Germany bans 2 Kurdish publishing houses

BERLIN — Germany’s top security official has banned two publishers for allegedly belonging to a banned Kurdish organization.German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said Tuesday that he banned the publishers Mezopotamien Verlag und Vertrieb GmbH and the MIR Multimedia GmbH because they support the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK.The interior minister said in a statement that searches of the two publishing houses in western and northern Germany were underway.Seehofer said, “It’s necessary to push back the PKK because they continue to be active in Germany despite being banned.”He said that the two groups used their earnings solely to support the PKK which was outlawed as a foreign terrorist group in Germany in 1993.Germany is home to around 14,500 PKK supporters.The Associated Press read more

Spanish Civil Guard Dismantles Protected Animals Trafficking Network to Morocco

Rabat – The Spanish Civil Guard has dismantled the international network engaged in trafficking protected species to Morocco.‘Operation Fennec’ supervised by Europol, is the fruit of a coordinated investigation with the participation of Portugal, Slovakia, and Morocco. It has so far enabled the arrest of 10 alleged members of the criminal organization. The Spanish Civil Guard also seized around 200 animals, including birds, mammals, and reptiles that were destined to be smuggled to Morocco, according to Spanish media.  The investigation was initiated after a complaint from a citizen to the NGO SEO / BirdLife which reported the information to the Civil Guard.The clandestine smuggling network had contacts in many European countries that provided them with protected specimens to illegally export them to Morocco. After investigating the suspects, Spanish authorities found out that smuggled animals were stored in an animals shop in Fuengirola and in Ronda, both situated in the province of Malaga.Spanish media reported on the existence of an emerging market in Africa dedicated to selling illegal animals.Read also: Morocco’s Royal Navy Aborts Drug Trafficking Attempt of 4 Tons of CannabisRun by four people, one of the members of the network had judicial records in species trafficking and was responsible for acquiring animals from across Europe.To secure a pass at police controls, the network had a veterinarian who issued the corresponding health cards for exotic animals.Among the arrested individuals is a Moroccan national residing in the Spanish city of Melilla. The person is believed to have been responsible for animal distribution in Morocco and finding potential buyers via social media.To facilitate the border-crossing to Morocco, the network used mules between Melilla and Nador.No further details have been provided by authorities on the date of the trials. read more

Toronto stock market advances while loonie falls twothirds of a cent

Major North American indices made gains Friday, with those in New York setting record highs, as investors felt confident about the economy and the global political climate.The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index gained 39.22 points to 15,857.22.In New York, all three indices reached new highs.The Dow Jones industrial average rose 165.59 points to 23,328.63 and the S&P 500 index advanced 13.11 points to 2,575.21. That’s the fifth consecutive record-setting day for each index.The Nasdaq composite index, meanwhile, set a new high as it added 23.98 points to 6,629.05.The positive momentum comes as investors have decided that there’s little political risk and the economy is pretty stable, said Sadiq Adatia, chief investment officer at Sun Life Global Investments.“There really is very little out there today that should disrupt markets,” he said.Everyone is watching the Chinese Communist Party’s Congress, set to end next week, and parliamentary elections in Japan this weekend, Adatia said. But no surprises are expected from either event, he added.The TSX, which has recently experienced a rally, also benefits from lower expectations that the Bank of Canada will raise its benchmark interest rate once more before the end of the year, he said.Statistics Canada released inflation figures Friday that showed Canada’s annual inflation rate rose to 1.6 per cent in September, up from 1.4 per cent the previous month.The Bank of Canada scrutinizes the agency’s consumer price index ahead of rate decisions and economists said it’s unlikely the increase will push the central bank to raise rates at next Wednesday’s scheduled policy meeting.In currency markets, the Canadian dollar was trading at an average price of 79.36 cents US, down 0.78 of a U.S. cent.In commodities, the December crude contract gained 33 cents to US$51.84 per barrel and the November natural gas contract rose roughly four cents to about US$2.92 per mmBTU.The December gold contract shed US$9.50 to US$1,280.50 an ounce and the December copper contract was relatively unchanged at about US$3.17 a pound.— With files from the Associated PressFollow @AleksSagan on Twitter read more

