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Restaurant workers file for unemployment as owners try take-out to stay afloat

first_imgMNStudio/iStock(NEW YORK) — The novel coronavirus pandemic has turned America’s urban restaurant hot spots into virtual ghost towns.Dine-in restaurants, shuttered over public health concerns, are forecast to lose $225 billion in business nationwide over the next three months, according to an industry trade group. Five to seven million restaurant service and kitchen jobs could be eliminated over the same period.Hundreds of thousands of U.S. restaurant workers this week alone have already received bad news, analysts say.“I am like wondering what I’m gonna do for like money and how I’m gonna support myself in the future, coming weeks,” said Sharnaye Raiford, a 20-year-old high school graduate and server at Barcelona wine bar and tapas restaurant in Washington, D.C. “They’re telling us to file for unemployment and then hopefully when everything is over, they’ll gladly hire us back.”“But they want us to be secure with like funding and financial stuff, so that’s why they’re really pushing the unemployment,” she said of her employer.Raiford said she made between $1,200 and $1,500 a month, on average, enough to cover her $500 rent, transportation and food for herself and her dog — but she he can’t afford a cell phone or cable TV.She added that she also financially helps out her father, who was recently released from prison, and her mother, who receives disability benefits for multiple sclerosis when she can.But with no savings in the bank, Raiford now faces an imminent financial crisis.Tune into ABC at 1 p.m. ET and ABC News Live at 4 p.m. ET every weekday for special coverage of the novel coronavirus with the full ABC News team, including the latest news, context and analysis.Almost 40% of American adults wouldn’t be able to cover a $400 emergency with cash, savings or a credit-card charge that they could quickly pay off, a Federal Reserve survey found .“I’ve never been laid off before. I was incredibly shocked. I just never imagined I would be person who’d get laid off.” said Max Rees, a 23-year-old barista at Compass Coffee in D.C., who also lost his job this week. “I just didn’t ever see that coming.”He added, “I would say my biggest financial worry right now is probably health insurance just because that got taken away. If I get sick or something like that, I’m not really sure what I’m going to do in that case.”Rees and Raiford have now joined the ranks of Americans applying for unemployment benefits. New claims have surged to the highest level in more than two years, according to the Department of Labor.Some restaurant owners are trying to soften the blow. Rose Previte — who owns Maydan and Compass Rose in D.C. — is extending health benefits for around 50 of her furloughed employees.“When you start a new business, you think of all the terrible things that could could ruin you, and this is not one that I thought of. Global pandemic was not on my list of worst case scenarios,” she said in an interview with ABC News at her flagship restaurant. “We had to let our entire front of house staff go — so that means servers, bartenders, food runners and bar backs, and they were very, very difficult calls to make.”Previte’s kitchens – like those at thousands of other restaurants – are for the first time attempting take-out service to keep at least some employees on the job.