Spring fever

first_imgOver a century ago, an ordinarily attired turbaned young man, walks into a shop retailing exquisite Belgium crystal objet d’arts on Park Street, Calcutta. The display enthralls him and he inquires about the price of exhibits. The European proprietor takes him for a passerby marking time and ignores most queries, soon enough snapping at him for stepping into an establishment not worthy of his modest status. Provoked by that outburst, the young man demands the cost of the entire collection. The haughty proprietor dismissively quotes an amount. The young man hails his aide instructing him to pay cash on the spot. The proprietor is flabbergasted. He has just sold his priceless collectibles for a trivial sum.”Pray, tell me who the noble self is,” he stutters. To this the aide replies, “He is his Highness, Farzand-i-Khas-i-Daulat-i-Inglishia Mansur-i-Zaman, Maharaj-i-Rajgan, Sardar Narendra Singh, the Maharaja of Patiala.” There are many delicious versions of this anecdote that’s survived the years and acquired the status of a credible legend. The scintillating crystal collection of the Patiala royal family with a Calcutta dateline, some of which is now on public display at Qila Mubarak museum, stands testimony to it.A tour of stately Patiala entertains with trivia of this sort and Basant or spring is the perfect season to visit it. It’s a time when the hint of winter is still around and the cheer of pre-summer adds a mellow glow. Should your visit here coincide with Basant Panchami, a day that welcomes spring, you’ll see a city wrapped in festive fervour. The lush mustard fields are full of bright yellow flowers. And this chirpy yellow is the colour of the day. Attire worn by the local populace will usually have a touch of it: women may flaunt the yellow on a dupatta, and men in their turbans, while some will enthusiastically dress entirely in the radiant hue. The bazaars too are out to woo the buyer and nowhere is that more obvious than in those shops that sell festive food like halwa, jalebi or sweet-rice specially prepared in saffron colour. If you are fond of kite flying, try your hand at it. On this day the sky is speckled with numerous colours. Early morning onwards, people pack rooftops steering kites and wildly cheering impromptu contestants, even as blaring bhangra music peps up the proceedings. Let’s just say if you are in Patiala on this day you just cannot skip it.Once the festivity ebbs, Patiala is back to being a languorous city with no one seeming in a rush to reach anywhere. An exception to that rule is the buzz around Qila Mubarak, the second largest fort in Punjab and the fulcrum around which the erstwhile walled city developed. Shops have always lined its periphery and you’ll find the best deals here, the reason they are always spilling over with buyers. Trousseau shopping has become synonymous with Patiala, and no Punjabi wedding shopping in the city is complete without a visit to this labyrinth of lanes. The narrow-laned bazaars here, dressed with dupattas, lehengas, kurtas, phulkari and a whole lot of other bling and tinkle, is where this action unfolds. If you are looking for the city’s best eating spots then look no further. Jaggi Sweets is a legend, and can give an Amritsari food joint a run for its money. Sarson ka saag with makki ki roti and dollops of butter–returning back without eating here is a crime.If shopping is not on your agenda it’s best to thread your way through this typical old city environ–read: bumping rickshaws, nonchalant cattle and friendly pedestrians-to the Qila that lends the bazaar its name. In contrast to the flurry and commotion outside its precincts, the Qila remains deserted but certainly not stripped of an aura of regality despite its weathered facade. The edifice exemplifies its citadel character–immense, impregnable and indomitable. Built largely in Mughal and Rajput styles, a bit of British influence is visible in its later construction. There is a scintillating crystal collection of the Patiala royal family on display at its museum.Architectural beauty bearing a royal seal fills the urban space and at a slight distance from the Qila is the impressive Old Moti Bagh Palace. Spectacularly set in a sprawling garden with terraces, fountains and water channels, it’s the erstwhile royal residence, and it took three kings and 60 years to give it its current look. At present, it is the National Institute of Sports.Also a part of the Old Moti Bagh complex, but a separate unit, is the onion pink Sheesh Mahal, a leisure palace. It overlooks a water channel, now a sprawling green maidan, with a suspension bridge patterned on Rishikeish’s famous Laxman Jhula. It looks absolutely stunning during Spring season with flowers all around. The Mahal has been converted into a museum, which among other exhibits has a notable and impressive medal gallery, said to showcase the biggest compilation in the country. A trip to Patiala, especially in Spring, remains incomplete without paying obeisance at Gurdwara Dukh Nivaran Sahib, a place associated with ninth Sikh Guru Teg Bahadur. He is believed to have visited the spot on Basant Panchami and cured those who were suffering from diseases. Customarily, there’s a massive rush here on that day with believers from across faiths take a dip in the blessed waters of the holy tank sarovar that are supposed to get rid all illness. It is a sight to behold, and a fitting tribute to this season of hope, when the hardship of winter is over and the rigours of summer are still not in sight. Fact fileStayThe city has one heritage hotel and many mid-range hotels run by Punjab Tourism. We suggest you stay here.The Baradari Palace: Once the guest house of Raja Bhupinder Singh, the building has been resurrected by the Neemrana group. The 19th century legacy and the recreated ambience of days of yore is its biggest USP. Rajinder Kothi, Baradari Gardens, Tel: (0175) 230 4433 www.neemranahotels.com Hotel Grand Park: This hotel has a central location in the heart of the old city. All shopping is walking-distance from it.Bhupindra Road, Opposite Kaintal Petrol Pump. Tel: (0175) 221 0725 www.hotelgrandpark.comEatThere is no dearth of eating options in Patiala. For traditional Indian sweets visit Jaggi Sweets located in Adalat Bazaar. The variety is mind boggling as they offer around 90 varieties of sweets ranging from rasgulla, barfi, dhoda to items like kaju tarbooz. To indulge in some kachori and chaat make your way to Sadhu Ram Kachori Wala located in Arna-Barna Chowk. This is one of the oldest shops here and the kachoris are fresh early in the morning.ShopRoam around Qila Bazaar to pick up jooties and Phulkari fabric. Be it bedspreads, salwar-kameez or cushion covers, you will find the best variety here. For wedding trousseau shopping head to Suhaag in Adalat Bazaar. See Spring is a great time to go around town. If you are with children visit Fun World, an amusement and water park with thrilling rides and slides. Also visit the Bahadurgarh Fort which is 6 km from the city. This majestic fort was built in AD 1658.advertisementadvertisementlast_img read more

