Bihar, where state-run girl shelters are under the scanner

first_img How many such homes are there?Social Welfare Minister Manju Verma, whose husband too was accused of visiting the Muzaffarpur shelter home frequently, says there are 110 such shelter and short-stay homes in the State for girls and women, “but we’ve reports of irregularities at only five of them, while the rest are doing well.” However, the 100-page TISS report said officials had pointed out several discrepancies at over a dozen shelter and short-stay homes, including at Motihari, Chhapra, Sasaram, Bhabhua, Vaishali and other places.Will they be probed as well?Department Principal Secretary Atul Prasad said that in view of the TISS report, investigations were going on at all shelter and short-stay homes and suitable action would be taken, if discrepancies were found. If need be, girls and women would be shifted from there and the NGOs given the contract to run the homes would be blacklisted, he said. The Muzaffarpur home has already been sealed and girls have been shifted to shelter homes at Patna, Mokama and Madhubani. The NGO had also been blacklisted, he said.What happens next?The government has recommended a CBI inquiry into the Muzaffarpur case and the names of several bigwigs are expected to surface in the investigation. Mr. Prasad admitted that the TISS social audit report was an eye-opener and said the Department would consider a number of measures to prevent such incidents occurring again. Among some of the suggestions are installation of CCTV cameras and deputing transgenders as security guards at such shelter and short-stay homes. What happened?A social audit report prepared by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) found that at a State-run shelter home, Balika Grih, in Muzaffarpur, a north Bihar district, 34 of the 44 girls had been sexually exploited. Following the report of “physical and sexual violence” against girls at the home, the Opposition parties sought a High Court-monitored CBI probe. On Thursday, the State government recommended a CBI inquiry.How did it come about?In June 2017, the Social Welfare Department, which looks after shelter and short-stay homes in the State, asked the TISS to prepare a report on their condition. The report, submitted to the Department on April 26 this year, made startling revelations about “physical and sexual violations of girls,” especially at the Muzaffarpur home. On May 31, the Department filed an FIR at the women’s police station in Muzaffarpur, seeking “suitable action” on the plight of girls as mentioned on page 52 of the TISS report under the caption ‘Grave Concern.’ On June 2, the Muzaffarpur police arrested Brajesh Thakur, the man who was managing the NGO, Sewa Sankalp Evam Vikas Samiti, to which the Department had given a contract to run the home. Subsequently, nine other persons, seven of them women employees at the home, were arrested and sent to jail. A chargesheet was filed on July 26. One accused, Dilip Verma, is absconding.Why does it matter?The Muzaffarpur case has come as a huge embarrassment to the Nitish Kumar-led NDA government as Opposition leaders not only raised the issue strongly in and outside the State legislature but also accused the government of protecting Thakur. A local politician, Thakur is believed to have close relations with several BJP and JD(U) leaders. He had contested the Assembly election in 1995 and 2000 from Kudhani in Muzaffarpur as a candidate of the Bihar People’s Party, then an NDA ally, but lost. He also runs a vernacular newspaper Pratah Kamal from the same building in which the shelter home is located, and was in the State press accreditation committee too. His newspaper, despite having a very low circulation, was empanelled by the government’s Public Relations Department and has been the beneficiary of government advertisements worth crores of rupees.last_img read more

Harbhajan offers Rs 1 lakh for national athlete who lost leg

first_imgIndia off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has offered monetary help of Rs 1 lakh to national level football and volleyball player Arunima Sinha who lost her leg after being thrown out of a running train by robbers near Bareilly.Harbhajan, who played a crucial role in India’s triumph in the World Cup which India won after 28 years, had some encouraging words for Arunima.”I got to know this news through a friend and I really feel for the young girl. Her life is ahead of her and as a sportsman, it’s our responsibility to help her.”I would like to tell Arunima that she should not lose heart and champions like her will overcome all the obstacles.I offer this small token of help and wish her all the very best in life,” Harbhajan said.Earlier, Indian batsman Yuvraj Singh too came in support of Arunima, offering her Rs 1 lakh.”It is really unfortunate and tragic with what has happened to Arunima. She must be brave sportsperson who came forward to fight against robbery. I know the loss is irreparable, but I would like to offer her this little contribution on of one lakh rupees,” he had in a statement issued by ‘Yuvraj Singh Foundation’.Arunima alias Sonu lost her leg after she was pushed out of the Padmavat Express near Bareilly on Monday night by three men trying to snatch her gold chain when she was travelling to Delhi to appear for a CISF examination.As she lay on the tracks, another train ran over her left leg. She had fractures on her right leg and also suffered head injuries.advertisementRailways has offered her a job while sports minister Ajay Maken announced Rs 2 lakh medical compensation and an immediate ex-gratia of Rs 25,000.- With PTI inputslast_img read more

