George Clooney Speaks Out on Torture Rapes in Darfur

first_imgIn a New York Times oped published yesterday, actor and activist George Clooney called for renewed international attention to Darfur, including accountability for mass “torture rapes” committed by Sudan government forces.Co-authored by the Enough Project’s John Prendergast and Akshaya Kumar, the piece puts a spotlight on government violence against civilians, and calls for audits and alerts on gold mined in Darfur fueling war crimes in that region.Mass atrocities continue to occur in Darfur with no external witness. This is also the case in Blue Nile and the Nuba Mountains, two southern regions devastated by the government’s scorched-earth tactics.To avoid scrutiny, the [Sudan] government has spent millions of dollars provided by Qatar to set up “model villages,” where it encourages Darfuris displaced by violence to settle. Human Rights Watch recently documented a chilling incident of mass rape at one of these villages, Tabit … at least 221 women had been raped by soldiers of the Sudanese Army over a 36-hour period…During Clooney, Prendergast and Kumar’s visits to Darfur, the Nuba Mountains and refugee camps in neighboring countries, they heard story after story like those from Tabit. These “torture rapes” are just one tool in Sudan’s criminal arsenal, which also includes aerial bombing of hospitals and agricultural fields, burning of villages and the denial of food aid.International banks, gold refiners and associations like the Dubai Multi Commodities Center and the London Bullion Market Association should raise alerts for Sudanese gold and initiate audits to trace it all to its mine of origin to ensure that purchases are not fueling war crimes in Darfur.Clooney, an actor and film producer, is the co-founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project with Prendergast, who is the founding director of the Enough Project. Akshaya Kumar is an Enough Project policy analyst on Sudan and South Sudan.Read the full article here.About the Enough ProjectThe Enough Project is a project of the Center for American Progress aiming to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, Central African Republic, and areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough conducts intensive field research, develops practical policies to address these crises, and shares sensible tools to empower citizens and groups working for change. To learn more: the Satellite Sentinel ProjectThe Satellite Sentinel Project, co-founded by George Clooney and John Prendergast, is a partnership between the Enough Project and Not On Our Watch. SSP uses satellite imagery and forensic investigation to assess the human security situation, and detect, deter and document war crimes and crimes against humanity. SSP recently announced an expansion of its work to focus on the economic drivers of mass atrocities and human rights abuses, and to encompass some of the world’s most violent regions of conflict, including Sudan, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Central African Republic. To learn more: Projectlast_img read more

First Nations leaders cite deplorable health conditions urge action

first_imgThe Canadian PressOTTAWA – Indigenous leaders are pushing Canada to confront “deplorable” health conditions for their people as federal, territorial and provincial ministers prepare to meet in Vancouver next week to work on a new health accord. Isadore Day, Ontario regional chief of the Assembly of First Nations and head of the assembly’s health committee, said the state of Aboriginal health is a crisis that must be confronted by all Canadians. In a letter to federal Health Minister Jane Philpott, Day also emphasized the need for full native participation in drafting a new health accord. “I think it is really important for everyone to look at the truth,” Day said in an interview. “We are in the era of truth and reconciliation and I think that this is a major issue. If it wasn’t for the Indian Act, if it wasn’t for residential schools, if it wasn’t for colonial policy, the health conditions of our people wouldn’t be in this state.” Aboriginal Peoples continue to face serious health challenges, including high rates of chronic and contagious diseases and shorter life expectancies, according to Health Canada data. Tuberculosis infection rates, for example, are five times higher among First Nations people and 50 times higher among the Inuit population, than among the general population, the department said. It also said an estimated 278 new HIV infections occurred in the Aboriginal population in 2014, representing 10.8 per cent of all new infections that year. In an interview with The Canadian Press, Philpott said there are a number of other worrying health indicators, such as suicide rates among Inuit youth. “These are very serious concerns,” she said. “They are an absolute priority for me to address, but I can’t do that alone because obviously provincial and territorial governments are also implicated in addressing some of these concerns. So we will be all talking together and seeing how we can make progress in terms of those gaps.” In his letter to Philpott, Day noted the minister is attuned to the First Nations health crisis “having spent so many years practising medicine in very similar, Third-World conditions of West Africa.” Aboriginal people often endure health conditions that people would not and should not expect to see in Canada, Philpott said. “I think that you will find that they are, in some cases, comparable to the kind of levels you would see in less-resourced countries and that is not acceptable,” she said. “It is something we very much aim to address.” Indigenous leaders will be part of the talks on the health accord, Philpott added, though she did not have specifics on what shape this will take. “I am in discussions with Indigenous leaders across the country about the best way for us to all work together, provinces, territories, the federal government and Indigenous leaders,” she said. Manitoba Health Minister Sharon Blady said she appreciates Philpott’s openness to looking at how to include Indigenous voices at the table. “I really want to be able to see where the federal minister goes with this because I know how important it is for our people and to our provincial system here,” Blady said. “Our First Peoples live in conditions that are predicated on 150-plus years of unjust colonial practices that have had implications over generations and that puts an undue health burden on them … it also puts a burden on the health-care system. It is an unfair burden … they are carrying disproportionately.”last_img read more

