Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghtana says it will pull out of NDA

first_imgBJP ally Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghtana chief Raju Shetty on Saturday said that the decision of pulling out of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) would be taken in “the next 10 to 15 days”. The decision will be taken because the PM has still not fulfilled the assurances given to farmers during the 2014 election campaign, he said.“We will decide whether to continue supporting the NDA or not in the next 10 to 15 days in our State executive meeting because the PM has still not fulfilled the assurances he gave to farmers during the 2014 election campaign. It’s been three years. We went with him for those promises but if they are not going to act on it, we will take a decision in our State executive,” Mr. Shetty told reporters in Nagpur.Calling the central government “extremely insensitive” towards the farmers’ issues, the Lok Sabha MP came down heavily on the BJP-led central government and the Maharashtra government.“The farmers were told to produce pulses. When they believed the PM and went for the pulses, even the government decided MSP wasn’t given to them because of this government’s apathy towards farmers. They imported 5 lakh tonnes of pulses and the FCI also brought out its old stock for sale on lesser prices hampering the farmers’ interest. All this has contributed to farmers’ distress. In 2014, Narendra Modi had promised one and half times MSP on the production cost. As a result, the farmers from across the country voted for him. His promises led to an increased debt burden on farmers and the central government now has an obligation to clear it,” Mr. Shetty said.He also criticised the Devendra Fadnavis government in Maharashtra on the loan waiver.“We are adamant on complete loan waiver… But the loan waiver given by Maharashtra can’t be more than Rs. 17,000 to Rs. 18, 000 crore. The impractical conditions will bring this amount further down. It can’t be Rs. 34,000 crores. It is an attempt to deceive people,” he claimed.On the rumors about his induction in the Union Cabinet in the next expansion, Mr. Shetty said that he had never demanded a post of a Minister.“I won’t be a part of the Union Cabinet. I never demanded it and I won’t take it as they are still to act out their promises. I went to Delhi to raise the farmers’ issue and to give them justice, even if they invite me I won’t take it (Cabinet berth),” he stated.last_img read more

Congress to hold division-wise meetings to fix candidates

first_imgThe Congress will hold division-wise meetings from Thursday to decide the possible candidates for the Assembly elections and finalise the seats to be contested by the party. It will also hold a meeting in Navi Mumbai to take stock of the Konkan division. “I will visit each and every division of Maharashtra to understand the party’s strength on the ground,” State Congress president Balasaheb Thorat said. The party has received over 900 applications seeking candidature for the polls, which Mr. Thorat said is a positive sign. “Not every election is the same. We lost the Lok Sabha election, but we are confident of making a comeback exactly as we did in 1980. The people still trust us and the growing number of applications seeking a party ticket is an indication of that,” he said.The Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) held deliberations on seat sharing for two consecutive days. “We are confident about contesting the polls together. We also want all secular and progressive forces in the State to join us,” Mr. Thorat said. When asked if the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) leader Prakash Ambedkar would be a part of the seat-sharing discussions, Mr. Thorat said the Congress is always ready for talks. “We have informed the VBA that we want to hold talks and I am confident we will soon be doing so,” the State Congress chief said. Last month, the VBA had ridiculed the Congress, and had made an offer of 40 of the 288 Assembly seats in the State to the Congress. The Congress had termed the offer non-serious. Meanwhile, the Congress and NCP leaders said the alliance talks will continue for some time to sort out certain issues and chalk out a strategy to accommodate all the allies.last_img read more

Assam doctors attacked, hospital vandalised

first_imgLess than a month after tea estate workers lynched a 73-year-old doctor in eastern Assam’s Jorhat district, a mob assaulted a doctor and vandalised a government hospital in western Assam’s Goalpara district late Wednesday evening.The Assam Medical Service Association (AMSA) condemned the incident and lodged an FIR with the police in Dudhnoi, about 110 km west of Guwahati. The police said no arrest has been made so far.According to a nurse, three people injured in a road accident were brought to the hospital. The injured included a teenage girl.A doctor on duty declared one of the injured as having been brought dead, but some people who had gathered disagreed. They began vandalising the hospital before taking on Apurba Boro, the doctor.“I checked the patient and found him dead on arrival. But the people started pushing and shoving me while others started smashing the hospital property,” Dr. Boro said, adding that the police rescued him and the other staff before the mob could do more damage.AMSA president Paresh Kalita said the incident should not have happened when the doctor certified the accident victim as dead on arrival. “Such attacks are getting frequent and need to be campaigned against,” he said. On August 31, septuagenarian doctor Deben Dutta was lynched by tea plantation workers after a youth of Teok Tea Estate died. At least seven doctors employed in various tea estates resigned after the incident, citing insecurity.last_img read more

