APTN National NewsThe testimony of the families of murdered and missing women continues this week at the inquiry into why it took so long for police to catch serial killer Robert Pickton.Ernie Crey says his family carries a constant burden knowing that if police had done their job properly, his sister Dawn may still be alive.APTN National News reporter Rob Smith has this story.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court Monday agreed to hear tomorrow a plea of Congress MP Sushmita Dev alleging that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah have been violating the Model Code of Conduct during their campaigning for Lok Sabha polls. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said it would hear the petition of Dev tomorrow. Senior advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for Dev, alleged that Modi and Shah have violated the Model Code of Conduct and the Election Commission is not acting on her complaint. Singhvi said four weeks have passed since the Model Code of Conduct was enforced in the country and both the prime minister and Shah have been allegedly violating the code. To this, the bench said it will hear the plea on Tuesday.
By Beryl KessioRabat – At an Asia-Pacific trade summit in Peru this Saturday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg encouraged world leaders to use technology to improve global living standards. He also announced his company’s plans to curb the proliferation of fake news stories on the social network after some critics suggested the stories could have influenced the U.S. presidential election results.The seven-point plan laid out by Zuckerberg maps out Facebook’s goals to combat false stories. These measures include developing new tools to detect “misinformation”, making it easier for the social network’s users to report phony journalism and even alerting readers to potentially fake stories. Zuckerberg made sure to stress that Facebook employees were not trying to be “arbiters of truth,” but instead they would mostly rely on outside moderators to screen content.“We believe in giving people a voice, which means erring on the side of letting people share what they want whenever possible,” Zuckerberg said in a post published on the site on Friday night. “We need to be careful not to discourage sharing of opinions or to mistakenly restrict accurate content.”The company said on Monday that it would amend its advertising policy to say they no longer will display ads for sites that publish information that is “illegal, misleading or deceptive, which includes fake news.” This comes after a similar decision by Google, which acknowledged that it had allowed a false story to be on its list of recommended news articles.“The bottom line is: we take misinformation seriously,” the Facebook CEO said in his post. “Our goal is to connect people with the stories they find most meaningful, and we know people want accurate information.”The seven-point plan Zuckerberg presented didn’t get into specifics, but are, as follows:Stronger detection: including implementing new technology to sniff out false infoEasy reporting: for users who spot fake newsThird party verification: from recognized fact-checking organizationsWarnings: which would alert readers to articles that have been flagged as potentially fakeRelated articles quality: setting a higher bar for related links that appear below articlesDisrupting fake news economics: including better “ad farm detection”Listening: working with journalists for input and fact-checking systems.
Rabat – Taoufik Hjira, Karim Ghellab and Yasmina Baddou have been suspended for 18 months by the Disciplinary Committee of the Istiqlal Party (IP) on February 9.Taoufik Hjira, president of the National Council of Istiqlal, and two members of the party’s executive committee, Karim Ghellab and Yasmina Baddou, were suspended for 18 months.Charges against the three included “violation of party regulations, nuisance to its interests and a lack of discipline,” explained a communiqué released by the IP. The three members of the executive committee were criticized for having spoken against the Secretary General of the party, Hamid Chabat, following his controversial statement on Mauritania, claiming that it is part of Moroccan territory.The three members were given a mandatory opportunity by the disciplinary committee to defend themselves before any decision to sanction them could be made. The hearing was held on January 24 and 25.Ghellab and Hejira did not attend the hearing. Only Baddou responded and was heard by members of the committee last Wednesday.
