Help by sharing this information Follow the news on Sri Lanka August 3, 2010 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Who ordered armed attack on Voice of Asia media group in Colombo? January 13, 2021 Find out more RSF_en July 29, 2020 Find out more Organisation News Reporters Without Borders is outraged by an attack by about 12 armed men on the premises of media that are part of the Voice of Asia group – including Siyatha TV, Siyatha FM, Real Radio and Vettri FM – in Colombo in the early hours of 30 July. Two employees were injured and firebombs caused extensive damage.Watch an exclusive Reporters Without Borders video of this attack: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zm4rLgPKH_o)“How is such an attack possible in the centre of the capital in a country that is under such tight military control?” Reporters Without Borders asked. “This incident shows that the authorities are either incapable of assuring the safety of the media or lack the political will. We call on President Mahindra Rajapaksa to order an impartial investigation with the aim of identifying those responsible for this attack without delay.”The raid on the Voice of Asia media was carried out at about 1:30 a.m. on 30 July by around 12 masked men although the building is supposed to be under permanent protection. The assailants forced employees to kneel, and hit two of them, before throwing Molotov cocktails that started a fire.A pro-government newspaper recently accused the Voice of Asia media of secretly defending the cause of Gen. Sarath Fonseka, the leading opposition candidate in last January’s presidential election. The newspaper produced no evidence to support the claim.In an interview for Reporters Without Borders, Real Radio editor Kirk Abraham described the attack and stressed that the station was determined to continue despite what had happened. Watch the interview with Abraham: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zm4rLgPKH_oSirasa TV, a station belonging to the MTV/MBC group, was the target of a similar attack in Colombo in January 2009 (http://en.rsf.org/sri-lanka-government-urged-to-punish-06-01-2009,29896….). July 15, 2020 Find out more Sri LankaAsia – Pacific News Sri Lanka: tamil reporter held on absurd terrorism charge News Sri Lanka: RSF signs joint statement on attacks against human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists Sri Lanka: Journalist manhandled by notorious police inspector currently on trial to go further News Sri LankaAsia – Pacific Receive email alerts
By Dialogo August 03, 2012 Venezuelan Interior and Justice Minister Tareck El Aissami announced on August 1 that three Colombian citizens linked to the paramilitary drug gang Los Rastrojos [The Stubble] have been arrested in the state of Zulia (in northwestern Venezuela), according to state news service AVN. “In an operational deployment conducted by the Bolivarian Intelligence Service (Sebin) in Maracaibo, in Zulia state, three citizens of Colombian nationality, linked to the Los Rastrojos criminal group, were successfully arrested,” AVN announced on its website, citing El Aissami. The alleged paramilitaries were identified as Eduardo Luis Rosenberg Contreras, 49 years old; Russel Alfonso Núñez, 42 years old; and José Nicolás Cure, 37 years old. According to AVN, the three “were being sought by the authorities of their country for drug trafficking, aggravated homicide, and criminal conspiracy.” El Aissami also said that the operation in which the Colombians were arrested is part of the investigation initiated following the arrest in June of Diego Pérez Enao, alias “Diego Rastrojo,” who was extradited to Colombia last week. The minister did not provide any information about the probable extradition of the three individuals newly arrested.
