Champions League: Salah shines for Liverpool, PSG and Napoli play out thrilling draw

first_imgMohamed Salah put aside any doubts about his form after bagging a brace in Liverpool’s 4-0 thrashing of Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League on Wednesday.Salah’s goals were sandwiched between Roberto Firmino’s opener in the 20th minute and Sadio Mane’s 80th minute strike at Anfield.Salah’s finish from a Xherdan Shaqiri put Liverpool 2-0 up and then the Egyptian scored his second from a penalty after the break to help Liverpool go 3-0 up in the 51st minute.Salah now has six goals from 13 games and it also made him the fastest Liverpool player to score 50 goals for the club.50 @LFC goals in just 65 games.A #UCL night that won’t be forgotten in a hurry by @MoSalah! pic.twitter.com/7w4ReR0jcWUEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) October 24, 2018Salah reached the 50-goal mark in 65 games – 12 faster than the previous record holder Albert Stubbins, who set the record in the 1940s.Salah’s form was a cause of concern despite Liverpool’s positive start to the season as he and his fellow attackers have been nowhere near the form they showed last season.The Egyptian didn’t’ score in four games prior to the Champions League clash and doubts were raised regarding him getting anywhere near his 44 goals across all competitions last season.Swiss international Shaqiri, a close-season signing from relegated Stoke City, was seen by many as a squad player but he is showing the kind of creativity allied with work-rate that could earn him more playing time than expected.advertisementShaqiri, a Kosovo-Albanian, caused controversy during the World Cup with an eagle gesture goal celebration against Serbia.The smattering of Red Star fans at Anfield, defying the UEFA ban on the club’s travelling support, jeered the midfielder whenever he touched the ball and a much more hostile reception would be likely for him in the return game on November 6.PSG 2 – 2 NAPOLI@en_sscnapoli @TTuchelofficial: “If you score in the last minutes, you always win something.” #PSGNAP#AllezParis pic.twitter.com/x3N7dsR5yjParis Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) October 24, 2018Angel Di Maria curled in a stoppage-time equaliser as Paris Saint-Germain twice came from behind to force a 2-2 draw at home to Napoli in a pulsating Champions League tie.Napoli went ahead in the Group C game with a Lorenzo Insigne goal in the 29th minute before PSG, who have won their opening 10 games in Ligue 1, levelled when Mario Rui deflected into his own goal in the 61st minute.An opportunist goal by Dries Mertens put Napoli back in front in the 77th minute but they were denied a shock win when Di Maria collected the ball on the edge of the area and curled a delightful effort past David Ospina in the third minute of stoppage time.Napoli have five points from three games and PSG are on four with Liverpool top with six.(With inputs from Reuters)last_img read more

