Cashstrapped Pakistan inks deal with ADB to get 34 bn

first_imgIslamabad: Pakistan will get a loan of USD 3.4 billion from the Asian Development Bank for budgetary support, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s adviser on finance has said as the cash-strapped country tries to overcome a ballooning balance-of-payments crisis that threatens to cripple its economy. Of the total amount, USD 2.1 billion would be released within a year of the agreement between the ADB and the finance ministry, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Khusro Bakhtiar was quoted as saying by Dawn. Also Read – Merkel warns UK Brexit deal ‘unlikely’ without compromise: LondonThe loan from the Philippines-headquartered global finance institution was “on a concessional rate”, the minister said. Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said on Twitter that the ADB will provide USD 3.4 billion to Pakistan for budgetary support. “USD 2.2 billion will be released this fiscal year (FY), starting in the first quarter of FY 2019-20. This will help the reserve position and the external account,” he said in a tweet. Also Read – India, China should jointly uphold peace and stability, resolve disputes through dialogues: Chinese ambassadorADB’s Director General Werner Leipach and its country director Xiaohong Yang called on Shaikh and discussed with him matters relating to ADB’s upcoming operations in Pakistan, the finance ministry said in a statement. “The director general (Leipach) briefed the adviser that in addition to strong project portfolio, the bank is also keen to provide balance of payments financing to support the government of Pakistan’s structural reform agenda,” according to the statement. Pakistan seeks help to overcome a ballooning balance of payments crisis. Last month, it reached an agreement in principle with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a three-year, USD 6 billion bailout package aimed at shoring up its finances and strengthening a slowing economy. The ADB financing would come on top of the IMF loan. In April, three influential US lawmakers urged the Trump adminstration to oppose the proposed multi-billion bailout package being sought by Pakistan from the IMF arguing it could be used to repay the Chinese debt. Chine is investing heavily in Pakistan under the USD 60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Launched in 2015, CPEC is a planned network of roads, railways and energy projects linking China’s resource-rich Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region with Pakistan’s strategic Gwadar Port on the Arabian Sea.last_img read more

Iran begins using advanced centrifuges violating deal

first_imgTehran: Iran said Saturday it has fired up advanced centrifuges to boost its enriched uranium stockpiles, in the latest scaling back of commitments under a crumbling 2015 nuclear deal. The country’s Atomic Energy Organisation said, however, that it would honour commitments to give UN inspectors access to monitor its nuclear sites. Three European countries — Britain, France and Germany — have been engaged in talks to try to rescue the 2015 deal that gave Iran relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear programme. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USTensions have been escalating between Iran and the United States since May last year when President Donald Trump pulled out of the accord and began reimposing sanctions that have crippled its economy. The arch-foes were on the cusp of confrontation in June when Iran downed a US drone and Trump ordered retaliatory strikes before cancelling them at the last minute. On Saturday, Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation said it had activated 20 IR-4 and 20 IR-6 centrifuges as its latest step back in rolling back its commitments. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls”The centrifuge machines, as they are engaged in research and development, will help with increasing the stockpile,” said the agency’s spokesman, Behrouz Kamalvandi. “The capacity of these machines is many times more than the previous machines. This started as of yesterday (Friday),” he told a news conference in Tehran. Under the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran was allowed to enrich uranium using only first generation — or IR-1 — centrifuges. US Defence Secretary Mark Esper said he was “not surprised that Iran has announced that it’s going to violate the JCPOA”. “It’s no surprise that the Iranians are going to pursue what the Iranians have always intended to pursue,” he said in Paris. Kamalvandi said Iran would allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to continue monitoring its nuclear programme, as it has done under the 2015 accord. “Regarding the monitoring and accesses of the IAEA… so that everything is clear (Iran’s) commitments regarding transparency will be followed as before,” the spokesman said. The European Union on Friday emphasised its reliance on the UN nuclear watchdog to monitor Iran’s activities as it voiced “great concern” over the country’s decision to roll back its commitments. The IAEA in its latest report, on August 30, said it continues to verify compliance through cameras and on-site inspections. But in an apparent hint at worries about access it said “ongoing interactions… require full and timely cooperation by Iran”. The latest move by Iran came after EU members Britain, France and Germany were unable to find a way to offset the impact of sanctions on the country before a September 7 deadline set by the Islamic republic. “If Europe wants to do something, it must hurry, because returning to the situation before reducing commitments could take time,” Kamalvandi said. Tehran has already hit back twice with countermeasures in response to the US withdrawal from the 2015 deal. On July 1, Iran said it had increased its stockpile of enriched uranium to beyond the 300-kilogram maximum set by the deal. A week later, it announced it had exceeded a 3.67-percent cap on the purity of its uranium stocks. On Saturday, however, Iran indicated it had no plans to step up the enrichment of uranium to higher levels. “We currently do not need 20 percent enrichment, and if we do so at some time, we will first increase the 4.5 percent stockpile and then act,” said Kalamvandi. The announcement came on the eve of a visit to Iran by the acting head of the IAEA, Cornel Feruta. Kamalvandi said Feruta would meet the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation, Ali Akbar Salehi, and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.last_img read more

Seniors seek more housing as demand grows

first_imgFORT ST JOHN, B.C. – Save our Northern Seniors says Fort St. John needs more beds to provide for the growing senior community.Currently, there are 40 people waiting for beds for serious and extended care facilities and the demand continues to grow and there is no space available to accommodate them.SONS continues to push for another facility that can provide more space and care for seniors.At the Peace River Regional District Meeting where SONS made a presentation regarding the urgency of this matter.  Director, Jim Collins said they have achieved their goal once with a successful campaign to have more housing built and “are ready to do it again and hopefully for the last time,”Mayor Lori Ackerman acknowledges the need and shared, “this is not off the table.” All facilities that are focused on the care and well being of seniors are currently at capacity with substantial waitlists. This means if a situation arises that one of these people require further care then they currently have access to, that person ends up in the Hospital.Fort St. John, has 167 at home patients that heavily rely on their appointed windows of help from home support nurses and caregivers. There is demand as more retiring people are choosing to stay in the area and the demand will only further increase.last_img read more