“Hopefully, if we can keep this going we’ll be able to keep our kitchen staff working with minimal layoffs,” Previte said.She projects maintaining about 20% of her normal revenue with the slimmed down operation; not enough to make profit, but enough to sustain wages for 15 staff.“We have to figure out a creative way to not bring too many people here at the same time. So we’re only allowing five people at a time to pick up their orders in like a 20-minute, 30-minute period,” she said. “That will minimize lines outside and minimize the amount of people who are here together.”But is the model sustainable, and are consumers ready to pay restaurant prices for high-end meals to-go?“We’ve had so many people just say, like, ‘We’re buying this to support you, we know what you’re going through’,” Previte said. “It means so, so much.”ABC NewsWashington, D.C. restaurant chain Little Sesame, shut down during the novel coronavirus pandemic, is using its kitchen facilities and excess food supply to prepare meals for needy families.Washington, D.C. restaurant chain Little Sesame, shut down during the novel coronavirus pandemic, is using its kitchen facilities and excess food supply to prepare meals for needy families.Many restaurants have had to close their doors entirely, as the coronavirus continues to spread.The owners of Little Sesame, a mediterranean-themed fast-casual restaurant in the D.C. business district, shut down its two locations this month. Owners Nick and David Wiseman and Ronen Tenne are now trying to pay it forward by giving out free meals in the community.“We’re trying to use all the last ingredients we have so they don’t go to waste,” said Crystal Mendoza, director of training at Little Sesame, as she handed out lunch bags from the shop’s food truck. “It’s all pretty hearty, healthy, filling.”The team has distributed hundreds of meals this week to needy families — including stopping by a middle school in a low-income neighborhood in northeast D.C. Edgar Morales, a Guatemalan immigrant and father of three, drove 20-miles roundtrip to pick up a meal.He lost his job as a barista this week because of the pandemic.“It’s very tough because, first of all, the rent is coming. We’ll see what we can do to solve that problem, but it’s very tough,” Morales told ABC News. “I’ve lived here 14 years and I’ve never been without a job.”For now, many restaurant workers are trying to remain optimistic as restauranteurs do all they can to stave off shutting their dining room doors for good.“The smaller the business, definitely the harder the hit,” Previte said. ” We’re still piecing together as we want to see what we’re going to be able to do, how scrappy we can get, how many other inventive ideas we can come up with. But it’s terrifying to think that we wouldn’t be able to open until after summer.”Raiford said she’s hopeful the pandemic will end more quickly than the headlines suggest.“I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be panicking or tripping; that’s just not what I would gear my energy towards,” she said. “I will be like, ‘Okay, this really sucks.’ Like, I’m kind of freaking out a little bit, but you know, things are gonna move forward. People are still being born every day.”She added, “There’s new things being created. There’s new solutions happening.”Restaurant advocates say one of the best ways to help your favorite local dining establishments stay afloat is to participate in take-out programs they may be offering and to buy gift cards, which offer owners an infusion of cash now which a patron can claim later once they reopen.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Rail takes lion’s share of TEN funding

