The captain of the BiH national football team and Roma striker Edin Dzeko is again a Milan’s target.Milan is considering Dzeko as an alternative if they fail to bring Pierrea-Emericka Aubameyanga from Borussia Dortmund. After new owners arrived, Rossoneri Vincenzo Montella, a coach, held a three-hour meeting with new club directors Massimiliano Mirabelli and Marco Fassone.The first task of Milan is the sale of Carlos Bacce in order to gather funds for the new reinforcement. Many sources claim that Aubameyang, a great Dortmund player who passed the Milan’s Academy,is really the first choice of Rossoneri.However, Milan has also a plan B if Aubameyang does not come to San Siro, and the plan B is Bosnian Edin Džeko, who is in a fantastic shape.Thirty-one-year-old Džeko is the first shooter of Serie A with 25 goals and seven assists. In 46 matches played this season, Dzeko scored 35 goals.Roma will have to sell one of its best players to maintain financial stability, and Džeko would bring about 18 million euros.(Source: vijesti.ba)
Officials in Key West, Florida have reopened all beaches and parks to residents with some restrictions.Beginning Monday April 27th, Key West residents will be able to take walks and exercise at parks and beaches while still practicing social distancing.“We hope that by easing some restrictions on public spaces our residents can enjoy the natural environment Key West has to offer,” City Manager Greg Veliz said.While the parks and beaches will be reopened, playgrounds and water features will still remain off limits to the public.The city says their next step will be to open up some nonessential businesses but that timeline will be entirely based on Florida’s stay-at-home order being lifted.
Story by John Burton – Photos by Tina ColellaFlooding from Tuesday’s nor’easter that hit all the shore communities in Monmouth County was what those who live and travel through the area have come to know all too well: portions of roads were closed and you proceed through the water at your own and your vehicles’ risk.Sea Bright of course, had the most damage.Nearby Rumson, Oceanport, Monmouth Beach and Long Branch also suffered extreme flooding in some areas, re-routing traffic and rescuing drivers in flooded vehicles.Sea Bright Office of Emergency Management Director C. Read Murphy said of this storm, “This was a little bit stronger than a lot of the nor’easters but a short duration.”And during that brief but heavy storm, some of the borough streets prone to flooding, had as much as two-to-four feet of standing water on them for parts of Tuesday and into late Wednesday morning, he said, extending through three high tides.The areas that had the deepest flooding were some side streets on the borough’s very northern and southern end facing the Shrewsbury River and a portion of Ocean Avenue/state Highway 36, according to Murphy.Oceanport – Monmouth Boulevard“We had some significant flooding in low lying areas similar to other municipalities,” said Borough Administrator/Clerk Thomas Rogers. “The low lying areas are in the south of the borough and requires us to close roadways and detour traffic during the high tides.”“When the tides receded, the roads cleared,” he said. “Today (Wednesday) there was some ponding on some properties. It’s a normal occurrence during a soaking rain.”Oceanport had some significant flooding in the marine area and Monmouth Beach had some flooding on both the Shrewsbury River west end of the borough and some along Ocean Avenue as well.“We had some flooding throughout the town but no major catastrophes,” John O. Bennett III, Oceanport Borough Administrator.The borough closed the usual streets that usually flood Oceanport Ave., Arnold St., and Bridgewaters Drive.“The old borough hall was shown to be unacceptable again,” he said referring to the former borough hall that floods just about during every storm.He confirmed again it would be a problem to retain the existing building,Once the waters receded by 11:30 a.m. Tuesday “everything worked out fine,” Bennett said.Susan Howard, mayor of Monmouth Beach, said, “the water was really high especially along Oceanport Avenue.”“The water was almost level with the tops of the bulkheads,” she said. “But all of us who live here know which way to drive out.”No homes were reported flooded, however, she said.A couple of days prior to Monday night’s and Tuesday’s storm had strong northeast winds, which Murphy said, “exacerbated the water situation,” contributing to the flooding.This is a common occurrence during high tides and storms and borough residents have come to adapt to it, he noted. However, “The biggest problem were people driving thorough the water,” he observed, “and cars breaking down.”That happened to four vehicles, requiring borough employees to haul them out in Sea Bright alone.
