Harper government uses rhetoric to alarm the public against Indigenous rights Bellegarde

first_imgAPTN National News OTTAWA–The Harper government uses inflammatory rhetoric to “alarm the public” against Indigenous rights, Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde said during a speech Monday at the UN’s Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York City.Bellegarde’s speech focused on how nation states, including Canada, continue to try and dilute the impact of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.Domestically, Bellegarde said the Harper government is using misleading rhetoric against a private member’s bill, C-641, introduced by Cree NDP MP Romeo Saganash to ensure federal laws comply with the declaration.“Government statements of C-641 follow a pattern when spokespersons are addressing the rights of Indigenous peoples. While claiming to support Aboriginal rights, the rhetoric is designed to alarm the public. Little regards is accorded to accuracy or justice,” said Bellegarde.Bellegarde said Ottawa’s favorite tactic is to use the word “veto” when describing why it continues to oppose the full implementation of the declaration in Canada. The Harper government has claimed, in its argument against supporting Saganash’s bill, that the declaration gives First Nations veto power over legislation and development impacting its rights and territories.“The term veto is not used in the UN Declaration. Veto implies an absolute right or power to reject a law or development that concerns Indigenous peoples, regardless of the facts and law in any given situation,” said Bellegarde. “Canada then builds on this imagined frenzy of absolute power and declares: ‘It would be irresponsible to give any one group in Canada a veto.’”Bellegarde said the Harper government is ignoring Canada’s own Constitution and Supreme Court decisions, including last summer’s Tsilhqot’in decision, in continuing its opposition to any real implementation of the declaration domestically.“The (Supreme Court in the Tsilhqot’in decision) repeatedly referred to the constitutional right of Aboriginal title holders to give or withhold consent. Such title holders have the right to use and control the land and enjoy its benefits…In (the Tsilhqot’in decision) the Supreme Court ruled that, in absence of Aboriginal consent, ‘legislation may be rendered inapplicable going forward to the extent that it unjustifiably infringes Aboriginal title,” said Bellegarde. “It is disturbing that the government of Canada claims to uphold the Aboriginal rights of Aboriginal peoples and Canada’s Constitution, but ignores key rulings of Canada’s highest court that favour such peoples.”news@aptn.ca@APTNNewslast_img read more

GuineaBissau UN peacebuilding office should be extended – Ban Kimoon

7 December 2007Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has recommended that the mandate of the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office in Guinea-Bissau be extended for one year, with the possibility of it transforming into an integrated mission following the 2008 legislative elections. Extending the mandate until next 31 December will “allow the Office to continue to assist Guinea-Bissau as it confronts the challenges of peacebuilding and strives to bring about political stabilization,” Mr. Ban wrote in a letter to the President of the Security Council made public earlier this month.He suggested a revision of the UNOGBIS mandate so that it can help to generate the international community’s support for the West African nation’s efforts to stem drug trafficking.To this end, the Office’s 2008 activities would focus on supporting the country’s reconciliation and dialogue; helping to reform the security sector; assist with the holding of transparent and credible legislative elections; promote respect for the rule of law and human rights; among others, Mr. Ban wrote.After next year’s elections, the Secretary-General noted that he will look into the possibility of transforming UNOGBIS into an integrated mission.“Such a mission, if deemed appropriate, would provide a holistic approach to addressing the complex and multidimensional situation facing Guinea-Bissau,” the letter said.UNOGBIS was created in 1999 to help Guinea-Bissau emerge from the devastation of a civil war in which thousands were killed, wounded or forced from their homes. read more

Bombardier strengthens balance sheet updates progress on CSeries sales

MONTREAL – Bombardier says it has strengthened its balance sheet and is on track to turn its finances around, nearly two years after it teetered on the verge of bankruptcy.The manufacturer of aircraft and trains, which keeps its books in U.S. dollars, said Friday it lost $296 million or 13 cents per share in its second quarter, an improvement from its loss of $490 million or 24 cents per share in the same period a year ago.In adjusted profits, it earned $39 million or two cents per share, its highest in two years.“We had a very strong first half of the year,” CEO Alain Bellemare said during a conference call. “We’re confident that we will be able to deliver on all of our commitments.”Revenue for the quarter ended June 30 slipped to $4.09 billion from nearly $4.31 billion a year ago as a result of lower production of business aircraft.Shares in Bombardier (TSX:BBD.B) increased by 6.2 per cent, gaining 15 cents at C$2.56 in midday trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.The results, which beat analyst expectations, came as the company said it expects to hit the high end of its full-year guidance, which is now between $580 million and $630 million in earnings before interest and taxes.Bombardier has implemented a cost-cutting plan that has resulted in thousands of layoffs around the world. It has also secured funding from the federal and Quebec governments, as well as an investment from Quebec’s pension fund manager, for its CSeries passenger jet program.During the quarter, Bombardier delivered six CSeries planes, raising the total number in service to 16. It expects to ship about 30 of the aircraft for the year.Bellemare said CSeries sales have been held back. He said that’s because airlines are examining how the 100- to 150-seat planes can be used on routes that best accommodate that number of passengers versus smaller regional jets or larger Boeing 737s or Airbus A320s.The earnings come as Bombardier is in a trade dispute with Boeing. The Chicago-based rival has petitioned the U.S. International Trade Commission alleging that the Montreal company has been selling CSeries planes in the U.S. below cost because of subsidies that violate trade rules. Bombardier has denied the accusations.If Boeing is successful, that would have a “material adverse impact” on the CSeries program, Bombardier warned in its results. But Bellemare said there is no effect so far on discussions with potential customers.“People understand that these are long processes,” he said.The company also announced that former auditor general Sheila Fraser has resigned from the board of directors for personal reasons. Bombardier strengthens balance sheet, updates progress on CSeries sales by Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press Posted Jul 28, 2017 4:23 am MDT Last Updated Jul 28, 2017 at 10:20 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Commentary Its up to Fickell to have Miller prepared

