Country’s largest flag to be hoisted in Belagavi today

first_imgThe people of Belagavi will witness the largest national flag in the country being hoisted in the city, on Monday morning. Belagavi District Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi will hoist the national flag —which is 110m (365 feet) high from the base plate to the top. The size of the flag is 120X80 ft, Belagavi North MLA Feroz Sait said, adding that the flag will weigh 500kg. The thickness of the rope is 8mm. He said that the flag will be hoisted through an electro mechanic operating system.Read it at New Indian Express Related Itemslast_img

In Kashmir, Rakshaks are a cop’s best friend

first_imgThe contrast couldn’t be more incongruous. Affectionately referred to as ‘Rani’ and ‘Basanti’, there is nothing feminine about the the bullet-proof Rakshaks — specially designed vehicles by Mahindra Defence Systems for crowd control — that the Jammu and Kashmir police increasingly view as saviours amid a rising graph of protests this month.To express their gratitude to the vehicles that keep them safe amid a barrage of stones, grenades and other projectiles, many senior officers have posted pictures of the dented and battered vehicles on the social media after the demonstrations against the rape of a three-year-old girl in Bandipora earlier this month. Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Ganderbal, Fayaz Ahmad Lone wrote: “One can understand the quantum of stone pelting we face.” SSP, Shopian, Shailendra Kumar Mishra, administering the most volatile district in south Kashmir, tweeted a picture of his battered but undeterred Rakshak. “Our trophy. It takes stones, bricks, petrol bombs, grenades, live fire, pipes, fruit carts, rods, and what not. The Rakshak vehicle is a true companion of the J&K Police,” he said. Sub-Divisional Police Officer Amran Farooq is among the officers who survived an attack of stone-throwing, thanks to the vehicle’s armoured plating by Plasan Sasa, a variety of steel fabricated in Israel. “It was during the post-Burhan Wani protests in 2016 that my Rakshak was stuck on an interior stretch in Anantnag, with stones raining from all sides. It was evening, the front lamps were damaged. The vehicle took stones for over two hours before we negotiated the huge logs and boulders blocking the road. It stood steady all this while,” he told The Hindu. Introduced in 2008 with just 100 vehicles, the Rakshak was improved after the 2016 street protests. The company claims the vehicle has withstood 41 live fire tests and a grenade explosion underneath it. The J&K police further modified the vehicle to meet local challenges — the head lamps were covered with wire mesh and the five firing ports and small bullet-roof windows were cushioned with fizz bottles and mesh “to recoil the stones thrown”. A fleet of around 50 such vehicles was inducted in 2017 to control situation in south Kashmir. And the department has requisitioned for more. Former Director General of Police (DGP) K. Rajendra said the vehicle has emerged as the life line for the State police in its fight against militants and stone throwers. “Any delay in procurement of such essential equipment will severely dent operational capacity of the J&K Police,” he said.last_img read more

Conclave 2016: Steve Waugh opens up on rivalry with Sourav Ganguly

first_imgFifteen years have passed since the historic Test series between India and Australia but fans, experts and the players involved in those iconic contets have not stopped talking about VVS Laxman’s epic 281 or Harbhajan Singh’s sensational run across Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.However, something else happened during the series that had ticked the Australians in the Indian summer of 2001. Then India skipper Sourav Ganguly would repeatedly walk out late for the toss to try and “get under the skin” of Steve Waugh. The Australian captain was known for his mental disintegration tactics and encouraged his men to sledge, talk and get in the opposition’s face. (Kohli reminds me a bit of Tendulkar: Waugh )Ganguly decided to change all that. His delayed arrival at the toss undoubtedly angered Waugh and the Indian players backed that up with constant chatter on the field. Several Indians have for years revelled in Ganguly’s shrewd act but a few others questioned the spirit behind the move.Waugh, who has long since retired, and turned up in New Delhi for the India Today Conclave 2016, said Ganguly’s decision to arrive at the toss late was against etiquette and it had nothing to do with “mental disintegration.”Match referee Cammie Smith was very upset about it. He came to me and said he had to do something about it. I don’t think he got under my skin. It was just an etiquette thing. What he wasn’t doing wasn’t in the spirit of two captains walking out together and shaking hands after the toss,” Waugh told Rajdeep Sardesai.advertisementHowever, Waugh said he holds no grudges against Ganguly and insisted that he has moved on from that episode. “Of course, I have forgiven Ganguly.”Waugh has plenty of respect for Ganguly, who he credited with changing the way modern Indian teams play their cricket. Answering a question on the major difference between Indian and Australian teams, Waugh said there was nothing to distinguish between the two sides now. But Waugh said that 20 years ago, Australian teams were far more aggessive while Indian cricketers were more laid back.”Ganguly was the first captan that changed the perception of the way India played their cricket. Now, there is not much difference between the Indian and Australian teams,” Waugh said.last_img read more

