The government expressed hope that the Finance Bill 2016-17 and the Uttarakhand Appropriation Bill would be passed in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday despite the Congress blocking the two legislations to protest the imposition of President’s rule in the hill state.”They assured to pass the finance bill yesterday…now they have assured to pass it tomorrow,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said after the Congress members did not let the Upper House to function. The NDA lacks numerical strength in the Rajya Sabha.The Finance Bill and the Uttarakhand Appropriation Bill have been passed by the Lok Sabha, where the NDA enjoys a brute majority.As both the bills are money bills, sources said even if they are not passed in the Upper House, they can be returned to the Lok Sabha and deemed as passed by both the Houses.Naidu said the central ordinance to provide funds to Uttarakhand under President’s rule would remain alive till the legislation is passed in Parliament and any administrative decisions taken under it would also remain out of question.The Congress has been blocking the Appropriation Bill as it believes that its passage would give parliamentary backing to the imposition of President’s rule in the hill state.The Congress has been opposing the President’s rule saying it was imposed just a day before the Harish Rawat government was set to prove its majority in the Assembly on March 28.The Centre’s invoking of Article 356 of the Constitution to dismiss the Rawat government based on its assessment that the controversial passage of the state Budget led to a constitutional crisis, has also angered the Congress, which sees it as the BJP desperation to dislodge an opposition government in the state.advertisementThe Upper House was repeatedly disrupted over Uttarakhand and Agusta issues and was finally adjourned till Wednesday.Deputy chairman PJ Kurien repeatedly urged the Opposition members to let the House take up the two financial bills but the Congress did not relent.Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi urged the chair to pass the two legislations with a voice vote on Wednesday if the Congress members continue with their protests.Leader of the Opposition in Upper House Ghulam Nabi Azad asked the Centre to apologise over the Uttarakhand issue. The Congress is also miffed over Prime Minister Narendra Modi naming party chief Sonia Gandhi in the AgustaWestland scam while campaigning in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. It has also moved a privilege motion against the prime minister but it was not allowed.Also read:Uttarakhand trust vote had many firsts. Have a lookUttarakhand floor test over, Congress claims it has won
Harare, June 10 (PTI) Indias second string side may turn out to be too good for hosts Zimbabwe but visiting coach Sanjay Bangar says they will play tomorrow in the series-opening ODI with full “intensity” that an international game demands. India came to this African nation without many established names such as Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and spinner R Ashwin. “Its an international game, it has to be played with same intensity and purpose. Our focus is inwards and we want play as good as we can. lets see how far we go,” Bangar said at the pre-match press conference. “We have a talented bunch of young players. They have done well in domestic championships. We are not too giving much attention to the what opposition is saying,” he said. Bangar said skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was looking forward to lead a young side. “He is very excited to be part of bunch of young players. Its been after a long time that he is getting an opportunity to play with younger players and pass on his experiences,” he said. Asked what would be the motivating factor for India in this series, Bangar said there was a lot to look for. “Its a great platform for the younger guys. It has provided a launch pad for a number of cricketers. Virat came in here and led India for first time. Suresh came in and then Anjikya. We believe its an important tour for younger guys. It provides us opportunity to see future stars,” he said. Bangar said there were no fitness concerns for the visiting team. “Everybody is available for selection. We will pick best possible XI in every match.” Talking about the conditions here, the India coach said, “We have made the most of two practice days we had. What was noticeable, definitely the kookaburra ball was behaving different than the SG ball. Less tinge of green on the wicket than the past season. Thats what we have noticed.” PTI AT PDS PDSadvertisement
Cairo, April 23 (PTI) Indias Under-16 football team beat Al-Ahly 2-1 in friendly match to win the India-Egypt Friendship Cup. Head coach of the Indian team Bibiano Fernandes expressed his happiness for the win and said the match was good as it was beneficial and a learning experience for both teams. “Im really happy we have learned a lot of things. We are looking forward to build this team to the AFC,” Fernandes told PTI. He noted that the team was undergoing training to play in the Under-16 AFC tournament which will be held in Nepal. “They did a good job in terms of fitness and traveling and playing in another country. Im really happy about this,” he said after the match yesterday. The head coach also said that he was optimistic about his team and sees them in a good level in future. Rohit Danu, who scored the first goal for India said that he was very happy for the win. “Im very happy to score the first goal. I gained good experience is this match,” said Danu. Aenam Jyrwa, who scored the second goal, said that his goal confirmed the teams trust in winning. “We have travelled so far to play this match so we are happy to win the first match and we are expected to win the second match as well,” Jyrwa said. Ali Amr, Ahly team player who scored the only goal against India, congratulated the Indian team for their win. “Good luck for the indian team. I enjoyed playing with them,” Amr said. Indias Ambassador to Egypt, Sanjay Bhattacharyya said that the match showed that the young team has a lot of talent. “I saw a lot of good techniques, some of the players were really brilliant. But the most important thing is that football won. I think this is just the beginning Im looking forward to an Egyptian team to go to India,” said the Ambassador. Samer Abdel Rahman, coach of Al-Ahly under-16 team, said that he noticed that the Indian team was talented from their first interaction. Abdel Rahman also said that the match was a good opportunity for both teams to know the culture and style of each of them. At the end of the match, Ambassador Bhattacharyya, Mahmoud el-Helw, first undersecretary in the Ministry of Youth and Sports and Al-Ahli executive manager Shereen Shams awarded the young footballers medals of friendship and and the India- Egypt Friendship Cup. The Indian footballers will next play against Semoha team in Alexandria. The matches are being played as part of the India by the Nile cultural festival, which runs till April 27. PTI YES PDS PDSadvertisement
