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Barpeta hopes NRC will heal its bitter wounds

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first_imgTwo memorials some 30 km apart have for long defined the psychological divide in the Muslim-majority Barpeta, a district that has spawned quite a few agitations in post-Independence Assam.Every day, Kalimun Nessa wipes the dirt off the memorial outside her house at Khandakar Para village, which lists her second son, Maidul Islam Molla among the four martyrs of the 2010 anti-NRC protests.Maidul was 25 when he became a ‘martyr’ of an agitation spearheaded by the All Assam Minority Students’ Union (AAMSU) against a pilot project of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in 2010.The outsider tagThe police had opened fire on hundreds of protestors who allegedly tried to storm the Deputy Commissioner’s office in Barpeta on July 21 that year. Maidul was hit by a bullet in his chest.“I would often ask Allah why Maidul, the second of my four sons had to die that day. The NRC has made me realise he died so that 10 others would live without the burden of the Bangladeshi tag,” Kalimun Nessa, 62, said.Still retain faithA high school dropout, Maidul used to run a small rice and spice mill at home. The unit shut down after he died.Of the 18 family members he left behind, 16 have made it to the final NRC draft published on July 30. The two members who were left out include Maidul’s aunt Abida Begum.“We are among 40 lakh people excluded from the list, I hear. But we have faith that the final NRC will be an error-free one and settle the (illegal immigrants) issue once and for all,” she said.Khandakar Para has some 4,000 people, and almost every house has one or more members missing from the NRC.In adjoining Kumullipara village, daily wager Nur Begum is the only member of her family not in the NRC.Like Maidul, her 55-year-old husband Majam Ali, who was transporting goods in a handcart, died of bullet wounds in the anti-NRC agitation.Nur Begum’s name does not figure in the final NRC list though her father Burhan Uddin figured in the 1951 NRC, as her legacy code 120-0034-9821 suggests.“They rejected my documents, including one provided by the Kumullipara gram panchayat secretary. I may or may not be included, but the NRC will for our people be a rashtriya daleel (national agreement) that no one can erase,” she said.The youngest of the four ‘martyrs’ was Khandakar Motaleb Ali, 20, also of Kumullipara. The fourth was Sirajul Haque, 27, of Baniarpara nearby. Desperate for peace“If need be, I would sacrifice my other three sons for a correct NRC that ensures peaceful coexistence without anyone being suspected,” Sirajul’s father Kalachand, 60, said.The AAMSU observes May 26 as its martyrs day. The day honours the four who died in the anti-NRC movement along with others who died for the cause of minority rights. “Their death led to discussions among stakeholders, including AAMSU and All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), and changes in modalities of the updating exercise, with the Supreme Court eventually monitoring it,” AAMSU’s cultural secretary Moniruz Zaman told The Hindu.The feeling is similar at Ujan Borbori, the village where Khargeswar Talukdar lived. He died in a police crackdown on another group of protesters 31 years ago. Ujan Borbori, 30 km east of the engraved marble that remembers the ‘NRC martyrs’ at Khandakar Para, sports a memorial in Khargeswar’s honour. The memorial adjoins a government-run school in his name. Khargeswar was just 18 when be became the first of 855 martyrs of the Assam Agitation against illegal immigrants that began in 1979. The agitation ended with the signing of the Assam Accord on August 15, 1985.“Though some issues need to be ironed out, the NRC has reassured us that my brother’s death has not gone in vain. We hope it ends the Bangladeshi issue that has dominated the socio-political landscape and stolen our happiness for decades,” said Chandra Kanta Talukdar, the youngest of Khargeswar’s seven siblings.Khargeswar died in 1979 when protestors tried to prevent Begum Abida, wife of former President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, from filing her nomination for the Barpeta Lok Sabha seat.Co-existence shatteredEver since it was carved out of Kamrup district in 1983 at the peak of Assam Agitation, Barpeta has been synonymous with migration of Bengalis —Muslims and Hindus — from Bangladesh. But old-timers say the area had been an epitome of co-existence until the seeds of division were sown during the Assam Agitation.They refer to Montu Nag, who became AASU’s first Bengali Hindu secretary despite coming from East Pakistan in 1960 and living in one of two refugee colonies — Sonkuchi and Theka — in Barpeta town. He had spearheaded the Assam Agitation in the district in 1979 along with Bengali Muslim leaders Asgar Ali and Abdul Hai Nagori, now a Congress MLA. But the camaraderie snapped a year later with Bengali leaders of AASU deciding to form the AAMSU at the landmark Barpeta Road Howly College in 1980. Things were never the same again.“Barpeta never had a communal problem. But something changed after the Assam Agitation and political parties began cashing-in on religious and linguistic divide. The NRC has given us hope of Barpeta returning to the good old days,” Padmanil Sarma, an AASU leaders of 1979 vintage, said.“We hope so too. An error-free NRC should spell death for divisive politics, and that is what Barpeta and hopefully the country beyond wants,” Mr. Zaman said.last_img read more

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Chicago Man Sentenced For Millions of Dollars of Fraud on New York Company

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first_imgAn Indian-American man from Chicago was the second person to be sentenced for defrauding a New York company of millions of dollars.Debashis Ghosh, 54, of Chicago, Illinois, was sentenced April 16, to 57 months in prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, for conspiring to defraud a Plattsburgh, New York, company of $2.5 million. Related Itemslast_img

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Indian American Woman Gets 4-Year Prison Sentence for Visa Fraud

