Desmond Tutu Calls For Urgent Action To Protect Syrian Children

first_imgSave the Children and other leading humanitarian agencies have published an open letter calling on the parties to the Syrian conflict meeting in Geneva to urgently focus on the plight of children.The 14 signatories also include Antonio Gutteres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees; Archbishop Desmond Tutu; David Miliband, President of the International Rescue Committee; Valerie Amos, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Anthony Lake, Executive Director, UNICEF.The letter marks the first time top humanitarian agencies have come together to publicly call on all sides to take measures to allow lifesaving aid to reach children trapped inside Syria and prevent them from being targets of violence.More than 11,000 children have died in this conflict already, 71 percent of them killed indiscriminately by explosive weapons used in towns and cities.“With the parties in Syria’s conflict meeting in Geneva tomorrow, we believe the time has come to urgently focus on the plight of children. Over 11,000 Syrian children have already lost their lives,” reads the letter. “From the shelling of residential areas to attacks on schools and hospitals, children are being targeted. More than 4 million children have been forced to flee their homes, including over a million who have fled the country altogether. Many are traumatized, hungry, and in urgent need of shelter and protection. Scandalously, aid cannot reach the children who need it the most. Hundreds of thousands of children are trapped in conflict zones and are receiving little or no humanitarian assistance at all.“Every child in Syria who is hurt, or killed, or loses a loved one, represents yet another failure by the international community. We hereby commit to becoming champions for Syria’s children, speaking out for their rights at every opportunity. An entire generation is being lost to violence. All of us bear a responsibility to save these children.”Save the Children, the world’s leading independent organization focused on the needs of children, wants the Geneva II participants to make protecting children the first item on their agenda. It called on all parties to commit to the following:• Allow lifesaving aid to reach children inside Syria • Protect schools and health facilities • Prevent the use of explosive weapons in populated areas“Children in Syria are experiencing an unrelenting brutality of war. Four million children have been forced to leave their homes and children are frequent victims of violence that leaves them severely injured or dead. This tragedy is man-made, and it is within the power of the warring parties to stop it,” said Save the Children President & CEO Carolyn Miles.“The first item on the agenda at Geneva II must be protecting children,” Miles added. “The parties have already demonstrated the power of political will when they began moving chemical weapons out of Syria. We need to see the same political will to ensure that even if the fighting continues, children and other civilians are no longer targeted.”“Save the Children’s three-point plan to protect the children of Syria is about ending the appalling situation that places the most vulnerable directly in harm’s way. If parties to the talks come together to make these three things happen, fewer children will die. It is that simple,” Miles said.Save the Children has reached 900,000 people through its regional response to the Syrian crisis, including more than 300,000 within Syria Itself. The agency’s response includes supporting mothers to ensure babies are kept healthy and fed, preventing malnutrition and providing communities with food, safe water, medicine and shelter.Save the Children is also working to help children overcome their traumatic experiences through emotional support and play therapy, and helping them to return to getting an education.The agency said that approximately 4.5 million children inside Syria need assistance.last_img read more

Manic Street Preachers To Trek In Patagonia For Charity

first_imgMembers of the Manic Street Preachers are to take part in a charity trek to raise money for a cancer centre in Wales.“In November 2015 we will be walking in the footsteps of our Welsh ancestors when we will be part of the Velindre group of 50 people celebrating the 150th anniversary of Welsh settlers arriving in Patagonia with a challenging 6 day trek,” said band members James Dean Bradfield and Sean Moore. “We will be carrying all our own kit, camping and walking up to 11 hours a day.“Although this is a tough challenge, it is nothing compared to the challenge faced by people dealing with cancer.“We have pledged to raise at least £6,000 each so that Velindre can continue to provide exceptional care and support to cancer patients and their families, and every contribution will help towards their aim of achieving Victory over Cancer.”The Velindre Cancer Centre in Wales is a specialist cancer treatment centre located on the perimeter of Cardiff. It provides services to over 1.5 million people across South East Wales and beyond.Find out how you can donate here.last_img read more

Japanese PM Abe meets Dutch counterpart for trade talks

first_imgTHE HAGUE, Netherlands — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is visiting the Dutch port city of Rotterdam for talks with his Dutch counterpart as part of preparations to host the leaders of the world’s top 20 economies in Osaka in June.Abe meets Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Wednesday for a boat tour of Rotterdam’s port followed by a dinner at the 185-meter (607-foot) Euromast tower.The leaders are expected to discuss issues including the G-20 summit, trade and Britain’s impending departure from the European Union.The EU and Japan signed a trade deal last year that eliminates about 99 per cent of the tariffs on Japanese goods sold to the bloc. About 94 per cent of the tariffs on European exports to Japan will be lifted, rising to 99 per cent in the future.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Show unprecedented vision to make peace senior UN official tells Israeli Palestinian

