Will help maximise anti-BJP votes in 2019, says Yechury

first_imgCPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Monday said the party has adopted a three-part resolution: defeat the BJP, strengthen the Left and help instal an alternative secular government at the Centre. At a press conference here on the sidelines of the 22nd Tripura State conference of CPI(M), he said this would be possible through maximising the anti-BJP votes.Mr. Yechury said “Tripura comrades” were under tremendous violent attacks from the ruling BJP ranks who wanted to “destroy” the CPI(M) organisation network. “I express solidarity with them for remaining strong despite all odds,” he added. Communal poll rhetoric Mr. Yechury came down heavily on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for trying to “communalise” the social environment ahead of the crucial Assembly elections in five States. He said the Prime Minister has been doing so through his rhetoric at poll rallies, where he has also dragged the Supreme Court in a bid to create pressure on the Ayodhya title suit. “The statement on Supreme Court linking a political party, in fact, is a desperate attempt to create pressure on the apex court to complete hearing before the 2019 Lok Sabha election. This sort of statement was never made before,” he said.Mr. Yechury said it was well known how four senior Supreme Court judges spoke to the media to ventilate their ire against certain interference from the government side. So, it’s clear how the Centre under the BJP is putting pressure on the judiciary, undermining constitutional propriety. He alleged that Mr. Modi and his party have now adopted diversionary tactics to communally pollute the country as “not a single 2014 electoral promise had been fulfilled”.last_img read more

Muslim soldier wants to move SC after being discharged by Army for sporting a beard

first_imgA Muslim soldier terminated by the Indian Army for insisting on growing a beard on ‘religious grounds’, plans to move Supreme Court to challenge the order, an English daily reported.According to a report by The Hindu, Maktumhusen, a 34-year-old Muslim soldier from Karnataka, was discharged and termed an ‘undesirable soldier’ over the issue.HISTORY OF LEGAL TUSSLESIn 2001, Jawan Maktumhusen requested his Commanding Officer (CO) to allow him to grow a beard on religious grounds. After permitting him initially, the CO realised that the rules allow only Sikhs to sport permanent beards. Citing his findings, the CO withdrew the permission and asked Maktumhusen to comply.The soldier called the order ‘discriminatory’ and moved Karnataka High Court, still refusing to shave off the beard.He was then transferred to Command Hospital, Pune where his new CO also asked him to shave off the beard. Maktumhusen however, remained adamant.A show-cause notice followed, after which he was sent on detention for disobedience for 14 days. As the Jawan continued to ignore instructions, he was discharged him from service and termed an ‘undesirable soldier’ after an inquiry.According to his lawyers, Maktumhusen may move the Supreme Court.WHAT THE RULES SAYThe Armed Forces do not allow any soldier to sport a permanent beard, except in the case of Sikhs.The Army explains this is because having a beard is among their ‘fundamental tenets’. Sikhism forbids its followers to cut hair – the religion believes by doing so they honour god’s gift of hair.advertisement”The Army is a disciplined force and denominational differences among its members based on religion, caste cannot be permitted. Practice of wearing a beard on the basis of religion by the applicant goes against Regulation 665 of the Defence Service Regulations and is not conducive to the discipline of the Force,” said the Armed Forces Tribunal while terminating Maktumhusen.DIFFERENT FORCE, DIFFERENT RULESThe Army, Navy and the Air force have different rules when it comes to facial hair.The Army allows non-Sikhs to grow temporary beards only for soldiers in certain regiments and for covert operations – temporary being the operative word.The Air Force does not allow any display of religious symbols on duty or at parades.The Navy allows beards, but only with the CO’s permission.Some exceptions are only granted on medical grounds.Sikhs, meanwhile, are permitted to keep untrimmed hair and a well-maintained beard across all services. MUSLIMS vs THE RULESThis is not the first time a Muslim jawan has kicked up a legal storm on the issue of growing beards.In 2008, Aircraftsman Ansari Aftab Ahmed was discharged from service for demanding permission to grow a beard.Four years after joining the IAF, he had sought permission to grow a beard. Denied, he went on 40 days’ leave, and returned wearing a beard, said the IAF case file.Around the same year, two more petitions were filed on the same issue — one by IAF Corporal Mohammed Zubair and another by Maharashtra policeman Mohammad Fasi.Interestingly, IAF allows Muslims who had a beard at the time of enrolment before January 1, 2002, to sport facial hair. They do have rules regarding its length and maintenance.Bollywood BuzzBollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan is known to have angered the Army by sporting a beard in his role as an Army officer in the film Major Saab.Actor Shah Rukh Khan also sported a beard in the film Jab Tak Hai Jaan but many officers in field areas in Kashmir are allowed beards for operational reasons.last_img read more

a month agoInter Milan striker Mauro Icardi insists he’s fully committed to PSG

first_imgInter Milan striker Mauro Icardi insists he’s fully committed to PSGby Carlos Volcanoa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveInter Milan striker Mauro Icardi insists he’s fully committed to the season at PSG.Icardi’s agent and wife Wanda Nara hinted a move to Napoli could happen in January.He said, “I came here to play.“If you arrive with an option to buy, you know the player has to give his best to ensure the club decides to purchase him outright. We’ll see what happens next summer.“I was in my seventh year at Inter and my dream was to play in the Champions League with Inter, which I did last season, but we never won anything.“I thought the time had come for me to go to a winning club, one that could challenge for and win titles. It’s time for me to start winning.“The truth is that PSG is a squad full of champions and that is what I wanted.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