CABINET-PROFILE 4

first_imgJaswantsinh Bhabhor: The 49-year-old parliamentarian fromJaswantsinh Bhabhor: The 49-year-old parliamentarian from Dahod is a popular tribal leader of central Gujarat known for an impeccable image, low-key style and accessible nature.Before entering into politics in mid 90s, Bhabhor served as a teacher in government school. His father Sumanbhai Bhabhor was also in BJP but could not win any Assembly poll.Born in August 1966, Bhabhor became an MLA for the first time in 1995.Between 1995 and 2012, he won five Assembly elections from Limkheda seat of Dahod. In 2014, he snatched the Dahod Lok Sabha seat from Congress by defeating sitting Congress MP Prabha Taviyad, who had won with a huge margin in 2009.Bhabhor served as deputy minister of Food & Civil Supply between 1999 and 2001 in Gujarat government. In the subsequent BJP-led governments here, he served as minister of state for health and family welfare, forests and environment tribal development, rural development, panchayats and labour and employment during different periods till 2012.Bhabhor developed a good rapport with top brass, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel.He is considered as a low-profile leader, who is known for remaining in touch with grassroot workers. Instead of organising major functions, Bhabhor prefers to have an informal chat with party workers and villagers.He is generally considered as an accessible leader and hardly misses any family function of his party workers, a trait which has made him popular not just among the workers, but also among the masses.Mansukh Mandaviya: The 44-year-old is apparently being groomed by the BJP as the “next generation leader” from the Patel community in Gujarat.advertisementHe was a student leader of ABVP and was elected as an MLA in the Gujarat Assembly in 2002.In 2012, he was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat, where he had been member of Committee on Petroleum and Natural Gas, National Welfare Board for Seafarers and also Member of a Committee on Chemicals and Fertilizers.From May 2015 onwards, he was Member, Select Committee of Rajya Sabha on the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2013.He has also served as a spokesperson of Gujarat BJP and is a party state executive member.His induction comes at a time when BJP is facing Patel quota stir in Gujarat.C R Chaudhary: The 68-year-old Nagaur MP is a Jat leader from Rajasthan.Born in Dhandhlas village in Nagaur, he was an officer of Rajasthan Administrative Service before joining politics.Chaudhary became member and later Chairman of the Rajasthan Public Service Commission.He is also an honrary Chairman of Veer Teja Mahila Shiksahn and Shodh Sansthan Marwar-Mundwa in Nagaur. PTIPTI PJT PD SDA SKC RTlast_img read more

Tiger Woods returning after fifth surgical procedure on left knee

first_imgMOST READ Tiger Woods of the United States answers a reporter’s question during a news conference ahead of the Challenge: Japan Skins event at Accordia Golf Narashino C.C. in Inzai, Japan, Monday, Oct. 21, 2019. Tiger Woods will play at the Zozo Championship PGA Tour which will be held at Oct. 24-27. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)INZAI CITY, Japan — Tiger Woods is returning from another surgical procedure on his left knee — his fifth on the same problem spot.“Unfortunately, I’ve been down this road with my knee before,” Woods said Monday. “This is my fifth operation on it. I understand what it takes to come back from it. It’s been nice to have movement again and not having it catch and lock up.”ADVERTISEMENT “It progressively got worse and got to where it was affecting even reading putts,” Wood said. “You could see toward the end of the year I wasn’t getting down on my putts well.”Woods said he had the surgery, wanting to be ready for the two events this week in Japan, followed in December by the Hero Challenge, and the Presidents Cup in Melbourne, Australia.“It’s been nice to be able to squat down and read putts and start going at it full speed again,” Woods said. “It’s just been wear-and-tear over the years. It’s just been stressed out for a very long time.”Woods repeated his interest in playing in next year’s Tokyo Olympics. But he has work to do to qualify.“It would be an honor to represent my country in the Olympic Games,” Wood said. “Right now I’m ninth in the world ranking and hopefully in the next year I can have a good year and qualify and represent my country.”ADVERTISEMENT This jewelry designer is also an architect View comments Addressing growing fan behavior problem top priority for NBA Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics PLAY LIST 00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics01:46Duterte has only scratches on elbow, knee after motorcycle accident — Go00:50Trending Articles02:11Makabayan bloc defends protesting workers, tells Año to ‘shut up’03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games01:38‘Bato’ to be ‘most effective’ CHR head? It’s for public to decide – Gascon02:07Aquino to Filipinos: Stand up vs abuses before you suffer De Lima’s ordeal01:28Ex-President Noynoy Aquino admits contracting pneumonia00:45Aquino agrees with Drilon on SEA games ‘kaldero’ spending issue Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Canadian vaping study details danger from ‘popcorn lung’ chemical Drilon apologizes to BCDA’s Dizon over false claim on designer of P50-M ‘kaldero’center_img LATEST STORIES Ethel Booba on SEA Games cauldron: ‘Sulit kung corrupt ang panggatong’ Duterte calls himself, Go, Cayetano ‘the brightest stars’ in PH politics Matteo Guidicelli had saved up for Sarah G’s ring since 2014? DTI creates Marahuyo, a luxe Filipino fashion brand for global buyers Becoming his own man Woods, who had arthroscopic surgery two months ago, plays the made-for-television “The Challenge: Japan Skins” event on Monday, and the Zozo Championship beginning on Thursday — the first full PGA Tour event in Japan.Woods will play with Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, and Hideki Matsuyama in the skins game at the Narashino Country Club, the same venue for Zozo Championship. The course is located about 50 kilometers (30 miles) northeast of central Tokyo.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGreatest ever?SPORTSFormer PBA import Anthony Grundy passes away at 40SPORTSSan Miguel suspends Santos, Nabong, Tubid indefinitely after ‘tussle’ in practiceThe course for next year’s Olympics is located nearby at the Kasumigaseki Country Club.Woods said the knee troubled him all season, becoming more bothersome after he won the Masters in April. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextlast_img read more

