aimintang/iStock(WASHINGTON) — Georgetown University announced on Tuesday it will create a fund that could generate close to $400,000 a year to benefit the descendants of slaves once sold by the university, the latest in the school’s efforts to address the historical legacy of slavery. In 1838, the university sold 272 slaves to pay off debts and ultimately keep the school open. Georgetown has been engaged in conversations over the last few years about how to acknowledge that history, including rededicating buildings named after two former Jesuit university presidents that facilitated the sale and creating an admissions policy for the descendants of the slaves.Students voted in support of implementing a fee of $27.20 a semester for a reparations fund in April, but the university’s Oct. 29 announcement said they will move forward with the fund, without a student fee. The school said that as officials began to openly discuss the effort more, members of the community connected to the school said they wanted to participate in benefiting the descendants of slaves.“We embrace the spirit of this student proposal and will work with our Georgetown community to create an initiative that will support community-based projects with Descendant communities,” Georgetown President John HJ. DeGioia wrote in the letter to the school.There are around 7,000 undergraduate students enrolled at Georgetown, so the referendum estimated a reparations fund would generate close to $400,000 a year through donations. Georgetown did not commit to set aside a specific amount of money for the fund every year but said the school would ensure it had the same amount or more than would have been raised from the student fee.“The University will ensure that the initiative has resources commensurate with, or exceeding, the amount that would have been raised annually through the student fee proposed in the Referendum, with opportunities for every member of our community to contribute,” DeGioia wrote.The university said it will establish an advisory group to launch the fund and propose community projects that could also raise money to benefit the descendants of slaves once sold by the school. Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
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Vacancies – Stakeholder Relationship Manager: Civil SocietyApply for the “Stakeholder Relationship Manager: Civil Society” vacancy by emailing: [email protected] your contact details.Attach your CV document.DEPARTMENT OF MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONSSalary: R 758, 905 – R 992,058 (TCTC)Minimum years experience needed:5+Valid From:2017-05-26To:2017-06-09Job Description:To manage and influence relationships with key stakeholders as prioritised in the strategic plan, to extend Brand South Africa’s Marketing and Communications objectives. To play a key relationship manager role in the definition and delivery of projects by assessing the needs and expectations of stakeholders and ensure that they are effectively addressed. To leverage stakeholder resources effective and efficiently. The Strategic Relationship Manager is the main Brand South Africa custodian of these relationships with stakeholders for the sustainability of all collaborations.Minimum Requirements:Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science / Economics / Social Science / Sales and Marketing / Business Management or equivalentPreferred: Postgraduate degree in Political Science / Economics / Sales and Marketing / Business Management (e.g. MBA)5+ years combined experience in marketing, communications, public relations, stakeholder relations, (account management) at a senior levelTrack record of successfully brokering/negotiating collaborations and joint ventures in a highly political / pressured environmentComprehensive understanding of the political and legislative environment (domestic and international.Comprehensive understanding of the political, socio-economic and legislative environment (domestic and international)Thorough knowledge of the workings of the business and macro-economic environment (domestic and international)An understanding of the civil society environmentWorking knowledge of systems and processes and how they contribute to organisational performanceAdvanced knowledge of how to determine value from a customer perspectiveList of skills needed:Key Performance Areas:1) Contribute to the development of the overall stakeholder management strategyEstablish the correct networks and channels and provide input on portfolio priorities, plans and budgets.Feed market insights into the overall knowledge management system.2) Contribute to the development of programme specific projects and initiativesWith reference to Brand South Africa’s business plan and signed agreements with priority stakeholders, unpack, research, workshop and help develop implementation plans to activate the