Man held for raping and murdering 9yearold girl

first_imgGhaziabad: Ghaziabad police have arrested a 24-year-old man in connection with the rape and murder case of a nine years old girl in Kavi Nagar which took place on Wednesday evening at an under construction building in Sanjay Nagar of Ghaziabad.The accused was arrested on Thursday from ALT cut in Ghaziabad when he was trying to leave the city after committing the crime. According to police, the accused has been identified as Basant Sahu who lived in victim’s neighbourhood. Also Read – Cylinder blast kills mother and daughter in Karawal Nagar”Sahu lured the girl with a few ten rupee coins while she was playing with accused’s cousin sister who is just two years old,” said police. Shlok Kumar, Superintendent of Police (City) of Ghaziabad told reporters that the accused raped the girl and strangled her throat when she started screaming. He then left the body on terrace and went to his home where he changed his blood stained clothes. Victim’s parents began searching her after she went missing. Also Read – Two persons arrested for killing manager of Muthoot FinanceOn Wednesday night, police recovered her body from the terrace while the accused was arrested in Thursday from ALT cut when he was trying to flee. “The girl’s body with strangulation marks on her neck was found on the roof of an under-construction building in the area. The accused worked as a labourer in the same building as the victim’s parents. The accused took the victim and her two-year-old cousin to the roof after finding them playing alone and then raped the nine-year-old girl. He had left her cousin on the roof and came down and slept in his room in a shanty built for the building construction workers,” he added. Police found the body of the deceased without clothes.last_img read more

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Woakes hopes Englands fielding woes a oneoff

first_imgNottingham: Chris Woakes was adamant England’s surprise World Cup defeat by Pakistan was “no car crash” but accepted they would have to raise their fielding standards after a sloppy display contributed to a 14-run loss at Trent Bridge. England, the world’s top-ranked one-day side, came into the World Cup on the back of a 4-0 series thrashing of Pakistan. But it was a different story in Nottingham on Monday as Pakistan complied a challenging total of 348 for eight. Even though Joe Root and Jos Buttler made hundreds, England could only reach 334 for nine in reply. Also Read – We don’t ask for kind of tracks we get: Bowling coach ArunWarwickshire paceman Woakes, fast bowler Jofra Archer and leg-spinner Adil Rashid were all expensive they were not helped by a poor fielding effort that saw numerous runs given away in mis-fields and over throws Jason Roy’s extraordinary drop that reprieved Mohammad Hafeez on 14 pretty much summed up England’s fielding. The batsman went on to top-score with 84. Woakes, who showed England the way with four catches, was at a loss to explain the decline in England’s performance just days after launching their quest to win the World Cup with a 104-run thrashing of South Africa at the Oval. Also Read – Bastian Schweinsteiger announces retirement, could join Germany set-upHe accepted England would need to raise their fielding against Bangladesh in Cardiff on Saturday. “By no means was it a car crash but it was the difference in the game,” said Woakes. “We didn’t field as well as we can and probably left 20 runs out there. It was just one of those days where we fumbled a few, probably dived over a couple. “We’re obviously a very good fielding team, we’ve proved that over the past few years, and this was just an off day. We proved our standards at the Oval. We’ll meet up in Cardiff, go through our routines and try to meet those same standards.”last_img read more

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UNs financial crisis real we need a solution that works India

first_imgUnited Nations: India, which is owed $38 million by the United Nations for peacekeeping operations, has called for a comprehensive solution to address the “real” financial crisis facing the world body, saying countries that owe arrears are “insured” from the impact of their inaction. The UN’s peacekeeping financial year is ending on June 30 and member states are yet to pay $1.9 billion worth of assessments for peacekeeping budget and $1.5 billion worth of assessments for the Regular Budget, India’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador K Nagaraj Naidu said at a session on ‘Improving the Financial Situation of the United Nations.’ Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documentsNaidu said many Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs), including India, are awaiting for “long, legitimate reimbursements” from the closed peacekeeping missions. “Our expectation is that the problem be discussed and addressed comprehensively, he said. The UN owes India $38 million, among the highest it has to pay to any country, for peacekeeping operations as of March 2019, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres had said in his report on improving the financial situation of the UN released in April. Also Read – World suffering ‘synchronized slowdown’, says new IMF chiefNaidu said the UN Secretariat briefed the member states earlier this month of the large amounts of reimbursements that were due to the Troop Contributing Countries. These include troops cost with $339 million and Contingent Owned Equipment claims from the active and closed missions worth $670 million. “Yet there is reluctance in some quarters to recognise the financial problems being faced by the UN,” he said adding that the crisis is real and present and we need a solution that works. Naidu voiced concern over the practice of meeting the cash requirement of active missions by dipping into the cash pool of closed peacekeeping missions and delaying reimbursements to Police and Troop Contributing Countries, saying it has over a period of time created a false sense of financial soundness. “This approach of creative accounting in managing a financial crisis has never worked and never will. It appears that the countries that owe arrears are somewhat insured from the impact of their inaction,” Naidu said. “As a result, the arrears have grown larger and with it the expectations, of course from the arrear-owing countries that the Secretariat would somehow manage the status quo, even if it requires calibrating the reimbursement framework, he said. He reiterated India’s assertion that the practice of delaying payments to TCCs while other contractual obligations are met, impacts the UN’s ability to maintain honest agreements with TCCs on other aspects of the peacekeeping. While sufficient cash has been made available in the pool of closed peacekeeping mission accounts for reimbursing the Troop and Police Contributing Countries in accordance with the agreements signed with them, Naidu said this cash has been diverted to managing the liquidity crisis of the active peacekeeping missions and at times shortfall in the Regular Budget, thereby deferring resolution to the pressing problem. He stressed that India believed a sustainable solution to the financial crisis would only emerge when member states begin to honour their budgetary obligations in full and on time. “If member-states do not meet their budgetary obligations, then at least in the context of future peacekeeping operations we see two emerging situations one, where even with the available cash pool Troop Contributing Countries would not be reimbursed on time and two, missions will close with a cash deficit, without fully reimbursing the Troop and Police Contributing Countries. In a sign of how dire the financial situation of the UN is, Guterres said this week he had contemplated selling his official four-story residence in New York when he took charge as the world organisation’s head to help resolve the deteriorating financial crisis facing the United Nations. He had told the delegates at the Fifth Committee’s meeting on Improving the Financial Situation of the Organization’ that the first thing he did when he arrived in New York to assume charge as the UN Chief was to ask if he could sell the residence. I am not joking. It is a true story. I discovered that I couldn’t, because the residence can only be sold to the United States of America when we close the doors in New York. Obviously, it is not something that is not, hopefully, going to happen. The United Nations owed more than $250 million to troop- and police-contributing countries at the end of 2018 and again at the end of the first quarter of 2019. This debt is likely to again exceed $400 million at the end of June 2019, similar to the situation at the end of June 2018, Guterres said.last_img read more

