Students of the residential Gorakhpur ashram school have their mid-day meal, two to a plate, on the school grounds It’s a little past four in the afternoon, the time when schools ring their closing bells in the Hatsesikhal cluster of Odisha’s tribal-dominated Rayagada district. Just before Sekhal Primary School comes into view, a couple of students in blue uniforms cycle past on the concrete road that cuts through palm tree cultivations and paddy fields.Along the highway that connects the area to the district headquarters 15 km away are rows and rows of eucalyptus trees that feed JK Paper Mills’ manufacturing unit in the district.This particular school has been running since 1926. In 1987, it became a 40-seat residential school. As we enter the premises, students are busy sweeping the yard and classrooms. Some are watering the grounds with mugs filled from a large drum placed near a row of dysfunctional toilets.Hobson’s choiceAt 81, the number of enrolled children is double the sanctioned strength. All the students in its hostel belong to the villages located in the four or five Gram Panchayats in the area. The school’s apparent popularity is not due to its exceptional facilities. For most students, the fact that there are three teachers in this school, and they get three meals a day, makes up for the visible lack of infrastructure: three overcrowded classrooms for five classes, no dining hall or toilets, and a small row of damaged and abandoned rooms gaping at them dismally. But how could they possibly complain? The alternative — to stay on in their village schools — is far worse, and in any case about to disappear.Hostel superintendent Rabindra Kumar Majhi allows two Class 4 students, Santha Mandagi and Siddhanta Melaka, to accompany us to Ranaguda village, which is just a few kilometres away but not easy to access because of the Nagavali, one of southern Odisha’s major rivers that originates in Kalahandi district and flows into neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.As we wade gingerly across to the other bank, we realise we would be lost without the boys. Ranaguda is a 35-household Kondh tribe hamlet a couple of kilometres from the river. It has a primary school, but one with just two students. The teachers recently informed the villagers that the school will be closed down due to poor enrolment.RTE betrayedIn 2016-17, as many as 828 government primary and upper primary schools were shut down in Odisha for having less than 10 students each. It’s less than a decade since the Indian government displayed some political will to achieve the goal of universal and equitable education by passing the Right to Education Act. But the failure, in practically all the States, of hundreds of government-run neighbourhood schools to even stay open betrays a lack of seriousness in implementing the RTE.In Odisha, the Ranaguda case is hardly the first instance of the State government’s inability, and all too often, lack of will, to retain primary students in its neighbourhood schools. In 2014, 195 schools in the State with less than five students were served show-cause notices. In tribal areas like Rayagada and Kandhamal, which also have pockets subject to Maoist influence, the government seems to wilfully favour young children studying in residential schools, cut off from their families. Ostensibly, this is being done to make educational facilities available to those living in remote and conflict-ridden areas. The government even has special programmes to help children who missed out on early education, so that they can be ‘mainstreamed’ into regular schools. But the fact remains that Ranaguda is 15-20 km away from the district headquarters, and the only reason the children here end up going to residential schools is that the local one doesn’t function.This past year, the highest number of free government schools struck off the list, 124, is in the economically backward, though mineral-rich Rayagada district, followed by Kandhamal, which has lost 101 schools.The idea was to ‘merge’ these erstwhile schools with a primary school located within a kilometre’s distance or an upper primary school within 3 km. The state would provide transport facilities or an escort if the distance is above the prescribed limit or the terrain difficult. According to Binodini Panda, district project coordinator, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan, another 268 such schools have already been identified for closure in Rayagada, and are awaiting formal approval.Earlier this month, a circular issued by the OPEPA (Odisha Primary Education Programme Authority) to all district project coordinators appeared to provide some relief, as it stated that geographical barriers are valid grounds to consider re-opening schools. But Panda clarifies that so far as re-opening goes, “there are no schools under consideration in Rayagada.”The Ranaguda villagers, for their part, have appealed to the CRCC (Cluster Resource Centre Coordinator) to reverse the decision. About ten students will be ready to join primary school from the Anganwadi centre next year, they say. But even if the administration agrees, the reason for the low student strength is likely to continue.Gathered together outside one of the pucca houses built under the Indira Awaas Yojana scheme, the parents say that the two teachers hardly ever make the trek here and had last come two days before this reporter’s visit. Even the Anganwadi worker has been refusing to come here, they say. Complaints to the CRCC have proved futile. In frustration, the residents have been pulling the children out of the village school and sending them away to the nearest ‘hostel schools’ for adivasi children.The majority of these kids are first generation students. Most of the Kui-speaking women in the village are also non-conversant in Odia, the medium of instruction in the schools. But the will to ensure at least elementary education to their children is high. The basic requirement, which they rightly demand, is the regular presence of teachers.Biju Kolaka is a student of Class 10. He is one of the few older students who continue to live in this village of small farmers, who grow vegetables like tomato, brinjal and chilli. He crosses the river on foot every day to reach school in Jemadeipentho. During the monsoon, when the river swells, it takes Kolaka an hour on bicycle to cross the bridge 10 km away and get to his school. Kolaka’s elder brother, though, has been sent to study at a residential high school in Rayagada city.The distrust of the education department is palpable. Even though staff strength is low, not in a single government school that we visited were all the appointed teachers present. The teachers in school had their attention divided between students of two or three classes, all sitting together in the same room. Sending students to residential schools is not uncommon here.Increasing cultural alienationThe preference for hostel schools is not from the parents’ side alone; it is a strategic decision on the part of the State in this fully Scheduled area with a low literacy rate. According to the 2011 Census, the rate of literacy among the Scheduled Tribes (STs) in Odisha was 52.24% against the overall literacy rate of 72.87%.Among the communities living here, dependent mainly on agriculture for their livelihood, the SC & ST Development Department of Odisha states that “improving educational facilities through residential institutions has been an identified thrust area”.There are different categories of free schools it runs, from high schools to ashram schools for elementary education, sevashrams for primary education, and educational complexes for particularly vulnerable tribal groups. Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya, a central government initiative, focusses on girl students from the SC, ST and OBC groups. Then there are institutions such as the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences, a private residential school in Bhubaneswar, which claims to provide free education to 27,000 ST children within its 80-acre campus, and has plans to open more such schools in 20 districts of Odisha.Social activists have expressed concerns that this strategy has been increasing a sense of cultural alienation among the students. “They are forgetting their family culture and imbibing alien values. A child from a residential school is unable to cope with her village circumstances; he or she looks at it with disdain, has a sense of inferiority, and is always looking for a way out,” says Vidhya Das, from the NGO Agragamee that works in 10 districts of Odisha.The current policy is similar to the setting up of residential schools for aboriginal children in Australia and Canada that started in the late 19th century, with assimilation the stated reason. The physical and emotional abuse faced by children removed from their homes, the denial of their cultural heritage and history, their subsequent demands for reparation, as well as the Canadian government’s apology for the hardships they faced, are well documented.With the aim of ensuring that tribal children get their education in local schools, Agragamee has provided additional teachers conversant with the Kui language in 18 government primary schools in Rayagada district. They say that this has increased attendance. The education department also runs a similar programme of multilingual education. And yet, the emphasis on residential schools has gained momentum. Anasthesia Kerketa, assistant district education officer, points out that aside from 40 and 100-seat schools, there are now 500-seat ones too.Flourishing private schoolsIn contrast to the government schools in villages, which have been running short of students, many of these residential schools are overcrowded. Gorakhpur High School, an ashram school in Kashipur block of Rayagada, has 1,050 students, of which 220 girls and 473 boys are in residence. The 15 teachers in residence here are well below the mandated student-pupil ratio. “We end up admitting so many students due to political pressure,” says the headmaster Pitambar Bhoi. | Photo Credit: BiswaranjanRout Even as the government promotes residential schools, it has been unable to address the main issues that are driving students out of the government schools in their own locality: teacher shortage and teacher motivation.The primary school in Sana Raisingh village in Rayagada block closed a year ago. It used to have a single teacher who would come for just an hour a day, say the villagers. They have already petitioned the collector to reopen the school.When this school closed, the existing students dispersed, some to the closest government school, many to a private school in the neighbourhood. But three physically challenged ST children were left behind. Unable to walk properly, Shadin Menaka, Nimak Raja and Diksha Kolaka dropped out.Opposite the closed school in this 30-household village is a neat row of newly constructed toilets under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan programme. The hamlet includes both Kondh tribals as well as Telugu families belonging to the general category. Some of the latter started sending their children to a private, English-medium convent school in nearby Jimidipeta, which charges annual fees starting from ₹3,000. Unlike the nearest government school, the private school sends a vehicle for the children. “There’s a bypass road here, with trucks going to Vishakapatnam. So we don’t want our children to walk to school. But if the local government school were to reopen, all the students would come back here,” says Virata Jagdishwari, who has two daughters studying at the private school.Similar trendsThis is by no means an Odisha story alone. State governments across the country are preparing the ground for the mushrooming of low-cost private schools. According to several media reports, Maharashtra has identified 4,093 schools for closure. Andhra Pradesh, which closed 9,000 schools last year, was one of the first States to experiment with public-private partnership in school education. Rajasthan, which merged as many as 17,000 schools in 2014, will adopt the same policy from the next academic session.“Minimum RTE norms are not being achieved in government schools, from maintaining the student-teacher ratio to infrastructure to providing a support system for teachers. With the quality of education dropping, children have been leaving for private schools,” says Ambarish Rai, national convenor, RTE Forum.This is clearly the case in the Humma Gram Panchayat area of Odisha’s Ganjam district, which is also Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s home turf.In 2013, Ganjam was badly affected by Cyclone Phailin. The cyclone shelters and rehabilitation houses in its rural areas alert one to the fact that this region is prone to natural disasters. The district, which has the highest proportion of SCs living in the state, closed down 70 primary and upper primary schools in 2016-17. District education officer Sanatan Panda says that the migration of skilled workers to Surat and other places has led to the drop in the student enrolment in many blocks. The proliferation of private schools is another reason.In Baunsiapada, a village of Dalit families that make bamboo products, a primary school opened in 2004. The village, situated close to a railway crossing and a busy highway, had to fight hard for it. But the school had a short life. Since 2015, it has been merged with the primary school in Gada Humma. According to the in-charge of the school, Lingaraj Mahankuda, only two of the nine students from Baunsiapada made it to Gada Humma.In 2013, when Mahankuda joined the Gada Humma school, it had 75 students. The number has since shrunk to 42. “Educated people who can afford it send their children to private schools,” he says. Prafulla Kumar Nayak, who was the president of the school management committee of the now-defunct Baunsiapada school, has enrolled his son at the nearby Sri Sai Saraswati Vidhya Mandir. He considers it a better option for his son.Started only in 2014, this private school presents a stark contrast to the pitiful number of students in the two classrooms at the Gada Humma government school. P. Ravindra Reddy, pradhan acharya of the school, and Suresh Chandra, secretary, put the total number of students at 519, with each paying ₹1,200-₹1,800 annually.Run under the aegis of the RSS-backed Bharat Shiksha Vikash Sansthan, the classrooms of this institution turn into hostel rooms at night. Aluminium boxes containing the students’ belongings are pushed against the walls of the classrooms during the day.The State government has put its hands up, claiming to be overburdened. Of the 11 blocks of Rayagada, only four have block education officers, of whom Kerketa is in charge of two in addition to her duties as assistant director of education. Teachers, too, claim to be overworked.Battle to keep school openMahankuda of the Gada Humma school points out that apart from having to juggle several classes at the same time, they also have to be available for compulsory election duties, do survey work, and supervise mid-day meals and the distribution of iron tablets. Shiksha Sahayaks, or assistant teachers, also mention “discriminatory pay scales” as a reason for the low motivation level among government teachers.Simanchak Pani, a Shiksha Sahayak at Gabudi primary school in Subalaya panchayat, complains that though he has completed three years at his job, he will be regularised only after another three years. In the meantime, he must make do with ₹6,000 per month. “How is it possible to remain motivated?” he asks.About six months ago, the villagers of Gabudi made a forceful bid to stop the village primary school, which then had seven students, from being closed down. They decided that increasing the student numbers was the only way. Kailash Jena, a farmer, brought his son, Biswajit, back from Saraswati Shishu Mandir, and a few more children living with relatives elsewhere returned to the village. The school now has 11 students, and its future remains precarious unless the numbers increase.Several residents of the village (all of them non-SC/ST) have migrated to work in the Alang shipyards, and to seek employment as skilled workers in the textile and marble industries of Gujarat. As his neighbours laugh, Jena says that family planning has been their downfall so far as school enrolment numbers are concerned. “An SC-ST village a kilometre down doesn’t have that problem,” he jokes, “creating traffic jams on their road to school.” Clearly, Gabudi village doesn’t want its own primary school merged with that one.
