Highway ban in Kashmir likely to hit tourism, horticulture

first_imgFacing criticism from both the political class and the civil society, the State government’s ban on civilian traffic twice a week on the 270-km-long national highway in Kashmir is bound to dent the Valley’s horticulture industry and tourism, according to the stakeholders.“We have stored apple stock in cold storages, which requires urgent transportation to various destination in the country. The apple crop will be hit badly by the ban. Besides, it will delay the chemical treatment of orchards. The ban is unjustified and will make small-time farmers suffer,” said Bashir Ahmad Basheer, chairman of the Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers-Cum-Dealers Association.According to an estimation, around ₹300 crore worth of fruit is in cold storages in south Kashmir. However, the ban order issued by the Governor’s administration has barred the movement of civilian vehicles, including trucks, from 4 a.m. to 5 p.m. twice every week.Travel Agents Association of Kashmir president Ashfaq Siddiq Dug said, “This will have serious implications for upcoming tourist season. It will only add to the woes of tourists and pilgrims.”Stating that Kashmir does not have any alternative road connectivity, Mr. Dug said, “It will result in shortage of essentials.” Doctors Association of Kashmir president Dr. Suhail Naik warned of “increase in morbidity and mortality in patients due to delays in patient care”. Parties condemn banCalling for its immediate withdrawal, all major political parties, including the Congress, the National Conference, the Peoples Democratic Party, the Peoples Conference and the CPI(M), condemned the government move taken in the wake of the Pulwama attack, which left 40 CRPF jawans dead on February 14.“The Srinagar-Jammu Highway was not closed even during the Kargil war. Is the Governor’s administration trying to make Kashmir a colony?” said NC president Farooq Abdullah.PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said, “The Government of India only wants Kashmir and not Kashmiris.”Seeking its revocation, State Congress president G.A. Mir said, “It’s a decision taken in haste and will prove perilous for civilians.”“It’s another dictatorial move that will cause great distress to people. The government should stop punishing people of Kashmir,” said Hurriyat chief Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.last_img read more

Video: The Secrets of Seahorse Success

first_imgHow does the seahorse, one of the slowest swimming fish in the sea, manage to capture its nimbler prey? In a word, stealth. Like most fish, seahorses nab their prey by slurping in the water surrounding their victims—a technique called suction feeding. But seahorses can effectively strike at prey only 1 millimeter or so in front of them, so they must approach within that distance (video) without disturbing the water so much that their quarry flees. Now, lab tests show that fluid disturbances just ahead of the snout of the dwarf seahorse (Hippocampus zosterae) are only one-fifth as large as those elsewhere around its head, researchers report online today in Nature Communications. Thus, the fish was able to approach within striking range of its prey 84% of the time. Once within striking distance, the not-quite-galloping gourmand snaps its neck forward in less than a millisecond to successfully capture a meal 94% of the time.last_img read more

AES: NHRC notice to Health Ministry, Bihar government over increasing deaths of children in Muzaffarpur

first_imgThe National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Monday sent notices to the Union Health Ministry and the government of Bihar over reports of increasing deaths of children due to encephalitis in Muzaffarpur, a senior official said. Nearly 100 children have died of suspected acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) in Bihar, where doctors strike has paralysed the medical and health services. “The NHRC has taken suo motu cognisance of media reports about the rising number of deaths of children due to acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) in Muzaffarpur district of Bihar in the past few days,” a senior official said. The Commission has issued notices to the secretary, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and the Chief Secretary of Bihar, seeking a detailed report, including on the status of implementation of the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Japanese Encephalitis Virus/Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (NPPCJA) and other steps taken to deal with the painful situation, the NHRC said in a statement. “The Commission would also like to know about the status of the treatment being provided to the children, who are currently hospitalised, and the relief or rehabilitation provided by the State to the aggrieved families,” it said. The response is expected within four weeks, the NHRC said. The Commission has observed that despite reported measures taken by the government agencies, deaths of children in such a large number indicate towards a “possible flaw” in proper implementation of the vaccination and awareness programmes.last_img read more

PBA D-League: Che’Lu routs Batangas-EAC

first_imgMANILA, Philippines–Che’Lu made quick work of Batangas-Emilio Aguinaldo College, 89-63, in the 2019 PBA D-League Tuesday at Paco Arena in Manila.ADVERTISEMENT View comments 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 Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte 1 dead, 3 injured in Quezon road crash P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbed Trump campaign, GOP groups attack Google’s new ad policy The Revellers raced to an 11-1 lead and never wavered en route to its second win in three outings.Sean Manganti scored 20 points while Jessie Collado notched a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds for Che’Lu.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesThe Revellers were relentless from the opening tip and led by as much as 34 points.Che’Lu broke the game wide open in the middle quarters where they outscored EAC, 48-25, to take a 71-42 advantage heading into the final frame. Hong Kong tunnel reopens, campus siege nears end Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting LATEST STORIES MOST READ Urgent reply from Philippine ‍football chief Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. UAAP commended for helping promote 3×3 basketball Kyle Carlos had 13 points for the Generals, who slipped to 1-2.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextlast_img read more