New Delhi, Dec 22 (PTI) The English Premier League has formed an official partnership with Indian film actor Ranveer Singh.The Bollywood star is a passionate football fan and will help promote the Premier League to fans in India and globally.Singh, famous for his lead roles in films such as Bajirao Mastani and Befikre, is a lifelong supporter of Arsenal FC and closely follows Premier League action throughout the season.In this ambassadorial role, he will be working to support the Leagues community initiatives across India, promote fan events and share his passion for the game.This partnership builds on the Premier Leagues existing commitment to fans and development of the game in India. The League recently hosted an international fan park in Bengaluru, which saw more than 20,000 Indian fans engage with clubs and activities.The Premier League is committed to supporting the development of the game at both a grassroots and elite level in India and has been running the international community programme Premier Skills there since 2007.Premier Skills is a global coaching and referee development programme which uses football as a tool to engage and develop the skills of young people.The programme is run in partnership with the British Council, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and the Indian Super League (ISL).Since the programmes inception a decade ago, Premier Skills projects have trained more than 1,000 local coaches and referees while reaching more than 78,000 young people in the country.To celebrate the start of the partnership, Singh will attend the Arsenal versus Liverpool match.advertisementRichard Masters, Premier League Managing Director, said: “Ranveer Singh is a passionate Premier League supporter who connects with fans across India and the world. His knowledge of the game and commitment to its development and growth, both domestically and internationally, is what has led to the creation of this partnership.”We look forward to working with Ranveer to encourage football fans in India to play, coach, referee and support the game.”Singh said, “It is an honour to take on an ambassadorial role with the Premier League. I look forward to sharing my passion for football and hope that I can help develop and grow the fan base for the sport in India.”This partnership with Singh will also strengthen the relationship between the Premier League and the ISL which was first formalised in 2014, when a mutual cooperation agreement between the two was signed.This alliance has seen the two leagues exchange knowledge, strategic support and ideas around the development of the game at all levels. PTI AH AH
Buenos Aires, Sep 28 (AFP) Manchester City center-back Nicolas Otamendi was recalled to the Argentina squad on Friday but as expected, Lionel Messi was left out of the group due to play arch-rivals Brazil in Saudi Arabia.After Argentina’s disappointing last-16 elimination by eventual winners France from the World Cup in Russia, Messi was granted time off from national team duties for the rest of the year.He missed friendlies in the United States against Guatemala (3-0) and Colombia (0-0) earlier this month and will watch from afar as interim-coach Lionel Scaloni’s team tackle Iraq on October 11, also in Saudi Arabia, and Brazil five days later in another pair of friendlies.”I’ve spoken with Messi and we agree that it’s not the right time for his return,” said Scaloni.Alongside Messi, three other attacking stalwarts have been left out: Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria of Paris Saint-Germain, and AC Milan’s Gonzalo Higuain.Inter Milan duo Mauro Icardi and Lautaro Martinez are in, alongside Giovani Lo Celso of PSG and Juventus forward Paulo Dybala.SquadGoalkeepers: Franco Armani (River Plate), Geronimo Rulli (Real Sociedad/ESP), Sergio Romero (Manchester United/ENG) Defenders: Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City/ENG), Renzo Saravia (Racing), Juan Foyth (Tottenham Hotspur/ENG), Fabricio Bustos (Independiente), German Pezzella (Fiorentina/ITA), Alan Franco (Independiente), Ramiro Funes Mori (Villarreal/ESP), Walter Kannemann (Gremio/BRA), Nicolas Tagliafico (Ajax/NED) Midfielders: Eduardo Salvio (Benfica/POR), Marcos Acuna (Sporting Lisbon/POR), Rodrigo De Paul (Udinese/ITA), Roberto Pereyra (Watford/ENG), Santiago Ascacibar (Stuttgart/GER), Leandro Paredes (Zenit/RUS), Rodrigo Battaglia (Sporting Lisbon/POR), Maximiliano Meza (Independiente), Giovani Lo Celso (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA), Franco Cervi (Benfica/POR), Franco Vazquez (Sevilla/ESP), Exequiel Palacios (River Plate) Forwards: Gonzalo Martinez (River Plate), Cristian Pavon (Boca Juniors), Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan/ITA), Paulo Dybala (Juventus/ITA), Mauro Icardi (Inter Milan/ITA), Giovanni Simeone (Fiorentina/ITA), Angel Correa (Atletico Madrid/ESP). AFP BSBSadvertisement
Piqué Pique proud to play for Spain despite Catalan independence referendum Dejan Kalinic Last updated 2 years ago 12:20 30/9/2017 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Spain WC Qualification Europe The defender says he’s proud to play for the Spanish side despite the push for Catalan independence Barcelona defender Gerard Pique insisted he was proud to play for Spain despite his backing for the Catalan independence referendum.Pique, 30, was named in Spain’s squad for their World Cup qualifiers against Albania and Israel next month.Barcelona 9/1 to beat Las Palmas 2-0 Article continues below Editors’ Picks Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. On Thursday, Pique called for peaceful expression of opinions ahead of the planned referendum.The centre-back, who has played 91 games for Spain, said he was delighted to be included in Julen Lopetegui’s squad.”I am very happy to return and see if we can win the first game which would qualify us, which is what is important, and be once again in the World Cup finals,” Pique said, via Marca .”I have always said that to play for the national team is a pride and a great motivation. The fact that the coach has called me up again shows that I am doing things well.”Spain are three points clear atop Group G ahead of their final two qualifiers.