Canada Pension Plans investment board racks up 89 return more than enough

TORONTO — Canada Pension Plan Investment Board recovered from a weak quarter in late 2018 to produce a solid 8.9 per cent net return for its most recent financial year.The Toronto-based investment manager for the Canada Pension Plan said its CPP Fund had $392.0 billion of net assets as of March 31, up $35.9 billion from the end of the 2018 financial year after all costs.The fiscal fourth quarter also showed a recovery from a weak return of 1.1 per cent in the third quarter that was affected by a general downturn in stock markets in December.CPPIB’s five-year real rate of return, which adjusts for inflation, was 8.9 per cent as of March 31 while the 10-year real rate of return was 9.2 per cent.Those returns are well ahead of what the Chief Actuary of Canada has determined to be necessary to sustain the Canada Pension Plan to at least 2090.Related Stories:After best rally since 2000, Canadian stocks face a wall of worryAurora Cannabis sales volume nearly doubles as net revenue jumps 52 per cent read more

Mets vs Yankees America Couldnt Care Less New York

The final Subway Series contest of the 2017 season takes place this evening at Citi Field, and if you put on the game, you might get the impression that the Yankees and Mets have a big-time rivalry going. It’s not that way for most baseball fans, however. The numbers show that only a minority actually like one team but not the other, while far more people hold the same opinion of both teams (good or bad) or just don’t care about one or both. In other words, most fans will probably be fine no matter the outcome tonight.That’s according to data from a combination of two FiveThirtyEight-commissioned SurveyMonkey Audience polls conducted in June and July. SurveyMonkey asked baseball fans across the country how they felt — whether they had a favorable view, an unfavorable view or didn’t know enough to say — about each MLB team. Here, we’re examining a subset of that data, totaling 321 baseball fans who were asked specifically about the Mets and Yankees.Of those, many fans (29 percent) held a favorable view of both the Mets and the Yankees. It’s not just that a fairly high percentage liked both teams. It’s that if you like one team, it actually increases your chance of liking the other team. While just 49 percent of the overall subsample held a favorable view of the Mets, 66 percent of fans who viewed the Yankees favorably felt the same way about the Mets. And a similar story holds in reverse. Only 44 percent of the fans in our subsample held a favorable view of the Yankees, but that percentage jumped to 59 percent among fans who held a favorable view of the Mets.While the idea that someone could simultaneously like the Mets and the Yankees is unthinkable to this Yankee hater, it actually makes a lot of sense. Fans often root for the hometown team, whether it be in their city or even their state. So it’s not unreasonable to say you like both the Mets and the Yankees because they are both from New York. Indeed, among our subsample who live in New York state, the Mets and Yankees sport a 71 percent and a 67 percent favorable rating, respectively.At the other end of the spectrum, 21 percent of baseball fans dislike both franchises. So that means 50 percent of baseball fans either like both the Yankees and Mets, or dislike both — not quite what you’d expect from a heated rivalry where battle lines are drawn and allegiances sworn. In fact, disliking the Mets or the Yankees actually makes one less apt to like the other team as well. The Mets sport just a 41 percent favorable rating among those who dislike the Yankees, 8 points below their overall favorable rating. And the Yankees do even worse among fans who dislike the Mets, with a 33 percent favorable rating — far below their 44 percent favorable mark overall.Again, part of this may just have to do with disliking a city or a state. As an illustration of this, the Mets and Yankees sport favorable ratings of just 40 percent and 30 percent among our subsample that hailed from New England. New England, of course, is a natural geographic rival of New York.Still, there are some people who do like the Mets and dislike the Yankees, and vice versa. One-fifth (20 percent) of fans hold a favorable view of the Mets and an unfavorable view of the Yankees. Meanwhile, 11 percent of fans hold a favorable view of the Yankees but an unfavorable view of the Mets. These fans, however, total only about a third of our subsample. That’s not much more than the 20 percent of fans who hold no opinion of at least one (if not both) teams.Don’t tell that to the New Yorkers in the stands, jawing at each other about the two ballclubs. But the bottom line is that most baseball fans around the country won’t have much of anything on the line in tonight’s Subway Series finale. read more

