Maharashtra Opposition targets CM’s pet scheme

first_imgOpposition parties on Thursday slammed the State government over the delay in announcing drought in Maharashtra and questioned it’s claim of successful implementation of Chief Minister’s pet scheme — Jalyukta Shivar — aimed at ensuring adequate water at village-level water sources.Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar demanded that the State government should give a compensation of ₹50,000 per hectare to farmers. Misleading peopleAt a press conference in Mumbai, Mr. Pawar alleged that the government is misleading the people by using words such as ‘drought like situation’. “The government agency, Ground Water Survey and Development Agency (GSDA), is saying that ground water has dropped from one to three meters low. But the government is claiming an increase in ground water level in about 16,500 villages. Someone is telling a lie here,” he said.“The Jalyukta Shivar is a failure of the government and over ₹7,500 crore wasted on it,” he said and added that over 21,000 villages are facing water scarcity.Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil said the State should waive off the loan taken by farmers for the kharif season. “It is impossible for farmers to go for rabbi sowing, unless the previous loan is waived off,” he said. Mr Vikhe-Patil claimed that the Jalyukta Shivar has turned in to “zolyukta (irregularities) shivar” and he would raise it in the winter session of the Assembly.Dirty politics: govt.Meanwhile, Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil said the opposition is indulging in dirty politics at a time when the State is determined to fight drought. “This government is working better on issues such as drought. Instead of supporting the government, the opposition is levelling baseless allegations,” he said.last_img read more

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The very first Shelby Cobra CSX 2000 is up for sale

first_imgCSX 2000, the most important modern American car-period-and a vehicle that revolutionized the automotive world, will cross the auction block this summer as part of RM Sotheby’s flagship Monterey sale, August 19-20, in California.Offered for sale by the Carroll Hall Shelby Trust, the iconic Cobra was constructed and kept from new by the legendary Carroll Shelby and never left his ownership. A truly unprecedented event, its presentation in Monterey will command the attention of the global collector community.ALSO READ:Pope Francis’ Fiat 500L sold at auction; fetches $82KAs the only one of its kind, it was not only used in testing and development, but also driven by the motoring press, and shown in cities across the US to drum up interest and sales for the fledgling company, Shelby American, Inc. The original Shelby Cobra, CSX 2000 marked the start of Carroll Shelby’s incredible automotive legacy. The car was born in 1962 in a small garage in Santa Fe Springs, California, after Carroll Shelby, joined by a handful of hot-rodders, shoehorned Ford’s new, lightweight, high revving 260-cubic inch V-8 into a modified AC Ace chassis.The result-a fierce sports car armed with incredible performance in a lithe, stylish package-became the cornerstone on which the great Carroll Shelby set the world on fire and forever changed the course of automotive history.CSX 2000 played a multitude of roles during its early days. As the only one of its kind, it was not only used in testing and development, but also driven by the motoring press, and shown in cities across the US to drum up interest and sales for the fledgling company, Shelby American, Inc. During this time, thanks to clever marketing, Shelby also convinced the public that Cobra production was in full swing; the car was repainted a different color for almost every appearance to give the impression that Shelby had more than one car in their inventory.advertisementThe result-a fierce sports car armed with incredible performance in a lithe, stylish package-became the cornerstone on which the great Carroll Shelby set the world on fire and forever changed the course of automotive history.ALSO READ:Sir Elton John’s Maserati for auctionIn reality, it remained the first and only Cobra for seven months. CSX 2000’s technical specifications were also extraordinary. A 1962 road test by Road & Track revealed a 0-60 mph sprint in just 4.2 seconds, a standing quarter-mile run in 13.8 seconds at 112 mph, and a top speed of 153 mph.Throughout its life, even after Cobra production ended, CSX 2000 never shied away from public view, nor did it change ownership. It has been featured in countless books and magazines, continually driven and critiqued in road tests, and a frequent motor show starlet. It was even used for a period of time by employees at the Carroll Shelby School of High Performance Driving.To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Shelby Cobra in 2012, CSX 2000 took centre stage at some of the country’s most prominent events that year-the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion included. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Shelby Cobra in 2012, CSX 2000 took centre stage at some of the country’s most prominent events that year-the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion included. Since then, it has been a prominent and much-admired display at the Shelby Heritage Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.ALSO READ:1956 Ferrari fetches USD 28 million at NYC car auctionAs part of a fantastic showcase celebrating 50 years of Shelby heritage, RM Sotheby’s Monterey sale will also offer the 1965 Shelby 427 Cobra, CSX 3178, on behalf of the Carroll Shelby Foundation. Another car in single-ownership with Carroll Shelby from new, CSX 3178 was fitted with a rare automatic transmission for his personal driving use.last_img read more

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Virat Kohli and Joe Root after 50 Test: Who has the better stats?

