Recall NRC notices, say plea to Supreme Court

first_imgA group of 131 academics, intellectuals, professionals and civil society leaders in Assam have sought rescheduling of hearings for National Register of Citizens applicants who have been issued notices to have their citizenship documents re-verified within a very short time.In an appeal to the Supreme Court, which has been monitoring the NRC updating exercise, the 131 signatories said the “sudden, suspicious and mischievous” notices have created panic among a section of the people who were included in the draft NRC published on July 30, 2018.“The people of Assam have been supporting the NRC updating process and participating in the hearings and verifications, sometimes even by paying huge costs in terms of time, energy and financial resources. Nevertheless, they are ready to go through any verification whenever required for the greater interest of an error-free and just NRC,” said the appeal to Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi submitted to the court’s Registrar on Tuesday.‘Panicky situation’“However, we would like to draw your kind attention regarding the panicky situation created by suspicious and mischievous notices served to NRC applicants for reverification by the NRC authority in Assam. Now notices are being served to people and they are asked to go in far-flung areas with a short notice of one or two days,” the appeal reads.Also Read Protest against NRC reverification notices  “The people of Assam in general and people living in riverine areas in particular have experienced one of the worst floods in recent years. They are struggling to cope with the losses and many of them are still living in temporary relief camps. Under such circumstances, if these people are asked to attend the NRC hearing giving them just one or two days and summoned to 500-600 km away from their homes, there is little doubt that a large number of them wouldn’t be able to attend the hearings,” the signatories said.‘At least a week’They asked the court to direct the NRC authority to reschedule the hearing either within the district or within adjoining districts and provide at least a week’s time so that the applicants could attend the hearing and complete the process within the August 31 deadline.“Kindly direct the NRC authority to make the notice available on the Internet along with the physical serving so that people living in other States can also access the same and attend the hearing accordingly,” the signatories said, also seeking instruction to the district administration to provide basic transport facilities in the greater interest of an error-free and fair NRC.last_img read more

Give youngsters a chance in Indian tennis

first_imgThe Indian tennis campaign at the London Olympics has ended, and I am extremely disappointed with the performance of the contingent.I was quite confident that they will win a medal in the mixed doubles, but that was not to be.What I could make out after talking the players is that it was a close match and the Indians had their chances, but could not capitalise.Had Paes and Sania made it through the semi-finals, they had a good opportunity to progress and even go for the gold, because there were no good pairs left in the draw. So, it was clearly a missed opportunity.In men’s doubles, the competition was expected to be extremely tough as lot of top singles players participated. But the positive sign for Indian tennis the way Vishnu Vardhan played. He held his own in the company of Leander Paes against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Michael Llodra.He served exceedingly well, his returns were of the highest quality and he was not caught wanting at the net.It augurs well for Indian tennis.Time has come for the All India Tennis Association to develop our youngsters and field them in Davis Cup. Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi have been there for over 20 years and they have served the country with distinction. Now the next generation of players should be given the chance to come up.Coming to women’s singles, it was indeed a masterclass by Serena Williams to beat Maria Sharapova 6-0, 6-1 for the gold. The score-line itself speaks volumes about her domination.advertisementI had mentioned earlier that Serena will be the hot favourite and was proved right.She got another gold in the women’s doubles with sister Venus. They defended their Beijing title with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic.It was amazing to see Andy Murray finally triumph at the All England Club by beating Roger Federer in straight sets. The Briton also avenged last month’s Wimbledon final defeat in style.(The writer is Fed Cup coach and a former India player)last_img read more

Ramil de Jesus frustrated with La Salle’s latest showing: You can’t blame mistakes on your opponents

