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Applications For Reserved Turkey Hunts Start Friday

Applications For Reserved Turkey Hunts Start Friday

first_imgHunters can begin submitting online applications for reserved turkey hunts to be held on certain state and federally owned properties including Muscatatuck National Willdlife Refuge, beginning Jan. 31.The application period runs through March 24 on DNR website.Hunters must possess a valid 2014 spring turkey license, or lifetime license or youth hunt/trap license to apply for any of the reserved hunts. Applicants are allowed to apply for one property, and choose from the available dates for that property.Whether a drawn hunter can bring a hunting buddy varies by property. On DNR properties, drawn hunters are not allowed to bring a buddy. At Muscatatuck, drawn hunters may bring a buddy, but only the drawn hunter can hunt.Hunt dates at Muscatatuck are: April 23-24, 25-26, 27-28, and 29-30.Other hunting properties throughout Indiana can be viewed on the DNR website.last_img read more

Sir Elton John performs his new songs for USC students

Sir Elton John performs his new songs for USC students

first_imgMusical icon Sir Elton John captivated students Monday night at Bovard Auditorium with a performance of songs from his latest studio album in an international effort to promote music education.Rocket man ·Iconic singer/songwriter Elton John, pictured at a prior performance, performed at USC’s Bovard Auditorium on Monday in an event sponsored by Visions and Voices and the USC Thornton School of Music. – Photo courtesy of Magic 107.5 FMJohn’s performance came from a partnership with his label Capitol Records, USC Thornton School of Music and the Visions and Voices Arts and Humanities Initiative.John’s visit to USC is one of his only two performances at a university, and the only one in the United States. John previously performed at his alma mater, the Royal Academy of Music.Chris Sampson, the vice dean of the division of contemporary music at Thornton, said Capitol Records reached out to the university because it was a school of similar stature to the Royal Academy of Music.Sampson said the experience of students seeing John perform and interact with him them directly was incredible.“The value of his trip is hard to calculate,” Sampson said. “It’s immeasurable. Just to be able to see that level of professionalism is priceless. The opportunity to get insights and talk with such an iconic music figure is so rare.”The show had three segments: performances of John’s songs from past albums, a question and answer portion and a debut of five songs from his newest album, The Diving Board, which is set to be released on Sept. 24.When he addressed the audience, John used humor and personal anecdotes to promote his belief that music is a fluid and ever-evolving art form.“My newest record is by a 66-year-old man and not a 26-year-old man singing ‘Rocket Man,’” John said. “It’s more mature.”Though John’s latest album will be his 30th solo album, he stressed the said the work of young artists has had a huge impact on his career.“There is a certain energy in this audience now: youth,” John said. “I pay tribute to the young. I have faith in the young and I love listening to new music.Some students said that they gained a deeper insight into John’s artistic process by listening to him talk so frankly during the question and answer portion.“It gave me an idea of what’s going on in his head and how you release an album at this point in his career,” said Mannat Kaur, a first year graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in global medicine. “I think it’s great that he’s receiving inspiration from newer artists and reinventing himself in his more mature album.”In addition, John encouraged students to listen to every genre, ranging from gospel to hard rock. John said when he was younger growing up in the United Kingdom, American music was one of the greatest influences that led him to learn how to play the piano.“Music has been a constant champion of life,” John said. “It’s been everywhere I have. From my lowest point to my highest point.”John’s belief of supporting the younger artists despite cultural and musical differences translated into the organization of the show, which incorporated students from the Thornton School of Music. Sampson said during orientation over the summer, Thornton students from the Thornton Symphony and the Thornton Chamber Choir were asked if they would like to perform with John. The students were then selected based on which instruments were needed for the performance.“Elton brought his complete band,” Sampson said, “but what they needed were choirs and members of our symphony to take that sound to the next level.”In addition, students who filled the packed audience in Bovard felt the night was a meaningful experience.“Being able to see anyone so influential to the music industry is necessary to a music student like myself to remind me to always pursue my studies and dreams in this field, and to always draw from all the music around me,” said Drew Mikuska, a sophomore majoring in music composition.Some students, such as Alex Hoffman, a freshman majoring in film and television production, said that despite John’s long track record of successful idols, at the event they were able to see a rejuvenated artist.“He’s inspired by younger artists and extremely open to development in music and conversation,” Hoffman said. “He doesn’t sound like someone bitter about getting older.”Sampson said the next big name performer to come to USC will be the Beach Boys on Oct. 25 for Parent’s Weekend.Follow Jordyn on Twitter @jojoholmeylast_img read more

