Omar seeks CBI inquiry into fake orders on Kashmir circulating on social

first_imgSrinagar: National Conference leader Omar Abdullah on Tuesday demanded a CBI inquiry into the “fake orders” that had surfaced on social media over the past few days, leading to speculation that the Centre might be moving to scrap Article 35-A of the Constitution, which provides special rights of residency and jobs to the people of Jammu and Kashmir in the state. “This is a very serious matter raised by the Governor. Fake orders were circulated under the signature of senior government officers. This is not something that can be dismissed with a simple sound byte. The CBI must be asked to investigate these fake orders & their origin,” Abdullah tweeted. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ He was reacting to Governor Satya Pal Malik’s assertion that the orders that have appeared on the social media were not valid. “A lot of rumours are spread here, do not pay any heed to them. Everything is fine, everything is normal,” Governor Malik said when asked about the slew of orders appearing on social media about the possibility of a prolonged law and order situation in Kashmir Valley. Malik said the orders which had appeared on the social media in recent days were not valid. “No order is valid. If someone sneezes in Lal Chowk, by the time the news reaches Governor’s house, it is projected as a bomb blast,” he added.last_img read more

Read more 0 Comments

Love wins How a NS town collaborated to protect kidnapped women in

first_imgAMHERST, N.S. — Simple signs with a pair of blue hearts capture a small town’s sentiments over the rescue of two young Maritime women from kidnappers in Ghana.A sign on the main street of Amherst, N.S., declares, “Love wins,” and placards have appeared in windows saying “Love won.”Aaron Stubbert, the principal of Amherst Regional High School, said in an interview Thursday the message spread as the town celebrated the rescue of 20-year-old Bailey Chitty of Amherst, as well as 19-year-old Lauren Tilley of New Brunswick.The University of New Brunswick students were returned to safety by Ghana’s security forces Wednesday after a raid in the suburbs of Kumasi, the country’s second-largest city.Youth Challenge International, the non-profit group the women were volunteering with, has said Tilley and Chitty are receiving emotional and psychological support from professionals as they travel home.Joe van Vulpen, deputy warden of Cumberland County, says the two-word offer of support went up at the public health centre on Amherst’s main street where Bailey’s mother Christina Chitty works.He says it’s a phrase that sums up how “love and hope and prayers came to fruition.”The mother didn’t respond to requests for comment but her Facebook page expresses her gratitude.She wrote: “My chosen family whom I have the honour of working with everyday have been my quiet rock (along with many others).”She added: “Today we celebrate ‘Love Wins.’”Van Vulpen, a distant relative, said many people in Amherst knew that the young women had been kidnapped, but there was a “silent campaign” to keep their names and the danger they faced away from social media.The goal was to avoid giving any information to kidnapppers, he said.Stubbert said if anyone posted good wishes about the incident on social media, others in the town would quickly contact them and they would remove the comment.“I think we all had the idea that we were working behind the scenes to support the family,” said the school administrator.“I called it a little bit of a ‘silent support’ by staying off social media. … It was all part of hope, hope that we could get her back.”“It seemed it worked out.”The principal said Chitty was a “top notch student” who was involved in many aspects of the school, had received scholarships and was in the school’s band and choir group.The logo of “Love won” has now spread from the original workplace of the mother and is “on placards and on little signs in windows,” he said.It was also placed on the podium of the school’s award banquet on Wednesday night.The Ghanaian government has said five Ghanaians and three Nigerians are now in custody in connection with the incident and more arrests are possible.No ransom was discussed or paid in the case, and there’s no indication yet of any affiliation between the kidnappers and any religious or political group, a government spokesman has said.The family of Tilley, who is from Rothesay, N.B., was unavailable for comment.Both of the women are studying at the Renaissance College campus of the University of New Brunswick.– By Michael Tutton in Halifax– Follow (at)mtuttoncporg on TwitterThe Canadian Presslast_img read more

Read more 0 Comments

Rejection of S3 sets up showdown between House and Senate

first_imgTodd Lamirande APTN National NewsBill S-3 was supposed to fix gender inequality in the Indian Act once and for all.But it doesn’t apply in many situations including if you lost your status before 1985.The Senate amended the bill to fix that overnight.But on Thursday, Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett rejected it.tlamirande@aptn.calast_img

