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Alma Cocina – more Peruvian in the Mission

first_img 0% We are such a lucky neighborhood.  We have so many options for places to eat, at every price point and with such a variety of cuisines. Especially Peruvian! Almost everyone knows a Peruano, if you’ve lived in the Mission long enough, and I hope almost everyone has had Peruvian food.  Our newest addition to the Pantheon is Alma Cocina, which opened only a couple of months ago, in the former La Parrilla Grill space at 24th and Folsom. Alma is a little different, as far as I can tell, from other Peruvian restaurants in the area. First off, there’s not a single Peruvian tchotchke. The space is modern, with reclaimed wood and clean lines abounding, yet it feels casual and welcoming.Alma interior.Chef Alex Reccio has a lot of experience, both in the Bay Area and in his native Peru. He worked for a long while at Limon, another (perhaps more traditional) Peruvian restaurant in the Mission, and then took some time to go back to his homeland to work with renowned chefs there. Energized, he returned to San Francisco to make his long-held dream come true: his own restaurant, cooking the food he loves. It appears to me that Chef Reccio is trying to up the ante of his country’s cuisine by making it healthier and more accessible to people who follow vegetarian, paleo or gluten-free lifestyles.We started out with a glass of sangria made with Lillet Rouge, while the BF had Cristal (a Peruvian lager): We shared a ceviche — the Costeño, served in the coastal cities of Peru, with white fish, calamari, shrimp and octopus, in “leche de tigre” (“tiger’s milk” — the combination of lime and fish juices that emanate from the marinade) and toasted choclo, the big white corn grown in the Andes.Alma ceviche Costeño.Very fresh, great textures, a bit spicy, and I loved the pureed sweet potato that added a hint of sweetness.  For his main, the BF ordered Andean-style chicharron with uchucuta sauce — a creamy sauce made with rocoto, a small Peruvian pepper with a heat level about the same as a scotch bonnet or habanero — and huacatay, an Andean herb that is a cross between mint and cilantro in flavor.  Alma pork belly.The crispy pork leaned on potatoes confit, topped with an onion salad and queso fresco. I thought his pork was divine! The sauce tasted like a slightly spicy gravy, so it was a pretty homey dish.I got their signature pollo a la brasa (spit-roasted chicken), a Peruvian staple, but I was perplexed why it didn’t come with the typical aji verde, which in my experience is its standard companion.  Yes, it came with aji amarillo, and chimichurri, both of which were good, but nothing beats a garlicky aji verde with roast chicken. The chicken came with two sides, and I picked the arroz chaufa and the yuca frita: Alma pollo a la braza with arroz chaufa.Alma yuca frita.Arroz chaufa is Chinese fried rice.  There is quite a large Chinese community in Peru, going back hundreds of years (Japanese, too), and Chinese food is so common there, it’s been integrated in a sort of fusion-y style.  The rice here was flavorful, though I didn’t really need the crunchy “noodles.”  The yuca frita was nice and crispy, and the aji amarillo was the perfect spunky sauce for it.  As for the chicken, I only wanted it to have crispier skin, but perhaps it had sat a little while. Otherwise, it was good, tender and moist. You can choose between dark and light meat, a quarter chicken, half a chicken, or a whole chicken.On our second visit, a Monday night, the restaurant was much less crowded.  I started with a cocktail.  I went with a Fake News (timely — and bitter, as it should be), made with botanical infused soju, Lillet Blanc, antica, and a sprig of thyme. Alma Fake News cocktail.Loved the sprig of thyme; the aroma floats up to you as you sip the cocktail. Alma has only a beer and wine license, so they’re getting inventive with their cocktails, using sherries, amaros, sakes and sojus to great effect. They also have a nice wine list filled with South American, Spanish and California labels.We split the ceviche Nikkei, a nod to Peru’s history of fusion with Japanese cuisine, which I believe basically means they added soy sauce to the leche de tigre and, in this version, oyster sauce too:Alma Ceviche Nikkei.The marinade had an unexpected sweetness from the oyster sauce, but the ahi tuna was super fresh and they are generous with it.  Again, I absolutely loved the pureed sweet potato, along with the cool chunks of cucumber.The BF ordered what, to me, is my least favorite dish on any Peruvian menu: lomo saltado. It is a hugely popular standard, and I’ve tried to like it for 50 years.  It consists of quick sautéed beef — sirloin or something similar, cut into strips or cubes, cooked over very high heat, seasoned with a little soy, vinegar, and cumin, and then stir-fried with onions and peppers, usually served over rice and often with fried potatoes.   Alma Saltado Criollo.My problem with this dish is that the meat is always tough. Even at the high-end places I’ve tried, the meat is often dry and difficult to chew. My father would order it every single time, and the BF usually does, too. Alma’s was less tough than others, though the BF disagreed with me. (His other complaint was that there wasn’t enough meat, bringing to mind the old joke: “The food here is awful and the portions are so small!” I agreed; they were a little skimpy with the beef.) But Alma’s saltado was much more flavorful than many I’ve tried, and it came with a whole roasted rocoto pepper, and absolutely fantastic truffled mashed potatoes.  Truffled potatoes have really nothing to do with Peruvian cuisine, as far as I know, but who cares?  If this is the way Chef Reccio wants to gussy up his fare, who am I to quibble? I had a main that I was not sure was going to work, but I was curious about it. Another beloved traditional dish, papa a la huancaina, was transformed here. It is typically cold slices of potato with a luscious cheese sauce, and is one of my top three or four Peruvian dishes of all time. Here, Alma seeks to elevate the dish by bathing fettuccini and clams in the cheese sauce (I know, a number of you, particularly Italians, are probably cringing right now), with kalamata olive “dust” and, most curiously of all, cubes of manchego.  Fettucini a la huancaina.The dish was a knock-out.  Everything about it sang in my mouth.  I can’t even tell you why the manchego worked, or the chef’s reasoning for including them; I really thought they would take away from the dish (too much cheese?).  But they didn’t. It was delicate, the pasta perfectly al dente, and the olive dust provided a salty earthiness. And that beautifully cooked egg! This dish, of everything we’ve tried here so far, made me see that Chef Reccio can elevate his country’s cuisine without it becoming too precious, and without resorting to abstract art works on a plate.The BF almost ordered an empanada for his dinner, but decided to get one to go, instead, for a late-night snack (good thing, too, because it wouldn’t have been enough for dinner). Well, of course we broke into it as soon as we got home. Alma empanada.I’m of the school that empanadas should be fried, but this was really very good — chicken, very well spiced, with a half a hard-boiled egg tucked inside, in proper Andean style, with a kalamata aioli to go with.  They make it in vegetarian form, too. A must-try!I was so pleased with all the flavors this evening, I impetuously ordered dessert to go. What a shame, because it must have been a beautiful dish when we left the restaurant, but it got totally beaten up on our walk home. A lovely, dense-yet-light flourless coconut cassava cake was wrapped in banana leaves, and topped with caramel-coated bananas, cajeta whipped cream and vanilla sauce.  So many ways to be too sweet and yet it wasn’t. I don’t even care about desserts, and this was heaven.  The service at Alma is warm and knowledgeable, although we did have to wait a bit between dishes. But they’ve only been open for a few months, so that’s to be expected.  One server told me that they plan to change the menu often, which is always welcome to hear.  With all the Peruvian choices we have here in the Mission, I like Chef Reccio’s vision, and I hope he continues to expand on it.Alma Cocina2801 Folsom St. (corner of 24th & Folsom)San Francisco, CA 94110415.341.0389 center_img Tags: food • restaurant reviews Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

