Raghava opts out of Akshays Laaxmi Bomb

first_imgChennai: Actor-filmmaker Raghava Lawrence, who was recently signed to direct Akshay Kumar starrer Hindi horror-comedy Laaxmi Bomb, has opted out of the project as he felt disrespected. Laaxmi Bomb is the remake of highly successful Tamil horror-comedy Kanchana, which was directed by Lawrence, who also starred in the film. Less than a month after the project went on floors, Lawrence decided to exit it after the makers unveiled the film’s first look on Saturday without his knowledge. “There is an old popular saying in Tamil which tells ‘Don’t step into any house where there is no respect’. In this world, more than money and fame, self-respect is the most important attribute to a person’s character. So I have decided to step out of the project, Laaxmi Bomb, the Hindi remake of Kanchana,” Lawrence wrote in a note he posted on his Twitter page. He said there were multiple reasons for his exit, “but one of them is that the first look poster of the film was released without my knowledge and even without discussing anything with me. I was informed about this by a third person. It is very painful for a director to know about his movie’s first look release from others.” He felt “disrespected” and “disappointed”. “As a creator, I’m also not satisfied with the poster design (of first look) as well. This shouldn’t happen to any director. I can hold back my script because I haven’t signed any agreement regarding this film, but I won’t do it because I personally respect Akshay Kumar sir a lot,” Lawrence said. He said the makers can find a replacement for him. He will soon meet Akshay and hand over the script and step out of the project in “a good way”. In Laaxmi Bomb, Akshay plays a character that will be possessed by a ghost of a transgender. Kiara Advani has been signed as the leading lady.last_img read more

German Cabinet Says Maghreb Countries Safe for Refugees Takes Fire

Rabat – The German cabinet has approved a draft bill that would declare Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, and Georgia “safe countries of origin,” speeding up the process to deport rejected asylum applicants from the four countries.In order to be enacted, the draft law will need to be approved through a vote by the lower house of parliament.Based on the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, asylum seekers must prove that they are facing “fear of persecution” for certain circumstances, including race, religion, nationality, or political views. Members of Germany’s federal cabinet, however, believe that some people applied for asylum to escape financial situations and are “misusing” Germany’s asylum, according to Deutsche Welle (DW).The German government has approved only “a tiny fraction of asylum applications” from the three Maghreb countries, according to DW.Morocco World News contacted the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, asking for the factors that led the German cabinet to re-evaluate safety in Morocco for refugees, but has not received an answer yet.Germany’s Minister of Interior Joachim Herrmann said he believes that people from the three Maghreb countries have no right to seek asylum.“As a rule, someone from Tunisia, Algeria or Morocco has no right to asylum, but we want only those people to stay in Germany who truly are persecuted,” he said.Opposed by left-leaning political partiesThe cabinet’s decision, however, has been receiving backlash from opposition parties, including Greens and the far-left Die Linke. The parties condemned the reevaluation of the law, labeling the three Maghreb countries “unsafe.”The president of the Greens explained his party’s stance, claiming that the three countries are not a safe home for “journalists, minorities and homosexuals.”“There are reports of torture and unfair court proceedings. Therefore I cannot see how these states are safe,” he added.The German government has been blaming an increase in the crime rate on the rise of refugee numbers for the past three months.Between 2014 and 2016, the total number of refugees in Germany increased by 4.9 times.Federal statistics, according to the Irish Times, show that nearly 300,000 crimes were linked to refugees/asylum seekers in 2016. The number represents a 42 percent rise in crime year-on-year, said the outlet.The president of the Green party, however, denounced the government’s statistics: “If it’s about dealing with crime in Germany, then you need a well-equipped police force.”The cabinet has been attempting to pass this law since 2016, when all German lawmakers in the lower house of parliament voted for the decision. The decision, however, was not approved by the Bundesrat (the upper house of the German parliament).UNHCR’s stance on deportation of refugeesAccording to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) countries receiving refugees must protect them; once a refugee crosses a border, the hosting country is obliged to offer them rights and protection.However, migrants are people who choose to leave their mother country “not because of a direct threat of persecution or death, but mainly to improve their lives by finding work, or in some cases for education, family reunion or other cases,” according to the UNHCR. read more

