Mamata defends Minister’s red beacon

first_imgHours after a controversy broke out when Trinamool Congress (TMC) Minister Arup Biswas used a red beacon on his vehicle, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Monday that he had “not done anything wrong” as the State government is yet to pass any law in this regard.Earlier in the day, Mr. Biswas was seen using a red beacon on his vehicle in the Darjeeling district. The Centre from May 1 has banned the use of a red beacon on any vehicle.“Arup Biswas has not done anything wrong. We are yet to pass any law [regarding the use of a red beacon],” Ms. Banerjee told journalists at Nabanna, the State secretariat. She further accused the Centre of “imposing” restrictions on the use of a red beacon, which comes under the Concurrent List. “We have written to the Centre in this regard but are yet to receive any response,” said Ms. Banerjee.Pointing out that she does not use a red beacon on her vehicle in Kolkata and adjoining areas, Ms. Banerjee argued that the State’s ministers and bureaucrats have to use the red beacon while travelling on National Highways because of security reasons. “Earlier, it sufficed to have a red beacon but now, as a result of the Centre’s decision, an escort vehicle along with security personnel will be required. This will increase the government’s expenditure,” the Chief Minister said.‘No consultation’She further criticised the Centre for neither discussing the matter with State governments nor giving them any time to figure out an alternative to the red beacon. “The order [banning the red beacon] was passed without any hearing [consultation with State governments],” said Ms. Banerjee.Earlier in the day, Mr. Biswas said that the “State government has not banned it [red beacon on vehicles].”In April, the Centre announced that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had decided to scrap a rule that allowed the Central and State governments to select dignitaries who would be allowed to use a red beacon to on their vehicles. The authority of the State governments to decide who could use flashing blue lights on their vehicles was also taken away.last_img read more

