Category: wkerbwkp

Yogi Adityanath offers prayers at Ayodhya ‘Ram temple’

first_imgUttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday offered prayers at the makeshift Ram temple here on his first visit to the town after taking charge.The visit assumes significance as it comes a day after criminal conspiracy charges were framed against top BJP leaders in the Babri mosque demolition case.Mr. Adityanath, who arrived here this morning, spent around 30 minutes at the makeshift temple. He later offered payers on the banks of the Saryu River.Mr. Adityanath began his visit by offering prayers at the Hanumangarhi Temple in Ayodhya.He was accompanied by Dharam Das, against whom conspiracy charges were framed on Tuesday along with the other BJP leaders.A special CBI court in Lucknow had on Tuesday framed charges against BJP veterans L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Union minister Uma Bharti and nine others in the 1992 Babri mosque demolition case.last_img read more

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Nirav Modi’s Diamonds, New York, London Homes Worth Rs. 637 Crore Seized

first_imgFugitive jeweler Nirav Modi’s wealth and properties worth Rs. 637 crore in India and abroad have been seized, the Enforcement Directorate said today. High-priced jewellery, luxe apartments and bank accounts stowing hundreds of crores have been taken over by investigators, in India and four other countries including UK and New York.Read it at NDTV Related Itemslast_img

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World Cup catches betting flu, 13 arrested

first_imgDelhi Polices crime branch sleuths with the seized laptops, cell phones, recording devices and note books after busting a betting racket.With due apologies to Australian cricket captain Ricky ‘Punter’ Ponting, he is not the only punter playing in this World Cup. Seriously, there have always been punters in cricket and they never retire.Ever since the game evolved from the humble village of Humbledon in England, people have been wagering their money – from outcome of matches to something as strange as the colour of Bishan Singh Bedi’s turban. Bedi apparently used to change his turbans for each session of a Test match and the Aussies used to love betting on the colour he would choose for a particular session.That was when cricket was played by gentlemen in crisp flannels. Today, betting is a highrolling syndicate in the Western world and a similar big money spinning nefarious activity in our parts.The World Cup give this “vice” a frenzied lease of life, spawning crores of rupees on the sly. Since the law of the land does not agree to such activities, the police obviously swoop down on such rackets operating from decrepit houses in dark alleys with an assortment of modern high-tech communication gadgets. These fly by night operators thrive on the human instinct to make money and more money.Of late, the police have been hot on the heels of betting rackets across the country. In Delhi, they have busted three betting syndicates over the past three weeks.advertisementOn Sunday, inspector Arvind Kumar’s team arrested five punters – Kuldeep Jain (32), Suresh Chand Jain(42), Ajay Jain (34), Manoj Jain (39) and Avdhesh Sharma (44) – from a house on rent in East of Kailash, south-east Delhi. These five were not taking bets directly, but 32 bookies across the city were doing their job. They were offering Rs 1.60 for every rupee invested.The police said the punters use a computer software, Back and LayPro, to place the bets. The software can be downloaded from the internet or bought from Gaffar Market, the police added.A rented room often attracts the police. Hence, many syndicates have moved to cars and vans. “Cars are the safest place to run a betting racket. All you need is a laptop with WiFi, mobile phone, television and a notebook.The police have so far arrested 13 bookies in the Capital. Nine of them CUP CATCHES are property dealers. They confessed that were trying to cash in on the World Cup fever to make a quick buck.Down south, the betting mafia has made Karnataka its new hub for the World Cup. The police have busted rackets in five different locations across the state over the past 15 days – arresting more than 25 people in Bangalore, Bellary, and Belgaum.”We had clear information that the betting mafia has moved to Karnataka from Mumbai. They have formed a ring in the state. All the five gangs that we nabbed are interconnected,” a senior police officer said.What has appalled the police is the presence of armed guards from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar outside the houses of the betting gangs. “This is new to Bangalore. Armed guards are common in Mumbai. The Bangalore underworld does not rely on guards from other states,” the officer added.In Andhra Pradesh, the Vijayawada police on Sunday arrested five persons for betting on the India-England cricket match in Bangalore and seized Rs 2.10 lakh in cash, 12 mobile phones and a laptop.Here again, real estate dealers from Hyderabad were involved in the betting racket. Subba Raju, a punter and property dealer, said cricket betting has two categories: match betting and fancy betting.”Match betting is simple. In this, one can bet, for instance, on 40:42 when two favourite teams are playing. The bookie gets Rs 40,000 extra for every one lakh he bets on the first team if it wins the match. If the second team wins, he would lose Rs 42,000 for every one lakh straightaway.As the match progresses, the bookies can raise their stake, but the basic figure remains the same,” Raju explained.last_img read more

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‘Pogba would be world’s best under Ferguson’