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi today (April 18) in Aurangabad, Maharashtra.Asaduddin Owaisi called Narendra Modi “king of liars”.”PM of India, you are the king of liars, you don’t want to fight terrorism. If you wanted to fight terrorism, if you had class and sincerity, then you would not have made a person with terrorism charges a candidate,” Asaduddin Owaisi said.Criticising the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its recent decision to field Sadhvi Pragya as Lok Sabha candidate from Bhopal, AIMIM took to Twitter and wrote, “Their [BJP] manifesto says zero tolerance on terrorism, but they [BJP] go ahead and nominate a terror accused [Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur]. What will they [BJP] say to those injured and murdered in Malegaon [blast case]?”Their manifesto says zero tolerance on terrorism, but they go ahead and nominate a terror accused. What will they say to those injured & murdered on Malegaon?#PragyaJoinsBJP pic.twitter.com/umX2pHF65fAIMIM Official (@aimim_national) April 18, 2019″A terror accused [Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur] has been rehabilitated by the BJP. The brazenness must be astounding to outsiders; but we are discussing it like it is a routine political strategy. This is the BJP’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy on terrorism,” Asaduddin Owaisi wrote on Twitter.A terror accused has been rehabilitated by BJP. The brazenness of must be astounding to outsiders; but we are discussing it like it is routine political strategyThis is the BJP’s zero tolerance policy against terrorism https://t.co/7U3awA6X0nadvertisementAsaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) April 18, 2019On the day (April 17) when Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur was fielded as Lok Sabha candidate from Bhopal, former Jammu and Kashmir CM Mehbooba Mufti said, “Imagine the anger if I’d field a terror accused. Channels would’ve gone berserk by now trending a mehboobaterrorist hashtag!”Imagine the anger if I’d field a terror accused. Channels would’ve gone berserk by now trending a mehboobaterrorist hashtag! According to these guys terror has no religion when it comes to saffron fanatics but otherwise all Muslims are terrorists. Guilty until proven innocent https://t.co/ymTumxgty7Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) April 17, 2019Read | Sadhvi Pragya joins BJP, Mehbooba asks what if I fielded a terrorist Political activist Tehseen Poonawalla on Thursday (April 18) urged the Election Commission (EC) to debar BJP’s Bhopal candidate Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur from contesting the Lok Sabha polls as she was facing terror charges.In a letter to the poll body, Poonawalla said that the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) had found Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur to be the “principal conspirator” in the 2008 Malegaon blast in which six people were killed.I have filed a complaint with the #ElectionCommission to not allow #SadhviPragyaSinghThakur ji from contesting the #LokSabhaElections2019 as she is a terror accused. Hardik Patel a riot accused was also prevented by the EC.I state: I am not a member of any political party 1n pic.twitter.com/JfaaOH82E2Tehseen Poonawalla (@tehseenp) April 18, 2019Read | Tehseen Poonawalla moves EC against Sadhvi Pragya, says BJP fielding terror accused in pollsThe father of one of the victims of the 2008 Malegaon blast also moved the special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on Thursday, urging it to bar prime accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur from contesting the Lok Sabha elections.The application was filed by Nisar Sayeed, who lost his son in the blast, a day after the BJP fielded Thakur from the Bhopal Lok Sabha seat against Congress veteran Digvijay Singh.Sadhvi is facing trial in the 2008 Malegaon blast case.Saffron-clad Thakur (48), with her trademark short hair and sporting a rudraksh mala, became the face of right wing extremism after being arrested by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) in the 2008 Malegaon blast case.Arrested in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, Sadhvi Pragya was given a clean chit by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), but the trial court refused to discharge her from the case.She was granted bail by the Bombay High Court in 2017. Six people were killed and over 100 injured when a bomb went off near a mosque in Malegaon in north Maharashtra, on September 29, 2008. According to the prosecution, it was the handiwork of a Hindu extremist group.The court dropped the charges under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against her, and she is now being tried under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.(Inputs from PTI)Also Read | Lok Sabha Election 2019: All dates, full schedule, constituency-wise details, all you need to knowAlso Read | Sadhvi Pragya, Malegoan blast accused, joins BJP; who is she?Also Watch | Sadhvi Pragya Thakur joins BJP, may take on Digvijaya Singh from Bhopaladvertisement
zoom Maritime data analysis, software and services provider NAPA, and marine electronics equipment and solutions provider FURUNO, have agreed to enter a partnership designed to support the digital progress of the global maritime fleet.The parties have integrated NAPA Performance Monitoring and NAPA Logbook software with FURUNO hardware to offer a market-ready data logging and reporting solution using data signals already present onboard.“This partnership offers a step forward into the Big Data era for ship owners, operators and managers with Internet of Things data-collection, electronic logging, and ship-shore and data-centre communications,” the companies said.The services offered will use existing FURUNO hardware and satellite communication solutions to support data-driven streamlining of operations, through business intelligence and boosting vessel performance, crew productivity and shore operation.The two data-led platforms offered form the basis of NAPA’s Shipping Solutions, designed to optimise vessel efficiency, safety, and enhance productivity both on-board and for shore based offices.
