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Fitch upgrades SA’s credit ratings


first_img26 July 2007Fitch Ratings has revised the outlook on South Africa’s sovereign ratings from stable to positive, attributing the change to improved growth performance, increased investments and sound public finances.South Africa’s ratings for long- and short-term foreign currency issuer default (IDR) were affirmed at “BBB+” and “F3” respectively. The country’s long-term local currency IDR was affirmed at “A”, as was the country ceiling.“The change in outlook reflects South Africa’s improved growth performance and prospects as a result of rapidly rising public and private investment and ongoing micro-reforms in the economy,” Fitch sovereign team director Veronica Kalema said in a statement on Wednesday.“In addition, the country has seen a substantial improvement in its already sound public finances and strong external balance sheet.”Increased government savings and use of fiscal surpluses to increase reserves and cover the cost of sterilisation have also reduced South Africa’s external vulnerability, the agency said.Fitch said South Africa’s growth rate of 5% was sustained between 2004 and 2006 by strong consumer demand, while more recently acceleration of capital investment reflected a massive infrastructure investment by the country’s public corporations – both as part of the government’s general infrastructure programme and for infrastructure related to hosting the 2010 Fifa World Cup.The agency said it expected consumer demand to remain firm despite rising interest rates, thanks to structural changes in the economy and a rise in employment and real income.Fitch predicted that the country’s growth rate would to remain close to 5% in 2007 and potential growth would move still higher in the mediumterm. However, the agency also expects SA’s current account deficit to remain between 6% and 7% of gross domestic product.South Africa still needed to address issues such as income inequality, unemployment, HIV/Aids and crime, the agency noted, saying these could threaten future stability.“The positive outlook assumes a continuation of the current macro policy framework,” Fitch added.“It would revert to stable if there were signs of weakening in the policy framework in response to political developments, or if external shocks did not meet with an appropriate fiscal and monetary response.”SouthAfrica.info reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more


Video: Vuvuzela, Africa’s call


first_imgAnchoring the Brand South Africa campaign for the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup is a stunning television advert featuring the vuvuzela – the trumpet that has come to symbolise South African football – and nine of Africa’s most famous locations. Click arrow to play video.last_img


Ohio Ag Weather and Forecast, September 28, 2018


first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Dry weather today should come with less cloud cover. Yesterday clouds and pesky moisture managed to get in over parts of the state, even though we were dominated by high pressure. Today we are on the backside of the high and should see better south winds moving clouds away. No new precipitation is expected, and we should keep the dry weather in for most of the state for Saturday as well. Moisture overnight tonight into tomorrow morning is shifting farther north, and should stay in Ontario and back into Michigan, but we do see minor precipitation trying to move into the northern third of Ohio overnight tomorrow night into Sunday morning. Moisture totals will be limited to a few hundredths to perhaps a tenth from US 30 northward. The rest of the state sees nothing. Dry weather holds through Monday and early Tuesday morning.Our next system brings scattered showers for Tuesday. That should bring a few hundredths to .5” to about 60% of the state. The heaviest rains (near that half inch level) will likely show up in NW Ohio. We are going to keep a second push of moisture from midnight Wednesday night through Thursday. That wave brings .25”-.75” to about 75% of the state. That front pushes through from NW to southeast. All action is done by Friday, except down in farm southern parts of the state, near the Ohio river. There, we can see showers continue through midday and early afternoon Friday. The map at right shows combined precipitation from the two waves next week.The weekend looks cooler, and we may have trouble breaking the clouds up. We do not see a lot of new precipitation threats for Saturday and Sunday right now, but we also may be looking at a few hit and miss spits and sprinkles. The cold air really starts to drag in as the weekend finishes and we start the second full week of October.The extended forecast still has a very strong front for the 9th-11th. Data suggests that the heaviest rains and the strongest part of the system will pass by to our west and north, but this far out, we would not jump on that solution yet. This system is very strong and could have some 1-2.5” rain potential with it, if we hit the strongest part. We follow that up with another slower moving, but less heavy system for the 13th, which could bring up to half an inch of rain, slowly lifting in from the SW. Temps likely cool off quickly behind the system on the 10th and 11th.last_img read more