A session of the Siyabangena Seminars held in August at Fredman Towers in Sandton. (Image: Siyabangena Seminars)Budding entrepreneurs can expect to engage with successful business leaders at the upcoming Siyabangena Seminars held in KwaMashu, KwaZulu-Natal.Held between 26 and 27 September at Ekhaya Multi Arts Centre, speakers will cover topics ranging from getting your business started to marketing.The seminars are the brainchild of the seminars’ CEO Sibusiso Hlongwane and director Sinenhlanhla Mkhize. It is meant to bring together experienced entrepreneurs and young black businesspeople.Hlongwane believes youth entrepreneurship is the answer to the challenges we are facing in our country. “We need to grow the economy and a great way to achieve this is to see a rise of entrepreneurs coming from our townships and rural villages. This is where the game-changers are, and that’s exactly where we need to go to empower and ignite the young minds.”For Mkhize, taking the seminars to his hometown is and exciting prospect. “KwaMashu has never seen anything like this. We are bringing top businessmen and women to share their knowledge and experience with aspiring entrepreneurs. It will be two days of information and knowledge sharing, and not forgetting the valuable networking.”Speakers will include Jabulani Ngcobo, serial entrepreneur and CEO of CashflowPro; Mpume Langa, head of Absa Private Bank KZN and chairperson of Businesswomen’s Association; and Brian Mpono, project director of 1Source Group and Ukhozi FM contributor.“Siyabangena” is a popular term used by black South African youth which loosely translates to “going in head first”. The term is used by people who take on a task despite knowing there are challenges ahead. It is done to prove that they can and will do it. This is the philosophy that these two entrepreneurs live by.PLAY YOUR PART AMBASSADOR A GUEST SPEAKERPlay Your Part Ambassador, Brian Mpono, will be one of the guests at the seminars.Mpono is a leading figure in green energy; he is executive director at Green Technology Investments and is involved in manufacturing biofuels and converting biomass to energy.Mpono believes with 60% of the population being young and more than half unemployed the development of viable green businesses could provide much needed jobs.Education is also very important to him. “I want to say that maths and science don’t bite, that they will put food on the table. It is sad that so many of our matriculants fill benches in the human sciences and community development faculties rather than the science and engineering faculties. That’s where the future is.”He is now a project director at 1Source, which is a specialised project developer with a focus on infrastructure, energy, agriculture, oil and gas. The company plays a key role in bringing government and the private sector together. “Government is tasked with building an enabling environment and business needs to align itself with this and fill in the gaps. Government doesn’t create jobs – business does,” said Mpono.Towards the end of 2014 he won the inaugural under-35 Maverick Awards for Green Innovators.For more info on the seminars visit www.siyabangenaseminars.co.za or contact 083 714 4595 or 073 750 3246Don’t miss the action on social media too. Log on to www.facebook.com/siyabangenaseminars and @SiyabangenaSA on Twitter.
OTTAWA — A chronology of the SNC-Lavalin controversy, according to public documents, reports and testimony to the House of Commons justice committee:Feb. 19, 2015 – The RCMP lays corruption and fraud charges against Montreal-based engineering and construction firm SNC-Lavalin, over business dealings in Libya. SNC-Lavalin says the charges are without merit and the allegations linked to people no longer with the company. A conviction could bar the company from bidding on federal contracts.Oct. 19 – The Liberals win a federal election. Two weeks later, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau names Jody Wilson-Raybould minister of justice and attorney general of Canada. She is the first Indigenous person to hold the post.March 27, 2018 – The Liberals table a budget bill allowing for “remediation agreements,” plea-bargain-like deals for corporations to avoid criminal proceedings by making reparations for bad behaviour. SNC-Lavalin had lobbied for such a provision in Canadian law.Sept. 4 – The Public Prosecution Service rejects SNC-Lavalin’s request to negotiate a remediation agreement. Wilson-Raybould is told about the decision. No public announcement is made.Sept. 6 – According to Wilson-Raybould’s testimony, Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s chief of staff, Ben Chin, warns his counterpart in Wilson-Raybould’s office, Jessica Prince, of job losses during a Quebec provincial election absent a deal for SNC-Lavalin.Sept. 8 – Justice Department deputy minister Nathalie Drouin provides Wilson-Raybould with a briefing note on the attorney general’s powers on remediation agreements.Sept. 16 – According to Wilson-Raybould’s testimony, officials in the PMO call Prince. They say the Crown prosecutor wants to negotiate an agreement, unlike the director of prosecutions, and suggest a solution before the company’s board meets in four days.Sept. 17 – According to Wilson-Raybould’s testimony, Trudeau asks Wilson-Raybould to “find a solution” for SNC-Lavalin to avoid job losses, talks about the Quebec election and notes that he is a Quebec MP.“Are you politically interfering with my role, my decision as the attorney general? I would strongly advise against it,” Wilson-Raybould says, according to her justice committee testimony. Trudeau says, “No. We just need to find a solution.”Wernick raises the election as well, but he later testifies that he did so to highlight the long-standing convention for the federal government to stay out of provincial campaigns.Sept. 21 – The remediation-agreement provisions come into force.Oct. 9 – The prosecution service confirms it will not negotiate an agreement with SNC-Lavalin. The company challenges the decision in Federal Court.Oct. 15 – According to Wernick’s testimony, he takes a call from Kevin Lynch, the chairman of the board of SNC-Lavalin and a former clerk of the Privy Council. Lynch asks about a remediation agreement and what can be done. He tells Lynch the company’s lawyers will have to deal with the prosecutor.Oct. 26 – According to Wilson-Raybould’s testimony, official Mathieu Bouchard