Pune court defers hearing on activists Surendra Gadling, Shoma Sen’s bail pleas till September 14

first_imgThe sessions court in Pune on Thursday deferred till September 14 hearing on the bail pleas of human rights lawyer Surendra Gadling and Nagpur University professor Shoma Sen, who were arrested with three other rights activists on June 6 for their alleged links with the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist) and the Bhima-Koregaon clashes.The prosecution sought postponement before the court of special judge K.D. Wadane on grounds that Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Shivaji Pawar, investigating officer in the case, is in New Delhi.Taking strong objection to the prosecution’s reasons, Mr. Gadling, conducting his own defence, alleged that it was merely indulging in delaying tactics that was tantamount to continual harassment of the arrested activists and denial of their rights.“Wasn’t the prosecution aware that ACP Pawar would be absent for the hearing? This deliberate deferring of our bail hearings is a ploy on their part,” he alleged.Denied books in jail, says GadlingMr. Gadling challenged the Yerwada prison authorities’ denial of books and other reading material to the arrested activists.Ms. Sen and Mr. Gadling were arrested along with prominent Dalit activist-publisher Sudhir Dhawale, tribal activist Mahesh Raut and activist Rona Wilson during a multi-city crackdown conducted by a team of the city police ostensibly over the contentious ‘Elgaar Parishad’ organized on December 31 at Pune’s Shaniwarwada Fort and the Bhima-Koregaon riots that erupted the next day (January 1).They were later booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.On August 31, Mr. Gadling’s wife, Minal, filed a plea in the Supreme Court in which she stated that five arrested activists, including her husband, were falsely implicated with mala fide intent in the case.“All five persons hold significant positions in society and have dedicated their lives for fighting social injustices. They are being targeted in this case for being the voice of dissent, and for taking up battles against forces perpetrating injustices,” the plea said.Ms. Minal Gadling further alleged that her husband was harassed inside the jail soon after his arrest, compelling him to be admitted to a hospital.last_img read more

Lady Maroons eye UAAP title

first_imgGrace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants Mighty-PH relegated to battle for 3rd by hot-shooting Lebanese opponent LATEST STORIES ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Their confidence is also bolstered by championships in the Philippine Superliga Collegiate Grand Slam and the Premier Volleyball League Colle giate Conference last year.The team will be led by Isa Molde and Tots Carlos and UA top official Rommel Sytin said they will continue supporting the Lady Maroons just as his late brother, tycoon Dominic Sytin, has done since 2016.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption charges“Dom made an effort to be present in every team event,” said Sytin, who also owns Foton team in the PSL. “We wasn’t just supporting the team financially, proving necessities or financing training abroad, he was also their biggest cheerleader.”UP missed out on the Final Four in Seasons 79 and 80. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town University of the Philippines is hoping to finally go after a title when the 81st UAAP women’s volleyball season starts next week.Retaining its solid lineup and getting massive support from United Auctioneers, the Lady Maroons will enter the season coming off a training camp in Thailand.ADVERTISEMENT PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View commentslast_img read more

Far Eastern forges decider against Ateneo

first_imgLATEST STORIES MOST READ Kat Tolentino scored 21 points, Bea de Leon 16 and Maddie Madayag 13 for the Lady Eagles, who are now forced to exhaust their twice-to-beat card.University of Santo Tomas clashes with La Salle Sunday at 4 p.m., with the Tigresses looking to end the reing of the Lady Spikers in just one game.Heather Guino-o scored 17 points for the Lady Tamaraws, who closed out with 12-2 run in the fifth to be 6-for-7 in five-set matches in the tournament.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Still the champs SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Ranked fourth in the semifinals, Far Eastern can make its way back to the title series and complete a reversal over No. 1 Ateneo if it wins the winner-take-all game on Wednesday.“It all boils down to willingness to win, that’s our main weapon. We worked very hard for this and we managed to pull it off,” said FEU coach George Pascua in Filipino.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsThe Lady Tamaraws’ resolve were put to the grinding test after losing the first and fourth sets by big margins. But after both times, they charged back even stronger and left the Lady Eagles dumbfounded.“We designed this type of game. It is something we practiced hard for and tried to execute. We showed discipline in sticking to the game plan,” added Pascua, referring to the staunchness with which FEU stood against Ateneo’s triple threat. Displaying one big heart against a team that prides itself with always having one big fight, Far Eastern University on Saturday night extended its Final Four series in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament with Ateneo to a deciding match.The Lady Tamaraws gathered themselves together after a disastrous first and fourth sets to pull out a 10-25, 25-23, 25-22, 12-25, 15-8 victory and push the top-seeded Lady Eagles on the brink of elimination at Mall of Asia Arena.ADVERTISEMENT Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue View commentslast_img read more

