As many as 18 government employees were placed under suspension for unauthorised absence from duty in Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir, an official spokesperson said on Sunday. The District Development Commissioner of Doda, Bhawani Rakwal, issued the suspension orders of the officials of different departments after they were found absent during an inspection yesterday, he said. He said Mr. Rakwal ordered an inquiry against the suspended officials and also directed the officers concerned to keep their salaries on hold with immediate effect till further orders. The District Development Commissioner issued directions to all the offices to install biometric attendance system by the end of this month, failing which the salaries of those staff who did not get registered to the new system would be kept on hold, the spokesperson said.
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An evaluation report on India’s tiger reserves has put the spotlight on an alleged nexus between some officials of Kaziranga National Park and poachers.Kaziranga, a World Heritage Site designated by UNESCO, is more popular as the world’s best address for the one-horned rhino. It is also been a major tiger reserve covering an area of 1,080 sq km.Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier this week released the management effectiveness evaluation reports for tiger reserves across the country, including Kaziranga.The report says that some staff of Kaziranga Tiger Reserve may sometimes get involved in poaching by helping the poachers. To drive home the point, the report cites the poaching of three rhinos in as many days in November 2017 close to the Tunikati anti-poaching camp under the Burapahar Range.Anti-poaching camps “When there are 178 anti-poaching camps in a 911-sq-km area, each camp has to protect 5 sq km. Given the resources at the command of the personnel, it should not be difficult to guard the area effectively. Such poaching close to the camps leads to the suspicion of the involvement of officials,” it says.The report also notes Kaziranga’s management weakness in coordinating with forest officials of Karbi Anglong, which runs along the southern boundary of the tiger reserve. This is because the forest officials of Karbi Anglong, an autonomous tribal council, are not answerable to the heads of Assam’s Forest Department.The hills of Karbi Anglong not only provide shelter to the animals of Kaziranga during high floods but also cover for poachers, the report said.Railway lineAssam Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya had informed the 126-member State Assembly that an expert committee had been formed to study the proposal for laying a second track through Deepor Beel, a wetland on the western edge of Guwahati that was listed in 2002 as a Ramsar Site.“The panel will submit its report to the National Green Tribunal, which will decide on whether or not to go ahead with the project,” Mr. Suklabaidya said.
A cluster of villages in central Assam’s Nagaon district has found a way of keeping crop-raiding elephants off their crops — by setting aside land to create a meal zone for them.Most farmers of 12 villages in the Ronghang-Hatikhuli area of central Assam’s Nagaon district do not have enough land to sustain their families. But they donated 203 bighas (roughly 33 hectares) of community land and took turns to plant paddy exclusively for the elephants that often come down the hills of the adjoining Karbi Anglong district.‘Jumbo kheti’The “jumbo kheti (cropland)” has been envisaged as the last line of mealy defence against some 350-400 elephants that have often paid for venturing too close to human habitations. Five of them were electrocuted by illegal electric fences in the last 16 months while half a dozen, injured by spears and arrows, died in the jungles up the hills.About 10 km from the paddy field, toward the hills, is an 8-hectare plantation of Napier grass that 35 reformed hunters have grown for the elephants. This plantation is on land belonging to a tea estate.The locals have also planted saplings of 2,000 outenga (elephant apple), 1,500 jackfruit and 25,000 banana plants on barren land between the paddy field and grass plantation. The three-step plantation has a common thread — environmentalist Binod Dulu Bora and the NGO Hatibondhu, meaning ‘friends of elephants’, he is associated with.“Growing paddy for elephants was the idea of Pradip Kumar Bhuyan, the director of our NGO. We had several meetings with the villagers and managed to convince them by saying they would be setting an example for the world to follow toward reducing man-animal conflicts,” Mr. Bora told The Hindu on Monday.Feeding patternOnce convinced that the experiment would save much of their crops, the villagers decided to donate land and labour to grow paddy for the elephants. Forest Department officials chipped in to provide solar electric fences around the crop area.“Work on the paddy field began less than two months ago. The fence will be withdrawn once the paddy ripens for the elephants to feed on. By mapping the area and studying the feeding pattern, we calculated that the elephants would take 20-22 days to finish the paddy in their demarcated zone,” Mr. Bora said.The nearest fields where the villagers have grown crops for themselves and for trade are 5 km away. “By the time the elephants finish the crop grown for them, we will have harvested much of our own. We think the elephants will turn back if they don’t find crop in our spaces,” said Dyansing Hanse, one of the two village headmen.The Ronghang-Hatikhuli area is inhabited by the Karbi and Adivasi communities.“The fruit trees will take time to grow. But the elephants can feed on the Napier grass, a tropical forage crop that grows fast, if they return to the hills. They have already partaken of the grass six times,” Mr Bora said, adding that 35 hunters who had given up hunting four years ago have been maintaining the grass plantation. ‘Unprecedented’Jiten Kro, the other headman said the villagers had been living in dread of the elephants for years. He hoped the experiment would go a long way in ensuring co-existence with the animals. “We are happy to have given back some space to the elephants through a project that I believe is unprecedented,” he said.
