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Mossad chief visits US as Iran nuclear talks stall

Mossad chief David Barnea was due to travel to Washington on Sunday to discuss Iran with senior officials in the Biden administration.

The trip comes days after renewed negotiations halted to reinstate the 2015 agreement limiting Iran’s nuclear program in return for sanctions relief, with the United States saying the Iranians did not appear serious about concluding the move. ‘a deal.

The Haaretz daily reported that Barnea will seek to convince U.S. leaders not to seek an interim deal that does not see Iran revert to full compliance with the agreement, and will instead seek international support for tough sanctions against Tehran. .

The newspaper said the meetings were described as “extremely important”.

The espionage chief will stress that if an agreement with Iran is finally reached, Israel will not be bound by it and will continue its efforts to thwart the nuclear work of the Islamic Republic, according to the Ynet news site.

Barnea, who will act as Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s emissary, also reportedly intends to present Americans with new information on the Iranian program.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz will travel to the United States later in the week for talks which are also expected to focus on Iran.

Barnea’s trip follows his promise on Thursday that Iran will never acquire nuclear weapons. He also said that a bad deal between Tehran and the world powers would be “intolerable” for Israel.

The Iranian flag flies in front of the building of the International Center with the headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, in Vienna, Austria, May 24, 2021 (AP Photo / Florian Schroetter, FILE)

On Saturday, a US official said Iran had moved away from all of its previous compromises on relaunching the 2015 nuclear pact and that this would not allow Iran to “slow down” international negotiations while simultaneously stepping up its negotiations. atomic activities.

“We cannot accept a situation in which Iran is stepping up its nuclear program and slowing down its nuclear diplomacy,” the senior US administration official said, echoing a recent warning from Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Speaking to reporters after returning from Vienna, the official said Washington was not yet considering withdrawing from the indirect talks it resumed with Tehran last week in the Austrian capital, but hoped Iran would return. “with a serious attitude”.

In this week’s talks, the official said, Iran reneged on any compromises it had made in months of previous talks on relaunching the deal, while retaining the compromises made by it. others and looking for more.

Iran came to Vienna “with proposals that amounted to nonsense – any of the compromises Iran had offered here in the six rounds of talks pocketed all the compromises that others, and the United States in particular had done and then demanded more, “the senior official quoted by Reuters said.

He said it was not clear when talks would resume and that Washington was “preparing for a world in which there is no return to the JCPOA,” a reference to the agreement’s official name, the Plan. common global action.

He said more sanctions would likely come if Washington concluded that Iran had killed the negotiations.

The seventh round of nuclear talks ended on Friday after five days in Vienna, with delegations returning to their national capitals and due to return to Austria next week.

Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani leaves Coburg Palace, venue of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) meeting to revive the Iran nuclear deal, in Vienna on December 3 2021 (Joe Klamar / AFP)

Iran’s chief negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani, said the talks were on hold “because the opposing side had to consult their capitals to provide a documented and reasonable response to these [Iranian] the proposals. ”He said negotiations would resume in the middle of next week.

Blinken said on Friday that the negotiations had been halted because “Iran does not appear seriously at the moment to do what is necessary to return to compliance.”

And European diplomats have expressed “disappointment and concern” after Iran submitted two draft proposals that appeared to cancel months of dialogue.

Iran suspended talks in June after the election of ultra-conservative President Ebrahim Raisi.

The official argued on Saturday that the United States had shown patience in allowing a five-month break in the process, but meanwhile the Iranians “continued to step up their nuclear program in particularly provocative ways.”

When Tehran finally returned to the table on Monday, he said, it was “with proposals that amounted to any of the compromises Iran had offered in the six rounds of talks.”

He accused Iran of seeking to “pocket all the compromises that others – the United States in particular – had made, and then ask for more.”

The official said he believed countries close to Iran were also upset with Tehran’s positions during recent talks.

At this point, he said the United States will continue diplomatic efforts – but reaffirmed that it has “other tools” at hand if negotiations fail.

