RJD walks out of Commonwealth meet

first_imgThe Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Bihar’s Opposition party, walked out of the inaugural session of the sixth India region Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) conference on Saturday in protest against Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi’s statement that “four former Chief Ministers of the country today are behind bars in corruption cases”. Raising slogans, the RJD leaders alleged that the Deputy Chief Minister was using the event, attended by delegates from across the country and abroad, as a “political platform.” They alleged that it was an indirect reference to RJD chief Lalu Prasad, who is currently lodged in Ranchi jail in the fodder scam cases.‘This is not Assembly’Lok Sabha Speaker and chairperson of the CPA-India region Sumitra Mahajan intervened and told the RJD leaders that this was not the Bihar Assembly. “You all have been invited here as guests… Yhis is not Bihar Vidhan Sabha… Please behave with decency that is expected of respected guests.” Bihar Assembly Speaker Vijay Kumar Chaudhary too appealed to the Opposition leaders to stay calm. However, RJD members continued to raise slogans and walked out of the conference hall at the Samrat Ashok Convention Centre in Patna. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, veteran parliamentarian Murli Manohar Joshi and over 100 delegates participated in the conference, being organised for the first time in Bihar. Opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav sought an apology from Mr. Sushil Modi. “He has let us all down before the delegates,” Mr. Lalu Prasad told journalists outside a court in Ranchi.The ruling BJP leaders said the protest by RJD leaders was uncalled for. “It has marred the reputation of Bihar,” said senior BJP leader Vinod Narayan Jha.last_img read more

Farmers, citizens desperate as drought tightens grip over western Maharashtra

first_imgWith no let-up in the acute water scarcity that has gripped the Maharashtra’s rural hinterland, farmers and citizens in the drought-hit areas of Solapur and Pune districts are desperate.In Solapur’s Madha tehsil, farmers mourn the pitiable condition of the smaller livestock animals such as goats and sheep, while the tribal areas of Junnar (in Pune district) are bearing the brunt of the water scarcity as water sources have all but dried up.“The government provides for bigger animals in fodder camps, but the smaller ones such as goats and sheep are neglected and their suffering is unbearable. The landscape is arid with the foliage wilting under the merciless heat of the sun,” says Dipak Mali, a farmer from Upalai Budruk village in Madha.Stating that the ground reality of the fodder camps was dismal, he remarks that it is a daily struggle for human beings and animals alike to triumph the drought and the acute water scarcity.Vidya Londhe of the same village has to trudge more than 4km every day in quest of water.“The water we receive from the tankers is invariably undrinkable. Even to get that, we have to queue up every morning. There is a great deal of jostling, coupled with fraying of tempers. It is only after several hours that we receive water, sometimes well past midnight and even then, barely enough to fill a vessel,” she says, echoing the refrain of several women in the village.According to Sachin Gadekar, a local journalist and analyst, the grim reality facing the populace of Madha and the rest of Solapur is ironical given that the 40-odd sugar mills in the district were functional during the sugarcane crushing season.“Furthermore, there have been no efforts on part of Solapur’s Guardian Minister Subhash Deshmukh, or important leaders in the district including Sushilkumar Shinde to provide relief for the drought-hit. The Guardian Minister has barely made two brief tours of a couple of drought-hit taluks after the polls ended in the State on April 29,” he said.Expressing worries over the abysmal state of fodder camps and the utter lack of water, Shivajirao Patil-Chandajkar, a former director of the district milk association, observed that even water-abundant villages near the Ujani dam – Solapur’s potable water lifeline – were in dire straits this year.In Junnar, 90km from Pune city, the tribal hamlets of Muthalne and Kopre are particularly hard hit with their natural water reserves drying up. Residents in these areas say that the contaminated water has led to an outbreak of diseases such as cholera and gastroenteritis in the vicinity. Meanwhile, cumulative water stocks in the four major dams – Khadakwasla, Panshet, Varasgaon and Temghar – that constitute Pune’s potable water lifeline – are down to an alarming 4.43 TMC (Thousand Million Cubic Feet), a little over 15% of their total capacity.According to State Irrigation Department authorities, water consumption by the city’s residents in April last month was the highest over a six-month period beginning November 2018.“The city consumed 1.4 TMC water in March and April. Going by the pattern of consumption in May, the city may very well end up consuming water in excess of 1.4 TMC for the third consecutive month. This is bound to pose severe problems till the onset of the monsoon,” said an official from the Irrigation Department.last_img read more