Media magnate Peladeau evasive about potential return to politics

first_imgMONTREAL – Quebec telecom and media magnate Pierre Karl Peladeau renewed speculation Tuesday he is considering a return to politics.His abrupt departure in May 2016 as head of the Parti Quebecois was against his will and due to family reasons, he told Radio-Canada.But things have changed since then, he suggested.“Obviously I remain ready for the (political) moment,” Peladeau said, unprompted, to the radio host during a wide-ranging interview. “Maybe, eventually you would have asked me about that.”Anyone following the social media posts of the self-avowed nationalist who wanted to be leader of an independent Quebec will not be surprised he is not closing the door to an eventual political comeback.As head of Quebecor Inc., Peladeau owns some of the most popular media and telecom properties in the country and the businessman isn’t shy about using his influence and profile to publicly criticize his opponents.He has come out strongly against the Quebec Liberal’s investment in aerospace giant Bombardier, as well as the government’s recent multimillion-dollar aid package to newspaper companies in competition with his own.Peladeau has also attacked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for the federal government’s refusal to levy a tax on online streaming giant Netflix.“When I think we are going in the wrong direction, when we as a collective are going in the wrong direction … it’s the reason why I speak out and there is no one who will stop me,” he said Tuesday.Peladeau’s remarks were in response to a recent column in Montreal La Presse, a major news outlet owned by Power Corp. of Canada and controlled by a powerful Quebec family he’s openly feuded with for years.In the column, Yves Boisvert suggested Peladeau is the de facto leader of Quebec’s opposition, due to the media mogul’s constant and aggressive public sorties on social media.“For the time being, he is the CEO of a very large communications company and should show a little better that he understands the difference between his old job as a politician, even if he is bored, and his new job, even if it is only temporary,” Boisvert wrote.Peladeau countered: “Who is he to tell me what I can say?”Despite the businessman’s public statements, the speculation around his potential return to politics is being fed by the slow decline in popularity of the PQ.The party has been polling in third place for months as it loses support among critical francophone voters and in the outlying regions where it has been historically strong.“We have a leader right now and it’s Jean-Francois Lisee,” Peladeau said, conspicuously using the term “we,” while reminding the radio host he is still a member of the party. “I have always been attentive to collegiality … I would like to leave my colleagues continue their political work.”Lisee was asked later in the day about Peladeau’s comments and said, “the door is wide open.”Peladeau, he added, would be welcome to run for the PQ in the Oct. 1 election.When asked if a potential return would threaten his leadership, Lisee responded, “we need to have a strong team. I am a leader who wants to be surrounded by strong team members who have ambition.”Bernard Drainville, a former PQ cabinet minister close to Peladeau and who recently joined his television network, said, “according to his entourage, Peladeau misses politics.”Drainville made the comments on a popular news commentary show on Peladeau’s flagship news network, LCN.“But will Peladeau lead a putsch to remove Lisee? The answer is no.”And as for his family situation, Peladeau suggested it is improving.When he quit the PQ in May 2016 after about a year at the helm, he cited family reasons amid his separation from his partner at the time.Peladeau said he was watching TV recently with his nine-year-old daughter, when she told him she wanted him to run for office again.“We now have shared custody, as decided by a court,” Peladeau said. “I’m not sure if I will follow (my daughter’s) advice, but just to put things into context, things evolve.”Companies in this story: (TSX:QBR.B, TSX:POW)last_img read more

