BJP to corner Naveen govt. over ‘corruption’

first_imgThe BJP State unit on Monday announced a massive campaign to corner the Naveen Patnaik government on issues of alleged corruption and misrule. “We are going to stage demonstrations in front of every block office from October 27 to 30. Blocks have become centres of corruption. Development work is being ignored while the BJD leaders are busy collecting funds by misusing different schemes,” said State BJP chief Basant Panda at a press conference here.‘Only for BJD workers’ “In the name of its own State food security scheme, foodgrains are being distributed only among BJD workers and the government machinery is being misused,” he alleged. Mr. Panda also announced that a padayatra would be taken out in every village from November 1 to 30 against 19 years of the BJD government’s “misrule”. “The signature campaign being carried out by the party demanding implementation of the Ayushman Bharat scheme in Odisha has received a huge response. We will submit one crore signatures to the Governor very shortly,” the State BJP chief said. “The people of Odisha have understood the conspiracy of the government… they are being deprived of the benefits of the Ayushman Bharat scheme. The State government is not letting the people of Odisha take advantage of Central schemes,” he charged. Issues and strategies were discussed at the party’s extended State executive meeting here on Sunday.last_img read more

Aqua line Metro linking Noida and Greater Noida opens for public

first_imgThe much-awaited metro rail linking the twin-cities of Noida and Greater Noida in Gautam Buddh Nagar was opened for the public on Friday by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. The rail corridor, also known as the Aqua Line, would run between Sector 71 station in Noida and the Depot Station in Greater Noida. There are a total of 21 stations on the corridor — 15 of them in Noida and six in Greater Noida — spread over a distance of 29.7 km.“Today we dedicate the Noida Greater Noida metro rail to the people of the region. The Aqua Line, which has been completed in record time, will provide better connectivity to the region and prove to a milestone in development of the region,” Mr. Adityanath said. The final and mandatory safety inspection of the corridor was done in December 2018 by the Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) which gave its approval to the Noida Metro Rail Corporation (NMRC) for launching commercial operations. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), which operates the Delhi Metro, will assist the NMRC over the next one year in operating the Aqua Line. The Aqua line, which will have 19 rakes with four cars each, will halt on the Sector 76, 101, 81, NSEZ, Noida Sector 83, 137, 142, 143, 144, 145, 146, 147, 148, and Greater Noida’s Knowledge Park II, Pari Chowk, Alpha 1, Delta 1, GNIDA Office and Depot metro stations. However, a major concern among the people has been that the interchange stations of the DMRC-operated Blue Line and the NMRC’s Aqua Line are not seamless. Commuters will have to get down at the Sector 52 metro station of the Blue Line, which will further get extended to the Noida Electronic City station, and reach the Noida Sector 51 station of the Aqua Line, covering a stretch of around 300 metres. Earlier, the NMRC had said a skywalk or a foot-over bridge to directly link the two stations was under consideration but there have been no talks about it lately. The NMRC had in December 2018 announced fares for the Aqua Line, with the minimum being Rs 9 and the maximum Rs 50. Commuters can buy QR-coded paper tickets or use the smart cards to get 10 per cent discount on fares, the officials said. The 49th battalion of the UP PAC has been entrusted with the responsibility of security on the Aqua Line, while some private security personnel will also be deployed.“The security personnel are being trained by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which guards the Delhi Metro,” the NMRC had said.The trains are designed to run at a maximum speed of 80 kmph, clocking an average speed of 37.5 kmph. Seat reservation through different colours has been done in the coaches for ladies, senior citizens and differently-abled persons. A dedicated space has been provided for wheelchair in driving trailer cars at both the ends of the trains, according to officials. The Aqua Line, whose construction started in May 2015 and was completed in record time, was initially expected to be opened for public in November 2018, then December.last_img read more

Graft-hit government postpones Monsoon session of Parliament

first_imgDeviating from convention, the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA) has decided to convene the monsoon session of Parliament on August 1, to be concluded on September 8, triggering strong protests from the BJP and the Left parties.The Opposition alleged that the government was trying to run away from discussions. Usually, the month-long monsoon session begins around the third week of July.Apart from the Lokpal Bill, the government is also contemplating to bring the controversial women’s reservation Bill in the ensuing session in its bid to divide the Opposition and divert attention from the Lokpal Bill.Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar has convened an allparty meeting on Wednesday to discuss the women’s quota Bill. Congress spokesperson Jayanti Natarajan said the party wants the Bill cleared in the monsoon session itself.Refuting the BJP-CPM charge that the government had deliberately delayed the session, parliamentary affairs minister P.K. Bansal said there have been instances of the session being called in August.Some Congress leaders, trying to justify the delay in the monsoon session, said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh may go in for a cabinet reshuffle in the first week of July and the new ministers would need time to familiarise themselves with their portfolios.However, the BJP and the CPM slammed the move.Describing the decision as “shocking”, the BJP – led by veteran leader L.K. Advani – requested the President to call an early session “because there are pressing issues that Parliament needs to discuss. Instead of heeding that advice, the government has postponed the session,” BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.advertisementThe convention is broken only in “extreme” situations, he said. “You alter the timings of Parliament sessions only when there is a war or natural calamity or elections. Of course, if there is an undeclared Emergency, the ruling party can do anything it likes,” he said sarcastically.CPM politburo member Sitaram Yechury said the government’s decision was “most regrettable and unfortunate”.He said, “The budget session was also curtailed. We have been demanding that Parliament should be in session at least 100 days a year. This is the lowest in parliament democracy anywhere in the world. But this government, instead of even holding session for 100 days, is curbing it further.”Congress sources, however, said there was no hidden agenda behind the decision.”In the wake of Gandhian Anna Hazare’s threat that he would resort to fasting again from August 15 if the Lokpal Bill is not passed by then, the government’s first priority is to bring the anti-graft legislation to Parliament,” the sources said, adding that the government needed time to prepare the Bill.The draft report may be ready by the end of this month and an all-party meeting will be called in the first week of July to discuss it.The ministries concerned would then work on the draft Bill, which has to be approved by the cabinet.This process itself would take about a month, a senior Congress leader said.At the same time, sources in the party said the government wanted to counter the threat of Anna Hazare beginning the August 15 fast.”Once the Bill is tabled in Parliament, the government has no more any role to play. It is up to the political parties then to discuss it threadbare and either pass it or send it to the standing committee,” the sources said.For more news on India, click here.For more news on Business, click here.For more news on Movies, click here.For more news on Sports, click here.last_img read more