Nothing political about Pawar-Modi meeting: NCP

first_imgNationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar’s visit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday was not political but to inform Mr. Modi about the agrarian distress in the State, the party’s chief spokesperson Nawab Malik. Mr. Pawar’s visit to the PM, prior to the meeting of Congress and NCP leaders in Delhi, sparked speculation amid murmurs of the possibility of the NCP and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) joining hands to form a government in Maharashtra. Letter to PMThe NCP, however, clarified that no such step is possible and the meeting was not to discuss politics. In a letter written to Mr. Modi, Mr. Pawar said, “This year, the unseasonal rainfall [has] created havoc engulfing 325 talukas of Maharashtra causing heavy damage [to] crops over 54.22 lakh hectares.” He described the conditions as alarming. “This year, the returning monsoon devastated almost every standing crop in the larger part of Maharashtra,” the letter said. He sought the Prime Minister’s urgent intervention as the State is under President’s Rule.Mr. Malik said, “There is no basis to the talk of the BJP and NCP coming together. It will not happen. Today’s meeting was only to discuss the farmers’ situation in Maharashtra. No one should draw any conclusions from it,” he said.last_img read more

SC to examine police crackdown on Ramdev, supporters on Monday

first_imgThe Supreme Court will on Monday examine the Delhi Police’s affidavit on the pre-dawn swoop at Ramlila Maidan in Delhi denying allegations that it had used force to evict yoga guru Ramdev and his supporters from the site.A bench of justices P Sathasivam and A K Patnaik is also likely to take up a petition filed by advocate Ashok Agarwal seeking direction to the City Police Commissioner to deposit the 42 CCTV cameras allegedly seized from the site after the swoop.However, in an affidavit filed before the court, the city police claimed that no force was used against the protesters but only eight teargas shells were fired on Ramdev’s supporters after they turned violent and started pelting stones on the cops.Justifying its action, police said the authorities had allowed permission to Ramdev to use the ground only to hold yoga camp and not for any other purpose.It said that instead of holding yoga camp, Ramdev was instigating the crowd during his fast on the issue of corruption and black money at the ground where more than 20,000 people had gathered.Delhi Police had filed the response following a direction of the apex court which took suo motu cognisance of the crackdown and had directed it to explain why it resorted to such action against Ramdev and his supporters.However, advocate Agarwal alleged that after the swoop police forcibly took away the hard disk and 42 CCTV cameras from the residence of Vipin Mittal from Savitri Colony at Malviya Nagar, who is the owner of ‘Sai’ Company dealing with CCTV cameras.advertisementHe claimed the cameras were seized by police to destroy vital evidence relating to the alleged brutal crackdown.Agarwal also sought an inquiry by a Special Investigation Team and adequate compensation to 51-year-old woman Raj Bala who was critically injured in the alleged police lathicharge.- With PTI inputsFor more news on India, click here.For more news on Business, click here.For more news on Movies, click here.For more news on Sports, click here.last_img read more

Mohammed Shami ordered to appear before Kolkata court over bounced cheque

first_imgIndia pacer Mohammed Shami has been ordered to appear before a Kolkata court on January 15. This follows a complaint filed by Shami’s wife Hasin Jahan who had complained of a bounced cheque.Shami and Hasin are embroiled in a marital dispute case.Earlier this year, Shami’s wife Hasin Jahan accused him of adultery and domestic abuse. She had posted several screenshots of Shami’s alleged chats with other women on her social media platforms.India cricketer Mohammed Shami asks for gunner for securityThe couple’s disupute was public with both parties speaking to the media regularly after Hasin first accused her husband of extra marital affairs.Also read – Mohammed Shami-Hasin Jahan saga: BCCI refuses to intervene in family quarrelShami was even left out of the BCCI’s central contracts before he was included again. He went on to play four matches for Delhi Daredevils in the 2019 IPL and has regularly played Test cricket for India this year.Also read – Will invite Hasin Jahan for my second marriage, jokes Mohammed ShamiOn Wednesday, Alipore Judicial Magistrate Md Zafar Parwej, in-charge of the chief judicial magistrate court, said that failure on the part of Shami to appear personally may invite a warrant of arrest against the Bengal cricketer.His wife Hasin Jahan filed the case under NI Act after the cricketer had allegedly stopped payment of a cheque which he had given to her for monthly expenses after a marital dispute arose between the two, following which they were residing separately.advertisementAlso Read – Mohammed Shami returns for India after public spat with Hasin JahanThe CJM had directed Shami to appear before the court on Wednesday after he had failed to appear on an earlier date in October. However, the India pacer was not present in court on Wednesday.Also Read – Shami reveals bank statement to prove he paid Hasin Jahan Rs 1 lakh recentlyShami’s lawyer Sk Salim Rahaman that his client be allowed to appear through counsel but judge Parwej said the rules were equal were for everyone. Hence, Shami was directed to appear before the court on January 15.The court said that failure on the part of Shami to appear before the court on the said date may invite issuance of arrest warrant against him.(With PTI inputs)last_img read more

