Patna: Controversial Bihar MLA Anant Singh, evading arrest in a case under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, has said he will surrender in court in the next three-four days.In a video message, the independent MLA from Mokama, who has several serious cases pending against him, also said he will interact with journalists on his return from hiding. “I am not afraid of getting arrested. I have come to see my ailing friend and will surrender in the court in next three-four days. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM'”But first of all, I will go to my flat and interact with journalists,” the legislator said in the video clip sent to media houses on Sunday. Singh was booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) after a police team raided his ancestral house at Ladma village in Patna district and seized an AK-47 rifle, a magazine, live cartridges and two hand grenades on Friday. Parliament had recently passed an amendment to the anti-terror law to give powers to the Centre to designate an individual as terrorist and seize his properties. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KThe accused legislator claimed he had sought an appointment with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar but failed. Contending that he had not visited his ancestral house in the past 14 years, Singh asked, “Why would I keep weapons like AK-47 in a house which is shared by my enemy?” Singh has a running feud with his cousin Vivekanand Singh, a gangster. Police conducted a second raid at the 1, Mall Road, official residence of Singh in Patna on Saturday but he was not present, Superintendent of Police Kantesh Kumar Mishra said.
July 25 marks the 25th anniversary of the passage of the National Literacy Act, which was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush.President George H.W. Bush signs the National Literacy Act into lawCredit/Copyright: George Bush Presidential Library and MuseumThis landmark act was inspired in large part by Barbara Bush’s passion for literacy. Since its passage in 1991, millions of adults have had a second chance to earn their high school diplomas, and tens of millions more have learned to read, write and speak English.As this milestone anniversary approaches, President and Mrs. Bush were asked to reflect on the passage of the National Literacy Act and its impact:“Signing the National Literacy Act at once culminated the efforts of so many advocates from across the country, while also opening a new and more hopeful chapter for millions of Americans of all ages,” said President Bush. “I could not be prouder of Barbara for the 35 years she has spent working on this fundamentally important issue, and helping lead the charge for action and results. I am biased, of course, but I truly believe her passion, vision and dedication have helped change millions of lives for the better over these last 25 years.”“The National Literacy Act put into policy my belief that education is a civil right, no matter one’s age,” said Mrs. Bush. “The needs of adult learners are so often overlooked, yet adult education initiatives have enormous potential to improve the social and economic well-being of families, communities and our nation as a whole. What was true 25 years ago is still true today: everyone deserves a chance to obtain the education they need to provide for their families, set the next generation on a path to success and achieve their dreams.”In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the signing, the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy has curated a literacy resource center—available at www.barbarabush.org — with media assets regarding the National Literacy Act: • Photo: Signing of the National Literacy Act, 1991 • Video: Sen. Lamar Alexander’s reflections on the National Literacy Act • Webpage: Sen. Lamar Alexander’s remarks from the Barbara Bush Foundation’s Conversation on the Future of Adult Literacy as entered into the Congressional Record • Video: National Celebration of Reading at the Library of CongressThe Foundation began celebrating the 25th anniversary of the National Literacy Act earlier this summer, with two events held in Washington, D.C. A day-long symposium gathered select technology leaders, entrepreneurs and policy experts from across the country to discuss visionary, bold and transformational ideas to address America’s adult literacy issues for the next 25 years. Senator Lamar Alexander, who served as U.S. Secretary of Education during the passage and implementation of the National Literacy Act in 1991, joined the group to speak about the successes of the law, which include initiation of national workforce demonstration projects, creation of “indicators” of program quality and establishment of literacy programs for incarcerated individuals.The following evening, the Foundation hosted the inaugural National Celebration of Reading at the Library of Congress. Members of the Bush family and guests enjoyed readings by former First Lady Laura Bush and Jenna Bush Hager, David Baldacci, A.J. Jacobs and Jon Meacham. By hosting these events in Washington, D.C., the Foundation sought both to celebrate achievements in literacy, and to stimulate a broader national dialogue about solutions to the serious challenge of low literacy.
New Delhi: GST officers are working out a mechanism to deal with non-payment of taxes by large number of small restaurants and B2C entities which are collecting taxes from customers but not depositing the levy with the government. Several consumers have filed complaints through a mobile app -Iris Peridot – that GST was charged by small restaurants but the eatery neither deposited taxes with the government nor filed GST returns. Many customers have downloaded the Iris Peridot app, developed by a GST Suvidha Provider, allowing them to scan the unique GST Identification Number (GSTIN) of a business and find out whether the returns have been filed by the entity. Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: IcraComplaints of consumers about non-filing of returns by the entities which are charging Goods and Services Tax (GST) are being forwarded on a real-time basis to the tax department for further action. Small businesses with an annual turnover of up to Rs 1.50 crore can opt for the composition scheme and file returns quarterly. However, such businesses are not allowed to charge GST from consumers and are required to print on their invoice that they are under the composition scheme and hence not supposed to charge GST on supplies. Also Read – Ashok Leyland stock tanks over 5 pc as co plans to suspend production for up to 15 daysUnder the composition scheme, traders and manufacturers pay 1 per cent GST on their turnover, while restaurants and service providers pay 5 per cent and 6 per cent taxes respectively. “We have received several complaints from consumers with regard to charging of GST by entities who have not been filing returns. Some customers have also flagged the issue of charging of GST by small local restaurants who otherwise would be under the composition scheme,” an official said. As the number of complaints is very large, the tax department is developing a mechanism to find out the quantum of possible tax evasion and refer them to field offices for follow-up actions. “In absence of sufficient manpower to deal with such huge number of complaints with relatively small tax implication, it has become an administrative nightmare for the department,” the official said, adding similar complaints have also started coming in against small B2C entities dealing in hardware, sanitary ware, furniture, electrical goods. PwC India Partner and Leader (Indirect Tax) Pratik Jain said tax evasion at B2C level remains a big concern for the government. “To achieve over 20 per cent projected growth in GST collection in current fiscal, it’s important that evasion in B2C segment significantly reduces. Governments across the globe are trying to find ways to incentivise consumers to help in creating a more compliant eco-system, which we need to explore as well. Also the tax policy should be aligned to check tax evasion,” Jain said. Jain further said restricting input credits for restaurants and real estate sector may disincentivise the businesses to come in the tax chain and such policies need to be carefully reviewed. EY Tax Partner Abhishek Jain said “with a significant growth in GST collections envisaged in this Financial Year, the focus of the government would be to plug GST leakages”. For 2019-20, the government proposes to collect Rs 6.10 lakh crore from Central GST and Rs 1.01 lakh crore as compensation cess. The Integrated GST balance has been pegged at Rs 50,000 crore. The Central GST collection in 2018-19 fiscal was Rs 4.25 lakh crore, while compensation cess was over Rs 97,000 crore.
