It was Canadas big prize Is Chapter 19 still worth fighting for

WASHINGTON — It was Canada’s ultimate prize in the original free-trade deal with the U.S.: a third-party arbitration system to judge whether punitive duties were being applied unfairly. On the final night of negotiations, after a tense phone call involving Brian Mulroney, Canada got what it wanted.It had been a high priority back then because Canadian industries were being clobbered with duties over allegations of unfair subsidies and product-dumping. They had been hit with about 34 dumping complaints by American competitors in the decade preceding free trade.Yet that shiny trophy now sits mostly untouched on the shelf, gathering dust. Statistics scraped off U.S. federal websites show a gradual decline from 34 U.S. anti-dumping investigations in the 1980s, down to about 25 in the 1990s, 16 in the 2000s, and only a couple this decade.Canada is now being asked to give it away.The Americans want an overhaul of the arbitration system — this includes the panels created to scrutinize dumping duties under Chapter 19 and, separately, the Chapter 11 system for companies suing governments.Washington critics have long detested Chapter 19 for its rulings on softwood lumber, its perceived violation of national sovereignty, and its alleged unconstitutionality. Some have suggested it could be challenged in court.The Canadian government now faces tough questions, as it enters negotiations for a new NAFTA. Is Chapter 19 still valuable? Is it worth fighting for? Is there room for compromise, with changes that would preserve the system?A lawyer who has argued before Chapter 19 panels says it’s time to start considering saying goodbye.Clifford Sosnow, a partner at the Fasken Martineau law firm, says the system has done good things, such as building trust between the countries and lowering the temperature on trade. That doesn’t mean Canada should cling to it at all costs. He simply says Canada should consider trading in its big chit.“It depends,” Sosnow said.“(A country) needs to prioritize: what are the most important things to have?… If the United States said, ‘We will exempt you from Buy America. And we will make it easier for your businesspeople to come into the United States and live here for any number of years. And we will give you access to procurement at the state and municipal level. And we will have a process that’s different from Chapter 19’ — that’s a very attractive ask.”An adviser to the Canadian government in the original free-trade negotiations would also consider trading it away. Jon Johnson lists several reasons why. Here’s what’s changed since that late-night Mulroney phone call, he says:–Back then, there were no international agreements defining illegal subsidies and dumping. The countries have since passed domestic laws based on definitions at the World Trade Organization, founded in 1995.–The countries are more interdependent. Nowadays, when a U.S. industry launches a trade action against the country next door, Johnson says, it’s not just hurting the competition, it’s increasingly likely to be suing its own subsidiary.“You don’t want to start trade-remedy action (against yourself),” Johnson said. “I (believe) greater integration … has dampened the enthusiasm for starting anti-dumping and countervailing duty actions.”–Chapter 19 may be in trouble, anyway. The U.S. lumber lobby once sued the NAFTA panel system as unconstitutional, unsuccessfully. Johnson says there’s a 100 per cent chance it will try again if the current dispute drags on.He’s not sure it would survive the next court fight. For starters, in the Trump era, he says, U.S. government lawyers might not fight as hard to defend Chapter 19 as they did in the 2005 suit.For those reasons, Canada should consider cutting a deal, Johnson says. But he says the returns better be good, because this is one valuable bargaining chit for Canada.“If we’re going to give it away, we should get something,” Johnson says. “And we should get something pretty substantial.”Some see room for compromise.In the design of the system, Ottawa trade adviser Peter Clark says the countries might be able to rejig the mechanism so that it adds a role for domestic courts, or uses actual, possibly retired, judges as panellists.One big irritant looming over any compromise is softwood lumber. It’s the main historical battle dealt with by these panels, it’s on again, and Canada would be loath to drop the weapon it has in Chapter 19.Johnson says compromise is likelier if the countries could agree on the definition of a stumpage fee, and achieve long-term peace in this mother of all recurring trade spats.A Washington trade authority argues the system works as Canada intended.Lawyer, writer and professor Patrick Macrory analyzed the early performance of the Chapter 19 panels, in a paper years ago. In their 26 first cases inspecting U.S. punitive measures, only five were left intact, and duties were reduced for the majority.Punitive duties aren’t as common now. The panels haven’t been used in three years. And that’s a good thing for Canada, Macrory said.“In my view Canada should fight hard to keep Chapter 19,” he said in an email this week.“Though it will be a very tough fight.” read more

President to attend UN conference on climate change

Heads of the member states of the United Nations will participate in this conference. (Colombo Gazette) The expected outcome of this year’s conference is to come to an international agreement on climate change, applicable to all, to keep global warming below 2°C. President Maithripala Sirisena who participated in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting held in Malta, will leave for France today to attend the United Nations Conference on Climate Change – 2015.The conference will be held in Le Bourget, France form 30th of November to 11th of December, 2015. This is the 21st Conference of the Parties, i.e. the annual meeting of all countries which want to take action for the climate. read more

Iraqis vote in first election since ISIL defeat UN chief hails polls

“Following the military defeat of Dae’sh, the elections represent further progress in building a stronger Iraqi democracy,” Mr. Guterres said in a statement issued Sunday by a UN spokesperson.According to media reports, nearly 7,000 candidates from 87 parties competed against one another in the polls. The UN provided technical assistance to Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC).The Secretary-General saluted the tireless efforts of electoral officials, party agents and the security forces in making the elections largely peaceful and orderly.“He commends all Iraqis who took part, in particular those internally displaced persons who cast their ballots despite their difficult conditions,” said the statement.Calling on all Iraqi political actors and their supporters to uphold peace as the results are processed, the UN chief further urged political actors to resolve any electoral disputes through established legal channels and to complete the electoral process by forming an inclusive government as soon as possible.“The United Nations remains committed to supporting the Government and people of Iraq in this endeavor,” the statement concluded.Ahead of the elections, Ján Kubiš, head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), called on all Iraqis, including in the Kurdistan Region, to come together to strengthen fully sovereign, united, democratic and federal Iraq.“Since the last elections four years ago, Iraq faced the worst assault by the terrorist Dae’sh, which has committed untold atrocities. Today, with Dae’sh’s structures defeated, and the country liberated, it is your opportunity to consolidate this historic victory that was won with the blood of the martyrs and the unity and perseverance of the people, and embark on a new beginning,” he said last Thursday.On Saturday, Mr. Kubiš visited several polling stations in Fallujah, west of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, describing the process very orderly and saying that he was very impressed to see the numbers of people, especially women, headed to vote. read more