first_imgMANILA, Philippines—De La Salle head coach Ramil De Jesus wasn’t all too pleased with how his team performed against National University in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament.ADVERTISEMENT De Jesus, owner of all 11 of the Lady Spikers’ UAAP titles, was visibly frustrated during second set and only simmered down after the game when he began joking with his players.Despite that, he remained his tone of authority that the Lady Spikers know would bring forth some added training.READ: Michelle Cobb, La Salle thump AdamsonDe Jesus likened his players’ errors and lackluster performance to a basketball player shooting routine free throws.La Salle committed 25 errors, six less than what the Lady Bulldogs did, but those were still too many for De Jesus’ liking.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss The Lady Spikers were able to take the win in four sets, 25-10, 20-25, 27-25, 25-22, but De Jesus still ripped his players for their showing.De Jesus did not like how his team played one bit against the Lady Bulldogs and that the Lady Spikers should blame themselves, not their opponents, when they make a mistake.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesREAD: UAAP: La Salle survives NU to keep unbeaten record alive “I always tell my players that when you make a mistake, that’s on you,” said De Jesus in Filipino Wednesday at Filoil Flying V Center. “You can’t blame it on the opponent. Once you leave the service line, everything falls on you.” LATEST STORIES Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting “If there was something wrong, we’re the ones responsible for it and not our opponents. That’s where I got frustrated,” said De Jesus.“It’s just like free throws in basketball, you do it everyday so technically you’re all by yourself there since you’re the one taking it. If you make a shot then okay, what we did earlier were air balls and our shots didn’t even hit the rim.”La Salle did improve to a 3-0 record to retain its top spot in the league.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug warcenter_img ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes Urgent reply from Philippine ‍football chief Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants PBA: Columbian breaks out of slump, ekes out win over Meralco MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

Woman aces surfing contest despite losing arm in shark attack

first_imgIt’s a feat that few have the bravery or physical ability to attempt — taking on one of the world’s most dangerous waves while competing against the best surfers in the sport.But Bethany Hamilton, who lost her left arm to a shark at age 13, charges the waves. Now 26, she knocked the top-ranked female surfer out of the competition during the World Surf League Fiji Women’s Pro last month, inspiring even her fellow competitors.Photo Credit: AP”I’ve had a lot of successes in surfing and I think so much of it is your attitude, and keeping your hope alive to do what you love to do,” said Hamilton, whose story captured the world’s attention when she returned to competitive surfing just 10 weeks after losing her arm, a tale recounted in the 2011 movie Soul Surfer.These days, Hamilton is focusing on raising her son and filming a documentary about her life that tells what she calls the untold story of her career, including challenges she faces not only surfing with one arm, but also returning to competitive sports after giving birth.The trailer for the film “Surf Like a Girl,” which Hamilton says will be released next spring, opens with her graciously turning down offers to help tie a shoelace or load her surfboards into the back of a pickup – all things she’s learned to do one-handed.”Nobody wants to be seen as helpless, and once you can master something like tying a shoe, you just want to be seen as normal,” said Laurie Romano of the New York-based National Amputation Foundation, which works with veterans and others who have lost limbs. “She’s a real role model.”advertisement Powerful waves and shallow reefs are the type Hamilton grew up surfing on in Hawaii, and she doesn’t shy away from the challenge.”Ever since I was a young girl, and adapting to living with one arm, especially surfing, I had a lot of determination, and I just kind of put my head down to just figure out a way to do it,” Hamilton said. “Slowly but surely it became normal for me.”Hamilton has a handle on her surfboards to help “duck dive” under big waves, and she positions herself closer to where the waves will break so she can catch them by taking half as many paddle strokes as other surfers, putting herself at greater risk of being pummeled by the waves.The conditions at Cloudbreak – the name of the surf break where the Fiji competition was held – are so dangerous that one section is nicknamed “shish kabobs,” because if you’re caught between the powerful waves and the shallow reef, you’re going to get skewered.Jessi Miley-Dyer, Women’s Commissioner for the World Surf League and has known Hamilton since she was 12 and traveled with her on surf trips when the two were sponsored by Rip Curl, selected Hamilton as the “wild card” for the Fiji event, knowing she excels surfing challenging reef breaks.Photo Credit: APHamilton got some cuts on the reef before the competition, but went on to compete and take third place.Kelly Slater, an 11-time world champion in men’s surfing, praised her performance on Instagram, saying anyone who isn’t impressed by her physical attributes after losing her arm should check their pulse.Suggesting that everyone should try surfing with one arm at the most difficult surf breaks, Slater wrote: “I’m scared to try it myself and ridiculously impressed with her talents.”Hamilton’s story is among those that inspire fellow amputees, said Susan Stout, president and CEO of the Amputee Coalition of America, which includes coaches who help amputees re-learn to play golf or excel in rock climbing.Photo Credit: AP”The experience of limb loss is a major trauma in a person’s life, and it’s no small thing to live through that experience, the trauma of that experience, and then to excel in a sport again,” Stout said.Woman aces surfing contest despite losing arm in shark attacklast_img read more

