TV hosts cougar hunt was legal as far as we know Alberta

first_imgEDMONTON, AB. – An investigation into the hunt of a large cougar by a television show host in Alberta has determined it was legal, says the province.Steve Ecklund, host of the outdoor show “The Edge,” bragged about hunting the big cat in early December. He triggered outrage online when he posted several photos of him holding the dead cougar and another of him making a stir-fry from the meat.Environment officials said Thursday that they investigated after receiving complaints from the public about Ecklund’s hunt of the male cat in an area between Rocky Mountain House and Drayton Valley in east-central Alberta.“Did the hunter have a proper licence? Was the quota still open in that specific management area? Was everything done legally?” said carnivore specialist Paul Frame. “As far as we know, that was a legal hunt.”Ecklund and his television network defended his right to hunt the cougar.“We fully support the ethical and legal kill that Steve Ecklund has presented us,” Ryan Kohler, president of Wild TV, said in a video statement posted on Twitter. “Unfortunately he is getting some huge backlash, but that won’t change the fact that we love our hunting heritage here in Canada.”Ecklund had a written statement at the end of the video.“I’d like to say thank you to all the outdoorsmen and women alike for their continued support,” he said.His original post led to criticism from dozens of people, including Laureen Harper, wife of former prime minister Stephen Harper.“Must be compensating for something, small penis probably,” Harper said in a post on Twitter.Alberta Environment said the province has a cougar hunting season for management purposes.“There’s a long-standing tradition of hunting cougars in Alberta,” said Frame. “It’s been regulated since ’69, with the quota in place since 1990.“We adjust quotas based on the environmental conditions of the time, so we review them annually or biannually.”There’s currently an annual quota of up to 155 cougars that can be killed across the province by residents each winter season. Another 30 cats can be hunted by non-residents.Frame said there were 1,025 licences given out in the 2016-17 hunting season and 125 cougars were killed.So far this season, which is open until the end of February, more than 775 licences have been sold. Once a quota in an area is reached, the hunting season closes there.The province says there are between 2,000 and 3,500 cougars in Alberta.“Cougar hunting is popular, especially with hounds,” Mark Boyce, a professor of population ecology with the University of Alberta, said in an email interview from his remote cabin.Most cougars are in the Rocky Mountains and the foothills, but they exist throughout the province.“There is considerable concern about rising numbers of cougars because they are dangerous … and occasionally they kill livestock,” said Boyce. “Hunter harvests are low enough that they do not threaten our cougar populations and sustainable harvests are possible.”Some hunters eat the meat, while others use the hide or have the cougar’s entire body mounted.He suggested the criticism of Ecklund is unwarranted.“This is an anti-hunting rant,” said Boyce. “There is nothing illegal about cougar hunting, but I understand that some people do not accept hunting. That is a personal choice.”last_img read more

Grassroots hearts may be with AFN women candidates but cold math shows

first_imgBy Jorge BarreraAPTN National NewAndrea Michael says she’s paying close attention to the race for Assembly of First Nations national chief for the first time ever because this year’s field includes four female candidates who could make history by breaking the traditionally male hold on the highest profile position in First Nations politics.Michael, 36, says it’s time for the AFN to be led by a woman.“This is the first time I have ever had this much interest or paid this much attention to an election, specifically because of the women candidates, the female voices,” said Michael, who lives in Cut Knife, Sask., and teaches kindergarten on the Poundmaker Cree Nation. “It is time. Are the old boys ready?”The ‘old boys’ aren’t ready yet, according to some who watch First Nations politics closely.“The chiefs are basically conservative. They are going to go with the devil they know than the ones they don’t know,” said Russ Diabo, a policy analyst who hails from Kahnawake, Que., and has been involved and watched AFN politics for 30 years.“If we elect a woman, it will be a watershed moment,” said Doug Cuthand, a prominent columnist who writes on First Nations issues in Saskatchewan. “At the grassroots level, they’ll vote in a woman chief, but it’s the old fogies at the national level that have to catch up….Quite frankly, the chiefs out here are very conservative, they are not going to vote for a woman, they’ll vote for a guy first.”Incumbent national chief Shawn Atleo is the assumed front-runner in the race, but he’s facing one of the largest fields in the history of AFN elections.The AFN is an organization created to champion First Nation issues at the national level.Atleo is facing challenges from two AFN vice-chiefs including George Stanley, from the Cree First Nation of Frog Lake in Alberta, and Bill Erasmus, the Dene Nation chief from the Northwest Territories. Former Ojibway Manitoba chief Terry Nelson, who garnered 10 per cent of the vote in the previous election which Atleo won, is also in the running.It’s the four women in the race, including three lawyers, however, that is setting this race apart.Vying for the national chief’s position are: Ellen Gabriel, a Mohawk from Kanesatake who rose to prominence as a spokesperson during the Oka crisis, Joan Jack, an Ojibway lawyer from the Berens River First Nation, former Treaty 3 grand chief Diane Kelly, a lawyer from Ojibways of Onigaming First Nation, and Pam Palmater, a Mi’kmaq lawyer and professor at Ryerson university.These women candidates have drawn a high level of interest from grassroots First Nations people who have taken to Twitter and Facebook to voice their hope the July 18 election in Toronto makes history.“Women candidates for chief have won the hearts of the people already, pay attention gentlemen,” tweeted Barbara Low.“Women are doers! It’s time!” wrote Brenda Morrison on APTN‘s Facebook page.Women were traditionally the political leaders among the Indigenous nations in Canada before colonization, said Lois Frank, 56, from the Blood Tribe in Alberta.Their place, however, was dislodged through the Indian Act, which erased a woman’s Indian status if she married a non-status man. It wasn’t until 1985, through Bill C-31 that women were able to retain their status. In 2011, as a result of a court ruling, the government passed Bill C-3 which allowed those women to pass on their status to grandchildren.“Women had a lot of power, but, because of the Indian Act, women became non-persons unless indentified with a father or husband,” said Frank, a former Calgary female entrepreneur of the year who is facing court date next Wednesday on charges stemming from a blockade against trucks on her reserve in 2011 which were on route to a fracking operation. “It took courageous women to change that. Native women are not respected as they should be.”While the hearts and hopes of many grassroots people may be with the women candidates in this year’s race, the AFN election’s cold math and rules may be too much for any of them to overcome.Band chiefs are the only ones who can choose a national chief who needs at least 60 per cent of the vote to win. There are only about 630 available votes and with regional politics in play it’s extremely difficult for an outsider to upend the status quo and take the election.As it stands, it appears Atleo has solid support in British Columbia which holds the largest number of votes with about 198. And, according to sources, Atleo has broad support in Ontario, which carries the second largest block of potential votes with about 133.Even with the strong, as one Alberta chief put it, “anybody-but-Atleo” sentiment among many chiefs in the prairies, it may not be enough to knock him off.“(Atleo) has a strong B.C. base…I can’t see too many bolting,” said Diabo. “He’ll have 200 to 300 votes out of the gate.”While poverty rates continue to rise and infrastructure on reserves continues to crumble across the country, Diabo said most of the chiefs are not willing to gamble by choosing an AFN leader who could cause trouble with Ottawa.“Everyone is afraid they’ll lose their funding. That is what’s keeping everyone there,” said Diabo. “The dependency on the federal fiscal transfers has everybody trapped.”According to Cuthand, however, the chiefs are in danger of losing all their legitimacy unless they begin to reflect the will of their grassroots instead of their self interest to keep funds flowing.“The chiefs are going to have to get relevant or be irrelevant,” said Cuthand. “If they try to protect their projects, they are going to find that they are going to be taken over by events.”For Colby Tootoosis, 30, a band councillor for the Poundmaker Cree Nation and former co-chair of the AFN youth council, it’s time for chiefs to stop fearing the word “radical” because the stakes are too high to hope change will come sometime down the road.“We need to pick up the pace. I think radical isn’t a bad thing in terms of what is really at stake and how close we are to becoming strangers in our own lands,” said Tootoosis. “Our people don’t need politicians; we need leaders who are willing to speak the truth.”Whoever becomes the next AFN national chief, Frank hopes they’ll move the organization closer to the people.“The AFN really has to change their image. They are seen as disconnected from the people,” she said.Michael echoes the sentiment.“The First Nation-Crown gathering was such a long way from the dirt roads back home on the rez,” said Michael, who is from Beardy’s and Okemasis First Nation in Saskatchewan. “There is so much frustration out there and people have had it.”jbarrera@aptn.calast_img read more

