J&K Houses adopt GST resolution

first_imgBoth the Houses of the Jammu and Kashmir legislature on Wednesday passed a resolution adopting the Goods and Services Tax (GST) through a presidential order. Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu said GST would be implemented “under the ambit of Article 370, ensuring adequate safeguards for special status.”He said the State would bring the GST Council under Article 370 to protect the State’s fiscal autonomy.“We are proposing that Article 370 shall not be compromised in any way through the presidential order. The GST Council should not be a way to subvert the process and enough safeguards are built to empower the constituents of J&K in the Council. Besides, the exclusive powers of the State to tax and the consolidated fund of J&K shall not be impaired,” said Mr. Drabu.He said Article 370, which gives special status to the State, should be “used for development and empowerment.” “Instead, the issue is being used as a tool to whip up passions and draw political mileage. It is being used for creating fake controversies,” he said. Addressing fears raised by the business community here, he said, “Industry exemptions and tax remissions will continue both from the Centre and the State Government under the new tax regime.”Rejecting the opposition Congress and National Conference’s (NC) demand “to pass [J&K’s] own GST Bill” and “seek changes to the 101st amendment of the Constitution of India” to safeguard J&K’s fiscal autonomy, Mr. Drabu said: “Section 5 of the Constitution of J&K, which gives it special taxation powers, will not be amended under any circumstances. It will open a Pandora’s Box that will have implications on J&K’s special constitutional position.”Describing the GST Council as a “truly federal institution”, Mr. Drabu said, “India is moving from coercive to cooperative federalism.”Both the houses passed the GST resolution with a voice vote. It was followed by the procedural meeting of the State Cabinet in Srinagar.The NC and Congress were seen raising slogans in protest against the passage of the GST resolution.Curbs in SrinagarRestrictions were imposed in parts of Srinagar as several anti-GST trade bodies’ leaders remained under lock-up since Tuesday.Concertina wires were placed on all routes in areas connecting seven politicians in the city. Security forces disallowed movement of people or vehicles.A shutdown call, issued by traders against the government clampdown on business leaders, saw many major markets closed in Kashmir. Meanwhile, separatist leaders, including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik described the GST as the “latest assault on J&K.”The separatist leaders have asked the J&K Coordination Committee, a body of traders, “to look into the issue and safeguard any further dilution of the special status, which in turn affects the disputed nature of the Kashmir issue.”last_img read more

Can you give Goa CM’s health report in sealed cover: HC

first_imgThe High Court of Bombay at Goa on Tuesday asked the State government if a medical report specifying the health condition of ailing Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar could be presented to court in sealed cover.Hearing a petition filed by a local politician Trajano D’Mello, who has sought to know the health status of Mr. Parrikar, Justice R.M. Borde also asked the government consul whether the Chief Secretary could argue for the right to privacy of behalf of the Chief Minister of a State, and also whether he had consulted Mr. Parrikar before filing the affidavit last week. The petitioner has said that Mr. Parrikar, who is suffering from advanced pancreatic cancer, has not attended any official meeting outside his private residence for more than a month now, bringing the entire administration to a grinding halt.Advocate General Dattaprasad Lawande is expected to appear before the court on Wednesday and argue on the observations made by the High Court on the petition.In his affidavit, the Chief Secretary said the petition was political in nature and the health status of Mr. Parrikar could not be disclosed on grounds of privacy.last_img read more

