Tag Archives: removal

Take it down! Scots demand removal of Union Jack flag – 'year-round poppies' also mocked

The Airdrie for Independence group will voice their disgust at the flagpole in West End Park, North Lanarkshire at 1pm on Monday. This comes an hour before Scotland kick off their Euro 2020 campaign against the Czech Republic.

Ahead of the protest, independence activist Jim Cassidy even claimed that the flag had “political and sectarian connotations”.

He vocally complained to North Lanarkshire Council (NLC) about the Union Jack replacing the Saltire around two weeks ago.

The council owns the land which is maintained by the voluntary group Friends of West End Park.

The group has yet to comment publicly, but in a leaked letter seen by The National, they said it was apolitical and, “very saddened and surprised” that their upgrade to the flagpole was “somehow associated to a political/national cause”.

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The flagpole is adjacent to the town’s war memorial, which is also maintained by the group.

In the letter they said they had received several requests from ex-service personnel, veterans and their families, indicating “they felt it would be right that we gave consideration to a British flag”.

Mr Cassidy, who described himself as a former British serviceman, dismissed their reasoning and called on the Saltire to be reinstated.

Writing on his Facebook page, he said: “I contacted the Labour leader of North Lanarkshire Council Jim Logue, who was very helpful and who informed me that having spoken to someone representing ‘Friends of West End Park’ group … that our national flag would be replaced as soon as one could be sourced.

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“I was therefore disappointed to be contacted yesterday by someone who had written to the group, who made me aware that they had reneged on the agreement with North Lanarkshire Council and had decided to keep the British flag flying instead.

“Having seen the letter they sent, I have to say that I was concerned at their actions and am unconvinced as to the motivations behind their decision.”

He added: “They state that the group is non-political and non-sectarian, but that doesn’t mean that you can be blind to the political and sectarian connotations linked to the British flag, and one would have had to be living under a rock to have missed them.

“The Saltire which flew there was something all our community had no argument over, and its removal coincides with British Government attempts to rebrand much of Scotland with the British flag in a programme of ‘Union-Jackery’, so it is understandable why people cannot simply accept this is simply an innocent misunderstanding.

“As a former member of the armed forces who used to parade every year with the Royal Engineers on Remembrance Sunday, I do not believe that the wishes of a few veterans and their families should be given greater consideration than the entire community of Airdrie.

“The British Nationalist community does have a particular focus on a few key areas, such as the flying of the British flag, year-round poppy displays and veterans’ causes, so the decision to remove the Saltire and replace it with the British must be viewed in that context.”

A spokesperson for the council said: “The Friends of West End and Centenary Park is a voluntary community organisation run by an independent committee who do a fantastic job looking after the park for the benefit of the local people and visitors.

“Flying the Saltire or Union Flag is at the discretion of the committee.”

Express.co.uk has contacted the Friends of West End Park for comment.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: UK Feed

Stone Mountain's Giant Confederate Monument Avoids Removal

STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. — The Confederate flags that have long flapped at the base of Stone Mountain, placed there by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, will be moved to a less prominent area, joining other relics of the Civil War. New exhibits will offer a fuller and more complicated description of the park’s history, attempting to reach beyond the war it memorializes to the role the Ku Klux Klan and resistance to desegregation played in its creation.

But the enormous monument at the center of the park — Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson carved into stone as a Confederate equivalent to Mount Rushmore — is not going anywhere.

Officials in Georgia voted on Monday to modernize Stone Mountain Park, prodded to update what has long been one of the state’s most popular tourist destinations as it confronts staggering financial losses and major vendors pulling out after the coronavirus pandemic and racial justice protests last year.

Yet the solution approved by the park’s governing board has frustrated critics on all sides. Activists who want to strip out, or at least try to downplay, the specter of the Confederacy over the park viewed it as a half-measure. Supporters of the monument have resisted any changes to what they see as a precious homage to their Southern heritage.

“Some people are going to say they’re not going far enough,” said Bill Stephens, the chief executive of the Stone Mountain Memorial Association, which oversees the park. “Others are going to say they’re going too far.”

“All I know is, it’s important to tell the whole story,” Mr. Stephens said. “There’s plenty to be said, that most people don’t know.” He pointed to the Ku Klux Klan’s involvement in its creation as an example.

The division reflects a familiar tension in Georgia, which is wrestling with conflicting perceptions of itself as Democrats have made political strides in a deeply conservative state and the population has grown increasingly diverse.

“We’re at a point where the state is teetering on going one way or the other politically,” said Sheffield Hale, the president and chief executive of the Atlanta History Center, describing the demographic shifts and surge in political participation driving a “period of political flux.”

“The mountain is at the center of that,” he said.

