No consensus on Jammu & Kashmir polls

first_imgThe all-party meeting chaired by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti in Jammu on Sunday failed to arrive at a consensus on holding panchayat polls in February, in the wake of prevalent hostile atmosphere fuelled by six civilian deaths in January.“The majority of the leaders are for panchayat polls but were of the opinion that the situation was not feasible for holding it [soon] and suggested its deferment,” Rural Development Minister Haq Khan said after the meeting.Mr. Khan said the Cabinet would consider the views gathered on Sunday and “take a final call.”The meeting was attended by leaders from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, the National Conference (NC), the BJP, the Congress, the CPI(M), the PDF, the National Panthers Party, the Awami Itihaad Party and the Democratic Party Nationalist.Ms. Mufti on December 25 last year announced that grassroots elections will be held from February 15. However, six civilian killings during counter-insurgency operation in January cast a shadow on the prospect of holding the polls this month.‘Heightened tension’A senior police officer said the death of six civilians in January, of which three died in Army firing on stone-throwers on January 27, has “further heightened tension in volatile areas in south Kashmir.”“In March last year, we faced a similar situation during the bypolls for Srinagar and Anantnag Lok Sabha polls. Just 11 days before the Srinagar bypoll, three civilians died near encounter in Budgam, impacting the voter turnout,” said the official.Srinagar witnessed only 7.14% turnout in April last year and eight people were killed in clashes on the day of polls, forcing the authorities to cancel the Anantnag by-polls later.“The government failed to hold the Anantnag by-polls in time. Instead it announced panchayat polls. We are not against it but the government has to ensure a conducive security situation,” NC leader Ali Muhammad Sagar said.CPI (M) leader M.Y Tarigami said if the government was sceptic about people’s participation, it “should take serious confidence building measures on the ground. The government has to regain peoples’ trust first.”Jammu and Kashmir conducted its first panchayat polls in 2001 after four decades. The fresh elections were due in 2016 but the government failed to conduct them due to volatile situation in the wake of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhwan Wani’s killing.As Ms. Mufti announced fresh dates, separatist leaders called for its boycott.last_img read more

Mamata Banerjee dharna: The return of the street fighter

first_imgWithin hours of the CBI knocking on the doors of Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was back in her fiercest avatar — a street fighter and a formidable adversary – not shying away from protests and dharnas.Straight after holding a meeting with Mr. Kumar and other senior officials of Kolkata, she arrived in front of Metro Channel at Kolkata’s Esplanade area and sat in protest. With a shawl wrapped around her head and accompanied by a few senior police officers, she took a hurriedly arranged plastic chair and announced that it was a “Satyagraha” to save the Constitution.This was the same venue where Ms. Banerjee had held a hunger strike during her protest against forcible land acquisition for the Singur small car factory in 2006.Also Read CBI vs Kolkata Police: Scene set to shift to Supreme Court Within minutes hundreds of people gathered at the venue and the crowd swelled to thousands in a couple of hours. People started shouting slogans in support of the Chief Minister.Senior Trinamool Congress leaders, including Mayor of Kolkata Firhad Hakim, arrived at the venue in the next few minutes and sat around the Chief Minister in circles. Construction of a stage started next to the venue and it is likely to be completed by Monday morning.last_img read more

Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil not for sale, says Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

first_imgManager Arsene Wenger said on Thursday that Arsenal would not sell Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil even if the pair fail to agree fresh terms with the Premier League club.Both players are in the final 18 months of their contracts and British media report that negotiations have faltered over salary demands, with Arsenal unwilling to break its current wage structure to retain them.The reports suggested Arsenal might cash in on Sanchez or Ozil in the close season, but Wenger told a news conference the club is doing all it can to tie them down to fresh terms.”These players will stay for at least 18 months,” he said. “We are professional people and we work until the last day of our contract with full commitment.”The Frenchman did not offer assurances that the duo, who have been instrumental in Arsenal’s rise to second in the table and qualification for the Champions League group stages, would be at the Emirates Stadium once their current deals end.”I’m not the only one who can decide that,” he added. “They have 18 months (left on their) contracts and are completely committed to do well as long as they are here.”Beyond that, we will try to extend their contract but I cannot make a subject of that in every press conference.”No matter what happens they will stay for 18 months and hopefully for much longer.”Sanchez has been thriving in a central striking role for Arsenal this season, scoring 13 goals in 20 appearances and keeping Olivier Giroud out of the side. Ozil has been in equally impressive form, with eight goals in 19 appearances.advertisementWenger’s team have not lost in the league since the opening day of the season, and won 5-1 at West Ham United last weekend. Arsenal host ninth-placed Stoke City on Saturday.”We are playing well but have plenty of room for improvement,” Wenger said.”We want to develop as a team and that is what we have done since the start of the season. We had a difficult start but responded very well. I feel the team is on the way upwards.”Francis Coquelin is back from suspension for the Stoke game, while full back Hector Bellerin faces a late fitness test. Striker Danny Welbeck and centre back Per Mertesacker are still unavailable.last_img read more

Akshay Kumar off to London to shoot for Gold

first_imgMumbai, Jul 2 (PTI) Actor Akshay Kumar has left for London to start filming the first schedule of “Gold”.The film directed by Reema Kagti is about Indias first Olympic medal win as a free nation in the year 1948 at Games of the XIV Olympiad, London.The 49-year-old actor took to Twitter to share the news with his fans and followers.”Set out on a brand new journey, aiming for nothing less than #GOLD! Day 1 of Gold, need your love and best wishes as always,” wrote Akshay, alongside his first look from the film.In the monochrome photograph, the National Award-winning actor can be seen sporting a thin moustache. He is dressed in a chequered waistcoat and pants.The movie also marks the Bollywood debut of actress Mouni Roy opposite Akshay.The film is being produced by Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar under the banner Excel Entertainment.The movie will hit the theatres on August 15 next year.Akshay will next be seen in “Toilet: Ek Prem Katha”, which is set to release on August 11 this year. PTI RDS JCHlast_img read more