CocaCola Ireland in hot water on Twitter for removing gay marriage scene

first_imgUpdated: 16:09THE GLOBAL BEVERAGE company Coca-Cola has found itself in hot water today after it was highlighted it had omitted a gay-marriage scene, which is part of a Europe-wide campaign, from an TV advert to be broadcast in Ireland.The LGBT publication Eile.ie said that the ad campaign titled Reasons To Believe, leaves the scene out of the Irish version of the new advert.Highlighting the differences between the Dutch, Norwegian and British versions the new Reasons To Believe advertisement for the other countries shows the scene where two men are getting married.The Coca-Cola adverts do include different images in each advert depending on the country they are being shown in.TwitterCoca-cola and @cocacola was trending on Twitter in Ireland today after people took to the social media site to voice their unease and question why in the editing process for the advert the scene was removed.Others state that the same-sex marriage scene is replaced with an mixed-race marriage and that there is no issue.Coca- Cola’s advert in Norway with the scene included can be seen below:(Via YouTube/Coca-Cola Norway)Here is the Irish version where the scene with two men getting married is left out of the sequence.(Via YouTube/Coca-Cola Irleand)In response to a query from TheJournal.ie, a spokesperson for the company said the advertisement has been tailored for each market where it will be shown and has been informed by consumer research in each individual market.“The core objective is that the vignettes in the ad resonate with people in each country and that they are truly representative of cultural issues that they are familiar with and value,” they said. “You will note for example that the St Patrick’s Day scene is only included in the Irish version as it is only here that it is truly relevant from a cultural perspective.”As you rightly say, the wedding images used in the ad for the UK and in other parts of Europe show two men getting married. The reason that this was changed for Ireland is that while civil partnership for gay people is legal, gay marriage currently is not. This will be the subject of a referendum (2015).“We wanted each ad to be relevant and valid for its own market,” they added.Eile.ie also gives a Hat tip to Wolfgang Schmitt for the story.- With additional reporting by Michelle Hennessy.First published 15:49Read: 9 Irish Christmas ads that will hit you right in the feelings>Read: New Coca-Cola ad celebrates parenthood perfectly>last_img read more

Targets 25 Oregon Trail Handheld Lets You Die From Dysentery All Over

first_imgLet us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on target Target has sold plenty of cool, geeky merch over the years, but they’ve completely outdone themselves this time. They’re now selling an exclusive Oregon Trail handheld for just $25.Can you already play Oregon Trail on your smartphone? Of course you can. Plenty of the titles that are out there are free, too. Annoyingly, lots of them are packed with ads and push DLC on you — and while there’s nothing wrong with polished, high-res graphics, some games just work better with simple, low-color visuals.Even if the remakes try to be faithful to the original, it’s just not the same experience on a sleek, sexy smartphone that it is on a chunky, retro-styled handheld with fat, satisfyingly-clicky buttons. Look at that thing. It’s so unafraid of bezels that it has two of them, just like the CRT that used to sit on top of my family’s first computer.Whoever made this thing for Target really tried to turn the nostalgia up to 11. To get the fun started, you have to “push” the floppy disk into the “drive”… how awesome is that?There’s a single speaker that produces gloriously low-fi audio to accompany the gameplay. You can get a taste of it by skipping ahead to the 3:10 mark in John Rigg’s hands-on video.It’s all there, from busted wheels and axles to dysentery. And yes, you can go hunting for food… and the challenge is compounded ever-so-slightly by the handheld’s slightly odd directional control.Yet another part of the retro experience: the system runs on batteries. Three double A cells are included, but you’ll have to substitute your own rechargeables if you want to keep things green.Target’s going to sell a ton of these systems at $25 a pop… which makes you wonder what they’ll do for a sequel. Carmen San Diego, perhaps?center_img Sega Genesis Mini Heats Up Retro Console WarsMachine Learning Translates Japanese Retro Games In Real Time last_img read more

Next WWE Hall of Fame announcement expected Monday

first_img Now Playing Up Next Cesaro Kurt Angle WhatsApp Is WWE Losing Its Audience? Videos Articles Seth Rollins Pinterest Now Playing Up Next Ronda Rousey On WWE: I Love This Job, But I Dont Need It Seth Rollins Defends WWE On Two Separate Occasions Roman Reigns is in Remission Videos Articles Now Playing Up Nextcenter_img Facebook Google+ Now Playing Up Next WWE revealed on Twitter that the third inductee into the Class of 2015 WWE Hall of Fame is expected to be announced this Monday night during RAW.Already announced for the Hall of Fame during WrestleMania 31 weekend is the “Macho Man” Randy Savage and Arnold Schwarzenegger.Source: Twitter.com/WWERecommended videosPowered by AnyClipSeth Rollins Defends WWE On Two Separate OccasionsVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPauseUnmuteDuration 0:30/Current Time 0:05Loaded: 100.00%0:05Remaining Time -0:25 FullscreenUp NextThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Replay the list Joan Jett Set To Perform Ronda Rouseys Entrance At WrestleMania 35 Videos Articles Now Playing Up Next WWE RAW Preview: King of the Ring Final Match, Fallout from WWE Clash of Champions Adam Martin RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Twitter Wrestleview Weekly: Predictions for tonight’s Clash of Champions event in Charlotte WWE Draft confirmed to be taking place as a two-night event starting on October 11last_img read more