Read more 0 Comments

UAE cyber firm DarkMatter slowly steps out of the shadows

first_imgABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – DarkMatter, a growing cybersecurity company in the United Arab Emirates that’s recruited Western intelligence analysts, is stepping out of the shadows amid concerns by activists about its power and potential targets.The company’s founder and CEO, Faisal al-Bannai, says DarkMatter takes part in no hacking, although he acknowledges the firm’s close business ties to the Emirati government, as well as its hiring of former CIA and National Security Agency analysts.Activists warn such expertise could be used to target human rights campaigners, some of whom already have been jailed in the UAE, a major U.S. ally in the Mideast.Al-Bannai told The Associated Press his company carefully chooses its clients, while leaving the ethical decisions about privacy and surveillance in wielding its powerful technology to its governmental customers, which include the Dubai police.“Ignoring that use, in my view, would be silly,” he said. “I think tackling that issue and saying, ‘What is the right balance,’ is the right question and the one I think everyone is trying to figure out.”Surveillance is prolific across the UAE, a federation of seven sheikhdoms on the Arabian Peninsula. Flashing cameras capture license plates of vehicles pulling into gas stations. At Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates, home to an indoor ski slope, shoppers can use a kiosk to find their cars via the mall’s surveillance system.Authorities say surveillance keeps the UAE safe. Surveillance footage helped authorities quickly identify the woman who stabbed an American school teacher to death at an Abu Dhabi mall in 2014.It also aided Dubai police in identifying members of what it described as an Israeli hit squad that killed an operative with the Palestinian militant Hamas group in 2010, an attack never acknowledged by Israel.For al-Bannai, whose father is a retired major general with the Dubai police, cybersecurity seemed like a good bet after he found success with his mobile phone reselling firm Axiom Telecom. He formed DarkMatter in 2015 and today, he said the company has some 650 employees. Most work out of its headquarters in the disc-shaped Aldar building along a major highway connecting Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The firm also has research-and-development centres in China, Finland and Toronto, he said.“The only country in the region that’s strong in cybersecurity is Israel,” al-Bannai told foreign journalists who visited DarkMatter on Tuesday. “Other than that, it’s blank.”He described DarkMatter as entirely privately held, with a customer base that is 80 per cent government agencies and 20 per cent commercial. He declined to name specific clients, but many suspect they include the Signals Intelligence Agency, the Emirati version of the NSA. The agency is also registered as having offices in the Aldar building.“Frankly, it’s an alignment of the stars,” al-Bannai said of DarkMatter’s government contracts. “It is a pure commercial transaction with them.”Since its inception, rumours have swirled around DarkMatter.Some hackers described receiving aggressive, repeated job offers by the firm. An Italian hacker wrote a blog post in 2016 alleging that DarkMatter tried to hire him through a third-party recruiter who described the company as setting up a vast domestic spying infrastructure, something denied by al-Bannai.However, human rights activists and others have been targeted by hacks suspected to be directed, if not carried out, by the Emirati government.Emirati activist Ahmed Mansoor became famous in August 2016 when he worked with security experts to reveal three previously undisclosed weaknesses in Apple’s mobile operating system after he was allegedly targeted with a phishing text message he didn’t open.Mansoor and others believed the United Arab Emirates was behind the attack, as it involved so-called “zero day” exploits — flaws in programming that hackers can use to potentially install spyware or gain control of a system — that can be worth over a million dollars each. Mansoor was arrested by UAE authorities last March for his online posts. Authorities later said he was being held at Abu Dhabi’s central prison and had “the freedom to hire a lawyer” and receive family visits.Another hacking campaign targeting Mansoor and others, dubbed “Stealth Falcon,” also appeared to be co-ordinated by the government, said Bill Marczak, a research fellow at Citizen Lab. DarkMatter’s close work with the Emirati government, and the experience of its staff, raised flags about the company, Marczak said.“When you’re talking about human rights activists like Ahmed Mansoor … there’s nothing he can do and the government gets access to him and his contacts and then can take further actions against his contacts,” he said. “It’s one thing to use them against people you may think are committing terrorist acts or criminal acts, but using them against someone who is just kind of sitting around their living room tweeting, it seems kind of disproportionate.”Al-Bannai said DarkMatter had no depository of “zero day” exploits, nor did it take part in so-called “offensive hacking.” He pointed to one of the company’s signature products, a secure mobile phone called “Katim,” or “silence” in Arabic, as showing the firm’s interest in defensive technology.He added that DarkMatter hired CIA, NSA and other ex-government employees for their experience.“If you think an NSA guy is a spooky guy, the NSA guy is the one protecting you in the U.S.,” al-Bannai said. “These are not the bad guys.”He did, however, acknowledge that questions remain about how much information authorities should have and be able to use.Pegasus, a DarkMatter subsidiary, now has a “big data” contract with Dubai police. An example offered by al-Bannai suggested police could be able to pool hours of surveillance video to track anyone in the emirate.“My team knows what they’re building,” he said. “If they thought they were building funny stuff, they wouldn’t be here.”___Follow Jon Gambrell on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jongambrellap. His work can be found at http://apne.ws/2galNpz.last_img read more

Read more 0 Comments

UN report highlights shrinking space for Palestinians in Bethlehem

7 May 2009Israeli measures have reduced the amount of land available in Bethlehem for Palestinian use, limited the area’s access to resources and restricted its potential for development, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says in a new report. Israeli measures have reduced the amount of land available in Bethlehem for Palestinian use, limited the area’s access to resources and restricted its potential for development, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says in a new report.“Shrinking Space: Urban Contraction and Rural Fragmentation in the Bethlehem Governorate,” examines how Israeli measures – such as the Barrier, settlements and closures – have impacted Palestinian livelihoods, development and residential expansion in Bethlehem, which comprises approximately 660 kilometres. “The space available to the Palestinian population in the Bethlehem governorate has been significantly constricted by Israeli measures such as the continued expansion of Israeli settlements and their outposts,” states the report. These measures have reduced Bethlehem’s development space, limited its access to resources, severed Bethlehem’s historic links to Jerusalem and restricted the urban area’s potential for residential and industrial expansion, it adds.The report notes that the traditional mainstays of the Bethlehem economy such as work in Israel, tourism, agriculture herding and the private sector have been undermined.Only 13 per cent of land in Bethlehem is available for Palestinian use, and much of it is fragmented, the report shows. In addition, Israel retains security control and jurisdiction over building and planning in 66 per cent of the governorate.Also, the Barrier route in Bethlehem reaches 10 kilometres into the West Bank. If completed, it will cut off some of the most fertile cultivated land in the governorate as well as 21,000 Palestinian villagers from the urban centre, according to the report.As of now, the report says, around 175,000 Palestinians live in the Bethlehem governorate. Since 1967, some 86,000 Israelis have also been settled there, and they live in 19 settlements and 16 settlement outposts. OCHA also outlines steps that can be taken to prevent further deterioration, including halting construction of the Barrier inside the West Bank, opening closed military areas and nature reserves for sustainable Palestinian development, and freezing settlement construction. read more

