Colombo: Six children and three women were among 15 people killed when militants linked to the Easter Sunday bombings opened fire and blew themselves up during a fierce gun battle with security forces in Sri Lanka’s Eastern province, police said Saturday. The shootout occurred as the security forces continued their hunt for members of the National Thowheeth Jamaath (NTJ), the local terror outfit behind the April 21 coordinated blasts in which 253 people were killed and over 500 injured. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange frameworkThe Special Task Force and Army troops, following a tip-off, raided a house in Kalmunai city, about 360 km from Colombo, on Friday night, leading to the heavy exchange of fire with the armed group. As the heavily-armed men opened fire on troops, a civilian caught in the middle got killed. As the clashes intensified, three men are believed to have set off explosives. “A total of 15 bodies recovered, six men, three women and six children. At least four suspected suicide bombers are dead, and three others who were injured are in hospital,” a police spokesperson said. Also Read – Trio win Nobel Medicine Prize for work on cells, oxygenA police spokesman said that three suspected suicide bombers were among the 15 dead. “When the police were doing a joint search operation in Sainthamuruthu, gunfire was directed at them,” police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said. A suicide blast took place, and the body of a terrorist with a T56 assault rifle was also found at the site. A massive cache of explosives was also recovered from the spot. “Officials have recovered detonators, suicide kits, army uniforms and ISIS flags,” an army officer said. Meanwhile, the police said that curfew imposed in the Muslim-majority areas of Kalmunai, Chavalakade and Sammanthurai would continue until further notice. The police have arrested at least 76 people in connection with the attack so far. Twenty were arrested in the last 24 hours. Officials also seized one kg of explosives near a railway station at Wellawatta, a popular south Colombo suburb. The curfew was lifted for other areas at 4 am on Saturday. At the security council meeting held last night, it was decided that search operations to crack down on extremist terrorism must continue until the threat is eliminated. Security has been improved at hotels, schools and public places. Nine suicide bombers carried out a series of devastating blasts that tore through three churches and three luxury hotels on the Easter Sunday, killing 253 people. The Islamic State claimed the attacks, but the government has blamed local Islamist extremist group NTJ for the attacks. President Maithripala Sirisena said Friday that over 130 suspects linked to the Islamic State terror group have been operating in the country. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said Sri Lanka needs new laws to deal with threats posed by local terror outfits linked to ISIS. Sri Lanka has a population of 21 million which is a patchwork of ethnicities and religions, dominated by the Sinhalese Buddhist majority. Muslims account for 10 per cent of the population and are the second-largest minority after Hindus. Around seven per cent of Sri Lankans are Christians.
TRIPOLI – Libyans on Monday marked the third anniversary of their revolt which ousted dictator Moamer Kadhafi fearful for the future of a country plagued by lawlessness.Putting on a brave face, Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, who was briefly abducted last year by militants, said revolution had achieved the goals of “ending tyranny and securing freedom of expression”.“The February 17 Revolution is a challenge that Libyans must live up to,” he said in a speech to the nation broadcast on television Sunday night, acknowledging the “difficulties” ahead. Although no official ceremonies were organised for the anniversary, spontaneous celebrations have taken place since Saturday across Libya and are due to culminate in festivities later Monday in the capital Tripoli.The streets have been decked with Libya’s revolutionary flag, volunteers have cleaned up streets and painted over sidewalks, and multicoloured lights strung across the main roads.But for many Libyans there is little to celebrate.“There is noting to be proud about,” one Tripolitanian said on Twitter.University student Ahmed Fitouri agreed. “Nothing has been accomplished these past three years. We are stuck.”Three years after the uprising, Libya is still struggling to rebuild an army capable to end waves of unrest blamed largely on well-armed Islamists and ex-rebels.The government and the interim parliament, the General National Congress, have come under increasing criticism by Libyans who accuse them of corruption and failing to give them a better life.Common criminals roam the streets, while rival tribes in various parts of the country shoot it out to settle long-standing disputes.Politicians, security officials, journalists, judges and even the US ambassador have been gunned down in a wave of lawlessness that has grown since Kadhafi was captured and killed in October 2011.Disgruntled citizens have managed to blockade and shut down Libya’s oil terminals, threatening to bankrupt a government that relies almost exclusively on oil revenues to operate.Economy taken beatingOn the political front, the GNC, the country’s top authority, infuriated Libyans when it decided to extend its mandate by 10 months beyond a February 7 deadline.But deputies on Sunday said the parliament has reached consensus on holding early elections, apparently yielding to popular pressure and threats that divisions could unleash further unrest.The economy of oil-rich Libya has also taken a beating due to chronic security problems and industrial actions since the end of Kadhafi’s four-decade autocratic rule.The oil ministry and the World Bank estimate Libya has lost more than $10 billion in revenues because of the crisis that erupted last July when striking workers and pro-autonomy demonstrators in eastern Libya began blockading the country’s main terminals.Post-war reconstruction has been slow and major infrastructure projects put on the back-burner, while the multinationals have yet to make a return.The World Bank, in a report issued last month, stressed “the urgent need for economic diversification in order to ensure long-term financial and economic stability”.“We must set aside out differences on the occasion of this historic event, in memory of the martyrs who fell so that we can enjoy freedom,” said Tripoli University professor Ali Toukabri.Analyst Soufiene al-Machri blamed the impasse on politicians who are hanging on to power.