WSU Vancouver hosts college cost workshop

first_imgWashington State University Vancouver will host a workshop on how to pay for college at 6 p.m. March 21 in the Dengerink Administration Building on campus.The “A-Z of Paying for College” workshop will address how to apply for scholarships, grants and loans. Presenters will provide strategies on how to apply for financial aid.Free event parking will be available in the Orange 2 lot.WSU Vancouver is located at 14204 N.E. Salmon Creek Ave., Vancouver.last_img

City hosts open houses on urban growth update

first_imgWoodland – The city of Woodland will host five open houses to discuss the possible expansion of the city’s urban growth boundary as part of an update to Woodland’s comprehensive plan.City officials intend to hold a planning commission public hearing to go over Woodland’s comprehensive plan amendment case and make a recommendation on a growth scenario map at its Dec. 20 meeting.The open houses will be held from 1 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, 1 to 6:30 p.m. Nov. 15, 1 to 6 p.m. Nov. 19, 1 to 6 p.m. Dec. 3, and 4 to 9 p.m. Dec. 4. All meetings will be held at council chambers in the Woodland Police Station, 200 E. Scott Ave.Questions regarding the application should be directed to Travis Goddard, community development director, at goddardt@ci.woodland.wa.us or 360-225-7299.last_img read more

Mitchell Clark set to return to action after injury layoff

first_imgAston Villa loanee Mitchell Clark is set to return to action this weekend after suffering an injury that laid him off for three weeks.The 19-year-old suffered a hamstring injury in Vale’s 1-0 home defeat to Swindon Town in November which ruled him out of matches against Yeovil Town, Stoke City U21s and Morecambe.Aston Villa explains why they spent so much money on players Manuel R. Medina – September 6, 2019 According to Aston Villa’s chief executive, the team needed to spend £144.5 million on 12 players in order to stay competitive.Clark has now recovered and is set to return to Port Vale’s starting lineup for their match with Cheltenham Town on Saturday, according to Birmingham Mail. Aston Villa are particularly interested in the match as striker Kelsey Mooney who is currently on loan at Cheltenham will also feature in the League two clash.Aston Villa have an option to recall Clark to their team in the January transfer window should club manager Dean Smith wish to use him in the first team or a club in League One seek his services.last_img read more

Report Bayern Munich launch a £35m bid for HudsonOdoi

first_imgBayern Munich have reportedly decided to match Chelsea’s asking price and lodge a £35m bid for Callum Hudson-OdoiThe 18-year-old winger has a host of admirers from Germany with reports suggesting an exit from Chelsea could be imminent due to a lack of playing time.In fact, Hudson-Odoi has only managed 42 minutes of Premier League football this term with the majority of his appearances coming in cup competitions.Now Sky Sports reports that Bayern have allegedly made a fourth bid of £35m for Hudson-Odoi, which does not include a buy-back clause for Chelsea.The reports adds that Bayern’s latest offer does match Chelsea’s valuation of the England U19 international, who has apparently told the club he wants to leave.Speaking after Chelsea’s 2-0 FA Cup win over Nottingham Forest, however, manager Maurizio Sarri expressed his wish for Hudson-Odoi to remain where he is and suggested a move to Germany may not be wise.Jose Mourinho is sold on Lampard succeeding at Chelsea Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho wanted to give his two cents on Frank Lampard’s odds as the new Chelsea FC manager, he thinks he will succeed.There really…“I don’t think so, because he is an English player,” said Sarri.“He is very young, he has the future. He has a very great future here in England, with the national team and Chelsea. To stay here is better for him.“I know only that for me he is a very important player. He is very young but now he is improving especially in the defensive phase.“He played really very well in the last match. I am really very happy with him. I don’t know the situation with the club.”Juventus and RB Leipzig are also reportedly interested in signing Hudson-Odoi.last_img read more