first_imgPaul Pogba would be “the best player in the world” under Sir Alex Ferguson, says Michael Owen, with current Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho failing the attacking talent in his squad.The man currently at the Old Trafford helm has enhanced his reputation down the years on the ability to build success from the back.A similar approach has been taken during his time in Manchester, although defensive frailties have started to creep in over recent weeks. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Issues across the field have contributed to a four-match winless run, with reports of disputes away from the pitch doing little to aid performances on it.World Cup winner Pogba is among those to have been dragged into a distracting series of rows, with the Frenchman considered to be failing to reach his potential as a result of having the wrong manager guiding him.Former United striker Owen told the Daily Star on the inconsistent midfielder: “I think he’s a great player, although I find it quite frustrating watching him. Considering his age he ought to know a lot more and play a lot more maturely than he does.“Consistency comes with maturity, but again there’s mitigating circumstances with the manager and things like that. Under Ferguson he would be the best player in the world.“He got the best out of players and would see the unbelievable talent. You look at the likes of Eric Cantona.“Even if he did something that everyone sees is wrong, Ferguson would still make a case and make allowances for players like that, because he realised how important they are.“Mourinho has a long list of players…you look at Mohammed Salah and Kevin De Bruyne, players like that. Now Pogba and Alexis Sanchez.“There’s no question that they’ve been better in different teams and I think you could say that about a lot of his players. Mourinho has improved some players – but the majority of those are defenders.”Jose Mourinho Manchester United West Ham 290918Owen believes Mourinho must shoulder much of the blame for United’s current struggles, with big money having been spent bolstering the Red Devils’ ranks since he took the reins in 2016.The ex-England international added: “I’m convinced a manager has got so much importance to how the team plays.“It’s no coincidence that with United, it doesn’t matter who they sign.“I said at the time with Sanchez, he would be a far better player at Manchester City and it’s turned out to be correct. I’m convinced managers are hugely influential.“You could put an average player in Pep Guardiola or Jurgen Klopp’s side and they would look world class because of how they play and who they play alongside.“Without naming names you could look at lots of players in those two teams who are only okay and all of a sudden people are calling them world beaters.“I could name half a dozen at Liverpool and City. In other teams they’d just appear like normal players -now they’re being discussed in world-class terms. That’s down to the style of management.”last_img read more

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Zidane rejects claims Isco will be sold

first_imgTransfers Zidane rubbishes Isco exit rumours amid Chelsea links: I want him here for life! Dom Farrell Last updated 1 year ago 21:55 2/9/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(2) Isco Getty Images Transfers Chelsea Real Madrid Primera División Premier League Isco Zinédine Zidane The midfield playmaker has been linked with a move to the Premier League but the Frenchman insists he is going nowhere in the summer Zinedine Zidane wants Isco at Real Madrid for “his whole life” and insists claims the player could leave at the end of this season are false.Spain playmaker Isco dazzled at the end of last season, starring as Zidane’s side collected Champions League and La Liga titles.But as their title defence has stumbled domestically this term, the 25-year-old has found starts harder to come by. 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 Isco was an unused substitute as Madrid slumped to a 3-0 Clasico loss against Barcelona before Christmas, while last weekend’s goalscoring contribution to the 2-2 draw at Levante also came from the bench.The likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool have been linked with a move for the former Malaga man but speaking ahead of Saturday’s match against Real Sociedad, Madrid’s head coach categorically denied he could leave.”I’m glad you’ve asked me. I was asked before [during the January transfer window] why weren’t we going to sign anyone,” Zidane told reporters.”I said I’ve always believed in my team and I will do until the very end. When I start something I get involved, I believe where I’m going, what I should be doing and I back the people I’m working with.”Isco’s one of them. He a very good footballer. He’s proven that in the past and will do that again”I want Isco [in my team] and I want him to spend his whole life here.”It’s a lie that I want Isco to be sold in the summer. Hopefully we won’t hear any more of this.”66 – Isco Alarcon has played more La Liga games than any other Real Madrid player under Zinedine Zidane (44 starts, 17 goals and 16 assists). Essential. pic.twitter.com/deIrAx7wqh — OptaJose (@OptaJose) February 7, 2018 Nevertheless, Zidane was keen to point out that his backing for Isco did not mean a guaranteed run of starts, given the competition for places in his Madrid squad.”There’s 25 of us. Everyone is important,” he said. “I get asked this question by you, by somebody else – why Isco? Why [Marco] Asensio?”The most important thing for me is the team. Isco won’t play every game between now and the end of the season but he’s part of the squad.”I have to pick a team. There are many games.”I get asked about Isco and I’m pretty sure I’ll get asked about Asensio and [Dani] Ceballos and players who might play less than their team-mates”These questions are common. I’m the one with a tough decision to make.”Isco has started 14 games and come on four more times in La Liga this season, scoring five times, and started all but one of their Champions League group games.last_img read more

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a month agoPotter getting to know Brighton squad through injuries

first_imgAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Potter getting to know Brighton squad through injuriesby Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the loveBrighton manager Graham Potter says he is having to dig deep in his squad this season.Steven Alzate and Aaron Connolly are teenagers who have recently made their debuts as Albion’s injury list includes the likes of Leandro Trossard, Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Leon Balogun.Speaking before Wednesday’s Carabao Cup clash with Aston Villa, Potter said of his squad: “We’re just at the start of working with the group, and that’s the under-23s as well and the whole playing staff here, so the more information we get the better for us – and that’s how we shall look at this game.”We want to, hopefully, be surprised, of course.”He added: “It’s an opportunity to look at the group in its entirety and guys who have not had as much game time as they would like will get the opportunity.”We can also look at some younger players as well to see how they cope in that type of environment against what I think will be a strong Aston Villa side.”Of course, it’s a game you want to win but at the same time we’re in a bit of a heavy period as well with a couple of injuries so we just need to look after the group and make sure we select the right team to be as competitive as we can.” last_img read more