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Thousands in SF march to end family separations at the border

first_img 0% Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter Email Address Tags: immigration • protests Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%center_img Thousands of people marched down Dolores Street on Saturday morning from Dolores Park to Civic Center to protest the Trump Administration’s hardline immigration policies and to demand that he reunite the children and families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border.At present, 2,000 children remain separated from their families, despite a federal judge’s order on Tuesday that those children be reunited with their families within 30 days.“We are people, we are not illegal!” some chanted, as others carried signs denouncing President Donald Trump and the agency in charge of enforcing his border policies, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. By around 11:30 a.m. the army of protesters, marching to the beat of drums, flowed down Market Street and congregated at Civic Center in front of City Hall.Many marched because they or their parents had immigrated to the United States. “It’s affected generations of my family,” said Graciela, 25. “The government is inculcating fear so people can’t raise their voices against it.”  She said when she was nine and living in Chicago, she had to run from her home in the middle of the night out of fear of deportation. “So I know what those kids are feeling,” she said.Corina Aguilar, 28.Corina Aguilar, 28, said her mother had been undocumented for a long time. “When I was a kid, she had to make sure I had someone to watch over me in case she was deported,” Aguillar said. “The fact that this could have happened to me is why I’m here.” Photo by Julian Mark.Brenda Rodriguez, 24, with her son Benjamin, 5.“It’s important to show my son that not everything is like how it is portrayed in school,” said Brenda Rodrigues, who marched with her 5-year-old son. “Kids his age are being separated.” She said her mother came to San Francisco in the 1980s because it was a sanctuary city. “That was us in the ’80s,” she said referring to those crossing the border nowadays.Paty Ruiz-Ortega (left) and her mom, Patricia Ruiz-Ortega (right). Photo by Julian Mark.“The kids don’t have a voice, so we need to be the ones asking for justice for them,” said Patricia Ruiz-Ortega, who was marching with her 19-year-old daughter. “I’m an immigrant and I have kids. I can relate to the immigrant families.” Her daughter, Paty, was grateful for her mother’s decision to come to the United States.  “If she hadn’t made a decision to start a family here, I don’t know where I’d be today,” she said. Desiree Swanson, 33, with her partner and child. Photo by Julian Mark“I have a daughter and a family, so this is important,” said 33-year-old Desiree Swanson. “A lot of my family is from Mexico, so it affects me personally.” She marched alongside her partner and young child. She thought about the effects on the children who remain separated from their parents. “This is something that’s going to affect them for the rest of their lives,” she said. Nadia, 29. Photo by Julian Mark.The march had personal resonance for 29-year-old Nadia, whose parents came from the Philippines to seek a better life. “I’m also married to a previously undocumented immigrant,” she said. “This could have easily been him.”Xela. Photo by Julian Mark.“My mom is an immigrant, and because of her, I’m provided with opportunities today,” said Xela Vargas. She said, when her mother was six, she came to the United States from Mexico. “Her finding citizenship was super hard,” she said. “Whatever I can do to help the children being separated at the border is important to me,” she added. Photo by Julian Mark.Photo by Julian Mark.By 11:30 a.m., protesters had congregated at City Hall. Photo by Joe Eskenazi.last_img read more

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JAMES Roby took home the Top Metre Maker Award at

first_imgJAMES Roby took home the Top Metre Maker Award at last night’s Man of Steel dinner.He recorded 3,971 metres in the Regular Season but was pipped to the main accolade by Wigan’s Sam Tomkins.Zak Hardaker was named Young Player of the Year ahead of Saints’ own Josh Jones and Bradford Bulls second rower John Bateman.Former Saints Head Coach, Mick Potter, was named Super League Coach of the Year for his work with Bradford thi s year in the most testing of circumstances.The full awards were:Top metre maker – James Roby (St Helens) with 3,971 metresTop try-scorer – Josh Charnley (Wigan Warriors) with 31 triesHit man – Danny Washbrook (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats) with 991 tackles.Lifetime Achievement – Danny Orr (Castleford Tigers, Wigan Warriors, Harlequins), Ryan Hudson (Castleford Tigers, Huddersfield Giants, Wakefield Trinity), Ben Jeffries (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, Bradford Bulls), Carnegie Community Champion – Danny McGuire (Leeds Rhinos)Club of the Year – Wigan WarriorsMike Gregory Spirit of Rugby League – Jamie Peacock MBE (Leeds Rhinos)Young Player of the Year – Zak Hardaker (Leeds Rhinos)Coach of the Year – Mick Potter (Bradford Bulls)Man of Steel – Sam Tomkins (Wigan Warriors)last_img read more

