As lawmakers in Congress debated a way out of the 16-day U.S. government shutdown, some cited its impact on science to make their point.Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), chair of the Senate commerce and science committee, argued that the shutdown needed to end because it was giving foreign competitors a boost. “Just because House Republicans have shuttered the research arm of our government does not mean that overseas competitors such as China are pausing their research as well,” he said.On the other side of the Capitol, Representative Chaka Fattah (D-PA), the top Democrat on a House spending panel that oversees several science agencies, also raised international concerns. This past Monday, he noted, “I was in the State of Israel. I met with the President and with a whole group of brain researchers from around the world. 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It ignores them. And when the American people can no longer be ignored, the administration shuts down national parks … and holds hostage critical funding for cancer research. … It is shameful how Washington treats the American people, and the people are right to be upset about it.”“The media keeps asking, was it worth it?” Lee continued. “My answer is it is always worth it to do the right thing. Fighting against an abusive government in defense of protecting the individual rights and freedoms of the American people is always the right thing.”Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) highlighted the shutdown’s economic impacts in his state, home to the Department of Energy’s Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories. The two labs employ “18,000 New Mexicans as contractors. … That is out of 2 million people,” he noted. “So it is an understatement to say that shutting down the Federal Government strikes at the heart of my State’s economy.”Heinrich also worried about New Mexico’s “first-rate research institutions,” which “rely heavily on Federal grants to fund staff, training, and projects, including clinical trials for cancer treatment. I am told those trials—and years of hard work—will have to pause or even stop if the government stays closed. Scientists will see their salaries reduced, and research students who want to dedicate their lives to finding the next cure will have to wait even longer just to earn their degree.”The day before the decisive vote, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), threw a rhetorical double-punch, linking concerns about home-state and international impacts in a plea to end the shutdown. Some “97 percent of NASA employees in Cleveland and Sandusky in northern Ohio have been furloughed,” he noted, while Ohio’s academic scientists were worried about their grants. “If you are a research scientist … [and] see these interruptions, if you are furloughed for 3 weeks in October 2013 and then again some time next year … the most talented researchers are going to walk away, and we are going to lose so much of the edge we have in this country.”The same day, Representative Jared Huffman (D-CA) launched a highly partisan attack, accusing Republicans of spurring a “3-week bout with insanity,” and offering some sardonic advice. “I have a suggestion,” he said. “Admit that this scorched-Earth politics of obstruction—this war against the very government that you were sent here to govern—is a bad idea. Let us vote on solutions to end this crisis. We don’t even need an apology for all of the damage you’ve caused. … We don’t need you to apologize for halting lifesaving research, for any of that. … Just let us vote to end this crisis.”Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), who leads the Senate Appropriations Committee, tried a more moderate yesterday appeal as her colleagues prepared to vote. “America is a middle-of-the-road nation,” she said. “We need an environment where the middle speaks, where the middle class now speaks and says: Please represent me, meet our national security needs. … Please make public investments in research and development that will create new ideas for the new jobs in the new economy of the 21st century. This is what they want us to be able to do.”Hours later, both bodies voted to end the shutdown, and put off—at least for a little while—the next battle over the nation’s spending policies.
Three Indian nationals from Punjab were caught with fake Canadian visas in Bangkok, where they were trying to board a flight to Vancouver in Canada. After they were caught during immigration check, they were deported to India on Sept.13 and were arrested by the police on arrival at Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata. The three men, named Roop Singh (39), Mohit Salaria (18) and Rahul Kumar (22), were caught when they were trying to board a Vancouver-bound flight, according to the Times of India. These accused had gone to Malaysia on a trip where they allegedly came into the contact of three travel agents of Indian origin, the report added. They asked them for Canadian visas, for which the agents quoted a sum of Rs 15 lakh per person. The deal was finalized for a lower amount and Canadian visas were allegedly affixed on the passports of these men by the travel agents. “The trio was sent to Bangkok illegally by road where from they were told they could board a flight to Canada. However during the immigration check, the visas were found to be fake. The men then admitted they acquired the visas by paying some men in Malaysia,” a senior official at Kolkata airport was quoted as saying by the publication. “They were then deported from Bangkok,” the official added. An FIR was registered against the three men involved in the forgery and they were booked under Section 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating) and 471 (using as genuine a forged document) of the Indian Penal Code. Canada is one of the most sought-after countries among Indians looking to move abroad. One in five people in Canada is an immigrant, according to census figures of 2016 released by Canada’s statistics agency last year. Almost 60 percent of new immigrants come from Asia, with Philippines leading the count at 15 percent, followed by India at 12.1 percent, and China at 10.6 percent, the figures showed.Several Indians have been arrested in the destination countries after paying huge amounts of money to illegal agents for helping them migrate with fake documents, or without proper papers. About 25 travel agents were booked recently in Kapurthala by the Punjab Police during investigations into illegal entry of several youth from the state into the United States. So far this fiscal year, over 3,400 Indians have been caught by U.S. border security agents at the El Centro town of California, Fox News had reported earlier. Related ItemsCanadaDeportationThailand
