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Adityanath, Rahul spar over Gorakhpur deaths

first_imgUttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday mocked Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi for visiting the families of the victims who died in the BRD Hospital, saying the yuvraj (prince) from Delhi should not be allowed to convert Gorakhpur into a “picnic spot.”The Congress however, shot back with Mr. Gandhi suggesting that the Chief Minister should resign for the controversial deaths of the children in the hospital.Under fire for the deaths of more than 100 children in the BRD Meidcal College hospital, Mr. Adityanath launched a week-long cleanliness drive in UP — Swachh Uttar Pradesh, Swaasth Uttar Pradesh.“The shehzada sitting in Lucknow [Akhilesh Yadav] will not know the importance of this cleanliness… the Yuvraj in Delhi will not understand the importance of this Swachhta Abhiyaan. They should not be permitted to come and convert Gorakhpur into a picnic spot,” Mr. Adityanath said in Gorakhpur.No Mixed-Media ItemsTH19 OMAR Yogi and Rahul attack each other in Gorakhpur.Rahul visits Gorakhpur victims’ familiesVice-President Rahul Gandhi on Friday visited the homes of families, whose children had died at the BRD Medical College Hospital last week, and termed the hospital incident a “government-made tragedy” and advised Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to stop trying to “cover up” the deaths, which he claimed were clearly due to lack of oxygen supply.Responding to Mr Adityanath’s statement on not making Gorapkhpur a ‘picnic spot’ Mr. Gandhi said, “If he has even a little bit of decency and honour” he “would have resigned” as Chief Minister given the “magnitude of the tragedy.”‘National tragedy’“It is not only an incident in Uttar Pradesh, rather it is a national tragedy Things don’t work like this. Modiji speaks about new India. We don’t want this kind of new India. We want a new India where the poor can take his/her child for treatment and they don’t die,” Mr. Gandhi told reporters.Congress leader Raj Babbar, who was part of the Congress team that visited Gorakhpur along with Mr. Gandhi, targeted Mr. Adityanath for his comments, saying that he was “insulting his position by talking in an undignified manner.”“He did not take any action [in the hospital incident] There is no empathy from his end. To question why Rahulji visited — Rahulji has come to share and ease the pain of the poor —shows his chotapan (pettiness) and ghabrahat (unease),” Mr. Babbar said.Mr. Gandhi visited the homes of Brahmdev Yadav in Baghagada village, Nitesh Shukla in Malanv and Rama Shankar in Basoli Khurd and expressed condolences for the loss of their children and listened to their grievances.On August 14, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav had also visited the families of the victims in Baghagada and Belwar villages in Rural Gorakhpur.Cleanliness driveMr. Adityanath started the cleanliness drive by garlanding a statue of B. R. Ambedkar before sweeping the streets of Andhiyari Bagh mohalla, a Dalit busty, with a broom.Mr. Adityanath said that there was a need to run a campaign against Encephalitis focusing on providing clean drinking water and eradicating open defecation. The government had conducted a vaccination drive of 93 lakh children from 38 districts in the state, he said.The government has issued a deadline of December 31 to make Gorakhpur open-defecation free and October 2, 2018 for the entire state.Our Delhi  reporter adds:Amnesty calls for impartial probeAuthorities must ensure thorough, independent and impartial investigation into the deaths of 70 children at Gorakhpur’s BRD Medical College, Amnesty International India (AII) said on Saturday.AII’s Programme Director Asmita Basu said, “The death of 70 children in a five-day period in a government hospital is nconscionable.The government has an obligation to ensure that investigations are carried out in an impartial manner,” she said.last_img read more

December 3, 2019 0

Sony just killed one of its best-looking and most long-lasting smartphone

first_imgThe Sony Xperia Z3 was a beautiful smartphone, possibly one of the best smartphones the ailing Japanese company has ever produced. Sony just killed it, out of the blue. Only two years after launch. Soon after Google pulled Android 7.0 Nougat out of beta, Sony came out with its list of phones that will be eligible for the upgrade. The Xperia Z3 along with the Z3 Compact (and Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact) did not make the cut. Also Read: Sony Xperia Z3+ review: Too hot for its own good There is slight hope for India though. The Xperia Z3 did not make it to the country. The Xperia Z3+ did. But then, it was a disappointing smartphone. I am not sure how many people bought it. If you did, well, there is some good news for you. The Xperia Z3+ will be upgradable to Android Nougat.”We will make Android 7.0 Nougat available for: Xperia Z3+, Xperia Z4 Tablet, Xperia Z5, Xperia Z5 Compact, Xperia Z5 Premium, Xperia X, Xperia XA, Xperia XA Ultra and Xperia X Performance,” Sony announced on its official blog .Why Sony killing off the Xperia Z3 so early is disheartening because the Z3 was officially the first non-Nexus phone to get the Android N Developer Preview update. It was among the select elite of phones like the Google Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, Pixel C Nexus 9, Nexus Player, and the General Mobile 4G to be eligible for Nougat beta testing. Evidently, Sony realised (later) that the Z3 was just not good enough for the fully cooked Android 7.0.advertisementThe Xperia Z3 was critically liked for its good-looks and long-lasting (3,100mAh) battery life. It was also IP68 certified for dust and water resistance at a time when waterproofing was still a hallowed sport. Most importantly, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 inside ensured it ran fast and cool, both at the same time. It was a pretty good smartphone, to not be eligible for the Nougat update is just sad. Also Read: Sony Xperia Z5 review: Best phone ever made by Sony There has been a lot of hullabaloo around the LG Nexus 5 not getting the Android N Update. The way I see it, the Sony Xperia Z3 deserves no less. RIP.last_img read more