Sri Lanka wants practical steps taken to face chemical terrorism

Referring to two instances of recent success in chemical weapons disarmament, Ambassador Sadiq conveyed Sri Lanka’s appreciation to the Russian Federation for completing the destruction of its entire declared stockpile of chemical weapons, which, he said was a significant victory for the entire international community. He also welcomed the completion of the destruction of Libya’s remaining Category 2 Chemical Weapons and commended the Technical Secretariat and all other associated States Parties and organisations for their support and assistance in this endeavour.The Sri Lankan envoy called upon States still in possession of chemical weapons to take all necessary steps, without any further delay, to expedite the destruction of their declared chemical weapons stockpiles, old chemical weapons and abandoned chemical weapons, since the existence of such chemical weapons continues to pose a threat to global security. (Colombo Gazette) Sri Lanka has called for an urgent review of the composition of the Executive Council of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), to better reflect the geographical distribution, the importance of chemical industry, and the political and security interests of Member States in the contemporary world.Addressing the 22nd Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention in The Hague, the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to The Netherlands and Permanent Representative to the OPCW,  A.M.J. Sadiq made this call while delivering the National Statement on behalf of Sri Lanka. Highlighting the rapid industrialisation, especially of developing countries over the last two decades, he pointed out that the importance of chemical industry has also substantially increased in these regions. In order to better prepare the OPCW for the future, Ambassador Sadiq said that attention must not only be paid to the growing need for assistance and resources in capacity building, but also to the under-representation of Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean in the Executive Council of the OPCW. Underscoring the importance of countering terrorism, the Sri Lankan Ambassador expressed hope that the ongoing discussions in the Open-Ended Working Group on Terrorism and at the Sub-Working Group on Non-State Actors, would lead to practical recommendations to address the threats of chemical terrorism.Speaking further, he noted that, “The shifting security landscape in which we witness the rise of non-State actors demands our full attention. As highlighted in the Working Group discussions, the strengthening of capabilities of States Parties is crucial to address this rapidly evolving phenomenon. In this regard, the capability of non-State actors to manufacture and use chemical weapons underscores the need for the full and effective implementation of Article VII and must be addressed as a future priority of this organization.”While highlighting the crucial need for international cooperation and assistance in the areas of verification and capacity building, Ambassador Sadiq reiterated the importance of having a thorough and rigorous review and evaluation by the Technical Secretariat at the end of each programme, pointing out that the success of capacity building programs largely depends on the effective functioning and commitment of National Authorities themselves. As part of its own contribution to capacity building, the National Authority of Sri Lanka, with the assistance of the OPCW, conducted the 5th Regional Basic Training Course on Emergency Response to Chemical Incidents in Colombo from 6th to 10th February this year, attended by 37 participants from various agencies in the region. Further, as a part of the 18th edition of the OPCW Associate Programme under the industry segment, a Sri Lankan company, Camso Loadstar (Pvt) Ltd, together with the National Authority of Sri Lanka, for the third consecutive year, trained two participants from Nigeria and Ethiopia. Elaborating further, Ambassador Sadiq noted that since the establishment of the OPCW twenty years ago, there have been major positive developments of economic and geo-political significance in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. Today, around 84% of the world population and 73 % of Member States of the OPCW belong to these regions. He also stressed the need for regional groups to formulate rules or guidelines, based on the principle of rotation to ensure that all Member States have equitable opportunities to serve on this important body.Congratulating the OPCW on its 20th anniversary, Ambassador Sadiq stated, “This year marks the 20th anniversary of the entry into force of the Chemical Weapons Convention, which established the OPCW. During the last two decades, the OPCW has facilitated the near universal disarmament of an entire class of a weapon of mass destruction. This makes the Chemical Weapons Convention the most successful international disarmament treaty in the world. With currently 96 percent of declared chemical weapon stockpiles verifiably destroyed, under the supervision of the OPCW, this 20th anniversary marks another milestone in the global endeavour to free the world of chemical weapons.” read more

Mismanagement corruption lack of funds hinder global water distribution – UN

Although unevenly distributed, the world has plenty of water but mismanagement, limited resources and environmental changes mean that almost one fifth of the planet’s population still lacks access to safe drinking water and 40 per cent do not have basic sanitation, according to a new United Nations report issued today.Citing factors such as “corruption, lack of appropriate institutions, bureaucratic inertia and a shortage of new investments in building human capacity as well as physical infrastructure,” it notes that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of halving by 2015 the proportion of people without sustainable access to drinking water and basic sanitation will not be met under present trends.Entitled “Water, a shared responsibility,” the UN World Water Development Report, a triennial study, is the most comprehensive assessment to date of freshwater resources and was released ahead of fourth World Water Forum to be held in Mexico City from 16 to 22 March.It notes that 1.1 billion people still lack access to safe drinking water, and 2.6 billion lack basic sanitation, over half of them living in China and India.In many parts of the world, a colossal 30 to 40 per cent or more of water goes unaccounted for, through leakages in pipes and canals and illegal connections, and it is estimated that political corruption costs the water sector millions of dollars every year.According to the report, only 12 per cent of countries have so far developed integrated water resources management and water efficiency plans, although the 2002 UN Summit on Sustainable Development called for such projects to be in place by 2005.Financial resources for water are also stagnating. Total official development assistance (ODA) to the sector has averaged some $3 billion in recent years with an additional $1.5 million allocated in non-concessional lending. Only about 12 per cent of these funds, however, reach those most in need, and only 10 per cent is directed to support development of water policy, planning and programmes. read more

