first_imgSACRAMENTO – Legislative leaders on Wednesday spent a second day in lengthy negotiations over a $140 billion state budget and said they were optimistic they would strike a deal before the end of the week. Earlier in the day, Democratic leaders of the Senate and Assembly canceled scheduled votes in their respective houses that would have signaled an impasse with Republicans. It was not clear exactly what concessions the two sides had discussed behind closed doors. But after three of the leaders unexpectedly emerged for a walk around the Capitol grounds, Senate Minority Leader Dick Ackerman said Republicans had proposed an across-the-board cut of 1percent to 2percent for all state agencies as a possible way to end the 18-day budget standoff. Republicans have been holding out for $2 billion in cuts, while Democrats want to preserve funding, especially for education and social service programs. Nu ez served a 2002 Insignia, a $150-a-bottle Napa red that won Wine Spectator magazine’s Wine of the Year award. The other bottle was a 2003 Quintessa Meritage valued at $224, according to the speaker’s office. Whether the two sides can agree in time to vote before Friday, when the Legislature is scheduled to leave for its summer recess, remains unclear. It typically takes two or three days from the time an agreement is reached for staffers to finalize all the numbers. That would mean a vote in the Legislature, if a deal is reached within days, would come Saturday or Sunday. The Legislature’s deadline to pass a budget was June 15, and Schwarzenegger was supposed to have signed it by July 1, the start of the new fiscal year. Hundreds of workers in the Capitol missed their first paychecks on Friday, and state contractors have not been paid since the beginning of the month. But under state rules, the vast majority of the state’s civil servants continue to get paid until a budget agreement is reached. Republicans have said they will not support a budget that fails to make significant progress in cutting the state’s operating deficit. Last month, a joint legislative committee controlled by Democrats approved a $140 billion state spending plan similar to the one Schwarzenegger released in May. The two Republicans on the committee voted against it, making it clear that party leaders and Schwarzenegger would have to hash out a deal to win the Legislature’s required two-thirds majority. California is one of only a handful of states to require a supermajority to approve the budget. Meeting that threshold requires two Republican votes in the Senate and six in the Assembly. The $140 billion budget plan approved by the committee last month was balanced in part by relying on $4.1 billion left over from a tax windfall from previous years. General fund spending in the 2007-08 budget year would exceed revenue by at least $1.5 billion. The general fund, the money the state uses to operate its ongoing programs, is about $104 billion, nearly the same as in the revised budget Schwarzenegger released in May. The larger budget figure includes special obligation funds and money to repay bonds the state has sold in years past to pay for a variety of projects. Democrats said their budget plan is a good one and has a larger reserve and smaller operating deficit than Schwarzenegger’s. Republicans, however, are insisting on the $2 billion in cuts. Economic data released last week emboldened their effort. Revenue estimates released Friday showed California collected $800 million less in tax money than expected in recent months. Republicans seized on the data, saying it proved the Legislature must do more to cut spending and balance the budget. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “Everybody’s been using their imagination and looking for various ideas where we might be able to make some adjustments without necessarily hitting some of the programs that are important to Democrats,” said Ackerman, R-Tustin. “We want to try to make it a go, but all of these programs have had tremendous growth.” The legislative leaders said they would resume negotiations Thursday. Assembly Speaker Fabian Nu ez, D-Los Angeles, and Assembly Minority Leader Mike Villines, R-Clovis, promised to work together to quickly reach a final deal. “We’re doing as good a job as you can given the ideological differences,” Nu ez said. “We’ve made significant progress, and I’m feeling very good about it.” The joint appearance and upbeat attitude was a stark contrast to the past two weeks. It followed what apparently was a turning point Tuesday night in budget negotiations as the four party leaders discussed state finances over two bottles of fine red wine in Nu ez’s office. “The wine helped a little bit,” Ackerman said, chuckling to reporters. “He has good wine.” last_img read more

