Rabat – Weekly magazine Maroc-Hebdo has come under fire after it ran a cover deemed by many as homophobic.The cover depicts two men ‘intimately’ looking at each other in a swimming pool under the headline “Shall we burn homosexuals?”“Sure it’s an individual right. But what about moral and religious values,” the sub-head added. The magazine’s latest issue, which hit newsstands on Thursday, comes few days after the Health Ministry called on authorities to decriminalize homosexuality.The Ministry recommended a policy change in order to reach as many members of the gay community with HIV and other STDs prevention services.The survey has also found a difficulty in fighting against STDs among the gay community, mainly because of social stigma and criminalization of same-sex relationships.The magazine’s cover has caused outrage on social media platforms, with many denouncing what they described as the magazine’s attempts to incite hatred.This is not the first time the magazine runs a controversial front page cover. In 2012, it ran a front page dubbed as ‘racist’ on immigration from sub-Saharan countries with the title “the Black Peril.”Many readers also accused the magazine of ‘stealing’ the photo it used for the controversial page. They claimed it was taken from a gay-friendly Mexican resort page on TripAdvisor.This also comes one week after British rock band and Femen expressed support for the gay community in Morocco.
Rabat – Morocco is determined to pursue its migration policy in the same spirit of humanitarianism and solidarity, and in respect for human rights, said Wednesday in Rabat minister in charge of Moroccans living abroad and migration affairs, Anis Birou.Morocco is a leader in migration policy, Birou told the press after a meeting of the National Commission for regularization and integration of migrants in Morocco, in accordance with the royal instructions concerning the immediate launch of the second phase of the integration of irregular migrants in Morocco.The presidents of several countries congratulated HM King Mohammed VI for this policy, the minister said at the end of the meeting, the first of this second phase. This phase is taking place in a context where Morocco and Germany are preparing to organize the Global Forum for Migration, he said, pointing out that Germany is a pioneer in this field in Europe, as is the case for Morocco in the south shore.The minister said the commission will hold a meeting with civil society, which, he said, is a key partner in the development and implementation of migration policy in Morocco.The offices of foreigners responsible for receiving requests for regularization under the second phase will be opened as of Thursday throughout Morocco’s provinces and prefectures, he added.This phase will capitalize on the success and achievements of the previous operation, initiated in 2014.King Mohammed VI gave his instructions for the immediate launch of the second phase of integration of irregular migrants, as was expected at the end of 2016.
21 September 2010Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced today that he has appointed the three members of a United Nations panel tasked with monitoring the upcoming referenda on the self-determination of Southern Sudan and the Abyei Area. The former Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa will head the panel, while former Portuguese foreign minister Antonio Monteiro and former Nepalese election commission chairman Bhojraj Pokharel will serve as the other two members.In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban said the panel will make periodic visits to Sudan through the holding of the two referenda, which are both slated to take place on 9 January next year.Inhabitants of the south will vote on whether to secede from Sudan or remain united with the rest of the country. Residents of Abyei, located in the centre of the country, will vote separately on whether to retain Abyei’s special administrative status in the north or become part of the south.“The upcoming referenda are extraordinarily important for the future of Sudan,” today’s statement noted. “The Secretary-General is confident that the panel can play a helpful role in encouraging credible, Sudanese-led processes that reflect the will of the people of Southern Sudan and of the Abyei Area.”Mr. Ban said the panellists will engage “with all relevant actors,” including the referendum commissions, civil society, observers and the two parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) ending the long-running north-south civil war – the National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM).The panel has been formed as a result of a direct request from the parties to the CPA.“The panel will follow key referenda processes, as well as the political and security situation. In addition to reporting to the Secretary-General on the conduct of the referenda, the panel will work directly to enhance confidence in the process by encouraging the parties [to the CPA] and the relevant authorities to take corrective measures to resolve any significant problems or disputes that may arise.”The UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) is already provided technical, logistical and security assistance for the two ballots, but the support being provided through the panel is independent of that.Last week the Security Council and an independent UN human rights expert called on all parties to take steps to ensure that the referenda are staged peacefully and on time.
“It has been, for me, really very encouraging to see the shared commitment to going together – every country – to Durban to complete the work and to have a real breakthrough against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance,” Mary Robinson, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, told reporters on the final day of the current session of the Preparatory Committee for the forum, which will open in Durban, South Africa, on 31 August. The High Commissioner said her positive assessment was shared by officials from various countries attending the preparatory session. “A number of delegates have been saying to me over the past few days that the spirit has changed and the whole atmosphere is so much more positive,” she observed. “The feeling is there has been considerable progress in regard to language on the identification and description of victims, and also language on how we address the past,” she said, recalling that how to deal with past injustice had been a difficult issue at the outset. “There is a genuine feeling that this is going to be one of the real breakthroughs in Durban.” Concerning ongoing discussions on how to address the situation on the Middle East, she said the focus was now “on whether it is possible to find appropriate language.” Previously, there had been “great resistance” from certain quarters to any text on the subject. With sensitive negotiations still going on, Mrs. Robinson refrained from commenting in detail on the issue. “It may be that if appropriate text can be found, this problem can be surmounted, but it is at a very delicate stage in many ways and I really don’t want to say any more,” she said.Asked about the role of the United States in the preparatory process, Mrs. Robinson said she appreciated Washington’s active engagement, which had led to “very important progress” on certain issues. She added that the World Conference was of great importance to the United States. “I know from my two meetings on it with Secretary of State Colin Powell that he personally believes that it is very important, and that he personally dearly wishes to go to Durban.” Later, in closing remarks to the preparatory meeting, Mrs. Robinson likened the present situation to that of a marathon runner who knows that the worst is over and the finish line is in sight. “We have come a long way, especially over the last two weeks,” she said. “At the same time, we are conscious that an extra strong effort will be needed to finish the course.”
