Sombre spring in Kashmir Valley as six youth go missing

first_imgSecurity agencies in Kashmir are alarmed as six youth had gone missing in the Valley in March. Photos of three of them with weapons in hand surfaced online in the past few days, raising suspicion that they have joined militancy.One of those missing is a student of the University of Kashmir and another is a policeman’s son. Protests broke out on the university campus on Wednesday, demanding the whereabouts of Sameer Ahmad Dar, a Department of Earth Sciences student, be revealed. The students say Dar has been missing since March 19 after leaving home at Kakpora in Pulwama.“The university has written to the Director-General of Police and requested him to ascertain the student’s whereabouts. We request the agitating students to maintain calm and cooperate till the police ascertain the facts,” a university official said.A senior police official told The Hindu that an investigation had failed to establish that Dar had links with the militants, but they could not rule out the possibility.Mother’s anguishAt Kawa Mohallah in Khanyar of Old City here, Mymoona Jan, mother of Fahad Mushtaq Waza, 18, known as Faid, appealed to her son to “quit militancy”. Faid went on a religious programme on March 23 and on Tuesday, his gun-wielding pictures were splashed on social media sites. He allegedly joined the Lashkar-e-Taiba and took the name Abu Usama.“He [Waza] betrayed, and lied to, me. He said he would be back by Monday after finishing a religious programme. I appeal to him to return now,” Ms. Jan said.In Kupwara, the police have declared Junaid Ahmad Wani (25) of Tikkipora “missing”. “The matter is under investigation. We cannot conclude that Wani has joined militancy,” a senior police official said.Bilal Ahmad Shah (25), also from Kupwara, allegedly joined the militant ranks on March 20. He had been missing for three weeks and was seen carrying an AK 47 rifle in a photo posted online recently, showing that he has joined the Hizbul Mujahideen.Another youth who announced his alleged association with militants on social media is Abid Maqbool Bhat, son of a head constable at Tral in Pulwama, He is said to have joined the Jasih-e-Muhammad. Junaid Ahmad Khan, son of the newly appointed Tehreek-e-Hurriyat chairman Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai, joined the Hizb.last_img read more

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No scientific basis for gay-specific mental disorders, WHO panel concludes

first_imgLook up the code F66.0 in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), the world’s most widely used diagnostic reference, and you’ll find sexual maturation disorder. That seemingly official psychological condition occurs when uncertainty about sexual orientation makes a person depressed or anxious, according to the ICD. Rooted in Freudian theory, which views homosexuality as merely an “immature” state of sexual development, a gay teenager could be labeled mentally ill under this category simply because he is grappling with conflicting or confusing sexual desires, notes Susan Cochran, an epidemiologist at the University of California, Los Angeles.  Today, it’s not clear that any such linear trajectory of sexual development exists, Cochran says. After reviewing decades of psychological and epidemiological studies on sexual orientation and mental health, she and others on a panel appointed by the World Health Organization (WHO) have recommended that F66.0 and four other homosexuality-related psychological disorders be stricken from the ICD.   “It is not justifiable from a clinical, public health or research perspective for a diagnostic classification to be based on sexual orientation,” the group wrote in a report released last month. All such classifications need to be eliminated from the ICD not only because they lack scientific basis or clinical utility, but also as a “human rights issue,” says Cochran, who led the working group.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The recommendations must undergo several reviews now, including a vote by ministers of health from more than 170 of the WHO countries. There is likely to be “tremendous pushback” from countries in which homosexuality is considered an illness or a crime, says epidemiologist Chris Beyrer of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland. The anti-homosexuality laws recently passed in Russia, Uganda, and Nigeria and others now being debated in other countries makes this “precisely the right time for the WHO to stand up, take an evidence-based approach and say [homosexuality] is not a pathology,” he says.Every medical incident reported in the roughly 170 countries that belong to WHO gets an ICD code used for insurance billing, medical records, and epidemiological research. The WHO panel’s recommendation to eliminate all sexual orientation–related disorders in the ICD echoes changes that occurred in the United States decades ago, says psychiatrist Jack Drescher of New York Medical College in Valhalla, who was also on the WHO panel. In the 1970s, there was a “big fight” within the American Psychiatric Association (APA) over whether homosexuality should be considered a mental illness, Drescher says.Although APA removed the diagnosis from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in 1973, they replaced it with a new disorder called sexual orientation disturbance as a political compromise, he says. This was later changed to ego-dystonic homosexuality. The disorder referred to the anxiety or depression one might feel about being homosexual or the desire to change one’s sexual orientation. For example, if a woman found after 10 years of marriage to a man that she was attracted to women, she could be considered mentally ill.The condition, still listed in the ICD, was “created out of air,” Drescher says. By 1987, most clinicians who supported the diagnosis had left APA, enabling the organization to eliminate sexual orientation–related disorders altogether from the DSM, he says. Drescher, Cochran, and other scientists hope that a similar moment is coming for the ICD, which deleted homosexuality as a disorder in 1990. “It was surprising” to discover how few studies have been published on the five remaining diagnostic categories over the past 20 years, Cochran says. In addition, the diagnoses “have not generated a body of research, are not routinely reported to WHO by any Member State and are not used in WHO’s calculations of the global burden of disease,” according to the report.Based on this evidence, the working group recommends that physicians treat anxiety or depression in gay and bisexual people as they would in anyone else. As it now stands, the diagnoses can be misused to justify “conversion” treatments considered unethical by mental health professionals and can obscure “very normal” reactions to harassment and prejudice that gays encounter on a regular basis, Cochran says. For his own part, Drescher doesn’t have much hope the panel’s recommendations will prompt changes in countries where gays are being persecuted. Drescher helped prepare a letter explaining the scientific understanding of homosexuality to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni before the president signed an antigay bill into law. Yet Museveni simply put together his own group of scientists “who reviewed our material and came to exactly the opposite conclusion,” Drescher says. “I don’t think [science] really matters in these witch hunts.”After Cochran’s group drafted its recommendations, WHO appointed a second panel of reviewers, including mental health researchers and physicians from countries where homosexuality is highly stigmatized or criminalized, such as Saudi Arabia and Russia. Of this group, “none of the peer reviewers tried to make a case that these categories should be retained,” says Geoffrey Reed, senior WHO project officer for the revision of the section of ICD dealing with mental and behavioral disorders.One presenter to the working group from Iran did claim that the sexual orientation–related diagnoses protect gays from prison or execution by providing a medical explanation for their actions, Drescher says. After consulting with organizations that track such issues worldwide, however, the group could not find a single instance in which a gay person had used such a defense.Now that the recommendations are out, WHO will perform extensive field tests in Mexico, Brazil, India, Lebanon, South Africa, and other countries to determine if the new criteria help clinicians make more accurate diagnoses, using case examples as well as real-life health settings, Reed says. The fact that the recommendations are grounded in data “doesn’t automatically mean people will be persuaded,” he acknowledges, but “our job is to assemble the best evidence that we can.”*Correction, 7 July, 11:11 a.m.: This article has been corrected to reflect that in 1973, APA replaced homosexuality with a new disorder called sexual orientation disturbance, which was later changed to ego-dystonic homosexuality.last_img read more

