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Press Council Of India Dismisses World Press Freedom Index Rankings

first_imgCiting “lack of clarity” on what the rankings were based on, the Press Council of India (PCI) has rejected the recently released Press Freedom Index in which India was ranked 138th among 180 countries, PTI reported.The World Press Freedom Index, published annually by Reporters Without Borders since 2002, looks into media freedom in 180 countries, judging them on various parameters, such as the level of pluralism, media independence, environment and self-censorship, legal framework, transparency, and the quality of the infrastructure that supports the production of news and information.In the report released on April 25, India dropped two spots, from No. 136 last year to No. 138. The report attributes the fall to incidents of physical attacks against journalists like Gauri Lankesh, who was shot dead outside her house in Bengaluru in September last year. The report also talks about Section 124a of the Indian Penal Code, which mentions life imprisonment for “sedition,” saying that the law encourages self-censorship.“In India, hate speech targeting journalists is shared and amplified on social networks, often by troll armies in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pay,” the report says.However, PCI dismissed the report. “We reject the rankings by the RWB. I am of the opinion that undue importance is given to the rankings. There is no clarity on the inputs that weighed in the ranking of a country,” PCI chairman  Justice (retd) CK Prasad told the news agency.The Indian organization had written to the RWB a number of times to gain an understanding of how the index was prepared but did not get a response, Prasad said, adding that the rankings were “reportedly” based partly on a questionnaire sent to the partner organization of the RWF, its correspondents around the world, and journalists, researchers, jurists and human right activists.He went on to say that PCI has told the RWB that the rankings were not based on statistical data, but “based on opinion or perception of an individual or group of individuals.”After the World Press Freedom Index came out in 2015, the PCI wrote a letter to RWB on Sept. 22, 2015, which said: “In order to understand the gravity of the matter, the chairman of the Council desires to know the inputs which weighed in ranking of the country in the index so that remedial steps, if needed, can be taken to smoothen the functioning of the media.“The chairman is further of the opinion that a structured discussion on the issue with your (RWF) representative and the members of the Council would be helpful in achieving the objective.”The letters were also sent in October and December of the same year and in early in 2016, when the council said that the rankings “could either be on the basis of statistical data or perception of an individual or group of individuals.”The letter said: “If the ranking is on the basis of statistical data, the council requests you to share it with us, so as to enable us to take remedial measures as it deems proper. The council is constrained to communicate that if no data is shared, it shall have to come to the conclusion that India’s ranking in World Freedom Index is based on perception and is not supported by any verifiable data.” Related ItemsMedialast_img read more

Indian Immigrant Separated from Her Disabled Child at U.S Border: Report

first_imgAn Indian woman seeking asylum in the United States after she entered the country illegally has been separated from her five-year-old disabled child, the Washington Post reported. Bhavan Patel, 33, was granted a $30,000 bond by a Arizona court on June 26, the report added. It was not clear whether she has been reunited with the child.Patel is among the hundreds of people, including about 100 Indians, who were detained after Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy against undocumented immigrants who cross into the United States was implemented in May. The policy, which allows prosecution of adults who enter the country illegally, has resulted in separation of an estimated 2,300 children from their families, sparking widespread outrage that forced Trump to sign an executive order to end the practice.This is, however, the first case that has come to light of an Indian national getting separated from her child at the U.S. border, PTI reported.The report did not say when Patel was arrested. She fled Gujarat with her son due to political persecution, and traveled to Greece and Mexico, from where she tried to enter the United States, the report cited her and her attorney Alinka Robinson as saying during the bond hearing.“Her son is not doing well,” Robinson said, requesting Judge Irene C Feldman to grant Patel a $10,000 bond so she could “reunite with her son,” according to the publication. The proceedings were translated into Gujarati for Patel through a telephonic translator.The prosecutor from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement told the court that Patel was a flight risk, following which the judge asked her how she came to the United States, and whether a smuggler was involved in the process.Patel replied that her brother had made arrangements for her travel and that no smuggler was paid, the report added.The judge then set her bond at $30,000.The Indian embassy in the United States had earlier said that it is making efforts to contact the Indian nationals who have been detained over charges of illegal entry into the country. A federal judge earlier this week ruled that immigration lawyers should be given access to the immigrants being held at a Oregon prison. Among the detainees at the Sheridan Federal Correctional Institute (FCI) in Oregon are 52 Indians, mostly Sikhs from Punjab. Another 42 Indians are detained at the Otero County Detention Center in New Mexico. Related ItemsarizonaUnited Stateslast_img read more

