Wednesday, 29 January 2020
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Trump's defense did what it set out to do, Robert Ray says

Added: 29.01.2020 7:17 | 7 views | 0 comments

Former federal prosecutor Robert Ray, a member of President Trump’s impeachment legal defense team, said they did what they set out to do as in their oral arguments that wrapped up Tuesday and that it was time to trust in the judgment of the Senators.

Tags: FED, President, NATO, GM
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Dinwiddie, Ross change numbers due to Kobe's death

Added: 29.01.2020 5:21 | 19 views | 0 comments

Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie and Orlando Magic swingman Terrence Ross changed numbers on Tuesday to honor the late Kobe Bryant.

From: feeds.reuters.com

www.theguardian.com: Canberra fires: capital of Australia faces out-of-control bushfire – as it happened

Added: 29.01.2020 3:02 | 19 views | 0 comments


Orroral Valley fire downgraded from watch and act to advice level as Scott Morrison tells National Press Club there’s much to learn from this summer’s fires. Follow live news and latest updates


Let’s do a quick recap of what we know.


Good news. The ACT Emergency Services Agency has downgraded the Orroral Valley fire from watch and act to an advice level.
It says there is now limited activity on the eastern edge of the fire, although there is an increase in fire activity on the western side of the fire.


I’ll leave Morrison there because he moves on to emissions reductions and then, of course, questions about the controversial sports grants program overseen by Bridget McKenzie.


Morrison:
As the years pass, though, we note that the bush grows back and fuel loads increase and people move in in still larger numbers to live in fire-prone areas and dangerous fires occur again in a cycle which we must break.
We must continue to [learn] from this fire season so we are better prepared for the next one because, of course, there’ll be one.


Morrison points to the use of Australian defence force reservists as evidence the government has responded to the crisis, but says before the next bushfire season he will look at legislative changes including giving the commonwealth the power to declare a national state of emergency.
He also flags changes to the “legal interface” between the commonwealth and states and territories on responsibilities when it comes to preparing for and responding to natural disasters and emergencies on a national scale.


He says that before the events of this summer the role of the commonwealth in responding to natural disasters “has been limited to responding to requests for assistance for state governments”.
“The scale of the bushfires this season, not least their simultaneous reach across many borders, has demonstrated to me the limits of these arrangements,” he says.


Morrison says the events of this summer have “reminded us that our national security is also about our preparedness, responsiveness and resilience to the natural disasters and the environment we will live in – today, over the next decade, and well beyond”.


Morrison says that “amidst this devastation” it has been “humbling to see Australia as its best”.
In recounting the stories of their selflessness as I did on Australia Day, my message was very simple: this is the greatness of Australia. This is the strength of Australia. This is why, as a people, we always overcome and prevail. Australia is strong, but we must become even stronger.


The prime minister, Scott Morrison, begins his National Press Club address by acknowledging the families who have lost loved ones throughout the bushfire season.
Your sorrow hangs heavy on our nation’s heart and that heart is extended also to all of those who now face the daunting task of rebuilding homes, livelihoods, businesses, and local communities.
“We’ll be with you for the long haul. Many Australians, as well as our loyal friends from overseas who are standing here with us, remain on those frontlines today at some 75 or so fires burning around the country.


It’s not just the ACT that will see dangerous fire conditions increase as we get closer to the weekend. In the coming days temperatures are expected to exceed 40C in Adelaide, Canberra and Melbourne, while some places, such as Cummins in South Australia, Echuca in northern Victoria and Griffith in inland NSW, are expected to reach 45C.
BOM meteorologist Diana Eadie told AAP on Wednesday that a hot air mass causing scorching temperatures across large parts of Western Australia will move across the country along with an increase in humidity.
“As a result we’re expecting severe to extreme heatwave conditions to develop across much of the south-east of Australia,” she said.
Eadie said many areas would experience uncomfortable overnight temperatures, including Adelaide where it would not drop below 28C on Friday.
“That’s why we’re seeing those severe to extreme heatwave conditions because when you don’t get those temperatures dropping off overnight, it doesn’t allow the body to recover.”
Eadie said the heatwave would bring elevated fire dangers, peaking on Thursday in South Australia, Friday in Victoria and Tasmania, and Saturday in fire-affected areas including the ACT and southern parts of NSW.
“Whilst we’ll see those warm temperatures and strengthening winds, it’s not as dry as what we’ve seen with previous events, which is why at this stage we’re only forecasting severe fire dangers,” she said.
“It’s not quite as dangerous as previous situations ... because we do have that moisture over fire-affected areas.”