World Cup 2019: South Africa pacer Lungi Ngidi to be fit for Afghanistan clash

first_img Anita Jat SouthamptonJune 10, 2019UPDATED: June 10, 2019 22:21 IST South Africa pacer Lungi Ngidi is to recover from injury for Afghanistan clash. (AP Photo)HIGHLIGHTSSouth Africa captain Faf du Plessis said Lungi Ngidi should be fit to play against AfghanistanPacer Lungi Ngidi suffered a hamstring injury during the World Cup 2019 clash against BangladeshThe World Cup match between South Africa and West Indies was washed out on MondayAfter an unproductive World Cup day in Southampton on Monday as rain played spoilsport to abandon the match between South Africa and West Indies, the only good news was about Proteas pacer Lungi Ngidi’s fitness.South Africa captain Faf du Plessis informed Star Sports that Lungi Ngidi was recovering well from his injury and should show up in their next World Cup 2019 encounter against Afghanistan on June 15.The young fast bowler suffered a left hamstring injury during his team’s defeat against Bangladesh on June 2 to hobble out of the field after bowling only 4 overs. Following the injury, Ngidi missed the games against India and West Indies.Ngidi’s return to the side would be a big relief for South Africa as they are still in search of their 1st win at World Cup 2019 after playing 4 games. They opened their account on the points table only after the washed out game on Monday.”Lungi will be ready for the next match will be good to have him back,” Faf du Plessis said in a post match interview after the match was abandoned.Just 7.3 overs were bowled at Southampton after Jason Holder won the toss and opted to field first But before rain arrived, West Indies had the Proteas in early trouble as West Indian fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell’s 2 wickets reduced them to 29/2 in the 8th over.”These are the worst. Both teams wanted to play and get results but you can’t control the weather. For us it was important on a day like this to start not losing may wickets. It’s like Test cricket. But they did well to get two wickets. [Shortage] favours the team that bats second. But even saying that if you get 30-35 overs, on a big ground you can defend.”advertisement”We didn’t play our best cricket so far. We’ve got to beat Afghanistan [next game]”This was the second game in this World Cup that has been washed out, after the clash between Pakistan and Sri Lanka had to be abandoned without a ball being bowled.Also Read | World Cup 2019: South Africa, West Indies share points after rain plays spoilsportAlso Read | World Cup 2019: Jos Buttler’s injury leaves England sweating ahead of West Indies clashAlso SeeFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAnita Jat Tags :Follow World Cup 2019Follow South Africa vs West Indies World Cup 2019: South Africa pacer Lungi Ngidi to be fit for Afghanistan clashWorld Cup 2019: South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis said that pacer Lungi Ngidi, who has been troubled by a hamstring injury, should be fit to play in the side against Afghanistan on June 15.advertisementlast_img read more

Virat Kohli named in Delhi’s 50-member probable squad for upcoming Vijay Hazare Trophy

first_imgVirat Kohli named in Delhi’s 50-member probable squad for upcoming Vijay Hazare TrophyDelhi, who had finished as the runners-up in the last edition of the Vijay Hazare Trophy, will receive major boost with inclusion of Virat Kohli. Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant and Ishant Sharma in their squad,advertisement Asian News International New DelhiSeptember 2, 2019UPDATED: September 2, 2019 22:13 IST Virat Kohli is currently leading Team India on the West Indies tour. (Reuters Photo)HIGHLIGHTSDDCA named Virat Kohli in 50-member probables list for Delhi’s squad in the upcoming Vijay Hazare TrophyDelhi had finished as the runners-up in the last edition of the Vijay Hazare TrophyThis year’s Vijay Hazare Trophy will be played from September 24-October 10The Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) on Monday named India’s skipper Virat Kohli in the 50-member probables list for Delhi’s squad in the upcoming Vijay Hazare Trophy. “Some big names in the list as senior selection committee name probables for Vijay Hazare Trophy. All available players are requested to report 8 am tomorrow to Head Coach KP Bhaskar at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground. @BCCI @BCCIdomestic,” DDCA tweeted. In the probable list, Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant and Ishant Sharma have also been included.Some big names in the list as senior selection committee name probables for Vijay Hazare Trophy. All available players are requested to report 8 am tomorrow to Head Coach KP Bhaskar at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground.@BCCI @BCCIdomestic pic.twitter.com/1C0gsLxW8KDDCA (@delhi_cricket) September 2, 2019All the players who have been named in the probable list have been asked by the DDCA to report to the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium on Tuesday at 8 am.Delhi had finished as the runners-up in the last edition of the Vijay Hazare Trophy.This year’s Vijay Hazare Trophy will be played from September 24-October 10.On August 27, the DDCA had announced the renaming of Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium after former finance minister and senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley.Jaitley, who passed away on August 24, was the former president of the DDCA.The former union minister was appointed as the chief of Delhi’s cricket body in 1999 and continued to hold the post for 13 years.Also Read | Arrest warrant against India cricket star Mohammed ShamiAlso Read | Manish Pandey, Shivam Dube power India A to unassailable 3-0 lead against South AfricaAlso See:advertisementFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted bySaurabh Kumar Nextlast_img read more

