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BSP gets EC relief over big deposits

first_imgIn a relief to the BSP, the Election Commission of India has accepted the explanation given by the party on its deposit of ₹104 crore in old currency notes in its bank account in New Delhi after demonetisation.The EC has decided to not pursue the matter further, said Nutan Thakur, counsel for Pratap Chandra, a petitioner in the case.In an order dated May 4, made public by Ms. Thakur on Friday, the EC accepted the BSP’s explanation, citing the “peculiar circumstances” and “practical difficulties” of depositing cash in one instance. The EC, however, advised the BSP to “scrupulously” follow the guidelines regarding cash deposits in future.Mr. Chandra had filed a PIL petition in the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court alleging that the BSP’s deposit of ₹104 crore in old currency notes after demonetisation was a “clear violation” of the Election Commission’s guidelines for financial transparency issued on August 29 and November 19 2014.last_img read more

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CBI grills Tripura Minister in Rose Valley case

first_imgCBI officials questioned Tripura Social Welfare and Social Education Minister Bijita Nath on Thursday in connection with the Rose Valley chit fund scam. The firm is reported to have cheated public of hundreds of crores of rupees, until the SEBI cracked down on it. Opposition parties have accused Ms. Nath of helping Rose Valley to expand its business in her home turf Dharmanagar in north Tripura. She has repeatedly denied the charge.A two-member team of the agency, accompanied by a woman officer of the State police, spent an hour at the Minister’s office. The CBI had earlier sent a notice to Ms. Nath asking her to be present at her official residence to face questioning. It later changed the venue, mainly to avoid crowds and the media as her residence was located in the middle of the city, sources said.last_img read more

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Indian Origin Footballer Called Up To The National Side & To Face India

first_imgIndian origin player Joshua Pynadath has been called for the USA U16 Team to play against Norway and India U16 Team in the Sports Chain tournament. The Sports Chain tournament will be played between four countries – USA, India, and Norway, at Benicassim, in Spain.Pynadath is a left winger who earlier played for the Real Madrid youth team before he moved on a free transfer to Ajax in 2015. Prior to that, he played for Red Star F. C. and De Anza Force F. C.Read it at Sports Keeda Related Itemslast_img read more

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Indian UN Official Dismissed Over Sexual Misconduct

first_imgA senior Indian UN officer was dismissed following a probe into charges of sexual misconduct leveled against him by several of his male subordinates. The investigation upheld the allegations against Ravi Karkara, who was suspended on full pay last year from the post of Deputy Executive Director at UN Women, following accusations of sexual misconduct by many colleagues. In a statement issued on Sept. 18, the United Nations agency for gender equality and women empowerment said that the investigative and disciplinary processes found the allegations of sexual misconduct to be true. The probe against Karkara, who has not been named by UN Women in the case, conducted by the Office of Audit and Investigation of UNDP Investigation lasted 15 months and was completed in August.  Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said, in the statement: “The investigative and disciplinary processes into allegations involving a UN Women staff member have concluded that sexual misconduct occurred. As a result, I have dismissed the staff member; this is the strongest disciplinary measure available within the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations (UN). Consequently, the staff member is prohibited from employment within the UN system.” She added that the former staff member will not be protected by diplomatic immunity.  “Although UN Women does not have the authority to prosecute, the UN is guided by its obligation to bring credible allegations of criminal conduct to the attention of relevant national authorities. UN Women stands ready to cooperate with any national authority that decides to investigate this matter,” she said. Reports against Karkara, who has also served as a Senior Adviser on Strategic Partnerships to the Assistant Secretary General, first emerged last year. In June 2017, Steve Lee, 25, accused the Indian national of sending him numerous messages, some involving pornographic material, grabbing his genitals and mocking his religious beliefs.   Eight man accused Karkara of using his position to harass them, Newsweek reported in August this year. One among them was Lee, who told the publication that Karkara used to make obscene gestures and ask him inappropriate questions.  Others said he stalked them online, used sexually suggestive language, and demanded sexual favors in return for better career opportunities.Karkara is an Indian national but not an official of the Indian government or a diplomat at the Indian permanent mission to the UN.“Since the proceedings are still internal to the UN and relate to an international civil servant who is not an Indian diplomat the Indian Mission has not been kept informed of the developments in the UN’s internal investigation,” a diplomat at the Indian mission was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times in a previous report. Related ItemsHuman RightsUnited Nationslast_img read more