Brandon Weeden’s Favorite Sports Moment Is Probably Yours Too

first_imgBrandon Weeden has long moved on from our Cowboys to the more professional ones. He took some time recently to reflect on yesteryear, though, with Carson Cunningham.Carson asked him five questions at a golf tournament and got some good answers. The one that stuck out to me was Weeden’s favorite sports moment (it’s probably mine as well).“Winning the BCS bowl game,” said Weeden. “That’s something we’d never done in Oklahoma State history. If you want 1A and 1B I’d say beating Oklahoma in Stillwater to win a Big 12 Championship. Two memories I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.”Oh, and a reminder that this happened. If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img read more

PFB Readers: Get a Free Coffee Mug In September

first_imgIf you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers! If you have read Pistols Firing in the last two years, you know Hoboken Coffee in Guthrie has been our longest-standing sponsor. I drink their coffee every morning while I write the Bullets (or Mullets) which they sponsor, and I absolutely love it.But I also love their business. Its owners (Trey and his wife Mallory) set up shop in Guthrie, Oklahoma where they run their shop and host yoga classes and concerts when they aren’t pouring drinks. They are passionate about their local community (something I could learn from) and love Oklahoma State and great coffee (ditto).Anyway, for the month of September they are offering a free mug (see below) when you buy a bag of coffee online. Here are the details from Trey:Buy a bag of coffee online and get a free mugDiscount code: mulletThe free mug offer will be available all month longThe discount only works when you add one bag of coffee and a mug to the cart, you can’t add several bags and get a free mug.Hope you guys take advantage — you can purchase the coffee right here — and love it as much as I have.last_img read more

Antoine Griezmann happy at Atletico Madrid

first_imgAntoine Griezmann Griezmann happy at Atletico Madrid, says Koke Dejan Kalinic Last updated 1 year ago 13:21 11/24/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) AntoineGriezmann - Cropped Getty Images Antoine Griezmann Atlético Madrid Primera División Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke said Antoine Griezmann was delighted after ending his run without a goal. Antoine Griezmann is happy at Atletico Madrid after returning to goalscoring ways, according to midfielder Koke.Griezmann ended a run of eight games without a goal for his club with an incredible overhead kick in a 2-0 win over Roma in the Champions League on Wednesday.Griezmann 11/4 to net 1st v Levante Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player The France international also continues to be linked with a move away from Atletico to the likes of Barcelona and Manchestrer United, but teammate Koke said Griezmann was happy at the LaLiga giants.”Antoine is happy right now,” Koke said after Atletico’s victory.”After a while without scoring he could help the team with a goal and an assist to Kevin [Gameiro] for the second goal.”He left happy after the match because he wasn’t in a good streak.”Atletico, unbeaten in LaLiga but sitting fourth, are back in action with a trip to Levante on Saturday.last_img read more

China, Sohar Eye Investment Opportunities

first_img“Let us pool our wisdom and resources, work together to write a new chapter of the Maritime Silk Road,” he added.Oman’s SOHAR Port and Freezone has already revealed plans to try to bolster economic ties with Singapore, as it aims to become the gateway to a new trade corridor that will connect Asia, the Gulf.Sohar has attracted investments totalling USD15 billion, while multi-million dollar deals have seen sustained growth in its petrochemical, automotive, logistics, and metal manufacturing clusters.World Maritime News Staff zoom Oman’s fast expanding Sohar Port and Freezone is looking East to attract investment, in particular from China, as it works to raise its profile as a competitive gateway for global trade.The Chinese Ambassador to Oman, Yu Fulong, has voiced China’s readiness to explore cooperation opportunities with Sohar.According to Fulong’s statement ahead of Sohar’s annual business reception, to be held in Muscat this week, there is a myriad of investment opportunities within China’s initiative of building the “Silk Road Economic Belt” and the “21st Century Maritime Silk Road”.The Chinese President Xi Jinping introduced the “Belt and Road” initiatives to build a Silk Road Economic Belt and a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road in 2013, in an attempt to revive the historic trade routes between China and other Asian nations.“As for regional partners, there is enormous cooperation potential and development prospect from this initiative. They will be provided with broader market, more abundant capital, and more affluent products from China. At the same time, they may benefit from China’s expertise in infrastructure development by working jointly in projects such as road, railway, aviation, maritime shipping, energy, pipeline, telecommunication, etc. The key pilot zones for free trade and selected ports can serve as testing grounds for such cooperation,“Fulong added.China plans to invest USD 40 billion to establish a Silk Road Fund. The fund is intended to revive maritime and land trade links between Asian countries by financing construction of infrastructural solutions and industrial and financial cooperation to reduce bottlenecks.The fund, controlled by the Chinese government, would be open to investors from both Asia and abroad.“With historical connections via the ancient Maritime Silk Road and deepening relations in the new decade, we are expecting great opportunities in Sohar Port and Freezone to build an even closer network of transport and trade between East Asia, South Asia and the Middle East, which will in turn enable the completion of logistical and industrial chain covering the region,” the Ambassador pointed out.last_img read more