New spin on the old

first_imgMBA in 12 monthsMelbourne Business School has sparked a change in the traditional MBA model. Students will now be able to complete their degree in just 12 months. The programme has adopted a unique ‘action learning’ framework which helps students to apply theory in real-world scenarios. “Firms confront new market,MBA in 12 monthsMelbourne Business School has sparked a change in the traditional MBA model. Students will now be able to complete their degree in just 12 months. The programme has adopted a unique ‘action learning’ framework which helps students to apply theory in real-world scenarios.”Firms confront new market conditions everyday. Our course will help teach students how to meet such challenges. A shorter course will not burden students but instead allow for a smarter way of learning quickly,” says Professor Zeger Degraeve, Dean of MBS.An alternative to TOEFL & IELTS? Emma StubbsEmma Stubbs, Senior Vice-president, Pearson Language Testing, explains why the new Pearson’s Test for English is the perfect alternative to the TOEFL and IELTS.Q. How does PTE assess language skills?A. The PTE is a three-hour assessment that measures four aspects of a candidate’s English skills-listening, reading, speaking and writing. The test was launched in 2009 in response to feedback from colleges and universities that asked for a more relevant and accurate form of English testing.Q. How many institutes recognise PTE?A. The PTE scores are currently accepted by over 3,000 colleges worldwide for admission purposes. PTE is also the preferred partner test by the Graduate Management Admission Council. It is widely accepted by Harvard University, Yale University, INSEAD Business School, London Business School and Indian Business School to name a few.Q. Why should one opt for PTE while having other options like IELTS and TOEFL?A. The benefits of PTE are two fold. Firstly the test assesses each candidate on 11 parameters, so one gets to know their precise weakness and strength. Secondly the test has been specially formatted to be a convenient alternative in the sphere of English tests. One can easily book a slot online or over the phone up to 48 hours in advance. Results are provided within five business days-half the time of other major tests. Students can then send their test reports to as many institutions as they wish. The results remain valid for up to two years.advertisementOn campusJubilee Scholarships 60 onetime scholarships worth Euro 2 million, were awarded last month by the British Council India as part of the Queen’s jubilee celebrations. September sees the winners begin their academic journey in the UK.CheckmateThe NIIT MindChampions Academy was the first to discover the corelation between chess and academic excellence. Then Vishy made a smart move.The NIIT MindChampions Academy (MCA) is a joint initiative between NIIT and Grand Master Viswanathan Anand. The main objective of this notfor-profit is to promote the game of chess amongst schoolchildren.”While chess is a part of everyday life in some parts of South India, there are still many students who would not get the chance to learn and play this game. We set up the MCA hoping to let everyone enjoy the benefits of chess. The most important of which is the role that chess plays in enhancing the logical, visual, memory, analytical and concentration skills of students,” says Anand. Today the MCA has helped over 1.5 million children in 16,600 schools across India learn the basics of playing chess. Transforming this learning into healthy competition, the organisation has also set up 15,000 tournaments in the last ten years.Any Indian school is free to integrate the MCA chess programme in their curriculum. Software training will be provided to teachers. Anand also personally pays a visit to various schools in order to motivate students to keep on playing and answer doubts.Learning through sportsMagic Bus is on the right track: working towards encouraging even more children to attend school.Over 60 per cent of children in India are school dropouts. Magic Bus, a not-for-profit organisation, has helped around 2,00,000 children re-engage with education. Their solution? Sports. The organisation operates through ‘youth mentors’ who are chosen from target slums. These mentors are then trained to conduct fun games and quizzes for children. Through interactive sports children are taught about the value of education and the many benefits of attending school on a regular basis. Magic Bus also aims to promote gender equality, access to quality health care and the social and emotional development of children.Under the Right To Play programme, the organisation has been able to establish 14 playgrounds for children from across India in the last in six years. Initially they were asked to pay rent for every playground they used but they now pay rent for only three grounds in Mumbai.The organisation is active in seven states, which include Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh. Their final aim is to reach out to 1 million children by 2015.advertisementThe inside storyWhy pore through a boring prospectus when a good book will tell you all you want to know about college life. Choose from this list of top campus reads.No Onions Nor GarlicBy Srividya NatarajanFrom TamBrahms who rewrite Shakespeare and advocate Hinduism to Canadians eager to learn about the plight of Dalits, this book provides a hilarious insight into the caste politics that exist at Chennai University.Price: Rs 299; Penguin IndiaChicken Soup For The SoulBy Indian College StudentThe book is a collection of various college experiences, narrated by a multitude of voices. Reflecting the academic journey of students from across India, each story brings to life the love, anger, pain, joy and fear that forms such an integral part of college life today.Price: Rs 199; Westland BooksBombay Rains, Bombay Girls By Anirban BoseThis book tells the story of Adi; an 18-year-old boy who suffers from an inferiority complex and comes to study medicine in Bombay. The personal challenges he has to overcome at college and work form the crux of this touching story.Price: Rs 199; Harper Collins IndiaEverything You Desire By Harshdeep JollyOver 1 lakh Indians aspire to attend the coveted IIMs every year. Jolly’s book challenges popular opinion by showcasing the many stumbling blocks and hurdles that even the best MBA students often have to overcome.Price: Rs 100; Srishti PublishersMediocre But ArrogantBy Abhijit BhadurB-schools demand much more from students than just 17-hour study sessions. Bhaduri takes us behind the scenes to show what it really takes to pursue an MBA in India. This tale of love and life at a business school is a must read.Price: Rs 195; Srishti Publisherslast_img read more

FIFA World Cup 2014: Valencia bags brace in Ecuador’s 2-1 win over Honduras

first_imgEnner Valencia celebrates after scoring his second goal for Ecuador Ecuador forward Enner Valencia scored twice in a 2-1 comeback victory over Honduras on Friday that kept his team in contention at the World Cup. Ecuador moved into second spot in Group E with a game remaining against group-leading France, which has tallied eight goals and conceded two in a pair of dominating wins.Honduras took the lead in the 31st minute with its first World Cup goal in 32 years when Carlo Costly latched onto a long ball following a misjudgment from Ecuador defender Jorge Guagua. The goal ended a 511-minute drought that stretched back to the 1982 World Cup.MATCH COMMENTARY Valencia equalized three minutes later, tapping in with his left foot from close range after Brayan Beckeles had failed to clear a cross from the right.Honduras applied more of the pressure leading up to halftime and nearly took the lead. A fierce free kick in injury time from Victor Bernardez forced a good save from Ecuador goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez.Honduras got the ball in the Ecuador net seconds before the break when a Costly header rebounded off the post into the path of Jerry Bengtson, but it was disallowed – apparently for a hand ball.The second half was far less frenzied than the opening 45 minutes and Valencia’s winner came in the 65th minute when he out-jumped the Honduras defense to head home a left-sided free kick from Walter Ayovi.”A very contested match, it was very complicated to deal with the nerves because of everything in play,” Honduras coach Luis Fernando Suarez said.advertisementValencia’s goals, which take his tournament tally to three, made up for a glaring miss earlier in the match that would have given Ecuador an early lead. He blasted over the Honduras bar when through on goal.Honduras, which has never won a World Cup match, isn’t completely out of contention despite two losses but faces an uphill battle ahead of its last group game against Switzerland, which lost 5-2 to France earlier Friday.”We still have that possibility, though it is remote and we will fight for it,” Suarez said.Honduras lost 3-0 to France in its opener, and Suarez was happier with Friday’s performance.”I think we improved a lot compared with the France match, but we still fell short.”Team Line-ups(from):Ecuador: Alexander Dominguez; Juan Paredes, Jorge Guagua, Frickson Erazo; Walter Ayovi, Antonio Valencia, Cristhian Noboa, Oswaldo Minda (Carlos Gruezo, 83rd), Jefferson Montero (Gabriel Achilier, 90th, injury time); Felipe Caicedo (Edison Mendez, 82nd), Enner ValenciaHonduras: Noel Valladares; Brayan Beckeles, Victor Bernardez, Maynor Figueroa; Emilio Izaguirre (Juan Carlos Garcia, 46th), Jorge Claros, Luis Garrido (Mario Martinez, 71st), Boniek Garcia (Marvin Chavez, 82nd), Roger Espinoza; Jerry Bengtson, Carlo Costlylast_img read more

