Actor and one-time Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate and campaigner Gul Panag on Saturday said she had warned the party against associating with Khalistan separatists during the Punjab Assembly elections in 2017. Ms. Panag was replying to a tweet that alleged that the AAP was “clearly seen romanticising Khalistanis” when she came out against the “flirtation”.“Poorly calculated flirtation that was. One I warned against. Repeatedly. It’s because they didn’t ‘get’ or ‘understand’ Punjab. Thought the K gang had electoral weightage. All of us from Punjab, knew better. But alas!,” she tweeted. Another Twitter user then asked her if the underlying message of her statement was that if Khalistanis had electoral weight, then it would have been acceptable. “No, the message is – no one in Punjab cares about Khalistan. Not even the ‘fringe’,” she replied. Requests for comment from several AAP functionaries, including AAP national spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh and spokesperson Ashutosh, yielded no response.
Gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region are once again protected by the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA), following a federal court ruling. The decision ends wolf hunting and trapping in Minnesota and Wisconsin. In Michigan, which does not allow wolf hunting, voters recently rejected an effort to establish a wolf season.The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) removed federal protections for the wolves (Canis lupus) in 2012. The agency concluded that the canids had fully recovered from near-extinction and turned their management over to the three states’ wildlife departments. But in her 19 December ruling, U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell called the decision “arbitrary and capricious.”At the time of the wolves’ delisting, federal wildlife biologists estimated the animals’ population in the region at 4400. That number dropped to 3748 this year as a result of hunting and trapping, and state plans called for an even greater decline. 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They argued that the decision to remove federal protections was premature and threatened the wolves’ survival.Howell agreed, finding that FWS had incorrectly interpreted the ESA by not assessing the species as a whole. The agency’s delisting decision was “fatally flawed,” she wrote, because it was tied to “a scientific finding that turned out to be, at best, premature, or, at worst, erroneous.”FWS spokesman Gavin Shire disagreed, saying that the “science clearly shows that wolves are recovered in the Great Lakes Region, and we believe the Great Lakes states have clearly demonstrated their ability to effectively manage their wolf populations.” FWS has not yet decided if it will appeal the ruling.
The US has supported India’s move to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes. Related Items
New hat: M. Venkaiah Naidu, seen above with Atal Bihari Vajpayee, represents a generational shift in the BJPFor most days, the BJP’s 11 Ashoka Road office wears a somnolent look. The trickle of visitors has grown thinner in recent years and the damp, humid rooms at the back of the,New hat: M. Venkaiah Naidu, seen above with Atal Bihari Vajpayee, represents a generational shift in the BJPFor most days, the BJP’s 11 Ashoka Road office wears a somnolent look. The trickle of visitors has grown thinner in recent years and the damp, humid rooms at the back of the building are occupied by anonymous figures who spend time gossiping or reading newspapers. On July 1, the atmosphere was transformed. There were surging crowds and the string of BJP leaders and ministers seemed endless. After a protracted and bitter struggle, 72-year-old Jana Krishnamurthy grudgingly allowed a change he had long resisted and stepped down. The new president, 53-year-old former rural development minister M. Venkaiah Naidu, represents a generational shift. He is one of the younger leaders who were handpicked by L.K. Advani during the Ram temple movement. The installation of Naidu as party president saw Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee visiting the party headquarters after a long time. Immediately after, Naidu got down to business. He has announced that there will be “live contact” between the party and the Government. He is trying to address a problem that has dogged party-Government relations almost from the day the NDA Government was formed. Under Kushabhau Thakre, the party became a passive appendage of the Vajpayee Government; and under Krishnamurthy, it retreated into irrelevance, its office-bearers being people of no political standing. New hat: Arun Jaitley with mentor L.K. AdvaniThat a change of style