Gay marriage bill back again; veto expected

first_imgSACRAMENTO – Supporters will renew their efforts this week to legalize gay marriages in California, but there seems to be little doubt that the outcome will be a rerun – another veto by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Assemblyman Mark Leno, the San Francisco Democrat who introduced the gay marriage bill that Schwarzenegger vetoed in 2005, said he is confident lawmakers will send the measure to the Republican governor again this year. “We’re hopeful that he will understand why it’s important that he end the second-class treatment of countless California families and children,” Leno said. The bill is scheduled to be considered Tuesday by the Assembly Judiciary Committee. A spokeswoman for Schwarzenegger, Sabrina Lockhart, said the governor’s position hasn’t changed. In his veto message in 2005, Schwarzenegger said the Leno bill violated Proposition 22, the anti-gay marriage initiative approved by California voters in 2000, and that any attempt to legalize same-sex weddings also should go on the ballot. In February, Schwarzenegger repeated his stand on the issue during a high school YMCA conference. “I don’t want, as governor, to go against the will of the people,” he said. A Field Poll released last month found that 43 percent of those questioned said they supported gay marriage, up from 38 percent in 1997 and 30 percent in 1985. The Public Policy Institute of California found a similar trend in its polling. Leno said civil rights shouldn’t be determined at the ballot box. “The governor’s civil rights, as well as my own civil rights, shouldn’t be placed before the voters,” he said. “That’s not how we make decisions regarding equal protection under the law for all citizens.” He said his bill doesn’t need voter approval because it would amend a different section of law than Proposition 22, which was put on the ballot to prevent California from recognizing gay marriages performed elsewhere. Leno said his bill deals with marriages performed in California and would define them as civil contracts between two people. Given Schwarzenegger’s position, the issue probably will be decided by the state Supreme Court, which agreed in December to rule whether California’s ban on gay marriages violates equal protection requirements. A decision in that case isn’t likely before late this year. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

Sharapova rediscovers winning form on Madrid clay

first_imgIn-form Romanian Buzarnescu reached the Prague Open final last week, but unseeded Sharapova, who took the title in Madrid in 2014, dominated this first round meeting.Sharapova jumped to a 5-2 lead in the first set but Buzarnescu briefly showed some resistance by winning the next two games.The Russian seized the momentum by breaking again to clinch the set and dropped only one more game as she won in 82 minutes to set up a second-round match with another Romanian, Irina-Camelia Begu, who upset No.5 seed Jelena Ostapenko the evening before.In another Romanian-Russian clash top seed Simona Halep crushed Ekaterina Makarova 6-1, 6-0, for a 13th straight victory in the tournament.“I think it was a great match. I played really well. Of course, maybe she didn’t play her best, but she’s always tough to play against,” Halep said.Halep has been having fitness issues with her legs and lost to CoCo Vandeweghe in the second round on the Stuttgart clay last week.“I don’t have problems any more. I had a lot of treatment. I took care of my leg,” Halep said. “It was actually coming from the back. I always have little issues with my back, so I know how to treat it.”A third Romanian, Sorana Cirstea also reached the second round by beating Czech Katerina Siniakova, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.“All the girls from Romania are really strong. They train a lot. They play really well, if they are confident,” Halep said.There was a mild upset in the men’s tournament, where unseeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet knocked out Czech 14th seed Tomas Berdych 6-4, 6-2.Canadian Denis Shapovalov joined Gasquet in the second round after seeing off American Tennys Sandgren 6-1, 6-4.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Russia’s Maria Sharapova, pictured in action in April 2018, has been struggling with an arm injury © AFP/File / THOMAS KIENZLEMADRID, Spain, May 6 – Maria Sharapova won for the first time since the Australian Open as she beat Mihaela Buzarnescu, 6-4, 6-1, on Sunday in the Madrid Open.The Russian five-time Grand Slam champion has been struggling with an arm injury, losing her last four matches, crashing out in the first round in Stuttgart last week.last_img


first_imgAn army bomb disposal team is expected in Co Donegal tomorrow (Thurs) morning following the discovery of what is thought to be a grenade in Ballyshannon.The device was found at the Mall Quay earlier this evening.It is not known if the device is old or new. The area has been secured overnight. BOMB DISPOSAL TEAM SUMMONED TO DONEGAL AFTER ‘GRENADE’ FOUND was last modified: February 5th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Army Bomb Disposal teamBallyshannondonegalgrenadelast_img