The debate has also illuminated limitations of the broader efforts to dismantle the symbols of the Confederacy that have endured for generations across the South. Monuments to Confederate leaders were toppled and names were stripped from buildings amid the protests and reckoning over race that erupted across the country last year after George Floyd was killed by the Minneapolis police.

But efforts to take on the Stone Mountain memorial were stymied by legal constraints and the logistics of taking down a monument that is 90 feet tall, 190 feet across and covers roughly three acres on the side of a mountain. (Removing it would most likely require years and lots of explosives.)

The idea for the sculpture — one of the largest bas-relief carvings in the world — emerged in 1914, portrayed as a massive memorial to the Lost Cause, or the notion that the South was defending more than just slavery in the Civil War.

The effort took decades to complete. It stalled during the Great Depression but picked up new momentum in 1954 as Marvin Griffin, a candidate for governor riding the outcry following the Brown v. Board of Education ruling, promised to uphold segregation and finish the monument. (The park is owned by the state.)

Critics and historians said that racist anger, more than heartache over Confederate bloodshed, fueled the monument’s creation. “They have the wrong people on the mountain,” Mr. Hale said, suggesting that it might have been more accurate to depict segregationist politicians instead of Confederate leaders. “This mountain is about massive resistance to desegregation. It’s not about the Civil War.”

The park has long been one of the most popular destinations in the state, but it has seen a precipitous drop in revenue, losing $ 27 million between 2019 and 2020. Marriott, which operates the hotel and conference center on the park’s grounds, has said it was pulling out.

The movement by the park’s governing board has underscored the crucial role that economic factors have had in motivating change. In Mississippi, the threat of canceled sporting events and souring business investment ignited the final effort to bring down the state flag featuring the Confederate battle emblem, which had flown for 126 years and weathered many previous attempts.

But supporters of the monument contend that its history can be a force for reinvestment. “We’re in favor of ‘heritage tourism,’” said Martin K. O’Toole, a spokesman for the Georgia division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, comparing it to colonial tourist sites.

“The carvings memorialize the people who served the Confederacy,” Mr. O’Toole said. “You can admire people like Robert E. Lee and not be in favor of segregation.”

He said that legal protections limited the actions of park officials. But activists contend that the board had ample room to move more aggressively.

Stone Mountain Park, with 3,200 acres of walking trails, lakes and amusement rides, officially opened to the public on April 14, 1965 — the hundredth anniversary of the night President Abraham Lincoln was shot.

“The natural surroundings are amazing,” said Bona Allen, who can trace his heritage back to the Confederacy and has become a leader in the effort to minimize that history in the park. “It’s just marred by the ugliness of the Confederacy.”

Beyond the sculpture, the park is packed with references to the Confederacy: There are boulevards named for Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson and a drive named for Confederate war heroes. State law says that the park’s overseers “shall continue the practice of stocking, restocking, and sales of Confederate memorabilia.”

Some visitors to the park on Monday expressed concerns about scrubbing away history. Joe Aronoski, 82, had just taken a tram to the carving and the top of Stone Mountain for the first time. “It’s American history,” said Mr. Aronoski, who was visiting from Fall River, Mass. “It shouldn’t be destroyed. What are you going to do? Make-believe the Civil War didn’t happen?”

The park has been a focal point in Georgia’s political tensions. Far-right activists and white supremacist militia group were barred last summer from gathering there.

But its location also reflects the way Georgia has pulled away from that past: It is less than 20 miles from Atlanta, the home of the civil rights movement and a hub for the state’s explosive and diverse growth. Civil War history is not what draws many to the park.

“Sad to say, you get used to it,” Jewel Minter, who is Black, said of the troubling legacy that looms over the park. Superficial tweaks to the park, she said, would not lead to the substantial societal changes that she believes are necessary. “You can put Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King up there,” she said. “What is that going to do about how we’re still not getting what we need?”

Still, it was not enough to discourage her from coming with her cousin after finishing a dance class.

“It’s beautiful,” Ms. Minter said as she sat in the shade eating lunch, referring to the bright sky and lush, tree-covered hills that brought her to the park and paying no mind to the Confederate leaders on horseback etched into the mountain behind her.

Author: Timothy Pratt and Rick Rojas
This post originally appeared on NYT > U.S. News

CLEAT calls for removal of Travis County assistant DA over email

CLEAT calls for removal of Travis County assistant DA over email

AUSTIN (KXAN) — An email about a job posting for the Travis County District Attorney’s unit that investigates and prosecutes unlawful use of force by officers got the attention of the state’s largest law enforcement organization Sunday.

The Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas Executive Director Charley Wilkison is calling for the first assistant DA’s removal in response to an email and posting that he says is an attack on Central Texas law enforcement.