Mise à jour sur les feux de forêt le jeudi 11 août

first_img -30- Voici une mise à jour du gouvernement provincial sur les feux de forêt, publiée le jeudi 11 août à 20 h. Les équipes ont fait des progrès considérables aujourd’hui. Le feu de forêt de Ten Mile Lake, dans le comté de Queens, est maintenant circonscrit dans une proportion de 100 p. 100. Le feu de forêt de Seven Mile Lake, dans le comté d’Annapolis, est maintenant circonscrit dans une proportion de 45 p. 100. Tous les autres feux sont entièrement circonscrits. Des patrouilles ont encore lieu à certains endroits en raison de la sécheresse. La route 8 demeure fermée en raison de l’arrosage aérien dans la région. Toute activité et tout déplacement dans les régions boisées sont toujours interdits. Les gens peuvent continuer d’utiliser les plages et les parcs provinciaux, mais l’accès aux réseaux de sentiers sera limité, et l’interdiction de brûlage demeure en vigueur. Pour de plus amples renseignements : http://novascotia.ca/nsfire/fr/faq.asplast_img read more

New poll suggests onethird dont want politicians to wear religious symbols

first_imgOTTAWA — While most Canadians firmly back the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and strongly support the idea of diversity, a new poll suggests a third of Canadians would ban their elected officials from wearing religious symbols.A majority of Quebecers canvassed in the survey agreed that federal, provincial and local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job.Nationally, 49 per cent of respondents said they would not favour such a ban, but 37 per cent said they would support it.The Leger Marketing poll was done to gauge public sentiment in light of a proposed secularism law in Quebec that would ban public servants in positions of authority from wearing religious symbols.The proposed law would not extend to elected officials, but a question about whether it should was included among questions about how Canadians in different provinces feel about religions and religious signs.Jack Jedwab, president of the Association for Canadian Studies, which commissioned the survey, says a deeper dive into the numbers shows the strongest supporters of such a ban for politicians are those more likely to feel threatened by religious minorities. They also expressed negative feelings toward Islam, Muslims and react negatively to hijabs.Respondents who said they interact more with and are comfortable around religious minorities are less likely to support banning religious symbols for elected officials, the data suggests.Meanwhile, more than 80 per cent of all of those surveyed said they have positive views of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and also said they favour multiculturalism.The results indicate what Jedwab calls a “striking paradox” among Canadians.“(People) express broad appreciation of diversity and say that our society is tolerant and accepting of religious-minority customs and traditions, yet at the same time … we, to a significant degree, don’t like the idea of politicians wearing religious symbols or signs.”The results of this survey suggest federal leaders will have to approach issues of religious symbolism carefully in seat-rich Quebec as the province moves to enact its secularism law while federal parties gear up for a fall federal election.NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, a practising Sikh who sports a brightly coloured turban, will have an especially challenging time in Quebec, Jedwab says.“He’s going to probably encounter some challenges that people probably will not express publicly, but that they feel privately,” he said.“Those feelings are out there … Is it going to affect his chances of getting elected? It’s difficult to say. It creates a new layer that is out there.”During the last federal election campaign, religious symbolism became a flashpoint after the Federal Court of Canada upheld a lower court’s decision to strike down the former Conservative government’s ban on wearing niqabs at citizenship ceremonies.Former NDP leader Tom Mulcair took a firm stance against the ban — a move he later said he believes cost him the election, as support for the ban was strong in Quebec, where his party base was strongest.Jedwab says he believes Prime Minister Justin Trudeau successfully skirted backlash on the niqab issue in 2015 because Mulcair took the brunt of Quebecers’ concerns.This time, Trudeau — who has spoken against the secularism bill and who has taken a strong stance in favour of welcoming immigrants and minorities — could have a more turbulent ride.“It’s going to be challenging for him because he needs to build and/or strengthen his base in Quebec. The challenge will be that there is a lot of support for these types of restrictions,” Jedwab said.Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer will also have to walk a fine line on issues of religious symbolism and immigration, Jedwab added.“The polling numbers in this poll nationally suggest (Scheer) may be able to find a line through this thing where he says, ‘We understand people’s fears and insecurities, but we need to respect the Charter of Rights.’ I don’t think Mr. Trudeau will be saying he understands people’s fears and insecurities, because that will validate them,” Jedwab said.This survey of respondents drawn from an online panel canvassed the opinions of 2,215 adults between May 3 and 7.—Follow @ReporterTeresa on Twitter.Teresa Wright, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Luck Mervil sobs at sentencing hearing for sexually exploiting a minor