India need bowling superstar: Manjrekar

first_imgMumbai, Nov 22 (PTI) Former batsman Sanjay Manjrekar today hailed the trend of bowlers emerging as game-changers for India but stressed that the country needs a bowling superstar to inspire young generation. “In India, we are a little more obsessed with batting. That is not the case with Pakistan, for example. When you look at Pakistan, superstars are mostly bowlers, starting with Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis. So their bowling heroes are revered more,” the 52-year-old right-handed batsman said. “India has somehow produced greatness in sport through batsmanship and not so much from bowling. It is up to the fans to start making heroes out of bowlers and I think that is starting to happen now. “We have game-changers like (Jasprit) Bumrah, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar who are winning Man-of-the-Match or Man- of-the-Series awards. That?s a nice trend, a different trend, but at the end of the day it?s the fans who have to embrace who their hero is. They like batsmen more,” he added. Manjrekar, who has faced many top-quality international bowlers, said that the country needs a bowling superstar. “All India needs is one bowling superstar and it will have amazing (impact) effect on younger kids. You have best academies and infrastructure in the world, but youngsters get inspired by bowling and batting heroes. Cricket inspires young cricketers,” added Manjrekar. He also praised young spinner Yuzvendra Chahal and the overall confidence which the current bowlers have. “What strikes me about (Yuzvendra) Chahal?s bowling, I have never seen a bowler in a T20 on a flat pitch, have the courage to ball in the zone where the batsman will usually hit it for a six, but he does that and he backs himself. It?s amazing that the new generation, the kind of confidence that they have,” added Manjrekar. The former Mumbai stalwart was speaking at the launch of a book — ?Spell-binding Spells” penned by Anindya Dutta — in presence of former India batsman Lalchand Rajput and Padmakar Shivalakar, arguably the best bowler of his time who did not play for India. Meanwhile, Rajput, a domestic bulwark, said the role of bowlers was crucial as they have the job to take 20 wickets. “As Sanjay said earlier, in India, it is the batsmen who get predominantly known. Like Sanjay I too looked upto Sunil Gavaskar and wanted to be like him. I always believe bowlers win you matches, you have got to take 20 wickets and that is the bowlers job,” said Lalchand, a former Mumbai opening batsman. PTI NRB AT ATadvertisementlast_img read more

Play By The Rules e-Bulletin

first_imgPlease find enclosed the Play By The Rules e-Bulletin for March/April, which includes the latest news and information on keeping sport safe, fair and inclusive.In this edition, read articles about club culture, new toolkits to help your association and several grants currently available. To find out more about Play By The Rules, please visit their website:www.playbytherules.net.au To view this e-Bulletin, please click on the attachment below.Related Filespbtr-ebulletin-march-april-2013-pdfRelated LinksPlay By The Ruleslast_img

BMW’s Long-Awaited 8 Series Successor Will Flaunt Its Two-Door Form Next Year

first_imgYears of rumors, concepts, and hints will finally be substantiated by a new production 8 Series from BMW. The German automaker will move into uncharted luxury territory when the flagship model goes on sale next year, providing a true competitor to Mercedes-Benz’s S-Class coupe and perhaps even the Bentley Continental GT.The original 8 Series that was produced between 1989 and 1999 was a large, two-door sports car, but the new model will be more grand-tourer than hard-edged performance vehicle, according to Autocar. The new model’s styling is likely to be inspired by the 2013 Gran Lusso Concept.BMW head Harald Krüger confirmed the 8 Series’ return during the company’s recent annual meeting. Before the production version is revealed, a concept car will be shown at the 2017 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este later this month. The world may see the consumer model as soon as October’s Frankfurt Motor Show.“The BMW 8 Series Coupe will build on our tradition of luxurious sports coupes and add a genuine dream car to our line-up – a slice of pure automotive fascination,” said Krüger. “The 8 Series Coupe will underpin our claim to leadership in the luxury segment. I can tell you today that this will be a true luxury sports coupe.”The 8 Series will borrow a platform, mechanical bits, and powertrains from the 7 Series, which was recently overhauled. It’s still to be determined whether the 8 Series will be a two-door exclusively (in both coupe and convertible layouts) or whether a four-door coupe will be added as well. Should the latter make it to production, it will have a similar shape as the 6 Series Gran Coupe, albeit larger.While BMW has traditionally stayed within the meat of the luxury market, the expanding profitability of Mercedes-Benz’s S-Class and other near-$200K ultra-lux models in the US and China has pushed BMW to think more premium. These high-end models also carry a big profit margin, which would bolster BMW’s bottom line considerably. Editors’ Recommendations A Breakdown of All the Major Types of Car Racing 6 Fastest Cars in the World Right Now Agave-Adjacent Spirits Like Sotol Are Worth Your Attention Glimpse the Future of Camper Vans in the Stunning Hymer VisionVenture Icons of America: Taking a Corvette Road Trip Along Route 66last_img read more

