Category Archives: lwvwhdxz

Black gold rush

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Joy, heartache: Pilgrims in Saudi vie for downsized haj

first_img‘Highly opaque’ Two widows, a Nigerian and an Egyptian working in the kingdom, furiously speculated whether they had been denied the chance to attend the ritual because they had not registered a male guardian to accompany them.Others wondered if several slots had been reserved for diplomats and business and royal elites.The ministry, which did not respond to AFP’s request for comment, said Saudi pilgrims were selected from a pool of health practitioners and military personnel who have recovered from COVID-19.One man, who said he had survived the disease, tweeted: “I am a health practitioner and I had contracted coronavirus… I don’t understand why I was not chosen.”The government invited online applications from foreign residents, saying they would make up 70 percent of the pilgrims, but did not explain how many applied or how they were picked.”Saudi authorities kept the selection process highly opaque since it is a sensitive matter,” Umar Karim, a visiting fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in London, told AFP.”Keeping it hidden from public scrutiny is meant to generate less noise about who got selected and who didn’t.”Just a week before the haj, an annual global media event, it remained unclear whether it would be open to the foreign press. A Jordanian couple in Saudi Arabia burst into tears of joy to be among the chosen ones for next week’s scaled-down haj pilgrimage, but countless rejected applications have stirred resentment.For the first time in modern history, millions of pilgrims outside Saudi Arabia have been barred from the haj — a key pillar of Islam and one of the world’s largest mass gatherings — because of a coronavirus surge.But even the dramatically curtailed ritual in the holy city of Mecca has drawn a huge rush of applicants. Saudi officials said residents from 160 countries competed in the government-run lottery that many described as an opaque selection process — bringing elation to up to 10,000 people while leaving the vast majority disappointed.”With so many applicants, we hardly had a one percent chance of being selected,” said a Riyadh-based Jordanian engineer, 29, selected for the pilgrimage along with his 26-year-old wife, a health worker.”We were shocked and overjoyed.”Also among the chosen few is Nasser, a Riyadh-based Nigerian expat, euphoric at winning what he called the “golden ticket” to haj. Health hazard For Saudi Arabia, curtailing the haj was a decision fraught with political and economic peril.Selecting a few from a vast pool of contenders risks further roiling public sentiment.To be among the chosen ones adds an aura of religious prestige to this year’s pilgrimage, applicants say.Despite the pandemic, many pilgrims consider it is safer to participate in this year’s ritual without the usual colossal crowds cramming into tiny religious sites, which make it a logistical nightmare and a health hazard.Even in a regular year, the haj leaves pilgrims exposed to a host of viral illnesses.”A lot of people want to do the haj this year as it will likely be less burdensome and more organized due to a smaller crowd,” said Karim.Authorities said pilgrims will be tested for coronavirus before arriving in Mecca and are required to quarantine before and after the ritual.Pilgrims will be provided with bottled holy water from Mecca’s Zamzam well and sterilized pebbles for a stoning ritual, they added.”The only consolation,” said Farah Abu Shanab, a Riyadh-based Palestinian whose haj application was rejected, “is that the government is pressing ahead with the pilgrimage, even if in a limited way.”Topics : “This feeling cannot be described,” he told AFP.But the Jordanian engineer, who declined to be named, said he felt compelled to delete his social media post announcing his selection, fearing he and his wife would attract the ire and envy of rejected applicants.Pilgrims typically wait for years to be chosen through a strict quota system for haj, which last year drew some 2.5 million people.Saudi authorities initially said only around 1,000 pilgrims residing in the kingdom would be permitted for haj, but local media reports say as many as 10,000 will be allowed.The haj ministry has fielded a deluge of anguished queries on Twitter.”Why reject me without giving a reason?” a woman asked the ministry, posting a screenshot of her rejected online application.”Everyone around me has been declined.”last_img read more

