JD(U) frowns upon Dadri rally incident

first_imgBJP ally Janata Dal (United) on Monday said politicians sitting in high offices should not be seen in the vicinity of those facing serious criminal charges and that the ruling NDA must seek votes for the work of the Modi government in last five years.Reacting to reports about the presence of some of the Dadri lynching case accused in the front row of a public meeting addressed by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath at Bishahra village on Sunday, JD(U) spokesperson K.C. Tyagi said it was not a good signal to the masses.“People watch the association of those in public life. Politicians sitting in high offices should not be seen in the vicinity of those facing serious criminal charges,” he said.Mohammad Akhlaq was lynched in 2015 for allegedly keeping cow meat at his home in Bishahra.Reports said some of the accused facing murder charge in the case were in the front row of Mr. Adityanath’s election meeting.Plank of developmentMr. Tyagi said Mr. Modi had led the NDA to victory on the plank of development and that no attempt was made to sharpen social conflicts.“The NDA should seek votes for its development works in the last five years,” the JD(U) leader said.last_img read more

U.S. Science Laureate Bill Hits Roadblock

first_img Climate science skeptics have derailed a congressional proposal to create the honorary position of U.S. science laureate. But proponents haven’t abandoned the idea of giving someone a national platform to foster public understanding of science and serve as a role model.On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives was expected to give swift approval to a bill introduced this spring by a bipartisan coalition of legislators in both the House and the Senate. The legislation would allow the president to name not more than three laureates at a time to an unpaid position that could last up to 2 years. The idea was considered so innocuous that it was to be brought up under special rules requiring a two-thirds majority and allowing no amendments.The bill was never discussed in any committee, however, and Larry Hart of the American Conservative Union hit the roof when he saw it on the House calendar for the next day. (The Washington, D.C.-based group calls itself “the oldest and largest grassroots conservative organization in the nation.”) In a letter to other conservative organizations and every House member, Hart said the bill would give President Barack Obama the opportunity to appoint someone “who will share his view that science should serve political ends, on such issues as climate change and regulation of greenhouse gases.” He also called the bill “a needless addition to the long list of presidential appointments.”Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The House Republican leadership reacted immediately, pulling the bill from the floor schedule. Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) had introduced the bill along with Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX), who chairs the House science committee, and a House Democratic aide says “we had expected it to pass easily. It’s no secret that Ms. Lofgren and chairman Smith don’t see eye-to-eye on many things. But they agree on the value of creating this honorary position.”A staffer for another co-sponsor, Representative Randy Hultgren (R-IL), took issue with Hart’s characterization of the bill as a vehicle for the president to advance his political agenda. “This is not a presidential appointment, and there would be no taxpayer money involved,” the aide said. “This bill is simply a chance to show our children that discovery science is important and that science can be an exciting and rewarding career.”Supporters say the next step is to take the bill off its fast track and give legislators a chance to debate its merits. “The committee plans to mark up the bill this fall so that Members have an opportunity to offer amendments before reporting the bill back to the full House for consideration,” says a science committee aide. Proponents don’t expect the bill’s substance to change but are hoping that going through the normal process will smooth its passage. “It still seems like a pretty noncontroversial idea,” the Hultgren staffer says.But Hart says that he’d like the bill’s supporters to clarify several provisions, including the number of laureates, length of service, and type of duties they would perform. And climate skeptic Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute says slowing the pace won’t change his organization’s stance on the bill. “There’s no way to make it work,” Ebell says. “It would still give scientists an opportunity to pontificate, and we’re opposed to it.” Science/Wikimedia last_img read more

For the throne

first_imgIsn’t Wilder dangerous to boxing’s health? “Those tears … will get its real worth on our last day when the league is over, when we’re not playing with each other anymore,” said the graduating Rondina, the hyperactive league MVP who has been the spearhead of this spirited run to the Finals by University of Santo Tomas.What team will shed which tears? That will be known on Saturday, when the Tigresses battle the top-seeded Ateneo Lady Eagles looking for the upset that will rewrite the narrative of UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsThe clash, which starts at 3 p.m., was forged through the will of Ateneo’s vaunted wall: Skipper Bea de Leon, Maddie Madayag and Kat Tolentino.The three combined for 41 points as neither of them wanted their season to fade on the wrong end of a sweep. MOST READ PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess “We just went in the huddle [at the start of Game 2] and told ourselves we’re not down, it’s [going to be] 1-1. Stay positive,” De Leon said.Ateneo is expected to load the trio up on Rondina, the powerful spitfire on whose shoulders rests UST’s fate.But the Lady Eagles may also have to contend with rookie Eya Laure, the young and spunky Tigress who hopes to buck a rolled ankle to lead UST to victory.Laure hurt her left ankle when she stepped on Tolentino’s foot after a skirmish at the net and her brief departure—and gimpy return shortly—seemed to have sucked the fight out of the Tigresses.There was concern on the gravity of the injury, on whether Laure could suit up for the knockout duel. It was a concern Laure did not take long to dismiss.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too View commentscenter_img Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue There will be tears—this much, Sisi Rondina is sure of. Tears of glory, tears of the vanquished. Tears for all the years that will finally come to an end.ADVERTISEMENT Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport “You can count on me to come back for Game 3,” Laure said even before the gloom of the Game 2 defeat had dissipated. “There’s pain, but I don’t really think of it that much.”“I won’t quit that easily.”Neither will Rondina: “I know that we will recover. [Game 2] was just a bad game for us.”“We haven’t achieved our dream yet,” Laure added. We haven’t been defeated yet so in Game 3, we will give it our all.”Madayag, however, is confident Ateneo won’t simply roll over against a rookie-laden UST squad: “We’re tough to beat if we play happy and follow coach’s instructions.”Either way, only one team will emerge a worthy champion after Saturday’s showdown.And, for sure, there will be tears.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games messlast_img read more