Lunenburg County: Laconia Road, Laconia A closure will be in place at the south end of Laconia Road, about 350 metres north of Lapland Road in Laconia, for a culvert replacement. Work begins today, Sept 15. A detour will be in place on Lapland Road to Route 325 to Route 210 to Waterloo Road. Work is expected to be completed by Tuesday, Sept. 26. YARMOUTH COUNTY: Melbourne Road Melbourne Road from Route 334, Acadia, for about three kilometres towards Pinkneys Point, will have alternating lane closures for maintenance and paving from Monday, Sept. 18 through Monday, Oct. 2. Signs and traffic control people will be on site. Work takes place from sunrise to sunset. CONTINUING WORK INVERNESS COUNTY: West Lake Ainslie Road The Hayes River Bridge on West Lake Ainslie Road has a 15-tonne weight restriction. CAPE BRETON REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Mira Gut Bridge The Mira Gut Bridge on Mira Bay Drive is temporarily closed for inspection. There is a detour route via Brickyard Road and Hornes Road. LUNENBURG COUNTY: Blue Rocks Road Blue Rocks Road, east of the Lunenburg town line to Stonehurst Road, has alternating lane closures for repaving and upgrades. The work is expected to be completed Saturday, Sept. 30. NEW WORK ANNAPOLIS COUNTY: Phinney Bridge, Old Mill Road Phinney Bridge on Old Mill Road in Wilmot, is closed for maintenance work until Saturday, Sept 30. A detour is in place. LUNENBURG COUNTY: Route 329 Route 329, from Deep Cove Road to New Harbour Road, has alternating lane closures for repaving and upgrades. The work is expected to be completed Saturday, Sept. 30. INVERNESS COUNTY: Highway 105 Highway 105, near Whycocomagh, is reduced to one lane for paving until Friday, Sept. 22. The lane reduction starts about four kilometres west of Exit 4 and continues for 8.4 kilometres west. Work takes place from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Traffic control people are on site. GUYSBOROUGH COUNTY: Route 316, Goshen Route 316, from the intersection of Route 276 in Goshen north to the Antigonish-Guysborough county line, has alternating lane closures for paving and patching until Friday, Oct. 20. Traffic signals and traffic control people are on site. Work takes place from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: North West Arm Drive Both southbound lanes on North West Arm Drive are closed during repairs to the bridge over the Chain of Lakes Trail beside First Chain Lake. Traffic is being detoured to the northbound bridge where there is one lane for each direction. Repairs to both bridges are expected to be completed by Thursday, Nov. 30. LUNENBURG COUNTY: New Cumberland Road, south of Bridgewater New Cumberland Road from Lakefield Road to Mount Pleasant, will have alternating lane closures for resurfacing and upgrades. Work takes place from sunrise to sunset, from Monday, Sept. 18, until Friday, Oct. 20. COLCHESTER COUNTY: Trout Brook Bridge Trout Brook Bridge on Trout Brook Road, near Tatamagouche, is closed for repairs until Tuesday, Sept 26. Signed detour is in place. GUYSBOROUGH COUNTY: Route 316 Route 316, from Coddles Harbour Bridge to Drum Head Wharf Road, is reduced to one lane for upgrades and repairs until Friday, Nov. 15. Traffic lights are in place but delays are expected. Work takes place from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Highway 102, Exit 2, Night Work Highway 102, southbound lanes, from Exit 2 to Bayers Road are reduced to one lane for road repairs until Saturday, Sept. 30. This is for night work only. Work takes place from 7:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. LUNENBURG COUNTY: Lapland Road, west of Bridgewater Lapland Road, from the intersection of Route 325 south for 6.5 kilometres, will have alternating lane closures for resurfacing and upgrades. Work takes place from sunrise to sunset, Monday, Sept. 18, until Friday, Oct. 20. YARMOUTH COUNTY: Route 3, Argyle Route 3, between Exit 32 and Ye Old Argyle Road, is reduced to one lane for paving and construction until Tuesday, Oct. 31. Drivers should expect delays. Work takes place form sunrise to sunset. -30- LUNENBURG COUNTY: Mullock Road Mullock Road, from Route 325 going south to Trunk 3, has alternating lane closures for repaving and upgrades. The work is expected to be completed Saturday, Sept. 30. HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Route 333, Prospect Road, Hatchet Lake The intersection of MacDonald Lake Drive and Route 333 (Prospect Road) in Hatchet Lake has occasional stop-and-go traffic during work to widen and pave the road. Work will continue until Saturday, Sept 30. Drivers should reduce speed and expect delays. Work takes place from sunrise to sunset. PICTOU COUNTY: Route 376, West River Route 376, between civic numbers 1177 and 1188, is closed for a culvert replacement until Monday, Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. Northbound traffic will be detoured from Highway 376 via Sylvester Road and then to Alma Road. Southbound traffic will be detoured from Highway 376 via Alma Road and then to Sylvester Road.
Arab and Muslim figures on Friday mourned the death of former South African President Nelson Mandela, noting his cause as an example for the world to follow.Egypt’s presidency released an official obituary statement, reflecting on Mandela’s fight for justice and the struggle to end apartheid.“Egypt had a leading role in supporting the resistance of African countries to reach their freedom and independence. Because of its hard stance against racial discrimination in South Africa, Egypt did not hesitate to cut diplomatic relations with South Africa’s former racist government.” al-Masry al-Youm website quoted the statement as saying. “Leaders like Nelson Mandela, Gamal Abdul Nasser, and the African forefathers who struggled for freedom and independence will forever be a source of inspiration to people, and an example to lead by.“He will remain in the hearts and mind of Egyptians as one of the most prominent symbols of national struggle in the modern world,” added the statement.Ahmad al-Muslimani, presidential advisor to Adly Mansour, publicly commented on Mandela’s death, saying that Egypt and the African continent will always remember him as a lieutenant of pride and glory, reported al-Fagr news website.Cairo feels deep sorrow for the departure of an iconic figure of national freedom and independence, and his cause will always inspire those seeking justice, said the Egyptian official.Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani tweeted: “With a heavy heart, we say goodbye to Nelson Mandela. Surely, his legacy will remain a source of #inspiration and courage for all people.”Pakistan’s former Interior Minister Rehman Malik, like a number of Pakistani figures, also took to Twitter to mourn the Mendela’s loss.“The world has lost Nelson Mandela a great leader and symbol of struggle. May God bless his soul in peace,” Malik tweeted.Solid standPalestinian president Mahmoud Abbas also commented on Mandela‘s death, highlighting the former South African leader‘s stand with the Palestinian cause.“The Palestinian people will never forget his historic statement that the South African revolution will not have achieved its goals as long as the Palestinians are not free,” Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was quoted by AFP as saying.Influential Palestinian Islamist group Hamas called Mandela “one of the biggest supporters of our cause,” according to Reuters.“Today a great freedom fighter, Nelson Mandela has died, one of the world’s most important symbols of freedom,” Moussa Abu Marzouk, a senior Hamas official, was quoted by Reuters as saying.In the United States, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization in the United States, released a statement to pay tribute to Mandela’s death.“Throughout his life, Nelson Mandela served as an example of strength in adversity to all those fighting for freedom and justice. His legacy of uncompromising perseverance in the face of bigotry and injustice will live on for generations to come,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad in the statement.CAIR‘s statement on the occasion quoted a saying by the Prophet Mohammad: “For every day on which the sun rises, there is a [reward] for the one who establishes justice among people.”Silent prayerSouth African political party group al-Jama’ah called on Muslims to perform a silent prayer for former president Nelson Mandela, reported South African-based news website Independent Online.The pro-Muslim group, founded in 2007, also released a statement reacting to the death of the popular leader.“The greatest gift one can give to a human being is freedom and that is what Mandela did for all South Africans,” The Independent Online quoted al-Jama’ah party leader Ganief Hendricks as saying in the statement.“The party has asked all Muslims to observe all protocols as Muslim leaders from every Arab and Muslim country visit South Africa over the next two weeks to pay their respects to the country and comfort South Africans,” he added.According to Hendricks, the party will be paying tribute to Mandela by feeding the poor and participating in goodwill programs over the next two weeks, reported the news website.Source: Al Arabiya