first_imgThe Vizag Test was not just a competitive match between India and England but also their two key players – Virat Kohli and Joe Root. (Vizag Test Scorecard)The Indian Test captain and England player are currently among the finest batsmen in the world. Both players played their career’s 50th Test in Vizag, second of the five-match series, only to make their already brilliant score even better. (Match Highlights)It is only natural to compare the two cricketers who finished their landmark 50th Test at such high numbers and close competition. While Root’s batting average of 53.19 is higher than the batsman from Delhi at 48.03, Kohli should be proud of holding three more centuries under his name.While the first innings of the Vizag Test was in favour of Kohli who scored 167 as compared to Root’s 53. In the second innings, Kohli struck 81 while Root scored 25. Root however has a better run record than Kohli, both of whom have played equal number of Tests now.Here are the scores of legendary batsmen after their 50th Test: Player Runs 100s 50s Highest Average V Kohli 3891 14 13 211 48.03 JE Root 4309 11 24 254 53.19 AN Cook 3654 10 20 160 42.99 HM Amla 3836 12 18 253* 47.36 SR Tendulkar 3438 11 16 179 49.83 R Dravid 4135 9 22 200* 52.34 SM Gavaskar 4947 20 21 221 57.52 BC Lara 4205 10 21 375 51.28 KC Sangakkara 3698 8 18 270 48.03 DPMD Jayawardene 3501 9 17 242 47.96 RT Ponting 3081 9 14 197 44.65 Younis Khan 4065 12 17 267 48.39 Indian Test captain’s highest score of 211, a feat he achieved at the Indore Test against New Zealand, however, could not match Root. The top-order batsman from Yorkshire who made his Test debut in 2013 also achieved his highest score this year, in a match against Pakistan in July where he scored 254.advertisementWhile only Gavaskar’s score of 4947 after his 50th Test is better than Root, Kohli stands behind iconic batsmen like Dravid, Gavaskar, Lara and Younis Khan but has managed to surpass legendary Tendulkar. Root has clearly overtaken Kohli, who made his debut in 2011, in all aspects of Test cricket except the number of tons.Kohli’s average in 2016, however, is 69.00, a contrast to Root’s 49.66. Root has scored 1192 runs so far this year, as compared to Kohli’s 897, but the huge difference is also because the Indian batsman appeared in only 9 games while Root played in 14. Player Matches Runs Average Highest 100s 50s Kohli 9 897  69.00 211 3 1 Root 14 1192 49.66 254 3 7 There is no doubt that both the batsmen are their country’s current best but Root has the advantage of better statistical numbers on his side. The data however is biased against Kohli, who did not get as much Test exposure as Root did this year.last_img read more

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19 days agoEx-Chelsea defender Boulahrouz: Wake-up Arsenal! Buy Ziyech

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Ex-Chelsea defender Boulahrouz: Wake-up Arsenal! Buy Ziyechby Paul Vegas19 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Chelsea defender Khalid Boulahrouz is urging Arsenal to move for Ajax midfielder Hakim Ziyech.Boulahrouz says Ziyech’s playing style fits “very well” with “a number of clubs”.”In that regard, I think Bayern Munich and Arsenal have really gone to sleep,” he said on FOX Sports. “He is a player who is important in attack, with his passes and creativity, but who also has an enormous zest for work. “That zest for work was brilliant in the semi-final of the Champions League against Tottenham Hotspur.”Boulahrouz acknowledges that due to his risky fit, Ziyech can lose the ball a lot. “But that is the player he is and you shouldn’t try to take that away. Often enough the balls arrive and goals or dangerous moments arise. Ziyech knows what he wants. He feels good and he doesn’t just go for something unknown, such as Sevilla or AS Roma. He earns well at Ajax, gains confidence and is appreciated. You don’t just trade that in.” last_img read more

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Lance Bass to Serve as Love is Love Ambassador at Historic Beach

first_imgFormer *NSYNC member and Dancing with the Stars alum, Lance Bass, will be the official “Love is Love” ambassador during a landmark sunrise beach wedding and vow renewal for 100 LGBT and straight couples from across the country and around the world.Hosted by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), the “Love is Love” destination wedding on Thursday, February 5th, commemorates marriage equality in Florida, and coincides with Bass making TV history the same day with the broadcast of his wedding with Michael Turchin in the E! network special, Lance Loves Michael: The Lance Bass Wedding – the first American television broadcast of a celebrity marriage between two men.Bass and his new husband, who married on December 20 last year, will celebrate the Greater Fort Lauderdale special day with lucky couples representing 18 U.S. states, as well as London, Italy, and South America. The Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB, W Fort Lauderdale, Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative, Jet Blue and other area partners have joined together to make it a celebration to remember.“Lance shares the same pioneering spirit of advocating for LGBT equality that we embody here in Greater Fort Lauderdale,” said Nicki E. Grossman, president and CEO, Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We’re thrilled to have him be part of our historic moment on the same day he shares his own personal wedding with the world.”As “Love is Love” ambassador, Bass will welcome couples on the beach and share his personal thoughts on the significance of the day. The wedding and marriage vow renewal ceremonies will be presided over by Reverend Dr. Durrell Watkins, senior minister, of the Sunshine Cathedral.For more information on the “Love is Love” wedding celebration, visit www.sunny.org/loveislove.Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

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Northern Ireland enters fight to defend Bombardier in dispute with Boeing

first_imgMONTREAL – The United Kingdom is allying itself with Canada in the fight to persuade U.S. aircraft manufacturer Boeing to abandon its complaint against Bombardier regarding the CSeries.Days after a phone call on the issue between British Prime Minister Theresa May and U.S. President Donald Trump, politicians in Northern Ireland have taken up the cause.In a letter sent to U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence on Tuesday, the Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Fein warned Boeing’s actions could affect social peace in the country.“For a small economy such as ours, the significance of the contribution that Bombardier makes cannot be understated,” reads the letter signed by Arlene Foster and Michelle O’Neill, members of the Northern Ireland Assembly.Bombardier (TSX:BBD.B) is the largest employer in the country with its Belfast factor, where 4,200 people work. That facility manufactures the wings for the CSeries.The letter explains how the consequences of Boeing’s complaint could threaten the fragile political balance in the country.“The security of our economy has and continues to be a crucial part of our efforts in delivering peace through prosperity,” the letter continues.“At a time when we are striving to take the next steps in our work on the peace process, and resolve our current political difficulties, this issue creates a new and potentially critical factor.”Boeing claims Bombardier’s subsidies allow the company to sell its planes cheaper than competitors.The U.S. Commerce Department is currently investigating Boeing’s complaint and could impose tariffs or fines on Bombardier if it finds against the Canadian company.It is expected to release its preliminary findings Sept. 25.The Trudeau government revealed Tuesday it held secret talks with Boeing in hopes of persuading the U.S. aerospace giant to drop its case.Boeing spokesman Dan Curran said the company is not against competition.“No one is saying Bombardier cannot sell its aircraft anywhere in the world,” Curran said by email. “But sales must be according to globally accepted trade rules.“Any claimed economic threat to Bombardier…can be attributed to that company’s decision to flout U.S. trade rules. Boeing could not stand by given this clear case of illegal dumping, which could hurt American workers.”May is scheduled to arrive in Canada for an official visit next week during which the trade dispute will likely be on the agenda.Aside from the London-Ottawa partnership against Boeing, two U.S. carriers — Spirit Airlines and Sun Country Airlines — have recently written to the United States International Trade Commission and the Commerce Department defending Bombardier.Hundreds of Bombardier employees protested in downtown Montreal on Wednesday to denounce Boeing.last_img read more

