Central forces marched in Junglemahal ahead of the 6th Phase Lok Sabha polls

first_imgNew Delhi: Close on the heels of the recent violence that witnessed during the polls in West Bengal, more central forces and state armed police forces have been deployed and started their area domination exercise, a government source said here on Thursday.On the sixth phase of the Lok Sabha elections on May 12, the Junglemahal – once a LWE affected area, is going to vote. Tamluk, Kanthigathal, Jhargram, Medinipur, Purulia, Bankura and Bishnupur will be going for the poll that day. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra SinghSources said, “Taking into consideration the sensitivity of Jungle Mahal area (LWE affected), previous poll violence or the incidents on the eve of the poll, on the day of poll, 602 Coys of Central Armed Police Forces (CRPF, BSF, CISF, SSB, ITBP, RPF, RAF) and 111 Coys and State Armed Police are being deployed for election duties.” Further, to motivate the voters, measures like route marches, Long Range Patrols, cordon and search operations are being undertaken in all the eight constituencies. To ensure safety and security of polling parties, voters, EVMs, candidate, polling agents and other poll-related officials on the day of poll, forces will be deployed in all polling stations. “Quick Reaction Teams (QRTs), 547 Quick Action Teams (QATs) headed by Coy Commanders and 108 additional QATs headed by Adhoc Commandants and 2-I/Cs are also instructed to be on the move,” the sources further said. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroadBesides, they are being already briefed about the sensitivity of the constituencies, previous poll-related violence. Forces deployed in the Junglemahal area are being briefed to wear bulletproof jackets, helmets and carry adequate ammunition and asked not to move in the vehicle to avoid IEDs. They are also briefed to check all the culverts probable places of planting IEDs much before their movement. For the BJP, the sixth phase is perhaps the most crucial one in West Bengal, as at least four of the constituencies are dominated by tribals. Moreover, the area witnessed maximum Maoist violence that killed more than 1,000 people until 2012. However, Mamata Banerjee’s effort recorded the surrender of 300-odd Maoist to the police after she came to power.last_img read more

Breastfeeding saves lives in emergencies says UN health agency

1 August 2009Breastfeeding offers babies a lifeline during emergencies, the head of the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) has stressed as World Breastfeeding Week kicks off today. This year’s week focuses on the critical part played by breastfeeding during emergencies, including wars and natural disasters, with small children being hit especially hard by emergencies, facing a triple risk of death from diarrhea, pneumonia and undernutrition.“The life-saving role during emergencies is firmly supported by evidence and guidance,” WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said in a statement.According to a WHO publication, breastfeeding must begin within one hour of birth to prevent malnutrition and mortality. The agency recommends that babies are breastfed exclusively until they reach the age of six months, and then continue to be breastfed, and receive complementary food, until two years or beyond.During crises, breastfeeding must be protected and supported through, among other measures, setting up safe corners for mothers and infants, counseling and mother-to-mother support, the agency said.“As part of emergency preparedness, hospitals and other health care services should have trained health workers who can help mothers establish breastfeeding and overcome difficulties,” Dr. Chan said.Together with the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), WHO has set up a breastfeeding training course to be included in emergency preparedness plans.This year’s breastfeeding week rounds out the theme – making hospitals safer in emergencies – of World Health Day 2009, the agency’s chief said.“Emergencies amplify the risk of infant and young child mortality,” she emphasized. “With appropriate action, we can protect these precious lives through one of the most ‘natural’ of all life-saving interventions.” read more

US notes steps taken to protect rights of all Sri Lankans

“Sri Lankans are rightfully proud of their long democratic history, influenced by its own unique traditions, relationships, and working institutions. You have confronted challenges in terms of conflict and natural disaster, changed governments in a vibrant multi-party system, and embraced progress toward transparency. Last year, the people of Sri Lanka exercised their democratic rights again and voted twice for good governance, accountability, and equal opportunities for all. Your Government has responded by passing laws and empowering independent commissions, journalists, and civil society for feedback and guidance,” he said.The Ambassador said the United States and Sri Lanka have a longstanding partnership dating back a hundred years before this country’s independence. Keshap said the US will be ready to support Sri Lanka as the people of the country chart a future for Sri Lanka that is peaceful, inclusive, and prosperous. The United States today noted that the Government of Sri Lanka has already taken many commendable steps to promote and protect the civil and political rights of all Sri Lankans – including the right to freedom of expression, respecting the independence of government institutions, and upholding rule of law.Making the opening remarks at a Constitutionalism seminar in Colombo today, the United States Ambassador to Sri Lanka Atul Keshap said there remain difficult challenges to address in Sri Lanka related to reconciliation and accountability. “Like Sri Lankans, Americans believe certain human rights are universal, including the right for every child to an education; for the rule of law to prevent arbitrary detention, guarantee due process, and ensure justice; for every citizen to speak their mind or protest peacefully without fear; to practice their faith peacefully and publicly; and to freely choose their own elected leaders,” he added.Atul Keshap said the United States supports the people of Sri Lanka because both countries are linked by similar ideals about the basic rights of citizens. (Colombo Gazette) He said that US assistance and cooperation should help forge new partnerships, new dialogues, new exchanges, and be based on mutual respect and inclusive consultation. read more