In Honduras Annan says small States make big contributions to UN

The UN’s agenda “to fight disease, to promote education, to promote good governance and transparent government, and to protect the planet is something that rings a chord with leaders and people from smaller countries,” Mr. Annan told reporters following a meeting with Honduran President Ricardo Maduro Joest. He noted that those States had an effect on the UN’s work “when they are organized and participate fully.” The Secretary-General, who travelled in the afternoon to Mexico where he will attend the International Conference on Financing for Development later this week, said there was a growing awareness that problems in one part of the world affected all countries. Recently, he noted, more countries realized that “if we do not deal with some of the root causes and some of the problems that we see around the world from poverty to conflict prevention, to diseases, these situations are often exploited by those who would use terrorism to justify their actions.” Calling attention to the link between development and security, he said, “I think there is a greater awareness of this, and we will, I hope, see determination on the part of the donor governments to do more to help the poor.” He added that poor countries “have to get their act together too,” noting that they must foster transparent and democratic governance based on rule of law. Mr. Annan, who had arrived in Tegucigalpa yesterday, received the “Gran Cruz of Morazan” – the nation’s highest award – from President Maduro. The Secretary-General, along with his wife, Nane, also attended the National Forum on HIV/AIDS. read more

UN atomic watchdog urges speedy Iranian cooperation on nuclear programme

“We need to talk to some people who have been involved in the illicit trafficking network,” International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei said in a press statement at the end of a meeting of the agency’s board of governors at its Vienna headquarters.”I expressed hope that some of these issues will have been resolved by September. The ball, as I mentioned before, again is in Iran’s court,” he added.The IAEA has previously determined that Iran for almost two decades concealed its nuclear activities in breach of its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Iran has consistently denied it is seeking nuclear weapons, insisting its programme is purely for energy generation, but several countries, including the United States, insist that oil-producing country is seeking nuclear weapons.Today, Mr. ElBaradei called for speedy cooperation from Iran. “Sometimes cooperation is a bit slow, particularly in terms of providing documents and relevant information,” he said. “Because of the confidence that was lost in the past, we need an extra effort on the part of Iran to build that confidence and the more transparency they show, the faster confidence could be created.”On the positive side, Mr. ElBaradei said Iran had facilitated access to nuclear material and facilities under the NPT Additional Protocol and the Safeguards agreement and had also maintained in full the suspension of all enrichment related and reprocessing activities, “which is again positive.” Enriched uranium can be used for making nuclear weapons.The European Union (EU) is supposed to provide comprehensive proposals to Iran by the end of July or beginning of August for a diplomatic solution to the nuclear issue and Mr. ElBaradei said he was very pleased to see the US saying today that they are also lending their full support to the European dialogue.”So, I very much hope that the diplomatic solution to the Iran issue will continue and will yield full results,” he added. “In the meantime I would like to make sure that in the next few months, we should be able to come to conclusion about the past Iran nuclear programme.” read more

Amazoncom posts lower 4thquarter net income misses estimates shares up

Amazon.com posts lower 4th-quarter net income, misses estimates; shares up NEW YORK, N.Y. – Amazon.com says its fourth-quarter net income fell 45 per cent, as higher revenue failed to keep pace with increased spending on order fulfilment and digital content.Revenue, along with revenue guidance for the current quarter, missed Wall Street’s expectations — but investors still sent the world’s top online retailer’s stock up more than 10 per cent in after-hours trading.“It boggles the mind,” said BGC Financial analyst Colin Gillis, who attributed the stock price jump to slightly stronger-than-expected operating income. “A lot of people scratch their head at the valuation given to Amazon and the support the stock has.”Amazon.com Inc. said Tuesday that it earned $97 million, or 21 cents per share, in the October-December period. That’s down from $177 million, or 38 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier.Revenue for the crucial holiday quarter grew 22 per cent to $21.27 billion from $17.43 billion.Analysts had expected earnings of 28 cents per share on revenue of $22.26 billion, according to a poll by FactSet.Amazon said operating income increased 56 per cent to $405 million from $260 million in the fourth quarter of 2011.“We’re now seeing the transition we’ve been expecting,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO, in a statement. “After five years, eBooks is a multi-billion dollar category for us and growing fast — up approximately 70 per cent last year.”For the current quarter, Amazon expects revenue of $15 billion to $16.6 billion. Analysts had expected revenue of $16.86 billion.The company has been investing a lot of its income into enhancing its distribution network and its Kindle business as part of a long term growth plan.Seattle-based Amazon’s shares rose $27.10, or 10.4 per cent, to $287.45 in after-hours trading. The stock had closed down $15.69, or 5.7 per cent, at $260.35. by Barbara Ortutay, The Associated Press Posted Jan 29, 2013 5:02 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

