850 kilometre trek to Montreal ends with message about uranium mining

first_imgAPTN National NewsA long march ended Monday for 22 Cree from northern Quebec.For the past three weeks, they’ve been walking nearly a marathon a day to Montreal for the last day of public meetings into the future of uranium mining in the province.APTN’s Danielle Rochette reports.last_img

Tone and terms of missing murdered women inquiry will be critical Wally

first_imgThe Canadian PressOTTAWA – A former B.C. attorney general who led the province’s Missing Women Commission of Inquiry says the federal government must strike the right tone and clearly define the terms for its own study of missing and murdered Indigenous women.Wally Oppal conducted hearings and published a 2012 report on how authorities handled cases involving missing and murdered women in the wake of the Robert Pickton case. Pickton is a serial killer convicted in 2007 of the murders of six women and charged in the deaths of 20 others.Oppal says the incoming Liberal government must determine what kind of inquiry it will conduct to ensure it is proactive in nature.“I would think that if you’re going to have an inquiry, you don’t need to have one of the type that we had, where the police were cross-examined for endless days because one of our tasks was to find out what the police did wrong during the Pickton years,” Oppal said.“I think if they’re going to have one, they should have an inquiry that goes to the various communities and the centres, a commissioner or group of commissioners, to get the voice of the communities.“It never hurts to talk to the communities to get their views and to bring them on side.”Oppal also says the Grits should take previous inquiries into account to ensure the new investigation does not retrace old ground.In their election platform, the Liberals committed to “immediately” starting a national public inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada.The party said it would seek recommendations for governments, law enforcement and others to help “solve these crimes and prevent future ones.”It also committed to spending $40 million on the study over two years.Oppal said it will be important for the government to spend wisely.“You could not have the type of inquiry that we had, where we had witnesses being called and being examined, you couldn’t do that for $40 million across the country,” he said. “The moment you announce a national inquiry, the lawyers are going to line up. So you have to be careful as to how you’re going to spend the money.”last_img read more

Took police years to declare Winnipeg woman missing inquiry told

first_imgKathleen MartensAPTN NewsJanet Lowther can no longer recall her younger sister’s voice.“I can’t remember how she sounds,” Lowther said of the 22-year gap since Amanda Bartlett disappeared.But she hasn’t forgotten the lengthy battle it took to get police to file a missing person report.“Police in Winnipeg told me, ‘We don’t do family reunions here,’” Lowther told the National Inquiry into Missing and MurderedIndigenous Women and Girls in Thompson, Man., Wednesday.Lowther and her mother, Helen Flett Bignell, vented years of frustration and anger about the way they say Amanda’s case was ignored. They say they were shunted between police agencies in The Pas, Man., and Winnipeg before Amnesty International intervened.It was years after Amanda disappeared from Winnipeg’s notorious North End in July 1996 before she was officially declared a missing person.The struggle was exhausting, Lowther said, and led her to conclude that she – like her sister – was not valued.“I am not an equal person. I’m an Aboriginal woman…I’m not worth looking for. I’m not worth finding,” she said.The pair said they have no clues, tips or idea what happened to the 17-year-old with the jet black hair and smiling dimples.“I still pray for my daughter. I still have hope someone will know about my daughter and where she is,” Flett Bignell said.The inquiry heard how lack of interest from police compounded the family’s grief and left them unable to process what happened and move forward with their healing.Child and Family Services, which had Amanda in its care in a group home in Winnipeg, seemed unaware she had run away.“Amanda was stolen from us. Amanda went to Winnipeg. Someone took her away,” Lowther said.Adding to the mystery around what happened was the family’s shock at learning Amanda was in a group home. They only found out later Amanda put herself in care voluntarily to access programs there.“I didn’t know she was put in a safe house,” said her mom. “I thought she would go to school.”Lowther said she employed different strategies to get police to search for Amanda. She said they seemed interested when she described her sister as “a hooker.” And were more sympathetic when she hid her accent to sound “white.”She said that indifference helped her to understand why “we hear in the news every day another child is gone.”Lowther and her mom are calling it quits after appearing before the inquiry and putting their search to rest.“Being part (of the #MMIWG movement) is not healing us,” she said, noting she will keep her sister close via a tattoo on her arm and wait to reunite with her in the spirit world.“I want her to grow old with me. Old and wrinkled.”kmartens@aptn.calast_img read more