November 22, 2019 0

Sarma sees India as a badminton superpower by 2020 Olympics

first_imgNew Delhi, May 5 (PTI) Newly-appointed Badminton Association of India President Himanta Biswa Sarma today laid out his vision to make India a world superpower of the game by next Olympic, with plans of setting up of five new national academies and making domestic circuit stronger. Sarma, who was appointed the interim head last month following the sudden demise of former president Akhilesh Das Gupta, also touched upon issues such as age fraud, team selection, dearth of infrastructure and lack of participation of top players in domestic circuit. “BAI fraternity is looking for an Olympic gold, so we have prepared a roadmap taking into consideration all the views of top players, coaches and also taking the game to grassroot,” he said at a conclave organised by the BAI. Top Indian shuttlers have given a miss to the National Championship over the last few years and Sarma said he had interacted with the players regarding the issue and they have agreed to participate in one of the events in a year. “We have discussed with the players about the issue. If Saina or Sindhu or Srikanth can play in say Srinagar or Patna or Guwahati that will create a lot of positive impact for the games because they are not only players but role models,” Sarma said. “So the players have agreed in principle but you have to look at their international calender. So today a decision has been taken that the players will discuss among themselves and suggest us a calender where they can be seen more in domestic circuit,” he added. Sarma said BAI has formed a committee to standardise the national academy (Gopichand Badminton Academy in Hyderabad) and plans to set up five new academies across the four zones and Northeast by the end of this year. “We need to standardise the national academy in the country because all players cannot travel to Hyderabad to train,” he said. “What I understood is if a player from Northeast have to stay in Hyderabad then he has to change his entire culture, food habit and also stay away from parents, so today a committee has been formed. “This committee will set a standard as what a national academy looks like. Then we will work with the govt of India and state government to get at least five centres to that level and BAI will get coaches and other support system. If the top coaches like Mohd Arif and Vimal Kumar can travel and oversee then it will be great. That is what we plan to do.” Talking about other issues, Sarma said he would address the issue of some doubles players complaints that they were not treated properly and also vowed to bring in transparency in team selection. “We have to select the team early, so that the players who are not in the team and are not funded by BAI or govt and still wants to travel can do it without any issue. We now impose fine on them and it has to change,” he said. “Another issue is that of insurance. We want to have good insurance scheme for the players so that if a player gets injured and is out of long time it can be of some help.” Stressing on the importance of the use of services of retired players, Sarma said: “Around 200 players play in different levels and once they leave active sport they want to still contribute. This huge talent pool have to be utilised for betterment of the game.” The Conclave was attended by all top players, including Saina Nehwal, P V Sindhu, chief national coach Pullela Gopichand, along with other dignitaries and members of state associations. PTI ATK PDS PDSadvertisementlast_img read more

November 19, 2019 0

Les parcs de la NouvelleÉcosse accueillent les visiteurs

first_imgLes Néo-Écossais et les visiteurs de l’extérieur de la province peuvent faire des réservations pour leur séjour estival dans les parcs provinciaux de camping à compter du mardi 2 avril. « Les parcs de la Nouvelle-Écosse offrent des endroits époustouflants où les familles et les enthousiastes de la nature peuvent se détendre, faire de l’activité physique et s’amuser, a dit Charlie Parker, ministre des Ressources naturelles. Les parcs jouent un rôle important dans la vie des Néo-Écossais et c’est pourquoi les gens y reviennent année après année. » Le réseau des parcs de la Nouvelle-Écosse inclut les parcs des plages provinciales, les parcs d’utilisation diurne, les parcs de camping et de nombreux sentiers de marche et de randonnée. Il est prévu que soixante-cinq pour cent des Néo-Écossais visiteront un parc provincial cette année. À compter du 2 avril, les visiteurs peuvent choisir des sites dans les parcs de camping en accédant au système de réservations en ligne au ou par téléphone au 1-888-544-3434 entre 9 h et 23 h. Le service est offert en français et en anglais. Les parcs provinciaux d’utilisation diurne seront ouverts à compter de la fin de semaine de la Fête de la reine, le 17 mai, jusqu’à la fin de semaine de l’Action de grâces, le 14 octobre. Les dates d’ouverture des parcs de camping varient selon le parc, mais elles s’étendent généralement de mai ou juin à septembre ou octobre. Les parcs de l’île Graves et North Rissers seront fermés jusqu’au 14 juin pour permettre des travaux d’amélioration. Les frais de réservation sont de 9 $, et les frais d’annulation sont de 7 $. Avant le 3 juillet, l’alcool n’est permis dans aucun parc provincial. Pour obtenir plus d’information sur les parcs provinciaux de la Nouvelle-Écosse et la liste complète des dates d’ouvertures, consultez le read more

October 22, 2019 0

Abhinandan Varthaman flies MiG 21 jet with IAF Chief in Pathankot

first_imgPathankot: Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, the IAF pilot who became the face of a tense military confrontation between India and Pakistan in February, on Monday flew a sortie with Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa on a MiG 21 jet here.Photo-journalists and a video crew were taken inside the Pathankot air base to record the 30-minute sortie, seen as an attempt by the IAF to publicly acknowledge Varthaman’s bravery in shooting down a Pakistani F-16 jet during the February 27 aerial combat. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Both Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa and Varthaman, without his signature handlebar moustache, posed for photographs while standing on the cockpit of the twin-seater trainer aircraft. “It was an honour for me to fly with him,” the IAF chief, who is set to retire on September 30, said after the sortie which began at around 11.30 am. The IAF, in a tweet, said it was the last sortie flown by air chief in a fighter aircraft before his retirement. Varthaman, 36, was captured by the Pakistani Army after his MiG-21 Bison jet was shot down in the dogfight. Before his jet was hit, the IAF pilot downed an F-16 fighter of Pakistan. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KA number of foreign media reports doubted the assertion about downing the F-16 jet of Pakistan Air Force. The IAF strongly rejected the reports. Varthaman was released on the night of March 1 by Pakistan. He was taken off flying duties because of his injuries. The IAF chief said he, too, ejected from a combat jet in 1988 and had to wait for nine months to return to the fighter cockpit. “He (Varthaman) has got back his flying category in less than six months which is good,” said Dhanoa, adding it was his last sortie on a fighter jet before retirement. “Both of us ejected and both of us fought the Pakistanis,” he added. Varthaman returned to the fighter cockpit around two weeks ago after IAF’s Bengaluru-based Institute of Aerospace Medicine gave him the go-ahead to fly again following a thorough medical evaluation. As a young pilot, the Air Force chief flew the Mig 21 jet with Varthaman senior, Simhakutty Varthaman, who retired as air marshal. Air Marshal Simhakutty joined the IAF in 1973 and has around 4,000 hours of flying experience. Abhinandan Varthaman was conferred the Vir Chakra, the coveted wartime gallantry medal, for downing the F-16 jet of Pakistan during the aerial combat. The Vir Chakra is the third highest gallantry award after the Paramvir Chakra and the Mahavir Chakra. Days after he returned from Pakistan, Varthaman conveyed to the IAF brass his wish to return to fighter cockpit at the earliest. After he was captured, Varthaman came in for widespread praise from politicians, strategic affairs experts, celebrities and others for his courage and grace in handling the most difficult circumstances. The IAF pilot underwent a nearly two-week debriefing by security agencies following his return from Pakistan. IAF fighter jets bombed a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist training camp in Balakot, deep inside Pakistan on February 26, nearly two weeks after the Pulwama strike. Pakistan retaliated on February 27 by attempting to target Indian military installations.last_img read more