Opinion 4 remaining NBA playoff teams a breath of fresh air

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James is seen before tipoff of overtime of a game between the Cavs and the San Antonio Spurs. The Cavs beat the Spurs, 128-125. Credit: Courtesy of TNSIn the last 30 NBA Finals, eight teams have hoisted the trophy.Just think about that for a second. Eight teams in 30 Finals.Eighteen teams have won the World Series in that span (and there wasn’t even a Series played in 1994). Sixteen squads have won the Super Bowl since 1984, as well.But in the NBA, if you’re not the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, Detroit Pistons, Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs, Miami Heat or Dallas Mavericks, you have not felt the thrill of victory since the season before Michael Jordan entered the league.This year, thankfully, it seems as though a ninth member will join this exclusive club.Of the four teams remaining — the Cleveland Cavaliers, Atlanta Hawks, Golden State Warriors and Rockets — only Houston has won it in the last 30 years. The Rockets appear to be the most unlikely team to make it to the Finals, having to face a lethal Warriors squad. In an ESPN.com poll, each of the 14 experts surveyed picked the Warriors to advance to the Finals.Of course, if the Los Angeles Clippers hadn’t collapsed and blown a 3-1 lead against Houston, we would already be guaranteed a fresh champion.But, nonetheless, if the Rockets fall to Golden State as expected, we will finally see someone new celebrating.It’s hard to call LeBron James in the Finals “new” — after appearing in the previous four Finals with the Heat, winning twice — but the Cavs, one of 13 teams to never win a championship, winning it all would certainly be something we haven’t seen before.The Warriors, meanwhile, won their last title in 1975, while the Hawks have the second-longest drought of any team — last winning in 1958 when they played in St. Louis. In fact, the Hawks have not even been back to the Finals since 1961, and never in Atlanta.So, with three of the 22 teams shut out from the last 30 years of parades still alive, you really couldn’t ask for more from a competitive standpoint.It truly is stunning when you look at that 22-of-30 figure. The simple explanation is the NBA is a league driven by the greats, and there are only so many of those to go around. Each of the last 30 champions, except for the 2003-04 Pistons, featured at least one player who can easily be categorized as one of the greatest of all time.With that in mind, LeBron and the Cavs would have to be considered the favorite as the only team to feature a true legend of the game.That’s not to mean any disrespect to the Warriors’ Stephen Curry, the league’s Most Valuable Player. While a strong case can already be made for him being the greatest shooter ever, he has a long way to go after really emerging this season before being classified as great.It’s also not to remove hope from the Hawks. As the Pistons showed in the 2004 Finals, you can win it all with a team full of good players, but no greats. It’s just really, really difficult.So, looking at the overall picture, it seems like, from a historical standpoint, the Cavs are the most likely team to win it all. LeBron winning his third title in five years also happens to be the least adventurous result — which seems to be the NBA way.Though, knowing the nearly impossible climb to becoming a championship team in the NBA, maybe the Rockets will find a way to add their third title since 1984 after all. read more

COULD YOU IMAGINE THE IMPACT

first_imgthem to celebrate. We have spoken to many farmers who are being asked by their village heads to pay yard tax even though they are still unable to sell their nuts.Many young people are stranded in Libya and many families have lost children in the Mediterranean who were venturing to lift their families from poverty.Now there is one area which could touch the heart of every Gambian, that is, the granting of general amnesty to prisoners or exiles whose imprisonment or exile is politically motivated and ordering the release of family members who are arrested because of blood ties with the insurgents. This would be a step forward. ]]>last_img

Cardiff distance themselves from Warnocks Brexit outburst

first_imgCardiff City have distanced themselves from Neil Warnock’s controversial outburst regarding Brexit following the team’s 0-0 draw with Huddersfield Town.The Bluebirds manager had been asked about his prospects of signing new players in January as the club seek to avoid relegation, with it then being suggested the United Kingdom’s scheduled exit from the European Union (EU) in March could make it difficult for club’s in the UK to sign players.Warnock responded by stating the UK will be better in footballing terms with Brexit, saying he “can’t wait to get out” of the EU and “to hell with the rest of the world”.Cardiff released a statement on Monday distancing themselves from the views of their manager’s.“Comments made by our manager following Saturday’s fixture are representative of his personal political stance,” the statement read, according to FourFourTwo.“These comments do not reflect the political position of Cardiff City Football Club, nor its board of directors.”AAIB responds to Sala’s family request to recover the plane’s wreckage Manuel R. Medina – August 14, 2019 The Air Accidents Investigation Branch says they already explained their decision not to recover the plane’s wreckage to Sala’s family and the pilot’s.“Warnock has been vocal in recent weeks with his criticism of the January transfer window.”During his outburst on Saturday, he said:“I think once the country knows what they’re doing, it will be straightforward [to bring new players in after Brexit].”“Any transfer window is difficult for me, not just this one. I don’t know why politicians don’t do what the country wants, if I’m honest.”“They had a referendum and now we see different politicians and everyone else trying to put their foot in it. Why did we have a referendum in the first bloody place?”“I can’t wait to get out of it [the EU], if I’m honest. I think we’ll be far better out of the bloody thing, in every aspect. Football-wise as well, absolutely. To hell with the rest of the world.”last_img read more

