Punjab and Haryana High Court slams Khattar government for failing to prevent violence

first_imgA day after deadly violence claimed 31 lives and left over 250 injured in Haryana, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Saturday came down heavily on the Manohar Lal Khattar-led BJP government, calling its inaction “a political surrender to allure vote bank.”A full Bench of the court, comprising acting Chief Justice S.S. Saron and Justices Avneesh Jhingan and Surya Kant, was hearing a Public Interest Litigation petition filed by a Panchkula resident, raising law and order concerns as a large number of people had reportedly entered the district, despite prohibitory orders.“This was political surrender to allure vote bank, they [the Dera followers] were outsiders, you allowed them to enter and stay,” the court remarked.Asking how the State government had not taken notice of the build-up of Dera supporters in Panchkula, the court — in the backdrop of Mr. Khattar’s alleged statement on Friday that anti-social elements had created the problem — remarked: “If the Chief Minister was aware of the presence of anti-social elements, why the government was not able to prevent their entry for the past seven days?”The court, while remarking on the statement of Additional Solicitor-General Satya Pal Jain (representing the Centre) that Friday’s violence was a matter of the State, said: “The Prime Minister is PM of the country and not of particular party… Is Punjab and Haryana not a part of India?”The court, as an interim measure, directed the Deputy Commissioners in Haryana and Punjab to identify the assets and properties of the Dera Sacha Sauda and submit a list of the same to the court for attachment.“The list should include assets, incomes, bank accounts and properties. However, till then, no properties of the Dera Sacha Sauda shall be sold, transferred, alienated or encumbered in any manner,” said the order.Application for damageThe court said the Deputy Commissioners in Haryana and Punjab shall invite applications for claims for damage caused to public and private properties, which shall be verified and forwarded to the court through the offices of the Advocate-Generals of Punjab and Haryana.“The Bench has taken a serious cognisance of yesterday’s violence and said the loss due to the violence is a loss to the nation and the taxpayer. This loss will be compensated by those responsible for it,” said Punjab Advocate-General Atul Nanda.‘Fly CBI judge to jail’The court also ordered the Haryana administration to make arrangements to take CBI judge Jagdeep Singh and two of his staff members to the Rohtak district jail by air for pronouncing the quantum of sentence against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who was convicted for rape on Friday.The court notified the jail as a “place of sitting of the CBI court for the purpose of hearing of quantum of sentence.”The Dera chief is lodged in Rohtak jail, and the quantum of sentence will be announced on Monday.An order issued by the Registrar of the Punjab and High Court said: “Suitable accommodation for court room, etc. in the District jail, Rohtak at Sunaria shall be provided and arrangements also be made for the lawyers and parties to have an easy access in court room in the district jail. Further, necessary arrangements for security and safe transport by air of the judicial officer, who has to try the case in the district jail and two of staff members, shall also be made.”Haryana Government suspended Ashok Kumar, the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) of Panchkula, and posted Manbir Singh as the new DCP.Tens of thousands of Dera followers went on the rampage in Panchkula on Friday as the news broke that their chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh had been convicted of rape by a CBI special court. The violence spread to other towns in Haryana and parts of Punjab as well. Few incidents of arson were reported in Delhi.last_img read more

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In cold, poor South Korean mountains, Winter Olympics begin