The Biggest Game of Imran Khan’s Life Begins Now

first_imgImran Khan, whose university idols used to be Mick Jagger and Karl Marx, once described himself to me as a “humble sinner” in an interview.We were sitting in the sylvan surroundings of his Bani Gala residence, a mansion built at the top of a steep hill slope, with an imposing view of Islamabad. Khan, whom I have known for more than two decades, spoke with disarming candor about the many twists and turns of his life’s journey. He was a cricket superstar and a flamboyant Don Juan adored by millions of women in the South Asian subcontinent. He has now transformed into a spiritual, born-again Muslim and a conservative, self-made politician.For someone who has lived in the public gaze and survived dozens of lurid tabloid headlines about his personal life, he had clearly developed an unflustered response to the microscopic scrutiny he has been subjected to. He had no hesitation in talking about how politics and the pressure of a cross-culture relationship broke up his first marriage to British writer and filmmaker Jemima Goldsmith.In fact, the only time he got agitated in our conversation is when I pointed out that Pakistan’s liberals had always disliked him — calling him “Taliban Khan” for the religious orthodoxy to his political rhetoric and for calling for talks with the Taliban. He was also known for his strident anti-Americanism. In words that would become an international soundbite, he retaliated angrily that these liberals were actually “fascists. . . . I don’t know these liberals, because these liberals back bombing of villages. They back drone attacks. . . . They have criticized me because I opposed this war on terror. I opposed this criminal bombing, aerial bombing of villages, women, and children getting killed. And these people were applauding it. These are not liberals. This is the scum of Pakistan who calls themselves liberals.”For years, the man who appears poised to lead Pakistan’s next government has opposed the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and the continued presence of its troops in the region. In the same interview, he was extremely critical of the U.S. Navy SEALs’ covert mission that took out Osama bin Laden, arguing that “civilized countries follow due process.” He believed that bin Laden should have gotten a court trial, as Saddam Hussein did.Though some commentators have likened his political outsider status and populist politics to those of President Trump, his rhetorical criticism of the United States is likely to put him on an early collision course with the administration in Washington. His first public comments after declaring victory reinforced his sharp criticism of the U.S.-Pakistan equation, which he called “a one-sided relationship in which America paid Pakistan to fight its war.”Of course, not many believe (despite the denials and assertions of autonomy) that Khan would have any significant space to craft his foreign policy independent of Pakistan’s all-powerful military. How he negotiates his relationship with the Pakistani army will be key, especially with the announcement of his victory coming amid allegations by rivals and rights groups of voting manipulation by the Pakistani security establishment. Khan swiftly offered to support investigations into any genuine complaints. But his real test of independence will be how he steers his country’s relationship with India. Ousted former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, now in jail in a corruption case, is widely seen to have been punished by the Pakistani army, in part for being too friendly with India. Khan also called Sharif a “security risk” and taunted him for “speaking the language of [Narendra] Modi” after Sharif admitted to Pakistan’s role in the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks.Khan responded with wit and humor to Indian apprehensions about him abjectly toeing the line of the Pakistan army. He accused Indian media of casting him in the role of a Bollywood villain. The remark triggered much mirth, even among his detractors in Delhi. He did seem to strike a note of reconciliation with India in contrast to his aggressive remarks from the stumps. This is the paradox and the dilemma for Indians. Khan’s ascendance is probably the first time Indians feels as though they personally know the leader of their country’s most serious adversary. At least two generations of Indians have followed Khan on the cricket field, where he was famous for blistering bowling. His demigod status extended well beyond the borders of Pakistan. He has been a regular in the fashionable drawing rooms of Delhi and Mumbai and has more personal friendships in India than any other Pakistani politicians. There’s no denying it: Khan has been somewhat of a glamorous poster-boy in India.What flummoxes Indians is how they should reconcile the Khan they have been exposed to – a larger-than-life, easygoing and overtly modern persona – with his new role — a politician who takes hawkish positions against India every election season. I asked Khan about that once: “What does it [your political rise] mean for people in India who love you otherwise but are scared of your politics?” He argued that the binary itself was unfair and a consequence of caricaturing him as an acolyte of the religious right. “I don’t fit in those stereotypes. I’m deeply spiritual. I lead my life with my faith, but I’m totally leftist in my thinking. I’m anti-neoliberal economics. I think there should be compassion in the world. I believe in a welfare state.”So why does a self-proclaimed leftist and an Oxford-educated politician (Benazir Bhutto was a good friend at Oxford before she became a political rival; her son Bilawal is a key contender in these elections) back a horribly prejudiced blasphemy law that literally endangers the lives of Pakistan’s non-Muslim minorities? Khan’s friends insist in private that he is a moderate Muslim who has been compelled to take more right-wing social and religious positions because of the compulsions of politics. While moderating the launch of Khan’s memoirs in London, his ex-wife Goldsmith later shared that she did not pose any questions to Khan on the blasphemy law because she feared for his life. Khan himself told me that the U.S war on terrorism had polarized his country and made such debates impossible in the present environment.But after promising a “Naya Pakistan” (a New Pakistan) to his voters, this will be Khan’s main challenge: how to make a break from the dangerous and entrenched patterns that have come to define Pakistan. Will he be able to figure out how to restore authority to the civilian post of prime minister — in a country where the army has always remote-controlled the elected government?© Washington Post Related Itemslast_img read more

