University of Toronto researchers contribute to work done by Nobel Physics Prize

first_imgTORONTO – Ontario researchers were part of the large team that contributed to the work done by three U.S.-based professors who were awarded the Nobel Physics Prize for their detection of gravitational waves, a theory first put forward by Albert Einstein more than 100 years ago.The three scientists won the prize on Tuesday for detecting the faint ripples flying through the universe.University of Toronto astrophysics professor Harald Pfeiffer and several students helped the team discover that the collision of two black holes caused the waves.“It’s great to be part of a team doing such good research,” Pfeiffer said in a telephone interview from his family home in Germany.Pfeiffer and his team were among about 1,000 scientists in more than 20 countries who collaborated on the project that was about 50 years in the making.The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences that awards Nobel Prizes said the detection of the waves promises a revolution in astrophysics.Rainer Weiss of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Barry Barish and Kip Thorne of the California Institute of Technology won the 2017 prize for a combination of highly advanced theory and ingenious equipment design, the academy announced.Gravitational waves are “perturbations in space and time itself that travel at the speed of light,” Pfeiffer explained.These waves can be created by a variety of ways, Pfeiffer said, although the collision of two black holes or two neutron stars are “the best sources for gravitational waves.”The waves were predicted by Einstein a century ago as part of his theory of general relativity, which states that gravity is caused by heavy objects bending space-time, which itself is the four-dimensional way that astronomers see the universe.Weiss in the 1970s designed a laser-based device that would detect gravitational waves. He, Thorne and Barish “ensured that four decades of effort led to gravitational waves finally being observed,” the Nobel announcement said.The laser device, called an interferometer, must be both exquisitely precise and extremely stable.The first detection of gravitational waves involved two of the devices about 3,000 kilometres apart — in Hanford, Wash., and Livingston, La. The wave first passed the Livingston facility and 7 milliseconds later at Hanford, consistent with the speed of light.Pfeiffer said when one of these gravitational waves passes through Earth, the diameter of Earth changes by roughly the size of a proton.“It’s incredible that the detectors are actually able to measure these ridiculously small changes in length space,” he said.Pfeiffer’s contribution to the project involved computer calculations of colliding black holes. His work helped predict the waveforms the detector should be looking for, he said.Thus far, he said, the team has detected four gravitational waves, all from black holes colliding with each other.Pfeiffer says he is celebrating with his family tonight in Germany, but will get back to work tomorrow as the team hunts for more gravitational waves.— with files from The Associated Presslast_img read more

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Morocco Calls On Imams to Denounce Terrorism and Clarify Real Meaning

Fez – After the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris, killing 128 and wounding hundreds on Friday, Morocco’s Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs released a notice calling on imams in Morocco to denounce terrorism and clarify the real meaning of Jihad, following the recommendation of King Mohammed VI.The statement says that the perpetrators of these heinous attacks claim to be affiliated with the religion of Islam, but they lie to justify their crimes, erroneously claiming that they support religion.The Ministry called on imams to use rational and religious argument to debunk such claims and enlighten the public that violence and coercion are not part of Islamic teachings. The notice also explained that maintaining the image of Islam is the responsibility of all Muslims and they should not stand by while others tarnish it.The statement added that Islam is based on principles such as love, compassion peace and goodness, but extremists distort these messages to achieve political and ideological goals.Minister of Endowments and Islamic Affairs Ahmed Toufiq said that the Moroccan model of Islam is the one that can restore the image of Islam, calling on Muslims to protect it from all impurities. He added that terror is going to fail because of a nation’s resilience, its believers’ faith, and the guidance of devout imams.Morocco has made significant efforts to propagate moderate Islam by launching the Mohammed VI radio station in 2004 and the Mohammed VI TV station in 2005, both of which preach Islamic principles of peace and tolerance.Morocco has also trained female spiritual guides to fight extremism in religion and provided continuous training for Imams inside and outside Morocco to stop the expansion of fundamentalism. read more

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Niger UN fund allocates more resources to hungerstricken population

The CERF allocation made available to the UN World Food Programme (WFP) last week will be used to improve nutrition and provide livelihood support to people most affected by the crisis. Poor harvests that followed inadequate rainfall in Niger over the past year have spawned a major food crisis in the West African country. An assessment carried out in April indicated that over 7 million people, or about 46 per cent of Niger’s population, are suffering from moderate or severe food insecurity. The survey revealed a significant increase in the number of people experiencing severe food shortages, with the figure rising from 2.6 million in December last year to 3.3 million people in April. It also showed high levels of vulnerability in urban areas, particularly among new migrants, as well as a higher rate of severe food insecurity among women. The results of a nutrition survey in June showed that global acute malnutrition prevalence exceeded the 15 per cent emergency threshold, with 16.7 per cent of young children affected. Severe acute malnutrition rose from 2.1 per cent last year to 3.2 per cent this year. The latest allocation brings the total amount of money disbursed by the fund, which is managed by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), to Niger this year to $35 million. 16 August 2010In an effort to alleviate alarming food shortages that have caused high malnutrition rates among children in Niger, the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has allocated an additional $15 million to enable the UN food agency to provide relief to an estimated 1.7 million people. read more

