Woman killed, civilian injured in Pakistan shelling

first_imgAs Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi arrived here on Thursday to assess the situation, Pakistan violated ceasefire, leaving a woman dead near the Line of Control (LoC) and students protested again in parts of the Kashmir Valley. Mr. Mehrishi met Governor N.N. Vohra and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. Sources said the meetings focussed on the “fragile” situation. An official spokesman said Mr. Vohra and Mr. Mehrishi held “extensive discussions” on law and order. “They also discussed the security situation along the International Border (IB) and the LoC, more infiltration attempts and terrorism in the Valley,” he said. The meetings assume significance as unrest, growing militancy and the student agitation swept across Kashmir.A woman was killed and another civilian was injured near the LoC as Pakistani forces opened fire in Rajouri district in the Pir Panchal Valley on Wednesday. A police officer said the woman was identified as Akhtar Bibi. All schools close to the LoC in Rajouri district were closed on Thursday. Several schools were designated as makeshift camps for villagers to take shelter, an official said. Clashes continueDespite Mr. Vohra’s and Education Minister Altaf Bukhari’s appeals to students to return to classes, students on Thursday clashed at five colleges and schools in the Valley. Security forces used tear-gas shells to break them up.In Dooru, students staged a protest against the Army, which they said had assaulted several students after an incident of stone-throwing.Classes at S.P. Higher Secondary School and Women’s College, M.A. Road, remained suspended. The Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, said they would be suspended on May 12, too, as a precautionary measure. The Deputy Commissioner, Budgam, also ordered suspension of classes in Government Degree College and Government Higher Secondary School, Magam, on May 12. The students started a protest on April 15 after the security forces entered the premises of Government Degree College, Pulwama. Over 50 students were injured in a clash there.last_img read more

Lok Sabha Elections 2019 | Polling starts for 14 LS seats in NE, Assembly polls in Arunachal

first_imgPolling began at 7 a.m. for 14 of the 25 Lok Sabha seats across the eight Northeastern States, 57 of 60 Assembly seats in Arunachal Pradesh, 32 Assembly seats in Sikkim, and bypolls to an Assembly seat each in Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland.Voting will be held till 5 p.m. in all the seats except for Outer Manipur, Nagaland and the two Meghalaya parliamentary seats where the timing is up to 4 p.m. Apart from Assam, Manipur and Tripura, the region has a single-phase election.Of the 14 Lok Sabha seats, five are in Assam in the first phase, two each in Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya, and one each in the rest of the Northeastern States.Many constituencies in States such as Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Manipur have polling booths inaccessible by road. Polling personnel had begun walking — armed with stick to keep snakes at bay and salt for leeches — with polling materials a week in advance to reach their destinations. A few of these booths are in Vijaynagar circle of Arunachal Pradesh’s Changlang district where polling personnel were air-dropped so that they can head to their destinations on foot.Otherwise, one has to walk 187 km through the Namdapha National Park to reach Vijaynagar from nearest major town of Miao. Changlang also has the most number of all-female polling booths — 24 out of 91 — in Arunachal Pradesh.Polling Station 52 in Naharlagun under Itanagar Assembly constituency has 1,340 voters, the most in Arunachal Pradesh. Malogam under Hayuliang constituency has only one female voter.The phase I of polling will decide the fates of Union Minister of State for Home and BJP’s Kiren Rijiju and former Chief Minister Nabam Tuki of Congress, both contesting from the Arunachal West Lok Sabha seat, former Union minister Paban Singh Ghatowar (Dibrugarh LS seat, Assam) of Congress, Gaurav Gogoi of Congress (Kaliabor, Assam), son of former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, retired IAS officer M.G.V.K. Bhanu of Congress (Tezpur, Assam), coal mine-owner Vincent Pala of Congress (Shillong, Meghalaya), former Union minister Agatha K. Sangma of National People’s Party and former Meghalaya CM Mukul M. Sangma (both for Tura).last_img read more

