New Delhi: Ahead of the International Yoga Day on June 21, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday urged people to make yoga an integral part of their lives and also to inspire others to do the same. In a tweet, he shared an animated video where he is doing Trikonasana — a yoga pose. Emphasising that the benefits of yoga are tremendous, he said: “On June 21, we will mark Yoga Day 2019. I urge you all to make yoga an integral part of your life and also inspire others to do the same.” The government has been organising various yoga events on the day since it was declared by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015.
New Delhi: The Union Health ministry’s proposal to classify ENDS devices including e-cigarettes as “drugs” in order to ban their manufacture, sale, distribution and import, has been sent to the Attorney General for his opinion, officials said Thursday.Banning such alternative smoking devices like e-cigarettes, heat-not-burn devices, vape and e-nicotine flavoured hookah among others, is one of the priorities of the Health ministry in the first 100 days agenda of the second term of the Modi government, an official source said. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity!”The proposal which has been approved by the Drug Technical Advisory Board (DTAB), the government’s top advisory body on technical matters related to medicines in the country is now awaiting opinion from the Attorney General,” the source said. The Union Health Ministry’s proposal pertains to classifying ENDS devices including e-cigarettes as “drugs” under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act. A high-decibal debate is on globally over the harm-reduction aspects of ENDS with some organisations claiming that these devices help in smoking cessation and are less harmful alternatives to traditional cigarettes, while the government is seeking to ban them contending that they pose health risks to users, similar to those of conventional cigarettes. ENDS are devices that heat a solution to create an aerosol, which also frequently contains flavours, usually dissolved into propylene glycol and glycerin. The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), under the health ministry has proposed that manufacture, sale and distribution of ENDS, including e-cigarettes and similar products, should be prohibited under Section 26A of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court warned the Haryana government Friday that it will be in “trouble” if it has done “anything” with Aravalli hills or forest area by passing amendments to an Act to allow construction there.A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta observed this after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who was appearing for Haryana, said he will satisfy the court that amendments in the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA), 1900 were not done to “help somebody”. “We are concerned with Aravalli. If you are doing anything with Aravalli or Kant Enclave (where the top court had ordered demolition of buildings due to illegal constructions in forest area) you will be in trouble. If you are doing anything with the forest, you will be in trouble. We are telling you,” the bench told Mehta. On March 1, the bench had come down heavily on the Haryana government for passing amendments to the law and said the state would not act on it without the court’s permission. On February 27, the Haryana Assembly had passed amendments to the Act opening up thousands of acres of land to real estate and other non-forest activity in the area that was protected under it for over a century. The amendments to the Act were passed by the state assembly amid vociferous protests and a walkout by opposition parties. Haryana Chief Minister M L Khattar had said that the Punjab Land Preservation (Haryana Amendment) Bill, 2019, was the “need of the hour”, and had added that it was a “very old” Act and much has changed over a period of time. This issue has cropped up in the court which is dealing with a matter in which it had earlier directed demolition of illegal constructions in the forest area of Aravalli hills in Haryana. During the brief hearing on Friday, Mehta told the bench that the Assembly has passed the bill but it has not become an Act yet. He also said that media reports which claimed the amendments was passed by the state government to favour real estate developers were not correct.