Margaret Thatcher enters Dictionary of National Biography with third longest entry ever

first_imgDoris Lessing, the writer David Frost, the broadcaster Lady Thatcher photographed in 1987 Sir Winston Churchill Several war heroes will also find their names in the dictionary, from Sir Robert Clark, who operated behind enemy lines with the partisans in Italy as a young SOE officer, to Ulric Cross,  the most highly decorated Caribbean serviceman of the Second World War, and Sir Steuart Pringle, who survived an IRA bomb in 1981.Foreign reporter Richard Beeston will be honoured, along with Boris Berezovsky , the exiled Russian oligarch who died in mysterious circumstances, Paralympian swimmer and wheelchair racer Chris Hallam, and Bert Trautmann, a former German prisoner-of-war who became goalkeeper for Manchester City and played in the 1956 FA Cup Final despite having a broken neck. She is one of 59 new women to grace the biography pages, making up just a quarter of the total additions. Only five entries are from black or minority ethnic backgrounds.Lady Thatcher’s entry, which does not pull any punches in describing the late Prime Minister’s attributes and weaknesses, concludes: “There are times when nations may need rough treatment. For good and for ill, Thatcher gave Britain plenty of it.”It describes Lady Thatcher as “deeply and romantically patriotic”, relishing battle, devoid of sentiment, resorting to “devious means” to undermine her cabinet and yet the only 20th century leader to lend her name to an ideology in the shape of Thatcherism. Lady Thatcher photographed in 1987 Richard Briers as Tom and Felicity Kendall as Barbara in The Good Life 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. More unusual entries include Fiona Gore, Countess of Arran, who was nicknamed “the fastest granny on water”, wrestler Mick McManus, and Lewis Morley, the photographer who shot the infamous picture of a nude Christine Keeler amid the scandal of the Profumo Affair.Sir David Frost, the broadcaster, is joined by Alan Whicker, Sir Denis Forman of Granada Television, and Alasdair Milne, the director-general of the BBC ousted in 1987 after a series of confrontations with Lady Thatcher’s government.David Coleman, the long-serving presenter of Grandstand and inspiration for Private Eye’s Colemanballs column, had entered the ranks, along with Christopher Martin-Jenkins, the much-loved cricket correspondent for the Daily Telegraph, and longest-serving commentator for Test Match Special. Richard Briers as Tom and Felicity Kendall as Barbara in The Good Life In a long and proud history, Britain has celebrated a veritable who’s who of great public figures from Shakespeare to Wellington, with a plethora of kings and queens thrown in.Baroness Margaret Thatcher today takes her place in that official hall of fame, as she enters the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, awarded the third longest entry in its pages. Lady Thatcher has joined a small band of elite public figures to be honoured with their own separate book detailing their Oxford DNB entry, with an enormous 33,648-word biography detailing her background, long career and legacy.The submission narrowly beats the entry for Sir Winston Churchill, at 33,268 words, making Lady Thatcher’s biography the most significant of any politician. Doris Lessing, the writer David Frost, the broadcaster Margaret Thatcher at 10 Downing Street in 1983 Nobel Laureate entries include the chemists Frederick Sanger and Sir John Cornforth, Sir Robert Edwards who helped develop ofin vitro fertilization, economist Ronald Coase, writer Doris Lessing and poet Seamus Heaney.Entertainers making the grade this year include Mel Smith, Mike and Bernie Winters, Eddie Braben and Tom Sharpe, as well as writer Iain Banks, sculptor Sir Anthony Caro, composer Sir John Tavener and Mick Aston, who turned Time Team into an unlikely ratings hit. Margaret Thatcher at 10 Downing Street in 1983 Pointing out that the “dictionary has never been merely a compendium of the great and good”, a spokesman for the ODNB also announced the 2017 update would include “determined villains” of the Great Train Robbery, Bruce Reynolds and Ronnie Biggs, who both died in 2013 50 years after the crime made them notorious.Following the 2017 update, the Oxford DNB records 60,302 people in 72 million words and is available online now. It follows accolades in her lifetime including a peerage, a Order of the Garter, the Order of Merit, and fellowship of the Royal Society.The ODNB, which used to be published in a 60-volume printed set costing £6,500, is now updated online only, but remains the national record of “men and women who have made an impact on all walks of British life”.Other high-profile entries this year include six Nobel Laureates, a Paralympian, veteran broadcasters, the Telegraph’s former cricket correspondent and the notorious Great Train Robbers. Mick McManus, the wrestler, with Tommy Cooper Mick McManus, the wrestler, with Tommy Cooper It is surpassed in length only by Shakespeare and Elizabeth I, beating leading figures in history including Cromwell, Henry VIII, Queen Victoria and Wellington.Written by Sir David Cannadine, it will also be published as a book in its own right, complete with additional content such as pictures, letters and copies of official documents.Lady Thatcher is one of 241 new entries to the ODNB this year, all made up of notable figures who died in 2013 in line with the convention that editors wait four years to best judge who should go down in history. Sir Winston Churchilllast_img read more

Humble potato goes out of fashion as it struggles to shake off

Potato aficionados, however, maintain the vegetable has not suffered a dip in popularity and disputed the figures. Christine Watts, marketing officer of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), said statistics by consumer data company Kantar WorldPanel showed potato sales had increased by 2.6 per cent since 2015, with sales of fresh potatoes alone showing a rise of 2.1 per cent.The AHDB even launched a “Love Potatoes” campaign designed to highlight the vegetable’s nutritional value to younger consumers through Instagram as well as other forms of social media.Ms Watts said: “Our hugely successful Potatoes: More than a Bit on the Side campaign was launched in July 2015, with the aim of re-engaging younger consumers with the potato, demonstrating its health and nutritional virtues, as well as showing modern and contemporary ways in which they can be used to fit in with today’s busy lifestyles.”According to The Grocer, microwaveable rice, which it said was only introduced into the market around 15 years ago, is now worth £250 million a year. 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. Potatoes are falling out of fashion with millennials who are opting for microwaveable options instead, new figures suggest.Although “spuds” are part of some of Britain’s most cherished dishes – such as fish and chips and Sunday roasts – experts claim younger people are increasingly finding the vegetable unhealthy and inconvenient to cook.Instead they eat more rice and noodles, which have seen a significant sales boost due to their “healthy and exotic” image, it is claimed.According to The Grocer magazine, industry figures last year show potato sales were down 5.4 per cent while sales of rice have risen by 30 per cent in the last four years. Plain and flavoured noodles also performed better.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––The magazine said: “Shoppers have a new squeeze when it comes to carbohydrates. Rice and noodles are viewed as everything many say the spud is not – healthy, convenient and exotic. Many, particularly millennial and Generation Z consumers, see spuds as stodge that will make them fat. To boot, they’re often a faff to prepare.” read more