The proposed women’s reservation bill provides for 33 per cent reservation in the legislature.The Centre may be struggling to implement the 33 per cent reservation for women in assemblies and in Parliament, yet the Maharashtra government has gone one step ahead and announced 50 per cent reservation for women in local bodies. This would mean municipalities, zilla parishads, gram panchayats and gram sabhas would all have 50 per cent women representatives.While both the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress have been fighting with each other to claim credit as they declare that it would be a huge step towards ‘women’s empowerment’ the majority of women in the state are neither excited nor enthused by it.One has to visit the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to know why there are so many sceptics. Take for instance Suhasini Chate (name changed), the chairman of one of the numerous committees in the BMC. She is known as a ‘rubber stamp’ because her husband, a former corporator, does all the work that she is supposed to do.He tells her which deals to sign and which proposals to oppose and as Suhasini is not much of a talker, her husband also attends official meetings along with her and ‘speaks’ to everyone from the ‘Municipal Commissioner’ to other civic officials on her ‘behalf’. On days when Suhasini is at home, probably cooking or sending the kids to school, her husband is actually seen sitting in her official chair.Interestingly, Suhasini is not an exception. Many of the 90-odd female corporators have husbands who do the same thing.advertisementSome of the men are even openly aggressive and will publicly rebuke their wives in front of other civic officials. Ironically, Suhasini and many of the current crop of female corporators have been elected through the 33 per cent reservation process, where a small number of seats in all local bodies have been set aside for women.The problem is that the reservation has been hijacked by male corporators who are loathe to let go of power, and have hence got their wives to contest knowing fully well who will call the shots once the seat has been won. The solution for this does not lie with the state government making more laws, but with political parties themselves, if they really claim to be agents of change and want to empower women then they should stop giving tickets to daughters and wives of corporators and instead give it to other deserving candidates, but would they actually do it is anybody’s guess.So, it is natural to question the government’s claim that this 50 per cent reservation bill would actually help women. If Prithviraj Chavan and company really wanted to do something for the women of the state then they should look at measures to stop the indiscriminate prenatal sexdetermination tests that make parents abort a girl child in favour of a boy.The ratio of girls in comparison to boys has been steadily declining.Till March 2009, there were 877 girls for every 1,000 boys being born, it came down to 866 in March last year. The state has still not been able to eradicate the menace of dowry and crimes against women are an entirely different story.The 50 per cent reservation bill, if passed by the Maharashtra assembly, could be challenged in a court of law. In 2009, when the Rajasthan government passed the Municipalities bill which provided a similar reservation for women in local bodies, it was challenged in the Rajasthan High Court. In a ruling given on March 2010, the court held that the ‘reservation to any category must be rational and not excessive’. The court held that the state had not provided for any survey to show that the population of women in the state was higher than men to justify the higher reservation. The court struck down the government’s order citing that it violated Article 14 of the Constitution of India which provides the right to equality to the citizens.===New top cop literally adds muscle to police Newly-appointed Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik has found a really strange way of instilling the fear of the law in the minds of criminals. He has hired two six-foot plus, wellbuilt men called Bhausaheb Bhonsle and Vijay Kakade to stand in his office and break coconuts with their bare hands, flex their biceps and give the by now quaking criminals a ‘hug’. The aim is to put the ‘ fear’ of cops on those who visit his office.Old timers who have served in the Mumbai police are not amused.advertisement”You don’t need to frighten a criminal with brute force. When we were in the force, criminals were scared even if they saw a cop in civvies sporting a crew cut. If you really want to make an impact, then you need not have muscles,” they claim. No one wants to say this to Patnaik’s face as they probably feel it is not a good idea to cross swords with Patnaik with Bhonsle and Kakade around. Govt ties itself in knots On Tuesday, the Home Department announced that it had recommended the suspension of DCP (railway police) Ashok Deshbrathar.Home Minister RR Patil said he would be suspended because in 2008 he had allegedly conducted a ‘sting’ operation on Hassan Ali who was arrested for having multiple passports. In the sting, allegedly conducted by the DCP himself, Ali is heard talking of his contacts with top politicians from the Congress and NCP. He even claims he was instrumental in the appointment of the then Mumbai Police Commissioner Hasan Gafoor. The state government which then ordered a CID inquiry found that the ‘sting’ was doctored to embarrass the people concerned.If Deshbrathar is really guilty, then shouldn’t he be sacked instead of just being suspended, specially as Patil himself has said that the CID found that Deshbrathar had also sought a bribe of Rs 1 crore from Hasan Ali? Also why has the government moved so late in the day? ===Mess with Pawar at your peril Arup Patnaik should take a leaf out of Ajit Pawar’s book.Sharad Pawar’s nephew is neither six feet tall nor does he sport rippling muscles, yet he still manages to instill fear.On Thursday, nine opposition MLAs belonging to both the NCP and Shiv Sena were suspended till the end of the year. Their crime: They were creating a ruckus when Ajit Pawar was reading out his maiden budget speech on Wednesday.There was no action against the MLAs on the same day, but the next day, MLA’s belonging to the Congress and NCP ruling party moved a resolution for the suspension claiming that the opposition had tarnished the image of the house with their unruly behaviour as the images were being telecast live. The jury is out on whether the MLAs would have been suspended if someone else had been reading the speech. ===’Marathon’ sweepers selection The BMC is the richest civic body in the country.However, when it comes to common sense, the civic body seems strangely bereft of it. A case in point: On a hot summer morning last Monday when temperatures in the city were close to 40 degrees Celsius, hundreds of men were being made to run around by the BMC. At stake were 3,916 posts for sweepers, and if you wanted to get the job then you had to prove that you could run 4 km within 15 minutes.How this would help in the job was unclear. Even the finest cadets at the National Cadet Corps (NCC) manage a timing of 16 minutes for six kilometres.advertisementSo, it was not surprising that not one of those who ran on Monday qualified and neither did 3 lakh other applicants who ran on other days. Chastened, the BMC has now decided to increase the timings for qualification.From the earlier 15 minutes, applicants for the sweepers’ post can now take 25 minutes to cover 4 km.While it remains to be seen how many of the men manage to qualify in the revised timings, what civic officials are unable to explain is the connection between running fast and sweeping.Surely, they don’t expect their staff to sweep as they run.
