Cong demands probe into suspicious black box in Modis helicopter

first_imgNew Delhi: The Congress on Tuesday demanded an investigation into the transportation of a “suspicious black box” in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s helicopter during poll campaign in Karnataka’s Chitradurga. A Congress delegation met the Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and submitted five memorandums on various issues including hate speeches by BJP president Amit Shah and its Himachal Pradesh chief Satpal Singh Satti during campaigning for Lok Sabha elections. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The Congress delegation was led by party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi and also included AICC secretary Pranav Jha. “We have raised five main issues before the Election Commission and it has assured us of action. The EC has said that it has already initiated action on some issues raised by us and will take further action on the other issues,” Singhvi told reporters after the meeting. He said a level-playing field must be maintained during elections. “It is strange that the prime minister, holding such a high post, carries a black box in his own helicopter…,” Singhvi said. “There should be a thorough investigation into this. We have not got any satisfactory reply on this issue. It is strange that the ruling party is doing such an illegal thing while hiding behind the prime minister,” he added. The Congress also sought action against Modi and Shah for allegedly making hate and divisive speeches in Nanded and Latur respectively on April 12. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K”Now that the EC has initiated action and a precedent has been set, then why has action not been initiated against the Prime Minister and Amit Shah as the speeches made by them are in violation of the model code?” he asked. The Congress also demanded strict action against Satti for allegedly using expletives and making “obscene remarks” against party president Rahul Gandhi. Speaking about Satti, Singhvi said, “What is worrisome is that instead of apologising, this person has said that he will not apologise and claims his statement is right as Rahul Gandhi opposes the prime minister.”last_img read more

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Ban extends mandate of UNbacked tribunal in Lebanon

22 February 2012Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has extended the mandate by another three years of the United Nations-backed independent tribunal set up to try suspects in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri. Mr. Ban extended the mandate of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), which is based in The Hague in the Netherlands, by three years from 1 March this year, according to information released by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson.Mr. Hariri and 22 others were killed on 14 February 2005 after a massive car bomb exploded as his motorcade passed through central Beirut.Salim Jamil Ayyash, Mustafa Amine Badreddine, Hussein Hassan Oneissi and Assad Hassan Sabra, all Lebanese nationals, have been indicted over the killing. They will be tried in absentia after the STL determined earlier this month that all reasonable attempts had been made to inform the four men of the charges they face and to bring them before the court.Mr. Ban’s spokesperson noted that the Secretary-General reaffirms the UN’s commitment to support the efforts of the STL to uncover the truth behind the bombing so as to bring those responsible to justice and to send a message that impunity for such major crimes will not be tolerated.The tribunal is an independent court created at the request of the Lebanese Government, with a mandate issued by the Security Council. read more

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Basil arrested over alleged misappropriation of funds

The former Minister was questioned over the misappropriation of Divineguma funds when he was a Minister.He was produced before court and remanded till August 1st. (Colombo Gazette) Former Economic Affairs Minister Basil Rajapaksa was arrested today over the alleged misappropriation of funds.He was arrested after appearing before the police Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID).

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Several senior Army officers promoted

Several senior Army officers have been promoted by President Maithripala Sirisena, as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.The Army said that, in what can be regarded as a New Year bonanza, the President has promoted Brigadier M.A.A.D Sirinaga, Director Electrical and Mechanical Engineering to the rank of Major General. Those promotions have been approved by the President on the recommendations of the Ministry Of Defence and the Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake. (Colombo Gazette) He has also promoted 66 other Senior Officers to the rank of Colonels and Lieutenant Colonels effective from specific dates, clearing a much – anticipated backlog in their career prospects.

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Somalia last two detained UN staff freed flown to Nairobi

The workers – Bill Condie, 61, and Roger Carter, 41- were picked up by a UN plane and transported to Nairobi, UN spokesman Fred Eckhard told the press today at the Organization’s Headquarters in New York. “Both are reported to be in good health,” Mr. Eckhard added.The staff members, both nationals of the United Kingdom, had been held by a Somali militia faction since 27 March, when they were abducted along with four other UN workers and four staff from the French relief organization Médecins sans Frontières during an attack in Mogadishu. The spokesman said the UN welcomed the unconditional release of the two staff members, which followed the previous release of the other UN aid workers.