Las empresas de Pennsylvania se beneficiarán con la exención de los pagos anticipados del impuesto sobre las ventas

first_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Las empresas de Pennsylvania se beneficiarán con la exención de los pagos anticipados del impuesto sobre las ventas April 14, 2020center_img Economy,  Español,  Press Release Como parte de la iniciativa para ayudar a las empresas afectadas por la pandemia de COVID-19, el Gobernador Tom Wolf anunció hoy que las empresas que recauden el impuesto sobre las ventas de Pennsylvania no tendrán que hacer pagos anticipados del impuesto sobre las ventas acelerado (AST) durante los próximos tres meses. Eso significa que a las empresas que normalmente se les exige el prepago mensual no se les cobrarán multas por no cumplir con el plazo de pago anticipado durante este período de tres meses.“La propagación de la COVID-19 ha generado una gran tensión en muchas empresas en todo el estado que recaudan el impuesto sobre las ventas de Pennsylvania”, dijo el Gobernador Wolf. “Eximir a las empresas de este requisito de pago anticipado les brindará apoyo en un momento en que están haciendo su parte para ayudarnos a prevenir la propagación del virus”.En circunstancias normales, ciertos contribuyentes a nivel empresarial tienen la obligación de realizar pagos anticipados mensuales al Estado del impuesto sobre las ventas si su obligación tributaria real es superior a $25,000 durante el tercer trimestre del año anterior. El Departamento de Ingresos está eximiendo a las empresas del requisito del pago anticipado en abril, mayo y junio de 2020 para ayudar a los propietarios de empresas con el flujo de efectivo durante la pandemia de COVID-19.“Continuaremos trabajando con el Gobernador Wolf y los miembros de su administración para examinar otras medidas que podamos tomar para ayudar a la comunidad empresarial”, dijo el Secretario de Ingresos Dan Hassell. “Es necesario que hagamos todo lo posible para ayudar a las empresas durante esta crisis de salud sin precedentes”.A causa de este nuevo escenario, el departamento está pidiendo a las empresas que simplemente remitan el impuesto a las ventas que recaudaron durante el mes anterior. Las fechas de vencimiento para remitir el impuesto a las ventas serán el 20 de abril, el 20 de mayo y el 22 de junio, que obedecen a las fechas de vencimiento estándar para los contribuyentes mensuales que no tienen los requisitos de pago anticipado.Visite la página del Departamento de Ingresos sobre Pago anticipado acelerado de impuestos sobre las ventas para más información sobre los pagos anticipados.Se recomienda a todas las empresas a remitir el pago en línea utilizando e-TIDES, el sistema de impuestos en Internet del departamento para las empresas. Encuentre el REV-819 en el sitio de Internet del departamento para obtener un calendario de las fechas de vencimiento de presentaciones y pago anticipado.Servicio y asistencia al contribuyenteAdemás de la exención de los pagos anticipados del impuesto sobre las ventas acelerado, el Departamento de Ingresos también ha realizado lo siguiente:Extendió la fecha límite para presentar las declaraciones estatales de impuestos sobre ingresos personales por 90 días. La nueva fecha límite del 15 de julio de 2020 es la misma que la nueva fecha límite federal.Extendió el plazo para presentar las declaraciones informativas relacionadas con corporaciones, asociaciones, propiedades y fideicomisos del Estado de Pennsylvania hasta el 15 de julio de 2020.Extendió la fecha de límite para las corporaciones que tienen declaraciones de impuestos que vencen desde mayo al 14 de agosto de 2020.Dado que los centros de llamadas del departamento permanecen cerrados para ayudar a prevenir la propagación de la COVID-19, a los contribuyentes que buscan asistencia se les recomienda usar el Centro de servicio al cliente en línea del departamento, disponible en revenue-pa.custhelp.com. Puede usar este recurso para enviar electrónicamente una pregunta a un representante del departamento. El representante del departamento podrá responder mediante un proceso electrónico seguro que es similar a recibir un correo electrónico. Asimismo, el Centro de servicio al cliente en línea incluye miles de respuestas a preguntas comunes relacionadas con los impuestos.Encuentre alertas del Departamento de Ingresos en InternetSe alienta a los contribuyentes y a los contribuyentes profesionales a visitar la Página de información sobre la COVID-19 el Departamento de Ingresos en www.revenue.pa.gov para obtener orientación adicional y actualizaciones sobre las disposiciones del departamento. También puede visitar las páginas del departamento en Facebook, Twitter y LinkedIn para obtener actualizaciones en tiempo real.Consulte la Guía de respuesta a la COVID-19 del estado para obtener las guías y los recursos más recientes para los residentes de Pennsylvania o la página de Internet dedicada al coronavirus del Departamento de Salud de Pennsylvania para obtener la información más actualizada sobre la COVID-19.Ver esta página en inglés.last_img read more