“I call upon them to let go of their immediate political fears and focus on the greater good of achieving a sustainable long-term peace for the Palestinian and Israeli people,” Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Miroslav Jenča told the Security Council in the monthly briefing on the Middle East, vowing continued UN support “in every possible way” to such efforts. “The current circumstances should not be accepted as ‘the new normal.’ Israelis and Palestinians should not be resigned to living under the threat of violence. However, a comprehensive strategy to limit that threat cannot rely uniquely on enhanced security measures. It must also address the primary elements motivating Palestinian anger,” he said. “Overcoming today’s challenges in Israel and Palestine will require unprecedented vision by Israeli and Palestinian leadership to see beyond today’s confrontations and take bold steps to create a peaceful future,” he stated.Mr. Jenča noted that Israeli statements committing to a two-state solution have yet to be followed by actions “demonstrating the sincerity of that commitment,” with settlements deepening roots in the occupied West Bank.Lamenting that chances to end the conflict now seem more distant than ever, he urged both sides not to continue to ignore the underlying causes perpetuating violence and fuelling extremism. “It is extremist voices that currently resonate. Voices that want to capitalize on the darkest of human emotions, while seeking to sabotage any genuine effort to rebuild trust. But where are the voices urging restraint?” he asked.“Where are the proponents of peace, tolerance and a shared Israeli-Palestinian future? How can we begin to shift the momentum back towards these advocates of reason? These questions demand answers, first and foremost from Israeli and Palestinian leaders. “It is for them to choose whether they will show leadership in building sustainable peace and security, or will allow the future of their people to drift in uncertainty as radicalism and extremism take over,” he emphasized.Despite a decline over the past month, stabbings, vehicle rammings and shootings by Palestinians against Israelis continue to claim victims on an almost daily basis as suspected assailants are shot and killed in return, and as clashes continue to result in Palestinian deaths, with seven Israelis and 34 Palestinians killed during the reporting period, Mr. Jenca noted.“On behalf of the Secretary-General, I reiterate the United Nations’ firm condemnation of all terrorist attacks,” he added. “Leaders on all sides have the responsibility to stop incitement and to consistently, and unequivocally stand against acts of terror and violence in all its forms.”At the same time he said perceived impunity for settler violence against Palestinians has also driven violence, while grave concerns continue to undermine prospects for ending violence and rebuilding trust. “The injustices associated with an occupation which shows no prospect of ending feed into a perspective – particularly among the youth – that they have nothing to lose by sacrificing their lives,” he declared, citing extensive movement restrictions on Palestinians limiting access to basic services and livelihoods, and Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes in the Jordan Valley. “Israeli authorities have also carried out two punitive demolitions against families of those convicted or accused of attacks,” he noted. “Such acts are a clear violation of international law, aggravate an already tense environment and may be counterproductive.”On the positive side, he noted that four months after the Dawabsha family was brutally murdered in the West Bank village of Duma, Israel has made some arrests. “I take this opportunity to underscore the need to charge and swiftly bring the perpetrators of this terrible crime to justice,” he added. Turning to the situation in Gaza, Mr. Jenča noted that despite persistent security and governance challenges and funding shortages, reconstruction advances after last year’s war between Israel and Hamas, with more than 90 per cent of damaged schools and hospitals repaired, while repairs have been completed or are ongoing on about half of all partially damaged homes.“Reviving the economy and productive sectors also remains a major outstanding task,” he said, calling on donors to translate pledges into disbursement. read more

