New Brunswick premier vows to balance budgets and lessen federal reliance

first_imgFREDERICTON — New Brunswick’s Tory premier is vowing to balance the current books and next year’s budget, without raising taxes, in an effort to get the province’s finances under control and lessen reliance on federal transfers.Blaine Higgs made the commitment Thursday night as he delivered his first state of the province address to a business audience in Fredericton since being sworn in as premier last November.“Balancing the budget should not be a partisan issue. It should be a basic expectation of government,” Higgs said.The previous Liberal government delivered a small surplus last year, the first in a decade.New Brunswick has a net debt of $13.9 billion and Higgs said the province pays seven cents out of every tax dollar in interest.Higgs said the province is too reliant on public money to keep the economy going, and it’s a problem that must be corrected.“We want to grow the private economy so it can pay for the public services that we want. And we can tax everyone less,” Higgs said.And he said there is a sense of urgency to make the changes.“I see a province that has said yes to taxes and no to industry so often that we are sending the next generation out west to do jobs that we have turned away here at home,” he told the crowd.Higgs said he’s calling for an era of “big citizenship” where private business drives the economy.“We need a big citizenship that doesn’t ask ‘How does this help me?’ but asks instead ‘How can we move New Brunswick forward?”Part of that, he said, is reducing New Brunswick’s reliance on federal funding. Right now, 36 per cent of the provincial budget comes from federal transfer payments.He said that means that huge parts of the economy and the social safety net depend on decisions that others make.However, Higgs said he’s calling on the federal government to provide support for priorities that drive the province forward, rather than directing federal money towards ribbon cuttings and good news announcements.“We need to change the belief that every time Ottawa offers us a 50-50 funding project, we need to take the deal or we are losing money.”His comment comes just a day after pulling the plug on financing for the 2021 Francophonie Games because of escalating costs and Ottawa’s funding formula.Kirsty Duncan, the federal sports minister, was critical of the decision, saying that Higgs was “leaving federal dollars on the table.”Higgs also used his speech to repeat his criticism of Quebec for standing in the way of the construction of a revived Energy East pipeline to move oil from the west to Eastern Canada and a refinery and export terminal in New Brunswick.He said Quebec wants to look at transmission lines to allow them to sell electricity to the New England market.“As a Canadian, I want that for them too. But it won’t be a one-way exchange,” he said.“I will expect equal concern from them for our economic future.”Higgs touched on a variety of other topics including French immersion, the management of salmon stocks and social assistance.The premier said he wants social workers to look for various solutions in an effort to break the welfare trap that keeps many people from getting jobs and breaking free of social assistance.“If a ride, or child care, or a housing subsidy will help people break the welfare trap, we should be empowering social workers to find the right solution,” he said.Higgs won a minority government last year. It is propped up by the three members of the People’s Alliance party who have promised to support the government on votes of confidence for at least 18 months.Kevin Bissett, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Singer Anna Danes preforming at Martinis Above Fourth on Thursday

first_imgSinger Anna Danes preforming at Martinis Above Fourth on Thursday Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter KUSI Newsroom July 30, 2019 KUSI Newsroom, center_img 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Anna Danes joined KUSI to share her talent and talk about her up coming show! She was accompanied by Sky Ladd on keyboard. Posted: July 30, 2019 Updated: 9:49 PMlast_img read more

