Lebanon donor conference Darfur conflict to feature in Ban Kimoons first overseas

18 January 2007The reconstruction of Lebanon, the conflict in Darfur and the situation in Somalia will be on the agenda when Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon heads to Europe and Africa next week for his first overseas visit since taking the reins at the United Nations on 1 January. Mr. Ban’s first stop will be Brussels, where he will meet European Commission officials and Hans-Gert Pöttering, the President of the European Parliament, as well as Belgium’s King Albert II and its Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt.The Secretary-General’s spokesperson Michele Montas told journalists today that Mr. Ban will then head to Paris to participate in a conference, to be hosted by French President Jacques Chirac, on the reconstruction and redevelopment of Lebanon following last year’s war between Hizbollah and the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF).The Lebanese Government is expected to present an economic reform plan to the conference that will include measures to tackle the country’s debt sustainability problem and restore its foundations for achieving sustained financial growth.Mr. Ban then travels to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), home of the largest UN peacekeeping operation in the world, where he hopes to hold talks with President Joseph Kabila on continuing the process of democratization after decades of war, dictatorship and misrule in the vast African country. He also plans to meet peacekeepers to express his personal gratitude for their efforts.Ms. Montas said Mr. Ban will travel next to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for the African Union (AU) summit, where the conflict in Darfur and the situation in Somalia are expected to dominate the agenda.The final stop on the trip will be in Nairobi, where the Secretary-General is scheduled to meet staff at the UN regional office.Ms. Montas also confirmed that Mr. Ban will attend a meeting of the Middle East diplomatic Quartet – which comprises the UN, the European Union, the United States and Russia – that is slated to be held in Washington, D.C., on 2 February. read more

UN experts voice significant concern over legal rights of Italys migrant detainees

The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention examined the level of freedom in centres for irregular migrants and asylum-seekers during a two-week official visit to Rome, Naples, Milan and eastern Sicily that ended today.At a press conference in Rome, members of the working group noted that the Italian Government had largely ignored the findings and recommendations of a 2006 commission it had established to study the legal basis under which detainees are kept in special centres set up for migrants and asylum-seekers are detained. Although the group described the answers it received from Italian authorities and civil society regarding the massive recent influx of migrants escaping war, persecution and poverty searching for a better life as “admirable,” the experts warned the “strength of commitment of a government to human rights – among them due process guarantees – is really put to the test when faced with a real or perceived emergency.”According to the experts, Italy currently faces three emergencies: the fight against mafia crimes, the alleged rise in common criminality by illegal immigrants, and the post-11 September 2001 threat of international terrorism. Citing a recent amendment to the criminal code making the status of foreigners living in Italy without a permit an aggravating circumstance for any offence as an example, the working group said the Government had resorted to “extraordinary measures involving the deprivation of liberty” in response to the country’s emergencies.“In other words, if an Italian citizen and an irregularly present foreigner steal a car together, the foreigner is to receive a significantly higher sentence than the Italian,” explained Aslan Abashidze, one of the independent experts on the working group. The investigation of the working group – which reports to the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council – paid particular attention to the situation of detainees belonging to vulnerable groups, including juvenile offenders and persons living with mental disabilities. “We are very impressed with Italy’s juvenile justice system,” said Mr. Abashidze, adding that “Italy could serve as a model to many other countries in this respect.” 14 November 2008A group of independent United Nations experts today expressed “significant human rights concerns” over the legal rights of irregular migrants and asylum-seekers in Italy, while otherwise acknowledging the strength of the country’s judicial system. read more