first_imgThe isolated, rugged mountain town of Pyeongchang, one of the poorest, coldest and most disgruntled parts of an otherwise prosperous South Korea, will be a global player for two weeks of winter sports, Olympic spectacle and, just maybe, a bit of inter-Korean reconciliation.There will be plenty of sporting drama for both die-hard snow and ice junkies and the once-every-four-years enthusiast.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutWill the Russians who aren’t Russians — the 168 who have been invited as “Olympic Athletes from Russia,” competing in neutral uniforms under the Olympic flag — bring home gold? Will Patrick Chan of Canada hit his quad jumps and claim figure skating glory?Can reigning men’s gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan overcome injury and defend his title against Chan? Will the past and present star of American skiing, Lindsey Vonn, be surpassed by the likely future of the sport, Mikaela Shiffrin? 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting But the athletic aspect of these games has been overshadowed in the buildup to the opening ceremony by a frenzied, increasingly momentous fire-hose spray of political developments. The rival Koreas, flirting with war just weeks ago, are suddenly making overtures toward the no-longer-quite-so-absurd notion of cooperation.North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s sister, making an unprecedented visit to South Korean soil, will now likely attend the same opening ceremony as U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who’s vowing toughest-ever sanctions on the North. Could they meet? That and other theories have engulfed South Korean media.Pyeongchang was not supposed to share the spotlight with Pyongyang. This was not supposed to be, as some in Seoul grumble, the “Pyongyang Games,” a play on the North Korean capital’s phonetic similarity to Pyeongchang.After two failed Olympic bids that emphasized the high-sounding notion that the games could help make peace with North Korea, Pyeongchang finally sold its successful try in 2011 on the decidedly capitalistic goal of boosting winter sports tourism in Asia.But North Korea has a habit of not letting itself be ignored when it comes to its southern rival.ADVERTISEMENT Its agents blew up a South Korean airliner ahead of the 1988 Seoul Olympics in an attempt to dissuade visitors; then it boycotted its rival’s Olympic debut on the world stage. A few years later, the discovery of the huge progress Pyongyang had been surreptitiously making on its nuclear programs plunged the Korean Peninsula into crisis. It has only deepened over the years as the North closes in on the ability to field an arsenal of nukes that can hit U.S. cities.And so, with a little help from a liberal South Korean president eager to engage Pyongyang, the 2018 Pyeongchang Games open.They do so with as much focus on the North, which has zero real medal contenders, as the South, which in the three decades since its last Olympics has built a solid winter program as it went from economic backwater and military dictatorship to Asia’s fourth-biggest economy and a bulwark of liberal democracy.Could Pyeongchang’s initial pitch — that it could contribute to peace on the Korean Peninsula — actually become reality? The opening ceremony will offer at least some hints about that, and maybe more. What’s certain is that these Games, more so than any in recent memory, are about far more than sports. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:35U.S. urges Japan, South Korea to share intel00:58US defense chief meets South Korean counterpart01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City MOST READ John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding AFP official booed out of forum Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH FILE – In this Feb. 4, 2018, file photo, a human figure appears to be climbing an Olympic Cauldron at the Pyeongchang Olympic Plaza as preparations continue for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. After two failed bids, hundreds of millions of dollars and a nagging national debate about whether it’s all even worth it, the Olympics will finally open Friday, Feb. 9, in a ceremony meant to showcase South Korea’s rise from dictatorship, poverty and war to one of Asia’s leading powers. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — The world starts watching now. At least, when it comes to sports.After two failed bids, billions of dollars in preparation and a nagging national debate about whether it’s all worth it, the Winter Olympics open Friday in Pyeongchang with a gala ceremony meant to showcase South Korea’s rise from poverty and war into one of Asia’s most modern nations.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Read Next Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Trail Blazers hold off the Hornets in overtime View commentslast_img read more

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RTOS Revealed

first_imgThis series delves into all aspects of real time operating systems (RTOS) and is intended for any developer who is curious about how to use an RTOS and how they work.Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Continue Reading Previous Prime your brain to percolate brilliant ideas at ESC Silicon ValleyNext Fit as a dog: How to transform a human pedometer into a dog’s step counterlast_img

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Kapil Dev and Manoj Prabhakar come face to face years after 1997 corruption slur

first_imgNearly two decades after former all-rounder Manoj Prabhakar accused legend Kapil Dev of offering him money to underperform in a match against Pakistan, the duo got together in the same room, ironically in the BCCI headquarters.Only this time, Prabhakar was the interviewee and Kapil Dev conducting interviews. Prabhakar was among nine other applicants who had put up their candidatures for the Indian women’s coaching job. Legendary all-rounder Kapil Dev part of the ad committee set up to conduct interviews and recommend the new coach to BCCI.Asked whether there was any discomfort given the history between the two, Prabhakar replied, “No, nothing.”Prabhakar replied in the affirmative when asked if Kapil too asked questions of him during the interview.There were reports earlier that Kapil would recuse himself from the process during Prabhakar’s interview.Prabhakar had first leveled allegations in an interview to a private magazine in 1997 that the player who offered him Rs 25 lakh to underperform in a match against Pakistan in 1994 Singer Cup competition was none other than Kapil Dev.A tearful Kapil Dev had broken down in a TV interview in 2000 saying his lifetime of service to cricket had been finished by an irresponsible allegation of match-fixing by a third party.Also Read | Gary Kirsten vs WV Raman in final battle for India women’s cricket coachAlso Read | MS Dhoni greatest cricketer India has ever produced: Kapil DevAlso Read | Just like Kohli, I will run shirtless if India win 2019 World Cup: Kapil DevAlso See:advertisementlast_img read more

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Premier League clubs’ brave move may be ruined by elite European predators