Government on Saturday said it will discuss the draft Lokpal Bill with political parties before sending it to the Union Cabinet for approval.HRD Minister Kapil Sibal said the government will also seek the opinion of Chief Ministers on the draft prepared by the joint committee on Lokpal consisting of five ministers and as many members from the civil society.”The government will seek the views of political parties on the draft bill before it goes to the Cabinet. Whatever agreements or disagreements on the draft are there will be presented before parties,” he said.Explaining the course the bill will go through after the Cabinet nod, Sibal said it will be introduced in Parliament, which could decide to send the bill to a Standing Committee.He said the issue of tackling corruption was important and the government does not consider that the civil society did anything wrong by highlighting it.While crediting the civil society for its efforts on an effective Lokpal, Sibal said it was not possible to accept all their demands.Sibal, who is part of the government team in the joint drafting committee, sought to attack Gandhian Anna Hazare for not launching any agitation against Gujarat government where there is no institution of Lokayukta or Karnataka where Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa is facing allegations of corruption.”Why does Hazare not launch a fast in Gujarat where there is no Lokayukta. In Karnataka also, he should launch a fast,” Sibal said.– With PTI inputsFor more news on India, click here.For more news on Business, click here.For more news on Movies, click here.For more news on Sports, click here.advertisement
Hong Kong tunnel reopens, campus siege nears end Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem Trump campaign, GOP groups attack Google’s new ad policy P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbed Indian Wells: Ailing Serena Williams out, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal move on LATEST STORIES Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles04:36Undas 2019: Remembering the dead and reuniting with the living00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Urgent reply from Philippine football chief 1 dead, 3 injured in Quezon road crash Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments Catlin’s father, Mark Catlin, told VeloNews that his daughter killed herself.Catlin was born and raised near Minneapolis, Minnesota, and rose to prominence on the track as a member of the U.S. national team. She also raced on the road for the Rally UHC Pro Cycling Team, and she was pursuing a graduate degree in computational mathematics at Stanford.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesHOW TO GET HELPThe Department of Health (DOH) earlier said suicide is a tragedy that could be avoided. Those who may need help can contact its Hopeline, a 24/7 suicide prevention hotline in the Philippines, at (02) 804-4673 and 0917-5584673, 0917-5582919 for Globe and TM subscribers. FILE – In this Wednesday, July 22, 2015 file photo, United States gold medalist Kelly Catlin poses after winning the women’s individual time trial cycling competition at the Pan Am Games in Milton, Ontario. Olympic track cyclist Kelly Catlin, who helped the U.S. women’s pursuit team win the silver medal at the Rio de Janeiro Games in 2016, died Friday, March 8, 2019 at her home in California. She was 23. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File)COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Olympic track cyclist Kelly Catlin, who helped the U.S. women’s pursuit team win the silver medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, died Friday at her home in California. She was 23.USA Cycling chief executive Rob DeMartini said in a statement Sunday that “the entire cycling community is mourning this immense loss. We are offering continuous support to Kelly’s teammates, coaches and staff. We also encourage all those who knew Kelly to support each other through the grieving.”ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte
THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) — About 150 Schalke supporters have clashed with riot police in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki ahead of their team’s Europa League match against PAOK.No arrests or injuries were reported from the violence hours before Thursday’s game.Police said the group of German fans, who had previously visited a district full of beer parlors and restaurants, threw fireworks and stones at riot police escorting them. Police responded with tear gas.About 1,400 Schalke fans are expected to attend the game.TweetPinShare3737 Shares
Publicity photo donated to the Rock Hall Archives Heirlooms from the family of fallen rock-n-roll star Ritchie Valens that were stolen during the Winter Dance Party in Clear Lake earlier this month have been recovered –but who took them remains a mystery.Jesse Stewart reports:Audio Playerhttp://kscj.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/VALENS2.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC……….dot org. ;26The case remains under investigation.
Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur ‘We are not police’ – Pochettino won’t stop Spurs stars watching Joshua-Parker Iain Strachan 23:03 3/29/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur Premier League Tottenham Hotspur Chelsea Harry Kane There could be some tired bodies among the Tottenham players facing Chelsea on Sunday after staying up late to watch a heavyweight title fight Mauricio Pochettino trusts Tottenham’s players to prepare properly for their Premier League clash with Chelsea on Sunday, despite the temptation of watching the heavyweight bout between Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker.Spurs face Antonio Conte’s side at Stamford Bridge in a battle between fourth and fifth place, with the north London side seeking to open up an eight-point advantage in the race for a Champions League qualification berth.IBF, WBA and IBO champion Joshua faces Parker in Cardiff on Saturday, and Pochettino knows it is inevitable some players will choose to stay up later than normal and tune in. 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 “You know, we are not police,” he said.”[We do not need] to control them in their rooms, because surely we are going to be in the hotel waiting for the game, but we cannot put cameras [in their rooms] and see what they are doing. “They are professionals and I’m sure they are going to sleep. Because the [fight], they can record and see the day after, no?””The game that we play on Sunday, we need to be fresh and we need all our energy to win.”Pochettino also insisted a victory over last season’s Premier League champions will not guarantee his team’s top-four finish.”When you pay this type of game, the pressure is for both teams,” he said.”Of course there is still a lot of games to play, this is not a final, this is not a decisive game, but always it is important for your confidence, your motivation.”To win in Chelsea would be fantastic for everyone. But for sure it will be a very tough game. They are a very good team, and always it is tough to compete with them.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
OTTAWA – The Defence Department is reporting fresh delays in 10 major military procurement projects, even as defence officials cast about for better ways to predict and manage when new equipment will get to the troops.The schedule slippage is detailed in a new report to Parliament and runs the gamut from a minor snag in the final delivery of engineering vehicles for the army to years of delays in the planned delivery of naval vessels.Many of the projects, such as the naval vessels and new transport trucks for the army, were already several years behind schedule, meaning they are now extra late.In an interview with The Canadian Press, the Defence Department’s head of procurement touted the last year as one of the more successful in terms of getting new equipment to the Forces.But Patrick Finn, the assistant deputy minister of materiel, also conceded that more must be done to address the scheduling problems, which he described as the factor that “we struggle with the most, much more than scope and cost.“There’s not a day that goes by that we’re not delivering stuff and doing stuff,” Finn said.“There’s also almost not a day that doesn’t go by that we’re not dealing with a technical issue or a schedule issue, whether it’s a vendor, whether it’s us causing delay or whatever it is. We’re spending a lot of time trying to get in front of it all.”That is why the department, which changed the way it estimates the cost of new equipment as part of the Trudeau government’s new defence policy, is looking to do the same with schedules.“How do we build in kind of schedule contingency, other best practices that we’re looking at so that, again, we don’t have unrealistic schedules we’re marching to,” Finn said.The focus on schedules comes as the government is preparing to unveil the next leg of its defence policy in the coming weeks, namely a plan detailing the investments it will make on new military equipment over the next five years.The 10 major projects identified in the Defence Department report as having experienced new delays include:— The navy’s new Arctic offshore patrol ships. Finn attributed the delay to problems with a subcontractor. The first vessel was supposed to arrive this year, but now won’t be delivered until 2019.— The air force’s CP-140 surveillance planes, which are due to be upgraded. The report appeared to pin the blame on the company responsible for the work, saying negotiations had “increased cost and reduced flexibility.”— The navy’s new support ships, with delivery of the first pushed to 2023 from 2021. The government has recently approved a plan to start work early on the vessels, which officials are hoping will result in delivery in 2022.— The army’s new transport trucks, with the delivery scheduled pushed back six months at the company’s request, though Finn also indicated that there were some design concerns.Some of the equipment listed as delayed have already been delivered, such as the army’s M777 howitzers, which saw service in Afghanistan, but parts of the contract, in this case a new type of ammunition, remain outstanding.There are several reasons that delays in the military procurement system are considered a serious problem. In some cases, such as fighter jets, a delay means the Forces is required to keep using old equipment longer than expected.In others, it means the military must make do without much-needed equipment; Canada has been without a permanent naval support ship since 2015 after the last two were retired because of an unexpected fire and excessive corrosion.Excessive delays also drive up equipment costs thanks to inflation, which is much higher in the defence sector because of constantly evolving technology and material.And a delay in one project can have a domino effect on others and essentially gum up the system, which will be expected to deliver more under the Trudeau government’s defence policy in the coming years than at any point in recent history.“We recognize that we’re going to be judged by everybody, including the government, if having kind of handed this (defence policy) to us, we don’t perform,” Finn said.“That’s why it’s like every waking moment we’re driven to have this move forward.”— Follow @leeberthiaume on Twitter.