Remember the Valley?

first_imgUndeniably brilliant though he is, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s sense of timing seems to be off lately. At precisely the time when the San Fernando Valley is celebrating the long-awaited opening of the Orange Line busway, Villaraigosa has started aggressively supporting his plan for a Westside subway under Wilshire Boulevard. Last week, even as he was claiming credit for the busway that others got for the Valley, he proudly announced that a panel he had put together to look into the feasibility of the Westside subway gave it a thumb’s up. Thus, at a moment when Vals should be delighting in their new, $330 million piece of public transportation, the mayor dangles the prospect of far superior mass transit that could easily cost $5 billion to $10 billion for well-heeled Angelenos in the high-rent district. There’s no denying that after years of poor city planning, the Westside is terribly congested. And as part of a comprehensive transit plan for all of Los Angeles, a Westside subway is something residents of all neighborhoods could support. But talk of a Westside subway – with no comparable plans for future transit development in the Valley – only breeds regional resentments. The Orange Line is a step in the right direction (and all that the Valley’s notorious weak political leadership could muster), but no one pretends that it will meet all the Valley’s transportation needs. Given that Vals make up more than one-third of the city’s overall population and pay close to half of its taxes, it’s clear we’ve received nothing close to our fair share of transportation investment. Villaraigosa was supposed to change that, not exacerbate it. Villaraigosa campaigned hard in the Valley, promising that under his leadership the city would at last take this community seriously. Part of that promise was a pledge to appoint a deputy mayor for Valley affairs. But four months into his administration, that pledge remains unfulfilled. Meanwhile, promises to the few neighborhoods City Hall has ever cared about – the Westside and downtown – are actively being met. Not only did Villaraigosa sign on to the l.a. live sports-entertainment complex downtown, complete with a $270 million subsidy for a Convention Center hotel, but he also used city regulatory power to handsomely pay off a competing hotel owner who threatened to block the deal in court. And now the mayor has signed on to a questionable program for the city’s homeless that seems primarily aimed at shuffling the indigents away from the billionaires’ downtown development zone – which he clearly intends to help even more with heavy public infrastructure investment in the Grand Avenue fantasy. No one begrudges the rest of L.A. its due. All parts must be healthy for this one city to thrive. But so far, Villaraigosa hasn’t shown the Valley (or the Eastside or Southside) a whole lot of interest, and that just isn’t smart – or right. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img