The Fusion Of Flamenco Natyam

first_imgA skirt’s ruffle swirls in a smoky bar’s haze. Percussive feet punctuate the sound of melancholy guitars. The scene is commonplace sight in Madrid’s many flamenco bars, but tonight’s show is some 5,000 miles away from Spain, in one of Delhi’s swankier hotels. At first blush, this Spanish dance seems alien to its Delhi audience. But tonight’s dancers are performing in a city that, unbeknownst to many, is close to flamenco’s original Indian roots. Omarya AmayaFlamenco is commonly associated with the sultry landscape of southern Spain. But the songs that are the roots of flamenco are believed to come from the arid plains of northern India. Although there is little consensus among historians on the origins of flamenco, many trace it to a group that migrated from north India across Europe some 1,000 years ago. This nomadic group called itself the Roma, although they are often dubbed “gypsies” in Spain, where some Roma eventually settled. The Roma had few material possessions, but one unique tradition survived the journey from India: their song and dance. Inevitably these songs mixed with local folk traditions. The result is modern flamenco, whose link to India is apparent in the rhythms and movements.The connection between flamenco and classical Indian dance was nonetheless unexplored by dancers until recently. Flamenco flourished in Spain during the late 19th century in tablaos, or cafes. But a wane in its popularity coincided with a politically authoritarian regime in Spain under which the arts, including flamenco, languished. Only after democracy was restored did flamenco reemerge. Flamenco has only recently begun to interact with other dance forms and experiment with new movements as it evolves from traditional dance into high art. Now as part of today’s cutting-edge global dance trends, preeminent Spanish and Indian dancers are exploring their little-known, but shared history in fusion dance performances across the world. Rajlika Puri and La Conja New York based flamenco dancer and singer La Conja has always had an attraction to flamenco’s eastern roots after noticing similarities while performing across the world, and because of her Egyptian background. Knowledgeable about flamenco’s history, she approached musician Pedro Cortes about a collaboration exploring flamenco’s India history.La Conja did not, however, want to merely add an Indian instrument or don an exotic costume. Instead, she sought to create a production that would fuse both the music and dance of flamenco and Indian Carnatic styles. She hoped to create pieces that highlighted the similarities of both dance and singing forms through intertwining duets.She approached Rajika Puri, an accomplished Bharat Natyam and Odissi dancer, who had become a flamenco afiocionada after falling in love with it over 40 years ago. Because both dancers had intermittently studied each other’s styles of dance throughout their respective dance careers, La Conja and Rajika had the solid foundation of dance knowledge to produce the show.The result of their collaboration in 1997 was the productionPani, which translates to “water” in both Hindi and Calo, the language of the Roma. The production was a duet performance set to flamenco guitar and sitar. Pedro Cortes served as musical director for the production. During performance, he was able to create an entirely new flamenco sound by building unusual harmonies and working on intricate rhythms for his guitar that are usually the foundation of sitar music. Omarya Amaya The dancers used the performance as a way to explore the similarities of flamenco and Bharat Natyam, a traditional south Indian dance. Hand gestures, footwork, rhythm and melodies were all intertwined so that the link between flamenco and Bharat Natyam would be clearly communicated to the audience. For example, flamenco and Bharat Natyam both use foot and arm work to communicate different emotions. La Conja and Rajika wove their movements so that they sometimes performed the same sequence, but in their respective styles portraying similar emotions. They both also incorporated another common element of flamenco and Bharat Natyam: improvisation. Dancers and musicians in both styles are almost always playing to each other without rigid choreographies, utilizing rhythmic cues to guide each other. Consequently, each performance is truly unique.The rousing success of this innovative production led to an invitation to the ensemble to perform their production titled “Flameno-Natyam” in January 1998 at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, followed by a two-month tour across India. After the tour, La Conja and Rajika continued to pursue their interest in “fusion” dance art. In 2000, Rajika presented “Sacred River,” featuring south Indian singer Aruna Nairam, guitarist David Serva, and dancer Clara Mora. More recently, she was invited to prepare a new solo in 2005 titled “TauroMagica Suite,” or “Bull Magic Suite,” which she debuted at the Kala Ghoda Festival in Mumbai. La Conja, too, has continued to perform various “Flamenco-Natyam” pieces while expanding her fusion repertoire to include elements of other eastern traditions. Her latest project is the development of an entirely new dance style she calls “Natajara Flamenco,” which blends the two styles of Bharat Natyam and Flamenco with a unique set of movements.The success of these performances in India has both astounded and inspired other fusion artists. “Flamenco is not a dance routinely performed in India and you never know how audiences will respond, particularly since Bharat Natyam is in essence a sacred art,” Rajika says when discussing the preparation for the “Flamenco-Natyam” tour in India. “But the audiences were excited to see the something entirely new performance and they are becoming more open to experimentation with tradition.” The Indian Council for Cultural Relations sponsored the filming of a fusion flamenco and Kathak show in Delhi performed by renowned artists Omayra Amaya and Shovana Narayan in 2003. Omayra, grandniece of legendary flamenco artist Carmen Amaya, has always been attracted to exploring new dimensions to flamenco dance and is known for her innovative style that routinely draws from modern and jazz movement. She was immediately attracted to the idea of creating a collaborative work in India when Shovana approached her about the production.“It was a challenge to work quickly and try to blend two styles that are both so rich and complex in terms of their rhythms and expression,” Omayra says, “but it is gratifying to push flamenco forward in this way.” As a Kathak dancer, Shovana, too, is inspired to push Kathak in new directions by often creating collaborations with other world-renowned artists.Fusion performances are particularly appealing to younger audiences, who are increasingly exposed to so many dance styles and indeed have come to expect creativity in performance. In India, they have grown accustomed to Bollywood dance sequences that borrow widely from hip-hop, modern, salsa and other dance styles. For many Indian Americans, fusion performances are a hreflection of their own hybrid cultural background where American, Indian and other cultures routinely mix. And even for audiences without any direct connection to India or Spain, the fusion performances represent a trend of cultural experimentation that offers excitement and a hrefreshing twist on traditional styles.When asked what motivated her to pursue various flamenco fusion works during the past 10 years, Rajika responds that she is inspired by how seemingly diverse audiences nevertheless all relate to the themes present in Bharat Natyam and flamenco, like love, loss and devotion. To her, the form of dance is less important, whether modern, fusion, or traditional, than the communication of pure emotion with the audience.“Flamenco-Natyam gives the audience the chance to experience not just one, but two art forms with rich traditions,” Rajika says, “so my hope is that they can draw twice the emotional experience from immersion in these two great forms.”   Related Itemslast_img read more

Azhar, MS Dhoni biopics: Will on-screen shots hit a six at the box office?