Rabat – Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has decided to withdraw his bid for a fifth term. The move means Bouteflika is bowing to sustained, unprecedented popular movement against his decision earlier this year to seek reelection.In a statement published by his office earlier today, the president said that there will be “no fifth term.” He stressed his commitment to the country’s good, suggesting his withdrawal was an acknowledgement that reelection would not benefit the country’s interests. “There was never any question of it for me. Given my state of health and age, my last duty towards the Algerian people was always contributing to the foundation of a new Republic,” read part of the statement.In power since 1999, Bouteflika’s earlier years in power brought social peace and economic stability to a war-torn Algeria. In recent years, however, the ailing president’s perceived inability to effectively run the country incited public fervor against prospective reelection plans. Bouteflika’s decision to seek a fifth term, which his party announced in February, met with widespread anger and frustration. Read Also: President Bouteflika Returns Home in Algeria amid ProtestsThe decision to run for a fifth mandate led citizens to rally across the country. March 8 marked the beginning of the third week of demonstrations against Bouteflika.Activists also took to French cities to protest the decision.Bouteflika, who returned home yesterday, spent weeks in Geneva for medical care.Prior to his decision to step down from running in the 2019 election, 1,000 Algerian judges decided to refuse to oversee elections.Having withdrawn his candidacy, the president has announced the postponement of the 2019 election planned for April 18. He promised an interim and independent leadership structure to organize the prospective elections. A date has not been specified yet.“We announce our intention to abstain from … supervising the election process against the will of the people, which is the only source of power,” the statement of the judges read.
“Thousands of poor families have been devastated due to the effects of the flooding. A vast number of ultra-poor people are stranded on embankments, with no access to food and shelter,” said acting WFP Country Director Michael Dunford. Several areas of Satkhira district have been submerged as a result of severe flooding caused by heavy rainfall over the past two weeks, according to a news release issued by the agency. “Satkhira is an area where malnutrition is endemic, so this food assistance is absolutely vital,” said Mr. Dunford. With funding from the Australian Government, WFP has allocated 34.5 tons of high-energy biscuits to 11,500 households to cover the needs of over 57,000 people in the district. Each household will be provided with 40 packets of fortified biscuits, which will serve as a vital source of food and nutrition for the severely vulnerable people hit by the flooding. WFP will continue to monitor the situation and will expand its support if necessary. The agency has been working in Bangladesh – one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world – for 37 years in the areas of food security, nutritional well-being and livelihoods. It is also working with communities vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, building their resilience and livelihoods through innovative food and cash-for-work programmes. 19 August 2011The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is providing urgently needed food assistance to 57,000 people affected by floods in southern Bangladesh.
However, President of the Lanka Private Bus Owners Association (LPBOA) Gemunu Wijeratne said the strike was called off following talks held with President Maithripala Sirisena. (Colombo Gazette) A strike which was scheduled to be staged by private bus operators tomorrow has been called off.The strike was to be staged over the failure by the authorities to agree to a bus fare hike.
Two NASA astronauts stepped outside the International Space Station Thursday to install a pair of high-definition cameras.The cameras are designed to provide sharp views of commercial crew capsules coming in to dock.Boeing and SpaceX are slated to do their first test flights to the ISS in August.Video was captured of ISS commander Drew Feustel and astronaut Ricky Arnold on their spacewalk.They were also tasked with changing camera equipment and addressing additional maintenance items.