Paris, Los Angeles confirmed as Olympic hosts

first_imgEagles topple Maroons Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo (L) and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti are seen on a giant screen during the presentation of LA 2028 before the International Olympic Committee (IOC) members at the 131st IOC session in Lima on September 13, 2017.The IOC meeting in Lima confirmed Paris and Los Angeles as hosts for the 2024 and 2028 Olympics, crowning two cities at the same time in a historic first for the embattled sports body. AFPLIMA—Paris and Los Angeles celebrated their coronation as host cities for the 2024 and 2028 Olympics here Wednesday, delivering a jolt of good news for the International Olympic Committee as it battles escalating corruption allegations.In a drama-free conclusion to a three-year bidding race, IOC members voted unanimously to rubber-stamp a deal hashed out in July for Paris to be given 2024 and Los Angeles 2028.ADVERTISEMENT E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad  Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC 2 dead in California school attack; gunman shoots self PLAY LIST 03:122 dead in California school attack; gunman shoots self00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games As the tussle for 2024 unfolded, and as the field thinned to leave just Los Angeles and Paris, the IOC’s determination to secure two high-quality bids for the next two summer games became apparent.In July, the IOC announced it would award the staging rights for the 2024 and 2028 Olympics at the same meeting in Lima, laying the way for a swift agreement between the two over the running order.‘We cracked the code’ “We cracked the code when the IOC changed the formula,” Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti told AFP.“We’ve talked to a lot of folks who said it used to be about one corner of the room celebrating and the rest crying.”“I think in this world we have enough losers today, or enough divisions, or enough people who go after their dreams only to have them crushed.“I think we showed that dreams can come true.”The smooth finish to the race also eliminates the risk of the vote being tainted by the sort of scandal that has embroiled the ballot for the 2016 Olympics.The IOC was left tackling a fresh wave of graft allegations last week when investigators in Brazil swooped on the country’s Olympics chief Carlos Nuzman.Nuzman stands accused of plotting to bribe IOC members into awarding Rio de Janeiro the 2016 Games at a 2009 vote in Copenhagen. Read Next Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding BACKSTORY: LA mayor opens door slightly to 2028 Games if 2024 is no go“This was the right answer, it was about fraternity, it was about friendship, it was about finding a win-win,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti told AFP.IOC chief Bach meanwhile said the Olympic movement had secured the result “we were looking for.”“I couldn’t be more happy than I am right now,” Bach said. “We have the two best possible games for the Olympics in 2024 and 2028, in two great Olympic countries.”The vote marked the final act of a campaign that had been stripped of the usual intrigue ever since Paris and Los Angeles agreed to carve up 2024 and 2028 following encouragement from the IOC.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight The allegations swirling around Rio’s bid revived memories of the Salt Lake City bribery scandal, which led to 20 IOC members being either kicked out of the Olympics’ ruling body or pleading guilty to accepting bribes for votes.French investigators meanwhile have already announced they are investigating the 2013 vote in Buenos Aires which awarded the 2020 Olympics to Tokyo, following reports of secret payments into a Singapore-based bank account linked to the son of disgraced former world athletics chief Lamine Diack. LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary MOST READ Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  View comments Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City READ: LA loves the Olympics, even though they’re 11 years awayThird time luckyThe 2024 Games will mark the third time Paris has staged the Olympics, coming exactly 100 years after they last hosted the Games.“It’s a great feeling of happiness to be bringing the Games back to Paris after 100 years,” Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo said.In Paris, giant Olympic rings were unveiled in front of the Eiffel Tower just after the announcement was made as a small crowd celebrated in driving rain.The 2028 Olympics will be the first held in the United States since the chaotic 1996 Games in Atlanta.It will also mark the third time that Los Angeles has hosted the Olympics following successful editions in 1932 and 1984.Paris and Los Angeles emerged from the initial bidding race for the 2024 Games after a number of cities withdrew citing waning public support and concerns over budget.Hamburg, Rome, Budapest and Boston all fell by the wayside during the competition, reflecting the political difficulties in persuading voters that staging the Olympics is worth the multi-billion-dollar price tag.IOC chief Bach first signaled publicly that the double-award of an Olympics could be on the agenda in December last year, lamenting that the bidding process produced “too many losers”. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. The pre-ordained outcome did not dampen the celebrations inside the Lima Convention Centre as the Paris and Los Angeles delegations cheered and congratulated each other.IOC President Thomas Bach — a driving force behind the decision to award 2024 and 2028 at the same time — hailed the joint award as a “win-win-win.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“It’s a magical, unique victory,” said jubilant Paris 2024 bid co-leader Tony Estanguet as French President Emmanuel Macron saluted a “victory for France.”Los Angeles 2028 leaders were similarly ecstatic.last_img read more