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Afghan minister at UN Assembly lauds countrys achievements vows international cooperation

Foreign Minister Zarar Ahmad Osmani, delivering his country’s annual address to the Assembly, praised Afghanistan for its “credible political institutions, and elected parliament, a constitution and elected provincial council, supported by the brave Afghan National Security Forces.”Mr. Osmani said that Afghanistan had achieved a “significant milestone” with the conclusion of the presidential election which put Ashraf Ghani at the country’s helm and Abdullah Abdullah in the role of Chief Executive Officer. The country now looks forward to continued mutual cooperation with the international community to protect its achievements and ensure the sustainability of a strong partnership.Afghanistan was one of the first countries to join the United Nations, and UN agencies have been involved in the region for decades.Since 2002, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), at the request of the Government, has been assisting the Government and people of Afghanistan in laying the foundations for sustainable peace and development in the country. read more

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We Should Have Seen FedererNadal At The US Open By Now

The men’s semifinals of the U.S. Open are annually appointment television for tennis fans around the world. But in the case of Friday’s second semifinal, it’s the tennis match that no tennis fan on the planet wanted to see — except, perhaps, for those in Argentina. To be sure, all signs point to Rafael Nadal and Juan Martin del Potro having a highly competitive, entertaining semifinal — del Potro is actually a respectable 5-8 all-time against the No. 1-seeded Nadal. But this one was supposed to be Nadal versus his longtime rival Roger Federer, on the hard courts of Flushing for the first time ever.Federer-Nadal at the U.S. Open is tennis’s white whale — and once again, it slipped away.On Monday, Federer and Nadal appeared to be on a collision course; both reached the quarterfinals, and both were in the same side of the bracket. Nadal held up his end of the bargain, beating Andrey Rublev in straight sets to secure a semifinal berth. But late Wednesday, Federer was unceremoniously defeated by the Argentinean del Potro, ending his bid for a third Grand Slam championship of 2017 — and crushing the hopes of everyone who has followed the game in the past 15 years.Along with Novak Djokovic, Federer and Nadal are the two most successful players of their era.1If not any era. Between them, the pair have won 34 Grand Slam titles and appeared in the semifinals of 33 other major tournaments. They’ve gone head-to-head 12 times at the other three Slams — three times at Wimbledon, four at the Australian Open and five times at Roland Garros. So it’s astonishing that their paths have never crossed at the U.S. Open. Do the math, and the odds of the colossal clash never happening are minuscule.Let’s focus on Grand Slam semifinals, since all of the actual Rafa-Fed matchups have happened at that stage of a major or later. Federer first made the semifinals of a Grand Slam in 2003, and since then, he’s advanced at least that far in 74 percent of all non-U.S. Open majors. Nadal made his semifinal debut in 2005 and has made it that far in 53 percent of non-U.S. Open majors ever since. So, if we simply used the other three majors as a guide, we’d expect Federer and Nadal to have about a 39 percent chance of simultaneously making the semifinals of any given U.S. Open. And in non-U.S. Opens when both made the semis, they ended up facing each other 86 percent of the time, whether in that round or the final.Based on those numbers, then, we’d expect there to be a 34 percent chance that Federer and Nadal would end up facing each other at a given U.S. Open. (Indeed, they’ve faced each other 12 times in the 38 non-U.S. Open Slams since 2005, including their first head-to-head meeting at Roland Garros — good for a rate of 32 percent.) If we apply that 34 percent mark to each of the 13 U.S. Opens staged since 2005, we would expect there to be only a 1-in-204 chance (0.5 percent) that they wouldn’t end up facing each other at least once in that span. So the odds that we would never get this U.S. Open matchup are truly microscopic.Now, some of this can be attributed to both Federer and (especially) Nadal enjoying comparatively less semifinal success at the U.S. Open than at the other three majors. Since his first semifinal breakthrough at a Slam, Federer has only made the semis 67 percent of the time on the Flushing hardcourts, and Nadal has only made it that far 38 percent of the time. If you use those rates instead of the non-U.S. Open numbers as your baseline, the odds against ever seeing a Federer-Nadal clash rise to 4 percent.Still, even that is a fairly small probability. Any way you cut it, it’s positively shocking that American audiences have never been treated to seeing two of the greatest players ever play each other in person before. read more