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World Cup 2019: MS Dhoni invaluable to Team India, says Brendon McCullum

first_imgWith the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 just around the corner, all eyes will be on Team India which is seen as the most strong contender and on former captain MS Dhoni who is probably featuring in his last World Cup. Experts of the game believe the stumper will be a major weapon in Captain Virat Kohli’s armoury.Speaking on Star Sports, the tournament’s official global broadcaster which introduced a new show ‘FAB 15’ that analyses each player who is part of the Indian World Cup squad going to England, former New Zealand cricketer Brendon McCullum said: “He is invaluable to the Indian team, he has a blueprint in his mind along with an approach to the game. He always puts the opposition under pressure when he arrives at the crease and reads the game perfectly. His fitness has been great, and he has been striking the ball beautifully in the recent past.”On MSD’s recent form as a wicketkeeper and batsman, former England batsman Kevin Pietersen said: “His calmness gives him the ability to judge what’s in front of him, it doesn’t matter what situation it is, he is just one of those guys who you know would hold onto the ball when thrown at him.””The best thing about IPL this year was the rebirth of MSD’s batting, he took out all the bowling attacks in front of him,” he added.Also Read | Yuvraj Singh considering retirement, may seek BCCI permission to play private T20 leagues\Also See:last_img read more

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GRASSLEY & SENATE REPUBLICANS APPROVE GORSUCH TO SUPREME COURT

first_imgThe U.S. Senate confirmed Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court Friday by majority vote.Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley was one of the Republicans who voted to confirm the judge:Audio Playerhttp://kscj.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/CONFIRM.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC……….questions for 20 hours”.Grassley is the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee which holds hearings on the Supreme Court nominees.Some Democrats said they were against Gorsuch’s nomination because Grassley would not hold a hearing on a judge that President Obama had nominated last year.Grassley was asked how the whole fight over the Supreme Court nomination will impact other work in the U-S Senate.Audio Playerhttp://kscj.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/CONFIRM2.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC……to be poisoned” ;16Grassley says there are plenty of Republicans and Democrats who are willing to work together to make that new start when it comes to selecting Supreme Court judges.last_img read more

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BOLIN GUITARS DONATED TO NATIONAL MUSIC MUSEUM

first_imgSIOUX CITY’S TOMMY BOLIN HAS A PLACE IN ROCK AND ROLL HISTORY AS A LEGENDARY GUITARIST FOR GROUPS LIKE DEEP PURPLE AND THE JAMES GANG, ALONG WITH HIS SOLO EFFORTS.TWO GUITARS THAT ARE MODELS OF THOSE USED BY THE LATE ROCK STAR, WILL NOW HAVE A PERMANENT HOME IN THE NATIONAL MUSIC MUSEUM IN VERMILLION, SOUTH DAKOTA.MUSEUM DIRECTOR MATT COLLINSWORTH ACCEPTED THE GUITARS IN A CEREMONY AT VANGARDE ARTS ON FRIDAY:Audio Playerhttp://kscj.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/BOLIN1.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC……….MAKE IT HAPPEN. ;21ONE GUITAR FEATURES A PICTURE OF BOLIN ON IT FROM HIS “TEASER” ALBUM, THE OTHER IS KNOWN AS THE TOMI-KAZE, WITH A JAPANESE PRINT DESIGN ON IT.TOMMY’S BROTHER JOHNNIE DONATED THAT ONE WHILE SCOTT WILCOX IS DONATING THE “TEASER MODEL”:Audio Playerhttp://kscj.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/BOLIN2.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC……….NEEDED TO BE DONE. ;13THE MUSEUM IS EXPANDING AND BEING REMODELED RIGHT NOW, BUT COLLINSWORTH SAYS THE BOLIN GUITARS WILL BE DISPLAYED WITH THOSE FROM MUSIC LEGENDS SUCH AS ELVIS PRESLEY, LES PAUL AND JOHNNY CASH:Audio Playerhttp://kscj.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/BOLIN3.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC………….OUR EXHIBITIONS. :13THE MUSEUM WAS FOUNDED IN 1973 ON THE CAMPUS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH DAKOTA.last_img read more