US Supreme Court to hear arguments from Argentina creditors on access to

by The Associated Press Posted Apr 20, 2014 10:12 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email US Supreme Court to hear arguments from Argentina, creditors on access to foreign assets WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing arguments Monday in Argentina’s decade-long battle with holders of its defaulted bonds.The question now before the court is relatively narrow, focusing on whether a sovereign nation can be forced to reveal its assets around the world so plaintiffs can collect on U.S. court judgments.But the justices will be watched closely for clues to how they might rule on a more critical case involving the same players: the Argentine government’s appeal of a $1.4 billion judgment that it says could destroy the country’s economy and damage the U.S. financial system.So far, the courts have backed NML Capital Ltd., which won an unprecedented judgment that would block Argentina’s payments to all other bondholders unless it pays cash first to the plaintiffs. In this Jan. 28, 2014 photo, office workers are reflected in a building’s decorative mirrors in downtown Buenos Aires, Argentina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Victor R. Caivano read more

Ban announces intention to appoint experienced Norwegian official to head up UN

Mr. Solheim is currently Chair of the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a post he has held since 2013. From 2007 to 2012, he was Norway’s Minister for the Environment and International Development. He also served as Norway’s Minister for International Development from 2005 to 2007.

A revival of Cornish tin mining coming

first_imgAs prices and demand rise and mines close there is once again growing interest in the tin potential of the southwest of England. The Western Daily Press recently reported there are “as many as five  mining companies are now competing for the tin in Devon and Cornwall.” This region was the major metal mining area of the world back in the mid-to-late 1880s.Joff Bullen, President of South West Mining Association, was quoted as saying that tin’s “rising value could spark a major revival. There are now five bona fide companies seriously looking at Cornwall today. Cornwall is in an ideal position. It is well known that there is an international shortage of tin. The world’s existing tin mines are running out of reserves and despite a lot of prospecting, no more tin has been found to fill this shortfall. If we put all these factors into the melting pot, these five companies are looking at Cornwall because Cornwall has known ore reserves.“We should therefore encourage these companies for what they can bring to the region.”CEO of Marine Minerals, Mike Proudfoot, expressed confidence that the industry may restart in the near future, “in less than four years there will be a global shortfall in supply at the same time as demand continues to grow. The huge San Raphael reserves in southern Peru, which supplies more than 5% of the world’s tin, will be completely exhausted by 2017.“Tin for the electronics industry has to come from somewhere and we believe much of it could come from the Cornwall. …the reality this time is that with the global demand for tin currently standing at 300,000 t/y and a substantial shortfall looming in the next three years, it doesn’t take a mathematician to work out that new reserves need to come on stream right now.”Marine Minerals Ltd (MML) is a Cornish company investigating opportunities for the recovery of minerals from the marine environment, particularly from waste material deposited on the sea bed as a result of Cornwall’s historic tin mining industry. It is planning to use new technology to extract an undersea shelf of tin off the Cornish coast estimated to contain 22 Mt of ore.Its detailed environmental research work began in April. The £500,000, year-long study will look into a range of issues to help ensure the project meets its stated environmental targets. The finding of the research will go into the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) which the company will submit when it makes a licence application, expected to be next year, to undertake the tin recovery work.MML Director and Commercial Manager, John Sewell, explained: “Our aim is to create a project which recovers the very valuable tin, while making as small an impact as possible. We need to understand in detail these issues – and the findings of these studies now underway will help us design the best process.“Our scientific researchers will be looking at possible impacts on leisure activities, on marine and coastal plants and animals, on the landscape and geology, as well as air and water. We have said from the beginning that this project can only proceed if the waste tin sitting on the seabed can be recovered in a way which is environmentally and socially practical – these detailed environmental studies are vital to ensure we can meet this ambition.“We believe this will be the most comprehensive study ever undertaken of this stretch of the North Cornwall Coast.”last_img read more

