October 20, 2019

CWC likely to meet to decide on interim President

first_imgNew Delhi: The leadership crisis in the Congress could end in the coming days with the Congress Working Committee (CWC) likely to meet next week to decide on an interim President, party sources said on Friday. A senior party source told IANS that a date will be decided in the coming days on when the CWC, the party’s top decision making body, was likely to meet. The Congress is facing its worst leadership crisis in recent times after Rahul Gandhi quit as President following the party’s debacle in the general elections. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity! Amid the lingering leadership vacuum, many old guards of the Congress have urged UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi to take charge of the post temporarily. But she has reportedly turned down the requests citing her poor health. Names of several senior leaders for the post of working President are doing the rounds. These include Mukul Wasnik, Mallikarjun Kharge, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Sushil Kumar Shinde. Scindia has, however, said he was not in the race for the top post. The party source said that Wasnik appeared to fit the bill as he was only 59 years old and a Dalit at that.last_img read more

Read more
October 18, 2019

Vinayaka Chaturthi celebrated with religious fervour across TN Puducherry

first_imgChennai/Puducherry: Vinayaka Chaturthi was celebrated across Tamil Nadu on Monday with religious fervour as scores of devotees thronged various Ganesha temples to offer special prayers. Among those temples where the faithful congregated in large numbers included the famous Ganesha temples at Pillayarpatti, Tiruchirappalli and Echanari. A giant ‘kozhukattai’, the deity’s favourite delicacy, was offered to Vinayaga at the famous Ucchipillayar temple at Tiruchirappalli, where the temple is located on a hill top. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ Ganesha is known by many names including Vinayaga and Pillaiyar. Devotees thronged market places early in the morning to buy Vinayaga idols made of clay to perform ‘puja’ at their residences for Ganesha, believed to be the remover of obstacles and provider of knowledge. Idols of Lord Ganesha have been installed in many places across the state for people to offer prayers. They will be later immersed in water bodies including the Bay of Bengal here after week-long celebrations. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K In Chennai, police have identified designated spots for immersion of idols. Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit and Chief Minister K Palaniswami extended their Vinayaka Chaturthi greetings to the people. In Puducherry, a large number of people from within and outside the town turned up at the ancient Manakula Vinayakar temple early morning to offer prayers. Chief Minister V Narayanasamy also offered prayers at the temple on the occasion of the festival. Lt Governor Kiran Bedi, Narayanasamy, Speaker V P Sivakolundhu and leaders of different political parties greeted people on the occasion of the festival.last_img read more

Read more
October 17, 2019

Forever in our hearts Broncos head coach remembered for actions on and

first_imgHUMBOLDT, Sask. – Darcy Haugan was remembered Saturday not just as the head coach of the Humboldt Broncos, but as a family man who led by example on and off the ice.Haugan, who was 42, was one of the 16 people who died on board a bus that was carrying the junior hockey team to a playoff game in Nipawin, Sask., on April 6.The bus and a semi-truck collided at a rural intersection north of Tisdale.Thirteen others were injured.“Today marks just over a week since a terrible tragedy struck this community. In the wake of this crash 16 people have left the earth before their time, 16 families are grieving with the memory and countless lives have been changed as a result of this event,” said Haugan’s brother-in-law Adam George at the service at Elgar Petersen Arena where the Broncos play their games.“Since his death there have been so many stories shared about his life. There’s no point in me standing before you and telling more stories about Darcy. This building is already full with them.”Haugan was a devout Christian who would pray before work in his office and before bed with his sons Carson, 12, and Jackson, 9.His friend, Pastor Sean Brandow, was the chaplain for the Broncos. He said Haugan was far from perfect, but he was a good man.“Darcy always sought to do what was right. He didn’t always do it, but he sought to do it. He wanted to do it,” Brandow said with a chuckle.“He wanted to communicate better. If you’ve ever tried to talk to Darcy, sometimes it would be like trying to talk to a squirrel in a roomful of nuts,” he said.“He’s over here and then you’re watching a video about Seinfeld and you don’t know where he’s going to go next.”Amanda White said she was the “tag along little sister” when her older sister, Christina, started dating Haugan. She eventually moved with them to Haugan’s hometown of Peace River, Alta., and the two of them just clicked.“I wasn’t sure there was a man on this earth that was good enough for my big sister. I was so proud to walk into the arena and having coach Darcy Haugan being my brother-in-law,” she said.“Darcy was an amazing part of our family and we will forever hold him close to our hearts. Forever in our hearts. I’ll always love you Darc.”Seven players wearing Humboldt Broncos jerseys, including one in a wheelchair, were sitting in the crowd as were former players from the North Peace Navigators where Haugan had been head coach.George said Haugan was a good family man, and a coach and mentor off of the ice.“As a coach we know that what happens on the ice is not nearly as important as when players took their skates off outside. He worked hard to lead the young men in his care to become people who live their lives with integrity.”Follow @BillGraveland on Twitterlast_img read more