Labour to set timetable for firms to cut sugar in food

first_imgStuff co.nz 7 November 2015Labour is planning to set a “clear timeframe” for industry to cut the sugar content in all processed foods in a move to reduce obesity, but has ruled out a sugar tax.Deputy leader and health spokeswoman Annette King told the party’s annual conference in Palmerston North on Saturday that Labour would also require “front of package labelling” that was easy to understand based around the number of teaspoons of sugar in a product.Her speech she gave no details of the likely time frame or any sugar reduction targets the party might apply.Speaking later, she said that would be set after consultations with industry and she would not put a ball park figure on the timeframe.Keep up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.In the first instance Labour would look for voluntary reductions. It would then “look at giving them certainty about when we would require them to reduce sugar in their food”.However, King said some treat foods, such as lollies, would not be covered by the policy.http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/73794665/labour-to-set-timetable-for-firms-to-cut-sugar-in-foodlast_img read more

Trump encourages adoption: “every child – born or unborn – is wanted and loved”

first_imgLifeSite News 2 November 2018Family First Comment: Superb comments from President Trump“Adoption is a blessing for all involved. It provides needed relief to birth parents, who may not, for whatever reason, be in a position to raise a child. It fosters loving homes for children. It enables individuals to grow their families and share their love. And it fosters strong families, which are integral to ensuring strong communities and a resilient country. Adoption affirms the inherent value of human life and signals that every child – born or unborn – is wanted and loved. Children, regardless of race, sex, age, or disability, deserve a loving embrace into families they can call their own.”This week, President Donald Trump issued his second annual proclamation for National Adoption Month, hailing both adopting children and placing them for adoption as acts of love that enrich American society.“Adoption is a blessing for all involved. It provides needed relief to birth parents, who may not, for whatever reason, be in a position to raise a child,” the president said Wednesday. “It fosters loving homes for children. It enables individuals to grow their families and share their love. And it fosters strong families, which are integral to ensuring strong communities and a resilient country.”“Adoption affirms the inherent value of human life and signals that every child – born or unborn – is wanted and loved,” Trump continued. “Children, regardless of race, sex, age, or disability, deserve a loving embrace into families they can call their own. This month, we honor the thousands of American families who have grown because of adoption.”The president specifically highlighted adoption’s power to “show women they are not alone in an unexpected pregnancy,” called for continued assistance for families willing to adopt, and pledged support for children in foster care.“We appeal to families, communities, and houses of worship across our great Nation to help these children find a permanent home,” he said.“I encourage all Americans to observe this month by helping children in need of a permanent home secure a more promising future with a forever family, so they may enter adulthood with the love and support we all deserve,” Trump concluded.READ MORE: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/trumps-adoption-month-message-nation-grows-stronger-through-love-and-sacrifKeep up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.last_img read more

Do You Remember?

first_imgThe older readers might remember this name from golf–Jimmy Demaret!  He was on the pro-tour in the 40’s and 50’s.  What possessed me to write about Jimmy Demaret at this time?  While getting ready for the day, we had a rerun of I Love Lucy on the TV, and Jimmy Demaret was their guest.  Jimmy died in 1983 in Houston, Texas.  During his brilliant career, he was a member of both the Ryder and Canada Cups for the United States.  He had 3 major golf wins, and they were all at the Masters (1940, -47, and -50).  You can bet that the modern golfer probably wins more money in one tournament than Jimmy won in his career.  Even though he had 31 PGA wins and 36 golf titles in all, it was soon after Jimmy retired that the Big Four in golf took over.  Included in that group were Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Gary Player.  It was Arnie Palmer who brought the crowds to the PGA events, and thus, brought the prize money up rapidly.  Today with TV coverage and corporate sponsorship, most tournaments pay one million dollars minimum for a win.  Too bad Jimmy Demaret retired before the big money hit, because his game was one of the best along with Sammy Snead.last_img read more

About Last Week’s Swim Results

first_img This is placeholder textThis is placeholder text In last week’s report on the Maine State YMCA Swim Meet on these pages, Cooper Holmes of the Down East YMCA Dolphins was credited with more than his share of state championships.Camden (left) and Cooper Holmes.—HUGH BOWDENCooper did, in fact, win three state titles — the 100-yard individual medley, 100-yard freestyle and 50-yard breaststroke among boys ages 10 and under.But it was his younger brother Camden, competing among boys ages 8 and under, who combined with Beckett Markosian, Sam Pelletier and Isaac Weaver to win the 100-yard medley relay championship for that age group. Camden also finished second in the 25-yard freestyle and fifth in the 25-yard butterfly in the 8 and under age group.The Ellsworth American is responsible for the error and offers its sincere apology to the Holmes brothers, who are both Maine champions. House fire in Winter Harbor – October 27, 2014 Latest Posts Bio Latest posts by admin (see all) admin State budget vs. job creation – January 22, 2015 Hancock County Court News Nov. 3 thorugh Dec. 11 – January 22, 2015last_img read more

