Self-styled godman Asaram sentenced to be in jail until death for raping minor girl

first_imgA special Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe court on Wednesday awarded life imprisonment till death to self-styled godman Asaram Bapu after holding him guilty of raping a minor girl in his ashram at Manai village, near here, five years ago. Two of Asaram’s aides were also convicted and sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment each.Special Judge Madhusudan Sharma convicted Asaram, 77, under various sections of Indian Penal Code and Juvenile Justice Act, holding him guilty of committing the sexual offence against the teenage girl. The judgment was pronounced in the high-security Central Jail, where Asaram has been lodged since September 1, 2013.Asaram case verdict: As it happenedThe co-convicts, Sharatchandra, director of a residential school in Chhindwara, Madhya Pradesh, where the victim was studying, and Shilpi, warden of her hostel, were convicted for criminal conspiracy under I.P.C. and sentenced to 20 years in prison.The court also imposed a fine totalling ₹5 lakh on the three convicts and ordered that it would be paid to the victim, who belongs to Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh.The teenage girl had stated in her complaint that Asaram had called her to a farmhouse of one of his followers in Manai, which was temporarily converted into an ashram, and raped her in the night of August 15, 2013. Following his arrest and judicial custody, Asaram was denied bail 12 times.last_img read more

SAD, BJP accuse Congress of encouraging radicals

first_imgShiromani Akali Dal and Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday accused the ruling Congress government in Punjab of encouraging radical elements, asserting that the plot to eliminate former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, which was uncovered by the Uttar Pradesh police – ”was a direct fallout of this support.”A joint delegation of Akali Dal and BJP met the Punjab Governor V.P. Singh Badnore here and alleged that anti-national forces want to silence Parkash Singh Badal as he stands for ”Hindu-Sikh unity”. “Congress party is playing into their hands by sponsoring protests against the Akali Dal as well as its senior leadership,” alleged the delegation members.Akali Dal president Sukhbir Badal alleged that on October 5, when radical elements attacked his cavalcade in Sangrur district they were facilitated by the Police.Punjab chief minister Capt. Amarinder Singh has assured of full protection by his government for the ”Badals” in view of the enhanced threat perception to their lives.In Mohali talking to journalists, Capt. Amarinder said that he was cognizant of recent reports of increased threat perception to the lives of former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and former deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal, and ”would ensure that full security is provided to the father-son duo.”The delegation also urged the Governor to look into the issue of state government’s recent decision of not regularising the services of 8,886 teachers. “These teachers, who had put in eight to ten years of service and were drawing salaries between 35,000 to 45,000 were now being asked to work at a flat rate of Rs 15,000 for three years before they could be regularized. Governor should direct the government to rescind this order immediately,” the members demanded through their memorandum.A delegation of Aam Aadmi Party MLAs led by leader of Opposition Harpal Singh Cheema also met the V.P.Singh Badnore regarding the demands of agitating teachers.“Punjab government decision to scale down salaries of teachers was irresponsible and immoral. This has lowered the prestige of the teaching community and demoralized the teachers who were working on lower pay scales for the last ten years,” said Mr. Cheema.Reacting to memorandums submitted by Shiromani Akali Dal and Aam Aadmi Party leaders, Capt. Amaridner said that the government was fully seized of the matter and was trying its best to resolve the issue. He said that services of nearly 40,000 employees, including teachers, needed to be regularised, which may take some time in view of the fiscal crunch faced by his government.last_img read more