Capitalizing on the Convergence of Social Media and Content Curation

first_imgFOLIO: Explain how important the sense of community has become to your content model and how you foster that community engagement.Arora: When Glam started, we were the first company to recognize that content is going to get fragmented and that re-aggregation will occur from a social content perspective. Content used to be one-directional prior to Glam and prior to social media. Glam was the first commercial company to recognize that content was becoming social.For example, we heavily favored fashion bloggers very early on that had an authentic voice and a huge following demonstrated by social interaction around their blogs. That same theme has continued today. We view all content as a two-way conversation between the author, editor or curator and the consumer. We have a very high level of community conversation or what we call “social activation.”In some cases, we find that community comes first and content comes second. This was the reason we purchased Ning, the largest community-based social networking platform in the world for independent communities. I think Glam is a pretty unique company in which we start with content that is inherently social and community-based with professional authors and content creators as our goal. More recently we launched Foodie.com, which is our first product built on top of the Ning platform, so we take it to the next level [with] social discovery. It’s more like a Twitter or Facebook social networking model specifically for food content. I think your question is at the heart of almost everything Glam does today.FOLIO: How are you innovating on your advertising model and formats? Arora: Glam is an unusual company. We’re a technology company first and media company second. Fundamentally, we innovate through technology and engineering products. Long-term, that is the only model of sustainable innovation in media. If you look at content-only companies like Condé Nast, what you’ll find is that the proportion of engineering of products is very small, maybe 5 or 10 percent of the company. In our case, it’s 61 percent of the total company people headcount. Everything we do comes from technology innovation first.Most media companies today run their advertising products on existing platforms. All innovation in advertising has to be done on the commonly shared platform that everybody else also has. It’s very difficult for one publisher or magazine to differentiate themselves from others because they’re all using the same platform.We’re fundamentally different. We’re top 8 in volume of premium display advertising served in the U.S. and 100 percent of our advertising products—display, rich media, mobile, iPad and in video—are delivered using Glam’s own ad technology. We built the base platform to innovate on top of which allows us to be completely different. Most people view us as one of the most innovative companies—the secret is [that] we are a technology company first.If you’re looking to better understand how your brands can thrive in a converged media landscape, register now for FOLIO: and min’s MediaNext event on October 28-30. If you can combine your social media networking abilities with quality content, the opportunity to grow your audience is greater than ever. Here, Samir Arora, CEO of Glam Media, a lifestyle company, and keynote speaker at FOLIO:’s MediaNext event, October 28 to 30 in New York, talks all about the changing content aggregation platform, custom advertising models and how to stay competitive.FOLIO: As more publishers go after the content aggregation model, how do you stay competitive in the verticals you cover?Samir Arora: A lot of people are trying to emulate parts of Glam Media’s model of aggregation, as well as original content creation—at scale. The biggest differentiator Glam has is that it is number 1 overall in lifestyle globally with over 310 million consumers a month. In the U.S. it’s about 90 to 100 million consumers a month. I think there’s some level of competitive advantage for us when we enter a new vertical. People expect that our model will scale and grow because we’ve done it for so many verticals already.last_img read more

Wilmingtons Judy OConnell Inducted Into Merrimack Colleges Athletics Hall Of Fame

first_imgNORTH ANDOVER, MA — Merrimack College officially inducted the newest members of the Merrimack Athletics Hall of Fame, as six former student-athletes, one team and a distinguished honoree were enshrined as the Class of 2018 on Friday night on campus.Friday’s induction enshrined Wilmington resident Judy O’Connell and her national championship-winning softball team for bringing distinction, honor and excellence to the College.Judy O’Connell (Class of 1995) was a three-time All-American and three-time CoSIDA Academic All-American (1993, 1994, 1995), one of only two in program history. O’Connell was a key player on the 1994 National Championship Softball team, leading the team with a .482 batting average, 35 runs scored, 54 hits, 10 HR, 54 RBIs and only nine strikeouts. She ranks third in single-season batting average (.482), second in single-season RBI’s (54); seventh in career batting average (.398) and fourth in career home runs (28) and RBIs (148). A cum laude graduate, she was part of four straight NE10 regular season and tournament teams as part of the mid-1990’s softball dynasty, helping the Warriors win both titles every season while qualifying for three straight NCAA Tournaments and reaching the Division II College World Series in back-to-back years (1994, 1995). O’Connell served as team captain in her final two seasons and was named NE10 Player and Rookie of the Year over the course of her decorated career.O’Connell’s 1994 softball team set the precedent, becoming the first-ever National Champion in Northeast-10 Conference history. The team was the first to truly bring the Northeast-10 Conference name to the national stage. Merrimack was also the first team from the Northeast/East/New England region to capture a national championship. The Warriors dominated from start to finish that year, losing only four games while winning a school-record 45 on their way to the national title. They also captured the league’s regular season and tournament title that year, while three players were named All-Americans. The team was honored by the league in 2011 when it was inducted into the NE10 Hall of Fame.Other inductees included Amanda (Baldwin) Mayock, Nancy (Daly) Dwyer, April Daugherty, Jim Hrivnak, Corey Lunney, and Ken Duane.Altogether, six different sports are represented among that group, including the first-ever selections in the history of the field hockey and women’s lacrosse programs.Merrimack College President Dr. Christopher E. Hopey and Director of Athletics Jeremy Gibson delivered remarks throughout the event before each new inductee had the opportunity to speak. Additionally, a number of former Hall of Fame inductees – which now boasts nearly 60 total selections dating back four decades – were recognized, as well. The event culminated with each new inductee receiving a commemorative framed photo.The event coincided with the College’s annual Homecoming Weekend, which started with the athletic department’s first-ever quadruple-header earlier in the day with women’s ice hockey, men’s soccer, field hockey and women’s volleyball all playing on campus leading up to the induction ceremony.(NOTE: The above press release is from Merrimack College.)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… RelatedWilmington’s Judy O’Connell To Be Inducted Into Merrimack College’s Athletics Hall Of FameIn “Community”LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Selectman Kevin Caira Endorses Judy O’Connell For State RepIn “Letter To The Editor”STATE REP RACE: Judy O’Connell Holds Campaign Kick-Off RallyIn “Government”last_img read more