It will take some time for the victory to sink in, says Shiv Kapur after Panasonic Open India win

first_imgMoments after realising his lifelong dream of clinching a title at his home course, an emotional Shiv Kapur said he is lost for words and this win will take some time to sink in.Kapur carded a four-under 68 in the final round to notch up a three-stroke win at the Panasonic Open India on Sunday.”It’s an amazing feeling. This victory has not really sunk in yet but when I was walking down the 18th, I was really trying to hold back the emotions. I am lost for words, you dream about winning, you plan things but I never got that far in my career so I never really prepared a speech in my life,” Kapur said.”I grew up playing golf here and told myself I got to win at the Delhi Golf Club one day. So no words can actually describe how I m feeling right now. The reception I got when I was coming up the 18 was just amazing. It was well worth the wait.”I was telling myself just finish the race, and it’s just amazing to be able to do it. It’s amazing to have two wins this year and I have to thank a lot of people for believing in me and supporting me. The form is good and the confidence is high, so there’s no reason why I cannot win again,” he added.Kapur said he was envious to see his friends and colleagues win at the DGC while a victory eluded him.advertisement”Of course, I have been waiting for it for a long long time. So it is a huge monkey off my back. But I don’t think I played my best golf but still shot 17-under, so I take a lot of positive,” said Kapur, who added that he was calm and patient at the course.”All these years, I had seen my friends, from Gaurav Ghei to Arjun Atwal to Chiragh Kumar, SSP, Anirban and so many win.”I would be envious and keep dreaming about winning here.”Now I will be more relaxed than what I was this week. So many thoughts are swirling in my mind the week before Yeangder I was wondering if I would win again on Asian Tour, I was not happy with game and so on. Then Yeangder happened, then a second in Thailand and now this Panasonic Open. With so many events still left in the season one more win would be nice. I am off to Manila tomorrow.”Talking about his strategy, Kapur said, “I was very aggressive the first few days but I had a pretty conservative strategy today. I just wanted to eliminate the mistakes on the card and I started off playing really steady.”Sharing the lead after the third round, Kapur birdied the first but parred the rest to make the turn at one-under but his back nine started with a bogey on the 10th.Kapur said the bogey actually fired him up.”The birdies on 11th and 12th gave me a cushion and standing on 14th I told myself this was tournament to win. I wanted to take it by the scruff so to say and win. I went all out after that and went for the flags. When the birdies dropped on 14th and 15th for a three-shot lead I knew I had to play smart.”At the 18th hole where he had dropped an eagle yesterday, Kapur said he decided to go with a 3-Wood.”I have never played anything but this time I went for 3 -Wood. Actually I don’t know how to hit a 3-wood on 18th. Then when the second shot landed on fairway, I knew the win was near. I knew that par was good enough. The margin of three looks big, it till a little before that it was very tight.”Kapur had won the Volvo masters in 2005 and only won his second Asian Tour event this year at Yeangder Heritage in April and finished second at the Thailand Open this season. He also won the Gujarat Kensville Challenge and Dubai Festival City Challenge tour Grand Final in 2013.”I don’t undermine any victory. When I won the Volvo masters it was a spring board for me and then there was a long gap and I didn’t know if I will be able to win here but Yeangder win gave me the belief that I can win again and winning here after all these years is really special. But I think all wins have their own place in my heart,” he said.advertisementAs many as nine Indians were in the top 10 and Kapur said it showed that Indian golf is in safe hands.”Look at the leaderboard, it is great to see so many Indians. Ajeetesh is obviously having a dream run, I saw his name, Karandeep did so well, Chirag not so old, Sudir Sharma I saw him play for the first time, to play under so much pressure and to hold up for four rounds in not easy,” he said.”The PGTI is stronger, they have created so many players and they will keep me on my toes, like I did when Jeev (Milkha Singh) and Jyoti (Randhawa) were getting older and hopefully I can keep up, he added.last_img read more

