Creation of jobs is one of the biggest hurdles that India faces, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi said to a small gathering of students at Princeton University in New Jersey on Sept. 20, adding that the Congress-led government failed to do much about the issue.He, however, added that the current Bharatiya Janata Party-led government is also failing to address the concern. “They were angry with us because we could not deliver on our promises, and they will get angry again,” he was quoted as saying. “The Congress party was unable to provide them job and now Modi is failing to provide them jobs.”Gandhi also noted that there was a lot of “synergy’ between India and the United States. “Historically, India has maintained balance (in relationship). So India has had a relationship with China and has had a relationship with Russia,” he said. “It has had a relationship with the US and both the countries. To me the strategic relationship with the United States is important.”He also talked about how the world will be fundamentally reshaped by performance of India and China, saying the two huge countries are transforming from being agricultural nations to urban modern model countries.LIVE: Congress VP Rahul Gandhi in conversation at @Princeton, Sept 20, 2017 https://t.co/25KHXJVfeO— Congress (@INCIndia) September 19, 2017Gandhi also came down on the BJP government’s Make in India initiative, saying that while he believed it is a good idea, its targeting is not quite right. The Member of Parliament from Amethi also criticized the government for not spending enough on education and healthcare.The interaction at Princeton University was unlike the discussion he had at Berkley last week, where he spoke of dynasty politics in India, the current government’s economic policy and the politics of polarization. His address at Berkeley drew a lot of ire from BJP leaders and on social media. While Union Minister Smriti Irani called him a “failed dynast”, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju tweeted that Gandhi was tarnishing India’s image abroad after his party plundered the nation.The BJP can’t claim Rahul is irrelevant if they feel the need to field senior Cabinet Ministers to counter what he said in Berkeley. https://t.co/XglAQavbZC— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) September 12, 2017Gandhi is on his two-week tour in the United States. Next on his itinerary is an outreach program at New York’s Times Square where he will interact with NRIs. In Washington, he will address a gathering of members of the Center for American Progress. He is also set to talk to business leaders at a program organized by the US-India Business Council about the current global economic situations, technological issues, and their impact on India. Related ItemsKiren RijijuLittle IndiaNRIs in USRahul Gandhi at BerkeleyRahul Gandhi at PrincetonRahul Gandhi in USSmriti Irani Rahul Gandhi
The Chabahar port in Iran, which gives India access to central Asia bypassing Pakistan’s Gwadar Port, which is being built by China, was inaugurated on Dec. 3. The inauguration of the Phase I of Shahid Beheshti Port at Chabahar, done by Iran’s President Dr. Hassan Rouhani, was also attended by Indian Minister of State (MoS) Shipping Pon Radhakrishnan and Minister of Commerce and Industries of Afghanistan Humayoon Rasaw.The port is being made with an investment of $1 billion, of which India has so far invested $235 million. The port’s capacity has been tripled to 8.5 million tons a year, Reuters quoted state television as saying. India’s commitment for the port is $500 million.“The routes of the region should be connected on land, sea and air,” Rouhani said at the inauguration ceremony, according to an office statement.The ministers at the inauguration also commended the shipment of the first cargo through Chabahar, from India to Afghanistan, which comprised 110,000 tons of wheat. The cargo was sent from Kandla port in Gujarat in October this year.A statement from the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said: “The Ministers agreed to further intensify efforts on issues concerning regional connectivity and focusing on Chabahar Port development under the Trilateral Transit and Trade Agreement at the Trilateral Meeting. MoS (Shipping) expressed his positive appreciation to the Iranian side on the recent steps taken towards ratification by the Majlis of Iran on the Trilateral Transit and Trade Agreement signed in May 2016 between India, Iran and Afghanistan.”China, which through its One Road One Belt project is connecting East Asia with Central Asia, had indicated that India too needs to join the project. However, India has created an alternative for itself by developing the Chabahar Port. The Iranian port is only about 80 km from Pakistan’s Gwadar port.The inauguration comes at a time when Pakistan is blocking access between India and Afghanistan.In November, Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar said, “India has always conveyed its readiness to receive export laden Afghan trucks at its Integrated Check Point at Attari on the India-Pakistan border. However, Pakistan has regrettably chosen to block normal access between India and Afghanistan.” Akbar was speaking at the 7th Meeting of Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA), which was formed to promote peace in Afghanistan.“In effect, Pakistan has emerged as the largest wall in history, inhibiting connectivity between India and Afghanistan. This blockade is a crime against the people of Afghanistan; for it is their welfare which is affected the most,” the Indian politician added.The Chabahar Port project was ratified in 2016 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi went to Iran, the first visit by an Indian PM since 2012. Related ItemsChabaharIndiaIran
