Pansare case: irked over probe, HC says State a laughing stock

first_imgThe Bombay High Court on Thursday said the State has been reduced to a laughing stock by adopting elementary methods in probing rationalist Govind Pansare’s killing.A Bench of Justices S.C. Dharamadhikari and B.P. Colabawalla summoned Maharashtra home department’s additional chief secretary on March 28 to explain the cause of the slow progress made in the case.“Let the State feel some pressure. It must face consequences some day. For most often, the police get away. No memos are issued, no explanations sought,” the Bench said.“If crimes will be probed only after the court’s intervention…If in matter after matter, judiciary is the only saviour, then it is a tragedy. What message are we sending to society?” the judges asked.They were irked after reading a progress report, submitted in a sealed cover by Maharashtra CID’s Special Investigation Team (SIT), in the Pansare case.As per the judges’ observations made in an open court, the SIT submitted, among other things, that in order to trace two absconding accused, it questioned their relatives.It also submitted that one of the absconding accused owned an immoveable property in the State and, therefore, the SIT visited the place to trace his whereabouts.The HC, however, said the SIT must realise that after four years since the crime was committed, it was unlikely the accused would stay somewhere within the State, or close to the crime spot.“What stops them from going and hiding anywhere across the country? Merely because someone owns a property doesn’t mean he will stick around in that area. The accused can seek shelter anywhere in the country. The elementary steps you are taking to nab the accused have reduced you to a laughing stock,” the Bench said.“Because of you, the public has a perception that some people can get away, remain uninvestigated only because they enjoy a certain patronage,” it said.It said a progressive state such as Maharashtra must feel proud of its thinkers and rationalists. “The State can’t be a silent spectator. This is not a movie that you (police, probe agencies) come after everything is over. And if you (politicians) can’t protect your people, then do not contest elections,” the HC said.The Bench also directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), probing the 2013 killing of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, to tie up all lose ends in its investigation without further delay.The CBI submitted before the HC on Thursday that while the shooters in the Dabholkar case were traced, arrested, and the charge sheet was filed, it required some time to probe some additional issues, like arms and weapons used by the accused.Pansare was shot at on February 16, 2015, in Kolhapur and succumbed to injuries on February 20.Dabholkar was shot dead on August 20, 2013, in Pune, while on his morning walk.The CBI and the State CID are probing the killings of Dabholkar and Pansare, respectively.The HC has been hearing a plea filed by the family members of Dabholkar and Pansare seeking a court-monitored probe in both the cases.last_img read more

Haryana’s Olympic greetings

first_imgHaryana, which brought laurels to the country during the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, has launched a campaign to motivate and cheer the Indian contingent to the London Olympics. The campaign, named Bol India (Best of Luck India) is set to go on until July 27.The campaign is part of the state’s efforts to promote sports. It will feature two road shows touring every district of Haryana, exhibitions at district sports complexes and an SMS component allowing people to wish good luck to their favourite Olympic athletes.Haryana has only two per cent of the country’s population, but the state’s representation in the Olympics is an impressive 21 per cent. Bol India will also promote sports in Haryana and encourage students to take up physical activities.last_img

