Category: xicafzcl

first_imgPune – Ending weeks of speculation, Sanjay Kakade, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Rajya Sabha MP on Sunday finally announced that he would soon be joining Congress.Mr. Kakade, a prominent Pune-based realtor, had openly expressed his desire to contest from the Pune Lok Sabha constituency on several occasions in the recent past.“Given the changed circumstances in the country, I have decided to join the Congress. If the top leadership gives me a ticket, I will fight the election to the best of my ability. If not, I will abide by Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s decision and am willing to wholeheartedly perform whatever task is entrusted to me,” said Mr. Kakade.However, sources within the Congress said that while the BJP leader was welcome to join the party, there was no guarantee that he would be given a ticket. Mr. Kakade’s decision to join the Congress party comes in the face of stout opposition within the BJP to give him a ticket for contesting the Pune seat.However, the BJP MP’s entry is not likely to be taken too kindly by Congress loyalists in Pune, most of whom are opposed to Mr. Kakade’s induction in the party.The MP was earlier with Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) before being elected as an independent candidate to the Upper House and later joining the BJP. A known wheeler-dealer, Mr. Kakade is believed to have played a vital role in engineering BJP’s victory in the Pune civic polls in February 2017. “The Congress is accommodative of all religions and communities and has a rich heritage. Hence, I have decided to enter the Congress fold,” Mr. Kakade said, adding that the move would not affect his cordial relationship with Mahasrashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. His disenchantment with the BJP stemmed from the allegedly ‘shoddy’ treatment meted out to him by Pune Guardian Minister Girish Bapat and BJP State president Raosaheb Danve.“It will be good to take on Girish Bapat. I am confident of polling 50,000 votes in Bapat’s Assembly constituency itself,” claimed Mr. Kakade. In 2017, Mr. Bapat had publicly censured Mr. Kakade’s induction of alleged criminals within the party before the civic polls.In the same year in December, Mr. Kakade had created a flutter after he predicted a dismal showing by the BJP in the results to the Gujarat election. He was later forced to eat his words after the party emerged victorious in the Gujarat Assembly poll. “I had not taken into account the impact of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s personal ‘charisma’,” Mr. Kakade had said at the time.While one strand of opinion views Mr. Kakade’s exit as a possible setback to the BJP, the rebel MP’s exit is viewed with a sigh of relief by present Pune MP Anil Shirole and Minister Girish Bapat, who along with Mr. Kakade, were frontrunners for the candidacy of the Pune seat.Speculation about Mr. Kakade’s imminent exit from the BJP gathered momentum after the MP met with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar in December last year just after the BJP’s poll debacle in five states. Likewise, he also held parleys with senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar last month in yet another indication of his growing disaffection with the BJP.last_img read more

first_imgThe BJP is raising the issue of abrogation of certain provisions of Article 370 in the run up to the Jharkhand Assembly polls as a “ploy” to divert people’s attention from “monumental failures” of the Raghubar Das Government, JMM working president Hemant Soren alleged on Sunday. The former Jharkhand Chief Minister’s sharp attack comes days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah referred to Article 370 while listing the achievements of the NDA 2.0 government in their public addresses in the poll-bound State.Mr. Soren said the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) will raise people’s issues in the campaign and promised that if voted to power, his Government will ensure 75% reservation for the youth of Jharkhand in private jobs. In an interview to PTI, he said if JMM forms the government, it will ensure five lakh jobs within one year, unemployment allowance to those who are jobless, reserve government tender up to ₹25 crore for people from the State, implement 50% reservation for women in jobs and 27% reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBCs). Asked about the BJP raising the Article 370 issue in Jammu and Kashmir, Mr. Soren said a government which fails to address economic and social crises and key issues that affect everyday lives of citizens, resorts to “creating sharp polarisation in the society”.“Lightning doesn’t strike a place twice and similarly the BJP cannot fool the people all the time. Raising the issue of Article 370 during state assembly polls campaign is nothing but the BJP’s ploy to divert people’s attention from its monumental failures in governance in Jharkhand,” he said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi might have been successful in securing an NDA victory based on the post-Pulwama and Balakot nationalistic fervour, but the people of Jharkhand have had enough of this “apathetic” state government and are waiting to throw it out in the upcoming assembly polls, he claimed. Mr. Soren said his party’s sole aim is to free Jharkhand’s 3.5 crore people from the “insensitive” BJP government. “For this purpose, we are willing to coordinate with all like minded parties to collectively fight the BJP and its divisive policies. JMM was instrumental in the fight to achieve Jharkhand as a separate state, and if necessary, will again engage in the struggle to ensure Jharkhand shines bright on the nation’s map,” he said “The entire Opposition has already had a meeting and once I get over with the ongoing ‘Badlav Yatra’, I will sit again with all party leaders,” he added. JMM, Congress, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) and Rashtriya Janata Dal had contested the Lok Sabha polls in alliance earlier this year, but managed to win just two out of the 14 seats. He said conversations are ongoing to firm up the Opposition alliance and there was still time to finalise its shape. Mr. Soren, who has been touring the State as part of his ‘Badlav Yatra’ and connecting with the masses, claimed there was a lot of anger among the people of the state as the Raghubar Das Government had failed to meet their aspirations.“Farmers and farm labourers have committed suicide, families have been destroyed, anganwadi workers are on an indefinite fast, para teachers were on a statewide strike and the police brutally lathi charged them as if they were deadly criminals, youth not getting jobs are ending their lives and the state government is giving government jobs to people from outside Jharkhand,” he alleged.last_img read more