USWNT not taking upstart Dutch lightly in World Cup final

first_imgAfter a relatively easy group stage, the U.S. women’s national team has come through a gauntlet to reach the World Cup final. The U.S. has defeated Spain, France and then England in the knockout stage, all by a 2-1 scoreline. It hasn’t been easy, as Jill Ellis’s side has struggled at various points to get through all three formidable European opponents. But as the USWNT seemingly always does these days, they found a way to win. Now, a fourth European opponent in a row, the Netherlands, is the only thing standing between them and a second straight World Cup title.  Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare After getting through the host nation France and a powerhouse English side, a final against the Netherlands may seem slightly anticlimactic. But the Dutch, who have won all six of their games at this tournament, are no slouch.“Netherlands is a great team and they are at the top of their game right now,” U.S. midfielder Rose Lavelle said. “We don’t take them lightly at all.”Though they perhaps aren’t as strong as the English and French, the Oranje are champions of Europe, having won the title in 2017 in just their third appearance at the tournament. “We’ve seen firsthand the last three games what it’s like to try to go through Europe like that,” Megan Rapinoe said. “It’s very difficult, the quality is so high and for them to be champions of Europe and to have that sort of pedigree and experience under their belt, they’re a great team for sure.”Still, the U.S. are heavily favored to win in Lyon on Sunday and clinch their fourth World Cup title overall. But that doesn’t mean that Ellis’s side are going to take their opponents lightly, despite some charging them with overconfidence and even arrogance at this World Cup.“I don’t think we ever underestimate anything,” U.S. defender Kelley O’Hara said. “I think that’s what people project onto us.”Kelley O'Hara USWNTO’Hara and her teammates have consistently pushed back against being called arrogant, insisting that the term is hurled at them mostly due to their confidence and winning track record. “We know other teams can compete with us so it’s not like we feel invincible,” Lavelle said. “We’re just confident in what we’re putting out on the field.”The Dutch, in just their second World Cup, can be safely filed in the “happy to be here” category, though that certainly doesn’t preclude them from being able to pull off one of the great upsets in the sport’s history.“They’re a massive team, they have massive players, obviously we know that they’re the biggest team,” Netherlands midfielder Jackie Groenen said of the USWNT, “but I can’t wait to play them and who knows what can happen.“I think we have to play our own kind of football. If we can manage that, we can beat them.”Jackie Groenen Netherlands Sweden Women's World Cup 2019If the Netherlands do pull off a shock and add a world championship to go along with their European title, they will need to execute their game plan to perfection.“This is a team that wants to have the ball and get in a good shape and wear you down with their passing game,” Ellis said. “They have a good variety, meaning they’ll look to get in behind immediately and they’ll look to play in front of you.”Even if they do produce a good performance, it may not be enough for the Dutch, who, despite their underdog status, will not encounter a team that’s taking them lightly.“They’re one of the top teams in the world and they’re playing in a World Cup final,” U.S. midfielder Lindsey Horan said. “I think it’s going to be a great game.”last_img read more

Photos: No One Showed Up To This College Football Game Today

first_imgA general view of Rutgers football stadium.NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – NOVEMBER 19: A general view during the first half of a game between the Cincinnati Bearcats and Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Rutgers Stadium on November 19, 2011 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)Rutgers’ football program has not had a great start to its 2018 season, but the Scarlet Knights had special plans for this afternoon’s game.The team will be be sporting cool new black uniforms and the program was calling for its crowd to do a “blackout” in the stands.Unfortunately, the fan base didn’t appear to get the memo…Check out the crowd at kickoff:A live look at the “blackout” for Rutgers-Illinois. pic.twitter.com/KLf61vkrex— Steve Politi (@StevePoliti) October 6, 2018Noon kickoffs often have late-arriving crowds, but that’s a pretty sparse one.Rutgers and Illinois are playing on BTN.last_img read more

Anti-Money Laundering, Terrorism Financing Safeguards under Financial Inclusion Strategy

first_img Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) Governor, Brian Wynter, says proposed safeguards against money laundering and terrorism financing are among notable developments emerging under the Government’s National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS), since its launch in March 2017. The strategy is an ambitious portfolio of project activities designed to empower Jamaicans financially, through improved access to financial information and products tailored to meet their needs. Story Highlights Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) Governor, Brian Wynter, says proposed safeguards against money laundering and terrorism financing are among notable developments emerging under the Government’s National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS), since its launch in March 2017.The strategy is an ambitious portfolio of project activities designed to empower Jamaicans financially, through improved access to financial information and products tailored to meet their needs.Speaking at a recent NFIS forum at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in St. Andrew, Mr. Wynter said the policy proposals, including enhanced ‘Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements, seek to institute a risk-based framework for the Government’s Anti-Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Programme.This, he said, will ensure that “our system is not hospitable to crimes of money laundering and financing terrorism”.Mr. Wynter, who heads the Financial Inclusion Steering Committee, which is coordinating implementation of the strategy, pointed out that the risk-based framework will enable persons who have been excluded or are underserved by the financial system, “merely because, for example, they may lack a formal proof of address”, to use financial products available in Jamaica.“Small things can have enormous consequences in the lives of Jamaicans… and [these] policy proposals, once adapted into the anti-money laundering framework… [are] aimed at, at least, helping us to remove [the obstacles] so that access is not impeded for the excluded and underserved,” he contended.Mr. Wynter said another notable engagement under the NFIS, is development of the National Financial Literacy Action Plan and Interim Strategy by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, which, he pointed out, “promises to be a very important programme”.Meanwhile, the Governor advised that the BOJ is designing new reporting forms to capture vital information on the extent of private-sector credit being provided to micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).The value of loans disbursed to MSMEs by deposit-taking institutions as a percentage of total private-sector credit, is among the NFIS’s impact indicators.Information on this indicator in the NFIS’s annual report for 2017 shows no out-turn reflected for 2016, and 0.015 per cent for 2017, based on data collated between March and December of that year.The target is for an increase in the percentage of total private-sector credit extended to MSMEs to 12 by 2020.Mr. Wynter said the BOJ’s lack of “good data” on this area has “adversely impacted our ability to accurately measure what progress we are making towards being a more inclusive society”.He indicated that work is ongoing to improve the data-gathering processes for MSMEs, “having regard to the new definitions (of MSMEs) under the new National MSME Policy”.Meanwhile, Mr. Wynter has reaffirmed the BOJ’s “strong” commitment to ensuring the NFIS’s success.He said the Bank has commenced the process of communicating the NFIS’s goals and objectives to various interests, and assured that the institution will undertake other engagements, which “find us going to our fellow citizens, hearing their concerns and tailoring our policy responses based on their needs”.A National Financial Inclusion Council, chaired by Finance and the Public Service Minister, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, has been established to oversee the implementation of the NFIS.The Council has fostered a public-private partnership through a Stakeholder Advisory Group chaired by Jamaica National Group’s Chief Executive Officer, Earl Jarrett. Speaking at a recent NFIS forum at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in St. Andrew, Mr. Wynter said the policy proposals, including enhanced ‘Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements, seek to institute a risk-based framework for the Government’s Anti-Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Programme.last_img read more