PM Indira Gandhi reshuffles Cabinet, hires eight new hands, fires two

first_imgIt was like a convoluted crime plot ending without identifying the murderer. It was a tale without a denouement, an exercise without a goal, a gesture without a motion.The seventh convulsion in Mrs Gandhi’s Council of Ministers which last fortnight led to an increase in its strength to 61 from,It was like a convoluted crime plot ending without identifying the murderer. It was a tale without a denouement, an exercise without a goal, a gesture without a motion.The seventh convulsion in Mrs Gandhi’s Council of Ministers which last fortnight led to an increase in its strength to 61 from 55, stared the millions of its bemused spectators in the face as just another barren game politicians play, outwardly to reassure themselves but in effect laying bare their own innate weaknesses and their native sense of insecurity.The reshuffle of September 2, involving seven of her 18 Cabinet colleagues, downgrading three crucial departments, hiring eight new hands, and firing two, came in the wake of months of nail-chewing speculation.Partymen claiming inside knowledge first prophesied changes around the third week of August, then pushed it forward to the last week. But Mrs Gandhi herself added her characteristic twist to the proceedings when, three days before the reshuffle, she remarked: “Talk of a reshuffle has become a permanent joke.” She was right, though in a way which she had not perhaps intended.The first thing that struck flustered observers was its all-embracing purposelessness. In a democratic set-up, periodic stirring up of the Cabinet serves the three-fold purpose of winnowing out the chaff, infusion of new blood, and keeping ministers in trim. Oddly enough, none of these purposes were served. Said an affected minister sardonically: “It’s the classic prescription of the pharmacist: shake the bottle before use, but it’s the same mixture.”After the portfolio switches, 27 of Mrs Gandhi’s ministers, or roughly every second member of the ministerial council, found himself in a new office, and addressing himself to new problems. Considering the fact that no reshuffle of such dimensions had taken place during the 33 months of her rule, it could well have marked a starting over. Yet it did not. With a rare cynicism she passed up this opportunity, exactly midway through her current tenure, to realise at last her 1980 poll-clinching slogan: ‘Elect The Government That Works’.advertisementLike the constant clatter of the shuttle on a loom, Mrs Gandhi’s ministers wove like patterns on a crazy quilt between the endless array of the capital’s bhavans. With not a single addition to the Cabinet, nor a single subtraction, the custody of the mamoth empires in the sarkar changed hands. The departments were split and fused together like the squares in a Rubik’s Cube.”Like the constant clatter of the shuttle on the loom, Mrs Gandhi’s ministers wove like patterns on a crazy quilt between the endless array of the capital’s bhavans. With not a single addition to the Cabinet, nor a single subtraction, the custody of the mammoth empires in the sarkar changed hands.”Only five new ministers of state and three new deputy ministers were sworn in: but their entry heralded a chain of changes in the combination of deparments. Of the 59 departments that are managed by secretary-level officials, 27 woke up the next day to greet at least one new minister. The pattern changed, but not the wool. It was a painfully elaborate exercise in shuttling and reshuttling the same jaded bunch.Endless Shuttle: The reshuffle was actuated by the resignation of Giani Zail Singh as home minister in the month of June. It made sense that the Giani’s berth would be filled by a senior Cabinet minister and an impression had gained ground that some minister with an untainted public reputation, such as External Affairs Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao, would get the home portfolio. But Mrs Gandhi sprang a surprise even on the most determined gambler-against-odds when she named Prakash Chand Sethi, 62, the man who had only recently taken the flak for the controversial Kuo Oil deal (India Today, July 31), as the home minister.A chain reaction followed. The bumptious Ghani Khan Chowdhury, the erstwhile energy minister, moved up the ladder to replace Sethi in the more prestigious Railway Ministry. The energy portfolio, in its turn, was hitched on to the Petroleum Ministry. And, the petroleum minister, finding his plate too full, had to part with chemicals and fertilizers, which ultimately went to Vasant Sathe, the former information and broadcasting (I&B) minister.The orphaned I&B Ministry was promptly given to new entrant N.K.P. Salve, as a minister of state with independent charge. In the same sweep, however, Anant Prasad Sharma, the befuddled minister for civil aviation and tourism, lost his twin empire, which was bifurcated and parcelled out to the independent care of two ministers of state, Bhagwat Jha Azad and Khursheed Alam Khan.advertisementSharma hopped across to the far less glamorous Communications Ministry, while its beleaguered occupant, C.M. Stephen, moved over to the duller charge of shipping and transport, thus displacing its minister, Veerendra Patil, who moved over to the labour portfolio.Lower Levels: Around this scheme of musical chairs was built the sub-plot involving deputy ministers and ministers of state. It thickened with the delayed exit of S.S. Sisodia and Charanjit Chanana, ministers of state who had for five long months been on the firing line as their Rajya Sabha membership had expired in April without the party high command bothering to accommodate them.The Chanana-Sisodia tragedy was partially made light of by the inclusion of new persons , and the place-hopping, which had originally started as the innocent search for a new home minister, multiplied in magnitude like a dab of ink on a blotting paper.But the changes were not marked by any clockwork planning; on the other hand, they bore the stamp of tired minds trying to wrap up a job without any preparatory work. The gaffes were exposed slowly and by instalments, as newer changes were ordered on September 5 and September 11.”…the men in charge of most of the important portfolios were changing faster than patterns in a kaleidoscope. Thus the labour minister was changed six times, works and housing four times, education three times, tourism three times, civil supplies four times, railways four times, petroleum four times, shipping and transport four times and commerce three times. Even the sensitive Defence Ministry… witnessed four changes since 1980.”Some of the gaffes were quite ludicrous, typical clerical blunders. There was no apparent reason for the Coal Department to go to Narain Dutt Tiwari when his shoulders were overburdened with industry as well as steel and mines. So presto, days later it was withdrawn from him and hitched on to Shiv Shanker’s sprawling but homogenous empire of petroleum and energy.Far down the hierarchical ladder, Kalpnath Rai, deputy minister for parliamentary affairs, was upset as he suddenly found Delhi strongman H.K.L. Bhagat foisted over his head as minister of state. Rai, a burly ex-wrestler, burst into tears before Mrs Gandhi, and she tossed a pacifier into his mouth by way of the additional deputy ministership in the Industry Ministry.The holes in the blueprint kept exposing themselves with every passing hour. The last echo of the reshuffle actually died down nine days later when Mohsina Kidwai, the affable Uttar Pradesh MP and chief of the state Congress(I) unit, was sworn in as minister of state. With Kidwai’s appointment, the President’s office celebrated the cranking out of its 42nd notification of ministerial changes in 33 months: one change every 23 days. Said a minor cog in New Delhi’s mind-boggling bureaucratic wheel: “At this rate more ministers will pass through the ministries than tourists passing through India Gate.”Secret Moves: The changes, though signifying no bold departure from the past, were nevertheless shrouded in impenetrable secrecy. Only R.K. Dhawan, special assistant to the prime minister, was privy to the decisions and that too for the most practical of reasons: he had to type out the three-page official letter to the President. The Cabinet Secretariat was totally in the dark; so were the much-trumpeted independent advisers to the prime minister, including G. Parthasarathy, who heard the news on the radio.advertisementSo tight was the veil of secrecy that only two of the five new ministers of state and two of the three new deputy ministers were present at the brief swearing-in ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on September 2. Bhagat had in fact gone to attend a function at Raj Niwas, home of the Lt-Governor of Delhi, to welcome its new incumbent Jagmohan, when the news reached him and he had to rush in.Ramachandra Rath, the newly appointed minister of state for chemicals and fertilizers, had just locked up his MP flat on Pandara Road and gone home to Orissa, thus being obliged to be away from the swearing-in ceremony. Ashok Gehlot, who made it at the last moment, had been planning to leave for home the same evening.The secrecy was as if born out of diffidence. It seemed as though Mrs Gandhi was reluctant to disoblige anyone. She did not sack a single Cabinet minister, a benignness which is quite out of character, considering her record of dropping nine Cabinet ministers in the four years between 1971 and 1975.Even in the post-1980 period she had suddenly got tough and sacked two of her Cabinet ministers, Kamalapati Tripathi, the old and venerable father-figure from Uttar Pradesh and Vidya Charan Shukla, the debonair leader from Madhya Pradesh. But an inexplicable softness overtook her recently, preventing her from using the boot.Critical Views: A large section of the media dismissed the changes as an exercise in futility. The Indian Express captioned its strongly-worded editorial on the subject – almost predictably – as ‘A Permanent Joke’.The Statesman called the changes a “fatuous exercise” and wrote editorially that these “will not serve anyone any purpose”. Even a steadfast admirer of Mrs Gandhi like Inder Malhotra, resident editor of The Times of India, was moved to admit that “the exercise appears to have been without any clear pattern or purpose”.The appointment of Sethi as the home minister showed best the sign of the times. The Home Ministry, with its vertiginous labyrinth of powerful departments, including the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Intelligence Bureau, has always been a happy hunting ground for the party in power.Under Giani Zail Singh, the Home Ministry became a willing vehicle for carrying out even the smallest of orders from the Prime Minister’s Secretariat. Sethi is reputed to be a match for the Giani in his readiness to cooperate with the high command.Days later, Congress(I) circles, particularly those claiming inside knowledge, came up with piecemeal explanations for the reshuffle. The arguments that are being trotted out include:Mrs Gandhi chose Sethi as home minister precisely because he was under attack from the Opposition. This was her unique way of cocking a snook at the Opposition;with Sethi’s appointment, Mrs Gandhi also shuffled down two of her ministers who had proved patently incompetent, such as CM, Stephen and A.P. Sharma;she wanted to rap Vasant Sathe on the knuckles for his conciliatory gestures to the press on the Bihar Bill, though Mrs Gandhi prefers the relationship to stay generally embattled;she also wanted a second rung of ministers from the minority communities to come up, and thus she arrayed N.K.P. Salve, a Christian, and Mohsina Kidwai behind Stephen and Khan Chowdhury;the creation of separate departments for sports in the charge of Buta Singh non-conventional sources with C.P.N. Singh and environment under Digvijay Singh indicate new importance to these areas,she also intended to infuse young blood: hence, the choice of Ramachandra Rath as minister of state and Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ashok Gehlot as deputy ministers;that Rath, who has an independent power base in Orissa was being elected as an alternative to Chief Minister J.B. Patnaik; andthe choice of Delhi MP H.K.L. Bhagat was entirely in line with the boomerang-like return of Lt-Governor Jagmohan to the capital, both being intended to help the Congress(I) win the impending elections to the Delhi Metropolitan Council.Fair is foul, and foul is fair. A similar cynical reversal of values overtook Mrs Gandhi as she ordered the Cabinet changes. Gone was the principle of punishment-and-reward. Forgotten was the norm that men in public life should not only be clean but also appear to be so, and those who violated it should be at least removed from centre-stage.On the contrary, the reshuffle put a premium on inefficiency, on hamfistedness and on brazen disregard of values. It stood out in stark contrast to the standards set by the late Jawanarlal Nehru when he had accepted the resignation of his finance minister, T.T. Krishnamachari, after his name got involved in the notorious Haridas Mundhra scandal.But this stubbornness too was in character with her, as was this haughty, amoral and contemptuous rejection of accusations levelled at her team-mates by the Opposition. But what was totally out of character was the dithering over the final list of changes, the confusion and the moments of absolute indecision. For nine days, she kept on changing the list, playing with her Tweedledums and Tweedledees, and yet could not arrive at a final solution.Allocation of portfolios is a delicate exercise in two ways: choosing the personnel and then allocating the portfolios. Clustering of two portfolios in one ministerial hand is inevitable as there will always be more departments than ministers.But to select the allied fields, the ministries that can be connected through a symbiotic link, demands precise understanding of the Government. This time Mrs Gandhi attempted to re-cluster the portfolios, was successful in some cases, but failed in most others.Illogical Allocations: Petroleum, for instance, had become a gargantuan department in itself and thus its de-linking from chemicals and fertilizers was generally regarded as fully justified. Also logical was the yoking together of the twin departments of petroleum and energy, which, with the addition of coal, became a compact authority to decide on all matters pertaining to non-nuclear and non-conventional sources of energy. But down the line the re-clustering of other portfolios turned out to be a mindless clerical exercise.Thus, civil supplies and civil aviation got tagged together by their only visible link, the word ‘civil’; the same deputy minister was entrusted with both labour and rehabilitation; Rai, as deputy minister, was asked to lend his weighty presence to both parliamentary affairs and industries; C.P.N. Singh, as minister of state, was made answerable to two bosses, the prime minister herself as she retained the science and technology portfolio, and Shiv Shanker, as Singh’s other charge as minister of state for non-conventional energy sources came under him.It was one of the messiest misalliances of Central portfolios. Said Rai: “I’ve no problem; I can manage both.” Singh hastened to rationalise: “There is a thematic resemblance between science and technology on one hand and non-conventional energy sources on the other. This is more important than the fact that I’m under two ministers.”The bureaucrats in the ministerial corridors are far less enthusiastic. Said an official: “The deputy ministers are not direct decision-makers, but they sit on various intra- and inter-ministerial committees. Now