Rabat – Currently on a three-day (July 19-21) working visit in Jordan, Nasser Bourita, Morocco’s foreign affairs minister, has reiterated Rabat’s willingness to honor the agreements it recently signed with the Jordanian leadership.At a press briefing in Amman yesterday, July 19, Bourita told the Jordanian press that his visit is meant to reaffirm Morocco’s commitment to the new “communication and cooperation channels” initiated between the two countries under the leadership of Morocco’s King Mohammed VI and Jordan’s Abdullah II.According to reports, Bourta’s visit to Amman came in response to an invitation he had received from Aymen al-Safdi, the Jordanian foreign affairs minister. Al-Safdi, who was part of King Abdullah II’s delegation when he visited Morocco in late March, formally invited his Moroccan counterpart to visit sometime and “continue the work that our Kings have started.” In a statement, Morocco’s foreign affairs ministry noted that, in addition to upholding the spirit of the trade and business cooperation deals Rabat and Amman stroke in March, Bourita’s visit is putting on the bilateral table other alternatives to further the increasingly warming relations between the two kingdoms.The new Rabat-Amman drive includes extending trade and business partnership, but also political cooperation on a wide range of regional issues, mostly including security and peace matters. Read also: Jordan Appoints New Qatar Envoy, Two Years After Downgrading TiesWith “shared interests” as the basis of their bilateral relationship, the two kingdoms have made clear their “deep concern” with the distress in regional hot spots like Libya and Syria, as well as the situation in Palestine.King Abdullah II’s March visit to Morocco made headiness because the Jordanian leader came to Rabat after he had ditched a visit to Romania to protest the European country’s decision to follow in the US’ footsteps by moving its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.Bourita, whose Jordanian stay ends tomorrow, July 21, has so far used the visit to reiterate King Mohammed’s VI “personal commitment” to the joint declaration he made in March with his Jordanian counterpart on the need to preserve the multi-religious and multi-ethnic status of Jerusalem.
HALIFAX — Chorus Aviation Inc. has signed a deal to buy five Bombardier CRJ900 regional jets and acquire purchase rights for five additional aircraft.Based on the list price of the aircraft, Bombardier said the firm order is valued at about US$229 million and could increase to US$467 million if the purchase rights are exercised.The five aircraft will be operated under the Air Canada Express brand under Chorus’s capacity purchase agreement with Air Canada.They are expected enter into service in early 2017.Quebec premier once again urges Ottawa to invest in Bombardier Inc’s CSeriesBombardier Inc downgraded at TD
MONTREAL — A year ago, Patrice Laliberte was on the verge of abandoning his film career and starting down a more stable path.“I was going to work in video games or something else, I didn’t know. I was thinking, ‘How am I going to even pay for Christmas presents?’ ”With a fistful of dollars from a commercial, the 32-year-old Montrealer decided to give film directing a final go, hunkering down to tweak a script about a group of survivalists in the frigid Quebec outback.“It was a very desperate time. If this project didn’t work, I would have quit for good,” he said.Ten months later he found himself meeting with a Netflix representative in a downtown Toronto hotel lobby.“At some point we asked, ‘So, do we know when we might have a green light or not?’ And she just extended her hand,” Laliberte recalled, smiling.“She said, ‘If it wasn’t 11 a.m. we’d be popping champagne.’ ”Laliberte, an upstart director with no full-length credits to his name, is part of the small film-making team selected to make the first Netflix original feature film out of Quebec. It’s the latest development of a pledge by the global television powerhouse to spend $500 million over five years on Canadian productions, a number Netflix recently said it will exceed.Welcomed by some as a boon to a subsidy-dependent film industry, the announcement in September 2017 was not without controversy, particularly in Quebec. Then-federal Heritage minister Melanie Joly drew criticism for opting not to require the California-based company to charge sales tax on its subscriptions, as its domestic competitors are required to do.Netflix also sidestepped the rules that apply to the country’s broadcasting companies, landing outside regulations to funnel a portion of their revenues to the creation of Canadian programming. It did agree to shell out $25 million on a strategy to develop the francophone and cultural minority market, but avoided any contractual obligations to do so.“Netflix is a particularly puzzling and difficult company in terms of adapting Canadian policy to actually capturing this new business mode,” said Rosalie Wyonch, a policy analyst at the C.D. Howe Institute.Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission regulations require broadcasters to air a certain percentage of Canadian content. Netflix, however, doesn’t control the amount of content that gets streamed — its subscribers determine that daily.Whether Netflix should pay into the Canadian Media Fund, as the country’s cable and satellite distributors are required to do, is similarly fuzzy, Wyonch said, since the company has claimed it would not have access to the fruits of that fund.Ottawa launched an expert panel last June to review broadcasting and telecommunications laws, with an eye to including Netflix in cultural funding requirements. An interim report is due in June 2019.Current rules also allow streaming services that do not maintain a physical presence in Canada to avoid collecting or remitting federal or provincial sales taxes.The European Union, Australia and Japan have all levelled the playing field among foreign and domestic digital service providers, taxing them similarly. Quebec is on track to do likewise in January, slapping a provincial sales tax on any purchases from Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, Spotify and other online services based abroad.“The key question is, would this movie have been made anyway, without the no-tax deal with Ottawa?” Wyonch said. “Netflix is a global company. French is not exactly a small language.”Netflix produces films and television shows in more than 20 countries, dubbing and subtitling them as part of a content budget of between $12 billion and $13 billion, Wyonch said. That beats HBO’s expenditures several times over.Helene Messier, head of an association that represents 150 independent Quebec production companies in film, television and online, called the Quebec announcement “excellent news” — with a qualifier.“I hope it’s an indication of many more contributions. I think that we won’t know until a few years from now,” she said. “But I think that they understand our market and what our creative people have to offer.”For Laliberte and the six-year-old Couronne Nord — a Montreal production house whose name refers to the off-island suburbs where he and his two-colleagues grew up — the arrival of Netflix offers a “really refreshing” alternative to the go-to sources of funding in Quebec, primarily the SODEC funding agency and Telefilm Canada.“It’s a game-changer in Montreal,” said Guillaume Laurin, the film’s 28-year-old content producer.“Private funding doesn’t exist; it’s not in the cultural mindset. And the market is so small. It’s not like in the United States, where everything is privately funded.”The filmmakers aim to evoke the province’s “nordicite,” roughly translated as “northernness.”“We’re living six months a year in this, and it’s rarely appearing on screen,” Laliberte said. “For me, since college it was a dream to make films in a winter landscape.”Laliberte, creatively inspired by the nationalist rhetoric and “end-of-the-world” conspiracy theories mushrooming on social media, said he hopes to draw on work by directors from Terrence Malick to Stanley Kubrick to evoke the paranoid mindset and militaristic lifestyle of a survivalist camp.“With climate change or with economic situations, people start to have fear…fear of the other,” said Laliberte, who won the Toronto International Film Festival award for best Canadian short film with “Overpass” in 2015.“It’s not a chill, Netflix film,” he said, joking that the working title is just that: “Netflix film.”
by The Associated Press Posted Mar 7, 2013 10:29 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email HONG KONG – China’s exports surged more than expected last month in a possible sign of stronger global demand.China’s customs agency said Friday that exports jumped 21.8 per cent to $139.4 billion dollars in February. That’s down from the 25 per cent growth in January but much higher than many economists had been forecasting.The strong growth also comes even though February had fewer working days than usual because of the Lunar New Year holiday.The agency said imports fell 15.2 per cent to $124.12 billion while the trade surplus widened to $15.2 billion. China’s February exports surge 21.8 per cent in latest sign of economic recovery
“I cannot deny that everyone in the meeting was disappointed,” UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura told the press, referring to a meeting of the Humanitarian Access Task Force, set up to ensure access and the delivery of aid. “Indeed, many are actually frustrated by the lack of new convoys, in particular in some areas which, as you know, have been identified as besieged areas,” he added. Humanitarian aid has reportedly not yet been able to reach Douma, Daraya, and east Harasta, while more is needed in Madaya, Zabadani, Kefraya and Fouah.