30 September 2011The United Nations warned today that humanitarian agencies are running out of resources to assist those affected by floods in southern Pakistan, even as the need for clean water, food, shelter and medical services increase among the more than five million people in affected communities. Nearly two weeks ago, the UN and its partners launched the Pakistan Floods Rapid Response Plan to support the Government’s efforts to address the immediate needs of up to 5.4 million people for six months, but that funding request has received only $19 million of the $357 million needed.“Urgent relief is critical as families continue to suffer in the aftermath of the floods. Unless we receive new pledges to the Floods 2011 Rapid Response Plan, millions of people will be left in need of food, clean water and essential medicines for months to come,” said Timo Pakkala, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Pakistan.“We are grateful that donors have started to give to the Rapid Response Plan. But to ensure that we can help save lives now as well as tomorrow, we call on the international community to urgently step up their support for the people of Pakistan through this Plan,” he added.Humanitarian agencies have food stocks to last a month, while safe drinking water and emergency shelter materials are expected to run out in weeks if not replenished, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs (OCHA).“It is tragic to see families displaced from the floods with no shelter and barely enough to survive on,” said Fawad Hussein, the OCHA Team Leader for Flood Relief. “These families worry their children will go hungry, and without access to safe drinking water, they fear they will become sick from drinking contaminated water.”Pakistan has been severely affected by floods for the second consecutive year. The UN and its humanitarian partners have to date provided emergency shelter for 314,500 households and more than 1.6 million people have received medicines and medical consultations.More than 413,000 people have received food aid and the UN aims to double its support and provide up to 400,000 new beneficiaries with access to safe drinking water in the coming weeks.
FAO chief Jacques Diouf conferred the medal at a ceremony in Abuja, the Nigerian capital “as a token of its esteem and respect for President Obasanjo’s tireless efforts to fight hunger and poverty and to achieve food security and prosperity not only in his own country, but in the entire continent and the world at large.”As chairman of the Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), Mr. Obasanjo played a pivotal role in bringing food security to the forefront of the continent’s political agenda by encouraging African leaders to work together to bring their populations out of hunger and poverty through democracy and sustainable agricultural and rural development, he said.Several world leaders previously received the award, including President Johannes Rau of Germany, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar, President Jacques Chirac of France, King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, President Jiang Zemin of China and Pope John Paul II.
“We are facing unprecedented needs, in an unprecedented number of locations, and these needs will increase during the upcoming lean season,” said Eugene Owusu, the Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan in a news release issued by the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).Humanitarian organizations estimate that some 7.5 million people across South Sudan are now in need of humanitarian assistance and protection, including some 3.4 million people who had been forced to flee their homes since conflict began in December 2013.While disturbing accounts of violence and atrocities, including sexual violence, continue to be reported, food insecurity and malnutrition have skyrocketed. Furthermore, the risk of famine looms over thousands of people in conflict-affected communities and food deficit areas.We are facing unprecedented needs, in an unprecedented number of locations, and these needs will increase during the upcoming lean season“With needs rising rapidly, we have rigorously prioritized the 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan to target those who most urgently require assistance and protection,” added Mr. Owusu.Under the Plan, 137 aid organizations, including 62 non-governmental organizations (an increase of 55 per cent over the number in 2016) aim to respond to the most urgent life-threatening needs of the target population. The objectives include:Saving lives and alleviating the suffering of those most in need of assistance and protectionProtecting the rights and upholding the dignity of the most vulnerableSupporting at-risk communities to sustain their capacity to cope with significant threatsSwift action during the dry season essentialAccording to OCHA, delivering supplies in the country depends, in a large part, on good weather conditions.Humanitarian organizations strive to maximize the window of opportunity provided by the dry season to deliver supplies by road. Once rain set in – usually in May – most roads become impassable and supplies must be delivered by air, multiplying the cost of the humanitarian operation, which is one of the largest and most complex in the world.“It is imperative that this appeal is funded early, and funded fully, so that the aid workers deployed across South Sudan can respond robustly and rapidly,” said Mr. Owusu.“I appeal to the international community, which has given so generously to this young country, to support us now. If we fail to act swiftly, lives may be lost.”