it will be a hard task to get their dates or even to acquaint them with the problems that are to be discussed at the meetings.” Azad, the minister of state for civil supplies as well as civil aviation, may, for instance, have to divide his week between the two ministries the way Pranab Mukherjee, the minister for finance, used to divide the week between commerce and steel and mines when he held both charges. “This is counter-productive,” observed the official.Fast Shifts: The changes, made with a veneer of administrative expediency, betrayed a singular restlessness in the highest echelons of power, an indecisiveness which bordered on a sense of insecurity. In fact the men in charge of most of the important portfolios were changing faster than patterns in a kaleidoscope. Thus since January 1980 the labour minister changed six times, works and housing four times, education three times, tourism three times, civil suplies four times, railways four times, petroleum four times, shipping and transport four times, and commerce three times. Even the sensitive Defence Ministry, which calls for a stable leadership, witnessed four changes since 1980. Only the external affairs minister was left undisturbed, but that too because of the fact that it is Mrs Gandhi herself who calls the shots in the ministry.The slapdash changes indicate, if anything, Mrs Gandhi’s constant, and frustrating, search for the right man for the right job. But, strangely enough, the search is confined to only a handful of men and it meticulously keeps out those Congress(I) MP’s who have an earlier record of public service or have images of their own.New 20-point programme posters in Delhi: A faltering commitment?Thus, nonentities in the Maratha politics of Maharashtra, such as Shivraj Patil and Vijay Patil, find toe-holds in the ministerial council while veteran Maratha leaders like Y.B. Mohite or Premalatai Chavan, both MP’s and both with a record of unswerving loyalty to Mrs Gandhi, do not find places.Similarly, a rather lightweight Ashok Gehlot can work his way into the council from Rajasthan, but the claims of Mool Chand Daga, a veteran in the state’s politics, are disregarded. From Andhra Pradesh, the state that elected Mrs Gandhi, Pattabhi Rama Rao, whose only qualification is that he belongs to the same caste as that of N.T. Rama Rao, matinee idol and the Congress(I)’s arch enemy, makes the grade as minister of state for finance, while Brahmananda Reddy, a former Union home minister, merely looks on. Mrs Gandhi allows Khan Chowdhury the luxury of hopping on to the prestigious Railway Ministry after an undistinguished record as energy minister; at the same time she refuses to utilise the services of Ashok Sen, a veteran MP, star lawyer of the country and former Union law minister.Raw Hands: Said a former aide of Mrs Gandhi, now reflecting on times past and present from his retirement: “There was a time when she was not afraid of bringing in people who were equally talented, or even more talented. That was indeed her strength. Now she is afraid of talent the way – I’m sorry to use the analogy – nocturnal animals are afraid of light.”For instance, except Mrs Gandhi and Sethi, there is not a single member of the present Cabinet with ministerial experience of more than one term. In 1971, on the other hand, she chose a team with as many as four experienced men, even though the split in the party two years earlier had marked a total break with the past.The gnawing anxiety to steer clear of experienced, rooted men also marks Mrs Gandhi’s unique way of handling the delicate issue of allowing regional representation . The gigantic state of Uttar Pradesh, with 67 Congress(I) MP’s, has only one Cabinet-rank minister while Karnataka, with only 36 MP’s, has three.Haryana, with its seven MP’s, has one Cabinet minister while Punjab, with 13 MP’s, has none. West Bengal, with its tenuous contingent of just four Congress(I) MP’s, finds a representation in the Cabinet; but Rajasthan, with 27 MP’s, has the nominal representation of just two deputy ministers.A fuller, proportionate representation to the states depends upon the party high command’s willingness to open up the Cabinet to democratic forces, to select personnel not on the basis of its own threat perception but on the prime consideration of acknowledging the strength of each state unit of the party.Observed H.N. Bahuguna, MP and leader of the Democratic Socialist Party: “Mrs Gandhi wants gutless politicians like N.D. Tiwari, who earned the sobriquet of ‘New Delhi’ Tiwari during the Emergency, to overshadow all others. She doesn’t want an alternative leadership to grow in the state.”Akbar Ahmed, Maneka Gandhi’s lieutenant, rammed home the point further when he said: “Uttar Pradesh is the private fiefdom of Rajiv Gandhi and Arun Nehru. No person who can tower above them will be tolerated. You extend the same logic to the entire country, and you’ll find that she has chosen only the weeds from every state, leaving out the tall trees.”The overriding consideration in the ministerial sweepstakes has been just one: loyalty to Mrs Gandhi, Brahmananda Reddy and Yeshwantrao Chavan, both high-powered leaders in their home states, who had served for years in the Union Cabinet, were kept hanging in limbo just because they had once rebelled against Mrs Gandhi. In contrast, Stephen and Sharma managed to hang on to the Cabinet by the skin of their teeth only because there was no red ink mark on their dossiers of obedience to the prime minister.Shrinking Power: A minister is not a decorative centre-piece and the ministerial chair is not a fountainhead of power without responsibility. It is the duty of a minister to assess the problems of his department, to plan for the future as well as the present, to get the plan implemented and to defend his department’s activities on the floor of the House.Cabinet ministers seeing off Mrs Gandhi and Rajiv: Premium on loyaltyBut the Government under Mrs Gandhi, over the years, has witnessed only a constant shrinking of the minister’s stature, effected first by her choice of personnel, and then by constantly shuttling them around. Obsessed with the idea of not letting grass grow under the ministerial feet, all she has achieved is to raise a battery of superficial men, lacking specific understanding of any particular subject.Ministers are often not to blame as none of them possesses superhuman intellect. Before they get the hang of a particular ministry, they are packed off to something entirely dissimilar. Said an official: “What will poor P.C. Sethi do? He moved so abruptly between housing and railways that it’s but natural for him to confuse between housing stock and rolling stock. And Vasant Sathe is obviously wedged between culture and agriculture.” Only the babudom is unchanged and stoically regards the entry and exit of ministers as a mere passing show.Mrs Gandhi has added a new element to the systematic downgrading of the institution of ministers by taking more and more departments away from the charge of Cabinet members and putting them into the hands of ministers of state. Thus, with no representation at the Cabinet level, the affairs of I&b, civil aviation and tourism are now relegated to secondary importance.The ministers of state in charge of them, Salve, Bhagwat Jha Azad and Khursheed Alam Khan, can no doubt preside over the day-to-day administration of the ministries, but long-term decisions, or those of a controversial nature, will all be taken now at the prime minister’s level, and then routed through the Cabinet where the concerned ministries have no spokesmen.What has she achieved by shoving the 27 men and women up and down a hierarchical line? The answer, perhaps, lies embedded in her unique mental reflexes, in the see-saw rhythm of inertia and aggression that has marked the last 33 months of her rule. She was at the top of her form in the first six months, till Sanjay died in June and her life-force sank to its lowest depth.With her, the party and the Government floundered (India Today, September 16-30, 1980). The drained batteries were recharged to the full nine months later when she bounced back into the fighting arena, and unhesitatingly fired Vidya Charan Shukla from the Cabinet (India Today, April 1-15, 1981).The expansion of the Council of Ministers was itself a none too subtle move aimed at assuaging hurt feelings and building bridges with the dissidents by throwing a few ministerial crumbs from the table. But there are more dissidents than crumbs and the reshuffle is naturally followed by heartburn, frustration and griping in private.Still bitterer are the ministers who have been downgraded, sidelined, or at least not openly patted on the back. To expect them to close ranks is to put an impossible demand on the party. She also frittered away the gilt-edged opportunity that she got in 1980 when as many as 150 freshers stormed their way into the Lok Sabha, all waiting to be reared and trained into mature administrators.It is only now, after 35 months, that she is admitting a trickle of the young MPs into the corridors of power. The inclusion of Rath, Azad and Gehlot into the Council of Ministers this time is itself a muted but sure acceptance of the strident charge that the younger generation of Congressmen, who had singularly pulled her out of the pit during the Janata period, was now being conveniently sidelined. The seventh Lok Sabha has 103 under-40 Congress(I) MPs, but their representation in the Council of Ministers is on a disproportionately low key.A senior Congress(I) office-bearer, obviously distressed by the turn of events, bitterly summed up the situation: “There’s no leadership at the top. There’s no leadership at the bottom. There’s only a vast army of middle-rankers, of mediocre men and women basking in the reflected glory of the prime minister. I’m not sure if they can hold the reins of the state as the run-up to the 1985 general elections begins and the need arises to hasten the pace of development all around.”There are already slacks in the Government which the ministers are quite incapable of pulling in. Prices are again on the rise, the official wholesale price index having gone up 6 per cent in the last six months, and the foreign reserve, which stood at Rs 4,800 crore (excluding gold and special drawing rights) on April 1, 1981, is now down to Rs 3,634 crore.The foreign trade deficit today has reached a whopping Rs 5,000 crore, and there is no way of cutting it as Indian exports get slowly edged out of the world market while the import bill rises in almost geometric progression.There are disconcerting indications that even the much touted new 20-point plan (India Today, February 28) is heading for a dismal failure. An interim implementation report of the Planning Commission, monitoring progress of the plan over the April-June quarter this year, concluded that altogether 17 of the 20 points could not be implemented even to the extent of a mere 25 per cent of the target. The report’s further shocking revelations are:achievement has been as low as 7 per cent in providing house sites;targets for sterilisation fell short by an astonishing 90.9 per cent;the programme of providing assistance to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe members was ahieved up to just 6.8 per cent and 5.3 per cent of the targets;only 8.9 per cent of the needy poor were given assistance for building houses; anda mammoth and problem-ridden state, such as Bihar, exceeded the target in only one of the 16 points that it had taken up, the figures for some other states being Assam: three out of 10, Haryana: two out of 14, Karnataka: three out of 14; Kerala: two out of 14; Madhya Pradesh: three out of 16; Tamil Nadu: four out of 11; and Uttar Pradesh: two out of 14.With such a depressing track record of her government, and the constant drift of the economy towards a new pit of stagnation, Mrs Gandhi cannot but look up to a few capable managers to show a way out of the present impasse. She has no visible challenge, at least not from the fragmeated ranks of the opposition parties. The only threat to her is the wayward drift of her government, a trend, which, if not checked, can be turned by the Opposition to its advantage.The present Council of Ministers is unlikely to go through any drastic changes at least till next year, when elections take place in the two Congress(I) citadels of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka as well as in Assam, Tripura and Jammu & Kashmir. The electorate needs at least tangible evidence that the Congress(I) at the Centre is both willing and capable before it votes the party back to power in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. In Assam, the protracted movement has already churned up a credible Opposition, and signs of drift and vacillation at the Centre will only enhance a final collapse of the weak Congress(I) edifice in the state. In Tripura and Jammu & Kashmir where the Congress(I), as the main opposition party, harbours the ambition of capturing power and is raring to go, inaction and inertia at the Centre can compel it to stop in its track.Failed Hopes: Last year when Rajiv joined the party to “help mummy” it was widely believed that his role would be to scout for talents to build up a new team from scratch, and to bring about – in the benign shadow of his mother – a smooth transition of generations in leadership. But such hopes are yet to be realised, if at all.For the moment, Mrs Gandhi is obviously anxious to ensure that Rajiv’s slow and limping journey towards the seat of power is not interrupted by road blocks. This perhaps explains her persistent insistence on loyalty as prime qualification and refusal to usher into the Cabinet people with experience who might grow into figures of strength on their own merit. After all, she had to contend with too many ‘experienced’ people herself after her accession to power in 1966. Said a senior member of her government, in an unguarded moment: “Hum to sub plate par chamche hain. Kabhi iss plate par, kabhi us plate par (We are just chamchas on a plate: sometimes on one plate and sometimes on another).”Slowly but surely, Rajiv himself joined the juggernaut-like Congress establishment which he could not beat. The latest reshuffle confirmed it; with the exception of Jagannath Kaushal, the law minister who had been inducted in the post-Sanjay era, not a single member of the Cabinet that Sanjay had virtually hand-picked has been changed.Mrs Gandhi gets into her elements only when she is faced with real challenges, either from within the country or from outside. During the Emergency and after, she was aglow with vitality because of the challenges that stared her in the face. Also it was Sanjay who became her fighting arm, her one-man army. It remains to be seen if Rajiv can become a fighter when the crunch comes.Right now for her time is of the essence. She needs time to galvanise the ministers and to derive from them that much of the short burst of energy which is just needed to clinch the race. She needs time for the middle-rankers to mature. She needs time for the young ministers to grow in experience, forming into a reserve pool of talents. Above everything else, she needs time to precision-hone her team again into a sharp-edged scythe when rust has enveloped the steel.But she has only 27 months, or 835 days, to go before the elections. Even at this late hour, can she turn the Government’s lackadaisical canter into a feisty, winning gallop? Can she cut bureaucratic corners and prove her mettle again even though the sand steadily runs out of her hour-glass? If the indecisive, shoddily planned and half-baked reshuffle is an example, the odds are certainly stacked against her this time.last_img read more