first_imgBollywood and cricket are the biggest entertainers in the subcontinent. The stars are our gods. Think about it. Dilip Kumar, Madhubala, Rajesh Khanna, Dharmendra, Hema Malini, Amitabh Bachchan, Sridevi, Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Madhuri Dixit and Ranbir Kapoor – they have all enjoyed the status of deities in our country. And Sachin Tendulkar’s ‘God’ status cannot be denied even by westerners. Therefore, when two territories are as equally famous as these are, it is only expected that the two overlap.The unsuccessful tryst of the willow and silver screenCricketers and cricket stories have been trying to make it big on the silver screen for long now. Sandeep Patil was quite a sight, singing and romancing around trees in Kabhi Ajnabi The (1985). But he is not alone in trying a hand at the big screen. Salim Durani, Ajay Jadeja, Vinod Kambli, Salil Ankola, and Mohsin Khan are among the spate of other players who were seen in front of the camera. Perhaps the only one who has been successful is Yograj Singh, father of cricketer Yuvraj Singh (you would remember him as the coach in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag), who has made quite an impact in the Punjabi film industry. Now we hear that S Sreesanth, who was banned from playing the game after he was charged with spot-fixing in the IPL (Indian Premiere League), is going make his big screen debut with Big Picture, but it is yet to be seen whether he actually has the talent to make a lasting impression on the crowds or not.advertisementALSO READ: Cricket or not, Sreesanth will be on big screensNot just the stars, films about cricket have had abysmal fate too. In the 1961 movie Love Marriage, Dev Anand and Mala Sinha kindled their romance on a cricket pitch, with a rather funny song:In the 80s, two rather dreadful cricket films were released. The first one was All Rounder in 1984 starring Vinod Mehra and Kumar Gaurav, and the second one was Awwal Number in 1990, starring Aamir Khan. The film also featured Sunil Gavaskar. Both the films bombed at the box office so badly that it took a full decade before another big budget cricket movie was to be attempted by anyone.Lagaan, a period drama directed by Ashutosh Gowariker, was the turning point for cricket-based films. Not only was this almost four-hour-long movie a massive hit, it also reached the gates of the Oscars. And why not? It boasts of everything we love about the game. The long match, match-fixing, last-minute winning shots, the underdogs beating the opposition after struggling for long, and most of all – the patriotism the film evoked.But unfortunately, the subject on the big screen has not been too much of a crowd puller since then. Iqbal (2005) and Ferrari Ki Sawari (2012) were both critically acclaimed, Jannat (2008) managed to set the cash registers ringing, more so because of Emraan Hashmi than the game itself. Films like Hattrick (2007), Victory (2009), Patiala House (2011), Dil Bole Hadippa (2009) and Mira Bai Not Out (2008) are more than easily forgettable.  The era of biopicsThe last few years have seen the rise of biopics – the Bhagat Singh movies (2002 to 2006), Guru (2007) and even Mangal Pandey (2005) and Rang Rasiya (2014). And truth be told, even sports movies are faring well these days as the audience has grown to accept them. Mary Kom (2014) and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013) were both phenomenally loved, with leading stars (Priyanka Chopra and Farhan Akhtar respectively) playing the titular characters. Paan Singh Tomar (2012) too was a relative success, and received appreciation from all quarters.ALSO READ: Guess what Emraan Hashmi is up to in Azhar This decade is the apt time to cash in on people’s love for sportspersons, and filmmakers seem to have realised this. Two big films are planned for the coming years – Azhar, based on the controversial life of the erstwhile Indian cricket team captain Mohammad Azharuddin, and MS Dhoni: The Untold Story, charting the success of the most successful Indian cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.Azhar is being helmed by Tony D’Souza and stars Emran Hashmi as the lead. The teaser of the movie has created quite a buzz already, and speculations are that the movie will have a lot of reveals from the cricketer’s life. Neeraj Pandey’s MS Dhoni: The Untold Story will see Sushant Singh Rajput playing the eponymous role. So far, only a glimpse of the movie has been made public, but the excitement is palpable among the youth, who are eager to see their idol being played on screen.advertisementAt the end of the day, however, whether the anticipation will convert to footfalls in the theatres or not is something that only time will tell. It is a game, after all, and entertaining as it may be, the win depends a lot on the shots they take – whether the cricketers on the pitch or the directors for the big screen.last_img read more


first_imgIn his reply, Modi pressed the need for cooperationIn his reply, Modi pressed the need for cooperation between Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, considering the fact that many of the bills passed by the Lower House have got stuck in the Upper House.”This is the Upper House. When great people move, others follow them… Whatever happens in this House (Rajya Sabha), its impact is felt on Lok Sabha, Assemblies and Municipal Corporations. So we should think how to create an atmosphere by which democracy can be strengthened,” he said. Modi mentioned GST and said there are many bills like this which are pending in the Rajya Sabha. “The Peoples Representatives (Lok Sabha) have endorsed (bills) but Representatives of the States (Rajya Sabha) have not,” Modi said. He then invoked first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to pitch for coordination between the two Houses. “If there is no coordination and cooperation, then difficulties will increase. Nehruji had this concern…. Hope we pay attention to Nehrujis concerns and clear all pending bills. There is a good atmosphere…By passage of the bills, the country will get momentum.” Modi said the opposition was welcome in criticising and finding faults, if any, in the implementation of initiatives taken by his government as he listed a number of programmes, including for farmers, youth and other sections of the society. At the same time, he targeted Congress for claiming ownership to the schemes of his government by quoting Indira Gandhi as saying “There are two kinds of people in the world — one who works and another who takes credit for it…You try to belong to the first category because there is little competition in it. This has been said by Indiraji.” The Prime Minister told Congress benches that they had got a chance for long to enjoy power and it was now BJP-led coalitions turn to work for the country. (MORE) PTI AMR SKC AKK MPB VSCadvertisementlast_img read more

