Vidarbha, western Maharashtra dent BJP’s tally

first_imgVidarbha and western Maharashtra proved to be the spoilsports for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), stopping it short of clinching the scale of victory predicted by exit polls. Sidelining senior leaders like Union minister Nitin Gadkari, denying a ticket to former power minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule — a prominent face of the Teli community — and the alleged neglect of the farm crisis, are said to be the reasons for the ruling party losing at least 10 seats in Vidarbha. In addition, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis relied more on imported leaders like Parinay Fuke and Amil Bonde, who both lost. In western Maharashtra, meanwhile, a largely well-coordinated campaign by the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress that hammered home local problems as opposed to the BJP’s national focus put a check on the saffron party.This, coupled with intra-party rebellion and resentment against the BJP’s alleged apathy in times of crises, notably the Kolhapur-Sangli floods, helped the NCP-Congress win a combined 39 of the 70-odd segments in the sugar heartland comprising Pune, Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur, Solapur and Ahmednagar districts.In contrast, the BJP-Sena alliance managed only 21 seats, with the BJP individually winning only 17 as opposed to the 24 it won in 2014.In Vidarbha, as of late on Thursday, the BJP had won 27 compared to 44 seats it won in 2014. While the Sena maintained its 2014 tally of four, the Congress and NCP surged ahead by winning 17 and six respectively. Others secured eight seats. The Congress snatched two seats from the BJP in Nagpur city, with Vikas Thakre winning Nagpur West and Nitin Raut securing Nagpur North. Mr. Fadnavis retained the Nagpur South West constituency, defeating Ashish Deshmukh of the Congress. Farmer leader Nana Patole who resigned as BJP MP prior to the Lok Sabha polls, defeated State minister Parinay Fuke from Sakoli in Bhandara district. In Katol, the NCP’s Anil Deshmukh defeated BJP’s Charansingh Thakur, while in Savner the Congress’s Sunil Kedar retained his seat in a hard-fought victory. The Congress made gains in Chandrapur, Yavatmal as well as Amravati, where the BJP won only the Dhamangaon Railway seat. In western Maharashtra the electorate largely rejected turncoats who joined the BJP-Sena ahead of the polls, such as Dilip Sopal in Barshi, Vaibhav Pichad in Akole and Harshavardhan Patil in Indapur.The NCP effected a stunning reversal of fortunes by bagging two of the eight Assembly segments in Pune, after Chetan Tupe trounced BJP MLA Yogesh Tilekar in Hadapsar while Sunil Tingre bested the BJP’s Jagdish Mulik in Vadgaonsheri. The BJP had swept all eight segments in 2014.The NCP-Congress effected a renaissance of sorts in Pune district, winning 12 of the 21 seats and reducing the BJP only to the urban pockets of Pune city. The Congress did well in Ahmednagar and Kolhapur districts as well.The party’s most stunning victory came in the form of Rohit Pawar’s win over BJP minister Ram Shinde in Karjat-Jamkhed.Apart from the loss of NCP MLA Shashikant Shinde in Koregaon, all top leaders from the Congress-NCP alliance retained their seats. Senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar defeated the BJP’s Gopichand Padalkar by a staggering margin of 1.65 lakh votes, while State Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat won handsomely from his stronghold of Sangamner in Ahmednagar district.Senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan won a hard-fought battle in Karad South, despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister holding rallies in the area, while Congress ‘young turk’ Ruturaj Patil made a stunning debut in Kolhapur South, beating the BJP’s Amal Mahadik by 42,709 votes.In a thrilling battle in Solapur City Central, the Congress’s Praniti Shinde, the daughter of former chief minister Sushilkumar Shinde trailed in the early rounds but rallied to beat Haji Farooq Shabdi of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen by 12,719 votes. Ms. Shinde, seeking re-election for a third time, was also facing the Shiv Sena’s Dilip Mane and CPI (Marxist)’s Narasayya Adam. Young turk: Congress supporters celebrate with Ruturaj Patil in Kolhapur.center_img | Photo Credit: PTIlast_img read more

Toe injury costs Sachin Tendulkar a Test series in 12 years

first_imgNAILED: Sachin Tendulkar’s rare injury can also affect ballet dancers and high jumpersIf there’s a body part more obsessed over than the prime minister’s knee, it must be Sachin Tendulkar’s toe.Already foreheads are furrowed as India’s most popular athlete has gone missing from action, a fractured toe taking him out,NAILED: Sachin Tendulkar’s rare injury can also affect ballet dancers and high jumpersIf there’s a body part more obsessed over than the prime minister’s knee, it must be Sachin Tendulkar’s toe.Already foreheads are furrowed as India’s most popular athlete has gone missing from action, a fractured toe taking him out of the three-Test series against Sri Lanka. Injuries to athletes are part of their job profile but every time Tendulkar winces, it would seem all of India feels the pain.As the team began its first Test tour in 12 years without the 28-year-old Mumbai batsman, he appeared on television asking for all Indians to “pray” for him, little knowing that cricket-crazy citizens are already halfway through their Hail Marys.It has been a worrying few weeks for Tendulkar and his doctor Anant Joshi, with the clamour for information growing: what exactly is the injury, how long will it take to heal, will he be the same player again? “Sachin is just another human being. Your fracture and mine take six weeks to heal. So will his,” Joshi wearily says.But Tendulkar’s injury is not any routine fracture, not only because it has affected the cricketer. The problem began on July 4, during the last league match of the triseries in Zimbabwe. When Tendulkar struck the ball and set off for a run, he heard a “click” in his right toe and felt a pain. It was forgotten quickly and he scored an unbeaten 122, leading India to a six-wicket victory.Later that day Tendulkar had the foot X-rayed, but the results showed nothing. He was then cleared to play the final, which India lost. On his return to Mumbai, when the pain persisted, Tendulkar went to sports medicine specialist Joshi. On July 17, Joshi took the player for an isotope bone scan of his foot at Hinduja Hospital. The scan detects fractured bones by showing them as “hot spots”.Tendulkar’s bone scan lit up an area the size of a 25 paise coin on his toe – and a CT scan of the foot revealed a horizontal crack in the medial sesamoid bone, a tiny structure around the size of the nail of the little finger. The bone, embedded inside the muscle tendons at the base of the great toe, acts like a lever arm for the tendons to flex the toe.The fracture took place when Tendulkar heard the “click” – the sound, most likely, was the tiny bone snapping. Tendulkar himself suspects there could have been more pressure on the area due to the spike-studded sole of his custom-made Adidas shoes.advertisementOne of the seven spikes in the shoe is located directly below the sesamoid bone of the great toe. The pressure from the take-off for the run, which experts reckon puts between three to five times the body weight on one foot, could have been centered on the tiny bone and fractured it.The sesamoid bones, strictly speaking, are not even bones. Made up of thick cartilaginous tissue, sesamoid bones are mostly found in the lower limbs and are not included among the 206 bones of the human body. Injuries to these bones are rare and given only a passing mention in medical tomes – even the best podiatrists and orthopaedic surgeons come across only four or five cases.Injuries usually occur after an activity where tremendous pressure is placed on the feet and toes –  ballet dancers and athletes like high jumpers and basketballers are more prone. What has puzzled many people is the time taken between the first sign of trouble and the first scan – nearly two weeks. Says Dr P.S.M. Chandran, director of sports medicine, Sports Authority of India: “A negative X-ray is not an indication that all is well. You shouldn’t leave anything to chance with a top-class sportsman.”Click here to EnlargeTendulkar’s doctors, suspecting sesamoiditis (the inflammation of the sesamoid), decided to give the injury three more weeks to heal before delivering a verdict. The hope was that the foot would have healed enough to give Tendulkar the chance to play the Test series. “I don’t mind missing the one-dayers, but please ensure I can make it for the Test series,” he told Dr B.A. Krishna, chief of nuclear medicine at Hinduja Hospital.The second round of scans, however, showed an inflammation around the affected area with little sign of healing. Moreover, Tendulkar winced in pain when Joshi probed the area near the toe. The verdict was out.”Sachin could have played the Test series only at the risk of further injury. And even then he wouldn’t have been able to give a hundred per cent,” says Joshi. For India’s most prolific run-getter in both forms of the game, the injury now means completely resting the toe for between six to eight weeks, to allow the bone to heal completely. “He won’t be playing cricket at least until the end of September,” says Joshi. Surgery, the final option, isn’t being thought of just yet.Tendulkar now has to wear cushioned sandals and can walk and drive his Mercedes without pain. Experts in the US are being consulted for designing rigid-soled orthotic footwear. All his footwear – from sneakers to ordinary slippers – will be retrofitted with these devices, most of them fitted internally to lift the injured area off the floor.advertisementHe will have to wear this special footwear for at least six months after he resumes playing. Joshi has also devised an an “active rest” exercise regimen, for every part of his body, excluding the lower limbs. “Sportsmen like him cannot afford to rest completely for so long,” Joshi says. The good news, he says, is that once the fracture heals, chances of a recurrence are slim.In recent weeks, Tendulkar was surrounded by plenty of conspiracy theories about a difficult relationship with current captain Sourav Ganguly and his wish to regain the captaincy. They have all been driven underground and rendered unimportant for the time being as the only current cricketer in Sir Donald Bradman’s all-time World XI begins his fight for fitness and the chance to return to the field to do what he did best: go out and bat for India.last_img read more