Two men arrested following fight over pool chair at Kearny Mesa apartments

first_img Posted: August 6, 2019 KUSI Newsroom, Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter Two men arrested following fight over pool chair at Kearny Mesa apartments August 6, 2019 KUSI Newsroom SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Two men were arrested on suspicion of injuring four people during a fight at a pool in a Kearny Mesa apartment complex, police said Tuesday.The fight happened around 10 p.m. Monday at the Olympus Corsair apartments on Aero Drive, San Diego police Officer John Buttle said.A large group was in the pool area of the apartment complex when a fight broke out over a chair, Buttle said.During the fight, one victim was struck with a pool cue and three others were beaten up, but they all refused medical attention, he said.Officers responded to the scene and arrested a 29-year-old man and a 28-year-old man, whose names were not immediately available, on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, Buttle said. last_img read more

Lauer on Martha The Only Thing We Havent Done is Have Sex

first_img“I commend [the MPA] for ignoring your persistent steroid use,”Lauer said. (There was no mention of the imClone stock scandal norStewart’s subsequent jail term.)Lauer admitted he was exacting a bit of revenge for the skewering he received from Stewart at his own Friar’s Club Roast in October.Read FOLIO:’s coverage of the event here.[PHOTO: Martha Stewart blog] Funny, if odd, moment at today’s Magazine Lifetime Achievement Awards in New York. Matt Lauer, the Today show host, turned the induction of Martha Stewart into the Magazine Hall of Fame into something of a Friar’s Club Roast. Lauer said of his friendship with the Doyenne of Domesticity:“The only thing we haven’t done is have sex—and if you would’ve just put down the glue gun that might’ve happened, too.”Lauer also spoke of Martha’s universal appeal among women, men “and, yes, even some straight men.” last_img read more

5 Wilmington Students To Perform In Northeast Youth Ballets The Nutcracker

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Five Wilmington residents will perform in Northeast Youth Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker.”The local residents are Cecilia DaCunha, Jacqueline McGonigle, Michaela McGonigle, Elly O’Connell and Emily Pinto.Northeast Youth Ballet’s “Nutcracker” is the enchanting journey of a young girl named Clara in 1835 Germany who embarks on a journey through a winter wonderland to a palace of sugary sweets.Featuring the talents of more than 160 dancers who auditioned from the Greater Boston area, along with international guest artists hailing from Chile, Italy, Colombia and New York, the production will return to the J. Everett Collins Center for the Performing Arts in Andover.“The Nutcracker” will run December 6 to December 9. Tickets range from $27 to $35 and can be obtained through http://northeastyouthballet.org or by calling 800-595-4849.For those who qualify, complimentary tickets are also available through NYB’s STARS Program, a community outreach program created to encourage and educate children and individuals of all ages who might not otherwise have the opportunity to attend the ballet. This group includes students, senior citizens, special needs organizations and military families from the inner city and surrounding communities.(NOTE: The above information is from Northeast Youth Ballet.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Thank You To Our Sponsor:Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Related39 Wilmington Dances To Perform In The NutcrackerIn “Community”Wilmington Ballet Students To Appear In “The Nutcracker”In “Community”5 Things To Do In Wilmington On Sunday, December 9, 2018In “5 Things To Do Today”last_img read more

Wipro reports 76 fall in Q2 net profit misses IT revenue guidance

first_imgWipro reported a drop in net profit for the second quarter (Q2) ended September 2016 as IT services revenue fell short of guidance. Net profit declined 7.6 percent year-on-year (YoY) to Rs 2,070 crore in Q2 from Rs 2,241 crore, while IT revenues came at $1,916.3 million, below the guidance of $1,931-1,950 million. The Bengaluru-based company has given revenue guidance of $1,916-1,955 million for the December quarter.Total revenues rose 10.5 percent to Rs 13,896.80 crore in Q2 from Rs 12,566.80 crore in the corresponding period last year. IT services margin remained unchanged at 17.8 percent on a sequential basis. “We maintained margins in Q2 despite the impact of salary increase for an incremental two months due to strong operational improvements in automation-led productivity, offshoring and utilisation. As we look forward, the demand environment is mixed in a seasonally weak quarter affected by furloughs and lower number of working days,” Jatin Dalal, Chief Financial Officer, said in a statement.The company’s recent acquisition of US-based Appirio for $500 million will strengthen presence in cloud application space, according to Abidali Z. Neemuchwala, chief executive officer and board member.”I am very excited about Wipro’s acquisition of Appirio, a leader in cloud applications, especially across Salesforce and Workday implementation services. This acquisition will establish Wipro’s dominance in cloud application services and further strengthen Wipro’s brand as a Digital Partner of choice,” he said.The IT Services segment headcount stood at 1,74,238 as of September 30, 2016. Net utilisation (excluding trainees) improved to 82.8 percent in Q2 from 79.7 percent in the June quarter.From a vertical-wise perspective, finance (BFSI) contributed 25.5 percent, while manufacturing and technology accounted for 22.4 percent of IT services revenues. From a geographical viewpoint, Americas contributed 54.8 percent and Europe 24 percent.Shares of Wipro closed at Rs 499.20 on Friday on the BSE. The results were declared after the market hours.last_img read more