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Jimenez, Navarro highlight Mexico XI

first_imgRaul Jimenez leads the line for Mexico while Fernando Navarro wins his first cap for El tri with a start against Venezuela on Wednesday. Tata Martino is coaching just his third match as Mexico manager and once again is relying on the Wolves forward up front, as he did with his debut match on the bench, a 3-1 win over Chile. On either side of Jimenez are two players who don’t always play as wingers. Monterrey’s Rodolfo Pizarro, who also started against Chile but generally plays more centrally, and Cruz Azul’s Roberto Alvarado, a 20-year-old who has experience as an interior midfielder, get the nod. With several attackers not available for the Gold Cup, the chemistry between that front three may be critical to Mexico achieving its goal of reclaiming the Gold Cup. Martino also is handing Leon right back Navarro his international debut at age 30, days after he played in the Liga MX final against Tigres. Next to him is a center-back pairing of Diego Reyes and Nestor Araujo with Monterrey left back Jesus Gallardo filling out the four-man back line.  Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? In the midfield, Pizarro and Gallardo’s teammate Carlos Rodriguez earns his second cap with America’s Edson Alvarez sitting deeper and PSV midfielder Erick Gutierrez starting on the left. Rodriguez debuted against Chile as well, a surprise starter in Martino’s debut, while Alvarez was the only player to start both March friendly matches. Jonathan Orozco starts as the goalkeeper with likely Gold Cup starter Guillermo Ochoa on the bench. For Venezuela, hometown forward Josef Martinez begins on the bench. The Atlanta United forward has not played often in Rafael Dudamel’s one-forward system, and he’s opted for Salomon Rondon up top. Several MLS players or alumni do get the start though, with D.C. United’s Junior Moreno and former NYCFC midfielder Yangel Herrera in a lineup composed entirely of players who play outside Venezuela. The game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium is scheduled to kick off at 9 p.m. ET, with the final 23-man list for the Gold Cup due shortly after. Mexico XI:   Orozco; Navarro, Reyes, Araujo, Gallardo; C. Rodriguez, Alvarez, Gutierrez; Pizarro, Jimenez, Alvarado Venezuela XI: Farinez; Hernandez, Osorio, Villanueva, Rosales; Rincon, Herrera, Moreno, Machis, Murillo; Rondonlast_img read more

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Do you like boys? Shannon Gabriel had told Joe Root during St Lucia Test

first_imgDo you like boys? Shannon Gabriel had told Joe Root during St Lucia TestWest Indies pacer Shannon Gabriel has apologised unreservedly for his comments directed at Joe Root during the third Test against England. On Wednesday, the International Cricket Council banned Gabriel for 4 ODIs following his homophobic slur.advertisement India Today Web Desk St LuciaFebruary 14, 2019UPDATED: February 14, 2019 13:38 IST Shannon Gabriel said he had asked Joe Root to stop smiling at him during the third Test between England and the West Indies in St Lucia (AP Photo)HIGHLIGHTSShannon Gabriel has apologised for his words directed at Joe Root during the St Lucia TestGabriel has been banned for 4 ODIs after the ICC found he was in breach of the Code of ConductGabriel said he had told Joe Root: Do you like boys?West Indies fast bowler Shannon Gabriel has issued a public statement to apologise for his words during the third and final Test against England at St Lucia. Gabriel had made an apparent homophobic slur at England captain Joe Root.Stump microphone during the third day of the Test picked Joe Root telling Gabriel there was nothing wrong with gay. While it was not immediately clear what Shannon Gabriel exactly told Root, the International Cricket Council charged Gabriel over his alleged anti-gay remarks.England went on to win the Test by 232 runs while West Indies won the series. On Wednesday, Shannon Gabriel was banned by the ICC for days over his personal abuse of Joe Root.Soon after, Shannon Gabriel expressed his unreserved apology in a public statement.Asked Root to stop smiling at me: Gabriel”I think I owe it to them (friends and well-wishers) and to all supporters of West Indies cricket to provide an accurate record of what happened,” he wrote in the statement.”The exchange occurred during a tense moment on the field. The pressure was on and England’s captain Joe Root was looking at me intensely as I prepared to bowl, which may have been the usual psychological strategy with which all Test cricketers are familiar.”I recognize now that I was attempting to break through my own tension when I said to Joe Root: ‘Why are you smiling at me? Do you like boys?’Shannon entertains England skipper Joe Root and Ben Stokes after the Final test of the Wisden Trophy #WIvENG #MenInMaroon #ItsOurGame pic.twitter.com/GaCCnqd85MadvertisementWindies Cricket (@windiescricket) February 13, 2019″His response, which was picked up by the microphone, was: ‘Don’t use it as an insult. There’s nothing wrong with being gay.’ I then responded: ‘I have no issues with that, but you should stop smiling at me.'”The ICC found Gabriel guilty of breaching article 2.13 of the Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to personal abuse of a Player, Player Support Personnel, Umpire or Match Referee during an international match, following an incident with England Captain Joe Root.It was understood Joe Root did not report the incident to match officials. Speaking to the media later, Root had said Gabriel might even regret his comments later.”Sometimes people say things on the field that they might regret, but they should stay on the field,” Root said.For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAkshay Ramesh Tags :Follow Shanon GabrielFollow Joe RootFollow England vs West IndiesFollow ICCFollow Shannon Gabriel sledginglast_img read more