Late to Augmented Reality Party Esquire Delivers Solid 3D Package

first_imgBut while Esquire was first (or near first) with its other “innovations,” it’s late in delivering augmented reality in magazines. In June, Bonnier’s Popular Science utilized augmented reality firm Metaio’s Web application software to create an interactive image (provided by General Electric) featuring wind turbines when readers held up the cover of its July issue to their computer cameras. Time Inc.’s InStyle magazine used augmented reality to make some advertisements in its December holiday gift guide issue three dimensional. Last month, publisher Future US also utilized the technology for the December issues of Official Xbox Magazine and Playstation: The Official Magazine featured an advertising campaign that generated an interactive 3-D war scene.Instead of kicking open the AR door for magazines, Esquire has simply contributed to a “rising trend.” Or has it? To be fair, I haven’t seen the magazine in my hands yet, but it looks like Esquire has in fact delivered a superior AR experience, compared to those we’ve already seen. Check out editor-in-chief David Granger’s video introduction to the issue below.Aside from who’s first and who’s not, perhaps the better question is whether utilizing AR is true “innovation” or all gimmick. What’s the real value for print magazines? In terms of innovation in the print medium, Hearst’s Esquire magazine has been a pioneer on a number of fronts in recent months. Last year, it partnered with Cambridge, Massachusetts-based E Ink to produce an electronic “paper” display for the magazine’s 75th anniversary October issue. Then in February, Esquire produced a cover “window” that opened to a mini table of contents and featured an advertisement on the back flap. Its May “How to Be a Man” issue featured perforated covers that act like a flip book, allowing readers to make 27 combinations of the facial features of Barack Obama, George Clooney and Justin Timberlake.Now, the magazine is tapping augmented reality technology to take innovation into the digital realm.  Throughout the December issue (which hits newsstands November 17) are coded markers that, when readers/users hold up to their computer’s Webcam, trigger interactive video “experiences” to appear on their screens. Four articles and the cover are equipped with the AR functionality. For example, when a user holds the cover to their Webcam, cover feature/actor Robert Downey Jr. appears on their screen, talks about the issue, sings and shows a clip of his upcoming film, Sherlock Holmes. Car maker Lexus is the issue’s exclusive advertiser for the AR technology, with an ad that’s AR-enabled.last_img read more

The Wilmington Insider For August 2 2018

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Below is a round-up of what’s going on in Wilmington on Thursday, August 2, 2018:Happening Today:Weather: Mostly sunny, with a high near 92. Heat index values as high as 101. Southwest wind 9 to 11 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph.At Town Hall: The Metro North Regional Housing Services Office Housing Coordinator, Laurie Stanton, will be holding office hours from 1pm to 4pm in the Wilmington Town Hall’s Small Conference Room. She will assist residents with their affordable housing questions. The Metro North Regional Housing Services Office helps people find affordable housing in Reading, North Reading, Wilmington, and Saugus. If you are unable to attend office hours on this date, future dates will be announced.  Stanton can also be reached at her Reading Office at 781-942-6667 during normal business hours.In The Community: The Wilmington Police Association and Wilmington Recreation Department are holding their annual Police Beach Day from 11am to 2pm at Town Beach. This free community event includes fun competitions, sand castle contests, and a DJ. A BBQ lunch will be served by Wilmington’s finest. The Board of Health will also be there promoting Sun Safety with free sunscreen sample and other SPF products!In The Community: Do you like to sing? Do you enjoy performing? Come join the Merrimack Valley Chorus at one of its regular weekly rehearsals. You just might discover a passion for a cappella singing, and you’ll also make some great new friends! Open rehearsals are every Thursday at 7pm at the Wilmington Arts Center (219 Middlesex Avenue).In The Community: The Town Beach is open today.  Lifeguards are on duty from 10am to 8pm. Admission is FREE for residents. Proof of residency is required. Learn more HERE.At The Library: Baby Time at 9:30am. Time For Twos at 10:30am. All You Can Read Buffet from 1pm to 5pm. Author Talk: Louise Miller at 7pm. [Learn more and register HERE.]At The Senior Center: Walking Group at 8am. Computer Class at 9am. Art Class at 10am. Aerobics at 10:30am. Knitting/Crocheting at 11am. Game Day at 1pm. [Learn more HERE.]At The Town Museum: The Wilmington Town Museum is open from 10am to 2pm.(NOTE: What did I miss? Let me know by commenting below, commenting on the Facebook page, or emailing wilmingtonapple@gmail.com. I may be able to update this post.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedAffordable Housing Assistance To Be Offered To Residents At Town Hall On September 10In “Government”The Wilmington Insider For October 2, 2018In “5 Things To Do Today”The Wilmington Insider For November 15, 2018In “5 Things To Do Today”last_img read more

Nintendos Mario Kart mobile game delayed until summer

first_img Share your voice Mario Kart Tour won’t out for a while yet, but doesn’t just seeing Mario Kart 64 make you feel better? Nintendo Mario Kart Tour won’t launch until this summer, Nintendo announced Thursday.The kart racing game was due to speed onto mobile devices by the end of March, but the Japanese company wrote in its latest earnings report and its Twitter account that it’s taking a few more months to improve the application’s quality and expand the post-launch content offerings. Playing the beloved racing series on our phones and tablets is an exciting prospect, but Nintendo Life notes that Mario Kart Tour remains pretty mysterious — we haven’t yet seen any footage or many concrete details.Shortly after it was announced, we heard it’d be a free-to-start app and Nintendo said in a previous earnings report that it’ll operate “a service” for Mario Kart Tour — implying regular updates and changes to keep it fresh.If you absolutely must get your Nintendo fix on mobile, you can try out Dragalia Lost, Super Mario Run, Fire Emblem Heroes and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. Walmart Review • Nintendo Switch review: Pure fun on a big-screen TV or on the go Mentioned Above Nintendo Switch (Gray) See It 3:15 Now playing: Watch this: Nintendo Switch: Pure fun on a big-screen TV or on the go.Gaming: All of our video game coverage. スマートフォン向けアプリ『マリオカート ツアー』は、アプリの品質向上および配信後のサービス内容拡充のため、配信予定を2019年夏とさせていただきます。 pic.twitter.com/YhtI2DWw4H— 任天堂株式会社 (@Nintendo) January 31, 2019 See It Preview • Nintendo Switch: All the latest details $299 Post a comment See It $309 0center_img Nintendo Switch Nintendo Video Games Mobile Apps Phones $299 Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the first great multiplayer game… CNET may get a commission from retail offers. News • Are you a Nintendo Switch docker or hander? $289 29 Photos Tags See it Best Buy Amazon Nintendo sold 9.41 million Switch consoles in the last three months on 2018, Engadget highlighted, which brings its lifetime sales to 32.27 million — just 660,000 short of the Nintendo 64 and far more than the GameCube and Wii U. It still has a ways to go to catch up with the Wii’s 101.63 million though.The earnings report also highlighted the success of some big hitters on Nintendo Switch — Super Smash Bros Ultimate sold 12.08 million copies after coming out in December, Pokémon: Let’s Go shifted 10 million after its November release, while Super Mario Party moved a comparatively modest 5.3 million units since October. The 29 best games on the Nintendo Switch How To • How to transfer your Nintendo Switch account to a new Switch V2last_img read more