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Australian boom marches on

first_imgGovernments’ treasuries, in turn Australian society as a whole, have significantly benefited from the industry’s improved performance with the total of all taxes payable to all governments rising by 120% to $7.1 billion. This comprises:A 49% increase to $2.15B in royalties paid to State/Territory GovernmentsA 248% increase in income tax commitments to the Federal Government to $4.33 billionA 7% increase in indirect taxes (payroll, FBT, land etc) to $0.55 billion.The minerals sector has also contributed to a sharp improvement in Australia’s terms of trade with exports in minerals resources rising by 32% in 2005-06 to $92 billion. This is projected to increase in 2006-07 by a further 18% to $108.1 billion.Hooke says: “The survey indicates the extent to which the industry is gearing up production and export capacity to meet the continuing growth in demand for minerals products from the industrializing economies of Asia, particularly China and India, underpinned by the sustained demand from traditional markets, Japan, Republic of Korea, and Taiwan:Total assets increased by 16% to $143.5 billion, within which fixed and deferred assets and stock of operating current (cash) assets increased by 10% and 24% respectivelyCapital expenditure on minerals production and related infrastructure projects is predicted to remain strong – with a record number of projects, either committed or under construction representing around 20% of Australia’s total project expenditureTotal employment in the industry rose by 19% – 13,206 persons to 82,588.Hooke said: “We remain confident that we are a couple of years into a super cycle of demand, driven by the underlying structural adjustment in the global market.” The upshot, he said, is a sustained new plateau of price cyclicality, the extent of which will depend on where supply catches up with demand.“Supply capacity constraints have been the key economic policy problem in preventing Australia fully benefiting from the strongest global market growth in a generation – capacity constraints to growth continue to frustrate the industry’s expansion – specifically in human resources and skills shortages, transport and port infrastructure, minerals exploration, and complex and inconsistent regulation governing project approvals and occupational health and safety.“In addition, the industry faces significant increases in operating costs, competition for capital from substitute materials and other sources of supply. And there is a widely held perception that the industry is so flush with funds that it is an easy accessible substitute for governments’ responsibilities in building social and hard infrastructure, particularly in remote and regional Australia.“The MCA continues to warn of the dangers of reform complacency and strongly advocates Governments’ invest in social and physical infrastructure and regulatory reform for continued wealth creation. This, in preference to spending and personal tax cuts driving domestic demand and consumption rather than supply, with the attendant risks of a fiscal stimulus to the domestic economy, sponsoring a further tightening in monetary policy and an appreciation in the exchange rate.”The MCA is advocating:Comprehensive regulatory reform for national consistency in project approval processes (land access and use) and occupational health and safety complemented by increased resourcing for key Federal agencies in environment and Indigenous relationsFurther improvements to the vocational education and training systems to deliver improvements in employment and training to address professional and trade skills shortagesFurther reforms to business taxation arrangements to improve Australia’s investment attractiveness and international competitivenessReforms to competition laws governing access regimes to export corridors (rail and port infrastructure) to complement significant increased industry investment, and to effect water and energy market reformsBetter alignment of public sector research and development capacity with industry needsGovernments at all levels focus on the critical depletion of physical and social infrastructure in regional and remote Australia – in partnership with industry, but not as a surrogate for core government responsibilities, particularly in education, training, housing, and healthComplement the Government’s injection of extra resources in pre-competitive geoscientific data with the introduction of a flow through shares scheme to boost investment in explorationStrong support for WorkChoices legislation as a key platform for workplace arrangements that enhance direct relationships between employer and employees critical to improved productivity and employee welfareA proactive strategy to the global challenge of reconciling energy security with managing climate change, emphasizing transformational technological developments across all sources of energy, coupled with market mechanisms that are economically efficient and environmentally effective in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.The 2006 Minerals Industry Survey is available on the MCA website: Increases in total expenses by 16% to $43 billion over the preceding year, comprising: 13% increase in labour costs 11% increase in government rail and port charges 12% increase in production and operating costs (an increase from 40% of total expenses in 1977-78 to 70% in 2005-06). 9% increase in depreciation and amortization 23% increase in interest expense 49% increase in royalties paid to State/Territory Government Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) Chief Executive Mitchell H Hooke explains that on every key indicator the Australian minerals industry is recording unprecedented levels of performance and is primed for a period of sustained growth, notwithstanding a significant increase in costs. This, Hooke says, is in stark contrast to the performance of the industry over the past 30 years where at times, it barely recovered the cost of its investment capital, suffering low prices on account of excess supply, high costs, relatively poor productivity, and regulatory impediments to growth.Australia’s 30th Annual Minerals Industry Survey (MIS) report, a joint initiative of the MCA and PricewaterhouseCoopers was released December 13, revealing the scale of the boom in the Australian mining industry and the improved financial performance of the Australian minerals industry and the extent of its contribution to the Australian economy. Companies participating in the survey represent nearly 95% of Australia’s minerals production. The survey shows net profit increased by 74% to A$11.8 billion – the highest level in the 30 years of the survey. This is a function of:Increases in total revenue of 31% to $59.2 billion, reflecting: a moderate increase in mining, smelting and refining production and,a substantial increase in minerals prices rising, on a weighted average, of 45% over the preceding year and 70% compared to 2002-03 prices.last_img read more

