Home Page  Important Links  Glossary  Frequently Asked Questions  Locations and Driving Directions
 Employee Directory  Contact Us  Privacy Policy  Quote Forms Make a Payment About Us

News Center


Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines

Iran says oil aboard tanker pursed by US sold; buyer unnamed

Iran says oil aboard tanker pursed by US sold; buyer unnamedIran on Monday announced that the 2.1 million barrels of crude aboard an Iranian oil tanker pursued by the U.S. has been sold to an unnamed buyer as the ship, at the center of a crisis roiling the region, continued its voyage in the Mediterranean Sea. The announcement by government spokesman Ali Rabiei represent just the latest twist in the saga of the Adrian Darya 1, which had been known as the Grace 1 when authorities seized the vessel off Gibraltar on July 4, on suspicion of breaking European Union sanctions targeting Syria. The seizure of the ship, and Iran's subsequent seizure of a British-flagged oil tanker, came amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran over the collapse of Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers.




POSTED AUGUST 26, 2019 5:08 AM

U.S., Taliban deal will not stop attacks on Afghan forces, Taliban say

U.S., Taliban deal will not stop attacks on Afghan forces, Taliban sayKABUL/PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - As U.S. and Taliban negotiators push to wrap up talks aimed at securing the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan, Taliban sources say a pact will not mean an end to fighting with the U.S.-backed Afghan government. U.S. and Taliban officials have been negotiating in Qatar since last year on an agreement centered on the withdrawal of U.S. forces, and an end to their longest-ever war, in exchange for a Taliban guarantee that international militant groups will not plot from Afghan soil. U.S. negotiators have been pressing the Taliban to agree to so-called intra-Afghan talks, meaning with the Kabul government and a ceasefire, but a senior Taliban official said that would not happen.




POSTED AUGUST 26, 2019 4:29 AM

Doubling down on racist comments, council candidate says she opposes interracial marriage

Doubling down on racist comments, council candidate says she opposes interracial marriageMarysville, Michigan mayor Dan Damman has called for city council candidate Jean Cramer to withdraw. She says she doesn't plan to.




POSTED AUGUST 24, 2019 5:33 PM

Lindsey Graham warns Trump not to pull all U.S. forces out of Afghanistan

Lindsey Graham warns Trump not to pull all U.S. forces out of AfghanistanTrump has long been eager to withdraw American troops out of the country.




POSTED AUGUST 25, 2019 2:32 PM

Revered as a saint by online extremists, how Christchurch shooter inspired copycat terrorists around the world

Revered as a saint by online extremists, how Christchurch shooter inspired copycat terrorists around the world“Brenton Tarrant was a catalyst for me personally. He showed me that it could be done. And that it needed to be done.”Those were the words written by John Timothy Earnest shortly before he stormed a synagogue in Poway, California, and opened fire on the Jewish congregation.




POSTED AUGUST 24, 2019 4:22 PM

Journalist killed in Mexico

Journalist killed in MexicoThe head of a Mexican news website was found stabbed to death in the center of the country, authorities said Saturday, the 10th such killing this year. The body of Nevith Condes Jaramillo "was found Saturday morning... showing injuries from a sharp object," the state prosecutor said in a statement. Condes Jaramillo, 42, was the head of a local news site in Tejupilco and was also an announcer on a community radio station.




POSTED AUGUST 25, 2019 1:32 AM

Bat poo no longer blights church and interrupts service, as worshippers rejoice over new scheme

