UK leadership hopefuls vow to succeed where May failed on Brexit

first_imgLondon: The race to become Britain’s next premier opened Saturday with an array of hopefuls promising to succeed where Theresa May failed and finally pull the divided country out of the EU. But European leaders insisted they had made their final offer during months or acrimonious negotiations that resulted in an unpopular compromise for which May ended up paying with her job. The British prime minister’s voice broke on the steps of her Downing Street office when she told Britons on Friday that she was quitting on June 7. Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests’May is bowing out with her legacy in tatters and the country in agony over what to do about voters’ decision in 2016 to abandon the European integration project after nearly 50 years. The markets view the risk of Britain crashing out of the bloc when the twice-delayed departure date arrives on October 31 as uncomfortably high. The pound has been steadily losing value since May 6 and British business lobbies are raising the alarm. Their main concern is that current frontrunners to head May’s Conservative Party say they will get Brexit done at any cost. Also Read – Pak Army chief accompanies Imran at key meetings in China”We will leave the EU on October 31, deal or no deal,” said former foreign minister Boris Johnson in a speech delivered Friday in Switzerland. “The way to get a good deal is to prepare for no deal. To get things done you need to be prepared to walk away.” Johnson’s main challenges will come from former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab — viewed as an even more committed eurosceptic — and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt. Britain’s top diplomat had bitterly opposed Brexit in 2016 but has since reversed himself and made headlines in September by comparing the European Union to the evils of the former Soviet Union. The contest is being held against the backdrop of European Parliament elections that the new Brexit Party of the anti-EU populist Nigel Farage is expected to win with about a third of the vote. Polls show the Conservatives getting punished for their bickering over Brexit and finishing as low as fifth — their worst result in a national election. The contenders are also mindful of a party revolt over May’s fateful decision to court the pro-EU opposition with the promise of a second Brexit referendum. The concession was designed to help ram her withdrawal agreement through parliament on the fourth attempt.last_img read more

Assault on municipal official BJP MLA Akash Vijayvargiya gets bail

first_imgBhopal: BJP MLA Akash Vijayvargiya, son of party general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, was on Saturday granted bail by a special court here in two cases related to assaulting a municipal official in Indore with a cricket bat.Additional Sessions Judge Suresh Singh — special judge for cases against MPs and MLAs — granted bail to Akash, who was arrested on Wednesday on charges of assault and leading a protest without permission. District prosecution officer Rajendra Upadhaya said that the court asked the MLA to furnish a personal bail bond of Rs 50,000 in the case of assault and Rs 20,000 in the other case. Also Read – Prohibitory orders lifted from Mumbai’s stir-hit Aarey ColonyOn Wednesday, Akash was arrested after he attacked an official of the Indore Municipal Corporation with a cricket bat in full public view when a team of the corporation reached to demolish a dilapidated house. Akash’s lawyers contended that he had been falsely implicated with an aim to sully his image. In another case for which he was arrested while in judicial custody on Thursday, Akash has been charged under section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code. He had led a protest on June 4 against power cuts without taking the permission from the authorities. On Thursday, the Indore sessions court refused to hear his bail plea, saying it had no jurisdiction and he should approach the special court set up in Bhopal to hear cases against MPs and MLAs.last_img read more

Prominent New York restaurateur accused of sexual misconduct

first_imgNEW YORK, N.Y. – One of the owners of several high-profile New York restaurants is taking a leave of absence after being accused of sexual misconduct by several women who worked for him.The New York Times reported the allegations against Ken Friedman Tuesday. According to the report, several women who worked for Friedman at the Spotted Pig restaurant said he regularly subjected them to unwanted sexual advances and groping.The Spotted Pig regularly attracted celebrity guests since it opened in 2004 with its VIP floor. And Friedman won the James Beard Foundation’s outstanding restaurateur of the year award in 2016.Friedman, who co-owns the Spotted Pig and four other New York restaurants with chef April Bloomfield, apologized for his actions in a statement that the Times uploaded to its website.An email to Friedman’s representatives was not immediately answered.Natalie Saibel, a longtime server at the Spotted Pig, told the Times about how in 2015 Friedman ran his hands over her buttocks and groin while saying he was searching for a forbidden cellphone.Another longtime waitress, Trish Nelson, told the Times Friedman grabbed her head and pulled it toward his crotch as she knelt to collect glasses from a low shelf.In addition to the New York restaurants, Friedman’s company owns Tosca Cafe in San Francisco and recently opened the Hearth & Hound in Los Angeles.last_img read more