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Conte: David Luiz not leaving, just injured

first_imgChelsea Conte: David Luiz not set for January transfer, he’s just injured Nizaar Kinsella Click here to see more stories from this author Chelsea correspondent 06:30 12/16/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) David Luiz Chelsea Getty Chelsea Premier League Southampton Antonio Conte David Luiz Transfers The Blues boss has strongly denied that he has problems with the Brazil defender, and refuted claims that the 30-year-old is set to leave Antonio Conte is growing frustrated with rumours that suggest David Luiz will make a January exit after a row with him in the past month, claiming the defender is just injured.Luiz was dropped by Conte for Chelsea’s match with Manchester United back in November following a poor defensive display in the 3-0 defeat to Roma. He has since sustained an inflammation of his right knee which is a reoccurrence of a problem that he suffered from last season.The 30-year-old has done a light session alone on the training pitch, but he has mostly been limited to the pool and treatment room in recent weeks. Conte is frustrated with suggestions that he is sitting out training due to a falling out with the manager and is keen to put these rumours to bed. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player “To stop this, I think it’s right to call the doctor and to have a conference with the doctor,” Conte told reporters. “I think this is a good idea. I understand that someone is thinking that I’m not telling the truth.“I’m disappointed about this, but I can understand it. I’m disappointed because I like to tell you the truth at every moment. I’d like to tell you a bad truth rather than a good lie.David Luiz Perotti Chelsea Roma Champions League“I think we can call the doctor and organise a conference with the doctor for him to explain the medical situation of all my players and, in this way, I can avoid having to answer this question.“Avoid the creation of this atmosphere of ‘it’s not true what he’s telling us’. I am disappointed about this, but I will try to solve the situation.”With the Premier League finishing slightly earlier this season due to the World Cup, the upcoming Christmas period is busier than usual for clubs, forcing Conte to rotate his squad more than he would like.Despite some players, such as Luiz, not featuring regularly so far this season, Conte has called upon his squad to maintain professionalism, claiming that the Blues players have a privileged life at Stamford Bridge.“I think that every player must be very happy not to play for Chelsea, but to stay in the squad for Chelsea,” Conte added. “It means you stay in a big team, in a great team. It’s normal that, when you’re in a great team, there is a lot of competition.Antonio Conte Chelsea Huddersfield“The coach can decide only for 11 players. This is normal, this is normal. I don’t like when you ask me if one player is not happy or if I have to find something to make him happy because I think we must be happy because we are living this atmosphere. We are doing a fantastic job.“We earn a lot of money. We must be very, very, very happy whether they play or not play. I understand that every player wants to play, this is normal. But we must be very, very, 1,000 times happy to have this job and this life. Me and my family, and the players and their families.“The coach is an educator. If someone doesn’t understand this, I have to try – with good or bad ways – to bring him in the right way.”Conte has had problems with his players in the past at Chelsea, with Diego Costa the most notable as he forced a transfer to Atletico Madrid. The Blues boss admits that it is not always easy to control players in the modern game and believes that the parents of young players are part of the problem.“It’s very important, the family education,” Conte continued. “If you have parents who give you a great education, for me it’s more simple. When they arrive with the first-team or in the academy, they have great respect for the coach, the job, the work.Antonio Conte Chelsea“And they respect every single person. When there is not a great family education, I’m in trouble. The coach of the young players is in trouble. Then arrives a player without education, and then we are in trouble.”Chelsea face Southampton at 15:00 GMT in the Premier League on Saturday, December 16 at Stamford Bridge. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

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Celebrates National Cognac Day with a Special Hennessy 200th Anniversary Release

first_img Maestro Dobel Diamante Blends 3 Tequilas Into One 2 oz Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège Cognac.5 oz Madeira3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters1 dash Angostura bittersOrange twist and gold leaf garnishMethod: Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice, stir to chill and strain into a rocks glass; garnish with the expressed oils of an orange twist, discard the twist and add gold leaf.The Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège 200th anniversary limited-edition is available at high-end retailers nationwide, and retails for around $80. As we covered recently with the Billecart-Salmon Champagne house, turning two hundred years old is a big damn deal. Think about it, if you yourself turned two hundred, you’d basically be able to do anything you wanted (who’d tell a two-hundred-year-old person no?) For cognac producer Hennessy, they are choosing to mark the two hundredth anniversary of their V.S.O.P Privilège with a special edition carafe.The release marks the date—March 1818–when the future King George IV of England received his specially commissioned “tierçon cask of excellent quality old pale” from James Hennessy. While the Hennessy company had been around for a few decades before this delivery, this cask was the inspiration for what would become the “Very Superior Old Pale” (V.S.O.P) designation that we know today.Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège is made from eaux-de-vies that are aged in, for the most part, partially used barrels delivering subtle oak tannins, leading to a balanced cognac redolent with vanilla, cinnamon, and toasted oak notes.For this special release, the brand wanted to look to the past as a means of looking to the future, so they enlisted San Francisco-based Turkish artist Can Buyukberber. They started with the original cognac bottle, known as a charentaise.Advertisement for Hennessy V.S.O.P. (charentaise) circa 1930-1945According to the brand, “Buyukberber captures Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège’s forward-looking ethos in a serpentine coil that encircles the carafe and blurs the boundaries between physical and digital space. The Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège theme, “Our heritage is our future,” is crystallized in a campaign visual that depicts the energy of the brand through leading-edge technology.”There are other past-meets-future elements, such as the copper-colored embellishments on the bottle, which are a nod to the alembic stills that are used to make the eaux-de-vies that become cognac. Another design element, the leather handle on the case, harks back to the leather aprons worn by the coopers who carefully crafted the barrels.While great on its own, Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège also works well in a spirit-forward cocktail, such as the Timeless Mastery below.The Timeless Mastery  Editors’ Recommendations 5 Classic Whiskey Cocktails You Should Know How to Make center_img Easy 3-Ingredient Cocktails You Can Master 7 Fall Cocktail Recipes to Enjoy With Cooler Weather 10 Classic Vodka Cocktail Recipes You Can Mix at Homelast_img read more