Complete list of Narendra Modi cabinet with names and detailed portfolios

first_imgAmit Shah is India’s new home minister and Rajanth Singh the new defence minister. This announcemnet was made a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the oath of office from President Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhavan at a gala ceremony attended by nearly 8,000 people, including foreign dignitaries. Besides him, other cabinet ministers were also sworn in.With this, speculations on who will make it to the second Modi government have also come to rest. Since May 23 when results of the 2019 Lok Sabha election were announced and BJP returned to power with a thumping majority (303 seats on its own and 353 with NDA partners), various names have come up as possible ministers in the new Modi government.For his second term, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reposed trust on many ministers who were part of his first government. These names include Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Sadananda Gowda, Nirmala Sitharaman among others.On Wednesday, Arun Jaitley, who served as the finance minister in the first Modi government, requested PM Modi that he should not be given any responsibility in the new government due to his poor health.ALSO READ | Amit Shah joins Modi govt: What changes and what may now worry Team Modi-ShahSushma Swaraj, another senior BJP leader who held the portfolio of external affairs, is no longer part of the Modi government due to health reasons. At present, Sushma Swaraj is not a member of the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha. She did not contest the 2019 Lok Sabha election citing health reasons.advertisement Prime Narendra Modi’s image used in the poster above was clicked by India Today’s Group Photo Editor (Bandeep Singh who tweets at @junglelight). The poster has been illustrated by Deepak Verma.(Click photo for a zoomed version.)Meanwhile, former foreign secretary S Jaishankar, who is not a member of the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha, has also been inducted into the Modi government.Here is the full list of cabinet ministers in the second Modi government.CABINET MINISTERSS.No.NAMEPORTFOLIO1Narendra ModiPrime Minister and also in-charge of: Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions; Department of Atomic Energy; Department of Space; andAll important policy issues; and all other portfolios not allocated to any Minister2Amit ShahHome Minister3Rajnath SinghDefence Minister4Nitin GadkariMinister of Road Transport and Highways; and Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises5Sadananda GowdaMinister of Chemicals and Fertilizers6Nirmala SitharamanFinance Minister, and Minister of Corporate Affairs7Ram Vilas PaswanMinister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution8Narendra Singh TomarMinister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare; Minister of Rural Development; and Minister of Panchayati Raj9Ravi Shankar PrasadMinister of Law and Justice; Minister of Communications; and Minister of Electronics and Information Technology10Harsimrat Kaur BadalMinister of Food Processing Industries11S JaishankarMinister of External Affairs12Ramesh Nishank PokhriyalMinister of Human Resource Development13Thawar Chand GahlotMinister of Social Justice and Empowerment14Arjun MundaMinister of Tribal Affairs15Smriti IraniMinister of Women and Child Development; and Minister of Textiles16Harsh VardhanMinister of Health and Family Welfare;Minister of Science and Technology; and Minister of Earth Sciences17Prakash JavadekarMinister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change; and Minister of Information and Broadcasting18Piyush GoyalMinister of Railways; andMinister of Commerce and Industry19Dharmendra PradhanMinister of Petroleum and Natural Gas; and Minister of Steel20Mukhtar Abbas NaqviMinister of Minority Affairs21Pralhad JoshiMinister of Parliamentary Affairs;Minister of Coal; and Minister of Mines22Mahendra Nath PandeyMinister of Skill Development andEntrepreneurship23Arvind SawantMinister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprise24Giriraj SinghMinister of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries25Gajendra Singh ShekhawatMinister of Jal ShaktiMinisters of State (Independent Charge)26Santosh GangwarMinister of State (Independent Charge) ofthe Ministry of Labour and Employment27Rao Indrajit SinghMinister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Statistics and ProgrammeImplementation; and Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Planning.28Shreepad NayakMinister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH); and Minister of State in the Ministry of Defence29Jitendra SinghMinister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region; Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office; Minister of State in the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions; Minister of State in the Department of Atomic Energy; and Minister of State in the Department of Space30Kiren RijijuMinister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Minority Affairs31Prahlad Singh PatelMinister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Culture; and Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Tourism32RK SinghMinister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Power; Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship33Hardeep Singh PuriMinister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs; Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Civil Aviation; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry34Mansukh MandaviyaMinister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Shipping; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Chemicals and FertilizersMINISTERS OF STATE35Faggan Singh KulasteMinister of State in the Ministry of Steel36Ashwini ChaubeyMinister of State in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare37Gen (retd) VK SinghMinister of State in the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways38Kishan Pal GujjarMinister of State in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment39Danve Raosaheb DadaraoMinister of State in the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution40G. Kishan ReddyMinister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs41Parshottam RupalaMinister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare42Ramdas AthawaleMinister of State in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment43Sadhvi Niranjan JyotiMinister of State in the Ministry of Rural Development44Babul SupriyoMinister of State in the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change45Sanjeev Kumar BalyanMinister of State in the Ministry of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries46Dhotre Sanjay ShamraoMinister of State in the Ministry of Human Resource Development; Minister of State in the Ministry ofCommunications; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology47Anurag Singh ThakurMinister of State in the Ministry of Finance; and Minister of State in the Ministry of CorporateAffairs48Angadi Suresh ChannabasappaMinister of State in the Ministry of Railways49Nityanand RaiMinister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs50V MuraleedharanMinister of State in the Ministry of External Affairs; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs51Renuka Singh SarutaMinister of State in the Ministry of Tribal Affairs52Som ParkashMinister of State in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry53Rameswar TeliMinister of State in the Ministry of Food Processing Industries54Pratap Chandra SarangiMinister of State in the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries55Kailash ChoudharyMinister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare56Debasree ChaudhuriMinister of State in the Ministry of Women and Child Development57Arjun Ram MeghwalMinister of State in the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises58Rattan Lal KatariaMinister of State in the Ministry of Jal Shakti; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Social Justice and EmpowermentALSO READ | Modi oath-taking: The day Raisina Hill turned Capitol HilladvertisementadvertisementALSO READ | Narendra Modi takes oath, becomes PM Narendra Modi againALSO READ | Amit Shah likely to be finance minister, JP Nadda front runner for BJP chief: SourcesALSO WATCH | Narendra Modi takes oath as Prime Minister for second timelast_img read more