Expats In India

first_imgIndia is awash in brain drain again.Only this time, the current is flowing in reverse. Petra Klerkx, a senior graphics designer from Holland, with partner Ramesh: ‘Kal’ in Hindi means yesterday and also tomorrow, so you see it doesn’t make sense.”For the past five decades, India’s best and brightest were lured by the glamour of the West. Today, growing numbers of Europeans and Americans seem to be enchanted by India. Many of them are discovering heady professional opportunities in the country’s booming information technology sector. Some have fallen in love with the culture, others with the weather, yet others with the food and in some cases with someone here.McArthur Mille, language trainer from Canada, currently living in Bangalore, says, “I was interested in working here, as there was an opportunity available. I just jumped at it. What brought me here was the kind of work that I could do here.”Sheila O’Hara first came to India as a tourist while still in college. Now she works with Microsoft as a language and culture trainer. “I did not specifically ask to come here, but since India is an interesting place to work in if you are in the IT industry, I just took the plunge,” she says. “There is a technology boom taking place. Certain parts of India are developing quickly, and it is interesting to notice all these changes at such close quarters.”By far the biggest draw for recent expatriates is the information technology industry, but they are also sprinkled in the hospitality and media industries. Bangalore’s reputation as a technology hub has made it the destination of choice for recent expatriates. Presently, an estimated 10,000-12,000 foreigners live or work in Bangalore.“About 6,000 – 7,000 foreigners get their residential permits each year from our office,” says Jagadeesh Prasad, of the Foreigners Registration Office, Office of the Commissioner of Police, Bangalore. “This number has been on the increase each year, with a large number of students, professionals and businessmen coming in.” Dr. Jean Letschert Ascharyacharya,who has lived in India for 40 years, says: “Bangalore is trying to be an international megalopolis. A place, which was recently called the Garden city, a calm place, is now being showcased as something else.”Of the expatriates in Bangalore, some 2,500 are students pursuing professional education or internships from a wide assortment of countries, such as Iran, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Germany, France, etc. Prasad estimates the number of employment seekers at about 500 in 2004. “While students stay on if they find good jobs, the professionals work here and some make it their home. Some of them leave after a year or two. This makes it hard to put a finger on the exact number of expatriates living in Bangalore from a long time,” says Prasad.Nationwide, between 20,000 to 30,000 expatriates are believed to be working in India. That’s a fraction of the 100,000 foreigners working in China, and even more in Hong Kong and Singapore, the Asian destinations of choice for expatriates.However, the appeal of India continues to grow.Many foreigners working in India are on assignment with multinational companies from their headquarters, such as South Korea’s M.B. Lee, who is vice-president of marketing at Samsung India, which also has several other South Koreans in senior management positions in its India division. Likewise, Bob Hoekstra, a Dutch national, is chief executive of Philips Software.But increasingly, Indian companies are also turning to foreign leadership. The chief executive officer and managing director of Ranbaxy, Brian W. Tempest, is British and Raymond Bickson, managing director and chief executive officer of Taj Hotels, is American.But the greatest surge in expatriate workers is occurring among mid level professionals, especially in the technology sector. Last year, CNN reported that Monster.com India listed 3,000 foreigners seeking work in India. Delhi-based Technovate eSolutions, a BPO in the travel space, boasts that nearly 10 percent of its 700 employees are drawn from all over Europe. The leading Indian software companies Infosys and Wipro both employ hundreds of foreigners. Julie Hughes: “It can get quite frustrating at times”“While many foreign born professionals come to India to work, I have also seen a lot of People of Indian Origin (PIOs’) coming back in the recent past to live here. We get their proposals each year and this number is also quite substantial as they come back with their spouses and their children,” says Prasad. He is hreferring not to returning NRIs, but rather foreign born Indians or Indians who have since acquired the citizenship of another country. Banaglore’s charm“When the many expatriates came in the early nineties, Bangalore was far more attractive and peaceful, and this could have influenced their decision to stay on here” says Sashi Sivramkrishna, who recently produced a documentary on the “Expatriates in Bangalore.”While most expatriates in Bangalore draw salaries equivalent to their Indian counterparts in the profession, some, especially in the BPO segment, command higher compensation due to their international exposure and language proficiency.Banaglore’s expatriate community has a wide cross section of people, from CEOs of multinational corporations to recent graduates. Some of them can afford very affluent lifestyles, comparable to or even better than that in their home countries. Others lead relatively Indian middle class lives or even struggle. “While many expatriates get drawn towards the local culture, and mingle with the locals, at the same time, a few remain aloof and as a ‘gated community’ hardly mingle with Indians,” says Sivramkrishna. Ivan Moura:”The day I came here, I felt at home with the large expatriate community ready to help me out with anything I wanted,”“The expatriates are spread all over Bangalore, except for the older areas, such as Gandhinagar, Malleswaram etc. and many live in the central Bangalore areas. One may find them in Richmond Town, M.G. Road and surrounding areas,” adds Sivramkrishna.  Potpourri in the makingPetra Klerkx, a senior graphics designer from Holland, says “The life here is fast and busy. There is much happening on the streets, so much of unpredictability. In Holland, what you expect, you get, which is not true here. Here life is very different. Here people do not have a sense of time. I would say time does not exist. ‘Kal’ in Hindi means yesterday and also tomorrow, so you see it doesn’t make sense (laughs).”For the past four years, Klerkx has lived in Bangalore for nine months, spending the remaining three months every year in Holland.For some expatriates, like Dr. Jean Letschert Ascharyacharya, artist, philosopher and writer, the journey to India has been deeply spiritual. With a Ph.D. in Sanskrit and an understanding of Indian culture that is so deep as to even embarrass the locals, Ascharyacharya is not a typical westerner. He has lived in India for almost 40 years now, painting and undertaking social work among the under privileged and villagers.Ascharyacharya first came to India way in the 1970s. “I often feel I am a crowd, that there are many people inside me. Generally speaking, I am an artist and close friends tell me I am a renaissance artist. I am a philosopher and have a Ph.D. in Sanskrit and as a person have always tried to have a large spectrum of interests. I have been trying to find the links that interconnect the various bodies of knowledge and this has been my life search.” Nenad ZuzaOne of my friends started the gallery (Masters International), and he wanted help. So I am here helping him,” Undoubtedly that cultural pull is strong among the expatriates settled in India.“I call this home and my country home too, and keep in touch with people there. I would like to be a person who calls two places home and vacillate between two places and positions. I also write and would prefer to write in Dutch. I am writing poetry and working on a novel,” says Martiene Meijer, a Dutch national, who is involved with the Jung Centre.Nenad Zuza, a Serbian national who came to Bangalore five years ago, has also lived in Mysore. The 32-year-old, who fought in the Serbian war and has seen life and death at close quarters, is in Bangalore promoting European art. “Many things brought me to India. I am spiritually inclined, so that brought me here. The ancient Vedic texts and particularly the Gita brought me here. I had many friends here and in time I thought of moving here. One of my friends started the gallery (Masters International), and he wanted help. So I am here helping him,” he says.Anne Julie has lived in Bangalore for a year now and has an equivalent of masters in French language. She teaches French at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc). “I wanted to experience something different from the European and American culture, so I chose India as a destination for work and in fact India is a fashionable place to go to,” she says. Half her friends have been to India and Indian movies and clothes are a rage in France.“I think there is a change taking place in India both in the cultural as well as the social context and I want to witness it first hand; that is another reason why I am here,” she says.Growing opportunities“Working with the Indians has been a rewarding experience,” says Eric Rousseau, director of Alliance Francaise, Bangalore. “The sense of family is very much present here even in the workplace.”“In France, the individual is supreme even in the work place, but it is totally different here; as the organization comes first,” says Julie, who teaches French at Alliance Francaise.Manoj Padmanabhan, Bangalore branch manager of Naukri.com, India’s premier job portal, says that many of the foreigners who apply for jobs on their website do so through relatives or friends. “We have received about 70 resumes in the last six months for placements in Bangalore,” he says. While most applications are for the IT sectors, there are also enquiries for posts of trainers, translators etc. With 1,500 tech companies, Bangalore is clearly the leader in attracting foreigners.The opportunities for foreigners to find work in India, and Bangalore in particular, are growing. There is a need for foreign language trainers and also executives. Salaries are often competitive with those in their home countries and the experience of having worked in India is increasingly looked at favorably on resumes, says a head-hunter.“The job applicants from overseas are looking out for salaries which are comparable to what they would earn in their home country,” says Padmanabhan. The added incentive of working in India is the international exposure they get. “With multi-national corporations re-locating their operations to India, most of the expatriates want to experience greater diversity and challenges at work, hence want to come here.”Bangalore ranks highly among the expatriate community. Several expatriates interviewed expressed a marked preference for Bangalore, mainly because of the large expatriate community here and also because of its weather, which does not get extremely hot or cold. Other cities of choice include Pune, New Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai.The foreigners feel that metropolitan cities like Bangalore and Mumbai are more hospitable to them. “The day I came here, I felt at home with the large expatriate community ready to help me out with anything I wanted,” says Ivan Moura, a Swiss national pursuing his post-doctoral work at the Indian Institute of Science. “I did feel a bit intimidated by the looks of people on the streets of Malleswaram and other traditional areas where my white skin drew a lot of attention. Other than that, there has been no real culture shock.” Most expatriates enjoy the unhurried pace of work here. “There are many things which are not in control here, like power, or time. If I get caught in a traffic jam, I am invariably late for my appointment. People seem to accept this,” says Moura. “There is no hurry to finish things and move on as in Europe.”“I have had a long holiday in Bangalore from the time I have come” says Moura. “The people here are good, and the work happens at its own pace. There is no sense of hurrying as in Europe or USA, and I feel very comfortable here.” He says he would love to stay on if he finds a suitable job. “There is no reason why I will not make Bangalore my home. The weather is great, the people are friendly and added to this, I feel very good living here. If I am able to find a partner, I would love to settle down here.”McArthur says, “We work with a work force which is 95 percent Indian and there are certain Indian attitudes at work. The people here are more than qualified to do what they are doing. I think the people here have accepted us well, as we bring with us an awareness and specific moors of the culture. It is better for them than reading a book or browsing the net to know about American accent or culture.”The hasslesThe bureaucratic hassles are the biggest gripe among expatriates. “I had to struggle for five days at the Foreigners Registration office to get my permit,” says an expatriate who asked not be identified. “It makes us feel we are not welcome here.”There are also the occasional cultural conflicts. Julie Hughes, who teaches French at Alliance Francaise says, “It gets quite difficult at times. For example, when I am having a party at 11 in the night and my landlord comes and makes a big hue and cry about it. It is frustrating that they do not understand. Otherwise, living and working with Indians is quite easy.” she saysO’Hara’s biggest criticism is noise. “When you are at home, trying to do something by yourself, there is so much noise. I have also found it difficult to handle the cultural differences, for example – a lot of Indians do not communicate clearly. They are not able to say no, when all they want to say is no.”Sussane Letzel, a German student pursuing an internship with St. Johns Medical Hospital, in Bangalore says she is most saddened by the inequalities prevalent in India. “The work here in the medical field is very different, as not every patient is treated equally. Those with the power to buy medical care can, others are let do die. This is what saddens me most.”The public apathy toward the poor was toughest on Rousseau as well. “I see people dying on the street and others not caring a damn about it. This is the greatest shock for me,” he says.Long time expatriate residents, such as Ascharyacharya, rue the increasing Westernization of India, especially the traffic and flyovers, which are increasingly dominating the city. “Bangalore is no India, and is becoming a monster in a sense. The mythological monster in all the fairytales – it is the idea of the freak, which has gone astray from a natural project. Something like Frankenstein.“Bangalore is trying to be an international megalopolis. A place, which was recently called the Garden city, a calm place, is now being showcased as something else. There is a shift in paradigm, which is the opposite of the possible identity, which could have been. It is rushing towards low culture and superficiality. There is greater intelligentsia in Kerala. Bengal, Bombay, Delhi, Calcutta have an intellectual aura about them. Bangalore could have had that, but the city has lost the opportunity.”The great Indian experienceNevertheless most expatriates say they are enjoying life in India. Letzel gushes about her Indian experience, “I may stay back if I get a job. My stay is for four months after which I plan to visit Germany for a brief period and then decide about my future.”“It was my first time in India and I have thoroughly enjoyed my stay here. Bangalore is not India at all. It could pass off as any city of Europe for the diversity that it has. Yesterday I called my mother and told her that there is no reason for me to come back to Germany, and she was quite surprised, but she would let me be.”Rousseau says, “It is fashionable to visit India among the people of France. We are aware of the socio-economic changes taking place here and this brought me to Bangalore to see them first hand.”He adds, “One thing that I notice about the expatriate population in Bangalore is that all of them are happy to be here. The people of Bangalore are open and do not mind if we ask too many questions.” He estimates the population of French expatriates in Bangalore at over 300.Klerkx says, “Since I have been in Bangalore for a long time, people treat me as one of them. They are accommodating. Once the first barrier is broken; then things fall into place. My skin color doesn’t really matter to people now.”O’ Hara says, “The acceptance by people is slow but also warm.” Indeed, “I find England weirder each time I go home.”The Indian experience is also transforming for many expatriates. McArthur says India has forced him to become assertive as a person as it is necessary for life in the country. “I feel it is making me a hard person, so I worry that when I go back, people may feel I have become a cold person.”“I do not consider myself very nationalistic when I lived in Canada, but I realized how much we base our identity on where you come from. I do miss my family and friends back home,” McArthur says.So would they recommend India to friends back home.“Definitely not!” retorts Meijer. “I wouldn’t want to part with my discovery. They must discover the treasure that India is for themselves.” Alas, her little secret is increasingly dribbling out.   Related Itemslast_img read more