In an address this morning to an open meeting of the Council, President Buyoya said that while there was reason for hope in Burundi, there were still real challenges that could compromise the road to peace. The first was the continuing violence, President Buyoya noted. The peace process had been negotiated without a ceasefire and now that it had been signed, the rebellion and the violence continued. In light of that situation, he recommended another visit by the Council to Burundi to evaluate the situation on the ground. The second challenge was the reconstruction of his country, the President said. After eight years of crisis, the Burundian economy had suffered and the percentage of the population living in poverty had nearly doubled since 1992. Exports were down, debt repayments were way behind and debt continued to be a major problem. Mr. Buyoya appealed to the Council to heighten international awareness of the situation in Burundi so that substantial support would be given to the peace process. The President said that recently in Geneva, donors had pledged almost $800 million to Burundi for the next three years. Additional inputs, however, would also have to be made since repatriating refugees, resettling internally displaced persons and rebuilding infrastructure required more resources. On the more positive side, President Buyoya said the political climate in Burundi had improved considerably, especially since the establishment of transitional institutions on 1 November 2001. Of particular note was the establishment of a transitional Government, which represented all the signatories and parties to the Arusha Agreement with the exception of one that did not wish to participate. According to President Buyoya, Burundi was also actively following the problems in the subregion. Improving bilateral relations with its neighbours was a necessity, he said, and his country was committed to doing just that. Immediately following President Buyoya’s briefing, the Council met in a private meeting to discuss the situation in Burundi.
There were 27 head-coaching changes this offseason, but only one — Northern Illinois’s hiring of Thomas Hammock — involved an alumnus returning home. Hammock and 11 other head coaches — all non-alums — made their FBS coaching debuts over the weekend, while Miami’s Manny Diaz made his debut the previous Saturday.If the recent success of certain high-profile alumni head coaches is predictive, Hammock should lead a successful squad in 2019. Kirby Smart’s Georgia Bulldogs were among the most efficient teams in the country. Fitzgerald led Northwestern to its first appearance in the Big Ten title game a third consecutive bowl game victory. Jeff Tedford coached Fresno State to its best season in school history. Scott Satterfield turned Appalachian State into the darlings of the Sun Belt and parlayed it into a job at Louisville. Bryan Harsin led Boise State to the Mountain West championship game for the second consecutive season.In total, alumni head coaches went 159-122 (.566) in 2018. According to Sports-Reference.com’s Simple Rating System, the average alumnus-led program was 4.16 points better than the average team in 2018, the highest mark of any season since 1975. However, alumni-coached teams have also seen a broad range success relative to the average team in this time period.There were 146 alumni head coaches from 1975 through 2018. In total, they won 52.6 percent of their games, and the median alumnus-coached team was 2.2 points better than the average team in a given season. Non-alumni head coaches, of which there were 641, won 51.1 percent of their games and were on average 0.37 points better than the average team in a given season.That divide has increased over the last 20 years. Alumni head coaches have gone 2469-2029 (.549), while non-alumni have gone 13177-12299 (.349).4These win percentages don’t add up to 100 because NCAA sanctions — and resulting win vacations — have altered end-of-season records.In addition to recent success, there are several qualities that make the alumni coaches unique. Alumni traditionally begin their college head coaching careers where they suited up. Of the 146 alumni head coaches from 1975 to 2018, only 26 (17.8 percent) had previous Division I head coaching experience. That has continued to be the norm. Since 2000, of the 53 alumni head coaches who were hired, all but eight were becoming first-time head coaches.Hawaii head coach Nick Rolovich knew at some point in his career he’d return to Honolulu. It ended up being where he got his first crack as the man in charge. “One of my real goals in coaching is to repay Hawaii [for] what Hawaii as a state and a university gave me,” Rolovich said. “Which is everything.”And once installed at the head of the program, alumni seldom leave. Of the aforementioned sample, more than 75 percent didn’t take another Division I head coaching gig after securing the job, and nearly 70 percent spent their entire college coaching careers at their alma mater.One potential reason for this continuity is that alumni seem to be working with a longer leash, perhaps as a result of performance. Since 1975, more than 80 percent of alumni head coaches lasted at least three years with a program, while the same is true for just 15 percent of non-alumni. While more than 12 percent of alumni last at least 10 years, only 2.2 percent of non-alumni can say the same.5Not counting coaches with stints of 10 or more years who didn’t coach 10 or more years after 1975.Some alumni coaches attribute this trend to their one of their strengths: having already demonstrated an ability to represent the university well as a student-athlete. “It’s very easy for me to talk about Boise State,” Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin said. “I don’t need a map.”