Category: frcmwuzr


Amit Panghal Gaurav Bidhuri recommended for Arjuna Award


first_imgNew Delhi: The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) has recommended Amit Panghal and Gaurav Bidhuri for the prestigious Arjuna Award. Amit, a silver medalist at the CWG and a gold medallist at the Asian Games, dominated the 52Kg category at the recently-concluded Asian Championships. He extended his dominion in Asia as he defeated Olympic gold medallist Hasanboy Dusmatov in the quarters and Rio Olympics bronze medallist, Chinas Jianguan Hu in the semi-finals of the Asian Championships. Also Read – We will push hard for Kabaddi”s inclusion in 2024 Olympics: Rijiju”We had quite a few names to dwell upon however after extensive consultation by the selection committee we decided to go with the names of the most deserving boxers, Amit and Gaurav. I extend the boxers best wishes and hope the hard work and laurels will be considered while the names are picked,” BFI president Ajay Singh said after the meeting to finalise the names of the boxers for the coveted Arjuna Award. Elite Indian coaches, Sandhya Gurung and Shiv Singh have also been recommended for this year’s Dronacharya Award. Sandhya has been attached with the women’s elite team for nearly a decade. Shiv Singh has coached for the past three decades; he has lent his expertise to both the men’s and women’s teams. He was the head coach of the Women’s team till last November. Pooja Rani, who scripted history by becoming the first Indian to win a gold in the 81kg category at the Asian Championship, along with the entire contingent was felicitated by DG SAI, Neelam Kapoor, IOA vice president Sudhanshu Mittal and BFI president Ajay Singh.last_img read more


Update on the latest in business


^FINANCIAL MARKETSAsian stocks fall as Trump says Mexican tariffs still comingSINGAPORE (AP) — Asian stocks were mostly lower today as traders kept a close watch on impending U.S. tariffs on Mexico while trade talks with Beijing remained at a standstill.Japan’s Nikkei 225 index was almost flat and the Shanghai Composite index lost 1%. The benchmark in Shenzhen, a smaller, more domestic-oriented market, tumbled 2%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.1% while Australia’s S&P ASX 200 advanced 0.4%. Shares fell in Taiwan and Singapore but rose in Thailand. South Korean markets were closed for a holiday.Wednesday on Wall Street, broad gains by technology, industrial and health care companies lifted indexes.The S&P 500 index gained 0.8% to 2,826.15 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 0.8% to 25,539.57. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.6% to 7,575.48. But the Russell 2000 index of smaller company slipped 0.1% to 1,506.79.^ECONOMY-THE DAY AHEADBusiness and economic reports scheduled for todayWASHINGTON (AP) _ The Commerce Department releases April’s international trade data todayAnd the Labor Department releases first quarter productivity data.Also, Freddie Mac releases weekly mortgage rates.^UNITED STATES-MEXICOMexican official says tariff talks will continueWASHINGTON (AP) _ Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard says no agreement was reached on tariffs during Wednesday’s White House meeting with Vice-President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.Ebrard says both countries will keep talking Thursday to find a way to stave off President Donald Trump’s threatened tariffs on all Mexican goods flowing into the United States.Ebrard tells reporters at the Mexican embassy that “several points were made that require a more detailed discussion.”He says the United States is proposing short-term, punitive measures, while Mexico wants more long-term decisions. He is not detailing the positions of either country.Ebrard is the head of a Mexican delegation that has been lobbying intensely this week in Washington.^MEXICO-CORRUPTIONMexican judge suspends arrest warrant for ex-Pemex headMEXICO CITY (AP) — A Mexican federal judge has lifted an arrest warrant issued for a former head of the state oil company Petroleos Mexicanos in a corruption investigation, but says he must appear at a hearing.Prosecutors issued the warrant for Emilio Lozoya last month, saying there is evidence linking him to the 2015 sale of a fertilizer plant to Pemex for an inflated price. No charges have been filed against Lozoya, and officials have not said if they know where he is.The federal Attorney General’s Office said Wednesday night that the judge’s ruling requires Lozoya to appear in court within three days to post a bond of 500,000 pesos (about $25,000). The office says Lozoya also is being ordered to make himself available to prosecutors as needed.^FIAT CHRYSLER-RENAULTFCA says French politics caused merger pulloutPARIS (AP) _ Fiat Chrysler says political conditions in France caused it to withdraw its offer to merge with French automaker Renault.The company says its board made the decision at a meeting Wednesday evening. An FCA statement says it has become clear that the political conditions don’t currently exist for the deal to proceed successfully.FCA thanked Renault and its alliance partners Nissan and Mitsubishi for their constructive work on the proposal.The company says it will deliver on its commitments with a strategy to remain independent.Fiat Chrysler had proposed merging with Renault to create the world’s third-biggest automaker, worth almost $40 billion.The combined company would have produced some 8.7 million vehicles a year, more than General Motors and trailing only Volkswagen and Toyota.^FIAT CHRYSLER-WHISTLEBLOWER LAWSUITSales chief alleges Fiat Chrysler violated whistleblower lawDETROIT (AP) — Fiat Chrysler’s U.S. sales chief is suing the company, alleging that it withheld 90% of his pay package last year because he testified in a government inquiry into sales reporting practices.Reid Bigland alleges that the company violated Michigan’s Whistleblower Protection Act because he testified before the Securities and Exchange Commission.The company allegedly withheld Bigland’s long-term incentive stock payout, special dividends and an annual bonus in retaliation for his testimony and because he sold some stock. Documents say the dividends alone are worth about $1.8 millionThe lawsuit was filed May 24 in a state court in Pontiac. FCA wants to move it to the federal courts.Fiat Chrysler says the board’s compensation committee still needs to determine whether Bigland met company and personal performance conditions.^GENERAL MOTORS-SUPER CRUISEGM adds highways to semi-autonomous driving systemDETROIT (AP) — General Motors is adding 70,000 miles (113,000 kilometres) of roads across the U.S. and Canada to the area where its Cadillac Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving system can run, including some with cross traffic similar to those that have confused Tesla’s Autopilot system.Currently the GM system can travel on 130,000 miles (210,000 kilometres) of limited-access highways that don’t have crossing traffic or intersections. It will rise to 200,000 miles (320,000 kilometres) in the fourth quarter of this year.GM says it has tested the system and it should spot cross traffic and brake. But it also tells drivers they have to pay attention and be ready to act if necessary.Two people have died on Florida highways while driving Teslas on Autopilot. In each case, neither the system nor the driver braked for a tractor-trailer turning in front of the cars.^AMAZON-DRONES DELIVERYAmazon says drones will be making deliveries in ‘months’LAS VEGAS (AP) — Amazon says it expects to be delivering orders to shoppers’ homes by drones in the coming months.The online shopping giant did not give exact timing or say which locations the self-driving drones will be making deliveries.Amazon has been working on drone delivery for years. Back in December 2013, Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos told the “60 Minutes” news show that drones would be flying to customer’s homes within five years. But that deadline has passed.The company says the new drones are able to detect and avoid people, pets and laundry clothes lines in customer’s backyards when landing.^SKOREA-ROBOT WORKERSSouth Korean businesses growingly adopt unmanned servicesSEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Robots are coming to South Korea’s vibrant coffee culture, where crowds of lunchtime customers queuing at cafes are a daily sight.Cafes are among many businesses that could be transformed by automated services in this tech-forward nation — a notion both exciting and worrisome as jobs become scarcer.The Dal.komm Coffee franchise has 45 outlets, in malls, cafeterias, schools and an airport, where robot baristas take orders remotely through a mobile app or kiosk cashier and then brew and serve fresh coffee. Customers are sent a 4-digit code and can retrieve their drinks from a pickup box.South Korean industries, including restaurants, convenience stores, supermarkets, banks and manufacturers are relying increasingly on robots and other automation. But not without protest: many Koreans, especially the young, are struggling to find work.^ABORTION LAW-THE WALKING DEADAMC to rethink Georgia filming if abortion law takes effectATLANTA (AP) — The network behind a show that’s become part of Georgia’s pop-culture fiber says it will “reevaluate” its activity in the state if a new abortion law goes into effect.“The Walking Dead” is an economic powerhouse and brings streams of tourists to the Georgia towns where it has been filmed.AMC Networks calls the abortion legislation “highly restrictive” and says in a statement it will be closely watching what’s likely to be “a long and complicated fight” over the law. Georgia’s ban on virtually all abortions will take effect next year if it’s not blocked in the courts.Observers say Hollywood’s threats to shun Georgia could cripple its booming film industry — and the ramifications could spread to other Southern states.^OPIOID KICKBACK SCHEMEOpioid maker agrees to pay $225M to settle federal probesWASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department says opioid manufacturer Insys Therapeutics has agreed to pay $225 million to settle federal criminal and civil investigations.The settlement announced Wednesday includes a five-year deferred prosecution agreement.The Justice Department’s investigations stemmed from allegations that Insys had paid kickbacks and used other illegal marketing methods to try to sell a powerful fentanyl spray known as Subsys.Five former Insys executives were convicted last month in federal court in Boston of scheming to bribe doctors across the country to prescribe Subsys.^CUBA TRAVEL-CRUISE SHIPSCuba restrictions hit cruise lines at the start of summerMIAMI (AP) — The Trump administration’s new restrictions on travel to Cuba will hit hardest at the cruise industry by taking away an increasingly popular destination at the start of the summer vacation season.Major cruise lines immediately dropped stops in Cuba from their itineraries and hastily rerouted ships to other destinations, including Mexico. At docks in Florida and aboard ships at sea, frustrated travellers vented over wrecked vacation plans.An industry group says nearly 800,000 passengers on cruises or booked for future trips were affected. Cuba trips represented a relatively small percentage of passenger cruises, but passengers typically paid more to visit the island.The U.S. Commerce Department announced the new regulations Tuesday to take effect Wednesday.^HONG KONG-SAME-SEX EQUALITYHong Kong court: Denying same-sex spousal benefits unlawfulHONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong’s Court of Final Appeal says the government cannot deny spousal employment benefits to same-sex couples in a ruling hailed as a major step forward for same-sex equality in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.The court Thursday overturned an earlier judgment, saying unanimously that denying same-sex couples access to spousal benefits is unlawful.Although same-sex marriage is not recognized in Hong Kong, the Court of Final Appeal ruled last year that the same-sex partner of a British expatriate was entitled to equal visa treatment under immigration law.Man-kei Tam, Director of Amnesty International Hong Kong, called Thursday’s judgment a “huge step forward for equality” that brings Hong Kong “more in line with its international obligation to respect, protect and fulfil the rights of people with different sexual orientations.”The Associated Press read more