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Thousands line up in Halifax as Ikea opens first of 12 new

first_imgHALIFAX – Several thousand people lined up early Wednesday to enter Ikea Halifax, as the firm launched the first of its 12 openings across Canada amidst circus performers, political speeches and a Swedish flag raising.Hundreds had secured places at the front of a line that wound around the store in the Dartmouth Crossing retail district, while the shop’s 1,100-car parking lot was nearly full as people stood wrapped in blankets in a cool Nova Scotia mist.Some of the shoppers were there for gift certificates, others for opening sales, while some people were just there to take it all in.Jocelyn Adams said she and a friend had been in line since about 3:30 a.m.“We’re looking for bedding and side tables,” she said. “It’s going to be fun exploring and checking things off our list. … We hear there’s a shelving unit on sale.”Ikea’s return to the region had the city abuzz — the opening dominated social media and other conversations, including one Twitter user who joked so many people lined up “because not a lot happens in Halifax.”Liane Clouthier, a Dalhousie University student from Kitchener, Ont., joined her friend Amy Sutherland for over 16 hours in line to witness the ribbon-cutting, yet she was uncertain she’d actually purchase anything.“It was spontaneous,” she said of her decision to wait in line.“We were driving by and we said ‘We might as well stop and join them.’ I’m actually going to class soon, so I’m not even going inside.”Ramesh Venkat, an associate business professor at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, said in an interview that the chain is benefiting from months of media hype leading up to the event.“It’s really unusual. I can’t recall a situation like this where a retailer opens to such a large number of people,” he said, comparing it to the major sales in the United States.Smith said that during travels with a curling team, she’d frequently stopped into the Montreal Ikea. She is the kind of shopper that the firm’s research had suggested would make Ikea’s return to the city viable after it closed a smaller shop three decades ago.“We know people in the area already shop online and some even travel to Montreal. We’re super happy we can bring Ikea a little closer to them now,” said Marsha Smith, the president of the multinational’s Canadian division, in an interview.Smith said she couldn’t provide an exact estimate on the number of people who were shopping on the store’s opening day, but said it was over 2,000 people by 9:30 a.m. local time.After Mayor Michael Savage cut the ribbon, people rushed inside. As in a similar hyped opening in Winnipeg five years ago, several hundred staff emerged to clap noisemakers with the Ikea logo on them.Follow (at)mtuttoncporg on Twitter.last_img read more

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Insurance claims for Northern California wildfires reach 9B

first_imgSACRAMENTO, Calif. – The wildfires that ravaged Northern California wine country two months ago have generated $9 billion in insurance claims, far more than the single costliest fire in U.S. history, officials said Wednesday.The figure is not likely to increase much more, California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said. It represents residential, commercial, automobile and other property claims filed with 260 insurers by Dec. 1.“And behind those staggering numbers are personal stories of tragedy and loss, and 44 individuals whose lives were lost,” Jones told The Associated Press.A 1991 fire in Oakland Hills is the costliest single fire in U.S. history, prompting $2.7 billion in claims in today’s dollars, according to data from the Insurance Information Institute.Nearly two dozen fires broke out in Northern California in mid-October. The state hasn’t provided a cost breakdown by each fire, but officials say one of the largest damaged far more buildings than the 1991 blaze.People have filed insurance claims on more than 18,000 homes that were partially or fully destroyed, most of them in Sonoma County, where a blaze decimated several neighbourhoods, Jones said. There were nearly 2,300 business property claims, nearly 5,000 vehicle claims and 650 claims for other property, including boats.Despite the staggering losses in a short period of time, Jones said there’s “no question” insurers have the money available to pay claims.Some Californians have reported receiving inaccurate information from their insurance companies, Jones said. He also warned that people should vet any contractors they plan to work with on rebuilding.One person reported to Jones’ office that they were told insurance money could only be used to rebuild on the same property. The law allows for using that money to build or buy a home anywhere, Jones said. Another was told they had 12 months to resolve their claims, not 24 as the law allows for a declared disaster like the wildfires.The inaccuracies may stem from the fact that insurers have brought in staff from other states to handle the influx of claims, he said.“If one person is told the wrong thing by an insurance company, it’s not acceptable,” Jones said.Disputes over claims are likely to increase in the coming months as consumers move through the process, Jones said.The FBI has created a task force to work with state and local agencies to investigate and prevent fraud in relief efforts. Intelligence gathered about fraudulent activities in other natural disasters this year, including hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, will help serve as a guidepost for ferreting out schemes in California, the FBI’s San Francisco division said in a statement.Consumers in other areas of California claimed an additional $400 million in wildfire-related losses in October, including 376 residential property claims totalling $71 million from a fire in Orange County.last_img read more