Coburg Palace, the site of Iranian nuclear talks, is pictured in Vienna on November 29, 2021 (Vladimir Simicek / AFP)

The landmark 2015 nuclear deal – initially between Britain, China, France, Germany, Iran, Russia, and the United States – began to unravel in 2018 when the U.S. President then Donald Trump withdrew and reimposed the sanctions, prompting Iran to start overstepping the limits of its nuclear program. the next year.

US President Joe Biden has said he wants to re-enter the deal, and the US has indirectly participated in the talks this week.

Iran insists its nuclear program is peaceful.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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India reports third case – returnee from Zimbabwe tests positive in Jamnagar, Gujarat

A 72-year-old man was found infected with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus on Saturday in Jamnagar, Gujarat, after returning from Zimbabwe, the state’s health department said, according to PTI. His samples were sent for genome sequencing after testing positive for the virus on Thursday.

Zimbabwe has been designated as a country “at risk” in several Indian states due to its proximity to South Africa where the Omicron variant was first discovered.

This is the third case of Omicron in India. On Thursday, two people in Karnataka were found to be infected with the new strain. One of them was a South African who had flown from India, and the other patient had no travel history.

The World Health Organization listed Omicron, also known as the B.1.1.529 strain, as a variant of concern on November 27. One variant of concern has the highest threat perception among other coronavirus variants due to its increased transmissibility, infectivity or resistance. vaccines.

On Saturday, the 72-year-old Zimbabwean returnee was isolated and the area where he resides was converted into a micro containment zone, ANI reported.

“In the zone [where the patient stays], we will do the research and testing of people, ”said Manoj Aggarwal, additional chief secretary of the Gujarat Department of Health and Family Welfare.

According to the World Health Organization, the Omicron variant has around 45-52 mutations with 26-32 spike protein mutations. Spike proteins help a virus enter the host cell. Thus, the higher number of mutations of the Omicron variant helps the virus to enter human cells faster.

Some mutations that were found in the previously detected Alpha, Delta, Gamma and Beta variants are also present in the Omicron strain. Initial data suggests that Omicron has a faster growth rate and higher transmissibility compared to other variants. However, more evidence is needed to confirm these characteristics.

So far, this variant has not resulted in an increase in cases with severe symptoms or an increase in the death rate. South Africa has noted a slight increase in cases requiring hospitalization. However, it could also be due to an increase in the number of cases and not to increased virulence.



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Global tax deal leaves billion-dollar loopholes, Reuters analysis finds

DUBLIN, Dec. 3 (Reuters) – Leaders of the world’s largest economies have hailed a recent agreement to revise global corporate tax rules as the key to enabling multinationals to pay their fair share of tax.

The October agreement established a global minimum corporate tax rate of 15% aimed at limiting profit transfers to low-tax jurisdictions like Ireland, where many large international companies have their European headquarters. “It will remove incentives to move jobs and profits overseas,” US President Joe Biden said in early October.

But some companies could still use Ireland to lower their tax bill even after the deal goes into effect, according to tax experts and a Reuters review of the companies’ returns.

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Indeed, the new agreement will not prevent companies from benefiting from a strategy widely implemented in recent years that reduces taxes over a period of up to a decade or more. Ireland’s relatively generous tax breaks allow multinationals in the country to sell intellectual property, such as patents and trademarks, from one branch to another in order to generate deductions that can be used to protect profits future tax.

Companies that have generated deductions to reduce their taxable income by more than $ 10 billion each in recent years through this tax reduction strategy include U.S. technology companies Adobe Inc (ADBE.O) and Oracle Corp (ORCL. N), according to company statements.

Enterprise software provider Oracle declined to comment, and Adobe, creator of software such as Acrobat pdf-maker, did not respond to requests for comment. Both companies said they were in compliance with relevant tax laws.

The agreement, negotiated by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), is expected to enter into force in 2023. It has been signed by more than 130 jurisdictions, including Ireland.

The Irish Department of Finance has said Ireland’s tax treatment of intellectual property transactions is in line with that of other OECD countries.