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Air Products Hired for 2nd PETRONAS FLNG Project

first_imgzoom Air Products, the global provider of liquefied natural gas (LNG) technology and equipment, has signed an agreement with JGC Corporation to provide its proprietary LNG technology, equipment and process license for PETRONAS’ second floating LNG project (PFLNG 2) to be located off the coast of Malaysia.coil wound heat exchangerAir Products’ equipment and technology will be vital in the production of 1.5 million tons per year of LNG, targeted for onstream in 2018, for project owner Petroliam Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS), the national oil and gas company of Malaysia. Air Products’ LNG technology has been selected for all three offshore FLNG projects announced and in construction around the world to date.“In our LNG history as a company we have always tried to stay ahead of trends in the market and we are pleased that we have been selected for PETRONAS’ second FLNG project, as well as the other two global off-shore LNG projects thus far that have been announced. The PFLNG 2 project, much like PETRONAS’ first floating LNG (PFLNG 1) project, is an important one in the effort to monetize significant offshore natural gas reserves that would otherwise be unreachable,” said Bill Kennington, major account manager – LNG with Air Products. “In a project of this complexity, I trust that we have the best expertise from around the world to think of innovative solutions and game changing ideas to harness the best of engineering, design, and manufacturing equipment to ensure safety, quality, as well as a technically and commercially viable project,” said Datuk Abdullah Karim, vice president and venture director of LNG Projects – Domestic, PETRONAS.PFLNG 2, which will be drawing natural gas from the Rotan Field in the South China Sea, offshore Sabah, Malaysia, will use Air Products’ AP-NTM LNG Process and Equipment. Air Products will manufacture this proprietary equipment including coil wound heat exchangers and compressor-expanders at facilities in the United States, and the economizer cold boxes in Tanjung Langsat, Malaysia.The proprietary equipment will be shipped from the Air Products manufacturing facilities for assembly into modules and then installed on the PFLNG 2 vessel.The AP-N™ LNG process is the most efficient of all nitrogen recycle LNG processes in the industry, and is ideally suited for small scale FLNG applications. It is the same technology that was selected for the earlier announced PETRONAS PFLNG 1 Project, which is currently under construction in South Korea.The use of the AP-N™ LNG Process and Equipment for FLNG builds on the successful implementation of the nitrogen recycle section of Air Products’ AP-X® LNG Process and Equipment, which have been operating reliably for nearly five years in Qatar. The AP-N™ LNG Process and Equipment can be configured in an all-nitrogen recycle process for a single train at a nominal 1.5 million tons per annum, or it can be boosted in capacity with the addition of pre-cooling.In addition to the two PETRONAS FLNG projects, Air Products’ coil wound heat exchangers were selected for Shell’s Prelude floating LNG project under construction and slated for the Browse Basin off the northwest coast of Western Australia.A majority of the total worldwide LNG is produced with Air Products’ technology. Air Products has now designed, manufactured, and exported more than 100 coil wound heat exchangers for LNG projects around the globe over the last four decades.In January 2014 Air Products dedicated a second United States LNG manufacturing facility in Port Manatee, Florida. The new facility, when combined with the existing Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania LNG manufacturing facility, doubles the company’s manufacturing capacity for its proprietary and world-leading technology to both meet increasing customer demand, and specifically for the manufacture of larger LNG heat exchangers.Air Products, May 1, 2014last_img read more

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Preparing For Flooding

first_img Listen to the radio. Local authorities will issue instructions for those living in the affected areas. Know how to turn off your water, gas and electricity in case you are instructed to by local officials. If your main power box is not in a dry, safe area, do not try to turn off your electricity. Do not use well water for drinking, cooking or bathing until the water has been tested and you have been advised that it is safe to use. If your area is affected by a flood, the two most important concerns are safety and sanitation. Here are some guidelines to help you return home safely: Officials are also encouraging provincial residents to follow the basic rules for all weather-related emergencies: Prepare your home and property. Trim dead or diseased branches from trees, secure objects that could be torn loose or blown around. Choose a shelter area away from windows for you and your family. A basement, storm cellar or closet beneath the stairs can provide safe shelter in a severe storm. Maintain an emergency kit that includes food, a supply of water, clothing, blankets, medication, a flashlight, battery-powered radio, extra batteries, cash and a first aid kit. Make advanced arrangements to help a senior or other person in your neighbourhood who may need added assistance. Choose a meeting place for you and your family and set up some way to notify each other of whereabouts and safety should you be separated. The provincial Emergency Measures Organization (EMO) is reminding Nova Scotians that flooding can occur at any time following heavy rainfalls. Nova Scotia is expecting heavy rain and gusting winds this weekend (Saturday, Sept. 17 and Sunday, Sept. 18) as tropical storm Ophelia approaches. The former hurricane was downgraded to a tropical storm on Thursday, Sept. 15, after battering North Carolina. Craig MacLaughlan, executive director of EMO, says Nova Scotians should continue to listen for updated weather information or public safety bulletins as the storm progresses but that residents should also take steps to protect against the risk of flooding — especially if they live in areas prone to the problem. “It can be as simple as moving furniture and personal property away from possible flood water and securing property that might be swept away or damaged by a flood,” said Mr. MacLaughlan. Residents are also encouraged to ensure that they have access to drinking water in case their regular supply is unavailable or becomes contaminated. In the event of a flood, EMO says: Listen to the radio for instructions. Your local municipal office will let you know when it is safe to return to your home. If you encounter flooded roads, do not attempt to cross. Right after a storm, floodwaters are at their most dangerous. It only takes six inches of rapidly moving water to knock you off your feet. Do not reconnect your gas or electrical supply. Arrange for qualified personnel to inspect and connect these services. If you smell gas, leave your home and contact the gas company immediately. Check your home carefully for signs of damage, broken glass and other debris. Some items must be discarded following a flood. Items such as mattresses, pillows, sofas and upholstered furniture that have been soaked with flood water are no longer safe from harmful bacteria. Any food that has come in contact with flood water must also be discarded. This includes fresh or frozen food, food in boxes or jars, all bottled drinks and any cans that show signs of damage. For more information on preparing for a weather-related emergency, visit EMO’s website at www.gov.ns.ca/emo .last_img read more

