Two die after falling into pit filled with water

first_imgNoida: A seven-year-old girl and her uncle died after they fell into a pit filled with water in Sector 121 near the dumping ground on early Tuesday morning. Police had to call NDRF teams to locate the bodies. According to police, the deceased have been identified as Nancy (7) and Ankur (22), both natives of sector 121 area of Noida. Deceased Nancy’s father Shera said that the child and her uncle had gone to play near the ground when they fell in the pit where water had collected. “There were other children present in the ground at the time of incident who informed us and we rushed to the spot,” said Shera. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderThe family immediately informed police and a team from Ghari Chowkhandi police station rushed to the spot. Noida’s city Magistrate Shailendra Mishra and other senior cops also reached the spot to take stock of the situation. “Following the incident, a police team rushed to the spot but when we failed to trace the bodies, a deep diving team of NDRF Ghaziabad was called. The rescue operation continued for nearly five hours. The child’s body was retrieved by afternoon while the body of youth was recovered around 7 pm,” said Mishra.last_img read more

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Aviation scam CBI quizzes former Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel

first_imgNew Delhi: The CBI on Thursday questioned former Civil Aviation Minister and senior Nationalist Congress Party leader Praful Patel for over six hours, in connection with a UPA-era aviation scam the agency is investigating.Patel arrived at the Central Bureau of Investigation headquarters here at around 10:30 am and was deposed by probe officials with regards to several profitable air routes that were awarded to foreign and domestic private airlines, thus causing large losses to the national carrier. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The probe agency had just days ago taken custody of aviation lobbyist Deepak Talwar to interrogate him about the same case. In a dramatic turn of events, CBI officials had presented an arrest memo immediately after a court here had dismissed his plea for an anticipatory bail in the case. The central probe agency’s action against Talwar came after more than two years of registering the FIR in the matter. Taking cognizance of the CBI FIR, the Enforcement Directorate had initiated a money-laundering probe in the matter and has since arrested Talwar, questioned Patel and also filed a chargehseet alleging close association between the two. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KThe CBI’s action against Talwar came after the ED’s chargesheet against Talwar had outlined the nature of his relationship with the then Civil Aviation Minister as being a close one and even alleged that the two were “dear friends”. The financial probe agency’s probe under PMLA revealed that foreign private airlines such as Emirates, Air Arabia, and Qatar Airways had allegedly paid R 272 crore to Talwar in exchange for securing profitable air routes and timings on their behalf. The ED’s probe had revealed that part of these payments were made to Bank of Singapore account of one Asiafield Limited, a company registered in the British Virgin Islands, beneficially owned by Talwar. The proceeds were then transferred to Wave Hospitality Pvt Ltd in India, a company beneficially owned and controlled by Talwar in his son Aditya Talwar’s name. In fact, the case on the basis of which the ED had initiated its probe pertains to a PIL filed in the Apex court in 2012, which alleged large-scale corruption in the Civil Aviation Ministry during the UPA regime. The Supreme Court had then directed the central agency to register cases to probe these allegations, after which three FIRs and one Preliminary Enquiry were registered by the CBI. The case in which Patel was questioned by the CBI on Thursday, alleges that “foreign airlines were given unrestricted entry into India and major routes were given to them without taking any reciprocal benefits for Air India”. The CBI goes on to allege that despite warnings of huge losses to the national carrier, Civil Aviation Ministry officials had dishonestly given pecuniary benefits to private, domestic and foreign airlines. Specifically, the CBI alleged that up to four international air routes and nine domestic air routes were awarded to private airlines such as Jet Airways, Kingfisher Airlines, Go Air, Indigo, Spicejet, Paramount Airways, and others, while Air India withdrew its services from these routes.last_img read more

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Toronto firefighters extinguish fire in CN Tower antenna mast

first_imgTORONTO – An electrical fire at Toronto’s landmark CN Tower was extinguished Wednesday morning after firefighters took turns climbing into an antenna mast to deal with smouldering wiring and insulation.The fire broke out around 4 a.m. around an electric cable in the tower’s main antenna mast, Toronto Fire said. The section is about 480 metres above the ground — just above the tower’s Skypod observation deck.Some 30 firefighters and seven fire trucks were at the scene.Fortunately, they didn’t have to take the stairs.“We took the elevator up,” Toronto Fire District Chief Stephan Powell said. “We had to go up to the Skypod level, took a second elevator to get there. And then we had to climb about (30 metres) up an access ladder to reach the affected conduit.”Firefighters could only climb the ladder one at a time to get at the fire, Powell said. Other firefighters “staged” equipment at the base of the ladder so it could be hauled up and used easily.Firefighters are used to working at heights, Powell said, but the tight space was a challenge to navigate.“We were dealing with what appeared to be an electrical issue in a very confined space,” he said.Traditional hoses weren’t used as spreading water on an electrical fire is quite dangerous, Powell explained. Instead, firefighters hauled up carbon dioxide and dry chemical extinguishers to deal with the fire.In anticipation of the cramped space, Powell said firefighters also hooked up their respirator masks to tubes connected to an air supply, instead of carrying portable air cylinders.The CN Tower shut off power to its antenna during the operation, he added, which affected some local TV and radio signals.Fighting the fire wasn’t all that dissimilar to handling several underground hydro vault explosions in downtown Toronto over the past few months, Powell said.“What we ended up doing here was — over a thousand feet up — pretty much the same thing,” he said.The fire itself wasn’t a roaring blaze. Powell described it as “tar-like”, and said insulation on the electrical cable, as well as the wiring, was melting.The electrical fire was put out just before 7:15 a.m., and Powell said it isn’t clear at this point what caused it.The CN Tower announced on its official Twitter page Wednesday morning that it was open to the public as usual.Neil Jones, chief operating officer for the tower, said the fire had posed no threat to public safety or the structure. He said all cleaning staff present at the time were cleared from the building and no injuries were reported.The CN Tower, a concrete communications and observation tower in downtown Toronto, is more 550 metres high. It held the record for the world’s tallest free-standing structure until 2007.last_img read more

