Black day in constitutional history union of states idea in danger Cong

first_imgNew Delhi, Aug 5 (PTI) Describing the revoking of Article 370 as a “black day” in the country’s constitutional history, the Congress on Monday alleged that the government “dismembered” Jammu and Kashmir by “mischievously misinterpreting” articles in the Constitution, and cautioned that the idea of India as a union of states is in “grave danger”. The government on Monday revoked Article 370 which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and proposed that the state be bifurcated into two union territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details Senior Congress leader and former home minister P Chidambaram alleged that the Modi dispensation’s move amounted to “constitutional monstrosity” and the decision marks the “beginning of the disintegration of India if the government continues on this path”. Flanked by leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad and other opposition leaders, Chidambaram told reporters outside Parliament: “We anticipated a misadventure, but did not think in our wildest dreams that they will take such a catastrophic step.” Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday “Today is a black day in the constitutional history of India,” he said. Azad, in his remarks, accused the BJP of taking the decision “for votes”. and also alleged that the saffron party is “playing” with unity and integrity of the state. “A border state, which is culturally, geographically, historically and politically different was bound together by Article 370. Drunk on power and to get votes, the BJP govt scrapped 3-4 things in one stroke,” Azad said. He said that since morning, the Congress, Trinamool Congress, CPI(M), CPI, DMK, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Kerala Congress, Samajwadi Party, Kerala’s Muslim League, Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), has been protesting and will continue do so against this “black law”. “We will keep fighting both inside and outside Parliament,” Azad said. Speaking in Rajya Sabha, Azad said the entire Kashmir Valley is under curfew and three former chief ministers of the state and political leaders have been placed under house arrest. He called for the situation to be discussed first but Naidu allowed Shah to move the resolution. Chidambaram told reporters that the government has not simply got rid of Article 370, but has also “dismembered” the state of Jammu and Kashmir by “mischievously misinterpreting Article 3 and Article 370 of the Constitution”. “If this can be done to Jammu and Kashmir let me caution you that this can be done to every other state in India. All that they have to do is dismiss the elected government, impose President’s rule, dissolve the elected assembly, Parliament takes the power of the state assembly. The government moves a resolution, Parliament approves it and the state can be dismembered,” Chidambaram said. He claimed that every state can be broken up and Union territories can be created out of the states by the “mischievous interpretation” of Article 3 and 370. “It will not stop here. What they have done is a constitutional monstrosity. People of India and people of every state must wake up to the grave danger that is set as an example today by these completely unconstitutional and illegal resolutions,” Chidambaram said. “I want to warn, every party, every state and every citizen in India that the idea of India as a union of states is in grave danger. They can dismember every state and break it up. This is the beginning of the disintegration of India if this government continues on this path,” he said, adding that this was “the worst day” in the constitutional history of India. Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill said that legally, as per proviso to Article 370(3) of the Constitution, it cannot be scrapped by the President without the recommendation of the state assembly. Currently there is no valid assembly and the BJP has been avoiding elections, scrapping Article 370 in current manner is “unconstitutional”, he said in a tweet. He also cited a Supreme Court judgement to drive home his point and added that probably the “era of law and Constitution is over”. Meeting a long-held promise of the BJP, Union Home Minister Amit Shah moved a resolution in the Rajya Sabha that Article 370, which allowed Jammu and Kashmir to have its own Constitution, will no longer be applicable. “The president on the recommendation of Parliament is pleased to declare as from 5th of August 2019, all clauses of the said Article 370 shall cease to be operative… ,” stated the resolution moved by the Home minister. Shah also moved a bill proposing bifurcation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.last_img read more

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Enbridge shares fall after Minnesota judge issues Line 3 recommendation

first_imgIt says utilizing the existing route would mean physically removing the old pipe and replacing it, a process that would require Enbridge to stop oil shipments for about 16 months, effectively removing 390,000 barrels per day of crude oil takeaway capacity.The existing route crosses two Ojibwe Native American reservations where tribal governments have voiced opposition to replacing the line, setting up the potential for future disputes, Desjardins says.Judge Ann O’Reilly wrote that Enbridge has established that the project is needed, but that the negative consequences to Minnesota of the company’s more southerly preferred route outweigh the benefits. The cost-benefit analysis shifts in favour of approving the project if Enbridge builds the pipeline in Line 3’s existing trench, she said.O’Reilly’s recommendations aren’t binding on the commission, but they’re the product of an extensive public hearing and comment process.Commission Chair Nancy Lange acknowledged at a hearing last month that whatever the commission decides, the dispute is likely to end up in court.Enbridge said in a statement that it was pleased the judge listened to the extensive evidence for the need for the project, and will be taking time to review the recommendation that it use the existing right-of-way. CALGARY, A.B. – Shares in Enbridge Inc. were trading down nearly five per cent the day after a judge in Minnesota recommended that its Line 3 pipeline replacement project follow its existing route across the state rather than the company’s preferred route.Enbridge traded as low as $37.86, off $1.96, on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Tuesday morning.In an overnight note, analysts at Desjardins Capital Markets say the administrative law judge’s report could mean delays for the project if the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission adopts her recommendation. A vote is expected in June.last_img read more