Bournemouth v Wolves: match preview

first_imgTopics 7 Ivan Cavaleiro Possession WOL BOU Corners Wolverhampton Wanderers 5 Bennett (s 90′) 2 Doherty 1 Boruc 6 Surman Bournemouth 28 Joao Moutinho 9 Jimenez 15 Boly Bournemouth will be glad to return to the comforts of the Vitality Stadium after successive defeats without scoring on the road. Stark contrast to the previous two games at home which they won with an aggregate score of 6-0. Callum Wilson and David Brooks are still missing, though. Wolves will arrive in good spirits after making the quarter-finals of the FA Cup but could miss Diogo Jota, who is struggling with a dead leg. Eddie Howe’s side can close the gap on Wolves to three points with a win. Graham SearlesSaturday 3pmVenue Vitality StadiumLast season n/aReferee Roger EastThis season G6 Y23 R0 3.83 cards/gameOdds H 15-8 A 6-4 D 12-5BOURNEMOUTHSubs from Boruc, Simpson, Mousset, Pugh, Taylor, Ibe, Rico, DanielsDoubtful Stanislas (thigh)Injured Brooks (ankle, Mar), Wilson (knee, Mar), L Cook (knee, unknown), Francis (knee, unknown)Suspended NoneDiscipline Y38 R1Form DLWWLLLeading scorer Wilson 10WOLVESSubs from Norris, Cavaleiro, Giles, Watt, Gonçalves, Traoré, Gibbs-White, Vinagre, Costa, SaïssDoubtful Doherty (knock), Jota (dead leg)Injured NoneSuspended NoneDiscipline Y48 R1Form LLWWWDLeading scorer Jiménez 9 11 Rui Patricio Fouls Share via Email 37 Traore 8 Lerma 8 Neves Match previews Share on Twitter 11 Daniels Substitutes 6 AFC Bournemouth Off target 8 Wolves 2 AFC Bournemouth On target 1 Wolves 9 8 21 Rico WOL57BOU43% 5 Ake Match stats Share on Messenger Wolves 19 Jonny 33 Mepham AFC Bournemouth Share on LinkedIn 29 Solanke Substitutes 18 Jota 44 Surridge Premier League Share on Pinterest Goal attempts resources 10 Ibe 23 Clyne 32 Dendoncker 10 Helder Costa 27 Saiss (s 88′) 9 Mousset Lineups 29 Ruben Vinagre Share on WhatsApp (s 77′) 17 Gibbs-White 10 15 15 Smith 57 43 17 King (s 66′) Share on Facebook 27 Begovic 16 Coady Reuse this content 4 Gosling 24 Fraser 21 Ruddy 25 Simpsonlast_img read more