Naomi Osaka, the champion of U.S. Open women’s singles, smiles during a press conference in Yokohama, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018. Osaka defeated Serena Williams of the U.S. on Saturday, Sept. 8, to become the first Grand Slam singles champion from Japan. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) — Naomi Osaka’s victory in the U.S. Open has added her to a growing list of athletes, Nobel Prize winners, and beauty pageant contestants who have raised the issue of what it means to be Japanese.The daughter of a Japanese mother and a Haitian father, Osaka was born in Japan but raised in the United States. But she is being lauded in Japan as the first from the country to win a Grand Slam singles tennis title, which has upstaged most questions about her mixed background.Some children from mixed race families in Japan often get bullied and demeaned, called “hafu” — from the English word “half” — and are chided that they aren’t fully Japanese.Japan has embraced the 20-year-old Osaka, and she — despite barely speaking Japanese — talks fondly of her affection for her adopted country. But her victory also challenges public attitudes about identity in a homogeneous culture that is being pushed to change.“It is hard to say for sure if the extremely narrow conception, unconsciously or consciously, held by many Japanese of being Japanese, is being loosened,” Naoko Hashimoto, who researches national identify at the University of Sussex in England, wrote in an email to Associated Press.“In my opinion, it still appears that Japanese are generally defined as those who are born from a Japanese father and a Japanese mother, who speak perfect Japanese and ‘act like Japanese’.”Athletes and celebrities seem to fall into a different category. Osaka has lots of company in this realm with an increasing number of sports stars claiming mixed backgrounds.For instance:— Yu Darvish, the Chicago Cubs pitcher: son on a Japanese mother and Iranian father. Born in Osaka.— Mashu Baker, an Olympic gold-medal winner in judo: son of a Japanese mother and American father. Born in Tokyo.— Asuka Cambridge, Olympic silver-medal winner in the 4×100 track relay: born in Jamaica to a Japanese mother and Jamaican father, but grew up in Japan.— Abdul Hakim Sani Brown, track and field sprinter: son of a Japanese mother and Ghanaian father. Born in Tokyo.— Koji Murofushi, Olympic gold- and silver-medal winner in the hammer throw: son of a Romanian mother and Japanese father. Born and raised in Japan.Murofushi said he’s always felt Japanese.“I know that I have a mixed heritage,” he told AP. “But I always feel Japanese.” He added it’s “not something that really concerned me or anything.”The visibility of mixed-race athletes in Japan is sure to increase as the 2020 Tokyo Olympics approach and the country hunts for competitors in sports where it has little history.The reverse happened two years ago in the Rio de Janeiro Games, where Brazil found athletes with Japanese roots — more than 2 million Brazilians claim Japanese ancestry — to compete in non-Brazilian specialties.One thing is clear, Osaka is cashing in.The U.S. Open victory was worth $3.8 million in prize money. And on Thursday, Osaka was introduced in Japan as a “brand ambassador” for the Japanese car maker Nissan. It’s a three-year deal, though financial terms were not disclosed.Osaka defeated Williams in Saturday’s chaotic final . Forbes magazine reports that Williams is the highest earning female athlete with income of $18.1 million, almost all from endorsements and sponsorship deals. She’s topped the list for several years.But Osaka’s mixed-race profile, her appeal in the huge Asian market, and her links to Japan’s world-wide brands should drive her long-term earning potential.Osaka was asked if she’s a “new type of Japanese” — mixed race and representing three cultures.“For me, it’s just who I am,” she said. “When someone asks me a question like that, it really throws me off because then I really have to think about it. I don’t know. I don’t really think that I’m three separate — like mixes or whatever. I just think that I’m me.”Osaka said people tell her that she acts “kind of Japanese.” But she added: “I think my tennis is not very Japanese.”Jonathan Jensen, who researches sports marketing at the University of North Carolina, told AP by email that the size of the Nissan contact would depend on how much of her time the company uses. And how many tournaments — and what tournaments — she wins.