Motley mix of players challenge Polish president in election

first_imgDespite its colorful characters, the campaign has been strangely uneventful. Many Poles have decried a campaign that seems lacking in real options for voters — and at times has descended into farce.“We are being served third-rate theater instead of real elections,” prominent Polish film director Agnieszka Holland lamented in a TV interview last weekend.Wojciech Szacki, an analyst with Polityka Insight, a Warsaw-based center for policy analysis, says that there have always been “unserious candidates” running in Polish presidential elections alongside heavyweights like Lech Walesa. What’s new, he said, is that against Komorowski “there are no serious candidates at all.”The reason is that no potentially serious challenger wanted to face defeat by running against a president certain to win re-election, Szacki said.The second-most popular leader in the race is Andrzej Duda of Law and Justice, the nationalist party led by Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the surviving twin brother of the late president. Jaroslaw Kaczynski was himself defeated by Komorowski in the 2010 presidential election, held shortly after his brother’s death. A conservative who says his values are in line with those of the late Polish pope St. John Paul II, he has taken a strong position against in-vitro fertilization, a position Komorowski attacked in a recent campaign ad. 0 Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 FOR POLAND PRESIDENTIAL RACE STORY — In this May 5, 2015 photo Magdalena Ogorek, the left wing candidate in a Sunday presidential election, poses for a photo prior to a televised debate in Warsaw, Poland. The former actress and TV presenter Ogorek has no real political experience. Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski seems destined for re-election on Sunday May 10, 2015, but first the conservative leader, whose large family and aristocratic roots make him the very embodiment of Polish tradition, has to stand for election against a colorful cast of unconventional rival candidates. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz) Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The incumbent is an aristocrat who embodies Polish tradition. His challengers include a punk rock star, a blonde bombshell actress and a renegade vodka producer who once wielded a gun at a press conference.Poland’s presidential elections Sunday have a colorful cast of candidates whose antics are providing most of the drama, because there’s little suspense about the result: President Bronislaw Komorowski expected to easily win re-election. Top Stories 5 treatments for adult scoliosiscenter_img Check your body, save your life Sponsored Stories The third-most popular candidate is the punk rock star Kukiz. Describing himself as a “right-wing man with a left-wing heart,” he has positioned himself as the anti-establishment favorite. He has polled at above 10 percent recently.One candidate who has captured more attention than respect is Magdalena Ogorek, the 36-year-old candidate for the Democratic Left Alliance. Though she has a doctorate in history, the former actress and TV presenter has no real political experience and many commentators have dismissed her as a lightweight. She has not helped her own cause, appearing recently at a fashion show wearing a decidedly un-presidential outfit: a flimsy petticoat-style dress with straps that ended well above the knees.Soon hundreds of people clicked on a Facebook page titled “I will vote for Magdalena Ogorek if she shows her breasts.” Another left-wing candidate made headlines when he “liked” the page, later apologizing and saying he did so by accident. She polls around 3 or 4 percent.Another attention-getter has been Janusz Korwin-Mikke, a far-right member of the European Parliament who has compared the EU to the Third Reich. Last year he caused outrage by using racist language in Parliament. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Janusz Palikot, the head of a left-wing party, is a vodka tycoon who has called for the legalization of marijuana. A few years ago, he waved a pistol and dildo at a news conference to protest an alleged police rape.Several candidates don’t even have 1 percent support. Among them is a far-right candidate, Grzegorz Braun, who claimed in a presidential debate on Tuesday that Poland is being ruled by Germans, Russians and Jews.“The biggest political parties in Poland have played a trick on voters, exposing them to actors instead of real candidates,” Holland said. “Some play better, others more clumsily, but generally speaking, this is not a normal presidential campaign.”Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Komorowski, a popular leader aligned with the ruling center-right Civic Platform party, won office in 2010 after his predecessor, Lech Kaczynski, died in a plane crash.His time in office has been marked by general harmony with his allies in government. He has long enjoyed high approval ratings, though some voters seem to be growing bored by him and Civic Platform, which has been in power since 2007. That has given a boost to the anti-establishment candidates, most of all for the punk rocker Pawel Kukiz — pronounced like “cookies” — who used to perform in a band called “Breasts.”If no candidate wins at least 50 percent on Sunday, a runoff will be held on May 24. The presidency carries many ceremonial duties, with most power in the hands of the government. However, the president is also officially the commander-in-chief and has the power to propose and veto legislation.The election will also be a test for political parties ahead of parliamentary elections this fall.Until January, Komorowski had polled well above 50 percent. But the most recent surveys now predict he will take about 40 percent of the vote Sunday, significantly more than any of his challengers but not enough to avoid a runoff. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementlast_img read more