first_imgThe union flag flies above Corncreggan Hostel in Dunfanaghy three weeks ago. Pic by 100% Pictures.The management at a leading Donegal hotel has defended their decision to fly the Union Flag on two days last weekend in the village of Dunfanaghy.Derek Arnold said the decision to fly the Union Flag at Arnold’s Hotel was in keeping with their policy to provide a welcome for all their guests without offending any sector of the community.He said their decision to fly the flag came after much consultation with expert opinion and they did not make the decision lightly.He told the Tirconail Tribune “We consulted expert data on flags and the protocol for how they are flown. We are satisfied that the international flags protocol had been observed and I am at a loss to know what the controversy is all about,” he stated.Mr. Arnold was commenting after a complaint was made to the hotel on Sunday evening by local media commentator, James Woods.This is the second time this summer that controversy has reared up around the flying of flags in Dunfanaghy.And again on both occasions the case has been made by Brendan Rohan and more recently by Derek Arnold that they had chosen the Union Flag rather than the Union Jack to avoid any notion of conflict or offence to the public.Mr. Arnold said his family had a very proud history of hospitality and hotel ownership in Dunfanaghy and now in a new era of peace and reconciliation he said they recognised the place of all flags and all nationalities who visit Dunfanaghy on a regular basis. He said this week the Union Flag has been replaced by the Stars and Stripes because they have many American guests staying in the hotel.James Woods has challenged this saying both flags are the same and nobody can provide information to the contrary to support having them flown in Dunfanaghy or anywhere else in this State.He said that the matter needs much more clarification since the Union Flag and the Union Jack are the self-same and have the exact same political and Royal dimensions.
Mr. Woods lodged a complaint with the hotel reception and has followed up his objections to the flag by writing a letter to the media. He is a regular contributor to local media on a wide ranging suite of topics including politics, religion and social issues.In his letter to the Tribune this week, Mr. Woods said that as he drove through Dunfanaghy on Sunday evening what caught is eye was the big Union Jack flag hanging on the front of Arnold’s HotelHe said: “ I made my way inside to make the hotel aware of my objection to the flag being flown, as I found it offensive considering how it has and is being used to stoke sectarian tensions no more than an hour’s drive away in the lead up to the marching season. I waited my turn to speak to express my complaint and was told the hotel had British visitors and that is why it was being flown.Why don’t you fly the St George’s Cross if it’s for English visitors? Well there are Scottish and Welsh among them. Doesn’t Scotland have a flag of its own as does Wales? Why not fly them as they do not have the same connotations attached to them?” he said.In response he said he was told the hotel flies the Irish flag: the EU, Canadian, French and South African flags as well.Mr. Woods said he did not have any problem with that as none of those countries have ever invaded or done us any harm?He added: “I have many English friends who understand completely why the Union Jack is such a sore point historically to Irish passport holders. I have had our flag the Tricolor ripped from my hands and threatened with jail by English police at a protest march in support of innocent Irish prisoners languishing for years in English jails on trumped up charges? (Guildford four/Birmingham six etc).“I would appreciate a reply from the management/owners explaining the rationale behind this unwarranted act, especially now as there are new weekly revelations of collusion between British security forces and loyalist death squads in our country,’ he added.NEW FLAG ROW BREAKS OUT IN DUNFANAGHY was last modified: June 25th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Arnolds HotelDunfanaghyflagrowlast_img