Diana Sells Panamax Boxship for Scrap

first_imgzoom Athens-based shipping company Diana Containerships has decided to sell its Panamax container vessel, the MV Hanjin Malta, to a third party  for demolition.The 1993-built vessel should be delivered to the buyer by the end of March 2016.Diana sold the 4,024 TEU ship for a price tag of some USD 5.04 million before commissions.Upon completion of the sale, Diana Containerships’ fleet will consist of 13 container vessels.The news follows a recent notice served to the company only a month ago by the Nasdaq Stock Market LLC, in which Nasdaq said that Diana Containerships no longer meets the minimum bid price requirement for the Nasdaq Global Select Market.Namely, the notice was sent after the company’s closing bid price for its common stock was below USD 1 per share for 30 consecutive business days.Diana has until July 12, 2016 to regain compliance.last_img read more

Be Fire Safe This Holiday Season

first_img “I encourage all Nova Scotians to use a little extra caution this time of year so the holidays stay happy and safe,” said provincial Fire Marshal Harold Pothier. “If you haven’t completed your shopping, smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, and carbon monoxide detectors are thoughtful gifts.” For more information on holiday safety tips, visit www.novascotia.ca/dma/firesafety/docs/HolidayFireSafety.pdf . only use Canadian Standards Association approved lights, extension cords and non-combustible decorations, check for frayed or cracked wires and broken light sockets do not use outdoor lights and cords indoors and turn off the lights when not in use avoid running extension cords through door jambs or under carpets never locate your tree near exits or heat sources always choose a freshly cut tree and make sure the tree is watered every day when purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label “fire resistant” stay in the kitchen while cooking, especially if using oil or cooking at high temperatures never leave candles unattended. Keep them out of reach of children and pets, and in a sturdy holder. Battery-operated candles and lights are safe and convenient alternatives test smoke alarms weekly during the holiday season The holidays are a great time to enjoy family and friends. It is also a time to take steps to prevent a fire that could ruin the festive season. “Whether you’re cooking a meal, lighting candles, or putting up a Christmas tree, it’s important to consider fire safety,” said Municipal Affairs Minister Zach Churchill. “By taking a few extra steps we can keep our loved ones safe.” Over the holidays and winter months, remember to:last_img read more

2021 iPhones may have Face ID indisplay Touch ID

first_imgSan Francisco: Apple is planning to reintroduce Touch ID with an in-display fingerprint sensor to its iPhones starting in 2021, a new report from noted industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said. Kuo said that over the next 18 months, a lot of technical issues would be resolved which would enable Apple to deliver the high-tier experience it strives for in its devices, news portal 9To5MAC reported on Monday. According to the report, Apple’s future in-screen Touch ID sensor would probably be based on one of Qualcomm’s ultrasonic fingerprint readers, which are similar to what Samsung uses in the Galaxy S10. In addition, Kuo had earlier said that all three iPhone models slated for release next year would support 5G technology. While 5.4-inch and 6.7-inch iPhone models would support 5G, a cheaper 6.1-inch iPhone XR successor would only have access to LTE networks.last_img read more

Canadas return to peacekeeping five things to know about the details

first_imgOTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has finally unveiled Canada’s long-awaited commitment to United Nations peacekeeping efforts, and it’s getting mixed reviews. Some observers wonder if it will be enough to help Canada secure a coveted UN Security Council seat in 2021. Here are five things to know about the federal government’s plans:Contributions: The prime minister has offered up to six helicopters and two transport aircraft, plus crews and support personnel, as well as a 200-member quick reaction force for UN operations. He also says the government remains committed to its original promise of up to 600 soldiers and 150 police officers.Women: Canada has also has also pledged $21 million to help double the number of women deployed on peacekeeping operations. Trudeau said women bring a “unique” perspective to conflict resolution. Women now make up only seven per cent of 13,000 police officers deployed as peacekeepers and two per cent of the country’s 87,000 military personnel.Training: Canada will offer a training and advisory team which will work with nations planning peace operations, to better help such countries contend with the challenges of peacekeeping themselves. The trainers will be prepared to accompany the trainees on their deployments.Child Soldiers: Trudeau said Canada will promote a set of principles dealing with the use of child soldiers. They support the reporting of abuses against children in armed conflict, call for the inclusion of child protection expertise in peacekeeping operations and highlight the need for proper psychological support for peacekeepers who face child soldiers. The UN says thousands of children and have been recruited or coerced into fighting factions around the world.Reaction: While some welcomed the announcements as a renewal of Canada’s long-standing commitment to the UN and peacekeeping, others panned it. Walter Dorn of the Royal Military College, an expert on peacekeeping, said Canada is still “delaying and dithering.” Retired general Lew MacKenzie, who led a famous Canadian peacekeeping mission in Sarajevo in 1992, called it “condescending.”last_img read more