Albertas credit rating cut after confirming 103B deficit 42B debt

first_imgEDMONTON – Alberta has been hit with another credit downgrade one day after it confirmed it remains on track for a $10.3-billion budget deficit this year.The credit rating agency DBRS say it has downgraded Alberta’s long-term debt rating to AA from AA (high) and has adjusted or maintained other ratings indicators on a negative trend.The agency said the downgrade reflects the high operating deficits and Alberta’s rapidly accumulating debt, which is pegged to surpass $42 billion by the spring.It’s one of a number of credit downgrades or warnings that have resulted from the province’s fiscal direction under Premier Rachel Notley’s NDP since 2015.Although the economy has been hammered by low oil prices, Notley’s government says it makes sense in the short term to take on debt to catch up on long-delayed infrastructure projects.Finance Minister Joe Ceci, responding to the downgrade, says Alberta still has the strongest debt-to-GDP ratio among provinces and the province’s credit rating remains among the highest in Canada.“The fiscal update released yesterday shows that Alberta’s economy is growing faster than forecast, the deficit is coming down, and significant cost savings are being realized,” Ceci said in a statement.“The government will continue to take a steady and responsible approach that avoids extreme and risky cuts that would hurt families, cost jobs and damage our recovery.”last_img read more

Aurora Cannabis buys stake in Liquor Stores NA plans cannabis stores

first_imgEDMONTON – Aurora Cannabis Inc. has signed a deal to buy a minority stake in Liquor Stores N.A. Ltd., which plans to launch a brand of marijuana retail outlets as Canada moves to legalize the drug for recreational use later this year.Under the deal, the Edmonton-based licensed marijuana producer will acquire a 19.9 per cent stake in the liquor store operator for $103.5 million through a non-brokered private placement.It will also have an ability to increase its interest in Liquor Stores up to 40 per cent with an additional investment.“This will allow us the speed to market that we were looking for,” said Aurora Cannabis’ chief corporate officer Cam Battley. “It allows us to begin converting stores very, very quickly so that we will be ready on day one.”Alberta, where Liquor Stores has a vast retail footprint, is among the provinces which will allow private retailers to sell recreational cannabis when it is legalized in Canada this summer. Provinces such as Ontario and Quebec, however, have tasked the provincial liquor boards to handle retail sales of marijuana for adult use.Liquor Stores, which operates 231 retail liquor stores in Western Canada and several U.S. states, plans to use the money to establish and launch a brand of cannabis retail outlets. The publicly-listed company has 178 locations in Alberta, 34 in British Columbia, and a presence in Alaska, Connecticut, New Jersey and Kentucky, according to Liquor Stores’ 2017 information circular.The retailer said Monday it will convert some of its existing stores into cannabis outlets and establish new locations.Liquor Stores will also use a portion of the money to strengthen its existing liquor retail brands by renovating its existing outlets and for general corporate purposes.Companies in this story: (TSX:ACB, TSX:LIQ)last_img read more

Some retailers want to exercise lower rent rights at malls with Sears

first_imgTwo retail companies want an Ontario court to allow them to exercise their co-tenancy rights and change their rental agreements at malls where failed anchor tenant Sears Canada left a vacancy.Gap Inc., which owns Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy, and the Children’s Place filed notices of motion earlier this month asking the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to lift a stay on their co-tenancy rights.The stay has cost Gap about $1.75 million, according to court documents, and the Children’s Place nearly $200,000 per month.A co-tenancy right in a lease can give a retailer the right to reduce or restructure its rent if certain specified anchor tenants vacate the mall or reduce their square footage below a specific threshold, according to the documents. In some cases, it can allow a company to terminate its lease without any penalties.The court ordered a stay on those rights in June 2017 for any property where Sears Canada owns or operates a store, office or warehouse.The court granted the stay after the applicants — the company’s creditors — argued the stay was necessary and appropriate to mitigate the effects on the landlords and maintain the status quo during restructuring.The stay is in effect until Dec. 18 this year, according to documents.The retailers want the court to declare the stay no longer in effect once Sears Canada no longer owns or operates space in a shopping centre, or to nullify it.Sears Canada closed its last remaining stores Jan. 14 of this year after spending much of 2017 attempting to reinvent itself and bring in traffic.Gap operated 256 stores in Canada as of this April with 22 currently affected by the stay, according to documents.Meanwhile the Children’s Place operates 126 retail locations in the country, according to documents, and 18 of those are impacted by the stay.The motions are scheduled to be heard in October.Follow @AleksSagan on Twitter.last_img read more