first_img Read more Share via Email Barney Ronay Share on LinkedIn Transfer window a show in danger of overshadowing the football Topics Read more Share on Messenger There were high-profile supporters of reform. “It would have helped us this year,” said Jürgen Klopp, when asked if the window should shut earlier. The Liverpool manager spent most of last month fielding questions over Coutinho and a possible move to Barcelona. “It’s a huge mistake from Uefa,” said Pep Guardiola, also this summer, “I think the market should finish when we start the season. It’s too long, too large.” Interestingly, his beliefs and those of his Manchester United counterpart, José Mourinho, appear to have been disregarded by their respective club chief executives, Ferran Soriano and Ed Woodward, who voted against the change.Opponents of the amendment could point to the benefits afforded by having the first three games of the season to assess a squad and make more informed transfer decisions. The opportunity to strengthen in certain areas when deficiencies not obvious in pre-season become apparent is stripped away.The benefits to fans of having squads solidified before the start of the season are numerous, not just because it makes Fantasy Football teams easier to decide upon. Parents will not have to agonise about returning to the club shop demanding a refund for their child’s replica shirt bearing the name of a star player who has departed in the final days of the window.The Uefa president, Aleksander Ceferin, has also backed closing the window earlier, while some would prefer a return to the old days when there was no transfer window at all. It was brave of the Premier League to push the issue but it may come to be considered foolhardy if the rest of Europe does not follow suit. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Premier League clubs vote to close transfer window before start of season Premier League Reuse this content Transfer window comment In many ways it is a brave move by England’s top tier, perhaps made in the belief the rest of the European elite will soon follow suit – because until then the predominant risk is clubs will be hostage to interest in their talent from abroad after the domestic window is shut.Foreign clubs are now in a position of power, able to swoop in and activate a break clause in a player’s contract when the Premier League outfit is effectively rendered helpless, with no way of replacing the player until months down the line. That Juventus stated they would lobby Serie A to follow the Premier League’s example and the Bundesliga was already discussing introducing a similar amendment to the transfer window closure will have been music to Scudamore’s ears but it is unlikely such changes will happen quickly.Being marooned outside the standard European transfer market was the primary concern of the 20 Premier League club executives who were eligible to vote but it was also a risk the 14 who decided in favour said they were willing to take in pursuit of increased stability at the start of the season.In recent years in particular the final weeks of the transfer window have been feverish, with agents demanding increasingly obscene sums for their players, while uncertainty over incomings and outgoings distracted from the excitement of the first games. Football itself took a back seat at the start of this season to the debate over the future of Philippe Coutinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and others. The change will force Premier League clubs to get their business done early, to remove the cloud of uncertainty which often lingers long into late summer. Share on WhatsApp Share on Pinterest The Premier League’s chairman, Richard Scudamore, pointed out that the issue over the transfer window closure has been a subject of fierce debate every year since it was introduced in 2002 in an attempt to regulate player and agent power. So it should come as no surprise that, after many hours of wrangling, an amendment was finally passed on Thursday and the window will now shut before the start of the season. Sportbloglast_img read more

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First Iranian Ships Get Classified as Sanctions Lifted

first_imgzoom Iran’s first two ships have been classified by Italy’s RINA Services and the Asian Classification Society (ACS) following the sanctions’ lifting against the country.The vessel pair are two general cargo ships at 15,000 GT owned by the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) which has just made a comeback to the European ports with the first call to Hamburg on March 17.RINA sad that the dual classification is the result of a partnership signed in January with the Tehran-based ACS shortly after sanctions in Iran were lifted.“All classification societies are trying to enter the Iranian market. Our recent partnership with the ACS was a strategic move that has proved successful in expanding our local reach and classification expertise in the area,” said Andrea Di Bella, Area Manager, RINA Services in the Middle East.As disclosed, RINA Services’ partnership with the ACS aims to support the company’s testing, inspection, classification and certification services in Iran in all four areas of its business: marine, energy, infrastructure and transport and business assurance.The Italian classification society opened an office in January in Teheran through which it plans to deliver its services to the oil & gas, power generation, infrastructure, railway and business assurance sectors as it eyes opportunities to strengthen its presence in Iran and the Middle East.Cooperation with IRISL is seen as a window of opportunities as large number of IRISL’s trading routes are along the Far East, Middle East, Mediterranean and Europe where RINA has developed a strong network.RINA Services currently has an overall fleet of over 5425 classed ships.British classification society Lloyd’s Register is also readying for a comeback to the country.Lloyd’s Register told World Maritime News that they are able to provide classification services to Iranian controlled tonnage and that the society will be re-opening its office in Tehran.The classification society had provided its services to ships owned by NITC and IRISL until 2012 when sanctions against Iran were introduced.last_img read more

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Third person dies as a result of destructive wind storm in Ontario

first_imgMILTON, Ont. – The company that employed two men who were struck by a falling tree in a massive windstorm Friday says both men have now died.The men were servicing trees in Milton, Ont., when the incident occurred on Friday afternoon, leaving a 28-year-old man dead at the scene and badly injuring another.On Saturday afternoon, employer Miller Tree wrote on Twitter that the second man had died.Halton Regional Police confirmed the death, adding that the man was only 18 years old.The storm is also blamed for the death of a man in his fifties who was killed Friday in Hamilton while trying to clear a downed power line.Meanwhile, utilities in Ontario and Quebec say they’re making progress reconnecting the hundreds of thousands of people blacked out by the storm.Ontario’s Hydro One reported Sunday morning that approximately 100,000 customers remained in the dark, down from a peak of more than 200,000.Toronto Hydro crews were still working to reconnect some 4,200 customers, while in Quebec the Sunday morning number was about 20,000.last_img read more