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Security Council extends UN mission in Western Sahara for another year

27 April 2011The Security Council today extended for another year the mandate of the United Nations mission tasked with monitoring the ceasefire in Western Sahara and organizing a referendum on self-determination for the people of the territory. The Security Council today extended for another year the mandate of the United Nations mission tasked with monitoring the ceasefire in Western Sahara and organizing a referendum on self-determination for the people of the territory.The UN has been involved in efforts to find a settlement in Western Sahara since 1976, when fighting broke out between Morocco and the Frente Polisario after the Spanish colonial administration of the territory ended.Morocco has presented a plan for autonomy while the position of the Frente Polisario is that the territory’s final status should be decided in a referendum on self-determination that includes independence as an option.In a unanimously adopted resolution, the Council extended the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) until 30 April 2012, as recommended by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a recent report. In doing so, the 15-member body called on the parties “to continue to show political will and work in an atmosphere propitious for dialogue in order to enter into a more intensive and substantive phase of negotiations.”It also welcomed the parties’ commitment to continue the process of holding small, informal talks in preparation for a fifth round of UN-backed negotiations, and called on them to continue negotiations “without preconditions and in good faith.” When representatives of the parties wrapped up their latest round of talks last month, both sides continued to reject each other’s proposal as a sole basis for future negotiations. At the same time, the two sides confirmed their willingness to explore innovative approaches for negotiation and topics for discussion to find a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution of the conflict. Noting that neither party has taken steps to date that would suggest a readiness to move to an acceptable compromise, Mr. Ban recommended several initiatives in his report to help advance progress in the negotiations.Among them is for the parties to find a way to include representatives of a wide cross-section of the population of Western Sahara in the discussion of issues related to final status and the exercise of self-determination. read more

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UN refugee agency awaits full access to Afghans in rainsoaked camps

More than18,000 people camped in the open at the Jalozai site near the northwest Pakistani border city of Peshawar have been severely affected by torrential rains and wind that hit last week, destroying more than 3,150 shelters and flooding sections of the already squalid site, according to Kris Janowski, a spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The spokesman said that despite repeated appeals from UNHCR, and an apparent agreement reached two weeks ago between UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Pakistan’s General Pervez Musharraf that agencies would help Afghans inside Afghanistan as well as the recent arrivals in Pakistan, the Islamabad Government had yet to facilitate the delivery of adequate assistance by relief agencies to meet all the needs in Jalozai. “Children are suffering and dying unnecessarily at Jalozai, where deaths are recorded daily,” Mr. Janowski told reporters at the agency’s Geneva headquarters. He warned that the Pakistani authorities had permitted UNHCR and other agencies to deliver “only a minimum of services and assistance” to those in need.Describing the inhumane conditions prevailing at Jalozai, Mr. Janowski said paths in the camp “have been reduced to cesspools, with flies breeding among the flimsy shelters and the smell of human excrement pervasive throughout the site.” He added that the overcrowded conditions and the site’s severely overstretched sanitation facilities, combined with the start of the rains, “are raising the danger of epidemics.”More than 170,000 Afghans have fled to Pakistan since last September, adding to the more than 1.2 million Afghans already in the country.According to UNHCR, the humanitarian situation inside Afghanistan is “desperate,” with up to 1 million Afghans affected by famine while others flee the civil war that still rages in parts of the country. read more

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First World Intellectual Property Day marked to honour inventors

Today’s date was chosen by Member States of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) because it marks the entering into force in 1970 of the Convention that established the organization. In its message for the Day, WIPO said the theme for this year’s observance – “Creating the Future Today” – was selected to underscore the importance of innovators and artists to the development and growth of societies everywhere. “We owe the inventions, designs and works of art that ease our workload, improve our living conditions and enrich and beautify our surroundings to a long line of men and women whose creativity and invention have led us from the inkwell to the Internet and from railways to rockets,” the statement said. “Let us use this first World Intellectual Property Day to salute these special individuals who power us forward and give us the opportunity to create a better future.”WIPO Director General Kamil Idris paid tribute to society’s inventors and creators, both past and present. “I invite the peoples of all nations on this first World Intellectual Property Day to join us in recognizing the contribution of inventors and creators in making our world a better place,” he said in a statement. “We all share in the fruits of their ideas, their imagination, their talent and hard work. Join us in saluting their dedication and perseverance, and help us in encouraging the innovators of tomorrow.”As part of its activities to mark the Day, WIPO has launched an international essay competition conducted by its Worldwide Academy. The contest is open to university students around the world and carries a prize of 1,000 Swiss Francs. The organization is also encouraging countries to reproduce an exhibition titled “At Home With Invention.” To assist national authorities in mounting the exhibit, the organization produced a CD-ROM featuring its own exhibition, which recreated a simple home to illustrate how various aspects of intellectual property surround us in everyday life. read more

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Confidence in rapid tourism recovery in tsunamihit region rather high – UN