HC asks EC not to accept BNPs amended constitution

first_imgThe High Court on Wednesday asked the Election Commission (EC) not to accept the amended Article 7 of BNP’s constitution and dispose of the petition in this regard within a month, reports UNB.A HC bench of justice Md Ashfaqul Islam and justice Mohammad Ali passed the order following a petition filed by Mozammel Hossain, a resident of the city’s Kafrul area.The BNP’s amended charter has deleted the provision against bankrupt, insane, corrupt or notorious individuals from being BNP candidate for contesting Jatiya Sangsad elections.It has been replaced with a provision that the chief of BNP will hold the office of the chairperson; and any person less than 30 years cannot be the head of the party.Advocate Momtaz Uddin Ahmed Mehedi stood for the petitioner while deputy attorney general Al Amin Sarker and assistant attorney general KM Masud Rumi represented the state.Advocate Momtaz Uddin Ahmed Mehedi, said Mozammel, a BNP activist, filed a petition with the EC on Tuesday seeking not to grant the constitutional amendment of BNP.He also said if the amendment is accepted, it will also allow corrupt and incapable people to be the leader of BNP. Besides, the amendment is contradictory to section 66 (2) (ga) of the constitution.He also filed a writ petition with the High Court on the same day seeking its disposal.As BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and her son Tarique Rahman were convicted in a graft case, BNP has recently amended the party’s constitution. Later, it was sent to the Election Commission for granting.last_img read more

Congo opposition leader denied opportunity to contest polls

first_imgCongolese opposition leader Jean-Pierre Bemba of the Movement for the Liberation of the Congo (MLC) addresses a news conference in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, 3 August 2018. — ReutersThe election commission of Democratic Republic of Congo has excluded opposition leader Jean-Pierre Bemba and three former prime ministers from the list of approved candidates for December’s presidential election, which was published on Friday.Bemba, a former warlord who earlier in August returned to the Congolese capital Kinshasa to submit his candidacy for president after a decade in prison in The Hague for war crimes, had been seen as one of the frontrunners in the race to succeed incumbent Joseph Kabila.The commission said a separate International Criminal Court conviction for witness tampering was the reason for Bemba’s exclusion from the list.Bemba was acquitted on appeal at the International Criminal Court of war crimes and crimes against humanity for murder, rape and pillage committed by fighters he sent to Central African Republic in 2002 but his witness tampering conviction stands.Opposition parties condemned the election commission’s decision, which can be appealed before the final list is published in September.“Once again the current regime is showing its determination to suppress the electoral process,” they said in a joint statement before the commission published the list.Last month, Bemba placed third in a rare public opinion poll on the likely outcome of the election, winning 17 per cent support.He is popular in western Congo, including the capital Kinshasa, and his exclusion could trigger a violent reaction by his supporters. Street battles between militiamen loyal to Bemba and state forces broke out in Kinshasha after he lost the 2006 election to Kabila.After years of speculation over his intentions, Kabila consented earlier in August to obey the two-term limit imposed by the Central African country’s constitution by not entering his name for the poll set for 23 December.As a parting shot, he picked a former interior minister, who has been placed under EU sanctions, to stand instead.His choice of a die-hard loyalist suggested that the president, who came to power after his father’s assassination in 2001, intends to remain closely involved in national politics. He will be eligible to run again in 2023.Former prime ministers Adolphe Muzito, Antoine Gizenga and Samy Badibanga were also among the six candidates excluded from the commission’s list.last_img read more