India is placed at the 86th position in a global ranking of passport strength, alongside countries like Cambodia and Central African Republic. The top spot has been secured by Germany for the fifth consecutive year, according to the 2018 Henley Passport Index conducted by Henley and Partners.Indians can travel to 49 countries without a visa or get visa on arrival, which is the same as last year. German citizens, on the other hand, enjoy visa-free access to 177 countries in total, up from 176 countries in 2017.“Singapore ranks second globally on the 2018 edition of the index, with visa-free access to 176 countries,” said the index report released on Jan. 9. China has been placed at the 75th spot, with its passport holders having visa-free access to 60 countries. The Asian economic power is up by 10 points and has been featured among the biggest climbers on the 2018 index.Other biggest climbers on the index include Georgia, which is up by 15 points and ranks 53, with visa-free access to 99 countries, while Ukraine is up by 14 points and ranks 44. The United States has been ranked fifth on the index, with its citizens getting visa-free access to 173 countries, sharing its position with Ireland, Portugal, and South Korea.Eight countries — Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom — share the third spot. Passport-holders of these countries can visit 175 countries without visa or visa on arrival.Since the world economy has become increasingly globalized, the need for greater visa-free access has grown steadily. “Across the economic spectrum, individuals want to transcend the constraints imposed on them by their country of origin and access business, financial, career, and lifestyle opportunities on a global scale,” the report said.At the bottom of the index are Somalia, Pakistan, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.“Across the economic spectrum, individuals want to transcend the constraints imposed on them by their country of origin and access business, financial, career, and lifestyle opportunities on a global scale. The Henley Passport Index shows individuals where they lie on the spectrum of global mobility, revealing the strength that their passport has in relation to other passports,” said Dr. Christian H. Kalin, group chairman of Henley & Partners. Related ItemsChinapassportVisa
An Indian millionaire dentist was fined $3,300 for using a disabled badge to avoid $22 in daily parking charges for his Ferari.Dr Chirag Patel, 33, used the badge, issued to his business partner’s late father, to park outside his south London dental practice. He was charged with fraud, according to prosecutors because of his “premeditated” and “repetitious” use of the badge. Patel’s attorney expressed “remorse, shame and embarrassment” for his client: “He has been branded a skinflint, a miser and a cheat. He has been mocked as a cheapskate worthy to be despised. This was an offence that was committed by a man who was not hungry for money, but hungry for time. He has sacrificed 700 days of peace of mind because he tried to avoid a trifling inconvenience.” Related Items
A US State Department report has registered a spike in the violent incidents by cow protection groups in India in 2016. The incidents include killings, mob violence, assaults and intimidation and the target of these were mostly Muslims, the report released on Tuesday says.The International Religious Freedom Report for 2016 (IRFR) released by the US State Department is the first such report to come out under the Trump administration. It emphasized on the increase in attacks by Hindu nationalist groups against religious minorities, who were accused of bovine trafficking or eating beef, reported PTI.Cow Vigilantism on a RiseIn 2015, cow vigilantism gained spotlight in India, after a 60-year-old Mohammad Akhlaq was lynched in Indian state of Uttar Pradesh for ‘storing’ and ‘consuming’ beef. Forensic reports later proved that the meat was mutton not beef.This is just the one of many incidents that followed. The nationwide ‘anti-beef movement’ sparked after a beef ban was introduced by the ruling Bhartiya Janta Party. This saw an emergence of cow-vigilantes—group of people who attacked anybody ‘suspected’ of consuming, trading or indulging in beef business. Cow is considered to be ‘holy’ to Hindus so slaughtering of the animal is argued to be a ‘sin’ by these groups.Out of the 29 Indian states, 24 have ‘imposed full to partial restrictions and penalties on the slaughter of bovines,’ The Hindu reported.Authorities didn’t take proper actionThe report release by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson states that the authorities didn’t take much action against cow vigilantism. “Authorities frequently did not prosecute members of vigilante “cow protection” groups who attacked alleged smugglers, consumers, or traders of beef, usually Muslims, despite an increase in attacks compared to previous years,” the report stated.“Members of civil society expressed concerns that, under the BJP government, religious minority communities felt vulnerable due to Hindu nationalist groups engaging in violence against non-Hindu individuals and places of worship,” the IRFR said.Religiously-motivated ViolenceThe report also mentioned attacks on people based on the suspicion that they were making remarks against Islam, the denial of burial rights by Christian and Muslim institutions and the arrest of a Catholic priest in Maharashtra based on the complaints that he prevented a teacher trainee from wearing a burqa, IANS reported. More than 300 incidents of abuse targeting Christians were reported in 2016 compared to 177 in 2015. Incidents included attacks on churches, schools, and private property and assault on missionaries on the issue of ‘forced conversions’ of non-Hindus.Issue of Triple TalaqIRFR also notes that while Supreme Court of India is looking into a case which will decide if the practice of ‘triple talaq’ or instantaneous divorce is in line with fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution, the federal government filed a brief in support of the challenge.