Rahul Gandhi attacks Modi and RSS in Bastar

first_imgThe Congress party vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday launched a scathing attack on the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the Bharatiya Janata Party, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and held them responsible for conflicts in almost every state of the country. During an interaction with tribal students and young Congress workers at Jagdalpur, the Congress vice president said, “ Every state has been witnessing conflicts and troubles since the BJP government has come to power (at the center). There was calm in Jammu and Kashmir. The UPA government had almost eliminated terrorism. However, the situation changed since the NDA came to power. Now, almost every part of the country is witnessing unrest and the RSS and the BJP gain from such divisions. Wherever they go, they make people fight each other.”Jagdalpur is the district headquarters of Maoist-insurgency hit Bastar region of Chhattisgarh. Mr. Gandhi was there as a part of his two-day long Chhattisgarh visit.   “The RSS and the BJP want to make sure that the Dalits, tribals, and minorities remain backward so that they can rule longer,” he alleged.Later on addressing a rally in Marker area of Bastar, Mr.Gandhi lashed out at Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh for his alleged involvement in corruption and criticized Prime Minister Modi for shielding him.“Recently Pakistan’s prime minister resigned because his name cropped up in the Panama Papers. The chief minister of Chhattisgarh and his family were also named in the Panama Papers. In Pakistan, where there is no rule of law, the prime minister has resigned. But Chhattisgarh’s chief minister has not resigned. Why will he resign? He is a leader of RSS-BJP. They can do any kind of corruption they want. ‘Achche Din’ have come. Modi talks of corruption and gives long speeches over it but he cannot see Chhattisgarh chief minister’s involvement in corruption. The prime minister doesn’t utter a word when Rajasthan CM faces allegations of accepting a bribe,” the Congress vice president said without mentioning recent events in Bihar.Mr. Gandhi pointed out that Prime Minister Modi had opposed the Land Acquisition bill when the Congress was bringing the bill to help farmers and workers.“Modi opposed us and went to the big corporate houses and called our bill a wrong bill. He then became PM with the support of the same people who want to snatch your land. They did his marketing on TV, Newspapers and everywhere else. The marketing did not involve the Tribals’, Dalits’ or farmers’ money. All money came from the big business houses. They promoted Modi because they knew Modi would work for them and Rahul Gandhi won’t. Thrice, Modi tried to repeal the Act or to destroy it. Our MPs fought and stopped them in Parliament. However, they repealed it in the BJP ruled states,” Mr.Gandhi alleged.Targeting the Raman Singh government in Chhattisgarh, the Congress leader claimed that the “Jal Jangal Jameen” (Water, Forest, and Land) of people was being snatched in the state.“Only one work is happening in Chhattisgarh and Bastar. Your ‘Jal Jangal Jameen’ is being snatched from you. A new word has been discovered – ‘outsourcing’. The RSS people say reservation have to be scrapped. Outsourcing means to do away with reservation from the back door. Local people in Chhattisgarh don’t get employment. Only people from Maharashtra and those from the RSS get work here. This is what Modi has been doing. What sort of development is this? Outsiders and RSS people are being given preference in employment in Chhattisgarh and Chhattisgarh’s youth are being neglected. The RSS and the BJP want to see the tribals of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand working as maids in rich people’ houses in big cities but we don’t want such development. Development should be for everyone and everyone should get employment,” Mr. Gandhi maintained.He also accused Prime Minister Modi of “mocking” India’s laborers.“The MNERGA gave employment to every labor but Modi said that Congress was making every Indian worker to dig pits. Modiji, India’s labourers have been building India with their efforts,” he added.Mr. Gandhi also promised that his party will not allow Chhattisgarh and Bastar to grow weaker.He asked his party men not to wait for the elections and help the common people and promised that every section of the population and the Congress workers would be respected under the Congress rule.“Go to the field. The RSS has given you many issues. Fight for the people. You call me wherever you want. I will come and stand with you,” he assured the Congress workers.last_img read more

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Sania eases into second round

first_imgAfter missing the team event due to an ear infection, India’s best tennis medal hope Sania Mirza breezed into the singles second round with a straight-set demolition of Hong Kong’s Chan Wing Yau Venise in the Asian Games in Guangzhou on Thursday Unseeded Sania needed just 50 minutes to whip Chan 6-1 6-0 with her booming forehands and effective backhands to book a meeting with Chinese sixth seed Zhang Shuai for a place in the quarter finals.If she wins, Sania is likely to meet second seed Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand, a twotime silver medalist, in the last eight at the Aoti Tennis centre. Sania dedicated her opening win to husband, and former Pakistan cricket captain, Shoaib Malik.”I didn’t feel well in the last two weeks,” said the 24-yearold, who captured a gold and two silver medals at the 2006 Doha Asian Games.”I was absent from the team event, but now I feel much better. My husband came here today, that made me very confident and I felt good,” she added.”I am still not hundred per cent fit but feeling a lot better,” said Sania who is under medication since arriving in Guangzhou for the infection which she thinks she picked up in Luxembourg on the women’s circuit.Sania was watched courtside by Shoaib Malik and her mother. However, her compatriot Poojashree Venkatesha became a first round casualty, suffering a 2-6 2-6 defeat against Chinese Taipei’s Chen Kai Chang in another women’s singles match.Sania, ranked 166 and just outside the seeding list as the ninth-best ranker here, took some time to get into her groove and had to stave off five break points in the opening set but thereafter she simply outclassed her rival who played with a heavily strapped left thigh and was well supported by the centre court crowd.advertisementSania quickly jumped to a 4-0 lead in the first set before her rival, the 22nd ranked player in the tournament, could hold her serve for the first, and what proved to be the only time in the match.She grabbed the opening set in 27 minutes and put severe pressure on Chan from the start of the second set and had her rival 0-30 down with some solid forehand shots that helped her break serve.The Hyderabad-based Sania, who held a ranking of 29 a few years ago when she progressed at lightning pace in the circuit before injuries halted it, also showed her felicity with the backhand in the match. The Indian was up 4-0 with the second break of serve in the set with the help of two forehand winners.For the first and only time in the match she later doublefaulted but that did not prevent her from holding her serve. A clearly upset Chan, serving to stay in the match, doublefaulted to be down 15-30 and Sania went match point up with a superb inside-out forehand winner.But Chan netted a backhand and conceded the game, set and match. The second set lasted 23 minutes.- With inputs from Agencieslast_img read more