Trudeau says country must talk about how and where to rebuild after

first_imgOTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau didn’t close the door Sunday on using federal dollars to help relocate communities facing the recurring threat of severe flooding.Flooding in New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario has forced the evacuation of thousands, and threatened more property as water continues to rise with peaks not expected along the Ottawa River until Tuesday.Since the Liberals took office in late 2015, the government has approved almost $1.27 billion in funding for 41 projects deemed “disaster mitigation,” according to federal figures. The numbers show that only a handful of projects have started and many will take years to complete.In the meantime, Trudeau suggested, the federal government needed to make sure future infrastructure spending hit the “right” projects to “protect our communities and ensure their prosperity long-term.”He said the country needed to look “new ways of ensuring” Canada was doing just that.“Once we secure the situation through this spring flooding season, we will have to have significant reflections and conversations on how we move forward,” he said at a press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.“(T)here is always much more to do and as we have conversations around how we build back, how we build back better and where we build back, indeed, the federal government will be a partner to the provinces and to the municipalities.”Flooding is the most common disaster event in Canada and has been a focus of funding through the $2 billion, 10-year Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund that Infrastructure Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne oversees.Champagne plans to fast-track projects that could prevent flooding in areas currently under siege, but warned in a recent interview that not every project would be approved, particularly those that might not be able to hold back Mother Nature.Federal assistance to provinces for natural disaster costs is estimated to be $198.35 million this fiscal year, which ends March 2020, even though last year’s estimates pegged the cost at $609 million.On CTV’s Question Period, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said the program, called the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangement, has paid out more in the last six years than it did in the previous 40 years. He said the government would look at Quebec’s proposals, and referenced the decision in High River, Alta., to not allow redevelopment in flooded areas.“Building better infrastructure, protective devices is also part of the equation, but we’ll look at the proposal for relocation,” Goodale said in the interview televised Sunday morning.Jordan Press, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Astronomers capture first ever image of a Black Hole