first_imgSTOCKHOLM (AP) — Protected by a light but visible presence of armed police officers, fans of Manchester United and Ajax were arriving for the Europa League final and facing two rings of security to get into the Friends Arena in Stockholm on Wednesday.The game is being played less than two days after a bomb attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester killed 22 people, and six weeks after a truck attack in central Stockholm that killed five people.UEFA said it had “no specific intelligence” that the final could be a target for terrorists, but Swedish authorities were mounting one of the country’s biggest security operations around Stockholm. About 1,000 police officers have been deployed at the stadium, some holding automatic weapons.Supporters had to show their tickets at the first checkpoint to gain access to the concourse surrounding the stadium. They then faced pat-downs and bag searches at a second checkpoint.“It’s not too overbearing, but you feel secure as well,” United fan Pete Temple, a 31-year-old telecommunications worker from Derry, Northern Ireland, told The Associated Press outside the stadium. “It’s a good mix. I think they’ve got it spot on tonight.”The atmosphere was calm ahead of the game. At one stage, Ajax and United supporters, gathered outside a bar near the concourse, combined to sing, “Don’t worry about a thing, ’cause every little thing gonna be all right” — a line from Bob Marley’s song, Three Little Birds.Police officers sit in the Fan Zone in Stockholm, Tuesday May 23, 2017, a day ahead of the Europa League soccer final between Ajax Amsterdam and Manchester United. (Fredrik Sandberg/TT via AP)One flag, hung outside a bar in the city center filled with United fans, displayed the words: “United against terrorism. Lest we forget 22.05.17” — the date of Monday’s suicide bombing.It summed up the feelings of defiance among fans.“Terrorists, that’s their goal, to bring fear into people,” said Ante Simunic, a 39-year-old plumber from Melbourne, Australia. “My only way to fight against it is to not fear, live your life. They’re not taking it away from us.”There will be a minute’s silence before the game in honor of the victims of the Manchester attack, and both teams will wear black armbands as a mark of respect.“I think if we can win — not just as a United fan but the whole of the city — it will be uplifting,” said 40-year-old IT worker Haroon Latif, who flew in from Manchester for the game early Wednesday with his 9-year-old son, Haris.“We can go back with a bit of silverware to cheer people up. (Manchester) City fans, Liverpool fans, Everton fans — it will bring everyone together from a northwest perspective.”STEVE DOUGLAS, AP Sports WriterTweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

first_imgNational team coach Jill Ellis is stepping down after leading the United States to back-to-back Women’s World Cup titles.Ellis has been coach of the team since 2014 and has led it to eight overall tournament titles, including victories at the World Cup in 2015 in Canada and earlier this month in France .“The opportunity to coach this team and work with these amazing women has been the honor of a lifetime,” Ellis said in a statement released by U.S. Soccer on Tuesday. “I want to thank and praise them for their commitment and passion to not only win championships but also raise the profile of this sport globally while being an inspiration to those who will follow them.”She will remain with the team for a World Cup victory tour, which kicks off Saturday with a match against Ireland at the Rose Bowl. Following the conclusion of the five-match tour in October, she will serve as a U.S. Soccer ambassador.Ellis’ contract was set to expire following this year’s World Cup with a mutual option to extend it through the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. U.S. Soccer will begin the search for a new coach after a general manager for the women’s national team is named.“Jill was always extremely passionate about this team, analytical, tremendously focused and not afraid to make tough decisions while giving her players the freedom to play to their strengths,” U.S. Soccer President Carlos Cordeiro said. “She helped raise the bar for women’s soccer in the USA and the world, and given the history of this program, the level of success she achieved is even more remarkable.”Word of Ellis’ decision was first reported by The Equalizer, a women’s soccer website.Ellis’ assistant coach, Tony Gustavsson, is also stepping down after eight years with the team.Over the summer in France, Ellis broke April Heinrich’s U.S. women’s team record for most games coached. Overall, she has led the team in 127 matches, with 102 wins.FILE – This Nov. 12, 2017 file photo shows United States head coach Jill Ellis before an international friendly women’s soccer match against Canada in San Jose, Calif. A person with knowledge of the situation says Ellis is stepping down after leading the team to back-to-back Women’s World Cup titles. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity Tuesday, July 30, 2019 because the resignation has not been officially announced. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, file)Ellis was named head coach after serving as interim coach following the dismissal of Tom Sermanni. Ellis also served as interim coach after Pia Sundhage resigned in 2012.Ellis was an assistant to both Sundhage and Sermanni. She was on the staff of the gold medal-winning teams at the Beijing and London Olympics. She also served as head coach at UCLA for 12 seasons.“When I accepted the head coaching position this was the timeframe I envisioned,” Ellis said in the statement. “The timing is right to move on and the program is positioned to remain at the pinnacle of women’s soccer. Change is something I have always embraced in my life and for me and my family this is the right moment.”The World Cup title in 2015 was the team’s first since winning in 1999. Overall, the team has won soccer’s most prestigious tournament four times.The top-ranked U.S. team has been dominant overall during Ellis’ tenure. In the 2015 World Cup, the team went undefeated en route to a 5-2 victory over Japan in the title match. The United States gave up just three goals over the course of the tournament.The U.S. defeated the Netherlands 2-0 in Lyon earlier this month to claim its second straight championship, after challenging knockout victories over No. 4 France and No. 3 England. The Americans never trailed at the tournament and set records with 26 goals and a 12-game World Cup winning streak dating to 2015. Ellis became the first coach to lead a team to two Women’s World Cup titles.But there was also disappointment. The three-time defending champions were knocked out in the quarterfinals in the 2016 Brazil Olympics by Sweden, the team’s earliest departure ever in the tournament.The United States is set to play Portugal on Aug. 29 in Philadelphia and on Sept. 3 in St. Paul, Minnesota. The final two matches of the victory tour, set for early October, have not yet been announced.By: Anne M. Peterson, AP Sports WriterTweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