“She seems very shy and it’s not for everyone,” Jensen wrote. “But the potential is there if that’s the route she wants to take, particularly with brands based in Asia, like Nissan. Tech firms and consumer electronics would also be a natural fit.”Osaka has charmed Japanese audiences with her grace and gentleness off the court, and her ferocity on it. She’s talked about her fondness for Japanese food — curried rice topped with a pork cutlet is a favorite.She’s also been a spokeswoman for two years for the Japanese cup noodle brand Nissin, which is launching a new noodle cup to commemorate her victory.Kazuyoshi Minowa, a spokesman for Windsor Corp, which operates tennis shops in Tokyo, said customers are asking to buy the same racket that Osaka uses. He said he met her two years ago when she visited a store.“My impression was that she was very quiet, unlike her powerful image playing the game,” he told Japanese broadcaster NHK.Questions about race also surfaced in 2016 when Priyanka Yoshikawa was crowned Miss World Japan. Her mother is Japanese and her father is Indian and she was born in Tokyo.This came a year after Ariana Miyamoto won the Miss Universe Japan title. She was born in Japan to a Japanese mother and African-American father.Hashimoto, the researcher at the University of Sussex, pointed out that under Japanese law, Osaka will have to decide on her nationality before she turns 22. She’s 20 now and cannot legally hold two passports.Hashimoto referenced three Nobel Prize winners born in Japan who eventually took other nationalities. The writer Kazuo Ishiguro holds a British passport, and scientists Yoichiro Nanbu and Shuji Nakamura both now hold American passports.She said the strict one-passport rule “could risk leading to brain drain of great talents out of Japan.”“While Naomi Osaka’s victory should be celebrated on its own,” Hashimoto said. “Her case provides those Japanese with a narrow conception of Japanese-ness with an excellent opportunity to rethink what it means to be Japanese.”
After a closely fought, and tightly officiated, first half, the Ohio State men’s basketball team cruised to a 71-45 victory against Minnesota Wednesday night at the Schottenstein Center behind junior forward Deshaun Thomas’ 19-point performance. After dropping three of their last four games, the Buckeyes were able to get back on track against the Gophers. “When you get knocked down, it’s always good to pick yourself back up and regroup, and that’s what we did tonight,” Thomas said. The Gophers stubbornly hung around, though, trailing by only six points with 13:30 left to play in the contest, before OSU surged ahead thanks to a 16-0 run over the next six minutes. Well before that span, though, the game started off with nine fouls in the first 2:29 of the game. But Thomas said the team responded well to the avalanche of early calls. “We didn’t let them get in our head,” he said. “We stayed together and kept our composure as a team and still were aggressive.” All the early calls did provide an opportunity for several players to come off the bench early, including sophomore guard Shannon Scott and freshman guard Amedeo Della Valle. Scott, who ended the game with 11 points, came in after junior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. picked up his second foul 2:31 into the game. Despite the early foul trouble, OSU’s defense appeared to have woken up from the sleep they were in at Wisconsin Sunday, when the team gave up 71 points and lost by 22. In addition to limiting the Gophers to just 45 points, OSU held Minnesota to 29 percent shooting from the floor. Minnesota coach Tubby Smith gave a lot of credit to the Buckeyes. “Ohio State really turned up the heat defensively,” he said. The Buckeyes held the Gophers to just 25 percent shooting in the second half. OSU coach Thad Matta, though, deflected some of Smith’s praise. “They went cold,” he said. “They had some good looks at the basket that didn’t go down and we’ve seen that a time or two.” Adding to the Buckeyes’ defensive effort were junior guard Aaron Craft’s three steals in the game. OSU’s offense still seemed to sputter throughout the first half, scoring just 29 points on 38 percent shooting. With two minutes to go in the first half, no OSU player had more than one field goal. That would change. The Buckeyes finished out the first half on an 8-2 run in the final minutes, including a 3-pointer by Craft at the buzzer to take a six point lead into the game’s intermission. That sort of offensive performance carried over into the second half as OSU shot nearly 42 percent from the field and 39 percent from behind the arc. Smith said the Gophers’ struggles from the field and 21 turnovers played a big role in the game’s outcome. “The combination of shooting poorly and turning the ball over, that’s a perfect storm for getting beat,” he said. OSU is set to next play Michigan State Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center.