Bat poo no longer blights church and interrupts service, as worshippers rejoice over new schemeEnticing the next generation through their ancient doors, keeping donations topped up and ensuring that the organ is tuned usually rank high among any church’s list of priorities. For one congregation in Leicester, however, their problems have been somewhat more ungodly. For years, members of All Saints Church in Braunston-in-Rutland have been plagued by faeces dropping from the ceiling where a 500-strong colony of bats now reside.  This has meant that instead of praying or enjoying the 1,000-year-old church building, parishioners have been slipping on its floors, art and furniture has been covered in sheeting and volunteer wardens have spent hours scouring pews and floors of bat excrement. Now, however, the congregation remains clean and dry. Following a pioneering new scheme, entitled the Bats in Churches project, work has been done to fill the gaps in the ceiling to prevent faeces and urine soaking through without harming the animals. It is illegal to stop bats - which are a protected species - from reaching their roost, leaving many churches unable to patch up holes in their walls and doors which bats use for access. As a result, many congregations across the country have often found themselves at the receiving end of their sporadic, plunging excrement.  Gail Rudge at All Saints Church at Braunston in Rutland, where bats have roosted and caused damage  Credit: ./Photo Copyright John Robertson, 2017.  All Saints Church was one of the first to benefit from £3.8million of Heritage Lottery Funds to reduce the impact of bats on the buildings across the UK. It is one of around 100 churches, which hosts a large bat roost, which is now reaping the rewards of clean floors and clean congregants.  Sue Willetts, church warden, told the BBC: "Before, we had covers down on the floors to collect the droppings. "We had to clean the pews every time, it took an hour before every single service. Now we use the church how its meant to be." Mrs Willetts said that the bat problem “snowballed” five years ago when an old chimney in the village collapsed, prompting its residents to move into the church instead. She added that after signing up to the scheme, ecologists found gaps between the roof and the church and it was possible to block these gaps without harming the bats. She estimated that the church has received £100,000 worth of scaffolding, building, and ecological study works since applying for funding from the project. Rosemary Riddell, from the Bat in Churches project, said work at All Saints Church "has enabled us to sort of roll out solutions to other churches similar to Braunstone and it's really helped us to learn from their experiences". "[The church] was one of our guinea pigs and we're grateful for their engagement and involvement," she added. More than 100 churches have applied for the Bats and Churches Partnership, which monitors bats to see whether church managers could be allowed to take action to protect their historic buildings. It is funded by a multi-million-pound National Lottery grant.  All Saints Church at Braunston in Rutland, Credit: ./Photo Copyright John Robertson, 2017.  During the General Synod earlier this summer, The Telegraph reported that bats in the belfry were being mooted as a potential “tool for mission”.  Bishops visiting York were asked to answer more than 100 questions involving an array of controversial topics such as reporting abuse during confession, non-disclosure agreements and ethical investments in large technology companies; and one was on bats.  The Archdeacon of Lincoln, the Venerable Gavin Kirk, asked for an update on the progress of the Bats in Churches project, and “how those afflicted by bats may find out more about it?”  Sir Tony Baldry, chair of the Church Buildings Council, responded: “A number of projects involve volunteers from the community in managing and even exploiting the presence of bats, for school projects and the like. Bats might even prove to be a tool for mission, if we can get them to behave politely.” Asked how bats may prove to be tools for mission, Sir Tony told the media: “We have to work out how to encourage them out of the belfry to roost in bat boxes in churchyards. “They could then be of interest for projects for schools and A-level students studying the life cycles of bats and so on. They are part of God's creation and are interesting mammals. “There are serious challenges. They poo and urinate over large parts of the church, it is very distressing for parishioners on a Sunday to have to clear a whole load of bat poo off the altar and pews and so for some churches that bats have made almost unusable.”