NEW FACES ELECTED TO CITY COUNCIL & SCHOOL BOARD

first_imgBOTH THE CITY COUNCIL AND SCHOOL BOARD OF SIOUX CITY WILL HAVE SOME NEW FACES FOLLOWING TUESDAY’S MUNICIPAL ELECTION.CHALLENGER JULIE SCHOENHERR DEFEATED TWO TERM COUNCILWOMAN RHONDA CAPRON TO WIN A TERM ON THE CITY COUNCIL.MAYOR BOB SCOTT HAD NO TROUBLE RETAINING HIS POSITION ON THE COUNCIL, EASILY DEFEATING CHALLENGER MARIA RUNDQUIST.FOUR NEW FACES WILL SOON BEGIN SERVING ON THE SIOUX CITY SCHOOL BOARD.DAN GREENWELL TOPPED THE FIELD OF SIX CANDIDATES WITH AROUND 22 PER CENT OF THE VOTE, THE ONLY CANDIDATE, TO RECEIVE AT LEAST 20 PER CENT.JULINE ALBERT, MONIQUE SCARLETT AND TAYLOR GOODVIN WERE THE OTHER THREE WINNERS.MIYUKI NELSON, THE ONLY SITTING BOARD MEMBER TO RUN AND SHAUN BROYHILL FINISHED OUT OF THE RUNNING.UNOFFICIALLY, 13,028 PEOPLE VOTED IN THE SCHOOL BOARD ELECTION AND SLIGHTLY FEWER IN THE CITY COUNCIL AND MAYORAL ELECTION, JUST OVER A 26% TURNOUT.last_img read more

Mata: I want to be like Ryan Giggs

first_imgManchester United Mata open to new Man Utd contract as he seeks to emulate Giggs Chris Burton Last updated 1 year ago 21:37 11/23/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Juan Mata Manchester United Getty Images Manchester United Premier League The Spain international would welcome the opportunity to discuss fresh terms at Old Trafford as he is eager to continuing playing until he is 40 Juan Mata would be open to signing a new contract at Manchester United as he wants to compete at the highest level until he is 40.The Spain international is currently tied to the Red Devils until the summer of 2018, although there is a 12-month extension option in that agreement.Mata 15/8 to score v Brighton Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player United are likely to trigger that clause, but fresh terms could also be tabled to keep the 29-year-old at Old Trafford.Mata admits he is prepared to open negotiations, with there a desire on his part to emulate the achievements of club legend Ryan Giggs.He told ESPN FC when pressed on whether he could pen a new deal: “Why not? I’m 29 and, hopefully, I can play football for some more years.“It would be great to play until I’m 40 like Ryan Giggs. But that’s still a bit far, still 11 years.Juan Mata Manchester United contract“I’m happy here. The club is massive, the support we have is massive. I’ve been settled down in the city since year one. Now it’s my fourth year in Manchester.“You never know what can happen in football and in life. But my feeling now is that I’m happy here and I wouldn’t have any problem continuing here for more time.”While fully focused on his playing career for now, and the foreseeable future, Mata has also admitted that he intends to stay in football when the time comes to hang up his boots.As a World Cup and European Championship winner, and a man who has graced the books at Valencia, Chelsea and United, he has plenty of knowledge to pass on in a coaching or managerial capacity.Mata added on the path he plans to tread: “If you had asked me a few years ago whether I wanted to be a manager, I would say no.“I think every footballer, after 20 years playing football, the first thing that comes to your mind is to relax. One, two years gap and do other things in life and enjoy other hobbies you might have.“Right now, with years of understanding the game better, understand more the tactical approach or communicate with team-mates, how to motivate them, I wouldn’t say no to becoming a manager but I don’t know.”last_img read more