Ashwini and Priyanka add to doping shame

first_imgThe crisis engulfing Indian athletics deepened on Monday as Ashwini Akkunji became the third member of the famed 4x400m relay team to test positive for anabolic steroids.Prinyanka Panwar add to doping shameQuarter-milers Ashwini and Priyanka Panwar have added their names to the infamous list of dope-tainted athletes which has swollen to eight now. Tiana Mary Thomas, who had already failed a dope test conducted by the National Anti-Doping Agency(NADA) during the national inter-state championships in Bangalore, was the third athlete to have tested positive for a banned substance.The news came hours before the 37-member Indian squad was to leave for Kobe, Japan, to participate in the Asian Athletics Championships which begin on Thursday. Ashwini and Priyanka now face the prospect of two-year bans. The Athletics Federation of India(AFI) immediately swung into damage control mode and withdrew the two athletes from the squad. Out of the eight erring athletes, seven, including Ashwini and Priyanka have tested positive for the same banned substance -methandienone, an anabolic steroid.The dope tests were conducted on June 27 at the National Institute of Sports(NIS) in Patiala and the National Anti-Doping Agency(NADA) has provisionally suspended Ashwini and Priyanka. Both of them will visit the National Dope Testing Laboratory(NDTL) on Tuesday to have their ‘B’ samples opened in front of them.Ashwini, Mandeep Kaur, Sini Jose and Manjeet Kaur were cynosure of all eyes after their performance in the 4x400m relay at the Delhi Commonwealth Games and the Guangzhou Asiad where they won gold medals. Manjeet was neither in Bangalore nor in Patiala when the samples were being collected by the NADA officers. For Ashwini, the Asian Games turned out to be a fairytale as she won a gold medal in the 400m hurdles as well and became the new golden girl of Indian athletics.advertisementNADA director general Rahul Bhatnagar said the agency will increase the frequency of dope tests and warned that cheats will have a tough time in future. “It is obviously a matter of great concern that prominent Indian athletes are failing dope tests. But we will continue to keep our crusade going against dope cheats,” Bhatnagar told MAIL TODAY on Monday. “We have a state-of-the-art laboratory and in future we will increase the number of dope tests to make sure that all our athletes are clean when they leave for the 2012 London Olympics,” he added.NADA is ready with a plan to nab dope cheats wherein it will raid the rooms and camps of the athletes on a more frequent basis, besides involving the Customs to keep a strict vigil on the baggage of the athletes when they return from abroad.While the performance of Indian athletes at last year’s Commonwealth and Asian Games had raised hopes for a good show at the next Olympics, the recent dope cases have left the country’s chances in disarray.However, AFI isn’t too worried about some of the star athletes failing to come out clean and said India has good bench strength,and is capable to replace the fallen heroes. “We have withdrawn the tainted athletes from the squad for the Asian Athletics Championships. Although, we are concerned about the rate at which our athletes are failing dope tests, nobody is indispensable and we have athletes who can replace them,” AFI director ML Dogra told MAIL TODAY. Ironically, after Mandeep and Sini had flunked the dope tests, Priyanka, who finished fourth in the relay at the National Inter- State Championships, was named in the squad for the Asian championships.Mandeep and Jauna Murmu, who finished fourth in the 400m hurdles at the Asiad, tested positive for methandienone during tests conducted by the International Association of Athletics Federations.Seven of the eight athletes have tested positive for methandienone or methandrostenolone. The substance is an orally-effective anabolic steroid which was used for muscle growth by body builders. The substance is readily available in various countries without prescription but it is included in the list of prohibited substance of the World Anti- Doping Agency.Methandienone’s usage among Indian athletes has raised eyebrows and athletes have asked for their samples to be rechecked.Even last year 11 athletes had tested positive for a banned stimulant -methylhexaneamine -and the anti-doping disciplinary panel is yet to come out with a verdict in those cases.last_img read more

Netaji kin want foreign countries to release files too

first_imgKolkata, Sept 20 (PTI) Family members of Subhas Chandra Bose today said the Prime Minister must ask governments of other countries to declassify files in their possession about his disappearance, as they feared that some secret documents that could have solved the mystery might have been destroyed. “I am not too sure whether the existing files with the central government can reveal everything about what happened to Netaji after he went missing in 1945. The files may have already been destroyed by the past governments,” Netajis grand-nephew Chandra Bose told PTI. He said that even the Mukherjee Commission had stated that four files had been destroyed during the time of Indira Gandhi. To connect all the dots relating to his disappearance, he said his family would appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to write to the heads of the countries of Russia, Japan, China, America, UK, Japan, Singapore and Malaysia to declassify all Netaji files lying with them. “Netaji was in touch with people in all these countries. They all have classified files relating to him. We want to take this movement of declassification to the global level to get all the clues,” the Netaji kin said. The family members said that the issue of global declassification of Netaji files would be on the familys agenda when they meet Modi next month in Delhi. “Our main focus, however, would be on declassification of all Netaji files held by the government of India. If we do not have our own files declassified, then how can we ask other nations to do it?” Abhijit Ray, Netajis another grand-nephew, said. In his monthly radio programme Mann Ki Baat, Modi today said he would host over 50 Bose family members at his residence next month. (MORE) PTI NIK MD SHSadvertisementlast_img read more

Am sure Sultan will be a good film: Aamir

first_imgMumbai, Feb 16 (PTI) Superstar Aamir Khan has a lot of expectations from his actor-friend Salman Khans upcoming film “Sultan” and is confident that it will turn out to be good.”Salmans films are always very good. I have a lot of expectations from Sultan. I am sure it will be a good film. Like everyone I also wait eagerly for his film,” Aamir told reporters here at the screening of “Neerja”.The Dabangg Khan plays a wrestler from Haryana in “Sultan”. Aamir also plays the role of a wrestler in his much talked-about film “Dangal”.”Sultan” is scheduled to release on Eid and “Dangal” is expected to hit the cinema houses in December.In “Dangal”, a biographical sports-drama directed by Nitesh Tiwari, Aamir plays Mahavir Singh Phogat who taught wrestling to his daughters Babita Kumari and Geeta Phogat. Aamir underwent a drastic change in his looks for the film.”It will be Ghajini look again. For this film, I had to lose and gain weight. I had to gain 25 kg weight in six months and in the beginning my character is young…national level champion wrestler. I have to shoot for the young part,” the 50-year-old actor said.”Like how Sushil Kumar has muscular look…like Ghajini…I have to get that look. I am working on that, it will take six months,” he said. PTI KKP GK BKlast_img read more

