Category: ekzjygxtqdge

Dalits face oppression across India, says Rahul Gandhi

first_imgDalits are being oppressed not only in Uttar Pradesh but in entire country, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi said on Saturday after meeting Dalit victims of caste violence in Saharanpur at the Uttar Pradesh-Haryana border.U.P. police had sealed the district borders to stop Mr. Gandhi after he was denied permission to visit Shabbirpur village to meet the victims. However, Mr. Gandhi managed to enter Saharanpur and met Pahal Singh and Shiv Kumar who were attacked and whose houses were burnt by a violent mob on May 5 in Shabbirpur.After meeting the victims, the Congress vice president said there was no place for Dalits and the poor in today’s India.“Dalits are being oppressed and it is happening across the country and not just in Uttar Pradesh,” he said.Mr. Gandhi met the victims of Shabbirpur’s clashes at a dhaba near the Sahjahanpur police chowk in Saharanpur on the Haryana-Uttar Pradesh border.Mr. Gandhi, who walked a little into Saharanpur along with Congress MP Ghulam Nabi Azad and other party leaders, engaged in sharp exchanges with the police, who told him that they could have stopped him at the State border.“Don’t tell me that you could have stopped me at the border itself. Under which law would you have stopped me,” Mr Gandhi asked.Spreading fear“The State government has failed on the law and order front. The national government is spreading fear in every section. The poor, Dalits, minorities, farmers are being oppressed through fear. This government listens to only the rich. And this is not how a country like India should be run,” he said.Mr. Gandhi raised the issue of violence in Jammu and Kashmir and said that “every time there (sic) is peace in J&K, it benefits India and every time there is violence in J&K it benefits Pakistan and Modi government is doing this.”He also blamed the Narendra Modi government of providing “foothold to anti-national forces” in J&K. “The valley is burning. We brought peace in the State. Now Modi government is providing foothold to the anti-national forces in the State,” Mr. Gandhi added.More than a dozen FIRs have been filed till now and three dozen have been arrested in cases of murder and violence which started on May 5 in Shabbirpur.last_img read more

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Punjab set to take on drug menace with dope test for all government employees

first_imgThirty drug-related deaths in about 30 days. That’s what it took for Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh to announce on July 4 that all government employees would have to take an annual test to confirm that they are drug-free. The move will make Punjab the first State to conduct a dope test, including on police personnel.Mr. Singh ordered the tests, done free of cost, on all government employees, applicable from recruitment through every stage of service.In the last year alone, the State government arrested 18,977 drug peddlers and treated over two lakh drug-dependent individuals. Over 3,900 convicts under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act and 5,610 undertrials are in prison.“A tender has been placed for five lakh test kits. We have made dope testing mandatory for a weapons licence. Our mechanism and facilities at the district level are in order and as soon as the notification is out, we will start conducting tests on employees,” Satish Chandra, Additional Chief Secretary (ACS), Health and Family Welfare told, The Hindu.Also Read  “The government will take a considered view. A committee of experts could be set up to discuss the implications,” said a senior official. “Before releasing the notification, we would like to ensure there is a clear distinction between drugs taken as medicine and those taken as an intoxicant. There are a lot of people who take drugs on prescription and if they take the test the result would be positive, with unfair implications.”The test to detect the presence of psychoactive drugs is usually conducted on a urine sample. An initial screening test gives instant results, but a confirmatory test, which is more complex, is more reliable.Dr. Sandeep Bhola, associated with Outpatient Opioid Assisted Treatment in Punjab, says that government should ensure the dope test results are kept “confidential” to avoid social stigma.The kits can trace presence of marijuana, codeine, barbiturates, morphine, cocaine, tramadol and buprenorphine for 5 to 6 days after they have been consumed.Punjab’s Health Minister Brahm Mohindra says that the government wants to eliminate the menace from every section of society.The Punjab Cabinet earlier decided to recommend the death penalty for drug peddlers and smugglers. The State government has also started the Drug Abuse Prevention Officers’ (DAPOs) Programme, aimed at civil society participation.“Everyone, right from the Chief Secretary to the Director General of Police to employees of all ranks will be tested,” says Mr. Mohindra.Basic kit at ₹500“The cost of a screening kit is around ₹500. The State has about 3,50,000 employees and we expect to spend about ₹20-25 crore,” he says. A confirmatory test would raise the expenditure manifold.While many employees don’t see a problem with a test, some see it as a move to deflect attention from the recent drug related deaths.“We welcome the test but it should be done for everyone who draws salary from the exchequer. Let legislators and MPs be covered,” says Sukhchain Singh Khaira, president, Punjab Civil Secretariat Staff Association.AAP MLA Aman Arora from Sunam got tested in Mohali. He wanted mandatory tests for MLAs and MPs. Capt. Amarinder Singh said he was willing to be tested. Punjab makes dope test mandatory for govt. staff; AAP wants Ministers, MLAs to be testedlast_img read more

