October 18, 2019

Calgary cab company outfits taxis with bike racks

first_imgIn honour of Bike to Work Day, Checker Cabs is doing something special for Calgary’s cyclists.The company has outfitted half of their fleet, or around 450 vehicles, with bike racks to help pick up passengers who want a lift getting to the city’s many pathways, or don’t want to travel in the rain.President Kurt Enders said the service launches Friday, May 4, and will be available until October, or as long as the weather cooperates.“Just from people seeing them on the road, we’re having people phone in and request — saying ‘hey I saw one of your taxis with a bike rack on it, can I get one?’ Because I don’t feel like riding home,” he said.Customers can either flag down a car with a bike rack, call and request one, or select the option on the checker app.last_img read more

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Former deputy EC appointed special observer for Tripura

first_imgNew Delhi: Former deputy election commissioner Vinod Zutshi was on Monday appointed as special observer for Tripura where the Lok Sabha polls to one of the seats was postponed in view of the law and order situation. On Tuesday last, the Election Commission had postponed polling in the Tripura (East) Lok Sabha seat to the third phase on April 23 (Tuesday) from April 18, saying the prevailing law and order situation there is not conducive for holding free and fair polls. Official sources said, the Commission has issued orders appointing Zutshi as special observer for Tripura. Citing reports of the state chief electoral officer and special police observer, the poll panel had said, “The law and order situation prevailing is not conducive to the holding of free and fair poll.” The returning officer had feared that “miscreant elements” may thwart the polling process in the constituency. Based on the ground and intelligence reports, he had requested for additional central police force. Elections for the first phase were held on April 11, Congress and CPI(M) demanded re-polling in 460 polling stations on the ground of rigging. Opposition parties had demanded fresh polls in Tripura West Lok Sabha constituency, claiming the April 11 election in the state was “heavily rigged” by the ruling BJP. Denying the charge, the BJP had said the allegations were “baseless and politically motivated”. Around 77.6 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the first phase of election in West Tripura. Zutshi was one of the special observers appointed by the EC to ascertain when the assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir can be held. The EC had decided against holding assembly elections in the state along with Lok Sabha polls, fearing law and order situation.last_img read more

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NewsAlert TMX Group cracks down on marijuana companies that violate US federal

TORONTO — The TMX Group, the company that operates the Toronto Stock Exchange and the TSX Venture, says companies with business activities that violate U.S. federal law regarding marijuana could undergo a delisting review at the discretion of the TSX.

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Afghanistans cultural heritage under extreme threat UNESCO warns

UNESCO representative Martin Hadlow, wh is presently examining the devastation of Afghan culture during Taliban rule, called the current state of affairs “totally unacceptable.”Kabul Museum, which has a sign over it reading, “a nation stays alive when it’s culture stays alive,” suffered severe damage not only to its exhibits but also to its infrastructure. Touring the Museum, Mr. Hadlow was taken aback by the enormity of the loss to the Afghan people of their tangible cultural heritage.”I walked through desolation,” he said. “I was amazed by the appalling loss of cultural history in a land once being a Silk Road crossing point.”The UNESCO representative noted that the damage in Afghanistan affected all countries and people. “What has happened is a loss of cultural heritage for the world, a heritage which belongs to all humanity,” he said.In meetings with Mr. Hadlow, Afghanistan’s new Minister of Culture and Information, Raheen Makhdoom, underlined the importance of support from the international community, calling for worldwide assistance to Kabul Museum and Afghan public libraries. read more

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Ohio State athletics selfreports 9 minor NCAA violations so far in 2014