October 18, 2019 0

Travel advisory issued for the North Peace

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A travel advisory has been issued for all highways north of the Peace River.A winter storm warning remains in place for the B.C. Peace.  The heavy snow and strong winds have caused dangerous road conditions. YRB North Peace Quality Manager Greg McNeil said the travel advisory was issued just before midnight Friday morning. McNeil said that heavy winds and snowfall have caused hazardous driving conditions, and road maintenance crews are recommending that all non-essential travel stop until the travel advisory has ended.Caribou Road Services previously issued a travel advisory for Highway 97 between Chetwynd and Taylor on Thursday evening. The arctic front that brought the winter storm warning will stick around until Friday with some areas receiving up to 25 cm of snow.last_img read more

October 13, 2019 0

Myanmar court jails Rakhine leader for 20 years for treason

first_imgSittwe (Myanmar): A Myanmar court on Tuesday sentenced a prominent ethnic Rakhine leader to 20 years in jail for treason, a verdict likely to intensify anger amid fighting between the ethnic group and the army. Security forces tried to calm hundreds of supporters outside the court in Rakhine state capital Sittwe as Aye Maung was escorted to a waiting police van following the verdict. Aye Maung, the former chairman of the Arakan National Party — which is renowned for hardline views against the Rohingya Muslim minority — was sentenced for treason and defamation over an allegedly inflammatory speech in January 2018, a day before deadly riots. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USState-backed media at the time said he railed against the central government for treating the ethnic Rakhine as “slaves” and said it was the “right time” for the community to launch an armed struggle. The following evening, Rakhine protesters briefly seized a government building and police opened fire, killing seven people. Aye Maung and a fellow detainee — writer Wai Hin Aung, who also gave a speech at the same rally — were detained days later. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls”Both Dr Aye Maung and writer Wai Hin Aung were sentenced to 20 years each… for the charge of high treason and two years each for defamation of the state,” Wai Hin Aung’s defence lawyer Aye Nu Sein said. Myanmar’s Rakhine state is cut by violence and hatred. A brutal military crackdown in 2017 forced some 740,000 Rohingya Muslims over the border into Bangladesh. Yet the ethnic Rakhine Buddhist population, some of whom are accused of aiding soldiers in the anti-Rohingya campaign, also feels marginalised by the state. The lawyer said they were discussing whether to appeal. Treason can carry the death sentence. Supporters of the pair were enraged by the perceived persecution of two prominent Rakhine figures. “This is not fair. This is oppression and bullying of ethnic Rakhine people,” one woman shouted in front of court, as the protesters spread to the centre of the town. In recent weeks, the military has waged war on the Arakan Army (AA), an armed group claiming to represent the ethnic Rakhine. The group launched a brazen attack on police posts in early January that killed 13 officers and killed nine more policemen earlier this month. The violence has spread to the ancient temple city of Mrauk U, the former capital of the Rakhine kingdom and a popular tourist site — the same town where Aye Maung gave his controversial speech last year. Support for the AA has grown with the fighting, even though several thousand Rakhine have been forced from their homes by the violence. A further 600,000 Rohingya remain in Rakhine without citizenship, restricted to either camps or their villages, many unable to access medical care. Much of northern Rakhine is in lockdown and information is difficult to verify independently.last_img read more