Swedens supreme court upholds Assanges detention order

first_img Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Comments   Share   Top Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement STOCKHOLM (AP) — Sweden’s highest court on Monday rejected WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s appeal of a pre-trial detention order in a nearly five-year-old investigation of alleged sex crimes.The Supreme Court in Stockholm on upheld rulings by lower courts ordering the detention for Assange, saying there is no reason to rescind it as the investigation continues.Since 2010, prosecutors have sought to interrogate Assange over allegations of rape, sexual molestation and illegal coercion made by two women after his visit to Sweden that year. Assange denies the allegations and has not been formally indicted.center_img How men can have a healthy 2019 New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Parents, stop beating yourself up Sponsored Stories Swedish prosecutors in March agreed to question Assange in London where he has been holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy for nearly three years to avoid being extradited.Assange’s lawyers say he fears extradition to Sweden would merely be a first step in efforts to take him to the U.S., where WikiLeaks infuriated officials by publishing secret documents including 250,000 State Department cables.It is not clear when the Swedish prosecutors will travel to London. They are still discussing practical details with Assange’s defense lawyers, such as possible dates and who will be present for the interrogation, said Karin Rosander, a spokeswoman for the Swedish Prosecution Authority.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

CDC investigating error that caused live anthrax shipments

first_imgHe doesn’t know why it was sending anthrax and is perplexed at how the mistake was made.“This is an accident that should never happen,” Blechman said. “You should have double-triple-positive controls over any live, lethal agent.”Steve Erickson, of the volunteer military watchdog group Citizens Education Project, said the incident isn’t cause for panic but suggests more oversight is needed.“Ever since 9/11, there’s been a propensity to throw money at biodefense,” Erickson said. “When you allow these activities to blossom and burgeon over a period of years without any effective oversight, you are asking for trouble.”The Dugway Proving Ground was created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The site has gone through name changes and been closed and reopened several times.It sits on 180,000 acres of flat, desert terrain. It’s miles from any population base, but it has a village with an elementary and high school, medical clinic, a few restaurants, a theater, pool, gym, and homes and temporary lodging.About 1,700 people work at Dugway, including a mix of military and nonmilitary scientists, chemists, microbiologists and engineers. Top Stories Gen. Ray Odierno, the Army chief of staff, told reporters the problem may have been a failure in the technical process of killing, or inactivating, anthrax samples.Odierno said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating what went wrong at Dugway Proving Ground, the Army installation in Utah where the anthrax originated.Officials said the government labs that received the suspect anthrax were at the Army’s Edgewood Chemical Biological Center in Maryland and the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Virginia. The rest were commercial labs, which the Pentagon has declined to identify, citing legal constraints.Some of the samples sent from Utah were also transferred to other labs in the U.S. by the Edgewood center, a research and development resource for nonmedical chemical and biological defense.CDC spokesman Jason McDonald said four people at labs in Delaware, Texas and Wisconsin were recommended to get antibiotics as a precaution, although they are not sick. U.S. officials at Osan Air Base in South Korea said 22 people were being treated for possible exposure.Odierno said normal procedures had been followed, and that he was not aware that such a problem had surfaced previously at Dugway. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility How men can have a healthy 2019 Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories Men’s health affects baby’s health too It is one of six Army equipment-testing facilities that also include sites in Maryland, Arizona, Alabama and New Mexico.In one of the chemical testing buildings at Dugway, chambers are used to test chemical warfare agents, the Army says in online materials. An outdoor range tests smokes, obscurants and explosives.___Associated Press writer Brady McCombs reported from Salt Lake City.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Army’s top general said Thursday that human error probably was not a factor in the Army’s mistaken shipment of live anthrax samples from a chemical weapons testing site that was opened more than 70 years ago in a desolate stretch of desert in Utah.Samples from the anthrax lot ended up at 18 labs in nine states and an Army lab in South Korea, leading more than two dozen people to get treatment for possible exposure. Four benefits of having a wireless security system But there have been at least two other questionable incidents at the military post 85 miles west of Salt Lake City that has been testing chemical and biological warfare weapons since it was opened in 1942.In 2011, Dugway was locked down for 12 hours because less than one-fourth of a teaspoon of VX nerve agent was unaccounted for.Military officials launched an internal investigation, but the results were not released. Questions about the incident were not answered Thursday by military officials. Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said in 2011 that he met with the base commander and that the issue had been resolved to his satisfaction.In 1968, Dugway came under scrutiny when 6,000 sheep died nearby. An Army report acknowledged that the nerve agent was found in snow and grass samples, The Salt Lake Tribune reported based on a report that was declassified in 1978. An Army spokesman said in the late 1990s that state agriculture scientists never identified the cause of death of the sheep.Herbert said in a statement he’s concerned about the incident and is working with the CDC to monitor the investigation.Test facilities like Dugway are intended to develop ways to defend against biochemical warfare, which some fear could be used by terrorists, said Barry M. Blechman, co-founder of the Stimson Center, a nonpartisan global security group in Washington. Former Arizona Rep. 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UN At least 1466 Iraqis killed in June due to violence