Talking Touch – July

first_imgThere was some good media coverage of Touch Football in the month of July, including stories on the 2012 Queensland Junior State Cup and some up-and-coming players achieving great things. To view the stories, please click on the links below. New Touch Seasons Starts Next WeekAfter a brief break following the completion of the summer season, the Whitsunday’s Touch Association (WTA) is gearing up for another big season starting this Monday, July 16 at the Whitsunday Sports Park.http://www.whitsundaytimes.com.au/story/2012/07/12/new-touch-season-starts-next-week/ Juniors Shine At Touch CarnivalGympie’s four Touch Football teams competing in last weekend’s Queensland Junior State Cup displayed admirable competitiveness during the three-day event.The State Cup, which ran from Friday, July 6, to Sunday, July 8, hosted a record 179 teams and drew crowds in their thousands.http://www.gympietimes.com.au/story/2012/07/11/confidence-building-carnival-touch/ Aussie Rep Home It doesn’t get much better than wearing the green and gold against New Zealand.Michael Chapman won’t forget it, after claiming the Touch Football Trans Tasman Trophy.http://au.prime7.yahoo.com/n1/news/a/-/national/14257325/aussie-rep-home-video/ Junior Touch Cup To StayThe Fraser Coast’s unbridled dedication to the Junior Touch Football State Cup has paid off, with organisers pledging to hold the competition here for a further five years.Queensland Touch Association general manager Peter Bevan yesterday announced the deal between the QTA, Fraser Coast Regional Council and Fraser Coast Tourism, in what is a major coup for this area.http://www.frasercoastchronicle.com.au/story/2012/07/09/junior-touch-cup-to-stay-at-fraser-coast/ Chase For Big Cash TouchdownThe Fraser Coast’s bid to claim the rights to the Qld Touch Football carnival for the next five years could be known as early as tomorrow afternoon.http://www.frasercoastchronicle.com.au/story/2012/07/07/chase-for-big-cash-touchdown-fraser/ U10 In Top Touch At State CarnivalThey may have been the youngest Gladstone team to ever attend a state carnival but the Gladstone Touch Association under-10 showed the older kids just how it’s done.With five Gladstone representative teams attending the carnival, aged from nine to 17, the youngsters were the best-performing Gladstone team to attend the Junior State Touch Football Cup in Hervey Bay over the weekend, finishing ninth overall.http://www.gladstoneobserver.com.au/story/2012/07/13/u10-in-top-touch-at-state-carnival-gladstone/ Youngsters Show That Winning TouchThe Morning Bulletin, 19/07/2012TOUCH FOOTBALL: James Baartz and Kate Bromley are leading the way for aspiring touch players at the Junior Touch Football State Cup.Local players Baartz and Bromley competed in the event recently and not only delivered impressive performances on the field, but were also awarded the prestigious Scott Notley and Kerry Norman awards by the Queensland Touch Association.Baartz and Bromley were nominated for the awards for their State Cup representation, for their consistent honesty and fairness, and for their high-quality on-field performances to match their off-field demeanour and example. North Rockhampton High student Bromley has been playing competitively in the sport for 12 years and has represented Rockhampton in the State Cup on seven occasions. The modest 16-year-old is honoured to have received the award and encourages others to join the sport.“I don’t play to receive awards or to win anything, I play because I love it and it’s a great sport,” Bromley said.“It’s nice knowing people think I deserve such a great award.”Bromley said the State Cup was a good competition because it offered a lot of teams and age groups and she urged young sports players to join the sport.The competition produced great results for the Rockhampton Touch Association, which had 15 teams competing, nine of which made the quarter-finals. The 16 year girls’ team topped the results, winning the state championships for their division. The 18 year boys made the semi-finals but unfortunately failed to defend their title won last year, losing to Labrador. President of the Rockhampton Junior Touch Association Mick Callow said overall the competition produced a great result for the city’s junior touch representative players. The association is still taking nominations for junior and senior teams, with competition starting mid-August.Students Selected For QueenslandThe Chronicle (Toowoomba), 18/07/2012Four Fairholme Touch Football players have been selected to play for Queensland after their outstanding success at this year’s State Touch Championships.Dominique Du Toit, Meg Jakins and Kristen Currie will wear maroon for the Queensland Under 15 Schoolgirls while Georgina Rackemann was named for the Queensland Open team.Their selections are a just reward after they helped lead Darling Downs to a second place finish at the under 15 state titles.Darling Downs managed to win all of their round games and defeated South Coast in the semi-final, winning 2-0.They faced Metropolitan East in the final and despite leading at half time, Darling Downs were narrowly defeated 4-3 in the final minutes.If you see a story from your local media organisations about Touch Football and would like to see it on the Touch Football Australia website, please email media@austouch.com.au. Related LinksTalking Touchlast_img read more

Lamprell Completes Construction of ‘Jindal …

first_imgzoom Lamprell, a leading provider of diversified engineering and contracting services to the onshore and offshore oil & gas and renewables industry, announced yesterday the completion of construction of the jackup rig “Jindal Star” and its delivery to Jindal Pipes (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. (Jindal) a D. P. Jindal Group Company.Completion and delivery of the rig, on budget and 20 months after initial steel cutting, was marked with a ceremony at Lamprell’s Hamriyah facility in the UAE on 6 November, which will be followed by the rig’s departure from the facility to its drilling location in offshore India.The project was completed with more than 3.6 million man-hours without any lost time incidents. The Jindal Star, weighing 10,500 tonnes at delivery, is a LeTourneau Super 116E (Enhanced) with a self – elevating, 477 ft leg design. The spud cans were redesigned and fitted with extensions to meet Jindal’s requirement with regard to the maximum ground bearing pressure, which is specific to Indian waters.With this delivery, the Group has now completed a total of 13 new build jackup drilling rigs, six of the ‘LeTourneau Super 116 E’ design and seven of the ‘Friede & Goldman Super M2’ design.The Group has eight more LeTourneau rigs at various stages of construction.Lamprell, November 7, 2013last_img read more

Bhutanese nabbed with leopard skin

first_imgJalpaiguri: A Bhutanese was apprehended in Jalpaiguri district and a leopard skin seized from his possession, a forest official said on Monday. The alleged smuggler was apprehended by a special task force of Baikunthapur forest division in Dooars region. Thirty three-year-old Daw Tshering Doya was nabbed from Old Hashimara area of the district on Sunday evening and an 11-foot leopard skin recovered from him, forest ranger Sanjay Dutta said. He said preliminary investigation has revealed that the leopard skin was being smuggled from Bhutan to some other country via India. The forest department has taken the accused into their custody will produce the accused in Jalpaiguri district court, Dutta said.last_img read more