José Mourinho says Manchester United motivation high back in ‘natural habitat’

first_imgnews José Mourinho Share on Twitter The Fiver: the Guardian’s take on the world of football Champions League Topics Reuse this content Read more Manchester United With Phil Jones and Eric Bailly suspended, their replacements, Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof, will need to beware of Van Wolfswinkel. “I don’t think Bailly and Jones are better than them,” said Mourinho, whose side dropped their first Premier League points during the 2-2 draw at Stoke City on Saturday. “Even if Jones and Bailly weren’t suspended, probably I would still play Lindelof and Smalling. For me they’re the same level.”Nonetheless it appears an important night for Lindelof as the Sweden defender, signed from Benfica for £31m, starts his first game at Old Trafford. “I think it is easier for him to play Champions League,” Mourinho said. “It’s more comparable to the Portuguese style. He needs a little time to adapt to the Premier League but I’m more than confident about him. He’s a very good player with a very good potential. There are reasons for the other boys, Eric and Jones, to be worried because Victor’s a very good player.”He had similarly warm words for Marouane Fellaini who appears to be overcoming a calf problem. “He’s a very important player for me – much more important than what you can imagine,” Mourinho said. “I feel weaker without Fellaini in my squad.”Manchester United (possible 4-3-3) De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Lindelof, Blind; Fellaini, Matic, Pogba; Mata, Lukaku, Rashford.Basel (possible; 4-2-3-1): Vaclik; Lang, Suchy, Akanji, Riveros; Xhaka, Serey Die; Steffen, Zuffi, Bua; Wolfswinkel.Referee Ruddy Buquet (Fr) Basel Share on Pinterest Share on Facebook José Mourinho blames Marouane Fellaini’s absence for slip-up at Stoke Read more Share via Email Share on LinkedIn “In the Champions League there are four or five teams with an incredible level of quality, of experience, of know-how and that’s what makes the difference. But there are many other teams in the Champions League with very similar qualities to teams in the Europa League.”Accordingly Basel promise to represent a fairly gentle reintroduction to United’s favourite competition. Raphael Wicky was routinely described as “combative” during his days as a defensive midfielder for, among others, Hamburg but the 40-year-old’s new side are not yet cast in anything like a similarly formidable image.Indeed Wicky has endured a somewhat tough induction after years of working his way through the youth ranks at Basel resulted in his promotion from coaching the under-21s to managing the seniors this summer.Although the Swiss champions stand a respectable third in a Super League led by Zurich, they are 10 points worse off than this time last year and lost 2-1 at home against Lausanne last Saturday.Basel, close to the French and German borders and bisected by the Rhine, is better known for its museum-studded medieval centre complete with a handsome red standstone town hall and Gothic cathedral than the local football club. Yet even in the relatively genteel context of St Jakob-Park, there seems a sense of pressure building.Ricky van Wolfswinkel hopes to ease it. He may have been branded a Premier League flop during an underwhelming stint with Norwich City but, on the European mainland, it is a very different story for a striker averaging more than a goal a game. Share on WhatsApp José Mourinho feels Manchester United will be back in their “natural habitat” when they return to Champions League combat for the first time in 644 days against Basel at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.“To be in the Champions League is just to go back to the natural habitat, season after season, for Manchester United,” the manager said. “I look forward to tomorrow and hope Old Trafford feels it in the same way we feel it. Our motivation’s high. We’ll try to qualify and enjoy that special knockout phase with the best teams in Europe.”Although last season was only the second campaign in 22 years in which United had been absent from the competition, Mourinho was not about to dismiss the Europa League, which his team won. “I enjoyed it,” he said. Share on Messengerlast_img read more