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Journalists activists hold march to protest arrest of Kanojia two others

first_imgNew Delhi: A group of journalists and activists held a protest here on Monday over the arrest of scribe Prashant Kanojia and the editor and the head of a Noida-based TV channel by the Uttar Pradesh police, alleging that it is an attack on the freedom of expression. They demanded the immediate release of Kanojia, Ishita Singh, who is the editor of Noida-based TV channel Nation Live, and its head Anuj Shukla, who have faced police action over release of alleged objectionable content against Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps & 20 launch pads along LoC The journalists, many wearing black arm bands and holding placards, held a symbolic march from the Press Club of India in central Delhi towards the Rail Bhawan circle and back in the scorching heat and raised slogans against the Yogi government. Kanojia’s wife Jageesha Arora, who also joined the protest, said, “My husband’s arrest is absolutely illegal and unconstitutional. So, now, people can get arrested for writing something on social media and using humour.” Also Read – Two squadrons which participated in Balakot airstrike awarded citations The protest was held jointly by members of the Editors Guild of India, Press Club of India, Indian Women Press Corps, South Asian Women in the Media, Press Association and several other independent journalists and activists. “Today, journalists can get arrested for using humour and irony in a social media post. This incident is a direct attack on freedom of expression,” alleged Siddharth Varadarajan, founding editor of news portal The Wire. “Kanojia had served for around two years at our organisation (The Wire) before moving on to a new job earlier this year,” he added. Senior journalist Neerja Chowdhury, who took part in the protest too, also alleged that the arrest of the three persons amounted to an attack on the freedom of expression. Activist Shabnam Hashmi also demanded immediate dropping of the charges against Kanojia, Singh and Shukla and sought their release. The Editors Guild Sunday had condemned the arrest of Kanojia Singh and Shukla over alleged objectionable content related to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, describing the police action as an “authoritarian misuse of laws” and an effort to intimidate the press. An FIR was registered against Kanojia at Hazratganj police station in Lucknow on Friday night in which it was alleged that the accused made “objectionable comments against the CM and tried to malign his image”. Kanojia had shared a video on Twitter and Facebook where a woman is seen speaking to reporters of various media organisations outside the CM’s office, claiming that she had sent a marriage proposal to Adityanath. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear on Tuesday a plea challenging the arrest of Kanojia. A vacation bench comprising justices Indira Banerjee and Ajay Rastogi took note of the submission by a lawyer that the plea filed by the spouse of the arrested scribe needed urgent hearing as the arrest was “illegal” and “unconstitutional”. The journalist’s wife has filed a habeas corpus (bring the person) petition, challenging the arrest of Kanojia.last_img read more

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Aadhaar Amendment Bill to be introduced in coming Parliament session

first_imgNew Delhi: The Cabinet on Wednesday cleared a Bill to allow voluntary use of Aadhaar as identity proof for opening bank accounts and procuring mobile phone connections.The Bill — which will be in form of amendment to Aadhaar Act 2016 and other laws and will replace an ordinance issued in March, 2019 — also proposes stiff penalties for violation of norms. The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019 will be introduced in the ensuing session of Parliament, beginning June 17. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps & 20 launch pads along LoC”For the convenience of general public in opening of bank accounts, the proposed amendments would allow the use of Aadhaar number for authentication on voluntary basis as acceptable KYC (Know Your Customer) document under the Telegraph Act, 1885 and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002,” an official release said. Put simply, this means it will allow voluntary use of Aadhaar number for authentication and identity proof in opening of bank accounts and procuring of mobile phone connections. Also Read – Two squadrons which participated in Balakot airstrike awarded citationsThe Bill seeks to giving a child an option to exit from the biometric ID programme on attaining 18 years of age, while stipulating stiff penalties for violation of norms set for the use of Aadhaar and violation of privacy. “The decision would enable UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) to have a more robust mechanism to serve the public interest and restrain the misuse of Aadhaar…Subsequent to this amendment, no individual shall be compelled to provide proof of possession of Aadhaar number or undergo authentication for the purpose of establishing his identity unless it is so provided by a law made by Parliament,” the release said. The move is aimed at making Aadhaar “people friendly”, it added. The amendments proposed are the same as those contained in the Ordinance promulgated by President on March 2, 2019. The changes provide for voluntary use of Aadhaar number in physical or electronic form by authentication or offline verification with the consent of Aadhaar number holder. It will also pave the way for use of alternative virtual identity number to conceal the actual Aadhaar number of an individual.last_img read more