first_imgThis year the virus was detected in May in central Lancaster and in June in central Palmdale, both times in flocks of chickens kept by the mosquito-control district to detect mosquito-borne diseases, and in a dead starling in August in west Palmdale.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe joys and headaches of holiday travel: John PhillipsThe virus was confirmed most recently in a chicken in a “sentinel” flock set out near 15th Street West and Avenue I to detect mosquito-borne diseases, and in two dead crows, one found near Avenue K and 10th Street West and one near Avenue K and 30th Street East. So far this year, five residents of Los Angeles County have been confirmed as infected with West Nile, but only one became ill enough to be hospitalized. Statewide, more than 170 people have been identified as infected and two have died – a decline from last year at this time, when nearly 600 people had been infected. Nineteen Californians died last year. The decline may be due to people taking steps to avoid mosquito bites or to efforts to kill mosquitoes and prevent them from breeding, Mellor said. Studies have differed over whether people are becoming more resistant to the virus. Since the virus first turned up in the Antelope Valley in 2003, it has sickened and killed birds and horses, but so far no people, officials said. LANCASTER – Three more birds have been confirmed as infected with the West Nile virus in Lancaster, mosquito-control officials said. The finds raise to eight the number of birds found with the mosquito-borne virus since spring in the Antelope Valley, but the nearest human cases have been in the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys. “We hope we can get by again without any, but eventually there’s going to be a human case. We do as much as we can but there’s no way to eliminate all mosquitoes,” Antelope Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District entomologist Karen Mellor said. The virus is likely to remain a potential threat until about Halloween, when temperatures drop enough to end the mosquito season, she said. last_img read more

first_img1 Virgil van Dijk will join Liverpool from Southampton for £75million in January Jose Mourinho has responded to Virgil van Dijk’s £75million move by reminding Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp of his threat to quit football if astronomical fees became commonplace.The Reds have made the first significant move of the winter transfer window after agreeing a deal with Southampton to make Van Dijk the world’s most expensive defender.Confirmed: Liverpool to sign Virgil van Dijk from Southampton on January 1He will arrive at Anfield 18 months after Klopp insisted he wanted to “do it differently” following Paul Pogba’s then-world record £92.35million switch to Manchester United, with the German suggesting he did not want to be involved in the game if such amounts became the norm rather than the exception.Asked about Van Dijk’s move at his press conference on Friday, Mourinho said: “I think the one to speak about it in a specific way has to be Jurgen. If I was one of you I would ask him about his comments about one year ago (when Pogba signed).“Not speaking specifically about (the Van Dijk) case because in Liverpool they do what they want, and I am nobody to comment about what they do, (but) the reality is if they think the player is the right player for them, and they really want the player, they pay this amount or they don’t have the player. That’s the way the market is.“When we compare now the amount of money that certain managers and we try to compare that…not even with 10 years ago, (with) three years ago, it’s to compare the impossible.“Now you are going to say Virgil van Dijk is the most expensive defender in the history of football. Was he better than (Paolo) Maldini, (Giuseppe) Bergomi or (Rio) Ferdinand? You cannot say that.“It’s just the way the market is. You pay or you don’t pay. If you pay, you pay a crazy amount of money but if you don’t, you don’t have the player. It’s as simple as that.“No criticism at all about what Liverpool did. It’s just the way it is.”last_img read more

first_imgARCADIA – A mystery has taken root at the Los Angeles County Arboretum. Employees there are looking for a man known only as “Robert,” who showed up at the botanic gardens Monday with a fresh cutting of a highly invasive and poisonous weed never before seen in California. With a little help from Google Images, Arboretum botanist Frank McDonough quickly identified the two-and-a-half-foot branch as soda apple – a plant typically known for wreaking havoc in the South. “Nothing ever exciting happens when you’re a botanist,” said McDonough. “It’s kind of a black pleasure, finding something that could be a pest.” “I suspect he will be pretty willing to help,” Smith said, “once he realizes what a find he’s made.” (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4494 (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4451160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Three to six feet tall when fully grown, soda apple has thorny stems with broad, droopy leaves and white flowers that develop into marble-sized, toxic fruits that are first green with white markings, then leathery and yellow when mature. Soda apple can spread quickly, displacing natural plants and covering fields with leaves that are noxious to livestock. This relative of the potato can also host diseases that attack vegetable crops. Naturally, McDonough was anxious to learn how it found its way to his office – and whether it’s taken root in California. “If this thing is spreading, it could cause a real problem,” he said. McDonough thought a quick call to the phone number Robert left would provide him answers to his questions. But his efforts have so far proven fruitless: He has been calling for three days now to no avail. On Thursday, McDonough dropped the plant off with the county for official identification. Protocol calls for a survey to be done around the area where the plant is first found to prevent its spread, said Ray Smith, deputy director of the county’s agricultural commission. But without help from Robert, officials have no idea where to start. last_img read more