NWAC hopeful federal budget will improve life for Indigenous women children

first_imgLucy Scholey APTN NewsThe federal government is finally taking big steps to close gaps in healthcare, housing and job opportunities for Indigenous women and youth, according to an advocacy group.The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) says it’s optimistic the Trudeau government is finally recognizing many issues facing Indigenous women and children.That is, so long as the Liberals act on their 2018 budget promises.“Now that we’ve acknowledged that the government is listening to us, we’re hoping that we can develop partnerships and actually get to work moving forward sooner rather than later,” says Francyne Joe, NWAC president.On Tuesday, the Liberals tabled a budget promising nearly $5 billion for First Nation, Metis and Inuit.The government has pledged $1.4 billion dollars in additional funding for First Nations child welfare services and another $300 million to fix the housing crisis plaguing many Indigenous communities. Those funds are part of a $1.5-billion Indigenous housing plan, spread over 10 years, that the Liberals earmarked under infrastructure in last year’s budget.Joe questions whether the housing envelope specifically set aside for Inuit and northern First Nation communities will be enough, given the timeframe.“Obviously, the expense to build a house in northern or remote communities is going to be substantially higher than in the lower parts of Canada near urban centres,” she says.She applauds the government’s plan to invest $2 billion in a jobs training program – with the hopes of helping 15,000 more Indigenous people find jobs – but she says this plan requires reliable internet service in northern communities.“If you go up north, unless you have your own data plan, you probably aren’t going to be able to take some of these training courses that are available online,” she says. “We need to make sure that it’s fair for all Indigenous people to be able to access the same resources, whether they be in remote and northern communities or if they be in urban centres.”This year’s federal budget also includes an additional $172.6 million for on-reserve drinking water projects and $1.5 billion on health-related spending, including nursing services in isolated First Nation communities and tuberculosis treatments in Inuit communities.last_img read more

US stocks snap higher on hopes of USChina trade resolution

first_imgU.S. stocks climbed in early trading Monday as hopes grew for progress in resolving trade frictions between the U.S. and China. Technology companies, health care stocks and retailers drove much of the broad gains on the last day of a volatile year on Wall Street that has the market on track for its worst showing in a decade.KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index rose 15 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 2,501 as of 10 a.m. Eastern Time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 205 points, or 0.9 per cent, to 23,267. The Nasdaq added 45 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 6,630. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks climbed 5 points, or 0.4 per cent, 1,343.Trading has been highly volatile in December, capping a year of turbulence for markets. The major indexes closed last week with their first weekly gain in what’s been an otherwise painful month. The indexes are still all down around 10 per cent for the month and on track for their worst December since 1931.US-CHINA TRADE: Investors drew encouragement from a tweet from President Donald Trump on Sunday, in which the president said he had a “long and very good call” with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Trump added: “Deal is moving along very well. If made, it will be very comprehensive, covering all subjects, areas and points of dispute. Big progress being made.” Meanwhile, the official Xinhua News Agency cited a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying that “China stands ready to work with the United States to move forward the China-U.S. ties which are underpinned by co-ordination, co-operation and stability.”Stocks also got a boost in early December when the U.S. and China agreed to a truce on trade, but then plunged when it was unclear what exactly both sides had agreed upon.LOUSY YEAR: The S&P 500 index, the market’s main benchmark, is on track for a loss of 6.5 per cent this year, or 5.2 per cent once dividends are included. The last time the index fell for the year on that basis was in 2008 during the financial crisis, when it lost 37 per cent. The S&P 500 posted tiny losses in 2011 and 2015, but eked out small gains in both years once dividends were included.THAT HEALTHY FEELING: Health care stocks were among the biggest gainers. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals rose 2.4 per cent to $371.40.TECH RALLY: Big-name technology companies, a big driver of the market’s gains before things deteriorated in October, also rose. Advanced Micro Devices picked up 2.6 per cent to $18.29.READY TO SHOP: Traders bid up shares in department store chains and other retailers. Best Buy gained 2.1 per cent to $52.41.ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil gained 0.9 per cent to $45.73 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the benchmark for international prices, rose 1.3 per cent to $53.90 a barrel in London.BOND YIELDS: Bond prices were little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 2.73 per cent.CURRENCIES: The dollar dipped to 109.99 yen from 110.41 yen on Friday. The euro weakened to $1.1439 from $1.1442.OVERSEAS: In Europe, the CAC 40 of France rose 1.1 per cent, ending the year down about 11 per cent. Britain’s FTSE 100 closed down 0.1 per cent for an annual loss of 12.5 per cent. Germany’s DAX, which was closed Monday, has been one of the worst-performing European indexes. It ended in a bear market, down 22 per cent from a high in January and 18 per cent from the start of the year.Earlier in Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 1.3 per cent, while India’s Sensex gained 0.2 per cent. Australia’s S&P ASX/200’s benchmark slipped 0.1 per cent. Most other markets were closed for the New Year holiday.Alex Veiga, The Associated Presslast_img read more