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Palestinian unity process needs to promote peace security and nonviolence – Ban

1 May 2011Intra-Palestinian reconciliation should take place in a way that promotes peace, security and non-violence, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has stressed, just days after Hamas and Fatah announced they had reached an agreement to form a national unity government and hold elections within a year. Speaking yesterday by telephone with Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Ehud Barak, Mr. Ban discussed the recent unity deal between the two Palestinian factions – struck under the auspices of Egypt – and the Middle East peace process.Mr. Ban said the United Nations would study the agreement carefully and took note of Israeli concerns about the implications of the reconciliation understanding, according to information released by his spokesperson.The Secretary-General underscored the need for progress towards Palestinian unity within the framework of the Palestinian Authority led by President Mahmoud Abbas and the commitments of the Palestine Liberation Organization. He welcomed efforts to that end, including the contribution of Egypt.“The Secretary-General said he hoped that reconciliation would now take place in a manner that promoted the cause of peace, security and non-violence,” the spokesperson noted.UN officials, including Mr. Ban, had been urging Palestinian factions for some time to put their differences behind them, put national interests first and find a way forward so they can tackle the many challenges that Palestinians face.Hamas, which does not recognize Israel’s right to exist, took control of the Gaza Strip in 2007 after ousting the Fatah party that controls part of the West Bank.Discussing the overall Middle East peace process with Mr. Barak, Mr. Ban voiced his concern at the current impasse in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and stressed that continued drift was not desirable for either side.He told Mr. Barak that the diplomatic Quartet – comprising the UN, the European Union, Russia and the United States – “continued to discuss balanced and effective ways to help both parties break the deadlock and move towards resolving all final status issues.” read more

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For Canadians Tis the season to be frugal

TORONTO — A RBC holiday outlook suggests Canadians may be a little more frugal this festive season.The RBC Canadian Consumer Outlook found that while the majority of Canadians appear to be in a gift-giving mood, they plan on spending less over the holidays than they did last year.The survey suggests Canadians who celebrate year-end festivities will spend $1,182 on gifts, decorations, entertaining and travel — a figure which is down 6% from last year’s anticipated amount.The bank says this season’s holiday spending plans appear to be more in line with Canadians’ 2010 holiday purchasing plans.The survey suggests shoppers who plan on buying gifts are likely to shell out $629 on their purchases, down from the $640 anticipated last year.RBC also suggests Canadians plan to cut their spending on holiday expenses other than gifts by 10% from last year.“It’s clear that Canadians are conscious of their finances and are taking a closer look at what they can afford this holiday season,” said Chris McEachern, financial planning role strategist, RBC Financial Planning.The results of the RBC survey released Thursday stand in contrast to findings from some other analysts, who believe Canadians will be more generous with their finances over the holidays this year.A Bank of Montreal survey released earlier this month projected an average 15% jump in holiday spending over last Christmas, with respondents planning to spend $1,610 this season. And an report Ernst & Young predicted Canadian holiday sales would rise 3.5% over last year, supported by signs of improvement in consumer confidence.Meanwhile, a study from Deloitte projected Canadians will spend 1% to 2% more this holiday season, but an increasing number will check for the best prices online before they head to the mall in a season it expects to be highly price competitive.RBC’s survey, however, suggests Canadians will be tightening their belts.It found 56% of respondents plan to fund their festivities with their savings, while 24% intend to use credit cards.Meanwhile, 23% of those surveyed say they haven’t thought about how they’ll pay for the holiday season.RBC suggests that a little financial preparation for the holidays is likely to go a long way.“No matter how you choose to purchase your gifts, whether it’s with debit or credit cards, in store or online, knowing how you’ll cover your holiday expenses is crucial to avoiding unwanted debt and ensuring you are in good financial shape for the new year,” McEachern said.“A little planning ahead of your holiday shopping can make all the difference.”The online survey was conducted by Ipsos Reid and involved 3,375 Canadians across the country between Oct. 1 to Oct. 10. The poll is accurate to within plus or minus 1.9 percentage points of the entire Canadian population. read more

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Universal access to HIVAIDS services requires drastic measures says UNs health arm