India has good chance in Sudirman Cup: Sindhu

first_imgMumbai, May 14 (PTI) All set to spearhead Indias campaign in the upcoming Sudirman Cup world mixed team badminton championships slated to be held in Australia, ace shuttler P V Sindhu is confident of a good show by the team.”I think we have a good chance, its a mixed team event so girls and boys both have to perform well. We are playing Indonesia and Denmark, so I hope we can win,” Sindhu said here last night after being conferred with the honorary life membership of the Cricket Club India.India, ranked no. 9, is placed in Group 1D with Denmark and Indonesia in the preliminary stage of the competition, scheduled from May 21-28. The team had finished 9th in the previous edition of the championships.India will depend a lot on the world no. 4-ranked Rio Olympic Games silver medallist in the event, from which another top woman shuttler and London Games bronze medal winner Saina Nehwal has pulled out due to family reasons.Since only one woman could play as its a mixed team event, Sindhu said Sainas absence should not be an issue.”Yes, Saina isnt playing, but when it comes to one singles and doubles only one player is required, so that shouldnt be any issue,” said the 21-year-old shuttler after having interacted with the CCI badminton-playing children at the clubs courts earlier.Sindhu has slipped down from the world no. 2 ranking she achieved after winning the Indian Open, and is eager to move up the ladder.advertisement”Currently Im on fourth (rank) and I expect to see myself in top three by the end of the year.”But I have already been in top two so I would definitely like to see myself as world number one, but before that I think you have to play well and if you do that ranking will automatically come,” she said.On current no.1 Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese-Taipei whom she had beaten on way to the silver medal in Rio, Sindhu said, “We havent played much recently. The last was Rio and All England. So I havent faced her recently.””But she is winning a lot of matches and doing well for herself. But when it comes to me playing against her, I feel its going to be a good match,” she said.Asked about the high points for her after winning the silver in Rio, the lanky shuttler said, “Winning China Open and Indian Open. I had always wanted to win a Super Series (event) and by fulfilling that I feel very happy and it gives me a lot of confidence.””After the Olympics Ive seen a lot of change, kids picking up badminton and also then a lot of academies have come up.”So, its a good sign and badminton as a sport is getting much more encouragement,” she said when asked about the changes she had seen in the shuttle game after her historic silver medal winning effort at Rio.Earlier during her interaction with the younger lot of club players, Sindhu evoked admiration when she said that she trained daily for 7-8 hours.She also said that players can learn a lot after losing a game by thinking back to the match and pinning down the errors they had made.”When I lose a point I dont think about it (at that stage) as thinking over it would make you lose the next 2-3 points,” Sindhu said. PTI SSR GK JMFlast_img read more

Stung by Longstaff report, Cricket Australia Chairman David Peever steps down

first_imgCricket Australia (CA) Chairman David Peever has stepped down from his role with immediate effect.Peever and the top-brass in CA were under fire following the scathing Longstaff report which came down heavily on the board’s governance and culture.Peever, who was recently re-elected for another three-year term, tendered his resignation at a CA board meeting on Thursday.Michael Vaughan blasts Australian cultural review: It is cringe worthyEarl Eddings, a former Cricket Victoria director who was confirmed as deputy chair at last week’s AGM, has been installed as interim chair until the Board convenes in the near future to undertake the process of making a permanent appointment.Cricket Australia described as ‘arrogant’ and ‘controlling’ in commission report”We thank David for his service. He has played a pivotal role in the elevation of women’s cricket, and the significant growth in attendance and participation.”He should also be acknowledged for his efforts in improving funding to the ICC full member nations outside Australia, England and India; overhauling governance of the ICC and reforming the Future Tours program, among a long list of achievements.Peter Siddle feels Smith, Warner and Bancroft should serve out ball-tampering bans”We look forward to continuing the important process of recovering and rebuilding for Cricket Australia and Australian Cricket,” Eddings said in a statement.”The Board is keenly aware that we have a way to go to earn back the trust of the cricket community. We and the executive team are determined to make cricket stronger,” the statement added.advertisementAustralian Cricketers’ Association wants Steve Smith, David Warner bans to be liftedPeever had come under heavy pressure following CA’s delayed release of the independent Longstaff report on Monday.The report blamed CA in part for the ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town in March that led to long suspensions for the test side’s former captain Steve Smith, and batsmen David Warner and Cameron Bancroft.It also described the board as “arrogant” and “controlling”, and of nurturing a culture of “winning without counting the costs”.CA delayed releasing the report until after Peever was re-elected at an annual general meeting last week, prompting heavy criticism from luminaries including former board boss Malcolm Speed and former Australia Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.At least three of Australia’s state cricket associations have declined to endorse Peever’s leadership since the review’s release on Monday, local media have reported.(With Reuters inputs)last_img read more