UN human rights chief begins visit to Gulf countries

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay today embarks on a 10-day visit to the six Member States of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), in an effort to engage more actively and effectively with governments and civil society in the region.Ms. Pillay will seek to gain first-hand understanding of current dynamics in the GCC region in relation to human rights, including reported progress in some areas as well as specific issues of particular concern.She will also examine ways in which her office can provide further support and advice to the individual GCC countries – Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Oman.Ms. Pillay visited Qatar in May last year to open the UN Human Rights Training and Documentation Centre, but this month”s trip marks the first time that a UN High Commissioner for Human Rights will be visiting Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates or Oman.The High Commissioner is expected to meet with heads of State, senior ministers and other Government officials, and members of civil society during her visit. 17 April 2010The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay today embarks on a 10-day visit to the six Member States of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), in an effort to engage more actively and effectively with governments and civil society in the region. read more

SoundCloud signs up last major label before service launch

SoundCloud signs up last major label before service launch NEW YORK, N.Y. – SoundCloud, an online repository of free music and remixes, says it has signed a deal with the last of the major record labels, Sony, as it prepares to launch a new subscription service later this year.The deal adds Sony Music, which represents artists like Shakira, Mariah Carey and Ricky Martin, to labels Warner Music, Universal Music and independent label group Merlin to the organizations that license music to SoundCloud.Launched in 2008, SoundCloud hosts some 110 million tracks and has around 175 million visitors a month from around the globe. by The Associated Press Posted Mar 18, 2016 1:49 pm MDT Last Updated Mar 18, 2016 at 2:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Schmidt off to a winner as moments of magic see off Samoa

first_imgJOE SCHMIDT SPOKE before today’s 40 – 9 victory over Samoa game of his nervous feeling before opening night.The Kiwi compared it having three months to study for an exam, but leaving the result hanging on some last minute cramming sessions.‘If we’re lucky and the right questions come up we might just have some of the answers.’In the end Ireland did, but Schmidt probably didn’t expect the first 40 minutes to actually feel like a study hall.Ireland struggled to build momentum with Samoa relentlessly carrying the ball back at them and referee Steve Walsh unable to offer any decent advantages.However, they did manage to build a score. Paddy Jackson calming any lingering goal-kicking nerves with two straight 40 metre shots either side a Tusi Pisi’s leveler.The one moment to get the Aviva Stadium on their feet came after Jackson declined the posts and kicked to the left touchline. From there everything clicked for the pack: Rory Best’s throw was on the money and Ireland’s maul began to rumble the 15 metres to the try-line.Chris Henry initially took control of the ball, but as the green pack mowed it’s way through, Samoan defenders began collapsing in from all angles and Henry led his weight to the clearances and left the touchdown for a deserving Peter O’Mahony.Pisi would narrow the gap back to 11 – 6. However, within 10 minutes the visitors had George Pisi sin-binned after a long review of a tip tackle on Tommy Bowe as he offloaded to Fergus McFadden.Jackson kicked his third kick from four attempts to give Schmidt a 14 – 6 lead to consider in his first half-time team talk.Highlight reelThe second half promised more of the same disappointing fare, the Mexican wave even threatened a return appearance. Fortunately a Jackson kick allowed O’Driscoll add a moment to his all-time highlight reel.As the ball spun back from Brando Va’aulu, the veteran instantly scooped a pass between his legs to allow McFadden make ground up the left. The move briefly looked like it would break down, but a smart pass from Conor Murray found replacement Sean O’Brien and one tackle wasn’t enough to keep him from scoring.McFadden was heavily involved again when Ireland upped the tempo and discovered a rhythm again 20 minutes later. The winger cut to make the most of a line break and once after Cian Healy and bored his way towards the line to set a platform, the ball was spun right and Dave Kearney showed his finishing prowess to earn a debut try.It was soon 35 – 9, a decent scoring feat at any stage of a coach’s tenure. After Ireland spin the ball away from a scrum in front of the post, Gordon D’Arcy takes the ball on and briefly looks like he’ll attempt to roll the clock back and step the defender, but thinks better of it and allows McFadden scamper round the corner.After an Ian Madigan break from his own half in the closing minutes, D’Arcy, making a record-equaling 51st appearance in tandem with O’Driscoll briefly pondered going for glory again. Instead, he drew the cover tacklers and off-loaded with perfect timing to let Kearney claim his second.Plenty of plus-marks for Schmidt in his first Test, particularly in the second half. The room for improvement leaves plenty of reason to think Ireland’s optimism for his tenure was not misplaced.GIF: O’Driscoll genius opens up Samoan defence‘Samoa the appetiser, there’s a double main course to come’ — Schmidt Player ratings: here’s how the Irish team got on against Samoalast_img read more