Mnuchin Next round of trade talks this month

first_imgWASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the next round of trade negotiations with China will likely occur later this month in Washington.Mnuchin told reporters that Vice Premier Liu He was expected to lead a delegation to Washington “later in the month.”The Treasury secretary says that the partial government shutdown “would have no impact” on the efforts to reach a trade deal by a March 1.The Trump administration has suspended the imposition of planned tariff increases on $200 billion of Chinese goods until March 1 to give negotiators time to reach a wide-ranging agreement.Mnuchin did not provide a specific date for the talks, but The Wall Street Journal quoted unnamed sources as saying the tentative date for the meeting was Jan. 30-31.Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Presslast_img read more

Do you have a newborn baby but have nowhere to put it

first_imgMany people believe that baby boxes are also a safer alternative to a crib and can help prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), but to this point, there has not been enough research to prove this theory. One reason many have adopted the baby box idea is due to Finland’s low infant mortality rate which sits at 1.7 deaths per 1000 babies. This number is compared to the global rate which is 30.5 deaths per 1000 babies.Residents looking to receive a baby box must complete the online course www.babyboxuniversity.com. For more information visit the baby box website or contact the North Peace Child Care Resource and Referral at (250)785-5701.Baby Box Flyer. Photo by FSJ Family Friendly Early Year’s Facebook Page. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Fort St. John’s Family Friendly Coalition has partnered with the North Peace Child Care Resource and Referral to bring residents baby boxes.A baby box is a box with a thin mattress and fitted sheet for newborn babies. The box also includes a bag of starter items like diapers and wipes. The beauty of the baby box program is that all boxes are free of charge.Baby boxes originated in Finland as a cheap and easy way to keep parents from having their newborn baby sleep in their bed. Baby boxes are essentially a temporary crib for families who don’t own or can’t afford one.last_img read more

32 weather temperature records were broken Monday

first_imgVANCOUVER, B.C. – Environment and Climate Change Canada says 32 weather temperature records were broken yesterday, March 18th in B.C and the Yukon.When looking at the Environment of Canada’s website, FSJ’s highest recorded temperature for March 18th was documented between 1942-2012 as 11.8 C and yesterday the temperatures reached 13.5 C. Areas close to FSJ that also saw record-breaking temperatures were;  Chetwynd’s new record is 15.5 from 13.9 in 2015, records started in 1970  Fort Nelson’s new record is 16.6 from 10.6 in 1960, records started in 1937Bobby Sekhon, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, says we can expect to see this warm trend in temperatures to continue all this week and into next week.For more information on FSJ warm weather trend; CLICK HERElast_img read more