Modi to meet NDA MPs ahead of swearingin

first_imgNew Delhi: Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi will on Thursday meet the NDA’s newly-elected MPs who will take the oath of office and secrecy with him later in the day. The possible Ministers will meet Modi for high tea at his official residence, 7, Lok Kalyan Marg, at 4.30 p.m., informed sources said. Elected MPs from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) who got phone calls for the swearing-in ceremony are Piyush Goyal, Nirmala Sitharaman, Nitin Gadkari, Dharmendra Pradhan, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Arjun Ram Meghwal, Prakash Javadekar, Jitendra Singh, Babul Supriyo, Sadanand Gowda, Kiren Rijiju, Rajyavardhan Rathore, Kishan Reddy, Prahalad Patel, Suresh Angadi, Smriti Irani, Kailash Chaudhary, Kishanpal Gujjar, Purushottam Rupala and Mansukh Mandaviya. Also Read – Dussehra with a ‘green’ twist Shiv Sena, Janata Dal-United (JD-U), Apna Dal, Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) will get one berth each. Among the allies, Ram Vilas Paswan from the LJP, Harsimrat Kaur Badal from the Akali Dal, Arvind Sawant from the Shiv Sena and Ramdas Athawale of the Republican Party of India (A) have so far got calls for the swearing-in. Earlier in the day, BJP President Amit Shah met Modi and finalized the names of the MPs who will make it to the new government.last_img read more

NSCNIM leader arrested in Arunachal MLA killing case

first_imgNew Delhi: A joint team of NIA and local MI Unit in Nagaland arrested a self-style Lieutenant of NSCN-IM for his alleged involvement in the killings of an Arunachal Pradesh MLA and 10 others. Sitting MLA and NPP assembly poll candidate Tirong Aboh and 10 others were shot dead in Tirap district of Arunachal Pradesh on May 21. A home ministry official had said that militants from the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) are suspected to behind the attack, adding that the place where Aboh was killed is under the controversial Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA). Earlier, NIA had registered a case under 302,307, 34 of Indian Penal Code and two other accused namely Sethok Kangnong and Napong Jenpi @ Jenip were arrested in connection with the case.last_img

2 held with 2kg opium in West Burdwan

first_imgKolkata: The Kolkata Zonal Unit of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) arrested two persons in West Burdwan and seized 2 kg opium from their possession on Saturday.According to NCB officials, on Saturday morning, a source informed that some people were about to smuggle opium in Burdwan. Based on the information, NCB officials went to Burdwan and were waiting for a car at the Banskhopa toll plaza. At night, NCB officials saw the car which was a SUV approaching the toll plaza. After the car entered the queue, the car was surrounded by the NCB officials. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaTwo occupants, including the driver of the car were compelled to get down. Later, the car was moved to a place beside the toll plaza and was searched. During the search, NCB officials found 2 kg opium wrapped in a polythene. Following the opium was recovered, the duo along with the opium and car was taken to the NCB Eastern Zone headquarter in New Town. Later, they were arrested and the opium along with the car were seized. The duo were identified as Shaikh Akkel Ali of Sajina in Birbhum, and Nandalal Mondal of Gaya in Bihar. The duo is being interrogated to find out from where they procured the opium and where they about to deliver the consignment. The seized opium is worth Rs 3 lakh in the black market.last_img read more