Katie Taylors upcoming fight at Wembley will be a world title eliminator

first_img Image: Lawrence Lustig/INPHO Share Tweet Email 15,193 Views Follow us: the42.ie By Ben Blake Taylor has won her first four pro bouts. 24 Comments Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article IRELAND’S KATIE TAYLOR will be fighting in a world title eliminator when she steps into the ring later this month.The Olympic gold medallist has won her first four bouts in the professional game, and is set to compete on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s heavyweight title showdown with Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium on 29 April.The venue will hold a whopping 90,000 fans on the night, and it has just been announced that Taylor is facing unbeaten Nina Meinke (5-0) of Germany.Victory in the 10-rounder would see her challenge for the WBA intercontinental belt, which is currently held by Uruguay’s Cecilia Comunales (14-0).“Meinke is a step up for me but I want to test myself against the very best opposition available because it’s fights like these that are going to elevate the sport,” Taylor told Sky Sports.She’s won a title already and has an unbeaten record too, but it’s a challenge I’m relishing. As an amateur I only ever wanted to test myself against the very best and that’s exactly what I want to do in the pro ranks as well.”Promoter Eddie Hearn added: “No disrespect to her previous opponents but Meinke is on another level and has operated and been victorious on the big stage.“In just four fights, Katie has established herself as the most exciting female fighter on the planet but now we get the chance to see if she is ready for the world stage.”The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us!center_img http://the42.ie/3345780 Short URL Apr 18th 2017, 6:10 PM Tuesday 18 Apr 2017, 6:10 PM Katie Taylor’s upcoming fight at Wembley will be a world title eliminator The Bray boxer is set to take on Germany’s Nina Meinke in a 10-round bout with the WBA intercontinental belt on the line. Mo Farah doctor to brief British lawmakers in drugs probeLeBron and Kawhi flex their muscles as Cavs, Spurs take control in playoffs Taylor has won her first four pro bouts. Image: Lawrence Lustig/INPHOlast_img read more

Hospital chief in bribe scandal

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The president of the Aglaia Kyriakou children’s hospital in Athens, Haris Tombouloglou, is due to face a magistrate today after being arrested along with another man on Christmas Eve on suspicion of accepting a 25,000-euro bribe from a supplier.Tombouloglou appeared at the capital’s main court complex on Christmas Day but was given a little longer to prepare his defense. Speaking to journalists, he denied the accusations that he solicited an under-the-table payment from a company hoping to win a tender to run a program to combat childhood obesity.“I believe in God and justice,” he said. “This is a set-up. The money I took was a gift for the hospital. The company was afraid that it would be excluded from the tender.”Tombouloglou was also a member of New Democracy, having stood as an election candidate for the party. However, he was ousted from the conservative group after his arrest. Health Minister Adonis Georgiadis said there would be “zero tolerance” of corruption. Source: Kathimerinilast_img read more