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Centre has stopped funds for flood management projects

first_imgKolkata: State Irrigation and Waterways minister Subhendu Adhikari said on Tuesday that the Centre has stopped providing funds for the Flood Management Projects (FMP) along the districts of East Midnapore and West Midnapore.While addressing a question answer session in the Assembly, Adhikari said the state government has carried out various projects including the embankments of the rivers of East and West Midnapore. Comprehensive FMPs have been carried out in Keleghai-Kapaleswari-Bagai river, which has brought the flood situation under control. The Keleghai-Kapaleswari projects were expedited by the Mamata Banerjee government. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellers”The Centre has failed to deliver on its promises regarding FMP in Western districts and the Aila-affected areas of North and South 24-Parganas. The state government has done embankments of rivers in those areas to check the flood conditions. The Ghatal Master Plan has not been implemented by the Centre either. The state government has taken up the issue with the Centre on a number of occasions,” Adhikari said. The state government has allotted around Rs 307 crore for various flood management projects in Ghatal, Daspur I&II and Egra. People in the area will be benefitted, the minister said. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaAs a part of the irrigation projects, as many as 8 bridges have been constructed along the rivers in the East and West Midnapore region. Dredging of rivers is underway in various districts, including Birbhum and Bankura. The state government has carried out work on embankments of rivers measuring around 34.62 km at an approximate cost of Rs 70 crore last year, the minister said. He also pointed out that dams have been set up along 106 km in the Sunderbans and work has been going on in a stretch of 25 km. In reply to a question of an MLA, the minister also said that after coming to power the Mamata Banerjee government has increased the amount of irrigable land. More than 36.22 lakh hectare land has been made irrigable so far.last_img read more

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Nishad is the hero Ayan the protagonist in Article 15 Mohammed Zeeshan

first_imgNew Delhi: Films such as “Article 15” are made rarely, says Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub whose Nishad is the beating heart of the Anubhav Sinha’s directorial despite only a few scenes. Ayyub, who had the option of choosing from three or four different roles in the film that deals with caste conflict, said he picked the character of activist Nishad, the conscience keeper of the story and an amalgamation of several real life people who have fought or are fighting the system. Also Read – Rihanna to release 500-page ‘visual’ autobiography Told from the perspective of police office Ayan Ranjan (Ayushmann Khurrana), “Article 15” is a sharp take on caste divisions in India. The story is loosely based on a real-life incident and told through the gang-rape and murder of two village girls. “I’m quite aware about sociopolitical issues and as an actor, I’m involved with these topics. I have also read a lot about the caste system and have very strong views about it. This is why it was so satisfying to play this character,” Ayyub told PTI. Also Read – Hilarie Burton, Jeffery Dean Morgan tie the knot “It is big on Anubhav sir’s part that he gave me the option to choose the character from three-four other roles. I chose Nishad as I felt I would do justice to this role. I felt if I miss this character, I will not get another chance to play someone like him in the next 10 years. Such films are made so rarely in India,” he added. The 35-year-old, who has been seen in films such as “Raees” and “Ranjhanaa”, said Nishad’s short presence in the film is intentional. It makes the audience miss him and question why he is not there in the story. This, he said, can also be a metaphor for a caste dynamic in which people belonging to a certain group remain invisible. “The idea was Nishad should come across as a protagonist though he does not have too many scenes. But that is how our society is. Real people who are working on the ground level never come to the limelight… The idea was that he should be in the film for only a short while so that people miss him,” he said. This disadvantage also plays into the careers and the romance arcs of the two characters, Ayan and Nishad, Ayyub pointed out. “There are two couples in the film, one is Ayan and Aditi, and the other Nishad and Gaura. You can see the difference in how they behave as a couple. What advantages a person belonging to an upper caste has and what disadvantages people from lower castes have. Nishad could have been an IAS or IPS officer. Another character film points out how sharp Nishad was in his studies,” he said. For Ayyub, Nishad is the hero and upper caste Ayan the protagonist. “Ayan’s background, and I am not talking about him being a Brahmin, is that of someone who represents the urban crowd. As some viewers told me that the scene between Nishad and Gaura reminded them about Faiz’s line ‘Mujhse pehli si mohabbat mere mehboob na maang’. Nishad is surrounded by so much filth that he cannot lead a normal life.” The many references from real people, be it the two lines from Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula’s last letter about his aspiration to become a writer or a scientist, the overall shadow of Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad alias Ravan on Nishad or the hat-tip to freedom fighter Chandrashekhar Azad, were also intentional. “We did not want Nishad to be just one person whom we can easily find in the society. He was a representation of the intellect and the brightness of the people who are not getting their due, who are in a fight because of the place or the caste they are born in.” Ayyub said he also wanted people to understand how this fight has been imposed on Nishad. “I have read reviews asking for a spin-off on Nishad… We wanted to show the vulnerable side of a revolutionary… “Next time, when you read the newspaper, and find a mention of a person like him, you will not turn the page. You will, at least, read the story and understand that this person is involved in a fight that I should know about. This is why Nishad comes across so strong in just two scenes.”last_img read more