Rabat – Morocco is an exceptional case in the Arab region and investors are confident in its political and economic stability, Financial Times writes.The country’s economic and political stability – rare commodities in the region – have already brought returns, as tourists numbers were up by 7 per cent in 2013, the business daily said.Noting that investment in the automobile sector has grown, with car exports increasing 70 per cent year-on-year in 2013, the daily recalled that earlier this year, the government sold a € 1bn Eurobond – its first euro-denominated bond in four years. Many analysts predict Morocco will be North Africa’s best performing economy in coming years, Financial Times said, noting that Morocco aims to become a platform for production and export to African countries through Casablanca Finance City (CFC), a new regional finance hub.Rabat is also looking south to the fast growing economies of sub-Saharan Africa, the daily underlined, adding that trade has increased to an average of around $ 1bn per year and Moroccan investment outflows to Africa have jumped by more than 40 per cent over the past decade.With Map
4 September 2007Despite the recent flare-up of tensions following the announcement of a new Government, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has commended Timor-Leste on overcoming the crisis of last year that led to the bolstering of the United Nations presence in the country which it helped shepherd to independence in 2002. An indication of that progress is the successful completion of presidential and parliamentary elections with which the Timorese people “once again demonstrated their faith in democratic processes to move beyond internal divisions,” Mr. Ban writes in his latest report to the Security Council on the activities of the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) from 27 January to 20 August. However, he added, the process leading to the formation of the new Government and the violent disturbances following it “demonstrate that not all divisions have yet been overcome. Continued efforts to strengthen the culture of truly inclusive and participatory democracy based on rule of law and respect for human rights will be essential for the creation of a stable and prosperous Timor-Leste.” The Security Council created UNMIT in August 2006 to help restore order after fighting, attributed to differences between eastern and western regions, broke out in April and May and led to the deaths of at least 37 people and forced about 155,000 people – or 15 per cent of the population – to flee their homes. In his report, Mr. Ban says the security situation in the country improved overall during the reporting period but continues to be volatile and subject to sporadic violence, such as that witnessed after the formation of a new Government led by former president Xanana Gusmão following the June elections, which failed to produce a single outright winner. “Elections are a fundamental step in consolidating democracy, but only an initial one,” he observed, adding that many of the challenges relating to the 2006 crisis remain unresolved, such as the grievances of members of the armed forces, gang violence and the situation of some 100,000 people who remain internally displaced. Mr. Ban cautions that the Government will face “a delicate balancing act” in addressing more immediate problems stemming from the crisis while guaranteeing public security and ensuring effective socio-economic programmes to tackle issues such as poverty, which continues to be “one of the major causes of instability” in the country. Other priorities include advancing on justice and reconciliation issues, strengthening the judicial sector and promoting human rights, as well as moving forward with security sector reform, including training of the national police force. The serious but temporary escalations of violence in the course of this year “serve as a reminder of the fragility of the security situation,” Mr. Ban states. “They also demonstrate that, despite the peaceful conduct of elections and wide acceptance of the results, there is still a need to nurture a culture of non-violence and promote the peaceful resolution of differences.”
23 September 2008Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today paid tribute to the relatives of those who disappeared between 1976 and 1983 under the military dictatorship in Argentina, where tens of thousands of people became victims, for speaking out about their plight. “These brave grandmothers were robbed of their precious loved ones under unspeakable circumstances,” Mr. Ban said at the opening of the Abuelas of the Plaza de Maya exhibition at UN Headquarters.“Anyone would have forgiven them for shrinking in fear of the merciless forces that were inflicting such suffering on innocent families,” he added. “But they courageously stood up.”The women, armed with nothing but their courage, have been able to restore almost 100 children to their families thus far. “These grandmothers, unlike the dictatorship, had no guns and ammunition – only a burning passion for truth and justice,” the Secretary-General said.Also speaking at the exhibition’s opening, General Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto hailed the persistence of the women, noting that they inspired others in the region to stand up for justice.“By using the names and by remembering their identities through photos, letters and memoirs, they move us to remember and document the crimes that were committed against their loved ones,” he said.“They remind us so clearly that their daughters and sons are also our brothers and sisters. By acknowledging this fundamental truth, we can muster the confidence and courage to do like las abuelas, the grandmothers, to defend what is right and to protect those who are vulnerable.”At the General Assembly’s high-level annual debate today, Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner appealed for universal ratification of the Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, which outlaws enforced disappearances and allows victims’ families the right to learn the truth about what happened.So far, only four of the 74 countries that have signed have also ratified the Convention, which contains an absolute prohibition on the practice and calls on all States Parties to ensure that it is an offence under their domestic laws.The treaty will enter into force once 20 countries have ratified it. Its monitoring body will be entitled to receive requests for urgent action on individual cases, to conduct visits with the agreement of States parties concerned, and, in the situation of suspected widespread or systematic cases being practised in the territory under the jurisdiction of a State party, to urgently bring the matter before the General Assembly.