London: A day after British Prime Minister Theresa May was forced to set a June timeline for her exit from Downing Street, the Opposition Labour Party ended the cross-party Brexit talks on Friday without arriving at any agreement. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn wrote to May to declare an end to the process, blaming the “weakness and instability” of her government as a leadership contest gets underway within the ruling Conservative Party. “The increasing weakness and instability of your government means there cannot be confidence in securing whatever might be agreed between us,” Corbyn wrote. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: Report “As you have been setting out your decision to stand down and Cabinet ministers are competing to succeed you, the position of the government has become ever more unstable and its authority eroded,” he noted. Stressing that his party had conducted the exercise in “good faith” and that some constructive effort had gone into finding a possible consensus, there has been growing concern within the Opposition ranks about the government’s ability to deliver on any compromise agreement. Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protests The Labour Party has been in favour of a form of a common customs arrangement with the European Union (EU) that keeps the UK aligned with its European neighbours on trade tariffs post-Brexit. Some Labour MPs have also insisted they would not back a deal with the government unless it includes another referendum. Both scenarios have caused anger among Brexit-backing Conservatives, who claim a customs union would stop the UK negotiating its own trade deals around the world and who believe another public vote is undemocratic. In his letter to the British PM, Corbyn noted: “Not infrequently, proposals by your negotiating team have been publicly contradicted by statements from other members of the Cabinet. “In recent days we have heard senior Cabinet ministers reject any form of customs union, regardless of proposals made by government negotiators.” The Labour leader is equally clear about the party’s opposition to May’s unchanged Withdrawal Agreement, which is set for a fourth House of Commons vote in the week beginning June 3. “I should reiterate that, without significant changes, we will continue to oppose the government’s deal as we do not believe it safeguards jobs, living standards and manufacturing industry in Britain,” Corbyn said. The compromise talks were convened around six weeks ago, when May lost the third vote in Parliament on her EU Withdrawal Agreement rejected repeatedly by MPs over the controversial Irish backstop clause. The latest Labour stance means May’s deal looks even more unlikely to secure the parliamentary arithmetic required for the Withdrawal Agreement to be enforced in time for the new October 31 Brexit deadline. On Thursday, after a crucial meeting with the powerful 1922 Committee of Tory backbench MPs, it was announced that May would set out a clear timetable for her resignation as Tory leader and make way for a new prime minister by next month. Former Cabinet minister and hard Brexiteer Boris Johnson is seen as a frontrunner in the race, with a number of other Cabinet ministers set to throw their hat in the ring. Meanwhile, May is likely to offer a set of binding indicative votes in the Commons as she had indicated when she announced the cross-party talks. These votes are likely to take place within days as the UK Parliament is set for a break from next Thursday before reconvening in early June.
United Nations (UNICEF) Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow ended a six-day mission to the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel over the weekend, in which she focused on the suffering of children traumatized by conflict.“The children talked to me about the violence, their fear and their dream for peace,” the United States actress said on a visit to the Israeli town of Sderot, just a few kilometres from Gaza’s northern border, where she met with school children and a group of parents whose children had been killed or injured by Palestinian rocket-fire in recent years. She also met with parents and children living in a nearby kibbutz, and with the Israel National Committee for UNICEF, one of 36 such non-governmental organizations (NGOs) worldwide that advocate for children and raise funds to support UNICEF’s workLast week, Ms. Farrow spent two days in Gaza where she witnessed first-hand the hardships children still face nine months after the three-week war between Israel and Hamas. “The children appear traumatized,” she said then. “The teachers say that when they hear a loud noise they look to the sky and cry out and weep. They don’t know what the future holds. They deserve better.”The fighting killed more than 1,400 people, including at least 350 children, and injured over 5,000 people, among them 1,600 children.“Children here are deeply traumatised and terrified of what will happen next,” she said. “Homes, hospitals, schools and whole communities have been devastated. This is unacceptable and defies the principles of human rights, in particular the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and common decency.”After visiting Sderot, Ms. Farrow went to Ramallah, in the West Bank, where she was briefed on conditions faced by children who had been detained by the Israeli military and subsequently sentenced to prison. She travelled to a nearby village to meet with a former child detainee, and also talked with former child detainees processed through the Palestinian Ministry of Social Affairs.She was briefed on the closure regime enforced across the West Bank, including some 600 physical obstacles to movement such as checkpoints and roadblocks, as well as the 710-kilometre barrier that Israel is building largely on Palestinian land. “Daily life is agonisingly difficult for Palestinians, with barriers and checkpoints separating them from their families, farmlands, schools, hospitals and places of work,” she said.Officials she conferred with during her trip included Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and Israeli Social Welfare Minister Isaac Herzog. 19 October 2009United Nations (UNICEF) Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow ended a six-day mission to the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel over the weekend, in which she focused on the suffering of children traumatized by conflict.