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Internet services across all platforms continued to remain suspended in Kashmir

first_imgInternet services across all platforms continued to remain suspended in Kashmir since August 5 even as there was considerable improvement in the situation, officials said on Saturday.Internet services continued to remain barred in the entire valley except for few government offices and business establishments, the officials said. They said there is no word from the authorities on the restoration of the services so far, even as demands, especially from journalist community, have grown for the resumption of the services. The media-persons have been demanding the restoration of at least BSNL’s Broadband services to discharge their professional duties. The authorities snapped all communication lines — landline telephone and mobile phone services and Internet across all platforms — on August 5, hours before the Centre announced its decision to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution and to bifurcate the erstwhile state into two Union territories. Most of the top-level and second-rung separatist politicians have been taken into preventive custody while mainstream leaders including two former chief ministers — Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti — have been either detained or placed under house arrest. While landline telephones were gradually restored first, post-paid mobile services were resumed later. However, pre-paid mobile and Internet services are yet to be resumed. The officials said there are apprehensions that vested interests might misuse the internet services to create law and order situation in the valley and a decision to restore the facilities would be taken at an appropriate time after assessing the situation. Meanwhile, shops and business establishments remained open till noon in most parts of Kashmir valley and in some areas in the civil lines till late afternoon, on Saturday, the officials said. They said most modes of public transport were plying in the valley. While there was a semblance of normalcy in the Kashmir valley over the past few weeks after over three months of protest shutdown over the abrogation of Article 370, the fresh shutdown started on Wednesday last week as threatening posters warning shopkeepers and public transport operators appeared at some places in the city here and elsewhere.last_img read more