Kentucky Has An Interactive Billboard On I-65 For Tweets That Include Hashtag #BlueGetsIn

first_imgInterstate 65 is a major highway linking parts of the Southeast with the Midwest.. The road runs through four states –Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana–before stopping in Gary, Ind., just southeast of Chicago. The undefeated Kentucky Wildcats basketball team traveled on I-65 to get to Indianapolis, the site of this year’s Final Four. Alongside I-65 is an interactive billboard featuring UK-themed tweets containing the hashtag #BlueGetsIn. Some of the tweets featured were from freshman star Karl-Anthony Towns and the official team Twitter account. This is awesome, but we hope someone is curating those tweets and it’s not an automated feed. Left in the hands of the Twitterverse, that could get really ugly.last_img read more

Haunted House, Schmaunted House: Try a Haunted Cave Instead

first_img The Best Campgrounds Near Major U.S. Cities Looking for something scarier than the standard haunted house this year? Look no further than Big Cedar Lodge in Missouri. The resort is transforming its Top of the Rock attraction — a high bluff  complete with a museum, hiking trails, a views of the Ozarks — into a “haunted cave experience”called Haunted Lost Caverns.To create a premise for the haunt, the property set up a mock archeological dig that alludes to the heritage of the region. Guests ride through a four-story cave complete with more than 100 animatronic displays and plenty of other promised “spooky sights and frights.” There’s even a cocktail bar at the end so you can properly cool down after you’ve been scared.The adventure, which lasts 45 minutes, has proven to be one of the more popular attractions at the property; Haunted Lost Caverns is entering its third year.The critically acclaimed Big Cedar Lodge has a very real and very storied past. In the 1920s, two prominent Missourians were building lavish homes on the Long Creek arm of the White River near the modern-day resort. Shortly after, the two businessmen acquired 300 acres of forest nearby. As the area began to prosper post-Depression and post-WWII, the White River was dammed to form Table Rock Lake, which set aside land for the Lodge. The compiled history of the property adds to the overall mystique and appeal of the Haunted Caves Experience.Once you’re done being scared silly, you can head 10 miles north to Branson to experience a record-breaking roller coaster (and do some old-fashioned gambling, of course). It’s a great opportunity to experience the beauty and splendor of the Ozarks in two distinctively different ways. Talk about a new twist on late-season travel.Tickets for the Haunted Lost Caverns are on sale now and you can reserve your tour here. Deep Sleep: The World’s Most Incredible Underwater Hotel Rooms Editors’ Recommendations This Little House in Washington Has Big Personality All 21 Six Flags Parks in the U.S., Ranked There’s Never a Bad Time to Visit Whistler, the Four-Season Outdoor Playground last_img read more

ILFS scam Govts fresh bid to get Deloitte BSR banned

first_imgMumbai: The corporate affairs ministry on Monday filed fresh applications at NCLT to debar Deloitte Haskins & Sells and BSR Associates, an arm of EY — who are the auditors of IL&FS Financial Services from auditing for five years and also to appoint a new auditor for the crippled company.IL&FS Financial Services is of the 348 subsidiaries of the crippled IL&FS group, which owes more than Rs 95,000 crore to the lenders. The group got into trouble after many of its subsidiaries began to default since last September and on October 1 that year, the government had suspended its board and taken over the company. Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documentsThe ministry moved its applications through its senior counsel Sanjay Shorey. The ministry has also made Udayen Sen of Deloitte, and Kalpesh Mehta and Sampath Ganesh of BSR as respondents as they were the signatories of the audit reports of the company. Shorey said the ministry made them the respondents as they as the auditors are required to certify the books of its clients and would have the knowledge of all financial information of the company and the also about the alleged fraud, but failed to or chose not to report. Also Read – World suffering ‘synchronized slowdown’, says new IMF chiefDeloitte was the financial auditor for 2017-18, while BSR is still the auditor of the company. The ministry has also made the Reserve Bank, the Securities and Exchange Board and the Institute of Chartered Accountants as respondents so that if such an order is passed, they can execute the same. A two-member NCLT bench of VP Singh and Ravikumar Duraisamy asked the auditors to file their replies by June 19 and posted the matter for further hearing on June 21. Meanwhile, Ashakiran and Akansha, the wife and the daughter of RC Bawa who was one of the directors of the IL&FS group, said they were yet to get the contempt notice from the ministry for allegedly withdrawing money from the frozen bank accounts of Bawa. On this, the tribunal directed the ministry to serve notice to them and kept the matter for June 21. On April 26, the ministry had sought to implead Ashakiran and Akansha,saying they were the beneficiaries of these funds. The ministry informed the tribunal that Bawa withdrew/ transferred Rs 1 crore and Rs 14 lakh from Axis Bank accounts in two instances in violation of the December 3, 2018 order of the tribunal which had frozen these accounts.last_img read more