Watch MS Dhoni and Harbhajan Singh’s fun banter ahead of India-Pakistan clash

first_imgHarbhajan Singh and Mahendra Singh Dhoni shared a fun moment on the sidelines of the ground in Manchester on Saturday Indian players practiced hard for the upcoming mega-clash against Pakistan in the World Cup 2019 on Sunday (June 16).Harbhajan Singh, who is in England as part of the TV commentators’ panel, was giving an interview to India Today’s Vikrant Gupta about the match between India and Pakistan when he saw Dhoni walking by.Dhoni to Harbhajan as he walked by and the two had a brief banter with Harbhajan telling Dhoni that next year he could be a father once again.India and Pakistan are going to face off in the World Cup for the 7th time on Sunday with the Men in Blue holding a 6-0 advantage over their arch rivals. But rain looms large over the big-ticket match as weather forecast doesn’t look too good for Sunday.”I have been at the stadium for quite some time. There are a few wet patches but not a lot of them. I expect a full 50-over match tomorrow. However, if it rains then it depends on how much because the drainage at Old Trafford is not that great. This is a sand-based ground. If it rains, then it doesn’t soak in.”If a 50-over match happens, India can’t be beaten. Team is in good shape. They are feeling great, the mod in the camp is high and I just spoke to the players. They are looking very relaxed,” Harbhajan Singh told India Today.advertisementLooking at the conditions in Old Trafford and the weather forecast for Sunday, Harbhajan also feels that India might look to play an extra seamer in Mohammed Shami in place of chinaman Kuldeep Yadav.”We have been talking a lot about the match, building it up. The excitement is high because heroes can be made during India-Pakistan matches but these guys seem to be very relaxed. That’s a good thing. They are taking it like any other game. We know they are a confident, solid team. Let’s pray we get a 50-over game. I think the World Cup starts for India from tomorrow.”Kuldeep Yadav might not play and Shami might play. We are hearing such things. Vijay Shankar should play at No.4. Keeping in mind the wicket and the conditions, Mohammed Shami will get an opportunity to play. Playing 2 spinners might not work because Pakistan are good players of spin as well.”Vijay Shankar should play at No.4. Keeping in mind the wicket and the conditions, Mohammed Shami will get an opportunity to play. Playing 2 spinners might not work because Pakistan are good players of spin as well,” Harbhajan Sing said.Also Read | Rishabh Pant arrives in Manchester, shares a smile with Chacha ChicagoAlso Read | India vs Pakistan in World Cup: Recapping 6 Indian victories from 1992-2015Also Read | World Cup 2019: India won’t be overconfident because of 6-0 record vs Pakistan, says Sachin TendulkarAlso Read | India vs Pakistan: Rishabh Pant trains with MS Dhoni ahead of blockbuster World Cup clashlast_img read more

Khat Echahid Polisario Not Legitimate Representative of the Sahrawis

Rabat – Khat Echahid, a group of Saharawi di^polssidents, has addressed the international community in a letter that challenges Polisario’s current standing on the world stage. The letter, Al Ahdath Al Maghribia reported, aims to discredit Polisario, contesting the separatist front’s right to represent Western Sahara at the UN-led negotiating table. The group’s letter comes as all stakeholders in the conflict prepare to attend a UN-monitored roundtable in Geneva on December 5-6. According to Khat Echahid’s letter, the most sustainable solution to the dispute is a sincere dialogue between Algeria and Morocco. The takeaway, as the group’s statement went on to say, is that Polisario is a pawn and does not carry the legitimacy to sit at the negotiating table. “Only Morocco and Algeria are qualified to de-escalate tensions and ultimately end the conflict,” according to the Sahrawi group.Read also : Foreign Ministry Announces Official Delegation for Western Sahara TalksCreated in 1973, the Polisario Front is a separatist group that has been calling for independence in Western Sahara. According to Khat Echahid, however, the front is only a small group of combatants usurping Sahrawis’ political rights and profiting off the status quo. “Polisario only represents itself,” the dissidents’ message asserted.They claimed that the front is not any more legitimate or popular with locals than Khat Echahid is. Should the international community decide to proceed with Polisario at the Geneva roundtable, Khat Echahid believes they should also be invited to participate.  Accusing the separatist front of periodically de-escalating tensions to catch the world’s attention by presenting themselves as freedom fighters, Khat Echahid invited the UN to dispatch “an independent observatory group in refugee camps [in Tindouf] to see that Polisario does not carry any legitimacy.” Polisario, they stressed, tells a biased and incomprehensive story of the situation in Western Sahara as they “wish to eternally benefit off the current status quo.” Khat Echahid has recently established itself as the most outspoken and vocal anti-Polisario “internal opposition party.” The group describes itself as “internal dissidents” or “opposition” and has been asking to be granted the same rights as Polisario on the global stage. read more

Widow of QuadrigaCX CEO calls for appointment of chief restructuring officer

HALIFAX — The widow of QuadrigaCX CEO Gerald Cotten says a chief restructuring officer should be appointed to oversee what remains of the insolvent cryptocurrency trading platform, saying her role as director has drawn unwanted online commentary suggesting she is trying to hide assets.In a second affidavit submitted to Nova Scotia Supreme Court, Jennifer Robertson also says that a 30-day stay of proceedings that has protected the company from lawsuits should be extended.Cotten, the company’s 30-year-old CEO and sole director, was travelling in India on Dec. 9 when he died from complications caused by Crohn’s disease.When his death was announced more than a month later, court documents revealed he was the only QuadrigaCX employee who knew the pass codes required to gain access to $190 million in Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies.As well, the company admitted 115,000 users were owed another $70 million in cash, much of which is tied up in bank drafts held by payment processors.Robertson, who was granted all of Cotten’s assets in his will, says a chief restructuring officer is needed to take over for her and another director because they have no significant experience in the cryptocurrency industry.The Canadian Press read more