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US-CYBER 2 LAST

first_imgMeanwhile, Obama emphasised that “among states, there has Meanwhile, Obama emphasised that “among states, there has to be a framework that is analogous to what we have done with nuclear power because nobody stands to gain.And, frankly, although the Chinese and Russians are close, we are still the best at this.And if we wanted to go on offence, a whole bunch of countries would have some significant problems.” “And we dont want to see the Internet weaponised in that way.That requires, I think, some tough negotiations.That wont be a one-year process, but wed like to see if we can — if we and the Chinese are able to coalesce around a process for negotiations, then I think we can bring a lot of other countries along,” he said. In response to another question, Obama credited America for the success of China in the past three decades. “They were essentially riding on our backs for the last 30 years because we were underwriting peace, security, the free flow of commerce, international rules in the financial sector,” he said. “You cant simply pursue an export-driven strategy, because you are too big.You are not going to be able to grow your economy at the same pace over the next 20 years that you did in the last 20 years,” he said. “You have got to be concerned about environmental issues, because you cant breathe in Beijing.And that spills over for all of us.As a large country with a powerful military, you cant go around pushing your little neighbours just because you are bigger, but you have to start abiding by a basic code of conduct and a set of rules, because ultimately, you will be advantaged by everybody following the rules,” he noted. “I think in other areas, they still see themselves as the poor country that shouldnt have any obligations internationally.In some cases, they still feel that when we call them on issues like their behaviour in the South China Sea, or on intellectual property theft, that we are trying to contain them as opposed to us just wanting them to abide by the same rules that helped create an environment in which they can rise,” Obama said. PTI LKJ KISlast_img read more

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Jasprit Bumrah secures top spot in ICC T20 rankings

first_imgPublished on cricket File photo of Indian fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah.   –  The Hindu Indian fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah climbed to the number one spot in the latest ICC T20 rankings while his fifth-ranked team could go as high as second if it beats New Zealand in the three-match series beginning here tomorrow.Bumrah, who attained a career-best third position in the ODI rankings on Monday, has regained the T20 top spot after Pakistan spinner Imad Wasim slipped one place.India captain Virat Kohli, who on Monday edged AB de Villiers to claim the top ranking in ODIs, also goes into the New Zealand series as the top-ranked batsman in the shortest format.In the team rankings, India will do Pakistan a huge favour if they defeat New Zealand in the upcoming series, as such a result will see their arch rivals top the standings.New Zealand are the top-ranked side in the shortest format with 125 points but Pakistan have closed in to within one point after securing a 3-0 win in the series against Sri Lanka that culminated in Lahore on Sunday.India are placed fifth at 116 points and can at best go to second position with a 3-0 win over New Zealand which will take them to 122 points. Pakistan will reach the top rank with their tally of 124 points in such a scenario with New Zealand slipping to 114 points and fifth position.Even a 2-1 series win for India will be enough for Pakistan to move to the top with New Zealand slipping to 121 points. File photo of Indian fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah.   –  The Hindu SHARE × India are placed fifth at 116 points and can at best go to second position with a 3-0 win over New Zealand October 31, 2017 RELATED COMMENT SHARE SHARE EMAIL null Zaggle ropes in ace pacer Jasprit Bumrah as brand ambassador COMMENTSlast_img read more

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3 days agoCrystal Palace show interest in Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos

first_imgCrystal Palace show interest in Rangers striker Alfredo Morelosby Paul Vegas3 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveCrystal Palace are the latest team to show an interest in Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos.Palace Sporting Director Dougie Freedman was at Tynecastle on Sunday to watch the Gers’ 1-1 draw with Hearts, according to the Scottish Sun.Freedman wanted to run the rule over the 23-year-old as he draws up plans for the January transfer window.Aston Villa are also extremely keen on the former HJK man, who has scored 15 goals across all competitions this season.It will take an offer of at least £20m to entice the Gers to sell their star player. TagsSerie A NewsAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

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A true champion of the game: Virat Kohli wishes ‘happy retirement’ to Dale Steyn