first_imgWELL OVER half of the Ecu352m allocated by the European Commission under the Trans-European Networks funding programme for 1997 is being spent on rail projects.Analysis of the Ecu352m made available for 125 schemes, as notified to 14 of the 15 EU governments by Transport Commissioner Neil Kinnock on July 24, shows that pure rail projects plus those with a significant rail element accounted for Ecu220m (Table I). After allowing for the non-rail element in some small multimodal studies, and a substantial road element in the Øresund link and its access routes, the rail total lies between 55% and 60%.The Commission’s White Paper on rail policy published in July 1996 stated that ‘rail’s share of the passenger market is no more than 6% and that of the freight market 16%.’ The fact that rail is getting the lion’s share of TEN funding despite this low and declining share of the transport market shows how serious the Commission is about making greater use of rail in the future. New high speed lines attract about Ecu90m of the rail total, with nearly Ecu43m going into the Köln – Frankfurt and Nürnberg – Berlin Neubaustrecken and their connecting links. The Channel Tunnel Rail Link to London also attracts strong support with Ecu24m going to London & Continental Railways for a design package.Most of the French funding is earmarked for construction of TGV Est which gets Ecu13m, but as this project is still on hold while a further review takes place, the full amount may not be spent in 1997. The new line from Amsterdam to the Belgian frontier gets serious money for design even though a start date is still uncertain.Freight supportThough harder to identify, there is robust support for the expansion of international freight within this year’s TEN funding. The most conspicuous element is Ecu10m for design of the Betuwe freight line from Rotterdam to the German frontier at Emmerich. However, the Øresund link between Sweden and Denmark – together with the Storebaelt crossing completed earlier this year – will allow several million tonnes a year currently using train ferries to move continuously on rail between Norway, Sweden and continental Europe.With the Brenner base tunnel still uncertain, Ecu9m has been allocated to the design of improvements to the present route in the lower Inn valley east of Innsbruck; this carries a heavy flow of intermodal freight including rolling motorway services between Germany and Italy.The Ecu8m provided for loading gauge and power supply enhancement between Genova and Domodossola is also aimed at improving the flow of intermodal traffic through the Alps, this time through the Simplon tunnel; work on enlarging clearances for carrying 4m high lorries on the southern approach to the Simplon tunnel began this summer. oTABLE: Table I. Trans-European Network funds for rail projects in 1997Country Project Grant Ecu000Europe European Rail Traffic Management System 9000 Øresund fixed link: coast-to-coast crossing 20000 Rail access in Denmark 5500 Rail and road access in Sweden 5000Austria Semmering base tunnel, trial bores 1300 Wels – Passau and Parndorf – Kittsee (Wien – Bratislava) upgrading 3000 Brenner, Lower Inn valley design studies 9000 Wien – St Pölten new line studies 900Belgium Zaventem airport surface access study 500Denmark Studies to speed up inter-city trains 1000Finland Turku – Helsinki – Vainikkala line improvements 3700 Nordic Triangle studies 500France TGV Est: studies and implementation 13000 TGV Sud: Perpignan – Spanish frontier study 500Germany Köln-Bonn airport: high speed rail link 2000 Stuttgart 21 through station: trial boring 3500 Study of faster routes to Polish and Czech borders 340 Köln – Rhein/Main Neubaustrecke 24950 Gr?€?bers – Leipzig and Erfurt – Arnstadt (Berlin – Nürnberg) new lines 16000Great Britain Channel Tunnel Rail Link 24000 West Coast Main Line upgrading and feasibility studies 9000 Trans-Pennine corridor study (multi-modal) 145Greece Patras to Corinth; gauge conversion study 1 000Italy Verona – Venezia: high speed and combined transport studies 3000 Venezia – Trieste improvements study 600 Venezia – Tarvisio improvements 3400 North Adriatic line upgrading 8000 Genova – Novara – Domodossola power supply and loading gauge upgrade 8100 Improved access to Verona 4000Luxembourg Traction power upgrade 1000Netherlands Antwerpen – Amsterdam new line: design studies 10000 Betuwe freight line design and technical studies 10000Portugal North line upgrading 2250 Beira Baixa line upgrading 1250Spain Madrid Barajas airport access study 1 500 Madrid – Zaragoza new line 3600 Madrid – Valladolid new line 3200 Castellon – Oropesa improvements (Mediterranean corridor) 500 Sevilla – Cadiz improvements 1000 Murcia to AVE line connections 500 Portugal – Spain – France links study 800Sweden Helsingborg – Kävlinge upgrading studies 2000 Varberg – Hamra upgrading studies 1400Total 219935last_img read more