DPR Korea UN expert warns of dwindling aid while food crisis remains

20 October 2011Although the food situation in the Democratic Republic of Korea (DPRK) is critical, international assistance is dwindling, a United Nations human rights expert warned today. “The current rations provided by the Government can meet well less than half the daily calorific needs for the 68 per cent of the 16 million population receiving public food rations,” UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the DPRK Marzuki Darusman told a news conference in New York. “While I appeal to the international community to provide humanitarian assistance including medical supplies, I recommended that the State also pay increased attention to providing adequate nutrition and health care to women and children suffering from chronic malnutrition,” he said citing structural problems in the food production system and total State control of the food production and the supply system, which has contributed to the crisis.He noted that UN agencies have faced numerous obstacles in monitoring that aid reaches its intended recipients, and he called on the Government to provide more monitoring access, stressing the importance of expanding humanitarian space.Mr. Darusman, who yesterday briefed the General Assembly’s third committee on his latest report on the DPRK, painted a grim picture of the lack of adequate infrastructure to support the country’s potential health-care needs.“Virtually devoid of any new investment since the early 1990s, the ability of the DPRK to deal with potential large-scale health problems is severely compromised,” he said. “Lack of adequate water and sanitation facilities, shortages of electricity and lack of minimum physical facilities make it difficult to uphold proper hospital infection controls, and serious shortages in medical in essential medicines, basic medical equipment supplies persist.” He also voiced concerns at the situation of asylum-seekers who slip across the border into China and are then preyed upon by human traffickers, with women and children particularly vulnerable.Mr. Darusman voiced further concerns that the Government continued to impose severe restrictions on freedom of expression and assembly. “I call upon the Government to ease such restrictions,” he said.Satellite pictures indicate a significant increase in camps for political prisoners since 2001, with a network that is estimated to hold up to 250,000 people, and he called on the Government to begin releasing them. read more

No to LLRC full implementation

The government says it will not fully implement the recommendations of the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) despite the resolution adopted by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).Addressing the media, government Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said that the government does not see the LLRC report as being a “Bible” despite the commission being appointed by the government itself. The country’s Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem said that such a referendum will need the consent of all the stake holders in the Sri Lankan government. (Colombo Gazette) A U.S sponsored resolution adopted by the UN Human Rights Council last week also had the support of India, Sri Lanka’s biggest neighbor.However Sri Lanka’s External Affairs Minister G.L Peiris said at the same press briefing that the government will not let foreign governments dictate to or direct the island nation on its domestic issues.Sri Lanka also rejected calls to hold a referendum among the Sri Lankan public on the vote taken at the UN Human Rights Council. He said that the commission, in formulating its recommendations, had in some instances gone beyond its mandate and as a result the government must now decide what to accept and what not to accept. However de Silva said that the government has a duty to look at the repercussions implementing the full report may have on the country plus it also needs to form a consensus among its coalition partners.President Mahinda Rajapaksa appointed the LLRC soon after a 30 year war between the army and the LTTE came to an end in 2009 with the defeat of the rebels. The UN Human Rights Council had last week adopted a resolution by a majority vote, calling for the full implementation of the LLRC report. read more

Wigneswaran says has backing of EPDP replies to Sampanthan

Meanwhile TNA sources said that attempts are being made to prevent a split in the TNA over the issue.Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran last week faced calls to step down in a corruption drama involving some members of the Northern Provincial Council. The Chief Minister also said that he replied to a letter sent by Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader R. Sampanthan. The TNA made it known publicly that it was not happy with Wigneswaran.The corruption scandal which rocked the Northern Provincial Council saw 21 members calling for Wigneswaran’s removal.The TNA had earlier accused Wigneswaran of looking to act on four members of the council over the corruption charges without consulting the TNA. The website reported that ITAK is seriously contemplating the removal of Wigneswaran as Chief Minister in the context of the current corruption scandal that has rocked the Northern Province. (Colombo Gazette) Wigneswaran said he responded this morning to the letter he received from Sampanthan yesterday. The official website of the TNA reported that Wigneswaran is likely to be removed from office soon by the Ilankai Thamil Arasuk Katchi (ITAK) which fielded him as the Chief Ministerial candidate of the political formation known as the TNA in September 2013. The Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) has extended support to Northern Province Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran.Wigneswaran told reporters today he received a telephone call from EPDP leader Douglas Devananda extending the support of his party to him over the crisis which had arisen in the North. read more

US home construction rises in March after bitter winter led by gain

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Paul Wiseman, The Associated Press Posted Apr 16, 2014 7:19 am MDT US home construction rises in March after bitter winter, led by gain in single-family homes This Friday, March 21, 2014 photo shows roofers installing a roof on a new construction home in Pepper Pike, Ohio. The Commerce Department reports on U.S. home construction in March later Wednesday April 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) WASHINGTON – U.S home construction rose moderately in March as builders resumed work at the end of a frigid winter. But applications for building permits slid, clouding the outlook for future construction.Builders started work on 946,000 homes at a seasonally adjusted annual rate in March, up 2.8 per cent from 920,000 in February, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Construction of single-family homes rose 6 per cent, more than offsetting a 3.1 per cent drop in the construction of apartments, condominiums and town houses.As the weather moderated, construction rose 30.7 per cent in the Northeast and jumped 65.5 per cent in the Midwest. But it fell 9.1 per cent in the South and 4.5 per cent in the West.Applications for permits, a gauge of future activity, fell 2.4 per cent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 990,000.“The outcome is less dynamic than anticipated,” Annalisa Piazza, an economist at Newedge Strategy, said in a research report.Economists had expected housing starts to hit 970,000 last month. Piazza noted that housing construction in March was 5.9 per cent less than a year earlier.“It echoes several of the other reports we’ve seen of late which do show a spring snapback, but one not nearly as strong as once hoped,” said Dan Greenhaus, chief strategist at BTIG.Many analysts have been expecting an improving economy to lift the housing market, which has been recovering the past two years. But housing has struggled to maintain momentum. Rising prices and higher mortgage rates have deterred some home buyers. Others have had trouble qualifying for mortgages.Builders complain of a shortage of workers and lots to build on.U.S. homebuilders’ confidence in the housing market rose modestly in April but remained at low levels for the third straight month, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index, which came out Tuesday.The index, which measures confidence in the single-family home market, edged up to 47 in April from 46 in March., Readings below 50 mean builders view sales conditions as poor. The index had been above 50 from June through January.Still, the March gain in single-family home construction is encouraging. Every single-family home built creates three jobs and generates $90,000 in tax revenue, according to the homebuilders’ group. read more