No punishment for Gautam Gambhir as Justice Sen overturns four-match ban

first_imgVeteran Indian opener Gautam Gambhir was on Saturday handed a four-match suspension from the first-class cricket for allegedly abusing Delhi team coach KP Bhaskar in March.Bhaskar and Gambhir were involved in a heated argument during Delhi’s last Vijay Hazare Trophy match in Cuttack. Following the campaign, Bhaskar filed a complaint with Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) administrator Justice (Retd) Vikramjit Sen alleging ‘abusive’ and ‘inappropriate’ behaviour on the part of Gambhir.However, Justice Sen has decided to overturn the punishment for a period of two years ending on 30 March 2019, on condition that Gambhir accept this order and does not commit any similar transgressions during this period.An enquiry committee, which was constituted by Justice Sen and comprised chairman Madan Lal, Rajendra R Rathore and advocate Soni Singh, had found Gambhir guilty and described the batsman’s behaviour as ‘highly inappropriate’ and of ‘serious nature’.”Mr. Gambhir’s actions towards Mr. Pillai ( KP Bhaskar) with premeditated intent to humiliate the coach on 06 March 2017 were highly inappropriate and of serious nature. It is recommended that such inappropriate behaviour requires being penalised not only in a proportionate manner but in a manner that has a deterrent effect so that it is not repeated and such issues are taken seriously by all team members,” the committee stated.”The reprieve means Gambhir could now play for two full cricket seasons without facing sanctions. I gave a personal hearing to Mr. Gambhir on 11th June 2017. I thought it prudent not to take a decision during the continuance of the Indian Premier League, for obvious reasons. In the prevailing circumstances, I consider it appropriate and expedient, while accepting the Report and Recommendations of the Committee, to suspend the punishment for a period of two years ending on 30th March 2019 conditional on Mr. Gautam Gambhir accepting this order and provided he does not commit any similar transgressions,” Justice Sen said.advertisementThe committee also suggested that there is a need to set-up a re-dressal system for players, while at the same time disciplinary rules need to be established to deter players from indiscipline.”The Committee also recommends, in view of the significant grievances raised by Mr. Gambhir during the hearing, which seem to have been given vent to in an inappropriate manner on account of lack of a proper grievance re-dressal system for the team members, that a grievance re-dressal system within the team is urgently required. It is also recommended that disciplinary action rules and mechanism of imposing penalty are required to be formulated to inculcate discipline in the team members and for predictability and deterrence, where players know that an act of indiscipline would have serious repercussions and are therefore deterred from committing them,” the statement said.last_img read more

Pro Kabaddi League: Surender Nada named Haryana Steelers captain

first_imgHaryana players, who have played a stellar role in the success of Pro Kabaddi League, will finally have a team from their state participating in the fifth season starting July 28.The JSW-owned Haryana Steelers on Monday named local boy Surender Nada as captain in their maiden season. He will have another Haryana boy in Wazir Singh as his deputy.”I can’t really express my feelings,” Nada told India Today after he was handed the captain’s armband on a humid Monday afternoon in Sonepat. “I have been waiting for this day. In fact, many Haryana players, who have played for India in the Asian Games and many international tournaments, were looking forward to this day. Pro Kabaddi has been such a huge hit but we never had a team from our own state. This is a reality now,” Nada gushes.Rai School in Sonepat will host Haryana team’s home games. The first one is a sold out already when they take on reigning champions Patna Pirates on September 8. The team has spent the last three weeks training in a pre-season camp in Karnataka’s Bellary.Having owners – Sajjan and son Parth Jindal of the JSW Group – who also belong to Haryana is the proverbial icing on the cake for players of the new team.”We had the opportunity of entering the league at the very beginning but were very new with all our activities at the JSW sports and it was already too much on our plate to take on multiple teams. So, when the opportunity rose again of owning a team, there was no discussion internally. It was always going to be Haryana as our first pick. It is the home state for the Jindal family. They have grown up and still spend a lot of time here. Most of the players come from this state and now they have an opportunity to representing it in the league. I am sure this will give them an additional boost when they are on the mat. Maybe next time we will also have some silverware to celebrate with,” says Mustafa Ghouse, former tennis player, who is now a CEO with JSW Sports.  advertisement”It is a matter of great pride for us today. We have invested in cricket before but India cannot just stay a cricket-oriented country. We need to promote our local sports as well. Haryana has been connected with Kabaddi at the grassroots level. It is imperative to have a team from Haryana,” added Varun Gupta, Director, Kent RO Systems, one of the key sponsors of the Steelers team.Meanwhile, Nada, one of the best left corner defenders in the country,  is already feeling the pressure. Not for the forthcoming games on the mat though. The newly-appointed captain’s phone hasn’t stopped ringing with friends, relatives and fans already demanding match day passes for the big game in Rai this September.”Now I know what other home team captains go through. I will take time to adjust to this,” he admits while leaving for a photo-op.last_img read more