India’s 26 states, union territories administered by 525 ministers

first_imgAbdullah: Heading a bloated ministryDemocracy demands that the country be guided by elected representatives of the people and that some of them be made ministers. But too much of anything is bad – as Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister T. Anjiah found last fortnight when he was rapped on the knuckles,Abdullah: Heading a bloated ministryDemocracy demands that the country be guided by elected representatives of the people and that some of them be made ministers. But too much of anything is bad – as Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister T. Anjiah found last fortnight when he was rapped on the knuckles for having set up a regime of an astonishing 61 ministers.Mrs Gandhi had reason to be appalled. The country’s 26 states and union territories with legislative assemblies are being administered by 525 ministers – or one for every 11 lakh people in the country. And, as vital indices of various kinds continue to tumble, the only index to have risen relentlessly is the membership of the exclusive club of ‘hon’ble ministers’.The statistics are startling. There is one minister for every five MLAs of the various parties in office. In no state barring Punjab is the total strength of the council of ministers (including state and deputy ministers) less than the stipulated 10 per cent recommended by the Administrative Reforms Commission.Even Opposition-ruled states like Tripura, West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Jammu and Kashmir have caught the ministerial fever. In fact, the list is topped by Jammu and Kashmir with every second MLA of the ruling party holding a ministerial post.Every sixth MLA of the ruling occupies the minister’s office in Assam, every third in Haryana, every sixth in Tripura, every seventh in West Bengal, every sixth in Tamil Nadu, every sixth in Kerala,-every fifth in Bihar and every fourth in Himachal Pradesh.advertisementBut additional ministers means having to provide facilities for each of them. Last month, with the addition of over 30 ministers in the various state governments, officials were perplexed: there weren’t enough rooms, cars and big bungalows for the newly appointed ministers. Even after two weeks in office, two cabinet ministers in the Uttar Pradesh Government were operating from their small houses.Numerous Facilities: Whether chief ministers gain by inducting ministers is questionable, but the loser is definitely the country which has to pay the price for maintaining the ministerial battalions. According to a Finance Ministry source, it costs the nation over Rs 75,000 to maintain a central minister and Rs 50,000 for a state government minister.The 49 central ministers and 482 state government ministers cost the country Rs 3 crore a month or Rs 36 crore annually for the nation – equivalent to half the budget of the University Grants Commission which finances over 120 universities where over 35 lakh students study.Although a minister’s salary is not very large (Rs 2,250 for a central minister and Rs 1,500 for a state minister), his perquisites and other indirect benefits are mind-boggling. According to state government rules, a state cabinet minister is entitled to:A tax free salary of Rs 1,500 per month.A chauffeur-driven car with no limit on the petrol consumption for official duty.Two private secretaries, two assistants.Two peons, on guard at home, one shadow, one gardener, one public relations officer.An air-conditioned office with an entitlement of Rs 10,000 for renovation.An air-conditioned room in a fully furnished four-bedroom house at a nominal rent.Entertainment allowance.Four first-class railway tickets for both private and official journey within the state and reimbursement up to Rs 5,000 annually if he travels outside the state on private visit.Two telephones with STD facilities.Free medical facilities for himself and his family.According to unofficial estimates, over 500 cars, an equal number of spacious houses, over 1,000 telephones, 1,200 policemen, and army of over 4,000 personal assistants and private secretaries are at the disposal of the ministers.Arjun Singh: Justifying the large sizeThe total market value of the assets, used by them exceeds Rs 20 crore and the residential area occupied by them can accommodate the entire population of two resettlement colonies of Delhi in which over three lakh people reside.The so-called PAs and PSs who are recruited to aid their minister in an official capacity, actually often attend to the minister’s domestic affairs – from buying vegetables to fetching children from schools.Tours: A minister would seem to be the only temporary public servant who is on duty the whole day and for 365 days a year and is duly paid by the state Government for it – whether he is away at a wedding, a funeral or leading a morcha against social injustice. Over a dozen ministers of Madhya Pradesh received travelling and daily allowances for attending Sanjay”s funeral in June.Another cabinet minister of the Madhya Pradesh Government receives daily allowances for organising tantric pujas while a minister of the Rajasthan Government received a daily allowance for paying a visit to one of her relatives.advertisementExplaining this anomaly, a finance official of the Punjab Government says: “It is difficult for us to differentiate between a personal and an official visit of a minister. A minister while travelling is always on tour, and once he certifies that none of us can deny him the reimbursement.”A majority of the ministers draw their daily allowances even for their visit to their home constituencies. A case in point is a minister for agriculture in a state government who visits his home constituency ostensibly to “study the progress-of irrigation facilities.” A power minister of another state visits his home town from his headquarters to analyse the “reasons for the erratic power supply”.While the minister is reimbursed his actual expenses, all the members of his entourage, which includes a driver, a bodyguard and an assistant, also get allowances. Unofficial estimates suggest that state ministers are “on tour” drawing allowances for an average 150 days a year.While touring within the state is to some extent justifiable, there seems to be little justification for the frequency with which Congress(I) ministers head for Delhi. Various chief ministers normally spend every fifth day in Delhi, while their cabinet colleagues, it is estimated, spend every sixth day in Delhi.Says a manager of one of the state Government guest houses in New-Delhi : “No doubt they come here for official work which takes them two hours to finish. For the rest of the-day they do their normal work – politicking at the state’s expense.” As if that were not enough, the induction of a new minister means a renovation of his office even if it had recently been done up for his predecessor.To cope with the ever-increasing flow of ministerial aspirants, new departments are frequently created by chief ministers. There are separate ministers for major irrigation, minor and medium irrigation, home, local self-government, health and health engineering, higher education, school education, industries and small-scale industries, finance and institutional finance, sports and youth welfare.Justifying his cabinet expansion, Uttar-Pradesh Chief Minister Viswanath Pratap Singh says: “It is the chief minister who has to decide about the number of his cabinet colleagues. A state like Uttar Pradesh, with a massive majority definitely needs a bigger ministry.”Concurs Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Arjun Singh: “It is entirely the CMs prerogative to decide the size of his council of administrators. He has to run the state and bear the brunt if anything goes wrong.”None of the chief ministers of the state governements including those of the Opposition, have supported moves to limit the size of their ministries. Says a Congress(I) MLA in Jaipur succinctly: “If the number of ministers is fixed, then the governments would fall every second month and the nation will spend more on renovating rooms for the new incumbents.” That offers little consolation – the nation stands to lose anyway irrespective of the size of the ministry, seeing what it costs to maintain a single minister.advertisementlast_img read more



