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Harish Kumar, the Asian Games bronze medallist, sells tea for a livingHarish Kumar, the Asian Games bronze medallist, sells tea for a living

first_imgThe trials and tribulations of an Indian athletes who have brought laurels to the nation at the 2018 Asian Games have been chronicled well since the conclusion of the continental games.For many it has been a hero’s journey; and though not having been easy, have taught valuable lessons in perseverance and keeping courage in the face of struggle.One of those heroes is a lanky auto-rickshaw driver from Delhi, Harish Kumar. He won bronze medal at the Asian Games 2018 as part of the Indian Sepak Takraw team.Every single day ahead of Asian Games, he would practice at the Indira Gandhi Stadium in Delhi after performing his duties of a driver just so that he could make the squad.Asian Games bronze medallist Harish Kumar is an autorickshaw driver in DelhiHe finally made it to the Indian team and went on to win a historic bronze medal. He is one of the youngest members of the squad and has worked immensely hard.And he still has to sell tea at his father’s shop to support his family.Harish Kumar, a member of bronze winning Sepak Takraw team at #AsianGames sells tea at a shop that is run by his family, he says,”since there are more people at home and less people to earn, I sell tea. I want a job now so that I can support my family.” #Delhi (@ANI) September 6, 2018″I have many family members and there is a very meagre source of income. I help my father at the tea shop to support my family. I dedicate four hours every day between 2 to 6 for my practice. For my future, I want to get a good job to support my family,” Harish told ANI while at his small tea shop.advertisementTalking about his struggles and initial association with the Sepak Takraw game, he said, “I started playing this sport from 2011. My coach Hemraj brought me into this sport. We also used to play with a tyre when my coach Hemraj spotted me and introduced me to the Sports Authority of India (SAI). Thereafter I started receiving monthly funds and kits. I practice every day and will keep on doing it to bring more laurels for my country”.His father is an auto driver and we have a tea stall which is run with Harish’s help. We are poor but we never let that demotivate him in his journey. I would like to thank the govt and his coach for their support: Indira Devi, Mother of Harish Kumar #Delhi (@ANI) September 6, 2018Harish’s mother, Indira Devi also talked to ANI about adversities under which she supported her son to pursue the game.She said, “I have brought up my kids with a lot of struggle. His father is an auto-driver and we have a small tea shop. My son also works at tea shop to assist his father. I am very thankful to the government for providing food and accommodation to my son. I am very thankful to his coach Hemraj who has supported my kid to achieve this accomplishment.”We are very poor&I would like to congratulate him for making the country proud. Our coach Hemraj Sir spotted us&called us to play. SAI had also helped us a lot. I would like to thank CM Kejriwal for announcing Rs50 lakh&Sports Ministry for giving Rs5 lakh: Brother of Harish Kumar (@ANI) September 6, 2018Harish’s brother, Dhawan also expressed his gratitude for the government support and requested for a government job for his brother.He said, “There were times when we did not have money to pay our rent. His coach Hemraj took him under his training and admitted him to the stadium. Later Sports Authority of India supported us by giving monthly finances and sports kits… and I also urge the government to give my brother a government job so that he can support our family.”India registered their best ever medal tally (69) at the 18th edition of the Asian Games in Indonesia.(With inputs from ANI)last_img read more

Realme 3 launched: Key specs, features, India price and everything you need to knowRealme 3 launched: Key specs, features, India price and everything you need to know