first_imgNova Scotia’s Christmas tree growers will benefit from funding to strengthen their industry and help explore new export markets. Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell joined the Christmas Tree Council of Nova Scotia for the announcement today, April 24, in New Ross, Lunenburg Co. The $751,000 in funding comes from the Building Tomorrow Fund, a three-year, $9 million provincial investment in agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture. “Thanks to our popular Boston tree tradition, our Christmas trees are exported all around the world to places like Panama, the United States and the Caribbean,” said Mr. Colwell. “I’m pleased our Christmas tree growers will be able to open even more export markets and become stronger competitors against artificial trees.” The funding will be provided to the council over three years for a research and development plan, field trials, the development of quality standards, market research, an operational efficiency study and the development of a sustainability plan for the council. The funding will also give producers the chance to plant SMART trees on their lots. SMART trees were developed at the Atlantic Christmas Tree Research Centre in Truro and are healthier, longer lasting trees that have been naturally selected to hold their needles for up to three months, making them more attractive to international markets. “Building from the strength of council’s strategic planning over the past year, this support could not have come at a better time,” said Angus Bonnyman, executive director of Christmas Tree Council of Nova Scotia. “We have strong demand around the world for our famous forest grown balsam firs, and plan to quadruple the value of our exports by focusing on quality and innovation.” Half of the fund this year, $1.5 million, will be allocated to the agriculture sector to support the creation of new products and new market development to further drive export growth.last_img read more

first_imgOTTAWA — An organization that advocates for greater government accountability says Canada’s ethics watchdog should never have approved a flight taken by Liberal cabinet minister Dominic LeBlanc on a private aircraft owned by J.D. Irving.LeBlanc’s office says the minister, who has been on medical leave since April, needed to attend a hospital in Montreal and was told by his doctors he could not travel commercially because he has a compromised immune system.LeBlanc is being treated for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.He received pre-approval from Canada’s ethics commissioner to travel to the Montreal hospital from his home in New Brunswick on a private aircraft from J.D. Irving Ltd. — a company headed by a personal friend of LeBlanc’s who owns and is affiliated with companies involved in shipbuilding, oil, forestry and agriculture.But Duff Conacher, co-founder of Democracy Watch, says ethics commissioner Mario Dion erred in his decision to approve this flight.Conacher says LeBlanc should have instead chartered a private plane and paid for it himself, rather than accept a gift from the owner of a company that regularly lobbies the federal government.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

30 October 2007United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will attend a high-level diplomatic meeting on Iraq to be held later this week in Turkey, his spokesperson announced today. The Istanbul Expanded Meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Neighbouring Countries of Iraq will focus on ways to promote greater regional dialogue, Marie Okabe told reporters in New York.It will also serve to strengthen the work of the three regional working groups focusing on refugees and internally displaced persons, border security and energy that were established at the last ministerial meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. “The Secretary-General hopes the Istanbul meeting will be an important opportunity for the participants to find mutually acceptable solutions on issues of common concern,” Ms. Okabe said.The Istanbul gathering was anticipated by Mr. Ban, who convened a high-level meeting on Iraq in New York in September.On that occasion, he urged greater international action to help the country and pledged the full support of the UN in this effort.Speaking to reporters after the meeting, the Secretary-General said he had proposed the establishment of a “support office” in Baghdad to facilitate coordination between Iraq and neighbouring governments. The proposal was met with a “positive response,” he said, anticipating that it would be finalized at a planned expanded ministerial meeting to be held in Istanbul. read more

