In a rare gesture in trouble-torn Kashmir valley, people rallied in support of IPS officer Basant Kumar Rath following his transfer by the administration, in the wake of his online spat with newly-elected Mayor Junaid Azim Mattu.Mr. Rath, who has earned plaudits for streamlining the traffic system in Jammu and Kashmir in less than one year of being appointed as Inspector General of Police (Traffic), was shunted out on Tuesday and replaced by 1997-batch IPS officer Alok Kumar. He has been attached with the office of Commandant General of Home Guards.“Dear officer, Basant Rath, we salute you for being an honest and dedicated officer. Love you always and you’ll always stay in our heart and our blessings are always with you. We are going to miss you sir. May God bless you,” wrote Mohsin Ahmed on Twitter, one of his legions of fans. Mr. Rath trended on several social media platforms in the Valley after the transfer.Hailing from Odisha, Mr. Rath, who studied sociology at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi, cleared the UPSC examination in 2000 and made it to the IPS. He earned himself a following in Kashmir, a place where a significant section of youth is angry against security forces and engages in frequent street battles. His pro-people measures, accessibility to the commoners and punishing the ‘rich brats’ saw Mr. Rath emerge as a rare cop whom the locals would gladly approach to get selfies clicked with. However, last week, Mr. Rath took on Mr. Mattu over his remarks at his maiden conference as Mayor that wetlands in Srinagar were not of much use if the city did not have proper infrastructure for expansion, triggering an online face-off between the two.‘Madhav behind move’National Conference leader and former Srinagar Mayor Salman Ali Sagar alleged that the current incumbent used his newly-found affection for the BJP and its general secretary Ram Madhav to get Mr. Rath transferred.
Attracted by yoga, Prince Charles’ wife Camilla Parker-Bowles reach Bangalore for alternative healing
The Duchess of Cornwell, Camilla Parker-Bowles, who happens to be the wife of Prince Charles, has secretly checked into the Soukya Holistic Health Centre on the city’s outskirts for a week-long alternative therapy. However, Prince Charles has not accompanied her.This is her second visit to Soukya, run by the Dr Isaac Mathai. The centre specializes in Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Homeopathy, and various forms of indigenous medicine for treatment and cure of various ailments. It is a popular destination for international VIPs and sports personalities, who want to rejuvenate themselves.Camilla had checked into the high-end centre in 2008 for four days and seemed to be impressed with the various therapies offered there. “She is interested in Yoga and various therapies under Ayurveda. We are giving her a customized treatment package,” a spokesperson of Soukya said, without revealing anything further.Prince Charles has not accompanied Camilla Parker-Bowles.According to police sources, the Duchess of Cornwell came to Bangalore last Saturday and checked into Soukya the same day. She will be leaving Bangalore next Saturday and her visit has been kept secret, as she reportedly felt her presence may disturb her privacy.”We get such requests whenever there are VVIP guests in Bangalore. We are deploying additional security at Soukya to ensure that she is not disturbed,” police officials said. Soukya, located amidst pristine surroundings in Whitefield, Bangalore West, has restricted the entry of other visitors.According to sources, Camilla and her staff have been assigned the Presidential suite, which is isolated from the rest of the centre. “We often have international guests at our centre. But we prefer not to reveal their names, as they are sensitive about it,” the sources added.Soukya has treated several high profile guests. The centre shot into limelight after the Kerala based People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader Abdul Nasser Madani, an accused in the Bangalore serial blasts (2008), was referred to the centre for treatment. Madani, who underwent ‘Panchakarma’ treatment, ran a bill of Rs 10 lakh, which the government paid.advertisement
Mumbai, Feb 20 (PTI) Bollywood actress Sonal Sehgal says she is happy that a superstar like Shah Rukh Khan has extended support for the sport Muay Thai.The Kick-Boxing sport uses stand-up striking along with various clinching techniques.The “Aashayein” actress has been appointed as the brand ambassador for the Indian Muay Thai Federation 2016, for its Womens team.When asked if kick boxing needs to be promoted more in the country, Sonal told PTI, “From hockey to football, all other sports have faced this struggle. We now have a kick boxing team as part of the Asian Games in 2018 but many are unaware. I am glad someone like Shah Rukh Khan has supported this championship. This will help reach a wider audience.”Sonal had made her debut with the critically acclaimed “Aashayein” directed by National award winning director Nagesh Kuknoor.The actress says she practises kick