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first_imgSunitha Guntipally was sentenced to 52 months in prison for playing a role in a conspiracy to commit several crimes in the United States, including visa fraud, obstruction of justice, use of false documents, mail fraud, and witness-tampering.Guntipally, the 44-year-old resident of Fremont, pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charges on May 3. The sentence was given on Nov. 29 by U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh. The jury also indicted three co-defendants — Venkat Guntipally from Fremont, Pratap “Bob” Kondamoori from Incline Village, Nev and Sandhya Ramireddi of Pleasanton — in an indictment filed on May 5 last year. The indictment contains charges in association with the submission of fraudulent applications for H-1B specialty-occupation work visas.During Guntipally’s sentencing, Judge Koh stated that the defendant’s crime does damage to the rule of law. “The defendant’s conduct undermines respect for our legal immigration system and does tremendous damage to our institutions and affects the rights of others to immigrate to the United States,” said Judge Koh.Guntipally admitted that she and Venkat were a husband and wife team who founded and owned DS Soft Tech and Equinett — two employment-staffing companies for technology firms, in her guilty plea.She admitted to obstructing justice, and mislead the agents and concealed the conspiracy. She also directed her co-defendant to do the same.Guntipally also admitted that between approximately 2010 and 2014, she and her co-defendants had submitted more than a hundred additional fraudulent petitions for foreign workers to be placed at other purported companies. These end-client companies that were listed in the fraudulent H-1B applications either never received the proposed H-1B workers or never existed. They did not intend to receive these H-1B workers.The scheme helped Guntipally and her co-conspirators to gain an unfair advantage over competing employment-staffing firms. Consequently, she and her husband earned money from these themselves as well as their companies.She was charged with one count of conspiracy, 10 counts of substantive visa fraud, seven counts of using false statements, four counts of mail fraud, and four counts of witness tampering. Guntipally pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge while the remaining charges were dismissed.Judge Koh ordered Sunitha Guntipally to serve three years of supervised release and to pay a fine of $50,000, along with the prison term. Each of her co-defendants has already pleaded guilty to their respective roles in the scheme. While Ramireddi was sentenced to 14 months in jail, Kondamoori has been sentenced to a prison term of 20 months. The sentencing of Venkat Guntipally is scheduled for March 21, 2018. Related ItemsFraudIndian AmericanUnited Stateslast_img read more

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San Beda coach livid over disqualifying foul on Bolick

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first_imgLOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief WATCH: Kobe Bryant recites retirement poem with composer John Williams For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. View comments MOST READ Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Read Next Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Fernandez said San Beda will file an appeal to downgrade Bolick’s disqualifying foul in time for its game against Mapua on Friday.“We’ll appeal that for sure, but how can we appeal if there’s no report? We want to know what happened, why they called it for Robert? Why? They have to justify it,” he said.Fernandez then turned his ire towards commissioner Bai Cristobal, noting that the official could have handled the matter better knowing that decisions made from that situation gravely impact some of the players’ career in the long run.Bolick is in the running for the Most Valuable Player plum, with him currently sixth in the race with averages of 13.56 points, 7.56 rebounds, and 4.67 assists.He also posted a near triple-double performance in the game with 14 markers, 11 dimes, and seven boards, but him being sent to the showers in the game against St. Benilde already rules him out of any individual plum at the end of the season.ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses “Why would you throw him out? My God, the guy was running for MVP. He destroyed the future of that guy,” he said. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. With the Red Lions leading, 71-57, and the game already out of reach, Blazers guard Carlo Young took down Bolick, who was driving to the basket, hard late in the game. But Bolick and Clint Doliguez were also thrown out with 2:28 to play.“It’s unethical. We were already up by 14 points and it’s a fastbreak. Why endanger a guy? And then punish a guy? I really don’t know what’s happening,” said Fernandez.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutFernandez couldn’t stop himself from wondering how the officials were able to come up with their decisions during the scuffle, sensing that there might be some kind of bias against San Beda.“I don’t want to insinuate things. I don’t want to speculate, but it’s a won game already, and then that incident happened and they penalized the other team that did not start it,” he said. “If they want us to lose ball games, then let us lose that ball game in a proper way. God, it’s so bad. It’s wrong. (We had) six fouls in fourth quarter and the other team only has one foul, and then that happens. They tackle a player? Should he be thrown out? Yes, it should be an [ejection]. But why penalize the other guy?” Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netSan Beda coach Boyet Fernandez leapt to Robert Bolick’s defense after he felt his star playmaker was unjustly ejected in his team’s 72-56 win over St. Benilde on Tuesday.“You have to see that. You throw out a guy who is tackled, (who the other player is) trying to get injured, and then you call him and throw him out again? I really don’t know,” the mentor fumed in the press room.ADVERTISEMENT Inquirer Varsity Seven: San Beda’s Robert Bolick PLAY LIST 01:18Inquirer Varsity Seven: San Beda’s Robert Bolick02:12San Beda, Lyceum early favorites ahead of NCAA Season 9300:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension LATEST STORIES WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s weddinglast_img read more

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McGrady, Lobo, Self and McGraw headline Hall of Fame class

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first_imgJackson talked about being born in a box car in Missouri and rising to become a player and later a successful business executive and owner of the Globetrotters. His was the most political speech of the night, calling for unity in a divided nation, saying he does not believe the country can endure if it does not cast indifference, hatred and bigotry aside.“If basketball can be a showcase for non-discrimination, for integration, for performance-based emotions, why can’t we do that over in every part of our society?” he asked.Lobo and McGraw celebrated the growth of women’s basketball. McGraw became just the sixth women’s coach to be enshrined.“I’m grateful for Title IX and the opportunities that it’s given to women like me, who dreamed of a future where we could do the same job as a man, where playing a game could lead to a 40-year career,” she said.Lobo told a story about when her oldest daughter, Siobhan, was 5 years old and saw her father watching a UConn men’s game. She said to him, “I didn’t know boys play basketball too.”Self, 54, told The Associated Press he feels a little uncomfortable being enshrined in the middle of his career, which includes nine 30-win seasons and an NCAA championship in 2008“I hope it doesn’t mean that I’m on my last leg yet,” he said. “I think this will be motivation to try and validate it, always. I’ll work harder now that ever to validate being thought of with these other fraternity members.”Self spent part of his speech listing the Kansas basketball coaching greats in the Hall of Fame.“James Naismith, Phog Allen, Larry Brown, Roy Williams and me; what is wrong with that picture?” he joked.Jernstedt, credited with overseeing the growth of the Division I men’s tournament and the creation of the women’s tournament, acknowledged to reporters that his class doesn’t include a superstar name like Michael Jordan or Shaquille O’Neal, but said he is impressed with what this class has meant to the sport. NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Tracy McGrady raises his fists as he takes the stage for his enshrinement into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Friday, Sept. 8, 2017, in Springfield, Mass. McGrady is a seven-time NBA All-Star and a two-time NBA scoring champion who played for seven NBA teams in his 16-season pro career. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Tracy McGrady says his wife, Clerenda, has been trying to get him to say that he deserves to be in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.The seven-time NBA All-Star and two-time league scoring champion couldn’t bring himself to do that, until Friday night.ADVERTISEMENT “I didn’t know three of four of these people very well at all before, but the contributions they’ve made are so impressive,” he said. “Hopefully now, more people will understand that and reach out and learn more about them.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim LATEST STORIES MOST READ Former Chicago Bulls general manager Jerry Krause, and former Globetrotter and New York Rens player Zack Clayton were honored posthumously.McGrady had earlier told reporters his celebration was being tempered by the impact of Hurricane Harvey on his family and neighbors in Texas.His estate in Sugar Land, Texas, suffered only minor damage from the storm, allowing him and his wife to take in the families of five relatives and friends for three days after mandatory evacuations. He also put on a Labor Day feast at a church in the Houston area for about 800 victims of the storm.“My sister was at the house, and I was trying to take her home and driving to her house. Just seeing cars under water and you don’t know if people are in there — it’s real,” he told reporters. “I’m being as vocal and proactive as I can.”Other inductees were vocal about other issues Friday night.ADVERTISEMENT Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side He went to the podium during his induction pumping his fists in the air as the crowd chanted “T-Mac,” then celebrated his 15 years in the league.“On this day, I can finally say, ’Yes I deserve to be here,’” said McGrady, who played for seven teams, starring with Toronto, Orlando and Houston. “I am truly humbled. I’m grateful and proud to be in the class of 2017.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingMcGrady was among 11 basketball greats enshrined Friday night.The class also includes former ABA and NBA star George McGinnis, former UConn and WNBA star Rebecca Lobo, Kansas men’s coach Bill Self, Notre Dame women’s coach Muffet McGraw, former Texas high school coach Robert Hughes, former Harlem Globetrotters player and now owner Mannie Jackson, NCAA administrator Tom Jernstedt and former European star Nick Galis. Pau Gasol becomes career scoring leader in EuroBasket View commentslast_img read more