Tibetans Agonize Over Indian Nationality

first_imgWhen Tenzin Dechen Deshar first heard that Tibetan exiles could apply for Indian passports, she agonized over the choice.A Tibetan born in India, Deshar lived a double life. She went to an Indian boarding school but spent summers in a refugee settlement, trying to learn to read Tibetan. She watched Bollywood movies with her Indian friends but fell asleep listening to her grandmother’s stories about a Himalayan wonderland.Deshar spent her childhood convinced that she would some day return to the land her family had left behind when Chinese forces seized control of Tibet. Then, in September 2016, the Delhi high court ruled that Tibetans born in India between 1950 and 1987 are eligible to apply for Indian passports.The new offer of nationality presented a dilemma. Take the passport, some said, and end decades of virtual confinement to a single country. Buy a car, own a house, apply for government jobs. Others argued that giving up your statelessness was akin to betraying the Tibetan cause that three generations have fought for.“It was not a decision I took lightly,” Deshar said, lunching on dumplings between appointments at a regional passport office in Bangalore in southern India. But the long internal conflict had led her to a realization. “My grandmother’s stories were just that – stories, like fairy tales. I’ve never even seen snow. Or a yak.”Tibet is a mountainous, nominally semiautonomous region in China. But Tibetans consider themselves ethnically and culturally different from the Chinese.Deshar’s grandparents were among tens of thousands who fled Tibet in 1959, after Mao Zedong’s Communist Party took control of Lhasa, the Tibetan capital, massacring thousands of Tibetans. Though some eventually found homes in the West, the vast majority of Tibetan exiles, 122,000 people, live in neighboring India and have endured nearly six decades of limbo.For years, the Tibetan movement has hung its hopes on international support for its exiles.Heart-rending stories of Tibetans walking through icy mountain passes to reach India – their land seized, their monasteries razed, their prayers silenced – buttressed U.S. efforts to isolate China during the Cold War and have continued to rake up support on college campuses and outside Chinese embassies worldwide. “Free Tibet” long ago became a familiar cry.But without a stateless population to field the sympathies of Western democracies, some fear the Tibetan struggle could crumble.“What’s happened is that an entire nationality, so to speak, has given up on its nation,” said Giriraj Subramanium, a lawyer in Delhi who has argued more than a dozen Tibetans’ cases for passports in the Delhi high court. “Tibet is over” is a common refrain among his clients, he said.An Indian government official said there is no count of how many Tibetans have made applications for passports. A spokesman from the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), the organization that oversees Tibetan affairs, said only that a small number had applied.Stateless Tibetans face a number of restrictions when traveling: They have to get exit permits and police verification in India, which often means paying bribes to authorities. At home, not having Indian nationality can complicate getting a mobile SIM card or registering a business.In 1959, as Chinese troops consolidated power over Lhasa, the Dalai Lama, only 23 at the time, disguised himself as a soldier and fled to India. Eighty thousand Tibetans followed. India allowed him to set up an exile government in the Himalayan town of Dharamsala. In the 1980s, hoping for compromise, the Dalai Lama stopped demanding complete independence and decided instead to settle for a “middle way” seeking “genuine autonomy” for the people of the Tibetan plateau.Many Tibetans, however, did not give up hope.Karten Tsering, president of the residents welfare association in a Tibetan colony in New Delhi, explains Chinese control of Tibet in Buddhist terms: as part of the ever-changing nature of the universe. “Nations rise up and down – that is happening everywhere,” he said. “In our time, we’ve been born on the loser side.”China’s economic strength means even the Dalai Lama’s dialed-down demands for autonomy are a distant dream. For Beijing, Tibet’s strategic importance eliminates any question of conceding power; a sizable proportion of China’s water reserves are on the Tibetan plateau and the region includes a long land border with India, a neighbor with which China regularly spars.Any concessions to Tibet could draw the ire of hard-liners within China’s ruling Communist Party and rouse nationalist fervor in Mongolia and other peripheries.Matthew Akester, an independent Tibet researcher, said the Tibetan administration’s political strategy had failed to achieve its objectives.“People see the Dalai Lama getting the Nobel Peace Prize, being selected for the cover of Time magazine, delivering speeches to packed audiences in Western countries,” he said. “But in terms of real politics, these things are not actually meaningful. For many years, the strategy has been, ‘If we are attractive and popular enough with Western countries, they will put pressure on China.’ That hasn’t worked.”The CTA claims to represent all Tibetans but has little contact with the vast majority in Chinese territory. Though there is opposition to China from within Tibet (for instance, the 2008 protests ahead of the Beijing Olympics), it is the exiles who have played a central role in achieving sustained international support for the Tibetan movement.“The CTA and even the Dalai Lama to a certain extent – their relevance will only remain if there are a large number of Tibetan exiles in India,” said Subramanium, the lawyer who is representing a number of Tibetans in court. After the 2016 high court ruling, the Indian government, which is closely allied with the CTA, introduced a number of bureaucratic hurdles for Tibetan applicants, such as having to leave their settlements and forfeit refugee documents.Tibetans who spoke to The Washington Post said they had heard messages from the CTA on the radio urging Indian-born exiles not to apply for passports. Most of the discouraging, they said, has happened through word-of-mouth campaigns. A Tibetan language circular from the CTA also urges passport applicants to “take a long-term view rather than considering short-term advantages.” Outwardly, however, the CTA has said that Tibetans are free to choose Indian nationality.“There have been murmurs in the Tibetan community that we shouldn’t do this, that this is wrong,” said Deshar. “But if I think about it, what am I really giving up? I’m not insecure about my Tibetan identity. I don’t feel the need to preserve statelessness to preserve who I am.”Taking Indian nationality need not mean the end of the Tibetan struggle, said Robert Barnett, director of the Modern Tibetan Studies Program at Columbia University.As Indian citizens, Tibetans could form a strong lobby within India’s political system. “There is this Tibetan idea that politics is all about public relations,” he said. “It could be replaced by the idea that politics is about skill and strategy and building coalitions and understanding opponents.”Few Tibetans have been able to return to China as exiles. Becoming Indian may symbolically represent giving up hope for eventual repatriation, but in some cases it could increase Tibetans’ chances of getting visas to travel into China.Many Tibetans remain uncertain about the nationality question. “People don’t really want to engage with the question of whether politics should be pragmatic or ideal. . . . For decades, they’ve left these kinds of decisions to lamas and political leaders,” Barnett said. “With young people, that kind of attitude still remains. It is not born out of ignorance or irresponsibility, but a fear of upsetting the system.”Some like Lobsang Wangyal, editor of the news website Tibet Sun and founder of the Miss Tibet beauty pageant, whose landmark 2016 case won Tibetans the right to Indian passports, are thrilled. “I thought, wow, now I’m an Indian,” he said.Many, like Tashi Topden, a musician born in India and raised in a Tibetan settlement in New Delhi, said they would not apply on principle. “My heart is Tibetan,” he said. “I want to remain Tibetan.”© Washington Post Related ItemsBuddhistDalai LamaTibetlast_img read more

