Vacationing US soldiers thwart massacre on high-speed train

first_imgHommage aux #héros américains qui ont neutralisé le tireur du #Thalys dérouté à #Arras #reconnaissance #respect pic.twitter.com/WnBr2i6hrN— Frédéric Leturque (@FLeturque) August 21, 2015Norman told a news conference in Arras: “I came in at the end of it all and helped get him under control.”The gunman reportedly boarded the train in Brussels, where luggage does not pass security screening. In addition to the Kalashnikov rifle with nine clips of ammunition, he was also carrying an automatic pistol and a box-cutter.Cazeneuve said el-Khazani was brought to the attention of French authorities by Spain in February 2014, “due to his involvement in radical Islamist movements.” The pair’s traveling companion, Anthony Sadler, told Associated Press: “We heard a gunshot, and we heard glass breaking behind us, and saw a train employee sprint past us down the aisle.”Sadler said they then saw the gunman enter their train car with an automatic rifle.“As he was cocking it to shoot it, Alek just yells, ‘Spencer, go!’ And Spencer runs down the aisle … Spencer makes first contact, he tackles the guy, Alek wrestles the gun away from him, and the gunman pulls out a box cutter and slices Spencer a few times. And the three of us beat him until he was unconscious.”A Pentagon spokesperson was quoted as saying that one U.S. military member received injuries that were “not life-threatening.”French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve told said Saturday that Stone was hospitalized, along with another American passenger who was shot in the shoulder, though neither are in critical condition.The mayor of Arras, Frédéric Leturque, tweeted a photo of the passengers (from left: Anthony Sadler from California, Alek Skarlatos from Oregon, and Chris Norman from Britain) as they received bravery medals. A suspected terrorist opened fire inside a high-speed train near the Belgian-French border Friday afternoon, injuring at least two people before being tackled by passengers, including two holidaying U.S. servicemen.The Amsterdam-Paris train carrying 554 passengers stopped at Arras in northern France where the injured were unloaded and the suspect — 25-year-old Moroccan, Ayoub el-Khazani, who was apparently known to EU security agencies for holding radical jihadist views — was arrested.According to initial reports, two U.S. servicemen on holiday (Spencer Stone, who is in the Air Force, and National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos) rushed the gunman who began firing a Kalashnikov rifle as the train traveled south near the Belgian-French border around 6pm. — Charles Michel (@CharlesMichel) August 21, 2015 Cazeneuve said: “This led the French authorities to place him on a watch list to monitor him should he return to French territory.”A Spanish anti-terror source told AFP, el-Khazani “lived in (southern) Spain in Algeciras for a year, until 2014, then he decided to move to France. Once in France he went to Syria, then returned to France.”Cazeneuve said that in 2015 el-Khazani lived in Belgium and that Belgian authorities have opened their own inquiry.Belgian justice minister Koen Geens told reporters el-Khazani was known to Belgian authorities, having been flagged by other countries’ security services as a potential jihadist.“You understand, we receive many names like this,” Geens said.A Saturday meeting of the Belgian national security council decided to increase joint French-Belgian patrols in high-speed Thalys trains, and to reinforce police patrols in stations and public places. El-Khazani is being held near Paris by anti-terror police under legislation, which allows him to be detained for up to 96 hours.On Friday, Cazeneuve traveled to Arras, where he said: “Together with the president and the prime minister I want to express to these two American passengers — who were particularly courageous and showed great bravery in very difficult circumstances — all our gratitude, recognition and admiration for their composure that they showed and without which we could have been confronted with a terrible drama.”Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel condemned what he called a “terrorist attack,” while in a statement U.S. President Barack Obama “expressed his profound gratitude for the courage and quick thinking of several passengers, including US service members, who selflessly subdued the attacker.”French President François Hollande has spoken to the French and American passengers who intervened and “conveyed the gratitude of all of France,” Cazeneuve said.The passengers will be received at the Elysée Palace “in the coming days,” according to a statement by the president’s office.Je condamne l’attaque terroriste dans le @thalys_fr et fais part de ma sympathie pour les victimes. Je fais part de ma solidarité aux blessés de l’attaque du train Amsterdam-Paris. Tout est mis en œuvre pour faire la lumière sur ce drame.— François Hollande (@fhollande) August 21, 2015last_img read more

Not guilty!