Beyonce has finally revealed the names of her twins

first_imgSocial media has already been obsessing over Beyonce’s pregnancy and later, her twins.The Lemonade singer’s twins are a month old now. And if you have been waiting to get a glimpse of her children, behold! She has finally granted your wish.The singer recently shared the first picture of herself with her twins on social media, while confirming their names too–Sir Carter and Rumi.In the picture, the 35-year-old mother is seen wearing a blue veil, carrying her twins, draped in a purple floral sheet. ”Sir Carter and Rumi 1 month today,” wrote Beyonce, while sharing the photo.Apart from the twins, the couple is also parents to their five-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy.Also Read:Guessing what sex Beyonce and Jay Z’s twins are? Your wait is overBeyonce has already been winning praise and attention, ever since she posted her very first picture as a pregnant lady in a veil and floral backdrop–a theme that replicates itself in her latest picture too.Picture courtesy: Instagram/beyonce This time seemed no different as social media could hardly keep calm over the picture, with a few of them attempting to imitate the very look that the singer sported.this is the manifesto of motherhood, the birth of Sir Carter and Rumi (2017) #Beyonce #beyoncetwins S T E V E N (@diohnisio) July 14, 2017My best friend in Ireland who had twins in February couldn’t resist……the best ?????? #beyoncetwins #twins #thebest Be Inspired Fitness! (@SineadMJ) July 14, 2017But what could have inspired the names? Was it Jay Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter? And Rumi a namesake of the Persian poet? Will Rumi be called only by the first name? While social media kept speculating, Beyonce’s mother, Tina, cleared all confusion by posting yet another message, saying, ”Sir Carter and Rumi Carter…Boy and girl what a blessing.”last_img read more

Taylor, Nicholls centuries lead New Zealand to ODI series whitewash over Sri Lanka

first_imgNew Zealand vs Sri Lanka 3rd ODI Scores(Full scorecard)Brief scores:New Zealand 364 for 7 in 50 overs (Taylor 137, Nicholls 124*, Malinga 3 for 93, Sandakan 1 for 54)Sri Lanka 249 all out in 41.4 overs (Thisara Perera 80, Kusal Perera 43, Ferguson 4 for 40, Sodhi 3 for 40)New Zealand beat Sri Lanka by 115 runsRoss Taylor posted his 20th one-day international century and Henry Nicholls scored his first as New Zealand beat Sri Lanka by 115 runs on Tuesday to sweep the ODI series 3-0.Taylor made 137 and Nicholls 124 not out as New Zealand reached 364-4 batting first, highlighting the growing depth of its batting as it works towards the World Cup in England.Sri Lanka was all out for 249 in 41.4 overs in reply, threatening New Zealand’s total briefly – especially when Thisara Perera (80) was at the crease – before again falling short.Paceman Lockie Ferguson took 4-40 and leg-spinner Ish Sodhi snared 3-40 in the best performance by a New Zealand bowling unit which has been under pressure at times in the series.But so great is the depth in New Zealand’s batting that Nicholls may be in danger missing selection if wicketkeeper and opening batsman Tom Latham is available.Taylor became the first New Zealander to score 20 centuries in a single international cricket format and continued an extraordinary run of form which has seen him score 181 not out, 80, 86 not out, 54, 90 and 137 in his last six ODI innings. While he remains in the shadow of such players as Kane Williamson and the big-hitters Martin Guptill and Colin Munro, Taylor has become the heart of the one-day lineup.advertisement”I’m always nervous at the start of my innings but I just want to sum up the situation as quickly as possible and in all three games I’ve been pretty happy,” Taylor said. “Obviously, leading into a World Cup I think the guys have played pretty well.”New Zealand was 31-2 when Taylor went to the crease Tuesday and he built partnerships of 116 with Williamson (55) and 154 with Nicholls to lead his team to a 300-plus total for the third time in the series. The total was inflated when New Zealand scored 69 from the last five overs.The New Zealanders made 371-7 in the first match of the series, winning by 45 runs, and 364-7 in the second match which it won by 21 runs.As has been the case in both of the earlier matches, Sri Lanka made a bold attempt to chase New Zealand’s massive totals, which were inflated by the weakness of the tourists’ death bowling.Sri Lanka scored a commendable 326 in the first match and 298 in the secon, thanks to Thisara Perara’s 140 from 74 balls. But on each occasion it couldn’t keep up the pace needed to reach such substantial targets.Sri Lanka was on pace early in its run chase, reaching 66 in 8.1 before the loss of its first wicket. It went on to 107 in the 15th over before the started floundering.Captain Lasith Malinga, who led Sri Lanka’s wicket takers with 3-93, sees positives in his team’s performance heading towards a series in Australia and then the World Cup.”The bowling is getting better,” he said. “I think we’ve realized in the last three games we’re going okay after 35 overs but in the last 15 overs we’re not bowling well.”Before the World Cup people have a lot of time to think about that and improve that skill. We still need to improve our middle order batting and we will be much better – we have plenty of time to work on these things.”last_img read more

Ohio State’s National Championship Rings Are Hurting The Buckeyes’ FIFA Playing Ability

first_imgOhio State's national championship rings.Ohio State’s 2014 football team received its national championship rings this morning. There are, of course, many benefits to wearing a championship ring: they look cool, they go with everything and they remind people that you are a national champion. There’s a downside, though: they hurt your video-game skills. You know how hard it is to win a FIFA game with this ring on? Feel me @jbbigbear we just take it for granted without it— Joe Burger (@jburgs37) March 27, 2015Perhaps the people who design the national championship rings should figure out a way to make them lighter so it’s easier to score goals in FIFA.last_img read more