Stuck in reverse gear

first_imgOne step forward, two steps back. That seems to be the story of reforms in India’s forest sector. The forest departments (FDs), like irrigation and revenue departments, were originally created to serve the interests of colonial power. After Independence, the designers of a democratic India overlooked the crying need to redefine the goals and restructure the governance of this sector. States simply cut-pasted the Indian Forest Act (IFA) into state acts. Thus re-sanctified, the FDs have successfully resisted or co-opted all subsequent attempts at reform. Also Read – A special kind of bond Continued control and exclusion The Chipko Andolan in the 1970s demanded rights for people over their forests, including timber. Instead, they got a green-felling ban in the name of environmental conservation. The National Forest Policy, 1988 (NFP88) demanded people’s participation, a demand echoed by donors in the ’90s. After initially resisting the idea, FDs co-opted it into joint forest management (JFM), wherein they tightly control the extent, location, form, and ambit of so-called decentralised decision-making. When the green felling bans drastically reduced revenues from forestry, the FDs attracted international donors in the name of biodiversity conservation and climate mitigation. Also Read – Insider threat managementWhen the World Bank gave up on forest sector lending, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation was inveigled into almost single-handedly sustaining India’s forest sector. More recently, India’s forests have been peddled as potential sinks for carbon, so as to attract REDD+ funds. REDD+ turned out to be a mirage, but the Rs 60,000-crore Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) funds have become the new gravy train. Foresters themselves sit in CAMPA committees that disburse funds to themselves. Just as foresters run the Forest Survey of India that monitors India’s forests. The Forest Rights Act (FRA) of 2006 is perhaps the biggest threat to the FDs. Not just because it sought to free cultivators from the harassment they faced as ‘encroachers’ because of the mislabelling of their land as forests. Not just because it sought to free the 4,000-odd ‘forest villages’ from the yoke of the FDs, but primarily because it introduced Community Forest Resource (CFR) rights that would give forest-dwellers the right to manage their forests autonomously. So FRA has been resisted tooth and nail. Retired forest officers’ associations have filed writ petitions challenging its constitutionality. Serving foresters have, by and large, obstructed the granting of forest rights, especially CFR claims, and continued to promote (non-statutory) JFM as an alternative to CFRs. Going backwards As if this was not enough, the draft National Forest Policy of 2018 attempts to reverse key elements of NFP88 by promoting production forestry at the cost of local livelihoods, and ignoring the FRA. And the latest draft amendment to the Indian Forest Act is an attempt to translate this (non-approved) NFP2018 into law! The blatant disregard for due process is only matched by the shocking attempts in this amendment to undermine the FRA, to increase the power and immunity of officials, and to arrogate control to the Centre. I would not be surprised if eventually, we end up with ‘National Forests’ controlled by a National Forest Service. Rationale for reform What is wrong with such an idea? Aren’t forests a national treasure, to be managed for national and global public goods like biodiversity, watershed protection, and carbon? Such thinking misses the fundamental social-ecology of South Asia’s forests — a landscape historically populated by a variety of Adivasi and non-Adivasi communities, with complex dependence on the forested and non-forested landscape. Thus, local livelihood needs have to be the first goal of forestry, as important as regional and global benefits. And these needs cannot be met by a bureaucracy, just as agricultural livelihoods cannot be organised by agriculture department officers, and industries cannot be run by bureaucrats. Worse, giving forest officers police powers in a landscape populated by marginalised and illiterate communities that continue to be forest-dependent, allows for serious abuse of these powers. Of course, local forest-dependence is uneven and changing, possibly declining. But that brings us to the core rationale for reform: democratic governance requires recognition of the fundamental right of forest-dwelling or forest-fringe communities to govern their immediate environment, just as city-dwellers (ought to) have substantial control over theirs. This does not mean that regional or national interests are to be ignored in decision-making about forests. But that does not justify making foresters into managers, policemen, regulators, funders and policy-makers rolled into one. Reform is therefore needed at multiple levels: a change in goals of forest management, a corresponding change in how forests are categorised, a devolution of day-to-day management to forest-dwellers, separation of monitoring and managing from funding and policymaking, and introducing much greater transparency and accountability in all of this. Cure worse than the problem The proposed Amendment to the IFA, unfortunately, reveals that the mindset of policymakers regarding India’s forest sector has not changed. The IFA created two main legal categories of forests — Reserved Forest (RF) and Protected Forest (PF) — and empowered the FDs to manage and protect them. Manage for what? Implicitly, for meeting colonial (later national) needs of production. Single goal, two levels of protection, single manager-cum-protector. The third category — Village Forest — was never seriously activated. The Wild Life Protection Act of 1972 added another goal — conservation — and created additional categories — national parks (NP) and wildlife sanctuaries (WLS). The manager/protector remained the same. But if production is no longer the primary goal, and if local livelihood needs have ‘first charge’ (at least outside NPs), and if forest-dwellers are rights-holders, then what sense do the old categories and roles make? What is the role of RFs and PFs in the new (post-1988) dispensation? What role does the FD have in the post-FRA dispensation? All reasonable estimates of the potential CFR area (area used by local communities) suggest that PFs and most RFs should simply be replaced by CFR Forests, which should be recognised as the main legal forest category. If any RF outside of NPs and WLSs remains unclaimed as CFR, it could be re-designated as a ‘Conservation Forest’. Correspondingly, the CFR Gram Sabhas should be recognised as the main manager/custodian for the CFR Forests by the forest law, and an agency (possibly hived off from the current FDs) created for providing technical and protection support to them. Even in NPs and WLSs, communities can have the first charge on tourism benefits and can become co-managers, with technical and protection support from a Wildlife Service. The task of regulating CFR Gram Sabhas is also important — not all of them may be oriented towards sustainable use or equitable management. But given the FDs’ conflictual history with local communities, a different regulatory structure with adequate transparency, accountability, and voice for local communities will have to be created. And funding decisions such as the deployment of CAMPA funds must be made by independent bodies, not by the forester managers. The Joint Committee of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and the Ministry of Tribal Affairs constituted in 2010 to examine the implementation of the FRA was also asked to define a new role for the Forest Department post-FRA. After months of intense discussions among members, which included senior foresters, the Joint Committee articulated a new vision on the lines above. The waning of interest in environmental issues in the government at that time led to the shelving of these ideas. It is high time we resurrected them and developed a new vision for the forest sector, rather than rushing backwards with a ‘more-of-the-same’ IFA amendment. (The author is Distinguished Fellow in Environmental Policy & Governance at the Centre for Environment & Development, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment. The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