Srinagar: Six militants were killed on Thursday in encounters in with security forces in Shopian and Pulwama districts of Jammu and Kashmir while a civilian and a soldier also lost their lives, police said.While three Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorists, a civilian and a soldier were killed in the encounter in Pulwama, three militants were eliminated during a gun battle with security forces in Shopian district, a police spokesman said. “On a credible input, a cordon and search operation was launched this morning by police and security forces at Delipora area in district Pulwama,” the spokesman said. He said as the security forces were evacuating the target house, the hiding militants started firing indiscriminately.
Massive demonstrations were held this morning in several parts of the country against a resolution to be presented against Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. Prime Minister D.M Jayaratne, speaking at one of the rallies, said that some people are ready to sacrifice their lives against moves to infringe on Sri Lanka’s soverignity. Demonstrations were held in Batticaloa, Kandy, Hambantota, Ratnapura, Je-Ela and Dambulla, among other areas, this morning. Meanwhile a demonstration was also staged near the American Embassy in Colombo today. Security was tight and the road opposite the Embassy was closed during the protest.A massive demonstration is also scheduled to take place in Colombo this afternoon against the proposed resolution. According to reports the United States will present a resolution against Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council session which begins in Geneva today demanding that the government implement all the recommendations of a war commission appointed by Sri Lanka itself and to also hold accountable those responsible for committing human rights abuses. The Archbishop of Colombo Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith in a statement this morning also condemned attempts to submit a resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC.Meanwhile the External Affairs Ministry said that heavy diplomatic campaigning was underway both in Geneva, Switzerland and in other countries in support and against Sri Lanka.“External Affairs Minister G.L Peiris has already met several diplomats in Geneva and will be meeting more in other countries over the next few days,” a spokesman at the Ministry said.
Two suspects wanted in connection with the Easter Sunday suicide attacks were arrested in Nawalapitya.Mohamed Saadik Abdul Haq and Mohamed Saahid Abdul Haq were arrested based on information received by the Police.
The Geneva-based UN Sub-commission for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights today unanimously adopted a resolution that included “draft Norms on the Responsibilities of Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises with Regard to Human Rights.” The text sets out, among other things, the responsibilities of companies for human rights and labour rights, and provides guidelines for companies operating in conflict zones.The Sub-Commission, the main subsidiary body of the Commission on Human Rights, was established in 1947 under the authority of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The panel’s 26 experts are charged with undertaking studies, mainly in light of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and making recommendations to the Commission on ways to prevent discrimination of any kind relating to human rights and fundamental freedoms and the protection of racial, national, religious and linguistic minorities.The draft guidelines were adopted today as the Sub-commission aims to complete the work of its fifty-fifth session this Friday. The resolution requests that governments and other parties provide information to a working group that deals with transnational corporations, concerning the possible negative impact of the activities of such corporations and other business enterprises on human rights.
“The wave of arrests and detentions and the actions against the media are a serious setback for the country,” the experts said in the latest of a series of UN statements since the King proclaimed a state of emergency, dissolved the government a week ago and instituted media censorship, among other steps to fight a Maoist rebellion.“Consequently, we call upon the Government of Nepal to reaffirm the basic principles of the rule of law, democracy, and supremacy of the constitution, as well as to guarantee basic human rights for all its citizens, including the right to life, to physical and psychological integrity, to liberty, to security, and to the freedoms of opinion, expression, association, assembly and movement,” they added.The experts include Leandro Despouy, Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers; Yakin Ertük, Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women; Hina Jilani, Special Representative of the Secretary General on Human Rights Defenders; and Ambeyi Ligabo, Special Rapporteur on the protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression.The others are Manfred Nowak, Special Rapporteur on torture; Diane Orentlicher, Independent Expert on combating impunity; Rodolfo Stavenhagen, Special Rapporteur on human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people; Stephen J. Toope, Chairman-Rapporteur on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances; and Leïla Zerrougui, Chairperson-Rapporteur on Arbitrary Detention.Immediately after the King imposed the state of emergency on 1 February, Secretary-General Kofi Annan expressed grave concern and called for the restoration of democratic freedoms and institutions.
“Executing a juvenile offender is not the way to mark December 10, which is International Human Rights Day,” Philip Alston, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions of the UN Commission on Human Rights, said on Friday. “At a time when virtually every other country in the world has firmly and clearly renounced the execution of people for crimes they committed as children, the Iranian approach is particularly unacceptable,” he added.Mr. Alston said that Iran’s continuation of juvenile executions is particularly disturbing not only because the obligation to refrain from these is clear incontrovertible, but also because the Tehran Government has stated that it will cease the practice.In January 2004, Mr. Alston asked to visit Iran on the basis of the standing invitation extended by the Government to experts of the Commission on Human Rights. Since that time the Government has regularly assured him that it will make the necessary arrangements but nothing has happened. “It is now urgent that the Government of Iran should arrange such a visit so that the situation can be clarified,” Mr. Alston said.Special Rapporteurs are unpaid experts serving in an independent personal capacity who receive their mandate from the UN Human Rights Commission.