Ichiro Suzuki walks off into history in ‘sayonara’ at Tokyo Dome

first_imgKikuchi later took a full minute to compose himself before responding about Ichiro’s impact. And he cried when the two embraced in the dugout after the game.“Since spring training to this day, Ichiro told us it is a gift for him to play in Tokyo,” Kikuchi said speaking through a translator. “But for me, he gave me the greatest gift that I can play with him.”Yet when Mariners teammate Dee Gordon bowed, Ichiro broke into a laugh — like, “not necessary, bro.”Oakland players stood solemnly and watched camera flashes and iPhones catch the historic scene. All over the stadium signs read: “Ichiro we love you” and “Ichiro is Life.” Fans wore his famous No. 51 in all shades, colors and from all eras.The fans got one more chance to salute when he came back on the field after the game and acknowledged their ovations.Ichiro was 0 for 5 in the two regular-season games against the A’s in Tokyo, leaving him with 3,089 hits in 19 seasons — a sure Hall of Fame resume. He had 1,278 before that over nine years in Japan, making him baseball’s all-time hits leader.Ichiro struggled in spring training with only two hits in 25 at-bats. And in two exhibition games in Tokyo against the Tokyo Giants he was 0 for 6.“I really wanted to play until I was 50, but I couldn’t do it,” he said. “It was a way of motivating myself and, if I’d never said it, I don’t think I would have come this far.”Ichiro praised his countrymen, who are famous for being reserved. Not tonight. Not on this night.“Japanese people I have always thought don’t in general express themselves,” he said. “But today’s experience blew that away. They were incredibly passionate tonight. Trump tells impeachment jokes at annual turkey pardon event “After the reception I got today, how could I possibly have any regrets?” he said. “I couldn’t play well enough in spring training to earn an extension.”Ichiro went 0 for 4 in his farewell. In his last at-bat, he came up with two outs, a runner on second and a tie score in the eighth. He hit a slow grounder to shortstop and, still hustling the whole way, was barely thrown out at first.He took his spot in right field in the eighth, then was pulled by manager Scott Servais and the walk into history began in front of a sellout of 45,000. He strolled in, turned and waved to the crowd with all of the usually reserved Japanese fans on their feet.To chants of “Ichiro, Ichiro, Ichiro” he was greeted at the dugout — and later in the dugout — by emotional embraces from teammates.Yusei Kikuchi, the Japanese rookie pitcher who started the game in his big league debut, openly broke down crying when he embraced Ichiro.ADVERTISEMENT Miguel Romero Polo: Bamboo technology like no other “When I look back on my career, I know I will remember today as the most memorable day, without a doubt.”For years, Ichiro’s at-bats were must-see TV in his homeland, with fans tuning in during breakfast and their morning commute. A star before he left, he became an even bigger sensation once he proved that yes, a Japanese hitter could indeed succeed across the ocean in the majors.He said he’d probably train Friday, keeping up his workout routine, but wasn’t sure what comes next. He joked he lacked the “charisma” to be a manager.“I’ll be known as the ‘Man Formerly Known as Ichiro,”” he cracked.Ichiro’s retirement had been anticipated for a while.The outfielder returned to the Mariners before the start of the 2018 season, then transitioned last May into a role as the special assistant to the chairman that allowed him to still be with the team and take part in pregame workouts, but meant he could not play in any games.Ichiro was a 10-time All-Star, an AL MVP and Rookie of the Year and won 10 Gold Gloves. He set the record with 262 hits in a season and wound up with a .311 batting average.He became one of the most important figures in baseball history, and not just because of his stats and awards.Ichiro carried the burden of an entire country in coming to the United States, and his success created opportunity for the countless others who have followed. Whether he wants to accept the label or not, Suzuki was a trailblazer. His influence and importance shouldn’t be understated.He preceded Hideki Matsui, who had a stellar career with the New York Yankees, by two years. In the years since, players like Nori Aoki, Kosuke Fukudome and Kaz Matsui followed. Last year marked the arrival of two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani. Seattle Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki returns to the field for waiting fans after Game 2 of the Major League baseball opening series against the Oakland Athletics at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Thursday, March 21, 2019. The 45-year-old Mariners star announced his retirement Thursday night, shortly after waving goodbye at the Dome. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)TOKYO — At times, it seemed as if he’d go on hitting forever.But on Thursday night, a player who defined baseball at its very best on two continents for a generation, took his final swing.ADVERTISEMENT Wintry storm delivers US travel woes before Thanksgiving Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Colombia protesters vow new strike after talks hit snag LATEST STORIES Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Bloomberg: US would benefit from more, not fewer, immigrants Google Philippines names new country director The great Ichiro has said “sayonara.”Now 45, Ichiro Suzuki left the Tokyo Dome field in the eighth inning, waving goodbye to the packed crowd amid hugs from Seattle Mariners teammates in a three-minute walk that signaled to all his monumental run was over.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“I have ended my career and decided to retire,” Ichiro said, speaking in Japanese at a news conference after a 5-4 win over Oakland in 12 innings.He said his contract was through the two games in Japan, and said he decided before arriving last week to step away. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Ohtani said he watched highlights of Ichiro’s final game when he woke up at Los Angeles Angels’ camp in Arizona.“I still can’t believe it,” he said through a translator. “I won’t be able to see him play anymore but I’ll still have all the memories.”At the New York Yankees’ spring training site, New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka said it was hard to describe Ichiro’s legacy on aspiring players in Japan.“It’s too grand of an impact. I can’t even put them into words,” Tanaka said through a translator.As for the reception at Ichiro’s finale, he added: “I think that atmosphere, it only happens to special players. You sense respect. Because of who he is, that happened today.”Ichiro became a one-word, household name in Seattle. It was only right his final professional game came with that team.But it was time for Suzuki to step away. Suzuki hit .205 in 44 at-bats and all nine of his hits last season were singles. This year, too often, Suzuki looked like a 45-year-old trying to hang on.Ichiro admitted he badly wanted to get a hit in Tokyo. And his fans always wanted to see him play in the World Series — his teams made it to the playoffs just twice, never advancing to the Fall Classic.He expressed no regrets, however. Well, maybe one.“I had 3,089 hits in America,” he said. “But I think my wife — who always makes me rice balls before games — said she made 2,800 rice balls. So I wish I could have played long enough so she could have hit 3,000 as well.” Kevin Durant helps lead Warriors past Pacers after friend’s death SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte View commentslast_img read more

