How a mobile app and better patrolling helped foresters nab golfer Jyoti Randhawa

first_imgBraving the chilly winter morning of December 26, a team of five-six staffers of the Forest Department who were on patrol duty intercepted a suspicious SUV approaching a buffer area in a corner of the Katarniaghat wildlife sanctuary.Despite the dense fog, the glowing headlights of the vehicle gave away its position. It was around 5.30 a.m. that the SUV was seized, more than 1.5 hours after it probably entered the sanctuary in Bahraich.A dead fowl, which was allegedly hunted, and hides of sambhar deer and boar, a .22 rifle, binoculars, range finders and other equipment were recovered from the vehicle, which had a Haryana number plate. Its owner, who turned out to be golfer Jyoti Randhawa, was arrested on charges of poaching and sent to jail.However, while Mr. Randhawa’s arrest brought focus on the vulnerable wildlife in one of the country’s richest belt of endangered species, this was not an isolated incident. Officials say it was a culmination of months of smart patrolling and strategy to nab poachers, as well as efforts to make forest officials more accountable through technology.Since June 2018, over 90 people have been arrested in Dudhwa for wildlife offences, including poaching and illegal felling, says Ramesh Pandey, field director of the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, under which the Katarniaghat sanctuary falls. In comparison, only 34 were arrested during the same period last year.While the increased figures could be interpreted as either better enforcement of law or actual rise in crime, Mr. Pandey attributes the results to equipping personnel with a mobile app, M-Stripe, used for surveillance and patrolling of tiger-populated areas.Built by the National Tiger Conservation Authority and the Wildlife Institute of India, the app has brought about a ‘big change’ in patrolling, says Mr. Pandey. The GPS-enabled M-Stripe, which stands for Monitoring System For Tigers-Intensive Protection and Ecological Status, allows patrol teams to keep a better tab on suspicious activity while also mapping their own patrolling, location, routes and timings for better accountability.Mr. Randhawa’s arrest is the “unexpected result of work done in the last six months,” says Mr. Pandey.“The patrolling team was out so early. I am sure the poaching would have gone unnoticed [had it not been for the changed patrolling measures],” says the field director.  Using M-Stripe, forest officials in Dudhwa have conducted patrolling of over 90,000 km territory. “Fifty teams are operating with M-Stripe. Every night they send screenshots and photographs of their patrolling,” says Mr. Pandey.Spread in the Terai-belt of the Indo-Nepal border, across Lakhimpur Kheri and Bahraich districts, the DTR comprises three large forests: the Dudhwa National Park, Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary and the Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary. The range is vulnerable to poaching owing to the porous international border and also due to the Terai topography, which gets flooded during monsoons.While poaching incidents involving high-profile accused have not been recorded here for over a decade, two types of wildlife crimes are still common: organised and unorganised.Hunting species like boars, deer or fish, fall under the second category, crimes “committed for bush meat,” while the organised crimes are much more serious involving wandering gangs and outsiders who come with the purpose of targeting “megafauna species like tigers and leopards,” says Mr. Pandey.Dudhwa is home to a number of wildlife species, including the Bengal Tiger, Gangetic dolphin, rhinoceros, leopard, hispid hare, sambhar, swamp deer, hog deer, cheetal, sloth beer, elephant and over 450 species of birds.While threats of poaching keep the officials on their toes, over the years the reserve has also witnessed increased cases of man-animal conflict adding to the threat to the wildlife, says Mohammad Ahsan, former chief principal forest conservator of Uttar Pradesh.While tigers or leopards have been reportedly lynched by locals after the animals intruded into their fields, the carnivores have also attacked and killed humans.As per the Wildlife Trust of India, a leading nature conservation organisation which works with the state wildlife department, around 180 cases of conflicts between humans and big cats (tigers, leopards) leading to human deaths and injuries have been recorded between 2000 to 2018 in and around the Dudhwa-Pilibhit Tiger landscape. Of these, 98 pertained to tigers.Since 2009, the WTI project team rescued eight tigers from 36 human-tiger conflict situations, with four tigers were successfully released back into the wild. Spotted deer in the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, known for five varieties of deer.center_img | Photo Credit: Omar Rashid last_img read more

Indian Businessmen to Explore Sectors For Investment in UAE

first_imgThe industry-led panel discussion between India and the UAE will also highlight the goals of Indian entrepreneurs in the Middle East and the outlook for the future besides exploring strategic ties between both the countries. Related Itemslast_img