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Without Love, Cavaliers still torment playoff-hopeful Pistons

first_imgBloomberg: US would benefit from more, not fewer, immigrants PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Wintry storm delivers US travel woes before Thanksgiving Goran Dragic, Dwyane Wade star as Heat pounce on Westbrook-less Thunder Colombia protesters vow new strike after talks hit snag The Pistons (36-34) are sixth in the East, a game ahead of Brooklyn and 2 1/2 in front of Miami, but their previous visit to Cleveland — when they routed the Cavaliers 129-93 on March 2 — might have played a role in this loss.“I don’t think we came out with a healthy enough respect for our opponent — and we should have,” Casey said. “Until we grow up and understand there are no nights we can take for granted in this league, we’re not going to be ready for this playoff push.”Love was out with a sore back for Cleveland after taking a hard fall in Saturday’s loss to Dallas, while Griffin sat out to rest for Detroit.Andre Drummond nearly made up for Griffin’s absence with 21 points and 21 rebounds, but Detroit’s center was also displeased with the outcome.“We tip-toed around with them the whole game, and they went out and took advantage of it,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT Google Philippines names new country director SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Cleveland Cavaliers’ forward Cedi Osman, from Turkey, celebrates with guard David Nwaba after hitting a three-point basket in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, March 18, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ken Blaze) CLEVELAND— The Cleveland Cavaliers squeaked by without Kevin Love.The Detroit Pistons, playing without Blake Griffin, weren’t as fortunate.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READcenter_img The Cavaliers made clutch shots down the stretch for a 126-119 win Monday night in a game that featured six ties and five lead changes in the fourth quarter.Collin Sexton scored 27 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with just under two minutes to play, and the Cavs defeated a Pistons squad that is fighting for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsDetroit coach Dwane Casey, whose team beat Toronto on Sunday, was unhappy following the game, especially with the fact that Cleveland shot 58 percent.“I’m totally disappointed in myself and our team and everyone in our locker room,” he said. “Our defensive disposition was nil. Nil.” LATEST STORIES Sexton’s 3-pointer gave Cleveland a 115-114 lead with 1:54 left. Following a missed 3 by Wayne Ellington, Cedi Osman hit a 3 with 1:24 to play, putting the Cavaliers up 118-114.Detroit’s Reggie Jackson missed a 3 before Sexton knocked down another shot from behind the arc with 39 seconds left to make it 121-114 and complete a 10-0 run.“Those are the moments people remember — end of the game and you make a big shot,” Sexton said.Cleveland placed seven players in double figures. Osman had 21 points and Nik Stauskas scored 17, including 15 in the fourth.“We made some tough shots and some clutch shots,” Osman said. “We had a really good night.”Drummond has had 12 games with at least 20 points and 20 rebounds this season.Wayne Ellington hit seven 3s and finished with 25 points.Casey is monitoring Griffin’s workload as the Pistons begin a five-game road trip that will take them to the West Coast. Griffin scored 25 points in 33 minutes Sunday.Cavaliers coach Larry Drew said Love was still sore Monday and didn’t participate in the team’s morning shootaround. Love has played in 12 games since returning from foot surgery.GOOD COMPANY Miguel Romero Polo: Bamboo technology like no other Drummond has 33 games of at least 15 points and 15 rebounds this season, breaking the franchise record previously held by Hall of Famer Bob Lanier, who did it 32 times in 1972-73.Drummond wasn’t paying much attention to the accomplishment.“Nah, I’d rather we won,” he said. “Winning the game is more important than any individual accolade.”MAKING PROGRESSDrew thought it was gratifying to see Sexton and Osman hit big shots with the game on the line.“Those guys have come a long way and you can certainly see the growth in their games,” Drew said. “It tells me these guys are starting to get it.”TIP-INSPistons: Jackson scored 15 points. Langston Galloway and Ish Smith each had 13. … F Thon Maker started in Griffin’s spot and had seven points with nine rebounds.Cavaliers: Brandon Knight scored 16 points. Marquese Chriss had 10 points and 10 rebounds. … F Larry Nance Jr. (bruised rib), G Matthew Dellavedova (concussion), C John Henson (right wrist) and F Tristan Thompson (sore left foot) remain out.UP NEXT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Trump tells impeachment jokes at annual turkey pardon event Pistons: Visit the Phoenix Suns on Thursday.Cavaliers: Host the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View commentslast_img read more

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India cricketer Mohammed Shami asks for gunner for security