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NMC Bill passes Rajya Sabha test

first_imgNew Delhi: Despite stiff protest by the medical fraternity, the National Medical Commission Bill passed the Rajya Sabha test on Thursday. However, the government has made some amendments in the bill, which need to be passed by the Lok Sabha. As per the changes in the bill, the government has increased the number of nominated members in the commission from five to nine and number of state’s representatives has been increased to 11 from six.While moving the Bill in the Upper House, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said, “The he will ensure adequate and high quality medical professionals across the country.” Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The bill that seeks to repeal corruption-plagued Medical Council of India (MCI) was passed by a voice vote, amid a walkout by AIADMK. The Lok Sabha had passed the NMC Bill on July 29. The Health Minister, in his reply, on the debate on the bill said that NEET is already an institutionalised body which is conducting examinations in 13 languages. “Once the NMC Bill is approved, exit examination will be implemented in the next three years,” the Minister said, adding that NEET Counselling is completely transparent. Vardhan also thanked senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad for his valuable suggestions. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KThe bill also has a provision for making national standards in medical education uniform by proposing that the final year MBBS exam be treated as an entrance test for PG and a screening test for students who graduate in medicine from foreign countries. This exam, called the National Exit Test (NEXT), would ensure that the proposed National Medical Commission (NMC) moves away from a system of repeated inspections of infrastructure and focuses on outcomes rather than processes, Vardhan said. As the Bill was moved by the minister, Trinamool Congress member Dr Santanu Sen, who is also IMA president, said, “As the medical fraternity is on the road against the bill, the bill should not be discussed.” Raising a point of order under Rule 258, the TMC member said, “My point of order is that this Bill is relating to the medical fraternity, doctors’ community and medical students. The entire medical fraternity and medical students are on the road and are on strike against this Bill.” In response to Sen’s point of order, the Chairman asked him to say it during the discussion. The NMC Bill is dubbed as Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government’s one of the biggest reforms. The bill is aimed at addressing the shortcomings in the process of regulating medical colleges in the country. As per the provisions of the NMC Bill, MBBS pass-outs from the countries of USA, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand will now have to clear the exit exam, which was not a must earlier. Participating in the discussion, senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh urged the government to drop a provision which he said would ‘legalise quackery’ under Section 32 of the bill. Participating in the debate, BJP leader Suresh Prabhu stressed on the quality of education and medical services in the country and the importance of conforming to national standards.last_img read more

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BJP leaders obstructing Delhi govts propeople schemes AAP

first_imgNEW DELHI: Taking a dig at Delhi BJP leaders, the AAP on Wednesday said in an internal race to be the chief ministerial candidate, the leaders of the saffron party were obstructing the Delhi government’s pro-people schemes. AAP leader Sanjay Singh said three Delhi BJP leaders –Manoj Tiwari, Vijay Goel and Vijender Gupta –were desperate to take credit of the policy decisions taken by the Arvind Kejriwal government.”Since the time the Kejriwal government announced registering residents of unauthorised colonies, BJP has been trying to take credit for it by doing various theatrics. Manoj Tiwari, Vijender Gupta and Vijay Goel take turns in organising programmes to take credit. The reality is that the BJP leaders are embroiled in a fight over who will be the party’s chief ministerial candidate,” Singh told reporters. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderHe said the BJP leaders should stop making people of the capital suffer because of their internal tiffs. “I want to tell the BJP’s Delhi unit that in your personal fight over chief ministerial position, don’t make people of Delhi suffer. AAP tries to help people of Delhi. When we announced a one-time waiver of water arrears, BJP opposed it. When we announced free ride for women in metro, they opposed that too. They even opposed registration of unauthorised colony residents. In their desperation to take credit over these things, they are fizzling out and don’t know which direction to go in,” the Aam Aadmi Party leader said. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsIn the run up to the Delhi Assembly elections, likely to be held early next year, Singh asked the BJP not to hinder their work as AAP was trying to win the confidence of the people so that they get the mandate once again. “Don’t obstruct the work of registering unauthorised colony residents. Welcome the moves taken by us for the benefit of Delhiites. Six months are left. We want to win the confidence of people,” he said at the party office here. The BJP had said on Tuesday that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s announcement to waive water arrears was a “lollipop” for Delhiites ahead of the upcoming Assembly elections and alleged that half of the residents in the city were deprived of piped water supply. Goel, Rajya Sabha MP and former Union minister, had said he will conduct raids to “expose” the chief minister’s claim that his government has checked the activities of water tanker mafia. Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta had asked the AAP government to bring out a white paper on water supply in the city and alleged that the announcement was made after the government collected crores of rupees as arrears with penalties. Delhi BJP vice president and a member of Delhi Jal Board (DJB) Jai Prakash, however, had welcomed the decision seeking part of its credit for his party while also questioning the timing of the move.last_img read more