240 Pages of Porsche 911 History, Drivers, Specs, and Images – Amen!

first_img The Manual Spirit Awards 2019: The Best Craft Liquor Made in America Editors’ Recommendations Seeing all the history and evidence compiled into a single chronicle does its work to translate the cultural icon of the car. And as you’re turning the pages, the spirit of its drivers and design is contagious.Don’t be surprised if you suddenly become an unruly spirit, activist, fanatic, go-getter, adventurer, idealist, bon viveur, connoisseur, speed lover, and individual.If you don’t, that’s ok also. According to Poschardt the car is equally as despised as it is loved— especially by many Germans who call it “a set of wheels for fat cats.” (Burn?)Images courtesy Gestalten 16 Best Action Movies on Netflix Right Now 6 Fastest Cars in the World Right Now A Breakdown of All the Major Types of Car Racing Tattoo Ideas for Men (For When You Have No Idea) Once you catch sight of a Porsche 911 sportscar, it’s safe to say you’re ruined for life. That was the case for Steve McQueen, Jerry Seinfeld, my father, and even a car-heisting Nicholas Cage in Gone in 60 Seconds.You can debate it all you want, but the 911 remains the sexiest luxury sportscar in existence, even through its many iterations.Prominent German journalist Ulf Poschardt (he’s been the chief editor at Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone Germany) got the 911 bug too. So much that he crafted Porsche 911: The Ultimate Sportscar as Cultural Icon — a history-book-meets-auto-bible, published by GestaltenThe forward dubs the 911, “the thinking man’s sports car,” and walks us through its birth, evolution, and symbolic coming of age. Poschardt also unwraps the key people and occurrences that lent to the 911 becoming a global phenomenon. (He even sends Porsche drivers to a shrink for a look into the psyche of the men and women that crave this ride.) In fact, the book is just as much about the scrupulous design of the car itself as the personality makeup of its drivers.Upon its first launch in 1963, the Porsche 911 was a highly reserved car owned by wealthy self-made individuals and rich inheritors, all of whom were looking for a new way to recreate themselves. Poschardt writes, “They were unruly spirits, activists, fanatics, go-getters, adventurers, idealists, bon viveurs, connoisseurs, speed lovers, and individuals.”As history unfolded, this identity of the 911 owner officially sealed its place in the archives of cool. (I mean come on, this was Steve McQueen’s go-to pair of wheels.) Poschardt asserts that the 911 driver is one, a bit narcissistic, two, craves freedom, and three, has an appetite for perfection.All 240 pages of Porsche 911 feature wicked back stories, history lessons, technical breakdowns, and, of course, dominating photography that in all truth speaks louder than the words on the page.Let’s just say if there was one book we could take to a desert island, it would be Porsche 911.last_img read more

PHOTOS: PM and UN Secretary General

first_imgPrime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, signs the register when he arrived at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York today (September 24) for talks with the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres. The Prime Minister will, on Thursday (September 27), deliver Jamaica’s official policy statement at the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly. Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness (second right), with the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, António Guterres, when he arrived at the UN Headquarters today (September 24) in New York to hold talks. Mr. Holness is in New York attending the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly, which he will address on Thursday (September 27). With the Prime Minister (from left) are Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton; and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson-Smith.last_img read more

Alberta advisory group sets out recommendations on oilsands emissions cap

first_imgCALGARY – Alberta’s Oil Sands Advisory Group is recommending a series of escalating measures including financial penalties and potentially halting projects to ensure greenhouse gas emissions from the oilsands remain within a mandated 100-megatonne limit.As a first step, the report recommends steps that will reduce future emissions including using better technology, setting out emissions plans, and improved regulations.The oilsands currently emit about 70 megatonnes of greenhouse gases. The group of 18 advisers suggests that when they hit 80 and 90 megatonnes there should be reviews of the system and how facilities might be affected as emissions approach the cap.It also recommends establishing annual and 10-year forecasts, with more reviews triggered when the cap is expected to be hit in five years.When the cap is expected to be hit within a year, the report says high-intensity emitters could be forced to reduce emissions or face penalties and the government could suspend projects that haven’t started construction.The Alberta government says it will now review the consensus advice from the group and begin stakeholder consultations.last_img read more

Do Canadians know enough about food safety Federal survey says No

first_imgOTTAWA – Canadian are becoming less aware of how to safely handle and prepare food to avoid food-borne illness and food poisoning, according to government-backed research.The findings from the report, which cost the government $126,449, point to an overall deterioration over the past eight years in Canadians’ confidence that they can protect themselves and their families from food-borne illness and food poisoning.A majority of seniors and pregnant women in the survey didn’t consider themselves to be at any greater risk from food poisoning, even though they are.The pollsters recommend the government gently target public awareness campaigns at those groups, among others, about how to properly handle food “without undermining the public’s confidence in agriculture or the agri-food industry, or Canada’s food safety system, which is reasonably good.”The results of the survey are based on responses from 1,201 respondents through telephone interviews, and 1,613 people through an online panel. All work was done between Dec. 14, 2017 and Jan. 18, 2018.A spokesman for Health Canada said the department will update its safe food handling advertising campaign based on the research report, as well as information from other sources.The Liberals introduced new food safety rules last month, just a few weeks after the research report was delivered to Health Canada. The regulations will come into force early next year, and will require companies to keep detailed records about the path food takes from producer to consumer.Federal officials believe that being able to trace food to its source could speed up the pace of recalls.Consultations on the regulations are open until Sept. 7.The survey provided to Health Canada in early May will now become the benchmark by which the government can measure the effects of public awareness efforts in the coming years, but also provide insight into how attitudes have changed since 2010.Each year, about one in eight Canadians — or four million people — are affected by a food-borne illness like norovirus, salmonella or listeria, leading to about 11,500 hospitalizations and some 240 deaths.Many small things can be done to avoid problems, but the survey found a broad lack of knowledge about washing reusable shopping bags, rinsing poultry before cooking, as well as properly storing, defrosting and cooking meat and seafood.More pregnant women and parents of young children in 2018 than in 2010 defrost meat or poultry at room temperature rather than in the fridge.And seniors are more likely to view food as safe to consume past the best-before date, aren’t aware of the proper temperature to leave a fridge — between 2 C and 4 C — and tend to believe frozen, breaded chicken products just need to be reheated rather than cooked through.“The results of this survey also suggest an ‘out of sight … out-of-mind’ tendency among the public with regards to safe food handling in general, food-borne illness and listeria in particular,” the report says.“In the absence of sustained messaging related to food safety, it is likely that consumer vigilance may lapse, especially with respect to specific food safety practices that have not yet become normalized or habitualized.”If the federal government wanted to increase food safety awareness with seniors — defined in the survey as anyone 60 and over — it should focus on consequences, said Wanda Morris, vice-president of advocacy with CARP, formerly known as the Canadian Association of Retired Persons. She pointed to campaigns about falls that focus on the likelihood that not preventing them could lead seniors to live in long-term care homes.She suggested food safety authorities should try “tying in an awareness campaign of ‘do you want to save a few pennies and risk long-term care or death’. And the bigger fear is long-term care. In my experience people are more concerned with long-term care than they are about dying.”last_img read more