29 September 2008The principles and the work of the United Nations are needed more than ever as the world confronts an array of major challenges and crises, several countries told the final day of the General Assembly’s annual General Debate today, urging stronger global leadership from individual States and continued UN reform. The magnitude of such problems as climate change, terrorism, poverty and natural disasters illustrates the need for multilateral strategies and solutions, Botswana’s Foreign Minister Phandu T. C. Skelemani said. “The United Nations is today more than ever before required to respond effectively and swiftly to the complex challenges of the 21st century… Botswana calls upon all Member States to unite in the search for solutions to these problems,” he said. Mr. Skelemani called on the heads of nations to show better leadership on the biggest global problems, echoing a theme from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his opening speech to the General Debate last Tuesday. “In our approach to managing relations between States, leaders are called upon to set a higher standard,” he said. “The language which we employ in international fora should neither be belligerent, provocative, nor calculated to shame or humiliate other leaders, and Member States should not host military or rebel groups that operate from their territories against their neighbours.” Irish Foreign Minister Micheál Martin said the transnational nature of the world’s major problems meant countries had to work together to devise common strategies whether they liked it or not. “The principles and the work of the United Nations have never been needed more,” he said. “Its principles give us a firm foundation. Continuing reform will give us even stronger tools. What remains to be proven is our collective will to use them.” Mr. Martin described the UN as “the indispensable framework” for realising the potential of the international community, “as it has shown again and again.” He urged the UN to continue its efforts towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the set of eight time-bound targets for slashing a host of social and economic ills, all by 2015. Carsten Staur, Denmark’s Permanent Representative to the UN, said many of today’s biggest challenges – including climate change, the current financial instability, and the dual food and fuel crises – had the potential of both exacerbating existing tensions and conflicts and widening inequalities between rich and poor. “We need to build on the comparative advantages of the UN, to define global agendas such as climate change, to deal with conflicts and humanitarian crisis, to focus on the special needs of developing countries, and to define and defend global values such as human rights,” he said. For his part, Ahmed Khaleel, Permanent Representative of Maldives, said the UN remained “the most potent and dependable universal institution today,” despite the many criticisms levelled against it.“For the past six decades, the United Nations has been a beacon of hope for peoples around the world,” he said. “Its universal character, and the multilateralism that it embodies, hold true to the ideals and virtues upon which it was founded and, without doubt, provide the only framework for solving the world’s greatest challenges, including climate change, sustainable development, human rights and global terrorism.”Thongloun Sisoulith, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Laos, said in his address to the Assembly that the UN remained the “pre-eminent forum for addressing issues relating to international cooperation for economic development, peace and security, and human rights and the rule of law, based on dialogue, cooperation and consensus-building amongst States.” But he said the world’s biggest challenges were becoming more and more complex, which meant key UN institutions need to become more robust and effective. The General Assembly should be strengthened, the Security Council ought to be more democratic and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and other development pillars at the UN should be substantially reinforced, according to Mr. Sisoulith. In his address, Andrei Stratan, Moldova’s Foreign Minister, called for a much broader role for ECOSOC. Mr. Stratan said the Council should intensify its cooperation with both governments and international financial, economic and trade institutions so that as many countries as possible can achieve the MDGs. “Their implementation is still possible in the majority of countries if conjugated actions directed towards concrete results will be established and continuously sustained and developed until the year 2015,” he said. The Foreign Minister added that ECOSOC should also have an enhanced role in dealing with humanitarian crisis situations and with reconstruction in countries emerging from prolonged conflict. Singapore’s Foreign Minister George Yeo said international institutions such as the UN play a critical “civilizing role” in global affairs, particularly in reducing the tensions that emerge between big powers. “International institutions cannot stop big-power rivalry but can channel it, and ensure that the common interests of the human family are not completely disregarded,” he said. For his part, Belize’s Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington said the UN should be strengthened to make certain that countries implement the commitments they made at global summits and gatherings. He urged the UN to devote its energies to convincing affluent States that “the security, development and well-being of all peoples of the world affords the best guarantee for their own safety, security and development, and ultimately their very survival. “It is our conviction that the adoption of that view by the developed world would prove to be the catalyst for achieving the unity which the world now needs to be able to address successfully the challenges of our day.” Seyoum Mesfin, Foreign Minister of Ethiopia, backed calls for UN reform, saying it was crucial for the credibility of the Organization and for the future of multilateralism as a guiding principle. “The UN is the custodian of multilateral diplomacy,” Mr. Mesfin said. “At no time since the Second World War has multilateralism and genuine cooperation been as critical as it is today. This is why we continue to need the UN as never before.” Nur Uulu Dosbol, Kyrgyzstan’s State Secretary, said the rapid changes taking place in the world meant the work of the UN was more important than ever. He called for an expansion of the Council, saying the representation should be broader and fairer to ensure the panel can preserve international order. Venezuela called for strengthening the authority of the General Assembly in matters of international peace and security and reform of the 15-member Security Council. “Venezuela supports enlarging the Security Council, both in its categories of permanent and non-permanent members, eliminating the anti-democratic mechanism of the veto and improving its work methods so that it becomes more transparent and accessible,” said Ambassador Roy Chaderton Matos, special envoy of President Hugo Chavez. The need to re-order international relations was echoed in the address by Don Pramudwinai, Chairperson of Thailand’s delegation. He voiced concern during his address that the global village had become deeply divided along political, economic, social, racial, religious and cultural lines, a cleft he said was neither sustainable nor healthy. Mr. Pramudwinai stressed that the challenge was to strike the right balance between the individual political culture of a country and a desire to achieve the ideals of democracy. read more

The city of Thorold and the Chicago Tribune might seem like an unlikely match.But turn the clock back to 1913, and the metro daily with mega circulation relied on the city where ships climb the mountain for a steady supply of newsprint.It’s a story that Prof. Michael Stamm from Michigan State University will tell Friday at Brock when he presents his talk ‘Dead Tree Media: Thorold, The Chicago Tribune, and the Canadian Origins of the U.S. Newspaper.’Presented by the Centre for Canadian Studies, Stamm will discuss the development of the American mass-circulation newspaper and the evolution of the trade relationship between the U.S. and Canada, rooted in Thorold, where, in 1913, the Chicago Tribune built a newsprint mill on the Welland Canal.The mill was built after the U.S. government lifted duties on newsprint produced north of the 49th. The result was cheap and reliable access to paper by the Tribune, enabling it to become one of the most politically influential newspapers at the time.Stamm will talk about how the Tribune’s Thorold operations had lingering significance in both cities, particularly in Thorold where the Tribune Company’s top Canadian executive and Schmon Tower namesake, Arthur Schmon, became influential in local commercial and civic life.The talk happens Nov. 1 from 1:30 to 3 p.m. in the 13th floor board room of the Schmon Tower.The talk is part of the Canadian Studies 2013 Public Lecture Series. read more