Microsoft invests 1 billion in OpenAI for supercomputing tech

first_img 0 Share your voice null OpenAI CEO Sam Altman (left) and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. Scott Eklund/Red Box Pictures Microsoft has invested $1 billion in OpenAI and reached a multiyear deal with the artificial intelligence research startup to jointly develop new supercomputing tech, the companies said Monday. OpenAI will run its services on Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform.San Francisco-based OpenAI, which launched in 2015, has repeatedly emphasized its focus on the ethical use of artificial intelligence that “benefits all of humanity.” Microsoft and OpenAI said that artificial intelligence, a term used to describe how a machine can understand any intellectual task like a human being, should be used to resolve “currently intractable” problems such as the global climate crisis. “AI is one of the most transformative technologies of our time and has the potential to help solve many of our world’s most pressing challenges,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement. “By bringing together OpenAI’s breakthrough technology with new Azure AI supercomputing technologies, our ambition is to democratize AI — while always keeping AI safety front and center — so everyone can benefit.”OpenAI is backed by prominent tech leaders such as Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, and Peter Thiel, a venture capitalist, co-founder of PayPal and a Facebook board member. The company has a unique structure. It started out as a nonprofit but earlier this year, the nonprofit created a for-profit company that the nonprofit’s board still controls. OpenAI calls the hybrid a “capped-profit” company.The new collaboration with Microsoft comes at a time when cloud services for OpenAI have reportedly become a significant cost. OpenAI has been an Azure customer since 2016, Microsoft said. Earlier this year OpenAI offered a glimpse into GPT-2, a AI-powered text generator that focuses on reading comprehension, answering questions and summarizing. “We are in the process of porting our Rapid project to run on Azure,” an OpenAI representative said. “Rapid is a large-scale reinforcement learning software we’ve been developing for the last few years, and was used to train both our Dota agents and the robotic hand.”Originally published July 22 at 8:01 a.m. PT.Update, 9:25 a.m.: Adds comment from Microsoft. 3:02 Artificial intelligence (AI) Microsoftcenter_img Tags The farm of the future is in the cloud Computers Sci-Tech Now playing: Watch this:last_img read more

NY truck attack by IS lone wolf kills 8

first_imgAn investigator takes pictures with his phone near a pickup truck following an incident in New York. Photo: AFPA pickup driver killed eight people in New York on Tuesday, mowing down cyclists and pedestrians, before striking a school bus in what officials branded a “cowardly act of terror.”Eleven others were seriously injured in the broad daylight assault and first deadly terror-related attack in America’s financial and entertainment capital since the 11 September 2001 Al-Qaeda hijackings brought down the Twin Towers.President Donald Trump, who has curbed the number of migrants entering the United States, swiftly declared that the US “must not” allow Islamic State jihadists to “return, or enter, our country after defeating them” overseas.The truck driver struck just blocks from the 9/11 Memorial, on the West Side of Lower Manhattan, and close to schools and a park at 3:05pm (1905 GMT) as children and their parents geared up to celebrate Halloween.Trump decried him as “very sick” and a “deranged person.” Television networks identified the 29-year-old suspect as an Uzbek citizen living in Florida. He was shot by an officer in the abdomen and taken into custody.Police said he drove a rented Home Depot pickup down a bike and pedestrian lane, plowing into people on foot and bicycles before colliding with a school bus, injuring two adults and two children.The suspect stepped out of the vehicle, brandishing two apparent handguns, before being shot in the abdomen by a police officer, police said.A paintball gun and pellet gun were recovered at the scene, police said.“This was an act of terror and a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians, aimed at people going about their lives who had no idea what was about to hit them,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.Police said eight people were killed, six of them men who died on the spot, and two others pronounced dead in hospital. Eleven other people were taken to hospital with serious, but not life-threatening injuries, officials said.Belgium said one of its nationals was among the victims.‘Horrible tragedy’It was the city’s first terror incident since a pipe bomb exploded in September 2016 in Chelsea, lightly wounding 31 people. An American of Afghan descent, Ahmad Khan Rahimi, was convicted of terrorism on 16 October in relation with the attack.Heavily armed police reinforcements were stepped up across the city of 8.5 million in the wake of that attack. Home to Wall Street, Broadway and one of the biggest tourist draws in the United States, it frequently goes on high alert.A planned Halloween parade will go ahead as planned, proving that the city would not bow to threats, officials said.Prime Minister Theresa May said she was appalled by the attack and that Britain stood with New York. “Together we will defeat the evil of terrorism,” she said.French President Emmanuel Macron also expressed solidarity. “Our fight for freedom unites us more than ever,” he tweeted.While details were preliminary and the investigation still underway, the mayor said the suspect appeared to have been a lone wolf and not part of a wider plot.US media said the suspect shouted “Allahu akbar” and police chief James O’Neill confirmed that he made a statement when he exited the vehicle.“If you just look at the MO of the attack, that’s consistent with what’s been going on. So that along with the statement has enabled us to label this a terrorist event,” he said.Television networks named him as Sayfullo Saipov, of Tampa, Florida. According to registry site WhitePages, a 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov has been living in Tampa since June 2011, and had other addresses registered in Ohio.He was listed as having had several traffic-related minor violations.In New York, police officers and ambulances swamped the area, in front of a park and next to a school as sirens wailed continuously and helicopters roared through the sky.Worried parents gathered outside a public elementary school that had closed, waiting to see if they could collect children who stayed after the end of the classes for extracurricular lessons and activities.‘Feel the pain’John Williams, 22, on his way to a park at the time, said he did not witness the shooting, but arrived 30 seconds afterward.“There was a smell of gunshots,” he told AFP. “There was a man lying on the ground. It looked as if he’d been shot.”State Governor Andrew Cuomo said the city was a “target” as an “international symbol of freedom and democracy.”“We’ve lived with this before, we’ve felt the pain before. We feel the pain today. But we go forward together,” he added.A witness who gave his name only as Frank told local television network NY1 that he saw a man running around an intersection, heard five to six gunshots and saw “about 100 cops” flood into the street.“When the cops shot him, everybody started running away and it got a little bit crazy right there. So when I tried to look again, the guy was already down,” the witness said.Tuesday’s attack came five months after a US Navy veteran plowed a car into pedestrians in Times Square, killing an 18-year-old woman from Michigan and injuring 22 other people on 18 May in what de Blasio said was not an act of terror.Previously, the most serious security breach in New York since Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani immigrant, plant a car bomb in Times Square on 1 May 2010.His explosive device failed to detonate and he was arrested shortly after boarding a flight to the Middle East. He pleaded guilty and said he was aiming to avenge deaths from US missiles fired from drones operating over Pakistan.He was sentenced to life behind bars.last_img read more