first_imgRealme on Monday announced the Realme 3 for the Indian market. This is the company’s first new smartphone for 2019, and it aims to carry forward the company’s philosophy of “style meets power.” The Realme 3 is in all sense of the word a successor to the Realme 2 right from the design to the hardware and software. It touts a dewdrop display along with a unibody design and gradient colours on the outside, while getting the new Helio P70 chipset and a beefy 4,230mAh battery on the inside.The Realme 3 will be taking on the likes of the Samsung Galaxy M20, Honor 8C and Redmi Note 7 when it goes on sale in India. With the Realme 3, the company is touting an all-rounder that boasts of an attractive design along with some powerful hardware and battery life. Here’s a quick look at some of the key specifications and features of the new Realme 3.Realme 3 specifications:Display: The Realme 3 sports a 6.2-inch HD+ (1520×720) display with a 19:9 aspect ratioProcessor: It is powered by a 2.1GHz octa-core Helio P70 chipsetRAM: The device will be offered with 3GB and 4GB of RAMInternal storage: The 3GB RAM version will get 32GB of internal storage, while the 4GB RAM variant will get 64GB of internal storageRear camera: The Realme 3 gets a 13MP + 2MP dual camera setup. The primary camera gets a f/1.8 aperture, PDAF and 5P lens, while the secondary camera will be used for depth sensingFront camera: Up front, the Realme 3 gets a 13MP f/2.0 cameraadvertisementBattery: The handset houses a 4,230mAh batterySoftware: It ships with Android Pie-based ColorOS 6.0Realme 3 features:- The Realme 3 touts a new design language, one which sees a plastic unibody back that seamlessly curves around the frame and meets the glass panel on the front. The rear panel also gets a gradient colour in Dynamic Black and Radiant Blue. There is also a solid Black colour option available as well.- Like the Realme 2 Pro and Realme U1, the Realme 3 gets a dewdrop display on the front, which means it gets a droplet-style notch. The notch is much smaller and less intrusive compared to the wide, iPhone X-like notch on the Realme 2. This allows for a larger display on a handy form factor as well as a larger screen real estate. The Realme 3 touts an 88.3 per cent screen-to-body ratio. – A new feature being offered with the camera is Nightscape, which aims to offer improved low-light photography. In Nightscape mode, the camera will take a long exposure shot to offer more light in dimly lit environments. There is also a new Chrome Boost mode that uses AI to recognise a scene and offer better dynamic range and balanced exposure.- The Realme 3 is the second Realme phone to run on the new Helio P70 chipset. The first was the Realme U1 and in our review it offered a pretty fast and snappy performance. The Helio P70 chipset offers better performance and greater power efficiency compared to its predecessor, and Realme is even comparing its capabilities to the Snapdragon 660 chipset as well.- The Realme 3 is also the company’s first device to run on the new ColorOS 6.0 based on Android Pie out-of-the-box. The new software aims to offer a cleaner experience with fewer bloatware and better visual design. ColorOS 6.0 also brings an app drawer as well as the new Android P gesture navigation feature. You also get a Moto Ride mode and Game Space.Realme 3 price in India and availability:The Realme 3 comes with a pretty competitive price that starts at Rs 8,999 for the base model with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. The 4GB/64GB variant has been priced at Rs 10,999 and both the models will be available in Radiant Blue and Dynamic Black gradient colours.The Realme 3 will go on sale on March 12 at 12 noon on Flipkart. The company may launch the device in offline retail stores, but there no word on its availability just yet. On Flipkart, customers can avail a flat discount of Rs 500 via HDFC cards or on EMI. Reliance Jio customers can also avail benefits of Rs 5,300 on purchasing the Realme 3.ALSO READ | Realme 3 with Helio P70, ColorOS 6, dewdrop display launched starting at Rs 8,999last_img read more

World Cup 2019: Bollywood congratulates England on maiden win but heartbroken for New ZealandWorld Cup 2019: Bollywood congratulates England on maiden win but heartbroken for New Zealand

first_imgEngland won the Cricket World Cup yesterday in a nail-biting finish against New Zealand. Bollywood celebrities lauded the performance of both the teams, and took to Twitter to send congratulatory wishes.Riteish Deshmukh was full of praise for England and called it “cricket at its best.” He wrote, “Cricket at its best – Epic #WorldCupFinals – Congratulations @englandcricket the Champions of world cricket. My heart goes out to @BLACKCAPS – they were so so good- for me they are the uncrowned champs of #WorldCup2019.”Cricket at its best – Epic #WorldCupFinals – Congratulations @englandcricket the Champions of world cricket. My heart goes out to @BLACKCAPS – they were so so good- for me they are the uncrowned champs of #WorldCup2019Riteish Deshmukh (@Riteishd) July 14, 2019Anupam Kher shared a video from the Lord’s cricket ground and captioned his post, “CRICKET IS THE WINNER in this #WorldCupFinal2019. What an unbelievable match!!! Congratulations England. Amazing Victory!! And #NewZealand is a team of Heroes. Jai Ho!!”CRICKET IS THE WINNER in this #WorldCupFinal2019. What an unbelievable match!!! Congratulations England. Amazing Victory!! And #NewZealand is a team of Heroes. Jai Ho!! Kher (@AnupamPKher) July 14, 2019Karan Johar wrote, “England had a better kundli! NZ had the better game!!! #NZLvENG.”England had a better kundli! NZ had the better game!!! #NZLvENGKaran Johar (@karanjohar) July 14, 2019Varun Dhawan seemed rather stunned by the outcome and wrote, “What a #WorldCupfinal. Unbelievable my entire family is awake. Who u got.”What a #WorldCupfinal. Unbelievable my entire family is awake. Who u gotadvertisementVarun Dhawan (@Varun_dvn) July 14, 2019A nostalgic Vivek Oberoi tweeted, “The country where cricket was born 6/700 years ago, has finally won the #WorldCup for the very first time! Congrats #eng What a historic match! Truly the great sport of #cricket won today! #WC19 #WCFINAL #ENGvN.”The country where cricket was born 6/700 years ago, has finally won the #WorldCup for the very first time! Congrats #eng What a historic match! Truly the great sport of #cricket won today! #WC19 #WCFINAL #ENGvNZVivek Anand Oberoi (@vivekoberoi) July 14, 2019Neha Dhupia was heartbroken for New Zealand. She wrote, “Hearts been racing for a while … this kind of drama cannot be written by the best screenplay writers… heartbroken for #NewZealand … this was so so so close… two yards too far!!! Well played #England … #CWC2019.”Farhan Akhtar seemed to have been switching channels between the Tennis Wimbledon and the Cricket World Cup. He wrote, “Has there been a better Sunday for a genuine sports enthusiast.. the Wimbledon and the Cricket World Cup finals going down to the wire. Wow..!! Exhausted.”Has there been a better Sunday for a genuine sports enthusiast.. the Wimbledon and the Cricket World Cup finals going down to the wire. Wow..!! Exhausted ..Farhan Akhtar (@FarOutAkhtar) July 14, 2019Team India had made it to the semi-finals, but finally lost to New Zealand.ALSO READ | Pooja Batra marries Nawab Shah in hush-hush ceremony, shares adorable photos. See picsALSO WATCH | Deepika Padukone marries Ranveer Singh in Italylast_img read more