first_imgAdvertisement Login/Register With: He said some news reports referred to allegations made during his preliminary inquiry that turned out to be unfounded and based on comments made “out of context.”On Monday, Mervil pleaded guilty to having sexually exploited a minor in 1996. An accusation that he sexually assaulted the same victim was dropped.The victim was 17 at the time. Mervil was 28 and the leader of RudeLuck, a band that was gaining popularity. A publication ban prohibits revealing details on how Mervil and the victim knew each other.However, by pleading guilty to sexual exploitation, Mervil admitted he had authority over her. She had known Mervil and his family for years. According to a statement of facts entered into the court record, she was proud to know Mervil while his star was rising but she did not find him attractive.The two had sex on several occasions. She decided to report what happened years later, and Mervil was charged in 2014.His first lawyer, Loris Cavaliere, was arrested a year later in a crackdown on organized crime. On Friday, Mervil said that development dragged his case out for much longer than he had expected.“Above all I want to say I am sorry” to the victim, Mervil said Friday, seconds after the victim exited the courtroom, apparently unable to withstand hearing what he had to say.The victim also made a statement, breaking down and crying while trying to get through it.‎She said her experience with Mervil turned her into a bitter and angry person. She became aggressive with her loved ones, in particular with her sister. She estimated she has spent $15,000 on therapy.“I burned bridges with my friends,” she said, and lost contact with family members for years. “I lost my sense of myself.”She said she fears Mervil will seek revenge for ‎having filed a complaint against him.“I think he will manipulate people he knows into hating me,” said the woman, who now lives in Europe.“When I come back to Montreal those fears grow,” she said. “That is why I don’t come back to Montreal.”Mervil said he could not comprehend why the woman would feel that he would seek revenge.“I don’t see how she could think I would seek reprisals,” he said. “You won’t find one person who can say that I had a violent thought toward her.”His lawyer, Philippe Larochelle, deposited media articles into evidence that reported Mervil had sexually assaulted the victim when that is not the crime he admitted to.Prosecutor Anne Gauvin presented the joint recommendation that Mervil receive a six-month term that can be served in the community. The first three months would involve house arrest and the following three months would involve a curfew.“We left nothing aside,” Gauvin said of the negotiations that produced the recommendation.Hébert said she will make a decision on the sentence next week.by Paul Cherry | Montreal Gazette Twitter “Above all I want to say I am sorry,” the Quebec singer says after the victim exits the courtroom.Luck Mervil, the popular singer who pleaded guilty this week to having sexually exploited a minor many years ago, broke down and cried while making a statement during his sentence hearing on Friday.A sobbing Mervil told Quebec Court Judge Mélanie Hébert about a phone call he received after he pleaded guilty on Monday. He said the principal of the school his young son attends suggested he might have to “put up a security perimeter” around the boy.Mervil said he has considered hiring bodyguards as a result of what’s been said in the news media as well as on social media. Facebookcenter_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Quebec singer Luck Mervil, who has pleaded guilty to sex-related charges involving a minor, arrives at the courthouse for the sentencing arguments Friday, May 18, 2018 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson ORG XMIT: pch102 Advertisementlast_img read more

Morocco Turns to China Russia Markets to Boost Tourism Industry

London –  The Moroccan National Tourism Office (ONMT) seeks to increase the number of Chinese and Russians tourists visiting Morocco in order to boost the country’s tourism industry. Morocco is turning to new markets like Russia and China to support the country’s large tourism industry following a decline in visitors from traditional source markets, said Oxford Business Group (OBG).Diversification will be key to meeting the goals of Morocco’s Vision 2020, the country’s tourism development plan, which ambitiously aims to attract 20 million visitors and boost tourism revenues to MAD 140 billion (€12.8 billion) by the end of the decade, said OBG in its latest analysis. Last year revenues from tourism decreased 1.4% year-on-year to MAD 58.6 billion (€5.4 billion), with the country welcoming just over 10 million visitors, indicating the magnitude of the task ahead, the same source added.Russian tourists spent only MAD 28 million (€2.6 million) in Morocco last year, but the Ministry of Tourism is increasingly looking to Russia as a priority market, said OBG’s experts.In 2015 there were approximately 40,000 visitors from Russia, well behind the 3.3 million from France, 2.1 million from Spain and 615,000 from Germany, but the ONMT aims to increase that figure to 800,000 by 2020.To support the Ministry’s effort, the country’s national carrier, Royal Air Maroc, which launched direct flights between Moscow and Casablanca in 2011, began service from the Russian capital to the southern resort town of Agadir in the second quarter of this year, said the OBG.It added that the carrier is also in talks to establish direct flights from Russia’s second-largest city, St. Petersburg, to both Agadir and Marrakech.Morocco has also embarked on aggressive marketing campaigns, the OBG noted, adding that earlier this year Moroccan tourism authorities hosted representatives of 30 Russian news outlets and 400 Russian travel agencies in Agadir, Marrakech and Casablanca to promote and increase the visibility of the kingdom’s tourist offerings.In recent years, Morocco has launched an ambitious program to attract tourists from other countries, particularly Brazil, China and Russia, Scandinavian countries, Turkey and Germany.During a meeting of the Moroccan National Tourist Office Board of Directors last December, outgoing Minister of Tourism, Lahcen Haddad said that Morocco seeks “to attract 800,000 tourists from the Scandinavian, Turkish, German and Russian markets by 2020.”Haddad went on to add that his Ministry seeks to attract more than 120,000 Chinese and 200,000 Russian tourists by 2020 and turn Morocco into one of the 20 largest tourist destinations in the world. read more