6 days agoAston Villa striker Wesley: Being father at 14 forced me to chase Euro career

first_imgAston Villa striker Wesley: Being father at 14 forced me to chase Euro careerby Paul Vegas6 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveAston Villa striker Wesley has spoken of becoming a father at the age of 14.The Brazilian signed for the midlands club in the summer in a £22.5 million transfer from Club Brugge”I had my first child when I was 14 years old,” Wesley told Sky Sports. “It was difficult because it was during this time that I started to try and play football professionally.”I had to work in the day and then go to training in the evening.”I was 14 when I had my first kid, and 16 when I had my second. When I had my children, I told myself I had to do everything to be a football player.”Despite having two children to care for, Wesley went for broke when he was 17, embarking on a six-month trip to Spain for a trial with Atletico Madrid. It proved unsuccessful, but Wesley hailed the experience as “amazing” before heading to France, and then eventually ending up back in Brazil working in a factory where reality began to hit.”I had to get money for my kids. I would go to a team and every team said no,” Wesley added, before revealing how he ended up with AC Trencin. “I went to six teams before going to Slovakia.”When I went to the sixth team, I thought I didn’t want to play football anymore. I thought it was finished for me. Then I got a chance.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Texas A&M Football: This Awesome “Gig ‘Em” Cake Looks Too Good To Eat

first_imgA general view of Texas A&M fans at a game.COLLEGE STATION, TX – OCTOBER 08: Texas A&M Aggies fans cheer from the stands in the first half of their game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Kyle Field on October 8, 2016 in College Station, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)College sports-themed celebratory cakes seem to be a hot trend. Lollie Houch of LollieCakes of Baytown, Tex., has gotten in on the act, and here’s a look at a gorgeous Texas A&M “Gig’em” cake she created.That looks incredible, almost too nice to eat. For good measure, Lollie also made some Aggie-related sugar cookies.Texas A&M cookies! Whoop! #lolliecakes #sugarcookies #tamu #a&m #whoop #gigemaggiesPosted by LollieCakes on Friday, June 12, 2015Aggie fans, if you’re in the mood for some baked goods, hit her up.last_img read more

World Cup 2019: Rohit Sharma best one-day player in the world, says Virat Kohli

first_imgWorld Cup 2019: Rohit Sharma best one-day player in the world, says Virat KohliIndia vs Bangladesh World Cup 2019: Virat Kohli heaped praise on Rohit Sharma who hit his 4th hundred of the 2019 Cricket World Cup. Rohit was named man-of-the-match for his 104 as India beat Bangladesh to reach the semi-finals.advertisement Next India Today Web Desk BirminghamJuly 2, 2019UPDATED: July 2, 2019 23:57 IST Rohit Sharma is congratulated by captain Virat Kohli. (AP Photo)HIGHLIGHTSVirat Kohli said Rohit Sharma is the best ODI player in the world after India reached the 2019 World Cup semisRohit was named man-of-the-match for his 104 – he now has 4 hundreds in the 2019 World CupKohli also lauded Bangladesh for putting up a spirited fight in Birmingham on TuesdayVirat Kohli lauded Rohit Sharma after India defeated a spirited Bangladesh in Birmingham on Tuesday to qualify for the 2019 Cricket World Cup semi-finals. Rohit was named man-of-the-match after he hit 104 – this was his 4th hundred of the World Cup.Rohit Sharma is now the leading run-scorer in the 2019 World Cup with 544 runs. Only one other batsman – Kumar Sangakkara – has hit 4 hundred in a single edition of the World Cup. Dropped on 9, Rohit made Bangladesh pay with some sensational stroke play on a flat pitch.Virat Kohli has long admired Rohit Sharma’s batting prowess and he did not hold back in his praise of his deputy after India clinched victory.”I have been watching it for years now, I have been saying it publicly, in my opinion Rohit is the best one-day player,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony. “When he plays, we are heading towards a big score and it really helps with the way he’s playing.”Rohit scored an unbeaten 122 in a tricky run chase against South Africa before hitting 140 against Pakistan. His 102 against England went in vain in Birmingham on Sunday but 2 days later, Rohit returned to the same venue to score a match-winning hundred.Virat Kohli also doffed his hat to Bangladesh who came close in their chase of 315. Shakib Al Hasan set it up for his team before some lower-order hitting made India nervous in the closing stages of the game.At the end of the day, Kohli was a relieved man after India became only the 2nd team to qualify for the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup.advertisement”I mean Bangladesh has played some really good cricket in the tournament. They deserve a lot of credit for the fight they put up, even till the last wicket I think they were in the game.”We had to work hard for the win but very happy that we saw ‘Q’ (Qualified) in front of the team in the table now,” Kohli said.Also Read | India qualify for World Cup semi-finals for 7th timeAlso Read | World Cup 2019: What happens to Pakistan if England beat New Zealand?Also See:For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to 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 bySaurabh Kumar Tags :Follow World Cup 2019Follow Bangladesh vs IndiaFollow Virat KohliFollow Rohit Sharmalast_img read more

Fall Cooking: Knife Guide For Tough Squash

first_imgFall is approaching, and while we’re not ready to tuck in our grills quite yet here in the Northeast, we can see the change at the farmer’s market. As zucchini and tomatoes come to an end, winter squash begin to dominate. And if there’s one thing you need in order to prep a tough butternut squash, it’s a damn sharp knife. The KnifeIf you haven’t invested in a quality chef’s knife yet, it’s time. A good knife will be a noticeable improvement in your cooking life. Instead of struggling to hack your way through a squash, a sharp, high-quality knife will allow you to slice cleanly through an acorn squash and then chiffonade basil without crushing the leaves. When it comes to cutting through a tough winter squash, a heftier knife is what you should go for. Not only will a heavier knife do some of the work of cutting through the squash, you’ll be applying a lot of pressure on the knife itself and it should be able to withstand some tough love. Choose a 10” chef knife and make sure your cutting board is on a no-skid surface to prevent the squash from slipping out from under you as you cut. Knife MaintenanceWe can’t stress how important it is to maintain the blades of your knife. Be sure to wash and thoroughly dry your knife after each use. Avoid those cheap knife sharpening tools you can get at the grocery store – you want to not only make your knife sharp, but maintain the shape of your blade. The Manual learned how to sharpen knives with ‘Knife Master’ Eytan Zias and food expert Josh Ozersky. Check out the video and instructions and remember that knife sharpening takes practice. If you’re nervous about testing out your new skills on your brand new $150 knife, test yourself on one of your cheaper grocery store knives. If you don’t feel like maintaining your blade yourself, many higher end knife companies will sharpen your blade for you. My go-to chef knife is a layered damascus Shun, a Japanese blade made of layered metal alloys. They take their knives so seriously that part of their warranty includes free sharpening as long as your own the knife. Shun also just won the Blade Show’s Kitchen Knife of the Year award, so you know you can expect quality from your investment. Cutting A Butternut SquashI have a formula that works quite well for cutting a butternut squash. In addition to my super sharp Shun chef knife, I also use a sturdy (and sharp) vegetable peeler to remove the skin. You can definitely remove the skin with a knife if you don’t have a peeler, but the peeler definitely gets the job done faster and with less waste. Remove each end of the squash.Separate the “neck” portion from the “bulb” portion and peel each. Having a flat base to stand the squash on makes peeling much easier. Cut the bulb in half and scoop out the seeds and stringy insides with a spoon. (You can save the seeds if you want to roast them later.) Slice each half into about 1” semi-circles and cut those into 1” cubes. Cut the neck in half and slice that into 1” semi-circles.Slice the semi-circles into 1” slices and then cut the slices into 1” cubes. How to Shave With a Straight Razor How to Clean a Fish: A Quick Reference Guide Ready and Rare-ing to Go: How to Make Steak Tartare The Official Knives of Flavortown: Guy Fieri Unsheathes New Knuckle Sandwich Knives Editors’ Recommendations Learn Guitar (and Don’t Give Up) With the Fender Play Applast_img read more