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WWE SmackDown Results: Roman Reigns’ Attacker Revealed, Randy Orton Dominates The New Day

first_img Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time. bayleyCharlotte Flairdaniel bryanKofi Kingston First Published: August 28, 2019, 11:43 AM IST This week’s SmackDown saw Roman Reigns unearth some brand new footage of his attack on the show following Daniel Bryan and Rowan’s last week request for a public apology for the unveiling of who Reigns’ ‘real’ attacker was. By the end of the show, Bryan was still asking for an apology when Reigns showed a video where Rowan could be seen tipping over the backstage equipment and walking away.An irate Bryan snapped, slapping Rowan repeatedly while yelling that he hates liars. As Bryan took a microphone to the ring, insisting that he had been lied to and someone else must have put Rowan up to it, Reigns drilled him with a spear and walked off. The evening also saw Randy Orton dominate Kofi Kingston and The New Day with his amazing mind games. While Kofi was fired up for getting one over Randy Orton last week, Orton cut him off on the Tron, to claim that someone had slid a letter under his hotel room door, which said that Kingston was not “stupid” but rather “a good man” and that Kingston was not only his “hero” but the letter writer’s “daddy” as well. Orton went on to say that he realised he is staying in the same hotel as Kingston’s family and he would be paying the boy a visit, leading Kingston to run backstage to engage in a brawl with Orton which ends with The Viper hitting a hanging DDT from a table to the floor.Here’s what else happened on SmackDown:Randy Orton defeated Big E via pinfall after an RKO following interference from The Revival.King of the Ring, Round 1 — Ali defeated Buddy Murphy via pinfall after a 450 Splash.Bayley defeated Lacey Evans via pinfall following an elbow drop.24/7 Championship — Drake Maverick defeated Elias (c) to win the title.King of the Ring, Round 1 — Chad Gable defeated Shelton Benjamin via pinfall following a roll-up.The evening also saw The Miz call out Sami Zayn after Zayn and Shinsuke Nakamura attacked him after forming a new alliance last week. The bout ended with Nakamura attacking Miz from behind and laying him out with a Kinshasa. The evening also saw Ember Moon confronting Bayley backstage, saying she wants a shot at the championship again, but has Bayley’s back against Charlotte Flair. last_img read more

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Virat Kohli happy with personal milestone but more elated with series win

first_imgVirat Kohli was a modest man after a record breaking day both on a collective and personal note as India beat New Zealand by six wickets in Kanpur to win their seventh straight ODI series.Kohli on Sunday became the fastest man to reach to 9000 ODI runs and score 2000 runs across all the formats in 2017. The Indian captain, who also hit his 32nd ODI ton in the third and final ODI, said that personal goals are an added bonus as the main aim has always been to win the game and series.”My aim is for the team to win the game and the series, and if I personally do well then it’s an added bonus,” said the Indian captain.”These things are hard to ignore since we keep hearing these, but the aim is to always make the team win from any situation,” he added.CHAMPIONS #TeamIndia pic.twitter.com/PuE6U0F8wG- BCCI (@BCCI) October 29, 2017The Indian bowlers didn’t start on a good note as Bhuvneshwar Kumar was being hit left, right and centre by Colin Munro. Introducing Hardik Pandya also didn’t help the cause early in the innings. In the end however, inspiring bowling performances from Jasprit Bumrah and Yuzvendra Chahal sealed the victory for the Men-in-Blue. Talking about his strategy, Kohli said that he decided to let the bowlers be and he is happy that they stepped up and pulled it through.”I decided that I let the bowler do what he wants to do and that’s why I was calm. There was dew too, just glad the boys pulled through. To be fair to the bowlers, the wicket eased out nicely. The ball was coming onto the bat beautifully,” said the 28-year-old.advertisement”Our last 15 overs, the bowling slowed down, so we were probably 25 runs short. It was difficult to get our shots away. But glad the bowlers came out on top: it was like a knockout game for us and the boys showed their character,” he added.And that’s a wrap from Kanpur. #TeamIndia seal the 3-match ODI series 2-1 #INDvNZ pic.twitter.com/yA27kd9Cva- BCCI (@BCCI) October 29, 2017The right-hander also didn’t forget to congratulate the Black Caps for the fight they put up during the three-match series.”Credit to New Zealand. They challenged us in all three games, and forced us to play our best in every game. Credit to the skill and character they possess. Congratulations to them for playing that way,” said Kohli.India will next take on the Kiwis in the three-match T20I series starting on November 1 in Delhi.last_img read more