Benkirane: Morocco will “stick to” 1991 ceasefire agreement with Polisario

Rabat – Abdelilah Benkirane, the Moroccan head of government, reaffirmed Thursday his country’s stance supporting the 1991 ceasefire agreement with the Polisario Front, which was negotiated by the U.N. with the Polisario Front.In regards to the kingdom’s recent orders to evict parts of MINURSO – a U.N. affiliated peacekeeping mission based in the Western Sahara – Benkirane’s spokesperson and communications minister, Mustafa Al Khalfi said, “Morocco made necessary decisions in accordance with the dangerous and physical [verbal] slides that insulted the Moroccan people and the territorial integrity of the country.”The country’s recent decision to close MINURSO offices in Laayoune and Dakhla – in response to United National Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s use of the term “occupation” to describe Morocco’s presence in the Western Sahara – is “irreversible,” according to Benkirane’s statement. “Morocco is sticking to the ceasefire and will defend it,” Khalfi said, stressing that the kingdom “will continue its contacts with all friendly countries in the Security Council in this area.”“Morocco has no problem with the United Nations or the Security Council,” the spokesperson added.Ki-moon remarks, which led Moroccans in the country and the diaspora to launch protests against him, came earlier this month after his visit to Sahrawi refugee camps in Tindouf, Algeria – the Front’s home city.The U.N. leader’s visit to the camps’ schools and facilities, which Ki-moon said had “saddened” him, came as part of his diplomatic tour of North African countries. The tour did not include Morocco as his scheduled dates in the country conflicted with King Mohammed VI’s visit to Russia read more

Maître Gims’ Photo Holding Moroccan Flag Goes Viral

Rabat – A photo of Gandhi Djuna, better known by his stage name Maître Gims, holding the Moroccan flag before his performance at the Mawazine Festival scheduled on Monday at OLM Souissi stage in Rabat has gone viral.The Congolese-born French rapper and singer shared with his 950,000 fans the photo of him holding the Moroccan flag, with a statement that reads “With very close family @aarab_youssef live RABAT.”Before performing for the Moroccan public, the singer will give a press conference at the Villa des Arts in Rabat at 11 a.m. local time. A singer and songwriter, Maitre branched out on his own and is now recognized by many as one of the most popular singers in France, selling over 1 million copies of his popular solo 18-track album Subliminal, released on May 20, 2013.The Maroc Culture Association, the organizer of the festival, said that the 14th annual Mawazine Festival in 2015 drew a record 2.65 million spectators and is expected to receive more people this year.As with the previous festivals, Mawazine will host more than 60 performances and of some of the most talented Moroccan and international artists.EN DIRECT sur #Periscope : En direct de RABAT— Maître GIMS (@MaitreGims) May 23, 2016 read more