Report: Genoa 2 Inter 0

first_imgGenoa 2 Inter 0: Pandev piles misery on old employers Dom Farrell Last updated 1 year ago 05:40 2/18/18 GoranPandev - cropped Getty Images Goran Pandev was Genoa’s hero as Inter suffered their latest setback in the race for Champions League qualification in Serie A. Inter old boy Goran Pandev ensured his former club’s 2018 woes returned as Genoa secured a 2-0 victory at Stadio Luigi Ferraris.The 34-year-old forward coolly dispatched the hosts’ second goal in the 59th minute to land a sapping blow against Inter’s bid for a Champions League place.Luciano Spalletti’s side won for the first time since the start of December when they beat Bologna 2-1 at San Siro last week but that result now appears to have been a false dawn. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Ivan Perisic joining Mauro Icardi on the injury list did little for their creative capabilities and Andrea Ranocchia’s bizarre own-goal in first-half stoppage time left the Nerazzurri with an uphill task.Pandev’s goal means Inter lie fourth on the back of Roma’s 2-0 win at Udinese earlier on Saturday and will drop out of the Champions League spots if Lazio beat Verona on Monday.Fischio finale allo stadio “Luigi Ferraris” dove il @GenoaCFC conquista la vittoria contro l’@Inter! #GenoaInter #SerieATIM— Serie A TIM (@SerieA_TIM) February 17, 2018The veteran Macedonia international rolled back the years with a mazy run in the ninth minute, although the angle was against him by the time he managed to test Samir Handanovic.Pandev unwittingly went closer shortly afterwards when his raking ball into the box bounced between Genoa midfielder Oscar Hiljemark and Handanovic and looped up to hit the crossbar.Inter’s first opening arrived in the 19th minute but Yann Karamoh’s sliced finish was not a fitting way to greet Antonio Candreva’s chipped cross after raiding into the Genoa box.In the absence of Icardi and Perisic, Candreva looked the most likely Inter player to make something happen and the Italy winger forced Mattia Perin to save from a sweetly struck 31st-minute effort.Ranocchia was already booked by the time he caught Andrej Galabinov with a flailing arm five minutes before half-time but referee Michael Fabbri elected not to consult VAR.He might have been better receiving his marching orders because, on the stroke of the interval, Milan Skriniar clumped Ervin Zukanovic’s cross against his centre-back partner and the ball flew past a helpless Handanovic.1 – That was Andrea Ranocchia’s first own goal in Serie A, in his 186th appearance in the Italian top-flight. Happenstance. #GenoaInter— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) February 17, 2018Joao Cancelo got back to make a vital aerial challenge early in the second half when Pandev stole behind Ranocchia and looked poised to head home Aleandro Rosi’s cross.Just before the hour, Pandev got the goal his endeavours deserved. A wonderfully cushioned touch took the sting out of Diego Laxalt’s speculative shot and he took the time and space it afforded him to calmly finish.Spalletti sent on Rafinha in place of the ineffective Matias Vecino to try and force a response and Inter might have pulled a goal back when Roberto Gagliardini charged into the box to meet Cancelo’s cross but glanced wide.Karamoh was the Nerazzurri’s match-winner last time out and, although he twisted skilfully past Genoa substitute Stephane Omeonga, he sent a vicious shot dipping narrowly over.Zukanovic cleared a curling attempt from Eder off the line and might have added gloss to the scoreline for Serie A’s 12th-placed side when he powered over from a corner, before Pandev took his standing ovation 10 minutes from time. Key Opta Stats:- Inter conceded more than one goal in a Serie A away game for the first time since last April (a 5-4 defeat away to Fiorentina).- The last time Inter lost by a margin of two or more goals in a Serie A game away from home was in December 2016 (v Napoli).- Goran Pandev has scored four goals in the league against Inter – two of these have come in the last two matches played between the sides at Genoa.- The home side has won in each of the last 10 Serie A matches between Genoa and Inter.- Genoa have won three consecutive Serie A games for the first time since May 2015 – on the previous occasion, the third success came against Inter.- Antonio Candreva played his 300th Serie A game, while Danilo D’Ambrosio made his 150th appearance in the Italian top-flight. read morelast_img read more

Australian Coaching Workforce Study

first_imgDeakin University is seeking your input to gain a better understanding of the work you do as a coach. Sport coaching researchers at Deakin University are interested in finding out what work goes into coaching individual athletes and teams. They want to know how much time, money, and resources go into preparing you and your athletes/teams each week, what you think about your development as a coach and are interested in seeking your views about how to best support you.The aim of this research is to help with the development of policies and management practices at national, state and community levels of sport that will better support and improve the way you coach.To participate in this research, simply click on the link to the Australian Coaching Workforce online survey below which will take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete. you would like more information about this research project please contact Dr Andrew Dawson by phone (03)92517309 or email Related Filescoach_workforce_ad-pdflast_img read more