first_img 2 Getty Images – Getty Aston Villa vs Liverpool (Tuesday, 7:45pm)  – talkSPORTLiverpool vs Monterrey (Wednesday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT 2Everton vs Leicester (Wednesday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORT 2Manchester United vs Colchester (Wednesday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORTMiddlesbrough vs Stoke (Friday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORT 2Everton vs Arsenal (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORTAston Villa vs Southampton (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2Cardiff vs Preston (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT 2Manchester City vs Leicester (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORTSheffield Wednesday vs Bristol City (Sunday, 12pm) – talkSPORT 2 2 Ally McCoist believes Aston Villa should prioritise the Premier League and field a weakened team in Tuesday’s Carabao Cup quarter-final clash against Liverpool.Dean Smith’s side will face a young and inexperienced Reds team in the Villa Park clash – LIVE ON talkSPORT – as Jurgen Klopp has taken the majority of his first-team squad out to Qatar for the FIFA Club World Cup. Liverpool Under-23 coach Neil Critchley will take charge of a young Reds team against Aston Villa Some of the club’s youngsters who were expected to play against Villa were taken to the Middle East, including 18-year-old midfielder and U23s captain Curtis Jones and right-back Neco Williams, which means the Liverpool team led by U23s boss Neil Critchley will be even more under-strength than first thought.The Villans are therefore huge favourites to progress to the last-four and reach their first major semi-final since they were FA Cup runners-up in the 2015/16 season.But with their next four league games all coming against relegation rivals, Southampon, Norwich, Watford and Burnley, McCoist believes Smith should be cautious about playing his top stars.Villa currently sit 17th in the league table and are only above the relegation zone on goal difference.Speaking ahead of the talkSPORT’s live commentary game, McCoist said: “It’s as good an opportunity Villa will get [to win a cup] in a long time, but the league is the priority.“If Villa were sitting further up the table in relative safety, I would without a doubt play a strong side to win the game.“But financially everything would tell you Villa’s priority must be to remain in the Premier League and you’ve got to gear everything towards that.“What if you played Jack Grealish against Liverpool, he gets injured against and then misses those vital games?”center_img McCoist says Jack Grealish and Aston Villa’s other top stars should be rested for the game against Liverpool’s youngsters LIVE on talkSPORT Getty Images – Getty Check out all the live commentaries coming up across our network this week… However, Sports Breakfast host Alan Brazil disagreed and argued: “If Villa get into the semi-final, Villa at Wembley, it would give the team a boost!”And McCoist replied: “There’s no argument about that, you’re absolutely correct, but what is Dean Smith’s priority?“I’m desperate for Villa to stay up, but it’s not guaranteed.“I would leave Grealish out. If it means they’ve got a better chance of winning their upcoming league fixtures, I think they should.”last_img read more

first_imgRising temperatures and sunshine are heralding the real beginnings of spring in Donegal today.Met Eireann have forecast mild weather for the beginning of the week, but it is not expected to last until St. Patrick’s Day.Temperatures are expected to reach a pleasant high of 13 degrees today and remain very mild until the end of the week. Daytime averages are forecast to be above 10 degrees from Monday to Thursday. Monday-Wednesday are forecast to have dry cloudy days with many spells of sunshine. Moderate breezes of 20-30km/h will keep up a fresh spring air. Rain is to return on Thursday afternoon and end the dry sunny spells.The luck of the Irish is not expected to be on Donegal’s side for St. Patrick’s Day. Rain is forecast to set in from the morning and spread throughout the county and remain persistent during the day. Winds will also be high for the day of festivities. Temperatures on Friday are forecast to be much cooler at 6-9 degrees.Spring has sprung in Donegal – but will it last until St. Patrick’s Day? was last modified: March 13th, 2017 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:springSt Patrick’s Dayweatherlast_img read more