“We reiterate that justice for crimes committed in the past by both sides is a necessary precondition to meaningful reconciliation. In this regard, we reiterate the importance of the full implementation of operative paragraphs 6 and 7 so us to ensure trust and credibility. We are particularly encouraged by the number of countries that continue to urge Sri Lanka to fulfill its commitments. Resolution 30/1 represents the solemn commitment of Sri Lanka to its own citizens, and to the Tamil people who we represent, and must be implemented,” the TNA added.The TNA also welcomed the oral update of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to the Human Rights Council at its 32nd Session on the implementation of Resolution 30/1. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) says it was consulted by the Government on the Office on Missing Persons (OMP) Bill which was presented to Parliament recently.In a statement today the TNA said it is pleased that several of the extensive revisions they urged have been included in the gazetted text. The TNA says the OMP must represent a dramatic break from the experience of failed Commissions, including the current Paranagama Commission which it says lacks credibility. “We commend the Government for its constructive engagement on the Bill. We look forward to further amendments being moved at the committee stage, and to the early passage of the law through Parliament. A law on the lines contemplated by the Bill, if implemented sincerely, could bring relief to families of the forcibly disappeared who are in desperate need of answers,” the TNA said. The TNA says the oral update, in its view, captures accurately the opportunities and challenges for reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka.The TNA however said it was concerned about the very slow pace of implementation with respect to a number of human rights issues in Sri Lanka, in particular, delays in releasing private lands illegally occupied by the military; the continued use of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and the Government’s failure to repeal it; the breach of undertakings to release those held under the PTA; and the continuing surveillance and harassment of civilians in the North and East.The TNA also took note of the High Commissioner’s observations on the importance of crafting a new Constitution that serves all citizens of Sri Lanka and the support that this proposition has received from several countries. (Colombo Gazette)
After appealing to individual donor countries for funds in response to the crisis, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has authorized an emergency grant of nearly $18,000 for the country.For its part, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), together with a local partner, has distributed 30,000 litres of clean water.After evaluating the need for specific health measures with UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO) has provided anti-malarial medicines, and is carrying out an information campaign on hygiene, since the floods have increased a number of disease threats. WHO will also provide drugs to national medical facilities, and will work to strengthen an epidemiological monitoring system.UN agencies have already provided therapeutic high-nutrition biscuits, water purification tablets, jerry cans for clean water, and petrol lamps, which have been distributed through the national Red Cross.The CAR Government and national Red Cross had asked the UN to provide food, medicines, kitchen utensils, mosquito nets, clothing, blankets, sanitation materials, as well as construction materials for emergency rehabilitation.
Dear Editor,An anonymous letter writer described me as ‘a confused complainer’ because I exposed Mr Moses Nagamootoo’s hypocrisy with regards the plight of the sugar workers. He, Nagamootoo had said at a rally in Canje (ironically the first set of workers in Berbice to be given redundancy letters) that, “Guyanese should light a candle for sugar workers…sugar workers are being screwed”. Now that the sugar workers are being ‘royally screwed’, where is Moses? Of course, he is not busy parting the Red Sea, that was done a long time ago! He divided the people and was rewarded with his ceremonial crown.The unknown letter writer then went on to state that Mr Nagamoottoo has a ‘history of standing up for sugar workers’. Nagamootoo in his 2012 Budget speech had said that he was threatened with expulsion because he came to the rescue of the sugar workers. However, he should now recognize and accept the fact that ‘the standing up’ itself is now history. The real Nagamootoo has now emerged and the ‘standing up’ is for himself only, and no one else. Self-preservation can seal lips and harden hearts. It is now fitting to recall his own words taken from his 2012 Budget speech, ‘a classical case of the classical proverb, “I see not, I hear not, I speak not”, this is the case of the proverbial monkey’. Today he stands condemned by his own words! It is so unfortunate since I was a great admirer of this man’s zeal as a statesman.Would the late Dr Cheddi Jagan have stood silently while many of the sugar workers and their families are faced with dire poverty and starvation? Nagamootoo is a self-proclaimed disciple of this great man. In 2012 Nagamootoo had bragged that the ‘PPP no longer hold the Jagan standards…we have it over here, the Alliance for Change….’ Moreover, apart from Nagamootoo’s reverberating silence, the AFC’s Minister of Agriculture, Mr Noel Holder agreed with GuySuCo’s heartless decision to serve redundancy letters to hundreds of sugar workers at Rose Hall and Skeldon Estates before Christmas. He arrogantly insisted that this decision was in keeping the White Paper, ignoring the fact that the Minister of State, Mr Joseph Harmon had assured the sugar workers that closure of the Estate will be delayed until next year. Is there a disconnect among the ministers of Government? How could the Minister of Agriculture ignore the human aspect of the decision?President Granger at the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya, stressed that, ‘people must come before profits’, but I do hope that this can be seen as a general guideline of his Government’s policies. However, the manner in which sugar workers are being treated for some time now would suggest otherwise. This maxim does not apply to sugar workers. They are expendables because they are deemed to be ‘the raiders of the Treasury’!There seems to be reluctance on the part of the Government, especially the Minister of Agriculture and the Prime Minister to meaningfully engage sugar workers at Rose Hall and Skeldon Estates and try to alleviate some of their fears and try to convince them how they will continue to benefit from the privatisation/diversification process.Many of the sugar workers, who were given the termination letters do not have of savings and take groceries on credit during the out of crop period hoping to pay off during crop time. I know these things because I live among them and my father was a cane cutter and my mother, a weeder at Albion Estate. I also worked as a cane cutter and a cattle ranger for some time at Albion Estate to make ends meetA final question: Are the redundancy letters to sugar workers just a ploy for the Government to now take up the savior’s role?Yours sincerely, Haseef Yusuf (FCCA; MBA)RDC Councilor-Region 6Former Cane Cutter Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedMass firing of sugar workers: AFC supports move, says sugar is ‘terminally ill’- RamjattanDecember 8, 2017In “latest news”Letter: APNU/AFC have abandoned sugar workersNovember 26, 2016In “Letters”Letter: AFC’s concern about the plight of the sugar workers insincereJanuary 17, 2018In “Letters”