In a news release, they acknowledged the announcement made by the Philippines about ongoing probes into the murders and stressed the need for carrying out independent investigations. “We take note of the announcement made today at the Human Rights Council in Geneva by the delegation of the Philippines that an investigation is underway,” said the Special Rapporteurs on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, and on the situation of human rights defenders, Michel Forst. “We urge the Philippines authorities to ensure that such investigation into these tragic events be carried out independently to identify and bring perpetrators to justice, to ensure the safe return of the indigenous peoples displaced by the recent violent events, and guarantee redress to the victims’ families in compliance with their indigenous traditions and the demilitarization and restoration of peace in regions affected by armed conflicts including in Surigao del Sur and Bukidnon,” they said.One of the human rights defenders was found murdered in a classroom of the Alternative Learning Center for Agriculture and Development, where he served as director, according to the news release. The Philippine Army and alleged members of paramilitary forces occupied the school and had detained the director before killing him. The forced occupation led to about 2,000 residents to evacuate to the neighbouring Tandag city. “Military occupation of civilian institutions and killing of civilians, particularly in places such as schools which should remain safe havens for children from this type of violence, are unacceptable, deplorable and contrary to international human rights and international humanitarian standards,” the Special Rapporteurs said.The other two victims were representatives of the Manobo community, including a tribal chief and Chairperson of MAPASU, an organization fighting against human rights violation in indigenous communities. Last month, five members of an indigenous Manobo family where brutally murdered, allegedly by members of the Philippine Army in Mendis, Pangantucan, Bukidnon. The victims included a 72-year-old blind person and two children. Mr. Forst expressed grave concerns about the increasing numbers of killings of human rights activists in conflict-prone Philippines. He also urged the Government to accept his request to visit the country to assess the situation of human rights activists in Philippines through dialogue and cooperation.Independent experts or special rapporteurs are appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a country situation or a specific human rights theme. The positions are honorary and the experts are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work.
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. Folic acid will be added to all flour to stop thousands of children being born with birth defects, such as spina bifida, it was reported last night.The government is expected to announce a u-turn within weeks after resisting the move for 26 years.In 1991 the largest trial of its type at the time established a link between the diseases, known collectively as neural tube defects (NTD), and low levels of folic acid in mothers during the early part of pregnancy.Eighty-one countries, including the US, subsequently introduced the mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid because only approximately one third of women follow advice to supplement their diet.Britain did not follow suit, partly on the basis of a study by the American Institute of Medicine which indicated a risk of neurological damage if folic acid levels become too high.However following pressure from scientists, and ongoing recommendations from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN), Downing Street is to make fortification mandatory, according to The Guardian. The Royal Society of Medicine also said that the decision was ‘long overdue’ while charities said it was ‘gamechanging.’Every day in the UK, on average two women have a termination of pregnancy because of a neural tube defect and every week two women give birth to an affected child. In Chile, which has the highest levels of fortification, the measure is believed to prevent up to 80 per cent of potential NTD cases.The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said it “would welcome the introduction of mandatory fortification across the UK with the appropriate safeguards, such as controls on voluntary fortification by the food industry and improved guidance on supplement use”.“A government decision to introduce mandatory fortification will mean a major positive impact for the health and well-being of babies born in the future,” said Kate Steele, Chief Executive of charity Shine, which helps families of children with neural tube defects.“In many cases, it will be the difference between life and death.”A Department of Health and Social care spokesperson said: “Ministers are considering expert advice and will respond in due course.”
BROOKINGS, Ore. — Firefighters are confronting extremely hot and dry weather on the fire lines of two large blazes burning in southwest and central Oregon.A fire about five miles from the coastal town of Brookings was 168 square miles Monday.There is no containment on the fire burning in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness Area near the California border. Officials have set a containment date of mid-October.The weather forecast calls for gusty and erratic winds and extremely low humidity in the area and the smoke column from the fire could grow taller.Near Sisters, another fire has grown to nearly 30 square miles and is about one-third contained.Temperatures there are also warm, with low humidity and significant smoke in the air.
PORTLAND — Several cars burned about 10 p.m. Sunday at a southeast Portland car lot.The Oregonian reports it’s a tow lot.Portland fire and rescue says an electric fence was an added hazard. Extra firefighters were called because of limited fire hydrant availability.There were no reported injuries, and there is no word yet on the cause or a damage estimate.