Yanson pushes for U13 national football tournament as he bids for PFF presidency

first_imgAraneta currently serves as finance head of the Asian Football Confederation and has a seat on the FIFA executive council, the world governing body of football, the most popular sport in the world with over 4 billion fans and enthusiasts globally.“He was the one who encouraged me to run as PFF president,’’ added Yanson, the founding father of the NOFA Cup, an annual tournament designed not only to find hidden gems in the rough but also to provide young players with more opportunities and better lives.Araneta has also been designated as chef de mission of Team Philippines in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Ethel Booba on SEA Games cauldron: ‘Sulit kung corrupt ang panggatong’ Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:04Trump attends World Series baseball game in Washington DC01:19Magalong: Albayalde also got SUV out of ‘agaw bato’ operation in 201302:11Makabayan bloc defends protesting workers, tells Año to ‘shut up’03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games01:38‘Bato’ to be ‘most effective’ CHR head? It’s for public to decide – Gascon02:07Aquino to Filipinos: Stand up vs abuses before you suffer De Lima’s ordeal01:28Ex-President Noynoy Aquino admits contracting pneumonia00:45Aquino agrees with Drilon on SEA games ‘kaldero’ spending issue MANILA, Philippines–Football patron Ricky Yanson strongly agrees that pushing young players to their full potential will be the key to a flourishing national team program.“Developing football at the grassroots level is the way to go if we want to have a successful program,’’ said Yanson, president of the Negros Occidental Football Association (NOFA).ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. This jewelry designer is also an architect LATEST STORIES DTI creates Marahuyo, a luxe Filipino fashion brand for global buyers Duterte calls himself, Go, Cayetano ‘the brightest stars’ in PH politics MOST READcenter_img Roger Pogoy on hot shooting night: ‘Wish that happened in World Cup’ Drilon apologizes to BCDA’s Dizon over false claim on designer of P50-M ‘kaldero’ Matteo Guidicelli had saved up for Sarah G’s ring since 2014? Canadian vaping study details danger from ‘popcorn lung’ chemical View comments On its fifth year, the recent NOFA Cup in Bacolod City had the largest participant turnout with a total of 24 teams and over 400 players from all over the country who played in the boys under-13 division.“We aspire to provide our young players with opportunities to enhance their skills and elevate the level of football in our country. But more importantly, our objective is to develop these athletes to become better individuals,’’ said Yanson.“By imparting discipline through sports to these youngsters, we will be able to develop good players and better persons on and off the pitch,’’ said Yanson, also the chief organizer of the three-conference Dynamic Football League since 2014.Yanson has been in talks with current PFF president Mariano “Nonong’’ Araneta, who had shared to Yanson that he opted not to seek another term and instead run for vice president.“I hope that with sir Nonong running for vice president, we will have a good partnership,’’ said Yanson.ADVERTISEMENT Putting up a nationwide tournament for children has become Yanson’s commitment after declaring his intention to run for president when the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) holds its election of officers on Nov. 28 in Manila.“We have to establish a countrywide tournament for kids, specifically in the under-13 division and make it a long-term commitment. It is where the future stars of the national squad are bound to be discovered,’’ said Yanson.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGreatest ever?SPORTSBecoming his own manSPORTSFormer PBA import Anthony Grundy passes away at 40A total of 29 football associations all over the country will gather during the polls to elect their president, vice president and board of governors.Football associations from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao will have five representatives each in the PFF board of governors. Becoming his own manlast_img read more