Breaking Boundaries Through Art

first_imgWhen the United Kingdom-based artist Luke Jerram decided to debut in India with his new touring artwork, Museum of the Moon, he was sure that he wanted the event to be in conjunction with the Super Blue Blood Moon lunar eclipse around the world.What he did not expect was the beautiful interpretations that the audience in India would draw from his artwork. He talks to Little India about coming back to the country to exhibit some more of his work and crafting art based on the experiences he has had during his first stint in the country.“It was the British Council’s idea to make the two events coincide in Bangalore — the installation Museum of the Moon and the eclipse,” he says. “It was fascinating to see people interpreting it in their own myriad ways.”The installation that is set to tour various Indian cities, including Mumbai, Kolkata and New Delhi, measures seven meters in diameter. The moon features 120dots per inch detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface. At an approximate scale of 1:500,000, each cm of the internally lit spherical sculpture represents 5km of the moon’s surface. It presents a spectacular fusion of lunar imagery, moonlight and surround sound composition created by BAFTA and Ivor Novello Award-winning composer Dan Jones.Luke Jerram’s Museum of the Moon installation.Jerram’s artwork has always been open to interpretations, giving the audience a unique experience each time they witness it. His previous installations, such as the Harrison’s Garden that was presented at the Thelma Hulbert Gallery in the United Kingdom, played with the idea of time. Setting the imagination of the audience free, it presented an imagined landscape and a garden of clocks, many of which were donated by the public. The artwork, titled after the famous clock maker John Harrison, showcased different kinds of time-telling machines like travel clocks, anniversary clocks, children’s clocks, digital alarm, carriage clocks and wall clocks— all ticking together in the same rhythm.“With around 2,000 clocks in the installation so far, they have been clustered into species and form islands, pathways and borders. Some clocks seem like classics of their time, others are a pastiche, pretending to be classical clocks of a previous era. Some clocks are on the march, whilst others seem to be in conversation with one another,” Jerram says, adding that the installation is perhaps a reminder that we are all here now, simultaneously moving together through time.Harrison’s Garden at Thelma Hulbert Gallery, United KingdomHis installations, like him, are always on the move. Jerram exhibited 40 of his artworks in 15 countries across the world last year and is ever intrigued to know how his art is perceived by the audience.“It is very interesting to note how different countries interpret the same installation. For instance, when the Museum of the Moon was exhibited in the United States, people started connecting the Apollo moon mission with it. Whereas, in India, people instantly tied the installation to mythology and had religious connotations for it,” Jerram elaborates.Jerram started 20 years ago with an art degree from Cardiff University and slowly carved a niche for himself. His street piano project, Play Me, I’m Yours, in 2008 made him the toast of the online arena. Like almost all his installations, this one tours internationally, reaching over 10 million people worldwide. What brings them together is their love for music. The project, which involves more than 1,850 street pianos, has been showcased 75 times in 55 cities across the globe, from London to New York.The pianos bear a simple instruction — Play Me, I’m Yours. They are located in the most accessible places, like markets, train stations, and bus stands, inviting people to share their love of music and visual arts. “Decorated by local artists and community groups, our street pianos create a place for exchange and an opportunity for people to connect,” Jerram adds.The artist expresses his creativity in vivid ways, one of which was a unique gift for his then girlfriend, now wife. “I created this engagement ring for my partner Shelina. The ring has a 20 second recorded message — my proposal — etched onto its surface and can be played back with a miniature record player,” he reveals.For now, Jerram is accompanying his installation of the moon to various places across the globe. Like many, he is enthralled by India’s beauty. He was, however, also shocked to see the poverty in the country. Much like his work Invisible Homeless that resonates with the current situation of many countries that have hundreds of homeless refugees.Luke Jerram;s Invisible Homeless installationThe artwork was a life-size glass sleeping figure enveloped in a blanket made of glass. The ghost-like figure without a gender represents a vulnerable and fragile form. “For every person you see sleeping on the streets, there are many others sleeping in hostels, squats and other forms of unsatisfactory and insecure accommodation. I was interested to see whether the sculpture would be ignored and treated like street furniture as homeless people often are in a city.”Jerram was also taken aback with the level of pollution in Delhi, and hopes it is not as bad as it is now when he visits the city next time. Because he is convinced that he needs to come back to the country to experience its colors and culture for a longer duration. “The music, food, culture and colors of India is an incredible sight for many and I am definitely coming back for more such experiences,” he says. “India has inspired me to weave my art around it.” Related ItemsArtistUnited Kingdomlast_img read more

World’s Largest Dome Comes Up at Peace Monument in Pune

first_imgThe world’s largest dome and peace center was inaugurated by Indian Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Oct. 2 at the Maharashtra Institute of Technology in Pune to commemorate the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.The marble dome is 160 ft in diameter and 263 ft high, making it larger in area than the St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City (which is 136 ft. in diameter and 448 ft. in height). It has been built atop the World Peace Prayer Hall and Library at the 62,500 sq. ft. peace center at the Vishwarajbaug campus of the institute. The peace center is supported by 24 massive columns, each 63 feet tall.It also features 54 bronze statues of various personalities who called for world peace, including Gautam Buddha, Jesus Christ, Mahavir, Moses, Guru Nanak, Mahatma Gandhi. Also showcased are intellectual figures like Confucius, Adi Shankaracharya, Aristotle, Aryabhatta, Socrates, Plato, Galileo and Copernicus; philosopher-saints like Dnyaneshwara, Tukaram, Abdullah Shah Qadri (famous as Baba Bulleh Shah), Francis D’Assissi, Peter, Mother Teresa and Kabir; and scientists like Albert Einstien, Thomas Alva Edison, C.V. Raman, Jagadish Chandra Bose and Marie S. Curie.The dome is built together with a prayer hall called Sant Dnyaneshwara World Peace Prayer Hall, which will be dedicated towards establishing unity between spirituality and science.The dome, which took 13 years to be built, is the brainchild of Dr. Vishwanath Karad, founder-president and director general of the World Peace Center, MIT-Pune and MIT World Peace University.“The top of the dome here comprises another world first — a temple of Goddess Saraswati, symbolizing knowledge — and embodying the underlying spirit behind this entire monument, which is accessible by a massive stairway,” Karad told IANS.At its inauguration, Naidu said the structure is a “monumental addition to the thoughts propagated by the great saints of Maharashtra.”Saying that Indian ethos comprises “mutual respect and peaceful coexistence,” Naidu added: “I pray that this dome, which symbolizes harmony and peace is able to inspire a sense of unity and humanity in every single person who enters its premises.” Related ItemsArchitectureMaharashtraPunelast_img read more