Chris Ross blessed to be part of SEA Games pool, hopes to live up to expectations

first_imgMANILA, Philippines–Just last July, Chris Ross was offering to lend a hand to the national team’s cause.ADVERTISEMENT Becoming his own man Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Ethel Booba on SEA Games cauldron: ‘Sulit kung corrupt ang panggatong’ UEFA punishes Red Star for latest fan racism incident This jewelry designer is also an architect Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. DTI creates Marahuyo, a luxe Filipino fashion brand for global buyers “I could just walk. I can throw a rock and hit Meralco Gym,” he was quoted saying.In a chat with the Inquirer, Ross couldn’t contain his excitement.“It’s a blessing to even be mentioned with the other 14 guys!” said Ross an 8-time PBA champion with the vaunted Beermen. “I just hope I can live up to the expectations.”But Ross, who joins a bunch that also features prolific guards like World Cup veterans LA Tenorio and Asia’s two-time best point guard in Jayson Castro, stressed that he knows what exactly he is getting into.“I know that we will have very high expectations,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT P11-B loan for SEA Games hosting not an issue — Cayetanocenter_img View comments MOST READ Matteo Guidicelli had saved up for Sarah G’s ring since 2014? Canadian vaping study details danger from ‘popcorn lung’ chemical Duterte calls himself, Go, Cayetano ‘the brightest stars’ in PH politics Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games Two months later, he gets the opportunity to do just that.San Miguel Beer’s defensive specialist was named part of coach Tim Cone’s pool for the Southeast Asian Games, bringing Ross’ longtime dream of playing for the national team closer to reality.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGreatest ever?SPORTSBecoming his own manSPORTSFormer PBA import Anthony Grundy passes away at 40Ross, 34, joins teammates June Mar Fajardo, Marcio Lassiter, and Christian Standhardinger in a trimmed list that now features the Philippine Basketball Association’s crème de la crème.“Sometimes, they have eight or nine players … I can just walk over if they call me like 10 minutes before practice. I could just go if they didn’t have enough [men],” Ross candidly said in a previous interview with reporters. LATEST STORIESlast_img read more

AITA forms panel to tackle age fraud, but puts onus on parents

first_imgBy Amanpreet SinghNew Delhi, Nov 14 (PTI)The All India Tennis Association (AITA) has formed a three-member committee to tackle the issue of age manipulation, but has left the onus on the complainants to provide documentary evidence for proving fraud cases.It has been alleged by a number of parents that over-aged players compete at the National Championships, depriving genuine kids an opportunity to compete in a level-playing field.More than 50 parents had submitted a petition to the AITA during the hard court Nationals at the DLTA last month, demanding action against over-age players competing in different age groups.The AITA, at its recent executive committee, decided to form a committee and has named Puneet Gupta, PF Montes and Vivek Sharma as its members.However, a note by AITA says, “any complaint as regard to possible age manipulation is to be forwarded to this committee with relevant documentary evidence and a draft of Rs 2000/- as security, so that Committee can take further action”.When asked why the AITA has left it to the parents or any complainant to provide evidence, the federations secretary general Hironmoy Chatterjee said, “Its to ensure that only genuine complaints come up before us.””If we dont do this, every parent whose child will lose a match will come to us, complaining that the winner is overage. It will go on and we have endless complaints. We want only genuine complaints and we are ready to scrutinise them,” Chatterjee said.But the parents are not detectives who will find documentary evidence against the suspects. “They have to provide something to prove that so and so is overage and we will scrutinise the evidence which could be a different (fudged) birth certificate or any other document.”advertisementExplaining the rationale behind levying a fee of Rs 2000 on complainants, the AITA official said, “Its a tedious process. We have to pursue to the matter with competent authorities. And also it will act as a deterrent for frivolous complaints. Only genuine complaints will reach us by this.”The AITA had also written to the Sports Authority of India (SAI), seeking guidelines to tackle the menace.The National Sports Code (2011) has made provisions to tackle the issue and approved the guidelines, circulated via a letter by the then joint secretary Injeti Srinivas on November 25, 2009.The guidelines stipulated that the federation should resort to medical examination of an athlete whenever doubt arises with regard to the age of an athlete on account of his or her physical appearance, receipt of any complaint or any other valid ground, which should be duly communicated to the athlete.It further stated that the federation should ensure that the medical tests include physical examination, dental examination and radiological examination at a credible hospital, preferably government.If an athlete contest the findings of the medical test in question, it would be incumbent upon the federation to arrange for a re-examination, preferably at a reputed government hospital.In the event of a conclusive proof that an athlete has committed an age fraud, he or she should be banned from participating in any sporting event for a period of two years on the first detection and for five years on any subsequent detection.The guidelines also stipulated that the federation should conduct random verifications at regular intervals.The code is though silent on what should be done if the findings are challenged in the court and if the findings are set aside by the judiciary. PTI AT AH AHlast_img read more

Arsenal & Liverpool warned Lemar not for sale

first_imgTransfers Arsenal & Liverpool warned Monaco star Lemar not for sale Dejan Kalinic 08:39 1/30/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) ThomasLemar - Cropped Getty Images Transfers Arsenal Thomas Lemar Liverpool Monaco Ligue 1 The 22-year-old has been heavily linked to a move to the Premier League in recent transfer windows, but the Ligue 1 side will not be letting him go Monaco star Thomas Lemar is certain to stay with the Ligue 1 club until the end of the season, vice-president Vadim Vasilyev said.Lemar, 22, was the subject of a bid from Arsenal towards the end of the summer transfer period, agreeing a club-record £90 million deal on the final day, only for the midfielder to back out of it.Links to the Gunners and Liverpool have continued through to the January window, but Vasilyev said the France international was sure to remain with Monaco until the end of the campaign. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player “He will stay at Monaco until the end of the season at 100 per cent,” he told RMC.Vasilyev said even if his club received huge offers for Lemar, there was no chance they would sell in January.”If Liverpool or Arsenal come with a big offer before the end of the market? This is not relevant,” he said.”We will say no because the objectives are clear.”Without important players like Lemar, we will not succeed.”Lemar has provided five assists and scored two goals in the league this season. He is contracted to the club until June 2020.last_img read more