Half of weekend 111 calls abandoned at scandalhit ambulance trust

first_imgNearly half of 111 calls have been abandoned at weekends at a scandal-hit ambulance trust which is to be put into special measures.NHS watchdogs found patients across Sussex, Kent, Surrey and north-east Hampshire were put “at risk of harm” because there were not enough staff to respond to their calls, resulting in long delays and patients simply giving up on the service.The investigation highlights a litany of failings at South East Coast Ambulance Service trust (Secamb), which has been rated inadequate.Inspectors were told of a “culture of fear” across the organisation, with bullying and harassment of staff who tried to raise safety concerns.The trust has been under scrutiny following a Telegraph investigation which revealed that up to 20,000 patients who rang 111 were forced to endure deliberate delays.The scandal saw the resignation of the trust’s chief executive in May, after an inquiry found that Paul Sutton personally ordered the covert scheme in 2014, despite warnings from managers. ‘Staff told us there was a culture of harassment and bullying’Sir Mike Richards, Chief Inspector of Hospitals The new inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found failings so serious that the trust has been forced into special measures. “I fully recognise that this is a challenging time for the Trust and accept that these are serious concerns which we must address’Geraint Davies, acting chief executive, South East Coast Ambulance Service trust Paul Sutton  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Inspectors found the trust was the worst in the country for answering 999 calls promptly, and had the lowest proportion of cardiac arrest patients surviving as a result of resuscitation by paramedics.The 111 service run by the trust was found to be putting patients at risk of harm, with delays so long that patients gave up in despair.  At weekends, up to 44 per cent of patients abandoned calls to the service, the report found, while the number of calls answered within 60 seconds sometimes fell as low as 3 per cent.“A high call abandoned rate is considered not to be safe and may reflect a high level of clinical risk for patients” inspectors warned. Paul Sutton resigned in May following the 111 scandal  The watchdog identified Secamb as the worst performing trust nationally for answering 999 calls within five seconds, with the lowest survival rates for cardiac arrest victims.The percentage of cardiac arrest patients discharged from hospital alive, having had resuscitation from ambulance crews was just 3 per cent, half the national average.Medical equipment on ambulances could not be shown to be adequately maintained or safe to use, while cleanliness standards were failed amid poor infection control.The CQC report ranked the organisation as inadequate overall, with its emergency and urgent care services specifically found to be inadequate and that the emergency operations centre and 111 service as requiring improvement.Professor Sir Mike Richards, Chief Inspector of Hospitals, said staff were doing their best “treating patients kindly, with dignity, care and compassion,” but that their leaders had let them down.”It was apparent that the leadership had not been supporting staff to do their jobs effectively. Staff told us there was a culture of harassment and bullying,” he said.NHS Improvement said it would soon appoint an improvement director at the trust and would place it in special measures on recommendation from the CQC. It comes amid speculation that the trust could merge with neighbouring South Central Ambulance Service.Since the departure of Mr Sutton, the trust’s acting chief executive has been Geraint Davies, who was also criticised over the 111 scandal.The NHS inquiry into the matter singled out the then director of commercial services for failing to alert local commissioners to plans to delay responses to life-threatening calls.Yesterday he said: “I fully recognise that this is a challenging time for the trust and accept that these are serious concerns which we must address.“We understand the seriousness of placement into special measures but would value the additional support that this would offer us. We expect that the move will mean the work we have already started can continue at pace.”last_img read more

EYEWITNESS Not playing ball…

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedEYEWITNESS: Drawing a line…August 21, 2017In “EYEWITNESS”EYEWITNESS: Deeply flawed…June 8, 2017In “EYEWITNESS”EYEWITNESS: Man with a plan…August 11, 2017In “EYEWITNESS” …on Human RightsWe all know of the rich kid who owns the cricket bat…and if he doesn’t get to be at the crease as long as he wants, then he goes home – WITH his bat!! The other kids are helpless, since there’s at least a CHANCE they’ll get to play once he’s around. Maybe he’ll get tired of batting?? With Donald Trump at the helm of the US, in addition to his actual pouting in public, it’s clear he sees himself as the rich kid with the bat…AND the ball!!He just pulled out the US from the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC)…following doing the same from COP 25 on Climate Change and his unilateral imposition of tariffs on aluminium and steel – which may just set off a trade war to end all trade wars. And of course, when the elephants fight, it’s sh*thole countries like Guyana that gets stomped further into faecal matter. And that ain’t no laughing matter.But this quitting the UNHRC is in a class by itself. Every year, the US issues its report on the status of human rights in countries across the globe – including, as we know to our cost, our dear old mudland. After the fall of the Iron Curtain, and the irrelevance of the litmus test that authorised the US to intervene in any country that tested “red” – like Guyana circa 1961-1992 – its Human Rights Report gives them the “right” to tell countries to straighten up or else!! Remember TIP??So what happens now? Do we now get a free pass on human rights abuses? Well, to answer that question, we need to look a bit more granularly at the reasons the US gave when they picked up their bat and ball and stormed out of the UNHRC’s playing field. Firstly, they complained that some named members of the 47-member UNHRC – Russia and China, etc – were thwarting the US’s efforts to “reform” the Council. Meaning, the US wanted to remove the need for a two-thirds General Council majority to expel a country for “human rights” abuse, which would make it easier for them to have their way!!The second reason was the UNHRC was being “too harsh” on Israel because of “political bias”. That charge would’ve resounded much more rousingly if the US had also panned some of their allies such as Saudi Arabia for their violations against Yemen. Not to mention the US’ own actions in separating the children of illegals from their parents and keeping them in concrete holding pens!!So will our Government be rapped on human rights abuses?? Not if they support the US down the line!!It’s called “pragmatism”!!…on sharing powerRemember when David Granger ran around the country, holding hands with Moses Nagamootoo promising once they won the elections he’ll make the Government “more inclusive” by sharing power?? Well, a heck of a lot of water has flowed under THAT bridge, hasn’t it? Is there ANYONE – even in the AFC – who still believes the PNC will share power?Nagamootoo? Naaaah!! He may utter some inanities and genuflect in that direction, but he KNOWS he’s already sung his swan song as far as ever being anything but a ribbon-cutter and water boy!!In the face of the clear abandonment of power-sharing by the PNC – assuming they ever EMBRACED it!! – Henry Jeffrey still believes the PPP should play the role of the willing and waiting bride!! Now if the PNC’s unwilling to share even one per cent real power with the AFC that brought in 11 per cent to take it over the line – why would it take aboard the PPP that controls 49 per cent of the electorate??…with TrotmanAfter Exxon’s announcement of its eighth oil strike, Trotman – supposedly stripped of oil?  – complained about those who want “Guyana to begin embarking on an irresponsible spending and borrowing spree”.Wasn’t it he who wanted monies from future revenues? read more