Alexis & Lukaku fire Man Utd to easy winAlexis & Lukaku fire Man Utd to easy win

first_imgManchester United 2 Swansea City 0: Lukaku joins Premier League 100 club Joe Wright Last updated 1 year ago 23:53 3/31/18 RomeluLukaku - cropped Getty Images Goals from Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez gave Manchester United a 2-0 Premier League win over Swansea City. Romelu Lukaku’s 100th Premier League goal helped Manchester United to a 2-0 win over Swansea City on Saturday.The Belgium international’s milestone effort, followed by an Alexis Sanchez strike, were enough to seal all three points at Old Trafford and move United back above Liverpool into second place in the table.Swansea had only lost on two of their previous five visits to United in all competitions, but they never recovered from Lukaku’s fifth-minute opener, as Jose Mourinho’s side, for whom Paul Pogba was restored to the starting line-up, produced a largely commanding performance to claim their fourth league victory in a row. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Sanchez, whose last goal came in the 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town in February, deservedly doubled the lead after 20 minutes of arguably his best performance in a United shirt.Carlos Carvalhal’s visitors improved after the break, with David de Gea making fine saves to keep out Tammy Abraham efforts, but they rarely looked likely to snatch a draw that would have lifted them four points clear of the relegation zone.United’s win takes them two points above Liverpool, having played a game less, and back to within 13 of league leaders Manchester City ahead of their trip to Everton.5 – Romelu Lukaku is the fifth youngest player to score 100 Premier League goals.Michael Owen (23y 134d)Robbie Fowler (23y 283d)Wayne Rooney (24y 100d)Harry Kane (24y 191d)Romelu Lukaku (24y 322d)Flourish. — OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 31, 2018 United were rewarded for a bold start with just five minutes played. Nemanja Matic, Jesse Lingard and Sanchez combined to tee up Lukaku 12 yards out, whose shot deflected off Alfie Mawson and flew high into the net.The home side looked in authoritative mood, with Lukasz Fabianski denying Lukaku a second, but they had only to wait until the 20th minute to double their lead, with Sanchez rifling into the bottom-left corner after Lingard’s pass split Swansea’s haphazard defence.Passion — Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 31, 2018 Sanchez celebrated with gusto and, like his team-mates, looked to be enjoying himself against a Swansea side who failed even to muster a shot in a dismal first half, with only the offside flag denying United a third through Lingard before the interval.United missed two clear opportunities early in the second half for a third goal, with Sanchez nodding onto the roof of the net and Juan Mata volleying Pogba’s fine pass, but De Gea was called into action twice in quick succession to deny substitute Abraham.Lukaku spurned a great chance for his second, chesting down in the box before shooting straight at Fabianski, but Mourinho will have been pleased enough with his side’s performance ahead of next weekend’s showdown with City at the Etihad Stadium, where they will look to postpone Pep Guardiola’s title celebrations. Key Opta stats: – Romelu Lukaku became the 28th different player, first Belgian and fifth youngest player to score 100 Premier League goals.- Manchester United have won all three meetings with Swansea in all competitions this season, scoring eight goals and conceding none.- Jose Mourinho is unbeaten in all 10 of his previous meetings with Swansea in all competitions, beating five different managers in that time (W8 D2).- The Swans had as many shots on target in this game (2) as they’d managed in their three previous Premier League away games combined.  read morelast_img read more