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Faf du Plessis found guilty of ball-tampering, other such instances

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first_imgSouth African skipper Faf Du Plessis escaped suspension but was fined 100 percent of his match fee after the ICC found him guilty of ball tampering during the win in the 2nd Test against Australia. Du Plessis was pictured applying saliva on the ball while he had mint in his mouth. Du Plessis had pleaded not-guilty while South African team presented a united front at the press-conference calling the accusations a ‘joke’.Here are other instances of allegations of ball tampering against some of the biggest names in the world of cricket.PAKISTAN TEAM, AUGUST 2006In what has been the only instance of a match being won due to a forfeit by the opposition team occurred in 2006 when Pakistan team refused to take the field post Tea after being accused of tampering the seam of the ball by the on-field umpires on Day 4. Even though Pakistan & England teams reached an understanding & decided to resume the match an hour later, the umpires declined to continue the match saying that Pakistan forfeited the match after refusing to take the field. While Pakistan team captain Inzamam Ul Haq was later cleared of ball-tampering allegation, he was handed a ban of 4 ODI matches for bringing the game to disrepute by refusing to play. This instance divided world cricket like never before.SHAHID AFRIDI, 2010Stand-in Pakistan Captain Shahid Afridi was handed a 2-match ban after possibly the most obvious case of ball tampering ever caught on tape. Afridi was seen biting the ball during Pakistan’s two-wicket loss to Australia. The incident was reported to the on-field umpires who changed the ball while Afridi accepted the charges saying he was ’embarrassed’ and that he was just trying to help his team win the match. Pakistan lost the ODI.advertisementFAF DU PLESSIS, 2013South African player Faf Du Plessis was fined 50% of his match fee after TV cameras caught him rubbing the ball on a zip on his trousers in an attempt to ‘rough-up’ one side. Du Plessis pleaded guilty while the umpires added five runs to Pakistan’s total.VERNON PHILANDER, 2014South African pacer Vernon Philander was fined 75% of his match fee after the match-referee found him “scratching the ball with his fingers and thumb” to alter its state.SACHIN TENDULKAR, 2001Match referee Mike Dennis suspended Sachin Tendulkar for a match after he suspected the Master Blaster of scrubbing the seam of the ball. Tendulkar clarified that he was just removing grass from the seam and after protests by the Indian Team the match-referee was removed for the third Test. ICC later cleared Tendulkar of all charges.last_img read more

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Champions Trophy 2017: ICC to review security after London terror attack

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first_imgAssailants drove a van into pedestrians at high speed on London Bridge on Saturday night before stabbing revellers on nearby streets, killing at least seven people and wounding dozens in what police suspect was a terrorist attack.Armed police rushed to the scene and, within eight minutes of receiving the first emergency call shortly after 10 p.m. local time. had shot dead the three male attackers in the Borough Market area near the bridge.The attack took place merely hours before the marquee India-Pakistan clash at Edgbaston. The game started as scheduled and Australia also said they had no immediate security concerns.Earlier, the Indian team hotel had been cordoned off and security around Edgbaston had been beefed up.WATCH FULL VIDEOThe ICC issued a statement to assure all stakeholders of proper security.Here is the full statement:ICC STATEMENT FOLLOWING LONDON INCIDENTOur thoughts are with everyone affected by what has happened in London overnight. The ICC and ECB continue to place safety and security at the ICC Champions Trophy and ICC Women’s World Cup this summer as the highest priority.Following last night’s incident all team hotels went into lockdown and teams, match officials and staff were all quickly accounted for. The enhanced security around venues implemented following the Manchester attack remains in place, this includes significantly enhanced police and security presence for today’s match.We operate on advice from our Tournament Security Directorate – in conjunction with the ECB and relevant police and security authorities – to ensure that we can deliver a safe and secure event. We will continue to work with authorities over the coming hours and days and review our security in line with the threat levels.advertisementThe security situation has been very much front and centre of our preparations and we constantly review our procedures to guarantee they are as effective as possible to keep everyone safe.We do not disclose our security details as a matter of policy(With inputs from Agencies)last_img read more

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India better than England at handling pressure: Sanjay Manjrekar