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Hazardous conditions caused by climate change put Arctic research study on ice

first_imgAn Arctic climate change study has been cancelled because warming temperatures have filled the sea off northern Newfoundland with hazardous ice up to eight metres thick.Instead of cruising north with a team of scientists, the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Amundsen has been busy freeing fishing boats and helping other ships surrounded in ice that usually doesn’t travel so far south at this time of year.David Barber, the expedition’s chief scientist, says the irony is that climate change itself has put the climate change research project on ice.“I have been in the Arctic for 35 years and this is one of the most incredible experiences I have ever had,” he said Monday.“Normally these conditions aren’t so bad. This is climate change fully in action — affecting our ability to make use of marine resources and transport things.”Barber said warming temperatures have made the ice in the high Arctic thinner. When buffeted by storms and high winds, the ice can move much more freely and travels south on ocean currents.The expedition of 40 scientists was planning to travel to Hudson Bay, but the Amundsen had to be diverted to help ships caught in the Strait of Belle Isle and along the coast of Newfoundland.Barber, a University of Manitoba Arctic ice expert, said the heavy icebreaker helped rescue stranded fisherman and carved a path for tankers carrying diesel fuel to remote communities.At times, the ice was so thick the ship had to repeatedly back up and ram its way through the frozen barrier.“Typically we run into this when we overwinter in the High Arctic,” he said. “To be doing that off the Newfoundland coast in June was completely unheard of.”Barber said the delay caused by the ice prompted the cancellation of the expedition, but scientists put the time to good use. They will share information about the ice conditions with the Coast Guard and shipping companies.The Coast Guard said last week that some fishing boats that had been stuck in thick ice had returned safely to shore. Five fishermen were flown to safety by a military helicopter after their boat started to take on water.Scientists said the ice conditions are another indicator that climate change is not something that is going to happen — it is already here.Barber said the shifting of thick ice will have implications for ship movements in other areas of the Arctic, including Baffin Bay and parts of the Northwest Passage.He suggested the federal government needs to be more prepared for the changes through better monitoring of ice conditions and ensuring that Canada’s fleet of aging heavy icebreakers is up to the task.“It was a real eye-opener for me — just how unprepared we are for climate change when it comes to ice hazards,” he said.“This is a wake-up call for all of us in the country.”last_img read more

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Family strangers bid adieu to 7yearold girl A lot of outrage and

first_imgGRANBY, Que. — A seven-year-old girl whose death has become a rallying cry for change to Quebec’s youth protection system was laid to rest Thursday at a funeral attended by hundreds of mourners —including many complete strangers.A hush fell over those gathered as pall bearers carried the child-sized wooden coffin into St-Eugene Church in Granby, Que.The 78-year-old church was decorated with several dozen stuffed animals amid the ornate stained-glass windows and religious statues.“There were numerous messages — but above all to the little girl, we asked forgiveness,” said Serge Pelletier, the priest who presided over the sombre ceremony that he said was meant to help the family mourn.“And for the community — and Quebec at large — it was ‘Can we be more attentive to one another?’” Pelletier added. “Particularly for those most vulnerable, the children.”The emotional ceremony was interspersed with tears and hymns for the little girl, who cannot be named because she was involved with youth protection and is also the subject of a court-ordered publication ban.The young girl died in hospital April 30, one day after police found her at a home in the city about 80 kilometres east of Montreal.Two adults — identified by people close to the family as the girl’s father and his partner — were charged with unlawful confinement. The partner — described as the young girl’s stepmother — was also charged with aggravated assault. They return to court on May 23.Her death has triggered a number of probes and the Quebec government has ordered a public coroner’s inquest into the death of the girl, whose case had been known to youth protection services for several years prior to her death.The girl’s paternal grandmother and mother struggled with emotions as they read a poem, and were overcome as they sang a song by late French singer Johnny Hallyday called “Que Je t’aime.”The girl’s paternal uncle, who has actively advocated for the girl and for change, burst into tears as he read a card perched in a bouquet of flowers.“You left us on tiptoes, quietly, without warning,” he said through sobs. “We are still in shock.”Hundreds of people had paid tribute in the week since her death, leaving stuffed animals at a makeshift memorial at the girl’s home a few kilometres from the church.Her family donated half to the hospital in Sherbrooke, Que. The other stuffies, placed all over the church, went home with mourners, with instructions from the family to give them to a child who needs it.“We had to promise to give one to a child in need and I think that’s the most beautiful message the family could have given today,” said Darlene Ryan, a victims’-rights advocate mandated to speak on behalf of the family.Ryan said they want a full accounting of what happened in the girl’s case and for Quebec to create an ombudsman to deal specifically with child protection cases.“Children are in need of help,” Ryan said. “And the victim we were here for today desperately needed help and the system was not there to do so.”Ryan said the family is emotionally spent, but adds that their ordeal is just beginning. Her organization, which deals with families of missing and murdered individuals, says they want an independent inquiry into how the system failed the girl.The family’s immediate concern is the victim’s younger brother, who was removed from the home after his sister died and is now in the system instead of being put in the care of the paternal grandparents.“He’s with strangers at the moment, we don’t know where and we don’t know what type of help he’s getting,” Ryan said.Pelletier said the same shock and disbelief heard elsewhere in Quebec is being felt in Granby, but perhaps on a more visceral level given the closeness of the community.Some people among the mourners had vague connections to the family, such as having helped one relative move or crossing paths with another.Others didn’t know them at all, but the story has filtered throughout town.“I came to commemorate the little girl, to show our sympathies,” said parishioner Helene Bourdeau, who’s been a member of the parish for 69 years and said she felt for the girl’s mother.“I lost a little guy too, so I feel close to her.”For Therese Fournier, a Granby resident since 1979, the young girl’s death brought about a level of indignation as details have emerged about the girl’s life.“I feel like there was a lot of outrage and pain,” Fournier said, as she clutched a newborn member of her own family outside the church.“When I heard of her death, I felt anger, it’s something we didn’t think could happen.”— Follow @sidhartha_b on Twitter.Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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US sportswear traced to factory in Chinas internment camps