boxing herself and is hopeful her association with the sports will help throw light on it.”Ive been involved with this since five years now. Ive trained under Bala Shetty – National Coach and also seven times national champion. When a sports personality does it, it seems normal.””But when an actress does it people get inspired. If she can do it, I can too. Its a great exercise and extremely helpful as self defence too.”Sonal was a popular face on TV with shows like “Saara Akash” and “Hotel Kingston”. The actress, who then went on to work in films like “Radio” and “Damadamm”, says she would love to be back on TV.advertisement”At a time when saas-bahu daily soaps were at the top, those two shows were competing with them and holding strong. Unfortunately after that I wasnt offered anything which I really liked. But I would love to come back on TV and do a show.”She has currently signed Brazilian director Lucia Baratas “Flows”.The film, set in India and Brazil, is a collection of stories. Sonal will play the protagonist in one of the stories set in India. PTI JUR ARS NDS
Ashes hopeful Jason Behrendorff, who has been selected for the Australia A one-day and four-day squads that will tour South Africa, has said that all cricketers are on the same page with regard to the ongoing pay dispute with the Cricket Australia Board (CAB).The Western Australia left-arm quick was quoted by the Sydney Morning Herald, as saying that the players are determined not to end a revenue-sharing model that has been in place for 20 years.Australian Cricket aired its dirty laundry last week when vice captain David Warner warned of a possible players boycott if the issue was not resolved in their interest, while the ACB head James Sutherland said players could find themselves unemployed if they did not agree to the terms set by the board.Negotiations are currently at a standstill and if a new deal is not in place by June 30, players may just opt for a boycott and examine all legal options available to them to take on Cricket Australia.The Australia A squads depart on July 8 but that will likely hinge on a new pay agreement.Behrendorff said,”The ACA are doing a great job for us and all the players are sticking together and we know all the guys at the state and Australian level and are all on the same page which is really good.”Behrendorff finished the Warriors’ season in devastating form, claiming 9-37 – the best Sheffield Shield figures in 50 years – against eventual champions Victoria.Australia A four-day squad: Usman Khawaja (c), Glenn Maxwell (vc), Ashton Agar, Cameron Bancroft, Jason Behrendorff, Jackson Bird, Alex Carey, Hilton Cartwright, Travis Head, Kurtis Patterson, Chadd Sayers, Mitchell Swepson, Chris Tremain, Jack Wildermuth.advertisementAustralia A one-day squad: Travis Head (c), Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Hilton Cartwright, Sam Heazlett, Moises Henriques, Daniel Hughes, Kane Richardson, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Chris Tremain, Jack Wildermuth.
Sachin Tendulkar made his Test debut against Pakistan aged just aged 16 years and 205 days and former India spinner Abdul Qadir recalled meeting the young master blaster.Qadir recalled how a teenaged Tendulkar took on the challenge of the Pakistan bowlers and even hit him for four sixes in a 30-over exhibition match in Peshawar.”I had a sense of affection for Sachin because he was a kid and he played very well,” Quadir said in the second session called ‘Spin is King’ at the Salaam Cricket 2018 held at the Hotel Address Boulevard in Dubai on Monday.Salaam Cricket 2018: Live”Actually what happened was it was a one-day game and at the end of the day because of the rain, there was a huge crowd which had gathered, so the organisers decided to make it a 30-overs per side game,” Qadir recalled.”India won the toss and elected to bat. Out came Kris Srikkanth and Sachin Tendulkar. When I came in to bowl Srikkanth was on strike. I bowled a maiden to Srikkanth.READ – Akram, Gavaskar discuss Virat Kohli’s absence from Asia Cup”After the over I went to Sachin and said, “this is not a one-day international match so you should try and hit me for a six in the next over. And if you succeed you will become a star”. He didn’t say anything to me but the next over he hit me for three sixes,” Qadir recalled.Tendulkar scored 53 runs off 18 balls in the match including an over in which he scored 27 runs (6, 4, 0, 6, 6, 6) off Qadir.advertisementREAD – Wasim Akram recalls playing Holi with Indian teamThe Pakistan spinner recalled the match, saying that he was trying his best to get Tendulkar out, but got hit for three sixes instead.”At the other end Mushtaq Ahmed was bowling and Sachin hit him for four sixes. And I want to make it clear that I was trying to get him out by all means. But it was his ability, talent and skill that he hit me for 3 sixes,” Qadir said.Watch: Gavaskar, Wasim Akram, Madan Lal bond over lunch at Salaam Cricket 2018Those sixes announced Tendulkar to the world and what he could do, and after a hundred centuries in all forms of cricket – the rest they is history.