Filmic Blend Technique – Making Video Look Like Film in Premiere Pro


first_imgWant to make your digital video footage look more like film? In this post we share a quick tip for getting a film look in Adobe Premiere Pro!Film is a chemical process.  A frame of film has color evenly distributed over the whole plate.Video on the other hand, is a digital media, and is made up of scan lines. HD video for example is made up of 1080 lines from top to bottom. This means, that by its very nature, there are spaces between these lines and making video somewhat less ‘full’ than film. At times it can seem as if your video is a little ‘thin’ and needs ‘filling out’.  In this post I’ll demonstrate a Premiere Pro technique to use in those instances when your video needs to seem ‘fuller’ and ‘pop’ like film.Giving your video a film look in Premiere Pro will add to render time, so be sure you have the time to spare!Image before Filmic BlendThe first step is to make two copies of the clip you want to use. This is done in Premiere Pro by hold the ‘Alt’ key and dragging the clip up to the next track in your timeline. If you don’t have a spare track just drag the copy up to the grey area at the top of the timeline and Premiere Pro will automatically create a new video layer. You should end up with something like this:Three Copies of the Video Clip in the TimelineNotice that I have the eyeball turned off for Video 2 & 3 – this is because these are the layers we will be working on and we need to deal with them one at a time (or else we won’t be able to see the changes we make).Apply Fast Blur to Video 2 & 3Fast Blur SettingsWe start by applying the ‘Fast Blur’ Effect to both the copies in Video 2 & 3. What we want to do is blur in the vertical (up & down) dimension to ‘fill in’ the gaps between the lines. I have chosen to use 2 for ‘Blurriness’ although you may be able to get away with less. I have also selected the ‘Repeat Edge Pixels’ option because if you don’t the edges of your image will start to have transparent lines around it (and we don’t want that!)Now, you may think that by adding a blur we will simply be making the image unusable.  However, the beauty of this technique is that we will be looking at the bottom layer with the top two layers ‘blended’ over the clip in Video 1.  What this means is that we still see the sharpness of the clip in Video 1 but with the richness and brightness of the clips in Video 2 & 3…giving a composite image which still looks sharp even though we have been using a blur.Once we have set up the fast blur for the copies in Video 2 & 3 we need to turn on the eyeball for the clip in Video 2 and go to our ‘Effect Controls’ Panel.  With the clip selected, open up the ‘Opacity’ disclosure triangle to find the ‘Blend Mode’ drop-down.Finding the Blend ModesBlend modes are a way of blending the pixels of the image in one layer with the pixels of the image in layers below. They are split into different sections to show the general operation of the modes. These include options that ‘Add’ pixels in various ways or ‘Overlay’ or ‘Darken’ pixels etc.What we are trying to do with the clip in Video 2 is to blend in such a way that we add film-like color depth to the overall image. Note, that this will cause the image to darken but we will deal with that in the next step.Choose a blend mode that works with your image. This will usually be from the ‘Darken’ or ‘Overlay’ categories with common choices being ‘Multiple’ and ‘Overlay’. You can see from the picture above that for this image I felt ‘Soft Light’ from the ‘Overlay’ category gave me the best results (but all images will vary so take your time to choose the one that works best for you).To finish with the copy in Video 2 you need to ‘dial back’ the blend mode by reducing the ‘Opacity’ value for the clip. You can see that I ended up with 47% for this clip.‘Soft Light’ at 100%‘Soft Light’ at 47%As you can see from the above the ‘Opacity’ value is akin to a ‘volume’ dial for the strength of the effect.Now we have a richer color to our clip we are able to turn on the copy in Video 3. Because the clip doesn’t presently have a blend mode selected it will look like the original image with a slight blur.Select the clip.  In the ‘Effect Controls’ open up ‘Opacity’ again and choose from the ‘Add’ category – I used ‘Screen’ which is a slightly less powerful version of ‘Add’ and dialed back ‘Opacity’ to taste!‘Add’ on Video 3 with ‘Opacity’ at 100 %‘Add’ on Video 3 with ‘Opacity’ at 37% – Final Version Original For ComparisonWell, that’s it! To see the difference you’ve made to your clip turn the eyeballs off for Video 2 & 3 and then turn them back on again and see the richness you have added.  This is a handy trick for getting a film look in Premiere Pro.If you aren’t satisfied with the end result try changing the blend modes and opacity values you’ve chosen to increase or decrease the ‘power’ of the effect on the color layer in Video 2 and the brightness layer in Video 3.With this film look technique applied it can make a massive difference in your work…and that leads to happy clients!last_img read more


