Florida man accused of scouting terror targets and attack weapons

first_imgA 23-year-old Florida man is accused of providing material support to the Islamic State extremist group, attempting to buy multiple weapons and scouting potential targets for an attack in the Tampa Bay area, according to federal prosecutors.Muhammed Momtaz Al-Azhari, a U.S. citizen is charged with attempting to provide material support or resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization.An FBI affidavit says Al-Azhari was recorded expressing his admiration for Omar Mateen, the deceased shooter at the Orlando Pulse nightclub massacre in 2016 that left 49 people dead. Al-Azhari even drove by the location to “scope” it out.A confidential FBI informant, told officials that Al-Azhari said he wanted to kill at least 50 people.The affidavit also details how Al-Azhari negotiated with an undercover FBI employee to purchase a variety of guns and silencers, including an AK-47-style rifle. He also scouted a number of target in the Tampa Bay area.Officials say his phone was filled with multiple videos in regarding the Islamic State group. Another video, the FBI says, shows Al-Azhari in a facemask and pointing a gun at presumably someone on the floor.“Hey you, get on the floor. Get on the floor now. Don’t you move, don’t you move, I’m telling you, I will kill you,” he says in the video.Officials arrested him on Sunday. Police retrieved weapons that were allegedly to be used in an attack.Al-Azhari’s public defender said the government’s charges in the case unfairly attempt to portray him as a terrorist.Al-Azhari had previously been convicted in Saudi Arabia in 2015 of terror-related crimes, including attempting to join a terrorist group. He served three years in prison in Saudi Arabia and then was deported to the U.S., according to the FBI. He lived in California and since 2019 in the Tampa area.If convicted he faces up to 20 years in prison.last_img read more

Evelyn leads South West qualifiers for Grand Medal Final

first_img27 May 2014 Evelyn leads South West qualifiers for Grand Medal Final Cornwall golfer Evelyn Postles – who has been playing golf for just three years –  led the South West qualifiers for the England Golf Grand Medal Final. She won the South West regional medal final at Forest Hills in Goucestershire by three shots, with a net score of one-under 73. She leads 10 qualifiers for the Grand Medal Final at Peterborough Milton Golf Club on June 28. They are: Evelyn Postles  of St Mellion, Carolyn Stait of Taunton & Pickeridge, Indumathi Kumaravel  of Killiow, Toshiko Ricketts of Mendip Spring, Juliet Hagley of  Clevedon, Tracy Bryant of Bulbury Woods, Kate Lush of Rushmore, Penny Deakin of Okehampton, Lorna Elliott of Dartmouth, and Heather Kerr-Wilbur of Mendip Spring. Evelyn sealed her triumph with a par on the last, where she holed a 20-footer, and said: “Everything went my way today and to think I’ve actually won is amazing! I’m honoured that I’m playing in a national final – it will be good fun.” This is only Evelyn’s third season of golf. She took up the sport after retiring from the health service at 50 and moving from London to Cornwall, where her home overlooks the golf course. “The golf course was there and I wanted to do something competitive! Whatever I do I try to succeed and do my best and I’ve put a lot of work in to my swing,” said Evelyn. “Usually in competition I tend to mess up some holes, but today I just played nicely. I had one bad hole but that was it, I played steadily and my playing partners were very encouraging.” Her ambition for the season is to reduce her handicap, which was 17 at the start of the regional final. Her performance means a cut is on the way! The was the sixth and last of the regional medal finals. All the regional finalists had returned the best four scores at their club in the England Golf Medals during 2013. South West Regional Medal Final Forest Hills, Gloucestershire Par 74, CSS 77 r/o Net qualifying scores 73 Evelyn Postles (St Mellion) 76 Carolyn Stait (Taunton & Pickeridge) 77 Indumathi Kumaravel (Killiow), Toshiko Ricketts (Mendip Spring), Juliet Hagley  (Clevedon) 78 Tracy Bryant (Bulbury Woods), Kate Lush (Rushmore), Penny Deakin (Okehampton) 79 Lorna Elliott (Dartmouth), Heather Kerr-Wilbur (Mendip Spring) For full scores please click herelast_img read more