As freshman quarterback Braxton Miller was given his first opportunity to take the reins of the Ohio State offense on Saturday, this much was clear: what looked to be a disappointing 2011 season a week ago had suddenly transformed into one full of optimism, not just for now, but for the next four years in Columbus. But even as Miller moved the ball with the most consistency the Buckeyes had seen since playing woeful Akron in the first week of the season, his success was the cause of more frustration for Buckeye fans. First, let’s examine the good that came along with Miller’s starting debut on Saturday. Thanks in part to a Colorado special teams unit that would have made former OSU coach Jim Tressel cringe, Miller led the Buckeyes to 37 points, the most the offense has scored since OSU’s win against Akron. He ran the ball well as he accumulated 83 yards rushing the ball and turned multiple would-be losses into gains with his feet. After last week’s debacle against Miami, the Buckeyes needed to find a new identity to tell poll voters that this wasn’t the same OSU team that couldn’t score a touchdown or even move the ball with any sort of consistency a week ago in South Beach. With Miller playing well as he took over as the undisputed starting quarterback for the Buckeyes, they accomplished just that. But with Miller playing as well as he did on Saturday, I’m sure that many OSU fans found themselves asking why Miller wasn’t named the starter earlier in the season. Despite turning the ball over twice against Miami, Miller moved the ball more consistently as the team’s quarterback than Joe Bauserman did, and one can’t help but think that giving Miller more playing time — especially versus Toledo, against which he didn’t take any snaps — would have better prepared him for the Hurricanes and the remainder of the 2011 season. The best way to get past that frustration is to tell yourself that it’s time to look forward and not backward. But even doing that raises more questions about the OSU coaching staff’s use of Miller. Throughout much of the game against Colorado, offensive coordinator Jim Bollman refused to take the training wheels off of Miller as the Buckeyes centered their offense around running the ball. On two separate occasions, OSU elected to run draw plays when facing third-and-long situations. Not surprisingly, both attempts were unsuccessful. Admittedly, I’ve never taken a meaningful snap at quarterback at any level, but even playing Madden on my PlayStation 3 has taught me that in order to maintain a successful passing game, it’s best for a quarterback to develop a rhythm, which would require attempting more than the 13 total passes that Miller attempted on his 11 offensive drives on Saturday. OSU’s negligence to its passing game resulted in a 5-for-13 throwing the ball performance for Miller, who wasn’t helped by drops from T.Y. Williams and Jaamal Berry and a questionably ruled incomplete pass to his new favorite target, Devin Smith. It was still good enough to beat Colorado, but it won’t be good enough to beat the Buckeyes’ next two opponents, Big Ten title contenders Michigan State and Nebraska. Both of those teams will bring defensive-minded coaches in Mark Dantonio and Bo Pelini who carry ties to OSU and will be making their best cases to take over for OSU coach Luke Fickell at the end of the season. And if Miller proves to be ill-prepared for the challenges brought by the Spartans and the Cornhuskers in the next two weeks, then it will be Fickell, more than anyone, who helped those coaches’ causes. read more

The US pastor with a criminal record at the bedside of Charlie

first_imgAn evangelical preacher jailed in the US for picketing an abortion clinic is spearheading the campaign to secure Charlie Gard’s treatment.The Reverend Patrick Mahoney led a team of American ‘right to life’ campaigners who flew to the UK last week to drum up support worldwide for the 11-month-old boy.Rev Mahoney, the pastor in charge of the Church on the Hill in Washington DC and director of the Christian Defense Coalition, said he had met with a senior official in the White House before flying to London. Show more Connie Yates with son Charlie Gard Charlie Gard’s parents were at the High Court on TuesdayCredit: Geoff Pugh for the Telegraph Chris Gard, 32, and Connie Yates, 31 arrive at the High Court Rev Mahoney said he and his team, which includes a US lawyer, had been invited to the UK by the family after they enlisted their support to widen the campaign. The reverend said he had met with a White House official before departing for London and that president Trump was being kept abreast of events. Today the group launched a new campaign “#IamCharlieGard” and released a photograph of the little boy, wearing a US-themed rompersuit, which they hoped would be posted by at least a million people on Facebook and Twitter in support.According to Rev Mahoney, US Congress is also due to debate a bill on Tuesday that would give Charlie effective US citizenship allowing him to travel to the US for the experimental treatment – should the British courts decide his parents can go ahead and take him abroad. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. The source said: “I have no idea how he got in with the parents. He just suddenly turned up last week.” He posted a photograph on Facebook of himself with Charlie’s parents at the boy’s bedside in Great Ormond Street, claiming the hospital had tried to prevent him from entering the intensive care unit before relenting.“This continues to show Great Ormond Street Hospital’s disregard for the wishes of Charlie’s parents. First, the hospital denies care, and now they deny prayer,” he wrote on Facebook.The 63-year-old pastor has been jailed in the US for defying a court order that prohibited him from demonstrating front of abortion clinics in Houston, Texas. He was also jailed briefly by Chinese authorities for trying to pray in Tiananmen Square in 2008.A source previously close to Charlie Gard’s parents Connie Yates and Chris Gard has spoken of their [the source’s] dismay at the apparent hijacking of the campaign and the attack on Great Ormond Street Hospital. Connie Yates with son Charlie Gardlast_img read more