MS Dhoni will be India’s No.1 player in 2019 World Cup: Mohammad Azahruddin

first_imgMohammad Azharuddin said MS Dhoni will emerge as India’s No.1 player in the 2019 World Cup in England. Speaking at India Today Mind Rocks, Azharuddin said Dhoni’s experience will be vital for India in the World Cup which starts in a few months.Dhoni had led India to World Cup glory in 2011 and despite a dip in form over the last two years, remains one of the most loved cricketers in the country. In 2018, Dhoni managed only 275 runs from 20 ODIs without scoring a half-century.MS Dhoni is now in Australia and will look to regain his form as India gear up for the first of 13 ODIs they are lined up to play before the World Cup gets underway in a few months.Azhar said he expected Dhoni to play a crucial role in the World Cup with his experience and skills.”like Dhoni a lot. I feel Dhoni will emerge as India’s No. 1 player in the 2019 World Cup because he has so much experience and we have seen how he marshals the troops from behind the stumps,” Azhar said at India Today Mind Rocks.This is the best team and if it plays well, we will certainly win the World Cup: Mohammad Azharuddin#MindRocksBhubaneswarLIVE Today (@IndiaToday) January 10, 2019″He even guides the bowlers on where to bowl and helps Kohli with the field placements. That makes a huge difference. He is so experienced and the most successful captain till now,” Azhar said.advertisementEarlier on Thursday, India vice-captain Rohit Sharma also stressed on the importance of MS Dhoni in the side and said he was a guiding light for the Indian team.”Over the years, we have seen what sort of presence MS Dhoni has in the dressing room and on the field. With him around, there’s a sense of calmness in the group which is very important and also a bit of help to the captain because he stands behind the stumps and he has captained India for so many years.. he has been a successful captain for India.”So him being around for India is always helpful. He is a like a guiding light around the group, I would say. Also with the bat.. down the order, getting through that finishing line is very, very important,” Rohit said.Also Read | India vs Australia: MS Dhoni guiding light for India, says Rohit SharmaAlso Read | Mohammad Azharuddin on Rishabh Pant: India have a batsman like Adam Gilchristlast_img read more

Krunal Pandya writes blank cheque for Jacob Martin battling for life after road accident

first_imgIndia and Mumbai Indians all-rounder Krunal Pandya wrote out a blank cheque for Jacob Martin, who is battling for life in Vadodara. Martin, a former India cricketer was injured seriously in a road accident on December 27.Several names from the cricket fraternity have come out to help Jacob Martin who played 10 one-day internationals from 1999 to 2001. Former India captain Sourav Ganguly was among the first to come to Martin’s aid and transferred funds into his bank account, according to the Telegrapgh.Krunal Pandya, who is a regular in the Mumbai Indians squad and a new member of the Indian T20I side, has played six T20 Internationals for India, wrote out a blank cheque to Martin and according to The Telegraph, said: “Sir, please fill up whatever is needed, but nothing less than Rs 1 lakh.”Sourav Ganguly has been in touch with Jacob Martin’s wife Khyati. BCCI and Baroda Cricket Association have reportedly already offered their support to Martin, who is on ventiliator support and it is understood the next few hours will be critical.Former India cricketer and ex-Baroda coach Jacob Martin met with an accident and is in the hospital.Wish you a speedy recovery Jacob bhai and praying for your wellbeing. #getwellsoon Pathan (@iamyusufpathan) January 9, 2019Several big names in the cricket fraternity: Yusuf Pathan, Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra have offered their help.Martin, 46, was captain of Baroda’s first Ranji Trophy winning team. The cricket community has come forward to help their collegue at his time of crisis. According to media reports, the hospital bills total up to Rs 70,000 per day. Former BCA secretary Sanjay Patel has been in touch with BCCI and BCA.advertisementBCCI has released Rs 5 lakh from its Benevolent Fund while BCA has given Rs 3 lakh to help the Martin family with the hospital bills.Also Read | Virat Kohli completes historic hat-trick: Full list of ICC award winnersAlso Read | India vs New Zealand: Flexible with ideas but focus on winning, says Virat Kohlilast_img read more