By Hajare EL KhaldiRabat – Morocco will participate as a guest of honor, at the 2018 International Book Fair of Quebec (SILQ), held between April 11-15Moroccan writers, from Morocco and in Canada, and Canadian writers will collectively launch an intellectual and artistic dialogue between the two cultures, announced the Ministry of Culture and Communication. This intellectual gathering will introduce the Canadian public to almost 2000 titles, by Moroccan writers and creators.The book fair will provide a total number of 3500 copies of these books, published by various sources, including nine publishing houses, namely, Afrique Orient, Attaouhidi, Bouregreg, Chaaraoui, En Toutes Lettres, La Croisée des Chemins, Les Frères Slaiki, Marsam, and Tarik Editions, in addition to 14 educational, academic, and governmental institutions. In collaboration with the Council of the Moroccan Community Residing Abroad, the Moroccan Cultural Center in Montreal “Dar Al Maghrib”, the Ministry of Guardianship will also organize a series of cultural activities.Read Also: 25 Books Banned at the 24th International Book Fair in CasablancaThis event will offer a series of roundtables, creative readings, musical poetic performances, and author presentations of recent publications. The Moroccan participants include Abdellah Boussouf, historian and general secretary of the Council of the Moroccan Community Residing Abroad; Asma Lamrabet, Islamic feminist and author of Women and Men in the Qur’an; Fatiha Morchid, poet; Kamal Benkirane, editor, poet, and author of J’ai tué l’hiver; Mahi Binebine, painter and author of Le Fou du Roi; Maria Guessous, winner of the Moroccan women’s literature prize in 2015 for Nous N’irons Pas Tous au Paradis; Moha Ennaji, linguist, writer, and political critic; Mohamed Nedali, author of Triste Jeunesse; Rachid Khaless, author of Cantiques du désert; Soumaya Naamane-Guessous, sociologist and women’s rights activist; and Moroccan-born historian Yolande Cohen.Read Also:Casablanca’s International Book Fair Attended by 520,000 Visitors, Up by 50.72%The program’s sequences dedicated to Moroccan writing and creativity revolve around the themes, “Quebec the Muse, Jazz and Poetry,” “The Position of Literature and Writers in Morocco,” “The Utility of Francophonie for Writers,” “Plural Morocco,” “Women and Islam,” and “Women’s Word, Too.”. A collection of books exhibited by governmental and academic institutions will be donated to the library of the Moroccan Cultural Center in Montreal.
6 November 2007The United Nations and the Government of the Dominican Republic today appealed for almost $14 million to aid those affected by Tropical Storm Noel and the ensuing floods which affected 80 per cent of the Central American nation’s territory. The United Nations and the Government of the Dominican Republic today appealed for almost $14 million to aid those affected by Tropical Storm Noel and the ensuing floods which affected 80 per cent of the Central American nation’s territory. A state of emergency was declared on 31 October, two days after Noel hit the Dominican Republic, causing major flooding, landslides and the destruction of infrastructure. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that 85 people are confirmed dead and at least 48 are still missing. As many as 28 out of the 32 provinces, including the capital region, have been affected. Of the more than 66,600 people who were displaced, over 23,000 are in official temporary shelters, while the remainder are staying with relatives or friends. Almost 16,700 homes have been partially destroyed and 46 bridges and highways have been affected. “I hope donors will respond with generous humanitarian aid to help the survivors of this devastating storm, which has affected such a broad swathe of the country and its population,” said UN Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes. “As the longer-term economic impact is also bound to be grave, their assistance will prove crucial in the recovery effort that follows,” he added. Priority needs include water and basic sanitation, especially hygiene, as well as food aid and assistance in restoring livelihoods. In addition, assistance in other areas, including housing and shelter, health, agriculture, protection, and education, is also needed. A portion of the requested amount will be met by a grant from the UN’s own Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), which was set up to close the resource gap that can hamper emergency relief efforts in their early stages. Meanwhile, OCHA is sending a Disaster Assessment and Coordination team to the Mexican state of Tabasco, roughly 80 per cent of which was under water in recent days. Authorities there said that 350,000 people are trapped in their homes and estimate that flooding has affected half the state’s 2.1 million residents and inundated about 700,000 homes. Electricity is out for 90 per cent of the residents of the capital, Villahermosa. In addition, crops have been destroyed, livestock have been killed and most of the state’s businesses have been affected. Rains have also caused landslides that damaged the road network. The flooding in Mexico is the worst in more than 50 years, according to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), which estimates that some one third of those affected are children. The agency has appealed for $3.26 million to respond to the immediate needs of children, adolescents and women affected by flooding in Mexico, as well as in Central America and the Caribbean.
Metso’s valves business area has joined forces with Hexagon PPM as the Finland-based company looks to ramp up its quotation efficiency for engineering firms.The agreement complements Metso’s digital quotation tools and will enhance the “efficient exchange of enquiry, quotation and project execution data between Metso and its engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) customers who use Hexagon PPM’s SmartPlant and Smart software suites”, according to Metso.Oscar Bronsveld, responsible for Global Project Sales at Metso’s Valves business area, said the majority of the company’s EPC customers in the oil and gas, and petrochemical industries use the Smart Instrumentation software suite.“Our target is to improve our responsiveness and bring value to them by saving them precious engineering hours in data processing,” he said.Hexagon’s PPM division is a leading provider of asset life cycle solutions for design, construction, and operation of industrial facilities. It transforms unstructured information into a smart digital asset, allowing clients to visualise, build, and manage structures and facilities of all complexities, ensuring safe and efficient operation throughout the entire life cycle, according to Metso.Back in July, Ausenco, a global consulting, engineering, project delivery, operations and asset management company, selected the suite of engineering design tools, information management solutions and cloud services from Hexagon’s PPM division to execute global projects, including in the mining and oil and gas sectors.Metso’s existing digital valve project quotation tool will be integrated with Hexagon’s Smart Instrumentation tool, which offers a “single engineering environment to create and manage instrumentation data, as well as create and manage change consistently across required deliverables”, according to Hexagon.Metso said: “This integration will provide a bi-directional data exchange capability with the EPCs, allowing a reduction in the quotation processing time and an increase in accuracy when configuring and documenting projects in the quotation phases.”Rashmi Kasat, VP, Head of Digital Business Development at Metso, said: “Our vision is to provide our clients with a seamless customer experience by combining the power of Metso’s digital tools, knowledge of the end customers’ technical needs and process requirements together with Hexagon’s solid experience in engineering and information software development.”