Verizon CEO says his carrier delivers real 5G not hype

first_img0:57 Mobile Verizon 5G speed test vs. 4G Tags Samsung, LG, Motorola: How soon can we expect 5G phones? Share your voice 0 Now playing: Watch this:center_img Some on Wall Street speculate that Verizon, by comparison, may be spectrum-constrained, given that much of its lower-frequency and midband spectrum is already being used for 3G and 4G LTE service.  Vestberg tried to allay these concerns, stating he’s confident that Verizon has what it needs to compete in 5G.”We are not disadvantaged,” he said. Vestberg emphasized that 5G is still in its early days, noting that the standards for the next-generation networks haven’t been finalized yet and that there are only a few phones on the market that can even tap into 5G. He added that it’s more important for Verizon’s customers to feel a real difference in performance when they access the 5G network rather than rebranding a service as 5G with only incremental benefits in terms of speed. 5G is not only about 100 times faster than 4G, but it also allows the new networks to be more responsive, ushering in new applications in areas such as VR, AR and self-driving cars.  He conceded that, in the long term, the company will repurpose its existing low-band and midband spectrum serving its 3G and 4G LTE networks to 5G. But he said, right now the company’s coverage map is well-positioned relative to the size of today’s 5G market and given the number of 5G-capable phones available.   “I inherited fantastic DNA in this company,” he said. “First, we do things, and then we start marketing it.” He added, “There will be a lot of messaging in the market, but I’m confident we will execute on real 5G and give the right sort of performance to our customers in the right moment.”In an interview Thursday with CNBC, Vestberg said he expects Verizon’s 5G service to cover 50% of the US population next year. But he noted that it won’t be until 2024 that at least half the US population will actually own a 5G phone. Also on Thursday, Verizon announced that it added more wireless customers than analysts expected in the second quarter of 2019. The largest US wireless carrier added a total of 245,000 phone subscribers during the second quarter of 2019. Analysts had expected it to add about 163,000 new phone customers, Reuters reported. Verizon plans to have 5G service in more than 30 cities by the end of the year, including Boston, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Des Moines, Houston, Kansas City, Little Rock, Memphis, Phoenix, San Diego, and Salt Lake City.”Verizon made history this quarter by becoming the first carrier in the world to launch 5G mobility,” Vestberg said in a statement. “We are focused on optimizing our next-generation networks and enhancing the customer experience while we head into the second half of the year with great momentum.”Originally published at 4:53 a.m. PT.Updated at 8:08 a.m. PT: Added information from Verizon’s quarterly conference call.  13 Photos 5G Verizon Ray’s criticism of the Verizon network is based on Verizon focusing its early deployments on very high-frequency millimeter wave spectrum, or mmWave. This spectrum can transmit vast amounts of data, but the range of the signal is very short, requiring a lot more small cell towers to be deployed to cover a given area. Over a year ago, Ray called Verizon’s plan to use mmWave “unrealistic” because it would be way too expensive for the company to blanket the US with 5G using this spectrum.Ray reiterated the point in a tweet Wednesday evening: “What is Verizon’s ‘secret’ 5G plan to expand 5G coverage beyond the limits of mmWave?!” He added: “Verizon says they will have a ‘multi-spectrum strategy.’ So they don’t have one now… when will they have one? Tomorrow?!” By contrast, T-Mobile plans to use a wide variety of spectrum in its 5G deployment, including low-band 600MHz spectrum as well as midband spectrum it plans to acquire from Sprint. The Justice Department gave some momentum to that plan last week in its thumbs-up for the merger of T-Mobile and Sprint. (That deal would also divest assets to satellite TV provider Dish in the hope it could replace Sprint as a fourth national wireless provider.) AT&T has a similar strategy that includes using a mix of spectrum for 5G. Both AT&T and T-Mobile say they will cover the US with 5G by the end of next year. The benefit of the combination spectrum strategy is that it will allow for a lot more coverage, but the lower-frequency spectrum also means slower speeds. Verizon beats expectations for new subscriptions. James Martin/CNET Verizon’s CEO Hans Vestberg threw a few punches of his own Thursday in the 5G marketing wars. Responding to jabs from T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray, Vestberg told investors on the company’s quarterly conference call that his company will have “real 5G” that gives “the right sort of performance” that customers expect from Verizon in the “right moment.” The comments come a day after Ray, in a tweet, expressed skepticism about Verizon’s plans to add more cities to its 5G network. Ray said he wanted to see the coverage map in those cities, implying that the airwaves Verizon is using in its 5G deployment won’t offer the kind of coverage that T-Mobile says it plans to offer itself. Verizon announced Wednesday that it’s added Atlanta, Detroit, Indianapolis and Washington, DC to its list of cities with 5G. The company already offered 5G in parts of Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis-St. Paul and Providence.T-Mobile, Sprint and AT&T also have 5G service available in some parts of the US.  Post a commentlast_img read more

Bigg Boss Tamil 3 launch Is this the date when Kamal Haasans

first_imgKamal Haasan in Bigg Boss Tamil 3.PR HandoutAfter two successful seasons, Bigg Boss Tamil is ready to entertain the audience again. With the channel releasing a teaser of Kamal Haasan-hosted show on Sunday, May 19, the excitement around the show has increased manifold.Even as fans curiously await the show to take off, here is some update about its launch. Sources say that Vijay TV is likely to start it in the fourth week of June. With the ICC World Cup kick-starting by the end of May, Vijay TV plans to launch on a Sunday where there is no match involving India.Tamil Nadu, like rest of India, is a cricket-crazy state and the World Cup is expected to witness a record viewership, thereby taking a toll on the TRPs of GECs. So, channels will prefer safe dates so that shows gets a good start.The Men in Blue will be taking on Australia on June 9, Pakistan on June 16 and England on June 30. It means only June 2 and 23 are the only dates with no India matches.With June 2 being too early, June 23 looks like an ideal date for the launch of Bigg Boss Tamil 3.Further, the ICC tournament would have almost crossed the half-way mark and June 23 could be the best date to go on air for Kamal Haasan-hosted show. The first season of Bigg Boss Tamil was launched on 25 June, 2017 and the second was kicked off on 17 June.last_img read more