A disappointing 2016-17 season has helped turn the Prince Albert Raiders into the No. 1 club in the Canadian Hockey League.The Raiders finished third last in the 22-team Western Hockey League that year and missed the playoffs for the second time in three seasons. They had two nine-game losing streaks en route to a 21-44-7 record and felt disrespected by the opposition.But the players haven’t forgotten about it, with eight of them still on the roster, and in 2018-19 Prince Albert has already surpassed its win total a third of the way into the season. The Raiders are riding a league-best 18-game win streak after beating the Red Deer Rebels 4-3 on Tuesday.“A few players that are on the team now were on that (’16-17) team and there were some teams that were kind of insulting and kicked sand in our faces and we remember that,” said Raiders head coach Marc Habscheid. “We carry that with us even this year and we’ve talked about that. We’ve tried to lose the right way, and win the right way now, too. We respect everyone we play against. If we get up on a team, we certainly don’t want to rub it in their faces. We’ve had that done and it’s not a lot of fun.”The Raiders are 25-1-0 and have been ranked No. 1 in the 60-team CHL for seven weeks, with no other club being able to knock them off.Habscheid is pleased with his club’s early-season run to the top, but also says its a meaningless accomplishment without any type of playoff success. “There’s only one bad thing in all this type of stuff, they’re not handing out any after 25-games trophies or banners or anything like that,” said Habscheid. “We’ve got a long ways to go, we haven’t really done anything yet but have a great start.”The Raiders have already broken their previous franchise-best win streak of 15 games from the 1985-86 season.“The players go, ‘oh really?’ They’re not even aware of it, they’re just living the life day by day,” Habscheid said.Prince Albert stands out as an early-season front runner for the Memorial Cup, but there are other potential contenders emerging from the Ontario Hockey League and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League thanks to some other lengthy streaks.The OHL’s Ottawa 67’s started the season 3-3-0, but have gone 18-0-4 since to pick up at least one point in 22 straight games.Ottawa head coach Andre Tourigny says a number of things have led to the club’s rise to the top of the OHL standings and the No. 3 spot in the CHL rankings.“First and foremost, it started last year with the fitness level, intensity, hard work, and our leaders,” said Tourigny. “I think that built up and the players arrived at camp and were ready to work. The commitment from everybody, we have a great group of leaders, it turned into confidence and we started to have success and now we’re feeding off it.”Right behind the 67’s at No. 4 in the CHL rankings are the surging London Knights, who are on a 14-0-1 run and now sit first in the OHL’s Western Conference. Meanwhile, the QMJHL’s Rouyn-Noranda Huskies are riding a 10-game win streak and have moved to No. 2 in the CHL rankings.While the past few weeks have been good to teams like Prince Albert, Ottawa, London and Rouyn-Noranda, the same can’t be said about the Saint John Sea Dogs at the other end of the spectrum.The youngest team in the country with a large group of 16- and 17-year-old skaters, the Sea Dogs are in the midst of a 17-game losing streak — a team record — and sit 2-21-3 overall. Their seven points ties them for the least amount amongst the 60 teams across the CHL with the OHL’s Flint Firebirds, who opened the season on a 17-game losing streak of their own and are 3-22-1 overall.“You can learn a lot from this. They know this is a process and there are very bright things ahead, but in the short term it’s not easy,” said Saint John general manager Trevor Georgie.“We’d be discouraged if our young nucleus wasn’t staying positive or doing good things.”A lot of things have to go right to put together a streak like Prince Albert’s, and that was on full display on Nov. 17 when goaltender Ian Scott scored his first career goal while stopping 23 shots in a 3-1 win over the Tri-City Americans.“We were laughing because he tried it the game before and he hit the clock in our building,” said Habscheid. “Him and I the day before he scored, we were standing under the clock looking at the dent in it.”The WHL record for consecutive wins was set across two seasons in 1981 by the Victoria Cougars with 24. The Knights own the OHL point-streak record at 31 when they went 29-0-2 in 2004-05, the ’04-05 Rimouski Oceanic hold the QMJHL record with a 28-game win streak, while the ’75-76 Shawinigan Dynamo lost a record-setting 27 games in a row.———Follow @KyleCicerella on TwitterKyle Cicerella’s junior hockey notebook will be published every Thursday.Kyle Cicerella, The Canadian Press
Platinum Group Metals Ltd recently announced that the ongoing Definitive Feasibility Study for the Waterberg PGMs project in South Africa on the Northern Limb of the Bushveld Complex is now being advanced under the direction of the Technical Committee appointed by Waterberg JV Resources (Pty) Ltd. Seventeen drill rigs are on site and have commenced drilling with the objectives of defining the shallowest areas of the current 102 Mt reserve for increased confidence and detailed mine planning and to upgrade a portion of the indicated resources to measured resources for reserve consideration in the DFS. Immediate areas for in-fill drilling include the Northern and Boundary Super F zones.The Scope of Work and plans for the DFS during 2017 and 2018 have been agreed in detail by the Technical Committee. Members of the committee represent the Company and all other Waterberg Project partners; Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd, Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) and Mnombo Wethu Consultants (Pty) Ltd.Stantec Consulting International LLC and DRA Projects SA (Proprietary) Ltd have been selected as the lead independent project engineers based on a detailed, professionally supervised tendering process. Stantec will focus on underground mining engineering and design and reserve estimation. DRA will focus on metallurgy, plant design, infrastructure and cost estimation.“The Waterberg Project has a number of highly attractive characteristics, which indicate it will be a low-cost, shallow, bulk mineable project with significant scale and growth potential. The recent participation of Implats, the world’s second largest platinum producer with fully integrated mine to market operations, represents a significant step in the advancement of the Waterberg Project towards potential development and production.”R. Michael Jones, CEO of Platinum Group said, “We are very pleased with the work completed by the Technical Committee. The mine building and operating experience of the technical team, including Implats and the newly appointed engineers, alongside our own discovery team, are working with an excellent ‘best for value of the Project’ attitude. In our joint venture we have perspectives ranging from geology to metals marketing, including contributions from South Africa, the USA, Canada and Japan. Waterberg, which is palladium dominant, is modelled for fully mechanised production and has the potential to be amongst the lowest operating cost mines in the PGM sector.”Current Platinum Group Element (PGE) probable reserves at the Waterberg Project (100%) are 12.3 Moz, comprising 61% palladium, 30% platinum, 8% gold and 1% rhodium plus 191 million and 333 million pounds of copper and nickel respectively and will be updated as part of the DFS. Much of the Waterberg Project area remains to be drilled and assessed. The Waterberg deposit remains open down dip and along strike.The detailed scope of work for the DFS will investigate two options – Option 1; a 600,000 tonne per month mine (744,000 ounces PGEs per year) as outlined in the PFS, and Option 2; a lower capital option at 250,000 to 350,000 tonnes per month. Early optimisation work by the project team to detail the potential for Option 2 using the three decline mechanised mining modules in sequence are encouraging with the potential to optimise the mine plan. Current drilling at Waterberg is focused on the higher-grade areas of the large-scale deposit.