Pitt defeats La Roche, 101-33

first_imgPITTSBURGH (AP)—Freshman Khem Birch scored 16 points to lead No. 10 Pittsburgh over LaRoche College 101-33 in an exhibition Saturday afternoon.Birch scored 14 of his points in the second half, hitting all seven of his shots from the field and adding five rebounds. Ashton Gibbs, the Big East preseason player of the year, added 15 points for the Panthers.Gibbs scored eight of Pitt’s 11 points in a 4-minute span near the end of the first half.The Panthers held La Roche to 25 percent shooting and forced 21 Redhawks turnovers. Mike Dixon led Division III La Roche with 14 points, scoring the Redhawks’ first seven of the game.Former La Roche head coach Scott Lang was honored in a pregame ceremony. Lang died at age 41 last December after he suffered a heart attack and collapsed at center court during a practice.last_img read more

India vs New Zealand Day 3: Hosts press advantage as Virat Kohli falters again

first_imgImage Courtesy: AP/BCCIAdvertisement 3qpvNBA Finals | Brooklyn VsorwmWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E4cw( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) 7v03Would you ever consider trying this?😱6zj4Can your students do this? 🌚mblqRoller skating! Powered by Firework The 3rd day of the first Test between India and New Zealand has just seen its closure, and continuing their innings from yesterday, New Zealand have stacked up a hefty total of 348, exhausting all their wickets. Despite gaining pace in the second innings through an impressive fifty from Mayank Agarwal, India’s batting order fails again, and are still 39 runs behind the hosts at the end of day’s play.Advertisement Image Courtesy: AP/BCCIStarting from the previous total of 216 from 5, the Kiwis saw some nice batting from Colin de Grandhomme and Kyle Jamieson, who scored 43 and 44 respectively, followed by Trent Boult’s quick 24-ball-34 in the end with five fours and one six.The brilliant in-form Ishant Sharma secured his 11th five wicket haul in red ball cricket, picking up Tim Southee, along with Boult, adding up to his triple strikes from yesterday. Ashwin secured three wickets today, and Jasprit Bumrah finally broke his wicket drought and picked up Black Caps wicket keeper batsman BJ Watling.Advertisement Today at stumps at the Basin Reserve cricket ground, India have scored 144 for 4 wickets. While Prithvi Shaw is still trying to find his click, it was Mayank Agarwal’s superb start that put India on the pace in the second innings. The 29 year old opener scored 58 runs, including seven boundaries and one over boundary, thus securing his third Test half century.The Men in Blues skipper Virat Kohli only managed to put up 19, followed another lacklustre performance from Cheteshwar Pujara. The 32 year old Test veteran left the 22 yards after just 11 runs to his name.Advertisement The duo of Ajinkya Rahane and Hanuma Vihari are currently on strike at stumps. The latter made his return to the Test squad after an impressive spell against New Zealand XI earlier this month, and is unbeaten at 15, while the veteran Rahane is at a score of 25 runs.In addition to a prompt finish in the first innings, Kiwi pacer Trent Boult also made his mark with the ball. The 30 year old fast medium picked up three, especially the key wickets of Pujara and the Indian captain, along with picking Shaw early in the beginning.Also read-India vs New Zealand Day 2: Hosts take the lead with a superb knock from Williamson but Ishant Sharma fights back with triple strikesFormer India hockey captain and real life protagonist of ‘Chak De! India’ files for domestic violence Advertisementlast_img read more

Minton steps up, Mack takes Big 5

first_imgFor the first time since 2011, the McKinleyville High softball team is the champion of the Big 5 Conference.But before the Panthers walked away with a sizable game-two victory, they had to overcome their first Big 5 loss of the season.Heading into Saturday’s doubleheader at Eureka High, McKinleyville needed just one win to lock up a conference title.The Loggers needed both, and took the first with an 8-5 victory — making the second game of the afternoon winner-take-all connotations. …last_img read more