Odd couple Jonny May and George Ford can gel for England against Australia

first_imgEngland rugby union team Autumn internationals Topics Sign up to the Breakdown for the latest rugby union news Share via Email Read more Share on WhatsApp England’s odd couple will be reunited this week if, as expected, the fit-again Jonny May is involved against Australia on Saturday. The wing and his new Leicester team-mate George Ford have developed an excellent understanding on the pitch but, according to the latter, it will be some time before the “high maintenance” May is invited to stay at his house again.To assist May following his summer arrival from Gloucester, Ford offered him temporary lodgings only to discover the pair were less than compatible domestically. “He’s such a nice guy but I had to kick him out after three weeks,” said Ford. “We couldn’t do any more otherwise our friendship would have deteriorated. He used to come home, go straight into the lounge, get the TV remote and lie on the sofa as if it was his. That would annoy me straightaway. He’d just treat it like it was his house, which I don’t mind because he’s a mate, but sometimes he would just take it a step too far.” It did not help when, on a subsequent visit, May spilt takeaway sauce over Ford’s girlfriend’s new light-blue suede rug and then revealed in an interview his tidy-minded host had “probably three or four different types of Hoover and has them on all the time”. Ford is now over his rug horror – “he bought me a new one, to be fair” – but does not yet regard May as a reformed character.“I think it took the lads at Leicester a while to work him out because he can come across as quite strange at first. Now they have a good understanding of him because half the time he’s playing up rather than being normal. Everyone likes to spend time with Jonny but little and often is best. If you spend all day with him at training you just want to relax and chill out when you come home but he’s just non-stop. He’s very good at manipulating situations and knowing how to wind people up.”According to Ford, however, May is not so hot on his east Midlands’ geography. “For the first couple of weeks he didn’t know his way round so I picked him up and took him to training. One day he had to find his own way there so he typed Welford Road into his satnav. He thought it was just a stadium; little did he know it’s 12 miles long. He ended up on the other side of Leicester, late for the team run and the meeting. He then announced ‘That’s the last time I drive to training on my own’, so I have to pick him up every time now.”At least the 27-year-old knows the best way to the try line, having scored 10 tries in his first nine games for Leicester. A tweaked hamstring ruled him out of contention for the Argentina game but Eddie Jones has indicated he is under strong consideration for the matchday squad against Australia and confidence is not an issue. “He told me last week he broke another record in terms of his speed,” said Ford. “That’s one thing he’s good at – telling everyone he’s breaking records. I don’t think he knows what he’s doing half the time, but he’s an athlete and knows where the try line is. You can’t take too much of that away from him because it makes him the player he is. It’s not by chance he’s been scoring tries nearly every week; he’s in the right place at the right time and he works incredibly hard on being professional and getting quicker.”Finally there is one area in which he and the 24-year-old Ford – “I like to think I’m Jonny’s counsellor and carer” – appear to share something vaguely in common. The England coach rates his fly-half’s sharp tactical brain so highly he entrusted him with the captaincy last Saturday after Dylan Hartley was substituted and has so far resisted any temptation to install Owen Farrell at 10 instead.Ford was certainly a central figure in Farrell’s absence in Argentina in the summer and while remaining a rugby nut, has also started to appreciate the value of switching off away from rugby. “On the field you’ve got to be quite demanding of others and lead in different ways; I’ve got make sure that when I go home after training, I try to switch off from rugby more and chill out, be a bit more relaxed.”This week, though, is primarily about the day job, with England in need of an improved display against the Wallabies. “We’re not going to reinvent the wheel, we just need to be better at what we do. When we do have the ball this weekend we’ll certainly be looking to look after it a bit better.”He makes it sound less daunting than looking after May on a daily basis. Read more Owen Farrell set for England recall against Australia as Kruis is dropped Support The Guardian Share on Pinterest features Rugby union Since you’re here… Share on LinkedIn … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on Twitter Reuse this content Share on Facebook Share on Messengerlast_img read more

AAI spent Rs 4 crore in 201819 to maintain 26 nonoperational airports

first_imgNew Delhi: The Airport Authority of India (AAI) spent Rs 4 crore in 2018-19 to maintain its 26 non-operational airports, according to an official document. In 2017-18, the AAI had spent Rs 2.66 crore to maintain these 26 airports, the document stated. The AAI owns and manages around 100 operational airports across the country. However, it also has 26 non-operational airports with it that have no flight operations currently. Some of these 26 airports are in the following places: Donakonda in Andhra Pradesh; Daparizo in Arunachal Pradesh; Rupsi and Shella in Assam; Jogbani, Muzaffarpur, Raxaul in Bihar; Deesa in Gujarat; Chakulia and Deogarh in Jharkhand; Panna, Satna and Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in Sep As per the document, the remaining of these 26 airports are in the following places: Aizwal in Mizoram; Nadirgul and Warangal in Telangana; Vellore and Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu; Kailashahar, Kamalpur and Khowai in Tripura; Bareilly and Lalitpur in Uttar Pradesh; Asansol, Balurghat and Malda in West Bengal. In 2018-19, Rs 85 lakhs was spent by the AAI to maintain the non-operational airport at Vellore in Tamil Nadu, as per the document. On the non-operational airports of Warangal in Telangana and Kailashahar in Tripura, the AAI spent Rs 56 lakhs and Rs 48 lakhs in 2018-19, respectively, as per the document. The AAI spent Rs 35 lakhs and Rs 28 lakhs on the non-operational airports that are situated in Rupsi in Assam and Jogbani in Bihar, respectively, according to the document.last_img read more