Bollywood Goes To School

first_imgBut things are slowly changing. Even as Bollywood tries to make a splash abroad in places like Cannes (65 films in this year’s Cannes Film Market) or in the UK (BAFTA held a 3-day long celebration of Bollywood cinema), it is making waves of a different kind at home.In April, India’s Central Board of Secondary Education, the country’s premier educational body, announced the inclusion of Sholay (Embers; 1975), one of India’s beloved blockbusters, in its school textbooks. Ramesh Sippy’s multi-starrer Sholay, featuring the ageless superstar Amitabh Bachchan, has been added to a course workbook, published by Oxford University Press, for Class V students.This is a historic development both for the schools and the Indian film industry. With its inclusion in textbooks, Sholay becomes the first Indian film to be taught in the country’s schools.Sholay is a vaudeville of two outlaws (played by Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra) hired by an honest police officer to nab a dreaded dacoit, Gabbar Singh (Amjad Khan). Sholay has been loved by generations of Indians and enjoys the distinction of being India’s first biryani Western. It has been the highest grosser of all time (over $50 million) on the Indian box office.Recognizing cinema as an integral part of Indian culture, the Indian educational establishment have reasoned that the inclusion of this film in school curriculum will make children aware of the prominence of the Indian film industry and the multicultural ethos of Indian society.This innovative use of Bollywood films does not extend to school children alone. Some 50,000 school teachers in Delhi are also set to get a powerful dose of Hindi cinema. Two recent blockbusters, Munnabhai MBBS (2003) and Rang De Basanti (2006), are being used for teachers’ training in the capital. Set in the backdrop of India’s contemporary education system, both films have resonated well with audiences.While Munnabhai MBBS is about a gangster trying to get a medical degree to impress his father (also being remade in Hollywood by filmmaker Mira Nair as Gangsta M.D.), Rang De Basanti is a clarion call for today’s youth to rise up and free India of corruption.Bollywood films made the business school and seminar circuit in India severeal years ago. In 2002, two maverick Indian economists, Bibek Debroy and Amir Ullah Khan, made a documentary, India’s Economic Transition Through Bollywood Eyes. They showed India’s political, economic and legislative milestones through film clips gleaned from scores of Indian films released in the last 50 years. The film was shown to economics and management school students across India,w ho were amused to see how cinema, a medium of entertainment, could be used to teach a cut-and-dried subject like economics. One year later, the duo took the same approach to highlight the travails of marginal farmers in India through another documentary- Village Vignettes  (Agriculture and the Small Farmers in India-A Bollywood Perspective). The documentary was distributed on compact discs by a Delhi-based non-profit, International Development Enterprises.In 1996, while taking a break from writing his dissertation at Cornell University, Dr. Brij Kothari hit upon the idea of leveraging Bollywood’s educational value outside the classroom. He is using the “Same-Language-Subtitles” (SLS) technology to spread literacy in India, with the help of an unlikely ally, Google. The idea that Bollywood films could really help in the spread of literarcy convinced Google to fund Dr. Kothari’s unique venture in India, titled Planet Read.Planet Read, active in Mumbai and Pondicherry, uses the SLS methodology  that provides “automatic reading practice to individuals who are excluded from the traditional educational system, or whose literacy needs are otherwise not being met.” Planet Read subtitles Bengali, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Malayalam, Oriya, Punjabi, Tamil, and Telugu videos, film and folk songs for reading development of poor kids. Dr. Kothari’s potential targets are the 40% of the 500 million Indians who have access to TV, but have low literacy skills and are poor. He claims that through Planet Read’s approach, over 200 million early-literates in India are getting weekly reading practice from SLS methodology using TV. It is a low cost intervention wherein every U.S. dollar covers regular reading for an amazing 10,000 people – for a year. The enthusiasm to learn from Bollywood, it seems, is crossing international borders. In July, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) gave a big nod to Bollywood cinema by holding a 3-day special celebration of contemporary Bollywood cinema, called Bafta Goes Bollywood. The festival showcased contemporary Bollywood gems such as Devdas, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, Veer Zaara, Dil Chahta Hai, Rang De Basanti and Fanaa.Recently, the De Montfort University at Leicester conferred a doctorate on Bollywood legend, Amitabh Bachchan, for his contribution to India cinema. It is Bachchan’s second. He was awarded an honorary Ph.D. from Jhansi University in Uttar Pradesh last year and is to receive a third later this year from Delhi University.Even American Ivy League institutions like Harvard and MIT are studying Bollywood. Three MIT graduate students created “BollySpace: An Interactive Dance Technology Project., which uses music and themes from Bollywod film with live dancers who interact with digital images projected on a screen. According to the creators, this was the first time this type of interactive dance had been paired with elements from non-Western popular culture.In July, Rakesh Roshan’s superhero blockbuster Krrish made its way to the hallowed precincts of Harvard University. It became the first Indian movie to be used for an international-level case study by the Indian Institute of Management in collaboration with the Asia Case Research Centre, University of Hong Kong and Harvard Business Case Clearance House. The film will be taught in IIMs as well as in Business Schools across Europe, Asia and Latin and North America.  The film’s producer and director Rakesh Roashan, remarked, “This news has given me a bigger high than even the box office collections of Krrish.”Leveraging Bollywood, a lowbrow Indian obsession, for academic, social and educational objectives, has got to feel uplifting. Related Itemslast_img read more

WWE: Pro wrestler Ric Flair out of surgery and resting

first_imgSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games A representative for the showman known as “Nature Boy” says the 68-year-old wrestler was admitted to the hospital for routine monitoring. Melinda Morris Zanoni of Legacy Talent asked on Twitter Monday for “prayers & positive energy” because Flair has “tough medical issues.”Former pro wrestler Mick Foley and wrestling executive Eric Bischoff are among numerous wrestlers wishing Flair well on Twitter.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsKnown for his flamboyant outfits and “Woooo!” catchphrase, Flair made his professional debut in 1972 and was inducted into the World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Fame in 2008. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Retired professional wrestler Rick Flair, the subject of the documentary “30 for 30: Nature Boy,” participates in a panel during the ESPN Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour at the Beverly Hilton on Wednesday, July 26, 2017, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)ATLANTA — World Wrestling Entertainment says pro wrestling legend Ric Flair is out of surgery and resting after being hospitalized.The statement Monday did not give details about the nature of the surgery.ADVERTISEMENT DILG, PNP back suspension of classes during SEA Games Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo NGCP on security risk: Chinese just technical advisers Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul MOST READ Erring Belga fined, suspended View commentslast_img read more