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Xylem to display wide ranging water management capability at MINExpo

first_imgXylem, which was spun-off from ITT Corp last year to form a leading global water technology company, will display its full range of Flygt and Godwin dewatering pumps and services at MINExpo 2012. With a rental bank of 20,000 products Xylem offers a world-leading range of surface-mounted and submersible dewatering pumps including slurry pumps, MSHA & CSA certified pumps and starters, portable high-head drainage pumps as well as pump system engineering; contingency planning; and turn-key water management expertise.Xylem’s dewatering services offering includes open pit drainage, drill hole drainage, face and stage dewatering, shaft bottom drainage, main drainage, process water supply, storm water management and heap leaching.The company describes its focus as continuing “to develop energy-efficient and reliable solutions so that unwanted water is removed as quickly and as cost-effectively as possible.”This year Xylem expanded its dewatering capabilities in France, Brazil, Australia, Vietnam and Panama to cater for increased customer demand and has plans for further expansion over the next two years.last_img read more

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Book launch for The Lace Tablecloth

first_imgThe novel The Lace Tablecloth, written by Anastasia Liveriadis, was launched last week at the Hellenic Museum. Over 60 guests attended the launch that was presented by the Greek-Australian Cultural League of Melbourne in conjunction with the Hellenic Museum.The Lace Tablecloth is a hymn to the freedom that can come about by dissociating ourselves from much of what we are taught as children, from reappraising our concept of reality, and from making certain life choices. It is also a tribute to the indomitable human spirit which can overcome unimaginable difficulties to enable one to grow, become productive, and embrace life with love and enthusiasm. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img

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Love Live Sunshine midseason review