The plan includes a focus on work-life balance and the fact that women are more likely to work part-time or not at all because of family commitments.It also focuses on increasing the number of women in management positions, including in the civil service, and on better representation in politics.The ruling conservative CDU party has this week already shown movement on the issue, with party leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer announcing new binding quotas that will see women filling at least 50 percent of senior positions at a local level by 2025.The government is also working on a strategy to increase the number of women on executive boards so that an existing 30 percent quota will apply to 600 companies instead of 105 currently, Giffey said. Germany adopted a national strategy on Wednesday to promote gender equality for the first time in its history, aiming to put an end to years of sluggish progress on equal rights and treatment for women.The strategy sets out goals for all government departments, including closing the gender pay gap and better representation for women in business and politics, Families Minister Franziska Giffey said.”This is the first equality strategy in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany that has been coordinated and agreed across all departments,” Giffey said, describing the strategy as a “milestone”. Below European average Despite being led by a female chancellor, Germany sits below the European average when it comes to equality between men and women, according to a 2019 index from the European Institute for Gender Equality.Women earn an average 20 percent less than men and occupy only around 15 percent of executive board positions.Representation of women in the Bundestag, Germany’s lower house of parliament, is currently at its lowest for 20 years, and more than 90 percent of local mayors are male, Giffey said.Historically, gender equality was a particular sticking point in the former West Germany, where women still needed permission from their husbands to work until 1977.Shortly before reunification, just over half of women in West Germany were employed in the workforce, compared with 91 percent of women in communist East Germany.The coronavirus crisis has only exacerbated gender disparities, according to some observers.”It is quite obvious that women have borne the main burden in families,” judge Elke Buedenbender, the wife of German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, said in an interview with the Funke media group in June.”It seems to me that in the time of coronavirus, women have been more prepared to fall back into traditional roles than men have to take a step back from their careers,” she said.Topics :
Wakiso Giants are one of the two newly promoted sides that will take part in the Pilsner Super 8 2019. (PHOTO/File)Pilsner Super 8Wakiso Giants vs KCCA FCWakisha Resource Center, WakisoTuesday, 06-08-2019KAMPALA – The FUFA Pilsner Super 8 fixture between Wakiso Gaints and KCCA FC has been rescheduled to a later date.The match which was scheduled to take place on Thursday, 1st August 2019, will now be played on Tuesday, 6th August.The re-scheduling of the game was confirmed by Wakiso Giants on Tuesday, through their Twitter account.“Breaking: Our game against KCCA FC in the PilsnerSuper8 has been rescheduled from Thursday August 01 to next week Tuesday August 06 on request from KCCA FC who have more than three players on the Uganda Cranes team. Venue and charges remain unchanged.” Read Wakiso Giants tweet.Breaking: Our game against @KCCAFC in the #PilsnerSuper8 has been rescheduled from Thursday August 01 to next week Tuesday August 06 on request from KCCA FC who have more than three players on the @UgandaCranes team. Venue and charges remain unchanged#PrideofWakiso pic.twitter.com/jShSgPf1Ks— Wakiso Giants FC (@WakisoGiantsFC) July 30, 2019The re-scheduling is as a result of KCCA FC’s players being involved with the National team. The Kasasiros have 8 players currently gearing up for the CHAN qualifier return leg against Somalia and would not be able to take part in the game on Thursday hence a request for their fixture to be postponed.Charles Lukwago, Filbert Obenchan, Mustapha Kizza, Kyambadde Allan, Nicholas Kasozi, Saddam Juma, Patrick Kaddu and Allan Okello are the KCCA FC players who are currently with the CHAN team.KCCA FC have 8 players on the CHAN team.The Pilsner Super 8 is contested by who finished in the top six of the previous SUPL and two newly promoted sides. Wakiso Giants and Proline are the two newly promoted sides that will feature in this year’s Super 8.KCCA FC are the defending champions of the competition, having defeated Onduparaka 2-0 at Wankulukuku to win the first edition last year.The tournament formatThe winners of the four first-round games will go on to face off in the semifinals of this year’s edition with the victors in the respective semis, going on to play the final.Likewise, for the losers in the first round, the will face off in the semis before the respective victors lock horns in the placement final.At the end of the tournament, the teams will be ranked from 1-8.The prize moneyIt was revealed on Monday that the Pilsner Super 8 prize money has been more than doubled from UGX 30m to UGX 68m.The 68m will be shared by the respective teams as per their final positions with the winner walking away with UGX 20m, runners ups UGX 12m, third place UGX 10m and the fourth UGX 8m. The fifth to eighth-ranked teams will get UGX 6m, UGX 5m, UGX 4m and UGX 3m, respectively.New Fixture listJuly 31: Proline Vs VipersAugust 2: Mbarara City Vs URA FCAugust 4: Onduparaka Vs Tooro UnitedAugust 6: Proline FC Vs VipersComments Tags: allan okellocharles lukwagoFilbert ObenchanKCCA FCKyambadde AllanMustapha Kizzanicholas kasozipatrick kadduPilsner Super 8saddam jumaWakiso Giants