In response to questions from Reuters, the OECD acknowledged that companies could continue to benefit from profit shifting strategies already in place, but that it expects companies to be unable to form such tax shields in the future. The approach typically relies on a business that also has a subsidiary in a country with a zero corporate tax rate, such as Bermuda, which allows the business to make the sale tax-free. By phasing out zero-tax jurisdictions for multinationals, the OECD expects the 15% global minimum tax to make the strategy more attractive.

“We are trying to design rules for the future,” said John Peterson, an OECD official.

Peterson added that the OECD cannot know for sure how individual country’s rules would interact with the global minimum tax. But he said the OECD is confident the abuse will be limited by requiring countries to calculate taxable income in accordance with accounting rules.

Tax experts say the impact of the deal remains uncertain as key details have yet to be agreed, including how to calculate the profit pot that needs to be taxed. Countries are currently debating waivers for certain tax breaks. In addition, jurisdictions could retain wide latitude in how they allow businesses to calculate taxable income, the specialists said.

“Where there is no accounting consistency there is room for play,” said Nicholas Gardner, tax partner at London law firm Ashurst.

The new rules are expected to be finalized next year and require legislative approval in some jurisdictions. This includes the United States, where several senior Republican politicians have expressed their opposition to the deal.

Malta is another country that allows multinationals to minimize taxes through intra-company sales of intellectual property. Malta’s finance ministry did not respond to requests for comment on its intellectual property tax breaks.

TAX SHIELD

International pressure has forced Ireland in recent years to phase out one of the world’s best-known tax loopholes, known as the “Irish Double”. intellectual property, according to tax advisers, economists and business returns.

Since 2015, multinationals have transferred hundreds of billions of euros of intellectual property to Ireland, economists say. This has led to large annual tax deductions for foreign companies linked to so-called intangible assets – over 45 billion euros in 2019, up from less than 2.7 billion euros in 2014, according to administration data. Irish tax. The data does not disaggregate how much of these deductions were related to intellectual property transactions within a company.

“Virtually all multinationals have moved intellectual property,” said Christopher Sibley, senior statistician at Ireland’s Central Statistics Office.

Profits protected from tax by US-based corporations typically come from sales in Europe, Asia and Africa, according to tax practitioners and company returns. The US Treasury loses because the products and services sold are based on research conducted and investments made in the United States, according to academics.

The US Treasury declined to say whether US companies would continue to profit from pre-existing tax strategies or profit from futures.

Adobe reserves most of its sales to non-US customers through an Irish subsidiary based in a four-story building in an office park outside of Dublin, according to company documents.

In 2020, Adobe Systems Software Ireland Ltd purchased the intellectual property of another subsidiary which was both a company registered in Ireland and a resident of Bermuda for tax purposes. The implementation meant that no tax was due on the $ 11 billion in profits from the sale. Meanwhile, Irish tax resident Adobe Systems Software Ireland recorded an expense of $ 11 billion that could be used to offset income taxes over a period of around eight years as it is a asset that depreciates over time, according to the accounts of subsidiaries.

Adobe paid $ 197 million in taxes on $ 3.1 billion in reported profits in Ireland in 2020 and sales of $ 5.6 billion, according to accounts from its main Irish unit. This equates to an effective tax rate of around half of the current statutory corporate tax rate of 12.5% ​​in Ireland, thanks to the impact of capital allowances.

Other U.S. companies that have racked up multibillion-dollar tax deductions on sales of intellectual property to affiliates over the past three years include semiconductor maker Analog Devices Inc (ADI.O), the maker medical device company Stryker Corp (SYK.N) and the Cadence software group. Design Systems Inc (CDNS.O), show the public accounts of their Irish subsidiaries.

Analog Devices and Stryker said they comply with tax rules and regulations, but declined to answer questions about their specific tax provisions. Cadence declined to comment.

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Tom Bergin reporting; Editing by Cassell Bryan-Low and Rachel Armstrong

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Non profit living

Confront the “myth of more money”

Part three in a series on the last eight years of my Seattle housing work.