Ottawa announces 189M to extend employment insurance for seasonal workers

first_imgESCUMINAC, N.B. – Seasonal workers in certain areas of the country will get up to five more weeks of employment insurance benefits under a $189 million pilot project announced Monday by Ottawa.Jean-Yves Duclos, the minister of Families, Children and Social Development, made the announcement at a fisheries plant in Escuminac, N.B., as other Liberals touted the project in Atlantic Canada and in Quebec.An estimated 51,500 workers — in parts of Atlantic Canada, Quebec and Yukon — will benefit from the extra weeks of employment insurance.“We know that some seasonal workers have long struggled to find sufficient hours of work to qualify for enough EI benefits to carry them through the off-season,” said Duclos.“Economic diversification and economic development are key to finding long-term solutions to help seasonal workers, but our government also understands that this is a pressing issue that requires short-term actions.”Duclos said up to five more weeks will be provided to eligible workers in seasonal industries in 13 regions who start a benefit period between Aug. 5, 2018 and May 30 2020.Those economic regions include eastern and western Nova Scotia, Madawaska–Charlotte in New Brunswick, central Quebec, and Newfoundland and Labrador, excluding St. John’s, N.L.“This means families will have more support to help them go through the winter. Today’s announcement will also help close the income gap and help give individuals and families the support they need when they need it most,” said Duclos.The Liberals currently hold every seat in Atlantic Canada and the lone Yukon seat, and hope to make gains in Quebec in a federal election scheduled for October 2019.The government said it was targeting areas with higher proportions of seasonal claimants to the total labour force and higher than average employment insurance unemployment rates in 2017.The federal government said it would also provide up to $41 million over two years to all provinces and territories through labour market development agreements to provide skills training, wage subsidies and employment supports for workers in seasonal industries.Ottawa said the funding was part of a budget commitment to provide $230 million to help workers in seasonal industries.—A list of economic regions included in Monday’s announcement:1. Bas-Saint-Laurent–Côte-Nord2. Central Québec3. Charlottetown4. Chicoutimi-Jonquiere5. Eastern Nova Scotia6. Gaspesie–Iles-de-la-Madeleine7. Madawaska–Charlotte8. Newfoundland and Labrador (excludes capital city)9. North Western Québec10. Prince Edward Island11. Restigouche–Albert12. Western Nova Scotia13. Yukon (excludes capital city)last_img read more

Hugh Jackman Leads Host Committee For Global Citizen Festival

first_imgThe Global Citizen Festival has announced the official 2014 host committee will be led by Hugh Jackman.The committee will also include Adrian Grenier, Alek Wek 
”H&M Conscious Foundation Ambassador,” Allison Williams, Amani Toomer, Bonnie Wright, Bridget Moynahan, Connie Britton, Deborra-lee Furness, Dianna Agron, Erin Heatherton, 
Erin Richards, Eve Hewson, Gayle King, Jessica Alba “Founder of the Honest Company,” 
Katie Holmes, Kweku Mandela, Maxwell, Ndaba Mandela, Olivia Wilde, Rachel Brosnahan, 
Shantell Martin, Soledad O’Brien, Tamzin Merchant, and Zachary Quinto.The 2014 Global Citizen Festival is also proud to announce its new partnership with H&M, who will serve as the official retail partner of this year’s Festival, which continues the worldwide movement to end extreme poverty by 2030. The free-ticketed concert will feature performances by JAY Z, No Doubt, Carrie Underwood, fun., The Roots, and Tiesto from the Great Lawn of New York’s iconic Central Park on September 27, 2014. NBC News will produce a one-hour primetime special of the event to air on NBC at 9 p.m. on September 27, 2014, and MSNBC will broadcast and stream the full concert on cable and msnbc.com, respectively.These artists and hosts will once again dedicate their time to encourage fans and friends to become ‘Global Citizens’ by taking actions to end extreme poverty by 2030. The Festival coincides with the United Nations General Assembly and will call for tangible commitments from world leaders in the areas of vaccines, education and sanitation, and will focus on ensuring that all the world’s children and young people can survive and thrive.Hugh Jackman stated, “I am thrilled to be a part of this year’s Global Citizen Festival to further the movement to end extreme poverty. This is a cause that has been close to my heart for many years, and I look forward to joining 60,000 Global Citizens in Central Park as we change the world for the better.”Free tickets to the Festival can be earned at www.globalcitizenfestival.com where fans can take online “actions” to earn their admission. Fans can register to become a Global Citizen, choose from a variety of actions to earn points, and use their earned points to qualify for free tickets to the Festival. One of the actions fans can take is to sign a petition calling on Canada’s Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, to contribute $200 million to the Global Partnership for Education. Fans can also purchase a limited edition Global Citizen H&M t-shirt with the IMPACK, the Global Citizen Action Pack, at globalcitizen.org/IMPACK.Proud partners of the 2014 Global Citizen Festival, include: Caterpillar Inc., Citi, World Childhood Foundation, The Riot House, Noise4Good, EKOCYCLE, BidKind, Universal Music Group, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, and The Paramount Hotel. The Festival has also partnered with leading non-profit groups, including: UNFPA, the Global Partnership for Education, Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, The Malala Fund, WaterAid America, Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council, WASH Advocates, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, and more. MSNBC and NBC News are the official media partners for this year’s Festival.People everywhere are invited to sign-up and take actions to be entered in the ticket lottery. For more information about the bands, artists, and event, visit: www.globalcitizenfestival.com.last_img read more