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Bibeau presses Chinese counterpart on canola ban at G20 ministers meeting

first_imgOTTAWA — Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau says she used a G20 ministers’ meeting in Japan to press her Chinese counterpart for the evidence behind Beijing’s bans on Canadian canola.Last week, Canada used a major World Trade Organization gathering to demand China deliver evidence that Canadian canola is contaminated.China has stonewalled requests for Canadian experts to travel to the People’s Republic to examine Chinese evidence that two canola shipments had pests. China’s rejection of Canadian food products is part of the escalating tension following the RCMP’s December arrest in Vancouver of Huawei Technologies executive Meng Wanzhou. Nine days later, China imprisoned two Canadians — ex-diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor — and accused them of violating China’s national security.Bibeau says the broader meeting in Japan was all about upholding the “rules-based” international trading order and she’s confident her message will be taken back to Beijing.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Myanmar should address discrimination against Muslim minorities – UN experts

The 1982 Citizenship Law denies Myanmar citizenship to the members of the Muslim minority in North Rakhine State, generally known as the Rohingyas, according to a joint statement released by six independent human rights experts.This “has seriously curtailed the full exercise of their civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights and led to various discriminatory practices,” the statement said, citing severe restrictions on freedom of movement; various forms of extortion and arbitrary taxation; land confiscation and forced evictions; restricted access to medical care, food and adequate housing; forced labour; and restrictions on marriages.“As a consequence, thousands have fled to neighbouring countries, in turn creating complex humanitarian situations in the region,” said the experts, calling on Myanmar to take urgent measures to eliminate discriminatory practices against the Muslim minority in North Rakhine state, and to ensure that no further discrimination is carried out against members of the community.“We remind the Government of its obligation to protect all individuals within its territory and subject to its jurisdiction from any form of discrimination,” they said.The Government was urged to repeal or amend the 1982 Citizenship Law to ensure compliance of its legislation with the country’s international human rights obligations.The statement was issued jointly by the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Paulo Sergio Pinheiro; the Independent Expert on minority issues, Gay McDougall; the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, Doudou Diène; the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing, Miloon Kothari; the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Jean Ziegler; and the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, Paul Hunt. 2 April 2007A group of United Nations human rights experts today called on the Government of Myanmar to address discrimination against members of the Muslim minority in North Rakhine state. read more

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Annan recommends continuation of UNs IraqKuwait Observation Mission

In his report to the Security Council released today at UN Headquarters in New York, the Secretary-General observes that the UN Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission (UNIKOM) has “continued to carry out its tasks smoothly, thereby contributing to the maintenance of calm and stability in the border area.” The Mission is mandated to monitor the area, deter border violations and report on any hostile action. While the situation over the past six months has been “generally quiet,” there were 255 violations of the demilitarized zone, including 10 ground violations, 8 weapons violations, 74 maritime violations and 163 air violations, according to the report. “As in the past, most of the ground violations occurred along the border and involved Iraqi vehicles using the gravel road that crosses in and out of Kuwaiti territory,” Mr. Annan writes.The Secretary-General notes that UNIKOM has continued to receive cooperation from the Iraqi and Kuwaiti authorities. read more

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UN recognises role of sport in achieving sustainable development