AAPCongress alliance remains inconclusive talks to continue

first_imgNEW DELHI: After a day-long meeting on Wednesday between AAP and Congress in various phases, the alliance between both the parties remained inconclusive but the sources from both the parties confirmed that the talks will continue. According to the sources, the AAP has accepted the 4:3 seat sharing formula in Delhi but as in Haryana the Congress was not ready to negotiate the talks.AAP’s Sanjay Singh on Wednesday met Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad to take the alliance talks to a conclusion, sources said. According to sources, has proposed a 6:3:1 seat sharing in Haryana in which Congress would fight from six seats, while the JJP would field its candidates for three seats and one candidate would be fielded by the AAP. But the Congress has proposed a 7:2:1 seat-sharing formula in which seven Congress candidates, two JJP candidates and one AAP candidate would contest the polls, the sources added. On Wednesday, Singh also met CM Arvind Kejriwal to apprise him about the condition where the AAP national convenor also reportedly agreed with the Delhi pact. Later in the evening, confusion erupted when Singh said, “Congress has refused to form an alliance in Haryana and we do not want a tie-up only in Delhi.” Minutes after the statement, the sources said that the talk will continue and no such decision of calling off talks took place. Earlier, Congress offered four Delhi seats to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to ensure the rout of the BJP. However, in response to Congress’ offer, AAP leadership asked for three seats in Haryana and one in Chandigarh. Sources had told the Indian Express that Haryana was the main demand as AAP believed it has enough support in Gurgaon, Faridabad and Karnal seats to win with an alliance. Meanwhile, sources in Congress denied having any knowledge of AAP’s demand and said the party never put forth any such request when the possibility of an alliance was being discussed earlier. Earlier, AAP sources said if the Congress wants alliance only in Delhi then it has to be in the 5:2 ratio and if an alliance is sealed for both Delhi and Haryana then the ratio can be 4:3 in the national capital and 6:3:1 in Haryana. Amid a continuing blame-game over seat-sharing in Delhi, Rahul Gandhi and CM Kejriwal Monday engaged in a public spat, with the Congress president accusing the AAP of making a “U-turn” over alliance talks, prompting the Delhi chief minister to hit back at him. Gandhi had said while the doors of his party are open, time is running out, but CM Kejriwal slammed him, questioning what U-turn was he talking about as the talks were still on. AAP has already declared candidates on all seven Lok Sabha seats.last_img read more