Rashid Khan to play vs Sydney Thunder in honour of late father, confirm Adelaide Strikers

first_imgRashid Khan to play vs Sydney Thunder in honour of late father, confirm Adelaide StrikersRashid Khan lost his father on Sunday and the Afghanistan spinner wrote a heart-wrenching post on social mediaadvertisement India Today Web Desk AdelaideDecember 31, 2018UPDATED: December 31, 2018 11:10 IST Rashid Khan decided to step out onto the cricket field to honour his late father (@StrikersBBL Photo)HIGHLIGHTSAfghanistan spinner Rashid Khan’s father died on SundayRashid posted a heart-wrenching post on social mediaRashid’s family have asked that their privacy is respectedRashid Khan will play in the Big Bash League after his passed away on Sunday, the Afghanistan spinner’s team Adelaide Strikers said in a statement.”The Adelaide Strikers advise that Rashid Khan wants to play in tonight’s match against the Sydney Thunder at Adelaide Oval in honour of his late father,” the media release said.”Rashid’s father passed away last night and Rashid has decided that he will stay in Adelaide and play tonight (Monday).”The Strikers give their condolences and full support to Rashid and his family during this difficult time.”The family have asked that their privacy is respected.”Rashid poured his heart out in a moving post on social media on Saturday.”Today I lost the most important person in my life, father-the everlasting candle. Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un. Now I know why u always asked me to be strong, bcz u knew that today I would need the strength to bear your loss. Will be always in my *prayer emoji*. I miss u,” Rashid posted on social media.Rashid has represented Afghanistan in one Test, 52 ODIs and 35 T20Is.Also Read | Proud parents: Rohit Sharma and Ritika Sajdeh blessed with a baby girlAlso Read | Watch: MS Dhoni and Ziva play in the sand. Sakshi captures adorable momentAlso Read | MS Dhoni is Bittu Bhaiya in advertisement with Hardik Pandya: Fans can’t keep calmFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Tags :Follow Rashid KhanFollow Adelaide StrikersFollow Sydney ThunderFollow Big Bash LeagueFollow BBLlast_img read more

Divers Working to Secure Golden Ray Spill near Brunswick

first_imgzoomImage Courtesy: St. Simons Sound Response Salvage workers have removed over 106,101 gallons of fuel from the capsized car carrier Golden Ray as of October 1, according to the United States Coast Guard.Following earlier reports of oil discharge, the St. Simons Sound Incident Unified Command (UC) deployed divers to locate and secure the source of the spill.Skimming vessels continued to recover oil from the water while survey teams monitor shoreline impacts.The officials added that the operations to lighter the vessel are ongoing. The UC has 14,700 feet of containment boom deployed to protect sensitive areas, while cleanup personnel and equipment “are strategically staged and ready to respond to any impacted shoreline.”“The Unified Command has maintained a posture to be able to rapidly respond to any discharges from the vessel, including by skimming, booming, and shoreline cleanup,” said Chris Graff of Gallagher Marine Systems.“We’re now using these preparations to implement a rapid and thorough cleanup of impacted areas.”Specialists continue to actively monitor air and water quality around the vessel, Jekyll Island, and St. Simons Island.“Department of Natural Resources and the entire Unified Command are deeply concerned by any pollution impacts. UC teams are on scene to respond to discharged oil and work quickly and safely to protect the St. Simons Sound,” Jed Hewitt, Georgia Environmental Protection Division, said.Image Courtesy: St. Simons Sound Responselast_img read more