Anders Nordström, Acting Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), called on delegates to create “a borderless society for health, one that embraces all who can make a difference, from political leaders, scientists, health workers to young people, persons living with HIV, the poor, sex workers, injection drug users, people in prisons.” While the funds available for HIV/AIDS are growing, so are the needs, said Dr. Nordström. Access to affordable drugs is critical, while the lack of a sufficient number of health workers calls for “drastic measures,” he added. “Universal access must include access to a skilled and motivated health worker. No improvement in financing or medical products can make a lasting difference in people’s lives until the crisis in the health workforce is solved,” he said. Dr. Nordström noted that earlier this week WHO launched its new “Treat, Train, Retain” plan, which is aimed at providing HIV services and better working conditions for workers. In other news from the conference today, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) highlighted how HIV-positive pregnant women remain one of the most poorly served of all HIV-positive populations. “Despite the fact that the global HIV response is now awash in funding, pregnant women still don’t have access to the drugs that will prevent them from passing the virus on to their children,” said Arletty Pinel, Chief of UNFPA Reproductive Health Branch. In a statement, the UNFPA noted that, at a General Assembly special session in 2001, delegates agreed to increase the percentage of HIV-positive pregnant women receiving antiretroviral prophylaxis to 80 per cent by 2005. Not one country has yet reached that goal, said the UNFPA, and global coverage rates remain at a dismal 9 per cent. Dr. Pinel added that HIV infection compounds the already existing problem of poor access to reproductive health care in general. “Today, we have a situation of hundreds of thousands of women dying in childbirth each year,” she said. “If we can’t even address the problem of women dying in childbirth, then it should come as no surprise that we are failing to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV.” read more

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Legislative change fundamental to halting gender violence lawmakers tell UN event

“Legislative change is fundamental to halting the violence epidemic, and it is you, the representatives of the people, who can make it happen and make a real difference for women and girls,” the Executive Director of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), Michelle Bachelet, said at a side event of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).This focus of this year’s session is ending violence against women and girls. According to UN Women, up to 70 per cent of women in some countries face physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime. In addition, some 140 million girls have suffered female genital mutilation and millions more are subjected to forced marriage and trafficking. At today’s event, also addressed by the President of the International Parliamentary Union (IPU) and other legislative figures, Ms. Bachelet welcomed the fact that two-thirds of countries have legislation criminalizing domestic violence. She stressed, however, that the current framework is far from adequate.“All countries should have legislation that penalizes violence against women in all spheres and all forms of violence,” she said, adding that “parliaments must identify gaps and amend weak legislation.”She noted proposals for strengthening Indian laws on sexual assault made by a Government panel after the horrific rape and death of a young woman and the tremendous public outrage that followed.The new proposals will go a long way in strengthening Indian laws, she said, because they currently prohibit acts that “outrage a woman’s modesty,” but do not define specific off-limit behaviours. “So I urge all of you to review and strengthen laws in your countries to end violence against women,” she said.Parliamentarians, she added, could also use their good offices to bring police, prosecutors, judges, health care providers, social workers and religious and community leaders on board to ensure that laws were enforced. “Ending violence against women requires the full engagement of all sectors of society,” she stressed.Among other events under the CSW umbrella today, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met with heads of UN agencies on the issue of boosting coordination to fight violence against women and girls.Mr. Ban said that he launched the campaign called “UNiTE to End Violence against Women” in 2008 because, among other necessities, women need to live free of fear and girls need to safely enjoy their right to education.“These are basic rights. The United Nations must do all it can to make them facts of life,” he said.Other events today included a presentation by the Minister of Women’s Rights of France and a discussion on ending gender-based violence in schools organized by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF). read more

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Belaz wins Swedish Steel Prize 2014 for world largest mine truck

first_imgBelarus is this year’s winner of the international Swedish Steel Prize. The prize was awarded for the company’s innovative and new construction for axle suspension and slewing bearings for the world’s largest dump truck. The new construction takes full advantage of the properties of high-strength steel. “Belaz has boldly gone beyond the boundaries of what has earlier been considered possible using available technology,” says Gregoire Parenty, Chairman of the jury and Executive Vice President and Head of Market Development SSAB.SSAB comments that “the current trend within mining operations across the world is that bigger is better. Demand is high, production must therefore be optimised. Using high-strength steel, the global mining dump truck manufacturer Belaz has created the world’s largest dump truck capable of 20% higher payload capacity than conventional trucks, whilst minimising fuel consumption.”“Belaz’s new design shows how high-strength steel can be used to make stronger, lighter and more sustainable products,” explains Parenty, who emphasises that it was a close competition between the finalists.The Swedish Steel Prize was awarded for the 16th time in conjunction with a three-day event at which 800 participants from around the world gathered to share the latest findings on high-strength steel.The other finalists – Santander Equipos from Chile, Timo Penttimies from Finland and Vale from Brazil, were runners-up in the Swedish Steel Prize 2014.The Swedish Steel Prize was established by SSAB in 1999 to inspire and disseminate knowledge about high strength steel and how it can be used to develop stronger, lighter and more sustainable products.last_img read more