Young Palestinian entrepreneurs to receive loans through UNbacked initiative

The “Mubadarati” loan programme will be carried out by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in collaboration with Silatech, a social enterprise company that focuses on creating opportunities for youth in the Arab world.“This initiative responds to the desire and demand of youth throughout the region to end their exclusion,” said Peter Ford, representing the Commissioner-General of UNRWA at the signing of the partnership.“Both UNRWA and Silatech are committed to policies of economic empowerment and financial inclusion that will enable Palestinian youth to play their full economic and social role in the societies in which they live and work.”According to UNRWA, there are a significant number of young Palestinians between the ages of 18 and 30 who wish to start new income generating projects but are not able to get access to microcredit.“They face the perennial ‘catch-22’ problem of not being able to start a business without a loan, but not being able to get a loan without a minimum of three months’ business operating experience,” the agency said in a news release.To close this gap, the UNRWA-Silatech partnership will provide loans to young people while at the same time reducing the risk in lending to start-up businesses, as the loans will be financed by UNRWA’s microfinance program and supported by a partial guarantee financed by Silatech.Silatech’s guarantee will reduce the degree of financial risk incurred by UNRWA, allowing the agency to give out millions of dollars in additional loans to help youth start new business ventures. Mubadarati is the first youth start-up loan product to be offered in the West Bank and Gaza, while the Silatech loan guarantee is the first of its type in the Arab region. “Through this partnership, Silatech and UNRWA will help unlock opportunities for young Palestinian entrepreneurs to finance their own businesses, develop their entrepreneurial skills, and create new employment opportunities both for themselves and others,” said Silatech’s chief executive, Tarik Yousef. 27 February 2012Thousands of young Palestinians will receive access to financial loans to support their new businesses through a United Nations-backed initiative announced today, which seeks to stimulate the creation of new jobs in the Middle East. read more

UNICEF joins Egyptian university to boost child protection in Islamic world

With a disproportionate number of the 600 million children in the Islamic world facing huge challenges, from poverty and disease to lack of education and protection, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has teamed up with Egypt’s prestigious Al-Azhar University to produce a manual to improve child development.The manual, Children in Islam, Their Care, Protection and Development, includes research papers and extracts of Koranic verses, Hadiths and Sunnas with guidance on children’s rights in such areas as health, education and protection in a broad-level effort to advance the well-being of children in Islamic countries and communities. The manual “can make a critical difference for millions of children in the Muslim world by putting information related to child survival, development and protection from the perspective of Islam into the hands of those who can use it effectively – Imams, Islamic religious leaders and others who are working with children, their families and communities,” UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Rima Salah said. Meeting the needs and guaranteeing the rights of these children – who account for more than a quarter of the world’s 2.3 billion children – are key to the success of overall efforts to combat poverty, accelerate human development and build a more peaceful future.An earlier publication by UNICEF and Al-Azhar University titled Child Care in Islam published in 1984 focused on issues relating to the survival of young children, but new problems have since come into focus including female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C), child labour, child trafficking and HIV/AIDS.The new manual helps make clear that harmful traditional practices often falsely associated with Islam, such as FGM/C and gender discrimination in education, are not mentioned in the Koran and have no basis in Islamic law. It reflects the broader vision for children that has emerged over the past two decades ago. Representatives of international and Islamic organisations, funding institutions, governments, non-governmental organisations, academic institutions and the broader faith community attended the event at Al-Azhar University’s main Conference Hall yesterday to release the new manual. read more

Schools should keep checking up on former students when they are at

Schools should continue to check up on former students once they have gone to university, a leading headmaster has said.Stephen Lehec, headmaster of the £18,000-a-year Kingston Grammar School, said that universities spend a lot of time talking about their mental health provisions, and investing millions of pounds on various initiatives.However, many are merely paying “lip service” to student wellbeing, and waste money on “gimmicks” like therapy dogs, he said.Mr Lehec said that staff at his school keep in touch with alumni after the leave, and continue to offer them counselling or advice once they start university. “Some universities offer excellent support but most of the rest pay lip-service to student wellbeing,” he told The Telegraph. “Gimmicks like a therapy dogs and other animals at exam time do not address the real problems faced by many students.   “Vulnerable students need access to joined-up, high-quality support throughout their academic career – and especially in their first year, which many may find disorientating and isolating.”He said that other schools should also keep in touch with former pupils, adding that “it is not a huge effort just to send out an email” and ask how they are getting on. “We stay in contact with all of our ex-students, particularly in their first term at university, to see how they are doing and follow up with support. If they need help, we help them get it,” he said. Mr Lehec explained how it can be disorientating for 18-year-olds to go from a system where “everyone knows everything about them, and information is shared openly”, to one where people know “virtually nothing” about them unless they choose to mention it. Mr Lehec said that Ucas should change their systems so that it becomes the norm for students to talk about what support they may need.Kingston Grammar School was founded by Royal Charter in 1561 but can trace its roots back to at least the 13th century.  Its alumni include Edward Gibbon, author of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.Earlier this month, the universities minister told vice-Chancellors that they must “prioritise” the mental health and well-being of new students, adding that this requires “leadership from the top”.In a letter sent to all vice-Chancellors in the country ahead of students’ return to university for the start of a new term, Sam Gyimah warned that there is “no negotiation” when it comes to mental health.“With the new academic year upon us, I’m sure you would agree that good mental health and wellbeing underpins successful participation and attainment,” he said.  “Collectively, we must prioritise the wellbeing and mental health of our students – there is no negotiation on this. To make this happen, leadership from the top is essential.”  A spokesperson for Universities UK said: “Universities take seriously their duty of care to students and staff. We are proud of the work done by student support and welfare services around the country.“But we know that universities cannot address these complex challenges alone. In particular, we are working to improve the links with local health services.”   Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