“Reconstruction and revival plans in the region are being implemented at a quick pace,” World Tourism Organization (WTO) Secretary-General Francesco Frangialli said. “Some travel trade representatives expressed the expectation that demand will be back to normal or even be better than is was before the tsunami, in the 2005/06 winter season.”At the beginning of the month Mr. Frangialli warned that saturation coverage of the tragedy could lead to an “infodemic,” as happened with the steep fall-off in travel, and subsequent adverse economic impact, in the Asia-Pacific region during the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which killed 774 people and infected more than 8,000 worldwide, the vast majority of them in China.But unlike SARS the tsunami, although it killed more than 200,000 people and left up to five million more in need of basic services in a dozen Indian Ocean nations, did not insert a generalized uncertainty into the markets, undermining travel confidence.“Travellers understand that the tsunami was a unique one-time event that could also have occurred in other places, for which nobody is to blame, and which is not likely to be repeated,” the report said.The study, based on air traffic and arrival data as well as a survey among the travel trade in major source markets focusing on the four most-affected destination countries – Indonesia, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Thailand – found that charter air traffic is coming back.Tour operations from a number of long-haul markets, which were mostly cancelled or ran at reduced capacity throughout January, gradually resumed by the end of January and during February, albeit at lower than usual capacities for this time of the year.In other tsunami-related news, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said today it had distributed educational supplies to 240,000 primary school students over the past two and a half months in the Indonesian province of Aceh, the area worst hit by the disaster.The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that it had delivered some 6,800 tents along with basic supplies to 20 locations along Aceh’s west coast and the UN International Labour Organization (ILO) is to provide vocational skills to displaced children between the ages of 15 and 17. read more

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UN agency launches new green initiative for worlds construction industry

“The construction and use of buildings generate substantial social and economic benefits to society, but may also have serious negative impacts on the environment,” the Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Division of Technology, Industry and Economics (DTIE), Monique Barbut, said at the inauguration in Paris.“One key area of concern is the large share of energy use, with associated greenhouse gas emissions, that the built environment accounts for. In some countries the built environment is responsible for up to 40 per cent of total energy use,” added Ms. Barbut, whose division hosts the secretariat of the Sustainable Building and Construction Initiative (SBCI).Construction giants Lafarge, Skanska and Arcelor are among founding members of SBCI, which aims to promote environmental friendly practices across this vast industry, employing over 100 million people worldwide and contributing about 10 per cent of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP).It is hoped that the SBCI will help ensure buildings are routinely designed, constructed and maintained from an environmentally sustainable point of view over their entire life span. Other goals seek the increasing inclusion of sustainability considerations and requirements in legislation and building standards.The industry seriously affects many of the world’s most pressing environmental issues like climate change, waste generation and depletion of natural resources. Whether it’s influencing multi-lateral environmental agreements, encouraging “green architecture” in high profile buildings or tackling topics like the illegal plundering of sand the challenges for the industry are immense.“The overall objective of the SBCI is to achieve worldwide adoption of sustainable building and construction practices that can help deal with such problems,” Ms. Barbut said. “We will also produce reports on key issues like the impact of energy efficiency in the built environment on climate change, and a manual linked to re-construction of buildings in the wake of natural disasters like the Indian Ocean Tsunami.” Participants in today’s inaugural meeting included a wide range of interested parties ranging from construction and engineering firms and air conditioning companies from China and the United States to government representatives, UN organizations, architects, research institutes and financiers. read more

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Ohio State field hockey hoping new mindset leads to turnaround

Then-freshman forward Maddy Humphrey (left) pushes the ball upfield during a game against Iowa on Oct. 19, 2014 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. OSU lost 4-2. Credit: Lantern File PhotoDespite a 2014 season marred by a disappointing 5-12 record — and not a single victory in seven conference matches — the Ohio State field hockey team enters the new year believing that a refocused mindset and added experience can lead to better on-field results. OSU is set is to host two non-conference opponents this weekend at Buckeye Varsity Field. The Buckeyes are scheduled to play Saint Louis on Friday at 3 p.m. followed by a noon game on Sunday against Albany. OSU coach Anne Wilkinson, who is entering her 20th season in Columbus, said she believes having a large sophomore class integrated into the team can help the overall playing dynamic.“This past spring was a great growing period for us,” Wilkinson said. “We had a big freshman class last year, so now that they’re sophomores, they have a good year under their belt. There are high expectations, but that’s because everyone’s worked really hard.”Wilkinson said the team is looking forward to the season and plans to put all of the pieces together on the field in order to play the best game possible. The team’s co-captains — senior forward Peanut Johnson and senior back Emma Royce — agreed that the team’s cohesive progress and hard work leading up to the first game could pay off this weekend. Johnson said the team wants the home opener to be a continuation of how well the preseason went.  “We had a great preseason. This year we plan on playing tough on every ball,“ Johnson said. “That, combined with our speed, are definitely things we can use to our advantage.”Royce said the individual differences of each line set OSU apart from its competitors. “We play as a unit, but we each have our own flair and something special which makes us stand out,“ Royce said. “We’re not predictable.”The Buckeyes also enter the season with 2014’s top scorer in tow — sophomore forward/midfielder Maddy Humphrey — along with two all-region choices and 16 letterwinners. After this weekend’s home games against Saint Louis and Albany, OSU is scheduled to head to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to play Wake Forest at 4 p.m. on Sept. 4. read more