Mexicans launch friendly defensive to deflect US tariffs

MEXICO CITY — Mexican officials have copied a page from Donald Trump’s playbook in recent days, taking to Twitter to communicate that they are working flat-out to de-escalate tensions over immigration and avoid punitive tariffs on all Mexican exports to the U.S.Announcements of meetings in Washington, selfies and carefully crafted messages of optimism for cool-headed discussions are some of the tactics on display in social media to respond to an economic and diplomatic emergency that few anticipated. Trump’s threat on Thursday to impose tariffs to pressure Mexico to do more to curb the flow of migrants came the same day that Mexico declared it would begin the process of ratifying the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement on trade.Many are questioning the legality of mixing immigration policy goals with trade retaliation, and U.S. business groups are already considering legal action against the proposed tariff, arguing that the countries both produce for each other and together.“Almost everyone was caught flat-footed,” said Antonio Ortiz-Mena, an international trade consultant based in Washington with the Albright Stonebridge Group who represented Mexico as part of the team that negotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement in the early 1990s.Ortiz-Mena said he spent much of the weekend on phone calls and crafting strategies to advise clients in the U.S.-Mexico supply chain on how to navigate the situation. His advice to Mexican officials would besure to stay calm and show good faith by ratifying the USMCA trade deal.“We’re neighbours. We’re not going anywhere,” Ortiz-Mena said.Mexico overtook Canada to become the top trade partner for the U.S. in April.And Mexico’s message has been consistently friendly. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Mexico won’t panic, signing off on a Thursday letter to Trump as “your friend” and repeating that his country doesn’t want this confrontation, much less a trade war.There has also been some expert trolling. Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard posted a picture of himself at a Mexican airport Friday waiting to depart for Washington via Houston, with a Huawei-branded cellphone charging station behind him. The subtle implication: If the U.S. pushes Mexico away, China, a geopolitical and economic adversary, could move in to fill that space.Mexican Economy Minister Graciela Marquez said she will meet with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in Washington on Monday. Ebrard said a delegation he is leading will hold talks Wednesday with one headed by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.Ebrard said Mexican Agriculture Minister Victor Manuel Villalobos also is to meet with his U.S. counterpart, Sonny Perdue, as tariffs would “severely” affect the U.S. agricultural sector. The objective is for the U.S. to avoid “shooting itself in the foot,” Ebrard said.Mexico is the top export market for U.S. corn and pork, and Mexico supplies one out of three fresh fruits and vegetables consumed in the United States. Tariffs on Mexican agricultural exports are seen raising the cost of avocados, tomatoes and berries for U.S. consumers.Over the weekend, Mexico’s economy minister joined what Mexican Twitter users have dubbed the “Ebrard Selfie Challenge,” posting pictures of herself smiling next to the U.S. commerce secretary at the inauguration of El Salvador President Nayib Bukele.The Mexican strategy of killing with kindness has been met with skepticism and increasingly harsh words from Trump.“Mexico is sending a big delegation to talk about the Border,” Trump tweeted Sunday. “Problem is, they’ve been ‘talking’ for 25 years. We want action, not talk.”That followed an earlier tweet in which Trump labelled Mexico an “abuser” that takes but never gives to the U.S. He threatened to lure U.S. companies and jobs back via tariffs unless Mexico stops what he called an “invasion” of drug dealers, cartels, human traffickers, people smugglers and immigrants.The addition of drugs to the complaint adds another layer of complication to negotiations.“It’s asking the impossible,” said Maureen Meyer, director for Mexico and migrant rights at the Washington Office on Latin America, a group that researches and advocates for human rights. “It certainly overlooks how much Mexico is trying to co-operate with the U.S.”Mexican authorities have raided migrant caravans travelling through the country’s southern states of Chiapas and Oaxaca this year. They have deported thousands of migrants and frustrated thousands more who wait endlessly for permits that would allow them to travel legally through Mexico.Meyer expects U.S. officials will again push this week for Mexico to sign onto a “Safe Third Country” agreement, which would designate Mexico as an adequate waiting spot for migrants wishing to claim asylum in the U.S. She said Mexico should stand firm and resist because it lacks the financial and human resources to process thousands of refugee cases, even if it were willing to do so.A complete militarization of Mexican borders is also a very tall order. Just as the Mexican border with the U.S. has proven porous, Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala features dense jungle and a river that makes it difficult to patrol.Over the weekend, The Associated Press witnessed migrants arrive in small batches by raft at Tapachula, a border town in Chiapas. Federal helicopters, boats and police were not patrolling the Suchiate River as they have in the past to halt caravans.But the AP also has seen a migrant woman and two children pulled from a bus in recent days to be transported to a detention centre. Residents of Tapachula are routinely asked to show ID while riding public transportation as officials search for migrants without permission to be in Mexico. There were few migrants in the streets or camping in the public parks of Tapachula.Those passing through Mexico without transit visas have opted to maintain a low-profile over the past weeks as Mexico seeks to detain and deport more migrants — and to draw attention to those efforts.The National Migration Institute tweeted a picture Saturday of a plane transporting 64 Cubans back to their country from the Gulf state of Veracruz.Trump says he will impose a 5% tariff on Mexican goods beginning June 10 as a way to force the government of Mexico to keep mostly Central American migrants from crossing into the U.S. He says that until he is satisfied with Mexico’s results, the import tax will be increased five percentage points every month through October, topping out at a total tariff of 25%.Yet there are no concrete benchmarks for Mexico to prove that it is stemming immigration flows.Mick Mulvaney, acting White House chief of staff, said on “Fox News Sunday” that Trump is “deadly serious” about imposing tariffs on imports, adding that “there’s no specific target, there’s no specific percentage” that Mexico needs to hit.“They have to get dramatically better and they have to get better quickly,” Mulvaney said.López Obrador said Mexican officials will try to better communicate their immigration efforts in Washington this week. He issued a memo to “the people” of the U.S. on Sunday saying he wishes to remain Trump’s friend and professing that Mexicans are their friends, too.He closed the letter by saying: “Let nothing and nobody separate our beautiful and sacred friendship.”___Associated Press photo journalist Marco Ugarte in Tapachula, Mexico, contributed to this report.Amy Guthrie, The Associated Press read more

UN political chief voices concern about displaced after wrapping up visit to

B. Lynn Pascoe, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, told a press conference in Colombo at the end of his visit to Sri Lanka that the UN had not observed the progress expected after the world body and the Government issued a joint statement following the conclusion of fighting with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May.More than 280,000 IDPs now reside in often congested camps in the north of the country, and Mr. Pascoe – who visited some camps yesterday – said he was very concerned about the lack of freedom of movement for residents and what he called the “closed nature” of the camps.“People are not free to come or go and they are understandably upset,” he said. “We picked up great frustration on this point in the camps that we visited yesterday. I was told by many – and quite emphatically – that they just want to go home.“We understand there are security concerns to be addressed. At the same time, this kind of closed regime goes directly against the principles under which we work in assisting IDPs all around the world.”Mr. Pascoe urged the Government to allow those IDPs who have completed the screening process to leave the camps as they choose, and for those people remaining to be able to exit the camps during the day and to freely meet with family and friends in other sites.On the last day of his visit to Sri Lanka, Mr. Pascoe held talks today with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, senior Government ministers, military officials, opposition leaders, Tamil politicians and representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other civil society groups. During the meetings the Under-Secretary-General discussed the situation of the IDPs as well as human rights accountability and political reconciliation.He told the press conference that he was pleased that Walter Kälin, the Secretary-General’s Representative on the human rights of IDPs, will visit the country next week.But Mr. Pascoe said he remains concerned about the pace of the process of allowing IDPs to return to their former communities.“If there is more screening to do, it should be speeded up. It appears there are areas where de-mining is not a big concern. For those areas, families who have passed the screening process could be resettled without much further delay. More people should be allowed to stay with relatives and host families.”Mr. Pascoe said he was informed by the Government today that it intends to both provide day passes to allow people to go to work or visit family and friends and to more aggressively publicize the option of accommodation with relatives and other host families.“Of course this is not the ultimate solution to the problem of getting people home quickly, but it is an interim measure that reduces congestion in the camps,” he said, calling for the Government to show more transparency and to consult more widely to allay the fears and concerns of the IDPs.He stressed that the IDP issue is particularly important because it provides Sri Lanka with “an opportunity to move beyond simply ending the fighting to solidifying the peace. As the situation currently stands in the camps, there is a real risk of breeding resentment that will undermine the prospects for political reconciliation in the future.” 18 September 2009Internally displaced persons (IDPs) living in Government-run camps in Sri Lanka lack basic rights of freedom of movement, and the country is not making the expected progress towards a lasting peace in the wake of the end earlier this year to fighting between military forces and Tamil rebels, the United Nations political chief said today. read more