POSTED AUGUST 25, 2019 5:00 PM

Lisa Bloom: lawyer in Epstein case speaks of suffering sexual abuse

Lisa Bloom: lawyer in Epstein case speaks of suffering sexual abuseBloom, representing two alleged victims of financier, says being a survivor ‘has enabled me to have a lot of compassion’Lisa Bloom in London, on 8 May 2017. Photograph: Tom Nicholson/REX/ShutterstockLisa Bloom, the powerhouse lawyer who has risen to prominence in the MeToo era, has spoken of suffering sexual abuse herself.The experience, she said, left her feeling suicidal.“I blamed myself,” Bloom told the Guardian. “I thought it was my fault. I had no idea who to talk to, or what to say.”At the age of 18, she said, she found her way to a therapist.“I think experience as an abuse survivor has enabled me to have a lot of compassion and understanding for my clients,” she said. “I know everything they’re going through because I’ve gone through it myself.“I understand the shame and fear, but I also understand how empowering and liberating it is to tell your story. I tell my clients ‘this happened to you, but it does not define you.’”In recent years, Bloom and her mother and fellow attorney Gloria Allred have stood prominently counter to a parade of mostly white, middle-aged and famous men accused of sexual misconduct.Both are media-savvy practitioners of the law of women’s rights. Both are veterans of the courtroom and press-call soundbite. Both have, in one way or another, stood against the crimes or alleged but uncharged conduct of Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Jeffrey Epstein, Les Moonves, Roger Ailes, Charlie Rose and Donald Trump.In an email to the Guardian, Bloom named her alleged abuser. The Guardian was however not immediately able to contact the man for comment.“I don’t know if he is still alive,” Bloom wrote, in part. “I assume so. I have spoken about being sexually assaulted/abused but I have not named him before publicly.” ‘A good measure of justice’Amid a slew of MeToo cases, Allred and Bloom have remained prominent. Where there is no criminal case, often because the statute of limitations has expired, there is still the court of public opinion. There is a news conference to name the alleged perpetrator, followed by relentless media coverage. Eventually the scales tip, advertisers are spooked and, in the case of many media figures, corporations are forced to act.A case in point was Bloom’s takedown of the Fox News host Bill O’Reilly.“He would never talk to her, not even hello, except to grunt at her like a wild boar,” Bloom told the Hollywood Reporter, recounting the claims of an African American Fox staffer. “He would leer at her. He would always do this when no one else was around and she was scared.”> We still have an opportunity in the civil system, and that is to demand full and fair compensation for Epstein's victimsFor Bloom, “Operation O’Reilly” culminated when she said the nickname her client said O’Reilly gave her: “Hot Chocolate”. Amid a deluge of reports of settled sexual harassment suits, TV’s most feared pro-Trumper was toast.Bloom is now representing two alleged victims of Epstein, the financier and convicted sex offender who was friends with the rich and powerful but who killed himself in a Manhattan jail two weeks ago.Speaking in New York during her lunch break on Friday – from litigating, she said, a sexual harassment case she was confident would result in multimillion-dollar judgement – Bloom said her mission in representing the alleged Epstein victims was “to deliver justice that was denied when jail authorities allowed Epstein to kill himself”.Bloom has filed suit against Epstein’s estate and an alleged co-conspirator, named in court documents as Sue Roe. The suit alleges that two hostesses at the Coffee Shop in New York City’s Union Square were approached regarding “opportunities” to “perform what they thought were massages on [Epstein] for cash payments”.Unbeknown to the women, the suit says, the financier went on to “sexually touch” them “against their will and force them to watch him masturbate”.Epstein’s death, Bloom says, meant the women “were denied accountability in the criminal justice system. But we still have an opportunity in the civil system, and that is to demand full and fair compensation for his victims from his estate.”Money, she said, “is a good measure of justice in many ways”.“It makes a big difference. It’s a deterrent for people who do bad things and it can help victims get therapy, pay medical bills, go back to school, pay off debt and start a new life. It’s very meaningful to to them.”Epstein faced federal charges more than a decade ago but in a controversial deal pleaded guilty to a lesser state charge in Florida and was permitted to serve a 13-month sentence in which he spent six days out of seven at his office. It now appears he continued to receive visits from young women. His sentence completed, he returned to public life, largely unscathed.For offenders who enjoy the protective cocoon of extreme wealth, Bloom reasons, the only thing that really makes a difference is a loss of privilege.“Power corrupts and extreme wealth corrupts,” she said. “Wealthy people believe they are above the law because in many cases they are above the law. Look at Jeffrey Epstein. He got away with this for years. He had a system of recruiters to bring underage girls to him. Anytime a predator gets away with this, they feel impervious to legal consequences.” ‘Represent the underdogs’Bloom’s initiation into the world of women’s rights and the law came through her mother, an attorney who achieved celebrity herself. Among her high-profile cases, Allred was the first woman to challenge the Friars Club of Beverly Hills, because she was denied certain benefits of membership. She also sued the archdiocese of Los Angeles over sexual abuse by Catholic priests and represented the family of Nicole Brown Simpson, the murdered ex-wife of OJ Simpson.Lisa Bloom and Janice Dickinson announce a settlement in their defamation lawsuit against Bill Cosby in Woodland Hills, California, on 25 July. Photograph: Frederick M Brown/Getty ImagesBloom attended Yale Law School, she has said, because she “wanted to represent the underdogs”. She and her mother have worked well together: they were once profiled in W magazine under the headline “Defenders of Women in 2017”.Bloom’s practice is now 100% for the victims of sexual misconduct and she has given up representing accused men. That decision came after she found herself on the wrong side of the Weinstein story.While her mother took on two of Weinstein’s alleged victims, in initial stages of the case Bloom advised the accused. It was a surprising choice: Weinstein had optioned her book about the slain Florida teen Trayvon Martin.> The pendulum needs to keep swinging … because we’ve been living through an epidemic of sexual harassment and assault> > Lisa BloomBloom initially defended her work, saying the former Hollywood producer was trying to change his ways.Now, she said: “The problem was that Harvey Weinstein ended up being about a great deal more than inappropriate language. When the first woman accused him of sexual assault I was out of there. When the deluge came, I just felt mortified I’d ever associated with him.”Some suggest famous men accused of sexual misconduct have lost the right to clear their name, given the highly public cases of Weinstein, O’Reilly, Ailes, Cosby and others.Bloom recognizes that men have been going through their own awakening to the realities of sexual harassment. But she doesn’t believe the pendulum has swung too far.“The pendulum needs to keep swinging in favor of women because we’ve been living through an epidemic of sexual harassment and assault,” she said. “I believe the MeToo movement is long overdue and profoundly important.”Ultimately, she said, it’s a question of due process, of going to court and trying cases there.“I love being in that environment where there has to be evidence and witnesses,” she said, “not just people swinging allegations back and forth. The brave women who are standing up now are sending a message to predators that their day of reckoning is coming.”