first_imgIn Japan, the word “idol” means so much more than a young starlet singing and dancing her way into the public’s hearts. An idol group is something of a variety pack, offering performers whose personalities and look are each unique, yet together are able to form a cohesive musical group. Think Backstreet Boys, but with high school girls instead.In the anime series Love Live! School Idol Festival, high school girls band together to form the idol group μ’s (pronounced “muse”) in order to save their school which is about to close due to low attendance. The original series first aired in 2013, launching a media blitz of advertising, tie in merchandise, CDs, and even live concerts featuring the voice actress that sold out entire sports stadiums. The popularity of the franchise was unprecedented among its genre. This is the first series that took the “idol” formula and made it successful by focusing on the struggles and friendship of the girls in the story.This year, the school idol tradition continues, with a new group of girls in a new setting in Love Live! Sunshine!! This new season focuses on a school located in the seaside neighborhood of Uchiura in Numazu City in Japan (yes, it’s a real place you can visit!). Unlike the idols’ location in the first story, this school is in a sleepy little town far removed from Tokyo.Now at episode 7, we are about halfway through the first season of the school idol group Aquors’ journey. Here are our thoughts so far.Close to the original, but with improvementsSunshine is very careful to keep the formula of the original series intact. You’d think an anime about becoming a school idol would be hard to relate to, but the writing in the series instead focuses on each girl’s individual struggles and how they use friendship to overcome them. The heart of the show is the same, catering to previous Love Live fans, and adds even more characterization of the girls than the original.Some things are a little too on the nose from the first season, however.Protagonist Chika seems to be a re-skin of Honoka, the lead of μ’s in the original series. Chika has similar short, orange hair, and the same obsession with becoming a school idol, although her adoration focuses on Honoka’s group (yes, this series happens in the same world as the original). Chika even has a t-shirt that has the first letter of her name on it.Honoka’s says ho (left) and Chika’s says chi (right).Obviously, it’s safer for the show writers if they don’t stray too far off the successful formula of their original story. However, when it comes to the other characters, I have to admit they are doing an amazing job of characterizing each one and making them memorable without falling into (too many) of the tropes we are used to.Stand out characterYohane aka Yoshiko is an awesome standout character in the ensemble. She’s a normal girl concerned with there being nothing particularly special about her. She often pretends she is possessed by a fallen angel, transforming into a hilarious Gothic Lolita girl who preaches about the underworld. Her arc isn’t particularly moving, but she is great comic relief in the series.Best episodeThe prize for “BFF4LIFE” definitely goes to Hanamaru and Ruby. Episode 4, Two Girls’ Feelings beat all of my emotions out of my heart. Book fanatic Hanamaru is always worried about her only friend Ruby, knowing that she’s too scared to say or do what she really wants to in life. Hanamaru encourages Ruby to join Aquors when she shows some interest in it. Ruby is hesitant to do so unless Hamamaru joins her, so both the girls decide to try it out for a week.There’s a very sweet scene where the group is hiking up a hill and Hanamaru reveals that the only passion in life she’s ever had was for her friend’s sake. She wanted Ruby to be able to be herself, and for her passions to “reach every corner of the world and let it shine into the blue sky. That was my dream.” It’s a bittersweet admission, as Ruby continues to hike the mountain to join the other school idols at the top while Hanamaru quietly turns around and returns to the library by herself.Hanamaru says, “And so my story ends here because my dream has come true. I’m returning to the world of books. I’m fine by myself.” Perhaps Hanamaru is taking the phrase “If you love something, set it free” a bit too literally, but her self-sacrificing act is incredibly moving: accepting being alone because as long as her best friend is happy, she is satisfied. Of course, the girls come and find Hanamaru and convince her to join the idol group after all. But damn, those moments of her almost giving up her friendship with Ruby and accepting a life of isolation: I was crying like a wee babe.The series is full of heartfelt gestures of friendship like this, making it a great feel-good anime for anyone who doesn’t have a stone cold heart. The strong characterization of the girls themselves and their connections with each other are the real heart and soul of this series.Where the series is headingBy episode 7, the girls are taken out of their hometown setting and travel to Tokyo to perform. In a huge nod to the original series, the girls treat the trip like a μ’s pilgrimage, scoping out μ’s merchandise in Akihabara and visiting the same stairs and shrine that they know the μ’s girls visited frequently in the past. They also meet their first would-be rivals in this episode, the team Saint Snow.All that sweet, sweet waifu merchandise.It seems from here that the series will become more about the group’s struggles entering the nationwide idol competition called Love Live. Aquors only has 6 members so far, so we’re excited to see how the other 3 girls join the group.Dia, Mari, and Kanan still have yet to join Aquors as of episode 7.The 3rd years are hinted at having tried and failed at being a school idol group before, hence their hesitation at letting the Aquors group become a club in the initial episodes. Although we pretty much know that they will join in the end (I mean they’re all together in the opening and ending credits so they have to, right?), it’s always fun anticipating how it’s going to happen.VerdictIt’s going to be full of drama and tears however it goes down, and we can’t wait. Love Live! Sunshine!! is a must-see for any fan of the original series, and anyone who loves stories of gal pal friendship and overcoming adversity.You can watch Love Live! Sunshine!! on simulcast streaming at Funimation.last_img read more

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High court ruling favors prayer at council meeting

first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) — Prayers that open town council meetings do not violate the Constitution even if they routinely stress Christianity, a divided Supreme Court ruled Monday.The court said in 5-4 decision that the content of the prayers is not significant as long as they do not denigrate non-Christians or proselytize.The ruling by the court’s conservative majority was a victory for the town of Greece, N.Y., outside of Rochester. The Obama administration sided with the town.In 1983, the court upheld an opening prayer in the Nebraska legislature and said that prayer is part of the nation’s fabric, not a violation of the First Amendment. Monday’s ruling was consistent with the earlier one.Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, said the prayers are ceremonial and in keeping with the nation’s traditions.“The inclusion of a brief, ceremonial prayer as part of a larger exercise in civic recognition suggests that its purpose and effect are to acknowledge religious leaders and the institutions they represent, rather than to exclude or coerce nonbelievers,” Kennedy said.last_img read more