Voting begins in Indias incredible election

first_imgVoters line up to cast their votes outside a polling station during the first phase of general election in Alipurduar district in the eastern state of West Bengal, India, on 11 April 2019. Photo: ReutersIndia’s gargantuan election, the biggest in history, kicks off on Thursday with prime minister Narendra Modi seeking a second term from the South Asian behemoth’s 900 million voters.Opinion polls put Modi, 68, as the favourite but he faces a tough challenge from not one but two scions of India’s storied Nehru-Gandhi dynasty attempting to capitalise on his poor record on jobs and rural poverty.Because of the vastness of India, the election will be held in seven phases, from the tea plantations of Darjeeling to the slums of Mumbai to the tropical Andaman Islands, and everywhere in between.Security forces are on high alert due to the perennial danger of violence, with five people including a local lawmaker killed in an ambush by suspected Maoist rebels this week.Thousands of parties and candidates will run for office between now and 19 May in 543 constituencies across the nation of 1.3 billion people, with results not due until 23 May.Some of the 1.1 million electronic voting machines will be transported through jungles and carried up mountains, including to a hamlet near the Chinese border with just one voter.A woman casts her vote at a booth next to a polling officer at a polling station in Majuli, a large river island in the Brahmaputra river, in the northeastern Indian state of Assam, India on 11 April 2019. Photo: ReutersPhase one on Thursday sees some 142 million voters — including 7,764 transgender voters, eligible to register as such for the first time — able to cast ballots.Good daysModi and his right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) swept to power in 2014 with their famous promise of “achhe din” (“good days”), becoming the first party to win an absolute majority in 30 years.Critics say the BJP has since sought to impose a Hindu agenda on India, emboldening attacks on Muslims and low-caste Dalits trading in beef — cows being holy for Hindus — and re-writing school textbooks.Modi has simplified the tax code and made doing business easier but some of his promises have fallen short, particularly in rural areas where thousands of indebted farmers have killed themselves in recent years.Growth in Asia’s third-biggest economy has been too slow to provide jobs for the millions of Indians entering the labour market each month, and unemployment is reportedly at its highest since the 1970s.A man gets his finger inked before casting his vote at a polling station in Majuli, a large river island in the Brahmaputra river, in the northeastern Indian state of Assam, India on 11 April 2019. Photo: ReutersRahul Gandhi, 48, hoping to become the latest prime minister from his dynasty — and aided by sister Priyanka — has accused Modi of causing a “national disaster”.Gandhi’s Congress party has profited from voter dissatisfaction, winning in December three key state elections, chipping into Modi’s core support base in the Hindi-speaking heartland of northern India.Empty suitGandhi, the great-grandson, grandson and son of three past premiers, has grown in stature since being derided in leaked US diplomatic cables in 2007 as an “empty suit”.Election adverts show him hugging an emaciated peasant woman, while Congress’s leftist manifesto pledges to end abject poverty by 2030 and give cash transfers to 50 million families.But Modi and the BJP’s formidable campaign juggernaut — backed by a savvy social media army — will be no pushover, promising a $1.4-trillion infrastructure blitz.Playing to its Hindu base, the BJP has also committed to building a grand temple in place of a Muslim mosque demolished by Hindu mobs in the northern city of Ayodhya in 1992.A porter carries a Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machine and an Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) through Buxa tiger reserve forest to a remote polling station, in Alipurduar district in the eastern state of West Bengal, India, on 10 April 2019. Photo: ReutersBut most importantly, India’s latest military altercation with arch-rival Pakistan in February has allowed Modi to portray himself as the “chowkidar” (“watchman”) protecting mother India.”Nationalism is our inspiration and inclusion and good governance is our mantra,” Modi, whose stern bearded face stares out from ubiquitous posters, said at the launch of his manifesto.But opinion polls are notoriously unreliable in India and much will depend on the BJP’s performance in several key states, in particular Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.”It’s difficult to predict,” said Parsa Venkateshwar Rao, a veteran journalist and political commentator.”It reminds me of 2004 when (premier Atal Bihari) Vajpayee and the BJP lost when everyone expected them to win,” he told AFP.last_img read more