Cong should learn governance from BJP: Rajnath

first_imgPithoragarh: The Congress should learn from the BJP how a government should be run, Union minster Rajnath Singh said Monday while asserting that India was among the fastest growing economies in the world and there was not a single charge of corruption against any minister in the Narendra Modi dispensation. Canvassing for BJP MP Ajay Tamta, who has been renominated in Almora (reserved) Lok Sabha constituency, Singh accused the Congress of always doing politics over the issue of development. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details “India, which ranked 11th in the list of world economies in 2013, has jumped to the sixth position and will stand 5th in the list over the next six months. If the pace of development continues, India will be the third biggest economy in the world by 2028,” Singh said at a poll rally here. “How a government is run is something the Congress should learn from the BJP. There has not been a single charge of corruption against any minister in the Modi cabinet in the last five years,” he said. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday Referring to Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s proposed minimum income guarantee scheme aiming to lift five crore families out of poverty, Singh said, “The poverty alleviation slogan was first given by Jawaharlal Nehru and carried forward by Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. It is being repeated by Rahul Gandhi who is promising to put Rs 72,000 into the account of every poor person. “It is a fake promise like the slogan of poverty alleviation,” he said. Quoting an American think tank, the senior BJP leader said the number of poor people in India that stood at 16.5 crore in the year 2015 has now reduced five crore. “It is all due to steps taken towards poverty alleviation by the Modi Government in the last five years. Not only the American think tank but even the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said that India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world today,” Singh said. The BJP leader said while the Manmohan Singh government constructed only 25 lakh houses in five years, the Modi dispensation got 1.30 crore houses built for the poor during its tenure. “While only 47 per cent houses were provided toilets in last 55 years, the Modi government constructed toilets for 98 per cent houses in the last five years only,” he claimed. The Union home minister said that Praising Uttarkhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat was the only one to envision a universal health scheme much before the Centre launched Ayushman Bharat. “Under the present chief minister the state is growing speedily,” he said, adding the development of hill states is only possible when the centre has the same party in government as the state. In the Almora (reserved) Lok Sabha constituency, BJP’s Ajay Tamta is pitted against arch rival Congress’ Rajya Sabha MP Pradeep Tamta.last_img read more

Pollutionrelated diseases pose deadly threat to children UN agencies warn

Children in the New Millennium: Environmental Impact on Health provides evidence of the threat posed by environmental degradation, which gives rise to a number of diseases, including diarrhoea and acute respiratory infections – two of the leading causes of child mortality. The report also identifies other environmental problems directly affecting children, such as high levels of toxic chemicals and the degradation and depletion of natural resources. Lead in the environment – much of it from leaded gasoline – causes permanent neurological and developmental disorders, while millions of children working in agriculture are at high risk of pesticide poisoning. Children are also disproportionately vulnerable to global environmental problems, such as the impact of climate change, the depletion of the ozone layer, and the loss of the planet’s biological diversity. The 140-page report, jointly produced by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Health Organization (WHO), was released in conjunction with the three-day General Assembly special session on children, which opened in New York on Wednesday.”Far too many children are dying from diseases that can be prevented through access to clean water and sanitation,” said UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy. Echoing this concern, WHO Director-General Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland stressed that people were most vulnerable in their early years. “This means that children must be at the centre of our response to unhealthy environments,” she said.For his part, Klaus Töpfer, the UNEP Executive Director, called for international action in response to the problem. “We should recognize that realizing children’s rights and managing environmental challenges are mutually reinforcing goals,” he said, voicing hope that the new study would inspire decisive action to improve both the health and environment of children. read more

Hundreds of desperate refugees seek safety at UN compound in Liberia

Staff from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Monrovia said hundreds of refugees and displaced persons stormed into the agency’s premises on Monday after a mortar shell hit the nearby United States residential compound, killing and wounding scores of people. Two more were reported killed in the area today.UNHCR said its compound in Mamba Point is sheltering more than 800 people – some 600 of them Sierra Leonean refugees who earlier fled their camps on the outskirts of the city and are now increasingly desperate for food and pleading for evacuation. At least 160 Liberians and several nationals of other West African nations are also huddled in the compound.Taking advantage of breaks in the fighting, adults dashed out to replenish meagre supplies of food and water from a makeshift market hastily set up in the neighbourhood. On Tuesday, as soon as several people began preparing rice and vegetables on open fires, shelling resumed and they raced back into the relative safety of the UNHCR building. By this morning, the compound had run out of food, and few people had money left to go out and buy provisions. Moses Okello, UNHCR’s representative for Liberia who was evacuated to Côte d’Ivoire, said the situation was desperate.Despite reports of a rebel-ordered ceasefire, sporadic shooting and shelling continued. Government fighters on the streets have been seen firing their weapons indiscriminately, with no apparent opposition in sight. Inside the compound, hallways and stairways were jammed with men, women and children sleeping on the bare floor, wherever they could find space.Meanwhile, yesterday in Dakar, Senegal, the Foreign Ministers of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) met to discuss ways of expediting the arrival of a vanguard force to Liberia. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and a host of top UN officials have repeatedly stressed the need for the quick deployment of such a force. read more