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Mushtaq Ahmed signs with West Indies as assistant coach

Mushtaq Ahmed (Lord’s image)ESPNcricinfo– Former legspinner Mushtaq Ahmed has ended his stint as spin bowling coach of Pakistan’s National Cricket Academy to take up a consultancy role with West Indies. He is set to become the assistant coach and is on a contract that will need him to commit 150 days in a year.He was to begin with the India tour, but couldn’t link up with the squad because of visa glitches – Pakistani nationals have found it hard to obtain work visas for India due to strained political ties. His first assignment will be West Indies’ upcoming tour of Bangladesh, where they are slated to play two Tests, three ODIs and three T20Is.Mushtaq’s contract with the NCA was renewed for a year in April after weeks of uncertainty. At the time, he was also contemplating offers from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and West Indies but decided to stay back to put himself in the fray to become Pakistan’s spin bowling coach.However, he signed a month-long contract as spin consultant with Cricket West Indies before rejoining the NCA.Having previously worked with England, Mushtaq was Pakistan’s bowling coach for 18 months being replaced by Azhar Mahmood last year. Since then, he’s been an integral part of the NCA set up in Lahore. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedCrandon, Drakes, Radford to assist Richard Pybus -CWIJanuary 21, 2019In “latest news”Richard Pybus set to become West Indies’ head coachJanuary 1, 2019In “latest news”Jomel Warrican back in West Indies Test squadAugust 30, 2018In “latest news” read more

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Metso completes the acquisition of Chinese steel foundry to make mining wear

first_imgMetso has completed the acquisition of the steel foundry in Quzhou City, Zheijang Province some 400 km southwest of Shanghai, announced in February 2013. The acquired assets of Quzhou Juxin Machinery and Quzhou Chixin Machinery and approximately 220 employees will transfer to Metso immediaately. The target of the acquisition is to improve Metso’s capabilities to supply wear parts to our mining and construction industry customers in China and other markets in Asia- Pacific.“I am really pleased that we were able to close this important acquisition this fast. It gives us good starting point to develop the Quzhou foundry as part of Metso. We already have the most extensive services centre and distribution network in our industry. With this acquisition we will strengthen our manufacturing presence in China and further develop our services business”, says João Ney Colagrossi, President, Services business line, Mining and Construction, Metso.Metso currently has five foundries and an extensive network of external casting suppliers serving the mining and construction industries. The foundries are located in Ahmedabad, India; Isithebe, South Africa; Prerov, Czech Republic; Sorocaba, Brazil and Tampere, Finland.The year 2013 marks Metso’s 80-year anniversary in China. The company’s first contract from China, a paper machine delivery, was signed in 1933. Today, Metso has a strong and well-established presence in China. Metso continues to strengthen its presence in China and has announced an acquisition of Shaorui Heavy Industries and a joint venture with LiuGong Group Corp. Metso’s 3,200 employees in China address local customer needs in all Metso’s key customer industries, and support the sustainable development of China’s industries and infrastructure.last_img read more

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Man arrested on explosives charges before visit of Prince Charles jailed for