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The Pistorius case and South Africa’s legal system

first_imgThe state has brought a schedule 6 case of premeditated murder against the para-olympian.The Constitutional Court is South Africa’s highest court on constitutional matters. So its jurisdiction – the scope of its authority to hear cases – is restricted to constitutional matters and issues connected with decisions on constitutional matters. (Image: South African History Online)Brand South Africa ReporterSouth Africa woke up on Valentine’s Day, 14 February, to the news that champion paraplegic athlete Oscar Pistorius had shot his girlfriend of four months, Reeva Steenkamp, in his R4-million home in Pretoria.The state has brought a schedule 6 case of premeditated murder against the para-olympian. If he is found guilty, Pistorius will get a life sentence, which is 25 years. He will only be eligible to apply for parole after serving that term, under a schedule 6 conviction.Pistorius began applying for bail in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, with magistrate Desmond Nair saying that he would, “for the purpose of this application, at this point in time, … consider this an offence listed under schedule 6”.Given this, and the seriousness of the charge, Pistorius’s lawyers will have to prove exceptional circumstances if he is to be granted bail.The hearing continued on Wednesday, with his defence team, led by advocate Barry Roux SC, having indicated that they would bring evidence to support their argument that the shooting constituted a schedule 5, not a schedule 6, offence.Schedule 5 versus schedule 6 offencesIn South African, schedule 5 offences include murder, attempted murder, rape, drug-related crimes, especially where the drugs are found to be worth R50 000 or more, corruption, extortion, fraud, forgery or theft to the value of R500 000, the illegal dealing or smuggling of firearms, and assault on a child under the age of 16.If convicted of a schedule 5 offence, the minimum sentence is 15 years for a first offender.Schedule 6 offences include murder, including premeditated murder, the killing of a law enforcement officer, or killing as a result of rape or robbery with aggravating circumstances. Also falling in this category is rape, which includes gang rape or rape by a suspect who knows he is HIV-positive. Rape of a person under 16 years, or a mentally or physically disabled person, is also a schedule 6 offence.Robbery with the use of a firearm, where grievous bodily harm results, or a car is stolen, is also a schedule 6 offence.South Africa’s legal system: no juryPistorius’s case is being handled by the National Prosecuting Authority, the government agency that handles criminal cases in the country, with a team of prosecutors.The police work with this agency, presenting evidence to the authority, which then decides whether there is sufficient evidence to go ahead with a prosecution.It is more than likely, given the seriousness of Pistorius’s case, that it will be heard in the country’s High Court.South Africa’s legal system is based on Roman-Dutch law, and hence is not a jury system.The highest court in the country is the Constitutional Court, based in Johannesburg and presided over by 11 judges, and created after the country’s first democratic elections in 1994. The judges make decisions and judgements about issues that have to do with the Constitution. Being the highest court in the country, no other court can overturn these decisions. Judgements relating to the Constitution from the High Court can be taken to the Constitutional Court.The next highest court in the country is the Supreme Court of Appeal, based in Bloemfontein in the Free State, which only deals with cases that come from the High Court. Only the Constitutional Court can change decisions from the Supreme Court of Appeal. Three to five judges sit in this court, and final judgements are made by a majority decision.High CourtsIn South Africa, the High Court hears cases which are too serious for the lower-level Magistrate’s Court, or when a Magistrate’s Court’s decision is challenged. These cases are usually presided over by one judge, but if a case on appeal is heard, then two judges will hear the case.Or, if the case is about a very serious crime, then a judge and two experienced and often retired advocates or magistrates will assist in the case. They are referred to as assessors. The judge can override their opinions, but they are usually used to help the judge make a decision.The High Court divisions have jurisdiction or the right to hear a case over provincial areas in which they are situated. The decisions of the High Courts are binding on Magistrates’ Courts within their areas of jurisdiction. Usually only advocates appear for their clients in the High Court.They usually only hear civil matters involving more than R100 000, and serious criminal cases. They also hear any appeals or reviews from Magistrates’ Courts.There are 14 high courts in South Africa. Circuit Courts are also part of the High Court system. They sit at least twice a year, moving around to serve far-flung rural areas.Other courts that fall under the country’s High Court system are Special Income Tax Courts, Labour Courts and Labour Appeal Courts, Divorce Courts, and the Land Claims Court.The Master of the High Court administers cases of deceased estates, liquidations, registration of trusts, among other areas.The Sheriff of the High Court is an impartial and independent official of the Court, appointed by the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, who must execute all documents issued by the court, including summonses, notices, warrants and court orders.Magistrates’ CourtsSouth Africa’s Magistrates’ Courts are lower courts which deal with the less serious criminal and civil cases. They are divided into regional courts and district courts.Regional Magistrates’ Courts only deal with criminal cases like murder, rape, armed robbery and serious assault, whereas district Magistrates’ Courts deal with criminal and civil cases. The magistrate makes decisions in a Magistrate’s Court sometimes with the support of lay assessors.A regional Magistrate’s Court can sentence a guilty person for a period up to 20 years, or can impose a maximum fine of R300 000.District Magistrates’ Courts try less serious cases, which exclude cases of murder, treason, rape, terrorism, or sabotage. They can sentence a person to a maximum of 3 years in prison or a maximum fine of R100 000.Ordinary Magistrates’ Courts can hear civil cases when the claims are for less than R100 000. They will not deal with cases involving divorce, arguments about a person’s will, or matters where a person’s sanity is in question.There are a number of Magistrates’ Courts that are specialised to be better able to deal with certain types of case, such as children’s courts, sexual offences courts, small claims courts, equality courts, community courts, maintenance courts, and courts for chiefs and headmen.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa materiallast_img read more

