THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A Dutch appeals court on Wednesday cleared a man of any criminal responsibility for helping his 99-year-old mother take her own life — a case that aimed to create precedents for assisting suicide in a country where euthanasia already is legal under certain circumstances.Judges in the city of Arnhem said Albert Heringa should not be prosecuted for helping his mother die in 2008 by giving her enough pills for a fatal overdose. Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Prosecutors said they would carefully study the ruling before deciding whether to appeal to a higher court.“Assisting suicide according to the conditions laid out in the euthanasia law is and remains, in the view of the prosecution office, exclusively a task for a doctor,” prosecutors said in a statement.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories In a written verdict, the appeals court said Heringa had to decide between obeying the law against assisting suicide and his “unwritten moral duty” to help his mother achieve her wish for “a painless, peaceful and dignified death.”Heringa “could not lean back and do nothing, while watching her suffer,” the verdict said. “This would have caused him life-long feelings of guilt.”While euthanasia has been legal in the Netherlands for years if carried out under strict conditions by a physician, assisted suicide by a friend or relative of the person who wants to die remains illegal.Euthanasia supporters welcomed the decision, which overturned a lower court’s conviction of Heringa in 2013. While he was found guilty in 2013 of assisting his mother’s suicide, the court did not impose a punishment.Heringa appealed his conviction, while prosecutors said he should have been given a three-month suspended sentence.“This is a step in the direction we want to go,” said Fiona Zonneveld of the Dutch Association for Voluntary Euthanasia. “Many people who consider their lives completed want to be helped by their loved ones. We think that should be allowed.” New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Comments Share 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Sponsored Stories read more
8 Comments Share Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The Arizona Cardinals were set to work out former Chicago Bears and Kansas City Chiefs receiver Daniel Braverman on Tuesday, reports NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.Braverman, a Western Michigan product, was a seventh-round draft pick (230th overall) in 2016 by the Bears. He was released upon final roster cuts and joined the practice squad, where he remained before earning a promotion to the active roster on Nov. 29, 2016. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo The 5-foot-10 slot receiver played in three games as a rookie but did not record a catch for Chicago.He was waived up 53-man cuts heading into last season and spent January of 2018 through August on the Kansas City Chiefs’ practice squad.Related LinksThe Chiefs are very big favorites over the CardinalsBehind Enemy Lines: Cardinals prep for Chiefs’ offensive buzzsawArizona has continued to spend its Tuesdays taking a look at free agents.For Braverman to make the team, the Cardinals would likely have to make a decision about one of their six wideouts currently on the roster. They signed veteran Kendall Wright on Monday to join Larry Fitzgerald, Christian Kirk, Chad Williams, J.J. Nelson and Trent Sherfield. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Daniel Braverman runs the ball at NFL football training camp Sunday, Aug. 5, 2018, in St. Joseph, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact read more
Go back to the e-newsletterIn the most southern atoll of the Maldives, Thaa, keen surfers will find some of the world’s best surf breaks crashing right at the footsteps of Maalifushi by COMO. The resort, opened in 2014 as the second Maldivian COMO property, has joined with Tropicsurf to offer deals to enjoy the best of the waves during the surfing season. These packages have specifically been tailored for those looking to experience wave riding for the first time.Staying either five or seven nights with the ‘Learn to Surf’ package, guests start with Lagoon Lessons where they’ll learn the basics of surfing in calm waters before progressing to Ocean Transition Lessons where – with the instructor by their side – they will be gliding across tropical swells.For the more experienced surfer, the seven night ‘Surf Pro’ package allows surfers to explore the untamed oceans around Maalifushi solo.Rates for the Learn to Surf package start at AUD$7,667 for five night stay and AUD$11,495 for seven night stay, twin share in a beach suite.Rates for the Surf Pro package start at AUD$13,094 for seven night stay, twin share in a beach suite.Go back to the e-newsletter read more