Ministry to Engage Stakeholders at Labour Market Forum in December

first_img In an interview with JIS News, Director of the Planning, Research and Monitoring Unit, Andrea Patterson-Morris, said the forum aims to facilitate a conversation among stakeholders about the existing skills gap, and establish solutions. Director, Research and Analysis, Simone McKenzie-Mair, said the study showed that employers report that jobseekers are largely ill-equipped for the workforce, by not having the requisite soft skills, having poor customer service skills, not being punctual and lacking in brand/company loyalty, all of which impact productivity. The Ministry of Labour and Social Security is looking to engage employers, policymakers, curriculum developers and students at next month’s Labour Market Forum, on key recommendations out of the recently completed labour market study. Story Highlights The Ministry of Labour and Social Security is looking to engage employers, policymakers, curriculum developers and students at next month’s Labour Market Forum, on key recommendations out of the recently completed labour market study.The Labour Market Forum will be held on December 13 at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel under the theme ‘Jamaican Employers and Educators, Working Together to Close the Skills Gap’.In an interview with JIS News, Director of the Planning, Research and Monitoring Unit, Andrea Patterson-Morris, said the forum aims to facilitate a conversation among stakeholders about the existing skills gap, and establish solutions.“We are hoping that at the end of it, employers will be more informed [and] also that the curriculum developers will be guided by what came out of the study, and jobseekers will be guided in making more informed career choices,” she said.Ms. Patterson-Morris said the forum will also be used to encourage more employers to participate in labour market studies, in order to more accurately ascertain the needs of the job sector.The National Labour Market Study was commissioned last year and tabled in Parliament by Portfolio Minister, Hon. Shahine Robinson, in March this year.Director, Research and Analysis, Simone McKenzie-Mair, said the study showed that employers report that jobseekers are largely ill-equipped for the workforce, by not having the requisite soft skills, having poor customer service skills, not being punctual and lacking in brand/company loyalty, all of which impact productivity.She said lack of relevant work experience was also a concern among employers.Ms. McKenzie-Mair said these issues will be addressed during the forum through a series of panel discussions. There will also be an international speaker, who will look at best practices in other jurisdictions and how these can be applied locally.She added that the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation will be a part of the forum, to speak to projections for growth in specific job sectors.“We found in the study that although 60 per cent of employers said they expected to have some type of business upgrade or expansion, which would lead to jobs, they weren’t able to tell us where the jobs are. Given that, we saw the need to invite that Ministry to speak to where the jobs are, what the growth areas are and what is on the horizon,” Ms. McKenzie-Mair said.The forum will also include an awards ceremony to recognise the employers who have been participating in the Labour Market Information System (LMIS) of the Labour Ministry; as well as to award colleges that have partnered with the Ministry for its scholarship programme, under the LMIS School Initiative.The forum, being funded by the Inter-American Development Fund (IDB), will be streamed live, and the public, particularly students, are being urged to participate. Persons are also invited to register for attendance online.Ms. McKenzie-Mair said she is hopeful that the forum will lead to a more collaborative approach to addressing the needs of the labour market. She said it will also provide a “wealth of information” for the Ministry, to be used in published material and to inform the next labour market study.The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information; the Jamaica Employers’ Federation and the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions are expected to participate in the event.last_img read more

GCT Opts for TTS Container Handling Equipment

first_imgttsgroup, April 15, 2014 zoom TTS Group ASA has, through its subsidiary TTS Marine Inc., signed a contract for container handling equipment with Global Container Terminals Inc. (GCT) in New Jersey, USA.Global Container Terminal, the closest container terminal to the New York/New Jersey harbor entrance, is among the top terminal operators in North America.For the expanded terminal, focusing on state-of-the-art technology and equipment, it has been decided to use the TTS cassette system and translifters for the transportation from the container port to the intermodal terminal. TTS has delivered the similar solutions to London Gateway and APMT Virginia, USA.A TTS translifter is a self-loading trailer which has been designed to be coupled to any universal towing tractor. These manually operated vehicles lift and move the specially designed cassettes using hydraulic systems.This combination creates a flexible and reliable system for all terminal demands, which ensures the maximum efficiency and the minimum time loss.The contract value is approximately $10.9 million. The delivery is scheduled for June 2015.last_img read more

Infosys opens centre in Arizona to hire 1000 American techies

first_imgBengaluru: Global software major Infosys has opened a technology centre at Phoenix in Arizona, US, to accelerate innovation for its American enterprises. “We will hire 1,000 American techies over four years to work at the centre in the southwestern state for the local enterprises,” said the city-based IT behemoth in a statement, here on Saturday. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey inaugurated the centre in the presence of state officials, company executives, employees and representatives of a few enterprises. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalThe centre, housed at the Arizona State University (ASU), will focus on autonomous technologies, Internet of Things (IOT), full-stack engineering, data science and cyber security. “Our investment in the centre will attract local and global talent. Hiring is underway to recruit around 500 techies by 2020 and reduce the IT skills gap in the state,” it said. Agencies Infosys Chief Executive Salil Parikh said the Arizona centre, the company’s sixth of its kind in the US since 2017, was set up to help local enterprises go for digital transformation at the earliest. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boost”The centre allows us to collaborate with our clients across the country in an agile manner,” said Parekh. The centre will also leverage and empower the workforce to bridge the skill gap in the market and accelerate the digital agenda of its clients. “Our focus will be on harnessing, modelling and scaling a new model for workforce development in the US, where the private sector has a key role to implement it (model) or learning and on-the-job training,” said company’s president Ravi Kumar. The centre boasts of living labs, showcasing prototypes in virtual reality, augmented reality and robotic technologies and will help foster co-creation, training and collaboration. Lauding Infosys for foraying into the state, Ducey said its presence reinforced Arizona’s reputation as a tech hub and one of the best places to relocate and expand. The centre will allow the company to develop cross-functional solutions to pressing business challenges in machine learning, artificial intelligence, user experience and advanced digital technologies, such as big data and cloud. As part of its commitment to workforce development and bridging the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) skill gap in the US, the $11 billion outsourcing firm also announced a partnership with InStride to allow its employees complete degree programmes and education courses through ASU. “Infosys’ commitment to Arizona and learning speaks of the strength of talent in our community. We welcome it as a partner that will boost our competitiveness in the global economy,” said ASU president Michael Crow.last_img read more

Common And Gregory Porter Record Song For World Refugee Day

first_imgReleased globally yesterday for World Refugee Day, Grammy award-winning singer Gregory Porter and Academy award-winning rapper and actor Common collaborated to record a song called “Running”.Proceeds from “Running” will benefit organizations dedicated to advocacy and frontline support for the urgent needs of the more than 60 million people who have been forcibly displaced worldwide.“Running” is available to download for a donation on and is available soon on iTunes for $1.99. The official music video can be viewed on Compositions For A Cause YouTube channel.“This tragedy affects all of us. I am grateful to lend my voice to these courageous survivors. I hope everyone downloads the song so we can raise desperately needed money to help these families and let them know we have nothing but love for them,” said Gregory Porter.Proceeds from “Running” will benefit organizations Refugees International (RI), Human Rights First (HRF), and the International Rescue Committee (IRC), as well as other frontline NGOs struggling to address the crisis. Collectively, these organizations impact the lives of millions of refugees around the world. Proceeds will support initiatives such as education for refugee children, emergency relief, and supporting global advocacy for rapid resettlement plans.“Every one of us has a role to play in standing with the millions of refugees who have endured unimaginable hardship. Let us unite against intolerance with compassion and understanding,” said Refugees International President Michel Gabaudan.Exasperated by the refugee crisis and determined to be proactive, “Running”, written by Grammy award-winning trumpeter and platinum producer Keyon Harrold and singer and social entrepreneur Andrea Pizziconi, is the first installment of an initiative called Compositions for a Cause created by Pizziconi, Harrold, and businessman and political strategist Jonathan Reynaga, who are all dedicated to advancing social justice through innovative music collaborations.“It is a disgrace that almost 70% of refugees will spend 17 years living in a refugee camp. That’s an entire generation of children left vulnerable. We couldn’t just sit on the sidelines so we created this campaign to inspire others into action as well,” said Andrea Pizziconi.All the featured artists and partners involved in the “Running” campaign have donated their time and contributions to the project and campaign.Launched in 2016, Compositions for a Cause is an initiative that creates and promotes original music from the partners to raise awareness and funds for nonprofits working on social justice and humanitarian crises.last_img read more