Spanish Vicar Resigns After Welcoming Lord Ganesh into Church

first_imgVicar General Father Juan José Mateos Castro issued an apology and resigned from the post after he was criticised for welcoming a Ganesh Chaturthi procession into the local church in the Spanish city of Ceuta in North Africa. The local bishop in Spain also issued a public apology after the incident.The Hindu community of Ceuta and Melilla, two autonomous Spanish cities located on the coast of North Africa, were celebrating the festival on August 27.Bishop Apologies, Vicar resignsBishop Rafael Zornoza Boy in a statement from the diocese expressed  “deep sorrow for this unfortunate fact that has caused damage, confusion or scandal in the Christian community,” reported Crux Now. The diocese said the welcoming of the Hindu god Ganesh in a Catholic church was “wrong and is a reprehensible fact, which should not have been allowed,” and stated that they accepted Castro’s resignation.The vicar’s gesture of welcoming the procession was praised by the Hindus participating in it.One of the members appreciated the apparent pluralism, and declared Ceuta as “the only place in the world where two different cultures, two different religions come together to pray to the god Ganesh and of course to our Patroness.”Root of the ProblemBishop Rafael Zorzona Boy, however, said that the event was a “regrettable one” and it shouldn’t have been allowed, and that it might have caused “pain, confusion or scandal in the Christian community”.In a statement, the diocese also said that the Hindu community wanted to leave a floral offering outside the Catholic church, and that they had no plans of making it an interreligious event.Some in Spain observed that the root of the matter is not that the Hindu group wanted to stop at the church and pay its respects to Mary, but that the vicar opened the doors and welcomed the procession of the deity and allowed it to be carried towards the altar while Catholics were singing hymns. Related ItemsCeuta Ganesh ChaturthiCeuta Spain HindusCeuta Spain Hindus churchFather Juan José Mateos Castro GaneshFather Juan José Mateos Castro HindusIndians Ceuta SpainIndians North AfricaLittle Indialast_img read more

Sikhs in New York Set Guinness Record on Turban Day

first_imgSikhs in New York created a Guinness World Record by tying 9,000 turbans in eight hours at Times Square on April 7, as part of the annual Baisakhi celebration. They also used the occasion to spread awareness about their religion.The Turban Day, held by the Sikhs of New York organization, has been an annual feature during the Baisakhi celebration in mid-April since 2013.The organization wanted to create a record this year by tying the most number of turbans on people, even if they were not Sikhs. The organization won a certificate from the Guinness World Record, that said: “Most turbans tied in 8 hours was achieved by Sikhs of NY (USA) in Times Square in New York, the USA on April 7, 2018.” “We were truly overwhelmed to see the support of 1,300+ volunteers,” the group said on Facebook. The event involved several volunteers from across the city tying the turban on tourists and Americans alike, and talking about their culture, to create awareness about Sikhism.The event comes amid growing hate crimes in the United States. Recently, an awareness ad campaign organized by a Sikh group, the National Sikh Campaign, partnered with marketing firm FP1 Strategies to raise awareness about the religion in the United States. The campaign won the 2018 PR Week U.S. Award in the “Best for a Cause” category.Sikhs have been prompted to take such large-scale steps to create awareness about their culture and identity because they have often been mistaken for Muslims and targeted in the United States. Sikhs also condemn violence against Muslims.The New York-based group on April 7 said that for the first time thousands of New Yorkers and visitors from across the world left Times Square wearing a turban and learned about Sikhism, according to the Press Trust of India.“On Turban Day, we tied turbans regardless of age, color, gender or race,” Chanpreet Singh, the founder of Sikhs of New York said. “These are core Sikh values and American values that make us Sikh Americans. Our diversity is our strength,” he added. “This educational endeavor would not be possible without our hundreds of volunteers and supporters.” Related ItemsIndian AmericanNew YorkSikhismlast_img read more