Police briefs Truck ATV stolen

Pickup truck stolenA pickup truck was removed from an address on Oak Ridge Court, Port Dover, around 2:41 a.m. on July 1.The vehicle is a burgundy coloured, 2000, GMC 2500 pickup truck with a silver stripe on the bottom of the truck.ATV stolenAn ATV has been stolen from a Highway 3, Charlotteville, address.Police say that between 8:15 a.m. and 8:43 a.m., an owner parked his ATV outside of his garage. The owner then left the home for approximately 30 minutes and upon returning found that the ATV was gone.The ATV is described as a red coloured, 2017, Honda Rancher with a yellow strap attached to the rear.Tools stolen from shopA shop on 1st Concession Road ENR, Houghton, was entered in June 28.A DeWalt drill, grease gun, and chain saw were removed from the shop. The items are worth approximately $1,500.ATV and dirt bike collidePolice say a 25-year-old female and 3-year-old child were travelling on an ATV along Fernlea Side Road near Courtland, when they collided with a 25-year-old male operating a dirt bike.All three were ejected from their vehicles and transported to a local area hospital by ambulance to be treated for injuries.Investigation continues.Driver crashes into poleA 23-year-old male driver and  a 25-year-old female passenger were travelling along Crysler Street, Delhi on June 29 when the driver left the roadway colliding with a hydro pole.The passenger in the vehicle sustained minor injuries. The driver of the vehicle was located nearby and was taken into custody without incident.The 23-year-old was charged with operation while impaired by alcohol or drugs, drive motor vehicle – no licence, and driving motor vehicle with liquor readily available.GPS helps locate stolen bikeA Giant mountain bike was stolen from Colborne Street South, Simcoe, on June 28 between 2:30 and 3 p.m.A GPS was attached to the bike when and helped investigators track down the bicycle.Officers attended an address on Montclair Crescent and located the bicycle and subsequently returned it to its rightful owner however the GPS system that was left with the bicycle had been removed.Impaired driver arrestedA 56-year-old woman from London, Ontario, was charged after being stopped on Highway 24, Windham, on June 30 around 12 a.m.The woman’s vehicle attracted an officer’s attention and she was stopped and investigated.The driver was charged with operation while operation while impaired- blood alcohol concentration 80 plus.Vehicle vandalized with spray paintA vehicle on 3rd Concession Road, South Walsingham, was vandalized between June 28 and 29.The owner found the entire passenger side of the vehicle along with the hood, rear lights and licence plate painted.Driver chargedA 21-year-old Brantford man has been charged after stunt driving along Highway 24 near Waterford on June 28.The vehicle was caught at a radar going 130 km/h in a posted 80 km/h zone around 3 p.m.The man is facing charges of race a motor vehicle – excessive speed and speeding by 50 or more km/hr over the posted limit.OPP are reminding all motorists that the minimum fine if convicted is $2,000 and an automatic drivers licence suspension for seven days and a seven day vehicle impoundment.Steel roof and freezers stolenPolice are investigating a theft that took place at 6th Concession Road, South Walsingham, on July 1.Two chest freezers from the residence, and a quantity of steel roofing valued at about $3,000 from a barn on the property was removed.Driver flees from traffic stopA 63-year-old driver is facing several charges after fleeing a traffic stop on Charlotteville Road 8, Charlotteville, on July 1.Around 7:17 p.m. a vehicle caught an officer’s attention, the vehicle was stopped for investigation. While the officer was conducting the investigation the driver fled.Officers patrolling the area located the vehicle parked off the roadway on the front of a property. OPP Canine Services Unit assisted with the investigation and located the male who was taken into custody without incident.The driver has been charged with driving while under suspension, flight from peace officer, use plate not authorized for vehicle, fail to comply with probation order (2 counts), fail to surrender insurance card. read more

Canadian dollar surges to ninemonth high as commodity prices add on gains

TORONTO – Oil prices rallied to a five-month high Wednesday, pushing the Canadian dollar to its best finish since July as investors were encouraged by the latest data on U.S. crude oil inventories.The loonie edged closer to the 80-cent US mark, adding 0.06 of a U.S. cent to close at 79.05 cents US. The last time it ended the day higher was on July 3, 2015, when it hit 79.62 cents US.The June contract for North American benchmark crude climbed $1.71 to US$44.18 a barrel, a level not seen in five months after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that crude inventories rose slightly less than expected last week.The agency says commercial crude inventories increased by 2.1 million barrels last week, less than what analysts had been expected.Signs that the global oil glut may be lessening helped support oil prices even as oil workers in Kuwait returned to the job after a three-day strike to protest cuts to pay and benefits. The work stoppage had temporarily suspended production in that country.Michael Greenberg, a portfolio manager at Franklin Templeton Investments, said oil markets will remain volatile until the price of crude stabilize, adding that crude needs to be around US$50 a barrel to make it profitable for many producers.Meanwhile, North American stock markets also racked up gains, with the S&P/TSX composite index adding 44.01 points to 13,911.29, helped by energy, metals and consumer staples stocks.The Dow Jones industrial average gained 42.67 points to 18,096.27, while the broader S&P 500 was barely changed, up 1.6 points at 2,102.40 and the Nasdaq added 7.8 points to 4,948.13.This positive sentiment pulsing through equity markets is a sigh of relief from the doom-and-gloom at the start of the year, Greenberg said.“It’s a continuation of the fact that the world didn’t end,” he said.“That was kind of the narrative at the start of the year, with talk about China imploding, talk of a U.S. recession, that the Fed will hike rates four times a year and it’s going to be a mistake and the U.S. dollar was strong, putting pressure on emerging markets. A lot of that has unwound a bit, at least for now. We’re seeing markets catch up now.”Investors will turn their attention Thursday to the latest policy meeting of the European Central Bank even though few expect the bank to announce further stimulus measures for the 19-country eurozone.Elsewhere in commodities, June natural gas was unchanged at US$2.18 per mmBtu, while May copper added a penny to US$2.24 a pound. June gold was flat, up 10 cents to US$1,254.40 a troy ounce.Follow @LindaNguyenTO on Twitter. by Linda Nguyen, The Canadian Press Posted Apr 20, 2016 5:08 am MDT Last Updated Apr 20, 2016 at 3:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Canadian dollar surges to nine-month high as commodity prices add on gains read more