first_imgRudi Klein has certainly been fretting about non-contentious lawyers recently – his columns on 14 September and 23 October 2015 both end with the warning that: “Over the longer term [the bill ends up charged to] the industry’s clients.” Since the cost of the whole procurement process ends up “with the industry’s clients” this is hardly a revelation but, as one of those accused, do I need to re-examine the way we work? The thrust of the first column is that lawyers do not distinguish between procurement and contractual processes and that we focus only on maximum risk transfer and not collaboration and partnering. The supply chain – says Rudi – picks up the massive bill. It then descends to the micro level and recites a clause, presumably from a subcontract, which requires the subcontractor to co-ordinate its design with the designs of the employer’s consultants and the contractor.Even the dumbest lawyer understands that unreasonable risk transfer results in premium pricingSo, yes, now the supply chain is picking up the bill but I think there are some unwarranted accusations in here:Even lawyers understand that the choice of procurement route is different from the process of drafting a contract. Indeed, while lawyers may sometimes be involved in discussion of the procurement route, they rarely determine it and more usually the choice is made by the project team and/or client. My experience is that project managers/quantity surveyors are often very concerned about the need to maximise risk transfer and it is the clients themselves who push for more collaborative forms of procurement – construction management, management contracting, and so on – because they recognise that single stage design and build might maximise risk transfer but is inflexible, inimical to the highest quality of design, expensive and potentially unsuitable for many complex projects.I do not think all lawyers involved in drafting contracts are driven by the need to maximise risk transfer. Again, even the dumbest lawyer understands that unreasonable risk transfer results in premium pricing and, while 100% retention might be a whizz of an idea, it might not be commercially very sensible. But again a lot of pressure comes from the need to drive price certainty on outturn cost. Rudi’s piece also ignores the fact that in the current market maximising risk transfer is a pipe-dream. It is the market, not any wish of lawyers, which drives the allocation of risk under current construction contracts.Clients of the industry have not abandoned collaboration and partnering – they do it all the time – though sometimes they do feel a bit let down by their partners.The specific examples cited seem to boil down to a complaint about some rather silly drafting included in a subcontract. Suffice to say that, where the industry’s clients have an opportunity to examine and approve the terms of the subcontract, this is precisely the sort of provision to which they would object on the basis that a focus on drafting provisions to pass on risk tends to mean that risk is not being managed properly. We can probably agree on that. But I think that the industry’s clients’ response would be that the supply chain should get its own house in order and not expect the industry’s clients to do it for them. I think that the industry’s clients’ response would be that the supply chain should get its own house in order and not expect the industry’s clients to do it for themThe subsequent column suggests that poorly written contracts are costing our industry a fortune every year. It then goes on to Rudi’s own bug bears – and they are a rather eclectic bunch:Throwing everything into the contractual “pot”If he is complaining about the fact that main contractors unthinkingly pass on piles of documentation to subcontractors then, in my experience, he is probably right. But the drivers for that sit in the commercial teams in the main contractors, not with lawyers.  Lack of drafting precisionRudi acknowledges that open-ended and loose drafting and the use of terms such as “major” and “pay due regard to” result in disputes and potential unenforceability.  How those play out in terms of risk transfer is therefore equally uncertain. So, no one’s interests are being served. We all make mistakes but this sort of thing is not usually led by a lawyer. As Rudi must acknowledge, preliminaries’ clauses and even amendments to contracts are often drafted by non-lawyers. Maybe more lawyers should get involved?Seeking to write statutory requirementsRudi talks about extending the seven day notice period for suspension under the Construction Act to 42,000 days and suggests he could excuse quantity surveyors doing this but not lawyers. But since it is unenforceable anyway who cares?So the criticisms in these columns are hard to follow. As a lawyer, I am not sure of my crime. The charges should be thrown out for lack of evidence.Ann Minogue is a partner in Macfarlaneslast_img read more

HFW pledges commitment to Hong Kong and Chinese market

first_imgInternational firm HFW has defied fears over the stability of Hong Kong’s legal system, pledging its ‘deep commitment’ to the greater Chinese market and recruiting nine lawyers to its Hong Kong office.As part of its expansion in Asia, HFW has poached a nine-lawyer corporate finance team – including a partner, two barristers and a senior associate – for its Hong Kong office from US law firm Locke Lord. The team joins partner Wing Cheung who joined HFW from Locke Lord earlier this month.Patrick Yeung, head of the Hong Kong office, said: ‘Our continued investment demonstrates our confidence in, and long-standing commitment to, the Greater Chinese market. We’ve had an office here for more than four decades and have ambitious plans for the future.’The fact we are continuing to strengthen and expand our practice in greater China illustrates our confidence in the market. Wing already has a strong pipeline of corporate finance matters, including several potential IPOs. …We remain deeply committed to the region.’HFW has operated in what it calls Greater China – encompassing mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and the island of Taiwan – for more than 40 years and was one of the first international firms to open an office in the region.Protests in Hong Kong have continued this week. Last week, in the wake of China’s attack on a Hong Kong court ruling, the Law Society of Hong Kong warned that ‘nothing should be said or done that will undermine judicial independence and the rule of law’.last_img read more