It’s not too late to dive into ‘Game of Thrones,’ with help NEW YORK — For seven seasons, you’ve ignored the lure of “Game of Thrones.” The multiple awards didn’t draw you in. Your friends debating plot twists each Sunday on social media didn’t move you. The “Is Jon Snow really dead?” storyline wasn’t enough; not even the “Hold the door!” memes sparked enough interest.But now, here you are, with the final season days away from kicking off, finally ready to delve in. Since you don’t have the time (or probably the stamina) to binge watch the past 67 episodes, here’s what you need to know to follow along with a modicum of understanding when the eighth season gets underway on HBO on Sunday.THE FAMILIES:“Game of Thrones” is a family affair, with several Great Houses that love, fight, plot and conspire for the Iron Throne, ultimate power in Westeros. (Some love a little more than normal — the twisted affair between siblings Jaime and Cersei Lannister, for example).Three families at the heart of the story are:THE STARKSThe series began with Ned Stark, Warden of the North, at his home, Winterfell. He and his family — wife Catelyn; sons, Robb, Rickon and Bran; daughters Sansa and Arya; and oh yeah, the bastard, Jon Snow — are living relatively quietly until they receive a visit from Ned’s old friend Robert Baratheon, now the king. Reluctantly, Ned agrees to become the hand of the king, kind of a ceremonial vice-president position, and travels south with some of his family. Things don’t go so well, he loses his head and the family is scattered.Shamed by his origins, Jon Snow joins and soon becomes a leader of the Night’s Watch. Think of them as a combination of border patrol agents and celibate monks who stand guard at the Wall, which runs across the north of Westeros and kept out the Wildlings, a fierce nation that doesn’t recognize the kings and princes of Westeros. Eventually though, the Night’s Watch and the Wildlings join forces against something far more terrifying: the Night King and his White Walkers, an army of the frozen undead, who when last seen have come crashing through the Wall.By season eight, the other surviving Starks are: Sansa, who went from horrible engagement to horrendous marriages to, now, becoming the mistress of Winterfell; Arya, who survived on the run, picking up some deadly skills along the way; and a disabled Bran, a man with a mystical vision.THE LANNISTERSThe gold-obsessed family you love to hate. Twins Cersei and Jamie have been lovers since they were kids, becoming the not-so proud parents of Joffrey, who was briefly king, and two others, none of whom survived the show’s run.Cersei was married to the king, Robert Baratheon, and has remained in charge in the capital, King’s Landing.The youngest and wittiest Lannister sibling, Tyrion, a dwarf, is the black sheep of the family. Seems his sister still blames him for the death of their mother while giving birth to him. After killing his father and fleeing Kings Landing, Tyrion finds a second act as hand to a different queen, Daenerys of …HOUSE TARGARYENThe Targaryens ruled Westeros before Robert Baratheon, Ned Stark and others brought them down. Daenerys, the only surviving member of the family, more or less, was sold into marriage with Dothraki leader Khal Drogo (later killed). She receives an interesting wedding gift: three dragon eggs. Before they hatched, making her the “Mother of Dragons,” the Dothraki queen learned she can stand close to the fire — correction, she can stand in the fire, without getting burned.Daenerys decides to sail across the Narrow Sea and reclaim the Iron Throne held by her father, the mad king. He too had a penchant for fire, though it was more about burning people alive.Her brother Rhaegar is also crucial to the story for allegedly kidnapping Ned Stark’s sister, Lyanna, before he and his family were killed.TIME AND PLACE:Martin has created a world that’s make-believe but feels somewhat real. It’s like a mashup of feudal England and Tolkien’s Middle Earth with a healthy dose of sex, violence, conniving, power-grabbing, more sex, more violence and lots of full-frontal nudity.Some other prominent places:Dragonstone: Former home of House Targaryen, an island where the dragons of the past resided with the family.Essos: A continent lying across the Narrow Sea from Westeros. It’s where Daenerys was hiding in the beginning, and where the horse-loving Dothraki roam.Braavos: a free city in Essos, home to the Iron Bank — to which the Lannisters owe some gold. Also home to the Faceless — religious types and assassins who worship the Many-Faced God of death, and collect faces of the dead from all over the world. Arya came up through the ranks here.Iron Islands: Home to a naval fleet of warriors led by House Greyjoy, who son Theon was a ward of the Starks and has been through some rough times since then.WHAT’S NEXT?As the final season approaches, the three houses have pledged to unite their armies — along with the Wildlings— to fight their common enemy: the White Walkers. The zombie-like creatures have broken through the Wall and they now include one of Daenerys’ dragons among their ranks.John Carucci, The Associated Press by John Carucci, The Associated Press Posted Apr 12, 2019 8:53 am PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email This image released by HBO shows Jack Gleeson portraying Joffrey Baratheon in a scene from “Game of Thrones.” The final season premieres on Sunday. (HBO via AP) read more
State Rep. Michele Hoitenga, right, today welcomed Wexford County Prosecutor Jason Elmore, left, to the Capitol for Gov. Rick Snyder’s annual State of the State address. Hoitenga, R-Manton, invited Elmore to join her on the House floor while the governor presented his agenda for the coming year.### Categories: Hoitenga News 17Jan Rep. Hoitenga welcomes special guest for State of the State address
