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first_imgSALT LAKE CITY — By now, it’s not a big deal for the Utah Jazz to be playing a game against former Jazzman Deron Williams.Williams starred for the Jazz from 2005, when he was taken with the No. 3 pick of the NBA Draft, until February 2011, when he was shockingly traded to the New Jersey Nets.The Jazz played twice against Williams last season, winning both times, and will meet again Tuesday night when the Jazz take on the team that is now called the Brooklyn Nets in their sparkling new Barclays Center arena.After two double-digit losses following a four-game winning streak, the Jazz are just looking to get back on the winning track at the start of a four-game road trip rather than worrying about a match-up with Williams.“I don’t care who we’re playing, Deron and Brooklyn is the next team up,’’ Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said at Monday’s practice before flying back East. “I thought he had a great run here, unfortunately it came to an end. We’re not going after him, we’re going after the Nets.’’Only five players who played with Williams in Utah remain — Paul Millsap, Al Jefferson, Gordon Hayward, Jeremy Evans and Earl Watson.Jefferson said he doesn’t look at the game as having any “extra hype or anything’’ but wonders if Williams might.“He probably looks at it that way because this is his old team and he was here for many years where he did a lot of great things,’’ he said.Especially after what happened last year when the Jazz won both games against Williams and the Nets, taking a 107-94 victory in Salt Lake and a 105-84 win in New Jersey.Millsap, who was a teammate of Williams longer than anyone else on the team, sees nothing special about playing against his old teammate.“He’s an opponent, he’s not our teammate any more, so we’ve got to go at him,’’ he said. “We’re friends, but when the ball goes up, it’s a different story.’’So far this year, Williams has struggled with his shooting, making just 38.8 percent of his shots and just 29.9 percent from 3-point range. Through 23 games, he is averaging 17.0 points per game and 8.3 assists.The Nets come into the game in second place in the NBA’s Atlantic Division at 13-10. After starting hot with an 11-4 mark that kept them on the heels of the New York Knicks, the Nets lost five straight and six of their last eight.Brook Lopez leads the team in scoring at 17.9 points per game and is second in rebounding at 6.8 rpg. Former Jazz player Kris Humphries is the leading rebounder at 7.2 rpg and also scores 7.3 ppg as a starter. Other starters are former Atlanta Hawk Joe Johnson, who averages 16.8 ppg and Gerald Wallace at 11.3 ppg.Corbin spent the most time in Utah with Williams as an assistant coach for five years before being his head coach for just two weeks.He said it “will be good to see him’’ but he’s wary of what he can do on the court against the Jazz.“He’s a tremendous player,’’ he said. “We have to make sure we pay attention to how he’s going, because he’s capable of having big numbers on the floor for himself and getting his teammates involved. He can break your defense down, he can post up guys — as he goes they go.’’However, Corbin is more concerned about his own team than Williams and the Nets after seeing the Jazz come out flat against Phoenix Friday night in a 15-point loss and then lose to Memphis by 13 Saturday night.“We’ve got to understand the sense of urgency,’’ he said. “We’ve got to make sure we get off to a good start on the road in the beginning of the game, and we’ve got to play 48 minutes. The last two games weren’t our best basketball.’’After the Brooklyn game, the Jazz will play at Indiana Wednesday night. The team then gets two days off before playing defending NBA champion Miami Saturday night and conclude their trip with a game at Orlando Sunday. Related Jazz begin traditional pre-Christmas tripcenter_img Deron Williams: ‘I’m not the same player since Utah traded me’; says Jazz’s system was a better fitlast_img read more

first_imgMENLO PARK, Calif. |Facebook is rearranging the notification panel on its mobile apps in an effort to widen the audience watching live video on its social network.The shift announced Wednesday is part of Facebook’s effort to turn its live video feature into a marquee attraction as more people use their smartphones to record and share snippets of their lives.This image provided by Facebook shows examples of its live video feature on the smartphones. Facebook is rearranging the notification panel on its mobile apps in an effort to widen the audience watching live video on its social network. (Facebook via AP)Facebook is moving the button for its Messenger service so that the new video option can be highlighted on the notification panel. When pressed, the video button will show a directory of live streams from a user’s friends, as well as segments available to anyone on the world’s largest social network.Messenger