UKs Labour party leader demands accountability in Sri Lanka


He said that human rights violations and the persecution of the Tamil people are ongoing in Sri Lanka. He also said that the ongoing use of torture as a common tactic in Sri Lanka was unacceptable. The Labour leader also condemned the Easter Sunday attacks as well as the anti-Muslim violence which followed.”Sen Kandiah, Chair of Tamils for Labour, stressed that no progress had been made in accountability and said the group was calling for the Labour Party to recognise that what happened was genocide. (Colombo Gazette) Corbyn said that a future Labour Government would use diplomatic pressure and action on trade and arms sales to push for human rights.“Today we commemorate those who lost their lives at Mullivaikkal those years ago,” Corbyn said. “In their memory and their honour, let’s get justice for those who have committed atrocities,” he said. UK’s Labour party leadership has demanded accountability in Sri Lanka saying a future Labour Government would be committed to the causes of achieving justice and accountability for the Tamil people, as well as recognising their right to self-determination.“This is a sad occasion because we are commemorating the tenth anniversary of that terrible massacre,” said Labour leader, and Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn MP. “We need a recognition of the atrocities, an end to the ongoing human rights violations, accountability for the mass atrocities,” Corbyn said adding that “a political settlement and acknowledgment of the right of self-determination of the Tamil people is crucial to a sustainable peace.” read more


Woman with St Catharines connection convicted in terror plot


A jury has convicted a woman who grew up in St. Catharines in a Canada Day 2013 plot to attack the British Columbia legislature.Amanda Korody and her partner John Nuttall have been found guilty of conspiring to commit murder and possession of an explosive. However, the defence is now going to be given a chance to argue that undercover officers entrapped the couple by leading them into the plot.The couple was arrested on July 1, 2013, the day they were accused of planting three pressure-cooker bombs on the grounds of the legislature.Video and audio surveillance presented in court by undercover officers who befriended the couple showed the pair discussing their plans to engage in a holy war against the western world for perceived injustices against Muslims.But defence lawyers point out the officers encouraged Nuttall and Korody to follow a quicker timeline, and to choose a more realistic terrorist plot than hijacking a nuclear submarine or taking a commuter train hostage.Korody went to St Catharines Collegiate high school in the late 1990s. read more