Fleur van Eeden and Ruan Burger falling five stories down a ventilation shaft in The Flood. Van Eeden on the set of Doomsday. Not much fun: Van Eeden being burned at the stake as a witch in The Devil’s Whore. (Images courtesy Fleur van Eeden) Taking on someone a lot bigger on the set of Doomsday. (Image: Greg King)Jennifer SternFighting on top of a moving train, battling huge futuristic armoured warriors, falling off buildings and getting burned at the stake – it’s all in a day’s work for South African stuntwoman Fleur van Eeden.When she left school in 2002, Van Eeden did the sensible thing and studied public relations. But she was far more interested in her part-time job as a river guide, taking people on scenic adventures on the Breede and Orange Rivers.Van Eeden grew up in the small country town of Swellendam, some 230 kilometres from Cape Town. There she was always outdoors and always active – mountain biking, paddling, horse riding or running. She was never good at sitting still. So there was no looking back when a fellow river guide introduced her to his brother, Franz Spilhaus – one of the partners in Pyranha Stunts.She sent him a CV and photos and, as luck would have it, she looked exactly like one of the actresses on The Triangle, a US miniseries being filmed in Cape Town. She was asked to double for her on a relatively simple stunt – being a passenger on an inflatable boat, but with some spectacular water sequences. That was a breeze so, on the same movie, she was asked if she’d like to do plane crash scene. Ever game, she said yes.“I didn’t know what to expect,” she says. “We were in this plane – a fake plane – and they tied a cable round me, and then there was someone on the outside attached to the same cable. He jumped, and I was pulled up to the top of the plane.”Her stillborn career in public relations forgotten, Van Eeden divided her time between river guiding and stunts, but the stunts soon took over.Six movies in a yearCape Town is the perfect place for a budding stuntwoman to be. The city has become South Africa’s version of Hollywood, with its varied and beautiful locations, favourable exchange rate and strong government support making it a favourite among international filmmakers.In the five years from 2003 to 2007 over 50 major films and TV series were shot in Cape Town, including the 2006 hit Blood Diamond and 2007’s Rendition and 10 000 BC. In 2009 the city will be the location of a major film starring Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman.“After The Triangle, I didn’t hear from Pyranha for quite a while,” says Van Eeden. “Then, suddenly, I did a commercial, and then did six movies in one year.”These were Primeval, The Flood, Rainbow Warriors, The Bird Can’t Fly, Bible Code (a German movie) and Drona (a Bollywood movie).By international standards, Van Eeden considers herself to have broken in to the field.“I had no training, so I was really lucky,” she says. “For example, in the UK, you can’t even get onto the books unless you have lots of qualifications.“So, once I started, I started to train. Because I’m a girl, I get lots of chances and training. Before a movie, say I look like the actress, they’ll take me for two months and train me.“Like Doomsday. I’m not a fighter, so they trained me to fight. “As a stunt double her job is to make the actress look good, but she doesn’t necessarily look that good while doing it.“Sometimes you look great, and other times you look awful. In Doomsday, they cut my hair short with these two long bits in the front, and dyed it black. So I walked around for five months with this weird hairstyle.“In Droma, the main actress was this beautiful Indian woman, so I wore this long black wig and they painted my face dark. I was in make-up every day for three weeks and, after a while, it didn’t come off. I looked like a raccoon.”Feel the fear, and do it anywayDroma also gave Van Eeden her scariest stunts so far.“We had to do fights on top of a train while it was moving. They built these two towers on either side of the train, with cables running from one end to the other, and we were tied to the cables. There were about 12 of us fighting. I was the only woman.“The last day they wanted three stunt guys to fall off the train. A lot of the stuntmen had got hurt in the fighting, so they asked me if I wanted to do it.“I practiced it with the train static. I was really worried, not sure how my body would react when I did it at 45 kilometres and hour. That doesn’t sound fast, but it is. And then, when I jumped, I did it exactly as I had trained. It was very rewarding.”She had a good time working on Droma.“Working with Indian productions is the most fun things. The director will do your makeup if he has to. Everyone does everything. They’re not precious.”Another challenging stunt was the full body burn she did for The Devil’s Whore. In this British TV series she doubled for Andrea Riseborough, who played the unfortunate Angelica Fanshawe, who comes to a rather fiery end.The series is set in the 17th century, during the English Civil War. When the producers were criticised for choosing to shoot in South Africa, they countered that they had been unable to find suitably “old English” locations in England.Being burned at the stake is no mean feat, Van Eeden says.“It’s the one stunt you have to do. But if something went wrong, it would be major.”As it turned out, the preparation was worse than the burning.