MOST READ The Elasto Painters, meanwhile, slipped to a losing record of 5-6.In a matchup where misses became the turning points in the final minute, it was James Yap, who became the goat.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingAfter tying the game at 101-101 with 1:04 left, Yap muffed two free throws at the 51-second mark of the game.Those costly misses left the door open for TNT, which pulled ahead for good after RR Pogoy nailed a long two to give the KaTropa a 103-101 lead with 26 seconds left. “I expected this kind of game, because Rain or Shine needs to win today for them to have a good place in the quarterfinals,” said TNT head coach Nash Racela. “We’ve been in the PBA for so long that at this point we know that no lead is safe.”TNT was dominant in the first half as it ended the second quarter up, 51-39, while maintaining composure up until the third when ROS had pulled within, 78-71, heading into the final period.“Teams are leading by 15 points in the first half and still end up losing the game.”Yap had another couple of chances from the free throw line with five seconds left but the most he got was a split and Ranidel de Ocampo eventually closed things out for TNT with two freebies.Joshua Smith impressed in his second game for TNT, coming away with a game-high 23 points to go along with 12 rebounds while De Ocampo had 21 points. ADVERTISEMENT Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students PLAY LIST 01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes Palace: Duterte to hear out security execs on alleged China control of NGCP View comments LATEST STORIES PBA IMAGESANTIPOLO—TNT survived Rain or Shine, 105-102, to finish off its elimination round campaign on a high note in the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Sunday at Ynares Sports Center here.The KaTropa head to the playoffs with an 8-3 record but will still await the final games of Star, San Miguel, Ginebra, and Meralco to determine their seed.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast Returning Kvitova wins Roland Garros opener Troy Rosario finished with 11 points to help TNT while Pogoy and Ryan Reyes had 10 points apiece.Yap led the Elasto Painters with 23 points.Rain or Shine gave TNT quite a scare despite the early ejection of its import Duke Crews with still 6:51 left in the third quarter. Crews had nine points and 17 rebounds.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast Every 18 seconds someone is diagnosed with HIV BSP survey: PH banks see bright horizon amid dark global recession clouds Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR
View comments Ledecky failed to set a personal best in any of her races — the ultimate goal for every swimmer, even more than the medals. A runner-up finish in the 200-meter freestyle was the 20-year-old’s first individual defeat in a major international race.“I always wish there was more,” Ledecky said. “I’ve never walked away from a season completely satisfied, even last year (after winning four golds at the Rio Olympics). You always are looking and moving forward.”She was certainly due for a letdown.Ever since a stunning breakthrough at the 2012 London Olympics, when she won the 800 free as a little-known 15-year-old, Ledecky’s trajectory has been nothing but up, up, up.In 2013, she won four golds at the worlds in Barcelona, setting a pair of world records. Two years later in Kazan, she swept every freestyle from 200 to 1,500 meters, setting two more world records. And, yes, two more world records fell last summer in Brazil, transforming her into a full-fledged star.ADVERTISEMENT Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet But that wasn’t the only striking change in Ledecky’s life.After putting off college for a year to focus on the Olympics, the Washington, D.C.-area swimmer moved across the country for her freshman year at Stanford. It has been an enriching experience that she’s fully embraced, meeting new people and taking all sorts of challenging classes, but perhaps it had an impact on her swimming.Ledecky acknowledged that she “didn’t really set as high of goals or have that same motivation, just always being on and on and on.”“Going through a lot of transitions and changes this year, knowing that I’ve gone through that now, I can really take what I’ve learned and use it moving forward,” Ledecky said.She was certainly overshadowed along the banks of the Danube.Caeleb Dressel emerged as America’s newest sensation with a record-tying seven gold medals — three of them on the same night, the first swimmer ever to accomplish that feat at worlds.“He’s incredible,” Ledecky said, maybe even a bit relieved to have the spotlight shining elsewhere. “Just so impressive how he goes race to race to medal ceremony to medal ceremony, has another race in about two minutes. He’s just such a great athlete and such a great swimmer. So young, too, that he has so many great years ahead of him.”Dressel is the same age as Ledecky.Chances are, they both have plenty of great years ahead of them.But now, for perhaps the first time in her swimming career, Ledecky is facing a bit of a setback. FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES She won five gold medals. She took silver in her other event.“If that was my bad year for the next four years, then the next couple years are going to be pretty exciting,” Ledecky declared.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsBut her performance in Budapest did prove one thing.She’s human. National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games It will be interesting to see how she bounces back.In all likelihood, she’ll come back better than ever.“This year I didn’t really set very specific time goals or goals in general,” she said “I just kind of wanted to repeat in all by different events from the past two worlds and just play a part on some good Team USA relays. I didn’t really have too big of expectations for myself, especially compared to the last couple of years. I knew there were expectations externally, but I was really just trying to focus on my own races, putting those together, and using this year as a big learning year.”Ledecky took on her most demanding program at these championships, competing in four individual events and two relays, a total of 6,300 meters in all counting preliminaries, semifinals and finals.