My Name is Hiba and I am No More

By Halima OuamouchRabat – This painful tragedy was covered by most of the Moroccan news outlets and attracted the attention of a large and angry public especially on social media. It is noteworthy that Hiba was screaming and gripping the iron bars of her window while she was consumed by a merciless fire in front of a large crowd of helpless neighbors and passersby.    Hiba gained the sympathy and love of all Moroccans because nobody was able to save her.  Her mother was overpowered by the uncontrollable fires which stood between her and her own daughter.  On the street, the neighbors could only use their smart phones to capture the agony of Hiba and share it on social media.  Furthermore, the firefighters failed to be there on time. It is the firefighters who will be largely and unanimously criticized for their lack of engagement and sense of duty.  Read Also: Interior Ministry Report Says Firefighters Not to Blame for Death of Girl in House FireSince August 6, when this calamity exploded, Hiba has become a symbol of the weak citizen whose rights are usurped because of neglect and indifference.  Many social media users have condemned the carelessness of the firefighters as well as the callousness of the neighbors who lost their humanity when they raised heartlessly their smartphones in front of her.In the light of this sorrowful event, I have written the poem “My Name is Hiba and I am No More” which is an attempt to tell Hiba’s doleful story via the voice of Hiba herself.  My Name is Hiba and I am No MoreI am playing in my room, Never expecting my doom.While my toys are on the floor,A giant fire is consuming my door.As my walls are turning red,I swiftly jump on my bed.The flames are getting higherAnd the room, hotter and hotter.I miraculously leap to the Window;I can finally breathe, it’s my willow.My mom is screaming behind the fire,Desperately trying to get me out of this mire.Tremulously, I grip the Window’s iron barsOver the flashes of countless passersby.Sorry dad, I see you in the crowd,Your face with tears has glowed,But all wrapped in a shroud.To you, I’ll always be bowed.I wish I were a tiny bird to fly,Into the open skyWhich I can only seeBut will never reach even for a wee.And my mom is grieving over meWhile passive robots are filming me.My back, my hair are smoldering,The fire is mounting,But my hands to life are still holding.I am paralyzed and carbonizedWhile some of the crowds under my feet are galvanized.Skinny slow firefighters are showering me,But my mom is still grieving over me.I am no more,But I am sure,I’ll be passed on, just like a lore. read more

Expulsion of UNICEF staff member in Sri Lanka brings dismay from UN

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a statement through his spokesperson today expressing his strong regret after the weekend expulsion of James Elder, the chief of communications for UNICEF in Sri Lanka.“The Secretary-General expresses his full confidence in the work of the United Nations in Sri Lanka, which includes making public statements when necessary in an effort to save lives and prevent grave humanitarian problems,” he said.“The United Nations is working impartially to assist the people of Sri Lanka, and the Government should be supporting and cooperating with its efforts.”The statement noted that Mr. Ban “will take up the issue with President [Mahinda] Rajapaksa at the earliest opportunity and will continue to urge him to implement all the commitments made in their joint statement after the Secretary-General’s visit to Sri Lanka in May.”UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman issued her own statement yesterday in which she said she was “extremely concerned and disappointed” by the expulsion.“UNICEF has always upheld the principle of impartial advocacy and communication on behalf of children as a fundamental part of its global mandate,” Ms. Veneman said.“Through Mr. Elder, UNICEF has consistently spoken out against the suffering of children on both sides of the intense hostilities earlier this year [between Government forces and the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam] and called for their protection. UNICEF unequivocally rejects any allegation of bias. UNICEF will continue to uphold its mandate in Sri Lanka, and elsewhere, to advocate and speak out on behalf of vulnerable children and women.” 8 September 2009The United Nations has voiced disappointment at Sri Lanka’s decision to expel a United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) staff member from the island nation, saying the Government should be supporting the agency’s efforts to advocate on behalf of children. read more

Ban voices concern over plans for further settlements as he meets Israeli

“The Secretary-General emphasized that it was vital to break the current diplomatic stalemate, resume negotiations and produce results,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said in a statement.Mr. Ban and Mr. Netanyahu also discussed the latest report on Security Council Resolution 1701, which was aimed at ending the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon. The discussions also touched on the current proposals on the issue of the village of Ghajar, the northern part of which is occupied by Israel.The Secretary-General expressed hope that Israel will take further measures to ease the movement of people and goods to and from Gaza.Mr. Ban and Mr. Netanyahu also reviewed the regional situation, including Iran, the spokesperson said. 8 November 2010Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, today discussed the ongoing efforts to move the Middle East peace process forward, with Mr. Ban expressing concern over plans to build more Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem. read more

Mervyn ready to work with BBS

Former Minister Mervyn Silva says he is prepared to work with the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) in future.The former Minister visited the Prison Headquarters today together with BBS monks to seek protection for BBS General Secretary the Venerable Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera. Speaking to reporters outside the Prison Headquarters, Former Minister Mervyn Silva said that the President and Prime Minister will be responsible if any harm comes to the Venerable Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera. He said that he is also prepared to work with the BBS to protect Buddhism in Sri Lanka. (Colombo Gazette)Report by Indika Sri Aravinda The BBS claimed that there is a threat to the life of the BBS General Secretary who is currently serving a prison sentence. read more