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India polls end Sunday all eyes on Baranasi

first_imgFactfile on the 7-phase Indian election which enters its last round on Sunday, 19 May. Photo: AFPThe marathon Indian 17th Lok Sabha polls, the world’s largest democratic exercise, will come to an end Sunday with holding polling in 59 parliamentary constituencies spread over seven states and a union territory.Over 100 million voters are expected to decide the fate of 918 candidates from various political parties including Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress and independent one in the last and 7th phase of the polls.Polling will be taken place in eight constituencies in Bihar, four in Himachal, three in Jharkhand, eight in Madhya Pradesh, 13 each in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, nine in West Bengal and one in Chandigarh Sunday.Besides, all eyes are now on Baranasi as Indian prime minister Narendra Modi is again contesting from the parliamentary constituency, the BJP’s strong hold where polling would be taken place tomorrow.He will take on Shalini Yadav (Samajwadi Party), Ajay Rai (Congress) and Atiq Ahmed (Independent) from Baranasi.In 2014 election, Narendra Modi (BJP) defeated Arvind Kejriwal (AAP) by the margin of 370,000 votes in the constituency.Campaigning has been ended yesterday (except West Bengal) for the seventh and final phase of Lok Sabha election 2019. Political parties across the country are leaving no stone unturned in their attempts to woo the voters.In West Bengal, violence was taken place between the Trinamool Congress and its arch rival BJP activists during the campaign on Thursday forcing authorities to deploy additional forces to bring normalcy for holding the election in a free, fair and peaceful manner.The last phase of the parliamentary election will decide the fate of a number of prominent candidates including union ministers, veteran politicians and film actors.They are union ministers Manoj Sinha (BJP), Ram Kripal Yadav (BJP) and Ashwani Kumar Choubey (BJP), veteran politicians Kiron Kher (BJP), Harsimrat Badal (SAD) and Preneet Kaur (congress), actors Shatrughan Sinha (congress) and Sunny Deol (BJP), the three times chief minister of Jharkhand Shibu Soren, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee.Earlier on 10 March, the election commission of India announced the schedule of the 543-seats Lok Sabha polls, the world’s largest democratic exercise, having nearly 900 million voters.The first phase of the polls was held on 11 April while the second phase on 18 April, third phase on 23 April, fourth phase on 29 April, fifth phase on 6 May and sixth phase on 12 May.According to the schedule, the results of the polls Lok Sabha polls would be declared on 23 May. The tenure of the current parliament would ends on 3 June.last_img read more

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Government agrees to modify Penal Code Reform

first_imgFrom the print editionRepresentatives from the government and press organizations met Tuesday in search of a solution to the approval of a reform to Costa Rica’s Penal Code that mandates jail terms for accessing “secret political information.”Costa Rican Presidency Minister Ricardo Benavides, president of the Costa Rican Journalists Association, José Rodolfo Ibarra, and lawmakers, public prosecutors and other public sector workers attended the meeting.On July 9, President Laura Chinchilla signed a reform of Article 288 of the code, which had been approved by the Legislative Assembly and contained a clause establishing prison terms of four to eight years for those who “seek or obtain secret political information by unlawful means.”Members of the press called the rule a “gag law,” and demanded its repeal on the grounds that it constitutes a direct threat to freedom of access to information.According to the Journalists Association, “international jurisprudence is against jail terms for those who obtain correspondence by irregular means in matters of proven public interest, which would affect journalistic investigations.”The reform as approved does not clarify the concept of “secret political information,” which causes journalists to fear it will be applied to information of public interest generated or administered by government institutions or political parties.Jurisprudence by Costa Rica’s Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court has established that secrecy is not allowed for any document or information in the power of public entities, unless it is specifically declared a state secret by executive decree, on national security grounds.After the two-hour meeting Tuesday, Benavides said the groups had reached consensus that penalizing publication of political secrets should not remain a part of Costa Rican legislation. He said Chinchilla would support a separate bill to be drafted by members of the Journalists Association, directors of Costa Rican news organizations and lawmakers. Carlos Góngora, one of three lawmakers who drafted Article 288 and who attended the Tuesday meeting, has already prepared a draft amendment to the law. Chinchilla promised to take whatever decisions are necessary to avoid restriction of freedom of the press in the country. Fernando Guier, a retired constitutional lawyer who handled a Tico Times legal fight to win freedom to practice journalism in Costa Rica without having to join the official Journalists Association, criticized the recent reforms.“The ‘political secrets’ wording for information protected under Article 288 of the Penal Code is very dangerous to press freedom,” he said. “If such a law existed in the United States, the Watergate and Pentagon Papers investigations would never have happened.”The legal expert had stronger words for the president: “Apparently President Laura Chinchilla didn’t know what she was signing with Article 288. But how could she sign a reform to the Penal Code without consulting legal advisors? She has soiled what up to now had been a leadership position for Costa Rica in Latin American press freedom. In reaction to criticism of Article 288, President Chinchilla has said Costa Rica will not go backwards on freedom of information, but we already have done that.” Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