Matthew Hayden reacts to Sehwag’s babysitting ad: Never take the Aussies for a joke

first_imgMatthew Hayden reacts to Sehwag’s babysitting ad: Never take the Aussies for a jokeMatthew Hayden reacted to Virender Sehwag featuring in a TV commercial for India vs Australia series at home, where he can be seen babysitting kids in the Australian jersey.advertisement India Today Web Desk New DelhiFebruary 11, 2019UPDATED: February 12, 2019 03:23 IST Virender Sehwag was on babysitting duties in a TV commercial for the upcoming India-Australia series. (Screengrab from Star Sports YouTube)HIGHLIGHTSVirender Sehwag referred to Pant and Paine’s babysitting episode in TV commercial for India-Australia seriesMatthew Hayden made his own reference to the babysitting episodePant and Paine were involved in a fun banter during the India-Australia series Down UnderMatthew Hayden has warned Virender Sehwag and India about taking the Australian cricket team lightly as the two teams prepare to take on each other in a series in India, where two-Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) and five One-Day Internationals (ODIs) will be played, starting February 24.Ahead of the tour Virender Sehwag turned babysitter for a TV commercial about the series, making references to the Rishabh Pant-Tim Paine babysitting banter during India’s tour of Australia.In the advertisement for Star Sports, Sehwag can be seen with a bunch of kids wearing Australian jerseys, saying: “Jab hum Australia gaye the, toh unhone poocha tha babysitting karoge? Humne kahaa sabke sab aajaao. Zaroor karenge.”Now, former Australian cricketer Matthew Hayden has reacted to the advertisement by making reference to Australia being the current World Cup holders.”#BeWarned Never take Aussie’s for a joke Viru Boy @virendersehwag @StarSportsIndia Just remember who’s baby sitting the #WorldCup trophy,” Hayden tweeted.#BeWarned Never take Aussie’s for a joke Viru Boy @virendersehwag @StarSportsIndia Just remember who’s baby sitting the #WorldCup trophy https://t.co/yRUtJVu3XJMatthew Hayden AM (@HaydosTweets) February 11, 2019This babysitting anecdote began during the third day of the Boxing Day Test, when Australian captain and wicketkeeper Paine asked Pant, who was batting then: “Do you babysit? I can take my wife to the movies while you watch the kids.”When Pant got the chance in the following innings, he referred to Paine as the “temporary captain” and mocked him from behind the stumps.advertisementDuring Indian team’s New Year meet with Australian Prime Minister, Pant was pictured with Paine’s wife Bonnie and his kids and the photograph posted by Bonnie went viral.The joke went so viral that during the Sydney Test in January, the Bharat Army even dedicated a song to Babysitter Pant.The first T20I between India and Australia will be held on February 24 at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. The second will take place on February 27 at the Y.S. Rajashekhar Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam.The ODI series will begin on March 2 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad. Nagpur will host the second ODI on March 5 at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium.Ranchi’s JSCA International Stadium Complex will see the third ODI on March 8, followed by Mohali (March 10) and Delhi (March 13).For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Tags :Follow Matthew HaydenFollow Virender SehwagFollow India vs AustraliaFollow Cricketlast_img read more

Brokers Hyundai Heavy On a Roll

first_imgzoom South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has scooped several tanker orders over the past week, broker reports show, collecting contracts for up to seven ships.Greek shipowner Kyklades Maritime Corporation has reportedly ordered two firm plus two optional tankers of 319,000 dwt, Allied Shipbroking informed.The ships are valued at USD 81.5 million and will feature Tier II engines, according to the report.Two more tankers of the same size have been ordered by South Korean Sinokor Merchant Marine. The value of the deal is said to range between USD 83-84 million. As disclosed, the ships are expected to feature Tier III engines.Separately, Athens-based Olympic Shipping and Management S.A. exercised an option for one 319,000 dwt very large crude carrier at HHI, Asiasis said.The ordering tally could bring the total value of the contracts up to over USD 280 million if all options are exercised.Hyundai Heavy Industries hasn’t disclosed any information on the orders in question yet.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

Ban on plastic bags comes close to reality in a 3rd state

ALBANY, N.Y. — Gov. Andrew Cuomo and fellow Democrats who control the Legislature reached a deal Friday to make New York the third state with a ban on single-use plastic grocery bags as they worked to finalize budget agreements.The ban would prohibit grocery stores from providing plastic bags for most purchases, something California has been doing since a statewide ban was approved in 2016. Hawaii has an effective statewide ban, with all its counties imposing their own restrictions.Supporters of bans say they keep plastic bags from entering the environment and causing damage to ecosystems and waterways.“With this smart, multi-pronged action New York will be leading the way to protect our natural resources now and for future generations of New Yorkers,” Cuomo, who proposed a ban in his $175 billion budget proposal, said in a statement Friday.New York’s ban wouldn’t take effect until next March. The plan also calls for allowing local governments the option to impose a 5-cent fee on paper bags, with 3 cents going to the state’s Environmental Protection Fund and 2 cents kept by local governments.Environmental conservation advocates had also been pushing for a statewide fee for paper bags as a way to encourage wider consumer use of reusable bags.Nonetheless, Patrick McClellan, state policy director for the New York League of Conservation Voters, said his group was “thrilled” that the bag ban appears headed for passage.“Plastic bags pollute our waterways and streets, and both plastic and paper bags contribute to the solid waste crisis and cost taxpayers money,” he said. “While the best policy would be a ban on plastic bags coupled with a statewide fee on other disposable bags, this agreement represents a tremendous step forward.”Lawmakers are facing a Monday deadline on a budget agreement. Negotiations on other aspects of Cuomo’s proposed $175 billion spending plan are continuing Friday, with the Senate and Assembly expected to start passing budget bills Sunday ahead of the April 1 start of the state’s 2019-2020 fiscal year.Lawmakers have also agreed on a measure that would close two yet-to-be-determined state prisons. Cuomo announced last month he wanted to close three prisons because of the state’s declining inmate population.Cuomo and lawmakers also have agreed to congestion tolls to ease traffic in the busiest parts of Manhattan and fund transit improvements, but details are still being discussed.Negotiations are also continuing on a proposal to tax luxury second homes in Manhattan worth more than $5 million. One option would be similar to a traditional property tax and be paid annually; the other would be a one-time tax paid when the properties are sold.Revenue from the tax would go to transit.Other pending issues still being negotiated included criminal justice reform and public financing of political campaigns.Chris Carola And David Klepper, The Associated Press read more