From 2016 until the end of Washington State’s legislative session in 2019, I changed my approach to challenge the idea of ​​charging fees on new housing development and giving that money to organizations in non-profit. My argument was that the state’s largest city, Seattle, enforced the most rules, slowing production and thus creating higher prices as demand increased. As a result, most of the state’s available grants were consumed by Seattle, which was unfair to the rest of the state. Not only that, I argued, but building nonprofit housing in Seattle was very expensive and inefficient. Conventional wisdom was and still is that what is needed to solve housing problems is not more housing, but more and more money.

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to challenge big business and government allies to crush your critics, forget the idea that it’s like the movie Silkwood. There is no Cher or Kurt Russell and above all there is no journalist waiting somewhere to write about it. It’s more like the X Files, if you go up against the big guys you’ll be caught on and ignored. The prize will be an effort to make you irrelevant, mad, or part of some kind of unreasonable clique. I had no idea when I took over the industrial non-profit housing complex.

Here is my logic. Having been a nonprofit developer, I knew these developers had to face a steep climb to build their projects, arguably a steeper climb than for-profit developers. The number of contracts, commitments, and acres of paperwork were all stacked on the same demands as the for-profit sector: finding land, zoning, design review, utilities, and labor costs. But because they had political favors, they could ask for more money to solve these problems and the political structure would oblige them with interventions like Mandatory Housing Affordability, the program that would make it worse and not better for the poor because “affordable housing” would be paid for. for with higher rents (see my last post and many more).

I knew the costs and difficulty of building non-profit housing, housing paid for by the MHA program, when exposed, could make people question the whole program itself. If nothing else, if I could find a way to show that more money was being spent on subsidized nonprofit housing in Seattle (where the MHA extortion program operated) than in the Washington countryside. , maybe we could force a conversation. The data supported my point; housing subsidies were consumed quickly by the state’s most blatant regulator of housing production, Seattle. If I could show that this was done to the detriment of the poorest immigrant farm workers, maybe we could get the press interested.

So I analyzed years of data from the state’s Housing Trust Fund and found that indeed, subsidies were piling up in Seattle while in rural areas, workers lived in their cars. I wrote an opinion piece on how access to water was choking the supply in rural areas and thus harming rural workers, primarily immigrants to Mexico. It infuriated House Speaker Frank Chopp as much as it pleased lawmakers in rural Washington, who were outraged by the rushed court decision by a left-wing Seattle advocacy organization. I had entered into a long-standing conflict on the side of the rural Republicans. Here I was a former Democrat from Seattle, working with Republicans.

My conversations with the President and with the Republican leaders were strange; I was making a valid argument, which went against everyone’s sensitivity. Democrats felt out of place, justifying more and more spending on expensive housing in Seattle (up to $ 500,000 per unit) while talking about how much they cared about rural immigrants, the people who did not benefit from housing subsidies because of rampant spending. in Seattle. Republicans were resistant to big spending schemes and more bureaucracy. So my proposal for a farm worker housing authority to take money out of Seattle and funnel it to farm worker housing fell on deaf ears there. I had managed to make valid points, but the policy was not in favor of the solution, of big changes in the subsidy system and of better management.

In a passive and aggressive Washington, my efforts have certainly been noticed. The President complimented me in an argument saying, “People are mad at you! ” Sure. But making people uncomfortable does not necessarily lead to policy change. Both left and right seem to have made peace with the inefficient way of subsidizing housing. I failed to convince Republicans in the Legislature to support the idea of ​​making the system fairer, and farmers and nonprofit real estate developers in rural Washington seemed intimidated by the task of taking over. the well-funded and politically connected non-profit organization. housing agencies in Seattle.

My campaign against the non-profit housing complex was a failure. He revealed, however, that there is an ongoing disparity in the way housing is subsidized in Washington. Recently, I showed how tax credits are pouring into Seattle, even though there is more poverty in rural Washington. Being white and awake means more money for housing. It was a deadly battle that exhausted many of my supporters, but I’m glad I made the effort. With all the money raised from the fees generated by the MHA fees and other largesse of recent federal legislation, I know the problem will not be solved with more money. It will get worse. The day may come when everyone can do the math and agree that fairness and efficiency are compassionate and that inflation is the greatest enemy of the poor.