first_img But for me, the biggest personal take-away happened after the session, and in the conversations with the folks that came up to the stage to chat with the panelists. During the session, an audience member asked about the value of Pinterest as a recruiting tool.  As I recall, Jeremy indicated that he had not personally seen much usefulness there, and I made a (lame) joke about needing to delete my Pinterest account. But essentially our panel did not have much positive to say about Pinterest in the recruiting context. The last dispatch from me from #SHRM12, aka, the SHRM Annual Conference & Exposition which wrapped up yesterday from Atlanta. Where was I? Oh, yeah, wrapping up the final day at #SHRM12 which for me was highlighted by the panel discussion I was fortunate to be asked to moderate, titled ‘Is Social Recruiting Really Working?’ and that featured industry leaders and experts Robert Hohman, CEO of, industry analyst and legend John Sumser, and Jeremy Langhans, who leads Global Brand and Talent Attraction for Expedia. But after the session an audience member, someone in Talent Acquisition from a major retail brand that you have absolutely heard of, told us that for them, Pinterest was, in her words, ‘gold’. The kinds of people that the brand would want to find and connect with were all over Pinterest, were really engaged, and definitely wanted more interaction and communication with the brand. So while for us guys on the panel, laughing off Pinterest might have made sense from our limited world view, but for this major organization, the platform is starting to represent an increasingly important source for recruiting. Every organization’s experience, approach, and results in social recruiting is going to be unique. While there are some general guiding principles and leading practices that are emerging, (and we talked about many of them on the panel), there are no true and repeatable recipes for success that will be successful in all situations. One size does not fit all. In fact, it hardly fits anyone. It was, I thought, a really good discussion overall, with some insights, shared experiences, and even a few laughs – particularly when Jeremy was getting talking points texted to him during the session! Aside: which major industry event will be the first one to actually adopt as its ‘official’ name the event hash tag? It would be kind of cool to see SHRM or some other organization to just drop the tired and formal sounding ‘Conference and Exposition’ part and just go with #SHRM12 as the event name. It was a good lesson to learn, and I am thankful for the attendee who shared her view with us after the session. The panel discussion was, I think, pretty lively from the start. It took about three minutes before the panelists were (respectfully) disagreeing with each other, which I’ve always felt is one sign of an interesting panel discussion. As the panelists stepped through and discussed some of the common perceptions and assumptions surrounding social media for recruiting, several common themes and best practices did start to emerge:  the need for organizations to be more open and committed to engaging with candidates on social platforms, that trusting your employees to fairly portray the brand message is paramount, and that HR and Recruiting can — and should — work closely with their internal social media experts in Marketing and PR to help define, tune, and communicate the brand message. The bigger point? Thanks again to the panel members, and to the team at for making the panel possible, and for including me in the event. And I promise, no more on #SHRM12 from me!last_img read more

first_imgCredit: Sharlyn Lauby’s HR Bartender Blog Delegation is an important activity for leaders. If managers want to be successful, they must learn how to delegate effectively. Here’s the reason why: managers will never be able to move up within the organization, take an uninterrupted vacation, participate in a special project, or enjoy a day of training if they are unable to  delegate. Every time they leave their office, they will be pestered, emailed, texted, and voice mailed all day long.Don’t get me wrong, sometimes managers do have to be consulted about emergencies and out of the ordinary situations. But teams should be able to handle a few days without their manager’s constant glare. In fact, if a manager is on vacation and an emergency happens, their employees should be able to consult with another manager who is around and comfortable with making decisions – instead of contacting someone on vacation.Because delegation is such a critical skill, it’s important to identify  the conditions that need to be present for a manager to delegate effectively. There are two key situations when managers should delegate:When the working relationship is strong and trusting. Managers should have confidence that their employees can do the task. They need to tell employees that they are confident the employee will do a great job. It’s okay for there to be a little apprehension. It’s the first time a manager is delegating the task. It’s the first time the employee is doing the task on their own. But delegation is moving in the right direction when it’s perceived in a positive way and as a growth opportunity (versus the employee is being set up to fail.)When the employee is ready to do the task. Managers need a working knowledge of the skills and abilities necessary to complete the work. An example would be if a manager wants to assign an employee to do a report. The report is completed in Microsoft Excel. Obviously, the employee needs to know Excel in order to do the report. Managers will want to make sure that the employee is capable of doing all the individual parts before delegating. And if there’s some skill the employee is missing, then make sure they get the necessary training to feel comfortable completing the work.So, the next time you’re wondering, “Should I delegate that or do it myself?” Answer these three questions:Am I confident