Strong VIP growth sees Okada Manila GGR climb 72% in August MGM China saw its net revenues increase 26% year-on-year in the three months to 30 June 2019, driven by ongoing ramp at MGM Cotai and the addition of new supply in both the VIP and mass market segments.MGM reported net revenue of US$706.1 million in 2Q19, including US$315.9 million at MGM Cotai – up from US$184.7 million 12 months earlier. The uptick was aided by the addition of 50 new-to-market gaming tables at the start of the year, helping push mass volume up 5% to US$2.04 billion and win by 36% to around US$458.3 million thanks to a 508-basis point increase in win percentage. MGM said that 80% of its profit for the period was accrued from mass gaming. RelatedPosts Pansy Ho becomes first Macau casino boss to speak out for Hong Kong government on protests 70% of Macau gaming market driven by 400,000 premium players: brokerage Load More The launch of VIP operations at MGM Cotai also aided the high-end segment, with VIP turnover increasing 6% year-on-year to US$10.96 billion and win by 22% to around US$285 million.While MGM Cotai comprised the majority of MGM’s improved performance, MGM Macau also enjoyed a slight increase in net revenues for the period to US$390.2 million, up from US$376.6 million.MGM China’s Adjusted Property EBITDA grew 43% to US$171 million with an Adjusted Property EBITDA margin of 24.2% compared with 21.4% in 2Q18.The Macau results helped MGM Resorts achieve a group-wide 13% increase in net revenues to US$3.2 billion, with Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA up 9% to US$756 million.
NORTH MIAMI, FLA. (WSVN) – Fire crews responded to an auto body shop in North Miami after, officials said, a vehicle caught fire at the business, Sunday afternoon.According to Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, the blaze sparked at the body shop located near Northeast 130th Street and 15th Avenue.Firefighters quickly extinguished the flames. #MDFR #bodyshop vehicle fire is under control— Fire Alarm (@MDFRDispatch) February 12, 2017Officials said the damage was mostly contained to the inside of the building.No one was injured. Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
“Within a large building, potentially pathogenic bacteria including bacterial spores may travel between rooms, and subsequent bacterial/spore deposition by hand dryers is a possible mechanism for spread of infectious bacteria including spores of potential pathogens if present,” the study said.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. (WSVN) – Washing your hands is vitally important to your health, but a new study says you should avoid restroom hand dryers at all costs!A study published by Applied and Environmental Microbiology says hand dryers suck up feces when toilets are flushed and then spray the bacteria all over your hands.Scientists compared normal bathroom air to air blasted from hand dryer nozzles. The study found that restrooms with hand dryers had up to 254 bacterial pathogens present.“Bacteria in bathrooms will come from feces, which can be aerosolized a bit when toilets, especially lidless toilets, are flushed,” study author Peter Setlow told Newsweek.According to the study, up to 60 bacteria colonies can be blown out of the dryer in a 30-second span.The scientists tested the efficacy of filters when installed or retro-fitted in the dryers, finding the HEPA filters only blocked about 75 percent of bacteria.Researchers say the hand dryers are not only just spreading bacteria to your hands. It’s also being spread to other areas.
WILMINGTON, MA — David E. Richards, age 84, of Wilmington, passed away peacefully on January 18, 2019, at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington.David was born on May 10, 1934, in Winchester, MA; he was the dear son of the late William and Dorothy Richards. David was raised in Reading, MA and attended Reading Public Schools.In June of 1952, David enlisted in the United States Navy and proudly served the Country during the Korean War. He served aboard the USS Picking Naval Ship which was recommissioned in response to the Korean War; David served overseas for more than three years before returning stateside to Long Beach, CA. He was honorably discharged from active duty on June 1, 1956 and returned home to his family in Reading.Following his return home, David, enrolled at the Culinary Institute in Connecticut and began his long career as a chef. David loved to cook and make people with his culinary creations. He worked in several restaurants and country clubs before taking a position at an assisted living center. David continued to take classes throughout his career and earned his associate degree in occupational therapy.In 1957, David married his sweetheart Shirley Henderson; the couple moved to Wilmington in 1964 where they raised their family. David was a very devoted and loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather; he enjoyed attending the countless sporting and school events of his children and grandchildren throughout the years. David always beamed with pride as he spoke of his family; they were truly the light of his life.David will be fondly remembered for his sense of humor, his love of all Boston sports teams and the pride he had as he wore his “famous” Korean War hat. David was greatly loved and will forever be missed by his family and friends.David was the beloved husband of Shirley J. (Henderson) Richards, devoted father of Donna L. Aronofsky of Wilmington, David E. Richards, Jr. of Billerica and the