Local Governments Doing Good by Going Green

Local Governments Doing Good by Going Green

first_imgCity of Tumwater – The City of Tumwater’s sustainable redesign of the Capitol Boulevard Corridor will improve the pedestrian, bicycle, and transit-friendly nature of the community. This multi-year planning project engaged hundreds of citizens and many businesses resulting in significant public input to redefine and enhance the character, mobility, and future of Tumwater. A similar planning effort is occurring in the Brewery District where the community is visioning a compact and walkable mixed-use area, allowing people to live and work in the same vicinity. The efforts to redevelop the brewery will focus on reuse of the existing facilities and infrastructure to rejuvenate and enliven an urban center.Other sustainability efforts include water use reduction since 2010 by more than 93,136 gallons a day from conservation efforts by Tumwater customers. The city previously adopted low impact development and light pollution standards, and received a Tree City USA designation for 19 consecutive years in honor of its commitment to effective urban forest management.This year, the City of Tumwater will invest more than $2 million (including $500,000 from a Department of Commerce energy efficiency grant) to update and replace its HVAC heating and cooling equipment and replace most of its streetlights with LED lights, to provide considerable cost savings and energy efficiency over time.  And just recently, Tumwater received an additional $219,000 grant from the Washington State Department of Commerce to install a photo-voltaic solar project at its city hall. For more City of Tumwater information, go to www.ci.tumwater.wa.us. Submitted by City of Lacey, City of Olympia, City of Tumwater, Intercity Transit, Thurston County, and Port of OlympiaEarth Day is upon us but for some, every day is Earth Day. That’s the case for local governments in the South Puget Sound region, whose sustainable practices, earth-friendly programs, and conservation efforts, make a difference and get noticed.The cities of Lacey, Olympia, and Tumwater, along with Thurston County, the Port of Olympia and Intercity Transit, have a long history of conservation, recycling, and green energy programs. These organizations developed partnerships, garnered grant funding, and received numerous awards for their environmental efforts.One example of an innovative earth-friendly program is the long-standing partnership between the cities of Lacey, Olympia, and Tumwater, and Thurston County broadly known as Stream Team. The program helps connect volunteers with activities that protect and enhance local streams and freshwater habitats. Another example is the LOTT Clean Water Alliance created in 2000. The program manages wastewater needs and infrastructure in the urban areas of North Thurston County and helps lessen the impact of treated wastewater on our environment.Thurston County, the cities of Tumwater, Lacey, and Olympia, and Intercity Transit have all initiated clean energy programs with the help of Puget Sound Energy. The results include a $20,000 grant from PSE that allowed the construction of a solar energy project at the Olympia Timberland Regional Library building, anticipated to save approximately $4,000 per year and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly six metric tons. Thurston County upgraded office lighting, heating and cooling systems, and changed outdoor lighting to LEDs at the County Courthouse complex, resulting in more than $70,000 in annual savings and cutting carbon by over 500 tons per year. Tumwater residents participation in the green power program increased by 80 percent last year, earning a $20,000 grant for a solar demonstration project at Tumwater City Hall, which has since expanded significantly.Most of the aforementioned organizations have received Green Business designations by the Thurston Chamber of Commerce Green Business Program. These local governmental agencies encourage their employees to reduce drive-alone trips by using transit, ridesharing, biking, and walking instead. Intercity Transit – Intercity Transit, the public transportation agency for Thurston County, recently received ISO 14001 certification for its significant environmental and