Never too early babies and bilingualism

first_imgBilingual babies have a much bigger advantage than their monolingual counterparts. They have improved listening, problem-solving and reasoning skills, all thanks to tackling two languages at once. New research has shown that from seven months old, a baby can distinguish between, and begin to learn, two languages with vastly different grammatical structures. Bilingual babies can also easily adjust to environmental changes and have the ability to distinguish and process sounds of foreign languages from very early on. All of these benefits happen even before they can talk. Dr Maria Gindidis, a Monash University lecturer in teacher education and unit coordinator languages education has seen this first hand with her Bilingual Bubs program at Protypo Greek Centre. As the principal of the school for more than 30 years, Dr Gindidis has seen a huge demand in parents seeking bilingual playgroups and teaching environments as more parents become informed of the benefits. “The greatest gift they’re giving their child is cognitive flexibility,” she tells Neos Kosmos.“By exposing their baby to different sounds, to different words, what you’re allowing the brain to do is very simply understand that there is more than one way to say something.“A monolingual child just accepts that this word is, for instance, ‘chair’. Yet a bilingual child will recognise chair as karekla and they’re starting to think, ‘OK, there are two ways to describe something’.”Having introduced the baby and toddler program to her school five years ago, she’s seen a strong progression in language skills from those students.“What we’ve seen is an incredible confidence with the language, confidence with using music and taking those risks that you need to.”Parents from non-ethnic backgrounds are also heading the call. Dr Gindidis says that around 50 per cent of the children enrolled at the school are coming from mixed families. “We’ve attacked a clientèle that is not your usual Greek school clientèle,” Dr Gindidis says.Even the federal government is trailing a new online language program this year in 40 early learning centres with the hopes of introducing children to languages that are part of the national curriculum.Dr Gindidis says even by the age of eight, language learning might be too late.“They’ll never be able to say a strong R sound if they’re introduced to it after the age of eight, because the vocal cords are already formed,” she says.Demand for her Bilingual Bubs program has reached capacity, with Dr Gindidis now looking for new larger venues to house the parents and children already on the waiting list. Protypo Greek Centre operates out of Oakleigh Primary School and teaches more than 600 students from infants all the way up to VCE level in Greek. Classes are held on Saturday mornings for the baby and toddler program, Friday evenings for the years 5-9 students and Monday evenings for VCE students.For more information, visit www.protypo.com.au or follow the school on Twitter or Facebook. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Recyclage 800000 balles de tennis transformées en tapis de sport

first_imgRecyclage : 800.000 balles de tennis transformées en tapis de sportLa Fédération Française de Tennis a organisé une nouvelle édition de son opération Balle Jaune. Suivie par 23 ligues de tennis, le but de cette campagne est de collecter les balles de tennis afin de leur offrir une seconde vie. Lancée à la fin du mois de mars, l’opération Balle Jaune mobilise 23 des 36 ligues de tennis françaises. C’est ainsi que 800.000 balles, chacune composée de 53 grammes de caoutchouc, ont pu cette année être collectées, contre 600.000 en 2010.À lire aussiPourquoi dit-on 15 – 30 – 40 au tennis ?Cette campagne est menée chaque année depuis 2008, et vise à offrir une seconde vie aux balles usagées, en les transformant en revêtement de sols qui seront utilisés dans des salles de sport. Avec 40.000 balles de tennis broyées en granulats, ce sont 100 mètres carrés de tapis de sport qui peuvent être réalisés. Grâce au succès de la collecte 2011, onze terrains vont pouvoir recevoir un sol fait de balles de tennis recyclées. Des revêtements qui seront offerts à des organisations caritatives et éducatives, ou à des établissements hospitaliers.Chaque année, quelque 14 millions de balles de tennis sont utilisées en France. Alors que leur durée de vie ne dépasse pas deux ans, elles finissent en général à la poubelle. Grâce à l’opération Balle Jaune, des établissements tels que l’Hôpital des Enfants Robert Debré, le Centre de Médecine Physique et de Réadaptation pédiatrique du CHU d’Amien, ou l’Association Hôpital Sourire de Toulouse, se verront offrir des tapis de sport écologiques.Le 6 avril 2011 à 17:56 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Milner hails Liverpools win and resolve at Leicester

first_imgJames Milner is happy with his Liverpool teammates and how they are grinding out results following their 2-1 victory at the King Power Stadium.Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino struck in the first half and Jurgen Klopp’s side held one despite Alisson Becker gifting a goal to Rachid Ghezzal.Milner, who assisted Firmino’s first goal of the campaign, has hailed Liverpool for winning ugly in a difficult match.He said: “[It’s a] massive [win], it wasn’t a good performance in most aspects, pressing defending, it was tough work.“Not taking anything away from Leicester they are tough. Sometimes in the Premier League, you have got to win ugly and we did that.Roberto Firmino, LiverpoolVirgil van Dijk praises Roberto Firmino after Liverpool’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Virgil van Dijk hailed team-mate Roberto Firmino after coming off the bench to inspire Liverpool to a 3-1 comeback win against Newcastle United.“Hopefully after international break, we can come back if everyone if fit and improve on things.“We are in as good a position as we can be after four games, won them all. But it is a long season, a lot more to improve.“I’m pleased with how we have defended, but more to come from this team. It is early days, no one has hit top gear.”Leicester have won two and lost two to kick off their season, and boss Claude Puel says he see ‘encouraging’ signs from his players.last_img read more