Read more 0 Comments

SMMT Update – 29 January 2015

SMMT’s weekly round-up, including all the latest news from UK automotive and a message from SMMT’s Chief Executive.SMMT Update 403.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)

Read more 0 Comments

Monarch of the Glen painting could be saved for the nation

first_imgSir John Leighton, director general of the NGS, said he was delighted by Diageo’s gesture, which offered offered a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for this major work to be acquired for the nation”.He added: “The Monarch Of The Glen is an iconic image which is famous across the world.”The ideal home for such an important and resonant picture is the Scottish National Gallery, where it can be enjoyed and admired by millions of visitors in the context of the nation’s unrivalled collection of Scottish, British and European art.”Fiona Hyslop, the culture minister, welcomed the deal and said reaction to news of the painting’s planned auction in London next month had underline its importance.The romantic evocation of the Highlands of Scotland, depicting a “royal” stag with 12 points on its antlers, was commissioned as part of a series of three panels to hang in the Palace of Westminster in London. It later entered corporate hands and was widely used in advertising campaigns.Strictly speaking it might have been called The Royal of the Glen, as a “monarch” stag has 16 points. ‘Royal’ stags have 12 points and ‘monarchs’ have 16 Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The Monarch of the Glen, Sir Edwin Landseer’s iconic oil painting of a red deer stag, could be saved for the nation after its owners agreed a deal with the National Galleries of Scotland.The drinks giant Diageo planned to put the painting up for auction – for the first time in 100 years – in a move that art lovers feared could have taken it overseas.However, the firm has now gifted half the estimated £8 million value of the piece to the galleries in the hope that they can raise the remaining £4 million to bring the masterpiece into public ownership for the first time.It has been on display while on loan to the National Museum of Scotland for 17 years, and the drinks company said it decided to sell the work of art, painted in 1851, because it had no direct link to its business or brands.Gallery officials now have four months to raise the target figure that will keep the famous Victorian painting, which gave its name to a popular TV series, in Scotland. Stag's headlast_img read more

Read more 0 Comments

Portugal derby Porto defeats Sporting in last second

Six-time champion FC Porto won the big Portuguese derby against rivals Sporting Lisbon. The team won away with 24:23 and has secured the table lead.The match was interesting and even during the whole 60 minutes, and it was only until the last second when Gilberto Duarte scored 12 meters away from the goal – to surprise of Sporting goalkeeper Ricardo Candeiras, enough to give them the victory. For consolation, Sporting can say they had the lead for most of the game, but the points go to Porto.Porto now has 30 points from 10 games, while Sporting are second with 25. Benfica are third with 23. ← Previous Story Tamas Mocsai suffers car accident, not in life danger Next Story → DKB Bundesliga: THW Kiel crush Goppingen Benficagilberto duarteportoricardo candeirassporting read more

Read more 0 Comments

Neos Kosmos supports education

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Neos Kosmos was a gold sponsor of the Shelford Girls’ Grammar who celebrated their inaugural Quaerite Dinner at the award-winning venue Red Scooter. Christopher Gogos, Managing Director, Neos Kosmos, has two daughters at Shelford, and the school itself has a significant number of families with Greek heritage. Ross Wilson, Christopher’s brother-in-law, sang a few songs with the band, including the famous Eagle Rock. One of the highlights of the evening was the magnificent Champagne Diamond prize donated by Holloway Diamonds.last_img read more