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first_imgFormer India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar has said that India are better than England at handling pressure ahead of the five-match Test series between the two cricketing giants.Manjrekar also said that it will be wrong to write off India, who are aiming to win their first Test series in England in 11 years, in the gruelling series starting at Edgbaston from August 1.India have suffered two massive blows in the form of injuries to pacemen Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah. While Bhuvneshwar has been ruled out for the first three Tests, Bumrah will not be part of the playing XI in the first game.”I wish everyone was fit; it would have made for a great series. But with all these injury setbacks for India, England start as favourites.”Still, don’t rule India out, because if it gets tight, this Indian team has the capability to come out trumps. For when it comes to handling pressure, temperamentally this team, led and inspired by [Virat] Kohli, is far superior to the hosts. Temperamentally this is one of the best teams India have ever had. We saw evidence of that in their last Test, against South Africa at the Wanderers earlier this year,” Manjrekar wrote in his column for ESPNCricinfo.Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Wriddhiman Saha injuries raise several questionsManjrekar said Bumrah’s absence from the first Test was a massive setback but backed other pacers to do well.”Bumrah being unavailable is a massive setback for India. Yes, there is Mohammed Shami, who has the knack of turning the tide by suddenly getting three wickets in one spell. He is still the most gifted of all the current Indian seamers but he is a bit of a “blow hot, blow cold” kind of bowler, which does not help.advertisement”India’s bowling, if all their bowlers were fit, was going to be their strength on this England tour, a rare instance indeed where India’s bowling was going to outweigh their batting.”The former cricketer also compared India’s current overseas batting line-up to that of the 1990s.”Speaking of India’s batting overseas, in South Africa, England and Australia, it is now a bit like it was in the ’90s, dependent very much on one man. It was Sachin Tendulkar then, it’s Virat Kohli now,” Manjrekar wrote.For Australia, Virat Kohli is similar to Steve Smith: Pat CumminsManjrekar also said that KL Rahul has the potential to bat in overseas conditions.”On their last big stretch of overseas trips, from 2013 through 2015, India’s batting was more rounded, with M Vijay and Ajinkya Rahane being a great support cast to Kohli. Since then both Rahane and Vijay have dropped a few notches as batsmen, while Cheteshwar Pujara and Shikhar Dhawan have never been a force as batsmen overseas like they are in home conditions; in fact, both have lost their places in the playing XI during overseas series.”That’s why I believe KL Rahul has to be given all the support and opportunities possible, for he is potentially India’s next successful overseas batsman to partner Kohli with the bat. Dropping him in the final ODI in England was a big mistake for this very reason,” he said.Cannot let Ashwin fade away so quickly, says GangulyThe first Test will be followed by matches at Lord’s (August 9 to August 13), Trent Bridge (August 18 to August 22), The Rose Bowl (August 30 to September 3) and Kennington Oval (September 7 to September 11).last_img read more

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Gareth Bale frustrated by lack of Real Madrid game time but intends to stay

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first_imgEuropean club football Real Madrid Bale is bitterly disappointed to be out of the team and it is starting to appear he does not fit into Zinedine Zidane’s plans, but sources close to the player insist he is determined to fight for his place and has no interest in pursuing a move at the end of the season. The 28-year-old has a lucrative contract that runs until 2022, is settled in Madrid with his family and loves playing for the club.Zidane said after the Bayern game that he would be “relying” on Bale in the weeks to come, yet it felt significant the manager made three substitutions without calling on the Welshman, especially after the quarter-final second leg against Juventus, when Bale was withdrawn at half-time. There is a school of thought that Zidane – who is expected to retain his job irrespective of whether Madrid win the Champions League – prefers attacking players who are more defensive-minded than Bale.Even if Bale does become available this summer, there are doubts whether a Premier League club would be able to match his financial package. Manchester United have long appeared to be Bale’s most likely suitors in England, with the club indicating towards the end of last year they were determined to sign him and were not put off by his injury problems. However that trail appears to have gone cold for now, perhaps because of the arrival of Alexis Sánchez in January.Either way, Bale is understood to be thinking only of playing for Madrid and trying to help the club he joined in 2013 for a then world-record fee win a third successive Champions League. Share on Messenger Gareth Bale is extremely frustrated with his lack of playing time at Real Madrid but remains happy at the club and has no plans to push for a move.Bale was an unused substitute on Wednesday at Bayern Munich, where Real Madrid won 2-1 in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final, raising renewed questions about his long-term future at the Bernabéu. Lucas Vázquez and Isco were selected ahead of Bale, while Marco Asensio – who came on at the start of the second half and scored the winning goal – and Karim Benzema were preferred as attacking options from the bench. Read more Topics Gareth Bale Share on Twitter news Share on Pinterest Share on LinkedIn Share on Facebook Share via Email Share on WhatsApp Nasty flashback for Bayern as Real masters make them suffer again Reuse this contentlast_img read more

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Kit Carson, a football star-maker with a dark history of alleged abuse