is imminent became clear last week when the newly appointed spokesman, former law minister Arun Jaitley, endeared himself to the faithful by hitting out at the National Human Rights Commission’s interference in Gujarat politics. Jaitley’s robust defence of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was in sharp contrast to the PMO’s squeamishness on the issue. The party, it was clear, would maintain an identity distinct from the Government, though not in conflict with it. The new look BJP team is certain to bear the stamp of Advani. Apart from Jaitley, it is likely to include former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Rajnath Singh, RSS veteran and Rajya Sabha member Bal Apte and former minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi. RSS appointee Sanjay Joshi will, of course, continue. With the deputy prime minister agreeing to devote more time for party work, the countdown to the general elections in 2004 has well and truly begun. Naidu told INDIA TODAY that there would be “quick changes” in the organisation and said he was looking for leaders with “ability and mobility”. This means that the BJP president’s effort will be aimed at weeding out greying, anonymous people who hold key organisational posts in Delhi and in the states. Ever since the tenure of Thakre, an old-time pracharak, organisational appointments in the BJP have been ruled by a strange doctrine of seniority that bore no relation to performance. OTHER CHANGES IN THE OFFINGHer backward caste appeal and populism could see her being projected as the BJP’s choice in Madhya Pradesh. UMA BHARATI Sports ministerHaving barely escaped being dropped from the Cabinet, he may be packed off as chief of the Karnataka unit shortly. ANANTH KUMAR Urban development ministerIf Bhairon Singh Shekhawat becomes vicepresident of India, she will be designated his successor in Rajasthan. VASUNDHA RARAJE Minister of state for small industriesNow the emphasis will be on drive and energy. Among the early casualties of this shift may be Delhi BJP chief Mange Ram Garg and Chhattisgarh state chief Lakhi Ram Agarwal. In addition, Union ministers Uma Bharti and Vasundhara Raje may be shifted to Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, in time for next year’s assembly polls. In time, Urban Development Minister Ananth Kumar may head back to Karnataka. What is planned is a grand overhaul, much more radical than the one Vajpayee attempted but failed to execute in the Government. The BJP can now be expected to aggressively target the Congress. Till now, BJP office bearers took umbrage at any minister making a political statement. Naidu’s statement that he intends to carry “the BJP flag in one hand and the NDA agenda in the other” seems to reflect the new priorities that have been set out. Advani’s rising profile has led opposition parties to predict that the BJP is bound to veer more sharply towards right of centre politics. Advani categorically points out that “there is no question of returning to the BJP agenda”, but does make the point that no partner in the NDA should be expected to be diffident or apologetic about its identity. This, however, does not amount to any endorsement of the VHP line, he stresses. Indeed, the idea is to isolate the VHP by allowing the BJP to reclaim some of its political aggression and anti-Congress thunder. At the same time, efforts are on to steer yesterday’s Hindutva hardliners into more politically acceptable directions. A case in point is the appointment of Bajrang Dal founder and Faizabad MP Vinay Katiyar as the party chief in Uttar Pradesh. Katiyar was not chosen for his pro-temple stand but because he combined a political approach with the right caste label – he is a Kurmi.Yet the Hindutva issue is bound to be raked up when Gujarat goes to polls later in the year. This will need skilful handling on the part of the BJP. In recent years, the task of incorporating elements of Hindutva which are central to the party’s identity had taken a backseat. This was partly because BJP office bearers, including party spokespersons, simply did not connect with the cadre. To restore the links, Naidu is expected to tour the various units of the party across the country. This is not an unusual routine for the frequent flyer. He and his team have to produce a feelgood factor about the Government. Now that the Vajpayee regime has completed roughly half its term, this is not going to be an easy job.advertisementadvertisementDespite the danger of the current euphoria dying down, the new BJP team may succeed in reducing the odds stacked against the party. Yet, in the final analysis, the party can succeed if its own Government is seen to be effective. That is something which is beyond Naidu’s control.