sustainability efforts. It is one of only a few transit systems in the nation to earn this arduous certification, achieving a high international standard of environmental management. The agency’s Environmental and Sustainability Management System work formally began in 2010 when the Federal Transit Administration selected Intercity Transit for a two-year program provided through Virginia Technical Institute.Recognized as the best public transportation system for its size in the nation in 2009, Intercity Transit was the first transit system in the U.S. to garner a gold-level rating from the American Public Transportation Association for its Sustainability Commitment in 2012, and was designated as a Bike a Friendly Business by the League of American Bicyclists in 2013. Most recently, Intercity Transit received the top green business honor (government category) from the Thurston Chamber of Commerce Green Business Program, recognizing efforts in waste reduction, water conservation, energy efficiency, green purchasing, pollution prevention, and transportation.Last summer and fall, the organization’s water conservation effort saved over 800,000 gallons of water and over $4,000 by irrigating less at its facilities. The agency is finishing a lighting upgrade that will save 300,000 kilowatt-hours and about $20,000 annually. IntercityTransit is also a 100% Green Power Partner with PSE, effectively supporting independent wind, landfill gas, and agricultural waste producers in our region.Later this year, a full one-third of the Intercity Transit bus fleet will operate with hybrid biodiesel-electric vehicles. The agency reported in 2013 performance of its existing hybrid buses translated to the equivalent of saving 62,000 gallons of fuel and $185,000. For more Intercity Transit information, go to www.intercitytransit.com.Port of Olympia – The Port’s Swantown Marina was distinguished as “5-star Leadership Clean” by Clean Marina Washington in 2013, after first being certified as “Leadership Level Clean” in 2008. Swantown Boatworks was one of the first three recipients of the Clean Boating Foundation’s “Leadership Clean” awards. The sponsoring foundations’ memberships include state environmental agencies, environmental groups and industry representatives.The Port’s Marine Terminal installed 48 solar panels on its warehouse roof that generated 9.67 kW in the first 12 months, exceeding the Port’s goal and making the warehouse energy neutral. As a result, PSE provides annual cash rebates to the Port.The Port, the primary sponsor, partnered with City of Olympia, South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group, and the Squaxin Island Tribe in 2013 to restore the Mission Creek Estuary to its full ecological function. Mission Creek flows into Budd Inlet at the south end of Priest Point Park.The Port’s environmental programs also include: compliance with five quarter quality permits issued by the Washington Dept. of Ecology; Cascade Pole cleanup, treatment and redevelopment; cleanup and revitalization of East Bay properties which included working together with City of Olympia and LOTT to clean up areas for new roads and sidewalks and for the sites of the Hands On Children’s Museum and East Bay Public Plaza.The Port of Olympia strives to operate and develop facilities in an environmentally responsible and sustainable manner while adhering to our overall mission of providing economic benefits to the citizens of Thurston County. For more Port of Olympia information, go to www.portolympia.com.Thurston County – The Thurston County WSU Extension offers a Native Plant Salvage program where volunteers salvage small native trees, shrubs, and plants from areas scheduled for clearing due to development. After being cared for, the plants are provided to community groups to restore habitat and improve water quality.The County’s Master Recycler Composters program gives volunteers the chance to become resident experts and educators on topics like waste reduction, recycling, and composting. Volunteers share waste prevention information with local citizens and participate in a wide range of county waste prevention activities and community events.Thurston County also has an employee bus pass program, known as TC Rider. The long-standing program with Intercity