GECOM chair Opposition Leader President agree to third list

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedGECOM Chair: Jagdeo says AFC cannot deny its role in the unilateral selection of PattersonNovember 14, 2017In “latest news”Patterson new GECOM Chair: Says he was approached hours before swearing inOctober 19, 2017In “latest news”GECOM Chair: New list will be submitted soon- TeixeiraMarch 29, 2017In “latest news” …high-level team to be assembled for smoother transitionOpposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo and President David Granger have agreed to the submission of a third list of six nominees for the post of Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), a joint statement from the Opposition and Government said on Monday.This decision was made after a second meeting between the two was held at State House.The meeting was also attended by People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) Members of Parliament Anil Nandlall and Irfaan Ali, Minister of State Joseph Harmon and Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman.The joint statement said the parties agreed that it would be in the best interest of the people of Guyana that the choice of a Chairperson of GECOM is made without undue delay.However, both parties further agreed that the Opposition Leader will submit a new list of six names to the President.It was also agreed that a high-level team would be assembled representing the President and the Opposition Leader which will begin to work immediately on exploring modalities to bring a resolution to this matter in the event that the list is rejected again by the President.The Opposition has publicly stated total disagreement with the President’s interpretation of Article 161 (2) of the Constitution of Guyana which deals with the selection of the chairman of GECOM.Jagdeo had, last April, submitted to President Granger a second list of six nominees for the post of Chairman of GECOM. They were retired Justice of Appeal BS Roy; retired Justice William Ramlall; former Magistrate Oneidge Walrond-Allicock; Attorneys Kashir Khan and Nadia Sagar; and businessman and pilot, captain Gerald Gouveia.This second list suffered the same fate as the first, following President Granger deeming them “unacceptable” on the grounds that they were not in keeping with ‘his interpretation’ of Guyana’s Constitution and his criteria outlined for selection.GECOM has been without a Chairman since February 28, 2017, when Dr Steve Surujbally stepped down after 15 years at the helm. read more

Last home match for Pick Szeged in 2013 Charity and Victory

pick szeged 2013 ← Previous Story Norway and Angola at the top – Spain beat Poland Next Story → Kielce began with recovery by convincing win in Zabrze Hungarian League leaders and the only 100% team Pick Szeged played their last home match in 2013 yesterday evening. Their opponents were mediocre newcomers Győr who, just like Szeged have a Spanish trainer. Pick Szeged’s management offered the total income of the match and the plush toys throw non court by the spectators to charity.The home team were the odds-on favourite to win the match and they started accordingly. Thanks to powerful play by Hungarian international pivot Zubai, they quickly managed to gain a substantial lead (10th minute 8-2). The guests were unable to keep the Szeged’s pace and were unsuccessful in stopping distant shots by Sulc and Balogh so the home team managed to obtain a serious lead by the end of the first 30 minutes (20-11).In the second half coach Pastor changed Pick’s defence to a 6-0 formation and offered all his players a chance to be on court. Ancsin scored some big goals from distance, Vranjes managed to cause much trouble in the opponent’s wall and Tatai made some great saves. In some cases he was very angry with his fellow players. Due to a lack of concentration, Szeged’s defense became soft, the players made far too many mistakes so the guests were able to keep the distance at 9-10 goals.Pick Szeged will play two more away matches this year. On Wednesday they will travel to No. 4 Tatabánya who recently signed Milorad Krivokapic and they will conclude this year against fifth-placed Balatonfüred on Saturday.Pick Szeged-SZESE Győr 35:25 (20:11)Best scorers: Zubai, Larholm, Ancsin (6) / Gebhardt (7)TEXT: Gábor Várkonyi read more

No more sunbeds for debs goers

first_imgTheir use becomes particularly intense around debs season and before summer holidays when sunbeds are used to give skin a so-called ‘base-tan’. We also know that using sunbeds at a young age can increase the risk of malignant melanoma by as much as 75%.When fully implemented the Act will also provide for bans on advertising and marketing of sunbeds and require mandatory training for sunbed operators.The HSE Environmental Health Service will be writing to sunbed business operators to advise them of the new legal provisions and what they will need to do to comply.Stack added that, “the most rapidly increasing cancers in the world are those of the skin, both melanoma and non-melanoma in both sexes.The danger surrounding sunbed use and overexposure to UV rays is very real. SUNBEDS WILL SOON be banned for anyone aged under 18.An Act has been signed into force by the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins.It’s expected that the ban will commence before the end of next month.This means that the scores of young people who would previously have lined up to scorch their skin in preparation for their graduation ball, won’t be able to do so.The Act has been welcomed by environmental health officers who will enforce its provisions.Chair of the Environmental Health Association of Ireland (EHAI), Caitriona Stack, said:“We know that a substantial proportion of those using sunbeds are young people, especially girls. “It’s time to protect vulnerable young skin from these dangers and our members are willing and ready to do so.”A web page will be set up to give information about the new laws as they come on stream.It will also provide details of how the public may lodge a complaint with the HSE Environment Health Service in relation to children under 18 being permitted to use sunbeds.’Read: Infographic: Here’s how you spot skin cancer>Read: Children using sunbeds, the new broadcasting charge and HSE grants>Read: Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in Ireland and the numbers are rising>last_img read more

Your Instagram account shows how depressed you are

first_imgThe photos you post on social media may be saying more about you than you intend. Scientists from Harvard University and the University of Vermont have found that there is a strong correlation between the nature of photos posted on Instagram and the poster’s mental health. The link is so strong that researchers Andrew Reece and Chris Danforth suggest the algorithm they devised could be used for early detection of mental illness.The experiment started with recruiting 500 test subjects from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk platform, who also used Instagram. They were asked to complete a standard clinical depression survey and share their Instagram posts for analysis. Only 170 agreed to be part of the test, and 70 of them showed some level of depression based on the survey.When the researchers downloaded the images provided by the study participants, they were left with a whopping 40,000 images to dig through. The analysis was based on the last 100 images posted by healthy people, and for those with depression the last 100 posted before their diagnosis. This was done to eliminate the effect of treatment on the images posted.Reece and Danforth used a different set of Turk workers to rate the photos, then added objective measurements like average hue, color saturation, contrast, and the number of faces visible. The reaction of other Instagram users in the form of likes and comments was also taken into account. The model was able to reliably predict which users were clinically depressed based on these metrics.Depressed people tended to post photos with predominantly blue, black, and gray color palettes. They also received fewer likes on Instagram than healthy individuals. Depressed people also had a strong preference for the Inkwell filter, which adds a monochrome effect to photos. Meanwhile, healthy individuals were more likely to use the Valencia filter, which lightens the colors. Faces were more common in the photos submitted by depressed users, but usually only one face — their own. So, excessive selfie use is associated with depression now.When tested with a new group of individuals, the researchers reported that it correctly identified 70% of those with depression. That’s better than most general practice doctors can do. Maybe some day the apps on your phone will start asking how you’re feeling based on the photos you post.last_img read more