Redacted SportOutside Competition Expense Reported Feb. 3In the unnamed sport, a student-athlete who was competing unattached suffered a head injury and thus was unable to complete the competition. An OSU athletic trainer was present at the event, however, because OSU student-athletes were participating at the same competition. The trainer deemed it necessary for the injured student-athlete to receive medical attention and transportation home on the team bus so they could observe them and make sure their condition didn’t get worse. The head coach of the sport called OSU Compliance prior to the trip home, and the Compliance Office approved the trip and services for out of concern for the student-athlete’s personal welfare. FootballImpermissible Scouting Reported Jan. 9During a weekend in November 2013 — the exact date was redacted — a football graduate assistant coach took a trip to a school — one where he was formerly employed as a graduate assistant — to attend a game. The name of the graduate assistant coach was redacted in the report, in addition to where he traveled, who he was going to visit, what type of sport he was seeing and where his other friends were from. Impermissible Lodging Reported Feb. 19During an official campus visit from Dec. 13 to 15, a prospective student-athlete and his family were reserved three hotel rooms by the institution: one for the athlete himself, one for his father and brother and one for his mother, who is separated from his father. According to the report, the OSU football staff did not know the prospect’s mother had decided not to attend the visit, and because her room was going unused, the prospect’s brother asked the hotel clerk to allow him to use it instead. The clerk complied with this request because he was a family member. In addition to sending a letter to educate the football staff that emphasized the rules about lodging during official visits, the prospect has been declared ineligible by the institution until he repays the value of the room to a charity. Men’s VolleyballImpermissible Seating Reported Feb. 20Two prospective student-athletes were on campus for official visits Nov. 23, and attended the football team’s game against Indiana. Before a game begins, prospects who are on recruiting trips are permitted to be on the field until approximately 10 minutes before kickoff and are then asked to take their seats. On this occasion, a long line had formed to exit the field because of the cold temperatures that day, and the prospects instead chose to wait on the sidelines next to a heater. They did not leave the field until after kickoff. In addition to a letter of education sent to the coaching staff of the volleyball program, a member of the coaching staff will now accompany all visiting prospects on the sidelines before football games. Click to expand.Ohio State athletics has committed at least nine violations in less than three months.OSU has so far self-reported at least nine minor violations in 2014, six of which included prospective student-athletes. The sport for one self-reported violation was redacted from the request, along with the name of the student-athlete involved.Of the nine reported violations, the sport with the highest number of violations so far in 2014 is the football team, with two.The figure is a result of an open records request submitted Feb. 24 by The Lantern and released Wednesday by the OSU public records office.None of the violations are considered major. The reason the sport was redacted on a violation reported Feb. 3 was because of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, paralegal and Public Records Office program manager Rebecca Dickson said in an email.“FERPA obligates us to redact information which could lead to the identification of the particular student,” Dickson said. “Redacting the sport allowed us to still help you to understand the gist of that particular violation, yet still protect the privacy of the particular student, as is required by federal law.”Much like the 24 violations that were self-reported by the athletic department in the latter half of 2013, the school proposed its own corrective action to either the Big Ten or NCAA in eight of the nine cases. The lone violation for which the institution, or OSU, deemed “no further action (was) necessary” was the case with the redacted information, as it involved a student-athlete’s immediate health at the time of the violation according to the report.The corrective actions included providing a letter to educate the sports’ respective staffs of the rules of OSU Compliance, as well as holding meetings with the office. The most recent violation report was Feb. 20. WrestlingPrivate Camp Advertising Reported Feb. 4After submitting a copy of a proposed camp advertisement to the Compliance Office and having it approved, a non-institutional camp director submitted it on an online message board to promote the camp. When the director submitted it to the office, it did not have the names or images of any OSU student-athletes, but when he or she put it online, the message board added the names and pictures of four OSU student-athletes to the advertisement. The advertisement was quickly removed by the non-institutional camp director after working with the Compliance Office, and OSU said it believed no further action was necessary. Men’s GymnasticsImpermissible Text Message Reported Jan. 22An impermissible text message was sent to a prospective student-athlete. In addition to the letter of education sent to the gymnastics coaching staff, the institution prohibited them from contacting all prospective student-athletes from Dec. 4 to 11. Women’s TennisPublicity of Prospect’s Visit Reported Feb. 3A pair of prospective student-athletes was on the field with the team as they were being recognized at halftime of the football team’s game against Buffalo Aug. 31. Women’s Field HockeyImpermissible Phone Calls Reported Jan. 9Assistant coach Kelly Terwilliger called two prospective student-athletes twice in one week. The compliance office issued a letter of education to the women’s field hockey coaching staff, and the institution never recruited either prospective student-athlete, who have since enrolled at an institution other than OSU. Women’s BasketballImpermissible Text Message Reported Feb. 3An assistant coach sent an email to a parent of a prospective student-athlete. After issuing the coaching staff a letter of education regarding the use of electronic correspondence in recruiting, the institution also forbade them from contacting the athlete until Sept. 15, 2015 — two weeks later than what would have been the first permissible date to begin contacting her. read more

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Abandoned underground mines for farming

first_imgAccording to work being done at the University of Nottingham in the UK, unused coal mines could be re-purposed and used as underground farms.Abandoned coal mines – of which there are 150,000 in the UK – could be turned into underground greenhouses, which would mean crops would be unaffected by climate change and extreme weather, the greenhouses would require less energy for heating, and they would also reduce the burning of fossil fuels from farming machinery.Disused shafts could be fitted with specialist LED lighting designed specifically for certain crops and they will be grown in water-based solutions, opposed to soil, to optimise yields.Stable temperature of the subterranean farms and absolute protection from pests and disease would allow for up to ten harvests per mine, the researchers claim.Professor Siffa Riffat from the Faculty of Engineering has been promoting the project.last_img read more

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Sweden beat Poland in GROUP B thriller