MOL’s Performance Hampered by Port Congestion

first_imgzoom Due to the lingering effects of labor issues on the U.S. West Coast, both Asia – U.S. West Coast and Transatlantic services’ performance deteriorated further in January – March 2015, Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) said in its On-Time Arrival Performance results.The company decided to introduce the performance review for its major trade lanes as an effort of upgrading the quality of its services.The scope of trade lanes included in the review covers:East-West Trade: Asia-U.S. West Coast, Asia-U.S. East Coast, Transatlantic, Asia-Europe, Asia-MediterraneanNorth-South Trade: Asia-East Coast South America, Asia-Mexico/West Coast South America, Europe-AfricaIntra Asia Trade: Intra AsiaMOL’s performance of Asia – U.S. East Coast services improved due to various schedule recovery programs, including additional relief vessels and port omissions.Overall Asia – Europe and Asia – Mediterranean services performance did not improve in January – March 2015 due to ongoing port congestion at Shanghai, Hong Kong, Europe Ports, and Port Said, plus low productivity in Singapore.The on-time performance of MOL’s Asia – ECSA service (CSW) improved from 92% in October – December 2014 to 100% in January – March 2015.Although South African ports (Cape Town and Ngqura) were still generally facing strong wind conditions in January – March 2015, delays were avoided by securing appropriate berth windows and making schedule adjustments, MOL said.The change of coastal schedule in response to Keelung’s port closure during the Chinese New Year period negatively affected the on-time performance of vessels operated by MOL on the Asia-WCSA service (CWL). However, overall performance of the service improved from 87% to 93% due to improvement upon Asia port congestion issue.The Europe – West Africa service (ARN) schedule was negatively impacted by delays in Abidjan due to congestion, which also impacted the SB arrival in Tincan.On the Europe – South Africa service (SRX), departures from Cape Town were affected by adverse weather conditions (severe wind) delaying departures 2 – 4 days.In January – March 2015, Japan-Hong Kong/Straits (CHS/HS3) on-time performance improved due to alleviation of port congestion, the liner said.MOL’s Japan-Thailand (CBE/CBW) on-time performance improved significantly due to the removal of the Manila call from the rotation, which was also impacted by congestion woes.last_img read more

3 held for murdering man in Nand Nagri

first_imgNew Delhi: Three men along with the prime accused who had stabbed and gunned down 25-year-old man on Monday night in North-east Delhi’s Nand Nagari area have been arrested by Delhi Police on Tuesday.On August 5,Vicky (25), a resident of E-block in Nand Nagri was stabbed and then shot dead by three to four assailants on Monday night around 8 pm near his house in Nand Nagari.Vicky was accused in four criminal cases in the past and he was killed in old enmity, said a police officer. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderThe prime accused identified as Sumit alias Bowler , a resident of same locality was arrested along with his associates Ajay Tyagi (31) from Modinagar and Raj (22) from E Block Nand Nagari’s MCD flat on Tuesday. Police have also seized the vehicle used in offence. “On interrogation, Sumit disclosed that he had a tiff with Harsh on 3 August. Harsh was friend of deceased Vicky. Vicky roughed up Sumit and his brothers so Sumit roped in two of his associates and killed Vicky,” said a senior police official. “Ajay Tyagi and Raj on sustained interrogation also revealed their involvement in another murder case reported at Kharkhoda district Meerut. Hence, a murder case of Meerut has also been worked out,” said the official. Sumit alias Bowler is driver by profession. Ajay Tyagi is a money lender and Raj is presently unemployed. Investigation revealed that Vicky was a known criminal of the area and had four cases registered against him.last_img read more