ISIS enlarges footprint in Kashmir

first_imgKashmir is concerned about the rise of indigenous militancy following the beliefs of Islamic State.IANSAs door 1 with Pakistan proxies supported by local hawks Hurriyat closes, door 2 with Islamic Caliphate written on it opens in what is a brutal cage match which has more or less eviscerated the lives of the Kashmiris in the Valley.Door 2 is only slightly ajar, but it is being kicked open by the powerful imagery of the Pulwama bombing by a local youth Adil Ahmad Dar. Dar has emerged as the latest poster child in the long line of local militants and ideologues beginning with Afzal Guru, Burhan Wani and then Zakir Musa. All young militants born out of the ‘azadi’ generation, birthed by the social media redefinition of freedom. Political Islam morphing itself into a puritanical strain of religious Islam.The Indian deep state is concerned about the rise of indigenous militancy following the beliefs of IS, something that was stamped out by J&K super cop and former IGP S.M. Sahai, Kashmir Range, in the past.As communities worldwide close themselves and become more insular, shutting the door to the interloper who is seen as an Islamist jihadi, the clash of civilisations is now a grim reality. It could be Islam versus Christianity or Islam versus Hinduism or even pure Islam versus impure Islam playing out in different parts of the world.What this shut down and battening down of hatches does is that people within those walls become impervious to Intel. Access gets more difficult as walls emerge from within the closed user group. The world then is divided between the believers and the non-believers. Kashmir, the epicentre of Pakistan’s Bleed India to Death stratagem, remains a hot button as far as Indian intelligence and security mainframe is concerned.Fear stalks one and all after the Sri Lanka bombings. The Islamist fundamentalist has TAKFIR ingrained in his psyche which asks him to target the apostate. So, there are three degrees of separation in TAKFIR, for it targets allegedly ‘impure’ Muslims too. Ergo, the targets could be Ahmediyas, Shias and Sufis which is how the sequencing around the world has been.The Hefazat-e-Islam in Bangladesh, for instance, targeted Ahmediyas to draw attention to itself. The Shapla Square protests or Motijheel massacre in May 2013 also called Operation Shapla or Operation Flash Out were part of this process. Hefazat-e-Islam, an Islamist pressure group, organised a mass demonstration in Dhaka’s financial district demanding the enactment of the blasphemy law to stop Islamophobic content in media. As a deterrent, the government used the Rapid Action Battalion and Border Guard to quell the protesters. This resulted in protests across the country in which estimates are of any number between 20 and 61 people died.In Kashmir Valley, Hizbul Mujahideen militant commander Burhan Wani in his first video in August 2015 vowed to establish the Caliphate, urging the youth to take up arms in south Kashmir. The six-minute video was a seminal moment for it was circulated via mobile messenger and other social media networks. The video showed Wani in an orchard with an assault rifle and a copy of the Holy Koran with two militants standing guard by his side. The emergence of this terror neophyte stunned the security apparatus for it went beyond the pale of merely espousing anti-India rhetoric to a broader pan Islamist agenda of establishing the Caliphate in the Valley.This was followed by his deputy Zakir Musa openly distancing himself from the Hurriyat and challenging them. The underpinning of Ansar Ghazwa e Hind was visible for the first time. In May 2017, Musa called for chopping off the heads of those standing in the way of Sharia roll out in Kashmir. He also parted ways with Hizbul and spoke of action against those propounding a secular state, read Hurriyat.Husain Haqqani has explained this phenomenon succinctly in ‘Prophecy and Jihad in the Indian Subcontinent’ — Radical Islamists invoke the Hadith (the oral traditions attributed to the Prophet Muhammad) to prophesize a great battle in India between true believers and unbelievers before the end-times.These references in the Hadith to the Ghazwa-e-Hind (Battle of India) infuse South Asia with importance as a battleground in the efforts to create an Islamic Caliphate resembling the social order that existed at the time of the Prophet Muhammad and the Rightly Guided Caliphs (632-661 AD)…Just as the prophecies of Khurasan became popular during the wars in Afghanistan, the Ghazwa-e-Hind divinations became a staple of the Islamist discourse after the launch of jihad in Indian-controlled parts of Kashmir in 1989.Throughout the 1990s, Pakistani official media also encouraged discussion of the Ghazwa-e-Hind Hadith to motivate jihadists. In fact, every major Pakistan-based jihadi group that launched terrorist attacks across the border claimed that their operations were part of the Battle for India promised by the Prophet. For these Pakistani groups, supported by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency, the target of jihad should be the modern state of India and its “occupation” of Kashmir.For example, Lashkar-e-Taiba has often spoken of Ghazwa-e-Hind as a means of liberating Kashmir from Indian control. The group’s founder, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, has declared repeatedly that “[i]f freedom is not given to the Kashmiris, then we will occupy the whole of India including Kashmir. We will launch Ghazwa-e-Hind. Our homework is complete to get Kashmir.” Pakistani propagandist Zaid Hamid has also repeatedly invoked Ghazwa-e-Hind as a battle against Hindu India led from Muslim Pakistan. According to Hamid, “Allah has destined the people of Pakistan” with victory and “Allah is the aid and helper of Pakistan.”Several Islamic scholars, especially from India, have questioned the veracity of the Ghazwa-e-Hind Hadith and reject its repeated contemporary citation as “Pakistani terrorists’ anti-India propaganda.”According to Maulana Waris Mazhari of the Darul Uloom Deoband seminary in Uttar Pradesh, India, the conflict between India and Pakistan over Kashmir was not jihad; the dream of establishing “Muslim hegemony throughout the entire world” was fanciful. “The term ghalba-e Islam, the establishment of the supremacy of Islam, used in the context of the Quran and the sayings of the Prophet (Hadith), refers not to any political project of Muslim domination,” Mazhari wrote, “but, rather, to the establishment of the superiority of Islam’s ideological and spiritual message.”The evolution from Kashmiri nationalism to Islamic Caliphate has been a calibrated move. Exterminating the non-believer or the impure Muslim was the strategy. The defining moment is the assassination of Maulana Shaukat Ahmed in 2011.Maulana Shaukat Ahmed, the soft-spoken 55-year-old chief of the Jamiat-e-Ahli-Hadees (JAH), became yet another victim of terrorist violence in strife-torn Kashmir Valley. The Maulana had been heading the JAH since 2004 when he was first elected President of the organisation, followed by three more tenures in this responsible position. His last election came in 2010. The Jamiat-e-Ahli-Hadees grew under his leadership and had about 15 lakh followers and more than 800 mosques spread across the valley.The cleric was a man of conviction who did not hesitate in speaking his mind. His organisation advocated a puritanical concept of Islam which is at variance with the more moderate Sufi Islam that is predominant in the valley. The ritualistic practitioner of Islam began to think in terms of a loose mirror image of the Muslim Brotherhood in Kashmir.The most recent unsettling news came earlier this month — On May 10 the Amaq news agency of ISIS claimed that the group has established the ‘Wilayah of Hind’. Amaq, however, did not elaborate on the geographical limits of the so-called province. Interestingly, the proclamation coincided with the elimination of Ishfaq Ahmad Sofi, a suspected operative of ISIS in India, by the security forces in an encounter in Shopian in south Kashmir on the same day. Uddipan Mukherjee, PhD, Joint Director, Government of India, Ministry of Defence at Ordnance Factory Board writing for IDSA explained the new phenomenon — It is interesting to note that, in the context of the ISIS’s recent proclamation on Kashmir, analysts were also of the opinion that global jihadist groups have failed to exploit the Kashmir conflict, unlike conflicts in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.The fundamental reason, as put forward by Mohammed Sinan Siyech, in a paper in Counter Terrorist Trends and Analyses published in May 2018 was that the Kashmir issue is primarily a territorial and political dispute as opposed to a purely religious/Islamist conflict. Furthermore, cross-border terrorist groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad are in opposition to the concept of a pan-global Islamic Caliphate. Consequently, ISIS has failed to establish its footprints in the Kashmir Valley.However, recent events are worrisome for the Indian defence establishment.last_img read more