October 12, 2019 0

Combined global inquest

first_imgThe world is also eagerly waiting for the outcome of 2019 Lok Sabha elections in India. International media is abuzz with the assessment of the political situation that will emerge after elections in India and its impact worldwide. Global eyes are focused on the question whether Narendra Modi will return as the prime minister or not? None of the world press or psephology experts or think tanks seem assured for Modi getting a clear majority for his Bhartiya Janata Party to form the government this time. Major American news publications such as The New York Times, Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, International Herald Tribune, Newsweek and Time magazine have expressed serious apprehensions about Modi’s return in the editorial comments, articles and news reports published during the past one-and-a-half month. TV Channels CNN, CBS, Fox and ABC have aired programmes discussing the possibility of a change in government in India after these elections and its impact on Indo-American relations. Time magazine has recently published a controversial article and named Modi as India’s ‘Divider-in-chief’. It said that ‘world’s largest democracy is more divided than ever’ and questioned whether India can endure five more years of Modi government? The New York Times has published numerous opinion pieces discussing ‘can India’s prime minister maintain the power he has grasped?’ The Economist sees the current contest as a ‘struggle for India’s soul’. A perceptive observer pointed out that under Modi, India’s ruling party poses a threat to democracy. The adjectives and verbs used for the leader: despicable, dangerous, brutal, disaster, alienating, bullying, controlling, hounding, impetuous, wayward, excessive, and flamethrower. In an article published by The Washington Post, there are strong mentions of the failure of Modi’s promise to transform India. ‘In the world’s biggest election, India’s Narendra Modi pushes fear over hope’, says the article and continues hammering Modi by telling the readers that ‘five years later, those lofty expectations have not been met. The economy is not creating enough jobs, while farmers are struggling with debt and rising costs.’ Financial Times, Britain’s leading business daily, in its coverage of India, is extensive. It has published an article with the title ‘Narendra Modi cannot take the backing of Indian business for granted’. The article underlines that ‘one of the most vital challenges facing Modi government is the dire state of the country’s state-owned banks, which account for two-thirds of national banking assets and have been hamstrung for several years by a mass of non-performing corporate loans.’ An article published by Le Monde in France says, ‘Fundamentally, the real issue at stake in this election is the Constitution in India of a left-wing coalition, both egalitarian and multi-cultural, the only coalition capable of beating the pro-business and anti-Muslim nationalism of BJP.’ While discussing Indian election scenario in detail the article strongly mentions, ‘Modi is massively funded by big Indian businesses.’ Newspaper La’ Figaro also did not trail behind in giving space to raising serious doubts against Modi rebounding in 2019 elections. Channels such as TV 5 Monde have also aired programmes expressing doubts over Modi’s return after elections. Similar doubts have been raised prominently in various news reports in British newspapers Sun, Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, The Times, and The Telegraph. The discussions on major TV channels like BBC, ITV Network, and Channel Four also depict an uncertain picture of the outcome of India elections. A lookup of Australia’s channels – ABC, SBS, Seven West Media and newspapers such as Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian and Herald Sun also suggest that international media has been unsure of Modi’s come back as prime minister throughout the electioneering in India. Canada’s Toronto Sun and The Globe and Mail newspapers were full of news stories that depicted a totally confused polling trend. Community television and radio channels of Canada have also been strongly supporting a similar scenario. Ebullience in the Middle East and the Arab world over Indian elections had been phenomenal. Channels like Geo TV, Orbit Channel, Dubai TV, Bahrain TV, Al Jazeera, and Al Arabia and publications such as Gulf Tribune, Gulf News and Khaleej Times played exuberantly in discussing poll prospects for Modi and his BJP. Indian prime minister’s ‘radar remark’ had a very strong negative impact on the image of India’s leadership quality validating question about the future of our country in case BJP returns to power. Khaleej Times wrote, ‘It’s a pity that the Indian Air Force had to learn from Modi that it takes only a few cumulus clouds to dodge air radars.’ Participants in panel discussions on Star News of Japan and Channel 5 of Singapore observed that BJP will not be in a position to cross 200-mark in Indian Parliament after the elections. When RSS ideologue and BJP’s national general secretary Ram Madhav expressed his apprehensions on getting a clear majority by his party in an interview, his sentiments got vide coverage in international media. The scholars associated with various think tanks in different country quoted Madhav in support of their argument that it is not easy for Modi this time to reappear in a similar position that he enjoyed in 2014. In African countries too, the trepidation about Modi’s unscathed position was no less. TV and print media in the whole of Africa was blowing with debate on BJP’s chances of return. Channels – RTB, TV Africa, Multi TV, RTG, EM TV, Tele Sahel, and Sky NEWS transmitted a number of shows focusing on India’s elections and in most of them, the assumption of the uncertainty of the outcome was strongly sunny. Newspapers Asianet Africa, Sunday Times and Die Son especially lend coverage to elections in India with headlines that suggest that it’s not a cakewalk for Modi this time. Media in China, though did not communicate that it is absolutely sure of the arrival of the current government in India again, always indicated its inclination for ‘a more stable coalition in India’. China Central Television, Beijing Television and CCTV-13 built up an argument that even if BJP does not get a clear majority, it will enjoy the position of the single largest party after the elections and would be in a situation to form more well-built political alliance than the current opposition allies. People’s Daily, Global Times, China Daily and Shanghai Morning Post have been ferrying the similar ruckus. Hong Kong’s TVB channel showed discussions on similar lines and HK newspapers such as South China Morning Post, Headline Daily, and Oriental Daily News also gave shape to this idea. In an article published by Global Times of China, it indicated that five years of Modi did not yield required fruits by saying, ‘The country needs an efficient government, which is capable of addressing public issues, such as increasing employment.’ It also raised a question, ‘Even if it is said that India’s election is the best demonstration of democracy, will it produce a government which can realise its goal? Or is it just a show?’ To see the response to this inquest, wait only for three more days. (The author is Editor & CEO of News Views India and a national office bearer of the Congress party. Views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

October 12, 2019 0

Security Council notes need to expand UN presence in Somalia

The Government has been trying to relocate from Nairobi, Kenya, to a home country still suffering from widespread insecurity.”The Security Council welcomes the progress made in the Somali national reconciliation process, in particular the Transitional Federal Government’s ongoing relocation efforts, expects further progress in this regard and stresses the need for the international community to provide strong political, financial and capacity-building support for these efforts,” the Council President for March, Ambassador Ronaldo Mota Sardenberg of Brazil, read from a consensus statement.The Council recognized the African Union’s (AU) readiness to play an important role in a future peace support mission, but such a mission “must be carefully considered and planned and would require the support of the Somali people,” the statement said.It urged all factions and militia leaders to cease hostilities and, together with the Transitional Federal Government, to start immediate negotiations towards a comprehensive and verifiable ceasefire agreement leading to final disarmament. The Council also welcomed the UN’s offer to provide advice in this regard, Mr. Sardenberg said.More resources were needed for reconstruction, especially for those efforts coordinated by UN agencies, he added.Meanwhile, improving the humanitarian situation was essential to forging peace and reconciliation, and ensuring access to Somalis in need and guaranteeing the safety and security of humanitarian aid workers was an immediate priority and obligation of the Government, he said as the Council congratulated the UN Political Office in Somalia (UNPOS) on its achievements.UNPOS chief Winston Tubman told a news conference earlier Monday, before briefing the Council, that an expanded UN presence in the Horn of Africa country could help Somalis implement their agreements and coordinate regional and international backing for the peace process.The UN also could chair a Coordination and Monitoring Committee, as well as play a leading political role in the peace building that is still needed, he said.”The capital, Mogadishu, is particularly insecure. We cannot say that either peace or reconciliation has been achieved, or that the fighting inside Somalia has ceased. At the same time, a fledgling peace process has pointed to a way out of the morass. We have worked hard to support that process,” Mr. Tubman said.Calling attention “to a very dramatic moment taking place in Somalia today,” he said the Government’s leaders had visited Somalia, “testing the waters.””They were warmly received by the Somali people while on a brief tour last week, conceived as part of a phased-in return,” he said.According to a recent report on the country by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Mr. Tubman said, the UN was willing to offer advice on organizing immediate negotiations for a comprehensive ceasefire, was calling for the strengthening of the arms embargo and was prepared to support the AU in planning a protection force.On that last aspect of national security, he added, “Although some Somalis have expressed concerns and reservations, we hope their concerns can be addressed and their reservations overcome.”The prevailing insecurity was preventing the UN from implementing post-tsunami programmes in large areas of the country. “With better security, we can reach many more people in need,” he said.Mr. Tubman said the briefing was his last because he was resigning from the UN to become politically active in his own country, Liberia. read more