first_img 10,434 Views Short URL Man arrested on explosives charges before visit of Prince Charles jailed for five and a half years The court previously heard evidence that gardaí found explosive device components in the man’s locker at Maynooth University. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Share18 Tweet Email By Daniel Hickey A DUBLIN MAN arrested on explosives charges in the run-up to the State visit of Prince Charles last year has been jailed for five and a half years by the Special Criminal Court. The court previously heard evidence that gardaí found explosive device components in the man’s locker at Maynooth University. Last month, Donal O’Coisdealbha (25), of Abbeyfield, Killester in Dublin 5 pleaded guilty to membership of an unlawful organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hÉireann otherwise the IRA within the State on May 13, 2015.Sentencing O’Coisdealbha today, Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy, presiding at the three-judge, non-jury court, said that the evidence against the man was “significant” and even “overwhelming”.The court previously heard from Detective Inspector William Hanrahan, of the Special Detective Unit, that in the months leading up to the royal visit, in May, 2015, O’Coisdealbha and others were being kept under surveillance by gardai. MeetingsIn January 2015, O’Coisdealbha was observed at a pub, The Coachmans Inn, in Swords, meeting with “a particular individual” who has a conviction before the Special Criminal Court and who is suspected of having a significant role within the IRA.Further meetings occurred between the two men in The Coachmans Inn in February, March, April and May of that year.On 9 May, O Coisdealbha was seen in the company of two brothers driving to a house at Harbour Court in Courtown in Wexford.During a subsequent search of the house, gardai found four improvised rockets, Semtex, a chord of cortex and two detonators. A search was also conducted at O’Coisdealbha’s workplace at Maynooth University on May 13th. A a time and power unit (TPU) and a broken circuit board were found in a specific locker which only O Coisdealbha, who worked in biomedics, had access to.A TPU had also been found in the Courtown house. When both TPUs were analysed, it transpired they fitted together.DNAO’Coisdealbha’s DNA profile was found on a pair of gloves in the Courttown house and also on an improvised explosive device found in a car at Mitchelstown in Navan.Ms Justice Kennedy said that the court paid particular attention to the fact O’Coisdealbha used his intellect and educational skills to provide the TPU.The court also heard evidence of audio recordings made by gardai of O’Coisdealbha and the other man. They met on May 10th and plans to develop an artillery rocket were discussed.The court heard that it was clear from that conversation that preparations were well advanced and the indication gardai had was that the event was to happen around 19 May, when Prince Charles was visiting the country.There was a reference made that a timer was to be used with a 14-minute delay and the blame was to be given to a different organisation within the IRA. Ms Justice Kennedy referred to a letter written by Maureen O’Sullivan TD, dated from July this year, which expressed some dismay as regards the length of time O’Coisdealbha had spent in custody. The judge referred to a “puzzling” expression in Deputy O’Sullivan’s letter which said that nothing was to be gained by prolonging O’Coisdealbha’s period on remand.The court could only surmise, she said, that the content in the testimony came about in circumstances where the writer was unaware of O’Coisdealbha’s decision to plead guilty.Ms Justice Kennedy went on to say that among the aggravating factors was O’Coisdealbha’s use of his intellectual abilities and educational skills for nefarious ends.Mitigating factors were his early plea of guilty, his lack of previous convictions, his remorse and his educational abilities.Having regard to the gravity of the offence, the judge said, the court considered seven years an appropriate sentence. Taking into account mitigating factors, the court reduced the sentence to five and half years in prison.The sentence was backdated to 30 May last year. Image: PA Archive/PA Images Image: PA Archive/PA Images 33 Comments Tuesday 6 Dec 2016, 2:35 PM Dec 6th 2016, 2:35 PM last_img read more

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Hark Herald angels and church groups sing

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Greek Orthodox church groups will be opening their hymn books and their lungs at carols nights around the country this weekend. The beauty of these nights is you get different groups in the Greek Orthodox community, from different parts of Greece, and they will sing their traditional Greek Christmas carols.In Melbourne, Festival Hall will be filled with more than 2,000 people for the Archdiocese in Melbourne’s 27th annual Christmas Carols. A spokesperson from the Archdiocese said anticipation for the event was building. “It’s something we look forward to every year, it takes a lot of preparation and it’s a big deal,” she said. She said more than 40 communities and parishes from around Melbourne are invited to watch performances from groups such as St Andrew’s Theological College, Sydney; St John’s College, Preston; the Melbourne Archdiocese Choir and the Cypriot Choir. “All the priests get involved and all the communities, and everyone’s welcome,” she said, adding that the Russian Orthodox Choir will also be performing. “Because it’s not just about being a Greek carol night, it’s more about bringing the Orthodox community together,” the spokesperson said. “It’s more about unity than just being Greek.” Individuals and groups will sing a variety of songs, ranging from Ecclesiastical and Byzantine to more contemporary, in English and Greek, with bilingual narration. Sydney’s Greek Orthodox Archdiocese presents Christmas Carols from 7pm tomorrow in the church courtyard, at 242 Cleveland St, Redfern. Light refreshments and snacks will be sold, and seating is provided, as well as space for blankets. There is no car parking on the grounds. Dr Philip Kariatlis from St Andrew’s Theological College, said he’s looking forward to the evening. “The beauty of these nights is you get different groups in the Greek Orthodox community, from different parts of Greece, and they will sing their traditional Greek Christmas carols,” he said. In Adelaide, the Greek Orthodox Community of South Australia (GOCSA) also has their carols night tomorrow at the Olympic Hall in Adelaide. Theo Panagopoulos from the GOCSA said the event, which is over 20 years old, attracts more than 100 people. “But it depends on how busy people are,” he added. The carols, including Byzantine hymns, will be sung by the church choir, and backed up by a live band. Entry is free and there’s no need to book. Last night, a sell-out crowd of 500 people attended the St Timothy’s Christmas Carols evening at the Quarry Amphitheatre in Perth. Brisbane’s Carols by Candlelight was on Saturday 11 December at the Greek Orthodox Parish/Community of St George, in South Brisbane. Melbourne Archdiocese Carols – 6pm at Festival Hall, West Melbourne. Call 03 9696 2488. Sydney’s Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Carols – 7pm at 242 Cleveland St, Redfern. Adelaide Carols – 7pm at Olympic Hall, Adelaide. All events are free and there’s no need to book.last_img read more

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Michael Jackson juror tells all