Handicapped city

first_img23-year-old Abhinav Nagar set out to explore this Christmas charm a couple of years ago in and around St James’ Church in Kashmere Gate, known to be the oldest surviving church in Delhi. Accompanying him were his three friends, all students from the same college, nurturing generous dreams of a grand future full of accomplishments. Nagar remembers chatting amiably with his friends and enjoying the cool breeze and the Christmas air. But what happened next changed their lives forever. Also Read – Find your own happinessThere was total blackness as a cow darted in front of their vehicle, forcing Nagar to lose control of the car completely and crash into a nearby lamp-post on the pavement. He hit his spine instantly and his friends were injured too. Nagar woke up the next day in hospital. He could not move either of his legs and his doctor told him that he could never walk again. At 23, Abhinav became wheelchair-bound, overnight, and his life changed forever.This is not an isolated case of compulsive disability. There are hundreds and thousands of people all over the world witnessing their lives change all of a sudden due to a mishap, accident or some disease. But what we, the other half of the population who can walk, run, jump and enjoy life and every bit of it, do not realise is the pain these people experience everyday to walk that extra mile which once seemed impossible. Also Read – Into the wildThere are ambitions plans to turn Delhi into a smart city. But our national Capital is thoroughly devoid of a disabled-friendly infrastructure and basic sensitivity essential to make this place accessible to them too. There is a gross negativity prevailing for the differently-abled, who are always subjected to mercy of others for any kind of help or acceptance. It would thus be a great idea to create an infrastructure or give them an ambience that would not make it imperative for them to move around with someone else’s help or acceptance. A recently conducted study reveals that some of the city’s busiest places like Connaught Place, Lodhi Road, Sarai Kale Khan and Nehru Place are devoid of street infrastructure for the differently-abled and even for the elderly to navigate. These places are even inaccessible for those with reduced mobility, pregnant women, children, persons carrying luggage and those with temporary ailments. Some of the key problems found at Connaught Place were lack of proper signages and audio signals, non-continuity of tactile pavers and pelican crossings. Footpath height and width varied at many places and there was lack of kerb ramps and pedestrian crossings in front of busy bus terminuses like the ISBT, coupled with open drains on footpaths and encroachments by hawkers.Abha Khetarpal, president of NGO Cross the Hurdles says: “Essential services like banks, ATMs, post offices still remain inaccessible for the differently-abled. Even many of the doctors’ clinics and diagnostic centres are not disabled friendly. Schools do not have proper infrastructure to accommodate students with disabilities. Though public buildings, many stadiums might have ramps for wheelchair users to enter the premises but washrooms inside the campus are inaccessible. Personally speaking, I have found no washrooms for disabled people at Thyagraj stadium near INA market that was built as a venue for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.”She further elaborates: “Movie theatres again are not friendly. ‘Disabled friendly’ does not mean just a ramp being made outside the premises for wheelchair users. It must cater to the needs to all the different kind of disabilities. Tactile surfaces and Braille signage are rarely found. Many hotels and restaurants still remain unfriendly.”The differently-abled also face insensitive behaviour of bus drivers and conductors, who many a times charge more than the designated fare, despite travel for the visually impaired being free in all state-run Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses and the National Capital Region (NCR). But statistics show that this is not restricted to Delhi or the NCR area alone. The 70 million disabled in India face similar problems in other parts of the country too and, possibly, things are much worse. Transportation in every Indian city and town has failed disabled citizens to live a smooth and uncomplicated life. Lack of awareness, contempt and lapsed policies contribute to their plight. Though low floor buses in several metropolises including Delhi are initiatives for making transportation smooth, it has hardly come as a boon.Javed Abidi, director, National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People in India mentions in a report: “Despite it being a norm, there are no ramps to get on to the bus stands in the national capital. It’s a shame that the DTC plays hoax on us by painting disabled-friendly pictures and signages at bus stops, as they never practice what they preach.” Unfortunately, there has been little done in this direction to address the issue.Khetarpal adds: “No railway station in Delhi has a lift. Though the bus stops show the universal symbol of disability has broken ramps or are just unreachable due the rugged surfaces or the large number of street vendors and hawkers.”Though many new pavements and sidewalks in most New Delhi Municipal Council and Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) areas are spacious and well-laid, many of them are blocked by bollards or small iron posts through which a wheelchair can’t pass.According to disabled rights organisations, the special ramps constructed on many roads have faulty designs and do not follow international standards. Ideally, for a height of one metre the ramps should be 18 metres long (1:18 gradient). But the ramps are built on a 1:12 gradient and are steep. Moreover, they also do not provide a landing after every five metres. Even the parks in the national capital are not disabled-friendly. Summed together, there are as many as 14,000 parks in total but all of them more or less lie in a state of shambles and do not support visitors with disabilities. However, Mukesh Yadav, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of South MCD says: “Almost all our parks are disabled-friendly. All of them are at the ground level so there is particularly no need for a ramp. Also, there is one gate at the entrance of every park through which a wheelchair can easily enter.” But in reality, the story is a little different.Kanika Dua, an MA Psychology student in Delhi University who is partially visually impaired, says: ‘I’m very lucky that the crowd in my university is very good. People do help and try to understand our problems. Cops are very helpful. But when I go out of the campus, it is a little difficult as I don’t know all the roads, there are no Braille signages and mobility becomes an issue.’The Delhi Metro, often referred to as the lifeline of the national Capital, and rightly so, has stood the test of time in the last decade regarding performance. There is little doubt that the Metro has contributed in no small measure to taking Delhi and its infrastructural facilities to the next level! But this is just one side of the picture. Delhi Metro does seem ill-prepared not just for emergencies but also when it comes to helping the disabled with wheelchairs. The number of wheelchairs and stretchers at one of the busiest stations Rajiv Chowk, is limited to only three and five respectively!Shopping arcades and malls in Delhi are considerably better in terms of providing a friendly ambience for the disabled. Sonali Manilal, Marketing Head, DLF Promenade says: “The mall has reserved parking for physically challenged and senior citizens in B1. The parking has been reserved next to the elevator lobby with dedicated parking attendants. For physically challenged patrons, the mall is equipped with a dedicated and customized hydraulic elevator; all prominent entrances have wheel chairs stationed with an attendant; each shopping floor houses washrooms for the disabled.” In case of an emergency, she adds: “The staff is well trained in basic life saving skills and safety trainings. There is a medical room with bed and important medical equipment. The concierge is trained to use basic medical techniques and is always equipped with medical kit.” But for the past few years, there is a growing political momentum behind the need to take disability provision seriously.If available figures are to be believed, people with disabilities are more likely to be unemployed, illiterate, to have less formal education and less access to support networks. They are further isolated by discrimination, ignorance and prejudice. The World Bank estimates that about 20 per cent of the world’s poorest people are disabled. Poverty causes disability through inadequate access to medical treatment and vaccinations, and exposure to unsanitary and unsafe living and working conditions. Children with disabilities in India rarely progress beyond primary education, with school enrolment less than 10 per cent in many areas. This then reinforces social alienation and leads to very limited employment opportunities, leading to abject poverty. A universal barrier-free environment is every Indian’s dream. Reassuringly, a few have been lobbying for it for some time now, working towards creating and maintaining environments in which all people can participate in ways that are equitable, dignified, independent and safe for all. Obstacles of any kind affect the lives of people to a great extent, and it is not difficult to imagine the plight of millions of disabled people who face hurdles at every single step.last_img read more