“If you can have success, then hopefully they’ll be proud of you,” Fitzgerald said. “That’s the hope, at least.” But is hiring an alumnus predictive in any significant way?Not especially.To measure how predictive hiring an alumnus is of on-field performance, I pulled all of the head coaches from 1975 to 2018 as well as their alma maters, their head coaching experience and their team’s SRS (as well as its previous season SRS), removing interims from the sample.6If a coach didn’t start the season as the head coach and was at the helm for fewer than six games in a given season, they were removed from the sample. Then I ran a linear regression. Controlling for the coach’s experience and the previous SRS of the team, coaches at their alma maters are statistically indistinguishable from non-alumni.However, a team’s previous season SRS (0.72) is far more predictive of on-field performance — each point of SRS in a previous season is worth around three-quarters of a point in the current one. Furthermore, whether it was the first year of a head coach at a given school is also more predictive of on-field performance than whether they were an alumnus; being a newcomer is strongly negatively correlated with performance (-1.53 SRS).Plus, despite the recent success they’ve had, in terms of historic single-season performance, alumni haven’t produced a ton. Of the 20 best single seasons, as defined by SRS, only one7Bryant’s 1978 Alabama team. In terms of alumni head coaching performance, Bryant accounts for the two best single-season SRS marks and five of the top eight. was coached by an alumnus.Phillip Fulmer is the last coach to win a national title at his alma mater. That was in 1998. Since 1949, only Steve Spurrier, Bryant, Ralph Jordan and Frank Leahy can say the same. That isn’t to say there aren’t obstacles. The allure of returning home is countered by increased expectations, both from inside and outside the locker room. Happiness is fickle and patience wears thin when losses pile up. And sometimes winning isn’t enough, even at your alma mater. At Maryland, Ralph Friedgen was fired after going 9-4 and winning ACC Coach of the Year. He later burned his diploma.“A lot of times, criticism is a faceless person,” Western Michigan head coach Tim Lester said. “But at your alma mater, sometimes it’s a little bit harder because you do know who they are.”It can be a challenge to remember that it is, in fact, a job.“You have to be able to mix the business side with the side where your heart is,” Rolovich said.Regardless of the campus where a coach cut his teeth, the terms of employment remain clear. In college football, the long-term prognosis isn’t stable. “Either we’re going to get fired or we’re going to leave,” former Tulsa head coach Bill Blankenship said. Blankenship coached at Tulsa, his alma mater, from 2011 to 2014. “The odds of retiring at the school that hired you is a pretty low percentage.” When David Shaw informed his parents that he was Stanford’s new head football coach, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. “Pride,” he recalled in an interview this offseason, “is such a small word for that feeling.”Shaw remains at the helm nearly a decade later.Stanford is where Shaw was a four-year letterwinner and where his dad was nearly elevated to head coach. It’s where Shaw met his wife and where he proposed; where he left and where he returned. The lockscreen on his iPad is a family photo taken among the eucalyptus trees on campus in 1975, then replicated some 35 years later. “To have so much of your life associated with a place,” Shaw told me, “is weird.”An alma mater, Shaw contends, is an extension of home. In turn, its people — from the dining hall staff to the university board of directors — are akin to family. In 1957, Paul “Bear” Bryant left a winning program in College Station to return to Tuscaloosa, where the Alabama Crimson Tide had endured a fourth consecutive losing season. Why? “I’ve heard mama calling,” he told his players.Hiring an alumnus1For this article, “alumnus” refers to a coach who spent his undergraduate years at the university (not counting graduate degrees). has been a marketable, low-risk, high-reward strategy for athletic departments for almost a half-century. Unless a splashy move is feasible, if an athletic director seeks to turn around a program — or merely wants to sell more tickets — there are far worse blueprints to follow than returning someone to their roots. Which is perhaps why alumni have permeated the market for much of the modern era. Since 1975, 38 FBS football programs2Including West Texas A&M, which moved out of FBS in 1986. hired more than one alumnus as head coach.3The University of Nevada once brought in three consecutive alumni as head coaches. Over that period, there was only one season in which alumni didn’t hold at least 10 percent of the available head coaching gigs.And recently, hiring from within has been a successful strategy. Alumni accounted for roughly a quarter of the coaches represented in last season’s final Top 25 rankings. This season, alumni will command 18 programs, or 13.8 percent of the market. The fraternity includes long-tenured stalwarts (Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald and Air Force’s Troy Calhoun) in addition to the more idiosyncratic personalities in the sport (Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh and Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy).Shaw was hired to “take the dips out of Stanford football.” He became the winningest coach in program history two years ago. But was the university seal on Shaw’s diploma in any way predictive of that success? And more broadly, does an alumnus traditionally make for an exceptional hire? When Shaw’s legacy is written, it will no doubt be penned in cardinal red.“It’s one thing to fit the program, it’s another thing to fit the entire institution,” Shaw said. “Because I went to school here, I understand the ethos, I understand the air of this place.”But despite the recent tear of success, that indelible connection that he and fellow alumni head coaches have isn’t terribly predictive of future success.Neil Paine contributed research.