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DeRozan, Raptors End Cavaliers’ Streak With 99-84 Win

first_imgTORONTO — Cleveland’s perfect playoff run went south in the north.DeMar DeRozan scored 32 points, Bismack Biyombo set a Toronto playoff record with 26 rebounds and the Raptors beat Cleveland 99-84 in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals on May 21, handing the Cavaliers their first loss this postseason.Kyle Lowry scored 20 points, Cory Joseph added 14, and Patrick Patterson and DeMarre Carroll each had 10 for the Raptors. They rebounded after losing the first two games in Cleveland by a combined 50 points.In Toronto, where “We The North” is a rallying cry, a sell-out crowd dressed in red and white T-shirts cheered the Raptors to their seventh victory in nine home playoff games. Game 4 is May 23 at Air Canada Centre.“It’s a long series,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. “It’s not over with yet, but everybody thought we were going to get swept. I think that fuels us and if that’s what it takes, so be it.”LeBron James scored 24 points, and J.R. Smith had 22 for the Cavaliers. They won their first 10 playoff games and were trying to match the Los Angeles Lakers’ record of 11 straight victories to begin a postseason. The Lakers did it in 1989 and again in 2001.“We didn’t play our game and they made us pay for it,” James said. “We didn’t start the game as physical as we should have at the point of attack.”Biyombo had four blocks, helping Toronto limit the Cavaliers to 20 points in the paint. The Cavs had 106 points in the paint in the first two games.“It was amazing, honestly,” DeRozan said about Biyombo’s performance. “He was big time tonight. Without him, we probably wouldn’t get this win.”Kyrie Irving scored 13 points, and Channing Frye had 11 for Cleveland. The Cavaliers were held below 100 points for the first time in these playoffs.“They came out and they beat us,” Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue said. “They were more aggressive. They were more physical. They were more active. They were faster. They beat us to the ball.”James had five assists, moving past Jason Kidd and into third place on the NBA’s career playoff list.It was a rough night for Cavaliers forward Kevin Love, who scored three points and made just one of nine field goal attempts. Irving also struggled with his shooting, missing 16-of- 19.“Those guys will be better,” James pledged.Irving checked out at 1:38 of the fourth quarter and had to be helped to the locker room following a collision with Joseph.“I just got the wind knocked out of me,” Irving said.With his team ahead by eight, Biyombo scored six straight points in the fourth to put the Raptors up 91-77 at 3:38.“He was huge,” Casey said. “I thought he played a big-time game in the paint.”DeRozan scored 12 points in the first but saw a buzzer-beating 3 waved off after video review.Lowry scored eight points despite picking up his second four at 5:40 as Toronto led 30-24 after one. It was the first time in nine quarters this series that the Raptors had outscored the Cavaliers.Carroll, Joseph and Patterson each made 3-pointers during a 16-2 Toronto run midway through the second as the Raptors overcame Lowry’s third foul to take a 54-37 lead.James went down clutching his face after being accidentally elbowed by Thompson during a scuffle at center court late in the second.Thompson and Joseph were given technicals on the play. James recovered to make a 3 in the final seconds, but Cleveland trailed 60-47 at halftime.“Our second quarter lineup didn’t do a great job of paying attention to detail,” James said. “They were able to bust the game open.”(IAN HARRISON) TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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Coquelin outlines season target with Valencia

first_imgPrimera División Francis Coquelin outlines season target with Valencia Shina Oludare 23:19 2/17/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Francis Coquelin, Valencia Valencia CF Primera División Málaga v Valencia Málaga Valencia After ending their poor run against Levante, the Frenchman is hoping to help Los Che finish the Spanish topflight season on a high Francis Coquelin is hoping to see Valencia secure a Champions League place at the end of the season.Los Che arrested their poor form in LaLiga thanks to their 3-1 win over cross-city rivals, Levante, to stay in the third position – one point ahead of Real Madrid.AdChoices广告And the midfielder who won two FA Cup title and a Community Shield with Arsenal is not under pressure winning trophies with the Mestalla Stadium outfit. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Francis Coquelin on Valencia priority this seasonHowever, he is keen on ending the season well with Marcelino García’s men: “If you come to a big club such as Valencia, you want to win stuff,” Coquelin told Goal.“Copa Del Rey was a big chance for us to pick up a trophy as we got to the semi-finals of the competition, but unfortunately we were up against a great Barcelona side and in the end, they won the game.“This season, a Champion’s League place is our main target. Hopefully next season we can push on from there.“But for now, we need to focus on finishing the season strong and in a champion’s league position.”The 26-year-old is expected to start when Valencia face Malaga in Saturday’s Spanish topflight encounter at La Rosaleda Stadium.last_img read more

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2 days agoMaguire reveals Man Utd talks over UEFA racism protocol

first_imgAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Maguire reveals Man Utd talks over UEFA racism protocolby Freddie Taylor2 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveHarry Maguire says Manchester United have spoken about the UEFA racial abuse protocol ahead of Thursday’s clash with Partizan Belgrade.The Serbian giants played their last two European home games behind closed doors after racist abuse by supporters.”We will trust Uefa to follow their protocol,” Maguire said.”Sofia was a sickening atmosphere, something I don’t want to be part of again.”We’re positive tomorrow night will be a great atmosphere, one we’re all looking forward to playing in.”If something does goes off, then we’ll follow the three-step protocol and I’m sure there will be people on and off the pitch doing their bit to make things better for the future.” last_img read more