Thorco Shipping Appoints Representative in TurkeyThorco Shipping Appoints Representative in Turkey

first_imgzoom In order to continue providing prompt and appropriate attention to their clients within the local markets Thorco Shipping has appointed Ilya Shipping Ltd. as their representative in Turkey.Ilya Shipping Ltd. was founded 2003 and has since then served the Turkish clients, bringing recognized experience and knowledge to the local market. The company’s commercial coverage extends across the Black Sea/Marmara Sea and the East Mediterranean.Thorco Shipping, March 31, 2014last_img

USA: AMSEA Wins Maintenance Deal for MSC’s FleetUSA: AMSEA Wins Maintenance Deal for MSC’s Fleet

first_imgzoom The U.S. Navy has awarded General Dynamics’ wholly owned subsidiary American Overseas Marine LLC (AMSEA) a $32.7 million contract modification to operate and maintain seven large, medium-speed, roll-on / roll-off ships (LMSR) for the Military Sealift Command.MSC’S FLEET REPLENISHMENT OILER USNS BIG HORN (T-AO 198)Under the terms of the modification, AMSEA will provide services including crewing, engineering, maintenance, procurement and provisioning. Initially awarded in 2010, the contract has a potential value of $238 million over seven years.“AMSEA has successfully operated the vessels in this program for the last nine years and we will continue our superior service for our customer under this new contract,” said Thomas Merrell, president of AMSEA.As a full-service ship operator for more than 28 years, AMSEA provides complete marine operations, engineering and professional services to customers in the government and commercial sectors.Press Release, April 23, 2014, Image: MSClast_img read more


first_img Twitter Advertisement British Columbia’s film and TV industry continues its hot streak. For the second consecutive year, B.C. hit another record amount that screen productions have spent in the province.Creative BC announced on July 16 that the number of productions filming in B.C. qualifying for tax-credit certifications rose to 452 (an increase of 34 percent from the previous year) and contributed $3.4 billion to B.C.’s economy in the 2017-2018 fiscal year.The 31.2 percent increase in expenditures shattered the record set by the previous period of 2016-2017, which amassed $2.6 billion from 338 productions. In comparison, 297 productions brought in $1.9 billion for 2015-2016. Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisementcenter_img Of the 110 feature films shot in the province in 2017-2018, War for the Planet of the Apes was filmed in Vancouver and Tofino (spending $81 million in B.C.) and Deadpool 2, starring Vancouver-raised actor Ryan Reynolds, filmed in Vancouver, Coquitlam, and Victoria (spending over $100 million) and featured recognizable Vancouver locations including Stanley Park and Lions Gate Bridge.Deadpool 2Other major feature films that have shot in Vancouver and B.C. this past year include The Mountain Between Us (starring Kate Winslet and Idris Elba), Skyscraper (starring Dwayne Johnson and Neve Campbell), Welcome to Marwen (starring Steve Carrell), Project Gutenberg (starring Chow Yun-Fat and Aaron Kwok), Richard Says Goodbye (starring Johnny Depp), Dragged Across Concrete (starring Vince Vaughn and Mel Gibson), and Hard Powder (starring Liam Neeson).Skyscraper, starring Dwayne Johnson, was filmed in Vancouver.In B.C., 164 TV series were shot here in the 2017-2018 period. Among the TV shows that have filmed in Vancouver over the last year include A Series of Unfortunate Events, Arrow, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, The Exorcist, The Flash, The Good Doctor, Lost in Space, The Magicians, Once Upon a Time, Riverdale, Six, Supergirl, Supernatural, Van Helsing, and The X-Files.RiverdaleThe Reel Thanksgiving Challenge, a fundraiser involving locally shot screen productions such as The Man in the High Castle, raised a record $205,831 for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank.Several new TV series have chosen to shoot in B.C., including Sabrina the Teenage Witch, the Charmed reboot, Altered Carbon, Blue Book, Snowpiercer, and more.Direct industry jobs and labour income made up about $1.78 billion.Meditation ParkWhile foreign productions consisted of 289 projects, 163 B.C.-based productions, which included Meditation Park (starring Sandra Oh) by Vancouver filmmaker Mina Shum, brought in almost $404 million, up by 29 percent from $313 million in the previous year.Although concerns have been raised about foreign productions squeezing out domestic projects amid heightened demand for locations, crews, and resources, the number of B.C.–based productions had grown by 35 percent from 121 productions in 2016-2017. Domestic feature films increased from 24 to 27 projects while domestic TV series rose from 32 to 45.U.S.-Canadian TV coproductions that shot in B.C. include Chesapeake Shores (filmed on Vancouver Island), When Calls the Heart, and Travelers.Toronto-born actor Eric McCormack stars in the Vancouver-shot TV series Travelers.The Vancouver Island North Film Commission unveiled Vancouver Island Film Studios in Parksville, featuring five sound stages, in October 2017.More recently, in June, Burnaby’s Eagle Creek Studios completed the construction of a new 15,000-square-foot sound stage in Kelowna for productions in the Okanagan.Amid an accelerating global demand for content, among the factors contributing to the ongoing industry growth, in addition to the tax credit program, have been a low Canadian dollar; proximity to Los Angeles; well-established animation, visual effects, and post-production industries, as well as local crews and talent; multicultural populations and resources; and diverse locations that cover ocean and shorelines, desert-like regions, forests and mountains, and urban Craig Takeuchi | THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT Deadpool 2 was one of several film productions shot in B.C. that injected the provincial economy with millions of dollars. Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment last_img read more