first_imgIndia fast bowler Mohammed Shami has reportedly asked for a gunner for his security as the dispute between him and his wife Hasin Jahan continues. It all started in March 2018 when Jahan took to Facebook to post screenshots of Shami’s alleged chats with other women.Jahan accused Shami of extra-marital affairs and domestic abuse while the cricketer denied the accusations on social media and said it was all a conspiracy to defame him.Over the next few weeks, both Hasin and Shami took potshots at each other and issued strong statements in the media. Both parties accused the other of lying and Shami questioned Hasin’s mental health.Hasin had also mentioned Shami’s involvement in match-fixing, which forced the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to withhold his central contract. But, after a thorough investigation from BCCI’s anti-corruption unit (ACSU), he was cleared of any such thing and BCCI offered him a fresh central contract, which it had withheld following his wife’s police complaint.The latest news that’s coming from the quarters is that Shami has submitted an application to the District Magistrate of Amroha for a gunner while the District Magistrate Hemant Kumar has asked him to complete the formalities on the application.Shami recently played for India in their 4-1 loss to England in the five-match Test series but his individual performance with the ball was widely appreciated.Shami was the fourth highest wicket-taker in the series with 16 wickets in five matches. Among Indians, only Ishant Sharma topped him with 18 wickets in as many matches.advertisementBowlers were praised for their performance in England where they continuously put India in positions to win the matches and Shami was a crucial part of the bowling unit and one who captain Virat Kohli brought in to pick wickets.Also read – Mohammed Shami-Hasin Jahan saga: BCCI refuses to intervene in family quarrelWith Shami back in India and now, preparing for the two-Test series against West Indies, he has been looking to better his security.According to media reports, Shami stays with his family in his village Sahaspur Ali Nagar whenever he is not playing with India and had also kept a personal security guard in the past. However, the guard was later removed.Shami reportedly met the District Magistrate after returning from England requesting for secutiy arrangement and a gunner. On the other hand, the District Magistrate has directed his subordinates to look into the petition so that Shami can get a gunner once all the formalities are completed.Also read – Will invite Hasin Jahan for my second marriage, jokes Mohammed ShamiLast month, it was also reported that Jahan lost the maintenance case against Shami after the Alipore court turned down her demand of Rs 10 lakh per month. However, the judge approved the maintenance claim for their daughter Aairah Shami, according to which Shami will be paying Rd 80,000 per month.Recent reports have also suggested that last month Jahan sent Shami’s cricket teacher Suman Chakravarty to ask for money for the admission of their daughter in a school in Kolkata. However, angry by the fact that she used a third person to ask for money for Aairah, Shami refused.last_img read more

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Why does it always have to be about Ronaldo?

first_imgCristiano Ronaldo Why does it always have to be about Cristiano Ronaldo? Ben Hayward Last updated 1 year ago 20:15 5/27/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments() Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid Getty Cristiano Ronaldo UEFA Champions League Real Madrid v Liverpool Real Madrid Liverpool The 33-year-old picked a celebratory moment to drop a bombshell about his future and steal the headlines for himself, having done little on the pitch Cristiano Ronaldo always finds a way to be the centre of attention. Saturday night should have belonged to match-winner Gareth Bale and to a Real Madrid team that wrote its name in history with a third straight Champions League crown. But the Portuguese had other ideas.The five-time Ballon d’Or winner did not score in Real’s 3-1 win over Liverpool and was irritated when he advanced into the area in the 93rd minute, only to see the chance lost as a pitch invader ran on to interrupt the move.The 33-year-old had not netted in either leg of the two semi-final games against Bayern Munich either, but he still finished as top scorer in the Champions League and lifted the trophy for a fifth time . It should have been a time for celebration. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now But instead of rejoicing in his team’s triumph and praising Bale’s brilliance, Ronaldo made it all about himself. Asked if this project should continue with him at its forefront, he said: “In the next few days, I will give an answer to the fans, who have always been by my side. It has been really special to play for Real Madrid .”It was not the time, nor the place. However, Ronaldo’s remarks should come as no surprise. He has done this before. And back in the dressing room, his team-mates were not particularly pleased that the Portuguese had chosen such a moment to drop a bombshell about his future.When told of his team-mate’s interview, captain Sergio Ramos said : “He will have to clarify it today. He is a key player for us and nowhere else will he be better off than he is here.”Ramos later spoke to Cristiano about the matter and in the mixed zone, the Portuguese changed his tune . “Perhaps it wasn’t the right time to bring up personal things,” he said. “Maybe I made a mistake. Or not. It’s not the right time; I don’t want to detract from this top moment for the fans, who have always supported me and been by my side.”And he added: “I shouldn’t have said what I did. It wasn’t the right time because the club has made history and I don’t want to take any merit away from what the team has achieved. It comes from some time back. I will talk in a few days. I shouldn’t have said anything, but I don’t regret it either.”Cristiano Ronaldo Champions LeagueOvershadowed on the pitch by Bale , scorer of two goals including a wonderful overhead effort from just inside the box, Cristiano could have congratulated his much-maligned team-mate but instead guaranteed with one reply that all of the further questions would be about his future. And they were.As soon as he had said in the past tense that “it was special to play for Real Madrid”, the television and radio journalists were only interested in one thing: his future.It ensured that the headlines all over the world will be talking not so much of Bale’s brilliant strike, which was on a par with Ronaldo’s overhead effort in Turin, or even Real’s historic achievement, but of Ronaldo’s bombshell after the match.It was, as he himself said, not the time. But Cristiano is conscious of the power of his words and he knew exactly what he was doing in his post-match interview. And it was disrespectful to his team-mates, to the club and to the fans.Cristiano Ronaldo Zinedine Zidane Real Madrid Liverpool UCLIn any case, madridistas should not worry because Ronaldo is almost certainly going nowhere this summer. He has a long-term contract, with a buyout clause of €1 billion, which no club could or would pay for a 33-year-old.”We always talk about him and then nothing happens,” president Florentino Perez said after the match . “But I’m delighted that Cristiano has five European Cups like me. Ask him, he’s going to stay, he has a contract.”Exactly. These latest remarks are nothing new, with Ronaldo having hinted on several occasions – including last summer – that he could leave Real. But his quotes on Saturday ensured that he was the story again – just as he likes it.And as Real celebrate with the fans in the Madrid city centre, at the Bernabeu and the famous Cibeles fountain on Sunday, Cristiano’s clever piece of PR has guaranteed a rousing reception, with the supporters set to call for him to stay. It is all a bit needy, really.last_img read more