Texas Gets Two High-Performance Subdivisions

first_imgAustin aims for 55% renewablesIt will take developments like these if the Austin City Council is to reach its aggressive efficiency goals. Last December, the city approved a plan to get 55% of its power from clean energy by 2025, Climate Progress reported.In addition to providing 600 metawatts of utility-scale solar, the proposal would have Austin Energy, the municipally owned utility, find 200 MW of local solar, at least half of which would have to be owned by customers.Energy efficiency and improvements in demand response were to provide another 800 MW of power over the next 10 years.“It’s clear that to achieve the ambitious goals Austin Energy has set for itself, we must significantly increase the number of rooftops generating power from the sun,” Austin Energy vice president of customer energy solutions Deborah Kimberly told MyStatesman. “Communities like this with solar integrated into the design from day one allow us to make faster progress toward those goals in ways that allow us to plan infrastructure and protect the overall stability of the electric grid.” The right opportunity for solarDavid Grove, Lennar’s division president for the Austin and San Antonio markets, said by telephone the company had been looking into adding solar for a number of years but until now hadn’t found a way to make it available affordably in the Austin market. SunStreet’s lease option made the difference.“I think it’s clear that homeowners want solar, they want technology,” he said. “If you asked anybody off the street, ‘Would you like solar on your home, and do you understand it makes sense?’ the answer is a resounding, ‘Yes!’ The challenge has been what a homeowner is willing to pay, and that’s always been the prohibiting factor. Now we’ve found a way to provide the solar without the homeowner paying out of pocket at a reasonable, very economical rate.”Lennar is the country’s second largest builder, with $6.8 billion in housing sales and 21,000 closings in 2014, according to Professional Builder. The company has roughly 120 solar communities underway in several states, including California, Colorado and Maryland, adding up to “several thousand rooftops” in all.Lennar expects to launch a second solar community in Austin early next year. “And strategically,” Grove said, “I think we will try to pursue it in every community we open moving forward, and then we execute it where we’re able to.”“Folks historically have looked at solar as something that you’re only going to see on expensive, million-dollar homes because they have the ability to utilize it and it’s cost prohibitive to others,” he continued. “I think as we make this more commonplace and expand the footprint it will become more and more the norm.”Grove expects most if not all buyers at Colorado Crossing will opt for a solar lease, not an outright purchase. Leasing is by far the most common way homeowners go solar, accounting for as many as 95% of PV installations at Lennar subdivisions, particularly in areas where buyers don’t have a lot of discretionary income, Grove said.Lennar is technically creating power-purchase agreements with buyers rather than straight leases, The Wall Street Journal notes, because homeowners pay only for the power they use and not the system itself. But homeowners are paying less for electricity than they would from the local utility, so they are saving money regardless of what the arrangement is called. UPDATED Oct. 8, 2015Work is underway in Austin, Texas, on two housing subdivisions that emphasize energy efficiency, including one in which all 7,500 homes will be constructed to zero-energy standards.Taurus of Texas, a real estate investment firm, said in September that it was starting construction of the first 237 houses at Whisper Valley in East Austin, according to a report at MyStatesman.com. Company officials said it would be the first large single-family development in which all houses were designed to produce as much energy as they use on an annual basis.Houses also will come with fiber optics systems from Google Fiber, which says Whisper Valley is the first time the extremely fast internet service is being installed in a new housing development.Separately, Lennar announced it would build Austin’s