General Assembly highlevel meeting discusses progress in fight against HIVAIDS


President KabilaSpeaking for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, President Joseph Kabila said that in the war against AIDS there could be no ceasefire or peace talks. His country was now working on antiretroviral treatments and on lowering mother-to-child transmissions, and was trying to jump-start its health sector response to the disease, he added. Prime Minister MosisiliMeanwhile, HIV/AIDS has been declared a “national disaster” in Lesotho, Prime Minister Pakalitha Bethuel Mosisili said. His Government continues to use every opportunity to help control and manage the pandemic. The primary focus in prevention has been on communication and education for behavioural change, particularly for youth. The Government is reviewing the national strategic plan in order to shift the national response from the health sector to a multisectoral and multistakeholder paradigm. President Branco Portuguese President Jorge Fernando Branco de Sampaio said the epidemic was one of the most striking examples of the need to co-ordinate political guidelines and to take concrete measures “not unilaterally, but in solidarity.” The international political agenda, while understandably concerned with the fight against terrorism, must not forget “this other source of terror.” President RavalomananaFor his part the President of Madagascar, Marc Ravalomanana, hoped that they all would leave today’s meeting having made progress towards specific action and adequate means to implement it. “We must not wait, for AIDS is not waiting,” he said, adding that “there can be no progress or development for a society that is ill.”President Leonid Kuchma of Ukraine said the National Programme on HIV prevention had made substantial progress in his country but there were still a number of problems, particularly financial. Still, he added, “I am confident that the engagement of resources of the Global Fund and of the World Bank will enable us to significantly improve the current situation.” Prime Minister Arthur Barbados Prime Minister Owen Arthur renewed his country’s commitment to work in harmony with its Caribbean neighbours to alleviate the threat posed by AIDS to the region’s stability and security. As a mark of that commitment, Barbados pledged to contribute $100,000 to the Global Fund. President Obasanjo Stressing the urgent need for coherent global policies against the scourge, Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo said inadequate resources, the lack of technical capacity in developing countries and the high cost of antiretroviral drugs for HIV/AIDS victims were among the issues to be addressed internationally. He called for research priorities designed to take into account the health needs of developing countries. President Kufuor For his part, the President of Ghana, John Agyekum Kufuor, said since 2001, the national AIDS Commission has disbursed $20 million out of an International Development Association (IDA) credit of $25 million to fund HIV/AIDS intervention projects by several organizations around the country. The country’s prevalence rate of 3.4 per cent has not shown any reversal in the past two years and the Government is intensifying the pursuit of appropriate, cost-effective strategies to reduce this rate. President WadePresident Abdoulaye Wade said the fight against HIV/AIDS in Senegal rested upon a double imperative-rapid response and a spirit of anticipation. In addition to screening all blood donations, Senegal has begun to decentralize its anonymous HIV/AIDS centres, with religious leaders acting as a critical component of efforts to increase the public’s awareness. These efforts have also benefited from a 95 per cent cut in the cost of antiretroviral drugs from large pharmaceutical groups. President Chissano President Joaquim Alberto Chissano of Mozambique, Chairman of the African Union, called AIDS a worldwide challenge that required worldwide and integrated collaboration, emphasizing that the epidemic had drastically affected the social and economic fabric of communities and constituted a major obstacle to the achievement of the ambitious Millennium Development Goals of halving poverty and hunger, among other things, by 2015.For his part, President Pascal Couchepin of Switzerland, noting that 70 per cent of persons infected with the AIDS virus live in sub-Saharan Africa, stressed that it was necessary to persevere in all efforts aimed at making medication more accessible to those who need it. Listen to UN Radio report In opening the session, Assembly President Julian Robert Hunte of St. Lucia called on UN Member States to reaffirm their pledge to halt and reverse the HIV/AIDS pandemic and build on the foundation set at a special meeting in 2001.Mr. Hunte said though there had been signs of progress and resources allocated, they must be juxtaposed against the shortfall in funding of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. “It falls to governments to provide the leadership and vision to confront the crisis in their own countries and to cooperate in the global fight against HIV/AIDS,” he said.Stressing that HIV/AIDS is much more than a public health problem and impacts virtually every aspect of human endeavour, Mr. Hunte also urged interventions that “go hand in hand with policies that address poverty, socio-economic development, human welfare and social cohesion.” President Bouteflika Urging a scaling up of efforts in prevention, financing, access to medication, and coordination among the different initiatives, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika called for further efforts at the national, regional and international levels. He underscored the key role of the private sector and civil society in securing additional resources. President Chirac President Jacques Chirac of France said the UN embodied a universal conscience in the fight against HIV/AIDS and there was no further excuse for inaction. Effective treatments now existed and had become accessible to the poorest nations. All governments now accepted that access to medications was inseparable from prevention, he added. read more


NRC teams with companies to use oilsands greenhouse gas to make biofuels


by Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press Posted May 10, 2013 12:34 pm MDT NRC teams with companies to use oilsands greenhouse gas to make biofuels AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email CALGARY – The federal government, an oil giant and a biofuels company are teaming up to build a $19-million plant in northern Alberta that will use carbon dioxide emissions from the oilsands to help turn algae into products such as fuel, fertilizer and livestock feed.It’s the first project to receive funding under a restructured National Research Council, which earlier this week announced it would focus on technologies that can help businesses, rather than on more general scientific endeavours.“Today’s announcement is an excellent example of exactly the type of thing that the NRC’s new direction will achieve,” Gary Goodyear, minister of state for science and technology, said FridayNRC president John McDougall added: “I can confidently state that such a project would rarely, if ever, have happened under the previous operating model at NRC.”Ottawa is pitching in $9.5 million to build the plant at Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.’s (TSX:CNQ) Primrose South oilsands project near Bonnyville, Alta.Canadian Natural, one of Canada’s biggest energy companies, will contribute $6.3 million and Toronto-based Pond Biofuels will shoulder the remainder.Pond’s technology essentially feeds carbon dioxide emissions from smoke stacks — whether it’s at an oilsands site, coal plant or factory — to algae.Waste heat and water from Canadian Natural’s operations will also be used to help the algae grow.As it blossoms, the algae develops fat — in other words, oil, said Joy Romero, vice-president of technology development at Canadian Natural.That oil can be blended with heavy bitumen to make it flow more easily through pipelines, or sold to refiners, who can turn it into diesel or gasoline. The company says the oil is of the same, if not better, quality as West Texas Intermediate, the key U.S. light oil benchmark.The material left behind once the oil has been stripped out can be used as a fertilizer, which Canadian Natural needs as it looks to return used up oilsands mines to their natural state.“It displaces something that we’re currently purchasing,” Romero said.John Parr, Canadian Natural’s vice-president of thermal projects, added that the biomass is high in protein and carbohydrates, making it a “perfect” animal feed.“Certainly Alberta is cattle country, so there would be a great market there for it I think as well.”The algae technology could reduce emissions by 15 per cent at Canadian Natural’s massive 110,000-barrel-per-day Horizon oilsands mine north of Fort McMurray and by 30 per cent at its steam-driven Primrose operations.Canadian Natural president Steve Laut said the algae technology will be shared with the Canadian Oil Sands Innovation Alliance, a group of 12 oilsands companies that share environmentally friendly technologies without intellectual property concerns getting in the way.He said pursuing such a project would be “very difficult” without government support.“To say this would have happened without them is naive,” he said.“We needed the NRC to get that base technology to where we are today. Pond Biofuels brings an important part of it and we’re here to make the commercialization and the implementation of it go.” read more