Read more
October 17, 2019

Orcas tour of grief over after carrying dead calf around for nearly

first_imgVANCOUVER – Researchers say an endangered orca’s “tour of grief” is over after she spent nearly three weeks towing her dead calf around the Pacific Ocean.The Center for Whale Research says the killer whale, known as J35, was spotted without her baby while she “vigorously chased a school of salmon” for about a kilometre over the weekend.The centre says J35 appears to be in good health based on telephoto images, in spite of concerns that she may not be able to forage for food while carrying around the carcass.It says there had been reports “from brief sightings by whale-watchers” two days ago of J35 without her calf in the Georgia Strait near Vancouver.The centre says the carcass likely sank to the bottom of the Salish Sea, and researchers may not get a chance to perform a necropsy.J35 was spotted by Fisheries and Oceans Canada while they were searching for another of the 75 southern resident killer whales, labelled an endangered species in both Canada and the United States.Her calf was born and died on July 24, and researchers say she towed it around for more than 1,500 kilometres.last_img read more

Read more
October 16, 2019

Duchess Of Cambridge Visits SportsAid

first_imgHer Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge joined more than 70 SportsAid athletes past and present – including several Olympians and Paralympians – at the Copper Box Arena in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park last week for her first engagement as the charity’s patron.The Duchess of Cambridge, Patron of SportsAid, sits in on a SportsAid Athlete Workshop at the Copper Box, in east London, to see how young athletes are benefiting from help from one of her charities.Credit/Copyright: DukeAndDuchessOfCambridge.orgWhile the athletes played CP football, badminton, wheelchair basketball and volleyball, and tried their hand at fencing, the Duchess was introduced by SportsAid’s Chief Executive Tim Lawler to 14-year-old badminton player Callum Hemming from Milton Keynes, 17-year triathlete Eliza Cottington from Teddington, 17-year-old boxer Jenna O’Reilly from Eltham, 17-year-old sprinter Kyle Powell from Heston, 16-year-old wheelchair basketball player Megan Wood from Hythe in Kent, 20-year-old judoka Nekoda Davis from London, 17-year-old fencer Rubin Amsalem from London and 18-year-old volleyball player Toby French from Chelmsford.The Duchess even gave volleyball a go herself, playing several rallies with a group of SportsAid athletes including England men’s volleyball squad member Jordan Dalrymple, who is 20 and from London.After this the athletes learnt about social media and media interview techniques from Fiona Cotterill and James Pearce with swimmer Karen Pickering and wheelchair basketball player Ade Adepitan, got top nutrition tips from Jenny Tschiesche with rower Steve Williams, and later enjoyed the rare chance to ask diver Leon Taylor, rower Katherine Grainger, swimmer Steve Parry and middle-distance runner Danny Crates what it takes to compete at the top of your sport.As SportsAid’s patron, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge is helping to shine a light on the achievements and potential of young athletes throughout the UK – an inspiring generation who one day hope to represent the nation at the Olympic or Paralympic Games.SportsAid alumnus Sir Chris Hoy welcomed the patronage by saying, “SportsAid played an important role when I was starting out so I know what a huge boost this will be to the young sportsmen and women the charity helps today. As patron Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge will give them the profile they deserve.”Source:SportsAid.org.uklast_img read more

Read more
October 13, 2019

Fort St John to get new provincial court judge

first_imgNew Ft St John judge!Judge Linda Thomas – will be sworn in on July 5, 2018. She will be assigned to the Northern Region and withChambers in Fort St. John.— Lorne MacLean, Q.C. (@bcfamilylaw) June 26, 2018According to Lorne MacLean, Q.C. with MacLean Family Law, Judge Thomas’ chambers will be located in Fort St. John. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The B.C. Government has appointed a new provincial court judge for the Northern Region who will be based in Fort St. John. Last week, the Attorney General’s Ministry announced that the Province had appointed three new provincial court judges to fill several vacancies created by judges who were retiring. Linda Thomas will be sworn in as the newest judge in the Northern Region on July 5th.Thomas received an LLB from the University of British Columbia in 2000. She has experience working as a sole practitioner, and for First Nations government and non-profit organizations. She has focused primarily on child protection and family law mediation, and the government says that she also has a background in prison law. She has worked extensively to develop and facilitate legal information workshops with law advocates, family support workers and Indigenous communities.last_img read more

Read more
October 12, 2019

Morocco Woman Gives Birth to 5 Babies after Suffering From Infertility

Rabat- A 28-year old woman from Casablanca has reportedly given birth to five babies on Sunday after receiving treatments for infertility.Last weekend, a woman gave birth to five babies, two girls and three boys, after a successful caesarean section supervised by a medical team at the teaching hospital of Ibn Rochd, Casablanca.The woman first conceived the babies after five years of marriage. The Maghreb News Agency MAP quoted Dr. Naima Sammouh, a physician specializing in obstetrics and gynecology, as saying that this is ‘’an exceptional case of birth.’’ ’The woman has been taking fertility drugs as a treatment for infertility for five years,’’ Naima Sammouh explained.The doctor noted that although multiple pregnancy appears very risky, the duration of the pregnancy exceeded 34 weeks and proceeded in good conditions. The babies were born in good health.Naima Sammouh noted that multiple pregnancies ‘’have become much more common today than they were in the past, and It’s rare when multiple births go easily, like what happened today.’’Edited by Timothy Filla© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed read more