Manchester United’s Antonio Valencia to make late dash for derby

first_imgManchester United’s Antonio Valencia could be a doubt for their derby clash against City next week as he is away on international duty with Ecuador until the day before the match.Valencia, on the shortlist for the Premier League’s player of the month after an impressive start to the season at right back, will return to Manchester next Friday, United manager Jose Mourinho said.”The day before Man City, we will still have Sergio Romero, Marcos Rojo and Antonio Valencia arriving,” Mourinho told the club website.”It will be a complicated process but we know it is like this when we have these players. And I would love all of the players to go because it would mean that everybody is being selected for their national teams.”Mourinho may be forced to play one of Phil Jones, Matteo Darmian or Timothy Fosu-Mensah should converted winger Valencia not be ready to face City.Both Manchester clubs come into the fixture with 100 percent records from the opening three games of the Premier League season.last_img read more

Winners and Losers From OSU’s 37-20 Win Over WVU

first_imgWe are trying something a little bit different today as we look back on the weekend. Winners and losers from OSU’s 37-20 win over West Virginia by several writers on our staff. Let’s get right to it.Kyle PorterWinner: This blog. Not to make this about me (which is exactly what I’m about to do), but the traffic differential for the rest of the year between winning this game and not winning it is monumental. I am indebted (literally) to Mike Gundy for his 100th win (and many others as well).Winner: Stillwater. Same concept here. Stillwater was lit up on Saturday afternoon and evening. The lines on The Strip were long. The restaurants were full. The beverages were flowing. Glenn Spencer said it at the Homecoming and Hoops event on Friday, but there are few college towns like Stillwater, and never is that place better than after a monstrous football win.Loser: The Big 12. The CFB Playoff hopes of the Big 12 rest on … uh … I have no idea. I guess if OU wins out they could get in. Same for OSU. Maybe. I guess. It’s not pretty out here. Especially if nothing crazy happens to Alabama, Michigan/tOSU or Clemson/Louisville. The one thing that could get interesting is if Washington goes down a couple of times. What then?Kyle CoxWinner: Chris Lacy. He caught three balls for two touchdowns and a 19-yard drive-saving 3rd down play. Glenn Spencer wins as well. His defense pretty much saved the day after being a big reason the Cowboys have two (one) loss(es).Loser: Dana Holgorsen. He was not a happy camper with the refs after a couple of those penalties. I could almost hear what he was saying in the club level. OSU’s running backs lost. Even with WVU playing back deep the Cowboys averaged below three yards a carry and failed to reach triple digits.The full Dana meltdown is downright glorious.— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguy) October 29, 2016Sam AldrichWinner: The President. James Washington got back on track in a big way Saturday, torching the Mountaineer secondary all afternoon to the tune of six catches for 117 yards. It was Chris Lacy that reached the end zone twice, but it was Washington that opened the field up for the rest of the offense, commanding attention all day long. It was a big bounce back for no. 28 after the Kansas game.Loser: Ramon Richards haters. I will admit, I have my fair share of frustrations with Ramon, despite his fantastic hair and interviews. But Saturday was another big day for no. 7, who had 6 tackles, 2 pass deflections, and a (slightly fortunate) interception. Sure, he dropped another sure pick, but it’s hard to complain with his day on Saturday..@CowboyFB likes to score off turnovers.Latest case in point – Ramon Richards INT.#Big12FB on FOX— Big 12 Conference (@Big12Conference) October 29, 2016Caleb DeckLoser: West Virginia uniform department. The Mountaineers truly put together a beautiful combo this week. The colors were amazing, the throwback tie adds intrigue, and it all truly looked very clean cut. I say the West Virginia Uniform Department are losers this week because they made such a wonderful kit and still came out looking second-best.If they had saved those combos for Tech or Iowa State or even Texas, they would have been top notch. But against the Oklahoma State Cowboys, they stood no chance. OSU has amazing jerseys, which we have talked about extensively, but the throwback helmets this week nearly made me faint.I am biased in that I grew up with that 80s stacked OSU logo all over my childhood room and it is still my second-favorite OSU logo. Sadly West Virginia had to pull out all the stops at the worst time. Better luck next time Mountaineer Uniform Department.Winner: Zach Sinor’s dad.  Sinor is obviously amazing and killed it this game. Kyle already talked in his 10 Thoughts post-game about Sinor’s great stat line, so I figured I would take a different (and slightly more fictional and imaginary) approach and say the real winner in my imagination is Zach Sinor’s dad.I like to imagine Zach Sinor’s dad was a huge baseball fan and had dreams of his son becoming the next Chipper Jones or something but all childhood, lil’ Zach just ran around kicking things.Their house was a mess because of all the kicking: holes in all the walls, no table leg was safe, all pets they had cowered as Zach’s tiny feet thunder by…True to his dream, Zach Sinor’s dad diligently trained his son in the ways of baseball for years, despite seeing the obvious natural kicking talent. Finally one crisp fall afternoon, Zach and Zach Sinor’s dad were doing some batting practice at the elementary school field when Zach Sinor’s dad decided to give him a bit of heat.It was a decent fastball for a kid, mid 60mph and a bit low, right over the plate. But to Zach Sinor’s dad’s surprise, lil Zach planted his left foot, and instead of swinging the bat, he used all his force and God-given ability to swing his mighty right foot right through the ball.He crushed the pitch and Zach Sinor’s dad watched slack-jawed as the ball sailed over his head and over the outfield wall for a homerun. After that day, I imagine they started Zach in football, but in the back of his mind, Zach Sinor’s dad always wondered if he made a mistake by not making Zach play baseball.Was Zach destined for greater succeed in the MLB or was Zach Sinor’s dad really just projecting his own dreams on his son for all these years? I imagine the question lay heavy on Zach Sinor’s dad’s mind for many weeks. This weekend, my imaginary version of Zach Sinor’s dad is a winner, because this weekend, Zach Sinor proved beyond a shadow or a doubt he was born to kick a football.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img read more