Starbucks Announces It Will Close All Its Stores On May 29 For

first_imgPhoto: APA plain-clothed police officer, right, mans a position behind the counter at the Starbucks that has become the center of protests Monday, April 16, 2018, in Philadelphia. Starbucks wants to add training for store managers on “unconscious bias,” CEO Kevin Johnson said Monday, as activists held more protests at a Philadelphia store where two black men were arrested after employees said they were trespassing. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma)Starbucks, trying to tamp down a racially charged uproar over the arrest of two black men at one of its stores in Philadelphia, announced Tuesday it plans to close all its U.S. stores –which amount to more than 8,000— for several hours next month to conduct racial-bias training for its nearly 175,000 workers.The announcement comes after the arrests sparked protests and calls for a boycott on social media.Starbucks says the stores and corporate offices will be closed on the afternoon of May 29.Starbucks, which once urged its employees to start conversations about race with customers, found itself through the looking glass: under fire for its treatment of black people.The company reacted from a high level: Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said the arrests should not have happened and the company said he met with the two men. Starbucks also said the employee who called police no longer works at the store, but declined to give further detailsThe episode highlights the risks large corporations run when they tie their brands so closely to social messaging. In 2015, then-CEO Howard Schultz shrugged off the “Race Together” fiasco as a well-intentioned mistake and pressed on with his public efforts to engage in the debate over race in America.Johnson was scrambling to keep the Philadelphia incident from shattering the message Schultz was going for: Starbucks is a corporation that stands for something beyond profit.“The more your brand is trying to connect emotionally to people, the more hurt people feel when these kinds of things happen,” said Jacinta Gauda, the head of the Gauda Group, a New York strategic communications firm affiliated with the Grayling network. “They are breaking a promise. That’s what makes it hurt deeper.”Beyond racial relations, Starbucks has staked much of its brand on its dual promise of providing good customer service and treating its employees well, said John Gordon, a restaurant industry analyst with Pacific Management Consulting Group.The Seattle company has a reputation for well-managed stores, “a point of difference that allows them to sell primarily drinks and coffees that have a higher cost,” he said.But in a multinational company with more than 28,000 stores worldwide, there has “to be a situation every day where some human being handles things wrong. You can’t have that many employees and not have something stupid happen,” Gordon said. “Even with a huge operations manual that lays out what to say and what to do, you can’t cover everything.”Still, Starbucks has set its own high bar.Last month, the company claimed it had achieved 100 percent pay equity across gender and race for all its U.S. employees and committed to doing the same for its overseas operations, an initiative publicly backed by equality activist Billie Jean King.The company also touts the diversity of its workforce, saying minorities comprise more than 40 percent of its employees in the U.S.In 2016, Starbucks promised to invest in 15 “underserved” communities across the country, trying to counter an image of a company catering to a mostly white clientele.One of those stores opened in Ferguson, Missouri, the scene of the 2014 protests that erupted following the police shooting of Michael Brown, one of several such killings that moved Schultz to launch the Race Together campaign.Those efforts are in stark contrast to the video that went viral over the weekend showing the two black men being arrested by police who were called by an employee.Officials have said police officers were told the men had asked to use the store’s restroom but were denied because they hadn’t bought anything and they refused to leave.A Starbucks spokeswoman said Tuesday that the employee no longer works at the store, but declined to give further details.On Monday, about two dozen protesters took over the Philadelphia shop, chanting slogans like, “A whole lot of racism, a whole lot of crap, Starbucks coffee is anti-black.” The hashtag #BoycottStarbucks trended on Twitter.Johnson, who called has called the arrests “reprehensible,” arrived in Philadelphia this weekend to personally confront the crisis. He met with the two men Monday, the company’s spokeswoman said. Johnson had also promised to revamp store management training to include the “unconscious-bias” training.“I watched the video, which was hard to watch. That is not what Starbucks is about. That is not representative of our mission, our values and our guiding principles,” Johnson said.Gauda, who has developed workplace inclusion and diversity strategies for corporate clients, cautioned that any unconscious-bias training should not be treated as “special subject” but incorporated as a core part of its employee training. She warned Starbucks against treating Philadelphia as a one-off affair, urging the company to investigate whether there were any warning signs.“I would suspect that this particular issue is something that has occurred before,” Gauda said. “The company is in crisis mode now, but they should not look at this as an isolated issue.”Gauda and other corporate communications experts said they were impressed that Johnson immediately took a hands-on approach to addressing the crisis, saying his efforts would pay off in an age where corporations are under the glare of social media.“I’m actually surprised he is handling it the way a CEO should be handling it. He went in head first and he took the blame for it,” said M.J. McCallum, vice president and creative director of Muse Communications, an advertising and communications agency with an African-American focus. “I definitely applaud that. Most people won’t jump on the bomb.”“Starbucks has a great reputation. They stand for a better culture. They have stores in inner cities,” McCallum said. “I think he realizes what this one incident can do for his brand.” Sharelast_img read more