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SAINTS have announced their 19man squad for Frida

first_imgSAINTS have announced their 19-man squad for Friday’s First Utility Super League clash with Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.Adam Swift returns to the side in place of Luke Thompson.Nathan Brown will choose from:2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Jordan Turner (pictured), 4. Josh Jones, 5. Adam Swift, 8. Mose Masoe, 9. James Roby, 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 11. Sia Soliola, 13. Willie Manu, 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 15. Mark Flanagan, 16. Kyle Amor, 17. Paul Wellens, 18. Alex Walmsley, 22. Mark Percival, 24. Gary Wheeler, 26. Matty Dawson, 27. Greg Richards, 38. Shannon McDonnell.James Webster will choose his Wakefield side from:3. Dean Collis, 5. Reece Lynne, 6. Paul Sykes, 8. Scott Anderson, 9. Paul McShane, 10. Andy Raleigh, 11. Ali Lauitiiti, 12. Danny Kirmond, 13. Danny Washbrook, 14. Matt Wildie, 17. Taulima Tautai, 20. Jarrod Sammut, 23. Daniel Smith, 25. Max Jowitt, 26. Jon Molloy, 31. Chris Riley, 33. Richard Owen, 34. Lee Gilmour, 35. Tim Smith.The game kicks off at 8pm and the referee will be Phil Bentham.Tickets for the match remain on sale from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or by logging on here.last_img read more

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YEAR 10 pupils from Cowley International College a

first_imgYEAR 10 pupils from Cowley International College are the current cohort of GCSE students to participate in the ‘Introduction to Rugby League Coaching’ programme delivered by St.Helens R.F.C. community coaching staff.Supported by the Sky Sports Rugby League Foundation, the scheme is designed to help strengthen the links between High Schools, Primary Schools and their local Community Rugby League clubs and will see the pupils assist feeder Primary Schools in a mini touch rugby festival held at Pilkington Recs. ARLFC.The Cowley pupils taking part in the programme are: Zack Aldred, James Bridge, Callum Cooke, Jamie Ellis, Kieran Hudson, Keiran Jones, James Khan, Andrew Lee, Connor Lees, Bradley Lloyd, Nathan Lowe, Leon McCugh, Jamie Morris, John Muldoon, Connor Platt, Kamron-Lea Powell, Jamie Smith and Benn Twiss.last_img read more

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first_imgWe have three huge home fixtures on the horizon – first up, Warrington Wolves (Friday 12 April) followed by Hull FC (Easter Monday 22 April) and finally Catalans Dragons (Sunday 28 April)As we prepare to go to WAR with the Wolves in less than two weeks time, the game is an ideal opportunity to be part of a huge clash between the two pace setters in the 2019 Betfred Super League!The Hull FC and Catalans games both take place on a Bank Holiday and Sunday respectively meaning it’s an ideal opportunity for new family and friends to come and be part of the action!2019 Members who have not already used the benefit, can secure their £5 ticket by visiting the ticket office at the Totally Wicked Stadium.You must present your 2019 Membership card to take advantage of the benefit.Please note: terms and conditions apply, only valid for a single match ticket at 2019 home regular Super League matches, excluding Wigan and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or hospitality.last_img read more

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This is a great start Local Starbucks customers react to racial bias

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — If you went out this evening for a cup of coffee at Starbucks you may have noticed it was closed. The reason for the temporary closure, Starbucks had racial bias training for its employees.“This is a great start, what they’re doing. I think it’s a hot topic and really big deal nationwide right now,” customer, Jacob Holland said. “So any efforts they can make in a positive direction I think it’s definitely beneficial for them and their customers.”- Advertisement – This move comes after the arrest of two African American men in a Philadelphia Starbucks which sparked an outcry of discrimination across the nation.“I like the fact that they are closing down their stores,” customer, Mya Huggins said. “I feel like it’s something that another major company or organization hasn’t done as of yet. I do honestly want to know what they’re talking about.”The training aims to help employees understand the history of racial discrimination and racial bias in public areas.Related Article: City leaders approve new apartments, retail at vacant movie theater site“What are you going to learn from those four hours,” Huggins asked. “How are things going to change?”A major concern about the training session is whether it will make a difference.“I do feel like it is something that you can’t teach someone,” customer, Laasia Payne said. “It’s all within the person. But I do like how they’re taking initiative and how they are showing people like, ‘Hey. We really do care.’”Overall many customers think the training is a step in the right direction.“I feel like a lot of other organizations wouldn’t have done this,” Huggins said. “They would have let it die down or hired someone to get rid of it or anything like that. So I really admire them.”Nearly 200,000 Starbucks employees participated in today’s racial bias training in 8,000 stores and offices across the nation.last_img read more

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UPDATE Police suspend search for mother and son

first_imgNEW HANOVER COUNTY (WWAY) — Wilmington Police Department say they are suspending their search for a mother and son who were last seen late Friday afternoon.The mother, Jennie Bartholomew, 35 was last seen with her 2 year old son, Arthur, leaving Casey’s Buffet at 5559 Oleander Drive around 4 p.m. Friday.- Advertisement – Police ended the search Sunday evening saying on social media:UPDATE: June 10, 6:30 p.m.: After consulting Jennie Bartholomew’s attorney, who says the pair are safe in an undisclosed location, we are suspending our investigation.— Wilmington Police (@WilmingtonPD) June 10, 2018last_img read more