October 6, 2019 0

With right investments worlds adolescents can help economies soar – UN report

The State of World Population 2014, produced by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), finds that the potential economic gains to countries with large populations of youth 10 to 24 years old would be realized through a “demographic dividend,” which can occur when a county’s working age population is larger than the population that is dependent and younger.To maximize the dividend, however, countries must ensure that their young working-age populations are equipped to seize opportunities for jobs and other income-earning possibilities.“Young people are the innovators, creators, builders and leaders of the future,” said UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin in a press release today. “But they can transform the future only if they have skills, health, decision-making, and real choices in life,” he added.The report, The power of 1.8 billion: adolescents, youth and the transformation of the future, found that in the 1950s and 1960s, several East Asian economies invested heavily in young people’s capabilities and in expanding their access to voluntary family planning, enabling individuals to start families later and have fewer children. According to the report, the result of such actions was unprecedented economic growth. The Republic of Korea, for example, saw its per-capita gross domestic product grow about 2,200 per cent between 1950 and 2008.Today, demographic shifts taking place in about 60 countries are opening a window for a demographic dividend, UNFPA said. For instance, if sub-Saharan African countries repeated the East Asian experience by making the right investments in young people, enabling them to participate in decisions that affect their lives and adopting policies to bolster economic growth, the region as a whole could realize a demographic dividend amounting to as much as $500 billion a year, for 30 years.A demographic dividend of this magnitude has the potential to lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty and raise living standards and catapult economies forward, the report states. Critical youth investments needed to reap a demographic dividend are those that protect rights, including reproductive rights, improve health, including sexual and reproductive health, and provide skills and knowledge to build young people’s capabilities and agency. These investments can also accelerate fertility declines, which can in turn accelerate the demographic transition, according to the report.The report also found that 9 out of 10 of the world’s young people today live in less developed countries. Because of lagging social services, these countries face greater obstacles to leveraging the advantages that can result from engaging a youthful, productive workforce. “It is too easy to talk about the demographic dividend in terms of money, savings and economic growth, which have so far excluded many,” Mr. Osotimehin said. “The demographic dividend must be harnessed to achieve inclusive growth and offer opportunities and well-being for all.” read more

October 2, 2019 0

Football Fivestar offensive tackle Doug Nester announces his commitment to Ohio State

Ohio State received the first commitment in its 2019 recruiting class when five-star offensive tackle Doug Nester announced his pledge to play for the Buckeyes Saturday evening on Twitter.The 6-foot-5.5, 295-pound lineman is the top-ranked player from West Virginia in the history of 247Sports composite rankings. He is the No. 36 overall player in the nation and the third-best offensive tackle in his class.The Huntington, West Virginia, native would be the first player from his home state to sign with Ohio State since tight end R.J. Coleman from Clarksburg, West Virginia, in 2002.Nester is the second five-star prospect to commit to a Big Ten program. He might end up blocking the first – defensive end prospect Stephen Herron Jr. – as he committed to Michigan July 29. read more

September 28, 2019 0

Army weapons officer stole £70000 worth of guns from his base and

He added: “Peter Laidler stole weapons and parts of weapons. They include a number of SA80 rifles and sniper rifles.”Some were sold on to other firearms enthusiasts, others were kept at his address where they were found by the police.”Some were passed on to the defendant Roger Smith.”He was trained in firearms in his time with the MoD police, he must have know the weapons were stolen.”Mr Jewell said that Pemberton received a sniper rifle which was valued at £50,000 and which Pemberton exchanged with another enthusiast who sold it for £30,000.Mr Jewell said that Bull received two SA80 rifles but it was not known when or where they had been stolen from.The defendants deny the charges and the trial continues. A former Army captain stole automatic and sniper rifles worth tens of thousands of pounds from the Ministry of Defence and passed them on to other former soldiers and firearms enthusiasts, a court has heard.Peter Laidler, 71, of Abingdon, Oxfordshire, who is also a former police officer, is on trial at Winchester Crown Court accused of 13 counts of theft and one of handling stolen goods between 1998 and 2016.Roger Smith, 60, of Emsworth, Hampshire, a police officer with the MoD police, faces six counts of handling stolen goods.Firearms dealer Adrian Bull, 64, of Devizes, Wiltshire, faces three counts of handling stolen goods and former soldier Stuart Pemberton, of Warminster, Wiltshire, is accused of one count of handling stolen goods.Matthew Jewell QC, prosecuting, said that Laidler had worked as the armourer for the MoD’s Small Arms School Corps Infantry Weapons Collection at Warminster, where the majority of the weapons were stolen.Amongst the firearms stolen were SA80s, the Army’s standard issue automatic rifle, Lee Enfield and Mauser rifles, the court heard.Mr Jewell said “Peter Laidler was employed at the collection as an armourer, he didn’t have any authority to permit the disposal, destruction or sale of any weapons.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

September 25, 2019 0

Prices to increase for historic sites

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Ticket prices for most ancient sites and museums in Greece are on the up as the Greek government seeks to increase much-needed revenue from its world-beating antiquities.Single admission tickets for the Acropolis are to rise by about 66 per cent from €12 to €20 and those for the ruins of Knossos are to jump from €6 to €15.According to Greece’s culture ministry, prices at other popular sites and museums will double, with the rises applied from next year to the peak tourist season between April and November. A 50 per cent discount will apply for the rest of the year.Greece’s 200 state museums will be affected and the price hike will reportedly apply to Greece’s approximately 20,000 archaeological dig sites, which were previously free to visit.Culture ministry official Ioanna Baltsou defended the increases, saying “the price adjustments put the rates on a par with those in the rest of Europe”.Ms Baltsou added that unemployed people in Greece would be allowed free entry.Greek travel agents, concerned that the price rises will discourage tourism, has asked for the new rates to be applied over a three-year period. George Vardas, vice president of Australians for the Return of the Parthenon Sculptures, said recent inaccurate reporting in the international media had confused people’s understanding of the new pricing regime.“Some failed to distinguish between the cost of a single ticket to visit the Acropolis and the prices now imposed to visit another six archaeological sites, the cost of which was formerly covered by the purchase of a ticket for the Acropolis.“While price hikes are generally viewed with dismay, increases in the cost of admission to Greece’s archaeological treasures are not unreasonable,” said Mr Vardas.“By way of comparison, the price of entry to some of Europe’s great attractions such as Westminster Abbey, the Louvre, the Vatican and the London Eye is more than €20. “As the writer Edward Hollis observed, ‘the Parthenon is perfect … it is what architecture was, is and should be’. €20 is a small price to see perfection in our lifetime.”last_img read more