Heres What Happened Today Thursday

first_imgFinancial woes have led to an increase in calls to suicide helplines by farmers.It is estimated that Irish families will spend an average of €894 this Christmas. More than any other European nation.Direct Democracy Ireland claimed founder Ben Gilroy was portrayed on radio as being anti-English. The BAI disagreed.A judge ruled that it was “entirely improper” that a mother contacted a Dáil deputy in relation to an ongoing court case.WORLD#ECB: Another record low. The European Central Bank has cut its key interest rate by 25 basis points to 0.25 per cent this afternoon.#SNOWDEN: “Al-Qaeda is lapping it up.” British spy chiefs said today that intelligence leaks by Edward Snowden were being used by enemies to change the way they operate.#PAKISTAN: The Taliban have named Mullah Fazlullah as their new leader, after the death of Hakimullah Mehsud in a drone attack. Fazlullah’s men are known to have shot schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai. [BBC]INNOVATION Water supplies for Dubliners are back to normal tonight as restrictions were lifted.The Revenue Commissioners have defended their handling of the property tax saying they assumed people would be familiar with payment options.Gardaí are investigating the discovery of the body of an elderly man in Co. Cork.Over three-quarters of people intend to support the same-sex marriage referendum according to the first poll since its announcement .In 1963, The Beatles played in Dublin and Belfast – and today marks the 50th anniversary of that milestone gig. Updated 23:00NEED TO CATCH up? TheJournal.ie brings you a round-up of today’s news.The Beatles relaxing over tea in London in 1963. The famous four-piece played in Dublin 50 years ago tonight. Pic: AP/Press Association Images.IRISHMichael Noonan called it a “red letter day” as the Troika completed their final review of Ireland’s bailout programme but the IMF’s Ireland Mission Chief says they’re not leaving yet.Samantha Azzopardi, the woman found outside the GPO last month, is to be flown back to Australia tonight. PARTING SHOTIn what must be one of the greatest achievements by an Irish professional sportsperson, Tony McCoy rode his 4,000th winner today. Pic: David Davies/PA Wire.First published 21:00. Twitter’s stock surged on the first day of trading, jumping 73 per cent as they opened. The sale avoided much of the missteps experienced by Facebook at its launch last year. [New York Times]3D printers have got a lot of bad press recently, but this robotic arm capable of boosting a person’s lifting power by 18kg, was made by one and has won the 2013 Dyson award.last_img read more

139 people slept rough in Dublin on 12 November

first_imgUpdated 10.28amTHE LATEST ROUGH sleeper count for Dublin is disappointing and unacceptable, according to the Peter McVerry Trust.On 12 November, there were 139 people sleeping rough in the city. That is an increase of 45 people since April this year.It is a stark reminder of the difficulties that many people face, says the homeless charity. It is also an important element of the Cold Weather Initiative which was launched by the Dublin Region Homeless Executive on 1 November.Commenting on the numbers, chief executive Pat Doyle said the organisation had increased capacity in its homeless accommodation services “in anticipation of rising rough sleep figures”.“We have added 10 new beds for homeless couples, the first such service within Peter McVerry Trust and have added a further 12 beds for young homeless people aged 18 to 26.”The new beds brings to 265 the number of individuals being housed by the Trust each night.There are also efforts being made to increase the number of emergency bed placements being provided as part of the Cold Weather Initiative. Currently, there are 80 beds available on a nightly basis.Recent events in Bray and the Phoenix Park have highlighted the dangers associated with sleeping rough.Breaking down the numbersOf the 139 people confirmed to be sleeping rough on any given night in Dublin, 80 per cent (111) are male, 14 per cent (20) female and 6 per cent (8) unknown.More than half were Irish, while another 39 were not from the island.There was a large variance in age groups, with about one quarter of the 139 aged between 18 and 30 years old, another 27 per cent in their 30s and 22 per cent in their 40s. At least 12 people were between the ages of 51 and 60, with another three over the age of 61.Of the people counted, 87 had previously accessed homeless accommodation and support.The Cold Weather Initiative runs until the end of March next year.The executive has urged landlords and renters to resolve disputes quickly to ensure rows do not end in temporary homelessness.First published 7.57amRead: Man to appear in court charged with Phoenix Park murderMore: Simon Community says Phoenix Park death highlights the vulnerability of the homelessRead: Concerns about homelessness raised after body found in Bray car parklast_img read more