Kosovars displaced by war face reintegration obstacles says UN rights expert

“All persons who were internally displaced from or within Kosovo have the right to return but are also entitled to integrate wherever they currently are,” said Walter Kälin, the Secretary-General’s Representative on the human rights of internally displaced persons (IDPs), after wrapping up a week-long trip which took him to Belgrade, Pristina and other cities.His mission to the region, he stressed, was in line with Security Council resolution 1244, which reaffirms Serbia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and also gave the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) administrative authority. Further, he underscored that any reference to Kosovo – whether to its territory, institutions or population – is to be understood to be in accordance with the UN’s position of strict neutrality on its status.While welcoming authorities’ expressed commitment to help IDPs, regardless of their ethnicity, return, Mr. Kälin saw entrenched patterns of discrimination, lack of access to employment, few schools for minorities and difficulties in repossessing property, among other obstacles to return.Nearly 800 IDP families have registered to return to or within Kosovo this year, marking “an important test case,” he said, with the programme’s outcome showing whether authorities are willing to accept and facilitate returns.Since his last visit to the then Serbia and Montenegro in 2005, he said that he has seen marked improvements in the local integration of the displaced. For example, in a “positive” and “clear step forward,” the Serbian Commissioner for Refugees and others have helped IDPs leave “dreadful” collective centres and move into their own homes, the Representative said.But he cautioned that bureaucratic barriers could impede the access of IDPs – the vast majority of whom are of Serb ethnicity – to public services.“If you want to give internally displaced persons a realistic chance to return one day, you have to first allow them to re-establish a normal life,” he emphasized.Mr. Kälin in also voiced his concern over the situation of IDPs of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian ethnicity, who have “been living on the margins of society even before they were displaced.”Many of their children do not attend schools and they also cannot access housing, social and health state benefits because they lack recognized addresses, he said, calling on authorities to treat them as any other IDPs.He said he was alarmed that hundreds of Roma IDPs are still living in Cesmin Lug Camp, where they had been placed by the UN one decade ago, and the adjacent Osterode barracks in Mitrovica.“These people live in the immediate vicinity of toxic waste that poisons their blood with lead,” especially the children, the expert said. “This is a humanitarian emergency and a very serious human rights issue. The lives and health of these sick children must not be abused for political purposes.” 7 July 2009More than one decade after the Balkan wars concluded, Kosovars uprooted by fighting then continue to face serious challenges in returning home and local integration, a United Nations human rights expert said today. read more

UN predicts world food import bill to fall to fiveyear low amid

Source: FAO Food Outlook – Biannual report on global food marketsDespite a slight reduction in global harvests expected this year – with a 1.5 per cent decline in cereal production from last year’s record output – “exceptionally high” levels of existing stocks will offset the pressure, according to the FAO’s report. The reduction in cereal production remains nearly five per cent above the average of the past five years.Dairy prices fell the most, buoying imports in Africa, while the abolition of the European Union’s (EU) milk quota system was also one of the main drivers of the 6.7 percent monthly drop. Sugar, cereals and vegetable oils prices also declined. By contrast, meat values rose in April, which was their first increase since August 2014.Food Outlook also includes a special feature focusing on price volatility, highlighting a need to investigate whether volatility has returned to normal or not. Food price index | Food commodity price indices “The world food import bill is forecast to reach a five-year low in 2015,” says Food Outlook, a biannual publication by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) focusing on developments affecting global food and feed markets. “Currency movements and macroeconomic developments may have important implications for markets again in 2015-16.”The Food Price Index, a trade-weighted database that tracks and aggregates on a monthly basis the prices of cereals, meat, dairy products, vegetable oils and sugar on international markets, reflected that decline, with a 1.2 per cent overall drop in April from March. The index reached 171 points, its lowest level since June 2010 and 19.2 per cent less than a year ago.Food Outlook says international food prices are likely to stay under downward pressure due to large supplies, low freight rates and a strong US dollar, with import volumes of the five commodities little changed or even rising. The reduction in import bills is likely to benefit low income countries. read more