Mbappe Kluivert Donnarumma up for Kopa Trophy

first_imgKylian Mbappe leads the way for the 10-man shortlist of the inaugural Kopa TrophyThe Paris Saint-Germain and France superstar will compete with the likes of AS Roma’s Justin Kluivert and AC Milan’s Gianluigi Donnarumma.Revealed: Florentino Perez’s plan to sign Kylian Mbappe Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 12, 2019 According to a report from ‘El Chiringuito’, Florentino Perez revealed his plans to sign Kylian Mbappe from PSG next season.We all knew this was…France Football magazine, who also oversees the Ballon d’Or award, has announced a 10-man shortlist for the world’s best U-21 player.The judges for the prize will consist of five-time Ballon d’Or winners Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi along with former recipients Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldinho and Bobby Charlton.10-man shortlist for Kopa TrophyKylian Mbappe (PSG/France)Justin Kluivert (Roma/Holland)Houssem Aouar (Lyon/France)Patrick Cutrone (AC Milan/Italy)Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan/Italy)Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool/England)Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund/USA)Amadou Haidara (RB Salzburg/Mali)Ritsu Doan (Groningen/Japan)Rodrygo Goes of Santos (Santos/Brazil)last_img read more

Governors office suspends Hallandale Beach mayor after arrest

first_imgHALLANDALE BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) – Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper has been officially suspended by the Florida Governor’s Office after she was arrested on multiple charges, including money laundering.The executive order to suspend Cooper came in from the governor’s office Friday afternoon.Cooper bonded out of jail on Thursday night after she turned herself in.The charges stem from an FBI sting operation that dated back to 2012.According to investigators, Cooper solicited campaign contributions for herself and others that exceeded the legal limit, and then falsely reported the contributions in campaign reports.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img

Manatee Pastelito returned to Florida waters after rehabilitation at Miami Seaquarium

first_imgVIRGINIA KEY, FLA. (WSVN) – Miami Seaquarium has released a manatee back into Florida waters after he was rehabilitated at Miami Seaquarium.Pastelito the manatee made his way into the waters at the Manatee Observation and Education Center in Fort Pierce on Thursday after approximately a month of rehabilitation.The sea cow was brought to Miami Seaquarium on Feb. 9 after suffering injuries from a boat strike in Fort Pierce.The 1,000 pound manatee faced buoyancy issues after he was hit.The Miami Seaquarium works as a facility to provide medical care to rescued manatees with the Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership non-profit organization.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Is Time Inc Inching Toward a Sale

first_imgAddressing a media conference in London, Time Inc.’s chieffinancial officer John Martin said he expects the Time Inc. publishing unit tobe a “growth business,” despite a “difficult secularenvironment” in print advertising, according to a Marketwatch report.Here’s the important part: “Digital revenues are now close to 15% of allrevenues at Time Inc.”:Martin did not rule out the sale of certain magazine titles,but added that one thing necessary to make the business grow is “economiesof scale,” and thus Time Inc. must maintain a strong roster ofpublications.It seems like every time a Time Warner executive speaksabout the future of Time Inc., it’s in decidedly cryptic drips and drabs, andno real numbers attached. So Martin’s were, at once, refreshing/maddening.But he’s clearly been following the path Jeff Bewkes, TimeWarner CEO [pictured], his boss, has been laying out ahead of him. Here’s what Bewkes said inFebruary: “We’re good at publishing. We’re a leader in theindustry. It’s a good business we think. As it expands out beyond print intodigital we think it can turn into a growth business,” Bewkes said, addingthat keeping Time Inc. intact “depend[s] on our being able to demonstrate thatto ourselves and our investors.”All of this is reason enough to dust off this post, entitled”What aTime Inc. Spin-Off Might Look Like.”last_img read more

House Republicans Torn over How to Tackle FY17 Appropriations

first_imgIf House Republicans appeared to achieve a degree of unity after Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) agreed to lead the chamber last year, it wasn’t long lasting.The party is split among multiple camps on how to handle fiscal 2017 appropriations. Many members, including the GOP leadership, are content to stick with the spending levels for defense and non-defense programs outlined in last October’s two-year budget deal, which raised the discretionary spending caps by $30 billion for FY 2017. A vocal contingent of conservatives, though, is pressing for a lower overall topline. A third bloc, defense hawks, is pushing to provide additional dollars for the Pentagon.At Friday’s conference meeting, Ryan made it clear that if lawmakers want an opportunity to return to “regular order” and pass 12 individual spending bills, the party would need to unite behind the bipartisan budget agreement, reported CQ Roll Call. Ignoring the deal and writing a budget resolution with a lower topline or only raising defense spending, he said, would guarantee that appropriations bills bog down in the Senate. The result almost certainly would be Congress’ reliance on a continuing resolution or an omnibus spending bill to keep the government running.The House also could decide not to draft a budget resolution or individual spending bills but that outcome, Ryan said, would be a huge disappointment.While nothing was resolved at the closed-door meeting, members seemed pleased that the speaker would let them decide the way forward, rather than impose a plan devised by party leadership. A decision on what topline spending figures to pursue and whether to draw up a budget resolution is not expected until the chamber returns from recess next week, according to the story.Differences between the various camps over the budget remain stark, no less polarizing than when former Speaker John Boehner led the House.“If you want to do phony work and you want to go out to the floor and talk about a bunch of phony stuff that sounds nice and put it up on YouTube and go back to your district and say we’re really the only ones fighting, then option one or two are your choice,” Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) said. “If you actually want to do real work, then option three is your choice.” Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