“During his speech at Mahoba, Uttar Pradesh on October 24, Prime Minister Modi stated there should be no discrimination against women on the basis of religion and the government had the responsibility to protect Muslim women’s constitutional rights,” the report said.Religious Minorities Feel UnSafe?The violent incidents have left the religious minority groups feeling unsafe in their own country, the report said. “Religious minority communities say that while the national government sometimes spoke out against incidents of violence, local political leaders often did not, which left victims and minority religious communities feeling vulnerable,” states the report. Related ItemsBeef banbeef pan protestcow vigilantesIndiaLittle Indiaminority issuesreligious intoleranceUS state department report
The 75th Golden Globe Awards, held in the backdrop of issues such as harassment of women currently riddling the American film and television industry, also saw Indian American members of the fraternity making their presence felt. While Aziz Ansari won the Golden Globe for the Best Comedy Actor in a TV Series category for Netflix Original show Master of None, Meher Tatna, the president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), chose to wear red when most other women followed the call to dress in black.HFPA is the non-profit organization that conducts the Golden Globe Awards every year. The awards ceremony, held in California on Jan. 7, was used as a platform by women in the industry to show support for movements such as Time’s Up and #MeToo, started against sexual harassment after the Weinstein controversies. While most actresses, including leading stars such as Meryl Streep, Oprah Winfrey, Nicole Kidman, and Angelina Jolie , wore black to underline their stand on the issue, Tatna chose to wear red.“I do have my Time’s Up button, so (I’m) standing in solidarity with all these other women,” Tatna, who is Indian and was born in Mumbai, told Entertainment Tonight. “The HFPA is 60 percent women, we’ll have our stories. We are also journalists, so anybody who expresses themselves, especially on this topic, we are in solidarity with,” she added. Tatna said she opted for red in honor of her mother. “My mom and I planned this together a couple of months ago, it is a cultural thing. When you have a celebration, you don’t wear black. So she would be appalled if I were to (have) worn black. And so this is for my mom.”Her decision became a much talked-about topic of discussion on social media, with people posting differing opinions on the matter.Meher Tatna, President of Hollywood Foreign Press Association, is the only person seen on television (so far) not wearing black. Her vibrant red dress shows the dichotomy between the people standing together for women’s safety and people who chose fashion over purpose.— Morgan Trau (@MorganTrau) January 8, 2018Delighted, because I’d no idea a South Asian woman, Meher Tatna, is the President of the HFPA. #marginsfadeI wish she’d worn a black Baluchari or Benarasi, though.— Lynn Ghose Cabrera ☕ (@ElsiethePM) January 8, 2018I’m not really into what people wear to award shows, but.. why on earth did @mehertatna not wear black! She has such an important role with the #goldenglobes #timeisup She is the success story for Indian descendents like myself #colourmatters— Jessy Rajan (@JessRaRa) January 8, 2018uh.. no. it’s not against indian culture to wear black except in mourning. this is totally inaccurate. https://t.co/XjcBaeHEuv— nabilah irshad (@NabilahIrshad) January 8, 2018The decision to wear black was taken by Hollywood actresses and some of them went a step ahead and brought activists with them to the event. Comic actress Amy Poehler came with Indian American attorney and activist Saru Jayaraman. She works towards fair wages for restaurant workers.Amy Poehler: “Legislation is close to being passed. That makes this real. Symbols are important. coming together is important but working to make real change, that’s what makes it real.” Saru Jayaraman. “We are already seeing the impact of this expanding.” #goldenglobes #timesup pic.twitter.com/L0BKmMKGqe— Cara Buckley (@caraNYT) January 8, 2018<3 these women. @AmericaFerrera @RWitherspoon @kerrywashington @LenaWaithe @LauraDern @EmmaWatson @shailenewoodley @smrtgrls @TraceeEllisRoss @TaranaBurke @SaruJayaraman @monica_promumi #TIMESUP pic.twitter.com/w5D3QoSJAP— Ai-jen Poo (@aijenpoo) January 8, 2018Ansari, meanwhile, won his first Golden Globe. The actor, born to a Tamil family in the United States, won the award for the Netflix Original show Master of None, which he has co-written. The show is loosely based on his own life.“I genuinely didn’t think I was gonna win cause all the websites said I was going to lose,” Ansari, 34, said in his acceptance speech. “That would’ve been s—-y if I had lost two years in a row.”And the winner of Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy at the #GoldenGlobes is… @azizansari for @MasterofNone! pic.twitter.com/UgwpCH45yd— Golden Globe Awards (@goldenglobes) January 8, 2018Ansari’s speech was also mostly beeped out for the use of swear words.AZIZ ANSARI I THINK JUST BECAME THE FIRST INDIAN ACTOR TO WIN A GOLDEN GLOBE FOR BEST PERFORMANCE IN A TELEVISION SERIES FOR A MUSICAL/COMEDY WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY BECOMING THE FIRST PERSON TONIGHT TO HAVE 1/6 OF HIS SPEECH BLEEPED #breakingbarriers #azizansari #GoldenGlobes— daswassup (@daswassup21) January 8, 2018 Related ItemsHollywoodwomen’s rights