first_imgPARIS: Astronomers on Wednesday unveiled the first photo of a black hole, one of the star-devouring monsters scattered throughout the Universe and obscured by impenetrable shields of gravity. The image of a dark core encircled by a flame-orange halo of white-hot gas and plasma looks like any number of artists’ renderings over the last 30 years. But this time, it’s the real deal. Scientists have been puzzling over invisible “dark stars” since the 18th century, but never has one been spied by a telescope, much less photographed. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USThe supermassive black hole now immortalised by a far-flung network of radio telescopes is 50 million lightyears away in a galaxy known as M87. “It’s a distance that we could have barely imagined,” Frederic Gueth, an astronomer at France’s National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and co-author of studies detailing the findings, said. Most speculation had centred on the other candidate targeted by the Event Horizon Telescope — Sagittarius A*, the black hole at the centre of our own galaxy, the Milky Way. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsBy comparison, Sag A* is only 26,000 lightyears from Earth. Locking down an image of M87’s supermassive black hole at such distance is comparable to photographing a pebble on the Moon. European Space Agency astrophysicist Paul McNamara called it an “outstanding technical achievement”. It was also a team effort. “Instead of constructing a giant telescope that would collapse under its own weight, we combined many observatories,” Michael Bremer, an astronomer at the Institute for Millimetric Radio Astronomy (IRAM) in Grenoble, said. Earth in a thimble Over several days in April 2017, eight radio telescopes in Hawaii, Arizona, Spain, Mexico, Chile, and the South Pole zeroed in on Sag A* and M87. Knit together “like fragments of a giant mirror,” in Bremer’s words, they formed a virtual observatory some 12,000 kilometres across — roughly the diameter of Earth. In the end, M87 was more photogenic. Like a fidgety child, Sag A* was too “active” to capture a clear picture, the researchers said. “The telescope is not looking at the black hole per se, but the material it has captured,” a luminous disk of white-hot gas and plasma known as an accretion disk, said McNamara, who was not part of the team. “The light from behind the black hole gets bent like a lens.” The unprecedented image — so often imagined in science and science fiction — has been analysed in six studies co-authored by 200 experts from 60-odd institutions and published Wednesday in Astrophysical Journal Letters. “I never thought that I would see a real one in my lifetime,” said CNRS astrophysicist Jean-Pierre Luminet, author in 1979 of the first digital simulation of a black hole. Coined in the mid-60s by American physicist John Archibald Wheeler, the term “black hole” refers to a point in space where matter is so compressed as to create a gravity field from which even light cannot escape. The more mass, the bigger the hole. At the same scale of compression, Earth would fit inside a thimble. The Sun would measure a mere six kilometres edge-to-edge. A successful outcome depended in part on the vagaries of weather during the April 2017 observation period. “For everything to work, we needed to have clear visibility at every [telescope] location worldwide”, said IRAM scientist Pablo Torne, recalling collective tension, fatigue and, finally, relief. ‘Hell of a Christmas present’ Torne was at the controls of the Pico Veleta telescope in Spain’s Sierra Madre mountains. After that, is was eight months of nail-biting while scientists at MIT Haystack Observatory in Massachusetts and the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn crunched the data. The Universe is filled with electromagnetic “noise”, and there was no guarantee M87’s faint signals could be extracted from a mountain of data so voluminous it could not be delivered via the Internet. There was at least one glitch. “We were desperately waiting for the data from the South Pole Telescope, which — due to extreme weather conditions during the southern hemisphere winter — didn’t arrive until six months later,” recalled Helger Rottmann from the Max Planck Institute. It arrived, to be precise, on December 23, 2017. “When, a few hours later, we saw that everything was there, it was one hell of a Christmas present,” Rottmann said. It would take another year, however, to piece together the data into an image. “To be absolutely sure, we did the work four times with four different teams,” said Gueth. Each team came up with exactly the same spectacular, history-making picture of a dark circle encased in a flaming-red halo.last_img read more

Rise in extreme weather events fuelling demand for UN disaster management expertise

23 December 2008The United Nations disaster management team was kept busy this year by the rise in hurricanes, floods and other natural disasters caused by extreme weather as well as by increased demand from Governments worldwide for disaster-awareness training. Sixty-seven countries, including Spain and the United Arab Emirates which joined this year, are now part of the UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) system to better manage emergency relief after natural disasters strike, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said today in a press release. “This ensures that more of the world’s disaster managers are available to the international community to share their valuable knowledge and expertise on how to prepare for and respond to disasters,” said Arjun Katoch, head of OCHA’s Emergency Services Branch. In 2008, UNDAC – which helps disaster-stricken countries rapidly assess priority needs and coordinate relief on-site – sent teams of disaster-management professionals to 16 areas, including 10 stricken by floods and hurricanes. UNDAC also organized disaster-awareness training programmes in Russia for members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and in the Middle East. Next year, it will organize training for the West African region. All countries who join the UNDAC system must receive the training.UNDAC has deployed 183 missions since its inception in 1993, including five missions to tsunami-affected countries in late 2004 and early 2005, and to Pakistan after an earthquake hit there in October 2005. read more

