced a trio of studies recently reported at scientific meetings and published in medica read more News | Patient Positioning Radiation Therapy | August 15, 2019 Mevion and C-RAD Release Integration for Improved Proton Therapy Treatment Quality Mevion Medical Systems and C-RAD announced the integration between the C-RAD Catalyst PT and the Mevion S250i proton… read more Sponsored Content | Case Study | Radiation Dose Management | August 13, 2019 The Challenge of Pediatric Radiation Dose Management Radiation dose management is central to child patient safety. 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Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button. News | Proton Therapy | August 06, 2019 IBA Signs Contract to Install Proton Therapy Center in Kansas IBA (Ion Beam Applications S.A.) recently signed a contract and received the first payment for a Proteus One solution… read morelast_img read more

Google open sources Filament – a physically based rendering engine for Android

first_imgGoogle has just open-sourced Filament, their physically based rendering (PBR) engine for Android. It can also be used in Windows, Linux, and macOS. Filament provides a set of tools and APIs for Android developers to help them easily create high-quality 2D and 3D rendering. Filament is currently being used in the Sceneform library both at runtime on Android devices and as the renderer inside the Android Studio plugin. Apart from Filament, Google has also open sourced Materials, the full reference documentation for their material system. They have also made available Material Properties which is a reference sheet for the standard material model. Google’s Filament comes packed with the following features: The rendering system is able to perform efficiently on mobile platforms. The primary target is OpenGL ES 3.x class GPUs. The rendering system emphasizes overall picture quality. Artists are able to iterate often and quickly on their assets and the rendering system allows them to do so instinctively. The physically based approach of the system also allows developers to create visually believable materials even if they don’t understand the theory behind the implementation. The system relies on as few parameters as possible to reduce trial and error and allows users to quickly master the material model. The system uses physical units everywhere possible: distances in meters or centimeters, color temperatures in Kelvin, light units in lumens or candelas, etc. The rendering library is as small as possible so any application can bundle it without increasing the binary to unwanted sizes. Filament APIs There are two major APIs used. Native C++ API for Android, Linux, macOS, and Windows Java/JNI API for Android, Linux, macOS, and Windows Backends OpenGL 4.1+ for Linux, macOS, and Windows OpenGL ES 3.0+ for Android Vulkan 1.0 for Android, Linux, macOS (with MoltenVk) and Windows A sample material rendered with Filament. Source: Github You can check out the Filament Documentation, for an in-depth explanation of real-time PBR, the graphics capabilities and implementation of Filament. Read Next Google open sources Seurat to bring high precision graphics to Mobile VRGoogle releases Android Things library for Google Cloud IoT CoreGoogle updates biometric authentication for Android P, introduces BiometricPrompt APIlast_img read more

