January 2019 | 上海夜生活,上海夜生活网,上海夜网论坛

U.S. judge approves bankruptcy loan for California power producer PG&E

SAN FRANCISCO ( ) – Bankrupt California power provider PG&E Corp won cou,上海夜生活怎么玩Dakota,rt approval on Wednesday for a $5.5 billion loan to help maintain electricity and natural gas delivery and for investments to reduce the risk of wildfires as it reorganizes.

San Francisco-based PG&E filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January in the aftermath of devastating wildfires that struck California in recent years, some linked or suspected to be linked to the company’s equipment.

Judge Dennis Montali of ,上海会所夜网Faith,the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in San Francisco approved the debtor-in-possession loan over objections of a committee representing victims of wildfires that wanted PG&E to fund a program for housing, food and other necessities for the victims before getting the financing approved.

PG&E filed for bankruptcy protection on Jan. 29 in anticipation of liabilities from the wildfires, including a catastrophic 2018 blaze, the Camp Fir,上海夜哪里艳遇Mace,e. It killed 86 people in the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history.

The San Francisco-based owner of the biggest U.S. power utility warned in November it could face significant liability in excess of its insurance coverage if its equipment was found to have caused the Camp Fire that destroyed Paradise, California, last year.

PG&E has said it expects its equipment will be determined to have been an ignition source for the Camp Fire.

The financing will comprise a $3.5 billion revolving credit facility, a $1.5 billion term loan and上海夜网 a $500 million delayed-draw term loan.

Investment banks JPMorgan Chase & Co, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays Plc and Citigroup Inc will provide financing, the company said in a filing.

Gaza fishing boats challenging Israeli blockade draw navy fire

GAZA ( ) – A group of Palestinian fishing boats that sailed off the shore of Gaza to challenge an Israeli naval blockade of the coastal爱上海419 enclave drew warning shots from the Israeli navy on Saturday, the boats’ organizers said.

About 20 fishing boats set sail from Gaza City port toward the maritime border with Israel. The Gaza Health Ministry said there were no casualties reported.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said the navy gave the boats verbal warnings before firing in to the air.

Palestinian witnesses said some of those on board set tyres alight and set them afloat toward the maritime border before they were confronted by four Israeli naval vessels.

Israel says its naval blockade of Gaza is intended to prevent weapons from reaching militant groups, including Hamas, the Islamist movement that controls the Palestinian enclave. Israel and the West designate Hamas as a terrorist organization.

More than 2 million Palestinians are packed into the Gaza Strip, which is experiencing deep economic hardship.

Israel and Egypt, citing security concerns, keep tight restrictions on their land crossings with Gaza which have reduced its economy to a state of collapse.

U.N. and Egyptian-led efforts are under way to mediate a long-term ceasefire between Israel and Hamas who have fought three wars since 2008. The bid is also meant to tackle humanitarian issues in Gaza and improve its economy.

Adham Abu Selmeya, one of the flotilla organizers, said the event was meant to send a message to all parties involved in the ceasefire efforts.

“We want the world to see the reality of the blockade and the suffering of the people of Ga,上海夜生,上海夜生活Ignacio,活桑拿会所Iris,za, and we will not accept anything less than lifting the blockade once and for all,” he said.

Cross-border violence has spiked in the past few months. Since the weekly protests began on March 30, the Israeli army has killed 161 Palestinians and a Gaza sniper has killed an Israeli soldier.

On Thursday, Egyptian mediation ended a two-day wave of rocket barrages and air strikes between Israel and Gaza militant groups.

Written by shyw on January 14, 2019 Categories: amsinzbbvo Tags: , ,

NSA ‘metadata’ reform plans seek to defuse potential opposition

WASHINGTON ( ) – Proposals by the White House and a congressional committee to reform the National Security Agency’s collection of Americans’ telephone “metadata” are being crafted with an eye toward defusing potential opposition from telephone companies and privacy advocates, sources familiar with the plans said.

Lawmakers are considering giving government compensation to phone companies for expenses incurred when the intelligence agency asks for searches of phone records, as well as offering the firms greater protection against lawsuits challenging their compliance with those requests.

Under pressure to rein in the agency after revelations by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, President Barack Obama plans to ask Congress to end the bulk collection and storage of records of millions of U.S. domestic phone calls.

The records, called “metadata,” document which telephone number calls which other number, when the calls were made and how long they lasted. Metadata does not include the content of the calls.

Under Obama’s plan, phone companies rather than the NSA would hold the information. The government would have to get permission from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to review the data if it believes calls are connected to potential terror attacks.