Pak wont allow Kovind to use airspace India hits back

first_imgNew Delhi: India on Saturday criticised Pakistan for denying permission to President Ram Nath Kovind’s aircraft fly over it during an official trip to Iceland, and asked Islamabad to recognise the “futility” of such unilateral actions.India’s reaction came hours after Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that Pakistan had refused India’s request to allow Kovind to use its airspace for his flight to Iceland. External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said India regretted Pakistan’s decision to deny overflight clearance for the VVIP special flight. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details”We regret the decision of the government of Pakistan to deny overflight clearance for the VVIP special flight which is otherwise granted routinely by any normal country,” he said in response to a question on the issue. “We call upon Pakistan to recognise the futility of such unilateral actions,” he said. Kovind will embark on a visit to Iceland, Switzerland and Slovenia from Monday. His flight will have to take a long detour due to denial of overflight by Pakistan. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from ThursdayPakistan’s decision to deny its airspace to Kovind’s aircraft came amid rising tension between the two countries over the Kashmir issue. Pakistan has been severely critical of India’s decision to withdraw the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. Qureshi was quoted as saying by Pakistan’s state-broadcaster PTV that Prime Minister Imran Khan approved the decision to deny Pakistan airspace by Kovind because of the tense situation in Kashmir. Pakistan had fully closed its airspace in February after an Indian Air Force strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror camp in Balakot. The country opened its airspace for all flights except for New Delhi, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur on March 27. The country fully opened its airspace for all civilian traffic on July 16. WITH PTI inputslast_img read more

Former PM Chretien hospitalized in Hong Kong with a kidney stone

first_imgFormer prime minister Jean Chretien is receiving treatment for a kidney stone in Hong Kong after falling ill there, says a spokesman.“Mr. Chretien has a kidney stone,” said Bruce Hartley, a former executive assistant to Chretien. “He will return to Canada following treatment to remove it in Hong Kong.”Chretien, 85, was scheduled to speak at the U.S-China Trade and Economic Relations Forum in Hong Kong Tuesday.Instead he was taken to hospital shortly after landing in the semi-independent Chinese territory Monday evening.Tung Chee-hwa, a former leader of the semi-independent Chinese territory, told attendees at the conference that Chretien would not be able to make it to the event.“I want to deliver an apology because Jean Chretien, the prime minister of Canada, he arrived here very late last night,” Tung said, according to a transcript of his remarks. “And we were supposed to have breakfast together. But he has not been well. And as a precaution, we have taken him to a hospital. We think it is going to be all right. So wish him all the best.”Chretien was prime minister from 1993 to 2003. Expanding trade with China was a theme in Chretien’s time in office and he’s continued working on business links between China and North America since he went back to private life.last_img read more



Ban calls on all Afghans to cast their votes in tomorrows elections

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban said that by participating in the elections, “the Afghan people will help Afghanistan strengthen its democratic institutions, bring fresh vigour to the country’s political life, and ultimately reaffirm their commitment to contribute to the peace and prosperity of their nation.”He also called on all election candidates, their supporters, political party agents and both domestic and international observers “to continue to cooperate with the Independent Election Commission, other relevant Afghan institutions and international stakeholders supporting electoral preparations, to ensure a smooth and successful electoral process.”Afghanistan has been beset by violence during the election campaign, including two suicide bomb attacks since the weekend in the capital, Kabul. In the latest attack, which occurred yesterday, two United Nations staff members were among those killed.Earlier this month a report by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) found that the prevailing insecurity was affecting preparations for the elections, especially for women.Tomorrow’s elections will feature an estimated 40 presidential candidates and another 3,195 candidates for the provincial council. 19 August 2009Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged all eligible Afghan men and women to cast their ballots in tomorrow’s presidential and provincial elections, saying their votes will play a crucial role in helping the country on the path towards greater stability and democracy. read more

Iraq hands over Declaration to UN

Iraq this evening handed over a declaration on the country’s weapons programme to the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), according to a UN spokesman.The declaration, comprised of documents and CD-ROMs, was handed over at the Canal Hotel in Baghdad. “The declaration will be transmitted expeditiously to the United Nations Headquarters in New York and the IAEA Headquarters in Vienna,” spokesman Hiro Ueki said in a statement.Meanwhile, an UNMOVIC team carried out an inspection of the Al-Kudus Company, which is situated in the Iskandariyah area about 50 kilometres south of Baghdad.”The site and all its key buildings were inspected and the objectives of the visit were successfully achieved,” Mr. Ueki reported.The company, which was formed in September, occupies a site previously intended to house a wind tunnel. Reconstruction of the site for the new research centre supporting military applications is still proceeding.In addition, IAEA experts conducted an inspection at Shakyli, a warehouse complex adjacent to the Tuwaitha site. “The team inspected the major equipment and material storage areas to assess their current status,” Mr. Ueki said, adding that the inventory there will be reconciled with the Agency’s database as well as changes described in Iraq’s biannual declaration submitted in October.”The IAEA team was able to carry out all the activities it decided to conduct without delay,” Mr. Ueki confirmed. read more