first_imgA true champion of the game: Virat Kohli wishes ‘happy retirement’ to Dale SteynDale Steyn announced his retirement from Test cricket on Monday, bringing an end to a career which saw him pick 439 wickets from 93 matches.advertisement Rohan Sen New DelhiAugust 6, 2019UPDATED: August 6, 2019 09:20 IST Dale Steyn returned to Royal Challengers Bangalore after nine years in this season’s IPL (BCCI Photo)HIGHLIGHTSDale Steyn announced his retirement from Test cricket on MondaySteyn will continue to play limited-overs cricket for South AfricaSteyn bid adieu to the longest format after having taken 439 wickets from 93 TestsLegendary fast bowler Dale Steyn brought the curtains down on his Test career on Monday and tributes started to pour in for the South African cricketer from all over the globe. India captain Virat Kohli was among the first ones to wish Steyn on social media.Steyn, who plays for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League, got a special message from his RCB skipper Kohli after announcing his retirement from the longest format.”A true champion of the game. Happy retirement to the pace machine,” Kohli wished Steyn.A true champion of the game.Happy retirement to the pace machine @DaleSteyn62Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) August 5, 2019Kohli’s good friend and RCB teammate AB de Villiers also wished his teammate on social media in a special post.”Too many memories to mention! We started together many years back and I had the privilege and front row seats of watching @dalesteyn turn into the best bowler of his time. You are the greatest, an even better person and the best team man around. Well done HOOOLiOOOO,” de Villiers, who retired from international cricket last year, wrote on Facebook.Steyn, 36, made his Test debut in 2004 for the Proteas and went on to become the highest wicket-taker for his country in the longest format with 439 wickets from 93 matches at an average of 22.95 including 26 five-wicket hauls and 5 10-wicket hauls.Among all the bowlers who have taken 200 wickets of more, Steyn had the best strike rate at 42.3.South Africa captain Faf du Plessis also paid tribute to the 36-year-old from Phalaborwa.advertisement”The greatest of his generation. Stats don’t lie and @DaleSteyn62 test stats is the best . I know how much test cricket means to you bud and how badly you still wanted to achieve more . Hopefully we will still see a lot of this action,” du Plessis wrote.The greatest of his generation. Stats don’t lie and @DaleSteyn62 test stats is the best . I know how much test cricket means to you bud and how badly you still wanted to achieve more . Hopefully we will still see a lot of this action. # pic.twitter.com/qMglFgfZ9UFaf Du Plessis (@faf1307) August 5, 2019Regarded as one of the all-time greats of the game, Steyn will continue to play limited-overs cricket for South Africa.”Today I walk away from a format of the game I love so much,” Steyn said. “In my opinion Test cricket is the best version of this game. It tests you mentally, physically, emotionally. It’s terrible to consider never playing another Test again but what’s more terrifying is the thought of never playing again at all. So I will be focusing on ODIs and T20s for the rest of my career to maximise my full potential and ensure my longevity in this sport.”I’d like to thank everyone in cricket, no one specific, because everyone has been a part of my journey. And I look forward to continuing to play for the Proteas in the shorter formats. Thank you,” Steyn said in a statement.Also Read | Dale Steyn retires from Test cricket after 439 wickets from 93 matchesFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byrohan sen Tags :Follow Dale SteynFollow Virat KohliFollow AB de VilliersFollow Faf Du Plessislast_img read more

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Treatment meted out to Advani shameful

first_imgPatna: Actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha, the sitting BJP MP from Patna Sahib who has been denied a ticket by the party this time, has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of treating party patriarch L K Advani in a “painful” and “shameful” manner.In a series of tweets on Saturday, Sinha claimed that the BJP’s decision to not give ticket to Advani, the sitting MP from Gandhinagar, and to field party president Amit Shah from the seat “has not gone down well” with many people. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM'”Sirji… it is worrisome, painful and according to some even shameful… that which your people have done was the most expected and awaited… orchestrating the departure of a most respected friend, philosopher, guide, father figure and ultimate leader of the party, Shri L K Advani from the political arena/election,” Sinha tweeted. Advani, 91, has served as Union home minister and deputy prime minister. He was also the national president of the BJP more than once. He is often credited with helping the party create a national footprint within a decade of its formation through active participation in the Ayodhya movement. In another tweet, Sinha deplored “the replacement of Mr Advani by none other than the man who is also the president of the party and whose image or personality is no match nor even a patch on him”. “This has been done intentionally and deliberately and not gone down well with the people of the country,” the rebel BJP leader claimed.last_img read more

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UNSC Votes on Resolution 2468 Extends MINURSO Mandate 6 Months

Rabat – The UN Security Council has voted on and adopted Resolution 2468, extending the mandate of the UN peacekeeping operation in Western Sahara, also known as MINURSO, for six months.Russia and South Africa abstained from the vote. The resolution calls on the parties in the conflict to achieve a realistic and durable solution to the conflict. The vote followed another strong debate between the US and France over the length of MINURSO’s mandate. While France asked for one year, the US supported only a six month extension.Like previous resolutions on Western Sahara , the new text reaffirmed commitment to “assist” the parties involved in the conflict  to achieve a “realistic, practicable and enduring political solution to the question of Western Sahara based on compromise.” The resolution also keeps the same language contained in previous resolutions in which the Security Council gives prominence to the Moroccan autonomy plan. The resolution takes note of “of the Moroccan proposal presented on 11 April 2007 to the Secretary-General and [welcomes] serious and credible Moroccan efforts to move the process forward towards resolution.” Preambular paragraph seven reiterates the council’s call upon Morocco, the Frente Polisario, Algeria and Mauritania to cooperate more fully with each other, including through building additional trust, and with the United Nations, as well as to strengthen their involvement in the political process and to achieve progress towards a political solution. The language of this paragraph brings a new and significant change in comparison to the previous resolution. While in resolution 2440 the Council makes a distinction between the parties and neighboring states, the new resolution removes this distinction and names the four parties on equal footing. The resolution also called upon the parties—Morocco, Algeria, Polisario, and Mauritania—to “cooperate more fully with each other, including through building additional trust, and with the United Nations.”The resolution echoed a statement from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and his Personal Envoy Horst Kohler, who recalled that trust is necessary to end the 44-year-old conflict.The conflict, according to Resolution 2468, requires all parties’ strong commitment and involvement in the political process “to achieve progress towards a political solution.”The resolution also stresses that a political solution to the conflict would contribute to stability and security “in turn leading to jobs, growth and opportunities for all the peoples in the Sahel region.”Contrary to the anti-MINURSO sentiment shared of US National Security Adviser John Bolton, the Security Council expressed its full support for MINURSO and its “important role played” on the ground. The resolution also insisted on the importance of the mission’s mandate, including “its role in supporting the Personal Envoy to achieve a mutually acceptable political solution.”The text also includes a paragraph in which the Security Council expressed concerns about the “violations of existing agreements.”The UN annual report on the Western Sahara situation mentioned several violations committed out by the front, with Guterres urging Polisario’s militias to meet MINURSO’s staff in Rabouni, Algeria, and not in the area Polisario claims is “liberated zones.” read more