NUI Maynooth team chosen to compete in major student tech competition


first_imgTHREE STUDENTS FROM NUI Maynooth will be competing in one of the world’s largest student technology competitions.The team behind Access Earth, an app which provides information on buildings’ accessibility for those with mobility impairments, will be competing in the Microsoft Imagine Cup 2014 World Finals later at the end of July.The team, which consists of three computer science students from the university, is one of 35 teams to be selected from a total of 170 finalists from 72 different countries to compete in the finals.The team has been nominated for the ‘global citizenship’ category, which focuses on applications that benefit as many people as possible.The app allows people to find out whether a building is wheelchair accessible or not. It provides information on its facilities such as ramps, and wheelchair accessible toilets alongside an overall building accessibility rating.It relies on the public to provide information on buildings and shows where each relevant access point is.This is the team’s second time competing in the competition, having finished runners-up in Ireland in 2013. This is the fourth time in eight years students from NUI Maynooth have been selected to compete in the event.The World Finals will take place in Seattle from 28 July to 1 August.Read: Your next smartphone could have security features built into the glass >Read: Amazon enters the mobile market by launching head-tracking smartphone >last_img read more


Lashkars grand plot in Sri Lanka Bangladesh and Maldives


first_img Sri Lanka Attacks: What We Know So Far The Sri Lankan government even had a warning that Catholic churches were among the possible targets.twitterIndia’s deep state is well versed in the art of intelligence warfare. Its human intelligence-led inputs to the Sri Lankan establishment, though unutilised, showed that they were on top of their game. India has been tracking the National Thowheed Jamaat (NTJ) for some time now. New Delhi moved with great alacrity passing on direct actionable intelligence in the weeks and days leading up to the Easter Sunday bombings. And this happened from material accessed during interrogations of an ISIS suspect arrested in India.The Sri Lankan government even had a warning that Catholic churches were among the possible targets. The suspect gave Indian investigators the name of a man – Zahran Hashmi – he had trained, who is associated with a Sri Lankan extremist group implicated in the bombings. The shadowy man, Zahran Hashim, was identified in a video of the purported attackers released by ISIS, which claimed responsibility for the Easter Sunday macabre massacre.IANS met several top intelligence functionaries to piece together the emergence of Sri Lanka as the new terror central. While doing so, it unearthed a gargantuan and deep-seated Lashkar plot which goes back at least 14 years showing how LeT had invested for years in Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives and even Malaysia as part of a larger encirclement strategy of India.Indian intelligence has been alive to this and has used all its skill sets and ground-level inputs to mitigate the terror threat emanating from the island and other neighbouring countries. It needs to be established here that ISI C Wing and LeT are two sides of the same coin as far as jihad is concerned.ISI has been using Idara Khidmat-e-Khalq (IKK) as a proxy to radicalise unemployed Muslim youth in Sri Lanka and coax them to join the NTJ. In parallel, India has bolstered its security apparatus in Tamil Nadu and Kerala due to the strong presence of NTJ members in these states.The rise of IS and its vile and noxious thought process of establishing a Caliphate has found takers in Lanka, Bangladesh and the Maldives. At least 200-250 Maldivians have reportedly fought for the IS in trouble spots like Syria and these are mules who make the trek to Yemen where they are further indoctrinated and trained, then sent on wars sometimes to Mali and Chad for fighting or to the combat zone in Iraq and Syria to fight under the IS flag.A Tokyo-based online magazine ‘The Diplomat’ validated this saying a December 2015 report by the Soufan Group, a private intelligence agency run by former FBI agent-turned contractor Ali Soufan, put out a count of foreign fighters who’d volunteered to fight for the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. Four South Asian countries featured in that list – Malaysia, Pakistan, India, and the Maldives – sending an estimated 393 fighters among them. It was the island nation in the Indian Ocean that sent analysts and headlines into a tizzy with the rise of radical Islam with its bent towards Salafist tendencies. It had by far the highest per capita fighters in the sandbox.The Indian deep state has been following Islamic militancy in Sri Lanka, a fertile breeding ground since 2004. The tipping point in the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the emerald isle has Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT)’s handprints all over it. A special group headed by LeT’s Muzzamil Bhat from Sialkot and his lackeys made forays into Bangladesh, the Maldives and Sri Lanka between 2005 and 2007, knowing fully well that these areas could be used to further their agenda and to encircle India.Muzzamil Bhat is one of the planners of 26/11 and is reported to be the architect of the Chittisinghpora massacre. The entire construct of this plan to use these countries as a launchpad to train terrorists was part of his larger architecture.The FBI in its 26/11 charge sheet named Bhat as D, a key LeT military commander, who was involved in the Chittisinghpora massacre in Jammu and Kashmir on the eve of President Bill Clinton’s visit to India in March 2000.In its second charge sheet, filed in a Chicago court, the FBI named an ISI officer, Major Iqbal, and four LeT operatives – Sajid Majeed, Abu Qahafa, Abu Alqama and the unknown Lashkar member ‘D’. About ‘D’ the charge sheet states that after the arrest of Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi in Pakistan in connection with the 26/11 attacks, he became the overall operational commander of LeT.According to FBI, ‘D’, who is yet to be arrested by Pakistan, was a handler of David Coleman Headley. Headley told Indian investigators that Muzzamil was involved in the Chittisinghpora massacre. In turn, Headley also said Muzzamil was most trustworthy lieutenant of Lakhvi and apart from Chittisinghpora killings of Sikhs, he planned the Akshardham temple attack in September 2002.According to Indian security establishment sources, Muzzamil is a Kashmiri born in 1976. He is married and his family lives in the Gujranwala town of Pakistani Punjab.Bhat, on the other hand, is a planner and his understanding was that with Indian intelligence and security forces keeping a close vigil on southern India in those years, he reckoned that taking the training camps offshore would be a better idea. SIMI was already active in southern India, they had set up a southern chapter across the four states, while Bhatkal had become a new centrifuge.Terror central was moving from Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra to the southern part of India. Hence Muzzamil arrived in Sri Lanka to test the waters and quickly realised that there was traction amongst Tamil Muslims after the Tsunami, ditto in Bangladesh among the Rohingyas between 2004-2008.But RAW which was extremely active in both Bangladesh and Sri Lanka did not allow Bhat or his henchmen to stabilise their operations.In 2011, ably abetted and assisted by ISI officer Amir Zubair Siddiqui (Counselor in the Pakistan High Commission in Colombo), a new name popped up on the radar – Zakir Hussain – who began to actively consort with and recruit Tamil Muslims on the island. The plan was to recruit them and unleash hell on diplomatic missions in Chennai and Bangalore, but RAW once again found the scent and pursued them to cut off their feedstock of financing, explosives and weapons.India engaged with Colombo and brought it up to speed on Siddiqui’s shenanigans who was then packed off from Sri Lanka. The diplomat Amir Zubair Siddiqui’s plot was to attack the US Consulate in Chennai, Israeli Consulate in Bengaluru, Eastern Naval Command HQ in Visakhapatnam and ports across the country.Once RAW had blown his cover, NIA moved in to charge sheet Siddiqui who was then visa counsellor at the Pakistan High Commission in Colombo. Siddiqui was arrested for allegedly conspiring to attack vital establishments in India and was quietly withdrawn even before the NIA’s request under Mutual Assistance Legal Treaty (MLAT) reached Colombo.The terror plot was uncovered after the NIA police personnel arrested an ISI agent Mohammed Zakir Hussain (37) through the ‘Q’ Branch of the Tamil Nadu police in 2013. The reason was that he was gathering details about vital installations in Tamil Nadu and sent photographs to Siddiqui. Hussain used his counterparts Sivabalan and Mohammad Salim to circulate fake currency in the state.During questioning, Hussain also confessed that he had also used Rafeeque (29) to pump in fake Indian currency in the state.A much larger network of Maldivians, Sri Lankan Muslims and Malaysian Tamils was discovered through this overarching probe. The hunters caught up with the quarry – Zakir Hussain – and another lynchpin was caught in Malaysia and the cartel was busted. Muzzamil Bhat was the spider who spun the web across the three countries and began the process of indoctrination in Sri Lanka. His tireless efforts paid dividends for he planted the seeds as far back as the mid-2000s. He was the first to connect the dots between Thowheed Jamaat which proselytises (mainly among the Tamil community), fights for “pure Islam” and actively promotes the construction of mosques in Tamil Nadu and Sri Lankan Tamil Muslim areas. IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:01/3:08Loaded: 0%0:01Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-3:07?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. 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Trump plans to declare national emergency