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first_img Read more Get Society Weekly: our newsletter for public service professionals Share on Twitter After a brief teaching career in Bedford he set up a football school, which he claimed was the first in England. He was successful and his potential was spotted in 1983 by Norwich City, then a First Division side.At Norwich he brought through players who went on to win international honours including Craig Bellamy, Chris Sutton and Danny Mills. After 10 years he moved to Peterborough United, spending eight years there and working with the likes of Matthew Etherington and Simon Davies, both of whom went on to Premier League careers with Tottenham Hotspur. None of theses were complainants in the case against him.Carson’s reputation was such that in 2005 the Premier League champions Chelsea, then managed by José Mourinho, appointed him as a scout co-ordinator for the East Anglia region.Many of his players have gone on to become respected coaches in their own right, including Dan Ashworth, who was not one of the complainants, who until recently was the FA’s technical director.Those who played for or worked with Carson paint a picture of an innovative coach. In a time before sports science was such an integral part of the game, Carson insisted that his young players ate properly and put a great emphasis on mental as well as physical strength. He was one of the first to give media training to his players.He also looked towards Europe before many others, taking schoolboy players on hundreds of trips to Scandinavia, eastern and southern Europe to take part in tournaments that broadened their experience and resolve.One of Carson’s Norwich players who went on to make it as a professional and still works in the game said: “Football life with Kit was an exciting adventure. Kit had ideas which were new in England and often ridiculed by the senior staff. We were taught about the importance of a strong mental attitude, nutrition and how to prepare for training and matches.”On his website Carson claimed: “I probably know more about European grassroots soccer than almost any other youth developer in England.” It was boastful but a case could be made.Away from football, Carson seemed a respectable family man. He was married to Pauline and was a proud father and grandfather. At the time of his death he and his wife lived quietly in a riverside flat in Cambridge.But Carson was hiding a secret.Former players have told the Guardian that as adolescents they were ordered to strip naked so that Carson could check how they were developing. Some were forced to exercise, do weights or swim naked as he watched.Others have described being ordered to wrestle in muddy puddles in just their underwear both in the UK and during those trips abroad. They were also forced to massage each other with oil as Carson looked on.So routine were these practices that most of the children simply obeyed without questioning. Besides, they knew Carson was the gateway to a career in football and if they resisted they faced the boot. One player told Carson to “fuck off” when the coach asked him to strip. He says he never played for a Carson team again.The trips abroad were a perfect way for Carson to cement his relationships with boys, far from home and family.Carson was emboldened to go further with some of the boys. His death means that the claims against him will not be tested before a jury but he was facing 12 counts of indecent assault and one of causing a child to engage in sexual activity. The allegations concerned 11 boys.According to the particulars of the offences, the first alleged indecent assault happened at a hotel in the north of England in the late 1970s or early 80s.The incitement offence allegedly happened as recently as February 2009 in Cambridge. This is said to have involved Carson showing the complainant images of scantily clad women while he exercised.However, the bulk of the incidents took place in and around Peterborough, where Carson was academy director between 1993 and 2001.At Peterborough, Carson worked with another now notorious figure in football – Bob Higgins, the former Southampton junior coach who in June was jailed for 24 years for abusing schoolboys over a 25-year period.Higgins arrived at Peterborough in the mid-90s as the under-16s coach, having parted company with Southampton after six boys came forward to claim they had been sexually abused by him.The police have played down the idea that Carson and Higgins abused boys together or were part of a wider paedophile network but at least one former Peterborough player – Dion Raitt – has said he was sexually targeted by both men and believes they colluded.Raitt, who has waived his right to anonymity, has said he was groomed and abused by Higgins over many months. His contact with Carson was fleeting but disturbing.He remembers being called to Carson’s office at Peterborough United’s ground and made to stand naked in front of him as his future was discussed.“It was as though there had been some sort of highlight put against my name,” Raitt told the Guardian. “That’s how I feel. Either it was: ‘He really wants it,’ or ‘He’s really vulnerable.’”There appear to be similarities in the ways the men operated, from persuading their charges to regard them as father figures to using massage to normalise physical contact.Both also encouraged the boys to write to them. Higgins kept messages from his former players in which they professed love for him in his attic.Carson published scores of testimonials from his players on his website and in a book he wrote about some of the players he worked with at Peterborough. The book, which includes photos of boys posing topless during trips abroad and one image of two players sleeping shirtless in twin beds, makes uncomfortable reading.Higgins left Peterborough under a cloud with the club blaming his beliefs: he claimed to be a faith healer and “baptised” some boys in his bath.Carson tried to cover for his colleague by claiming the commute from Southampton was too much for him and saying Higgins would continue to scout for Peterborough.One of the many disturbing things about the Higgins case was that he was still working in the sport – albeit not directly with children – when the Guardian broke the football abuse scandal.The FA also faces questions over how Carson was able to continue working in football after allegations about him emerged.Carson eventually moved from Peterborough to Cambridge United and on to the non-league club Histon to work with its youngsters. Allegations about Carson were surfacing and it has been reported that in 2009 (at about the time of the alleged incitement he was charged with) his FA coaching licence was revoked. The FA has refused to confirm or deny this.In 2013 Raitt wrote to Peterborough United, reporting what Carson and Higgins had done to him. The allegations were passed on to the police but no further action was taken. The FA was also made aware of Raitt’s complaint.Despite this, Carson continued working in football. As late as 2014 he was the “official UK representative” in the UK for the Nørhalne Cup, a youth competition in Denmark. The cup manager, Per Jeppesen, said he had no idea that allegations had been made against Carson.At the time he was arrested in January 2017 Carson was claiming on his LinkedIn profile to be a UK scout for the Finnish club SJK Seinäjoki and a football consultant. The Finnish club says it had no formal link with Carson.The FA will not discuss why Carson continued to work in football after allegations about him had surfaced. A spokesman said only: “In line with our safeguarding practices, we are not in a position to comment on this matter.”When he first appeared in court in April 2018, the magistrates agreed to a request to impose bail conditions including a ban on coaching children in the UK, travelling abroad to coach young people and being involved in scouting under-18s. It is clear that right up to his death the police and Crown Prosecution Service were worried that Carson remained a risk to children.• In the UK and Ireland, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org or jo@samaritans.ie. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14. Other international helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org. Child protection Reuse this content Kit Carson revelled in his image as a star-maker with the power to help promising junior footballers realise their dreams of making it in the professional game.He relished the glowing testimonials that his former players – among them household names – provided for his website and writings and he was never short of invitations to matches and glitzy football dinners.But there was a darkness to Carson that only fully emerged after the Guardian broke the football abuse scandal in 2016.Dozens of former players, among them ex-internationals, contacted the police and the children’s charity the NSPCC to say they had been sexually abused by Carson.Carson’s death in a road crash just before the prosecution case against him was due to start at Peterborough crown court in January deprived survivors of the chance to give evidence against him.His inquest gives a few answers but questions remain, not least how a man like Carson was able to work in the professional game for more than 20 years and why even after complaints were made about him he continued to be involved in the sport right up until his arrest.Michael Sean Carson, to give him his full name, was a proud Irishman but lived his whole life in England. He gained his first football coaching badges while he studied economics at the University of Hull. Topics Share on WhatsApp Support The Guardian Share on LinkedIn profiles Children Share via Email Since you’re here… Share on Pinterest Share on Facebook Share on Messenger … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you.last_img read more

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Province Launches Online Forum

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first_imgNova Scotians have a new, innovative way to make their voices heard. The Nova Scotia Online Forum, launched today, Nov. 8, will invite input on a wide range of government policies and priorities, as they are being developed. “Nova Scotians have lots of great ideas and insights, and this online forum will give them a chance to have their say on all sorts of government decisions, from health care to job creation to budget priorities,” said David Wilson, Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage. “It’s an easy way for Nova Scotians from one end of the province to the other to provide opinions and advice directly to government about decisions that affect the future of the province.” Membership in the forum is open to any Nova Scotian 18 years of age or older. Registered members will be notified of online surveys by e-mail. “This innovative new program, a first for any provincial government in Canada, will make use of technology that hundreds of thousands of Nova Scotians are already using every day,” said Mr. Wilson. “All you need is access to the Internet and a willingness to share your opinion about important decisions facing the province.” The online forum will allow government to solicit public opinion quicker and at lower cost than with random-sample surveys, because participants will have already been recruited. The online forum was built, and is managed for the province by, Corporate Research Associates, a Halifax-based research firm. People can sign up for the Nova Scotia Online Forum at www.forumns.ca .last_img read more

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New Sydney River Bridge Will Have Active Transportation Lane