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Annie Lennox Speaks On UN Radio About Ending AIDS Around The World

first_imgAnnie Lennox has talked to United Nations Radio about ending AIDS around the world.“Start free, stay free, AIDS free” is a new plan adopted by the UN and its partners to accelerate the end of the AIDS epidemic.The announcement was made during a High-Level Meeting in the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week, focussing on wiping the disease out by 2030.To listen to Annie speak, click here.last_img

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Tina Fontaines family hopes report ensures others dont fall through the cracks

first_imgThe death of Tina Fontaine prompted a report from the Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth, which will be released Tuesday. File photo.Canadian PressThe woman who raised a teenage First Nation girl whose body was found in Winnipeg’s Red River says she hopes a new report from the children’s advocate will ensure a similar tragedy never happens again.“Whatever happens, nothing will ever bring Tina back, but with this thing coming out I hope it saves other children,” Thelma Favel, the great-aunt of Tina Fontiane, told The Canadian Press.The highly anticipated report from Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth Daphne Penrose will be released on Tuesday and is expected to detail Tina’s interactions with the child-welfare system, police, and others before she went missing. It will also provide recommendations to avoid future deaths.Members of Tina’s family will be present for the report’s release on the Sagkeeng First Nation, north of Winnipeg, where the 15-year-old spent much of her young life living with Favel.After Tina’s father was murdered in 2011, the teenager had difficulty coping so she left the First Nation in June 2014 to reconnect with her mother in Winnipeg.When Favel didn’t hear from the girl, she called Child and Family services for help.During the second-degree murder trial for Raymond Cormier — the man acquitted last year in Tina’s death — court heard how in the weeks after leaving Sagkeeng, Tina disappeared multiple times, returned to government care and was placed in a hotel.She was treated at a hospital, interacted with police, called 911 and was captured on security camera footage falling asleep between two cars behind a building named after Helen Betty Osborne — a Cree woman kidnapped and killed in Manitoba in 1971.Her 72-pound body, wrapped in a duvet cover and weighed down by rocks, was pulled from the Red River that August.Her death renewed calls for a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and inspired volunteer groups such as the Bear Clan Patrol to protect the vulnerable on the streets. A 24-hour safe space for Winnipeg youth was dedicated to her memory last May.Penrose delivered the report to Favel last week, and while she was unable to share details, Favel said it demonstrates how deeply Tina was failed.“All the systems that failed her, even now it hurts. I could just picture her walking those streets and nobody helping her,” Favel said, choking back tears.“She didn’t deserve that. Nobody does.”Favel said she believes the report and its accompanying recommendations will be an important part of Tina’s legacy, making sure that gaps are closed and children are safe.“That’s my main concern, that no other kids fall through the cracks like she did.”news@aptn.calast_img read more

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Manohar Parrikar enjoyed acceptance from all sections of BJP and beyond

first_imgPanaji: Manohar Parrikar, who rose from a pracharak of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to become the country’s Defence Minister and also chief minister of Goa, enjoyed a man-next-door image in the politically-volatile coastal state.Parrikar, 63, served the state four times as chief minister and had a three-year-long stint as Defence Minister in the Narendra Modi-led cabinet. He was a leader who enjoyed acceptance from all sections of the BJP and beyond. He played a key role in making the BJP a force to reckon with in Goa, which remained for long a Congress bastion, with regional outfits having pockets of influence. Born on December 13, 1955 into a middle class family, his political career began as an RSS pracharak and he continued working for the Sangh even after graduating from IIT-Bombay as a metallurgical engineer. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killedParrikar never shied away from displaying his affiliation to the Sangh and was even photographed participating in the annual ‘Sanchalan’ organised by the RSS in the uniform and wielding lathi. He even credited the surgical strikes conducted by Indian Army in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir during his tenure as Defence Minister to the teachings of the RSS. His plunge into BJP politics is considered as an attempt by the party to curb the growth of the state’s oldest regional political party Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP). Also Read – 14-yr-old girl raped, strangled to death in UP’s ShamliParrikar entered electoral politics in 1994 when he won on a BJP ticket from Panaji constituency. He was leader of the Opposition from June to November 1999 and was known for his speeches against the then Congress-led government. He became chief minister of Goa for the first time on October 24, 2000, but his tenure lasted only until February 27, 2002. On June 5, 2002, he was re-elected and served another term as chief minister. On January 29, 2005, his government was reduced to a minority in the assembly after four BJP MLAs resigned from the House. Pratapsinh Rane of the Congress subsequently replaced Parrikar as chief minister. In 2007, the Parrikar-led BJP was defeated by the Congress led by Digambar Kamat. But the year 2012 saw Parrikar riding a popularity wave in the state when he took his party to the historic number of 21 out of 40 seats in the assembly. He went on to become the chief minister again. BJP continued its victory mark in the year 2014 when the party won both the Lok Sabha seats. After the Modi-led Cabinet was sworn at the Centre, Parrikar was offered a ministerial berth in November 2014. He remained in the union cabinet till 2017 when his party failed to garner a majority in the Goa legislative assembly polls. He returned to the state in March 2017 when he managed to woo alliance partners such as Goa Forward Party and MGP to support him to form the government. His health started deteriorating in February 2018 and he was first admitted at Mumbai’s Lilavati Hospital for pancreatic ailment. He was flown to the US in the first week of March last year where he remained admitted at hospital till June. Parrikar attended the monsoon session of Assembly from July 19 to August 3, and left for the USA on August 10 for the second round of checkup. He returned to Goa on August 22, 2018. After being treated at a makeshift medical facility at his residence, Parrikar was shifted to the AIIMS New Delhi on September 15 last year. After almost a month-long treatment, he returned to Goa on October 14. Parrikar stunned everyone when he reached the CM’s office on January 2 this year after a gap of almost two-and-a-half months. On January 27, he attended the inauguration of the third bridge on Mandovi river along with Union minister Nitin Gadkari. He also attended the budget session on January 29 and presented the state Budget the next day. On the last day of the session on January 31, he was taken for treatment to AIIMS, New Delhi and returned to Goa on February 5. Parrikar also addressed the Atal Booth Karyakarta Sammelan on February 9, 2019 in the presence of BJP president Amit Shah. During the last few days, Parrikar had been in and out of Goa Medical College and Hospital for treatment, but was mostly confined to his private residence.last_img read more