Even paan ki dukaan is run better says IndiGo copromoter Gangwal

first_imgNEW DELHI: Differences between the promoters of the country’s largest airline IndiGo came into public on Tuesday with Rakesh Gangwal alleging serious governance lapses by co-founder Rahul Bhatia who had earlier termed his demands as unreasonable. With the issues brewing for nearly a year, Gangwal has sought markets regulator Sebi’s intervention to address the problems. In a filing to the stock exchanges, InterGlobe Aviation, the parent form of IndiGo, said its board of directors has received a letter from Gangwal and Sebi has also sought a response on the letter. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepThe markets regulator has been probing the matter since reports surfaced about differences between the promoters in May, sources said. “Sebi has in the meantime asked the company to give its response to this letter by July 19, 2019, with which the company will comply,” the filing said. Alleging that the company has “started veering off” from the core principles and values of governance, Gangwal has said that even a “paan ki dukaan” (betel shop) would have managed matters with more grace. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to CustomsFlagging concerns about certain questionable Related Party Transactions (RPTs), Gangwal said the shareholders’ agreement provides his long-time friend Bhatia unusual controlling rights over IndiGo. “Beyond just questionable Related Party Transactions, various fundamental governance norms and laws are not being adhered to and this is inevitably going to lead to unfortunate outcomes, unless effective measures are taken on Wednesday,” the letter said. Gangwal and his affiliates have around 37 per cent stake in InterGlobe Aviation while Bhatia and his affiliates (IGE Group) have about 38 per cent. After Gangwal wrote to the board seeking an extraordinary general meeting, Bhatia, on June 12, opposed the proposal. Bhatia wrote to the board alleging that the genesis of Gangwals’ angst was his “hurt ego” and refusal of IGE Group to entertain his “unreasonable demands”. In the June 12 letter, Bhatia alleged that Gangwal had an hidden agenda and had made a package proposal and was not willing to discuss the RPT issue in isolation. IndiGo is the country’s largest airline with a market share of 49 per cent at the end of May. The carrier has more than 200 planes and operates around 1,400 flights daily. Already, the aviation industry is grappling with multiple headwinds, including the shuttering of once-storied Jet Airways due to cash crunch. Rooted in a deep trust built over a decade-long friendship and no desire to have any meaningful control of the company, Gangwal said he had entered into a shareholders’ agreement that provides Bhatia unusual controlling rights over IndiGo. The IGE Group’s rights include those to appoint three out of six directors, nominate and appoint chairman, CEO, president as well as a voting arrangement that requires Gangwal and his affiliates to vote alongside the Group on appointment of directors, as per the letter. “While we aren’t questioning the independence of the current chairman in his decision making, we are questioning the designation of such an individual as ‘independent’. “The process of appointing an Independent Chairman at IndiGo is the classic ‘Hobson’s choice’ and a sophisticated way to circumvent Sebi rules…,” the letter said. In a statement on Tuesday, Gangwal said his letter lists out certain serious concerns regarding governance matters at IndiGo. “We are big believers in the long-term potential of IndiGo and its business and operational model. However, we also firmly believe that IndiGo can only realise its true potential and be a world class company if it has both – a world class business and operational model as well as world class governance standards,” the statement said.last_img read more