European vice-champions from Sweden won the first big battle at the Women’s World Championship 2015 in Denmark! The Swedish girls beat Poland 31:30 (15:13) in thrilling match of two strong rivals. Hagman was top scorer for the winning squad, while experienced Kudlacz was the best among Polish girls.Poland – Sweden 30:31 (13:15)Poland: Gawlik (6/30 – 20%), Wysokińska (1/8 – 13%) – Kobylińska 3, Niedźwiedź 2, Gadzina, Kocela 4, Kudłacz-Gloc 6/1, Pielesz 1/1, Zych, Łabuda, Zalewska 2/1, Sądej 1, Stasiak 5, Kulwińska 2, Achruk 4/1.Sweden: Bundsen (10/37 – 27%), Idehn (1/1 – 100%) – Tegstedt, Blohm 4, Roberts, Sand 4, Ahlm 1, Torstenson, Gullden 6/2, Hagman 7, Jacobsen 1, Alm 5, Johansson 3.Dutch girls beat Angola 37:24, while China outplayed Cuba 39:30.STANDINGS:Netherlands 4Sweden 4Poland 2China 2Cuba 0Angola 0 Denmark 2015 handballPolandSweden ← Previous Story Mikkel Hansen leads “Golden ball” race Next Story → DENMARK 2015 – DAY 3: France VS Korea, Russia against Spain read more

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Microsofts leaked video attacks Google for profiting off your Chrome browsing

first_imgIn a leaked Scroogled spot, Microsoft has Chrome lined up in its sights. The new video is all about exposing the dark underbelly of Chrome. It’s not all about faster web browsing. It’s also about Google monetizing your data.Which, of course, is true. Google gathers loads of data from Chrome users and that data gets sliced and diced dozens of different ways. Some of it ultimately gets used by AdSense to ship better-targeted ads your way while you browse.In the video above, Microsoft’s animated Chrome logo ball bounces off a number of Google “transgressions,” from peeking at the content of your emails and chats to keeping tabs on what apps you buy. That last one is somewhat unexpected, because it’s something Microsoft does too — in the Windows Store and Windows Phone Marketplace.The bottom line: Google is running your online life through its analytical machine to effectively turn you into corporate profit. The implication? Microsoft doesn’t do this, so you might want to think about switching to Internet Explorer.Why switch? It’s not that Microsoft takes a totally hands-off approach when it comes to browsing data. At the very least it’s sending the URLs you visit to its SmartScreen servers where they’re checked for malware and phishing attempts. Microsoft also looks at what you’re downloading — but again, it’s checking for malicious files.Google’s operating systems and key apps are all free, and they’ve got to sustain themselves somehow — which makes them adware in a roundabout way. Microsoft doesn’t need to turn end user browsing data into cash. It’s charging for software licenses and cloud services in a much bigger way than Google is. Then again, it does have an advertising unit… which must be targeting users somehow. It’s mostly through less-offensive methods, though, like search context and site demographic data. At least that’s the story out of Redmond.last_img read more

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Irish activist Sinéad Burke is winning praise for her TED Talk on

first_imgIrish activist Sinéad Burke is winning praise for her TED Talk on being a little person She tells us what it’s like to navigate a world that’s not designed for someone who is 3’5″ tall. Source: Rusul الربيعي ✊🏼/Twitter Back in March, Sinéad flew to New York to deliver a TED Talk on accessibility and design for little people – and earlier this week, it was finally released online.In her usual witty style, she describes the difficulties she faces doing things like ordering a coffee in Starbucks:Queuing, I’m standing by the pastry cabinet, and the barista calls for the next order. “Next please!” they shout. They can’t see me. The person behind me points to my existence, and everyone is embarrassed. I move along to collect my coffee – now think, where do they put it? Up high, and without a lid. Reaching up to collect the coffee that I have paid for is an incredibly dangerous experience.The rest of the eye-opening talk deals with everything from her struggles finding fashionable clothes to her ability to lick her elbow: Jun 23rd 2017, 7:00 PM Source: Sinéad Burke/TEDCan’t see the video? Click here.Design is a way in which we can feel included in the world, but it’s also a way in which we can uphold a person’s dignity and human rights. Design can also inflict vulnerability on a group whose needs aren’t considered… Who are we not designing for? How can we amplify their voices?Sinéad’s talk has been watched over 279,000 times so far, and earned praise from all comers: SINÉAD BURKE is a tireless advocate for little people in Ireland, showing how ordinary things like public bathrooms can be a minefield if you’re just under 3’5″ tall.She previously campaigned for an official Irish translation for ‘little person’ – and succeeded in having ‘duine beag’ added to the Irish dictionary. http://jrnl.ie/3460740 Share301 Tweet Email5 18,980 Views Previously: An official Gaeilge translation for ‘little person’ has been added thanks to campaigner Sinéad Burke>Written by Valerie Loftus and posted on DailyEdge.ie 10 Comments What’s a lovely talk! Thank you for sharing your experience, it’s truly eye opening. 💖— Rusul الربيعي ✊🏼 (@RusulAlrubail) June 22, 2017center_img Source: Emily Collins/Twitter A fantastic achievement. You can hear more from Sinéad by following her on Twitter here.DailyEdge is on Snapchat! Tap the button below to add! Friday 23 Jun 2017, 7:00 PM Excellent talk as usual. As a short wheelchair user the coffee/sandwich counter is v familar. The amount of times I’ve skipped…— Kevin G Conroy🇪🇺 (@KevGeo2011) June 22, 2017 Source: Kevin G Conroy/Twitter Add us: dailyedge By DailyEdge.ie Just watched your @TEDTalks. It was amazing, you’re such a fantastic orator! Also it really challenged my perceptions.— Emily Collins (@Emssilee) June 21, 2017 Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