Children’s Hospital to be Built in Western Jamaica

first_imgGround is to be broken for a children’s hospital in western Jamaica, during fiscal year 2013/14.Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, made the announcement on Tuesday (January 15) adding that plans are already underway for the establishment of the institution, which will be located on the grounds of the Cornwall Regional Hospital in St. James.“It is going to happen. We have already identified the site and we have done the prerequisites for getting it done. We are doing the consultations now with critical groups, and once that is through, the business plan for the public/private partnership will be the next step. This hospital will carry a private wing, and it is going to be part of the health tourism product,” the Minister said.Dr. Ferguson was speaking at the media launch of the Rainforest Seafood Festival, a fundraising venture for the Cornwall Regional Hospital, held at the Sandals Royal, in Montego Bay. Outlining the need for a facility to offer dedicated care to persons up to the age of 18 years, the Minister noted that over the years, persons in western Jamaica have been forced to travel to Kingston to access the services at the Bustamante Hospital for Children.“We believe that the developments in western Jamaica, at this time, demand, not just a children’s hospital, but a child/adolescent hospital. There is a gap. Bustamante (Hospital), by law, sees children 0-12 years of age, and there is a gap between the ages of 12 and 18. We need to close that gap,” he emphasized.The Minister said that the Government has moved to fast-track the procurement process for the building.Meanwhile, Dr. Ferguson said that a new policy for persons making donations to health institutions is now in place.“Often times there are good intentions about gifts to the Ministry, but when we check on some of the things that are arriving, they are not in keeping with the standards and specifications for good operation. We have taken the decision about a policy that will help to guide our friends, both locally and overseas,” he said.“We believe that going forward, it is going to be critical that health is seen not just as a social good, but must be seen in the context of production and productivity. It must be seen in the context that a healthy nation represents a prosperous nation,” the Minister added.The Minister also endorsed the Rainforest Seafood Festival that is to be held on February 13 at the Catherine Hall Entertainment Centre, in Montego Bay and its organizers ‘We Care for Cornwall Regional Hospital’. The Minister said that the group’s efforts to raise funds for the hospital “represents a cause, and I want to be part of that history.”“This kind of partnership that is emerging with this Festival…for me, it is a major policy area going forward. It is public/private partnership that will make the difference,” the Minister told his audience.last_img read more

$140 Million Spent on Drain Cleaning

first_imgStory Highlights ODPEM commended on its drive to not just focus on disaster response, but on building the resilience of communities Just under $140 million has been allocated by Government for drain cleaning this year in preparation for the Atlantic hurricane season and to guard against flooding.This was disclosed by Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Noel Arscott, at a briefing at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on Wednesday, September 12, to look at Jamaica’s state-of-readiness for a hurricane.The event, hosted by the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), was held on the 25th anniversary of Hurricane Gilbert.Mr. Arscott informed that most of the drains across the country “have substantially been prepared and I think we will be in a good position if we have any kind of flood events to be as best prepared as we can.”He stressed that the issue of the dumping of garbage in drains, gullies, river ways and open lots, “is something that we are going to address very seriously as a country”, reminding that he has already warned that the fines for these breaches are going to be severe.He further commended ODPEM on its drive to not just focus on disaster response, but on building the resilience of communities.“We have to work to ensure that the resilience is in-built in what we do and our citizens are part and parcel of trying to mitigate some of the problems,” he said.Acting Director General of ODPEM, Richard Thompson,said that greater attention is being placed on disaster prevention and mitigation. “We are doing a lot of work in the communities where we are putting a lot of micro mitigation projects (in place),” he said.He noted that under the Building Disaster Resilient Communities (BDRC) project, ODPEM has worked in many communities for the past five years to strengthen their ability to withstand disasters.In the meantime, Meteorologist, Evan Thompson, informed the country is “not entirely out of the woods” in terms of continued weather developments.“We are expecting that the rest of September, going into October, going into November, will have increased activity in comparison to what we experienced in the first three to four months,” he said.Today’s briefing reflected on the devastation caused by the eight-hour-long category 4 hurricane. The event also sought to examine Jamaica’s current state-of- preparedness from a sectorial perspective. The country is “not entirely out of the woods” in terms of continued weather developments The rest of September, going into October, going into November, will have increased activitylast_img read more

Millbrook First Nation Community Building and Growing

first_imgNOTE: The following feature story was written for the Nova Scotia Come to life initiative and celebrates Mi’kmaq History Month in Nova Scotia. A photo of the statue of Glooscap can be found on the Communications Nova Scotia website at . Located along the province’s busiest highway, Millbrook First Nation near Truro is well-positioned for economic growth. The community’s retail park, the Truro Power Centre, is thriving, securing close to a dozen tenants since it opened in 2001. Building on that success, Millbrook is now ready to start phase two of the park’s development. A $4.5 million infrastructure project set to start in fall 2009 will see an additional nine hectares cleared for roads, water and sewer. “The power centre, which is funded in part from provincial gaming agreement revenues, has done well over the past nine years,” says Millbrook’s Chief Lawrence Paul. “It’s created employment and wealth opportunities not just for Millbrook, but for the surrounding community as well. There are now more than 800 people who work there.” A total of 32 hectares along Highway 102 is allocated for lease and development in the power centre’s business plan. Twelve hectares were developed and leased as part of phase one. After the phase two is completed, another 11 hectares to the south will remain as part of phase three. “Our model for the park is to attract businesses who want to partner with us for long-term sustainability,” says Chief Paul. “Generally, we lease the land, a building or both and then let the company focus on running the operation, to do what they have expertise in doing.” Pacrim Hospitality Services of Halifax developed and manages the successful Super 8 Motel located at the power centre. Glenn Squires, CEO of Pacrim, says Millbrook’s practical business model works well for the firm, one of Canada’s largest privately-owned hotel management companies. “We enjoy working with Millbrook and had a great experience with the partnership model, which works to the advantage of all,” says Squires. “The relationship is very collaborative and geared to a win-win over the duration of any given project. We have done several quite successful projects with Millbrook and plan to do more in the future.” Power Centre businesses include a multiplex theatre, sit-down and drive-through restaurants, a 50-room hotel, a recreational vehicle retailer, a service station, a call centre, an aquaculture facility and the Glooscap Heritage Centre. Truro Power Centre is not the only location Millbrook has to offer for partnership opportunities. The band owns other lands in Nova Scotia, including 19 hectares in Cole Harbour. In the past five years, the area has seen significant activity. The band built two apartment buildings in 2003 and 2007 worth more than $11 million. The buildings were designed specifically for empty nesters. In 2004, Millbrook and General Dynamics Canada partnered on a bid to manufacture helicopters for Canada’s military. Millbrook committed to build and then lease an $11-million building to General Dynamics to house the software support and upgrades component for the project. Opened in September 2008, the facility will employ up to 150 people in skilled technology jobs in the coming years. “These jobs mean First Nations people have the chance to get well-paying and fulfilling jobs near their home community,” says Chief Paul. “If we can encourage our young people to go into fields like software engineering, there are great employment opportunities here.” He says the band works to promote development with a holistic approach, making sure development revenues and spin-off jobs contribute to a better standard of living for the community. “Success means working toward financial self-sufficiency and improving education opportunities for our young people,” says Chief Paul. “Education and economic development are the lifeline of our people.” The community has programs in place to help its children succeed in school, both academically and socially. “Millbrook students go to provincial schools, so we work closely with the schools and school board,” says Millbrook’s education director Debbie Gloade. “That includes having native support workers in local schools where our students attend. We have many initiatives to help promote education, and give individualized attention to all the students, like after-school programs, lunch programs and literacy support. “Because of these initiatives, success in schools continues to increase.” “The focus on youth and education pays off in many ways,” says Chief Paul. “When our young people are encouraged to take pride in their achievements and their culture, they are more likely to become role models themselves.” The band’s economic development team has worked together for about 15 years, and although the community is not self-sufficient yet, the chief says they are on their way. The creation of Truro Power Centre, with its model of partnering with outside companies, has shown the band’s commitment to trying new things. “We designated land for lease on a First Nation,” said Chief Paul, “that was not common at the time.” As he nears his twenty-fifth year as chief, Paul reflects on significant changes in his community. “It seems that for a long time, native people were just spinning their wheels. Now they are more aggressive to take part in business. They are not bashful.” -30-last_img read more