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ScienceShot: A Shot of Coffee That Gets You Drunk

first_imgNow you can get a new kind of buzz from coffee. Researchers have found a way to turn used coffee grounds into an alcoholic beverage. In recent years, the industry of distilled spirits has put out a call for new beverages with different flavors created from unusual raw materials. To answer this call, some scientists examined the potential of used coffee grounds. The scientists first collected this raw material from a Portuguese coffee roasting company and dried it. Then they heated the powder in water at 163°C for 45 minutes, separated out the liquid, and added sugar. Next, the team mixed in yeast cells, let the concoction ferment, and concentrated the sample to get a higher alcohol content. (A similar process is used to produce other distilled beverages such as whiskey and rum from wheat and molasses.) And voilà! Used coffee grounds produced a new alcoholic beverage with 40% ethanol, comparable to other hard liquor such as vodka and tequila, researchers will report in the September issue of LWT – Food Science and Technology. To evaluate the product, eight trained taste testers were brought in and rated the intensity of different smells and flavors in the alcohol. The judges described the drink as smelling like coffee and tasting bitter and pungent. Researchers noted that the taste could be improved with age and concluded that the quality was good enough for consumption. Don’t count on the caffeine to keep you awake, however; most of it disappears in the brewing process.last_img read more

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Priyanka Chopra Joins Hollywood A-listers in Announcing 2018 Oscar Nominations

first_imgPriyanka Chopra, who is one of the newest members of the Academy of Motion Picture of Arts & Sciences, will be making a big announcement Jan. 23.The Indian actress has been chosen as one of the few actors to announce the list of nominations for the 90th Academy Awards. In making the announcement, she will be joining other big Hollywood stars like Zoe Saldana, Salma Hayek, Michelle Rodriguez, Rebel Wilson, Michelle Yeoh, and Rosario Dawson. Read it at India West Related Itemslast_img

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Zee TV eyes Rwandan Market For Afro-Indian Content

first_imgZee TV, one of the biggest Indian cable and satellite Television and media broadcasters, is setting up shop in Rwanda.It plans, among other things, to produce a fusion of Afro-Indian story lines, where content from Rwanda and other African countries will be brought to their audience of 1.3 billion viewers globally.Read it at New Times Related Itemslast_img

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Vedanta-Cairn India merger gets BSE, NSE approval

first_imgNew Delhi, Sep 15 (PTI) Metals and mining conglomerate Vedanta Ltd today said it has received go-ahead from both bourses BSE and NSE on the proposed merger of its oil and hydrocarbon arm Cairn India with itself. In a BSE filing, the Anil Agarwal-led firm said: “Vedanta Ltd and Cairn India have received No Objection from BSE and the National Stock Exchange of India vide their Observation Letters dated September 10, 2015 in relation to merger of Cairn India with Vedanta Ltd.” No Objection letters has been issued by the stock exchanges after receiving comments from market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), it added. In June, Indias largest private miner Vedanta Ltd had announced it will absorb oil firm Cairn India in a USD 2.3 billion all-share deal to create the countrys largest diversified natural resources firm. London-based Vedanta Resources had a debt of USD 7.7 billion as on March 31, 2015 while its Indian arm Vedanta Ltd had another USD 4.57 billion debt. While Zero-debt Cairn India, on the other hand, has USD 2.85 billion cash reserve. Shares of Vedanta today fell by 4.06 per cent to settle at Rs 96.90 apiece on the BSE, whereas Cairn Indias scrips rose by 1.01 per cent to close at Rs 145 per share. PTI RNK MKJlast_img read more

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Diversity is Indias strength, not problem: Bhagwat

first_imgVadodara, Sep 11 (PTI) Stating that Indias diversity was a matter of “celebration” and not a “problem” as outsiders consider it to be, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat today urged the people to celebrate the festivals of all the religions to “strengthen” the unity of the country.He said people with “petty minds” divide the world on the basis of colour, language etc. and hence, Indians should strive to spread the message of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (the world is one family).He was addressing a gathering at the Siddhi Vinayak temple in Dandiya Bazaar locality here.Bhagwat offered a sacred thread, made of gold, to the deity at the temple. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar was also present on the occasion.”Foreigners often wonder how Indians live amid such a diversity. Even the British believed that Indians would fight among themselves if the country was granted freedom,” he said.”We consider diversity a matter of celebration rather than a problem. Bharat has to spread the message of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam,” said the RSS chief.”People with petty minds divide the world on the basis of colour, language, etc. But, those with liberal minds consider the entire world their own,” he added.”The truth is that you have to accept all and this acceptance of all is Bharats identity, irrespective of the faith. We should strive to make the world one family,” said Bhagwat.He said Swami Vivekananda, Lokmanya Tilak and Mahatma Gandhi were not happy with the education system of those times and had revolted against it.advertisementBhagwat was felicitated on his 66th birthday in the presence of prominent personalities from the city, including Gujarat Minister of State for Sports Rajendra Trivedi and city Mayor Bharat Dangar.However, the RSS chief told the people that he was not in favour of birthday celebrations. PTI CORR NP RC PTPlast_img read more