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Diabète lallaitement diminuerait les risques pour la mère

first_imgDiabète : l’allaitement diminuerait les risques pour la mèreMonde – Des chercheurs de l’université de Pittsburgh viennent de publier une étude démontrant que l’allaitement protège contre le diabète de type 2.L’enquête a été menée auprès de 2.233 femmes âgées de 40 à 78 ans. Celles qui ont allaité leur bébé au moins pendant son premier mois de vie sont deux fois moins nombreuses que les autres à développer plus tard un diabète de type 2. Ce résultat se maintient indépendamment du comportement alimentaire et alcoolique des mères, de leur âge, leur activité physique, leur catégorie sociale ou encore leur consommation de tabac.La deuxième bonne nouvelle pour les mamans qui allaitent, c’est que cette diminution du risque de diabète découlerait d’une perte graisseuse localisée sur le ventre. Allaiter pour perdre du ventre après la grossesse et rester en bonne santé ? Une très bonne raison de nourrir son bébé soi-même ! Le docteur Schwarz, en charge de l’étude, souhaite que ce résultat soit un encouragement de plus dans ce sens.Le 31 août 2010 à 10:54 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

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House Democrats to unveil Affordable Care Act rescue package

first_imgWASHINGTON — Leading House Democrats, backed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, are unveiling broad legislation to shore up the Affordable Care Act. It’s an attempt to deliver on campaign promises about health care and to — just maybe— change the conversation.In a capital city consumed with the political storm over special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia report , Democrats are trying to show they also care about policy by falling back on an issue that worked well for them in last year’s midterm elections .According to Pelosi’s office, the bill being unveiled Tuesday would make more middle-class people eligible for subsidized health insurance through former President Barack Obama’s health law, often called “Obamacare,” while increasing aid for those with lower incomes who already qualify. And it would fix a longstanding affordability problem for some consumers, known as the “family glitch.”The legislation would provide money to help insurers pay the bills of their costliest patients and restore advertising and outreach budgets slashed by President Donald Trump’s administration, helping to stabilize health insurance markets.It also would block the Trump administration from loosening “Obamacare” rules through waivers that allow states to undermine protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions or to scale back so-called “essential” benefits like coverage for mental health and addiction treatment.last_img read more

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Christie confesses being emotional after Celtic cup win

first_imgCeltic midfielder Ryan Christie has revealed he was emotional after the club’s Scottish League Cup victory against Aberdeen.Christie, who spent 18 months on loan with Aberdeen, had his parents in the stadium watching as he scored the only goal as Celtic beat Aberdeen 1-0 on Sunday.“It was amazing for my mum and dad to come down and see me,” he said, according to Daily Mail.“When the final whistle went, I looked up and managed to catch eyes with them.“I got a bit emotional myself when that happened because it has been a long road.”“I’ll be honest, it was pretty overwhelming for me.”“It was always going to be a strange day, in any case, coming up against Aberdeen and it shows that football can work in funny ways sometimes.”Rangers v Celtic - Ladbrokes Scottish PremiershipMatch Preview: Rangers vs Celtic Boro Tanchev – August 31, 2019 It is time for the first Old Firm derby of the 2019-20 campaign, as Rangers host Celtic tomorrow at 13:00 (CET).“Seeing them brought that overwhelming feeling of happiness and I was delighted for them to be able to see that.”“I wouldn’t say I had given up on it, but there was a lot of talk in the summer and I didn’t really know where my future was,” Christie said about his future at the time following his loan spell at Aberdeen.“But the manager has been so amazing for me ever since I signed for Celtic.”“He sat me down and told me I still had a fighting chance at Celtic, so it was up to me to take that chance.”“From there it’s been about working hard and making sure that I took the chance when it came along.”“I need to kick on and try and make a proper impact.”last_img read more

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Red Cross issues one thousand sand bags in TCI

first_img Recommended for you Related Items:Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies, TCI Red Cross, tropical storm erika Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 27 Aug 2015 – One thousand sand bags have been distributed so far by the TCI Red Cross as the country braces for Tropical Storm Erika on the weekend. Although forecasts say the storm is not favorable for significant development as it has to ride the mountains of both Puerto Rio and Santo Domingo in the DR, it is advisable that residents get ready. The Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies last night advised that the TCI is now under Tropical Storm Watch and also informed that gale force winds are anticipated by Friday night with minor condition for Grand Turk and Provo. TS Erika is moving WNW at 17mph. Exercise Design Training Workshop 22nd – 26th February 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season over; takes 88 lives, costs $590 million Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Dominica gets 300 temporary homes; $34 million to rebuild communitieslast_img read more