Gardaí reissue appeal for witnesses after cyclist seriously injured in collision with

first_img 20 Comments Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Monday 1 May 2017, 12:57 PM Image: Google Maps Image: Google Maps 21,762 Views May 1st 2017, 12:57 PM Share Tweet Email GARDAÍ HAVE RENEWED an appeal for witnesses after a cyclist was seriously injured after being hit by a heavy goods vehicle (HGV) in Crumlin last month.The 39-year-old male cyclist was seriously injured when he was struck by the vehicle at the junction of Grove Road and Harold’s Cross Road at about 3.50pm on Good Friday (14 April).The cyclist was hit as the HGV turned left onto Harold’s Cross Road and he proceeded forward towards Parnell Road.He remains in a serious condition in St James Hospital following the incident. The driver of the HGV was uninjured.Speaking at Crumlin Garda Station, Superintendent Michael Cryan called for witnesses to come forward.“This collision occurred shortly before 4pm on Good Friday and it is clear from CCTV that there were a lot of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists in the vicinity at the time and their assistance is needed in establishing the exact circumstances of this collision,” said Cryan.“Gardaí would in particular like to speak with a male pedestrian who is seen on CCTV at this junction at the time of the collision.This male was wearing a black leather jacket with blue jeans. Gardaí would also like to speak with the occupants of a small boxed refrigerated white truck which travelled directly behind the HGV involved prior to the collision.Anyone with information is asked to contact Crumlin Garda Station 01-6666200, Terenure Garda Station 01-666 6400 or the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111.Read: Man (80s) seriously injured after being hit by car in Ballyfermot last nightRead: Woman (20s) dies in house fire in Limerick Gardaí reissue appeal for witnesses after cyclist seriously injured in collision with lorry The cyclist was hit by the lorry on Good Friday. Short URL By Cormac Fitzgeraldlast_img read more

Three charged over Longford St Patricks Day stabbing

first_img Sunday 19 Mar 2017, 10:59 AM Three charged over Longford St Patrick’s Day stabbing Three males are due to appear before a special sitting of Longford District Court. No Comments New Street, Longford Town Image: Google Maps Mar 19th 2017, 10:59 AM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 12,169 Views center_img THREE PEOPLE HAVE been charged in relation to a stabbing in Longford town on St Patrick’s Day.Three males are due to appear before a special sitting of Longford District Court this morning in relation to the stabbing.The incident occurred on the evening of Friday – St Patrick’s Day – at about 8.30pm.A man in his mid-30s suffered apparent stab wounds when he was assaulted by a number of youths.He was taken to the Midlands Regional Hospital in a critical condition following the incident.A man (18) and two younger males were arrested following the incident.Gardaí said today that the injured man was still receiving treatment in hospital.Comments have been disabled as people are due before the courtsRead: Man in his 30s stabbed repeatedly by gang of youths in Longford New Street, Longford Town Share Tweet Email1 Short URL Image: Google Maps By Cormac Fitzgeraldlast_img read more

Legendary sports broadcaster Fred Cogley has died at 82

first_img 40 Comments Jun 14th 2017, 10:06 PM Legendary sports broadcaster Fred Cogley has died at 82 He covered 11 Olympics’, 12 World Cups and no fewer than 49 rugby seasons for RTÉ. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Source: Ryle Nugent/Twitter 29,020 Views Share590 Tweet Email3 center_img Source: Billy Stickland/INPHORTÉ HAVE THIS evening announced the death of iconic former sports broadcaster Fred Cogley. He was 82.Cogley’s distinctive voice was synonymous with RTÉ’s sports coverage for decades. He is fondly remembered, in particular, for his rugby commentary and as the presenter of the flagship Sports Stadium programme from 1973 until 1997.Over the course of his career, Cogley — who was also RTÉ’s head of sport for 27 years — covered 11 Olympic Games’, 12 World Cups and no fewer than 49 seasons of rugby.His broadcasting career began in 1950, at the age of 16, with Radio Eireann. RTÉ head of sport Ryle Nugent was among those who paid tribute to Cogley on social media, describing him as a “gentleman to his toes”. Short URL By Paul Dollery 16 players from the 1997 World Youth Championships that became starsQuiz: How well do you know the US Open? Fred Cogley RIP. Was so generous with his time and encouragement. Gentleman to his toes. Sound track to a generation of TV rugby @RTEsport— Ryle Nugent (@ryle_nugent) June 14, 2017 Wednesday 14 Jun 2017, 10:06 PMlast_img read more

Macedonia agrees to change its name ending decadeslong dispute with Greece

first_img Tuesday 12 Jun 2018, 9:42 PM Jun 12th 2018, 9:42 PM 40 Comments Macedonia agrees to change its name, ending decades-long dispute with Greece If the deal is approved by both countries’ parliaments, Macedonia will be known as the Republic of North Macedonia. 37,154 Views By AFP Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Share36 Tweet Email2 Short URL Protesters in Greece gather to demand a tough stance on the country’s name (top); tens of thousands of protesters at an anti-government rally in Skopje on Saturday. Source: Photojoiner/PA ImagesMACEDONIA PRIME MINISTER Zoran Zaev hailed a “historic solution” that ends a longstanding row with Greece by renaming his country the Republic of North Macedonia.The 27-year dispute has led to frequent disagreement and protests, but the two countries agreed on the new title of the former Yugoslav republic after months of intensive diplomacy.“There is an agreement. We have a historic solution after two and a half decades. Our agreement includes Republic of North Macedonia for overall use,” Zaev told reporters in the capital Skopje.Greece has long objected to its northern neighbour being called Macedonia because it has its own northern province of the same name.Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras also declared a deal had been struck.“We have reached an accord, a good accord that covers all the conditions set by Greece,” Tsipras said in televised comments after briefing Greece’s president Prokopis Pavlopoulos on the accord. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras meets with Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos to confirm the historic agreement. Source: Xinhua News Agency/PA ImagesMacedonia hopes that resolving the name dispute will help clear the way for it to join the European Union and Nato.European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted his support for the agreement: “Thanks to you the impossible is becoming possible.”“I am keeping my fingers crossed,” he said.The deal still needs to be approved by the Macedonian and Greek parliaments.Hardliners criticalGreek officials earlier said the list of potential names included ‘New Macedonia’ and ‘Upper Macedonia’, but after months of discussions ‘North Macedonia’ was chosen.Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias had prepared a 20-page draft agreement after repeated talks with his Macedonian counterpart Nikola Dimitrov.Kotzias told Kontra TV yesterday that the agreement would specify that Macedonia’s language is of Slavic origin.“It’s clear that (Macedonia) bears no relation to the ancient (Macedonian) culture… and that their language belongs to the Slavic language,” he said. Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev talks to the media in the government building in Skopje, Macedonia. Source: Boris Grdanoski via PA ImagesBoth governments have faced criticism ahead of the compromise and today Macedonia’s President Gjorge Ivanov signalled his concern.“There is a need for a wider national consensus to find a solution that won’t hurt the dignity of the Macedonian people and citizens,” said Ivanov.He is close to a nationalist party which was defeated by Zaev in elections last year.This year there have been several protests against an agreement in Skopje, as well as in Athens and Greece’s second city of Thessaloniki in the north.‘No chance’Greek Defence Minister Panos Kammenos, a hardline junior coalition partner in Tsipras’s government, earlier dismissed talk of a deal, saying there was “no chance” Zaev could get it approved.Greece’s parliament will be called to ratify the agreement after Macedonian lawmakers approve it, provided that Skopje fulfils preliminary EU and Nato requirements to begin membership talks, Kotzias said.Skopje hopes to secure a date to begin accession talks at an EU summit in late June, and an invitation to join Nato in mid-July.“This historic agreement is testament to many years of patient diplomacy, and to the willingness of these two leaders to solve a dispute which has affected the region for too long,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement.“This will set Skopje on its path to NATO membership. And it will help to consolidate peace and stability across the wider Western Balkans,” he added.The EU’s diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini said the deal “contributes to the transformation of the entire region of southeast Europe”.Athens has long objected to its neighbour’s constitutional name – the Republic of Macedonia – because it fears it could imply territorial ambitions.Ancient Macedonia was the cradle of Alexander the Great’s empire, a point of pride to Greeks today.But under the Romans, the province of Macedonia was expanded to include territory in modern-day Greece, Macedonia, Bulgaria and Albania.© – AFP 2018 last_img read more