“We call on [DA Jose Garza] today to immediately remove his assistant district attorney, who either by accident or on purpose showed the true colors of this governmental office, which should be seeking facts related to criminal conduct,” said Wilkison in a video response posted to YouTube.

A press release, issued by CLEAT, includes a screenshot of an email First Assistant District Attorney Trudy Strassburger sent, which states that the office is seeking to add another person to their Civil Rights Unit.

“This kind of didactic language is for activists and not for the benign prosecutorial powers that reside inside the wall of an elected district attorney,” says Wilkison in the video response.

KXAN has asked for the Travis County District Attorney’s office to confirm that email was sent.

The online job post says the team’s main purpose is to “investigate and prosecute unlawful use of force by law enforcement in situations of officer involved shootings, deaths in custody and less than lethal uses of force, and also prosecutes officers who have used excessive force.”

The Civil Rights Unit started before Garza was elected and is composed of three attorneys. He says they’re hiring a team lead to help address a backlog and an increasing volume of police misconduct in the community, which includes 11 pending indictments.

“Just this year Travis County Grand Juries, who are made up of our community, family and friends have concluded that seven law enforcement should be charged with felony crimes, including acts of violence like murder and aggravated assault,” Garza tells KXAN. “I hope that they will join us and seek to root out criminal conduct particularly acts of violence committed by members of their organizations.”

Wilkison says Garza’s office is conflicted by personal opinions and beliefs, and the DA should focus on finding prosecutors who follow the facts and seek the truth.

“There’s not a thing we won’t do for you to be treated fairly in a workplace regardless of the political winds that blow,” says Wilkison in the video, addressing the officers the organization represents.

Garza ran on a platform of fully prosecuting any police officer who is not justified in using excessive or lethal force.

Author: Chelsea Moreno
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin

Tesla CEO Musk puts $100 million jolt into quest for carbon removal

Author Reuters
This post originally appeared on Stock Market News

Tesla CEO Musk puts $  100 million jolt into quest for carbon removal© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks during a conversation with legendary game designer Todd Howard at the E3 gaming convention in Los Angeles

By Hyunjoo Jin and Nichola Groom

(Reuters) -Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk on Thursday offered inventors $ 100 million in prize money to develop ways to fight global warming by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or ocean.

“Right now we’ve only got one planet, said Musk, CEO of electric carmaker Tesla (NASDAQ:) Inc. “Even a 0.1% chance of disaster — why run that risk? That’s crazy!”

In January, Musk announced his intention to offer $ 100 million in prizes and set out the contest rules on Thursday, Earth Day. What organizers called the “largest incentive prize in history” will last for four years through Earth Day, 2025.

“I’m open to increasing the prize size, too, over time,” Musk said on a video feed that showed him outdoors, barefoot in a black shirt with a forest in the background.

Carbon capture and storage has drawn growing interest as a warming climate has melted glaciers, intensified tropical storms and resulted in “sunny day flooding” of more and more coastal areas. While countries are working to reduce emissions, scientists say carbon removal technology will also be crucial to the goal of getting emissions to net zero by 2050.

“I don’t think we are currently doomed,” Musk said. “If we keep going, complacent, there is some risk of non linear climate change.”

Carbon capture projects have already drawn backing from Silicon Valley startups, public officials worried about the slow pace of cutting emissions, and emitters including oil companies seeking to offset their climate impacts.

The technology is not yet commercially viable. Removing carbon costs more than $ 300 per metric tonne in a world that each year emits greenhouse gases equivalent to about 50 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide. By 2050, some 10 billion tonnes of carbon capture may be needed, by some estimates.

“I think this is one of those things that is going to take a while to figure out what the right solution is,” Musk said. “And especially to figure out what the best economics are for CO2 removal.”

Musk’s $ 100 million XPRIZE Carbon Removal is aimed at finding a viable solution for taking 1,000 tonnes out of the atmosphere annually, with potential to scale up dramatically.

Contenders must sequester carbon for at least a hundred years. Organizers said they will get feedback by mid May and turn guidelines into rules.

Musk has built a reputation as an industrialist focused on environmentalism, turning electric car maker Tesla into the world’s most valuable vehicle company and expanding into solar power so customers can charge their rides carbon-free. He had conversations about the prize with Peter Diamandis, founder and executive chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation.

Contest entrants should “show a sustainable path to achieving low cost at gigatonne scale,” organizers XPRIZE has said on its website.

There are plenty of Silicon Valley startups eager to compete. Venture capital-backed carbon removal companies raised $ 336.5 million last year, according to PitchBook.

On Monday, XPRIZE announced two winners of a separate, $ 20 million prize to develop technologies to covert emissions from power plants into concrete. One is CarbonCure Technologies, based in Canada and backed by separate funds by Bill Gates, Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:) and others.