late Thomas E. Richards. Loving “Grampa” of David Aronofsky, Michael Aronofsky, Tom Richards & his wife Kaci, Tyler Richards and great-grandchildren Lucas & Olivia Richards. Cherished son of the late William E. and Dorothy M. (Babine) Richards, dear brother of Dorothy Heselton & her husband James of Bedford, NH and Laura Warren of Peabody.Family and friends will gather for a Funeral Service on Wednesday, January 23rd at 11:00 a.m. in the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington. Interment with Military Honors will follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington. Visiting Hours will be held at the Funeral Home on Tuesday, January 22nd from 6:00-8:00 p.m.In lieu of flowers, donations in David’s memory may be made to The Jimmy Fund, 10 Brookline Place West, 6th Floor, Brookline, MA 02445-7226.(NOTE: The above obituary is from Nichols Funeral Home.)Like 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedOBITUARY: James Thayer Hastings, 84In “Obituaries”OBITUARY: Charles G. Reekie, 88In “Obituaries”OBITUARY: John H. Nee, 93In “Obituaries”
WILMINGTON, MA — Below are the latest legal notices related to Wilmington, published during the week of Sunday, August 4, 2019:Auction — Burlington Self Storage190971 — Babine — 6 State Street190966 — Wilmington Board of Appeals — Roya191022 — Bedell Estate191011 — Land Court — Airoso — 18R Denault Drive191016 — Land Court — Germano — 1 Isabella Way(NOTE: The above public notices is from MassPublicNotices.org.)Like 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 email@example.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWilmington’s Latest Legal Notices (Week of August 18, 2019)In “Government”Wilmington’s Latest Legal Notices (Week of August 11, 2019)In “Government”Wilmington’s Latest Legal Notices (Week of August 25, 2019)In “Government”
Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May leaves Number 10 Downing Street in London. Photo: ReutersPrime minister Theresa May said on Wednesday she would publish her plan for Britain’s exit from the European Union in a formal ‘White Paper’ to allow parliament to scrutinise it.Last week, May said Britain would quit the EU’s single market when it leaves the union, charting a course for a clean break with the world’s largest trading bloc.A court ruled on Tuesday that the government must seek parliamentary approval before triggering the legal process of exiting the bloc.Following her speech and the court ruling, many lawmakers, including some from her own party, said they wanted to see the plans set out in a formal ‘White Paper’ to facilitate greater scrutiny before a parliamentary vote on triggering .White papers are policy documents produced by the government that set out their proposals for future legislation.The government had responded to those calls by saying it believed the publication of a white paper was not necessary.But, on Wednesday, May changed her position.“I set out that bold plan for a global Britain last week and I recognise there is an appetite in this house to see that plan set out in a white paper,” May told parliament. “I can confirm to the house that our plan will be set out in a white paper.”The Institute for Government, a think tank, said there were no rules about what must be included in a white paper, and that any such document could simply repeat the contents of May’s speech.
News Instagram apostasy stirs controversy over Christian ‘influencers’ August 30, 2019 Photos of the Week August 30, 2019 Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Bishop Heather Cook at her consecration as the first female bishop in the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland in 2014. Photo by Richard Schori, courtesy of Episcopal News Service Catholicism She said she has repented for the DUI accident and the loss of Palermo’s life.“Repentance is two things, at least,” she said. “Repentance is a feeling and repentance is also amendment of life. In the beginning, I was absolutely overwhelmed with shame and grief and hopelessness at what had happened that I’d been responsible for.”Palermo’s family opposed her requests to leave prison early as well as the length of her prison sentence, saying she had not been given enough time for her crimes.“While no amount of prison time would seem sufficient, we feel the court today could have sent a stronger signal that our community takes driving while under the influence and driving while distracted seriously,” said Alisa Rock, a sister-in-law of Palermo, speaking for the family after Cook’s sentencing. “It feels lukewarm.”The Palermo family, through its attorney, declined to comment for this story.Her fellow Episcopalians have mixed feelings about Cook. There is anger over her crimes and a feeling that she was an embarrassment. She’s also forced the denomination to rethink its often cozy relationship with alcohol that caused some members to call themselves “Whiskeypalians.”A commission set up after Cook’s arrest found that the Episcopal Church often failed to intervene with clergy who struggled with alcoholism.