Transit supports the commute trip reduction interests of Thurston County and the Washington State Department of Transportation.Lastly, Thurston County’s Public Health and Social Services Department has numerous programs that monitor the health of our food, land, lakes, streams, and marine waters in Thurston County. The Environmental Health Division offers classes and workshops, as well as an “Environmental Health Matters” blog. For more Thurston County information, go to www.co.thurston.wa.us. City of Lacey – Lacey’s residents, businesses, and municipal government purchased nearly 23 million kilowatt-hours of green power last year, resulting in a reduction of nearly 16,000 tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere – equivalent to not burning 1.6 million gallons of fossil fuels. One hundred percent of the electrical energy used by the city’s municipal buildings, utility systems, park facilities, and 3,000 street lights comes from environmentally sound energy sources. The City of Lacey’s commitment to renewable energy has garnered the EPA’s coveted “Green Power Community” award for the eighth consecutive year – among the longest standing such communities in the country.The city recently completed a $2.1 million state-of-the-art facility that makes use of reclaimed water to recharge critical aquifers feeding Woodland Creek. Located in Woodland Creek Community Park, the new facility will help stabilize stream flows in the creek, which provides critical habitat for federally-listed Chinook salmon, as well as runs of Coho, Chum, Sockeye, and Winter Steelhead.Other sustainable efforts include significant investments in public utilities, such as the Chambers Lake Stormwater Facility, which will improve water quality and create wildlife habitat and recreational amenities in the center of the city. Residents and businesses also reduced water consumption by nearly 15.2 million gallons last year, bringing cumulative annual water savings to nearly 39 million gallons.Lastly, the city earned the Tree City USA designation from the National Arbor Day Foundation for its twenty-third year. More than 6,000 street trees beautify Lacey’s streets, and much of the community’s 1,200-acre parkland and open space network – one of the largest municipal park systems on South Puget Sound – permanently preserves large tracts of native forest. For more City of Lacey information, go to www.ci.lacey.wa.us.center_img Facebook0Tweet0Pin0 City of Olympia – Last month, Olympia acquired six all-electric vehicles for the City fleet, three of which replaced gas powered ones. The City also installed two electric vehicle (EV) charging stations next to City Hall that are available for both City vehicle and public use. Whiletoo early to measure results, these investments are intended to support EV use within the community, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and lower City fuel costs. The City also has an employee pass program with Intercity Transit as part of its commute trip reduction efforts.Residents from seven Olympia neighborhoods are participating in the City’s One-Side Road Collection pilot program which thus far resulted in garbage/recycling trucks using 22 percent less fuel in those areas and the related reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Customers in the participating neighborhoods now set their carts out on the same side of the road which means trucks no longer travel in both directions.The Washington State Recycling Association recently recognized Olympia’s Public Works as the Public Agency Recycler of the Year for its accomplishments and new programs centered on a Zero Waste Vision. The Vision to Zero Waste program leads the Olympia community toward a waste-free future and plays a strategic role creating opportunities to eliminate waste. Olympia’s innovative programs include an award-winning GrassCycling Virtual Workshop, Pedestrian Recycling, 3rd Grade Education Program, Business Waste Assessments, and Community Event Recycling/Composting.Most recently, Olympia received a State Department of Commerce grant award to place solar panels on City Hall, aiding the already significant energy savings of the LEED Silver building opened in 2011. For more City of Olympia information, go to www.olympiawa.gov.last_img read more