EPC-UK says it is again emphasising safety as a number one priority for all of its employees and customers with the launch of its innovative new Esprit d’Equipe mobile app. This free multifunctional mobile app provides the user with safety alerts and the very latest safety information, as well as the ability to track and record individual CPD activity. It can also report issues directly to EPC-UK which, when combined with its inbuilt tools can save valuable time when on-site. “With easily accessible information, such as detailed product guides; event information, including upcoming exhibitions and seminars; news stories; and an understandable and easy to use format, the app is extremely user-friendly.”“Available on all Android and Apple devices, the app allows downloaded information to be accessed offline, eliminating the need for data or a Wi-Fi connection. The Push functionality also means the user will be kept up-to-date with the latest safety data, helping them to stay at the forefront of this challenging industry. The new app not only reduces the need for excessive paperwork, but it enables EPC-UK employees to instantly access information on-site, regardless of location or network coverage and disseminate this information directly to the customer in real-time.”Externally, the app’s powerful tools enable complex calculations to be made by blast designers and shotfirers, helping to increase on-site efficiency and effectiveness, as well as safety. It also allows EPC-UK employees to collaborate more closely on safety issues and provides employees and customers with updates on new EPC-UK initiatives and developments, as well as the ability to instantly access the EPC-UK website and Twitter feed.The Esprit d’Equipe app has been developed in collaboration with EPC-UK’s Safety Ambassadors. Safety Ambassadors were introduced to the company to assist in communicating the importance of safety throughout the organisation. The Ambassadors also assist to ensure that safety standards are being met and that these standards are taken out on-site and ultimately to the customer.“The inspiration for the app came from EPC-UK’s Esprit d’Equipe initiative and is based on the group’s core values, which are encapsulated in the word ’SPIRIT’– safety, passion, integrity, respect, innovation and team work – with safety being the number one priority.”“In our industry, safety must always remain at the core of everything we undertake. The new Esprit d’Equipe mobile app will bring safety to the forefront of everyone’s minds, consolidate all of our knowledge and expertise into one place, and help us reach our ultimate goal of zero harm,” explains Ben Williams, Managing Director for EPC-UK.“Real time safety information will also prove invaluable when on-site, whilst the ability to record and track activity will provide us with the vital information we need to make EPC-UK even more effective – and more importantly safer – in the future, benefitting both our employees and our customers,” adds Williams.
← Previous Story Norway take Croatian scalp Next Story → Russia beat Hungary for Main Round hope Slovenia had +1 and attack in the last minute of the clash with Spain, but that wasn’t enough. After terrible shot by Dean Bombač, Cristian Ugalde leveled the result on 24:24 (13:10) only 15 seconds beore the final buzzer. Slovenians tried once again to score the winner, but Borut Mačkovšek had no chance against strong block in the last second.Slovenian team led by Veselin Vujovic had a good start, 6:2, 11:7, but Spaniards managed to turnover on 19:18. However, Luka Žvižej (6) and his compatriots managed to overtook control over the results once again in the last ten minutes of the match. At the end, lack of good decisions and match winners took cut a point…STATISTICSphoto: ehf-euro.com
CYPRUS HAS POSTPONED an emergency debate in parliament on a controversial EU bailout today, threatening a prolonged closure of the island’s banks as MPs baulk at an unprecedented tax on savings.Fellow eurozone countries and international creditors imposed the deeply unpopular levy of up to 9.9 per cent on all deposits in the island’s banks as a condition for a desperately needed €10 billion bailout.Conservative President Nicos Anastasiades needs to get the legislation ratifying the deal through parliament before banks reopen or face a run on accounts.But Cyprus media reported that the scale of revolt against the agreement among MPs has thrown into disarray his efforts to do so over a three-day holiday weekend, and he may have to declare an additional bank holiday on Tuesday.Negotiations are under way with the central bank to keep branches closed for an extra day, despite the potential economic cost, the privately run Sigma TV reported.Anastasiades is struggling to secure even a simple majority for the terms of the bailout in the 56-member parliament in which his conservative DISY parliament holds just 20 seats, the channel said.State television said the government had decided to postpone the debate to “ensure MPs were fully aware of the situation and were better informed.”The president also postponed until Monday a planned address to the nation to defend the “painful” sacrifices which he insisted were the only way to save the island’s banking sector from total collapse.MPs will now convene at 4:00 pm (2pm GMT) on Monday to debate ratification, the state broadcaster said.The debt rescue package, agreed in Brussels early on Saturday after some 10 hours of talks, is significantly less than the €17 billion Cyprus had initially sought.Most of the balance is to be made up through the bank deposit levy – the first eurozone bailout in which private depositors are having to help foot the bill.Bank customers aren’t happyCustomers queue to use an ATM outside of a Bank of Cyprus branch on Saturday (AP Photo/Pavlos Vrionides)Savers in Cyprus banks reacted with shock and anger after Anastasiades agreed to the tax in an 11th-hour U-turn on months of promises that it was a red line he would never cross.