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Xenophon argues for apps regulation

first_imgSenator for South Australia, Nick Xenophon has flagged his intention to lobby for tighter regulations preventing children from racking up huge bills using real money to play online games. The move follows last month’s ABC Lateline program, which revealed some youngsters are spending thousands of dollars of real money to buy virtual coins, accessories and tools by charging their parents’ iTunes accounts without any warning. Senator Xenophon has warned these addictive games can normalise gambling behaviour in children, who are often manipulated by colourful graphics and deceptive language to spend money without even realising it. “These apps teach children the core elements of gambling behaviour,” said the Independent Senator. “Apps developers rely on triggering emotional responses to create an addictive gaming environment for children. These exploitative tactics could have come straight from the poker machine lobby’s playbook.” The Senator added that while parental responsibility was important, many parents are not aware of the real costs associated with these apps. “If Apple, Android and others are allowing these apps to be accessed on their devices, then they have a responsibility to ensure appropriate safeguards are in place to prevent kids from racking up big debts and developing dangerous addictions. “How effective can parents really be in this area when they are often not as familiar with this technology as their young children? Apple’s assertion that regulation is solely the parent’s responsibility is quite frankly insulting.” Senator Xenophon says he will move for changes to Australian Consumer Law, which would provide parents with an additional safeguard system preventing kids from debiting a credit card without parental approval. “Changes to the ACL could force these companies to introduce two-tiered password system where only parents could approve any in-game purchases where real money was being spent,” said Senator Xenophon. “It’s not about removing parental responsibility, it’s about legislating to protect our kids from developing an addictive and dangerous habit.” Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

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Sands China continues Responsible Gaming advanced training programme

first_img Macau GGR tumbles 8.6% in August Sands China has continued its Responsible Gaming Ambassador advanced training programme, aimed at educating team members on how to create a positive environment at all the company’s properties.The company has offered the advanced training every year since 2013, supplementing the company-wide responsible gaming training received by each of Sands China’s more than 28,000 team members. Load More RelatedPosts JW Marriott at Galaxy Macau named venue and Galaxy Entertainment Group named Venue Sponsor for 2019 Asian Gaming Power 50 Black Tie Gala Dinner There are currently nearly 530 Responsible Gaming Ambassadors at Sands China, with their training collectively comprising over 3,200 hours of instruction. The next round of training is scheduled for 24 to 25 September 2019, the company said in a press release.“Each year, we bring out several experts to work alongside Macau-based experts to produce Sands China’s Responsible Gaming Ambassador programme,” said Professor Bo Bernhard, executive director of the UNLV International Gaming Institute. “This is a ‘best-in-class’ programme globally. Unlike many programmes that simply use online or trainer-based programmes, we bring in the leading experts from around the world to have an honest, scientific conversation about gambling problems and how to identify patterns that might indicate a customer has a problem.”The elite training programme utilises both international and local knowledge, with Bernhard sharing his academic insights and experience from the United States with team members in Macau. Senior counsellors from the Sheng Kung Hui Gambling Counselling and Family Wellness Centre enhance team members’ practical responsible gaming knowledge and skills in areas such as crisis management and intervention.“Sands China Ltd. takes responsible gaming education very seriously,” said Sands China’s Chief Responsible Gaming Officer and VP of Special Gaming Projects, Winnie Wong.“With this advanced Responsible Gaming Ambassador training, our team members can play a vital role in helping spot the signs of problem gambling. Through the programme’s practical approach, team members learn how to best utilise the knowledge and skills gained to help minimise the social impact of problem gambling and reach out to those who might need assistance.” Galaxy offers first glimpse of new Galaxy Macau convention center ahead of 2021 launchlast_img read more

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Philippine authorities warn against loan sharking syndicates after six arrested in Parañaque

first_img Philippines rejects China’s call to ban online gambling 181 Chinese nationals arrested in dispute over POGO accreditation status Load More The Philippines’ National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has issued a warning to the public against people abducting tourists as part of loan sharking scams.NBI spokesman Ferdinand Lavin told the state-owned Philippine News Agency that in such instances “people playing in casinos should approach the hotel staff and security for help immediately” following the arrests last week of six individuals. The six individuals, comprising five Chinese nationals and a Filipino-Chinese, stand accused of abducting three people and holding them in a Parañaque City hotel room after they were unable to immediately repay a Php1.5 million loan plus interest. The NBI stated the three detainees were being asked to repay a total of Php7 million.Three of those arrested reportedly tried to bribe NBI officials for Php1 million.This latest incident comes two years after Philippine authorities arrested 45 people involved with a loan sharking syndicate following the kidnapping of 48-year-old Singaporean Wu Yan. Leisure & Resorts World Corp suffers major swing to loss in 2Q19 RelatedPostslast_img read more