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedEYEWITNESS: Just a gyaff…September 20, 2017In “EYEWITNESS”EYEWITNESS: Foot and mouth disease…March 12, 2018In “EYEWITNESS”EYEWITNESS: Shafted again…June 3, 2017In “EYEWITNESS” …on the Govt and oilThe President invited three wise men from the north to advise him on the oil contract “Nassau” Trotman negotiated with Exxon. Yes, your Eyewitness knows wisdom used to come from the east – but its locus shifted after 1492, didn’t it? Now, one may object to “Sonny” Ramphal being so located…but seriously folks, wasn’t he invited because of his “northern” orientation?? If not, why not Chris Ram?Now the first thing that popped into your Eyewitness’s mind was: for a man who swore to complete Burnham’s legacy, Granger’s sure putting a lot of faith in the words of Sir Paul Collier, a former Chief economist of the IMF, which Burnham kicked out back in his day!! Right off the bat, there’s advice that Collier offered at the media briefing”: “Don’t tear up the Exxon Contract”!! While even the last IMF team said it was one-sided!!Now, this is most interesting, since no one’s EVER called for any contract to be ‘torn up’!! And Sir Paul also revealed that even the question of “renegotiation” wasn’t brought up in the tete-a-tete with the President and his Cabinet. So it seems the good knight was, through exaggeration, creating a strawman that he could easily knock down. But we know that’s a logical FALLACY, don’t we?But more germanely, Sir Paul forgot to restate his famous corollaries to the “resource curse” phenomenon, of which he’s one of the foremost exponents over the last decade. There’re his warnings, according to one account: “whether emphasizing poor economic performance, state failure (oil breeds corruption) or resource rents make democracy malfunction”…or “the onset of civil violence (blood diamonds, oil succession and so on). In this account, oil has been invested with almost Olympian transformative powers. Oil distorts the organic, natural course of development. Oil wealth ushers in an economy of hyper-consumption and spectacular excess.”Did he caution Granger and his Cabinet about how to avoid these traps? Did he cite his book, “Democracy in Difficult Places”, and warn him about, “Nigeria as a case in point. Its immense oil wealth, which should be used to help the country develop, makes politicians particularly anxious to hold on to office. They employ ever fouler means to do so, and elections thus become little more than organised gangsterism. The violent methods the politicians use become the modus operandi of their period in office, and the whole political system is corrupted.”??Or, “As with elections and reform, democracy is a force for good as long as it is more than a façade”? And “there must be a system of checks and balances within the rule of law”?…on the African experienceCollier’s best seller – with no footnotes, so we’ve got to pretty much take his assertions on faith – was “The Bottom Billion”, which dissected the “African Experience”, where three-quarters of his “bottom billion” are “trapped in poverty”. And from which data he also mined his “Democracy in difficult Places”. In fact, Collier’s built a veritable cottage industry on the woes of Africa.His “resource curse” thesis, however, studiously avoids structural factors such as those identified by our own Walter Rodney in “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa”. In fact, one of his suggestions to solve Africa’s democratic deficit is for the developed North to intervene and head off threats. Like the intervention of George W, which resulted in 1million Iraqi lives lost. Or of AfriCom’s increasing secret interventions in Africa, such the botched Niger operation? Collier explicitly avers that you have to crack some shells (lives) to make an omelette (democracy)!He pushes against throwing “testosterone-charged” youths into unemployment, since they can precipitate violence out of their frustrations.Did he tell Granger to find employment for the fired young sugar workers?…on WakandaBy now, one hopes Collier’s seen “Black Panther”. Has he filled in President Granger and the Cabinet that it’s not just fantasy?Botswana used its resource (diamonds) as a blessing – and not a curse!!
