UP flood situation grim

first_imgNew DelhiThe flood situation remained grim in Uttar Pradesh, where 28 lakh people were affected and the toll climbed to 108 with four more deaths.Heavy rainFlash floods and landslides triggered by heavy rain in Himachal Pradesh on Friday claimed the lives of three persons.However, the situation in deluge-hit Bihar and Assam continued to improve and no new deaths were reported in both the States.In Uttar Pradesh, raging waters of rivers emanating from Nepal continued to cause havoc in vast swathes of land.last_img

Bihar shelter case: ED to attach assets of accused

first_imgThe Enforcement Directorate (ED) has identified the properties of Brajesh Thakur, the main accused in the case involving sexual assault of at least 34 girl inmates at a shelter home in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur for attachment under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).The agency is probing the money laundering charge on the basis of a First Information Report (FIR) lodged by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in July last year. The statement of the accused was recently recorded at the Patiala jail in Punjab, where he was kept in judicial custody on the court’s instructions. It is learnt that his assets, worth more than ₹6 crore, have been listed as alleged proceeds of the crime for attachment.The CBI has so far recorded the statement of 33 victims in connection with the case, and most of them have given their testimonies against Mr. Thakur, alleging that he would bring in people for sexually assaulting them.Some victims were allegedly also taken to hotels where they were raped. As directed by the court, each instance of rape is to be treated as a separate charge for the trial of the accused persons.In November last year, the CBI had arrested Shaista Parveen, an alleged close accomplice of Brajesh Thakur, on charges of facilitating sexual abuse of the girl inmates. The victims have also accused her of making them dance before visitors.The Muzaffarpur shelter home was being run by an NGO named Sewa Sankalp Evam Vikas Samiti, whose movable and immovable assets has been frozen pending investigation.As directed by the Supreme Court, based on a Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) report, the CBI has registered nine cases of alleged sexual, physical and mental abuse of inmates at shelter homes in Bihar. Eight more cases on similar charges are to be lodged for the prosecution of all those involved.last_img read more

Berhampur civic body to train ragpickers

first_imgOdisha’s Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BeMC) has started a programme to organise and train ragpickers for their emancipation and to improve cleanliness in the city by recycling of plastic waste.The training of the first batch of 36 ragpickers started at the BeMC conference hall on Wednesday. The ragpickers were handed over safety kits including gloves, masks, aprons, caps and shoes. According BeMC Commissioner Chakravarty Singh Rathor, a memorandum of understanding has been signed with a Delhi-based company Gem Enviro Management Private Limited to collect plastic waste through local ragpickers and recycle them.Gem Enviro’s eastern India operations head Vikram Sharma said that the target was to train around 6,000 ragpickers in phases. The company will train them for capacity building over a two-month period. Rabindra Hati, who was in the first batch, said that he hoped to get a better price for the waste.last_img read more

Parties prepare for panchayat polls in Tripura

first_imgPreparations have begun for the upcoming three panchayat elections in Tripura. The announcement of poll schedules is expected in the next few days, a senior official in the State Election Commission (SEC) said on Monday.The commission has also declared the final electoral rolls. A total of 12,03,070 voters are eligible to exercise their franchise. Over 90% of seats were won by the ruling CPI(M) led Left Front in the 2014 panchayat elections. However, in the last Assembly, Lok Sabha and by-elections, the CPI(M) saw a rout and incumbent BJP registered a huge win.The Congress is also gradually gaining ground. In the recent LS election in Tripura, the party secured 26% of votes pushing CPI(M) to third position.Sources said that the BJP is in the process of selecting candidates..last_img