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UNSOLVED Man found beaten to death shortly after coming out in 1986

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Wilmington Police Department is looking for answers in a 1986 murder.Randy Hockabout was found dead in a park on South Front Street near his car in January 1986.- Advertisement – “I would just love to hug him one more time, but I know that’s not going to happen,” Patricia Rongotes said.Patricia Rongotes would give anything for just one more moment, one more conversation, one more memory with her brother Randy.“We went from school together, to graduation together to getting married the same year,” Rongotes said. “Me and him was so close and I’ve never been close to anybody like I was him.”Related Article: Body cam video from NC ‘accidental’ officer-involved shooting releasedOn January 25th 1986, Rongotes lost her best friend.“His car was nose down in the little creek by the railroad track,” Rongotes said.This was not a car accident. It was a murder. Detective Joshua Childress with the Wilmington Police Department said a few people found Hockabout’s body next to his car in Optimist Park on South Front Street that morning.“The vehicle had been crashed or intentionally set into that creek area partially into the water and the victim who was identified as Randy Hockabout was found pretty much naked and had been beaten very, very badly and he was already deceased when he was found,” Childress said.The day before, Rongotes said Hockabout was at their mom’s house and afterwards went out downtown with some friends.“He left my mom’s house about 2:30,” Rongotes said. “He was going to go to the exxon, get a pack of cigarettes and then he was going to go to Burger King to get a cheese burger and then he was supposed to come back home.”Hockabout never returned.“I just don’t know any reason for anybody to do something like that,” Rongotes said.Childress said detectives have one theory.“Mr. Hockabout had come out actually on the news as being homosexual,” Childress said.Hockabout had been married and had a child and then, later divorced.“We all knew he was gay, but that didn’t make a difference to us,” Rongotes said. He was my brother still.”Childress said it was the 80s.“At a time where that really wasn’t as accepted as it is now and due just to the violence of this case and just how horrifically beaten he was, we couldn’t help but wonder if that had something to do with why the suspect or suspects did what they did,” Childress said.Rongotes does not think that is the case.“I just think it was some people,” Rongotes said. “They said, ‘we found somebody to play with’ and they went too far.”After 32 years, Childress said detectives are still looking at all the possibilities.“We get some leads every now and then. We also have some new, potentially new ways that we can test old evidence that we’re trying to explore,” Childress said.He said the clock is ticking and they need witnesses to come forward whether they are new or old.“Anyone who knew something about where Randy went or heard somebody talk about something that happened back then even if you think maybe we’ve heard it before, it wouldn’t hurt to tell us again especially if it is someone who’s just never spoken to police before,” Childress said.Rongotes said she will not stop looking for answers.“I have stayed on the case for 32 years cause I don’t want him to be forgotten,” Rongotes said.While she hopes police find the person responsible, she said the family has already found forgiveness.“We have forgiven them. We’ve let that go. The anger, the bad feelings toward anybody we knew did this,” Rongotes said.She said they just want know why.“We want closure,” Rongotes said.If you have any information, please call the Wilmington Police Department.last_img read more

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Officials Swimming OK at some North Carolina beaches

first_img On Saturday, the state Recreational Water Quality Program lifted a precautionary advisory for swimming sites on Ocracoke Island. A day earlier, officials announced that bacteria levels at most ocean swimming sites in Carteret, Pender and Onslow counties meet state and federal standards for water contact.The department says a swimming alert remains in effect for ocean beaches and sound-side waters along Hyde, New Hanover and Brunswick Counties.Water-quality testing is ongoing. Carolina Beach (Photo: WWAY) MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. (AP) — In the aftermath of Florence, officials say bacteria are at levels safe for swimming along some North Carolina beaches.Earlier this month, state environmental officials had urged the public to avoid swimming in any coastal waters, warning that excessive rains and flooding from the storm may cause high bacteria levels.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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Business owners could qualify for more tax credits than they think

first_img One expert says many business owners do not even know that they could qualify for certain tax breaks.Michelle Nice is a business profit consultant. She says owners could qualify for thousands of dollars.Nice says these credits could be towards things like property taxes and building expenses.Related Article: Homeowners still have to pay property taxes despite hurricane or flood damageOne owner says any tax credits could mean quite a lot for him.“If I can get any type of reimbursement, incentive or anything back on my business that I lost, that would mean a great deal to me. but me, being a business owner, you still have to pay taxes and every single thing. And at the end of the year, you’re hit with everything dealing with a business,” said Shannon Ward, who owns OSC Automotive and Repair.Ward says he suffered major storm damage. He says he has spent at least $70,000 out of his own pocket on repairs.Michelle Nice is partnering with The Greater Topsail Area Chamber of Commerce to host a workshop for business owners in January. Nice encourages all owners who suffered losses from the storm to come out. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — If you are a business owner that lost money from Hurricane Florence, you might be able to get some breaks on your taxes this year.Tax experts say business owners could be missing out on different kinds of tax breaks. For some owners who lost quite a lot from Florence, these credits could go a long way.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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Whiteville man killed in motorcycle crash identified

first_img Benjamen Kyle Price was killed in a motorcycle accident in Whiteville on 6/15/19.(Photo: Danny Price) Hinz says Price was driving eastbound on Smyrna Rd. when he crashed into a car making a left hand turn. The driver of that car has been identified as Darrien Tramaine Frink, 28.Frink was cited for “Failure to Yield Right of Way.”Price’s brother Danny tells WWAY Price was on his way to a benefit ride for a little boy dealing with medical problems when the crash occurred. He leaves behind two daughters.Related Article: Whiteville cracks down on tobacco use in city building, vehiclesDanny Price says a visitation will be held Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. and the funeral will be held Wednesday at 3:00 p.m.Both services will be at Worthington’s Funeral Home in Chadbourn and are open to the public. WHITEVILLE, NC (WWAY) — A 27-year-old motorcyclist who died after crashing into a car in Whiteville Saturday has been identified.Whiteville Police spokesman Major William Hinz says the victim has been identified as Benjamen Kyle Price.- Advertisement – Benjamen Kyle Price was killed in a motorcycle accident in Whiteville on 6/15/19.(Photo: Danny Price) Benjamen Kyle Price was killed in a motorcycle accident in Whiteville on 6/15/19.(Photo: Danny Price)last_img read more