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Sale of BC hydroelectric project boosts Fortis Q2 profit to 720 million

first_imgThe Canadian Press ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Canadian utility company Fortis Inc. says the sale of its share of a B.C. hydroelectric project helped boost its second-quarter profit to $720 million — nearly three times what it had in the same period last year.However, adjusted earnings and revenue for the Newfoundland-based company were below analysts’ estimates.The quarter included a $484-million after-tax gain on the sale of a 51 per cent interest in the Waneta Expansion hydroelectric project in British Columbia. Fortis says its net profit attributable to common shareholders including the unusual item amounted to $1.66 per share, up from $240 million or 57 cents per share in last year’s second quarter.Excluding the Waneta Expansion sale and the impact of natural gas derivatives, Fortis had $235 million of adjusted earnings, or 54 cents per share, down from $251 million or 59 cents per share in last year’s second quarter.The electric and gas utility company’s revenue was $1.97 billion, mainly from businesses in Canada and the United States, up from $1.95 billion a year ago.Analysts had estimated $2.06 billion of revenue and 57 cents per share of adjusted earnings, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.center_img Companies in this story: (TSX:FTS)last_img read more

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To help foreigners at IGIA, cops learn different English accents

first_imgNew Delhi: The police personnel from Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport Unit have been trained for the understanding of various English accents used by foreign nationals particularly from Africa, America, British, European and Middle East countries.According to police, it was observed in the recent past that due to strong local accent used by foreign nationals as mentioned above, a considerate amount of help was being denied to them without any fault on either side as the personnel posted at helping counters were unable to decipher the problem or statements of these foreign nationals because of their voice and accents during the conversation. Also Read – Bangla Sahib Gurudwara bans use of all types of plastic items”To cope up the situation, the IGI-Airport staff under the overall supervision of DCP-IGI Airport along with stakeholders of Delhi Airport worked together and started a five days training program aimed to understand the accents of foreign languages and to identify communication gaps and its possible solutions,” police said. Deputy Commissioner of Police (IGI) Sanjay Bhatia stated that the training course on voice and accent communication covered different topics based on Sounds, Received-Pronunciation which is ‘Standard English’ or Queen’s English, accents and differences of different countries. Questioning techniques, cultural sensitisation activity, difference in vocabulary have also been imparted in the training. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder”Also, the officers were given various tasks and assignments like Country Presentations on countries like Afghanistan, Congo, Nigeria, Somalia to enhance the knowledge and presentation skills of the officers” said DCP Bhatia. In English speaking countries such as USA and UK have different words for the residence or house. “In USA it is called ‘Apartment’ and in UK it is called ‘Flat’. Moreover, you are on ‘Vacation’ in USA and on ‘Holiday’ in UK,” police said. Active listening through vowel sounds and consonant sounds are another major part of the course. It is good to know that only five vowels in the English language have 20 different sounds. As many as 50 police personnel from IGI-Airport Unit have been aimed for understanding various accents used in speaking English. These will act as trainers to further train the staff posted at IGI-Airport Unit. The ‘Training of Teachers’ (TOT) course was well received and appreciated. Further, such courses would be continued in future also.last_img read more

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King Mohammed VI’s Royal Message To Crans Montana Forum