delivery of a project/initiative/campaign in line with the integrated marketing and communications programme and stakeholder expectations.Contribute to media plans and publications.Establish relationships with the right decision-makers and influencers and canvass all input from geographic and stakeholder plans and target group information.3) Sell the project/initiative/campaign plan for buy-in and approval (sign-off) with the stakeholder priority base (levels, locations, platforms, decision-makers, beneficiaries)Sell the project/campaign/initiative to the relevant stakeholder bases and decision-makers / beneficiaries to ensure buy-in in terms of the content, tone, roll-out mechanism(s), budget, audience target(s), collaborative ownership, timelines and output.Feedback stakeholder inputs, research, scanning of the environment, and other relevant information (budgets, changing priorities) back to Marketing and Communications for refinement and amendment in the activation plans to ensure sign-off.4) Facilitate and manage the stakeholder relationships in the delivery of the projects/campaign/initiative plansFacilitate, drive, and maintain the established relationships with key stakeholders on the signed-off projects/initiatives to ensure that delivery happens on schedule and that expectations, perceptions, feedback are managed actively and successfully.This also involves, on occasion, actual organising and delivery of meetings, events and functions.5) Compliance, monitoring and reporting.Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the stakeholder-implemented initiatives (including risks) and reflect this in the quarterly reporting in accordance with the contracted performance measurement and business plan scorecard of the organisation.To scan the wider policy environment to identify and exploit opportunities for future work where supportive of the strategic aims of Brand South Africa and to develop leads to establish relationships with policy makers and influencers and identify opportunities for joint future work where appropriate. (E.g. new international relations strategy, diplomacy rules for sectors and geographic regions).Ensure adherence to the project corporate identity, copyright, appropriate representation, referencing, necessary Brand South Africa support to effect the objectives of the stakeholder roll-out plans.This function also entails brand monitoring to ensure brand alignment.Monitor resource spend and financial expenditure in accordance with the approved project plans.Support Brand South Africa team members by providing capacity and information when neededTo participate actively in the advisory clusters6) Organisational management and governanceCompliance and implementation of the corporate identityDevelop policiesPerformance management of relevant supplier relations and inputting the specs for supplier relations management (where the supplier performance management system sits in Operations) and contributing to the SLAsSupport Brand South Africa team members by providing capacity and information when neededTo participate actively in the advisory clusters7) Compliance, Monitoring and reporting (including risk)Develop systems for monitoring and gathering knowledge on the activity of government, parliament and stakeholder organisations, informing the rest of the senior management team and contribute by offering advice on appropriate action and follow-up.Develop and deliver communication plans to promote and maximise the impact of Brand South Africa. This will, from time to time, include contributing to media plans and publications.Monitor and report on departmental plansMonitor the achievement of departmental plans through monthly and quarterly progress reports (on content, financial and staff, etc)Monitor & evaluate the effectiveness of the stakeholder management strategy (including risks) and reflect this in the quarterly report in accordance with the developed performance measurement structure of the organisation.Monitoring and reporting on departmental plans8) Staff management and developmentDelegate work assignments and tasks to appropriate individuals, providing sufficient direction so desired business outcomes can be achieved.Provide direct reports with leadership, direction, and coaching to achieve work objectives and improve performance and skills.Performance Management – ensure that team members achieve their Performance Objectives as per individual agreements.Staff development, motivation and trainingRecruit respective staff and select9) Financial management/ oversight and complianceBudget planning and allocation and monitor expenditure in accordance with strategic objectives and ensure compliance with relevant policies.Manage financial resources cost effectively.Apply for the “Stakeholder Relationship Manager: Civil Society” vacancy by emailing: [email protected] your contact details.Attach your CV document.