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DPR Korea UN expert urges new leaders to improve human rights

“Positive engagement of the DPRK with the international community would be welcomed by all quarters, as has been the case with Myanmar, where the adoption of reform processes are welcomed widely,” said Marzuki Darusman, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the DPRK, at the end of a five-day visit to Japan.He voiced his hope that the DPRK’s new leaders will use “the succession as an opportunity to engage with the international community and secure global confidence,” adding that the international community expects that steps will be taken to improve the country’s human rights record.“I call on the new leadership to address all questions and concerns in relation to human rights, and resolve outstanding issues such as the abduction of Japanese and other foreign nationals without further delay,” Mr. Darusman told a news conference in the Japanese capital, Tokyo.During his mission to Japan, Mr. Darusman held several meetings with Government officials, national and international non-governmental organizations, as well as individuals, including the families of the abducted Japanese.“The DPRK should stand by its commitment made to Japan of re-investigating the 12 pending cases of abduction,” said Mr. Darusman. “The urgency of the matter is clear, the abductees are getting old and so are their family members here in Japan.”He said that information gathered in talks with defectors from the DPRK indicated that the humanitarian situation in that country remains dire, with serious shortages of food, amid a critical human rights situation.“I also heard with concern that asylum-seekers from the DPRK are being refouled by neighbouring countries, and that border control has been tightened over the last month or so, which makes fleeing the DPRK more difficult,” he said.Since his appointment in August 2010, Mr. Darusman has made several requests to visit DPRK, but they have not been granted. In the absence of cooperation from DPRK, he has been visiting other countries in the region – Japan, the Republic of Korea and Thailand.He said that he would approach the new DPRK leadership in the coming days to make another request for a meeting and access to the country. 20 January 2012An independent United Nations expert today urged the new leadership in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to address pressing human rights concerns and resolve related outstanding issues, including the abduction of Japanese and other foreign nationals. read more

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Britain facing shortage of meat and other foods amid CO2 crisis

The unprecedented shortage – caused by the unexpected shutdown of several factories – has been exacerbated by hot June weather and the England football team’s success in the World Cup.  Britain is facing the prospect of a shortage of meat and other food supplies amid calls for ministers to intervene in the growing crisis sparked by the shortage of carbon dioxide. Supermarkets warned customers that some products were already unavailable, with shelves expected to be empty of certain foods within days. CO2 is used for carbonating soft drinks, packaging a wide range of products including meat and bakery items and in the slaughter process of pigs and chickens.  Meat and beer, already in high demand,… read more

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Zinc and nicel price forecast

first_imgJanuary’s issue of International Mining features a World Zinc Report and a World Prospects nickel special. Following several decades of underperformance, zinc is poised to outperform. Like zinc, nickel prices are high and the market is very robust. Nickel prices increased very strongly in the latter months of 2006 and are continuing to rise. Nickel has consistently traded above $13/lb since mid-August, recently touching highs of over $15.40/lb.Jubilee Mines’ Chairman, Kerry Harmanis, recently stated, “We saw wide variations between prices over the year because of the volatility of the price and the ‘pipeline’ system for shipments dispatched to Inco. Overall we averaged $9.42/lb for financial year 2006. Our nickel production is unhedged, so our earnings remain highly sensitive to movements in the nickel price. The strong prices of the past six months, and our production performance, have certainly laid the foundations for another excellent financial performance for Jubilee in the first half of 2007.”While the nickel market continues to be volatile, the long-term supply and demand fundamentals remain very healthy. The Chinese stainless steel industry has returned as buyers during the second half of the year as the strong growth of China’s economy continues. Chinese stainless steel production is forecast to increase by some 60% this year to over 5 Mt – this involves a lot of new nickel. A recent news report from China quoting the country’s transport director gives an insight into the structural transition occurring in the Chinese economy. This report indicated that China expects to spend $190 billion within the next four years to increase its rail network by 92,000 km (20%).Delays and cost increases have been seen in nickel supply for some of the major new projects and no sight of any new supply of any significance on the horizon. This combination of very tight supply and strong demand is directly reflected in LME nickel stocks, which have fallen from around 35,000 t at the start of 2006 to recent levels of around 6,700 t – or less than two days’ of global consumption.In a report published in November, Scotia Capital updated its zinc outlook, increasing the price forecast from $1.48/lb to $2.06/lb. Due to the higher price forecast it is anticipated that zinc inventories will reach critically low levels in the second quarter of 2007. The International Zinc and Lead Study Group expects global demand for refined zinc metal to increase by 2.6% to 11.35 Mt in 2007 (IM, January 2006, pp. 14-39).last_img read more