Heartbreak for Lokesh Rahul as record ton goes in vain

first_imgIndia batsman Lokesh Rahul’s (110 not out) joint second fastest Twenty20 international century went in vain as India were handed a heartbreaking one-run loss by West Indies in the first of their two-match series in Florida. (Match Scorecard)In a match which was largely billed as international cricket’s foray into the United States – home to a large population of Asian expatriates – West Indies, who are also the reigning World T20 champions, kept their nerves and clinched a last-ball thriller at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium Turf Ground on Saturday. (1st T20I: West Indies sneak past India by 1 run in last-ball thriller)With India needing two runs from the final ball, West Indian all-rounder Dwayne Bravo kept his composure to dismiss Mahendra Singh Dhoni (43) with a slower one to take the Caribbean side home. (Dhoni heartbroken after one-run defeat in 489-run thriller)Chasing a mammoth 246, Rahul struck 46-ball ton to guide India to an almost improbable win before the last ball twist changed the fortunes of the Men in Blue.With the century, the Karnataka batsman has now become the third Indian to score a century in all three formats of the game. (Mahendra Singh Dhoni surpasses Ricky Ponting’s captaincy record) The 24-year-old Rahul, who was preferred over regular opener Shikhar Dhawan for the match, made the most of the opportunity, bringing up 89 runs for the third wicket with Rohit Sharma (62) before almost guiding the team to victory with a 107-run stand with Dhoni.Rahul’s ton is also the fastest for India across all formats.advertisementBoth the teams will face off in the second and final match of the series at the same venue on Sunday.Here’s a look at some of other fastest T20I hundreds.RICHARD LEVI (45-ball 100)South Africa’s Richard Levi tops the list of the fastest T20I centurions. Levi’s ton helped South Africa beat New Zealand by eight wickets in Hamilton on February 19, 2012.Levi reached three figures off just 45 balls, which included a record 13 sixes.In just his second international match, the 24-year-old opener made an unbeaten 117 from 67 balls.FAF DU PLESSIS (46-ball 100)The second batsman on the list is another big-hitting South African, Faf du Plessis. The Pretoria-born player, who was captaining South Africa against West Indies at the Wanderers on January 11, 2015, hit a 46-ball century to lead his team to a total of 231/7.In ideal batting conditions, Du Plessis hammered 119 off 56 balls before he was caught in the deep off the last ball of the 19th over.It was South Africa’s highest individual score in a T20I. However, the West Indies, led by Chris Gayle’s 90 off 41 balls and Marlon Samuels’ 39-ball 60, clinched the match by 4 wickets.Du Plessis is now the joint-second fastest on the list along with KL Rahul.CHRIS GAYLE (47-ball 100*)Swashbuckling opening batsman Chris Gayle smashed a sensational unbeaten century, laden with 11 towering sixes, to single-handedly take West Indies to a comprehensive 6-wicket victory over England in their opening World T20 match on March 16, 2016 in Mumbai.Chasing a challenging target of 183, the West Indies romped home in 18.1 overs on the back of Gayle’s bludgeoning innings during which he brought up the fastest century of the World T20 in just 47 balls, to better his own 2007 record of completing a ton in 50 balls.AARON FINCH (47-ball 100)Australia opener Aaron Finch smashed the highest score in a T20I on August 29, 2013 when he smashed 156 in his team’s 248/6 against England in Southampton.The burly Australian struck 11 fours and 14 sixes off 63 balls.His efforts helped Australia to 248/6, a total beyond England’s reach despite the effort of Joe Root who stroked 90 not out off 49 balls in their 209/6.CHRIS GAYLE (50-ball 100)Gayle slammed a 50-ball ton as West Indies scored 205/6 in the opening game of the 2007 World T20 against South Africa.The 27-year-old opened the innings and hammered a creaking South African attack for a record 10 sixes as he made 117 off just 57 balls.BRENDON McCULLUM (50-ball 100)Former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum smashed an unbeaten 116 against Australia in Christchurch on February 28, 2010. His scintillating knock helped New Zealand to victory in a match which was eventually decided in a super over when the scores were tied at 214 after both innings.BABAR HAYAT (50-ball 100)Hayat became the first Hong Kong batsmen to score a T20I hundred. His innings of 122 of just 60 balls, also the fourth highest in terms of runs scored in a T20 innings, came against Oman in  match two of the Asia Cup T20 2016 Qualifier at Fatullah on February 19, 2016.last_img read more

Soaring high

first_imgAs students at the Bombay Flying Club, Aarohi Pandit, 22 and Keithair Misquitta, 24 flew over Mumbai’s Arabian Sea several times but soaring across the turbulent North Atlantic Ocean in a motor glider was an experience they hadn’t prepared for. The weather changed every one hour, it was so unpredictable,,As students at the Bombay Flying Club, Aarohi Pandit, 22 and Keithair Misquitta, 24 flew over Mumbai’s Arabian Sea several times but soaring across the turbulent North Atlantic Ocean in a motor glider was an experience they hadn’t prepared for. The weather changed every one hour, it was so unpredictable, says Pandit, who is the first Indian woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.They have become the first two women pilots to fly from India to Greenland in a light sports aircraft, and in this case, while flying solo over the North Atlantic Ocean, Pandit had only her life raft and emergency equipment for company. That was the most challenging part because until then we had flown together, she says. In August, they set off on an expedition to circumnavigate the earth in a light motor glider as part of the WE! Women Empower Expedition. In 51 days, they did 27 landings in 17 different countries and flew 12,000 nautical miles battling weather, difficult terrains and permissions. Aircraft Mahi. Photo Courtesy: Helmut Stern, c stern-pressThe journey from India to Scotland via Karachi and Iran threw up several challenges and numerous firsts. They created a record by landing a light sport aircraft from India in Karachi, flying over high mountain peaks and rough weather over oceans. If Iran came with tough terrain and 9,000 ft high mountain ranges, the Atlantic Ocean was the biggest challenge.Over land, you at least have a landmark but over water, there is none, says Pandit. What offset the challenges was the warmth that people showered on them in every country. Their aircraft Mahi, which stands for planet earth in Sanskrit, is the only LSA (light sport aircraft) registered in India and is a Sinus 912 which was originally used by Slovenian pilot Matevz Lenarcic for the first solo circumnavigation in an ultralight plane.advertisementMisquitta says that convincing their families wasn’t easy but seeing their excitement of making a new record, they relented. Some legs of the journey were challenging. There were days when we took off and returned because it was raining heavily along our route, she says. From eastern Europe, the pilots flew to England, Scotland and Greenland but had to park in Iceland. With the winter setting in early this year, their expedition is on hold for now. As soon as the sun comes out, they will be off to complete the next leg of the journey around the world.last_img read more