Long walk immortalised in bronze

first_imgThe three-metre-high statue of Nelson Mandela is unveiled outside Groot Drakenstein Prison. Friends and family react with joy to the statue’s unveiling. On the far left is Graca Machel, Mandela’s wife, and next to her is Winnie Madikizela Mandela, his ex-wife. Sculptor Jean Doyle. Doyle with her creation.Words and pictures by Jennifer SternA larger than lifesize bronze statue of Nelson Mandela was unveiled on a rainy Thursday in late August at Groot Drakenstein Prison in Paarl, near Cape Town. Formerly known as Victor Verster, this was where Mandela spent the last few years of his 27 years in jail in relative comfort, as he and other ANC stalwarts negotiated with the apartheid government on the terms of his release and the nature of the new South Africa.In 1990 Mandela walked out of this prison a free man, going on to become South Africa’s first democratically elected president. He walked tall, alternately waving and holding his fist in the air. So when businessman Tokyo Sexwale commissioned the sculpture from renowned Cape Town sculptor Jean Doyle, he had a had a choice of poses. He chose the raised fist – not in anger, but as a gesture of defiance recognised worldwide, and locally always accompanied by the shouted freedom slogan amandla awethu, isiZulu for “power to the people”.The statue’s location is curious. Rather than putting it in the middle of the city, at the Waterfront, or near Table Mountain, where thousands of people would see it every day, Sexwale, Mandela and the members of their respective foundations decided to place it at this isolated, distant location at the gates of a prison. If you want to see it, you’ll have to make a special trip. But there is a certain integrity in its placement. It stands on the very spot where Mandela took his first steps as a free man. Just outside the prison gates – the culmination of the Long Walk to Freedom – the title of Mandela’s autobiography.A host of dignitaries braved the cold, wet, stormy-grey, late winter Cape weather to celebrate the inauguration of the tribute. They included a visibly frail Mandela, the world’s favourite statesman, and South Africa’s most well-known and certainly most beloved son. He arrived flanked by his wife Graça Machel and ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. Despite Cape Town’s rainy welcome, he took the time out to wave at the crowd and, typically, to chat briefly to each member of the local school choir that sang happy birthday to him as part of the year-long celebration of his 90th birthday.This is by no means the only tribute to Mandela. Across the world, he has 23 schools, universities and institutions named after him; 25 halls, buildings, monuments and housing developments; 13 stadiums, squares, plazas, parks and gardens; 91 streets, roads, boulevards and parks; 32 bursaries and scholarships, foundations and lectures. Thirteen – and now 14 – statues sculptures and artworks carry his name.SymbolismThere is symbolism in every aspect of the monument. Mandela is of course walking – taking that long walk. His left foot is forward, reflecting the genesis of his politics, which Sexwale described as “anti-bias, anti-oppression and anti-exploitation”. With a mischievous smile, the businessman added, “And right must follow left,” which brought an appreciative chuckle from the crowed and an amused smile from Mandela.The pedestal, plinth and surrounds, designed by architect Jan Corewijn, work with the sculpture to create a pointed and visually pleasing lesson in semiotics. Mandela stands on black and white marble rising out of an “island” of concentric symbolism – he spend 18 years of his time in jail on Robben Island. Broken prison bars punctuate the sides of the pedestal, while the upper surface is engraved with barbed wire. But, as Sexwale pointed out, the wire is broken, symbolising the freedom won by Mandela and, by implication, all the people of South Africa.Beyond the pedestal is a paved area of Malmesbury shale – the backbreaking stone Mandela worked in the Robben Island quarry, and which clad the floor outside his cell. The next layer in the island is a bed of river stones signifying the millions of people across the world who were always with him in spirit, and worked for his release while he was alone and incarcerated. Nestled between the bigger stones are smaller pebbles that testify to Mandela’s love and care for children, which led him to found the Nelson Mandela Foundation.A ring of black- and white-painted kerbstones is the outermost layer separating the island from the roadway. These, Sexwale says, symbolise “harmony in music, ebony and ivory” – or black and white.The commissionThe statue was commissioned by Tokyo Sexwale on behalf of the Sexwale Foundation as a lasting and visible tribute not only to Mandela, but to every person who made sacrifices in the fight for freedom. Sexwale is a prominent South African businessman, host of the South African read more

More funding available to farms in Lake Erie Watershed

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest  The next round of funding is now available through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), as part of a tristate, five year, $17.5 million program funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The goal of the program is to reduce nutrients and harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie by assisting farmers in installing conservation practices that benefit water quality in the western basin of Lake Erie. March 18 is the application deadline.This year, applications received from Ohio livestock farmers will receive priority for funding. Nutrient management practices that allow for proper storage, timing, and placement of nutrients, will help livestock producers comply with Ohio’s new nutrient management laws. Ohio livestock farmers located in the western Lake Erie basin watershed interested in applying for technical and financial assistance to implement these practices should contact their local USDA Service Center as soon as possible to apply.The Tri-State Western Lake Erie Basin Phosphorus Reduction Initiative is a partnership effort that includes public, private and non-profit organizations and is led in Ohio by the Ohio Department of Agriculture. These partner organizations assist with promoting conservation opportunities and monitor the impact of these practices implemented through the initiative.For more information about conservation assistance available through the Tri-State Western Lake Erie Basin Phosphorus Reduction Initiative, visit Ohio’s USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service website at

Ubislate 7Ci: Can This $20 Tablet Really Change The World?