Ventev to Showcase Advanced Wireless Fast Charging Capabilities at CES 2018

first_imgVentev Mobile, the maker of premium mobile accessories, is set to feature its fast wireless chargers, USB Type-C chargers, and advanced new cables, at the CES 2018 event. Amongst the highlights from Ventev will be its new wireless charging stand, the wireless pro dock for cars, and a range of USB Power Delivery and Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 Technology accessories.The chargers, cables, and docks on display will include the following:The Ventev Wireless Charge Stand is one of the fastest universal wireless chargers on the market. Its slim charging puck houses a low-profile charging coil that takes advantage of all three major wireless charging standards—Qi, PMA, and Fast Wireless Charging—to deliver 15 watts of power. Three times more powerful than conventional wireless chargers, the wireless charge stand is also fully adjustable, charging phones of all sizes in landscape or portrait mode at two different angles, or flat on a table.The wireless charging car kit, the Wireless-Pro Dock, is Ventev’s universal 15-watt car charger. It secures a phone with spring-loaded arms, and clips to a car’s air vents with a longer arm that makes sure air flows from the vents. Capable of charging wirelessly through Qi, PMA, and Fast Wireless Charging, the wireless pro dock delivers more power than most wireless chargers, which have traditionally been 5 watts. That means phones and tablets will charge while streaming music or using GPS in the car, unlike other wireless chargers that might only slow the battery drain during heavy use. The wireless pro dock is bundled with a 3-foot 3-inch, tangle-free charge sync cable, and a dash port rq1300.The Charge Stand 3000c is the next-generation device originally developed through a crowd-funding campaign. Based on the extremely popular Micro USB and Apple Lightning versions, the latest version is a USB Type-C charger, a 3,000 mAh portable battery and charging stand in one convenient device. It cradles phones upright in landscape or portrait mode, allowing users to keep an eye on their device hands free. It’s perfect for watching movies on a plane, or propping up the phone as an alarm clock in a hotel.The Wall Port PD1300 harnesses the power of USB Type-C to deliver up to 45 watts of power. It eliminates the need to carry different chargers for laptops, tablets, and phones—because the Wall Port PD1300 can charge all three. The Dash Port PD1300 takes full advantage of the latest USB Power Delivery standards for the car, so that users can charge their phone, laptop, or tablet while driving, with up to 27 watts of power. The Wall Port RQ1300 is compatible with ultra-fast Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 technology, which charges devices four times faster than conventional USB charging. It also rapid charges Apple devices. The Dash Port RQ1300 mini is a slim but powerful car charger. It’s Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 technology certified, but is also universally compatible, capable of delivering 12 watts to Rapid Charge iPhones and iPads. There’s even an illuminated USB port to guide plug-in.Ventev Powercell 6010+ is a slim portable battery and wall charger that has the juice to provide nearly two full charges for standard flagship phones. It is available with USB Type-C or Apple Lightning connections, with a charging connector that tucks neatly into the device for storage. When used as a battery, it can charge devices on-the-go nearly as fast as a wall charger, while folding prongs make it easy and convenient to store in a bag or briefcase.Ventev has also extended its line of ChargeSync cables to include a new C<->C connector in white to match Google’s line of phones, as well as a jet black color option and 10-foot cable for its line of ChargeSync alloy cables. A line of cables paired with Nite Ize Gear Tie Cordable Twist ties to enhance cord management was also announced.Click here to learn more about product releases at CES 2018.last_img read more

Fantasy Injury Updates: Rob Gronkowski, Sony Michel, Allen Robinson impacting Week 10 fantasy rankings