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TransPacific Partnership trade deal hopes brighten as Stephen Harper other leaders break

BEIJING — Prime Minister Stephen Harper and 11 other world leaders said Monday they’re inching ever closer to an agreement on the proposed Asia-Pacific trade deal as a crucial year-end deadline approaches.On the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) summit, Harper sat down with U.S. President Barack Obama and the leaders of the 10 other countries negotiating an agreement on the TransPacific Partnership.The leaders said in a statement following the high-level meeting, held under tight security in an auditorium in the U.S. embassy in Beijing, that the progress they’ve made in recent months “sets the stage to bring these landmark Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations to conclusion.”The statement added they are “intensively engaging to complete ambitious and balanced packages to open our markets to one another.”There have been dim hopes for a deal this year, largely due to a stalemate between the U.S. and Japan over whether the Japanese will open their borders to farm exports.Obama, nonetheless, played the role of cheerleader in remarks at the beginning of the TPP meeting, urging his fellow leaders to spur on an agreement.“During the past few weeks, our teams have made good progress in resolving several outstanding issues regarding a potential agreement,” he said as Harper listened intently from across the room.“Today is an opportunity at the political level for us to break some of the remaining log jams.”The U.S. has been pressuring Canada to open up its protected dairy and poultry sectors.Harper and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met Sunday on the eve of the APEC summit. Japan issued a joint statement following their chat, saying the two leaders agreed on the “need to confirm the political determination to settle a deal.”The TPP joint statement a day later suggested there’s been some success towards that goal.Trans-Pacific Partnership ‘next chapter’ in economic integration: U.S officialHow Canada’s globe-trotting trade minister went from off-the-radar to front-and-centreCanada, EU agree on ‘historic’ free-trade pact — but there’s still more work ahead“With the end coming into focus, we have instructed our ministers and negotiators to make concluding this agreement a top priority so that our businesses, workers, farmers, and consumers can start to reap the real and substantial benefits of the agreement as soon as possible.”Harper also made a brief appearance at the APEC summit, posing for the so-called group photo with other world leaders. The smiling prime minister was situated behind Russian President Vladimir Putin for the photo.It wasn’t immediately clear if the two men spoke. Canada has vehemently condemned Putin’s actions in Ukraine, and the two countries have swapped retaliatory sanctions for months.Harper was in China for four days in efforts to build closer business ties to China, a country that’s been excluded from TPP negotiations.The prime minister announced commercial and currency deals worth as much as $2.5 billion between the Chinese and Canada, and met with China’s leadership, including President Xi Jinping.“Next year marks the 45th anniversary of China-Canada diplomatic relations,” Li said as he greeted Harper to the Great Hall of the People in the Chinese capital. “Our relationship will come to a new starting point.”Nonetheless, the story that dominated the news in smoggy Beijing on Monday was not the Harper visit, but another big energy deal signed between the Chinese and Russia.The two countries inked agreements on Sunday to boost their energy co-operation, including a memorandum of understanding to develop a second route to supply China with Russian natural gas for the next 30 years.Harper headed home to Ottawa late Monday to attend Remembrance Day ceremonies on Parliament Hill. On Wednesday, he’s turning around and heading back to the Asia-Pacific region for meetings in New Zealand and to attend the G20 summit in Australia. read more

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Bombardier Inc gets contracts to do heavy maintenance on SkyWest ExpressJet fleets