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Two CRPF personnel killed in encounter with Naxals

first_imgBijapur: Two CRPF personnel were killed and another was injured in an encounter with Naxals in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh Friday, police said. Two girls were caught in the crossfire. One of them died while the other was injured, they said. The gun-battle took place near Keshkutul village under the Bhairamgarh police station area when a joint team of the CRPF’s 199th battalion and local police was out on an area domination operation, IG (Bastar range) Vivekanand Sinha. Also Read – Modi formed OBC commission which earlier govts didn’t do: Shah When the patrolling team was advancing through Keshkutul, it was ambushed by a group of armed rebels and a gunfight ensued, he said. “Two CRPF personnel — an assistant sub-inspector and a head constable — were killed. Another assistant sub-inspector was injured in the gunfight,” Sinha said. Two minor girls, travelling in a goods carrier, were caught in the crossfire. One of them died, while the other was injured, the officer said, adding reinforcement was rushed to the spot soon after being alerted about the incident.last_img read more

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Aphria strikes deal with Southern Glazers on cannabis distribution

first_imgLEAMINGTON, Ont. – Aphria Inc. says it has reached a deal that will see Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits become its exclusive distributor of recreational cannabis products in Canada.The Leamington, Ont.-based cannabis producer says Southern Glazer’s new Canadian subsidiary Great North Distributors, which will focus specifically on cannabis products, will represent the company when recreational use is legalized.Aphria says the deal with Southern Glazer’s, one of North America’s largest wine and spirits distributors, will give it coverage of all cannabis retailers across Canada on the first day of legal adult-use sales.The deal comes as cannabis producers have been looking to strike agreements with distributors and firm up space with retailers as legalization in Canada approaches.Edmonton-based Aurora Cannabis Inc. announced in February it would buy a 20 per cent stake in retailer Liquor Stores N.A. Ltd., which changed its name last week to Alcanna Inc. to reflect it now has alcohol and cannabis divisions.Canopy Growth Corp. reached a deal last fall with Constellation Brands that saw the alcohol supplier invest $245 million for a 10 per cent stake in Canopy, and the two partner on marketing and product development.Companies in this story: (TSX:APH)(TSX:ACB)(TSX:WEED)last_img read more

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Dignitaries of Sahrawi tribes condemn Algerias hostile positions against Moroccos territorial

first_imgLaayoune – Dignitaries of Sahrawi tribes in the southern provinces condemned, Thursday, the hostile positions of Algeria against Morocco’s territorial integrity.In a joint statement, the dignitaries denounced the multiplying acts of hostility expressed clearly in the message sent on October 28 by Algerian president to a conference in Abuja.They reaffirmed the attachment of the Sahrawi population to the glorious Alawite throne, stressing that the achievements made in development and the major projects initiated in all regions of the Kingdom, in the southern provinces in particular, testify to the commitment of the Kingdom to modernizing and strengthening the democratic edifice. They also noted that the maneuvers by Algiers to undermine the territorial integrity of the Kingdom will only further strengthen the attachment of the Saharawi people to the sacred values ??of the nation and the proposal for autonomy in the southern provinces, welcomed by the international community.last_img read more

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FA Says Mourinho Made a Mistake Should Apologize to Eva Carneiro

Miami – The Football Association chairman, Greg Dyke, released a statement saying that Chelsea’s manager José Mourinho lacked judgment and made a mistake for which he should have apologized to the club’s former medic, Eva Carneiro.“Personally I don’t think Mr. Mourinho comes well out of the whole saga – he clearly made a mistake in the heat of a game, and should have said so and apologized,” read Dyke’s statement reported by Press Association Sport.The Portuguese coach does not seem to leave the spotlight this season and his public fallout with Carneiro almost cost him a five-match ban and charges of using discriminatory ‘sexist’ language. Although the Football Association announced on Wednesday they dropped the charges and Mourinho will not face any action for having allegedly insulted the female doctor, the FA’s chairman thinks Mouronho acted poorly.“Our regulatory team have investigated this and while Mr. Mourinho has breached no rules it was clearly a failure of his personal judgement and public behavior. This should be seen as such by the game,” stressed Dyke.Meanwhile, the ‘blues’ boss seems reluctant to talk about the Carneiro issue and recently said from the Chelsea training center that for the time being, “I read and I listen and I watch – and I’m quiet”.The FA chairman might be far from witnessing any apology from Mourinho to his former club’s doctor. “For the past two months I didn’t open my mouth and I’m going to keep like this,” emphasized the tight-lipped Portuguese manager.Mourinho has been under fire for allegedly calling Eva Carneiro “filha de puta” (daughter of a whore) after the medic rushed on the pitch to treat injured Eden Hazard. An action that ‘The Special One’ considered out of place at a crucial point in the match.Following the incident, Mourinho released the doctor from first-team duties. She officially renounced from Chelsea last Tuesday. read more

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UN protocol on sharing benefits of worlds genetic wealth opens for signing

2 February 2011A new United Nations treaty on the equitable sharing of the planet’s wealth of genetic resources opened for signing today with Algeria, Brazil, Colombia and Yemen becoming the first countries to sign the protocol, which is also designed to conserve and protect the world’s diminishing resources. The Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from Their Utilization stipulates the basic rules on how nations will cooperate in obtaining genetic resources. It was adopted by the Conference of Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in the Japanese city of Nagoya in October last year.Ahmed Djoghlaf, the CBD Executive Secretary, told reporters at UN Headquarters today that the protocol is a “partnership between the user of the biodiversity or genetic resource and the owner.” He described it as “one of the most important legal instruments which will implement the concept of sustainable development and contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.”The Protocol will remain open for signing in the Secretary-General’s office for the next one year. It requires 50 State ratifications to enter into force, Mr. Djoghlaf said.The treaty outlines how benefits – for example, from when a plant’s genetics are turned into a commercial product, such as medicine – will be shared with countries and communities who conserved and managed that resource, in some cases for millennia.It also lays out rules on how substances and compounds derived from genetic resources will be dealt with, as well as on the issue of pathogens, including how developed countries could obtain a flu virus in emergency situations to develop a vaccine to counter a possible epidemic.The Protocol builds on the Convention and supports the further implementation of one of its three objectives – the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of biodiversity.Genetic resources, whether from plant, animal or micro-organisms, are used for various purposes, ranging from basic research to the development of products.Users of genetic resources include research institutes, universities and private companies operating in various sectors such as pharmaceuticals, agriculture, horticulture, cosmetics and biotechnology.Benefits derived from genetic resources may include the sharing of the results of research and development carried out on genetic resources, the transfer of technologies which makes use of those resources, participation in biotechnological research activities, or monetary benefits arising from the commercialisation of products based on genetic resources, such as pharmaceuticals. read more