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PN to kickstart EP and local council election campaigns on Easter Monday

first_imgPartit Nazzjonalista leader Adrian Delia declared that on Easter Monday the PN will be embarking on a 5-week voyage that will see his party closer to the general population.During his Easter greetings’ message, Delia said that during the European Parliament and local councils electoral campaign, the PN will be offering hope to all those that have been negatively affected by the Government’s actions.Referring to Easter, the PN leader said that these are days where the Maltese identity is at its best also through religious traditions. Adrian Delia said that an estimated 20,000 individuals actively participate in various celebrations that mark this spring festivity. <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> WhatsAppcenter_img SharePrintlast_img read more

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Sri Lanka imposes emergency says international network involved in attacks

first_imgPolice officers work at the scene in St. Sebastian Catholic Church, after bomb blasts ripped through churches and luxury hotels on Easter, in Negambo, Sri Lanka April 22, 2019. REUTERS/Athit PerawongmethaPolice officers work at the scene in St. Sebastian Catholic Church, after bomb blasts ripped through churches and luxury hotels on Easter, in Negambo, Sri Lanka April 22, 2019. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha Sri Lanka said on Monday it was invoking emergency powers in the aftermath of devastating bomb attacks on hotels and churches, blamed on militants with foreign links, in which 290 people were killed and nearly 500 wounded.The emergency law, which gives police and the military extensive powers to detain and interrogate suspects without court orders, will go into effect at midnight on Monday, the president’s office said.Colombo, the seaside capital of the Indian Ocean island, was jittery on Monday. Police said 87 bomb detonators were found at the city’s main bus station, while an explosive went off near a church where scores were killed on Sunday when bomb squad officials were trying to defuse it.A night curfew will go into effect at 8 p.m., the government announced.There was no claim of responsibility for the attack but suspicion was focusing on Islamist militants in the Buddhist-majority country.Investigators said seven suicide bombers took part in the attacks while a government spokesman said an international network was involved.Police had received a tip-off of a possible attack on churches by a little-known domestic Islamist group some 10 days ago, according to a document seen by Reuters.The intelligence report, dated April 11 and seen by Reuters, said a foreign intelligence agency had warned authorities of possible attacks on churches by the leader of the group, the National Thawheed Jama’ut. It was not immediately clear what action, if any, was taken on the tip-off.Police said 24 people had been arrested, all of whom were Sri Lankan, but they gave no more details.International anti-terrorism experts said even if a local group had carried out the attacks, it was likely that al Qaeda or Islamic State were involved, given the level of sophistication.Two of the suicide bombers blew themselves up at the luxury Shangri-La Hotel on Colombo’s seafront, said Ariyananda Welianga, a senior official at the government’s forensic division. The others targeted three churches and two other hotels.A fourth hotel and a house in a suburb of the capital Colombo were also hit, but it was not immediately clear how those attacks were carried out.“Still the investigations are going on,” Welianga said.Most of the attacks came during Easter services and when hotel guests were sitting down for breakfast buffets.“Guests who had come for breakfast were lying on the floor, blood all over,” an employee at Kingsbury Hotel told Reuters.Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said an international network was involved, but did not elaborate.“We do not believe these attacks were carried out by a group of people who were confined to this country,” Senaratne said. “There was an international network without which these attacks could not have succeeded.”The president, Maithripala Sirisena, said in a statement the government would seek foreign assistance to track the overseas links.Sri Lanka was at war for decades with ethnic minority Tamil separatists, most of them Hindu, but violence had largely ended since the government victory in the civil war, 10 years ago.Sri Lanka’s 22 million people include minority Christians, Muslims and Hindus.  People who live near the church that was attacked yesterday, leave their houses as the military try to defuse a suspected van before it exploded, in Colombo, Sri Lanka April 22, 2019. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte The mother of Shaini, 13, who died as bomb blasts ripped through churches and luxury hotels on Easter, mourns at her wake, in Negombo, Sri Lanka April 22, 2019. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha A family who lives near the church that was attacked yesterday, leave their house as the military try to defuse a suspected van before it exploded, in Colombo, Sri Lanka April 22, 2019. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte People who live near the church that was attacked yesterday, go down as the military try to defuse a suspected van before it exploded, in Colombo, Sri Lanka April 22, 2019. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte Relatives of victims of the explosion at St. Anthony’s Shrine, Kochchikade church react at the police mortuary in Colombo, Sri Lanka April 22, 2019. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte The mother of Shaini, 13, who died as bomb blasts ripped through churches and luxury hotels on Easter, mourns at her wake, in Negombo, Sri Lanka April 22, 2019. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha A security officer stands guard in front of St Anthony’s shrine in Colombo, after bomb blasts ripped through churches and luxury hotels on Easter, in Sri Lanka April 22, 2019. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte A view of the damage at St. Sebastian Catholic Church, after bomb blasts ripped through churches and luxury hotels on Easter, in Negambo, Sri Lanka April 22, 2019. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha Police officers work at the scene at St. Sebastian Catholic Church, after bomb blasts ripped through churches and luxury hotels on Easter, in Negambo, Sri Lanka April 22, 2019. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha Police officers work at the scene in St. Sebastian Catholic Church, after bomb blasts ripped through churches and luxury hotels on Easter, in Negambo, Sri Lanka April 22, 2019. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha Special Task Force Bomb Squad officers inspect the site of an exploded van near a church that was attacked yesterday in Colombo, Sri Lanka April 22, 2019. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte The mother of Shaini, 13, who died as bomb blasts ripped through churches and luxury hotels on Easter, mourns at her wake, in Negombo, Sri Lanka April 22, 2019. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha Relatives of victims of the explosion at St. Anthony’s Shrine, Kochchikade church react at the police mortuary in Colombo, Sri Lanka April 22, 2019. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte Friends and relatives mourn for Mary Noman Shanthi, 58, and Rohan Marselas Wimanna, 59, who died as bomb blasts ripped through churches and luxury hotels on Easter, in Negombo, Sri Lanka April 22, 2019. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha Special Task Force Bomb Squad officers inspect the site of an exploded van near a church that was attacked yesterday in Colombo, Sri Lanka April 22, 2019. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte Relatives of victims of the explosion at St. Anthony’s Shrine, Kochchikade church try to identify bodies of their close ones at the police mortuary in Colombo, Sri Lanka April 22, 2019. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte The injured grandmother of Shaini, 13, who died as bomb blasts ripped through churches and luxury hotels on Easter, mourns at her wake, in Negombo, Sri Lanka April 22, 2019. REUTERS/Athit PerawongmethaFOREIGN VICTIMSMost of the dead and wounded were Sri Lankans although government officials said 32 foreigners were killed, including British, U.S., Australian, Turkish, Indian, Chinese, Danish, Dutch and Portuguese nationals.Denmark’s richest man Anders Holch Povlsen and his wife lost three of their four children in the attacks, a spokesman for his fashion firm said.A British mother and son at breakfast at the Shangri-La, British media reported, while five Indian political workers were killed at the same hotel, relatives told Indian media.The hotel said several guests and three employees were killed.The U.S. State Department said in a travel advisory “terrorist groups” were plotting possible attacks in Sri Lanka and targets could include tourist spots, transport hubs, shopping malls, hotels, places of worship and airports.There were fears the attacks could spark communal violence, with police reporting late on Sunday there had been a petrol bomb attack on a mosque in the northwest and arson attacks on two shops owned by Muslims in the west.BOMB FOUND NEAR AIRPORTTraffic was uncharacteristically thin in normally bustling Colombo after an island-wide curfew was lifted earlier Monday.Soldiers with automatic weapons stood guard outside major hotels and the World Trade Centre in the business district, a Reuters witness said.An Australian survivor, identified only as Sam, told Australia’s 3AW radio the hotel was a scene of “absolute carnage”.He said he and a travel partner were having breakfast at the Shangri-La when two blasts went off. He said he had seen two men wearing backpacks seconds before the blasts.“There were people screaming and dead bodies all around,” he said. “Kids crying, kids on the ground, I don’t know if they were dead or not, just crazy.”There were similar scenes of carnage at two churches in or near Colombo, and a third church in the northeast town of Batticaloa, where worshippers had gathered. Pictures showed bodies on the ground and blood-spattered pews and statues.Dozens were killed in a blast at the Gothic-style St Sebastian church in Katuwapitiya, north of Colombo. Police said they suspected it was a suicide attack.Questions over why the intelligence report warning was not acted upon could feed into a feud between Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the president.Sirisena fired the premier last year and installed opposition strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa in his stead. Weeks later, he was forced to re-instate Wickremesinghe because of pressure from the Supreme Court but their relationship is still fraught as a presidential election nears.WhatsApp SharePrint <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