Donald Trump administration is launching an investigation into charges of discrimination made against Harvard University by Asian groups, including four Indian-American organisations. The groups had alleged that the university shows a bias against students from these communities in its admission process. The development comes even as the university is making headlines with the news that for the first time in its 380-year history, the majority of students offered admission this year are not white.Asian-American Groups Allege BiasJustice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said on Wednesday, the department wants to investigate the “administrative complaint filed by a coalition of 64 Asian-American associations in May 2015 that the prior administration left unresolved,” IANS reported, adding that Flores said, “The complaint alleges racial discrimination against Asian-Americans in a university’s admission policy and practices.”Among the 64 groups that jointly filed the complaint are The Global Organisation of Persons of Indian Origin (Gopio), National Federation of Indian-American Associations, American Society of Engineers of Indian Origin, and BITS Sindri Alumni Association of North India. The complaint had said:“Many Asian-American students who have almost perfect SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) scores, top one per cent GPAs (Grade Point Average), plus significant awards or leadership positions in various extracurricular activities have been rejected by Harvard University and other Ivy League Colleges while similarly situated applicants of other races have been admitted.”Intake of Non-White Students The university will take 50.8 per cent of its freshmen from minority groups in 2017, a figure that most publications said was this high for the first time in the institute’s history. A Los Angeles Times report, however, said that this was not the first time, pointing out that the proportion is down from 51.4 per cent recorded last year.A total of 2,056 candidates have been offered admission this year, including 22.2 per cent Asian Americans, 14.6 per cent African Americans, 11.6 per cent Latinos, 1.9 per cent Native Americans and 0.5 per cent Native Hawaiians.Last year, the corresponding total figure was 2,037 students, comprising 22.1 pre cent Asian American, 14 per cent African American, 12.7 per cent Latino, 2.2 per cent Native American and 0.4 per cent Native Hawaiian students, LA Times reported. Related ItemsHarvard Asian discriminationHarvard bias IndiansHarvard non-white studentsIndian admission US universityIndian students Harvard UniversityJustice Department probe HarvardLittle India
The Trump administration has now issued a new directive where U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Officers have been asked to “apply the same level of scrutiny” for H1B visa extension requests as the other sought-after visas, since the burden of proof lies with the applicant and not the federal agency.According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which is now rolling back its 13-year-old policy with this directive, the previous memorandum of April 23, 2004 put the burden on the agency. In the latest memorandum issued on Oct. 23, the agency said: “This memorandum makes it clear that the burden of proof remains on the petitioner, even where an extension of nonimmigrant status is sought.”In the previous policy, if a person was found to be eligible for work visa, they were by default eligible for extension so long as “as the key elements were unchanged and there was no evidence of a material error or fraud related to the prior determination.” Now, with every extension, they have to prove their eligibility.According to William Stock, the president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the change is being made retroactively to people already living in the country and not just to new visa applicants, according to PTI.“In adjudicating petitions for immigration benefits, including non-immigrant petition extensions, adjudicators must, in all cases, thoroughly review the petition and supporting evidence to determine eligibility for the benefit sought,” the USCIS said.The H-1B is a common visa for high-skilled Indian IT professionals to work at companies in the United States. The visa is valid for three years. It can be renewed for another three years.The new policy is in line with the Trump administration’s directive of “Buy American, Hire American” and to protect American workers from replacement by foreign labor. It will ensure that only qualified H-1B workers are allowed to stay in the United States so as to prevent fraud and misuse of the H-1B program.“This updated guidance provides clear direction to help advance policies that protect the interests of U.S. workers,” L. Francis Cissna, the new USCIS Director who was sworn in this month, was quoted as saying by CNN Tech.The other visas, which will have impact because of the directive, include L-1, for intracompany transfers, TN, for Canadian and Mexican citizens, and O-1, for those with “extraordinary abilities”. Related ItemsBuy American Hire AmericanFrancis CissnaH-1B visaH1B visa renewalL-1 visaLittle IndiaO-1 visaTrump administration visaUS Citizenship and Immigration OfficersUSCIS