Zebrafish may hold the key

first_imgScientists have found the mechanism by which zebrafish heal their damaged retinas, an advance that sheds more light on the potential natural healing pathways that could be tapped in humans. Mammals do not have the ability to immediately regenerate injured parts but zebrafish can spontaneously undergo a regenerative response if their retina is damaged, restoring both its structure and function. The researchers found how Muller glia (MG) cells in the retina of adult zebrafish un-specialise into a stem cell-like state, and give rise to cells that are capable of differentiating into different cell types. The study, published in the journal Cell Reports, found the mechanism by which a small molecule in the zebrafish retinal cells – a microRNA called miR-216a – regulated the formation of another molecule Dot1l, which is an enzyme involved in regulating some genes. When miR-216a was suppressed, the researchers found that the differentiation and proliferation of MG cells was initiated.last_img read more

Ensure exam dates dont clash with voting days DUSU to EC

first_imgNew Delhi: The Delhi University Students’ Union on Tuesday wrote to the varsity vice-chancellor and the Election Commission to ensure that the April-May semester exams do not clash with the dates for voting in the Lok Sabha elections.The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad-led DUSU appealed to students to consciously exercise their fundamental rights to vote in the polls beginning April 11. In the letter addressed to DU VC Professor Yogesh Tyagi, students’ union president Shakti Singh demanded that no practical or semester examinations be conducted anytime during the Lok Sabha elections. The DUSU also demanded that the exams neither be held a day prior nor a day later than the date of casting votes so that students from other states can conveniently exercise their rights to vote. In a separate letter to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora, the DUSU urged him to issue a directive in the form of an advisory to all the educational institutions in the country to not conduct semester examination during the general elections. A request was also made to the concerned officer to make special to and fro rail arrangements across major Indian cities for the convenience of students. Lok Sabha elections will begin on April 11 and polling would be held over seven phases through May 19, followed by counting of votes on May 23.last_img read more