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A new retrospective at AGO explores the 50-year career of First Nations artist Robert Houle

The half-century long career of famous Saulteaux and Anishinaabe artist Robert Houle is the subject of a new major retrospective at the Art Gallery of Ontario entitled “Red is Beautiful”.

The exhibition, named after one of Houle’s first pieces, features more than 100 works, including monumental paintings, intimate drawings and large-scale installations as well as personal and archival photos.

Putting on the show lasted two years, but Houle’s dream was longer. The artist, who is 74, wanted to do a retrospective before turning 75 next year. His work has been part of two other major exhibitions, but it is the largest exhibition to date.

“It’s pretty scary. It makes me realize my age,” Houle said with a chuckle during a phone call.

“You always get goosebumps and anxiety no matter how many professionals help you with your paintings, your installations, your objects. It’s always very scary.”

The retrospective opened in Toronto on Friday.

Houle is often considered one of the most influential First Nations artists since entering the contemporary art scene in 1970. The Art Gallery of Ontario website describes his work as a mixture of abstraction, modernism and conceptualism with the aesthetics and history of First Nations. Her work explores themes of Indigenous sovereignty, Indigenous spiritual traditions, major resistance movements, and the residential school era.

Houle grew up in Sandy Bay Ojibway First Nation in southern Manitoba. As a young boy he was forced to attend residential school in the community and as a teenager he was sent to another residential school in Winnipeg. Like many other Indigenous boys and girls, Houle says he was stripped of his language and culture and suffered abuse while attending institutions.

Later in life, Houle began to use art as a way to heal wounds from the past.

Driven, in part, by the nightmares of his stay at boarding school, Houle spent 50 consecutive days illustrating his dreams. These drawings would eventually form his series on residential schools in Sandy Bay.

“It took me a while to recover or to face and recognize what I had been through. Abuse, humiliation, being punished for talking about the saulteaux and other things,” Houle said.

“(Art) motivated me. It gave me courage, and I knew if I did something visual that was painful, it was a form of release.”

Houle pays homage to the Oka crisis in a gasp in oil entitled “Les Pins”. Three panels depict a scene from a wooded area, which was the subject of a land dispute between the Mohawks and the town of Oka.

The standoff between Mohawk protesters, Quebec police, the RCMP and the Canadian army lasted 78 days. The crisis took place in Kanehsata: ke near the town of Oka. The city wanted to expand a golf course on land sacred to the Mohawk community.

Houle studied at McGill University in Montreal and spent a lot of time in the neighboring Mohawk communities of Kanehsata: ke and Kahnawa: ke.

“It gave me a lot of political courage. Do not hesitate to demonstrate. Do not hesitate to analyze what was happening there and in the rest of our country,” said Houle.

Wanda Nanibush, curator of Indigenous art at the gallery, first learned about Houle’s work in what she describes as a “life-changing” moment at the age of 16 in 1992.

She visited an exhibition organized by Houle entitled Land, Spirit, Power at the National Gallery of Canada.

“It was my first time seeing contemporary art from our own people… I just felt like it presented a totally different idea of ​​who we were,” Nanibush recalls.

“It showed me a whole different way of being an activist in the arts and of thinking about social justice from a very different perspective.”

Nanibush had to contact over 30 lenders to agree to loan Houle’s work for the exhibition.

Fortunately, neither of them said no, “they want Robert to get the recognition he deserves.”

The exhibit will run until April 17, 2022, then tour Calgary and Winnipeg.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on December 3, 2021


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Lightning Release Jersey for the Stadium Series match

TAMPA – Giddy up, Lightning fans (more on that later). The Stadium Series jerseys are here.

The franchise released the white jersey with royal blue letters / accents on Thursday the team will wear for their outdoor game against the Nashville Predators on February 26 at Nissan Stadium, home of the NFL Tennessee Titans.

The jersey was released via a “Dock Talk with Killer” clip featuring tight end Alex Killorn FaceTiming Bucs Rob Gronkowski of the water outside Amalie Arena on his SeaDoo. After the roll call, a cowboy appears and hands Killorn a guitar case, which he hands to Steven Stamkos in a box in the arena.