Manchester City must win the Champions League to be considered one of Europe’s elite clubs, midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has said.City have won the Premier League three times since the Abu Dhabi United Group bought them in 2008 but have never gone past the semi-final stage of Europe’s premier club competition.”If you want to be in the international elite … you need to clinch this trophy,” Gundogan told UEFA.com ahead of Wednesday’s last 16 tie at Schalke.”I think that, if we were to win it someday, the club would enter a new era, the same level as Real (Madrid), Barca, Bayern or Juventus, clubs that are maybe a step above us. Maybe not in the way they play football, but as a club at least.”City were knocked out in the last 16 three times in the last five seasons while their only semi-final appearance came in 2016 when they were knocked out by Real Madrid 1-0 on aggregate.”We’ve experienced a lot in the Champions League in recent years, not all of it positive, of course. We should’ve won it at least once,” Gundogan added.”The biggest low was probably being knocked out by Liverpool last season. For that reason, the motivation to go far in this competition is huge and I think we have the quality required.”Also Read | Pep Guardiola sad and sorry for keeping Riyad Mahrez out of teamAlso Read | Sergio Aguero scores record-equalling hat-trick as Manchester City rout Chelsea 6-0
An erratic Novak Djokovic suffered a surprise 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 defeat against Daniil Medvedev in the Monte Carlo Masters quarter-finals on Friday.The 10th-seeded Russian was appearing in the last eight of a Masters tournament for the first time but was not overawed. In fact, it was Djokovic who made the most mistakes. The two-time champion looked out of sorts in windy conditions and produced 47 unforced errors.After failing to serve out the match, when his Serbian opponent broke back to 5-2 down, Medvedev broke for the fifth time to seal a memorable victory.Djokovic double-faulted at 30-30 to give Medvedev his first match point and a backhand winner secured a first win against his top-ranked rival at the fourth attempt, and a first victory against a No. 1.He next faces the unseeded Dusan Lajovic, who also reached a Masters semi for the first time when he beat Italian qualifier Lorenzo Sonego 6-4, 7-5.Lajovic has not dropped a set at the clay-court event and is more surprised than anybody.”I didn’t expect this. I was sick before the tournament and taking antibiotics,” the 28-year-old Serb said. “But it’s the best week of my career.”The same goes for the 23-year-old Medvedev, who is ranked 14 and is chasing a fifth career title.He had lost the three previous matches against Djokovic, including a tough four-setter in the fourth round of this year’s Australian Open. Djokovic won that tournament to secure a third straight Grand Slam title and 15th overall, moving two behind Nadal and five adrift of Roger Federer’s record haul of 20.advertisementBut Djokovic has now failed to reach the last four in three straight tournaments, after also falling short at Indian Wells and Miami.Nadal has won at Monte Carlo a record 11 times. The second-ranked Spaniard plays the unseeded Guido Pella of Argentina later.The other match is between No. 9 Borna Coric of Croatia and No.13 Fabio Fognini of Italy.Also Read | Tennis: Prajnesh Gunneswaran rises to career-high ranking of 80
Hyundai had launched Kona electric SUV in India on July 9 for a starting price of Rs 25.30 lakh (ex-showroom, India). Within 10 days of the introduction, the carmaker has received 120 confirmed bookings for the electric SUV. The company got 10,000 test drive customer requests for Kona as well.Hyundai Kona is available in 15 dealerships across 11 cities in India. A permanent-magnet synchronous electric motor is available with the electric SUV. It delivers 136 PS and 395 Nm of peak torque and is offered with a shift-by-wire automatic transmission. Powering the motor is a 39.2 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery with liquid-cooling technology. It gets Eco+, Eco, Comfort and Sport driving modes and is capable of making 0-100 kmph in just 9.7 seconds. The company has provided paddle shifters for adjustable regenerative braking. The vehicle’s ARAI-certified range is 452 kms per full charge.”We have received an electrifying response to India’s First Long-Range Green SUV — Kona electric with 120 confirmed bookings in just 10 days of its launch expressing the Indian customers’ acceptance to high-end future technologies offered by Hyundai. The digital enquires and footfall at our dealerships have increased as the customers are excited to experience electric cars. The change of perception and adaptability is clearly visible as there is huge interest and request for test drives,” Hyundai Motor India National Sales Head Vikas Jain said.”Kona electric is a proven and award-winning global electric SUV creating new benchmarks in clean mobility since its global launch in April 2018. Our overall goal is to offer an SUV with long-range and high performance with fun to drive quotient to our Indian customers,” Jain added.advertisementApart from India, Hyundai Kona is available in international markets like Canada, USA, Europe, Russia, Korea and Australia. The electric SUV has 15,000 customers worldwide.Hyundai Kona features a unique front grille having intaglio pattern with an integrated charging port. There are bi-function LED headlamps with LED DRLs. At the rear, one will come across LED tail lamps and skid plate. Other features include 17-inch alloy wheels, roof rails and rear spoiler. Inside the cabin of Kona, there are features like leather seats, multi-function steering wheel, fully digital instrument cluster and 17.77 cm floating touchscreen infotainment with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility.The sales of electric vehicles have been rather subdued in India. Lack of proper charging infrastructure has been one of the main reasons for it. Their price is high as well. Except for Hyundai Kona, there are only a handful of electric vehicles currently in the country like Tata Tigor EV, Mahindra eVerito and Mahindra e20 Plus. The upcoming ones include Audi e-tron, MG EZS and Tata Altroz EV.ALSO READ | Kia Seltos: Expected price, features, specifications and other important details you should knowALSO READ | MG Hector Smart, Sharp variants most popular, SUV expected to get tough competition from upcoming Kia SeltosALSO READ | Kia Seltos interior details revealed in new pictures