Advertisement AdvertisementBengaluru FC and Jamshedpur FC shared the spoils in an end to end contest at the first-ever steel Derby of ISL 2018-19. With this result, five teams sit on top of the table with four points on their bag.Sunil Chhetri celebrates after giving a momentary lead to Bengaluru FC in the 2-2 draw (Credits: indiansuperleague.com)Udanta Singh sprinted down the right flank to meet a brilliant defense-splitting pass from Erik Partaalu at the 12th minute. However, the 22-year-old’s cross was weak and got cleared by Tiri. Jamshedpur FC found themselves in a similar predicament when Jerry’s cross was wayward and went out for a throw-in. The game slowly converted into a chess match as both the sides resorted to capitalize on the counter and set pieces.Finally, the deadlock was broken at the 45th minute when Nishu Kumar curled the ball into the back of the net from just outside the penalty box.Bengaluru FC looked menacing at the onset of the second half and created a lot of half chances, however, it was Jamshedpur FC who got the next goal when 16-year-old Gaurav Mukhi equalized for the away side at the 81st minute. The joy was short-lived as Sunil Chhetri’s wonderful header put Bengaluru FC in the driver’s seat courtesy of a brilliant cross from Harmanjyot Khabra. It looked as if Bengaluru FC would walk away with the three points but Sergio Cidoncha spoiled their plans.The final scoreline read 2-2 in what was the most exciting game of ISL season 5 so far.
Sivaganga (TN), Apr 16 (PTI) Two spectators died, one of them gored by a bull, and 80 persons were injured in the jallikattu (bull taming) sport at M Pudur area of the district today, police said.32-year-old Thirunavakarau, an engineering graduate, died on the spot after he was attacked by the bull, while another man “died of shock” when another bull ran towards him.The bull dashed into the barricade, behind which the man was standing. Out of shock, he suffered a cardiac arrest, collapsed and died on the spot, police said. A total of 80 persons, mostly bull tamers, were injured in the event, they said.Most of the injured were treated as outpatients at the medical outpost set up at the venue, while a few others were hospitalised.Besides this, five persons were injured in a clash between two groups of bull tamers over the reported wrong announcement of the prize winners by the organisers. Most of the prizes, including motorbikes, were damaged in the violence, police said. Ten persons have been detained in connection with the clash, they added. PTI COR SSN APR VS SRY
Burnley boss Dyche delighted with manner of goals for victory over Norwichby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveBurnley boss Sean Dyche was delighted with the manner of their goals for victory over Norwich City.The Clarets boss celebrated becoming the fourth longest serving manager in the club’s history with three deserved points, thanks to Chris Wood’s early brace.Wood struck twice in the 10th and 14th minutes, first with a near post header from a perfect Ashley Westwood corner and then with a smart near post flick to get on the end of Dwight McNeil’s delicious cross.“For the set piece I was pleased with my staff because there are certain things they work on and they deserve a lot of credit for that,” explained Dyche.“For the second, we know what a good young player Dwight is. He keeps developing all the time and he’s got great feet and pulls a lovely ball back.“Woody is on the spot and it’s a great bit of movement and a good finish because they are not easy.My only gripe was that we didn’t capitalise on so many counter-attacks in the second half, but they’ve shown me enough, yet again, that we are a force when we get things right.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)On Saturday afternoon, the college football bowl season continued with a plethora of action. In all, five games are on the docket today – with two already in action.The third contest of the day is slated to kick off in just a few minutes. Nevada and Arkansas State meet in the Arizona bowl and look to head into 2019 with one last win on their resume.Nevada enters the game as a slight favorite, but the Red Wolves head into the bowl with a four-game winning streak on the line.Despite what is expected to be a close contest, the fans for both programs didn’t show up in droves. They didn’t really show up at all, unfortunately.Here’s the crowd just before kickoff.BOWL TIME! A beautiful morning for some Wolf Pack football! pic.twitter.com/0Y7eTDAwNx— Nevada Sports Net (@NevadaSportsNet) December 29, 2018Ouch.Perhaps the early kickoff time is taking its toll.Arkansas State and Nevada are slated for a 1:15 p.m. ET kickoff time. The game will be broadcast on CBSSN.
