A Raphoe farmer who was forced to put down two calves after his herd appeared to be malnourished has been found not guilty of cruelty to animals.Letterkenny Court.Ivor Russell appeared at Letterkenny District Court charged with the incident at Manorcunningham on October 19th, 2012. Gardai received an anonymous tip-off that cows at Mr Russell’s farm had not been fed and were in a poor state.Garda Denise Cassidy said when they arrived they witnessed a number of cattle who looked unwell and unfed.Three of the 15 calves in the field could not get up and twi of them looked particularly bad.Another 28 calves in the back of the field also appeared to be malnourished, said Garda Cassidy.She said there was no sign of any fee and the field look bare.She contacted the Donegal Animal Hospital and two vets, Gerard Roarty and Aimee Martin, arrived a short time later.Mr Roarty said it was dark when he arrived and he had to use a flashlight to examine the herd.He was forced to utinise two of the calves.Garda Cassidy got the tag numbers of the calves, contacted the Department of Agriculture and found the owner was Ivor Russell of Braehead, Raphoe.When interviewed by Gardai, Mr Russell said he had fed the animals two hours before Gardai arrived and that the calves were suffering from pneumonia.He told Gardai that he had injected some of the calves for pneumonia and said he thought it was unfair that Gardai didn’t look at the calves in daylight.He also added that he agreed there was not a lot of grass in the field but the animals were fed hay and they also got meal twice a day.When cross-examined Dr Roarty said he could not say without a post mortem how the animals died.He also added that pneumonia was a common form of death amongst bull calves.Solicitor Donagh Cleary said he was looking for a direction in the case because it had not been proven that the calves died from malnourishment.Judge Paul Kelly agreed and said that in a criminal case, the case had to be proven beyond all reasonable doubt.He added that there was no evidence before the court that malnutrition was the cause of death of the calves.He dismissed the charge against Mr Russell.FARMER FORCED TO PUT DOWN CALVES IS FOUND NOT GUILTY OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS was last modified: March 18th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:calvescrueltydonegalIvor RussellRaphoe
21 July 2015A teaching and learning programme to create paperless classrooms in 375 high schools would start rolling out today, said the Gauteng department of education.The programme is about combining and using a range of technology like interactive boards and mobile devices such as tablets and laptops with internet connectivity, to conduct teaching and learning. There will be unlimited data usage from 5am to 9pm.Empowerment and responsibility“A child of a domestic worker or a child of a gardener or a child of an unemployed parent will have a tablet in their hands,” Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi told Grade 12 pupils at the Grace Bible Church in Soweto. “Gone are the days where only those that are rich will have a quality education.”The top three students in their schools would also be given a four-year bursary, he said.“We are empowering you that when you finish your education and are given a form in a bank, and they ask you how much you earn, you will cancel that and say I don’t earn a salary, I pay salaries.”He warned that social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp would not be allowed on the devices. Pornography sites would also be blocked. “With every tablet, we will get an activity report which will show us which sites you visited,” he told the pupils.In numbers“The department has also purchased over 17 000 tablets for Grade 12 learners and 1 800 3D LED interactive boards that are currently being installed in matric classrooms at the targeted schools,” said the department.Over 4 000 classrooms were also re-furbished with new ceilings and specialised lights and blinds to cater for the lighting requirements of the interactive boards. The boards are integrated with the tablets to increase interaction between teachers and students during class.Security riskEarlier this year, tablets were recalled from schools. They needed to have additional security measures installed to stop theft of the devices.“The devices have been fitted with trackers to ensure that they are traceable should they get lost,” said the department. All schools were also linked to police stations to ensure rapid response.Lesufi said if a pupil’s device was being stolen, the student should not act like Rambo and fight the criminals. “Your life comes first.” In addition, if a matriculant did not return the device after the exams, the school would withhold the pupil’s results until it was returned.“This tablet belongs to government. not you. But you are allowed to take pictures with your friends and family.”The deadline for the completion of the renovations to the classrooms, mainly in schools in townships and rural areas, is the end of August.SAinfo reporter
Former Punjab BJP president and senior party leader Kamal Sharma passed away on the morning of October 27 after suffering a heart attack in Ferozepur district.Mr. Sharma, 48, went for a morning walk when he suffered a heart attack, a close aide of Mr. Sharma saidHe was taken to a local hospital, where doctors declared him brought dead, he said.Mr. Sharma is survived by his wife and two children.Two hours back, Mr. Sharma had greeted people on Deepavali through his Twitter handle.