“They painted me,” she says. “They cover your whole body with gel – straight from a freezer – and then two layers of special clothing.“It’s a layer of water gel, then a layer of gel-impregnated clothing, then more gel, then an overall. And then your wardrobe on top of that. With the special gel, you get so cold. And then suddenly this heat. They have to have a paramedic standing by in case you get hypothermia.“And then the actual burn, they explain you should preferably not breathe – it’s only 10 seconds. But if you have to, you must just take a tiny breath. If you gasp in air, you can burn your lungs.“First you practice it and then, on the day we did it five times. So I burned five times.“You know what’s weird – you really get into the whole thing. There I was tied to the stake. (I wasn’t really tied, of course.) And everyone was shouting, ‘Burn the witch, burn the witch!’”Fantasy worldSometimes she will just get called on to do a single stunt for a movie but, often, as a stunt double, she’ll be involved in the same movie for months.One of these was Doomsday, a 2008 British science fiction film starring Bob Hoskins and Malcolm McDowell.“With Doomsday, we did two months of training and then five months of filming,” she says. “We finished that up in Scotland, which was amazing.”“You start getting involved in the character. You watch the actress, see how she moves, how she sits, and you try to be her.“You spend months and months living in this fantasy world. You don’t even know what’s going on in the real world.“And then, it’s a bit depressing when it all ends.”Reality checkThere is always the chance that something can go wrong, and Van Eeden has had a few minor mishaps.“I’ve got a scar on my stomach from flying glass,” she says.“And my neck got a bit scorched when I did the full body burn, but that’s not a big deal.“And in Primeval – this guy was holding me by the throat and burning my arm with a cigar. I had a flesh-coloured plaster on, but it slipped and he was actually burning me. But I couldn’t ruin the shot,” she says, showing a small scar on her arm. And she hurt her knee when a door fell on her in an explosion.“But it’s not usually serious – a couple of stitches. A lot of people break collar bones.“On Doomsday, one of the actors broke a stuntman’s nose. That’s the worse, when you have to fight against the actors, because they’re not trained.A recent injury – from wakeboarding this time, not stunt work – has made Van Eeden slow down a bit. Unable to keep still, she started a small DVD-based TV show called SWDTV – Swellendam TV.“It’s a monthly DVD that goes out to the community – mostly tourist stuff. Especially after my injury, I thought – what if I hurt myself again?”So she’s making sure she can still work even with an injury.“I’m getting more into editing. And, a week ago, I did a winch job where I operated the winch, because of my foot. They’ve been very nice about it.“When I don’t do stunts I rig sometimes. I have an abseil supervisor’s ticket. It’s very technical.”Van Eeden’s back at work, doing a scuba diving scene, but she’s careful not to take on anything that may worsen her ankle injury. She seems pretty sure where she wants to go in the foreseeable future. Even though she is making sure she has something to fall back on, she can’t imagine not doing stunts. And she has no intention of heading for the bright lights. “People ask me why I don’t go overseas. But there’s so much work here. Here, I’m a big fish in a small pond. In Scotland we worked with 12 UK stunt people, and they do one movie in a year.“Here we do a lot more – and a lot of commercials. Maybe I’d go for a while, for experience, but I want to work in South Africa.“And carry on living in Swellendam. If I have two days off I go home. I’ve got two horses and I mountain bike. I love it there.”So it looks like the burgeoning South African film industry is going to have this restless young stuntwoman to call on for quite a while.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at [email protected] articlesRough Aunties to the rescue 2010 opportunities for SA film Terry Pheto is worth it Global acclaim for SA film South Africa: a top film location Rebate boost for SA film More Oscar glory for SA Boost for SA film studio Useful linksFleur van EedenPyranha Stunts Cape Town Film Studios Cape Film Commission
25 February 2013A new South African innovation and technology incubator, JoziHub, aims to promote technological development and entrepreneurship, it was announced at the launch of the project in Johannesburg last week.It is the city’s first technology incubator and was founded by mobile health technology firm Praekelt Foundation.“Technology hubs can play a pivotal role in fostering the emergence of a new generation of African tech entrepreneurs,” founder of the Praekelt Foundation, Gustav Praekelt, said in a statement.“By providing the training, support, facilities and networks required to enable entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into sustainable businesses, incubators such as JoziHub can make an immediate and lasting impact on local innovation and development.”Focus will be given to addressing the country’s most pressing social challenges through the development of internet, social media and mobile technology.Content streams to cater for markets such as health, arts, environment and sustainability and women in technology will also be used to help address these problems, as will the hosting of regular events to bring together experts and entrepreneurs.