Farhan Suleman Having completed his studies in Marketing and Media, Farhan Suleman has ample experience in the field of content marketing. He regularly writes blogs pertaining to the ongoing trends and never fails to inspire his readers with an interesting read. Apart from writing, he is an enthusiastic chess player with a rating of more than 1800 Elo. Most people are of the view that virtual reality is mainly used for entertainment purposes like gaming and watching movies, but this is not the case at all. The developers of virtual reality recently conducted research where they found out that virtual reality can be used for clinical procedures to treat patients. Experts in this technology are currently developing a solution to help patients who are a victim of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). This is a solution where the patients will be given access visually to a particular situation that relates to an issue they are dealing with or traumatized by so that they can cope with the memories that haunt them. Grooming Services Tags:#technology#Trends#virtual reality Dentist Training Virtual reality has made it possible for the automobile industry to test cars before they launch it for the general public. Manufacturing companies can test the cars that they produce in different environments and make improvements where necessary. Virtual reality can significantly reduce the number of accidents and save the lives of thousands of drivers. Virtual reality provides architects with the opportunity to see the designs of the buildings before constructing them. This enables them to make sensible predictions regarding the outlook of the building so that they can showcase the shops and apartments that will be constructed. This is the perfect way to promote investment in such properties. In addition to this, architects can also see the internal designs of the building and make the changes that are necessary to be made. With virtual reality, builders can show the complete structure to their clients before it is constructed. As technology is emerging, new gadgets are being developed on a daily basis to make the lives of people more comfortable and more convenient. One of the most astounding inventions is the introduction of virtual reality. The technology of virtual reality is perhaps the perfect gadget to create an artificial environment where people can truly live their dreams by using their imagination.The Benefits of VR TechnologyThe emergence of virtual reality has completely revolutionized the way people shop online. With this particular technology, you can try out the clothes that you want to buy without actually going to the store. In addition to this, virtual technology is used to train workers for tasks that are considered to be dangerous and life-threatening, for example; firefighters, pilots, etc. Employees get to learn a lot without the risk of danger, and this eliminates the chance of making a mistake when it comes to real life experiences. The best example would be of a doctor performing open heart surgery on a patient. Doctors can easily practice the operation and give their best performance when the actual surgery takes place.Moreover, you can use virtual reality for communication as well. Many businesses have implemented this technology for conducting conferences so that they can easily communicate with the employees and make them understand the assigned tasks. The advent of the internet has made it possible for you to communicate with your friends and coworkers with virtual reality; you will feel like the other person is in the same room as you, and it will be a fantastic experience for you as well as your employees.Opportunities with VR in 2019Virtual reality is being adopted by millions of people all over the globe because of the benefits that it delivers to users. Companies are implementing this technology to provide a unique user experience to their customers so that they can be served in the best way possible. Virtual reality has opened doors to various opportunities which are yet to be explored.Here are 7 uses of virtual reality that you might not have seen before: Virtual reality is going to change the way people shop online. In the past, people could only see the clothes online, and they had to buy the products without trying them on. However, as technology has advanced to another level, now customers can try the garments on themselves and buy the ones that fit them perfectly. Singapore is already implementing this technology and the companies operating there are on the verge of making the whole shopping experience digital for the customers.Read: How AR and VR Technologies Revolutionizing the E-Commerce Industry? Related Posts Revolutionize Retail Shopping People are often confused as to what hairstyle they should get when they visit a salon, especially ladies. This is where virtual reality comes in to save your day. With this technology, you can see different hairstyles and choose the one that suits you the best. Driving and Testing Cars The military sector of the country uses this technology as well because soldiers have to undertake extensive training classes for combat and it is mandatory for them to pass such tests. With virtual reality, the military can easily simulate fighting strategies and teach the soldiers about how to deal with difficult situations when they are on the battlefield.ConclusionVirtual reality has a lot of potentials that are yet to be explored. People have not started implementing this technology in their daily routine tasks because they are still at a learning stage and the benefits of using virtual reality are not widely known. Developers are spreading the