first_imgHOTAN, China — Barbed wire and hundreds of cameras ring a massive compound of more than 30 dormitories, schools, warehouses and workshops in China’s far west. Dozens of armed officers and a growling Doberman stand guard outside.Behind locked gates, men and women are sewing sportswear that can end up on U.S. college campuses and sports teams.This is one of a growing number of internment camps in the Xinjiang region, where by some estimates 1 million Muslims are detained, forced to give up their language and their religion and subject to political indoctrination. Now, the Chinese government is also forcing some detainees to work in manufacturing and food industries. Some of them are within the internment camps; others are privately-owned, state-subsidized factories where detainees are sent once they are released.The Associated Press has tracked recent, ongoing shipments from one such factory inside an internment camp to Badger Sportswear, a leading supplier in Statesville, North Carolina. The shipments show how difficult it is to stop products made with forced labour from getting into the global supply chain, even though such imports are illegal in the U.S. Badger CEO John Anton said Sunday that the company would source sportswear elsewhere while it investigates.Chinese authorities say the camps, which they call training centres, offer free vocational training for Uighurs, Kazakhs and others, mostly Muslims, as part of a plan to bring minorities into “a modern civilized” world and eliminate poverty in Xinjiang. They say that people in the centres have signed agreements to receive vocational training.The Xinjiang Propaganda Department did not respond to a faxed request for comment. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman accused the foreign media Monday of making “many untrue reports” about the training centres, but did not specify when asked for details.“Those reports are completely based on hearsay evidence or made out of thin air,” the spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, said at a daily briefing.However, a dozen people who either had been in a camp or had friends or family in one told the AP that detainees they knew were given no choice but to work at the factories. Most of the Uighurs and Kazakhs, who were interviewed in exile, also said that even people with professional jobs were retrained to do menial work.Payment varied according to the factory. Some got paid nothing, while others earned up to several hundred dollars a month, they said — barely above minimum wage for the poorer parts of Xinjiang. A person with firsthand knowledge of the situation in one county estimated that more than 10,000 detainees — or 10 to 20 per cent of the internment population there — are working in factories, with some earning just a tenth of what they used to earn before. The person declined to be named out of fear of retribution.A former reporter for Xinjiang TV in exile said that during his month-long detention last year, young people in his camp were taken away in the mornings to work without compensation in carpentry and a cement factory.“The camp didn’t pay any money, not a single cent,” he said, asking to be identified only by his first name, Elyar, because he has relatives still in Xinjiang. “Even for necessities, such as things to shower with or sleep at night, they would call our families outside to get them to pay for it.”Rushan Abbas, a Uighur in Washington, D.C., said her sister is among those detained. The sister, Dr. Gulshan Abbas, was taken to what the government calls a vocational centre, although she has no specific information on whether her sister is being forced to work.“American companies importing from those places should know those products are made by people being treated like slaves,” she said. “What are they going to do, train a doctor to be a seamstress?”___The predominantly Muslim Uighur and Kazakh ethnic minorities in China live mostly in the Xinjiang region bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan, with a legacy dating back to ancient traders on the Silk Road. In recent decades, violent attacks by Uighur militants have killed hundreds and prompted the Chinese government to blanket Xinjiang with stifling security.About two years ago, authorities launched a vast detention and reeducation campaign. They also use checkpoints, GPS tracking and face-scanning cameras for surveillance of ethnic minorities in the region. The slightest perceived misstep can land someone in the internment camps.Men and women in the complex that has shipped products to Badger Sportswear make clothes for privately-owned Hetian Taida Apparel in a cluster of 10 workshops within the compound walls. Hetian Taida says it is not affiliated with the internment camps, but its workforce includes detainees.As China faced growing international pressure about the detention camps, its state broadcaster aired a 15-minute report in October that featured a “vocational skills education and training centre” in the southern Xinjiang city of Hotan.“Terrorism and extremism are the common enemy of human civilization,” the China Central Television program began. In response, the report said, the Xinjiang government was using vocational training to solve this “global issue.”Wu Hongbo, the chairman of Hetian Taida, confirmed that the company has a factory inside the same compound as the training centre featured in the China Central Television report. Hetian Taida provides employment to those trainees who were deemed by the government to be “unproblematic,” he said, adding that the centre is government-operated.“We’re making our contribution to eradicating poverty,” Wu told the AP over the phone.The 20 to 30 trainees at the factory are treated like regular employees and make up a small fraction of the hundreds of people in its workforce, he said.Trainees featured in the state television report praised the Communist Party for saving them from a criminal path.“I don’t dare to imagine what would have happened to me if I didn’t come here,” one Uighur student said. “The party and government found me in time and saved me. They gave me a chance to reinvent myself.”The segment said that in addition to law and Mandarin-language classes, the training centre collaborated with companies to give trainees practical experience. Trainees were shown hunched over sewing machines in a factory whose interior matches that of Hetian Taida’s main Hotan branch, as seen in prior Chinese media reports.Police told the AP journalists who approached the compound earlier this month that they could not take photos or film in the area because it was part of a “military facility.” Yet the entrance was marked only by a tall gate that said it was an “apparel employment training base.”Posters line the barbed-wire perimeter, bearing messages such as “Learn to be grateful, learn to be an upright person” and “No need to pay tuition, find a job easily.”Nathan Ruser, a cyber-policy researcher at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), analyzed satellite images for the AP and found that in Hetian Taida’s case, the apparel factory and the government-run training camp are connected by a fenced path.“There are watchtowers throughout,” Ruser said. “There are clear fences between the buildings and walls that limit movement. Detainees can only access the factories area through walkways, and the entire facility is closed.”The AP could not independently determine if any workers were allowed to come and go, or how much if anything they were paid.At least 10 times this year shipping containers filled with thousands of men’s, women’s and youth polyester knitted T-shirts and pants were sent to Badger Sportswear, a 47-year-old athletic gear seller. The company mostly manufactures in Nicaragua and the U.S., and there is no way to tell where the products from Xinjiang specifically end up. But experts say supply chains are considered tainted by forced labour and modern slavery if even one item was produced by someone forced to work.Sprinkled on the Internet are clues that repeatedly tie the company to the detention camp’s sewing factory floor.Shawn Zhang, a researcher at the University of British Columbia, noted an overlooked Hotan city social media post from February about the first batch of some 1.5 million pieces of clothing worth $400,000 heading overseas from the Hetian Taida Factory. In the middle of a photo of young women flashing the peace sign is Badger Sportswear’s marketing director Ginny Gasswint, who is quoted as saying she’s surprised the workers are “friendly, beautiful, enthusiastic and hardworking.”Badger Sportswear goes to sports teams large and small, ranging from ranging from Charlotte Country Day School Squash team in Charlotte, North Carolina, to Rhode Island’s Coventry Little League and Hansberry College Prep in Chicago, according to its website and advertisements. The AP also found dozens of college bookstores advertising their gear printed on Badger Sportswear, including Texas A&M, University of Pennsylvania, Appalachian State University, University of Northern Iowa, University of Evansville and Bates College. However, it’s impossible to say if any particular shirt is made with forced labour.Badger chief executive Anton said Sunday that his company has sourced products from an affiliate of Hetian Taida for many years. He said about a year ago, the affiliate opened a new factory in western China. Anton confirmed Badger Sportswear officials visited the factory and have a certificate that the factory is certified by social compliance experts.