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Lets lobby against Omzigts report – Manwel Mallia

first_img <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> Labour MP and former Labour Minister Manwel Mallia Thursday morning appealed to fellow MPs to use the Summit of the Southern EU Countries to lobby against the Omzigt’s report. The summit will be held in Malta tomorrow Friday.Mallia made the appeal in a message posted Thursday morning on a  WhatsApp group for the members of the Malta delegation to the Council of Europe. Besides Mallia, the members of the group are tvhe Labour MPs Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi, Etienne Grech and Rosianne Cutajar together with the PN MPs Carm Mifsud Bonnici and Jason Azzopardi. Another member is the Clerk of the Delegation from Malta.Draft report approved, Mallia’s amendments refusedDutch MP Pieter Omtzigt had been appointed as rapporteur by the Council of Europe to report to the Council in the wake of the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia and the investigation that followed.The report is titled “Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination and the rule of law, in Malta and beyond: ensuring that the whole truth emerges”. The report was adopted on Wednesday 29 May by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Legal Affairs Committee during a meeting in Paris. The report will be debated by the Plenary Assembly in Strasbourg on Wednesday 26 June.Labour MP Manwel Mallia represented the Government during the Paris meeting and presented many amendments to the text in order to water the tone down. The amendments of Mallia were not approved.What does the report say?The draft report concludes that the rule of law in Malta is seriously undermined by ‘the extreme weaknesses of its system of checks and balances’. It states that the police have consistently failed to investigate persons such as Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi and the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff Keith Schembri, both of which were frequent subjects of Caruana Galizia’s investigations. Noting that such individuals (Schembri, Mizzi and also Brian Tonna of Nexia BT) ‘seem to enjoy impunity’ under the Prime Minister’s ‘personal protection’.Read: ‘If Malta cannot or will not correct its weaknesses, European institutions must intervene’ – CoEReport on Caruana Galizia assassination and Malta’s rule of law approved by PACE committeeIn its conclusion, the Assembly warns that Malta’s weaknesses in its checks and balances, poses vulnerability not only to the country itself but also to the European bloc, reminding that Maltese citizenship is also European citizenship and banks licensed in Malta are given access to the European banking system.The Malta government criticized the report saying that it was riddled with inaccuracies.Read also: Daphne’s Assassination: Council of Europe following proceedings‘Unprecedented that the CoE looks into an EU member state’ – OmtzigtWhatsApp SharePrintlast_img read more