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first_imgThe new Sydney River Bridge on Keltic Drive will include a four-metre-wide active transportation lane for pedestrians and cyclists on its south side when it opens in 2014. Design work on the new bridge is underway and the tender to build the new bridge and demolish the old one will be called this spring. “Our government knows that the replacement of the Sydney River Bridge is an important job-creating infrastructure project,” said Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Regional Minister for Nova Scotia. “Our government is proud to invest in initiatives that will provide transportation options for the residents of Sydney.” “Replacement of the Sydney River Bridge is a complex job at a busy location that includes demolition of the existing bridge,” said Frank Corbett, Deputy Premier. “The project will provide good paying jobs during construction and result in a long-lasting and useful crossing.” “The new bridge will enhance efforts by the Municipality to promote active transportation,” said Mayor Cecil Clarke of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM). “It will have improved facilities for pedestrians and cyclists, and will be designed to link directly to the proposed Sydney River Multi Use Path, which will eventually link Sydney River to downtown Sydney. “The Sydney River Multi Use Path is still in the early planning stages, but the development of this pathway is one of the key recommendations of the CBRM Active Transportation Plan.” The present bridge carries about 7,700 vehicles a day but is nearing the end of its service life. It will be closed during construction and a detour route and shuttle service will help bridge users deal safely with the inconvenience of this necessary closure. The province consulted with emergency services and schools in the area regarding changes needed to help traffic flow smoothly and safely through the detour route. The detour will be less than five kilometres long. Details of the shuttle service will be announced closer to the date of the bridge closure. In addition to its active transportation lane the new bridge will have two regular driving lanes and no overhead obstructions. The total project, which is in the province’s 5-Year Highway Improvement Plan, is scheduled for completion in 2014 and will cost about $20 million. The province’s estimated cost is $14.6 million while the federal government has committed a maximum of $5.4 million. Federal funding is conditional on the project meeting all applicable federal eligibility and approval requirements under the Building Canada Fund and the signing of a contribution agreement with the province.last_img read more

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DP constable thrashed by bootlegger and his family

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first_imgNew Delhi: A Delhi police constable was allegedly thrashed by a bootlegger, his wife and his mother after he apprehended the bootlegger. The accused tore his uniform and even tried to snatch his service revolver. The incident occurred on Tuesday at Rohini Prem Nagar area. Police said they have arrested the accused identified as Sumit, his wife Pinky and his mother Shanti, all resident of Hind Vihar in Prem Nagar area. According to a senior police official, on Tuesday at around 1 p.m. when a constable Amit was patrolling in Prem Nagar area he spotted an absent ‘Bad Character’ and also a bootlegger Sumit. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder “Constable had also received tip-off regarding the illicit liquor being sold in the area. Sumit along with his wife and mother are involved in trade of illicit liquor and when the constable reached there they allegedly attacked on him,” said the senior police official. “Sumit along with his wife and his mother snatched mobile phone of constable. The accused even tore constable Amit’s uniform and they even tried to snatch his service revolver also,” said the senior police official. “Police have registered a case under section 186, 353, 332, 392,393, 34 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) at Prem Nagar police station. Police have arrested all the three accused,” said the senior police official adding that further investigation is going on.last_img read more

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No one in Kashmir more devoted to idea of united India than

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first_imgNew Delhi: Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, who is lodged in Tihar Jail here on corruption charges, on Tuesday condemned the detention of former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA) and said no one in the valley was more devoted to the idea of a united India than the NC leader. “I have asked my family to tweet on my behalf the following: I condemn the detention of Shri Farooq Abdullah under PSA. There is no one in Kashmir more devoted to the idea of a united India of which J&K is an integral part than Shri Farooq Abdulla,” Chidambaram said on Twitter. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’In another tweet, the former Union finance minister said the fight for freedom was a never-ending process as he cited examples of public movements across the world. “I have been reading news stories about protest movements across the world in Moscow, Hong Kong, France, Slovakia, Algeria, Myanmar, Romania and so on. “The cry is for freedom. As a young Slovakian said, ‘The fight for freedom is a never-ending process’,” he said. Chidambaram is in judicial custody since September 5 in connection with the INX Media corruption case. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KResponding to a news report on Abdullah’s arrest, his son and Congress MP Karti Chidambaram tweeted, saying, “Nazi Nazi Nazi.” Abdullah, the 81-year-old patron of the National Conference (NC), was detained under the PSA on Sunday night. The Lok Sabha MP from Srinagar was under preventive detention since August 5, when the Centre abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution that gave a special status to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the state into Union territories.last_img read more

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Montreal wants to ban singleuse plastics and polystyrene foam containers

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first_imgMontreal says it plans to introduce a bylaw banning single-use items such as plastics and polystyrene foam containers on its territory by spring 2020.The city said Wednesday it was inspired by jurisdictions such as Vancouver, which announced its own ban, likely coming next year.Mayor Valerie Plante said her administration will hold consultations on the bylaw and would move slowly to help businesses transition.Pollution from single-use plastics and polystyrene is a major environmental problem, Plante said in a statement. She added plastic containers can take several hundred years to decompose.“The time when we put off decisions to protect the environment because they upset our daily habits is over,” Plante said. “Time is running out and we need to act now.”The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Manitoba RCMP to provide significant update in search for BC murder suspects