UNESCO chief urges all sides in Lebanon conflict to respect journalists after

“In times of violent conflict it is essential for all parties to respect the important role the media play in enabling the public to make informed choices and working towards peace and democracy,” said UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura.“Belligerents can not regard media staff and media outlets as military targets. And in times of extreme hardship for the region, with hundreds of civilian deaths, the courage of journalists attempting to keep us informed of events deserves recognition.”Suleiman al-Chidiac, the head of a Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation transmission facility at Fatqa, northeast of Beirut, is reported to have been killed on 22 July during Israeli air attacks, UNESCO said in a press release. Layal Nagib, a freelance photographer for the Lebanese magazine Al-Jaras and Agence France-Presse, is reported to have been killed on 23 July. She was in a taxi on her way to meet a convoy of villagers fleeing Israeli bombardments in south Lebanon when she was hit by shrapnel.UNESCO is the only UN agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom. read more

Ohio State mens hockey split weekend series with No 9 Wisconsin Badgers

Sophomore defenseman Sam Jardine (21) marks his man during a game against Michigan State Jan. 11 at the Schottenstein Center. The teams tied, 1-1.Credit: Kelly Roderick / For The LanternThe recently created Big Ten men’s hockey conference has been less than kind to the Ohio State Buckeyes.But, in coach Steve Rohlik’s return to his alma mater, the Buckeyes (12-9-1, 2-5-1-0) were able to pick up their second conference victory after a series split against No. 9 Wisconsin (14-7-1, 5-3-0-0).The lone victory on the weekend for OSU came in comeback fashion Saturday, a 3-1 outcome that ended a four-game winless skid.After a scoreless first period, the Badgers snatched the lead midway through the second on a goal by senior forward Mark Zengerle. But less than two minutes later, OSU freshman forward Nick Schilkey skated past two opponents before lifting a backhanded shot into the roof of the net.The Buckeyes took the lead for good less than four minutes later when junior forward Nick Oddo punched in a rebound after sophomore defenseman Sam Jardine’s shot from the point wasn’t held.The Badgers pulled their goalie in the final minutes in search of the tying goal, but instead it was the Buckeyes who scored as junior forward Darik Angeli dispatched the puck into the empty net with just 12 seconds remaining.Rohlik said his team figured out what it needed to do to get back to winning ways after its four-game winless streak.“We’ve played close with a lot of teams but we couldn’t seem to find a way to win,” Rohlik said. “Tonight we found a way to win.”Freshman goalie Christian Frey made 36 saves to record his third victory of the season, and Rohlik described him as “the best player on the ice.”However, things did not go quite as well for the Buckeyes Friday night, as they fell to the Badgers 5-3.Within the first eight minutes, the Buckeyes were already down 1-0 and also without Oddo after he was given a game misconduct penalty for checking Wisconsin senior forward Jefferson Dahl from behind.Afterwards, Oddo wasn’t pleased with his decision on the play.“It was a little frustrating. I shouldn’t have done it,” Oddo said in an interview with U.S. College Hockey Online. “(The game misconduct penalty) was the right call.”Despite losing one of their top scorers in Oddo, the Buckeyes still nailed in the next two goals to take a 2-1 lead in the second stanza.But OSU gave up three goals in succession between the second and third periods, a sequence that proved to be decisive in the home team’s victory.Up next, the Buckeyes are scheduled to return home to take on last-place Penn State (4-15-1, 0-6-0) in another Big Ten matchup. Puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m. Friday, while Saturday’s game is slated for a 2 p.m. start. read more