Joe Root warns that win over Pakistan must not ‘paper over cracks’

first_imgShare on WhatsApp Jos Buttler serves up a treat with thunderous display of hitting Trevor Bayliss Questions were asked of their head coach, Trevor Bayliss, while the former captain Michael Vaughan set the hare running on a war of words with Stuart Broad after suggesting either he or Jimmy Anderson should miss out in Leeds to “ruffle a few feathers” among the squad.Speaking after Broad had fittingly taken the final wicket to cap a fine individual performance, Root said: “I asked the guys to play with pride and passion and you saw that on the field. I think there is an element of that that comes out through criticism.“To play for such a long time at this level like our senior guys have, you need to have that. They need to make sure they harness everything that they did leading into this game. It’s very important we don’t paper over the cracks and think this is going to be us [fixed] for ever – we have to make sure we don’t find ourselves in those positions like last week.”While Vaughan’s theory was always unlikely to come to pass, defeat here would have seen England tumble to No 7 in the world Test rankings and certainly increased the pressure on Bayliss given Ed Smith has just begun his selection role and Root is only a year into captaincy. England thrash Pakistan by an innings: second Test, day three – as it happened Read more Share on LinkedIn Cricket Share on Facebook “Trevor is the easy target when the side is losing,” Root said. “It would have been very easy for the whole group to get tense and have a negative feel but Trevor’s experience pulled us through. You saw it on the field, the energy the guys had. The confidence after that great start was there all week and that is a big thing for the team moving forward.”The chief positives to emerge from the 1-1 series draw came from the two standout selections at the start. Jos Buttler’s two half-centuries validated his return, while Dom Bess followed a maiden half-century on debut at Lord’s with 49 from nightwatchman here and then claimed his first three Test wickets as Pakistan crumbled on Sunday.Root said: “The one thing we knew we were going to get from Dom was that character. He was padded up for 45 minutes, desperate to get in as nightwatchman, because he wanted to be involved in the game. He wants to bowl, he wants the ball in the field – that’s the sort of player he is. It’s no surprise to me that you get the results you’ve seen this week from him.” England’s thoughts now turn to their strongest format – one-day cricket – before the Test series against India in August, with a one-off match against Scotland in Edinburgh on Sunday followed by a five-game series with a somewhat callow looking Australia side. Ben Stokes, who missed out in Leeds with a hamstring tear, is confirmed to sit out the weekend fixture and the “first part” of the Australia series that starts on 13 June. Dawid Malan comes into the squad for the former, while Sam Billings has been added for the latter.Pakistan can reflect on two Test wins from three on their tour of Ireland and England, having beaten the Irish in Malahide ahead of this drawn series, and some fine performances from Mohammad Abbas – the man of the series – and the teenage all-rounder Shadab Khan.Sarfraz Ahmed, Pakistan’s captain, said: “When we came here people thought that we will not win one game. The way we played at Lord’s was perfect, the batting, the bowling the fielding. It’s disappointing that we had a chance to win the series but we didn’t play well here. I am still proud of my young team.” England v Pakistan 2018 Dom Bess picks up maiden Test wickets as England beat Pakistan by an innings Topics Joe Root Share on Messenger Read more … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Pakistan cricket team Joe Root has warned that England’s series-levelling win against Pakistan must not “paper over the cracks” despite expressing some personal satisfaction that his players delivered on their orders to show more pride and passion.The three-day innings victory at Headingley stopped what had become a worrying rot for Root’s side, who had gone winless over the course of their Antipodean winter and then hurtled into a full-blown crisis with the crushing defeat at Lord’s last week. Share on Twitter Support The Guardian Share via Email England cricket team news Read more Since you’re here… Share on Pinterest Reuse this contentlast_img read more

Rodolphe Saadé Takes Chairmanship at CMA CGM

first_imgzoom French shipping major CMA CGM has made a new step in group governance as it appointed Rodolphe Saadé to the position of Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of the company.CMA CGM’s Board of Directors met on November 24 to decide the change in governance of the group. In accordance with the wish of Jacques Saadé and after having reunited the positions of CEO and Chairman of the Board, the board has decided to appoint Rodolphe Saadé to the new position.“To prepare the future, last February 7 I appointed Rodolphe Saadé to the position of Chief Executive Officer. His strategy has delivered very good operational and financial results,” Jacques Saadé said, adding that this is why he has decided “to entrust to Rodolphe the chairmanship of the group in addition to his current responsibilities as CEO.”“My father’s decision is an historic one for our group which became a key global player under his chairmanship,” Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and CEO of the CMA CGM Group, said.“I will pursue with determination the development of our group and strengthen its position as a leader,” he continued.In its third quarter 2017 financial results, CMA CGM said that its consolidated net income reached USD 323 million in the three months ended September 30, up from USD 219 million seen in the prior quarter.During the quarter, volumes carried by CMA CGM experienced a strong growth of 11.6%, compared to the same quarter of 2016, as the company carried close to 5 million containers in the three-month period. The change was mainly driven by the strong growth in volumes carried through OCEAN Alliance, on the Asia-USA and Asia-Europe routes, as well as on most of the North-South and Intraregional routes.The increase in freight rates seen at the beginning of the year continued through the quarter as well, enabling a rise of 14.4% in average revenue per container carried. As a result, revenues in the third quarter of 2017 surged by 27.7% to USD 5.7 billion.In October and November, the group issued a new bond for an amount of 750 million EUR which proceeds will be used for the early redemption of vessel secured debt and the 2019 NOL bond, CMA CGM said.Operating performance for the full year 2017 is expected to show a strong improvement over that of 2016.last_img read more