Read more
October 3, 2019

As risk of farm losses rise so too do number of farmers

As risk of farm losses rise, so too do number of farmers buying crop insurance by Ian Bickis, The Canadian Press Posted May 9, 2016 10:30 am MDT Last Updated May 9, 2016 at 11:20 am MDT A woman and two young girls ride horses through a canola field near Cremona, Alta., July 16, 2013. Many prairie farmers are opting to start or increase their coverage this year as forecasts call for another dry growing season that puts the success of crops in doubt. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh CALGARY – Kelly McIntyre has tilled the soils of northwestern Alberta for more than 30 years, but only this spring did he conclude that he needed crop insurance.“There just seems to be increased risk, more risk all the time,” says McIntyre, a wheat and canola farmer near Fairview in Alberta’s Peace Country.He says the rising cost of machinery, land, seed and fertilizer means he’s putting more on the line every season, so he finally went for the extra security of the federal-provincial insurance.“You’ve got to cover yourself so that you can grow a crop next year, if it happens to be a bad year.”He’s one of the many Prairie farmers who have opted to start or increase their coverage this year as forecasts call for another arid growing season that is raising worries about the success of this year’s harvest.The tinder-dry spring has already contributed to the devastating wildfires that have consumed large swaths of Fort McMurray. Alberta also issued a special heat advisory as century-old temperature records were broken.McIntyre says he’s normally fighting the moisture at this time of year with muddy tires and wet fields, but that’s not the case now.“We’re seeding in conditions that are probably the driest I’ve ever seen.”Stephen Vandervalk also took a look at this year’s weather conditions and decided to bump up his crop insurance coverage to the highest level on offer — which covers up to 80 per cent of a farmer’s losses — something he hasn’t done in years.The crucial store of moisture in the soil is gone this year, leaving crops much more vulnerable than usual, says Vandervalk, a grain farmer near Fort Macleod in southwestern Alberta.“It doesn’t take much,” he says. “You take a couple weeks of windy hot weather on your crop, and you’re in trouble.”The El Nino weather pattern that caused drought conditions across the Prairies last year also made for a dry winter, and the trend is looking to continue this summer, says Environment Canada meteorologist Brian Proctor.“It’s likely going to be exacerbating the problem as opposed to helping the moisture deficit issues.”The Calgary area received 12.1 millimetres of rain between January and March compared with 33 millimetres last year, while Grande Prairie, Alta., saw about half as much precipitation over the same stretch last year, Proctor says.The head of operations at Agriculture Financial Services, an Alberta Crown corporation, says he’s seen a jump in the number of farmers opting for the highest level of crop insurance available.For years, around 50 per cent of farmers took out that coverage, but that jumped to an all-time high of 57 per cent this year, Merle Jacobson says.“There’s a trend of producers buying higher levels of coverage than in the past,” Jacobson says. “If you look at the long-term trend, it’s quite a bit.”The total number of crop insurance applications also rose by 1.6 per cent this year in Alberta, up 197 to 12,339 despite a general trend towards fewer, bigger farms.Shawn Jaques, head of the Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corp., says about 40 per cent of farmers bought the highest level of coverage in that province this year, up from 38 per cent.But he cautions there could be several reasons for the increase, including the highest ever potential payout per hectare, adding that the province had one of its best crop seasons last year despite mid-season concerns about drought.Alberta also came out of last year much better than expected after the province declared an agricultural disaster last August and predicted insurance payouts of between $700 million and $900 million. In the end, Jacobson says he expects total payouts to run between $510 million and $530 million after some fortunate late-season rains and delayed frost and snow.For McIntyre, it confirms how unpredictable farming and weather are, and how much faith is needed as he puts hundreds of thousands of dollars more into his fields this year.“Farmers are eternally optimistic,” he says. “If we weren’t, we wouldn’t plant a crop every year.”Follow @ibickis on Twitter. read more

Read more
October 2, 2019

A Century of Song Huntington Glee Club Turns 100 Years Old

By Julie JohansenThe Huntington Glee Club was organized in 1919 and celebrated its 100 years of singing by doing just that: singing. In those 100 years, members have sang at over 80 funerals, 100 sacrament meetings and 100 other special occasions.In 1991, Lund Leonard, Huntington City’s Mayor, decided that Huntington needed to have a special celebration for the Fourth of July, so Huntington Heritage Days began. That same year, the Huntington Glee Club sang as part of the celebration and have continued to do so for almost 30 years.To commemorate those many years, a program provided by the Huntington Glee Club to begin the Heritage Days 2019 celebration included many choral pieces from their repertoire over the years. One number, “The Old Home Town,” was written and composed the same year the club was organized in 1919. Other selections included “Stouthearted Men,” “Home On the Range,” “De Animals a-Comin” and “Tumbling Tumble Weeds.”Patriotic selections included “Your Land and My Land,” “Give Me Your Tired and Your Poor,” “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” “ God Bless America” and “A Military Medley” arranged by conductor Bryce Wilson. Conductor Wilson recalled the many who had served in the Glee Club and gave a brief history of the organization as a start to a patriotic week. read more