Canada Jetlines plans to base Montreal operations at small St Hubert airport

first_imgDiscount airline Canada Jetlines Ltd. says it plans to base its Montreal operations in a couple of years out of a small airport that is undergoing an expansion.The Vancouver-based company hasn’t yet launched service, but it announced Thursday a partnership with Montreal Saint-Hubert Longueuil Airport to support its efforts to build a low-cost secondary airport on the south shore of the city.Canada Jetlines CEO Javier Suarez says Montreal travellers deserve low-cost air travel options that don’t require them to cross the U.S. border.“Saint-Hubert is a short commute out of the downtown core of Montreal, and our passengers will not only benefit from ultra-low airfares, they will also have convenient access to a new purpose-built low-cost facility in Saint-Hubert,” he said in a news release.Saint-Hubert airport is about a 15-minute drive from downtown Montreal and 32 kilometres from Montreal Pierre-Elliott Trudeau International Airport.The airline is working towards a launch next summer and would seek to start Montreal service by early 2020. It will also fly to secondary airports in Abbotsford, B.C., Hamilton, as well as Halifax Stanfield International Airport, offering domestic service and winter flights to sun destinations. It plans to start with two Airbus A320s and add four planes annually.Saint-Hubert airport, which mainly serves private aircraft, recently upgraded its runway, supported by a $13-million federal contribution, that can accommodate narrowbody planes as big as the Boeing 737 or A320. It also plans to build a new passenger terminal.“With this announcement and this commitment we’re going to have to fast-track something,” said Jane Foyle, general manager of DASH-L, the non-profit organization that runs the Saint Hubert airport.“I think we can deliver for 2020. If there’s interest to start faster we’re also looking at what we could use at the airport at the moment as a temporary type facility.”Foyle has a vision for Saint-Hubert joining a national network of secondary airports that offer lower fees to support the Canadian expansion of ultra low cost airlines like Swoop and Flair Airlines.“If we had a network of ultra low cost airports across Canada, I think that’s what we want to be part of,” she said in an interview.“Abbotsford in B.C. is that already. Hamilton is at that game too but their cost structure might not be as flexible as ours will be. We’re going to be financially attractive for airlines to come here.”Discount carrier Flair Airlines says it is reviewing options for the Quebec market and hasn’t made a firm commitment to any airport in the province.WestJet subsidiary Swoop said as its fleet increases to 10 next year it will be looking for markets and airports for its 189-seat planes.“This could potentially include service to Quebec, but I’m unable to confirm that for you at this time,” said spokeswoman Karen McIsaac.Porter Airlines spokesman Brad Cicero says the airline based at Toronto Island’s Billy Bishop Airport has no plans to change its Trudeau airport-based service out of Montreal.Foyle said catering to ultra low cost carriers can be risky because their success is unproven in Canada. But she also hopes to offer flights to transport business people to Toronto, be a hub for regional service in Quebec and attract travel airlines like Sunwing and Air Transat for flights south.She said the main challenge is to secure designated airport status that will provide security screening services from the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority at an affordable rate and obtain customs and immigration services from the Canada Border Services Agency to offer transborder flights.Foyle said Saint-Hubert airport can also help in keeping Quebecers from crossing the U.S. border to catch flights.“We’re losing a lot of Canadians that are going to Plattsburgh and Burlington to fly out of American airports and we would be strategically located to try to get these passengers, these Quebecers back and flying out of our airlines potentially and our airport.”Companies in this story: (TSX:WJA)last_img read more

Think Tank Labels Moroccos Refugee Children in Sweden as Criminals

Rabat – International think tank the Gatestone Institute has accused Moroccan refugee children in Sweden of theft, petty larceny, pick pocketing, and muggings.In a report released on Thursday, the Gatestone Institute labeled refugee children from Moroccan origins as criminals and drug addicts, even though those children are aged between 12 and 16.“The Moroccan boys commit crimes such as theft, petty larceny, pick pocketing, and muggings, but the authorities do not know how to handle the kids who decline the help offered by the Swedish state,” said the report. The report noted that 381 Moroccan children sought asylum in Sweden last year. “They are usually street children from Tangiers or Casablanca, who started doing drugs at an early age, and they distrust all authorities,” said the report.However, they had no grounds for asylum, as Morocco is not at war.Still, the report claimed that before their applications are denied,”they often run away from the refugee homes, to roam the streets of Stockholm.”The Gatestone Institute estimated the number of homeless Moroccan refugees in Sweden at 200 children.It went to add that they are roaming the streets of Stockholm committing crimes and smoking hashish, and “are completely uncomprehending of the Swedish attitude towards drugs.”The report quoted a local police officer as saying that those children should be “locked up in institutions, but that is just short term, to save individual lives. I think we need national coordination to get at this problem.”The Gatestone Institute criticized the Swedish government, saying it should “refuse asylum to Moroccan street children and full-grown men posing as children.”Edited by Timothy Filla© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission read more

Morocco Calls For SDG Implementation Support in Africa

Rabat – Addressing the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, held on September 25 in New York, El Othmani stressed the importance of providing African countries with adequate support.The Head of Government highlighted Morocco’s willingness and commitment to share its expertise in sustainable development with other African nations.El Othmani emphasized that achieving the SDGs very much depends on the commitment and solidarity of all actors.  The SDGs provide a blueprint for solving social, economic, environmental, and governance challenges worldwide. Ultimately, the SDGs aim for “a better and more sustainable future for all.”El Othmani also noted that Morocco took a significant step in coordinating joint international efforts by adopting the SDGs, also known as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in 2015.Speaking of the limited achievements to date by some African countries, El Othmani called for a new collaborative vision for through 2030 to accelerate the agenda’s implementation.In this regard, he indicated that Morocco has recently implemented major reforms.El Othmani mentioned examples of Morocco’s progress. The National Strategy for Sustainable Development aligns with the SDGs, and the third phase of the National Initiative for Human Development began in 2018.He also cited the Renewable Energy Program, which aims to source 52% of Morocco’s power generation capacity from renewables by 2030.El Othmani concluded by noting that King Mohammed VI called for the renewal of the national development model with the aim of “promoting progress and development, investing in human capital, and reducing social and spatial disparities.” read more

Assembly President heralds new era of engagement as debate wraps up

“I am heartened that inside this hall, as well as outside, in the various meetings and events on the sidelines, there was a renewed commitment to promoting effective and inclusive multilateralism,” Ali Treki said at the end of the six-day event.This form of engagement, he said, will also entail “a more just and democratic world order with equal participation of sovereign Member States.”In particular, he voiced concern about whether the interests of developing nations are taken into account.The high-level segment also featured calls by States for greater coherence and understanding among regional and political groupings, as well as appeals for dialogue among faiths and cultures, the President pointed out.“The General Assembly is uniquely placed to synergize our efforts in that regard and to forge collective strategies for the common good,” he said.Small island nations spoke passionately about the threat to their survival posed by climate change, with Dr. Treki stressing that no country will be spared from its impact.“Climate change is a growing global threat which will have consequences for the global economy, health and safety, food production, peace and security and the realization of the Millennium Development Goals [MDGs],” eight anti-poverty targets with a 2015 deadline, he added.Collective action is also needed to prevent conflicts and settle disputes, the Libyan official said, underscoring the need for successes in Africa, especially in the Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).The situation in the Middle East is “unsustainable,” he said. The efforts of United States President Barack Obama to achieve a lasting peace, Dr. Treki emphasized, will need the “full backing of the international community and a more effective role of the United Nations.Multilateralism, he highlighted, is also essential to address the current financial turmoil which threatens sustainable development and has hit developing nations especially hard.“I have noted your suggestions for strengthening the international economic system, including the Bretton Woods Institutions, with a view to making them more inclusive, transparent and democratic in their decision-making.”At the start of the annual high-level debate last week, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for the international community to be both united in purpose and in action since the world’s most pressing problems can only be solved when countries unite through the UN.“Now is our time. A time to put the ‘united’ back into the United Nations,” Mr. Ban emphasized.Simultaneous crises on multiple fronts –food, energy, recession and pandemic flu – have shown the importance of renewed multilateralism, he said.“The world looks to us for answers,” the Secretary-General stressed, adding that the moment is now to “create a United Nations of genuine collective action.” 29 September 2009Wrapping up the General Assembly’s annual high-level debate today, the 192-member body’s President today welcomed the “new era of engagement” based on respect among Member States, underscoring that the vision of nations coming together to tackle common challenges is at the heart of the United Nations. read more