Moroccan Associations are Filling Gaps to Protect Domestic Violence Survivors

Rabat – Moroccan women face gender-based violence and harassment on a daily basis. In September of 2018, Morocco implemented law 103-13 combating violence against women. While the law, in theory, gives women more legal rights, it fails to provide adequate resources for women, long-term protection for survivors of domestic violence, or address societal stereotypes targeting victims of physical or sexual abuse.The preliminary results of the 2019 national survey by the Moroccan High Commission for Planning show that the rates of violence against women in Morocco stand at 54.4% nationwide. Violence against women in urban areas is 55.8%, while the rate of domestic violence in rural areas was slightly lower at 51.6%. The ministry conducted its nationwide survey between January 2 and March 10 of 2019.Despite alarming rates of domestic violence in both private and public places, the Minister of Family, Solidarity, Equality, and Social Development, Bassima Hakkaoui, stated that the percentage of victims of abuse or violence who filed a complaint against abusers is only 6.6%. This low value can be attributed to a lack of trust in police and the social shame tied to victims who report abuse. In 2018, Human Rights Watch reported that Morocco had less than 10 shelters that accept domestic violence survivors. All of the organizations are run by nongovernmental organizations and few receive government funding. Where government resources and laws fall short, Morocco’s women have established organizations and associations to fill the gaps.A Source of Hope in SaleMorocco World News visited the Wiam Association in Sale, Rabat’s neighboring city. The group dedicates its services to help women who are victims of abuse. Founded by Zahra Kounka in 2004, the association seeks to provide victims of abuse with resources and guidance in the face of trauma. A team of seven unpaid volunteers serve between 30 and 50 women in their offices every month.“We are very proud of our work because we are able to welcome women who have experienced abuse and provide them with resources,” said founder Zahra Kounka.The team of volunteers at the Wiam Association consists of a psychologist, legal aid, mediator, and several teachers. The association receives some funding from the Ministry of the Interior. Several generous donors, including the Danish embassy, also provide financial assistance.Lack of Women’s Shelters While women’s associations do receive some funding from donors and government programs, the funds are insufficient in terms of the numerous and growing problems surrounding violence against women in Morocco. There are no women’s shelters in Sale, and this is sadly representative of the rest of the country. Instead, women often go to associations or hospitals for help and then are forced to return to their abusers.Saida Kouzzi, the co-founder of the Moroccan women’s rights organization Mobilizing for Rights Associates, told Human Rights Watch, “Access to safe and stable housing is a serious problem for abused women and their children, who are often forced to flee their work and school, become homeless, or return to a violent situation.”Providing Opportunities for IndependenceUnable to provide shelter given its meager financial means, Wiam Association instead aspires to teach women how to work and ultimately achieve independence. In their office, along with a counseling room, workshop space, and several offices, there is also a large kitchen. Women can learn how to cook or make sweets in order to learn skills which will help them gain financial freedom. A week before Ramadan, the association’s kitchen was filled with women learning how to make chebakia, a traditional Moroccan sweet eaten during Ramadan. The session not only empowered the women to go home and provide for their families and themselves, but also gave them a chance to bond with and get to know other women who share their experiences.In addition to in-office services, the volunteers at Wiam also travel to other cities to educate women on their rights and help survivors make their own decisions. The association has several campaigns to register children without birth certificates, as well as an initiative at local schools to teach students the importance of respecting women. “Educational facilities like high schools and colleges need to teach students about violence against women. If we start changing minds at a young age, then the situation will improve,” said Kounka.Legal Limitations for SurvivorsAccording to the founder of Wiam, Zahra Kounka, although the law passed in September in theory increased protections, what Morocco truly needs is societal change. Victims of abuse in Morocco face legal, physical, mental, sexual, and financial abuse, yet are rarely protected when they seek help from police. “We need to make a much larger effort to stop violence against women. Even though there is a law in place, there is a lack of consciousness in Moroccan society regarding the topic,” said Kounka.The law requires survivors to file for criminal prosecution to obtain protection, which few can do. Many abusers bribe judges or shame the victims into dropping the case. The law also fails to outline the responsibilities of police, prosecutors, and judges in domestic violence cases, or to fund women’s shelters.When asked if a victim of abuse could reach out to police for help, Kounka sadly stated that if a woman tried to contact the police while facing abuse, she would have to call many times, and would likely get no response or protection. Within their communities, women face shame and judgment if they seek legal protection from their husbands, thus rarely ever end up going to court.For now, victims of abuse in Morocco have very little resources to escape violent relationships and protect themselves and their children. The few organizations led by Moroccan women, despite backlash and a lack of funding, do their utmost to protect domestic violence survivors. However, according to Kounka, if Morocco wants to stop violence against women it must start with the youth and through social campaigns work towards radical change in the laws protecting Moroccan women. read more

Cambodia UN rights expert voices concerns over freedom of expression

29 September 2010Defamation laws are being used disproportionately in Cambodia against journalists, activists and politicians, an independent United Nations human rights expert said today, warning against a narrowing of the political space in the South-East Asian country. Surya P. Subedi, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia, also voiced concern about issues related to land and housing rights and the narrowing of political space for members of the opposition.“There has been a disproportionate use of the law regarding defamation and disinformation against journalists, human rights activists and political leaders,” said Surya P. Subedi, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia.Presenting his report to the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council, Mr. Subedi acknowledged that Cambodia has made important advances in recent years in strengthening human rights, including the enactment of major new laws.At the same time, he noted that “Cambodia remains a complex country in terms of the protection and promotion of human rights, as democratization has not yet fully taken root.” The major areas of concern are those relating to access to land and housing rights, freedom of expression, and the challenges faced by the judiciary, he said, adding that they continue to dominate the legal and political landscape in Cambodia.The expert recommended a series of measures to strengthen the independence and capacity of the judiciary and the overall human rights situation.Mr. Subedi also voiced his concern about the narrowing of political space in Cambodia for those belonging to the opposition parties and other political activists, noting the conviction of the leader of the opposition, Sam Rainsy, since the submission of his report to the Council. He hoped that the conviction will be subject to appeal and urged that this be conducted with the utmost attention to due process and principles of fair trial. read more