first_imgIn this file photo taken on February 12, 2019 US President Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, DC as Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan (L) and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross(R) look on. Photo: AFPPresident Donald Trump plans to declare a national emergency to fund his controversial border wall, the White House said Thursday, a move that alarmed US lawmakers shortly before they passed legislation to avert a government shutdown.Trump has signaled he will sign the massive spending measure keeping federal agencies operational through 30 September.But it does not specifically fund a wall on the US-Mexico border, and Trump’s emergency declaration would help him bypass Congress to locate and redirect billions of dollars in funding to build it.Trump will take the action “to ensure we stop the national security and humanitarian crisis at the border,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said shortly before the Senate passed the spending bill.The House of Representatives followed suit hours later, and Trump has until a midnight Friday deadline to sign it and prevent the government from going into shutdown for the second time this year.Signing the spending bill would bring an end to a rolling, two-month battle over government funding. But by declaring an emergency, Trump opens a new confrontation — and creates some of the riskiest legal peril of his term.House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Trump’s Democratic nemesis in Congress, said members of her caucus were “reviewing our options” about how to respond to Trump’s move.”Declaring a national emergency would be a lawless act, a gross abuse of the power of the presidency and a desperate attempt to distract from the fact that president Trump broke his core promise to have Mexico pay for his wall,” Pelosi and senate minority leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement.Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said he backs the president, but several others in the Republican camp have expressed deep reservations.”I have concerns about the precedent that could be set with the use of emergency action to re-appropriate funds,” veteran Republican senator Chuck Grassley said in a statement.Senator Susan Collins said it “would be a mistake on the part of the president” to declare such an emergency, warning it would “undermine” lawmakers’ all-important role as financial appropriators.Many lawmakers have said they have no idea from where Trump will draw the funding. Democrats in particular have signaled that the move would open the door to future presidents declaring emergencies on various topics, from gun violence to climate change to the opioid crisis.Court challenges likelyUnder the National Emergencies Act, the president can declare a national emergency, providing a specific reason for it.That allows the mobilization of hundreds of dormant emergency powers under other laws, which can permit the White House to declare martial law, suspend civil liberties, expand the military, seize property and restrict trade, communications and financial transactions.Trump has repeatedly stated he will look to other federal sources to fund his wall, one of his top campaign trail promises from 2016.There is broad expectation that Trump’s move would be challenged in court.And house judiciary committee Jerry Nadler expressed support for a joint congressional resolution to “terminate” Trump’s emergency declaration.That resolution would likely pass the Democratically-controlled House, but it would face a tough road in the Senate, where several Republicans may not wish to cross the president.Even if it passed, Trump could veto it.The spending measure includes only $1.375 billion for border barriers or fencing, far from the $5.7 billion that Trump has sought for his long-promised border wall — a demand that led to the recent 35-day government shutdown, the longest in US history.The compromise package funds until 30 September the 25 per cent of the government whose operations would lapse if the bill is not signed by Trump by the midnight Friday deadline.Pelosi expressed disdain for the president’s upcoming emergency declaration, warning that he was doing “an end run around Congress.””It’s not an emergency, what’s happening at the border,” she said in comments echoed by multiple Democratic lawmakers.Conservative ireTrump is widely seen to have suffered politically more than Democrats over the previous shutdown fight.But he also needs to assuage conservatives livid that the president retreated from his wall-funding demand, a longtime campaign pledge.”This bill must NOT be signed by @realDonaldTrump,” tweeted Fox News host Laura Ingraham, warning it would serve as a “stimulus” for illegal immigration in part because it puts limits on law enforcement’s ability to deport some undocumented immigrants.The bipartisan spending measure, negotiated for weeks, notably does not contain the word “wall” in its 1,165 pages, instead calling the structures physical barriers and pedestrian fencing.last_img read more