Chinas C919 passenger jet takes off for maiden flight

first_img Close The first Chinese-built passenger jet has taken off from Shanghai for its maiden flight. The C919 aircraft aims to compete with the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 for the $2tn-worth global jet market. Some 570 of the planes have already been ordered, according to state-owned manufacturer Comac – and mostly by Chinese carriers. IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:01/0:48Loaded: 0%0:02Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-0:47?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 …center_img Chinas C919 passenger jet takes off for maiden flightlast_img read more

Trump quashes Pacific trade pact

first_imgUS President Donald Trump holds up an executive order withdrawing the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership after signing it in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC. Photo: AFPPresident Donald Trump yanked the United States out of a major Pacific trade deal Monday, making good on an election campaign promise and delivering a hammer blow to Asian allies.Trump said he had “terminated” the Trans-Pacific Partnership—a trade deal binding the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, Vietnam and seven other allies against growing Chinese economic clout.Together, TPP members represent 40 percent of the world economy.After signing an executive order, Trump said he would be “going back to those countries one-on-one” to find terms more favorable to the United States.“We are going to have trade but we are going to have one-on-one,” he said.“And if somebody misbehaves, we are going to send a letter of termination — 30 days and they’ll either straighten it out or we are gone.”Trump came to office promising to gut existing trade pacts and reclaim manufacturing jobs lost overseas.Trump has also vowed to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada.Economists warn those jobs are never coming back and point to automation, not trade, as the main reason.But Trump has sought to tap populist anger and argued for much more transactional trade deals, regardless of the impact on international norms and standards.‘Serious mistake’?According to a Peterson Institute analysis, the United States stood to be the biggest beneficiary from TPP, with an annual increase in exports of $357 billion.The Institute also projected that the pact would be broadly neutral for employment levels.President Barack Obama’s administration had also touted the deal as a strategic counterweight to China.Trump’s Republican ally John McCain described the new president’s decision as a “serious mistake that will have lasting consequences for America’s economy and our strategic position in the Asia-Pacific region.”“It will create an opening for China to rewrite the economic rules of the road at the expense of American workers. And it will send a troubling signal of American disengagement in the Asia-Pacific region at a time we can least afford it.”It remains far from clear whether countries that have spent years negotiating the TPP would be willing to enter new talks.“The US already has trade deals with six of the 11 TPP partner countries so that leaves a handful of countries for potential new deals, most notably Japan,” said Cathleen Cimino-Isaacs of the Peterson Institute.“The emphasis on bilaterals is based on the perception that the US gave up too much in the TPP and will get better concessions from other trading partners in bilateral deals,” she said.“But it’s not clear that would be the case. The US actually gave few new concessions in the TPP in big areas like services and government procurement,” Cimino-Isaacs added.“At the same time, it was able to get greater concessions from countries like Japan in exchange for helping secure market access and agreement on high standards in other TPP markets.”Tax cutsLater Monday, Trump met with Congressional leaders and had private talks with the speaker of the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan.Tax reform is likely to be high on the agenda.“What we’re doing is we are going to be cutting taxes massively for both the middle class and for companies,” Trump said Monday.To pay for those cuts, Trump has promised a “border tax,” which is likely to come in the form of increased tariffs on exports.That move is likely to face a challenge at the World Trade Organization and from big-box retailers.Trump also vowed Monday to cut regulation “massively” by up to 75 percent. It remains unclear how this would be done or quantified.Rocky startTrump signed two other executive orders Monday—freezing the hiring of federal workers and hitting foreign NGOs that help with abortion.The Republican leader is looking to shift attention firmly back onto his policy agenda after a first few days that put his incoming administration on the back foot.Since he was sworn in on Friday, Trump’s White House has been pilloried for lying to the public about inaugural crowds and over a campaign-style speech by the president before a memorial to fallen CIA officers.On Saturday, several million Americans poured onto the streets for women-led demonstrations against Trump, the scale of which were unseen in a generation, in a potent rebuke to the president.Trump has upbraided top aides over unfavorable media coverage on everything from crowd sizes to suggestions he has ruled out releasing his taxes. He is the first presidential candidate in recent memory not to do so.last_img read more