The Food Supply Situation and Crop Prospects in Sub-Saharan Africa, released today by FAO at its Rome headquarters, says that 16 African countries are facing exceptional food emergencies: Angola, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.The report projects sharp declines in food production in southern Africa, mainly due to adverse weather. At the same time, civil strife continues to disrupt food production in Angola, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Sudan.The Sudan is an example of a country suffering serious food shortages due to both drought and conflict, with the country’s long-running civil war impeding farming activities and the distribution of relief assistance.In eastern Africa, the report points to a precarious food supply situation for more than 1.8 million people in Eritrea, while in neighbouring Ethiopia, some 6.5 million people affected by successive droughts and war depend on food aid. In southern Africa, the report forecasts a sharp fall in cereal production for 2001, mainly because of a prolonged mid-season dry spell and subsequent excessive rains that damaged food crops in most countries. Overall, sub-Saharan Africa’s cereal import requirements are projected to remain high in 2001. The report blames this trend on the effects of drought last year in eastern Africa, reduced harvests in parts of the Sahel, and an expected sharp drop in production in southern Africa.The report reveals some improvement in Somalia, which has seen decent harvests this year, but warns that about half a million Somalis will still require food aid to survive — down from three quarters of a million last year. read more

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has begun the first phase of an operation to relocate some 24,000 Sudanese refugees who fled a brutal rebel attack in northern Uganda last month, a spokesman for the agency said today. This week, two 27-truck convoys organized jointly by Ugandan authorities and UNHCR transported 3,017 refugees from a temporary transit facility that was sheltering survivors of the 5 August attack on the Achol-Pii refugee camp by the Lord’s Resistance Army, spokesman Kris Janowski told the press in Geneva. The refugees were taken to new sites at the existing Kyangwali refugee camp, close to Lake Albert. Another 5,000 former Achol-Pii refugees were also to be transferred to Kyangwali, where there are already nearly 7,000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, Rwanda and Kenya. “Ugandan authorities are expected to distribute nearly 340 plots of land to the first group of refugees to arrive in Kyangwali,” Mr. Janowski said. “Authorities will also provide food ration cards to the new arrivals after registration in the camp.” Meanwhile, an assessment mission comprising UN and Ugandan officials travelled to Arua district on Sunday to look at sites proposed by the Government for the settlement of more than 14,000 former Achol-Pii refugees temporarily settled in Kiryandongo, the spokesman reported, adding that although both locations would require the installation of basic infrastructure. read more

In a message to a ministerial conference on African development, held in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, Mr. Annan said that too many countries lapsed back into violence when efforts to consolidate peace were not sustained, adding that the new UN Peacebuilding Commission was an effort to remedy this problem.“In recent years, the international community has come to recognize that conflict resolution calls for a comprehensive approach in which parties emerging from conflict require assistance not only in negotiating peace agreements, but also in building and consolidating peace,” the Secretary-General said.“I urge all participants in this important conference to recognize the urgent need for the international community to do even more – from high-level political attention to contributions on the ground – to support post-conflict peacebuilding and reconstruction in Africa.”The high-level meeting, known as the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), is organized jointly by the Japanese Government, the UN and other international agencies.This gathering is the latest in a series of meetings called under the auspices of TICAD, which was launched in 1993 with the aim of promoting high-level policy dialogue between African leaders and their partners and mobilizing support for Africa’s own development efforts. read more

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) said it continues to seek secure and unhindered access to Yarmouk and “stands ready to expand the response in the case of further displacement from the area.” Meanwhile, “UNRWA continued the humanitarian response today, providing water, health and emergency education assistance in Yalda,” a nearby area which hosts those displaced from Yarmouk. “UNRWA successfully continued humanitarian response operations today, providing 20,000 litres of drinking water to displaced civilians and host communities in Yalda,” the agency said. “The mission also provided 1,200 bags of bread and two UNICEF [UN Children’s Fund] recreational kits to displaced civilians in collective centres. Each recreational kit has sufficient capacity to serve 80 children.” The agency established to direct relief and works programmes for Palestine refugees said it also set up a mobile health point, treating 168 patients over the course of the day, and is now working in every neighbouring area to the east and southeast of Yarmouk. “Those receiving assistance are comprised of Palestinian and Syrian families displaced or affected by conflict, plus host communities,” it said. According to UNRWA, it provides a broad range of critical humanitarian materials to each of these families, including food, medical supplies, water purification treatments, mattresses, blankets, family kitchen sets and hygiene kits. “The vulnerability of civilians in Yarmouk remains of the highest severity,” the agency said, adding that it is deeply concerned that without access, the most basic humanitarian needs of up to 18,000 Palestinian and Syrian civilians, including 3,500 children, continue to be left unmet. As violence continues to profoundly threaten the lives and safety of Palestine refugees throughout Syria, UNRWA appealed for donors to increase their support to the Agency’s Emergency Appeal,” the agency said, noting that more than 95 per cent of Palestine refugees now rely on UNRWA to meet their daily needs of food, water and healthcare. UNRWA is seeking $ 30 million to provide life-sustaining assistance to the 18,000 civilians from Yarmouk, including 3,500 children, and those affected by conflict and displacement in other areas, during an initial 90 day rapid response. This emergency call for funds forms part of the UNRWA Syria Crisis Appeal, which provides critical humanitarian support to 480,000 Palestine refugees throughout Syria and to those displaced to Lebanon and Jordan. read more