Shahjalal Airport fire tamed flight operation normal

first_imgFire fighters are seen trying to douse fire. Photo: Sazid HossainThe fire that broke out at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on Friday afternoon has been brought under control, reports UNB.Director (Operation) of Fire Service and Civil Defense major Shakil said fire-fighters managed to douse the flame around 3:15 pm after around a two-hour long effort.Meanwhile, a three-member committee, headed by deputy director (Dhaka) of Fire Service headquarters Debnath Bardhan, was formed to probe the fire incident.The committee has been asked to submit its report within seven working days.Although the fire erupted at the departure lounge, it did not cause any disruption in taking off and landing of the scheduled flights, said Rezaul Karim, public relation officer of Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB).The activities at the departure lounge became normal after 4:00pm.Earlier, the fire broke out on the second floor of airport’s main building around 1:30pm.All the passengers, including hajj pilgrims, and airport, airline staffs, were evacuated soon after the fire broke out, creating panic among the people around.last_img read more

Texas Transgender Wrestler Back To Defend State Title

first_imgTwitter via @FCStudios16Transgender wrestler Mack BeggsMack Beggs is back.He’s still wrestling, still competing for a state championship and still undefeated.And he’s still wrestling against the girls. It’s just been a lot quieter since last year when his march to a state championship was dogged by a last-minute lawsuit that tried to stop him and boos from the crowd when his hand was raised as the victor.The senior from Euless Trinity High School near Dallas is transgender and in the process of transitioning from female to male. It was his steroid therapy treatments while wrestling girls that stirred a fierce debate about competitive fairness and transgender rights last season. He’s still taking steroids, which his mother said are just strong enough to create a wisp of facial hair and stop the menstrual cycle but not build muscle.The 18-year-old Beggs wrestles in the girls’ division because the rules for Texas public high schools require athletes to compete under the gender on their birth certificate. Starting Friday, he’ll defend his title in the girls’ Class 6A 110-pound division at the state tournament in Cypress, near Houston.“He has so much respect for all the girls he wrestles,” said Beggs’ mother, Angela McNew. “People think Mack has been beating up on girls … The girls he wrestles with, they are tough. It has more to do with skill and discipline than strength.”Beggs went 56-0 on his way to the state championship last season, and he’s 32-0 this year after cruising through the regional finals last weekend.“People don’t realize that what happened during state, that was really, honestly, nothing,” Beggs recently told the Dallas Morning News . “That didn’t stop me from competing. That didn’t stop me from being who I was.“It sure as hell didn’t stop me from doing what I wanted to do in the past, and it won’t stop me from what I want to do in the future,” he said.McNew would not make Beggs available for interviews this week ahead of the state meet. The solitude allows him to concentrate on the task ahead and perhaps shield him from attacks on social media and occasional insults from the stands — or even other wrestling mats — during meets.“Somebody posted they should put Mack in a men’s prison and he should be raped,” McNew said. “It has really gotten to me sometimes. He’s still a teenager, a young adult trying to find his way … Do people not have children of their own?”Beggs’ road to the championship last season included two forfeits in the regional tournament by wrestlers who feared injury. Beggs faced only one forfeit this season. The opposing coach and teammates had insisted the girl wrestle Beggs, but she refused, McNew said.“Everyone told the girl, ‘You are a wrestler, get out there and wrestle,’” McNew said.Beggs’ family has repeatedly said he wants to wrestle boys, but state competition rules won’t allow it. The birth certificate rule was approved in 2016 by the University Interscholastic League, the governing body for Texas high school sports. It was done to help schools determine competition, said Jamie Harrison, the UIL’s deputy director.“The UIL is not in the gender-determining business and schools don’t want to be either,” Harrison said.Harrison said the UIL is willing to consider making exceptions to competition rules if asked. The UIL has not received a request from the Beggs family or his school to allow him to wrestle boys, Harrison said. And despite the national attention Beggs’ drew last year, the UIL wouldn’t initiate a move to let him wrestle boys unless asked, Harrison said.“We don’t think it would be appropriate to initiate,” Harrison said. “We don’t make value judgments. That’s a matter for a person and their family to decide.”McNew said the family didn’t ask because the birth certificate rule is clear that Beggs must wrestle as a girl.A group of Texas state lawmakers attempted to intervene last year with a bill that would have barred Beggs from competing because of his steroid use. The proposal — which didn’t specifically name Beggs — passed the Senate but stalled in the House without a vote. The Legislature won’t reconvene until 2018 when Beggs’ high school career is finished.Texas law bans steroids use by high school athletes, but the state stopped testing for it after 2015. Beggs can take testosterone and still compete because Texas allows a “safe harbor” exception for athletes taking performance-enhancers under a doctor’s guidance for medical purposes.If Beggs wrestles in college, he’ll compete against men. Rules set by the NCAA, USA Wrestling and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency already classify him as male because of his testosterone treatments. Beggs’ family says he’s considering a small college scholarship but won’t say which school has offered.Once his high school wrestling career is finished, the family will consult with a doctor about “top surgery,” a procedure to remove breast tissue, giving Beggs a more masculine physique, his mother said.“I know he’s really excited to go off to college,” McNew said. “He has put his life on hold as far as physically. I’m excited for him to be able to take a step forward and be where he wants to be.” Sharelast_img read more