September 21, 2019 0

Pollution la mauvaise qualité de lair intérieur des politiques

first_imgPollution : la mauvaise qualité de l’air intérieur des politiquesFrance – Alors qu’elle réclame une loi pour protéger les consommateurs, l’UFC-Que Choisir a dévoilé les résultats d’une surprenante enquête. Les hommes et femmes politiques savent désormais à quel point l’air qu’ils respirent quotidiennement est pollué.L’UFC-Que Choisir a mené une enquête sur l’air intérieur des lieux de vie des politiques. Des kits ont été installés pendant quelques jours dans les bureaux ou domiciles de la secrétaire d’État à l’Écologie Chantal Jouanno, et de 35 députés et sénateurs. Les résultats révèlent entre autres des taux élevés de benzène et de formaldéhyde, 29 des 36 analyses effectuées mettant en lumière une mauvaise qualité de l’air. Six autres analyses ont révélé une qualité “moyenne”, tandis que comme le souligne l’association de défense des consommateurs, “aucune ne peut prétendre à la mention “bonne””.À lire aussiLa Méditerranée est officiellement la mer la plus polluée par le plastiqueL’enquête précise que les taux de benzène, une substance cancérigène, et de formaldéhyde, un polluant classé prioritaire par l’Observatoire de la qualité de l’air intérieur, ont été notés dans la totalité des prélèvements. Les émanations ont en grande majorité été retrouvées sur des meubles, des nettoyants ménagers, des revêtements de sol ou encore des désodorisants. Pour le formaldéhyde, 78% des analyses dépassent la valeur maximale recommandée.Pour l’UFC-Que Choisir, le but de cette enquête est de provoquer une prise de conscience quant à un “problème généralisé de santé publique”. Et l’association de souligner que “si les comportements individuels (manque d’aération des logements, tabagie…) peuvent pour partie contribuer à de forts niveaux d’exposition, ce sont avant tout les produits de consommation qui sont à l’origine de ce cocktail chimique”.L’organisation plaide en faveur d’une loi pour lutter contre la pollution de l’air intérieur, assortie de séries d’études toxicologiques visant à déterminer le caractère dangereux de chaque substance. L’UFC-Que Choisir réclame également un durcissement du barème d’étiquetage des produits quant aux polluants qu’ils peuvent contenir.Le 25 août 2010 à 16:07 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

September 20, 2019 0

Des chauvessouris du Bangladesh forment un réservoir pour le virus Ebola

first_imgDes chauves-souris du Bangladesh forment un réservoir pour le virus EbolaCinq roussettes de type rousettus leschenaultii ont montré la présence d’anticorps pour deux souches du virus d’Ebola dans leur sang au Bangladesh. Les chauves-souris forment un réservoir connu pour le virus mais il s’agit du premier constaté en Asie en dehors des Philippines. Aucun animal n’était directement infecté.Le Bangladesh est-il menacé par le virus Ebola ? Des chercheurs centrés autour de l’ONG EcoHealth Alliance ont annoncé que certaines chauves-souris de ce pays asiatique possèdent des anticorps contre les souches zaïroises et Reston du virus Ebola. Aucun animal n’était directement infecté mais ces anticorps ont été retrouvés sur 5 des 276 mammifères analysés, soit 3,5% de ces animaux. Le rôle des chauves-souris comme réservoir au filovirus est bien connu, mais cela est très rarement observé en dehors de l’Afrique.Le Bangladesh rejoint donc l’Espagne et les Philippines dans la liste des pays non sub-sahariens où certaines chauves-souris possèdent des anticorps contre des filovirus (virus d’Ebola et de Marburg). La campagne de capture et d’analyse s’est déroulée d’avril 2010 à mars 2011. Cette étude est publiée dans le numéro de février de Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal, édité par le Centre pour le contrôle et la prévention des maladies d’Atlanta, popularisé par la série The Walking Dead.Une espèce de roussette est concernéeQuatre espèces ont été ainsi visées et 276 individus ont été capturés grâce à des filets : 141 rousettus leschenaultii, 75 individus de l’espèce cynopterus, 59 megaderma lyra et une macroglossus sobrinus. Après une série d’examens sur des prélèvements de sang, d’urine, de matières fécales et de glaires, il a été prouvé que quatre chauves-souris de type rousettus leschenaultii étaient séropositifs pour la souche Ebola Zaïre et une à la souche Ebola Reston.À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?”La recherche sur les filovirus en Asie est un nouveau terrain d’étude d’importance critique pour la santé humaine, explique l’auteur principal de l’étude Kevin Olival. Cette étude a été vitale pour mieux comprendre les réservoirs de virus constitués par les animaux sauvages et la transmission potentielle d’Ebola au Bangladesh et dans la région” Le virus d’Ebola a été détecté pour la première fois en 1976 en Afrique et est transmis des animaux aux humains. Il frappe également les grands singes et provoque chez l’homme une fièvre hémorragique dont les épidémies peuvent être fatales jusque dans 80% des cas.Le 19 janvier 2013 à 14:47 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

September 20, 2019 0

Union Minister Kishan Reddy breaks down in tears over demise of

first_imgHyderabad: BJP senior leader and former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj passed away on the night of August 6. Her sudden demise has left the nation in shock. Many political leaders and celebrities expressed deep condolences and paid tributes to her mortal remains. On the occasion, Union Minister Kishan Reddy has become emotional while paying tribute to her. He couldn’t digest the fact that Sushma Swaraj was no more. Kishan Reddy recalled that Sushmaji is like Chinnamma not only for me, but for the entire Telangana. He said, “We couldn’t forget her efforts in the formation of Telangana state. Her response to public issues is inspiring to people like me.”last_img read more

September 6, 2019 0

Bihar Police files FIR against 39 villagers for protesting against AES deaths

first_imgThe villagers said that they were demonstrating in their village and not even on the main roads or highway.TwitterBihar Police have filed an FIR against 39 people from Harivanshpur village of Vaishali district for protesting against lack of water supply and death of several children due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES).”Our children have died. We did road gherao, but the administration has filed FIR against us. Men against whom FIR has been registered have left the village & gone away. They were the only breadwinners,” a villager said.According to a Down to Earth report, the villagers said that they were demonstrating at their village and not even on the main roads or highway. They also said that they were unaware of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar visiting Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) in Muzaffarpur on June 18.”We demonstrated in our village which is more than 5 kilometres away from the main Muzaffarpur-Patna highway which the CM took to travel. None of us went on the main road as we really did not know,” the villagers said.”Had we known this and the fact that we would face this after having lost so many children, we might not have done this,” they added.Reports regarding the residents of the village shifting their children to other villages after the AES outbreak had also come out in the past week.The locals had also staged a demonstration and announced a reward of Rs 15,000 for locating their MP and Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan, who has not visited the district even as the villagers have been suffering from severe water shortage and death of children due to AES.The villagers had also offered Rs 5,000 to anyone who gives information on MLA Raj Kishore Singh.”We are faced with multiple problems, but our MP or MLA has no time to visit us. Seven children died here. People have locked their houses and left. Even animals are dying as they have no water to drink,” the residents said.Meanwhile, the death toll due to AES rose to 131 in Muzaffarpur on Tuesday. Close Death toll due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome continues to rise in Bihar, reaching 117center_img IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:01/1:07Loaded: 0%0:01Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-1:06?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading …last_img read more