Sri Lanka No election gimmick

first_imgNever before has any Indian Prime Minister tried taking political advantage of terror blasts in any other country the way Narendra Modi is busy doing during his electioneering for the Lok Sabha elections. In the garb of condemning terror attacks on Sri Lanka, Modi is asking people to vote for his Bhartiya Janata Party to eradicate terrorism. As people say ‘yes’ upon being asked by him if they think that terrorism should be completely wiped off, keeping aside all the decency of public life, he asks if there can be anyone other than Modi who can fight terrorism? Modi tells people in his election rallies that a vote for BJP is a vote to destroy terrorism of the sort Sri Lanka has suffered. Also Read – A special kind of bondHis mention of Sri Lanka blasts is a part of his ongoing efforts to exploit high-octane nationalism by adding more fuel to an already ugly politics of patriotism and national security. To turn the national conversation away from its spotty economic record, BJP has made every effort to exploit issues related to Pakistan and China too in the past few months. After terror attacks in Sri Lanka, there are pertinent questions floating in the skies across the world. The first and foremost question is who is really behind the attacks carried out by National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ), an Islamist terror group? According to Sri Lankan authorities, NTJ has multiple links to foreign countries. Also Read – Insider threat managementSri Lanka’s Muslim population is less than 8 per cent of the country’s entire population. Therefore, it is not easy for any local Islamist group to stage such massive attacks. An attack of this magnitude is not possible without the active involvement of a foreign state or state intelligence agency. Which could be that country? Which could be that state intelligence agency? There are reports that the Indian government had sent at least 10 very serious advisories to Sri Lankans based on intelligence inputs about the plans of terror attacks during the past several weeks. India has been actively assisting Sri Lanka in countering terror outfits since the days Rajiv Gandhi was Prime Minister. I recall the days of 1987 when I covered the operations of Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) against Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) in the forests of Jaffna. I spent days and nights with the soldiers and interviewed Maj. Gen. Amarjit Singh Kalkat who was heading the IPKF in Sri Lanka and retired as a Lt. General. Vested international interests are busy throwing various mischievous theories and raising questions about the timing of attacks in Sri Lanka. They argue that as Sri Lanka defeated LTTE years ago, the atmosphere of peace that had prevailed may well have created a false sense of security that was ripe for exploitation. They are trying to connect the dots that suit them. Sri Lankan episode needs an answer for several questions. Why Easter bombings that killed more than 350 people in Sri Lanka including foreign nationals received far less foreign media coverage than Christ Church terrorist attack? Why was the intelligence warning which came on April 4 ignored and even withheld according to Sri Lankan minister Lakshman Kiriella? Why ISIS claimed the responsibility after three days of the terrorist attacks? How ISIS, which is decimated in the Middle East, managed to carry out such massive coordinated attacks in Sri Lanka? These are the questions circulating at different forums of media — print, tv and social digital handles. It is still not clear if the Sri Lankan suicide bombers planned and executed the attacks since the Christchurch killings or if they were planning such bombings for a longer period and then linked it to Christchurch. It is also not clear why Sri Lanka has been chosen when it doesn’t have anything to do with the Christchurch shootings. Nor has it played any role in the West’s wars in the Muslim world, a common excuse the IS gives for its attacks on western countries and civilians. Sri Lanka also doesn’t have a history of Islamist terror. Though IS does not actually represent the victims in New Zealand, they perceive the Christchurch killings as an attack on Islam. So, for a self-proclaimed defender of the faith, they are ‘duty-bound’ to retaliate. IS believes in the philosophy that an act against Islam by Christians is not an act of just one terrorist but a crime committed by ‘crusaders’ and ‘Romans’. Therefore, IS, as the ‘true believer’ of Islam has to punish them. This mindset gives IS a free hand to take action against Christians anywhere in the world. IS operated through a centre-periphery model. Its ‘centre’ was the seized territories of Syria and Iraq — the proto-state from where ‘Caliphate’ functions. Rest of the world is the ‘periphery’ where recruits could be found. The IS’ centre has now been decimated. The Kurdish militia in Syria, and the army and the Shia militia in Iraq have destroyed IS bases from where Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi ruled. But despite the destruction of its organisational structure, its ideological apparatus is intact. Sri Lanka carnage compels us to develop a deeper understanding of terrorism itself. We have to ask serious questions about ISIS because it has claimed the responsibility for the carnage. How did ISIS emerge? Who is helping to sustain ISIS? Who created Daesh? Who sired Al-Qaeda? It is not a hidden fact that many of the terror outfits we know today are linked to geopolitics and the pursuit of global dominance and power. So, could there be any China hand, even remotely, behind the attacks on Sri Lanka because it has been seeking to manipulate the power balance in Sri Lanka for a long time now? A section of Sri Lankan leaders has been resisting these attempts because they are in favour of an independent foreign policy that aims at securing win-win situation with India, China, and Pakistan. Or, could there be a Pakistan hand, through its ‘non-state actors’? Pakistan these days is playing the same games for China that it has been playing for the USA until a few years back. Indian and Sri Lankan security apparatus are probing links between Pak-based terror groups and Lankan extremist groups. No one can say that this is a lone wolf attack. Unless experienced hands are involved, it is impossible to acquire the quantum of explosives used in the attack. The precision with which attacks were made also indicate the role of experienced hands. This type of attack requires extensive training. In this context, there is a need to probe the links between Lankan extremist groups and extremist elements in South East Asia and Maldives. Terrorism has once again shown it is prepared to stop at nothing in creating human victims. An end must be put to this. It cannot be done by making it an election issue to fetch votes in favour of a particular political party. Prime Minister Modi must focus on solving the Sri Lankan puzzle with required seriousness so that India could be saved from such attacks. Even during electioneering, he needs to behave as the Prime Minister of India and not as a ‘swayamsewak’ or merely a BJP leader. (The author is Editor & CEO of News Views India and a national office bearer of the Congress party. The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