“The picture should not be completely negative, in the sense that, while we have to, and we must, insist on reaching these hard-to-reach or besieged areas, there is still a lot happening in Syria,” he stressed, noting that 5.8 million Syrians have been reached by the UN, its partners and other non-governmental organizations, as well as by the Government in some areas under its control. In addition, he insisted that one million Syrians were reached in January and February with non-food items, and 6.8 million have been reached every month with assistance on water and sanitation. “But that doesn’t take away what I just said at the beginning: disappointment, frustration indeed, particularly in this period we are expecting incremental improvement,” Mr. de Mistura said, adding that the meetings of the taskforce must insist for progress to be made, and not act passively.Highlighting “some good news,” the envoy underlined the recent airdrops in Deir ez-Zor saying: “The World Food Programme has been able to succeed with three airdrops in succession in the last one today – 26 pallets, which have all reached Deir ez-Zor, and the distribution is likely to start through SARC [Syrian Arab Red Crescent] very soon,” he said.The next airdrops are also likely to include not only food items but medical items. So far 55 tons have been airdropped with technical and practice assistance from Canada, the United States and Russia, which Mr. de Mistura said is “quite encouraging.” Italy, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom have also provided financial support. The envoy also said he raised the issue of medical items with authorities in the Syrian capital, Damascus, who assured him they would allow all items except for surgical ones, atropine and anxiety pills. Upon request, caesarean surgical items may be allowed. “We are still concerned about surgical items, which are not just for military use, but they can be and should be used for children for instance, which happen to be falling through the rubbles of incidents and would require this,” Mr. de Mistura said. Regarding the possibility of a “massive medical evacuation” for up to 500 people, the envoy said he regrets it has not happened: “There seems to have been too much concentration of a reciprocity […] So the proposal is, if you do have a case of medical emergency, to allow it to be evacuated and when there is one on the other side that would be at least equivalent. In theory we should never discuss this, it is a duty to do that. But if this is all blocked by reciprocity, let’s at least have a much more creative reciprocity for the sake of saving lives,” he stressed. Meanwhile, UN Resident Humanitarian Coordinator in Syria Yacoub El Hillo, told UN Radio he was concerned that over the past two weeks, the frequency of “ruptures” and violations of the cessation of hostilities had increased.Asked what the most pressing humanitarian needs are in Syria, he replied: “Everything. This year there are 13.5 million Syrians who are in need of some form of humanitarian assistance and protection. And this is from vaccinating [children under the age of five] to providing shelter for the displaced, as well as food and clean water, education, healthcare, job opportunities, and support for families that have been displaced more than once because of the nature of this conflict.” These are the things “keeping us busy every day,” Mr. El Hillo continued, noting that while Syria was once well on its way to becoming a high-middle-income country, today, more than 80 per cent of the people are poor, living on less than $2 a day. “That’s why the needs are huge. And because of the length of this crisis, their ability to cope has also been highly eroded,” he added.
“The rains will further complicate what is already a dire humanitarian situation, as millions of children made vulnerable by conflict are now facing the potential spread of diseases,” said Marie Pierre Poirier, UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa, in a press release. The threat of disease outbreaks in Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria coincides with growing regional insecurity and increased population movements particularly in Nigeria’s north-east.“Unsafe water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene conditions can lead to cholera outbreaks and to Hepatitis E, a deadly disease for pregnant women and their babies, while standing water pools can attract malaria-carrying mosquitos. Staving off disease is our top priority,” Ms. Poirier said.The 5.6 million children in need in the Lake Chad region are spread across the four countries in varied living conditions from host communities to camps for internally displaced and refugees.Flooding and muddy roads are expected to severely limit humanitarian access to remote areas for several weeks, just as the needs of children and families are sharply on the rise because of heightened insecurity across the region. In Nigeria, security concerns have made it difficult to preposition supplies ahead of the rains and UNICEF is concerned about the availability of clean water for large numbers of people returning from Cameroon. In the Diffa region of Niger, UNICEF explains, some 150,000 people are living in makeshift shelters and will be exposed to heavy rains and unsanitary conditions.Across the Lake Chad region, UNICEF and its partners are working in communities at higher risk of cholera outbreaks to teach families about the effects of the disease and practical steps like hand washing to help avoid infection. In Niger, Cameroon and Chad, essential drugs and bars of soap have been prepositioned in warehouses close to IDP camps in case of a cholera outbreak.Less than 20 per cent of the $80 million required to meet urgent needs for water, sanitation and hygiene in the Lake Chad Basin for 2017 has been received.