Convicted fraudster Alena Pastuch hopes to serve time in healing lodge

As one of the victims of her $5.5-million investor fraud stated, Alena Marie Pastuch never apologized throughout the 12-year ordeal  — at least, not until Thursday when she expressed remorse, and sought to serve her time in a healing lodge.“I’m sorry for what happened,” said the 54-year-old disgraced businesswoman, appearing in Regina court via video link from Prince Albert’s Pine Grove Correctional Centre. “I feel badly for the impact this has had on their lives. And I appreciate how this affected other people, and their losses.”There were only a couple of victims in the courtroom to hear her slightly muffled words.Pastuch was virtually unseen throughout Thursday’s proceedings. Her long, greying hair covered her face when she rose at the start and end of court; and throughout the three hours of sentencing submissions she sat completely bent over in a black office chair, so only a sliver of her grey sweatshirt was visible on the camera. She remained folded over, as if picking up something from the floor, revealing only the crown of her head and nape of her neck at times, even as she made her brief apology.Her lawyer Kevin Hill, appearing on her behalf in Regina, explained Pastuch was more comfortable in that position due to a medical condition.Hill urged the judge to impose a six-year, three-month prison sentence, adding Pastuch also wants the judge to recommend Correctional Service Canada allow her to serve at a healing lodge for women near Maple Creek (the recommendation wouldn’t be binding). However, Crown prosecutor Dana Brule argued for 10 years in prison, less credit of three months for remand time served, plus a restitution order and a fine, given case precedents, the offence, and circumstances, including her efforts to “thwart” investigators and an 80-day trial.Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Richard Elson is expected to give his decision Friday morning.Pastuch has been in custody since June 27 when Elson revoked bail after finding the Regina woman guilty of fraud, theft and money laundering, although he stayed the latter two charges as duplications of the fraud.Between 2007 and 2009, when a cease-trade order was issued against her and her five companies, Pastuch took in $5,523,507 from investors who believed their savings would grow in the development and sale of anti-fraud and child protection technology. Even in their victim-impact statements, some said they still believed the concept was good, even if Pastuch wasn’t.But Brule noted, as fast as the money flowed in, it drained out to pay for Pastuch living the high life — gambling, staying in expensive hotels in Vegas, Banff and Los Angeles, travelling, buying high-end clothing, and financing a house and car. She used investor money to promote a rock band, including their trip to Disneyland, and to buy collectibles for her re-sale business. Only $137,097 has ever been recovered, and an expert, by a generous accounting, estimated only $455,000 could be considered business expenses. Alena Marie Pastuch leaves Court of Queen’s Bench in September 2018 after what was to be the start of her fraud trial in Regina. Don Healy / Regina Leader-Post Although there are approximately 80 victims, only 18 submitted victim-impact statements, which Brule read in court. They reflected betrayal, anger, and loss. Many investors were Pastuch’s relatives or their friends, and they knew Pastuch as a respected, successful person who came from a “good” family built on religious faith and values. They felt deceived by her, and ashamed they encouraged others to join the promising investment Pastuch touted as “zero risk” and guaranteed.“They say pay it forward. In our case pay it back,” pleaded a victim-impact statement from a couple who lost $50,000.One man, an oilfield worker, said he’s barely making ends meet and could have used the $50,000 nest egg he entrusted to Pastuch. “It was my future,” he said. “It was a selfish, awful crime that was done to so many decent, honest people.”Another man, now in his 70s, was forced to sell his vacation mobile home in Arizona and take out a home mortgage after losing $200,000. “My retirement is not what I envisioned,” he wrote.A couple who lost the most  — $1.26 million from selling their farm — dreamed of spending retirement working for charity, travelling and helping family. Instead they kept their jobs and sought therapy after being duped, buying into “a figment of (Pastuch’s) imagination.” TROY FLEECE / Regina Leader-Post Alena Pastuch as she appeared in Regina while attending court in February 2014. While Pastuch represented herself during the trial, Hill came on board for sentencing submissions. Using the words “subjective delusion,” he said people can start a business with the best of intentions and “these things can easily get out of control.”Elson noted Pastuch has often presented herself as though she’s the victim, accusing securities regulators of deception and the RCMP of shoddy work. But Hill said his conversations with her revolved around her remorse and regret.In suggesting some leniency, Hill said she suffers from PTSD, worsened by the criminal proceedings and the “public shaming” by publicity. But Brule said the Crown won’t concede her illness in the absence of concrete evidence.“This court is not in a position to diagnose Ms. Pastuch,” he added.After her apology, Pastuch, still hunched over and headless on the screen, had the last say: “I had PTSD prior to the legal stuff and it turned into complex PTSD, which is a completely different diagnosis. That’s all.”TIMELINEJan. 2008: inquiry to Saskatchewan Financial Services Commission (now known as Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority) sparks a securities investigationNov. 2, 2009: first cease-trade order issued against Alena Pastuch and her companiesApril 2010: complaints to RCMP spark separate but related criminal investigation into Pastuch and companiesAug. 27, 2010: notice of hearing issued in securities investigation, setting out Securities Act allegationsDec. 5, 2012: after several interim applications and appeals, securities hearing gets underway; closing arguments filed in January 2014 after several delays and motionsJune 4, 2014: Pastuch arrested on criminal charges of fraud, theft and money launderingJune 5, 2014: Pastuch makes first appearance in provincial court on criminal charges, granted release under strict conditionsJuly 23, 2014: three-member panel issues decision finding Pastuch committed several Securities Act violationsAug. 7, 2014: Pastuch files appeal of securities decisionDec. 18, 2014: on Securities Act violations, Pastuch and her companies ordered to pay $146,638 in administrative penalties and hearing costs, and compensation of up to $100,000 to each person or company that suffered a financial loss as a result of those violationsJan. 2, 2015: sanctions decision appealed; sanctions put on hold pending outcome of appealMarch 14, 2018: Sask. Court of Appeal hearing on Securities Act violationsOct. 15, 2018: opening day of Court of Queen’s Bench criminal trialFeb. 27, 2019: Day 80 of the criminal trial, Pastuch opts to call no witnesses or testify after prosecution closes caseMarch 5, 2019: Crown prosecutor Dana Brule makes closing argument; Pastuch follows with hers on March 8March 29, 2019: Sask. Court of Appeal upholds Securities Act violations and penaltiesJune 6, 2019: Sask. Court of Appeal rejects application for rehearing of securities appealJune 7, 2019: Pastuch revisits application for mistrial or stay of proceedings on criminal chargesJune 27, 2019: Guilty verdict on criminal chargesAug. 15, 2019: Sentencing submissions madebpacholik@postmedia.com read more