Syria UN officials urge political solution to crisis greater efforts to ease

“We are in a race against time. More people are slipping out of our reach as the conflict intensifies and armed groups fragment and more battle lines are drawn,” said Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator Kyung-wha Kang.“We desperately need a political solution to the conflict in Syria. Yet while a political solution is in the making, we must do all we can to drastically expand the course of humanitarian action in Syria today.”Ms. Kang, one of several senior UN officials who briefed the General Assembly on the humanitarian situation in Syria, cited the need to ensure that civilians are protected and able to receive the assistance they need. Today’s briefing comes on the heels of the Security Council’s adoption on Saturday of a resolution demanding “rapid, safe and unhindered” humanitarian access for UN agencies and their partners, including across conflict lines and across borders.Three years of conflict have resulted in well over 100,000 deaths, and more than 680,000 people have been injured. More than 9.3 million people are in need of assistance inside Syria, including at least 6.5 million who are internally displaced. The conflict has also spawned a refugee crisis in which nearly 2.5 million people have are being sheltered in neighbouring countries. “These numbers grow every day and have become routine news,” noted Ms. Kang. “Perhaps they no longer shock, but they must. It is critical that we remember that behind each number is a family, a child whose life has been ended or devastated.”High Commissioner for Refugees Guterres, speaking via videoconference, noted that five years ago, Syria was the world’s second largest refugee-hosting country. Syrians are now about to replace Afghans as the present biggest refugee population worldwide. “Neighbouring countries have provided them with safety since the beginning with enormous costs to themselves. Few refugee influxes have ever generated this profound an impact on their host countries with such dramatic demographic, economic and social consequences,” he said. “The human tragedies this conflict has created are ghastly and although refugees may have found shelter from the fighting by crossing the border, they have not escaped their trauma and psychological wounds,” he added.Mr. Guterres appealed for more international support to Syria’s neighbours, including strong financial assistance; for all countries, especially those beyond the region, to allow Syrians to find refuge on their territories; and for more third countries to provide Syrian refugees with additional forms of protection, including resettlement.The conflict has also been marked by growing evidence of war crimes, crimes against humanity and gross human rights violations by Government forces and armed opposition groups, High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay told the 193-member body in a video briefing. “The perpetrators of these appalling crimes act in defiance of law and the international community, without fear of accountability,” she noted. “Referral to justice is imperative for future hopes of peace. Today, I repeat again my call to the Security Council to refer the Syrian crisis to the International Criminal Court.”Ms. Pillay added that the international community, led by the General Assembly, must support an immediate end to one of the most tragic human rights and humanitarian crises of our time. “The failure to achieve a comprehensive ceasefire, and accompanying violations, should weigh heavily on our conscience.”Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), reported that the long duration of the conflict has created a crisis for health. “The health needs of the Syrian people are enormous, as is their suffering… Health needs have skyrocketed at a time when domestic capacity to respond has been decimated.”She noted that Syria’s previously “excellent” health system has collapsed: more than half of the public hospitals have been damaged, many of them no longer functioning; a once vibrant pharmaceutical manufacturing industry has nearly ceased operations, resulting in severe shortages of drugs; and immunization programmes have been disrupted, leaving young people vulnerable to entirely preventable diseases. “The suffering of the Syrian people is reflected in increased mental health disorders, food shortages, under-nutrition, and an increase in sexual violence,” Dr. Chan said, as she appealed to all parties in the conflict to respect the integrity and neutrality of health facilities and ensure the protection of healthcare workers and patients, in line with their international legal obligations.Noting that the scale and severity of humanitarian suffering in Syria is growing daily, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on the Syrian Government to authorize more humanitarian staff and partners to work inside the country. “It is not credible to cite bureaucratic procedures as reasons for delay when it is the Government itself that controls those procedures,” he pointed out. Mr. Ban also called for an end to the indiscriminate use of barrel bombs and other aerial bombardments of urban centres; safe passage for humanitarian supplies along key routes; and more funds for the humanitarian response inside Syria and for those countries hosting people who have fled. read more

UN refugee agency extremely worried about renewed violence in Central African Republic

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) “is extremely worried over the resurgence of violence being seen in parts of the Central African Republic,” said UNHCR spokesperson Andrej Mahecic at today’s press briefing in Geneva.He said renewed violence has erupted in the towns of Zemio, Bria and Kaga Bandaro in southern and northern CAR as clashes are reported between self-defence groups and other armed groups. Civilians and humanitarian workers are also being targeted.Clashes between the mainly Muslim Séléka rebel coalition and anti-Balaka militia, which are mostly Christian, plunged the country of 4.5 million people into civil conflict in 2013. Violence in CAR has uprooted some 503,600 people inside the country, including more than 100,000 in 2017, and more than 484,000 have been registered as refugees in Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Chad and the Republic of Congo. Mr. Mahecic noted that in Zemio, close to the border with the DRC, UNHCR workers have reported intense heavy weapons fire since Tuesday. Some houses close to UNHCR’s office were burnt down. Over 1,000 people have fled their homes. Many are seeking refuge in a Catholic church in the town, while some 66 people have sought safety in the UNHCR compound – among them terrified women and children in fear of their lives, he added.In the town of Bria, several hundred kilometres northeast of the capital, Bangui, clashes were reported on June 20 that continued for three consecutive days, he said. Reports suggest a camp hosting some 2,400 internally displaced people in the Ndourou IV district is now completely empty with its whole population having fled the recent attacks. Indiscriminate attacks in Bria have left some 136 people dead and 36 wounded, with 600 houses burned and an additional 180 looted. In a separate incident, unidentified armed men tried to break into UNHCR accommodation in Kaga Bandaro in the north of the country on Wednesday night with the intention of attacking staff and looting belongings. The attack was thwarted by the UN peacekeeping forces there.UNHCR teams were able to distribute relief items including plastic sheets, blankets, mats, mosquito nets, kitchen sets, buckets and soap to more than 5000 households in accessible parts of Bria over the past three weeks – despite the fragile security situation. “UNHCR renews its call on all parties to the conflict in the area to immediately end attacks against civilians and aid workers. UNHCR is also seeking immediate and unhindered humanitarian access to assist those affected by the recent wave of violence,” Mr. Mahecic said. read more