Delhi get ready to be played

Shoelace productions and Aranya brings to the Capital, a unique theatre festival – Prayog, offering three plays to entertain theatre enthusiasts. To be held at LTG auditorium from 26 to 28 October, the plays that will be staged include Illham, Park and Laal Pencil.Manav Kaul, veteran theatre personality, who has penned each of these plays says, ‘I’m quite excited about my plays being staged in Delhi. I’ve been performing in Delhi since 2004 and simply love to see the response of theatre lovers in the city.’ Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Deepak Dhamija, the brain behind Prayog, says, ‘I realised there was a scarcity of playwrights in India. Through this festival we wanted to provide a platform for young contemporary writers.’ Dhamija dubs Prayog as an ‘experiment’.Being staged on 26 October, Illham focuses on the tagline: is Bhagwan the epitome of the mundane? It’s about the life of a middle-aged banker, who is married and has grown up children. However, one day, while sitting on a decrepit park bench he stumbles upon ‘enlightenment’. Therein begins the battle between the world outside and his world inside. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixWhile the second in line is a play titled Park, being staged on 27 October, about any park, just about anywhere, with three regular benches, where three men squabble about the choicest of seats. Because each one’s claim is the greatest and the most fundamental one. Last in row, being staged on 28 October is Laal Pencil based on a Korean novel. It revolves around a young school girl, whose entire life changes when she acquires a magical red pencil. So select your play from Prayog and head to LTG, ensuring a sheer theatrical delight!LOG ON to www.indianstage.in to book tickets right away! read more

There is nothing called Writers Block

first_img“I never call it Writer’s Block because I know I have to write anyway. I write bad pages if I am feeling blocked and eventually I end up losing them which is painful. But everyday’s hard work is sort of inspirational,” Greer said at the 10th edition of Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival. The American, who bagged the Pulitzer for his comic novel ‘Less’ in 2018, said he is not going to write anything on his new novel while “in India because it is too much fun here and I am taking a break”. Asked to share some tips for aspiring writers to keep their creativity alive, the man with six fictions in his kitty said: “I think that one should write from their weakest part and about things they are scared to share.” Also Read – Add new books to your shelfHe elaborated that if there is anything hard to write about oneself, it is truly about the person. So it is good to be imaginative to be able to reveal those things in writing. “If someone says to a writer that he/she puts too many dragons in his writing, he should put a full dragon. That is my advice and one shouldn’t let people make them mediocre and become oneself,” he explained. Geere had been writing ‘Less’ as a tragedy and it was not really working when he actually decided to start making fun of the protagonist and while swimming one day he made up his mind to write this book as a comedy. He wanted to celebrate joy. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveAsked if such recognition can be beneficial for any genre which is going out of fashion, he said: “I hadn’t thought about it, but yes it is possible that this will give courage to other writers to write literature that is a comedy or all of those things that people are bit ashamed to speak about. And especially it gives me a chance to write more on such topics.” ‘Less’ is about Arthur Less, a writer fleeing the humiliation of love, middle-age and failure. In his book, a character actually wins the Pulitzer Prize. “I am confident that this is the only book which talks about Pulitzer and then actually wins it. It never occurred to me that I would actually win it,” he said. The protagonist wears a bright blue suit for the awards which, according to Greer, symbolises his innocence and he wears it with confidence. He thought he would choose something sober for himself in real life but on a friend’s advice he “wore a red suit” for the awards as it symbolises joy.last_img read more