Read more 0 Comments

Massive Maria seems worse to Grand Turk residents reporting

first_img#hurricanemaria#stormsurvivors#tcistrong#MagnetucMedianews Related Items:#HurricaneMaria, #MagnetucMedianews, #stormsurvivors, #tcistrong Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp FortisTCI announces bid to hike electricity bills, cites record $42m response to hurricanes as destabilizing Recommended for youcenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#TurksandCaicos, September 22, 2017 – Grand Turk – Hurricane Maria has so far and thankfully proven uneventful for Providenciales, but the report out of the nation’s capital is vastly different.   The hobbling pace of huge Hurricane Maria may, in the end, prove to be largely the reason Grand Turk reportedly sustained significant damage yet again.“We are experiencing some winds and rains… the road in front of the Treasury fell in, said Savitri Daniel.Member of Parliament, Hon Tamard Butterfield is also in Grand Turk and said the system felt more like a Cat5 than a Cat3 hurricane.“We really got a beating for 12 hrs and still continuing … I don’t know what to say!  I’m sure the ponds and roads are flooded … well they said we are not getting the top of the hurricane… this feel like the every part of the hurricane!  The wind is really bad …”  Hon. Butterfield posted that report minutes to 7am, Friday September 22.The hammering of major hurricane force winds for GT was forecast to last seven hours, from midnight Thursday to 7am on Friday.    The conditions relayed to the country via the Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies (DDME) and the Bahamas Department of Meteorology also advised that from before 6pm, Grand Turk, Salt Cay and South Caicos were getting the tropical storm winds and rains and all else Maria had to dish out to the tiny islands in the TCI archipelago.Maria did a little wobbling in her trajectory and the Cat3 hurricane grew in size as reports from the officials continued overnight.  By morning her wind speeds kicked up a notch.   Meanwhile prayers and well wishes for the islands were going all night from near and far and these continue as the eye wall of this massive major storm is due to pass east of the Turks and Caicos today.There had been no word from Salt Cay where an evacuation order was on Wednesday issued by the Governor; 28 people opted to remain on the little cay despite.   South Caicos reported to a relative in Provo that there had been little rain but lots of wind.Residents across the country were still being advised to remain indoors, as the risk of tornadic activity and rip currents are of real concern.   A dramatic image of the Long Bay Beach, famous in Providenciales as a kite surfing hot spot and home to the recently opened Shore Club resort was shared with Magnetic Media.Darron Hilaire, FLOW marketing director says the water had early this morning receded, leaving the sea bed exposed.   It is truly an unnerving yet rare glimpse of the country’s newest world famous beach.   Hilaire later sent more photographs, taken by him with the beach returned to its usual allure.  Just Amazing!Also amazing, that the TCI remains under hurricane and tropical storm warning until tonight. New, stringent posture on illegal construction makes fines, personal demolition and possible deportation legal says PDM Minister, law now passed Happy Day for Turks and Caicos, Southwest Airlines marks first flightlast_img read more

Read more 0 Comments

Rail Budget 2015 Where to Watch Live

first_imgRail Minister Suresh Prabhu is all set to present his maiden railway budget in the Lok Sabha Thursday amid expectations that his proposals will re-energise one of the largest railroad networks in the world, while seeking to improve passenger amenities and safety.Even as the minister has ruled out any lowering of passenger fares, a clear direction is awaited on how he proposes to capitalise on the decision six months ago of allowing 100 percent foreign equity in some big-ticket projects of the railways, and greater public-private partnerships.Prabhu, handpicked to oversee the only ministry other than finance to present a separate budget, is also expected to chart the path for some of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet projects, such as bullet trains, dedicated freight corridors and larger participation of private sector, reports IANS.Here’s where all one can watch the Rail Budget live:Ministry of Information & BroadcastingDoordarshanLok Sabha TVlast_img read more

Read more 0 Comments

BNP other parties differ on one point

first_imgLogo of BNPThe talks of formation of a greater political alliance between the BNP and the newly floated alliance of Jukta (United) Front are yet to produce concrete results due to certain differences of opinion over possible agenda of the movement, according to leaders concerned.As the archrival of the ruling Awami League, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) wants to see the fall of the regime through popular demonstration and holding of free and fair elections in the country.But, the main components of the Jukta Front and Gano Forum of eminent lawyer Kamal Hossain are in favour of ‘overall qualitative changes’ in the political system and culture, no matter whichever party comes to power through the elections.The leaders, who are enthusiastic about formation of a greater alliance or forging a national unity, have to ready answers to a few questions that are critical for political alignment as well as for determining the country’s next political course.However, the BNP leaders maintain that they do not have any disagreement over the qualitative changes in politics. They just think such changes are impossible without removing first the current government form power through constitutional process.The BNP’s possible joining of an alliance with the Front and other smaller parties is hanging in balance at a time when the Jukta Front itself is yet to take a clear shape. Kamal Hossain’s Gano Forum has said it will not join the Front but may be part of the national unity process.Formation of an opposition alliance that can pose formidable challenges to the AL regime and the ruling party is still limited to discussions, and debates over terms and conditions of making alignhment.A source in the BNP said apart from issues like exclusion of Jamaat-e-Islami from the BNP alliance and sharing seats with other parties in case of electoral contest, they are yet to reach consensus on objectives and goals of such an alliance.Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh chief AQM Badroddoza Chowdhury and other leaders of Jukta Front have laid emphasis on balanced politics and balance in power structure in future governance.Gano Forum’s executive president Subrata Chowdhury too said they are for a positive change in political culture, but not against a particular party.BNP standing committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, however, pointed out that the AL’s ouster from power and bringing a qualitative change in politics are inter-related issues.“The people’s right to vote, good governance, democratic rights and independence of the judiciary are not ensured in the country. Freeing the country from an autocratic regime is a must to ensure these rights. We need to be united on those issues. Change in system and government is not any isolated matter. There should not be any disagreement over these issues,” Mosharraf added.Convener of Nagorik Oikkya, another component of the Front, Mahmudur Rahman Manna said to Prothom Alo, “We’ve told them (BNP leaders) that our goal is not bringing one party to power by removing another. They must agree on the issue of changes we are talking about.”He said Jukta Front and Gano Forum want radical changes in governance pattern in order to find answers to questions on corruption and terrorism.Manna, however said, “No one wants a poll-time government consisting only of the Awami League. There is no disagreement over unity against such an autocratic regime.”The Nagorik Oikkya leader also said they want balance of power so that the party coming to power after removal of the Awami League does not emerge as autocratic any longer.BNP has already given the other parties 10 proposals on the basis of which a common ground could be created.The BNP’s position emphasises the demand for release of the party chairperson Khaleda Zia, apart from ensuring free and fair national elections in the country.Manna, however, said he is yet to formally receive the BNP’s proposals.Regarding the BNP’s demand for Khaleda Zia release as the first of the 10 points, Manna said, “Yes, it can be their number one priority when they talk as a party. But when the question of greater alliance arises, a national issue such as participatory election should come first.”Despite certain differences, the BNP’s Mosharraf said the announcement of the formation of the alliance should be made within September.The schedule for national elections is likely to be announced in October and the ballot is expected to be held in December.BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir met the BNP chairperson on 25 August in abandoned jail, where the latter stressed the need for expediting the formation of greater national alliance along with cementing the unity of the 20-party alliance.* This report, which has come out in Prothom Alo Bangla online, has been rewritten in English by Galib Ashraflast_img read more