“In many instances, devoid of expectations for substantive recovery and amendment of life, the desire to forgive has undermined the church’s collective responsibility to due diligence in the work of screening, recognizing, and diagnosing impairment in church leaders, as well as intervening and treating when appropriate,” a denominational report found.After her arrest in 2014, it was revealed that four years earlier, Cook had been stopped for drunken driving on the state’s Eastern Shore. Some diocesan members said information about the initial incident was not disclosed when Cook was elected as suffragan, or deputy, bishop.Bishop Todd Ousley, who heads the Episcopal Church office tasked with responding to its Commission on Impairment and Leadership’s 2017 recommendations, has known Cook for more than a decade. He once served with her on a church committee on congregations in small communities.He described Cook as “a very gifted priest” with the “potential to be a very gifted bishop but also someone who had a dark side to her.”RELATED: A bicyclist dead, the Episcopal Church takes a hard look at alcoholSome of her peers questioned how Cook ever became bishop in light of her drinking and driving history.Bishop Chilton Knudsen. Photo courtesy of Episcopal News ServiceEpiscopal Diocese of Maryland Bishop Eugene Sutton was not available for an interview, but spokeswoman Carrie Graves said: “We hold Rachel Palermo and her family in prayer, and we pray for Heather Cook and all involved in the aftermath of this tragedy.”Bishop Chilton Knudsen, 72, who was chosen to replace Cook in the Maryland Diocese, said she has met with her predecessor “on my own volition” and because “I also want Heather to know that not everybody in the Episcopal Church has it out for her.”Knudsen, an expert on alcoholism who is celebrating 31 years of sobriety this month, said people in the Baltimore-based Diocese of Maryland continue to have a range of emotions about Cook.“I think if there is distress or anger, it’s about the entire disruption of life and not just about a DUI that didn’t get aired in the light of day,” said Knudsen, who is now assisting bishop in the Episcopal Diocese of Washington.“She will have people who will be mad at her for the rest of their lives. That’s their problem, in my view, but I believe the majority of people are past the worst of the anger and distress and sadness that I saw.”Knudsen also took on another role in Cook’s life at the prison: She was the officiant at Cook’s wedding to longtime companion Mark Hansen, 61, a lay Episcopal minister and recovering alcoholic who lives on the Eastern Shore and met Cook when they were both attending General Theological Seminary.Mark Hansen married Heather Cook in 2017. RNS photo by Adelle M. BanksThe fall 2017 ceremony occurred in the same room where Hansen and Knudsen have visited her in separate one-hour slots, with a table next to the guard’s desk serving as the altar for her wedding. Murals on the walls around them feature cartoon characters and female superheroes painted by a prison art club.Cook, who usually wore a denim shirt, blue jeans and white sneakers for visitors, was permitted to wear a powder blue dress for the occasion.RELATED: Maryland bishop charged in DUI death is defrocked by Episcopal ChurchThe former bishop said she never lost her faith while in prison.But she did feel a lost sense of purpose because she no longer held holy orders within the Episcopal Church. Now, she said, she has claimed a new role.Cook, a self-described “poster child for alcoholism,” hopes to advocate for women who are in prison and those who struggle with addiction.Heather Cook speaks during the S.O.B.E.R. October 2017 event at Maryland Correctional Institution for Women. Courtesy photoThe daughter of an Episcopal priest who said he was an alcoholic, Cook spearheaded “S.O.B.E.R. October” events for the last two years at the prison, serving as a keynoter and organizing other speakers on the topic of sobriety.Maryland prison officials declined requests for interviews about Cook’s time in prison.Gerard Shields, a spokesman for the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, said Cook earned time off for good behavior.“She was infraction free, worked at one of our Maryland Correctional Enterprise shops, attended alcohol counseling and provided ministerial help to other inmates,” he said in an email.Cook’s parole application packet includes a letter of apology she wrote to Palermo’s widow as part of a Victim/Offender Impact Class Education program.In a page and a half, she expresses sorrow for the “tidal wave of pain” she has caused, says she prays for the family and recalls the apology she made on the day she was sentenced in 2015.“I am sorry that my failure to take action about a disease of addiction cost your husband’s life,” she wrote.“I am sorry I drove carelessly and took my eyes off the road, not seeing what had happened so not responding quickly to render help. I’m sorry that the publicity made everything harder and deprived you of the privacy of your grieving. I hurt for all of it.”The Rev. Lettie M. Carr, a chaplain at the prison for 22 years through 2017, said Cook served as her clerk. Carr said the former bishop helped inmates sign up for classes and handed out religious material.“She learned to make peace with herself and with God and with the system,” said Carr, now an associate pastor at First Baptist Church of Glenarden in Landover, Md.“I trusted her, never had any hesitation with her, never sensed any, if you will, competition. She never tried to exalt herself in any way. She was very respectful of the other residents.”Heather Cook, left, with her mother during Family Day 2017 at the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women. Courtesy photoCook once addressed a crowd of some 150 inmates at an ecumenical gathering around Thanksgiving, about a month and a year after she had arrived at the prison in the central Maryland town of Jessup.Though no longer an official faith leader, Cook said she views the mutual support among inmates as a form of ministry.