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Rumours: Sakshi Dhoni tweets as speculation on MS Dhoni retirement grows

first_img India Today Web Desk New DelhiSeptember 12, 2019UPDATED: September 12, 2019 19:47 IST MS Dhoni with wife Sakshi and daughter Ziva (Photo posted by @sakshisingh_r on Instagram)HIGHLIGHTSSakshi Dhoni has sort to quash the rumours on MS Dhoni’s retirementMinutes after Kohli’s tweet, fans began to wonder whether MS Dhoni would indeed call time on his careerMS Dhoni also made himself unavailable for the 3-match T20I series against South AfricaSakshi Dhoni has sort to quash the rumours on MS Dhoni’s retirement which were doing rounds in the social media after Virat Kohli’s cryptic tweet earlier today.After, the speculations on MS Dhoni’s retirement started to spread Sakshi took to Twitter and broke her sillence with a tweet which read: Its called rumours !Its called rumours !Sakshi Singh (@SaakshiSRawat) September 12, 2019On Thursday, Virat Kohli posted a tweet on his partnership against Australia in India’s league match of the 2016 T20 World Cup and said: A game I can never forget. Special night. This man, made me run like in a fitness test. Minutes after Kohli’s tweet, fans began to wonder whether MS Dhoni would indeed call time on his career.A game I can never forget. Special night. This man, made me run like in a fitness test @msdhoni pic.twitter.com/pzkr5zn4pGVirat Kohli (@imVkohli) September 12, 2019MS Dhoni also made himself unavailable for the 3-match T20I series against South Africa. Dhoni was far from his best with the bat during the World Cup and was even criticised for his poor strike rate. He surprisingly shut shop early during a steep run chase against England but almost pulled off a heroic win over New Zealand in the semi-final which India lost narrowly.MS Dhoni had retired from Test cricket in 2014 and stepped down as India’s limited-overs skipper in January 2017. He has since continused to serve Team India as a brilliant wicketkeeper and a sharp tactician but his batting has been cause for concern in both T20Is and ODIs.advertisementAlso See:For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted bySaurabh Kumar Tags :Follow MS DhoniFollow Sakshi Dhoni Rumours: Sakshi Dhoni tweets as speculation on MS Dhoni retirement growsSakshi Singh Dhoni broke her silence after rumours on MS Dhoni’s retirement spread due to a Virat Kohli tweet.advertisement Nextlast_img read more

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Province Federal Governments Invest 14 Million in Halifax Airport

first_imgHalifax Stanfield International Airport will soon be able to attract more passengers and cargo traffic as a result of investments from the province and the federal government. Premier Darrell Dexter, and Minister of National Defence Peter MacKay, on behalf of Minister of Transport Chuck Strahl, announced a $14-million investment to extend the airport’s main runway, today, Feb. 21. “This new funding will help grow Nova Scotia’s economy and create good jobs by increasing passenger and air cargo traffic in the region,” said Premier Dexter. “As the region’s largest airport, Halifax Stanfield International Airport is a vital transportation hub, and this enhancement will help businesses seek new customers and improve the airport’s competitiveness internationally.” Extending the runway from 8,800 to 10,500 feet will allow the airport to handle larger wide-bodied and heavy aircraft. This will enhance the airport’s position as a key international air cargo and passenger hub. “Investments in Nova Scotia’s transportation infrastructure are investments toward growing the economic potential of our province,” said Mr. MacKay. “Government is proud to support Nova Scotians and Nova Scotia businesses with this important investment.” Nova Scotia will invest $5 million and Transport Canada will provide $9 million. The remaining $14 million will be provided by the airport authority. In 2009, Halifax Stanfield International Airport moved 29 thousand tonnes of cargo. Over the next decade, air cargo traffic is forecast to grow by between 85 per cent and 130 per cent. “The extension of our main runway will provide Nova Scotia with new economic development opportunities, particularly in the air cargo sector,” said Tom Ruth, president and CEO, Halifax International Airport Authority. “We are delighted to have the participation of both the provincial and federal governments in a project that will create positive economic spinoffs that will be felt right across the province in the years ahead.” Nova Scotia’s investment is part of jobsHere, the province’s plan to create goods jobs and grow the economy. jobsHere focuses on three areas to help grow the economy including learning, innovation and competitiveness. “The runway expansion project at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport is a shining example of an investment that will not only help improve the competitiveness of the airport, but will help improve the competitiveness of many businesses in this province and the region that uses it to ship their goods around the world.”last_img read more