Important ancient papyrus seized from looters in Israel


first_img(Phys.org)—Eitan Klein, a representative of the Israel Antiquities Authority, has announced that an important papyrus document dated to 2,700 years ago has been seized from a group of Palestinian looters who reportedly dug it up in a cave in the Judean Desert approximately three years ago. The claim of its authenticity has been challenged, however, by Christopher Rollston (as reported by Live Science) a professor with George Washington University in the U.S.—he contends that the wording on the document suggests it might be a forgery. Credit: Shai Halevi, Israel Antiquities Authority If the document turns out to be authentic, it will be notable for a line that translates from Hebrew as “from the king’s maidservant, from Na’arat, (which was near Jericho)—jars of wine, to Jerusalem.” This sentence would mark the second-oldest reference to Jerusalem—the Bible is the oldest. It would also be important because it suggests the lines were written by a woman from the time of the First Temple (which King Solomon had built in 957BC—but it was destroyed by soldiers working for King Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian king, approximately 400 years later), who held an important position in society.Klein outlined the means by which he and his team tracked the looters and eventually caught them in the act of looting a cave. He did not give specifics as to how the scroll was found, but hinted that it might have been purchased after being tracked to an antiquities market somewhere in Jerusalem. The scroll has already been carbon dated, but as Rollston noted, if it were a fake, the forger would have simply obtained a blank scroll from that time period and written on it using the same type of ink used thousands of years ago. In response, Klein has offered to listen to evidence by Rollston, but suggests that he and his team are very nearly certain the papyrus is an authentic document because they have proof that it was dug up by looters from a cave in the Nahal Hever valley—they are not revealing its exact location for fear that other looters will descend on the scene. The papyrus and the lines written on it will no doubt be studied in more detail by other researchers who may or may not come to a consensus on the authenticity of the scroll. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Important ancient papyrus seized from looters in Israel (2016, October 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-10-important-ancient-papyrus-seized-looters.htmlcenter_img © 2016 Phys.org Explore further 11 ancient burial boxes recovered in Israel (Update)last_img read more


State IAS cadre sees minor reshuffle


first_imgKolkata: In a minor reshuffle in the IAS cadre, the state government on Tuesday appointed Pawan Kadyan as a joint secretary of the Finance department. Kadyan was the District Magistrate of Nadia. Vibhu Goel, CEO of Haldia Development Authority (HDA) was resinstated in his place as district magistrate of Nadia.P Harishanker, ADM Kalimpong, was appointed as the new CEO of HDA, while Siyad N was appointed as the new ADM of Kalimpong. Siyad was the joint secretary of the Cooperation department.last_img


Americas First Gold Rush was not in California


first_imgThe American Gold Rush was a period known for rugged expansion, harsh conditions, and “hitting it rich.” It was a time when the prospect of a fistful of gold was worth everything a person had, including their life. While many associate the Gold Rush with the rush in 1849 to California, that wasn’t the first. In 1799, a 12-year-old boy named Conrad Reed was bowfishing in the river that ran near his home. The river, known as Little Meadow Creek, is a seemingly innocuous little body of water in Cabarrus County, North Carolina.Conrad often fished here using his bow without any odd occurrences, but this time his attention was captured by something shining in the water at the bottom of the creek. The object turned out to be a shiny stone which the boy took home to his father, John Reed.Reed Gold Mine, in Midland, North Carolina, United States. Photo by Bang-Ning Hsu CC BY-SA 2.0John Reed didn’t recognize what he had and used the shining stone as a doorstop for almost three years. Then a jeweler noticed the stone and offered him $3.50 for it. Accounting for inflation, that would be $69.92 in 2019.This would turn out to be a massive steal for the jeweler, as he had just bought what turned out to be a 17-pound gold nugget. Today that nugget would be worth around $350,200. By using the CPI Inflation Calculator, we can see that the price of the gold in 1802 ends up being around $17,530.An 1847 map of North Carolina showing the “Gold Region.”John Reed was not a stupid man, however, and, even though he wasn’t aware of the true value of his gold nugget, he knew it was worth something. He prospected on his property, and within the year, had begun mining gold on his land. But this would only be the start, as word of the discovery of gold spread throughout the country, causing the first true gold rush in American history.According to the Smithsonian American History site, many farmers started using their spare time to do “placer” mining, shallow surface mining of streambeds, on their own land. Later, shaft mining became more prominent, and that was also used in California during that most famous gold rush.California Gold Rush StampThe North Carolina gold finds, of course, brought in much more organized companies of miners, and, until the California Gold Rush in 1849, North Carolina would be the largest producer of gold in the United States.Related Video: Divers Stumble Upon 2,000 ‘Priceless’ Gold CoinsThe Federal Mint even set up a branch in Charlotte. The California Gold Rush wouldn’t end the production of gold in the southeastern United States, however. To this day, mines in the Carolinas continue to operate, many of them operating since the early 1800s, such as the Haile Gold Mine, which was founded in 1828.A woman with three men panning for gold during the California Gold RushThe Carolinas were not the only states to benefit from a thriving gold trade, however; in 1829, another gold rush would spring up in neighboring Georgia. The records as to how this gold rush started are unclear as many people claimed the first discovery of gold, but what happened was an influx of gold seekers and immigrants. As this population grew, conflicts began to occur with the local Cherokee tribes that lived on many gold-rich lands.This forced the American Government to get involved, directly leading to the removal of the tribes and the infamous Trail of Tears, the forced relocation of Native American tribes in the Southeastern part of the United States to unclaimed lands in the West.Soon after the native population was removed, miners and prospectors swooped in and set up mining operations, and, as prosperity grew, more interest was drawn to the area.Taken at Reed Gold Mine, 2005. Miner is Healy Jones Widenhouse.The Federal Government decided to open a branch of the U.S. Mint in Dahlonega, Georgia to handle the massive amount of gold flooding out of Georgia, just as they had in Charlotte, North Carolina.Read another story from us: The Richest Man in History was a West African EmperorAlthough the mint in Georgia was never reopened after the Civil War when it had been used to produce Confederate currency, according to Goldmaps, Georgia is still one of the best states for prospecting, metal detecting, and treasure hunting.last_img read more