RIM shares down analysts take gloomy view following forecast of loss layoffs

TORONTO – A fresh batch of takeover speculation greeted BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (TSX:RIM) on Wednesday as analysts weighed in on the company’s projected operating loss in the current quarter and its prospects for survival.Shares of the Waterloo, Ont.-based company tumbled another 7.14 per cent, inching toward becoming a single-digit stock, after a statement from RIM late Tuesday said it hired two outside firms to advise on its troubled business and financial performance.RIM was down 82 cents to close at $10.66 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.Chief executive Thorsten Heins said competition is affecting sales of its smartphones, and that it would respond by reining in costs and cutting staff by unspecified numbers throughout the rest of the year.But analysts are concerned about the speed at which RIM is reeling in expectations ahead of the rollout of the new BlackBerry 10 operating system later this year.“The fundamentals of the company seem to be deteriorating even faster than I was expecting,” said Sameet Kanade, a technology analyst at Northern Securities in an interview.“But I think talks about licensing deals, partnerships and acquisition of RIM are all premature,” he added.There have been suggestions, including from some of RIM’s shareholders, that RIM could separate operations that make the BlackBerry handhelds and PlayBook tablets from the operations responsible for networks and intellectual property.Another possibility would be a more focused approach on fewer product lines, with greater emphasis on the business and government sectors and less on consumer-oriented devices that compete with Apple, Samsung and others.“I think it would be premature to write the company off, although I do believe Blackberry 10 has to be a very competitive product for the company to bounce,” said Charlie Wolf, an analyst at Needham & Company in New York.“For the (next two or three quarters) this is going to be a messy situation because RIM doesn’t have anything to sell, and so the only way they can make sales is to mark prices down on their phones.”Some analysts have also factored in RIM’s dated inventory and restrained sales outlook, and responded by pulling back expectations.Raymond James analyst Steven Li reduced the firm’s target price for RIM’s stock to US$12 from $15, with a “market perform” rating.“Although we have highlighted the competitive pressure RIM faces in the form of fierce pricing competition at the lower end of the market, we believe the degree by which (sales and margins) have declined in the first quarter will still be a surprise to the street,” Li wrote in a note.“We believe there is a risk of another inventory write-down.”Wedbush Securities analyst Scott Sutherland also lowered his price target by $2 to US$11.50.“While we believe the current strategy could cause RIM to go the way of Palm, we see value in the parts and thus see risks to being overly negative at current levels,” Sutherland says in a research note released Wednesday.National Bank analyst Kris Thompson said in a note titled “RIM Blows Up in Q1, Recovery Unlikely” that he considers the company up for sale.“While buying this stock is like going to the casino, RIM does have over $4 per share of cash and intellectual property with a book value of about $6 per share,” he noted.“If you’re feeling lucky, this stock might be worth a dice-roll under $10 per share. We’d still avoid on fundamentals.”Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version incorrectly attributed the quotes in paragraphs six and seven to analyst Sumit Malhotra of Macquarie Capital Markets. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by David Friend, The Canadian Press Posted May 31, 2012 3:18 pm MDT RIM shares down, analysts take gloomy view following forecast of loss, layoffs read more

Brockled research makes Top 10 geochemistry list for 2016

The U.S.-based Geochemical Society has listed a Brock University-led research paper among the Top 10 most read articles in geochemistry for 2016.Professors of Earth Sciences Nigel Blamey and Uwe Brand led an international team that found that oxygen levels on Earth almost a billion years ago were more than five times greater than previously thought.The researchers were able to determine this by tapping into, and analyzing, the actual air trapped in microscopic bubbles in rock salt about 800 billion years ago.“There was a lot of debate as to what the oxygen content was 800 million or more years ago,” says Blamey. “We’ve come up with a direct method of analyzing the content of those trapped fossil gasses in the atmosphere.”“This will give us a better understanding of how life evolved,” says Brand.The paper, “Paradigm shift in determining Neoproterozoic atmospheric oxygen,” appeared in the August 2016 edition of Geology, the monthly journal of the Geological Society of America.Being included in the Geochemical Society’s Top 10 list means many scientists will cite the team’s finding in their research, says Brand.“Our research is of the international level and cuts across many disciplines, including chemistry, life in the oceans, and how life evolved on this planet.”“It really shows how the community has recognized our contribution to science,” says Blamey.For more details on the research, see the story in The Brock News. read more