Canada notes strength and depth of relationship with Sri Lanka

Addressing the members, the newly elected President Harith Jayasuriya, Director/Chief Marketing Officer, MAC Holdings (Pvt) Ltd thanked Chandev Abhayaratne, the outgoing President, for the immense contribution made towards the growth of Sri Lanka Canada Business Council during the last 2 years. Jayasuriya highlighted the Council’s main objectives as to promote Bilateral Trade, Investment, Technical & Economic Co-Operation, Tourism and Services between Sri Lanka and Canada. He further stressed the need for SLCBC to take leadership in promoting investment and trade initiatives between Sri Lanka and Canada.The AGM was followed by a networking reception for the local business community, stakeholders in the government and international organizations. The key note address of the evening was delivered by Ms. Jeevani Siriwardena, Director General of the Export Development Board (EDB) of Sri Lanka on the agreement between the EDB with Canada’s Trade Facilitation Office (TFO). TFO is a non-government organization in Canada working to source products from developing countries, such as Sri Lanka, and supporting small and medium scale enterprises. The presentation focussed on the nature of the agreement, opportunities such as market orientation programs and market visits, and how Sri Lankan companies can avail themselves of the benefits of the agreement. The High Commissioner of Canada, Shelley Whiting, speaking at the event stated that ‘the Sri Lanka Canada Business Council has been a longstanding partner of the High Commission in promoting Trade. I look forward to innovative initiatives that will showcase the Council’s activities in Sri Lanka and add value to its membership’. She further noted the strength and the depth of relationship between the two countries, the market potential in Sri Lanka and the country’s growth and the opportunities to further trade ties. Canada has noted the strength and the depth of its relationship with Sri Lanka.The High Commission of Canada, as Patron of the Sri Lanka Canada Business Council (SLCBC), hosted the 26th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the SLCBC. A key stakeholder in strengthening the existing bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and Canada, the SLCBC operates under the aegis of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and engages with the High Commission of Canada to further enhance trade ties between the two countries. The membership of the Sri Lanka Canada Business Council is comprised of approximately 60 companies across diverse sectors such as logistics and tourism, imports, exports, manufacturing and services amongst many others. The primary focus of the Council is to facilitate trade between Sri Lanka and Canada, encourage partnerships, exchange of information between the two countries and promote investments. The Business Council also engages with partner organizations in Canada to promote the socio-economic conditions in Sri Lanka.The event is supported by the Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) of the Canadian High Commission in Sri Lanka. The TCS is the Canadian government’s network of Trade professionals that promotes Canadian goods and services, facilitates innovation and R&D, as well as builds networks between Sri Lanka and Canada. read more

Independence of media stressed as UN observes World Press Freedom Day

Eminent writers and reporters gathered at United Nations Headquarters in New York today to observe World Press Freedom Day, which Secretary-General Kofi Annan said provided an opportunity for everyone to reaffirm their commitment to the independence of the media and ensure that journalists are able to do their vital work in safety and without fear.”World Press Freedom Day is first and foremost a day on which we remember and pay tribute to journalists who have been killed in the line of duty, or whose reporting has led to their imprisonment or detention,” Mr. Annan said in remarks kicking off a day devoted to discussions on the role and responsibilities of the world media in covering global issues.Drawing on “painful and disturbing” statistics, he said that 36 journalists had been killed in 2003, 17 killed in the first three months of this year alone, and 136 had been jailed by the end of last year. Some of those journalists were deliberately targeted because of what they were reporting or because of their affiliation with a news organization, he added.A sombre highlight of the programme was a screening of director Jonathan Demme’s film “The Agronomist,” which tells the story of Haitian journalist Jean Dominique who ran the country’s first independent radio station, Radio Haiti-Inter, and became a national hero championing the cause of the poor and powerless. Mr. Dominique’s fight for democracy was cut short when he was assassinated in 2000.Mr. Annan said that although journalists have been resolute in the face of hostility and danger, “the continuing threat to their personal and professional integrity must concern all of us who rely on the media as an agent of free expression, as a defender of human rights, as an instrument of development, and as a means of rousing the world’s conscience.”This year, World Press Freedom Day is also focusing on the “very contentious issue of what gets reported and what doesn’t,” Mr. Annan said. “Just as it should not take the collapse of a state for the international community to act, so it should not take a full-fledged crisis to attract the media spotlight. We should not, by our action or inaction, by what we report or do not, send a message – especially to those countries and people in need who struggle along in good faith – that only widespread bloodshed or total dysfunction will get them attention and help.”In that context, Shashi Tharoor, Under Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, moderated a panel discussion on “Reporting and Under-reporting: Who Decides?” with participants representing the media, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the United Nations.The panel follows last Friday’s release of a list of “Ten Stories the World Should Know More About,” that are, as Mr. Tharoor said last week, “compelling stories that, at this point in time, we believe are in need of more media attention.”Along with conflict situations, the list draws attention to the threat of over-fishing, to the plight of AIDS orphans and to a treaty now in the works to promote the rights of persons with disabilities, who now number roughly one out of every ten people on earth.Opening the daylong programme, Ambassador Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury of Bangladesh, Chairman of the UN Committee on Information, said the world should celebrate freedom of the press because first, it reminded Member States that democracy and development suffered when journalists were too severely constrained. Second, its observation bettered the international community since press freedom was linked to many other equally important rights. And finally, it kept alive the idea that there was still “a long way to go” before press freedom was ensured throughout the world.Meanwhile, the Acting High Commissioner for Human Rights, Bertrand Ramcharan, issued a statement in Geneva stressing that freedom of expression was fundamental for the promotion and protection of all human rights. “The extent to which this freedom is respected or violated is like a barometer, indicating how well countries abide by their human rights obligations in general,” he said.”On this World Press Freedom Day,” he said, “we must not only remember those who have fallen and been targeted for doing their job. We must also ensure that although they have been silenced, millions of other voices, dissonant and dissenting as they may be, will continue to be heard to denounce, inform, report, and educate freely.” Video of the event [2hrs]Listen to UN Radio report read more