“It was pretty tiring,” she conceded. “I’m pretty wiped out right now. But I’m happy with how it all went. I was happy with how I was able to bounce back after each race, move forward to the next race and get through to the next round as well as I did.”She’s not totally pleased with the results, even though she’s now the winningest female swimmer in world championship history with 14 gold medals — more than anyone except Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte.Ledecky feels like she’s capable of more.“I’m happy with five golds and a silver,” she said. “But there’s a lot of room for improvement for me, as crazy as that sounds. Moving forward, I’m going to be really motivated. I’m really looking forward to working toward 2020 now.” Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next United States’ Katie Ledecky leaves the hall after winning the gold in the women’s 800-meter freestyle final during the swimming competitions of the World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary. APBUDAPEST, Hungary — OK, it wasn’t like Katie Ledecky was a flop at the world championships.Far from it.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ After historic 7 swim golds, Dressel to wrestle with math test DILG, PNP back suspension of classes during SEA Games
LATEST STORIES MOST READ Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ View comments Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next San Beda cruises to 8th straight; Bolick ejected after scuffle Roger Pogoy. Photo from Fiba.comGilas Pilipinas is set to compete in the 2017 Fiba Asia Champions Cup which runs from Sept. 22-30 in Shenzen, China.National team coach Chot Reyes announced Gilas’ participation in the tournament Tuesday on his Twitter account.ADVERTISEMENT Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim “Breaking: Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas joins @FIBAAsiaCC. Games will be shown @TV5manila & @Sports5PH,” Reyes wrote.The tournament features some of Asia’s best club teams with China’s Xinjian Flying Tigers tipped to repeat as champions. The Flying Tigers will be led by naturalized Filipino Andray Blatche.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingGilas, which finished in seventh place in the Fiba Asia Cup last month, will use the competition as part of its buildup for the Fiba World Cup Qualifying in November. Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side
Wolves winger Adama Traore hails spirit for Besiktas shockby Paul Vegas21 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveWolves winger Adama Traore says their last-gasp Europa League win at Besiktas typifies the spirit with the group.For the third time already this season, Wolves bagged a game-changing goal in injury time.Traore told the club’s website: “I think the whole team worked so hard through the game. It’s been tough, of course, I’m happy for the result, of course. It’s important to win, our first win, and after we have to keep working.“We keep going, we keep moving and we keep pushing, that is important. We keep showing the last games that we have to fight until the end, and we do that. This is the spirit and I’m so happy for the work of the team.“Before in previous games we showed a spirit, it doesn’t matter how the game goes, or how difficult it is, we will fight, we will keep pushing until the end, so I like the spirit of the team, this is my spirit as well, so I’m so happy and will have to keep working.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
MIAMI GARDENS, FL – JANUARY 03: Ohio State Buckeyes helmets sit in the endzone prior to the Discover Orange Bowl against the Clemson Tigers at Sun Life Stadium on January 3, 2014 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)SportsCenter just aired another part of its interview between reporter Dan Murphy and former Ohio State wide receivers coach Zach Smith.During the interview, Murphy asks about the photos of an injured Courtney Smith, the coach’s ex-wife. Specifically, he asked about an image that showed Smith’s bloody hand.According to Brett McMurphy’s report, Courtney Smith says that he “cut her” with the tobacco can:Photos that Courtney said she shared via text with other wives show bruises on Courtney’s neck and arms from beatings she suffered in 2014 and 2015. Another photo shows blood gushing out of her thumb when Zach cut her with the metal top of a smokeless tobacco can after another 2014 incident.That photo, from McMurphy’s Facebook post:Dan Murphy asked Zach Smith specifically about that bloody photo during the SportsCenter interview.He acknowledged that the cut came from a tobacco can, but said it was an accident that occurred when Courtney attempted to dump it on him while he was sleeping.“Murphy: There was a photo where her hand was bleeding? Did that happen because of you?”“Smith: I wouldn’t say it was because of me. She was in a fit about…I don’t know what. She grabbed a can of tobacco that I had, and she went to pour it on me, and when I put my hand up to stop her from pouring it on me, I closed the can, and it sliced her hand, and anyone who has ever seen a can of tobacco knows those metal cans are sharp.I was actually asleep when she came to do this and woke up, and grabbed the can and tried to not have it happen, and here we are.Murphy: What was your reaction when you saw she was injured?Smith: I freaked out. I went ‘oh my God are you okay?’ I helped her wash it off and get band-aids. I was terrified, I was like ‘oh my God I just cut you, I didn’t mean to do that.’”In an interview with 105.7 The Zone in Columbus, which aired less than an hour before the 6 p.m. SportsCenter, Smith said that he did not know where the photos were from, but he couldn’t discount them.Asked about the photos, whether they are authentic: “I’m not discounting that. I don’t know where or what they are from. I have no idea. There were several times things got out of hand between us and I may have restrained her to get out of the house.”— Eleven Warriors (@11W) August 3, 2018Throughout the two interviews Smith repeatedly denied ever committing domestic violence against his ex-wife. Moments after the radio interview finish, McMurphy released a new text message conversation said to be between the Smiths.In one message, Courtney Smith alleges that he picked her up by her neck and strangled her during a vacation in Punta Cana. Zach Smith’s responses: “I know!!!!! I’m so so sorry!!!!!”