first_imgWEEK 10 PPR RANKINGS: Running back | Wide receiver | Tight endAllen Robinson injury newsRobinson was out for the second-straight game last week, as a groin injury prevented him from suiting up against the Bills. However, it’s notable that he did log a limited practice last Friday, so he is on the right track as he tries to return from the injury.If Robinson can improve in practice and get on the field earlier this week, he should have a chance to suit up against the Lions. The first practice report on Wednesday should help clarify his status a bit more, and we’ll have updates on that throughout the week. If Robinson misses more time, Trey Burton, Taylor Gabriel, and Tarik Cohen will continue to see plenty of targets in the Bears offense. Week 10 Rankings:Quarterback | Running Back | Wide Receiver | Tight End | D/ST | KickerIs Sony Michel playing in Week 10?Michel (knee) has been absent for the Patriots’ last two contests, but he was able to practice last week before ultimately being listed as questionable ahead of Sunday night’s game against the Packers. He ended up sitting out, but this week, his prognosis appears to be solid.According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Michel is expected to return to action against the Titans in Week 10. He just needs to avoid suffering any setbacks in practice. He’ll need to be monitored in practice this week, but he is definitely trending in the right direction.With Michel returning, James White will see a slight downgrade solely because his volume will go down a bit. Still, he’ll be a really good RB2 (RB1 in PPR formats) and could outproduce Michel if the Patriots ease him back into action, so he belongs in starting lineups.The biggest negative fantasy impact from this injury is to Cordarrelle Patterson, who likely won’t see more than a couple of carries per game moving forward. He had been serving as the complement to White with Michel out, but now he’ll see less action on offense. He’s still worth stashing as a handcuff (who’s only eligible at WR because, again, we’re talking about the Patriots here), but until we see what his role in the backfield is, he should be left on fantasy benches.MORE WEEK 10: Top waiver wire pickups | RB handcuff chartRob Gronkowski injury updateAnother year, another injury to Gronk. For two of the past three weeks, Gronkowski has sat out with a back issue that flared up in practice. Moving forward, his status is week-to-week, according to WEEI’s Ryan Hannable (via Adam Schefter), and that means that he could be out for Week 10.With the Patriots’ bye approaching in Week 11, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the team elect to sit Gronk this week as a precaution. After all, Gronk has struggled with injuries in the past, so why would they risk his health as they prepare for a postseason run? They’ve won six straight games anyway, so it seems possible — if not, probable — that Gronk could get another week off just to buy him some extra rest going into the bye.If Gronk is out, the team’s tight end group won’t produce a viable fantasy target. Instead, guys like Josh Gordon, Julian Edelman, and James White will get stock-ups as they get more opportunities to catch passes. If you have Gronk on your fantasy roster, check out our Week 10 TE rankings for the best streaming options available. There are a couple of big-time Patriots players that should soon return from injuries. Sony Michel and Rob Gronkowski both have a chance to playing against the Titans in Week 10, but a looming bye week could cause the Pats to play it a bit safe. (Classic Pats, right?) In addition to that duo, Bears receiver Allen Robinson is attempting to return from a groin injury that has kept him out of action in each of the past two weeks. These injury issues could necessitate moves on the waiver wire for fantasy football owners, and it could also have an impact on fantasy rankings and start ’em, sit ’em decisions.As the week goes along, we’ll provide you with more injury updates. For more on A.J. Green, Chris Carson, and Leonard Fournette, go here, and for the latest in the Le’Veon Bell saga, click here. You can also follow us on Twitter @SN_Fantasy for more fantasy updates and advice.last_img read more

Trump admin. began accepting permits to import lion trophies last month

first_img Related MaggyMeyer/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — U.S. wildlife officials began issuing permits for lion trophies hunted in Zambia and Zimbabwe about a month ago, ABC News confirmed Thursday.U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials said the decision was made after concluding that regulated hunting would help the survival of the endangered species in the wild.The African lion population has decreased 42 percent in the past 20 years, according to the African Wildlife Foundation. The officials did not provide any additional details about what new information led to the decision to issue permits to import lion trophies from those countries. The Fish and Wildfire Service said it takes at least 45 days to get a permit approved so it’s unclear if any have been granted since they began accepting applications.In 2016, the Fish and Wildlife Service placed African lions on the endangered species list for the first time due to the “dramatic decline of lion populations in the wild.” The designation says that imports of African lions will “generally be prohibited” but still allows the government to issue permits to import the species “such as when it can be found that the import will enhance the survival of the species.” There are an estimated 17,000 – 19,000 African lions remaining in the wild.In addition to Zambia and Zimbabwe, the government allows permits for wild lions and lions from managed areas in South Africa and is reviewing policies about importing lion trophies from Mozambique, Namibia, and Tanzania.A U.S. Fish and Wildlife spokesperson said they found that “legal, well-regulated sport hunting” can benefit conservation by providing incentives to local communities and generating revenue that can be directed to conservation programs, saying that the programs in Zambia and Zimbabwe will enhance the survival of the species in the wild. They began issuing permits to import lion trophies on Oct. 20.The administration also announced this week that it would allow permits to import trophies from elephants killed in Zimbabwe and Zambia.Conservation and animal advocates dispute that the money brought in by hunting tourists and fees really helps conservation, saying that more money is brought in by people who want to see animals alive in the wild.“African elephants and African lions drive billions of dollars of economic activity in Africa. But they drive that activity only when they are alive,” Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States wrote in a blog post tonight. “Killing them deducts from their populations, diminishes wildlife-watching experiences for others, and robs the countries of Africa of its greatest resources.”In addition to Zambia and Zimbabwe the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service allows permits to import trophies from hunted wild lions and lions from managed areas in South Africa and is reviewing policies about importing lion trophies from Mozambique, Namibia, and Tanzania.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.Powered by WPeMaticolast_img read more