Govt Lifts Ban on VLGC Construction at DSME

first_imgzoom The Korean government has lifted the ban on construction of the five liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) carriers at Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering’s (DSME) Okpo yard, imposed earlier this month following another fatality at the yard.The decision was announced by the regional unit of the ministry of employment and labour, according to the Yonhap news agency.The ban was imposed as the government wanted to pressure the yard to improve safety of its workers so as to avoid fatal incidents during work on these complex ships.However, no information has been provided on whether any safety measures were implemented at DSME to boost safety.The latest incident that occurred at DSME’s Okpo yard killed one worker and injured another seven.As informed, the man suffocated from poisonous gas that gushed from the fire that started in a tank of an LPG carrier under construction at the yard.At least three people have died and dozens were injured in at least four incidents this year that involved fires and tank explosions during work on LPG carriers at the yard.The government has already tried to warn DSME with an order of a week-long work suspension following the incident in August.BW Group, Dorian LPG and Shandong Shipping have LPG carriers on order at DSME.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

The power of words Can Indigenous languages reduce youth suicide rates Tina House APTN National NewsLast week, Justin Trudeau became the first sitting Prime Minister to be interviewed by an Aboriginal media network.It was a townhall hosted by APTN National News where our viewers asked the questions.One of those questions was about whether or not Indigenous languages will be recognized with an “official” status in Canada.As APTN’s Tina House explains, Trudeau’s response raised more questions than it answered.last_img

Afghan refugees need right conditions to return home stresses UN official

“At a time when many countries are closing their doors to those fleeing violence and persecution, the generosity of the people and the Government of Pakistan towards Afghan refugees deserves greater recognition and support on the part of the international community,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres. Wrapping up a two-day visit to Pakistan, he called for additional international solidarity with the country as well as with Iran, both of which continue to host large numbers of Afghan refugees after more than 30 years. Nearly three million registered Afghan refugees remain in the region today, including 1.7 million in Pakistan and one million in Iran. Last year, just over 50,000 Afghan refugees returned home from Pakistan, down from nearly 110,000 in 2010. Despite the decline, the number of Afghan returns last year represented the largest refugee repatriation programme in the world.“The priority now is to create conditions inside Afghanistan that will allow for large-scale voluntary repatriation,” said Mr. Guterres. While in Pakistan, the High Commissioner met with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar to discuss an agreement reached in Dubai this week between Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan and the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) to pursue a regional strategy aimed at finding durable solutions to the Afghan refugee situation.The new strategy will be presented at a conference to be held in Switzerland in May that will seek support for programmes inside Afghanistan which will foster returns while providing additional support to communities that host Afghan refugees.According to UNHCR, the lack of livelihood opportunities and shelter, as well as insecurity, are the most frequently cited reasons for not returning to Afghanistan. Those who return through the agency’s voluntary repatriation programme receive an average of $150 per person to cover transport as well as the initial cost of settling back home. In total, 5.7 million Afghan refugees have returned from Pakistan and Iran, representing nearly a quarter of Afghanistan’s population. 2 February 2012The United Nations refugee chief today thanked the Pakistani Government for its generosity towards Afghans who have sought refuge in the country, while also calling for creating the right conditions in Afghanistan that will promote large-scale voluntary returns. read more