Read more
October 2, 2019

Upcoming conference to explore physical organic chemistry

In the lead-up to tomorrow’s Ontario-Quebec Physical Organic Mini Symposium, Brock University chemist Travis Dudding has a simple message: Physical organic chemistry is alive and well.“Today, when people refer to the concept of physical organic chemistry, they say, ‘What is that? That was the field of chemistry that kind of disappeared’,” says Dudding, Professor in the Department of Chemistry.“Really, physical organic chemistry was so effective that it didn’t disappear; it became so well integrated that the general public doesn’t know it exists. It is integrated into every field.”At its core, physical organic chemistry studies the structures and reactions of organic molecules.Among other things, the field allows scientists to predict the outcome of certain chemical reactions and ultimately better understand the origins of life.Recent successes have included creating biomarkers or sensors that “glow” if there is anything toxic in a material that’s being tested or if disease is present in a biological sample.Chemistry has come a long way from when scientists knew certain things would happen, but they didn’t have a good rationale why, says Dudding.“Physical organic chemists came along and said, ‘we’re going to try to explain what’s going on’,” says Dudding. “We’re going to assign some simple math to it so that people can grasp what’s going on and we’re not going to be so abstract that it won’t be useful.”So, when scientists create something in the lab, “you have a rationale why it’s going to work. You’re not going in blind and mixing things and then waiting for accidents to happen.”“We want to be rationally solving problems and know it’s going to work. Physical organic chemistry is the bedrock that explains that to us.”Dudding is the main organizer of the 44th annual Ontario-Quebec Physical Organic Mini Symposium, taking place Nov. 4 to 6 at Brock.The event, one of the premier North American physical organic chemistry symposiums held yearly, will showcase recent research in all fields of science pertaining to physical organic chemistry.This research includes: bio-organic chemistry, theoretical organic chemistry, organic photochemistry and mechanistic studies.Dudding is especially keen for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to participate.Scientists will be displaying posters and giving presentations from a wide array of universities including Concordia, Western, Guelph, Toronto, Wilfred Laurier, Windsor, Waterloo, Universite du Quebec a Montreal as well as the Royal Military College of Canada and University at Buffalo SUNY.For more information and to register: http://pomsbrocku.weebly.com read more

Read more
September 24, 2019

Metso continues Chinese expansion with manganese steel foundry deal

first_imgMetso is continuing to strengthen its presence in China by acquiring a manganese steel foundry – JX – in Quzhou City, Zheijang Province, some 400 km southwest of Shanghai. The company said that the acquisition of JX would help it improve its capabilities to supply wear parts to mining and construction industry customers in China and other markets in Asia Pacific. The move follows a joint venture set up in November 2012 with LiuGong, whereby the two companies formed a 50-50 partnership to develop a track mounted crushing and screening business in China. Late last year, Metso also acquired 75% of Shaorui Heavy Industries, which is one of the leading mid-market crushing and screening equipment producers in China.The joint venture combined Metso’s knowledge in track-mounted crushing and screening and technology with LiuGong’s extensive distribution resources and manufacturing capabilities in China.  Initially, the venture is covering the design and manufacture of localised versions of Metso’s Lokotrack 1000 series mobile crushers and screens. The products are being sold under a dual brand, Metso LiuGong. The joint venture company is also promoting Metso’s global track-mounted crushing and screening equipment in China. “The acquisitions of JX and Shaorui Heavy Industries Ltd and the joint venture with LiuGong Group Corp Ltd announced last November, significantly strengthen our supply capabilities for mining and construction industries in China.  Metso now has a complete range of capital equipment and wear parts covering a wide range of customer requirements. By acquiring a new steel foundry in China we are able to better serve the needs of our Chinese customers”, states Andrew Benko, President, Mining and Construction, Metso.“We already have the most extensive services hub and distribution network in our industry. With this acquisition we will strengthen our manufacturing presence in China and further develop our services business. We will improve our capability to supply wear parts to our mining and construction customers close to their operations and increase the flexibility and resilience of our wear products supply chain. We intend to use the acquired site as platform to further develop our services capabilities in China”, says Joao Ney Colagrossi, President, Services Business Line, Mining and Construction, Metso. The transaction covers the acquisition of assets of Quzhou Juxin Machinery and Quzhou Chixin Machinery from the current owner and his associates. The acquired assets and approximately 275 employees are expected to be transferred to Metso as of closing. Metso currently has five foundries and an extensive network of external casting suppliers serving the mining and construction industries. Its foundries are located in Ahmedabad, India; Isithebe, South Africa; Prerov, Czech Republic; Sorocaba, Brazil and Tampere, Finland. JX has, until now, been a supplier to Metso.last_img read more

Read more
September 22, 2019

Childcare costs leave parents struggling to pay household bills

first_imgPARENTS IN IRELAND are struggling to pay their household bills because of the high cost of childcare and afterschool care, according to a new survey.The survey conducted by Barnardos, the National Women’s Council of Ireland, OPEN and Start Strong showed that the costs are stopping many parents from going on holidays or getting treats for their children. Others said that the expense of childcare is actually preventing them from taking up employment or moving from part-time to full-time work.The organisations are calling on the government to prioritise the development of “quality, subsidised childcare and afterschool care for all children” to support their development and remove barriers to work for parents.They recommended the implementation of the Scandanavian model which integrates care and education and offers options for parents in terms of their ability to pay and whether they want to take parental leave or avail of centre-based childminding services.The groups said childhood is the most important period in an individual’s life and that giving children “the strongest foundation possible creates enormous potential for them and our society”.Read: Gender gap: Irish women pay ‘high price’ for motherhood>Read: Drug addiction treatment centre facing closure>last_img read more