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Infineon: connecting the real and digital world

first_imgMicroelectronics connects the digital world of data with the real world of things. From sensors to security chips: Infineon Technologies will be presenting key components for intelligent and secure interaction in a connected world at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.In the future, smart devices will be as normal for us as electric lighting is today: Humans and machines will then no longer communicate via a keyboard, but by means of voice, gestures and facial expressions. The number of digital assistants is growing at a rapid pace – and hence so too is the demand for high-performance electronics. Sensors enable smart devices to see, hear and “understand” their environment. Infineon shows what is possible through a combination of smart sensors, for example, XENSIV radar sensors can make fitness applications intelligent. Applications with additional XENSIV™ MEMS microphones allow visitors to experience how communication with intelligent machines might look in the future.Switch on your washing machine on the way home, order the latest gadgets from your sofa using a digital assistant, or feel more comfortable thanks to sensor-controlled air-conditioning systems. Smart homes have a growing range of devices with intelligent functions that need to be protected against manipulation and unauthorized access. Semiconductors already enable the required functionality today. Infineon will demonstrate that protection with its XENSIV sensors and the new OPTIGA Trust-X security solution.Mobile devices are the heart of professional and private life. They cope with huge volumes of data and support numerous services. Infineon offers the industry’s fastest embedded secure element and a security solution that supports a large number of applications, such as identification, payment, ticketing and embedded SIMs (eSIMs). A further trending topic at MWC: Unlocking your smartphone quickly and easily by face recognition instead of a code or fingerprint. Infineon is presenting a 3D image sensor chip (time of flight) that does this more intelligently, faster and more reliably.At the Olympic Games in South Korea, the new 5G mobile network standard is already reality. Infineon shows how its mmWave solutions help achieve bandwidths of up to 25 gigabits a second. Such transmission rates will be vital for many applications in the future, such as autonomous driving: These rates are 2,500 times faster than the average download speed of 4G systems and have virtually no delay times.Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Chips & Components Continue Reading Previous Artificial Intelligence on the EdgeNext Maxim: design innovation for industrial, healthcare, IoT and embedded security applicationslast_img read more

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Ashwin Sanghi, Shobhaa De, Meghna Gulzar, Subodh Gupta to speak at 2019 JLF

first_imgNew Delhi, Nov 19 (PTI) Bestselling writers Ashwin Sanghi and Shobhaa De, filmmaker Meghna Gulzar and artist Subodh Gupta will be among the 250 speakers scheduled to participate in the 2019 edition of the annual Jaipur Literature Festival.Scheduled to be held between January 24 and January 28 next year at the Diggi Palace in Jaipur, the annual literary event will feature a diverse mix of speakers including writers, thinkers, humanitarians, politicians, business leaders, sports people and entertainers.The second list announced Monday is a vastly diverse mix featuring Union minister KJ Alphons, Egyptian writer and cultural commentator Ahdaf Soueif, social activist Aruna Roy , former Chief Election Commissioner Navin B Chawla and historian Ruby Lal, among others.India’s dizzying linguistic wealth will be on the programming radar with Sanskrit scholar James Mallinson, and Hindi litterateurs like Ashok Chakradhar and Manoranjan Byapari.JLF, in past editions, has successfully offered its stage to Pulitzer prize winning speakers and this year is no different with Steve Coll, a two-time recipient of the coveted award, making it to the festival.Cinema, the body of work and the writers it has produced figure strongly in the second list with veteran film chronicler Jerry Pinto, film-maker Meghna Gulzar and the versatile lyricist and radio storyteller Neelesh Misra.Jaipur BookMark (JBM) that runs parallel to the literary festival, in its sixth edition will continue to serve as a platform to bring together publishers, literary agents, translation agencies and writers.JBM, this year, has also announced a new initiative – iWrite #MyStories calling out to writers to share their unpublished manuscripts.advertisement”This is an effort to engage with emerging writers who are looking for platforms to showcase their work,” organisers said.Each participant will receive feedback on their submitted works from experts, and if it makes to the top 10 shortlist, it would be seen by international publishers, literary agents, translators and other industry experts in a pitching session and perhaps get close to even signing a book deal, they added.Other speakers featuring in the second list include Amitabha Bagchi, Amitava Kumar, Anita Nair, Asne Seierstad, Devdutt Pattanaik, James Crabtree, Kanishk Tharoor, Kim Wagner, Makarand Paranjape, Naina Lal Kidwai, Rana Dasgupta, Roy Strong, Ruth Padel, Sandeep Unnithan, and Shubhangi Swarup. PTI TRS TRS MGMGlast_img read more