Central African Republic in critical phase of transition – UN peacekeeping chief

In his briefing to the 15-member Council, Under-Secretary-General for UN Peacekeeping Operations, Hervé Ladsous, spotlighted a potentially explosive situation in the CAR amid continuing violent clashes between the Séléka alliance and anti-Balaka militia in areas surrounding the capital, Bangui. Thousands of people are estimated to have been killed in CAR as a result of a conflict that erupted when mainly Muslim Séléka rebels launched attacks in December 2012. The violence has since taken on increasingly sectarian overtones.Nevertheless, noted Mr. Ladsous, the political process is “once again moving forward” as stakeholders worked to convene the peace-building Bangui Forum early next year, and to complete the election process in August 2015. Voicing a degree of optimism, he explained that while the timeframe for elections remained “extremely tight” and preparations for the vote were proceeding slowly, various leaders of the two belligerent factions had already publicly expressed their support for the national dialogue process, including participation in the Bangui Forum. The Forum itself, the Under-Secretary-General pointed out, would then function as the starting point for a longer term reconciliation process for all levels of society.“A successful and timely Bangui Forum will be vital to prepare the ground for the planned constitutional referendum as well as legislative and presidential elections,” Mr. Ladsous continued.“The success of the process will rely on a significantly strengthened commitment of the Central African Republic authorities, as well as the political, operational and financial support of the international community. A conducive security environment will also be required and necessitate progress in the political process.”The UN official, however, described the “delicate” situation on the ground with civilians under constant threat and rampant impunity for those committing acts of violence. In addition, the State remained “weak, if not totally absent” as intercommunity violence continued to rage across the eastern and central parts of the country. Within this environment, he said, the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in CAR (MINUSCA) remained steadfast on protecting civilians through an expanded troop deployment and focused on supporting the National Electoral Authority’s preparations for next year’s elections.“The Central African Republic is entering a critical phase at a time when international attention to the crisis is starting to wane. The risks remain high that additional disruptions in the political process and/or the security situation could put the transitional process in jeopardy,” concluded Mr. Ladsous, who warned against any potentially disruptive delays in the scheduled August 2015 elections. “Central African authorities must stay the course and the country’s regional and international partners should remain engaged in a sustained and coordinated manner in order to provide the Central African Republic with the assistance necessary to ensure the effectiveness and sustainability of its actions.” read more

UN experts urge Sudan to overturn outrageous conviction for indecent dressing

“Public flogging of women is a continuing practice in the country, and the offence of modesty and the penalty of flogging are disproportionately used to punish women,” noted the experts, who all report to the United Nations Human Rights Council.“This outrageous conviction must be overturned and the girls must be immediately released,” the experts urged in a news release. “We also call upon the Government of Sudan to repeal all legislation that discriminates on the grounds of gender and to comply with international standards.”Ferdous Al Toum, 19, was sentenced on 16 August to be flogged 20 lashes and a fine of 500 Sudanese pounds ($83), while Rehab Omer was fined the same amount for the same charges on 14 July. Both girls have filed appeals, but no date has yet been given for the appeal trials. The cases began on 25 June 2015, when the Public Order Police arrested 12 female students between the ages of 17 and 23 who are originally from the war-torn Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan state, according to the UN human rights office (OHCHR). They were taken by the police in front of the Evangelical Baptist Church in Khartoum North, where they had attended a ceremony, and were brought to a local police station. At the time of their arrest, some were wearing trousers and others skirts. It was reported that the police subjected the students to degrading treatment and humiliating verbal abuse during their detention. Two of the students were released about four hours after their arrest, OHCHR noted. The ten others were released on bail on 27 June 2015 but charged with “indecent dressing” under Article 152 of Sudan’s 1991 Criminal Act, which gives the police extensive powers to arrest any person on such grounds. The punishment, if they were to be found guilty, would be 40 lashes, or a fine, or both. In practice, the law has been reported to be used exclusively against women. These 10 women were taken to court on 28 June 2015 where the charges against them were confirmed and court dates set. Ms. Al Toum appeared in court on 6 July 2015, wearing another dress deemed indecent by the judge who, disregarding any due process, immediately sentenced her to a fine of 500 Sudanese pounds ($83) or a month in prison. Her fine was paid by human rights defenders and she will appear in court again in relation to the original charge. The cases against the eight other female Christian students charged with “indecent dressing” have concluded with either a not guilty verdict or a fine being imposed.The rights experts have officially expressed concern to the Sudanese authorities about current legislation that allows corporal punishment of women, and the devastating consequences that such violence has on their physical and psychological integrity and well-being. “There is a pressing need to address the pattern of discrimination, abuse and torture as well as the oppression and denigration of women in the country,” they said. “We urge the Government of Sudan to put an end to these grave violations of women’s human rights.” The experts voicing their concern are Eleonora Zielinska, Chairperson-Rapporteur of the UN Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice; Dubravka Simonovic, UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women; Aristide Nononsi, UN Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Sudan; and Juan E. Méndez, UN Special Rapporteur on torture.Independent experts or special rapporteurs are appointed by the Geneva-based Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a country situation or a specific human rights theme. The positions are honorary and the experts are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work. read more