Mens Soccer Ohio State falls to Furman in season opener

Ohio State redshirt sophomore goalie Parker Siegfried (1) prepares to send the ball back downfield in the game against BGSU on Sep. 22. Ohio State won 1- 0. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Managing Editor for DesignThe Ohio State men’s soccer team squared off against Furman on Friday night at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, marking both the season opener and the first game for first-year head coach Brian Maisonneuve. The Paladines ultimately prevailed 2-0 over the Buckeyes, who open the season 0-1-0.When asked about his team’s performance Friday, redshirt senior midfielder Brady Blackwell felt optimistic after the loss.“Overall, we made a few mistakes that cost us in the back and we gave up goals. But I don’t think we ever gave up and that’s a positive,” Blackwell said.The opening minutes of the match saw the two teams come out in a fast-paced style of play, with quality scoring chances coming for both clubs.Redshirt-sophomore forward Jake Scheper gave the Buckeyes arguably their most realistic chance in the third minute, but his shot was saved by Furman redshirt sophomore goaltender Ben Hale.Furman struck first off a goal from junior midfielder Rocky Guerra in the seventh minute, which beat Buckeye redshirt junior goalie Parker Siegfried to the bottom left corner.The Paladins almost tallied a second midway through the opening half when junior forward Emery May saw his shot hit the crossbar and go out of play.Ohio State played the first half of the match in a 4-5-1 formation, opting for a more defensive look.Siegfried had a busy first half, making five saves.Ohio State nearly leveled the match at the outset of the second half when the ball bounced around in front of the net for several seconds, but the Buckeyes could not capitalize on the opportunity, and the ball was subsequently cleared.Minutes later, the Buckeyes saw a free kick glance off the outside of the right post.Furman added to their lead in the 54th minute as senior midfielder Danny Kierath came free and buried his unassisted shot in the back of the net to make it 2-0.Another golden opportunity for the Buckeyes came up empty as Hale made the save off of a close range shot from senior forward Michael Prosuk.Ohio State continued playing out of a 4-5-1 formation throughout the second half, perhaps an indicator of what look Maisonneuve will most frequently employ in his first season.“We didn’t really know what to expect, we’re still a young group, new coaching staff and everything, so overall it’s not the result we wanted but there’s some positives to take into Sunday so I think that’s what we’ll look to do,” Blackwell said.In the aftermath of his first game as the head coach of the Buckeyes, Maisonneuve called this offseason and this game as part of the process.“It’s a process. It’s going to be a process, again it doesn’t happen overnight,” Maisonneuve said.  “When you play good teams like Furman, they’re going to kind of show you where we’re at, and I thought they did tonight,”For Sunday’s match against Hofstra, Maisonneuve noticed areas of improvement and things to build off of for his squad.“It’s such a quick turnaround, it’s tough to get too much done, but right away from a tactical standpoint our spacing’s got to get better, we were a little bit off in just our overall spacing,” Maisonneuve said. “I thought we started the first half just tentative.”The Buckeyes will be back in action Sunday at 2:30 pm, at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, as they wrap up the 2018 Wolstein Classic against Hofstra. read more

Buyers or sellers market in 2013

first_imgFor those sitting on their eggs, waiting for the housing market to settle, the change might not come as soon as you hope. For this year, Consumer property advocate Kevin Young believes it’s a buyers market, with a slight dip in prices not predicted to last long. “2013 could be the right time to buy your house or add a new property to your portfolio,” he says. “Currently, affordability is good, supply is short and demand will soon be strong, which will lead to price growth.” Buying now rather than renting is also a better idea he says, since the sky high price of rent already isn’t going to ease. “Rents too will increase over the next two years due to the short-fall in housing construction. Making your next purchase now means you can get in before the masses catch on,” he advises. Mr Young believes property prices will increase as Australia is experiencing a property supply short-fall as the current rates of housing construction don’t meet our needs. He estimates that more than 40,000 more dwellings need to be built each year to accommodate the demand. He points that interest rate cuts should be used to boost the housing construction sector. “The recent interest rate cuts weren’t just designed to ease the everyday living expenses of mortgage holders, they were also designed to boost a flagging housing construction sector, which the government is looking to stimulate to compensate for the downturn in the mining sector,” he says. For those who want to enter the property market this year, here are a five tips to help you make the right financial decisions. 1. Know what phase the property market is in The property market has four distinct periods; Boom, Slump, Stability and Upturn. The current phase is Stability, which is a short-term gap between Slump and Upturn when market variables rebalance. It’s also a good time to buy, as house prices are not yet increasing as they do during the Upturn and Boom phases. 2. Consumer confidence Consumer confidence is said to be improving with the recent interest rate cuts, but is still relatively low, given other economic factors at play. A great barometer on consumer confidence is retail spending. In general when this goes up, people are said to see better economic times ahead. This makes early to mid-2013 an ideal time to buy, as property is affordable, while current house prices are soft and demand lags. 3. Supply and demand Housing construction supply is low and the constraints on the residential construction industry show no signs of abating. “There is a first-home buyer’s grant in place for new dwellings, which will result in some housing construction improvements in select areas, but without significant overhaul of the funding and approval processes for the building of new dwellings, supply is likely to continue to fall short in 2013,” continued Kevin. 4. Interest rates Further rate cuts are predicted in 2013. But while lower interest rates will be positive for consumer confidence, Kevin forewarns unlike years past, this factor alone won’t increase property prices in 2013. 5. Get help Understanding the state of play in the property market requires expertise, as does making the right property investment. While there are many professional advice options to choose from, always look for people who have your interests in mind, like a buyers’ advisory group, who have a network of trusted specialists to assist you at each stage of the property purchase and be aware of those who represent property vendors. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Abbott the forgotten Philhellene