Situation in Kosovo more stable but underlying tensions remain – UN envoy

He added that Prime Minister Vucic, recently, told him that too much time was being lost, and that more serious, sustained and committed work on the Dialogue is needed from all stakeholders, including the international community. “The EU-led High-Level Dialogue remains a cornerstone in the road toward reconciliation. It is the EU perspective in the region that continues to be a main driver of reform, particularly in the vital areas of governance, rule of law, and human rights,” he said.Since his last briefing to the council, Mr. Tanin reported that progress continues to be made in some areas, including the start of the refurbishment of the Mitrovica Main Bridge, as well as the narrowing of differences on the telecommunications issue.However, he added that more focussed work is clearly needed regarding other agreements, such as the Community/Association of Serb-majority Municipalities.Assisting the communities affected by the conflictMr. Tanin further told the Security Council that focus should be brought back on addressing the issues of the communities affected by the conflict. “Around 16,000 persons remain displaced within Kosovo, with many more outside. With the elapse of time, many have by now built new lives in their places of displacement,” he noted. “Yet the voluntary, safe and dignified return of displaced persons is a fundamental right [and] to achieve returns, constructive engagement is needed with returnees and receiving communities, which must be matched by political commitment, but even more importantly, by the commitment of resources,” he added.The UN envoy said though many people have registered to return, for the return itself to take place, realistic commitments must be demonstrated in allocating the requisite resources and ensuring that the proper conditions are present.Victims of intimidation have a different perspective than those who haven’t experienced itHe further noted that despite no large-scale inter-ethnic disturbances or any significant attacks against cultural sites in the last three months, vulnerable groups, in particular among non-majority communities, are subject to higher rates of intimidation.According to UNMIK, on average around 25 ‘potentially ethnically motivated’ crimes are recorded every month in Kosovo. The primary motives behind such crimes are frequently found to be non-political. “[However] victims of intimidation always have a different perspective from those who have not experienced it. More sensitivity to this essential truth is needed by authorities from all sides, as well as from ourselves,” Mr. Tanin underlined.Commending recent steps initiatives of President Thaçi which included visiting and paying respects at a memorial commemorating the killing of Kosovo Serb civilians, he said: “These visits remind us also of the fact that all leaders share a solemn responsibility to do more to help resolve the cases of persons missing from the time of the conflict,” Stressing that even 17 years after the end of the conflict, over 1,600 persons still remain missing, he said: “The issue of the missing should not be allowed to slip from the political agenda. The missing will only be found and their fates determined if there is fundamental and sustained commitment by all, including [UNMIK].”Challenge of violent extremismNoting that violent extremism is a major global challenge and that radical Islamist elements and organisers are present in Kosovo, the UN envoy said that despite measures taken by local authorities to mitigate the threat, it is important that everyone is vigilant and aware. “Kosovo authorities have implemented a strong law enforcement approach concerning those who advocate violence and those who facilitate volunteer fighters,” he said, adding that they have acknowledged that, “this can only work when it goes hand in hand with a developmental approach which effectively targets the specific socio-economic drivers of extremism in Kosovo.”Mr. Tanin stressed that there is an important role to be played by the international community through well-coordinated assistance, including from the UN.Concluding his briefing, the UNMIK chief said the constructive engagement with Kosovo leaders has been significantly strengthened and that constructive engagement with Belgrade leaders remain essential for the balanced and objective role of the Mission, within the framework of regional interaction, and toward the full realization of its mandate. Wide view of the Security Council during its meeting on Kosovo. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine “From my recent talks with top leaders in Kosovo, I have the impression that [they] understand the need to place realism and practicality higher on their political agenda,” said Mr. Tanin in his regular briefing to the Council. “Many have their eyes upon emerging wider trends, and the opportunity these trends offer to seize levers of opportunity, and remove old obstacles, in order to achieve faster progress,” he added.He recalled his meetings with local officials and communities where he heard their concerns related to employment, public services, and confidence in governing institutions, and in particular, their desire for improved relations and more confidence between ethnic communities, the UN envoy highlighted that it was clear that economic, educational and healthcare issues, as well as the rule of law and combatting corruption, and not interethnic politics are the main concerns of people.Noting that many among the immediate post-conflict generation in the region have known little of public life apart from divisive post-conflict rhetoric, Mr. Tanin, also the head of the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) underscored: “If stability and prosperity are to be achieved, the post-conflict generation is in need of clearer directions, and better opportunities, as inhabitants of modern Europe, and as world citizens.”Importance of regional cooperationThe UN envoy further said that there is a strong emphasis from top Kosovo leaders on regional cooperation, better understanding of the positions of other sides and, especially, the need for the European Union-led Dialogue to be successful. read more

The 9 at 9 Friday

first_imgEVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you nine things you need to know with your morning cup of coffee.1. #REHAB: The delay in releasing details of Rehab’s CEO has been criticised by the Chair of the Oireachtas Health Committee, Jerry Buttimer.2. #TALKS: The first full day of peace talks are taking place between Syrian officials and rebels in Geneva today.3. #RTE: RTE aims to save over €100,000 a year by suspending the supply of free RTE Guides to retired staff, reports The Cork Evening Echo.4. #TOM O’GORMAN: The family of Tom O’Gorman have asked for privacy at the funeral which takes place today.5. #REAL PHILOMENA: The real-life woman behind, ‘Philomena’, the Oscar-nominated film, is in Dublin today urging the Irish government to release adoption records.6. #AOSDÁNA: An arts organisation set up by the Arts Council has called for the immediate release on compassionate grounds of jailed campaigner Margaretta D’Arcy, reports The Irish Independent.7.#BONDHOLDERS: The Irish Times reports that Germany’s Central Bank backed Ireland’s move to burn bondholders back in 2010.8. #BOMB: A large truck has exploded outside Egyptian police headquarters in Cairo this morning, killing at least four people and injuring 76, reports The Guardian.9. #OLIVE BRANCH: North Korea has sent an open letter to the South calling for reconciliation and an end to “hostile military acts” reports the BBC.last_img read more