Toronto stock market rises amid negative Chinese economic data sale of major

by Malcolm Morrison, The Canadian Press Posted Jun 10, 2013 8:33 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – The Toronto stock market closed little changed Monday amid weak Chinese data and dealmaking in the Canadian financial sector.The S&P/TSX composite index was up 9.37 points to 12,382.67 following six losing sessions with pressure coming in particular from base metals stocks.The tepid performance followed a slide of more than two per cent last week, leaving the TSX in negative territory for the year.“I don’t think there is going to be anything too much to keep it in positive territory”, said John Stephenson, portfolio manager at First Asset Funds Inc.“You have too much of a resource focus, a market that’s really twinned between two dominant sectors, financials being one and materials/energy being two.”Lululemon Athletica Inc. (TSX:LLL) (Nasdaq:LULU) was also in focus and its shares fell almost nine per cent in aftermarket trading in New York after CEO Christine Day said she is stepping down. Day will remain in the job until a successor is named. The yoga wear retailer also handed in earnings of 32 cents a share, which met expectations and announced plans to delist from the TSX.The Canadian dollar advanced, up 0.08 of a cent to 98.14 cents US amid a solid report on the housing sector.Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said Monday that housing starts were trending at 182,756 units in May compared with 182,971 in April. The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates of housing starts.But the seasonally adjusted stand-alone annual rate was 200,178 units in May, an increase from 175,922 in April.U.S. indexes were generally listless after registering sharp gains at the end of last week because of a strong jobs report.The Dow Jones industrials was down 9.53 points to 15,238.59, the Nasdaq added 4.55 points to 3,473.77 and the S&P 500 index slipped 0.57 of a point to 1,642.81.Traders also took in an upgrade on the U.S. credit rating from Standard & Poor’s. S&P revised its long-term outlook to stable from negative, citing economic strength and the dollar’s status as a reserve currency. The agency had downgraded the U.S. sovereign rating to AA-plus from its top rating of AAA in 2011.Prices for oil and copper declined as data released on the weekend showed China’s trade, retail sales and other activity in May were weaker than expected, fuelling concerns about the country’s shaky economic recovery.China’s trade surplus rose to $20.4 billion in May from $18.2 billion the prior month. However, export growth slowed dramatically to just one per cent from a year ago, which was the slowest increase since July 2012. Imports slipped 0.3 per cent from year-earlier levels.“Of those three figures, I’d say that the weak import result is the most worrying as it suggests domestic demand has weakened considerably,” said BMO Capital Markets senior economist Jennifer Lee.Meanwhile in Japan, the first-quarter growth rate was revised up from an annualized rate of 3.5 per cent to 4.1 per cent.Elsewhere on the TSX, shares of E-L Financial Corp. (TSX:ELF) jumped after it announced the pending $1.125-billion sale of Dominion of Canada General Insurance Co. to Travelers Companies Inc. (NYSE:TRV), a major U.S. insurance company. E-L Financial gained $56 or 9.46 per cent to $648 on a thin volume of 3,135 shares.Consumer staples stocks led advances with Shoppers Drug Mart (TSX:SC) ahead 38 cents to $45.75.The gold sector was also supportive, up about 0.35 per cent with August bullion up $3 to US$1,386 an ounce. Barrick gold Corp. (TSX:ABX) climbed 21 cents to C$20.81.The energy sector climbed 0.2 per cent even as July crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange shed 26 cents to US$95.77 a barrel. Suncor Energy (TSX:SU) improved by 14 cents to C$31.80.The base metals sector was down 0.84 per cent as July copper fell three cents to US$3.24 a pound on top a 10-cent slide over the previous two sessions. Copper is widely viewed as an economic barometer as it is used in so many applications. Sector heavyweight Teck Resources (TSX:TCK.B) lost 61 cents to C$25.04.Railway stocks fell alongside miners as Canadian Pacific Railway (TSX:CP) declined $2.30 to $126.86.The tepid performance on the TSX continued the generally negative showing on the TSX, which gained momentum after Fed chairman Ben Bernanke said May 22 that the U.S. central bank might pull back on its $85-billion-a-month bond-buying program if economic data, especially hiring, improved significantly. Other Fed officials have spoken about a winding down of bond purchases sooner.The quantitative easing program has kept interest rates low and also helped fuel a strong rally on U.S. stock markets.The TSX has been dragged lower by mining stocks in particular, a reflection of a slow global recovery.But speculation about cutting back on the QE program has had the effect of pushing U.S. Treasury yields sharply higher, which in turn has had a negative effect on TSX defensive sectors as well.“We have seen REITs pull back in the last couple of weeks by eight per cent or thereabouts, same for utilities and pipelines — so it’s a pretty big pullback,” added Stephenson.“And . . . financials in Canada are interest sensitive to a degree and you have weakening data in terms of housing. And people are saying this is not a very good story.” Toronto stock market rises amid negative Chinese economic data, sale of major insurer read more