Stamkos, pulling on a denim shirt, an “S” bolo tie and a black cowboy hat, opens the case to find a white jersey with his name and number on the back. He holds it up and says, “Now it’s ready for Broadway.” “

Stamkos dons the swimsuit, adjusts it and the hat, and admires her gaze in the mirror.

“Marvel,” he said.

The word ‘Bolts’ runs diagonally across the front of the jersey in capital blue letters with a silver outline, similar to the 2013 home jersey, except the ‘B’ and ‘S’ have longer tails. The bottom of the sweater features an oversized cut blue zipper. The team’s hockey club crest appears on the left shoulder. The 2022 Stadium Series logo will be on the right.

For the pants, the traditional white flashes on both sides have been replaced with an oversized version of the main team logo. The team will wear white gloves.

Those interested in purchasing the jersey can pre-order it from the team’s online store for $ 199.99. Sweater sizes from XXS to 3XL are available. For an additional $ 100, a custom name or player name can be added. They will start shipping on February 14.

The game will be the Lightning’s second game after the Olympic Winter Games break, which ends on February 20. The match will be televised on TNT.

It will be the first away game in the franchise’s 28-year history, and it will be the 27th organization to do so.

The Nashville-Tampa Bay game will be the second outdoor game of the 2021-22 season, following the January 1 Winter Classic at Target Field (home of the MLB Twins) in Minneapolis between the Blues and the Wild.

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Tickets for the game are available online through Ticketmaster on a first come, first served basis.

Contact Mari Faiello at [email protected]. To follow @faiello_mari.

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Canadian army

Longtime Canadian Ranger Retires – 100 Mile House Free Press

When Robert Cockram visited the recruiting post on a whim in 1966, he didn’t expect him to lead a life in the military.

Fifty-five years later, Cockram retired from the Canadian Armed Forces – with four bars and the distinction of being one of the oldest members of the Canadian Ranger Patrol. He had been a member of the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery.

“It was interesting. It never got boring,” said Cockram, 71. “I retired as captain, long in the tooth.”

His military journey began at age 18, and an officer at a recruiting station in southern Saskatchewan suggested he join a military college. He chose the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario, where he graduated with honors and a major in history.

As a member of the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery, he held positions with the Fourth Canadian Artillery Regiment, the Second Canadian Artillery Regiment and a volunteer position with the Canadian Airborne Regiment in Edmonton, where Cockram said that he was able to “jump planes and enter strange places.”

He remembers a training operation in Churchill, Manitoba. where they “lived in the snow banks” for several days to acclimatize to the cold. Cockram was then redeployed overseas to Germany for two years, working with self-propelled artillery pieces. Thanks to then Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, his unit was redeployed to southern Germany, far from the border.

“In Germany, when you had free time, you just jumped in the vehicle and went on tours. I’ve been to Switzerland a few times and skied there, it was just down the road where we were based, ”said Cockram. “We took a great trip to London and got to see other parts of Europe.”

Over the following decades, Cockram worked across the country as an administrator and instructor before finally being posted to Royal Roads University in Victoria, when it was still a military college. . As he neared retirement age, Cockram decided to move to Lone Butte, where he had owned a property for several years.

READ MORE: Let’s not forget: Remembrance Day ceremonies held at 100 Mile House

It turns out, however, that retirement was not in the cards: a year and a half later, a call was made to form a Canadian Ranger patrol.

“I thought I would go see what it is and now I’m one of the old guys from the Ranger Patrol,” Cockram said. “I’ve been in the Ranger Patrol for 27 years now and people look at you and say ‘what? “Are you in the army ?!” And I say “yes, the Canadian Rangers do not have a mandatory retirement age. “

At first, the Rangers only had three pieces of equipment: a baseball cap, an armband, and a rifle. For additional gear, he said they had to search military surplus stores for raincoats and other gear. They were also largely on their own and established their own training and patrolling schedules. Cockram said they used to meet for shooting practice at the 100 Mile High School shooting range, where they used to “get by”.