from fires in the and southern is seen here streaming into the Tasman Sea. Heatwave conditions will raise fire dangers in coming days, heat peaking Saturday. For the latest fire info : Latest forecast:


Some Australians are ignoring potentially life saving emergency alerts during disasters because they fear they are being scammed, says Queensland University of Technology associate professor Amisha Mehta.
Mehta has told AAP that emergency alerts with a link to a website are often mistaken as a scam or computer virus by younger and older people.


Remember when the ACT was hit by a vicious hailstorm... last week.

It was a long & challenging time for crews who were inundated with 2,200+ calls for assistance following the hail storm last week. With some added help from crews, the weekend saw the long list of jobs tick down to ‘0’. A pleasing sight for sore eyes!!


I’ve just spoken to Abrar Shabren, a forecaster from the Bureau of Meteorology, who has given me a rundown on the weather fire crews in the ACT will face in the coming days.
While the temperature will rise quite steeply as this afternoon goes on, with a forecast high of 36C, quite benign easterly and south-easterly winds are expected to keep things in check.


Looks like the bulk of Scott Morrison’s press conference will be about the unfolding coronavirus but he begins by calling the fires in Canberra “a reminder again that we’re a long way from the end of this bushfire season”.


The Orroral Valley fire in the ACT has now burnt through 10,079 hectares.

WATCH & ACT - ORRORAL VALLEY FIRE - 29 January 2020, 11:30am


The prime minister, Scott Morrison, is about to give a press conference in Canberra. I’ll let you know if he touches on plans to expand the powers of the commonwealth to respond to national emergencies, which is expected to be a key focus of his National Press Club address today.


Moving briefly to South Australia, AAP reports that authorities are bracing for a day of severe fire danger with special work to be conducted on the Kangaroo Island fire ground.
Earthmoving equipment, water tankers and extra fire crews are being sent to strategic locations ahead of a day of high bushfire risk.
The blaze is officially contained but the Country Fire Service says crews are still finding hotspots in various areas including Blue Gum Hills, Cygnet River and Vivonne Bay.


From Tuesday night. A lot of ACT residents are comparing this fire to the devastating 2003 blaze.


Just a reminder of where we’re at. On Monday, a defence helicopter landed in the Namadgi national park, south of Canberra, and accidentally sparked what authorities have called the city’s “most serious” bushfire threat since the city’s devastating 2003 fires.
Tuesday saw dramatic images of the fire approaching Canberra’s southern suburbs, but conditions eased throughout the evening and the fire was downgraded from emergency level to watch and act just before midnight.


As Luke has written, fire crews are making the most of today’s milder conditions before the expected temperature rise tomorrow and on Saturday.
Today ACT emergency service personnel, police and defence force members are door knocking in the southern Canberra suburbs of Banks, Gordon and Conder.


That’s all from me for now. My colleague Michael McGowan will be taking over for a while. And a reminder that Scott Morrison will be addressing the National Press Club this afternoon.


some comments from the ACT Emergency Services Agency’s incident controller, Matthew Shonk, who says authorities do not expect the fire to return to emergency level today.
But Shonk says the fire is not going to be put out today or tomorrow and that conditions will worsen in coming days.


The size of the fire is 10,079ha, according to the latest update from the ACT Emergency Services Agency.


Whelan on what she called “disaster tourism”.
“We’d had a number of reports from residents in the southern suburbs of the significant amount traffic coming into the southern suburbs last evening,” she said.


We are seeing some amazing photographs of the Canberra fire. Many of these photographs will have come from safe vantage points or from a person’s own property.
However, the ACT’s emergency services agency commissioner, Georgeina Whelan, is asking people not to engage in “disaster tourism” by heading to head to Canberra’s southern suburbs an Instagram shot.