Alleged PATH stabber Rohinie Bisesar declared unfit to stand trial

first_imgTORONTO – A woman charged in an apparently unprovoked fatal stabbing in Toronto’s financial district was declared unfit to stand trial Tuesday, with a judge ordering her to spend two months receiving treatment at a mental health facility.Rohinie Bisesar faces one count of first-degree murder in the death of Rosemarie Junor, a 28-year-old newlywed who was stabbed at a Shoppers Drug Mart in Toronto’s popular underground PATH network of shops in December 2015.Bisesar was originally slated to stand trial in January 2018, but the Crown requested she receive a fitness assessment.That hearing began before a jury on Monday, with Bisesar claiming she hears unseen people speaking to her who control her actions. She also claimed Junor is not really dead.Forensic psychiatrist Dr. Ian Swayze testified that Bisesar has a mental illness consistent with schizophrenia and experiences delusions, auditory hallucinations, disordered thoughts and paranoia.Because of her condition, Bisesar could not effectively conduct her own defence or instruct defence counsel, Swayze told the court.Fitness requires that a person be able to instruct their lawyer, understand why they’re in court and who the major players are, including the judge and prosecutor.The jury at the fitness hearing found Bisesar unfit to stand trial after a short deliberation on Tuesday.Justice John McMahon, who was presiding over the matter, then ordered Bisesar to spend 60 days in treatment at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, a standard measure for people deemed unfit for trial, known as a “treatment order.”Bisesar will likely be given anti-psychotic and anti-anxiety medications while at CAMH, the court heard.She is scheduled to return to court on Feb. 9. At that point, a new hearing will be scheduled to determine if Bisesar’s treatment has resulted in her being fit to stand trial, her defence lawyer Robert Karrass said.“If she has become fit, we are then able to proceed towards trial,” Karrass said. “If she is not fit then we would ask for an additional treatment order or ‘keep fit’ order to make sure she is getting her treatment.”Biseasar listened quietly to McMahon as he issued her treatment order. When given an opportunity to address the court, she said she wanted staff at CAMH to examine her face for “implants” which she said could be affecting her behaviour.Bisesar also asked to fire Karrass and represent herself — a request she made numerous times throughout the fitness hearing.McMahon responded that someone found unfit is not legally allowed to represent themselves.“These folks (on the jury) decided, rightly or wrongly, that you are not fit right now to proceed to trial,” McMahon said. “Once you’re fit we can have a bunch of discussions about whether you’d like to have a (self-represented) trial.”Bisesar will be transferred to CAMH as soon as space opens up there, likely within the next two weeks, McMahon said. Until then she will remain at a jail in Milton, Ont.last_img read more

No winning ticket for Saturday nights 9 million Lotto 649 jackpot

first_imgTORONTO – No winning ticket was sold for the $9 million jackpot in Saturday night’s Lotto 649 draw.However, the guaranteed $1 million dollar prize went to a ticket holder in Ontario.The jackpot for the next Lotto 649 draw on Dec. 20 will be approximately $12 million.last_img

Volunteers offer free eye care to seniors in Vancouvers Downtown Eastside

first_imgVANCOUVER – A gaggle of seniors waits patiently inside the doors of the Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House, where the sound of Mandarin and Cantonese voices fills the air.They take turns sitting down at one of three tables, piled with optometric tools and gear. One at a time, eye specialists peer into their pupils and ask them to look through lens after lens, until they find just the right fit, often with the help of a translator.Bao Qin Song is one of 50 pre-selected seniors who were offered free basic eye care and prescription glasses, as part of the Eyeglasses Project, on Sunday.Qin Song says it’s been five years since she had her prescription checked. She can only read for five minutes before she loses focus with her current glasses.“I use the glasses but the glasses are no good,” Qin Song said.She said she didn’t know how to get a new prescription, so she was happy when a volunteer told her on Saturday that there would be free eye exams for Chinese, low-income seniors who live in the neighbourhood.“Today, the doctor checked my eyes. He changed the glasses. Oh! Good, good, good! Use that. I thought, this doctor is very good.”Project founder Howard Ma, a chartered financial analyst, says the idea came to him when he had to buy new glasses himself last year.“I remembered my last pair cost about $800 and I thought, wow, I don’t want to do that again. And then I started thinking, what do the poor and low-income do about their eyes,” Ma said.“I’ve worn glasses since I was five years old and I know I can’t function without glasses.”In October, the Canadian Association of Optometrists warned of a looming “vision crisis” in a submission to a House of Commons standing committee due to Canada’s aging population.Seniors 65 and older are projected to make up 20 per cent of the Canadian population by 2024, according to Statistics Canada.With that will come an increase in age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and cataracts, the association said.“Maintaining eye health, preventing avoidable vision loss, and managing age-related eye disease is a public health imperative and key to improving the overall quality of life and well-being of seniors,” it said.The Eyeglasses Project is a collaboration between Douglas College, the Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House and the Richmond Chinatown Lions Club.Ma says he hopes the project raises awareness about the demand for basic needs and services in the community and inspires others to get involved.If the project proves successful he hopes to continue it with more volunteers.Another volunteer, Lily Hecht, waits to have her eyes checked.Hecht is a senior who recently moved to the Downtown Eastside from Ottawa, after her husband died, to be closer to family.She says she had cataract operations in both eyes in recent years and has been told she might have glaucoma, so she was happy for the opportunity to get an exam.“Sometimes I have to get a bit closer before I can see the signs. If I’m walking or driving, I don’t have good long-distance sight,” Hecht says.last_img read more

Arizona Mining shares up on takeover offer by Australian company South32

first_imgVANCOUVER – Shares of Arizona Mining Inc. soared in early trading after the company announced a deal to be acquired by Australian company South32 Ltd. that valued the company at about $2.1 billion.Under the deal, South32, which already holds a 17 per cent stake in the company, has agreed to pay $6.20 per share for the shares it does not already hold.Shares in Arizona Mining were up $2.00 or about 48 per cent at $6.13 in trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.The deal requires approval by a two-thirds majority vote by shareholders including South32 and a simple majority of shareholders excluding South32.The company says directors and officers of Arizona Mining, who own a 34 per cent stake in the company, entered into voting support agreements.Arizona Mining owns the Hermosa base-metals project in southern Arizona.Companies in this story: (TSX:AZ)last_img read more

Cooperators expands storm surge insurance offering in Atlantic Canada

first_imgThe Co-operators Group Ltd. has expanded its storm surge insurance coverage in Atlantic Canada after several high-profile weather events in the region.The insurer is making the coverage available for the first time to homeowners in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island.The company said Monday that the comprehensive water insurance provides coverage for storm surges, overflowing lakes, rivers and creeks and sewer or septic backup.“Overland flooding has been identified as the most pervasive and costliest cause of damage to Canadian homes, yet most are inadequately protected against this growing risk,” said Co-operators CEO Rob Wesseling in a statement.The Co-operator’s coverage was recently released in Nova Scotia.Atlantic Canada was hit by major flooding this past April and May that saw water levels reach and sometimes exceed levels last seen in the 2008 flood.Insurer Aviva introduced its overland water protection flood insurance across Canada in 2015 in recognition of changing weather patterns.Many insurance companies started flood insurance programs after the Alberta flood of 2013 caused more than $4 billion in uninsured losses.About three-quarters of Canada’s major insurance companies now offer overland flood coverage, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada.The Co-operators first offered overland flood insurance in Alberta in 2015 and expanded the coverage to Ontario in 2016.last_img read more