It’s right there in fine print: “No human remains or body parts (excluding hair and teeth).”This month the community sale site Etsy changed its sales policy and banned human skulls, bones, skeletons, organs and bodily fluids. That means, right up until an August 8 policy change, you could have bought and sold all that and more on the site.Looks like people have to look elsewhere for blood and bones. But fret not, fetishists. Hair and teeth are still acceptable trade goods on Etsy. Why, exactly? In a recent blog post, Etsy cited a desire to maintain a safe community. Etsy wouldn’t comment for this story, but the posts says the change was made to reflect the perspective of Etsy’s shoppers and the company itself. Hmm. Does this mean people weren’t buying the human skulls anymore, or maybe there was some kind of legal crackdown we’re not aware of. In addition to the body part ban, the site also just cracked down on the sale of crack pipes – good job! Maybe the site’s management felt like it was time to cleanse body and soul?Etsy’s staff is contacting violators and explaining the rule changes in an effort to shut down human body part traffickers. The site is also asking members to contact Etsy if they find banned items (which also include firearms and smoking products.)All the same, Etsy isn’t going after purveyors of animal parts, such as a preserved doe deer heart on sale for $75. Yup, a deer heart in a jar for less than a hundred bucks. What a steal!Photo by echiner1 Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market adam popescu Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#health#web
brian s hall In The Lawnmower Man, an exceedingly not-bright man is befriended by the brilliant, handsome scientist (Lanier?). By integrating the dolt with virtual reality tools and linking him with a singularly giant computer, the subject gains incredible mental powers. But very quickly, he – and everything – goes terribly wrong.Lanier foresaw the rise of computing power, even if he whiffed on its actual execution, with a deep-seated fear that, well, ignorant rubes would use it to muck everything up. Perhaps what held Lanier back was his deep-seated fear of what would happen if and when the power of the technologies he worked on reached the masses.Lanier can be lauded for his concerns that giant computer companies may harm people, or that we may lose our humanity by merging man and machine. Too often, however, Lanier seems to be repelled by the thought of these grand technologies flowing to the very people he claims to care about.While technology, computing and the “mob” mind have moved forward so quickly, Lanier appears to be standing still, seemingly content to speak at TED, SXSW and other events. Lanier’s VR dreams were a shockingly intriguing experiment in the 1980s. Some 30 years later, however, while virtual reality remains mostly vapor, the world has changed in dramatic ways Lanier never saw coming.Note: ReadWrite reached out to Mr. Lanier via the email provided on his personal website. He did not respond. Top image of Jaron Lanier courtesy of Flicker/vanz. Tags:#Virtual worlds A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Jaron Lanier helped create virtual reality, all the way down to “VR” headsets and handgear. Smithsonian Magazine called him an 1980s “Silicon Valley digital-guru rock star.” Lanier was regularly featured in Wired Magazine, particularly during its early, glory days. Nearly 30 years before the introduction of Google Glass, Lanier saw deep into a future where individuals could access virtual worlds. Lanier’s sizable vision, however, appears to have resulted in few actual usable products – nor much in the way of human advancement.In 1985, Jaron Zepel Lanier and Thomas G. Zimmerman left their jobs at Atari and founded VPL Research. VPL was the first company to sell VR goggles and accessories. (The company filed for bankruptcy in 1990.) Lanier was later a “visiting scholar” at Silicon Graphics, served as an advisor to Linden Lab – makers of “shared creative spaces” and the much-hyped Second Life virtual world – and has also worked as “scholar-at-large” on Microsoft’s Kinect controller. With the possible exception of the Kinect device – which actually has been linked to virtual reality efforts – it’s difficult to view any of Lanier’s efforts as a success. Big ThinkerIn 2010, Lanier was named to the Time 100. He was listed under the “Thinkers” category, along with Steve Jobs. Time described Lanier this way:In the 1980s, Lanier’s pioneering work on virtual reality reshaped our concept of how sensory interfaces enable human-computer interaction. As a musician, he has fused Eastern and Western traditions with artistry and technology. His