Lyceum stays unbeaten, cruises to 10th straight win


first_imgLYCEUM 96 – Perez 22, Jc. Marcelino 19, Ayaay 10, Tansingco 10, Caduyac 8, Pretta 8, Jv. Marcelino 6, Liwag 5, Nzeusseu 5, Marata 3, Baltazar 0, Cinco 0, Ibañez 0, Santos 0.MAPUA 90 – Gabo 21, Buñag 18, Victoria 16, Aguirre 11, Nieles 9, Orquina 7, Pelayo 6, Raflores 2.Quarters: 20-21, 48-43, 73-58, 96-90. Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Lyceum lost hold of its 17-point lead, 71-54 in the third quarter as Laurenz Victoria and Leo Gabo willed Mapua to get to as close as six late in the game.Robinson said that it’s something his team needs to work on as the Pirates gear up for tougher foes ahead.“That’s the challenge for us. If we want to stay on top, there’s a lot of responsibilities that come with it. We’re the barometer. Hopefully, this will be a wake up call for us that any team can beat us if we let our guards down,” he said.Gabo paced Mapua (1-9) with 21 points and five assists, while Christian Buñag had 18 markers and 14 rebounds in the loss.The Scores:ADVERTISEMENT Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES View comments For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity.center_img Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim MOST READ Africa champion Cameroon misses out on World Cup Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side CJ Perez paced the Pirates with 22 points and nine rebounds, while Jaycee Marcelino got 19 markers, six boards, and two dimes.MJ Ayaay and Ralph Tansingco both chimed in 10 points apiece in Lyceum’s 10th straight win.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingCoach Topex Robinson, though, was dissatisfied with how his side reacted to the Cardinals’ challenge, as the cellar dwellers gave the Pirates everything they could handle.“I guess we didn’t play our usual game. We didn’t honor the game and it almost backfired on us. Credit to coach Atoy (Co) for preparing his team well for us,” the youthful mentor said. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Lyceum didn’t look like it missed a beat as it sustained its hot streak to the second round of the NCAA Season 93 men’s basketball tournament with a 96-90 victory over Mapua Tuesday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.ADVERTISEMENT Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelolast_img read more


Referees Trends of the Game Breakfast


first_imgTouch Football Australia’s (TFA) Director of Referees, Greg West, hosted the event, teaching the crowd some new things about the referee discipline. The breakfast covered topics including teamwork, score line positions and outcomes, as well as rules and interpretations. Federation of International Touch (FIT) World Cup referees, David Baggio and Luke McKenzie, spoke to the referees on different occasions at the breakfast, using video examples from  2011 Youth Trans Tasman and Elite Eight Series games. A question and answer session was also held at the end of the breakfast, with Baggio and McKenzie being asked about how they got into refereeing, how long it took to progress through the levels of refereeing. They were also asked what training they take part in and what advice they have for referees from rural areas. Both McKenzie and Baggio spoke about how important it is to use opportunities like the National Youth Championships to make contacts, not only with the referee panel members, but with referees from around the country. Both also spoke of the friendships they’ve made throughout the years whilst refereeing at events.last_img read more