6,000 Residents in St. Ann Receive Potable Piped Water

first_imgSome 6,000 residents of Cascade, White Sands and Bohemia, in the parish of St. Ann, have been provided with potable water, piped into their homes.On February 14, Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, commissioned into service the water supply system at Cascade, built at a cost of approximately $45 million.In his address at the ceremony, the Minister urged the residents to play their part in protecting the infrastructure, and to pay their bills, so that the system can be properly maintained. He pointed out that $15 billion is currently owed to the National Water Commission (NWC) in outstanding bills, a situation “which cannot be allowed to continue.”“We have done our part in providing you with this water, and now you must play your part to ensure that you continue to receive the water you need on a daily basis. I urge you to give the operators of the system your fullest co-operation, pay your bills, so that the system can be maintained and you can get water for years to come,” he told the residents.Mr. Pickersgill also implored them to protect the water source (Cascade River), by keeping it free from garbage and pollution.Meanwhile, Chairman of the Board for Rural Water Supply Limited, John-Paul White, said since 2004, the number of households receiving potable water has increased from 45 per cent to 50 per cent.He added that for fiscal year 2012/13, some $270 million is expected to be spent by the organisation to upgrade rural water supply systems, which will directly benefit approximately 43,000 residents.last_img read more

Jamalco Hands Over Titles

first_imgThirty-one families were presented with titles by Jamalco on June 23, as the company seeks to bring closure to its land settlement agreements with persons in several communities in Clarendon.          Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon. Mike Henry, congratulated the bauxite mining company for the initiative, which saw persons who had been resettled as a result of mining activities receiving their titles.  Mr. Henry, who is also  Chairman of the Bauxite Lands Land Titling Committee, was guest speaker at the handing over ceremony, held at the  Halse Hall Great House in Clarendon on June 23.“Over the last two years, Jamalco has successfully transferred approximately 99 titles to occupants in ten subdivisions, namely New Bowens, Phases One, Two and Three; Sheckles One and Two; New Wales; Burke and Belle Plain. While this is a good start I want more to be done. A 100 per cent increase in the number of titles issued annually is not an impossible dream, so this is my challenge to Jamalco,” the Minister said.  In response to the need to fulfil its titling obligations, Jamalco established a Land Closure Team in 2015 and signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Land Administration and Management Programme (LAMP).  Jamalco’s Land Closure Administrator, Mrs. Tamara Grant-Bogle, said  the association with LAMP has made the process smoother and speedier, in terms of processing time and cost savings.           She reported that Jamalco has transferred 177 titles to persons since the process of acquiring land began.According to Mrs. Grant-Bogle, titling obligations have also been closed out for two sub-divisions, namely New Wales and Burke in Knockpatrick, Manchester.   Jamalco now has the distinction of being the first bauxite company to hand over 232 titles to the Commissioner of Lands.last_img read more