notifications will move to the top of Facebook’s mobile apps near the search box.The app update for Apple and Android devices will be rolled out in phases and take several weeks to complete.Facebook also is adding filters to live video and making it possible to express more emotions during a presentation by pressing on “love,” ”haha,” ”wow,” ”sad” or “angry” emojis. Those are the same options that supplement Facebook’s “like” button for photo and text posts.The update underscores Facebook’s commitment to a live video option introduced last year to compete against Periscope, a similar service run by its smaller rival, Twitter.Since its debut, Facebook’s live video has been used to provide glimpses of parties and vacations as they happen. Musicians have shown live performances on it and athletes have used it to take their fans behind the scenes before a game.Facebook Inc. isn’t showing ads in or near live video feeds, but the Menlo Park, California, company isn’t ruling out that option to fuel its revenue growth.last_img read more

first_imgThe western world, led by the United States, has made its position clear that it will withhold aid to any country that marginalizes people of different sexual orientations. As a result, the Obama administration in 2014 launched what would be termed as the “Rights for Aid” campaign to ensure that the rights of LGBT communities are extended the freedom through legal means to go about, can come out of the closet and be protected by law to live normal lives.And as it appears, the Canadian Prime Minister follows a line of tactical and influential proponents of the LGBT campaign overseas. And true to form, Trudeau dutifully began his campaign with Liberia—his first stop in Africa since he became PM. Being an ardent advocate of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community, it is clear from all indications that Prime Minister Trudeau’s visit to Liberia was primarily intended to advance the cause of the right to have same-sex relationships here. At a joint press conference held along with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, PM Trudeau said the LGBT community, like any group of people, need to be protected. He noted that homosexuals have the right to their own choices, and that they too need to be protected by the law.Impeccable sources told the Daily Observer that the issue garnered much discussion when the PM met with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf during their closed door meeting before jointly addressing the press at the Foreign Ministry in Monrovia.The sources indicated that PM Trudeau asked the President how these unconventional groups of people are doing in the country. He also inquired about what legal instrument the government has been able to institute to protect these people.President Sirleaf, the sources indicated, told her visitor that gays are living freely in the country and they are not being bothered so far. In terms of legal protection, the sources said that the President clearly indicated that nothing definite has been achieved because there is a fear over the safety of homosexuals; that an attempt by government to spell-out LGBT rights by law could raise public ire against said communities.In response to a Canadian journalist’s inquiry about her direct response to the issue when it was raised during their closed door meeting, President Sirleaf said there is no law that restricts individuals to their own choices.“Liberia has no law that restricts the rights of individuals to their own choices; only if there is a threat to national security. We don’t have a law that restricts so the freedom of choice is extended to all Liberians.”With that response the President might have forgotten or ignored the fact that Liberia has a law on voluntary sodomy. Liberia’s New Penal Code prohibits voluntary sodomy as a first-degree misdemeanor, with a penalty of up to one-year imprisonment. There is also an anti-same-sex marriage bill that has lingered at the Legislature since 2012. The President told the Daily Observer during an interview few years ago that she would not sign laws for or against LGBT during her administration because, “we are fine just the way we are.” However, the President’s response last week also appeared not to be too satisfactory to the Canadian PM; and being a ‘darling’ of the West, they may just want her to do something before she leaves office as her departure would be an opportunity truly missed for the cause. British Prime Minister DavidCameron and former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are the earliest vocal advocates of this campaign.The question from the Canadian journalist appeared to be a tactical move by the Canadian communication team to cause the President to publicly step out of her neutral position on LGBT in the presence of the PM.Trudeau, a passionate advocate for LGBT rights, became PM on October 19 when he ousted Canada’s long-time