Make me up Alexia

first_imgThere wasn’t a choice of what career path Alexia Hondros would pursue. Her love for all things make-up – from lipsticks to eye shadows – and making people up dominated her childhood. And that fascination with showing people how to wear certain colours, or watching their reaction to themselves made new by Alexia took her on a path to setting up her own freelance business: Alexia Make-Up Artistry. “Seeing their features become enhanced and when they look in the mirror they look beautfiul,” says Alexia. “It’s about colours and textures and the different shades and what works and finding what works for that person, it’s just like a whole world on it’s own.” Having just recently completed a full-time course at the Academy of Make-Up, Alexia established her freelance business and works from a home salon, mobile service and at Argyle Hair and Beuaty in Richmond, being entirely available to suit your beauty needs. A jack-of-all trades when it comes to the make-up biz, Alexia has the skills required through her course to ensure she does the best job in creating a whole new you with make-up. She has studied in bridal, fashion shoots, theatre make-up, stage make-up, television and film, body painting, Oriental, mother-of-the-bride and feels that being in a freelance business you need to do a bit of everything to meet the customers needs which is always her biggest priority. “You need to be creative and understand colour,” explains Alexia of her craft. “You need to know what works and what doesn’t.” When consulting a client, Alexia says she looks at the whole package. She analyses the event they will be attending, their personality, their skin tone, what outfit they will wearing to the event, whether or not they wear make-up normally and even to checking if they are allergic to any of the products. To help her cleints base their decisions, Alexia has created four scrapbooks of images and previous work to guide them through. At the moment, Alexia is enjoying the freedom of freelance work and the responsibility it entails, but would eventually like to see her business grow and work with more colleagues on various projects. Having worked in film and television before, this is another area Alexia is keen to pursue. “Even though the days are long, you really are involved with all the people. It’s challenging but a lot of fun,” she says. Alexia Make-up Artistry can be found at the home salon at 45 Banksia Street, Eaglemont, Victoria; at Argyle Hair and Beauty Salon, 257 Lennox Street, Richmond, Victoria; or the mobile business by contacting Alexia on 0450 388 468. You can find the business on facebook at facebook.com/alexia-make-up-artistry Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Quake hits Greek island two dead

first_imgA 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck southwest of Ioannina in Greece at a depth of some 10 kilometers, according to the US Geological Service. Two people have been reported dead.The event happened 106 kilometers southwest of Ioannina early Tuesday, just off the western Greek island of Lefkada.It has been reported that two people were killed. A 59-year-old woman in the village of Ponti died after being struck by a falling rock. Another woman was crushed to death in a stable in the mountain village of Athani, Reuters reports after speaking to a local by phone.The main road in the southwestern part of Lefkada has been damaged, Reuters reports.Authorities are asking people to display caution, with 20 aftershocks registered so far, ranging from 2.5 to 5.1 in magnitude. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Le CSA veut contrôler YouTube et Dailymotion

first_imgLe CSA veut contrôler YouTube et DailymotionLe Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel (CSA) aimerai pouvoir réguler les plateformes de vidéos en ligne YouTube et Dailymotion. Une décision qui aurait de lourdes conséquences, au niveau du contenu publié.YouTube et Dailymotion pourraient bien être mis à l’amende. Le CSA estime, en effet, que les deux sites nternet ne sont pas différents d’une plateforme de vidéos à la demande classique et donc, devrait être régulés de la même façon. C’est ce qu’a révélé la La Tribune, après la réception d’une lettre provenant du président du CSA, Michel Boyon. Selon lui “Le Conseil s’interroge sur la pertinence faite par le législateur en 2009 entre les services de médias audiovisuels à la demande (Smad) et ceux qui permettent au public de mettre en ligne des vidéos. En effet, parmi ces dernières, celles qui sont les plus regardées sont très souvent des œuvres ou extraits d’œuvres audiovisuelles ou cinématographiques, pour lesquelles des services tels que YouTube ou Dailymotion versent d’ailleurs des rémunérations au titre du droit d’auteur et des droits voisins”.À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?Mais quelles seraient les conséquences pour les deux plateformes ? Si YouTube et Dailymotion sont considérés comme des services vidéos classiques, ses derniers tomberont sous la même législation. Ils seront obligé de reverser un partie de leur chiffre d’affaire pour financer la création mais aussi de respecter la loi en matière de protection des mineurs.Ce n’est pas la première fois que le CSA aborde cette question et en 2008, le député UMP Frédérice Lefebvre avait déposé un amendement, qui aurait donné un droit de regard au CSA sur les activités de Skyblog ou Myspace. Ce dernier avait été rejeté suite à une vive contestation.Le 7 juin 2012 à 21:00 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Attendees Must Register For Governor Discussion In Kenai