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Malcolm Turnbull’s tumultuous elevation to prime minister may have come and gone, but one Greek Australian close to former PM Tony Abbott says the nation has lost not just a great man but a Philhellene.Kytherian-born Paul Dracakis has been a close confidant and friend of Mr Abbott for more than 20 years – as a fundraiser and loyal supporter in the Liberal Party machine.“Tony Abbott had a real admiration for Greek Australians and a deep respect for the sacrifices many had made after adopting Australia as their homeland,” Mr Dracakis told Neos Kosmos.“He did all that he could to show that, and as a community, we should never forget this.”Mr Abbott’s attention to the Greek community included his many media events in the Barton electorate, held by Liberal MP Nickolas Varvaris.In the 2013 election, Mr Varvaris snatched the traditional Labor seat for his party for the first time since the 1980s by only 491 votes, making it one of the most marginal Liberal seats in the country.Dracakis says the former PM broke new ground when he attended Greek Easter celebrations in Kogarah this year.“Tony was the first and only PM that I’m aware of that came to celebrate Greek Easter with Greek Australians at a Greek church,” he said.“I think people found a new respect for him for doing that, and that includes people from the other side of politics.”Emigrating to Australia in the late 1950s as an 18-year-old, Dracakis settled in the town of West Wyalong in central western NSW.After visiting Sydney’s north, he fell in love with the scenery of Seaforth and decided to relocate there.He later opened a delicatessen in beachside Manly and served as an independent Manly councillor.In 1980, he opened his first Dracakis Jewellers boutique and never looked back, but his continued advocacy for small business issues brought him into contact with his local Warringah MP, Mr Abbott.Mr Dracakis, who was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for his services to the Manly-Warringah community and to business, used his characteristic drive and determination to establish a fundraising organisation, the Warringah Club.“It was a club of about 40 business people and I was honoured and even surprised a little to be made its chairman,” he said, “We had professors, solicitors, barristers and other business owners. They were all there to support Tony Abbott.”According to Mr Dracakis, the member of Warringah was a natural leader.“No one is perfect and Tony Abbott is not perfect, but if there’s someone you would want to have on your side when the chips are down, it’s him,” he said.“Sometimes he was too loyal to some of his friends.“It can come back to bite you but it’s devastating to see the flaws of those you once called friends, exposed in a way that your enemies can prey on.”He declined to identify which of Mr Abbott’s former friends he was referring to, but former Speaker Bronwyn Bishop was undoubtedly among them.Most commentators believe Mr Abbott damaged his political standing by initially refusing to remove her from her role in the ‘choppergate’ scandal (involving a $5,000, taxpayer-funded helicopter trip) until public opinion forced him to. Reports suggest Bishop repaid the favour with a vote for Turnbull in the leadership spill.Mr Dracakis says Mr Abbott never sought kudos for his work in the community, as a volunteer for the NSW Rural Fire Service and for his involvement in surf lifesaving.“How small-minded people were, when they continually attacked him for wearing swimming briefs and joked about his ‘budgie smugglers’ when really they were symbolic of his work for the community,” he says.“I never heard Tony bad-mouthing anyone and I have spent enough time with him to know the man to know.“Sometimes I would become frustrated and angry with him when he refused to criticise or show animosity to those who mistreated him.“I believe in the next 10 years or so, the Australian public will appreciate him more, especially his honesty and refusal to put a fellow Aussie down.”last_img read more

WSUV faculty member earns professorship

first_imgSALMON CREEK — Laurie Mercier, Washington State University Vancouver professor of history and a public historian, has been selected by the Washington State University College of Liberal Arts to be the new Claudius O. and Mary W. Johnson Distinguished Professor in History.She becomes the first WSUV professor to hold the Johnson Professorship in History. The professorship was recently held by Susan Armitage, a former history and women’s studies professor in Pullman.In her 15th year at WSUV, Mercier is a specialist in American labor history, with an emphasis on oral history. Her current research project is to compare how workers in industrial communities in Canada, the western U.S. and Australia relate to the places they live. She plans to take her first trip as Johnson Professor to the University of British Columbia’s library archives to spend an intense week gathering information as the foundation for a writing a book, a task of possibly six to 10 years.last_img read more

House budget proposal has clear winners and losers

first_imgLocal school officials relieved House budget plan spares subsidiesThe long-awaited House Operating Budget for 2011-13 released Monday was a mixed bag, with clear winners and losers.State parks would begin the transition from taxpayer support to user-based funding, with $20 million to make the shift to annual $30 passes over the next two years. The popular Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, slated to be zeroed out under Gov. Chris Gregoire’s budget, would get $50 million in state-backed bonds to continue its work of helping local governments buy land for recreation and wildlife habitat.College students would see some financial aid options evaporate even as university tuition jumps by another 11 to 13 percent. Advocates for children thanked the House Ways and Means Committee at a Monday afternoon hearing for sparing programs that support health care, food assistance, foster care and other child welfare programs.Home health care workers would see both positions and pay disappear. The union that represents many home health care workers accused the House of “turning traditional Democratic principles on their head,” and mental health workers vowed to stage a massive demonstration Thursday in Olympia.“Under the proposed budget, low-wage home care workers, who make about $10 an hour caring for vulnerable seniors and people with disabilities in their own homes, take deeper cuts to their income and health benefits than top (Department of Social and Health Services) brass who make more than $100,000 a year,” Service Employees International Union 775 said in a statement.last_img read more

Cyclist fatally struck by SUV in Pembroke Pines 2 hospitalized

first_imgPEMBROKE PINES, FLA. (WSVN) – A man out riding his bicycle in Pembroke Pines died after, police said, he was struck from behind by an SUV, early Sunday morning, sending the driver and passenger of the vehicle to the hospital.According to Pembroke Pines Police, the victim, identified as 26-year-old Jonadin Saint-Louis, was riding northbound on South University Drive, within the bicycle lane. As he approached the 1200 block, he was struck from the rear by a 2013 Hyundai Tucson, just after 3:15 a.m.Investigators said the force of the impact caused Saint-Louis to be ejected and land on the SUV’s hood and front windshield. The victim remained on the vehicle for a few moments before falling on the roadway.The driver and passenger of the Tucson, identified as 19-year-old Alexandra Olivier and 20-year-old Paula Santiago respectively, told investigators that they initially did not know they had hit someone. “When the airbag went off from the impact, that was their first notice that they had the crash,” said Pembroke Pines Police Sgt. John Baker.Police said Olivier and Santiago then jumped out of the car, leaving it in drive. “They panicked, thinking the car was on fire, and they both exited the vehicle while it was moving,” said Baker.The Tucson kept rolling northbound on University Drive until it crashed into a pole on the southbound side.Saint-Louis, a Miramar resident, was pronounced dead at the scene. Police shut down University Drive near the scene of the crash for hours while they investigated.Paramedics transported the driver of the Tucson to Memorial Hospital Pembroke and the passenger to Memorial Regional Hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening.Saint-Louis’ family is asking for privacy and prayers at this time.As for Olivier and Santiago, police said, only time will tell what happens next. “Somebody died, so we’ll do a complete investigation, and they will figure out whether they’ll be charged or not,” said Baker.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