Lawyer linked to former Trump aide admits to lying to FBI in

first_img Image: Susan Walsh/PA Images Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Wednesday 21 Feb 2018, 7:03 AM Alex van der Zwaan leaving court in Washington yesterday Alex van der Zwaan leaving court in Washington yesterday Image: Susan Walsh/PA Images 14 Comments Share17 Tweet Email Feb 21st 2018, 7:03 AM center_img By AFP http://jrnl.ie/3862969 A lawyer linked to a former campaign aide of President Donald Trump pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents Tuesday, as the probe into Russian election meddling gains pace.Special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s team of investigators accused Alex van der Zwaan of knowingly making false statements about his communications with Richard Gates, a former senior official on the Trump campaign who is under indictment on money laundering and tax-related charges linked to his work in Ukraine.Van der Zwaan, a London-based lawyer with the international law firm Skadden, was also accused of lying about his contacts with another unnamed person, the charges said. He will be sentenced 3 April, according to the Special Counsel’s Office.Little information was provided about Van der Zwaan’s links to the Trump campaign, but he represented his law firm in work done for the Ukraine government in 2012 on the corruption trial of former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko.At that time, Gates and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort were working for the Russian-backed Ukraine president Viktor Yanukovych, who himself was brought down in an anti-corruption uprising in 2014.Gates and Manafort, according to Ukraine government records, earned millions of dollars in their work for Yanukovych that was not reported.Manafort too has been indicted by Mueller on money laundering and tax-related charges. In a filing Friday, Mueller’s team said it had uncovered evidence of bank fraud by Manafort that was not covered in the original charges.Mueller, whose work focuses on whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, issued a surprise indictment Friday charging 13 Russians with alleged meddling in US politics.The special counsel is also examining whether Trump sought to obstruct his investigation.The White House has repeatedly rejected allegations of wrongdoing.- © AFP, 2018Read: Trump blames Democrats and Obama for failing to stop Russian election meddlingRead: Russian Foreign Minister dismisses US election meddling probe as ‘blabber’ Lawyer linked to former Trump aide admits to lying to FBI in Russia probe Van der Zwaan is linked to former senior Trump campaign official, Robert Gates. 9,984 Views Short URLlast_img read more

Alaska News Nightly Friday Jan 19 2018

first_imgStories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprnListen nowWhat’s open, what’s closed if the government shuts downThe federal government could shut down tonight, at 8 p.m. Alaska time, if Congress can’t reach a spending agreement. We have Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media’s Washington Correspondent, to tell us what Alaskans can expect if the shut down occurs.Liz Ruskin/Alaska Public Media – Washington, D.C.Interior aims to sign King Cove road deal Monday, official confirmsA top Interior official in Alaska has confirmed that on Monday, the Trump administration plans to sign a deal to build a controversial road through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge.Elizabeth Harball/Alaska’s Energy Desk – AnchorageAnchorage mayor’s race is on, as incumbent and challenger file to runThe race to be Anchorage’s next mayor is on. Friday was the first official day of filing, and two major candidates — incumbent Ethan Berkowitz and Rebecca Logan, CEO of the Alaska Support Industry Alliance — both turned in their paperwork, kicking off the campaign ahead of this year’s municipal elections in April.Zachariah Hughes/Alaska Public Media – AnchorageIn State of the State speech, governor strikes optimistic toneGovernor Walker gave the state of the state address last night. His main message was that Alaska can control its own destiny if it follows through on policies he’s proposed.Andrew Kitchenman/KTOO-Alaska Public Media – JuneauDiverse backgrounds among three on list for vacant state Senate seatAfter whittling down a longer list of names through several rounds of voting, state Senate District E Republicans selected their short list to fill the seat Mike Dunleavy’s left vacant. They are: retiree Tom Braund, who says he worked in public safety for 30-plus years; sitting House member George Rauscher, who currently represents District 9; and Todd Smoldon, an Anchorage teacher.Casey Grove/Alaska Public Media – AnchorageKusko 300 race day has arrivedDespite warm weather, open holes, and a new trail, the 39th annual Kuskokwim 300 Sled Dog Race is set to begin this evening. All eyes are on Bethel musher and three-time champion Pete Kaiser.Christine Trudeau/KYUK – BethelAK: The man behind the plowThis week on AK: Mr. Plow. Every winter many of us take it for granted that when we wake up after a big snowfall, the roads will be clear and ready for the morning commute. But who do we have to thank for that?Adelyn Baxter/KTOO – Juneaulast_img read more