This latest sports-related resolution points out the “invaluable contribution” that the Olympic and Paralympic movements have made to the promotion of peace and development, citing efforts to revive the ideal of the Olympic Truce, based on an ancient Greek tradition, during which all conflicts would be put on hold 7 days before the beginning of the Games.“We welcome the Resolution approved today by the United Nations, as it reaffirms the universality of sport and its unifying power to foster peace, education, gender equality and sustainable development at large,” IOC President Thomas Bach commented. “Thanks to the UN, we now have a strong tool that encourages states and sports organisations to work together and develop concrete best practices.”Find out more about the connections between ancient Greece, sport and peace in a fascinating episode of our UN News Podcast Classics show, featuring a 1979 interview with boxing legend Muhammad Ali, who devoted much of his life to unity and social justice through sport, and beyond, under the UN banner. The resolution encourages UN Member States to emphasize and advance the use of sport as a vehicle and “foster sustainable development…and respect and facilitate social inclusion, conflict prevention and peacebuilding,” and reiterates the UN’s call for States to leverage sport to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in collaboration with all the interested stakeholders, including the sports community, civil society, international organisations and businesses.Sport has long been seen by the UN as an important contributor to the realization of development and peace goals, in the way it promotes tolerance and respect;  the contribution it makes to empowering women, young people and communities; and to health, education and social inclusion objectives. read more

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What does a US recession imply for the gold price

first_imgThe World Gold Council’s new research on Gold In US Recession looks at the performance of gold during recessionary periods in the US. Macro economic data, and the US Federal Reserve Bank’s swift loosening in monetary policy, underline the risk that the US economy is on the brink of, or already in, recession. There are obvious winners in terms of asset performance in a recession, like fixed-income assets, and obvious losers, like cyclical stocks. But how is gold likely to fare? Regression and correlation analysis suggest there is no relationship between changes in US GDP growth and changes in the gold price. Consequently, a US recession would not have negative implications for the gold price. This reflects the unique drivers of the gold price and underpins gold’s role as a diversifying asset, even in times of recession.The brewing recession has so far been positive for gold on both fronts. The dollar has continued its downward trajectory, while inflation has (unusually) headed higher. US consumerprices increased at an annual rate of 4.0% in February this year, up from 2.4% just a year earlier. If these trends continue, investment demand for gold as an inflation and dollar hedge is likely to remain strong. And if the recession deepens concerns over the health of the US banking sector, demand for gold as a safe haven asset is also likely to remain robust.In summary, statistical analysis suggests there is no relationship between changes in US GDP growth and changes in the gold price. This reflects gold’s unique and diverse demand and supply base, which as for any freely-traded good ultimately determine the price. Consequently, a US recession does not have negative implications for the gold price. The only element of demand likely to be affected by a recession is investment demand, but that in turn will depend on the “type” of recession. So far, the brewing recession has been positive for gold, as it has been accompanied by a rise in inflation and a falling dollar, which has boosted demand for gold as a dollar and inflation hedge.For a full copy of the report please use the link : http://www.gold.org/deliver.php?file=/rs_archive/gold_in_us_recession.pdflast_img read more

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Video Games VPNs and You

first_imgStay on target In the past few years, Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs, have quickly become essential technology to familiarize yourself with. VPNs create an encrypted connection between you, the VPN server, and wherever else on the internet you might like to go. Not only is this good for watching foreign Netflix shows but it also provides crucial protection for your identity online. Your connection may be a little slower but that’s worth it for knowing no one can steal your bank account information over public wi-fi.Gamers are some of the most Online people there are. So if you play video games you should also invest in a VPN. But gamers also have strong taste, buying specific keyboards and headsets and chairs to reach their standards. So they’re going to have some questions about which of the many free and paid online VPNs available are right for them. But before making any recommendations, we wanted to learn more about what gamers already thought about VPNs. The results of our survey may surprise you.For background information, we surveyed 1,000 people over two days this February, with average ages in the gaming sweetspot of 18-34. About 18 percent already use a VPN while they game but that means a whopping 82 percent have either stopped gaming with VPNs or never even started.To get to the bottom of this we asked about what features gamers value in a VPN. Speed is a top priority, getting 35 percent of the vote, which makes sense given competitive online multiplayer needs. Can’t have VPNs ruin your eSports dreams. But geographic diversity and price were also key sticking points. A third of responses expect VPNs to be free, another third would pay between $1 and 15 dollars, while the last third would pay more than $15.Keeping your data safe and private is a huge part of why anyone would want a VPN. So we also asked about opinions on data privacy as a right. Results were a bit depressing. 13 percent of respondents would be willing to give out personal information just for a bonus in the games they play. Almost half aren’t even sure if they agree with net neutrality, with only 33 percent giving the correct answer of yes. But at least we all agreed that Facebook, Google, ISPs, and the NSA all represent legitimate threats to online privacy, with Facebook being the consensus worst offender.This survey helped shed some light on why gamers maybe aren’t adopting VPNs quite as fast as other tech-savvy folks. But in any case, gamers do still need VPNs. For our picks for the best VPNS for gaming as well as the best VPNs for 2018 in general head over to our sister site PCMag. This VPN and Firewall Combo Keeps Your Browsing Under Wraps for Just $30Get Over 95 Percent Off Lifetime Subscription to Fastest VPN center_img Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