Artist Bharat Thakur’s works delve into the soulOn the eve of his painting exhibition, Yoga guru Bharat Thakur talks about his muses and musings.advertisement Manjari Saxena New DelhiJanuary 5, 2019UPDATED: January 5, 2019 04:06 IST Bharat Thakur believes the artist and the meditator live same life, of observation, which is food for the artist and method for the meditator. So, having lived with the sadhus, his portrayal of them is authentic.HIGHLIGHTSThakur believes in using his knowledge of yoga to live life to the fullestHe has a doctorate in sports medicine and yogaThe Himalayan guru is a brilliant cook and eco-gardener tooHe has been the yoga guru of some of the best known Bollywood celebrities, including Salman Khan and Kareena Kapoor-Khan. Bharat Thakur is also married to the famous actress Bhumika Chawla.Having come under the tutelage of his master, Yogi Sukhdev Brahmachari, at the age of four, Thakur believes in using his knowledge of yoga and other spiritual traditions, not just to discover one’s true self but to live life to the fullest.Moreover, Thakur has a doctorate in sports medicine and yoga, and set up Artistic Yoga, an evolved form of yoga almost two decades ago. But his interests move beyond yoga and health sciences, as the Himalayan guru is a brilliant cook and eco-gardener too. Now he has been bringing another of his interests – his paintings – to various cities around the world, including Dubai and London. And on Monday he will be showing some of his best works at the India Habitat Centre. However, he says it’s not an art form he’s taken up recently.”I lived in the mountains till I was seventeen studying Yoga and Tantra. In the hills we were exposed to the extreme elements – the wilderness, bitter cold, snow. It was later, when I was doing my masters, and subsequently PhD, at the Lakshmibai National Institute of Physical Education in Gwalior, that I got seriously interested in painting,” Thakur told Mail Today. “I used to work with water colours and charcoal then.”But for him the spread of yoga took precedence, even though he kept sketching and painting a little when he could take time out from his travels. He also loves to visit museums and lived and learnt with the street painters in Europe. So it was “only a matter of time when I would get back to it”. He says the reason why he paints is “clichéd but true” for him.advertisement “Do we ever ask why a flower blooms or a bird sings?” he countered. “A real artist would never be able to answer that question. I couldn’t keep art away even from my style of yoga – Artistic Yoga. So I guess an artist is just born to paint.” Even though his paintings consist mainly of abstract art and portraits, Thakur cites only legends as his influencers.”I am a lover of life. I like to explore and learn. I need to keep innovating myself. I believe an artist can delve into his own rich experience to create content that is rich too. I take influences from every aspect of my life, from the babas in the mountains to Bollywood celebrities – they are all part of my life. My insights into these souls, therefore, have to come into my work,” said Thakur. “At the same time I research a lot. So I just had to study the entire art movement. As influencers, I would put Paul Cezanne first, then Michealangelo. I admire the flair of Picasso and the colours of Monet. Then, there is Kandinsky, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Vasudeo S. Gaitonde, S. H. Raza, Raja Ravi Verma. But Paul Cezanne is my inspiration.”Abstract is his passion, he said, which keeps him evolving and offering more, because “it’s a language that I believe contains the codes of form, perception, illusion and reality”.Thakur said art and meditation have always been the air and water of life, as they have the same goal – to witness. As a result, some of his best-selling art pieces are portraits of sadhus, which will part of the Prayag – The Inner Journey exhibition next week.”The human being is one and the ancients have said ‘as is the universe, so is each unit’. The artist and the meditator live the same life, of observation. If you ask me how they are different, I may find it difficult to answer. Observation is the food for the artist while for the meditator it is his method. And having lived among them, I thought I could bring authenticity in the portrayal of the sadhus,” he explained.Thakur also takes inspiration from his beautiful wife and he tries to bring out “the inner life of an actor, her preparations to excel in her craft, yet keeping the essence”.But he refuses to talk about his attraction to his other muse, the legendary Frieda Kahlo.”They say the muse is shy as the work is still in progress. The fact that she was untrained but evolved a unique and powerful language to translate all the drama of her life into paint, into art, and the pain she went through is unimaginable to most human beings.”advertisementAlso read | Bartolome Esteban Murillo on Google doodle today. Who is he?Also read | 10 quotes by William Blake, the poet, painter and print-makerGet real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. 