For years, Ubuntu and Firefox have strolled the open source countryside hand-in-hand. That could change with the release of Ubuntu 13.10, however, as Canonical is thinking about dumping Firefox for Chromium.It’s hard to believe that Firefox’s run as the default browser on Ubuntu could be coming to an end. In 2005, it was Firefox 1.0.2 that shipped with Hoary Hedgehog. Eight years later, you’ll find Firefox 20 in Ubuntu 13.04. When 13.10 arrives in the second half of this year, you may have to install the package manually from the Ubuntu Software Center if you want to keep surfing with the ‘fox.Lately there’s been a lot of heated discussion amongst Ubuntu developers about making the switch, and the pro-Chromium camp may very well win out. As you’d expect, Chromium’s rise in popularity (which is owed to the success of Google Chrome) is a consideration. It’s now the second biggest or biggest browser base in the world, depending on whose numbers you go by.But Firefox’s slide to number three isn’t the only reason Canonical is considering a switch. Performance is also a factor, as is Chromium’s ability to run Unity web apps in totally Chromeless windows — allowing for seamless integration with the Ubuntu desktop. There are also Canonical’s mobile ambitions to consider. Ubuntu Touch will be arriving soon, and it will be important for the desktop and mobile platforms to share as much code as possible — and to offer a familiar user experience. Switching to Chromium and the WebKit Blink engine would help keep things consistent.In the end, this might be the most critical issue. Popularity is important, sure, but Firefox is still one of the most widely-used and recognizable open source apps around. Mozilla has also been working its tail off to get performance back up to Chrome-like levels, and that’s been very apparent in recent releases.Canonical will be seeking input from the community before making a final decision, but Mark Shuttleworth has already made it clear that the community doesn’t hold the reins. If Canonical ultimately decides it’s time to make the switch to Chromium, no amount of discussion will change its mind.
Aug 29th 2019, 7:17 AM Short URL By AFP 8 Comments Policemen draw their guns during a confrontation with demonstrators during in Hong Kong last weekend Source: AP/PA ImagesThe CHRF, responsible for the largest rallies the city has seen in decades, said they would appeal the decision.“You can see the police’s course of action is intensifying, and you can see [Hong Kong leader] Carrie Lam has in fact no intention to let Hong Kong return to peace, but is trying to incite the anger of more citizens through tough measures,” the group’s leader Jimmy Sham told reporters.Supporters had been urged to gather in the centre of Hong Kong and to march to the Liaison Office, the department that represents China’s central government in the region, but both aspects, which required permission from authorities, have been banned.The last event organised by the CHRF on 17 August brought hundreds of thousands of people to the streets in a deliberate show of peaceful protest that saw demonstrators disperse without clashes.On that occasion, the initial rally in a Hong Kong park was approved by authorities but protesters later defied a ban to march through the city.The protests were ignited when the city’s Beijing-backed government tried to pass a bill allowing extraditions to mainland China, but have evolved into a wider call for greater democracy and an investigation into allegations of police brutality.More than 850 people have been arrested since June.The unrest has shown no sign of abating, with protesters deadlocked with the Hong Kong government, which has refused to give in to their demands.- © AFP 2019 Policemen draw their guns during a confrontation with demonstrators during in Hong Kong last weekend Image: AP/PA Images Share4 Tweet Email Hong Kong police ban pro-democracy rally over fears of violence by protesters It follows a return to violence during protests in the region last weekend. Thursday 29 Aug 2019, 7:17 AM https://jrnl.ie/4786811 Image: AP/PA Images POLICE IN HONG Kong have banned a mass pro-democracy rally from going ahead on Saturday over public safety concerns, organisers said.It follows a return to violence during protests in the region last weekend, which saw some of the worst clashes in three months of political unrest in the financial hub.A rally this Saturday was