Erase that year Family of injured Broncos player looks to better times

first_imgAIRDRIE, Alta. — Injured Humboldt Broncos hockey player Ryan Straschnitzki is keeping his dark side in check as he and his family celebrate their first Christmas since a bus crash last spring that left him partially paralyzed.It will also be their first away from their home in Airdrie, Alta.Straschnitzki, 19, was one of 13 survivors in the crash between the Broncos team bus and a semi-trailer in rural Saskatchewan. Sixteen people were killed.The family will be having Christmas at their home away from home — a hotel they’ve been living in for the last six months while their house is renovated to accommodate Straschnitzki’s wheelchair.“Should be a nice time,” he said after a recent physio session in Calgary. “Just hanging around the hotel with the family. Have a nice dinner. Open some gifts.”But Straschnitzki admits to having dark days as well.“It definitely comes out in times of frustration, but for the most part I like to keep it in me and just be that happy guy that everyone looks up to.”The positive veneer cracked recently when a van he was riding in was rear-ended by a truck and Straschnitzki was flung to the floor. It brought back traumatic memories.“It just happened out of nowhere like back in April,” he said. “I’m healthy now and nothing was badly damaged, so I’m just moving forward and keeping that positive attitude.”His parents recall receiving a frantic call from their son after the accident.“I think it was harder on us that night because he brought us right into that moment. He drew us in and we relived the way he lived it,” said his mother Michelle Straschnitzki.“It threw us for a loop, but he’s still being resilient. I know he’s sort of a hero to a lot of people and he’s definitely showed himself to have true grit.”She said it was a shock because her son had remained stoic since his accident.“I think he does that for us … He doesn’t talk to us too much about it, but I know he lives in his own head quite a bit.”For his father, Tom Straschnitzki, 2018 can’t end soon enough.“We can erase that year from most of our minds and then move forward to 2019 and 2020 and go from there.”Ryan Straschnitzki said he won’t be holding on to many memories of a tough year.“I’ll just focus on just the memories of the boys, and all the hockey memories I had growing up, and seeing the guys after the accident which was nice. Basically those are the only good memories.”He intends to continue his rehab in the coming year and pursue his dream to eventually play sledge hockey at the national level.“Growing up with hockey I wasn’t the most skilled out there. I wasn’t always the go-to guy, but I made sure I was one of the hardest working on and off the ice.”Christmas dinner is being provided by a local butcher and family members will be gathering at the hotel to help celebrate.“It’ll be a very odd Christmas. We’re trying to figure out how to make it as normal as possible but we’re all still pretty scattered,” said Michelle Straschnitzki.“It still doesn’t feel like Christmas and we’re trying to get into the spirit of things. We’re still not sure how we’re going to do Christmas morning, but we’ll figure it out.”— Follow @BillGraveland on TwitterBill Graveland, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Stars Take Part In Comic Relief Danceathon

first_imgOn Sunday, a host of celebrities including Kimberley Walsh and Alex Jones danced the day away with hundreds of hot footed fundraisers.Claudia Winkleman hosted the star studded event at The SSE Arena, Wembley, as celebrities kept fundraisers in high spirits by taking to the stage to shimmy, shake and throw some shapes, all to raise money for Comic Relief.The sprightly celebrities entertained the crowd with their fancy footwork including tap dancing Hollywood star Adam Garcia and ex Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt. Also stepping into the limelight were Countdown’s Rachel Riley, singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor and telly favourite Kirstie Allsopp. Radio DJs Gemma Cairney, Edith Bowman, Jo Whiley, Sara Cox and Vanessa Feltz also faced the music and danced.Dancing legend Arlene Phillips had the crowd in a spin with her famous moves, while comedian Rufus Hound got them giggling by getting his groove on. Other celebs on hand to give fundraisers a much needed boost included Broadchurch heart throb Jonathan Bailey, actress Chelsee Healey and tennis coach and Strictly star Judy Murray.Also quick-stepping it to the stage were Strictly Come Dancing professionals Aljaz Skorjanec, Ian Waite, Janette Manrara, Kristina Rihanoff, Natalie Lowe and Robin Windsor whose expertly timed twirls helped keep fundraisers in step throughout their six hour challenge.Fundraisers were motivated to keep moving to a whole host of toe tapping tunes with the dance style changing every 30 minutes. Those taking part were able to sample a range of dance genres from street dance, latin, hip hop, Bollywood, jive and disco to 80s anthems, 90s rave, pop, soul, ballroom and musical theatre.Host Claudia Winkleman kept the dancers on their toes throughout the challenge, and said: “This has been an absolutely epic day, the crowd put in a tremendous effort and I even busted out a few of my signature moves myself. I loved it and I hope we raised lots of cash for Comic Relief.”Those who couldn’t make it to Wembley were able to throw their own dance parties at home by following along with the live action on the BBC Red Button.The money raised by the Comic Relief Danceathon will be spent in the UK and across Africa, helping vulnerable and disadvantaged people to turn their lives around.last_img read more