Eickhoff grows influence in Bosnia with two more shearer loader orders

first_imgEickhoff says the success story of its growing population of high performance shearer loaders in Bosnia has been bolstered by two new orders from the region. A recent delivery went to the customer Kakanj in Bosnia while in September a further contract was signed with the customer Zenicawhere the shearer will be deployed to its Raspotocje mine.The path into a new generation of high performance mining with top-of-the-line equipment was already paved some years back when the two mines Breza and Banovice from Bosnia each decided to install high-performance shearer loaders of the type Eickhoff SL 300. “The current population of six Eickhoff SL shearers spread over the entire Balkan region is now supplemented by the two additional high performance shearer loaders of the type Eickhoff SL 300, which define the global standard for KPI and Life Cycle Costs in low- and medium-high longwall faces.”Both of these new projects will be carried out with Eickhoff’s long term cooperating partner Becker Warkop of Poland, which is acting as the main project partner, delivering the full longwall setup. “Further projects and orders are visible on the horizon and Eickhoff is confident to remain the top supplier of world-class equipment into the region, thus empowering domestic energy producers on their road to success in delivering independent and reliable energy from domestic sources.”last_img read more

Review Nigeria – Argentina

first_imgMarcos Rojo keeps Argentina’s dream alive.Who’s ready for the final matches of Group D?The team news is in…#NGAARG#ISLCRO— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) June 26, 2018FC Barcelona, Valencia CFMatch Preview: Barcelona vs Valencia Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Is derby time in La Liga, as Barcelona welcomes Valencia to the Camp Nou Stadium tonight at 21:00 (CET).Even though Jorge Sampaoli made five changes in the starting lineup, Argentina looked and played pretty much the same like in the previous two matches. Nigeria dealt with the pressure confidently. Then, in the 15th minute, one of those changes Ever Banega sent a guided missile to Leo Messi. La Pulga attached the ball to his right foot, escaped Omeruo and fired a shot past Uzoho. Euphoria erupted in Saint Petersburg. Messi had his first World Cup goal and Argentina grabbed the lead it was so desperate to have. Messi sent a through ball to Gonzalo Higuain in the 28th minute. The center forward got to the ball, but Nigeria’s keeper came out of his net and did just enough to close Higuain’s angle. He received a kick in the head for his troubles, but the important thing was that he protected his goal.Four minutes later, a lightning quick counter attack forced Balogun to trip Angel Di Maria and give La Albiceleste a free kick from 17 meters out. Even though the ball was placed on the left side of the field, Messi was the one who took the shot and hit the far post. Uzoho got just enough on the ball to divert it. Gernot Rohr’s team thrives on counter attacks, so going down was the worst thing that could happen. Argentina was far from impressive and chances were non-existent.Odion Ighalo came in for Kelechi Iheanacho at half time. Something very interesting happened in the 49th minute. Balogun set himself up in front of Javier Mascherano during a corner kick and as soon as the Argentinian put his hands around the Nigerian, he fell down to the ground. Cuneyt Cakir thought there was enough contact for a penalty and pointed to the spot. The Argentinians demanded a review, the assistants consulted the referee and the decision was upheld. Victor Moses cold-bloodedly deceived Armani and the score was tied. Cristian Pavon for Enzo Perez was Sampaoli’s first bench move.The minutes were ticking away, Nigeria was defending and Argentina wasn’t finding any holes. Creativity was lacking, ideas were missing. Wilfred Ndidi had a free shot at goal from around 20 meters out go over the bar. In the 72nd minute, Di Maria was replaced by Meza. In the 76th minute, a mistake at midfield nearly cost Argentina dearly. The ball came to Ahmed Musa on the left flank and he tried to find Ighalo in the middle. The pass attempt was intercepted by Marcos Rojo. The ball bounced to Ighalo anyway, who missed a volley from a great position. The Nigerians were asking for a penalty for a handball by Rojo. Cakir reviewed the situation and determined it was unintentional.The last change by Sampaoli was Sergio Aguero for Nicolas Tagliafico. In the 80th minute, Gonzalo Higuain had am opportunity to put and end to his bad reputation for missing in big games, but mishit the ball. Odion Ighalo had another chance three minutes later. He was face to face with Armani and shot the ball right at the keeper. Nigeria’s No.9 was doing a better job in defense than in attack. He had a free kick in the 85th minute that hit the outside part of the net. Very close. The tension was unbelievable. In the 87th minute, Marcos Rojo, who had stayed up front following an earlier corner kick, got on the end of a Mercado cross and buried the ball with a first-time shot. Argentina scored. The joy among the fans was indescribable. Such a painful blow for the Africans who fought so hard all game long. Argentina is through and will face France in the Round of 16.last_img read more

Newborn ejected from car during overnight hitandrun in Miami

first_img Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. MIAMI (WSVN) – A 22-day-old baby is fighting for his life after he was ejected from a car in what police are describing as a hit-and-run collision in Miami.Miami Police and Fire Rescue responded to the scene of the crash, in the area of Southwest 17th Avenue and Seventh Street, Sunday, at around 1:15 a.m.According to investigators, the driver of a cargo van ran a stoplight, striking another vehicle with a family inside. The offending motorist then fled from the scene.Police said the baby’s mother has taken him out of his car seat prior to the crash, and the force from the impact caused the newborn to be ejected from the vehicle.Paramedics rushed the infant to Ryder Trauma Center, where he remains in critical condition. The baby’s parents were also transported as a precaution and are both listed in stable condition.Police are looking for a white Ford Econoline cargo van, possibly a 2004 to 2007 model, with extensive front-end damage.If you have any information on this hit-and-run, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward. last_img read more