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Quebec agriculture minister fired whistleblower who sounded pesticide alarm

first_imgGATINEAU, Que. — Quebec Agriculture Minister Andre Lamontagne is defending a decision to fire a whistleblowing bureaucrat who went to the media with concerns about pesticide use.While the province has legislation protecting whistleblowers, Lamontagne says there are other factors that led to the dismissal of department agronomist Louis Robert.Radio-Canada reported last year that Robert, a seed expert, had spoken out against private-sector interference in a public study on pesticide use. Last Thursday, Robert was fired for transmitting a confidential document to a reporter and contravening secrecy obligations.Quebec’s whistleblower law protects employees who disclose information within their department. But disclosure to the public is protected only if the employee believes there is a serious risk to health, safety or the environment.Lamontagne told reporters outside the Coalition Avenir Quebec caucus meeting that he was briefed on the matter after being named minister last fall.“It’s my decision, so I’m very comfortable with my decision,” he said. He remained vague about the reasons for the firing but suggested there were other factors at play. Lamontagne said Robert has indicated he will challenge his dismissal.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Elton John Writes OpEd For New York Times

first_imgAn op-ed by Elton John AIDS Foundation founder Sir Elton John has been published by the New York Times.Elton’s op-ed, “Don’t Forget About AIDS,” celebrates the victories that have been won in the march to achieve marriage equality for same-sex couples and calls on the LGBT community to bring that same creativity and dedication back to the effort to end AIDS.“As engaged as the gay community and civil rights activists have been in the fight for marriage equality, we have lost ground on the fight that so intensely galvanized the gay community to begin with: HIV/AIDS,” Elton writes. “Thirty years after the AIDS epidemic began, rates of infection are still at unacceptable levels.“I came out publicly in 1976, just before the beginning of the AIDS crisis. The gay community I inhabited in those years never dreamed of marriage equality — we simply wanted to live, and to stop the terrible epidemic that kept killing our loved ones. We’ve come a long way. But as we celebrate these victories, we must also come together and redouble our efforts to end H.I.V. Only then will we truly have won freedom and equality.”To read the full op-ed, click here.Source:Elton John AIDS Foundationlast_img read more

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The Elders Welcome Nomination Of António Guterres As Next UN SecretaryGeneral

first_imgThe Elders today congratulated the UN Security Council on its selection of António Guterres, former Prime Minister of Portugal and UN High Commissioner for Refugees, as the next UN Secretary-General to succeed Ban Ki-moon in January.Kofi Annan, Chair of The Elders and former UN Secretary-General, said: “I am delighted by the outcome of the Council’s selection process. António Guterres is a highly-qualified candidate who is well-prepared for the many daunting challenges he faces. He will need the firm support of the Security Council as well as the wider membership of the United Nations to help him fulfil his mandate in these challenging times.”The Security Council’s nomination of Mr Guterres now goes to the UN General Assembly for approval. Hopefully, the resolution endorsing his candidacy will be adopted by acclamation, demonstrating that the new Secretary-General enjoys the support of all 193 member states.The Elders have consistently called for a transparent, merit-based process to select the new head of the United Nations. The open General Assembly hearings in which António Guterres along with the other candidates participated were an important and welcome step in this direction.last_img read more

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Manitoba chief calls on government to hold inquiry into Tina Fontaines death

first_imgThe Canadian Press WINNIPEG – The Manitoba government faced another call Thursday for a public inquiry into the death of an Indigenous girl whose body was found in the Red River.Chief Derrick Henderson of Sagkeeng First Nation, where Tina Fontaine grew up, said only a public inquiry can examine all the issues that contributed to the 15-year-old’s death.“I think (an) inquiry would be a step to get the right answers that we need,” he said.Tina left her home in the summer of 2014 to reconnect with her birth mother in Winnipeg. The girl soon became sexually exploited, and repeatedly ran away from a youth shelter and hotels where social workers had placed her.She was last seen leaving a hotel Aug. 8. She told a private contract worker employed by child welfare that she was going to a shopping centre to meet friends.Her body was found just over a week later wrapped in a duvet cover and weighed down by rocks in the river. The man accused of killing her, Raymond Cormier, was found not guilty of second-degree murder in February.The Opposition New Democrats and many Indigenous leaders have already called for a public inquiry to examine the actions of Child and Family Services workers, police and others.In question period Thursday, NDP legislature member Nahanni Fontaine asked Justice Minister Heather Stefanson three times to commit to an inquiry.Stefanson said she would leave the work to the provincial children’s advocate, who is already reviewing how Child and Family Services handled Tina. That report is expected in a few months.“We need to allow that process to take place,” Stefanson said.“We will await the results of that process.”Grand Chief Arlen Dumas of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs said he supports Chief Henderson’s call for a public inquiry.Dumas said he is disappointed with the province’s decision.“How is the miscarriage of justice in the death of a young girl not worth an inquiry?,” he said in a release. “Our children need to know that we value their lives.“It would benefit the Province of Manitoba to show our First Nation citizens they mean it when they speak of reconciliation.”NDP Leader Wab Kinew said earlier this week that a public inquiry would be more thorough than the children’s advocate review, because it would involve sworn testimony at public hearings.The last public inquiry into Manitoba child welfare concluded in 2013 and found continued failures by social workers leading up to the murder of Phoenix Sinclair. The five-year-old girl was beaten to death by her mother and mother’s boyfriend in 2005 after social workers decided she was safe and closed her file.last_img read more

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Green revolution can ensure enough food for entire world – UN environment