Automotive Council members named

For more information on the work of the NAIGT please click here The full list of Automotive Council members is below: Business secretary, Lord Mandelson announced the full line-up of members of the Automotive Council during his keynote address at the SMMT International Automotive Summit (24 November 2009). SMMT’s chief executive, Paul Everitt and president, Joe Greenwell will sit on the 21-strong council.Announced as part of government’s response to the New Automotive Innovation and Growth Team (NAIGT) report into the automotive industry, Richard Parry-Jones will chair the Council. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) A Supply Chain Council and a Technology Council will also be set up as part of the Automotive Council which will address the strategic challenges facing the car industry over the longer term. The membership has been drawn from a wide ranging area of industry expertise and represents every part of the automotive design and manufacturing sector. The first meeting will take place in December. David Smith (Deputy), Jaguar Land Rover Gordon Murray (Deputy), Gordon Murray Design Joe Greenwell,  Ford Barry Dodd, Addpower Technologies John Miles, ARUP Jon Carling, Aston Martin Franz-Josef Paefgen, Bentley Jürgen Hedrich, BMW Gwenne Henricks, Caterpillar Nigel Stein, GKN Auto Bill Parfitt, GM Kenneth Keir, Honda Andrea Paver, Leyland Trucks Trevor Mann, Nissan Jerry Hardcastle, Nissan Dave Keene, RDM Automotive/Niche Vehicles Group Hermann Kaess, Robert Bosch Paul Everitt, SMMT Graham Smith, Toyota Dave Osborne, UNITE Brian Collins, Chief Scientific Adviser, BIS and DfT read more

Ohio State Penn State mens hockey split offensively charged series

OSU junior forward David Gust attempts a shot during a shootout in a game against Michigan on Jan. 15 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won in the shootout. Credit: Kevin Stankiewicz | Asst. Sports EditorThe Ohio State men’s ice hockey team went to Happy Valley this weekend for a two-game series, but it is heading home feeling nothing more than content after an up-and-down weekend.The Buckeyes were thoroughly defeated on Friday, losing 6-1, but they were able to recover the following day, taking care of the Nittany Lions 7-4.In Game 1, the Nittany Lions struck first after junior forward David Goodwin dispossessed the Buckeye defense behind the goal and laid off the puck for senior forward David Glenn, who fired it behind junior netminder Christian Frey.The first period was quite physical, as both teams were handed penalties. At two points, the teams played four-on-four hockey. Penn State junior goaltender Eamon McAdam demonstrated why he leads the Big Ten in save percentage, stopping a flurry of shots from sophomore forward Luke Stork and senior forward Anthony Greco. The Buckeyes appeared to be knocking on the door after a strong finish to the first period. That, however, would not be the case, as Penn State illustrated why it has the nation’s fifth-ranked offense.Penn State would double its lead with a long shot from freshman defenseman Vince Pedrie. Redshirt senior forward Eric Scheid brought the puck up the right side of the rink and completed a cross-ice pass, which Pedrie collected and converted. Goodwin made it 3-0 with just over six and a half minutes left in the period after some nifty build-up play with freshman forward Andrew Sturtz. This forced OSU coach Steve Rohlik to make a switch inside the pipes. He replaced Frey with junior goalie Matt Tomkins, marking Tomkins’ first appearance in seven games. The substitution would not make any difference.Just three minutes later, Penn State senior defenseman Luke Juha made it 4-0. The nightmare continued for the Buckeyes just over a minute later when freshman forward Alec Marsh pushed the puck under Tomkins’ right skate, making it 5-0. Junior forward and co-captain Nick Schilkey broke McAdam’s shutout with a power-play goal just over two minutes into the third period. The goal, however, did little to turn the tide, as Penn State coasted to the victory. Junior forward Zach Saar took advantage of an empty net with less than 30 seconds remaining, ending the match 6-1. Tomkins would remain in goal for the Scarlet and Gray for Game 2 on Saturday. Senior goaltender Matthew Skoff took over for McAdam in the Nittany Lions’ goal. It became quite clear early on that the Buckeyes were not going to allow a repeat of the previous night’s performance.Just a minute and a half into the first period, Schilkey laid the puck off to junior forward David Gust, who converted for the power-play score. It was Gust’s 17th point in 17 games, although his 15-game point streak ended the night before.The Buckeyes doubled their lead just six minutes later after freshman defenseman Tommy Parran netted his first career goal for the Buckeyes. Another freshman, forward Freddy Gerard, made it 3-0 for the Buckeyes less than halfway through the period. With just over two minutes remaining in the period, Penn State got on the board. Scheid centered a pass for freshman forward Chase Berger, whose shot was deflected in by Tomkins. Sturtz cut the lead to one goal just past the halfway point in the second period after a great solo effort from the Penn State defensive zone. Emotions began to run high after a few altercations between the two sides. One conflict behind the Buckeyes’ net resulted in junior defenseman Drew Brevig and junior forward Ricky DeRosa being sent to the box, resulting in some four-on-four hockey similar to the night before. An interference call on Parran resulted in a four-on-three advantage for the Nittany Lions, and they would swiftly take advantage with an equalizing goal from Goodwin. Penn State would then grab its first lead of the afternoon when Kevin Kerr fired a shot from long range above Tomkins’ glove just under three minutes into the third period. The Buckeyes finally responded after Penn State’s four straight goals, courtesy of sophomore forward Matthew Weis’ eighth goal of the season. Then, just 42 seconds later, a shot from senior defenseman and co-captain Craig Dalrymple trickled underneath Skoff, which left freshman forward John Wiitala with an easy empty-net goal to put the Buckeyes back in front 5-4. Weis would grab his second goal of the game after a two-on-one breakaway and doubled the Buckeyes’ lead with just over five minutes remaining in the encounter. Senior forward and Co-captain Anthony Greco put the game to rest with just under 30 seconds left with an empty-net score, ending the match at 7-4. OSU is set to get back in action on Friday against Wisconsin at the Schottenstein Center. Puck drop is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. read more