muses to Prince about getting outside legal advice on a deal for SNC-Lavalin. Wilson-Raybould later recounts that Bouchard brings up the need for the Liberals to get re-elected in 2019.Dec. 5 – Wilson-Raybould and Gerry Butts, Trudeau’s principal secretary, meet for dinner at the Chateau Laurier. SNC-Lavalin is discussed, but the two later give differing accounts of the tone of the conversation.Dec. 18 – Prince meets with Butts and Katie Telford, Trudeau’s chief of staff. Afterwards, Prince texts Wilson-Raybould, citing Butts as saying, “there is no solution here that does not involve some interference” after being told what is being proposed is political interference in a prosecution. She cites Telford as saying “we don’t want to debate legalities anymore.”Butts later tells the justice committee that he didn’t — or wouldn’t — have used the word “solution” and denies anything nefarious in his comments. The point of the meeting, and anything said, was about getting a second opinion from someone like a former Supreme Court justice because the law had never been applied before.Dec. 19 – According to Wilson-Raybould, Wernick warns her she is on a collision course with the prime minister and Trudeau wants to get a deal done. Wernick later testifies that he doesn’t recall saying that.Jan. 7, 2019 – Trudeau tells Wilson-Raybould she is being shuffled out of the justice portfolio. Wilson-Raybould says the PMO denies the move is over the SNC-Lavalin file.Jan. 14 – Trudeau shuffles his cabinet. David Lametti, a Montreal MP and former law professor, becomes justice minister. Jane Philpott becomes Treasury Board president. Wilson-Raybould becomes veterans-affairs minister.Feb. 7 – Citing unnamed sources, the Globe and Mail newspaper reports that Trudeau’s aides pressed Wilson-Raybould to intervene in the SNC-Lavalin case. Trudeau calls the allegations false.Feb. 11 – Trudeau says Wilson-Raybould’s continued presence in his cabinet speaks for itself and that he told her any decision on SNC-Lavalin was hers alone. Meanwhile, ethics commissioner Mario Dion launches an investigation.Feb. 12 – Wilson-Raybould resigns from cabinet. Trudeau says she had a duty to tell him about any undue pressure applied to her in her role as attorney general.Feb. 13 – The House of Commons justice committee debates its own probe. Liberals use their majority to push for a narrow hearing that doesn’t include Wilson-Raybould. The Liberals call it a first step in a cautious investigation. The opposition calls it a coverup.Feb. 15 – Trudeau says Wilson-Raybould asked him in September whether he would direct her on SNC-Lavalin. He says he told her he would not.Feb. 18 – Butts resigns. He denies any impropriety but says his presence in the PMO has become a distraction.Feb. 19 – Wilson-Raybould stuns observers by addressing a cabinet meeting. Cabinet confidentiality means nothing can be revealed about why or what was said.Feb. 20 – Trudeau says he is confident probes by Dion and the justice committee will provide an airing of the facts. The Liberals use their majority to defeat an opposition motion calling for a public inquiry.Feb. 21 – Wernick testifies for the first time before the justice committee. He calls allegations of political interference false and even defamatory and says none of his conversations crossed any lines.Feb. 25 – Trudeau partly waives solicitor-client privilege and cabinet confidentiality so Wilson-Raybould can speak publicly, but not about communication with Kathleen Roussel, the director of public prosecutions.Feb. 27 – Wilson-Raybould tells the justice committee she came under “consistent and sustained” pressure — including veiled threats — from the PMO, the Privy Council Office and Morneau’s office to halt the criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin. Trudeau rejects her characterization of events. Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer calls on Trudeau to resign. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh calls for a public inquiry.Feb. 28 – Butts asks to testify before the justice committee.March 1 – Trudeau makes longtime MP Lawrence MacAulay his new veterans-affairs minister, replacing Wilson-Raybould. Marie-Claude Bibeau replaces MacAulay as agriculture minister and Gender Equality Minister Maryam Monsef takes on the additional portfolio of international development. All three express support for Trudeau.March 4 – Philpott quits cabinet, saying she has lost confidence in the way the government has dealt with the ongoing affair and citing her obligation to defend the cabinet as long as she is a part of it. Trudeau names Carla Qualtrough interim Treasury Board president.At a rally in Toronto, Trudeau says the ongoing affair “has generated an important discussion” about how ministers, staff and officials conduct themselves. “Concerns of this nature,” he says, “must be taken very seriously and I can assure you that I am.”March 6 – Butts tells the justice committee that Wilson-Raybould never complained about improper pressure to halt the criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin until Trudeau decided to move her out of her coveted cabinet role as justice minister and attorney general. Wernick disputes parts of her testimony as well. Drouin provides more details about the timeline.March 19 – The justice committee’s next scheduled meeting, which is also federal budget day, when MPs are to debate calling further witnesses. Opposition MPs on the committee have indicated they want to recall Wilson-Raybould as well as several officials from the Prime Minister’s Office.The Canadian Press
Army Secretary Mark Esper last week said one of his priorities for next year’s defense authorization bill was continuing to increase the service’s end strength. “We aim to see by 2028, and certainly sooner than that, an active-duty end strength of greater than 500,000 soldiers with associated growth in the Guard and Reserve,” Esper told reporters while visiting Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. The fiscal 2019 authorization bill, which President Trump is scheduled to sign today, calls for adding 4,000 troops to raise the Army’s active-duty end strength to 487,500. Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee who accompanied Esper, said Congress is open to adding more soldiers beyond the growth included in this year’s defense policy bill, reported Military.com. Photo by John Martinez Dan Cohen AUTHOR