King Mohammed VIs Dialogue Offer to Algeria to Fall on Deaf

Washington D.C – Unlike in the past when the King devoted the bulk of his speech to defending Morocco’s position on the Sahara and denouncing Algeria’s efforts to thwart Morocco’s efforts to end the conflict, the Moroccan monarch sounded a friendly tone towards Algeria, opening Morocco’s arms and offering to engage in meaningful dialogue without preconditions and in good faith.The flavor of the speech elicited the praise of several countries, such as France, Spain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Mauritania, Jordan as well as the United Nations Secretary-General. They were all unanimous in supporting Morocco’s offer to engage in dialogue with Algeria.Algeria has still not issued any official statement on the Moroccan offer. Meanwhile, analysts are wondering whether the Moroccan offer is genuine and seeks to appease tensions between the two countries and pave the way towards a normalization of their relations or whether it is a ruse intended to embarrass the Algerian government. King Mohammed VI firmly believes in the MaghrebFor starters, though King Mohammed VI has placed the Maghreb on the back burner in his recent speeches, the King has always been a firm believer in the need to achieve the unity and integration of Maghreb countries, mainly Morocco and Algeria. In his Ph.D. thesis, which he defended when he was still crown prince in 1993, King Mohammed VI argued that building a unified Maghreb and ending the rivalry between Morocco and Algeria was the only way for Maghreb countries to receive fair treatment from the European Union.Since his ascendance to the throne, King Mohammed VI has repeatedly advocated for the reopening of the border between the two countries, expressed Morocco’s readiness to normalize its relations with Algeria, and called on Algerian officials to engage in dialogue. The border has been closed since 1994.In the summer of 2004, the Moroccan government lifted the visa requirement for Algerian travelers willing to visit Morocco. Ever since, Morocco has called on many occasions for the reopening of land borders between the two countries. However, its calls fell on deaf ears with Algerian officials not showing any willingness to make reciprocal overtures.What makes Morocco’s new invitation noteworthy is the appeasing tone of the King, as well as the context in which it was framed. The offer was made in the wake of the adoption of Resolution 2440, which extended the mandate of the UN mission to the Western Sahara, known as MINURSO, for six months. For the first time since 2002 and since the start of the UN-led political process in 2007, Algeria is mentioned in a Security Council resolution on the conflict on quasi-equal footing with Morocco.While Algeria it still not considered a party to the conflict, the new language of the resolution could open the door progressively for the Security Council to consider it as party to it. In addition, the resolution adds new language that puts more emphasis on the need for neighboring states, Algeria and Mauritania, to engage in the political process.Morocco shows willingness to turn the pageIn light of the new language of the resolution and in preparation for the roundtable, which will take place in Geneva December 5-6 under the auspices of the UN personal envoy for Western Sahara, Horst Kohler, Morocco wants to place on record for the whole world to see that it is willing to engage in genuine and honest dialogue to thaw tension between the two countries and prepare conditions for confidence-building between its officials, which could eventually pave the way towards normalizing ties between the two countries. By doing so, Morocco conveys to the Security Council its willingness to engage Algeria and work with it towards reaching an understanding on ways to overcome all the obstacles to solve the Western Sahara conflict. In the event Algeria rejects Morocco’s offer, the latter could argue that it has done its part to for constructive dialogue between the two countries, but the other party has refused.But it remains uncertain whether Algeria will reject or accept Morocco’s invitation to engage in honest and meaningful dialogue. There are two scenarios for how Algeria will react to Morocco’s offer: One is very optimistic and may prove to be wishful thinking, and the other is a more realistic prospect that will most likely come to pass. Under the first scenario, Algeria will follow the logic of history, geography, shared language, and religion and open its arms to Morocco. In recent years, many former Algerian officials have deplored the closure of the border between the two countries and called on their leaders to end this anachronism.In addition, there have been many grassroots initiatives organized on both sides of the borders calling on the two countries to normalize their ties. As recently as July 22, Moroccan newspaper Al Ahdath Al Maghribia reported that Moroccan and Algerian associations organized a march from the Moroccan city of Oujda and the Algerian city of Maghniya towards the border at Zouj Bghal.Algeria will reject Morocco’s offer for dialogueUnder the second scenario, which I believe is the most likely, Algeria will turn down Morocco’s offer and insist that opening dialogue or the border would be contingent on Morocco’s acceptance of conditions Algeria laid down in 2013.Reacting to Morocco’s call to Algeria to reopen the border at the time, the spokesperson of the Algerian government stressed that it would only happen with “the cessation of the smear campaign against Algeria; a sincere, efficient and productive cooperation against the aggression that we undergo daily in the field of drug infiltration; as well as the respect of the position of the Algerian Government with regard to the question of Western Sahara which we consider to be a question of decolonization which must find a settlement in accordance with international law within the United Nations.”There is also a possibility that Algeria will never react officially to Morocco’s offer. While Algerian officials have not officially reacted to King Mohammed VI’s demand, some former Algerian officials and an authorized source told Algerian media that the Moroccan offer is “suspicious.”Over the past five years, there has been no sign indicating that Algeria is ready to open a new chapter in bilateral relations. The same leadership is still governing the country, and the military and the intelligence services still maintain the upper hand on decision-making. In addition, Algeria has left no stone unturned to thwart every Moroccan effort to advance its position on the Western Sahara conflict. Algeria has continued its efforts to undermine Morocco and opposed its return to the African Union behind the scenes, though to no avail.Facts belie Algeria’s statementsWhile the Algerian government continues to claim that it has no vested interests in the Western Sahara conflict and is only a neighboring country, the facts on the ground and information in the public domain belies those claims. It is an open secret that Algeria is Polisario’s main lifeline, and without it, the separatist group would stand no chance to survive nor enjoy diplomatic support.It is self-evident that Algeria supports the Polisario at the financial, political, diplomatic, and military levels. A quick comparison between Mauritania, another neighboring country concerned with the conflict, and Algeria shows the difference between an actual neighboring country and a real party to the conflict. Despite some periods of tension with Morocco, there is no evidence that Mauritania has provided military, diplomatic, financial, or political support to the Polisario. Nor is there any evidence that Mauritania has ever lobbied foreign governments on behalf of Polisario.Conversely, Algeria not only hosts Polisario and supports it financially, militarily, and diplomatically, but it also lobbies foreign governments on behalf of the separatist group. Over the past 27 years, the Algerian government has relied mainly on the services of lobbying firm Foley Hoag to help it secure US support for the Polisario Front. Since it renewed its contract with Foley Hoag in 2007, the Algerian government has been spending $400,000 per year to ensure that Morocco does not end the conflict in its favor. Recently, Foley Hoag was among the signatories of a letter sent to the Security Council on September 28, which called for pressuring Morocco to enter into direct negotiations with Polisario and for preserving the right of the Sahrawis to choose their future.  Furthermore, the recent developments at the Security Council have provided more evidence that Algeria is a party to the Western Sahara conflict. As a result of the new dynamic created by Security Council Resolution 2440, Algeria moved to sign a new lobbying contract worth $360,000 per year with Keene Consulting. David Keene, the chairman of the firm, is the former president of the US National Rifle Association, and a close friend to US National Security Adviser John Bolton.It is very telling that the new contract was signed just three days after the Security Council adopted a new resolution in which Algeria is mentioned for the first time and in which it is called upon to participate in the political process without preconditions and in good faith. Keene was quoted by Al Monitor as saying that he “will work on issues related to the disputed Western Sahara as well as military and defense cooperation.”This will not be the first time Keene will work on behalf of the Algerian government. Keene had already lobbied the Bush administration and Congress on behalf of Algeria as part of the lobbying contract signed between the Algerian government and the Carmen Group in 2006-2007. In addition, in 2010 he authored an op-ed in the Hill in which he lashed out at Morocco and used the same talking points used by the Algerian government regarding the Western Sahara conflict. In June 2016, he authored an hagiographic op-ed about former Polisario leader Mohamed Abdelaziz in which he described him as “great leader” and a “Muslim democrat.” Based on these facts, I am intimately convinced that Algeria is determined to pursue the same aggressive and malignant foreign policy against Morocco and will, therefore, deem King Mohammed VI’s offer for dialogue a non-starter. As Algeria is ruled by the same political and military oligarchy, it would be illusory to think the opening of a new chapter in relations between the two countries is possible. In Algeria’s foreign policy doctrine, Morocco is not viewed as a partner, but as an adversary and an existential threat to its dream for hegemony over the region.Nevertheless, regardless of Algeria’s reaction to Morocco’s offer, King Mohammed VI will have succeeded in exposing its duplicity and blatant contradictions. The Moroccan monarch is undoubtedly aware that his offer will fall on deaf ears like his previous offers, but he made it, nonetheless, to embarrass Algeria and expose its contradictions.Algeria is now facing a tough dilemma. If it accepts Morocco’s offer without preconditions, it will leave the door open for future bilateral talks between the two countries about the Sahara. If it rejects the offer based on the claim that Morocco should respect its position on the conflict and that Algeria is not a party to it, it would be contradicted by the lobbying contracts it signed with Washington D.C.-based companies to lobby the Trump administration and Congress about the same conflict.The deafening silence of the Algerian government five days after King Mohammed’s offer is very telling about the confusion in which Algerian officials have found themselves after the Moroccan monarch took them by surprise.Samir Bennis is the co-founder of Morocco World News. You can follow him on Twitter @SamirBennis. read more