Is this why Parineeti Chopra replaced Shraddha Kapoor in Saina Nehwal biopic?Shraddha Kapoor, who was preparing for the last one year to portray ace shuttler Saina Nehwal on the big screen, has opted of the film as she was not able to fit into the character. Parineeti Chopra has replaced Shraddha in the film. India Today Web Desk New DelhiMarch 15, 2019UPDATED: March 15, 2019 15:21 IST Parineeti Chopra replaced Shraddha Kapoor in Saina Nehwal’s biopic.In the recent years, biopics have become the sure-shot success formula for filmmakers. Going by the trend, biopics often works well at the box office and which is why director and producers want everything perfect when it comes to making a biopic.Recently, Shraddha Kapoor, who was preparing for the last one year to portray ace shuttler Saina Nehwal on the big screen, has opted of the film as she was not able to fit into the character. It is reported that Parineeti Chopra has replaced Shraddha in the film.According to a report in an entertainment website, Shraddha was unable to cope with the training schedule of the film.A source close to the development told the entertainment website, “Even after being trained for more than a year, this chirpy actress has failed to get the nuances of the character right. She had been struggling to ace the sport that she was training in, forcing the makers to reconsider her.”The source added, “And while one would think that the Shraddha would be upset about being ousted from the film, nothing of that sort has happened. In fact, she was relieved to have been out of the project, knowing that she wasn’t able to get the character right.”Earlier, it was reported that Shraddha opted out of the film due to her hectic schedule but according to the recent report the reason for the actress’s exit is said to be her lack of success in portraying the character well.advertisementShraddha’s first look from the film had been released and had created much interest. She had been intensively training for the film, before she was diagnosed with dengue last year. This derailed the film and rumours of her opting out of the film started brewing at that time.Also See | Shraddha Kapoor exits Saina Nehwal biopic, Parineeti Chopra steps inALSO READ: Prabhas’s Saaho fight sequence took 100 days of preparationALSO WATCH: Baahubali 2 storm blows away Khans of BollywoodGet real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byVibha Maru Tags :Follow Shraddha KapoorFollow Parineeti ChopraFollow Saina Nehwal
This holiday season people can support the economy and the environment by choosing to enjoy a real Christmas tree, grown in Nova Scotia. The province is promoting Nova Scotia’s Christmas tree industry by giving trees to four local non-profit groups, an annual tradition. The trees were presented by the Lunenburg County Christmas Tree Producers’ Association, today, Dec. 11, to Lt.-Gov. J.J. Grant, Premier Darrell Dexter, Natural Resources Minister Charlie Parker and Agriculture Minister John MacDonell. “Nova Scotia was home to the first decorated indoor tree in Canada, at a home in Halifax back in the 1840s,” said Mr. Parker. “We’re happy to continue the tradition. Real trees keep artificial ones from eventually adding to our landfills while supporting an important industry.” At a ceremony outside Province House, Lt.-Gov. Grant donated his tree to Camp Hill Veterans Hospital, and Premier Dexter donated his tree to the Home of the Guardian Angel Single Parent Centre. Mr. Parker donated his to Metro Turning Point Centre, a shelter for men, and Mr. MacDonell donated his tree to Adsum House Women’s and Children’s Shelter. “The tree is amazing – it really makes Christmas come alive for our women, children, and staff,” said Sheri Lecker, executive director for Adsum House. “They’ll decorate the tree this week in time for our annual party, which brings nearly 100 people together, including current and former clients. We are grateful for this special gift.” The trees came from Nova Scotia Christmas tree growers Anzil Blackadar, Jeff Reeves, Murray Crouse and Bruce Turner. Real trees have many benefits. They are biodegradable, nearly carbon neutral and recyclable. After the holidays, they may be composted or used as bird feeders, potpourri ingredients, or winter garden cover. More than 1.5 million Nova Scotia balsam fir trees are exported annually to other provinces, the United States, and overseas. There are 2,500 Nova Scotia Christmas tree growers and the industry means about $30 million each year to the economy as well as close to 500 full-time and 2,500 seasonal jobs. Tips about real tree selection and care, and locations of Nova Scotia Christmas tree retailers and U-Cut operations are at www.gov.ns.ca/natr with the Tips About Natural Christmas Trees link.