ACT ESA Commissioner update on , notes "disaster tourism" i.e. people heading 2 southern suburbs to take photos. "Taking a great photo for Instagram is not worth your life. It is not worth slowing down my staff, who are working to keep Canberra safe."

Last night the fires sat to the south of the station. Although pretty impressive, the station is not under threat. Matt who was looking after the station last night took the pictures.


Scott Morrison will address the National Press Club today – and excerpts of his speech indicate a key theme will be expanding the powers of the commonwealth to respond to national emergencies.
First, Morrison describes the problem as he sees it:


This is some incredible footage from Martin Ollman, a photographer in Canberra.

RAW timelapse footage of the last few hours - Orroral Valley fire -Out of control


The weather over the coming days is expected to be very dry and hot in Canberra, the Bureau of Meteorology says.
Wednesday is tipped to reach 36C, with the city shrouded in a smoke haze. Thursday will hit 39C, with more smoky conditions, while Friday the mercury will increase to at top 42C.


for the Orroral Valley fire warns residents in Tharwa Village, Boboyan Road, Apollo Road, and Top Naas Road to remain vigilant.
“Monitor conditions and know what you will do if the fire threatens,” the ACT Emergency Services Agency says. “If you do not need to be in this area, it is still best for your safety to not enter or return.”


Yesterday, a fire started by a defence helicopter which landed in the Namadgi national park, south of Canberra, sparked what authorities called the city’s “most serious” bushfire threat since the city’s devastating 2003 fires.
The Orroral Valley fire has burnt through 9,500 hectares and is expected to grow, although it is now at a watch and act level. Moderate conditions overnight allowed firefighters at the scene to strengthen containment lines.


Good morning and welcome to our coverage of the bushfires threatening Canberra today. I’m Luke Henriques-Gomes.

www.theguardian.com: Canberra fires live updates: capital of Australia faces renewed bushfire threat – latest news

Added: 29.01.2020 0:13 | 51 views | 0 comments


Huge fires to the south smother city with smoke amid weather forecast for heatwave and searing temperatures as Scott Morrison prepares to address National Press Club today. Follow live news and latest updates


Moving briefly to South Australia, AAP reports that authorities there are bracing for a day of severe fire danger with special work to be conducted on the Kangaroo Island fire ground.
Earthmoving equipment, water tankers and extra fire crews are being sent to strategic locations on Kangaroo Island ahead of a day of high bushfire risk.
The blaze on the island is officially contained but the Country Fire Service says crews are still finding hotspots in various areas including Blue Gum Hill, Cygnet River and Vivonne Bay.


From Tuesday night. A lot of ACT residents are comparing this fire to the devastating 2003 blaze.


Just a reminder of where we’re at. On Monday, a defence helicopter landed in the Namadgi national park, south of Canberra, and accidentally sparked what authorities have called the city’s “most serious” bushfire threat since the city’s devastating 2003 fires.
Tuesday saw dramatic images of the fire approaching Canberra’s southern suburbs, but conditions eased throughout the evening and the fire was downgraded from emergency level to watch and act just before midnight.


As Luke has written, fire crews are making the most of today’s milder conditions before the expected temperature rise tomorrow and on Saturday.
Today ACT emergency service personnel, police and defence force members are door knocking in the southern Canberra suburbs of Banks, Gordon and Conder.


That’s all from me for now. My colleague Michael McGowan will be taking over for a while. And a reminder that Scott Morrison will be addressing the National Press Club this afternoon.


some comments from the ACT Emergency Services Agency’s incident controller, Matthew Shonk, who says authorities do not expect the fire to return to emergency level today.
But Shonk says the fire is not going to be put out today or tomorrow and that conditions will worsen in coming days.


The size of the fire is currently 10,079 hectares, according to the latest update from the ACT Emergency Services Agency.


Whelan on what she called “disaster tourism”.
“We’d had a number of reports from residents in the southern suburbs of the significant amount traffic coming into the southern suburbs last evening,” she said.


We are seeing some amazing photographs of the Canberra fire. Many of these photographs will have come from safe vantage points or from a person’s own property.
However, the ACT’s emergency services agency commissioner, Georgeina Whelan, is asking people not to engage in “disaster tourism” by heading to head to Canberra’s southern suburbs an Instagram shot.