Climat le président du Giec se défend devant un comité dexperts

first_imgClimat : le président du Giec se défend devant un comité d’experts Amsterdam, Pays-Bas – Rajendra Pachauri, le président du Groupe intergouvernemental d’experts de l’ONU sur l’évolution du climat (Giec) tente de défendre les travaux de l’organisation devant un comité d’experts scientifiques chargé d’évaluer ses méthodes de recherche.Le Giec fait l’objet de vives critiques depuis plusieurs mois, notamment au sujet d’un rapport sur la fonte des glaciers de l’Himalaya. Rajendra Pachauri, qui a défendu lundi la qualité des recherches de l’organisation, a reconnu que les conclusions de ce rapport étaient fausses. Celles-ci affirmaient en effet que les glaciers pourraient disparaître d’ici 2035.À lire aussiÉtoiles filantes, robots et bière, les 8 actus sciences que vous devez connaître ce 19 avril”C’est vrai, il y a eu une erreur, mais il y a tout un tas d’informations et d’évaluations liées aux glaciers valides” dans ce même rapport, a assuré le président du Giec devant une commission du Conseil inter-académique, lors d’une audience publique à Amsterdam.Rajendra Pachauri affirme que si les glaciers de l’Himalaya n’auront pas entièrement fondu d’ici les 25 prochaines années, les conclusions générales du rapport sur l’impact du réchauffement climatique n’en demeurent pas moins valides. La fonte des glaciers a “déjà contribué à hauteur d’environ 28% à l’élévation du niveau de la mer depuis 1993” a-t-il souligné avant d’admettre que l’erreur commise par les experts du climat devait servir au Giec pour moderniser son approche de la question du réchauffement climatique.Plus récemment, le groupe a été une nouvelle fois très critiqué pour avoir estimé qu’une augmentation du niveau de la mer d’un mètre inonderait 17% du Bangladesh, engendrant 20 millions de réfugiés d’ici 2050. Une étude financée par la Banque asiatique de développement souligne une nouvelle erreur d’évaluation, expliquant que cette prévision ne tient pas compte du rôle des sédiments, au moins un milliard de tonnes, qui sont transportés par les fleuves chaque année jusqu’au Bangladesh. Selon Rajendra Pachauri, cette étude n’ayant pas été validée par des pairs, l’argument ne peut pas être pris en compte.Le 18 mai 2010 à 10:16 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Un insecte ravageur sattaque aux forêts canadiennes

first_imgUn insecte ravageur s’attaque aux forêts canadiennesAprès avoir dévasté les forêts de l’ouest du Canada, le dendroctone du pin ponderosa, un insecte ravageur, commence à s’attaquer aux pins gris de l’Alberta. Une récente étude indique qu’il pourrait ensuite se déplacer vers l’est, et même jusqu’aux rives de l’Atlantique.Des biologistes et généticiens de l’université de l’Alberta ont mené une étude sur ce minuscule insecte, à peine plus gros qu’un grain de riz, après qu’il a été repéré à 200 kilomètres environ au nord d’Edmonton, rapporte Le fait que le dendroctone du pin ponderosa s’attaque désormais aux pin gris d’Alberta est d’autant plus inquiétant que cet arbre “est l’espèce dominante dans la forêt boréale canadienne”, souligne Janice Cooke, une scientifique ayant participé à cette étude.À lire aussiIl laisse une fourmi coupe-feuille lui découper le doigtAprès avoir ravagé quelque 700 millions de mètres cubes de forêt en Colombie Britannique, l’insecte pourrait se propager à l’Ontario et au Québec, puis jusqu’à l’Atlantique, alertent les chercheurs. Mais la rapidité de cette progression vers l’est dépendra de l’ampleur des changements climatiques, note Janice Cooke.Le dendroctone a commencé par s’attaquer à des espèces hybrides, croisement entre des pins ponderosa et des pins gris, explique une spécialiste en écologie moléculaire, Catherine Cullingham. Différencier les différentes espèces de pins a demandé un travail de taille. “C’était difficile mais notre équipe a utilisé des marqueurs moléculaires pour démontrer finalement que la dernière espèce de pin attaquée était le pin gris”, explique la chercheuse. Cette découverte est de grande importance, car “elle va permettre aux gestionnaires des forêts et aux politiques de prendre des décisions vitales dans la bataille continue contre la dévastation des forêts par cet insecte” souligne Janice Cooke.Le 7 avril 2011 à 09:42 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Alicia Fox on being part of Total Divas early WWE days