Media code threat to free speech

“The government’s proposed media code is part of a sustained campaign to control the media and curtail dissent,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Sri Lankan journalists are already under enormous pressure not to be critical of the government, and the vagueness of this code will likely lead to greater self-censorship to avoid government retaliation.” The minister of mass media and information, Keheliya Rambukwella, announced that the code is intended to create a “salutary media culture in the country” because the actions of unnamed media houses had “led to many problems.”The code contains 13 types of substantive speech that would be prohibited from publication, including content that vaguely “offends against expectations of the public, morality of the country, or tend to lower the standards of public taste and morality.” Also prohibited would be any content that “contains material against the integrity of the Executive, Judiciary, and Legislative” – which could be interpreted as barring criticism of the government. The code also restricts content that “contains criticism affecting foreign relations,” which could lead to sanctions for reporting on international criticism of Sri Lankan government actions. A new media code proposed by the Sri Lankan government contains overbroad and vague language that could have a severe and chilling effect on free speech, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said today.The Ministry of Mass Media and Information officially proposed a Code of Media Ethics that would apply to print and electronic media, including the Internet. HRW says the proposed code comes at a time when the government has taken various measures to clamp down on Sri Lanka’s once vibrant media, including forcing some electronic media critical of the government to close down. “The new media code is unnecessary and little more than a heavy-handed assault on the remnants of Sri Lanka’s free press,” Adams said. “The code would hand the Sri Lankan authorities a new tool to harass and threaten journalists who are already working in a very difficult environment.” The government said it has distributed the code of conduct to various political parties for comment and would seek public feedback. It is not clear when the code will be presented to Parliament, what legal effect it will have if passed, or what sanctions would be imposed for non-compliance.Government-enforced codes of conduct on the media are unnecessary and invariably infringe upon the right to free expression as established under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Human Rights Watch said. The Press Complaints Commission of Sri Lanka already has a narrowly drafted code of practice that has been endorsed by the International Federation of Journalists and its affiliates in Sri Lanka.The Sri Lankan media has faced various threats in recent years, Human Rights Watch said. On April 3, masked armed men set fire to the office of Uthayan, a leading Tamil opposition newspaper whose journalists have previously been assaulted. In June 2012, the police raided the offices of the Sri Lanka Mirror, a news website, and the opposition Sri Lanka X News website, confiscating computers and documents and arresting nine people. The government shut down at least five news websites critical of the government in 2012 and put in place onerous registration requirements and fees for all web-based media services. Independent or outspoken members of the media have reportedly been pushed out of their positions due to political pressure. Violence remains a real fear for journalists, which is only heightened by impunity for perpetrators. For instance, there have been no significant developments in the 2010 disappearance of Prageeth Ekneligoda, a contributor to Lanka E-news, or in the murder of Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickrematunge, who was gunned down in broad daylight near a police station in 2009. read more

2012 new car and van best sellers on show at SMMT

Following news that the 2012 UK new car market hit a four-year high of more than two million units, SMMT has welcomed two best selling Ford models into its Westminster showroom, celebrating the company’s latest annual sales success.Ford has now been the UK’s number one car brand for 36 successive years, with an even longer leadership in the commercial vehicle market of 47 years with the Transit range.The two models on show at SMMT represent the best selling car and van in the UK. The Ford Fiesta has now been the UK’s best selling car for the fourth successive year, recording 109,265 registrations in 2012. Ford commercial vehicles have been the UK market leader for 47 years, with Transit vans in 2012 recording 48,075 registrations.Full year car registrations in the UK in 2012 were up 5.3% on the 2011 total, to 2,044,609 units. Ford sold 281,917 cars in the UK last year, up from 265,894 in 2011.Mark Ovenden, Ford Britain managing director, said, “More people choose Ford over any other vehicle brand in the UK and as we face similar, difficult market conditions in 2013 we will look to satisfy the needs of our private and business customers by strengthening our vehicle range still further and providing the best sales and service offering in our dealerships.”Growth in 2012 stemmed from a 12.9%, or 106,346 units, rise in private registrations. Regular replacement cycles, offers and incentives and some buyers shifting from buying used to new cars could have contributed to the upturn.Demand was particularly strong for Mini (+54.2%), Supermini (+5.6%) and Dual Purpose (+21.1%) segment cars in 2012.Click through to read the full 2012 UK car registrations news release.Click through the slideshow below to see all the photos from SMMT’s exhibition space.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more