awareness of this technology through social media and websites, but it will take some time before people get used to the art of virtual reality. Architecture and Interior Designing Clinical Therapy Follow the Puck The Use of Virtual Reality in Military The training of a dentist is challenging and intense, and it takes a lot of practice and time for a person to become a dentist. With the emergence of the latest technological equipment, dentists are now being introduced to the virtual reality which makes the process of training much more comfortable than before. Virtual reality allows dental students to conduct practice sessions in a controlled environment which enables them to become efficient at their work. In addition to this, virtual reality provides dental students with an opportunity to observe and test their dental procedures so that they can eliminate the risk of going wrong when they perform actual surgery. Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Trends Driving the Loyalty Marketing Industry
Calling for religious harmony and unity, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday participated in a Rath Yatra celebration organised here by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). The newly elected Trinamool Congress MP from Basirhat, Nusrat Jahan, joined Ms. Banerjee at the celebration. Ms. Jahan was invited to the event by ISKCON.“We celebrate all festivals in West Bengal irrespective of caste, creed or religion. Under the leadership of ‘Didi’ [Ms. Banerjee], we believe that Bengal is the seat of peace and amity,” Ms. Jahan said, addressing the gathering from the stage. The MP was accompanied by her husband Nikhil Jain.The BJP also participated in a number of Rath Yatra celebrations where party leaders Mukul Roy and Arvind Menon were present.
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Touch Football Australia has today welcomed the release of the Australian Governmentâ€™s â€˜Girls Make Your Moveâ€™ campaign which encourages younger Australian women to get physically active.Minister for Health Sussan Ley said the campaign comes on the back of new research showing nearly 60 per cent of girls aged 15-to-17 reported undertaking little-to-no exercise or physical activity compared to one-third of boys. â€œThis campaign was a fun way to encourage young women in their teenage years to build their bodies as they are growing. â€œIt aims to tackle this sliding door moment in a young womanâ€™s life when they actually are laying down the foundation for the rest of their lives. â€œPhysical activity in the teenage years lays down the muscle and bone you need for the rest of your life. Itâ€™s a unique time as your body develops and the greatest opportunity to build up strength for your later years.â€ â€œIt will also help us to tackle a serious â€˜epidemicâ€™ of diseases and chronic conditions facing this current generation if they did not exercise more. â€œThe research is telling us around the late primary to early high school age girls first engage in some form of physical activity within peer groups. And if that first experience is not enjoyable the idea of exercise and sport also can become a negative,â€ Ms Ley said.Touch Football Australia CEO, Colm Maguire said the sport of Touch Football has a role to play in reversing the alarming trends in female participation in sport and active recreation. â€œTouch Football has always provided a place on the field for everyone with over 42 percent of our participants being female. We are certainly focused on increasing our junior participation and know that we can work harder on expanding our appeal to young girls.â€ â€œWeâ€™re planning for one million people playing our sport annually by 2020 so not only will the number of girls playing Touch Football grow, but weâ€™re investing in our schools strategy to increase the proportion of girls participating as well. â€œOur unique offering of social competitions, gala days, events and our representative pathway means there are plenty of fun opportunities to be involved. â€œParticipation in Touch Football isnâ€™t limited to just being a player. With the assistance of the Australian Sports Commission, weâ€™ve recently invested in the development a Womenâ€™s Elite Coaching Leadership Workshop and an Elite Referee and Referee Coaches Workshop to grow the skills of our female volunteers. We have also had strong representation at a governance level and recently elected our first female Chair of the national Board.â€œWeâ€™re very happy to be able to support the Australian Governmentâ€™s #girlsmakeyourmove campaign and we encourage each of our affiliates to think about ways they can promote the message in their own community,â€ Maguire said. For more information visit: http://www.health.gov.au/internet/girlsmove/publishing.nsf/Content/activitiesRelated LinksGirls Make Your Move
TagsTransfersLoan MarketAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Man Utd and Fulham at loggerheads over Fosu-Mensah loanby Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United and Fulham are at loggerheads over the loan future of Timothy Fosu-Mensah. The Sun says Fosu-Mensah would be allowed to return to Old Trafford, with Calum Chambers a regular under manager Claudio Ranieri and previous boss Slavisa Jokanovic.But United want the Dutchman, 21, to fight for his place at Craven Cottage instead of being part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad.According to a United source, the club want Fosu-Mensah to learn how to fight his way back into contention at Fulham.They see his situation under Ranieri, where he has not started a game since November, as part of his learning process in senior football.