Keeping in line with the demands of Non-Resident Indians who will embark on the Haj pilgrimage in August, the Haj Committee of India on March 13 extended the date of submission of the original passports of NRI Haj pilgrims to April 30. This is a revision from the circular issued last month that said the date of submission was April 15.Dr Maqsood Ahmad Khan, the chief executive officer of the Haj Committee of India, issued a circular that said: “The last date of submission of original passport for NRI pilgrims is hereby extended upto April 30. It is hereby notified that the pilgrims must adhere to the last date for submission of original passport for NRI pilgrims as prescribed by Haj Committee of India.”The Haj Committee of India arranges for Indians and Indians living abroad, who have been selected, to take the pilgrimage to Mecca. The circular has instructed NRIs to contact offices of State Haj Committees of the Indian states where they stay for submission of their passports.In other related news, the Supreme Court of India on March 13 ordered the earmarking of an “exclusive quota” for Haj pilgrims aged 70 years and above, and those pilgrims in the age group of 65 to 69 years who have already applied for the pilgrimage five times or more get benefit of policy decided by the Ministry of Minority Affairs, IANS reported. The court was hearing a plea by the Kerala Haj committee, which asked for more quota for the Haj pilgrimage because of its overwhelming number of applicants.While the Indian government had, in view of the 2012 Supreme Court order, abolished subsidies to pilgrims earlier this year, the BJP-led government announced significant reduction in airfare for the pilgrims in the end of February. The reduction is applicable to passages on Air India, Saudi Airlines and Saudi Arabia-based carrier Flynas to Jeddah and Medina from 21 airports in India.Haj, which is one of the five pillars of Islam, is an annual holy pilgrimage to Mecca. The pilgrimage is considered a duty for Muslims all over the world and is to be carried out at least once in their lifetime. Related ItemsHajIslamSaudi Arabia
Abu Dhabi-based billionaire MA Yusuff Ali is set to acquire British bottled water brand Harrogate Spring Water, the Times of India reported.Yusuff Ali, the owner of LuLu Group, confirmed to the publication that he does plan to acquire “a British spring water brand,” but did not disclose the name of the company. “The deal will be finalized in two or three months’ time,” Ali was quoted as saying in the report.“The deal to acquire Harrogate Spring Water is in the final stage and it is expected to be completed during the first half of the current calendar year itself,” the report quoted a source as saying. Harrogate Spring Water was being retailed at LuLu supermarket chain.Harrogate Water Brands, one of Britain’s oldest bottled water brand, owns and manages the Harrogate Spring Water and Thirsty Planet brands. Harrogate Spring Water Limited, with total assets worth £15 million until March 2017, is based in the original British spa town of Harrogate.It is the official water brand for the Hockey Women’s World Cup 2018 to be held in London in July. It also has a three-year agreement with England and Great Britain Hockey.Harrogate Spring Water in 2014 invested £8 million in production facilities, and expanded its bottling plant off Harlow Moor Road in 2017, according to the BusinessDesk.com.Yusuff Ali was at the top position among the UAE-based expat billionaires, ahead of Landmark Group chief Micky Jagtiani, according to Forbes’ annual list of billionaires released on March 6, 2018. Ali’s wealth totaled $5.5 billion according to Forbes, putting him at No. 388 on the list.Yusuff Ali , who has been called the Middle East retail king by the magazine, heads over the $7.4 billion LuLu Group, that has 132 stores in the Gulf region.Yusuff Ali is also investing in real estate projects in the United Kingdom. “We are investing £300 million in various projects that include ‘Great Scotland Yard’, the old headquarters of the Scotland Yard, The Waldorf Astoria-Edinburgh, and a food processing plant in Birmingham,” he was quoted as saying in the report. The hotel will be opened at the end of 2018, he added. The original Scotland Yard headquarters is being given a makeover and transformed into a luxury hotel, Forbes reported. The custom-built 92,000 sq ft hotel will be called the Great Scotland Yard Hotel.The group acquired the Scottish hotel, the Caledonian, a former Victorian railway hotel, overlooking the Edinburgh Castle, for £85 million earlier this year. Related ItemsLuLu GroupMA Yusuff AliUAE
The takeover of Cambodia’s Phnom Penh Post newspaper by Malaysian Indian businessman Sivakumar S Ganapathy, which has been mired in controversy, witnessed new mayhem after several employees resigned following the removal of editor-in-chief, Kay Kimsong, on May 6.The controversy began after the Phnom Penh Post published an article exposing alleged links between Ganapathy, who is the managing director of Kuala Lumpur-based public relations firm ASIA Public Relations Consultants Sdn Bhd, with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen.Kimsong was fired on May 6, the day the article was published, and after he reportedly refused to take down the “damaging” story. After Kimsong’s eviction, five other senior staff members resigned. The authors of the story, Indian-origin reporter Ananth Baliga and Brendan O’Byrne, were among those who quit. According to the South China Morning Post, discussions on further walkouts “are ongoing.”Over 20 current and former staff members signed a statement, expressing their “disgust” after “representatives of the new owners” reached the office and “ordered” staff to remove the article from the newspaper’s website, Al Jazeera reported.Ganapathy’s company website lists “Cambodia and Hun Sen’s entry into the Government seat” as a former “project.” In the story, it was said that Ganapathy has links with the Malaysian government as well, and that he had written a biography, titled Taib – the Visionary, of Sarawak state’s Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud, according to SCMP.After being ordered to remove my story regarding the sale of the Phnom Penh Post from the website by new management, I refused and offered my resignation, which was accepted. I wish the fantastic journalists at The Post all the best.