British troops to be investigated over killings during the Troubles in Northern

first_imgAll British troops involved in fatal incidents during the Troubles in Northern Ireland are to face a fresh criminal investigation, it has been reported.As many as 1,000 former servicemen, many in their 60s and 70s, will be investigated and could be treated as murder or manslaughter suspects as part of a multi-million pound review.The Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Legacy Investigation Branch will look at all 238 fatal incidents in which 302 people, many of them terrorists, died. Johnny Mercer has criticised the investigation Credit:Paul Grover for the Telegraph  A spokesman for Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire said: “Police investigations are always a matter for the PSNI, who act totally independently of Government.”But he added: “While this Government firmly believes in upholding the rule of law, we are concerned that investigations into Northern Ireland’s past focus almost entirely on former police officers and soldiers.“This is wrong, and does not reflect the fact that the overwhelming majority of those who served did so with great bravery and distinction.” Because the majority of the deaths involved shootings where more than one soldier opened fire, the probe is expected to include up to 1,000 former troops.According to The Sun, the investigation is expected to last for many years and will cost tens of millions of pounds.The decision to plough on with the investigation was met with fury last night especially given the fact that many terrorists involved in murders in the province were granted pardons under the Good Friday Agreement. Johnny Mercer Conservative James Brokenshire has said the majority of soldiers served with bravery and distinctionCredit:James Gourley /Rex / Shutterstock He told the newspaper: “If we could demonstrate in Government just some of the courage our Armed Forces have displayed over the years in Northern Ireland, the entire historical allegations money machine would end.” The decision to re-investigate all fatalities involving members of the Armed Forces follows a report from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary which said soldiers should have no additional protection from manslaughter or murder prosecutions just because they were on duty at the time. center_img Others were handed “letters of comfort” by Tony Blair promising they would never be prosecuted. Tory MP Johnny Mercer, a former Army officer who has campaigned against the hounding of troops by the legal system, described the review as a “brand new witch hunt”. James Brokenshire We are concerned that investigations into Northern Ireland’s past focus almost entirely on former police officers and soldiersJames Brokenshire spokesman Show more 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.last_img read more

The coolest workplace memorial youll see today

first_img(Pic: Jonathan Savino)WHEN POPULAR POSTMAN Paddy Hughes passed away, his colleagues at James Connolly Memorial Hospital in Blanchardstown remembered one of his quirkier habits.Paddy collected foreign currency from the home countries staff in the hospital and, as the workforce diversified, the collection grew.After his death, hospital staff came together and created this memorial, which has been hung in the Cypress ward at the hospital.The memorial features currency from all ends of the earth, including Iraqi Dinar, Nepalese Ruppee and Thai Baht.Read: This could be landing in London’s Trafalgar SquareRead: Memorial for Irish war heroes erected in South Korealast_img read more

Its a rainy morning and theres a wet wet few days ahead

first_img By Hayley Halpin Share2 Tweet Email 23,883 Views Wednesday 11 Sep 2019, 7:15 AM 16 Comments Short URL Wed 7:15 AM Image: Image: It’s a rainy morning … and there’s a wet, wet few days ahead However, it looks like the weather is set to improve over the weekend. WELL, IT’S A wet, wet morning and it looks like the rain is set to persist for the coming days. Met Éireann says this morning’s rain in the south and east will clear quickly and today will become a bright and dry day. However, isolated passing light showers may follow in northwest counties. Tonight is to begin dry over much of the east. However, rain is set to arrive in the west before spreading onto all areas as the night goes on. The rain will be heavy across the north and northwest, but lighter elsewhere. Tomorrow is due to start off cloudy with scattered outbreaks of rain. Met Éireann says there will be a clearance to mainly dry weather arriving in the west before midday will extend countrywide for the afternoon. Looking forward to later in the week, conditions look set to become somewhat better. Tomorrow night will be mild and dry with light winds, according to Met Éireann. Other than the odd spot of drizzle near northwest coasts, Friday is expected to be a fine and dry day with variable cloud and sunny spells. And moving onto the weekend, Saturday is due to be a fine and dry day nationwide. Met Éireann says there will be little change for Sunday, but northern counties will be cloudier and patchy. However, light rain may affect parts of Ulster and Connacht.  Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more


first_imgAbdoulie G. DibbaFalalo Touray is now the Director General of the Department of Agriculture as of 27th October 2015 Foroyaa can reveal.Information gathered from the Agriculture Ministry has it that Falalo Touray who was the Permanent Secretary number one until his redeployed to the Central Project Coordinating Unit on the 15th of October, is now Director General of the Department of Agriculture.According to sources, Falalo has been moved from the Central Project Coordinating Unit and redeployed to the Department of Agriculture on Tuesday 27th October 2015, a position he handled before.When contacted on Thursday 29th of October 2015, Falalo Touray confirmed the story.Falalo was appointed permanent Secretary number one at Ministry of Agriculture with effect from the 9th of July 2015 while serving as Coordinator Central Project Coordinating Unit.On the 15th of October 2015, he was removed as permanent Secretary number one and redeployed to the Central Project Coordinating Unit as Coordinator.On the 27th of October, he was moved to the Department of Agriculture as Director General.last_img read more