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I-5 NB offramp to 99th Street reopened after tractor-trailer fire

first_imgThe Interstate 5 offramp to Northeast 99th Street in Hazel Dell has reopened an hours long closure following a tractor trailer fire this morning, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.The fire on the rig was first reported just after 6:30 a.m. and blocked two lanes of the road for about half an hour, according to emergency radio traffic monitored by the Columbian.While the fire was put out, the rig’s cargo of cow feed was smoldering and needed to off-loaded, Washington State Patrol Trooper Will Finn said.The offramp reopened at about 10 a.m.last_img

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Battle Ground board holds special meeting to consider ‘legal action’

first_imgTeachers and community members are expected to pack the Lewisville Campus this evening, as the Battle Ground Public Schools board considers a resolution authorizing legal action to address the ongoing teacher strike.The district has not specified whether this means it intends to file an injunction to stop its teachers striking, but appears to set the stage to do so.The Battle Ground Education Association, in response, took to social media to rally supporters to attend the meeting. But, the union warned people not to clap, yell or bring signs. At Monday’s board meeting, President Ken Root closed the meeting to all but reporters after the room erupted into applause after the final speaker.“WE WILL NOT GIVE THEM AN EXCUSE TO KICK US OUT,” the union posted in a Facebook event. “MAKE SURE EVERYONE KNOWS.”Tonight’s meeting is a special meeting which means the board will not hear public comment per board policy, district spokeswoman Rita Sanders said.last_img read more

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ASA Applauds Senate Ag Committee on Farm Bill Draft Looks Forward to

first_imgThe American Soybean Association (ASA) welcomes Friday’s introduction of the draft of the 2012 Farm Bill by leadership of the Senate Agriculture Committee. ASA President Steve Wellman, a soybean farmer from Syracuse, Neb., praised the commitment of the Committee to passing a Farm Bill this year, a key priority for the soybean industry:”ASA applauds the leadership and hard work on the Farm Bill displayed by Chairwoman Stabenow, Ranking Member Roberts and the entire Senate Agriculture Committee. We encourage the Committee to complete mark-up as quickly as possible in order to facilitate completion of a balanced and effective Farm Bill as quickly as possible this year. ASA leadership is reviewing the details and implications of the 900-page chair’s mark, and we will be prepared to comment further early next week. At this point, we are very pleased to see that the proposal includes a revenue-based risk management program that will complement the federal crop insurance program. We also applaud leadership’s decision not to cut crop insurance funding to achieve the Committee’s deficit reduction objectives. These are among ASA’s top priorities and we commend Chairwoman Stabenow and Ranking Member Roberts for supporting them in a bipartisan bill. Finally, we look forward to working with the full Committee during next week’s mark-up to ensure that the final product is one that serves American soybean farmers.”last_img read more

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Erdogan wins Turkey referendum

first_imgA supporter holding a child celebrates and greets Turkish president while he delivers a speech at the conservative Justice and Development Party (AKP) headquarters in Istanbul. Photo: AFPTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan narrowly won a historic referendum on Sunday that will tighten his grip on power, but the knife-edge result left the country bitterly divided and the opposition crying foul.The sweeping constitutional changes approved in the vote create a presidential system that will grant Erdogan more power than any leader since modern Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and his successor Ismet Inonu.The result could also have even wider implications for Turkey which joined NATO in 1952 and for the last half-century has set its sights on joining the European Union.The ‘Yes’ campaign won 51.4 percent of the vote against 48.6 percent for ‘No’, the election commission said in figures quoted by state news agency Anadolu, in a count based on 99.5 percent of the ballot boxes. Turnout was a high 85 percent.As huge crowds of flag-waving supporters celebrated on the streets, Erdogan praised Turkey for taking a “historic decision”.“With the people, we have realised the most important reform in our history,” he added.But opposition supporters in anti-Erdogan districts of Istanbul showed their dissatisfaction by bashing pots and pans with kitchen utensils to create a noisy protest. Hundreds also took to the streets in the areas of Besiktas and Kadikoy.Supreme Election Board chief Sadi Guven confirmed that the ‘Yes’ camp had emerged victorious, but the opposition has vowed to challenge the outcome.‘New page opened’The referendum was held under a state of emergency that has seen 47,000 people arrested in an unprecedented crackdown after a failed military putsch against Erdogan in July last year.In a nail-biting end to a frenetic campaign, the ‘No’ share of the vote climbed as more ballots were counted, after lagging well behind in the early count, but failed to overtake the ‘Yes’ votes.“This is a decision made by the people. In our democracy’s history, a new page has opened,” said Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, whose job will disappear under the constitutional changes.In a television interview on Friday Erdogan had predicted a far clearer victory saying polls showed a 55-60 percent share of the vote.But voting patterns showed Turkey deeply divided over the changes, with the ‘No’ vote victorious in the country’s three biggest cities.The ‘Yes’ vote held up strongly in Erdogan’s Anatolian heartland but the Aegean and Mediterranean coastal regions and Kurdish-dominated southeast backed the ‘No’ camp.In a major disappointment for the president, the ‘No’ vote was just ahead in his hometown of Istanbul and in the capital Ankara and clearly ahead in the third city of Izmir.A statement issued by European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker and EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said that in view of the closeness of the result, the Turkish authorities need to seek the “broadest possible national consensus” for the changes.Erdogan made relations with the EU a key issue in his referendum campaign, lambasting Brussels for failing to make progress on Ankara’s stalled accession talks and he accused Germany and the Netherlands of acting like the Nazis when they barred pro-government rallies.‘Totally invalid’Turkey’s two main opposition parties said they would challenge the results over alleged violations.The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) said it would challenge two-thirds of the votes, saying: “There is an indication of a 3-4 percentage point manipulation of the vote.”Republican People’s Party (CHP) chief Kemal Kilicdaroglu said the actions of the election authorities “caused the referendum’s legitimacy to be questioned” insisting that the ‘No’ side had won at least 50 percent of votes cast.“Believe me, this election is not over,” deputy CHP leader Erdal Aksunger told CNN Turk, quoted by the Dogan news agency. “This is totally invalid. We are declaring this here.”The opposition had already complained that the referendum was conducted on unfair terms, with ‘Yes’ posters ubiquitous on the streets and opposition voices squeezed from the media.Closely watched on Monday will be the initial assessment of the international observer mission of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).‘Robust and muscular’Erdogan again warned Brussels he would sign any bill agreed by parliament to reinstate capital punishment, a move that would automatically end Turkey’s EU bid.If the opposition failed to support the bill, Erdogan said another referendum could be held on reinstating the death penalty.Western reactions to the referendum will be crucial after Erdogan accused Turkey’s allies of failing to show sufficient solidarity in the wake of the failed coup.“We would like other countries and institutions to show respect to the decision of the nation,” Erdogan said.The new system would dispense with the office of prime minister and centralise the entire executive bureaucracy under the president, giving Erdogan the direct power to appoint ministers.It is due to come into force after elections in November 2019. Erdogan, who became president in 2014 after serving as premier from 2003, could then seek two more five-year terms.“I don’t think he (Erdogan) will reverse course. I don’t think Erdogan will change the robust and muscular approach to politics that he has adopted so far,” said Fadi Hakura, Turkey expert at London-based Chatham House think tank.last_img read more