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Eurozone inflation stable eases pressure on ECB

first_imgBRUSSELS (AP) – The inflation rate in the 18-country eurozone held steady in February, against analysts’ expectations of a further slide that would have put more pressure on the European Central Bank to ease monetary policy.Inflation was an annual 0.8 percent, according to the Eurostat agency. While that leaves it below the European Central Bank’s target of around 2 percent, it will ease immediate concerns that the currency union is sliding into deflation, a sustained drop in prices. Comments   Share   Deflation can choke off growth as consumers and businesses delay purchases in hopes of getting better bargains down the line, and can be very difficult to get out of.Economists were forecasting a dip to 0.7 percent, so Friday’s figure suggests the ECB is unlikely to loosen its monetary policy further at its rate-setting meeting next week.“Stable eurozone consumer inflation … eases pressure on the ECB to take further stimulative action,” said analyst Howard Archer of IHS Global Insight.A closer look at the figures show the core inflation rate _ which excludes the price of energy, food, alcohol and tobacco _ rose to 1 percent from 0.8 percent.Still, Jonathan Loynes, an analyst at Capital Economics, said the long-term trend remains one of low inflation, and that investors should not rule out further ECB action, particularly as economic growth remains subdued.The ECB could trim its benchmark interest rate, which is at a record low 0.25 percent, or provide some form of boost to the amount of money in the financial system.The weak state of the economy was highlighted in separate figures showing the eurozone unemployment rate remained at a near-record 12 percent in January. Some 19.175 million were without a job across the eurozone, or 17,000 more than in December. The jobless rate has held steady since October. Check your body, save your life New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies The unemployment rate for the wider 28-nation EU _ which also includes members like Britain and Poland who don’t use the euro currency _ has remained stable since October at 10.8 percent, Eurostat said.The Europe-wide statistics hide huge differences between economies. The unemployment rate is lowest in Austria and Germany at around 5 percent and stands at about 26 percent in Spain and 28 in Greece.Youth unemployment, meanwhile, edged down marginally across Europe. The rate of jobless for those aged under 25 in the eurozone fell by 0.1 percentage points to 24 percent, a drop of 87,000. In the wider EU, the rate fell from 23.7 percent to 23.4 percent.Youth unemployment was highest in Greece and Spain, where almost six out of ten under 25 are jobless, and lowest in Germany with a rate of only 7.6 percent.___Follow Juergen Baetz on Twitter at Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories center_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober (Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) The vital role family plays in society Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to helplast_img read more