Coolest thing you will see today Theo Jansens kinetic sculpture the Strandbeest

first_imgAnything with the word “sculpture” in it is going to immediately cause some people to zone out, but trust me, you want to watch this video. It’s a “kinetic sculpture” known as the Strandbeest. The contraption, what seems to be what I would call an analog robot, walks along the beach powered by the wind. It’s constructed of pumps, plastic tubes, and some sheets to catch the wind.Jansen has been making these for some time so if you look around you’ll find multiple iterations, as well as clever takes on the Strandbeest (like this hamster-powered one). The devices are simple in their concept but obviously quite complex in their implementation and they walk along the beach with an eerie machine beauty.Jansen describes them as “skeletons that are able to walk on wind” living their own lives on the beaches. No matter what you call them, they exist at a wonderful crossroads of art and engineering, and strike an incredible image as they crawl down the beach, propelled by the wind and Jansen’s ingenuity.More in this video:One last thing: Why was I not informed earlier about Mr. Jansen and his work? If you all knew about it, feel free to say as much in the comments.Learn more at Strandbeest, via The Atlanticlast_img read more

ATT releases VoIP app for expensive international calls

first_imgAT&T has released a new app called Call International, which allows users to place VoIP calls over the network. While this can certainly be less expensive than standard international calling rates, it’s basically a ripoff that preys on the average customer’s lack of knowledge about VoIP.Though AT&T doesn’t explicitly describe this as a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) app, that’s exactly what it is. After installing the app, you create an account and provide your credit card info. Then you can sign in, and dial a number or select an existing contact’s number. AT&T will then route your call over the network to an “AT&T gateway” using a routing number. The gateway will then connect you to the person you were trying to call.The problem, though, is that AT&T Call International costs much more than other VoIP service, with no added benefits. They presumably avoid describing it as VoIP so as not to alert customers to the fact that they’re overpaying for something they could do just as well on Skype, Sipgate, etc. For example, a call from the US to a UK mobile costs 2.3¢ per minute on Skype, but that same call will be 27¢ per minute on AT&T Call International.Calling from abroad back to the US doesn’t change anything either. Say you’re visiting London and hop on a coffee shop’s WiFi network to call your parents in New York. Skype will charge you the same 2.3¢ per minute, but here AT&T will ring you up for 10¢ a minute.So what we have here is a service that exists primarily to dupe customers who aren’t particularly knowledgable about VoIP into paying more to AT&T instead of less to Skype or another competitor. Android, iOS, and Blackberry users can download the app now, but we’d advise you to stay far away from this one.via 9to5Maclast_img read more

11 martial arts masters with unexplained powers

first_img Ho Eng Hui1/11One of the most common martial arts ability is the “hand of stone,” the ability to harden a specific part of your body to break boards, cinderblocks, et cetera. Malaysian martial artist Ho Eng Hui has taken this discipline to a whole new level. All of his bodily power is focused in the index finger on his right hand, and that gnarled digit is so mighty that Hui can jam it right through the shell of a coconut. Have you ever tried to crack open a coconut? You need a ball-peen hammer for that. This guy, though, can do it with a single finger. If you want to see him do it, Hui sells medicinal oils in the Jonker Walk Night Market on Friday and Saturday nights.<><> I took a year or so of karate when I was a kid, but let’s be honest: the amazing martial arts feats you see in the movies just aren’t possible by mortal men. Or are they? The human body has been proven capable of some truly astonishing feats if you treat it right.Let’s put that theory to the test, shall we? In the slideshow below, we’ll share with you eleven men and women from all over the globe (or at least Asia) who have pursued the martial arts to a degree that many would consider insane. Not only could they kick your ass in a fight, but they’re doing stuff that could land them in the Guinness Book.You’ll see the usual feats of strength and durability here, but it’s the unusual stuff that really has me scratching my head. It makes sense that if you kick things enough you get really good at kicking, but what kind of training lets you start fires inside your mouth or put animals to sleep with your mind? You don’t get that at the strip mall storefront dojo, that’s for sure.last_img read more

Fords NoiseCancelling Kennel Aimed at Distressed Dogs

first_img Say Goodnight to Restless Slumber with Bose Noise-Masking SleepbudsOversized Helmet Eliminates Noise, Dignity Stay on target The boisterous soundtrack to many national holidays—often filled with the crackle and pop of fireworks—can be agonizing to pets and distressing to their owners.Fortunately, Ford has come up with a solution.Yes, that Ford.The automaker this week introduced a prototype noise-cancelling kennel. Using the same technology found in cars and headphones, the doghouse can protect sensitive canine ears during loud pyrotechnic displays.Once internal microphones detect the sound of fireworks, a built-in audio system kicks in, emitting opposing frequencies that cancel out—or at least significantly reduce—the offending noise.The idea was inspired by the noise-cancelling technology in Ford’s Edge SUV (via Ford Europe)“Many animals find fireworks scary—and compared to people, dogs can hear things that are four times further away, and access a much wider range of frequencies,” according to Graeme “The Dogfather” Hall, a UK-based dog trainer and behaviorist.The concept was inspired by noise-cancelling tech introduced to the new Ford Edge SUV: The din of an engine or transmission is counteracted with opposing sound waves from the car’s audio system.“We wondered how the technologies we use in our cars could help people in other situations,” Lyn West, brand content manager for Ford of Europe, said in a statement.Upcoming New Year’s Eve celebrations provide the perfect opportunity for the company to test its Active Noise Control system in kennel models, embedded with high-density cork for added sound proofing.“We have a few more ideas in progress as to how our everyday lives might benefit from a little Ford know-how,” West added.Still in the prototype phase, the noise-cancelling doghouse is the first in Ford’s series of initiatives—so-called “Interventions”—that apply automotive expertise to solve everyday problems.There is no word on future availability or pricing. And it is unclear whether this technology also works to negate other sounds, like thunder and heavy rain, which can leave some animals anxious and scared.More on Geek.com:Ford Wants to Remove New Car Odors by ‘Heating Up’ VehiclesMove Over, Pavlov: Dogs Can Understand (Some) Human WordsOversized Helmet Eliminates Noise, Dignitylast_img read more