CSIROs cyanidefree gold showcases nontoxic solution

first_imgCSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, has produced the country’s first gold using a non-toxic chemical process in an effort to provide an alternative to cyanide and mercury to extract the yellow metal.The first gold is the result of early industry trials of CSIRO’s ‘going for gold’ technology and was produced in partnership with small gold miner Eco Minerals Research at a demonstration plant in the Western Australian goldfields town of Menzies.Cyanide is used in more than 90% of global gold production, but producers are facing increasingly tough regulations that prevent or restrict its use due to environmental and health concerns. In response to recent spills of toxic cyanide, several regional agencies in the US, South America and Europe have banned the use of cyanide for gold extraction. This new technology replaces cyanide with thiosulphate, a non-toxic alternative, and a simple process flowsheet.It could be a game-changer for Eco Minerals Research which has its sights set on becoming the first Australian producer to go cyanide-free. “The first gold is a major milestone in our progress towards becoming one of the world’s first green gold producers,” Eco Minerals Research Managing Director Paul Hanna said. “In close collaboration with CSIRO we’ve gone through the design, engineering and fabrication stages and set up a processing facility in Menzies, delivering the first gold pour in just 10 months, which is a fantastic achievement.”The CSIRO research team behind the innovation has already had commercial success with another tailored cyanide-free gold solution developed with Barrick Gold specifically for their Goldstrike mine in Nevada where it has been used for nearly four years to maintain production rates.The A$2.1 million demonstration project was made possible through A$860,000 in funding from the Science and Industry Endowment fund (SIEF) and an Australian Government Innovation Connections grant.“Science enabling industry and environment to be partners not competitors, exactly as envisioned in our market vision – turning commodities into higher value, uniquely Australian products,” CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall said. “It has been accelerated through CSIRO’s ON program, and could be a game-changer for small gold producers or those looking to get ahead of increasing market demand for greener commodities.“Early industry trials like this are critical to innovation and go to the heart of CSIRO’s mission to tackle big, real-world challenges and unlock a better future for everyone.”To reduce economic barriers to entry for small producers and help turn stranded gold deposits into production, CSIRO’s vision is to deliver the alternative process technology direct to mine sites via a mobile service.A typical cyanide-based processing plant costs around $30 million, whereas the new technology has a lower capital investment costing as little as $2-2.5 million to build.The picture shows lead scientist Paul Breuer holding up a 1 oz commemorative gold ingot from the first gold pour using CSIRO’s cyanide-free process.last_img read more

Capital Drilling wins contract at Yepleu nickelcoppercobaltpalladium project

first_imgCapital Drilling has been awarded a contract with Canada-based Sama Resources at its Yepleu base and platinum group metal deposit in Côte d’Ivoire.Drilling is anticipated to commence in November with the initial programme being 6,000 m of diamond core drilling, targeting semi-massive and massive polymetallic sulphide targets for nickel-copper-cobalt-palladium between 600 m and 900 m from surface.The contract is Capital Drilling’s first in the country following its strategic expansion into West Africa where the company now has 31 rigs – a third of its fleet.“This contract will initially utilise two diamond drill rigs, sourced from the group’s base in Yamoussoukro, which was established in H1 2018 as part of the group’s strategic growth focus into the West African market,” the company said.Commenting on the contract, Jamie Boyton, Executive Chairman, said: “It is very pleasing to see our increased presence in the high-growth West African region continue to deliver results and we look forward to starting our first contract in Côte d’Ivoire.“With the increased fleet and new infrastructure in place, we are well positioned to continue to secure additional work in the country in the future.”Sama said the drilling programme will test high-conductivity targets defined by the Phase 1 Typhoon™ electromagnetic geophysical survey carried out earlier this year.“It is at the Yepleu area that Sama made the first discovery of nickel-copper sulphide mineralisation at surface in West Africa with material grading up to 1.39% Ni and 2.26% Cu sulphide (tested using a hand held Niton XRF analyser),” the exploration company said.The Yepleu area is 18 km southwest of Sama’s Samapleu nickel-copper deposit.last_img read more

MENS U18 EURO 2014 Golden French generation 1996

France handballhandball poland 2014men’s u1 handball ← Previous Story Bundesliga (Round 1): THW Kiel defeated by Lemgo! Next Story → KIF Kolding and FC Midtjylland won Danish Super Cup France is the first winner of big events in generation 1996! French U 18 team have won the gold medal at Men’s U18 EURO 2014 in Poland by beating Hungary 33:30 in the final match. The bronze medal won Spain over Denmark 27:21.FRANCE – HUNGARY 33:30 (16:18)France: Bonneau, Meyer – Lenne 4, Mocquais 2, Billant, Ferrandier 2, Garain 1, Minne 8, Kounkoud 2, Lagarde 2, Nozeran 2, Bouchillou 1, Zahm, Fabregas 5, Mem 1, Richardson 3.Hungary: Rozsavolgyi, Pasztor – Varju 1, Mikita, Urban, Fekete 1, Juhasz 1, Deak, Fuzi 5, Schmid 1, Nemes 3, Bartok 5, Szilagyi, Gabor, Ligetvari 5, Gyori 8.Here are the “ALL STAR” team members:Goalkeeper: Emil NIELSEN (Denmark)Left wing: Jaime FERNANDEZ (Spain)Left back: Matyas GYORI (Hungary)Centre back: Bjorn ZINTEL (Germany)Right back: Melvin RICHARDSON (France)Right wing: Kauldi ODRIOZOLA (Spain)Pivot: Ludovic FABREGAS (France)Most Valuable Player: Adam JUHASZ (Hungary)Top scorer: Aliaksandr PADSHYVALAU (Belarus) – 45 goalsBest Defence Player: Patrik LIGETVARI (Hungary)FINAL PLACEMENT:1. France2. Hungary3. Spain4. Denmark5. Sweden6. Switzerland7. Germany8. Poland9. Iceland10. Croatia11. Belarus12. Russia13. Serbia14. Czech Republic15. FYR Macedonia16. RomaniaPHOTO: read more