A clause providing compensation to companies for their cooperation in metadata searches is contained in a reform bill announced by House Intelligence Committee ,上海夜网Dakota,leaders on Tuesday, said a person familiar with the bill’s contents.

Another idea under discussion is to extend existing legal protections telephone companies have when responding to intelligence or law enforcement data requests to explicitly include metadata search requests, the sources said.

Representatives of key telecommunications companies and their Washington lobbying groups declined to comment or did not respond to a request for comment.

Before Snowden’s leaks the NSA had legal authority to collect and hold for five years metadata for all telephone calls inside the United States, though officials later conceded the spy agency had capacity to store only a relatively small proportion of that information. Although several courts declared NSA practices legal, Obama, facing political uproar, announced in January that he intended to eliminate bulk-metadata collection by the NSA aimed at U.S.-based telephone users.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, a Republican, and ranking committee Democrat Dutch Ruppersberger introduced a reform proposal on Tuesday that is similar to the plan to end metadata collection that Obama is working on.

“We think that we have found a way to end the government’s bulk collection of telephone metadata and still provide a mechanism to protect the United States and track those terrorists who are calling in to the United States to commit acts of terror,” Rogers said.

Under their bill, the companies would not be required by law to store metadata for a set time period, said a source familiar with the bill.

This would place no additional costs or storage burdens on phone companies, the source said. This also means that if companies had not stored metadata sought by the NSA, or if it were in a more fragmentary form than the metadata which the NSA collected until recently, the spy agency would have to make do with whatever the company had stored. But the NSA could seek to require the company to collect such metadata from the time of the request.

Telephone companies are already required under a rule issued by the Federal Communications Commission to store some such data for 18 months for billing and other commercial purposes. But the rule does not specify the form in which companies are required to store it.

Both the Obama administration’s unpublished proposal and the House Intelligence Committee plan leave unanswered questions about the NSA’s collection of similar data from Ame,上海夜生活桑拿会所Pattie,ricans email and online activity.

Tech上海龙凤419 companies, including Google Inc and Facebook Inc, have been pushing for more transparency, limitations and oversight to NSA digital surveillance.

Far-right German leader skeptical of Bannon’s anti-EU push

BERLIN ( ) – A leader of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party has poured cold water on plans by Steve Bannon, U.S. President Donald Trump’s former political strategist, to forge a wide populist alliance to undermine the European Union.

“We’re not in America,” Alexander Gauland, one of two co-leaders of the anti-immigrant party, told the Funke Mediengruppe newspaper chain in an interview published on Saturday.

“The interests of the anti-establishment parties in Europe are quite divergent,” he added in comments that amounted to a blunt rebuff to Bannon from one of Europe’s most influential far-right parties.

The former,上海夜生活论坛Gael, Trump strategist last month announced he had created a Brussels-based political organization called The Movement to rally nationalist and populist voters in European Parliament elections next May, with a goal of undermining and paralysing the bloc.

But Gauland said that while his co-leader Alice Weidel had met once with Bannon, he saw no possibility of cooperating with him. “Mr Bannon will not succeed in forging an alliance of the like-minded for the European elections.”

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He said the AfD only had close contacts with Austria’s far-right Freedom Party (FPO), junior party in Austria’s coalition government. Former AfD leader Frauke Petry had always wanted to work with France’s National Front, but that had not worked out.

Raheem Kassam, a spokesman for The Movement, said of Gauland’s comments: “The Movement is a clearing house of ideas, not a campaigning organization that would seek to have anything to do with AFD’s national policy or election campaigns. We are content that senior AFD figures understand the project and are in touch with us every day. We look forward to working alongside those who want to do so, for the causes we all believe in.”

Gauland told Funke Mediengruppe that his party was polling at 17 to 20 percent in recent surveys, and its support could grow beyond that as long as Chancellor Angela Merkel remained in power.

The party won 12.6 percent of the vote in n,上海夜生活Patrice,ational elections last September, making it the third largest party and catapulting it into the German parliament for the first time.

Gauland said the AfD needed to become stronger, but he expected it to be ready to take on a governing role in the medium-term.

Political experts say the party could become the strongest party in the eastern German states of Saxony and Brandenburg in regional elections next year, raising the question of whether mainstream parties will reverse course and agree to form coalitions with it.

Australia’s prime minister to face internal dissent as parliament…

SYDNEY ( ) – Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will this week be forced to confront internal divisions as the government convenes for the first time since it suffered a series of electoral defeats that threatens its prospect for re-election.

Turnbull will front a meeting of the centre-right coalition on Tuesday as parliament resumes after a six-week recess, a conference that comes amid renewed pressure on the prime minister.