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Switzerland’s Stephan Lichtsteiner unhappy with Neymar and referee

first_imgIt was always likely to be a pivotal duel. Stephan Lichtsteiner against Neymar. The Switzerland captain and right-back versus Brazil’s quicksilver threat off the left. Beforehand, Lichtsteiner had described it as “practically impossible to neutralise Neymar completely over 90 minutes.” Afterwards he would suggest that the referee, Cesar Ramos, had a similarly difficult task.Brazil cried conspiracy following the 1-1 Group E draw at the Rostov Arena, with their principal gripe being Ramos’s decision to overlook the slightest of nudges on Miranda by Stephen Zuber before the Swiss midfielder headed the equaliser. They also felt that Gabriel Jesus ought to have had a penalty following a 74th minute challenge by Manuel Akanji.But another strand to the complaint related to the treatment of Neymar, who was fouled a remarkable 10 times. To Brazil, it was plain that their talisman had been targeted and, if none of the fouls were overtly dangerous, there was still a degree of cynicism to many of them. Neymar only returned from a three-month injury lay-off at the beginning of the month, having fractured a metatarsal playing for Paris Saint-Germain, and his fitness remains an issue. He walked gingerly out of the stadium on Sunday night. Brazil’s Tite says Switzerland equaliser should have been ruled out Switzerland World Cup 2018: complete guide to all 736 players World Cup Share on Pinterest Yet from the Switzerland point of view, there was a very different take on matters. According to Lichtsteiner, Ramos came to lose the ability to see anything other than fouls on Neymar and his team-mates when they went down and it made for a climate in which theatrics got their reward.Lichtsteiner could have no complaints when he was booked on 32 minutes for pulling back Neymar, even if his opponent’s fall rather sealed the deal. But when he reflected on the game, it was plain the man who recently completed a free transfer from Juventus to Arsenal felt Neymar had mixed his impish class with play-acting.“I was a little bit worried about the referee,” Lichtsteiner said. “Every time they fell down, it was a whistle, a foul. This was a bit of a challenge. You think: ‘Don’t be too aggressive because every time they go down, it’s a foul.’ For that I was a bit careful after my yellow card.”Neymar drew the eye irresistibly and not only because of his flashy new hairstyle. He possesses the rare ability to create a buzz whenever he gets on the ball. Yet it was a mixed bag from him. As the team’s craque, the 26-year-old feels the pressure to go through his repertoire of tricks more than anyone; to bring the fantasy that the Brazil fans demand. Share on Messenger Share on LinkedIn Topics news Share via Email Share on WhatsAppcenter_img Neymar’s signature move against Switzerland was the freeze-frame dribble, in which he paused and eyed his marker, daring him to jump in. At times, he stood still for what seemed like an age. The plan was for him to then blast away. It was incredibly impudent, blurring the line between cockiness and arrogance but at no point did it really come off.Worse still, it served to kill Brazil’s tempo. There was the sense that it was not only the Swiss defenders who were waiting to see what Neymar would do but his own teammates, as well. Read more Reuse this content Brazil Share on Facebook Read more Neymar strutted about in the first-half, as he and Brazil called the tune but, after Zuber’s 50th-minute equaliser, there was a loss of focus for a period of 15 minutes or so. Yet Neymar would finish strongly and it was perhaps no coincidence that the burst coincided with greater urgency from him, increased directness.“It’s very difficult to play against Neymar,” Lichtsteiner said. “He’s fast, he’s technical and you need to keep up with him all the time because he’s dangerous. It’s a big challenge.”Switzerland rode their luck during the closing moments, when Brazil belatedly laid siege to their goal and created a fistful of chances. But Lichtsteiner and his teammates could feel that they got the balance right in the way they dealt with Neymar. As for the man himself, he was probably both target and thespian. It is a theme that promises to run and run at this World Cup, most likely with a few falls. Share on Twitter Neymar World Cup 2018 The Fiver: sign up and get our daily football email.last_img read more

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Aker Philadelphia Sells Tankers to Marathon

first_imgzoom U.S. shipbuilder Aker Philadelphia Shipyard, Inc. (APSI) has concluded the buy-out agreement with a subsidiary of Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC) for APSI’s interest in its joint venture with Crowley Maritime Corporation related to the operation and chartering of four 50,000 dwt product tankers.The transaction is based on an enterprise value of USD 150 million per vessel.Aker Philadelphia Shipyard ASA said that the buy-out of APSI’s interest in the APSI-Crowley joint venture with respect to each vessel will occur at their delivery from APSI. The deliveries of all four vessels are expected to occur from Q3 2015 to Q3 2016.APSI expects to recognize a pre-tax gain of approximately USD 10 million per vessel from the transaction. The shipbuilder will make an investment in the vessels during their construction, but will no longer maintain the previously planned long-term investment in the vessels post-delivery, which was expected to be approximately USD 110 million in the aggregate.“This transaction is an important part of AKPS’s plan to divest its shipping investments and realize the value created for shareholders,” remarked Kristian Rokke, Chairman of AKPS. “We are proud of what we have accomplished together with Crowley under the joint-venture and look forward to serving both Crowley and Marathon Petroleum as shipbuilders into the future.”All four of the vessels subject to the transaction are under construction. APSI has also begun construction of the first two of four additional 50,000 dwt tankers for a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan, Inc., which are planned to be delivered between November 2016 and November 2017.The shipyard also has contracts for two 3,600 TEU containerships for Matson Navigation Company, Inc., which are planned to be delivered in 2018. On July 16, 2015, the company announced that it intends to change its name to Philly Shipyard by the end of the year, pending shareholder approval.last_img read more