September 5, 2019 0

IS Southeast Asia chief killed in Philippines

first_imgThe head of the Islamic State group in Southeast Asia, who figures on the US “most wanted terrorists” list, has been killed in the battle to reclaim a militant-held Philippines city, the country’s defence minister said Monday.Isnilon Hapilon’s death came during a push to end the four-month siege of Marawi, a battle that has claimed more than 1,000 lives and raised fears that IS was seeking to set up a regional base in the southern Philippines.Security analysts say Hapilon has been a key figure in the jihadist outfit’s drive to establish a caliphate as they suffer battlefield defeats in Iraq and Syria.”(Our troops) were able to get Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute. They were both killed,” Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana told reporters, referring to another fighter who led the attack with Hapilon on Marawi in May.”Their bodies have been recovered by our operating units.”The US government had offered a $5 million bounty for information leading to Hapilon’s arrest, describing the 51-year-old as a senior leader of the southern Philippines-based Abu Sayyaf group, which the US considers a “foreign terrorist organisation”.Lorenzana said Philippine ground forces mounting a final assault on the militants in Marawi killed Hapilon and Omarkhayam Maute, one of two brothers who lead a militant group allied to Hapilon, early Monday.DNA tests will be carried out on the two bodies because of the reward offer from the US and Philippine governments, he added.”The implication of this development is that the Marawi incident is almost over and we may announce the termination of hostilities in a couple of days,” Lorenzana said.Philippine authorities have made several previous announcements on the imminent end of the conflict, but observers believe this time the forecast is likely to be accurate.Pro-IS gunmen occupied parts of Marawi, the Islamic capital of the mainly Catholic Philippines, on May 23 following a foiled attempt by security forces to arrest Hapilon, authorities said.The Philippine military says Hapilon joined forces with the Maute group to plan the rampage.Since then more than 1,000 people have been killed and 400,000 residents displaced.Defence chiefs last month said other Philippine militant leaders had been killed in the battle for Marawi.Troops were still pursuing Malaysian militant leader Mahmud Ahmad in the Marawi battle zone, Lorenzana said on Monday.The insurgents have withstood a relentless US-backed bombing campaign and intense ground battles with troops that have left large parts of Marawi in ruins.Troops identified Hapilon and Maute’s location on Sunday based on information from a hostage who had escaped, Lorenzana said.Hapilon’s death signalled rehabilitation of the city would begin soon, the presidential palace said.”We will put our efforts and energies on the challenging task of rebuilding and rehabilitating Marawi,” presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said.Hapilon is believed to have been involved in 2001 kidnappings of three Americans, two of whom were later killed.last_img read more