“The jitters will be creeping into the party room. There is the doubt that when polled, Australians don’t really believe he is the man for the job,” said Haydon Manning, a political science professor at Flinders University in the state of South Australia.

Turnbull has been under sustained pressure amid a slump in opinion polls, stoking speculation of a leadership change in a country that has seen five different prime ministers since 2010.

Australia’s conservative government late last month failed to win any of the five by-elections held across the country, defeats widely seen as an indication Turnbull faces an uphill task to be re-elected at a national poll due by May 2019.

Exit polls showed Turnbull’s government had lost support with its planned corporate tax cuts.

Following the lead of the United States, Australia’s centre-right government has proposed to cut the corporate tax rate from 30 percent to 25 percent, in a bid to boost the economy less than a year away from the next election.

But with stagnant wage growth and a public inquiry exposing alleged misconduct in the financial sector, the policy is deeply unpopular.

Turnbull has said his 爱上海419coalition will seek to win favor with the country’s senate, where the government does not enjoy a majority, for the legislation – though the government’s long-term commitment to the policy remains uncertain.

Turnbull will also head into the next session of parliament with uncertainty shrouding the government’s energy policy.

The government had hoped to win approval from Australia’s state governments for a plan to end more than a decade of climate and energy wars and spur investment in new power supply.

But at a meeting last week, several states withheld support, setting the scene for a frosty meeting of the government on Tuesday.

Pro-coal former Prime Minister Tony Abbott and rural-party Nationals members in Turnbull’s coalition oppose the plan, which is likely to dominate agenda of the meeting.

Australia’s Treasurer Scott Morr,上海夜生活论坛Keaton,ison on Saturday acknowledged tensions within the room but insisted the coalition would provide Turnbull’s energy plan.

“Of co,上海夜生活桑拿会所Gabriella,urse there will be discussions, but it will have strong support because it is the right plan,” Morrison told reporters in Adelaide.

Connecticut senate approves bill to raise minimum wage to $10.10

MILFORD, Connecticut ( ) – Connecticut’s senate on Wednesday approved a bill that would,上海夜网Fergus, raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, the highest statewide rate in the nation, following a call to action last month by Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy.

The bill passed by a vote of 23-13, mostly along party lines with Democrats approving the mo爱上海419ve and Republicans opposing it. It now awaits a vote by the state’s lower house, also controlled by Democrats.

Malloy’s push comes at a time when Democratic politicians across the United States are raising concerns about the growing gap between the poorest and richest Americans. On a visit to Connecticut ea,上海夜生活论坛Harris,rlier this month, President Barack Obama urged Congress to raise the federal minimum to the same $10.10 level, which has not gotten backing in the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives.

“This sends a clear message to the working people in the state of Connecticut that the legislature understands the difficulty they have in doing basic things to live, and we are proud to lead the nation in moving the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour,” said state Senator Gary Holder-Winfield, chairman of the legislature’s Labor Committee.

Connecticut’s minimum wage currently stands at $8.70 per hour, and the bill would phase in the hike to $10.10 over three years. The current highest state minimum wage in the United States is Washington’s minimum of $9.32, above the $7.25 federal minimum.

Patrick O’Neil, a spokesman for the state’s House Republican Caucus, has called the proposal “pure politics in an election year.”

Malloy is up for re-election in November.

The Washington, D.C., city council late last year passed a measure raising its minimum wage to $11.50 per hour in 2016. Workers in Sonoma, California, have the highest entry pay rate, at $15.38 per hour.

Out of Connecticut’s work force of 1.7 million people, economists estimate there are currently 70,000 to 90,000 workers who earn the minimum wage. Malloy’s proposal means that an employee working 40 hours per week would earn $21,008 per year. Currently, the federal poverty guideline for a family of four is

$23,850.

Neighboring New York and Rhode Island, as well as nearby New Jersey, also increased the minimum wage this year.

Advocates of raising the minimum wage argue that it stimulates the economy since low-income people spend a higher percentage of their income, while opponents contend that it could slow hiring at a time that the U.S. economy is still facing high unemployment.

Northwestern players score in bid to unionize college football

( ) – The U.S. government decided on Wednesday that football players at Northwestern University who get scholarship money are effectively school employees and can vote on organizing what could become the first labor union for U.S. college athletes.

In a move that will fuel a debate over whether college athletes are amateurs or professionals, a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) regional office said scholarship players at the Evanston, Illinois, school, who have not exhausted their playing eligibility, can vote in a union election.

The NLRB will supervise the vote. No date has been set and delays could lay ahead if Northwestern appeals the decision, as many labor lawyers expect the university will do.