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Debbie Franklin, a juror from the Michael Jackson trial has broken her silence and revealed the reasons behind the sentencing of the singer’s personal doctor. Franklin said in a TV interview that Dr Conrad Murray was found guilty because he failed to call emergency services, had no medical equipment at Jackson’s residence, and he left Jackson alone. Murray was found guilty last week of causing Jackson’s death in 2009, and was sentenced with involuntary manslaughter. Franklin said one of the jurors was convinced Murray was guilty straight away but the rest were not convinced. It took the end of the trial for them to come to a unanimous decision. Franklin said being on the jury was stressful.last_img

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Choose Tap updates promoted at multicultural barbecue breakfast

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram To celebrate the diversity of Yarra Valley Water’s customers on Australia Day 2013, a multicultural barbecue breakfast was hosted at Hays Paddock Kew, showcasing traditional music by Greek band, Ravaisi; food by Euros Souvlaki from Carnegie, and well-known celebrity Con the Fruiterer. The event coincided with the release of new updates to Yarra Valley Water’s Choose Tap smartphone application. The application, that has been expanded to cover the whole of Melbourne, includes the location of public barbecue facilities and toilets – a handy tool for summer, while ensuring the users stay healthy and hydrated in the process, helping them find their nearest public drinking water fountain when they’re out and about. Launching the updates at a multicultural themed barbecue breakfast, Yarra Valley Water Managing Director Tony Kelly said the new functions of Choose Tap will encourage active living in family-friendly community recreation areas. “Getting out and about is so important in these times of increasing sedentary lifestyles and child obesity, and we’ve made the Choose Tap app even more useful for those people who are active in their local community,’”says Mr Kelly. “Not only is tap water good for your health, but it’s also better for your hip-pocket and for the environment – over half of all PET bottles end up in landfill or as litter, so we encourage people to top up with tap water using reusable drink bottles.” Choose Tap app ambassador, Con the Fruiterer, who attended the Australia Day multicultural festivities, lists water amongst his favourite drinks, together with Vergina beer from Vergina in Northern Greece, and Greek coffee, which he says “is just like Turkish coffee only better”. Con said one of the three biggest cons in Australia today is the cost of bottled water, which he cites as 1,500 times more expensive than the cost of a litre of tap water. Performances by Ravaisi, a band consisting of second and third generation Greek-Australian Youth, playing traditional music from various regions of Greece on traditional instruments, was captured in Channel Nine’s Weekend Today breakfast show. Euros Souvlaki from Carnegie provided catering at the event. Yarra Valley Water is Melbourne’s largest water utility, servicing more than 1.7 million homes and 50,000 businesses.last_img read more

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Breakout Chronicles the Best of Ataris 8Bit Era

first_img Sorry, You Can’t Date Keanu Reeves in ‘Cyberpunk 2077”Star Wars Pinball’ Has Your Favorite Brand in Ball Form Stay on target Atari is one of the most important companies in the history of video games. In the late 1970s, the Atari 2600 brought games out of the arcade and into the home as arguably the first massively successful mainstream video game console. Flash forward to the early 1980s, and awful Atari games like famous landfill fodder E.T. have virtually destroyed the video game industry. History tells us that Nintendo then saved the day with the NES in 1983.However, that narrative ignores the innovative work Atari was also doing in the 8-bit space with the Atari 400 and 800 home computers. Breakout: How Atari 8-Bit Computers Defined A Generation is a new book that sheds light on these groundbreaking devices. They didn’t just deliver great graphics and sound at the time. They also fostered a community of home computer enthusiasts that still tinker with the machines today. The book’s author just happens to be Jamie Lendino, Editor-in-Chief of’s sister site ExtremeTech. I can’t think of tech more extreme than old Atari computers.The gallery below showcases just a sample of the most notable Atari 400 and 800 games along with excerpts from Breakout. If you want the whole story, including more games, history, and repair tips, go grab a copy of Breakout: How Atari 8-Bit Computers Defined A Generation.A.E. (Brøderbund, 1982)This Brøderbund game is a distant cousin of Galaxian and Galaga. You play by fighting off successive waves of space aliens, which swirl around in changing formations. You could see the Apple II roots in the basic color palette, rendered on the Atari 8-bit thanks to artifacting. Even so, the beautiful space backgrounds for the game were truly otherworldly if you were coming from a VCS or even some early arcade machines. The Atari version has much better audio, with polyphonic music and more robust sound effects during gameplay.Archon: The Light and the Dark (Electronic Arts, 1983)Archon is a game of violent chess—and I mean that as a compliment. Each side has a leader: the Wizard on the Light side, and the Sorceress on the Dark side. The game takes place on a nine-by-nine-square grid with alternating colors. It otherwise looks like a chessboard, albeit with so-called power points at the top, bottom, left, right, and center. And, as in chess, each piece has different abilities. Your goal is to either capture the five power points on the board or defeat all of the opponent’s pieces in real-time combat.Asteroids (Atari, 1981)For the three people still on the planet who haven’t played this phenomenal classic arcade game, you control a tiny ship in an asteroid field. You must clear each screen of asteroids without crashing into any of them, and destroy the small and large UFOs that appear at regular intervals to attack you. You can jump into hyperspace as a last resort to prevent a collision, but there’s no guarantee you won’t reappear in the path of a different asteroid and die anyway. The physics of your ship’s thruster and bullets felt as real when the game was released as anything you’ll play today.Attack of the Mutant Camels (Llamasoft, 1983)This horizontally scrolling shooter is essentially a clone of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes back for the VCS, except with giant camels. Talk about a weird pedigree: It’s the work of Jeff Minter, the famed game developer who designed Tempest 2000 and Defender 2000 for Atari’s Jaguar console in the early 1990s, and later, a Tempest clone called Space Giraffe for the Xbox 360.Boulder Dash (First Star Software, 1984)In Boulder Dash, you control Rockford as he digs through caves to collect gems and diamonds. When you dig under rocks, they fall to open up new pathways. You must avoid getting crushed or straying too close to a resulting explosion. The game features 16 caves, each of which consists of several screens to you walk or dig through. Each cave is successively tougher to solve than the last and introduces more challenges, such as butterflies you have to crush with rocks to get jewels, or fireflies you must avoid.M.U.L.E. (Ozark Softscape/Electronic Arts, 1983)Dani Bunten’s M.U.L.E. (which stood for Multiple-Use Labor Element) is a multiplayer strategic battle of planetary mining, supply and demand economics, and resource development I’ve yet to see equaled. It supports all four of the 800’s joystick inputs, and if other human players aren’t available, the game supplies smart AI-infused computer opponents instead.Pitfall II: Lost Caverns (Activision, 1984)The original Pitfall! is one of the best games on the VCS; the Atari 8-bit version is almost identical, aside from a bit more graphics detail. Pitfall II: The Lost Caverns, also developed by David Crane, far surpasses the original in complexity, with many underground screens, water you swim through, and multilevel platform-based challengers, all while remaining just as fun.Star Raiders (Atari, 1979)Star Raiders has the distinction of being the first 3D space combat simulator ever made. Obviously derived from the original Star Trek, it puts you in command of a ship clearing out enemy space fighters from the sectors surrounding your bases. Harder difficulty levels make it tougher to warp between sectors accurately and introduce shield damage and other variables to make the game more realistic.Tune in to PCMag’s Facebook page this afternoon for a live interview with Lendino.Purchase Breakout: How Atari 8-Bit Computers Defined A Generationlast_img read more