Delhi BJP unit seeks action against AAP for indulging in violent acts

first_imgNew Delhi: The BJP’s Delhi unit Tuesday filed a complaint with the Chief Electoral Office in Delhi and sought action against the Aam Aadmi Party, which it alleged was “indulging in violent acts” and violating the model code of conduct.In its complaint, the BJP accused the AAP of burning the 2014 manifesto of the saffron party which had photos of its leaders. They alleged that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal along with other party leaders had burnt BJP manifesto on March 13. Other party leaders Manish Sisodia, Rajendra Pal Gautam, Kailash Gahlot and Pankaj Gupta were among those who led had party workers in burning copies of the party’s manifesto, the BJP alleged. The manifestos were burnt by the AAP to attack BJP on the issue of full statehood to Delhi. “The AAP leaders are violating MCC by either not seeking permission for such events from Election Commission or they have sought permission for election meetings from EC and misused such permission to violate MCC by burning BJP’s manifesto,” the letter said. The letter, written by SN Verma, co-convener of the legal department of BJP Delhi Pradesh, said orders should be issued to leaders and workers of AAP to “cease and desist from such violent acts”. Five complaints have been made against the BJP and the AAP for organising gatherings to burn manifestos without permission, officials from the Chief Electoral Office of Delhi had said on Monday.last_img read more

Macedonias name change – what does the country have to do

SKOPJE, Macedonia — Macedonia is changing its name to North Macedonia in return for Greece dropping its objections to its northern neighbour joining NATO to settle a nearly three-decade dispute. But what does a country have to do, practically, when it changes its name?Greece’s parliament ratified the deal on Friday, in one of the final steps needed to end the disagreement between the two neighbours. Some procedural steps remain, including Greece signing its northern neighbour’s NATO accession protocol, before the name change comes into effect.Changing a country’s name is by no means unprecedented — many nations have done so, generally following political upheavals or at the end of colonial periods: think Burma to Myanmar, Rhodesia to Zimbabwe, Zaire to Congo and, more recently, Swaziland to eSwatini.Many things in Macedonia will have to change, from passports to government letterhead to schoolbooks. But some others, such as internet domain names, will remain the same. Here’s a look at the path ahead:____WHAT IS CHANGING?The country adopted the name Republic of Macedonia after it declared independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991. It has been recognized as such by more than 130 countries, but not by the United Nations, NATO or the European Union, due to Greece’s objections. Greece argued use of the term “Macedonia” usurped its own ancient heritage and implied territorial ambitions on its own northern province of the same name, birthplace of the ancient warrior king Alexander the Great.So the country’s official name was the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, or FYROM.Once the name change is complete, that will change to Republic of North Macedonia, or North Macedonia for short.____WHAT HAPPENS NOW?Once the deal comes into effect, the country will inform the rest of the world, including the United Nations, that it is now called North Macedonia, and will apply to join NATO and the European Union.The U.N. step could prove tricky. Russia, a U.N. Security Council member, has slammed the name change process as a crude violation of Macedonian law under pressure from the West so the country can join NATO. Russian officials, however, have stopped short of saying whether Moscow will recognize the new name.____WHAT ELSE WILL CHANGE?The government in Skopje will have a five-year grace period to implement practical changes, such as altering official letterhead, and changing passports and car license plates. The deal stipulates two transitional periods, one technical and one political.The five-year technical period is for official documents and materials for international use, while the five-year political period is for documents and materials used domestically. The latter process could actually take many more years.Passports will have to be amended, and the new versions are expected by the end of this year or in early 2020. Car license plates, which until now bore the international code MK, will change to either NM or NMK within five years.However, the country will retain its current codes of MK and MKD, assigned by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), for all other purposes, such as internet domain names and sports events.____STATUES AND MONUMENTSThe construction of monuments has played a big role in the dispute with Greece. Macedonia’s former prime minister, Nikola Gruevski, ordered a plethora of statues and monuments, including of ancient Greeks, to festoon the capital, Skopje, and other areas. Skopje’s main square is dominated by a towering statue of a rider on a horse — and few had any doubts it was of Alexander the Great. A statue of Alexander’s father Philip is a short walk away.Once the name change takes effect, Macedonia will have six months to “review the status of monuments, public buildings and infrastructures on its territory, and insofar as they refer in any way to ancient Hellenic history and civilization …. shall take appropriate corrective action.”Within six months it will also have to stop using the sixteen-rayed Sun of Vergina, a symbol in ancient Greek art and associated with Alexander’s dynasty, which Macedonia formerly displayed on its first national flag after independence.____COMMERCE AND TRADEHere the issue becomes less clear. For usage in commercial names, trademarks and brand names, the deal says Greece and Macedonia agreed to encourage their respective business communities to ” institutionalize a sincere, structured and in good faith dialogue … (to) seek and reach mutually accepted solutions.”An international expert panel is to be established including representatives of both countries to implement this.____SCHOOLBOOKS AND HISTORYThe two sides have a year from the signing of the agreement in June 2018 to ensure that school textbooks or other materials such as maps, atlases and teaching guides do not contain any irredentist or revisionist references. A committee of experts on historic, archaeological and educational matters, supervised by the foreign ministries of each country, is to review the materials.____Becatoros reported from Athens, Greece. Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow contributed to this report.Konstantin Testorides And Elena Becatoros, The Associated Press read more