Costa Rican Foreign Minister leaves Israel just as Trump arrives

first_imgTEL AVIV — Costa Rican Foreign Minister Manuel González Sanz visited Israel for the first time last week, spending three days in the Jewish state in a bid to cement already strong bilateral relations and boost fledgling Israeli-Costa Rican business ties.The visit comes at a critical time for the Middle East in general, and for Israel in particular.For many years, Costa Rica was one of only a handful of nations that recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In 2006, then-President Oscar Arias relocated the mission to Tel Aviv, the country’s financial center and biggest metropolitan area, in a bid to win trust — and business — in the Arab world. That forced El Salvador, the only other country that still had an embassy in Jerusalem, to pull out, too.González’s departure coincides with the arrival in Israel of U.S. President Donald Trump, who enticed Jewish voters during the 2016 election campaign by promising, among other things, to transfer the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.“Obviously it’s a complete coincidence,” González told The Tico Times during a press conference at Tel Aviv’s elegant Norman Hotel. “Where we have the embassy in Israel was a matter of discussion for a long time. All the pros and cons were considered. President Arias decided to follow the path of most countries and move it to Tel Aviv, and I don’t think that has necessarily changed our relationship. It has worked out very well since then. There are many deeper aspects to it than where to locate the embassy.”González added: “The reality is that this decision was taken by another administration, but our relationship with Israel is just as deep and profound as when the embassy was in Jerusalem.”That didn’t stop Tzipi Hotovely, Israel’s right-wing deputy minister of foreign affairs, from urging Costa Rica to move its mission back to Jerusalem in a public speech welcoming González to Israel.Her appeal — which is unlikely to be heeded, considering that even Trump is now backtracking on his widely hyped vow to move the U.S. Embassy — came during a reception organized by Esteban Penrod, Costa Rica’s ambassador in Tel Aviv, that attracted 160 dignitaries, local journalists and expatriate ticos living in Israel.Among the guests in attendance were Yoed Magen, director of the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s Central America, Mexico and Caribbean department; Ariel Goldgewicht, the Costa Rica-born director of the Jewish National Fund’s Latin American division; and Dyana Cordero, director of Costa Rica’s trade office here.In 2015, said Cordero, bilateral trade reached $45 million. Of that, $36.7 million comprised Israeli exports to Costa Rica (mainly plastics, herbicides and pesticides), and $8.2 million represented Costa Rican exports to Israel, mainly coffee and pineapple juice concentrate.That’s still a far cry from the $230 million in annual trade in years past, when Intel had a factory in Costa Rica and the company — which also has R&D facilities in Israel — virtually dominated trade between the two countries.Next month, Pedro Beirute Prada, the CEO of Procomer, Costa Rica’s Foreign Trade Promotion Agency, will come here to sign a memo of understanding regarding services, according to Cordero, who founded the Costa Rican-Israeli Chamber of Commerce in 2015 and lives in Tel Aviv.In his remarks to journalists, González explained the timing of his visit, which also included a side trip to Bethlehem— a city that falls under Palestinian jurisdiction — as well as neighboring Jordan. A scheduled visit to Ramallah, capital of the Palestinian Authority, was cancelled at the last minute for security reasons.“This is a visit that I probably should have done before, but the conditions were not there,” he said. “Planning a trip like this takes a lot of time and preparation. It’s not something you improvise from one day to the next. My agenda is busy, and we were also waiting for the new ambassador to take office, so the conditions are right now.”He added: “Israel is a very close friend of ours, but next May, the government will change, and we don’t know if the next administration will have a visit like this.”During his visit, González met with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Reuvin Rivlin, as well as Michael Oren, the country’s deputy foreign minister for diplomacy and former ambassador to the United States.He also toured the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament, as well as the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site. In the port city of Jaffa south of Tel Aviv, González stopped by the Peres Center for Peace, a nonprofit organization founded by the late Israeli prime minister, Shimon Peres, that encourages dialogue between Arabs and Jews.Asked by a local journalist how he felt about coming to a country as heavily militarized as Israel, González noted that 1948 — the year the State of Israel was established — was also the year that Costa Rica, under President José Figueres Ferrer, famously disbanded its army.“Costa Ricans feel very comfortable living in a country that took this very difficult decision 69 years ago to abolish its armed forces and dedicate those resources to human development, principally education and health. It’s an investment that has given us important dividends,” said the foreign minister. “We also understand that for countries in difficult situations, it could be much more complicated. But in 1948, when we made this decision, most countries in Latin America were under dictatorship or civil war.”Magen noted proudly that Costa Rica was “among the nations that helped Israel even before the creation of Israel, back in 1947, when it appointed a special ambassador to visit different Latin American capitals and convince those countries to support the partition of Palestine.” A year later, this led to Israel’s establishment.“Ever since, we’ve had excellent relations with all Costa Rican governments,” said Magen, a former Israeli ambassador to both Panama and Colombia. “The fact that Costa Rica decided in 1982 to turn down the UN’s recommendation and not move its embassy from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv meant a lot to Israel.”He added that even though Costa Rica eventually fell in line and transferred its embassy out of Israel’s capital, “it’s been 10 years already, and we’ve moved on. We’ve tried to fill these relations with content, especially cooperation in the fields of health, education and agriculture. We still have many friends in Costa Rica, and the Jewish community there is pretty influential. Many Israelis visit Costa Rica every year, and some Israeli entrepreneurs have initiated projects in Costa Rica, mainly in tourism.”Penrod, who took over as Costa Rica’s ambassador here four years ago from now-retired veteran diplomat Rodrigo X. Carreras, said Israel seeks Costa Rica’s help in fighting what it views as anti-Semitic and anti-Israel resolutions at the United Nations.Israel also quietly trying to restore relations with countries that severed ties with the Jewish state in recent years — a list that includes Bolivia, Cuba and Venezuela. In late March, Israel restored ties with Nicaragua after a seven-year break; an unidentified Central American country reportedly acted as a go-between in getting the Sandinista government to reconsider its previously hostile stance toward Israel.While the Netanyahu government is unlikely to convince the Solís administration to return its embassy to Jerusalem, González said Costa Rica will continue to have Israel’s back at the UN with regard to any future Middle East peace initiative.“With Israel, we share the values of democracy, and the defense of liberty and fundamental rights,” he said. “We cannot have close relations with countries that don’t share our values.”Tel Aviv-based journalist Larry Luxner is a longtime correspondent for The Tico Times. Facebook Comments Related posts:Bernie Sanders’ CAFTA reversal pledge worries Costa Rica businesses African, Cuban migrant children in limbo at Panama-Costa Rica border Scoring the World Surfing Games: A guide U.S. Ambassador Haney to continue in his postlast_img read more