A Canadian man, his American wife and their three young children have been released after being held captive for years by a network with ties to the Taliban, U.S. and Pakistani officials said Thursday.Pakistan’s army secured the release of Joshua Boyle and his wife Caitlan Coleman, who were abducted five years ago while travelling in Afghanistan and had been held by the Haqqani network.U.S. officials had planned on moving the family out of Pakistan on a U.S. transport plane, but at the last minute Boyle would not get on, the official said.Another U.S. official said Boyle was nervous about being in “custody” given his background. Boyle was previously married to the sister of Omar Khadr, who spent 10 years at Guantanamo Bay after being captured when he was 15 in a 2002 firefight at an al-Qaeda compound in Afghanistan.A Canadian man, his American wife and their three young children born during the couple’s five years in captivity were freed in a Pakistani commando raid and shootout, authorities announced Thursday.The Pakistani military said Joshua Boyle, his wife Caitlan Coleman and their children had been freed in “an intelligence-based operation” after they’d crossed the border from Afghanistan, where they had been abducted by a group with ties to the Taliban.Tariq Azim Khan, the country’s high commissioner to Canada, said once the military received word of the family’s whereabouts from U.S. intelligence authorities, they acted quickly.Khan described a dramatic scene in which gunshots rang out as the family was intercepted by Pakistani forces while being transported by their captors in the trunk of a van.Intelligence officials in Pakistan said the confrontation happened near a road crossing in the Nawa Kili area of the district of Kohat in northwest Pakistan.“We know there was a shootout and Pakistan commandos carried out an attack and rescued the hostages,” Khan said from London.Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, who has met with the Boyle family in the past, said they had endured an “absolutely horrible ordeal.” Freeland refused to describe the circumstances of the release, citing security reasons but said Canada had been working with the U.S., Pakistan and Afghanistan, whom she thanked.“We all have to really remember what a traumatic experience this family has gone through – really unspeakable,” Freeland said in Mexico City.Boyle and Coleman, who was pregnant at the time of the abduction, were held by the Haqqani network, a group U.S. officials call a terrorist organization.Boyle’s parents, who live in Smiths Falls, Ont., said their son and his family intend to come to Canada.“The family has chosen Canada,” Patrick Boyle said Thursday evening. “We’re hoping to know ourselves when we get to go pick them up.”The family were safe but exhausted, Patrick Boyle said.“We just spoke to them again recently, Boyle said. “He (Joshua) said they’ve all been up since Tuesday so he was very pleased, he’s running on empty.”In anticipation of the release, Canadian authorities had travelled to Smiths Falls and woke Boyle up early Thursday morning to give him the news.“They’d been in a hotel two minutes down the street for the better part of the day, waiting for approval to tell us they’d been released,” Boyle said.“We got a call at one a.m. saying ‘we’ll be at your door in five minutes and it’s not bad news.”‘He said he and his family were “over the top” Thursday at word of the release.“We struggled with every dark spot in the last five years, today that’s sort of parked,” he said.Joshua’s mother Linda had no doubt what the first thing she intended to do when she sees her son and family.“Hug them, slobber kisses all over them,” she said. Related content:Timeline: Captivity of Joshua Boyle and his familyColeman’s parents, meanwhile, posted a statement on the door of their Pennsylvania home saying they appreciated “all the interest and concern being expressed at the joyful news that Caity, Josh and our grandchildren have been released after five long years of captivity.”A U.S. national security official, who wasn’t authorized to discuss the case publicly, said the family were together in a safe location in Pakistan. American officials had planned on moving the family out of Pakistan on a U.S. transport plane but Boyle refused to board, the official said.Another U.S. official said Boyle was nervous about being in “custody” given that he was previously married to Zaynab Khadr, the sister of Canadian Omar Khadr, who spent 10 years at Guantanamo Bay after being captured when he was 15 in Afghanistan.Officials discounted any link between that background and Boyle’s capture and Freeland stressed that Boyle was not the focus of any investigation.Patrick Boyle suggested it was a matter of principle because his son was told the plane would have stopped at Bagram air base in Afghanistan, which American authorities had once used to ship detainees to its Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba where many languished for years under harsh conditions.“I just think he just saw it as unnecessary and philosophically he finds it offensive,” said Boyle, who added that his son was effusive in his praise of his rescuers and is eager to cooperate with authorities and bring his captors to justice.The release came nearly five years to the day since Boyle and Coleman lost touch with their families while travelling in a mountainous region near the Afghan capital, Kabul.The couple had set off in the summer 2012 for a journey that took them to Russia, the central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, and then to Afghanistan. Coleman’s parents last heard from their son-in-law on Oct. 8, 2012, from an internet cafe in what Boyle described as an “unsafe” part of Afghanistan.The couple appeared in a series of videos beginning in 2013, which were shared online. In one posted last December, the pair urged governments on all sides to reach a deal to secure the family’s freedom. Boyle’s parents had said the clip marked the first time they had seen their two grandchildren.They have said it was heartbreaking to watch their grandchildren observing their surroundings while listening to their mother describe how they were made to watch her being “defiled.”“It is an indescribable emotional sense one has watching a grandson making faces at the camera, while hearing our son’s leg chains clanging up and down on the floor as he tries to settle his son,” the Boyles said in a written statement at the time. “It is unbelievable that they have had to shield their sons from their horrible reality for four years.”The parents said their son told them in a letter that he and his wife tried to protect their children by pretending their signs of captivity are part of a game being played with guards.In the clip, Coleman said she and her family had been living a “Kafkaesque nightmare” since 2012. The Boyles had said their daughter-in-law could not have used a more accurate term.In commenting on news of the family’s release from captivity, U.S. Premier Donald Trump praised Pakistan for its willingness to “do more to provide security in the region.” Baldor reported from Tampa and Colvin from Washington. Associated Press writer Jon Gambrell in Dubai contributed to this report.