ezekiel elliott releases apologetic statementFollowing Ohio State’s last-second loss to Michigan State this past Saturday, running back Ezekiel Elliott spoke out against his coaching staff’s play-calling during the contest, suggesting that he didn’t get the ball enough. Since, he’s been dealing with a great deal of criticism. Monday afternoon, he released an apologetic statement on the matter.Just minutes after head coach Urban Meyer told reporters that Elliott will not be suspended for the transgression, Elliott tweeted a heartfelt statement about his actions. He told fans that he got “caught up in the emotions” of the loss. He also said the team will be ready for Michigan this Saturday.pic.twitter.com/n2UYS4dCHO— EzekielElliott#⃣1⃣5⃣ (@EzekielElliott) November 23, 2015Ohio State has a chance to silence doubters this week against Michigan. The Game kicks off at 12:00 PM.
Project Green 501c3 Founders Kim Kreiss and Patryjca Siewert-Towns were grateful to Festival Producer Jay Freedman for choosing Project Green 501c3 to be one of the charity partners for his Huntington Beach Art, Food & Music Festival last weekend.Project Green 501c3 Founders Kim Kreiss & Patryjca Siewert-TownsHighlights of the amazing festival included music producer David Pack who led a super group band that backed up legends Al Stewart, Gary Wright, Bill Champlin (Chicago), Mike Reno (Loverboy), Kelly Keagy (Night Ranger), John Elefante (Kansas), Dave Jenkins (Pablo Cruise), Bobby Kimball (Toto), Jim Peterik (Survivor) among others. This was the largest known collective performance of legendary 70’s and 80’s stars on one stage, ever!The Huntington Beach Food, Art & Music Festival featured other chart-topping artists including: Mark McGrath, Jefferson Starship and Michelle Branch. There were national award-winning BBQ rib teams straight from The BBQ Championships in Reno, Nevada, representing more than 10 states and Canada, showcasing their finest culinary selections to taste. Foodies experienced some of the best food trucks that Southern California had to offer, as well as many other delicious local treats.One hundred juried artists selected through an extensive process showcased a wide variety of talents and mediums including jewelry, painting, woodworking and photography.Sponsors included: Rolaids, Coca-Cola, Sara Lee Snacks, Club Cornbread Cracker Bites, Coors Light, Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce and Huntington Beach Art Center, with media support from K-Earth 101, OC Weekly and 94.7 The Wave.Project Green 501c3 Founders Patrycja Siewert-Towns and Kim Kreiss have perfected the ultimate entertainment lounge when it comes to raising awareness in the green community in conjunction with their charity! Project Green 501c3 is fully funded by donations from individuals, businesses, and foundations. Any and all donations are accepted and welcomed! Project Green continuously does outreach to help generate recognition as well as drive donations. Project Green is a registered 501c3 non-profit based in Atlanta, Georgia whose mission is to preserve green space for future generations by building eco-friendly summer camps for the underserved and fostercare system kids. “Help Us Help The Kids”.Copyright ©2014Look to the Stars
BEIJING — News reports say Chinese leaders are promising tax cuts and more help to entrepreneurs in their 2019 economic plan amid official efforts to reverse a deepening slowdown in growth.No details were immediately released Friday following a three-day annual planning session by leaders of the ruling Communist Party. But news reports said the plan promises more reforms to state industry and efforts to reduce financial risks.News reports said the plan promises better access to credit and other help for entrepreneurs who generate China’s news jobs and wealth but are struggling.The economy faces pressure from weakening consumer demand, cooling exports and contractions in auto and real estate sales.The Associated Press