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Photos Lissie Helps Launch Imagine Theres No Hunger

first_imgEarlier this week, Lissie, Hard Rock’s IMAGINE Artist Ambassador, performed in New York as part of the launch of Hard Rock’s 6th annual “Imagine There’s No Hunger” campaign benefiting WhyHunger and its grassroots partners combating childhood hunger and poverty worldwide. At the event, Lissie helped collect non-perishable food donations for the New York Common Pantry with Hard Rock matching the donations raised.Lissie poses with Annie Balliro, Hard Rock’s Senior Director of Brand Philanthropy, with WhyHunger representatives and Hard Rock Ambassadors Credit/Copyright: Scott Gries/Invision for Hard Rock International/AP ImagesLissie shows her support by collecting non-perishable food donations for the New York Common Pantry with Hard Rock matching the donations raised on Monday, November 25, 2013, in New York City. Credit/Copyright: Scott Gries/Invision for Hard Rock International/AP Imageslast_img read more

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‘NRC a plan hatched by BJP to displace Gorkhas from Hills’

first_imgDarjeeling: The National Register of Citizens (NRC) has become the most debatable issue this election in the Darjeeling constituency.The TMC and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) allege that it is a conspiracy hatched by the BJP to displace the Gorkhas. BJP President Amit Shah while addressing a rally in Alipurduar had recently threatened to implement NRC in Bengal to throw infiltrators and illegal immigrants out. “This is a very well-planned conspiracy hatched by the BJP to displace the Gorkhas from this region. One should carefully analyses the sequence of events. We should all unite against it,” alleged TMC leader NB Khawas. The TMC leader said despite repeated assurances the BJP had failed to include the 11 Gorkha sub communities in the ST list. They made multiple committees to examine the demand. The recommendations of the committees were not made public. Later, they assured that a bill would be tabled to include the 11 Gorkha sub communities. This too did not see the light of day. “Finally an RTI was filed to find out the status. The reply to the RTI clearly stated that granting of ST status would lead to an influx of immigrants from Nepal. This shows the Union Government’s actual stand and why they don’t want to grant the ST status,” Khawas said. The TMC leader said following this when the demand was being raised by the public that a son of the soil (Bhumiputra) should be fielded from the Darjeeling constituency, the sitting BJP MP of Darjeeling stated that whosoever are raising this demand are all Nepal born. “Following this BJP President threatened to implement NRC in Bengal. The National Register of Citizens has made thousands of Gorkhas in Assam D-voters or Doubtful voters. Their names have also not featured in the NRC. He wants a rerun of Assam in Bengal. The Gorkhas will have to prove their citizenship with land documents and even their family tree. They are just trying to create unrest and displace the Gorkhas,” Khawas said. BJP candidate Raju Bista while campaigning in Happy Valley Tea Estate in Darjeeling town on Tuesday claimed that the NRC would not effect the Gorkhas in anyway. “On the contrary it will act as a security for the Gorkhas and will drive away the Bangladeshis and Rohingyas from the state,” Bista said. “How can Bista say this? He should know better and explain how it will not affect the Gorkhas. He should study the history of the land to get a clearer picture,” said GJM president Binay Tamang. Tamang said 87.2 per cent of the people residing in the Hills live in tea gardens, cinchona plantations, forest villages, DI Fund land, and municipality leased land. “They do not have land right documents so how will they produce land documents required for NRC. We are fighting for land right document for the Hills,” Tamang said. He further said PM Modi should clarify the BJP’s stand on Gorkhaland and how NRC will not affect Gorkhas during his election campaign in Siliguri on Wednesday. “We are eager to see what new dream he shows the Gorkhas this time,” Tamang said.last_img read more

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Sri Lanka bans face covering after attacks

first_imgColombo: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Sunday announced a ban on face covering, a week after Islamist militants carried out coordinated suicide bombings that killed 253 people. Sirisena said he was using emergency powers to ban any form of face covering in public. The restriction will take effect from Monday, his office said in a statement. “The ban is to ensure national security… No one should obscure their faces to make identification difficult,” the statement said. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange framework It came days after local Islamic clerics urged Muslim women not to cover their faces amid fears of a backlash after the bombings carried out by jihadists affiliated to the Islamic State group. Muslims in the majority Buddhist nation account for about 10 per cent of its 21 million population. Most Sri Lankan Muslims practise a liberal form of the religion and only a small number of women wear the niqab.last_img read more

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King Mohammed VI Opens Press House In Tangiers

first_imgTangier – King Mohammed VI dedicated on Monday a press house in Tangiers, a socio-cultural compound for the integration of Moroccan media professionals in their Arab and Mediterranean space.First of the kind in the Arab world and in Africa, the compound is a site for journalists to meet. It offers several services of training, competence reinforcement and leisure.It is expected to contribute to integrating the Moroccan media in the Arab-Mediterranean space by promoting communication among professionals in the region and the values of freedom, democracy and the rule of law. The Press house includes a Mediterranean center for media studies and research that will endeavor to reinforce ties between press organizations of the Mediterranean and enrich dialog and mutual knowledge among countries of the region.The establishment of the center in Tangiers illustrates the place of this cosmopolitan city, crucible of civilizations and ultimate site of inter-cultures dialogue, the third media pole at the national level after Casablanca and Rabat.Several public and private radio stations, a satellite TV channel and several papers are also located in Tangiers.Extending over a 5,000 m2-area, the press house also features a continuous training center, a conference room with a capacity of 300 seats, an open-air theater, an exhibition space, a VIP lounge, a sports hall, a children leisure space, a swimming pool, a restaurant and parks.The compound was built at a cost of MAD 14.3 million in partnership between the communication ministry, the Agency for the development of northern provinces, the Council of the Tangiers-Tetouan region, the urban commune of Tangier and the prefectural council of Tangiers-Assilah.last_img read more