No 2 gasproducing state moves to curb air pollution

first_imgHARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania is aiming to curb air pollution and greenhouse emissions from its vast natural gas exploration fields, even as the Trump administration moves to relax federal requirements.Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration formally proposed new regulations Thursday that environmental groups welcome but also say should go farther in combating methane leaks.Methane is the primary component of natural gas and is one of the most potent heat-trapping pollutants. Pennsylvania is the nation’s second-largest natural gas producer after Texas.The proposal would impose stronger limits on smog-forming pollutants and require companies to more aggressively search for methane leaks at existing oil and gas installations. A gas-industry trade group, the Marcellus Shale Coalition, says it’s concerned about the cost for companies to comply.Earlier this year, Pennsylvania began enforcing tougher standards on equipment at new or updated installations.Marc Levy, The Associated Presslast_img read more

Photography Exhibition at UN Headquarters on FARs Contribution in Humanitarian Action

first_imgNew York (UN) – A photography exhibition highlighting the contribution of the Royal Armed Forces (FAR) in world’s humanitarian action under the UN peacekeeping missions was inaugurated on Tuesday at the UN headquarters in New York.Photography exhibition at UN headquarters on FAR’s contribution in humanitarian actionThe inauguration ceremony was attended by UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, Dmitry Titov, Assistant Secretary-General for Rule of Law and Security Institutions (Department of Peacekeeping Operations), UN Deputy Humanitarian Chief Kyung-wha Kang, and  Adama Dieng, United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, as well as ambassadors accredited to the UN. The event is organized by the Moroccan representation under the theme “Morocco’s international humanitarian action”, and mirrors, according to Eliasson,  Morocco’s commitment to humanitarian action for decades.Eliasson also paid tribute to HM King Mohammed VI for the Kingdom’s mobilization and contribution to this lofty cause, lauding Morocco’s continued commitment to peacekeeping operations.The photo exhibition, which runs until Nov. 15, highlights contribution of the Moroccan contingents deployed under the UN peacekeeping operations in different conflict zones such as in Congo, Somalia, Angola, Cote d’Ivoire, Cambodia, Kosovo, Bosnia and Haiti.last_img read more