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BURNABY, B.C. — Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is facing calls from within the party for a stronger stance on climate change as he defends his support of the $40-billion LNG Canada project in northern British Columbia.Svend Robinson, the New Democrat candidate in Burnaby North-Seymour in the general election, opposes any new oil and gas infrastructure. Julia Sanchez, running for the party in a byelection in Outremont in Montreal, disapproves of the use of public funds for such projects.Singh is seeking his first seat in Parliament in a byelection in Burnaby South. The leader opposes the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion that would increase tanker traffic departing from the Metro Vancouver city, but he approves of liquefied natural gas pipeline and export facility.“The LNG project has demonstrated some clear, positive steps around consultation,” Singh said. “There was an exhaustive and pretty thorough consultation around Indigenous communities, First Nations communities and elected bands and chiefs.”“There are people standing up and defending their land who have the right to express those concerns, and there’s still ongoing work that needs be addressed before this project moves ahead.”Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs oppose a Coastal GasLink pipeline that would lead to LNG Canada’s export terminal in Kitimat. RCMP arrested 14 people at a blockade last month, sparking national protests.Police later reached a deal with the chiefs to allow pipeline work to continue. Coastal GasLink has signed agreements with all 20 elected First Nations bands along the pipeline.Singh has tried to project unity in the party while facing internal criticism for poor fundraising and low support in the polls. If he wins the byelection Monday and remains leader, he is likely to encounter calls from his caucus for a tougher stance on climate change.Robinson said he returned to politics after 15 years because of the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations panel that assesses scientific evidence on global warming. The report concluded temperatures were likely to rise 1.5 C above pre-industrial levels between 2030 and 2052 unless drastic action is taken.“The most important issue facing our planet and our country today is climate change. We have to effectively put the country on the same kind of wartime footing that we did at the time of the last world war to fight climate change,” Robinson said.“If we are to do that, there can be no new oil and gas infrastructure.”He said his specific concerns about LNG Canada include the increase in emissions associated with the project, the environmental impact of fracking and the importance of respect for hereditary Indigenous leadership.Robinson would not say if he tried to change Singh’s mind on the project. But he said he hopes to influence the NDP’s fall election platform, and if he wins a seat, he will continue to bring his position forward around the caucus table.Julia Sanchez said climate is the key issue she hears about on the doorstep while campaigning in Outremont, the riding previously held by former NDP leader Thomas Mulcair.She has proposed a vision she calls the “Great Transition,” which urges an end to subsidies for the oil and gas industry and for public investment in new infrastructure. It also recommends more ambitious greenhouse gas emissions targets.Sanchez said the NDP has made progress on its position on climate change over the past two years, but the party could go further. She noted LNG Canada benefits from $275 million in federal funding.“I have a hard time seeing how we can justify making massive investments in projects in the oil and gas industry,” she said. “That means we’re not doing investments in renewable energy or … in supporting the transition of workers from the oil and gas industry to other industries.”LNG Canada spokeswoman Susannah Pierce said the project has been designed to achieve the lowest greenhouse gas emissions of any large-scale liquefied natural gas facility in the world — about 50 per cent lower than the average facility.The UN report models pathways to keep global warming to 1.5 or 2 degrees C, including one scenario that says natural gas use must grow while coal declines, Pierce said in a statement.“Natural gas is clearly a part of the solution, as is natural gas shipped as LNG to Asia from B.C.,” Pierce said.Simon Donner, a geography professor and climate-change expert at the University of B.C., said LNG Canada’s emissions represent a fraction of Canada’s 2030 target. But the project would operate for decades, making it harder for the country to meet longer-term targets, he said.Singh has also faced pushback from the public for his support of LNG Canada. A protester recently interrupted a debate in Burnaby South to accuse Singh of “turning his back on Aboriginal people,” and the leader calmly listened and offered to speak with the man after the event.Singh likely supports the project to align himself with the province’s minority NDP government, said Richard Johnston, a University of B.C. political science professor.“He needs his friends,” Johnston said. “It means that the government of B.C. can be unembarrassed in supporting him in his attempt to get elected to Parliament.”— Follow @ellekane on Twitter.Laura Kane, The Canadian Press