Dakhla, Morocco – King Mohammed VI addressed, this Friday, a message to the annual meeting of Crans Montana Forum, held in the southern city of Dakhla on March 12-14.Here follows the full text of the Royal message read out by Government Chief Abdelilah Benkirane:Praise be to God May peace and blessings be upon the Prophet, His Kith and KinYour Excellencies,Ladies and Gentlemen,It gives me great pleasure to send this message to the current session of the Crans Montana Forum on Africa, which is being held under my high patronage, and which has brought together eminent international figures from various walks of life.I wish you all a pleasant stay in Morocco, particularly in Dakhla, the pearl of Morocco’s southern region.I congratulate you on your choice of theme for the Forum’s meeting.Indeed, the new development model for the Sahara region adopted by Morocco aims to turn this region into a hub between the Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa. In this respect, the city of Dakhla will be at the heart of the future African economic hub, which will be devoted to serving peace and stability in the sub-Saharan region.This new development model is the result of an ambitious policy made possible by a new generation of institutional reforms based on advanced regionalization.Indeed, the Kingdom of Morocco’s ambition is to showcase local specificities, to foster good governance at local level and to devise public policies at regional level that guarantee efficient state action as well as partnerships with local governments.In this respect, the city of Dakhla is destined to become a platform for multi-form exchange relations between the Atlantic region, the Maghreb and the Sahel.Therefore, the presence in Dakhla of participants from all walks of life – representing government, civil society, economic stakeholders… – coupled with the important themes to be discussed by the Forum confirm the pertinence of the choices we have made to make sure Africa embraces solidarity and looks resolutely to the future.I see this as a tribute to the relentless action I have been spearheading in favor of our Continent. Indeed, Morocco has been working untiringly to help forge a modern, bold, entrepreneurial and open Africa; an African continent which is proud of its identity, which derives its vibrancy from its cultural heritage and which is capable of transcending outdated ideologies.Therefore, I would like, today, to pay a warm tribute to Mr. Jean Paul Carteron, who has successfully drawn on his rich, wide-ranging experience to serve lofty causes through dialogue and sharing.The reasoned, logical decision made by the eminent institution he represents to convene in the Moroccan Sahara will undoubtedly be a factor for success.Your Excellencies,Ladies and Gentlemen,The theme “South-South cooperation and the development of Africa”, which you have selected for your conference, is both topical and highly pertinent. It reflects a shared ambition to place Africa at the heart of major global geopolitical concerns.In this regard, the underlying concepts of South-South cooperation should integrate new 21st century perspectives, given the significant impacts of globalization as a multi-faceted phenomenon.  Consistent with the same line of thinking, we have been calling for efficient, solidarity-based cooperation that makes the most of the opportunities offered by triangular cooperation, at regional level as well as with the countries of the North. Needless to say, such cooperation must be rooted in mutual esteem, be based on balanced approaches and show that the interests of the various partners concerned are duly taken into account.Having made South-South cooperation one of the pillars of its foreign policy, the Kingdom of Morocco has adopted a proactive policy to develop fruitful partnerships with its European, North American and Asian partners. This is precisely the multidimensional partnership model involving several actors that we need to pursue resolutely in order to achieve greater development in Africa.Our continent bore the brunt of colonization and the Cold War. Sadly, it continues to grapple with the fallout to this day.In Africa, the borders inherited from colonization often continue to be a major source of tension and conflict. It is up to us – Africans – to innovate in order to turn them into open spaces where fruitful exchange and interaction can flourish between African societies.Africa is also a continent with many economic, political and cultural fault lines producing multi-faceted crises, at a time when Africa’s tremendous human and natural resources should, instead, be a powerful catalyst for regional integration and complementarity to overcome the consequences of the fragmentation Africa was subjected to during the colonial era, and which led to political and ethnic strife.Furthermore, Africa is a continent with growing and unsettling security issues. Alarmingly, new transnational perils – including terrorism, organized crime, trafficking in drugs and human beings as well as religious extremism – are on the rise in many parts of our continent. These are major challenges which call for transnational responses and underscore the need for collective and concerted reflection on the security issue.However, one of the reasons for hope, motivation and a firm belief in our common goals is that Africa today is the continent that has the most significant multi-dimensional assets to embody the future of the world.– The African continent has had the fastest growing economy since 2000; over this same period of time, its trade with the rest of the world has increased by more than 200 per cent.– By the year 2050, Africa will have a population of approximately 2 billion people, and our continent will have to harness this tremendous demographic asset properly – particularly African youth – in order to consolidate the continent’s standing in the global economy.– Africa is the continent with the largest potential for natural resources; they should be used to foster sustainable human development for the benefit of African populations.– Africa is also the continent in which democracy and good governance have been developing and reinforced day after day.To this end, Africa should free itself from the shackles of the colonial past, look resolutely to the future, be more self-confident and believe in its own capabilities.Africa needs to develop and support win-win partnerships.It needs to bolster its share in the global wealth creation chain.Africa needs to push forward regional economic integration and develop common areas for shared prosperity that allow for the free movement of goods and people.Africa needs to invest massively in infrastructure and improve the living conditions of African citizens.Africa must also meet tremendous energy needs to support its development agenda successfully. It has huge potential for renewable energy production which should be tapped to promote sustainable development.In this respect, the idea of a project devoted to renewable energy in Africa is especially pertinent, given the vast wind and solar energy production opportunities available in African countries bordering the Atlantic Ocean.Just as pertinent is the need to muster the levers of inter-African cooperation. One of the lessons of history is that economic, political and social interdependence is a prerequisite for progress. That is why we firmly believe in Morocco that isolated development will not succeed.Your Excellencies,Ladies and Gentlemen,Morocco has made Africa one of the strategic priorities of its foreign policy. This choice is partly due to geography, since Morocco is part of Africa, but also to history, given its deep, time-honored bonds with Africa, which have shaped Morocco’s African culture and identity. This has naturally reinforced Morocco’s African calling as a hub for regional advancement, stability and cultural development.The various visits I have paid to African countries attest to my firm desire to strengthen cooperation with sister African nations. Those visits have led to concrete projects and many cooperation agreements have been signed in different fields.The Kingdom of Morocco, which has consistently rejected Afro-pessimism, advocates resolute, proactive and solidarity-based action to forge a “new Africa”. This is a most cherished wish, and we shall continue to try and pool efforts to fulfil it.Morocco’s African policy is based on a comprehensive, integrated and inclusive approach designed to promote peace and stability, encourage sustainable human development and safeguard the cultural and spiritual identity of our populations, while respecting the universal values of human rights.This policy derives its originality from the fact that state and institutional actors no longer have an exclusive monopoly over it. Quite the contrary, it is increasingly devised and conducted by private economic operators, with the involvement of civil society organizations.Morocco’s action in this respect aims to support sister African nations in their efforts to build strong economies, through the transfer of know-how, human resource training, investment in key sectors of the economy and the pooling of resources.Furthermore, and considering the importance of sub-regional groupings, Morocco has been calling for fresh momentum to be injected into the Arab Maghreb Union, which celebrated its 26th anniversary this year. The Kingdom of Morocco has also been a particularly active member of the CEN-SAD, which will hold its next summit in Morocco. Furthermore, my country has been developing closer relations with several other regional groupings in West and Central Africa.Your Excellencies,Ladies and Gentlemen,We welcome the initiatives undertaken by your Forum to promote cooperation among African countries bordering the Atlantic. The setting up, on the sidelines of this meeting, of the “Atlantic Africa Club” reflects a shared desire to support development and regional integration in Africa and foster a more proactive policy regarding the Atlantic coast.Indeed, for many years, this important dimension of Pan-African action has been neglected. Far from being an obstacle, the Atlantic Ocean is a key element conducive to development; it can be a bridge for fostering more openness, interaction and integration between African countries bordering the Atlantic.Another initiative which deserves to be lauded is the “African Women’s Forum”, which will serve as a platform for exchange and debate among women participants. This will also be a fitting opportunity for African women to plead in favor of their full rights and to encourage their active contribution to the development of their respective countries. Indeed, our continent needs to pool all available resources and energies in order to achieve the desired objectives.In this respect, I have always attached special importance to promoting the status of women and advocated greater participation of women in various political, economic, social and cultural spheres. Gender parity, which is enshrined in the Kingdom’s new Constitution, is a goal we are seeking to achieve.Your Excellencies,Ladies and Gentlemen,Before concluding, I wish to pay tribute to the Crans Montana Forum and its President, Jean-Paul Carteron, for devoting the theme of the Forum’s annual conference to Africa and Africans. I commend them on their dedicated, untiring efforts over more than three decades to promote closer cultural bonds and coexistence.The Crans Montana Forum will always find in the Kingdom of Morocco the support needed to promote and expand its action to serve the just causes of peace and development.I also wish to commend ISESCO and its Director General, His Excellency Dr. Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri, for having actively contributed to the organization of this important event and for their commendable efforts to ensure its success.I wish you a successful conference and a pleasant stay in your second home.Thank you.Wassalamou alaikoum warahmatoullahi wabarkatouh. read more