MONTREAL — SkyWest Airlines, ExpressJet Airlines and their parent company have signed new 10-year, heavy-maintenance agreements with Bombardier Inc.The two airlines operate a total of 433 Bombardier CRJ Series regional jets for Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, American Airlines and Alaska Airlines.Metrolinx serves Bombardier Inc with notice of default over delayed delivery of light-rail vehiclesBombardier Inc ‘certain’ to announce more CSeries orders this year, executive saysThe work will be performed at Bombardier’s U.S. maintenance facilities including the Tucson Air Center, West Virginia Air Center and Macon Air Center.Financial terms weren’t announced. read more

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Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister here for talks tomorrow

“Malaysia and Sri Lanka have had close bilateral relations since diplomatic ties were established in 1957. Although this is a working visit, the government of Sri Lanka has classified it as an official visit,” said Wan Zaidi.Wan Zaidi said that besides paying a courtesy call on President Maithripala Thursday, the deputy prime minister was also scheduled to make a courtesy call on Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday at his office at Temple Tree here. Ahmad Zahid is also scheduled to hold talks with Sri Lanka’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera, also on Friday.Wan Zaidi said that among the issues expected to be discussed by the deputy prime minister during the visit was cooperation of the two countries in combating terrorism.“Malaysia is very committed to international peace and regional security, hence relations, including with Sri Lanka, are very vital in ensuring that these issues are addressed together, either bilaterally or multilaterally,” he said. He said Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, was scheduled to arrive here at 12.30am Thursday (about 3am Malaysian time), accompanied by his wife Datin Seri Hamidah Khamis, and would hold a meeting with Sri Lanka’s Minister of Home Affairs Vajira Abeywardena at the ministry in Independence Avenue Thursday morning. Ahmad Zahid is also scheduled to hold talks with Minister of Foreign Employment Thalatha Atukorale at the ministry at the Assert Arcade Building, also on Thursday. Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi begins a two-day working visit to Sri Lanka Thursday with a tight schedule that includes a courtesy call on President Maithripala Sirisena, the Bernama news agency reported.Malaysian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Wan Zaidi Wan Abdullah, speaking to Malaysian journalists at the Malaysian Embassy today, said Ahmad Zahid’s visit was aimed at enhancing bilateral relations in various fields between Kuala Lumpur and Colombo. Replying to a question, Wan Zaidi said matters relating to recruitment of workers from Sri Lanka might also be discussed in view of requests from the Sri Lankan government to increase the number of Sri Lankan workers in the plantation and manufacturing sectors in Malaysia. (Colombo Gazette) read more

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US talk show host says with Clinton US will catch up with

“If you’re a supporter of Bernie, you should be proud,” he said. “So many of the things that you fought for are now in the Democratic party platform — fifteen-dollar minimum wage, overturning Citizens United, claiming your Hacky Sack as a dependent. It’s all in there.” (Colombo Gazette) A popular US talk show host has said that if Hillary Clinton becomes US President the US will catch up with 1960 Sri Lanka.“Late Show” host Stephen Colbert on Tuesday’s post-DNC Convention show celebrated Hillary Clinton’s breaking the penultimate glass ceiling to become the first woman to receive the nomination of a major political party, Salon.com reported. “This means Hillary Clinton could be the first female president,” Colbert said. “And America will finally catch up with 1960 Sri Lanka.” Colbert noted that Clinton’s historic achievement marks the end of the line for runner-up Bernie Sanders. read more

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Telecom equipment maker AlcatelLucent to cut 10000 jobs worldwide in costcutting effort

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by The Associated Press Posted Oct 8, 2013 4:56 am MDT PARIS – Telecommunications equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent SA said Tuesday that it plans to cut 10,000 jobs worldwide over the next two years, the latest cost-cutting drive from the loss-making company.The job cuts are part of a restructuring plan to make the French-American company more competitive. The plan is to reduce fixed costs by cutting 1 billion euros ($1.36 billion), or about 15 per cent, by the end of 2015. Under the plan, the company will reallocate research investment to next-generation technology and cut investment in older technology.The company has struggled since its inception in 2006, when France’s Alcatel and the U.S.’s Lucent merged. The savings anticipated by combining research and development costs and reducing staff were quickly offset by pressure to lower prices amid increasing competition from the likes of China’s Huawei Technologies Co. and Ericsson AB of Sweden. Last year, the company lost 1.37 billion euros ($1.86 billion), and a new chief executive took over earlier this year.Alcatel said the job cuts would be presented to its European works council on Tuesday. The cuts will come from all of the regions in which the company operates: 4,100 positions will be cut in its Europe, Middle East and Africa region, 3,800 in the Asia-Pacific zone and 2,100 in the Americas.In a sign that the layoffs will likely face stiff resistance, especially in Europe, elected officials from western France, the site of an Alcatel-Lucent plant, urged the company to abandon the restructuring plan. The officials said in a statement that they feared the local plant would be closed and accused the company of reneging on promises to keep it open.Investors appeared at first glance to be backing the plan. The company’s share price was trading 1.5 per cent higher in morning trading in Paris. Telecom equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent to cut 10,000 jobs worldwide in cost-cutting effort read more