Keep options open for displaced Chechens urges UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador

Ms. Jolie had travelled to the North Caucasus to learn about all aspects of UNHCR’s operations in the region. In Ingushetia, a republic bordering Chechnya, she visited Bella and Sputnik camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs), where UNHCR has recently expressed concern that local authorities were putting pressure on some Chechen refugees to return home.”I frankly cannot see how the situation in Chechnya has changed to the extent that it now is safe for all IDPs to return,” she said last Sunday at a press conference in Moscow. Ms. Jolie’s comments came after meetings with many displaced Chechens who expressed fear that, without continued accommodation in Ingushetia, they would be forced to go back home.”I am grateful for the hospitality that the Republic of Ingushetia has extended to internally displaced persons, and I warmly welcome the assurances by President [Murat] Zyazikov that no displaced persons will be returned to Chechnya against their will,” Ms. Jolie stated.There are some 80,000 IDPs from Chechnya in Ingushetia. About 12,000 of them have been living in tented camps for the last four years.Ms. Jolie also visited a housing project for refugees in North Ossetia, a republic bordering Georgia. In Moscow, she met several families of asylum seekers and visited the Morozov children’s hospital where she donated $20,000. read more

Iconic image spotlighting plight of Palestine refugees illuminates UN headquarters

The huge photograph, originally taken in 1983 and featuring a UN Relief and Works Agency in the Near East (UNRWA) school girl, was visible for six hours and was also displayed on buildings in Bangkok, Beirut, Dubai, Jakarta, Seville, Tokyo, Marrakesh, and Vienna as part of the agency’s Building Solidarity campaign, which seeks to highlight the unresolved political plight of Palestinian refugees.Speaking in front of UN Headquarters, UNRWA’s Deputy Commissioner-General Margot Ellis stressed the importance of showing solidarity with the Palestinian people.“UNRWA has been doing this for 65 years through the delivery of basic services such as education and health, which have successfully led to the human development of the Palestine refugee community,” she said, adding, “we also have extensive emergency programmes in all five areas of our operations, which include Jordan, Lebanon and the West Bank.”She noted that five million people, many of whom were very poor, are still waiting for a resolution of their plight after six decades. Calling for “renewed political action in the peace process,” she underlined the importance of the Agency in providing human development, hope and prospects for a dignified future.“Humanitarian action by UNRWA is vital though it is certainly not a substitute for full rights, employment and dignity without which refugees will remain in a state of extreme vulnerability,” she said.Ms. Ellis was in New York for the annual UNRWA donor pledging conference and she underlined the need for sustained international support for UNRWA’s programmes, particularly in the context of the recent conflict in Gaza and the ongoing war in Syria entering its fourth year.Despite such growing needs, as well as larger numbers of refugees and deepening poverty, financial support for UNRWA has not kept pace and the agency’s General Fund, which supports core activities and is 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions and has a current deficit of $56 million.Through the Building Solidarity campaign, UNRWA has digitized more than 300,000 of its nearly half a million images, dating from as far back as 1948 and the original displacement of Palestinians. The archive has been recognized by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) with “Memory of the World” status and will be available on line to journalists, writers, scholars and anyone interested in the long and still unresolved question of Palestine refugees and the development of UNRWA’s services over six decades. read more