“This system is so bleak and cold that we do that for one another, that when one is weak, another is strong,” she said of life in the prison that houses women with security levels ranging from pre-release to maximum. “I have been the recipient as much as I have been the giver.”Ousley hopes the church has moved from “potentially appearing to be a clergy protection society” to one where Episcopalians will report a staffer who seems to be impaired. He said the screening process for bishop candidates has been enhanced and is likely to become even more stringent.“We don’t want to have another incident like that,” he said of Cook’s accident and Palermo’s death. “And we don’t want someone to die and we don’t want our clergy to be hurting and not functioning at their best. So it’s about love and care for the whole community.”Upon hearing of some of the denomination’s changes and plans, Cook said, “God bless the Episcopal Church for doing what they’ve done.”But she also fears that, in the wake of her accident, some “extremely fine candidates” who are recovering from addiction may be excluded from opportunities to serve at its highest levels.When asked earlier about the Episcopal Church’s future dealings with situations like Cook’s, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry expressed words of caution.Curry — who was installed as the top official of his church five days after Cook’s sentencing — said that despite the new efforts there is no absolute guarantee that the church can prevent tragedies such as the one that occurred due to Cook’s addiction.“The truth is no system is 100 percent foolproof; it’s just not — no human system can be,” he acknowledged. “That’s not possible. What we can do is to do the very best we can to minimize the possibility of something like this happening again.”Facing her release, Cook is not certain what will come next. But she believes God is not done with her.“I believe God doesn’t waste anything,” Cook said. News • Photos of the Week Adelle M. Banks AMBankstw By: Adelle M. Banks AMBankstw By: Adelle M. Banks AMBankstw Share This! Tagsalcoholism drunken driving Episcopal Church Heather Cook homepage featured prison Thomas Palermo Top Story,You may also like Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,About the authorView All Posts Share This! By: Adelle M. Banks AMBankstw Heather Cook and her golden retriever, Teddy, in 2012. Photo by Karen Sweezey Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Share This! As Amazon burns, Vatican prepares for summit on region’s faith and sustainabilit … August 30, 2019 Share This! Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Adelle M. Banks Adelle M. Banks, production editor and a national reporter, joined RNS in 1995. An award-winning journalist, she previously was the religion reporter at the Orlando Sentinel and a reporter at The Providence Journal and newspapers in the upstate New York communities of Syracuse and Binghamton.,Load Comments,American University Cairo religion professor loses post in academic freedom fight Victims of clergy abuse to sue Vatican, seek abusers’ names Former Episcopal Bishop Heather Cook’s mug shot for the Baltimore Police Department. Cook, who killed a bicyclist in Baltimore while driving drunk, was sentenced Oct. 27, 2015. (Baltimore Police Department via AP) Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,(RNS) — Once a rising star in the Episcopal Church, Heather Cook hoped to spend her life lessening people’s pain.Instead, months after she was consecrated the first woman bishop in the Diocese of Maryland in 2014, she was behind the wheel, texting, driving drunk and causing an accident that killed a bicyclist on a Baltimore road.“Part of the great challenge for me is to know that I, through this experience, have added more pain to the world,” said Cook in one of a series of phone interviews from prison before her release this week (May 14).Technically, Cook has done her time.But the former inmate now has a life sentence: determining if redemption might ever be possible after such a tragedy.Two days after Christmas, she struck and killed cyclist Thomas Palermo, a husband and father of two. She initially left the scene of the accident but was later arrested. Authorities said her blood alcohol level was .22, almost three times the legal limit.The Maryland Correctional Institution for Women, where Heather Cook has served prison time since 2015. RNS photo by Adelle M. BanksShe was convicted of vehicular manslaughter, DUI, leaving the scene of an accident and driving while texting and was sentenced to seven years in prison.Cook was defrocked by the Episcopal Church and is no longer a priest or a bishop. Instead, for the past three and a half years, she’s been inmate number 00442452 at the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women.She hopes to spend her life making amends for what she did.Cook, 62, agreed to talk with Religion News Service on the condition that this story would not be published until her release from prison.She described her willingness to be interviewed as “part of my amends” — a word used in the ninth step of the 12-step recovery process.The former bishop told RNS she did not know at the time of her accident that she had struck a person. Though she declined to discuss more of what happened that day, she does recall texting “we are on our way,” referring to herself and her golden retriever, Teddy, before the collision. Share This!