Rangers needed to know their area and provide support in a crisis. Before the South Cariboo Search and Rescue Society was formed, Cockram said the Rangers would search for the missing. Cockram recalled “beating the bush” near 108 Mile Ranch looking for a missing eight-year-old, only to have the child show up safe and sound away from where they were looking.

Eventually the decision was made to tie the Rangers to the Canadian military reserves and is now run more like the military. With it came a lot more equipment and organization. By then, Cockram was already well on his way to becoming one of the force’s oldest serving officers.

“They give you a medal for 12 years of service, then a bar every 10 years thereafter. I’ve held on so far because I said, ‘I want that fourth bar, no one else is going to wear it because no one else has been there for so long,’ Cockram said, but added: “I look forward to my free time.”


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100 Thousand House


Robert Cockram began his military career in 1966 and only recently retired from the Canadian Ranger Patrol South Cariboo. (Photo by Patrick Davies – 100 Mile Free Press)

Robert Cockram began his military career in 1966 and recently retired from the Canadian Ranger Patrol South Cariboo.  (Photo by Patrick Davies - 100 Mile Free Press)

Robert Cockram began his military career in 1966 and only recently retired from the Canadian Ranger Patrol South Cariboo. (Photo by Patrick Davies – 100 Mile Free Press)



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News: Appointment of the new IBAN board member, Michael Gaul, 01-Aug-2021

Michael Gaul, born in 1959 in Bad Kreuznach, Germany. He was appointed by the North Atlantic Council as a member of the Board of Directors of the International Board of Auditors effective August 1, 2021.

He graduated from the Faculty of Law of the Johannes-Gutenberg University in Mainz in 1985 and completed his practical legal training in the Land of Rhineland-Palatinate in 1988.

From 1985 to 1989 he worked as a freelance lawyer for German and American law firms and in 1989 was a trainee at the Federal Employment Service in Nüremberg.

He was appointed Judge (Public Prosecutor) and worked for the Ministry of Justice in Mainz from 1989 to 1991. He then became Deputy Head of the Section for International Privatization Policy and Public Management Administration at Federal Ministry of Finance in Bonn / Berlin from 1991 to 1998.

From 1998 to 2004, he served as Deputy Head of Finance, Economic Affairs and Personnel at the Permanent Delegation of the Federal Republic of Germany to NATO. In 2004, he was Chairman of the NATO Budget Committee in 2004.

He continued his career with NATO and became Chief Defense and Security Economics Officer in the Political Affairs and Security Policy Division from 2007 to 2010.

From 2010 to 2011, Michael Gaul worked as Senior Financial and Policy Advisor at the Permanent Delegation of the Federal Republic of Germany to NATO and served as Senior Advisor, Science for Peace and Security Program in the NATO Emerging Security Challenges Division from 2011 until 2017.

From 2017 until joining the International Board of Auditors of NATO, he was Chief Financial Officer, Headquarters and Staff of the Permanent Delegation of the Federal Republic of Germany to NATO .


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Non profit living

Saint-Louis high school students demonstrate against gun violence in honor of 19-year-old

ST. LOUIS – Hundreds of students from Cardinal Ritter College Prep High School marched against gun violence on Wednesday in honor of 19-year-old Isis Mahr.

Mahr was murdered in a quadruple shooting in St. Louis in October after returning from work at an elderly care facility. Her father said she had a heart of gold.

“My daughter was very dynamic. She gave a lot to the community during the 19 years that she lived on this land, that God gave her to me and to my family ”, declared her father Atif Mahr.

Mahr was a remarkable graduate of Cardinal Ritter College Prep in 2020. Her family said she was a part of the soccer team and naturally a person who loved and cared for everyone around her.

She volunteered in the community and was studying to be a nurse. Friends and family of Isis have said the march and the gathering mean the world.

“I am grateful for the support. It’s a beautiful day, ”said his father. “It took away the heartache and pain to have this march in her honor to stop the violence and stop the killings and put down the guns. I can say as a parent that the community has spoken about my daughter and said that it is is enough. “


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Women’s Tennis Association suspends tournaments in China over concerns over player Peng Shuai

In the strongest public position against China taken by a sports body, the professional women’s tennis tour manager announced on Wednesday that all Women’s Tennis Association tournaments there will be suspended due to concerns about the safety of the woman. Peng Shuai, a doubles Grand Slam champion who accused a former government official of sexual assault.