Its outside noise

first_imgSeoul: Brie Larson’s vocal feminist stance has earned her both fans and trolls but the actor, who fuels her portrayal of “Captain Marvel” with extreme confidence, says she has learnt to tune out the “outside noise” and focus on doing what she feels is right. Larson’s casting as Captain Marvel, “the strongest superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe”, has made her a target of online negativity. “I made a promise to myself a long time ago that I won’t pay attention to either of it (positive or negative). I just do what feels right in my heart and all that stuff is outside noise,” Larson said. “I know who I am and I know what it is that feels right and what I want to do. I just stay true to that. And those other things about myself that I need to learn, things I can do better, I trust that people that love me and are close to me in my life, will tell me those things. Not that outside stuff.” Avengers: Endgame, one of the most anticipated cinematic events of the year, will release on April 26 .last_img read more

Newlycrowned Thai king carried in elaborate royal procession

first_imgBangkok: Thailand’s newly-crowned King Maha Vajiralongkorn was carried by soldiers on a gilded palanquin through the streets of Bangkok Sunday, in front of crowds who craned to witness the historic event. The king, Rama X of the Chakri dynasty, wore a bejewelled robe and broad-brimmed hat with a feather on the second of three days of pageantry and royal splendour. The 7-kilometre procession brings the public into close proximity with the 66-year-old monarch for the first time, two years after he ascended the throne in an increasingly assertive reign. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: ReportIt started around 5pm (1000 GMT) at the grand palace in Bangkok’s old quarter as trumpets blared, soldiers shouted commands and cannons fired a 21-gun salute. Thais wearing yellow shirts — the royal colour — and carrying hats and umbrellas to protect against temperatures reaching 36 degrees Celsius filled the streets outside with many clutching portraits of Vajiralongkorn and shouting “Long live the King!” “It may be my first and last chance to see this,” 57-year-old street Nattriya Siripattana said ahead of the first ceremony of its kind in 69 years. Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protestsThe three-day coronation, which started Saturday, is the first since Vajiralongkorn’s adored and revered father was crowned in 1950. The highlight of Saturday’s sombre ceremonies was the King’s anointment with holy water, before he placed the 7.3 kilogram (16 lbs) golden tiered crown on his head. Early Sunday, the king bestowed royal titles on family members who crawled to his throne in a striking show of deference to the monarch, who was joined by his new Queen Suthida. The queen, 40, was deputy commander of the king’s royal guard before her marriage to Vajiralongkorn, which was announced days before the coronation. During the procession, she marched in red and black uniform next to the palanquin. Thailand’s monarchy is swaddled in ritual, protocol and hierarchy all orbiting around the king, who is viewed as a demigod. During the hours-long procession Thais will have the opportunity to “pay homage” to the king who will also stop at several major temples to pray before large gilded Buddha images. On the ground authorities sprayed mists of water over the crowds whose numbers were bolstered by droves of “Jit Arsa” — or “Spirit Volunteers” — intended to project a show of devotion and fealty to the monarchy. But soaring temperatures threatened to thin out the numbers. Vajiralongkorn ascended the throne in 2016 after the death of his father Bhumibol Adulyadej. The elaborate coronation ceremonies have been broadcast on live television and include a network of the powerful and influential in Thailand. Junta chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha, who seized power in a 2014 coup, took part in many of the key rituals, including the procession. The king and queen stayed the previous night in the royal residence, where a Siamese cat and a white rooster were placed on a pillow as part of housewarming rituals intended to bring good tidings. One of the family members to receive royal titles was 14-year-old Prince Dipangkorn Rasmijoti, who knelt and prostrated in front of his father as he was anointed with water.The teenager is the king’s son from his third marriage. He has six other children, including four sons from two previous wives. Criticism or in-depth discussion of the royal family in Thailand is guarded by harsh lese-majeste rules that carry up to 15 years in prison. All media must self-censor and the country’s lively social media platforms have been subdued. But the dazzling display of the primacy of the monarchy in Thai life belies a simmering political crisis held over from elections in March. The junta that seized power in 2014 and has vowed to defend the monarchy is aiming to return to power through the ballot box. Its proxy party has claimed the popular vote. But a coalition of anti-military parties says it has shored up a majority in the lower house. Full results are not expected until May 9, a delay that has frustrated many Thais. “When the event (coronation) is finished we will have to focus on politics,” said Titipol Phakdeewanich, a lecturer at Ubon Ratchathani University.Since ascending the throne the king has taken several assertive moves, including bringing the assets of the Crown Property Bureau under his direct control.Though the royal family is nominally above politics, the king issued an election-eve message calling on Thais to vote for “good people” against those who create “chaos”. And in February, he scuttled the prime ministerial bid of his older sister Princess Ubolratana with an anti-junta party.last_img read more