Lucknow: Akhilesh Yadav’s gathbandhan with BSP chief Mayawati for the Lok Sabha elections might have not got the desired result in Uttar Pradesh with the BJP sweeping the state.But the Samajwadi Party president gets full marks for trying. While forging the SP-BSP alliance in the state to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party, Yadav put ego aside, happily playing the bhatija (nephew) to Mayawati bua (aunt). His wife Dimple helped when she touched the elder politician’s feet at a public meeting. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps & 20 launch pads along LoCWhen reporters asked whether he would back Bahujan Samaj Party’s Mayawati as a prime ministerial candidate, Yadav gave sufficiently vague answers to suggest that the option was open. And to accommodate another ally, the Rashtriya Lok Dal, he gave up one seat from the SP quota. All this seemed like a small price to pay for keeping the BJP at bay and for ending a bitter feud between the SP and the BSP from his father Mulayam Singh Yadav’s days as party chief. Also Read – Two squadrons which participated in Balakot airstrike awarded citationsThis fight dated back to 1995, when the BSP leader was roughed up by SP workers at a Lucknow guest house. Akhilesh Yadav had tried his hand at coalition building in Uttar Pradesh in the 2017 assembly elections as well, teaming up with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. Some fondly called the two relatively young scions UP ke ladke (the UP boys) when they appeared in public wearing matching black waistcoats. It didn’t work out that time either with Yogi Adityanath, backed by Narendra Modi as PM, winning a majority in the assembly. In 2017, Akhilesh Yadav had unsuccessfully sought five more years for his government in Uttar Pradesh. In 2012, after a stint as the head of the SP’s youth wing and then the party’s UP president, he was picked by his father Mulayam Singh Yadav to become the state’s youngest ever CM at 38. In the early years of his term as SP unit chief and the CM, he struggled with his father’s legacy tackling politicians like D P Yadav, Amar Singh and Azam Khan. His uncle Shivpal Yadav brought in mafia don Mukhtar Ansari’s Quami Ekta Dal into the SP, against his will. Another uncle Ram Gopal Yadav backed him as Akhilesh Yadav tackled dissension in the party and the Yadav clan. Just ahead of the 2017 assembly polls, Akhilesh Yadav staged a coup of sorts. At an emergency convention of the party in January 2017, SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav was ousted as national president, relegated to the post of its patron . Later, the BJP was to call him Aurangzeb, recalling what one Mughal emperor did to his own father. After the coup , the two SP factions went to the Election Commission, which ruled in Akhilesh Yadav’s favour, giving his group the bicycle symbol. Born on July 1, 1973 in Etawah district’s Saifai village, Akhilesh Yadav studied at the Dholpur Military School in Rajasthan. He got his bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering from Mysore University. This was followed by a master’s from Sydney. In 2000, he was elected to the Lok Sabha in a bye-election from Kannauj. He won again, in 2004 and 2009.
Mumbai: Megastar Amitabh Bachchan’s first look from the upcoming film “Gulabo Sitabo” is out and he is sporting a grumpy old man’s look. In the first look doing the rounds on social media, the 76-year-old thespian is seen sporting a long beard, spectacles, a head scarf and a prosthetic nose making Big B look almost unrecognisable. “Gulabo Sitabo”, which also stars Ayushmann Khurrana, will release on April 24, 2020. The film, directed by Shoojit Sircar, will be shot on locations mostly in the old parts Lucknow. The film has been written by Juhi Chaturvedi of “Piku” fame. Gulabo Sitabo – a legendary pair of puppet sisters have been part of Uttar Pradesh’s folklore and their tales have been a part of childhood. The film, apparently, is a take-off on these two characters and is believed to be a comedy.