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Vital to keep borders open for people fleeing Libya UN agency stresses

“Given the continued reports of violence and human rights abuses inside Libya it is imperative that people fleeing the country are able to reach safety,” the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) stated in a news release.A string of UN officials and the Security Council have condemned the violence against protesters in recent days and urged an immediate end to the use of force by the Libyan authorities. Media reports say at least 300 people have been killed during the unrest that began over a week ago.There have also been reports of the use of military planes to attack protesters, the alleged involvement of foreign mercenaries in killing the protesters, and the arbitrary arrests of individuals including lawyers, human rights defenders and journalists. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), some 5,000 people have reportedly arrived at the Tunisian border and some 15,000 at the Egyptian border after fleeing the violence. UNHCR said it has deployed staff to the Ras Adjir border crossing between Tunisia and Libya to monitor the situation and identify vulnerable individuals who need immediate assistance, and more staff members are being flown in today.There has been a steady flow of people at the border since yesterday, UNHCR said, adding that most of the arrivals are Tunisian nationals who have been working in Libya. They are currently staying in local hostels, shelters and with local families. The Tunisian Ministry of Defence has identified a location for the establishment of a temporary camp in the event of a large influx of people, and UNHCR will work with the authorities to set up the camp.A UNHCR flight carrying tents and other relief items for up to 10,000 people is expected to arrive in Tunisia this weekend.OCHA noted that it is difficult to assess humanitarian needs because of extremely poor communications. However, it is concerned about access to health services for the injured, lack of medical supplies as well as the need for blood. 23 February 2011The United Nations refugee agency today welcomed the “positive indications” it has received from Tunisia and Egypt that they will keep their borders open for people fleeing violence in neighbouring Libya. read more

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Major General Milinda Peiris new army Chief of Staff

In addition to the Vice Chancellor’s portfolio, Major General Milinda Peiris has been appointed as a member of the National Education Commission of Sri Lanka, the Standing Committee on Quality Assurance and Accreditation Council of University Grants Commission, Sri Lanka, the Council of University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka, the Board of Management of the Lakshman Kadiragamar Institute for International Relations and Strategic Studies (LKIIRSS), and in the Board of Management of Defence Services Command & Staff College. He also serves as the Chairman of Sir John Kotelawala Memorial Trust. Further, Major General Milinda Peiris is the present Colonel Commandant of the Sri Lanka Armoured Corps, and prior to this appointment he served as the Colonel of the Regiment of the Mechanized Infantry Regiment for four years.Major General Milinda Peiris was recently conferred with the “award for Outstanding Contribution to Education” by the World Chancellors and Vice Chancellors Congress in recognition of “the strategic and iconic position occupied by him in the fraternity of Vice Chancellors as an agent of change in global education”. Major General Milinda Peiris holds a Masters degree in Philosophy (MPhil) awarded by the University of Madras, Postgraduate Diploma in Management from the Open University (OUSL) of Sri Lanka and a Diploma in Senior Level Defence Management from University of Indore, India.He is a recipient of Rana Wickrama Padakkama (RWP) and Rana Sura Padakkama (RSP) awarded for conspicuous gallantry in battle. He is also a recipient of the Uttama Seva Padakkama (USP) for his unblemished military career in the Army and the Legion of Merit (LOM) which is a military decoration of the United States Armed Forces awarded for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements. (Colombo Gazette) Major General Milinda was the Military Assistant at the Army Commander’s Secretariat and also the Grade 1 Staff Officer at the Military Secretary’s Branch. He commanded the 5th Regiment of the Sri Lanka Armoured Corps with distinction. He was also the Commanding Officer of the Officer Cadet Wing at the Sri Lanka Military Academy. Subsequently, he commanded the 561 Infantry Brigade and the 232 Infantry Brigade while serving as the Coordinating Officer for the respective areas of responsibility, i.e. Omanthai and Valachchainai in the Northern and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka. Thereafter, he commanded the Armoured Brigade and also worked as the Director Armour at the Army Headquarters. Then he served as the Director Operations at the Joint Operations Headquarters prior to being appointed as the Defence, Military, Naval and Air Attaché for Sri Lanka in the USA. Major General Milinda Peiris commanded the 22 Division in Trincomalee as the General Officer Commanding during operations that liberated the East – The role and task of GOC of 22 Division was highly complicated due to the presence of multi religious and multi ethnic communities in the region. However, Major General Milinda Peiris performed his duties with distinction by apprehending this dynamic complexity. On completion of the prestigious advance military studies at the National Defence College in India, he was appointed as the Vice Chancellor of General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University. Subsequently he was appointed as the Director General of the Centre for Research and Development, Ministry of Defence (MOD) and he was also appointed as the Military Secretary to the Commander of the Army. Major General Milinda Peiris, the Vice Chancellor at the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University (KDU), has been appointed as the new Chief of Staff (COS) of the Sri Lanka Army effective from 12 February 2016.Major General Milinda Peiris who has a distinguished career in the Army for 35 years is attached to the Sri Lanka Armoured Corps (SLAC). He is the 47th Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Army, the second highest appointment in the organization. Major General Milinda Peiris joined the Sri Lanka Army as an Officer Cadet in 1980 and had his basic training at the Officers Training School in Madras, India. He was commissioned into the 1st Reconnaissance Regiment Sri Lanka Armoured Corps as a 2nd Lieutenant on completion of his training. He has held vital and important appointments in the Army commensurate with each rank. He is a graduate of National Defence College, New Delhi, Command and Staff College, Bangladesh and Armour School, Fort Knox, Kentucky, USA. He has had higher military training in both India and Pakistan. He was the chief of a technical military delegation to Ukraine and was a member of technical military delegations to Russia, Ukraine and Czech Republic. read more