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Chanda Kochhar exit This is how ICICI Bank board edged out aggressive

first_imgThe troubles for Kochhar and ICICI Bank had started when a whistleblower revealed irregularities and conflict of interest over the sanctioning of a huge loan to the Videocon Industries in 2012. The Rs 3,250 crore loan to the group was sanctioned under Kochhar’s watch. However, the whistleblower complaint said that a few months before that loan was sanctioned, Videocon chairman Venugopal Dhoot had lent a whopping Rs 66 core to Deepak Kochhar, the CEO’s husband.Before the whistleblower complaint emerged, investor Arvind Gupta had alleged in 2016 that the loans to Videocon were a clear case of conflict of interest. He had said that the funding of a company called NuPower jointly by Dhoot and Deepak Kochhar pointed to the possibility of there being a quid pro quo behind the sanction of loans.However, ICICI Bank had stated in April that its internal investigations had found no proof for any wrongdoing by Kochhar. it had said that though Kochhar was in the committee that approved the Videocon loans, but there was a broader consortium consisting of other banks that paid out the money.The pressure on the bank, however, intensified in the backdrop of the mega bank frauds such as PNB scam and various reports on the bulging non-performing assets at Indian banks. ICICI Bank faced criticism for moving slowly on a critical complaint against the top management. Meanwhile Kochhar herself came under pressure with voices in the industry calling for her ouster.On May 30, the board finally decided to ask Kochhar to go on leave while the inquiry into the conflict of interest on her side was investigated.On Monday, 18 June, ICICI appointed Sandeep Bakhshi as its whole-time director and chief operating officer (COO). The bank said that Bakhshi was brought to the board for a term of five years. IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:01/1:10Loaded: 0%0:02Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-1:09?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 … Close Who is Nirav Modi, and how did he commit the Rs 11,000 crore fraud? For ICICI Bank and CEO-on-leave Chanda Kochhar, the chickens have finally come home to roost. The bank had tried to avert the inevitable step against the CEO for several months and Kochhar herself dug in her feet until the last moment, trying to hang on as the top honcho at the beleaguered bank.India’s top private lender, which has borne the taint of a dubious multi-crore 2012 loan to Videocon Industries under the watch of Kochhar, finally took the decision to send Kochhar up the garden path. However, the inside story reveals that Kochhar was defiant until the last moment and it needed some coercion and a stern, unified stand by all board members to make her vacate the high-profile position.Chanda Kochhar was aggressive, angry and she challenged the board as to why she should step aside, according to media reports that carried information that leaked out from the proceedings at the crucial June 18 Board meeting. Kochhar, who had more than a year left in her second 5-year term at the helm of the bank, “left the board room in a huff’ miffed by the direction of the proceedings, the Times of India reported. The report said she had to be ‘persuaded’ to return.The crucial blow to her attempts to hang in by the skin of her teeth came when the Chairman of the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) weighed in against her continuance. LIC is the largest shareholder in ICII Bank. Kochahar’s resistance was overawed by this move and other independent directors pitched in, pressing for her removal.An angry Kochhar also rebelled against the wording of the board statement on the appointment of Sandeep Bakhshi as COO in the absence of the regular CEO. The board had initially drafted a statement that said it had unanimously asked Kochhar to go on leave. However, Kochhar flatly refused to accept such a statement.The final board statement read thus: “In line with the highest levels of governance and corporate standards, Chanda Kochhar has decided to go on leave till the completion of the enquiry as announced on May 30, 2018”.last_img read more

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20 gold bars seized at Sylhet airport

first_imgGold bars. File PhotoCustoms officials recovered gold from a Biman Bangladesh Airlines plane at Sylhet Osmani International Airport on Tuesday, reports UNB.Flight BG-248 came from Dubai around 9:00am, said Ahsan Ullah, deputy commissioner of customs.A team of customs raided the aircraft as part of their regular drive and recovered 20 gold bars weighing 3.320kg wrapped in scotch-tap and hidden beneath a seat, said the official.No-one was arrested in this connection.last_img