Read more
September 17, 2019

Bermuda Black Grouper over fished lecture coming this month

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bermuda, January 17, 2018 – A lecture to better understand the life cycle and value of the black grouper to the Bermudian marine landscape will be held this month and is hosted by the Bermuda Zoological society.   The black grouper or what some call the rockfish are a rarity in the waters surrounding the island these days.They are hard to catch yet over 1 million pounds of the fish have been pulled from the waters in the last 40 years.  Most believe this estimate is conservative because it is based upon the honesty of fishermen.  Overfishing of the black grouper and infrastructural development have worked in tandem to greatly diminish stocks; the lecture by Dr. Tammy Warren, Sr Marine Resources Officer will  hopefully open eyes and save Black grouper lives.#BlackGrouper#Bermudablackgrouperoverfished#DrTammyWarren Related Items:#Bermudablackgrouperoverfished, #BlackGrouper, #DrTammyWarrenlast_img read more

Read more
September 15, 2019

Suspect arrested for armed ATM robbery

first_imgSOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) – A man accused of robbing a woman at knife-point at a Southwest Miami-Dade ATM has been arrested.The suspect, 49-year-old Jesus Martinez Rodriguez, was charged with armed robbery, Wednesday.Related: Woman robbed of $700 at knife-point in KendallPolice said Rodriguez was caught on surveillance video as he approached a woman using a Chase bank ATM on Oct. 4.The victim said he pulled out a knife and demanded money before he took off with about $700 from the woman’s account.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img

Read more
September 9, 2019

Choose Respect Rally Marches Through Juneau

first_imgGov. Bill Walker led about 100 people in a Choose Respect rally and march through Juneau on Thursday.The statewide initiative to raise awareness about Alaska’s high rates of domestic violence and sexual assault started six years ago, and grew in prominence after being embraced by former Gov. Sean Parnell.Funding for prevention of such crimes has been cut nearly in half in the proposed budget for next year, as the state faces a multibillion dollar shortfall. Advocates say the cuts will slow down, but not stop their work.Download Audiolast_img

Read more
September 6, 2019

ITDA PO reviews LTR cases calls for clearance in Bhadrachalam

first_imgBhadrachalam: Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) Project Officer VP Goutham has reviewed the pending Land Transfer Regular (LTR) cases with the revenue officers in his chamber on Thursday. He directed the officials concerned to take interest in LTR cases and clear them.During the meeting, Kothagudem Revenue Divisional Officer Swarna Latha informed the details of the pending cases in her revenue division limits and added that every Saturday they would conduct court and clear the cases. She said many of the cases were registered from Gundala and Allapally mandals. After the meeting, the PO informed that another meeting would be conducted after 15 days to review the progress. Sub-Collector Bhadrachalam Bhavesh Mishra, Deputy Tahsildars Naresh, K Raja Rao and other officials attended the meeting.last_img read more