Morocco Pays Imams in Ceuta Melilla Double Local Imams

Rabat – While Morocco pays local imams MAD 1,500-2,000 monthly, it pays imams in Ceuta and Melilla double.In a press report aired on Spanish channel Telecinco, the president of the Bezu mosque in Ceuta, Mohammed Ali, said that Morocco pays about €500 monthly for each imam in Ceuta.He said that there are 42 official mosques, and there are up to three imams in each of the mosques around the Spanish enclave. Morocco pays €756,000 per year for imams in Ceuta.Another report from local media outlet Red Ceuta said Morocco’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs decided to help Moroccan imams in the two enclaves because they do not receive aid from the Spanish government.The report, which dates back to 2017, notes Ceuta “has 15 mosques and 16 prayer rooms for a population of 42,200 Muslims.”Read Also: Ministry of Islamic Affairs Counts Imams Who Use Social NetworksThe report complained about the management of mosques, which require financial aid.Morocco’s Ministry Islamic Affairs intervened to fund the mosques. According to the report, the ministry “is very organized and respected throughout the world, as it was a pioneer in establishing guidelines for imam training and is currently an imam factory for everyone, so much so that in many countries, Westerners entrust to Morocco the administration and appointment of the imams in the mosques in their territories.”The report added that the Ministry of Islamic Affairs manages “deals with all the expenses generated by the 31 prayer points in Ceuta.”The funds that the ministry must allocate for imams’ salaries exceed €700,000 per year, in addition to other expenses like electricity and water.What about imams in Morocco?In Morocco, imams receive around MAD 1,500-2,000. The Ministry of Islamic Affairs also offers housing and health coverage for imams. However, imams do not receive retirement pensions.An imam speaking anonymously told Morocco World News today that housing and health coverage is not enough. “Once they don’t need you, you will not have the right to a retirement pension.” He explained imams do not have permanent work contracts.“If an imam undergoes a surgery, the health coverage compensates him. However, if that person is 60-year-old, he receives no retirement pension.”Read Also: Ministry of Islamic Affairs Fires Imam for Alleged Boycott Support in Friday SermonThe imam, who works in a mosque in Temara, near Rabat, told MWN that the government needs to meet the demands of imams.“Imams in Morocco should be independent; they cannot join any NGOs or a union that can defend their rights,” he said.According to MWN’s source, the Ministry of Finance does not allocate a certain budget for imams.In his interview with MWN, the imam also said that his colleagues across the country do not receive additional income when they have children, like others in the public sector receive.The government, according to MWN’s interviewee, have excuses. “They said that since they are providing us with housing and that they have a monthly salary of MAD 1,500 and 2,000, that is enough and that they don’t have to increase our salaries.”The source said that some imams choose to read the Qur’an at ceremonies and funerals for a small fee to help themselves financially. They receive MAD 100 or 200 for such events. However, he said, this remains insufficient.We are not allowed to protestImams should say yes to everything from the government. Imams are not allowed to protest, the imam told MWN.“Imams should not have any links with politics, unions or NGOs.”He added that the government does not consider the imams’ mission a job. “They believe that the imam is doing religious rituals, and that is it.”In contrast, the imam said that imams have important tasks. They should be mobilized; they do not have weekends. “We wake up before dawn to be ready for morning prayers. After morning prayers, we get ready for afternoon prayers (her and al asr), sunset (maghrib) and evening prayers.”The anonymous imam called on the government to meet their demands and consider imams as employees in the Ministry of Islamic Affairs.He said everyone, including the lowest paid people in the ministry, have more rights than imams, whose job is to convey religious values. read more

Morocco Dismantles New Irregular Migration Network in Nador

Rabat- Morocco’s BNPJ has arrested six individuals linked to a migration network in Nador, the capital of the northern Rif region.The National Brigade of the Judicial Police (BNPJ) and security forces in Nador arrested five Moroccans and one Senegalese national. The six are suspected of organizing undocumented migration, reported the General Directorate of National Security (DGSN) on Saturday.Following the arrest, security forces seized equipment used for irregular emigration: safety jackets, 5 zodiacs, 3 cars, a GPS, electronic devices for communication,  104 passports of various nationalities, bank receipts, and cash. The arrest led to the interception of 19 irregular migrants from sub-Saharan countries, including seven women.According to DGSN, members of the criminal network lured sub-Saharans into crossing the sea only to abandon them in makeshift and inflatable boats. The network would then urge Spain to help the migrants.Read Also: UNHCR: ‘Morocco Sets an Example in Immigration, Asylum PolicyEarlier this week, DGSN dismantled a similar migration network, arresting 19 migrants, 1 intermediary, and 3 alleged organizers.The police also seized their equipment: a seven-meter zodiac, two paddles, one engine, and five safety jackets.The arrests have come at a time of increasing irregular migration attempts which have pressured the navy into using controversially aggressive measures to fight the phenomenon.Read Also: DGSN Dismantles Irregular Migration NetworkOn Wednesday, the royal navy fired on a “hostile” migrant boat, injuring 16-year-old Ilyas Amrani.On September 25, the navy, in another attempt to intercept a “hostile” migrant boat, shot and killed 20-year-old Hayat Belkacem, and injured Lahbib (26), Hamza (25), and Mouad (23). read more

Five tropical community groups win UNbacked prize for biodiversity

22 May 2007Five community groups from the tropical regions of Africa, Asia and Latin America won the United Nations-backed Equator Prize today for their initiatives to alleviate poverty while conserving local biodiversity. The winners, who will each receive $30,000, were announced at a ceremony at UN Headquarters in New York after being selected by a jury from a group of 25 finalists chosen from more than 300 original nominations.The village of Andavadoaka in Madagascar was among the winners, honoured for demonstrating how it managed an octopus fishery so that it can provide sustainable long-term benefits. In Kenya, the Shompole Community Trust won for conserving the country’s vast and scenic grasslands and savannah as part of a profit-making ecotourism venture for the local Masai people.In Guatemala, the women of Alimentos Nutri-Naturales won the prize for reinstating the Maya nut as a staple source of nutrition and this conserving the nut forests in the buffer zone next to a biosphere reserve.The women of Isabela Island’s “Blue Fish” Association, who work within the World Heritage-listed Galapagos Islands in Ecuador, were rewarded for marketing a local delicacy – tuna smoked with guava wood – as a way to promote the alternative use of marine resources and control invasive plant species.The other winner, Shidulai Swarnivar Sangstha, uses riverboat-based educational resource centres throughout the Ganges River delta in Bangladesh to deliver information to locals about sustainable agricultural practices and market prices.Awarded biennially, the prize is part of the Equator Initiative, set up in January 2002 by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), governments, business, civil society and communities to promote grassroots efforts in the tropics to reduce poverty through conservation and the sustainable use of biodiversity.Equatorial regions are home to both the world’s greatest concentrations of biological wealth and some of the highest levels of poverty.Congratulating the winners, UNDP Administrator Kemal Dervis said they are just some of the numerous community initiatives of their kind taking place around the world.“The proliferation and scaling up of efforts such as these is critical to the achievement of our common goals to conserve biodiversity, respond to climate change and achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),” he said. read more