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HandsOn Forza Horizon 4 Mixes Things Up With Dynamic Weather Lively Online

first_imgStay on target Simon Belmont, King K. Rool, and Dead Luigi Join Smash Bros. UltimateAn Interview with Jump Force Producer Koji Nakajima Of the two annual Forza games, I’ve always been partial to the Horizon series. Unlike the core Motorsport branch, Horizon games feature giant open worlds and more arcade-y controls. Forza Horizon 3 is one of the best racers released in recent years and is a personal favorite of mine. I didn’t see it being topped any time soon, but that opinion has now changed. I got to spend some time with the upcoming Forza Horizon 4 after the Xbox E3 briefing yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed myself. If the rest of the game is as fun as the demo, this will be the best Forza Horizon game yet.Horizon titles always start with a bombastic intro and Forza Horizon 4 is no different. The game’s “hook” centers on changing seasons. This mechanic was in full effect during the intro. I raced through the lush English country side as the seasons changed from Autumn, Winter, Spring, and Summer. This isn’t just for aesthetics either, as each season offers different driving conditions. Different paths also open up depending on the season. For example, it’s possible to drive over lakes which are frozen during winter. I’m not sure how this will play out in the final game, but I found the dynamic weather provided an interesting challenge. I had to stay alert in order to maintain a good position during the race.If you’ve played any Horizon game then you’ll instantly acclimate to the controls. They’re virtually identical to previous iterations. This isn’t a negative considering how tight and precise the controls are. Even with great controls, there’s a chance things can go wrong. Thankfully, you can always press the “rewind” button and get a bit of a do-over like in previous games. Again, this series is mechanically sound so I’m glad the devs didn’t tinker with something that didn’t need fixing.As expected, Forza Horizon 4 looks absolutely stunning. I played the game on the powerful Xbox One X, so crisp clean visuals are a given. Even if you have a regular Xbox you’ll get a visually stunning experience. I love how each season has such a distinct look and feel. Autumn features rich colors from dying leaves, while the summer sun scorches the road with its intense heat. Let’s not forget the cars, with their ungodly amount of detail. From interiors to exteriors, every vehicle looks exactly like its real-world counterpart. This is a game made to show off your Xbox One X and fancy 4K TV.Another addition is a dynamic open world. Previous games featured AI-controlled racers which mimicked the driving style of people from your friends list. This time, every race car on the road is directly controlled by another player. This helps create more of a living world. You can challenge others to a race, or just grief one another for laughs. The series was always headed in this direction, so this new feature is most certainly a welcomed one.The only thing I didn’t get to experience was driving in a city. I know London and other English cities are present in the game, but my demo didn’t have them. Driving across the country side is great and all, but city driving is where it’s at for me. I’m sure they’ll have to bend reality somewhat since it’s not exactly easy to drive 200mph in London’s congested streets. Either way, I want to drive through the city while avoiding pedestrians and horses. They still have horses in London, right?Those who have Xbox Game Pass can play Forza Horizon 4 at no additional cost when it launches in early October. That’s certainly a sweet deal for folks who subscribe to Xbox’s monthly service. If you’re not a subscriber, you can always buy a month of Xbox Game Pass for $10 and try the game that way. However, given how awesome Forza Horizon 4 looks at this stage, I’m sure you’re going to want to either stay subscribed or purchase the full game. It really is that good.Forza Horizon 4 releases on PC and Xbox One on October 2.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

