Tomorrow, May 20th, during President Donald Trump‘s diplomatic visit to Saudi Arabia, bro-country superstar Toby Keith will play a free show in the Saudi capital of Riyadh. An outspoken supporter of the embattled POTUS, Keith was one of the (very) few mainstream artists Trump was able to recruit for his inauguration celebration earlier this year.Toby Keith has built a massively successful country career on songs like “I Love This Bar,” “Whiskey Girl,” “Drunk Americans,” and “Beer For My Horses.” But for this empirically bizarre performance, there will be no bars, whiskey, drunk Americans, or even girls in sight (although there may, in fact, be some horses around somewhere). That’s right: In keeping with the Middle Eastern country’s strict adherence to a conservative interpretation of Islamic law, there will be no women allowed at the performance.Saudi Arabia adheres to a conservative interpretation of Islamic law: Alcohol is strictly prohibited, unrelated men and women are required to be segregated in public, and women are forbidden from doing a number of things that men can do, including driving a car and, apparently, going to see Toby Keith concerts.The Associated Press reports that in addition to the concert, Saudi Arabia has arranged for an extensive schedule of events for Trump’s two-day trip. The various public figures involved in the itinerary include Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir (who has previously been indicted as a war criminal by the International Criminal Court), Fox News anchor Bret Baier and, of course, nobody with a vagina.Of course, the barring of women from the performance is a symptom of the social climate in Saudi Arabia and not necessarily a reflection of Keith’s or Trump’s personal views (though POTUS’s history of sexist behavior is well-documented). That said, just the thought of a sweaty, sober, Trump-ified sausage fest in the sweltering Saudi Arabian heat headlined by Toby Keith makes Fyre Fest seem like Heaven on Earth.[via NBC][Cover photo via Reuters (Trump), Bio.com (Keith)]
Harvard College’s Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, which includes the Office of BGLTQ Student Life, has already settled into its new home in Grays Hall.This past year, the offices moved into the renovated space in the ground level of Grays Hall. The redesigned area includes a lounge, conference rooms, all-gender restrooms, and a “serenity room.” A passageway known as the “activity thread” connects a variety of common areas where students can gather.,“The new space provides such a great opportunity to be able to support both offices, and provides really valuable resources for our students” said Roland Davis, associate dean of students for diversity and inclusion. “It’s so great to see the way students have already begun to embrace the new space and take advantage of it, and we’re looking forward to seeing more and more people here as we continue to promote it.”One of the key upgrades is the inclusion of a ramp leading to the entrance. “The new space is fully accessible, which is really a reflection of the values of our office,” said Sheehan Scarborough ’07, director of the BGLTQ office. “It helps to emphasize our message that everyone is welcome here.”
More from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsPuccioni’s two goals help Niskayuna boys’ soccer top Shaker, remain perfectEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesNiskayuna girls’ cross country wins over Bethlehem I’ve been a Niskayuna resident for over 40 years and I’m a former Town Board member. I have never been more ashamed of our town government, especially Supervisor Joe Landry and Councilwoman Murphy McGraw.Over the past few weeks, Supervisor Landry’s retaliatory actions towards Court Clerk Barbara Pidgeon were exposed. The fact that other Town Board members sat idly by while the safety of employees was jeopardized is beyond belief. This situation has been going on for over a year, and it’s an insult that Ms. McGraw knew nothing about it.She bragged that she stepped in to help solve the problem. Really, Ms. McGraw? You, as deputy supervisor and a Democrat committeewoman, and Supervisor Landry as the county Democratic chairman, knew nothing about this? You either don’t spend a lot of time at Town Hall, don’t communicate with your fellow legislators or you aren’t telling the truth. Either way, it’s behavior not worthy of supporting you for re-election. What’s even worse, many Niskayuna residents received a political mail hit-piece from the Niskayuna Democratic Committee trying to paint the Republican town candidates as anti-Muslim and anti-Semite and climate-change deniers by connecting them to national right-wing figures. Mr. Landry, Ms. McGraw and Councilman John Della Ratta are all Niskayuna Democratic Committee people. Will Ms. McGraw again claim she knew nothing about this despicable political trash flyer, as she did about the court safety issue?By one simple phone call, I found out that Republican supervisor candidate Yasmine Syed is a Christian who is of Jewish, Pakistani and Muslim descent. Of her running mates, Tom McGarry is Irish-American whose mother was a glass ceiling-shattering doctor in the 1950s and Anthony Simone is an Italian-American, retired from Golub Corp., and is a local businessman.These are decent people trying to run for office. Obviously Mr. Landry, Ms. McGraw and Mr. Della Ratta have no positive record to run on. So instead, they’re running a personal smear campaign — and a bad one at that.Come on Niskayuna, get with the program and see through the smoke and mirrors the Democrats are using to pull the wool over your eyes.Patricia DonnellyNiskayuna Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion
THE LONG-awaited fixed link across Denmark’s Great Belt is on course to carry its first revenue-earning train on April 1. When the road and rail link between the islands of Zealand and Fünen was authorised in 1987, it was scheduled to open for rail services on September 15 1993 and the parallel road link three years later. Both dates have now passed, and still the workers are in full possession.The link comprises three main elements. Between Fünen and the islet of Sprogø in the middle of the Belt, road and rail are carried on the single-level West Bridge using parallel precast concrete box girders. On Sprogø the modes separate, with the railway dropping from the 18m high bridge to a tunnel entrance 20m below sea level and the road climbing onto a 6·8 km suspension bridge. The East Bridge has a 1624m main span giving 65m clearance for shipping.From Sprogø to Zealand the railway runs in two parallel 8 km bored tunnels 25m apart. These have prefabricated concrete linings, and an internal diameter of 7·7m. The deepest point is about 75m below sea level. Every 250m there is a cross passage containing technical equipment, which also provides an escape route between the walkways in the running tunnels.Link promotor A/S Storebaeltsforbindelsen, a state-owned company, has funded construction using commercial bank loans, to be repaid from road and rail tolls. Installation and testing of the railway equipment was subcontracted to DSB, which set up a project team under the Banetechnik arm within the DSB Bane Consulting business unit. Since January 1 DSB Bane Consulting has been part of the infrastructure directorate Banestyrelsen.DSB Banetechnik Project Director Hans Tychsen says the team has been responsible for planning, designing, construction management, site supervision and commissioning of all railway installations on the link. Total route length is 25 km, including new approaches on both Zealand and Fünen as well as the 18 km coast-to-coast section. The railway has been designed for trains to run at up to 200 km/h, although the official maximum is 180 km/h and the top speed in the tunnel section at opening will be 140 km/h.Commissioning schedule Despite the delay to the civil works caused by a tunnel boring machine fire in 1994, DSB Banetechnik has moved quickly to complete the railway installation. The north running tunnel was fitted out in less than six months following handover in May last year, using the experience gained in the southern bore during 1995.As well as the trackwork, described on p110, the railway package covers power supplies, signalling, communications, and tunnel services such as ventilation and drainage. The link will form an integral part of Banestyrelsen’s København – Odense main line, and is being equipped with standard Danish colourlight signalling and Siemens automatic train protection equipment. The three interlockings at New Korsør, Sprogø and New Nyborg are the first solid-state installations for stations on DSB. Developed by the Danish arm of ABB Signal, the equipment is derived from the Swedish Ebilok 850 version. The signalling will normally be controlled remotely from the regional centre at Roskilde, or from Banestyrelsen’s national traffic regulation control room in København, although local emergency panels are provided at each station.Tunnel management will be done from a control room within New Korsør station, using a SCADA computer network. Operators on duty around the clock will monitor all the ventilation and drainage systems, fire detection and communications links, power supplies, and the cross-passages and their pressure doors.Installation and testing of the various systems was largely complete by mid-December, with independent inspectors checking each package on behalf of DSB Banetechnik and the ultimate owner. Tests with moving trains began on November 1, and trials at 180 km/h were successfully completed before Christmas. A series of high-speed runs at 200 km/h plus was scheduled to take place in mid-January.DSB Banetechnik is due to hand the completed railway over to A/S Storebaeltsforbindelsen on February 1, so that the customer can work up operating procedures and start test running ahead of the formal start of services. As DSB itself is contracted as operator, Tychsen expects there will be a degree of overlap between the later phases of the technical work and the early stage of ’traffic commissioning’.The railway link is scheduled to be fully operational on June 1, ready for the European summer timetable change, which will see a radical restructuring of DSB’s inter-city and regional rail operations (RG 2.96 p88). In order to bring the benefits on stream as quickly as possible, freight trains will start using the link on April 1 when the commissioning process permits.When the link was launched, the government’s intention was that DSB would have three years before the parallel road was completed. With inter-city trains crossing the belt in seven minutes compared to an hour’s ferry crossing for motorists, DSB was expected to boost its market share substantially. The delays have eaten into this advantage, but it is likely to be mid-1998 before the East Bridge is completed. DSB will still have a brief window of opportunity. oCAPTION: An emergency evacuation drill was held on the West Bridge on December 16, simulating the derailment of an inter-city train; ambulances from Fünen were on the spot in 17minCAPTION: The tunnel systems will be managed from a control centre (below) at New Korsør station, which includes a disaster co-ordination room for the emergency services. The station is about 1 km from the tunnel portal (centre)
Clonmel Town take on Fairview Rangers of Limerick in the Munster Youth Cup Final this evening.The South Tipp side are seeking to win the trophy for the second year in succession.Their manager Johnathan Donoghue really started to believe this was possible when they beat Ringmahon Rangers in the quarter-finals. Kick-off in Celtic Park, Clonmel, is at 6.30pm.
The accounting deficit of defined benefit (DB) pension schemes for the UK’s 350 largest listed organisations fell from £160bn in August 2016 to £152bn in September 2016, according to research by Mercer.Its Pensions risk survey, which is based on analysis and projections of FTSE 350 organisations’ financial statements adjusted from their financial year end, also found that pension liability values reduced by £13bn, falling from £885bn in August to £872bn in September.Asset values were £720bn as of 30 September 2016. This is £5bn lower than the £725bn recorded at the end of August 2016.Ali Tayyebi, senior partner in the retirement business at Mercer, said: “The net change in deficits from the start to the end of September has been relatively small compared to recent months but it does buck the trend of the straight increase in deficits month on month since February. Even so, deficits have increased by over £100bn since the start of the year.”