PSG Dani Alves taunts Marseille: I couldn’t name a single player! Goal Last updated 2 years ago 02:05 10/23/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty PSG Ligue 1 Olympique Marseille v PSG Olympique Marseille The likes of Patrice Evra and Luiz Gustavo will be surprised to hear the outspoken full-back’s latest comments ahead of the big Ligue 1 clash Paris Saint-Germain full-back Dani Alves raised the temperature ahead of Sunday’s clash with Marseille as he claimed he could not name a single player from the rival team. PSG are currently unbeaten in Ligue 1 this season, and lead Monaco by three points having played one less game. PSG -2 13/8 v Marseille Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Marseille, meanwhile, find themselves in fifth place, but victory against their rivals could see them move within five points of the summit. Alves, however, was dismissive of his latest opponents, and asserted that their teamsheet was a mystery to him. “I couldn’t name you a single Marseille player,” the outspoken Brazilian, who has been ruled out of the match with a thigh injury , said to Canal Plus. More than a few Marseille stars might take exception at that assertion – especially the likes of Patrice Evra and Luiz Gustavo. Evra played alongside Alves last season at Juventus before joining Marseille in January, while Gustavo has 41 caps for Brazil and even shared a place in the Selecao’s 2014 World Cup squad with PSG’s star.
COLUMBUS, OH – SEPTEMBER 19: Quarterback Cardale Jones #12 of the Ohio State Buckeyes warms up before the game against the Northern Illinois Huskies at Ohio Stadium on September 19, 2015 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Andrew Weber/Getty Images)Today is the NFLPA Rookie Premiere, which gives fans the opportunity to see recent draftees in their new uniforms for the first time ever.Here’s a look at former Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones, a fourth-round selection of the Buffalo Bills. The Bills haven’t had a long-term solution at quarterback since the Jim Kelly era. It may take Jones some time to acclimate himself to the professional level, but Rex Ryan and company are hoping he can eventually prove himself worthy of being a starter.
The proposed takeover of Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) by COSCO Shipping is expected to be completed by June 30, Reuters reported citing COSCO’s vice chairman as saying. As informed by Huang Xiaowen, the company’s vice chairman, COSCO is in the process of answering questions on the acquisition from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.The company also needs to get a number of domestic approvals to proceed with the planned acquisition.In 2017, COSCO Shipping Holdings and Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) made an offer to buy all issued shares of Orient Overseas International Limited (OOIL), the parent company of OOCL. The offer, made to the shareholders of OOIL, is worth USD 6.3 billion.Once the transaction is completed, COSCO would hold 90.1% of OOIL, thus becoming the world’s third-largest container carrier. COSCO would have a combined fleet of 400 vessels, with capacity exceeding 2.9 million TEUs including orderbook, pushing CMA CGM from its spot, Drewry said last year.The acquisition has been approved so far by COSCO’s shareholders, China State‑owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC), the US and the EU regulators.World Maritime News Staff
HALIFAX – Halifax police aren’t ready to wave the white flag yet on voluntarily surrender days, despite getting no one to turn themselves in last weekend.Insp. Don Moser said while they are disappointed no one showed up at a community centre in Spryfield on Saturday, the force is still in the exploratory stages of an initiative thought to be the first of its kind in Canada.The concept has been used in U.S. jurisdictions such as New Jersey.The first surrender day, held in Dartmouth last April, saw 12 people turn themselves in with the resolution of 19 outstanding warrants.Moser said police believe in the program, although they would have to analyze why there was no turnout the second time around. He didn’t rule out a third try.“We think it’s for the right reasons for sure,” said Moser. “That doesn’t mean we would continue on at all cost. We’ll probably look toward a third evolution of this program so we can do a proper evaluation.”Police say the idea is to provide people facing non-violent charges an opportunity to resolve the warrants voluntarily in a neutral environment, although anyone with outstanding warrants can turn themselves in to police at any time.Those showing up to surrender are asked for identification and have their fingerprints and photo taken.Their warrants would likely be replaced with a court date and they would have the opportunity to contact legal aid. Referral information is also made available for various community support services.Moser said he believes the idea is attractive to those who don’t want to end up in the back seat of a police car, or to spend significant time in custody.“You avoid what could be seen as unfortunate, unplanned contacts with police that could result in you being detained or held in custody for a significantly longer period of time,” Moser said.Moser has previously said police want to reduce the number of outstanding warrants for such offences.That number in Halifax currently stands at between 680 to 700, he said.Voluntary surrender is not an amnesty program, and people would still have to appear in court at a later date to answer to pending charges.
Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria have caused historic destruction in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Puerto Rico and across the Caribbean. In early September, Farm Aid activated its Family Farm Disaster Fund to provide aid to organizations helping family farmers affected by Hurricane Harvey, and later expanded to include those affected by Hurricane Irma.“Our hearts are with everyone affected by these devastating hurricanes. The most recent destruction wrought by Hurricane Maria on the 3.4 million residents of Puerto Rico is overwhelming, and it is Farm Aid’s way to do what we can to help,” said Farm Aid president Willie Nelson. “Puerto Rico is part of the United States and family farmers there are facing unimaginable losses. They need to know we stand with them.”Farm Aid has partnered with Visit Rico, a non-profit organization based in Puerto Rico. Visit Rico’s mission is to strengthen Puerto Rico’s agricultural economy through sustainable agritourism to achieve food sovereignty. Visit Rico has found that supplementing cash flow for farmers is the fastest way to help them get back on their feet to start planting seeds again. Visit Rico aims to temporarily replace the economic stability farmers had from their local farmer’s markets, which must be rebuilt. To read more about their effort, visit gofundme.com/5markets.Since activation of the Family Farm Disaster Fund following Hurricane Harvey, Farm Aid has raised more than $82,000. Farm Aid will utilize every dollar raised to distribute emergency funds to farm families affected by the hurricanes in partnership with local organizations working on the ground; to offer resources that help farmers navigate their farm recovery options, from mental health services to federal funding opportunities; and to advocate for needed disaster recovery funds and resources from the federal government.Farm Aid is also working with partners in disaster-affected areas to determine the long-term needs of impacted farmers and ranchers. If you are a farmer and have been affected by these devastating hurricanes, additional tools are available at www.farmaid.org/disaster. To donate, please visit farmaid.org/hurricanes.Farm Aid’s mission is to build a vibrant, family farm-centered system of agriculture in America. Farm Aid artists and board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews host an annual festival to raise funds to support Farm Aid’s work with family farmers and to inspire people to choose family farm food. For more than 30 years, Farm Aid, with the support of the artists who contribute their performances each year, has raised more than $50 million to support programs that help farmers thrive, expand the reach of the Good Food Movement, take action to change the dominant system of industrial agriculture and promote food from family farms.
By Ossie MichelinAPTN National NewsATTAWAPISKAT, Ont.-It’s -20C in Attawapiskat First Nation.And as November turns to December, it’s only getting colder.Many people here live in shacks with no insulation, in over-crowded trailers and dilapidated housing built decades ago.People do what they can to stay warm.While this may shock many Canadians in other parts of the country, here, this is the way of life.This is a life where many go without running water and the bathroom is a slop bucket.“People think we’re so rich on. On paper we are, but in reality we wouldn’t be in this crisis right now if we had a good deal,” said Chief Theresa Spence, who lost control of administering the band’s finances after the Conservative government put the community under the management of an outside consultant called third-party management.While life is not easy here, people maintain their dignity and friendly manner.People here want a better life for themselves and for the next generation.Stella Wheesk and her newborn daughter live in a trailer complex with ninety other people – and only four bathrooms.“When they open that door, there’s a big draft coming in. In the winter time there’s no heater in the hallway and the drafts come in through and the baby gets sick.”Many of the buildings here are not fire safe and toxic mould creeps up the walls and ceilingsThe elderly and the young are hit hardestShort term relief has comes with Canadian Red Cross volunteers handing out sleeping bags and heaters.But long term solutions are caught in the slow moving gears of Aboriginal affairs“This is Canada’s Haiti, except it’s -20 right now,” said NDP MP Charlie Angus, whose riding of Timmins-James Bay includes the community.Angus, who has almost single-handedly made Attawapiskat a household name, visited the community this week with NDP interim leader Nycole Turmel.Spence says Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan should come to the community and see for himself what things are like on the ground.“He needs to come visit our community and get the true colour picture of what’s going on with the First Nations,” she said. “It’s not just Attawapiskat, it’s all over First Nations. He needs to really improve the funding, if he doesn’t our situation is going to get worse.”email@example.com
TOKYO – Tokyo’s famous fish market reopened Thursday at a new location but retained its most famous tradition: the tuna auction.The customary clanging of bells opened the auction for raw and frozen tuna, which crammed the huge warehouse wall-to-wall, at the waterfront Toyosu facility. The rhythmical shouts of the auctioneers and the special hand signals by the bidders that followed were unchanged from Tsukiji, the smaller, more accessible home the market recently left after more than eight decades.The top bid for tuna, a delicacy much like premium-grade beef in Japan, was 4.28 million yen ($38,000), not an unusually high price for quality tuna.The more than 400 kinds of seafood at the market come from all over Japan, as well as from abroad, including octopus, eel, sea urchin and other items special to Japanese cuisine.The market serves top restaurants and everyday supermarkets alike. The move was delayed for two years because of worries about contamination, including arsenic, at the Toyosu site. Measures were taken to ensure safety, such as better water pumps and extra concrete sealing.Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike attended the opening and expressed hopes for the location’s success.“Of course, things are different here,” she said of how the new place may take getting used to.“We must build the Toyosu brand, day by day, to make it a symbol of Tokyo, and of Japan. I hope to move forward with all of you.”Officials and workers then clapped rhythmically in celebration of Toyosu’s opening, the same customary gesture for good luck that had closed Tsukiji on Oct. 6.Free-of-charge tours for the public start Saturday, including seeing the auction from a huge glass window. Visitors will not be able to go on the auction floor as they could at Tsukiji. Reporters got a tour of the grounds Thursday.Like Tsukiji, Toyosu also has a vegetable wholesale area, where auctions also take place. In several spots in the same market complex are tiny restaurants, including the ones that used to be at Tsukiji but also new ones.Still, much of the humbly quaint atmosphere of Tsukiji was gone in the sterile factory-like environment of Toyosu. Whether Toyosu can attract tourist traffic remains to be seen.Serving as reminders were the people zipping around in their scooting carts, as busy as ever.Toyosu is a bit farther to get to than Tsukiji, which is within walking distance of downtown Ginza. Toyosu is reachable by an unmanned monorail called Yurikamome. A walkway from Shijo-mae station, which means “in front of the market,” leads right to the Toyosu market.About 40,000 people used to visit Tsukiji each day, not just retailers and restaurant operators but also “salarymen” on lunch breaks and tourists from all over the world.It’s unclear whether the stalls serving noodles and raw-tuna bowls that remain in the area surrounding Tsukiji will continue to be a draw without the backdrop of a real market.Many fish wholesalers, workers and supporters had opposed the move out of Tsukiji, alleging that Toyosu was inefficient and unsafe. A handful of businesses were continuing to sell inside Tsukiji, saying they hoped to fight the planned tearing down of the old construction.Tsukiji is being turned into a parking lot for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. What gets built afterward is undecided, according to the Tokyo city government. But it’s clearly prime real estate, and plans under consideration include a casino.___Follow Yuri Kageyama on Twitter at https://twitter.com/yurikageyamaOn Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/yurikageyama/?hl=enHer work can be found at https://www.apnews.com/search/yuri%20kageyama
At a workshop organized by the United Nations in Iraq”s northern city of Erbil, representatives from the Kurdistan parliament, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), the presidency council of Kurdistan and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have agreed on the draft of a new law to govern the work of NGOs in the region. The roundtable, which ended yesterday, was organized by the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL) with funding from the European Union (EU), the Government of Finland and other donors through the United Nations Development Group (UNDG) Iraq Trust Fund as well as the US Department of State”s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor.Participants at the roundtable also included representatives of the Iraqi Council of Ministers Secretariat, the NGOs Directorate, the outgoing Chair of Iraqi Council of Representatives” Civil Society Committee, the Iraqi State Ministry of Civil Society Affairs and international observers.The head of the Civil Society Committee of the Kurdistan Parliament, Dana Said Safi, stated that he was “very satisfied with the meeting.”According to Hoshyar Malo, a representative from ICNL/Kurdish Human Right Watch, the roundtable “was the first opportunity in several years of work on the new KRG NGO law to bring all the main stakeholders to one table. Previously, consultations have been less coordinated and taken place in smaller groups, which has not yielded the desired impact.”The multi-year process of working on the new KRG NGO law was accelerated this year and the new draft law now under consideration at the Kurdistan Parliament. Following extensive preparatory work, the three-day Roundtable Conference – which was supported by international experts – provided participants with an opportunity to discuss the provisions of this draft in detail.The main regulatory challenges in the law are the registration of NGOs, legal guarantees to preserve the independence of NGOs, and rules to prevent interference in the work of NGOs by authorities or political parties. Once passed, a progressive law containing such provisions will help ensure the development of KRG”s civil society.The Director of the NGOs Directorate of the Iraqi Council of Ministers Secretariat, Ahmed Al Attar, added that “there is also a need to synchronise the federal Iraqi NGO law and the future KRG NGO law in order to, for example, avoid double registration requirements. This synchronisation should be done in a spirit of supporting the development of a free and strong Iraqi Civil Society.”Commenting on the formula of multi-stakeholder consultations, the Advisor to the KRG Prime Minister on Youth and Civil Society Affairs, Fazl Umar, expressed hope that the workshop “will contribute to the adoption of the new KRG NGO law.”According to Dr. Safi, “there is even a possibility that the new KRG NGO law could be adopted at the end of this year, or in early 2011.” 26 September 2010At a workshop organized by the United Nations in Iraq”s northern city of Erbil, representatives from the Kurdistan parliament, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), the presidency council of Kurdistan and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have agreed on recommendations on a draft law to govern the work of NGOs in the region.