5 players Joe Schmidt should include on Ireland’s summer tour to Argentina IRELAND COACH JOE Schmidt has omitted Ian Madigan from his 30-man squad to face Argentina in two Tests next month.The Kiwi has included four uncapped players in the group. Kieran Marmion of Connacht is the only uncapped back, while Robbie Diack, Rob Herring and James Cronin are included among the forwards.Madigan’s omission came as Jonathan Sexton was called up, despite many suggestions that the out-half may well be rested after a long season of Lions, club and international rugby.Paul O’Connell continues as captain, but in the first window without Brian O’Driscoll Gordon D’Arcy joins Cian Healy among those rested. Instead, the midfield options are made up by Luke Marshall, Darren Cave, Robbie Henshaw, Fergus McFadden and Keith Earls.Tommy Bowe is another big name to sit out the summer tour, the back three opportunities given to Earls, McFadden, Simon Zebo, Andrew Trimble, Rob Kearney and Felix Jones.Ireland squad to tour Argentina: Forwards (16): Rory Best, James Cronin*, Robbie Diack*, Iain Henderson, Chris Henry, Jamie Heaslip, Rob Herring*, Dave Kilcoyne, Jack McGrath, Marty Moore, Jordi Murphy, Paul O’Connell, Mike Ross, Rhys Ruddock, Devin Toner, Damian Varley.Backs (14): Darren Cave, Keith Earls, Robbie Henshaw, Paddy Jackson, Felix Jones, Rob Kearney, Kieran Marmion*, Luke Marshall, Fergus McFadden, Conor Murray, Eoin Reddan, Jonny Sexton, Andrew Trimble, Simon Zebo.*denotes uncapped player.
WEARING ONLY UNDERWEAR and angel wings, three young women wiggle their hips to entice customers to enter one of the many nightclubs in Magaluf.“We came to get drunk, basically. Everyone knows Magaluf is partying big time,” said Bruce Stenning, an 18-year-old from London who came to the Mediterranean island of Majorca with five friends.“I came for the strippers,” added one of his mates, James Pilkington, as he stood outside a bar on the Punta Ballena — the heart of the resort’s nightlife — which advertised in English “the best lap dance”.Roughly 85% of the visitors to Magaluf come from Britain and Ireland, and little Spanish can be seen on bar flyers and billboards offering cheap drinks and theme parties.Shops sell souvenir T-shirts with the catchphrase “On it ’till we vomit”.But the local authorities — who would rather attract upmarket tourists — are calling time on Magaluf, with new rules to rein in the most dangerous and hedonistic antics.The resort made headlines around the world last month after a video showing an 18-year-old woman performing oral sex on several men on the dance floor of a nightclub went viral.Local media reported that the nightclub was staging a contest which offered free drinks to women who performed the most fellatio in the least amount of time.“My family were concerned about me coming here thinking that this was normal,” said Sorcha Rafferty, a 19-year-old from Belfast who came with 13 friends.“Magaluf has got a reputation that people come on holiday here and have sex everywhere. And it’s true!” added her friend Bryony Spence, 20.‘Sex-for-drinks’ gameFollowing the scandal, local authorities ordered the Playhouse nightclub where the sex-for-drinks game took place to be closed for a year.They also slapped the nightclub and a firm that offers pub crawls, Carnage Magaluf, which organised the game, with a fine of €55,000.Magaluf has many such firms where a guide takes large groups of youths from bar to bar to enjoy unlimited drinks for a flat fee, and also take part in games that mix alcohol and eroticism.Most are organised by British businessmen, and some of them respect the law and some do not, said Montserrat Jaen, the tourism director general of the regional government of the Balearic Islands.The Balearic Islands are fighting to end this type of “low cost” tourism which is restricted to “a few very small, concrete areas”, she added.Such resorts “are remnants and I think that in the long term they will convert” to the quality tourism that the Balearic Islands offer in many other places, she said.Just hundreds of metres away from the Punta Ballena strip and its rowdy bars, yachts bob gently in crystal clear waters. Source: Facebook/Magaluf 2014‘People are never punished’Calvia, the municipality Magaluf belongs to, introduced a by-law on 25 July to regulate pub crawls which sets limits on the number of participants.Five days later the municipality closed a second nightclub, this time for breaking the limit on the number of clients, said Joan Feliu, who is in charge of bar licensing at Calvia city hall.In a region that is dependent on tourism — the Balearic Islands received 13 million visitors in 2013 who spent €12 billion — local authorities traditionally only fine companies not tourists.“People are never punished even though the law also stipulates a series of obligations for tourists,” said Feliu.Another by-law was recently introduced banning “balconing” — jumping from one apartment balcony to another or from a balcony down into a swimming pool.Several youths have been killed or seriously injured in recent years due to the “balconing” craze.Hotels also kick out guests who destroy furniture or attack staff.About 250 hotel guests were asked to leave last year for misbehaving, according to Joan Espina, the vice president of the Association of Hotels of Palmanova-Magaluf.“This has always happened, it happens now with these kids and it happened with their parents when they came in their day,” he said.Alcohol flows all day in Magaluf, beside swimming pools in the morning, on boat cruises in the afternoon and in bars and nightclubs at night.By dawn tourists can be seen fighting in the streets, throwing up, passing out, and in the most serious of cases, being stretchered off to hospital.Despite everything, Sorcha and Bryony plan to return next year.“Of course!” they said in unison when asked if they would be back.© – AFP 2014Read: Mayor cracks down on Magaluf pub crawls by British and Irish tourists >Read: Young Donegal footballer seriously injured in Spain fall >