Gayle named West Indies vicecaptain for World Cup

first_imgJamaica: Explosive opener Chris Gayle has been named vice-captain of the West Indies team for the World Cup, beginning May 30 in the UK. Gayle, who is set to retire from ODIs after his fifth World Cup appearance, is in top form going into the tournament, having scored close to 500 runs in the IPL. He was also in devastating form in the home series against England, hitting two hundreds and as many half-centuries in the five-match series. “It is always an honour to represent the West Indies in any format and this World Cup for me is special,” Gayle said after being named Jason Holder’s deputy on Monday. Gayle is a former West Indies captain who last led the regional side in June 2010. “As a senior player, it is my responsibility to support the captain and everyone else in the team. This will probably be the biggest World Cup, so there will be great expectations and I know we will do very well for the people of the West Indies,” said the 39-year-old, who has amassed 10151 runs in 289 ODIs at 38.16.last_img read more

No data of surgical strikes before September 2016 Army

first_imgNew Delhi: In its reply to an RTI, which sought to know how many surgical strikes on Pakistan were carried out during the UPA era, the Indian Army Tuesday said it does not have any data about them. “This section does not hold any data pertaining to surgical strikes if carried out before September 29, 2016,” stated the DGMO of the Indian Army in response to an RTI filed by Jammu-based activist Rohit Choudhary. The applicant had sought information about how many surgical strikes on Pakistan were carried out between 2004 to 2014 and after September 2014, and how many of them were successful.last_img read more

11 hurt as plane slides off Myanmar runway

first_imgYangon: Eleven people were injured as a plane slid off a runway while landing at Yangon airport in Myanmar Wednesday, police said, as a freak storm hit the city. Images on Facebook showed a crumpled Biman Bangladesh Airlines plane lying on the grass at the side of the runway. An AFP photographer saw an injured woman being carried to an ambulance on a stretcher. “One pilot, an air hostess and nine passengers were slightly injured,” a police officer at the airport told AFP, asking not to be named, adding that the plane slid from the runway as it landed at 6.50pm (local time). Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: Report”It happened near Terminal 3 where it fell onto the cargo runway as it landed,” he added, saying that the nose and both wings were damaged. Yangon International Airport did not confirm the crash but announced that heavy rain had caused them to suspend “runway operations until further notice”. Other incoming flights were diverted to the capital Naypyidaw. Thirty-one people were on board from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Canada, China, India, France and Switzerland. Civilian airline accidents are relatively rare in Myanmar although there have been a series of crashes of military aircraft.last_img read more

HWR Algeria Legally Responsible for Ensuring Respect for Human Rights in

Algiers  – While the Polisario governs the refugee camps in Tindouf, Algeria ultimately has the responsibility to ensure the protection of the rights of all persons on its soil, Human Rights Watch said Saturday in Algiers.“Algeria should publicly acknowledge its legal responsibility for ensuring respect for the rights of everyone on its territory, including residents of the Polisario-run refugee camps”, HWR stressed during a press conference on human rights violations in the Tindouf camps.The Polisario Front “should end military court jurisdiction over civilians and eradicate all vestiges of slavery”, the international human rights watchdog noted, adding that the leaders of the front should “ensure that camp residents are free to challenge its policies and leadership” and “advocate options other than independence for the Sahara”. read more