Conservative PM Stephen Harper in a surprise victory after his Liberal Party won 54 percent of the seats in parliament. He indicated same-sex marriage is one of the ‘core principles’ of his Liberal party administration. He also vowed to appoint more LGBT people to government.PM Trudeau is a recipient of the Laurent-McCutcheon Award, which honors advocates for gay rights. His father, former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, was also an ardent LGBT advocate. The elder Trudeau was considered a hero by the Canadian gay community when he de-criminalized homosexuality in 1969.Canada On July 20, 2005, became the first country outside Europe and the fourth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide after the enactment of the Civil Marriage Act. Same-sex adoption has also been legal in all provinces and territories under varying rules.The Struggle with Gay Rights in Africa As indicated earlier, the West, led by the US four years ago embarked on an ambitious campaign to expand civil rights for gay people overseas by marshaling its diplomats, directing its foreign aid and deploying President Obama to speak before hostile audiences. In Africa he has spoken on the issue in Kenya, Senegal and other places. Since 2012, US sources have indicated that their government has spent more than $41 million specifically to promote gay rights globally, along with a portion of the $700 million earmarked for marginalized groups to support gay communities and causes. More than half of the $700 million, and $6.6 million of the $41 million, was spent on sub-Saharan Africa — just one indication of the continent’s importance to furthering the new policy.But in spite of all the mounting pressure from the West, what is certain is that Africa might continue to remain a very hostile continent to the gay community. There is not only the fact that Africa considers homosexual acts unnatural and a nuisance to African culture, but the continent sees it as an example of the West again trying to impose their will on a continent whose member countries, especially Liberia, are overwhelmingly dependent on handouts from the West.Many African countries have enacted laws banning the practice of homosexuality. Many African contend that homosexuality, same-sex marriage and their attributes are western cultural lifestyles inimical to African culture, and any attempt by the western world to impose this kind of lifestyle on Africans on the African continent will be vigorously resisted, even at the cost of economic sanctions or withdrawing funding assistance.Currently, about 37 of the 54 countries in Africa have laws that prohibit homosexuality, laws that are described as quite harsh, with jail sentences of multiple years.There are several African countries that have vigorously resisted the pressure from western nations to recognize the LGBT community. Some of the standouts are Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Cameroon and Malawi.On January 13, 2014, Nigeria signed into law the Same Sex (Prohibition) Act, which the Nigerian National Assembly had passed in May 2013. The Nigerian law provides that a marriage between persons of the same sex is prohibited and shall not be recognized, and only a marriage contract between a man and a woman is recognized. Penalties range from 10 to 14 years imprisonment—several were also arrested days after the signing of the law.In February 2011, Malawi, which already had laws criminalizing homosexuality among men, also enacted one criminalizing women for lesbianism. If convicted, a defendant could receive up to five years imprisonment. During his visit to Kenya, President Obama defended gay and lesbian rights as part of “the principle of treating people equally under the law.” But Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta rebuked him, calling gay rights a “non-issue.”Similar faceoff took place in Dakar where Mr. Obama said granting gay rights is the proudest thing to do while trying to pressure Senegalese President Macky Sall into having Senegal extend the same benefits to gays in Senegal.Obama said, “My basic view is that regardless of race, regardless of religion, regardless of gender, regardless of sexual orientation, when it comes to the law, people should be treated equally. And that’s a principle that I think applies universally.”But President Macky Sall rebuked him, saying, “Senegal is a very tolerant country, but is still not ready to decriminalize homosexuality.” Sall pointed out that the issue of capital punishment, which Senegal has outlawed, is still being practiced in the US, though no country seems to be pressuring the US on this issue.President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe is a very vocal critic of the act. He has been employing venomous language to describe gays since 1995. After shutting down the gay book fair in Harare, he lambasted the gay community by saying, “homosexuality degrades human dignity.” He equates gays to pigs and dogs.