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May meets with political parties in NIreland on Brexit

LONDON — British Prime Minister Theresa May is set to meet with Northern Ireland’s main political parties as she seeks to break the impasse over her European Union divorce deal.May is signalling she will seek changes to the deal rather than outright removal of the so-called backstop, designed to preserve the open border between Northern Ireland and EU member state Ireland. The border area was a flashpoint during decades of conflict, and the free flow of people and goods across the frontier underpins the region’s peace process.May, during a speech Tuesday in Belfast, restated her “unshakeable” commitment to avoiding a hard border and said she didn’t plan to remove the “insurance policy” entirely.“What Parliament has said is that they believe there should be changes made to the backstop,” she said.The Associated Press read more

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Morocco Spends $1.38 Million in Lobbying in 2018 to Beat Algeria…

Washington D.C. – According to the same source, in addition to money spent to lobby both branches of the US government (the Executive and both Houses of Congress), the Moroccan government signed a  contract of $480,000 per year with ThirdCircle to promote Morocco as a film destination as well as “world-class golf destination.”  Since January 2018, JPC Strategies has become Morocco’s main lobbying arm in the United States. According to FARA, JPC has been paid $75,000 a month to lobby in favor of Morocco.JPC has subcontracted three other lobbying firms: Iron Bridge Strategies, the Glover Park Group and SGR Government Relations & Lobbying. They aim to promote Morocco-US relations, defend Morocco’s strategic interests, educate US officials and lawmakers about the depth of the strategic alliance between the two countries and promote American investments in Morocco. Though it is not included specifically in their lobbying contract, the Western Sahara is at the heart of these firms’ advocacy work in favor of Morocco.Algerian LobbyingFor decades, Algeria has claimed that it has no vested interests in the Western Sahara conflict and only seeks to help the Saharawis to exercise their right to self-determination. Despite their claims,  $480,000 was spent in 2018 to block Morocco’s attempts to achieve any breakthrough in the conflict.For the past two decades, Foley Hoag has been Algeria’s main lobbying firm in Washington. The Washington-based firm has a $420,000 per year contract to Algeria.The registration form that Foley Hoag submitted to FARA shows that the lobbying firm has received $210,000 between October 1, 2018 and March 31, 2019.Foley Hoag held more than 40 meetings and exchanges with members of Congress, the State Department, as well as the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, a bipartisan caucus of the House of Representatives that includes 37 US representatives. The main topic of those meetings was “the promotion of Algeria-US relations and respect for human rights, including the rights to self-determination.”Foley Hoag executives had three exchanges with Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) and Patrick Lehay (D-VT), the most vocal supporters of the Polisario in the US Senate, as well as Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), one of the top rated US lawmakers in the defense of human rights.In a new push to prevent Morocco from swaying US officials and lawmakers into supporting its position on the conflict, Algeria signed a $360,000 per year contract with the Keene Consulting Services as of November 1, 2018.  Keene Consulting Services is owned by David Keene, a former head of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and a close friend of the US National Security Advisor John Bolton.Read Also: ‘The Bolton Effect’: Will US’s ‘Impatient’ John Bolton Broker Western Sahara’s Stalemate?According to the contract, Keene’s lobbying tasks included: mobilizing media and public support for Algeria, promoting Algeria’s peacemaking role in regional and global affairs, advancing Algeria’s trade and business interests with the US government, and enhancing Algeria’s image in the American public discourse. The overarching goal was to work with several branches of US policymaking to “facilitate a greater understanding of Algeria’s concerns and positions on various issues.”Keene’s statements suggest that the contract included aggressive anti-Moroccan public relations efforts on the Western Sahara issue. In opinion articles and other public statements, Keene repeatedly referenced Morocco’s “occupation” and “colonization” of Western Sahara.One notable example is a December 2010 op-ed from the Hill in which Keene accused “Moroccan forces” of disregarding the UN-imposed status quo in Western Sahara by resorting to police violence to threaten “our friends in the desert.” Keene claimed that Morocco twisted historical facts to convince the US and the international community of its “little more than fiction[al]” claims over Western Sahara.Morocco’s responseBased on the latest developments in the Western Sahara, it appears that Algeria has failed in creating a setback for Morocco’s diplomatic efforts to garner wider international support to its position on the Western Sahara.While there is no way to measure whether Morocco’s lobbying firms have fulfilled their mandate to the fullest, the fact remains that Morocco’s diplomatic efforts have demonstrated to be successful. Morocco has succeeded in preventing any negative development that would have otherwise negatively impacted Morocco’s stance on the Western Sahara issue.  Morocco succeeded in maintaining its diplomatic achievements in recent years, despite Algeria’s counter-attempts to promote its position in the Trump administration through Bolton. Morocco succeeded in swinging the momentum in its favor in the second half of 2018 through increases of lobbying budgets and relentless efforts in the realm of public relations.Real Also: ‘Compromise’: How SC Resolution 2468 on Western Sahara Is DifferentThe success of Morocco’s response to Algerian lobbying is most visible in the UN Security Council’s latest resolutions, which upheld Morocco’s frequent requests to regard Algeria as a party in the Western Sahara conflict.   In Resolution 2440 of October 2018, the UN referred to Algeria 3 times, suggesting a gradual shift to considering Algiers as a full-fledged party in the Western Sahara conflict, rather than a neighbor or observer state as it has claimed to be in the past.Resolution 2468, the latest UN resolution on Western Sahara, is perhaps the most Morocco-friendly UN document in decades.  In addition to further acknowledging Algeria’s primary role in the conflict and the settlement process, Resolution 2468 adopted almost the same language as Moroccan diplomacy, pointing out that pragmatism, realism, and compromise are the only way to achieve a long, lasting, and mutually acceptable political solution to the conflict.Because it emphasizes a compromise-based solution, many analysts have suggested, Resolution 2468 is also a validation—albeit diplomatically articulated—of Morocco’s Autonomy Plan.For all the pro-Morocco discussion currently surrounding the Western Sahara dossier, it remains to be seen whether Algeria, which Morocco reportedly outworked due to a raging domestic crisis, will easily surrender to the current momentum in the UN-led process. read more