China and Sri Lanka sign loan agreement for Central Expressway

China and Sri Lanka today signed a concessional loan agreement of US$ 989 million for Central Expressway Project – Section I, covering 85% of the total contract price.The agreement was signed between the Ambassador of China to Sri Lanka Cheng Xueyuan, on behalf of the Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of China, and Dr. R.H.S Samarathunga, Secretary to the Treasure, Ministry of Finance, on behalf of the Sri Lankan Government. On a request put forward by the Sri Lankan Government and in view of the welfare of the Sri Lankan people, China decided to provide the concessional fund assistance to the CEP-1 Project, after rounds of fair and professional negotiations, the Chinese Embassy in Colombo said. China said that it remains committed to enhancing friendship and cooperation between the two countries, and bringing more and more tangible benefits to the two peoples. (Colombo Gazette) The Central Expressway Project (CEP) connecting Colombo and Kandy, will be part of the national highway network plan, and will play an important role in promoting the Island’s economic and social development. read more

Police officer serving with UN mission in East Timor charged with rape

The office of the East Timor Prosecutor General handed down the indictment on 21 August. The suspect was arrested on 5 July, following an alleged incident that took place at a Dili hotel, and has been held in detention ever since. The trial is expected to take place at the Dili District Court very soon as the prosecutors have asked for an expedited hearing on the case.Meanwhile in election news, the head of UNTAET, Sergio Vieira de Mello, is scheduled to deliver a speech tomorrow to open the third and final election debate in Dili. All 16 political parties along with the national independent candidates have been invited to participate in the event, which is organized by the UNTAET-run TV Timor Lorosa’e (TVTL).Cabinet Member for Foreign Affairs José Ramos-Horta will moderate the debate, which will consist of three sessions. After Mr. Vieira de Mello’s speech, the candidates will discuss issues put to them by the moderator. In the second session, the audience will put questions directly to the participants. And in the third session, East Timorese leader Xanana Gusmão will give a speech and take questions from media and the audience.”We expect a very substantial debate,” said event coordinator Evliana Berani, TVTL Civic Education Officer. “It will have a double effect for civic education, because people can be informed and also contribute.” read more

Middle East UNs top human rights official urges probe into pattern of

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Sergio Vieira de Mello, was “deeply disturbed” to learn of the deaths during this morning’s attack by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) on the Bureij refugee camp, according to a statement he released in Geneva.”The current level of violence that causes civilian losses, including of children and elders, is profoundly disquieting,” Mr. Vieira de Mello said, noting that the instability makes the provision of humanitarian assistance “extremely difficult.”The High Commissioner recalled that in recent days, the IDF has demolished a UN World Food Programme (WFP) warehouse and fatally wounded British aid worker Iain Hook, and voiced “extreme” concern for the safety and wellbeing of all civilians, including UN personnel, living and working in the occupied Palestinian territories.Mr. Vieira de Mello repeated his call to the Israeli authorities to refrain from the indiscriminate use of force in civilian areas. “The principle of proportionality must always be applied and all necessary measures taken to avoid loss of life or injury to civilians,” he said, calling on the Israeli authorities to conduct “a full and transparent investigation into this pattern of serious incidents, mindful of human rights and humanitarian law.” read more