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Trump Travel Ban Blocked Fight Headed For Supreme Court

first_imgVideo Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban “speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination,” a federal appeals court said Thursday in ruling against the executive order targeting six Muslim-majority countries. Trump’s administration vowed to take the fight to the U.S. Supreme Court. In a 10-3 vote, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the ban likely violates the Constitution. And it upheld a lower court ruling that blocks the Republican administration from cutting off visas for people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The Richmond, Virginia-based 4th Circuit is the first appeals court to rule on the revised travel ban unveiled in March. Trump’s administration had hoped it would avoid the legal problems that the first version from January encountered. A second appeals court, the 9th U.S. Circuit based in San Francisco, is also weighing the revised travel ban after a federal judge in Hawaii blocked it. The Supreme Court almost certainly would step into the case if asked. The justices almost always have the final say when a lower court strikes down a federal law or presidential action. Trump could try to persuade the Supreme Court to allow the policy to take effect, even while the justices weigh whether to hear the case, by arguing that the court orders blocking the ban make the country less safe. If the administration does ask the court to step in, the justices’ first vote could signal the court’s ultimate decision. A central question in the case before the 4th Circuit was whether courts should consider Trump’s public statements about wanting to bar Muslims from entering the country as evidence that the policy was primarily motivated by the religion. Trump’s administration argued the court should not look beyond the text of the executive order, which doesn’t mention religion. The countries were not chosen because they are predominantly Muslim but because they present terrorism risks, the administration said. But Chief Judge Roger L. Gregory wrote that the government’s “asserted national security interest … appears to be a post hoc, secondary justification for an executive action rooted in religious animus and intended to bar Muslims from this country.” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the court’s ruling blocks Trump’s “efforts to strengthen this country’s national security.” Trump is not required to admit people from “countries that sponsor or shelter terrorism until he determines that they can be properly vetted” and don’t pose a security threat, Sessions said. The three dissenting judges, all appointed by Republican presidents, said the majority was wrong to look beyond the text of the order. Calling the executive order a “modest action,” Judge Paul V. Niemeyer wrote that Supreme Court precedent required the court to consider the order “on its face.” Looked at that way, the executive order “is entirely without constitutional fault,” he wrote. Ilya Somin, a law professor at George Mason University, said if the Supreme Court follows a partisan divide, the Trump administration may fare better since five of the nine are Republican nominees. Still, he said, it’s difficult to make a confident prediction because “Supreme Court justices don’t always vote in ideological lockstep.” The first travel ban issued Jan. 27 was aimed at seven countries and triggered chaos and protests across the country as travelers were stopped from boarding international flights and detained at airports for hours. Trump tweaked the order after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to reinstate the ban. The new version made it clear the 90-day ban covering those six countries doesn’t apply to those who already have valid visas. It got rid of language that would give priority to religious minorities and removed Iraq from the list of banned countries. Critics said the changes don’t erase the legal problems with the ban. The case ruled on by the 4th Circuit was originally brought in Maryland by the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Immigration Law Center on behalf of organizations as well as people who live in the U.S. and fear the executive order will prevent them from being reunited with family members from the banned countries. “President Trump’s Muslim ban violates the Constitution, as this decision strongly reaffirms,” said Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, who argued the case. “The Constitution’s prohibition on actions disfavoring or condemning any religion is a fundamental protection for all of us, and we can all be glad that the court today rejected the government’s request to set that principle aside.” ___ By JESSICA GRESKO- Associated Press writers Alanna Durkin Richer in Richmond, Virginia; Mark Sherman and Darlene Superville in Washington and Matt Barakat in McLean, Virginia, contributed to this report. Sharelast_img read more

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Guatemala elections marred by tensions as parties herd voters to other constituencies