Use of child soldiers in Chad an ongoing problem – UN chief

14 February 2011The recruitment and use of children by armed forces and other armed groups in Chad persists, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says in a new report, while noting that reduced tensions last year enabled many children to leave such groups. The report to the Security Council on children and armed conflict in Chad, which covers the period from July 2008 to December 2010, also notes that children continue to be targets of sexual and gender-based violence, and that mines and other explosive remnants of war continue to expose children to danger.Attacks on humanitarian workers in eastern Chad on many occasions adversely impacted children’s access to humanitarian aid, including education and health care, according to the report.Presenting an overview of the general security situation in Chad, Mr. Ban highlights how the insecurity in the eastern region that prevailed in 2008 and 2009 improved markedly in 2010, and the impact that had on efforts to protect children.“Progress in the relations between Chad and the Sudan from mid-2009 onwards resulted in the thawing of political tensions. This allowed for operational military arrangements, such as the establishment of a Chad-Sudan joint border force in April 2010, which, together with the improved operational capacity of the Détachement intégré de sécurité [DIS], had a positive impact on the security situation and the protection of children,” the Secretary-General says.The DIS is an integrated security unit of the Chadian Government which the UN has been helping to train and support to ensure the protection of civilians following the departure of the UN mission in Chad and the Central African Republic (MINURCAT).The report takes note of efforts by the Government of Chad to address the issue of recruitment and use of children. Those efforts culminated in the holding of a regional conference to end child recruitment, as well as Chad’s hosting of the first meeting of the monitoring committee to follow up on the N’Djamena Declaration, which was adopted at the conference.In his recommendations, the Secretary-General urges Chad to issue clear orders to its military chain of command, including at the local level, prohibiting the recruitment and use of children in line with its obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law, and to ensure the immediate and unconditional release of all children.He voices deep concern over continued incidents of rape and other forms of sexual violence, including those perpetrated by members of the armed forces. He encourages the Government to prioritize the investigation and prosecution of perpetrators, and to strengthen prevention and response strategies.Mr. Ban calls on all opposition armed groups to stop using anti-personnel mines, and urges the Government to ensure that humanitarian de-mining programmes are in line with international standards.He voices encouragement at the measures take by Chadian authorities to ensure better security and protection of civilian populations in and around refugee camps and internally displaced persons sites.In light of the withdrawal of MINURCAT, Mr. Ban encourages the donor community to provide support to the Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting to maintain the mission’s previous monitoring and reporting role.He also urges the donor community to provide additional support to programmes by the national authorities, UN entities and non-governmental organizations working in Chad. read more

TNA wants army out of Jaffna

The TNA leader said that his party had mentioned this even in parliament but it was never denied by the government. He said that there are 15 army divisions in Jaffna and in each division there are some 10,000 soldiers. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) says contrary to claims by the military, thousands of troops are still in Jaffna.TNA leader R. Sampanthan said that while the army claims there are only 13,000 soldiers remaining in Jaffna, in reality the figure is over 100,000. He noted that while the army has vacated some private homes and land in Jaffna more remains to be handed over to the rightful owners.Sampanthan said the government must keep its promise to the UN and the international community and withdraw the army from Jaffna. (Colombo Gazette)

With planting season weeks away millions in droughthit southern Africa need support

According to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), if farmers are not able to plant by October, the result will be another reduced harvest early next year, severely affecting food and nutrition security as well as livelihoods in the region.“The main way people are able to access food is through what they themselves produce. Assisting them to do this will provide lifesaving support in a region where at least 70 percent of people rely on agriculture for their livelihoods,” David Phiri, FAO Subregional Coordinator for Southern Africa, said in a news release issued by the agency.“We must make the most of this small window of opportunity and make sure that farmers are ready to plant by October when the rains start,” he added.To respond to this developing humanitarian situation, FAO aims to ensure that seeds, fertilizers, tools, and other inputs and services, including livestock support, are provided to small-holder farmers, agro-pastoralists and pastoralists to cope with the devastating impact of an El Niño-induced drought in the region.The agency has estimated that at least $109 million is required to provide this urgently needed support.The precarious situation has been brought on by the worst drought the region has witnessed in 35 years, with widespread crop failures exacerbating chronic malnutrition. Vulnerable families in rural areas have been hit hardest by the ensuing increase in prices of maize and other staple foods. Barren fields due to the impact of El Niño-induced drought in the Southern African nation of Lesotho. Photo: FAO Furthermore, as the impact of El Niño continues to be felt in the region, FAO has projected that almost 40 million people could face food insecurity by the peak of the coming lean season, between January and March 2017, when the effects of the drought are expected to peak.All countries in southern Africa are affected and more than 640,000 drought-related livestock deaths have been reported in Botswana, Swaziland, South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe alone due to lack of pasture and water as well as outbreak of diseases.In the news release, FAO urged investments that equip communities with the ability to produce drought-tolerant seed and fodder, along with climate-smart agriculture technologies like conservation agriculture. The aim is to enable rural families to build resilience and prepare for future shocks.Meanwhile, El Niño’s counter-phenomenon, La Niña, is likely to occur later this year and while it could bring good rains needed for agriculture, the agency noted that measures must be taken to mitigate the risk of floods which could destroy standing crops and threaten livestock. Such measures could include strengthening river banks and stockpiling of short-cycle crop varieties which can be planted after flooding subsides and still yield a decent crop Separately, concluding a week-long visit to southern Africa, the Deputy UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Kyung-wha Kang called for increased efforts to help mitigate the impact of the La Niña weather phenomenon.Coordinated regional responseGiven the complexity and scale of the crisis, FAO is working closely with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) an inter-governmental organization that is working to promote socio-economic cooperation and integration as well as political and security cooperation among its fifteen southern African member countries. FAO is also collaborating with other UN agencies, humanitarian partners, regional authorities and national governments.The agency’s call for more funding comes on the heels of an SADC regional humanitarian appeal, launched in Gaborone on 26 July by the SADC Chairperson and President of Botswana, Seretse Khama Ian Khama.The SADC appeal put the overall price tag of helping all sectors of the region’s economy recover from the 2016 El Niño at $2.7 billion, of which $2.4 billion is yet to be funded. read more