Mentors Invited for ‘WE TRANSFORM’ Programme

first_img The ‘We Transform’ programme is seeking Mentors for the second phase of its youth empowerment and reintegration initiative.Speaking at a JIS ‘Think Tank’ on October 19, Programme Manager for We Transform, Ella Ghartey, said the Ministry of National Security is recruiting potential Mentors to assist in the development of the at-risk youth in the care and supervision of the Department of Correctional Services (DCS).“Mentorship is an excellent opportunity for you to give back and impact the lives of the youth and the country. We want persons who are committed and have a genuine interest in the transformation of the lives of these youth. If that is you, then contact us at the Ministry,” Miss Ghartey urged.She noted that mentorship has emerged as one of the most effective strategies used globally in reducing youth offending and recidivism, and promoting successful reintegration.Miss Ghartey explained that although the Ministry is inviting volunteers, thorough screening will be done to select the Mentors.She said once the vetting is completed, the mentors who are shortlisted will be trained and paired with a child to ensure individuality in the development journey.“The mentorship programme will allow children within the care and supervision of the DCS to establish supportive relationships with positive caring role models, who will help them overcome their personal risk factors and guide them through the process of resocialisation, transformation and reintegration into their communities,” Miss Ghartey said.She added that the Ministry acknowledges the seriousness of this issue and is treating it with priority, as the issue threatens the security of the nation and the healthy progress of youngsters.“Since the launch of the programme in June of this year, a number of persons, churches and companies, notably JPS and more recently our own Miss Jamaica World, Solange Sinclair, have been pledging their support and signing up to become Mentors,” Miss Ghartey said.“Everyone can play a part in the process. You can engage the children in motivational group sessions at the respective juvenile institutions, or help us build public awareness and our presence on social media by sharing or endorsing ‘We Transform’ media content,” she noted.The Programme Manager said that contributions and other forms of aid are also welcome, to fund special events at the respective juvenile institutions.She made an appeal to Jamaicans to join in the movement and offer solutions on how to empower and equip children in State care, and encouraged corporate entities and small businesses to play a more intimate role in the Government’s strategic plan to rehabilitate the youngsters.“They will need internship and job placement opportunities, and you can give back in this way. For those on probation and those serving custodial sentences, they will need an income subsequent to their release,” she said.The We Transform programme, launched under the theme ‘Save a Child, Change a Nation’, is being implemented through the Department of Correctional Services for the rehabilitation and reintegration of youth offenders. Speaking at a JIS ‘Think Tank’ on October 19, Programme Manager for We Transform, Ella Ghartey, said the Ministry of National Security is recruiting potential Mentors to assist in the development of the at-risk youth in the care and supervision of the Department of Correctional Services (DCS). The ‘We Transform’ programme is seeking Mentors for the second phase of its youth empowerment and reintegration initiative. “The mentorship programme will allow children within the care and supervision of the DCS to establish supportive relationships with positive caring role models, who will help them overcome their personal risk factors and guide them through the process of resocialisation, transformation and reintegration into their communities,” Miss Ghartey said. Story Highlightslast_img read more

No winning ticket for Saturday nights 26 million Lotto 649 jackpot

first_imgTORONTO – No winning ticket was sold for the $26 million jackpot in Saturday night’s Lotto 649 draw.However, the guaranteed $1 million prize went to a ticket holder in Ontario.The jackpot for the next Lotto 649 draw on Apr. 25 will be approximately $30 million.last_img

Top UN envoy urges Iraq to protect minorities after latest killing in

In a news release issued by the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Staffan de Mistura, expressed his “shock and outrage” at the continuing targeting and killing of religious minorities.Some 2,200 families, or over 9,000 people, had fled Iraq’s second largest city due to the upsurge in attacks, threats and intimidation in early October. On Tuesday, the UN refugee agency reported that some of the Christian families that had fled were beginning to return after hearing that the security situation had improved. Iraqi security forces have recently strengthened their presence in the area, with up to 35,000 army and police personnel in Mosul city alone, resulting in a decline in the number of explosions and arbitrary killings, according to UNAMI.Mr. de Mistura said Mosul has historically been and must remain the cradle of religious and ethnic diversity, reiterating the UN’s position that respecting and guaranteeing the rights of minorities in Iraq is “absolutely fundamental to a stable and democratic future for the country.” He called on the Iraqi Government to do everything in its power to safeguard the human rights of Christians, Yezidis, Shebeks and other minorities – all of whom have been the victims of terrible attacks – and to ensure that those responsible for these attacks are swiftly brought to justice. The Special Representative also urged local authorities, as well as the Kurdistan Regional Government, to assist in protecting the rights of minorities and their religious identity, as well as in ending impunity for these criminal attacks. 13 November 2008The top United Nations official in Iraq has urged the Government to do all it can to protect the country’s minorities, after two Christian women were killed in the northern city of Mosul, just hours after some families displaced by recent violence began returning to their homes. read more

General Assembly President wraps up environment meetings in Nairobi

During his 3 to 4 May visit, Mr. Eliasson also undertook a field visit to the Kibera slum – considered the largest in Africa – to witness first-hand conditions there. He was welcomed by members of the community and received briefings on the joint UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and UN-HABITAT Nairobi River Basin Project as well as the latter agency’s Kenya Slum Upgrading Programme.Addressing the Committee of Permanent Representatives to UNEP and UN-HABITAT on Thursday morning, Mr. Eliasson outlined the ongoing process of UN reform, touching on the Peacebuilding Commission, the Human Rights Council, management issues and global environmental governance.He also called on those present to embrace the reform programme and to help strengthen the UN, citing his vision of a world in which countries understand that “well functioning international structures are in the national interest of each country.”The President also underlined the importance of regional cooperation and multilateralism. “We need to inspire others to take up their international responsibility,” he said, adding “the word ‘together’ is stronger than the word ‘alone.’”At a press conference Thursday afternoon, Mr. Eliasson pointed out that the UN would be “judged by the real difference we make in the world,” adding: “There is no security without development, no development without security, and no security without respect for human rights.” He said that while today’s global problems need global solutions, they are also local problems. In spite of certain contrary trends, he argued that “there has never been a stronger need for good and effective international solutions and structures; a strong and effective United Nations is in everyone’s interest.”Commenting on his visit to Kibera and the need to translate the Millennium Development Goals into reality by improving the lives of people in need, he said: “We must realize that clean water is a luxury for 1.2 billion people worldwide. We can talk about the MDGs [Millennium Development Goals], but we must make them more concrete, in the form of malaria medicines, clean water, toilets and sanitation.”“We are in a hurry,” he warned. “We have to take the first step towards ensuring security, development and human rights hand in hand.” read more