Sale of Connacher Oil Gas to East River abandoned after Feb 15Sale of Connacher Oil Gas to East River abandoned after Feb 15

CALGARY — Connacher Oil and Gas Ltd. says it has abandoned a court-supervised sale of the company to East River Oil and Gas Ltd. after the buyer failed to make a required deposit payment by Feb. 15.The Calgary-based oilsands producer had negotiated a conditional deal for East River to pay $113.5 million to acquire Connacher, but East River was unable to obtain necessary regulatory approvals in China by the initial deadline.Connacher says that the deadlines for East River to complete the purchase were extended to Dec. 15 and then to Jan. 31 and would have been extended further if East River provided an additional $2 million deposit by Feb. 15.The company says it didn’t receive the additional $2 million deposit by Friday and, as a result, East River’s original deposit of $13.5 million has been forfeited to Connacher and the agreement has been terminated.Connacher says that under a prior support agreement with its first lien creditors, the parties will now work to implement a credit bid process over the coming months.Connacher has been operating with court protection under the Companies Creditors Arrangement Act since May 2016. The court’s latest stay of proceedings against Connacher runs until March 15, but could be extended further.The support agreement with creditors covers assumption of Connacher’s payments to trade suppliers since it received court protection from creditors, offers of employment to all of its employees, a new secured credit agreement and distribution of Connacher shares to the existing first lien lenders.The Canadian Press read more

Nepal UN urges restraint amid latest political developmentsNepal UN urges restraint amid latest political developments

3 May 2009The United Nations human rights office in Nepal today urged all parties to exercise restraint after the country”s Prime Minister reportedly fired the Army Chief. According to media reports, the main opposition party has warned of street protests in response to the move by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal. “Organizers of rallies should ensure that participants act in a peaceful manner and within the law,” according to a news release issued by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Nepal (OHCHR-Nepal). “Police should prevent violence and respond with restraint and the minimum force required to maintain order, should it be necessary,” the Office stated, adding that all sides should respect the rights of journalists to carry out their professional activities.In a report released last week, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted that progress has been made in Nepal”s peace process, including steps towards drafting a new constitution, but warned that differences among key political parties continues to impede the consolidation of peace.A decade-long civil war, claiming some 13,000 lives, ended in 2006 with the signing of a peace accord between the Government and Maoists. After conducting Constituent Assembly elections last May, the nation abolished its 240-year-old monarchy and declared itself a republic. read more

US Navy ship with over 900 sailors to arrive in Sri LankaUS Navy ship with over 900 sailors to arrive in Sri Lanka

“A strong relationship between United States and Sri Lanka will help foster greater stability, security, prosperity, and a rules-based order for the Indo-Pacific region and around the world,” said US Ambassador Atul Keshap. “This US Navy ship visit demonstrates the US commitment to partners such as Sri Lanka.” Members of the US Navy’s 7th Fleet Band will arrive with the ship and stage free public performances in Colombo, including a joint performance with the Sri Lanka Navy, Army, and Air Force bands on March 26 at Viharamahadevi Amphitheatre from 6 to 8 pm. On March 27 free solo public performances are scheduled at Majestic City at 12 noon and at the Dutch Hospital complex from 6 to 7 pm. On March 29, they will also perform for students from several area schools at Ananda College.The USS Blue Ridge has been forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan for 36 years. As the command and control flagship for the U.S. 7th Fleet Commander, Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin, the USS Blue Ridge is committed to strengthening and fostering relationships within the Indo-Asia Pacific region. The last US Navy ship to visit to Sri Lanka was the USS Ford (FFG 54), which conducted a port call in Galle October 11-14, 2011. (Colombo Gazette) The US 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) will arrive in Colombo for a port call March 26, the first visit by a US Navy ship since October 2011.The visit builds upon last month’s Partnership Dialogue in Washington D.C., where both nations pledged to strengthen maritime security cooperation efforts in the Indian Ocean Region in order to counter piracy, provide humanitarian assistance, and ensure free and safe navigation in the region’s vital shipping lanes. The Blue Ridge team consists of more than 900 sailors, who will interact with their Sri Lanka Navy counterparts, experience Sri Lanka’s vibrant culture, and engage with its people. The sailors will also use their shore leave to volunteer at a community center by refurbishing its walls and furniture, building playground equipment, and serving food to the needy. read more