WASHINGTON – Sales of new U.S. homes slumped 1.7 per cent in July, the second straight monthly decline as the broader housing market appears to have lost some of its momentum despite an otherwise solid economy.The Commerce Department said Thursday that newly built homes sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 627,000 last month, down from 638,000 in June and 654,000 in May. Despite the slowdown, new-home sales have risen 7.2 per cent year-to-date.Steady hiring gains and signs of stronger economic growth have boosted demand for housing. But higher mortgage rates and a tight inventory of homes on the market has made affordability a challenge for many would-be buyers.The Northeast suffered a steep 52.3 per cent plunge in sales, while sales in the South — the largest regional new-home market — slipped 3.3 per cent. Sales rose in the Midwest and West.The average sales price has risen 5.8 per cent from a year ago to $394,300. This increase reflects a shift toward more expensive properties: 60 per cent of the new homes purchased in July cost more than $300,000, up from 56 per cent in 2017.Existing home sales have also slipped over the past four months, the National Association of Realtors said in a separate report Wednesday. Existing homes — a larger share of the real estate market than new construction — sold at an annual pace of 5.34 million in July, a decline of 0.7 per cent from June.Buyers looking at properties worth more than $500,000 have plenty of options, and sales at that price point and above are rising, the Realtors said. But sales of homes worth less than $250,000 are flat or falling.While hiring has been robust this year, inflation has eaten away at average wage growth, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.Homebuyers also face higher borrowing costs as the interest charged on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.53 per cent last week, up from 3.89 per cent a year ago, according to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac.
New Delhi: The government has deferred by one month the last date for bidding for the 14 oil and gas exploration blocks offered in the second round of Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP). Bids for the 14 blocks offered in OALP-II bid round, covering an area of 29,333 square kilometres, were to close Tuesday. “Bid submission closing date for OALP Bid Round-II stands extended up to April 10, 2019,” the Directorate General of Hydrocarbon (DGH) said in a brief notice. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepIt did not give reasons for extending the deadline. The last date of bidding coincides with the bid deadline for the 23 oil and gas and coal-bed methane (CBM) blocks offered in the third round of OALP, which was launched on February 10. OALP-II bid round was delayed at six months and its launch came barely a month before the third round. Officials said OALP-II and OALP-III will run concurrently. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had at the time of launch of OALP-II bid round on January 7 stated that an investment of about Rs 40,000 crore is expected in the prospecting of oil and gas in blocks offered. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to CustomsIn the first round of OALP last year, as much as Rs 60,000 crore was committed in the exploration of oil and gas in 55 blocks or areas. In the third round, the government is expecting up to USD 700 million (about Rs 49,000 crore) of investment that it hopes will help raise domestic output and cut imports. India had in July 2017 allowed companies to carve out blocks of their choice with a view to bringing about 2.8 million sq km of unexplored area in the country under exploration. Under this policy, called open acreage licensing policy or OALP, companies are allowed to put in an expression of interest (EoI) for prospecting of oil and gas in any area that is presently not under any production or exploration licence. The EoIs can be put in at any time of the year but they are accumulated twice annually. The blocks or areas that receive EoIs at the end of a cycle are put up for auction with the originator or the firm that originally selected the area getting a 5-mark advantage. The two window of accumulating EoIs end on May 15 and November 15 every year. EoIs accumulated till May 15 are supposed to be put on auction by June 30 and those in the second window by December 31. The first OALP round was launched in 2017 and bids came in by May 2018. EoIs for second round closed on May 15, 2018, and the blocks were supposed to be put for auction by June but the round was for reasons unknown delayed. OALP-II was finally launched on January 7. In the meanwhile, EoIs in the third window also closed on November 15, 2018 with as many as 18 blocks and five CBM blocks, measuring 31,722 sq km, being sought for. OALP-III bid round was launched on February 10 with April 10 as the last date for bidding. Officials said the 14 blocks in OALP-II are estimated to hold in-place resource of 12,609 million tonne oil and oil equivalent gas. In OALP-1, mining mogul Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta Ltd walked away with 41 out of 55 blocks bid out. State-owned Oil India Ltd won nine blocks while Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) managed to win just two. State gas utility GAIL, upstream arm of Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Oil Exploration Co (HOEC) won one block each. The 55 blocks have a total area of 59,282 sq km. This compares to about 1,02,000 sq km being under exploration prior to OALP. Blocks are awarded to the company which offers the highest share of oil and gas to the government as well as commits to doing maximum exploration work by way of shooting 2D and 3D seismic survey and drilling exploration wells. Increased exploration will lead to more oil and gas production, helping the world’s third largest oil importer to cut import dependence. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set a target of cutting oil import bill by 10 per cent to 67 per cent by 2022 and to half by 2030. Import dependence has increased since 2015 when Modi had set the target. India currently imports 83 per cent of its oil needs. The new policy replaced the old system of government carving out areas and bidding them out. It guarantees marketing and pricing freedom and moves away from production sharing model of previous rounds to a revenue-sharing model, where companies offering the maximum share of oil and gas to the government are awarded the block. The government prior to this had been selecting and demarcating areas it feels can be offered for bidding in an exploration licensing round. Under this, 256 blocks had been offered for exploration and production since 2000. The last bid round happened in 2010. Of these, 254 blocks were awarded. But as many as 156 have already been relinquished due to poor prospect.