Firefox 5 6 and 7 will be released in 2011 as Mozilla

first_imgHistorically, the Mozilla Corporation releases a major new version of their industry-leading Firefox browser about every two year… but in 2011, the release road map is going to undergo a drastic change. How drastic? Although Firefox 4 isn’t even out of beta yet, expect to see Firefox 7 by year’s end. AdChoices广告This is a radical departure, to say the least, but in many ways, in the war of numbers, it makes a lot of sense. Although Firefox 4 is easily competitive, feature-by-feature, with other browsers on the market, the likes of Internet Explorer 9, Opera 11 or Google Chrome 9 seem like they must be superior to Firefox 4. After all, they have bigger numbers attached!The requirement of a product or brand to “fudge the numbers” to appear competitive with the competition is a pretty common occurrence in technology. Consider what Microsoft did with the Xbox 360: even though it’s only a second-generation console, the presence of the “360” number makes the console seem like a third generation console. That’s not an accident: Microsoft was trying to compete with Sony’s PlayStation 3. Even Apple’s jumped a number just to make their product seem more advanced: the second-gen iPhone adopted branding that evoked a third-gen product with the iPhone 3G.2011, then, is Mozilla playing catch-up with the competition, not in features, but in numeric branding. That’s not to say they don’t have real improvements in mind for Firefox 5 through 7, though. Firefox 5, for example, will absorb the Account Manager and F1 Simple Sharing add-ons and become built-in features, as well as add 64-bit Windows 7 support. Firefox 6 will focus on the Web applications framework. As for Firefox 7, it’s not entirely clear what features are in mind, but one thing’s for certain: Mozilla won’t be resting there. 2012 will need to see the release of at least a couple of versions of Firefox to catch up with IE9.Read more at Firefox Roadmap (via Download Squad)last_img read more

Easter holidays have begun and heres whats happening around the country

first_img 13,926 Views By Sean Murray Easter holidays have begun and here’s what’s happening around the country A quick round-up of the events taking place across Ireland over the next week. 7 Comments Source: Greg Clarke via FlickrThe Amazing Grace Festival takes place in Buncrana over the next few days.The famous “wretch” was John Newton and it is the story of this slaver who went on to write the iconic song that is told throughout the Amazing Grace Festival.Today, the Féile Dóchas (Hope Fest) offers a free, “dynamic all-age community arts festival” with a whole programme of live music, interactive workshops, poetry, dance, food and circus games.The festival lasts until Wednesday, with a guided walking tour and a “nature detectives” event also on the schedule.Pilgrim paths Source: Shutterstock/Greg FellmannTaking place across various counties, Pilgrim Paths Week 2017 takes in the routes trodden by early Christians in Ireland, including Lough Derg, Glendalough, Skellig Michael and Croagh Patrick.Walking pilgrim paths, arts, religious and cultural events, the full programme can be found here.The Passion of the Christ (in Ballyfermot)The streets of Dublin suburbs Ballyfermot and Cherry Orchard are set to become the stage for a reimagining of the Passion of the Christ set in 2017 this weekend.Over two days, starting today, the streets and civic spaces will be the stage, and locals will be the players during live street performances, dance and music. Short URL Saturday 8 Apr 2017, 10:30 AM IT’S SPRING, THE days are getting longer and Easter holidays are now underway for children (and teachers!).While there’s no guarantee the rain won’t stay away, there’s plenty on around the country over the next few days to get out, enjoy a bit of sunshine and soak up some culture.Here are some of the highlights:Meath Source: Brian Lawless/PA Wire/PA ImagesTayto Park reopens this weekend, just in time for the Easter holidays.The theme park and zoo in Ashbourne was closed from January to March, but reopened yesterday for the spring and summer season.There will be Easter-themed arts and crafts on every day of the holidays, as well as complimentary face-painting throughout the mid-term break.Dublin Source: Leon Farrell/Photocall IrelandNow in its third year, MusicTown provides a range of events designed to celebrate “the rich music heritage and contemporary artistic lifeblood” of Dublin city.Running until Easter Monday, there is an eclectic mix of bands and performers across different musical styles.There’s some specialised events for children as part of MusicTown, with Our Tunes taking place today at the Contemporary Music Centre in Temple Bar offering a free, fun participatory contemporary music event for children aged six to ten.The full programme for MusicTown can be found here.Donegal Share Tweet Email Here’s all the details on when and where for this weekend’s ‘Passion Project’ on 8 + 9 April! We’ll see you there…#D10HasPassion— Dublin City Council Culture Company (@DCCCultureCo) April 3, 2017 Source: DublinConnects/Twitter Apr 8th 2017, 10:30 AM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Galway Source: Karen Murphy via FlickrFor traditional music fans, it’s still not too late to catch the 2017 Clifden Trad Fest which finishes up tomorrow.There are music workshops, a busking competition, street entertainment for the family and, of course, lots of trad music to be had in the Galway coastal town of Clifden.Some good events on in your area this weekend? Let us know in the comments below…Read: A new exhibition shines the spotlight on Pablo Picasso’s ‘forgotten’ first wife for the first timeRead: Underage teens are getting drunk by sucking on vodka-laced oranges, claims TDlast_img read more