EU lifts sanctions on 170 Belarusian officialsEU lifts sanctions on 170 Belarusian officials

European Union High Representative Federica Mogherini participates in a handover ceremony of the EU membership Application with Bosnia Herzegovina at the EU Council building in Brussels on Monday, Feb. 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo) by Raf Casert, The Associated Press Posted Feb 15, 2016 10:59 am MDT Last Updated Feb 15, 2016 at 11:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email EU lifts sanctions on 170 Belarusian officials BRUSSELS – The European Union lifted most sanctions against Belarus’ authoritarian president and scores of other officials to reward the east European nation for a more constructive role in a region still under Russia’s influence.Asset freezes and travel bans against President Alexander Lukashenko and 169 others had been suspended last year and Monday’s meeting of the EU foreign ministers decided to fully do away with them.“We are not recognizing a situation that turns from black to pink overnight,” EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said, referring to remaining human and political rights concerns. “We have agreed on the fact that we have seen over the last couple of years some steps that are encouraging and that we want to try to support and encourage further.”At the same time, the EU nations maintained sanctions against four individuals linked to the unsolved disappearances of two opposition leaders, a journalist and a businessman. An arms embargo also remains in place for another year.In a statement, the ministers said that the release of all remaining political prisoners and the lack of violence during the October presidential elections contributed to the decision.“There is an opportunity for EU-Belarus relations to develop on a more positive agenda and that progress in a variety of fields can better be achieved through enhanced channels of communication,” the ministers said.It was the latest EU move that could contribute to the end of the decade-long international isolation of Lukashenko, who has been in office since 1994.Lukashenko was slapped with an EU and U.S. travel ban in 2006 when a presidential candidate was jailed. The 2010 presidential election ended in a big opposition rally and lengthy prison sentences for most of the candidates who opposed Lukashenko.Lukashenko took a first step toward exiting international isolation last year when Belarus, Russia’s closest ally, refused to recognize Moscow’s annexation of Crimea or support Russia’s actions in eastern Ukraine where Russia-backed rebels have been fighting government forces. Lukashenko also resisted the Kremlin’s push for Belarus to host a Russian military base.Lukashenko helped to broker peace talks between Russia and Ukraine last year. read more

UN envoy in Libya concerned about unfolding military developments in Bani WalidUN envoy in Libya concerned about unfolding military developments in Bani Walid

“In the interests of national reconciliation and long-term stability of the country, a mediated settlement is urgently needed,” the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Tarek Mitri, said in a news statement, in regard to events in Bani Walid, located some 170 kilometres south of the capital, Tripoli. According to media reports, Libyan army forces have launched a full-scale assault against the town, accusing it of being controlled by supporters of the former dictator Muammar al-Qadhafi, who was overthrown in 2011 after decades of autocratic rule. The small city was one of the last to fall to rebels groups during last year’s conflict, and some are said to consider it a shelter for regime loyalists and criminal gangs. Fierce fighting has reportedly raged in the town for two days. In addition to his concern over the military developments in Bani Walid, Mr. Mitri also spoke of his concern over growing civilian casualties resulting from reported indiscriminate shelling. He urged all concerned to abide by international humanitarian principles, noting “their obligations to ensure the protection of civilians and take all necessary measures to avoid the targeting of civilian areas, allow for the evacuation of all wounded, and to provide unimpeded humanitarian access, including provision of food and medical care.” Furthermore, in light of the publicly stated positions, the United Nations remains fully convinced that a comprehensive peaceful outcome is achievable, the statement noted. This, it added, includes the right of the State to fully assert its national authority over the city of Bani Walid through the deployment of units from the national army and police; the immediate and unconditional release of all detainees who continue to be held inside Bani Walid; the handover to the judicial authorities of all those wanted on suspicion of having committed crimes, along with guarantees for their security and fair trial; the resumption of all basic services to the city; and, the holding of local elections in due course.” Mr. Mitri emphasized, according to UNSMIL, the role and responsibility of the State in ensuring the security of all and extending its authority over its territory. Incidents of renewed fighting in various parts of the country are among the security challenges facing the North African nation, which also needs to prepare a new constitution, promote rule of law, protect human rights, and counter illicit arms proliferation. UNSMIL has been assisting the country’s transition toward a modern democratic State, after the toppling of the long-standing al-Qadhafi regime. The UN envoy also praised the “huge efforts exerted by President Mohammad al-Magariaf, the General National Congress, as well as by civil society representatives and reconciliation committees, to prevent an outbreak of armed hostilities, and later, through political means, to put an end to various forms of violence.” In addition, Mr. Mitri reaffirmed the world body’s readiness and commitment to work closely with all concerned to achieve a peaceful outcome to the violence. read more