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Premier to Promote Offshore Opportunities in Houston

first_imgPremier Stephen McNeil and officials from the Department of Energy will be in Houston next week to promote Nova Scotia’s offshore oil and gas opportunities. The delegation will take part in the 50th annual Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), which starts on Monday, April 30. With more than 100 countries attending, the conference is one of the year’s largest gatherings of energy professionals. “Nova Scotia has a record of safe and responsible oil and gas development that has supported jobs in our province and generated revenue for government services,” said Premier McNeil. “Our offshore resources continue to attract international interest, providing tremendous potential to bring more companies to Nova Scotia and create more revenue to support services for Nova Scotians.” Nova Scotia has attended the conference for more than 25 consecutive years, with the intention of attracting international investment to the province. This year, more than 20 Nova Scotia companies will be in Houston to attract new business and make connections. “Every year we’re at OTC, at least one Nova Scotia company signs a new contract or makes an introduction that leads to a future deal,” said Maritimes Energy Association CEO, Ray Ritcey. “Some years we’re able to generate interest in offshore exploration and other years companies in our supply chain reach agreements to work in markets around the world.” Highlights and recent activity in Nova Scotia’s oil and gas sector include: BP Canada has received approval to drill an exploratory well as part of its $1 billion offshore work commitment the Department of Energy has committed almost $13 million to leading edge geoscience work that is being shared with industry liquified natural gas opportunities could help meet growing global demand for cleaner fuels by transferring abundant North American gas to international markets a safety record that includes more than 15 years without a single lost-time incident for Sable project employees and contractors about $4 billion in direct revenue to the province, plus revenue and jobs supported and created from billions spent on goods and services by major international companies since 1998 For more information visit, https://energy.novascotia.ca/oil-and-gas .last_img read more

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Hong Kong braces for antitriad rally despite police ban

first_imgHong Kong: Protesters vowed to defy a police ban Saturday and rally against suspected triad gangs who beat up pro-democracy demonstrators last weekend. Public anger has been raging since last Sunday when a gang of men in white T-shirts, armed with poles and batons, set upon anti-government protesters and bystanders in a station and on a train, leaving at least 45 people needing hospital treatment. The brazen assault was the latest escalation in seven weeks of unprecedented political violence that shows little sign of abating as the city’s pro-Beijing leaders refuse to budge. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US Hong Kong has been plunged into its worst crisis in recent history after millions of demonstrators took to the streets — and sporadic violent confrontations erupted between police and pockets of hardcore protesters. The demonstrations were triggered by a controversial bill which would have allowed extraditions to mainland China but have evolved into a call for wider democratic reforms and a halt to sliding freedoms. Saturday’s rally will be held where last Sunday’s attack took place in Yuen Long, a town in Hong Kong near the Chinese border where many of the surrounding villages are known for triad connections and their staunch support for the pro-Beijing establishment. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls Police have been heavily criticised for being too slow to respond to Sunday’s violence, fueling accusations of collusion or turning a blind eye to the pro-government mob — allegations the force have denied. Police say they have arrested 12 people so far in connection with Sunday’s violence, nine of whom have known triad links. In a rare move, Hong Kong police banned Saturday’s rally saying they feared reprisal attacks against villagers from protesters. But social messaging channels used to organise the largely leaderless movement have quickly filled up with vows from people to join in. Some suggested holding a “shopping spree” in Yuen Long, others for a mass gathering of Pokemon Go, a popular mobile phone game. Others suggested, sarcastically, it could be an occasion to mourn the death on Wednesday of notorious Chinese communist hardliner Li Peng, noting that religious gatherings do not need police permission. Rumours have swirled that protesters might target the ancestral halls and graves of a village close to the Yuen Long’s station where the white shirt mob ran into after their attack and later left without police making any arrests despite a large presence of officers. Earlier this week the graves of Junius Ho’s parents were vandalised. An ardent pro-Beijing lawmaker, Ho was seen shaking hands with the white-shirted men before Sunday’s attack. He also threatened a pro-democracy lawmaker in an online video earlier this week. That lawmaker, Eddie Chu, who also hails from the New Territories, said many villagers abhorred Sunday’s attack but were afraid to speak out. He used Facebook to call on fellow protesters not to target village halls and graves, saying such actions would backfire and unite sympathetic villagers against their protest movement. Beijing has labelled the protests as “extreme illegal violence”, but has left it to the city’s semi-autonomous government to deal with the situation. City leader Carrie Lam has shown no sign of backing down beyond agreeing to suspend the extradition bill. On Wednesday China issued a stark reminder that its army could be deployed in Hong Kong if city authorities requested support in maintaining “public order”, something local authorities have said they have no intention of doing. Two days later thousands held a 10-hour protest at the airport arrival hall in a bid to “educate” visitors, particularly mainlanders, about their movement. The protest was peaceful and there was no disruption to flights. Protesters also plan to march on Sunday through a district where riot police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at projectile-hurling protesters the week before. Police have allowed a rally to take place, but denied protesters permission to march, raising the likelihood of further confrontations.last_img read more