Read more
September 3, 2019

How Egypts Sisi tightened his autocratic grip

first_imgA banner picturing Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is seen during the opening ceremony of the new city houses executed near the Suez Canal in Ismailia. Photo: ReutersThis spring, as Egypt’s parliament debated handing president Abdel Fatah al-Sisi greater power and allowing him to govern until 2030, speaker Ali Abdelaal declared the proposals were the will of the nation’s legislature. The ideas, he said, were “born in parliament, and the president has nothing to do with them, from near or far.”The reality was different, said five people with knowledge of the matter.Three of Sisi’s close advisers, including his eldest son, Mahmoud, had begun planning the changes to the constitution several months earlier, soon after Sisi was elected to a second and final term in office in April 2018, according to these sources, one of whom was present at the discussions.In meetings in September and October 2018 at the headquarters of Egypt’s General Intelligence Service in Cairo, Mahmoud al-Sisi, intelligence chief Abbas Kamel and Mohamed Abou Shoka, a legal adviser to Sisi’s election campaign, talked through ideas for prolonging the president’s time in office, the sources said. They discussed which articles of the constitution to rewrite, how to do this and the timing of such a move.The proposals that emerged – extending Sisi’s presidency and his power over the courts and parliament – were put before parliament by pro-Sisi lawmakers in February. The draft amendments raced through a chamber dominated by Sisi loyalists, and were approved in a referendum in April, in which critical voices were largely silent. Sisi’s opponents say the revisions to the constitution extinguish all hope for a civil, democratic and modern state. Not since the decades-long rule of Hosni Mubarak ended in 2011, they say, has so much power been concentrated in the hands of one man.”The tyrant regime is legitimized,” said Hamdeen Sabahi, a former presidential candidate and a senior member of the Civil Democratic Movement, an alliance of opposition groups.The Egyptian government did not respond to detailed questions from Reuters for this article. Sisi has said previously that Egypt is besieged by terrorism. Supporters of the constitutional changes argue that the president still has work to do in that fight and in reforming Egypt’s economy, and so he needs more time and extended powers.Parliamentary speaker Abdelaal told parliament last month that Sisi “has a dream to make this country strong, advanced and developed.”Sisi, a former general, became president in 2014 after the military toppled Mubarak’s democratically elected successor, Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood, following weeks of street protests. Since then, Sisi has steadily tightened his grip. A crackdown on opponents has drawn criticism from human rights groups and Western governments. A Reuters investigation in April found that Egyptian police had shot dead hundreds of suspected Islamist militants in what authorities said were gun battles, but bereaved families said were extrajudicial killings. A Reuters investigation in July showed a threefold rise in the number of death penalties carried out since Sisi came to power.In interviews, lawmakers, security sources and people with links to Egyptian intelligence described how Sisi’s supporters rewrote key passages of the constitution to give the president and the military greater power, then pushed the changes through a pliant parliament and the public vote. One of Egypt’s few independent news outlets, Mada Masr, first reported that Sisi’s son and intelligence chief Abbas Kamel attended talks about changing the constitution. Reuters pieced together more details about the discussions and how lawmakers and the media were brought into line.A person familiar with the parliamentary process said lawmakers had no hand in drawing up the draft amendments that were put before the house. Some lawmakers who opposed the changes – they were approved by 531 votes to 22 – said they were subject to smears and intimidation.Senior judges wrote to parliament, in a March 16 letter that was reviewed by Reuters, warning that the amendments “would impinge on the independence of the judiciary.” Opposition politicians said there were dozens of arrests in the run-up to the referendum.SOFTLY, SOFTLYSisi’s son Mahmoud rarely appears in public. A graduate of Egypt’s military academy, he holds a senior position in the General Intelligence Service, according to two sources with close links to Egyptian intelligence. A Western diplomat said Mahmoud is in charge of national security, one of three sons of the president known to hold official positions.Abbas Kamal, nicknamed ‘the president’s shadow’ because of his closeness to Sisi, became head of the General Intelligence Service in June 2018, having previously served as Sisi’s chief of staff. Mohamed Abou Shoka, a former chief prosecutor, acted as spokesman and legal adviser for Sisi’s 2018 presidential campaign.The reshaped constitution that they helped to craft expanded presidential and military powers. It made the president responsible for appointing chief judges and the public prosecutor, and selecting one-third of deputies in a new parliamentary chamber, the Council of Senators. It tasked the military with protecting “the constitution and democracy and the fundamental makeup of the country and its civil nature,” giving it latitude to step in if it deems Egypt is going in the wrong direction.The president’s term was increased to six years from four. A special clause said that Sisi’s current period in office, which began in 2018, will run to 2024 and he is allowed to stand for election a third time, overriding a ban on more than two consecutive terms.These last revisions were complicated by a legal requirement that any change to the presidential term must bring with it greater freedoms. By stipulating that at least 25 percent of lawmakers must be women, the amended constitution sought to satisfy that rule.Timothy Kaldas, a non-resident fellow at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy, a pro-democracy think tank, said the Egyptian government had tried to sell the changes as “some normal constitutional housekeeping and sweeping the extension of his presidency as just a small part of a package of improvements to the constitution.”Sisi’s advisers were keen to win approval for the changes before fuel price rises in the summer, diplomats and opposition figures said. Egyptians are feeling the strain from higher sales taxes, reduced fuel subsidies and a weak currency – all part of an economic reform programme backed by the International Monetary Fund. And while the economy has steadied, Sisi’s popularity has suffered. Egypt’s official statistics agency reported in July that one in three Egyptians is living in poverty.SWIFT PASSAGEWhen parliament’s legislative committee presented the draft amendments to the house in February, it said the proposals had the support of 155 lawmakers. But a source familiar with the process said these lawmakers hadn’t been involved in drawing up the amendments. They had simply put their signatures to a pre-written document. In a departure from normal procedure, the names of these signatories were not disclosed to the house, according to three lawmakers. The government did not respond to requests for comment.In the weeks that followed, parliament held consultations about the proposed constitutional amendments involving representatives of civil society and some opposition leaders. Speaker Abdelaal said the hearings allowed for a free airing of views on the planned changes. Opponents disagreed with this account. “There wasn’t a real dialogue,” said Mohamed Sami, leader of the leftist Karam Party.Members of the judiciary, which sees its powers diminished, pleaded for a rethink. The State Council Judges’ Club, which represents about 3,000 judges, wrote to parliament to warn that amendments would “impinge on the independence of the judiciary in general and reduce the role of the State Council,” a body that rules in administrative disputes and reviews state contracts.”Justice is the basis of governing, the independence of the judiciary is the basis of justice, and without justice the state will be undermined,” wrote the club’s president, Samir al-Bahay, in the letter, which was reviewed by Reuters. Reuters couldn’t reach al-Bahay for comment.One judge described the situation as worse for the judiciary than under Gamal Abdel Nasser, Egypt’s authoritarian president from 1954 to 1970. “Nasser used to sack judges, not put them under full control like is happening now,” he said.Some lawmakers who voted against the changes described being subject to smear campaigns and intimidation. Activists, including some living abroad, said they and their families came under increased pressure.Lawmaker Khaled Youssef, who is also a prominent film director, said online attacks against him started “as soon as I announced that the regime was making a mistake.” In February, after Youssef spoke out against changing the constitution, video surfaced on the internet purporting to show him and several women engaged in sexual acts. The same video had appeared in 2016 after Youssef opposed Sisi’s decision to hand two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia. Youssef said the video was fake.”Every time I oppose a law … they start publishing these videos,” said Youssef, who is currently in Paris.ARRESTS AND SILENCEIn early April, even before the proposed amendments had passed through parliament, roads in Cairo were festooned with banners, posters and digital displays urging people to take part in the yet-to-be-called referendum. Some advertisements went further, pushing for a “yes” vote.More than 120 opposition figures were arrested before and during the April 20-22 referendum, according to the Civil Democratic Movement, a coalition of opposition parties. Among them was Amir Eissa, a senior member of Al Dostour, a liberal party. Eissa’s brother, Moataz, and the party’s lawyer told Reuters that Eissa was arrested outside a polling station in Al Qalyubia Governorate, north of Cairo, on the second day of voting, after telling the official in charge that he had seen people offering bribes to voters. Reuters wasn’t able to contact the official.Eissa remains in custody, said the lawyer, who declined to be identified. Prosecutors ordered that he should be detained on charges of joining a terrorist group and using social media to commit crimes that would threaten peace and security, the lawyer added. Egyptian authorities didn’t respond to requests for comment.Criticism in Egyptian media was muted.Mohamed Abdel Hafiz, a board member of the Journalists’ Syndicate, a professional body, said articles opposing the amendments were stopped by government censors stationed at printing houses to check newspapers pre-publication.”Newspapers were prevented from publishing any views that opposed the constitutional amendments,” said Abdel Hafiz.A website collecting signatures against the referendum was blocked hours after the site’s launch in March, according to NetBlocks, an internet monitoring group. It was unclear who was behind the move. The site had already gathered 60,000 signatures.On 24 April, Egypt’s election commission announced that 89 percent of voters had backed the amendments on a turnout of 44 percent. The commission declared it a free and fair vote.last_img read more