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Kerala to Kolkata – bamboo band to perform soon

first_imgThe Public Relations Society of India, Kolkata Chapter is all set to celebrate PRSI’s diamond jubilee through a unique musical on February 11 at Nazrul Tirtha Amphitheatre, New Town. The Vayali Folk Group from Kerala (India’s first ever ‘Bamboo’ band) will perform on this evening. Vayali, a group of young people from the cultural capital of Kerala, is engaged in preserving their roots. The team was formed in 2004 for a common reason, to start learning the traditional systems practiced in and around the banks of River Nila and sharing the same with the younger generation. The members use indigenous percussion instruments and colorful costumes to create foot-tapping music to preserve the dying Valluvanadan tradition and culture. Valluvanad is a culturally-rich place near Thrissur, famous for folk art, folklore and classical art forms like Kathakali and Mohiniyattam. As age old people say, culture nourishes in nature. They got affiliated to Kerala Sangeetha Nadaka Academy, Kerala Folklore Academy, Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA) New Delhi, Nehru Yuva Kendra, South Zone Cultural Center (SZCC) Thanjavur and National Folklore Support Centre Chennai. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe early days of ‘Vayali’ were very challenging. Most of the members were from the socially backward communities and found it hard to earn a livelihood. Driven by their passion for folklore, they organised themselves.They started performing at various places thus promoting the folklore and getting compensated financially. ‘Vayali’ now became a source of livelihood for the members. They went about diligently collecting various folk songs and art forms from the local masters. They faced stiff opposition from the communities too but then they soon realised the importance of preserving the traditional knowledge. They now had the support of the communities, which really invigorated them. In November 2007 the Vayali team was blessed with a fantastic opportunity to perform at the ‘Traditional Music and Rhythm Festival’ organised by the Cultural Department of Japan. They showcased the Valluvanadan art forms at the festival. They learned about the bamboo musical instruments of the Japanese and their world famous bamboo orchestra. This deeply inspired them and lead to the creation of the ‘Vayali Bamboo Orchestra’. They realised that they had to preserve the bamboo culture in India and set about researching the various traditional bamboo instruments. Flute is the lead instrument of the ‘Vayali Bamboo Orchestra’. The other instruments are Mulam Chenda, Mulam Thudi, and Mazha Mooli. They now have a small team which has developed an expertise in 5 bamboo instruments of the tribals in Kerala. The team has created some truly innovative instruments too. The team is all set to entertain the music buffs from Kolkata Soumyajit Mahapatra, Chairman, PRSI, Kolkata Chapter, says, “We usually have experienced various artists from the popular music scene but Vayali’s performance in the city of joy is a fresh try for sure.”last_img read more