Delhi youths taking horse drug to chisel gym-toned bodies quickly

first_imgSteroids and protein supplements are passé. More and more youth are risking their lives with ‘horse power doses’ for a Sylvester Stallone body! Cases of wannabe Rambos injecting themselves with Adenosine MonoPhosphate (AMP) shots–illegally administered to horses to enhance their race performance–as a pre-workout drill have spiked, a Mail Today investigation has found.They are doing so for longer workouts without getting tired and for faster but unnatural and harmful muscle-building.The shortcut to sweat and discipline has many dangers, doctors and gym trainers have warned. Such people get addicted to the drug not meant for humans in the first place.Those trying to quit its use slip into depression and anxiety, lose sleep, become aggressive, drop IQ levels and even face organ failures.ALSO READ | Using steroids for pumped up body? Think twiceThe percentage of workout freaks using the drug could be as high as 40 per cent despite serious health risks, multiple gym managers, personal trainers and bodybuilders told Mail Today.Those trying to quit its use slip into depression and anxiety, lose sleep, become aggressive, drop IQ levels and even face organ failures.”The drug is being sold rampantly in the black market. I know of quite a few gym-goers using it,” said Sunil Taank, general secretary of All India Body Building and Fitness Sports Federation (North India).”There is a big spike in the drug’s sales. Its demand increases during bodybuilding contests. It is unsafe for human health,” said Taank, founder of Black Gym in South Delhi’s Saket and West Delhi.advertisement Bunty Kumar, a gym trainer at Fitness House in South Delhi’s Jor Bagh, confirmed the trend.ALSO READ | Sanjay Dutt on drugs and jail-time at Mind Rocks 2017: I don’t want my son to be like meDr Rajiv Mehta, vice-chairman at the psychiatry department of Delhi’s Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, said a 21-year-old college student, who was addicted to AMP, was discharged last month.”His family brought him here. He had started taking AMP shots and became an addict. We treated him. He is responding well to medication,” he said.A couple of months earlier, a 25-year-old had to be rushed to Delhi’s All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) after he suffered a cardiac arrest.Dr Ambuj Roy, cardiology professor at AIIMS, said, “He had a highly muscular body and was a regular gym visitor. He admitted to be taking AMP shots for additional strength for longer workouts.”Dr Abhishek Yadav, assistant professor at AIIMS’ forensic department, has also seen a case of a youth’s unusual cardiac arrest death.”His relatives revealed he was a gym regular and was taking muscle-building drugs,” he said.ALSO READ | This is the secret to getting Hrithik Roshan’s envious Greek-God body IN KOLKATA Dr Bhaskar Mukherjee, psychiatrist at Kolkata’s ILS Hospitals has seen six such patients in their 20s and 30s in the recent past.”Four were brought by family members and two came on their own. The drug abuse gave them a high and they became addicts. We put them on medically approved stimulates to cure them,” he said.IN MUMBAIDr Anjali Chhabria, consultant psychiatrist at Mumbai’s Mind Temple, has seen two such patients aged 20 and 25 in the last six months.”They were taking AMP shots for bodybuilding. Both were brought by their family members after they had serious health complications. We have put them on medical therapy. Such cases have been reported from Chennai as well,” she said.ALSO READ | How this HIV+ bodybuilder is taking the world of sports by stormALSO WATCH | Punjab: Drugs worth Rs 38 lakh seizedlast_img read more

Simi Garewal back with her iconic show after a decade. Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh to be first guests

first_imgVeteran Bollywood actress and popular chat show host Simi Garewal is all set to return with the new season of her iconic show Rendezvous With Simi Garewal after almost 15 years. The actress is known for striking heart to heart conversations with her guests from the world of entertainment, politics, business, sports. Her iconic guest list for the past seasons included the likes of Jayalalitha, Ratan Tata, Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Brett Lee.Elegantly dressed in white and gentle in her approach, Simi Garewal’s style of interviewing was revered by one and all. The actress recently confirmed that she would be back with the new installment of her show on her Youtube channel soon and her first guests would be none other than Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh.”I have never revealed names till I’ve shot the episode. But I’ll reveal this – Deepika and Ranveer have promised their first interview together for Rendezvous,” Simi told Mid Day, adding that the latest season will feature GenNext stars from Bollywood.Simi has no intention of changing the format of the show considering it’s her show’s USP. “Why would I change the format [to include] more gossip and games? People resort to games when they cannot make a conversation. It’s an easy way out! No research needed! [But] Rendezvous is about getting to ‘know’ the person. I get many messages from viewers saying they are tired of the present format of talk shows,” she added.Also read | Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh team up for Salman Khan’s Nach Baliye 9advertisementlast_img read more