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Kaitlin Lee Posted Feb 24, 2016 7:51 am MDT Oil and gas event lays out roadmap for future of the industry It’s been a rocky year for Alberta’s oil and gas sector, and an event next week wants to create some meaningful dialogue.U.K. publishing group, Milestone GRP is releasing the Global Investor’s Guide: Western Canada Oil and Gas 2016.It’s a compilation of high level interviews, and analysis from CEOs, academics, and key stakeholders.Florent Thevenin, Milestone’s Director for Canada, says they’ll be bringing together some of those voices at the Hyatt Regency in Calgary Monday.“This industry has always been about fast change, technological change, commodity price changes, so I think you could argue that 2015 has been a condensation of all of those things in a relatively short amount of time,” he said.Thevenin says 2015 was an interesting year to tackle this ambitious project.“To share their thoughts, their vision, their strategies, their insights on this industry in a regional context and looking at it from a global perspective,” he said.2015 brought a huge down cycle in commodity prices, significant increase in regulatory pressures and those dynamics are sure to continue, as the industry maps out its future.
Explaining how even the best parents can struggle to manage their children’s “screen time”, she writes how many social media sites actually replicate the most normal and natural forms of offline communication and game playing. And, she says, Christmas is the ideal time to celebrate family life and the chance for parents and their children to enjoy a digital free time.“I think we are in real danger of losing something really special if children’s play becomes exclusively about playing online games on their own,” she writes. “So Christmas Day is the perfect opportunity to sit down together and play together as a family. Board games are quite a novelty for a lot of children and they will soon find the conversations and family banter they encourage is fun.”Mrs Longfield notes how many computer games or apps are actually based on more traditional forms of children’s entertainment that require youngsters’ to use their imagination and creativity.“If children are going to use tablets and smartphones, encourage them to do more than passively consume. In many ways, games like Minecraft are digital versions of Lego and Meccano,” she says.However, in her Digital Five a Day, she encourages families to turn off their electronic devices and indulge in the art of conversation, be more active by heading outdoors over the festive season, be creative and embrace the way the spirit of Christmas is about giving. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Finally, she urges parents to teach children how to be aware of the way and how often they use the internet so they are better able to spot signs when they are becoming dependent or using it in an unhealthy way. “Encourage them to come up with ways of managing the time they spend online themselves and appreciating the time they spend offline more. Use apps that helps them to switch off. Set an example yourself by not spending every spare Christmas moment on your own phone.”She concludes: “The toys and gadgets children want from Santa change every year, though smartphones and tablets look here to stay.“What I hope will never change are the fundamentals of a childhood Christmas. Playing and spending time together, interacting with each other, sharing activities, giving to others and being mindful of others should all still be at the heart of every child’s Christmas, even in today’s digital world.” Parents should set an example this Christmas by putting down their mobile phones and tablets to play board games and interact in the real world with their children, the Children’s Commissioner for England and Wales says.Anne Longfield claims youngsters’ increasing obsession with the internet and virtual reality means many of them see traditional games as a “novelty”, and are consequently missing out on the pleasures of conversation and family banter.Drawing up a “Digital Five a Day” for children’s mental health similar to the NHS five a day dietary requirements for physical wellbeing, she urges families to embrace the art of conversation, activity, creativity, charity and mindfulness.Mrs Longfield warns how many families are facing a “digital Christmas” with children glued to tablets, smartphones and the internet with its myriad of social media websites only emerging from their screens to eat. Comparing the virtual world to junk food, she claims that parents owe children more than a mere digital diet this festive season.She says: “We need to pay the same attention to our children’s digital diets as we do to the food they eat. We wouldn’t allow them to eat a double cheeseburger every day and we shouldn’t be happy to leave them to set their own digital diet. If we want to make sure the time children do spend online is healthy and productive, parents must take responsibility.”
At Google I/O 2010, one of the really cool things we were shown as a “coming eventually” utility from Google was the completely re-vamped Android Music app. Music players have been something of a black eye for Android for a long time, and with cloud services like Amazon’s Cloud Player now being taken quite seriously, Google got a little more serious about their music. So serious, in fact, that during the 2011 keynote, more than a few potshots were taken at both Apple and Amazon in the full reveal of the Google Music beta.There’s been some controversy surrounding this app in recent weeks, as leaks began to drop suggesting that Google might have been struggling with record companies to provide a competitive music purchasing experience through Google Music. As a result of the controversy, the ability to purchase music was actually removed entirely, which lead to a series of other questions at the Q&A session after the keynote.Of the many impressive features in the Music beta arsenal, the ability to store 20,000 songs is one of the big ones. Google managed to slip in a caveat on the website for Google music, explaining that their service was completely legal. Google Music users will have the ability to upload music they own, and once its in the cloud the party starts. Google explained in further detail, however, they there are currently no plans to police the service for “illegal” music, and noted that everything that both iTunes and Windows Media Player allow to play on their services will be able to upload to the cloud.The other significant point that was raised was that it was not “the Music Industry” as a whole that was ruining the party. In fact, independent record labels and individual artists that Google had approached individually loved the idea. The problem stemmed from the three major record labels, whose terms for working with Google on this project were unacceptable. There details about what specifically Google and the record labels are disagreeing on is a big secret, but Google has claimed that they plan to move in a direction in which anybody who wishes to work with them, can. This suggests that, even without these labels, we’ll see the ability to buy music from the cloud in the not so distant future.You can read more about Google Music at our first impressions post.