Micromax launches Canvas Spark 2 at Rs 3,999

first_imgDomestic handset-maker Micromax has launched a new smartphone – Canvas Spark 2 – at a price of Rs 3,999.”The Canvas Spark proved to be a huge success for Micromax, selling over half a million units in less than two months of its launch. With the Canvas Spark 2, we are yet again reaffirming our commitment to increase the smartphone and internet usage in the country,” said its chief executive Vineet Taneja.”Currently, smartphone penetration stands at 12 per cent in the country and 3G adoption is also barely 10 per cent, which presents a huge opportunity to upgrade. We believe that the e-commerce channel is also expanding and the 3-4k category will be the next frontier,” he added.The new smartphone will be powered by a 1.3Ghz quad-core processor and will have an internal memory of 4GB while running on the latest Android Lollipop.It will also sport a 5-inch display with a 5MP rear camera and a 2MP front camera.last_img read more

France, England and Portugal in Good Shape as UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifying Reaches Climax

first_imgWith the Netherlands missing out on Euro 2016 and Italy absent from the World Cup in 2018, some of Europe’s traditional football powers have surprisingly failed to advance to recent major international tournaments.Don’t expect any big shocks when qualification for next year’s European Championship wraps up over the coming days. Six teams – Belgium, Spain, Italy, Poland, Russia and Ukraine – have already booked their places in the tournament and the remaining 14 automatic qualifiers will be determined after the final group games.World champion France, European champion Portugal, and heavyweights such as Germany, England and the Netherlands are in good shape to finish in the top two in their respective groups, ensuring spots in the Europe-wide finals taking place in June and July.There are big opportunities for Europe’s so-called lesser football nations, too. Finland, for example, needs only to beat Liechtenstein to qualify for its first major tournament.France, the World Cup winner last year, is tied on points with Turkey in Group H and will secure a top-two finish by beating Moldova on Thursday. In case of an upset in that game in Paris, the French have another shot at qualification at Albania on Sunday.Portugal, led by Cristiano Ronaldo, is guaranteed to advance in the defense of its title with wins over Lithuania at home and Luxembourg away – the bottom two teams in Group B.England needs one win from its final two games – at home to Montenegro on Thursday and away to Kosovo on Sunday – to top Group A.And in Group C, Germany and the Netherlands are tied on points and need a maximum of four points from their final two qualifiers. Both have to play Northern Ireland, which is three points behind in third place.The last four qualifying spots for the 24-team Euros will be decided in the playoffs in March.RONALDO’S CHALLENGECould Cristiano Ronaldo fail to qualify for a major tournament?UEFA would hate to see the Portugal star miss out, but his team has lacked a spark in qualifying and is eight points off Group B leader Ukraine.Portugal is favored to beat Lithuania on Thursday and Luxembourg on Sunday to secure second place.Still, there’s little margin for error. Dropped points could allow Serbia to overtake, forcing Portugal into the playoffs.ENGLAND LANDMARKEngland will be playing its 1,000th men’s international in the match against Montenegro and the occasion will be marked in a number of ways, including recognizing the notable contributions of former players and managers. Players will wear individual “legacy numbers” on their jerseys.England manager Gareth Southgate is hoping a line can be drawn following scenes last month when his players were racially abused by some Bulgaria fans during England’s 6-0 win in Sofia. The game was stopped on two occasions by the referee. England’s match away to Montenegro in March was also marred by racist chanting toward England’s black players, notably Raheem Sterling.”The players will want to move on, really,” Southgate said. “I think, for all of them, they dealt with it brilliantly and it would be wrong not to discuss it at all but I know that they want to get on with the football.”Kosovo, which was accepted as a member of UEFA and FIFA only in 2016, is third in the group and could secure automatic qualification with a win at the Czech Republic on Thursday and a draw against England.FINALLY FINLAND?Finland is the only Nordic team never to have qualified for a World Cup or a European Championship. That could all change this week.The Finns are second in Group J, five points clear of both Armenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, and will join Italy in advancing to the finals with a win at home against last-placed Liechtenstein on Friday or if Bosnia fails to beat the Italians. Finland’s second chance, if needed, comes against Greece on Monday.Finland is coached by a primary school teacher, Markku Kanerva, who led the country to a first ever European Under-21 Championship in 2009 and is impressing with the senior team a decade on.Teemu Pukki has seven goals in qualifying as the team looks to go further than it ever did with past greats such as Sami Hyypia and Jari Litmanen.CROATIA AT RISKCroatia is finding European qualifying harder than last year’s World Cup.The Croatians lead the evenly matched Group E but if they lose to Slovakia on Saturday the World Cup finalists could end up relying on other results to go their way.Another team in a fight to qualify is Switzerland, which is third in Group D behind Ireland and Denmark, but is a big favorite against Gibraltar.PLAYOFF SHOOTOUTThe playoffs offer a last chance for unsuccessful teams, but it’s a complex process.Sixteen teams who didn’t qualify automatically will be ranked according to their divisions from the 2018 Nations League and put into four single-elimination brackets.At the bottom end, there’s the League D playoff, which is guaranteed to hand one team its debut at a major championship. Georgia and Belarus have secured a place in that playoff mini-tournament and will likely be joined by Kosovo and North Macedonia.The highest division almost certainly won’t have enough unqualified teams to make a four-team bracket, so will recruit extras from lower tiers. That could hand League A’s Iceland a fortunate draw with League C teams such as Bulgaria and Israel. belgiumEnglandEuro 2020Euro 2020 Qualifying First Published: November 13, 2019, 11:06 AM IST Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time.last_img read more