The Office of the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) would not only monitor the situations, but would train local people and coordinate a protection strategy with the National Human Rights Commission and the UN Country Team, José Luis Diaz said in Geneva.The human rights situation in northern Uganda was extremely delicate and very serious, but the Office had seen that having an international monitoring presence helped at least to prevent violations in a number of countries, he said.He declined to say how many monitors would go, saying he could only give the figures after the formal agreement with Uganda was signed in the coming weeks.Mr. Diaz said he did not think that OHCHR had a magic formula for solving the situation in northern Uganda, but what everybody could agree on as necessary was strengthening the international presence dealing specifically with human rights.There was an international presence in Uganda dealing with the humanitarian situation, he added.The Chief Prosecutor of the Rome-based International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno-Ocampo, said last July he was opening an investigation into the 18-year conflict in northern Uganda after President Yoweri Museveni formally referred the problem in December 2003.
Facebook hits milestone – a billion people logged in on a single day, 1/7 of world population NEW YORK, N.Y. – A billion people logged in to Facebook on a single day this week, marking the first time that many members used the world’s largest online social network in a 24-hour period. The number amounts to one-seventh of the Earth’s population.Monday’s milestone was mostly symbolic for Facebook, which boasts nearly 1.5 billion users who log in at least once a month. But CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who founded the network in his Harvard dorm room 11 years ago, reflected on the occasion with a post.“‘I’m so proud of our community for the progress we’ve made,” he wrote. “Our community stands for giving every person a voice, for promoting understanding and for including everyone in the opportunities of our modern world.”Facebook achieved 1 billion overall users in 2012, but this week’s milestone is perhaps more significant. It means the social network has become an essential service in many of our lives, a sort of online connective tissue that binds us to friends, family and even strangers who find themselves in similar circumstances. We need it daily, or more.Facebook has long sought to connect everyone in the world with its service. A lofty goal, it’s not so different from the three other tech superpowers that are changing commerce, communication and worming their way into every part of our lives. Apple has its gadgets, Amazon delivers our every physical need and Google, well, when was the last time you went a day without Google?(Google, incidentally, receives an average of 100 billion search requests per day, which makes it likely that more than a billion people use it daily.)Most of the billion people who logged in to Facebook on Monday were outside the U.S. and Canada. Of Facebook’s overall users, more than 83 per cent come from other countries. In a video posted Thursday, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, mulled what a billion really means.“Look closely, and you’ll see more than a number,” she said in the video, a montage showing Facebook users’ photos, posts and videos from all over the world. “It’s moms and little brothers and cousins and cousins of cousins. There’s Sam, Dante, Ingrid and Lawrence. It’s camping trips, religion … there’s likes, loves and unfortunately still some hate. Look past the number. You’ll find friendships.”As it grows, Facebook’s next billions of members will likely come from outside the U.S., from India, South America, Africa and perhaps even China, where the site is officially blocked.To help expand its flock, Facebook has been working to make its service easier to use on the basic, old-fashioned phones used in many parts of the world. It’s also working to get Internet access to the roughly two-thirds of the world’s population that is not yet connected — or about 5 billion people.Two years ago, Facebook launched Internet.org, a partnership with other tech giants that aims to improve Internet connectivity around the world. The group’s plans include developing cheaper smartphones and tools that would reduce the amount of data required to run apps, as well as working with telecommunications companies to provide basic, free Internet services. The effort has received some criticism for putting Facebook in the position of Internet “gatekeeper,” deciding what sites people can access and going against the spirit of “net neutrality.”Zuckerberg disagreed.“Net neutrality ensures network operators don’t discriminate by limiting access to services you want to use. It’s an essential part of the open Internet, and we are fully committed to it,” he wrote in April. “To give more people access to the Internet, it is useful to offer some service for free. If someone can’t afford to pay for connectivity, it is always better to have some access than none at all.”__AP Technology Writer Michael Liedtke contributed to this story from San Francisco. by Barbara Ortutay, The Associated Press Posted Aug 28, 2015 9:00 am MDT Last Updated Aug 28, 2015 at 1:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email
Toyota recalls 320,000 trucks and SUVs for air bag problem DETROIT – Toyota is recalling about 320,000 trucks and SUVs because the roof-mounted air bags can inflate without a crash.The recall covers the 2005 and 2006 Toyota Tundra and Sequoia, the 2003 through 2006 Land Cruiser, and the 2004 through 2006 4-Runner. Also included are the 2003 through 2006 Lexus LX 470 and the 2004 through 2006 GX 470.The company says improper programming in the air bag control computer caused the problem, which could increase the risk of driver and passenger injuries. Toyota says it’s not aware of any crashes caused by the problem, but it has received reports of injuries such as scrapes and ringing in the ears.Owners will be notified of the recall by mail in early February. Dealers will replace the air bag control computer at no cost to owners. by The Associated Press Posted Feb 2, 2016 8:43 pm MDT Last Updated Feb 2, 2016 at 9:54 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email