Festive season style tips for kids

first_imgDressing up children for a festive occasion can be a tedious task for many parents. So how about dressing them differently this time? Experts list down some options in festive dressing for children so that you don’t spend time breaking your head over dressing of your children this festive season: Get playful with colours: There is no second thought about guessing the fact that most children love vibrant colours. Let your children be a reminder of the gaiety and fun of the festivals. Dress them up in outfits that are cheerful and vibrant while being tastefully matched. Monochromatic suits and dresses may look classy but stylish outfits that pop out are the best match for little ones. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfComfort is the key: Festivals are about having fun, run about and playful pranks. Children on the occasion of festivals are particularly happier when they see their cousins and families together and lift the spirits of the house with their indulgence. So stick to dressing them up in comfortable festive outfits rather than heavy ornamental ones which limit their movements and cause exhaustion before they even start their play.Let it be formal: Nehru jacket paired with simple shirt-trousers and dresses or gowns for the little ladies may ooze class while still keeping it festive. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveAccessorise: Festive outfits are no fun without the accessories that go with it. Spend some time to accessorize your child’s outfit and give attention to detail. Girls have numerous combinations of peripherals according to the occasion while boys can jazz it up with suitable traditional headgear, watches and even matching footwear.Do not hesitate: The number one rule for dressing your loved ones is not to hesitate to try out a few things. If budget is not a constraint, be bold enough to look for festive inspirations from designers or a little Do it Yourself (DIY) will do wonders. Tastefully mixing and matching different aspects of fashion may result in a stand-out outfit for your next occasion and makes your kid the star of the show. Let them express themselves: If your child is used to picking their own outfits regularly, let them taste sensible festive fashion by asking them what they feel like wearing in the next festival. If your little one is above 8-9 years of age, it is great if you let your little one choose his or her next outfit, let them make mistakes and teach them a tip or two about dressing while making it a great occasion for bonding over festive fashion.last_img read more