Photovoltaïque : le plan de NKM pour relancer le secteurAlors que la filière photovoltaïque française est en panne, la ministre de l’Ecologie Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet a dévoilé son plan visant à relancer le secteur. Un projet qui se basera avant tout sur d’importants appels d’offres, mais qui n’enthousiasme pas tous les industriels de la filière.Minée par le moratoire sur le prix du rachat de l’électricité produite grâce à l’énergie solaire, la filière photovoltaïque n’est pas oubliée par le ministère de l’Ecologie. Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet a dévoilé son plan pour relancer l’industrie photovoltaïque. Comme le rapporte le Figaro, la ministre entend passer par de gros appels d’offres visant à “donner de la visibilité aux industriels”. Ainsi, toutes les installations de panneaux solaires de plus de 1000 mètres carrés feront désormais l’objet d’appels d’offres. Un premier appel portant sur une installation considérée comme moyenne (entre 1000 et 2500 m2), projet de 120 mégawatts-crête (MWc), sera publié dès le 1er août. Six autres appels trimestriels, portant sur 30 MWc chacun, seront ensuite lancés. Pour tous ces projets, c’est le prix qui constituera le premier critère de sélection.Des appels d’offres censés favoriser l’innovationNKM a évoqué une seconde catégorie d’appels d’offres, qui portera cette fois sur les grandes installations, de plus de 2500 mètres carrés. Ces appels concerneront une capacité totale de 450 MWc. Mais cette fois, le prix ne sera pas l’unique critère de choix. “Le projet industriel, la contribution à la recherche et l’environnement” seront également pris en compte, explique le Figaro. Ainsi, les projets de centrales sur des friches industrielles ou d’anciennes carrières seront privilégiés par rapport à ceux qui nécessiteront le sacrifice de terres agricoles. Les groupes candidats devront en outre faire preuve de transparence quant au recyclage et au démantèlement des centrales. La ministère de l’Ecologie entend encourager le développement de technologies innovantes, et non celles déjà développées et exploitées par d’autres pays. Elle évoque notamment un système de miroirs mobiles qui suivent le soleil toute la journée. “Nous n’avons pas développé d’industrie de masse sur les premières séries de panneaux, mais nous n’essayons pas de courir après la Chine et l’Allemagne. Nous préparons le coup d’après” affirme Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet. À lire aussiLe plus grand “soleil artificiel” du monde vient de s’allumer en AllemagneDes mesures contestéesMais alors que la ministre assure chercher “à passer un nouveau pacte de confiance avec l’industrie du photovoltaïque”, son plan ne fait pas l’unanimité. Richard Loyen, délégué général du syndicat Enerplan, qui regroupe une centaine d’entreprises, exige “des preuves”, rappelant que “le pacte de confiance précédent a été rompu” lorsque le moratoire de trois mois sur le prix de rachat de l’énergie solaire est entré en vigueur, en décembre. M. Ledoyen évoque la suppression de 5.000 à 7.000 emplois, sur 25.000 environ, depuis la mise en place de cette mesure censée mettre fin à une bulle spéculative. Enerplan admet que le projet du ministère profitera sans doute aux grands groupes et certaines PMI. Mais les plus petites entreprises, elles, seront mises “sur le carreau” déplore-t-il. “Quand on sait que le secteur est frappé de plein fouet par les volte-face incessantes du gouvernement, auxquelles s’ajoute un moratoire depuis décembre 2010, ces annonces sont loin d’être suffisantes” estime Richard Ledoyen.Le 19 juillet 2011 à 16:44 • Maxime Lambert
By Muhammed Sailu Bah Mayor Abdoulie Bah has confirmed to this reporter that the councils has now gone back to their old system of collection of Rents, Rate, Duties and License.This he said was finally handed over to the Banjul City Council effect from Tuesday 9 June 2015. He said this during an interview with this reporter on Wednesday 10 June 2015.Asked about the impact of the new system that was introduced to them, Mayor Bah said that the system was very normal to him because he believes that it was a mechanism that was brought to help in regulating council’s operations. Mayor Bah also said there were few challenges with the system.”Some of our street cleaners left because of the delay in receiving their salaries. Most of them decided to find other Jobs. Another constraint was a delay in the response in receiving Funds for daily operational cost,” Mayor Bah explained.He said that the council in many cases responded to the needs of the people of Banjul on their social events, such as