TWO TRAVELLER WOMEN, who had both been widowed due to suicide, have won a case against a Kerry bar.Linda Mongan and Margaret Rose O’Neill took a case to Killarney District Court after being refused entry to an event that was raising funds for suicide awareness charity Aware.Both had purchased tickets in advance, but were told by the doorman that no such charity event was on, despite them witnessing many people entering the venue for the event.After two hours of evidence, the judge made an order awarding each woman €1,000 against McSorley’s of Killarney.Speaking after the ruling, Margaret Rose O’Neill said that the local travelling community had been massively impacted by suicide.“We were reluctant to attend the event but were encouraged to go by our families as it was to raise funds for depression. Both of our husbands died by suicide and between us we have lost six members of our extended family in the same way.“I had been involved in supporting bereavement and mental health charities, attended charity events during suicide month, cake sales and family fun days, but to be refused access to this event, ticket in hand, because I am a Traveller was devastating.I have experienced discrimination many times in my life and in Killarney town, but this experience caused so much hurt to both of us, to our families and friends, we felt no other choice but to take it to court.Both women were represented by the Irish Traveller Movement, who welcomed the court decision.“These two women have shown tremendous strength and courage to seek to have the wrong that was done unto them highlighted and shows the particular difficulties Travellers are faced with, in particular with respect to mental health challenges and suicide,” Susan Fay of the movement’s Law Centre said.Read: Prison officer recovering from cancer awarded €80,000 in employment tribunal caseRead: EasyJet in French court for refusing disabled passengers
Nintendo fans have asked for GameCube titles to be made available on the Virtual Console for years, but now at last it seems that their desires will be fulfilled. According to several sources that have spoken to EuroGamer, Nintendo will indeed have emulated GameCube titles available to purchase on the Switch’s virtual store.As per the report, three titles have already been tested and can run on the Switch. These games are Super Mario Sunshine, Luigi’s Mansion, and Super Smash Bros. Melee. Another game that will be tested is Animal Crossing. This game actually includes a dozen Nintendo Entertainment System titles within it. The report says that these games run well on the Switch. This hopefully means that Switch customers will eventually be able to buy NES, and perhaps even SNES titles too.Right now, the exact number of past Nintendo platforms available on the Switch’s Virtual Console hasn’t been decided. However, EuroGamer’s sources say that there will be an upgrade program akin to the one on the Wii U. What this means is that games that were previously purchased on the Wii U can be “upgraded” for a small fee instead of having to be bought again at full price.At this point, tests of these GameCube games on Switch is “promising,” with the titles running as good as they did on the original system. Whether or not the Switch can make these old games look better depends on the systems’ final hardware. We know that the Switch uses Tegra X technology for its chipset and that — according to EuroGamer’s own tests — this tech can run GameCube’s Dolphin Emulator rather well.One last noteworthy thing from this report is the reason why Smash Bros. Melee was among one of the first games to be tested. Despite being 15 years old, this title is still wildly popular among the fighting game community (FGC) and still brings in sizable audiences at fighting game tournaments. Having the game available on the Switch as opposed to running on third party hardware or even on old GameCubes will make things easier on those who are keeping the game alive at tournaments.As always, take all of this with a grain of salt. We’ll hopefully find out more about the Switch’s GameCube emulation capabilities during the Switch-centric Nintendo Direct that will be released on January 12, 2017. Stay on target ‘Star Wars Pinball’ Has Your Favorite Brand in Ball Form‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ Was Final Mission From Late Nintendo President
The new season of Once Upon a Time is going out of its way to not cheapen any of the happy endings from the season six finale. Emma and Hook came back in episode two for one more fun adventure with Henry before walking into the sunset. Now, the season brought Belle back for her final episode to ensure us that she did get her happy ending, even if Rumplestiltskin didn’t yet. Of course, the way they did that was by taking a page from Up. Yeah, there were almost certainly a lot of tears in the homes of Oncers last night.I was never a huge fan of the whole Belle-Rumplestiltskin relationship. The huge gulf in age between them always felt a little awkward. Then there was all the stalking and manipulation. There’s the fact that he was always tempted by the power of being The Dark One. It felt like the show wanted you to root for them as a couple while providing nothing but evidence of why you should not. Last season went a long way towards redeeming his character, and this episode made his relationship with Belle work better than any of the previous seasons could. It showed them growing old together. We saw the re-babied Gideon grow up and travel with his parents. We saw Rumplestiltskin being a good dad and struggling when it came time to let him go. Belle convinced him to give up magic and build a home for themselves the hard way. For the first time in the series, Belle made Rumple a better person. That made their romance much sweeter and easier to accept.Seeing Belle age also helped. As