A concerted effort is being made to find and identify the remains of Australian soldiers who fought and died during the Greek campaign in WWII, and who 72 years later still lie buried in unmarked graves.Research being led by a team of amateur historians in Melbourne and Sydney is seeking to unravel the mystery of 26 Australian troops killed-in-action and who are unaccounted for, who were reportedly buried by the Germans in April 1941 as Nazi forces swept through northern Greece.One member of the group, Mr Lachlan McPherson, believes the remains of more than 20 soldiers of the 2/8th Australian Infantry Battalion who fought at Vevi are likely to be located near the battle site. Mr McPherson told Neos Kosmos: “I’m convinced that there are more than 20 soldiers from the 2/8th Battalion buried in unmarked graves.“We have a list of around 26 Australians unaccounted for who we think are there.”Mr McPherson travelled to Canberra last month to present the group’s findings to the Australian War Memorial as part of a campaign to bring the matter to the attention of the Australian government. “We want the government to take some action on this,” said Mr McPherson.The Australian Army’s Unrecovered War Casualties unit is responsible for investigating assertions of the discovery of Australian wartime human remains and the whereabouts of alleged burial locations of Australian servicemen. Vevi, 16 kilometres south of the Yugoslav border, was the site of the first engagement between Australian and German troops during the Greek campaign in WWII. Standing at the narrow end of the Monastir Valley and surrounded by steep hills, the Vevi Pass was in theory a naturally strong defensive position. On 9 April 1941, troops from the 2/4th and 2/8th Australian Infantry Battalions, as well as British, Greek and NZ units began taking up positions at Vevi. Their job was to hold the advancing Germans long enough to allow the withdrawal of Greek forces in Macedonia and Albania.The Germans first attacked Allied forward positions two days later and despite being exhausted from a long march and bitterly cold weather, the 2/8th managed at first to fend them off. Confronted with a heavier German onslaught the next day, the battalion was outflanked and unable to hold its ground. A confused withdrawal resulted, which effectively destroyed the 2/8th as an effective fighting force for the rest of the campaign. Although the Vevi Pass was not held as long as was intended, its defence achieved its aims.Allied casualties at Vevi are estimated at some 60 killed-in-action, with 28 Australian soldiers dead. 480 British Commonwealth troops were taken prisoner.The group’s research has also recently revealed details of possible unmarked Australian war graves at Corinth. At least 12 soldiers of the 2/6th Battalion who were killed in the battle for the Corinth Canal are believed to lie in unmarked graves near Corinth dug by the Germans.Lambis Englezos, instigator of the campaign which located and identified the remains of 250 Commonwealth soldiers who died at Fromelles in WWI (who is not involved with the Vevi or Corinth research) told Neos Kosmos that all credible projects which attempt to find, identify and give soldiers a proper marked burial place should be commended.“We have a moral obligation to do this. If you can find your war dead you have to recover them. They can’t be a financial or logistical inconvenience.“If the research is solid the officials will take it up and look for it,” said Mr Englezos.“If you lose someone, you’ve got to get them. Don’t leave them in anonymous ground. Give them their dignity, and hopefully their identity.” Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
Local road crews are preparing to take to the streets Monday morning, should the threat of snow hold true. The National Weather Service has issued a hazardous weather outlook for the greater Vancouver area, beginning today and lasting through Thursday. A strong cold front will bring snow levels below 1,500 feet, with the greatest chance of snow in the lowlands expected Monday morning, according to the weather service. “We could get a little bit of snow that could make the morning commute a little dicey,” said Paul Tolleson, meteorologist for the National Weather Service.Both Vancouver and county public works officials are keeping a close eye on the forecast and making sure that everything runs smoothly should the weather result in slick road conditions. De-icing equipment has been mounted on Vancouver Public Works trucks, and crews will be prepared to hit the streets for a preemptive strike at 4 a.m. Monday, the city agency said.
Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 09 Feb 2015 – The Hon Dr. Rosita Butterfield is laid to rest now, the country’s first woman elected to parliament on the PNP ticket for the constituency of Kew in North Caicos. She was and is a woman who many now know grew through education and politics and business and philanthropic endeavors to be considered a wealthy Turks and Caicos Islander. Current House Speaker, Hon Robert Hall reminded us at the State Funeral last week that it was not always the case; Rosie came from very humble beginnings. “Even after she was married, you may have heard the son speak about coming to Turks and Caicos, living in a trailer – a number of them – and living in a one bedroom. So when one looks at the vast empire they have today, some people think it was always that way, but with their sweat, blood, tears, dedication they really achieved great heights.”Dr. Rosita Butterfield was 78 years old when died on January 10, 2015. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Olive branch extended by Opposition Leader, says it is time for Turks and Caicos leaders to unite Recommended for you TCI Country Leaders condemn vicious memes Related Items:Dr. Rosita Butterfield, Kew, North caicos, pnp, robert hall, state funral Opposition Leader responds to Throne Speech 11 days later; says PDM Govt plan puts TCI in ‘deep doo doo’
Those airport scanners with their all-too revealing body images will soon be going away.The Transportation Security Administration says the scanners that used a low-dose X-ray will be gone by June because the company that makes them can’t fix the privacy issues. The other airport body scanners, which produce a generic outline instead of a naked image, are staying.The government rapidly stepped up its use of body scanners after a man snuck explosives onto a flight bound for Detroit on Christmas day in 2009.At first, both types of scanners showed travelers naked. The idea was that security workers could spot metallic objects such as guns and nonmetallic items such as plastic explosives. The scanners also showed every other detail of the passenger’s body, too.The TSA defended the scanners, saying the images couldn’t be stored and were seen only by a security worker who didn’t interact with the passenger. But the scans still raised privacy concerns. Congress ordered that the scanners either produce a more generic image or be removed by June.On Thursday, Rapiscan, the maker of the X-ray, or backscatter, scanner, acknowledged that it wouldn’t be able to meet the June deadline. The TSA said Friday that it ended its contract for the software with Rapiscan.