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgDear Editor,The Government through its Ministry of Communities is playing ‘GAM’ with taxpayers’ money under the pretext of advancing an inclusive development agenda. In reality, the game is synonymous with, and links one’s recollection to the perhaps forgotten marble game in which children would consistently miss the target, when there was nothing meaningful to do.The fact is that the Government has woefully failed citizens on many local government fronts. In particular, the deliberate delay in the establishment of the Local Government Commission as the constitutionally approved institution, to employ meaningful mechanisms which will deliver tool and fine-tune inclusive development and complementary approaches to acceptable governance.There is no doubt that the substituted approach being employed by the Minister, seeks to impose a conditional directive of Government’s influence to local government areas where they have little leadership control. Instead of the Commission, we witness targeted diversion attempts to coordinate directives to Regional and Neighbourhood Democratic Councils on the first hand, and more recently, to municipalities. The flawed approach has numerous defaults which are deceptive and intended to cover-up the impotence of the Government towards the constitutional local government framework.The Municipal Conference held over the last weekend was attended by the Mayors, Deputy Mayors and Councillors, and the Chairmen and Vice Chairmen of APNU/AFC controlled municipalities and regions respectively. This gathering includes staff from the Communities Ministry and other invited guests basically for the purpose of photo opportunities. It is noted that while the Mayors and Deputy Mayors, ‘only’, along with Chairmen and Vice Chairmen of the PPP controlled municipalities and regions were also invited to participate in the Conference, many rightfully opted to stay away.Although the agenda touted an opportunity for laying a central plank toward Management training and Capacity building, the bottom line is that a framework for accountability in public office is already established. Further, the agenda suggested timelines that would not have allowed for any detailed or meaningful exchange of technical or improvement strategies. As such, the intent is strongly recognised to be linked to the positioning of APNU/AFC constituency holders on a body that would determine obligations for other local government areas.It was also touted at the Conference that the Guyana Association of Municipalities (GAM), has a critical role to play in the emergence of “developmental” local governments by building the capacity of their members to adopt good local governance practices and promote good local development. At the same time, it must be recognised that the current legal framework establishes the aforementioned functions as a responsibility of the Local Government Commission which is not being moved upon because it is expected to exercise balance which the APNU/AFC do not desire in PPP/C won local government areas.So what are we really advancing? It seems much more rational to fix the internal structures in accordance with the applicable laws and then do any required adjustments. If the Minister cannot rationalise, he must therefore provide reasonable and grounds for his repeated failures. It is known that the Mayoral sessions held are not likely to have any major fiscal impacts in the short- or long-term, as the municipalities are still dependent on funding recouped through the local governments structures or the appropriations of Parliament which are normally based on previously approved timelines and approaches.Perhaps therefore, Minister Bulkan has achieved his partisan structure of control when one looks at the newly-elected executives as follows: President, Mayor Holland; Vice President, Mayor Marshall; Secretary, Mayor Wynter; Treasurer, Mayor Chase Green; Assistant Secretary/Treasurer, Councillor Fraser; and Committee Members, Mayors Ramoo and Beckles, and Deputy Mayor Negeshwari Lochanprasad, Darul Khan, Carolyn Caesar and Waneka Arrindell. It leaves all to wonder the way forward with this addition of another bureaucratic tier.But how will this serve meaningful LGA development? Seemingly, if it cannot be fiscal, then the approach has to be dictatorial. It is known that the initial organisation of GAM formed during 2006, was themed towards gaining from the experiences of municipalities in other developed countries like Canada, which operates in accordance with the Constitution of those countries.It is also noted that in the absence of any serious attempt to streamline the implementation of the Local Government Commission, Minister Bulkan in his ‘thank you’ speech, at the Mayoral Conference, pledged fullest cooperation to working with GAM in pursuit of President Granger’s vision of strengthening all three levels