Last OSU womens lacrosse player set to leave hospital

The last of six Ohio State women’s lacrosse players hospitalized for a rare but potentially dangerous muscle disorder is set to be released from the hospital at noon Wednesday, Christopher Kaeding, the head team physician for OSU’s athletic department, told The Lantern in an email.  OSU assistant director of athletic communication Alissa Clendenen was not sure whether the six athletes would play in the team’s next game, scheduled for Sunday, but she did say in an email, “once released, players are not expected to miss any time because of their condition.”  On Friday, six OSU women’s lacrosse players were admitted to the Wexner Medical Center at OSU to be evaluated after showing symptoms of rhabdomyolysis, OSU assistant director of athletics communication Alissa Clendenen confirmed to The Lantern. Rhabdomyolysis, a muscle disorder that causes a breakdown of muscle fibers and releases a protein called myoglobin into the bloodstream, can cause kidney damage and in extreme cases, kidney failure. Trainers evaluated the team for symptoms after one athlete complained of not feeling well, according to the release. None has kidney damage, according to media reports. The names of the six players have not been released. In January 2011, 13 football players at the University of Iowa developed the disorder after overexertion during a squat-lifting workout. A report cleared coaches, players, physicians and trainers for wrongdoing but recommended the strenuous workout that contributed to the hospitalizations be dropped from training. All 13 players made full recoveries. The women’s lacrosse team did not have games this past weekend. They next play at Canisius in Buffalo, N.Y., Sunday at 1 p.m. read more

ASA Draws Attention to Farm Bill Infrastructure Biodiesel and Trade in State

first_imgST. LOUIS (January 28, 2014) – Responding to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address this evening, American Soybean Association President and Iowa farmer Ray Gaesser took the opportunity to highlight several of the association’s priorities and how they compare and contrast with the plans laid out by the President.“A common theme in tonight’s State of the Union address from the President was the concept of finding ways where Republicans and Democrats can work together; policies and priorities on which the two parties share at least some common ground. We are happy to point out that the President need look no further in that effort than the Agricultural Act of 2014 on which the House of Representatives will vote tomorrow,” said Gaesser. “The farm bill is the product of more than three years of collaborative work between Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Stabenow and Chairman Lucas and Ranking Members Cochran and Peterson, and represents a bipartisan and bicameral step toward legislation that works not only for farmers and rural Americans, but for our suburban and urban neighbors. As we urge the House and Senate to pass the bill, we also urge President Obama to embrace the farm bill as an example of how both parties can work together to benefit all Americans.“The President also mentioned several plans designed to create jobs and put Americans to work. While the agricultural community and its related industries put more than 23 million Americans to work every day, there are specific initiatives within our industry that can create even more jobs right away. One is the pair of waterways infrastructure bills passed by the House and Senate and currently in conference. These bills provide critical investment in the locks, dams, river channels and ports that farmers need to move their products to market. We thank the President for mentioning these bills specifically. They are in lock step with the Fix it First initiatives he outlined in last year’s State of the Union, and we encourage Congress to move forward with the conference committee and pass a bill on for the President’s signature.“The second job creator that the soybean industry in particular can contribute is from the burgeoning biodiesel sector. Biodiesel—the majority of which is made from American soybean oil—creates and supports more than 62,000 jobs, and while the President repeatedly cites a desire to pursue his ‘all of the above’ energy strategy, the policies of his administration tell a different story. The EPA has proposed a potentially devastating cut in the amount of renewable, clean-burning, American biodiesel to be produced under the Renewable Fuel Standard for 2014 and 2015. The levels proposed would stifle the growth of biodiesel, a fast-growing industry capable of producing nearly 2 billion gallons annually. If the President is truly committed to all energy options, we encourage him to recognize what soybean farmers already know: biodiesel is a viable and available alternative that helps reduce our dependence on foreign oil, lower greenhouse gas emissions and create jobs.“Finally, the President has repeatedly emphasized his desire to expand our nation’s trading relationships with both new and existing foreign partners, and tonight he noted our record farm exports in his opening remarks. As our nation’s leading farm export, trade is vital to the success of soybean farmers, and we applaud this emphasis from the President. Trade, and agricultural trade specifically, supports more than a million jobs here at home. Trade agreements, like the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, into which Japan is being considered for admission, hold great promise for the soybean industry, and we commend the President for recognizing both in his remarks, but also note that these partnerships function only if they are established in such a way that takes into account the nature of our domestic industry and the modern methods and tools with which we farm.“We certainly echo the President’s call to work together, but we remind him that the issues championed by soybean farmers, including the farm bill, trade, infrastructure and biodiesel, are ones that require—and thankfully enjoy—bipartisan and bicameral support. American agriculture has always been about all of us; Republicans and Democrats, urban and rural, working together to meet the country’s needs. We call on the President, on the House and on the Senate to mirror that cooperation and work with farmers on these and other key issues in the year to come.”last_img read more