Albertas promise to cap greenhouse gas emissions Bill 25 introduced in legislature

(Pexels) by Sandra Prusina Posted Nov 1, 2016 2:53 pm MDT Alberta|greenhouse gas emissions|Oilsands|Shannon Phillips Alberta’s promise to cap greenhouse gas emissions: Bill 25 introduced in legislature AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Related Stories Alberta launching 3 energy efficiency programs for business and residentialAlberta fall legislature sitting to focus on climate change plan The legal rubber is hitting the road on Alberta’s promise to cap greenhouse gas emissions from the oilsands, the engine of the province’s economy.Environment Minister Shannon Phillips has introduced Bill 25 in the legislature.Once passed and enacted, it forbids oilsands industries from collectively emitting more than 100 megatonnes of greenhouse gases a year.Phillips said the bill will help green the industry, while spurring its innovation and growth. Oilsands operations currently emit about 66 megatonnes a year.At the current rate and without green innovations, officials expect it will reach 100 megatonnes by the year 2030. read more

UN agency boosting presence on Greek islands to deal with spike in

“In the first five months of 2015, over 42,000 people arrived by sea to Greece, most of them refugees,” the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said today. “This is six times the level of the same period last year (6,500) and almost the same as the total for all of 2014 (43,500).”More than 90 per cent of the people arriving are from refugee-producing countries, principally Syria from where over 60 per cent of people came this year, followed by Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and Eritrea, UNHCR said.“The refugees cross the eastern Aegean Sea from Turkey in small, flimsy boats and inflatable dinghies,” UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Fleming told the UN news briefing in Geneva, Switzerland. “They are landing in as many as 15 different Greek islands or being rescued at sea by the Greek Coast Guard,” Ms. Fleming said. “The largest arrivals have been on Lesvos, Chios and Samos and the Dodecanese Islands, particularly Kos and Leros. Smaller numbers of refugees have also been crossing through Greece’s land border with Turkey at Evros.”On Kos, where some 7,000 refugees have arrived so far this year, there are no official facilities for those awaiting registration, and conditions are particularly dire.“In the absence of alternatives, refugees have had to move into an abandoned hotel with no electricity or running water. Hundreds of women, children and men are sleeping in cramped and unsanitary conditions,” she said.Ms. Fleming went on to say that the large numbers of refugees arriving has led to bottlenecks, as the authorities struggle to identify, register and fingerprint them.“Refugees awaiting registration, including families with children, have no choice but to sleep in the open,” the spokesperson said. “In addition, many refugees landing on remote beaches, including elderly people and small children, have to walk for miles carrying their meagre belongings because of the lack of transport.”“There is no regular provision of food or drinking water to refugees, unless they are accommodated in police-run facilities for registration and processing,” she said, noting that “in some of the islands, local volunteers have organised themselves spontaneously and have asked local restaurants and bakeries for food donations to distribute to the refugees who are sleeping rough or in unused buildings.”To respond to the critical situation in the Greek islands, she said the refugee agency is increasing its personnel in Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Kos, Rhodes, Leros and Evros. UNHCR is already helping local authorities to improve reception conditions, identify additional accommodation for refugees, provide legal information and counselling to new arrivals and distribute sleeping bags and mats, soap, sanitary towels and other relief items to the most needy.As of the end of May, almost 90,000 refugees and migrants had crossed the Mediterranean in 2015, including some 46,500 who landed in Italy and the 42,000 in Greece. Smaller arrivals numbers have been recorded in Spain at 920 and Malta at 91, according to UNHCR, which also reported that1,850 refugees or migrants have died or are missing at sea. read more