TORONTO — Two of Canada’s largest pension advisory firms say the financial health of defined benefit plans was eroded in the fourth quarter by a combination of weak stock markets and low long-term interest rates.Mercer Canada and Aon each concluded in separate reports Thursday that fewer than half of the country’s defined benefit pension plans were fully funded at the turn of the new year.Mercer Canada estimated that less than 30 per cent of Canadian defined pension plans were fully funded at the end of 2018, while Aon estimated 38.5 per cent of plans were fully funded as of Jan 1.The Mercer Pension Health Index — based on a hypothetical, model plan — dropped to a solvency ratio of 102 per cent at Dec. 31 from 112 per cent at Sept. 28 and from 106 per cent at the beginning of 2018.Meanwhile, the Aon Median Solvency Ratio fell in the fourth quarter to 95.3 per cent as of Jan. 1, 2019, a decline of nearly eight percentage points from the third quarter of 2018.A solvency ratio of 100 or more indicates a plan is fully funded while anything less indicates there would be some shortfall if a plan had to be wound up — often a worst-case scenario for defined benefit plans.David Paddon, The Canadian Press
The finance minister’s very public display, which comes the day before the company’s annual meeting in Calgary, is likely to put additional pressure on the company.Amid mounting opposition from the B.C. government, environmental groups and protesters, not to mention skittish investors, Kinder Morgan halted all non-essential spending on its $7.4-billion plan to double an existing pipeline between Edmonton and Burnaby, B.C., and gave Ottawa until the end of May to broker some calm.Earlier Tuesday, before Morneau’s news conference, scheduled for 9 a.m. ET, was announced, Trudeau was in Calgary, trying to convince skeptical Albertans to believe his latest mantra: that the pipeline will be built.“Let’s be honest about these things. I don’t think there is anything that I can say that would reassure some of my critics who have such little faith in my government getting anything done for Alberta,” he said.“I don’t think there’s any magic phrase I can say that will have critics and skeptics put down their criticism and say, ‘You know what? The prime minister reassured me today.”’As Trudeau spoke, a small group of protesters were heard shouting, “Build KM” and “Build that pipe.” OTTAWA, O.N. – Finance Minister Bill Morneau will provide an update Wednesday on the status of his talks with Kinder Morgan to expedite the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, but he is not expected to announce a deal.Rather, Morneau is expected to articulate the broad strokes of how Ottawa sees a deal coming together, setting forth the federal Liberal government’s principles, values and goals that could form the basis of an eventual agreement.Morneau had been engaged in intensive talks with Kinder Morgan officials up until Tuesday, but the two sides have yet to declare any common ground on the amount of federal money involved. Horgan’s election last year changed that. His minority government exists at the pleasure of the Green party, and on condition of his continued opposition to the project.(THE CANADIAN PRESS) Morneau’s talks with Kinder Morgan had their genesis a month ago, when Trudeau promised to deploy both financial and legislative tools to ensure the disputed expansion is able to proceed.During a remarkable eight-hour stopover in the national capital, an unscheduled break from a busy overseas travel itinerary, Trudeau convened a summit in Ottawa with B.C.’s John Horgan, who has staked his government’s survival on opposing the pipeline, and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, whose province’s economic health depends on it.Trudeau instructed Morneau to sit down with Kinder Morgan to find a financial solution that would soothe their investors. He also promised legislation that would reaffirm Ottawa’s authority to press ahead with a development deemed to be in Canada’s national interest.The Liberal government position is that it approved the project in 2016 after a rejigged environmental assessment and Indigenous consultation process, and in concert with its climate change and oceans protection plan. Approval came in consultation with the previous B.C. Liberal government, which gave its consent to the project after its own conditions were met.