of administration; i.e. national, regional and local to spur and deepen national development.With the partisan political game now introduced at the level of the municipalities, it is foreseen that this sort of arrangement without the legal and operational framework of the Commission, would only compromise the good work that has already been done by and at some of the municipalities. It means that decisions pertaining to development, policies and the legal frameworks would have to be taken to the Association for clearance before implementation and or action.The Government is fully aware that they cannot interfere with the operations and the decisions taken by any municipality so the next best thing in sight for them to maintain control of the townships is to have their Mayors, Deputy Mayors and Councillors placed at the executive level of Guyana Association of Municipalities (GAM).This move is seen as a strategic one for the APNU/AFC coalition Government to take and maintain control of all the municipalities, especially those that were won by the People’s Progressive Party. It is a game of GAM in which the marbles are likely to be lost.Respectfully,Neil Kumarlast_img read more

first_imgAfter Sserunkuma gave the Cranes the lead in the 16th minute of the first half, his Kenyan Premier League champions team-mate, Mapunda had the last say when he saved his last spot-kick to send them crashing out of the competition.At a packed Aga Khan Stadium in Mombasa that hosted both games, the hosts kicked-off the match on a high, with captain Allan Wanga connecting well with a Peter Opiyo cross in the first minute but his diving header went off target.AFC Leopards winger Noah Wafula could have given Stars the opener, but he failed to utilize Aboud Omar’s cross.Rwanda went closest in the 20th with a free kick by Emery Bayisenge that called keeper Duncan Ochieng into action before defender Anthony Akumu mopped up off the goal line.A minute later KCB forward Jacob Keli, turned to find space in the Rwandan area but his well taken shot went straight to the Amavumbi custodian Jean Ndayishimiye.Keli had another chance to score his second for the tournament but he failed to connect decisively with Wanga’s cross in the  28th.Harambee Stars coach Adel Amrouche’s frustration with the attacking compelled him to make an early substitution, pulling out Wafula and bringing in Thika United midfielder Cliffton Miheso as the teams went to the break goalless.Ten minutes after the breather, the hosts took the lead through Atudo who netted his third goal of the tournament from the spot after Michel Rusheshangoga handled in the box after Miheso and Wanga raided the Amavubi box with intent. Amrouche brought in Gor duo of Edwin Lavatsa and Paul Kiongera as his charges were denied by Ndayashimiye in the dying minutes but the Atudo penalty was enough to set up a clash with Tanzania at the final whistle.Kilimanjaro Stars converted their spot kicks through skipper Kelvin Yondani, Ramadhan Kiemba and substitute Idd Athumani as TP Mazembe striker Mbwana Samatta and Erasto Nyoni failed to find the back of the net.Uganda on their side scored through Hamis Kiiza and captain Emmanuel Okwi, with Tusker FC midfielder Khalid Aucho, Godfrey Walusimbi and tellingly Sserunkuma wasting their shootouts.The leading Gor marksman powered Cranes ahead in the 16th when he lashed on to a cross from the right to beat Mapunda at his near post with a deft finish.Yanga star winger Mrisho Ngasa the took over, equalising a minute later after connecting with a Pius Michael pass before he notched his brace with a well struck free-kick to beat Cranes keeper Benjamin Ochan to send his side 2-1 ahead in the break.In the 53rd Tanzania were reduced to ten men after Azam’s Salum Abubakar was booked for the second yellow card by referee Wiish Yabarow, from Somalia.Uganda equalized in the 72nd through Martin Mpuga who connected home after Mapunda failed to hold Brian Majwega’s corner to force the match end to a 2-2 draw and head to penalties which Tanzania won 3-2.The regional showpiece continues on Sunday with former African Champions, the Chipolopolo of Zambia taking on the Swallows of Burundi , before the Walia Antelopes clash with Sudan at Aga Khan Stadium in Mombasa County.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000NAIROBI, Kenya, December 7 – Azam FC defender Jockins Atudo’s second half goal sent Harambee Stars to the semifinals of the GOtv Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup as champions Uganda crashed to the Kilimanjaro Stars of Tanzania as last-eight action kicked off on Saturday in the coastal city of Mombasa.Kenya silenced the Amavubi Stars of Rwanda 1-0 in the evening game to join 10-man Tanzania who stunned the titleholders 3-2 on spot-kicks after their pulsating opener ended 2-2 in regulation time in an encounter Gor Mahia pair, keeper Ivo Mapunda and striker Dan Sserunkuma played decisive roles in the outcome.last_img read more