The top losers Rahul Gandhi Deve Gowda Chandrababu Naidu Pinarayi Vijayan and

first_imgThis picture taken on May 23, 2018, shows (R-L) United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Majority People’s Party supremo Mayawati, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee, Indian Congress party president Rahul Gandhi, Chief minister of India’s Andra Pradesh state Chandrababu Naidu and JDS leader HD Kumaraswamy, participating at the swearing-in ceremony in Bangalore.AFP/Getty ImagesElections make and break leaders. They are all about winners who turn into losers and scorned upstarts turning into hallowed heroes overnight. While the winners romp home, the battlefield of democracy is littered with failed politicians. Lok Sabha election 2018 offers these specimen in bundles. Let’s take a look at the fallen leaders this time.1. Rahul GandhiIf Congress is going to end up with a number hovering in the 50s that’s the end of the political track for Rahul Gandhi for all you know. He was the effective Opposition leader of the largest democracy in the world. Rahul was treated by the media and the general public as the rightful challenger to the prime minister’s post. He had no paucity of opportunities and political platform. Yet, if he’s failing without putting up a fight that will earn him the crown of the biggest loser.2. HD Deve Gowda BANGALORE, INDIA: The former prime minister of India, H.D.Deve Gowda delivers his speech as the chief guest during the inauguration of the Bangalore IT.IN 2005 in Bangalore, 26 October 2005. The Bangalore IT.IN is the premier annual event organised by the state government to promote the Information Technology (IT) industry and to attract global investment in the state.DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty ImagesThe former prime minister is engaged in a losing battle in Tumakuru constituency in Karnataka. The JD-S strongman had harboured greater ambitions. His supporters believed that he had an outside chance of becoming the PM once again in case of a deeply fractured verdict. It was this hope that prompted the veteran leader to try his hand at electoral politics once again in the twilight of his political life. However, even as he stares at defeat, his JD-S is not seen winning in more than a couple of seats. That’s a great fall for a former prime minister.3. Chandrababu Naidu Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu talks to press after meeting CEC in New Delhi on April 13, 2019.IANSThe Andhra stalwart will take long to nurse his wounds after the full election results have come. Naidu, who also had large scale ambitions in a fractured post-poll scenario, has realised that he has lost even his home turf. His rival Jaganmohan Reddy of YSRCP has humiliated him in the assembly elections besides winning all but a couple of seats to the Lok Sabha. Naidu had an inkling that his reign in Andhra was about to end. That’s why he worked overtime to stitch together an Opposition government at the centre. Now he’s back down in the dumps.4. Pinarayi Vijayan Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi VijayanPinarayi Vijayan/FacebookThe Kerala Chief Minister is certain to face a rebellion from within the party. The CPI-M is facing down one of the most humiliating routs in its history in Kerala. The party is leading only in one seat while the rival UDF is leading in 19. As a stunned CPI-M takes stock of the strategic flaws in this election, all fingers will be pointed at only one man – Pinarayi Vijayan. He is easily the fall guy. His Sabarimala policy, horribly ill-judged political positioning, poor leadership qualities displayed at time of calamities and emergencies and the treatment of media, rivals and the public alike that ill-suited his position — all will bite him back as the cadres review the bitter defeat.5. Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav [Representational Image]gettyimagesThe duo who stood together to fight BJP in its home turf on the plank of the saffron party’s divisive politics realised that their strategy lacked momentum. If they can’t win a sizeable chunk of seats standing together, it would be a stretch to think about unseating Yogi Adityanath in the next assembly elections. Besides, in the backdrop of the uninspiring show in the LS elections, the alliance has no chance of survival into the next assembly elections. The political star has diminished for both of them.6. Mamata Banerjee TMC chief Mamata Banerjee launched a scathing attack on BJP president Amit Shah.TwitterThe lead position as of now predicts that Mamata will win more seats than BJP in West Bengal. But nothing less than a rout of BJP would have satisfied Mamata, considering the stakes she raised in the game against Narendra Modi, especially in the closing chapters of the election campaign. With BJP raising its seat and vote share, Mamata has now a formidable foe to wrestle with in the future. This election result marks her as a loser.last_img read more

Sylhet girl gangraped

first_imgA girl has allegedly been gang-raped at Atgram of Zakiganj upazila after being abducted from Sylhet city, reports UNB.The victim said a gang of miscreants dragged her into a microbus from Natun Bridge area of Kadamtali in the city on Monday evening while she was returning home.They took her to Kashem Community Centre at Atgram of Zakigan where a total of six men, including the driver, raped her in turns throughout the night.The victim managed to reach Zakiganj police station on Tuesday morning and she fell sick.Police first took her to upazila health complex and later shifted her to Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College Hospital.Officer-in-charge of Zakiganj police station said they were investigating the matter.last_img read more