ACT ESA Commissioner update on , notes "disaster tourism" i.e. people heading 2 southern suburbs to take photos. "Taking a great photo for Instagram is not worth your life. It is not worth slowing down my staff, who are working to keep Canberra safe."

Last night the fires sat to the south of the station. Although pretty impressive, the station is not under threat. Matt who was looking after the station last night took the pictures.


Scott Morrison will address the National Press Club today – and excerpts of his speech indicate a key theme will be expanding the powers of the commonwealth to respond to national emergencies.
First, Morrison describes the problem as he sees it:


This is some incredible footage from Martin Ollman, a photographer in Canberra.

RAW timelapse footage of the last few hours - Orroral Valley fire -Out of control


The weather over the coming days is expected to be very dry and hot in Canberra, the Bureau of Meteorology says.
Wednesday is tipped to reach 36C, with the city shrouded in a smoke haze. Thursday will hit 39C, with more smoky conditions, while Friday the mercury will increase to at top 42C.


for the Orroral Valley fire warns residents in Tharwa Village, Boboyan Road, Apollo Road, and Top Naas Road to remain vigilant.
“Monitor conditions and know what you will do if the fire threatens,” the ACT Emergency Services Agency says. “If you do not need to be in this area, it is still best for your safety to not enter or return.”


Yesterday, a fire started by a defence helicopter which landed in the Namadgi national park, south of Canberra, sparked what authorities called the city’s “most serious” bushfire threat since the city’s devastating 2003 fires.
The Orroral Valley fire has burnt through 9,500 hectares and is expected to grow, although it is now at a watch and act level. Moderate conditions overnight allowed firefighters at the scene to strengthen containment lines.


Good morning and welcome to our coverage of the bushfires threatening Canberra today. I’m Luke Henriques-Gomes.

Lee Miller: The Inspiration Behind Jessica May

Added: 28.01.2020 23:35 | 4 views | 0 comments


As I mention in the Author’s Note at the back of The Paris Orphan, I first heard of Lee Miller when I was researching my previous book, . There was a throwaway line in an article that mentioned Miller and other female war correspondents who, after World War II had ended, had not been able to continue working as serious journalists because the men had returned from overseas and taken all of the available jobs.

It caught my attention. What would it have been like to report on a war and then come home to America and be assigned completely different work? After the war, Lee Miller was relegated to photographing fashion or celebrities during the winter season at Saint-Moritz. She was also an occasional contributor of recipes for Vogue.

That article was the start of my fascination with her. I went looking for more. And I found a story so incredible I couldn’t help but be inspired by it.

Miller the Photojournalist

Miller was a photojournalist for Vogue during World War II. She took some extraordinary photographs: she stumbled upon the battle for Saint-Malo in France and photographed the U.S. Army’s first use of napalm there. She reported from Paris, Luxembourg, Alsace, Colmar, Aachen, Cologne, Frankfurt and Torgau, among other places. She was one of the first to document the horrors of the Dachau concentration camp. And she was the subject of an iconic photograph, bathing in Hitler’s bathtub in his Munich apartment, having left her filthy boots to drop the dirt of Dachau, as she put it, all over the Fuhrer’s pristine white bathroom.

Miller the Model

But Lee Miller started on the other side of the lens. She was discovered by Condé Nast on the streets of Manhattan and became a famous model for magazines like Vogue during the 1920s. I decided to use this as the starting point for my character, Jessica May, as I was fascinated by that transition. How did a woman who was so obviously beautiful manage in the male and often chauvinistic environment of an army during a war?

Just as Condé Nast discovers Lee Miller, he also discovers Jess in The Paris Orphan and Jess is one of his favorite models, as Miller was. However, to suit my story better, I moved time forward to begin Jess’s modeling career in the early 1940s.

Miller’s modeling career ended when a photograph of her was used by Kotex in an advertisement for sanitary pads. It’s so hard to imagine that this could end a career, but it did. To be seen as the “Kotex Girl” was a stigma so dreadful that no magazine wanted to use pictures of Miller again. So Miller moved to France, where she became Man Ray’s lover. He helped her develop her photography skills and she became a well-regarded surrealist photographer.