Brexit wont affect how you send letters but your consumer rights for

first_imgBrexit won’t affect how you send letters, but your consumer rights for UK purchases may change Minister of State Helen McEntee was in Portlaoise Mail Centre today to monitor preparations. AN POST HAS told customers “not to worry” about its preparations for a no-deal Brexit, saying “it’s not a big deal” as it has procedures in place for checking parcels from non-EU countries – although that volume is set to increase dramatically after Brexit.The government and the consumer regulator here, however, called for consumers to be aware that their consumer rights and online pricing could change dramatically after Brexit, and to check British retailers’ terms and conditions before purchasing items.Ireland receives 14 million parcels from the UK a year, and 10 million parcels from non-EU countries – meaning items that An Post has to check customs and duties on will more than double after Brexit.During a visit by Minister of State for European Affairs Helen McEntee to Portlaoise Mail Centre today, An Post’s Managing Director Garret Bridgeman said that the centre would be the first point where UK parcels would be examined, in an effort to avoid the expected delays at ports. He said An Post has been working with the Royal Mail for the past year to prepare for Brexit. In three sites in Ireland that have customs officers – Portlaoise, Athlone, and Dublin – additional staff has been provided to prepare for a no-deal.For the Dublin site, €15 million has been provided for an automated parcel machine which will be ready by the end of October – in time for the latest Brexit deadline.Although Bridgeman said there would be no postage hikes from An Post, if there’s a no-deal Brexit there will be additional costs for customs and excise on parcels being sent from the UK (as if the product is being sent from the US).Bridgeman said that An Post’s parcel volume doubles or trebles at Christmas, so they are prepared for an increase in checks on parcels, but there are other issues such as the recent dramatic drop in sterling which may influence online purchases from Ireland further than expected.“Brexit has no impact on letters, just on parcels,” he said.In six months’ time, An Post said it will launch a text service that will allow customers to pay for customs on items coming from non-EU countries by email or text.Since the incident in March where an explosive parcel was sent from Ireland to London, An Post said it has “put in place additional procedures and purchased new equipment to make sure we have even better controls” than have already been in place ahead of a feared increase in violence in the event of a no-deal Brexit.    Source: Gráinne Ní Aodha/TheJournal.ieIreland’s consumer regulator has also warned people to start looking now at what their consumer rights are with retailers in the UK. If the UK leaves without a deal, Irish shoppers buying from British stores won’t be protected by the EU’s consumer laws.The legal footing for consumer rights will revert from a statutory basis to the terms and conditions of the British company from which an item is being bought.Fergal O’Leary of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission said today that an information campaign would begin in the coming weeks to prepare customers for the shift in those rights.  Image: Gráinne Ní Aodha/ By Gráinne Ní Aodha Europe Minister Helen McEntee is in Portlaoise Mail Centre today to hear about how they’re preparing for a no-deal Brexit— Gráinne Ní Aodha (@GAodha) August 26, 2019 What’s being asked of us at the moment is to remove a legal guarantee and replace it with nothing but a commitment to try and find some other solution.She also disagreed that the Withdrawal Agreement was dead, but said that the Irish government’s default core position for preparations had been a no-deal Brexit “for some time”. She said she welcomed new Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s meetings with EU leaders, but said that it was still up to the UK to ratify the thrice-rejected Withdrawal Agreement. 34 Comments When you buy online from a business in the EU you have strong consumer rights, particularly if you change your mind or if your purchases are not delivered. These rights do not apply if you buy from a business outside of the EU.“So it is important to prepare now for the possibility that following Brexit there will be changes to your rights if you are buying online from a UK based retailer.”When you buy from a business outside the EU, the CCPC explained before, you pay VAT if the value of the items plus shipping is €22 or more. VAT must be paid on imported items at the same rate that applies in Ireland for similar goods.You also legally have to pay import charges such as customs or excise duties on items you buy from non-EU countries worth €150 or more. Image: Gráinne Ní Aodha/ Monday 26 Aug 2019, 4:58 PM Short URL 13,232 Views Source: Gráinne Ní Aodha/Twitter Minister McEntee was also asked for her reaction to a proposal by former Europe Minister Lucinda Creighton at the weekend, that the backstop should be limited to five years.“A backstop with a time limit ceases to be a backstop,” she said, sticking to the long-touted Irish government and EU line. As the clock ticks down, get all the best Brexit news and analysis in your inbox: Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Aug 26th 2019, 4:58 PM Share5 Tweet Email4 last_img read more

Governor lauds BienAime Integrity Commission at anticorruption meeting

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 10 Dec 2015 – Sonia Bien-Aime is again used as the poster child for honesty and anti-corruption, this time Governor Peter Beckingham drew reference to the FIFA executive who soared up the ranks as a pioneer not just for the Turks and Caicos, but for women in soccer. Beckingham was speaking at the Integrity Commission’s Anti-Corruption Day on Wednesday as he highlighted the importance of even the very smallest of countries being more involved in good governance. H.E. let his audience in on the fact that sometimes Government Ministers find themselves recusing themselves of certain discussions and negotiations at the Cabinet level; adding that he is glad that the declaration of interests, which used to be almost completely ignored by politicians, is now taken very seriously in the TCI. The Governor applauded the Integrity Commission too, saying, and I quote: “This is inevitably a difficult and sometimes challenging role but with the inspirational leadership of its Board, whose work I applaud, TCI is beginning to stand out in the region as something of a model on how to organise a successful anti-corruption body”. Governor Beckingham called Bien-Aime’s example fine and laudable. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp More motor mishaps; PDM Leader calls for Govt attention to illegal jitneys, again Recommended for you New Prison Supt & Officer of the Year Awarded Related Items:anti-corruption day, governor peter beckingham, integrity commission, Sonia Bien Aime DR wants consulate office in TCIlast_img read more

Myanmar UN sign pact on initial steps for Rohingya return

first_imgIn this 27 Jan, 2018, file photo, Rohingya refugees wait in a queue to receive relief material at the Balukhali refugee camp near Cox`s Bazar, Bangladesh. Myanmar and UN agencies signed an agreement that might eventually lead to the return of some of the 700,000 Rohingya Muslims who fled brutal persecution by the country`s security forces and are now crowded into makeshift camps in Bangladesh. Photo : APMyanmar and UN agencies signed an agreement Wednesday that could eventually lead to the return of some of the 700,000 Rohingya Muslims who fled brutal persecution by the country’s security forces and are now crowded into makeshift camps in Bangladesh.The memorandum of understanding promises to establish a “framework of cooperation” that aims to create conditions for “voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable” repatriation of Rohingya refugees but does not address Myanmar’s denial of citizenship for the minority.Myanmar’s government said it hoped the pact would hasten repatriation, but rights groups still doubt it will let many Rohingya return or can guarantee the safety of those who do. Myanmar’s statement didn’t mention Rohingya, reflecting the government and the Burmese majority’s insistence there is no such ethnic group in Myanmar. Instead it referred to them as “displaced persons.”Myanmar’s security forces have been accused of rape, killing, torture and the burning of Rohingya homes in western Rakhine state, where most Rohingya lived. The UN and US have described the army crackdown that began in August last year as “ethnic cleansing.”Predominantly Buddhist Myanmar and Bangladesh agreed in November to begin repatriating Rohingya. But refugees feared their lives would be at risk in Myanmar without international monitoring while Myanmar insisted they have identity documents, which most Rohingya have been denied.Knut Ostby, UN resident and humanitarian coordinator in Myanmar, said the agreement is an important first step toward resolving the crisis.”There is a lot of work to be done. This task should not be underestimated,” Ostby said. “We are talking about approximately 700,000 people who don’t only have to return, but the conditions have to be right for them to return: the conditions both in terms of their identity in society, in terms of their safety and also in terms of services, livelihoods, a place to live, infrastructure.”The UN has said the agreement provides for its refugee and development agencies to be given access to Rakhine state.It said that will allow the refugee agency to assess the situation and provide information to refugees about conditions in their areas of origin so that they can better decide whether they want to return.The Myanmar government statement said assistance from the UN agencies would assist the work it has already started toward repatriation. It highlighted that it had cooperated with the UN a quarter century earlier in repatriating 230,000 “displaced persons” – Rohingya – who had fled violence in Rakhine to Bangladesh.Rights groups remain pessimistic that the safe return of Rohingya refugees will ever be possible.They point to a lack of firm commitments from Myanmar and its decades of hostility toward a minority that was denied citizenship by a 1982 law that excluded them from a list of recognized ethnic groups in the majority Buddhist nation.”How will the Burmese government guarantee these people will not face again persecution?” said Kyaw Win, executive director of Burma Human Rights Network. “It is very politically convenient for the Burmese government to sign this agreement, and also never commit.”Some 125,000 of the Rohingya who remain in Myanmar are living in camps where their movement is restricted after being forced from their villages in 2012 by a wave of violence led by radical Buddhists and security forces.”There’s still been no movement to ensure Rohingya have equal access to full citizenship,” said Matthew Smith, the head of advocacy group Fortify Rights. “Discourse around repatriation now unfortunately appears to be attempt by authorities to distract from mass atrocities and crimes taken place.”last_img