LETTER TO THE EDITOR Eaton Is A Bright Thoughtful Fiscal Conservative An

first_imgDear Editor,Sometimes it is difficult to make a decision when in the voting booth. Sometimes the difficulty comes in voting for the lesser of two evils and sometimes it comes down to voting for the person whom you think is better qualified. This year we have two good candidates for the position of Board of Selectmen. I know them both personally and if there were two open positions I would certainly give both strong consideration.My vote this year will go to Jonathan Eaton. Jonathan has proven himself to me to be a bright and thoughtful fiscal conservative. He is a young professional who has served the town for several years on the Finance Committee, donating hundreds of hours of his time helping to review and offer opinions on the budget process for the Annual Town Meeting. As an attorney, he has the business acumen to anticipate legal challenges for the Town, and to be a mediator. As a life long resident of Wilmington, now raising his young family here, he understands the struggles that taxpayers, young and old, are going through.In a political world that sometimes falls into chaos and name-calling, we can certainly use some decorum. Jonathan is a professional. He is even-tempered, bright and articulate. His background in law will serve him well in sticking to the facts. He has already proven himself as a leader in the community, volunteering and serving as an independent voice on the Finance Committee.  He is a past president of the Wilmington Rotary Club and has been an active member for many years.I feel very confident in knowing that Jonathan can step into this role immediately, already having a strong understanding of the process of Town Government, and knowing that he will be an independent voice of reason as a member of the Board of Selectmen.  This year, the decision is easy for me.Sincerely,Chris NevilleNOTE TO CANDIDATES & CAMPAIGNS: Got announcements, press releases, letters to the editor, etc.?  Email Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedSELECTMEN RACE PREVIEW: Everything You Need To Know Before You VoteIn “Government”SELECTMEN NEWS: New Finance Director & Town Accountant AppointedIn “Government”SELECTMEN NEWS: Board Supports Fire & Police Substation In North Wilmington; Town To Vote On Project In April 2020?In “Government”last_img read more

Will Pakistan win World Cup 2019 Striking similarities between 1992 and 2019

first_imgFile photo of Imran Khan with the 1992 Cricket World Cup trophy.STEPHEN DUPONT/AFP/Getty ImagesPakistani cricket fans are disheartened and have lost all hopes on the men in green, as they were defeated by India in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 on Sunday, June 16, and are on the brink of a group-stage exit from the tournament. Pakistan have lost three of their last five matches in the tournament and have their backs against the wall. The whole cricketing world has removed them from the list of probable winners of the World Cup.But the Pakistani fans can have a ray of hope if they recollect their memories about what happened in the 1992 ICC Cricket World Cup when Pakistan won the tournament for the first time. Pakistan was in the exact same position having lost three matches, won one and one match being washed out due to rains.They lost their first match against West Indies in that edition of the tournament, which also matches with this year’s edition. Ironically, after 1992, this is the only time that the World Cup is happening in a single group format. All these similarities can help Pakistani fans reignite their hopes regarding winning the World Cup for the second time.Do Pakistan have a chance of winning the World Cup?The Imran Khan-led Pakistani squad started their campaign in a similar manner but their team was much more balanced and they had a leader like Imran Khan, which made the difference. Imran Khan had handpicked most of the youngsters like Inzamam, Wasim Akram, who played their heart out in the tournament.Khan never lost hope in the team and regularly used to tell the team that they will win the trophy. Rameez Raja was once quoted saying that they used to think Imran had gone mad as the Pakistan captain always used to say we will win the cup even after being on the brink of a group stage exit. Imran after winning the final went to address the press and said,” Today, I asked the team to behave like a cornered tiger. To go out and fight. To snarl. And they responded magnificently.” Pakistan team were walloped by West IndiesReutersThat was the spirit and the hunger to win that Imran had which ignited the fire inside the players on the right time. Imran used to regularly try out different combinations and his persevering mentality helped Pakistan in lifting the coveted trophy for the first time ever. Luck also was a big factor in Pakistan’s road to victory as their match against England in the group stages got abandoned due to rain after they set a target of a meagre 75 runs. That point turned out to be vital in Pakistan’s qualification.On the other hand, the team playing this year’s edition do not have a captain like Imran. Sarfaraz is a good captain, he led Pakistan to Champions Trophy victory but he still lacks the perseverance and hunger to win that Imran had. But still, there is time for Pakistan to make a comeback from the situation they are in.Pakistan will next face South Africa on June 23 and play to keep their hopes alive in their World Cup campaign. Coincidentally, Pakistan played South Africa after losing to India in 1992 also though they lost the match, which the current team cannot afford to do.last_img read more

JAPAN Incentive Travel Awards 2016 winners announced

first_imgSource = JNTO – Japan National Tourism Organisation JAPAN Incentive Travel Awards 2016 winners announcedThe results of the inaugural JAPAN Incentive Travel Awards are out and we take this opportunity to congratulate all participants who submitted an incentive tour.Of the entrants who qualified the panel of judges have awarded the 3 following outstanding incentive tours to Japan:Grand Prize “2015 Nan Sha Life Insurance Elite Summit in Hokkaido” organised by Lion Travel Service Co. (Taiwan)Planning Award “Chaumet – Hurry up for sales” organised by teamtravel premium GmbH (Germany)Contribution Award “MILLENNIUM ACHIEVERS TOUR” organised by JTB Australia Pty Ltd (Australia)Although the group size of JTB Australia’s incentive tour was smaller in comparison, it was chosen for the Contribution Award as it was able to showcase several locations in western Japan such as Okayama, Kobe, Naoshima and Tokushima. The participants were able to take part in local cultural activities such as an Awa-Odori folkdance and visited cultural landmarks such as the art island of Naoshima, all of which are memorable and uniquely Japanese experiences.Kumiko Hardy, General Manager of JTB Australia said,“Thank you so much for the award. We are particularly pleased as a lot of thought went into the planning of this tour. The clients were all experienced travellers and not interested in ordinary sightseeing on the golden routes. They wanted to have a real Japanese surprise! Joining in the local awa-odori was definitely a highlight for them all. An explosion of such happy energy! Laughter throughout the night and they unanimously agreed it was the best experience they have ever had. Memories of the tour are still vivid with us and now have been adorned with the honour of receiving this award. Thank you.”All prize winners will be invited to Japan (with complimentary business class airfares) to be presented the awards at the IME2016 26th International Meetings Expo held at PACIFICO YOKOHAMA on 7 December 2016. They will also have the opportunity to experience an incentive exploration tour of Tokyo.Once again we would like to take this opportunity to thank all submissions and the effort they have put into promoting incentive travel to Japan.JNTO Sydney Officelast_img read more