Srilankan flight delayed following late arrival of crew member

The airline was expected to depart at 0400 UTC today once Frankfurt airport reopened after the scheduled night time closure. A Srilankan Airlines flight which was heading to Colombo from Frankfurt, Germany took several hours to leave Frankfurt as a flight crew member got late to arrive at the airport to board the plane.Srilankan Airlines said that flight UL554 from Frankfurt to Colombo was unable to leave Frankfurt as scheduled last afternoon as the flight crew member was not on the plane at the time. Srilankan Airlines said all passengers affected by the delay have been provided with meals and accommodation. They will also be compensated as per EU regulations. (Colombo Gazette)

Security Council condemns targeting and use of children in armed conflict

The United Nations Security Council today strongly condemned the targeting and use of children in armed conflicts and called on all warring parties to immediately desist from such practices. In a statement read out in an open meeting by its current President, Ambassador Kishore Mahbubani of Singapore, the Council expressed its commitment to the protection of children affected by armed conflict as an essential component of its work to promote and maintain world peace and security. Meeting on the eve of a UN General Assembly session devoted to children’s issues, the Council underscored the importance of ensuring unhindered humanitarian access to children, and called on parties to conflict to make special arrangements to protect and assist the youngsters. The Council also reaffirmed its call for the inclusion of provisions to protect children, with particular attention to the special needs of girls, in peace negotiations and agreements. Speaking at the outset of the meeting, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Olara Otunnu, said that when adults waged war, it was children that paid the highest price. In conflict situations children were killed and maimed, made orphans and refugees, he said. “Every day that a child lives in fear, pain or danger of violence of war, is another day where we have not done enough,” added Graca Machel, former Independent Expert of the Secretary-General on the Impact on Armed Conflict on Children, and author of the recent book Impact of War on Children. For her part, the Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Carol Bellamy, drew the Council’s attention to need to protect children in war zones from abuse, sexual violence and rape. Also participating in today’s session were three children from war-affected countries – East Timor, Liberia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Each appealed to the Council to use its influence to stop war and protect children from disastrous consequences of conflict.Video – Security Council meeting read more

Brock community raises nearly 26 million for bursaries

Brock’s endowment has increased nearly $2.6 million this year to help students with financial needs, thanks to generous donors and an Ontario government program that multiplied donated bursary money raised by the university this year.Between April 1, 2009 and March 31, 2010, donors gave Brock more than $757,000 for student financial awards, which was enough to qualify for a further $1.8 million match from the Ontario Trust for Student Support (OTSS).“It is truly amazing what we can do when we work together to achieve our goals,” said Doug Earle, executive director of The Campaign for a Bold New Brock. “The energy and determination shown by the Brock community has been an inspiration to behold.”“Talented students who may have not been able to afford a university education will now be eligible for a financial boost,” Earle said. “This nearly $2.6 million addition to our endowment will assist 75 more Ontario students in financial need to attend Brock each and every year.”The province’s OTSS program offers matching funds based on how much universities raise to be used for awards for Ontario students with financial need. Total gifts from Brock’s donors surpassed the Brock target set by the government, which ultimately qualified the university for extra provincial dollars on a $1-for-$2.42 basis.Compared to other Ontario universities, Brock was more than 250 per cent above its historic average — the highest percentage for universities targeted by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities for increasing endowments at universities that are per capita below the provincial average. And at 54 per cent above its goal, Brock had the second highest percentage of over-goal results for Ontario universities.In this current economy, many students are earning less and borrowing more. With more than 3,000 Brock students graduating this June, the Canadian University Survey Consortium suggests that more than half of them will graduate with debt, owing an average of $26,680 — an increase of 18 per cent from 2003. read more