Pakistan close in on series-clinching win

first_imgABU DHABI: Pakistan pressed West Indies hard for a series-clinching win in the second Test after setting a daunting 456-run target on the fourth day in Abu Dhabi yesterday.By close of play Pakistan had taken four wickets at 171 leaving the West Indies to bat out the fifth and final day today or score a further 285 runs with six wickets intact for an unlikely win.No team has ever chased down more than the 418/7 West Indies managed against Australia at Antigua 13 years ago, and on a weary last day pitch they will need a huge effort to stop Pakistan from taking an unassailable 2-0 lead.Pakistan won the first Test — a day-night affair played with the pink ball — by 56 runs in Dubai.Pakistan had declared their second innings on 227/2 at lunch, with Asad Shafiq unbeaten on 58 (his 16th Test half century) and Younis Khan on 29 to give their bowlers enough time to force a win.At close, Jermaine Blackwood was unbeaten on 41 and with him Roston Chase 17 not out as the two foiled Pakistan’s bowling during an unbroken 47-run stand for the fifth wicket.The duo carried the fight initiated by opener Kraigg Brathwaite, who scored a fighting 67 with six boundaries and a six.Brathwaite and Marlon Samuels (23) had added 49 for the third wicket but both fell in the space of 12 runs, Samuels giving a return catch to leg-spinner Yasir Shah while Brathwaite trapped leg-before wicket by Mohammad Nawaz.Brathwaite had completed his 11th half-century with a three run drive off paceman Sohail Khan — his first in this series.West Indies’ task of saving the Test was made even more difficult after they lost Leon Johnson (nine) and Darren Bravo (13) with the total on 63.Johnson tried to sweep a delivery from Shah only to drag it on to his stumps after hitting the bat and glove.Bravo, who scored a fighting 116 in Dubai, slashed a drive off fast bowler Rahat Ali straight to point where Mohammad Nawaz held a head high catch.Pakistan wicket-keeper batsman Sarfraz Ahmed said: “We would have liked five down instead of four. But we are in a commanding position and are sure that we will win the match tomorrow.”Pakistan added 113 runs in the first session to set up their declaration.Shafiq scored his second fifty of the match with three boundaries after Azhar Ali was dismissed for 79.Resuming at 114/1 Pakistan were unable to score quick runs as West Indian captain Jason Holder kept a tight field, with only five boundaries in the session.Ali, who scored a career best 302 not out in Dubai, edged Miguel Cummins to slip where Holder took a sharp catch for the fast bowler’s first wicket in the series.Ali hit five boundaries during his 137-ball stay at the crease.West Indies bowlers tried valiantly for more wickets but spurned a review when Holder trapped Younis in front of the wicket but television replays showed the ball was missing the stumps.The third and final Test will be played in Sharjah from 30 October.(AFP)PAKISTAN 1st innings 452West Indies 1st innings 224Pakistan 2nd innings (overnight 114 for one)Sami Aslam c wkp Hope b Gabriel 50Azhar Ali c Holder b Cummins 79Asad Shafiq not out 58Younis Khan not out 29Extras (b4, lb3, w1, nb3) 11TOTAL (2 wkts decl., 67 overs) 227Fall of wickets: 1-93, 2-164.Bowling: Gabriel 12-2-36-1 (nb2), Cummins 7-0-26-1 (w1, nb1), Brathwaite 15-2-33-0, Bishoo 20-0-77-0, Holder 7-0-22-0, Chase 6-0-26-0.WEST INDIES 2nd innings (target: 456 runs)K Brathwaite lbw b Mohammad Nawaz 67L Johnson b Yasir Shah 9D Bravo c Mohammad Nawaz b Rahat Ali 13M Samuels c & b Yasir Shah 23J Blackwood not out 41R Chase not out 17Extras (lb1) 1TOTAL (4 wkts, 62 overs) 171Fall of wickets: 1-28, 2-63, 3-112, 4-124.Bowling: Sohail Khan 10-2-24-0, Rahat Ali 14-1-40-1, Yasir Shah 18-2-60-2, Zulfiqar Babar 15-5-32-0, Mohammad Nawaz 5-0-14-1.last_img read more