Number of child soldiers in CAR has nearly doubled since March

first_imgHalf of this population is less than 18 years old. And before the crisis, the situation was not good at all, and it has worsened since.African nations have deployed some 2,500 troops to the country in a peacekeeping force which is due to increase to 4,500 strong, but diplomats and many officials say it cannot cope with the anarchy and that UN peacekeepers may be needed.- © AFP, 2013Read: 82 child soldiers rescued from militia in DR CongoMost victims of sexual violence in conflict are children – report WARRING MILITIAS HAVE enlisted up to 6,000 child soldiers in the Central African Republic, a senior UN official has revealed, issuing a stark warning about the country’s spiralling crisis.“Roughly today, we’re talking about 5,000 to 6,000 children, so the number has roughly doubled from our previous estimate made in March,” said Souleymane Diabate, UNICEF’s representative in the country.The UN children’s agency has repeatedly sounded the alarm about the way in which youngsters are being forced into the arms of a raft of groups in the conflict-ravaged nation.The European Union added its voice yesterday, expressing “very deep concern at the alarming situation” and the prospect that the crisis could worsen if communal and religious conflicts get out of hand.“We are alarmed by the widespread violations of human rights which go unpunished and affect the whole population,” a spokesman for EU foreign affairs head Catherine Ashton said in Brussels.The country has been plagued by instability since a coup by Seleka, a rebel coalition which ousted longtime president Francois Bozize in March.A Seleka leader, Michel Djotodia, named himself president but agreed to hold elections next year after a political transition.In this Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013 photo, civilians fleeing violent attacks by armed rebels seek refuge in the yard of a church in Bossangoa, Central African Republic. (AP/Press Association Images)Although a similar measure was lifted last month, Djotodia has renewed a curfew in the capital Bangui because of a surge in armed crime.The president officially disbanded the rebel force but its fighters have continued to stage attacks and robberies.Violence in the city culminated on 17 November with the murder of a leading judge, provoking clashes in which two civilians died.A Gabonese soldier from a regional Central African peacekeeping force helps collect the bodies of rebels who were reportedly killed by armed villagers in Njoh, Central African Republic. (Image: AP Photo)Between 2,000 and 3,000 people, led by lawyers and judges, demonstrated in the capital’s streets yesterday to protest against the murder.And outside the capital armed gangs now dominate, mainly former Seleka loyalists.Rival self-defence militias formed to protect local communities have been infiltrated by members of Bozize’s former presidential guards who have armed them with heavy weapons, raising the stakes, Diabate said.Spectre of genocideThe Central African Republic is 80 per cent Christian, but the rebels emerged from the Muslim minority clustered in the north near the borders of Chad and Sudan.As clashes take on an increasingly ethnic and religious nature in the nation of five million people, aid officials and foreign governments are raising the spectre of genocide.“The situation we face in the Central African Republic will be very, very serious if the international community doesn’t mobilise to stem it,” warned Diabate, in the wake of similar statements from UN chief Ban Ki-moon.Former colonial power France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Thursday that the country was “on the verge of genocide,” while Robert Jackson, a deputy to US Secretary of State John Kerry, told Washington’s lawmakers this week that it was in a “pre-genocidal” phase.On top of the violence, a humanitarian crisis is growing in what was already one of the poorest countries in the world, where conflict and misrule have hampered the development of considerable gold, diamond and uranium resources.“What is going on right now in the Central African Republic is tragic. We’re talking about 4.6 million people affected by the crisis,” said Diabate.last_img read more

Cosplay Round Up NYCC 16 Edition

first_img <> Every year New York Comic Con brings out the best geeks for movies, television, toys, games, and of course comics. They all descend upon the Javits Center eager to consume all the festivities have to offer. The boldest of these folks emerge nerd-clad. Cosplay is one of the most wonderful parts of the conventions, and this didn’t disappoint in any way. Our fantastic photographer Paul tracked down some of the best from the show…if only there was enough time to photograph all you magnificent costumed creatures. <> Stay on target Kristen Gudsnuk Talks Inspirations and What Brought Henchgirl To LifeCosplay Gallery: New York Comic Con 2017, Part 2 last_img read more