first_imgThe statewide events listed as public are being hosted by Americans for Prosperity, each attendee is required to accept the organizations ‘terms and conditions’ when registering for the event. The Governor and his team will be on KSRM 920AM on the Bird’s Eye View prior to the event from 4-5pm, on Monday. Tune in or click here to listen live. Joining Governor Dunleavy will be Alaska Attorney General Kevin Clarkson, Commissioner of Revenue Bruce Tangeman, OMB Director Donna Arduin, and Deputy Chief of Staff Jeremy Price. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Governor will kick off a series of statewide discussions on the Kenai Peninsula on Monday, March 25, at 6pm, at the Cannery Lodge. Attendees are required to register for the event online. Press Secretary Matt Shuckerow: “The first leg of the Governor’s roadshow includes a number of meetings, events, media interviews and community-based discussions in partnership with groups and organizations from across the state. We look forward to these discussion over the next few months and encourage Alaskans to participate in our radio interviews and to attend any one of our open to the public events.”last_img read more

Armed Services Panel Would Reverse End Strength Reductions

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR Planned drawdowns in the size of the Army, Marine Corps and Air Force would be reversed, under a draft of the House Armed Services’ Military Personnel Subcommittee’s portion of the fiscal 2017 defense authorization bill released Tuesday.The most dramatic change under the panel’s mark would be for active-duty Army forces, which would increase from an authorized level of 475,000 in FY 2016 to 480,000 in FY 2017. The Pentagon’s budget request calls for the service’s active-duty end strength to drop to 460,000 in FY 2017.Significantly, the draft bill would set the service’s permanent active-duty end strength at 480,000, in contrast to the Pentagon’s plan for active forces to fall to 450,000 by the end of FY 2018.The end strength of the Army National Guard would increase from an authorized level of 342,000 in FY 2016 to 350,000 in FY 2017, under the panel’s draft legislation. The administration’s budget request calls for the Army National Guard to shrink to 335,000 soldiers in FY 2017. The size of the Army Reserve would increase from 198,000 in FY 2016 to 205,000 in FY 2017, rather than declining further to 195,000 as requested by DOD.The panel recommends that the Marine Corps’ active end strength increase from 184,000 in FY 2016 to 185,000 in FY 2017, rather than dropping to 182,000 as DOD requested.The Air Force’s active forces would rise from 320,715 in FY 2016 to 321,000 in FY 2017, rather than falling to 317,000 airmen under the FY 2017 budget request.The changes to the Army’s and Marine Corps’ end strength included in the markup mirror legislation introduced earlier this year in both chambers of Congress.While defense hawks in Congress have said the planned cuts ignore a rise in global threats, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley warned earlier this month that a move to stem the decline in Army forces absent sufficient funding to train and equip the additional troops would be highly damaging to the service.“If we were mandated to go to a higher size, more soldiers, bigger end strength, and we didn’t have the dollars, I personally think that would be disaster for both the nation and the Army,” Milley told the Senate Armed Services Committee. “At the end of the day, I think we would literally risk having a hollow Army,” he said.The subcommittee’s mark is available on the Armed Services Committee website. The panel will hold its markup today at 11:30 a.m.last_img read more