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Sweet revenge

first_imgCayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess MOST READ Wintry storm delivers US travel woes before Thanksgiving Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Laure scored 21 points, while Rondina had 19 but UST failed to get significant help from Dimdim Pacres, Caitlyn Viray and Kecelyn Galdones which turned their offence askew.On the other hand, La Salle had Aduke Ogunsanya who had 13 points, including the massive block on Laure that ended the match.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next La Salle proved on Sunday night that good, old fashioned teamwork and a winning mindset can silence the most explosive firepower in the league.Desiree Cheng unloaded a career-high 20 points on awkward but well-placed shots to power the three-time defending champion Lady Spikers to a 21-25, 25-23, 25-19, 26-24 triumph over University of Santo Tomas and into solo second spot in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at Mall of Asia Arena.ADVERTISEMENT Bloomberg: US would benefit from more, not fewer, immigrants Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Trump tells impeachment jokes at annual turkey pardon event The Lady Bulldogs, who upped their record to 3-7, sent the Lady Falcons deeper in the standings at 1-9.In exacting revenge over the Tigresses who beat them via straight sets in the first round, the Lady Spikers also scored back-to-back wins they hope would carry them deep in the second round of eliminations.Fully aware of UST’s formidable edge in manpower, La Salle coach Ramil de Jesus instructed his wards to stick with the age-old system of containing their errors and firming up defense while doing a masterful job of shuffling his charges on the floor and keeping them fresh.In the third set, La Salle worked its way up from 9-12 with 10 unanswered points, tilting the complexion of the match decisively.La Salle’s back-to-back kill-blocks sealed the win after UST managed to extend the fourth set through belated efforts of its large-scale scorers Rondina and Laure.ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img View comments The veteran open hitter, better known for high volleyball IQ than power, typified the Lady Spikers’ maturity in recovering from an error-prone first set to systematically cut down the Tigresses powered by Sisi Rondina and Eya Laure.La Salle is now within striking distance of league-leading Ateneo with a 7-3 record while UST slid to 6-4.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, logisticsFor a while, it looked like the Tigresses were on their way to duplicating a first round victory over the Lady Spikers, who got their acts going in a tight second set to gather much-needed confidence.In the other game, National University brushed off a late fourth-set charge by Adamson to prevail, 28-26, 30-32, 25-21, 25-22. Alas relishes all-star break with PH Cup playoffs nearing 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 LATEST STORIES Colombia protesters vow new strike after talks hit snag Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Google Philippines names new country directorlast_img read more

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Wetsuweten members say pipeline company removed cultural property

first_imgHOUSTON, B.C. – Members of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation are alleging the company trying to build a natural gas pipeline through its territory “wilfully, illegally, and violently destroyed” cultural and private property this weekend.In a statement issued Monday, members of the nation say the area in question is not included in Coastal GasLink’s plans and the company has not provided copies of any work permits for the area.It is the same area along a logging road leading to the company’s planned work site where RCMP enforced an injunction on Jan. 7, arresting 14 people and removing a barrier on the road. Coastal GasLink says in a statement that all work it’s doing is “approved and permitted and in full compliance” with its environmental assessment certificate and the company has met all required pre-construction conditions.It says the property in question was a tent structure on the road, plus two other tents in a pullout area that were deemed unsafe or unstable by crews.It says the areas are active work zones and any obstructions impeding crews from safely accessing them is in contravention to the court order.last_img read more