NFL Week 9 Playoff Implications A Crucial Week For The Saints And

Week 8 of the NFL season was rough for the Carolina Panthers. On Sunday, they squandered a chance to steal a win against the suddenly vulnerable Seattle Seahawks, losing 13-9 at home. That night, the Saints — Carolina’s only NFC South rival of consequence — routed the Green Bay Packers 44-23. The Panthers’ lead in the NFC South is now so small it actually takes some arithmetic to determine that their 3-4-1 record is superior to the Saints’ 3-4 mark.Going into Week 8, we estimated the Panthers’ playoff probability to be 55 percent.1As a reminder, playoff probabilities for this article are derived from a betting-market-based ranking system that is separate from FiveThirtyEight’s Elo-based playoff probabilities. In the case of the Panthers, the estimates did not differ much, with the Elo rankings giving Carolina a 60 percent chance of making the playoffs. But with our latest simulations, that number has tumbled to 30 percent. Only about half of this drop can be attributed to game outcomes and resulting win-loss-tie records. The remainder of it is due to an update to the rankings (derived from Vegas point spreads), which has widened the gulf between the Panthers and the Saints.But this week, the Panthers have an opportunity to claw back some of their losses. On Thursday night, they host the Saints at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. As you can see in the above charts, the Saints and Panthers each have 32 percentage points of playoff probability riding on this game. This is a remarkably large number at the midpoint of the season.Several factors have combined to make this game a perfect storm of playoff implications. First, the Panthers’ tie game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 6 renders the divisional tiebreakers moot, removing a layer of uncertainty from our projections and throwing the playoff implications into starker relief. The NFC South also exists in its own playoff bubble, quarantined from the rest of the NFC (see the NFC chart above — the South is surrounded by a healthy buffer of gray cells). The second-best team from the NFC South is unlikely to contend for one of the two wild card seeds, making playoff probability synonymous with division title probability. With fewer teams with which to exchange playoff probabilities, the amount of each weekly probability “swap” becomes that much larger. And finally, the Panthers and Saints go into Thursday night’s game with near-identical records, thus the winner will emerge with sole possession of the lead in the NFC South.In the AFC, the game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens in the North is similar. It’s also a divisional matchup with significant implications for the participating teams, and little to no consequence for the rest of the league.At the opposite end of the spectrum, we have Sunday’s game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Houston Texans. This game features a total playoff swing of 73 percentage points split among 19 NFL teams. More than half the league has a rooting interest in the outcome. As one would expect, AFC teams do better with a Houston loss and NFC teams do better with a Philadelphia loss. Somewhat surprisingly, the Dallas Cowboys’ playoff hopes only swing by a relatively small amount, despite being in a tight race with the Eagles for the NFC East title. The reason for the relatively low stakes is that a win by the Eagles largely trades division title probability for wild card probability. An Eagles win would drop the Cowboys’ division title chances from 48 percent to 42 percent, but their wild card outlook would increase from 30 percent to 34 percent, resulting in a net playoff loss of only 2 percentage points.The most anticipated game of the week figures to be Sunday’s matchup between the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots. But in terms of playoff implications, the latest iteration of the Brady-Manning rivalry ranks fairly low. The Broncos are a virtual lock for the playoffs in our simulations. A loss to New England would be but a scratch, dropping their playoff prospects from 99 percent to 98 percent. The stakes are higher for the Patriots but far from make or break. A loss would drop their playoff chances from 79 percent to 73 percent.This game does have a significant impact on the race for the top playoff seed in the AFC. Going into Week 9, the Broncos are the clear favorite, with a 79 percent chance of winning the No. 1 seed. If New England is able to pull off a victory at home, the race opens up considerably. The Broncos’ chances drop to 59 percent, with the benefit largely accruing to the Patriots: The Patriots’ top-seed probability would increase from 9 percent to 21 percent. And because the first tiebreaker used is head-to-head matchups, a win against the Broncos is worth two games to the Patriots.A New England victory would also increase the Colts’ chances from 4 percent to 7 percent. The Colts opened the season with a loss to the Broncos, thus the head-to-head tiebreaker works against them here. The chart below summarizes the anticipated top-seed probabilities under both outcomes of the Denver-New England matchup.Our game summary table features some new columns this week. Each game’s impact to the finer points of playoff seeding is also assessed and summarized. The Ravens-Steelers game has the largest impact on division title probabilities (seeds No. 1 through 4). The Cardinals-Cowboys game is most consequential for which teams qualify for a first-round bye (seeds No. 1 and 2). And as we have already called out, the Broncos-Patriots game has the largest impact on which team gets the top conference playoff seed. NFL Playoff Implications, our weekly guide to what games matter, and whom they matter to, returns for Week 9 of the NFL season. For an explanation of the methodology, see here. The rankings behind these probabilities can be found here, at the co-author’s blog. read more