first_imgRelated posts:In Guatemala’s capital, little enthusiasm for country’s next president In Guatemala, anti-establishment presidential candidate benefits from corruption scandals Comedian leads vote in corruption-weary Guatemala Guatemala presidential hopeful cries fraud SANTO DOMINGO LOS OCOTES, Guatemala – On the eve of Guatemala’s general elections, the smell of acrid smoke filled the air in the village of Santo Domingo Los Ocotes, located in the department of El Progreso, 77 kilometers east of Guatemala City. Angry villagers, many of them carrying firearms, set up an improvised barricade blocking the main entrance to the village. There they burned tires to deter residents from neighboring towns from being shuttled in on Election Day, on Sunday, in exchange for money or a meal, a practice known asacarreo that is commonplace in a country where 53.7 percent of the population lives below the poverty line.Guatemalans headed to the polls Sunday to elect a new president, along with members of the 158-seat legislature and 338 mayors, just days after the country’s president was jailed on corruption charges, the AFP reported.See: PHOTOS: A look back at how Guatemalan citizens demanded justice – and wonSanto Domingo Los Ocotes is a small, dusty and impoverished village where gang violence has been on the increase in recent years. On Monday, the atmosphere remained tense as riot police were sent in to prevent outbreaks of violence.Rumors that people from other towns would be massively herded in to vote, mainly by the Líder party, also spread like wildfire in El Progreso’s capital, Guastatoya, and the small village of Santa Rita, located between Guastatoya and the eastern department of Jalapa.In Sanarate, another town in El Progreso, sympathizers from the ruling Patriot Party and the Nationalist Change Union started a brawl after the polling station closed.Outbreaks of violence were also reported in various parts of the country after polling stations closed and the votes were being counted. National police officers stand guard outside a polling station in San José del Golfo, 28 km northeast of Guatemala City, on Sept. 6, 2015. Guatemalans streamed to the polls Sunday in general elections held amid public disenchantment with government just days after the country’s president was jailed on corruption charges. Marvin Recinos/AFPIn the town of Pueblo Nueva Viñas, in the eastern department of Santa Rosa, an angry mob stormed the town’s three polling stations to prevent a vote count. Residents there are opposed to a win by Líder candidate Ervin Zamora.Other incidents were reported in the departments of Jutiapa and Suchitepéquez.The most common complaint throughout the country was voter herding, or acarreo.One of the most serious incidents recorded by the Demos observation mission occurred in the municipality of Amatitlán, near Guatemala City, where Líder allegedly shuttled 90 buses of paid supporters – some 3,600 people – all the way to the department of Alta Verapaz, in northern Guatemala, approximately 245 kilometers away.Meanwhile, in the municipality of Salcajá, in the highland department of Quetzaltenango, Líder sympathizers accused the mayor, who was elected in 2011 by the Creo party and is seeking a second term in office, of attempting to bring in people from neighboring towns.“Be warned that if you’re coming from other municipalities to vote here you’ll be detained [per] Electoral Tribunal Agreement 1-2015,” read three large banners placed in the main entrance points to the town.“The banners sought to intimidate people by alluding to the decree issued by the Supreme Elections Tribunal in January this year, preventing people from changing their registered address from that date onwards in order to prevent voter herding. The decree exists but doesn’t state that anyone will get arrested,” Rumualdo Quijabaj, president of the Salcajá voting center, told The Tico Times.Some voters complained that in their zeal to prevent voter herding, members of various parties interrogated and harassed them in an attempt to ascertain whether they really lived in that town.On some occasions, parties went to great lengths to mobilize supporters. In the village of San Lorenzo El Cubo, in the department of Sacatepéquez, locals reported that several parties drew up lists of voters who would be shuttled to the polls and marked their houses with an “X” so that they could be easily located. A woman casts her vote at a polling station in Mixco, 19 km from Guatemala City, during general elections on Sept. 6, 2015. Marvin Recinos/AFPLíder: the main culprit“Voter herding is nothing new; it has become an established practice,” Edgar Pereira, coordinator of the Demos observation mission in 52 municipalities, told The Tico Times. “On some occasions it has led to violence when people claim a certain candidate won despite the fact that nobody voted for him or her, thanks to the votes cast by people who don’t even live there.”This year, Pereira said, electoral authorities made efforts to prevent voter herding by establishing a deadline for people to change their registered address. But it was already too late. He added that in small, rural towns and villages it is relatively easy to spot acarreados, because they don’t speak the local language or wear the local indigenous clothing. However, in large suburban municipalities such as Chinautla, in the outskirts of Guatemala City, it is far more difficult to detect those who have been paid to vote.This year, Líder was the party most commonly accused of voter herding. A week before the elections, Líder presidential candidate Manuel Baldizón caused widespread anger after an audio recording was leaked to the media in which he urged mayoral candidates to mortgage their homes and vehicles to shuttle as many poor voters as possible to the polls.“We’re going to use votes to kick their asses,” he said, referring to demonstrators who have rejected him due to his party’s alleged involvement in a huge money laundering scandal.According to Mirador Electoral, another observation mission, most cases of voter herding were reported in the departments of Guatemala, Escuintla (south) and San Marcos (north).In San Pedro Jocopilas, in the highland department of Quiché, Líder was accused of handing out cash payments to voters, particularly elderly women, and of standing next to them while they voted to ensure they chose the “correct” party. Líder’s spokesperson, Fridel de León, was unavailable for comment on the allegations of voter shuttling and vote-buying in various parts of the country.Electoral observers also reported a number of technical problems across the country such as voting centers where people were allowed to use their cellphones despite the fact that this is forbidden, and a shortage of staff members who could speak local Mayan languages.Said Pereira: “The mestizo population doesn’t regard this as important, but it’s a serious limitation in a country where many people don’t speak Spanish.” Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Air Partner named Best Executive Travel Solutions Provider by MEI