Oklahoma State picked to win the Big 12

first_imgPhoto Attribution: USATSIPhoto Attribution: USATSIOklahoma State is the preseason pick to win the Big 12 for the first time ever.[1. OSU was picked third in 2011 when it won. OU first, A&M second.][breathes into brown paper bag]Ok, here’s a look at the voting (first place votes in parentheses):1. Oklahoma State (15) – 3652. Okahoma (8) – 3553. TCU (9) – 3474. Texas (8) – 3375. Baylor (2) – 2826. K-State (1) – 2407. Texas Tech – 1618. West Virginia – 1269. Iowa State – 9610. Kansas – 56I have pretty much zero confidence in any of the rankings other than Kansas finishing last, that’s it. Nobody else does either as you can tell with the top four teams being within 30 points of each other.[1. I actually think Baylor is going to finish in the top four.]As a contrast to this parity (or perceived parity) OU got 396 points last year, WVU got 339, and nobody else got over 300.[1. You get 10 points for a first place vote, nine for second…and so on. There are 43 voters so perfect score is 430.]I’ll probably put my preseason picks out next week (I know you’re on the edge of your seat) but I can’t really disagree with any of these. I don’t love TCU getting the second most first place votes, heck, I don’t love OSU getting nearly twice as many first place votes as any other team but I guess you have to give them to somebody.The OSU pick is fair, I guess (we still don’t “officially” have a quarterback) and you kind of knew it was coming, but it still doesn’t make me any less nervous.I’m surprised Texas wasn’t picked higher than 4th — not that they should be, just that the infatuation with the white and burnt orange seems to know no bounds, even those regarding not having a viable quarterback since Colt McCoy twisted up that shoulder in the Rose Bowl over three years ago.All things considered, a very fair poll.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

In the news today Jan 18

first_imgSix stories in the news for Thursday, Jan. 18———FAMILY OF GIRL WHO CLAIMED HIJAB ASSAULT APOLOGIZESThe family of a Toronto girl has apologized for the “pain and anger” that resulted from her false claim that a man had cut her hijab. A family statement sent to some media outlets Wednesday said the episode has been a “very painful experience.” Police began investigating the alleged incident as a hate crime last Friday after the girl said she was attacked twice on the way to school by a man who cut her hijab with scissors. On Monday, police said the alleged incident did not happen and no charges would be laid.———UNIFOR SPLITS WITH CANADIAN LABOUR CONGRESSCanada’s largest private sector union says it is splitting with the Canadian Labour Congress over disagreements that include the rights of workers to choose what union should represent them. Unifor president Jerry Dias says the CLC has also been less than supportive of their concern about American-based unions “trampling on the rights” of workers. CLC president Hassan Yussuff says he is “deeply disappointed” by the Unifor decision and is committed to reuniting Canada’s labour movement.———QUEBEC CITY NEXT STOP ON TRUDEAU TOWN HALL TOURPrime Minister Justin Trudeau is scheduled to visit a Quebec City high school today as part of his cross-country town hall tour. He has already held public meetings in the Halifax area as well as in Hamilton and London, Ont. Trudeau visited Quebec’s Charlevoix Region Wednesday, where a G7 summit will be held in June. He said the summit will be an opportunity to have “frank and open” discussions on environmental and economic issues.———LAC-MEGANTIC DELIBERATIONS ENTER WEEK TWOJurors at the Lac-Megantic criminal negligence trial will deliberate for an eighth straight day today. There was no news from the jury yesterday at the trial of three men charged with criminal negligence causing death. Quebec Superior Court Justice Gaetan Dumas had sent them back to work on Tuesday, urging them to find unanimous verdicts, after they said they were at an impasse.———GOODALE-NIELSEN MEETING CANCELLEDA meeting that was supposed to be held in Toronto today between Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has been cancelled. No reason was given in a brief news release issued late Wednesday. Transport Minister Marc Garneau was also scheduled to attend the meeting to discuss aviation security and counterterrorism.———U.K. ‘LONELINESS MINISTER’ HIGHLIGHTS A GROWING ISSUEThe appointment of a minister of loneliness in the United Kingdom highlights an issue Canadian experts say needs to be addressed here. B.C.’s seniors’ advocate Isobel Mackenzie says whether government intervention is the right approach remains to be seen, but it at least highlights social isolation as an issue that merits discussion. Andrew Wister, director of the gerontology research centre at Simon Fraser University in B.C., said studies have found about one in five Canadians experience some degree of loneliness or social isolation.———ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:— Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O’Regan will make an announcement in Corner Brook, N.L. related to the Atlantic Fisheries Fund.— Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard will visit Montreal to meet with Mayor Valerie Plante.— Statistics Canada will release employment insurance data for November.— Aboriginal groups will hold a news conference to air concerns over a proposed 10-year relicensing of Chalk River Laboratories.— Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is in Ottawa for the third in a series of a town hall meetings across the province.— Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Mexican counterpart Jose Antonio Gonzalez Anaya will hold a news conference in Toronto.— CP Rail will release its financial results.last_img read more