Baseball a sport unlike any other

The baseball postseason begins this week and people don’t seem to be excited about it. It’s understandable. Maybe your team didn’t make it or maybe your obsession with Ohio State football supersedes all other sports in your life (as it does for me). However, I can think of one reason everyone should be excited about watching the best of the best play America’s past-time: cotton candy. That’s right, those delicious balls of sugar remind me why baseball is great. Let me explain. I attended a Reds game with my family in July of 1997. The team was struggling through the season, virtually out of the playoff race. As an 8-year-old, I wasn’t concerned and was happy to spend a day at the ballpark. In the middle of the game, I talked my parents into buying me some cotton candy. After thoroughly enjoying the treat, my hands were a sticky mess. Because sticky fingers are an enormous pet peeve of mine (and still are to this day), I left to wash my hands between innings, assuming I wouldn’t miss anything important. As I was drying my hands, I heard the crowd erupt with applause and ran back to my seat. I was too late. I had missed seeing Deion Sanders hit an inside-the-park home run, one of the rarest feats in sports. Both my parents and my sister, who cares nothing about sports, got to witness the event. I was crushed. I have been to countless major and minor league games since 1997 and have never seen an inside-the-park home run live. I have never seen it while watching a live broadcast of a game. I have also refused to eat cotton candy since that day in 1997. Baseball is the only sport that could cause me, at 8 years old, to begin a 13-year boycott of cotton candy. In no other sport can a miraculous, mind-blowing play come out of nowhere, in a seemingly meaningless inning in a meaningless game. Don’t get me wrong — all sports can produce miraculous plays. However, ridiculous dunks in basketball and stupendous catches in football are becoming more and more commonplace. And yes, last-second shots and Hail Mary passes are unbelievable live, but who would get out of their seats in the closing minutes of a game when the potential for such a play exists? No true fan. True sports fans watch for the miraculous moment to happen for their teams, and baseball is the only sport that could deliver such a moment in such a way. Despite the unimportance of the timing, the significance of the play I missed has stuck with me to this day. Until I see an inside-the-park home run live, I will not be eating any cotton candy. So if you’re contemplating whether to watch the MLB postseason and you are truly a sports fan, just remember cotton candy and flip on the game. read more

Portal is being ported to the Nintendo DS unofficially

first_imgHardware manufacturers have increasingly been implementing security to try and stop their consoles and handheld device being jailbroken. The main reason for this is the threat of piracy, but a locked down system also means there’s little opportunity for homebrew developers to experiment.Thankfully, that’s not the case with the now ageing Nintendo DS. Being able to work with the DS has allowed developer Smea to put together the groundwork for an unofficial port of Portal running on the handheld.Smea has been working on the port since September last year, and as the videos above demonstrate, he’s been making quite a lot of progress. The latest build has mainly been cosmetic with the addition of shading, object outlines, and making the portals look better, but he’s got rigid body physics working with up to 16 objects, he’s managed to steadily increase the size of the play area with each build, and is satisfied with how the portal shooting is handled.Portal DS, as it is tentatively being called, is “nowhere near playable” in its current form according to Smea, but he’s confident that’s going to change soon. He has an artist joining the team this month to help with the graphics, and hopes to focus on engine development from now on.If he manages to get it running at a decent frame rate we could have a homebrew game worth playing at some point this year. I doubt Valve will take a dim view of such work, and who knows, they may even support Smea if he manages to implement a good chunk of the original Portal game.last_img read more

Zalman launches worlds first CPU liquid cooler using nanofluids

first_imgThe options for air and water cooling your CPU have expanded greatly over the years. It’s now possible to get some very quiet air cooling solutions, but the trade off is that the heatsink you fit inside your case is very large and heavy. Water cooling on the other hand may be more expensive, but it is quieter and moves the bulk away from your CPU. It’s also improving, as Zalman has just demonstrated with the announcement of the Reserator 3.Zalman is claiming that the Reserator 3 is the world’s first liquid cooler to use nanofluids. What’s that then? It involves adding refrigerant nanoparticles to the fluid that gets pumped around inside the cooler transporting the heat produced by a CPU to the radiator and fan where it is expelled.By using the so-called nanofluid, Zalman believes it can offer better cooling, and rates the Reserator 3 as offering up to 400W of cooling while remaining very quiet. The fluid and pump is supplemented by a dual copper radiator design and “quadro cooling path,” which consists of two copper pipes sitting behind the fan and surrounded by the radiators. The heatsink sitting on top of the CPU is a micro-fin copper base allowing very quick transfer of heat to the nanofluid above.The Reserator 3 pumps up to 90 liters of water every hour, and if you want extra cooling you can attach a second 120mm fan to the radiator section. It also ships with plates to fit most chips, with support confirmed for Intel 2011, 1366, 1155/1156, 1150, 775 sockets and AMD FM2, FM1, AM3+, AM3, AM2+, and AM2 sockets.We don’t have a release date or price yet, unfortunately, but the fact the Reserator 3 has appeared on Zalman’s website means it can’t be too far off seeing a release.last_img read more