Realme Q to feature Snapdragon 712 processor

first_imgBeijing: Chinese smartphone manufacturer Realme which had confirmed that it would launch a Q-series smartphone on September 5 in China has said in a new post on Weibo that the device would be powered by a Snapdragon 712 processor, news portal GSMArena reported on Thursday. The Realme Q would also be the brand’s first phone with its OS and not Color OS, based on Android 10 that was called Android Q. Realme 5 Pro, that was launched in India earlier in August was certified by TENAA in China. It is expected that the new Q-series could include a rebranded Realme 5 Pro variant. The Realme XT, the company’s first smartphone to feature a 64MP camera on the back, is also widely speculated to be launched in China in September, after making its debut in India. Realme XT sports a 6.4-inches Super AMOLED FHD+ display with a waterdrop notch to accommodate the front camera. It is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 processor paired with an Adreno 616 GPU.last_img read more

Bell Media Brings Starz to Canada

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement Login/Register With: TORONTO, and SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Bell Media, Canada’s leading content company, today joined with global content leader Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B) and Lionsgate’s Starz premium pay television platform to announce an exclusive, long-term alliance to bring Starz to Canada and distribute the first pay window of Lionsgate’s future theatrical releases in the territory.The multifaceted agreement is a ground-breaking move by Starz and Bell Media to compete for premium subscribers on all platforms, and dramatically increases the value of Bell Media’s suite of premium subscription services, including pay television network The Movie Network Encore (TMN Encore), which Starz and Bell Media will rebrand next year.The collaboration marks the first international launch of Starz since Lionsgate acquired the network in December 2016as well as the first time it will be available in Canada. Starz content will be introduced across Bell Media platforms, including TMN Encore and Canada’s premium streaming service CraveTV. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement TMN Encore will be rebranded in early 2019, with a slate of premium Starz programming and a broad selection of Lionsgate hit films and television series facilitating its transformation into a world-class platform. The newly branded service will also be available on a direct-to-consumer basis.Starz, one of the most highly viewed premium pay television platforms in the U.S., features over 7,000 feature film and television titles and an original programming roster led by hits such as POWER and GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE and highly anticipated upcoming series including VIDA and SWEETBITTER.“We’re delighted to bring Starz to Canada as part of our international channel rollout,” said Starz President and CEO Chris Albrecht.  “Bell Media is one of North America’s elite content companies, and they bring great brand recognition, a massive consumer base, and unparalleled distribution skills to our alliance. This agreement creates the perfect foundation for the growth of Starz in the territory.”“Bell Media is thrilled to be on board as Starz’s first international partner,” said Randy Lennox, President, Bell Media. “Starz is making waves with bold, fresh content that’s resonating with audiences around the world. We’re delighted to introduce this premium brand to Canadians as well as partner with Lionsgate on the distribution of their film properties going forward.”Bell Media’s collaboration with Lionsgate also encompasses future exclusive first-window access to the studio’s slate of hit Hollywood movies. All Lionsgate films will also be available to subscribers of Bell Media’s French-language Pay TV service, Super Écran.“Bell Media is the ideal partner to introduce Starz to Canadian audiences,” said Lionsgate President of Worldwide Television & Digital Distribution Jim Packer.  “The Canadian marketplace offers tremendous opportunities for growth, and this multifaceted agreement enables us to deliver the robust slate of Starz premium programming as well as the future first pay television window for Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment films to Bell Media platforms.”“Starz series and Lionsgate films add hundreds of hours of premium content every year to our already-rich offering,” said Tracey Pearce, President, Distribution and Pay, Bell Media. “We can’t wait to introduce the evolution of TMN Encore as it transforms into a newly-rebranded premier pay TV platform.”The deal was negotiated by Lionsgate EVP & Managing Director of Worldwide TV Sales Canada Susan Hummel under the direction of Packer and Lionsgate SVP Corporate Development & Strategy Miles Delaney, Starz VP of Corporate Strategy & Development Brad Worthington, and Starz international executive Superna Kalle. For Bell Media, the deal was negotiated by Jeff Hersh, Vice-President, Strategy and Distribution and Justin Stockman, Vice-President, Pay and OTT Services, under the direction of Tracey Pearce, President, Distribution and Pay, and Randy Lennox, President.About Bell MediaBell Media is Canada’s leading content creation company with premier assets in television, radio, out-of-home advertising, and digital media. Bell Media owns 30 local television stations led by CTV, Canada’s highest-rated television network; 30 specialty channels, including TSN and RDS, and four pay TV services, including The Movie Network and Super Écran. Bell Media is also Canada’s largest radio broadcaster, with 215 music channels including 105 licensed radio stations in 54 markets across the country, all part of the iHeartRadio brand and streaming service. Bell Media owns Astral, an out-of-home advertising network of more than 30,000 faces in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Québec, and Nova Scotia. Bell Media also operates more than 200 websites; delivers TV Everywhere with its CraveTV and GO video streaming services; operates multi-channel network Much Digital Studios; produces live theatrical shows via its partnership with Iconic Entertainment Studios; and owns Dome Productions Inc., a multi-platform production company. Bell Media is part of BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company. For more on Bell Media, please visit LionsgateThe first major new studio in decades, Lionsgate is a global content platform whose films, television series, digital products and linear and over-the-top platforms reach next generation audiences around the world.  In addition to its filmed entertainment leadership, Lionsgate content drives a growing presence in interactive and location-based entertainment, gaming, virtual reality and other new entertainment technologies.  Lionsgate’s content initiatives are backed by a 16,000-title film and television library and delivered through a global licensing infrastructure.  The Lionsgate brand is synonymous with original, daring and ground-breaking content created with special emphasis on the evolving patterns and diverse composition of the Company’s worldwide consumer base.About StarzStarz ( a Lionsgate company (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B), is a leading global media and entertainment company that provides premium subscription video programming on domestic U.S. pay television networks and produces and distributes content for worldwide audiences, including its investment in the STARZ PLAY Arabia OTT service. Starz is home to the flagship STARZ® brand and STARZ ENCORE channels and provides high-quality, entertaining premium subscription video programming with 17 premium pay TV channels and associated on-demand and online services, including the STARZ app. Sold through U.S. multichannel video distributors, including cable operators, satellite television providers, telecommunications companies, and other online and digital platforms, Starz offers subscribers more than 5,000 distinct premium television episodes and feature films every year and up to 1,500 every month, including STARZ Original series, first-run movies and other popular movie and television programming.SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:Twitter@Lionsgate@CraveTVCanada@Starz Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Global motoring spotlight shines on Birmingham

The highlight of the motoring calendar, The British International Motor Show 2002, sponsored by The Daily Telegraph, opens its doors to the public this Thursday, 24 October. And with more than 75 new cars making their debut, including 12 world launches, and more features than ever before, it looks set to be the best event ever.More than 650,000 people are expected at the NEC in Birmingham, as Britain’s largest manufacturing sector brings the biggest consumer exhibition to the heart of the midlands, the hub of the motor industry.And as the public prepare to be wowed, the importance of the industry behind the Show has been underlined by Prime Minister Tony Blair. In an interview available to download from the Prime Minister said, ‘The British Motor Show will tell the rest of the world that the British car industry, motor vehicle industry, is in good shape. We’re moving forward. We’re at the cutting edge of all the right things, from technology and innovation to road safety, all the areas we need to be in. And the government is totally committed to this industry, one hundred per cent.’On new cars, Christopher Macgowan chief executive of show organiser SMMT added, ‘The UK has established itself as the second largest market in Europe. Sales are booming as choice, quality and value increase by the year. More than 2.5 million people will buy new cars this year, a record total, and this Motor Show is their opportunity to see what is on offer today, tomorrow and into the future – and to have a truly great day out.’This year’s Motor Show will feature nearly 300 exhibitors and more than 700 cars on display. World launches include models like the MG Rover high performance sports car, TVR 350C coupe, Aston Martin DB7 GT and Invicta S1.Notes to editors: Opening hours and dates for British International Motor Show 2002:Press Day 22 Oct, 8.00 am to 7.00 pm Business Day 23 Oct, 9.00 am to 7.00 pm Daily Telegraph Preview Day 24 Oct, 9.00 am to 7.00 pm Public Days 25 Oct – 2 Nov, 9.30 am to 7.00 pm 3 No.v 9.30 am to 5.30 pm Tickets cost £15 for adults and £7.50 for children/senior citizens on all public days from 25 October – 3 November. Tickets for The Daily Telegraph Preview Day are £40 Tickets available via or by calling the Motor Show hotline on 0870 906 2002 Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more