Qantas announces strong full year reportQantas today announced its strongest profit since before the Global Financial Crisis, a $505 million capital return to shareholders and a Boeing 787 Dreamliner order to start a new era for Qantas International.For the 12 months to 30 June 2015, Qantas reported an Underlying Profit Before Tax of $975 million and a Statutory Profit Before Tax of $789 million. The underlying result is a turnaround of $1.6 billion compared with financial year 2014, including Qantas’ best ever second half performance, with all segments of the Qantas Group reporting robust profits and returning their cost of capital.The driving force behind the result was progress with the Qantas Transformation program, which realised $894 million in transformation benefits during the year and saw Qantas meet its target of paying down more than $1 billion in net debt. As a result, Qantas has reached its optimal capital structure – enabling it to resume shareholder returns while continuing to invest in growth and renewal.Chief executive Alan Joyce said the milestone acquisition of the next-generation Dreamliner for Qantas International marked the scale of Qantas’ turnaround and signalled a new phase of renewal and growth.“We are halfway through the biggest and fastest transformation in our history,” Mr Joyce said. “Without that transformation, we would not be reporting this strong profit, recommencing shareholder returns, or announcing our ultra-efficient Dreamliner fleet for Qantas International.“We have reshaped our business for a strong, sustainable future – and because we moved quickly and made tough decisions early, we have strong foundations to build on.”A capital return of $505 million, equivalent to 23 cents per share, is proposed to be paid to shareholders in early November 2015. The payment is subject to shareholder approval at the Qantas Annual General Meeting on 23 October 2015 of the capital return and the related share consolidation.“The financial discipline we have applied means we can reward our shareholders, who have been both patient and supportive throughout our transformation,” Mr Joyce said. “We’re delighted to make this announcement today.”Qantas will acquire eight Boeing 787-9 aircraft, to be delivered from calendar year 2017 and gradually replace five older Boeing 747s.“New aircraft types have always unlocked opportunities for Qantas,” Mr Joyce said. “When our red tail Dreamliners start arriving in two years’ time, their incredible range and fuel-efficiency will create new possibilities for our network.“For customers, the Qantas Dreamliner’s improved cabin pressure, larger windows and technology to reduce turbulence will deliver the world’s best travel experience.” Fly QantasSource = Qantas Group
February 25 , 2019 Monsanto dealt first Australian lawsuit over cance … Bayer hires law firm to investigate claims Monsant … Bayer hit with US$2B verdict in third Roundup tria … U.S. jury urged to “send message” to Monsanto as R … Germany-based Bayer AG is facing a second U.S. jury over allegations that its glyphosate-based weed killer Roundup causes cancer, six months after the company’s share price was rocked by a US$289 million verdict in California state court.A lawsuit by California resident Edwin Hardeman against the company was scheduled to begin on Monday in federal rather than state court Reuters reported.The trial is also a test case for a larger litigation. More than 760 of the 9,300 Roundup cases nationwide are consolidated in the federal court in San Francisco that is hearing Hardeman’s case, according to the article. You might also be interested in Bayer denies all allegations that Roundup or glyphosate cause cancer.Under a January ruling by U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria, who presides over the federal litigation, jurors in Hardeman’s case will not initially hear all the evidence presented in last year’s California trial.Chhabria reportedly called evidence by plaintiffs that the company allegedly attempted to influence regulators and manipulate public opinion “a distraction” from the science in the cases. He said such evidence should only go before the jury in a second trial phase that would only take place if they determined Roundup caused Hardeman’s cancer.Evidence of corporate misconduct was seen as playing a key role in the finding by a California state court jury in August that Roundup caused another man’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and that Bayer’s Monsanto unit failed to warn consumers about the weed killer’s cancer risks, Reuters reported.That jury’s US$289 million damages award was later reduced to US$78 million. Bayer had not completed the acquisition of Roundup owner, U.S.-based Monsanto, when last year’s trial took place and could therefore only provide limited legal support to Monsanto. But with the traction now finalized, it will be able to take on a much more significant role.
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