I used these elements when creating Jess’s character too. Jess has to stop modeling after a photograph of her is used by Kotex, Jess has a French photographer as a lover, and solarization is a trademark of her work, as it was Miller’s.

The Intersection of Fiction and Reality

Miller actually reported for British Vogue during the war, although many of her pieces appeared in American Vogue too. For ease of the story, I have Jess working for American Vogue in The Paris Orphan.

Jess follows in Miller’s footsteps in The Paris Orphan, working out of a field hospital when she first arrives in France after D-Day. I have given the room used by Lee Miller at the Hotel Scribe in Paris to Jess, complete with a balcony piled high with fuel cans and an acquaintance with Picasso. Miller is called la femme soldatby the joyful Parisians after the city is liberated, as is Jess. Miller stays at Hitler’s apartment in Munich and is photographed in Hitler’s bath, as is Jess in The Paris Orphan.

After the War

One of the most heartbreaking parts of Miller’s story is what happened to her after the war. She suffered from post-traumatic stress after viewing and recording so many horrors, and she tried to forget that she was ever a witness to war and all its atrocities. So effective was she at excising this from her past that, when she died at age seventy, her son, Roland Penrose, had no idea of what she had done during the war. Her work was largely forgotten.

One day, Penrose’s wife found boxes of photographs and films in the attic at Farley Farm, Miller’s home. They contained Miller’s correspondence with her Vogue editor and wartime paraphernalia. Penrose immediately understood that he had made an incredible discovery, that his mother had been a true artist, and that her words and pictures had—once upon a time, until she let the world forget them—meant something.

He resurrected Lee Miller and her work. She is now widely regarded as one of the world’s preeminent war correspondents and photographers. The idea that she had been all but forgotten haunted me, and this inspired the scenes set in contemporary times in The Paris Orphan, when D’Arcy Hallworth finds an attic full of photographs and an extraordinary legacy that should never have been lost to the past.

Pfizer profit misses estimates as revenue falls; plans no 2020 share repurchases

Added: 28.01.2020 23:11 | 1 views | 0 comments

Pfizer Inc on Tuesday reported quarterly profit that fell short of Wall Street expectations for the first time in at least two years, and the drugmaker said it will no longer rely on share repurchases to help drive growth.