Opera 45 Stable ships Messenger support redesign


first_imgOpera 45 Stable ships: Messenger support, redesign by Martin Brinkmann on May 10, 2017 in Opera – 15 commentsOpera Software released a new stable version of the Opera web browser today that brings the version of the browser to 45.The new version incorporates changes from Opera Neon, a reimagined browser that Opera Software released in the beginning of 2017.One of the major changes of Opera 45 is the availability of a light and dark theme that users can switch between. Users may also pick from a selection of new background images that Opera created just for that purposes.To modify the theme and wallpapers, either open a new tab page and select the customize button there to make changes right away, or open Menu > Settings > Browser.Opera Software notes that the desktop team has updated the “entire layout” with “new, high-quality graphical design” that is more consistent across platforms.The tabs are simplified, lighter and more elegant, making it easier to locate open tabs. The new sidebar is more subtle and refined with a touch of animation.Icons are optimized for various DPI settings so that they look better regardless of device and screen that is used.New icons are even more refined and elegant, and some even change colors when active. We have carefully optimized the icons for various DPIs in order to make them look perfect.Opera 45 supports new animations, with the most notable one visible when you launch the browser in private browsing mode (using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-Shift-N, or Menu > New Private Windows).The second big change of Opera 45 is the addition of Messenger links directly in the browser’s side panel.Opera Software added support for Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Telegram to the new browser version.It allows you to chat with friends in the sidebar while you browse other sites using the browser.All you need to do is sign in to the supported services to start using them. Opera implements the web-based versions of the chat programs in the browser. So, the main difference to opening the messenger websites directly is that it is easier to keep the messenger open side by side with websites in the browser.You can check out our preview coverage of the Telegram and WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger integration.You can switch between all Messengers using the Ctrl-Shift-M shortcut on Windows and Linux, or Command-Up-M on Mac OS X.The third major change that went into Opera 45 is that the browser’s ad-blocking capabilities were improved.The Opera browser will reload pages automatically when you toggle ad-blocking in the browser, so that you don’t need to do that manually any longer.The second change is probably even more important: it allows you to manage which ad block lists are loaded. The two default lists are Easylist and EasyPrivacy, but users may load other lists in the following way:Select Menu > Settings > Privacy & Security.If ad-blocking is not enabled, check the “block ads and surf the web up to three times faster” option.You find the lists that are loaded on the page. Uncheck the default lists, or click on the manage lists option to add more lists.Please note that you cannot add custom lists to the browser, as you are limited to the lists that ship with the browser.Opera 45 ships with a handful of minor changes on top of all that. The browser will warn users when they activate password or credit card number form fields that are submitted via HTTP and not HTTPS.Users on Windows may also notice better performance — higher framerates, higher resolutions, and lower battery usage — thanks to better use of the graphics processing unit for certain operations.Last but not least, Opera 45 was updated to Chromium 58 which ships with IndexedDB 2.0 support, and support for new functions, APIs and more.Existing Opera users will get the new versions through the browser’s automatic updating, by running a manual check for updates via Menu > About Opera, or by downloading the new version for all supported operating systems from the official Opera website.Now You: What’s your take on the new Opera design, and the integration of messengers?SummaryArticle NameOpera 45 Stable ships: Messenger support, redesignDescriptionOpera Software released a new stable version of the Opera web browser today that brings the version of the browser to 45.Author Martin BrinkmannPublisher Ghacks Technology NewsLogo Advertisementlast_img read more


Top Stories


first_img Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Cornerback Marcus Cooper moved into the slot from his corner position, and special teamer and backup corner Justin Bethel entered to defend on the outside opposite Patrick Peterson. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Comments   Share   Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Carolina Panthers’ Kelvin Benjamin (13) runs after a catch as Arizona Cardinals’ Tyrann Mathieu (32) and Patrick Peterson (21) defend in the first quarter of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone) Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu went down with a shoulder injury in the first half of Arizona’s visit to the home of the Carolina Panthers and was listed as probable to return.Mathieu, however, was still not on the field as the Cardinals came out of the halftime break.Arizona ruled him out for the game in the third quarter.Tharold Simon replaced Mathieu at his slot cover spot but he went down with an injury in the third quarter and went to the locker room. The team said he was questionable to return with an ankle injury.last_img read more


Step 3 Or why not select Any Airport at the top


first_imgStep 3Or why not select ‘Any Airport’ at the top of the ‘City/ Airport’ list and see how prices vary for different airports quick startDon’t know where to start? Try Skyscanner’s quick search user guide Skyscanner’s search tools facebookUse Skyscanner on Facebook to find your flights CountrySearch Whole Country Then check that ‘Any Airport’ is selected. Click on the blue arrow in the ‘from’ box, then choose ‘Any Airport’ at the top of the ‘City/ Airport’ list countrySearch by country for the cheapest airports appGet Skyscanner for your smart phone everywhereNeed ideas? Search everywhere for destination inspiration! mapDon’t know where to go? Use the map to plan your trip… whole monthSearch whole month to find the very cheapest days to fly! Check out all the options and search by country to find the very cheapest airports to fly into or fly from.See how – watch our quick video demo below:Step 1If you want to see flights and prices for different departure airports, first type in the country you want to fly from. RelatedSearch tips and tools – Skyscanner for FacebookSearch tips and tools – Skyscanner for FacebookSkyscanner tips and tools: how to search flight prices across whole monthWant to find the very best flight prices? If you’re flexible on when you fly, use Skyscanner’s ‘whole month’ search tool to find the cheapest day to travel to your chosen destination. Read on to find out how to browse and bag the best flight for you.How to search for flights with Skyscanner’s new Facebook Messenger botIntroducing Skyscanner’s latest flight search innovation: the Skyscanner bot for Facebook Messenger. Using the latest technology, we’ve made it even easier for you to find the best flights, but how does it work? Let us explain… Step 2Type in the country in the ‘to’ box, or click on the blue arrow and scroll down the country list. All of the airports that you can get direct flights from your departure point will now be shown in green. Indirect flights will show in orange. ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Maplast_img read more


Rep Canfield invites residents to March indistrict office hours


first_img11Mar Rep. Canfield invites residents to March in-district office hours Rep. Ned Canfield invites residents of the 84th House District to attend his in-district office hours on Friday, March 25 at the Caro Area District Library, 840 W. Frank St. in Caro from 1:30-2:30 p.m.No appointment is necessary. Residents unable to attend office hours are encouraged to contact Rep. Canfield by phone at 517-373-0476, or by email at EdwardCanfield@house.mi.gov.### Categories: Canfield News,Newslast_img