Greek culture first global culture

first_imgHellenism’s impact on Asia and the Islamic world was the subject of the latest history seminar organised by GOCMV last week, with Seoul-born Dr Hyun Jin Kim revealing the lesser-known facts of ancient Greece’s relationship to Asiatic cultures.In his presentation in Melbourne, Dr Kim unveiled the ‘heirs’ to the Greek political and cultural tradition were far beyond Europe’s borders – from the diffusion of Alexander romances in medieval Eurasia, to the impact of Hellenic traditions on India and East Asia, along with the fusion of Greek, Iranian and Indian cultural influences which gave rise to Gandhara Buddhist art.The essence of his presentation was that the influence of Greek civilisation was never confined to Western Europe.“The spread of Hellenistic culture into Inner Asia and India in the fourth to first centuries BC brought about a remarkable fusion of Asian and Greek cultures, which continues to impact on the lives of all Asians,” said Dr Kim. “Even China, long thought to be isolated from the rest of Eurasia, was not immune to Greek influence. Greek culture was indeed the first global culture.”The Oxford University-trained academic (now lecturing at the University of Melbourne) said that traditional ideas of Greek cultural influence being largely confined to Europe needed to be rethought. “The civilisations of the world in recorded history never existed in splendid isolation. It wasn’t just medieval Europeans who eagerly embraced the Hellenic legacy of Alexander and his successors. In fact Islamised Alexander romances were being written all over the Muslim world during the Middle Ages.” In a detailed and passionate account of the precedents set by ancient Greece to non-European and non-western cultures, Dr Kim spoke of the importance of the Classics and Greek history as “relevant not just to a few, an arguably ever-shrinking group of devotees in universities in Europe and the US, but to a potential future audience numbering – let’s say optimistically three billion – in Asia and Africa”. Dr Kim said it was vital “to overcome the insularity that has far too often become associated with the Classics and by illuminating the interconnectivity of the Eurasian world in antiquity and the critical role of Greco-Roman civilisation within it, reiterate the fact that the Classics are relevant to the modern world, precisely because it is the heritage not just of the West but the whole civilised world of Eurasia”. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Long Bay Leeward having New Years on the Beach

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 08 Jan 2016 – It will be a New Year’s party for Leeward and Long Bay district families as Deputy Premier and Member of Parliament, Hon Akierra Missick this week shared that the party will take place on Long Bay Beach from 1-6pm tomorrow, January 9th. Hon Missick’s Constituency Council says, expect loads of food & drinks, beach Olympics and gifts for the children among the activities. Education Minister tours schools this week Recommended for you Ministry of Education introduces pilot program Related Items:akierra missick, beach party, leeward, long bay hills Education Minister touts new ICT platform for Public Schools Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img read more

State Supreme Court Hears SameSex Survivor Benefits Case

first_imgThe Alaska Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in a case that challenges whether or not same-sex couples should receive survivor benefits.Download AudioDeborah Harris’ long-term partner Kerry Fadely was shot and killed when working at Millennium Hotel in 2011. According to Alaska law, spouses receive survivor benefits if their husband or wife is killed from a work-related injury. Same-sex couples do not because same-sex marriage is illegal in Alaska.Harris said after her partner was killed, she had to leave their home because she did not receive the benefits.“I still don’t have a home, not really…” she haltingly told the press after the oral arguments closed. “I work on the Slope for three weeks because housing’s included. And the other three weeks I stay with my children still, because you know, you don’t plan on these things happening, so you don’t have the resources…”Attorney Donald Thomas argued on behalf of Millennium Hotel, which declined to provide Harris with death benefits. “Thus if the marriage amendment is precluding same sex couples from marriage, it is inherently, implicitly denying them – any person who’s not validly married, the rights and benefits of marriage,” he told the Court.Lambda Legal staff attorney Peter Renn represented Harris. He said same-sex couples are denied the same safety nets as opposite-sex couples.“State law absolutely discriminates against loving, committed same-sex couples in this context, and it has absolutely no reason for doing so,” he told the press after the arguments finished.Renn said the case is not directly challenging the same-sex marriage ban, but the Court could choose to take up the matter. “We’ve given the Court an option of menus. It could take a smaller bite and decide only the death benefits issue that is raised here for Ms. Harris. But it could also decide to take a somewhat broader step and declare the marriage amendment itself unconstitutional. So that is available to them. They could go there.”This is the third case before the state’s Supreme Court that has challenged unequal benefits for same-sex couples. In both 2005 and 2014 the court ruled that same-sex couples should not be discriminated against. However, the Court did not strike down the marriage ban amendment.Renn said the Court will likely issue a ruling late this year or early next year.Monday five couples filed a case in federal district court directly challenging the ban. A circuit court in Arkansas overruled that state’s same-sex marriage ban last week.last_img read more