17 February 2009Unless major changes are made – including the way food is produced, handled and disposed of around the world – last year’s food crisis which plunged millions back into hunger may foreshadow an even bigger crisis in the years to come, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) said in a new report. The Environmental Food Crisis: The environment’s role in averting future food crises, released at the 25th session of the UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum in Nairobi, outlines a plan to reduce the risk of hunger and rising food insecurity for this century.The agency predicts that food prices may increase 30 to 50 per cent within decades, forcing those living in extreme poverty to spend 90 per cent of their income on food.The report, compiled by a wide group of experts from both within and outside UNEP, stressed that changing the ways in which food is produced, handled and disposed of across the globe – from farm to store and from fridge to landfill – can both feed the world’s rising population and help the environmental services that are the foundation of agricultural productivity in the first place.“We need a Green Revolution in a Green Economy but one with a capital G,” said UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner. “We need to deal with not only the way the world produces food but the way it is distributed, sold and consumed, and we need a revolution that can boost yields by working with rather than against nature,” added Mr. SteinerHe noted that over half of the food produced today is lost, wasted or discarded as a result of inefficiency in the human-managed food chain.“There is evidence within the report that the world could feed the entire projected population growth alone by becoming more efficient while also ensuring the survival of wild animals, birds and fish on this planet,” said Mr. Steiner. The report also underscored the fact that over one-third of the world’s cereal harvest is being used as animal feed and by 2050 the ratio will rise to 50 per cent.“Continuing to feed cereals to growing numbers of livestock will aggravate poverty and environmental degradation,” UNEP warned in its press statement.Among the key points in its plan, the report suggested that recycling food wastes and deploying new technologies, aimed at producing biofuels, to produce sugars from discards such as straw and nutshells could be a key environmentally-friendly alternative to increased use of cereals for livestock.The amount of unwanted fish currently discarded at sea – estimated at 30 million tons a year – could alone sustain more than a 50 per cent increase in fish farming, a rise needed to maintain per capita fish consumption at current levels by 2050 without increasing pressure on an already stressed marine environment.The report highlights a number of other measures, including the reorganization of food market infrastructure to regulate prices, a micro-financing fund to boost small-scale farming, the removal of agricultural subsidies, managing and better harvesting extreme rainfall and adopting more diversified and ecologically-friendly farming systems.Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appealed to environment ministers gathered in Nairobi to help promote a green economy to tackle climate change and wasteful resource consumption, as well as re-energize economies, creating opportunities for new and better livelihoods.“Soaring food prices brought intense focus not just on the issues of agriculture and trade but on the inflationary role of biofuel production,” Mr. Ban said in a message to the weeklong meeting.“Wildly fluctuating crude oil costs illustrated once again our dependence on the fossil fuels that are causing climate change, and the short-sighted economic vision that has precipitated the current financial turmoil is also bankrupting our resource base,” he stated.“UNEP has been instrumental in developing the concept of the green economy, and is now identifying the tools for achieving it, but UNEP needs your support,” Mr. Ban stressed. During the Forum, UNEP and technology giant Microsoft signed an agreement to work together using information and communication technology (ICT) solutions to help address today’s environmental challenges.The partnership focuses on helping environmental organizations, such as UNEP, Governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and researchers, work more effectively by making use of new technologies. “We view our partnership with Microsoft as key to delivering solutions on a scalable level to a community of more than 190 nations and the UN system as a whole,” said Mr. Steiner.“Without equitable access to information and the capacity for developing countries to engage on an equal level in negotiating key agreements like the climate change treaty or the biodiversity convention, we will not make much progress,” he added. read more

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Regina seniors energetically engage at allcandidate election forum

BRANDON HARDER / Regina Leader-Post A crowded room at Regina’s Wesley United Church filled with a mixture of cheers, applause, boos, scoffs, whoops and laughs as local politicians stated their case at what was billed as an all-candidates election forum focused on issues for “older adults” on Thursday afternoon.From pensions and national pharmacare to seniors abuse and more, candidates in Regina’s three federal ridings laid it all on the table for a group of about 100 to 150 people looking to inform their vote.Notably absent were any candidates from the Conservative Party. Organizers said they “declined” an invitation to the event, but did not elaborate why.“We responded to the organizers that we would not be able to attend due to a prior commitment,” said a written statement received from Regina—Lewvan candidate Warren Steinley’s campaign office. “We are invited to many events and functions and unfortunately some do overlap.”The statement said Steinley apologizes for missing the event and is “happy to discuss policy and address concerns of seniors and all constituents.”Story continues belowThis advertisement has not loaded yet,but your article continues below.Three members from the Green Party, Liberal Party, and the People’s Party of Canada attended, each taking one of three pre-determined questions for the crowd. The NDP had just one candidate, Jigar Patel in attendance.There was plenty of applause to go around as long-time Regina—Wascana, Liberal Party candidate Ralph Goodale promised to increase Old Age Security pensions by July 2020 and negotiate with the provinces to increase survivor benefits for widows and widowers.The crowd went wild when Green Party candidate Naomi Hunter promised to protect pensions by getting them at the top of the liability list instead of the bottom when companies go bankrupt.“When companies go bankrupt, that should not fall onto the backs of hardworking Canadian who have spent their entire lives working, thinking that they were saving for their future,” said Hunter. A crowd listens in as federal political candidates speak regarding their parties’ positions toward seniors at the Wesley United Church on Hillsdale Street. For 70-year-old Pat Rivera, the decline of defined contribution pension plans in Canada is top of mind, especially when she considers the future of her children.“They’ll either be on their own or it will be very minimal, so I worry more about them,” she said. “I think if something was in place now that could grow that would be good.”During the second half of the forum which was opened to questions from the audience, shock and dismay rippled through the crowd when Peoples Party of Canada candidate Tracey Sparrowhawk responded to a question about how her party would address senior abuse.“A lot of this goes on in silence and behind closed doors, but you need to speak up and take responsibility for your own situation,” said Sparrowhawk.The PCC took more heat when candidate Trevor Wowk firmly stated that there is no climate change crisis.“Fake news,” someone shouted from the crowd as others laughed in apparent disbelief. Wowk did some find support from attendees when he promised his party would abolish the carbon tax.“For that individual to outright deny it is shocking to me,” said 65-year-old Dale Weisbrot during a mid-forum break.NDP candidate Patel emphasized the party’s plan for universal pharmacare, boasting it will save families and the country money. He said seniors deserve better , given this country has the highest drug costs in the world.Waffling on his vote, Weisbrot said he was very disappointed to not see anyone from the Conservative Party in attendance.“It shows, I think, disrespect,” he said.A huge supporter of former NDP Regina—Lewvan MP Erin Weir, he said he may switch his vote to the Liberals, impressed that Goodale is such a “tireless worker.” Or he may spoil his ballot by writing in his own choice — Weir.jackerman@postmedia.com read more