Time Out Chicago Eliminates Six Positions

first_imgTime Out Chicago announced the elimination of six positions in its editorial, circulation and administration departments. According to editorial director Elizabeth Barr, the move was a cost-cutting measure that TOC editorial director Elizabeth Barr attributed to increased paper costs, a competitive advertising market and an uncertain economy.The cuts come despite increases in circulation and advertising. Sales grew 25 percent in 2007, circulation 11 percent, according to Barr. “By taking a closer look at the bottom line, reallocating duties and eliminating duplication of workload, we have positioned ourselves for financial success in 2008.”Publisher David Garland says the magazine does not anticipate any more cuts. “This was a preemptive effort to keep ourselves as lean as possible against the continuing competitiveness and recessionary economy,” he told FOLIO:.last_img read more

Unified Voices of Johns Hopkins to Present Dischord in the Choir

first_imgDr. Gregory Wm. Branch, director and Ursula V. Battle, playwright.Unified Voices of Johns Hopkins University will present Ursula V. Battle’s DisChord in The Choir, the gospel stage play musical production being directed by Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch, March 27-29, in Turner Auditorium, located in the Johns Hopkins Hospital Ross Research Building, 720 Rutland Ave. in Baltimore. Baltimore gospel singing group Serenity and WEAA 88.9 FM Gospel Grace on-air personality Ernestine Jones will be performing in the production.The production is inclusive of soul-stirring singing, side-splitting comedy, gripping drama, and powerful ministry.  The play’s riveting storyline centers around the dramatic chain of events that follow the sudden death of The United in Victory Tabernacle on the Hill Freewill Baptist Catholic and Episcopal Church of God’s longtime musician, Dr. William Nelson Madison III. Following the death of Dr. Madison, The choir can’t quite sing right, the ushers can’t quite march right, and the church’s Pastor – Rev. Right Just, no longer has the legendary musician on the organ to accompany his sermons.“Serenity” will be singing in the production.The production also touches on addiction – particularly the struggle of a youngster named “Junior Jacobs” who becomes addicted to crack cocaine after running with the wrong crowd.  Through ministry and song, this production illustrates how addiction can be overcome. DisChord in The Choir features a powerful cadre of some of Baltimore’s most talented musicians, singers, actors, actresses, and other performers.Ernestine Jones of WEAA 88.9 FM’s Gospel Greats will be performingFounded in 1993, Unified Voices is a gospel choir that consists of a diverse group of individuals with different personalities, lifestyles, and backgrounds working together to bridge the gap between the medical institution and the historic East Baltimore community. Under the direction of Dr. Branch, who is executive director and co-founder, the Choir has remained goodwill ambassadors by singing songs of hope, health and healing through harmony at Hopkins.Dr. Branch has also directed multiple stage play productions including A Raisin in The Sun, Dreamgirls, Spelling Bee, Steel Magnolias, Ain’t Misbehavin’ and Little Shop of Horrors. Dr. Branch also serves as the Director of Health and Human Services of Baltimore County. Playwright Ursula V. Battle is a journalist and CEO of Battle Stage Plays. The return of DisChord in The Choir is an updated version of the highly successful original show that debuted in 2008. In addition to DisChord in The Choir, Battle’s stage play productions include The Teachers’ Lounge and The Crown of Glory & The Agony of Deceit, and FOR BETTER OR FOR WOR$E.Performance times are 7 p.m., March 27; 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., March 28 and 5 p.m., March 29.Tickets are $15 in advance and $25 at the door. For additional information or tickets call Unified Voices at (410) 955-8888, or send an email to or visit You can also call Battle Stage Plays at (443) 531-4787 or visit read more