Afghanistan UN mission to boost dialogue with former insurgents envoy says

3 December 2007The United Nations Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said today it intends to continue reaching out to a number of groups previously involved in the insurgency that are now seeking to end the violence and participate in rebuilding the fledgling democracy. The United Nations Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said today it intends to continue reaching out to a number of groups previously involved in the insurgency that are now seeking to end the violence and participate in rebuilding the fledgling democracy. Political outreach is one of the Mission’s three priorities over the coming year, along with strengthening the rule of law and integrating the complex and numerous efforts underway in Afghanistan, the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative, Chris Alexander, told a press briefing in Kabul.Efforts will include engaging with those Afghan individuals and groups who, for one reason or another, have come to feel excluded from the political and development process currently underway in the country, Mr. Alexander noted.“We also intend to continue reaching out to some groups hitherto involved in the insurgency, who are now seeking ways to end the violence,” he said. The objective is to help them “re-connect with their Government and their society, participate in strengthening institutions and join with us in a concerted effort to consolidate peace.”Conditions for dialogue with these groups are set by Afghans themselves – the Government, the Parliament and civil society – but clearly, “Those Afghans who show good will, who are willing to live under the current Afghan Constitution, to participate in Afghanistan’s legitimate institutions, and to end their participation in violence – are welcome in this process,” he said.Afghanistan has experienced one of the bloodiest years since the fall of the Taliban in 2001 owing to increased violence and terrorist activity by the Taliban, Al-Qaida and other extremist groups. Mr. Alexander insisted that this would not deter the international community’s efforts to bring stability and development to the country.“Our conviction is that the appetite for peace in the coming year will grow and the dialogue about peace will be broader and deeper than ever,” he stated.Another area the Mission would be focusing on is strengthening the rule of law, including bolstering the capacity and performance of Afghanistan’s justice institutions, as well as improving access to justice for all Afghans.“The rule of law is not only about courts and prosecutors, trials and prisons,” noted Mr. Alexander, stressing that improved law enforcement across Afghanistan will continue to depend on the success of police reform – a priority for the international community. While the scale of the challenges inside Afghanistan has grown, so has international commitment to respond. “The international community is spending between $3 billion and $4 billion this year on development in all its forms, from roads to health care clinics,” he said. In addition, there are provincial development plans now for all 34 provinces, and the number of international military forces in the country has doubled in the past couple of years. Mr. Alexander expressed confidence that the coming year would mark a new beginning for the country, stating that “through political outreach, by strengthening the rule of law, and by integrating the very complex and large scale efforts underway to support Afghanistan, we think that 2008 can be a year of achievement for this country, a year of achievement for its international partners, and a year of achievement for the United Nations.” read more

Minister instructs authorities to probe image of eagle skinned alive

The Wildlife Ministry said that the men in the image have already been identified and will be arrested soon. The Minister said that the identity of the suspects must be exposed in the media and they must be forced to make a public apology for their actions. (Colombo Gazette) The Minister of Wildlife Gamini Jayawickreme Perera has instructed the authorities to investigate an image showing an eagle allegedly being skinned alive in Sri Lanka.The Wildlife Ministry said that the Minister has instructed the police and the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) to investigate the images which appeared on social media and take appropriate action.

US Congress committee disappointed Lanka has rejected foreign judges

A US Congress committee on foreign relations has expressed disappointment at President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s decision to reject foreign judges in the domestic accountability process on the war.The views were expressed when the Congress Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific met to discuss Sri Lanka. Committee chairman Matt Salmon noted the negative impact the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime had on US-Sri Lanka relations and the progress made in Sri Lanka after January 8 last year. Statements were made at the discussion by Ms. Lisa Curtis, Senior Research Fellow at the Asian Studies Center at the Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy of the The Heritage Foundation and by Ms. Kara L. Bue, Founding Partner at Armitage International and Nimmi Gowrinathan, Visiting Professor at the Colin Powell Center for Civic and Global Leadership in New York.In her statement, Kara L. Bue said that the presidential and parliamentary elections of 2015 that brought President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe into power have resulted in a paradigm shift away from the authoritarian and chauvinistic rule of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to a reform-minded era focused on good governance and reconciliation.This shift, she said, also has effectively ended Sri Lanka’s 10-year self-imposed exile from the international community. “Presently, the international community is largely focused on the Geneva human rights process. While important, greater economic opportunity and development are both key pieces of any peace dividend and should be supported. Sri Lankan government officials have discussed the need for an international donor’s conference for development in the North and East akin to the 2003 Tokyo’s Donor Conference. Consideration should be given to such an effort,” she added. Salmon also raised concerns on Sri Lanka’s relationship with China, including the construction of a port city in Colombo with Chinese funds.The discussion on Sri Lanka was held under the topic “Sri Lanka’s Democratic Transition: A New Era for the US-Sri Lanka Relationship”. However he noted that there still remains some concerns on Sri Lanka even after January 8 last year, including on the failure to agree to foreign judges to be part of the domestic accountability process in the war. Armitage International was formed in March 2005 by Richard L. Armitage, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State.He was in Sri Lanka recently where he met the Government and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA).(Colombo Gazette) read more