Amid dwindling donor support one million displaced Somali refugees grow hopeless UN

“There is a growing sense of helplessness in the camps because people are feeling forgotten,” said Mohamed Abdi Affey, the Special Envoy to the Somali refugee situation for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).The Somali refugee crisis is one of the longest-running in the world, with people who have been displaced for more than 20 years. Some one million live in camps throughout the Horn of Africa, while an additional 1.1 million are displaced within Somalia.“There has been some real progress in Somalia over the past few months, including the successful organization of elections inside the country,” acknowledged the Special Envoy. “What’s needed now is to build up infrastructures across the country so refugees do not suffer when they go back.”UNHCR is backing a regional summit, led by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in Eastern Africa, which will take place in March to determine lasting solutions for Somali refugees. A proposed regional response would provide continued protection to 262,000 Somali refugees in a camp in Kenya that has been hosting people for more than 20 years. When a decision was made last year to close the camp, UNHCR lobbied the government with a new plan of action and successfully delayed its closure. After spending six years in Dadaab, Somali refugee Amal has decided to return to Somalia with her three-year-old twins Fawzan and Furad. Photo: UNHCR/Assadullah Nasrullah “Nobody wants to be a refugee forever. A regional solution is the most viable solution for the Somali situation,” said Mr. Affey.Mr. Affey, who previously served as the Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister in Kenya, spoke in Geneva yesterday following a visit to Somalia and to refugee camps in Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Uganda, where 905,060 Somalis live – some since the 1990s. He also visited Yemen last month, where refugees face increasingly desperate conditions in a country torn apart by war. Because of emergencies elsewhere – particularly in Syria and South Sudan – donors have been unable to continue their support.“Meanwhile, hunger is growing; meanwhile, frustration is growing; meanwhile, desperation is setting in and people are becoming angry,” reported the Special Envoy.In addition to dwindling food rations, Mr. Affey said that the ongoing drought in East Africa has led to further complications, including limited access to education and skills training, especially for young people.“Refugees should be skilled enough, trained to prepare them for an eventual return so that they can participate in the reconstruction of their country. So that they don’t go back after 30 years without skills – within the camps we must create these conditions and possibilities.” UNHCR began supporting the voluntary return of Somali refugees from Kenya in 2014. Since then, a total of 39,316 have returned. However, Mr. Affey noted that security and socio-economic conditions in many parts of Somalia are not yet where they need to be in order to support large-scale returns. He appealed to the international community to strengthen efforts to build stability in a country that has suffered under more than two decades of armed conflict. read more