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Who has the rights A look at how streaming services are confusing

TORONTO — Marie Conception was three seasons into the TV series “Gossip Girl” when Netflix yanked the entire show from its lineup.Left hanging in the middle of the teen drama’s juicy plot twists, the Burnaby, B.C. resident says she questioned why she signed up for Netflix in the first place.“You commit to purchasing Netflix or CraveTV because they have certain shows,” she says. “It’s a little upsetting when they pull stuff out for whatever reason.”The frustration is all too familiar for many TV viewers. You’re invested in “Mad Men” or “The West Wing” when the shows suddenly disappear from streaming services overnight. Fans still complain about how “Lost” can’t be found, and “Friday Night Lights” went dark.The reason TV shows or films are removed from streaming platforms can vary, though it almost always comes down to content licensing “windows,” the set periods of time a company gets the rights for a program.Those contracts between a streaming company and a TV or film distributor are nothing new — they exist for traditional broadcasters, too. But in an era where many people stream much of their entertainment, what’s available is suddenly a bigger part of the conversation.How long a streaming licence lasts will vary depending on the show or movie. Many contracts are signed for around a year, especially for films, which guarantees services like Netflix have a steady rotation of content from some of Hollywood’s big studios.TV series can have an even longer licence that stretches for several years and covers a number of seasons. Sometimes, those rights switch to another service; other times they expire and disappear into the digital ether, especially in Canada where many popular shows aren’t available to stream.The confusion over where to watch their favourite TV shows isn’t likely to subside for Canadians any time soon. Next year, CBS Corp. plans to enter the market with CBS All Access, potentially holding onto certain licences for TV shows it has a stake in, including “The Big Bang Theory.”When Disney rolls out its streaming platform in the coming years, there’s a good chance it’ll eventually keep its most valuable new content for itself, rather than license it to Netflix Canada. Those negotiations are still open, and Netflix could make Disney an offer too attractive to refuse.All of these decisions are part of ongoing talks that don’t affect viewers until they notice something has gone missing from their streaming library.Mike Cosentino, senior vice-president of content at CraveTV, often hears the message loud and clear when he makes the call on what to stock on Bell Media’s platform.“At the end of the day, if we do our jobs well enough, we’re renewing content that has a consumer appetite and reinvesting in new content,” he says.But it isn’t always up to CraveTV, Netflix or Amazon Prime Video which entertainment they can license.For instance, viewers have urged Netflix Canada to stock up on past seasons of “Game of Thrones,” but the blockbuster TV show is owned by HBO, its biggest competitor. Bell Media owns the licences the HBO content in Canada, but hasn’t made them available on any standalone streaming service.Confused yet?Things get even more complicated when you turn to Netflix Canada, who bought licences for TV series like “Riverdale,” which appear on the platform shortly after they air on U.S. television.Those licences aren’t cheap, and the battle for content is getting more expensive.Josh Scherba, executive vice-president of distribution and content at DHX Media, says the Toronto-based kids TV maker watched the value of its shows climb over the past five years as more streaming companies bulked up their virtual shelves. With more companies entering the market, the bidding increases.“We think for the foreseeable future that’s going to continue,” Scherba says.Ultimately, consumers will probably foot the bigger monthly bill. Netflix Canada is already raising its monthly subscription by a dollar or two saying it’s partly due to rising costs for buying content and making its own original series.But streaming companies might have some explaining to do when the licenses for some of their “original series” end in the coming years.Netflix brands a selection of its content as “Netflix Originals” even though it doesn’t actually own all of them outright. Both “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black” are owned by outside studios who licence multi-year windows to the streaming service.Once those terms end, the shows are free to be sold elsewhere, which means they will almost certainly land on broadcast TV or other streaming platforms. It’s already happened with Amazon Original series “Transparent,” which began airing on cable channel Showcase earlier this summer.None of these shifts make it any easier for viewers to figure out where shows like “Gossip Girl” can be seen these days. Some websites like justwatch.com aim to help streamers find what they’re looking for. But that didn’t give Conception any idea if the show was returning to Netflix.“They do this weird thing where they sometimes take (a TV series) out, but they bring it back a few months later,” she says. “But with ‘Gossip Girl’ they didn’t.”She eventually gave up and bought the show on DVD.Follow @friend on Twitter. read more

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Committee to submit report this week on fuel issue