Rita Ora Performs At StarStudded amfAR Gala Cannes

first_imgThe 24th annual amfAR Gala Cannes raised more than $20 million last week in support of amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, and its pursuit of a cure for HIV/AIDS.Rita Ora Performs At amfAR Cannes GalaCredit/Copyright: amfARThe star-studded black-tie event, held at the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes, France, during the Cannes Film Festival, was presented by Harry Winston and Bold Films.Event Chairs in attendance included Jessica Chastain, Dustin and Lisa Hoffman, Nicole Kidman, Diane Kruger, Eva Longoria, Carine Roitfeld, Harvey Weinstein, amfAR Chairman of the Board Kenneth Cole, amfAR Global Fundraising Chairman Milutin Gatsby, Len Blavatnik, and amfAR Trustee Vincent Roberti.Uma Thurman and Will SmithCredit/Copyright: Getty ImagesOther guests in attendance included Leonardo DiCaprio, Will Smith, Diana Ross, Nicki Minaj, David Beckham, Dionne Warwick, Uma Thurman, Adrien Brody, Christoph Waltz, Tobey Maguire, Joe Jonas, Rita Ora, Chris Tucker, Tracee Ellis Ross, Jean Paul Gaultier, Irina Shayk, Karolína Kurková, Bella Hadid, Joan Smalls, Coco Rocha, Natasha Poly, Lewis Hamilton, Kate Upton, Julian Lennon, Stacy Martin, Hailey Baldwin, Petra Nemcova, Dean and Dan Caten, Georgia Fowler, Winnie Harlow, Jessica Hart, Valery Kaufman, Doutzen Kroes, Lara Lieto, Maryna Linchuk, Angela Lindvall, Sasha Luss, Zuhair Murad, Philipp Plein, Sofia Richie, Olivier Rousteing, Jeremy Scott, Remo Ruffini, Lara Stone, Jasmine Tookes, and Timothy White, among others.Event Chairs Nicole Kidman and Dustin Hoffman opened the evening by welcoming guests, noting that their presence “keeps the fight against AIDS in the global spotlight, reminding the world that we can and must end this deadly epidemic that has already claimed more than 35 million lives.”Eva Longoria at amfAR Cannes GalaCredit/Copyright: Getty ImagesEvent Chair Eva Longoria thanked the event’s sponsors, and then introduced amfAR Chairman of the Board Kenneth Cole, who stressed that “ending AIDS is not a fantasy, it is a goal within our reach,” and discussed amfAR’s Countdown to a Cure initiative, which in less than three years has awarded grants totaling close to $40 million to support HIV cure-focused research conducted by more than 150 scientists working at 55 institutions in 10 countries around the world. Cole then introduced fellow amfAR Gala Cannes Event Chair and longtime amfAR supporter Harvey Weinstein, who continued to stress the importance of raising funds for research.Diana Ross Performs At amfAR Cannes GalaCredit/Copyright: Getty ImagesThe unforgettable evening featured four spectacular performances by some of the biggest names in music: The queen of Motown, legendary performer Diana Ross, brought the entire room to their feet with an unforgettable performance of classic hits including “I’m Coming Out,” “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” and “I Will Survive.” The first performer of the program, ten-time Grammy-nominated artist Nicki Minaj, took the stage with an explosive medley of some of her biggest songs, including “Swalla” and “Truffle Butter.” Rita Ora debuted “Your Song,” the first single to be released from her untitled, forthcoming album, which she co-wrote with Ed Sheeran. Finally, DNCE closed the evening with their Billboard Hot 100 debut single, “Cake by the Ocean.”Another stunning feature of the evening was the Golden Age of Hollywood Collection fashion show curated by longtime amfAR supporter Carine Roitfeld. The dazzling collection featured one-of-a-kind looks from the world’s most celebrated fashion houses. Participating designers included Alexander McQueen, Balmain, Chanel, Dior, DSQUARED2, Elie Saab, Fendi, Giambattista Valli, Givenchy, Gucci, Kenneth Cole, Lanvin, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Marchesa, Moncler, Oscar de la Renta, Philipp Plein, Prada, Ralph Lauren, Redemption, Saint Laurent, Tom Ford, Versace, and more. Thirty of the world’s top models participated in the runway presentation, including Bella Hadid, Irina Shayk, Karolína Kurková, Hailey Baldwin, Barbara Palvin, Jasmine Tookes, and Natasha Poly, among others. The Golden Age of Hollywood Collection was subsequently auctioned off in its entirety for over $3 million.Guests enjoyed bidding on an array of exclusive items and experiences during the live auction, conducted by auctioneers Simon de Pury and Sandra Nedvetskaia. The undisputed highlight of the auction was when Will Smith and Jessica Chastain took the stage to introduce a set of ten images featuring stars such as Rita Haywork, Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Katharine Hepburn, Clark Gable, and more by George Hurrell, the photographer who invented the Hollywood glamour portrait. Smith played the role of auctioneer, and after convincing other celebrities in the room such as Uma Thurman, Tobey Maguire, and Chris Tucker to take the stage with him, was able to sell the lot, and the winner also took to the stage for a photograph with the stars.Other highlights from the auction included: Actor Chris Tucker introduced a 1958 Jaguar XK150, arguably the finest post-war production sports car ever produced. Legendary football star David Beckham took the stage to introduce a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, a chance for the winning bidder and ten friends to join David Beckham in an exceptional 90-minute football match in Paris, followed by dinner and drinks with Beckham. A painted 1977 Chevy Van titled Ice Cream, a work by Street Art movement pioneer Richard Hambleton. Inspired by his large-scale artworks that were installed in Rio de Janeiro during the Olympic Games, showcasing the “perfect motion” of an athlete’s skill, artist JR created GIANTS, The Diver, Sculpture of Cleuson LIMA DO ROSARIO for the amfAR Gala Cannes. The massive sculpture of a diver was on display at the event at the base of the allée of the Hôtel du Cap, ready to plunge into the Mediterranean. Ape Suzette, a sculpture of highly polished bronze featuring a comical giant ape by The Haas Brothers, twins Nikolai and Simon. A one-week trip for 30 guests aboard the superyacht Serenity. A magnificent seven-night stay for 60 people at the Finolhu Resort in the Maldives, with VIP access to the newly opened 1OAK Beach Club. Christoph Waltz introduced an opportunity for the lucky winner travel with Johan Ernst Nilson, one the world’s leading explorers, to meet His Holiness the Dalai Lama along a five-day trek in the Indian Himalayas. The Egg Number 1, Versailles, a work by French artist and interior designer Jonathan Loubens. Coco Rocha introduced a one-of-a-kind cognac celebrating eight generations of Hennessy Master Blenders from the same family. Hennessy•8 is a unique blend of eight rare eaux-de-vie created by Yann Fillioux and his nephew and appointed successor Renaud Fillioux de Gironde. Showcased by the acclaimed designer Arik Lévy in a Baccarat Crystal carafe enclosed in a precious chest made from wood from Hennessy Barrels, the masterpiece and its history were presented with Renaud and Arik in the audience. A one-of-a-kind sculpture created specifically for the amfAR Gala Cannes by Alec Monopoly, the alias of an unidentified graffiti artist, titled Director Monopoly. This work, the largest sculpture Alec has created to date, represents the constant battle between business and creativity that takes place in Hollywood and is an ode to the larger than life nature of big budget blockbuster movies and capitalism that currently dominate the film industry. Compassion, a 3D lenticular lightbox by Chris Levine of his 2015 photograph of the 14th Dalai Lama, in which His Holiness posed for a formal portrait in aid of earthquake victims in Nepal. Karolína Kurková helped introduce Big Ego, a work by John Giorno. Dancing Fairy, one of the creations of acclaimed architect and designer Vasily Klyukin’s Fairy Fame series.Harry Winston and Bold Films were the Presenting Sponsors of the amfAR Gala Cannes. Moët Hennessy, Persol, and Renault were the event’s Signature Sponsors. Guests were welcomed into a Hennessy “Secret Room” to discover Hennessy X.O and greeted by servers with coupes of Moët & Chandon Impérial and the special edition Belvedere amfAR Martini. Guests enjoyed wines and spirits from the Moët Hennessy portfolio throughout the entire evening, including the After Party, which featured a golden Moët & Chandon bar playing off the Golden Age of Hollywood theme.Delta Air Lines is the Official Airline of amfAR.amfAR debuted its new fragrance, GALA for Men and Women, at the event.After the amfAR Gala Cannes dinner, guests were invited to the exclusive After Party, presented by Moncler.Since amfAR’s late Founding International Chairman Dame Elizabeth Taylor hosted the first amfAR Gala Cannes in 1993, the event has become the most coveted ticket in Cannes. Past events have been chaired by amfAR Global Campaign Chair Sharon Stone, President Bill Clinton, George Clooney, Matt Damon, Nicole Kidman, Robert De Niro, Sir Elton John, Demi Moore, and Madonna, among many others.amfAR’s annual amfAR Gala Cannes events have been important and successful fundraising events for the Foundation for over two decades, generating more than $200 million for amfAR’s life-saving research programs and keeping the fight against AIDS in the global media spotlight. amfAR continues to fund HIV/AIDS researchers worldwide, and works to translate their research into effective policy, prevention, and treatment education programs around the globe. Additionally, amfAR recently launched the Countdown to a Cure for AIDS Initiative, aimed at developing the scientific basis of a cure 2020. The Countdown to a Cure is designed to intensify amfAR’s cure-focused HIV research program with plans to strategically invest a multiyear total of $100 million. The amfAR Institute for HIV Cure Research, an innovative collaborative enterprise based at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), is the cornerstone of the Countdown to a Cure.The amfAR Gala Cannes event was produced by Andy Boose/AAB Productions.last_img read more