Broadband part of 2 trillion infrastructure deal between Democrats Trump

first_img 3 Comments Internet Share your voice Congressional Democrats, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY), talk to reporters following a meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House to discuss infrastructure. Getty Images Broadband is expected to be part of the $2 trillion spending plan on infrastructure that President Donald Trump agreed to in a meeting with Democratic leaders. On Tuesday, Trump met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer at the White House to begin discussions about a new infrastructure spending plan. “We agreed on a number, which was very, very good: $2 trillion for infrastructure,” Schumer told reporters outside the White House, according to a report from CBS News. “Originally we had started a little lower, even the president was willing to push it up to $2 trillion. And that is a very good thing.” Though there are still many details to be worked out, such as how the government will pay this hefty price, there was some agreement on the types of projects that would get funding, which included spending on broadband networks. CBS also reported that White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump and Democrats “had an excellent and productive meeting on rebuilding our nation’s crumbling infrastructure including roads, highways, bridges, tunnels and railroads, modernizing our air travel system, and expanding broadband access for our great farmers and rural America.”Jonathan Spalter, president and CEO of USTelecom, a trade organization representing many rural broadband providers, applauded the agreement. He said it was critical that any infrastructure plan hashed out by Congress include “a commitment to broadband deployment in unserved areas of the country” to narrow the digital divide and modernize networks throughout the country. “Any infrastructure plan should future-proof new infrastructure with fiber capabilities so new technology can be integrated and modified as years go by,” Spalter said. “Smart, connected solutions should be an integral part of every mile of American infrastructure constructed or reconstructed in the coming years.”This isn’t the first time Trump has talked about improving broadband access for rural Americans. Earlier this month, the White House in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission announced the Rural Digital Opportunity, which reallocates $20.4 billion in funding from the FCC’s existing Universal Service Fund over the next 10 years to subsidize eligible companies to build out broadband infrastructure in underserved areas. The FCC already spends on average about $4 billion a year to subsidize rural broadband deployments, and yet 19 million Americans, most of whom live in hard to reach places, still lack high-speed internet access. The result is what many call the “digital divide” between rural and urban America. Roughly 39 percent of rural Americans lack access to high-speed broadband, compared with just 4 percent of urban Americans, according to an FCC report that uses 2016 figures.The internet rural Americans can access is also slower and more expensive than it is for their urban counterparts. But building networks in rural America is incredibly expensive, and in some places it’s nearly impossible. The terrain can be a problem. Mountainous areas or places where the ground could be frozen for more than half the year make it nearly impossible to install fiber or other infrastructure.The biggest barrier to getting broadband in many remote areas of the country is low population density. Broadband providers simply won’t offer service if they can’t get enough customers to pay for it. This is where government subsidies can help. But so far the White House has been reluctant to commit large sums of government funds.A little more than a year ago, the White House put forth a proposal to help rebuild infrastructure, with a total price tag of $1.5 trillion. But critics pointed out that the proposal called for only about $200 billion in government spending and instead relied heavily on funding from the private sector and private-public partnerships. At that time, there was no mention of broadband being included in the package. Infrastructure is the one area in which Trump and congressional Democrats, who are also in the midst of several oversight investigations around the president’s business dealings and other conduct, agree. When Democrats took control of the House in November, Trump said infrastructure could be an area in which they work together. Still, it’s early days in the discussion. And given that no other Republicans were at the meeting, there’s a strong likelihood that conservatives in the House and Senate will balk at the $2 trillion price tag.  Tags Donald Trumplast_img read more

UK pushes Julian Assange a step closer to extradition to the US

first_img Julian Assange WikiLeaks Inside Julian Assange’s office Share your voice Security Tech Industry 1:26 25 Photos 1center_img Assange will soon find out whether he’ll be extradited to the US. Getty Images WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is one step closer to being extradited to the US from the UK over charges of conspiring to hack government computers. British Home Secretary Sajid Javid told the BBC’s Today Programme on Thursday morning that he’d signed the extradition order, submitted to him by the US on Tuesday, ahead of Assange’s extradition hearing in court on Friday.Javid said that part of his role to sign all legitimate extradition requests, but Assange’s fate was largely out of his hands. “It is a decision ultimately for the courts,” he said.Assange was arrested in April at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he’d been living for almost seven years. In May, he was sentenced to 50 weeks in jail for skipping bail in the UK for fear of being extradited to Sweden to face rape charges. Shortly after his arrest, the US Department of Justice said it would seek to extradite the 47-year-old. Sweden has also said it may reopen the rape case against Assange.Assange is being held at Belmarsh Prison and is thought to be in ill health. He is expected to appear in Westminster Magistrate’s Court on Friday via video link. The case will be decided by a judge, who could set a timetable for extradition proceedings to take place, although Assange would have opportunities to appeal. Comment After Julian Assange’s arrest, the US DoJ piles on Now playing: Watch this: Tagslast_img read more