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Police investigating assault on bus driver

first_img SharePrint <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> A bus driver has been assaulted by a passenger after allegedly the driver after they refused to let him off the bus at a particular stop.A spokesperson from Malta Public Transport told that the accident took place on the 18th of June in Rabat. She said that from the information they have in hand, the passenger can be seen ringing the bell after the bus had already passed by the particular bus stop. The passenger can be seen leaving his seat and approaching the driver and speaking to him.The spokesperson said that the driver then stopped speaking to the passenger when he arrived at the next bus stop, and the passenger was seen approaching the door in order to exit the bus, when suddenly he approached the driver once again. She said that at that moment in time, the passenger spat on the driver. The passenger then got off the bus and the driver closed the bus door.She explained that the CCTV recording then shows the driver looking through the mirrors, opening the door and leaving the bus. It was here that, according to the spokesperson, the argument took place which was not recorded by the CCTV cameras since this happened in the street.A spokesperson from the Malta Police also confirmed the case with, whereby he explained that the bus driver filed a report with the Police on the 19th of June, where he said that he was attacked whilst carrying out his job and that he suffered light injuries. A police investigation is underway in order to try and find the aggressor.“Violence is never tolerated” – MPTThe spokesperson for the Malta Public Transport highlighted with that the company considers cases such as these as very serious and that it does not tolerate violence and it takes every action permissible by law against the aggressor.She explained that the company continuously invests in the drivers’ security, which have the facility of communicating with the Control Room in cases such as these, in order to enable the authorities and assistance to be sent to the place of the incident. Meanwhile she said that the drivers are all given training on how to react in cases such as this, in order to avoid all sorts of conflicts where possible.Therefore, the company condemned this violent attack and offered its support to the driver.WhatsApplast_img read more

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Atlético Madrid triumph in Uefa Super Cup showdown

first_img SharePrint <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=a7617b59&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> Real Madrid’s first competitive match since Cristiano Ronaldo was allowed to leave for Juventus ended in a 4-2 loss. Atlético Madrid, last season’s UEFA Europa League winners, went ahead after just 49 seconds thanks to Diego Costa. Karim Benzema equalized for Real Madrid in the 27th minute.Defender Sergio Ramos scored a penalty after 63 minutes to gift Real Madrid the lead before Costa scored his second of the night in the closing stages of the match. Saúl Ñíguez and Koke scored in the first half of extra time to give Diego Simeone his seventh trophy as Atlético Madrid manager.WhatsApplast_img read more

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67 migrants to be disembarked in Malta

first_img SharePrint <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> Miguela XuerebMiguela Xuereb 67 migrants are to be disembarked in Malta this afternoon after being rescued by the Armed Forces of Malta.The disembarkation, which is understood to be of mostly men, marks the second rescue in just under 24 hours.Yesterday a group of 76 migrants were rescued and brought to Malta. They are understood to have originated from Guinea, Ghana and South Sudan.Watch: 76 migrants disembark at HaywharfThursday’s rescue also follows reports of a rescue which took place of around 150 migrants from a group of around 250 that were involved in a capsizing event. One hundred are believed to have drowned.Updated: Over 100 migrants believed to have died off Libya – UNHCRToday’s rescue and disembarkation will the third this month.Watch: Updated: 44 migrants including 3 children, disembarked in MaltaWhatsApplast_img read more

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Orange launches AFCON mobile app

first_imgAdvertisement International network operator Orange last week released an official Africa Cup of Nation (AFCON) app, Orange AFCON, SOUTH AFRICA 2013, containing updates offered by social media networks.Orange AFCON offers users access to exclusive video content of the matches, competing against the coverage offered by social communities like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. – Advertisement – An AFCON Facebook page, Twitter feed and MyAfricanFootball Channel on YouTube will all be keeping football fans in the loop.Available at the iTune App Store and Google Play, the app is free to download.The app was launched by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in collaboration with exclusive marketing and TV agent SPORTFIVE Africa and is sponsored by Orange and Pepsi.AFCON, Africa’s biggest sporting event, kicked off last Friday.Information from HumanIPO was used in this report.last_img read more

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Esignatures The complete guide to paperless signing