FEATURE UNbacked projects in the Caribbean highlight connection between life on land

Leatherback turtles are the largest turtle species on Earth, growing up to seven feet long and weighing as much as 2,000 pounds. Their name comes from the soft shells on their backs. Photo: UN News/Lulu GaoEsther Vidale, Project Manager at Nature Seekers, monitors a leatherback turtle that has just laid her eggs. Leatherbacks are critical to marine eco-systems as they help keep jellyfish populations under control, thus contributing to the availability of fish stocks. Photo: UN News/Lulu GaoResidents and volunteers remove countless bottles during the annual clean-up held on Matura Beach prior to the start of turtle-nesting season. Nature Seekers says making the beach safe for both people and turtles has spurred a means to turn “trash into cash” by recycling the bottles to produce jewellery and other products. Photo: UN News/ Lulu GaoThe glass bottles collected during the beach clean-up are recycled into beads which local women string into bracelets, necklaces, anklets, keychains and other items sold under the brand Turtle Warrior. In this way, women who may not be able to participate in Nature Seekers’ turtle patrols can also contribute to conservation efforts. Photo: UN News/ Lulu Gao Nature Seekers, a community-based conservation group in Trinidad and Tobago, has played a key role in protecting leatherback turtles since 1990. < Previous Next > Meanwhile, people on the sister island of Tobago are also working to preserve the stunning environment that surrounds them. For example, community-based organizations located in the north-east are being empowered in co-managing natural resources.The region is rich in diverse eco-systems, with coastal communities bracketed between the Main Ridge Forest Reserve – the oldest on record, according to the UN cultural agency (UNESCO) – and the Caribbean Sea.Neila Bobb Prescott, of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), is Chief Technical Advisor for a national project funded by the GEF covering six sites throughout the country.“(In Tobago) The site that we are trying to improve management to is the North East Marine Tobago area, which is the home of the biggest brain coral in this part of the world,” she said. “We have just concluded studies showing that we have two species of endangered sharks there and the studies show that we have juvenile species, so there may be other reasons to pay attention to these areas.”For the past three years, the Environmental Research Institute Charlotteville (ERIC) has been supporting area residents in making informed decisions about their future through taking an active role in contributing to natural resource conservation. ERIC is another recipient of the GEF Small Grants Programme.Aljoscha Wothke, the group’s Director and CEO, said their activities include providing eco-diving training to a handful of local fishermen who then check and monitor reefs and sharks.“And at the same time, we train them to be community communicators because we believe that in small communities, people trust the people they grew up with much more than if they get messages from somewhere outside or messages that are dropped on them,” he added.Fisherman Welldon Mapp (left) has been working with the Environmental Research Institute Charlotteville (ERIC) in its three years of operation. The group supports communities in north-eastern Tobago to co-manage natural resources, including reefs. Mr. Mapp, 25, also engages with people in his hometown, Charlotteville, to get them to think about issues that have an impact on the natural environment such as climate change and overfishing. Photo: UN News/Lulu Gao Welldon Mapp is an example of this bottom-up approach.  The 25-year-old fisherman, “born and grown” in the fishing village of Charlotteville, is also an ERIC communicator, engaging his peers and neighbours in discussions on topics such as how climate change impacts on their livelihoods.He believes the messages are getting through.“You have dive boat operators changing from running the engines on all day to switching them off while they have customers.  You have the football coach asking students that came in late to practice to bring a plant to plant around the football field to enhance their community.  So people are changing slowly,” he stated. Conserving the marine environment is among the objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which seek to achieve a more just and equitable world for all people and the planet by a deadline of 2030.The ocean is vital to us because we are a small island developing StateSDG 14, Life Below Water, and the Ocean Conference, to be held from 5 to 9 June, has particular resonance for countries such as Trinidad and Tobago, a twin island nation in the Caribbean, according to Rissa Edoo with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in the capital, Port of Spain.“The ocean is vital to us because we are a small island developing State. Most of our resources are along our coast and most of our industry is also along our coast, so it is very important for us to understand the connection between life on land and life under water.”Ms. Edoo is the National Coordinator for the Global Environment Facility’s (GEF) Small Grants Programme, which has funded more than 100 projects since 1995.Among the recipients is Nature Seekers, a non-profit organization that has become a model for marine conservation in the Caribbean over the past 27 years.The group is based in Matura, a fishing village on Trinidad’s north-east coast, where nesting leatherback turtles were being slaughtered for their meat.  Today, the 2,000 residents proudly protect the female sea turtles that come to the local beach every March through August to lay their eggs.Leatherback turtles are the largest turtle species on Earth and can grow up to seven feet long and weigh up to 2,000 pounds.  Esther Vidale, Project Director at Nature Seekers, described them as a “keystone species” in the marine environment.“The leatherback turtles’ primary food source is jellyfish and they really keep the jellyfish population in check by eating their weight or more in jellyfish per day. And jellyfish feed on small fishes or fish eggs. So by keeping the jellyfish population in check through the leatherback turtles, we have a thriving fishing industry so that fisherfolks who use this as their livelihood, persons who just want to enjoy seafood cuisine, and all the industries and persons that are impacted by the use of fish, can now benefit: both in the ocean, and us as man as well.” When Nature Seekers began in 1990, up to 30 per cent of leatherback turtles that made it to Matura Beach were being maimed or killed by poachers.Suzan Lakhan Baptiste, the group’s Managing Director and driving force, recalled that the beach once resembled a “graveyard.”“I live in the community and when I went out onto the beach I saw all these huge turtles with just all the eggs in the stomach, with just a few pounds of shoulder meat missing. I remember seeing turtles with chops all over and no part thereof missing. And I said ‘I have to be a part of doing something and curbing this,’” she stated.Since then, Nature Seekers has educated the village of Matura about the importance of conservation and showed how the turtles are a resource that can enhance livelihoods.Residents have been trained as guides to patrol the beach to monitor the nesting leatherbacks which are tagged, measured and weighed, thus contributing to global research on the species.Matura has become an eco-tourism destination as the group also works on issues such as forest management and sustainable livelihoods, emphasizing what Ms. Edoo called “the ridge-to-reef connection.” Visitors can also purchase beaded bracelets, necklaces and other trinkets made from glass bottles collected during beach clean-ups, marketed under the brand Turtle Warrior.Today, the greatest threat to the leatherback turtles lies in the water as they can get entangled in fishing nets as bycatch, a term used to describe species caught inadvertently during commercial fishing.Through UNDP, Nature Seekers is exploring alternative fishing methods such as using Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs) which allow trapped turtles to escape from nets. read more