Alongside creating a $25 PC, the Raspberry Pi Foundation also has an image and marketing to think about. There’s no doubt as soon as their tiny PC is released media coverage of the organization will increase drastically around the world.With that in mind, Raspberry Pi needed a logo, and decided to turn to the community to come up with ideas. The competition was announced on August 5 with the guidance that the final logo needed to recognizable as a 1cm square on the device, but also good enough to use on merchandising at a range of different sizes. It also had to look good in black and white as well as full color.In return for having your design selected, the prize included ultimate bragging rights and a Model B version of the Raspberry Pi ($35). So you can see why a lot of people decided to have a go. In the end, 6 designs made the shortlist, and it took several days for the judges to finally decide on the winner.And here it is:It was created by Paul Beech, who incorporated a number of clever elements to ensure this was more than just a picture depicting a raspberry.Why is it clever? Well, the raspberry is a 3D buckyball, which the judges liked because it’s “a nice reminder of Pi.” The buckyball also works well because it has 32 faces and 11 are visible. The $25 PC uses a 32-bit processor and it’s an ARM11, so that just works perfectly.As for meeting the other criteria. It only requires three colors, works at any size, and is instantly recognizable. You won’t fail to spot a box carrying this logo, meaning from a marketing point of view it’s also a very good choice.All we need to see now is the Raspberry Pi name sitting alongside or underneath the logo. Then, hopefully next month, many of us will be receiving a little box in the post carrying the branding and containing the foundation’s instant-hit PC.via Raspberry Pi
With its launch expected later this year, it’s just about time for Microsoft to unleash a Windows 8 public beta download. There are clues that it’s on the way — things like leaked images of recent changes and a new Windows 8 landing page that popped up on Bing. If you’re getting fidgety waiting, why not download the new Windows 8 theme pack on your Windows 7 computer right now.The theme leaked out from a developer who has access to the 8820 build of Windows 8, which is expected to be released as the Consumer Preview in the very near future. It’s just under 15MB in size — pretty standard fare for modern Windows theme packs — and it includes several new high-resolution wallpaper images, including two dual-monitor friendly scenes. On the Windows 8 Developer Preivew, the .themepack should install with a simple double-click. On Windows 7, you’ll need to extract the wallpaper images with a program like 7-zip and then manually add them to a custom theme.There’s nothing else in the themepack yet, and I’ve not yet seen the Windows 8 Consumer Preview ISO on torrent download sites. It was once commonplace for developer milestone builds of Windows 7 and Windows 8 to leak to the web, but Microsoft put the clamps down on full-on leaks a while back with a pair of highly-publicized firings of two engineers suspected of passing out ISO files.Early access to bits and pieces is always fun though, so download and enjoy the new wallpaper images…or share your thoughts about them in the comments. Are they what you’d expect to see in a final build of Windows 8? Are they of high enough quality to look good on your giant LED monitors?0O8HEh0O8HEhFtfW7hgiDUbhjPG3xhNedJRhx4QAjhWindows-8-logo1More at My Digital Life Forums
Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival has made Juventus even more determined to win the Champions League, says head coach Massimiliano AllegriThe Italian giants have gone 22 years without glory in Europe, despite having reached the final of the Champions League five times since defeating Ajax in a penalty shoot-out at Rome in 1996.But upon witnessing five-time Champions League winner Ronaldo take just eight minutes to score his first goal for the Bianconeri in the side’s annual friendly against the B team, Allegri’s hopes for the upcoming season have grown.“Naturally, we have bigger ambitions of winning the Champions League than in previous years, just as we want the Scudetto, Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana,” said the Italian, according to Goal.“Ronaldo has above all brought experience at international level and is an extra motivation for the younger guys to aim higher. You don’t win five Ballon d’Or trophies for nothing and you can see how hard he works to get there.“However, Real Madrid have won four of the last five editions of the Champions League and they did that through hard work. We’ve got to work, too, and this is the first time I’ve really seen the whole squad play together.”While Juventus have undoubtedly been bolstered by the arrival of a five-time Ballon d’Or winner in Ronaldo, Allegri feels that the squad has strengthed anyway.“This is a team built every year to achieve every objective,” he added to RMC Sport.Maurizio Sarri satisfied despite Juventus’ draw at Fiorentina Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Maurizio Sarri was satisfied with Juventus’ performance on Saturday afternoon after finishing a tough game at Fiorentina 0-0.“We have more experience now, and there have been the arrivals of Ronaldo, Emre Can, [Joao] Cancelo, [Leonardo] Spinazzola will be available, the return of [Leonardo] Bonucci…“I would say the team has improved but you can talk about that all day long. There’s a field of green where you have to play, you have to run, you have to have great respect for your opponents.“This year, more than ever, we want to beat everyone.”Juventus will next face Chievo Verona this Saturday for their Serie A opener.✒ Duty for @Cristiano ?#VillarPerosa ?? #CR7JUVE pic.twitter.com/iCUp9ZXRZz— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) August 12, 2018
WASHINGTON — A lawmaker leading a congressional inquiry into the Secret Service raised questions Thursday about a White House volunteer’s possible involvement in a prostitution scandal that rocked the agency two years ago.Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee on national security, said in an interview that the White House had new questions to answer in light of information he has received from Secret Service whistleblowers, as well as a report in Thursday’s Washington Post. White House officials were adamant in denying involvement by anyone on their team in the incident. The scandal led to the firing of more than a half-dozen Secret Service agents who had hired prostitutes while sent to Colombia with President Barack Obama for the 2012 summit.Chaffetz, R-Utah, suggested that based on his conversations with the whistleblowers, he feels the White House might be covering up some information.The White House disputed claims that there was any attempt to suppress information related to a young volunteer on the White House advance team and whether he, too, had a prostitute in his hotel room.“As was reported more than two years ago, the White House conducted an internal review that did not identify any inappropriate behavior on the part of the White House advance team,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz said. “And of course there was no White House interference with an (inspector general) investigation.”