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IAEA urges DPR of Korea to reconsider decision to pull out of

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today urged the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to reconsider its decision to withdraw from a global nuclear weapons treaty and urged Pyongyang to engage in dialogue with the international community.”I strongly urge the DPRK to reverse its decision and to seek instead a diplomatic solution,” said IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei of the country’s decision to pull out of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). “This is the only way to address the DPRK’s security and other concerns.”Mr. ElBaradei described the move as “a continuation of a policy of defiance and was counterproductive to ongoing efforts to achieve peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula.”He added that “the NPT, with its 188 States Parties, is the cornerstone of the international community’s efforts to control the spread of nuclear weapons. A challenge to the integrity of that Treaty may constitute a threat to international peace and security.”The Director-General reminded the DPRK of the international community’s readiness to engage it in a dialogue toward a peaceful settlement once Pyongyang had shown signs of readiness to come into compliance with its international non-proliferation obligations, but not under the threat of nuclear blackmail.Mr. ElBaradei noted that under Article 10 of the Treaty, a decision to withdraw could only be effected after three months. He expressed the hope that, as a matter of urgency, the international community and the DPRK through dialogue would arrive at an agreed and peaceful solution.The Director-General was in Washington, D.C., today for meetings with United States Sen. Richard Lugar, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice and US Secretary of State Colin Powell. read more

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High rate of Māori in prison among concerns as UN experts wrap

Speaking in Auckland yesterday at the end of their first official visit to the country, members of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention noted that, overall, legislation and policy concerning deprivation of liberty in New Zealand is well-developed and generally consistent with international human rights law and standards. At the same time, they urged the authorities to address a number of concerns. “If a prisoner has fully served the sentence imposed at the time of conviction, equivalent detention cannot be imposed under the label of civil preventive detention,” said expert Mads Andenas, who currently heads the Working Group. “The substantive grounds for detention must be defined with sufficient precision to avoid overly broad or arbitrary application.” He stressed that the over-representation of Māori also poses “a significant challenge,” noting that the members of indigenous group make up for more than 50 per cent of the prison population while they comprise some 15 per cent of the country’s population. The group urged the authorities to address the disproportionate negative impacts on Māori of criminal justice legislation extending sentences or reducing probation or parole, while recommending a review of the degree of inconsistencies and systemic bias against Māori at all the different levels of the criminal justice system. “The authorities should continue searching for creative and integrated solutions to the root causes which lead to disproportionate incarceration rates of the Māori population in New Zealand,” he said. During the visit, the group paid particular attention to the situation of refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants in an irregular situation. In 2012, the Government accepted 690 refugees from third countries for resettlement and made efforts to facilitate their integration in the country. The experts noted that New Zealand is using the prison system and police stations to detain irregular migrants and asylum-seekers, although the country does not have a mandatory detention policy for asylum-seekers, refugees or migrants in an irregular situation. “Detention of asylum-seekers, refugees and migrants in an irregular situation should normally be avoided and be a measure of last resort,” said Roberto Garretón, the other member of the group’s visiting delegation. “Alternatives to detention should always be given preference. Humane and cost-effective mechanisms such as community release programmes can be very successful,” he underscored. Concerning the detention of persons with mental or intellectual disabilities, the experts pointed out that that the legislative framework is not effectively implemented to ensure that arbitrary deprivation of liberty does not occur. “Compulsory treatment orders are largely clinical decisions and it is difficult to effectively challenge such orders,” Mr. Andenas said. “Persons undergoing compulsory assessments are often unrepresented in practice, as they do not have access to legal aid.” The experts also noted that, despite the increasing phenomenon of older persons staying in residential care, there is very little protection available to ensure that they are not arbitrarily deprived of their liberty against their will. Lastly, the expert group expressed concern that a notable gap remains in relation to the legislative protection available to children aged 17 years, who are considered as adults for penal responsibility effects, tried as adults and, if condemned, are sent to adult prisons. The experts urged the authorities to extend protection measures to include 17 year olds, as recommended by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and the UN Committee Against Torture. The final report of the group’s 15-day mission will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in September 2015. read more

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The Patriots Steal Back The Top Ranking