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Associated Press Walker Unseats Parnell

first_imgThe Associated Press has called the gubernatorial race in favor of unaffiliated candidate Bill Walker. Walker unseats Republican Gov. Sean Parnell.Download AudioWhile about 10,000 absentee ballots remain to be counted, the Associated Press concluded that Walker’s 4,600-vote lead was insurmountable. Walker was ahead of Parnell 48 percent to 46 percent when the Division of Elections last updated its vote count on Friday evening.Meanwhile, the gap in the Senate race shrunk slightly. Democratic incumbent Mark Begich began the day 8,000 votes behind Republican challenger Dan Sullivan. Begich made up some ground mid-day when rural absentee votes were counted, but then lost it with the most recent update.Neither Parnell nor Begich have conceded their races. Both candidates are outside the half-point margin required for a recount. The final outstanding ballots will be counted next week.Walker, who was previously registered as a Republican, will be the first Alaska governor to hold the office without the official backing of any party. He will be only the second governor since Wally Hickel ran as an Alaska Independence Party Candidate to be elected from outside the two-party system. The Democratic Party did provide informal support to the Walker ticket when it allowed their candidate, Byron Mallott, to abandon his gubernatorial bid in September. Mallott joined Walker as his lieutenant governor running mate. This story has been updated to include the Associated Press declaration.last_img read more

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CMs alone cannot decide on sharing of water Purandeswari

first_imgAmalapuram: Bharatiya Janata Party national leader Daggubati Purandeswari said that the river water issue is not the problem of Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states and it is the issue of the people. Speaking to media persons here on Saturday, she said the mere discussions between thetwo Chief Ministers is not enough and they shouldget the nod of the people of AP before taking any final decision with regard to sharing of waters. The two Chief Ministers cannot take decision on their own in this regard, she averred. Also Read – Three of a family commits suicide at Amalapuram in East Godavari Advertise With Us “Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy is raising Special Category Status (SCS) issue again which is a closed chapter and it was already stated by Union Minister for Finance Nirmala Sitaraman in the Parliament and why the Chief Minister is repeatedly saying this is a million dollarquestion,” she said. Special package is better than SCS, from which the state can get more funds and the Union government made its stand clearly in this regard andadvised the Chief Minister to think before raising the issue of SCS, the BJP leader stated. How far it is justifiable that the police interrogated BJP activists based on a letter sent to government about the security of churches, she questioned. BJP is very much particular to enhance its membership base across the country and lakhs of people are joining the party, she said. Later along with party leaders, she participated in party membership drive in the city. Party leaders LM Kondaiah, VSN Raju, N Pavan and others were present.last_img read more

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RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat pitches for conversation on reservation

first_imgNew Delhi: There should be conversation in harmonious atmosphere between those in favour of reservation and those against it, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said on Sunday. Bhagwat said he had spoken on reservation earlier as well, but it created a lot of noise and the whole discussion diverted from the actual issue. Those who favour reservation should speak keeping in mind the interests of those who are against it, and similarly those who oppose it should do the vice-versa, he said. Also Read – One arrested for firing outside Satna college in Madhya Pradesh Advertise With Us He said that discussion on reservation results in sharp actions and reactions every time whereas there is a need for harmony in the different sections of the society on this approach. Bhagwat was speaking in the concluding session of Gyan Utsav which was on the competitive exams. Earlier, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief had advocated for review of the reservation policy, drawing sharp reactions from many parties and caste groups. Also Read – Abrogation Of Article 370 Carried Out In Inhuman Way: Urmila Matondkar Advertise With Us Bhagwat said that the RSS, the BJP and the party-led government were three different entities and one cannot be held responsible for actions of another. Talking about the perception of Sangh’s influence over the Narendra Modi dispensation, Bhagwat said, “Since there are Sangh workers in BJP and this government, they will listen to RSS, but it is not mandatory for them to agree with us. They can disagree as well.” Since the BJP is in government, it has to look at the bigger picture and can disagree with the RSS point of view, he said, adding that once a party comes to power, for it the government and national interest become priority. Gyan Utsav was organised by the RSS-affiliated Shiksha Sanskriti Utthan Nyas at the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) here.last_img read more

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Fights and Stabbing Reported at Walmart Black Friday Sales

first_imgCustomers shop at a Walmart store in the Porter Ranch section of Los AngelesReutersOne of the most popular shopping events in the US turned ugly for several shoppers, who were present at Walmart on Black Friday.Black Friday, an annual event, is the day when all items at the store would be available at heavily discounted prices. However, fights broke out at several Walmart outlets across the country this time, including Beaumont, Texas; Jordan Creek, Iowa; Johnson City, Tennessee and Rialto, California. Eyewitnesses said that the heavy rush, coupled with shoppers trying to cut in line, sparked the fights.It has also been reported that a person was stabbed in the Walmart car park in Claypool Hill, Virginia. An ambulance was called to take the injured to the hospital. The fights were first reported on Twitter and Facebook, by shoppers who were present at the various outlets. However, Walmart spokesperson Brooke Buchanan told an American daily that the reported fights did not accurately depict the events. “We’ve got great feedback from customers and associates across the country. A few tweets aren’t representative of what’s actually happening at 4,600 stores,” he pointed out.According to the American Retail Federation, stores such as Walmart make up for 20-40 percent of their annual sales during the Thanksgiving weekend.The latest incidents have made matters worse for the retail giant as both workers and shoppers slammed the organization for commercializing family holidays, as well as forcing workers to report to work on Thanksgiving.last_img read more