Grand welcome awaits Olympics medallist Sakshi

first_imgChandigarh, Aug 23 (PTI) A grand welcome awaits Rio Olympics bronze medallist wrestler Sakshi Malik when she arrives home tomorrow, with preparations underway to give her a rousing reception at Bahadurgarh and at her village Mokhra Khas in Rohtak district. Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who was earlier scheduled to honour her at her village, will felicitate her at Bahadurgarh at Jhajjar district, a senior officer of the States Sports and Youth Affairs Department said. When Sakshi touches down at Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi at around 3:50 a.m. tomorrow, as many as five ministers of the BJP Government in Haryana will be there to receive her. Among the ministers who will be there to receive her include Kavita Jain, Rao Narbir Singh, Manish Grover and Vipul Goel, Director of Sports and Youth Affairs Department, Haryana, Jagdeep Singh Sheoran told PTI here today. Haryanas Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Anil Vij, who was present in Rio as head of state delegation, will accompany Sakshi on the return flight. “Aa rahi hoon main, apne des apne ghar! (I am coming back, to my country, to my home),” Sakshi tweeted earlier today. She also posted on twitter the pictures of sumptuous breakfast which she had in Rio. “A proper breakfast! How I have missed you!,” she tweeted. Meanwhile, giving details of the grand reception planned for Sakshi, Jagdeep Singh said, “Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar will travel to Bahadurgarh to honour her. Cash award of Rs 2.5 crore for her bronze medal effort is also likely to be given to her at Bahadurgarh itself.” A felicitation function for Sakshi has been kept for tomorrow evening at her village in Rohtak. Before she heads to Rohtak, Sakshi will be welcomed near the Delhi-Haryana border at Bahadurgarh where apart from the Chief Minister, prominent sportspersons, senior officials of the state government, will receive her. Along the way, Sakshi will make brief stopovers at a couple of villages in Rohtak district including Ismaila village where she will meet her maternal uncle. With requests from several village Sarpanches along the way requesting that Sakshi make a brief stopover, the wrestler may take hours before she manages to reach Rohtak. She will travel in a bedecked vehicle. PTI SUN GS PDS CMadvertisementlast_img read more

10 months agoRoma, AC Milan battle for Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi

first_imgRoma, AC Milan battle for Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayiby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveThe race for Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi is heating up.Gazzetta dello Sport says Roma are considering an approach for Batshuayi.They are considering an approach for the Chelsea striker in a loan with an option to buy deal.Batshuayi is currently on loan at Valencia but has been linked with a switch to Serie A with AC Milan.Valencia coach Marcelino was non-committal last week when discussing whether the Belgian would still be with the club beyond the January market. TagsTransfersLoan MarketAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img