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Stars Appeal To US Fish And Wildlife Service Over Killing Of Cecil

first_imgAppalled by the tragedy surrounding Cecil the lion, who was killed by an American trophy hunter in Zimbabwe, celebrities from around the world are urging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to finalize its proposed rule to protect African lions under the Endangered Species Act.African lions currently have no protection under U.S. law, with more than 400 lions killed every year by American trophy hunters, and trophies such as lion heads, paws and other body parts free to flow across the U.S. border in unlimited quantities from anywhere in the world.The stars write in support of efforts by The Humane Society of the United States and its global affiliate, Humane Society International. The groups first petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2011 for improved protections for African lions. The proposed rule would impose strict criteria for trophy imports and protect the subspecies from unsustainable hunting.Celebrities who have co-signed the statement include: Cher, James Cromwell, Edie Falco, Jorja Fox, Ricky Gervais, Joan Jett, Leona Lewis, Bill Maher, Wendie Malick, Kate Mara, Alyssa Milano, Dev Patel, Norman Reedus, Ruby Rose, Candice Swanepoel and Olivia Wilde.The statement to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service states in part: “Poachers and trophy hunters from the U.S. and other countries are driving lions to extinction. The U.S. must play its part in eliminating the threats to these beautiful animals.“In honor of Cecil, I lend my support to The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International in urging you to include African lions on the Endangered Species Act immediately.”Teresa Telecky, director of wildlife for Humane Society International, said: “It’s too late to protect Cecil from the ugly American hunter, but if we can get the United States to give African lions protection under the Endangered Species Act, then we will save Cecil’s family from the same fate.”Poachers and trophy hunters from the U.S. and other countries are driving lions to extinction. Fewer than 40,000 African lions — and possibly as few as 23,000 — are estimated to remain today. Lions exist in only one-quarter of their former range and are suffering from loss of habitat and prey.last_img read more

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Obstructing UNDRIP bill amounts to oppression and racism against Indigenous peoples says

first_imgSenator Mary Jane McCallum. Photo: maryjanemccallum.caJustin BrakeAPTN NewsCree Senator Mary Jane McCallum says too much is at stake for Bill C-262 to die on the Senate floor.The former university professor and long time advocate for Indigenous rights tells APTN News that “by obstructing the vote the senate is feeding into the cycle of manufactured violence toward Indigenous peoples by not providing them the opportunity to move forward in a positive direction.”McCallum’s comments come amid allegations by Liberal and independent senators who say Conservative senators are deliberately stalling the bill from going to committee, where it would be studied and potentially amended before returning to the senate floor for a third and final reading.If passed, the bill would compel Canada to harmonize its laws with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), which details the global minimum standards for recognizing and respecting Indigenous rights.Last week a coalition of Indigenous and human rights groups also accused Conservative senators of preventing the bill from going to committee.Senator Don Plett, one of those alleged to have used senate rules and procedures to prevent Senator Murray Sinclair — the bill’s senate sponsor — from reading his right of final reply on April 9, has denied any antagonism to the bill’s passing second reading.Once a right of final reply is read, a bill then moves on to the next stage of the legislative process — in this case, to committee.Plett maintains that the Senate Aboriginal Affairs committee is currently dealing with government legislation — namely a pre-study of Bill C-92, which takes precedent over private members’ legislation — and therefore can’t address C-262 until it has dealt with the other bill.C-262 was introduced by Cree MP Romeo Saganash in 2016 and was passed in the House of Commons in May 2018.The next day it was read for the first time in the Senate.Its second reading has so far spanned 10 sittings over six months.Sinclair told APTN last week he feels “there’s been a lack of willingness to move” on the part of some senators.Plett told APTN last week that he knows of other senators who want to address C-262 during the second reading, but he can’t say who they are due to confidentiality.With the Aboriginal Affairs committee currently dealing with C-92’s pre-study, “why not give every senator an opportunity, if they wish to speak to it, to speak to it?” he said in a phone interview Wednesday.Senator Lillian Dyck, who chairs the committee, told APTN last week that with Bills C-91 and C-92 — the Indigenous languages and Indigenous child welfare legislation, respectfully — still in the House of Commons and the committee’s pre-study of C-92 almost complete, there may be a window of opportunity in the coming weeks for the committee to begin work on the UNDRIP legislation.“But until we actually get Bill 262 we will not actually discuss how we’re going to handle that, we won’t set up a witness list and plan when we will have people come, because we don’t have it yet,” she said.Plett said he’s “not sure why people are trying to find a hidden agenda here, that something else is happening — it isn’t.”But McCallum said the current situation, including concerns among some senators that the concept of free, prior and informed consent outlined in the U.N. Declaration would give Indigenous peoples a “veto” over resource development, needs to be understood in a broader context.Within that context, she says, all senators should be working to ensure C-262 gets to committee as soon as possible and is brought back for a final vote.For Indigenous peoples in Canada, “there continues to be no escape or protection from the adverse health and social cumulative impacts of resource extraction,” she says, explaining resource extraction “is intimately linked with the human and collective right of Indigenous women, men, children, families and community in their quest for self-determination.”She says UNDRIP rightly protects Indigenous peoples collective rights, including the right to consent to, or refuse, events that impact them.“The sad reality is that resource development continues to be taking place on our lands without our consent, and without adequate protection from the provincial or federal governments,” McCallum says. “The result is that this cycle [of] resource extraction continues to leave a group of people in a vulnerable and threatened position.”She calls the debate around whether Indigenous peoples should be afforded the right to consent “fear mongering”.“I have the right to say no, the right to say yes, and the right to say yes with conditions.”McCallum says she’s “disappointed” by the “stalling tactics” but doesn’t name individual senators.“As senators it is our duty to uphold and respect the democratic process,” she says. “This includes allowing all legislation the right to come to a vote. By denying this process this great chamber becomes a vehicle of structural violence.”Plett says once the committee has its hands free after dealing with government legislation before it, he personally would not hold up C-262 from going to committee.He also points out the Trudeau government “could have dealt with this a long time ago by making this government legislation,” and that the Liberals waivered in their support for the bill, noting former justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould had called the legislation “unworkable,” before eventually supporting it.Partisanship aside, McCallum says that “for a bill that is so crucial to Indigenous rights,” passing C-262 “should be first and foremost in the thoughts of everyone’s minds and hearts.”But first it must get to committee, and then back to all senators for a vote.“The outcome of the vote is never guaranteed,” McCallum says, “but the opportunity to have it voted on is the crucial aspect. Blocking this potential advancement is unacceptable. These stall tactics are a blow to democracy and a blow to reconciliation.”She says any effort to prevent the bill’s passing “is a sign of continued oppression and continued racism to keep a group under threat while supporting others to remain in control.”Senators are on a break this week but will sit again beginning April 29, from which time there will be a total of eight weeks of sittings before they break for the summer and the fall election.jbrake@aptn.ca@justinbrakenewslast_img read more