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Meeting at UN Headquarters agrees on need to stem illicit tobacco trade

Dr. Derek Yach told correspondents that the three-day meeting, organized by the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, had served to produce a “strong, agreed text” for the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and possibly a protocol on smuggling. Negotiators are set to resume talks on the treaty in Geneva this October. Among other points of accord, participants shared “a sense of global solidarity about the need for people to join forces and strengthen border controls,” Dr. Yach said. Underscoring the need to tackle the illicit tobacco trade, he pointed out that, “smuggled cigarettes are cheap cigarettes, cheap cigarettes mean more consumption among the young and the poor, [and] that increases consumption markedly.” Black-market cigarettes also evade health warnings while causing a “massive” loss of revenue of governments. At the same time, the illicit trade generated funds that can be used for criminal activity, including terrorism.Some participants suggested that a percentage of the tax on cigarettes should be used to strengthen law enforcement – an approach which the United Kingdom had adopted with profitable results, Dr. Yach said. “With an investment of $300 million [the UK was] able to reap increased revenues of $3 billion by strengthening customs.”Although the meeting brought together two groups – public health professionals and law enforcement officials – who traditionally have different agendas, Dr. Yach said it fostered “a common sense of purpose of tackling tobacco control that will help us all.”The Conference was attended by representatives from 145 countries as well as several international agencies, including Interpol and the World Customs Organization. read more

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In Tech Music for kids Facebook video profiles Samsung watch Apple CEO

FILE – In this April 30, 2015 file photo, Apple CEO Tim Cook responds to a question during a news conference at IBM Watson headquarters, in New York. Cook is getting an award from the Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy group for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights. The award is to be presented to Cook on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File) In Tech: Music for kids, Facebook video profiles, Samsung watch, Apple CEO, unlimited data by The Associated Press Posted Oct 2, 2015 1:11 am MDT Last Updated Oct 2, 2015 at 2:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Parents of small kids are getting more love from music services.Amazon noticed kids content on its Prime Music streaming plan was a big hit — no surprise, really, given the popularity of its Amazon Mom program for discounts on diapers, wipes and other items. So Amazon.com Inc. secured original children’s music from The Pop Ups and Lisa Loeb for free streaming to give Prime members another reason to keep their $99-a-year membership.Meanwhile, a rival service, Rhapsody, is rewarding premium, $10-a-month subscribers with a feature that lets children take control of music when mommy or daddy passes over a mobile phone. Curated playlists keep content safe, and big colorful designs make navigating easy. You won’t need to remember another password to leave the kids’ zone: There’s an unlock puzzle designed to fool a 10-year-old.Another life hack: bookmarked songs are automatically downloaded. That’s great for junior, who might be using a hand-me-down device that no longer has a cellular plan.— Ryan Nakashima, AP Business Writer___Facebook is trying to jazz up users’ profiles.The world’s largest social network is testing new profile videos that can be created from phones and would replace a still profile photo. The seven-second, looping videos play automatically when you look at someone’s profile page. The videos can include sound, but that will play only if you click on the video.For now, only some iPhone users in California and the U.K. can make them. Any Facebook user can see them. Facebook Inc. doesn’t have a specific date for when it will expand the feature.— Tali Arbel, AP Technology Writer___Samsung began selling its new smartwatch Friday in the U.S.Retailers carrying the Gear S2 include Best Buy and Macy’s. The starting price is $300. The South Korean company announced the Gear S2 in August, but gave no details on prices then.The S2 has a circular frame that can be rotated to scroll through notifications and apps. Past models required swiping, similar to phones, which could tire out fingers given how little fits on each screen. The watch itself is also smaller — roughly the size of the larger version of Apple Watch. For the first time, Samsung’s smartwatch will work with any Android phone, not just Samsung’s, though all features might not work.What’s not known yet is how good the apps will be. This has been one of the weak points for Samsung’s smartwatch, given that many app developers have focused instead on the Apple Watch and the variety of models running Google’s Android Wear. The S2 runs the little-known Tizen system. Samsung has said it expects about 1,000 apps at launch, but rival watches have many times that.Apple Watch, meanwhile, will come to Target. The retailer says some models and bands will be offered online starting Oct. 18. All stores will get them by Oct. 25.Besides Apple’s own stores, the watch is available at Best Buy, Sprint and T-Mobile stores, along with specialty department stores and boutiques, mostly outside the U.S. Apple Watch starts at $349.— Anick Jesdanun, AP Technology Writer___Apple CEO Tim Cook is getting an award from the Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy group for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights.Last October, Cook came out as the first openly gay chief executive of a Fortune 1,000 company. In December, HRC announced that Cook had donated a “substantial” amount to help fund a gay rights initiative in his native Alabama and two other Southern states. The specific amount wasn’t disclosed.HRC’s Visibility Award is to be presented to Cook on Saturday.“Through his example and Apple’s commitment to equality, LGBT young people, in particular, can look to Tim Cook’s incredible career and know that there is nothing holding them back,” HRC President Chad Griffin said in a statement. “They can dream as big as their minds allow them to, even if they want to be the CEO of one of the world’s largest companies.”— Anick Jesdanun, AP Technology Writer___If you want an unlimited data plan from Sprint, sign up soon: The monthly price is going up by $10, to $70.The new price takes effect Oct. 16. Those who sign up before then can keep the lower price.Sprint and T-Mobile are the only two national carriers still offering unlimited plans. Verizon and AT&T discontinued them years ago, though customers who already had one could keep it.— Anick Jesdanun, AP Technology Writer read more