first_imgThe U.N. mission said those killed in June include at least 665 civilians. It put the total number of wounded at 1,687. Baghdad was the worst-affected province, with 324 civilians killed and 650 wounded.In May at least 1,031 people were killed across the country, including 665 civilians. The latest casualty count was the highest since last September, when 1,420 Iraqis were killed.The U.N. said the latest figures are an “absolute minimum” as it has not been able verify causalities in conflict zones or count those who have died from the secondary effects of violence after fleeing their homes.“The terrorists of the so called ISIL and sectarian extremists are largely responsible for this violence which has affected all aspects of life in Iraq,” U.N. envoy Jan Kubis said.He called on Iraq’s leaders to “come together and find a peaceful political solution to the existential problems that are facing Iraq and its people.”Four bomb attacks in and around Baghdad on Wednesday killed at least 10 civilians and wounded 33, police officials said. The deadliest was a roadside bomb that exploded on a commercial street in southeast Baghdad, killing three civilians and wounded 11 others. Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Comments   Share   Top Stories Parents, stop beating yourself up BAGHDAD (AP) — At least 1,466 Iraqis were killed by armed conflict in June, up more than 40 percent from the previous month as security forces suffered mounting casualties battling the Islamic State group, according to U.N. figures released Wednesday.The monthly death toll was the highest since last September, and the rise from last month appeared to be almost entirely due to higher casualties among security forces. Some 800 Iraqi security forces and pro-government militiamen were killed in June, more than twice the 366 killed in May, according to the U.N. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall On the capital’s western outskirts, clashes erupted between Islamic State group fighters and Iraqi forces, leaving two soldiers and two Shiite militiamen dead, the officials said. Separately, authorities found three dead bodies, including that of a policeman, dumped in the streets of Baghdad. All had gunshot wounds, and their legs and hands were tied, they said.Medical officials confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release information.___Associated Press writers Qassem Abdul-Zahra and Murtada Faraj contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizonalast_img read more