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US Tourism Declines After Trump’s Travel Ban

Rabat – The unwelcoming message sent by Trump’s travel ban on several Muslim-majority countries has resulted in a rapid decline in desire to visit the United States.After heavy opposition and months spent battling courts, a revised version of US President Donald Trump’s travel ban went into effect on the evening of Thursday, June 29. Those from Libya, Syria, Iran, Somalia, Yemen, and Sudan are now banned from the country for 90 days unless possessing a bona fide relationship in the States.Immediately following the controversial announcement, European travel groups cancelled plans to visit the country: Hostelling International USA recorded a loss of more than 2,000 overnight stays in the US. Group organizers stated that tourists were suddenly made aware that the US may not be as welcoming a place as it once was.Russ Hedge, chief executive of Hostelling International USA, told the Washington Post that the overwhelming number of cancellations made following the ban “was startling,” adding that the company had “never seen anything like that.” The company has more than 50 hostels worldwide and makes most of its bookings online, where international business to the US has decreased.In a statement from investment bank Robert W. Baird & Co., Vice President Michael Bellisario said, “The travel ban is only a negative at this point. It hurts travel, regardless of whether we’re talking about one of the banned countries or not.”Since Trump’s election as President of the United States in November 2016, the country’s share of international tourism dropped by over 18 percent, according to data from the check-in-tracking company Foursquare. While international tourism rates have risen by six percent, Trump’s strong “America first” rhetoric and policies seem to have made international travelers wary of paying a visit to the US.The US Supreme Court will take on the travel ban’s case in its entirety when it resumes case hearings in the fall of 2017. Until then, the nation’s tourism – and its use of the welcome mat – may be on hold. read more

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ICC prosecutor hails ruling on Kenya as crucial step for countrys future

“Yesterday’s decision is establishing individual responsibility for the post-electoral violence but also for a peaceful Kenya,” stressed Luis Moreno-Ocampo, adding that the ruling also holds international significance as it reiterates that no country has sovereignty to attack civilians.Mr. Moreno-Ocampo said the Court was appreciative of the fact that Kenyan judges explained the decision in a public session and that there have been no reports of violence since the result.“We also appreciate the fact that the accused appeared voluntarily before the court. This goes to show Kenya is managing its transition to a less violent future. President Kibaki yesterday committed to solve the problems of victims of violence still displaced. Victims do not have to wait for a conviction before they receive any help. The Government of Kenya has a responsibility to help its citizens,” Mr. Moreno-Ocampo said.The ICC confirmed charges against Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance; William Samoei Ruto, former Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology; Francis Kirimi Muthaura, Head of the Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet; and Joshua arap Sang, Head of Operations for KASS FM radio station, who are accused of being responsible for the deaths of hundreds of civilians. Mr. Moreno-Ocampo stressed the prosecution is already preparing for trial, but its start could be delayed if judges accept the appeal that has been put forward by some of the accused.According to the ICC, more than 1,100 people were killed, 3,500 injured and up to 600,000 forcibly displaced in the violence that followed the December 2007 elections. There were also hundreds of rapes, possibly more, and at least 100,000 properties were destroyed. 24 January 2012The recent ruling by the International Criminal Court (ICC) requiring four prominent Kenyans to stand trial for crimes against humanity allegedly committed in late 2007 represents a significant step towards a peaceful future in the country, the Court’s prosecutor said today. read more

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Heated exchange at Chief Ministers meeting with MR

A heated exchange of words had reportedly taken place at the meeting held today between former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Seven Chief Ministers of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP).The meeting held this morning ended inconclusively but the Chief Ministers have sought a follow-up meeting with him soon. The Chief Ministers called for the meeting to seek Rajapaksa’s support for the SLFP at the next Local Government elections.President Maithripala Sirisena had approved the meeting. (Colombo Gazette) read more

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Federal government expected to unveil foreign takeover rules Friday

foreign take-over rules|Harper government|MacDonald Dettwiler|Nexen|potash by News Staff Posted Dec 7, 2012 10:54 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Federal government expected to unveil foreign take-over rules, Friday The Harper government may be unveiling its foreign take-over rules, Friday, as well as reveal decisions on two controversial energy deals. The rules and regulations are likely to have a major financial impact on investors. The federal government was forced into the debate after CNOOC of China offered $15-billion for Calgary’s Nexen, and Malaysia’s state-owned oil company Petronas offered $5-billion for progress energy. According to the Globe and Mail, either Friday or Monday, the industry may announce its decision on deals, which would set the tone for future investments in the resource sector, specifically from Asian economies. Many have expected the deals to be given a green light, but in the past, the Conservative government rejected deals involving Potash and MacDonald Dettwiler, and shares in both Nexen and Progress have traded far below the offer prices. The European Union, meanwhile, gave its unconditional support to the Nexen deal. read more