RK Vardar Skopje suspended two players after incident during the “night life” in Skopje last Tuesday. Dejan Manaskov and Stojanče Stoilov has been a part of the fight in which Stoilov suffered light injuries. Everything happened at 4.15 in the morning. Players came into the verbal conflict with uknown group of guys, which was only a “warm-up” for something even worse.Dejan Manaskov suffered damage on his car.RK Vardar decided to suspend both players on two weeks according the club’s discipline rules.Both players have been important part of Macedonian squad at EHF EURO 2016 in Poland. dejan manaskovRK Vardar SkopjeStojance Stoilov ← Previous Story Herrem and Lacabrere to join ŽRK Vardar Next Story → EHF EURO 2016: Mizuno Handball is European champion
Steaks hachés : trois enfants hospitalisés dont un porteur de E.coliLe quotidien régional Sud Ouest a annoncé que trois enfants étaient actuellement hospitalisés à Bordeaux après avoir consommé des steaks hachés vendus sous les marques Jean Rozé, Netto et Top Budget. La bactérie E.coli a été détectée chez l’un des enfants.L’alerte sanitaire a été déclenchée dans seize départements du sud-ouest de la France. En effet, trois nouveaux cas de contamination par des steaks cachés ont été recensés dans la région de Bordeaux. D’après les informations communiquées par l’Agence régionale de santé (ARS), il s’agirait de trois enfants hospitalisés à l’hôpital Pellegrin de la ville. “Une fillette actuellement en service de réanimation pédiatrique, à l’état stable mais sévère, un enfant de quatorze ans et une petite de deux ans et demi dont l’état s’améliore mais qui restent sous surveillance”, a indiqué une porte-parole de l’ARS, selon un bilan de santé effectué dimanche.À lire aussiLyon : deux ingénieurs de l’IRSN contaminés par un gaz radioactif ?Les jeunes patients auraient tous trois consommé des steaks hachés achetés dans deux magasins différents Intermarché et Netto, et vendus sous les marques Jean Rozé, Netto et Top Budget. Or, les analyses effectuées à l’hôpital ont confirmé “la présence de la bactérie E. coli de type O157 dans le cas le plus sévère”. Concernant le garçon de quatorze ans et la fillette de deux ans et demi, les résultats sont encore attendus et devraient être connus mardi. Néanmoins, au vu des circonstances, l’ARS a décidé de déclencher l’alerte sanitaire pour prévenir de nouveaux cas. Ainsi, les deux enseignes Intermarché et Netto ont demandé samedi aux acheteurs de steaks hachés dans seize départements de rester vigilant avec les produits. Selon les informations données, les steaks hachés consommés présentaient une date de péremption fixée au 15 juin. Néanmoins, certains consommateurs pourraient les avoir congelés. Si tel est le cas, il leur est donc demandé de les rapporter et évidemment de signaler tout problème. Les bactéries Escherichia coli peuvent entraîner des diarrhées parfois sanglantes, des douleurs abdominales et des vomissements, accompagnés ou non de fièvre. Dans 5 à 8% des cas, ces symptômes peuvent être suivis de complications rénales sévères, principalement chez les enfants et les personnes âgées de plus de 65 ans. La contamination bactérienne peut alors se faire par ingestion d’aliments crus ou peu cuits tels que de la viande, du lait, des produits laitiers ou encore des légumes crus.Le 25 juin 2012 à 12:53 • Maxime Lambert
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has refused to be drawn on speculation that the title race between City and Liverpool could be decided by games against Manchester United.United may be out of contention for the Premier League title this season but they could still have a big say in the outcome of this season’s race between rivals, City and Liverpool.The Red Devils will host league leaders Liverpool on February 24 while Guardiola’s men are scheduled to visit Old Trafford on March 16.Asked at a press conference if he would like a favour from his cross-town neighbours when they host Liverpool, the former Barcelona boss was coy.Guardiola said, according to BT Sport: “If Liverpool are in front two or three points going to Old Trafford and United are 10 or 12 points behind us, what do you think I am going to think the day before that game?”Premier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…“But I don’t know. We have to go to Old Trafford too and try to win there. If United beat Liverpool – perfect – but if United beat us the situation is the same.”“We can do what we can do against United (but) Liverpool – zero, nothing. I don’t have the telephone number for Solskjaer!”“What we can do is beat United when we go there. It is a big mistake to think about that when you want to compete in all the competitions and focus on what we have to do.”“Before United-Liverpool I’ll tell you more clearly but there are many games for both sides before those games.”
Forest fires ravaging southern Chile have now killed 11 people, President Michelle Bachelet said Saturday, as firefighters waged an all-out battle to extinguish the raging infernos.Bachelet told reporters that more than 9,000 firefighters and other responders have been enlisted to battle the fires, which have destroyed almost 1.2 million acres (480,000 hectares) in seven regions of the South American nation.”We are fighting the fire without pause and without precedent,” Bachelet declared.More than 4,500 volunteer firefighters and members of the country’s national forest brigades plus some 4,600 police officers and other public officials are battling the blaze.The fires have forced more than two thousand people into shelters, and have damaged or destroyed more than 4,000 dwellings.Among the countries that have dispatched aid to help put out the infernos are Argentina, Spain, France, Portugal and Mexico.A Russian aircraft with a 42-ton water-carrying capacity is due to arrive on Sunday, while Brazil and Peru were also expected to send firefighting aircraft.According to the latest report by Chile’s national forest service, Conaf, there are a total of 110 separate fires, 50 of which are under control, while 60 are still being fought.Fires are common in Chile’s parched forests during the southern hemisphere’s summer. Most are caused by human activity. More than 35 people have been arrested and accused of playing a role in starting or propagation the fires.Fire activity this year was worse than usual because of a drought attributed by environmentalists to climate change.
Kolkata: Howrah Municipal Corporation (HMC) has chalked out an elaborate plan, mainly for desiltation of major drainage channels to keep the city free from waterlogging during monsoon.With a couple of months left for the monsoon season to set in, the corporation has started taking all necessary initiatives to ensure that waterlogging in the city becomes a matter of the past.The civic body has already taken steps in this regard and the work of desilting all major drainage channels in the city has already started. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsTop brass of the civic body held a high-level meeting, so that the work can be undertaken in time, ensuring that people do not face any inconvenience during monsoon. Additional manpower has been deputed to carry out the desiltation work and at the same time, officials are constantly monitoring the work to ensure its timely completion. Senior officials of the civic body have also visited the places that have been plagued by waterlogging in the past years. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedBesides taking steps to ensure that the logged water recedes fast from those areas, the officials have also identified the other infrastructural developments that need to be carried out for a permanent solution to the problem of waterlogging.Realising that besides desilting the drainage channels there is also a need to carry out the same in waterbodies under the jurisdiction of other agencies, senior officials of the department held meetings with the agencies and urged them to carry out the work. A senior official of the civic body said that water from North Howrah mainly recedes into Ranijhil, which falls under the jurisdiction of the railways. The civic body has written to the railway authorities, requesting them to desilt the lake. Senior officials of the civic body have also held a meeting with top brass of the railways in this connection.The civic authorities have also held meetings with Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authorities (KMDA) and the state Irrigation department. They held a discussion with KMDA authorities on necessary steps to be taken, to ensure that pumping stations function in full capacity during monsoon. At the same time, there was a discussion with Irrigation department officials as well, over desiltation of canals, including one in Nazirganj. Mayor Rathin Chakraborty said: “We carry out necessary work to check waterlogging every year. But this time, we have prepared a plan of action and initiated the work a bit early. Officials of all ranks are monitoring the work to ensure it gets executed properly in the grassroot level.” Bijin Krishna, commissioner of Howrah Municipal Corporation, said: “It is expected that the situation would be better this time, with necessary steps being taken to avoid waterlogging.”