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first_imgGILLAM, Mb. (NEWS 1130) – The search for Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky is over.Mounties in Manitoba have confirmed two bodies believed to belong to the two murder suspects from Port Alberni were found approximately eight kilometres from where a burned SUV was found last month near the small community of Gillam.Assistant Commissioner Kevn Hackett with B.C. RCMP says said the the burned SUV was owned by one of the victims, Leonard Dyck.“Manitoba RCMP has confirmed that the autopsies are being scheduled in Winnipeg to confirm their identities and to determine the cause of death,” says Hackett. “While we’re still waiting for the definitive confirmation of the identities of the two deceased men, we believe that they are, in fact, the individuals that we were searching for.”He says the families of all victims have been contacted by RCMP and been updated.“I’d like to stress that our investigative efforts have not concluded yet. We still need to ensure that our investigative findings –whether it’s statements, evidentiary timelines, physical or digital evidence — continues to confirm our investigative theory and eliminates any other possibilities or suspects,” says Hackett. “Until that is completed, we will not conclude this file.”The search is over.  At 10am this morning, Manitoba RCMP officers located the bodies of two males, believed to be the BC suspects, near the shoreline of the Nelson River (approx 8km from the burnt vehicle). #rcmpmb pic.twitter.com/tZ7EBFsNDr— RCMP Manitoba (@rcmpmb) August 7, 2019The 18-year-old Schmegelsky and 19-year-old McLeod were wanted in connection to three deaths in northern B.C. last month. They were charged with second degree murder in the death of UBC sessional lecturer Leonard Dyck, whose body was found days later near a burned out vehicle not far from Dease Lake.The pair was also suspects in the deaths of two tourists — Australian Lucas Fowler and American Chynna Deese — who were found dead along the Alaska Highway near Liard Hot Springs.RCMP Assistant Commissioner Jane MacLatchy says for over two weeks, officers followed up on every lead, considered all options, and used every available resource.A critical piece of evidence was uncovered on Friday — items directly linked to the suspects were located on the shoreline of the Nelson River, a big focus of the manhunt.“There’s significant evidence that links both crime scenes.” Hackett says no information to suggest dead suspects are wanted for any other crimes committed since national manhunt launched. @NEWS1130 pic.twitter.com/jcWUFsn2y0— Marcella Bernardo (@Bernardo1130) August 7, 2019And this morning, officers located two male bodies in the dense brush within one kilometre from where the items were found.“At this time, we are confident that these are the bodies of the two suspects wanted in connection with the homicides in British Columbia,” says MacLatchy. “An autopsy is being scheduled in Winnipeg to confirm their identities and to determine their cause of death.”The weeks-long manhunt captured international media attention, but few details of the investigation were released by the RCMP, who urged people to refrain from posting unconfirmed information on social media.“This was a search that could not have been successfully achieved without the help from our partners at the Canadian Armed Forces, from RCMP employees who came in from across the country and from multiple private partners,” MacLatchy adds.“Thank you to all Canadians for remaining vigilant, for calling us with information and most importantly, for being our partners.”What happens now?Before the discovery of the bodies, the pair had been charged with one count each of second-degree murder in connection to the death of a UBC lecturer in northern BC last month. So, what happens to those charges and the rest of the investigation, if the two lead suspects are dead?NEW: “The second-degree murder charge against the two accused (McLeod and Schmegelsky) will be abated by the BC Prosecution Service once confirmation is received from the RCMP the accused are deceased. This will end the prosecution and the involvement of the BCPS.” @NEWS1130— Sonia Aslam (@SoniaSAslam) August 7, 2019Legal Analyst Michael Shapray says once the autopsies are done, investigators will reach out to Crown Counsel.“What would happen is the RCMP will ultimately, if these people turn out to be the suspects, will provide death certificates to the Prosecution Office in BC and the [office] will then essentially bring the case to an end at that stage. They would not proceed with a trial or with the matter any further against those two people if they turn out to be deceased.”The office echoes that and tells NEWS 1130 it’s waiting to hear from police.“The second degree murder charge against the two accused McLeod and Schmegelsky will be abated by the BC Prosecution Service once confirmation is received from the RCMP that the accused are deceased. This will end the prosecution and the involvement of the BCPS,” says Dan McLaughlin with Crown Counsel.Big story around the world. #CANADAmanhunt comes to an end with the discovery of two bodies – murder suspects from #PortAlberni pic.twitter.com/JCUQWuLpzv— Bruce Claggett (@BruceClaggett) August 7, 2019However, when it comes to motive or unanswered questions surrounding the investigation, Shapray admits that can be tricky.“If the investigation from the RCMP perspective was complete, in terms of they believed they had their suspects beyond a reasonable doubt and there were no other leads or other possible suspects, then yes, the police investigation would be completed and the case would be closed. In terms of finding out information about why or what the motive was or other aspects of the original investigation into the murders, that would have to come through questioning of the police or if the police decide to reveal any information. I wouldn’t expect there would be any sort of inquiry or there wouldn’t be any public trial if there are no other suspects.”Shapray adds the warrants for their arrest would also be taken off the record and a note would be added to explain why nothing moved ahead with the charges.last_img read more

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Northern Rockies Regional Municipality finalizes 2019 Budget

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first_imgFORT NELSON, B.C. – On March 30, the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality met for the final deliberations of the 2019 Budget.According to the Regional Municipality, the budget was subject to a significant evaluation period where Council had over a month to review the Preliminary Budget that was presented to the public at an Open House on February 13.The Municipality says the budget was formulated to meet several council objectives: Support existing levels of servicesReduce the tax levyMaintain full provincial Infrastructure Development Contribution Agreement (IDCA) fundingContinue to focus on efficienciesThe annual property tax levy has been reduced from $24.4 million to $20.2 million since 2015. This reduction equates to a total decrease of 17 percent or three percent per year.Mayor Gary Foster says he is very supportive of this year’s budget process.“Council approved a budget that is the end result of many small economies. It may not be possible to continue to reduce the tax levy each year while maintaining service at existing levels, but I believe this budget illustrates that we are very aware of the need to achieve the best value-for-money in every single municipal function we undertake.”The 2019 Budget can be read on the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality’s website.last_img read more

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Côte dIvoire UN rejects Gbagbos call to search its vehicles as violation