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UNfacilitated Libyan political dialogue set to resume in Geneva

Libyan stakeholders will return to Geneva this week for a new round of United Nations-facilitated dialogue aimed at resolving the war-torn country’s longstanding political crisis, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has announced. “UNSMIL appeals to all the Libyan parties and invited participants to approach these talks aimed at ending Libya’s political and security crisis in a spirit of openness and reconciliation that is guided by the higher national interest of the Libyan people,” the UN Mission declared in a statement issued earlier today. The first round of talks took place last week at the Palais des Nations with stakeholders expressing their unequivocal commitment to a united and democratic Libya governed by the rule of law and respect for human rights. During the meetings, participants agreed an agenda aiming to reach a political agreement to form a consensual national unity government while also making security arrangements necessary to end fighting and ensure the withdrawal of armed groups from Libyan cities. There was also a call for confidence-building measures to safeguard Libya’s national unity and to alleviate the population’s suffering. In addition to the main political track established during last week’s dialogue, another meeting later this week will bring together municipal and local council representatives from cities and towns across North African country to discuss confidence building measures and ways to implement them, the statement continued. UNSMIL explained that it planned to convene a number of other tracks at a later stage which would include representatives from Libyan political parties, social and tribal forces, as well as the armed groups. read more

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Tactus demos buttons morphing out of a touchscreen

first_imgOne of the reasons people like using a Blackberry is the inclusion of physical buttons below the display. If you choose a touchscreen-only device, be it a smartphone or a tablet, you lose those buttons and instead all input is on a flat surface.It would be nice if we could have the best of both worlds, meaning physical buttons on a display when we want them, and no buttons when we don’t. Tactus Technology has figured out how to do that by creating a transparent morphing surface on top of a touchscreen display.Tactus describe their technology as creating a “dynamic physical surface” on a display. That means buttons can appear anywhere on the screen, in a range of shapes and configurations. So you could have physical buttons appear for a keyboard across the display, or a D-Pad like shape and a selection of round buttons to represent a gamepad for playing games.The technology that makes this possible has been in development since 2007 and is being called Tactile Layer. Tactus says it can be used with any existing touchscreen technology in use today. The only change manufacturers have to make is switching out the cover glass for a Tactile Layer.Tactus will have Tactile Layer ready for use in commercial devices by the middle of next year. But if the technology is as good as it sounds I can’t see them remaining independent for very long. One or more of the larger hardware companies will most likely make a move to acquire them, and in so doing secure morphing buttons for their devices only.Read more at Tactus Technologylast_img read more

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Dance to the rhythm

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Dance to the Rhythm is the latest story performed by Sydney dance group Sydney Sizmos Dance Company and St Raphael’s Greek Orthodox Dance Group in Liverpool (under the direction of Sydney Sizmos) that will be performed tomorrow as part of this year’s 30th Greek Festival of Sydney. The dance troop will bring to life a moving story about a talented film director who is suffering from writer’s block. One night he is visited by a magical guide who takes him on a journey into the past when Greek cinematography was at its prime. What he observes rekindles his inspiration and when he awakes, what a marvel the world is. “It’s about a director who has a writer’s block who gets visited by an apparition who takes him back in time to the rebetika era, so he travels to the musicals from the 50s, 60s and 70s. He just travels into different songs in different musical eras and portrays a character from that scene. He’s trying to get the rhythm and understand the music and get inspiration,” says Nelly Kordakis, dance teacher, Sydney Sizmos. Alongside partner and fellow dance teacher Harry Klavdiou, the two of them came up with the concept of this latest concert production. No strangers to the live performance, the teachers in this instance were looking for a way to tell a story about music in dance. Through Greek dance and videos used to highlight and showcase the music, the performance will guide you through the history of Greek song. Nelly told Neos Kosmos she’s been Greek dancing since she was seven – and Harry has since he was ten – so it’s a passion for the both of them to put on these yearly concerts to celebrate their students, whom she says they are very proud of. Dance to the Rhythm will take place on Sunday 20 May at 5:30 pm at the Bankstown Sports Club, 8 Greenfield Parade, Bankstown. Tickets are $10 and to organise tickets or for more information contact (02) 9750 0440 or email greekfestival2@goc.com.aulast_img read more