Hyatt chefs toss up special salads for summer

first_imgThe menu, available from Monday to Saturday, has an extensive variety of dishes available for each palate as fresh ingredients adds to its charm.As the summer heat has its most disastrous effect on one’s appetite, salads become an absolute necessity and one’s sheer delight. The Summer Special has a wide range of salads for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. The ‘California Salad’, being referred to as ‘Californication’ by Chef Abhishek Singh, brings California to the plate. All the ingredients, including chicken, strawberry, pineapple and others, are imported from California. The freshness of the ingredients and the juiciness of the fruits topped with some basic spices is quite energizing.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’‘The Duck Liver salad’ would be a treat for non-vegetarians. The creamy and earthy texture of the duck liver along with the sweet and crunchy apples create a blast of flavours. One of the most striking salads in the menu is the ‘Balsamic marinated vegetables’. Despite its simple taste, its presentation is elegant, as the rolled up zucchini dressed in balsamic vinegar, is beautiful to look at. The most prominent addition to the lavish buffet is the ‘ham and Cheese’ counter where all the required items are laid out for gourmets to attack on. With all the ingredients at bay, one could prepare the dish according to their personal taste and flavour requirement. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe menu has the three most famous tikkas, namely ‘Paneer tikka’, ‘Chicken tikka’ and ‘Fish tikka’. While the ‘Paneer tikka’ felt soft and had apt spices, the ‘Chicken tikka’ was roasted to perfection. Only the ‘fish tikka’ could have been better had it been lightly roasted. The most exciting part of a meal comes at last. Rightly said, last but not the least, desserts are everyone’s dream. The Hyatt Café Summer Special had all sorts of desserts from Indian sweets like Gulab Jamun and Rasgulla to ‘Apple berry tart’ and Chocolate and mango swiss rolls. The Gulab Jamun would melt in the mouth, with the first bite allowing a burst of the right amount of sweetness. The ‘Banana Split’ had vanilla and butterscotch ice cream on top of the banana pieces. While the ice creams felt heavenly, the banana felt a little sour.The Summer Special menu is truly special as its comprehensive incorporation of various salads fulfills the job of letting one forget the heat outside and enjoy the coolness that meets the mouth.last_img read more

Ladysmith Gazette newspaper is out so get your copy NOW

first_imgYou can purchase your copy on the streets and at various shops around town; the newspaper is not hard to find!The cost of the Ladysmith Gazette is ONLY R5.30. So what are you waiting for? Go and grab your copy NOW!Click to receive news links via WhatsApp. Or  for the latest news, visit our webpage or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Join us there! WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite The Ladysmith Gazette newspaper is out today, so you’d be wise to get your copy as soon as possible.Read our front-page story about the former speaker of uThukela District Municipality, Dudu Mazibuko, who is stepping out of the political arena and embarking on a new venture.We have plenty of hard news stories on page 2 and 3, including an article about the memorial service for the RTI officer who was killed in a hit ‘n run on the N3. Also read how chaos erupted in the CBD on Spring Day. There was wide-scale littering, drinking in public and deadly violence to top it all off.If you are looking for a job or want to buy / sell items, then check out the vacancies and classifieds pages!Many of our stories are “PRINT ONLY”, so you have to purchase a copy of the Ladysmith Gazette to read these stories, as they will not appear online.Not forgetting our community articles, school news and sport.last_img read more