‘Creating socially minded ventures’“For Johannesburg tech entrepreneurs, the world just became smaller and the path to innovation shorter,” said Omidyar Network partner, Stephen King.Omidyar Network is one of the firms backing the project, along with Google and ISLabs. Omidyar is a global investment firm which aims to stimulate social and economic growth.“Our experience in Silicon Valley, as well as our support of technology hubs in Nairobi and Lagos, demonstrates the vital role JoziHub will play as an open, living lab where collaboration among social entrepreneurs and technologists will spark new ideas, nurture innovation and create socially minded ventures,” King said.ISLabs is a division of service provider Internet Solutions, established to identify online projects and help with their development.JoziHub will work with other hubs across Africa, such as Kenya’s iHub, and is planning to apply to become part of networking organisation AfriLabs.“Johannesburg has a vibrant community of innovators and world-class thinkers whose ideas can transform the country and indeed the African continent,” Praekelt said.“At JoziHub we are seeking to harness this energy and allow its vast potential to be realised.”It will be free for entrepreneurs to join and use JoziHub’s services for the first three months in order to drive growth.SAinfo reporter
How we measure bath fan flow ratesThe photo below shows Andrew Woodruff of Building Performance Engineering in Boone, NC using the exhaust fan flow meter from the Energy Conservatory. We use the same device, as do many HERS raters. You just hold it over the fan with the fan turned on and measure the pressure difference with a manometer. The range of exhaust flow rates it measures is from 10 to 124 cfm with an accuracy of ±10%. They’re quick, easy to use, much less expensive than a flow hood, and way lighter than a powered flow hood. The little hitch that snaresOne of the requirements in Energy Star Version 3 is that bath fans have to be able to exhaust at least 50 cubic feet per minute (cfm) of air. It’s got to be measured by a HERS rater as one step among many in the required commissioning process. Many builders going for Energy Star have learned that fans rated at 50 cfm generally don’t cut it. This particular Habitat affiliate, as a result of early failures, made the decision to install fans rated at 110 cfm in all their homes.Should be pretty easy to hit 50 cfm with a 110 cfm fan, right? No, not necessarily.Jeffrey tested 9 fans, all rated at 110 cfm. Want to guess how many passed on the first try? Well, the actual number was five. That’s right. Only five out of nine fans passed. RELATED ARTICLES Bathroom Exhaust FansResidential CommissioningCommissioningIs Your Ventilation System Working?Simple Methods for Measuring Air FlowDesigning a Good Ventilation SystemDuct Leakage TestingHow to Track Down Leaks in Forced-Air DuctworkQ&A: Balancing an HRV And even their results weren’t stellar. None of them even hit 100 cfm. One barely made it across the finish line with 51 cfm. The other four were between 51 and 85 cfm.And the four losers? Their exhaust flow rates were 30, 45, 45, and 46 cfm. Did I mention that the fans were rated for 110 cfm? Those four fans couldn’t even get 45% of their rated air flow! If you’re a builder, HERS rater, or HVAC contractor working on Energy Star homes, what kind of failure rates are you seeing on bath fan exhaust flow rates? Let me tell you a little story about the day that Jeffrey went to test several Habitat for Humanity houses that are going for certification in the Energy Star new homes program (the one in the photo here was not one of them). This was a couple of weeks ago, but I wrote down the numbers he told me because I think you may be somewhat surprised.This isn’t an issue unique to Habitat, though. If you’ve done the kind of testing required for Version 3 of the Energy Star program, you’ve likely seen similar numbers for the failures I’m about to describe. Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, energy consultant, RESNET-certified trainer, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. You can follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard. How to pass on the first attemptThese Habitat builders have modified their processes to ensure they get their homes certified, but they’re still working on some of the details. Here’s the full solution:Use a higher capacity fan. You shouldn’t count on getting 50 cfm out of a 50 cfm fan, but I don’t think you need to go all the way to 110. A fan rated for 80 cfm should be fine.Install the housing with the duct port facing the right direction. It’s amazing how often I see them installed so that the duct has to make an immediate 180 degree turn.Shorten the duct runs. Don’t run the duct all the way across the attic. Try to keep the duct length to less than 10 feet.Upsize the duct. Go with a 6-inch duct rather than 4-inch.Use hardpipe or install flex perfectly. Poorly installed flex can zap the oomph right out the air.Make sure the damper in the fan is operating properly. Sometimes a screw prevents it from opening or the installer neglects to remove a piece of tape from the factory.Make sure the wall cap or roof vent is operating properly. Sometimes those dampers stick, or get screwed or painted shut.The third photo below shows a bath fan installed so that it does almost all those things and should have no trouble passing the air flow test. It does have one little issue: the crimp where it goes across the first 2×4. Jeffrey tested this house last week, and it came in at over 100 cfm, though, so it was fine.If you’re doing work on Energy Star homes, it’s good to keep these things in mind. Jeffrey doesn’t like to go back out for reinspections, and your HERS rater probably doesn’t either.