India’s largest bourse, the National Stock Exchange (NSE), witnessed a big churn in its leadership position on Friday as chief executive officer Chitra Ramkrishna put in her papers, just days before the exchange readies for public listing.The exchange said in a note that the board of NSE met on Friday and accepted her resignation. According to the notification, Ramakrishna tendered her resignation owing to personal reasons and expressed her desire to step down with immediate effect.Meantime, the board has set up a selection committee to search for replacement for Ramkrishna and has appointed group president J Ravichandran as interim CEO.The abrupt departure of Ramakrishna, whose tenure is scheduled to end in March 2018, has stunned many investors and market watchers as the exchange is all set for public listing early next year.Reports suggested that she had differences with the board over timing of listing and a Sebi-monitored investigation into alleged irregularities on NSE platform.A chartered accountant by training, Ramkrishna was one of the five people hand-picked by SS Nadkarni, ex-chairman of IDBI, to set up NSE in 1992. She was elevated to the post of managing director and chief executive officer in April 2013.Under her leadership, NSE became India’s largest bourse, with average daily volumes of about Rs 3.6 trillion in equity derivatives and Rs 214 billion in equities, way ahead of Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).The exchange reported a net profit of Rs 1,026 crore and revenues of Rs 2,222 crore during last financial year. Currently, NSE holds 80 percent market share in overall trading space and has clear dominance in derivatives trading segment.The board of the company had given a go-ahead for listing in June this year with a deadline for filing draft prospectus for domestic listing by January 2017 and for listing abroad by April 2017.
Narendra ModiIndian prime minister Narendra Modi is planning to visit Bangladesh to demonstrate New Delhi’s support to Dhaka in an election year, reports Indian English-language daily The Economic Times.The visit may take place by this June.Published on Sunday, the Indian newspaper article said Modi’s proposed visit to Bangladesh is critical as the Sheikh Hasina government hopes to clinch Teesta river water-sharing agreement.“Teesta pact will boost ruling Awami League’s popularity in a poll year,” the Times observed in a report titled “PM Modi plans Bangladesh, Nepal visit for regional push”.Meanwhile, India’s foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale could visit Dhaka in the near future to give further momentum to the “warm partnership”, the newspaper said quoting people aware of the matter.Modi may also visit Nepal and Bhutan as part of his government’s policy to focus on neighbourhood, according to the report.These visits, the Times added, are being planned amid China’s relentless push to make inroads into the Himalayan states and attempts to implement projects in Bangladesh under its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Logo of arrestSome 106 cases have been filed against the leaders and activists of the BNP-led 20-party alliance between 1 and 10 November, police records shows.BNP leaders alleged that all these cases are false and fictitious and said cases were filed to harass the BNP leaders and activists.During the dialogue with prime minister at her official Ganabhaban residence on 1 November, the BNP leaders pointed out that BNP leaders and activists are being implicated in false cases.In response, the prime minister assured them that no new cases will be lodged to harass anyone politically.But six cases were filed with six police stations in Dhaka on 6 November, the day the Jatiya Oikya Front held a rally at Suhrawardi Udyan.According to records, the incidents of vandalism, attacks on police, sabotage and blasting cocktails were mentioned in the case statements.The police detained 138 BNP men in connection with the incidents from the spots of the occurrences.The authenticity of law enforcers’ version was not found to be true, according to Prothom Alo’s investigation. Locals in those areas expressed surprise after hearing the statements of the police.