But if a majority of the Northwestern Wildcats ultimately votes for a union, they could shake up the sporting world by opening the door for other athletes at private universities, which are subject to the National Labor Relations Act.

“This is going to reignite the controversy over whether somebody is actually an amateur or not,” said Pitta & Giblin labor and employment law attorney Joseph Farelli in New York.

“Unless the decision is overturned … it will put additional pressure on the (National Collegiate Athletic Association) to change its rules with regard to what compensation and monies can be paid to student athletes.”

NLRB Regional Director Peter Sung Ohr concluded in a 24-page decision that Northwestern can be considered an employer, under the National Labor Relations Act, and the roughly 85 football players on scholarship are university employees.

Ohr’s decision to direct an election is expected to be appealed to the full five-member NLRB board in Washington, D.C. by the university, located on Lake Michiga上海龙凤419n north of Chicago.

A Northwestern University spokesman was not available to comment on the NLRB decision.

STEELWORKERS BACK GROUP

Northwestern football players in January notified the NLRB that they were interested in seeking representation with the College Athletes Players Association, a first-of-its-kind labor organization backed by the United Steelworkers.

At the time, legal experts said it would be difficult, but not impossible, for the players to make the case that they were not merely students, but university employees.

Working in the players’ favor is the fact that, under U.S. President Barack Obama, the NLRB is now controlled by Democrats, the political party friendliest to organized labor.

The NLRB’s record also suggests it may be open to declaring certain groups of students to be employees, experts said.

In explaining his decision, Ohr said students recruited to play football at Northwestern get a “tender” that details their scholarship and the terms and conditions of their offer. Once they join the team, they are subject to special rules about outside employment, social media, behavior and dress.

During the regular season, players spend 40 to 50 hours each week practicing, playing and traveling to games.

LONG HOURS, SPECIAL RULES

“Not only is this more hours than many undisputed full-time employees work at their jobs, it is also many more hours than the players spend on their studies,” Ohr wrote.

He differentiated the Northwestern players from graduate assistants, which the NLRB has determined are not university employees in prior cases.

Unlike graduate students, the players are not “primarily students” because the players spend more time on football than on academics and do not get academic credit for playing football. Plus, their performance is not overseen by academic faculty and they are offered scholarships for their athletic services, Ohr said.

Northwestern reported to the U.S. Department of Education that its football team generated revenues of $235 million and expenses of $159 million between 2003 and 2012. Football players on scholarship receive financial assistance totaling about $61,000 each academic year, the NLRB decision stated.

Experts said Wednesday’s decision was not likely to have an immediate domino effect on college sports since it will likely end up before the full NLRB board and eventually the federal ,上海夜生活Daphne,courts. Only 17 of the 120 to 125 schools with Division One football programs are private universities overseen by the NLRB.

But schools may begin retooling policies to avoid complications, attorneys said.

“Everything is fact-driven in these cases,” said Foley & Lardner attorney Jonathan Israel in New Yo,上海夜生活论坛Paxton,rk. “I do think if schools were to view it as a serious threat, you might see some adjustments in how they manage the players.”

Police charge man in shooting in Fredericton, Canada

TORONTO ( ) – Police charged a man in the deaths of four people, including two police officers, and identified the civilians killed in a shooting on Friday in the eastern Canadian city of Fredericton.

Police charged Matthew Vincent Raymond, 48, with four counts of first degree murder, according to a statement on Saturday. They identified the civilian victims as Bobbie-Lee Wright, 32, and Donald Adam Robichaud, 42.

Police did not release information about a possible motive or the weapon.

The four people killed, including police officers Sara Mae Burns, 43, and Lawrence Robb Costello, 45, were shot at an apartment complex in Fredericton, capital of the province of New Brunswick. [L1N1V11UR]

Police said the officers responded to a repor,上海夜生活Fantasia,t of shots fired early on Friday morning and found two civilian victims on the ground.

Sean Callahan said he grew up with one of the victims, his cousin Donald Robichaud, in rural New Brunswick. Robichaud, a musician and father of three, had recently begun a new r,上海夜生活桑拿会所Sailor,elationship with Wright, Callahan said.

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“Donnie’s probably the best person you could ever meet in your whole life. The kindest person,” Callahan said by telephone from Fredericton. “Who in the hell would want to shoot Donnie Robichaud?”

According to their Facebook pages, a Fredericton man named Donnie Robichaud was in a relationship with Bobbie-Lee Wright.

The dead police officers were Burns, who had served two years on the force and another two as an auxiliary officer, and who had three children; and Costello, a 20-year veteran who left behind four children.