Shelby Lum / Photo editorUrban Meyer and his staff have been busy this summer.The Buckeyes have already received verbal commitments from 13 recruits in the 2014 class after getting the nod from three more players last week.Wide receiver Terry McLaurin of Indianapolis is the latest player to voice his intentions to play for OSU in 2014 when he committed on June 23. The six-foot McLaurin is the second receiver to commit to OSU for 2014, and is listed as a three-star on most recruiting websites.Fellow wideout Lonnie Johnson is the only other player from Indiana that is currently committed to OSU. The 6-foot-3 man’s position is listed just as an athlete on, but it some believe he will try and fill the void of the hybrid-style wide receiver in Meyer’s spread offense.Other players committing to the Buckeyes last week include two-star quarterback Stephen Collier from Georgia, four-star defensive end Jalyn Holmes of Virginia, and two-star kicker Sean Nuernberger from Kentucky.With both the lack of production from the linebacking core in 2012 outside of junior Ryan Shazier and with David Perkins announcing he will transfer, Meyer seems to have made it a point to focus on the position this offseason.The Buckeyes already have received commitments from three linebackers for 2014, and each one is from Ohio. Headlining the group are a pair of four-stars in Dante Booker from Akron and Kyle Berger from Cleveland. Three-star Sam Hubbard from Cincinnati also voiced his OSU intentions in April.Other notable players Meyer has received verbals from include a pair of four-star offensive linemen in Marcelys Jones of Cleveland and Kyle Trout of Lancaster, Ohio. Four-star defensive back Damon Webb of Detroit also committed to OSU in January.OSU’s 2014 recruiting class is ranked No. 10 in the country according to Rivals, No. 9 according to 247Sports, and No. 18 according to ESPN.Below is the complete list of players in the 2014 recruiting class (height and weight according to Rivals):Kyle Berger, 6’2” 200 pound LB from ClevelandDante Booker, 6’3” 210 pound LB from AkronParis Campbell, 6’0” 181 pound ATH from AkronStephen Collier, 6’3” 206 pound QB from Leesburg, Ga.Jalyn Holmes, 6’5” 235 pound DE from Norfolk, Va.Sam Hubbard, 6’6” 223 pound LB from CincinnatiLonnie Johnson, 6’3” 180 pound WR from Gary, Ind.Marcelys Jones, 6’4” 354 pound OL from ClevelandTerry McLaurin, 6’0” 175 pound WR from IndianapolisSean Nuernberger, 6’2” 230 pound K from Buckner, Ky.Dylan Thompson, 6’4” 271 pound DE from Lombard, Ill.Kyle Trout, 6’6” 280 pound OL from Lancaster, OhioDamon Webb, 5’11” 177 pound DB from Detroit read more

Malik Hooker talks to the media at Ohio State’s Pro Day on March 23, 2017 at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. Credit: Screenshot Courtesy of Colin Hass-Hill | Assistant Sports DirectorAll 32 NFL teams were on hand at Ohio State’s Pro Day on Thursday at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center to watch the best athletes coach Urban Meyer’s program has to offer in the 2017 draft class.But the best athlete wasn’t even competing.Former OSU safety Malik Hooker was in the crowd of 122 NFL representatives that included seven general managers and nine head coaches. Dressed in a Michael Jordan “23” sweatshirt, Jordan brand shorts and shoes, the potential top-10 pick was talking with the NFL elites as he continues his recovery from his sports hernia and torn labrum surgeries in January.Because of his injuries, Hooker isn’t able to showcase his skills that he displayed in the 2016 season, when he broke a school record with three interceptions returned for touchdowns and recorded a total seven interceptions. Lucky enough for Hooker, his work on the gridiron doesn’t need to be supported by gaudy measurables at combines or pro days to earn consideration as a top pick.But that hasn’t stopped him from wishing he was performing for the teams who are interested in him.“Just being anxious to get back out there and show everybody that, like I said about Marshon (Lattimore), I am who I am on film,” Hooker said. “Ain’t no secrets about it. (I) feel like that’s just more so just wanting to compete again. I haven’t ran since the Clemson game in January, so just trying to get back in the mix of things.”Hooker said he has heard from nearly every NFL team, mostly discussing his injury, recovery and expected return time. For now, he said he’s ahead of schedule.The All-American safety said he has started to run in the pool and is roughly eight weeks away from being back to full-time football activities. He also posted a video on Twitter last week of him catching a ball while side-shuffling on a— Malik Hooker (@MalikHooker24) March 17, 2017“It’s more so just taking it step by step,” Hooker said. “I have to get my legs back under me and condition and stuff like that. It’s more so my body type of thing, waiting until my body feels like it’s ready to get back out there and compete.”As the process continues until the NFL draft on April 27, Hooker said his patience is being tested. Not being able to go in the NFL Combine, not participating in his pro day and having to watch his teammates perform in the pro day makes it that much more difficult for a competitor like Hooker to remain patient in his rehabilitation process.But he has found one thing to do in his spare time: sign a contract with the Jordan brand.Hooker told reporters that he signed with the brand last week, which is why he was dressed in apparel designed with the image of the NBA legend.“It’s definitely a great thing,” he said. “They don’t sign too many people. For me to be in that position to say that I signed with Jordan is definitely a blessing and a shocking thing for me.”Former Buckeye cornerback Marshon Lattimore has recently climbed draft boards, projected as high as No. 3 to the Chicago Bears by’s Charley Casserly. If Hooker was able to run in the 40-yard dash, or perform in any of the drills, his stock might have risen as well.However, Hooker is still projected as a high first-round pick, likely in the top 10, and he said that worrying about his draft stock or where he will be selected takes away from the experience of preparing for the NFL.“There’s a lot of great DBs in this group for sure,” he said. “So for me to be rated as a top DB is definitely an unbelievable thing and a blessing.” read more