“It’s not fair to implicate anybody in false case and without any specific allegation,” National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) chairman Kazi Reazul Hoque told Prothom Alo.The police reportedly saw some people to blast cocktails and vandalise vehicles at Kadamtali intersection of Keraniganj on 6 November. The locals, however, said they did not hear any sound and chaos. Kadamtali was under police control on the day.In connection with the allaged incident of vandalism, the police detained 13 people.The local people, however, said the police detained some people aboard vehicles.According to Prothom Alo correspondents of different districts, between 1 and 10 November, some 100 cases were filed against BNP and Jamaat leaders and activists in Chandpur, Cumilla, Dinajpur, Jalakhati, Kushtia, Sylhet, Barishal, Bagerhat, Sherpur, Kishoreganj, Tangail, Mymensingh, Sirajganj, Brahmanbaria, Narail, Nagaon, Patuakhali, Pirojpur, Bandarban and Chattogram districts.Some 2,380 people were implicated and over 2,500 unnamed made accused in the cases.BNP leaders, however, claimed that all of these cases are fictitious as there is no authenticity of these cases. These cases were filed to confine BNP leaders and activists, they said.Jhalakhati district unit BNP general secretary Monirul Islam said during the dialogue, the prime minister assured the opposition leaders that no new cases will be filed before the parliamentary elections, but there is no implementation of her pledge.He alleged that new cases are being filed and leaders and activists being arrested to stop the opposition from the election activities.A writ petition has been filed with the higher court in connection with the fictitious cases. Jatiya Oikya Front leaders have handed over a list of fictitious cases to the prime minister.After the dialogue with the prime minister, Prothom Alo investigated six cases filed in Dhaka on 6 November.According to a case statement of Tejgaon police station, on 6 November, BNP leaders and activists along with sticks took position in front of RH Home Centre Building at Green Road to carry out vandalism. They allegedly vandalised human haulers. A human hauler, six brick chips and pieces of broken glass of human haulers were seized from the spot, as per the case statement.A person named Sentu sells tea in front of RH Home Centre. Speaking to Prothom Alo, he said his shop was open on 6 November. He did not notice any vandalism of human hauler on the day.Tejgaon police station sub-inspector Shariful Islam, the complainant of the case, said the incident occurred within a brief period of time. So nobody noticed it, he added.The human hauler stand is at the end of Green Road. The Workers Federation runs this stand. Organising secretary of the federation, Monir Hossain, said no incident of vandalising human hauler occured recently.Owner of the seized human hauler Saddam Hossain said the driver of the human hauler went to take tea leaving the human hauler in front of RH Home Centre.On return, he found the police took the human hauler to the police station. Later, they brought the human hauler home from the police station.The police had shown some 41 people arrested from the spot.• This report, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Rabiul Islam
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir. File PhotoThe opposition BNP on Wednesday alleged that people are no longer independent in Bangladesh as the Awami League government has revived “one-party rule”.”Though we achieved independence (in 1971), we don’t have freedom any more. We aren’t free at all as a heavy stone has been imposed on our chests,” said BNP secretary general Mirza FakhrulIslam Alamgir.In a brief address prior to taking out a rally, he further said, “The Awami League has revived one-party rule snatching our independence, our freedom of expression, freedom of free thinking and freedom of the press.”The BNP leader said their chairperson Khaleda Zia who throughout her life struggled for democracy has now been caged in jail “unlawfully in a false case”.Though Khaleda is seriously sick, she is not provided any treatment, Fakhrul said urging people to get united to oust the current regime as it is inflicting sufferings on them. “Let’s get united to free our leader and democracy, and it should be our today’s vow,” he said.The BNP orgaanised the colorful rally marking the Independence Day. Hundreds of leaders and activists of the party and its associate bodies joined the rally brought out around 3 pm from the party’s central office at Naya Paltan.The procession ended at Shantinagar crossing after parading Bijoynagar and Kakrail areas.Holding portraits of BNP founder Ziaur Rahman, chairperson Khaleda Zia, senior vice chairman Tarique Rahman, and carrying the national flag, placards, banners and festoons, the BNP leaders and activists chanted slogans and demanded the release of their chairperson.Huge law enforcers were deployed in the areas to maintain law and order and fend off any untoward incident.
This Halloween, Magic 95.9 is supplying the treats for your tricks at the free “Halloween Drive-Thru Trick or Treat!” Put on your costume, pull up, fill up and roll out! Don’t be “scurred!” Stop by the Magic studios at 1705 Whitehead Road in Woodlawn between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m on October 31st. Visit https://magicbaltimore.com for more information.