Funding shortfall threatens 200000 Darfur refugees with hunger UN warns

Just days after warning that a drastic shortage of money will force it to cut rations to more than 1 million people hit by fighting in Sudan’s Darfur region, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has added a further 200,000 refugees who fled to neighbouring Chad to the list of those facing hunger without new donations.“We need food now,” WFP Chad Country Director Stefano Porretti said, appealing for $87 million in food aid to cover needs in refugee camps of eastern Chad until the end of next year.“With the rains only a matter of two or three months away, it is absolutely imperative that we move food to the places where it will be needed later this year. This process has already begun but is far from complete,” he said, noting that prior stockpiling is vital since road transport becomes impossible across most of the region during the rains.Under a revision of its current emergency operation, WFP will also be assisting over 150,000 Chadian nationals as well as providing for the possibility that an additional 150,000 people could cross the border from Darfur if the conflict continues.Last Wednesday the agency announced that starting in May it would have to cut by half the non-cereal part of the daily ration it provides for more than 1 million people in Darfur itself, a last resort to help stretch current food supplies through the critical months of July and August – the traditional lean period when food needs become most acute.Tens of thousands people have been killed and more than 2 million others uprooted in Darfur in the past two years in fighting between Government, militia and rebel forces, originally sparked in part by local calls for a greater share in economic development for the western part of Africa’s largest country. read more

Lebanon UN observer teams in line of fire in south to relocate

The decision was made to move members of the Observer Group Lebanon (OGL) from patrol bases in the Marwahin and Markaba area into more secure UNIFIL positions as the mission reports increasingly intense exchanges of fire along the Blue Line of withdrawal between Israel and Lebanon. There were two direct hits on its bases in the past 24 hours from the Israeli side, and Hezbollah fired from the vicinity of five of its positions.Beside the fatal attack on the patrol base at Khiyam, a military observer was seriously wounded by Hezbollah small arms fire on Sunday, and Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jane Holl Lute told the Security Council on Wednesday that observers may need to be consolidated to minimize further risk.Despite the risks, however, all other UNIFIL positions remain occupied and maintained by its troops, the mission said, adding that the number of troops in some Ghanaian battalion positions is somewhat reduced due to frequent incidents of Hezbollah firing and Israeli bombardment in their vicinity.With the mandate of UNIFIL expiring in three days, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in his most recent report that the upsurge in violence since 12 July had “radically changed the context” in which the mission operates and he recommended its mandate be renewed only for another month while all possible options for southern Lebanon are worked out. Before the recent violence, the Lebanese Government had called for a six-month extension of UNIFIL’s mandate, but Mr. Annan wrote that currently the “circumstances conducive to United Nations peacekeeping do not exist.” Council members yesterday received a draft resolution, submitted by France, for the one-month extension.Meanwhile, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations has organized, for Monday, a technical-level meeting for potential troop contributors to a possible stabilization force in Lebanon, which had been proposed by Mr. Annan and British Prime Minister Tony Blair early in the current crisis and which has been slowly gaining acceptance among the international community as the carnage grinds on.However, speaking to reporters at UN Headquarters today, Mr. Annan said that he could not expect States to make commitments to the new force until a political agreement is reached. Until that time, he reiterated his call for an immediate cessation of violence to end the horrific toll on civilians. read more

UN rights expert urges DPR Korea authorities to spend less on military

“I continue to be concerned with both the human rights and humanitarian situation in the country,” the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the DPRK, Marzuki Darusman, told reporters ahead of his briefing to the General Assembly. He added that it is very concerning that some 16 million people in the DPRK – of a total population of 25 million – continue to suffer from varying degrees of chronic food insecurity and high malnutrition. It is also disconcerting, said Mr. Darusman, that the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, has declared that his first, second and third priorities were to strengthen the military. “Slow economic growth coupled with what is known as a ‘military first policy’ will of course be detrimental to the welfare of the people of the DPRK,” the Special Rapporteur stated. The expert urged the Government to re-think its approach to the ‘military-first policy’ and re-allocate enough resources to improve people’s living standards. At the same time, he stressed the need for the international community to provide continued humanitarian support to the people of the DPRK without making the support contingent on any political conditions. “Overall, during this reporting period, there was no sign of improvement in the human rights situation in the DPRK,” stated Mr. Darusman, who has not been granted access to the country, despite repeated requests, since his appointment in August 2010. In his report to the Assembly, he focused on freedom of opinion and expression, provisions of the criminal procedure code that are not in line with international standards, the case of Mr. Oh Kil-nam and his family, the situation of asylum-seekers and trafficking of persons, and the economic situation of the people of the DPRK and its impact on economic, social and cultural rights.Among his recommendations, Mr. Darusman emphasized the need for the Government to ensure the overall protection and promotion of human rights in the country as provided under international human rights instruments, and to cooperate with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). The independent expert also stressed that “egregious” human rights abuses in the DPRK have been extensively documented by various actors, including UN entities, for decades. “I wish to call on States and the international community to undertake a comprehensive review of the relevant documents, to assess the underlying patterns and trends, and to consider setting up a more detailed mechanism of inquiry,” he said.Independent experts, or special rapporteurs like Mr. Darusman, are appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a country situation or a specific human rights theme. The positions are honorary and the experts are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work. read more