Kanesatake hit by rising waters Were working like crazy here


first_imgTom Fennario APTN National NewsKANESATAKE MOHAWK TERRITORY – Drive past Torrey Daoust’s house from the back, and it could be mistaken it for an island. Brown water from the Ottawa River laps at his green lawn about a metre away from a row of sandbags.“I’ve slept three hours in the last twe days because I’m just worried about the water going up. I have to worry about my house and my mother’s house it’s very stressful,” said Daoust while driving through almost a metre of water in his pick up.Unlike some of his neighbours, Daoust hasn’t had to leave his home yet. But the 51 year old Mohawk man says that his house is precariously close to being flooded.“They told us today it’s going to come up another 18 inches [almost half a metre], as you can see it’s going to be right up against the sand bags here,” he said.Kanesatake Mohawk Territory is confronting what dozens of other municipalities in Quebec have faced in the last week, mass flooding that hasn’t been seen in generations. So far eight homes have been evacuated, and at least 20 more are in danger.“We’re fighting the clock right now,” said Grand Chief Serge Simon of the Mohawk Council of Kanesatake. “We’re working like crazy here.”Simon said that close to 300 tons of sand has been bagged by community members like 26 year old Anthony Fournier-Phillips.Fournier-Phillips has been throwing 20-35 kilogram bags of sand on to pallets for two days, and he says he’s starting to feel it in his lower back. Still, he intends to keep at it. He and a few dozen others have formed an assembly line making thousands of sandbags to transport for Kanesatake Mohawks in need.“Everybody is just trying to help out, get everything out as fast as possible for the guys who are laying out the bags,” Fournier-Phillips said.The armed forces have been called in to help the neighbouring municipality of Oka, but Grand Chief Simon says they’ve declined any help from the army even though volunteers are getting tired and that resources such as bags and twist ties are running thin.“We’re not ready to have the army back here, after what happened 26 years ago,” said Simon referring to the 1990 invasion of Kanesatake by armed forces, known as the “Oka crisis”. “We’re doing pretty good, I think we’re doing as good as the army could. I’m really proud of my community.”While Torrey Daoust is grateful for all the community support, at this point all he can do is hope that it’s enough. There’s no real Plan B if the sandbags fail to withstand rising floodwaters.“I have insurance for my belongings, but not the property itself, it’s a federal house. They won’t insure it, I have no deed for it,” Daoust explained.It’s a common problem in many First Nations. Here in Kanesatake, it’s one they’ll have to tackle in the days ahead when the waters finally recede.tfennario@aptn.calast_img read more


Football James Laurinaitis retires from NFL


Former Ohio State linebacker James Laurinaitis played eight seasons in the NFL. Credit: Courtesy of TNSOne of the most decorated linebackers in the history of the Ohio State football program has retired from the NFL.James Laurinaitis, who played for the Buckeyes from 2005-2008, played in the NFL for eight seasons — seven years for the St. Louis Rams and last season with the New Orleans Saints.Throughout his NFL-tenure, Laurinaitis totaled 869 tackles, 16.5 sacks and picked off 10 passes. A two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and 2007 Butkus Award winner, Laurinaitis was selected by the Rams with the 35th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.Laurinaitis became the Rams all-time leader in tackles in 2015 with 852.pic.twitter.com/6kwiNi6UzM— James Laurinaitis (@JLaurinaitis55) April 11, 2017 read more