Hodgson admits defeats against Chelsea

first_imgThe Crystal Palace manager says the Blues were the better side today and deserved the 1-0 victory at Selhurst ParkA lonely goal by N’Golo Kante gave Chelsea a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace today in the English Premier League.And for Palace coach Roy Hodgson, that victory was well-deserved for his rivals.“I thought we worked as hard as we could work and we were playing a very good team who made it difficult for us to disturb their passing rhythm,” he explained on Sky Sports.“I thought they were very good on the ball, but I thought our discipline, particularly in the first half, was very good.”Tammy Abraham, ChelseaChelsea hat-trick hero Tammy Abraham hopes for more Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Tammy Abraham hopes this season will be his big breakthrough at Chelsea after firing his first hat-trick for the club in Saturday’s 5-2 win at Wolves.“We kept them in front of us, they had a lot of the ball but they weren’t creating chances,” he explained.“But when they score the goal, everything changes.”“We’ve then got two options – fly at it like we did in the final 15 minutes, and run the risk of conceding two, three or four, or to keep it tight for a little bit longer in the hope that you’ll then create something, or the ball will fall your way and you would get what would have been an undeserved point,” he added.“So I don’t know if we could have done much more in terms of our approach to the game. We played against a very good side and they were much better than we were.”last_img read more

Chelsea interested in signing Eriksen

first_imgChelsea are reportedly interested in acquiring the services of Christian Eriksen from Tottenham Hotspur.The Blues manager Maurizio Sarri wants to find a playmaker to help bolster the team’s midfield while also splashing the cash on a proven creative player in case Eden Hazard leaves the club for Real Madrid.A report in the Express says Eriksen fits the bill on both counts. Chelsea would are expected to receive top dollar for Hazard, even if he were to run down his contract into his final year, and Tottenham CEO Daniel Levy is expected to demand a huge fee from the West London club.It is believed that Eriksen would cost around £100million. The Denmark international is not the only playmaker to be linked with Chelsea of late either.Tammy Abraham, ChelseaChelsea hat-trick hero Tammy Abraham hopes for more Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Tammy Abraham hopes this season will be his big breakthrough at Chelsea after firing his first hat-trick for the club in Saturday’s 5-2 win at Wolves.Real Madrid’s Isco and Barcelona’s playmaker Philippe Coutinho have also been mentioned as Chelsea look to prepare for a summer of spree.Meanwhile, Chelsea defender David Luiz is closing in on a new contract with the club.Luiz’s current deal with the Blues expires at the end of the current season, and reports suggest he’s closing in on a new one-year deal.last_img read more

Two bridges named after fallen Interior State Troopers

first_imgTwo Interior Alaska State Troopers killed in the line of duty are having bridges named after them. The bridges on the Alaska and Steese Highways are being named for Sergeant Scott Johnson and Trooper Gabe Rich, who were shot to death while on a call in the village of Tanana on May 1, 2014. Legislation dedicating the bridges was signed into law by Governor Dunleavy Friday in Fairbanks. The other bill names the Steese Highway mile 39 bridge over the Chatanika River for Trooper Rich. Gabe Rich’s dad, Dave Rich, says they made regular trips up the Steese to visit friends and family in Central, and Gabe always made note of the bridge. ”He and I floated the Tok River as young adults hunting moose and for about the last 18 years, we crossed the Tok River going to and from Eagle, Alaska the hunting camp,” Johnson said. “It just seems fitting to rename the bridge after my best friend Scott.” ”And when we used to go up there and hunt and four-wheel and hike and do all those things, when we would cross the Chatanika River, he would always say, ‘OK. There’s no turning back. We’re headed for Central.’ It was just a really special place for him,” Dave Rich said.center_img One bill names an Alaska Highway bridge at milepost 1,309 over the Tok River for Sergeant Johnson. Johnson grew up in Tok, and his widow Brandy Johnson says the bridge and river have special meaning. Rich says his son’s connection with area residents was evident when a petition supporting the bridge naming was quickly filled with signatures. Trooper Rich and Sergeant Johnson were also among fallen officers honored Friday at an annual National Police Memorial Day ceremony in Fairbanks.last_img read more