Is what British politicians say a load of cock and bull Thats

first_imgIs what British politicians say a load of ‘cock and bull’? That’s what this show wants to find out… Artist Nic Green created the show Cock and Bull before Brexit – but the work, which takes apart the words of politicians, is just as pertinent now. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Thursday 25 Apr 2019, 8:00 PM I just think you can say ‘strong and stable government’ as much as you want, but it doesn’t make it true. Apr 25th 2019, 8:01 PM By Aoife Barry 10 Comments None of us really know how much stuff affects us, how much we’re influenced or swayed. I think it’s good to purge it a bit.Though it’s one show in a sea of work, Green hopes that Cock and Bull is in its own way making a difference:“In a really tiny way it’s just a little theatre show, but for us when you feel like you are not represented in the power that governs your land, it’s a tiny way to take some power back, or to access your own agency when you just feel like you can’t in a bigger picture.”Cock and Bull will be performed on Saturday 27 April as part of the Live Collision art festival, which runs from 24-27 April at Project Arts Centre in Dublin. 7pm and tickets are €16, suitable for ages 16+. Tickets for all events can be bought from the Project Arts or Collision websites.center_img TO LISTEN TO a politician make a speech can sometimes be an exercise in trying to find a needle in a haystack. The needle is the point, the haystack is a load of words.Here in Ireland, we can certainly point to politicians who are fond of a bit of bluster. But there are others, too, whose gift with words (or often, their scriptwriter’s gift) marks them out as people who have a very good point to make.Over in the UK, a lot of attention has been laser-focused on MPs in the wake of the Brexit vote. British Prime Minister Theresa May in particular has found herself making speeches that are sometimes dreary, often boring – never explosive, unless for the wrong reasons. Conservative wordsIn 2015, the award-winning British artist Nic Green found herself contemplating what politicians say, and how they say it.Is it just a load of words that mean nothing?She started recording these words, listening and then distilling them down, and eventually using them to create the theatre piece Cock and Bull. The work will be performed in Dublin as part of Live Collision this Saturday. Nic Green Source: Oliver RudkinCock and Bull was conceived for the eve of the 2015 UK General Election, but four years on it is just as pertinent. In the piece, three women convene to perform their own, alternative, party conference.  They use the words of politicians and respond to what’s described as “the meaninglessness and repetition of empty political promise, the privilege of the governmental elite and the deep discontent of an increasingly disproportionate and divided society”.The work is part protest, part catharsis, and part exorcism, says its creator. That it is performed by three women, when politics across the globe is overwhelmingly male, adds another layer to it.“It started when I was looking into the relationship between power and language,” Green tells of its genesis. She had initially started looking at how bankers talk about themselves, but then decided to go straight to the seat of power.“I started looking at David Cameron and George Osborne and I ended up watching the 2014 Conservative Party Conference, all of the speeches back to back,” she says. “Which I had never done before – because why would anyone do it unless it was your job?”A few things struck her. “They were all men of a certain age, white, of a certain class – most people coming from Oxbridge, Eton etc. And the other thing that struck me was the repetition between the speeches. These amazing ideas distilled into these slogans that become a shorthand for a policy. But I’m not totally convinced that anybody knows what those policies are.”The piece came out of a quest to figure out how you can use your voice in the world. “Going, I just feel so bored of voting for things and them not getting through and the things I want to happen never happens,” she says.“I guess that’s what we call democracy in our country but the margins are so slim and there are so many people who feel desperately unhappy with the situation,” says Green. “What do you do, how do you deal with it? How do you keep on trying to talk about it and find a way to use your voice? When we first started making this piece these were the questions we dealing with.”She started collecting sentences, hitting on repeatedly used phrases. Green would then disassemble the sentences to see if she could find new meanings. “I just felt like there was really something about taking these words and altering them and repeating them into meaningless or exposing them,” she says.While playing with repeated words, she’d notice how they’d sometimes sound like different words – if you say ‘people’ over and over it again, sometimes it sounds like ‘peephole’.Dumbing downSeeing the simplicity in the words made Green wonder about the ‘dumbing down’ of political speeches. “Maybe we’re really seeing the full effect of that now with Brexit and how that propaganda played out on the lead up to these really simplified ideas that are just not reality,” says Green.She wonders if people can start to feel disaffected and disengaged from politics because of a dumbing down “into nothing – you can’t have a conversation about nothing”“There’s nothing to talk about and maybe that’s why a lot of people don’t know who they should vote for or why,” she says. “I guess [the piece is] just trying to react to that in a way. Just expose it a little bit more.” I just think you can say ‘strong and stable government’ as much as you want but it doesn’t make it true.Green believes that people are even more averse to political spin than when Cock and Bull was first made.“I think in a way it maybe feels more relevant,” she says. “[The piece is] not educational in the sense it tells you anything about these parties. Literally what it does is presents the words back again in another space, and re-forms them. It gives this other kind of space for you actually to have a moment to personally respond to that and emotionally respond to that.” Share Tweet Email 10,860 Views Short URLlast_img read more

Rate cuts drive savings

first_imgA central bank decision to cut interest rates has prompted Westpac Chief Executive Officer Gail Kelly to claim that Australian consumers would be more likely to save rather then spend any extra money. “What will happen is that customers will take the extra cash that they’ve got and probably apply it more to debt repayment and to savings,” Kelly told the ABC. Kelly also said she was under the impression the RBA would make more rate cuts, but said it was too early to tell, especially with the global economy on tenterhooks due to Europe’s financial crisis. Source: Bloomberg Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

John Boyega teases his most shocking Star Wars set moment

first_img Share your voice Star Wars returns Star Wars Episode 9: Release date, cast, director and theories Mark Hamill just tweeted the best Star Wars Episode IX trailer tease Tags 77 Photos Star Wars TV and Movies 0 Boyega isn’t the only Star Wars cast member willing to tantalize fans with his secret knowledge. Kylo Ren actor Adam Driver told Deadline he was privy to a key clue to the trilogy’s ultimate path. “With Star Wars, I had one piece of information of where it was all going, and that’s where it has been in my head for a long time, and things were building towards that,” he said.Boyega and Driver are keeping the details classified, but it gives fans a fantastic opportunity to speculate about what it all means. You can check out our roundup of Episode 9 rumors right here. Post a comment Boyega posted a close-up look at his hands, which appear to be covered in dirt with a drop of blood oozing out of his left thumb. “The whole team pushed themselves today to achieve something visually crazy,” he says.So what could cause dirty hands and a cut? It could be an epic battle scene of some sort, or some other tense, action-packed moment.   2019 movies to geek out over The final chapter in the latest Star Wars trilogy is cloaked in mystery. We know we’ll be catching up with Rey, BB-8, Finn and Poe, but filming is still underway and the Dec. 20 release date for the J.J. Abrams-directed film is far off. John Boyega, who plays Resistance fighter Finn, knows fans are desperate for information. He delivered an epic teaser to Instagram on Tuesday, writing, “I’ve had many moments of shock on set but not like today and I can’t wait until you know why.”last_img read more