ability to synthesize these forces — so often held in opposition — is the hallmark of his mind and the guiding philosophy of his book, in which he celebrates the potential of the Internet but also laments the way its misuse can suppress the individual voice.Comparing anyone’s accomplishments with Steve Jobs may be unfair, but unlike the late Apple co-founder, Lanier’s pioneering work hasn’t amounted to that much. Moreover, Lanier’s strident warnings of giant mainframes run by a few to control the many missed so many critical trends that it now sounds like 1980s science-fiction. Giant computer brains aside, the 52-year-old Lanier has often come close to the truth – yet was never able to fully capitalize on his insights. His efforts in the 1990s promoting “telepresence” and “tele-immersion,” for example, no doubt spurred innovation in the field. But the real work of bringing such technologies from vision to product has been left to others. Many of whom, Lanier has found time to criticize. Writing for Wired in December 2000, Lanier lambasted Ray Kurzweil, so-called father of “the singularity,” and others for their “cybernetic totalism.” Lanier expressed grave doubts that humans should or could be replaced by computers within a few decades – though in large part because of his belief that software grows increasingly more bloated and complex over time. Lanier did not foresee the rise of small stripped down apps and the mobile operatings systems on which they run. Lanier’s oft-expressed view that our machines could make us less human seems to have utterly discounted the truly empowering aspects of the merger of man and computer – the ability today for children to learn on their own using an iPad, for example.The Bad CollectiveLanier appears to have repeatedly discounted the power of the collective Web to enhance individual power and connectivity. In his 2006 essay, “Digital Maoism: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism” Lanier came close to foreseeing the global rise of Twitter and Facebook. Instead of being awed at how this new level of connectivity might improve humanity, however, Lanier railed against those who “start to believe that the Internet itself is an entity that has something to say… and making ourselves into idiots.” Lanier sounded an alarm that not only fell on deaf ears, but suggests that the “collective” – basically, masses of people – are what we should fear most. From his essay: What we are witnessing today is the alarming rise of the fallcy of the infallible collective.Lanier continued, revealing his perception of the so-called wisdom of the crowd:The hive mind is for the most part stupid and boring. Why pay attention to it?Perhaps Lanier believes we have always been stupid. In his 2006 essay, “Beware the Online Collective,” Lanier stated:I wonder if some aspect of human nature evolved in the context of competing packs. We might be genetically wired to be vulnerable to the lure of the mob.The man who once sought to alter our very reality, create new worlds and prevent an anonymous cabal from controlling the masses, seems to possess a deep distrust of most people. Perhaps Virtual Reality was Lanier’s escape from this world?What’s to stop an online mass of anonymous but connected people from suddenly turning into a mean mob, just like masses of people have time and time again in the history of every human culture? It’s amazing that details in the design of online software can bring out such varied potentials in human behavior. It’s time to think about that power on a moral basis.It’s a valid concern, but Twitter-enhanced protests during the “Arab Spring,” for example, reveal that an “online mass” can be a force for liberation, not just a “mean mob.” Nonetheless, in his 2010 book, You Are Not a Gadget, Lanier returned to the theme of anonymous groups manipulating the masses.Much to CriticizeLanier has claimed that real-time, social sharing platforms, which he groups under the term “Web 2.0,” has glorified the collective. He has labeled Facebook and Google as “spy agencies.” Lanier has criticized aspects of open software. He suggests that collective-generated content, such as might be found today on Wikipedia or Quora, for example, “removes the scent of people,” whatever that means. Over and over again, Lanier has not only missed the rapid growth of the future just as it was about to strike, he also badly misunderstood the disruptive power, creative ability and even wisdom it confers to the very people he reputedly sought to protect from its rise.The Lawnmower Man As Prophecy?Here’s the perfect example. Lanier’s home page lists his books, musical works and upcoming speaking engagements and includes such “Celebrity Fluff” as:The 1992 movie Lawnmower Man was in part based on him and his early laboratory- he was played by Piers Brosnan (sic). 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting
Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netBanKo Perlas skipper Sue Roces said Wednesday it’s her team’s lack of teamwork that’s been the major factor in their skid at the start of the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference.The Perlas Spikers started the tournament 0-2 and their latest defeat was at the hands of Pocari Sweat in four sets, 25-21, 22-25, 25-19, 27-25, at Filoil Flying V Centre.ADVERTISEMENT “We haven’t been complete since the start of the conference,” said Roces who had 12 points in the loss. “We really lack the players so we really can’t rotate our pieces, and we still lack the teamwork.”“Just a little more, but we still need to be complete as a team.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsBanKo started its campaign in the Open Conference without Kathy Bersola, Nicole Tiamzon, who were on vacation after graduating from University of the Philippines, and Rysabelle Devandero.Roces said they’re able to practice but some players have day jobs and they couldn’t organize off-court activities where the players can bond outside of volleyball. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games PLAY LIST 01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games00:50Trending Articles02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Beermen celebrate with fans as Grand Slam talks continue Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucena Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend LATEST STORIES Nikki Valdez rushes self to ER due to respiratory tract infection China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong “We’re able to practice every day but some of us are working, some are only able to join us at night,” said Roces. “We don’t have any time to bond so I guess that’s another thing we have to work out.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera MOST READ
TORONTO – Capital investment in the Canadian auto assembly sector since the financial crisis has been nearly cut in half compared with the period before the downturn, a new report says.DesRosiers Automotive Consultants said Wednesday that capital spending for Canada’s motor vehicle assembly industry has averaged $1.2 billion a year for 2010-17.That’s down from $2.3 billion annually on average from 2000 through 2009.Meanwhile, the average new capital expenditures for the parts and accessories industry dropped to $565.9 million from $887.7 million for the same time periods.“Despite small occasional increases in the period between 2008 and 2017 there has been no sustained indication of a return to the heights recorded in the mid to late 90s and late 2000’s,” DesRosiers said.“Canada’s loss of investment market share to Mexico and the southern U.S. over this period has been well documented.”However, DesRosiers noted that investments by truck body and trailer manufacturers have increased on average from $52.7 million for 2000 to 2009 to $82.7 million since 2010.Securing new investments in Canada was a key goal for Unifor during its negotiations with the big U.S. automakers last year.Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler all pledged to invest hundreds of millions in their Canadian operations as part of their agreements with the union.Meanwhile, Unifor members remain on strike at GM’s CAMI assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ont., where the union is seeking to have the location designated the lead producer of the Chevrolet Equinox.Job security at the plant is a key issue, with Unifor seeking to prevent work from being moved to Mexico, where GM also produces the popular sport utility vehicle.The plant saw the loss of hundreds of jobs when GM shifted production of its GMC Terrain from Ingersoll to Mexico earlier this year.
UPDATE – As of 4:00 p.m., traffic on the Taylor Bridge is opened to single-lane alternating traffic.Continue to check drivebc.ca for updates.UPDATE – As of 3:00 p.m. Wednesday, RCMP say two vehicles were involved in a collision on the Taylor Bridge this afternoon. According to Police, no injuries were sustained from this collision.They say the bridge will be shut down until it is inspected for structural damage.Continue to check drivebc.ca for updates.FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – We have received word this afternoon that there is a vehicle collision on the northbound lane of the Taylor Bridge.Crews are currently on scene assessing the incident.Expect delays at this time as crews clear the scene. We will provide updates as they become available.