9th Agriculture Leadership Conclave 2019 Kicks Off

first_imgNew Delhi: Ninth Agriculture Leadership Conclave 2019 kicked off in New Delhi today. Agriculture Today Group President Dr M J Khan addressing the 9th Agriculture Leadership Conclave 2019 said ‘Agriculture Today’, a premier agriculture monthly led by Agriculture Today Group, has been the voice of farmers for the last many years. The Group also was instrumental in organising such events where all the stakeholders could be brought to one platform to deliberate upon. Also Read – Dehydrated elephant being given treatment Advertise With Us The Group President said he and his organisation Indian Council of Food and Agriculture (ICFA) has been instrumental in various government policy formulation regarding agriculture and allied sectors for the last few years. Farmer+ project was also launched under the recommendation of ICFA, he observed. Dr MJ Khan, Chairman, Indian Council of Food & Agriculture said: “We should create an ecosystem where Production, Market, Value Addition, Exports – all to be taken into consideration. Also, we need to concentrate on post production policy.” Also Read – CBI carrying out surprise checks at 150 government departments Advertise With Us Dr Ashok Dalwai, CEO, NRAA speaking on the occasion said: “We need to bring climate change into consideration. Also, there is a need to look at farm produce from farmers gate to exports.” “Food security has become basic demand or we say need of the hour. We need to redefine marketing and re-mandate agriculture,” Dr Dalwai noted. “We cannot tie farmers to food security, otherwise farmers won’t get benefit out of it. How climate change can be mitigated and agricultural can be made a win-win venture,” Dr Dalwai, who is the Chairman of Task Force on Doubling Farmers Income, added. Advertise With Us Dr Srikanta K Panigrahi, DG, Indian Institute of Sustainable Development, said: “We need to look into sustainable agriculture so that country’s food security can be secured.” Dr Douglas Ry Wagner, President, International Agribusiness, AlgaEnergy, Spainalso spoke on sustainable agriculture and said this can only preserve food security. Agriculture Today Yearbook was also launched on this occasion. Delete Edit PreviousNext Prof Panjab Singh, President, National Academy of Agriculture Sciences (NAAS) said the major challenge before the country is to feed 1.7 billion people. Science needs to find solutions for futuristic agriculture and create jobs outside agriculture within the village only, Prof Singh added. A few other sessions on ‘Fostering Farmer-Industry Partnership for Agrarian Prosperity’ and ‘Role of States and Institutions in Transforming Agriculture’ were held during the Conclave. Asitava Sen, CEO, CropLife India said: “We need to identify few strategic crops where India has advantage, and by building strategy and partnership we can achieve good result and success.” CropLife India is engaged in many activities so that farmers get best in class produce at the right time. “How India can adopt international experiences that we also need to look at,” Mr Sen noted.last_img read more

UNICEF to set up 1300 schools for Rohingya children

first_imgUNICEF on Friday announced that it would establish more than 1,300 new learning centres for Rohingya children who have fled Myanmar to Bangladesh.United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) is currently running 182 learning centres in Rohingya camps and makeshift settlements in Cox’s Bazar, and has enrolled 15,000 children, says a UNICEF press release.It plans to increase the number of learning centres to 1,500, to reach 200,000 children over the next year.“It is critical that these children, who have suffered so much in this crisis should have access to education in a safe and nurturing environment,” said Edouard Beigbeder, UNICEF representative in Bangladesh.“This is critical not just to provide them with a much-needed sense of normalcy now, but so that they can build a future to look forward to.”The learning centres provide early education to children aged 4 to 6, as well as non-formal basic education to children from ages 6 to 14.In each learning centre there are three shifts, with each shift comprising of 35 children.Children learn Bengali, English, Math, Burmese, Science, Arts and Anthems in the learning centres.Children also receive psychosocial counselling, and are taught hygiene and life skills. The children are given books, pens, colouring pencils, school bags and other educational materials.Over a quarter of a million Rohingya children have fled Myanmar into Cox’s Bazar since 25 August.last_img read more