A photographers love letter to a Costa Rican indigenous community

first_imgRelated posts:5 question for a Costa Rican photographer Arts and culture in brief: the week ahead in Costa Rica 5 questions for a Costa Rican photographer 5 questions for a Costa Rican designer In many countries throughout the world, including my own native country of Canada, there are indigenous communities living in very remote areas at the margins of mainstream society. In Canada, half of these First Nations peoples live on reserves or land set aside for their use during treaty agreements, some in the far northern ranges of the country.When I moved to Costa Rica a number of years ago, I learned that here, too, many indigenous communities exist in similarly remote and marginal conditions throughout this small nation. Like those in northern Canada, many of these families struggle daily, as they often lack basic necessities such as clean water and adequate food supplies. Yet the daily lives of these native peoples are not often well known or understood by mainstream society.So when a friend of mine, Melanie L. Wells, excitedly told me about a visit she was planning to a Cabécar community in Talamanca, not only to bring supplies, but also to continue work on her ongoing photography book, I was intrigued. (Courtesy of Melanie L. Wells)Her project, which is developing into a book of photographs entitled A Window into the Soul –Costa Rica Cabécar, and an exhibit of the same name opening tonight in San Pedro (see details below article), is a narrative that is visually stunning narrative and full of gentle touches: the deeply poignant glance of a child, the reticent smile of a young girl, and the devoted work of a mother.Its photographs offer an intimate glimpse into a few Cabécar families from a community nestled deep in the mountains between the heights of Chirripó and the lush Talamanca region.Wells, born and raised in Costa Rica and also a U.S. citizen, says she hopes to shift perception and awareness of indigenous peoples in Costa Rica. They do not want to be strangers in their own land. They do not want to be invisible and forgotten, rejected instead of honored.As she states on her website, “We believe this project is of utmost importance as an example of many communities around the world that live at the margins of society. Visibility is a key to understanding and acceptance, to human dignity and prosperity. Those that remain invisible get left behind and their basic human rights end up being compromised.” (Courtesy of Melanie L. Wells)Wells is a professional photographer, as well as a designer, adventurer and writer. This was not her first trek into remote jungle and imposing mountains to visit these communities. She had made many treacherous treks in the past.Melanie’s first visit in 1996 was inspired by her curiosity as a child after one of her father’s trips by helicopter over the Talamanca mountain range.“Back in the 70s, my father would go by helicopter to the mountains, to do work and rescues,” she recalls. “One day he came back with a bow and arrow made in a very primitive form and told us about his interaction with the indigenous people who still lived there, deep in the mountains. He shared stories about their kindness and generosity, as well as the way they lived, which to me sounded like pure survival.” (Courtesy of Melanie L. Wells)As a young girl, Melanie reflected on the identity of these indigenous people. At school she was taught that they existed in the past.“We never saw them in San José,” she says. “We held in high esteem our Jade Museum, our Gold Museum, but the people no longer played a part in our lives. I wanted to visit and pleaded with my father to take me on one of his trips. But at the time, since I was only 12 years old, he considered this trip too dangerous because of the rugged conditions. The name Talamanca was imprinted in my heart.”Many years later, as a photographer, her quest for a personal project led her to once again consider the memory of Talamanca.  After an initial contact and several months waiting for the best opportunity to travel, she finally visited a Cabécar community for a week-long sojourn deep in the jungle.A return visit, 10 years ago, led her to meet a woman who, along with her family, would become one of the primary subjects of Wells’ photographs: doña Olga, in Kokötei, where Wells continues to foster a deep and lasting relationship. (Courtesy of Melanie L. Wells)“It is a beautiful exchange. I first went when I was pregnant with my son, and then returned  eight months pregnant to take portraits. I didn’t just want to go and take pictures and then disappear. I wanted to be a part of their lives – to be friends. Now, they are my distant family,” she says. “In the last 10 years we have visited several times and we have seen each other’s children grow up. It is always tough to say goodbye.”Daily life can be challenging for this family. Travel and trade are very difficult due to the lack of trails and bridges, as well as the very remote geographic location.In January of this year, it took Wells and her team 10 hours of strenuous hiking through the jungle to finally arrive at another Tsimari community which she hadn’t yet visited.This particular community is struggling to find the means to build a simple hammock bridge.A tiny bridge made of twine and rope is the treacherous surface the children must cross to reach their school, a route fraught with danger. The rivers swell high and the current is too strong for them to cross below. Sadly, children have fallen off and drowned, hence the urgent need to construct a stronger structure.Living so far from any medical care also makes it particularly tough for this community. When the children get sick the parents can more easily carry them out on their shoulders, but it is not possible to carry an adult on the narrow and precarious trails that climb the steep mountainsides. (Courtesy of Melanie L. Wells)Wells says the community has very little in terms of supplies and clothing. In fact, she gave away the two pairs of shoes she traveled with to a few women wearing worn sandals. She returned to Santa Ana with only a pair of flimsy flip flops – often the only pair of shoes a person in these communities may own.Difficulties experienced by one family is not unique to others. There are numerous indigenous communities living in equally remote and isolated conditions throughout Costa Rica. Perhaps an intimate glimpse into just one Cabécar family in Costa Rica can indeed open a window to help us all recognize the shared human condition, and to foster understanding and respect.An exhibit of Melanie Wells’ photographs from the “Window into the Soul” project will take place tonight at the Costa Rican-North American Cultural Center (CCCN) in Barrio Dent, San Pedro, and run for the entire month of April. A part of the proceeds will fund projects in the featured communities, including the much-needed bridge and other supplies that the community itself has identified as priorities. Texts will be displayed in three languages: Cabécar, Spanish and English.The exhibit will move to the CCCN La Sabana from May-June, and then be shared near the community of Grano de Oro for the Cabécar communities to view and enjoy. Wells seeks to take the exhibit to as many countries and cities as possible, and to bring visibility,  awareness and connection into the daily lives of one indigenous culture and community in Costa Rica. For more information, visit the project website. Facebook Commentslast_img read more