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Bale scores brace sent off as Madrid held by Villarreal

first_imgMadrid: Gareth Bale scored twice to save Real Madrid from a damaging defeat away at Villarreal on Sunday before capping a dramatic 2-2 La Liga draw by being sent off in injury-time. Zinedine Zidane said in July it would be “best for everyone” if Bale left this summer but it was the Welshman’s double that earned Madrid a point from a thrilling contest at la Ceramica. Villarreal took the lead through Gerard Moreno in the 12th minute and then Moi Gomez 16 minutes from the end but each time Bale pegged them back, first on the stroke of half-time and then four minutes from the end. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhTwo yellow cards in as many minutes then saw Bale dramatically sent off in the 94th minute but by then his match-saving contribution was complete. It was six years to the day that Real Madrid paid 100 million euros (now 110m) to sign Bale, who now has 104 goals for the club, as many as the Brazilian Ronaldo. But his heroics could not save Madrid from another slip, which means they head into the international break five points behind early front-runners Atletico Madrid, who had earlier beaten Eibar 3-2. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterAfter drawing at home to Real Valladolid last time out, this was not the result Zidane would have wanted, particularly given he threw two new signings into his starting line-up. Luka Jovic and Ferland Mendy both started, with Bale on the left of midfield in a 4-4-2, a sign of Zidane’s renewed faith in the 30-year-old’s defensive capabilities. Zidane has now won only six of the 14 matches since he returned as coach in March and it remains to be seen if the club make any late additions on the final day of the transfer window on Monday. Sergio Ramos was at fault for the first goal, robbed on the halfway line by Moreno, who drove forward and slipped in Karl Toko Ekambi. Ekambi’s shot was parried by Thibaut Courtois but only back into the path of Moreno, who picked his spot. Madrid dominated the rest of the half as Casemiro headed wide, Lucas Vazquez lashed into the side-netting and Karim Benzema’s long-range effort hit the post. They did score in the 46th minute with a brilliant goal, Jovic flicking Casemiro’s pass into Dani Carvajal, who crossed first time for Bale to tap in.last_img read more

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New Bdesh coach confident of beating Afghanistan in Test

first_imgDhaka: Bangladesh’s new head coach Russell Domingo on Tuesday backed his charges to beat Afghanistan in the one-off Test starting Thursday, provided they could build enough pressure on the opposition. “We have to focus on our processes and on being patient. We have to build pressure against Afghanistan. If we can do those things, results will come our way,” Domingo told reporters in the port city of Chittagong on Tuesday. The one-off Test series against Afghanistan at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong will be the first assignment for Domingo, who was appointed as Bangladesh head coach in August replacing Englishman Steve Rhodes. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhThe 45-year old South African said he did not intend to bring any change to the system that already worked for Bangladesh. “It is going to be my first Test for Bangladesh. I want to see how they perform. And it is difficult to make wholesale changes to a system that has worked really well for them in the last couple of Tests,” he said. “I am sitting back to see how things pan out for the first Test. The selectors and Shakib (Al Hasan) have led me to thinking in a certain way, and I am pretty comfortable with it before I imprint my way on to the team,” he added. This will be Afghanistan’s first meeting against Bangladesh in Test cricket and only third overall after they were granted Test status last year. Bangladesh coach Domingo found the spin attack of the visiting side “threatening” for his charges.last_img read more

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Barriers to sanitation

first_imgWith the goal of making India open-defecation free by 2019, the NDA government launched the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (SBA) programme in 2014. Under the programme, people living below the poverty line and above the poverty line can avail reimbursement for constructing toilets at the household level. The programme has given a huge impetus to nationwide toilet-building exercise. The SBA, currently, operates under a reimbursement model, where the households are expected to build toilets from their own funds and then, upon producing the required documents, reimbursed Rs 12,000-15,000 depending on the caste of the household. Also Read – A special kind of bondDespite the SBA subsidies easing the process of household toilet construction, BPL households are faced with significant barriers. Raising capital One of the most important barriers is a household’s ability to raise the initial funds needed to build the toilets. Based on our initial visits in rural Karnataka, it emerged that the real cost of building a toilet is highly variable and can often be more than Rs 20,000. The average agriculture household income was Rs 8,931 per month in 2016-17, according to the Nabard’s All India Rural Financial Inclusion Survey. Combining the income data with the cost of constructing the toilet indicates that households find it challenging to raise the initial funds. Also Read – Insider threat managementWhile informal methods of raising the funds exist (borrowing from relatives or dipping into personal savings), these are not accessible to all households. Moreover, the reimbursement from the SBA is delayed by at least six months. Until then, people continue to pay interest to moneylenders. This makes households reluctant in building toilets. Limited space Urban slums are characterised as congested lanes with poor light and ventilation and having wall-to-wall houses with single room per household. According to census 2011, 45 per cent of households in urban slums are having a single room. It becomes clear that the spare space available to a household to build a toilet may not exist or maybe too less. Households that can raise the funds may be challenged by the lack of space to build a toilet. Moreover, it becomes difficult for people living in rented homes, as the decision to build a toilet lies with the house owner. Community toilet is suggested as a solution in such settlements. However, its construction and long-term use depend on finding a suitable site close to the slum with proper use and maintenance. Lack of information The success of any government programme lays in its design, implementation and participation of community members. SBA is only focussed on toilet construction, not on IEC (Information, Education and Communication) activities. In the earlier programme Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan, 15 per cent of the fund in the budget was spent on IEC activities, but it has been brought down to 8 per cent under SBA. Lack of proper information about sanitation programme can impact the most marginalised people. For example, women-headed households may lack access to information about the process of applying for subsidies to build toilets. In rural areas, many women did not know whom to approach or what paperwork is needed to apply for the construction of the toilet under the SBA. For example, when we asked women from Jayanagar slum in Nelamangala, Bengaluru, to describe the process of applying for toilet construction under the SBA, they were unable to describe whom to approach and what documents were needed. Improving the information dissemination about the processes through which the most marginalised people can access the programme subsidies can extend the benefit of SBA to these households. Even with the impetus to build toilets under the national level SBA, households in urban slums continue to struggle to build toilets. While some of the barriers are relatively easier to fix (such as improving information dissemination), space constraints can be the most challenging. Removing these initial barriers can improve household level access to sanitation. (The author is a Research Assistant at Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment. The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