first_img In Push For Diversity, Movie Academy Invites 928 New Members Adam Martin RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR HBO, Tiffany Haddish Developing New Comedy Series Now Playing Up Next WhatsApp Now Playing Up Next Tiffany Haddish Won`t Do Georgia Show After Abortion Ban Ethan Page on how Impact Wrestling has been better, winning the Tag Titles, booed in Canada Awa Ly Naomi Ackie to face Yoda for Star Wars spoilers! Pinterest Twitter Tiffany Haddish Leads African-American Emmy Sweepcenter_img Now Playing Up Next Google+ Now Playing Up Next Dustin Rhodes on AEW against NXT: “I don’t consider us going to war with anybody” Videos Articles Facebook Now Playing Up Next Sammy Guevara talks about his match against Cody on TNT, the Wednesday Night Wars Videos Articles Scott Fishman of The Miami Herald is featuring an interview with WWE Diva Alicia Fox talking about her debut on the next season of “Total Divas” on the E! network on Sunday night and her initial introduction to the WWE back in 2006 in developmental.On being part of the “Total Divas” cast this season:“It’s pretty cool because Paige and I are the new additions. It’s was unexpected for me for sure. I’m so thrilled to be a part of it. I’m having such a great time with it. With the girls, I’ve had good relationships with anyways, so I’m really having the time of my life. It’s really awesome to have a platform to be able to communicate and have a way for fans to understand who I am. They can see how I can relate to them. They also have taught me stuff about myself. It is really nice for the fans to hear me have a voice and opinion and understand my goals. I think it will be really beneficial for everyone involved.”On signing with WWE back in 2006:“Everyone comes in differently, but going into the training and developmental was such a great learning experience for me. I would never trade that time and the things I learned, in and out of the ring, for anything. When I first got signed, I was 19. So WWE has really given me the chance to grow from a relative child. I think I’ve really transitioned into a young woman. I feel like I really matured on different levels being with WWE. I just feel like I don’t know how I would be able to take this opportunity and realize what a great blessing this is if I was starting from the very bottom.”You can check out the full interview with Fox at the link below.Miami Herald: WWE diva Alicia Fox joins ‘Total Divas’ cast on Jan. 4 on E!Recommended videosPowered by AnyClipNaomi Ackie to face Yoda for Star Wars spoilers!Video Player is loading.Play VideoPauseUnmuteDuration 3:22/Current Time 0:04Loaded: 9.73%0:05Remaining Time -3:18 FullscreenUp NextThis 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.Replay the list Alicia Foxlast_img

Ramos receives a commemorative shirt for 150 matches

first_imgSpain captain Sergio Ramos received a commemorative shirt for his 150 matches at international level, moments before their 6-1 win over ArgentinaMarcelino Maté, president of the Management Board of the Spanish Football Federation, was on hand to present Ramos with the award in recognition of his achievement. The Real Madrid captain was greeted to a standing ovation by the Spanish supporters at the home of arch-rivals Atletico Madrid on Tuesday night.1⃣5⃣0⃣ ??? Sergio Ramos was given a special shirt before kick-off to mark his 150th cap for ??Spain, which he made ? Germany last week ¡Felicitaciones, Sergio!— FIFA World Cup ? (@FIFAWorldCup) 27 March 2018Sergio Ramos, Real MadridZidane reveals Sergio Ramos injury concern for Real Madrid Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane has put Sergio Ramos’ availability for Real Madrid’s trip to Sevilla next weekend in doubt after withdrawing him against Levante.Notably Ramos’ ex-Real teammate Gonzalo Higuain failed to join in on the applause for the Spaniard.Since making his debut at international level for Spain, back in 2005, Ramos has since gone on to win both the European and World championships in his 13 year spell.  In his now 151 appearances for Spain, the defender has also scored 13 goals.last_img read more

NASUWT staff begin series of oneday strikes over pay and pensions

first_imgImage credit: GMBAround 140 employees of the NASUWT teaching union are staging a series of three one-day strikes over pay and changes to pensions.The industrial action, which starts today, is being taken by members of the GMB union, with further strikes planned for 5 November and 9 November.GMB regional organiser David Warwick said the senior management of NASUWT had not been willing to engage in “meaningful discussions” to resolve the dispute over changes to the pension scheme and a three-year pay deal that were “both imposed without the agreement of our members”.Under NASUWT proposals, staff will have to work for 45 years instead of 40 to fund a half-salary pension. GMB insisted the pay deal imposed by NASUWT, representing a rise equivalent to RPI inflation, currently at 3.1%, “effectively removed members’ ability to renegotiate a reopener clause that was triggered in the previous two-year pay deal because inflation had outstripped it”.The industrial action follows a ballot in which 87.6% of GMB members voted to strike, from a turnout out of 77.6%.Warwick said: “As a last resort, GMB members are now taking industrial action to prevent cuts to their pension scheme and to protect their rights to collective bargaining. We are hoping this action will make the employer recognise the strength of feeling of their staff as to what is happening and do something about it.”NASUWT offices around the country are affected, with staff striking at the headquarters in Rednal in Birmingham, as well as London, Scotland, Bury St Edmunds, East Midlands, Exeter, Newcastle, Surrey and Yorkshire.A NASUWT spokesman said employees had been guaranteed a “defined benefits pensions scheme” and a pay award equivalent to RPI over the next three years, and that it was “disappointing” that the GMB had rejected its offer.He added: “The NASUWT apologises for any inconvenience the GMB’s action may cause. We will make every effort to minimise any disruption caused by the GMB strike action, to keep NASUWT sites open and to maintain its service to members.”last_img read more

ACM Awards 2019 Announce Party For A Cause Events Performers

first_img Twitter Email News As the April 7 ACM Awards approach, charitable music events surround the broadcast with insider tips and passionate performancesPhilip MerrillGRAMMYs Mar 11, 2019 – 5:29 pm The 54th American Country Music Awards hosted by Reba McEntire is coming to Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 7, and surrounding the show are ACM’s four “Party for a Cause” weekend events at the MGM Grand’s Marquee Ballroom and Topgolf facility. GRAMMY winners including songwriters Shane McAnally, Lori McKenna, Josh Osborne, and singer/songwriter Darius Rucker are signed up to raise money for ACM’s charitable arm Lifting Lives and to make the April 5–7 ACM weekend unforgettable.McAnally, McKenna and Osborne will be part of the performing panel on Friday, April 5 for “ACM Stories, Songs & Stars,” along with GRAMMY-nominated songwriters Rhett Akins, Ross Copperman, Ashley Gorley, and Chase McGill. They’ll be sharing the stories behind works such as McKenna’s Best Country Song GRAMMY winners, “Girl Crush” performed by Little Big Town and “Humble And Kind” performed by Tim McGraw. ACM Awards Announce Party For A Cause Lineups acm-awards-2019-announce-party-cause-events-performers Facebook ACM Awards 2019 Announce “Party For A Cause” Events & Performers Rucker will co-host Saturday, April 6th’s “ACM Lifting Lives Topgolf Tee-Off” with Scotty McCreery, who will also be among the event’s musical performers. In addition to being a celebrity golfer, Rucker was recently named an official brand ambassador for the PGA Tour.That night at the Marquee Ballroom, the “ACM Decades” concert will combine evergreen classics with new favorites including performances by GRAMMY nominees Tracy Lawrence, Jamie O’Neal and Michael Ray.On April 7 itself, after the 2019 ACM Awards have all been announced, Big Kenny of Big & Rich will be hosting the official after-party with Shawn Parr. In addition to Big Kenny himself, GRAMMY nominated performers that night include AJ McLean of the Backstreet Boys, Cassadee Pope and Brett Young.Additional details, tickets and special packages are available at the Party for a Cause website. A portion of all proceeds will be donated to ACM Lifting Lives, supporting music education and musicians-in-need initiatives including disaster relief, music therapy and more.ACM Awards 2018: Carrie Underwood Returns, Miranda Lambert Wins BigRead morelast_img read more