In Damascus UN aid chief outlines measures to improve response to Syrian

“I have this week seen first hand the colossal toll that the brutal and sustained hostilities have taken,” said Mark Lowcock, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, in a statement to the media on the third day of his visit to Syria.Describing the dire situation, he said estimates suggest that hundreds of thousands of people have been killed, countless more are missing or detained, and five million have fled to other countries. Gross domestic product (GDP) is less than half what it was before the war, and replacing destroyed infrastructure and housing will cost hundreds of billions of dollars. “Almost 70 per cent of people now live in extreme poverty,” said Mr. Lowcock.Against this background, he paid tribute to the thousands of aid workers that have worked to implement assistance programmes, explaining: “Most of them are Syrians and many are volunteers, working for the organizations of the UN, the Red Cross, [non-gorvnermental organizations] and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.” While in Syria, Mr. Lowcock, who is also the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, said he has had open discussions with the Government about the crisis and what more needs to be done to reduce humanitarian suffering, and has also met local authorities, the diplomatic community and humanitarian organizations.The UN relief wing has more on the Syria crisis hereHe said he is hoping soon to see “a number of positive developments” that enable the UN to sustain and improve the aid effort this year.Such developments would include finalization of the UN’s humanitarian response plan for 2018, which seeks $3.5 billion from donors to meet the needs of more than 13 million people in all parts of Syria, as well as agreement to medical evacuation for hundreds of critically ill people trapped in besieged Eastern Ghouta.The UN’s humanitarian response plan for Syria, which targets some 13 million people and is one of the world’s largest sustained emergency aid efforts, totalled $1.7 billion in 2017.Also, agreement to three or four UN and Syrian Arab Red Crescent convoys each week across front lines would provide assistance to up to 2.5 million people in besieged and hard to reach areas. Further, the aid effort could be improved through agreement on UN-supported convoys from Damascus to Rukban in south-eastern Syria, and more effective arrangements to enable the UN to support the work of Syrian non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and to enable international NGOs to play a stronger role in relieving the suffering.Mr. Lowcock said he also discussed with the Government and others a number of other issues, including the review of the cross-border aid programmes from neighbouring countries into Syria which was commissioned last month by the Security Council.“My mandate is to ensure humanitarian assistance and protection for everyone who needs it, in accordance with the long-established principles of independence, impartiality and neutrality which have been endorsed by all the Member States of the UN,” he said. read more

Ballet star Tamara Rojo reveals tragic midlife crisis as she nears the

“I think it is a tragedy. There… Tamara Rojo, the 44-year-old Artistic Director and lead Principal dancer of the English National ballet has won a Laurence Olivier award, a CBE and plaudits across the world, but knows that her body will not let her continue at the top for much longer. One of the leading lights of British ballet has spoken of her “tragic” midlife crisis as she heads towards her final dance. “The final dance is is something every dancer thinks about every day. Literally every day. –– ADVERTISEMENT –– Speaking at the Royal Academy’s festival of ideas, Rojo, who was born in Canada, grew up in Spain and calls herself a ‘Londoner’ said: “I am aware that I am of a certain age and it is coming to an end.” read more

Up to 200 police could face charges over Hillsborough tragedy

first_imgI must stress the scope of our work is not yet clear – and we do not underestimate the size of our task.Speaking to Sky News, she said:I think I can confidently say this will be the largest independent inquiry that has been launched into the actions of the police in the United Kingdom.In a statement from the Crown Prosecution Service, Keir Starmer QC said:Having read and considered the report published by the Hillsborough Independent Panel on 12 September 2012 and liaised with the Home Office and Independent Police Complaints Commission, I have concluded that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) should consider all the material now available in relation to the tragic events on 15 April 1989, including the material made available by the Independent Panel. UP TO 200 police officers in the UK are to be investigated over the events surrounding the Hillsborough disaster.The news comes following the publication by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) of their response to last month’s report by the Hillsborough Independent Panel.It is believed that 164 police statements had been altered following the tragedy, in order to alter negative comments that had been made in relation to how the match had been policed.A statement from the Deputy Chair of the IPCC, Deborah Glass, said that last month’s report had revealed “extremely serious and troubling issues for the police” and that it was now time for the IPCC and others to complete the investigation.Further investigation was deemed to be required relating to the amendment of statements that had been made by police following the incident, including “who ordered it, who knew about it, who was involved in the process, and was pressure put on individual officers?”Attempts to smear those who died in the disaster by suggesting excessive alcohol had been consumed is also to be investigated.The way in which subsequent investigations into the tragedy were managed by the West Midlands Police are also due to be delved into further.Misleading information that was passed to media, politicians, and subsequent inquiries are also to be investigated by a “dedicated Hillsborough team,” with Glass saying: The purpose of this exercise is to identify what the focus of any further criminal investigation should be in order for the CPS to determine whether there is now sufficient evidence to charge any individual or corporate body with any criminal offence. All potential offences that may have been committed and all potential defendants will be considered.Read: The Hillsborough documents: What we’ve learned so far >Column: The full story of the Hillsborough disaster is still to come >last_img read more

Party delegations meet the Troika today

first_imgDELEGATIONS FROM SINN Féin and Fianna Fáil are meeting with the Troika today.The meetings are taking place in the Department of Finance this morning, with Sinn Féin due to meet them at 9am and a Fianna Fáil spokesperson saying their meeting is currently ongoingFianna Fáil finance spokesperson Michael McGrath and members of the party’s finance team are the delegation meeting the Troika.The Sinn Féin delegation will be led by the party’s Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald and will include Peadar Tóibín TD, Brian Stanley TD and Senator Kathryn Reilly.Both parties said they will comment after the meeting at the Department of Finance.Read: Troika have no issue with reported Croke Park savings – government>last_img read more