BALURGHAT: Makhan Jha, a resident of Balurghat’s Mangalpur, has lodged a complaint on Monday claiming that he had been duped of Rs 50,000 after he shared his bank details with a person who introduced himself as a bank manager.Jha, a permanent resident of Bihar, has been staying in Balurghat for over a couple of years. Receiving complaint from him, police have started an investigation. None has been arrested so far. According to him, he has a savings account in a nationalised bank at its Balurghat branch. He used to keep cash there. A few days ago, a man introducing himself as the manager of that branch asked Jha about his bank account details or said his account would be closed. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe man asked for the OTP (One Time Password) set on his phone. Being convinced and without suspecting anything, Jha gave him all the details including the OTP. Last week, when Jha had gone to the branch for transaction details, he learnt that the said amount had been withdrawn from his account three consecutive times by some unknown hackers. He informed the bank manager about the incident of cheating. The bank manager advised Jha to lodge a police complaint. Later, he went and lodged a written complaint at Balurghat police station. Police said they are trying to solve the matter as soon as possible.
In its 97-year history, the Miss America Pageant has seen its share of bold moves. Jacque Mercer, who won the crown in 1949, was not only married, but divorced, during her reign. In 1985, Alecia Rae Masalkoski a contestant from Michigan, who happened to be a black belt in karate, walked on broken glass for the talent part of the competition.And in 2014, Theresa Vail, Miss Kansas and a National Guard soldier, showed off some serious tattoos (the insignia of the U.S. Army Dental Corps on her shoulder and the Serenity Prayer on her ribs) during the swimsuit portion of the show.Margaret Gorman, the First Miss America, 1921.But when it comes to being unconventional, you’d be hard-pressed to top Yolande Betbeze, Miss America 1951.The Alabama-born beauty, with her dark, exotic good looks, was hardly typical of the corn-fed types who paraded down the runway in years past. (Catty competitors scribbled Hairy Sits Here on Betbeze’s makeup mirror backstage.)Miss America pageant contestant Yolande Betbeze.No matter. Betbeze had charisma in spades, not to mention a beautiful operatic voice. In fact, the only reason she entered the Miss Alabama competition, a precursor to Miss America, was to win a scholarship to study singing in New York.“I was very naïve when I arrived in Atlantic City,” said Betbeze. “I mean coming from a small town in Alabama borrowing … high heels and taking the braces off my teeth. I had a ball.”The 1951 Miss America, Yolande Betbeze, with U.S. Navy sailors aboard the light aircraft carrier USS Monterey (CVL-26).The minute Betbeze stepped off the train, Lenora Slaughter, the pageant’s director, knew she was looking at the one to beat. “Yolande was the sexiest, most glamorous thing I had ever laid eyes on,” she would later recall.Betbeze herself wasn’t quite as confident. “I thought I was a little bit plain to be Miss America,” she said, “but I knew that I would do well in talent as an operatic coloratura, and indeed I did.” (For the first and possibly only time in the pageant’s history, a performer was called back for two curtain calls.)Yolande Betbeze wearing swimsuitBetbeze would become Miss America, but, as she recalled years later, “There was nothing but trouble from the minute that crown touched my head.” For one thing, she refused to sign the standard contract that required winners to take part in promotional appearances.Then, a real jaw-dropper: Betbeze flat-out refused to pose in a swimsuit ever again, stating, “I’m an opera singer, not a pinup.” That was problematic, because Catalina, the swimwear manufacturer, was a pageant sponsor.Miss America of 1952, Colleen Kay Hutchins, is crowned by Yolande Betbeze, Miss America 1951.Ticked off, the company withdrew its support and started two beauty pageants of their own: Miss USA and Miss Universe.When Betbeze’s reign mercifully came to a close, she moved to Manhattan and enrolled in the New School of Social Research. In the years that followed, she dabbled in modeling, became an off-Broadway producer, and even traveled to Cuba with a rodeo.She would also embrace social activism — participating in a 1953 vigil at Sing Sing prison to protest the execution of accused spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, and joining civil rights protesters at Woolworth’s in Times Square to support black sit-ins at the store’s lunch counters in the South, during the turbulent 1960s. (“I’m a Southern girl,” declared Betbeze, “but I’m a thinking girl.”)Years later, Betbeze, feisty as ever, would attack the Miss America pageant for its lack of diversity. “‘How could we say it’s Miss America,’ I asked, ‘if it’s not open to all Americans?’” she was quoted saying in Alabama Afternoons: Profiles and Conversations, a 2011 book by Roy Hoffman. In 1954, Betbeze married Matthew Fox, a businessman and movie producer.When he died ten years later, Betbeze moved to Washington D.C., settling in the former Georgetown home of Jacqueline Kennedy, purchased in the aftermath of her husband’s assassination.Read another story from us: Clinched at the Ankles – The Hobble Skirt Rocked Fashion in the Early 1910sBetbeze was active in the town’s social scene until her death in 2016, at age 87. Though she avoided the ballyhoo of her reign as Miss America, it’s interesting — and kind of sweet — to note that in the years afterward, she held onto her crown.