Reinterpreting music Sufistically

first_imgHis house resonated with the sound of tabla, immersing him in music during his formative years. Son of the renowned tabla player Pandit Shankar Ghosh, Bickram Ghosh carries on the family tradition with his experimental take on Indian classical and folk music. Adding zing to Sufi music this time around he is geared up  to take the audience through a journey where Sufi meets the new and rhythm-heavy sound. Ghosh and his entourage bring you Sufusion as a part of the 14th Annual Sangeet Mahotsav here in the Capital on 2 June at Kamani Auditorium. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’How did a chance encounter with Parvati Kumari lay the foundation for Sufusion ?I met Parvati through the CEO of a music company. She will be one of the lead vocalists for Sufusion. She has this earthy tone to her voice; not  like one of your pop singers, who also wants to delve into Sufi, but a raw and traditional Sufi artist. I have always had a desire to work on this format of music. With Parvati on board, we took a step forward. Is your original brand of music way different from the form that Delhites are going to listen to? Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixWell, let me take you back in early 2000 when we formed our band Rhythmscape. We were striving to reinterpret Indian music through our style and that’s what has given an edgy image to the band. We produce a modern take on Indian classical and folk music. On stage, we like to keep the performance flowing, so we jam instead of playing a regular lineup of music.And should we expect some Sufi-tabla jamming sessions this time around?Now, that’s the tricky part. We wanted to maintain our style here but were caught up with the question of justifying the lyrical Sufi music through jamming? That’s where we have Shankha, our dholak player, coming in. Our finale act is always a jam, no matter what. That’s where dholak, an integral part of Sufi music, will feature in the jamming session. Besides the show, we would like to know about your early days as a tabla player. Making a foray into music was a family tradition or a personal choice?I was always drawn to music, and how couldn’t I be. During my growing up years, our house was always swarming with people from musical background. I studied English literature but was trained into percussion as well. I took up a career in music after college. During the late 90’s, the idea of fusion as an element in music picked up force. I would say, Rahul Sharma, Taufiq Querishi and I were the new face of changing form of music from our generation. What’s the road ahead from here on?I still remember the time when Pt. Ravi Shankar asked me to perform with him in Brussels back in 1993, giving me a day’s notice. It was unbelievable. It kicked off my 11 years long working relationship with the maestro. Now, apart from experimenting with different genres, I am also mainstreaming my music through films. Having worked on the music of bollywood movies, such as Jal and Super Se Upar. In my next venture, I am collaborating with Sonu Nigam for the album ‘Heart and beat’.last_img read more

City back to normal within hours after mass rally

first_imgKolkata: Robust arrangements made by the Kolkata Police ensured a smooth and hassle-free Martyrs’ Day rally on Saturday that was attended by lakhs of people who came from all across the state.The top brass of the city police had chalked out a detailed plan for crowd management to ensure the security of people and most importantly, regulate the traffic movement when lakhs of people begin to march towards the venue on Saturday.Rajeev Kumar, Commissioner of Police and Supratim Sarkar, Joint Commissioner of Police (Headquarters) accompanied by other senior police officers visited the venue on Friday morning and inspected all arrangements. Sources said stress was given on the security aspect of the VIPs, who were on the stage and also those attending the rally. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeBesides bringing the entire area under the coverage of surveillance cameras, concerned policemen kept a constant watch over the situation to ensure that no untoward incident takes place during the rally. The police had also taken precautionary steps to avoid any trouble that could have been triggered by rumours and could prove fatal.With the proper execution of the plan, people have not faced any inconvenience in reaching the venue. At the same time, they were provided with the necessary guidance to return home without facing any trouble. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedTrinamool Congress volunteers in yellow T-shirts were found assisting the police to guide people as and when required. There were ambulances at every crucial junction and without facing any restrictions, they operated smoothly at the rally.The police had also maintained a vigil along river Hooghly and necessary steps were taken for the security of the party workers who reached Kolkata by boat. There were many party workers who came by crossing Hooghly on boats, from Howrah and Hooghly districts.The police had to divert several vehicles when lakhs of party workers headed towards Esplanade in processions.But within minutes after the meeting, the police managed to allow plying of vehicles on almost all the major thoroughfares. It helped the party workers as well to return home without facing any inconvenience.last_img read more

THAI introduces THAI Gift Voucher

first_imgTHAI introduces THAI Gift VoucherTHAI introduces THAI Gift VoucherThai Airways International Public Company Limited (THAI) introduced the THAI Gift Voucher, a special gift for loved ones that can be the perfect gift to mark New Year 2018. The voucher can be used in place of cash to purchase an air ticket or THAI products and may be bought during 1-30 December 2017.Mr. Wiwat Piyawiroj, THAI Acting Executive Vice President, Commercial Department, said that the THAI Gift Voucher is a cash card that may be used as a New Year gift or for other special occasions. Customers can use this voucher for any payment to THAI of equivalent value or may be combined with cash or credit card when purchasing an air ticket on any route, Royal Orchid Holiday tour packages, and THAI Shop products. The THAI Gift Voucher may be used to purchase gifts at any THAI sales office throughout Thailand from 1 December 2017 to 30 June 2018. The gift voucher is available in a selection of three packages, complete with a specially designed envelope:1. Gift Voucher valued at 3,000 Baht, with three vouchers valued at 1,000 Baht each2. Gift Voucher valued at 5,000 Baht, with one voucher valued at 5,000 Baht 3. Gift Voucher valued at 10,000 Baht, with one voucher valued at 10,000 Baht, with a price reduction of three percent equivalent to a value of 9,700 BahtCustomers may purchase the THAI Gift Voucher at THAI sales offices throughout Thailand. For more information, call the THAI Contact Center at Tel. 02-356-1111 (24 hours a day) or visit thaiairways.comSource = THAIlast_img read more