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Minerals Council South Africa launches national Safety Health Days in Mining campaign

first_imgFollowing a meeting of the Board of the Minerals Council South Africa, the Board has advised that it is deeply disappointed, concerned and saddened by the increase in fatalities experienced in the mining industry this year, and in 2017. In addition to the active steps being taken by the Minerals Council and its members to address these recent events, and to get the industry’s quest for Zero Harm back on track, the Minerals Council will lead a national campaign of Safety & Health Days in Mining 2018, to be launched in mid-August.While arrangements for each member company’s Safety & Health Day are still being finalised, Minerals Council President, Mxolisi Mgojo, said: “This day will mark both the remembrance of those whose lives have been lost in mining, and a renewed and absolute commitment by all member companies to safety and health of employees as the primary objective of every company. During the month of August, every member company will initiate its own Safety & Health Day at its operations representing a visible commitment that safety and health is the foremost priority to the industry’s leadership. In recognising that safety and health is a collaborative effort and responsibility, we will be reaching out to and working closely with the Department of Mineral Resources and all unions.”Mgojo notes that the spate of unrelated accidents since 2017, has resulted in a rising fatality trend after more than 20 years of almost uninterrupted improvements in fatality rate improvements. Between 1993 and 2016 the fatality rate fell by 88%, largely as a result of the concerted efforts by companies, the regulator and labour. The Minerals Council believes that the current situation is unsatisfactory, and is further intensifying its work with its members to address both the spate of recent accidents, and the need to go further towards the elimination of all accidents and incidents at work. The most serious accidents of 2018 – in which there have been several multiple fatality incidents – have been very different in nature. “These range from falls of ground following a seismic event, to employees accessing old areas, to an underground fire. Intensive investigations are being undertaken around each incident, and these take time. Their outcomes will provide greater insight and guidance on the way forward.”“When the downward trend in fatalities showed signs of reversing last year, the Minerals Council mobilised its resources and members, in an effort to address the accidents and incidents that were occurring. Initial indications showed an increase in falls of ground, specifically related to seismic events. A Mining Industry Occupational Safety and Health Fall of Ground task team was established, and leading practices on rockbursts, in particular, are being reviewed. The findings will be shared across the industry.”Addressing fall of ground incidents, particularly at deep-level mines, is an area that joint industry efforts have focused on most intensively over the past several years. This focus is reflected in the more than ZAR150 million that the Mine Health and Safety Council (MHSC) has invested in gravity falls of ground research. Through the MHSC, more than ZAR250 million has been spent on research into the seismicity associated with deep-level mines. The research outcomes have led to new mine designs and methods and, until last year, continuous improvements in outcomes.“A critical element of the Minerals Council’s leadership role was the establishment in 2012 of the CEO Zero Harm Forum to acknowledge the value of leading by example. The Forum, comprising mining company CEOs, meets on a quarterly basis and directs and guides industry’s efforts in respect of safety and health. One of the first focus areas was on falls of ground, the greatest contributor to fatalities at the time. This work led to some of the vast improvements that have been seen in this area. Following the next CEO Zero Harm Forum on 17 August 2018, it will share publicly some of its current and planned initiatives.”“An area that is of great concern to all stakeholders is the need to empower employees to withdraw from work should they feel unsafe, and for supervisors to be trained to encourage and deal with such situations. Many companies have undertaken training in this regard, and the Minerals Council will be embarking on an initiative to learn from those areas of leading practice and to ensure these lessons are shared across the sector.”Mgojo concludes: “The industry recognises that much more needs to be done. The Minerals Council and its members will continue to work with its stakeholders, including government and organised labour, to protect the occupational health and safety of all mineworkers, and in our quest for Zero Harm.”last_img read more

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Column Laughter at World Toilet Day is worth it if it highlights