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Chinese Exports Hit Sivakasi Firecracker Makers 5 Lakh Families Suffer Losses

first_imgDiwali fireworks.Creative Commons/Saad FaruqueFor over five lakh Sivakasi people, it may be a dark Diwali as the threat from Chinese firecracker exports looms large. Abundant firecrackers imports from Chinese markets have hit Tamil Nadu’s firecrackers manufacturing industry — the biggest in India.Illegal import of Chinese firecrackers has forever been a trouble for Indian manufacturers, however, it was never as threatening to them as it is this time round. If Chinese firecrackers flood the Indian markets, it would suffer a loss of ₹6,000 crore.”Two years ago, the illegal imports of Chinese firecrackers were sporadic. But this year it has been phenomenal, threatening the domestic industry’s very existence. Nearly 35% of the products made for this year’s Diwali remain unsold because of clandestine imports of several container loads of Chinese products,” Sivakasi’s Tamil Nadu Fireworks and Amorces Manufacturers Association (TNFAMA) president G. Abiruben told IANS.The Indian firecrackers manufacturing industries saw their worst fears coming true when demands for bulk orders slumped severely in November-December last year.”Normally orders are placed around that time by distributors. Orders for this Diwali came down drastically as compared to 2012,” TNFAMA senior advisory committee member K. Mariappan said.He added that the imports of Chinese goods have been happening illegally, without licences and the government has not taken a strong stance at the increasing illegal Chinese poaching of Indian firecrackers market.”Earlier the central government used to seize container loads of Chinese firecrackers. Instead of being destroyed, the seized products were handed back to the illegal importers after levying a fine. Those products later found their way into the market through other channels,” Mariappan said. A labourer works with gun powder mixture inside a firecracker factory. [Representational Image]Reuters FileThe central government had assured the Indian manufacturers that they would issue warning against illegal imports, but nothing has happened yet, he added.Mariappan further said that the Indian firecracker factories have to follow strict rules and has to ensure authenticity of the products they are selling, which is not applicable in case of Chinese importers who make most out of it leaving Indian industry crumbling behind it.”Our products have to comply with the noise pollution standard levels and also the packaging rules. Our packets should specify the maximum retail price, the phone numbers in case of any emergency and usage methods whereas no such stipulations are there for the Chinese products,” he said.Worried about this year’s business and families of employers working at Sivakasi’s firecracker manufacturing industries, he raised his concern about the flourishing illegal Chinese market and its dreadful impact and complained about the lack of facilities to export their products in other countries.”If external products are allowed to come in, the domestic industry will be wiped out,” Mariappan said, adding, “We can export our products but our ports do not accept firecrackers as storage facilities are not sufficient. While the Indian gates are open for illegal imports, the gates are closed for legal exports.”last_img read more

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Justice lost in loopholes of the law