Categories: Daire Rendon News 21Feb Rep. Rendon invites residents to March office hours State Rep. Daire Rendon of Lake City will sponsor local office hours for the month of March.“Office hours are an opportunity for residents to meet face-to-face with me and ask questions, offer ideas or share thoughts regarding state government,” Rep. Rendon said.The representative will be available at the following times and locations:Friday, March 2Crawford County: 9 to 10 a.m. at Goodale’s Bakery, 500 Norway St. in Grayling; andKalkaska County: Noon to 1 p.m. at Trout Town Tavern & Eatery, 306 Elm St. in Kalkaska. No appointments are necessary to attend office hours. Those who are unable to attend, but would still like to speak with the representative, may contact her Lansing office at (517) 373-3817 or DaireRendon@house.mi.gov.### Monday, March 5Ogemaw County: 9 to 10 a.m. at West Branch Area Chamber of Commerce, 422 W. Houghton Ave. in West Branch;Roscommon County: Noon to 1 p.m. at Markey Township Hall, 4974 E. Houghton Lake Drive in Houghton Lake; andMissaukee County: 3 to 4 p.m. at Missaukee County Commission of Aging, 1980 S. Morey Road in Lake City. read more
Categories: Wentworth News State Rep. Jason Wentworth of Clare today voted to approve a plan protecting the civil liberties of all people in Michigan.The legislation will still allow law enforcement to seize property based on probable cause, but requires a criminal conviction before law enforcement agencies can take ownership of personal property using the civil asset forfeiture process.Civil asset forfeiture is designed to punish criminals by taking the money and property they gain through illegal activity. But Wentworth said the current law violates the fundamental right to due process by giving police agencies the authority to keep the property of individuals who haven’t even been charged, let alone convicted.“This is a smart reform,” Wentworth said. “It protects the fundamental rights of Michigan citizens by reining in law enforcement’s ability keep the property of innocent citizens while still allowing officers to crack down on convicted criminals.”In 2016, Michigan law enforcement agencies reported confiscating $15.2 million worth of cash and property through the civil asset forfeiture process. No charges were ever filed in about 10 percent of the cases. In 196 cases, people had their assets forfeited and were later found not guilty.“Innocent people don’t deserve to lose their personal property to civil asset forfeiture,” Wentworth said. “I’m proud to support this plan and put an end to it.”House Bill 4158 advances to the Senate for consideration.### 08May Rep. Wentworth, House advance plan to protect due process rights read more
12Feb Rep. Brann invites local school superintendent to State of the State Address Categories: Brann News,Brann Photos PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Tommy Brann of Wyoming welcomed Godwin Heights Public Schools Superintendent Bill Fetterhoff to the House floor for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s State of the State Address.
State Rep. Joe Bellino of Monroe this week praised the announcement of over $100,000 in state grants to school districts in Monroe and Wayne Counties to improve safety of school buildings.“Absolutely nothing is more important than the safety and protection of our kids,” Rep. Bellino said. “These grants will help schools make their buildings safer and more secure, which is why I was proud to support and vote for funding the program.”Some of the grant recipients in the 17th District include Summit Academy ($30,159) and Summit Academy North ($73,519), both located in Flat Rock. This funding is in addition to last fall’s awarding of over $200,000 to schools in Rep. Bellino’s district.Districts throughout Michigan will receive $25 million in state grants from the 2019 Competitive School Safety Grant Program to improve the safety and security of students, staff and school buildings through the purchase of technology and equipment.Note: A complete list of school safety grants is available on this Michigan State Police website: https://www.michigan.gov/msp/0,4643,7-123-72297_34040_75045—,00.html 29Mar Rep. Bellino applauds school safety grants awarded in Monroe and Wayne Counties Categories: Bellino News read more
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesMarch 3, 2014; The White HouseWhile President Obama’s proposed FY2015 budget may be a 1,656-page document likely to generate little traction, it contains insights into elements of how the federal government works, including specific arrangements with nonprofits and foundations. To some extent, they are markers about the sum and substance of the federal government’s operational interactions with nonprofits, including some that the federal government has created and chartered.Thumbs Up: President Obama has laid down an important marker on behalf of the Legal Services Corporation. It appears that he has proposed to increase the budget of the Legal Services Corporation from an estimated $365 million in FY 2014 to $430 million in FY 2015, an increase of 17.8 percent. Included in the budget is an almost doubling of LSC’s pro bono innovation fund to $4.9 million. The significance of LSC is huge in the lives of low-income families in need of civil legal assistance. Even with the constraints that have been piled on LSC over the years regarding the categories of people it is prohibited from serving and restrictions on its abilities to file class action suits or to sue other federal agencies, it is a benchmark of this nation’s commitment to protect the interests of poor people in the courts, where they are almost always otherwise outgunned and outmaneuvered.It is sort of a positive that the president proposed $20 million for the HUD-supported Section 4 capacity building program that helps strengthen community development corporations and community housing development organizations through three national intermediaries—the Local Initiatives Support Corporation*, Enterprise Community Partners*, and Habitat for Humanity. More appropriate would be $35 to $40 million, as it was only a few years ago, given the