Another Grammy Award nomination for Ladysmith Black Mambazo

first_imgWebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite Ladysmith-based Cappella singing group Ladysmith Black Mambazo has received a Grammy nomination in the category ‘Best World Music Album’ for ‘Walking In The Footsteps Of Our Fathers’. This marks the group’s 17th Grammy Award nomination.Ladysmith Black Mambazo has won four Grammy Awards; in 1988 for ‘Shaka Zulu’; in 2004 for ‘Raise Your Spirit Higher’; in 2009 for ‘Ilembe’; and in 2013 for ‘Singing For Peace Around The World’.The 59th annual Grammy Awards ceremony will be held on February 12, 2017, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. James Corden will host the ceremony for the first time.The community of Ladysmith is incredibly proud of Ladysmith Black Mambazo for securing yet another Grammy nomination.Read full story HERE  from sister newspaper Northern KwaZulu-Natal Courier. DID YOU KNOW?Click on the words highlighted in red to read more on this and related topics.If you are reading this on your cellphone and there are telephone numbers provided in the text, you can call these simply by clicking on them.To receive news links via WhatsApp.For the latest news, visit our webpage or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Join us there!last_img read more

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first_img April 21, 2011 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared Hologic to incorporate the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) Whole Body Reference Data into its Discovery dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) systems. These body composition values are useful in cases when a disease or condition itself, or its treatment, can affect the relative amounts of fat and lean tissue.The prevalence of obesity has reached pandemic proportions. Globally, 1.5 billion adults were overweight in 2008 and 65 percent of the world’s population live in countries where the number of obese and overweight people now exceeds the underfed. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 72.5 million adults in the United States were considered obese in 2007-2008, increasing their risk for coronary heart disease, hypertension, stroke, type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancer and premature death. Unfortunately, children are not immune to this disease. It is estimated that 17 percent of American children and adolescents ages 2-19 years old are obese, according to the latest NHANES.The FDA clearance of the Hologic Advanced Body Composition Assessment package opens up a new market for the Hologic Discovery whole body DXA systems that, up to now, have primarily been used to measure osteoporosis in women after they reach menopause.”Body mass measurement on our Discovery systems is another significant milestone for Hologic and our skeletal health business,” said John Jenkins, vice president and general manager of the Hologic Skeletal Health business. “Our new Advanced Body Composition assessment package provides a more detailed and more consistent baseline for measuring body mass changes than bio-impedance testing, hydrostatic weighing and skin fold thickness. This new indication is a major step forward in helping maintain the quality of life of men and women and, we hope, will become the standard of care for adults and children.”The assessment package is designed to provide a quick, accurate and precise low-dose X-ray exam to aid the physician in the assessment of fat, lean tissue and bone. Some of the diseases and conditions for which body composition values are useful include chronic renal failure, anorexia nervosa, obesity, AIDS/HlV, and cystic fibrosis. A whole body composition scan can take as little as three minutes. During the exam, the patient lies comfortably on a padded table while the system scans the body. Unlike typical X-ray machines, radiation exposure during this exam is extremely low and involves no injections, invasive procedures or pain. The new assessment package includes color images displaying the distribution of fat, lean tissue and bone and an easy to interpret report for improved patient management and counseling.For more information: FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 Technology | Radiographic Fluoroscopy (RF) | August 09, 2019 Shimadzu Medical Systems Receives FDA 510(k) for FluoroSpeed X1 RF System Shimadzu Medical Systems USA, a subsidiary of Shimadzu Corp., announced they have received U.S. Food and Drug… read more Videos | Radiographic Fluoroscopy (RF) | August 09, 2019 VIDEO: Demonstration of the Shimadzu FluoroSpeed X1 Radiographic Fluoroscopy System Shimadzu displayed the FluoroSpeed X1 conventional radiographic fluoroscopy (RF) system at the Association for Medica read more Related Content News | PACS | August 09, 2019 Lake Medical Imaging Selects Infinitt for Multi-site RIS/PACS Infinitt North America will be implementing Infinitt RIS (radiology information system)/PACS (picture archiving and… read more Technology | Mammography Reporting Software | July 25, 2019 Hologic Partners With MagView to Develop Unifi EQUIP Solution Hologic announced a partnership with mammography information solutions provider MagView to develop Unifi EQUIP, an… read more Shimadzu FluoroSpeed X1 Walkaround AHRA 2019Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:25Loaded: 11.42%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:25 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions 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.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button. Technology | Digital Radiography (DR) | July 25, 2019 Samsung Announces New iQuia Premium Digital Radiography Platform Samsung has announced iQuia, a new digital radiography (DR) platform of premium products and technologies that improves… read more News | Mammography Reporting Software | July 26, 2019 Ikonopedia Releases Automated Combined Reporting Package at AHRA Ikonopedia showcased its recently released Automated Combined Reporting package and its entire suite of structured… read more Image courtesy of Imago Systems News | Breast Imaging | August 02, 2019 Volpara to Distribute Screenpoint Medical’s Transpara AI Solution Volpara Solutions and ScreenPoint Medical BV signed an agreement under which Volpara will sell ScreenPoint’s Transpara… read more News | Artificial Intelligence | August 13, 2019 Artificial Intelligence Could Yield More Accurate Breast Cancer Diagnoses University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) researchers have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) system that… read more News | Mammography | August 14, 2019 Imago Systems Announces Collaboration With Mayo Clinic for Breast Imaging Image visualization company Imago Systems announced it has signed a know-how license with Mayo Clinic. The multi-year… read more Technology | April 21, 2011 Hologic Cleared to Use NHANES Whole Body Reference Data Technology | Breast Biopsy Systems | July 24, 2019 Fujifilm Releases Tomosynthesis Biopsy Option for Aspire Cristalle Mammography System Fujifilm Medical Systems U.S.A. Inc. recently expanded its breast imaging solutions with the launch of its… read morelast_img read more