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Indigo swings to near 40M yearly loss partly due to Canada Post

TORONTO — Indigo Books & Music Inc. widely missed expectations as it swung to a nearly $40-million net loss for its 2019 financial year, partly due to the Canada Post strike and less consumer spending in the final quarter.The Toronto-based company reported a net loss of $36.8 million or $1.35 per common share for the year ending March 30, compared with net earnings of $22 million or 82 cents per common share the previous year.Revenue for the year dropped $32.8 million or three per cent to about $1.05 billion from roughly $1.08 billion the previous year.Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters Eikon expected a net loss of $9.3 million or 34 cents per share on $1.065 billion of revenues.Comparable sales, a key retail metric, dropped 1.1 per cent.Revenue challenges arose from, among other things, a Canada Post strike, as well as a pullback in consumer spending on non-essential items in the fourth quarter.The company says net loss for the quarter amounted to $23.8 million, compared with a $10.7-million loss last year.Fourth-quarter revenues fell 7.5 per cent to $199.2 million, and comparable sales dropped 8.7 per cent.Indigo was expected to earn $3.7 million in the quarter on $210.7 million in revenues.CEO Heather Reisman says in a statement that “we have every confidence in the investments we have made, in our customers’ deep affection for our brand, and in our mission to enrich the lives of Canadians.” Companies in this story (TSX:IDG)The Canadian Press read more

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SecretaryGeneral thanks UN peacemaking official for quarter century of service

“During a distinguished career both at UN Headquarters and in the field, the diplomatic talents of Under-Secretary-General Alvaro de Soto were in high demand around the world,” Mr. Ban said in a statement released by his spokesperson.Mr. Ban also noted that Mr. de Soto’s work spanned the globe, “from El Salvador to Myanmar, Cyprus to Western Sahara, and most recently in the search for peace in the Middle East.”Since June 2005, Mr. de Soto has been serving as a Middle East envoy, a position to which he was named by former Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Prior to that, he was appointed as the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus in 1999.As the Secretary-General’s Personal Representative for the Central American Peace Process, Mr. de Soto led the 1990-1991 negotiations that brought an end to the decade-long war in El Salvador.“The agreements he helped to broker in El Salvador not only brought a better future to the people of that country, but also became a model for UN peacemaking efforts elsewhere,” Mr. Ban said.“Mr. de Soto’s contributions to the development of UN practices in conflict mediation and resolution will be a lasting part of his legacy to the United Nations.”Before joining the UN, Mr. de Soto served Peru as a diplomat at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Lima, at UN Headquarters in New York and in Geneva. Mr. de Soto was the coordinator and spokesman for the Group of 77 and China in negotiations on the Convention on the Law of the Sea. 7 May 2007As the Peruvian Alvaro de Soto – whose peacemaking skills were put to use in the Middle East, Western Sahara and Myanmar, among other places – concludes a quarter century of service to the United Nations, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today expressed his profound gratitude to him for his contributions to the world body. read more

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Mandate of UN peacekeeping force in Western Sahara extended for another year