TRS working president KT Rama Rao assured Telugu students of NIT in safe return to the state from Srinagar after they sought the assistance of Telangana government. The student asked the state government to help in their return to Telangana after the government of India asked them to vacate the campus immediately. Responding to the students, KTR said that he has alerted the officials in Delhi to help the students. Further, the TRS leader asked the students and parents to reach out resident commissioner Sri Vedantam Giri at Telangana Bhavan in New Delhi for immediate help. Also Read – Vemulawada school seized after road accident Advertise With Us Been receiving some anxious messages from Telugu students of NIT, Srinagar as Govt of India has asked for campus to be vacated & asked students to leave immediatelyBe rest assured, Govt of Telangana will assist you in safe return. Have alerted our officials to reach out & help— KTR (@KTRTRS) August 3, 2019Any student/parent wanting assistance, please call our Resident Commissioner Sri Vedantam Giri at 011-2338 2041 or on his mobile +91 99682 99337 at Telangana Bhavan, New Delhi— KTR (@KTRTRS) August 3, 2019
Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email As Amazon burns, Vatican prepares for summit on region’s faith and sustainabilit … August 30, 2019 Tagsanti-terrorism Boston Muslims countering violent extremism homepage featured law enforcement police terrorism Top Story,You may also like By: Aysha Khan ayshabkhan Share This! We are not all the same, and in our difference we are divine August 30, 2019 Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,About the authorView All Posts Share This! Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email By their tweets you will know them: The Democrats’ continuing God gap August 30, 2019 Aysha Khan ayshabkhan By: Aysha Khan ayshabkhan Share This! Share This! Catholicism Columns • Opinion • Simran Jeet Singh: Articles of Faith Share This! By: Aysha Khan ayshabkhan Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,BOSTON (RNS) — As white nationalist movements experience a resurgence across the U.S. leading to violence — from a deadly rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, to a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas — political leaders are searching for answers.For some, the solution lies in reviving the federal Countering Violent Extremism program.Developed under the Department of Homeland Security in 2011, CVE aims to prevent all forms of violent extremism through community partnerships. But its primary motive was to prevent homegrown radicalization “that is inspired by al-Qa’ida and its affiliates and adherents.”After the Trump administration largely gutted the initiative’s funding and focused the remaining programming even more intently on Muslim communities, some on the left are now arguing for reviving CVE, this time homing in on white supremacy.Democratic presidential candidates Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Kamala Harris have both pledged to reinvest in the program, the latter promising to put $2 billion into the office overseeing CVE over the next decade.Some commentators have suggested that CVE programming could have prevented the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting. And a report from the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, recommends rebuilding the office as a first step to combatting white nationalist violence.As progressive leaders advocate for the resurrection of the federally funded anti-extremism initiative, some Muslim and civil rights activists are pushing back. They argue CVE programming relies on discredited science, disproportionately targets Muslims and has led to police surveillance under the guise of outreach.All of which, they say, ultimately undermines the program’s counter-terrorism goals.“Repurposing this failed, discriminatory program to address white nationalist violence is building a new house on a shaky foundation,” said Farhana Khera, executive director of Muslim Advocates. “Whether under the purview of President Obama or President Trump, CVE programs have almost always been used to target, stereotype and criminalize American Muslims.”Meanwhile, the question of engagement in the government’s CVE programs continues to divide Muslim communities across the country — including in the blue state of Massachusetts, where a half-million-dollar police mentorship program has targeted Boston’s Somali Muslim youth for the past two years.Disagreements in BostonFramed as a community partnership with the government, CVE funds local stakeholders — religious leaders, social service organizations, teachers, mental health professionals — to deter community members at risk of radicalization.CVE critics and practitioners alike note that there is no reliable checklist of behavioral indicators to predict radicalization. That has led, critics argue, to anti-Muslim profiling and stigmatization of innocent behaviors, such as growing a beard, traveling to Muslim-majority countries or criticizing U.S. foreign policy.Yusuf Vali, former executive director of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, was once a key community partner in helping craft early CVE efforts in the city.But as his attempts to re-orient Boston’s original framework for its local CVE efforts bore no fruit, he rapidly became disillusioned with the program entirely.Vali detailed his concerns in a strongly worded dissent to the framework, published in 2015.“It clearly appears that the CVE initiative is exclusively targeting the American-Muslim community, in spite of the best efforts of the local US attorney to redefine it expansively,” Vali wrote. “For the government to offer us services based on concerns of violent extremism in our community — as implied by this framework — seems to reinforce the same stereotype that society holds of American-Muslims: that they or Islam are inherently violent.”That, Vali wrote, is “unacceptable” to Boston’s Muslims.Shannon Al-Wakeel, executive director of the Muslim Justice League in Boston. Photo by Aysha KhanA local group of Muslim lawyers and community organizers, known as the Muslim Justice League, have similar concerns. They have spent the past five years revealing details of CVE programs through a constant stream of public records requests; leading civil rights workshops and warning local Muslims about what they see as the dangers of CVE; and educating Muslim community leaders, lawyers, health professionals and educators about the ways in which CVE programs are expanding into the social service sector.“It can be very attractive, when you’re an underfunded non-profit,” said Shannon Al-Wakeel, MJL’s co-founder and executive director. “But when federal officials tell you, ‘Here’s some money, now just keep going with your mission of helping serve this population that we view as likely terrorists,’ that’s not a gift without strings attached.”Some community leaders disagree, however.In 2015, the Islamic Council of New England published a statement noting civil rights violations against Muslims and the comparatively higher rate of terrorist attacks by non-Muslims. Still, the council argued, partnerships with the government could help mute the growing impact of Islamophobia.