Jerami Grant Posts Cool Photo Of Himself In Brother’s Jersey

first_imga general view of the floor at notre dame basketball arena(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)Syracuse and Notre Dame are rivals on the hardwood, but former Orange star Jerami Grant, who now plays for the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA, is rooting for the Irish Thursday afternoon. That’s because his older brother, Jerian Grant, will be finishing up his senior season in this year’s NCAA Tournament. Grant showed some love for his brother by wearing his No. 22 Notre Dame jersey ahead of the contest.Grant made sure to remind Orange fans that he’s still “Cuse Nation” though. Very cool.last_img

Nova Scotia Teachers Honoured by Prime Minister

first_imgCreativity, compassion and high expectations for her students has earned a Cape Breton biology teacher a top spot on the prime minister’s annual awards list for teaching excellence. Sandra Marie Haley, who taught Grade 11 and 12 biology at Memorial Composite High School in Sydney Mines, was among 17 teachers from across Canada this week awarded with the prime minister’s 2006 Certificate of Excellence. Ms. Haley, now retired, was honoured for her approach to teaching, including effective use of the Internet as a learning tool, and for engaging her students in hands-on learning using a variety of multimedia technologies. She also designed a biology website to provide valuable resources to students and teachers. Ms. Haley was praised for her creativity, dedication, and for challenging the academic limits of her students. She was not the only Nova Scotia teacher honoured by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Four other educators were awarded with Certificates of Achievement. They are: David Drapak, a Grade 10 and 12 art teacher at Sackville High School, Lower Sackville Dianne Kehoe, a Grade 11 and 12 teacher of Canadian history, global geography and global history at Richmond Academy, Louisdale Lavonah Madden, a Primary to Grade 6 teacher at H.M. MacDonald Elementary School, Antigonish Co. Kent Balish, a Grade 7 to 9 teacher of math at Lockeport Regional High School, Lockeport. “Teachers play a special role in our society. Good teachers do more than just teach. They inspire students to learn, to explore and to do their very best,” said Education Minister Karen Casey. “I am very proud to join with the prime minister in congratulating these fine individuals in helping students reach their full potential.” Recipients of the Prime Minister’s Awards for Teaching Excellence are chosen by regional and national committees of education stakeholders. Candidates are evaluated on a range of criteria, including innovative use of technology, exemplary teaching practices, leadership, and student achievement and engagement. Certificate of Excellence winners receive a $5,000 prize for their school, while Certificate of Achievement recipients receive a $1,000 award.last_img read more

Sherbrooke Village Hosts Fundraiser For Lodge That Gives

first_imgMotorcycles of all types will roll into Sherbrooke Village for a rally in support of the Lodge That Gives in Halifax, Aug. 28-30. The rally raises funds for the lodge, which offers a home away from home for cancer patients and their families who live more than 50 kilometres away from the cancer treatment centre. The first annual Rally That Gives, held on Labour Day weekend last year, drew more than 60 motorcycles. Organizers are expecting a bigger turnout this year. The weekend event will begin on Friday, Aug. 28, with a benefit concert at the courthouse featuring The Friday Night Blues Bash with George Brothers and Friends. On Saturday, Aug. 29, there will be a full day of activities, including a poker rally/cruise, field events, and bike show and shine. The evening will feature a country dinner in the village followed by live entertainment at Nimrod’s Campground. Sunday, Aug. 30, will feature a farewell breakfast and rally wrap-up. All makes and models of bikes are welcome and prizes will be awarded in categories for best touring motorcycle, best custom bike, best sport class, and others, and for field event competitions. For more information call toll-free 1-888-743-7845 or visit the Sherbrooke Village website at sherbrookevillage.ca .last_img read more

MCCadidas national junior tennis tournament tournament from Aug 12

first_imgChennai: The adidas-MC national junior under-18 clay tennis championship for boys and girls to be held here from August 12 to 17 would see the best of young talent taking part, organisers said. Haryana’s Ajay Malik, Kabir Hans (Odisha), Krishan Hooda (Chandigarh) and Sushant Dabur (Haryana) are the notable names in the boys section. The local challenge would be led by V M Sandeep, S Boopathy, Rajesh Kannan RS and Rishi Paventhan. In the girls event, Maharashtra’s Salsa Aher, Prerna V Vichare and Sharanya Vijay Garware apart from Delhi lass Kasish Bhatia are the prominent names. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh The Tamil Nadu challenge would come from Lavanya Balakrishnan, Kaavya Palani, Kundana Sri Bandaru and Charanya Sreekrishna. On the tournament on Friday, TNTA president Vijay Amritraj said it was time to focus on the juniors and hoped India can find a breakout player who can go on to play grand slams regularly. He also thanked adidas for supporting the tournament over the years. A total number of 240 entries had been received (120 for boys singles and 88 for girls singles, 16 each for boys and girls doubles). The winner would receive sponsorship worth Rs 1 lakh from adidas. The qualifying rounds would start from August 10 and the main draw matches from August 12.last_img read more