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Coinbase looking to replicate Facebooks platform strategy with support for more digital

first_imgCoinbase announced yesterday that they would increase the number of digital assets significantly in the coming months. There are also plans to list these digital assets by segregating them by jurisdictions. This would mean that the tokens used for digital transactions in one country may not be valid in some other country by virtue of the security laws specified in that country. Coinbase Consumer VP and General Manager Dan Romero explained this decision as a move to attract diverse customers. It will also strengthen their position as a digital foreign exchanges, he said. In this announcement, Coinbase also specified the criteria for approving or rejecting a digital asset application while ensuring the process is unbiased, efficient and error-free: The digital asset should be legally compliant in the said jurisdiction The asset is technically secure There is a clear need of the asset amongst the customers Many crypto experts see this move as a bit tricky, as regulation of laws across different jurisdictions can be expensive and time-consuming. With more than 1800 Coinbase tokens in existence currently and a lot more to launch in the near future, the process could become even more tedious. However, they also estimate Coinbase’s revenue to shoot tenfold within the next year, from approximately $1 billion in 2017 to more than $10 billion. This move by Coinbase replicates Facebook’s platform strategy of building a two-sided marketplace, mainly between content creators and the consumers. For instance, Facebook empowered developers with the tools needed to create and monetize their own applications and games on Facebook. This strategy worked as it allowed Facebook to benefit from each of game, app, or advertising content created on its platform, leading to their faster growth and profitability. Interestingly, it is also worth remembering that Facebook’s Blockchain head David Marcus stepped down from his position in the Coinbase board to avoid any conflict of interest. There have also been talks of Facebook looking to acquire Coinbase, in the past. With Coinbase looking to scale quickly in the near future, this new platform strategy seems to be a great initiative to branch out and establish themselves as the best Bitcoin exchange there is. So far, they have already served more than 20 million customers, and traded more than $220 million in cryptocurrency since 2012. They currently operate in 33 countries with more than 500 employees across offices in the United States, U.K. and Japan. Read more Coinbase Commerce API launches Bitcoin Core escapes a collapse from a Denial-of-Service vulnerability Top 15 Cryptocurrency Trading Botslast_img read more

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American Colony to host 54th annual Independence Day Picnic

first_imgRelated posts:Dueling Anthems: ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ vs. ‘Hermosa Bandera’ PHOTOS: American Colony celebrates US Independence Day at annual picnic VIDEO: Barbecuing with Lucas Withington US Embassy in San José celebrates Fourth of July, tips hat to Solís CORRECTION: In a previous version of this article, the author incorrectly identified available foods and the number of non-U.S. guests invited. The Tico Times regrets these errors. Facebook Comments In 1961, a group of U.S. expats decided to celebrate the Fourth of July with an outdoor picnic. Costa Rica had a small but expanding Gringo community, and it wanted something private and fun, a way to celebrate the spirit of 1776 in the heart of their adopted country. They ate, they played games, and they proudly waved the Stars and Stripes.A half-century later, the annual Fourth of July Picnic is a beloved institution, and folks look forward to attending all year long. Organized by The American Colony Committee, the picnic is just like a county fair: You’ll find carnival rides, Tío Beto’s Petting Farm and a Nathan’s Famous hotdog stand. The J.R. Blues band will set the tone of the day, and cover band Mustang65 may play just about anything, from Eric Clapton to Stevie Ray Vaughn. Meanwhile, there will be cheerleading performances, clowns and enough frankfurters to stuff you until Labor Day. The bonus: A mechanical bull.You can expect about 3,500 guests this year, come rain and shine. Alberto Font/The Tico TimesObservancesOf course you can’t commemorate the Declaration of Independence without a little sober reflection, and the Fourth of July party is rich with ceremony. The United States Marine Corps will raise the U.S. flag, kids can learn the Pledge of Allegiance, and guests will get to hear the Costa Rica Symphonic Band play “The Star-Spangled Banner.” There will even be a reading of an Independence Day greeting from President Barack Obama.Meeting and GreetingAs many of us have discovered, there are tens of thousands of U.S. citizens in Costa Rica, but they often have trouble finding each other. The picnic doubles as a gathering of U.S.-friendly clubs and organizations, including the North American-Costa Rican Cultural Center, The Veterans of Foreign Wars, The Little Theatre Group of Costa Rica and the United States Embassy. Learn about exciting community-building organizations like the Peace Corps and Access language program. If you’re feeling particularly civic, U.S. citizens can even register to vote!LogisticsOnce you’ve paid the $10 admission, everything else is free: food, rides, volleyball, U.S. flag face-painting – everything. Just remember that the event only goes from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., so the earlier you arrive, the better.Friends Welcome!As always, bring your ID. Because the picnic is not a public event, organizers have long been firm about only U.S. citizens and their guests being admitted. (Think of it as a reverse-cédula). But this year, the American Colony is actively encouraging each guest to consider inviting one Costa Rican friend. Just remember, the rule still applies – U.S. citizens should accompany their guests.A Note About ParkingOkay, here’s the one hitch: Parking is going to be tough. Located near the airport, the Cervecería doesn’t have a public parking lot, and any car that’s parked on the access road will get towed. (No joke). Rest assured that parking will be available nearby, with shuttle service to and from the picnic. Visit the American Colony’s website for directions.Helping HandsThe picnic is massive, and the event relies on more than 400 dedicated volunteers. It’s never too late to sign up! If you’re interested in helping out, give the American Colony at a call at 2288-4864, or send them an email at american_colony@yahoo.com.The picnic takes place July 4 at the Cervercería Nacional, near the Juan Santamaría International Airport, outside San José. Gates open from 9 a.m.–1 p.m., entrance costs ₡5,000 ($10). For more information, visit the American Colony website.last_img read more

