Handy and Harman fine silver quotations in Canadian dollars:Wednesday $22.156 oz., $712.32 kg.; Tuesday $22.195 oz., $713.57 kg.

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AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by The Associated Press Posted Jan 6, 2015 11:34 am MDT White House threatens to veto Keystone XL pipeline bill backed by GOP-controlled Congress WASHINGTON – The White House says President Barack Obama would veto legislation approving construction of the long-stalled Keystone XL oil pipeline.A bill that would have forced Obama’s hand on the issue failed to clear Congress in its final days last year. But the Congress that convened Tuesday is Republican-controlled and new Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said the pipeline bill will be among the first issues voted on.White House press secretary Josh Earnest says he does not expect Obama would sign any Keystone legislation that reaches his desk.The spokesman says there is a “well-established” review process that is being run by the State Department that should not be undermined by legislation.Earnest also says the pipeline’s route through Nebraska also must be resolved.

“We have also suffered enormous heartbreak – including unresolved conflicts causing immense suffering throughout the troubled Middle East, South Sudan, the Sahel and beyond,” said Secretary-General Ban in his message on the Day, observed annually on 24 October, the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter. He noted further: “Together, we have put in place some solid foundations for shared progress – which we must build on by working even harder to empower women, engage youth and uphold human rights for all.” Mr. Ban said that major progress has been made towards a more sustainable future through the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as in addressing the threat of climate change, through the Paris Agreement, which will enter into force on 4 November, a record entry for any such global accord. “Across that historic threshold lies our best chance for greener, cleaner, low-carbon growth,” he said. The UN chief further expressed that it was an honour to serve the world’s people over the past 10 years and called on everyone to support Secretary-General-designate Antonio Guterres in continuing the Organization’s global mission of peace, sustainable development and human rights. Mr. Ban’s tenure as the UN Secretary-General comes to a close at the end of this year. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (at podium) addresses a ceremony commemorating the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Charter in San Francisco. UN Photo/Mark Garten In a separate statement, the President of the UN General Assembly, Peter Thomson welcomed the focus of the 2016 UN Day on real-world actions for a sustainable future.“I salute the fact that this year’s UN Day will be used to highlight concrete actions that people can take to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Mr. Thomson in a statement on the occasion. Under his Presidency, a key agenda of the General Assembly’s 71st Session is to achieve momentum in the implementation of the global goals.“[UN Day’s] observation is an annual reminder of the long and often difficult road [UN] Member States have decided to travel together. We are sustained by common aspiration as defined in the Purposes and Principles of the Charter,” he added in the statement.The 24th of October has been celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948. In 1971, the General Assembly recommended that the day be observed by UN Member States as a public holiday. As part of the observance of the Day, UN will highlight concrete actions people can take to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Also, the organization’s Department of Public Information will organize a concert to celebrate and reflect on the work of the UN through the universal language of music.The event, will feature a traditional Korean music orchestra; world-renowned concert pianist and UN Messenger of Peace, Lang Lang; the Harlem Gospel Choir; the Hungarian State Opera with performances by soprano Andrea Rost; and other notable artists. The theme of this year’s UN Day concert is “Freedom First.”

As if it cannot get any worse for Penn State, now comes word that the NCAA is poised to level heavy punishment to the Nittany Lions’ football program in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.NCAA president Mark Emmert, during an interview with Tavis Smiley on PBS, said, “I’ve never seen anything as egregious as this in terms of just overall conduct and behavior inside a university and hope never to see it again. What the appropriate penalties are, if there are determinations of violations, we’ll have to decide.”We’ll hold in abeyance all of those decisions until we’ve actually decided what we want to do with the actual charges should there be any. And I don’t want to take anything off the table.”That means the Death Penalty is in play for a program that was led to prominence by the late Joe Paterno. Emmert said he is still waiting for Penn State’s official response to the Freeh report, which, in a nutshell, lambasted the administration and Paterno for covering up Sandusky’s rampant crimes, which led to him being convicted on 45 counts that likely will led to a sentencing of more than 60 years in prison.Still reeling from the content of the Freeh report, Emmert did not dismiss the notion of issuing the so-called “death penalty” against Penn State, asserting that the unprecedented nature of the Sandusky scandal could warrant extreme punishment.“This is completely different than an impermissible benefits scandal like happened at SMU, or anything else we’ve dealt with,” Emmert said. “This is as systemic a cultural problem as it is a football problem. There have been people that said this wasn’t a football scandal.“Well it was more than a football scandal, much more than a football scandal. It was that but much more. And we’ll have to figure out exactly what the right penalties are. I don’t know that past precedent makes particularly good sense in this case, because it’s really an unprecedented problem.”Emmert also said that he expects to hear back from Penn State “within weeks” regarding questions the NCAA has issued about the case, including the issue of institutional control. He consistently has maintained that the NCAA will not determine whether violations occurred until receiving the school’s response.“We’re in active discussions with Penn State right now, and I need to get a response back from them soon, right away,” Emmert said. “And then we’re going to make that determination, and then we’ll see where we go here.”

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