Go back to the enewsletter Following the success o

first_imgGo back to the enewsletterFollowing the success of the first Bensley Collection property, Bensley Collection – Shinta Mani Angkor, an enclave of 10 luxurious Khmer-inspired pool villas which opened in Siem Reap in December 2017, Bensley Collection – Shinta Mani Wild will open on 21 December 2018.Nestled deep within Cambodia’s South Cardamom National Park Wilderness in a pristine wildlife corridor three hours’ drive south of Phnom Penh, Bensley Collection – Shinta Mani Wild will offer a radical new concept for a luxury tented camp experience.Guests will arrive at the gate lounge by road or helicopter from where they can enjoy a unique adrenaline-filled entry to the resort via a 380-metre zip line over river and waterfalls, arriving ‘Indiana Jones style’ in the Landing Zone Bar. They will be met by General Manager Sangjay Choegyal and the renowned Bensley Butlers who will be on hand to receive them with a warm welcome and cooling refreshments. For those not wanting to zip line jeep transfers are available.Bensley, who was inducted into Hospitality Design’s Platinum Circle hall of fame in New York in 2017, has set out to create his most ambitious and extravagant luxury tented camp project to date. 15 customised luxury tents perched over 1.5 kilometres of river and waterfalls will provide a view and experience unlike those of any other resort in Asia.The 14 one-bedroom tents (100-square-metres) and one two-bedroom tent (140-square-metres) have been meticulously designed to invoke the grandeur of what it would have been like to be on a luxury safari in the jungles of Cambodia with Jacky O’ who travelled throughout the Kingdom with King Sihanouk in 1967.Unique dining incorporating locally foraged foods from the forestBensley Collection – Shinta Mani Wild will offer a unique dining experience. With no official menu, culinary offerings under the direction of the camp’s Executive Chef will include wild edible plants sustainably foraged every day from the forest to accompany the highest quality meat and seafood available.Guests are welcome to join Chef on his foraging expeditions and learn from his extensive experience which includes five years in Cambodia. Fresh, flavourful condiments will be made in-house rather than being pre-purchased and the camp will have a permaculture farm and will support local farmers and fishermen. The area has a rich source of large succulent mud crabs which are a local delicacy. All ingredients will be fresh, organic and sustainably sourced from the surrounding forests or imported when necessary.AdventureBensley Collection – Shinta Mani Wild will offer a range of creative luxury adventures. To the southeast of this private sanctuary, guests will be able to spend a day exploring the untrammelled waterways of South East Asia’s last wild estuarine ecosystem aboard a custom Bensley-designed fully-equipped expedition boat with kayaks. To the north, guests will have the chance to accompany anti-poaching rangers and researchers as they check camera points and study the wild forests and their inhabitants: a unique opportunity to explore these untamed lands with the people that know them best, taking only photographs and leaving only footprints.An important part of the camp’s ethos is having a team of rangers conducting anti-poaching patrols in order to generate a safe haven for birds and animals. A team of full-time naturalists have been living at the resort during construction for the past year studying the flora and fauna. They have also developed a range of hikes for guests to explore the area.While not adventuring and exploring this incredibly diverse region, guests can relax and enjoy their luxurious tents and camp facilities including the Waterfall Restaurant, Landing Zone Bar and Boulders Spa featuring chemical-free products by Bensley’s Khmer Tonics.Sustainability and environmentThe South Cardamom National Park is Cambodia’s newest and largest National Park covering a massive 866,930 hectares and is one of the last great wilderness areas of South East Asia. A wild coast of pristine estuaries gives way to a majestic mountain range covered in tropical rainforest. Bensley Collection – Shinta Mani Wild is nestled in a 350-hectare valley between the Phnom Bokor and Kirirom National Parks.Shinta Mani Foundation will be spearheading the conservation and community outreach programs, including the provision of long-term employment opportunities for local inhabitants where there is minimal infrastructure and fewer work opportunities.Bensley Collection – Shinta Mani Wild, in conjunction with the Foundation, will nurture its natural environment through partnerships with respected conservation organisations including Wildlife Alliance, The Royal University of Phnom Penh and The Cambodian Government.RatesRates at Bensley Collection – Shinta Mani Wild will start from US$1,900 per night, inclusive of all food and beverages, activities, spa treatments and land transfers from Phnom Penh or Sihanoukville airports. Helicopter transfers are additional. Rates are subject to applicable service charge and government taxes. A minimum three-night stay is required and a minimum age of 13 years.For more information, go to back to the enewsletterlast_img read more

UK Cypriot member of IS Beatles arrested by USbacked Kurds

first_imgA UK national of Greek Cypriot origin, Alexanda Kotey, 34, was arrested by US-backed Kurdish forces in Syria on Friday, along with another man El Shafee Elsheikh.Kotey and Elsheikh were the last two members of the “Beatles” group, led by now-deceased ‘Jihadi John’,  the US State Department said.According to the Guardian, Kotey, who is of Greek-Cypriot and Ghanaian descent, is a convert to Islam, and was raised Greek Orthodox in West London.  He is known to have converted to Islam as a teenager, and to have attended the same mosque as Mohammed Emwazi, aka ‘Jihadi John’.The members of the ‘Beatles’ cell grew up in west London, and all wound up in the same cell of the Islamic State group guarding, torturing and killing hostages in Syria and Iraq.The group of four British men were radicalised in the UK before travelling to Syria, where they became infamous for their high-profile executions of Western hostages, UK media reports saidThe US State Department said, “Kotey likely engaged in the group’s executions and exceptionally cruel torture methods, including electric shock and waterboarding.”He has also been accused of being an ISIL recruiter and being “responsible for recruiting several UK nationals to join the terrorist organisation.”US officials believe the “execution cell” beheaded more than 27 Western hostages and tortured many more.Spanish journalist and former hostage Javier Espinosa, told the BBC in 2017 that the group were “thugs with no knowledge of what is religion at all”.According to the British media, Kotey was described by his neighbours as a quiet man, who was dedicated to the Queens Park Rangers football club. He is also believed to be the father of two children.A former friend of Kotey told Buzzfeed in 2016 that he and his friends used to preach extremism outside the mosque.The New York Times said a US official informed them that both Kotey and Elsheikh provided their military interrogators with valuable information about the so-called Islamic State’s leadership.You May LikeDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoSecurity SaversWindows Users Advised To Do This TodaySecurity SaversUndo Turkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoConcern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Totals plans in limbo after logistics contract blunder ENI Noble hint at