This week, the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) hosted its Fourth Annual Blue Diamond Gala, a star-studded evening that featured an exhilarating performance by multi-award winning, platinum-selling singer-songwriter John Legend.John Legend Performs At Fourth Annual Blue Diamond GalaCredit/Copyright: Getty Images for Los Angeles Dodgers FoundationComedy icons Arsenio Hall and George Lopez emceed the evening, which raised over $2.2 Million and was attended by 1,700 guests.The Los Angeles Dodgers Ownership Group presented the 2018 Blue Diamond Gala. The group includes Mark Walter, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Todd Boehly, Robert “Bobby” Patton, Jr., and Peter Guber. Serving as this year’s event chairs were Emily and Teddy Greenspan, Terri and Eric Holoman, William McMorrow, Stephanie and Nicholas Sandler, Sarah and Kurt Rappaport, Cindy Starrett and Allan Bates, and Renata and Ken Simril.Attendees included Los Angeles Dodgers Owners Mark Walter, Todd Boehly, Robert “Bobby” Patton, Jr., and Peter Guber, Manager Dave Roberts, Coaches Brant Brown, Bob Geren, Rick Honeycutt, George Lombard, Mark Prior, Turner Ward, and Chris Woodward, and Players Scott Alexander, Austin Barnes, Cody Bellinger, Walker Buehler, Tony Cingrani, Daniel Corcino, Josh Fields, Logan Forsythe, Erik Goeddel, Yasmani Grandal, Enrique Hernandez, Rich Hill, Daniel Hudson, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Kenley Jansen, Matt Kemp, Clayton Kershaw, Max Muncy, Edward Paredes, Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig, Corey Seager, Ross Stripling, Chris Taylor, Justin Turner, Chase Utley, Breyvic Valera, and Alex Wood.Additional attendees included Former Los Angeles Dodgers Nomar Garciaparra, Steve Garvey, Orel Hershiser, Rick Monday, Manny Mota, Fernando Valenzuela, Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda, and special guests including Chrissy Teigen, Terry Crews, Lisa DeBartolo & Don Miggs, Timothy Granaderos, Josh Henderson, Carrie Ann Inaba, Greg Louganis, Loni Love, Tito Ortiz, Emily Osment, Haley Joel Osment, Chord Overstreet, Holly Robinson-Peete, Marque Richardson, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Anne Winters, as well as Austin Ekeler, Anthony Lynn, Damion & Brandi Square from the Los Angeles Chargers, and many more!LADF is the official team charity of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Its primary focus is to support cornerstone programs in Sports + Recreation, Education + Literacy and Health + Wellness benefitting children and families in need throughout the greater Los Angeles region. By leveraging strategic partnerships, the mission is to harness the power of the Dodger brand and the passion Dodger fans have for Los Angeles into a vehicle for positive change in underserved communities. Proceeds from the Blue Diamond Gala will support the expansion of its direct programs — Dodgers Dreamfields and Dodger RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities).
Cara McKenna APTN National NewsThe Assembly of First Nations says it should be involved in developing the scope of the upcoming inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and up until Thursday the Trudeau government has been shutting them out.British Columbia Regional Chief Shane Gottfriedson said the AFN was not consulted at all about the national inquiry’s draft terms of reference, published by APTN Tuesday, nor was it involved in any other details including choosing commissioners.Gottfriedson leads the AFN’s portfolio on missing and murdered Indigenous women and went public with his concerns Thursday.Soon after he says he got a call from the federal government to arrange a sit-down meeting between AFN representatives and senior federal officials including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s chief of staff.“It’s a huge oversight,” Gottfriedson said in an interview.“If they’re talking about a nation-to-nation and new relationship with First Nations, there should be input from native organizations. It’s not so much that we’ve been left out, but everybody’s been left in the dark.”Gottfriedson said the meeting is in the planning stages right now but he is trying to involve the AFN women’s council and plans to push the government to ensure inquiry commissioners have power to fully examine police.“We want to make sure the terms of reference are solid enough. … The intent is really about working openly and transparently. It’s really about our families,” he said.The federal government has said it’s “very close” to announcing the inquiry, which has faced delays.