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Province has made the Disaster Financial Assistance program available for residents of the Old Fort.The DFA is available to homeowners, residential tenants, small business owners, farmers charitable organizations and local government bodies unable to obtain insurance to cover disaster-related losses.If you would like to apply for DFA funding, residents of Area C and the Old Fort area have until January 17, 2019, to do so. The application can be found online at http://www.gov.bc.ca/disasterfinancialassistance Financial assistance is provided for each accepted claim at 80% of the amount of total eligible damage that exceeds $1,000, to a maximum claim of $300,000. Applications can be made in more than one category.
With Air Canada, WestJet, and Central Mountain Air having routes to the North Peace Regional Airport, without the improvements to the runway, the airport operations could be put at risk. This would negatively impact the economy of the North Peace Region, B.C. and current commercial air carriers, according to the NDIT.The Economic Diversification Infrastructure program provides grant funding to support major infrastructure projects in order to strengthen the local economy. The program supports public multi-use facilities or capital investments that drive revenue and job creation and provide a long-term asset for communities throughout central and northern British Columbia.The next intake deadline for the Economic Diversification Infrastructure Program is October 31, 2019.To read more; CLICK HERE FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT) announced it has approved over a half a million dollars for economic development projects in northern B.C. with $250,000 approved for the airport runway project.The North Peace Airport Society for the North Peace Regional Airport runway rehabilitation project was approved at the NDIT meeting on July, 23rd, 2019 by the board of directors through the Economic Diversification Infrastructure Program.The $250,000 will go towards upgrades to the airport’s runway as the existing pavement on one of the two runways has not been improved for over 20 years and needs substantial repairs and rehabilitation.
If I remember correctly, it was Thursday, March 25, 1971. My M.A (History) final exam was round the corner. We in India then had the audible, omnipresent, omniscient and ubiquitous “All India Radio” but no electronic visuals. Hence hearing the evening radio “news” and reading morning newspaper was my childhood “addiction”, exam or no exam. My father – an extraordinary scholar of income tax law, English, Bengali & Sanskrit languages, with expertise in Mathematics, Astrology and Economics, and a senior civil servant of the government of India, was born in, and hailed from, 2 Toynbee Circular Road, Tikatuli, Dhaka (then India, in 1917) and was not the type to disturb his son for radio “news” in the exam season. That day, I too, seem to have something else in mind for emperor Ashoka and Buddhism as a possible question for my paper. Also Read – A special kind of bondNevertheless, there suddenly came a stentorian voice from our C-II 17 Wellesley Road, New Delhi-110003 “radio room”. “Come immediately” was the two-word command. Usually serene, serious yet ever-smiling, he suddenly lit upon hearing the All India Radio news that the charismatic Bengali leader, widely respected and revered as “Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rehman” had given a clarion call to the people of (then) East Pakistan, firing the first salvo at the West Pakistani Punjabi-speaking military junta, from Dhaka’s Ramna Maidan: “Aamago share shaat koti zanagan re tomra dabayya raakhte parbaanaa” (You oppressive rulers, you will never be able to suppress us seven and half crore Bangali people). We instantly felt the electrifying effect and potential tremor, almost after 24 years of the Partition days, in the “radio room” of the Hindu Bengali refugee in Lutyen’s zone of New Delhi. Also Read – Insider threat managementThereafter, things moved at high speed. Owing to his professionalism, probity and spotless past, my father was one of the two Bengali speaking senior civil servants whose residence was identified by the Government of India as an “informal meeting point”, should the need arise in future. My M.A exam ended on Saturday, May 15, 1971, and results were out on Monday, July 05, 1971. I was happy with my result, but was happier owing to the fast unfolding scenario of possible emancipation of an enlightened and inherently simple Bengali-speaking people in a geography which is so dear to our heart, mind and thought owing to shared history, culture, language and tradition. Soon, however, came Wednesday, August 18, 1971, the ‘appointed date’ of an “informal meeting”, closely coordinated by