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “A lot of people said I have a lot of upside, and my best games are ahead of me,” Justin Edison said. “My dad wanted me to go out and just try it. Originally, it was to help my basketball game, because I’ve been playing basketball since I was five. It was to throw the pads on and make me more physical on the basketball court, and I ended up liking it.” The Bruins offered Edison a scholarship after being eliminated for consideration by Long Beach Poly High defensive back Donovan Warren. Harold Edison barely finished telling his son, Justin, that UCLA had offered a football scholarship before the Verbum Dei High defensive end blurted out he would take it. And with that, the Bruins received their 11th, and likely final, non-binding commitment for the 2007 class, which will sign binding letters of intent Wednesday. UCLA is banking on rapid development for Edison, who did not start playing football until midway through his junior year. center_img Edison, who was committed to Oregon State, will join teammate and defensive end Akeem Ayers at UCLA. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Edison made 83 tackles and had 14sacks as a senior. He also had offers from Arizona, California, Oregon State and Fresno State. Also: UCLA made a change to its 2008 schedule. Agame at San Diego State was dropped by the Aztecs, and the Bruins agreed to play Fresno State in the Aug. 30 season opener. brian.dohn@dailynews.com (818) 713-3607 last_img read more

first_img1 Liverpool’s sale of Philippe Coutinho may not prove to be as damaging as their critics suggested if fellow Brazilian Roberto Firmino maintains his current form.Much was made of the loss of Coutinho to Barcelona but the numbers being generated by his compatriot may mean the Reds move on quicker from that £142million sale than anyone anticipated.Firmino has long been a favourite of manager Jurgen Klopp because of his hard running and ability to press at the head of the attack and despite initial criticism he was not a centre-forward, the 26-year-old is also delivering where it matters.His goal in an outstanding performance against Manchester City last weekend took his tally for the season to 17, 10 of which have come in the Premier League.In 88 league appearances since his £29million move from Hoffenheim in the summer of 2015, Firmino has scored 31 times and provided 19 assists.He is only 11 goals short of becoming the Premier League’s highest-scoring Brazilian – a record currently held by Coutinho who managed 41 in 152 (with 35 assists) albeit from a deeper position.In the space of a few weeks a wider audience has become more aware of Firmino’s qualities but the praise now being heaped on the forward does not surprise Klopp.“I don’t think that it’s possible that somebody could get more credit, compliments, praise, whatever you want to say as Roberto gets from us,” said the Reds boss ahead of Monday’s trip to bottom side Swansea.“But it’s well deserved – everything. He’s a fantastic football player.“You see him in training and think ‘what a work ethic, what an attitude’, and he brings it on the pitch as well.“He never rests. You have to pull him out, you have to tell him ‘come on, stop, sit here, calm’.“I hear in the stadium (Anfield) that people like him – good idea – but I have no real idea if anybody thinks he’s not important or whatever. I’m not too interested, to be honest.“I’m pretty sure if I give the players the opportunity to have a free choice in training (to) build teams by themselves Bobby is one of the first they would pick.“(It’s) nice to have him around – better to have him than in the other team. That’s maybe the best thing you can say about a football player.”Another player who has raised his game over the last month is defender Andy Robertson.The £8m summer signing from Hull made only three appearances in the first four months of the season but injury to Alberto Moreno gave him an opportunity and his display in the 4-3 win over City was his best since arriving.“A lot of you (media) were in doubt about Alberto Moreno before the season and thought we needed to bring in a new full-back, which we did with Andy Robertson,” added Klopp.“He was a nice prospect, it was clear he was a big talent and offensively skilled.“Andy stepped up and did a really fantastic job. It’s really nice as a manager to be part of it, to see a player do that.” Roberto Firmino is one of Liverpool’s most valued players last_img read more