“This is an important opportunity to focus on the special needs of LDCs, and to assess the status of implementation of the IPoA, taking into account last year’s important global agendas, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the associated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” said Helen Clark, the Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), at the opening plenary. “Despite important progress, however, significant challenges remain: 51 per cent of the population of LDCs live in extreme poverty, and 18 million children of school age are not in school. Despite LDCs having 12.5 per cent of the world’s population, their exports account for only 1.1 per cent of the global total,” she noted. The category of least developed countries (LDCs) was officially established in 1971 by the UN General Assembly to attract special international support to disadvantaged members of the UN family. The current list includes 34 in Africa, 13 in Asia and the Pacific, and one in Latin America. The newest to have joined is South Sudan. “We cannot accept that in the next 15 years there will not be a reduction in the number of LDCs,” said Mogens Lykketoft, the President of the 70th session of the General Assembly, in an interview with the UN News Service. “We have to make sure that there is enough growth in their economies so that there will be many, many, of the LDCs moving out of that category. It has been all too few up until now,” he lamented, noting that many are still least developed because of conflict, which if left uncontained, will impede efforts to end underdevelopment, poverty and hunger. Speaking at a press conference, the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, said the global community should never forget that humanitarian and social development is “indispensable” for sustainable development. “We will continue to bring the challenges of least developed countries to the agenda of G-20,” he stressed, noting that Turkey’s official development aid was about $1 billion in 2010, and increased to $3.9 billion in 2015. “Least developed countries have seen significant progress and are a major human and natural resource potential for the world, but more needs to be done to support them,” said Gyan Chandra Acharya, the UN High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries, and Small Island Developing States, speaking in the Turkish coastal city. “This event is a major opportunity for the international community to come together and reaffirm global commitments that were made in 2011 to ensure that the world’s poorest nations are at the forefront of efforts to build an inclusive and sustainable future for the world,” he added. Five years ago, UN Member States met in Turkey and adopted the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA), a ten-year plan to give impetus to economic and social development in some of the world’s most vulnerable States. The opening session of the Midterm Review of the IPoA, co-organized by Mr. Acharya’s Office (OHRLLS) and the Government of Turkey, brought together high-level representatives and over two thousand stakeholders from governments, international and regional organizations, civil society, the private sector, foundations, think tanks and the media. The three-day event will focus on how LDCs have experienced some progress in areas including poverty reduction, child mortality, gender parity and access to internet and mobile networks. Economic growth has also been strong even though its pace has been more volatile and below the average of the last decade. There has also been an increase in the number of countries fulfilling criteria which will lead towards graduation from their status as an LDC.Countries that demonstrate the lowest indicators of socioeconomic development – typically high infant mortality rates and low life expectancy rates, among others – are considered LDCs. A country is classified as an LDC if it meets three criteria:Poverty – adjustable criterion based on Gross National Income (GNI) per capita averaged over three years. As of 2015 a country must have GNI per capita less than US $1,035 to be included on the list, and over $1,242 to graduate from it. Human resource weakness (based on indicators of nutrition, health, education and adult literacy); and Economic vulnerability (based on instability of agricultural production, instability of exports of goods and services, economic importance of non-traditional activities, merchandise export concentration, handicap of economic smallness, and the percentage of population displaced by natural disasters) According to the UN, Samoa is the only country to have graduated since 2011. Equatorial Guinea, Vanuatu and Angola are scheduled to graduate, and seven other LDCs – Bhutan, Kiribati, Nepal, Sao Tome and Principe, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste and Tuvalu – have reportedly met the criteria as of March 2015. Only Botswana, Cape Verde and Maldives graduated before 2011. The Phoenix Island Protected Area (PIPA) is one of three island groups in Kiribati, a Least Developed Country (LDC). Photo: UNESCO/Ron Van Oers
Mind the gap!Credit:PA HMS Queen Elizabeth starting to exit the dock, Rosyth, Scotland, 26 June 2017Credit:PA Sailors and engineers have worked round the clock getting the vessel ready. A total of 1,000 sailors and contractors will be onboard for the first six weeks of testing.Crew have spent hours each day carrying out safety drills for fires, flooding and personnel overboard. More than 650 doors and hatches have been checked to ensure they are watertight and fire safe. The warship under steam off the coast of ScotlandCredit:BEN SHREAD/Ministry of Defence 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. After trials begin this summer, the ship will move to its new home in Portsmouth this autumn. Trials for planes and helicopters will take place next summer.The flight deck is more than four acres in size and the ship can carry up to 36 F-35B stealth jump jets. Ian Booth, managing director of the defence industry alliance behind the ships, said: “The incident with the fire in London really brings it home to you, you don’t take chances with any incident on the ship, whether it be flooding or fire.” The Royal Navy has not had an aircraft carrier since the defence cuts of 2010. The arrival of the new carrier comes as the Navy is facing a budget black hole of around £500m each year and the