Rep Duncan D Hunter and wife indicted for converting campaign funds and


first_imgFederal Bureau of Investigation AGENCY Rep. Duncan D. Hunter and wife indicted for converting campaign funds and falsifying campaign finance records *The charges and allegations contained in an indictment or complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty. Updated: 10:22 PM FacebookTwitter 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (AP) — U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter and his wife were indicted Tuesday on federal charges that they used more than $250,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses that ranged from groceries to golf trips and lied about it in federal filings, prosecutors said.Hunter, a Republican, and his wife Margaret Hunter were named in a 48-page indictment filed in San Diego federal court.The indictment alleges the money was taken between 2009 and 2016. It says the couple concealed the misuse by falsifying campaign finance records, claiming the expenses as campaign-related.FILE – In this April 7, 2011 file photo, U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., center, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill. A federal grand jury in California on Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018, has indicted Rep. Duncan Hunter and his wife on corruption charges. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)“Throughout the relevant period, the Hunters spent substantially more than they earned,” the indictment said. “They overdrew their bank account more than 1,100 times in a 7-year period resulting in approximately $37,761 in ‘overdraft’ and ‘insufficient funds’ bank fees.”Asked for comment about the indictment, a representative for Hunter sent an Aug. 6 letter from Hunter’s attorney, Gregory A. Vega, to U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein asking him to postpone the indictment.Vega contended that there was a “rush to indict” after a two-year grand jury investigation.There was “politically motivated” pressure to wrap up the investigation in order to tarnish Hunter before the general election after he handily won a June primary, Vega contended.Hunter, 41, an early supporter of President Donald Trump, won a fifth term in 2016 representing a heavily Republican San Diego-area district. His father represented the area for many years in Congress.The House Ethics panel had investigated allegations that Hunter improperly used campaign funds to pay for tens of thousands of dollars in personal expenses, such as trips to Hawaii and Italy and tuition for Hunter’s children.The panel said in March that it was delaying the inquiry at the request of the Justice Department.His lawyers said in 2017 that Hunter and his wife repaid the campaign about $60,000.Hunter’s office said at the time that one of the charges he repaid was a $600 fee for flying a pet bunny with his family. There was no intent to stick donors with the cost, Hunter spokesman Joe Kasper said at the time. The congressman used airline miles to pay for his family’s travel and there was an assumption that bringing along the rabbit would not incur an extra charge, Kasper told The Associated Press.When Hunter found out his campaign had paid for the rabbit’s transport, he paid back the money as part of more than $60,000 in other questionable charges, Kasper said.Kasper pointed to the rabbit expense as an example of overreach by the congressional ethics office.FILE – In this Jan. 5, 2011, file photo, House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, left, administers the House oath to Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., as his wife, Margaret, looks on during a mock swearing-in ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington. A federal grand jury in California on Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018, has indicted U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter and his wife on corruption charges. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)_____________________________________________________________________________________Duncan D. Hunter’s campaign and his Attorney have issued the following statement in response to the indictments:Prosecutors in Hunter case attended Hillary Clinton fundraiser prior to pushing for prosecution of first Rep. to endorse TrumpThe U.S. Department of Justice has been requested to recuse two Assistant U.S. Attorneys from the investigation of US Rep Duncan L. Hunter.  The request was made in a letter to Brian A. Benezkowski, Assistant Attorney General.The request was made by Gregory A. Vega, the former United  States Attorney for the Southern District of California, a Democrat.“I do not write this letter lightly, states Mr. Vega, who then goes on to detail the attendance at then candidate Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign in La Jolla, California by First Assistant  U.S. Attorney Alana Robinson and Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily W. Allen.“Questions must be asked, including why were they in attendance having not made contributions, why were they at the event during work hours and did not take annual leave to attend?  Even if there are benign explanations, it is only logical to conclude that they attended primarily because they wanted to be at an intimate event with candidate Clinton, show their support for her candidacy and have an opportunity to meet her”, stated Vega, noting that the event required $1000.00 contributions and that the two prosecutors were accorded VIP treatment in having pictures taken with candidate Clinton, which required $2700.00 contributions.“Their subsequent conduct calls into question the impartiality of the investigation of Congressman Hunter and at a minimum creates the appearance of a conflict of interest”, continues Vega.The fund-raiser occurred August 27, 2015 in San Diego, Ca. according to Mr. Vega who states further,        “Within months of the fund-raiser, on February 24, 2016, Congressman Duncan D. Hunter became the first sitting member of Congress to publicly endorse the candidacy of Donald J. Trump for President. The investigation of Congressman Hunter by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California began shortly after his public endorsement of candidate Trump. Even more troubling than an investigation having begun is the fact that within weeks of Alana Robinson becoming the Acting US Attorney for the Southern District of California on January 5, 2017, and one month after President Trump’s inauguration, federal search warrants were executed on Congressman Hunter’s home, Congressional office, storage locker and the offices of his campaign treasurer during the week of February 22, 2017.