Read more 0 Comments

Former Indian PM Vajpayee dies

first_imgAtal Bihari Vajpayee. Photo: ReutersFormer Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who ordered nuclear tests to make India a nuclear weapons power and travelled by bus to Pakistan in a grand diplomatic gesture, died on Thursday, the hospital where he was being treated said in a statement.He was 93.A poet-politician, Vajpayee was one of the most popular leaders of prime minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).But unlike Modi, who critics say is a polarising figure despite his pledge of inclusive development for India’s 1.3 billion people, Vajpayee was the moderate face of Hindu nationalism, admired even by prominent political foes.Vajpayee served as prime minister briefly in 1996 then again from 1998 to 2004.”Former PM, Atal Bihari Vajpayee was loved and respected by millions. My condolences to his family & all his admirers. We will miss him,” Rahul Gandhi, president of the opposition Congress party, tweeted.Vajpayee was one of the few leaders of the BJP to express anguish when hundreds of Muslims were killed rioting in 2002 in the western state of Gujarat, which Modi governed.Vajpayee called the 1992 destruction of a 16th-century mosque on a disputed site by Hindu fanatics India’s darkest hour.However, he also defended a Hindu campaign for construction of a temple on the disputed site, which Hindus believe was the birthplace of god-king Rama.Modi said Vajpayee’s stewardship had put India on a fast track to growth.”It was Atal Ji’s exemplary leadership that set the foundations for a strong, prosperous and inclusive India in the 21st century,” Modi said in a tweet.Vajpayee suffered a stroke in 2009 and retreated from public view. Leaders of the BJP were gathering at his home in New Delhi to pay their respects.As premier, Vajpayee was not afraid to take risks. He gave the go-ahead for underground nuclear tests in 1998 believing nuclear weapons would be deterrent against China and Pakistan.Pakistan responded to those tests with six of its own, forever altering South Asian security, launching both countries on a race to amass the weapons.But a year later, Vajpayee rode on the first bus to begin a new service from Delhi to the Pakistani city of Lahore in a rare trip by an Indian premier to mend ties with the neighbour.last_img read more