first “solar standard community” where each house would have its own rooftop photovoltaic (PV) array. Homeowners could either lease the panels or buy them outright.The first phase of Lennar’s Colorado Crossing subdivision, underway near the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, will include 120 homes, ranging in size from about 1,200 square feet to 2,800 square feet and costing between $195,000 and $277,000, MyStatesman said in another report.Balancing performance and priceConstruction details about houses at Whisper Valley weren’t available, but MyStatesman said that the intent was to seek a market niche where houses with low energy demands also would be affordable. Taurus expects to price the houses between $150,000 and $275,000, which is higher than the median market value for the immediate area around the development but about in line with the median market value in the Austin metro area of $267,000.Taurus partners include Bosch, which will provide energy-efficient kitchen appliances, ground-source heat pumps, and water heaters; Google Nest, which will supply its web-connected thermostats; and Google Fiber.The web report said that Whisper Valley residents will pay a fixed utility fee averaging about $175 per month, which would cover the cost of the rooftop PV, an LED lighting package, the Bosch appliances, ground-source heat pumps, and maintenance costs.In addition to the zero-energy houses, the development also will eventually include townhouses, apartments, and more than 2 million square feet of office and retail space. A second phase of the project, including 200 additional houses, would be started next year.MyStatesman said that Taurus bought 2,062 acres for the project in 2006, but the development was sidetracked by the real estate and financial markets’ meltdown. Later, the company partnered with the City of Austin, which issued bonds to finance highway, water, and sewer lines in the area in return for the company’s help in achieving Austin’s carbon-reduction goals.center_img Solar panels for everyoneAt Colorado Crossing, home buyers will be able to choose between leasing or buying the solar panels on their homes, but they won’t get the chance to say “no thanks.” Every house in the subdivision gets them.The panels will be installed and maintained by SunStreet Energy Group, a Lennar subsidiary, whose CEO said that the decision to include solar was not so much about “being green” as about making sound business decisions.“This is about consumer relevance, this is something they want,” he told MyStatesman. “We have not built this business on being green — this is a real business built on economics and consumer needs.”Homeowners who buy the systems will pay $15,000 upfront, although they will be eligible for the 30% federal investment tax credit through the end of 2016. Home buyers who choose the lease option will pay between $45 and $65 per month, the company said, depending on the size of the system. Homeowners who lease their systems will buy their power from Austin Energy at a discounted price.It wasn’t clear how big the arrays are, and GBA was unable to reach anyone in the company who could offer additional information on solar capacities or mechanical systems. However, David Kaiserman, SunStreet Energy’s CEO, told the website UtilityDive.com that the panels were expected to meet about 60% of each home’s electricity needs. The systems range from 3.18 kW to 5.3 kW in capacity and average 3.45 kW.According to the Colorado Crossing website, the slab-on-grade houses are insulated to R-15 in the walls and between R-22 and R-38 in the ceilings and come with radiant barrier roof decking to reduce attic temperatures. “Technology” features include programmable wi-fi capable thermostats. Houses are heated with gas furnaces and cooled with Lennox 16 SEER air conditioning systems.Lennar is using the IRC’s performance-based method for code compliance. The houses, which are inspected by an independent third party, “consistently” receive HERS scores in the mid-60s, the company said.The company said that 20 homes have been completed, with a total of 35 sold. A second and possibly third phase, with another 120 houses each, are in the works, but Lennar didn’t have a firm timetable for a complete build-out.last_img read more