important role of nonprofit CDCs in producing affordable housing. Congratulations to the lobbyists that convinced the Obama White House to include money for Section 4, but it should be doubled, which would lead to much more than a doubling of CDC output.Many neighborhood-based nonprofit developers have been participating in the HUD Neighborhood Stabilization Program, meant to rehab and restore foreclosed properties to the market. Although the latest and last round of NSP is likely to be fully spent out by this month, the President suggested another $15 billion for NSP program activities. The new NSP program would be called Project Rebuild, which seems to be pretty much the same as NSP 1, 2, and 3, except perhaps a greater ability for grantees to take on commercial properties.New Federal Foundations: It might have escaped attention, but the budget calls for $3 million to be devoted to a U.S. Citizenship Foundation, part of a $10 million effort to help develop innovative techniques to improve citizenship education and naturalization preparation. First proposed as a provision in 2013 border security and immigration modernization legislation in the Senate—that is, the Senate’s version of comprehensive immigration reform legislation—the foundation would be able to accept private donations toward helping the federal government support other nonprofits engaged in providing immigrant integration assistance.The notion of nonprofit or foundation entities created by the federal government to solicit donations is not new, having been done with FEMA, NASA, the Centers for Disease Control, and other federal agencies. A second new public foundation to be created in President Obama’s FY 2015 budget is the National BLM Foundation, giving the Bureau of Land Management the ability to “leverage private funding” (the budget euphemism for “solicit private donations”) to protect natural, cultural, and recreational resources on public lands. Already performing a similar function is the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, which in FY 2012 received $42.6 million in federal funds to “leverage” $149.5 million in private donations and grantees’ matching funds to provide support to 505 projects. The 501(c)(3) NFWF, created in 1984, had working relationships ongoing with 50 corporate and foundation funders.Mixed Signals: The administration apparently feels that its support of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program is no longer necessary. The GAFSP is a program administered by the World Bank to support agricultural investment plans of poor countries. GAFSP grants were funded by a combination of public funds and private dollars, including grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2012, the U.S. pledged $1 for every $2 from other donors to the Program toward generating a strong capital base for the program. Since then, according to the Obama administration, the program has the ability to raise $720 million from other donors, leaving the U.S. government to declare “time’s up” for U.S. government contributions. Will the other private donors ante up? This is the dilemma of development aid in poor countries: what happens when the big donor decides it is time to move on?A mixed picture exists in President Obama’s budget proposals for housing counseling. The budget calls for an increase in HUD housing counseling funds from $45 million to $60 million, an increase of one-third. However, the housing counseling to be delivered by nonprofit intermediaries and governments is basically pre-purchase and post-purchase counseling for homebuyers. On the other hand, the housing foreclosure counseling to be made available through the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation, popularly known as NeighborWorks, has been proposed for a cut from an estimated $67.5 million in FY2014 to $50 million in FY 2015. The budget even cuts NeighborWorks training for foreclosure counseling from $3 million to $2.5 million.What is a federal budget but a collection of signposts telling the reader what the president values or doesn’t? Policy archeologists looking at patterns to see the priorities of the administration (and perhaps the nation) may not find a budget bill emerging from Congress this year that reflects the exact proposals offered by President Obama. But they will find—hopefully—issues laid out and highlighted by the president, made serious by his proposed allocations of millions and billions of dollars. What the president flagged with his proposals should be the discussion points going forward on the budget—even if the final budget isn’t precisely his budget.—Rick Cohen* DISCLOSURE: This author was once a vice president of LISC, and once a vice president of the Enterprise Foundation, from which ECP evolved.ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares read more