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily Allen and Acting U.S. Attorney Alana Robinson were intimately involved in the decision to seek the execution of the search warrants.”Vega continues:“The United States Attorney’s Manual provides that when a United States Attorney becomes aware of an actual or apparent conflict of interest that could require a recusal and the “CONFLICT OF INTEREST EXISTS OR THERE IS AN APPEARANCE OF A LOSS OF IMPARTIALITY’, the United States Attorney must notify the General Counsel of the Executive Office of the United States Attorneys. USAM 3-1.140.”“Here the appearance of the loss of impartiality cannot be clearer”, Vega states.“The former Acting U.S. Attorney and the Assistant U.S. Attorney actively investigating Congressman Hunter both attended a fundraiser for candidate Clinton during working hours and shortly thereafter were involved in initiating an investigation of the first Congressman to endorse candidate Trump. These facts alone warrant recusal”, continued Vega, the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of CaliforniaVega continues, warning that a late indictment of Hunter which is being pushed by Robinson and Allen with only  3 months to go before the election and almost two years since they seized his records “reflects a loss of impartiality and appears to be an effort to de-rail Congressman Hunter’s re-election in the November 6, 2018 election.”To date, no recusals have taken place.________________________________________________________________________________________________Duncan D. Hunter’s Attorney letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein can be read here.The official press release from Office of the United States Attorney Southern District of California details the charges and can be read below.U.S. Rep. Duncan D. Hunter and his wife, Margaret E. Hunter, were indicted by a federal grand jury today on charges that they converted more than $250,000 in campaign funds to pay for personal expenses and filed false campaign finance records with the Federal Election Commission.A 48-page indictment details scores of instances beginning in 2009 and continuing through 2016 in which the Hunters illegally used campaign money to pay for personal expenses that they could not otherwise afford.  The purchases included family vacations to Italy, Hawaii, Phoenix, Arizona, and Boise, Idaho; school tuition; dental work; theater tickets; and domestic and international travel for almost a dozen relatives. The Hunters also spent tens of thousands of dollars on smaller purchases, including fast food, movie tickets, golf outings, video games, coffee, groceries, home utilities and expensive meals.To conceal their personal spending, the Hunters mischaracterized the purchases in FEC filings as “campaign travel,” “dinner with volunteers/contributors,” “toy drives,” “teacher/parent and supporter events,” “gift cards” for charitable donations, and “gift basket items,” among other false descriptions. Family dental bills paid with campaign funds were characterized as a charitable contribution to “Smiles for Life.” Theater tickets were mischaracterized as “holiday gift certificates.”  Tickets for the family to see Riverdance at the San Diego Civic Theater became “San Diego Civic Center for Republican Women Federated/Fundraising.”  And to disguise their children’s tuition payments to Christian Unified Schools in El Cajon, the Hunters provided a number of conflicting explanations, including that the payments were charitable contributions.The Hunters’ improper use of campaign funds for personal expenses occurred despite numerous warnings about the prohibition against using campaign funds for personal expenses and repeated inquiries from Duncan Hunter’s campaign treasurer about questionable purchases. According to the indictment, the Hunters knew that many of their desired purchases could be made only by using campaign funds, since they did not otherwise have sufficient personal funds to pay for their purchases.  The criminal investigation began in June of 2016, two months after the Federal Election Commission and the San Diego Union-Tribune questioned some of Hunter’s campaign expenses as potentially personal.“The indictment alleges that Congressman Hunter and his wife repeatedly dipped into campaign coffers as if they were personal bank accounts, and falsified FEC campaign finance reports to cover their tracks,” said U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman. “Elected representatives should jealously guard the public’s trust, not abuse their positions for personal gain.  Today’s indictment is a reminder that no one is above the law.”The Hunters are scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge William V. Gallo. They are charged with Conspiracy to Commit Offenses Against the United States, Wire Fraud, Falsification of Records and Prohibited Use of Campaign Contributions.This case was investigated by the San Diego Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Phillip Halpern, Emily Allen and Mark Conover.  The United States Attorney’s Office would like to thank the Department of Justice’s Public Integrity Section, Election Crimes Branch for their assistance in this matter.DEFENDANTS                                            Case Number 18cr3677                                Duncan D. Hunter                                           Age: 41                       Alpine, CAMargaret E. Hunter                                         Age: 43                       Alpine, CA AP center_img August 21, 2018 Conspiracy to Commit Offenses Against the United States – Title 18, U.S.C., Sec. 371Wire Fraud – Title 18, U.S.C., Sec. 1343Falsification of Records – Title 18, U.S.C., Sec. 1519Prohibited Use of Campaign Contributions – Title 52 U.S.C., Secs. 30109(d) and 30114(b)Aiding and Abetting – Title 18, U.S.C., Sec. 2 AP, SUMMARY OF CHARGES Categories: Local San Diego News, Politics Tags: Duncan D. Hunter Posted: August 21, 2018last_img read more