Sri Lanka repatriates 38 Indian fishermen

With the recently released 136 Indian fishermen, the Sri Lanka Navy has assisted the repatriation of 174 Indian poachers within this year alone. Thirty-eight Indian fishermen released from Sri Lankan custody were repatriated at the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) on Tuesday, the Sri Lanka Navy media unit said in a statement.The fishermen were arrested by the Sri Lanka Navy in March on the charge of poaching in Sri Lankan waters and illegally entering Sri Lankan territory by violating the international maritime law, Xinhua reported. At the IMBL, the fishermen were received by the Indian Coast Guard Ship “Ayush”, the navy said.

Farm tax reduction withstands challenge

A last-minute attempt to defer a tax break for local farmers fell short at Norfolk council this week.Waterford Coun. Kim Huffman asked for the deferral Tuesday but was denied in a 7-2 recorded vote.For many years, agricultural land in Norfolk has been taxed at 25 per cent of the residential rate. At its meeting May 21, council reduced this to 23 per cent.Council did so because the value of agricultural land – and thus the taxes it generates – has been increasing in recent years much faster than other property classes.Huffman wanted the matter deferred due to what she said is the current unstable political environment in Ontario. It might be prudent, Huffman said, to revisit the matter during Norfolk’s consolidated budget deliberations next January.Simcoe Coun. Ryan Taylor agreed with Huffman.“I support looking at this during the budget,” he said. “This is not the appropriate time.”Huffman and Taylor received push back from Charlotteville Coun. Chris Van Paassen. Prior to his election in 2018, Van Paassen had spoken to Norfolk council about the rising tax burden on farmers and the need for relief.At Tuesday’s meeting, VanPaassen said he was not surprised someone wanted to revisit council’s decision May 21. He was not expecting, however, that a colleague would want to reset the tax burden on local farmers to its previous level.“I’m assuming someone is going to throw a resolution out there to get it down to 20 per cent because that’s what it was (compared to today) in 2016,” VanPaassen said.The instability Huffman referred to moderated somewhat May 20 when the Ford government announced it would defer planned reductions in municipal transfers to 2020.In any event, Mayor Kristal Chopp suggested the tax break was warranted given that agriculture is a prime driver of the Norfolk economy and that the financial climate for farmers at the moment isn’t the best.Chopp noted that local farmers were getting nearly $4 a bushel for their corn in 1980. This compares with current prices in the range of $3.60. This despite 40 years of inflation driving up every input cost farmers must contend with.“For many farmers, a tax increase is not sustainable,” Chopp said.The reduction shifts $440,000 in farm taxes to residential and other property classes. Van Paassen says this is a big help to the 1,500 farming households in Norfolk County.Conversely, the impact on residential taxpayers is comparatively mild. Norfolk treasurer James Johnson said the shift works out to a $12 annual increase on the typical residential tax bill.In a recorded vote, Huffman and Taylor voted to defer the tax break to next year’s budget talks. The rest of council affirmed the reduction approved May 21.Norfolk County collected $3.8 million in farm taxes in 2016. Due to reassessments arising from the strong market for farmland, the county’s take this year was poised to rise to $5.8 million before council approved the reduction.MSonnenberg@postmedia.com read more

UN scientific committee studying the effects of radiation has funding crisis

Inadequate funding is “seriously hindering” the work of the United Nations principal scientific body studying the effects of radiation, which provides critical information for both government programmes and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which establishes health standards, officials have warned.The funding crisis for the UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) dominated discussions on Thursday in the General Assembly’s Fourth Committee, which deals with special political and decolonization issues. The Fourth Committee will meet on the issue again on Monday.Malcolm Crick, UNSCEAR’s secretary, said there must be more funding for the Committee and a high-level post, that had been abolished, should be reinstated.There was strong support among Member States for boosting funding – which comes from the UN’s general budget – and some discussion of possibly creating a trust fund.Established by the General Assembly in 1955, the Committee’s mandate is to undertake broad reviews of the sources of ionizing radiation and its effects on the health of humans and the environment. UNSCEAR has scientists from 21 Member States and is relied upon by Governments and organizations throughout the world as the scientific basis for evaluating radiation risk, establishing radiation protection and safety standards, and regulating radiation sources, according to its website. read more