Read more 0 Comments

Kavanaugh accuser agrees to testify in Senate

first_imgTrump’s outburst saw a new #MeToo era hashtag storm the internet, with people — mostly women — sharing why they did not report being assaulted under the Twitter hashtag #WhyIDidntReport.Ford told the Post she went public with her claims because she felt her “civic responsibility” was “outweighing my anguish and terror about retaliation” after the basic outlines of the story emerged in the media.Ford’s husband, Russell Ford, was quoted by the Post as saying the thought that Kavanaugh could be considered for the Supreme Court after Trump took office troubled his wife so much that she considered moving as far away as New Zealand.”She was like, ‘I can’t deal with this,'” Russell Ford said. “‘I cannot live in this country if he’s in the Supreme Court.'”Republicans are frustrated over what they say was the deliberate timing of the last-minute revelation of Ford’s allegation, accusing Democrats of seeking to prevent the process from finishing before the midterm elections in a few weeks.For their part, Democrats say Republicans are mounting an unseemly rush to get Kavanaugh into the nine-member Supreme Court while they still control the legislature. US president Donald Trump introduces his Supreme Court nominee judge Brett Kavanaugh (L) in the East Room at the White House in Washington, US on 9 July. Photo: AFPThe woman whose sexual assault allegation threatens to bring down president Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee has agreed to testify in the Senate, her lawyers said Saturday, setting up a dramatic showdown next week.Christine Blasey Ford’s decision followed days of negotiations and came after Trump turned against her and said her accusation could not be true.Ford “accepts the committee’s request to provide her first-hand knowledge of Brett Kavanaugh’s sexual misconduct next week,” said a message from her lawyers to the senate Judiciary Committee, US media reported.Hours later, multiple outlets including Politico and The Daily Beast reported the hearing would take place on Thursday, citing sources familiar with a phone call between the committee and Ford’s lawyers.The tentative deal capped a day of frenetic developments, with time running out for Trump to get his hand-picked conservative judge confirmed — thereby tilting the Supreme Court firmly to the right for years to come — before November elections when Republicans risk losing control of Congress.Earlier, the panel had given the California professor until 2:30pm (1830 GMT) to decide whether to appear, after she rejected a Friday evening deadline imposed by the committee’s Republican leader, Chuck Grassley.”Although many aspects of the proposal you provided via email, on (Friday) are fundamentally inconsistent with the committee’s promise of a fair, impartial investigation into her allegations, and we are disappointed with the leaks and the bullying that have tainted the process, we are hopeful that we can reach agreement on details,” read the lawyers’ letter cited by The Washington Post.The White House criticized Ford for allegedly dithering. “But one thing has remained consistent: Brett Kavanaugh remains ready, willing and eager to testify as soon as possible,” it added.DenialFord alleges that Kavanaugh drunkenly assaulted her at a party when he was 17, she was 15 and they were attending private schools outside Washington in the 1980s.Kavanaugh denies knowledge of any such assault and wants to give his side of the story to the committee.Grassley had wanted the hearing to take place on Wednesday, but Ford asked that it be held on Thursday at the earliest and to be able to call as a witness a man she says was present during the assault.The committee’s Republican leadership turned down those demands.After several days of maintaining a relatively neutral posture, Trump on Friday declared that Ford was lying.”TAKE THE VOTE!” Trump tweeted, blaming “radical left wing politicians” for the controversy.A call for respectAccording to Trump, the fact that Ford remained silent until now shows the incident probably never happened — even if this runs counter to what experts say is the typical reaction of sexual assault victims afraid or too embarrassed to report.”I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr Ford was as bad as she says,” Trump tweeted, “charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents.”The senior senator for Trump’s Democratic foes, Chuck Schumer, called the president’s logic a “highly offensive misunderstanding of surviving trauma,” while Democratic senator Dianne Feinstein said: “We must treat sexual assault survivors with respect, not bully or try to silence them.”Even one of Trump’s own Republican senators, Susan Collins — who sits on the Judiciary Committee — said she was “appalled by the president’s tweet.””We know that allegations of sexual assault are some of the most under-reported crimes that exist,” Collins said.last_img read more

Read more 0 Comments

Texas Ranchers Face Blowback From Trumps Plans For NAFTA

first_imgPresident Donald Trump says he’ll pull the United States out of NAFTA, unless Mexico agrees to revise the trade agreement in America’s favor. Mexican officials say their country will retaliate against any new trade restrictions. News 88.7 decided to speak with some people caught in the middle. So we visited the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, which just wrapped up.Coleman Locke of Hungerford, Texas is president of J.D. Hudgins, Inc., a family ranch in business since 1908.“Our family’s actually been in that location since 1839, which was three years after the Alamo and six years before Texas was a state,” Locke says.Locke says Mexico has long been one of the most important foreign markets for J.D. Hudgins. The family ranch sells Brahman cattle south. Mexican ranchers breed them with their own stock, then sell the calves back to the U.S.“Those feeder cattle that came into Texas are by and large owned by Texans or somebody here in the United States. So the profit on those animals will be made in this country,” Locke says. Feeder cattle are cattle raised to be slaughtered for beef. And the largest foreign buyer of Texas beef? Mexico. “Since NAFTA was created, the export for beef to Mexico has grown by 750 percent.”To get a sense of why, we spoke with another rancher. Kelley Sullivan is co-owner of Santa Rosa Ranch. Sullivan’s family, too, has been in the beef industry for more than a century. Originally from Galveston, they now raise Brangus and UltraBlack cattle at locations in Houston County and Grimes County.“The export market is very, very important to us, so we keep an eye on it, closely” Sullivan says. “Prior to, for example, NAFTA being passed, there was a 25 percent tariff on our beef.”We asked both Sullivan and Locke if they were concerned about the potential for trade disputes between the U.S and Mexico to hurt their businesses.“I personally, and I think most producers, do feel hopeful,” Sullivan says, “because what we do know is that President Trump is a businessman and understands the importance of having markets available for products.”Locke agrees. “I’m confident that the Trump team will negotiate trade deals which will be beneficial to our beef industry,” he says, “and I feel confident that he will have our beef organizations at the bargaining table and will be taking advice from them.”The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association is the industry’s lead trade organization and is in the thick of those talks.“Quite frankly, we’re worried that if there are any significant changes that are made to NAFTA, it could jeopardize our ability to remain competitive,” says Kent Bacus, the group’s director of international trade.Trump has already dealt beef producers a blow by pulling America out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The trade agreement would have lowered barriers to Japan, a market even more important to the industry than Mexico.“Last year we sold $1.5 billion worth of U.S. beef to Japanese consumers, but we sold it with a 38.5 percent tariff taxed onto the end of it,” Bacus says. “Meanwhile our competitors, the Australians, have about a 10-11 percent tariff rate advantage over us, and as a result, we’ve been losing about $400,000 per day in potential sales. Well, TPP would have eliminated that gap on day one.”Bacus is lobbying hard to make sure the administration understands what’s at stake with NAFTA, because if that trade agreement unravels, his members will be among the first hurt.“Beef has traditionally been a target for many retaliatory efforts when it comes to trade,” he says, “and Mexico has made that threat before. We can’t take these threats lightly.”The Commerce Department is expected to notify Congress shortly of the administration’s intent to renegotiate NAFTA. Once it does, talks will begin within 90 days. Listen To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: – / 3center_img X 00:00 /03:59 Sharelast_img read more