“A defining feature of the 2030 Agenda is its determination to leave no one behind,” UN Development Programme’s (UNDP) Administrator, Helen Clark, told over 30 social development ministers at the Regional Conference on Social Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, a three-day meeting convened in Lima, Peru, by the UN’s Economic Commission for the region (ECLAC), the Government of Peru and UNDP.“This call demands that we work together to identify and address the deep-rooted determinants of exclusion – in this region and beyond. Poverty eradication will only be achieved when we truly invest in people. Growth needs to be both inclusive and sustainable,” she added.According to the UN, after a decade of high economic growth and poverty reduction – adding 92 million people to an emerging middle class from 2003-2013 – Latin America and the Caribbean is facing slower growth rates and relapses into poverty for some segments of the population. Within this context, participants discussed how to turn the recently-agreed 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development into reality, which the UN said requires new ways of thinking and taking on complex challenges, like exclusion and inequality.”The Latin America and Caribbean region has not yet adopted an agenda of social transformation that favors the change from a culture of privilege to an environment in which equal rights enable a sense of ownership in a more integrated society,” said ECLAC Executive Secretary Alicia Bárcena. She further stressed that strategies for overcoming poverty must consider three main areas: income transfers for immediate relief of basic needs, public access to quality services, and labour and productive inclusion.During the conference, ECLAC will present the main results of the study “Inclusive Social Development: A New Generation of Policies to Overcome Poverty and Inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean”, which identifies progress and challenges and delivers several policy recommendations. One of the major advances in the report is the increase in social spending in the region, which rose from 13.8 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 1990 to 19.1 per cent in 2013.Despite significant progress on reducing poverty over the past decade, nearly 167 million people in Latin America and the Caribbean are estimated to be still living in poverty, according to ECLAC figures. The majority reside in rural areas with limited access to higher levels of education and skills training. Meanwhile, women are disproportionately affected, with about 35 per cent of poor people live in female-headed households, according to UNDP’s upcoming Human Development Report for Latin America and the Caribbean on multidimensional progress, which will offer essential policy tools to for a region with a legacy of class, race and gender-based discrimination.“Social policies must be as strong as economic policies,” said Paola Bustamante, Minister of Development and Social Inclusion (MIDIS) of Peru. “This includes investments in health, education and transport, emphasizing the different needs of women and men at different stages of life.”The Minister added that social development means ensuring equitable economic distribution and the necessary investment so each and every citizen can access the same quality services and have the same development opportunities.Adopting multidimensional approaches to poverty reduction and assessing well-being beyond income measurements is also one of the topics which ECALAC says regional authorities will assess during the conference. This includes improving education, social protection, quality jobs – which are reportedly crucial for a region with high numbers of workers in the informal sector – and the acquisition of basic assets, in addition to improving health care and overall living conditions. During the conference in Lima, ministers will also discuss how to include these alternative approaches in a new generation of public policies for the sustainable development era.Regional authorities are also to discuss challenges for middle income countries (MICs) and small island developing States (SIDS) in the 2030 Agenda, including the need to boost resilience, or the ability to absorb shocks, such as natural hazards or financial crisis, without major economic, social and environmental setbacks.The Regional Conference on Social Development in Latin America and the Caribbean was created in 2014 during the last session of ECLAC held in the Peruvian capital and is the result of a strategic alliance with UNDP, giving continuity to seven consecutive years of the Ministerial Forum for Development in the region.