religious gathering among other things. The Mayor said people would have social events and would come to the council for help, on rental of Chairs, Tents and other things, and under the scheme introduced they were not able to respond to peoples’ needs. He further said that he had to resort to using his own money to help people in their social activities as their leader.Mayor Bah disclosed that the Community thinks that it is a mandate to sponsor their social events, but it is not mandatory; “the council is just doing it to help”.Mayor Bah citing the advantage of the council collecting rents and rates among other things said it will really help them in responding to their daily operations as well as to pay salaries on time in order to avoid the staff leaving their jobs.In conclusion Mayor Bah thanked the government for their timely consideration and response to the needs of the council.Readers would recall the collection of council revenue was taken over when a letter from the Ministry of Lands and Regional Administration, informed all councils that with effect from 1 March 2015 the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) will be responsible for the collection of all revenues on behalf of the councils without exception. ]]>
ALERT # 2 ON POTENTIAL TROPICAL CYCLONE NINE ISSUED BY THE BAHAMAS DEPARTMENT OF METEOROLOGY THURSDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER, 2019 AT 9 PM EDT Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Recommended for you Electricity Cost of Service Study among the big agenda items at September 11 Cabinet meeting Related Items:#magneticmedianews The Luxury of Grace Bay in Down Town Provo Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, TCI, February 21, 2017 – Reviews of Statutory boards and overhauls of systems are a focus of the new PDM Administration and in speaking to Magnetic Media this past Saturday, during the Middle Caicos mini regatta, the Premier said her team is pushing the procurement process which has seen changes for the swifter granting of tenders.“We are yet to commission a major one on the statutory bodies, but there are reviews going on with individual statutory bodies, a large number of them fall under me, so we are looking at them individually. And then we look at them collectively to control expenditure and to make sure that we are all in sync and that we don’t have little governments that are functioning alongside national government, and that’s where we are. But it is along the line of making sure that it functions properly, and also to control expenditure and to do what it is set out to do, and people are going to feel us in that area.”The Budget Communication, said Premier Sharlene Robinson, who is also the Finance Minister will come before the constitutional deadline of July; it will be presented in the House of Assembly in May.#MagneticMediaNews
Global cosmetics and makeup organisation Estee Lauder is subject to a lawsuit that alleges male employees are discriminated against under the organisation’s paid parental leave programme.The lawsuit, which has been brought by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), claims that Estee Lauder has broken federal law with the implementation and administration of its paid parental leave programme, by providing male employees who are new fathers with lesser benefits than female employees who are new mothers.The parental leave programme, which was introduced in 2013 to enable new parents time away from work to bond with their baby, allows eligible employees who are new mothers to take six-weeks of paid leave for child bonding. This is in addition to paid leave already in place to help biological mothers recover from childbirth. Furthermore, new mothers at Estee Lauder are also offered flexible return-to-work benefits after child bonding leave has finished. In comparison, male employees who are new fathers are provided with two weeks of paid leave to bond with their child, and the same flexible return-to-work benefits are not available.The case originally arose when a Maryland-based male employee requested and was refused six weeks of child bonding leave after the birth of his child, despite this being what new mothers at the organisation would automatically receive. The employee in question was instead permitted to take two weeks of paid leave to bond with his newborn. The EEOC’s Washington Field Office investigated the employee’s subsequent discrimination charge, and found that it violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Equal Pay Act of 1963. These acts prohibit discrimination in pay or benefits based on sex.The EEOC filed a lawsuit against Estee Lauder in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, after initially attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The lawsuit will seek back pay, compensatory and punitive damages, and injunctive relief for affected male employees who were denied equal parental leave benefits because of their sex.Mindy Weinstein, acting director at the EEOC Washington Field Office, said: “It is wonderful when employers provide paid parental leave and flexible work arrangements, but federal law requires equal pay, including benefits, for equal work, and that applies to men as well as women.”Estee Lauder was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.