The United Nations has said carbon removal technology is needed to limit increase in planetary warming and avoid catastrophic climate impacts. But some environmentalists have argued that focusing on carbon removal reflects a lack of resolve to end the use of fossil fuels.

Will laser removal clinics be open from April 12? Reopening dates and new covid guidelines

Forms before your appointment

Clinics should be taking extra care when tracking their customers and their health before they attend the appointment.

Pulse Light Clinic is sending its customers an email with a medical history form 24hrs before their appointment.

This has to be returned to the clinic, either via email or they can bring it along with them on the day of the appointment.

Extra PPE, sanitisation and temperature taking

When they arrive at the lobby, customers are greeted by a staff member in personal protective equipment (PPE), and are asked to sanitise their hands and put on a face mask, before having their temperature taken.

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Michael Strahan's tooth gap removal was for April Fools' Day after all

WASHINGTON — “Good Morning America” host Michael Strahan isn’t getting rid of the gap between his teeth after all. Strahan confirmed Thursday that the video from earlier in the week where he got his signature gap in his teeth removed was all part of an April Fools’ Day prank.
“Come on man! The gap is here to stay, for a little while, not going anywhere anytime soon,” Strahan explained in a new Twitter video. “So, April Fools’ Day everybody, I had a good time…I feel really bad about actually not closing it after everything that I saw but the gap is here, the gap is not going anywhere for a while, my momma likes it so there you go, see you momma.”
The Pro Football Hall of Famer has previously talked about how his tooth gap is a bit of a trademark and how he opted against filling it during his early days with the New York Giants.
“For me, I made the conscious effort to say ‘This is who I am,'” Strahan told ELLE in 2012. “I’m not perfect. I don’t want to try to be perfect. At this point, I don’t think my kids would recognize me without it.”

Alcohol industry urges permanent removal of all US, EU and UK tariffs

The alcohol industry on Tuesday formed the Toasts Not Tariffs Coalition to advocate for the permanent removal of all U.S., European Union and United Kingdom tariffs on its products. 

Forty-seven associations in the sector have joined the coalition[1] so far, representing producers, importers and wholesalers, as well as the restaurant and retail industry. The tariffs are in place in connection to steel and aluminum and Boeing and Airbus disputes.

The U.S. and EU earlier this month agreed to suspend[2] for four months tariffs relating to a long-standing trade dispute over subsidizing aerospace competitors Boeing and Airbus. The U.S. and U.K. made a similar agreement days earlier. 

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The EU and U.K. still have a 25 percent tariff on American whiskeys such as Bourbon, which were imposed in retaliation to President TrumpDonald TrumpGood luck, Dan Bongino! The Hill’s Morning Report – Biden’s next act: Massive infrastructure plan with tax hikes Conservative group says polling shows Dems’ voting rights bill ‘out of sync with American voters’ MORE[4][5][6][7][8][3]‘s steel and aluminum tariffs. On June 1, the EU’s tariff is expected to double to 50 percent. 

“This is a broad coalition representing a lot of different aspects of the hospitality sector that are invested in supporting the Biden administration through this,” Chris Swonger, CEO of the Distilled Spirits Council, told The Hill. 

John Bodnovich, executive director of American Beverage Licensees, called the situation a unifying issue for the industry. 

“We’ve all been working on this for the past couple of years and it’s good to be united together on this effort,” he said.

American whiskey’s largest export market is the EU, and exports have dropped 37 percent from $ 702 million to $ 440 million since the tariffs were first implemented in June 2018

The shutdowns and closures caused by the coronavirus pandemic have also negatively impacted the industry, which relies on revenues from restaurants, breweries, distilleries and other on-premise services.

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“From a retail perspective, COVID-19 closures and operating restrictions have really just ravaged the on-premise industry,” Bodnovich. “We’re already operating here in a very, very tough time.”

“A permanent removal of these tariffs will be a critical, critical element of getting our economy back to full throttle for the betterment of everybody,” Swonger said.

New U.S. Trade Representative Katherine TaiKatherine TaiEx-Newsom official drops out of running for OMB director Will new NAFTA block Biden’s progressive regulatory policies? The Hill’s 12:30 Report — Presented by Facebook — Nation mourns violence against Asian Americans MORE[10][11][12][13][14][9] has said she would push to negotiate resolutions to the trade disputes.

“The administration is very, very aware that these tariffs have had a big impact. We believe it is top of mind,” Swonger said. “We are very optimistic that the administration will do all it can to resolve the ongoing trade dispute over steel and aluminum.” 

Other members of the coalition include the Wine & Spirits Wholesales of America, National Retail Federation, National Restaurant Association, and the Wine and Spirits Shippers Association, among others.

[email protected] (Alex Gangitano)