Previously there were no set guidelines for judges in these cases, and they could use case law to decide the length and seriousness of any sentence. Last year an inquest found that the 96 Liverpool fans had been unlawfully killed, in part due to the actions of police officers. Judges have the ability to award a life sentence where they feel it is appropriate, for example in situations where the perpetrator is particularly dangerous, a situation which does not tend to arise in gross negligence cases.But average sentences have tended to be much lower than for other manslaughter offences, with the longest sentences given tending to be between six and eight years. According to the most recent figures the average sentence for those convicted of gross negligence manslaughter in 2014 was four years. The Council’s analysis of 16 sentences given during that year found that the shortest was just nine months. The new guidelines give a minimum sentence of one year for the least serious offences. Nazir AfzalCredit:Heathcliff O’Malley Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Former Chief Superintendent of South Yorkshire Police David DuckenfieldCredit:Phil Noble/REUTERS Judges have been told to issue tougher sentences for gross negligence manslaughter in the wake of the Hillsborough and Grenfell disasters.There have previously been no set sentencing guidelines for the offence but the longest sentences were usually for less than ten years. Now the Sentencing Council has moved to tell judges that they can hand out prison terms of up to 18 years in the most serious cases.The new sentencing rules for gross negligence manslaughter published today propose that “cost-cutting” offenders who have a “serious disregard” for the safety of others should receive more severe penalties.Previously judges had to act based on previous case law, and there were concerns that this meant that the worst offenders were not being given enough prison time. Under the new guidelines offenders will be sentenced more harshly where they were motivated by financial gain, when they knew that their actions were likely to cause harm or if they were in a “dominant role”, if they had acted alongside others. If convicted, perpetrators of historic offences would be judged under the new criteria. Last week it was announced that David Duckenfield, the South Yorkshire police officer who was in charge of policing at Hillsborough stadium when 96 people were killed in a crush in 1989, would be charged with gross negligence manslaughter for his part in the tragedy. The average sentence for those convicted of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility was 10 years, and the longest was 20 years. Manslaughter sentences were examined after Chris Grayling, the former Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor, said in 2014 that sentences for “one-punch” manslaughter cases should be reviewed amid concerns that they were too lenient. Analysis carried out by the Telegraph in 2014 found that the average prison term for reported cases of one punch manslaughter since 2010 was three years and ten months. Keir Starmer, the former Director of Public Prosecutions, revealed last month that manslaughter charges were being considered over the Grenfell Tower disaster, in which at least 80 people died.His disclosure followed comments by Nazir Afzal, a former chief crown prosecutor, who told the Guardian that those responsible for the management and maintenance of the building could be held responsible. He said: “All have a duty of care. If they have been grossly negligent and that led to a loss of life, then it can be argued that they have committed manslaughter.”Gross negligence manslaughter is used to prosecute people who fail in a duty of care, causing someone’s death. It includes parents or carers who do not protect their ward from a clear danger, employers who fail to look after the safety of their workers or doctors who fail to care properly for a patient. The Sentencing Council said: “In considering the factors that make an offence of gross negligence manslaughter more or less serious the Council came to the conclusion that it would be appropriate for sentences to increase in some situations.”Typically these are cases where an employer has had a long standing, utter disregard for the safety of employees and is motivated by cost cutting.” A consultation period will run until October with the new rules due to be introduced from the middle of next year. Last year restaurant owner Mohammed Zaman was jailed for six years after causing the death of customer Paul Wilson, 38, who was allergic to peanuts. Zaman had switched almond powder for a ground nut mix, Teesside Crown Court heard. A separate offence of corporate manslaughter exists for companies which cause deaths because of severe management failings. These can be punished with an unlimited fine.
BEND, Ore. (AP) — Authorities say a Redmond man remains in critical condition after being assaulted on a vacant lot near where several transient camps have been established in the city.The Bend Bulletin reports that police say they responded to St. Charles-Redmond on Tuesday after receiving a 911 call from someone who said they were driving an unconscious man to the hospital. The 29-year-old victim, whose name hasn’t been released, has since been transported to St. Charles-Bend, where he remained in critical condition Wednesday.Police say they pulled over two suspects in the case, who were interviewed and eventually released.No arrests have been made an investigation into the assault is ongoing.
Huawei Japan joins Kansai Economic Federation with eye on World Expo 2025 and Osaka IR RelatedPosts Japan to conduct nationwide prefectural survey to confirm IR intentions Load More Explaining the reasons for the loan, Suncity Group said it “will continue to diversify its businesses to tourism-related real estate in Asian countries and seek opportunities on the provision of consultancy services to hotels and integrated resorts.“The Group aims to build an integrated tourism-related platform with equity investments in integrated resorts and the provision of tourism-related services to integrated resorts within the Asian region. The Directors (excluding Mr Chau) consider that the Facility will strengthen the financial position and provide additional working capital to the Group.”Suncity last year completed the acquisition of a 34% stake in Vietnamese integrated resort Hoiana in a significant move into the operations side of IRs. It also bought a 3.29% stake in Hong Kong-listed Summit Ascent, which operates Russian IR Tigre de Cristal near Vladivostok, and has signed an agreement relating to pre-opening services and casino management for a casino in Sihanoukville, Cambodia.In February Suncity Group signed an MoU with Korea’s Paradise Co in regards to a potential cooperation agreement at Paradise Casino Busan. Osaka approves Yumeshima site for commercial development in latest IR move Suncity Group Chairman Alvin Chau Cheok Wa has agreed to lend the company HK$1.5 billion (US$192 million) to aid in its rapid expansion initiatives throughout Asia.In a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange overnight, Suncity revealed that it had entered into an agreement with Star Hope Limited – a company wholly-owned by Chau – to provide an unsecured loan facility of up to HK$1.5 billion, to be made available for a period of three years. Chau will earn interest of 3.5% per annum on the loan.