The not so Fragile Five lead a rebound Brazil and other emerging

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Steve Rothwell, The Associated Press Posted Jun 11, 2014 4:16 am MDT The (not so) ‘Fragile Five’ lead a rebound; Brazil and other emerging markets rally NEW YORK, N.Y. – Soccer fans will focus on Brazil and the start of the World Cup Thursday, but investors have been entranced by that nation’s stock market for months.Brazil has company. From Sao Paulo to Mumbai, investors are regaining their faith in emerging markets this year.It’s a big shift from 2013, when investment in those markets dried up because of worries about their slowing economic growth. It got so tough that five big developing markets — Brazil, South Africa, India, Indonesia and Turkey — were dubbed the “Fragile Five” by analysts at Morgan Stanley.Now those countries are much more appealing to investors. Some have taken actions to strengthen their economies. Others have gone through political changes that have bolstered investor confidence. At the same time, slower growth in the U.S. has made investing overseas more alluring.“These countries have done some homework to reduce their fragilities,” says Jorge Mariscal, chief investment officer for emerging markets at UBS Wealth Management. “They have helped themselves a bit.”The “Fragile Five” raised interest rates to draw investors’ cash back into their countries. India, for example, lifted its rate from 7.25 per cent in September to 8 per cent in March; Brazil hiked rates from 7.5 per cent in May of last year to their current level of 11 per cent.Higher interest rates are appealing to investors in the U.S., where the Federal Reserve has held its benchmark lending rate at close to zero for more than five years, and where bond yields remain low.In India, the government has also raised duties on gold. The metal is India’s second-biggest import behind oil, and purchases have soared in recent years as incomes have risen there. The increased buying has sped up the flow of money out of the country, and weakened its currency.Politics are also playing a role.Last month, Narendra Modi and the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party notched the most decisive Indian election victory in three decades. Modi marketed himself as a leader capable of shaking the nation from its economic slumber, and his clear win should allow him to reform the economy.In Brazil, stocks have rallied after polls were released that showed opponents of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff gaining enough ground to have a chance of forcing a runoff in elections scheduled for October. Her opponents, Aecio Neves and Eduardo Campos, are believed to favour less government involvement in the economy.Developing economies should also benefit as global growth, led by an improving U.S. economy, begins to pick up later in the year, says Mauro Ratto, head of emerging markets at Pioneer Investments, a fund manager.The shifts are reflected in the financial markets. Gains in the U.S. stock market over the last month months are smaller than those in emerging markets.The Standard & Poor’s 500 index has climbed 12 per cent since closing at its year low on Feb. 3. The MSCI India, a broad index of Indian stocks, has surged 30 per cent over the same period. Turkish stocks have jumped 44 per cent and Brazilian stocks are up 26 per cent.Emerging markets have benefited from the Fed’s easy-money policies. Those policies, with their low interest rates, have prompted investors to hunt for higher rates of return overseas.Last year, however, when the Fed started to outline its plan for reducing stimulus and raising rates, investors began pulling their money out of emerging markets. That caused their currencies, as well as their stock and bond markets, to plummet.The MSCI Emerging Markets index, which measures 800 securities across 21 markets, fell almost 10 per cent from the start of May to the end of June, and ended the year down almost 5 per cent. The Turkish lira dropped almost 11 per cent in five months from the start of September to the end of January 2014.This year, growth in the U.S. has disappointed. Treasury yields have fallen instead of rising as most analysts predicted. As a result, emerging economies with higher growth are more attractive. Low interest rates also make it more lucrative for investors to borrow in the U.S. and invest in overseas economies that offer higher returns.“Clearly, the most important driver year-to-date has been the global financial conditions,” says Gerardo Rodriguez, a senior investment strategist for BlackRock’s emerging markets group.The Brazilian stock market may also get a boost if its team, the favourite to win the World Cup, lifts the trophy at the end of the tournament. Analysts at Goldman Sachs calculate that, on average, a victorious country’s stock market outperforms the global market by 3.5 per cent in the first month after the win.Others are more skeptical of this year’s gains in emerging stock markets.Andres Garcia-Amaya, a global market strategist for J.P. Morgan Funds, says the comeback in emerging markets is driven by market-specific factors, not improvements in the outlook for economies, and is unlikely to last long. The markets are bouncing back because investors had become too negative, too quickly. Now, they are scrambling to get back in.The spotlight on Brazil has also highlighted potentially damaging rifts in the country. Subway workers have been on strike demanding higher pay and improved benefits. Teachers remain on strike in Rio de Janeiro and routinely block streets with rallies. Police in several cities have also gone on strike, but are back at work.Going forward, investors should be more selective when investing in emerging markets, says Garcia-Amaya.“The message for investors is, don’t treat (emerging markets) as one,” he says. “It is very important to do your homework at the country level.” read more