Armed militia Bundy brothers take over federal building in rural Oregon

first_img Facebook Comments Related posts:Faced with delays and the mishandling of evidence, prosecutors deliver closing arguments in Jairo Mora murder trial Pope Francis prays at 9/11 Memorial after UN speech France bans Paris climate rallies due to security concerns Costa Rica top ‘out-performer’ in 2016 Social Progress Index © 2015, The Washington Post Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward urged the public to stay away from the area as authorities work to resolve the standoff, according to the Oregonian.“A collective effort from multiple agencies is currently working on a solution,” Ward said in a statement reported by the paper. “For the time being please stay away from that area. More information will be provided as it becomes available. Please maintain a peaceful and united front and allow us to work through this situation.”Beth Anne Steele, an FBI spokeswoman in Portland, told the AP that the bureau was aware of the situation at the wildlife refuge, but she declined further comment.A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokesperson told CNN that the agency and the Bureau of Land Management are monitoring the armed protesters.“While the situation is ongoing, the main concern is employee safety, and we can confirm that no federal staff were in the building at the time of the initial incident,” the spokesperson said. “We will continue to monitor the situation.”Cliven Bundy told Oregon Public Broadcasting on Saturday night that he wasn’t involved in the standoff, but he struck a sympathetic tone.“That’s not exactly what I thought should happen, but I didn’t know what to do,” he said. “You know, if the Hammonds wouldn’t stand, if the sheriff didn’t stand, then, you know, the people had to do something. And I guess this is what they did decide to do. I wasn’t in on that.”Late Saturday, the occupiers blocked the entrance of the federal headquarters with a pickup truck and placed an American flag over the welcome sign, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting. An Oregon State Police car “idled by the side of the road just outside Burns,” the broadcaster reported, but there were no signs of a larger law enforcement presence in the area.“We are not hurting anybody or damaging any property.,” Ammon Bundy told OPB. “We would expect that they understand that we have given them no reason to use lethal force upon us or any other force.”Ron Gainer, the owner of a nearby RV park who dropped off some chili for the occupiers, told the broadcaster that he counted about 15 people, a half-dozen vehicles and a trailer at the site. The estimate differed sharply from the Bundy family accounting, which put the number of people at the refuge at about 150, according to OPB.By nightfall, the broadcaster noted, the temperature had plummeted to 10 degrees, prompting occupiers to bundle around a campfire. Some of those present identified themselves as nearby residents and supporters of the convicted ranchers.Asked by an OPB reporter how many militia members were at the headquarters, Bundy didn’t divulge.“I will not disclose,” he said. “Operational security.”Watch Bundy’s Sunday news conference: An armed militia took over a building at a national wildlife refuge in Oregon late Saturday and vows to occupy the outpost for years to protest the federal government’s treatment of a pair of ranchers facing prison time.The occupation of a portion of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge 30 miles southeast of Burns, Ore., followed a peaceful march for ranchers Dwight Hammond, 73, and Steven Hammond, 46, who are scheduled to report to federal prison in San Pedro, Calif., on Monday after being convicted of arson, according to the Oregonian.Prosecutors said the father and son set the fire, which burned about 130 acres in 2001 on leased federal land, to conceal poaching, according to CNN. The Hammonds argued that they were attempting to reduce the growth of invasive plant species and ward off potential wildfires. The pair was sentenced to five years in prison.Among the occupiers are several members of the Bundy family, whose patriarch — Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy — was involved in an armed standoff with government agents over grazing rights in 2014.At a news conference on Sunday, Ammon Bundy said militia members had taken over an unoccupied site. He said the group had not heard from law enforcement and had no desire to be aggressive. He urged other citizens from across the country to join their effort and said that if violence occurred, it would begin on the government’s side.“If they did,” he said, referring to the authorities taking violent action, “it would simply be over a building that they would come in and kill.”The federal property, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, was closed and unoccupied for the holiday weekend, the Oregonian reported.Noting that the group isn’t holding hostages, Ryan Bundy echoed his brother, telling the Oregonian that the group doesn’t want to resort to violence but will not rule it out if authorities attempt to remove the occupiers from the property. He said many of the occupiers would be willing to fight — and die — to reclaim constitutionally protected rights for local land management, according to the Associated Press.The group is calling for the Hammonds’ release and said the militia was planning an occupation that lasted “for years.”“The best possible outcome is that the ranchers that have been kicked out of the area, then they will come back and reclaim their land, and the wildlife refuge will be shut down forever and the federal government will relinquish such control,” Ryan Bundy told the Oregonian. “What we’re doing is not rebellious. What we’re doing is in accordance with the Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land.”One tearful occupier, expecting not to come home, recorded a video railing against the Hammonds’ sentence and saying goodbye to his family. He said he was trying to win the “hearts and minds” of Oregonians. A message posted on the website of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Jan. 3, 2016. (Screenshot)The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge was established Aug. 18, 1908, by President Theodore Roosevelt “as a preserve and breeding ground for native birds,” according to the park’s website.“The Refuge represents a crucial stop along the Pacific Flyway and offers resting, breeding, and nesting habitat for hundreds of migratory birds and other wildlife,” a statement on the site says. “Many of the species migrating through or breeding here are highlighted as priority species in national bird conservation plans.”At Sunday’s news conference, Ammon Bundy said the refuge’s creation was “an unconstitutional act,” one that removed local ranchers from their lands, thrusting the county into an economic depression.“This refuge here is rightfully owned by the people and we intend to use it,” he said, adding that they plan to assisting ranchers, loggers, hunters and campers who want to use the land. “We will be here as a unified body of people that understand the principles of the Constitution.”In a video interview with reporters on Saturday that was posted on his Facebook page, Ammon Bundy said the group is standing up against government “overreach” because “the people have been abused long enough.”“I feel we are in a situation where if we do not do something, if we do not take a hard stand, we’ll be in a position where we’ll be no longer able to do so,” he said.A video posted days earlier on Bundy’s Facebook page urged militia members from all over the country to join him:last_img read more