UN voices concern over intercommunal violence in northern Kenya

The clashes between the Borana and Gabra livestock herding communities around the northern Kenyan town of Moyale, which is situated on the border with Ethiopia, have reportedly also displaced thousands of people.“What we are seeing up there is cyclical inter-communal revenge attacks and violence between the communities,” said Matthew Conway, spokesperson for the East African bureau of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which is based in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.“What appears to be motivating the violence is competition for land for grazing and livestock,” he said in an interview with UN Radio, adding that the violence follows the recent drought in northern Kenya during which pastoralist communities lost large numbers of their livestock due to the lack of pasture and the drying up of water sources.“We seem to be seeing groups competing now for land for grazing and conducting raids on each others herds of livestock in an effort to restock some of the animals they may have lost during the drought,” said Mr. Conway.Clashes have also been reported between members of the Borana and Turkana communities in the central area of Isiolo, he added.He said access to the areas affected by the violence has not been easy due to insecurity, but the Kenyan Red Cross Society has been carrying out some relief work among those displaced.“One of the things certainly that OCHA is calling for is greater provision of security and protection by Government authorities in these regions so that we can have access… to populations in need and so that they can also return to their areas of origin,” said Mr. Conway.He stressed the need to step up ongoing reconciliation efforts to break the vicious cycle of violent animosity between herder communities that inhabit Kenya’s northern and north-eastern regions.“Communities themselves are at the core of resolving this, but certainly greater attention need to be given by central Government authorities to rein in this violence and rein in the instigators of the violence,” Mr. Conway added.He said that an estimated 300 people had died in such violence in 2009 and a similar number lost their lives last year, according to OCHA’s tally. 5 January 2012The United Nations humanitarian arm today voiced concern over inter-communal clashes in northern Kenya where some 46 people have died in recent months in reprisal attacks linked to rivalry over pasture and cattle rustling. read more

Sri Lanka ratifies Trade Facilitation Agreement with WTO

The Trade Facilitation Agreement aims at streamlining, harmonizing and modernizing customs procedures. It contains provision for expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods, including goods in transit. It also sets out measures for effective cooperation between the authorities involved in the Trade Facilitation measures.According to World Trade Report 2015 of the WTO, the full implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement is expected to reduce trade time and cost, facilitating increasing trade flows and GDP. It is envisaged to reduce time to export by 91% while reducing the time to import by 47%. The trade cost for all merchandise goods is expected to reduce by 14.3% while adding US$ 345 billion – US$ 555 billion to global GDP per year. The topic of trade facilitation was taken up for discussion in 1996 in Singapore at the first WTO Ministerial Conference held after establishing the WTO. After several years of negotiations it became a reality at the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference held in Bali, Indonesia.Member countries are expected to categorize all the 35 trade facilitation measures in the Agreement and notify their identified categories under A, B, and C to WTO. Category A measures to be implemented by the Agreement enters into force. Measures that need extra time can be classified under Category B. Similarly, measures that require not only extra time but also technical and capacity building can be notified under Category C.Sri Lanka, through the Department of Commerce in 2014 undertook a Needs Assessment for implementation of the Trade Facilitation with the technical assistance from the WTO. It was further followed by a team from the World Bank Group identifying the implementation requirements of the Trade Facilitation Agreement. The WTO Mission in Geneva is currently working with World Trade Organization, World Bank Group, International Trade Centre, Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation through World Economic Forum, UNIDO and World Customs Organization to identify and quantify technical and capacity development assistance to Sri Lanka for effective implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement. The Cabinet of Ministers recently approved setting up of the National Trade Facilitation Committee, which is represented by relevant trade facilitation government agencies and private sector Trade Chambers. The National Trade Facilitation Committee is expected to closely liaise with the World Bank Group, the lead agency for Trade Facilitation Programme in Sri Lanka, during their next visit to Sri Lanka to plan out implementation requirements with necessary technical, funding and infrastructure development assistance. Trade Facilitation Agreement is the most significant achievement after the Marrakesh Agreement for both WTO and its Members. Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the WTO in Geneva Ambassador R.D.S. Kumararatne has presented to Roberto Azevêdo, Director-General of WTO the Instrument of Acceptance of the Protocol on Trade Facilitation. Sri Lanka is the 81st Member to deposit its Instrument of Acceptance with the WTO on the ratification of Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) of the WTO. Once the two-third (108) of the current membership deposits its Instrument of Acceptance, the Agreement will come into effect.The Trade Facilitation Agreement is expected to significantly benefit global trade while delivering support particularly to developing and least developed countries. The full implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement will achieve trade cost reduction and global economic growth. The developing and least developed countries of the WTO will enjoy implementation flexibilities and assistance. Implementation of this Agreement will bring positive results to developing countries, in particular small economies such as Sri Lanka to improve their competitiveness in the global market and to attract foreign direct investment through application of simplified border control measures in supporting trade. read more