GLENDALE Ariz — Alex Marvez has covered the Nati

first_img GLENDALE, Ariz. — Alex Marvez has covered the National Football League for 22 years as a beat writer (Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins) and national columnist (FOX, Sporting News). He also served as the president of the Professional Football Writers of America from 2007-2009.Arizona Sports caught up with the Sporting News NFL columnist and SiriusXM NFL Radio host on Wednesday at University of Phoenix Stadium — in the midst of his whirlwind training camp tour which has already stopped in Atlanta, Houston, Oakland, San Francisco and Los Angeles — to talk Cardinals, NFC West and Super Bowl projections. What encourages you about the Cardinals?Marvez: “They are one of the big-play teams in the NFL. They get chunk yards. They have receivers that go down (the field). The speed on this team is great. It’s one of the things that separates the Cardinals from everybody is the fact that they can score at any time.“With (safety) Tyrann Mathieu back, they’re an opportunistic defense. They give teams headaches. It’s as good a defense as any in the NFL.“With the things this team did last year, even though it’s a new season, there’s a lot of confidence here. You beat Seattle up in Seattle the way that you did, you got to the NFC Championship Game by winning against Green Bay. Those are great building blocks. Now you just have to be able to finish it off.”How much will signing outside linebacker Chandler Jones impact this team?Marvez: “The Chandler Jones addition was such a big one. Will it prove costly to the Cardinals if he ends up leaving in free agency? Sure, but again, it’s a second-round pick they gave up and there’s no guarantee that a second-round pick would have panned out as a pass rusher so I’m all for it. Giving up (guard) Jonathan Cooper was really no loss for this team. Unfortunately, it never came together for him in Arizona. “The question becomes, why would New England want to get rid of a player in his prime who is such a key part of their defense? Are their off-field concerns considering what happened with Chandler last January with the synthetic marijuana issue. And I hate to say it, but when you have his brother, Jon, having all sorts of legal problems, and when you have Arthur Jones, his other brother, serving a four-game suspension for PEDs, you start to wonder is this going to be three strikes and you’re out for the Jones family — in the NFL and in sports?Is there a less-discussed aspect of the Cardinals you think warrants attention?Marvez: “Markus Golden’s development at the other outside linebacker spot. They have two legitimate guys who can bring it, and if (defensive tackle) Robert Nkemdiche is able to get back on the field — Bruce Arians says he is hopeful he may be able to get some work in against the San Diego Chargers and play at least two preseason games — they are hoping that as the season goes on, he is able to provide some umph in the pass rush as well so you can stop sending all these crazy blitzes and putting so much stress on the secondary, especially with questions about that other spot at corner opposite Peterson.” Who are your six NFC playoff teams?Marvez: “The Washington Redskins will win the NFC East; not even close. The Minnesota Vikings will win the NFC North. I’m going with Carolina in the NFC South & Atlanta as a wild card. And in the NFC West, Arizona will win the division and Seattle will be a wild card.Who are your Super Bowl teams?Marvez: “I think the Vikings are going to the Super Bowl. They remind me a lot of the 2013 Seattle Seahawks: young quarterback, third-year guy but all he has to do is make a couple plays. Adrian Peterson in the backfield, their version of Marshawn Lynch, and a really good young defense. I think this group will be ready to play and I really like Mike Zimmer as a head coach.”Who will Minnesota play?Marvez: “The Patriots, of course. As (wrestler) Rick Flair would say, ‘to be the man you’ve got to beat the man.’ Who’s going to knock them off the perch in the AFC East? The Patriots almost always get that first-round bye, they’ve only lost once in the (coach Bill) Belichick era when playing at home after that first-round bye. It’s almost automatic that they’re in the AFC Championship game every year, and if they get to play it at home they don’t lose.” Top Stories Follow Craig Morgan on Twitter – / 20 Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The Cardinals believe QB Carson Palmer’s playing window is longer than originally anticipated. With that in mind, they signed Palmer and receiver Larry Fitzgerald to one-year extensions last week. Do you agree that the window has lengthened, and how long do you think Arizona has to win a Super Bowl?Marvez: “It’s a great question. Is it a one-year window? Is it a two-year window? In theory, you think Carson Palmer is playing great football now, but is he going to be the same at 37?“I talked to (coach) Bruce Arians about it. He said that when Carson came back from the ACL tear suffered in 2014 he was almost like a different athlete. He was in great shape and the rehab obviously paid dividends in a lot of different ways as far as him becoming physically stronger.“When I talked to Carson he said he feels 28, 29 years old, but we have to look at last season. Was it really the dislocated finger suffered against Philadelphia in Week 15 that led to his (playoff) demise or is this a player who got tired as the season went on and might be hard pressed to take a team deep into the postseason, a la Peyton Manning and the concerns about him the final few years of his NFL career?” Marvez: “Somebody opposite Patrick Peterson is going to get picked on. If they want to play Brandon Williams as a starter as a rookie — only his second year playing cornerback after he switched at Texas A&M — there may be a possibility that if you can’t pressure the quarterback, this guy is going to give up some big plays. Or is Justin Bethel truly a good enough corner to withstand people trying to avoid Patrick Peterson? Because that is how people are going to attack this Cardinals team.“On the offensive side of the football, probably out of all the starters, (right tackle) D.J. Humphries and (center) A.Q. Shipley are the most questionable. I say Shipley because he’s so small at 6-1, 300 pounds that there is a possibility he is going to get bull rushed by a much bigger player. And is he going to be able to get some push in the running game? Of course they have (fourth-round pick) Evan Boehm. Maybe he’s going to be ready at some point during the season and he’s a bigger bodied guy, but until then you’re playing with A.Q.“With Humphries, we haven’t seen him. All that gives you confidence is (guard) Evan Mathis saying how talented he could be and the Cardinals saying ‘look, this guy played at 288 pounds in college. He’s much bigger (307), much stronger now and he gets it. He’s hungry now. He wants to prove he’s good.’ We’re about to find out if they’re right.” “This line still has to come together a bit. That’s going to be an early-season challenge and Thomas Rawls has to get back in the swing of things and prove he’s an every-down type of marquee running back. It was a great flash from him (last season) but can he prove it over the long haul? And then I wonder how are the Seahawks going to integrate (tight end) Jimmy Graham into this offense?“Overall though, I think this defense is really stout and the Seahawks are a playoff team — by far the strongest contender to Arizona atop the division.”Has San Francisco hit rock bottom?Marvez: “I think they could go lower. They could get the No. 1 pick in the draft. They have some promising young players. They really do, and I think the rebuild may be a little bit quicker than some people expect, but you still have Blaine Gabbert and Colin Kaepernick at quarterback and I don’t know if (coach) Chip Kelly’s offense works. Are you going to have 34 minutes of a defense on the field and be able to succeed — especially a defense as thin as the 49ers’? That’s an awful lot to ask of this squad.“Behind Carlos Hyde, there’s really not very much at the running back position, and the wide receiver position is the same thing: Torrey Smith and a bunch of guys. WR Larry Fitzgerald goes in motion during training camp Aug. 10. (Photo by Adam Green) Critics suggest Palmer doesn’t perform well in the postseason, even though he has played in just over three games? Is that fair?Marvez: “We’ll never know what would have happened in 2005 when he was playing for Cincinnati against the Steelers and Kimo von Oelhoffen goes crashing into his knee on the first pass play, he tears his ACL and the Bengals go down the tubes. He made it back a couple years later, but no quarterback has won a playoff game for Cincinnati since Norman Julius Esiason — a.k.a. Boomer back in the day in 1990 — and the Raiders were obviously a bad team when Carson was there.“Carson wasn’t even on the field a couple years ago when the Cardinals made the playoffs and lost to Carolina so there isn’t much to judge him on. I think he can be a playoff performer and the thing about the Cardinals is, the supporting cast around him is so good. David Johnson and Chris Johnson are your running backs. Are you kidding me? If Chris Johnson is your backup running back, there’s a lot worse things that could be happening with your team, and I like the depth on this team as well.”What are your biggest concerns with the Cardinals? The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo 0 Comments   Share   “They’re hurting real bad in San Francisco. They had a window of opportunity and it closed. They tried to extend it with (coach) Jim Tomsula for whatever reason and that was a disaster. I have a lot of questions about them but hey, who knows, maybe a great quarterback will be available in the 2017 Draft.”Looking at the NFL as a whole, Tom Brady’s four-game suspension will obviously help the Cardinals in Week 1, but do you think it will significantly impact the Patriots’ season?Marvez: “I don’t think it will matter for New England or Tom Brady missing those games. What I find interesting are long-haul, legacy type of things — how we look back at the situation and how it affects Brady. Will Tom Brady want anything to do with the NFL after his playing days are done? When he’s asked to return for different league-related things will he say ‘no’ and stick with Patriots functions?“It’s still hard for me to believe that Tom Brady is going to miss four games to open the regular season. I find that hard to believe because there was not a smoking gun that was found, although there was a lot of incriminating evidence.” What do you make of signing Tyrann Mathieu to a five-year extension that will pay him $21.25 million over the next two years?Marvez: “To me, it’s a risky move with Tyrann Mathieu but I also understand that every team’s fabric is different. (GM) Steve Keim told me he came back even better after the first ACL (tear) than he was before. He was in better shape and he showed no signs of there being a problem. They’re counting on the same thing happening with him coming off of this ACL (tear).“If there is no cartilage damage that was suffered and it’s just a clean ACL tear, then I can feel better about it, but it’s still a very risky move — a guy with two torn ACLs. I guess you look at the risk-reward. You’ve got a guy who is happy, he’s under contract and prices for great players in the NFL aren’t getting any cheaper.“If this guy were about to become a free agent they’d have to use the franchise tag. It could get ugly, but players are happy here. The contract issues haven’t been around lately because guys have been getting paid and they feel they can manage the cap.”Looking around the NFC West, are the Rams finally ready to challenge the division powers? Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Marvez: “I think they’re still a season away. I don’t feel confident about the quarterback position with Case Keenum and Jared Goff being a rookie, I still have questions on the offensive line, I still have some questions on defense with some of the players that they lost.“Is Tavon Austin a bona fide No. 1 receiver? Who else is going to step up and carry that load? Is Tyler Higbee, the fourth-round pick out of Western Kentucky, truly ready to make an impact as a pass catcher? Whoever is playing quarterback has to have weapons. To me, this has all the earmarks of another 8-8, 7-9 Jeff Fisher-coached team.”Should we expect Seattle back in the mix for the division title?Marvez: “Seattle is right back in the mix for the division, no question. I think the signing of (guard) Jahri Evans was a wise one earlier this week. They tried with the young guys as long as they could and they realized ‘hey, we’re going to get (QB) Russell Wilson killed if we don’t get someone in who understands that guard position.’ So Jahri Evans comes in from the Saints, still has some gas left in the tank and is a real good player who just wouldn’t take a pay cut to stick with the Saints so he’s out the door. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