The RMBS Markets 2018 Outlook Know the Risks

first_img 2018 Moody’s Investor Service Mortgage-Backed Securities Outlook RMBS 2017-12-08 Dean Terrell Share The RMBS Market’s 2018 Outlook: Know the Risks December 8, 2017 706 Views center_img Moody’s Investors Service released its residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) 2018 Outlook recently, showing projections for the RMBS market in year to come. The report summarizes how lenders will issue several different types of loans and deals, particularly regarding issuances of new deal types. The report also covers the collateral quality of prime jumbo deals, re-performing/non-performing loans (RPL and NPL), non-prime RMBS, and the credit quality of single-family rental (SFR) transactions.As performance remains steady amid strong housing and macroeconomic fundamentals, 2018 issuance will include new deals from issuers backed by a wider array of assets. RPLs and NPLs will diversify more as transactions include more types of loans and issuance volume remains high. While the RMBS market will remain stable, it’s worth mentioning that new performance risks will emerge, mainly regarding RPL/NPL transactions. This is due to the variation of servicing practices and collateral composition these loans carry. According to the Moody’s analysis, deals “backed by large percentages of modified loans with looming interest rate step-ups, weak payment histories at issuance, and/or serviced with weaker loss mitigation practices will be at higher risk of an increase in delinquencies.”SFR transaction credit quality will continue to improve on issuer’s operational efficiencies, but issuance will remain low due to consolidation and emergence of alternative forms of financing. SFR’s strong credit performance will continue thanks to stable vacancy rates and strong rental demand driving rents higher across the country. Prime jumbo deals’ collateral quality, as well as GSE credit risk transfers, will weaken somewhat as lenders intend to ease credit standards.Regarding servicing, errors should remain low as controls are put in place to address regulatory changes. The changes put forth by the CFPB should drive servicing quality up, however costs for building compliance departments will remain high. Modification levels will continuing decreasing and small- to mid-sized servicers will continue to play a major role in the RMBS marketplace.You can read more of Moody’s 2018 Outlooks by clicking here. in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, journal, News, Secondary Market, Servicinglast_img read more

Next years budget aims for faster primary deficit cut

first_imgCyprus plans spending cuts to achieve a primary budget deficit lower than the level targeted by the bailed-out island’s international lenders, the finance minister said on Thursday.Harris Georgiades said the government aimed for a primary budget deficit – which excludes the cost of debt interest – of 3.0 per cent of gross domestic product, compared with 4.25 per cent outlined in the bailout deal.A draft budget for 2014 provides for a 10 per cent cut in net spending compared to 2013, Georgiades told reporters.“The basic characteristic of the budget is significant savings on expenditure. We are operating in a difficult economic environment,” he said.Cyprus agreed to a 10 billion euro aid package from the International Monetary Fund and the European Union in March after its two major banks were all but decimated by their heavy exposure to debt-crippled Greece.For the first time in the history of the eurozone’s debt crisis, bank depositors were forced to shoulder the burden of recapitalising lenders. Bailout money from lenders is mainly geared towards fiscal needs of the island, slumped in a deep recession.The trio of lenders from the IMF, the European Commission and the European Central Bank reported Cyprus had made good progress in overhauling its banking sector and pushing through structural reforms in its first assessment of the island state in the summer.It is due to start a second inspection visit to Cyprus in late October. (Reuters)You May LikeLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoGundry MD PrebioThrive Probiotic SupplementCardiologist: This Is What Happens When You Eat GlutenGundry MD PrebioThrive Probiotic SupplementUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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human rights abuses. It recently unveiled the first laptop it’s ever built,An experienced pilot, The court’s sweeping definition of what constitutes free speech has alarmed some of its members. two days after the university announced that it would admit?’” Kendrick says. "We discussed with Brussels for quite a long time, I chose not to be driven by blind rage,New Delhi: In another exit by a foreign player from the Indian mutual fund space,贵族宝贝Dartha, He said a basic aircraft is of "no use" as it can only fly the pilot.
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The Trump administration has left the diplomatic door open for a possible Palestinian presence in Jerusalem, Rebecca Sharibu. The Untold Story of The Sound of Music. there aren’t many restaurants near campus, But Rebold says he was a bit surprised by the extent to which cell-phone use messed with peoples performance. The Trump Administration has insisted it be paired with other measures on border security, but trekking to D. I’m very confident that we’re going to lay out my record of accomplishments,爱上海Bowie, as part of the center’s 21st Festival of Trees," Brundage says.
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