Canadian dollar up amid higher metal prices traders await economic growth data

by Malcolm Morrison, The Canadian Press Posted May 30, 2013 8:42 am MDT TORONTO – The Canadian dollar closed higher Thursday amid rising gold and copper prices while traders took in positive trade data and awaited the latest reading on economic growth.The loonie was up 0.49 of a cent to 97.09 cents US as a widely-watched measure of Canadian trade performance with the rest of the world improved somewhat in the first quarter. Statistics Canada says the country’s Canada’s current account deficit on a seasonally adjusted basis shrank by $500 million to $14.1 billion.The agency is also expected to report Friday that gross domestic product rose by 0.1 per cent in March, which would add up to an annualized advance of 2.2 per cent in the quarter.Oil prices erased early losses and the July crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained 48 cents to US$93.61 a barrel. Prices improved after data from the U.S. Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration said stockpiles increased by three million barrels last week. The American Petroleum Institute had reported a bigger, 4.4 million-barrel increase in inventories on Wednesday.Traders also looked to a meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries on Friday to discuss, among other things, production levels.Overhanging the meeting is the rise of shale oil production in the U.S. and a report from the International Energy Agency saying total production could top nine million barrels a day by 2018. That would mean near self-sufficiency for the U.S. as well as significantly less dependence on OPEC imports.Gold was up $20.20 to US$1,412 an ounce while copper futures were ahead two cents at US$3.32 a pound.The decline in the loonie on Thursday followed a rise of 0.4 of a cent in the previous session as the Bank of Canada said it was keeping its key rate unchanged at one per cent and added that “recent economic indicators suggest that growth in the first quarter was stronger than the bank projected in April.”On the American economic front, a second reading on U.S. gross domestic product for the first quarter showed GDP coming in at an annualized rate of 2.4 per cent, a bit below the initial reading of a 2.5 per cent gain. But the showing was still a marked improvement from the 0.4 per cent gain in the final quarter of 2012.And the number of Americans seeking unemployment aid rose 10,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 354,000, a sign layoffs have increased. The U.S. Labor Department also said the four-week average, a less volatile measure, increased 6,750 to 347,250, the third straight gain. The average had fallen to a five-year low of 338,000 earlier this month.There was positive news from the American housing sector. The National Association of Realtors said its seasonally adjusted index for pending U.S. home sales rose 0.3 per cent to 106, the highest since April 2010, when a homebuyer tax credit inflated sales. Signed contracts have jumped 10.3 per cent in the past 12 months. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Canadian dollar up amid higher metal prices, traders await economic growth data read more

Softball Trip to California to be homecoming for a third of Ohio

The Buckeyes gather on the mound during a timeout in their 4-1 victory over Wright State on Sep. 24. Credit: Gretchen Rudolph | For The LanternThe Ohio State softball team will spend its spring break and then some in California, taking on eight teams across 10 days. It will include 11 games as part of the Louisville Slugger Invitational and the Easton Invitational.One of the opponents includes No. 5 Oklahoma, a team head coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly talked about before the season had even started. She called the Sooners one of the most challenging teams the Buckeyes will face all year.But the Buckeyes aren’t interested in analyzing their opponents as much as they are focusing on their own game and what they can control.“Right now we’re just focused on ourselves, not necessarily who we’re playing,” senior outfielder Bailee Sturgeon said. “Our coaches keep telling us, ‘Have confidence in yourselves because when you guys play, you guys are unstoppable,’ so I think that right now we’re just our own biggest opponents and as long as we play Buckeye softball I think we’ll be good.”One team to watch in the Louisville Slugger series will be No. 3 UCLA. The Bruins are undefeated with 19 wins.The Buckeyes also will take on San Diego State, San Jose State, Cal State Fullerton, Loyola Marymount, California State University Northridge and Grand Canyon.Rested and ready to goPlaying so many games in such a short timespan can take a physical toll, from soreness to exhaustion. But the team’s trainers and coaches have made an effort to be sure that the team is taken care of. “Luckily this year we have an awesome staff with coach Claire and Kelsey, our athletic trainer, who recognize when we’re getting fatigued,” Sturgeon said. “After the games we’re doing a lot of recovery, more than we usually do.”Having a weekend of not playing games also has been a big help for the team, giving it a chance to rest up and recharge.“It gives our bodies a rest from the travel constantly on airplanes, in buses, constantly standing and doing games all weekend,” sophomore shortstop Amy Balich said. “But we got the chance to work on some things that we needed to get sharpened up and I think we’ll go to California with fresh new minds and it will be good.”HomecomingHeading to California will be a homecoming of sorts for eight of the 24 Buckeyes on the roster who claim the Golden State as their home.For some, this will be an opportunity for friends and family to watch them play in scarlet and gray. “Oh, I think it’s going to be so fun,” said sophomore infielder Carley Gaskill, a native of West Hills, California. “Coming out [to Columbus], I don’t get to see my friends, they don’t get to see me play and my parents don’t always get to come because I have three other siblings so they’re always with them.”Let the Games BeginThe Buckeyes begin the series Friday against San Diego State and will play Oklahoma on March 18 to end the 11-game stretch. read more