Peng withdrew from the public after raising the allegations about former Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli in a November 2 social media post that was quickly suppressed by Chinese authorities.

“Unfortunately, the Chinese leadership has not credibly tackled this very serious issue,” Steve Simon, president and CEO of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), wrote in a statement released by the tour. “Although we now know Peng’s whereabouts, I seriously doubt that she is free, safe, and free from censorship, coercion and intimidation.”

Simon has repeatedly called for what he called Wednesday a “full and transparent investigation – without censorship” into Peng’s charges. He said the decision to end touring play in China, including Hong Kong, came “with the full support of the WTA board.”

“In good conscience, I don’t see how I can ask our athletes to compete there when Peng Shuai is not allowed to communicate freely and has apparently been pressured to contradict his allegation of sexual assault,” Simon said.

“Considering the current state of affairs, I am also very concerned about the risks all of our players and staff may face if we host events in China in 2022.”

China is said to be the site of several tennis tournaments next year, including the prestigious WTA season-ending finals, set to be held there until 2030.

The nation is a source of billions of dollars in revenue for various sporting entities based elsewhere, from the WTA (headquartered in St. Petersburg, Fla.) To the NBA (out of New York) and the International Olympic Committee ( Lausanne, Switzerland).

The WTA from the “good side of history”: Billie Jean King

“I applaud Steve Simon and the WTA leadership for their strong stance in defending human rights in China and around the world,” said tennis legend Billie Jean King.

“The WTA has chosen to be on the right side of history by standing up for the rights of our players. This is yet another reason why women’s tennis is the leader in women’s sport.”

Beijing is set to host the Winter Olympics from February 4, and IOC President Thomas Bach said on November 21 that he spoke with Peng – a three-time Olympian – during a video call from 30 minutes. The IOC did not release a video or transcript of the exchange and only said that Bach reported that Peng said she was fine.

The organization said in a statement that Peng appeared to be “doing well” and had requested confidentiality. The IOC did not explain how the appeal was organized, although it has worked closely with the Chinese Olympic Committee and government officials to organize the next Olympics.

Critics suggested that Peng wouldn’t have called the IOC if she was truly free to speak.

The European Union said on Tuesday it wanted China to offer “verifiable proof” that Peng – a 35-year-old who was previously ranked No.1 in doubles and won titles at Wimbledon and Roland Garros – is safe.

“His recent public reappearance does not allay concerns about his security and freedom,” an EU spokesperson said.

A number of Chinese businessmen, activists and ordinary people have disappeared in recent years after criticizing prominent figures in the ruling Communist Party or as part of crackdowns on corruption or campaigns for corruption. democracy and labor rights.

Former Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli is seen during a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing in March 2016. Chinese authorities have hushed up virtually all discussions online about the sexual assault charges against him. former senior government official by Peng. (Ng Han Guan / The Associated Press)

“I will always tell the truth”

In his since-deleted post, Peng wrote, in part, “I know that for you, Vice Minister Zhang Gaoli, a person of high rank and power, you said that you are not afraid. With your intelligence, you will definitely deny it or you can even use it against me, you can reject it without worry. Even if I destroy myself, like throwing an egg against a rock, or a moth flying in a flame, I will always say the truth about us. “

Concerns about her post being censored and her subsequent disappearance from public view escalated into fury, making #WhereIsPengShuai a trending topic on social media and receiving support from tennis stars such as Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Martina Navratilova, and Canadian players including Genie Bouchard, Milos Raonic and Vasek Pospisil.

But news of the first MeToo case to reach the political realm in China has not been reported by national media, and online discussions about it have been heavily censored.

“If powerful people can stifle women’s voices and sweep allegations of sexual assault under the rug, then the foundation on which the WTA was founded – equality for women – would suffer a huge setback,” Simon said. .

“I will not and cannot let this happen to the WTA and its players.”



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