Director General, Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), Carol Coy, has reported that Jamaica’s mining and quarrying industry grew by 30.8 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2018, mainly due to the reopening of the Jiuquan Iron and Steel Company (JISCO)/Alpart bauxite company in Nain, St. Elizabeth.She was speaking at STATIN’s press conference regarding the release of the March 2019 Consumer Price Index and January 2019 Labour Force Survey, at their offices on Cecelio Avenue in St. Andrew on April 16.Ms. Coy also announced that during the fourth quarter of 2018, the Jamaican economy grew by two per cent when compared to the same quarter of 2017.“This resulted from a 4.9 per cent growth in the goods-producing industries and one per cent increase in the services industries,” she said.The different sectors in the goods-producing industries grew during the fourth quarter with a 3.1 per cent increase in agriculture, forestry and fishing; 25 per cent in mining and quarrying; two per cent in manufacturing and 3.7 per cent in construction.“The agriculture, forestry and fishing industry was impacted by favourable weather conditions, which resulted in higher crop yields. The other agricultural crops subindustry, which includes animal farming, forestry and fishing, grew by 5.3 per cent. This was largely attributed to growth in root crops by 6.6 per cent; vegetables, 9.2 per cent; and animal farming, 4.1 per cent, due mainly to an increase in broiler production,” Ms. Coy noted.With regards to the manufacturing industry, she pointed out that the higher output was due largely to increases in subindustries food, beverages, tobacco and other manufactured goods.“Food, beverages and tobacco grew by two per cent, mainly influenced by increased production in meat and meat products, processing and preservation of fruits and vegetables, dairy products, bakery products and beverages,” Ms. Coy said.“Other manufacturing grew by two per cent, largely due to increased production in chemicals and chemical products, refined petroleum products and non-metallic mineral products,” she added. Director General, Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), Carol Coy, has reported that Jamaica’s mining and quarrying industry grew by 30.8 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2018, mainly due to the reopening of the Jiuquan Iron and Steel Company (JISCO)/Alpart bauxite company in Nain, St. Elizabeth. She was speaking at STATIN’s press conference regarding the release of the March 2019 Consumer Price Index and January 2019 Labour Force Survey, at their offices on Cecelio Avenue in St. Andrew on April 16. Ms. Coy also announced that during the fourth quarter of 2018, the Jamaican economy grew by two per cent when compared to the same quarter of 2017. Story Highlights
ADC AUTHOR The Senate Armed Services Committee kicked off Capitol Hill’s defense legislative activity Monday afternoon as the Readiness subcommittee began markups of the fiscal 2020 National Defense Authorization Act in a closed Monday afternoon session.Tuesday morning the House Appropriations Committee finalizes its defense spending bill, hoping to complete it before the upcoming Memorial Day recess. The House will debate its bill in a public hearing.The Senate Armed Services Committee’s fiscal 2020 NDAA markup and most of its subcommittee activity will be closed except the Personnel panel which will hold a public markup Tuesday afternoon.The House defense appropriations bill and Senate’s NDAA draft are both key to setting fiscal 2020 DOD funding, though final appropriations aren’t expected until next fall. Once approved, the measures will establish defense spending toplines for the GOP-led Senate and Democrat-led House, and will tee up negotiations over the summer.Here is a roundup of the important hearings taking place on Capitol Hill this week:House Transportation Committee hearing with Coast Guard officials testifying on the fiscal 2020 budget, Tuesday, 10 a.m.House Appropriations Committee markup of the defense appropriations bill, Tuesday, 10:30 a.m.House Armed Services Committee/House Veterans’ Affairs Committee joint hearing with DOD and VA experts testifying on preventing veteran suicide, Tuesday, 2 p.m.Senate Armed Services Committee Personnel subcommittee markup of the fiscal 2020 NDAA, Tuesday, 2:30 p.m.Senate Armed Services Committee closed-door markup of the fiscal 2020 NDAA, Wednesday, 9 a.m.House Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing on implementation of the VA Mission Act, Wednesday, 10 a.m.House Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing with oversight agencies testifying on ideas to improve VA efficiency, Wednesday, 2 p.m.Senate Veteran’s Affairs Committee hearing on a series of VA health and benefits bills, Wednesday, 2:30 p.m.