first_imgIn all the competitive battles that have defined the history of the technology revolution, one essential truth almost always determines the outcome: cheap and good enough beats awesome but expensive every time.It happened when PCs beat out minicomputers (not to mention Macintosh’s). It happened when VHS killed Betamax. It happened when Linux pushed aside proprietary server operating systems. It’s happening now as Google’s Android overtakes Apple’s iOS.Good Enough?And it could be about to happen again with the Ubislate 7Ci tablet. This Android device is far from special in just about every respect. The specs are ordinary at best:7-inch, 800 x 432 capacitive touchscreenAndroid 4.04 Ice Cream Sandwich1GHz Cortex A8 ARMv7 CPU512MB RAM, 4GB storageWi-Fi (a version with GPRS cellular capability is also available)VGA front-facing cameraMicro SD slotPower, micro-USB, and headphone connectorsThe speaker is tinny. The pictures are grainy and low-res, and the colors are off, too. The screen has to be held just so to be seen properly. Battery life is listed as a measly 3 hours, and in my tests the device couldn’t hold a charge more than a day or two no matter how little it was used. Performance is painfully slow for anyone spoiled by the latest tablets from Apple, Samsung, Microsoft and others. Things that should happen instantly take several seconds or more, and I experienced frequent hangups and glitches. But build quality seems solid, and the thing is perfectly portable. Most important, though, it works – and it’s being sold for just $20 in India.Like An iPhone 3GS? Professor and entrepreneur Vivek Wadwha, who lent a test unit to ReadWrite for evaluation, compared the Ubislate Ci7 to an Apple iPhone 3GS, and in my tests that feels about right. If you can remember back a few years, you’ll recall that when 3GS first came out it felt plenty fast and revolutionary. And I think that’s exactly how the Ubislate Ci7would feel to someone getting ahold of their first tablet right now.Sample Ubislate photoBut the iPhone 3GS was a hard-to-get, top-of-the-line machine when it debuted in 2009. For the Ubislate, Wadhwa says the Indian government has put in a bulk order for 100,000 devices at $40 each, which it then plans to sell to students in the countryside for $20 each. Wadhwa says they will also be available direct for $60.It’s unclear how or when manufacturer Datawind will be able to deliver on this order, and when or if the tablet will make it to the U.S. and other markets. And it will no doubt cost a lot more on these shores due to testing, taxes and other issues. Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… fredric paul Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… IT + Project Management: A Love Affair 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Changing The Hardware MarketBut even if the Ubislate never achieves mass distribution, in the U.S. or even in India, it’s still a game changer – for both hardware makers and Internet companies.For the hardware market, iIt proves that a workable tablet can be created – if not yet delivered – at a price that makes it attainable to a lot more people than can afford even the cheapest mainstream tablets from Apple or Samsung and their direct competitors.While people with means will always want the latest and best, the Ubislate is a step toward a world where almost everyone – Wadwha estimates that a billion people could end up with devices like this – has a tablet.Maybe that tablet is not as good as the one on which you may be reading this article right now, but it’s more than good enough to give anyone access to this article – and to the rest of the Internet. And as history has shown over and over again, good enough and dirt cheap will swamp excellent and expensive every time.Apple has made a lot of money selling tablets for $500 and up, and Microsoft is charging a whopping $900 or more for its upcoming Surface Pro. And I’m not saying those excellent products aren’t worth it.But increasingly, those high-end machines could be competing against “good-enough” competitors that aren’t just 10% or 20% cheaper, but an order of magnitude cheaper. That puts a whole new kind of pressure of device makers to justify their high prices.A Vast New Online Market – And New CompetitorsJust as important, though, truly ubiquitous tablets will bring millions – perhaps billions – of new users to the Internet. These new Internet citizens won’t be as rich as the first billion people now online, but they will inevitably shift the center of Net away from developed nations.That will open up vast new markets for Internet companies, if they’re clever and fast enough to come up with products and services that meet their needs.But when the next billion people come online, they’re not just going to be consumers. We’ve already seen that as soon as people get access to the Net, they start figuring out how to leverage it to make life read more