OPA-LOCKA, FLA. (WSVN) – Rescue crews took a man to the hospital after he was shot inside a business in Opa-locka.According to Opa-locka Police, the incident took place near Ali Baba Avenue and Northwest 22nd Avenue, Sunday night. Investigators did not disclose the name of the business.Police said the victim was shot in the stomach.Paramedics transported him to Aventura Hospital. His injuries were not life-threatening.The shooter remains at large.If you have any information on this shooting, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
On October 4, AST received a report of vandalism at the Nikiski skate park on Poolside Avenue. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Alaska State Troopers are asking the public for help in locating the person(s) responsible for vandalising the Nikiski skate park. According to Troopers, between the evening of October 2 and the morning of October 3, someone spray painted graffiti on several different areas in the skate park with one area saying “Dylan was here”. Anyone with information about the suspects involved are urged to call Alaska State Troopers at 907-262-4453.
WILMINGTON, MA — The WHS Girls Varsity Tennis Team was defeated by Burlington High, 3-2, on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 in Wilmington.Wilmington senior Emily Hill was defeated by Madison Metzdorf, 6-3, 6-3.Wilmington junior Carolyn Roney defeated Liz Gillespie, 7-5, 6-0, 6-0.Wilmington senior Lia Kourkoutas defeated Jess Abeveya, 6-0, 6-2.Wilmington senior Jessica D’Arco and sophomore Lauren D’Arco were defeated by Niti Seereean and Kady Rustizzi, 6-2, 6-3.Wilmington sophomore Jess Murray and sophomore Vidhi Shah were defeated ny Neha Panke and Annabel Willey, 6-3, 7-5.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email email@example.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWHS GIRLS TENNIS: Wildcats Defeat Stoneham & Wakefield On Back-To-Back DaysIn “Sports”WHS GIRLS TENNIS: Wilmington Suffer Losses To Winchester & LexingtonIn “Sports”WHS GIRLS TENNIS: Wildcats Fall To Burlington, But Beat WakefieldIn “Sports”
The Cabinet on Wednesday, after a prolonged wait, approved the Constitutional Amendment Bill on the Goods and Service Tax (GST), paving the way for the legislation to be introduced in the current winter session of Parliament, which will end on 23 December.The Bill is likely to include petroleum within GST, but the Centre would be allowed to impose excise duty on it and the states value-added tax (VAT) for initial years, reports Business Standard.One of the reasons that the Bill was delayed was because petroleum was one of the contentious issues between the Centre and the states.States were in favour of petroleum products being excluded from GST as they earn over 50 percent of their revenues from this head. The Centre however wanted to keep it within the GST so that the chain of providing reimbursement for input taxes is not broken.The other controversial issue was the compensation to states for revenue loss after GST is introduced. Circumspect after the Centre’s unkept promises on compensation for a cut in the Central Sales Tax (CST) rate, the states vouched for the inclusion of GST compensation within the Bill. They also wanted the Centre to give their word on GST compensation being provided for five years.The Bill on a tapering basis contains the compensation for five years, it is learnt.The ground reality is that the Centre will provide full compensation for the revenue loss for the first three years and then progressively reduce it for the next two years.The third issue on which the Centre and the states had disagreements was the entry tax imposed by local bodies. States such as Punjab wanted it to be kept out of GST, but the Centre was keen on incorporating it within the new tax system. Eventually the Bill has subsumed the entry tax within GST.”This is a welcome move because petro products and entry taxes have been subsumed in the GST. The introduction of this reform will further encourage the industry and give confidence to investors,” said senior director for Deloitte in India, Prashant Deshpande.Finance Minister Arun Jaitley managed to build a broad consensus with the empowered committee of state chief ministers late on Monday, after which the Bill went to the Parliament.The Bill would not be rolled out before 2016-17 even if it was tabled in the current session of Parliament.Half the state legislatures will have to ratify the constitutional amendments once they are passed by both Houses of Parliament by a two-thirds majority.Finally the actual GST Bill will be tabled to be discussed and passed in both Houses of Parliament. As far as the state legislatures are concerned, they will also have to table and pass their own state GST Bills.