Ferrari shows good pace, reliability in 1st week of F1 tests

first_imgView comments ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes Although teams often avoid showing their full potential in testing, Mercedes has usually fared better at this point in previous seasons.“They do seem very strong, no matter which kind of fuel load or engine mode they’re running,” Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas said of Ferrari. “Whatever you try to correct that for, in any case, they are quick, on short runs and long runs. I think we feel, at this point, that they’re going to be a bit ahead, but obviously it’s impossible to make a detailed calculation.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesRenault’s Nico Hulkenberg set the fastest time of the week on Thursday with a time of 1 minute, 17.393 seconds at the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit, ahead of Toro Rosso’s Alexander Albon. Hulkenberg teammate Daniel Ricciardo was third, ahead of Bottas and his Mercedes teammate, Lewis Hamilton. Charles Leclerc, who led the timesheets on Tuesday, ended sixth with Ferrari on a slower tire compound.Hamilton and Bottas totaled only 115 laps with both cars on Thursday, while Leclerc ran 138 with his Ferrari. Testing will continue Tuesday-Friday at the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit, home to the Spanish Grand Prix in May.The season-opening Australian Grand Prix is on March 17.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Red Bull driver Pierre Gasly of France steers his car during a Formula One pre-season testing session at the Barcelona Catalunya racetrack in Montmelo, outside Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Feb.21, 2019. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)MONTMELO, Spain—The first week of Formula testing ended with Ferrari looking to be a step ahead of Mercedes.Ferrari showed good pace and reliability throughout the first four days of testing in Spain, while Mercedes didn’t look up to full speed.ADVERTISEMENT “I think there is a lot of potential, but it’s not yet quite there,” Bottas said. “But I feel a sense in the team of a bit of an excitement to discover more about the car and to improve it, because at this point, it looks like we are not miles ahead of everyone. It seems like . Ferrari are in a better place.”Hamilton on Wednesday predicted a stronger challenge from Ferrari this year. The five-time world champion beat Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel the last two seasons in the drivers’ championship. Mercedes has won the constructors’ title for five straight years.Hamilton and Bottas had faster overall times than Vettel and Leclerc, although their laps came on faster tires. Mercedes also ran 12 more laps than Ferrari during the four days of testing.Vettel was the fastest driver on Monday.McLaren had a promising first week, being able to run more laps than in both test sessions combined last year. Williams, which started testing later than the other teams because of delays with its 2019 car, ran only 88 laps in total, the fewest among all teams. Alfa Romeo, formerly known as Sauber, had a promising week, racking up a high lap count and setting fast times.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug warcenter_img Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town LATEST STORIES MOST READ Mixed martial arts star Georges St-Pierre retires at 37 Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games PLAY LIST 00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants Urgent reply from Philippine ‍football chieflast_img read more


first_imgThe selectors have opted to pick a completely new-look The selectors have opted to pick a completely new-look team for the tour of Zimbabwe with Vidharbha left-handed opener Faiz Fazal, off-spinner Jayant Yadav, Punjab middle-order batsman Mandeep Singh and IPL star Yuzvendra Chahal being the uncapped players in the side. Mahendra Singh Dhoni will captain the squad as he will be largely out of action for the rest of the year owing to a lack of limited-overs assignments for India. The team for West Indies expectedly has five specialist pace bowlers — Ishant Sharma, Bhuneshwar Kumar, Shami, Thakur and Umesh Yadav — while Binny is also capable of chipping in. The squad has three spinners in Ravichandran Ashwin, Amit Mishra and Ravindra Jadeja, while Wriddhimaan Saha has been picked as the frontline wicketkeeper. Batsman K L Rahul can also keep wickets if required. Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan are the two openers with the middle-order comprising Rahul, Kohli, Pujara, Rahane and Rohit Sharma. The Squads: Squad for West Indies: Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane (v-c), Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, K L Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhimaan Saha, R Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur, Stuart Binny. Squad for Zimbabe: M S Dhoni (c), K L Rahul, Maneesh Pandey, Karun Nair, Ambati Rayudu, Rishi Dhawan, Axar Patel, Jayant Yadav, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jaspreet Bumrah, Barinder Sran, Mandeep Singh, Jaidev Unadkat, Yuzvendra Chahal. PTI SSR NRB PM MRM PMlast_img read more

5-Star QB Jake Garcia Discusses Texas Recruitment

first_imgA Texas Longhorns football fan.AUSTIN, TX – NOVEMBER 8: A general view of a Texas Longhorns bandmember cheering during the game against the Baylor Bears on November 8, 2008 at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas. Texas won 45-21. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)2021 five-star quarterback Jake Garcia is one of the top quarterbacks in the country and is already drawing NFL star comparisons. With just about every school eager to get him, gave an update that Texas fans will surely love.Speaking to 247Sports, Garcia stated that he had just wrapped up a visit to Miami (FL) and is scheduling a visit to Texas next month. He revealed that he previously saw some of the campus at last year’s Texas-West Virginia game and wants to see the rest.“I’m going to Dallas for an Under Armour Camp on July 20th,” Garcia said. “After the camp, I’m going to drive over to Austin and spend a couple of days on campus. I went to the Texas-West Virginia game last year and that was a great time but I didn’t really get to do the whole campus tour or spend time with the coaches since it was a game weekend.“This time around, I’ll be able to see more of the school and talk with the coaches, see how I fit in there. I went to a Satellite Camp that Texas was at earlier this summer and enjoyed working with the staff and I’m looking forward to building that relationship.”247Sports rates Garcia as the No. 19 overall prospect in the nation. He is the No. 4 pro-style quarterback in the country, and the No. 4 prospect from the state of California.His scouting report draws a pro-comparison to Los Angeles Rams star quarterback Jared Goff. Suffice it to say, Garcia is a player that every team in their right mind wants to get.As for the Longhorns, they face stiff opposition from several SEC and ACC giants in their recruitment efforts. He’s already paid unofficial visits to Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, and Miami (FL).As of writing, 247Sports’ Crystal Ball Predictions have named the Miami Hurricanes as the favorite with 83-percent of analyst predictions. Nebraska comes in second with 17-percent.Will a visit to Texas be enough to tip Garcia to the Longhorns?last_img read more