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Defence lawyers in Colorado theatre shootings question reliability of firearms analysis

Defence lawyers in Colorado theatre shootings question reliability of firearms analysis CENTENNIAL, Colo. – Defence attorneys in the Colorado theatre shootings are attacking the reliability of firearms analysis, saying it’s subjective and lacks statistics to measure its accuracy.The judge heard testimony Wednesday from a state crime scientist who said he matched bullets and shell casings found at the theatre to three weapons, apparently the ones officers seized at the scene.The defence wants firearms testimony barred from the trial.James Holmes pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to charges of killing 12 people and injuring 70 in the 2012 attack. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.Defence lawyers have acknowledged Holmes was the shooter but continue to challenge any evidence prosecutors present.Holmes’ attorneys say he was in the grip of a psychotic episode at the time of the shootings. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by The Associated Press Posted Jul 23, 2014 12:47 am MDT read more

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Thailand bombs unnerve tourists and sap industry confidence

by Penny Wang And Martha Mendoza, The Associated Press Posted Aug 12, 2016 12:40 am MDT Last Updated Aug 12, 2016 at 10:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Thailand bombs unnerve tourists, and sap industry confidence From left, Hendrik Buus, 62, Ole Sorensen, 63, Freddy Hansen, 61, and Flemming Madum, 51, drink beers in a hotel lobby in the tourist city of Hua Hin, Thailand on Friday, Aug. 12, 2016. Buus said that while he might not have taken security seriously in the past, he no longer felt safe in the sunny beach town after a wave of coordinated explosions rattled multiple cities across southern Thailand on Friday. (AP Photo/Penny Yi Wang) HUA HIN, Thailand – An hour before midnight, Andrea Tazzioli was fetching his own birthday cake, looking forward to celebrating with friends in this balmy beach resort town, a world away from his stressful military work in Afghanistan.Then the bomb went off.“I saw light, white light, big explosion and immediately it hurts here in my shoulder, like big fire. And I go down on the floor in blood. Everyone was screaming, the glass broken, table broken, confusion,” the Italian said Friday from a Hua Hin hospital bed, a place he never expected to turn 51.While Tazzioli recovered from blast wounds, other tourists huddled in their hotel rooms, locked down after bombs exploded in at least five areas of Thailand, including popular beach cities, killing at least four people and wounding dozens more.British vacationer Darren Hilling was lounging by his hotel pool in Hua Hin when a pair of blasts shook the Friday morning calm, “quite loud, sounded very close to here.”Those attacks killed one person and wounded three. The Thursday night blast in which Tazzioli was hurt also killed a street vendor and wounded 20 other people in this beach city about 200 kilometres (120 miles) southwest of Bangkok. The 24 injured included Thais, three Germans and other visitors from Italy, Austria and the Netherlands.Overnight and into Friday, bombs also went off on Phuket’s Loma Beach in southern Thailand and the southern provinces of Trang, Surat Thani and Phang Nga. One person was killed in the Trang blast, which occurred Thursday, and another was killed in the Surat Thani attack on Friday morning.Police said it was too soon to say who was behind the attacks, but added that they have ruled out international terrorism or a long-running insurgency in the country’s Islamic south.Phuket in particular is frequented by millions of European, Chinese and Thai tourists each year who come to swim in the warm, azure sea, party at the open air night clubs and explore tropical rainforests. The other towns hit are less prominent international destinations but still popular among Thais and many foreigners.Even as police searched for suspects and fears of more bombs continued, locals said the explosions will be a blow to tourism, a critical source of income. Governments including the U.S., Germany, Australia and Britain advised their citizens travelling in Thailand to take precautions.Henrik Buuz, 62, of Denmark sipped beer in a Hua Hin hotel lobby Friday. He said that while he might not have taken security seriously in the past, he no longer felt safe. Streets were eerily quiet for the beginning of a three-day holiday.“No, no, no, no. Now we don’t think it’s funny anymore,” said Buuz, as bomb-sniffing dogs patrolled nearby beaches.Tourism already suffered a setback nearly a year ago after a bomb blast ripped through a Bangkok shrine, killing 20 people, mostly visitors from other Asian countries.Friday’s attacks were a new blow.“This ruins business. Hotels, restaurants, tours, we were already suffering, but this, it’s going to ruin our lives,” said Hua Hin Adventure Tours guide Natsupa Dechapanya.Natsupa raced Friday from hotel to hotel, visiting clients and warning them not to go outside, especially where people gather. She was also fielding cancellation calls, although she was staying away from her office, opposite a clock tower where Friday’s bombs went off.“I’m scared. It’s bad,” she said. “We think of this as a safe town, but now everyone is fearful.”Thailand’s economy has struggled since a 2014 military coup; investors grew wary and have stayed away, but tourists came back, even after last year’s shrine bombing. More than 14 million people visited between January and May 2016 — up from 12.5 million the year before, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand.Earlier attacks have been tied to political turmoil. The latest explosions came less than a week after voters approved a new, junta-backed constitution. Friday was a national holiday in Thailand marking the Queen’s birthday, also Mother’s Day.Sirasit Teimtontanin, a manager at City Beach Resort in Hua Hin, said one of Friday’s explosions went off about 300 metres from the front door. Stores, shopping malls and movie theatres were closed. More than 15 rooms had been cancelled within hours.“We’ve never had anything like this in our city,” he said.___AP writer Rod McGuirk in Canberra, Australia, and video journalist Jerry Harmer in Hua Hin, Thailand, contributed to this report. Mendoza reported from Bangkok.___Follow Martha Mendoza on Twitter: @mendozamartha read more