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Quotes from some Canadians in Florida after Hurricane Irma

first_imgHOLLYWOOD, – Some quotes on Monday from Florida-based Canadians who survived Hurricane Irma:”I feel great to see that my house is intact. We do have an uprooted mail box and some trees down in the back but it could have been so much worse.” — Audrey Foy, a Quebecer who lives near Hollywood, Fla.— — —”I feel like a survivor.” — Foy.— — —”We expected a direct hit and we didn’t get it. This is lucky as far as we’re concerned because the people on the west coast and the Keys were not lucky.” — Jimmy Sklavenitis, a former Montrealer and now co-owner of the The Greek Joint, a restaurant in Hollywood.— — —“If we had got a direct hit with that hurricane, it would have been a month, a month and a half we would have been out of business and maybe even longer. But a couple of power lines and a couple of trees down, it’s OK.” — Sklavenitis.last_img read more

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Trademark for proposed Atlantic Schooners CFL football team quietly secured

first_imgHALIFAX – It appears that a step has quietly been taken in the bid to add the Atlantic Schooners to the Canadian Football League field.Global News is reporting that the trademark for Atlantic Schooners — one of the prospective names for a CFL franchise in Halifax — has officially been registered by an organization known to be interested in bringing a football team to the East Coast.The trademark would allow the holder to control intellectual property associated with the name such as licence plate holders, athletic apparel and football figurines.The trademark holder is also listed as having an interest in protecting the copyright when it comes to the broadcasting and re-broadcasting of football games, personal appearances by a sports celebrity or football player and the sales of sporting goods.The league confirmed last month that it has been in talks with a “professional, enthusiastic and impressive” group of prospective owners rallying for a Halifax franchise.Anthony Leblanc, a former president and CEO of the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes, is a partner in the group.Public documents filed with both the province of Nova Scotia and trademark application link LeBlanc with 3312738 Nova Scotia Limited, a numbered company that now owns the registered Atlantic Schooners trademark.(Global News)last_img read more

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Outgoing Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson reflects on 10 years in office

first_imgVANCOUVER – After 10 years leading British Columbia’s largest city, Gregor Robertson is preparing to step away from the helm.Whatever the outgoing mayor set out to achieve for Vancouver has largely been overshadowed by his role piloting the city through some of its greatest trials.Sitting in the ceremonial room where he has hosted countless meetings, Robertson said he’s comfortable with any lens people choose to view his performance.“Collectively we’ve achieved a lot of great successes. But generally in politics and particularly being the mayor, you end up being in the blame game for when things do go wrong. And when there are global challenges, like affordability, that are hitting every big city in the world and hitting us particularly hard, people want to blame me for that,” Robertson, 54, said.“That’s OK, I can handle it.”A decade ago, Robertson had a clear vision for achievement: Make Vancouver the greenest city in the world by 2020, end homelessness by 2015, increase affordable housing and strengthen the economy.In fact, Robertson and his council managed to achieve, or at least make dents in, many of those goals.The unemployment rate is among the lowest in the country at 4.5 per cent. Robertson said more than half of residents use transportation other than cars, an objective that he said was reached five years ahead of schedule in 2015.Gordon Price, who was a Vancouver councillor for six terms and is the former director for The City Program at Simon Fraser University, said when a political promise is checked off the list it doesn’t often come with gold stars from voters.“In a sense, when you were elected to do something and you actually do it, the big response is ‘yawn,’ ” Price said.What Robertson didn’t anticipate was the scale of multiple crises that would knock some of Vancouver’s most vulnerable down and change the very character of the city.The year he took office, the global economic recession hit. Four years ago, people began dying from overdoses in unprecedented numbers. In the last decade, rising property values made the city unaffordable for many.Each presented an obstacle, taken together, they have overwhelmed the city, Robertson said.“People are dying in unprecedented numbers, that’s been really difficult. You know the bigger, longer crisis of affordable housing was decades in the making and then we got walloped with the biggest influx of global capital really that any city had seen all at once.”Political scientist David Moscrop, who recently left B.C. for the department of communications at the University of Ottawa, said Robertson promised too much in certain areas like homelessness.In 2018, the number of Vancouverites facing homelessness was pegged at 2,181, over 1,500 were living in shelters or other centres and 659 were living on the street. In 2010, just over 1,700 homeless were counted in the city.Moscrop said it’s unfair to put all of the blame for such problems on local governments when they require a co-ordinated response from their provincial and federal counterparts.On balance, Moscrop said Robertson did “fine” and given the challenges, he’s not sure anyone could have done better.“I think he’s about as good as he could be within the context he was operating,” Moscrop said.Moscrop predicted another tough few years for the city.“I don’t think there’s any doubt he’s leaving it in worse shape than he found it. But I’m not convinced the next mayor will necessarily be able to address these problems either,” he said.However, Moscrop said the next council will have the benefit of working with other levels of government that are now “willing to play ball.”Financially, Robertson said Vancouver is in better shape than its ever been.Rental housing accounted for more than half of the developments approved this year, he said, compared with 10 years ago when it made up five per cent of the supply.“The new council and mayor, they’re going to have to keep going. This is going to take years,” Robertson said.The city also has a history of “bouncing back,” he said, pointing to the way the community came together to clean up after the Stanley Cup riots in 2011.“I think as a city we’ve gotten a lot more resilient and closer in terms of dealing with these challenges.”As for what’s on the horizon, Robertson plans to take his first long vacation in about 20 years this winter.“I’m ready for a break from politics,” he said. “Basically, I won’t be responsible for the city anymore so I need to transition out of that mindset and open my eyes to what I want to do next.”last_img read more