the episode progressed, Belle started getting grey hair and wrinkles in her face. The old age makeup wasn’t especially convincing (it never is), but it was enough to make the age gap no longer an issue. In the end, it paid off that the episode spent so much time with Belle and Rumple as a couple. The past six seasons were never able to, and this one episode did a fantastic job of getting us emotionally invested in them as a couple. All so it could punch us right in the gut. After having a full life together, Belle collapses in the house she and Rumple share. He brings her to the couch where she tells him to seek out The Guardian. Once he does that, he’ll be able to get rid of the dagger, become mortal and join Belle. No, YOU’RE crying!Robert Carlyle, Emilie de Ravin, Giles Matthey (Photo by Jack Rowand/ABC)It was on that journey that he met Alice, who figures heavily into the Seattle side of the plot this week. I always worry that whenever Once Upon a Time does a holiday themed episode, it’s going to be a throwaway. It’ll have a one-off story that doesn’t move the main plot forward. That’s not what happened here. Alice, Tilly in this world, has stopped taking her pills. She accosts Victoria Belfrey in her car, accusing her of bringing them all to this fake neighborhood in Seattle. There’s an interesting reveal. For whatever reason, maybe having something to do with her time in Wonderland, Alice can see through the curse. It’s only by keeping her medicated, foggy and unsure of her own reality that Belfrey’s able to keep a lid on it.Also, this time around, Weaver/Rumple isn’t aware of the curse. His memory is gone just like everyone else’s. Belfrey pressures him to drug Tilly, who takes him to her hideout to try to jog his true memory. Here, we get our second saddest death of the episode. She shows him Chip and when he doesn’t recognize the teacup as anything special, she smashes it on the ground. No! Leave Chip out of this, what did he ever do to you?! Saying she’s doing what Rumple told her to do, presumably just before this new curse, she shoots him. That’s when we learn he never found the Guardian. Even in Seattle, he’s still immortal. That near-death experience gives him the slightest glimpse of Belle, and he remembers everything. That well-placed “deary” in his hospital bed conversation with Belfrey is so good. I almost cheered, if not for the fact that I was alone on my couch and that would have been weird. The show really knocked it out of the park with Rumple’s story this week. It answered all our questions about Detective Weaver and took it somewhere really exciting. It’s nice to have Rumplestiltskin play the good guy, even if he is a vaguely dirty cop, and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.Gabrielle Anwar (Photo by Jack Rowand/ABC)For all the excitement and heartbreak in the rest of the episode, Henry’s story fell into an already familiar pattern. He denies that he’s developing feelings for Jacinda and tries to ask her out, but chickens out. The more important part of the story involves Belfrey getting even pettier. After Jacinda saved the community garden, Belfrey forbids her from even taking Lucy trick-or-treating. Ivy is forced to instead. She clearly doesn’t want to, but she’s afraid to stand up to her mother. This is the one interesting part of their story. Ivy is as much a victim of her mother’s control as anyone else. She’s in a higher position, sure, but her life under this curse isn’t all that great. Lucy ditches Ivy to go to a haunted house and Henry helps Ivy find her. He even lets her play the hero, convincing Ivy to stand up to her mother and let Lucy trick-or-treat with Jacinda. Henry’s invited to join the family, but he decides to spend the evening at Roni’s instead, where Ivy buys him a drink as a thank you.Man, I am not OK with this love triangle the show is trying to set up here. We know for a fact that Lucy is Henry’s daughter and we don’t need this Ivy person moving in on him. Yes, this episode made us sympathize with her more, but that does not mean she gets Henry! I know exactly how things are going to play out from here. Henry is scared of jumping back into having a family again because, in his mind, he’s already lost one. He wants something safer and uncomplicated. That’s Ivy. They’re going to sleep together, Jacinda’s going to find out and it is going to be A THING. That’s how you know this is still Once Upon a Time. Even after six seasons and a half-reboot, it’s still able to get us emotionally invested in this corny fairy tale relationship drama.Dania Ramirez, Adelaide Kane (Photo by Jack Rowand/ABC)Any skepticism about this new Once Upon a Time should be gone after last night’s episode. Even with the new setting, story and characters it’s still the same show we fell in love with back in 2011. Last night’s episode was a showcase of everything that makes OUAT great. And even though Henry’s story appears to be in a holding patter for now, no scene in this episode felt wasted. Each one drove the story forward in some way. And now that the show has figured out how to use Rumple/Weaver, I can’t wait to see where it goes next week. Once Upon a Time’s Finale Was Everything We Loved About an Imperfect ShowHenry Screws Everything Up Again on Once Upon a Time Stay on target
Brazil captain Thiago Silva has teased that they are well prepared for today’s last-16 game against Mexico with the coaching staff having made a “plan A and plan B” to ensure successToday’s meeting between the two nations will be the 41st time they have faced off against each other with Brazil having won 23 times compared to Mexico’s 10, although the latter has never managed to score against the Canarinho in their previous four World Cup matches.Brazil are determined to right the wrongs of four years ago, where they were thrashed 7-1 by Germany in the semi-finals of the World Cup at home soil, and have got off to a steady start at Russia this time around by topping Group E with 7 points from their opening three games.And Silva revealed that the squad are taking no chances as they chase a record sixth world title.Neymar can win the Ballon d’Or, says Ander Herrera Andrew Smyth – September 13, 2019 An “excited” Ander Herrera believes new Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Neymar is a contender for the Ballon d’Or alongside Kylian Mbappe.“We are well-prepared and we are planning to progress to the quarter-finals. The coach provided us with all the necessary tools, we have plan A and plan B. We hope that tomorrow will be a wonderful day, and Neymar will be as inspired as everyone else,” said the 33-year-old, as stated on FourFourTwo.Brazil and Mexico last met in the World Cup four years ago where they had a goalless draw in a group game.Today’s match will take place at the Samara Arena at 16:00 (GMT +2).