— Brendan O’Byrne (@BrendanOByrne) May 7, 2018Kudos to my colleagues @phnompenhpost for soldiering on despite all the distractions y’day. Like always, they produced a strong piece on the firing of Kay Kimsong and resignations of senior staff. They added context and expert opinions but this was culled by the new editor. pic.twitter.com/EKNVdNb9yS— Ananth Baliga (@antbaliga) May 8, 2018“A lot of us are heartbroken today,” reporter Erin Handley quoted as saying by SCMP. “Our new owners decided that our news story that pointed out questionable links between then and the Cambodian and Malaysian governments was damaging to their reputation … [and said] ‘we want it taken down’.”Ganapathy took over the newspaper, which is touted as the last independent newspaper in the country, from former Australian owner Bill Clough. The sale of the newspaper was confirmed by Clough on May 5, who blamed the sale on falling advertising revenues. He told the BBC that Ganapathy is a “well respected newspaper man” and that the outstanding tax bill was cleared as part of the deal.Ganapathy said he would uphold the Post’s legacy and editorial independence.The sale of the newspaper invited outcry from rights groups. Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of Human Rights Watch, told Reuters that the deal was a “disaster for media freedom.”This is not the first newspaper in Cambodia to see alleged government interference in the last year. The government also forced the shutdown of The Cambodia Daily and dissolved the main Opposition party in a wide-ranging crackdown in 2017.Cambodia slipped 10 places in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index, to rank at No. 142 in a list of 180 countries, raising concerns about freedom of the press and freedom of speech and expression in the country. Related ItemscambodiaMalaysiaMedia
Rajahmundry, Apr 26 (PTI) Heat wave conditions are likely to prevail in various districts of Andhra Pradesh during the next 48 hours, according to the meteorology department.”Heat wave conditions may continue in districts of Krishna, Guntur, Prakasam and Nellore of coastal Andhra Pradesh and in Anantapuramu, Chittoor, Kadapa and Kurnool in Rayalaseema region during the next 48 hours,” an IMD heat wave warning bulletin stated here tonight.As per the data received till evening, severe heat wave condition prevailed in 33 mandals and heat wave condition in 113 mandals while rest were normal.”Prediction for next two days indicate severe heat wave conditions in 29 mandals and moderate conditions in remaining parts of Andhra Pradesh,” the bulletin said.It stated there is an appreciable fall in maximum temperatures at one or two places in Rayalaseema and marked fall in the maximum temperatures at one or two places in coastal Andhra Pradesh.The highest maximum temperature at 45 degree C was recorded in Anantapur, Kurnool and Nandyal.Meanwhile, the director of Disaster Management said in a statement that the personnel of Medical and Health departments have conducted 21,361 medical camps till now.”A total of 10,32,171 ORS packets were distributed by Health personnel till now, while stocks of ORS packets and medicines are being replenished regularly and awareness campaigning is continuing throughout the state,” the statement said. PTI CORR NSK PVI PTP
CHICAGO — Jacob deGrom is struggling with his command, and it showed up again on May 11.DeGrom yielded consecutive homers to Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo in the first, sending the New York Mets to a 4-3 loss to Jon Lester and the Chicago Cubs.DeGrom allowed four runs and five hits in five innings. He struck out five and walked four.The 2014 NL Rookie of the Year is 1-3 with a 5.64 ERA in his last four starts.“It boils down to location,” he said. “Tonight I struggled with it and I think that kind of gets me off my game plan. I can’t throw the pitches I want for strikes and make some mistakes over the plate and they seem to hit a long way.”Mets Manager Terry Collins said deGrom (3-4) is frustrated with his command trouble.“I saw that tonight for the first time, but you got to also understand that he has not really struggled like this before,” Collins said. “So we have to get him through it and we have to get him that confidence back and still trust his stuff and make pitches with it.”Lester (3-2) allowed three runs and five hits in six innings, and three relievers from Chicago’s struggling bullpen closed it out. Justin Grimm and Zac Rosscup each got three outs before Hector Rondon finished the six-hitter for his seventh save in eight chances.The Cubs opened the bleachers in left and center for the first time this season at Wrigley Field, and Bryant provided a stirring welcome with a two-run shot to left for the prospect’s first homer at the cozy neighborhood ballpark.Rizzo followed with a drive to right against deGrom (3-4). The All-Star first baseman is batting .333 with five homers and 10 RBIs in 11 games in May.The outfield seating had been closed to the public while work continued on the aging facility. Another section in right should be finished this summer after bad weather and other issues delayed construction in the off-season.“Obviously, warming up, you’ve got people out there and they’re pumped, they’re excited to be there,” Lester said. “The more people you can get in the stadium, it makes it that much more of a home-field advantage for us.”Lucas Duda and Wilmer Flores hit consecutive homers in the sixth for New York, and Kevin Plawecki also singled in a run in the fourth.With a runner on first and none out in the ninth, shortstop Starlin Castro made a diving catch to help thwart a potential Mets rally.“That’s part of the game, but we swung the bats very good at the end of the game,” Collins said. “That’s all you can do is try to hit the ball. When you got the wind blowing out here, you got to let them swing. This game can open up fast and you can get the lead back in a hurry.”Chris Coghlan had two hits for Chicago, which had dropped three of four. Addison Russell had a two-out RBI single in the fifth.Lester struck out six and walked four. The left-hander is 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA in three starts in May.(PATRICK ROSE) TweetPinShare0 Shares