The 9 at 9 Friday

first_imgEVERY MORNING, brings you nine things you need to know as you kick off your day.1. #NICOLA FURLONG: The former girlfriend of Richard Hinds, the man accused of killing Nicola Furlong, has given evidence at his trial. RTÉ News is reporting that Alayna Rodgers said that Hinds “wouldn’t hurt a fly”. Hinds is due to take the stand next Monday. 21-year-old Furlong was killed last year in Tokyo.2. #DEBT CRISIS: Finance Minister Michael Noonan has criticised Irish banks for not dealing with the personal debt crisis “more promptly”. He also said that government were committed to accelerating the amount of settlements with people, and that different solutions would be sought depending on the individual’s situation.3. #SHOOTING: Investigations are continuing into last night’s shooting in Clondalkin in west Dublin. No arrests have been made so far. The 20-year-old man that was shot is believed to be in a serious condition in hospital.4. #M50: €3.3 million in unpaid M50 tolls was written off in 2012. RTÉ News is reporting that 15,000 legal letters and 6,000 civil summonses were issued by solicitors acting on behalf of the National Roads Authority last year.5. #SINN FÉIN: Francie Molloy has won the mid-Ulster by-election, polling 46.93 per cent of the vote. The Sinn Féin candidate took the House of Commons seat left vacant by Martin McGuinness when he resigned at the end of last year.6. #LEGARDE: IMF chief Christine Lagarde is set to meet Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore in Dublin today. The head of the IMF will make an address at the Institute of European Affairs and will also visit the Central Bank.7. #FLAG PROTESTS: The PSNI’s policing of the Union Flag protests has cost over £20 million to date. The Irish News is reporting that the Chief Constable of the PSNI, Matt Baggott, described the outlay as a waste of resources that could instead have been spent on community policing.8. #EMIGRATION: A study by UCC has shown that 46 per cent of people who are considering leaving Ireland already have full-time jobs. 73 per cent of those surveyed said that they were thinking of leaving in order to gain job experience.9. #VENEZUELA: The state funeral of Hugo Chavez is to take place today. It has been announced that his body will be embalmed and forever displayed inside a glass tomb at a military museum. The Venezuelan president died last Tuesday, aged 58. Over on Why are Justin Bieber and Kelly Osbourne in hospital? What’s the craic with the new Hangover trailer? And a movie Ronan Keating? Really? Go on, just click on The Dredge>last_img read more

first_img A BMW car is seized by members of the Criminal Assets Bureau carrying out searches on homes and businesses last year. Source: Niall Carson/PAEarlier this year, gardaí raided a premises in west Dublin where they seized nine revolvers, four semi-automatic pistols, a submachine gun and an assault rifle. Nearly 1,500 rounds of ammunition was also discovered. In follow-up searches, another €300k in cash was found. Much of the cash was stuffed in bags and hidden in innocent people’s homes.Various garda investigations and continuous work by elite and uniformed officers have severely restricted how the cartel can operate. Serious charges now face a number of people suspected of being members of the gang.There are also rumours that there is a senior member of the cartel who has been giving information to gardaí. In one case, one of them was giving information to officers over the murder of Gary Hutch, who was killed in the south of Spain as members of the cartel thought he was an informer.Not only has there been a high number of seizures in Dublin and abroad, the increased surveillance is making it extremely difficult for the cartel to conduct business in the way it used to. Gardaí at the Eddie Hutch Snr murder scene. Source: Niall Carson/PAWhile it is difficult to estimate the losses this increased activity has had on business, well-placed sources say that multiples of millions of euro have been lost. Many of the Kinahan’s long-term business partners, especially on the continent, are now sourcing drugs from other gangs.Twelve men, including a number of innocent people, have lost their lives since the bloodshed began.But it has now been the second quietest period since the feud began. It has been over 10 weeks since Noel ‘Duck Egg’ Kirwan was murdered outside his home in west Dublin shortly before Christmas.The longest this gang war has gone without a murder is 18 weeks. This was the length of time between the deaths of innocent council worker Trevor O’Neill in Spain and the abovementioned killing of Noel Kirwan.Officers believe they stopped seven separate murders attempts over the Christmas period. Loaded guns and ammo had been found in a number of cars. Guns, cash and drugs are now being hidden in their partner or mistresses’ homes such is the level of the high-ranking member’s desperation.For gardaí, this is a war they have been fighting for decades but the feeling is that there is serious potential to dismantle this cartel’s influence in Ireland. As one security source put it, there will always be a demand for drugs. The only thing that changes is the people who are bringing them in.Read: CAB wants to sell €500k-worth of assets ‘linked to Kinahan cartel’ >Read: Kinahan cartel member’s girlfriend arrested after gardaí seize loaded revolver in Dublin > Share Tweet Email Sunday 12 Mar 2017, 12:05 AM Gardaí at the scene at the murder of Eddie Hutch Snr. Gardaí at the scene at the murder of Eddie Hutch Snr. Image: Brian Lawless Image: Brian Lawless 60,693 Views Short URL 40 Comments Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Mar 12th 2017, 12:05 AM By Garreth MacNamee Cartel regrets: A minimum of €42 million has been lost by the Kinahans since the feud began And that’s only taking seizures into account. THE KINAHAN CARTEL has lost at least €42 million in the last 12 months as gardaí have cracked down on the gang’s activities.The gang, led by a number of men from Dublin’s inner city, has been on the back foot for a number of months as senior members of the drug gang count the cost of pursuing the Hutch gang to avenge the Regency Hotel murder of David Byrne.Where once they were behind the bloodiest year in Irish gangland history, they are now running for cover, attempting to squirrel assets away before the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) is able to seize their wealth.The estimated baseline figure of the Kinahan cartel’s losses in the last 12 months stands at €42 million. This figure is arrived at by calculating drug and weapon seizures conducted under Operation Thistle while also taking into account significant seizures by CAB and Revenue and Customs.Operation Thistle is being led by Detective Inspector Paul Cleary and Detective Superintendent Peter O’Boyle from Kevin Street garda station.At the start of the year, gardaí, along with Revenue and Customs seized €37.5 million worth of cannabis. Investigations into the haul have led officers to believe that it was to be distributed by the Kinahan cartel both here and in the UK.Since the murder rate in the capital soared and the presence of armed garda units increased, doing business in Dublin and the continent has become more difficult. This is true not just for the low-level players but now the trusted lieutenants and gang leaders. More attention, both garda and public, since the infamous Regency Hotel murder last year, has led to a considerable dent in their profits. David Byrne’s funeral cortege. Source: Niall Carson/PA Guns seized in west Dublin. Source: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ieThe cartel’s base on the Costa Del Sol in Spain is also under constant surveillance, leading its former leader, Christy Kinahan Snr, to hand the empire to trusted allies while he operates his property empire from a hideout in Dubai. Liam Byrne, brother of Regency victim David, was seen by gardaí travelling to the Emirati nation last year where it is believed orders were still being given at that time by Kinahan Snr on how to proceed with the feud. They are also being pursued in the Netherlands, Portugal, Morocco as well as the UAE, where they have vested interests.And it was Byrne who was mentioned in court this week as CAB attempts to sell of €500,000 worth of assets it seized from him last year.last_img read more