Baby Receives Worlds First DroneDelivered Vaccine

first_imgStay on target UPS Wants to Bring Drone Deliveries to U.S. HospitalsWatch: Drone Captures Great White Sharks Interacting Off Cape Cod One-month-old Joy Nowai on Tuesday became the world’s first child to be given a vaccine delivered by drone to the remote South Pacific island of Vanuatu.An unmanned aerial vehicle navigated nearly 25 miles of rugged mountain terrain, traveling from Dillon’s Bay on the west side to Cook’s Bay in the east.Small and isolated, the community lacks a health center or even electricity; it is accessible only by foot or local boats.“[This] small flight by drone is a big leap for global health,” UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said in a statement. “With the world still struggling to immunize the hardest-to-reach children, drone technologies can be a game changer for bridging that last mile to reach every child.”The Vanuatu archipelago’s warm climate and limited roads make it a particularly difficult location for medical drop-offs: Vaccines must be carried at specific temperatures to ensure their shelf life.Miriam Nampil administers drone-delivered vaccine to one-month-old Joy Nowai (via UNICEF)“It’s extremely hard to carry ice boxes to keep the vaccines cool while walking across rivers, mountains, through the rain, across rocky ledges,” Miriam Nampil, the nurse who administered this week’s injections, said in a statement. “As the journey is often long and difficult, I can only go there once a month to vaccinate children.”Which, according to UNICEF, results in almost 20 percent of the country’s youth—about one in five—missing out on essential childhood immunization.“But now,” Nampil added, “with these drones, we can hope to reach many more children in the remotest areas of the island.”During their flight, the vaccines were transported in Styrofoam boxes with temperature-logging ice packs; an electronic indicator is triggered if the readings fall out of acceptable range.This marks the first time a government contracted a commercial drone company—in this case, Australian firm Swoop Aero—for such a task.Local officials are reportedly eyeing UAVs to more widely to distribute health supplies across the country.“[Tuesday’s] first-of-a-kind vaccine delivery has enormous potential not only for Vanuatu, but also for the thousands of children who are missing out on vaccines across the world,” Fore said. “This is innovation at its best, and shows how we can unlock the potential of the private sector for the greater good of the world’s children.”More on Geek.com:Robot Successfully Delivered Coral Babies to Great Barrier ReefSenate Passes Bill Allowing Authorities to Shoot Down Private DronesAdmire Winners of the 2018 Drone Awards Photo Contestlast_img read more

First Glimpse of Top Gun Sequel – Booming Official Trailer and Release

first_imgThe sequel to Top Gun is on the radar. In the 1986 movie Top Gun, Tom Cruise’s character Maverick famously declared, “I feel the need for speed.” When it comes to the sequel-in-progress, the filmmakers feel the need for delay. Paramount announced recently that the release date for Top Gun: Maverick would be delayed until June 26, 2020. The movie was originally scheduled for July 2019.Filming of the movie “Top Gun” at Naval Air Station Miramar, California (USA), in 1985. Here, a real U.S. naval aviator assists film makers in the production of the motion picture.Media reports say the extra time will allow filmmakers to work out the logistics of presenting flight sequences with new technology and planes. The sequel is reportedly set in a world of drone technology and will cover the end of the dog-fighting era.In May, Cruise, 56, posted a photo of himself in front of what appeared to be a Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, according to Variety.Filming of Top Gun, 1985.Joe Kosinski of Oblivion is directing the film, from a script by Peter Craig, Justin Marks, and Eric Warren Singer. Jerry Bruckheimer, who produced the first movie with the late Don Simpson, is producing the film with Cruise and Skydance CEO David Ellison. Check out the new Trailer below:Just before Paramount announced the delay, new cast members were added: Jon Hamm, 47, and Ed Harris, 67. Their exact roles are not known. USA Today also reported: “The casting includes the first female pilot played by Chicago Justice star Monica Barbaro.”Filming of the movie Top Gun at Naval Air Station Miramar and NAS North Island, California, in 1985.Shooting began in August 2018 on the movie, at Naval Air Station North Island in California, the Navy confirmed. In mid-August, shooting moved to the East Coast. The stars of the films were not in the footage, but planes were filmed by a 15-person crew as they took off from a real aircraft carrier, the USS Abraham Lincoln, off Norfolk, Virginia, according to the U.S. Navy.The Abraham Lincoln is the fifth vessel of the Nimitz-Class nuclear-powered aircraft carriers. The vessel is based in Norfolk, Virginia.The USS Abraham Lincoln.In late September, the film is set to move to San Diego. The production office confirmed that there will be shooting on Naval Air Station North Island. The co-stars of the original film, Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer, both returned to the cast of the sequel. Media reports say Cruise plays an instructor, not a fighter pilot.New cast members: Whiplash actor Miles Teller as the son of Maverick’s former wingman, Goose, who was played by Anthony Edwards in the first film; Oscar winner Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind), as a single mother running a bar; Thomasin McKenzie (Jojo Rabbit) as the daughter of Connelly’s character; Charles Parnell (A Million Little Pieces) as an admiral; Bashir Salahuddin (GLOW) as an engineer; and the trio of Jay Ellis (Insecure), Danny Ramirez (Assassination Nation), and Monica Barbaro (The Good Cop) as pilots.This image shows the Naval aircraft carrier the USS Abraham Lincoln docked in Everett, Washington, March 21, 2010.Reportedly Kenny Loggins is planning to record a new version of his song “Danger Zone” for the Top Gun sequel.Tom Cruise said in an interview with Access Hollywood about the Top Gun sequel, “Stylistically it’ll be the same. We’ll have big, fast machines. … It’s going to be a competition film like the first one and it’s going to be in the same vein, the same tone as the first one, but a progression for Maverick.”In the original, Cruise’s character, U.S. Naval aviator Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, attends the Top Gun school at the Naval Air Station in Miramar, California. Between beach volleyball games and dating astrophysicist Charlie, played by Kelly McGillis, Maverick pulls reckless maneuvers in a fight with Kilmer’s “Iceman” to prove who is the best pilot of the class. An article in California magazine about the Navy’s “Top Gun” school inspired the original movie. Its success led to a surge of applications to the U.S. Navy.Read another story from us: Top Gun 2 Filming on a Real Aircraft CarrierHowever, the school has moved from Naval Air Station Miramar in San Diego to its current location at Naval Air Station Fallon, Nevada.Nancy Bilyeau, a former staff editor at Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, and InStyle, has written a trilogy of historical thrillers for Touchstone Books. For more information, go to www.nancybilyeau.com.last_img read more