“Muslims are in a sinking ship caught between the competing forces of erosion of civil rights and the destructiveness of Islamophobia,” Mazen Duwaji, then the mosque’s executive director, wrote. “If they attempt to jump ship by refusing to cooperate with the government for the common good of all … Muslims will rightly or wrongly be held accountable for any terror wrought by a Muslim terrorist.”Abdirahman Yusuf, executive director of the Somali Development Center in Boston. Photo by Aysha KhanAbdirahman Yusuf, director of Boston’s Somali Development Center, was one of three local non-profits that received Department of Justice funds through a 2017 CVE initiative dubbed the PEACE Project. When MJL sent a letter to his non-profit urging him not to accept the CVE funds, Yusuf ignored it.“I was like, who is this woman I never even met telling me what to do?” Yusuf said. “People like (Al-Wakeel) who are saying that it’s a surveillance program, that it’s spying — that’s all lies.”He dismissed the idea that there was disagreement among local Somalis over the issue of engaging with CVE.“There are the traditional divisions of tribalism and things like that,” said Yusuf, who emphasized his organization’s holistic approach to countering violent extremism as part of a wider social safety net. “But the Somali community is not against anybody who’s going to educate them and enlighten them.”The Youth and Police Initiative PlusFor the past several years, the Muslim Justice League has led a city-wide campaign in Boston to shut down a CVE-funded police-youth mentorship program, which Al-Wakeel says assumes that Somali youth are “inherently violent” and fears could soon be entering local schools.About 85 local youth have graduated from the Youth and Police Initiative Plus, a two-year program in which Boston Police Department officers mentor cohorts of Somali teens in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood with the stated aim of preventing radicalization.The program was funded by a $484,835 grant from the Department of Homeland Security to the Washington, D.C.-based non-profit Police Foundation in 2017. The grant expires next month.YPIP aimed to create mentoring programs between Boston police and Somali youth to “enhance the resiliency” and “enhance understanding of the violent extremist threat within the Boston Somali community.” The program focused on “ISIS, Al-Shabaab and other Islamist terrorist movements most often targeting Somali-American youth,” according to the original grant proposal.When civil war broke out in Somalia in 1991, a large population of refugees escaped the turmoil by fleeing to the Boston area. Somalis now make up Boston’s largest ethnic community of Muslims, with one of the largest concentrations in the neighborhood of Roxbury, where the ISBCC mosque is located.YPIP’s grant proposal listed three main “risk factors” for Somali boys’ potential for violent extremism: “unaccountable times and unobserved spaces,” “perceived social legitimacy for violent radicalization and terrorist recruitment,” and “the presence of recruiters and associates,” citing a 2012 study by the START Center on building resilience to violence in Minnesota’s young Somali men. The proposal also references “unsafe neighborhoods,” “lack of opportunities,” “mistrust of law enforcement,” and “direct and indirect traumas” as potential risk factors.“Here’s a refugee diaspora community that has suffered immense trauma and is suffering from socioeconomic challenges here in the U.S.,” Al-Wakeel said. “To have those challenges portrayed as putting them at risk of being a threat to the U.S. is extremely dangerous and discriminatory.”A “logic model” for the Youth and Police Initiative Plus, included in a grant proposal submitted to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security by the Police Foundation in 2016.Two years ago, community leaders from MJL, the ISBCC, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Council on American-Islamic Relations and other organizations met with then-Boston Police Department Commissioner William Evans to share their concerns about the department’s involvement with CVE.The commissioner told critics that the department intended to pursue the YPIP project regardless of federal funding. That led to more than 30 community organizations signing on to a follow-up letter to the commissioner urging the BPD to end its “involvement in community outreach programs … that credit false and stigmatizing theories about predispositions toward violence.”Critics point to drafts of YPIP surveys, which included multiple-choice questions about Islam’s relationship to violence, extremism and anti-American attitudes.“Would you agree that Islam encourages violence more than other faiths?” one question asked youth. Other questions asked participants if they visit religious websites, how strongly they identify as Muslim and whether they think Muslims are treated fairly. Yet another asked youth to estimate the level of support for extremism among U.S. Muslims.After reading those draft surveys, YPIP’s original community liaison withdrew from all CVE initiatives, saying she had grown “increasingly uncomfortable” with YPIP’s intentions.“I’d like to remind those still involved in the program that extremism, radicalization and violence exists across cultures, religions and ethnicities,” Somali American entrepreneur Deeqo Jibril wrote in an email to YPIP organizers last year. “Focusing efforts specifically on one subgroup will ultimately create deeper divisions in our fractured society, doing more harm than good.”YPIP’s coordinators soon found a replacement liaison in Said Ahmed, founder of the non-profit United Somali Youth, who had previously accepted a $107,000 CVE grant through the Department of Justice’s 2017 PEACE Project.But Ahmed had once been a vocal critic of the CVE initiative.In 2015, he spoke about the surveillance of Muslims on a panel alongside activists from MJL and the ACLU. That same year, he stood outside Boston City Hall with MJL and CAIR leaders to protest CVE programs as anti-Muslim.“This is a program that is profiling all kinds of young people. This is a serious issue,” he said then, noting that meetings planning the program’s implementation are held only with select individuals from Muslim community organizations. “They want to divide and conquer the Muslim community.”Boston police officers attend the graduation for youth participating in the Youth and Police Initiative Plus. April 20, 2018. Photo courtesy Boston Police DepartmentThe project’s organizers — who later removed some of those questions from the surveys and told Religion News Service that Jibril left the program in order to run for local office — say critics of YPIP misunderstand its origins and aims.YPIP is an adaptation of the Youth and Police Initiative, a broader violence prevention program developed by Boston-area social service organization North American Family Institute.The original program was first developed to help Baltimore’s increasingly white police force learn more about black urban youth culture. It has since been implemented in 31 U.S. cities to help reduce street and gang violence.Frank