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Law that allows domestic violence records to be released patchy in the

first_imgHollie Gazzard was 20 years old when she was stabbed to death by her ex-boyfriend at the hair salon where she worked in Gloucester, England.Court heard her killer, Asher Maslin, had a history of domestic violence and stabbed the young woman fourteen times in front of horrified onlookers after she broke up with him.Five years later, Gazzard’s father wonders if he may have been able help his daughter had he known about her killer’s past.“If I knew then what I know now, I reckon I could have saved Hollie’s life because I would have seen all the signs,” Nick Gazzard said.“Had we used Clare’s Law and the right to ask, that might have been another indicator of his background and given evidence to Hollie to suggest that she was in a situation where he was very high risk.”Clare’s Law allows someone to request information about a partner’s abusive past from police if they believe they’re at risk. Named after another victim of domestic violence in the U.K., Clare Wood, it also allows officers to disclose a person’s violent record to someone they believe is at risk.This fall, the Saskatchewan government proposed similar legislation, as the province grapples with the highest rates of police-reported domestic violence in the country.Statistics show there were 48 domestic-related homicides and nine related suicides in Saskatchewan between 2005 and 2014.Criminal records are currently confidential in Saskatchewan and can’t be shared without consent.While the details are still being worked out in Saskatchewan, the proposed law has a “right to ask” route where a partner can request information and a “right to know” option where police can proactively disclose information to an individual.But if the U.K. experience is any guide, the success of the law is hardly assured.Lucy Hadley, a spokeswoman for the British domestic abuse charity Women’s Aid, said the application of Clare’s Law in the U.K. has been quite patchy since coming into force.While the U.K.’s Office for National Statistics says police recorded 1.1 million domestic-violence incidents and crimes in the year ending March 2017, Hadley said only one in five domestic violence victims will ever contact police.On top of that, only 34 per cent of the 2,820 “right to ask” applications under Clare’s Law resulted in disclosures that same year.Hadley said some of the U.K.’s 43 police forces advertise Clare’s Law and encourage people to come forward, while others don’t.It’s difficult to know whether the law has prevented domestic abuse, she said.“It’s great that we’ve got this scheme and the police can give you more information if you’re worried, but if you’re obviously worried about your partner’s behaviour then you’re probably experiencing domestic abuse already,” Hadley said.Sharon Stratton, public protection lead with the College of Policing in England and Wales, agreed the implementation of Clare’s Law has been patchy in the U.K. so far.“I can imagine that in some circumstances there’s been a lack of knowledge when victims have approached officers and asked to invoke this scheme,” Stratton said.Stratton said there isn’t enough awareness about the law in the U.K. although she said a lot has been done in the last three years to update training and change attitudes.A new pilot project is being introduced at two police forces which allows potential victims to make online applications for information. Currently, a person has to make the request in person.Nick Gazzard said the online process would be useful.“Certainly a lot of people who are traumatized or in relationships maybe where they might want to make that application … would probably be a little resistant of going to a police station for the fear of someone seeing them.“If it could be dealt with online, I think that could be very good.”— Follow @RyanBMcKenna on TwitterRyan McKenna, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Injured Broncos player returns to the ice for first time since bus

first_imgCOLONSAY, Sask. — A defenseman who suffered a brain injury in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash last spring was back on the ice for the first time this week.Layne Matechuk, who is 18, was injured in April when the bus carrying his junior hockey team and a transport truck collided at a rural intersection. The crash killed 16 people, including 10 players, and injured 13.Matechuk’s dad, Kevin, posted an online video of his son skating while pushing a hockey net and another of him shooting a puck.He says he could not be more proud.Matechuk, who is from Colonsay, Sask., wore his Broncos jersey — No. 28 — in the video.The team was on its way to a Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League playoff game against Nipawin when the crash happened April 6.The driver of the transport truck, Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, was charged with 16 counts of dangerous driving causing death and 13 counts of dangerous driving causing bodily injury. He pleaded guilty to all the charges in court Tuesday as his lawyer explained his client didn’t want to make things worse for the families involved.A sentencing hearing for Sidhu has been set for Jan. 28 and the Crown prosecutor said it’s expected to take up to five days. On the web: http://bit.ly/2H2TS91The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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RCMP reveal runin between driver and men matching descriptions of BC murder