Rep Howrylak bill will reduce distracted driving deaths and enhance traffic safety


first_img Categories: Howrylak News State Rep. Martin Howrylak (third from right) gave testimony to prohibit drivers from holding or using a portable electronic device while driving. (Pictured from left to right) Laurel Zimmerman, Jim Santilli, chief executive officer of the Transportation Improvement Association, Rep. Martin Howrylak, Auburn Hills Police Chief Doreen Olko and Auburn Hills Officer Richard Leonard.State Representative Martin Howrylak today gave testimony in the Michigan House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in support of his bill that would reduce distracted driving crashes by requiring drivers to operate a mobile device in hands-free mode while driving. This will preserve the driver’s ability to use a cell phone, while also protecting the lives of other commuters and pedestrians.The current statute is outdated, only referring to text messaging, and needs to be updated to be in tune with current technology.“The number of distracted drivers continues to rise and we must take action to make our roadways safer,” said Rep. Howrylak of Troy. “House Bill 4466 seeks to ensure Michigan drivers have their attention focused on the road at all times, instead of a mobile device.”“I’m confident this bill will have positive impact on roadways. This bill has reasonable penalties and will protect the lives of commuters and drivers. One life lost is too many and this is the type of change we need to have on the roads.”Drivers are more than four times likely to get into a crash while using a hand-held device. Jim Santilli, chief executive officer of the Transportation Improvement Association and  Laurel Zimmerman also testified in support of the bill. Laurel Zimmerman’s daughter, Allison “Ally” Zimmerman was tragically killed in 2011 by a distracted driver while riding in a car in Romeo, Michigan.In 2014, 3,179 people were killed and 431,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.House Bill 4466 remains under consideration by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.### 16May Rep. Howrylak bill will reduce distracted driving deaths and enhance traffic safetylast_img read more


Rep Bellino sets April office hours


first_img11Apr Rep. Bellino sets April office hours Categories: Bellino News,News State Rep. Joe Bellino of Monroe is hosting local office hours on Saturday, April 21, giving residents of Monroe and Wayne counties the opportunity to ask questions or share their thoughts.“I encourage people who have questions, issues, or concerns to stop by,” Rep. Bellino said. “Listening to residents discuss their ideas on how to improve our state is always rewarding.”Rep. Bellino will meet with residents at the following times and locations:9 to 10 a.m. at Biggby, 26614 Telegraph Road in Flat Rock; and10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Tim Hortons, 404 South Monroe St. in Monroe.Appointments are not necessary during office hours. Anyone unable to attend is encouraged to contact Rep. Bellino’s office via phone at (517) 373-1530, via email at JosephBellino@house.mi.gov, or by visiting www.RepBellino.com.last_img read more


Rep Bellino Program to help farmers devastated by record rain signed into


first_img Rep. Joe Bellino today said a plan to help farmers whose crops were delayed or damaged by this spring’s record-setting rain has been signed into law.The plan provides $15 million to help private lenders provide low-interest loans to qualified farmers. The state does not provide the loans, so there is no financial risk or liability to the state with this program.“This spring’s wet weather devastated crops for farmers in southeast Michigan and many other parts of the state,” said Bellino, of Monroe. “These hard-working farmers deserve and need some help, and this loan program will provide it. I’m pleased to see this measure providing financial stability signed into law.”Michigan had very few days suitable for field work this spring. From May 2018 to May 2019, this year was the wettest 12-month period on record. As a result, only about 63 percent of corn seeds and 43 percent of soybean seeds were planted as of June 12, which means yields will be low. The deadline for full coverage of crop insurance was June 5 for corn and June 15 for soybeans.  As a result, many farmers will be facing financial trouble as this crop season continues.Similar low-interest loan programs were approved for Michigan farmers in 2002 and 2012.##### 08Jul Rep. Bellino: Program to help farmers devastated by record rain signed into law Categories: Bellino Newslast_img read more


Uncertainty Surrounds Legality of Voter ID Laws


first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares“Bridge of Uncertainty” by Matthew.October 15, 2014;Washington PostThe Arkansas Supreme Court invalidated Arkansas’s requirement that voters present photo ID in order to prove eligibility to vote. However, the Court’s rationale leaves a lot of room for speculation. The concern, according to the Post article, isn’t that the rights of voters are being infringed by having to produce ID. The issue is that the Arkansas state constitution does not require photo ID for an individual to be eligible to vote. The apparent remedies available to Arkansas would seem to be:Find an alternative method to apply the state’s constitutional eligibility criteria of being at least 18 years and registered to vote (a voter registration card would seem to meet this requirement); orAmend the Arkansas constitution to include requiring each voter to present proof of identity (such as a photo ID) to allow election workers to verify eligibility.Further evidence of the narrowness of the Court’s rulings on voter eligibility include its upholding of North Carolina’s voter ID laws while striking down Wisconsin’s laws. MSNBC reports that a new Texas law has been upheld by an appeals court but has been appealed to the US Supreme Court this week. Both sides in these cases point to a previous US Supreme Court decision, Purcell v. Gonzalez, which states in part that a court’s decisions on changing conditions for voting shouldn’t confuse voters right before an election. In other words, courts should not require changes in voting procedures when communicating the changes would tend to confuse people about to head to the polls. Those supporting state laws requiring identification to vote use Purcell to argue that courts should not intervene, especially now. Supporters of voting access without verification argue that a less restrictive approach (not asking for ID) is actually less confusing to voters than educating voters on what ID is needed to substantiate eligibility to vote.Voting is a state activity, but also protected by federal laws and Supreme Court decisions as well as states’ own regulations. How much deference will the Supreme Court give to states in determining how best to certify voters as eligible to vote? How will it balance the individual voter’s access to the ballot box with the states’ legitimate interest in assuring that only eligible persons cast ballots? Nonprofits advocating for voters’ rights generally advocate for open access, arguing that providing identification has the effect of suppressing voting by minorities and the poor. It is far less common to see advocacy groups working to help voters identify themselves as eligible to vote. Depending on the outcomes of the various cases working their way through the courts, the activity by nonprofits in some states may pivot to ID access as the strategy to achieve ballot access.—Michael WylandCorrection: This article has been altered from its original form. The body that invalidated the voter ID requirement was the Arkansas Supreme Court, not the U.S. Supreme Court. NPQ regrets the error.ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more