Humboldt Broncos player hurt in bus crash joins former team as assistant

first_imgRED DEER, Alta. – A Humboldt Broncos player who was injured in a horrific bus crash in Saskatchewan has become an assistant coach for the Red Deer Optimist Chiefs.Graysen Cameron, a 19-year old forward from Olds, Alta., has decided to join the top-tier, triple-A hockey team in the Alberta Midget Hockey League in the upcoming season.The team made the announcement on Twitter.The team says it’s thrilled to have Cameron, who played with the Chiefs from 2015 to 2017 before joining the Broncos.Cameron, who retweeted the announcement, was one of 13 players injured April 6 when Humboldt’s junior hockey team bus and a semi-trailer collided in rural Saskatchewan.Sixteen people were killed.last_img

AFN National Chief Bellegarde responds to Harpers broadside over education bill

first_imgJorge Barrera APTN National NewsAssembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde has responded to a broadside from Conservative leader Stephen Harper who accused the First Nation leader of flip-flopping on the controversial First Nation education bill.Harper criticized Bellegarde during a media interview over the weekend, accusing the AFN leader of changing positions on the education bill. Harper also said he wasn’t sure if Bellegarde would be willing to work with the Conservative government if it retained power.Bellegarde said he opposed the bill, known as the First Nation Control of First Nation Education Act, because it was fatally flawed.“First Nations widely rejected Bill C-33 because it was not about First Nation control. My position is based on that conviction and the position of my constituents when I was regional chief and as national chief,” said Bellegarde, in a statement sent to APTN National News.Bellegarde said the chiefs were ignored after they offered to work on an improved approach with the Harper government to get the balance right.“We extended the offer to work on a real approach to First Nations control of First Nations education based on a new and honourable process being put in place, but there has been no response,” said Bellegarde. “We’ll continue to press for action on First Nations education and closing the gap during the election and after.”Bellegarde said he is ready and willing to work with whoever gets into power after Oct. 19.“Whoever forms government after this election must understand they have the same responsibility to work with us because our priorities are Canada’s priorities,” he said.During his interview with CBC’s The House, Harper blamed chiefs in the AFN for scuttling the bill, which came with a $1.9 billion incentive.“This government worked with former chief (Shawn Atleo) and the AFN to create a massive overhaul to reform our Aboriginal education system to provide standards and transferability to other education systems,” said Harper. “The AFN as a whole, unfortunately, some in the AFN reversed their position. I think Mr. Bellegarde was one of those. But there are many communities and groups of communities in this country who want to move forward with that reform because they understand it’s the best thing for their children.”The broad strokes of the bill was actually drawn up over a weekend of secret negotiations in February 2014 between Atleo, Harper, Aboriginal Affairs Minister Barnard Valcourt and Wayne Wouters, the former Clerk of the Privy Council.A week later, Atleo and Harper announced they had reached a “historic” agreement on education. The majority of the AFN executive didn’t know about the press conference until the eleventh hour.Atleo resigned as a result of the furor triggered by the bill.AFN chiefs rejected a previous version of the bill in the fall of 2013 after a months-long consultation process by Aboriginal Affairs.Critics of the bill said it gave the minister of Aboriginal Affairs too much control over education in First Nation communities.Valcourt said the government would not release the bulk of the new education funds unless the AFN agreed to the bill which died when the writ was dropped to begin the current federal election.Jbarrera@aptn.ca@JorgeBarreralast_img read more