first_img ‘Mouth Fighting’ Worms Make One Hell of an Underwater RacketHow Designers Achieved the Sci-Fi Sound Magic of ‘The Orville’ Stay on target Car makers have developed a myriad of technologies to keep you safe in the event of a collision. Airbags, seat belt pre-tensioning, and other features can reduce the damage done in a car accident, but what about your hearing? Crashes are loud enough to cause damage to the inner ear, but Mercedes-Benz has a potential solution. Its latest vehicles play a burst of pink noise to insulate your ears from the sound of an accident.This new feature is part of the Mercedes-Benz Pre-Safe system. That encompasses various features tied to the car’s built-in sensors. When the car detects that an impact is unavoidable, it takes steps to prepare. One of the things it now does is play a burst of pink noise through the speakers. Mercedes-Benz has included a special audio processing chip in the new 2016 E-Class for this purpose.The goal of this sound is to trigger the stapedius reflex in your ears. This refers to the stapedius muscle, which moves a bone called the stapes away from where it contacts the inner ear. This lessens the amount of energy that can be transferred, but it only lasts a second. This reflex is triggered by loud noises, allowing the ear to protect itself from damage. The Mercedes-Benz system is aimed at triggering this reflex immediately before a crash, and it does it with pink noise.The threshold for triggering the stapedius reflex is about 100dB, which is fairly loud on its own. That’s too much sound to be blasting at people on purpose, but pink noise has more energy than a single tone because of the way it’s spread across the spectrum. It can have lower volume but still trigger the stapedius reflex. Mercedes-Benz tested the system and found an 80dB burst of pink noise was effective in preparing the ears to cope with loud noises associated with collisions. Mercedes-Benz hopes to expand Pre-Safe sound to more vehicles later.last_img read more

first_imgBangladeshi Australians stage demonstrations over the weekend, against attacks on protesters in Dhaka. Photo: SBS newsBangladeshi-Australians have held demonstrations in several cities over the weekend, supporting the demand for safe roads in Dhaka, according to a media report.Members of the Bangladesh community in Melbourne are urging the Bangladesh government to get to grips with the country’s lethal roads, Akhter Hossain told SBS News there.‘We’re very fortunate that we live in a country where road safety is of a high standard. Our children are very safe,‘ he was quoted to have said. ‘But for students going to schools [in Bangladesh], there is no guarantee they’ll come home.’Bangladeshi student community in Finland under the banner named ‘Bangladeshi Academic Forum of Finnish Universities’ (BAFFU) have also expressed solidarity with the students who protested for road safety in Dhaka, according to a message received from Helsinki.Many Bangladeshi students took part in the demonstration on Monday. Protesters gathered at Kamppi shopping complex, then marched towards Senate square in Helsinki.Members of Bangladeshi Academic Forum of Finnish Universities (BAFFU) protested against attacks on demonstrators in Dhaka. Photo: BAFFUInternational students of other countries also joined them.BAFFU is deeply condemned the attacks, which they called ‘brutal acts of the authorities’.BAFFU urged  the authorities to ensure punishment of  reckless drivers who killed the students, to take full responsibility of the families of the students,  to stop torturing protesting children who are demanding to make the roads safer, to ensure that girls travel safely in public transport and to make transport costs cheaper for students.last_img read more

first_imgFor a $25 or $35 tiny computer, the Raspberry Pi is capable of some amazing things. With a bit of ingenuity, it can be turned into an open-source alternative to Google’s equally priced Chromecast, or it can become a portable Tor gateway so you can get up to some safe, anonymous browsing on a throwaway computer. While seeing how far you can push the Raspberry Pi is fun, we shouldn’t discredit simpler creations — case in point, this RasPi turned into an Asteroids controller.Modder Tim Barlett didn’t just want a controller that could play Asteroids — he wanted the actual Asteroids controller. So, he copied vector art of the original Atari control panel, and modeled the layout after that. He used an acrylic frame, which wraps around two plywood end caps. Not wanting to leave the plywood end caps plain, he made some vector art in the old Asteroids arcade style, then used a laser cutter to etch it.Then, he created some rails to hold everything together, and attached the pieces.He inserted buttons from the original Asteroids arcade cabinet, and attached the Raspberry Pi to a PermaProto RasPi Breadboard. The Pi runs a MAME emulator, and the audio and video cables lead out the back of the controller so it can be plugged into a display without getting in the way.To check out more details of Barlett’s project, head over to his blog, where instructions are provided for each step.last_img read more