Serena Williams lost in the second round of the Cincinnati Open on Tuesday against Petra Kvitova in the run up to US Open, which is starting on August 27. Serena, who was looking for a third title in Cincinnati was in for a disappointment.In a match that lasted one hour and 58 minutes, Serena was outlasted by Kvitova 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 to advance to the third round.Serena looked rusty in the first set but rallied back in the second to make for a thrilling final set. In the third set, however, Kvitova managed to come out triumphant.Serena was unable to handle Kvitova’s booming left-handed serve in the first set due to which she failed to create any break point opportunity at the beginning of the match.But the 23-times Grand Slam champion dug deep in the second, thumping serves and blasting returns to the delight of the supportive crowd under the lights.WATCH – Cincinnati Open: Nick Kyrgios forgets his tennis shoes in locker room.@serenawilliams takes the second set, 6-2!Who will take the final set? pic.twitter.com/QBU2Vwod8IWTA (@WTA) August 15, 2018Serena appeared to be in command when she broke Kvitova to start the deciding third set but the two-time Wimbledon champion elevated her service game and was defensively resolute to set up a third-round clash with Kristina Mladenovic..@Petra_Kvitova scores the win over Williams, 6-3, 2-6, 6-3!Moves into @CincyTennis third round! pic.twitter.com/ZCPwsx5OKAWTA (@WTA) August 15, 2018For former world number one Serena, the loss is another setback as she attempts to get back to the top ranking after a difficult childbirth last year.advertisementFrance’s Mladenovic had earlier defeated qualifier Viktoria Kuzmova 6-3, 6-0, while her sixth seeded compatriot Caroline Garcia defeated fellow power hitter Victoria Azarenka 6-4, 7-5 to advance to the third round.Former world number one Azarenka, who on Tuesday was given a wildcard for the US Open, never found her stride and committed her fifth double fault on match point to hand Garcia the win.Big-serving Czech Karolina Pliskova fired an ace on match point to dispatch Agnieszka Radwanska 6-3, 6-3 in their first-round match.Monkey = off the back@KaPliskova gets her first win in eight tries against Radwanska 6-3, 6-3 at @CincyTennis. pic.twitter.com/rXbqUgSBPJWTA (@WTA) August 14, 2018Pliskova had never won a set against Radwanska in seven prior meetings but cruised to the win over the 29-year-old Pole, who is working her way back from injuries.Greece’s Maria Sakkari edged 20-year-old Naomi Osaka in a closely contested second-set tiebreak to beat the Japanese 6-3, 7-6(8) in their first-round match.Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens cracked eight aces and won 90 percent of her first serves as she strolled to a 6-2, 6-0 win over American Coco Vandeweghe.Fifth seed Elina Svitolina outlasted Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-6(1), 4-6, 6-4 in their second-round clash.(With Reuters inputs)
Winter officially started last week, which means there’s no better excuse to expand your outerwear collection. If you still haven’t found the perfect winter jacket, you’re in luck because we have one that just might suit you – Hawke & Co’s Flatiron down jacket.Finding a good down jacket can be difficult; some are too shiny, many are too bulky, but this one fits just right – and guess what? It’s packable. Yup, all you over-packers can now take two or three options with you on your next ski trip. The jacket is light, compact, and comes in a variety of colors. All of the warmth with none of the weight.The Manhattanite jacket is perfect for the guy who rides his bike year-round or refuses to close the sunroof in February. Unique shoulder detailing adds an urban layer of style. This style is also so light it will pack into its own pocket.Hawke and Co. has been around for three generations – 150 years to be exact. It’s an independently owned and operated family business based out of New York City. They pay great attention to the detail of their many jacket selections.The company has expanded immensely since their early days. They can now be found in over 20,000 locations around the world and they’ve managed to grow without any expensive advertising. Word of mouth and grassroot efforts have helped build this company into what it is today.The brand offers sleek, stylish, and technically sophisticated outerwear at an affordable price. What more could you want in a jacket?Hawke and Co. has some great post-holiday discounts happening right now, so make sure to check out the full selection of winter jackets on Hawke and Co,’s official website right here – hawkeandco.com Wake Up Rested With the Best Down Pillows of 2019 How to Care for Your Houseplants in the Winter A Good Waxed Jacket Is the Best Jacket to Wear This Season Best Weekend Sales on Menswear and Gear: Huckberry, Allen Edmonds, J. Crew, and More Editors’ Recommendations The Best American Liqueur