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21 January 2011The United Nations today rebuffed efforts by forces loyal to Côte d’Ivoire’s former president, who refuses to step down despite his electoral defeat, to stop and search UN vehicles. “The call by the Ivorian defence and security forces loyal to Laurent Gbagbo to stop and search United Nations vehicles is a serious violation of the Status of Forces Agreement and Security Council resolution 1962 (2010) and therefore unacceptable,” spokesman Martin Nesirky told a news briefing in New York.He was referring to the various terms under which the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) was sent to the West African country after civil war in 2002 divided it into a Government-controlled south and a rebel-held north. On Wednesday the Council authorized the immediate reinforcement of the nearly 9,000-strong peacekeeping force with 2,000 additional troops and three armed helicopters as UN personnel and civilians face mounting attacks from forces loyal to Mr. Gbagbo, who refuses to step down despite the internationally-recognized victory of opposition leader Alassane Ouattara in November’s run-off elections.These were meant to be a culminating point of a peace process which UNOCI is mandated to monitor. It is also entrusted with protecting its own personnel as well as civilians and ensuring its freedom of movement.But Mr. Gbagbo has called for UNOCI’s withdrawal, which the UN has rejected, while the media under his control have mounted a propaganda campaign against the mission, and ethnic fighting between groups from the opposing camps in the west of the country has driven some 50,000 people from their homes. Mr. Nesirky today condemned the continuing use of the State broadcasting corporation to disseminate false information about the UN and its peacekeeping mission, as well as the continued obstruction of UNOCI’s legitimate actions to implement its mandate.He reiterated that attacks on civilians or international peacekeepers constitute crimes under international law, as does incitement to commit such crimes. Those engaged in such activity will be held responsible, he said. The number of those known to have died in the post-electoral violence since last month has risen to 260, with 68 people missing, UN officials reported.Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative and head of UNOCI, Y. J. Choi, has said the reinforcements authorized by the Council will provide a “rapid reaction capability” essential for the protection of civilians both in Abidjan, where Gbagbo loyalists have launched attacks, and in the country’s west, scene of the ethnic fighting.Senior UN officials have called for urgent action to prevent this fighting from degenerating into genocide, warning that though this has not yet occurred, the elements for it are present, such as identity-related conflicts over national, racial and religious affiliations.The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported today that some 30,000 Ivorians had fled to neighbouring Liberia, while 18,000 people are displaced internally in western parts of the country.It welcomed recognition by Guinea and Liberia of people fleeing Côte d’Ivoire as refugees and the fact that a number of European countries have halted returns, including those of failed asylum-seekers. It called on governments worldwide to follow suit and suspend all returns pending improvements in the security and human rights situation.Meanwhile, a seven-day, UN-backed vaccination campaign against yellow fever is scheduled to get underway tomorrow, targeting more than 830,000 adults and children in four rural districts, where there have been at least 66 recorded cases, 25 of them fatal, since November. The UN, the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have all been trying to resolve the post-electoral crisis, demanding that Mr. Gbagbo step down, but it remains deadlocked, with Mr. Gbagbo proposing a power-sharing arrangement, which Mr. Choi has said would be a bad precedent in view of his clear electoral defeat.Cote read more

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Suspicions raised over tourist who alleged abuse at Jetwing Kaduruketha

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At the point of making the reservation, the guest was informed there was only a male therapist available at the time and she agreed to proceed with the massage. The couple had booked two nights through Jetwing online and they requested to waive off the charges. They then said that they want to stay an extra night, which the hotel says they found strange considering what they claimed happened, and requested that additional night also to be given free. “As it is our policy that the guest is always right, our Director Operations agreed to their requests even though we could not find any conclusive evidence of wrong doing by our therapist who was being questioned by the management and police,” the hotel said.Jetwing then requested for a written statement from the lady in order for them to continue with the investigation. At this stage, the issue seemed settled as they did not want to pursue anymore and had received the compensation they requested. Four hours after the initial conversation with the couple and the agreed settlement, the gentleman contacted the Director Operations, and in a very aggressive manner stated that he was finally not in agreement with what was offered and felt the situation was not handled as per his expectations.The Director Operations reassured the guest that the matter was being investigated, as the allegations were of a serious nature, and that steps were been taken to ensure the matter would be dealt with seriously with the associate in question.At this point, as the hotel was not in a position to do anything further and the gentleman was talking aggressively, the Director Operations suggested that he make a police entry, as previously proposed, to which he agreed.Full assistance was given to the guest to go the police station, with the General Manager accompanying the couple and staying throughout their deposition. While at the police station, the gentleman contacted the Director Operations on a few occasions over the phone for assistance, due to their limited English, and full assistance was extended.Once the deposition was recorded by the police the gentleman stated to the Director Operations that they were satisfied with the outcome as they believed the necessary course of action would be taken by the police. After this, the guests returned to the hotel with the General Manager.The next morning, the Hotel General Manager accompanied the couple back to the police station to obtain an official document from the police confirming that an entry had been made at the police station, and, in addition, they requested to have an insurance document stamped by the police. The couple did not wish the hotel General manager to stay with them at the police station and returned to the hotel a few hours later, on their own.Guests did not contact the hotel General Manager neither the Director Operations after returning to the hotel and checked out late in the afternoon.It is to be noted that the associate in question has been working at the hotel in the capacity of Spa therapist for the last 3 years and has no record of any issues as such, despite having performed numerous massages on ladies in the past, as evidenced by the hotel’s records.The Police produced the Spa therapist to the Magistrates Court and after an inquiry by the Magistrate, the Spa therapist was released on bail and the next date of the court hearing is on the 26th of February. We await the court determination on this complaint.“Our view is that the lady’s statement kept changing every time she spoke to us. This we find very strange, as she went through the massage with the male therapist for 75 minutes, thanked him and said she will come back the next day. We have monitored the CCTV footage and during the exit from the spa she shows no distress. Furthermore, the reception is adjoining the spa which would have helped her to escalate the issue immediately,” Jetwing Hotel said.With all the doubtful behaviour, Jetwing Hotel said that they still gave the benefit of the doubt to the guest based on the values and principles of the hotel.Jetwing Hotel said they will await the outcome of the police investigation and the court hearing. (Colombo Gazette) It was brought to the attention of the Hotel General Manager that an incident took place after the lady had a 75-minute massage at the Spa of the Hotel, performed by a male therapist. Incidentally, the General manager offered a complimentary dinner on the same evening, which was accepted by the couple.The General Manager reported the incident to the higher management and a decision was made to wait until the next morning to assess the situation with the couple, as previously agreed between the couple and the hotel General Manager.The next morning the General manager contacted the higher management, namely the Director Operations of the group, and passed on his phone to the couple. The lady, while on speaker phone with the gentleman listening, described what had happened, in French language. The Director Operations explained that steps had already been taken to investigate the matter with the associate in question and offered to assist the guest to make an entry to the police. The couple declined the offer to make an entry to the police, and instead requested that some compensation be given. Suspicions have been raised over a tourist who alleged abuse at Jetwing Kaduruketha recently.In a media statement, Jetwing Hotel said that a couple, residing at the hotel for two nights, had booked a massage on the evening of the 2nd day. “The General Manager met with the guest for 1 hour and listened to the lady in the presence of a gentleman (her partner), and recorded the incident in question, which as per the lady’s description involved some massage of un-wanted nature,” the hotel said.Assuming the guest was right, the General Manager apologized for what had happened, assured that necessary steps would be taken to investigate the matter with the associate who performed the massage, and it was agreed between the couple and the hotel General Manager to review the matter in the morning, once the situation would be clearer. read more

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Three killed in Batticaloa motorcycle accident

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The motorcycles caught fire as soon as they crashed. Two people were killed in the crash while another person was burnt to death.At least two others sustained injuries and were admitted to hospital. (Colombo Gazette) Three people were killed in an accident in Batticaloa involving three motorcycles.According to reports, two motorcycles with four people had crashed into another motorcycle.

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