French troops deployed in Mali have arrested a key suspect in a deadly beach attack in Ivory Coast that left 19 people dead last year, Malian security sources said Thursday.The French military confirmed its troops had carried out an arrest on Monday.“French troops … arrested a mastermind of the attack on Grand Bassam,” a Malian security source said.On 13 March last year, three assailants armed with grenades and assault rifles stormed three hotels in Grand Bassam, a beachside resort popular with foreigners 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Abidjan.The attack, the first of its kind in the Ivory Coast, was claimed by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, which has also carried out assaults on tourist hotspots in Mali and Burkina Faso.The arrest took place in the village of Gossi near Gao, the main city in northern Mali—the cradle of several uprisings and a sanctuary for Islamist fighters.Another Malian security source said the suspect, named Mimi Ould Baba Ould Cheikh, was “well known in northern Mali”.“French troops are interrogating him, and we are waiting for them to hand him over,” he said.“We’ve been watching him for several months. He went to Algeria at one point. He returned to Gao and then set himself up in Gossi. He’s the one who mobilised the men and the means, and drew up the plan to attack Grand Bassam,” the source said.French military spokesman Patrik Steiger confirmed the arrest.“I confirm that four individuals were captured in the Gossi area last Monday, one of whom may have been linked to the Grand Bassam attacks,” he said.“The exact nature of the link has not yet been confirmed,” he added.Ivory Coast’s interior ministry also confirmed the arrest in a statement, adding that its forces had worked with Mali and France to help secure the detention.More than a dozen people have been arrested in relation to the Grand Bassam attack.The brain of the operation, Kounta Dallah, is still at large.
Police officers work at the scene where a truck crashed into the Ahlens department store at Drottninggatan in central Stockholm on 7 April 2017. Photo: AFPA truck slammed into a crowd of people outside a busy department store in central Stockholm on Friday, causing “deaths” in what the prime minister described as a “terror attack.””There are deaths, and many injured,” Nina Odermalm Schei, a spokeswoman for Swedish intelligence agency Sapo, told AFP, without giving a precise figure.”Sweden has been attacked. Everything points to a terror attack,” said prime minister Stefan Lofven.Pictures showed a large blue truck with a mangled undercarriage smashed into the Ahlens department store.A spokeswoman for transport company Spendrups told AFP that the truck “had been stolen during a delivery to a restaurant.”The incident occurred just before 1300 GMT at the corner of the store and Drottninggatan, the city’s biggest pedestrian street, above ground from Stockholm’s central subway station.Thick smoke was rising from the scene, while video images showed an area blocked off by police and crowds gathering around the police cordon.Police vans circulating in the city using loudspeakers urged people to go straight home and avoid large crowds.The centre of the usually buzzing city was in lockdown, with the central train station evacuated and other shops quickly emptied of shoppers.The Stockholm metro was completely shut down, with the attack taking place at the city’s T-Centralen station, through which all the city’s lines pass.Helicopters could be heard hovering in the sky over central Stockholm, and a large number of police cars and ambulances were dispatched to the scene, witnesses said.European politicians reacted with solidarity to the news of the attack, with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker saying that it was an “attack on us all.”Meanwhile, a spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel said: “Our thoughts go out to the people in Stockholm, to the injured, their relatives, rescuers and police.”We stand together against terror.”Police cordons the truck which crashed into the Ahlens department store at Drottninggatan in central Stockholm 7 April 2017. Photo: AFP- Latest truck attack -The attack followed a string of assaults in Europe by people using vehicles as weapons.The deadliest attack came last year in France on the Bastille Day national holiday of 14 July when a man rammed a truck into a crowd in the Mediterranean resort of Nice, killing 86 people.He was shot dead by police, and the Islamic State group later claimed responsibility.Last month, Khalid Masood, a 52-year-old convert to Islam known to British security services, drove a car at high speed into pedestrians on London’s Westminster Bridge before launching a frenzied knife attack on a policeman guarding the parliament building.The incident killed five people, while Masood himself was shot dead by police.And in December, a man hijacked a truck and slammed into shoppers at a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 people.That attacker was shot dead by police in Milan four days later, and the rampage was claimed by the IS.In 2014, IS spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani called for attacks on citizens of Western countries and gave instructions on how they could be carried out without military equipment, using rocks or knives, or by running people over in vehicles.Attacks have not been limited to Europe.In 2014, Muslim convert Martin Couture-Rouleau used his car to mow down two soldiers near Montreal, killing one of them. Couture-Rouleau was shot dead by police as he climbed out of his wrecked vehicle brandishing a knife.There have also been false alerts, however.Earlier Friday, Belgium dropped terrorism charges against a driver who sped into a crowded shopping area in Antwerp last month, which sparked fears of a copycat terror attack.However, the driver, a Tunisian man identified as Mohamed R., remains in custody on a weapon offence related to the incident, the federal prosecutor’s office said.