EYEWITNESS Double standards…

…on “vulgarity”Over in Carnival Land, folks are all riled up about what constitutes “vulgarity” in their emblematic art form of Calypso. Now that’s more than a bit ironic, isn’t it? CalypsoORIGINATED in Trinidad when slaves wanted to tell-off their “massas” in the most ribald terms. They got away with it under the cover of the Carnival brought over by the French planters who’d fled the revolution in Haiti. Obviously it was heavily influenced by surviving African customs and cultures.It became praised as the “people’s newspaper” when social commentary became “the thing” and everyone became fair game for their bubbles and pretentions to be pricked and punctured. The tradition of Calypso provided a space for “Chutney” to develop in the Indian-Trinidadian community. Soca (SOul-CAlypso) was another derivation, which added some Chutney/Indian influences to the two acknowledged genres. The “Chutney-Soca Monarch” joined the “Calypso Monarch” as the crowning achievement in these “art forms”.But this year, up comes this Chutney singer Neermal “Massive” Gosein who releases a composition “Rowley Mudda Count” which was promptly banned from entering the extremely lucrative Chutney Monarch Competition, claiming the double entendre, “Mudda Count” (get it?) is disrespectful to Prime Minister Rowley’s mother. The PNM’s women’s wing denounced the composition as also being disrespectful to women in general and mothers in particular. More troubling was the Telecommunications Authority of TT (TATT) warning broadcasters about playing the ‘derogatory” song.“Massive” promptly cried “FOUL”!! and pointed out that for years Calypsonians had been allowed to get away with double entendre-laden calypsos directed at women in general and women politicians in particular without criticisms. They were protected by “freedom of speech” and allowed “artistic licence”. Massive specifically mentioned one calypso on Oma, the wife of then Prime Minister Basdeo Panday – “Oma AcCOUNT BIG”! or Crazy’s “Yer Mudda Come”.He also pointed out that Rowley himself was famous for misogynic statements: “he compared women to a golf course that needs grooming; referring to a 65-year-old woman by using the term “Jammetery”; telling a woman, she could bark at meh dog, because I goh ignore she cyat.” Massive finally concluded that it wasn’t just a matter of “different strokes for different folks” but a matter of different standards for different ethnic groups. Africans, he said, could make scatological comments about Indians – women and men – and that was “poetic” but when he as an Indian Chutney singer does no less – it’s “vulgar”!Over here in Guyana, your Eyewitness wonders if the same sociological imperatives are at work, when Simona “I is” Broomes can “boom out” against Jagdeo in Parliament without reproach; but the latter is “vulgar” when his MP’s raise placards there.…on inclusive democracyWhen the coalition was in the Opposition, one of their major talking points that gained traction in the general populace was on “constitutional change” that would make the political system become more “inclusive”. By and large, Guyanese of all stripes know that while the coalition may have “won” the elections in 2015, Guyana has LOST because the PNC-led coalition Government has broken their promise to include the Opposition in their governance structure. To a large extent, the present malaise gripping the country is a consequence of the PNC’s insistence of tightly monopolising the reins of power.The PNC has clearly reverted to form in this area. When Burnham was eased into office in1964, he not only chafed at the bits to get rid of the UF. He effectively banished the members of the UDP – which his faction of the PPP had coalesced with to form the PNC. Carter and Kendall were given foreign ambassadorships which took them out of the local play.Witness the fate of the AFC and WPA today.…on agri developmentHave you noticed which rural coastal villages are being drained and irrigated? Or that the big bucks for agri are now directed towards the interior savannahs?Burnham always said “last licks better than first licks”. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedRespondents not satisfied with quality of Mash Soca/Calypso musicFebruary 23, 2014In “Local News”Culture Ministry geared for Mashramani activitiesJanuary 17, 2015In “Business”MASH 2019: 39 events and activities planned for regions across GuyanaJanuary 14, 2019In “latest news” read more

Savings

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The cut in interest rates last week was a good story for mortgage holders, but now what for savers? With the cash rate at 3.75 per cent, what do Australia’s retirees and near-retiring workers do? The 0.5 per cent rate cut is money saved for mortgage holders but it’s less income for those relying on cash deposits, term deposits and fixed income products. And in this country savers outnumber mortgage holders by almost three to one. Savers have some thinking to do, especially if we have a minor recession and the Reserve Bank cuts the cash rate again to kick start economic activity. The banks are in the process of adjusting down their mortgage rates, which will take effect over the next few weeks, pushing down their cash and term deposit rates, which will happen immediately. For those in retirement or close to it, shares and property carry liquidity and market risk that they’d rather not take on. For this large cohort of people, the choices come down to putting your money in a transaction account, a designated high interest savings account or a term deposit. Let’s start with the last one. As the banks cut their deposit rates, you’ll notice more movement in some types of term deposit than others. The average 12-month TD rate at banks will drop to around 5.25 per cent and the 30- and 60-day TD rates will on average drop to around 5 per cent or less. Right now the sweet spot is going to be the 90- and 180-day term deposits which will settle at around 5.3 to 5.5 per cent in the next two weeks. Banks have a need of intermediate funding right now, so they will bid for your money by making offers on 90- and 180-day term deposits as attractive as they can. However, it’s always worth looking around for alternative deposit opportunities, such as something like Yellow Brick Road’s Smarter Money trust, which is returning about 6.0 per cent after fees. Your goal should be to have a spread of investments to diversify your risk. If you’re not comfortable with shutting your money away for a set term, you’ll either be looking at keeping your money in a transaction account, where you normally get zero per cent, or an online savings account where the 12 month average return is around 4.5 per cent, perhaps over 5.0 per cent. I make two points about these options. Firstly, earning zero per cent in a transaction account is not smart because with inflation running at around 2.5 per cent, you’re going backwards. Secondly, when investigating ‘bonus interest’ offers at an online savings account, the institution may offer you between 5.5 per cent and 6.0 per cent, but the rate will apply for three or four months, at which point it drops to around 4.5 per cent. There are going to be some good deals out there in the next month. Your job is to be informed not only about the market, but also about your own needs. * Mark Bouris is the Executive Chairman of Yellow Brick Road, a financial services company offering home loans, financial planning, accounting & tax and insurance. Email Mark on mark.neos@ybr.com.auwith any queries you may have.last_img read more

Adopt an olive tree in Messolongi

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Messolongi does not only boast Greece’s largest natural fish farm and world-famous sea salt but some of the country’s top quality olive groves producing outstanding olive-based products.Lekythos, a family-owned and operated collective of local olive growers have been making Greeks proud by producing world-class olive oil and olive products and most importantly contributing to the crisis-stricken local economy. Lekythos’ expertise dates back at least four generations, cultivating olives with traditional, natural farming methods and without the use of fertilisers.Homer St’s Greek Australian Gina Lionatos is partnering with Lekythos to offer people an opportunity to become honorary Greek olive-farmers as well as some relief to independent Greek olive growers.“It was a friend from withing the industry put me in touch with them (Lekythos), a well known olive farming family in Messolongi generation upon generation,”she tells Neos Kosmos. “Their idea was wonderful and I instantly loved the concept of how someone who lives so far away from Greece could still be involved, have almost a tangible experience and a thing to their name in Greece, something they can really be a part of even from a distance.”As a passionate Greek Australian that’s something that appealed to her right away; giving back to the local community. “Depending on the level of adoption, you will be receiving produce from the grove which you are contributing to,” Lionatos explains.“While helping local farmers revive and create new olive yards in the area, contributing to a mini economy you get an open invitation into the warm hospitality of Lekythos in Messolongi, to visit your adopted tree.”With this collaboration, both Lekythos and Lionatos wish to see this project grow organically through word of mouth and recommendation and to become a bridge for Greek Australians and Philhellenes to stay connected to Greece.“A very limited number of spots are available for the 2017 program, because we wanted to make sure that everyone that signs up will have an amazing experience,” she says. “We aspire to add more trees in Messolongi and extend the project to more countries.” To find out more go to www.homerst.com.au/products/adopt-a-greek-olive-tree For International orders (outside of Australia), please email info@homerst.com.aulast_img read more