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Travel Counsellors appoint Supplier Relations Manager

first_imgAbout Travel CounsellorsFounded in 1994, Travel Counsellors is the world’s largest home-based travel company with over 1,800 self-employed travel consultants and a global support team of over 400 staff. The company is headquartered in Manchester U.K, with operations in Australia, Belgium, Ireland, the Netherlands, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates. Travel Counsellors Australia Pty Ltd. was established in 2007. Today, nearly 150 Travel Counsellors run their own travel business from home with the support of a Melbourne based Head Office. Travel Counsellors Australia is proud to be a full member of IATA and AFTA and is accredited with ATAS and CLIA.Source = Travel Counsellors Travel Counsellors appoint Supplier Relations ManagerTravel Counsellors appoint Supplier Relations ManagerTravel Counsellors are delighted to welcome Megan Larsen-Smith to the Melbourne team in the key role of Supplier Relations Manager.Speaking of the senior role, Regional Managing Director Kaylene Shuttlewood said; “This is a new role that supports our goal to build strategic partnerships, with deeper engagement and greater recognition with key suppliers”. Megan’s role will own and drive the buying strategy for Travel Counsellors in Australia encompassing land, air and sea. She will work to leverage relationships to drive greater partnership opportunities for the business across sales, marketing, events and sponsorships. Megan will head up the Australian commercial team that includes product buyer Jason Bell-Davey, cruise executive Jane Tanti and product executive Ellie Miller.Megan joins Travel Counsellors with over 15 years’ experience in the tourism industry. Her previous roles have covered wholesale, corporate TMC, hotel and airline – all sectors that are key elements within the Supplier Relations Manager role.last_img read more

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Met opera suspends conductor after sex abuse accus

first_imgMet opera suspends conductor after sex abuse accusations by Tom McElroy, The Associated Press Posted Dec 3, 2017 6:16 pm PDT Last Updated Dec 4, 2017 at 6:00 am PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email FILE – In this July 7, 2006 file photo, Boston Symphony Orchestra music director James Levine conducts the symphony on its opening night performance at Tanglewood in Lenox., Mass. New York’s Metropolitan Opera says it will investigate allegations that its longtime conductor, Levine, sexually abused a teenager in the mid-1980s. Details of the police report were first reported Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, on the New York Post website. Levine, 74, stepped down as music director of the Met in April 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File) center_img NEW YORK, N.Y. – New York’s Metropolitan Opera on Sunday said it was suspending its relationship with longtime conductor James Levine pending an investigation into multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against him.“Mr. Levine will not be involved in any Met activities, including conducting scheduled performances at the Met this season,” the Met said in a statement.The Met also said it has appointed attorney Robert J. Cleary, a former U.S. attorney and the current head of the investigations practice at the Proskauer Rose law firm, to lead the investigation into the allegations that took place from the 1960s to 1980s.The move to suspend Levine came a day after the New York Post first reported that one of Levine’s accusers claimed he had sexual contact with Levine as a teenager. Met officials said they were launching an investigation. Then on Sunday, The New York Times reported similar accounts from two other men accusing Levine of sexual misconduct.One of Levine’s accusers, Ashok Pai, also spoke to The Associated Press in recent weeks but declined to tell his story on the record at the time. He declined to be interviewed again when contacted this weekend.According to the Times, Pai said he was sexually abused by Levine starting in the summer of 1986, when he was 16. He reported the allegations to the police department in Lake Forest, Illinois, in October 2016. Details of the police report were first reported on Saturday on the New York Post’s website. Met officials said they learned of the police report last year.Pai said he reached out to police in Lake Forest because some of his encounters with Levine took place there in the mid-1980s. Levine served as music director at the Ravinia Festival, outside Chicago, from 1973 to 1993.Chris Brown played principal bass in the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra for more than 30 years. He told the Times that he and Levine masturbated each other when Brown was 17 at the Meadow Brook School of Music in Michigan, where Levin was on the summer program’s faculty.James Lestock described a similar account there when he was a 17-year-old cello student.“Based on these new reports, the Met has made the decision to act now, while we await the results of the investigation,” said Peter Gelb, Met General Manager. “This is a tragedy for anyone whose life has been affected.”An email to Levine’s manager seeking comment on the accusations was not immediately returned.Met officials said in an earlier statement that Levine has denied the charges.On Saturday afternoon, Levine conducted a performance of Verdi’s “Requiem” that was broadcast on radio worldwide. It was expected to be his last appearance at the Met for at least the rest of this year and possibly the foreseeable future. Levine was scheduled to conduct a New Year’s Eve gala performance of “Tosca.”The opera company honoured Levine with the title of Music Director Emeritus after the end the 2015-2016 season.The Associated Press does not generally name alleged victims of sexual abuse unless they come forward with their allegations. In this case the three alleged victims agreed to have their names published in the Times.The accusations against Levine, among the most prominent classical music conductors in the world, are the latest in a stream of sexual misconduct charges involving high-profile men in entertainment and the media that have rocked the nation since accusations against film mogul Harvey Weinstein were reported in October.Levine served as music director of the Met from 1976 to 2016, when he assumed the position of music director emeritus.Levine has struggled with health problems including Parkinson’s disease in recent years but was scheduled to conduct several productions this season.last_img read more