demands of manning the new ships have been accused of causing shortages elsewhere.Critics of the carriers have also claimed they are expensive white elephants that are too vulnerable to new high speed missiles. HMS Queen Elizabeth on the Firth of ForthCredit: Andrew Milligan/PA The first steel was cut on the carrier eight years ago but it will not be sent on operations until 2021. Early deployments are expected to see US Marines F-35B jets embarked alongside British planes, to make up for early shortages of UK jets. Cdr Mark Deller, commander air, said the ship would be accompanied by a frigate or destroyer.He said: “We will go where it’s best to go and not where it’s best for a Soviet nuclear to go, so the reality is we can probably look after ourselves as long as our escort is in the right place at the right time. You don’t have to hang around and endure it, you can move away and go somewhere else.” “If XP is for operational use, it is extremely risky,” Alan Woodward, professor of computing at the University of Surrey told The Times. “Why would you put an obsolete system in a new vessel that has a lifetime of decades?” Sir Michael Fallon insisted the security around the computer software on the aircraft carrier is “properly protected”. Capt Jerry Kyd, commanding officer, said: “There is nothing on the globe that is invulnerable, whether that’s a city, a car, an individual, or a ship. We are not shy in the military to understanding the risks and how we mitigate that in the theatre of war.“If you look at all the premier nations around the world, why is it that every nation in the top tier is investing billions of dollars in aircraft carriers? Is it just us, or has everyone got it wrong? The reason being is that they provide the government, very simply, with an incredibly flexible tool. It’s not just about war-fighting. This is about deterrence, coercion, signalling, proving a huge sea base for disaster relief, humanitarian assistance, defence engagement.” Fears have been raised that Britain’s largest ever warship could be vulnerable to cyber attacks after it emerged it appears to be running the outdated Microsoft Windows XP.As HMS Queen Elizabeth left its dockyard for the first time to begin sea trials, it was revealed the £3.5billion aircraft carrier is apparently using the same software that left the NHS exposed.Screens inside a control room on the ship, which is the largest vessel ever built for the Royal Navy, reportedly displayed Microsoft Windows XP – copyright 1985 to 2001.But Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary, insisted the ship’s systems were safe because security around the computer software on the aircraft carrier is “properly protected”. Captain Jerry Kyd, Commanding Officer, onboard the HMS Queen ElizabethCredit:Jeff J Mitchell/Getty The aircraft carrier squeezes out of dock to begin sea trialsCredit:Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Europe A screen in the operations room on board HMS Queen Elizabeth (right) appears to be running Windows XPCredit:Jeff J Mitchell/Getty It came after the 65,000 ton HMS Queen Elizabeth slipped out of Rosyth dockyard and into open water on Monday through an exit with only 14in clearance on either side and 20in of water under the keel.The aircraft carrier then edged along the Forth under three bridges, including the landmark rail bridge, with a little over six feet to spare. Cdr Fiona Percival, head of logistics on the ship said: “[The Russians] will come and look, but they look at everything.”It came as the Defence Secretary taunted the Kremlin over fears it will attempt to spy on HMS Queen Elizabeth during its sea trials, saying Russia will envy Britain’s new flagship. He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It’s not the system itself, of course, that’s vulnerable, it’s the security that surrounds it.”I want to reassure you about Queen Elizabeth, the security around its computer system is properly protected and we don’t have any vulnerability on that particular score.” The radio mast has been lowered to allow the vessel to pass under a bridgeCredit:Andrew Milligan/PA He said 2021 “will be the first time we will deploy this ship in anger”. Cdr Mark Deller, commander air on the Queen Elizabeth, told The Guardian: “The ship is well designed and there has been a very, very stringent procurement train that has ensured we are less susceptible to cyber than most.”He added: “We are a very sanitised procurement train. I would say, compared to the NHS buying computers off the shelf, we are probably better than that. If you think more Nasa and less NHS you are probably in the right place.” Bosuns mate Scott Campbell guards the Navy’s new warshipCredit:Getty A defence source told the newspaper that some of the on-boar hardware and software “would have been good in 2004” when the carrier was designed, “but now seems rather antiquated”.However, he added that HMS Queen Elizabeth is due to be given a computer refit within a decade.And senior officers said they will have cyber specialists on board to defend the carrier from such attacks. Sir Michael Fallon contrasted the carrier with what he called the “dilapidated” Russian carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, which sailed through the Channel late last year. The carrier’s flight deck is more than four acres in size He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It’s not the system itself, of course, that’s vulnerable, it’s the security that surrounds it.”I want to reassure you about Queen Elizabeth, the security around its computer system is properly protected and we don’t have any vulnerability on that particular score.”The operating system was that which left the NHS and other organisations around the world vulnerable to a major WannaCry ransomware attack last month. It affected 300,000 computers in 150 countries.Windows XP is no longer supported by Microsoft, meaning it does not receive updates to protect users from new types of cyber hacks. A computer expert warned that Windows XP could leave HMS Queen Elizabeth vulnerable to cyber attack. The trials mark the latest milestone in the nearly decade-long building of the Royal Navy’s two carriers, at a cost of more than £6bn.The Navy is also preparing for the warship’s first appearance to attract a concerted Russian spying effort, with submarines, ships and planes try to get a good look at the UK’s new flagship.