first_imgJustice lost in loopholes of the lawIn the end, all we know is that the five-months-pregnant Honufa Begum was caught in a fire at her husband’s Uttara residence on a certain night, and she died at her father’s home in Narsingdi 60 hours later.That Honufa’s husband Monir Hossain tied her up, poured kerosene on the body before setting her on fire, as her father said in the complaint lodged with the Uttara police station, could not be proven in the court.The victim’s father also said that 12 days prior to that fateful night Monir had threatened to kill her if dowry of Tk 10,000 was not paid.The case ran for more than 10 years at the court, and then the fugitive husband was acquitted. Apart from the verdict, no other documents of the case could be seen, which leads to a number of questions.Before we go look for the answers, let us have a look at another such incident. Sometime in 2007, a sixteen-year-old girl, working at a Dakkhinkhan household, died. The owner of the house informed her uncle of the matter over the phone and the uncle then filed a case. The investigation found that the girl had in fact been raped and then strangled to death with a scarf. However, the accused was acquitted last year.Prothom Alo has analysed data available on 421 murder cases filed with five Dhaka tribunals under the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act over a period of 15 years. These cases include murder or attempt to murder for dowry, and death by rape or killing after rape. There were six murder cases filed under the penal code, four of which were actually rape and murder cases.As many as 84 per cent of these cases were murders over dowry while 15 per cent dealt with murders caused by rape or killing after rape.Prothom Alo scrutinised information of 16 murder cases of three categories.In Honufa’s case, it was required to prove that she died after Monir set her on fire when he failed to get the dowry he had demanded. When one is killed in a fire, not much evidence is found in autopsy and investigation. Even if the murder is proved, it has to be established that dowry was behind this killing. Or else, the accused gets acquitted.In the Dakkhinkhan girl case, it had to be proved that the accused raped and then killed her so that she could not tell anyone. The autopsy did say that she was raped and then murdered. However, the state could not produce witnesses or evidence to prove that the accused was the rapist.One thing is common in both the cases — the verdicts were delayed. About 22 per cent of cases that dealt with murder for dowry and 21 per cent of rape related murder cases ran in the court for 10 to 14 years. However, the manners in which the cases were disposed of were different.In only four per cent of the dowry cases the accused were punished. The number of rape related murder cases was comparatively low (61). But the ratio of the culprits getting punished is higher in such cases (25 per cent). However, the number of the accused getting acquitted is also very high.Murder for dowry?According to the law, if anyone related to the bridegroom demands cash or kind, it would be considered dowry. In the same way, if the bride’s family agrees to meet such demands, it would be considered dowry, too. It is often hard to prove that such gifts were connected to the marriage.If it cannot be proved that the man had demanded dowry, justice cannot be served.Honufa’s father in the case statement quoting three neighbours said that she had been murdered. But the witnesses told the Tribunal-2 that they heard anything about dowry.They said they had rescued Honufa breaking down the door while the kerosene stove was lying there. Monir was not there, but the fence of the house was broken.The public prosecutor declared them hostile before questioning. There were discrepancies in their statements and they did stick to their words.Monir was arrested when the charge was framed. He then secured bail and went into hiding. He was eventually acquitted.The verdict did not say anything about the autopsy report nor did it mention Monir’s whereabouts on the day.According to the charge sheet, the neighbours took Honufa to the hospital that night, but they informed her father a day later.The verdict said, the Dhaka Medical College Hospital authorities refused to admit Honufa as her condition was too serious, but it did not mention from where Honufa’s father took her to Narsingdi. The state did not present Honufa’s father at the court either.Supreme Court advocate Maksuda Akhter said, generally the murders over dowry take place at the in-laws’ place and the victim’s family is informed much later. In the meantime, they come up with a story to make it look like a suicide. There is hardly any direct witness and the autopsy or other reports are mostly questionable.Lengthy prosecutionJustice delayed is justice denied. Fazlul Haq hit his wife Minara Begum on the head with a stick. Their 15-year-old son informed his maternal uncle, Kamrul Hasan, who then took her to a hospital, but she succumbed to her injuries there.Minara and Fazlul were married for 30 years. Kamrul filed a case alleging that Fazlul along with his family members hit Minara demanding a dowry of Tk 1 million. The police found them guilty after investigation, but the Tribunal-4 has not yet framed any charges over the crime that was committed in 2014. Fazlul had passed away in the meantime.Kamrul Hasan in April said, Fazlul’s brother is a fugitive now. The proceedings are being delayed as notices in the newspapers to find the culprit are taking time, he said.”It is just harassment, waste of time and money,” he said. Kamrul alleged that the court officials were delaying the case, taking bribes from the accused.Rape and MurderInitially a person was paid to be defendant in the Dakkhinkhan maid rape and murder case. Later, after the police investigation, the head of household’s younger brother was accused. He gave a statement to the magistrate saying he lured the girl into having physical relations by promising her marriage. But the investigation officer did not mention any such thing in the charge sheet.The IO presented three of the brother and sisters of the accused as witnesses. The plaintiff, the girl’s uncle from the village, did not come to the court to give his statement. When called over phone by these correspondents, his younger brother received the call. He said the girl’s family is extremely poor. The defendants, in presence of local member and chairman, negotiated a deal and paid Tk 150,000 to the victim’s family. Following these ‘negotiations’, no one came forward as witness.Another 6-year-old child was raped and murdered in a Dakkhinkhan hotel in April 2011. The autopsy found the child had been hit heavily and strangled to death. Her brother filed a rape and murder case against their cousin in this connection.After arrest, the defendant in his statement to the magistrate said he committed the crime because of enmity with his aunt. He brought the child to Dhaka from Sylhet on pretext of a trip to the zoo.The case is under trial at tribunal-2. The plaintiff said, they had not been called for any statement yet. The defendant is home on bail.In many cases, the criminal cannot be identified. A 12-year-old girl’s dead body was found in a makeshift under the Mayor Hanif flyover of Dakkhin Jatrabari in November 2015. The police recovered the body in a decomposed state. She was a mentally challenged girl, living on the streets.The autopsy report said she was raped and then strangled to death. A case of rape and murder was filed. The police and the criminal investigation division (CID) conducted investigations twice, but could identify neither the girl nor the criminal.The second final report said the incident was true, but witnesses were unavailable. There was no police box CCTV footage either. Tribunal-2 has not yet accepted the report.The additional deputy inspector general of CID, Sheikh Rezaul Haider said, witnesses and evidence are hard to find in gang rape cases too. He said, even if the girl is alive after the crime being committed in the night, it’s hard to identify the criminals. “If accused are not found, then against whom the charge sheet will be filed?” he said.Advocate Abdul Gani said, the IOs are not skilled in such cases. “Crucial evidence is not collected at times.” The chemical tests are not done properly either.Rajshahi’s Wahida Sifat fell in love and married her classmate Md Asif. Their married life was not happy. One day in March of 2015, Sifat’s father-in-law called her brother over phone and said Sifat had committed suicide.There were injury marks on her dead body. Her face and nose were stained with blood. In four hours of first autopsy, physicians reported her death to be suicide. Sifat’s uncle filed a case on charges of murder for Tk 2 million as dowry.After 58 days, the body was exhumed and another autopsy was carried out. According to this report, a blood clot was found in her head and the death was said to be murder.The case was shifted from the Rajshahi Women and Children Tribunal to the Speedy Trial Tribunal in Dhaka.According to the verdict in last December, none of the charges for dowry or murder was proved beyond doubt. The accused party said Sifat committed suicide. Circumstantial evidence said Asif instigated her to commit suicide. Under the related section of the Criminal Code of Procedure (CrPC), the judge sentenced him 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Tk 10,000.Mafruda Haque Sutpa died in her in-laws house in Mirpur. Her brother Aminul filed a murder case. He brought charges that after their marriage, her husband Imrul Sadat and in-laws family tortured her and threatened to kill her.According to the autopsy report, it was suicide. In the verdict of the case last year, the metropolitan magistrate said as per circumstantial evidence, torture by her husband instigated her to commit suicide. The magistrate sentenced her to three years’ imprisonment. Sutpa’s brother Aminul said he had to return along with witnesses from the court many times. He went to the court for justice. The verdict disappointed him.False cases and compromiseCriminal Investigation Department (CID) inspector Md Ibrahim said the complainants sued everybody of in-laws house. Another inspector Nurul Islam said it takes time to drop the additional accused person from the case. In December of 2016, at the national judicial conference, a judge in his keynote paper said cases filed under the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act, 80 per cent of them are related to dowry. The majority of these cases are filed on charges of beating and injury for dowry. But in most of the cases, the matter of dowry was not proved.Lawyer Fahmida Akhtar said according to her experience over a decade said, women tortured in their in-laws’ home filed charges of being beaten for dowry, as there are no legal options. “The torture may be true, but when it is not proved, it is referred to as a false case.”Due to the long-drawn-out legal procedures, and also in consideration of the future of the victims’ children, the most of the families eventually compromise. Former public prosecutor Faruk Ahmed said he saw such two compromises between the defendants and the accused during his tenure. In one case, the complainant was a government official. At one stage, the complainant declined to continue the case. The public prosecutor realised Tk 2 million from the accused.*This report, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Nusrat Nowrin.last_img read more