Prospect of ISIS Fighters Returning Rings Alarm Bells in Morocco

Rabat – A projected wave of Morocco-bound ISIS elements has alarmed Morocco’s security experts, and the country is preparing to counter and neutralize possible dangers from former Moroccan ISIS fighters. In its December 31 edition, Casablanca-based Al Ahdath Al Maghribia newspaper said that the prospect of ISIS fighters returning is a central element of the mounting fear in Morocco. Following heavy defeats earlier this year, the radicalized group has been forced out of its Iraqi and Syrian territories, and a number of its fighters are expected to return to their respective countries. Citing Moroccan officials, the newspaper indicated that the majority of Moroccans who joined ISIS in Syria, Iraq, and Libya are set to return. Al Ahdath Al Maghribia’s warnings were borne out by a recent report from the European Counterterrorism Center (ECTC). The report highlights the security danger of former ISIS fighters upon return in their origin countries. In addition to their own “enhanced capability to commit acts of terrorism,” returnees “also serve as role models and might be involved in radicalizing others,” the report noted.Read Also: Official: Scandinavian Tourists’ Murder Wasn’t a Coordinated ISIS AttackSpeaking of the possible negative repercussions of ISIS’ recent defeat, ECTC’s report added: “As IS gets weaker, it has been urging its followers to carry out lone actor type attacks in their home countries, rather than guiding them to attempt to travel to the so-called caliphate.”While Morocco’s anti-terrorism authorities have been almost 100 percent effective in minimizing the threats posed by former ISIS returnees, the ECTC report estimates that the next wave of returnees will pose a more lethal danger to security both in Morocco and Europe. Having lost its Syrian and Iraqi strongholds, its self-styled caliphate, ISIS is seeking less traditional ways of inflicting “defeat” on governments, according to the report.While not giving in to the frenzy surrounding the prospective return of former ISIS combatants, Moroccan authorities appeared to have heeded the warnings. Speaking last week as Morocco arrested more suspects in the Imlil murders, Abdelhak El Khiame, the head of Morocco’s Central Bureau of Judicial Intelligence (BCIJ), said, “Every ISIS returnee who sets foot in Morocco will be arrested, questioned, and sent to the courts.” Appearing to reassure Moroccans by playing down returnees’ ability to strike the country, the BCIJ chief gave figures that reaffirmed his team’s success in similar operations in the past.  BCIJ operatives arrested 71 ISIS returnees between 2015 and 2016, El Khiame said. The majority of the 71 arrested returnees had come from combat zones in Syria and Iraq and were planning to strike a number of major Moroccan cities.He said 1,668 Moroccans are estimated to have joined ISIS in Syria, Iraq, and Libya, and Moroccan intelligence have detailed files on each one.Recently named among the world’s safest places, Morocco has traditionally been immune to the scourge of both domestic and foreign-organized terrorist strikes. Prior to the Imlil tragedy which claimed the lives of two Scandinavian tourists, Morocco’s last terrorist incident dated to 2011.While the country’s counter-terrorism system has won plaudits in security circles worldwide, the new threats elicit an updated approach, experts have warned. read more

King Mohammed VI Calls for Improved Water Supply in Rural Areas

Rabat – King Mohammed VI has instructed Morocco’s governmental departments in charge of water policy to improve water supply for Moroccan homes, especially in the remote localities in the northern and southern provinces.The firm royal instructions came during a high-profile meeting on water policy on Thursday in Rabat, according to a press release from the Royal Cabinet.At this period of the year, just before the holy month of Ramadan and high tourism season in summer, demand for water and other resources grows substantially, according the press statement. But the increase in water demands is also linked to the existence of industrial plants and other development projects launched in recent years in many of the concerned regions, the statement noted.“These socio-economic projects such as the Renault automobile industrial plants or the Tangier Tech Mohammed VI initiative launched in cooperation with Chinese partners require an improvement in the water supply of the regions,” the statement explained.In his instructions, the King emphasized that all relevant ministries should work together to meet the increasing demand for water.In line with the King’s instructions, the government water department promised that “the needs in water will be met thanks to interconnection programs” linking three dam projects in the Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region. The projects include the Bni Mansour dam, set to have a capacity of over 1 billion cubic meters.The King’s appeal, which falls within the bounds of the country’s new inclusive and sustainable development model, is a further illustration of the Moroccan monarch’s push to improve the efficiency of public service in meeting the demands of the country’s most needy households, the statement suggested.Also included in the royal statement was the King’s insistence that subsequent meetings and government actions be organized to “accord special importance” to securing and improving water supply for “regions that have chronically lagged behind.” read more

A new incline railway shuttling tourists to one of Niagaras most

The footprint for the funicular, or incline railway, was built way back in 1894. The rail cars were replaced with four elevators in 1990 but in May, they were put back in service after a $7,000,000 upgrade.The funicular is run by Hornblower Niagara Cruises, and for three dollars in addition to the $26 boat fare, it takes tourists from Clifton Hill, down the “Great Gorge” to the Hornblower, that takes them to the bottom of the falls.Last year nearly 2,500,000 people rode the Hornblower in Niagara Falls, and so far since May 15th, almost 200,000 people rode the funicular to get to the boat.There are only four funiculars in all of Canada the second in Niagara Falls. There are two cars both operating at the same time that can hold 56 passengers. read more