60000 UK samesex couples could have their civil partnerships taken away

first_imgGAYSTARNEWS- Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Why is this happening now?This debate comes to parliament after a Government after a reshuffle in the cabinet.The previous equalities minister, who is in a same-sex relationship, Justine Greening has supported reform to open them up to straight and bi opposite-sex couples.However, now the government wants time to deliberate on a review.But today, Ministers are set to back the private members bid. It’s by the conservative MP Tim Loughton who wants to equalize the law on civil partnerships.Loughton originally wanted to amend existing laws, to include opposite-sex couples. However, in order to gain support from ministers, he dropped this from his bill. In return, the government says they will review the law.The bill has cross-party support.But, one route to equalizing the law is by scrapping them for everyone.Speaking to BBC News Loughton says, ‘We are having to play a long game and I think we are still going to achieve what we want but we are going to have to jump through a few more hoops to get there.’Adding that a range of options will be under consideration in the review, including ‘doing nothing.’If they are scrapped, those currently in civil partnerships may then have to get married, or a ‘speial category’ could be created for them.Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell is backing reform, but only if they keep civil partnerships:‘In a democratic society, everyone should be equal before the law, with the same rights and responsibilities. It is outrageous that for 14 years successive governments have been unwilling to legislate equality.’The Scottish government will also announce their decision on the future of civil partnerships ‘in due course.’Read more on Gay Star News:If straight couples want civil partnerships, it’s in our interests to help eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) UK MPs will debate a private member’s bill today on equalizing the law around civil partnerships.Currently, in the UK they are available only to same-sex couples. But, a recent appeals court says this is not in line with equality laws.center_img However, one option for the government is to simply scrap them to comply with the law. According to ONS figures, since their introduction over 126,000 people have had civil partnerships.Yesterday, in a Gay Star News poll, two-thirds of people said they would care if Government scrapped civil partnerships.One GSN reader, Paul Kitching commented that because marriage is ‘supposed to be between a man and a woman in the eyes of God’ but civil partnerships are everything a marriage is, except without the religious elements so yes ‘he’d be pissed off. They should extend civil partnerships to straight couples that aren’t religious.’David, who is in a civil partnership, tells GSN he already feels second class since the introduction of same-sex marriage.‘My partner is 70, I’m 50 and we’ve been together for 27 years. We got our civil partnership six years ago, for the security on offer. Only then, after decades of fighting, were we finally given the chance of having our own “marriage.”‘So now says, ‘as long as they make the process of upgrading simple, straightforward and not full of bureaucracy – then we may go for the offered marriage upgrade.’This debate roars on, while marriage equality still is not universal across the United Kingdom.In Northern Ireland, same-sex partners can not get married. However, same-sex partners can have civil partnerships. This is because some areas of the UK have devolved parliaments, with varying laws. Take Our Poll UK Government could abolish civil partnerships after latest rulingMeet the young Brit-Aussie gay couple who will be live-streaming their civil partnership ceremonyPOLL: Would you care if the UK government scrapped civil partnerships?Read the full article on Gaystarnews:  :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/uk-could-scrap-civil-partnerships/last_img read more

Sunwing offers pintsized perks for kids at Paradisus Varadero

first_img Share << Previous PostNext Post >> Sunwing offers pint-sized perks for kids at Paradisus Varadero Tags: Cuba, Family Travel, Paradisus Resorts, Sunwing, Video Located on a gorgeous beachfront the Paradisus Varadero is perfect for families, with an Amigos Club packed with activities and games. When Sunwing travellers book any of the Family Concierge Rooms they will receive all the extra privileges and benefit of the Family Concierge Service.A new addition to the Paradisus Varadero, Sunwing offers a variety of these impressive rooms and suites. These all-new suites include junior suites with all the modern comforts, as well as luxurious swim-up suites with Jacuzzis and direct access to a swim-up pool. When families book any of these Family Concierge room categories, an entire world of fun extras open up that will take any family vacation from wow to “when can we go back?”A unique concept envisioned by Paradisus, the Family Concierge welcomes guests with a gift and a “welcome to Varadero” cocktail for the grown-ups. In the room the entire family can stay connected with WiFi and if they want to check up on the latest news or Facebook posts while around the resort they can also get free Wi Fi in the Family Concierge Lounge. Just for the kids, the resort will prepare a fun kit stocked with bathrobes, towels and slippers just for them.More news:  Carnival Cruise Line enhances HUB app for families and youthThere are inclusions within the Family Concierge that cater to adults too. For moments when leaving their delightful accommodations seems a little too daunting, families can use the resort’s butler service to their advantage. While the younger members of the family are busy playing at the kids club, one parent can enjoy a decadent spa treatment with a 20% discount while the other hits the golf course with unlimited green fees. Or get some extra help getting settled in (not to mention avoid leaving a teddy bear behind) with luggage packing and unpacking services.For families looking for a memorable vacation for the whole gang this upcoming winter, the Family Concierge selection of rooms and bonus inclusions are currently available to book on sunwing.ca.center_img Friday, December 9, 2016 Posted by Travelweek Group last_img read more

AirAsia invests in new Indian airline

first_imgAirAsia Berhad is planning to move its low-cost model into India, submitting an application to India’s investment regulators for a new airline venture.In the application submitted to the Indian Foreign Investment Promotion Board this week, AirAsia requested to invest 49 percent into the new carrier, which would be a joint venture with Tata Sons Limited and Telestra Tradeplace.According to the low-cost group, the Indian airline would operate from Chennai, Tamil Nadu and focus on providing domestic Tier II/Tier III city connectivity.AirAsia founder Tony Fernandes said the group had monitored the aviation sector in India over the past few years and now “strongly believes” that the current environment is “perfect” to introduce AirAsia and its low fare model. The move comes after the September 2012 decision by the Government of India to open up the aviation sector to Foreign Direct Investment from foreign carriers. …… Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more