Heres What Adam Silver Thinks About Our Proposal To Fix The NBA

Powered by Genius By Jody Avirgan Adam Silver Responds To FiveThirtyEight’s Letter About The NBA Lottery Adam Silver NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATIONAdam SilverCommissionerMay 28, 2015Dear Jody, Chadwick, Neil and Kate:Thanks for your letter and for devoting FiveThirtyEight’s considerable resources (and those of your readers/listeners) to addressing the NBA Draft Lottery.I was impressed with the detail and sophistication on display in many of the proposals — though I can’t say I’ll be riding a bear into the Lottery room any time soon. From the Tombstone Date to the Tweaked Wheel, I am grateful for the hard work of all 7,000 passionate basketball fans who took the time to examine our Draft Lottery from every conceivable angle.Of course, there can only be one winning proposal, and the work of the Futures Draft Planning Committee is a worthy champion. It is thorough, well researched and addresses many of the questions we are currently facing with the Draft Lottery; in fact, our internal Draft Lottery working team looked at models very similar to the one proposed by Samuel and Cody. While we continue to study this concept, we believe that “NBA Futures” runs into some of the same problems as other proposals we have considered — namely, by solving one potential problem, it creates a host of new ones.To elaborate, we believe the proposed system would represent a change in two major areas:First, it creates more variability; it is difficult to predict exactly where a team will finish in a particular year, so there is not a guaranteed reward for getting the first selection of a surrogate” team. However, we believe there would be a strong correlation between the selection order of surrogate teams and their actual performance (based on the high correlation of teams’ year-over-year performance). This suggests that there would indeed still be an incentive to be among the worst-performing teams in any given year.Second, “NBA Futures” delays the allocation of high draft picks to poor performing teams; for example, Team X finishes with the worst record in year 1 and gets the right to select its surrogate team first – Team . As described above, we would expect Team Y to perform poorly in year 2 more often than not, thus resulting in a high draft pick for Team X after year 2. Under our current system, Team X would get a high draft pick after year 1.It is debatable whether the goals of increased variability and delayed allocation of high draft picks to poor-performing teams are the right ones. If we were in fact seeking to accomplish these two goals, there are several approaches that might be more straightforward. For example:– To add variability, level out the odds for the worst performing teams– To delay pick allocation, tie lottery odds to performance from one year priorThe proposed system could also create strange incentives around surrogate team selection: Will teams be inclined to select a surrogate in their division or conference for competitive purposes? Will teams try to sign their surrogates top free agent simply to make them worse? There could also be situations in which a team would have incentive to contribute to its non-surrogates improvement.And even though it sounds like Samuel and Cody have thought of contingencies like no trade clauses between surrogate teams, the proposal would likely add a significant layer of complexity to the trading of draft picks.Finally, its worth noting that the timing of surrogate selection would be very important. Wherever set, it could become subject to gamesmanship by teams sequencing transactions or disclosing (or not disclosing) information, like injuries, on either side of the deadline.As you can see, while there appears to be a growing consensus that we need to reform the Draft Lottery, finding the right balance of competing interests, especially one that will gain the support of three-quarters of NBA teams (the vote required to make the change), is a work in-progress. Regardless of the outcome, all of us at the NBA thank you for your contributions to a lively debate. Please keep the ideas coming!Sincerely,(Adam Signature) Over the last month, our sports podcast “Hot Takedown” asked listeners to submit their ideas for how to fix the NBA Lottery and end tanking. We got almost 7,000 responses, some silly, most very thoughtful. We picked one — a proposal in which teams would place bets on how other teams will perform, divorcing one’s own record from one’s own lottery pick (read about it here) — and sent it off to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s office.And then we waited. Most of us (all of us) figured that was it. Usually letters to powerful sports bureaucrats go into the ether.Well, on Friday an envelope arrived in the mail from Commissioner Silver’s office. Someone had clearly read our letter and taken the time to draft a three-page response. (But, for what it’s worth, that someone had not listened to the podcast, or seen my bio page — it was addressed to “Ms.” Jody Avirgan.)The letter lauded our project, offered a detailed response to our plan, and acknowledged a “growing consensus” that the lottery needs fixing. Ultimately, though, it said the equivalent of “thanks, but no thanks.” But over three pages!Watch the video above for instant reaction from “Hot Takedown” host Chadwick Matlin and me. We’ve also posted the full text of the letter at the bottom of this post, and invite you to annotate it on Genius.We’ll dig into the details of Silver’s response soon, but here are a few quick notes.“I can’t say I’ll be riding a bear into the Lottery room any time soon,” Silver writes. Bummer. But the vision lives on.The word “tanking” does not appear in this letter.Nevertheless, in responding to the “futures” plan, Silver does say he thinks “there would still be an incentive to be among the worst-performing teams.” Not to get too Talmudic, but is his use of “still” a tacit acknowledgment that there is currently an incentive to perform poorly?It’s signed only “Adam.” Neat.It’s tough to say whether this letter, along with the other statements Silver has made about lottery reform, indicates that the NBA is truly considering or merely entertaining more creative ideas. And Silver points out that three-quarters of owners will have to approve any changes. Is mentioning that the lottery’s fate is in owners’ hands an excuse not to take bold action, or just realism?Toward the end of the letter, Silver writes that “there appears to be a growing consensus that we need to reform the Draft Lottery.” In the past, Silver has flat-out denied that players are trying to lose, but he’s also acknowledged that the Competition Committee is looking at lottery reform. Part of me appreciates his candor, and part of me is surprised that Silver is still using cautious language like “appears to be … growing.”We’ve already re-extended our invitation for Commissioner Silver to come on “Hot Takedown” to further discuss the proposals and NBA tanking. Again, you can annotate his response for yourself and listen to our original podcast discussing all the proposals below (tanking conversation starts at 17:30): Silver’s full letter, plus your annotations: Embed Code More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed read more