Read more
August 31, 2019

Symphonies of Yore

first_imgCapital’s music enthusiasts got together to pay  a tribute to the yesteryears singing sensation Geeta Dutt on her 41st Death Anniversary at Kamani Auditorium in New Delhi. Team Svarpana, a Delhi-based group of 10 classically-trained, passionate music enthusiasts of all age groups and walks of life. Pawan Naidu, the fountainhead for the group designed this very presentation weaving the great singers’ story alongwith her songs. The rather melancholic life that she lead with untold events that marked her career and personal journey. The evening titled  Geeta Dutt…Aik Adhoora Sapna will have 17 ever  green, joyful and  melancholic songs of the veteran including  Ai Dil Muje Bata De, Babuji, dheere chalna, Koi  Chupke se aake,  Na jao saiyya,  Mera sundar Sapna beet gaya,  Vaqt ne kiya,  Janoo Janoo Re, Meri  jaan. These songs will be sung mainly by Shetal  accompanied by Jyoti and Stuti in duets – all classically trained singers. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’When asked why a tribute to Geeta Dutt, Pawan replied ‘because no one remembers her,’ he has devoted 25 years to present a ‘no nonsense live concert of Geeta Dutt by a solo artist to make his dream come true. Who remembers that this week on July 20th was Geeta Dutt’s death anniversary?,’ he asks adding  that they had been  paying tribute to her every year since 2007 to packed houses across the country. ‘We have taken special care that the songs have same expressions as she would ingrain in her intoxicating voice. Since she was not deeply trained in classical, expressions dominated most of her songs which struck the right chord with all and sundry, everyone could sing her songs.’ Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixAdds Shetal, the lead vocalist for evening, ‘I read in Geeta Dutt’s blog maintained by her daughter in which she says that ‘no one pays tribute to my mother’ so she had prepared Pal a music CD dedicated  to her some time ago. We are trying to contact her to say that we have not forgotten her.’The evening is called Aik Adhoora Sapna to indicate at the loneliness the versatile singer lived almost all through her life.  Says Mr. Naidu, ‘Geeta Ghosh Roy Chowdhury,  a highly qualified woman hailing from an aristocratic zamindar family of Faridpur (before Partition) was at the peak of her career when she married Guru Dutt to become Geeta Dutt  –  then a struggling assistant to different directors. Dutt hailed from a Saraswat Brahman family and their union was a taboo affair in their families.’He adds, ‘If a person of Guru Dutt’s sensibilities could fall for Geeta Dutt, she must have had some tremendous qualities, yet he could not sustain respect for this relationship. He fell for Wahida Rehman, and Geeta was left alone’.last_img read more