Straub, the Police Foundation’s director of strategic studies, said the only difference between that original program and the CVE-funded YPIP version is that the latter connects youth to social services through a partnership with the Roxbury non-profit United Somali Youth.The sessions begin with the teens learning public speaking skills and discussing their aspirations and life experiences. Then, local police officers are invited in to share their own life stories. Eventually, Straub said, the officers and teens are asked to share their impressions of each other.Through role-playing exercises and team-building activities, the officers and youth are encouraged to tackle “hot-button topics,” like drug use, race and stereotyping.Abdullahi Faarah, a participant in the Youth and Police Initiative Plus program, meets with then-Commissioner William Evans on April 20, 2018. Photo courtesy Boston Police Department“The idea is to build relationships, to gain an appreciation of each others’ culture and way of living,” Straub said, noting that all the YPIP sessions ended with a celebratory Somali meal. “Some of the police have never met a Somali person. Some of them have never met somebody of the Muslim faith. We believe it’s important to have those discussions to break down cultural barriers, for the young people to talk about their faith and about Somalia.”Coordinators deny that YPIP engaged in any racial or religious discrimination. They said the program’s surveys were similar to ones that participants in the original program take.“We really did start trying to reduce biases as much as we possibly could, treating these kids like all other teenagers who go through (the original program in other cities),” said Jay Paris, who coordinates all youth programs for North American Family Institute. “There were maybe one question or two that we decided wouldn’t be fair. They were more weighted towards assumptions that this is a population that is at risk for extremism.”Straub said the coordinators ultimately decided some of the questions about religion were distracting and “too strong.”MJL leaders have also expressed concerns that YPIP may expand to local schools, based on internal emails obtained through records requests. They worry this move could potentially deputize teachers and counselors to report concerns over potential signs of radicalization in children.Paris confirmed that the broader Youth and Police Initiative will soon launch in some area high schools to build relationships between students and local law enforcement. He said funding will not come from CVE grants.Schisms, from city to cityUnder Obama, CVE grants focused almost entirely on Muslim communities, according to a new evaluation of the program by Duke University’s Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security. The report, funded by the Department of Justice, found that the program stalled in no small part due to its failure to address all forms of violent extremism and opposition to the program by significant factions of U.S. Muslims.That hasn’t changed since the 2016 election.In the Trump administration’s early months, the federal CVE initiative drew headlines due to reports that the president planned to rebrand the effort “Countering Islamic Extremism.”While the name change never panned out, 85% of CVE grants awarded under Trump explicitly targeted Muslims and other minority groups, per an analysis by the Brennan Center for Justice. The Trump administration has also nearly tripled the amount of CVE funding awarded to law enforcement.That means the ongoing debate among Muslims over whether to engage in CVE and other government-led anti-extremism initiatives is unlikely to die down any time soon.That has left Muslims involved in CVE in difficult situations.Take Laila Alawa, a Muslim media entrepreneur based between Washington, D.C. and Boston. She has drawn vitriolic anti-Muslim harassment for her involvement in a 2016 Homeland Security Council subcommittee on CVE. But she has also been lambasted by Muslim activists for helping inform that same subcommittee about Muslim pop culture and millennials.Laila Alawa runs a Muslim-led feminist media company in Washington, D.C. Photo courtesy of Laila AlawaSherman Jackson, a renowned scholar of Islamic studies, has also drawn criticism for his involvement in advising a committee on CVE. One Muslim commentator recently cited Jackson’s involvement as a sign of the “political impotence of the Muslim American community.”Such schisms among Muslims over CVE programming reflect a nationwide trend.“Some people said, ‘This is an important program for our country and we’re patriotic Americans who want to work with our government to stop violence from happening. We want to be teaching police forces what Islam is really about, we want to provide educational programs in our communities,’” noted Duke’s David Schanzer of the Muslim focus groups he interviewed around the country while compiling the CVE evaluation. “Then there were others, and I’m not suggesting they weren’t patriotic, who felt very strongly that this was a misguided route and Muslims should not participate in them.”Schanzer recalled one young Muslim interviewee who accused community leaders who engaged with CVE of “selling out” innocent young Muslims, and another who referred to these mostly older, more established leaders as “Muslim Uncle Toms.”Last fall, civil rights organizers in the pilot city of Los Angeles successfully forced the city’s mayor to turn down $425,000 in CVE grant funding. Other Muslim groups in the area, such as the Muslim Public Affairs Council, have been more willing to work with the government for CVE programs.In 2017, the Islamic graduate school Bayan Claremont turned down an $800,000 DHS grant — which school administrators had decided to apply for, despite objections from local Muslims, because of the good they felt the money could do — because “Trump poisoned the well.”A protester with the Muslim Justice League canvasses against Countering Violent Extremism in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood on Sept. 15, 2018. Photo courtesy Muslim Justice LeagueSuch debates reflect the results of one report by the University of Maryland’s START Center, which found a clear divide among Los Angeles’ Muslims between “engagers” and “disengagers.”The former group argues that CVE programs allow communities to be part of the solution to violent extremism and provide resources for important community programming. The latter views the initiative as stigmatizing, part of the government’s wider surveillance project and rooted in anti-Muslim presumptions.In the Twin Cities, too, Carleton College professor Ahmed Ibrahim has seen such sparring play out.“Especially under Obama, when these programs were at their height, there were divides among activists and NGOs between those willing to work with the government and those who were mobilizing against it,” said Ibrahim, who is currently researching how CVE programs among the Twin Cities’ Somalis mirrors U.S. foreign policy toward Somalia, a country listed on Trump’s travel ban.Dozens of Muslim organizations in Minnesota have condemned CVE for treating all Somali Muslims as “suspects” and urged the federal government to separate funds used for social services from counter-terrorism and law enforcement.Beyond the ideological divides over whether to engage with the government, CVE and other government-sponsored community outreach and intelligence gathering efforts targeting Muslims have sown distrust and paranoia among Muslims.