1983WASMIAWASWAS: 20 | MIA: 0 DEN56DAL55DEN-14.2– Source: Pro-Football-Reference.com The Week 2 winner is …Congratulations to Tristan Smith from Nova Scotia, Canada, who scored 282.2 points in Week 2. Tristan, a financial analyst by trade, correctly picked 15 of 16 winners, including picking the Cardinals, Raiders, Seahawks and Patriots at 100 percent confidence.Remember: You can start playing the prediction game this week, even if you didn’t get your picks in Weeks 1-2.Check out our latest NFL predictions. IND53%ARI67%ARI+14.1– 1981OAKDALOAKDAL: 11 | OAK: 0 1974MIAMINMIAMIA: 3 | MIN: 1 OAK74OAK88OAK+4.1– 1992WASSFWASSF: 14 | WAS: 1✓ Who wants to be No. 1?Seasons during which the team ranked No. 1 by Elo rating in the preseason was passed in Week 1 and then retook the top slot after Week 2, 1970-2017 OUR PICKWIN PROB.READERS’ PICKWIN PROB.ACTUAL WINNERREADERS’ NET POINTS CIN63CIN59HOU+1.1– LAR55LAR54WSH-1.6– MIA52LAC55MIA-9.5– 1993DALSFDALDAL: 17 | SF: 2✓ ATL63ATL50ATL-15.1– BAL82BAL82BAL-2.9– How did readers do against FiveThirtyEight’s picks?Average difference between points won by readers and by Elo across Week 2 matchups in FiveThirtyEight’s NFL betting game 2017NEKCNE— SEA84SEA89SEA+0.1– 1970KCMINKCMIN: 20 | KC: 0 NO. 1 AFTER … SEASONPREWEEK 1WEEK 2REMAINING WEEKS AT NO. 1MET IN PLAYOFFS? KC73KC71KC-3.6– So much for settling in at the top. A week ago in this space, I noted that the Kansas City Chiefs had vaulted to No. 1 in our NFL Elo ratings, leapfrogging the previously top-rated New England Patriots with a win over the Pats in Week 1. Well, K.C.’s reign in first place turned out to be brief: The Pats retook the top slot in Week 2, bumping the Chiefs down to second.I know what you’re thinking: Kansas City won on Sunday, so what gives? You can dig deep into Elo’s methodology here, but the basic premise is that it assigns each team a power rating that can be used to predict the outcome of any game. Once that game is in the books, Elo takes rating points away from the loser and gives them to the winner, in proportion with how unlikely the victory was (upsets shift the ratings more than routine wins) and the winner’s edge on the scoreboard (big wins are worth more, although there are diminishing returns to running up the score).In the case of the Chiefs and Patriots, K.C. was a heavier favorite to win Sunday — 73 percent at home versus Philadelphia, as opposed to New England’s 64 percent chance on the road against New Orleans — but ended up winning by fewer points — only 7, as opposed to the Pats’ 16-point margin. So even though the win boosted Kansas City’s Elo rating by 10 points, New England gained 19, enough to erase the Chiefs’ slight Elo edge going into the weekend. (The margin between the teams is still extremely small.)Early in an NFL season, it’s rare to see two teams pass the Elo baton of No. 1 back and forth like this. Before 2017, the last time a preseason No. 1 was overtaken in Week 1 and then reclaimed the top slot in Week 2 was in 1993, when the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers fought over the top ranking. It was a harbinger of things to come that season: The Cowboys and Niners faced off in the NFC championship game, and Dallas went on to win its second-straight Super Bowl. CAR66CAR71CAR+0.7– JAX59TEN52TEN+9.0– PIT71PIT65PIT-7.5– TB76TB73TB-4.1– NYG57NYG50DET+4.2– There was a similar situation in the previous season: Washington, the reigning Super Bowl champions, and San Francisco scrambled for No. 1 in the season’s first month. Washington would stumble that year to a 9-7 record but would eventually meet the Niners in the divisional round and lose.But that kind of duel doesn’t usually last much beyond September. In all but one such case since 1970, one of the two teams quickly seized the baton and ran away with it, dominating the top ranking for most of the rest of the season. The exception was in 1974, when John Madden’s Oakland Raiders and Chuck Noll’s Pittsburgh Steelers swooped in and stole No. 1 from both Miami and Minnesota. Either Oakland or Pittsburgh ended up holding the top slot for all but one of the season’s final 17 weeks. (“The Steel Curtain” would defeat the Raiders in the AFC championship game, win its first Super Bowl and dominate the rest of the decade.)Given its dynastic pedigree and Tom Brady’s rebound performance against New Orleans, New England might seem the likely candidate to tighten its grip on No. 1 and hang onto it the rest of the way. But take heart, K.C. fans: Even though the Chiefs are No. 2 in the ratings, Elo gives the Chiefs a better chance than the Patriots of making the playoffs (83 percent to 76 percent) and winning the Super Bowl (14 percent to 12 percent).FiveThirtyEight vs. The CrowdIn Week 2 of our NFL prediction game — in which we invite you to pick football games and try to outsmart our Elo algorithm — FiveThirtyEight’s readers fared slightly better than the computer model, scoring some big wins. One instance in which our readers trounced the model was the Tennessee-Jacksonville game, where the average player picked the Titans to win on the road with 52 percent confidence. The model, which failed to factor in the Jaguars’ inherent Jaguar-ness, had the home team winning at 59 percent. The Jags lost, and it wasn’t close.Readers were also more likely to fade the sad excuse for a football team known as the New York Jets. The Elo model gave the Oakland Raiders a 74 percent chance of winning at home, while readers had 88 percent confidence in Oakland — rightly knowing that the Jets (who systematically shed most of their talent this offseason) stood little chance in the Raiders’ home opener.Elo had its wins, too. The model was more confident than readers were that the reigning NFC champion Atlanta Falcons would win at home against the Green Bay Packers; it gave the Falcons a 63 percent chance of winning, while the average reader saw the game as a coin flip (50 percent). Likewise, Elo predicted the Denver Broncos to stand their ground against the Dallas Cowboys despite their being a home underdog according to the Vegas betting line — while the average player (wrongly) backed Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and company.Here are all the games from the second week of the season, in order of how many more points FiveThirtyEight readers earned, on average, than the model (or vice versa): NE64NE75NE+3.9– read more