Cotter Legislation creating Foster Parents Bill of Rights heads to governors desk

first_img Categories: News 18Dec Cotter: Legislation creating Foster Parents Bill of Rights heads to governor’s desk The Michigan House today approved legislation to create a Foster Parents Bill of Rights, ensuring the protection of basic rights for foster parents and their families, state Rep. Kevin Cotter announced.The package makes certain foster families are included as important members of the foster care team caring for children in Michigan’s foster care system, by providing access to staff, timely financial reimbursements and detail about the role of agencies in the foster care process.“A family from my district first introduced me to this issue, and once I heard their story I knew we had to do something to help and protect families who wanted to open their homes to foster children,” said Cotter, R-Mt. Pleasant. “This package is about making sure foster families have legal rights, and the changes will guarantee foster children and families are cared for and protected.”House Bill 4649, sponsored by Cotter, amends the state’s Foster Care and Adoption Services Act to create the Foster Parents Bill of Rights, which outlines foster families’ basic rights, the complaint process, service plans, foster child placement guidelines and guidelines for court proceedings.“Currently, Michigan has a shortage of families who are willing to open their homes and provide foster care services, and this legislation will help us reverse that trend,” Cotter said. “I’m confident the Foster Parents Bill of Rights will go a long way in encouraging the growth of families throughout our state.”The bills now heads to the governor for approval.###last_img read more

LaFontaine returns as House Natural Resources chairwoman

first_img Categories: News 16Jan LaFontaine returns as House Natural Resources chairwoman Senior legislator will also serve on Insurance, Energy Policy, Government Operations, Financial Liability ReformState Rep. Andrea LaFontaine, R-Columbus Township, announced that she will chair the House Committee on Natural Resources for another term. In the 98th Legislature, LaFontaine again will lead lawmakers in overseeing policy discussions involving issues such as public lands, fisheries and wildlife, parks and trails and the Great Lakes.“Michigan’s greatest asset is its natural resources,” LaFontaine said. “I am honored to have a hand in highlighting the value of our forests, lakes and wildlife while ensuring they are properly protected and responsibly utilized. I look forward to continuing the Natural Resources Committees’ efforts by working with Michiganders from across the state to make sound policy decisions protecting and preserving the Great Lakes State and improving quality of life for all.”The Macomb County representative is serving her third and final term in the Michigan House and—in addition to her committee leadership role—will serve on the committees on Insurance, Energy Policy, Government Operations and Financial Liability Reform.###last_img read more