The ways in which the environment is exploited while catering to civilisational needs and wants is uncountable. From rocks to riverbeds, groundwater to oil, coasts to alpine forests, water to air, deep-earth mining to depleting ozone layer in the lower stratosphere, the cumulative impact has brought us to the days where Environment concerns & Climate Change have become a regular feature of social discussions. While adhering to the norms of Paris Agreement, which aims at limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees, India, a developing nation, has numerous other environmental commitments that it must take to ensure a green future. With our capital being the most polluted in the world, the commitment to directing efforts towards protecting our environment is non-negotiable. The dystopian sky that Delhi has witnessed on two separate occasions stands as a glaring example of how, through uncontrolled progress, we are digging our own graves. But air is not the only issue. Depleting forest cover, polluted rivers, fragile river banks and coasts, poor waste management, et al, all add to our environmental concerns. While the present dispensation has taken prodigious steps to enhance the country’s infrastructure, it has not taken any concrete step to protect the environment or improve its gradually deteriorating trend. Significant increase in clearances to development projects inside wildlife protected areas bypassing necessary impact studies, from 260 in 2009-13 (under UPA) to 519 in 2014 – 18 (BJP phase), along with proposed policy changes – new forest policy and Coastal Regulation Zone notification that will allow corporate entities to take over land, forest, coast, water – do not augur well for the environment. Development at the cost of environment is a disastrous equation and its implementation will cost us tremendously – though very few realise it. Activists, environmentalists, experts on climate, etc., have been vocal about such intrusion into nature’s boundaries and yet they never make it to the desk of political parties as they rally around the country prior to elections. While conveying their so-called vision to the masses, their focus mainly revolves around the immediate societal needs and issues that will enable them to garner votes. Blaming just the political parties here is also wrong. These parties come up with sops and promises that comprise of prevalent issues which are mainly because of our discontent. Agrarian distress, unemployment, etc., are all prime poll agendas which have been conveyed to these parties by no one but us through our dissent. In the same way, should we advocate our displeasure at the way environment is being exploited manifold, the chances of it being picked up by them are far more. Hence, the blame is partially on us as well. Delhi has been clearly the victim of air pollution which sparked the AAP government to come up with the ambitious odd-even rule to half the number of cars on the capital’s roads and ensure comparatively fewer car-emissions – prime contributor to air pollution. But, even that did not prevent the second spell of hazardous air quality, following which the Graded Response Action Plan was drafted to combat air pollution in severe cases. While GRAP restores the hope of clean air, it is an emergency plan – a cure. How long can or should we rely on emergency plans, especially when all our lives we have heard the age-old saying that ‘prevention is better than cure’? Also Read – A compounding difficultyRecently, Congress in its manifesto for Lok Sabha polls included the environment. It recognised air pollution as a public health emergency. Congress promises to constitute, by law, an independent, empowered, and transparent Environment Protection Authority to establish, monitor and enforce environmental standards and regulations. At the same time, Congress plans on defending and advancing India’s interests in international negotiations on Climate Change and environment. Further, they promise to strengthen the National Clean Air Programme launched by Modi government to reduce particulate matter (PM) pollution by 20-30 per cent in at least 102 cities, including Delhi, by 2024. Congress’s mention of all the relevant environmental concerns in its manifesto definitely earns them brownie points over rivals, however, attracts criticism from experts over superficial promises due to lack of detail. It may enjoy the benefit of this doubt to the extent till it forms a government, should it win. Manifestos are a book of promises and as such the implementation part is where the entire picture changes. BJP’s grand promises and their lacklustre implementation is a testament to this realisation. While the voters may acknowledge the fact that Congress has included the environment in its manifesto when others haven’t – making them unique as of now, they are wary of the fact that it is the implementation of the promises that holds the key to progress and welfare. Mere promises are nothing but empty rhetorics aimed at amassing votes in a contest where everyone wants to run the country.
New Delhi: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party Chief N. Chandra Babu Naidu on Sunday met Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar at his residence here. The meeting was part of Naidu’s continued outreach to Opposition party leaders in order to firm up a non-BJP front ahead of the announcement of Lok Sabha poll results on May 23. However, what the two leaders discussed, was not clear. Naidu arrived in the national capital on Saturday evening, after meeting Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati and Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow. According to the Telugu Desam Party sources, the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister is likely to meet UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi at her residence in evening. On Saturday, before leaving for Lucknow, Naidu held meetings with Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Pawar and Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) leader Sharad Yadav in Delhi. On Friday, he said that all parties, including rival K. Chandrashekhar Rao-led Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), were welcome to join the non-BJP Mahagathbandhan (grand-alliance). The TDP chief also met the Election Commission on Friday and accused it of being biased and pro-government.