Man pleads not guilty to 2011 murder

first_imgA convicted felon accused of fatally beating a Vancouver woman with a baseball bat in 2011 pleaded not guilty Wednesday to first-degree murder. Mitchell O’Brien, 33, is serving a prison sentence at Stafford Creek Corrections Center for first-degree robbery. He was charged last month in connection with the June 27, 2011, death of Deneace McSpadden after prosecutors say DNA evidence linked him to the crime.O’Brien was arraigned on the murder charge before Clark County Superior Court Judge Dan Stahnke. Trial was set for Dec. 10.McSpadden, 57, was found beaten to death in the living room of her duplex at 1006 S.E. Morgan Road, off Middle Way and just north of state Highway 14.According to court documents, investigators seized evidence from a bloody aluminum bat found next to McSpadden’s body and sent the evidence to a state crime lab; evidence from the grip of the bat showed a match with O’Brien.Investigators questioned O’Brien, a friend of McSpadden’s, about the DNA evidence. He said he had given McSpadden the bat as a present in March 2011, and that’s why his DNA was on it, according to court documents.However, McSpadden’s boyfriend said O’Brien’s story wasn’t true and that the couple had owned that bat since 2010.In addition, court documents state that investigators obtained a skateboard belonging to O’Brien to compare the DNA profiles of the bat and the skateboard; both had the same DNA profile, according to lab results returned in August.last_img read more

Dave Watt Named Vice President of Sales with Time Inc Branded Solutions

first_imgDave Watt is joining Time Inc. Branded Solutions group as vice president of sales. In this position, Watt will head a team of corporate sales directors in ad revenue generation, as well as work with Time Inc. sales and marketing teams nationally to build branded programs for some of Time Inc.’s largest advertisers.Watt has been with the company for 16 years, most recently holding the position of vice president/publisher with Health and Health.com. During his tenure with Health, the magazine saw double digit ad revenue and page growth with every issue in 2010 in year-over-year comparison.Health.com’s digital ad revenue increased during this time as well.In the first quarter of 2011, Time Warner Inc. reported a slight drop in revenue in its publishing sector, falling from $799 million in first quarter of 2010 to $798 million in first quarter 2011. Publishing subscription revenue was down 5 percent (at a total of $15 million) from first quarter 2010 to first quarter 2011.last_img read more

VIDEO Learn About Shawsheen Techs eSports Team

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — In the latest episode of WCTV’s “Where’s Wilmington,” host Lisa Kapala interviews Shawsheen Tech juniors David Johns and Zack Pepe, both of Tewksbury. The students discuss the Tech’s after-school video club and their participation in the state’s new eSports league.Watch the 14-minute interview below, courtesy of Wilmington Community Television:—Video Playerhttps://s3.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/wilmington.castus-vod/vod/video/81348427-602c-4cfc-8d24-0044570e1ed8/video.original.mp400:0000:0014:21Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.—Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedVIDEO: Learn About The New Wilmington Police Explorers ProgramIn “Videos”VIDEO: Meet Wilmington Recreation’s New Program Coordinator Bret SawinIn “Videos”VIDEO: Learn About The Mill City Eagles, A Local Semi-Pro Football Team, & Meet GM Zachary Swale, Of WilmingtonIn “Videos”last_img read more

Anchorage Announces Fiscal Surplus

first_imgAs law-makers battle over budgets in the closing days of the Legislature, the city of Anchorage is announcing a fiscal surplus.Download AudioIn a press conference Wednesday, Mayor Dan Sullivan announced the city has seven million dollars left over from the last fiscal year. Some of those savings will be applied to property taxes for the year ahead, leading to a dip of about 0.1 percent in the mill-rate for home-owners.The surplus will also go to funding police and fire academies, covering overages from the SAP software upgrade, and a pilot program focused on addiction treatment. Critics of the mayor’s administration have said it has reduced budget costs by putting off or eliminating critical spending on staffing and social services.last_img read more