US trade deficit fell in July

FILE – In this Oct. 7, 2014, file photo, the container ship Zim Istanbul makes its way up the Savannah River past historic River Street in Savannah, Ga. On Friday, Sept. 2, 2016, the Commerce Department reports on the U.S. trade gap for June. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, File) US trade deficit fell in July WASHINGTON – The U.S. trade deficit fell in July as imports declined slightly and exports rose to the highest level in 10 months, a possible sign that global demand for American products is starting to rebound.The deficit declined to $39.5 billion, 11.6 per cent lower than June’s $44.7 billion deficit, the Commerce Department reported Friday. Imports dropped 0.8 per cent to $225.8 billion, reflecting in part lower oil imports. Exports climbed 1.9 per cent to $186.3 billion, the highest level since last September, led by increased sales of American farm products.The politically sensitive deficit with China increased 1.9 per cent to $30.3 billion, the highest level since November. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has accused China of engaging in unfair trade practices which he says have cost millions of American jobs.The trade deficit is the difference between what America exports for sale abroad and imports for consumption in the United States. A smaller deficit helps to boost overall economic growth because it bolsters domestic production. The deficit last year rose 2.1 per cent to $500.4 billion, trimming 0.6 percentage point from overall growth of 2.6 per cent in 2015. Growth this year is expected to be even slower given a weak start which has seen the economy barely expanding at an anemic rate of 1 per cent in the first half of the year.However, analysts believe growth will rebound in the second half as continued solid gains in employment help to boost consumer spending. They are looking for a declining trade deficit to support growth in the current quarter.The rise in the deficit with China in July reflected higher imports of Chinese-made toys, clothing and cellphones.President Barack Obama is travelling to China for a weekend summit of the Group of 20 major economic powers with administration officials saying Obama will press the other countries to do more to support global growth.Even with the July increase, exports through the first seven months of this year are running 3.4 per cent lower than the same period in 2015. American exporters have been struggling with a stronger dollar, which makes U.S. goods more expensive on overseas markets, and global economic weakness. But economists believe the drag from the dollar’s rise may be lessening.Trump, seeking to tap into the economic anxiety of Americans who have seen jobs disappear in an increasingly global economy, has accused the Obama administration of failing to protect U.S. workers from unfair trade practices in China and other countries.Trump has said he would exit from the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico if it is not improved and will kill the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement between America and 11 Pacific Rim nations.Both Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton have attacked the TPP agreement which the Obama administration negotiated and the president still hopes to get through Congress in a lame duck session after the November election.While oil prices plunged at the beginning of the year, they have been rebounding more recently. The average price of a barrel of imported oil rose to $41.02 in July, its fifth consecutive monthly increase. However, even with the price gain, total oil imports dropped by 5 per cent to $12.6 billion in July.America’s deficit with the European Union fell 4.4 per cent to $12.3 billion while the deficit with Mexico was down 11.7 per cent to $4.7 billion. by Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press Posted Sep 2, 2016 6:40 am MDT Last Updated Sep 2, 2016 at 7:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

UN mediator suspends intraSyrian talks for three weeks

He was asked if the military escalation by the Syrian government and the Russian bombardment have “basically bombed your talks.” “I’m not referring to military activities, I’m saying to an impossibility through military activities and other reasons for the fact that the humanitarian signals which are meant to be sent to the Syrian people – for instance lifting of the sieges, for instance the access for all the places which are at the moment unreachable – should be seen,” he said.“The whole matter is, again, are we here to have another Geneva conference without any result for the Syrian people, or are we serious about what we have been saying, that while we are having a conference, talking about the future, and political future of Syria, and the new constitution, and the new elections, the Syrian people will see and expect me and they expect all of us to produce something while we are talking. “Since I am not seeing that, I have to be honest and say with myself, it is time now to have a pause only a pause and give time for this to happen.”Mr. de Mistura declared the official start of the talks on Monday after meeting for two hours with the opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC) at the UN’s official Geneva headquarters in the Palais des Nations. He met Government representatives yesterday.The talks between the sides are not face-to-face but indirect, involving ‘close proximity diplomacy,’ with the UN envoy shuttling between them in different rooms.Both Government and opposition are reported to have denied that the talks have officially started but Mr. de Mistura said today: “They are talks, and the talks have started, you can call them as you want, but they were talks, but there is more work, more work, to be done. “Not only by us, we have done our part. but by the stakeholders, who have been telling us ‘go and start this initiative,’ while in fact they, the Security Council and the ISSG, are now expected to address some of the issues pending, one in particular, what are these talks going to make as a difference to the Syrian people.” The ISSG – the International Syria Support Group comprising the Arab League, the European Union, the United Nations, and 17 countries including the United States and Russia – laid the groundwork for the Geneva talks at a meeting in November. “I have been asking even before issuing the invitations that there is an immediate implementation of a humanitarian initiative, even before the talks start,” UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura told journalists, citing such issues as lifting sieges and providing access for humanitarian aid to all the places which are at the moment unreachable.“I was told and reassured that they were going to take place during the talks. Well, I have been hearing from the Government that they had some procedural issues before talking about humanitarian side. I have been hearing from the opposition that they are urgently feeling the need for the Syrian people.”He stressed that the suspension was only “a temporary pause” and not the end or failure of the talks, noting that both sides insist they are interested in having the political process begin. He set 25 February for the next session. Mr. de Mistura has made clear from the start that he is under no illusions about the difficulties in ending a war that has killed over 250,000 people, sent over 4 million fleeing the country, displaced 6.5 million internally, and put 13.5 million people inside the country in urgent need of humanitarian aid.“There will be a lot of posturing, we know that, a lot of walk-outs and walk-ins because a bomb has fallen or because someone has done an attack, and you will see that happening,” he said last week. Today he was asked how he felt. “I’m not frustrated, I’m not disappointed, I have been long enough with the UN to know that when you have a five-years war and have had so many difficult moments, you have to be determined but also realistic,” he replied.“When you see things going in a certain direction, you take – we are the convener, we manage the conference, we decide when the conference producing results or not and if they don’t produce results we need to go deeper, that’s what we are doing,” he said, dismissing the idea of holding talks just for the sake of holding talks.“The UN cannot allow simple procedural matters to actually become more important than actually the results of humanitarian situation of the Syrian people who have been waiting for us to deliver this time, not a conference, but something concrete for them.” Special Envoy de Mistura (2nd left) with Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari (3rd right) of the Syrian Arab Republic during on the Intra-Syrian Geneva Talks (29 January 2016). UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré read more