After migrant catastrophe in Mediterranean UN urges robust rescue operations

In a press release issued earlier this morning, UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres said he was “deeply shocked” at the capsizing of an overcrowded double-deck boat on 13 April in waters 120 kilometres south of Italy’s Lampedusa Island.According to UNHCR, 142 people have been rescued by Italian authorities while eight bodies have also been recovered. 400 others are still missing and feared dead.“This only demonstrates how important it is to have a robust rescue-at-sea mechanism in the central Mediterranean,” Mr. Guterres said. “Unfortunately Mare Nostrum was never replaced by an equivalent capacity to rescue people, and at the same time the legal avenues for those who need protection to be able to come Europe.”Italy’s ‘Mare Nostrum,’ a major search and rescue programme aimed at saving migrants in the Mediterranean, was replaced in December by the European Union’s current ‘Triton’ operation amid an uptick in sea crossings in the region. 2015, in fact, has already seen some 31,500 people make crossings to Italy and Greece – the first and second largest countries of arrival respectively. UNHCR has reported that numbers have also been recently picking up as weather conditions in the Mediterranean improve. “For all those in need of protection it is very important to increase the number of resettlement opportunities, humanitarian admission opportunities, to have a more flexible visa policy, to have enhanced family reunification programmes, and to have an effective mechanism to rescue people at sea in the central Mediterranean,” the UNHCR chief added. The UN refugee agency has been advocating for a comprehensive and urgent response from the European Union and shared specific proposals including the establishment of a possible scheme to compensate shipping companies involved in rescuing people at sea, increasing credible legal alternatives to dangerous voyages and a pilot relocation programme for Syrians refugees arriving in Italy and Greece. Speaking from Doha, Qatar, where he is presiding over the 13th UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, Yury Fedotov, the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), added that it was unacceptable that migrants continued to die “in spite of our efforts.”“It is a crime that needs to be addressed,” Mr. Fedotov told the UN in an exclusive interview. “We need to protect the rights of migrants, we need to support them; we need to protect women and especially children.”He said that it is an urgent priority to introduce measures to protect the human rights of smuggled migrants in accordance with the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air.”Mr. Fedotov also stressed that the international community should confront the criminals and break up their networks. “This means cooperation among nations, inter-governmental organizations and civil society must be strengthened,” he said. read more

Next round of IntraSyrian talks planned for 13 April – UN envoy

Speaking to the media today, UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said that between now and then, he plans to visit Damascus and Teheran – and perhaps Amman and Beirut on the way– as well as to meet some Turkish and Saudi authorities in Europe.“Frankly the next round of the intra-Syrian talks need to be quite concrete in the direction of a political process leading to a real beginning of a political transition,” he said, adding: “Now since this is real stuff, I need to verify the international and regional stakeholders’ position in order to see how is the level of positive critical mass leading to concrete results in the next round of talks.”In the Syrian capital, Damascus, he plans to meet the Foreign Minister and the Deputy Foreign Minister, but has no appointment to see President Bashar al-Assad. The main purpose of the trip is to see whether there is “a critical understanding, or mass, of what could be a framework of a political transition,” Mr. de Mistura said, citing that the cessation of hostilities took place because “there was, at a certain point, a critical mass on which we could work on.”Also briefing the press on humanitarian aid delivery, Jan Egeland, Special Advisor to Mr. de Mistura, said that “April was supposed to be our best month,” but “it’s not looking so.”“So far I am disappointed and disheartened at what we achieved over the last week,” he said, noting that five convoys were not able to go for the last four days, and as a result, 287,000 people didn’t get the relief in hard-to-reach areas or in besieged areas.He said that despite a new procedure that a permission will be issued within seven days and the final clearance will be given within another three days, four of the five were not given facilitation letters by the Government, and the other was blocked by some of the armed opposition groups.With a major vaccination campaign entering into its intensive phase, he noted that there are problems in many places, urging the Government and the armed opposition groups not to stop volunteers and health workers who are to vaccinate millions of children for epidemic diseases.“One positive thing” is that in the very near future, up to 500 wounded, sick and their relatives will be evacuated from the four towns, Madaya, Zabadani, Foah and Kefraya, he said. “It’s one of the biggest medical evacuations that have been planned.” read more