Read more
August 30, 2019

10 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Mobile App Developer

first_img If your company doesn’t have a mobile app yet, you could be missing out on a golden opportunity to tap into new revenue streams. Smartphones and tablets are where today’s consumers live. The majority of the 120 million smartphone owners in the U.S. use a shopping or retail app at least once a month, according to a recent Nielsen report. Yours could be one of them.If you’d like a mobile app that lets customers buy your products — or simply access products reviews, videos or coupons — you’ll need to hire an experienced developer you trust to custom build it.Here are 10 key questions to ask mobile app developers to help you choose the right one for the job:1.Where can I find examples of mobile apps you’ve developed? Qualified candidates should be eager to provide you with a list of apps they are personally responsible for creating — or at least played a major role in developing — complete with links to each in Apple’s iOS App Store, BlackBerry App World or Google Play, Google’s Android app store.”That way you can begin to gauge whether or not they have the skills, experience and vision to produce the type of mobile app you’re looking for,” says Chad Mureta, CEO of App Empire, a San Francisco-based app development firm, and author of App Empire: Make Money, Have a Life, and Let Technology Work for You (Wiley, 2012).Related: The Basics: 3 Important Tips for Creating Killer Mobile Apps2. May I have a list of your current and past clients? Unlike reading movie credits, there’s typically no way to tell who actually developed an app. This is why speaking directly with candidates’ current and former clients can be essential to verifying that the developers actually created the apps they claim to have worked on, Mureta says.Checking references also gives you an opportunity to ask how reliable, responsive and results-oriented candidates are. For example, you might ask whether they delivered on deadline and within budget, and how well they work under pressure.Candidates sometimes only offer references who have a favorable opinion of them, says Farhan Thawar, vice president of engineering at Xtreme Labs, an Ontario, Canada-based mobile strategy and product development firm. He suggests visiting a candidate’s LinkedIn profile to see if you have any professional colleagues or former co-workers in common. If you do, contact your mutual connections and ask them about their impression of the candidate’s experience, capabilities and work ethic.3. What kind of smartphone do you use?This question can provide insight into how passionate and knowledgeable a candidate is about specific mobile platforms, Thawar says. “If you’re telling me that you can build an app for an iPhone, then you should have an iPhone, you should be playing with the apps that you are building and also playing with other people’s apps on a very regular basis.” The same goes for Android and BlackBerry.4. How can my app make money? If your primary goal is to generate revenue with your app, the developer needs to know exactly how to build in features that will allow you to make money. You could opt for a pay-per-download revenue model, charging, say, between 99 cents and $4.99, depending on how many features your app offers.If you opt for a free app, be sure the candidate is well versed in how to integrate mobile display ads, in-app purchases or paid subscription services.5. How will we communicate during the development process? The quality of your app often depends on how clearly and often you communicate your app design and functionality requirements throughout the development process.Does your app developer prefer to chat in person or via phone, Skype, instant message or email — and how often? Or does he or she prefer to interact with you using a popular project and task management system like 37signals’ Basecamp? How often will he or she provide you with status updates?Related: 5 Tools for Building a Shopping App6. What kind of special features can you create? Apps rarely grab consumers’ attention without truly innovative and useful features. Figure out the bells and whistles you’d like and then assess your developer’s capabilities. For example, can your candidate add 3-D gaming, social media sharing, GPS check-ins or product coupon elements to your app?7. Who will own the mobile app? Typically the individual or company paying for a mobile app will own the finished product, Mureta says. To be sure you own all the rights to the app you commissioned, you and the app developer should sign a written “copyright assignment” or “work made for hire” contract. The document should establish confidentiality and state that you own the app’s design, source code and all of its content.8. How will you test my app? Generally, the best way to test an app is simply to run it on the smartphone it will be used on. The candidate should provide a thorough explanation of how he or she conducts an extensive beta test to weed out any glitches. If bugs are found, how will the candidate fix them — and how quickly?9. Will you submit my mobile app to app stores? After you’ve approved the beta-tested version of your app, the last step is for the developer to submit it to an app store for approval to be sold there. App submission is often a long, multi-step process that your developer should already know how to successfully navigate.10. What are your fees and payment terms? Draft a written agreement specifying that you will pay the developer by the hour or with a flat fee. Most developers, like Mureta, ask for a one-time fee upfront. Others require a deposit at the beginning of a project, often for up to half of the estimated total cost, with the balance due when the app is completed.The most basic mobile apps can start between $1,000 and $5,000, but you could end up spending many times more if you pay a developer by the hour. More complicated mobile apps, including ones that are database driven or involve 3-D gaming, can cost thousands more.Related: Caterina Fake’s Findery Aims to Be an ‘Adventure Machine’ 6 min read Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right.center_img April 8, 2013 Register Now »last_img read more

Read more
August 29, 2019

Google Authenticator 474 with inapp scanner

first_imgGoogle Authenticator 4.74 with in-app scanner by Martin Brinkmann on September 24, 2016 in Google Android – 2 commentsGoogle Authenticator is Google’s official 2-factor authentication application that users may use for Google accounts but also for third-party accounts that support the technology.It works similarly to comparable apps such as Authy or Microsoft Authenticator.The application relied on a third-party barcode scanner up until now on Android devices to scan barcodes during the account setup phase in the Google Authenticator application.Good news is that the latest version of Google Authenticator — version 4.74 — does away with that requirement.So, instead of launching a third-party application like the Barcode Scanner app by ZXing Team, it is now opening the scanner directly in the app.Less reliance on third-party applications is always good, especially when it comes to security applications. It is also faster and less prone to issues caused by launching a third-party barcode scanner when adding accounts to the application.Google Authenticator 4.74The new version of Google Authenticator ships with other improvements as well. The app ships with a dark mode option that you can enable with a tap on menu and selecting Dark Mark. This switches to a darker layout which you may prefer at times or all the time.The interface sports a refreshed Material Design look now. Google is been working on bringing Material Design to many of its products including Google Chrome.While it does so gradually and over time, it is something that you will see continued for the foreseeable future (until a new design philosophy takes its place).Another change is the new floating action button that is useful when you are adding new accounts or code generators to the list. While you can still go about it the old fashioned way, by going through a number of taps on various menu items to do so, it adds a new way that is more effective than the old,It is a small change considering that you won’t be adding new accounts constantly to the app — or at all after adding accounts the first time.As is the case with all Google releases, Google Authenticator 4.74 is being rolled out over time to all users. This means that you may have to wait weeks or even months before the update hits your device.If you don’t want to wait this long, check out the file on APK Mirror to install it right now on your device. (via Android Police)Now You: Which authenticator app are you using, if any?SummaryArticle NameGoogle Authenticator 4.74 with in-app scannerDescriptionGoogle Authenticator 4.74 is a new version of Google’s 2-factor authentication application for Android that ships with its own barcode scanner.Author Martin BrinkmannPublisher Ghacks Technology NewsLogo Advertisementlast_img read more

Read more