first_imgSURREY, B.C. — While an RCMP report into the murders of three people in northern British Columbia was unable to offer answers about what motivated the two accused, it noted a chilling late night encounter between a man who’d stopped on a highway and two people who matched the suspects’ descriptions.According to the report released Friday, a witness driving along the Alaska Highway saw two men who police suspect were Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, and Kam McLeod, 19, on July 17.The witness had pulled over to take a nap, and within five minutes, a truck with a camper drove past and stopped a short distance ahead.The report says a male got out of the passenger side holding a long gun, and then walked towards the tree line and started “moving towards the witness in a tactical or hunting stance.” The truck also started driving slowly towards the witness, the report says.The witness drove away from the armed male and past the truck, the report continues. The driver covered his face with his hand, barring it from the witness’s view.The witness reported the incident to RCMP on July 21 — the same day police issued a news release asking for the public’s help in finding Schmegelsky and McLeod. At that point, police say the pair were missing persons rather than suspects, and investigators feared they might have also been victims.The men were later charged with the murder of Leonard Dyck, a University of British Columbia botany lecturer, and were also suspects in the deaths of American Chynna Deese and her Australian boyfriend Lucas Fowler.McLeod and Schmegelsky confessed to the killings in a series of videos that were found after the pair’s bodies were discovered, dead by a suicide pact, in northern Manitoba on Aug. 7 at the end of a nationwide manhunt, police said Friday.“The investigative theory is that McLeod and Schmegelsky came across Fowler’s van and targeted Fowler and Deese for unknown reasons before continuing up into the Yukon. McLeod and Schmegelsky returned to B.C. because they were having vehicle issues and came across Dyck who they killed for unknown reasons,” the RCMP report states in its conclusion.While the report says the witness in the July 17 encounter described the truck as being a GMC rather than McLeod’s Dodge, police say the men’s descriptions matched the suspects’ and the pair were confirmed to be in the area at the time.The investigation began July 15 when the bodies of Fowler and Deese were discovered near Highway 97, south of Liard River Hot Springs, B.C. The bodies were near a van registered to Fowler. An autopsy on July 19 confirmed that Fowler and Deese died of multiple gunshot wounds and it appears that the shooter or shooters stood behind the victims for at least some of the shots.Also on July 19, McLeod’s burned truck was found about 60 kilometres south of Dease Lake, B.C. Dyck’s body was found about two kilometres away but was unidentified at that time.After tracing the truck, police spoke with members of McLeod’s family and learned he’d left his home of Port Alberni with Schmegelsky on July 12. The family described the two friends as good kids who were on a trip to northern British Columbia and Yukon to look for work.A manhunt for McLeod and Schmegelsky led to Gillam, Man., where Dyck’s Toyota Rav 4 was found burned. Officers converged on the area to begin what would be a two-week search that ended with the suspects being found dead.Police say the suspects expressed no remorse in the videos and did not explain what motivated the killings.They said McLeod shot Schmegelsky before shooting himself, and two guns found near their bodies were the same firearms used in the murders of Deese, Fowler and Dyck.“If there was in fact a motive, it’s gone with the accused,” RCMP Assistant Commissioner Kevin Hackett told a news conference Friday.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 28, 2019.—By Rob Drinkwater in Edmonton, with files from Laura Kane in Vancouver.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Qorianka Kilcher joins 7 day Greenpeace Action in Amazon

first_imgActress and human rights activist Q’orianka Kilcher last week joined the Greenpeace occupation of the anchor chain of a cargo ship in Brazil to protest the invasion of indigenous tribal land and illegal logging in the Amazon rainforest.Q’orianka Kilcher joins Amazon actionCredit/Copyright: Marizilda Cruppe / GreenpeaceThe 22 year old is known for her role as Pocahontas in Terence Malik’s 2006 Oscar nominated “The New World”, in which she co-starred with Colin Farrell. She also recently co-starred with Cuba Gooding Jr. in ABC’s “Firelight”. Q’orianka’s activism has taken her already to places like the World Peoples’ Summit on Climate Change and Rights of Mother Earth in Tiquipaya, Bolivia in 2010, and even jail for a peaceful protest at the White House in Washington D.C.Q’orianka Kilcher joins Amazon actionCredit/Copyright: Marizilda Cruppe / GreenpeaceAs long as activists occupy the anchor it’s impossible for the ship to dock and load its cargo of pig iron, a key ingredient in the steelmaking process. New Greenpeace research shows how pig iron is helping to destroy the Amazon rainforest and even contributing to slave labour in the region. The resulting steel is bought by global car companies for use in US factories.Q’orianka Kilcher joins Amazon actionCredit/Copyright: Marizilda Cruppe / GreenpeaceBrazil’s President Dilma is preparing to host the world’s elite in Rio a month from now. Dilma is considering whether to veto changes to Brazil’s ‘forest code’ – a key law which has protected the Amazon for decades. Greenpeace considers it vital that she shows leadership to regain control and protect the Amazon. Q’orianka, who was tweeting from the anchor chain, has also retweeted Greenpeace’s call for Dilma to stand up and veto the changes.Ongoing updates from Greenpeace concerning this campaign are available here.Join: You can sign up here to get involved, or try Greenpeace’s Find A Brazilian app to help get 1.4m Brazilians to petition their government for a zero deforestation law.Q’orianka Kilcher joins Amazon actionCredit/Copyright: Marizilda Cruppe / GreenpeaceSource:Greenpeacelast_img read more

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Stewart Rahr Announces 800k Donation to Charity

first_imgFlamboyant philanthropist Stewart Rahr has announced that more than $800,000 has been donated to charity through an online trivia game via email with his friends.Four hundred of Stewart’s friends – including Edward Norton, LL Cool J and others – participate in the game regularly.September donations were made to AABR Foundation Inc, Hebrew Academy of Five Towns & Rockaway, Children’s Tumor Foundation, Harboring Hearts Housing Foundation, March to the Top – Africa, Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust, Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths and a $100,000 donation to the Eric Trump Foundation.Source:PR Newswirelast_img

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