Theater Among Properties Released For Sale On Fort Monmouth

Theater Among Properties Released For Sale On Fort Monmouth

first_imgBy Laura D.C. Kolnoski |FORT MONMOUTH – The former cinema/live performance theater along the high-profile Avenue of Memories (Route 537) in Eatontown is part of the latest group of properties on the former U.S. Army base about to be offered for sale.Other parcels include the Commissary, Post Exchange, warehouse district, post office and parking areas.The parcels were approved for sale at the Dec. 6 meeting of the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA). Due dates for bids will be announced soon.The entertainment facility, built in 1968, consists of 18,883 square feet with a 995-seat auditorium, slated for “adaptive reuse as well as alternate uses consistent with or complementing planned uses in the area” according to FMERA documents. The authority reports “specific interest from prospective purchasers in acquiring and renovating the property for arts, entertainment and related uses.” The parcel includes the adjacent Dean Field, a 24-acre green space intended for recreation, outdoor seating, passive open space or parking. The entire site totals approximately 31 acres.A revitalized theater would become part of what is evolving into a cultural and entertainment hub located adjacent to the proposed futuristic Freedom Pointe, a 500,000-square-foot retail/residential/business/entertainment/restaurant/hotel complex announced earlier this year. The fort’s former bowling center was recently purchased by a North Jersey bowling facility firm that will renovate and reopen it as such. A microbrewery and event space is currently being created nearby. On the other side of the Avenue of Memories – the main thoroughfare through the fort – Red Bank’s Kenneth Schwartz, owner of the borough’s Detour Gallery, has purchased and is renovating six former barracks into an artists’ and performance community. Just yards away, rows of former officers’ housing along the parade grounds are being refurbished for sale and rental, some of the first on-fort residences to be offered to the public.When Fort Monmouth closed, some lamented the loss of the Commissary site, available to military personnel and veterans, built in the Oceanport section in 1998. Early interest failed to result in purchase or lease. Located at Murphy Drive and Razor Avenue, the site lacks frontage on a major thoroughfare. Now the site is envisioned as a future retail building that could serve the thousands of new residents and workers who are expected to soon populate the revitalized fort.The Post Exchange (PX) complex includes four circa-1970 wood frame buildings totaling about 45,626 square feet, along with a 5,563-square-foot 1941 building formerly used by the Army Service Corps. The reuse plan slated the site for demolition and future use as low and medium-density housing with open space. However, there has been recent interest in the Commissary and PX for office/research and development space, active recreation and/or other commercial uses. While not consistent with the original reuse plan, FMERA officials said redevelopment nearby, including reuse of the Paterson Clinic by AcuteCare, and the relocation of Oceanport municipal operations, has reshaped the configuration of the district, “opening the door to more appropriate and potentially higher uses.” Officials said that site has also received “specific interest from prospective purchasers.”The Warehouse District consists of three general-purpose administrative buildings constructed in 1943 and two circa-1954 warehouse buildings totaling 77,589 square feet. The over 7-acre district is bound by Razor Avenue, Murphy Drive and the future Monmouth County Emergency Adult Homeless Shelter (as reported in The Two River Times last week.) FMERA staff recommends offering the site for commercial, active recreation or office/R&D space rather than residential use.The four-building post office area, bounded by Alexander, Todd, and Razor avenues is an approximately 6-acre parcel zoned for institutional use. Buildings there include the 7,641-square-foot former fort post office built in 1971, a 1970 Ticket & Tour building, a 1942 administration and classroom building and the 9,267-square-foot recreation equipment facility built in 1941. The reuse plan envisions demolition of all four structures. At one point, the site was eyed by the Oceanport School District for a new elementary school, officials said, but as the district is no longer considering that location, the property can be offered for alternate uses.A site on 6 acres that previously provided off-street parking for the buildings adjoining it is being recommended to continue to be used as such, depending on the proposals received for the adjacent parcels. Scoring of those bids by FMERA staff will give additional consideration to parties proposing to purchase multiple parcels.It is FMERA policy not to disclose parties interested in or bidding on fort parcels during the negotiation process. Past disclosures have negatively affected the negotiations and/or caused interested parties to revoke their offers. Among reasons cited are informing competition of what a commercial enterprise may be planning, as well as initiating escalation of bid prices.Factors considered by FMERA staff evaluation committees include prices offered, potential job creation numbers, timelines and enhancement of the economic value and “highest use” of Fort Monmouth. When the properties become officially available, details will be listed on fortmonmouthnj.com.This article was first published in the Dec. 14-21, 2017 print edition of The Two River Times.last_img read more

Chris Smalling signs new United contract

Chris Smalling signs new United contract

first_imgManchester United defender Chris Smalling has put pen to paper on a new contract that will keep him at Old Trafford until June 2022.Smalling signed for Manchester United in July 2010 from Fulham and has been since become a starting member of the squad under different managers.Manchester United has confirmed that the 29-year-old has today agreed on a new deal with the option to extend for a further year.We are delighted to announce @ChrisSmalling has signed a new #MUFC contract.Congrats, Chris! 😃 pic.twitter.com/iKFK32ep84— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 15, 2018harry maguire, manchester UnitedMaguire says United need to build on today’s win George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Harry Maguire wants his United teammates to build on the victory over Leicester City.During the summer, Harry Maguire was referred to as the ultimate…“This is my ninth season with the club and I am delighted to be continuing my progression with this team,” Smalling told the club’s website.“It is a real honor to play for Manchester United and we are all now concentrating on the busy schedule of games throughout the festive period.”Manager Jose Mourinho welcomed the news of his deal saying: “I am very happy Chris has signed a new contract,”“Chris has been with the club for a number of years and is now one of the senior players within our squad.”last_img read more