Rep Cole bill requires temporary weather towers to meet FAA regulations

first_img07Oct Rep. Cole bill requires temporary weather towers to meet FAA regulations Tags: #SB, HB 4727 Categories: Cole News,Featured news,Newscenter_img Rep. Triston Cole, left, and Bryan Budd, right, testified Sept. 30 before the House Committee on Local Government in support of Rep. Cole’s ouse Bill 4727, which was recommended to the House Floor by the committee today.State Rep. Triston Cole, R-Mancelona, recently introduced legislation to require that Meteorological Evaluation Towers (METs) meet standard Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations for pilot visibility.“A MET can be erected in a day and the owners are currently not required to provide any safety markings or registration current aviation authorities or the FAA.” Rep. Cole said. “This has created serious safety concerns for crop dusters and farmers concerned about caused hazardous conditions for low flying aircraft. My bill will implement preventative measures that will ensure the safety and well-being of all Michigan residents.”House Bill 4727 will amend Michigan’s “Tall Structure Act” of 1959 by requiring METs used for wind turbine location that are more than 50 feet in height be marked following FAA rules.The House Committee on Local Government voted today in support of HB 4727 and the bill will now move to the House floor for a full vote.#####last_img read more

Rep VanderWall casts vote to end driver responsibility fees

first_img Categories: News,VanderWall News 03Nov Rep. VanderWall casts vote to end driver responsibility fees Bipartisan legislation also forgives outstanding debtcenter_img State Rep. Curt VanderWall on Thursday voted for sweeping bipartisan legislation that brings an end to driver responsibility fees in October 2018 and forgives debt arising from the fees.VanderWall, of Ludington, said enactment of driver responsibility fees in 2003 was the reckless act of a past administration desperate to balance the budget. As a result, hundreds of thousands of Michigan residents have paid fees that did nothing to improve their driving skills.“People affected by driver responsibility fees often lost driving privileges, which in turn led to them being unable to find reliable transportation to work. Many lost their jobs as a result,” VanderWall said. “As they fell deeper into debt because of the fees – unable to regain their driver’s licenses – they depended on public assistance to care for their families. It was truly a Catch 22 situation.”The eight-bill package ends the fees on Oct. 1, 2018 and forgives debt owed by those who have been affected by the fees. They also provide alternative methods to fulfill the fee payment until they are eliminated.“We have restored a community service option so people can work off their fees while cleaning up their neighborhoods or helping others,” VanderWall said. “One of the bills establishes a workforce development program that helps people find good jobs once they regain their driving privileges.”The bills now go to the Senate for consideration.#####The bills are House Bills 5040-5046, 5079 and 5080.last_img read more

Nonprofits and ForProfits Collaborate to Try to Buy Pabst and Return It

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesApril 7, 2014; Charlottesville Business Journal, “Work It, C-Ville”A small group of Milwaukee residents, representing both the for-profit and the nonprofit sectors, are looking into arranging the purchase of the Pabst Blue Ribbon Brewery to convert it either to a co-op or a city-owned brewery. Either way, they want to bring it back from Los Angeles to where it started in 1844—to Milwaukee.“When I think about Pabst being anywhere else but Milwaukee, it just doesn’t make sense,” said Susie Seidelman, an organizer of the Bring Pabst Blue Ribbon Home effort. “Milwaukee made this beer what it is…. It’s right on the can.” Bringing Pabst back is about “investing in the city of Milwaukee,” Seidelman said.The group’s website has two letters looking for signatures; they are addressed to the Milwaukee mayor and city council, and they ask them to entertain a community ownership model like that of the Green Bay Packers. But there is also interest in a possible cooperative structure.The scheme seems to fit well with some Great Lakes cities that are trying to develop a “blue economy.” As growing water becomes scarcer in warmer states, many Northern communities may be able to make some economic headway by using their access to freshwater to attract water-dependent businesses like breweries.But the enterprise would be expensive, possibly costing as much as $1 billion. Jeff Fleming of Milwaukee’s development department said city officials are looking forward to discussing the endeavor with the organizers.—Ruth McCambridgeShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