Brock joins provincewide discussion with students and parents

Brock University is getting involved in a province-wide conversation about how universities can be more responsive to the hopes and concerns of students and their families.Brock and the Council of Ontario Universities (COU) want to know what excites and concerns families when it comes to the future.The COU kicked off the #futuring campaign Friday at an event at the Ontario Universities Fair.“The campaign is reaching out to students and their families to find out opinions on everything from the economy and jobs to environmental sustainability and technology,” said Gord Hunchak, Executive Director of Marketing and Communications at Brock. “Taking the pulse of what’s important to people will help make Brock more responsive to the needs of our students and prospective students.”Students and parents are asked to participate in an online survey and Brock will reach out to the broader community throughout the year-long campaign, asking businesses, health and social service agencies, arts and culture creators, researchers, non-profits and governments what they think about the future.“We’re asking people ‘what keeps you up at night?’” says David Lindsay, President and CEO of COU, noting the initiative involves all 21 Ontario universities. “The world is changing so quickly and in ways we couldn’t have imagined possible. Disruptive technology, demographic shifts and globalization bring tremendous opportunities, but all that uncertainty can also make people anxious. Universities want to have a conversation about what we can all do together to help shapetomorrow, and to make sure no one is left behind.”Survey questions include what skills students and parents think Ontarians need to prepare them for the future. Is it problem-solving, or communication? Just-in-time knowledge, or the ability to adapt to change? Leadership qualities, or an entrepreneurial spirit?Universities want to hear ideas and advice, for example, on how, together, we can build strong industries and jobs for the future, how we can strengthen our growing service sectors, how we can support our artists, how we can protect our natural heritage and how we can promote good health.Students, parents, faculty, staff and community members are asked to imagine the future and their place in it, in an online survey at ontariosuniversities.ca. They can also join the conversation on social media @futuringON and #futuring. read more

ATM ripped from bank wall using digger in early morning raid

first_imgUpdated at 11.19pmA DIGGER WAS used to rip an ATM from the wall of a Sligo bank in the early hours of this morning.The raid on a branch of Bank of Ireland in Tubbercurry occurred at 5.30am, just 200 metres from the local Garda station.The machine was discovered soon afterwards, having been removed from the area using a van.It was found 20km from the town in Coolaney.Both scenes have been sealed off for a forensic examination.last_img

All nonurgent outpatient procedures in Leinster and Munster cancelled

first_img 15 Comments Wednesday 28 Feb 2018, 5:45 PM By Michelle Hennessy Updated 5.45pmTHE HSE HAS said non-urgent outpatient procedures and most elective work will be cancelled tomorrow and Friday.In an updated statement this evening, it said the decision was made earlier that only essential public services would operate over the next two days in the areas where a red warning exists, ie Munster and Leinster.“In light of this, our Hospital Groups and Community Health Organisations will prioritise critical services and other services will not operate over those two days,” it said.“For our hospitals this will mean cancellation of non-urgent outpatients and most elective work. Other non-essential services in Munster and Leinster will not operate over Thursday and Friday and the national Directors in those divisions will advise their staff on which services are essential over this period. ”In Connacht and Ulster where an orange warning exists the HSE anticipates “some difficulties for both staff and patients in getting to work and appointments”. Local service managers in those areas will make decisions based on the prevailing weather.“We are endeavouring to ensure that where appointments, clinics and certain services are cancelled and postponed that our staff contact those affected directly. However, if anyone is due to attend at an appointment in the affected areas over the next two days they should ring in advance and check that it is still going ahead.”The HSE said it will continue to do everything possible to maintain all essential services; particularly services to vulnerable people at home in the community.“We are appealing to people to check that they are stocked up with any medicines and health care supplies they may need this week. Remember, you may not be able to get to a pharmacy due to poor conditions.”Children’s hospitalsIn a joint statement, the Children’s Hospitals Group also said they wish to advise patients and their families that all three hospitals are cancelling planned admissions and outpatient appointments for the next two days.The group comprises of Tallaght Hospital, Temple Street, and Our Lady’s, Crumlin.All appointments cancelled during this period will be rescheduled as a priority and families will be advised of their new appointment by their relevant hospital.“The three children’s hospital are operating and their Emergency Departments are open and we wish to reassure patients that those who attend the EDs will be seen,” they said.To keep up to date with each of the children’s hospitals for further information please see:http://olchc.ie/About-Us/News/Message-for-Families-re-Storm-Emma-28-Feb-2018.htmlhttps://www.cuh.ie/2018/02/outpatient-clinics-elective-routine-procedures-scheduled-today-temple-street-cancelled/http://www.tallaghthospital.ie/“We wish to thank our staff who are making significant efforts to maintain services across the three children’s hospitals during very difficult and challenging conditions today.”Read: Dublin homeless executive received over 200 reports about rough sleepers overnight>Read: Live traffic and travel updates as the Beast from the East hit Ireland overnight> Feb 28th 2018, 11:03 AM Image: Shutterstock 11,371 Views All non-urgent outpatient procedures in Leinster and Munster cancelled Three children’s hospitals are also cancelling planned admissions and outpatient appointments. Short URL Image: Shutterstock Share78 Tweet Email4 http://jrnl.ie/3876370 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more