Chief Medical Officer and Chief Therapist Announced for 2011 Canada Games

first_img FOR BROADCAST USE Two leaders in Nova Scotia’s medical community have been chosen as top volunteers for the 2011 Games. Dr. Sonja McVeigh of Dalhousie University and Jim MacLeod of Acadia University will be joining the medical services division as chief medical officer and chief therapist for the 2011 Games. Under the leadership of Dr. Brian Seaman, the medical services division chair, Dr. McVeigh of Chester, and Mr. MacLeod of Reserve Mines, will be on call 24 hours a day during Games time, handling everything from possible illnesses to doping control. The medical services division will oversee the care and comfort of 27-hundred young athletes coming from across Canada to Halifax to compete in 20 sports at the 2011 Canada Winter Games from February 11th to 27th, 2011. -30- Two leaders in Nova Scotia’s medical community have been chosen as top volunteers for the 2011 Games. Jean-Paul Deveau, 2011 Games chair, announced today, Sept. 29, that Dr. Sonja McVeigh has been named chief medical officer and Jim MacLeod will be chief therapist for the 2011 Games. “Our volunteers are our greatest legacy and our most valuable asset,” said Mr. Deveau. “Having professionals of this calibre leading our medical services team will help us achieve a high-level of care and comfort for the athletes, who are always our highest priority.” Under the leadership of Dr. Brian Seaman, the medical services division chair, Dr. McVeigh and Mr. MacLeod will be on call 24 hours a day during the Games to handle everything from possible illnesses to doping control. Dr. McVeigh, of Chester, is an assistant professor at Dalhousie University in the division of physical medicine and rehabilitation, department of medicine. She has extensive experience with the IIHF Men’s World Hockey Championship, and the Skate Canada Canadian Skating Championship, as well as other international, national and regional events. A native of Reserve Mines, Cape Breton Regional Municipality, Jim MacLeod is a professor with the department of kinesiology and head athletic therapist at Acadia University. He has extensive experience at multi-event games, including the role of chief therapist on Canadian health care teams at the 1988 Paralympic Games in Seoul and the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona and the role of alternate chief therapist at the 2000 Olympics in Australia. The medical services division will oversee the care of 2,700 young athletes coming from across Canada to Halifax to compete in 20 sports at the 2011 Canada Winter Games from Feb. 11-27, 2011.last_img read more

AP govt transfers 32 IAS officers

first_imgAmaravati(AP): The Andhra Pradesh government transferred as many as 32 IAS officers and gave postings to seven others, in a bureaucratic reshuffle. The transfer orders were issued Friday midnight. Three senior IAS officers including a Special Chief Secretary, who served in the previous Chief Minister’s Office, have not been given any postings yet, though they were transferred out three weeks ago. Two junior IAS officers of 2015 batch, V Vinod Kumar and C M Saikanth Varma, got elevated to the rank of Joint Collector and posted as Project Officers of Integrated Tribal Development Agencies at Parvathipuram and Seethampet respectively. Also Read – Cong may promise farm loan waiver in Haryana Chief Secretary L V Subrahmanyam issued a government order notifying the transfers and postings. Budithi Rajsekhar (1992 batch) has been moved out yet again after the government issued orders earlier transferring him from the Agriculture Department but subsequently cancelling them. He has now been made Principal Secretary of School Education. B Udayalaxmi (1993) has been posted as Principal Secretary, Labour and Employment. Finance Secretary Muddada Ravichandra (1996) has been posted as Secretary, Social Welfare, while incumbent Mukesh Kumar Meena (1998) has been shifted to the Tribal Welfare Department. Also Read – Modi formed OBC commission which earlier govts didn’t do: Shah Joint Collectors of eight districts have been replaced while three major cities got new Municipal Commissioners in the rejig. K V N Chakradhara Babu (2011) has been posted as Joint Managing Director of Transmission Corporation of Andhra Pradesh Limited. S Nagalakshmi (2012) will be the new Managing Director of AP Eastern Power Distribution Company Limited at Visakhapatnam, in a post that has been lying vacant. A Mallikarjuna (2012) has been given the crucial post of CEO of Aarogya Sri, the flagship health insurance scheme of the government. M Hari Narayanan (2011) has been brought in as Executive Director of AP Industrial Infrastructure Corporation, while V Prasanna Venkatesh (2012) has been posted as Commissioner of Vijayawada Municipal Corporation. Srijana Gummalla (2013) has been posted as Commissioner of Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation. Additional Director General of Police-rank IPS officer Madireddy Pratap (1991), who is currently Director General of Special Protection Force, has been transferred and posted as Vice-chairman and Managing Director of AP State Warehousing Corporation.last_img read more

Trinamool Dinhata MLAs car ransacked finger pointed at BJP

first_imgKolkata: Trinamool Congress MLA of Dinhata in Cooch Behar Udayan Guha’s car was allegedly ransacked by miscreants owing allegiance to BJP on Sunday morning.The incident happened when Guha was going for some party-related work. Pieces of bricks were pelted indiscriminately while his car was travelling through Nayarhat area. According to sources, the TMC leader was bound for Rashmanta area for attending a party programme, when pieces of bricks were hurled at his vehicle by some miscreants and the front window of his vehicle was badly damaged as a result. Guha somehow managed to elude the attack and took shelter at the nearby Dinhata police station. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellers”This is a conspiracy on the part of BJP to kill me. They are desperate to thwart our attempts of uniting people against their constant attempts to create disturbance in the district and other parts of the state,” Guha said. State Urban Development minister Firhad Hakim condemned the heckling of Guha and reiterated that law will take its own course regarding the incident. “One of their (BJP) MPs have won in Cooch Behar and they are trying to create disturbance. Our party believes in democracy and so we would never take law into our own hands,” he added. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaTrinamool Congress leader Subrata Bakshi will go to Cooch Behar and speak with Guha to take stock of the situation in this connection. Meanwhile, BJP MP from Cooch Behar Nisith Pramanik denied BJP’s involvement in the incident and termed it as an instance of infighting within TMC. It may be mentioned that TMC had lost the Cooch Behar seat to Pramanik in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, by a margin of over 50,000 votes. The performance of the party in entire North Bengal has been far below expectations and party supremo Mamata Banerjee has brought in changes to the leadership in a number of districts in North Bengal. TMC district president of Cooch Behar Rabindranath Ghosh was also removed by Banerjee and Binay Krishna Barman was reinstated in his place. A number of TMC leaders and supporters in the district had expressed their grievances against Ghosh, prompting the leadership to take the strong stand.last_img read more