Talisman withdrawing from Peru says unable to build material resource

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email CALGARY – Talisman Energy Inc., which switched CEOs earlier this week, says it plans to wind down its operations in Peru as it was unable to big enough resource position there.The company’s Peruvian subsidiary will stop exploration in the Maranon Basin and plans to exit the country once it completes ongoing commercial transactions.Despite the company’s success in finding light oil in a property called “Situche Central,” or Block 64, it was “unable to build a material resource position in Peru,” Richard Herbert, Talisman’s executive vice-president of international exploration, said in a statement.“After careful consideration, a decision has been made to exit Peru and focus on near-term liquids and oil-linked gas opportunities in our global portfolio,” he said.The company will withdraw from licence contracts and work with local authorities to transition them to a new opearator.“While we are disappointed this play has not come to fruition for Talisman, we are hopeful another operator will continue our good work in the area and develop the Situche discovery in the future,” said Herbert.Talisman drilled a successful well in the area in 2009, but a second one drilled this spring came up dry. A process to sell the Peruvian assets began shortly after that.“We didn’t receive any competitive bids for the business as a whole, but we are now in discussions to sell our stake in individual blocks,” said company spokeswoman Phoebe Buckland.Talisman (TSX:TLM) says it enjoyed strong support from the Peruvian government and local authorities.“The company has worked extremely hard to build relationships with local communities on the ground and local authorities and we wouldn’t have been able to do the work we did without their support,” said Buckland.But the support for Talisman’s operations in Peru was not unanimous. Members of Peruvian indigenous groups regularly travelled to Calgary for Talisman’s annual shareholder meetings to tell then-CEO John Manzoni directly they oppose any oil drilling in their territory.On Monday, Talisman announced Manzoni had “agreed to” step down and had been replaced by Talisman board member and former TransCanada Corp. (TSX:TRP) CEO Hal Kvisle.In a statement Thursday, opponents to the Amazon drilling declared victory.“We have fought long and hard against Talisman’s drilling in our territory because of the negative environmental and social impacts we have seen from oil drilling around the world,” said Peas Peas Ayui, president of the National Achuar Federation of Peru.“Now that Talisman is leaving we can focus on achieving our own vision for development and leave a healthy territory for future generations.”Gregor MacLennan, with the group Amazon Watch, said the company recognized it couldn’t drill without the consent of the Achuar people.“Talisman’s exit sends a clear message to the oil industry: Trampling indigenous rights in the rush to exploit marginal oil reserves in the Amazon rainforest is not an option.” by News Staff Posted Sep 13, 2012 7:18 pm MDT Talisman withdrawing from Peru, says unable to build ‘material resource’ read more

Harry Caray this Buds for you

FILE – In this undated photo, Chicago Cubs broadcaster Harry Caray sings “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” during a Chicago Cubs baseball game at Wrigley Field. Brewer Anheuser-Busch honored the legendary sportscaster, who died in 1998 having not seen his beloved Cubbies make it to the World Series, with a video that had him calling the end of Game 7, with the Cubs defeating the Cleveland Indians in an extra-inning 8-7 nail biter. The brewer also resuscitated 1984 Budweiser ad in which the Bud pitch man, and consumer, caught a cold one launched into the Wrigley Field bleachers using a net. (AP Photo) by Mae Anderson, The Associated Press Posted Nov 3, 2016 12:36 pm MDT Last Updated Nov 3, 2016 at 3:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Harry Caray, this Bud’s for you. NEW YORK, N.Y. – Harry Caray, this Bud’s for you.Anheuser-Busch is honouring the legendary sportscaster with a video that has him calling the nail-biting end of Game 7 in the early hours of Thursday, when the Chicago Cubs edged the Cleveland Indians in 10 innings.The ad shows the statue of Caray outside Wrigley Field and tense fans in bars, his deep voice intoning, “Boy, if you have a weak heart, turn the set off. The rest of you, stay with us!”Then it cuts to fans celebrating, and Carey saying “Holy Cow! You talk about a mass of happy humanity. How about those Cubbies? Now our lives are complete!”Caray died in 1998 having not seen his beloved Cubbies even make it to the World Series.The brewer also resuscitated 1984 Budweiser ad in which the Bud pitchman, and Bud lover, caught a cold one launched into the Wrigley Field bleachers using a net.The company, working with marketers, moved quickly to create the video that would capitalize on one of the greatest feel-good sports moments in more than a century. The Cubs last won the World Series in 1908.During the 16 years that Caray called games at Wrigley, the Cubs made it to the post season but twice, never making it to the big game. He died several months before the start of the 1998 season, when the Cubs advanced to the National League Division Series, only to be swept by the Atlanta BravesThe Anheuser-Busch video with Caray calling the final out of this year’s World Series, was conceived of only about 10 days ago and spliced together with audio from Caray’s days as a Cubs broadcaster, said Ricardo Marques, a vice-president at Budweiser.With the blessing of the Harry Caray estate and Chicago’s WGN network, a team from Budweiser and the agency VaynerMedia in New York culled through archives of yesteryear’s games between the Cubs and the Indians, and also games with big finishes, to set up the illusion.A separate crew worked throughout Wednesday night to capture video of fans in and around Wrigley Field as game seven unfolded. They could have used stock footage, Marques said, but everyone wanted something that looked very real.The final two-minute video was approved at 5:30 a.m. Thursday and went online around 7 a.m. Budweiser is currently working on an ad that runs shorter than the original two-minute version, slated to air on TV this weekend.Allen Adamson, head of the New York consulting firm Brand Simple, calls the campaign a “smart way to bring in the history, brand equity and nostalgia together and be relevant in the moment.”Anheuser-Busch, based in St. Louis, Missouri, has been the official beer sponsor of Major League Baseball for more than 30 years. The brewery’s commercial ties to Caray stretch back to the 1980s, when he pitched the brew as a “Cubs Fan Bud Man.”He also announced games for the St. Louis Cardinals, which were once owned by Anheuser-Busch, for 25 years, until 1969. The brewer is now owned by Belgium-based beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev SA.Caray is still revered in Chicago, where a statue of the broadcaster outside of Wrigley Field features an outstretched hand which, coincidentally, holds a can of Budweiser quite snugly.___This story has been corrected to read that the Cubs were swept by the Atlanta Braves, not the Los Angeles Dodgers, in the 1998 National League Division Series. read more