Every new show and movie on Hulu February 2019

first_img Share your voice Now playing: Watch this: Tags 1:59 Netpicks February is nearly here and Hulu has got some fantastic shows and films coming. Since it’s almost Valentine’s Day, I must recommend you watch one of the greatest rom-coms ever written, Four Weddings and a Funeral. Or you can check out one of my other favorite romances, the Cher and Nicolas Cage masterpiece that is Moonstruck. If you’re not feeling the romantic vibe, and you’d prefer a good heist film, you may consider a The Thomas Crown Affair double feature. Hulu is picking up both the 1968 and 1999 versions. Comedy fans can check out both Wayne’s World and Wayne’s World 2 for another fun double feature option.  What’s streaming in February 2019center_img I also urge everyone to check out the documentary Three Identical Strangers, which was hands-down one of my favorite films from 2018. On the TV show front, Hulu is also getting the newest season of Archer on Feb. 25. Or check out the season of Legion on Feb. 3. Available on Hulu, February 2019Feb. 1Into The Dark: Down: Episode 5 PremiereRecord of Grancrest War: Complete Season 1A View to Kill (1985)The Animal (2001)Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatre (2002)Bad Santa (2003)Barefoot (2014)The Big Lebowski (1998)The Bounty (1984)The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)Born on the Fourth of July (1989)Broadway Danny Rose (1984)Caddyshack (1980)Caddyshack II (1988)Capote (2005)Chaos (2005)Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)Chasing Liberty (2004)Dazed and Confused (1993)Deep Blue Sea (1999)Delta Farce (2007)Dr. No (1962)Equilibrium (2002)Escape from Alcatraz (1979)Field of Dreams (1989)Flesh + Blood (1985)Foolish (1999)For Your Eyes Only (1981)Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)Freedomland (2006)From Russia with Love (1964)Goldeneye (1995)Hairspray (1988)Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)How to Deal (2003)Kingpin (1996)Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)Lars and the Real Girl (2007)Licence to Kill (1989)The Madness of King George (1994)Marathon Man (1976)Metro (1997)Mississippi Burning (1988)Moonraker (1979)Moonstruck (1987)Mortal Kombat (1995)Mortal Kombat Annihilation (1997)Mystic Pizza (1988)Next Day Air (2009)Old Fashioned (2014)On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)The Portrait of a Lady (1996)The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)The Quiet Ones (2014)Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)The Royal Tenenbaums (1997)Space Jam (1996)The Secret Garden (1993)Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)The Thomas Crown Affair (1999)The Thomas Crown Affair (1968)The Toybox (2018)Thelma & Louise (1991)Three Kings (1999)Thunderball (1965)Tomcats (2001)Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)Unforgettable (1996)Universal Soldier (1992)Untamed Heart (1993)Wayne’s World (1992)Wayne’s World 2 (1993)Wedding Crashers (2005)Wes Craven Presents: Dracula 2000 (2000)While You Were Sleeping (1995)Feb. 2Cabin Fever (2016)Pick of the Litter (2018)Feb. 3Legion: Complete Season 2 Feb. 4Saints & Sinners: Complete Seasons 1-3 Real Housewives of New York City: Complete Season 10Dog Days (2018)Experimenter (2015)Feb. 5Paid in Full (2002)Feb. 8PEN15: Complete Season 1Feb. 9The Preppie Connection (2016)Feb. 10The Song (2014)Feb. 11All Square (2018)Feb. 14False Flag: Complete Season 2Zac & Mia: Complete Season 2 Feb. 15Bondi Harvest: Complete Season 1Jamie’s Quick and Easy: Complete Seasons 1-2Next (2007)Feb. 16Proven Innocent: Series PremiereA Perfect Day (2016)Feb. 17The Party (2018)Feb. 18Elvis All-Star Tribute: Special The Sisters Brothers (2018)Feb. 20Stan Against Evil: Complete Season 3Feb. 23Death Wish (2018)Feb. 25Archer: Danger Island: Complete Season 9 Every Day (2018)The School (2018)Feb. 26The Enemy Within: Series PremiereThe Voice: Season 16Three Identical Strangers Feb. 27World of Dance: Season 3 Tickled (2016)Feb. 28Whiskey Cavalier: Season 1 Digging for Fire (2015)The Guilty (2018)Leaving Hulu in FebruaryFeb. 2812 Dates of Christmas (2011)A Mermaid’s Tale (2016)All Over the Guy (2001)Apollo 13 (1995)Bad Girls (1994)Bad Girls from Mars (1991)Basic Instinct (1992)Beetlejuice (1988)Best Seller (1987)Beverly Hills Vamp (1989)Blow Out (1981)Blue Jasmine (2013)Christmas Cupid (2010)Deja Vu (2006)Dr. Dolittle: Million Dollar Mutts (2007)Dream House Nightmare (2017)Dressed to Kill (1980)Exposed (2016)Hitman’s Run (1999)It’s Us (2016)Joey (1988)King of the Mountain (1981)Leaving Las Vegas (1995)Lethal Weapon (1987)Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)Lethal Weapon 3 (1992)Lethal Weapon 4 (1998)Line of Duty (2013)Living by the Gun (2011)Malena (2000)Manhattan Night (2016)Mansfield Park (1999)Message in a Bottle (1999)Miracle on 34th Street (1994)Mullholland Falls (1996)Operation Condor (1986)Operation Condor II: The Armour of the Gods (1991)Radio Days (1987)Ride (1998)Righteous Kill (2008)Rob Roy (1995)Silent Tongue (1993)Snow (2004)Snow 2: Brain Freeze (2008)Snowglobe (2007)Spy Game (2001)Switchback (1997)Teresa’s Tatoo (1994)Ulee’s Gold (1997)We are Marshall (2006)Wicker Park (2004)With a Friend like Harry (2000)For more information on what’s available to watch online, check out or subscribe to the podcast — it’s free! And go to CNET sister site to see what else is out in the world of streaming.Audio (weekly): RSS | iTunes | Google PlayVideo (monthly): iTunes (HD) | iTunes (HQ) | iTunes (SD) | RSS (HD) | RSS (HQ)| RSS (SD) TV and Movies Digital Media Post a comment 0 ABC Fox Hulu NBClast_img read more