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Regulation amendment clarifies new ICBC benefits and timelines

first_imgpeople who are injured in motor vehicle accidents on or after April 1, 2019, are eligible for increased limits in disability benefits, funeral expenses and death benefits;people can also receive increased medical and rehabilitation benefits starting April 1, 2019, even if their injuries were sustained before that date, and they can recover costs for necessary medication.The amendments establish a 60-day time limit for people to submit receipts for medical care or rehabilitation expenses to ICBC.Previously, people had up to two years to submit their expenses to ICBC.The auto insurer says the long limitation period made it difficult for them to determine if expenses were reasonable and necessary when they were incurred. This left people at risk of spending significant amounts of money on expenses that could be ineligible for reimbursement.According to ICBC, the new limit gives people a reasonable amount of time to submit their receipts while ensuring ICBC receives the information it needs to accurately assess the severity of claims, provide additional supports to injured people as needed and better forecast future costs.Exceptions may be allowed in cases where people cannot meet the deadline due to the nature of their injuries or other factors. VICTORIA, B.C. – The Ministry of Attorney General is making amendments to the Insurance Vehicle Regulation to clarify changes to ICBC benefits and processes that come into effect on April 1, 2019.According to ICBC, these changes will better protect those who are injured in motor vehicle collisions.The amended regulation states:last_img read more

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Chetwynd Hospital to experience temporary diversion over Labour Day weekend

first_imgCHETWYND, B.C. – Northern Health has issued a notice in regards to the operation of the Chetwynd Hospital this Labour Day weekend.According to Northern Health, the Chetwynd Hospital must go on diversion for 12 hours this weekend.Northern Health says this temporary suspension of emergency room services will be from 7:00 p.m. Sunday, September 1 to 7:00 a.m. Monday, September 2, and is due to a lack of available registered nursing staff. During this time, community members requiring urgent medical care are asked to call 9-1-1 for ambulance assistance or to make their way to the nearest hospital of their choice.People who need non-emergency health advice and information can call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1, or visit healthlinkbc.ca.last_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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Morocco Records Over 27,000 New Cases of Tuberculosis Every Year

first_imgRabat- Tuberculosis still infects thousands of Moroccans each year.El Hossein El Ouardi announced on Monday in Casablanca that Morocco registers over 27,000 new cases of tuberculosis (TB) every year.On the eve of World Tuberculosis Day, the Moroccan Ministry of Health announced its latest records of the number of people afflicted with TB in the country. According to Akhbar Al Yaoum, Minister of Health El Hossein El Ouardi announced that Morocco saw 27,000 new cases of TB in the last year.According to the same source, tuberculosis spreads in the working class neighborhoods of large cities such as Casablanca, Salé, Fez and Tangier. It affects mostly young males between 15 and 45 years old.“Casablanca recorded the largest percentage of cases at 20%, registering 5,000 of the cases reported in the kingdom overall,” El Ouardi said.El Houssein El Ouardi said that the Ministry of Health has developed a new plan to fight tuberculosis. “It will depend on providing free medicine, bringing the treatment to remote areas, signing partnerships with non-governmental organizations and the private sector, as well as controlling socioeconomic determinants to eliminate the disease,” El Ouardi said.El Ouradi explained that with this new plan adopted by the Ministry of Health, entitled “Early Detection for 95% of Cases,’’ “the treatment success rate increased by 85%, and the number of cases  has been reduced by 3% compared to last year.” “The Ministry of Health has allocated a budget of MAD 30 Million($3.5 million US), to the new plan, in addition to a grant from the  Global Fund to Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria for 2012-2016, which is estimated at MAD 85 million ($10.5m US),” the Minister of Health concluded. Edited by Jessica Rohanlast_img read more

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