UN agency urges restraint after staff member is shot dead by Israeli

In a statement, the UN relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) said the staff member was killed instantly in an operation in the Kalandia refugee camp in the Occupied West Bank. “Credible reports say that he was on his way to work and was not engaged in any violent activity. He was shot in the chest,” UNRWA spokesperson Chris Gunness said of the 34-year-old staff member who lost his life. “Another UNRWA staff member, a sanitation labourer, was shot in the leg during the same operation and is in a stable condition. An UNRWA investigation is ongoing.”Three people in total were killed during the operation, and about 20 injured, some of them seriously.UNRWA condemned the killing and called on all sides to “exercise maximum restraint and to act in accordance with obligations under international law.” read more

Finally A Heater That Mines Cryptocurrency

first_imgMost modern heating systems will save you money. That’s great and all… but if you’re going to spend your hard-earned cash on a new heater that actually makes you money?That’s the thinking behind French company Qarnot’s newest offering. The Qc1 looks a lot like wall-mounted heater — albeit a very stylish one — but it’s essentially a big radiator attached to a crypto-mining rig. By default, the Qc1 mines for Ethereum.Inside the Qc1 is a powerful little Linux-based PC. It features a pair of 8GB Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX580GPUs to do the heavy lifting. When the room gets cool, the integrated thermostat tells the PC to shift the mining process into high gear. The system is passively cooled, so you won’t hear fans blaring while mining is going on.Unlike some of the ready-to-use mining scripts that are out there, Qarnot doesn’t take a cut. 100% of the Qc1’s payouts go directly into the owner’s wallet. Setup is a breeze, too, thanks to Qarnot’s mobile app — which lets you monitor cryptocurrency trends as well as the ambient temperature.According to the company, keeping the average space warm with the Qc1 would earn you around $120 of ETH per month at today’s rates. You can’t expect that kind of return forever, though, given that difficulty increases over time.Still, if you’re going to spend money keeping a room warm you might as well generate heat by letting a computer put a few cryptocoins in your digital pockets. With a street price of $3200, it’ll take you a little while to break even. Radiant wall-mounted heaters (even really nice ones) can be had for $150 or less. Heck, you can buy a fairly decent heat pump for less than half the cost of the QC1.None are as geeky a way to heat your space as the QC1, though.last_img read more

Plantronics is transforming into a new brand called Poly

first_img Mobile Accessories 9 Photos Cisco Microsoft Share your voice Plantronics BackBeat Fit 3100 go true wireless “Today feels like my first day as CEO of a new company,” said Joe Burton, Poly’s president and chief executive officer. “We see limitless opportunity for how people communicate and collaborate today. With advancements in AI, machine learning and new technologies, we see a future where Poly makes the connection, then quietly steps out of the way to become the one thing you don’t notice in the meeting.”The origin of the prefix poly is from an ancient Greek word which means “many.” Poly The company said the Poly logo “honors the company’s new path forward as well as its legacy.” Its lava red color and angle of letters form a propeller reflecting Plantronics’ 60-year aviation lineage while its three legs pay homage to the design of Polycom’s iconic conference phone.Don’t expect the Plantronics name to disappear immediately, however. At the Enterprise Connect 2019 conference, Poly is unveiling new products and services, some of which confusingly retain the Plantronics and Polycom names. Here’s a look at some of the products Poly is rolling out, according to the company:Polycom Studio, a video USB bar that upgrades huddle rooms to business class and works with services like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Skype for Business, Google Meet, Cisco Webex or Amazon Chime.Plantronics Elara 60 Series, a mobile phone station designed for the “increasingly mobile-first worker” and provides users with a one-touch Microsoft Teams experience.Eagle Eye Cube, a video conference camera with 4K sensors and rich sound to upgrade meetings in small to midsized rooms. Blackwire 7225, a new boomless UC headset designed for open offices. It’s equipped with active noise cancellation to muffle sounds around you when taking calls or listening to music on a Windows PC or Mac.The Plantronics Status Indicator, a wired presence indicator that sits on your desktop and connects with whatever communications platform you’re using to let others know if you’re available, on a call or away from your desk.center_img Comments Tags Headset manufacturer Plantronics acquired Polycom for $2 billion last year. After the deal closed, Reuters reported that the company was trying to sell itself and Logitech was interested in acquiring it. But no sale transpired, and instead the company has decided to rename itself Poly and recalibrate its mission.Poly will focus on “the human experience of communications and collaboration, aiming to make communication as rich and natural as in-person,” according to a press release announcing the new name. 2last_img read more