Womens Soccer Ohio State falls 10 in doubleovertime to Penn State in

Ohio State senior midfielder Nikki Walts tracks a ball during the second half of the Buckeyes’ 7-0 win against Illinois at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on Sept. 14. Credit: Colin Hass-Hill | Sports EditorThe No. 9 Ohio State women’s soccer team (15-4-1, 9-2-0), the top seed in the Big Ten tournament, had their conference championship dreams fall short in a 1-0 double-overtime loss to No. 15 Penn State (11-4-4, 6-2-3 Big Ten) in the Big Ten semifinal Friday in Grand Park in Westfield, Indiana.Nittany Lion midfielder Laura Freigang hit the back of the net in the 109th minute for the game’s lone goal, leading Penn State to a dramatic 1-0 victory.Ohio State’s offense was absent nearly the entire match, only attempting four shots, none of which was on frame.Penn State finished the game with 24 shots, nine on goal. The Nittany Lions also held a 9-0 advantage in corner kicks.An early scoring threat by Penn State began in the eighth minute, when Freigang missed the Nittany Lions’ first  Nittany Lions’ first shot on goal  as it was saved by Ohio State goalkeeper Devon Kerr. Penn State dominated time of possession and shots on goal with seven shots, compared to Ohio State’s zero. That defensive slugfest continued through the second half, sending the game into overtime. After the first overtime period, the score was still tied, and the game advanced to a second overtime. Finally, Penn State got on the board with a goal in the 109th minute, ending the match. The Buckeyes will await their next opponent as an at-large team in the NCAA tournament Monday when the field of 64 teams is announced. If Ohio State is a top-16 seed, it will host the first round at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. read more

Option for new 46page passport with longer expiry date now available

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedPassport application services now available in Region 10August 12, 2016In “latest news”New redesigned machine-readable passport to be introduced this yearJanuary 2, 2015In “Business”New machine readable passports to be issuedApril 8, 2014In “Crime” The current 32-page Guyana passportGuyanese business owners and frequent travellers will have the option to choose a 46-page machine-readable passport, at a cost of $10,000 as against the country’s current 32-page passport.Monday, during his Budget 2019 presentation in the National Assembly Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan announced the new introduction.The minister explained that the new passport will reduce both the cost and the time spent to renew the document once it has expired.“[With] the introduction of a 46-page, machine-readable passport, business persons and other frequent travellers would find this new passport both attractive and convenient. It is priced at $10,000. The 32-page passport remains available at the current price of $6,000,” Minister Jordan said.The Department of Public Information (DPI) spoke to persons at the Central Immigration Passport Office, about this new measure.Collin Chung, a Venezuelan by birth with Guyanese parentage, said as a frequent traveller this new introduction is quite convenient for those, who are too busy to undergo such processes and should be embraced.“I think the 46-pages passport would be beneficial because we are entering industrialisation through our exploitation of petroleum in the country, so it would open a lot of doors and break down barriers to expand on tourism within the country.”Expressing her view, Gloria Giddings said that though she is simply visiting the country, she can appreciate how the new measure will benefit the regular air traveller. “This new introduction is beneficial to those who are frequent travellers especially business owners… it would beneficial for them… they would be paying less. Despite it costing a bit more, they will benefit because there are more pages, more time given, so it is definitely a plus for them.”An elated Dennis Garraway said that he is, “so happy that we (Guyana) got that materialised… I know that this would be a great boost for someone like me who travels a lot due to my religious obligations and those who frequently travel, so this would be a great boost.”Guyana’s passport has, recently, increased in value shown on the Henly and Partners Passport Index 2018. The index shows that Guyanese can now travel to 88 countries visa-free/visa-on-arrival, moving the country up four places on the index’s rankings, to 55 in the world. According to the 2017 index, Guyana’s passport allowed Guyanese to travel to 81 countries without requiring a visa or with a visa granted on arrival. read more

Firefox gets faster on Linux

first_imgLinux users have always been a big part of Firefox‘s vocal fan base, and today a group of Mozilla developers has repaid their devotion with some good news. Mozilla’s Mike Hommey reported this morning that his team of coders finally managed to get both 32 and 64-bit Firefox builds for Linux to compile with GCC 4.5.  The updated compiler has been available since April 2010, but Hommey’s team tried twice last year without success to make the switch. Now that they’ve been able to pull it off, Firefox on Linux should perform every bit as well as it does on Windows — with the possible exception of hardware acceleration, where Firefox’s utilization of Direct2D still gives Windows Vista and 7 a performance edge.Hommey also states that users of older Linux OSes should now be able to use the GCC 4.5 compiled builds, so long as they include the GNU standard C++ library from GCC 4.1.If you’re wondering when the changes will arrive in your stable Firefox build, it’s going to be a few months. Hommey’s blog post says they’re targetting Firefox 6, and Firefox 5 is set to be released on June 21st. Based on Mozilla’s new release schedule, that should mean the new Linux build should go stable sometime this fall.last_img read more