set to mark five years since China rejected political reforms in Hong Kong, a decision which sparked the 79-day Umbrella Movement.But in a letter to the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF) today, police said they feared that some of those involved in the protests would commit “violent and destructive acts”.Citing previous protests, the letter also claimed that protesters carried out “arson and large-scale road blockades” and used “petrol bombs, steel balls, bricks, long spears, metal poles, as well as various self-made weapons” to destroy public property, damage social order and injure others.The move comes after police deployed water cannons and fired a warning gunshot to fend off protesters on Sunday night, when a sanctioned rally turned violent. A protester fires a sling shot at police during a protest in Hong Kong last weekend 5,309 Views Policemen draw their guns during a confrontation with demonstrators during in Hong Kong last weekend Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article
The Columbia River Crossing hopes one of these is the magic number: 115 or 116 feet.That’s about how high planners of the $3.5 billion project say they can build a new Interstate 5 bridge without creating significantly more impact to neighboring communities and the environment. Using that height — 20 feet higher than project leaders had long assumed — would add about $30 million to the project cost, according to the CRC.CRC leaders presented their analysis of a 115- or 116-foot-high bridge to a group of Washington state lawmakers Monday. They’ll use that number as the basis for the bridge permit application the CRC expects to file in January, said Oregon project director Kris Strickler.The U.S. Coast Guard holds permit authority over the bridge, and must approve that height for the CRC to move forward. But the CRC still has plenty of work to do if it hopes to secure that approval next year, according to a Coast Guard official.In a letter sent to CRC leaders last week, Coast Guard Rear Admiral J.A. Servidio asked for more detail on how the bridge would affect navigation on the Columbia River. That means a better explanation of how the CRC plans to work around river users, and better justification if they don’t, according to the letter, copies of which were not distributed at Monday’s meeting.A bridge with 115 or 116 feet of headroom would still affect vessels from between nine and 11 river users, according to the CRC. Going higher than that would affect fewer vessels. But too much higher would mean major logistical hurdles for the project itself and as much as $176 million in additional costs, according to the CRC.
Jaish-e-Mohammed founder Masood Azhar.ReutersChina prevented a United Nations Security Council committee on Wednesday from blacklisting the head of Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), which said it attacked an Indian paramilitary convoy in disputed Kashmir.The Feb. 14 attack that killed at least 40 Indian paramilitary police, making it the deadliest in Kashmir during a 30-year-long insurgency, increased tensions between Pakistan and India. The nuclear-armed neighbours both said they had shot down each other’s fighter jets late last month.The United States, Britain and France asked the Security Council’s Islamic State and al Qaeda sanctions committee to subject JeM leader Masood Azhar to an arms embargo, travel ban and asset freeze. The 15-member committee operates by consensus.China placed a so-called “technical hold” on the request, according to a note from China’s U.N. mission to the committee, seen by Reuters. China gave no reason for the hold, which places the request in limbo.China’s mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment. China had previously prevented the sanctions committee from sanctioning Azhar in 2016 and 2017.In 2017, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said there were clear rules for listing a person or group as a terrorist, and that China has always believed the relevant U.N. committee should operate on the principles of objectivity.JeM is a primarily anti-India group that forged ties with al Qaeda and was blacklisted by the U.N. Security Council in 2001. In December 2001, Jaish fighters, along with members of another Pakistan-based militant group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, attacked India’s parliament, which almost led to a fourth war between the two countries.