first_imgAdvertisement Your best-laid plans of going paperless come to a screeching halt when you need to get someone’s signature on a document. That process typically involves printing the document, signing it yourself, faxing it to the other party, and waiting for them to print, sign, and fax it back—where it’s printed yet a third time and filed away in a cabinet forever.It’s an antiquated regimen. It’s busy work. But there is a better way.Electronic signature schemes have become big business. In fact, the e-signing sector is on track to grow north of $5 billion by the end of the decade, according to DocuSign CMO Dustin Grosse. E-signing tools represent a high-tech and much-needed response to the vast inefficiencies of dealing with physical signatures. – Advertisement – While systems vary from provider to provider, the general idea behind them is the same. You upload a document—Word, PDF, or even an image file—to an online service, then tag it with special annotations where signatures eventually need to go. The service sends this marked-up file to your specified recipients, who then “sign” it with a few clicks, either with stock cursive fonts or with a scrawl they draw using their mouse (or a finger, using a tablet) on the fly. When finished, the signed file is sent back to you, mission accomplished.Users are signing e-contracts in droves. EchoSign says it is now processing 1.5 million documents a month, and that number is going up.Is this actually legal?It sure sounds fast and convenient—and it beats the heck out of dealing with registered mail—but are e-signed contracts legal? Will they hold up in court the same way an ink-stained piece of paper will? For the most part, whether you’re a business generating digital documents to be signed, or a consumer signing them with a mouse click, the answer is a definitive yes.The EchoSign setup can record your actual signature with either a mouse or a stylus.The U.S. government actually took the biggest step of resolving the legal issues of e-signatures back in 2000 with the ESIGN Act, which gave electronic signatures the same legal weight as handwritten ones. State law, for the most part, has followed suit in recognizing their validity.As Louisiana attorney Andrew Legrand notes, in that state “in order to constitute an electronic signature, the electronic mark must be 1) made by the person with 2) the intent to sign the record. It’s not much different from a handwritten signature. Essentially, it’s not the actual mark but the meaning behind the mark that’s important.”Are e-signatures good enough for everything? Almost. Legrand says, “The only documents I keep originals of are wills and promissory notes. These are the only two documents that I would be worried about only having digital copies. They’re just too important.”How seriously do the courts take electronic signatures? Says Legrand, “It’s important to recognize that federal judges use digital signatures on all their orders. As you may or may not be aware, these courts are paperless. When a judge ‘signs’ an order, they use PDF software to place an electronic stamp of their signature onto the order. Would the federal courts be using electronic signatures if they thought they carried any less weight than a handwritten signature?”Indeed, most courts have backed that up with rulings that e-signatures are just as legit as ink ones.But who’s doing the signing? Aside from a few key legal documents—if you’re finalizing your prenup you’ll probably want it done on paper—most contracts can be safely dealt with via electronic means. The exception is anything that requires notarization.Indeed, a signature isn’t just a mark that says you agree to the terms of a contract or financial transaction. It also serves to verify your identity—that’s why you have to sign credit card receipts, after all. But in many of these cases, identity isn’t really that big of a deal. In cases where it is—major financial transactions, business operations, or legal filings—a notary is required to ensure that you, the person signing the document, are actually who you claim to be.That’s a problem with e-signing. To date, electronic signature services haven’t come up with a great alternative to the notary, which remains an archaic and time-consuming throwback that will likely be with us for decades to come. For now, in many high-dollar transactions, e-signatures now co-exist with physical ones—and in some cases you’ll find you have to sign a document both ways. Try getting a new home mortgage and you’ll see what I mean.E-signature optionsE-signatures are finding a home on all manner of business documents. From simple service contracts to complex real estate transactions, electronically signed documents are now becoming standard operating procedure.Cheronn Collins, who operates a photo booth rental company in Washington, DC, says she’s used electronic agreements to close 30-plus rentals to date. “Thus far,” she says, “I have not received any negative feedback from my customers.”If you have a document that needs signing, you don’t need to cobble it together on your own. While you technically can send someone a PDF or Word file and ask them to annotate it with a mouse-drawn signature, it may be legal, but it’s a clunky way to get the job done.A variety of cloud-based services have popped up to help you take advantage of the rise in e-signing, making the whole process simple and adding extra features that make contract management easier, and completely online. Many services even offer mobile apps that allow recipients to sign via fingertip on their smartphone or tablet (especially handy for in-person dealings). Pricing may look like it’s all over the place, but most of these services offer a $20-per-user-per-month plan designed to cover small businesses. A basic, five-documents-a-month free trial to get a single user started is also the norm.Here are the major players in e-signing, and here’s how their tools work.DocuSignA major service provider to the real estate industry, Google-backed DocuSign is a straightforward and feature-filled service that any business should find simple. Upload files to DocuSign (DocuSign puts your files in “envelopes” that you can send as a group), then drag and drop signature boxes onto the documents where you want those autographs. DocuSign then emails the documents to the recipients you specify. You can also set reminders that prod your recipients to e-eign, and set documents to expire if they haven’t been signed in a timely fashion. A dashboard lets you keep track of all your outstanding and completed contracts. iOS and Windows 8 tablet versions are available. Plans range from free (very basic service) to $20 per user per month.Signature options for EchoSignAcquired by Adobe in 2011, EchoSign looks and acts a lot like DocuSign, and is comparable to it in most ways. You upload documents, set signature locations (or just specify one signature at the end), and send contracts via email. A simple dashboard lets you track the status of all outgoing and incoming contracts.A couple of interesting features in EchoSign include the ability to incorporate faxed signatures for recipients who prefer to sign by hand, and an extra layer of verification that lets you require the recipient to enter a password you provide or other personal information, such as the last four digits of their Social Security Number. Naturally, integration with various Adobe products makes this an appealing option for PDF-centric shops. iOS and Windows 8 tablet versions are available. Plans range from free (very basic service) to $399 per month.SertifiThis somewhat simpler service isn’t as pretty, but Sertifi has most of the basic features you need in an e-signing system if the two major players above aren’t to your liking. Documents can be signed fully electronically, or printed, signed, and faxed. You won’t find any fancy dashboards here, but files can still be tracked through Sertifi and are archived on the site. Plans range from free (very basic service) to $199 per month.RightSignatureNotable as a somewhat cheaper alternative to the above ($14 a month gets you unlimited sending for a single user instead of the usual $20), RightSignature has all the features of its more expensive counterparts, letting you set field locations for signatures, initials, and dates on complex contracts and specify when contracts expire—though all signatures have to be drawn by hand instead of typed.RightSignature also includes an online form builder, which lets recipients fill out more detailed contract information (phone number, address, and so on), handy if you’re looking to use your e-signature service to generate lots of boilerplate documents that need signatures, such as membership agreements for a gym or rental damage waivers. A dashboard is included. An iOS version is available. Plans range from free (very basic service) to $49 per month (unlimited service for 10 senders).Credit: PC Worldlast_img read more

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