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Somalia minister 10 others killed in Shabaab attack

first_imgAn attack involving gunmen and bomb blasts on a complex housing government ministries in Somalia’s capital killed at least 11 people on Saturday, including the deputy labour minister, officials said.Claimed by the Al-Shabaab Islamist group, the assault was a sign of the insurgency’s continued ability to strike at the heart of Somalia’s government, despite years of foreign military support for Mogadishu.The fighting began with two blasts at the gates of the complex housing the labour and works ministries.Police say at least four gunmen then stormed the buildings, leading to a shootout as officers rushed to confront the attackers.”The death toll reached eleven, three of them women, and the number of wounded is 15,” said Abdukadir Abdirahman Adan, director of Mogadishu’s Aamin ambulance service.Senator Ilyas Ali Hassan confirmed that Saqar Ibrahim Abdalla, the deputy minister for labour and social affairs, was also killed.”I cannot elaborate on how he died but I can confirm that he was killed inside the ministry building,” Hassan said.Police official Ibrahim Mohamed said all the gunmen were killed.”There were some other casualties including members of the police,” he said, without elaborating.- Siege attacks -Attacks that combine bombings with gunmen have become a speciality of the Al-Qaeda linked group, which is running an armed insurrection against what it sees as heretic and foreign influence in Somalia.The group emerged from Islamic Courts that once controlled central and southern Somalia and are variously estimated to number between 5,000 and 9,000 men.In 2010 the Shabaab declared their allegiance to Al-Qaeda. The following year, the group were chased out of Mogadishu by the 22,000-strong African Union peace-enforcement mission, AMISOM.They have since lost many of their strongholds but retain control of large rural swathes of the country and continue to wage a guerrilla war, frequently hitting Mogadishu.In October 2017 a truck bombing in a busy neighbourhood of the capital killed over 500 people, the deadliest attack in Somalia to date.- Targeting Kenya -Among Al-Shabaab’s adversaries is the US military, which has killed over 800 people in airstrikes targeting the insurgents over the last two years.This week Amnesty International released a report challenging the US’s claim that the airtrikes only killed “terrorists.”Amnesty researchers say at least 14 civilians were killed in US bombings. The US military denied the report.The Shabaab have also carried out a string of attacks in Kenya since 2011.The deadliest of these took place on 2 April 2 2015 when 148 people were killed at Garissa University in northeastern Kenya.In 2013, a Shabaab raid on Nairobi’s Westgate shopping mall left 67 dead in a siege that unfolded over four days. And in January this year, 14 people were killed in a Shabaab-claimed attack on a luxury hotel complex in Nairobi.last_img read more

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