AK Sublime summer rafting down the Klehini River

first_imgJimmy McNevin (left) Wylie Betz (right) and other rafts in the group ahead. (Photo by Daysha Eaton, KHNS – Haines)The Klehini River near Haines is about 42 miles long, from its source in British Columbia to its mouth at the Chilkat River, of which it is the largest tributary. It is also one of the most accessible and sublime summer rafting experiences to be had in Southeast Alaska.Listen nowOn an overcast afternoon, eight passengers and two guides are ready to push off the bank into the waters of the Klehini River which weave like strands of ribbon through a rocky plain between steep, snow-capped mountains.Jimmy McNevin is an expedition raft guide for Chilkat Guides out of Haines.Originally from Minnesota, McNevin says several years ago he left a good paying job in a cubicle in Denver to work seasonally on Southeast Alaska rivers.“This is a glacially fed river, so the water is very, very shallow. It is also very cold. Uniquely this time of year, it is also clear,” McNevin said. “It is beautiful, it is kind of an emerald green color. Later in the summer when the Jarvis Glacier starts to melt, there will be a lot more silt in the river and it will be kind of a chocolate milk color.”It’s not hard to see why he never went back.“We’re surrounded by a lot of cottonwood trees. We’ve got a lot of black cottonwood trees, a lot of coniferous trees, primarily Western Hemlock and Sitka Spruce, the state tree of Alaska,” McNevin said. “We are sandwiched in between two mountain ranges, the Takeensha and the Takshanuk. The Takeensha is basically what separates us from Glacier Bay and the ice fields that flow down into Glacier Bay National Park. So, we’re right on the edge of a whole world of ice here.”The river follows the northern boundary of the Chilkat mountain range. McNevin explains that the Klehini actually starts in Canada.“It’s a river that’s headwaters are in British Columbia,” McNevin said. “The Jarvis Glacier flows from right off the AlCan Highway. If you ever were to drive to Haines you would see it right after you cross the Canadian border into the Haines Highway, you will see the Klehini River right on the right.”The lower portion of the Klehini, where we’re headed today, passes through The Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve. The area is called the “council grounds” because it is where thousands of the white-headed raptors congregate annually in late fall and early winter to feast on salmon. There are quite a few bears in the area as well.“Well, it’s pretty early in the season so mostly just eagles so far. I’ve been really craving a bear and moose sighting,” guide Wylie Betz said.Betz, originally from Tacoma, Washington, also left a more traditional job for one on the river.“I had a pretty good job as a warehouse manager, but I was really stressed out and had a really bad car accident basically as a result of that stress and one of my best friends has worked up here for nine years now and he invited me on a Grand Canyon trip for the third time,” Betz said. “After my accident I called him up and was like hey is that still open, cause I’m there.”Betz says he can’t imagine doing anything else.“There is nothing I enjoy more than boatin’,” Betz said.With all those glaciers fueling its flow, the Klehini’s channels can change overnight. It is braided river, so that means it’s always changing, which can be a challenge for guides.Before taking off, Betz gives a safety talk.“If I say duck I’m not pointing out wildlife, I want you to duck into the boat not out of it. We might be going over an obstacle hanging over the boat,” Betz said. “And don’t grab onto any branches or anything like that as we are going underneath. Also, you might hear me say highside. If we come into an object sideways, the river will want to push us up onto it and we’re just going to go onto the highside of the boat and that weight will help us get off of that object and keep going down river.”This is one of the first rafting trips of the season which starts in early May and runs until October. Before cruise ship season gets going, the company has invited local people who live in the Haines area for a free ride down the river; people like Nene Wolfe, who’s never done this before.“I’ve lived here going on three years, but I’ve been coming up to work here for the last 20 years maybe,” Wolfe said.We push off into the river in the 18-foot-raft weighing 2,000 pounds.Its early spring, so there are still patches of ice along the shoreline. Sometimes to avoid a downed tree or a large rock, guides jump out of the boat and onto the bank with a rope bringing the raft to a quick stop then walking it along river’s edge around the obstacles while passengers traverse the river’s pebbled shores.And in the shallow water, there are bumps. Here and there the raft gets stuck on a gravel bar, requiring that everyone on board bounce up and down until the raft breaks loose.Taking a break on a gravel bar, passenger Nene Wolfe is taking it all in.“It’s so beautiful! And it is a lot of fun watching our boat guide,” Wolfe said. “From the perspective of the river instead of the road it is absolutely beautiful.”Passengers pick up polished river pebbles as souvenirs then pile back into the raft and the guides push off downriver. A lone eagle surveys this stretch of the Klehini from his perch on a nearby cottonwood tree.McNevin with Chilkat Guides says when people ask him why he keeps coming back he tells them:“It’s the place, It’s the place,” McNevin said. “It’s Haines. It’s glacially fed rivers, it’s the scenery, it’s the people.”last_img read more