Kolkata: The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has seized gold worth over Rs 7 crore smuggled into different parts of the city and adjoining areas since March 25. The matter was also informed to the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO).Acting on a tip-off, the DRI officials on Friday night raided three different places in the city and seized gold worth Rs 5.4 crore and hard cash worth Rs 75 lakh. They raided two hotels in Salt Lake and Sadar Street area respectively along with Burrabazar area and seized the gold. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaSix persons have been arrested by the DRI in the case. According to the preliminary investigation, the DRI officials suspect that the accused might have smuggled the gold from neighbouring Myanmar. According to the officials, they received a tip-off regarding a gang which is actively engaged in smuggling huge quantity of foreign-origin gold to India from abroad. The officials also suspect that the huge quantity of gold was brought through the Indo-Bangladesh border. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayThe investigating officers are yet to ascertain where the accused had intended to the consignments. As per the specific information, the DRI sleuths chalked out an elaborate plan and carried out the operations successfully and finally arrested the carriers. All the six accused are suspected to be residents of Myanmar. They are being interrogated thoroughly. The investigating officials are trying to know the names of the others who are involved in the incident. They suspect that the accused are a part of an international smuggling gang. It may be mentioned here that in the past few days, the DRI officials have raided various parts of the state and seized gold. The Election Commission is also keeping a tab on the development as a huge amount of gold has been seized from various places in the city following the election notification. It may also be mentioned that the Siliguri unit of the DRI a couple of months ago had seized gold bars weighing over 9 kg that had been smuggled from Myanmar to India through the Indo-Myanmar border in Manipur. Meanwhile, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the city police on Friday arrested a Howrah-based scrap iron businessman from Bhowanipore area and recovered nearly Rs 40 lakh from his possession. The CID officials are conducting a probe if the amount was meant for election use by any political party leader.
It will be a busy Wednesday at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton. The Tiger-Cats are expected on the field for their first practice at 10:30 a.m at the new stadium.Construction crews this week have continued to work around the clock to finish the $145 million dollar project.The team is expected to get dressed at their main headquarters on Jarvis street and be bussed into the stadium.The team’s locker rooms, washrooms and concession stands are still under construction.Some reports say the Tim Hortons Field may only be able to accommodate 18,000 fans for Monday’s game against the Toronto Argonauts, nearly 5000 seats fewer than originally planned.The stadium was originally scheduled to open in July, but has been plagued with delays.The Tiger-Cats played their three homes at McMaster University this season. The University is not an option for Monday’s game because the McMaster Marauder’s are hosting their first game of the season.In an email to season ticket holders yesterday, the team outlined two contingency plans for Monday’s Labour Day Classic.The first is to play the game on Tuesday at the new stadium or if Tim Hortons Field still isn’t ready they will play the game Tuesday evening at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.
Under the plea agreement, Miodrag Jokic will be sentenced at a later session of the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague. The prosecutor today recommended a 10-year prison sentence, while the defence will make sentencing submissions at a later date.Mr. Jokic, a former senior officer of the Yugoslav Navy who surrendered to the Tribunal in 2001, pleaded guilty on six counts – murder, cruel treatment, attacks on civilians, devastation not justified by military necessity, unlawful attacks on civilian objects, and destruction or wilful damage to institutions dedicated to religion, charity, and education, the arts and sciences, historic monuments and works of art and science.Mr. Jokic, who was released provisionally in February 2002 on condition that he return for trial, was alleged in the first indictment to have committed murder, cruel treatment and attacks on civilians, resulting in the deaths of 43 people.
“This first joint verification mission by Sudan and South Sudan is an important first step toward implementing all security arrangements between the two countries. There’s more to do, and it is essential for long-term peace in the region that both countries build on this success,” said Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous.The UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) verified on Monday that during its mission on 23 March to Tishwin and the following day to Kiir Adem, which lies inside a 14 mile-wide strip of land known as the Mile 14 area, “there were no armed forces from either side in the area.”“Both parties have begun to withdraw from the Safety Demilitarized Border Zone, which they are obliged to complete by 5 April,” Mr. Ladsous added.UNISFA will verify the completion of the withdrawal by 12 April, according to the mission.The Security Council established UNISFA in June 2011 following an outbreak of violence after Sudanese troops took control of Abyei, displacing tens of thousands of people in the weeks before South Sudan became an independent State after seceding from Sudan. In December 2011, the 15- member Council expanded UNISFA’s mandate to include tasks to support a Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism (JBVMM), which consists of both sides and is tasked with monitoring the security situation in the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone. After months of delays, the Governments agreed earlier this month to activate the JBVMM and withdraw their forces from the zone. At that time, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reiterated the UN’s commitment to support the operations of the JBVMM and assist the parties in the implementation of these agreements.Meanwhile, the Secretary-General has announced the appointment of Major-General Yohannes Gebremeskel Tesfamariam of Ethiopia as the Head of Mission and Force Commander of UNISFA. Maj.-Gen. Tesfamariam succeeds Lieutenant General Tadesse Werede Tesfay of Ethiopia, who completed his assignment on 24 January.