2026 FIFA Task Force Arrives in Morocco

Rabat – Morocco’s 2026 World Cup Bid committee received the FIFA Task Force delegation and other representatives of the FIFA administration on Monday.The five-member task force will spend three days in several cities around the country in order to evaluate Morocco’s assets and capacity to host FIFA’s massive tournament.FIFA’s Task Force will visit stadiuims, training camps, fan sites, and media centers in four Moroccan cities: Marrakech (April 16-17), Agadir  (April 17-18), Tangier (April 18-19), and Casablanca (April 19), according to a press release published by FIFA on April 7. In a statement published by Maghreb Arab Press, Moroccan bid Chairman Moulay Hafid Elalamy announced, “Thanks to the Kingdom’s strategies, led by HM the King and embodied by a whole people, Morocco is ready to welcome the members of the FIFA Task Force to our land of football.”He added that the country will offer FIFA and the football fans a remarkable tournament, stating that the World Cup in Morocco “would be a source of pride” and a “formidable catalyst for development.”FIFA’s Task Force committee includes Chairman of the Audit and Compliance Committee Tomaž Vesel; Chairman of the Governance Committee Mukul Mudgal; Member of the Organising Committee for Competitions Ilcho Gjorgjioski; FIFA Deputy Secretary General (Administration) Marco Villiger; and FIFA Deputy Secretary General (Football) Zvonimir Boban.The Task Force visit followed Morocco’s recent letters addressed to FIFA, expressing the country’s concerns over the scoring system.Royal Football Federation addressed its first letter to FIFA on March 25, regarding Morocco’s concerns about the fairness and transparency of the procedure.“To my surprise, the scoring system was finally sent to us on March 14–24 hours before Morocco submitted its file and two days before the deadline for the submission of applications to FIFA,” wrote the FRMF president.Lekjaa explained that this system adds “several technical criteria that were not part of the original regulations,” adding that some principles “have never been transmitted to FRMF in the preparation process of the Moroccan bid.”On April 3, FIFA responded to convey that the aim of the Task Force is to “determine whether the bids meet the requirements in terms of infrastructure and revenue-cost criteria.”FIFA’s arguments, however, were not enough to convince Morocco’s FRMF.“We have taken note of your answers, but unfortunately they have not resolved these concerns and we are still convinced that the scoring system does not comply with the requirements of the bid rules,” reads the recent letter of President of FRMF Fouzi Lekjaa to FIFA.Lekjaa continued, saying that Morocco was surprised this measure surfaced only 48 hours before Morocco submitted its bid.“The late distribution of the scoring system cannot be justified merely by the fact that it was communicated as soon as possible to the candidates,” he added. read more

Students reported missing in mountain range found safe

A group of students reported missing in the Saptha Kanya (Seven Virgins) mountain range have been found safe.The three students were found following a search operation conducted by the army and police. At least two foreigners were also reported missing in the mountain range. (Colombo Gazette)

DR of Congo Security Council reiterates importance of full withdrawal from Moliro

Current Council President Ambassador Sergey V. Lavrov of the Russian Federation said in a press statement that the 15-member body stressed the importance that all sides “strictly abide” by resolution 1399, which called on all parties to the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement to refrain from any military action or provocation, especially while the Inter-Congolese Dialogue was taking place in Sun City, South Africa.Ambassador Lavrov’s statement today followed a closed-door meeting of the Council, which heard a briefing on the situation in Moliro by Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Hédi Annabi. According to the Council President, Mr. Annabi reported that the UN Organization Mission in the DRC (MONUC), which had visited the town daily for the past few days, said there had been a few government soldiers in the area but they have since withdrawn and were no longer there as of yesterday. read more

1 child dies because of AIDS each minute UNICEF says

Each minute of every day a child somewhere in the world dies because of AIDS, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said today on the eve of launching a major push to address the plight of the disease’s youngest victims. “For young people in the most affected countries, where life-expectancy has plummeted from the mid 60’s to the low 30’s, turning 18 can mean reaching middle age,” UNICEF chief Ann Veneman told a press briefing in New York.“An estimated 15 million children have lost one or both parents to AIDS, but only a fraction of the children and parents who need help are getting it,” she added. Outlining the new initiative, the Chief of UNICEF’s HIV/AIDS Section, Peter McDermott, said it aims to prevent mother-to-child transmission, provide pediatric treatment, stem new HIV/AIDS infections, and help orphans affected by the virus. Specifically the campaign seeks to increase services to women in need to 80 per cent by 2010 from the 10 per cent currently served. It also hopes to cut in half the 500,000 children who die from the virus before the age of 1, out of the 600,000 that are born positive. “With simple Cotrimoxazole for about $10 a year, we can improve their chances of living beyond one year of age by 15 per cent, and with antiretrovirals, we can improve their life expectancy after their first birthday,” Mr. McDermott said. Through prevention, the programme hopes to reduce by 25 per cent the number of children aged 4 to 15 who are infected annually by the virus. Altogether, the programme hopes to reach 80 per cent of the children in need in 5 years, he added. But he warned that there remains a “massive funding gap” between what has been committed to fight the virus among children. and what is needed. Also addressing the press briefing was 20-year old Kerrel McKay of Jamaica, who lost her father to AIDS five years ago. When he was sick, she was his primary care-taker. “Children will be given a more practical support to go on with their lives,” she said of the initiative. “Unite for Children, Unite Against AIDS” will be kicked off on Tuesday at UN Headquarters where Ms. Venemen will be joined by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the First Lady of Rwanda, Jeanette Kagame and the Executive Director of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), Dr. Peter Piot. read more