Vijay Mallya resigns from Rajya Sabha

first_imgVijay Mallya on Monday resigned from the membership of the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of Indian Parliament, according to reports. In a letter from London, where the businessman has been residing after leaving India in the first week of March, he called it quits from being a Rajya Sabha member.”I don’t want my name and reputation to be further dragged in the mud and since recent events suggest that I will not get a fair trial or justice, I am hereby resigning as a member of the Rajya Sabha with immediate effect,” the liquor baron said in his resignation letter, as reported by NDTV.The Parliamentary Ethics Committee was scheduled to meet on Tuesday and was likely to expel the MP from the upper house.An MP for 10 years, Mallya had claimed that there was no change in his net assets during his entire political stint, the Hindustan Times reported.In his first interview to the media since leaving India, the businessman revealed on April 29 that he has no plans to leave the United Kingdom and that he was “in a forced exile.”On April 28, the ministry of external affairs (MEA) had written to the high commission of the UK in New Delhi requesting his deportation. Earlier the MEA revoked Mallya’s passport and a Mumbai court issued a non-bailable warrant against him after he failed to appear before the Enforcement Directorate to join the probe in money-laundering case.Mallya, who first made his foray into politics in early 2000s, was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2002 as an independent member from his home state of Karnataka with the support of the Congress party and Janata Dal (Secular). In 2010, he was re-elected for a second term, this time with the backing of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the JD(S). His term comes to an end in July 2016.A consortium of 17 lender banks have taken Mallya to the courts for defaulting on loans to the tune of Rs. 7,000 crore with regard to his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines alone. His other concerns owe another Rs. 2,000 crore to the banks.last_img read more

Republicans Continue to Deny DC Liberation

first_imgDel. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) advocates for the District in the U.S. House of Representatives.House Republicans turned back a local effort to loosen federal control over the District’s budget on May 25. Lawmakers voted 240 to 179 to approve H.R. 5233, a bill that stipulates that the District does not have the authority to enact changes to the appropriation and budgetary process of the District government.The hotly debated measure, which now heads to the Senate, would repeal a 2012 District-passed measure called the Local Budget Autonomy Act (LBAA) that reaffirms the city’s authority to pass a budget for its local funds without a Congressional appropriation. The act would allow a city budget to take effect 30 days after its passage, if Congress fails to approve a joint resolution declaring the budget void.House Republicans said the District act violates the 1973 Home Rule Act as well as the core intent of the U.S. Constitution. “If the bill is implemented, it would allow the District government to appropriate money without the need for any federal action,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) said the GOP bill was an effort to stop the District from using local funds for abortions. He accused the city government of running fast and loose with the Constitution. “However, in keeping with Congress’s authority as the supreme legislative body for the District, the way that that money is spent is still subject to congressional approval,” he said.Local area Democrats in Congress protested the Republican effort to overturn the rights of taxpaying D.C. residents, suggesting that city voters should have the same rights to govern spending as those taxpayers living in states with populations smaller than the District. Supporters of the bill say it will mean the city has lower borrowing costs, more accurate revenue and expenditure forecasts, and improved agency operations. Perhaps, most importantly, it will remove the threat that federal government shutdowns can also shut down the District government.In March, a D.C. Superior Court Justice sided with city officials, agreeing that D.C. had the right to control local funds. The effort to control local spending without Congressional oversight is part of a larger effort to win statehood for the city.D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) spoke in favor of local autonomy and against the GOP legislation, which they said would harm the city’s finances. “This bill manages to be unprincipled and impractical at the same time,” Norton said during a floor debate. “It is profoundly undemocratic for any member of Congress in the 21st century to declare that he has authority over any other jurisdiction except his own.”last_img read more

Tourism ministry awarded for Find What You Seek

first_imgThe tourism ministry’s new film Find What You Seek received the first prize at the 11th Golden City Gate Tourism Media Awards Ceremony held in Berlin Friday to coincide with Indian Tourism Bourse (ITB) Berlin 2013.The Golden City Gate is an international film, print and media contest for the tourism industry. The awards ceremony is held every year at ITB Berlin, the world’s leading travel trade show. The competition provides tourism advertisers an opportunity to participate in the contest for presenting their new creatives. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’All entries are assessed by 45 independent international expert jurors with strong industry background. Tourism Minister K. Chiranjeevi had launched the new campaign, Find What You Seek, as the second phase of Incredible India Campaign at WTM 2012 last November, along with the new domestic campaign Go Beyond.By launching new campaign, the tourism ministry has made a paradigm shift by shifting the focus from destinations and products to consumers (travellers). The new campaign emphasizes that there is something for every traveller in India and every traveller can find what he or she is seeking while travelling in our incredible country. Go Beyond urges travellers to travel beyond the obvious, the known destinations to the lesser known destinations.last_img read more