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Toyota stock dips after Trump tweet on planned Mexico plant

by Yuri Kageyama, The Associated Press Posted Jan 6, 2017 6:17 am MDT Last Updated Jan 6, 2017 at 10:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TOKYO – Toyota Motor Corp. is a “good corporate citizen” and intends to work with President-elect Donald Trump to help make America strong, the Japanese automaker’s president, Akio Toyoda, says.Trump said on Twitter that Toyota would face a “big border tax” if it goes ahead with a plans for a new plant in Mexico. A statement issued by Toyota in the U.S. did not directly address Trump’s tweet, but stressed that the company has been in the U.S. for six decades and that the Mexico plant will not affect jobs or production in the U.S.Speaking before Trump put out his tweet, Toyoda responded to a question by a reporter at a New Year’s gathering of Japan’s auto industry by saying that he saw Trump’s administration as an “opportunity.”“I don’t know yet exactly how, but, regardless of who becomes president, our business is about being good corporate citizens. And by becoming good corporate citizens, we are facing the same goal of making America strong. And so we will continue to do our best,” he said.Toyota’s shares fell 1.7 per cent Friday in Tokyo.Regardless of pressures from Trump on automakers to shift more manufacturing into the U.S., the outlook for Japanese car makers has brightened lately as the yen has weakened and Tokyo share prices have risen following the U.S. election.Overnight, Trump’s tweet criticized Toyota’s plans to build the popular Corolla subcompact at a planned Mexico plant, tweeting: “NO WAY! Build plant in U.S. or pay big border tax.”Honda Motor Co. President Takahiro Hachigo, who was also at the reception in Tokyo, told reporters there were no planned production changes in Mexico.Nissan Motor Co., Mazda Motor Corp. and Suzuki Motor Corp. had no immediate comment.Japanese government spokesman Yoshihide Suga (YOH-shee hee-day SOO-gah) declined to comment on the tweet, noting that Trump had not yet taken office.“I believe Toyota is a good corporate citizen for the U.S.,” Suga told reporters, adding that he hoped Trump, as an international businessman, understands trade and other matters.When asked if he planned to meet with Trump like Softbank Corp.’s chief Masayoshi Son, to try to gain the president-elect’s understanding, Toyoda pointed to the crowd at the reception.“I am not in such a position,” said Toyoda. “The auto industry is widespread, being supported by many people, including suppliers, materials-makers and after-service businesses. It is important we all be together in whatever we do.”Trump’s tweet on Toyota echoed others targeted at Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. Nearly all automakers build small cars in Mexico to take advantage of its lower wages.Toyota said it has invested over $21.9 billion in its U.S. operations, including 10 manufacturing facilities, 1,500 dealerships and 136,000 employees. It said it has created jobs as it expanded in America and produced 25 million vehicles there over the last 30 years.“Toyota looks forward to collaborating with the Trump administration to serve in the best interests of consumers and the automotive industry,” the company said in a statement.On Tuesday, Ford announced it had scrapped plans to build a new $1.6 billion small-car factory in San Luis Potosi, Mexico.___Follow Yuri Kageyama on Twitter at https://twitter.com/yurikageyamaHer work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/yuri-kageyama A man looks at an electronic stock board of a securities firm showing Toyota’s, right, in Tokyo, Friday, Jan. 6, 2017. Toyota Motor Corp. stock fell 2 percent in early Friday morning trading after U.S. President-elect Donald Trump said on Twitter that the Japanese automaker faces a “big border tax” if it goes ahead with plans on a new Mexico plant. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara) Toyota stock dips after Trump tweet on planned Mexico plant read more