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With ISIL down but not out continued vigilance is key UN Security

“It capitalizes on its affiliates and inspired attacks and has an estimated residual wealth of up to three hundred million dollars at its disposal”, said Vladimir Voronkov Under-Secretary-General, Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), in his briefing on the threat ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) poses to international peace and security.Moreover, “acute concerns” remain over foreign terrorist fighters, returnees and relocators, he continued, noting that from the “initial estimate” of 40,000, between 24,000 and 30,000 have survived. Counter-Terrorism Chief Voronkov & @UN_CTED brief UN Security Council on ISIL’s threat & reiterates UN’s commitment to supporting Member States countering the threat.Check his statement: https://t.co/NtZPpNGwlO pic.twitter.com/gAqTCPHt0S— United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (@UN_OCT) August 27, 2019 And Member States also must contend with the threat posed by ‘frustrated travelers,’ or ISIL sympathizers – the number of whom is hard to estimate.Global, regional overviewWhile acknowledging ISIL’s defeat in Syria as “a watershed” that ended the “dystopia of the so-called ‘caliphate’”, Mr. Voronkov said that the fall of Baghuz “was not a fatal blow” as the group “continues to evolve into a covert network.“This follows the same pattern we have seen in Iraq since 2017, where ISIL insurgency activity reportedly designed to prevent normalization and reconstruction efforts continue”, maintained the counter-terrorism chief.Turning to Africa, he noted “a striking increase in ISIL and Al-Qaida-linked recruitment and violence” in the continent’s West, pointing out that “the Islamic State’s West Africa Province is now one of the strongest ISIL affiliates” with some 4,000 fighters that also “calls for vigilance”.In Europe radicalization in prisons and those released from prison “remain major concerns” that compound the risk of “homegrown terrorism” at time when ISIL is having trouble sending fighters to the continent, according to Mr. Voronkov. And despite military pressure, hundreds of thousands of ISIL fighters in Asia continue to pose a threat.He recounted two worrying developments in South-East Asia, namely women playing a more active role in attacks and the explicit targeting of places of worship, “which may indicate a new trend”.Responding to the aftermath While acknowledging ISIL’s military defeat in Syria as “welcome progress”, Michèle Coninsx, the Executive Director of the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee, pointed out that challenges in responding to the aftermath of that defeat and the threat posed by its affiliates globally “remain substantial”. In parallel, repatriation efforts “should also prepare to deal with the post-repatriation phase, issues of accountability, and the challenges involved in rehabilitation and reintegration”, she detailed.“Because of the short sentences given to many returnees…there may be limited opportunities to engage them in rehabilitation and reintegration programmes prior to their release,” continued Ms. Coninsx.Moreover, she said that extended periods of pre-trial detentions without guarantees of due process can “undermine the effectiveness of rehabilitative measures and increase the potential risk” of radicalization within the prison systems.Ms. Coninsx upheld as “essential” that post-repatriation strategies have “short, medium and long-term components” in relation to “prosecution, rehabilitation and reintegration”, aligned with human rights, gender sensitivity and the special needs of children. The counter-terrorism chief drew the Council’s attention to the thousands of suspected ISIL fighters and their families currently detained in Iraq and Syria, many of whom are “stranded in overcrowded camps, in dire conditions, generating acute and humanitarian concerns”.Noting that there are “as many as 70,000 people in Al-Hawl camp in Syria alone, including women and children” with potential links to UN-listed terrorist groups, he cited the report as saying that “Member States have the primary responsibility for their own nationals” and urged against Statelessness.Mr. Voronkov said his Office would launch on 30 September, a handbook on “ensuring a child rights-based approach” for children affected by “the foreign fighter phenomenon”. Looking aheadThe Under Secretary-General highlighted some of his Office’s initiatives, including law enforcement and border security, an upcoming four-year global programme on protecting vulnerable targets, an expansion of a global programme to stem terrorism financing.Stating that “the current lull” in ISIL attacks “may only be temporary”, Mr. Voronkov upheld the importance of remaining vigilant “to mitigate the risk posed by the evolution of ISIL…deny it new recruits and prevent its resurgence’. “It is essential that Member States keep a comprehensive and long-term perspective in this fight”, he spelled out, adding that “urgent political leadership and a principled approached, based on international law” is needed. Prisoner challenges read more

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