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir speaks at a programme organised by Khulna BNP to inaugurate party’s member collection campaign in the district. Photo: Prothom AloBangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Wednesday said there must be an election-conducive government during the general polls.Speaking at a party programme in Khulna, the BNP leader said the election-conducive government will assist the election commission to hold the elections in a completely fair manner.“And all the political parties will have to be given their rights and be allowed to carry out their political activities before the elections,” Fakhrul told the programme organised to inaugurate the party’s member collection campaign in the district.Alleging that the ruling Bangladesh Awami League (AL) is conspiring to hold another stage-managed election, Fakhrul said the AL never pays heed to good words.“It’s only goal is to cling to state power forcibly. And that’s why it is hatching a conspiracy to hold a stage-managed election again,” he added. He said the AL government is a ‘role model’ of how one can retain power by using force without any mandate and snatching people’s rights and liberty.The BNP leader referred to speeches Sheikh Hasina gave at different public rallies in the run up to the 5 January 2014 elections and quoted her to have said that the 5 January elections was merely a constitutional compulsion.“A way will be worked out after holding talks with all political parties as to how a free, fair election can be held later,” Hasina was quoted by Fakhrul.The BNP leader alleged that Hasina forgot her words and was now insisting that the elections be held as per the constitutional provision.“But this parliament doesn’t represent the people. There are as many as 153 MPs who were elected uncontested. Even five per cent of the people couldn’t exercise their franchise [in the 5 January polls]. So, constitutional amendments brought by this parliament have no acceptability to the public.”The BNP leader claimed that not only the BNP, rather all political parties are now saying that a fair election is no way possible if a neutral government is in place during the place, especially if it is held under Sheikh Hasina.Fakhrul also alleged that the election commission has failed to earn the confidence of BNP as well as of the people.Referring to a remark of the chief election commissioner, KM Nurul Huda, that fair elections are possible under the current government, Fakhrul said the CEC by this remark has frustrated the people.“His [CEC] remarks are just a reflection of the remarks of prime minister, ministers and ruling AL leaders,” he said.The BNP leader also asked how the party can keep confidence in this election commission when its CEC said that it is not their duty to level the field for all political parties before the election. Terming the election-related crisis as a political one, the BNP secretary general said, “The present crisis is completely political. It must be viewed politically. All parties must discuss the problem and reach a solution. If necessary, the constitution can even be amended so that the nation gets a fair election in the true sense of the word.”Addressing the party leaders and activists, he said, “The people look towards BNP and Khaleda Zia. The party must be organised. The government and the election commission must be made to hold the next election under an assistive government. We have created such a country where there is no right to even hold a meeting. Over 500 of our leaders and workers are missing. Over a thousand have been shot dead. We all face innumerable cases. We have to stand up against this.”Referring to the threat faces by the Sundarbans, he said the Rampal power project would destroy the forest. He said the government didn’t hesitate to destroy the country’s interests in their own personal and party interests.He pointed to the Farhad Mazhar incident, saying that a man of his stature had been abducted, brought back,and now harassed.Fakhul Islam Alamgir said, “We do not know who killed BNP’s Khulna district organising secetary Mithu. The government is unable to find the killers. They are unable to bring them to trial. People are deprived of the basic right to live.”
Research released today by American Express defines 85 per cent of Australians as pattern spenders when spending their monthly disposable income.The American Express Pattern Spending Report reveals almost 50 per cent of Australians routinely visit the same shopping centre and most shoppers will not venture from their ten preferred stores or online shops.American Express vice president customer service Andrew Carlton said understanding the shopping habits of their customers is vital to the company and enables them to spot unusual spending and stop fraud.“Our intelligent security systems can easily detect those ‘needles in the haystack’ transactions and this is one of the reasons why we have one of the lowest fraud rates in the country,” Mr Carlton said.The report investigates the shopping motivations and habits of Australians and identifies the different pattern spending categories shoppers may fall under.The report shows 41 per cent of shoppers are Sale Seekers, those who are drawn to sales and spend most of their disposable income on special offers.Passionists mainly spend on a single hobby and 30 per cent of Australian shoppers fall into this category.Paydayers (28 per cent) splurge on their payday each month and Loyalists (24 per cent) spend their money on the same brands.The report shows Australians spend an average of 20 per cent of their disposable income online. Of the survey participants, 67 per cent owned a credit card and two thirds admit to using them to make online purchases.Source = ETB Travel News: Brittney Levinson
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