Solve issues pertaining to RTC TMU to government

first_imgKarimnagar: Telangana Mazdoor Union (TMU) district secretary MP Reddy demanded that the government must solve all the issues pertaining to Road Transport Corporation (RTC). As part of the call given by the State committee, the TMU members staged a dharna in front of Karimnagar bus depot I and II on Thursday.Speaking on the occasion, MP Reddy alleged that the government is negligent in solving the various issues pertaining to the RTC such as rectification of salaries of RTC employees, providing medical services, purchasing new buses and making new appointments along with merging the RTC into the government. Also Read – Two Urban forest parks inaugurated in Hyderabad Advertise With Us He demanded that all these issues should be solved as early as possible. Otherwise, as per the instructions of the State committee, they will intensify the agitation, he warned. TMU members M Ramesh, G Manohar, N Srinivas, AVR Reddy, Mallesham, JP Kumar, MR Reddy, Kanakaiah, Radhika, Sunitha, P Thara, Sheshu, JS Rao, Uma Devi, TS Kumari, Kamalakar, Ramulu, Jagan and Ramana were present along with others.last_img read more

CMs IDay speech full of political rhetoric BJP

first_imgHyderabad: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) State unit called Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao’s Independence Day speech as disappointing and said it was only political rhetoric and boasting about bringing new changes. Addressing media here on Friday, BJP State unit president K Laxman said the Chief Minister’s speech did not address the aspirations of the people, welfare and development, announcement of PRC or interim relief to the employees, pensions schemes etc. Also Read – Unidentified assailants killed a person in Saidabad PS limits Advertise With Us He said unemployed youth in the State are waiting for the filling up of three lakh government jobs. But there is no word about the same. The Chief Minister announces about conducting universal health checks to create health profiles of people while Aaryogyasri Health scheme has come to a grinding halt. Yet, the government refuses to implement the Ayushman Bharat Health Scheme initiated by the Centre. Similarly, release of funds to Kalyana Lakshmi, Shaadi Mubarak, fee reimbursement scheme, payment of pending bills to the small contractors remained unpaid. Also Read – Car mechanic held in Hyderabad for killing Class 10 girl in Jadcherla Advertise With Us The State has become a “Badala Telangana” and “Bakayala Telangana” instead of “Bangaru Telangana”, he said. Laxman said lack of doctors and medicines left the people in the lurch while the dengue fevers are playing havoc across the State. The inefficiency and unnecessary expenditure, corruption led to problems mounting and the debit-ridden government not able to figure out solutions for the same. Advertise With Us Referring to the Chief Minister’s statements to bring new laws to contain corruption, Laxman demanded that the State government release a whitepaper on the number of ACB cases for which approvals are pending and action is taken. “The State government not able to respond to the questions asked by the State High Court, Governor had returned the bill, President of India has asked for a report on the intermediate results fiasco and the Comptroller and Auditor General is finding fault,” he said.last_img read more

3 killed in RAB gunfight

first_imgProthom Alo IllustrationThree people were killed in what the members of Rapid Action Batttalion (RAB) called gunfights in Chattogram and Chapainawabganj districts on Thursday night and early Friday.In Chattogram, two persons were shot dead in a ‘gunfight’ with the elite force members during an anti-drug raid in Madarbari Barishal colony of Sadarghat police station on Thursday night.ASP Mimtanur Rahman of RAB-7 said a team of the force conducted a special raid at the colony, which is popularly known as a drug den, around 11:30pm.Sensing the presence of RAB members, the criminals opened fire, prompting the law enforcers to retaliate, leaving two people dead on the spot, he said.In Chapainawabganj, an alleged drug peddler was killed in a ‘gunfight’ between his cohorts and RAB members at no 4-Beribadh ghat area of Padma river in Shibganj upazila early Friday.The deceased could not be identified yet.Squadron leader Syeed Abdullah Al Murad said a team of RAB-5 conducted a regular drive in the area to seize drugs.Sensing the presence of the elite force members, the criminals opened fire on RAB members, prompting them to fire back that triggered the gunfight.One of the criminals was caught in the line of fire and died on the spot while the others managed to flee, he said.Five RAB members were injured during the gunfight, Murad added.The law enforcement recovered 6.70 kgs of hemp, two pistols, five bullets and two magazines from the spot, the RAB officer said.RAB’s versions of the events were, however, could not be verified independently as no versions of the incidents were available immediately either from any witnesses or from any members of the victims’ families.last_img read more