No 10 Kentucky rallies past UNC Greensboro 7861

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Reid Travis scored 22 points, Keldon Johnson added six of his 13 points during a 14-2 second half run that helped No. 10 Kentucky beat UNC Greensboro 78-61 on Saturday for its seventh consecutive victory.The visiting Spartans seemed poised to take control with a 55-50 edge with 13:08 remaining before Kentucky (7-1) had consecutive 3-point plays by Travis and Ashton Hagans for a 56-55 lead.Demetrius Troy’s jumper put UNCG (7-2) back ahead but that was the last lead. The Wildcats made defensive stops during an 8-0 run led by Johnson, who followed two free throws with consecutive dunks for a 64-57 lead with 6:02 left.Tyler Herro (18 points) added consecutive baskets to make it 68-59 before capping the comeback with a 3-pointer with 40 seconds left. Kentucky shot 50 per cent after halftime while holding the Spartans to 28 per cent in the second half and 36 per cent overall. Johnson also had 11 rebounds.Francis Alonso had 22 points but just three after halftime as UNCG had its six-game winning streak end.POLL IMPLICATIONSKentucky got tested, but likely will stay in the Top 10.BIG PICTUREUNC Greensboro: Came off a record 78-point victory over Division III Greensboro College. They pushed their tempo for much of the game and had Kentucky out of sorts before losing their composure and managing just three baskets over the final 10 minutes.Kentucky: Coach John Calipari hinted this would be the first of several tests. Travis, Johnson and Herro came up big when they needed it on both ends with timely stops and baskets that pushed Kentucky ahead for good. Johnson’s play was even more impressive after he left in the first half with an injured ankle.UP NEXTUNC Greensboro visits Elon on Friday in its final road non-conference contest.Kentucky faces Seton Hall on Saturday in the Citi Hoops Classic in New York.___For more AP college basketball coverage: http://collegebasketball.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25Gary B. Graves, The Associated Press read more

EYEWITNESS Keeping us down…

…in mediocrityYour Eyewitness sincerely hopes there’s nothing seriously wrong medically with President David Granger, and wishes him a long life. But his decision to have his medical check-up first done in T&T a few months ago and now his decision to go to Cuba for “follow up checks” on the symptoms highlighted in T&T, betrays his assessment of our medical capacity in Guyana. That frankly, it’s not up to snuff.It’s now become trite to mock Guyanese politicians who fly abroad for medical interventions but it’s THEIR lives at stake – and because they have the option of seeking better medical care, it’s rational for them to make that decision! Why take chances? But the rest of the ordinary men and women in the street don’t have that option, do they?  They have to line up at Georgetown Hospital – at best – or the regional hospitals – at worse – and play Russian Roulette with their lives.But it didn’t have to be this way. When the PPP was in office, around 2013, they proposed the construction of a “Specialty Hospital” that would offer world-class medical services for the medical procedures that were beyond our medical services’ ken. The Indian Government would fund the project from a line of credit and the hospital, the PPP said, would be the start of a local “medical tourism” industry. This wouldn’t only bring in foreign currency from patients from the developed countries who’d save a bundle – but would allow the Government to subsidise the costs for local patients, on a “needs” basis!Now who’d oppose such a venture that’s so win-win all around? The PNC and AFC in the Opposition benches, that’s who! Funny enough, one of the top bidders for the project was a client of Ramjattan – Fedders Lloyd – and it was only when the latter lost out to another company, he started his violent opposition. When he slid into Government on the PNC coattails he started lobbying for the project to be retendered but when Fedders Lloyd was eventually disqualified by the World Bank for violations committed on other projects, Ramjattan once again helped nixed the Specialty Hospital Project. Even though $42 million had been spent to prepare the site.The Government decided to use the Indian Line of Credit to upgrade three regional hospitals – but as of today, nothing’s been done. We have therefore lost “corn and husk” – we have no Specialty Hospital with advanced medical equipment and personnel and the regional hospitals continue to languish in the era when leeched were routinely used for “bloodletting”!And we return to the President having to fly off to Cuba for medical treatment. “It’s a shad, shad situation”.…and underdevelopedThere’s one school of thought that proposed newspapers in developing countries have a duty to support projects and policies that push a development agenda. Now whether you support this or not, (your Eyewitness doesn’t) it’s pretty hard to support – in the name of “freedom of the press” – a newspaper that literally goes out to rip down the country’s development just to satisfy their personal vendettas.And this is where the Muckraker still hasn’t learnt the lesson from the PNC/AFC’s betrayal of all they’d preached when they were being funded by the tawdry tabloid. Take the lies and exaggerations they repeated from those days when putatively covering the suggested Berbice Bridge’s toll increases.  How in the world could ANY of the private common shareholders be accused of “profiteering” from their ownership of the Bridge when they NEVER voted any dividends for themselves?? How could they “profiteer” when they have $300 million tied up, doing anything?But the Muckraker’s boss wouldn’t recognise sacrifice for one’s country if it snuck up and bit him on his behind!!It’s all about himself!…in helplessnessThe Government’s CH&PA just announced they’ll be building 250 homes and extending 2000 shacks of the “poor”. Your Eyewitness knows it’s a boondoggle for its supporters.But without jobs, they’re just widening their learned helplessness. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedEYEWITNESS: Decisions, decisions…June 22, 2018In “EYEWITNESS”EYEWITNESS: Achieving standards…August 4, 2017In “EYEWITNESS”EYEWITNESS: Moving on…November 8, 2018In “EYEWITNESS” read more