47 new theme parks set to dot twin cities

first_imgHyderabad: The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has made extensive arrangements to plant three crore saplings as part of Haritha Haram programme in Greater Hyderabad.The GHMC has one crore saplings and for remaining one and half crore saplings, GHMC along with HMWSSB is raising the saplings in nurseries in open sites. Apart from this, 70 lakh saplings are raised in selected open sites belonging to HMDA and Housing Board. Also Read – Warrant issued against Renuka Chowdhury in cheating case Advertise With Us GHMC Commissioner M Dana Kishore informed that Haritha Haram programme should initiate soon as the city is expected to get good rain in two days. Local MLAs, corporators and other officials should take the part to make it successful. GHMC decided to plant the saplings in open places of government land, national highways and also distribute the saplings to citizens free of cost. In GHMC limits, officials of Urban Bio-Diversity Wing selected around 3,080 open places with an area of 1,729 acres. There are 873 parks under GHMC limits and Commissioner instructed that to plant the saplings in 696 acres of space. GHMC decided to plant the new saplings in the place of dead saplings which were planted last year across the city. Also Read – Parts of Hyderabad witness heavy rainfall Advertise With Us Dana Kishore said that they decided to set up separate committees in zonal, circle level to monitor the saplings which were planted throughout the city as part of the Haritha Haram. Separate committees would go to every residential welfare associations, bastis and other government offices and inform them how to maintain the saplings properly, he said. Advertise With Us GHMC decided to develop 47 major parks by allocating an acre of land to each park and more in all zones with different themes. The preparation of landscape designs is under progress. These major parks would be named as “Haritha Haram Parks”. As per the instructions of Chief Minister, GHMC is developing three Urban Forest Parks around Hyderabad city in forest blocks in Suraram, Madannaguda and Nadergul blocks. It is also proposed for taking up dense plantations in these reserve forest blocks along with visitor zones. The project cost is Rs 17.75 crore.last_img read more

Syria rebels down Russian plane capture pilot

first_imgSyrian government forces stand on the hilltop vantage point of Tal Dadeem as they advance between Abu al-Duhur and Saraqib on the eastern outskirts of Idlib on Saturday. Photo: AFPRebel fighters shot down a Russian plane over Syria’s northwest Idlib province on Saturday and captured its pilot, a monitor said.“Rebel factions shot down a Sukhoi 25. The Russian pilot came down in a parachute, before being captured,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.He could not immediately confirm which faction had downed the plane but hardline opposition groups and the jihadist Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) are active in Idlib.No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.Syrian troops launched a fierce offensive on Idlib in late December, with backing by Russian warplanes.“There have been dozens of Russian air strikes in the area over the past 24 hours. This plane was also carrying out raids there,” said Abdel Rahman.Opposition factions have shot Syrian regime planes in the past, but downing Russian warplanes is much rarer.In August 2016, a Russian military helicopter was shot down over Syria and all five people on board were killed.Moscow began conducting air strikes in Syria in September 2015.Two months later, Turkey shot down a Russian warplane, leading to the worst crisis in ties between the two countries since the end of the Cold War.last_img read more