September 3, 2019 0

Thursday Weather Updates And Closures Parts Of Wharton Evacuated Dams On Flood

first_img– / 13This story will continue to be updated throughout the day as information becomes available. OverviewDays of heavy rain have ended in Houston as a welcome relief during cleanup from deadly flooding. The Houston area was hit with more than a foot of rain earlier this week and showers that lingered until Thursday. Eight deaths have been blamed on subsequent flooding in Harris, Waller and Austin counties. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers late yesterday began releasing water from two west Houston flood control reservoirs. Parts of Wharton, about 50 miles southeast of Houston, remained under mandatory evacuation due to flooding linked to the rain-swollen Colorado River. Flood stage was 39 feet. Figures show the river crested at more than 48 feet. Flood Warnings For Addicks in West Harris CountyThe National Weather Service has issued an Flood Warning for the area surrounding Addicks Reservoir, in west Houston.  Listen to Houston reports  At 4:58 a.m. Friday, the reservoir was at 148 ft.  Flood stage is 147.6 ft.  and flooding is occurring.  Officials released the dam at 6 p.m. Thursday evening.The Harris County Flood Control District said on Thursday the Addicks Reservoir is rising and water is moving into adjacent subdivision streets. Residents are advised to prepare for potential flooding conditions.The areas most likely to see street flooding, and potential house flooding, are located on the perimeter of Addicks Reservoir in the Bear Creek Village subdivision just northeast of the State Highway 6/Clay Road intersection; and south of Addicks-Satsuma Road.The potential exists that the following streets in Bear Creek Village will fill with stormwater and may be impassable in the next few days. Water levels may remain high for days or weeks, depending on additional rainfall and reservoir release rates. Sandy HillPine MountainLost SpringMill HollowSylvan GlenHickory GroveBirch ValeAspen GlenBear HillRegency VillaPine ForestFox SpringsPagehurstFern RidgePinecliffThornbrookMidridgePrairie CreekFour Season (Morning update)Flood control officials say creeks remain high in northwest Harris County, but are expected to start going down in the next few hours, including Cypress Creek.Officials say this break period on Wednesday is allowing creeks to drain, which eventually lead to water receding from homes and streets.The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says residents in the ‘Bear Creek Village’ neighborhood and in all sub-divisions along Barker reservoir are urged to be on alert and take precautionary measures.Extreme rainfall this week has led to significant rises in the Addicks and Barker reservoirs in West Harris County. Those reservoirs were constructed in the 1940s to store water that would otherwise flood downtown Houston. Areas surrounding two flood-control dams west of Houston have been placed under flood warnings.The floodwaters are expected to close roads in surrounding neighborhoods.City officials add that because water needs to drain through the bayou system, residents may see an increase in flooding — with or without additional rainfall.Authorities urge motorists to be cautious, especially driving during overnight hours.Officials expect roads in the Addicks and Barker Reservoirs to be closed for the next 4-6 weeks. #houstonflood #houwx— Harris County OHSEM (@HCOHSEM) April 21, 2016 NWSHere is an overview of the flood extent and stages across Southeast Texas. Additional rainfall could cause streets outside of these areas to be affected. Residents are strongly advised to watch for communications released from emergency management officials, and through media reports, for updates as weather conditions are changing. Monitor the water level in Addicks Reservoir on the USGS website.Residents in those subdivisions, and in other neighborhoods near the perimeter of the Addicks Reservoir, are also urged to prepare in advance by:Securing valuables and important documents and moving them to higher ground.Avoid driving, if possible. If you must venture out, avoid driving into water of unknown depth. Moving water can quickly sweep you and your vehicle away.Restricting children from playing in flooded areas.Remaining in your home during flooding conditions unless instructed to evacuate by local officials.Monitoring rainfall and bayou water levels on its Harris County Regional Flood Warning System website (desktop and mobile versions) at Flood Control District has a “Family Flood Preparedness” center at The Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management has disaster preparedness resources and the latest information about conditions in Harris County at #AddicksandBarker: Anticipate wildlife from the dams to travel into residential areas as they try to distance themselves from the flooding.— USACE Galveston (@USACEGALVESTON) April 21, 2016 Drone Footage of Floodingcenter_img NWS/Alert HoustonAreal Flood Warning extended until 11:45 p.m. on ThursdayOverall OutlookThe flood-devastated Houston area could soon get a break from the rain after a deluge blamed for eight deaths.The National Weather Service says a chance for showers continues Thursday but dwindles Friday. Saturday’s forecast includes mostly sunny with highs in the 80s.The Houston area received more than a foot of rain since last weekend, leading to flooding that inundated structures and forced thousands of people to evacuate.Forecasters issued a flood warning for Harris, Waller and Austin counties through Thursday due to the impact of this week’s heavy rain.The Areal Flood Warning has been extended to the western and northern parts of Houston until 11:45 p.m. Thursday. This mostly affects homes and businesses near bayous, creeks and streams. Those areas are still handling massive amounts of water that continue to drain from Monday’s storm.Some school districts in the area canceled classes again Thursday amid lingering floodwaters or damage. The Texas Education Agency says Houston-area districts that missed two days earlier this week get waivers and students won’t have to make up the time. More information and helpful linksArea shelter, giving and volunteer information can be found here.Emergency Tax-Free Weekend information.Houston area flood recovery information.TranStar is reporting 19 high water. The Associated Press contributed to the report.  Part of Wharton Evacuated Amid Flooding Concerns After RainThe Associated Press is reporting part of a South Texas town has been evacuated amid flooding concerns along the rain-swollen Colorado River.The National Weather Service issued a flood warning Thursday for Wharton due to rising water following this week’s heavy rain.Officials in Wharton, about 50 miles southeast of Houston, have expanded a mandatory evacuation area to about a square mile as the rain-swollen Colorado River has overwhelmed its banks.Mayor Domingo Montalvo Jr. says the water is rising faster than expected. Flood stage is 39 feet. As of Thursday afternoon, it was nearly 48 feet, fed by recent heavy rains and runoff upstream where more than a foot of rain has fallen since Sunday night.Police Chief Terry Lynch says about 350 homes are in the evacuation zone in low-lying neighborhoods where the river runs through the town of about 8,700. Authorities made nearly three dozen rescues starting Thursday morning.Lynch says officers have visited each home, most people have complied with the order but less than a dozen have refused to leave their property. The chief says authorities will not forcibly remove them.Figures show flood stage was 39 feet, but the level topped 47 feet Thursday at Wharton, a town of about 8,700 located 50 miles southwest of Houston.A shelter is available at the Wharton Junior High School Gymnasium.  Sharelast_img read more

September 2, 2019 0

DC NAACP to Be Active in 2018 Election Cycle

first_imgThe District of Columbia branch of the NAACP has active plans this election season to make sure that people of color are involved in the political process.Doug Sloan, who serves as the chairman of the D.C. NAACP’s political action, is a noted commentator on District and national politics and has served as an advisory neighborhood commissioner in Ward 4, is leading the charge in getting D.C. residents politically active.Doug Sloan, chairman of the D.C. NAACP’s political action committee, is working to get people of color involved in the political process. (Photo by J. Wright)“We will be hosting a D.C. Council member at-large forum in either early or mid-May,” Sloan told the AFRO. “We are planning to have a voter registration drive in early June and the primary is June 19. We are also working with the D.C. Board of Elections in their adopt-a-precinct program.“This program will help residents become more informed about voting in the primary in their neighborhoods. We will pass out voter information such as polling places and requirements to cast a ballot as a part of the program.”Beyond the District’s election, Sloan said the branch’s reach will extend outside of D.C.“We are also working with branches in Pennsylvania and Ohio to make sure that they get people of color in those states to the polls,” he said. “We are a non-partisan organization. We can get you to the polls but we can’t tell you who to vote for.”Sloan said in the fall, in preparation for the November 6 general election, volunteers from the District branch will travel to those two targeted states where he said the African-American vote is often the deciding factor in who gets elected to public office.“We want to make sure that we educate people about the political process.”One of the reasons that the District branch has the ability to help out in other states is because the District is considered a one-party city, Democratic. The D.C. Board of Elections reports that as of Feb. 28, 76.07 percent of District voters are Democrats, with Non-Party (Independent) as 16.46 percent and Republicans at 6.17 percent.Since the advent of Home Rule that was instituted by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Richard Nixon in 1973, all of the city’s mayors and D.C. Council chairs have been Democrats and the overwhelming majority of council members have been Democrats. District residents have been able to vote for president since 1964 and the city has overwhelmingly supported the Democratic Party candidate.Sloan said “I am fully aware that Washington, D.C. is a one-party town.”However, his concerns are about how that affects the District’s African American population.“Even though Blacks are still the majority of the population, we don’t have the highest voter registration in the city,” he said. He mentioned that African Americans still lag Whites in terms of income disparity, health outcomes and employment and those issues can be addressed through the political process.“In this city, it comes down to who votes,” Sloan said.Stanley Mayes is a Ward 1 resident and a member of the D.C. Democratic State Committee and is blunt about why Blacks should vote even though the District is a solid Democratic jurisdiction.“It depends on what type of Democrat wins in this city,” Mayes told the AFRO. “Sometimes the wrong Democrats win in this city. We need Democrats on the D.C. Council that are concerned about issues affecting Black people in the city and not on the council just for the prestige.”Mayes supports what Sloan and the District branch wants to do but he urges them to be cautious.“The NAACP is a non-partisan organization,” he said. “They have to make sure that when they go into other states, they are strictly engaging in registering people to vote and not trying to show a favorite party affiliation as an organization. They don’t want to get into a pickle on this.”last_img read more

September 1, 2019 0