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Red Cross shows astonishing scale of Grenfell donations

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The Red Cross is giving the best of the new clothes to the survivors of the fire to choose from.Everything else will be labelled as ‘Shop for Grenfell’ and sold in British Red Cross shops across the UK.The money will go to the London Fire Relief Fund.This fund has now raised £3.2m since the fire.The Red Cross said: “Every family that lost someone in the Grenfell Tower fire is to receive £20,000. Those seriously injured will receive £10,000 and there will be a further £10,000 fresh start grant to every family that has been made homeless.”When asked where the money was going, the organisation told The Telegraph: “We will focus on helping those affected to alleviate their immediate suffering and to ensure that victims and their families do not face short-term financial difficulties. This may include cash grants for those who have lost their homes or been injured, bereaved or traumatised by this tragedy, to alleviate their immediate suffering and to ensure that victims and their families do not face short-term financial difficulties. We will also be supporting community organisations who can distribute the funds.” The public has donated three football pitches worth of goods to the Grenfell survivors.The Red Cross has shown the astonishing scale of the public support in a video. Tonnes of clothes and other items have been donated to help people affected by the London fire.Kensington Council has asked people to stop donating items, and to instead donate money, as they have so much.The council has stored more than 40,000 boxes of donations in a warehouse, which is the equivalent of more than 100 lorry loads, or three football pitches.last_img read more

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19 ministers set for overseas travel for St Patricks Day

first_imgUpdated, 14:54THE GOVERNMENT has released details of the travel itineraries of ministers who are leaving Ireland for St Patrick’s Day.13 senior ministers, six junior ministers, and the Attorney General are all due to travel abroad as part of the ‘Promote Ireland’ programme.The government says ministerial-led trade missions are a key part of its jobs strategy for 2013.Enda Kenny will make his traditional trip to Washington D.C. to meet with the US president Barack Obama and vice president Joe Biden, and will also travel to New York to meet city mayor Michael Bloomberg and visit the areas affected by Hurricane Sandy.Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore will also travel to Washington, but later depart for Atlanta and New Orleans.Pat Rabbitte, Joan Burton and Phil Hogan are also travelling to the United States – to Pittsburgh, Chicago and Boston respectively – while Jimmy Deenihan heads for Canada.Frances Fitzgerald will travel to India, while Ruairí Quinn heads to China and Brendan Howlin take a tour of Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines. Leo Varadkar will travel to Japan and South Korea.Closer to home, Richard Bruton will visit Germany, while James Reilly will travel to London and Birmingham. Alan Shatter will visit the Irish troops on peacekeeping duty in the Lebanon, as well as visiting both Israel and Palestine.Agriculture minister Simon Coveney and finance minister Michael Noonan are the only ministers not to be leading trade missions.Among the junior ministers, chief whip Paul Kehoe is bound for Australia and New Zealand while planning minister Jan O’Sullivan will visit Saudi Arabia.John Perry will visit Glasgow and Edinburgh, while Brian Hayes will travel to Belgium and Luxembourg. Joe Costello, whose brief includes trade, will visit South Africa.Michael Ring, the junior minister responsible for sport, will be in Italy for the conclusion of Ireland’s Six Nations campaign.The attorney general, Máire Whelan, will travel to France.Read: ‘Green carpet treatment’ for world’s medialast_img read more

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Further falls for property prices

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Cash-strapped developers in Greece have been adopting somewhat unusual practices in the last few weeks, in a desperate attempt to rid themselves of unsold apartments. The market has seen several instances of two or three properties being offered as a package at considerable discounts or rock-bottom prices. For instance, one construction company is offering four maisonettes for 2 million euros instead of 2.4 million which would be their value if sold separately. Real estate agents take the view that such examples will proliferate in coming months, as the stock of properties up for sale increases. This is now estimated at around 200,000, of which 60,000 are country houses. For the time being, the practice of offering generous discounts mainly applies to country houses, with developers hoping that non-EU nationals will avail themselves of the opportunity to being granted residence permits for up to 10 years if they invest more than 250,000 euros. As prices have dropped by around 30 per cent in the last three years, a discounted ‘package’ facilitates meeting the condition of the minimum sum. Another interpretation of the trend, however, is that so far developers have avoided paying the emergency property tax paid via electricity bills by not connecting their properties to the power grid. As this loophole will probably be abolished next year, developers are certain to offer even bigger discounts as 2013 draws to a close. And so the pace of declining prices may accelerate (it was 11.6 per cent in the second quarter, according to the Bank of Greece), making it likely that the cumulative average drop may reach 40 per cent by the end of the year. Bank officials estimate that the number of newly built properties sold in the first half was in no case higher than 4,000, from some 10,000 for the whole of 2012. Source: ekathimerinilast_img read more

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