NFL firstround draft picks are overvalued

first_imgColin says:The Vikings made the right move to grab Sam Bradford.Funny people know funny. Good coaches know good coaches.Colin is protesting Starbucks because they won’t use almond milk.Dallas still has a shot to win the NFC East.Hats off to the top programs playing tough competition in the opener.Guests:Charlie Strong – University of Texas Head Football Coach joins the show to reflect on the significance of their thrilling OT win over Notre Dame, why it takes time and patience to build, and the importance of having the trust of your players.Jimmy Butler – Chicago Bulls Shooting guard is in studio to look back at the Rio Olympic experience, what a gold medal means compared to an NBA championship, the difficulty of coming together as a team in a short time, whether Rio fears were overblown, and why he can’t stand the University of Texas.Peter Schrager – NFL Insider joins the show to dish the inside scoop on the Sam Bradford trade, why the Eagles are going with Carson Wentz as their starter, why he’s picking Cincinnati to win the AFC, and the secret to his hair’s luxurious full body.last_img read more

French Inventor Is First to Cross English Channel Using a Hoverboard

first_imgAugust 5, 2019 It took a second try, but Franky Zapata has become the first to cross the English Channel using a hoverboard. The French inventor used his jet-powered Flyboard Air to travel the 22 miles from France to England in 22 minutes, briefly landing on a boat to replace his kerosene-filled backpack. The board wasn’t slow, either — Zapata said he reached speeds up to 106 mph during his journey.The first attempt in late July literally fell short after Zapata missed the boat platform by a “few centimeters.” Zapata relied on a larger boat and platform to ensure this latest attempt would work without a hitch.This is certainly a publicity grab for Zapata’s company, Z-Air, but it could also open doors for the technology in other areas. The French military is already backing the technology as a potential logistical option or even as an attack platform. A successful long-distance trip like this could give it extra confidence in the technology, even if it does highlight the current hoverboard’s limitations.#yeswedid la seconde #tentative aura été la bonne. Traversée de la manche réussie #jobdone. Merci à tous #familyaffair #france #NeverGiveUp #flyboardair #entrepreneurs #louisbleriot #frencharmy pic.twitter.com/5ToPopHSxj— Franky Zapata (@frankyzapata) August 4, 2019 Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. 2 min read This story originally appeared on Engadget Enroll Now for Freelast_img read more

Alaska air carrier suspends operations after 2nd crash

first_img Share Alaska air carrier suspends operations after 2nd crash By: The Associated Press ANCHORAGE — An Alaska air carrier involved in two deadly floatplane crashes in a week has voluntarily suspended operations, federal officials said Tuesday.The halt of flightseeing and commuter flights is in place indefinitely, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.The action comes after the passenger and the pilot of a Beaver floatplane operated by Taquan Air were killed when the single-engine aircraft crashed in Metlakatla Harbor on Monday afternoon during a 35-kilometre commuter flight from Ketchikan.Witnesses reported to federal investigators that one of the two floats on the plane dug into the water during landing, causing the right wing to hit the water and then the aircraft to cartwheel several times, according to Clint Johnson, chief of the National Transportation Safety Board in Alaska. The wing broke off and is missing.Johnson said witnesses also reported the Beaver floatplane landed upside down and became submerged in water. An NTSB investigator arrived at Metlakatla late Tuesday morning, he said.In a statement, Taquan Air confirmed it suspended all operations. The company said it “was reeling” from not only Monday’s crash, but a midair collision last week involving another Taquan plane that killed six.More news:  Save the dates! Goway’s Africa Roadshow is back“It’s been a really heavy and heartbreaking time for us,” the company wrote. “Our priority has been our passengers and their families and our internal staff, and pilots.”The passenger was identified by her employer and relatives in California as Sarah Luna. The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium said in a statement that Luna joined the group nearly a year ago as a senior epidemiologist in the liver disease and hepatitis program. Luna, 32, had flown to Metlakatla to provide health services to the community.Metlakatla Police Chief Bruce Janes identified the pilot as 51-year-old Ron Rash of Harrisburg, PA.The crash occurred in light winds and 16-kilometre visibility, Johnson said. The plane also was carrying a load of cargo and was supposed to also pick up other passengers after landing.Johnson said it was “way too early” to determine a cause. He anticipates the preliminary report into the crash to be released by the end of the week.Monday’s crash followed the May 13 midair collision of a Taquan Air Otter floatplane with another floatplane. Six people died in that crash and another 10 people were injured. Both planes were carrying sightseeing cruise ship passengers.More news:  Rome enforces ban on sitting on Spanish StepsJohnson said the NTSB is investigating both crashes as separate cases.Last summer, all 11 on board another Taquan Air flight survived when the 72-year-old pilot confused snow on a mountain with a body of water and crashed on a rocky mountainside on Prince of Wales Island near the southern tip of the Alaska Peninsula.A pilot and eight cruise ship passengers died June 25, 2015, when a de Havilland DHC-3 Otter operated by Promech Air Inc. crashed into mountainous terrain about 38 kilometres from Ketchikan, also as it was returning from Misty Fjords.The NTSB later determined that pilot error, the company’s culture and lack of a formal safety program were among the causes of that crash. Taquan Air purchased the assets of Promech in 2016, and currently employs three pilots who worked for Promech, a company spokeswoman said last week. Tags: Alaska, Floatplane Wednesday, May 22, 2019 << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Australia No sign from US of Assange indictment