Read more 0 Comments

Rolling Stones perform in Israel despite pressure from Pink Floyd founders to

first_imgRelated posts:How to save Gaza Is Honduras heading for the privatization of parts of its territory? President Solís meets with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at UN Obama addresses the Cuban nation in historic Havana visit JERUSALEM – Recently, the two surviving founders of Pink Floyd sent the rock band equivalent of a diplomatic cable — an open letter published in Salon — to the Rolling Stones. They asked Mick Jagger and his crew to cancel their first-ever concert in Israel to demonstrate solidarity with the Palestinian people and their struggle against occupation.But Pink Floyd hit a wall.The Stones not only went on with the show Wednesday night in Tel Aviv but delayed their opening by 45 minutes to allow devout Jews time to reach the concert after the end of the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, during which Orthodox Jews cannot drive, handle money — or press “Play” on the Stones’ “Exile on Main Street” album.The Stones’ decision to ignore Roger Waters and Nick Mason of Pink Floyd underscored Israel’s growing popularity as a stop for major musical acts, and it signaled a setback for a campaign known as boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS). The movement seeks to apply international pressure on Israel to end its military occupation of the West Bank, guarantee the right of Palestinian refugees to return to homes they fled or abandoned after 1948, and grant full rights and equality to Arab Palestinian citizens of Israel.The BDSers are employing tactics similar to those used against the apartheid regime in South Africa a generation ago. Since 2005, the movement has pushed individuals and institutions to sever academic partnerships, boycott products such as Golan wines and Dead Sea beauty products, and divest from Israeli companies.Israel says it is the only fully functioning democracy in the Middle East, so it answers its critics by suggesting they boycott Syria or Iran. But the threat of BDS has rattled Israel. The movement has gained visibility on American and European college campuses, and it has also managed to inflict some financial pain — recently, the Dutch pension management fund PGGM, with assets of $200 billion, divested from five Israeli banks because of their stake in the occupied West Bank.The BDS movement also scored global publicity — good and bad — when the charity Oxfam tussled with one of its celebrity ambassadors, actress Scarlett Johansson, after her paid endorsement for the Israeli carbonation machine SodaStream, whose manufacturer operates a factory in the West Bank.But the campaigns to persuade musicians — some of the BDS movement’s most high-profile targets — to boycott Israel have been kind of a flop, if measured by who actually cancels a show and speaks out about it.“As in the cultural boycott of South Africa, some bands put profit ahead of human rights and end up on the wrong side of history,” said Omar Barghouti, a Palestinian activist and co-founder of the BDS movement. Barghouti said the Rolling Stones are crossing “our boycott picket line and providing Israel with a fig leaf to hide its regime of oppression with.”It is difficult to know how many bands have decided to forgo performing in Israel for financial reasons or other concerns. But only a relatively few well-known acts have publicly bowed out of performances over concerns about Israel’s treatment of Palestinians — and many of those cancellations occurred years ago. Some of the biggest names to renege include Elvis Costello and Carlos Santana.“It’s been awhile since the BDS movement had any real success in the cultural arena, and it’s not for lack of trying,” said Adam Shay, a consultant for the group Creative Community for Peace, which is funded by music industry executives to fight boycotts against Israel.Shay said, “I am not seeing a lot of chatter on the Internet and actions against the Rolling Stones,” who he said might be so huge as to be impervious to appeals. “I would say the higher the financial stakes, the lower the ideological considerations.”The Rolling Stones charged $200 for a basic ticket. Fans cheer as The Rolling Stones perform on stage at Hayarkon Park in the Mediterranean coastal city of Tel Aviv, on June 4, 2014. Jack Guez/AFPWhen it comes to whether BDS is raising consciousness about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or fraying Israeli nerves, that is harder to measure. Barghouti pointed to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s mentions of BDS — 17 of them — in his March speech before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israel lobby in Washington. The BDS founder said this represents “panic.”For his part, Netanyahu was dismissive of the movement, saying some “gullible” people “actually do believe that BDS advances peace.” Netanyahu asked: “How could anyone fall for the BS in BDS?”BDS or not, Israel is now a popular stop on the global pop market. Last month, Justin Timberlake played in Tel Aviv, although after he posted an Instagram photo of himself leaning against the Western Wall, he caught some flak for hashtagging it #Israel. The wall is in the Old City of Jerusalem, which is contested ground.Timberlake tweeted, “The Holyland . . . What an experience. I will never forget this day.”Other recent acts to play in Israel include Rihanna, who cavorted in the Dead Sea in a bikini and was dragged into a mini-scandal when an Israeli journalist reported that Rihanna sang, “All I see is Palestine.” She actually sang the original lyric: “All I see is dollar signs.”Last year, BDS activist and novelist Alice Walker, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “The Color Purple,” sent R&B star Alicia Keys a public note saying, “It would grieve me to know you are putting yourself in danger (soul danger) by performing in an apartheid country that is being boycotted by many global conscious artists.”Keys played in Israel in July, anyway.Coming later this summer to Israel? Megadeth, Lana Del Rey, Neil Young and the Backstreet Boys, who have sold out three nights in July.“BDS has caused no significant damage, and most of the leaders in the West are against it,” said Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz. British musician and founding member of Pink Floyd Roger Waters performs on stage during his “The Wall” show at the Olympic stadium in Berlin on Sept. 4, 2013. Odd Andersen/AFPThis year, before U.S.-brokered Middle East peace talks collapsed, Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid warned that even a limited boycott “will hit every Israeli citizen directly in his pocket.” Lapid cited an internal review that suggested Israel could lose billions in export revenue if the BDS movement kicked in.In their appeal to the bands that have scheduled shows, the Pink Floyd partners argued that “playing Israel now is the moral equivalent of playing Sun City at the height of South African apartheid.”But bands that previously canceled shows in Israel are now coming back. The alt-rock Pixies are scheduled to perform this month.Anti-boycott Israelis say the group’s appearance is especially significant because in 2010 the Pixies joined the Klaxons and Gorillaz Sound System in canceling shows after Israeli commandos killed nine activists on a Turkish vessel that was part of a flotilla trying to break Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.© 2014, The Washington Post  Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Read more 0 Comments