first_imgSAN JUAN BAUTISTA – The FBI searched two produce companies Wednesday for evidence of a crime in the nationwide E. coli outbreak that killed one person and sickened at least 192 others. Agents from the FBI and the Food and Drug Administration used warrants to search a Natural Selection Foods LLC plant in San Juan Bautista and a Growers Express plant in Salinas to determine whether they followed food-safety procedures. “We are investigating allegations that certain spinach growers and distributors may not have taken all necessary or appropriate steps to ensure that their spinach was safe before they were placed into interstate commerce,” U.S. Attorney Kevin Ryan said in a statement. Federal officials do not think anyone at the plants deliberately contaminated spinach with the virulent bacteria and said the searches do not mean there is an ongoing or new threat to public health. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’The searches were the first indication that authorities suspect a crime may have been committed in the outbreak that killed a Wisconsin woman, sickened people in 26 states and prompted the FDA to issue a two-week consumer warning on fresh spinach last month. FBI spokesman Joe Schadler said authorities were investigating possible felony violations of federal environmental laws. He would not disclose what agents sought or seized at the two plants. Natural Selection, which packages spinach sold under 34 brand names and supplies spinach to other food processors, was implicated in the E. coli outbreak after 11 bags of Dole brand baby spinach tested positive for the same bacteria strain found in people who fell ill after eating the leafy greens. Natural Selection CEO Charles Sweat said agents requested paperwork, including documents already provided to the FDA and the California Department of Health Services. In a statement, he defended his plant’s cleanliness. “We have believed from the outset that our facilities were not the source of the contamination,” Sweat said. ” Growers Express grows and packs produce, including Farm Day packaged spinach. Until Wednesday, the company had not been named in the investigation of how the tainted spinach ended up in bags and on store shelves. A representative for Growers Express did not immediately return a call seeking comment. Workers at the plant would not answer questions about the FBI search.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

first_img“We believe a Palmdale Airport is a great opportunity for this region.” Regional planners say Los Angeles International Airport, which handles most flights in and out of Southern California, will reach maximum capacity within a decade. Without adequate airports, the region risks losing 130,000 jobs and $18 billion in economic opportunities, said Mark Pisano, executive director of the Southern California Association of Governments. “We really are the anchor of the U.S. to the global world,” he said. “If we can’t provide the gateway of support of both the ports and the airports, the U.S. won’t perform effectively in the global marketplace.” The Palmdale Airport coalition will study the scope of an airport, possible funding sources and how to whisk passengers and cargo in and out of Los Angeles. Ideas include improved Metrolink service, high-speed rail, or a tunnel through the San Gabriel Mountains. At the very least, transit advocates said, Metrolink could cut 30 minutes for commuters between Palmdale and Los Angeles by straightening the tracks through twisty Soledad Canyon. To make a Palmdale airport viable, proponents said it must have San Fernando Valley support. In the past, said Kymberleigh Richards of the Southern California Transit Advocates, “People said, That’s all well and good for the Antelope Valley, but how do we get there? “There were coalitions about building an airport, but they left out the transportation component.” dana.bartholomew@dailynews.com (818) 713-3730160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’“This group seeks consensus in investing in a transportation system in Southern California that includes developing a Palmdale Airport.” The bipartisan coalition, led by Alarc n and state Sen. George Runner, R-Lancaster, will meet four times a year. In addition, four committees will meet monthly to study airport development options. They say the key to winning support for a Palmdale airport is grass-roots input by residents, airport stakeholders and transit advocates. And the linchpin to airport success will be a high-speed corridor from Los Angeles to Palmdale to lure passengers and cargo from LAX. “What will make this airport flourish is a high-speed connection to Los Angeles and a high-speed link to Union Station,” Palmdale Mayor James C. Ledford told the inaugural coalition meeting in Van Nuys of about 75 prospective members. VAN NUYS – Travelers who spend hours tied up in traffic en route to LAX need better runways out of town. The answer, some say, lies in a Palmdale airport for passengers and cargo that would buttress a Southland economy running short of transit options. On Friday, proponents launched a regional coalition to support a Palmdale Regional Airport. “This is about developing a quality of life that is escaping us,” said state Sen. Richard Alarc n, D-Van Nuys, a leader of the Coalition to Explore the Development of a New Regional Airport in Palmdale. last_img read more