Hungarian surgeons separate Bangladeshi twins joined at head

first_imgThis handout photograph taken on 5 January 2019 and received on 2 August from the Action for Defenceless People Foundation (ADPF) shows conjoined Bangladeshi twins Rabeya and Rukaya during their visit to Budapest, in preparation for their final separation surgery to be performed in Dhaka.Photo: AFPBangladeshi twins who were joined at the head were recovering Friday after Hungarian surgeons performed a marathon 30-hour operation to separate their skulls and brains in the capital Dhaka.The twins, named Rabeya and Rukaya, turned three last month and suffered from a rare embryological disorder affecting an estimated one in every five to six million births.They were “stable after the final separation,” said Andras Csokay, a neurosurgeon with the Action for Defenceless People Foundation (ADPF) medical aid charity that performed the operation.”But we have to be very careful during the postoperative period,” Csokay, who headed the 35-strong Hungarian team, told AFP.After the separation of their skulls and brains at Dhaka’s Combined Military Hospital, Csokay’s team began to cover the wound area with soft tissues generated by a tissue expansion process carried out in Hungary.Prior to the surgery doctors had said there was only a 50 percent chance of both of the twins surviving.According to ADPF, only a handful of operations to separate twins joined at the head have ever been successful.The Hungarian charity was set up in 2002 by Csokay and plastic surgeon Gergely Pataki to provide free surgery to poor people in Hungary and abroad.This handout photograph taken early on 2 August 2019 and received from the Action for Defenceless People Foundation (ADPF) shows Hungarian surgeons and medical assistants working to separate conjoined twins Rabeya and Rukaya, at a hospital in Dhaka. Photo: AFPThe parents of the twins, who are from Pabna, 120 kilometres (75 miles) west of Dhaka, approached the group for help in 2017.In the first surgery phase in Bangladesh last year, the shared blood vessels of the twins’ brains were separated in a 14-hour operation.Then in a second six-month-long phase beginning last January, Rabeya and Rukaya moved to Budapest where doctors inserted a Hungarian-designed implant system to expand the scalp and soft tissue in their heads.During the period over 40 plastic surgery interventions took place to fill the expanders, change the bandages and to perform laser and regenerative wound treatment.ADPF neurosurgeons and plastic surgeons supported by anaesthesiologists, radiologists and pediatricians also used innovative virtual 3D animation software to map the two brains.”This was one of the biggest most challenging malformations that I have ever seen,” Pataki told AFP in Budapest last month.The twins and Hungarian medics then returned to Bangladesh late July ahead of the final separation phase.ADPF has performed around 500 reconstructive surgery operations in Asia and Africa, including for Rohingya Muslim refugees in Bangladesh.last_img read more

​​Khadi Bhawan celebrates Christmas with visitors

first_imgNew Delhi: It was some sort of concert between the Gandhian philosophy of self-reliance with Jesus Christ’s lessons of tolerance and purity in the erstwhile ‘Khadi Gramodyog Bhawan’ when amid much jingles, fervour, and gaiety, Christmaswas celebrated. Incidentally, it was the first occasion, when ‘Khadi Bhawan’ – the Khadi India outlet at Connaught Place (CP) in New Delhi – decided to celebrate Christmas with the visitors.Clad in red Christmas caps, the employees of Khadi India outlet decorated the ‘Christmas tree’ planted in the outlet, with stars and jingles and distributed toffees and chocolates with visitors. Several hand-woven and hand-spun items – especially aimed for Christmas celebrations – were also displayed on this occasion. Interestingly, over the years, CP is believed to be the heart of New Delhi and ‘Khadi Bhawan’ is considered as the heart of CP. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) Chairman, Vinai Kumar Saxena, who mooted the idea of the Christmas celebrations with employees and customers, said that marking the birth of Jesus spreads the universal message of love, sacrifice, and compassion.”Since Khadi is the household name of honesty and sincerity in modern times, it will certainly renew our society’s sense of fraternity,” he said.Lots of customers appreciated the gesture by KVIC.On the other hand, the Charkha Museum, which has recently emerged as a famous landmark of Connaught Place recorded a huge turnout of visitors. On Christmas Day, the biggest steel charkha in the ‘Charkha Museum’ was the sight of attraction.last_img read more

Moore almost quit acting before This is Us

first_imgMandy Moore says before landing ‘This is Us’, there was a time when she considered giving up on acting. The actor-singer, who plays Rebecca Pearson in the NBC drama, said she felt so “stuck” that she felt universe was guiding her to walk away from Hollywood. “As an actor, so much of our job is rejection. I think I had started like, I kept smacking into that wall time and again for quite a number of years and I think it also coincided with some tricky stuff in my personal life and the combination of those two just made me feel so stuck.” Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”I contemplated, I was like, ‘I think this is it. I think this is the universe giving me a sign that maybe this is not what I’m supposed to be doing… Maybe I’m not supposed to be an actor anymore like, I’ve been incredibly lucky, I’ve had this really fruitful time earlier in my life and maybe now I’m supposed to lean into something else,” Moore said during a panel at Popsugar Play/Ground as quoted by Page Six. The 35-year-old actor said she realised there was “no plan B” for her and gradually found her way. “I think at the end of the day when I did dig deep I was like this (acting) is all, there was no plan B for me personally, this is just that period of building. It’s that period where I know I’m going to need this as fodder and fuel for… when I see the light again.” Talking about ‘This is Us’, Moore said playing Rebecca has been “the most incredibly fulfilling and satisfying job I’ve ever had in my life”.last_img read more