Stokes arrested over Bristol incident

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedEngland’s Ben Stokes pleads not guilty in nightclub incidentMarch 12, 2018In “Sports”Ben Stokes and Alex Hales cleared for West Indies tour after CDC verdictDecember 7, 2018In “latest news”England all-rounder Stokes charged with affrayJanuary 15, 2018In “Sports” He made his Test debut on the 2013-14 tour of Australia, when England were whitewashed 5-0, and was appointed Joe Root’s vice-captain earlier this year. One of England’s most important players, Stokes has produced a series of increasingly mature performances this summer, with bat and ball.Hales, England’s first-choice white-ball opener, has been capped in all formats and was considered an outside bet for Ashes selection.Eoin Morgan, England’s limited-overs captain, said that he was informed about what had happened on Monday. “Ben and Alex will be unavailable for tomorrow’s games, so there are two positions up for grabs,” he said. “It has been a bit of a distraction but this game is about winning the series.”England’s 124-run victory in Bristol put them 2-0 up in the five-match series, with two to play. The absence of Hales is likely to mean a recall at opener for Jason Roy, while Jake Ball or Tom Curran could come in for Stokes – although neither provides the same all-round option. Ben Stokes ( SportsMax image)(ESPNcricinfo) Ben Stokes, England’s Test vice-captain, has been arrested after an incident in Bristol during the early hours of Monday morning. Stokes spent the night in prison but was released without charge. His team-mate Alex Hales was also present and both have been suspended for Wednesday’s ODI against West Indies.The incident happened after England’s victory during the third ODI against West Indies on Sunday, in which Stokes scored 73. Somerset and Avon police confirmed that a 26-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm – an offence which carries a maximum prison sentence of five years – while another man was taken to hospital with facial injuries.Neither Stokes nor Hales was present at The Oval for training ahead of the fourth match of the series. Hales has returned to Bristol to assist police with their inquiries. The news comes less than 24 hours before England’s Ashes squad to tour Australia was due to be announced.An ECB statement said: “Ben Stokes and Alex Hales will not be available for tomorrow’s one-day international match against West Indies at The Oval.“Stokes was arrested in the early hours of Monday morning, 25 September, following an incident in Bristol. He was held overnight and released under investigation – without charge – late on Monday and will not join the team in London.“Hales, who was with Stokes on Sunday night, did not train this morning and has returned voluntarily to Bristol today to help police with their enquiries.”Stokes was released from police custody on Monday. Andrew Strauss, England’s director of cricket, added: “I went to see Ben last night down in Bristol. I will be addressing players this afternoon after practice. We will obviously be launching our own investigation into the circumstances surrounding this. The Ashes selection will be going ahead on form and fitness as planned.”Somerset and Avon Police said they had been called to a scene of “disorder in the Queens Road/Clifton Triangle area at around 2.35am” on Monday. In a statement appealing for witnesses, they said: “A 27-year-old man suffered facial injuries and was taken to Bristol Royal Infirmary for treatment. A 26-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm and has since been released under investigation while enquiries continue.”Stokes has faced disciplinary action over his behaviour before. In 2012, he was arrested on a night out and received a caution from the police; then in 2013, he was sent home from an England Lions tour over late-night drinking. He also put himself out of the 2014 World T20 after breaking his hand when punching a locker. read more

Op Ed PPP delivered its pre1992 promise of Constitutional Reform

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedTeixeira, another PPP member wanted to dilute Presidential term limits – RamkarranJuly 13, 2015In “Politics”LETTER: Opposition has rightfully challenged the President’s power on GECOM appointmentOctober 31, 2017In “latest news”Op Ed: A Jaundiced JeffreyMarch 2, 2018In “Opinion” By: Mohabir Anil Nandlall, MPAttorney-at-Law Last week, the Stabroek news (2018.02.24) published a letter by Vishnu Bisram under the caption “Jagan and the PPP broke their promise to revoke the Burnham Constitution”. This letter provides me with the opportunity to address a falsehood that has been peddled with alarming frequency by a misguided few.Bisram wrote, “Jagan made a commitment in 1992 before the first democratic election was held that should he win the Presidency, his first act would be to replace the constitution. Jagan and the PPP broke their promise. …Nandlall and his colleagues, including Bharrat Jagdeo and Frank Anthony, are on record as supporting the Burnham constitution.”I am indeed, disappointed that a person of Bisram’s political acumen and academic stature would make such careless statements. Neither Dr. Cheddi Jagan,  nor the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) promised to “revoke” the 1980 “Burnham Constitution”. Neither was there a promise to do so as a “first act” of Government. Anyone familiar with constitutional workings would know that either of those promises would have been reckless to make because they are both, practically and politically, nearly impossible to deliver. Revoking a Constitution is a highly technical, financially exorbitant and time-consuming process and it would have been politically suicidal for the PPP to attempt any such thing as its first act of Government after the 1992 elections, having regard to the charged political environment pervading at the time. More on this will have to be the subject of an article set aside for that purpose.Prior to the 1992 elections, what Dr. Jagan and the PPP promised was “constitutional reform” with emphasis on the reduction of the heavy concentration of power in the Executive, generally and the President, specifically. As soon as it became reasonably possible, the PPP commenced a course of action designed to deliver on this promise. Thus, in 1994, a Constitutional Reform Committee of the National Assembly was established, headed by then Attorney General, Mr. Bernard DeSantos SC. Unfortunately, before this Committee could have completed its work, the life of that Parliament came to an end. Then came the 1997 elections.  The PPP’s victory at the polls brought about widespread protests, burning, looting and street violence instigated by the PNC. An intervention by Caricom produced the Herdmanston Accord which embraced constitutional reform.Constitutional Reform CommissionIn consequence, by an Act of Parliament, piloted by the PPP Government in 1999, a most broad based Constitutional Reform Commission was legally established. This Commission comprised of the political parties, the religious organisations, the private sector, the labour movement, ethnic based organisations, women’s organisations, Amerindian organisations, farmer’s organisations and important civil society stakeholder organisations such as the Guyana Bar Association. Significantly, this Commission was endowed with an unfettered statutory mandate to review the Constitution in its entirety. In the discharge of this mandate, it was empowered to consult “…within the widest possible geographical area, with as many persons, groups, communities, organisations and institutions as possible including, but not restricted to, religious and cultural organisations, political parties, youth organisations, high school and university students, women’s organisations, private sector organisations, professional bodies and the media.” Ralph Ramkarran S.C. chaired this Commission and Haslin Parris was its secretary.I pause here to point out that the PPP did not seek to monopolize nor dominate this initiative, but rather,magnanimously, delegated it to a multiple-partisan body, vested with an untrammelled mandate to consult with all and sundry across the length and breadth of Guyana with a view of reviewing the Constitution in its entirety. It is difficult to conceive a more effectual and exigent mechanism, which could have been fashioned in order to deliver Dr. Jagan and the PPP’s promise of reform to the 1980 Constitution.This Commission worked for over two years and produced over 200 recommendations, which were culled, refined and crystallised into over 180 amendments that were all incorporated into the 1980 Constitution.A distillation of these recommendations and consequential amendments can be summarized thus: there were formidable diminution of executive powers, including the powers and immunities of the President; there was a discernible devolution of most of these powers to the Legislature, the Political Opposition and other agencies of State, including, the Local Democratic Organs; there was expansions of the powers of Parliament and the establishment of a series of checks and balances to increase scrutiny of the executive’s exercise of power and an appreciable augmentation of civil liberties and human rights.It would be impossible for me to elaborate on or even list the reforms made. Nevertheless, I will highlight only a few.Presidential PowersIn terms of the Executive President, the controversial immunities with which the President was endowed for acts committed after he demitted office, were removed and what now exists is a compendium of immunities, which most Heads of State throughout the Commonwealth enjoy. The power which a President enjoyed to dissolve a Parliament, moving to remove him from office was excised and the number of votes required to move a Motion of that type in the National Assembly was reduced. The powers which the President had to unilaterally appoint a Chancellor of the Judiciary, a Chief Justice and a Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) are now shared with the Leader of the Opposition. The power that the President hitherto enjoyed to unilaterally appoint members of all the Service Commissions is now shared with the National Assembly and the Leader of the Opposition. The President is now mandated to act upon the recommendations of the Service Commissions. A discretionary power, which existed before has been removed. A two-term limit has been imposed on the Presidency. In most of the important constitutional appointments where the President enjoys the power of appointment, he is mandated to engage in “meaningful consultation” with the Leader of the Opposition and “meaningful consultation” is now defined by the Constitution, itself.In terms of Parliament, an Opposition, now for the first time, can remove a Government by virtue of a no confidence Motion. Standing Committees in the Parliament have been constitutionalized. The National Assembly now recommends persons to be appointed on the various Service Commissions and on the Rights Commissions established by these constitutional amendments. The fiscal autonomy and independence of a number of institutions of the state, including the Judiciary, the Auditor General Office and a host of other State “watchdog” agencies have been constitutionalized. An independent Elections Commission, differently constituted, has been established. A modified electoral system was promulgated with greater geographic representation.Democratic PolityIn terms of individual rights, the fundamental rights and freedoms section of the Constitution was expanded and new rights introduced. For example: the right to work, the right to pension and gratuity, equality for women, indigenous peoples rights, the right to establish private schools etc., have all been made fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual. All international treaties dealing with human rights to which Guyana is a signatory, were to some extent incorporated and made part of our Constitution and those charged with the responsibilities of interpreting the human rights embraced by the Constitution, are mandated to take into account the provisions of these international treaties. None of these were in the 1980 Constitution. The Rights Commission for example: the Indigenous People Commission, the Woman and Gender Equality Commission, the Human Rights Commission, the Rights of the Child Commission, were all established under these amendments. So was the Public Procurement Commission.The above is by no means exhaustive but it provides a fleeting insight into some of the changes, which were made to the 1980 Constitution. These changes, cumulatively, have immeasurably, liberalised the democratic polity, enhanced the juridical structure and augment the human tights content of the Constitution rendering it radically different from the 1980 document. Therefore those who continue to propagate the view that the PPP did not change the 1980 Constitution and that the 1980 Constitution is alive, are not speaking from a position of knowledge, but are parroting the views of the uninitiated.Should there be more changes? Of course! Constitutional reform, like life and society, is an ongoing and evolutionary process. As an organic document, a Constitution must always remain fluid and dynamic, ready to adapt to the vicissitudes and exigencies of the evolving society in which it operates. read more