“We will voluntarily halt sourcing and will move production elsewhere while we investigate the matters raised,” he said.Badger Sportswear was acquired by New York investment firm CCMP Capital Advisor in August 2016. Since then, CCMP has acquired three more team sportswear companies, which they are managing under the umbrella of Founder Sport Group.In recent years, Badger imported sportswear — jerseys, T-shirts, workout pants and more — from Nicaragua and Pakistan. But in April this year, it began importing 100 per cent polyester T-shirts and pants from Hetian Taida Apparel, according to U.S. customs data provided by ImportGenius, which analyzes consumer shipments. The address on the shipping records is the same as for the detention camp.The U.S. and United Nations say forced labour is a type of modern slavery, and that items made by people being exploited and coerced to work are banned from import to the U.S.It’s unclear whether other companies also export products made by forced labour in Xinjiang to the U.S., Europe and Asia. The AP found two companies exporting to the U.S. that share approximately the same co-ordinates as places experts have identified as internment camps, and Chinese media reports mention “training” there. But the AP could not confirm whether the companies use forced labour.___The detention camp system is part of China’s increasingly stringent state security under President Xi Jinping. Some detainees told AP earlier this year about beating, solitary confinement and other punishments if they do not recite political songs, names and phrases. The AP has not been given access to these facilities despite repeated attempts to get permission to visit.Not all the camps have forced labour. Many former detainees say they were held in facilities that didn’t have any manufacturing equipment and focused solely on political indoctrination.“They didn’t teach me anything. They were brainwashing me, trying to make us believe how great China is, how powerful it is, how developed its economy is,” said Kairat Samarkan, a Kazakh citizen who said he was tortured with a metal contraption that contorts your body before being released in February after he tried to kill himself.Interviewees described a wave of factory openings earlier this year. Ex-detainee Orynbek Koksebek said that shortly before his release in April, the director strode into his class and announced that a factory would be built in the camp. Koksebek, who cannot speak Mandarin, listened to a policeman as he translated the director’s words into Kazakh for the roughly 90 women and 15 men in the room.“We’re going to open a factory, you’re going to work,” Koksebek recalled him as saying. “We’ll teach you how to cook, how to sew clothes, how to fix cars.”This fall, months after Koksebek’s release, news began trickling into Kazakhstan that the Chinese government was starting forced labour in internment camps and would transfer some detainees out into gated, guarded factories. The workers must live in dormitories on factory grounds. Contact with family ranges from phone calls or in-person visits, to weekends at home under police surveillance.In October, Chinese authorities acknowledged the existence of what they called vocational training centres. State media published an interview with Shohret Zahir, the governor of Xinjiang, saying that “some trainees” were nearly done with their “courses.”“We will try to achieve a seamless connection between school teaching and social employment, so that after finishing their courses, the trainees will be able to find jobs and earn a well-off life,” Zahir said.The forced labour program goes along with a massive government initiative to develop Xinjiang’s economy by constructing enormous factory parks. Another internment camp the AP visited was inside a factory compound called Kunshan Industrial Park, opened under the national anti-poverty push. A local propaganda official, Chen Fang, said workers inside made food and clothes.A hospital, a police station, smokestacks, dormitories and a building with a sign that read “House of Workers” could be seen from outside the surrounding barbed wire fencing. Another section resembled a prison, with guard towers and high walls. The AP did not track any exports from Kunshan to the U.S.Many of those with relatives in such camps said their loved ones were well-educated with high-paying jobs before their arrest, and did not need a poverty alleviation program. Nurbakyt Kaliaskar, a sheepherder’s wife in Kazakhstan, said her daughter, Rezila Nulale, 25, was a college graduate with a well-paid advertising job in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, where she lived a typical urban lifestyle with a computer, a washing machine and an apartment in the city centre.Then last August, after returning from a visit to her family across the border in Kazakhstan, Nulale vanished. She didn’t answer phone calls and stopped showing up to work.Four months later a stranger contacted Kaliaskar online and confirmed her fear: her daughter had been detained for “political training.” The next spring, she said she fainted when two cases of her daughter’s clothes were delivered to her home in Kazakhstan.Last month, Kaliaskar got word via a friend who knows the family that Nulale was working in a factory next to the camp where she had been detained. The friend had heard from Kaliaskar’s brother, who had visited Nulale, bringing medicine for an injured hand.Kaliaskar learned her daughter wasn’t being paid and had to meet a daily quota of three articles of clothing. She couldn’t leave. Her uncle thought she looked pale and thin.“They say they’re teaching her to weave clothes. But the thing is, she’s well educated and had a job,” said Kaliaskar. “What’s the point of this training?”A former detainee, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect himself and his family members, said other detainees from his camp also had been forced into jobs at factories far away. They were taken to a government office and handed labour contracts for six months to five years in a distant factory, which they were required to sign.If they ran from the factories, they were warned, they’d be taken straight back to the camps for “further education.”Farmers, herders and manual labourers with little Mandarin and no higher education say they appreciated Beijing’s past initiatives to help the poor, including subsidized housing and the installation of electricity and running water. But the camps, the forced education, and the factories, they say, go too far.“I never asked the government to find work for my husband,” said Mainur Medetbek, whose husband did odd repair jobs before vanishing into a camp in February during a visit to China from their home in Kazakhstan.She has been able to glean a sense of his conditions from monitored exchanges with relatives and from the husband of a woman who is in the same camp. He works in an apparel factory and is allowed to leave and spend the night with relatives every other Saturday. Though she’s not certain how much her husband makes, the woman in his camp earns 600 yuan (about $87) a month, less than half the local minimum wage and far less than what Medetbek’s husband used to earn.Since her husband was detained, Medetbek and her children have had no reliable source of income and sometimes go hungry. The ordeal has driven her to occasionally contemplate suicide.“They say it’s a factory, but it’s an excuse for detention. They don’t have freedom, there’s no time for him to talk with me,” she said. “They say they found a job for him. I think it’s a concentration camp.”___Martha Mendoza reported from Santa Cruz, California.Dake Kang, Martha Mendoza And Yanan Wang, The Associated Presslast_img read more