Young Greek of the Week

first_imgNameEmily Katherine Harbis, 10.Your greatest achievements and how you reached them Getting into the Victorian State Girls Futsal team to play in the National Championships in Canberra, 2010. I trained very hard during the year.Goal for the future I want to play for in the Matildas – the women’s soccer team of Australia.Best moment of your lifeTravelling overseas last year to Greece, Italy, Paris and Singapore.One word that describes you the bestDetermined.Person you most admire and whyMy Dad because he supports my soccer dream and has been a great help in getting me where I am.Most embarrassing momentWalking in on my naked brother!If I could say anything to the Greek community… It would be to go see a movie at the Greek Film Festival and be proud of who you are!Favourite place to go or hang out atLuna Park.Song that I can’t get out of my head at the momentThe Boy Does Nothing-Alesha Dixon. Favourite Greek foodSouvlakia from Nafplion, Greece.I can’t live without… My family.If I was Kevin Rudd for a day I would… Sit back and relax and let all my ministers do the work. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Wearable Medical Device Boosts Brain Cancer Survival Rates

first_imgStay on target Color-Changing Urine Test Could Help Detect CancerGoogle Algorithm Detects Lung Cancer Better Than Human Doctors A wearable medical device has proven effective among patients with brain cancer.Optune, when used in conjunction with standard temozolomide chemotherapy, significantly improved median overall survival rates for glioblastoma patients.“Glioblastoma is the deadliest primary malignancy of the central nervous system for adults,” according to Roger Stupp, professor of neurological surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and associate director for strategic initiatives at the Robert H Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of NU. An estimated 12,500 people are diagnosed with GBM in the US each year.Two decades ago, Stupp said, the majority of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) patients died within less than one year; long-term survival was nearly unheard of. Now, with the development of Optune, one in seven patients is living longer than five years.OptuneThe noninvasive, portable system includes an electric field generator and transducer arrays—papery sheets applied to a shaved scalp. During its 18-plus hours of wear each day, Optune delivers low-intensity electric fields (tumor treating fields) meant to disrupt the growth of cancer cells.Between July 2009 and November 2014, Stupp enrolled nearly 700 people newly diagnosed with glioblastoma in a clinical trial: 466 were randomly assigned temozolomide and TTFields delivered by the Optune; 229 were randomly assigned temozolomide alone.Final results tip a median survival rate for Optune users at 21 months, compared with 16 months for those receiving temozolomide alone.Optune patient Michael Davies (Novocure)“TTFields are an entirely new treatment modality,” Stupp said. “We need to continue to think outside the box to find other new treatments and then we need to learn how best to combine them with existing treatment modalities to ensure maximum patient benefit.”The team leader presented his results at Sunday’s American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2017 in Washington, D.C.“Beyond GBM, I believe this trial establishes an entirely different approach to cancer treatment with minimal toxicity,” Stupp said, suggesting the technology may be adapted for treatment among “many other cancer types.”last_img read more

Grand Bahama Power quick restoration of Freeport following Irma

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, September 14, 2017 – Grand Bahama – As promised, it is back to normal quickly for Freeport, Grand Bahama and despite the fact that normal for the island still means a severely depressed economy, people are happy to have their electricity back.  It was said that by Tuesday, 95% of islanders had received power and it was a good day for the #GrandBahamaPowerCompany.Teams worked late into the night to get the island back on the grid.  Work continued on areas where there was damage directly to their lines due to the strong winds of the tornadoes in #HurricaneIrma, which brought strong tropical storm conditions to #GrandBahama Island.  The island was one of many in the chain of islands to breathe an audible sigh of relief with the shift in course of the ferocious hurricane.#MagneticMediaNews August 30th – One Year since Hurricane Irma named Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Recommended for you FortisTCI announces bid to hike electricity bills, cites record $42m response to hurricanes as destabilizing Related Items:#GrandBahamaPowerCompany, #HurricaneIrma, #magneticmedianews, grandbahama New, stringent posture on illegal construction makes fines, personal demolition and possible deportation legal says PDM Minister, law now passedlast_img read more

Callum HudsonOdoi has great potential – Sarri

first_imgChelsea manager Maurizio Sarri believes that youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi has the potential to be one of the best players in Europe.With his Chelsea contract set to expire in 18 months, Hudson-Odoi has been linked to Bayern Munich and other top European clubs.Chelsea reported rejected an offer of more than £20m from Bayern for the 18-year-old this week and Sarri believes he has a future at West London.“He [Hudson-Odoi] is a very good player, the potential is there for becoming a great player, and now he has to improve,” Sarri told Sky Sports.Maurizio Sarri, JuventusMaurizio Sarri satisfied despite Juventus’ draw at Fiorentina Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Maurizio Sarri was satisfied with Juventus’ performance on Saturday afternoon after finishing a tough game at Fiorentina 0-0.“He has to improve, I think, in movement without the ball. As a winger, he has to improve in the defensive phase, but he has the potential to become a very important player, not only for English football I think but for European football.“It’s not easy at this level to take the young players from the academy and he’s ready to play, not only here, everywhere in Europe.“We are lucky because we have [Ethan] Ampadu, we have [Andreas] Christensen, we have Odoi. We are really very lucky, or the academy is very good.”last_img read more