Ballard signs research deal worth up to 100 million with Volkswagen

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Ballard signs research deal worth up to $100 million with Volkswagen by The Canadian Press Posted Mar 6, 2013 1:50 pm MDT VANCOUVER – Shares in Ballard Power Systems (TSX:BLD) rocketed up more than 50 cent Wednesday after it announced a deal with Volkswagen Group worth up to $100 million.The company says it has signed an engineering services deal with the German automaker for the development of fuel cells to be used in demonstration cars.“The announcement of this research agreement with Volkswagen Group, a recognized global leader, is a major step for Ballard both strategically and financially,” said Ballard president and chief executive John Sheridan.“Ballard’s focus with Volkswagen in this new automotive fuel cell research program will parallel our continuing work in commercial fuel cell markets for backup power and material handling — enhancing product durability and performance while radically reducing product costs.”The four-year contract, which includes an option for a two-year extension, is worth $60 million to $100 million.The work will include the design and manufacture of a fuel cell for use in Volkswagen HyMotion demonstration cars.Ballard engineers will lead key areas of fuel cell design along with testing and integration work.“This research agreement with Ballard demonstrates our commitment to the development of clean energy fuel cell transportation alternatives,” said Juergen Leohold, head of group research at Volkswagen AG.“I anticipate accelerating our automotive fuel cell program as a result of this collaborative effort, which will bring together additional fuel cell skills and expertise in both organizations.”Ballard made a name for itself as a maker of fuel-cell powered buses and rode high hopes for its automotive fuel cell business.However, adoption of the technology was slow and Ballard sold its automotive fuel cell business to Daimler AG and Ford Motor Co. in 2008.The company instead shifted its focus on its core commercial markets including forklifts, back up power and co-generation though it continued to provide services to the automakers.Shares in Ballard closed up 48 cents or 55 per cent at $1.35 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. read more

Two years on Ukraine conflict affects over half a million children –

“Two years of violence, shelling and fear have left an indelible mark on thousands of children in eastern Ukraine,” Giovanna Barberis, a UNICEF representative in the eastern European nation, said in a press release. “As the conflict continues, we need to reach these children urgently to meet their physical as well as psychological needs,” she added. According to the UN agency, more than 215,000 children are internally displaced from the conflict-affected areas, and at least one out of five schools has been damaged or destroyed. Last year, more than 20 children were killed and over 40 were injured; out of those, 28 casualties were caused by mines and exploded ordnance. In addition, a polio outbreak was confirmed in Ukraine 19 years after the country was declared polio free, and lack of access to health services and a shortage of medicines are threatening more disease outbreaks. As temperatures plummet, fuel shortages and high prices of coal are also leaving children at risk of respiratory infections. Meanwhile, damage to basic infrastructure has put the water supply at risk for some 2 million people across the front line. “UNICEF calls all parties to the conflict in Ukraine to ensure safe movement and unhindered humanitarian access to help children in need,” Ms. Barberis stressed. 2016 Programme Targets Nutrition:80,000 pregnant or lactating women reached with infant and young child feeding counselling Health:400,000 children received regular immunization through the enhancement of cold chain and vaccine distribution systems 2,000 health professionals gained increased knowledge and capacity for the implementation of public health campaigns WASH:1.2 million conflict-affected people gained access to safe drinking water 300,000 most vulnerable people received hygiene supplies Child protection:400,000 affected children, youth and caregivers received psychosocial support 400,000 children and their families received MRE Education:300,000 children benefitted from rehabilitated education infrastructure, life-skills training and educational supplies HIV and AIDS:30,000 pregnant women and children provided with tests for early diagnostic of HIV to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIVUNICEF has been working with partners to provide children with basic services. To date, this includes providing psychosocial support to over 46,000 children and training almost 5,000 teachers and psychologists to identify signs of distress among children. UNICEF has also reached 1.6 million people with safe water and over 164,000 children and adults with essential hygiene items. Earlier this year, the agency called for an additional $54.3 million to address the humanitarian needs of the most vulnerable children in conflict-affected areas. read more