Rabat – A video posted Sunday on social media shows Hillary Clinton struggling to remain on her feet before she fainted. Her doctor says she was diagnosed with Pneumonia. The short video shows the Democratic Party presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, standing while an assistant is supporting her. The bodyguard moved to the car that had parked close to Hillary, opened the car’s door and headed back to Hillary to take her to the car.At this moment Hillary, who seems standing with huge difficulty, collapse and more security agents surrounded her and carried her to the car. Hillary’s doctor, Lisa R. Bardack said in a statement that has gone viral on Twitter that Hillary was diagnosed with Pneumonia on Friday 9.Statement from Hillary Clinton’s doctor says Clinton was diagnosed with pneumonia on Friday pic.twitter.com/xfEy9wloaz— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) September 11, 2016“Secretary Clinton has been experiencing a cough related to allergies. On Friday, during follow up evaluation of her prolonged cough, she was diagnosed with pneumonia. She was put on antibiotics, and advised to rest and modify her schedule.”“While at this morning’s event, she became overheated and dehydrated. I have just examined her and is now re-hydrated and recovering nicely,” she added.According to the British newspaper The Independent, Clinton’s campaign managers rescheduled her trip to San Francisco and Los Angeles, which was due Monday September 12th.
The president told AFP in an interview Sunday he would give land to civilians displaced by war by the middle of this year.He admitted it was an “ambitious target” but said it was necessary to end what he called an “unacceptable situation”.The land will be in addition to the property being handed back by the military in line with an earlier election pledge by Sirisena. “This is the first time he is giving a timeframe,” TNA spokesman M. A. Sumanthiran told AFP a day after Sirisena made the offer. Sri Lanka’s main opposition today welcomed President Maithripala Sirisena’s promise of land for 100,000 people who were forced from their homes during the long civil war, most of them Tamils, the AFP news agency reported.The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) said Sirisena’s pledge to give displaced civilians new plots within six months was a “positive development”, but demanded that the military vacate the private land it occupied. Sirisena, who was elected last January, has won praise for starting to hand back land after the end in May 2009 of one of South Asia’s longest and bloodiest ethnic wars.But he is also under international pressure to do more to ensure reconciliation. “We welcome this as a very positive development but our stand is that the military must vacate all private lands they are occupying.” The civil war pitted troops against guerrillas fighting for independence for the Tamil minority in the north and east of the island.The fighting claimed over 100,000 lives between 1972 and 2009. More than 100,000 people are still living away from their homes more than six years after the end of the war, Sumanthiran said, while another 168,000 live as refugees in neighbouring India.
In a statement issued in New York, a spokesman for the Secretary-General recalled that Mr. Annan has “repeatedly and consistently” stated that it is up to the Palestinian people to elect their leaders.The Secretary-General recently made this point during a meeting of the diplomatic Quartet on the Middle East, which comprises the UN, United States, Russian Federation and European Union.”President Arafat has been elected by the Palestinian people and the United Nations will continue to deal with him in this capacity,” said spokesman Fred Eckhard. “On the same basis, the UN will deal with the leaders elected in the Palestinian elections announced for early next year.”The reports in the Middle Eastern media were prompted by an interview that the Secretary-General gave to Israeli television earlier this week.
Speaking at a press conference in Geneva, Mr. Vieira de Mello said the task before him was enormous, as he was taking over the post at a very delicate time for human rights. “My job will require speaking out to turn the world’s attention to abuses,” he said. “But it also requires tact and political acumen, as well as the ability to roll up one’s sleeves and get down to work to protect human rights away from the spotlights.”The end goal – “the promotion and protection of human rights for all” – must always be kept in sight, he said.Responding to questions about alleged human rights violations committed by governments under the pretext of the war against terrorism, the High Commissioner said he would continue to raise the issue with the UN Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee, as his predecessor Mary Robinson had done, so that the measures adopted did not infringe on the rights of individuals.”To an exceptional threat, often exceptional measures are required,” he said. “What I have said is that these exceptional measures must be taken in transparency, respecting the fact that there are certain fundamental rights which are non-derogable, and that these measures should be of short duration.”Turning to the recent upsurge of violence in the Middle East, Mr. Vieira de Mello said, “I hope that we will revert immediately to this six-week period of relative peace and get down to the real job, let the [diplomatic] Quartet continue.”Asked if he would adopt a lower profile than Mrs. Robinson, who was often an outspoken critic of governments, Mr. Vieira de Mello said he would weigh the need for speaking up depending on the situation; other circumstances might call for more quiet diplomacy. “Judge me on the basis of results, not on style,” he said.