At General Assembly debate UN officials stress vital role of culture inAt General Assembly debate UN officials stress vital role of culture in

As Member States plot the course for the global development agenda after 2015, the target date for achieving the anti-poverty objectives known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the General Assembly convened today’s high-level thematic debate to consider the role and impact of culture on development. “The significance of the nexus between culture and development for the post-2015 agenda is not yet fully grasped,” said the President of the Assembly, Vuk Jeremic, who convened the debate in cooperation with the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).“Fully embracing the potential of this nexus will also help promote a greater sense of indivisibility and mutual belonging – a feeling that no community or nation can fulfil its potential until it is accompanied by the advancement of the entire mankind.”He noted that it has not been possible to reach consensus on how to build on the agreed foundations of sustainable development in the discussions that have taken place in recent months. “The gap between means and ends has yet to be bridged – in my view, partly because the cultural component has largely been absent from our discussions.”Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed the need to recognize that there is no “one-size-fits-all” development model. “It is not enough to set global targets for all – we need to adapt to each context. Too many well-intended development programmes have failed, because they did not take cultural settings into account. This must be an overarching principle for all development efforts.” Development has not always focused enough on people, he added. “To mobilize people, we need to understand and embrace their culture. This means encouraging dialogue, listening to individual voices, and ensuring that culture and human rights inform the new course for sustainable development. The fundamental role of culture was not fully acknowledged within the MDGs – as a goal, an overarching principle, or as an enabler.” In her keynote address, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova told the meeting that no one would like to live in a world without music, art or dance, or with only one language.“Culture is what we are. It is the wellspring of collective imagination, meaning and belonging. It is also a source of identity and cohesion at a time of change. It is a source of creativity and innovation,” she stated.“No society in the world can flourish without culture. No development can be sustained without it. Cultural diversity is also a source to find creative solutions to problems. It enhances critical thinking to challenge old models,” she added. “We need to fully acknowledge this power of culture today as we shape a new global agenda to follow 2015.” The Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), Helen Clark, highlighted the need to think more broadly about the role of culture in development. “As culture is vital to who we are, it is a vital aspect of human development. And to live lives they value, people must be free to choose their identity and to define who they are through their culture. “With globalization, our world is shrinking as we become more interconnected than ever before,” she continued. “But commensurate with that, our respect for cultural diversity needs to grow. Indeed, respect for cultural diversity and sustainable development are mutually reinforcing and they provide the necessary basis for peace and harmony, which development needs to thrive anywhere.” Culture, noted the UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, affects all the dimensions of development. “As such, a human-centred, culturally-sensitive approach to development will yield the most effective, sustainable, inclusive outcomes,” he said. “Specifically, a culturally-diverse approach will contribute to economic development, promote social cohesion and foster environmental sustainability.”He added that, among other benefits, culturally-sensitive approaches provide solutions to complex development issues in an innovative way. “And yet, despite the benefits of cultural diversity, we continue to witness many conflict and extreme underdevelopment worldwide. This is because culture is either missing, misunderstood or worse, politicized.” read more

Oli Roggisch to end career and become DHB TeammanagerOli Roggisch to end career and become DHB Teammanager

Another great career is coming to end. The big man in defence, 35-year old Oliver Roggisch, announced that he is definitely putting an end to his playing career, citing health reasons.“For me, it’s been very hard after injuries and it gets only harder to play. Therefore, it’s the right time to end the career in summer” – said Roggisch in joint press-conference between DHB and RN Lowen.He will continue in handball. It’s been announced that he will assist Jakobsson next season at the “Lions”, and will take a role as team-manager of the national team, within the German Handball Federation (DHB).His final games for the German national teams is the two-legged playoff against Poland in the qualification for the World Championship 2015 in Qatar. jakobssonoli roggischOliver RoggischRhein Neckar Lowenrn lowenStormtorsten storm ← Previous Story Alvaro Ferrer joins TSV Hannover Burgdorf Next Story → Montpellier deducted two points in LNH read more