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Paphos offers support for LGBT community

first_imgConcerted efforts are underway in Paphos to offer support to the LGBT community and include monthly Rainbow meetings, which are proving successful.Free, rapid HIV testing will is being offered in Paphos as part of a Cyprus wide initiative to mark World Aids Day.Co-ordinated by Paphos resident, equal rights activist, South African Cypriot, Zac Theophanous, 39, the monthly meetings have mushroomed from five participants at the first one held in June, to around twenty five in November.“After we raised the rainbow flag for the first time at Paphos town hall in June, I decided that I wanted to start Rainbow meetings in Paphos, to support the LGBT community,” he said.The hoisting of the flag came just ahead of the Cyprus Pride Parade which was held in Nicosia.“People can come to the meetings and talk in a closed, environment and feel safe they are not judged, or looked down on in any way,” he saidMeetings are held at the Cyprus Youth Board next to Arsos Park in Paphos Old Town and all age groups and nationalities are welcome, however, attendees must be aged over 18 years. Participants under the age of 18 must have a consent form signed by a parent, he added, although helpful telephone numbers may be given out over the phone, he said.“At the moment our group consists of people aged 18 to 52,” he said.The meeting also welcomes ‘straight’ people who support the LGBT community, including parents of LGBT children, he said.Rainbow meetings have been held in Cyprus since 2010, when they first took place in Nicosia, according to Accept LGBT head Costas Gavrielides. They are also held in Limassol and now in Paphos, he said.“We were surprised at how successful the Paphos meetings have been and we are looking at ways to further promote LGBT issues,” he said.As the first registered group on the island to give a voice to this community, he noted that their aim is to try to boost local communities to react locally.Gavrielides, who has headed up the initiative for around five and a half years, said that more needs to be done to investigate instances of homophobic rhetoric, which can incite violence and hatred against a community.“For example, the attorney general has yet to follow up on our request to investigate the Archbishops’ comments last year and this year about gay people,” he said.On Monday December 4 a ‘CYCheckpoint’ took place at ‘Let them eat cake’ in Paphos offering free testing for HIV by the AIDS Solidarity Movement, said Theophanous.Tests are carried out for free and anonymously and results are given in a couple of minutes, he said.“This is an indication only, and there will be people on hand to help for anyone that tests positive.Free condoms will also be handed out.Gavrielides said that it is important to get tested and that unfortunately there has been a recent increase in Cyprus in HIV affecting same sex couples.“It is important to educate people on how to protect themselves and maybe because it is not a death sentence anymore due to medication, the message doesn’t seem as important. But that is not a desirable outcome.”Data showed 66 new recorded cases of HIV infections in Cyprus between January and October 2016, adding to an increasing trend in the last two years.Health authorities saw 80 cases reported in 2015 compared with 41 in 2010. “The highest number are in male same sex couples,” he said.He added that more education is still needed in this sphere and yet the state is not doing much and reducing funds for HIV education, which leaves the NGO’s to pick up the slack.Head coordinator of the Rainbow meetings, Alexandros Efstathiou, said that his aim is to encourage more people to attend the meetings.He noted that on December 13, an HIV positive man will speak at an interactive Rainbow meeting in Nicosia.“He contracted HIV in Cyprus and lives in the US but returns every year for a couple of months to help with the work of Aids Solidarity and to highlight issues relating to HIV and AIDS,” he said. He will be able to answer any questions and give an insight into living as an HIV positive person.”Theophanous stressed that the meetings are held in a protected, closed and friendly environment.“We are all warm and welcoming and non- judgemental,” he said.For further information: Accept 99812343You May LikeMBA Degrees | Search AdsMBA Programs Online – See For YourselfMBA Degrees | Search AdsUndoHepatitis C Treatments I Search AdsResearch About Hepatitis C – The Early Signs Of Hepatitis CHepatitis C Treatments I Search AdsUndoKelley Blue Book10 Electric Cars That Last the LongestKelley Blue BookUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoOur View: Argaka mukhtar should not act as if he owns the beachUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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