For The 1 In 5 North Texas Kids In Poverty Its Harder


first_img Share BILL ZEEBLE / KERA NEWSJosh Masters listens to Children’s Health licensed counselor Angeleena May using the hospital’s telehealth connection. Children’s Health now has more than 100 telehealth school partners.One in five North Texas children lives in poverty, and more than a quarter million are hungry as their parents struggle to feed them.Those are just a few statistics from a recent 97-page report issued by Children’s Health, the Dallas-based children’s hospital network. The study offers possible solutions, too.The Beyond ABC report only looks at the well-being of children in parts of North Texas, specifically six counties: Dallas, Collin, Denton, Cooke, Grayson and Fannin. It has come out every two years since the late 1990s.How health affects educationThe rate of uninsured kids in Dallas County, as well as Cooke, Fannin and Grayson counties is double the national average. The report says more than 500,000 Texas children lack health insurance, and nearly half of the kids in Dallas County kids are enrolled in Medicaid. The study finds children living in poverty are seven times more likely to be in poor or fair health.Health has a direct impact on education. Yet, low-income parents may be hesitant to get medical care for their kids for several reasons, including cost. Children’s Health points to its telemedicine program as a way to help.For example, if a child’s sick in school, he or she usually goes to the nurse. Then, the parent typically gets called, has to leave work, possibly lose pay, then get to a doctor’s office by car, bus or a friend. Dr. Stormee Williams, who oversees the telehealth program with more than 100 school partners, says telemedicine offers another option.“We can call in, have a live video interaction,” Williams said. “The nurse has an electronic stethoscope, otoscope, dermscope, so that, live, we can diagnose ear infections, look at the throat, listen to lungs in a child with asthma, and actually make a diagnosis and treat if necessary and send prescriptions, electronically.”  Dallas’ problem with povertyThe report also finds one in five North Texas kids lives in poverty and offers another way to look at that. Nearly 500,000 children in North Texas qualify for free or reduced-price school meals. Food insecurity in all of the six counties in the study exceeds the national average.In the Dallas school district, 90 percent of the students are considered low-income.Mike Koprowski used to be with Dallas ISD, and while he’s concerned about the poverty rates in Dallas, he’s even more concerned about neighborhood segregation in Dallas. He calls Dallas one of the most segregated cities by race and income in the country.“When you have areas of concentrated poverty, that creates a lot of challenges in the school. So any educator will tell you a kid living in poverty brings challenges into the classroom,” he said. “But when an entire school building is concentrated with low-income kids, the challenges get more difficult.” Koprowski calls that segregation a disaster for Dallas.Proposed solutionsThe report recommends supporting increased development of mixed-income neighborhoods and more widespread acceptance of housing assistance vouchers.Some say lawmakers should get involved.Matt Moore, Children’s Health vice president for government relations, says elected leaders often say it’s important to improve the state of children, but they don’t necessarily take action.“So, I think that the interest is there; we see it from both sides of the aisle,” Moore says. “We see it among the deepest of red tea party members; we see it among the most blue of liberal members. The interest is there, but it just seems that, right now, the moment is aligned against us.”That leaves nonprofits, like the North Texas Food Bank, education groups and health care providers, playing a big role. The goal is to help kids get the basics for success when obstacles block the way. Dr. Williams says it all matters because she’s looking to the future. “We know that healthy kids learn better. And children who’ve learned well end up being healthier adults,” Dr. Williams says.The report also suggests that schools prioritize support for student health and healthy behaviors by providing more nutritious meals and more physical activity and focusing on students’ behavioral and emotional health.Read the full report 2017 Beyond ABC Report by KERANews on Scribdlast_img read more