Shri Ashok Ray, then Joint Secretary of Ministry of External Affairs, and other organisations of the state. Commencing at 5:30 pm. and ending around midnight, it was a gala party; a reunion of sorts, high on emotions, love, tears of joy, passion, fraternity, feasting. A gathering of 150 people of whom at least 80 were from the land of Bangabandhu, including the first Prime Minister of Bangladesh Tajuddin Ahmed. The best (and most surprising) part of the gathering emerged from the fact that despite Ahmad being eight years younger to my father, they knew each other very well. It was an incredibly sensational scene. Also, half of the guests had escaped, God only knew how from the army junta’s clutches; and at least two families had driven down in their “Made in Japan” Nissan and Toyota cars which were a rare commodity in India of 1971. Some of us were mighty impressed. As we were then used to Ambassador of Calcutta; Fiat of Bombay; Standard Herald of Madras; watch of HMT; steel of Tata; and shoes from Bata. All “Made in India”. Indigenous. Not imported. The outcome of the meeting was essentially a commitment to do everything necessary. The government and the people of India were one with the Bengalis under Bangabandhu. All present in the meeting had the same goal, in different ways, irrespective of their nationality and ethnicity. I vividly recall the spontaneous, repeated and vociferous slogan “Joy Bangla”, reverberating through the hot, humid night of that 1971 “August day”. Two more meetings subsequently took place in two different places in Delhi, which I could not attend owing to my preparation for competitive examinations. As things were heating up, I travelled to spend the winter with my maternal aunts in Asansol and Calcutta. My stay in Asansol lasted five days as war broke out on Friday, December 03, 1971. I took a train the next day, December 4, for Calcutta. The three-hour journey was an experience by itself as the train moved with all “lights off” in the “chair car”. Howrah station was pitch dark but packed with passengers, police, and personnel of railways. Home guards were extra vigilant, navigating all and sundry, and the half an hour road to Alipore residence of aunt turned out like a two-hour air journey from Delhi to Kolkata, as I reached at 11 pm. The following day dawned with my frantic attempt to catch up with Major General Bishwa Nath Sirkar (whom I had known before) in Fort William, Headquarters of the Eastern Army Command. Major General Sirkar, a Second World War veteran, saw action on several fronts, was an armoured corps officer par excellence (belonging to Central India Horse). Being strict disciplinarian, with frugal habits and exemplary probity, he never sought publicity and was never flashy. The Major General was handpicked overnight (rather plucked) by Army Chief Sam Manekshaw and transferred from the post of Military Secretary (in Army Headquarters, New Delhi) to a newly created post in the Eastern Command Calcutta, exclusively for cooperation with the Mukti Bahini. Consequently, whereas world today knows who did what in 1971, hardly anyone can either remember or recall his invaluable contribution in the liberation movement of Bengalis in the east and role played in actual combat of the 14-day war. After the 1971 war, Sirkar became Lieutenant General but resigned after a serious difference of opinion with then Defence Minister of India. He had several years of service left at the time of his premature departure. I remain eternally grateful to that great soldier and noble soul for helping me to “see the front” for two days after Sunday, December 12, 1971, when the writings were already on the wall. After a resounding firing to deter me from “seeing is believing”, the gentleman in the General relented and “put me on” to II Corps operating from Krishnanagar. The rest, as they say, is history. At the age of 23 years, I had a remarkable, unforgettable side view of the moving procession of history, resulting in the crumbling of old (dis)order and the birth of a new nation, not in the distant horizon but in our vicinity. Between 1947 and 1971 came alive two nations: the first under bondage, second as an uncaged bird with the unrestricted horizon of thought and action as its domain. (The writer is an alumnus of National Defence College and author of ‘China in India’. The views expressed are strictly personal)