“I feel betrayed,” public sector employee Elpida told AFP. “This decision might bring good results in terms of arithmetics but it will break our trust in the economy.”Opposition politician George Lillikas called on his supporters to protest on Tuesday, charging that the president, who was elected only last month, had “betrayed the people’s vote.”The tax will hit everyone with savings in Cyprus banks from pensioners to Russian oligarchs, and even the president of the European parliament Martin Schulz expressed concern about the hit being imposed on small depositors.“The solution must be socially acceptable,” Schulz warned.Britain, meanwhile, announced that it will compensate its diplomatic and military personnel for any losses from the levy – but not the tens of thousands of other British expatriates on the island.Cypriot ministers will meet at 8:30 am on Monday to thrash out the draft legislation to put before parliament, state media said.Europhile former president George Vassiliou pleaded with MPs to accept an agreement that he said was the only one acceptable to the parliaments of EU creditor nations like Germany.“The Germans told us they couldn’t pass a Cyprus bailout through the Bundestag without a haircut on bank deposits,” Vassiliou told state television from Berlin. If this bill isn’t approved, there will be a run on the banks and they will collapse.But the socialist EDEK party said its five MPs would vote against the “catastrophic” deal and would not be strongarmed into agreeing to it because of the deadline of the banks reopening.“We refuse to succumb to this dilemma by blackmail,” the party said.The communist AKEL party, which has 19 seats, refused to sign an agreement on similar terms while it was in power before Anastasiades’s election last month.And even the president’s coalition partners – centrist DIKO with eight seats – voiced strong reservations.However German political analyst Hubert Faustmann said that ultimately MPs had little choice.Parliament will have to vote it through because the alternative is bankruptcy. They cannot amend it, as far as I know, it is a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ vote — and a ‘no’ means bankruptcy.- © AFP, 2013Read: Bank deposits hit as EU/IMG bailout for Cyprus agreed >
Friends of the Carpenter is closing its retail arm, 2nd Chance Thrift Store, as it addresses an expected budget shortfall for 2019.The faith-based nonprofit informed volunteers during a meeting about a week ago and announced publicly Wednesday that the store would close. The store at 3414 N.E. 52nd St., in Vancouver’s West Minnehaha neighborhood, has been around nearly nine years.“This decision was made very reluctantly. We’re sad to be closing down,” said Executive Director Tom Iberle.Store sales have steadily declined since peaking in 2013 at $166,000. Last year’s sales reached a low of just over $115,000. Taking into account facilities, accounting and staff expenses, the store’s net revenue was just $16,000, Friends of the Carpenter said in a news release.“It was getting less and less lucrative,” Iberle said, adding that they are thinly staffed and struggled to keep the store open.Friends of the Carpenter’s mission is to “provide safety, structure and purpose for vulnerable members of our community” at its friendship center in west Vancouver, where people do woodworking projects. Iberle said that by closing the store, the nonprofit’s small staff can give full attention to its primary mission and address the budget shortfall by taking on more contracted projects.Friends of the Carpenter recently built bunk beds for Lifeline Connections’ new Women’s Recovery Center in Vancouver — its largest contract ever, Iberle said. The nonprofit also built a communion table and large cross for the chancel at Vancouver United Church of Christ, which is reopening soon after being damaged by arson.“And there’s more of that coming,” Iberle added.Iberle said the vision for Friends of the Carpenter includes providing more life skills and vocational training and doing more “projects with a purpose.” He feels his nonprofit fills that niche well. If the nonprofit intends to expand, employees can’t be stretched between the store and the woodworking shop, Iberle said. He added that other factors behind the scenes led to the decision and that the nonprofit is looking at its income sources.
MIAMI (WSVN) – A 14-year-old girl has gone missing, Monday, in Little Haiti.Police said the 14-year-old’s name is Anyla Jaques.Jaques stands 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighs about 110 pounds.She was last seen at her home, police said, near Little Haiti wearing a red shirt and gray Mickey Mouse leggings.If you have any information on this missing 14-year-old, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Musheerabad: Telugunadu Trade Union Council (TNTUC) has demanded that state and central governments fix the minimum wage as Rs 20,000 and implement it in the unorganized sector. A meeting was held with senior leaders of TNTU by the vice-president of Telangana TNTUC M Sathyanarayana at TDP Hyderabad district office here on Thursday.The senior TDP leader who attended the meeting as chief guest, Pinnamaneni Sai Baba condemned the anti-labour policies of the central government and asked the governments to declare Rs 20,000 as minimum wage and take measures to implement it in the unorganized sector. Measures should also be taken to ensure that every worker gets ESI and EPF benefits, he said. Also Read – International Persian Summer School concludes at MANUU Advertise With Us Sai Baba questioned the State government why the Minimum Wages Act was not amended again after 2007. The meeting passed a resolution demanding implementation of minimum wages and ESI and EPF facilities to workers in the unorganized sector as well. Among those who attended the meeting were state secretary of TNTUC MK Bose, M Prasad, V Venkateshwar Rao, Rajashekhar, Venugopal Reddy, EK Mohan Rao, P Narasimha, G Venkatesh, Nallela Kishore, Srinivas, Sathyam, B Narasimha Goud and others.
Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., left, and Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., stand with President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., as Trump speaks while departing after a Senate Republican Policy luncheon, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, 9 January 2019. Photo: APThere is no easy way out.As the third government shutdown of president Donald Trump’s tenure stretched into its 19th day, political pressures on Trump and the Democrats have left little room for compromise in the standoff over funding for a border wall. Most prominently, Trump’s narrow focus on the desires of his most ardent supporters has him convinced he cannot back off his signature campaign promise without facing backlash. Some powerful Republican allies in Washington and beyond are cheering on his demands for $5.7 billion funding for the wall, even if some remain uneasy.For Democrats, broad public skepticism about Trump’s case for the wall — combined with a driving push from the base to stand up to the president — has assured them they’re on solid ground in refusing to bend.The looming question is whether the impact of the shutdown on government services and the plight of struggling federal workers force Republican lawmakers to break from the president or compel Democrats to budge. Until then, the dispute has given both parties a fast first test in the politics of divided government as they try to trade blame, manage their messages and strike a balance between competing political wings.Each side appeared dug in even deeper after a White House meeting between Trump and Democratic leaders on Wednesday as the economic livelihoods of some 800,000 federal workers hang in the balance. Trump said he quickly ended the meeting after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi indicated that Democrats would not fund his wall under any circumstances.Trump’s focus now is squarely on his conservative base and its support for the wall that came to symbolize Trump’s promise for a hard-line, unrelenting approach to immigration.”He got elected because of that wall,” said Trump confidant Jerry Falwell Jr., president of the evangelical Liberty University. Falwell said he has told Trump he’s doing the right thing. “I don’t think it’ll help him at all if he backs down.”White House aides largely agree. Officials maintain the issue is a political winner, though they have urged the president to be more aggressive in making his case to the public — and to any wavering Republican lawmakers.Trump outlined his argument in graphic terms during a prime-time Oval Office address Tuesday night. While several studies suggest that illegal immigration has no impact on crime rates, the president highlighted horrific crimes committed by immigrants and suggested his wall was needed to prevent this “crisis.””How much more American blood must we shed before Congress does its job?” asked Trump, who plans to visit the border Thursday.The White House has been searching for options — but not one that involves compromise. The administration has explored the possibility of funding the massive wall without congressional approval by declaring a national emergency or using funds from another department, though such moves would almost certainly trigger a legal challenge and may push some Republicans in Congress to break.Trump on Wednesday acknowledged the political pressure from within his own party not to back down.”If I did something that was foolish, like gave up on border security, the first ones that would hit me would be my senators — they’d be angry at me. The second ones would be the House. And the third ones would be frankly my base and a lot of Republicans out there and a lot of Democrats that want to see border security,” he told reporters.Meanwhile, the president’s Republican critics are few and far between.Vice President Mike Pence got a standing ovation during a closed-door meeting of congressional Republicans on Tuesday after he told them to “stand strong” and cited a C.S. Lewis quote on courage as a virtue. As many as two dozen Republicans — a tiny fraction of the 199 Republicans serving in the House — are expected to join House Democrats this week in passing a bill to start reopening parts of the government.There were modest signs of discomfort with Trump’s strategy among Senate Republicans, though few had a pressing political incentive to break with the president given that all but a handful expect easy re-elections in 2020.Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, called the shutdown “completely unnecessary and contrived. People expect their government to work … this obviously is not working.”At the same time, newly elected Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., was more representative of the mood in his caucus when he said voters back home believe Trump is doing the right thing: “They love him. And they want the wall.”The GOP support stands in sharp contrast to most Americans, who do not approve of Trump’s job performance. His approval rating has hovered close to 40 percent or below for much of his presidency. But Trump’s approval within the Republican Party has surged close to 90 percent.The sharp divide is reflected in public opinion of the wall.Overall, 54 percent of Americans oppose construction of a wall along the Mexican border, according to a Quinnipiac poll released in December. At the same time, 86 percent of Republicans backed the proposal.Those numbers have helped keep Democrats united in opposition.Both party leaders on the Hill and the handful of presidential hopefuls starting to compete for the Democratic nomination have called on Democrats to hold strong.Billionaire activist Tom Steyer began running ads in key states calling for Trump’s impeachment long before the shutdown drama began to unfold.”It’s not a question as to whether the Democrats are out of line,” said Steyer. “What (Trump) is doing is trying to extort the Democratic Congress with the pain of the American people. … It’s like somebody who kidnapped a kid and is holding them hostage to his campaign promise, which made no sense then, makes no sense now, and is incredibly wasteful.” Steyer said Wednesday that he had decided against a 2020 presidential bid.The competing force on Democrat leaders is the pressure to prove they can restore some stability to Trump’s Washington. Despite the liberal base’s calls to stand up to Trump, party leaders believe they won big in last year’s midterms by talking about pocketbook issues and promising to govern. They are eager to make good on that pledge.Republican pollster Frank Luntz suggested there would be little political price to pay for those associated with the extended government shutdown, which is just days away from becoming the longest in U.S. history — even if most Americans blame Trump and his party.”For most people, their day-to-day lives are not being affected,” Luntz said.A frequent Trump critic, he predicted the Republican president would find a way to escape the shutdown as a political winner, even if it appeared unlikely now.”Is he boxed in? I’d say no. He’s the Harry Houdini of American politics,” Luntz said. “He had 38 per cent favorability on the day of the election and he still won.”