The committee appointed to look into the recent fuel crisis is to submit its report this week.Head of the committee, Minister Sarath Amunugama said that the report is expected to be submitted on Tuesday. President Maithripala Sirisena had appointed the committee when the fuel issue turned into a crisis last week.A shortage of fuel turned into a crisis with fuel sheds running out of petrol for days. The situation was resolved with an oil tanker arriving from the UAE and India sending stocks following a request from the President. (Colombo Gazette) read more

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Syria At least seven children killed in yet another airstrike

“This latest outrage adds to the mounting child casualties caused by intensifying violence over the past few weeks, including in Al Wadihi, southern Idlib, northern Aleppo and northern Hama,” said UNICEF chief, Henrietta Fore, in a statement released on Sunday.At least 140 children have been killed in northwest Syria since the start of this year. “The obvious disregard for the safety and well-being of children evident in these attacks is appalling,” stated Ms. Fore who added: ”My heart breaks for the young lives lost and for all the children in the area who remain in harm’s way”.The UNICEF Executive Director “strongly and unequivocally” urged the parties to the conflict and those who have influence over them “to ensure that children in the northwest and across the country are protected from the ongoing violence.” read more

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Geekout on air The Xbox One Edition

first_imgHave you heard enough about the new Xbox One? We didn’t think so, in fact we’re still talking about it as you read this.We’ve known about the unveiling of the next Xbox console for quite a while now, and after all the rumors and speculation there is now a big new console on the block. The Xbox One was met with equal parts excitement and frustration as Microsoft opted to show more of the consoles features than actual gameplay and capabilities. The console focuses heavily on better voice interactions and a new Kinect sensor for what looks to be an all around better experience, but there’s still a significant number of potential users left unhappy about the experience.It wasn’t just people on social networks, either. Sony’s stock saw a significant spike during Microsoft’s presentation. Microsoft promised 15 new titles at E3, and already many upcoming games, like Watch Dogs, have pledged support for the console. If Microsoft dedicates E3 to showing off some high quality exclusive titles, it is likely these hard feelings will be forgotten.Microsoft will also need to answer some hard questions soon about whether or not their console will always be on, how exactly the console listens for you to say “Xbox, on” in order to wake, and what the rules will be for secondhand games. We know already that there are mandatory installs for games on the console, and there’s going to be some sort of payment needed to play the game across accounts. The potential for this to hurt used game markets is significant, unless handled correctly. We’ll be covering this in more detail as these questions get answered.Be sure to check out our other Geekout sessions, and keep an eye on our Google+ page for future events.last_img read more

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Olympic Airlines in for Marfin good time

first_imgThe sale of Olympic Airlines to Greece’s Marfin Investment Group has been agreed to by the Greek Government and is expected to be put forward to the Greek Parliament for approval this week.The Greece-based investment holdings company Marfin was chosen to buy Olympic after three weeks of negotiations, in preference to bids from the carrier’s main domestic rival, Aegean Airlines, and U.S.-based Chrysler Aviation.Development Minister Costis Hadzidakis said MIG would acquire full control of the carrier by the end of September.“There will be no visible effect on passengers regarding ticket bookings or other such matters during the transition period,” he said, adding that Olympic would continue serving Greece’s dozens of far-flung islands, and other unprofitable destinations.“We will have a new Olympic, for which Greek taxpayers will not have to pay 350 million euros per year,” said Hatzidakis. “Instead, we will receive 150 million euros per year in taxes.”MIG has offered 45.7 million  euros for Olympic’s flight operations and 16.7 million euros for the company’s technical maintenance assets. The total sum paid will include the price of Olympic’s share capital.“There will be no visible effect on passengers regarding ticket bookings or other such matters during the transition period,” Hatzidakis said, adding that Olympic would continue serving Greece’s dozens of far-flung islands, and other unprofitable destinations.A decision on the sale of Olympic’s ground handling services has been postponed, pending negotiations between MIG and Swissport, which has offered 44.8 million euros for that section of the company. The government says MIG has committed to pay the same sum for the ground handling services if the talks fail. Olympic’s 8,100 employees have been offered early retirement or transfers to other public sector jobs with their rights to a pension and social insurance preseverved in legislation.The European Commission approved the sale as it would offer the best chance to recover some 850 million euros in illegal state subsidies given to the airline and its predecessor over the past years. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

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San Diego Swift Water Rescue team training for dangerous rainy season

first_img Dan Plante, Ed Lenderman, February 13, 2018 Dan Plante, Ed Lenderman Posted: February 13, 2018 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings San Diego Swift Water Rescue team training for dangerous rainy season Updated: 6:08 PM 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) —  It’s the most dangerous job a lifeguard can do and no, it’s not saving swimmers from big waves and rip currents.The toughest job is the “Swift Water Rescue Team,” the men and women who dive into flooded, rushing rivers to save lives.“Just last year, we saved 62 people from a flooded hotel and another 25 people from the river,” said Chief Rick Wurtz from the San Diego Lifeguards. “It’s dangerous, with rushing currents and all those obstacles in the water.”As of today, those rescues were made a little bit easier, at least getting access to the river.“It’s going to be much easier to save lives and much safer for our first responders,” said Council Member Scott Sherman.Making it easier was seemingly simple. They created seven new access points to the San Diego River. This allows first responders much better access to hard to reach places.In the past, the lifeguards themselves would use machetes to cut the brush and trees, then drag their boats and equipment to the river’s edge.“Our Swift Water Rescue Team needs that access to save lives, this is a very big deal for us,” said Chief Fennessy.This is not only a big victory for the lifeguards, it’s also a big ‘political victory’. Simply getting the ‘permits’ to clear a path took years. “What may look easy on the outside, can be very difficult. In government, nothing’s easy, right? Right!But they got ‘er done and the next time it rains, The Swift Water Rescue Team will be even swifter. Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

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