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Speeding longterm recovery on first day of crisis is focus of UNbacked

“The importance of early recovery planning – a separate but parallel process within any emergency setting – is one of the key lessons of the new millennium,” United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery Director Kathleen Cravero told the meeting in Copenhagen.“It is a lesson learned the hard way – from conflict zone to earthquake zone, tsunamis to flash floods. Even as humanitarian workers are actively distributing life-saving supplies, we need to give communities something to live for – providing the resources and know-how families, communities and countries need to get back on their feet again,” she said.Jointly sponsored by the UNDP and the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Early Recovery Practitioners’ and Policy Forum aims to outline a set of commitments and actions to boost early recovery efforts and bridge the gap between reliance and self-sufficiency. While beginning on the first day of any crisis, natural disaster or conflict, early recovery is geared towards the future, addressing damages to infrastructure, property, livelihoods, and societies. Its goal is not just to enable a smoother transition to long-term recovery, restoring livelihoods, government capacities and shelter, but to offer hope to those who survive the crisis.Early recovery builds on humanitarian programmes and lays critical foundations for generating self-sustaining, nationally-owned recovery. Its scope goes beyond the restoration of basic services and encompasses efforts to secure stability, establish peace and resuscitate markets.Forum participants will draw upon the lessons learned from crisis situations in four countries – the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Liberia, Myanmar and Pakistan – where early recovery strategies have been put into action, illustrating the benefits of early recovery programming as well as the areas needing improvement.More specifically, the forum aims to address the gaps in early recovery planning, capacity building and financing, resulting in a set of commitments participants will sign at the event’s conclusion. 1 October 2008Representatives from the United Nations, developing countries and the donor community opened a high-level conference today to address the crucial time gap in coverage between humanitarian relief in the immediate aftermath of a crisis and long-term recovery. read more

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UN Messenger of Peace Muhammad Ali arrives in Afghanistan

In Kabul, Mr Ali is scheduled to meet with the heads of the World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) as well as and representatives from the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan and the Afghan Administration, including President Hamid Karzai.The UN Peace Messenger will visit a UNICEF-backed girls’ school located in an area where demand for lessons is so high additional classes are being held in tents.He will then visit a WFP-supported women’s bakery which is part of a large-scale programme addressing the needs of the most vulnerable households by employing widows as bakers.He will also visit a Boxing Club in Kabul, where photos of Muhammad Ali adorn the walls. The club offers young men the opportunity to rediscover some of the sporting prowess that once made Afghanistan famous.The President of the Afghan Olympic Committee will accompany Muhammad Ali on a visit to the Olympic Stadium and a tour of West Kabul – an area severely damaged during the mujahadeen conflict.Mr. Ali’s trip is being sponsored by UNICEF and WFP. read more

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