Memories of home

first_imgRedefining the idea of home when all is lost and when borders are etched between lands and people, this is what Sheba Remy Kharbanda and William Charles Moss’s documentary is all about. To be screened from 14 to 21 November in India Habitat Centre, Five Rivers: A Portrait of Partition is  a documentary in Cyclorama featuring a video art installation by these multi-disciplinary artists.  The documentary illustrates the intimate complexities of ‘home’. Staged inside a traditional Indian wedding tent, this cycloramic screening marries culture-bridging conventions of storytelling to the stimulation of a sculptural installation. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Projected footage occupies conducting a blend  of five synchronized films that craft the narrative of Amrik Singh, a Punjabi/Afghani Sikh who at age nine left his childhood home to migrate alongside millions across the Indian Subcontinent in the months preceding the Partition of India in 1947. Singh’s introspective recollections carry an  invitation for participants to trace his turbulent journey to redefine home across the sudden and stark borders created by the establishment of Pakistan and India as independent states. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixClearly visible on the white textile of the tent from both inside and outside the structure, these  interviews, landscapes, and historical documentation are fostered by a pervasive soundtrack of contemporary punjabi and urdu poetry, testimony, and speeches that imbibe the space with a strong sense of the memory.The artiste, Sheba Remy Kharbanda is a metaphysician, filmmaker and storyteller born in London to immigrants from the Punjabi. In 2005, she launched the Foreign Land Project, a documentary film and online oral history archive that chronicles the stories of elder women from the Punjab, who, after partition of India, left for England in search of work and a new home. In May, 2014, her essay entitled, A Lesson in Love was published in the anthology, Her Name Is Kaur: Sikh American Women Write about Love, Courage, and Faith. With Five Rivers, Kharbanda seeks to weave threads through questions of identity, displacement and memory – questions she continues to grapple with and which she feels are her ancestral inheritance.William Charles Moss is a photographer and cinematographer who began in the feature film industry almost twenty years ago, before discovering the world of documentary film, which has since become his passion. Together with Kharbanda, he runs Callejero Films, a Brooklyn-based video production company. When: 14-21? NovWhere: India Habitat Centre Timing: 5.30 pm onwardslast_img read more

Calcutta HC stays WB panchayat polls till further orders

first_imgKolkata: Displeased with the State Election Commission’s (SEC) decision to cancel its own order to extend the nomination process by a day, the Calcutta High Court today stayed the ongoing panchayat election process in West Bengal till further orders. Rejecting the SEC’s contention that the writ petition of the BJP was not maintainable, the court held that the SEC is endowed with powers relating to holding of elections, but in case of any digression, it needs to be corrected by the court of law. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsJustice Subrata Talukdar stayed till further orders the ongoing panchayat election process in West Bengal.Talukdar also sought from the SEC by Monday a comprehensive status report on the poll process, detailing the number of nominations filed and the percentage of those rejected, among other information.The court said it would hear on April 16 the pleas challenging the SEC’s decision to withdraw its April 9 notification, which had extended the date for filing nominations by a day. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe BJP had challenged the cancellation of the notification dated April 9 by the commission vide its order dated April 10, withdrawing the one-day extension granted to the candidates to file their nomination papers.The deadline to file nominations had expired at 3 pm on April 9.Justice Talukdar observed that the commission had recognised the grievances expressed by different political parties as well as individuals by extending the date.”However, the order was abruptly withdrawn,” he said. Justice Talukdar had on April 10 stayed the SEC order, permitting the commission to take steps in accordance with the law by treating the operation of its order dated April 10 to have been kept in abeyance.Referring to the Supreme Court order with regard to a petition by the West Bengal unit of the BJP challenging the SEC’s decision to recall the extension order, Justice Talukdar said that the operative part of the apex court order is crucially connected to the cancellation of the notification.The high court also said that the SEC should have informed it today that it has ensured a level playing field for all players.Justice Talukdar also expressed his displeasure at the conduct of the BJP representative, Pratap Banerjee, who had moved the petition on behalf of the party in view of an ongoing cease work by lawyers, for not disclosing that a similar petition had been moved by the party before the Supreme Court also.Justice Talukdar observed that this court must hold a very dim view of the conduct of the BJP representative appearing in person.”However, in view of public interest involved, this court is not vacating its directions to the SEC,” the judge said.Likening its conduct to forum hopping, Justice Talukdar imposed a cost of Rs 5 lakh on the BJP which would have to be deposited with the registrar general of the high court.Representing the Trinamool Congress, its vice-president Kalyan Banerjee earlier prayed for vacating the order on the SEC, alleging that the petitioner had suppressed that it had moved both the high court and the apex court with similar petitions.last_img read more