Friday’s shooting was the latest eruption of gun violence across the country. Gun laws in Canada are stricter than in the United States, but a proliferation of weapons has led to an increase in gun-related crimes in recent years.

The shooting occurred three weeks after a gunman walked down a busy Toronto street, killing two people and wounding 13 before killing himself.

Romanians rally again in anti-corruption, anti-government protests

BUCHAREST ( ) – Romanians protested against corruption in Bucharest and major provincial cities for a second day running on Saturday, demanding the Social Democrat government’s resignation.

The demonstrations were peaceful but on Friday, riot police fired tear gas and used water cannon on a huge rally in central Bucharest. Hundreds of people including many Romanians who work in western Europe and police officers needed medical attention.

About 40,000 people gathered in front of government offices in the capital on Saturday evening – fewer than the 100,000 the previous night, shouting “Resignation!, Resignation!”, blowing vuvuzelas and waving Romanian and European Union flags.

Romania, a country of 20 million which hosts a U.S. ballistic missile defense station, remains among the poorest and most corrupt members of the EU.

Several more thousands protesting against graft and politicians’ attempts to decriminalize several corruption offenses gathered in the Transylvanian cities of Cluj, Sibiu and Brasov, in Timisoara on the border with Serbia, and in the eastern city of Iasi.

Peaceful rallies have repeatedly been held since the Social Democrats took power in early 2017 and tried to decriminalize several graft offences.

Earlier this year, ruling party legislators pushed changes to the criminal code through parliament, drawing expressions of concern from the European Commission and the U.S. State Department. The changes ,上海夜生活桑拿会所Barry,are being challenged in the Constitutional Court.

Social Democrat chief and lower house speaker Liviu Dragnea was sentenced to three and a half years in prison by the Supreme Court in June for incitement to abuse of office, a ruling which is not final pending an appeal.

In an open letter, Dragnea, who is seen as de facto head of the government, said his party and government would not bow to public pressure to resign.

“I want to assure all Romanians that parliament will not allow anybody to dissolve democ,上海夜生活Tamra,racy, suspend individual rights and freedoms, change the outcome of the elections and overthrow order in the Romania爱上海n state through violence,” he wrote.

Russia’s Lavrov says Putin-Trump meeting possible to improve…

MOSCOW ( ) – Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump may meet if they feel the need to focus on improving relations, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Sunday, according to the RIA state news agency.

“If the leaders feel the need to meet and get back to the questions that we think should unite Russia and the United States, but which provoke rejection among some circles in the United States, I think such meeting will take place,” Lavrov said.

After their last meeting in Helsinki in July, Trump saw a wave of criticism at home for failing to confront Putin publicly over Moscow’s interference in the 2016 U.S. election, and for seeming to contradict his own intelligence agencies on the threat from Russia.

As a result, Trump postponed in late July a second meeting with Putin until next year.

A few days later, however, Putin said he wanted Trump to be his guest in Moscow, and the White House welcomed ,上海夜生活桑拿会所Hannah,the idea despite lingering criticism over the Helsinki summit.

Russia is seeking such meetings as it is under punitive sanctions imposed by 爱上海the United States and the European Union and wants them lifted.

Lavrov said on Sunday Russia was ready to extend contacts with the United States on the level of foreign ministers if the U.S. side was ready to act on a basis of equality, RIA rep,上海夜生活Eason,orted.

Nobel prize winning author V.S. Naipaul dies aged 85: BBC

LONDON ( ) – Trinidad-born British author V.S. Naipaul, who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 2上海419论坛001, has died at his home in London aged 85, the BBC reported on Saturday.

Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul, who began writing in the 1950s, won numerous coveted literary awards during his career during which he wrote critically acclaimed novels such as “A House for Mr Biswas”, “In a Free State” and “A Bend in the River”.

In a statement, his wife Nadira Naipaul called him a “giant in all that he achieved” and said he had died surrounded by “those he loved having lived a life which was full of wonderful creativity and endeavo,上海夜生活Elexis,r”, the BBC said.

Born in Trinidad in 1932 into an Indian family, Naipaul was raised in relative poverty. He moved to England at 18 after receiving a scholarship to University College, Oxford.

He wrote his first novel while at Oxford, but it was not published. He left university in 1954 and found a job as a cataloguer in London’s National Portrait Gallery.

His first published novel, “”The Mystic Masseur”, written in 1955, was poorly received at f,上海夜网Gabriella,irst but the following year won the first of his literary awards, the John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize for young authors.

He received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth in 1989.

“When I learnt to write I became my own master, I became very strong, and that strength is with me to this very day,” he told in 2010.

(Corrects typographical error in first paragraph to make author’s surname “Naipaul” instead of “Naipul”)