Since no formal complaints were filed against the three, they were released from police custody. The three were accused of robberies, in particular, home robberies and an assault that took place at the Cancun Costco when a person was robbed of their cash. Cancún, Quintana Roo — Two Colombians released from police custody in Cancun have been found dead in Mexico City. On Sunday, a man and a woman of Colombian nationality were found shot to death in colonia Obrera de la Alcaldía Cuauhtémoc in Mexico City. The pair were part of a trio of Colombian nationals picked up by Cancun police in February for petty theft. Two of the three were discovered deceased around 11:00 a.m. Sunday along Isabel la Católica and Juan A. Mateos streets in CDMX next to the red car they allegedly traveled in. Police in Mexico City are using public surveillance cameras in their investigation. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)
AUKEY needs no introduction whatsoever. But when the company puts up a gigantic sale on the accessories it makes, then everyone should take note.The holiday season is here and everyone is obviously scrambling to get their hands on the best of the best in the tech world to put under that Christmas tree. If it’s mobile accessories you’re after these days, then AUKEY has you covered. There are a ton of accessories on sale, and we’re certain you will find something in there for the tech enthusiast. Let’s dive right in!Buy AUKEY USB C Ultra-Compact Charger with 18W Power Delivery 3.0( Black) – Just $11 using discount code XMASAK07Buy AUKEY USB C Ultra-Compact Charger with 18W Power Delivery 3.0（White) – Just $11 using discount code XMASAK07Buy AUKEY USB C Charger with 46W Power Delivery 3.0 & Quick Charge 3.0 – Just $40 using discount code XMASAK08Buy AUKEY Ultra Slim Qi-enabled Wireless Charger w/ lightweight design – Just $6.99 using discount code XMASAK06Buy AUKEY LC-C6 Graphite Lite Q 10W Wireless Fast Charger – Just $12.99 using discount code XMASAK04Buy AUKEY Dash Cam with 6-Lane Lens and 2.7 Inch LCD – Just $45.59 using discount code AK01XMASBuy AUKEY USB C Hub w/ HDMI 4K, Card Reader, 3 USB 3.0 Ports & 60W Type C Charging – Just $30 using discount code AK59XMASBuy AUKEY 7-in-1 Link PD USB-C Hub – Just $40 using discount code AK68XMASBuy AUKEY 3-Port Bluetooth Receiver Car Kit w/ Magnetic Base & Built-In Microphone – Just $14 using discount code XMASAK89Buy AUKEY USB Wall Outlet with Rotatable Body & Quick Charge 3.0 Port – Just $16.11 using discount code AK07XMASBuy AUKEY Power Strip with 4 USB Ports and 4 Outlets & 5ft Power Cord – Just $11.99 using discount code AK08XMAS Share Tweet Submit
SANTIAGO, Chile – Two men and a woman were arrested early Thursday on suspicion of involvement in a recent bombing in a subway station in the Chilean capital, police said.Fourteen people were injured when a homemade bomb rocked an area with food stalls inside the packed Escuela Militar station in Santiago at lunchtime on September 8.The government has deemed the unclaimed attack, the worst to hit Chile in 24 years, a “terrorist act” in what is considered by many to be the safest capital in Latin America.Prosecutors accused the three suspects of planting the bomb.Investigators also linked the three to another subway explosion that occurred in July but did not cause any injuries.“We welcome this morning’s news of the arrests of three suspects involved in terrorist acts we have seen over recent months,” Interior Minister Rodrigo Penailillo told reporters.President Michele Bachelet said the arrests were “an important step” toward solving the case and punishing those responsible.The three were arrested at a house in the densely populated La Pintana neighborhood early Thursday and taken to a police station in eastern Santiago, a police spokesman told AFP.Local media said police who searched the house found clothing with traces of gunpowder and tools that could be used to make bombs.So far, an investigation has found that those detained are part of a “fairly compact and tight cell,” said Raul Guzman, an official with the prosecutor’s office.He said there was still much to be done in the case.Last Friday, authorities in the northern city of Antofagasta arrested three men carrying dynamite and other ingredients that could be used for a bomb, but “terrorism” was ruled out as a motive in that case.The September 8 attack was the most destructive of some 200 unsolved bombings that have targeted banks, gyms, embassies and restaurants in the South American country over the past five years.Recommended: Chile bombings shake Latin America’s model nation Facebook Comments Related posts:Bomb rocks packed Chile metro station, 10 injured Chile bombings shake Latin America’s model nation Islamic State terrorists talked of entering U.S. through Mexico France, allies signal major response after Paris attacks leave at least 127 dead
Ed note: Heading out to this year’s 55th annual Fourth of July Celebration Saturday at the Cervecería Costa Rica? Check out our digital flipbook event program here. –The new U.S. ambassador to Costa Rica, S. Fitzgerald Haney, made his first public appearance Thursday during an Independence Day celebration at the ambassador’s residence in Escazú, southwest of the capital.Costa Rican Vice President Helio Fallas and acting Foreign Minster Alejandro Solano represented the Costa Rican government at the event celebrating the United States’ 239th Independence Day.“Over time our nation has extended equal rights and opportunities for all U.S. citizens. Our diversity is a strength and something personal for me,” Haney said as he recounted his ancestors’ participation in the American Revolution and his mother’s march for civil rights.“Beyond our own inheritance, as citizens of the world we celebrate democracy. Costa Rican democracy is a … reflection of a nation deeply committed to peace, faith, equality and respect for human rights. We are proud to be your neighbors and friends,” Haney told the crowd of Costa Rican guests and U.S. citizens.“The ties that bind our two countries, common ideals and future goals, have never been stronger,” he said.Haney’s mention of President Barack Obama’s move to re-establish diplomatic ties with Cuba won applause from the crowd, as did the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision granting citizens the constitutional right to same-sex marriage.Acting Foreign Minister Alejandro Solano said that the American Revolution was an inspirational example for Latin Americans who waged their own wars of independence against the Spanish Crown in the decades after U.S. independence.The United States and Costa Rica established formal diplomatic ties on July 10, 1851.Recommended: A look back at a different world: Remembering the Fourth of July Picnic, 1965 Facebook Comments Related posts:Obama lauds ‘shared democratic values’ in statement marking Costa Rica’s independence US Ambassador to Costa Rica: Embassy will remain at forefront of LGBT issues US ambassador to Costa Rica talks marijuana legalization, trade New ambassadors from Canada, EU, UK arrive in Costa Rica
Global hospitality management chain, Swiss-Belhotel International, has added even more luxury to The York by Swiss-Belhotel in Sydney with the introduction of stunning new suites.The Swiss-SuperSuites range from studios to a three-bedroom penthouse and have been designed with the hotel’s special guests in mind, giving the upscale property greater appeal to leisure or business travellers. Swiss-Belhotel International chairman and president Gavin Faull, said the new suites will add a lot of appeal to the property. “From the busy senior executive to the guest looking for an inner city oasis of relaxation, the Swiss-SuperSuites are a luxury experience to remember,” Mr Faull said.The York by Swiss-Belhotel is a serviced residence with 150 suites, with spacious rooms ranging from 60 square metres to 165 square metres.It offers studios, one, two and three-bedroom suites, with some boasting stunning Sydney Harbour views.Swiss-Belhotel International currently has more than 125 hotels, resort and projects in its global portfolio.Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wiseman