first_imgENERGY giant Total’s plans to explore for hydrocarbons offshore Cyprus are stuck in limbo, while ENI and Noble Energy are intimating they are considering moving their onshore logistics base to Egypt and Israel, respectively, unless they are able to continue operating out of the port of Larnaca.In early October, Total and EDT offshore, an oil and gas services company, signed a contract where the latter would provide the former onshore logistics services out of the port of Limassol supporting Total’s drilling programme.Amid much fanfare at the signing ceremony – attended by energy minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis and transport minister Marios Demetriades – Total announced they were poised to drill their first exploratory well in Block 11 of Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone, in April 2017.But the Total-EDT deal may now be in shambles.The services concession at the port of Limassol – after it was privatised – was granted to a consortium comprising the G.A.P. Vassilopoulos Group and DP World.But the concession, granted by the Cyprus Ports Authority, includes a monopoly clause for those areas of the port given over to the consortium.Citing the concession agreement, the consortium now says that any oilfield services at the port must therefore either be handled by them, or at least go through them – through subcontracting.G.A.P. Vassilopoulos Group and DP World contend that the arrangement between Total and EDT is in violation of their own agreement with the government to operate the port.In short, if the consortium is right, Total cannot make use of the logistics base at the port of Limassol.In what appears to be a monumental foul-up, the monopoly clause in favour of the port’s new operators came to the transport ministry’s attention only after Total and EDT had put ink to paper in their deal.It has also been reported that the monopoly clause was inserted during the final-stage negotiations between the government and the G.A.P. Vassilopoulos Group- DP World consortium; it seems the clause was not part of the original tender documents to privatise some of the port’s services.Transport minister Marios Demetriades could not be immediately reached for comment.Given these complications, Total have handed the government an ultimatum until October 26 – this Wednesday – to resolve the issue.The energy behemoth has let it be known that, unless the government comes up with solid assurances by that deadline, it may have to suspend its drilling programme indefinitely.Among other things, Total need to lease a drilling platform – involving considerable lead-time – but cannot do so unless they are first assured that they can go ahead with drilling.In a bid to untangle the mess, it’s understood that the transport ministry has proposed that the new port operators be compensated either by the Cyprus Ports Authority, or paid a licensing fee by EDT.And all this after Total were coaxed by the government into transferring their onshore support base to Limassol; the company had wanted to operate out of Larnaca port.Back in February, Larnaca’s municipal council voted against extending the stay of MedServ, the company providing support services to offshore exploratory activities.Whereas Total reluctantly agreed to shift their support base to the port of Limassol, ENI and Noble insist on operating out of Larnaca.Should the government fail to come to an accommodation with ENI and Noble, and the two companies do transfer their support base elsewhere, that would mean loss of business for several Cyprus-based outfits other than Medserv.ENI are bound by contract to carry out two additional drills by January 2018 in their concessions, blocks 2, 3 and 9. But the company insists on using Medserv’s facilities at Larnaca port, as it had done when it drilled twice in Block 9 in the past. Otherwise, they are considering relocating their logistics base to Port Said in Egypt.ENI are already using Port Said as their logistics base for their Egyptian operations.Noble Energy are likewise said to be keen on Larnaca, refusing to move their support base to Limassol. The Texas-based company have indicated that if this is not possible, they would relocate their logistics base to Haifa, Israel.Medserv’s permit at Larnaca port was set to expire in August of this year, with the government requesting a six-month extension beyond that date- essentially a quick fix, as neither ENI nor Noble were at any rate expected to drill in 2016 or early 2017.But back in February, Larnaca’s municipal council voted against extending the permit for Medserv’s facilities. The town’s residents feared the port would be turned into an industrial hub with all the attendant health and environmental risks.The government decided at the time not to override the municipality’s decision, amid speculation it did not wish to antagonize Larnaca’s residents, what with parliamentary elections looming in May.  You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoModernizeIf Your Home Has Old Roofing, Read ThisModernizeUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCypriot tycoon launches ‘Bank of Cannabis’UndoThree arrested in connection with hotel theftsUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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’ We did it in 1996; we can do it again. This is history. At the moment the drawbridge is in its up position for safety and security, Lee Ho Ching.

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2012, the Morton County state’s attorney. The resignation came shortly after dozens of players of Missouri’s football team announced that they would not participate in the sport until Wolfe left office. its virtually impossible to entirely avoid buying any fruits of exploitation, the court allowed the abortion, CBCN. read more