Fines totalling almost €100k in court crackdown on M50 toll dodgers

first_img Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland Tuesday 16 Apr 2019, 3:10 PM 73 Comments Short URL By Tom Tuite Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 16,652 Views TEN MOTORISTS ACCUSED of dodging M50 tolls were hit with fines totaling almost €100,000 yesterday.The penalties ranging from €3,000 to €22,000 were handed down by Judge Anthony Halpin at Dublin District Court.One motorist who allegedly used Ireland’s busiest motorway 800 times without paying had a bench warrant issued for his arrest after he failed to turn up to for his trial. He is contesting his case and has instructed a solicitor to defend him.In all the prosecutions which resulted in the €97,000 in fines imposed, none of the motorists who had been summonsed came to court. Cases against them went ahead in their absence.Judge Halpin imposed smaller fines on some motorists who made efforts to pay their tolls but said, “The people who disregard it totally are fined heaviest, they have no regard whatsoever”.In one case he adjourned he granted legal aid and said this was due to the seriousness of the offence.The barrier-free toll motorway is operated by Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII).The judge said the authority was in charge of maintaining the roads and he warned: “If people want to use certain roads they have to pay; if they don’t, the penalties are quite high”.Each case finalised yesterday featured five sample counts and photo evidence of how many times the defendants’ vehicles had been detected using the motorway without paying the charge.The court heard the prosecution evidence showed the passage of the vehicles, mostly private cars, on the motorway on dates in May, August, October and November 2018, as well as proof of vehicle ownership at the time.Vehicle owners were given six months to pay the fines as well up to €350 in prosecution costs.Prosecuting counsel Thomas Rice BL (instructed by Pierse Fitzgibbon Solicitors) said a TII official had certificates of ownership as well as images of the vehicles passing the toll gantry on the M50.The court can impose fines of up to €5,000 per charge as well as a sentence of up to six months.1,300 lettersNicole Spellman, of 19 Kilcarrig Green, Fettercairn, Tallaght, Dublin was fined €22,000, the highest amount in the list of cases.The judge heard she was sent about 1,300 letters in relation to 446 unpaid M50 tolls and there were no payments.Adrian Frandes, trading as Roomheat, with an address at 12 Whitechurch Close, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16 was fined €3,000. The court heard the TII would have sent him just over 600 letters about the unpaid charges. His vehicle had a history of 174 passages with no payment received.Oleg Gherman, of 63 Innisfree, Stepaside Lane, Sandyford, Dublin, had a car with history of 156 trips on the M50 with three payments, the last being on 31 July.Judge Halpin heard this defendant would have been contacted by post 450 times by TII. He received fines totalling €5,000.Ronan Rattigan of 2 Templeview Avenue, Clarehall, Dublin 13 was fined €10,000 for his five sample counts. The court was told his vehicle had a history of 141 passages and no payments.Elena Ershova, with an address at The Lodge House, Killucan, Co. Westmeath, was given €5,000 in fines. Her car had a history of 165 trips on the motorway with three payments and she was issued close to 500 letters.Marek Cornaga, of 75 Armagh Court, Waterville, Blanchardstown, Dublin, was also fined €5,000. The court heard his car had done 177 trips on the M50 and there were six payments. He would have received just under 500 letters about the tolls, the court heard.Mark Kealy of 13 Drumcairn Drive, Fettercairn, Tallaght, Dublin was fined €14,000. His car had a history of 198 journeys on the M50 and no payments. The judge was told the defendant would have been sent approximately 600 letters.James Gallagher, with an address at 145 Church Hill, Tullamore, Co. Offaly, was the owner of a goods vehicle with a history of 447 trips on the M50 but no payments were received despite being sent 1,300 letters, the court heard. Judge Halpin ordered him to pay €19,000 in fines.Lynn McLoughlin with an address at 3564 Lakeside Park, Newbridge, Co. Kildare, was fined €5,000 over five unpaid tolls in September and October. The court heard since she became the owner, her car had a history of 170 passages with six payments.Legal proceedingsFinally, Ted Purman, with an address at 31 Longdale Terrace, Ballymun, Dublin was fined €9,000. Judge Halpin was told this man’s car had done 258 trips on the motorway but no tolls were paid even though he was sent 750 letters.The court has heard it was TII’s policy to negotiate with defendants and some cases on the list were adjourned. The registered owner of a vehicle is responsible even if they were not driving the vehicle.The standard M50 toll for an unregistered private car is €3.10 must be paid before 8pm the following day or else there is a €3.00 penalty for having missed the deadline.Motorists have 14 days from the date of issue to pay for the journey and the initial penalty; otherwise a further penalty of €41 is applied.After a further 56 days there is an additional penalty charge of €103 and if it remains unpaid legal proceedings follow with the possibility of a court fine of up to €5,000 as well as a jail term of six-months, or both, per offence. Share7 Tweet Email1 Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland Fines totalling almost €100k in court crackdown on M50 toll dodgers None of the motorists who were summonsed came to court. Apr 16th 2019, 3:10 PM last_img read more

Concerns over Australias first ice inhalation room

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram As plans to set up Australia’s first ice inhalation room in Sydney’s south-west gain momentum, the community of Liverpool has expressed its concerns over the matter at a local forum.Run by advocates, Matt Noffs and former director of the Alcohol and Drug Service at St Vincent’s Hospital, Dr Alex Wodak, the pair explained their idea to set up centres around the country where users of various drugs, including ice, could smoke and inject in a safe and sanitary space. Despite evidence showing that drug rooms actually reduce crime, residents were not sold on the idea reported the ABC.Among the concerns were that a room of this nature would only draw users to the area and add to the issues brought about by the suburb’s methadone clinic; a sentiment shared amongst local business owners.“We’re trying to lease one shop at the moment to try to bring business in, but all I get from the real estate agents is ‘you’re too close to the methadone clinic, people don’t want to be associated with it’,” said local businessman George Khoury. “What’s being proposed is only likely to make that problem worse.”While another local insisted drug-related crime had increased in the area.“The crime rate has gone up in the suburbs – Austral’s service station out there got hit by an ice user six nights in a row,” she said.In support of Mr Noffs and Dr Wodak’s initiative, medical director of the Medically Supervised Injecting Centre in Sydney’s Kings Cross Dr Marianne Jauncey revealed that in her experience at her centre they had been highly successful in managing users.“The [idea ice users become] uncontrollable fighting machines is just not true – they talk a lot and sometimes they need people to listen, and sometimes we can do something and get them on a different track,” she said.While a specific site is yet to be selected for the room, Mr Noffs said the hospital precinct could be a preferred option for residents, but added that more discussion would be required to ease resident’s concerns and help “dispel a lot of anecdotal rumours” around safe rooms.last_img read more