Firefighters battle huge blaze at abandoned Drogheda mill

first_img Mar 15th 2019, 7:28 PM Updated Mar 15th 2019, 7:28 PM FIREFIGHTERS ARE TACKLING a blaze at an abandoned mill in Drogheda, Co Louth this evening. The fire broke out at the former Donaghy’s Mill in the town. The building has been abandoned for a number of years. Videos from the scene show firefighters tackling the blaze. Local TD Fergus O’Dowd tweeted pictures from the scene. “Donaghys Mill abandoned for many years now totally engulfed in flames,” he said.  Firefighters battle huge blaze at abandoned Drogheda mill The fire broke out at the former Donaghy’s Mill in the town. 25,206 Views Short URL 31 Comments https://jrnl.ie/4545626 center_img Share185 Tweet Email Friday 15 Mar 2019, 7:28 PM Another listed building which stood for 200 plus years destroyed.A listing for the mill on An Táisce’s website said that it was suffering from neglect and that the level of risk surrounding it was high.    By Cormac Fitzgerald Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Ampoules à basse consommation leur teneur en mercure inquiète

first_imgAmpoules à basse consommation : leur teneur en mercure inquièteLa Commission européenne envisage toujours l’interdiction progressive des ampoules à incandescence classique au profit des ampoules à basse consommation. Mais la teneur en mercure de ces ampoules inquiète plusieurs députés européens.La Commission européenne estime que l’inquiétude des députés concernant le mercure contenu par les ampoules à basse consommation est exagérée, rapporte l’AFP. Des députés allemands ont même demandé à ce que l’interdiction des ampoules “classiques” soit levée. C’est le cas d’Herbert Reul qui estime que “sous la pression de la folie climatique, on a poussé une interdiction à la va-vite” de ces ampoules.À lire aussiLa NASA dévoile d’éblouissantes images du transit de Mercure devant le SoleilEn effet, les ampoules à basse consommation peuvent s’avérer dangereuses si elles se cassent. Elles libèreraient alors le mercure qu’elles contiennent, un métal lourd extrêmement nocif. En cas de bris d’une ampoule à basse consommation, le seuil de 0,35 microgrammes de mercure par mètre cube, seuil toléré légalement, peut être instantanément multiplié par 20. L’Office allemand qui a publié ce test invite les consommateurs à acheter en priorité des ampoules protégées par une coque en plastique.Mais la Commission européenne estime que les éléments scientifiques dont elle dispose ne vont pas dans ce sens. Le comité d’experts qui ont étudié la question a conclu que le “bris accidentel d’ampoule à basse consommation ne devrait pas poser de risque pour la santé des adultes”. Mais en ce qui concerne les enfants, aucune donnée n’est rapportée.Si rien ne change, les ampoules à incandescence de 60, de 75 et de 100 watts seront interdites en septembre 2011 et, un an plus tard, celles de 25 et de 40 watts.Le 27 décembre 2010 à 17:03 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more