Burundi election results to be announced Friday

first_img Mesa family survives lightning strike to home A police officer stands outside a room where tallied ballots from the Tuesday presidential elections are being stored in Bujumbura, Burundi, Wednesday July 22, 2015. The head of Burundi’s electoral commission says vote counting is underway and results are expected Thursday for a controversial election in which incumbent President Pierre Nkurunziza’s bid for a third term in power has sparked widespread unrest.(AP Photo/Jerome Delay) How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Agathon Rwasa, the main opposition figure, said his attempts to campaign had been frustrated by the government, and the U.S. and Britain said the election was not credible due to the intimidation of Nkurunziza’s opponents.The Coalition of Independence of Hope, which supports Rwasa, will reject the outcome, said Charles Nditije, who is part of the coalition.More than 100 people have died in protests since April when the ruling party announced Nkurunziza would seek a third term. The demonstrations triggered an attempted coup in May that was quickly put down by forces loyal to Nkurunziza. Earlier this month, the government said it crushed a rebellion in northern Burundi, killing 31 insurgents and arresting 171 others.Many fear that Nkurunziza’s efforts to stay in power to could bring renewed conflict in Burundi, which gained independence from Belgium in 1962. Since then, it has had four coups and a civil war that killed 250,000 people.“The attitude of the government is pushing people to create a rebellion,” said Francis Nyamoya, secretary general of opposition party Movement For Solidarity and Democracy.“If it is necessary, force will be used to push out Nkurunziza,” he said, adding that members of his party are being killed. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academiescenter_img BUJUMBURA, Burundi (AP) — Results from Burundi’s presidential election will be announced Friday, with incumbent Pierre Nkurunziza expected to win a third term that his opponents allege is unconstitutional.About 72 percent to 80 percent of the country’s 3.8 million voters cast ballots Tuesday, said electoral commission head Pierre-Claver Ndayicariye.Violence on Monday night, as well as an opposition boycott, hindered turnout in the capital. Three people, including two police officers, were killed by gunfire in opposition strongholds. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Comments   Share   Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Sponsored Stories New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t likelast_img read more

Bombs kill 29 as Nigerian leader says US hampering fight

first_img Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility “The application of the Leahy law … has aided and abetted the Boko Haram terrorist group in the prosecution of its extremist ideology and hate, the indiscriminate killings and maiming of civilians, in raping of women and girls, and in their other heinous crimes,” Buhari said.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Wednesday night’s bombings in northeastern Gombe town are the latest in a series by Islamic extremists that has spilled across Nigeria’s borders. In neighboring Cameroon on Wednesday, two suicide bombers killed at least 18 people at a marketplace near the border, officials said.Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari returned home Thursday to the capital, Abuja, from a four-day visit to the United States where he was warmly received by President Barack Obama, but failed to get all he wanted.“Buhari returns to Abuja, with no weapons sale from USA,” said a headline in The News.Buhari told policy makers at the U.S. Institute for Peace on Wednesday that Nigeria’s armed forces are “largely impotent” because they do not possess the appropriate weapons to fight Boko Haram.He urged the U.S. president, Congress and government to find ways around the Leahy Law that prohibits sales of certain weapons to countries whose military are accused of gross human rights violations.Amnesty International charges Nigeria’s military is responsible for the deaths of 8,000 detainees — twice as many as Boko Haram’s victims in the first four years of its 6-year-old insurgency. Top Stories Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Men’s health affects baby’s health too LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Bomb blasts at two bustling bus stations killed 29 people and wounded 105, officials said Thursday after Nigeria’s new president warned that the U.S. refusal to sell his country strategic weapons is “aiding and abetting” Boko Haram.Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency called Thursday for urgent blood donations to treat 105 wounded people, according to spokesman Sani Datti who said at least 29 bodies have been recovered. Comments   Share   last_img read more