Share25TweetShare5Email30 Shares“Steve Ballmer” by Francesco LodoloApril 17, 2017; New York TimesSteve Ballmer was frustrated. He was trying to understand how government spends taxpayer money—including his sizable tax payments—and what happens as a result of that spending. He discovered that while there is much information to be found, relatively little of it is analyzed or reported in meaningful ways. After three years of quiet effort, Ballmer and a team of researchers have produced new ways to analyze government information to benefit business and individuals. That effort has now been formalized and made available to the public.On January 1, 2017, the USAFacts Institute was registered as a nonprofit corporation in the state of Washington. A search of GuideStar and the IRS website indicates that the organization has not yet received federal tax-exempt recognition, assuming it has applied for it. The institute’s partners include the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, the Stanford Institute for Policy Research, and Lynchburg College.Ballmer’s personal commitment to USAFacts’ “non-partisan, [nonprofit] civic initiative” to deliver a “data-driven portrait of the American population, our government’s finances, and government’s impact on society” is expressed simply. He says, “Let’s say it costs three, four, five million a year,” he said. “I’m happy to fund the damn thing.” Ballmer doesn’t count his money spent on the institute as part of his family’s philanthropic giving. “I don’t even deduct this for my taxes. I pay this with after-tax money, no pretax money, because I don’t want anybody being able to think that factors in. But I feel like it’s a civic contribution more than anything else.” To date, start-up costs have totaled $10 million, paid for by direct funding and grants.USAFacts has opened its website full of data compiled from more than 70 government sources. The institute decided to avoid use of nongovernmental data sources in an attempt to limit claims of ideological bias. It discusses government activity at the federal, state, and local levels, encompassing more than 90,000 distinct governments in the U.S., from federal and state governments to counties and “special district governments” like school districts. More than web-based data, it offers “an annual report, a summary report, and a [170-page] “10-K” modeled on the document public companies submit annually to the SEC for transparency and accountability to their investors.”The 291-page annual report, presented in an online slide format, illustrates the breakdown of governmental activity using the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution as a guide:Fortunately for academic researchers, practitioners preparing grant applications, and other nonprofit sector professionals and volunteers, the detailed charts and tables are available in the report for discrete review and use. There is also a web-based search function to navigate the organization’s growing information troves. In the future, the institute hopes to open up access to its data, allowing companies and individuals to build on it.Ballmer’s review of the data surprised him in many ways; one of them was in the extent of government funding in nonprofit activity. Speaking of the anti-poverty efforts he supports, Ballmer said, “Most of the [nonprofits] we work with would be 50 to 90 percent government funded,” I mean it’s funny, but I didn’t realize all these not-for-profits were in a sense almost like government contractors.” (We reserve comment.)USAFacts is explicitly not a policy institution. It makes no recommendations based on the data it collects and organizes. From the Times article:“I would like citizens to be able to use this to form intelligent opinions,” Mr. Ballmer said. “People can disagree about what to do—I’m not going to tell people what to do.” But, he said, people ought to base their opinions “on common data sets that are believable.”—Michael WylandShare25TweetShare5Email30 Shares read more
Mediaset and private equity fund Clessidra are discussing injecting €400-500 million of cash into debt-ridden producer and distributor Endemol, according to an Italian press report.According to the report, Italian broadcaster Mediaset, an Endemol shareholder, and Clessidra are eyeing relaunching a recapitalised Endemol as a way of averting existing creditors from converting debt into equity in the company.
Sony Entertainment Television launched in Germany yesterday. The entertainment channel offers a range of German, European and US shows, including content from Sony Pictures and Beta Film.The channel is currently available only on Deutsche Telekom’s IPTV platform Entertain.
NHK World, the international English-language news channel of Japanese public broadcaster NHK, has launched on Virgin Media in the UK. The network is now available to subscribers of Virgin’s top-tier XL TV subscription package on channel slot 625 of the EPG.NHK World, which also airs entertainment shows and focuses on Japan and Asia, is already available in the UK through BskyB.
Broadcast technologies firm Pace will showcase its new Ultra HD, High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) platform at IBC.The platform is designed to deliver sharp detail and smooth movement at resolutions up to four times higher than normal HD, said Pace.HEVC’s H.265 compression technology gives operators bandwidth savings for Ultra HD broadcast and existing HD broadcasts enabling them to improve their operational efficiency and increase the number of channels they can offer, it added.“Ultra HD represents a huge step change in viewing experience and network performance. Next year’s World Cup will be a showcase for the technology and the first commercial Ultra HD broadcasts expected soon after – driving the demand for HEVC supported hardware,” said Shane McCarthy, president of Pace International.“Momentum will grow significantly in 2015 with cable and satellite operators looking to deliver this super high-quality experience to their subscribers as more 4K content is produced. The Ultra HD market is poised for take off, Pace is at the forefront with our Ultra HD HEVC platform which enables operators to deliver this immersive viewing experience to their subscribers.”Pace said it will also use IBC to preview a range of new hardware, software and services for broadcast and broadband providers.Pace will exhibit at IBC on stand 1.B19 read more