In a unanimously adopted resolution, the 15-member Council called on Morocco and Frente Polisario – the parties to the conflict in Western Sahara – to “continue to show political will and work in an atmosphere propitious for dialogue in order to enter into a more intensive and substantive phase of negotiations.”The resolution was adopted after Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in his latest report on the peacekeeping mission (known as MINURSO), recently welcomed both parties’ commitment to the process of negotiations and their willingness to engage in the preparatory informal format.But he noted that two informal meetings under the auspices of his personal envoy Christopher Ross held in August 2009 and February this year produced no movement on the core substantive issues, and more work is needed before a fifth round can be held.Mr. Ross’ efforts to promote a settlement have been “laborious,” the Secretary-General said. “Their pace and substance have been heavily affected by the parties’ reaction to events in the region and their unyielding attachment to mutually exclusive positions.”Today’s resolution called on the parties to continue the dialogue under the auspices of the Secretary-General without preconditions to achieve “a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution, which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara.”Last week, the Secretary-General expressed concern about alleged violations of human rights in the Western Sahara conflict and vowed to continue to promote the rights of Sahrawis after meeting with Mohamed Abdelaziz, Secretary-General of the Frente Polisario.He reassured Mr. Abdelaziz of “the UN’s commitment to maintaining an active and balanced engagement in the search for a solution to the Western Sahara conflict that provides for the self-determination for the people of Western Sahara,” according to information released by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson.“The Secretary-General stated that he remains very concerned about alleged violations of human rights. He said that his Personal Envoy, Christopher Ross, and the Secretariat will continue to work to promote the human rights of Sahrawis.”Fighting broke out between Morocco and the Frente Polisario after the Spanish colonial administration of Western Sahara ended in 1976. Morocco has presented a plan for autonomy while the position of the Frente Polisario is that the territory’s final status should be decided in a referendum on self-determination that includes independence as an option. MINURSO was set up in 1991 to monitor the ceasefire reached in September of that year. 30 April 2010The Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations peacekeeping mission tasked with organizing a referendum on self-determination in Western Sahara for another year. read more

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Trump administration expected to defend tariffs on Canadian solar modules in US

TORONTO — President Donald Trump’s decision to hit imports of Canadian solar energy modules with staggering tariffs, starting this month, has sparked another court battle over the extent of his powers to push through his America First agenda.Three Ontario-based manufacturing companies are suing the U.S. government in the U.S. Court of International Trade over a Trump presidential proclamation that began imposing 30 per cent tariffs on imports of their products as of Feb. 7.Silfab Solar Inc. of Mississauga, Heliene Inc. of Sault Ste. Marie and the U.S. subsidiary of Canadian Solar Inc. of Guelph jointly argue that Trump has overstepped his authority under U.S. law in several ways.For one thing, they say Trump ignored the position of the U.S. International Trade Commission, a quasi-judicial body that would be required to recommend global tariffs on imports of solar cells and modules — mainly from Asia.They also claim Trump disregarded an exemption for the Canadian companies, under the North American Free Trade Agreement, because they haven’t caused significant harm to the few remaining American manufacturers.They argue that U.S. law bars the president “from taking safeguard actions against a NAFTA country in this circumstance.”The Trump administration was expected to file its defence on Tuesday, as ordered by CIT chief judge Timothy Stanceu, who is overseeing the case in New York City.Trump’s move does have the support of SolarWorld Americas Inc. of Portland, Ore., one of the companies that prompted the ITC’s investigation last year, which says the president does have the authority to impose the tariffs.“SolarWorld is the last remaining U.S. producer of solar cells still in operation in the United states; the remaining U.S. cell producers have all been driven out of business by foreign imports,” SolarWorld’s lawyer said in a briefing to the court.The Canadians say the U.S. International Trade Commission concluded last year that solar cells and modules from Canada accounted for only about two per cent of crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells used in the United States.They also say the commission found the Canadian imports don’t meet the threshold required for the United States to include a NAFTA country in the president’s general action against imported photovoltaic cells and modules.The Canadian companies do have supporters in the United States, including from two Minnesota state senators: Republican Paul Gazelka and David Tomassoni of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor party.“In recent years, Minnesota has made significant and growing investments in the solar industry, often in partnerships with Canadian solar companies,” they wrote in a letter to the trade court.“These partnerships have resulted in the creation of jobs for Minnesotans and aided the rapid expansion of Minnesota’s solar industry.”The Minnesota briefing says Trump’s proclamation is problematic because it didn’t follow a “careful and balanced process” that the executive branch needs to follow before imposing safeguard measures on foreign imports.“The executive branch did not follow that careful process here,” it asserts.“By imposing a tariff on Canadian imports anyway, the proclamation contravenes the deliberate process Congress designed. . . . Furthermore, the proclamation has written Congress out of the vital oversight role to which the statute entitles it.” read more

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Government to look at alternative to foreign judges in probe

“But what we are saying is there are many other variations in which we can guarantee that same credibility and we are looking at those options,” the Minister said. He said that anyone can put forward opinions and recommendations but as a responsible Government the Government will take the right decisions. (Colombo Gazette) The Government says the call for international judges in the process to investigate incidents related to the war comes from the fact that the local judiciary lost credibility when the Mahinda Rajapaksa Government was in power.Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera told reporters today there is a call to ensure impartiality in the accountability process and international participation is one way of ensuring impartiality. read more

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