The United Methodist Church located at 8900 Georgia Avenue, is scheduled to hold an evening of fellowship and conversation on March 17 from 7-9:30 p.m. During the event attendees will watch “The Butler.” A conversation on the movie will follow. Attendees can bring a potluck dinner to share. For information, email Ernest Crosby at email@example.com or Rev. Rachel Cornwell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s nice to see that even with its darker wartime setting, Star Trek: Discovery can still have some fun. What better way to prove that than with a classic Trek premise that led to one of The Next Generation’s best episodes? This is exactly the kind of Star Trek story I’ve always loved. Something weird is happening to the crew and the few who notice it need to figure out what. In this case, it’s a time loop. Specifically, a time loop created by Harry Mudd, who wants to steal the Discovery and sell it to the Klingons. We all knew Lorca shouldn’t have abandoned him on that Klingon ship.How he escaped and where he got this time loop device are never discussed. It’s not that important. It’s Harry Mudd, he’s nothing if not resourceful. Discovery has a cool twist on the time loop story, though. When we begin the episode, we’re not seeing the first loop. It’s happened somewhere around 50 times already. And it’s not Burnham who notices something is wrong. It’s Stamets. He’s already got the basic premise figured out the first or second time we see him. It’s a fun way to acknowledge that we’ve seen this story before. We don’t need to be reintroduced to the concept of a time loop as we’ve all seen “Cause and Effect” and Groundhog’s Day. Instead, we can get right to trying to solve it.The reason for the time loop is that Mudd needs to figure out how to fly the Discovery before he sells it to the Klingons. On each loop, he learns a little bit more, but he’s still missing one important piece: Stamets. Without Stamets literally plugged into the spore drive, you can’t reliably fly the ship anywhere. Having Stamets be the only crew member to see the loop was a smart way to build on the effects of the tardigrade DNA in his system. He now exists slightly outside of time. I guess that’s what that delayed mirror image was at the end of the last tardigrade episode? Since Stamets knows the ship is safe as long as Mudd doesn’t know how to fly it, he can take his time in trying to figure things out. This leads to some fun and adorable scenes where he teaches Burnham how to dance with and hit on Tyler. They have to get him on board somehow.Wilson Cruz as Dr. Hugh Culber; Anthony Rapp as Lieutenant Paul Stamets; Shazad Latif as Lieutenant Ash Tyler; Sonequa Martin-Green as First Officer Michael Burnham (Photo via CBS)That’s what made this time loop story especially interesting. Knowing that we’ve all seen this premise before, it focused on character instead. Burnham’s Vulcan upbringing means she’s not great at parties or dealing with feelings for a fellow crewmember. Over the course of the episode, Tilly and Stamets encourage her to explore her human emotions, and that makes for some compelling character drama. We also got to see more of Tyler’s soft side. His and Burnham’s kinda-romance is written well enough that you start to root for them. I really hope the theory about him secretly being Voq isn’t true now. Not only because it’s disappointing when we can see something coming that far away. Even with that theory hanging over everything, I’m starting to like Tyler. I don’t want him to be a Klingon spy. Though making us like a character we’re pretty sure is the bad guy would be an impressive feat for the writers of this show.Rainn Wilson continues to be a perfect choice to play the younger Harry Mudd. He brings just the right mix of goofiness and malice to the role. We take him seriously as a threat, but we’re also able to laugh at his over-the-top performance and ridiculously elaborate plans. When he taunts Lorca for having gotten the better of him countless times, Wilson is clearly having so much fun it’s impossible not to smile. It’s also so much fun to watch Mudd kill Lorca with increasingly outlandish sci-fi methods. Beaming someone out into space might be my new favorite Star Trek death. Better still, you can tell the writers understand Mudd. They’ve thought his character through to the point where Burnham’s trick to buy the team that crucial final loop feels natural and brilliant. She plays on his greed, offering herself up for Mudd to sell her to the Klingons before swallowing concentrated Dark Matter. (Side note: We now have a new candidate for most painful-looking Star Trek death.)Rainn Wilson as Harry Mudd; Jason Isaacs as Captain Gabriel Lorca ; Sonequa Martin-Green as First Officer Michael Burnham; Anthony Rapp as Lieutenant Paul Stamets; Shazad Latif as Lieutenant Ash Tyler (Photo via CBS)It’s the resolution that comes after that where the episode falls short. One side effect of giving Stamets all the agency in this episode is that there are things he does that we don’t get to see. When we reach the scene where the crew cleverly turns it all around on Mudd, it feels cheap and convenient. It’s like in the episode’s fast-forwarding through the beginnings of each loop, it skipped over something important. We never got to see them dig through the archive or find out which systems are “non-essential.” Their solution doesn’t logically follow from the last thing we see Burnham discover. She finds out that Mudd smuggled the time crystal’s power source aboard inside the space whale, but that doesn’t have anything to do with how they defeat him. What should have been a delicious turning of the tables is instead almost a deus ex machina. We should have been able to figure out a way to defeat Mudd right alongside the Discovery crew. Instead, we were as in the dark as he was. As an audience member, that doesn’t feel good.Even though it bungled the landing, this was still a fantastic and fun episode of Star Trek: Discovery. The time travel episodes of Star Trek are far and away my favorite, and for the most part, this was a real good one. I did appreciate the retcon of Mudd’s wife at the end of the episode. In the original series’ “I, Mudd,” she was a stock nagging wife trope straight out of a 1960s sitcom. It hasn’t aged well, and this change makes it clear that Mudd’s the problem. She seems perfectly nice, if a little spoiled by her rich father. It’s just that Mudd is a terrible human being. I also didn’t mind that the episode containing so much murder ended in light comedy. Mudd was always more of a comic relief villain, and I appreciate that Discovery is keeping him that way. Even during wartime, the show is capable of pulling off a lighter tone. It also leaves the series open to bring Mudd back at some point in the future. They totally will. He’s too great a character to let him stay tied down forever.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on target ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ S2 Finale Recap: When No One Has Gone Before’Star Trek: Discovery’ Season 2, Ep 13 Recap: Tearful Preparations
This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. 2 min read Enroll Now for Free May 27, 2014 Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Kids are easily the most tech savvy among us — “digital natives” in the truest sense of the admittedly tired phrase — which is why seeing them confronted with old tech is bound to produce some entertaining results.YouTubers Benny and Rafi Fine, known as The Fine Brothers, showed the cast of their “Kids React” series a 70s-era Apple computer to varying responses – many were confused, particularly about the size and the lack of a mouse, but others were delighted. “It looks cool, I like pressing buttons,” said Krischelle, 9.The computer required several steps to turn on (as well as hitting the reset button to have it be of any use) and the lack of features turned out to be a bit rage-inducing. “Apps, games, websites. Everything. But this thing right here, has nothing!” said Brooke-Monae, 8.Related: Kids See a Walkman for Maybe the First Time EverUpon the reveal that it wasn’t equipped for the internet — a request for Google returned an answer of “syntax error,” for Kacey, 9 — Dylan, 12, astutely pointed out, “Pretty sure Timothy Berners-Lee didn’t create it yet.” Jayka, 11, asked “How do you look up homework?” When offered the library as a solution, she exclaimed “who wants to do that?”But a computer game, that great equalizer, came to the rescue — but in the form of a floppy disk. The graphics weren’t too advanced, but Sydney, 6, thought it was an improvement on some of the games in the current Apple app store. “At least it’s better Flappy Bird!”Check out the entire video below.