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email US employers post more jobs, suggesting hiring will remain healthy; layoffs also fall by Christopher S. Rugaber, The Associated Press Posted Mar 12, 2013 10:28 am MDT WASHINGTON – U.S. employers advertised more job openings in January, suggesting that hiring will remain healthy in coming months.Job openings rose 2.2 per cent in January from December to 3.69 million, the Labor Department said Tuesday. Openings had fallen nearly 5 per cent in December, and they remain below November’s level of nearly 3.8 million.Yet the report provided further evidence that the U.S. job market is strengthening. Employers laid off the fewest workers in January than in any month since records began in 2001. And the number of Americans who quit their jobs rose to the highest in more than four years. People usually quit when they have another job, so more quitting suggests it is easier to find work.The biggest increase in job openings was in professional and business services, which includes high-paying fields such as accounting, engineering, and architecture. It also includes temp jobs, which typically carry few benefits. The next-largest gain was in retail.On Friday, the government reported that hiring in February was robust: Employers added 236,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate fell from 7.9 per cent in January to a four-year low of 7.7 per cent. February capped a fourth-month hiring spree in which employers added an average of 205,000 jobs a month.At the same time, the competition for open positions remains strong. About 12.3 million people were unemployed in January, which means there were 3.3 unemployed people, on average, competing for each job. That’s sharply down from a peak of nearly 7 unemployed people competing for each job in July 2009. But in a healthy economy, the ratio is roughly 2 to 1.The report, known as the Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey, or JOLTS, calculates total hiring, layoffs and quits. By contrast, the department’s monthly jobs report measures the unemployment rate and net hiring. Net hiring equals total hiring minus layoffs, quits and other separations.Since the recession ended in June 2009, total hiring hasn’t increased as fast as job openings have. Businesses have been still slow to fill vacancies.The number of openings has increased 55 per cent. The 3.69 million openings in January is only slightly less than the nearly 4 million that were posted each month, on average, before the recession.Total hiring, though, has risen only 17 per cent in the same period. It rose to 4.25 million last month. That’s well below the pre-recession monthly average of about 5.1 million.Still, because employers are laying off fewer workers, net hiring has accelerated in recent months — a sign that employers are confident about their prospects and haven’t been discouraged by tax increases or higher gas prices.Monthly job gains averaged more than 200,000 from November through February. That compares with an average of 154,000 jobs from July through October and only 108,000 from April through June.Other reports also suggest that steady hiring will continue. The ManpowerGroup said Tuesday that its latest quarterly survey of 18,000 U.S. employers found that 18 per cent expect to add jobs in the April-June quarter. That’s up one percentage point from the previous quarter. Only 5 per cent say they will cut jobs, 3 points lower than in the previous quarter.Strong auto sales and a steady housing recovery are spurring more hiring, which could trigger more consumer spending and lead to stronger economic growth. Auto sales rose in January and February after reaching a five-year high in 2012.A big source of strength has been home sales and residential construction: New-home sales jumped 16 per cent in January to the highest level since July 2008. And builders started work on the most homes last year since 2008.___Follow Chris Rugaber on Twitter at: https://Twitter.com/ChrisRugaber
CALGARY – Suncor Energy is buying another chunk of Syncrude in a $937-million deal that will give it majority control over the massive oilsands project.The Calgary-based energy giant said Wednesday it has reached a deal to buy Murphy Oil Corp.’s five per cent stake in the mine north of Fort McMurray, Alta.The deal will increase its interest in Syncrude from just under 49 per cent to nearly 54 per cent.Suncor completed its acquisition of another Syncrude partner, Canadian Oil Sands, last month following a bitter hostile takeover battle that came to a peaceful resolution in January.That all-stock deal was worth $6.9 billion at the time of the acquisition, including $2.6 billion in the target company’s debt. It increased Suncor’s Syncrude stake from 12 per cent to 49.Suncor, which has vast holdings elsewhere in the oilsands, has made no secret of its intention to scope out bargain deals during the prolonged downturn in oil prices.It has argued that with a larger ownership stake, it can marshal more resources to improve operations at Syncrude, which has experienced a litany of outages in recent years.“This transaction is a strategic fit for our portfolio given the quality of the resource, our existing interest in Syncrude and the potential for value creation,” CEO Steve Williams said in a release.The deal increases Suncor’s oilsands production capacity by 17,500 barrels a day.