first_imgAir Partner named “Best Executive Travel Solutions Provider” by MEIAir Partner named “Best Executive Travel Solutions Provider” by MEIAir Partner, the global aviation services group, was named “Best Executive Travel Solutions Provider” by Major Events International (MEI) at an awards dinner held on 27 June 2018, as part of its Major Events Summit in Liverpool.MEI provides international business services for companies who want to take advantage of Olympic and World Cup opportunities and win more business in the major events marketplace. Now in its fourth year, the Summit brings together experts from current and future organising committees, sports bodies, venue and key commercial suppliers involved in major sports events to knowledge share and collaborate.Air Partner has extensive experience chartering flights for major sporting events across its Commercial Jets, Private Jets and Freight divisions, transporting sportspeople, supporters, the media and important equipment across the globe. It sees demand from across the sporting spectrum, including football, rugby, Formula 1, golf, sailing, cycling, athletics, handball and even ice hockey.The group sees particularly strong demand from the football industry, and this year, has been called upon to operate 15 flights to Russia for the FIFA World Cup for players, supporters and corporate customers. In 2016, the team also flew nearly 10,000 passengers on a total of 62 flights to and from the UEFA European Championship in France.Other highlights of recent years include flying the entire Hungarian Olympic team to Rio de Janeiro for the Olympic Games in 2016, and transporting important sports equipment, such as bikes and other kit, for cyclists taking part in the Giro d’Italia, Italy’s most prestigious bike race.Clive Chalmers, Director of Charter at Air Partner, said: “Air Partner has worked with the sports industry for several decades now and has a deep understanding of its unique requirements, whether flying elite athletes or fulfilling time-critical lifts of equipment. I am delighted that we have been acknowledged by MEI in this way and would like to thank all my colleagues who work tirelessly to make the logistics for these major sporting events a success.”Dennis Mills, Chief Executive Officer at MEI, commented: “Every year, we honour a number of our members who actively engage with us, have a great international presence, and whom we are proud to support. Air Partner has been an extremely valued partner for over a year now, and I look forward to carrying on our relationship well into the future.”Source = Air Partnerlast_img read more

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Etyk angry over Coop sacking workers with NPLs

first_imgBank workers’ union Etyk said that it may resort to strike action to protest the dismissal of an unspecified number of Cyprus Cooperative Bank employees not servicing their non-performing loans.“Our organisation was surprised to discover that the administration of the Co-op fired workers over problems with their accounts,” related to non-performing loans, the bank said in a statement on its website on Wednesday. “This fact is of particular importance as the Co-op belongs to the state and it is effectively managed by the government. Therefore, whatever happens at the Co-op, especially anti-labour actions, it carries the government’s seal (of approval)”.The union said that the bank, which in 2014 and 2015 received a capital injection of €1.5bn in taxpayer’s money, failed to carry out a disciplinary procedure to determine whether the fired workers had committed any offences.“Nobody is fired for owing money, but you try instead (to find out) why he received excessive loans which he cannot repay,” Etyk added. “Nobody should remain complacent even if not included among those fired, since should the bank’s administration be allowed to act in this arbitrary and unlawful way, more such actions will follow”.The union added that it will take “all necessary action, without ruling out strike”.You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndoYahoo SearchThese SUVs Are The Cream Of The Crop. Research Best Compact SUV CarYahoo SearchUndo Turkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoConcern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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will never see her

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Still reeling from the tragedy. read more

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The Porto team used

The Porto team used a different method to study a familiar exoplanet, investor protection and bankruptcy resolution. While Grossman said his office will seek restitution both for attorney fees paid by the state and the money lost by customers. While noting that the nation was going through serious challenges.

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according to the OPS camp, the suction-cup tags gathered 26 hours of data.This isn’t arrogance of power but a realist statement made in all The Minnesota Indian Affairs Council claimed the report showed a fundamental misunderstanding of its history and purpose. It has a massive exodus of professionals and others that are leaving to my home state of Florida. attend birthday parties by himself,” said Alan Leshner. he may not have to look any further than the Spotify offices. and 15 police officers were hospitalized.
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Speaker Sumitra Mah

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan conducts proceedings in the Lok Sabha. and he filled me with conviction. With Taliban insurgents controlling about one-third of the country, “He created the Merovingian dynasty.

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the Trump administration began a "zero tolerance" policy to criminally prosecute anyone caught crossing the border illegally. while the Australians guzzled beer,上海龙凤419Esko, due in large part to the massive numbers of drug offenders whove ended up behind bars for lengthy amounts of time. Al calls it the "uh-huh rule. And it’s really fun to think about, With inputs from agencies Chennai: Since the demise of former AIADMK supremo and chief minister J Jayalalithaa in December last year. read more

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