RefWorks gone after June 1

Brock University’s subscription to RefWorks is ending and current users will need to migrate their citations to a new tool by June 1, 2015.Get more information on a variety of free citation management tools, and for directions on how to migrate your citations. In addition, the Library will be hosting two drop-in workshops to help users export citations: Tuesday, May 12 (12pm-3pm) and Thursday, May 14 (9 a.m. -12 p.m.); both sessions will be held in Classroom A, Matheson Learning Commons.If you are unable to make the sessions and would like additional support, please contact

24 months jail for intruder who fell asleep during robbery

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedCross-dressing bandit wreaks havoc in CorentyneJanuary 17, 2017In “Crime”Alleged mastermind confesses to killing Albert St. pensioners- Police sourceOctober 10, 2017In “Crime”Alleged assassination plot: Unreliable evidence responsible for lack of charges – Justice SinghAugust 17, 2017In “Crime” An intruder was today jailed for 24 months after he broke into a Charlestown, Georgetown home, removed a quantity of household appliances and decided to take a nap in the owner’s bed.Paul Narine in Green and his alleged accomplice Ishwan Singh Forty-eight-year-old, Paul Narine admitted to the allegation and had no valid explanation as to why he was found asleep in the bed of Onica Standford on July 8, 2018.He along with his alleged accomplice Ishwan Singh, were also charged for stealing two gas cylinders, one radio, one electric bottle, a fan and a DVD player with a total value of $51,000.Police Prosecutor Quinn Harris told the Court that Narine and Singh entered the woman’s premises. However, when she returned, she found Narine asleep in her bed wearing her mother’s sneakers and her house ransacked with the items mentioned in the charge missing.The Police were called and the man was arrested.Singh was picked up after residents reported seeing the two with the gas cylinders. Singh of Albouystown, Georgetown is however denying the allegation and received bailed in the sum of $70,000.He is expected to return to court on July 30.Narine was jailed by City Magistrate Judy Latchman for 24 months. read more

Atletico Madrids goalkeeper seriously injured

Adnan SabanovicBM Atletico Madrid BM Atletico Madrid has no luck with goalkeepers this season. After Spanish vice-champion has lost Arpad Sterbik (F.C Barcelona) and Javier Hombrados (injury), Atletico was forced to sign the other duo – Dahl and Sabanovic. The latest information from Madrid is that Bosnian goalkeeper Adnan Sabanovic suffered knee injury in match against MKB Veszprem yesterday. First prognosis speaking about ligaments injury, but more examinations will be taken in Madrid. ← Previous Story EHF Cup: Fantastic Goppingen beat Koper – Tatran wins in Ukraine Next Story → Rhein-Neckar Löwen will miss Kim Ekdahl du Rietz for a few weeks

Major megalithic art find at Hellfire Club passage tomb

first_imgSome of those visitors had lit bonfires at the spot, using the rock as shelter, so that when the archaeologists from Abarta Heritage removed the stone from its socket, it split into four fragments, rendered fragile by repeat exposure to extremes of heat and moisture.“We removed it quite early in the dig,” said Jackman, “and as we did not originally notice anything particularly unusual about the stone, we lifted it out of the trench and set it on the side, so it would be close at hand for when we began to backfill the trenches.”Good luck and the low autumnal sun of 19 October last intervened to expose the true value of the large rock. The archaeologists noticed the sun highlighting what appeared to be “a previously unnoticed long curving line”. Their eyes were then drawn to two faint concentric circles, a motif which Jackman says appears in megalithic art in major Neolithic passage tombs. The concentric circles first spotted by archaeologists when a low autumnal sun hit the stone at just the right spot. Source: Ken Williams via Shadow and StoneIt was an incredible find which sealed the date of the tomb to at least 5,000 years ago and put it in the grand tradition of sites like Newgrange in Co Meath.Jackman is stunned by the series of coincidences that lined up to allow his team to spot something that had been lost to time and memory. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 58,962 Views Archaeologists Neil Jackman and Ros O Maolduin from Abarta Heritage examine the art, exposed here through special photographic techniques by Ken Williams. Source: Ken Williams via Shadow and StoneTHE ARCHAEOLOGISTS WHO carried out the first-ever excavation of a passage tomb site at the notorious Hellfire Club in Dublin have announced a huge find.Project leader Neil Jackman told that they have identified megalithic art on a stone uncovered at the site on Montpelier Hill.“The discovery is really exciting and absolutely incredible luck that it was discovered,” Jackman told on confirmation last night of what is an incredibly rare discovery of megalithic art in the Dublin and Wicklow area.The motifs-bearing stone at Montpelier Hill had been hiding in plain sight to visitors over the years. It was partially visible in the hollow of what remains of the burial mound but much of the slab of igneous rock was buried beneath the surface. It had suffered much wear and tear over the decades, exposed to both the elements and to revellers at the site. Source: Share2541 Tweet Email7 Subscribe for more videos Thursday 3 Nov 2016, 10:13 AM Major megalithic art find at Hellfire Club passage tomb The motifs are similar to those found at the major passage tombs in the country, such as Newgrange.center_img 55 Comments Short URL By Susan Daly If we placed the trench a metre to the left or right and we wouldn’t have found it. If we excavated during the summer the high flat light would never have shown it up. If we had taken the stone straight to the spoil heap we wouldn’t have seen it. If we hadn’t have accidentally placed the stone with the art facing at a perfect oblique angle to the sun’s position in the morning it would have never been noticed. Although it is pretty corny to say so, it’s almost like some things just want to be found.Although the discovery was made in the middle of the dig, it could not be confirmed until a number of processes were carried out. (You may have read and seen‘s report and video tour of the site last weekend which hinted at the find.)Jackman sent initial images to megalithic art experts Professor Muiris O’Sullivan of UCD and Dr Elizabeth Shee Twohig.Dr Shee Twohig then arrived on site with specialist photographer Ken Williams to use photogrammetry to expose the extent of the designs on the portions of slab which could not be seen by the naked eye. Encouraged by the results, a team from the Discovery Programme of archaeological innovation came to the site the next day to scan the stone and record all details.The precious slab is now at the National Museum of Ireland for further study and an exciting 3-D model of it has been put together by the Discovery Programme – you can view that by clicking here.Jackman cautions that the images here may not even fully reflect all the art depicted on the stone as analysis is at an early stage. Source: Abarta Heritage via Discovery ProgrammeAs the motifs found here are similar to those at other passage tombs, it is believed that there was a common meaning to the symbols. Jackman has an interesting assessment of the theories around that meaning on his report on the find at his Abarta Heritage site (it also contains more details of how the find was made and confirmed).The find also gives pause to ponder what else might have been lost by the historic desecration of the tomb.The stones of the passage tomb at the Hellfire Club, on Montpelier Hill, were raided twice in the past 300 years. Stones from the cairn that would once have existed on top of the tomb were used to help build the Hellfire Club shooting lodge in 1725, and again at the beginning of the 1800s for building material for the Military Road project.Watch: Archaeologists explore an ancient tomb beside the Hellfire Club >Whether other stones carrying similar art are now lying under a road through the mountains is a matter of conjecture but this find is what Jackman calls “a tantalising glimpse of that the original tomb may have looked like”.He told last night: “The discovery of this stone had us check and examine every other large stone that we had removed during the excavation with no others found that bear art. Generally speaking, most megalithic art is found on the kerbstones that surrounded the tomb, or on the stones that lined the passageway and burial chamber.“Unfortunately, these stones appear to have been largely plundered for building material for the Hellfire Club and the Old Military Road. However, perhaps more art remains to be discovered in the future.”- Video by Nicky RyanSee more pictures at the Abarta Heritage site> Nov 3rd 2016, 10:13 AM last_img read more