Yoshida says Japan doesnt have excuses

Yoshida says Japan doesnt have excuses

first_imgThe Japan national team captain says Qatar were superior, but the 2019 AFC Asian Cup helped the Japanese get better.Japan lost the 2019 AFC Asian Cup 3-1 against Qatar on Friday in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.The Japanese had a very good run in the continental tournament, winning six consecutive matches before losing to the 2022 FIFA World Cup hosts.And even after not lifting the trophy, Samurai Blue captain Maya Yoshida says they are responsible for their own defeat.“It’s difficult to describe how it feels,” Yoshida was quoted by First Post.“We were too passive, a bit naive and made so many mistakes. We conceded two goals at the beginning of the game which we shouldn’t have – we simply weren’t good enough.”“But they played well and deserve to be champions. No excuses, we move on,” he explained.“That third goal was really tough to accept.”“It killed the game. If that’s a penalty I probably have to jump without using my arms. It was accidental – but that was the referee’s decision,” he added about the controversial decision to award Qatar a penalty kick.“It’s a huge disappointment but we have to learn from it.”Christian Pulisic ‘happy’ with his Chelsea debut Andrew Smyth – July 19, 2019 Christian Pulisic was happy with how Chelsea debut turned out despite it ending in a 1-0 friendly defeat to Kawasaki Frontale.Now Japan and Qatar will participate in the 2019 Copa America to be played in Brazil this summer.“We have to lift ourselves and take the right energy into the Copa America and the (2022) World Cup qualifiers,” Yoshida continued.“It’s probably one of the hardest defeats of my career.”“I got caught out for all three goals. But losing is part of football, he concluded.2019 Japan will now play the Kirin Challenge Cup in March against Colombia and Bolivia.Then they will host the Kirin Asia Challenge Cup against Australia and China.The Samurai Blue will start their Copa America challenge on June 17 against Chile, three days later they take on Uruguay and finish the Group Stage against Ecuador.Let’s go to the @afcasiancup final. #AsianCupFinal#asiancup2019 #bringasiatogether pic.twitter.com/3Uc9nintSh— MAYA YOSHIDA (@MayaYoshida3) January 31, 2019last_img read more