Dam the Pacuare Over Turrialbas dead body

first_img Facebook Comments TURRIALBA, Cartago — It was the appropriately-named Rodeo rapid of the Pacuare River where the raft bucked my colleague Alberto Font into the air so violently I thought he would fly overboard, but instead he collided with the woman paddling to his right and collapsed in a heap in the bottom of the boat.“I thought we lost you,” I said to Beto, The Tico Times’ photographer, when we reached stiller waters.“I thought so, too,” Beto said. “I thought I was in the water, with her!” He laughed and switched to Spanish and told everyone there was so much water and air and boat that he didn’t know which way was up or which element he was in. Rafters new to the Pacuare River enjoy the ride – but notice how hard the man in back is working. Alberto Font/The Tico TimesIt was all in a day’s fun on a fabulous float down the famous Pacuare, but the occasion for this merriment, like the skies overhead, came with some dark clouds.It was the 10th anniversary of the 2005 plebiscite in the Caribbean slope town of Turrialba that resulted in a 97 percent vote against the construction of hydroelectric dams on the Pacuare River, which is often called one of the greatest whitewater rafting rivers in the world.Yet the winners of this plebiscite believe the Costa Rican Electricity Institute, or ICE, is still plotting to build a dam here, which they say would uproot and disinherit the indigenous Cabécar, pollute a clean, beautiful and world-class river, scare away wildlife, destroy the vital whitewater rafting industry in this region and turn the Pacuare into the next Reventazón, a formerly famous rafting river that critics say was ruined by ICE dams.Who knew?To celebrate the anniversary of the 2005 plebiscite and raise awareness of the consequences of damming wild rivers, Turrialba, located 60 kilometers east of the capital, has organized a two-day festival on Aug. 28 and 29 called JAKÜII/PACUARE+10. (Jaküii is the indigenous Cabécar word for the Pacuare, although some will tell you that Pacuare is also a Cabécar word.)On Friday, a week before this festival, organizers treated a half-dozen journalists to a day of rafting the Pacuare, with a news conference on current efforts to protect the river — most intriguingly, on negotiations to have Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís sign a decree this week removing the Pacuare and Savegre rivers once and for all from the country’s plans for future hydroelectric generation.“We started talking about this since long before the plebiscite, for more than 10 years,” said Osvaldo Durán Castro, the leader of these efforts, who is also a professor at the Technology Institute of Costa Rica in Cartago and an avid rafter. Osvaldo Durán Castro leads a coalition that is negotiating with the government to issue a presidential decree that excludes the Pacuare and Savegre rivers from the country’s hydroelectric generation plans. Alberto Font/The Tico Times“What’s special about this is that for the first time in history, we are sitting down and talking to the government,” he said.Durán said his group first presented its ideas to President Solís and Environment Minister Edgar Gutiérrez last August at Casa Presidencial, and he said they were interested and receptive.“What we’ve done in the past year is negotiate the decree with them,” he said. “And all indications are that we’re going to have a decree next weekend.”His group is meeting this week with the presidency and the Environment Ministry to iron out details in hopes that Solís can sign the decree in Turrialba during the Aug. 28-29 festival.Mind you, that wouldn’t be the end of the battle.“It’s very, very possible that they will come the next weekend and sign the documents, the president and the environment minister,” said Viladys Rivera Reyes, a fellow activist with Durán and a primary organizer of the festival in Turrialba. “But it’s just for 15 years and the next president can revoke it.” Ríos Tropicales is one of the largest rafting companies in Costa Rica, where the most popular float is the Pacuare River. Alberto Font/The Tico TimesAssessing the threatI spent several days reaching out to experts on the Pacuare, and I found that 100 percent of my correspondents were opposed to damming this majestic river, while zero percent were in favor.So with such a large, united and organized opposition to the dam-nation of the Pacuare, who spoke for the adversary they were organizing against?I reached out to ICE with a number of questions and received this response from communications coordinator Adriana Víquez Garita:“We recommend that you explore this matter with the Executive Branch and MINAE,” she wrote, noting that they have taken up the issue. “We (ICE) are respectful of what the authorities decide and we will continue to do what’s necessary to fulfill our mandate established by law: to supply national demand.”In 2009, four years after the plebiscite, ICE pledged that it would impose a 20-year moratorium (until 2029) on any plans to tap the Pacuare’s hydroelectric potential.If President Solís signs the decree next week, and if it stands for 15 years, then the Pacuare is safe until 2030. One of the many waterfalls spilling into Costa Rica’s Pacuare River. Alberto Font/The Tico TimesI said to Durán during the news conference: “If there’s already a plebiscite that says they can’t build a dam here, and besides, in 2009, ICE said it wasn’t going to do anything for 20 years, I’m not sure if I understand the urgency, or if there is a real threat. I’m not sure that ICE really wants to build a dam here.”“I’m going to put it like this,” Durán said. “We won a plebiscite in 2005 with 98 percent of the people, 97 percent of the people saying ‘no, we don’t want dams on the Río Pacuare.’ We won the plebiscite, but that doesn’t mean that ICE has to comply with the plebiscite. The plebiscite is a political act that’s good for us, but ICE doesn’t have the obligation to recognize it. In fact, it has not recognized it.”Durán provided detailed information from ICE demonstrating that Costa Rica’s current power supply well exceeds its demand, arguing that there’s no need to build more dams.But what exactly are ICE’s stated plans for the Pacuare?“At this time,” Durán explained, “ICE’s expansion plan that goes from 2014 to 2035 doesn’t include the projects on the Pacuare, Savegre and [other rivers]. These aren’t included, they say, because they haven’t finished the studies. … But it does clearly say that once they’ve finished their studies, those projects will be put back into the electricity generation plan.”“But they say they aren’t going to do anything until 2029,” I pointed out.“They’ve said a lot of things,” Durán replied. Kayakers often accompany rafting groups to help in case of trouble, but they spend much of their time honing their kayak rodeo skills. Alberto Font/The Tico TimesThe filmmakerDenielle Perry, 37, is a Ph.D. candidate in geography at the University of Oregon who spent years leading rafting tours on the Pacuare and Reventazón and who co-directed a 40-minute documentary that premiered earlier this year called “Troubled Waters: Costa Rica’s Río Pacuare.” Denielle Perry led rafting tours on the Pacuare and Reventazón in the 2000s. (Courtesy of Denielle Perry)“Today, when we have over a century’s worth of environmental and social impacts to look back upon when considering hydropower development, we’ve learned that … it’s quite destructive,” Perry said on a Skype call from Oregon.“ICE is an entity whose entire mandate is to investigate and develop energy resources for the development of Costa Rica,” she said. “So when you look at ICE and its constitutional mandate, which was set up in the 1940s, that’s their raison d’etre, their reason for being.“When you look at a river like the Pacuare, which has year-round water flow and no development, the water is clean, there’s a lot of vertical gain, it’s an ideal river for dam developers. They’re not thinking about rafting or indigenous communities.” A kayaker at the base of a waterfall. Alberto Font/The Tico TimesPerry said ICE’s efforts to dam the Pacuare have a long history.