In this photo released on Sept. 29, 2014 by a militant website, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, an Islamic State group fighter holds his AK-47 machine gun as he relaxes on the bank of the Euphrates river in Raqqa, Syria. The IS group has set up a generous welfare system to help settle and create lives for the thousands of jihadis, men and women, who have flocked to IS territory from the Arab world, Europe, Central Asia and the United States. (Militant website via AP) It was all made possible by the marriage bonus he received from the Islamic State group: $1,500 for him and his wife to get started on a new home, a family — and a honeymoon.“It has everything one would want for a wedding,” al-Homsi said of Raqqa — a riverside provincial capital that in the 18 months since IS took control has seen militants beheading opponents and stoning accused adulteresses in its main square. Gunmen at checkpoints in the city scrutinize passers-by for signs of anything they see as a violation of Shariah, or Islamic law, as slight as a hint of hair gel or an improperly kept beard. In the homes of some of the IS commanders in the city are women and girls from the Yazidi religious sect, abducted in Iraq and now kept as sex slaves.The Islamic State group is notorious for the atrocities it committed as it overran much of Syria and neighboring Iraq. But to its supporters, it is engaged in an ambitious project: building a new nation ruled by what radicals see as “God’s law,” made up of Muslims from around the world whose old nationalities have been erased and who have been united in the “caliphate.”To do that, the group has set up a generous welfare system to help settle and create lives for the thousands of jihadis — men and women — who have flocked to IS territory from the Arab world, Europe, Central Asia and the United States. From the day he declared the “caliphate” last summer, IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi urged not just fighters to come, but also doctors, engineers, administrators and other experts. Top Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Usually, foreign women marry foreign fighters in IS. Al-Homsi recalled the case of a French jihadi who was supposed to marry a French woman who came to join the group. He was killed in battle but he asked in his will that if that happened, his fiancee should marry his Swiss friend, al-Homsi said. She agreed.During the few days of their honeymoon, al-Homsi and his bride enjoyed Raqqa’s relative tranquility, riverside promenades and restaurants, staying in an apartment al-Homsi borrowed from a friend.Then the couple travelled back to the countryside around Homs, where IS fighters are holding ground against Assad forces and rival rebel groups.There, al-Homsi used the money from his grant to prepare a home for his new bride — and his four kittens, which he held up proudly in the Skype conversation with the AP. The couple is now expecting a new baby and hoping for a new cash injection with the childbirth, as the group can pay up to $400 as a bonus for each child.For now the group provides him with a stipend of $50 a month and a similar amount for his wife, which he said are mainly for “entertainment.”Everything else is paid for: He gets an allowance for his uniform and clothes, some household cleaning supplies, and monthly food baskets worth $65. “It is not just fighting,” said al-Homsi, who uses a nom de guerre. “There are institutions. There are civilians (that IS) is in charge of, and wide territories . It must help the immigrants marry. These are the components of a state and it must look after its subjects.” Al-Homsi spoke in a series of interviews with The Associated Press by Skype, giving a rare look into the personal life of an IS jihadi.The new IS elite is visible in Raqqa, the biggest city in Syria under the extremists’ rule.Luxury houses and apartments, which once belonged to officials from Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government, have been taken over by the new IS ruling class, particularly Iraqis who serve as senior military commanders, according to a member of an anti-IS media collective in the city who goes by the name of Abu Ibrahim al-Raqqawi.A nearby nature preserve to protect deer has been turned into a military zone and is off-limits to civilians. Upper-level commanders get a car and fuel expenses paid. IS fighters are not charged a new entry fee at city hospitals that is imposed on others. IS has set up an English language nursery for children of English-speaking jihadis and bus rides from Raqqa to Iraqi and Syrian halves of the “caliphate” are also on offer. The 24-year-old bride-to-be traveled through Algeria to Turkey, and from there to Raqqa with a group of other women joining IS. There, they were housed in a guesthouse for women which is also used as the headquarters for the IS female police corps known as the Khansa Squad.“It is a luxury place, with a garden, A/C, nice furniture, like any apartment in Europe” so that immigrants don’t feel estranged, said al-Raqqawi, the anti-IS media activist. Like others in his media collective, he uses a nickname for his security and doesn’t specify his whereabouts.In April, al-Homsi made the hazardous 150-mile (250-kilometer) journey from Homs to Raqqa to join her, bringing a recommendation from his local commander to prove his membership in IS.It was rare marriage of a Syrian male fighter — an “ansari” as the group calls them — with a foreign migrant, or a “muhajira.” The terms harken back to the time of Prophet Muhammad when he fled his home city of Mecca to the city of Medina to escape his opponents. His Meccan supporters who came with him were muhajireen, or “immigrants,” and the Medina residents who welcomed them were ansaris, or “supporters.” Comments Share It is the duty of the state, al-Homsi said, to care for the fighter’s family while he is away battling to expand the caliphate. Soon after speaking to the AP, al-Homsi was back on the battlefield, among the fighters who took over the ancient city of Palmyra earlier this month.