Greek A1 Diomidis close to the PlayOff Final

A.C. Diomidis Argousgreece handball 11.H.A.N.TH226016483:57912 The regular part of the season in Greece is over! A.C Diomidis Argous showed the best form during the Championships by winning 20 from 22 matches, which put them on the first place at the start of Play-Off league.The first six teams will fight for the two places which will play at the Play-Off Final (best 3). Teams will start with only a half of the points which they won in regular part (five rounds will be played more), but even in that situation, it looks that Diomidis are very close to the first place, while for the second will fight Filippos, PAOK and Dikeas.STANDINGS: 3.PAOK221516624:56031 10.Foivos227114532:60615 7.Aeropos Edessas228410591:58620 12.Archelaos220022455:7410 9.Panellinios218211497:52618 8.AEK Athens228311596:58819 1.Diomidis Argous222002626:43040 2.Filippos Beroias221714658:54535 4.Dikeas221327579:50828 5.Loutraki211029528:49022 6.A.S.E. Douka2210210511:52122 ← Previous Story Evgeny Trefilov in his style: We must rely on our coaches! Next Story → Tomislav Grahovac is new Croatian Handball Federation president read more

Eight convicted over fire that killed Dublin neurosurgeons family

first_imgEIGHT PEOPLE, INCLUDING a teenager, have been convicted over an arson attack that killed the family of a Dublin-based neurosurgeon.BBC News reports that seven men and one male teenager were found guilty over the attack – two men of murder and four men and the teen of manslaughter.They were convicted over a “botched revenge attack” in which Shehnila Taufiq and her children Zainab, Bilal and Jamal died in September 2013.Shehnila’s husband is Muhammad Taufiq Abdulsattar, of Beaumont Hospital. Dr Taufiq Al Sattar (centre) praying over the coffins of his family Source: Niall CarsonThe blaze broke out in the early hours of the morning of 13 September, in the family’s home in the Spinney Hills area of Leicester.The defendants will be sentenced on Wednesday.In an interview after the tragic incident, Dr Abdulsattar said he drew strength from the Quaran. He said that he had people in Dublin and in Leicester supporting him.Read: Ryanair promises to refund Dr Sattar for Leicester flight fees>Read: Muhammad Taufiq Al Sattar: ‘The words of the Quran have given me strength’last_img read more

Leo v Simon TV3 very interested in hosting a Fine Gael leadership

first_imgLeo v Simon: TV3 ‘very interested’ in hosting a Fine Gael leadership debate Leo Varadkar has said he would be “happy” to debate his rivals in a televised debate. Simon Coveney and Leo Varadkar are among the frontrunners to succeed Enda Kenny. 8,786 Views Image: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie Tuesday 28 Feb 2017, 3:56 PM http://jrnl.ie/3263637 By Sean Murray 71 Comments center_img Simon Coveney and Leo Varadkar are among the frontrunners to succeed Enda Kenny. Image: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie Share223 Tweet Email Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Feb 28th 2017, 3:56 PM Short URL TV3 HAS SAID it would be extremely interested in televising a live debate between the candidates for the Fine Gael leadership, after Enda Kenny steps down.While “nothing was set in stone yet”, a spokesperson for TV3 told TheJournal.ie that the possibility of hosting a debate between Leo Varadkar, Simon Coveney and others was something that “producers were currently exploring”.Varadkar told the Irish Examiner that he would be “happy” to take part in a live debate with his rivals for the leadership.Such an event would would bring Irish politics into uncharted waters.While the run-up to general elections, presidential elections and referendums have featured televised debates, this would be the first time that the potential leaders of a political party have made their pitches in this format.This issue surrounding the Fine Gael leadership is magnified by its current status in government. Barring an election when Kenny steps down, it is likely this individual could become the next Taoiseach.While the race to succeed Enda hasn’t officially started yet – after Kenny quelled any disquiet at last week’s parliamentary meeting – Varadkar has emerged as the early favourite to succeed Kenny as Fine Gael leader in a number of polls.It is believed that other potential candidates for the party leadership include Richard Bruton, Frances Fitzgerald and Simon Harris.Read: Former Fine Gael and Independent TD Peter Mathews has died aged 65Read: Varadkar edges ahead of Coveney in Fine Gael leadership polllast_img read more

SYRIZA chief finds inspiration for Greece in Brazil

first_imgFollowing a 75-minute meeting with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Wednesday, SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras said Greece should see Brazil as an example of how to get out of its economic crisis and admonished Prime Minister Antonis Samaras for not seeking allies outside of the eurozone. “Brazil’s message for the Greek people… is the exit from the crisis cannot happen through memorandums of austerity but only via policies of social cohesion, growth and redistribution,” Tsipras said as he rounded off a trip to Brazil, which included a meeting with the country’s former president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, or Lula. SYRIZA sources appeared buoyed by the fact Tsipras secured meetings with top Brazilian politicians, given the country’s strong economic performance over recent years. The leftist opposition also sees it as confirmation of its long-held position that Greece should be forging alliances with non-traditional partners to change the austerity-led approach to its economic crisis.“My contacts with state and national authorities in Brazil, the world’s fifth-largest economy, confirm our initial assessment that Greece can find strong allies on the geostrategic chessboard if it follows an energetic and multifaceted foreign policy,” said Tsipras, who is traveling to Argentina next. Source: Kathimerini Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more