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City audit confirms more employees opting to leave than retire

first_img 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – A report from the City Auditor’s office shows San Diego does a poor job of keeping high performing employees, and is not effective in punishing poor performing employees. These, and other factors are costing taxpayers about 39 million dollars annually. The problems center around recruitment, employee development, and career advancement. 431 managers, supervisors and 40 percent of city workers were surveyed. The report found the number of retirements or other separations intersected in 2016, and now more employees are leaving than retiring. 30% of respondents felt the city was not effective in retaining workers but did a much better job in recruitment and career advancement- but it got low marks for not punishing workers who were performing poorly. KUSI’s Steve Bosh has more: Steve Bosh Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter Posted: September 11, 2018 September 11, 2018 Steve Bosh, City audit confirms, more employees opting to leave than retirelast_img read more

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CVC summons WalMart India head in alleged bribery case

first_imgThe Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has summoned the India head of US-based multinational retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc in the wake of allegations that the company had paid massive amounts as bribe in India to obtain regulatory permits for some of its operations.The CVC probe will involve examination of the retailer’s documents and for the first time, the investigation agency is acting on its own based on a media report.”Some observations have been made that Wal-Mart gave some amount to government officials here. It is our duty to look into it,” PTI quoted Vigilance Commissioner TM Bhasin as sayingHe said “the Commission has taken suo motu cognisance of it and summoned country head of Wal-Mart here.””We have asked them to submit details to us by November 15,” Bhasin said.It is also for the first time that the CVC has initiated a probe against a private firm.Wal-Mart is suspected to have paid “thousands of small payments” to junior-level officials in India in order to pass its goods through customs or get real estate approvals, the Wall Street Journal had reported last month.”The vast majority of the suspicious payments were less than $200, and some were as low as $5, the people said, but when added together they totalled millions of dollars,” the report said.Wal-Mart decided to put aside its plans to foray into the Indian market in 2013 by discontinuing its joint venture with Bharti Enterprises Ltd. After that, the company opted to go alone in India.”Wal-Mart was also involved in lobbying before the US Congress in this regard,” the report said, citing Congressional disclosure reports of the past few years.last_img read more

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Women And MinorityOwned Houston Businesses Make Their Pitch For The Super Bowl

first_imgFlorian MartinArnetta Meekins (right), owner of Totally You Medical and Sports Massage, pitches her services to Houston’s Super Bowl host committee at the Buffalo Soldiers Museum.Super Bowl LI is less than half a year away. The event is expected to give a boost to Houston area businesses.To make sure that includes minority- and women-owned companies in America’s most diverse city, Houston’s Super Bowl host committee has put together a supplier registry.On Friday, about a hundred small businesses gathered at the Buffalo Soldiers Museum in Midtown. They are some of the more than 400 women- and minority-owned businesses from Houston that were chosen for the NFL’s diversity supplier program Business Connect.Arnetta Meekins owns massage therapy spa Totally You in Bellaire. She got three minutes to pitch her services to the host committee.Meekins said one group that can benefit is the media covering the Super Bowl.“They’re trying to catch every single event, they’re sleep-deprived,” she said. “One hour of massage is like eight hours of sleep. It can give you that kind of restoration.”She said she felt good about her pitch and the committee’s response.LaMecia Butler, community relations director at Houston’s Super Bowl host committee, oversees the program.“The NFL comes into the market and they have prime contractors who help with producing the events,” she said. “The NFL strongly encourages those prime contractors to hire from the Business Connect program.”The contractors have access to a directory that lists all the companies that are part of Business Connect.Butler said pitch day gives the committee an opportunity to learn more about each company, so they can recommend them to contractors who are looking for specific services. X Share To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Listen 00:00 /01:12last_img read more

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Sutherland Springs Church Questioned Over Donations After Shooting

first_imgEric Gay | AP via NPRFirst Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.Donors, survivors and victims’ families are questioning how a South Texas church is spending millions of dollars of donations made since a gunman killed more than two dozen worshippers in November.Demand for more information grew after the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, near San Antonio, announced plans for a new $3 million sanctuary last month.Mike Ritch raised nearly $100,000 for victims, but has since cut ties with the church. He’s asking for more transparency about where the money is going.Church leaders say they’re distributing the thousands of donations from around the world. They insist they aren’t using victim’s relief funds to pay for the new church.The church declined to report fundraising totals and won’t have to disclose details to the IRS. Sharelast_img read more

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