Protests in Pakistan delay Christian woman release

first_imgPakistani cleric Hafiz Saeed, the founder of the outlawed Lashkar-e-Taiba group, which was blamed for the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people, addresses at a mosque in Lahore, Pakistan 1 November. Photo: APThe release of a Christian woman in Pakistan, acquitted eight years after being sentenced to death for blasphemy, was apparently delayed Friday after talks failed between the government and radical Islamists who want her publicly hanged.Islamists held rallies Friday across Pakistan against freedom for Asia Bibi and to denounce Wednesday’s Supreme Court ruling that overturned her 2010 conviction of insulting the Prophet Muhammad. Her family has always maintained her innocence and says she never insulted Islam’s prophet.Since the landmark ruling, radical Islamists have blocked highways and damaged or set fire to dozens of vehicles to pressure the government to stop Bibi’s release from an undisclosed detention facility.On Friday, over 2,000 demonstrators blocked a key road linking the capital, Islamabad, with the garrison city of Rawalpindi, causing traffic jams. Hundreds also blocked another key motorway, connecting Islamabad with other major cities. No violence was reported during the rallies.On Thursday, a lawyer representing a local cleric who had raised the initial blasphemy charges against Bibi petitioned the Supreme Court to reverse its acquittal.Pakistan shut down schools and colleges after radical cleric Khadim Hussain Rizvi, the leader of Tehreek-e-Labbaik party, announced that “talks” between his deputies and the government about Bibi’s fate had failed.Before dawn Friday, Rizvi told an emotionally-charged rally in the eastern city of Lahore that one of the government negotiators threatened his deputies during the talks that security forces will ruthlessly kill them if they did not disperse peacefully. He asked his supporters to continue sit-ins as authorities summoned paramilitary troops to restore order.”We are ready to die to show our love for the prophet,” he said.Rizvi’s envoys had demanded that Bibi be barred from leaving the country but Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry rejected the demand, saying the government will not accept any dictates.Ghulam Mustafa, a lawyer representing a provincial cleric in Punjab who had filed the initial blasphemy charges against Bibi, petitioned the Supreme Court, requesting the judges review her acquittal. The court has set not dates to take up the petition, but Bibi’s release could be further delayed by the process. Pakistan’s Supreme Court has not been known to reverse its decisions but court reviews typically take years.Interior minister Sheharyar Afridi said Friday that officials were trying to persuade Islamists to disperse their rallies peacefully.Authorities also stepped up security near an undisclosed detention facility where Bibi is being held for her safety. On Thursday, prison officials said two inmates were arrested last month for planning to kill Bibi by strangling her. They said the men were still being questioned.Bibi’s family had expected her release by Thursday night. Her husband, Ashiq Masih, returned from Britain with their children in mid-October and was waiting for her release so that they can fly out of Pakistan. Though the family has not disclosed the country of her destination, France and Spain have offered asylum.Islamabad authorities suspended mobile phone services on Friday in the city, likely to prevent the crowds from swelling further in the Pakistan capital.Bibi’s acquittal has posed a challenge to the government of Pakistan’s new Prime Minister Imran Khan, who came to power this summer partly by pursuing the Islamist agenda.Khan condemned the Islamists on Wednesday after cleric Afzal Qadri urged supporters to kill the three judges who acquitted Bibi, revolt against army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa and overthrow Khan’s government.Military’s spokesman major general Asif Ghafoor said Friday the army was exercising restraint, to give a chance for a peaceful resolution. He asked demonstrators to refrain from violence and await the outcome of the review petition to the Supreme Court.”Let this legal process be completed first,” he told state-run Pakistan Television.Bibi was arrested in 2009 after she was accused of blasphemy following a quarrel with two fellow female farm workers who refused to drink from a water container used by a Christian. A few days later, a mob accused her of insulting Islam’s prophet, leading to her 2010 conviction.Bibi’s case has drawn international attention and also put Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy laws into focus again. The charge of blasphemy carried the death penalty in this majority Muslim nation and critics say it is often used to settle feuds and arguments.last_img read more

Affiliated colleges write to CU for extension of admission dates

first_imgKolkata: A number of colleges affiliated to Calcutta University have written to the varsity, urging it to extend the admission dates.There are 1.3 lakh seats in colleges under CU, out of which 40,000 are lying vacant, even though the last date for admission has already elapsed on July 10.According to sources in Calcutta University, seats have been lying vacant in a number of colleges, including Sris Chandra college, North City College, South City College, Dum Dum Motijhil College, Lake Town College and Bidhannagar College to name a few. Also Read – 2 Group D staffers held for ‘assaulting’ minorsInitially, the date for completion of admission was fixed on July 6 and was later extended to July 10 in the wake of allegations of extorting money for college admission.These colleges have written to the university with the appeal to extend the dates further.It may be mentioned that the Higher Secondary examination results were published in the first week of July and the admission process was kicked off on June 21.However, soon after the admission process began, there were allegations of extortion in the name of admission from a number of colleges in the city, including Surendranath College, Jaipuria College, South City College, Dinabandhu Andrews College, etc. Also Read – Naka checking to be stricter to rein in speed demonsSimilar allegations also surfaced from colleges in North 24-Parganas, affiliated under West Bengal State University.Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee instructed the state Education department to admit students online, so that they no longer need to turn up physically for the purpose.The police have also cracked the whip and arrested a number of people including students, for being involved in this unfair practice.”We have found out that the colleges located close to railway stations in the suburbs of the city already have their seats filled up,” a senior official of CU said. He expressed his optimism that if the dates are extended then seat occupancy will normalise.last_img read more