One missing as vessels sink near Bhasanchar

first_imgTwo lighter vessels capsized in the Bay of Bengal near Bhasanchar of Noakhali in two separate incidents on Thursday, officials said.A sailor remained missing in one of the incidents. The name of the victim could not be known immediately.Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) officials said, one vessel named Khaja Baba Faridpuri laden with wheat left Chattogram for Narayanganj on Thursday morning. After several hours, the vessel ran aground while crossing Bhasanchar. It sank after the vessel developed a crack at its bottom and tilted towards one side. Out of 13 sailors, 12 were rescued by the members of Navy and Coast Guard.Another vessel named N Islam loaded with corn left Chattogram for Narayanganj. The vessel hit by another vessel capsized near Bhasanchar. Navy and Coast Guard men rescued all the 13 sailors of the vessel.last_img read more

Trump scraps Pompeos N Korea trip

first_imgUS secretary of state Mike Pompeo listens as US president Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington, US on 18 July 2018. Photo: ReutersUS president Donald Trump on Friday abruptly canceled his top diplomat’s planned trip to North Korea, publicly acknowledging for the first time that his effort to get Pyongyang to denuclearise had stalled since his summit with North Korea’s leader.Trump partly blamed China for the lack of progress with North Korea and suggested that talks with Pyongyang, led so far by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, could be on hold until after Washington resolved its bitter trade dispute with Beijing.It was a dramatic shift of tone for Trump, who had previously hailed his June 12 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as a success and said the North Korean nuclear threat was over, despite no real sign Pyongyang was willing to give up its nuclear weapons.But Trump still kept the door open to a second summit with Kim, with whom the president recently said he has “great chemistry.””I have asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo not to go to North Korea, at this time, because I feel we are not making sufficient progress with respect to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” Trump wrote on Twitter.The North Korean mission to the United Nations declined to comment.Negotiations have all but deadlocked since the summit in Singapore. Pompeo has pressed for tangible steps toward North Korea’s abandonment of its nuclear arsenal while Pyongyang is demanding that Washington first make concessions of its own.Trump’s statement came just a day after Pompeo said he would again visit North Korea and would take his new special envoy, former auto industry executive Stephen Biegun, with him.But Trump asked Pompeo not to go during a Friday meeting and they crafted the tweets together, White House officials said.National security adviser John Bolton, considered a leading North Korea hawk, weighed in by speakerphone during a visit to Ukraine, US officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.Many other key officials learned of Trump’s decision by seeing the crawl across a television screen, some during a meeting on North Korea negotiations, officials said.Some US intelligence and defense officials had considered Pompeo’s latest trip to be premature and said the prospects for significant progress appeared dim.Pompeo, who would have been making his second visit to Pyongyang since the summit, had not been due to meet Kim this time.Trump himself was still open to another meeting with Kim, in hopes of advancing the process, but was not pleased with the latest signals from North Korea, a White House official said.Onus On ChinaTrump put some of the onus on China, North Korea’s biggest trading partner and a crucial actor in enforcing sanctions to keep pressure on Pyongyang.”Because of our much tougher Trading stance with China, I do not believe they are helping with the process of denuclearization as they once were (despite the UN Sanctions which are in place),” Trump tweeted.”Secretary Pompeo looks forward to going to North Korea in the near future, most likely after our Trading relationship with China is resolved,” Trump wrote. “In the meantime I would like to send my warmest regards and respect to Chairman Kim. I look forward to seeing him soon!”Trump told Reuters on Monday he believed Kim had taken specific steps toward denuclearization and that they would “most likely” meet again.Kelly Magsamen a former US deputy assistant secretary of defense for Asian affairs, said Trump was undermining his leverage with Kim as well as that of Pompeo and his new envoy.”It’s fine to not send the Secretary due to lack of progress, but don’t then also talk about how you are eager to meet with KJU and how China is thwarting you,” she tweeted.Christopher Hill, a former US ambassador to South Korea, tweeted: “Looks like @realDonaldTrump has begun to worry about #NorthKorea intentions. Good decision especially if otherwise Pompeo would have returned empty handed.”Kim made a broad, vague commitment in Singapore to work toward denuclearization of the Korean peninsula but has given no sign of willingness to give up his arsenal unilaterally.Talks since then have made little headway, with the two sides far apart on denuclearization and the US insistence for this to happen before North Korea sees any sanctions relief.On his last visit to Pyongyang, in July, Pompeo left saying progress had been made, only for North Korea within hours to denounce his “gangster-like demands.”U.S. officials have been trying without success to persuade North Korea to detail the extent of its nuclear arsenal.Trump’s decision came just days after the UN nuclear watchdog reported it had not found any indication that North Korea had stopped its nuclear activities.However, some analysts suggested Trump’s move may also be a negotiating ploy. In May, Trump announced he was calling off his planned summit with Kim, citing Pyongyang’s “open hostility,” only to reverse himself eight days later.The cancellation follows two days of US-China trade talks in Washington that ended with no sign of progress toward resolving a deepening trade war between the world’s two largest economies and no plans for more talks in the near term.last_img read more