Jamaica’s staging of the 2013 Carifta Swimming and Water Polo Championships has received a major boost, with sponsors providing an additional $8.8 million. Major sponsor, Petrojam Limited, yesterday (March 7) presented $7 million to the Amateur Swimming Association of Jamaica (ASAJ), during a press conference held at the National Stadium Aquatic Centre (Stadium Pool) in Kingston. These funds are to assist with underwriting the cost for the renovation of the Stadium Pool facilities, where the event will be held. CAPRI Sun, and CGM Gallagher Insurance Brokers Jamaica Limited, also handed over $1.2 million and $570,000, respectively, which will go towards other expenses, such as transportation and meals. Expressing gratitude for the donation, President of the ASAJ, Martin Lyn, said the additional money now brings the organisation closer to its target of $15 million for the staging of the event scheduled for March 30 to April 3. The donation puts the organisation just $2.5 million short of its target, with $12.5 million already in hand. Mr. Lyn said he is particularly grateful for the donation from Petrojam, which he said, is “the largest single amount aquatic sports has ever gotten in terms of one sponsor”, and it indicates to other sponsors that they need to come on board to help with the development of the sport. “When sponsors such as Petrojam come on board, they send a strong signal that aquatics is not only important to our country’s sporting image but to the development of our youth. It is with sponsors like this that we will certainly be able to represent and compete at the highest level worldwide,” he stated. In response, Human Resource Manager, Petrojam Limited, Andrea Bent, said the company is of the firm belief that the development of sports is critical to national development. “We believe in fostering the growth and development of the nation’s youth by providing opportunities that can unearth and cultivate current and future talent. This is what forms the basis of this donation,” she stated. During the press conference, a 34-member team was named to represent Jamaica at the upcoming games, which the ASAJ believes, will improve on the country’s 5th place finish at the last CARIFTA games. This is the 5th time in 28-year staging of the event, that Jamaica will be hosting the championships. Another event, Open Water Swimming, will be introduced this year. Other sponsors include: Island Grill, Digipoint, Romans, YSpeedos, Tastee Ltd., Sports Development Foundation, Brumalia House, Edge Chem, and Jamaica Money Market Brokers.
Rabat – Morocco is in a strategic position for energy integration with neighboring countries and in the Mediterranean region, according to the Energy Charter Report on investment climate in Morocco.The forthcoming report encourages Morocco to support all initiatives related to interconnection between electricity and natural gas markets.The Energy Charter Conference, which is the governing and decision-making body for the Energy Charter process, said that Morocco created an environment favorable for foreign investments and abiding by market principles in the energy sector. Morocco also created non discriminating conditions for foreign investment pursuant to the Charter principles dated 1991, said the document.The Energy Charter Conference invited Morocco to consider adhering to the Energy Charter and the agreement on energy efficiency to reinforce conditions for trade, transit and investment in the energy sector.MWN with MAP
30 June 2011Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed a meeting in Paris today of five nuclear non-proliferation treaty States as a unique opportunity to advance nuclear disarmament. “The Secretary-General welcomes the holding of the second Conference on Confidence Building Measures towards Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation in Paris today,” his spokesperson said in a statement. Five nuclear-weapons States party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) – the United States, China, Russia, the United Kingdom, and France – are to discuss transparency, verification, and confidence-building measures, according to media reports.“The conference provides a unique opportunity for the five nuclear weapon States to engage on the full implementation of the action plans agreed to at the 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons on nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation, peaceful uses of nuclear energy and on the Middle East,” Mr. Ban said. “The Secretary-General also looks forward to greater efforts to promote transparency as a confidence building measure,” it said.
Photos by Jeff Barrett The Price Youth Soccer Association (PYSA) took advantage of warm weather and green fields last week as young soccer players were invited to a summer camp.The camp featured four different sessions each day, including 10-12 year olds, 13-14 year olds, and high school boys and girls. Each group was treated to four days of instruction by PYSA members during the camp.“It has been so much fun watching these players enjoying the sport they love while improving their skills,” camp organizers shared on the second day of the camp.The camp served to prepare the young players for the fall season. The deadline to register for fall is Aug. 1. For more information or to register, please visit www.priceyouthsoccer.com.
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedCosmetologist gets 4 years jail, fined $14M for Soesdyke cocaine bustJanuary 22, 2018In “Court”$550M cocaine bust: Implicated persons charged- CANUMay 31, 2017In “Crime”3 men remanded on cocaine, illegal gun possession chargesOctober 5, 2018In “Court” A vendor is now in the custody of the Custom Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) after some five (5) kilograms of cocaine were found in his Diamond, East Bank Demerara (EBD) home.The man, Andre Singh, was reportedly escorted to his house by the agents on Wednesday night at around 22:30h after they received a tip off.INews understands that Singh was intercepted at the Kingston Seawall where a search was carried out on his white Toyota Premio motorcar.It is being reported that two firearms, one pistol and a revolver, were discovered hidden under the seat of the car.Following this discovery, the ranks escorted him to his Diamond residence where the drugs were reportedly found hidden in a bedroom along with US $5000 and GYD $3M.Moreover, some thirteen rounds of ammunition were reportedly discovered in another section of the house.Singh was taken into custody where he is said to be assisting with the investigation.