Meanwhile, Viator’s successful mobile app continues to be a key tool for its customers, especially with the Australian market of which 18 percent use to book their tours, compared to a global average of 15 percent. Moreover, us Aussies currently make up 15 percent of Viator’s bookings, and while we do love an overseas getaway to old favourites Paris, New York and Rome, we enjoy exploring our own backyard too, with the Colonial Tramcar Restaurant tour in Melbourne the most popular product booked. Taking travellers “on location” to the sets of their most loved tv shows, Game of Thrones fans can experience a sense of the medieval era within the cobblestoned city walls of Dubrovnik, as well as Belfast, Malta and Iceland, while Downton Abbey fans can visit Highclere Castle in London. During a visit to Sydney yesterday, Viator vice president of marketing, Kelly Gillease, said that with the ever-increasing popularity of these shows, the destinations and activities associated are continuing to trend highly amongst travellers. With Viator’s focus on unique destination tours and activities, the company’s most popular offering continues to be tours inspired by top rating television shows such as Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey and Aussie soap favourite Neighbours. Viator, a global leader in destination activities, was in Sydney yesterday to share its recent trends as well as announce its new look mobile website and upcoming Android app, due for release next month. Sydney also listed as another high ranking destination, coming in as the ninth highest clicked destination in searches of things to see and do, with the Vivid Festival encouraging travellers to book various harbour activities from cruises to Sydney BridgeClimb. The award winning app, which has had more than one million downloads since its 2011 launch, including 90,000 downloads in Australia alone, will be redesigned with a release due in June. Source = ETB News: Lana Bogunovich
Kathryn Kannampuzha | MumbaiThe Penang Convention and Exhibition Bureau (PCEB) debuted with four-city Penang Sales Mission in the Indian market, targeting the MICE and leisure travellers from India. Penang is a state in the northwest of Malaysia comprising mainland Seberang Perai and Penang Island.PCEB has come up with a Bookers Initiative Programme for travel agents where travel agents who book a minimum of 200 travellers to Penang can win a complimentary tour package for three days and two nights to the destination.Speaking at the sales mission in Mumbai, Ashwin Gunasekeran, Chief Executive Officer, PCEB, said, “Nine new hotels will be opened soon in Penang and there will be additional 3,000 rooms to the already available 20,000 inventory. We also have a convention centre which can accommodate 30,000 people and a new convention centre is in the pipeline which will open in 2021.”In 2016, Penang recorded 1,251 events with an estimated economic impact of USD 200 million. From January to September 2017, Penang hosted 1,731 events with an estimated economic impact of USD 230 million. This translates to a 27.7% increase in the number of events and 7% increase for the estimated economic impact.Comprising a delegation of 17 local partners, the Penang Sales Mission started off in Kolkata and then moved on to New Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru in India.
UK-based holidaymakers are turning away from action-orientated getaways in favour of breaks that offer peace and quite, it has been claimed.According to American Express Travellers Cheques (AMTC), relaxation is the main purpose of holidays for two-thirds of travellers.In fact, research by the company revealed that the demand for tranquillity is having a noticeable impact on where consumers book their flights to, with 64 percent looking for beautiful beaches and 35 percent for remote island getaways.A further 33 percent said that their idea of the perfect getaway consisted of being away from the main bustling tourist hotspots.Commenting on the results of the survey, AMTC director Matthew Lane said: “The idea of a paradise can mean different things to different people.”Meanwhile, travellers have been urged to take out holiday insurance even if they are planning for nothing more than a relaxing break close to home.Essential Travel warned this week that four in five so-called ‘staycationers’ are not protecting themselves while enjoying a domestic break in the UK.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedSpain reigns again this EasterCrippling economy won’t deter sun starved British familiesCheap flights from Glasgow popular among English travellersThousands of English holidaymakers have used Glasgow Airport to take advantage of the airport’s cheap flights.Brits booking flights overseas after cold spellTens of millions of Brits are booking cheap flights abroad ahead of their summer holiday
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