Paris police fire tear gas against demonstrators

first_imgA Yellow vest (Gilet jaune) protestor holds a picture of the French president and his wife posing with dancers and reading `Village people in concert at the Elysee Palace` as they block an access to the A11 and A 28 highways in Saint Saturnin, near Le Mans, northwestern France, in the night of 24 November 2018 to protest against rising oil prices and living costs. Police fired tear gas and water cannon on 24 November in central Paris against `yellow vest` protesters demanding French president roll back tax hikes on motor fuel. Photo: AFPPolice fired tear gas and water cannon Saturday in central Paris against “yellow vest” protesters demanding French president Emmanuel Macron roll back tax hikes on motor fuel.Some 3,000 police were deployed in the capital as demonstrators who have blocked French roads over the past week wearing their now signature high-visibility jackets were set to cause another day of disruption after calls to bring Paris to a standstill.AFP reporters said several thousand had gathered by early Saturday on the famous Champs-Elysees where they clashed with police trying to prevent them moving down to the Place de la Concorde near the Louvre museum.Police said the protestors had tried to break through a cordon several times but had been prevented from doing so, with tear gas used more than once.”We have just demonstrated peacefully, and we were teargassed,” said Christophe, 49, who traveled from the Isere region in eastern France with his wife to protest in the capital. “We see how we are welcomed in Paris.”Paris police authorities said Saturday’s incidents were linked to the “presence of members of the far-right who harassed the security forces.”The ‘yellow vest’ protesters were seen ripping up paving stones or starting to build barricades.Nearly 300,000 people blocked motorways, roundabouts, businesses, and fuel depots last Saturday and smaller protests have continued this week, with an estimated 5,000 people wearing the fluorescent yellow jackets taking part on Friday.The demonstrations were sparked by an increase in diesel tax, justified as an anti-pollution levy by the government, but have since morphed into a broad opposition front to centrist Macron.”I hope there will be a veritable yellow tide,” one of the leaders of the movement, right-wing political figure Frank Buhler, said this week as he urged supporters to descend on Paris.But with some protesters baulking at the cost of travelling to the capital, it was unclear whether the organisers would achieve their aim of causing gridlock in the City of Light.Protesters had converged early Saturday on the Place de l’Etoile at the top of the Champs-Elysee avenue, shouting “Macron resign”.More than 35,000 people had vowed on Facebook to rally in the Place de la Concorde, a gathering banned by authorities due to its proximity to the presidential palace.- Protesters ‘demonised’ -Police early Saturday had cordoned off the zone that included the Place de la Concorde, the National Assembly and a section of the Champs-Elysee.”In this zone, no demonstration, no gathering, no march linked to the ‘yellow vests’ can take place,” said Paris police chief Michel Delpuech.He said mobile police units backed by helicopters were ready to intervene in case of violence or attempts to block the Paris ring road.Paris authorities have authorised a demonstration in a park next to the Eiffel Tower.”The government has done everything to demonise the movement that will take place in Paris,” said Clement Jonie as he joined protesters gathering in the west of Paris early Saturday.”We hear the deputies from the (governing) LREM say ‘we will hold the course’ but the movement is on its way, it is not ready to stop”, said the 47-year-old logistician, who had traveled in from the suburbs.Two people have died and over 750 people, including 136 police officers, were injured during the week of demonstrations that shone a light on frustration over stagnant spending power and the rollback in public services in some areas of France.On Friday evening, a man with an explosive device and demanding protesters be allowed to meet the French president turned himself in to police in Angers in western France.”He demanded that the yellow vests be received at the Elysee” presidential palace, local prosecutor Yves Gambert told AFP.Local official Bernard Gonzalez said: “There was a real risk, real danger, he had an explosive charge around his neck… This was not fake.”- ‘Struggling and fed-up’ -Former investment banker Macron was elected on a pledge to put more money in workers’ pockets but the effects of his reforms on purchasing power — persistently shown as one of the biggest concerns of the French — have been limited so far.The poor and low-paid are particularly incensed at his decision to hike anti-pollution taxes on diesel and petrol, while scrapping a wealth tax on the rich.Opposition parties on the hard left and right have cheered on the protesters, whose revolt was described by 77 percent of respondents in an Odoxa poll for Le Figaro newspaper as “justified”.”It’s the cry of a France that is struggling and fed-up,” Jordan Bardella, spokesman for the far-right National Rally (former National Front) said.Macron, who is under pressure to tackle pollution ahead of European Parliament elections in which the environment is expected to feature prominently, has refused to back down on taxing polluters.But with his ratings languishing at record lows of under 30 per cent, he has sought to present a more empathetic side.Next week, he will unveil a new energy plan that will aim to make the shift towards cleaner fuel and power more “acceptable”.”We have heard the message of citizens,” one of his aides said on Thursday.Revolts against taxes have been a feature of French public life for centuries — citizens pay some of the highest in Europe as a percentage of GDP — while fuel price protests are a common occurrence.last_img