IATA top spot goes to Cathay Pacific CEO

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced Cathay Pacific CEO, Tony Tyler, will replace Giovanni Bisignani as Director General next year. Mr Bisignani’s decision to retire came earlier this year amidst his bid to raise the profile of the IATA. Mr Tyler’s unanimous selection will be made official during an annual meeting of the Board of Governors in June 2011. Cathay Pacific released a statement declaring Mr Tyler’s final day as Chief Executive of Cathay Pacific to be 31 March next year. “Tony’s leadership of Cathay Pacific through challenging times prepares him well for the job. “His knowledge of Asia will help IATA take advantage of opportunities in the industry’s largest market,” said David Bronczek, Chairman of the IATA Board of Governors.Mr Tyler’s duties as the Association’s head are scheduled to commence 1 July 2011.last_img read more

Interest in Turkey grows

first_imgThe Turkish tourism industry is experiencing a relative boom in interest as tourists look to travel to a destination away from the recent upheavals in North Africa and the Middle East.Figures released by the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism have shown a 20.46 percent increase in tourist arrivals into the country in January 2011. compared to the same month in 2010, local media have reported. According to the source, the reshuffling of tourist destinations will see Turkey win more business than previously forecast not only because tourism to the country continues to follow an upward trend, but as a substitution for travel to countries that have face unrest.Speaking to e-Travel Blackboard at last week’s Eastern Mediterranean Tourism Association’s Product Evening in Sydney, Time Flys Travel owner Trudy Rice said she had already had four enquiries within the month, for unique Turkey Gulet Cruises.“People are talking about their holidays and getting other people excited about destinations and experiences,” Ms Rice said.To see pictures from Sydney’s EMTA product evening, click here. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: G.Alast_img read more

Tourism Aus unveils new MICE pitch

first_imgTargeting MICE growth down under, Tourism Australia has unveiled a new marketing campaign that will strengthen the sector by up to AU$16 million by 2020.Announced yesterday at the Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo (AIME), the digital campaign will see the group set up a new website businessevents.australia.com as well as establish a consumer marketing project that will follow the footsteps of ‘There’s nothing like Australia’. Rolling out to key markets including the US, UK, China, New Zealand, Korea, Singapore and Indonesia, Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy explained the new pitch was developed based on insights contributed by event planners from the selected regions.He added that the campaign has the potential to expand on the sector’s AU$8.4 billion contribution in 2010. “On average business events visitors spend 55 percent more per day than the average visitor at AU$212 per delegate per night – so the returns on our investment are strong but what’s more they are also more likely to return for a business and leisure visit to Australia in the future,” Mr McEvoy said. “Tourism Australia’s new campaign and its dedicated business events website are about reaching the decision makers for such events with a strong message that Australia is a good place to do business.”The GM added that continued external impacts to the industry including the high Aussie dollar emphasizes the need for a dedicated campaign to draw in the business events groups. “It is why the new campaign is so critical in telling the world how Australia can deliver on their business objectives – whether it is incentivising their teams or improving their business performance, and do this with team building activities, experience of our modern cities, unquestioned natural appeal, and great people.” Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

Melbournes observation wheel almost spinning

first_imgThe Southern Star Observation Wheel at Docklands in Melbourne is reportedly set to reopen this year, four years after the city viewing platform shut down.Originally launched in 2008, the wheel spun for only 40 days before being shut down in January 2009 after cracks were found in its frame.Since, the ride has been taken apart and rebuilt and although the wheel’s owner, ING, has been reluctant to give an estimated finish date due to persistent setbacks, the company’s representative Ken Davis said the wheel could be spinning again in the “second half of 2013”, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.He explained the ride’s reopening has been delayed by Melbourne’s weather, which will put construction on hold during wind and rain. “This makes it extremely difficult to make any announcements regarding an opening timeline,” he said. Meanwhile, local retailer, Groove Train Cafe owner John Dimos said news of its reopening was a “small light at the end of the tunnel”.Mr Dimos said delays have caused “grief and pain” among local operators, even watching several business close around him.“I’ll be damned if I’m going to shut my doors,” he said.“I’m going to keep them open and absolutely make sure that we thrive when this thing comes back.” The wheel that spun for 40 days is set to go round again. Image: Travel Victoria Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more