Tags: GM, Pfizer
From: feeds.reuters.com

Community Tourism on Floreana Island

Added: 28.01.2020 22:44 | 4 views | 0 comments


trail through red flora that leads to green floraFloreana has been a day tour destination from Santa Cruz for years. The residents of Floreana call it “lightning tourism” because big tour groups “strike” the island for an instant and then are gone. While visitors may eat lunch at a restaurant in town, the residents see little of the profits. Floreana residents don’t want the large-scale development and numbers of tourists that visit the other ports. Puerto Ayora may not seem hectic to you, but if you compare its throngs of souvenir shops, luxury hotels, spas, and touts to Floreana’s sleepy dirt roads and population of 130, it might as well be New York City. The challenge has been to maintain the uniqueness of Floreana’s slow pace of life while creating economic opportunities for the locals. To that end, Floreana has worked with the national park and several conservation organizations to develop an entirely different model of tourism. The goal is to serve a limited number of tourists and ensure that the profits flow equitably into the community. Unlike Santa Cruz where multiple tour operators tout their services every time you walk down the street, Floreana has only one. The single community tourism operator (Centro Comunitario Floreana) directs the flow of group tours to hostels and restaurants and is the only company authorized to operate day tours to the beautiful Post Office Bay, Mirador de la Baronesa, and La Botella. As an independent traveler, consider yourself lucky; you can choose where to stay and eat. In contrast, when large tour groups arrive, people are assigned to stay in community-run guest houses and eat in community-run restaurants on a rotation schedule. A percentage of the proceeds goes back to CECFLOR for its operating costs, to support the local school and other projects to benefit the community. A key difference you may notice is that all of CECFLOR’s tours are run by local community guides. There are no naturalist guides living on Floreana, so the national park has authorized CECFLOR to send tourists to protected areas with locals instead. Unlike naturalist guides, community guides are locals who have other jobs outside of tourism; these tours are a source of extra income. Their English may be quite limited and they don’t have the training that naturalist guides go through, but they do know the sites well and can point out animal species to you. As an outsider, it may seem unfair that you aren’t allowed to walk on your own to Post Office Bay and Mirador de la Baronesa, but Floreana residents can go alone. Keep in mind, however, that many residents of Floreana are older; they lived on the island before the national park came into existence in 1959. For years the national park only allowed visits with a naturalist guide, but since no naturalist guides live on Floreana, it effectively prevented anyone from going unless they were on cruise ships. Under the new rules, residents can finally return to their favorite childhood haunts. Floreana's Community Tourism Guesthouses Floreana has seven mom-and-pop guesthouses that are affiliated with the community tourism project. These houses currently offer the same price of $35 per person, though there is a surprising variation in quality and amenities. The following list is ordered roughly in order of quality, best options first. Unless noted, these guesthouses do not include breakfast or air-conditioning. Note that there are plans to continue investing in renovating the guesthouses; prices may potentially increase. None of these guesthouses use online booking platforms; make your reservation through the direct emails provided below or through CECFLOR with a special request for the guesthouse of your choice. Casa Santa Maria (Ignacio Hernández, tel. 5/253-5022, malourdes.soria@hotmail.com, $35 pp), run by the seasoned owners of the Floreana Lava Lodge, boasts six relatively modern rooms with mini-fridge, safe-deposit box, and hot water; it’s a block inland. Ask for a room on the third floor. Casa de Emperatriz (12 de Febrero, tel. 5/253-5014, orquideasalgado@hotmail.com, $35 pp) has three rather dingy rooms a couple blocks inland by the main road, but it is the only budget option on the island with air-conditioning. Some rooms also have mini-fridges. Casa de Lelia (Ignacio Hernández and Oswaldo Rosero, tel. 5/253-5041, leliaflorimarc8@gmail.com, $35 pp), a block inland, has pleasant rooms with remodeled bathrooms, hammocks, and hot water; some rooms have mini-fridges. Los Cactus (Oswaldo and La Baronesa, tel. 5/253-5011, loscactus.gps@gmail.com, $35 pp), is slightly inland near the dock. There are four basic, modern-style guest rooms; the two on the second floor have limited views of the bay. There is a kitchen that guests are sometimes allowed to use, but it’s best to ask. Casa El Pajas (Wittmer at Zavala, tel. 5/253-5002, hospedaje.elpajas@gmail.com, $35 pp) has an attractive tiki-style log cabin vibe but is located a little farther inland than the other options. There is also a breezy second-floor sitting area and a couple hammocks. Cabañas Leocarpus (12 de Febrero, tel. 5/253-5054, veritoemi2006@gmail.com, $35 pp) on the main street has a similar rustic vibe. The guest rooms on the second floor have a very distant view to the sea. Each has one double bed and one single bed. Casa de Huéspedes Hildita (12 de Febrero and Juan Salgado, tel. 5/253-5079, $35 pp) has five guest rooms built around an empty gravel courtyard. Be aware, however, that while water is a precious resource on the entire island, this hostal has the strictest water usage policy. Related Travel Guide [hbg-title isbn="9781640492882" summary="The Galápagos archipelago is one of the most beautiful, wild, and untouched places on earth. Travel back in time with Moon Galápagos Islands."/] Pin it for Later floreana island tourism pinterest graphic

Exclusive: OxyContin maker Purdue is 'Pharma Co X' in U.S. opioid kickback probe - sources

Added: 28.01.2020 22:16 | 1 views | 0 comments

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP is the unnamed company that surfaced in criminal charging documents filed earlier this week in a probe of illegal kickbacks from drugmakers, according to people familiar with the matter.

Tags: GM
From: feeds.reuters.com

Exclusive: OxyContin maker Purdue is 'Pharma Co X' in U.S. opioid kickback probe - sources

Added: 28.01.2020 21:54 | 23 views | 0 comments

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP is the unnamed company that surfaced in criminal charging documents filed earlier this week in a probe of illegal kickbacks from drugmakers, according to people familiar with the matter.

Tags: GM
From: feeds.reuters.com

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