“People are suspicious of each other,” Ibrahim said. “They’re afraid of talking to someone they don’t know, or talking to someone they’ve never seen at the mosque before.”The rifts over CVE are unlikely to go away soon. And they will only be exacerbated if the program is expanded to substantially address other communities, said Faiza Patel, who researches national security and counter-terrorism at the Brennan Center for Justice.Expanding CVE might sound to presidential candidates like a helpful way to address white nationalist violence, said Patel. But she said it is unlikely to work.“There’s a lot of interest in CVE as a solution to the rates of violence we’re seeing over the last few years, and that might create a new appetite for CVE,” Patel said. “But as difficult as it has been in the Muslim community, I can imagine that it will face more obstacles going into white communities in the United States. I think it’s unlikely to proceed down that path.” Opinion Aysha Khan Aysha Khan is a Boston-based journalist reporting on American Muslims and millennial faith for RNS. Her newsletter, Creeping Sharia, curates news coverage of Muslim communities in the U.S. Previously, she was the social media editor at RNS.,Load Comments,Pete Buttigieg: Religious left is ‘stirring’
X Listen Efran VafaieAn example of crepe myrtle bark scale (CMBS), which is the result of an insect. The condition appears as a white or gray felt-like crust on the bark of crepe myrtle trees. A new study says it’s spreading in Houston. Share 00:00 /15:32 Wondering what that weird, gray, felt-like crust is on your crepe myrtle trees? It might be something called crepe myrtle bark scale (CMBS). A new study from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service says it’s spreading through Houston.CMBS is actually the result of an insect (the bark scale crawler), and the condition appears as a white or gray felt-like crust on the bark of crepe myrtles. The first sign of the pest is a black, sooty mold on bark.While CMBS is not fatal to trees, it will stunt their growth and affect flowering.Linda Gay, a horticulturist at The Arbor Gate Nursery in Tomball, joins us to explain the problem – and to answer all your gardening questions. To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:
Journal information: Biology Letters © 2014 Phys.org PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Video box & Experimental set-up. Credit: Biol. Lett. September 2014 vol. 10 no. 9 20140439. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2014.0439 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Study shows wild monkeys can learn new tricks from watching training videos (2014, September 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-09-wild-monkeys-videos.html Play Credit: Biol. Lett. September 2014 vol. 10 no. 9 20140439. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2014.0439 Explore further Video box & Experimental set-up. Credit: Biol. Lett. September 2014 vol. 10 no. 9 20140439. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2014.0439 More information: Video demonstrations seed alternative problem-solving techniques in wild common marmosets, Biol. Lett. September 2014 vol. 10 no. 9 20140439. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2014.0439AbstractStudies of social learning and tradition formation under field conditions have recently gained momentum, but suffer from the limited control of socio-ecological factors thought to be responsible for transmission patterns. The use of artificial visual stimuli is a potentially powerful tool to overcome some of these problems. Here, in a field experiment, we used video images of unfamiliar conspecifics performing virtual demonstrations of foraging techniques. We tested 12 family groups of wild common marmosets. Six groups received video demonstrations (footage of conspecifics either pulling a drawer open or pushing a lid upwards, in an ‘artificial fruit’); the other six groups served as controls (exposed to a static image of a conspecific next to the fruit). Subjects in video groups were more manipulative and successful in opening the fruit than controls; they were also more likely to use the technique they had witnessed and thus could serve as live models for other family members. To our knowledge, this is the first study that used video demonstrations in the wild and demonstrated the potent force of social learning, even from unfamiliar conspecifics, under field conditions. (Phys.org) —A trio of researchers working in a South American jungle has shown that wild monkeys are able to learn how to perform an activity by watching videos of other monkeys performing the task. In their paper published in the journal Biology Letters, Tina Gunhold, Thomas Bugnyar and Andrew Whiten of the Universities of Vienna and St Andrews, respectively, describe how they trained monkeys to perform tasks, videotaped them doing it and then showed the results to wild marmosets living in Pernambuco Brazil, and what they learned as a result of doing so. Marmoset monkeys know polite conversation The results by the team suggest that some wild animals are capable of being trained via video, a finding that could impact wildlife management, though more research will have to be done to see which other animals might learn the same way. What’s still a mystery is what happens in the minds of the monkey’s as they watch the video, they obviously understand that the previously trained marmosets aren’t actually there in the tree with them—marmosets are very territorial, they’d react strongly to a stranger—so, how do they reconcile what they see with reality and learn from it? That will have to be the subject of other studies. Scientists have known for some time that certain captive animals are capable of learning by watching others like them perform tasks that have been video-recorded. In this new effort, the researchers wanted to know if such capabilities would extend to wild animals as well. They chose wild marmosets, which are native to Brazil because they are extremely social, curious and have been seen to learn from one another.The team first trained a group of captive marmosets to open a drawer or to pull open a lid, to a clear plastic box to retrieve a food reward inside. They then put a laptop into a protective enclosure and placed it in a tree in the jungle where marmosets are known to live and had it play the videos. Next they filmed different groups of marmosets as they were drawn to the enclosure and then reacted to what they saw.In all twelve groups were filmed, 108 marmosets in all—some of the groups were shown video of marmosets opening the box using the drawer, others lifting the lid—a control group was shown a still image. Reviewing the tape revealed that 12 of the marmosets were able to open the box, 11 of which had seen it done first in a video—the lone individual figured it out after seeing just a still image.