Adani Ports board to consider raising up to 700 million via foreign

first_imgNew Delhi: Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) said Tuesday its board later this week will consider raising up to $700 million through foreign currency bonds. The bonds may be issued in various tranches, it said. A meeting of the company’s board of directors will be held on July 12 to consider raising funds by way of issuance of dollar-denominated foreign currency bonds which may be issued in one or more tranches overseas, APSEZ is in a regulatory filing to the BSE. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepIt said these “may be listed in any one or more stock exchanges overseas, for refinancing of existing notes due on July 2020 in accordance with applicable law and other permissible end-uses as per the Reserve Bank of India guidelines”. It also added that the total amount should “not exceed $700 million on a private placement basis or otherwise, to any persons, entities, corporate bodies, companies, banks, financial institutions and any other categories of eligible investors permitted to invest in the bonds under applicable laws”. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to CustomsLast month, APSEZ had announced plans to raise $750 million to fund its capital expenditure requirement and also to retire some of its debt. “The finance committee of Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd has approved the issuance of fixed-rate senior unsecured notes aggregating to $750 million and has approved the pricing, tenure and other terms of the notes,” it had said in a regulatory filing. The company had said it intends to use the proceeds primarily for capital expenditure, including on-lending to subsidiaries for purposes, and the remainder for repaying existing indebtedness.last_img read more

In the news today April 25

first_imgALSO IN THE NEWS:—  Preliminary hearing in the case of Commissioner of Competition Tribunal vs. Ticketmaster and parent company Live Nation Entertainment Inc. for allegedly using deceptive ticket pricing practices, demanding it display the full price up front.— Constitutional arguments will be heard in the case of Lorne Grabher, whose surname-personalized licence plate was revoked because it was deemed offensive to women.— Fatality inquiry into the deaths of Const. David Wynn and Shawn Rehn. Rehn was out on bail when he shot Wynn in a casino. He then shot himself in a nearby home.———The Canadian Press Five stories in the news for Thursday, April 25———WILSON RAYBOULD: FEDS WANT TO JUST ‘MANAGE THE PROBLEM’ OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLESFormer justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould said the Liberal government made promises on Indigenous issues but backtracked on reconciliation and resolving long-standing problems after taking the reins of power. Wilson-Raybould made the comments in a speech to the First Nations Justice Council in British Columbia, saying she went to Ottawa in 2015 when the Liberals were keen to recruit Indigenous candidates. She said she faced resistance, including when she issued a directive over how federal government lawyers should handle civil cases with Indigenous people and was then shuffled to the veterans affairs portfolio.———CANADA SAYS SOLUTION COULD COME SOON TO GARBAGE DISPUTE WITH THE PHILIPPINESEnvironment Minister Catherine McKenna thinks a solution can be found in the coming weeks to the argument over who’s responsible for dozens of containers of Canadian garbage that have been sitting in a port in Manila for almost six years. A Global Affairs Canada official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the negotiations are still underway, told The Canadian Press it’s expected that the garbage will be returned to Canada. The Canadian ambassador in the Philippines made similar comments to the Philippine News Agency after Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to “declare war” on Canada over the trash.———FEDS OFFER PROVINCES 50/50 SPLIT ON ABANDONED BUS-ROUTE SERVICEThe federal government will split funding for bus service on rural routes abandoned by Greyhound in northern Ontario and Western Canada, but Transport Minister Marc Garneau says only British Columbia has so far taken him up on the offer. Garneau made his comments Wednesday after meeting with B.C. Transportation Minister Claire Trevena. It was the fourth discussion between the ministers on a 50/50 cost-sharing plan to service routes that were dropped when Greyhound shut down operations last fall, citing a loss of $70 million over six years.———MANITOBA FILES CARBON TAX LAWSUITThe Manitoba government has filed its own court challenge of the federal government’s carbon tax, following similar moves by Ontario and Saskatchewan. In documents filed in Federal Court, the Manitoba government seeks a judicial review to quash the federal tax on the grounds it exceeds Ottawa’s constitutional authority. Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario and New Brunswick — all provinces lead by conservative governments — have refused federal Liberal demands to enact their own carbon levies. That prompted Ottawa to impose its own tax in those provinces, which started April 1 at $20 per tonne and will rise to $50 per tonne by 2022. A date has not been set for the hearing.———INQUIRY INTO ALBERTA RCMP OFFICER’S KILLING  LOOKS AT BAIL HEARING PROCESSAn Alberta Justice official has told a fatality inquiry into the death of a Mountie that the province is right not to force prosecutors to tell bail hearings about a suspect’s criminal record. Assistant deputy minister Eric Tolppanen spoke Wednesday at the inquiry into the shooting of Const. David Wynn at an Edmonton-area casino in 2015. Career-criminal Shawn Rehn was out on bail on other charges when he killed Wynn and wounded an auxiliary constable. Tolppanen said it’s unnecessary that prosecutors be legally required to tell bail judges about a suspect’s criminal record, the nature of the alleged offence and bail history. He said such a requirement would limit the ability of prosecutors to present their cases as they see fit.———last_img read more