first_img Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates “The United States has said nothing to indicate they’re planning an indictment,” Carr told reporters.Assange supporters want Australia to seek U.S. assurances that the former computer hacker won’t be charged. His release of a quarter-million classified U.S. State Department cables in 2010 outraged Washington and destabilized American diplomacy worldwide.But Prime Minister Julia Gillard told Parliament Thursday that if the United States did extradite Assange, the “Australian government cannot interfere in the judicial processes of other countries.”She endorsed Carr’s comments, saying there was no advice from Washington that there was an indictment or a decision made to extradite.Britain’s Supreme Court on Wednesday endorsed Assange’s extradition to Sweden, bringing him a big step closer to prosecution in a Scandinavian court.But a question mark hung over the decision after Assange’s lawyer made the highly unusual suggestion that she would try to reopen the case, raising the prospect of more legal wrangling.Assange has spent almost two years fighting attempts to send him to Sweden, where he is wanted over sex crime allegations. He has yet to be charged. Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Comments   Share   Associated PressCANBERRA, Australia (AP) – Australia has talked to the United States about the future of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, but Prime Minister Julia Gillard said Thursday that it can’t protect the Australian activist from other countries’ justice systems.Foreign Minister Bob Carr revealed on Thursday that he had discussed the concerns of Assange and his family with U.S. officials. Assange claims that the U.S. has already secretly indicted him for divulging American secrets, and will act on the indictment if Sweden succeeds in extraditing him from Britain. How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements How men can have a healthy 2019 He and his supporters have suggested that the sex allegations are a cover for a planned move to extradite him to the United States, but U.S. Ambassador to Australia Jeffrey Bleich denied that the United States had any interest in Sweden’s extradition bid succeeding.“It’s one of those narratives that has been made up. There’s nothing to it,” Bleich said late Wednesday.Assange shot to international prominence in 2010 with the release of hundreds of thousands of secret U.S. documents, including a hard-to-watch video that showed U.S. forces gunning down a crowd of Iraqi civilians and journalists whom they had mistaken for insurgents.Australian authorities have cooperated with the United States in investigating WikiLeaks’ conduct. The Australians have concluded that Assange has broken no Australian law.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Men’s health affects baby’s health too Sponsored Stories New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Top Stories last_img read more

69 killed as tanker truck explodes in southern Nigeria

first_img Sponsored Stories LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — A runaway oil tanker truck exploded in a crowded bus station in the south of the country, setting ablaze 12 buses carrying passengers and killing 69 people, Nigeria’s Red Cross and police said Monday.Red Cross chairman Peter Emeka Kathy said about 30 other victims have been hospitalized with severe burns. He said the truck was barreling down the hill when the brakes failed and it ploughed into the bus station at Onitsha, the state capital, before exploding. Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra state wept when he visited the scene of Sunday night’s conflagration.Relatives were visiting morgues on Monday to try and identify missing family members.“All the persons inside the buses ? I think about 12 buses ? were burnt beyond recognition,” Punch newspaper reported, quoting Anambra state police commissioner Hosea Karma.Witness Joseph Ugwuanyi wrote on his Facebook page that the blaze raged for an hour before firefighters brought it under control.“Many of us initially thought there were no casualties, though some people sustained serious injuries while fleeing the scene,” he posted. “However, it was later learnt after the fire subsided that there was a massive carnage of victims who were either caught unawares or those who were already seated in the now-charred buses in the park.”Nigeria has the highest road accident rate in the world, as well as the largest number of deaths per 10,000 vehicles, according to a report by the Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute. It said road accident deaths are the third leading cause of all deaths in the West African nation that is Africa’s biggest oil producer. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Top Stories Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous ofcenter_img Comments   Share   Check your body, save your life The 2013 report found that potholes were a major cause of accidents, followed by a general lack of vehicle maintenance and chaotic traffic complicated by the number of bicycles, tricycle taxis and animal- and human-drawn carts on highways.With the caveat that most vehicle accidents are not reported, it said 473 people were reported killed in 1,115 vehicle accidents in 2012.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The difference between men and women when it comes to painlast_img read more

Christmas For some it evokes visions of home comf

first_imgChristmas. For some it evokes visions of home comforts, bubbly beverages and pine needles covering the living room floor. For others, Christmas is a time to travel.And if you are looking for ultimate family holiday to see in the festive season, one that will offer up extraordinary adventures off the beaten track, and a chance to enjoy the great outdoors and connect with nature, Kenya’s award-winning tented safari camp, Sanctuary Olonana, may be just the ticket.Situated on a private stretch of the Mara River in the heart of Kenya’s most famous game reserve, the Masai Mara, this small and exclusive camp is only a short 45-minute flight from Nairobi and offers a broad spectrum of activities including game drives, cultural visits, bush dinners, sun-downers, balloon flights and scenic flights, making it a wonderful and unforgettable African safari for guests of every age.Plus there’s a broad range of dedicated children’s activities on offer. The camp’s friendly and expert guides will take kids out on special game drives and accompany them to the nearby Masai village where they can learn how to make and shoot a traditional bow and arrow, make a fire, build a hut and herd cattle. They can also mingle with local children over a game of football and learn Masai songs and traditional dances. Other activities sure to keep them engaged include nature walks where they’ll learn to identify animal footprints, bush treasure hunts and even planting their own tree.Special family tented rooms feature two double beds, perfect for those with younger children. And for parents wanting a bit of ‘me time’ babysitting facilities are available and the camp also offers a delicious range of kid-friendly menus.Special offer: Stay Longer, Pay LessStay one – two nights at Sanctuary Olonana and pay US $350 per night per adult and US $135 per child aged three – 15 years old. Children aged zero – two years stay for free.Stay three – four nights at any combination of Sanctuary Retreats African camps and lodges including Sanctuary Olonana and save 30 per cent.Stay five – seven nights and save up to 35 per cent.Stay more than eight nights and save up to 40 per cent.Prices include all meals and drinks (excluding premium brands), transfers to and from Kichwa Tembo Airstrip, laundry, shared activities: shared game drives, nature walks, Masai village visits, sundowner cocktails and bush meals.last_img read more