first_imgSigning the Keep Your Promises petition which will be handed in to world leaders to call on them to keep their promises and to ensure that everyone, everywhere has access to safe sanitation and clean water. The link is here. Support  the #IGiveAShit campaign which calls on government s and institutions to act to tackle this unacceptable cause of death for children worldwide. TODAY IS WORLD Toilet Day. Yes, there really is one.Go on smile, have a little laugh even. The man from the United Nations said we probably would. In fact, he said: “The amusement and laughter likely to follow the designation of 19 November as ‘World Toilet Day’ would all be worthwhile if people’s attention was drawn to the fact that 2.5 billion people lacked proper sanitation and 1.1 billion were forced to defecate in the open.”In basic terms, it means one in three people in the world do not have access to a clean and functioning toilet or, put another way, more people have access to a mobile phone (6 billion people) than have access to toilets or latrines (4.5 billion people).Serious health riskWe all know that without toilets, untreated human waste can impact a whole community, affecting many aspects of daily life and ultimately posing a serious risk to health including child malnutrition.Beyond health there are societal impacts, such as teenage girls often leaving school at the onset of menstruation due to lack of privacy and the risk of attack or rape associated with being forced to defecate in the open during nightfall.Every year more children die from diarrhoea related disease than from HIV, malaria and tuberculosis combined.  This situation could be solved simply by providing improved water, sanitation and hygiene facilities.Sanitation a low priorityDespite the scale of the crisis, sanitation remains a low priority for governments and recent efforts to address this fall far short of what is required.The simple fact is that toilets are one of the best investments a country can make with a rate of return of more than $5 dollars for every $1 invested.There is growing evidence showing the social and economic benefits for households, businesses and the wider community, such as increased productivity through time gains and health benefits, increase in tourism revenues through clean environments, a strong reduction of health costs by avoiding treating sanitation related diseases, higher levels of education, and other benefits related to dignity and safety.Clear targetsThe Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), agreed by governments in the year 2000, outlined clear and ambitious targets for water and sanitation provision by 2015. Efforts over the past decade have yielded some progress.The World Health Organisation declared the target for water supply as being met in 2010, with two billion people gaining access to improved water since 1990. Unfortunately, this achievement is somewhat overshadowed by the fact that achievement of the MDG target for sanitation now appears beyond reach.The number of people living without improved sanitation is disproportionately high in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.Water and sanitation programmes are a key component of Concern’s overseas work contributing to the organisation’s strategic goal to “significantly improve the health of extremely poor people”.UrbanisationSpecific attention to urban sanitation is seen as essential as rapid rates of urbanisation mean that, by 2030, almost five billion people will live in towns and cities, with urban growth most concentrated in Africa and Asia.Approximately one billion of the world’s population are already living in urban slums where lack of access to safe toilets and proper sanitation is most acute.The sad fact is that, like so many ‘development’ issues, there are solutions out there that are not yet impacting the lives of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people.Hygienic toilets Solutions ranging from the most basic construction of latrines to higher tech versions that include the creation of waterless and hygienic toilets that don’t rely on sewer lines and that can store and process waste into fertiliser, energy and even drinkable water.But like so many development issues we still need the political will and financial support to make them a reality.World Toilet Day? Yes we can still have a smile about it, but it can also be a reminder that we all have an urgent role to play in supporting national and international efforts to improve access to sanitation for all.You can do this by:center_img If you wish to learn more about this vital issue, see www.worldtoiletday.org or you can attend a discussion in Dublin’s Davis Lecture Theatre, Arts Block, Trinity College from 6:30pm -8:00pm today, November 19th, World Toilet Day.Michael Doorly is Head of Active Citizenship with Concern Worldwide. He promotes educational programmes on development issues all over Ireland and leads for the agency on the active engagement of students in initiatives like the long-standing annual Concern Debates, Concern Writing Competition, and more. Follow Concern Worldwide on Twitter here.last_img read more

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Solar Impulse the first solarpowered plane to fly both day and night

first_imgPictured above is proof that alternative energy sources are a viable way to replace the fossil fuels we have been dependent on for so long. Called the Solar Impulse it’s the creation of Bertrand Piccard, the grandson of  Auguste Piccard who invented a pressurized gondola that allowed him to travel 50,000 feet into the air… in 1931.You can see the pedigree that Bertrand comes from and understand his drive to push limits and explore things previously thought to be impossible. His goal for the Solar Impulse was to create the world’s first solar-powered plane that could travel both day and night, an interesting prospect since there are no solar rays to collect at night.Wit a wingspan comparable to that of an Aerobus A340 jet (208 feet) and the weight (3,527 pounds) of a family automobile, this aircraft was built to be lightweight yet durable during flight. Amazingly, it’s powered by just four 10 horsepower electric engines — basically they took four scooter motors and attached them to the wings. The structure of the plane is made up of lightweight carbon fiber that house 882 pounds of batteries and the cockpit. A total of 10,748 solar cells were used along the wingspan, as well as the real stabilizer, allowing the craft to power the engines to a top speed of 43.5 mph. It’s maximum cruising altitude is 28,000 feet, very close to the average of commercial airliners.Solar Impulse completed its first 24 hour flight on July 7th of this year. Flying all day, the plane stored up solar energy into its batteries for later use. To conserve that battery energy at night, Piccard rose to a higher altitude that allowed him shut his engines off to glide on the updrafts in the sky. Using this method, he was able to wait until he absolutely needed to turn on the electrical engines that used the reserve power supply. An impressive feat for sure, with the only barriers during the flight being cold and fatigue.You can watch a highlight video of the Solar Impulse below.More at SolarImpulse.com, via CNNlast_img read more

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Violence erupts outside Keratea

first_imgTension peaked near Keratea, southeast of Athens, on Tuesday as hundreds of residents clashed with riot police deployed to oversee the removal of a large pile of rubble from a major road linking the nearby port of Lavrio to the capital. The residents, who have been violently protesting the planned construction of a landfill in their area for the past three months, had piled the rubble on the road on Monday. According to sources, the move had been a reaction to news that authorities were planning to send in bulldozers to start work on building the landfill. There is also speculation that comments by Interior Minister Yiannis Ragousis in an interview with Kathimerini over the weekend – expressing the government’s resolve to push ahead with the landfill project – might have triggered the residents’ violent reaction. Tuesday’s clashes began early when protesters set fire to a bulldozer sent to clear the road of rubble. At around 3 pm, the town’s church bells rang out and residents used megaphones to call on locals to join the protest. Hundreds of demonstrators of all ages fought police around Lavriou Avenue and in fields around the landfill site and on the outskirts of the town and hurled firebombs and rocks at riot officers. The force sent six riot police buses to the site to fortify an already strong police presence. They said that four officers were injured in the clashes though it remained unclear how many protesters had been hurt. Constantinos Levantinis, the mayor of Lavreotiki – a municipality comprising Keratea and two other towns – expressed concern about the fresh outbreak of violence. “I fear the worst,” he said. “We are all in danger and we need an immediate solution to this problem.” Source: Kathimerini Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