that the employee can do the work? We need to trust that our employees have pride in themselves and their work. They will work hard to accomplish the task.Is the employee capable of doing the work? They might not be perfect the first time they complete the assignment. But chances are, we weren’t either. Keep in mind, it’s also possible they will do a great job.Does the employee want to do the work? Employees need to know how this new task fits into their existing workload. They want to understand how the task benefits them and the organization.If by chance, you ask yourself these questions and the answer is “no,” that’s not the end of the matter. While managers might choose not to delegate the task, the follow-up question is to ask “Why?” and “What do I need to do to delegate this task?” Not being able to delegate something isn’t as much a reflection on the employee as it is on the manager and their ability to develop their people.last_img read more

first_img(AP) — President Donald Trump said Wednesday he will lift sanctions on Turkey after the NATO ally agreed to permanently stop fighting Kurdish forces in Syria and he defended his decision to withdraw American troops.“We’re getting out,” Trump said at the White House, asserting that tens of thousands of Kurdish lives were saved as the result of his actions.“Let someone else fight over this long, blood-stained sand,” he said.The president, who campaigned on a promise to cease American involvement in “endless wars,” took a victory lap as he lopped the American presence inside Syria in less than a year from about 2,000 troops to a contingency force in southern Syria of 200 to 300.Lawmakers on both sides of aisle chastised the president for turning on the Syrian Kurds, whose fighters battled side by side with American troops to beat back the Islamic State group They also questioned whether the move has opened up the region to a resurgence of IS.“I am worried that a full withdrawal will create space for ISIS to regroup, grow and gain more strength,” said Michael McCaul of Texas, the lead Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “We learned from President Obama’s reckless retreat from Iraq that power vacuums are exploited by America’s worst enemies. We do not want to repeat the same mistake. We must learn from history.”Trump warned that if Turkey does not honor its pledge for a permanent cease-fire, he will not hesitate to reimpose sanctions. Earlier this month, Trump halted negotiations on a $100 billion trade deal with Turkey, raised steel tariffs back up to 50% and imposed sanctions on three senior Turkish officials and Turkey’s defense and energy ministries.“The job of our military is not to police the world,” Trump said. “Other nations must step up and do their fair share. Today’s breakthrough is a critical step in that direction.”Trump earlier in October ordered the bulk of the approximately 1,000 U.S. troops in Syria to withdraw after Turkey’s president, Recep Tayipp Erdogan, told Trump in a phone call that Turkish forces were set to invade northeastern Syria. Turkey’s goal was to push back the U.S.-allied Kurdish fighters. Turkey views the Kurds as terrorists and an ever-present threat along its southern border with Syria.The U.S. pullout was seen as an abandonment of Kurdish fighters, who have incurred thousands of casualties as they fought with U.S. forces against the Islamic State militants.The U.S. troops left, but the conflict was not without repercussions.Trump’s critics say he gave up American influence in the region and signaled to future allies that the United States is no longer a reliable partner. More than 176,000 people have been displaced by the Turkish offensive and about 500 IS fighters gained freedom during the conflict.“There were a few that got out, a small number relatively speaking,” Trump said. “They’ve been largely recaptured.”Turkey is taking control of areas of Syria that it captured in its invasion. Russian and Syrian forces are now overseeing the rest of the border region, leaving the United States with little influence in the region.Trump said he would “bring our soldiers home” from Syria, but then recalibrated and his administration plans to shift more than 700 to western Iraq. Those troops, however, do not have permission to stay in Iraq permanently. Iraq’s defense minister, Najah al-Shammari, told The Associated Press that the U.S. troops will leave the country within four weeks.Defense Secretary Mark Esper visited the Iraqi capital on Wednesday, a day after Russia and Turkey reached an agreement that would send their forces along nearly the entire northeastern border to fill the void left when U.S. forces left. Between 200 and 300 U.S. troops will remain at the southern Syrian outpost of Al-Tanf.Under the new agreement, much of that territory would be handed over to U.S. rivals.The biggest winners are Turkey and Russia. Turkey would get sole control over areas of the Syrian border captured in its invasion. Turkish, Russian and Syrian government forces would oversee the rest of the border region. America’s former U.S. allies, the Kurdish fighters, are hoping Russia and Syria will preserve some pieces of the Syrian Kurdish autonomy in the region.“In the blink of an eye, President Trump has undone over five years of progress against the Islamic State,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.last_img read more