In a situation report, the World Food Programme (WFP) highlighted that as of 30 May, more than 265,000 Burundians had fled the country into the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and as far away as Zambia. In all, there are 1,000 new arrivals weekly into neighbouring countries. In addition, WFP said it requires $57 million for the next six months to meet the needs of new arrivals and existing refugees, particularly in Rwanda and Uganda. The Emergency Food Security Assessment (EFSA) conducted in April 2016 in 18 provinces across the country concluded that about 4.6 million people are food insecure. Of these, about 590,000 are severely food insecure and require urgent emergency food assistance, WFP said. “The assessment further indicates that the socio-political crisis has aggravated an already fragile food security, nutrition, and socio-economic context in Burundi,” the agency said. WFP noted that among the drivers of food insecurity include increasing poverty levels; reduced agricultural production; El Niño phenomena associated with heavy rainfall, flooding and landslides, which resulted in displacements and destruction of crops; adoption of severe livelihood coping strategies, such as reduction of expenditure on agricultural inputs; and disruption of markets. The assessment recommends provision of short-term food assistance and farm inputs for shorter-season crops. In addition, the assessment recommends strengthening of resilience activities for vulnerable food insecure households and strengthening or expanding social protection programmes for the most vulnerable, to enable them to cope with shocks, WFP said.
Mark Lowcock said attacks on critical civilian infrastructure like medical facilities continue to be reported with at least 28 reported attacks on health facilities since mid-February and more than 70 verified incidents since the beginning of this year.“Tens of thousands of people have also been displaced from across the war-ravaged country and many are living in overcrowded, ill-equipped shelters. There is also a severe shortage of water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, as well as rising protection concerns,” he said.Mr. Lowcock, who is the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, told the 15-member Council that UN agencies and their partners are working as hard as conditions permit to provide support to people in need.Challenges range from physical security for aid workers, continued fighting, denial of access, and lack of resources.We are essentially just given crumbs – an occasional convoy here and there, often, coincidentally, shortly before our monthly briefings to you — UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock“We are essentially just given crumbs – an occasional convoy here and there, often, coincidentally, shortly before our monthly briefings to you [the Security Council members],” said the senior relief official.As such, he said: “5.6 million Syrians in acute need cannot live on crumbs.”Mr. Lowcock called on all Council Members as well as the members of the International Syria Support Group Humanitarian Task Force – the UN-backed task force created two years ago to boost aid delivery to besieged towns and war-weary civilians – to exert their individual and collective influence over the parties.He also reiterated the UN Secretary-General’s call on all parties to fully respect international humanitarian and human rights law, to ensure immediate humanitarian access and guarantee the protection of civilians, including in relation to displacements and evacuations. UN Photo/Loey FelipeMark Lowcock (on screen), Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, briefs the Security Council meeting on the situation in Syria.Concluding his briefing, the UN relief chief recalled Security Council resolution 2401 adopted last month – in which the Council demanded an immediate cease in hostilities and conditions that to enable humanitarian aid deliveries and medical evacuations of those in need – and called on the UN body to make the resolution a reality for the people of Syria.“Whatever the difficulty, the United Nations and its partners, remain determined to follow through, for the sake of the Syrian people,” said Mr. Lowcock.The seemingly unending conflict in Syria has surpassed World War II in terms of duration.Since the conflict broke out in March 2011, more than 13 million Syrians remain dependent on humanitarian assistance, including 6.1 million internally displaced and over 5.5 million driven into refuge outside its borders. Furthermore, a third of houses and residences across the country and about half of all health facilities are estimated to have been destroyed.More than 2.75 million children are out of school and about two-thirds of all Syrian children have lost a loved one, had their house damaged or suffered conflict-related injuries.