“In the 1990s, there were plans to dam at Dos Montañas, near the end of the day stretch, a place with a canyon with two walls, very close together,” she said. “It’s kind of mystic, there’s water falling from the walls and the remnants of ICE’s work in there doing exploratory [studies] … drilling into walls to see what the integrity of that rock structure would be.“It’s considered the most ideal place in the country to build a dam, because the walls are so close together and they’re very tall.”But a magnitude-7.6 earthquake in Limón in 1991 shook part of the cliffs loose and put an end to plans to build at Dos Montañas, Perry said.ICE turned its attention to an area upstream, she said, near Bajo Pacuare, but that only opened up another can of worms.“It would flood out those communities, so there’s real concern about what would happen to the Cabécar people who live there,” she said. “They would just be pushed further into the rain forest, away from their traditional lands.” The Pacuare River is ideal for rafting because of its length, gradient, cleanliness, temperature, scenery – and never-ending rapids, from washboard ripples to Class IVs. Alberto Font/The Tico TimesPerry moved to Costa Rica in 2001 and started a group called Amigos del Río Pacuare. She said after the plebiscite passed in 2005, then-President Abel Pacheco pledged to designate the Río Pacuare a national park.“That’s what we were working toward,” she said. But… “One issue with national parks is when you make something a national park, then the people who have traditionally inhabited that area can’t live there anymore.”Durán said, “We’re not going to ask them to create a national park because it’s very difficult, but the political decision can be made that based on the numbers of electricity generation, this river does not enter into the expansion plan, and this other river doesn’t either.”Perry said she was there when ICE gave notice that it would impose a 20-year moratorium on damming the Pacuare.“The reason why they had the moratorium wasn’t so much that we were fighting against the dams, it’s because there was a series of earthquakes taking place in Costa Rica,” she said. “An earthquake in Sarapiquí breached the dam and sent this wall of water downstream, wiped out trees and covered farms with mud. …“When you build a dam and have an artificial reservoir, that’s a lot of weight, and it can increase tectonic activity,” she said. “My understanding was that this moratorium would give ICE 20 years to do geological investigations about the viability of doing a dam on the Pacuare.” Osvaldo Durán Castro, in red, leader of a coalition seeking to permanently protect the Pacuare from being dammed, lends a hand on a rafting trip for journalists. Alberto Font/The Tico TimesThe rafting company ownerRafael Gallo, 57, was in his late 20s in 1985 when he founded Ríos Tropicales, probably Costa Rica’s most successful rafting company.“Damming the Pacuare would be a big, big, big environmental mistake for Costa Rica,” Gallo said in a telephone call from Florida.“The Pacuare has got the right length, the right gradient, clean water, great vegetation, it’s got wildlife, indigenous population, warm water, one rapid after another,” he said. “It’s got all the qualities you would ask for in commercial rafting or rain forest exploration.”And his company is committed to do its part to save it.“We help any group that would do any intelligent opposition to the project,” he said. “We don’t support any monkey-wrenching, but if it’s intelligent and peaceful, we support that.”The indigenous peopleKerlin Salazar Pérez, a 33-year-old Cabécar man who was invited to come on the rafting trip Friday to talk to the journalists, said his people have long fought ICE’s plans on the Pacuare. Kerlin Salazar Pérez, an indigenous Cabécar, says the threat to the Pacuare is very real. Karl Kahler/The Tico Times“For many years, for more than 20 years they’ve planned a dam on the Pacuare,” he said. “But we’ve put up a very strong fight, and we’ve stopped them a little bit. But then the government changes.”I asked Kerlin about ICE’s pledge in 2009 to do nothing for 20 years.“They said that,” he agreed. “But I know that if we do nothing, if we don’t say anything to them … the people of ICE have a lot of money, a lot of resources to do it, and it’s not something they’re planning right now, it’s something they’ve been planning for many years.”The rafting guideLuis Sánchez Hernández, a rafting guide known as Luigi, recalled the glory days of the Reventazón, when Olympic kayakers and canoers from Europe would go there to train during the European winter. Luis Sánchez Hernández, better known as Luigi, has been a rafting guide for 14 years. Alberto Font/The Tico Times“It was extremely famous,” he said. “They came here and they paddled all day, practicing, training. … People used to come to Turrialba for two months, three months, bringing money into the hotels, bars; a whole economy revolved around that.”Completion of the Angosturas dam in 2000 put an end to all that, and made most commercial rafting companies in Turrialba abandon the Reventazón in favor of the Pacuare.Sánchez said a huge amount of sediment accumulates at the dam, and when they open the gates it kills the fish in the river.“You can see it. There’s so much sediment that it gets stuck in the fish’s gills and chokes them and they die,” he said. “And all that sediment washes downstream, to Tortuguero, to the sea.”The helmsmanOur infallible capitán on a long, rainy day of rafting the Pacuare was Daniel Bustos Araya, 28, who has been a river guide for nine years, since he was 19. Guides, kayakers and friends: Lunch is served. Daniel Bustos Araya, fifth from left, leads rafting, canopy and canyoning tours and does mixed martial arts in his spare time. Alberto Font/The Tico TimesAs we admired the stunning scenery during a four-hour, 21-kilometer float, Bustos kept us on task during the fast stretches, when we had to paddle hard: “¡Adelante! ¡Adelante! ¡Fuerte!”The ultimate distress call was “¡Al suelo!” or “¡Abajo!” — meaning abandon all hope of paddling and get down in the bottom of the boat.Before the larger rapids he would often say, “Buena posición,” meaning we’d better wedge our feet tight because we were coming up on another giant washing machine. I actually developed blisters on my left foot from jamming it into the bottom of the raft so hard.Toward the end of our long float, feeling exhausted and tired of being wet, I heard Bustos urgently shouting, “¡Adelante! ¡Fuerte!” as we plunged into another rapid.I found myself laughing uncontrollably in the middle of this rapid, because the waves were so big I reached out to paddle and found nothing but air, then reached out again and was completely swamped by a giant wave — as if the river were paddling me.“It’s extreme adventure,” said Bustos when we reached quieter water. “It’s safe, but it’s extreme.”Perry, the filmmaker and former rafting guide, said as good as the rafting is here, that’s not her main reason to want to save the river.“In 2001 I had typhoid fever and was given the wrong diagnosis and therefore the wrong treatment. I almost died,” she said. “Sylvia Rodríguez, a Cabécar women featured in the film, made a remedy and hiked out of the Pacuare canyon to the road, then took the bus to my house in Turrialba. This took her the whole day. Her act of kindness and concern for me is what cemented my dedication to help save the Río Pacuare – her home.“It’s not about rapids for me, though they’re great. It’s about humanity.”For more info: http://riopacuarecostarica.orgContact Karl Kahler at kkahler@ticotimes.net. Related posts:Costa Rica’s Solís goes rafting, then bans dams from the Pacuare and Savegre rivers Tamarindo crocodile suspected of attacking surfer will not be relocated Sizeable temblor shakes Costa Rica’s Central Valley UPDATE: Green alert declared as Turrialba Volcano ashfall intensifieslast_img read more