Aaron McKenna Marriage is nothing more than a contract – bring onAaron McKenna Marriage is nothing more than a contract – bring on

first_imgTHE DIVORCE REFERENDUM passed by the slimmest of margins in 1996, about a single vote per ballot box. It was a wrenching national argument of epic proportions. Family, the life of the nation and the rights of individuals all engaged in an orgy of vitriolic debate. Politicians have done well to avoid the issue ever since. As the abortion debate has reminded us, it’s difficult to talk about and get anything else done once one of these national social issues kicks off.This government is now looking seriously at two major proposals to liberalise our marriage laws: one reform on the way in, and another on the way out. We will vote on legalising gay marriage in 2015, and early polls show strong support. With less triumphal fanfare the government has also announced its intention to consider legislating for prenuptial agreements.At present prenups carry no real legal weight in Ireland. Depending on the judge you get there might be some consideration given to the existence of such an agreement, but no guarantees. Previous governments have looked at the topic of legislating to provide a basis on which the agreements would become enforceable, but very little progress has been made beyond the production of reports on which to store dust in the national archives.Marriage is nothing more than a contractAt the risk of having the women (and soon, men) beating down my door, I must say that marriage is nothing more than a contract between two people who decide to spend their lives together. Whatever religious connotations you want to add atop that is your own business, but as far as the State is concerned marriage is a convenient tax and inheritance arrangement.You can live with your significant other without marriage. You can have kids without marriage. If you break up, the kids will be provisioned for regardless of marital status. You can pretty much do as you wish with someone else without being married.The marriage itself is a formal contract binding one person to another. It is also one of the most heavily regulated types of contract: if you decide to dissolve it, you do so in a fashion at the whim of courts, you can’t have any binding say in the terms of dissolution at the time of entering the contract; and it takes half a decade by the time all is said and done to get out of it.Now, in general, divorce is a sad and a bad thing. Not many people get married to get divorced. Relationships matter, and a society that devalues them is a devalued society. But the fact is that breakups happen, and it seems that in Ireland we have laws designed to extract penance from the sinners who don’t stick it out.That goes back to the tumultuous arguments around divorce when we so narrowly passed it into our constitution. In a sense we have another of what Haughey called “An Irish solution to an Irish problem,” when he was referring to the now ridiculous provision of contraception by way of doctors’ prescription to married couples.Divorce in Ireland is a fudge. The lengthy period of time it takes to get a divorce exists in the hopes that after two or three years of separation a couple will see the light and get back together. Maybe that does happen. And when it does, a couple could always just get married again if they liked. They pay for their marriage license like everyone else.Prenups are not provisioned for despite it being wholly logical to do so when we introduced divorce, because it would be another offence to the idea that marriage is for life as mandated by society, God, the good book and whatever else you’re having yourself if you’d just vote Yes in the 1996 referendum.Big boys and girls should be able to make their own decisionsWhy exactly is it the business of society, 166 TDs and a number of judges to decide to how people can go about their marriage…? People are big boys and girls and should be able to make their own decisions and protect their own financial interests in divorce. This is not a one way street, with a rich woman being able to provision for a less well-off man in an equitable way at the outset of a marriage in the event it breaks down. After all, it takes two parties to sign the agreement and both spouses can negotiate for a better deal that, in the end, leaves them both with peace of mind.Or a prenup might help forestall a divorce, if one has to consider in financial terms just how far someone is willing to go for the other in the event things go sour in the relationship.Now, I’ve just been discussing married couples. What of kids, says you?A prenuptial agreement is between two parties who are getting married. Children are provisioned for by family courts regardless of any contracts or agreements as is, and that would remain the same. The beneficiary of, say, a house or monies provisioned for the care and welfare of children following a divorce is the children themselves. It so happens that one of the former spouses will likely become their primary carer, so benefitting indirectly from this in ways that might go beyond what a prenup provisions for strictly between the two parties.Prenups won’t be for everyone. Broaching the topic before marriage is certainly a gamey exercise. But there should be no reason that society prevents people from entering into an agreement that allows them to protect their respective assets that they’ve built over time or will build regardless of the marriage.I’ll start accepting proposals from fellow romantics immediately…Read: Laws recognising prenups to be considered by GovernmentRead: First poll finds large majority in favour of same sex marriagelast_img read more