Manhattan DA Pledges 35M Nationally to Test Backlogged Rape Kits

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesNovember 12, 2014;Cleveland Plain DealerIn a very unusual move at press conference held yesterday at the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, District Attorney Cyrus Vance announced the start of a $35 million national initiative to help fund the testing of backlogged rape kits around the country. The move appears to be unprecedented, with one state reaching out nationally to solve a serious and lingering law enforcement problem. It also appears to be an initiative where a foundation did some very impressive work with government to solve a measurable problem with real impact. The money will come from forfeiture funds.Vance was joined in the announcement by actress Mariska Hargitay, founder and president of Joyful Heart Foundation, a nonprofit focused on empowering sexual assault survivors with resources and a community; Natasha Alexenko from Natasha’s Justice Project, a sexual assault survivor that has been working to eliminate the backlog; and Detroit prosecutor Kym Worthy, who helped alleviate Detroit’s own problem with backlogged kits.“What stands in the way of identifying the scope of untested rape kits around the country as well as testing them for DNA is, quite simply, money,” said Vance at yesterday’s press conference. “Today our office is announcing a $35 million commitment to help to eliminate the backlog of untested rape kits nationwide.”The initiative will tackle the multitude of rape kits currently sitting in police storage rooms and evidence lockers due to the lack of necessary funds to test them. While the exact number of kits is unknown, the number likely reaches the hundreds of thousands, with currently more than 12,000 untested rape kits sitting in Memphis, 1600 in Cleveland, 3700 in Tulsa, and 4000 in Las Vegas, according to Vance. Back in 2012, the number of backlogged kits was estimated to be around 400,000. With each rape kit costing around $500 to $1000 dollars to test, the $35 million commitment could test as many as 70,000 kits around the country.According to Vance, the funds are derived from the forfeiture fees paid by international banks for violating U.S. sanctions. Law enforcement agencies across the country will need to apply for grants, and once they have been found to qualify within the guidelines, they will receive some part of the $35 million in funding.Deputy Press Secretary for the Manhattan DA’s office Emily Tuttle noted in an email with NPQ that all the details for the grant process have not been worked out yet, but priority funding would first be given to New York districts that have a backlog, if there are any.Vance mentioned that the initiative would likely have a number of benefits aside from matching perpetrators to previously unsolved rape cases. Following New York’s passing of the 2012 All Crimes DNA bill, which required anyone with a criminal conviction to submit their DNA samples to the state, testing rape kits will further add to the expanding national DNA database. A larger collection of DNA samples means a higher probability of matching repeat offenders with previously unsolved crimes.Vance made further reference to several cases wherein processing a single rape kit was able to provide answers for other crimes. Keith Lamar Lester, who raped three school girls in Rochester, N.Y., was arrested 10 years later in Alabama, where his DNA was matched to the earlier sex crime. After testing Clarence Williams’ DNA in a 35-year-old cold case in New York, detectives were also able to connect him to nine unsolved sexual assaults and robberies in Silver Springs, Maryland, further illustrating that rape is not a local crime and the subsequent national benefits of the initiative. According to Vance, New York City eliminated its backlog more than a decade ago between 2000 and 2003, resulting in 200 prosecutions.In the same stride, with an influx of DNA samples, the justice system would also be able to better identify wrongful convictions and help exonerate those imprisoned for a crime they did not commit because the database includes DNA of the real perpetrator.Hargitay, known as the compassionate and tough detective Olivia Benson on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit and as a fierce advocate for assault survivors in real life as well, spoke briefly about what the thousands of untested kits say to the victims of the crimes:“The rape kit backlog sends two terrible messages. To victims, it says, ‘You don’t matter. What happened to you doesn’t matter.’ And to criminals it says, ‘What you did doesn’t matter.’ Testing the kits reverses those two messages.”Vance acknowledged that the $35 million would not completely eradicate the issue of backlogged kits, but it would help start a conversation and bring in other supporters that could help fund testing. Congress is also weighing President Barack Obama’s proposed $41 million initiative to fund testing of backlogged kits. However, a monumental effort is also needed to pursue prosecutions and trials and reconnect with survivors.“Our pledge today is intended as seed money to address a national systemic problem. We’re asking other organizations to join us and provide backlog elimination grants to the cities that need them most.”—Shafaq Hasan ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

Landmark Federal Court Decision Legitimizes and Protects Street Art

first_imgShare26Tweet14Share4Email44 Shares“5Pointz,” Forsaken FotosFebruary 13, 2018; Washington Post5Pointz (also known as 5Pointz: The Institute of Higher Burnin’) was an epicenter of the graffiti scene that attracted many of the world’s most prominent aerosol artists. 5Pointz consisted of twelve factory buildings in Long Island City, Queens, New York City. Built in 1892, the buildings were one, three, or five stories high, originally housing the Neptune Meter factory. The interconnected buildings housed the Crane Street Studios, in which some 200 artists paid below-market rents for studio space.Jerry Wolkoff bought the property in the early 1970s and leased the space to various companies. By the 1990s, Wolkoff began leasing space to artists with permission to graffiti over the exterior walls. Jonathan Cohen coined the moniker “5Pointz” as a reference to their art bringing together NYC’s five boroughs: “Wolkoff gave Cohen and hundreds of other artists free rein to paint whatever they pleased, with only three exceptions: no religion, politics or sex. Artists from all backgrounds poured in from all over the world.” Millions of people appreciated the renowned cultural landmark from the elevated 7-train that passed nearby. The mural art served as a destination for tourists, and as a backdrop for music videos, movies, weddings, and concerts.The troubles began in 2013, when Wolkoff unilaterally decided to demolish 5Pointz and replace it with a condominium complex. His announcement resulted in a lawsuit filed by the 5Pointz artists. Hyperallergic chronicles the years-long battle here.When the artists got wind of the landlord’s plans to replace the warehouses with high-rise luxury condos, they began a campaign to try to save 5Pointz. Cohen filed an application with the City Landmark Preservation Commission to preserve the site but was rejected because the artistic work was too recent. He also tried to raise money to buy the property, but its value soon skyrocketed to more than $200 million.The 5Pointz buildings were demolished completely by 2014, but not before the wall art were unceremoniously whitewashed. Construction of two residential towers (48 and 41 stories) began in 2015 and continues.The protesting artists filed a federal lawsuit against Wolkoff, stating that the destruction of the buildings without notice violated the Visual Artists Rights Act. This trial would decide whether graffiti is federally protected.In November 2017, a jury recommended that the judge rule that the destruction of the graffiti was in fact illegal. In a dramatic conclusion to this landmark case, the judge just decided in favor of the 21 artists, awarding them maximum damages of $6.7 million ($150,000 for each of the 45 works destroyed), saying Wolkoff “‘willfully’ ruined the artwork and showed no remorse for his ’recalcitrant behavior.’”This battle between the rights of New York City’s two most prominent forces, art and real estate, set a decisive precedent for the protection of graffiti art across the country. This decision establishes that the ruined murals have enough artistic stature to merit being protected.The judge’s ruling came after a milestone three-week trial in November in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn. The case marked the first time a court has been asked to determine whether graffiti—with its ephemeral nature—should be considered art protected under federal law, according to a court opinion.The judge asserted that some of the destroyed images “reflect striking technical and artistic mastery and vision worthy of display in prominent museums if not on the walls of 5Pointz.”“The shame of it all is that since 5Pointz was a prominent tourist attraction the public would undoubtedly have thronged to say its goodbyes during those 10 months and gaze at the formidable works of aerosol art for the last time,” Block concluded. “It would have been a wonderful tribute for the artists that they richly deserved.”Accustomed to being displaced by the interests of real estate developers, evocative, outsider street artists are now having a dialogue with history.—Jim SchafferShare26Tweet14Share4Email44 Shareslast_img read more

Subscription DVD and videoondemand service Lovef

first_imgSubscription DVD and video-on-demand service Lovefilm has struck a content deal with Disney for the UK and Ireland for animated series featuring superheroes from the Marvel stable.The deal will allow Lovefilm to stream shows including Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Fantastic Four, X-Men and Silver Surfer.Jim Buckle, managing director of Lovefilm, said: “We already have a fantastic range of animated TV content on offer for our customers and it is great to see it expand with Marvel animation as a result of this new deal with Disney. It is an exciting development as many of our members will have grown up watching Marvel classics and can now catch up whenever they choose. The collection will also appeal to new fans.”last_img read more