Caracas: Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro announced 30 days of electricity rationing Sunday, after his government said it was shortening the working day and keeping schools closed due to blackouts. Angry Venezuelans meanwhile took to the streets of Caracas to protest the power cuts and water shortages. The measures are a stark admission by the government — which blamed repeated power outages in March on sabotage — that there is not enough electricity to go around, and that the power crisis is here to stay. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USThe blackouts have worsened already dire economic and living conditions in the country, which sits on the world’s largest proven oil reserves. Power failures come alongside a political showdown between Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaido, who is recognised as interim president by the United States and more than 50 other countries. Speaking on state television, Maduro said he had approved “a 30-day plan” to ration power. He did not detail how it would work but said there would be “an emphasis on guaranteeing water service”. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsMaduro also acknowledged that many Venezuelans could not watch his broadcast because they had no electricity. Crippled infrastructure, little investment in the power grid and poor maintenance have all contributed to electricity problems. A “brain drain” of qualified personnel has also hit the industry, with about 25,000 people in the electricity sector among the 2.7 million Venezuelans who have emigrated since 2015. Add to that the country’s deep economic crisis, which includes a soaring inflation rate. Earlier on Sunday, authorities announced other measures as a result of the electricity shortage. “To achieve consistency in the provision of electricity, the Bolivarian government decided to maintain the suspension of school activities and establish a workday until 2:00 pm in public and private institutions,” Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez said on state television. With no electricity, pumping stations can’t work, so water service is limited. Street lights and traffic lights go dark, pumps at fuel stations stand idle, and cell phone and internet service is non-existent. Children don’t have “a drop of water” to drink, complained Maria Rodriguez, a Caracas resident.
London: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will be sentenced Wednesday for breaching a British court order seven years ago, when he took refuge in Ecuador’s London embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden. The Australian whistleblower, who was arrested on April 11 after Ecuador gave him up, could face a 12-month prison sentence when he appears at Southwark Crown Court at 10:30am (0930 GMT). Assange fled to the embassy in 2012 after a British judge ordered his extradition to face Swedish allegations of sexual assault and rape, which he strongly denied. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: Report He claimed the allegations were a pretext to transfer him to the United States, where he feared prosecution over release by WikiLeaks of millions of classified documents. There is no longer an active investigation in Sweden and the extradition request has lapsed. However, the 47-year-old is facing a US extradition request, which was only revealed following his dramatic arrest, when he was dragged shouting from the embassy by police. Assange appeared in court within hours of his arrest, and a judge found him guilty of breaching his bail conditions. Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protests Any sentence handed down on Wednesday is likely to take into account the past few weeks spent in jail. The biggest concern for his lawyers is the US extradition request. An initial hearing in the case is set for this Thursday. The US indictment charges him with “conspiracy” for working with former US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to crack a password stored on Department of Defence computers in March 2010. Manning passed hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks, exposing US military wrongdoing in the Iraq war and diplomatic secrets about scores of countries around the world. Assange could face up to five years in jail if found guilty, although his team is fighting his extradition and the process could take years. The charge has raised serious concerns among organisations advocating free speech, including politicians such as British opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. WikiLeaks is also back in the news in the United States, over its alleged role in the leak of Hillary Clinton’s emails in 2016 US presidential election. The Swedish claims against Assange date back to 2010, when he was at the centre of a global storm over WikiLeaks’ exposures. The sexual assault claim expired in 2015, but while the rape claim was dropped in 2017, the alleged victim wants the case reopened. If Stockholm makes a formal extradition request, Britain must decide whether to consider it before or after that of the United States. A group of British lawmakers have urged the Swedish case to take precedence, saying the rights of the alleged victims must not be lost in the political row.