Monica Puig and Maria Sharapova provide support for Hurricane Maria victims in Puerto Rico.

first_imgRelatedMaria Sharapova Releases Book, Says “Serena Hated Me” – Unstoppable: My Life So FarSeptember 13, 2017In “Features”Maria Sharapova Handed Wild Card Entry Into This Month’s US OpenAugust 15, 2017In “Sports”Maria Sharapova: Five-time Grand Slam Champion Retires From Tennis At 32February 26, 2020In “Featured” Tennis stars Monica Puig and Maria Sharapova have been to Puerto Rico to provide support for victims of the devastating ‘Hurricane Maria’ which hit the Caribbean Island on September 20. The hurricane left close to 50 people dead, many missing and many homeless. Power on the entire Island was also knocked out and about a million people are still without running water following the disaster.Monica Puig who became the small country’s first Olympic gold medalist in any sport by winning the Women’s singles in Rio last year started a fundraising campaign that has raised over £100,000 so far. The money has been used to buy lamps, stoves, propane cylinders, medication and more for the country. Maria Sharapova Sharapova is also  donating all profits from her candy company ‘Sugarpova’ through the end of the year.A number of other tennis players also pledged their support for the cause. Grateful for the love shown, Puig said:“It was amazing to see the support from other players and to see how much they really cared about what was going on. I’m the only tennis player from Puerto Rico, so I don’t really have that many people backing me.”Puig and Sharapova helped distribute supplies and visited San Jorge Children’s Hospital in San Juan. The pair shared their journey on Instagram and Puig thanked her fellow tennis player for the support.“Together we helped the lives of thousands of people today and this is just the beginning! Puerto Rico will come back better and stronger from this! Thanks for helping me give them hope and a smile!”last_img read more

Organisers to blame for Bolt’s collapse – team-mates

first_imgLondon, United Kingdom | AFP |  Usain Bolt’s dramatic and inglorious end to his top level career was the fault of world championship organisers, his furious team-mates claimed.The 30-year-old 100 metres and 200m world record-holder collapsed on the London Stadium track whilst anchoring Jamaica in the final of the 4x100m on Saturday as cramp gripped his leg.Bolt lay prone on the track but waved away the offer of a wheelchair and eventually, aided by his three team-mates, limped across the line before making a hasty exit — not the way the man who had won triple Olympic gold at the same stadium in 2012 would have wished his competitive career in championships to finish.But his team-mates complained that his problem was caused by organisers keeping the relay teams waiting in the cold before their race as several medal ceremonies were held.“I think they were holding us too long in the call room. The walk was too long. Usain was really cold. In fact Usain said to me, ‘Yohan, I think this is crazy. 40 minutes and two medal presentations before our run’,” said Yohan Blake, who branded the wait as “crazy”.“We kept warming up and waiting, then warming up and waiting,” added the 2011 100m world champion, who also won Olympic relay gold in 2012 and 2016 with Bolt.“I think it got the better of us. We were over warm.“To see a true legend, a true champion go out there and struggling like that.“The race was 10 minutes late and we were kept 40 minutes.”Bolt may not have led Jamaica to a glorious finale anyway, though, as he took the baton well behind eventual winners Great Britain and the US. Share on: WhatsApp But Jamaica’s 110m hurdles world champion Omar McLeod — who ran the first leg — likewise pointed the finger at organisers for denying his country’s greatest star a more fitting swansong.“It’s heart wrenching,” said McLeod, who is also the Olympic champion.“It was ridiculous man, we were there around 45 minutes waiting outside, I think they had three medal ceremonies before we went out so we were really trying our hardest to stay warm and keep upbeat.“But it was ridiculous. We waited a really long time. I drank like two bottles of water.”Their criticism echoed that of Justin Gatlin, who led an American 1-2 alongside team-mate Christian Coleman to deny Bolt a farewell gold in the individual 100m.“I think it was the elements. I am sorry he got this injury. He is still the best in the world,” said Gatlin.“It was a recipe. I don’t want to say this, I understand we need to be ready early, but I think we took our clothes off a little too early.“It’s a little chilly in here so I think that’s where the cramp came from. That’s what he suffered with. He was running out there cold.”Despite his relatively unsuccessful championships — in which he will exit with just a single bronze medal — Bolt will still be accorded a final lap of honour in a tribute ceremony before the curtain comes down on the world championships later on Sunday.last_img read more