The Future of e-Commerce

first_imgFollow the Puck I’ve been a frontend developer for a decade, working on projects for companies like Macy’s Levi’s Jeans and Philips before I moved over to the marketing department where I’ve been ever since. In my spare time, I participate in professional taco eating competitions. John Demian Nobody can deny the fact that online stores have become a big part of our daily lives. I personally only do groceries shopping in traditional stores and shop online for everything else and by 2021 we will have an estimated of 2.1 billion users worldwide that do the same. With that kind of numbers, you might think there would be a lot of online stores. Well, you would be right! The competition is fierce and with so many competing companies and service provider will try and find every piece of advantage that they can muster. It’s about one of those advantages that I’m going to talk today.Ten years ago getting an online store up an running was far more difficult than it is today. You had to either build a platform from scratch or implement a self-hosted solution like Magento, X-cart or Prestashop. After that you’d have to manage the server, deleting logs, creating backups and always be on the lookout for the next surge of users that will get your site crashing in a matter of minutes.Things have changed a lot from those days and now you have better self-hosted platforms, better and bigger hosting, and you even get E-commerce SaaS providers like Shopify or ZentoShop that will get you started a lot faster.There are huge differences between going for a self-hosted store as opposed to getting a SaaS(software as a service). On one hand, with the self-hosted solutions, you will have the option edit and make it adapt to your product and service, an option that you wouldn’t really get otherwise. This is a huge part of why any technical person might lean towards a self-hosted store but it’s not only cakes and rainbows.As soon as you start looking into an e-commerce platform you’ll realize that it has a lot of dependencies and hosting requirements that you need to consider. And while the platform itself can be cheap, you’ll end up paying thousands of dollars in hosting and setup fees plus paying for an agency or developer to make the necessary updates and changes to your store. You’d think it stops here but it doesn’t. Over the course of a year, you’ll have to make several updates to both the plugins and the platform and you’ll want to make those updates as they are vital to your website’s security.With the e-commerce software as a service (SaaS) providers, things are easier. You get your shop up and running much faster and with almost no initial cost but you will have to pay a monthly fee, plugins are hard to come by and customization is hard but the biggest downside is the scaling issue. Most providers can up your monthly fee in exchange for support for more users but that will work up to a point and then you are on your own.Yet with all the options out there, most online shop owners still have difficulties getting their shop to the next level as without the proper infrastructure to support their shop, their shop will crumble at the slightest increase of traffic.It’s still not enough!The infrastructure behind the stores is one of the most important things to consider when launching your shop. Making sure you won’t have any downtimes is tricky and requires a lot of fidgeting on the server side to ensure your server can and will scale gracefully the next time you have yourself a flash sale and your site gets ‘assaulted’ by customers.Here’s the story of Zalora, one of the biggest fashion stores in Asia employing around 1500 people with a user base of over 20 million users.They have a cool mission statement: “fashion on demand, 24/7 at your doorstep”. Cool, right? But what exactly does that mean from a technical perspective?They have a number of digital outlets through their users can shop, from an online store to mobile apps for both iOS and Android. Those apps and the store need to be in constant communication both with themselves and with the warehouse to make sure all the orders are registered and the stock is updated. That will require a server that can handle thousands of concurrent requests, and if you ever had the unfortunate chance to be on a team that developed a service like that you’ll know that scaling is not easy nor cheap.Stage enter AWSZalora had a growth of about 100% year-to-year in the first 3 years and had to always chase down better hosting, faster loading time and deployments took forever so they decided to move their entire operation to the cloud.They wanted to build on the momentum that they had and having a store hosted on traditional servers would require an effort of biblical proportions.“We outgrew what the server world offered to us and it was the right time for us to switch over to a provider like AWS” — Karthik Subramanian – read more