POSTED AUGUST 25, 2019 7:00 AM

Iceland Held Talks With U.S. Ambassador Over Pence Visit

Iceland Held Talks With U.S. Ambassador Over Pence Visit(Bloomberg) -- Iceland’ prime minister is open to a meeting with Vice President Mike Pence during his trip to the Nordic island, should the visit be extended.The option was discussed during a pre-scheduled meeting on Friday between Katrin Jakobsdottir and ambassador Jeffrey Gunter, a government spokesman told Bloomberg.Jakobsdottir, a left-of-center feminist and LGBT advocate, is due to attend a conference by Nordic trade union leaders in Sweden on Sept. 4. That’s the same day in which Pence is due to arrive.Jakobsdottir’s decision to not change her schedule to accommodate the vice president’s visit has been criticized at home.Olaf­ur Hardar­son, a professor of political science at the University of Iceland, told local media Morgunbladid it would be “unusual” for the prime minister not to greet the American vice president.According to her spokeswoman, a final decision on whether the meeting can take place has not yet been made.The White House said Pence planned to discuss trade opportunities, the Arctic and NATO efforts to counter Russian aggression in the region.The scheduling snafu is the latest episode in a series of exchanges involving Donald Trump and the Nordics.Pence’s visit would take place in the wake of a very public spat between the U.S. president and Denmark over its refusal to sell Greenland.Trump said Saturday he had held a “nice” conversation with Mette Frederiksen, with the exchange coming just days after labeling the Danish prime minister as “nasty.”In 2017, Sweden reacted forcibly to Trump’s portrayal of the Nordic nation as being in a state of chaos and overrun by crime after an influx of refugees.(Adds quote in fifth paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Ragnhildur Sigurdardottir in Reykjavik at rsigurdardot@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jonas Bergman at jbergman@bloomberg.net, Nick Rigillo, Andrew DavisFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.




POSTED AUGUST 24, 2019 10:27 AM

Montana is back among states without state-funded preschool

Montana is back among states without state-funded preschoolMontana enters the upcoming school year back among the handful of states without publicly funded preschool, and the unions and education groups that are otherwise staunch allies of Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock are a big reason why his fledgling pre-kindergarten program fizzled. The state briefly broke from those ranks with a 2017 budget item that provided funding for preschool programs through 10 school districts and seven private providers. Bullock, who is now running for the Democratic nomination for president, touted it as a major win for one of his top priorities of his final term: early childhood education.




POSTED AUGUST 24, 2019 11:20 AM

NOTICE: The links and articles found on or within this news center are simply for informational purposes that we believe may be of benefit to our clients and/or website visitors. By providing these links on our website, we are not recommending or endorsing the use of the particular products or services these third parties offer. Nor does Garrett Insurance Agency confirm, corroborate or agree to the statistics or opinions on these links and articles. We urge you to review each website’s Privacy Policy, Disclaimers, and develop an independent opinion of the service or product for any link pursued.