Morocco Dismantles Vast Algerian Criminal Network

Rabat – Moroccan authorities dismantled a vast underground network specializing in drug trafficking, according to the daily Al Massae in its Tuesday edition. The gang’s leaders were Algerians living in Morocco.Security forces took four Moroccan and Algerian traffickers into custody. The men had entered Morocco illegally. Al Massae revealed that the Interpol office in Rabat has asked their headquarters to provide information on a new list of Algerians suspected of being part of a vast international network of drug trafficking. Security authorities described the network as “dangerous” and used speedboats, according to Al Massae.The gang operated from Oujda and Nador. This network had connections in several European countries, including Spain, Belgium, Melilla and the Netherlands, where it sold its merchandise through local connections,. Police managed to collect “important information” Algerian traffickers were arrested for working for a drug lord in the south of Spain, which helped identify two of their colleagues, said Al Massae. The Algerians in question lived in Morocco before the arrest of their accomplices. According to a police report, more than 500 Algerian drug lords wanted internationally. Some have fled to Morocco, obtained Moroccan citizenship, and work as drug traffickers in the east and north of Morocco. read more

The City of Meknés is Smiling for Few Days

By Amine MechaalMeknés – For the 10th annual International Forum of Agriculture (SIAM), which takes place every year from the end of April until the beginning of May, the city of Meknés turns into one of the most beautiful cities of Morocco. Unfortunately, this beauty ends with the end of the Forum.Meknés is located in the north of the Kingdom, 140 kilometers east of the Moroccan capital, Rabat. It was built by the Moroccan Sultan Moulay Ismail in the 10th century, when it served as the capital of Morocco. It is known for its historical monuments and is one of the most desirable destinations for tourists. One month before SIAM, Meknés residents noticed unusual reforms and rehabilitations taking place in many parts of the city. A multitude of cleaners and gardeners were staffed to work days and nights to clean the streets and plant trees in almost every corner of Meknés.“I was amazed by the changes that Meknés has witnessed during the past few weeks. I hope this will last forever,” a shopkeeper told Morocco World News.“I have never seen trees giving fruits in less than one hour after they were planted, and flowers grow and flourish in one night, fountains which hadn’t worked for a long time were turned on…this is just unbelievable,” he added.The Urban Community of Meknés has also worked on the cultural aspect of rehabilation. It has organized many exhibitions throughout the city, artistic shows performed by international and local artists, and musical concerts in the L’agora and L’hdim areas.Some of the interviewees expressed their optimism to Morocco World News about the current changes that Meknés has undergone during this period; they said that this time something is different. The reason behind these optimistic views was highlighted by Adil Falah, the president of the Moroccan Association of Cultures and Arts, one of the leading associations in Meknés, in an interview with Morocco World News:“The changes and reforms that Meknés witnesses are done thanks to the SIAM (…) but what the great majority does not realize is that the reforms of this time are more solid and different. Since his appointment as governor last January, Mr. Mohamed Kadri expressed his disappointment with the present situation of Meknés, and promised to make it better (…).”The city of Meknés deserves more than what it presently has. Its historical monuments and sites annually attract thousands of tourists. However, the city infrastructure, equipment, and services are not enough for those tourists to enjoy their stay. This, of course, affects tourism in Meknés, and the image of Morocco in general. That’s why decision-makers should reconsider the current situation of Meknés and other marginalized cities and make the rehabilitations of spring a year-round effort.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission. read more

Democratic National Convention Kicks off in Philadelphia

Philadelphia – The Democratic National Convention kicked off Monday in Philadelphia.Presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton is expected to formally accept the party’s official nomination during the four-day event.Big names are set to take the stage each night, including Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who will headline the convention’s first night. Following a tumultuous primary race, Sanders eventually endorsed Clinton about a month after she garnered enough delegates for the nomination.Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced Sunday that she will resign at the end of the week after thousands of emails leaked over the weekend. Sanders and his supporters have continuously accused Wasserman Schultz of being unfairly biased for Clinton.With MAP read more