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LETTER Justification for G606M emergency medical contract is obscene and insulting

Dear Editor,Even Cabinet members find Minister Volda Lawrence’s explanation for sole-sourcing the G$606M no-tender emergency purchase of medicines from ANSA McAL incredulous. She is being asked to make a second attempt at explaining herself.On Monday morning, she gave another scandalous explanation. Clearly, Minister Lawrence and the APNU+AFC are twisting like pretzel to explain another scandalous, corrupt deal. Who is responsible? The buck has to stop somewhere. The first stop is the Minister of Public Health, the final stop is the President.The President insists that people would be disciplined if wrongdoings were committed. There is now no question that wrongdoings had been committed. So, will Minister Lawrence be disciplined? Or will the “moles” and other staff be the fall guys, taking the rap for corruption that at least Minister Lawrence, by her approval of the sole-sourced contract, is totally complicit in.Minister Lawrence cannot be serious when she justifies the ANSA McAL contract on the basis of a donation of refrigerators worth a few hundred thousand dollars for a transaction of more than G$606 million, with overpayment of almost G$300M. It is apposite to note that for over a decade, the NEW GPC had provided, for free, warehouse space of thousands of square feet, including cold storage worth hundreds of millions of dollars.For good measure, Minister Lawrence defended the high prices charged for the medicines by saying that the supplier had to air-freight the medicines. Again, this cannot justify sole-sourcing, and cannot justify the absurdly inflated prices. The resort to a petty donation as justification for a G$606M contract is obscene and insulting.Minister Lawrence insists that she had to approve the contract because of the shortage of supplies, and was therefore acting in the interest of the people. But these shortages have been chronic since June 2015. In fact, George Norton, the former Public Health Minister, confessed this past week that the Public Health Ministry has been plagued with medicine shortages since June 2015. In early 2016, Norton had explained that the shortages had to do with the implementation of a more accountable procurement arrangement.This makes Minister Lawrence’s explanation an unholy smokescreen, deliberately thrown up as she tries to spin the corrupt transaction as a response to an “emergency”.While rampant chronic shortages of medicines have existed in the public health system since June 2015, the “emergency” claimed by Minister Lawrence was not driven by those shortages, but was an engineered “emergency” designed to provide “rewards” to chosen beneficiaries.The Minister identified “moles” as part of the problem, but “moles” did not cause the shortage; cancellations and delays of tenders compounded chronic shortages. Moles did not sole-source items for an “engineered” emergency worth over G$606M; the Minister approved the contract. The “moles” did not transact a corrupt deal; the GPHC and the Ministry of Public Health, part of the APNU+AFC machinery, committed a corrupt deal.Lawrence further cast blame on rogue staff of the GPHC and the Public Health Ministry for complicity in creating the “emergency”, but shortages of medicines and delays and cancellations of tenders have been ongoing for now almost 20 months, while APNU+AFC have stoutly denied shortages in Parliament and to the public.Minister Lawrence also equated the “emergency” with the non-delivery of medicines by contractors who failed to supply medicines, even though they were given contracts and paid. She neglected to provide information about the delinquent suppliers. Information is available that certain suppliers bid low prices in 2015 and 2016, some through sole-sourced contracts; and they failed to deliver, seeking to renegotiate the prices. One even brought in medicines from questionable sources, only for the Analyst Food and Drug Department to refuse the medicines entry.But these are not reasons for sole-sourcing, unless the Minister is now saying that only ANSA McAL is qualified to supply medicines to the Public Health system.Unfortunately, sole-sourced contracts have become a well-entrenched form of procurement under the APNU+AFC. As the corruption of this deal is further exposed, APNU+AFC and its allies are busy trying to distract and obfuscate. A fake news story in one section of the media charged that the NEW GPC did not deliver all its supplies in a 2015 contract. The New GPC has offered proof in the form of delivery notes to show that the Ministry of Health had received all medicines for which the NEW GPC was contracted to supply. Another fake story claimed that of another G$900M worth of sole-sourced medicines, the New GPC got a G$400M contract. The NEW GPC insists its officials were approached in early March to supply G$20M worth of “emergency” medicines, which was supplied within 24 hours!This is plain and simple corruption, nothing less. The Guyanese people must show unreserved revulsion at the abuse of tax payers’ money.Sincerely,Dr Leslie Ramsammy Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Related$605M Drug scandal: No reason for COI into Lawrence’s involvement – HarmonMarch 24, 2017In “Business”No credible evidence was ever presented to support allegations against NEW GPC- NandlallMarch 18, 2017In “Opinion”$605M Pharma scandal: There are grounds for Lawrence’s dismissal- PPPMarch 20, 2017In “Business” read more

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Kuwait Bans DSLR Cameras

first_imgIf you’re planning a trip to Kuwait, don’t take your DSLR Camera. The country’s Ministry of information, Ministry of Social Affairs, and the Ministry of Finance have all effectively banned the cameras in Kuwait, making it illegal to use DSLRs in public places unless you can prove that you’re a journalist and using the camera for journalistic purposes. The ban has left a number of people – mostly outside of the country – confused as to what precipitated the ban, since small compact cameras are still legal, as are cell phone cameras, but there’s naturally going to be a chilling effect as tourists and the general public in the country simply decide not to use their cameras instead of try to explain to the authorities that their specific camera is legal. There’s no official word from the Kuwaiti government on why they banned DSLRs in the first place, or what the effect will be on photographers or artists in the country who want to take photos in public, but if you’re planning a trip to the middle eastern country, what your airline’s baggage handlers will do with your DSLR should be the least of your worries now. [via The Next Web]last_img read more

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