Togos prime minister forms new government

first_img Comments   Share   The former prime minister handed in his resignation earlier this month after weeks of anti-government demonstrations.The same family has ruled Togo for almost half a century. President Faure Gnassingbe assumed power in 2005 after the death of his father, the longtime dictator. Legislative elections are set for October.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Sponsored Stories Parents, stop beating yourself upcenter_img Top Stories Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates LOME, Togo (AP) – Togo’s new prime minister has put together a transitional government following months of political turmoil in the tiny West African country.An announcement read on national television Tuesday confirmed the formation of the 29-member government, which includes many of the same members as the previous one.Prime Minister Kwesi Seleagodzi Ahoomey-Zunu’s new government includes six ministers from the largest parliamentary opposition party. How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizonalast_img read more

Read more 0 Comments

Survey School bullying at lowest ebb in 10 years

first_imgEducators and researchers praised the decline, but said the large numbers of students still reporting that they are victims reflects that the issue is difficult to understand and address, particularly in a world of rampant online social media where malicious statements can be made anonymously and shared quickly and broadly.Among respondents, 9 percent of girls and 5 percent of boys said they’d experienced cyberbullying either in school or outside of school. Unwanted text messages were the most common way students said they were cyberbullied followed by hurtful information posted on the Internet.Overall, bullying can be physical, verbal or relational — such as leaving someone out on purpose.Respondents said the being made fun of, called names or being insulted was the most common way they were bullied at school. Being the subject of rumors or threatened with harm was also common.Much of the effort in schools to tackle bullying has focused on helping victims understand they should come forward and will get support and educating bullies about how their actions affect others, said G. A. Buie, a longtime school administrator in Kansas and president of the National Association of Secondary School Principals. Sponsored Stories Shelley Hymel, a researcher at the University of British Columbia who has studied bullying globally, said the findings are fairly consistent with other research. Still, she said, the rates are too high.“It seems we should be able to do better than that,” Hymel said.Parents should talk to their kids about reporting bullying and not participating — in school or online — because of how hurtful it is, said Katherine Cowan, a spokeswoman for the National Association of School Psychologists. Parents can also take other steps, such as limiting the amount of time their children are online and having them use computers while around adults, Cowan said. It’s also important to look for clues that a child might be a victim.“They need to able to open up a conversation with their children about it if they notice their behavior seems to be changing, or they seem to be more stressed out or more anxious or less willing to go to school or their social patterns change in some way,” Cowan said.The survey is from the School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey. It is a nationally representative sample.___Follow Kimberly Hefling on Twitter: http://twitter.com/khefling New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies “Our biggest goal is we have to give students a voice as they battle this bullying behavior,” Buie said.Buie said one of the greatest challenges is that bullying behavior by certain individuals doesn’t typically stop after one meeting with an administrator.“I hope that it stops,” Buie said. “The reality is it’s a learned behavior from kids, and they are probably going to target someone else or go back and target the individual again.”Bullied students are more likely to struggle in school, skip class, abuse drugs and commit suicide, the department said research has found.Education Secretary Arne Duncan praised the news of an overall decline but with a caveat: “Even though we’ve come a long way over the past few years in educating the public about the health and educational impacts that bullying can have on students, we still have more work to do to ensure the safety of our nation’s children.”Among the survey findings:–About a quarter, or 24 percent, of girls said they were bullied, compared to 20 percent of boys.–A higher percentage of white students — 24 percent — said they were bullied than black, Hispanic or Asian students. Twenty percent of black students said they were bullied compared to 19 percent of Hispanic students and 9 percent of Asian students. Comments   Share   WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly 1 in 4 surveyed U.S. students say they have been bullied in school. That’s an improvement, but the prevalence reinforces just how difficult the problem is to solve.The survey from 2013 found that 22 percent of students age 12 to 18 said they were bullied. That’s a 6 percentage point decline from two years earlier when 28 percent of students said they’d been bullied. It’s the lowest level since the National Center for Education Statistics began surveying students on bullying in 2005, the Education Department said Friday when announcing the results. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility ____Online:http://www.stopbullying.gov/index.htmlCopyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Top Stories 3 international destinations to visit in 2019last_img read more

Read more 0 Comments