Floods kill 6 people in Kurigram

first_imgSix people drowned in Ulipur and Roumari upazilas of Kurigram on Tuesday as the Brahmaputra and Dharla rivers continue to flow above the danger level, leaving thousands of people stranded, reports UNB.Manzil Haque, deputy-assistant director of Kurigram Fire Service and Civil Defence, said five people died after a boat sank at Natun Anantapur in Ulipur.The deceased are Runa Begum, 28, wife of Rezaul Islam, Rupa Moni, 8, daughter of Mohsin Ali; Sumon, 8, Ruku Moni, 8, and Hasibul Islam, 7, son of Aynal Haque.Besides, Saiful Islam, 25, from Roumari’s Kartimari area drowned after coming in contact with a live wire in the morning. His body was later recovered.According to the district control room, worsening floods and river erosion affected about 400,000 people until Tuesday.The Brahmmaputra and Dharla rivers were flowing 125cm and 117cm above the danger level respectively at Chilmari and Bridge points.Meanwhile, in Roumari upazila, 10 villages were flooded after the Wapda Dam in Kartimari Chaktabari area collapsed on Monday night.last_img read more

Evangelical denomination expels entire congregation over LGBT policy

first_img By: Yonat Shimron YonatShimron Instagram apostasy stirs controversy over Christian ‘influencers’ August 30, 2019 News Columns • Opinion • Simran Jeet Singh: Articles of Faith Share This! Yonat Shimron Yonat Shimron is an RNS National Reporter and Senior Editor.,Load Comments,Civil rights advocates, victims’ families urge support for new hate crime report … Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Share This! Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,(RNS) — For the first time in its 134-year history, the Evangelical Covenant Church has voted to remove a congregation from its roster over its position on LGBTQ inclusion.The vote to expel the First Covenant Church, a prominent and historic Minneapolis congregation, for being “out of harmony on human sexuality,” took place at the denomination’s annual meeting in Omaha on Friday (June 27).The Minneapolis church has never performed a gay marriage, though a lesbian couple had an off-site wedding performed by its music director in 2014, which produced a series of conversations about its future over the past few years.The denomination also expelled from its roster the Rev. Dan Collison, the church’s pastor.The actions come after First Covenant said it would treat LGBTQ members as equals, allow married gay clergy and would be open to hosting same-sex marriages.Both Collison and the church decided to defy a suspension the denomination had imposed last year when he refused to accept the “care and discipline” of the denomination’s board of ministry. Instead the church kept his as pastor.For the denomination, this was a step too far.Three-quarters of the more than 1,000 delegates to the meeting voted to remove the church from the denomination, which includes 875 U.S. churches with about 300,000 members. Another retired pastor was also facing an expulsion Friday night.“I’m deeply saddened this ecclesial body doesn’t make room for openly LGBT individuals, other than to say you’re welcome but we won’t treat you equally,” said Collison. “Ultimately, it becomes a question of what is love about and what is inclusion about. It breaks my heart.”Though far smaller than the United Methodist Church, which this year doubled-down on its ban on LGBTQ ordination and marriage, the ECC vote signals just how divisive the issue of sexuality remains in some Protestant circles. While many denominations, including the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church USA and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America have opened their ranks to LGBTQ clergy and marriage, many others have not.First Covenant Church Minneapolis, a 145-year-old congregation whose church building occupies nearly an entire city block, is known for its outreach to the community. Its ministries include a shelter for homeless people and a childcare center. The church is now building a $42 million affordable housing project.Collison, who has been pastor for 10 years, said the church has six to eight members who identify as LGBTQ and another dozen who attend but haven’t formally joined. Most of its members might be considered LGBTQ allies.The Rev. Dan Collison of First Covenant Church Minneapolis. Courtesy photoThe ECC’s position on human sexuality states that heterosexual marriage, faithfulness within marriage and abstinence outside of marriage constitute the Christian standard.“There is now a movement seeking to subvert the historic trust we have placed in the discernment of the Annual Meeting by refusing to live in harmony with our communally discerned position,” ECC President John Wenrich wrote in a letter to denomination members.“If these groups are successful in such efforts, we will continue to devote time, energy, and resources to conversations we have held now for more than 20 years, diverting our focus away from topics such as immigration, mass incarceration, justice and evangelism—matters that have never needed the presence of the faithful more than they do now.”In addition to Collison, the denomination voted Friday to expel the Rev. Steve Armfield, a retired pastor who officiated at the wedding of his son to another man, and later officiated at a lesbian wedding. Armfield is now serving as an interim pastor in another denomination.Founded in 1885 by Swedish immigrants, the denomination defines itself as “evangelical, but not exclusive; biblical, but not doctrinaire; traditional, but not rigid.”But on the issue of gay rights, the denomination drew a line. “They’re building a wall around it that they’re trying to make impenetrable,” Collison said.The Minneapolis church has begun a new association to support churches experiencing denominational hostility and assist them in becoming more inclusive. It calls the group the Covenant Collective.This story has been updated. By: Yonat Shimron YonatShimron Share This! Share This! By: Yonat Shimron YonatShimron As Amazon burns, Vatican prepares for summit on region’s faith and sustainabilit … August 30, 2019 Yonat Shimron YonatShimron TagsEvangelical Covenant Church First Covenant homepage featured LGBT LGBTQ ordination,You may also like Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email We are not all the same, and in our difference we are divine August 30, 2019 Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,About the authorView All Posts Catholicism Share This! Indiana archbishop defends firing of teacher in gay marriage Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email last_img read more