Pranab MukherjeeFormer Indian president Pranab Mukherjee will arrive in Dhaka on Sunday to attend a number of programmes, including the closing session of the ‘International Bengali Literature Conference’ in the city, reports UNB.Foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali will welcome Pranab at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport upon his arrival by a Jet Airways flight in the afternoon, an official told UNB.Pranab’s daughter Sharmista Mukherjee, among others, will accompany the former Indian president during his Bangladesh visit.Prime minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the three-day literature conference on Saturday at Bangla Academy while Pranab will be present at the closing ceremony of the conference on Monday as the chief guest.He will meet prime minister Sheikh Hasina at her official residence Ganobhaban on Monday and will have lunch there together.Pranab will also visit Bangabandhu Museum to pay respects to father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on Monday morning.Finance minister AMA Muhith will host a dinner on the same day in honor of Pranab.Indian high commissioner in Dhaka Harsh Vardhan Shringla will host a reception to the former Indian president on Sunday.On Tuesday morning, he will go to Chittagong and will visit Chittagong Armoury Raid site, the European Club site and Chittagong University.Chittagong University (CU) will honour him with a Doctor of Letters (D Litt) degree on Tuesday afternoon through a special convocation ceremony.The university has taken a decision in its 52nd syndicate meeting recently.CU registrar Prof Kamrul Huda said the former Indian president is also scheduled to visit two dormitories – Surya Sen and Pritilata – during his visit and will deliver a speech for the teachers and students.”The decision to honour him (Pranab) with D Litt was taken in consultation with president (Abdul Hamid),” Huda said.Pranab, according to his programme schedule, will visit ancestral home of Masterda Surya Sen, an influential leader of Indian independence movement against British rule, at village Noapara under Raozan upazila in Chittagong to pay homage to Surya Sen.Pranab, who served as the 13th president of India and now enjoying his retired life by reading books and writing his diary, will meet president Abdul Hamid on Wednesday evening.President Hamid will host a dinner in honour of Pranab at Bangabhaban.The former Indian president will leave for New Delhi by Jet Airways at 10:20am on Thursday.
In Honor of Black History Month, join many of the city’s top cultural attractions under one roof for an afternoon of free interactive and family-friendly activities on Feb. 18 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Baltimore Visitor Center, Inner Harbor. Baltimore’s Legends & Legacies Jubilee invites everyone to embrace the city’s rich African American heritage and culture while encouraging inclusivity and community engagement. For more information go to: baltimore.org/article/baltimores-legends-legacies-jubilee
By James Wright, Special to the AFRO, email@example.comBlack women political and social justice leaders encouraged Black Americans to stay engaged in the political process and continue the fight for positive change, at a DC town hall meeting, Thursday.The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference‘ National Town Hall took place on Sept. 13 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in the District of Columbia. The theme of the event was “Advancing the Cause of Freedom, Justice and Equality: Black Women at the Forefront of Leadership” and U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Texas) said the town hall was “a call to action.”In this July 26, 2018 file photo, Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, center, speaks with the media during a campaign stop at the Ironworkers Local 709 apprenticeship shop to announce her “Jobs for Georgia Plan,” in Pooler, Ga. The history-making gubernatorial runs by Abrams of Georgia, Andrew Gillum of Florida and Ben Jealous of Maryland are turning them into stars nationwide and at the Congressional Black Caucus annual legislative conference. If elected, Abrams, Jealous and Gillum, would give America its largest number of Black governors ever. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, File)“Women have been standing, fighting and leading,” Jackson-Lee, the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, said. “With power comes duty and obligation and we are surging to the front with action and justice.”In the 2016 presidential election, 95 percent of Black women who voted cast their ballot for former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton while 54 percent of White women voted for Donald Trump. Political analysts credit Black women for the election of Democrat Doug Jones of Alabama’s election to the U.S. Senate in 2017 and for Democrat Dr. Ralph Northam’s victory in the Virginia gubernatorial race that year, too.Black women played key roles in the Democratic primary victories of Stacey Abrams of Georgia and Andrew Gillum in Florida.A panel discussion took that place that talked about that type of power and how it could be used to benefit African-Americans. The panelists were Abrams, Jackson-Lee, Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), Proctor & Gamble executive Monica Turner, CNN Commentator Symone Sanders, president and founder of Black Mamas Matter Alliance Elizabeth Gay, and founder and president of Moms of Black Boys United Depelsha McGruder.The moderator was Joy Reid, a host for MSNBC.Coleman said that everyone needed to vote because if the Democrats win the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2018 election, she will be able to exert power on behalf of her constituents, and Blacks in general, as the chair of the committee that deals with transportation and infrastructure.“We will not build walls but communities,” Coleman said.Abrams explained that her race is winnable because Georgia is not the way it is in the novel “Gone with the Wind.”“Georgia is 53 percent White, 32 percent Black, nine and a half Hispanic and four and a half Asian/Pacific Islander,” she said. “Georgia will be majority minority in 2025 and is the only statewhere the leading minority will be Blacks.”Turner said the private sector has to be part of the solution of the many problems that plague the Black community. Sanders said older Blacks needs to do a better job of convincing millennials that just voting will solve problems.“Millennials have voted and have seen people shot and some millennials have to work two and three jobs in order to make ends,” Sanders said. “Voting is a necessary part of the puzzle but not the entire puzzle.”Elizabeth Gay said Black women need to support organizations and other each other as they pursue political goals. McGruder said “we have to push for change in the system and accountability for government officials.”U.S. Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) addressed the group and Booker brought down the house when he said “I miss Obama and her husband too.”