“The fighter is on the front,” al-Homsi said. “How will he bring food to the house?”Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Raqqa lies near the center of IS-controlled territory and is thus cushioned from the fighting around its edges. Its supermarkets are well stocked, though only IS fighters can afford the more luxurious imports like Nutella, said al-Raqqawi. Senior IS figures also own most of the plentiful Internet cafes in the city, run by satellite, and sell Internet access to residents at home by the megabyte.“The city is stable, has all the services and all that is needed. It is not like rural areas the group controls,” al-Raqqawi said. “Raqqa is now the new New York” of the caliphate.Helping fighters marry is a key priority. Aside from the normal stipend they receive, foreign fighters get $500 when they marry to help them put together their new household. Aymenn al-Tamimi, an expert on insurgent groups, said that when the IS took Iraq’s second largest city Mosul last summer, one of the first things militants did was set up an Islamic court — not just to pass sentences under their strict version of Shariah but also “to give official Islamic State approval of marriages.”The 28-year-old al-Homsi got a particularly large bonus because his marriage, which took place in April, brought in a useful new recruit: His wife, who goes by the nom de guerre of Umm Bilal, is a doctor and speaks four languages. He said she will be of service to the caliphate. The AP has spoken with al-Homsi repeatedly over the past three years, when he started as an activist covering the fighting in his home city of Homs in central Syria. An IT specialist before the civil war broke out, al-Homsi reported prolifically on social media about the two-year siege of the city by Assad’s forces and often briefed reporters.He was always an ultraconservative Islamist, and he told AP he had supported IS as early as 2013. Being caught in the punishing siege of Homs turned him from an activist to a fighter. He was among the last die-hards who remained holed up in a Homs neighborhood blasted constantly by government troops. When the siege ended in a May 2014 truce, al-Homsi emerged hardened and has since been a member of the Islamic State group.It was from his social media activity that he met his wife. From Tunisia, she admired his comments and briefings online.“She has been an old follower of mine, during the siege,” al-Homsi said with a slight smile.After communicating with her through Skype and online, al-Homsi found out that her brother had joined the Islamic State group and was in the eastern Syrian city of Deir al-Zour.As is customary for marriage, he went to ask her brother for her hand in marriage, he said. Sponsored Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top holiday drink recipes How do cataracts affect your vision? BEIRUT (AP) — The honeymoon was a brief moment for love, away from the front lines of Syria’s war. In the capital of the Islamic State group’s self-proclaimed “caliphate,” Syrian fighter Abu Bilal al-Homsi was united with his Tunisian bride for the first time after months chatting online. They married, then passed the days dining on grilled meats in Raqqa’s restaurants, strolling along the Euphrates River and eating ice cream.
State institutes for further education are preparing to teach Chinese after the summer, director of the institutes Loizos Anastasiades said on Monday.“This is part of an agreement made during the education minister’s visit to China in May 2017,” he said. “We are now preparing for the classes together with the University of Cyprus.”The lessons will be in the official language of China, standard Chinese, which is a form of Mandarin, and the institutes will work with the University of Cyprus Confucius institute.To start with the institute will give the lessons, but Anastasiades said additional instructors from elsewhere could eventually be used, depending on demand from children and adults.Former education minister Costas Kadis made a series of agreements during his visit to China from May 13 to 18 2017 to strengthen educational ties between the two countries. One of them provided for mutual recognition of university titles.Under another agreement signed in 2012 the two countries pledged to support the exchange of scholarship students and the co-hosting of linguistic research.They also agreed to conduct linguistic research into each other’s languages and to teach the respective languages to students in higher education.The director of the state institutes believes last year’s agreement and the planned introduction of Chinese language lessons for the academic year 2018/2019 are likely the result of growing demand.According to President Anastasiades, bilateral relations between the two countries have grown in the fields of investment, tourism, energy, commerce and technology.Investors from China live mostly in the Paphos region where many have bought real estate and obtained Cypriot citizenship under the government’s scheme to allow investors to obtain naturalisation.You May LikeDiabetes | Search AdsType 2 Diabetes Treatments Could Take The World By StormDiabetes | Search AdsUndoHealevateTeens Destroyed 320 Million-Year-Old Landmark, People Are InfuriatedHealevateUndoFood World Magazine15 Awesome Foods That Keeps You HealthyFood World MagazineUndo Companies must use buying power to root out slavery, says UK officialUndoGreek Prime Minister in Cyprus for official visitUndoBritish woman who claimed gang-rape taken to courtUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
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