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Une baleine de 20 tonnes séchoue dans le Finistère

first_imgUne baleine de 20 tonnes s’échoue dans le FinistèreMardi matin, un rorqual commun a été retrouvé par des surfeurs, échoué sur la plage de la Torche dans le Finistère. Aujourd’hui, les équipes n’ont pas eu d’autre choix que de découper l’animal mort pour éviter qu’il ne pourrisse sur la plage. Une baleine de près de vingt tonnes et de seize mètres de long gisant sur le sable. C’est le spectacle tragique qu’ont découvert des surfeurs mardi matin en se rendant sur la plage de la Torche dans le sud du Finistère. Rapidement, ils ont alerté les secours mais l’animal était déjà mort. Selon les informations divulguées par le journal Ouest France et confirmées ensuite par l’Océanopolis de Brest, il s’agirait plus précisément d’un rorqual commun. “Entre une et deux baleines s’échouent en moyenne chaque année en Bretagne. Celle-ci est la troisième de l’année”, a commenté Christine Dumas, chef d’équipe de soigneurs mammifères marins au centre Océanopolis qui a réalisé des prélèvements sur l’animal mercredi. L’annonce de l’échouage a toutefois attiré de nombreux curieux. “C’est assez impressionnant de voir une baleine d’aussi près. Après, c’est triste qu’un animal comme celui-là disparaisse”, a commenté un promeneur cité par France Soir. De même, un jeune père accompagné de son fils a confié : “C’est incroyable. Quand j’ai appris la nouvelle, j’ai voulu montrer la baleine à mon fils. Il a cinq ans et il n’en verra sans doute plus une d’aussi près à quelques kilomètres de la maison”. Si l’évènement a donc suscité un grand intérêt, la suite des opérations apparait encore plus tragique. En effet, vu le poids du cétacé, il était impossible pour les équipes de soulever la baleine pour débarrasser la plage et empêcher qu’elle y pourrisse. Pas question non plus de repousser à la mer la créature dans un état de décomposition très avancée et qui pourrait gravement contaminer les eaux environnantes. Les secours n’ont ainsi pas eu d’autre choix que d’entreprendre le découpage du rorqual et d’user de grue pour le déplacer morceau par morceau. L’origine de l’accident reste inconnue À lire aussiMigaloo la baleine blanche extrêmement rare a de nouveau été filméeQuant à la raison de l’échouage, celle-ci demeure un mystère. Selon les spécialistes, la vieillesse, la maladie ou une collision avec un bateau pourrait très bien être à l’origine de la mort de la baleine. Les cétacés entament en début d’hiver leur migration au large de la Bretagne à destination du sud, avant de remonter vers le nord au début de l’été. Animaux solitaires, elles ne se regroupent alors qu’au moment de la reproduction, relève l’AFP. Cependant, les prélèvements réalisés par les équipes de l’Océanopolis pourront peut-être permettre d’en apprendre davantage sur la créature et sur ce qui lui est arrivé.  Découvrez en images la baleine échouée sur la plage du Finistère sur Maxisciences Le 30 novembre 2011 à 18:12 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

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Mens Health Month renews focus on early prevention

first_imgFather’s Day has passed, so it’s OK to return to nagging dad about his health.Jokes like that might someday be a thing of the past if men become less stubborn when it comes to seeking health care.Dr. Gregory Scott, a primary care physician at Adventist Health Fisher’s Landing in Vancouver, explained that men can be more stubborn than women when it comes to health needs. Getting men to the doctor is a focus of Men’s Health Month, which occurs every June. Studies have shown that men are more stubborn when it comes to getting health care because of outdated misconceptions tied to masculinity and toughness.Data from the Cleveland Clinic revealed that even when sick, 60 percent of men will avoid a doctor’s visit. That data also found that 83 percent of women encourage their husbands or male partners to visit the doctor.Scott said some of this problem is intertwined with family men thinking they need to postpone tending to their health so they can continue to work and be present for their family.“They get busy with their families, and work, and they tend to put things off a little bit more than women do,” Scott said.Family and friends can help by encouraging their male friends to not delay seeking treatment when symptoms that appear. But the root cause of male stubbornness when it comes to health care is generally based in misconceptions that are shifting positively with time, Scott said. For example, men are more likely to associate mental health struggles with “weakness,” Scott said, but that is becoming less common.last_img read more

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Navy Florida Utility Agree on Leases for Solar Plants at Two Bases

first_imgThe Navy and Gulf Power signed a real estate outgrant last month to develop large-scale solar electric generating facilities at airfields used by two bases on the tip of the Florida Panhandle — Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola and NAS Whiting Field.Gulf Power, a Southern Company subsidiary, will develop solar facilities with a total capacity of 117 megawatts of direct current on:290 acres at Navy Outlying Landing Field (NOLF) Saufley in Pensacola — 65-megawatt capacity; and300 acres at NOLF Holley in Navarre — 52-megawatt capacity.Gulf Power’s third-party solar energy developer, Coronal Development Services, will build, own, operate and maintain the facilities. The utility will then acquire all of the energy and associated renewable energy credits generated by the projects to serve all of its customers, reported the Navy News Service.The solar facilities are two of the eight renewable generation projects the Navy is supporting in the Southeast, contributing to nearly 30 percent of the secretary of the Navy’s goal to bring one gigawatt of renewable energy into production or procurement by the end of 2015, according to Rear Adm. Mary Jackson, commander of Navy Region Southeast.“With 11 percent of all DOD flight hours flown out of NAS Whiting Field it is critical to maintain operations, regardless of the circumstances, and this agreement enables us to do so with greater reliability,” said Capt. Todd Bahlau, commanding officer of NAS Whiting Field.Officials will hold a groundbreaking ceremony at NAS Pensacola in December and anticipate both solar facilities will be operational by December 2016. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

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