By Ben Finley, The Associated PressThe 12 people who were fatally shot in a Virginia Beach government building were remembered June 1 during a somber news conference and prayer vigil as officials sought to put the focus on those who died and not the gunman.Police Chief James Cervera identified the assailant as DeWayne Craddock, who was employed for 15 years as an engineer with the city’s utilities department. He declined to comment on a motive for the previous day’s rampage, which ended with Craddock’s death in a gun battle with police. City officials uttered his name just once and said they would not mention it again.City Manager Dave Hansen said he had worked for years with many of the dead, 11 of whom were city employees. The 12th was a contractor trying to get a permit.This combination of photos provided by the City of Virginia Beach on Saturday, June 1, 2019 shows victims of Friday’s shooting at a municipal building in Virginia Beach, Va. Top row from left are Laquita C. Brown, Ryan Keith Cox, Tara Welch Gallagher and Mary Louise Gayle. Middle row from left are Alexander Mikhail Gusev, Joshua A. Hardy, Michelle “Missy” Langer and Richard H. Nettleton. Bottom row from left are Katherine A. Nixon, Christopher Kelly Rapp, Herbert “Bert” Snelling and Robert “Bobby” Williams. (Courtesy City of Virginia Beach via AP)Their names and photos were projected on a screen as Hansen read aloud biographical information that included their hometowns and years of service.“They leave a void that we will never be able to fill,” he said.Chaplains and family assistance workers worked through the night to notify relatives — a job that Hansen described as “the most difficult task anyone will ever have to do.”One of the dead employees had worked for the city for 41 years. Six worked in the same department as Craddock, though authorities have declined to say if anyone was specifically targeted or if the suspect had issued threats before. The victims were found throughout the building, on three floors, police said.Authorities have said Craddock opened fire indiscriminately. Four other people were wounded, including a police officer whose bulletproof vest saved his life.The suspect was armed with a .45-caliber handgun with a noise suppressor, police said. Cervera said June 1 that more weapons were found at the scene and at his home.Two law enforcement officials told The Associated Press that the gunman made multiple legal firearm purchases recently, and the guns recovered at the scene were purchased legally. The officials were not authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.The building was open to the public, but security passes were required to enter inner offices, conference rooms and other work areas. As a current employee, Craddock would have had the pass to enter the inner offices, Hansen said.Asked how secure the building was, the police chief said that government buildings must balance access with security.“It’s an open government building. Citizens have the right to access open government buildings. Employees have a right to access their work site,” he said.Craddock, 40, was a professional engineer who had graduated from Denbigh High School in nearby Newport News in 1996 and joined the Army National Guard, according to a newspaper clip from the time. He received basic military training and advanced individual training at Fort Sill, Okla. He later graduated from Old Dominion University with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.A photo produced by Heavy.com shows Craddock to be a Black man.The 11 city employees who were killed were identified as Tara Welch Gallagher, Mary Louise Gayle, Alexander Mikhail Gusev, Katherine A. Nixon, Ryan Keith Cox, Joshua A. Hardy and Michelle “Missy” Langer, all of Virginia Beach; Laquita C. Brown and Robert “Bobby” Williams, both of Chesapeake; and Richard H. Nettleton of Norfolk and Christopher Kelly Rapp of Powhatan. The 12th victim, Herbert “Bert” Snelling of Virginia Beach, was a contractor filling a permit.Craddock appeared to have had no felony record, which would have made him eligible to purchase guns.Joseph Scott, an engineering technician with the department of public works, said he had worked with Craddock before and had a brief interaction with him May 31. Scott said he saw him in the men’s restroom about five minutes before the shooting.“He was in there brushing his teeth, which he always did after he ate,” Scott said. “I said ‘Hey, how you doing? What are you doing this weekend?’ It was just a brief conversation.”Scott said he left for the day right after and learned of the shooting when a co-worker and then his son called him asking if he was OK.“I couldn’t believe that it happened,” he said.Scott said he worked in a different division from Craddock, whom he described as quiet, polite and a “nice guy.” Scott said he thought Craddock was in good standing at work and had never heard negative reports about him.Scott was among about 200 people who attended a Saturday prayer vigil for those killed. The crowd included city workers, community leaders and residents who just wanted to offer hugs and condolences. Many people openly sobbed or dabbed their eyes with tissues. Gov. Ralph Northam also attended.“We grieve with you,” Northam said. “We are all in this together.”Scott said he, his wife and several other people prayed for the shooter.“He was a human too, and his family is hurting too,” Scott said. “He’s not evil … he was just another guy who had problems.”Craddock’s neighbors said police swarmed the neighborhood of modest townhomes May 31 in Virginia Beach. Some said he had lived there for at least 10 years.Several neighbors said Craddock was a clean-cut member of the neighborhood association board whose wife had left him some years ago.___Associated Press writers Regina Garcia Cano, Michael Biesecker, Michael Balsamo and Eric Tucker in Washington, D.C.; Denise Lavoie and Michael Kunzelman in Virginia Beach, Virginia; and Jonathan Drew in Durham, North Carolina, contributed to this report.