At least 37 killed as suicide attacker targets Afghan school

At least 37 killed as suicide attacker targets Afghan school

first_imgAfghan volunteers carry an injured youth on a stretcher to a hospital following a suicide attack in Kabul on 15 August 2018. At least 37 people, the majority of them students, were killed when a suicide blast ripped through a school in a Shiite area of Kabul on 15 August, officials said, the latest assault on Afghanistan`s war-weary capital. Photo: AFPAt least 37 people, the majority of them students, were killed when a suicide blast ripped through a school in a Shiite area of Kabul Wednesday, officials said, the latest assault on Afghanistan’s war-weary capital.Around a dozen ambulances rushed to the Mawoud education centre in the western part of the city, where students and relatives described pulling bloodied victims from the rubble of a classroom that had been crowded with teenagers preparing to go to university.”At around 4:00pm this afternoon, a suicide attacker who had strapped explosives to his body detonated himself inside the Mawoud education centre,” police spokesman Hashmat Stanikzai said.”In the explosion 37 people were killed, more than 40 injured,” he said, adding that the “absolute majority” of them had been students.He warned the toll could rise. Other officials have put it at as high as 48 people killed, with scores more injured.It was not clear how many students were at the centre at the time of the attack.One witness, another student named Ali Ahmad, said as many as 100 students may have been inside when the bomber struck, but officials have not yet confirmed the figure.”My brother has been injured, possibly killed, because he wasn’t breathing when I took his bloodied body out of the bloody, burning classroom,” one man, who gave his name as Assadullah, said.He had been nearby when he heard the blast, and ran to the centre, he told AFP.His brother, Nusratullah, was around 17 years old, he said, sobbing over the phone.”He was a smart and energetic boy, top of his class,” Assadullah said. “Now… I am not sure he will survive.”There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which was swiftly condemned by president Ashraf Ghani in a statement.Both the Taliban and the Islamic State group (IS) have carried out devastating, high-profile attacks in Kabul in recent months, but the Taliban quickly denied they were involved.- Grinding conflict -The assault underscores the price that ordinary Afghans have paid in the grinding conflict as the country reels from a recent upsurge in militant violence, including a massive, days-long Taliban onslaught on the eastern city of Ghazni.Afghan forces appeared to have finally pushed Taliban fighters from the strategic provincial capital on Wednesday, as shopkeepers and residents warily returned to the streets after days of intense ground fighting and US airstrikes.Security forces were on patrol and no militants were in sight in the centre of the shattered city, with fighting which began late Thursday seeming to have finally ceased.But analysts said the Taliban had scored a military and psychological victory against Kabul in Ghazni, proving they have the strength to strike a strategically vital city near the capital at will and remain entrenched there for days.The fall of a northern base this week, with at least 17 soldiers killed, was a further blow to Afghan security forces, already demoralised by staggering casualties.”What we’ve seen over the last few days is a microcosm of the war in Afghanistan — overmatched Afghan troops, emboldened Taliban fighters, and American forces that eventually come in to help bail the Afghans out,” analyst Michael Kugelman of the Wilson Center in Washington told AFP.”What’s crystal clear is that nearly four years after the Afghan security forces took over the war efforts, they’re still woefully unprepared for the task — despite very real improvements in capacities in recent years.”That gives the government a strong incentive to build on recent, tentative signs that diplomatic efforts to kick-start peace negotiations are starting to bear fruit, he said.But for the insurgents, Ghazni in particular was being seen as a show of strength. “For the insurgents, the thinking is, ‘why quit when we’re ahead’?” Kugelman said.At least 100 security forces were killed in the fight for Ghazni, officials have said, with unconfirmed fears that at least as many civilians died.The surge in violence comes weeks after Afghans marked an unprecedented country-wide ceasefire between the Taliban and government forces in June, giving some relief to war-weary civilians.It also comes as US and Afghan forces intensify ground and air offensives against the Islamic State (IS), and the Taliban step up their turf war with the group.The Taliban have not claimed a major assault in Kabul for weeks.IS, however, has carried out multiple attacks in the eastern city of Jalalabad and the capital in recent months, and has increasingly targeted the Shiite minority.Earlier this month, IS claimed responsiblity for twin blasts at a mosque in the eastern city of Gardez that killed at least 35 people.last_img
Remington Declares Chapter 11 Amid Trump Slump In Gun Sales

Remington Declares Chapter 11 Amid Trump Slump In Gun Sales

first_img Share Dominick Reuter/AFP/Getty ImagesAmmunition and a Remington Bushmaster rifle are seen at a gun display during a National Rifle Association outdoor sports trade show in 2017 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.Firearms manufacturer Remington Outdoor has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in hopes of staving off creditors amid a slump in sales and public outcry over gun violence.Reuters reports that Remington’s creditors, including Franklin Templeton Investments and JPMorgan Asset Management have agreed to exchange debt for equity in the company.Remington was founded in 1816 in upstate New York and is one of the largest and oldest U.S. producers of firearms. It was bought in 2007 by Cerberus Capital Management for $118 million.Although its financial troubles go back further, in recent months, the company has found itself on the losing end of a phenomenon in which higher gun sales are seen under Democratic presidents, as gun enthusiasts fear greater gun control, and drop under Republicans.For example, firearms sales were brisk under President Obama and in October 2016, when polls showed Hillary Clinton the likely next president, gun sales hit a record, only to drop off precipitously after the election. Industry observers have dubbed the current downturn in sales the “Trump Slump.”According to Bloomberg: “After the Sandy Hook [Connecticut] shooting, Cerberus announced it would sell the company, as its own agitated investors demanded an exit, but it failed to find a buyer.”A Remington-manufactured Bushmaster rifle was used in the school shooting, which killed 20 children and 6 adults.Remington was later sued by the relatives of nine people killed and one who survived the Sandy Hook massacre, but the suit was dismissed by a state Superior Court judge.Remington – which employs 3,500 people — is among the largest makers of guns and ammunition in the country.Another firearms maker, Colt Holdings Co., filed Chapter 11 in 2015.Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more