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Nicholas Thalassinos 52 amongst the San Bernardino shooting victims

first_imgMessianic Jew Nicholas Thalasinos, 52, one of 14 fatalities, had a heated debate with co-worker Syed Rizwan Farook two weeks before the fatal San Bernardino rampage.Jennifer Thalasinos said her husband Nicholas was a “very devout believer.”The couple, who met online and had been together for 14 years, were Messianic Jews. Nicholas Thalasinos wore tzitzit, traditional fringe tassels as well as a tie clip with the Star of David.“He became born again a couple of years ago and because of that I had a very strong faith,” she said, “so I know that he’s in a much better place.”He evangelized many, she said. “He wanted to serve the lord and bring more people to the lord.”Friends recalled him as man who was always willing for lend a hand.Thalasinos said her husband, a health inspector, worked with shooting suspect Syed Rizwan Farook. She said that he was aware Farook was Muslim, but had never mentioned that his co-worker had any extreme views. “If he would have … my husband would have had something to say.”“They got along,” she said. “As far as I know, [Syed] got along with everybody. That’s what’s so shocking.”Thalasinos said she had heard that before the shooting, there may have been an argument at the party. She described her husband as very outspoken about Islamic terrorism, with strong conservative politics.“I’m sure that he went down fighting and protecting people,” she said.Meanwhile, Thalasinos’ friend, Kuuleme Stephens, told The Associated Press that she happened to call him while he was working with Farook, and that he brought her into their debate, loudly declaring that Farook “doesn’t agree that Islam is not a peaceful religion.” She heard Farook counter that Americans don’t understand Islam, and Thalasinos responded by saying “I don’t know how to talk with him,” she said. Stephens said she didn’t sense any pending violence at the time, and it is not clear if their debates factored in the attack. Stephens said Thalasinos did not believe his co-worker would ever turn violent.However, Stephens said his grieving wife told her later Thursday to tell the media that she now “believes her husband was martyred for his faith and beliefs.” It wasn’t immediately clear why Jennifer Thalasinos came to that conclusion.Thalasinos’ last public Facebook post, written just hours before the shooting, mentioned receiving a threatening message related to Israel.Fourteen peaceful people died in the San Bernardino shooting. They lived in across Southern California, from Los Angeles and Orange counties, across the Inland Empire and in the San Bernardino Mountains that hover over the valley where the shooting occurred.Source: AP, LA Times, Times of Israel Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

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Lautomédication pratiquée par un Français sur deux

first_imgL’automédication pratiquée par un Français sur deuxD’après une étude réalisée en septembre dernier, un Français sur deux a recours à l’automédication. Une pratique essentiellement basée sur les conseils du pharmacien en qui 94% des sondés avoue avoir confiance.Ce n’est plus un secret désormais, les Français sont de grands consommateurs de médicaments. Mais le groupement de pharmaciens PHR qui dit représenter 11% des pharmacies a décidé d’en savoir plus sur cette pratique et a pour cela réalisé en partenariat avec Ifop un vaste sondage entre le 20 et 21 septembre dernier. Menée auprès d’un échantillon de 1.005 personnes représentatif de la population française âgée de 18 ans et plus, l’enquête a alors révélé un phénomène important : un Français sur deux avoue avoir recours à l’automédication. Une pratique qui passe ou non par les conseils du pharmacien. À lire aussiAntihistaminique : qu’est-ce que c’est ? A quoi ça sert ?Ainsi, un sondé sur deux indique acheter “souvent” ou “de temps en temps” des médicaments sans avoir consulté un professionnel de santé. Une proportion qui s’avère similaire concernant l’achat après avoir pris conseil auprès d’un pharmacien. En outre, 97% des sondés disent avoir “tout à fait” ou “plutôt” confiance en leur médecin généraliste, et 94% disent de même de leur pharmacien. Mais pour le renouvellement d’ordonnance ou les effets d’un médicaments, 27% et 28% des personnes sollicitent respectivement en priorité les pharmaciens. La consultation au médecin se révélant ainsi moins systématique, note l’étude.Par ailleurs, concernant les génériques, le pharmacien semble jouer un rôle important : 63% des sondés admettent accepter de remplacer le médicament prescrit par le médecin par un générique proposé en pharmacie. Dans la même lignée, ils sont 72% à être plutôt favorables au fait d’être conseillés et soignés par le pharmacien pour des petites pathologies (grippe, rhume) et ce, tout en étant remboursés. Justement à ce sujet, 76% des personnes estiment que les assurances complémentaires devraient prendre en charge le remboursement des médicaments déremboursés, et 76% le remboursement d’actions de prévention telles que les consultations diététiques ou d’infirmières, les bilans et dépistages. Enfin, la majorité des personnes questionnées sur le sujet sont favorables à l’apparition de nouveaux services en pharmacie : 87% à la préparation de doses administratives et 75% à la livraison de médicaments à domicile. D’après le ministre de la Santé, des négociations devraient s’ouvrir sur un nouveau mode de rémunération des pharmaciens et un élargissement de leur mission “dans les prochaines semaines” avec l’assurance maladie. Le 14 octobre 2011 à 11:44 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

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