Rain Lack Of Wind Slows Funny River Fire Growth

first_img(Image courtesy Alaska Inter-Agency Management Team)Fire crews Wednesday morning mapped the Funny River fire out to be nearly 183,300 acres.Tom Lavagnino, with the incident management team, says the rain has helped a little bit, but it’s not the biggest reason the fire’s growth has slowed.“The bigger factor, probably, is there’s lack of wind,” Lavagnino said. “The first couple days and the aggressive growth period were due to wind-driven fire, and that hasn’t happened yesterday.”Lavignino says the fire line along the western edge is well-established and secure. He also says a fuel break established by the community over the past several years has played a large role in containing the northern edge of the fire.“Kudos to them,” Lavagnino said. “They’re very successful in stopping the fire and having retardant being able to reach the ground at that point and mitigate the fire so the hand crews can come in in the fire trucks and suppress the fire a little more – and safely.”For now, most of the fire crews’ efforts will be on the northeast and eastern borders of the fire.There are 713 personnel working on the Funny River fire.All evacuation advisories in the area have been lifted.There is a community meeting scheduled Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at the Funny River Community Center.last_img read more

Eerie clip of LAPD helicopters encountering UFO goes viral Video

first_imgPixabayA recent video uploaded to YouTube by popular conspiracy theory channel ‘Third Phase of Moon’ is now the hottest debating point among conspiracy theorists and alien enthusiasts. In the video, three Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) helicopters can be seen encountering a black UFO that seems to be staying intact in the sky.Interestingly, the incident happened in broad daylight, and we can clearly see the black UFO staying stationary in the skies just in front of the police helicopters. “Three helicopters and a dot. That’s a UFO right there. The helicopters are facing that dot,” said the unnamed eyewitness who shot the event on the camera.The video uploaded by the Third Phase of Moon soon went viral on YouTube, and it has already racked up more than 40,000 views.”We are wondering if this is a standoff between extraterrestrial existence, a craft from another world and LAPD helicopters. Basically, this might be some kind of Mexican standoff. What the heck is going on in the skies over LA? This video does not look like an edited video, and there are no traces of tampering,” said conspiracy theorists Blake Cousins in the YouTube video.After watching the video, most of the viewers of this conspiracy theory channel admitted that alien life is a reality, and some people even went a step ahead and argued that extraterrestrials are now gearing up for disclosure.”With these helicopters viewing these craft, it makes me wonder what they are and if possible what they are recording from the choppers. We are living in strange times where we are now seeing things in plain daylight, it can’t be ignored or covered up anymore,” commented Damen Rebel, a YouTube user.”They know extraterrestrials exist, it’s obvious. They also do appear to be very hesitant about them. With the immense technology, some aliens have ( in our solar system), then no wonder,” commented Frank Hall, another YouTuber.However, some sceptics suggested that the weird UFO in the skies and helicopters encountering it could be actually a progressing film shooting. Some others claimed that the UFO might be a balloon.last_img read more

Actor Shrinivas Kulkarni turns producer

first_imgShrinivas KulkarniPR HandoutBeing an actor is not an easy task but dedication and hard work always makes it worth. Not only acting but any creative work needs a lot of passion and dedication. Actor Shrinivas Kulkarni is one of the best examples of this dedication. A simple small town boy who has the degrees of M.B.A. and M.C.A. came to Mumbai and chased his dreams. First he becomes actor and then this self made actor turns producer. What? When ? How? Let’s take look at his journey.Shrinivas has worked in several films as an actor with plenty of well known actors. He has played prominent characters like Malji in film ‘Sawai Sarjachya Navana Changbhala’ along with leading star cast Sharad Ponkshe and Rahul Solapurkar.Later he did a film titled ‘Vartamaan’ where he played a character role as Suresh Patnayak along with other popular actors like Subodh Bhave, Tejaswini Pandit, Avtaar Gill, Kuldeep Pawar. In his other film ‘Hichyasathi Kay Pan’ he played a side role as Vikram (Mangesh Desai’s friend) but yet he managed to make his impression. In this film he worked with popular actors like Vijay Chavhan, Mangesh Desai, Bhargavi Chirmuley, Kushal Badrike, Nirmitee Sawant.He even has a popular play to his account titled ‘Gaav Bilandar Bai Kalandar’ with actors Raghvendra Kadkol and Jaimala Inamdar. He has produced a song titled ‘Mann He Wede’ which was sung by Hindi singer Anvesha and that song is amongst the most popular songs today. Not only this, but soon he is about to produce a new Web centric film. Story is finalized for the film and the shoot will commence soon. This movie will have established actors, but along with them, some fresh faces will also be launched.last_img read more