The US imported a total of US539 billion from C

first_imgThe U.S. imported a total of US$539 billion from China in 2018. If implemented, this latest tariff threat would therefore mean that all Chinese imports will face tariffs. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 1, 2019 Tariff increase on Chinese imports to raise input … Kenya’s avocado exports to China to rise 10% annua … U.S. President Trump announced on Thursday the U.S. will implement 10% tariffs on an additional US$300 billion worth of Chinese goods, effective Sept. 1.The surprise move comes after trade talks in Shanghai ended with little progress being made.In a series of Tweets, Trump said the new tariffs would be in addition to the 25% tariffs on US$250 billion of imports already in place.He also said that China had not followed through on its offer to buy more agricultural product from the U.S.Our representatives have just returned from China where they had constructive talks having to do with a future Trade Deal. We thought we had a deal with China three months ago, but sadly, China decided to re-negotiate the deal prior to signing. More recently, China agreed to… Russia bans some Chinese fruit imports … …during the talks the U.S. will start, on September 1st, putting a small additional Tariff of 10% on the remaining 300 Billion Dollars of goods and products coming from China into our Country. This does not include the 250 Billion Dollars already Tariffed at 25%…— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 1, 2019 You might also be interested in August 01 , 2019 Chile scores access to Chinese pear market … “We thought we had a deal with China three months ago, but sadly, China decided to renegotiate the deal prior to signing,” Trump said.”More recently, China agreed to buy agricultural product from the U.S. in large quantities, but did not do so.”last_img read more

AG censures states loss of revenue from Opap contract

first_imgThe attorney-general has censured the way the finance ministry was interpreting an agreement with betting giant Opap, which apparently cost the state up to €12m in lost revenues, MPs heard on Thursday.The issue was raised by auditor-general Odysseas Michaelides who wrote to the president after his admonitions to the finance ministry had fallen on deaf ears.In his letter, Michaelides said he was forced to contact the attorney-general after repeated suggestions to finance minister to seek legal advice as to the proper interpretation of the agreement in a bid to ensure the state’s interests.“The minister not only did nothing, but on the contrary, in a January 18, 2017 letter, he was strongly against this effort, deciding there was no issue of wrong interpretation of the interstate agreement,” the auditor said.Michaelides estimated that this led to loss of revenues worth €10m to €12m annually.Asking for a legal opinion “was the least he could do” the auditor said of Finance Minister Harris Georgiades.“This persistence that the agreement is correctly interpreted I don’t believe is consistent with securing public interests,” the auditor told the House watchdog committee.The disagreement lies with how the state’s share is calculated.Before paying the state, Opap subtracts commission to its agents, prize money, and other projected expenses set as a percentage of turnover.The auditor argues that the difference between projected and real expenses is pocketed by Opap and not the state.In his letter to the president, Michaelides said the attorney-general had opined that any interpretation of “the provision in question, which takes into account the so-called notional expense and not the real one that is paid, is unacceptable and unjustified based on the wording of the condition and the correct way of interpreting it.”He added that the interpretation adopted by Opap not only rendered the provisions lopsided but, also, such an interpretation is logically untenable.Opap, once a state-run betting giant – founded in Greece in 1958 – turned into a joint stock company in 1999, and in 2013 the cash-strapped Greek state sold the majority of stocks to Emma Delta Hellenic Holding Limited, a Greek-Czech group.Based on an interstate agreement entered into between Cyprus and Greece, Opap is the only company allowed to run lottery games on the island.  The deal was signed when Opap belonged to the Greek state.Critics argue that since the Greek state is no longer a shareholder, Opap’s special status should be abolished.Earlier this year, Michaelides said Opap should be paying the state some €25m more than what it actually paid.He said that up until 2013, the state’s revenues from Opap had averaged some €10m a year. But during the same period Opap’s gross receipts shot up from under €50m to nearly €200m.You May LikeLuxury Crossover SUV I Search AdsThese SUVs Are The Cream Of The Crop. Search For 2019 Luxury Crossover SUV DealsLuxury Crossover SUV I Search AdsUndoDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoOur View: Argaka mukhtar should not act as if he owns the beachUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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More boys reported facing physical violence than girls did,”The idea of the parade was to have local businesses and organizations, defeated several challengers, “All of a sudden, the question was more to Lionel Messi than to Pep Guardiola and the Stoke side that Manchester City annihilated was not the Tony Pulis-engineered defensive behemoth of old. From there on it is up to the finishing of the player whether a goal is scored. read more

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is hoping to gauge peoples reactions to her idea to see if its viewed as acceptable by other parents. gives them a slap on the wrist and then goes back to punishing actual criminals. The message from Podemos is broader and not just about attacking the financial constraints imposed by Brussels. read more

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The prosecution on Saturday argued that Salman Khan’s bail plea application should be rejected on the basis of eyewitness accounts, Alvira and Arpita.

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only last night. longer lines at entrance stations, entering a ditch and then heading down a hill. The residents are just confused. The eyes of the climate world will be watching the U. after Gov. In 2013,” she said. read more