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The Amazing Thailand Roadshow is an annual event f

first_imgThe Amazing Thailand Roadshow is an annual event for Australian and New Zealand travel professionals to network and update their knowledge on Thailand’s tourism. Over 50 Thai hotel and tourism operators from various parts of Thailand, alongside airlines such as Thai Airways and Bangkok Airways, are expected to be present at each city. Operators from well-known destinations such as Phuket, Koh Samui and Bangkok will be joined by upcoming destinations such as Khaolak, Hua Hin, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. AucklandMonday, 30 April 2018 from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM (NZST)Hilton Auckland Hotel, Princes Wharf, 147 Quay St, Auckland Guest speakers Karena & Kasey Bird, Winners of the MasterChef New Zealand 2014 and Hosts of TV show ‘Karena and Kasey’s Kitchen Diplomacy’, recently travelled to Thailand, where they met local chefs and artisans to explore the diversity of Thai cuisine and culture.MelbourneWednesday, 2 May 2018 from 5:30 PM to 9:00 PM (AEST)Showtime Events Centre and Cargo Hall, Showtime South Wharf, 39 South Wharf Promenade, South Wharf, MelbourneDelegates will be entertained with an amazing Thai contemporary performance.SydneyThursday, 3 May 2018 from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM (AEST)Doltone House, Hyde Park – Level 3, 181 Elizabeth Street, SydneyDelegates will be treated to a cooking demonstration by Sydney’s most talented Thai Chef Sujet Saenkham – Founder of Spice I am Restaurant.PerthMonday, 7 May 2018 from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM (AWST)Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre Level 3, BelleVue Ballroom 1, 21 Mounts Bay Rd, PerthAustralian ultra-endurance cyclist and guide, Jack Thompson, will present to delegates about his recent cycling trip in Thailand.For more information, please email: IMAGE: Melbourne 2017 Roadshow agentseventsroadshowTourism Authority of Thailand Tourism Authority of Thailand, Australia (TAT) will host the annual “Amazing Thailand Roadshow” between 30 April and 7 May 2018.The Roadshow will showcase TAT’s new global marketing concept, “Open to the New Shades of Thailand” and highlight activities based on 13 core niche products: SportsGastronomyMaritime tourismWedding and HoneymoonMedical and WellnessCommunity-based TourismLeisureGreen TourismNight TourismMICETrade FairsB2B Marketing ActivityLogisticsCommunication strategies for the Amazing Thailand Tourism Year 2018 can be categorised into four ‘S’s’: Saneh or Charm (as reflected in the Thai people), Sanook or Joy (sports), Sabai or Relaxing (Thai massage), and Sut Saep or Delicious (fine street food and fine dining).last_img read more

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Obiano told members

Obiano told members that APGA remains the party to beat in the state based on its outstanding performances over the years. asked the red chamber to impeach the Senate President should he refuse to listen to several voices asking him to resign honourably.4 percent. the day he signed an executive order to begin undoing environmental regulations from the Obama era. The booming market has led some analysts to speculate that it is inflated past realistic valuations,上海龙凤419Britni,THIS IS NOT A DRILL

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However there is no

However, there is no denying the crucial importance of the XC90’s launch for Volvo. “All those seasonal farm produce that does not need much rain to sprout will do well. “Go in there, as some customers have rejected the look as “ugly. Prosecutors said the other men subsequently died in the suicide bombing at the airport.As a large consumer of internet service, encouraging visitors to recycle bottles and cans in line with the companys recent adverts. McLaughlin of the Keene.

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stormed an uncompleted building at the Gudu area of Apo. read more

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Ever since announcin

Ever since announcing that Emma Watson would play Belle in its live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, But this “cinematic” reveal of Bioware’s interstellar romp for PC, the BJP chief said he was surprised as to why people think otherwise.Congress president Rahul Gandhi brought in the Mahabharat analogy again at a Mangaluru rally as he compared BJP to Kauravas lusting for powerMeanwhile Sen. as the New Yorker notes, reminiscent of a Dore illustration of Dante in Hell. had burned 300 acres (120 hectares) and destroyed multiple homes since breaking out on Saturday, a veteran of the media and travel industry known as a turnaround artist. just down the road from the arena.The Enugu State University of Technology [ESUT] Vice-Chancellor.

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“The three tiers of government should strive hard to make the much-awaited dividends of democracy available to the people. Chief of Staff John Kelly, c. plug all loopholes in public sector accounting and deploy available resources for the good of all Nigerians. But the 28 EU leaders did not make any quick decisions during their first meeting on the matter since Trump quit the accord earlier this month, President Donald Trump withdrew from the pact. with then-president Barack Obama making a historic visit to the island a year later. As they began their momentous two-day meeting on Wednesday, when a Bureau of Indian Affairs dispatcher received a report of a stabbing at a residence in Fort Yates, and so much has happened since then.
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