Auditor rings alarm bells over NBs debt months before provincial election

first_imgFREDERICTON – With a New Brunswick election just months away, the auditor general is sounding the alarm over the province’s fast-growing debt.Kim MacPherson said Tuesday she is deeply troubled by the fiscal decline — pointing to a $7-billion increase in net debt over the last 10 years.“As I have reported repeatedly, this net debt growth is not sustainable,” she said as she released Volume One of her 2018 report.The debt is expected to hit $14.4 billion by the end of March 2019; the government spent $700 million in interest last year just to service the debt.“If this interest cost was a department, its budget would be larger than the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure,” she said.“If this continues, eventually governments will not be able to provide the same level of programs and services such as health care, education, roads, schools and hospitals.”MacPherson said New Brunswick is on track for its 11th consecutive deficit, and there is no immediate plan to address it.Tom Bateman, a political scientist at St. Thomas University, said the province’s finances should be a key issue in the campaign for the Sept. 24 election. But he said most voters and politicians are only interested in short-term promises.“It’s short- and medium-term pain for longer-term gain and this is a problem for which the solution is over many years or decades, but the political election cycle is four years long,” Bateman said.Green Leader David Coon said it is time the province got its finances under control.“The government stopped on its progress in reducing the deficit and the books should have been balanced for next year, and that’s not happening. P.E.I. is balanced, Nova Scotia is balanced and we should be balanced,” Coon said.MacPherson said she isn’t getting political — and pointed out the fiscal issues have been there over successive governments.“Getting a handle on this problem will be like turning the Titanic … it will take time,” she said.The Dominion Bond Rating Service recently downgraded the province’s rating trend from stable to negative. In a news release, DBRS stated: “New Brunswick’s 2018 budget once again delays the return to balance in favour of new spending ahead of the 2018 provincial election.”Meanwhile Moody’s Investor Service stated: “The stalled progression on deficit reduction is credit negative for the province which has not posted a balanced budget since 2007-2008 and is not planning a balanced budget until 2021-2022, resulting in one of one of the longest period of continued deficits among Canadian provinces following the 2008-2009 financial crisis.”MacPherson said the rating agencies’ reaction should be a major concern to government.Included in her review of government spending, MacPherson found that in five of the last 10 years, governments overspent their budgets prior to obtaining approval from the legislative assembly.She called for the release of audited financial statements before the Sept. 24 provincial election.Treasury Board President Roger Melanson said in a statement the audited figures will be released before New Brunswickers go to the polls, but did not give an exact date.Melanson defends the Liberal government’s handling of the books, saying they are taking a balanced approach.“I think if you speak to New Brunswickers, they want to see investment where it’s strategic and going to grow the economy and give them an opportunity to have a job. That’s what we have been focused on,” he said.MacPherson is also asking for more money for her office, saying a lack of resources is eroding her independence. She wants her budget increased by $250,000 in each of the next four years.Progressive Conservative Leader Blaine Higgs said Tuesday, that if elected, he’d give her that money.“We need to have the ability to have the auditor general look under the hood, look at decisions being made and make them accountable in every way, shape and form. We can’t keep talking about this, we’ve got to find the solutions and have to expose the way money is being spent and tax dollars are being wasted,” Higgs said.MacPherson also used her report to point out what she calls an unacceptable lack of addiction and mental health services in adult correctional institutions.She said that without adequate treatment, inmates can pose a risk to themselves and the public.The government responded Tuesday, saying a provincial committee will be tasked to look into the auditor general’s concerns.last_img read more

Call centre abruptly closes in Cape Breton leaving hundreds without work

first_imgSYDNEY, N.S. — More than 600 people have lost their jobs after a call centre in Cape Breton abruptly closed, leaving employees without work weeks before Christmas.ServiCom officials gathered workers at the operation in Sydney on Thursday to announce that it was shuttering the facility.Cecil Clarke, mayor of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, said in a statement Thursday evening that the sudden closure “came as a shock,” despite financial troubles on the part of ServiCom’s parent company. He says company representatives have indicated they are in the process of arranging the sale of the Sydney operation and “are hoping to have this situation resolved in next couple of days.”Clarke suggested it may be up and running again under new ownership.There were reports nearly 700 employees left the site Thursday with no pay, as police vehicles were parked outside.(CTV Atlantic, The Canadian Press)The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Asian shares slip as traders brace for Fed rate increase