“This growth gives us even more leverage to oil prices as they recover,” said Williams.The deal is expected to close by the end of June, provided it receives approval from the Competition Bureau, among other conditions.Also Wednesday, Suncor posted a first-quarter operating loss of $500 million, versus an operating profit of $175 million a year earlier.Net earnings, which take into account some unusual items, were $257 million, lifted by a foreign exchange gain. A year earlier, Suncor posted a net loss of $341 million, driven by a foreign exchange loss.Company-wide production rose to 691,400 barrels a day for the quarter, from 602,400 barrels a year earlier, with the increase largely due to the increased stake in Syncrude following the COS acquisition.Cash operating costs per barrel in the oilsands averaged $24.25 during the first quarter, an improvement from $28.40 a year earlier.– Follow @LaurenKrugel on TwitterNote to readers: This is a corrected story; an earlier version had an outdated value for the COS acquisition by Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press Posted Apr 27, 2016 6:25 pm MDT Last Updated Apr 28, 2016 at 7:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email A pedestrian is reflected in a Suncor Energy sign in Calgary, Monday, Feb. 1, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh Suncor snags majority control of Syncrude with $937M Murphy Oil deal
IKEA Group is committed to serving and selling high quality food that is safe, healthy and produced with care for the environment. “The trust of our customers is of outmost importance for us. We do not tolerate any other ingredients than the ones stipulated in our recipes or product specifications. WIENER SAUSAGES ARE back for sale in IKEA stores in the UK and Ireland.The sausages were affected by a precautionary sales stop due to DNA tests for horsemeat. According to IKEA, none of the numerous DNA analysis made on the wiener sausages shows any indications of horse meat.Wiener sausages will be available in stores from tomorrow morning, both in the bistro area and the Swedish Food Market, said the Swedish furniture giant.Anders Lennartsson, IKEA Food Services AB said: Our supplier (Dafgård) does not produce meatballs and sausages on the same production line and the sub-suppliers of the meat raw materials are not the same. The meat raw material in the wiener sausages has never been supplied by the suspected sub-supplier.Meatballs were also taken off sale, and this sale stop is still valid. Lennartsson said that the company is closely following its supplier’s actions to find the root cause of presence of horse meat in meatballs.Read: Ikea withdraws Wiener sausages as they await horsemeat DNA tests>
Tourist visits to Greece’s ancient sites and museums fell sharply in 2008 compared to 2007, according to the Greek National Statistics office. The number of visitors to Greece’s museums fell by 18.7 percent, while the number of people who saw the country’s ancient archaeological sites dropped by up to 30 percent. The Acropolis in Athens was the most popular tourist site in 2008. The decrease in visitors is likely to continue, as experts predict the country should expect the biggest drop in the flow of tourists for the last 30 years. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Animal rights groups in Greece are in dire straits over a combination of major funding cutbacks, dwindling donations and a rising number of strays, especially dogs. Hundreds of dogs of all ages and breeds are being picked up by these groups after being found tied to benches, trees and lampposts, obviously abandoned by owners who feel they can no longer afford to feed and care for them. “The situation is completely out of control,” says Christiana Kalogeropoulou, a representative of not-for-profit group Stray.gr. “Every effort made in the past to change people’s mentality and make the state take some responsibility for the situation has been all but forgotten.” According to Grigoris Gourdomichalis, head of the Environmental Association for the Municipalities of Athens and Piraeus, local authorities have stopped funding animal rescue efforts since 2009, with his group, which is the largest of its kind in the country, having received no money from the state in the past three years, even though it is legally entitled to subsidies of 70 per cent of its annual budget. “It makes sense given that for a decision to be executed it needs to be approved by the ministries of Interior, Finance and Agricultural Development. It takes nine days for a single decision to move up one rank on the ladder,” said Gourdomichalis. The group continues to feed, inoculate and neuter strays in the 18 municipalities it covers in Athens and Piraeus, but Gourdomichalis said, “We are carrying out our duties with extreme difficulty at a time when the number of strays on the streets is skyrocketing and there is a distemper epidemic, which is one of the leading causes of canine deaths.” The City of Athens is also trying to keep its stray protection program alive even though the funding for its shelter has been reduced to 190,000 euros from 500,000 two years ago. According to the city’s deputy mayor for the environment, Angelos Antonopoulos, the City of Athens collected 457 strays from the streets of the Greek capital in 2011 and has provided medical treatment to 305 dogs. A veterinarian by trade, Antonopoulos says that while pet abandonment is on the rise due to the economic crisis, there is one upside as a rising number of people are opting to adopt a stray rather than buying a dog from a pet shop or a breeder. “People are becoming a lot more aware of the issue,” said Antonopoulos. Source: Kathimerini