first_imgSINGAPORE — Asian stocks fell on Tuesday, tracking losses on Wall Street as traders braced for an interest rate hike by Federal Reserve.KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s Nikkei 225 index was 1.8 per cent lower at 21,115.45 and the Kospi in South Korea dropped 0.5 per cent to 2,061.48. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slid 1.3 per cent to 25,749.59. The Shanghai Composite index dipped 1 per cent to 2,570.90. Australia’s S&P ASX 200 was down 1.2 per cent at 5,589.50. Shares were lower in Taiwan and Southeast Asia.WALL STREET: On Monday, broad selling knocked U.S. indexes to their lowest levels in over a year. Investors sold almost everything, from technology and retail stocks to steadier high-dividend companies. Less than 40 of the 500 stocks comprising the S&P 500 finished the day higher. The benchmark index gave up 2.1 per cent to 2,545.94, its lowest level since Oct. 9, 2017. The Dow Jones Industrial Average skidded 2.1 per cent to 23,592.98 and the Nasdaq composite was down 2.3 per cent at 6,753.73. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks lost 2.3 per cent to 1,378.14.FED MEETING: The Federal Open Market Committee begins a two-day meeting on Tuesday. It is expected to raise its short-term interest rate by a modest quarter-point, to a range of 2.25 per cent to 2.5 per cent a day later. The rate is used as a benchmark for many consumer and business loans. Investors fear more monetary tightening would weigh on U.S. growth, and eventually, the global economy, that is already expected to slow in 2019 because of trade tensions. President Donald Trump tweeted that it was “incredible” the Fed was considering another rate hike, with “a very strong dollar and virtually no inflation.” The central bank forecasts three more rate hikes in 2019.ANALYST’S TAKE: “Despite Donald Trump’s recent overture, the Fed looks set to hike rates again on Wednesday with market players anxious to see if the economy can handle more policy tightening given expectations for slowing growth,” ING economists Nicholas Mapa and Prakash Sakpal said in a commentary.ENERGY: Oil prices tumbled on worries about oversupply and softening growth in China, which could hit demand. Benchmark U.S. crude shed 89 cents to $48.99 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract dropped $1.32 to $49.88 in New York on Monday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gave up 95 cents to $58.66 a barrel. It lost 67 cents to settle at $59.61 a barrel in London.CURRENCIES: The dollar weakened to 112.60 yen from 112.83 yen in late trading Monday. The euro eased to $1.1342 from $1.1349.___AP Markets Writer Marley Jay contributed to this report. He can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAPAnnabelle Liang, The Associated Presslast_img read more

Preparations for High on Ice almost complete for Friday

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – With the High on Ice Winter Festival only three days away, preparations for this year’s Festival are almost complete.Marissa Jordan, Recreation Programmer for the City of Fort St. John, says set up is going great as crews have been working in Centennial Park for the past week, setting up for the Festival.“It’s great. We’ve had crews in there, they’ve started about five days ago. So our carvers carved the big (ice blocks), we call them the commission pieces; they carve them in advance so that they are ready for viewing.” The Pembina High on Ice Winter Festival Opening Ceremonies is taking place this Friday, February 15, at 4:00 p.m. in Centennial Park.The Festival runs from February 15 to the 18 in various locations across Fort St. John, with Centennial Park being the central meeting area. For more information and an event schedule, you can visit the City’s website. Jordan is reminding residents to stay out of Centennial Park as crews continue to set up for the Festival.“We’re just asking for the public to stay out of the space and let them work, and everything will be open to the public on Friday at 4:00 p.m. So the site is coming along, there’s just machinery, power tools, and extension cords and stuff sitting out, so we’re just saying it’s safer for the public to stay away and let these guys focus on what they’re doing. It’s all coming along very well, we haven’t had any hiccups, and they’re just out working away to have everything ready for Friday.”As for mitigating for cold temperatures, Jordan says they will be leaving the cancellation decision up to the individuals that run the events.“We have a lot of volunteer groups that assist. So we leave it into the hands of the individuals that run the events. If temperatures become dangerous, to the point where you’re standing outside for six hours, we don’t, obviously, want our volunteers being subject to that.”Jordan also says that if the temperatures were to get extremely cold,  the event will not be cancelled as there will be warming tents set up in Centennial Park.“A lot of our events in Centennial Park, for say, are in our tent. So we have heated tent space, and that’s where we host a lot of stuff so it doesn’t get cancelled and there is still a little bit of that outdoor element.”last_img read more