Van and truck market news – June 2007

Vans30,4371.6%170,0741.2% New van and truck registrations in the United Kingdom – 2007 June% changeYear-to-date % change Total34,6576.0%192,518– 3.1% CV registration growth continues thus confirming recoveryVans up 1.6% for June, up 2.0% for the rolling yearTrucks up 53.2% for June, down 21.3% for the rolling year Trucks4,22053.2%22,444– 26.9% ‘The good news on van and truck registrations continues for the third straight month,’ said Christopher Macgowan, SMMT chief executive. ‘For vans, the figures are good, with the medium and heavy sectors doing particularly well. For trucks, the distorting effects of the introduction of digital tachograph and Euro 4 standards are beginning to fade and orders are up. On that basis, we expect a return to the long-term average volumes, though supply constraints continue to complicate the picture.’DownloadClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more

Ratko Nikolic to Dinamo Minsk

← Previous Story Poor Balkan story: Bosnian fans reaction on Serbian anthem (PHOTO) Next Story → Jesper Noddesbo still far away from Danish NT Experienced Serbian line-player, Ratko Nikolić (35) joins Dinamo Minsk writes sportcorner.com.mk. Former Vardar Skopje player was without team in the first part of the season, but soon he will have a serious challenge on the line in the VELUX EHF Champions League. Ex-Serbian captain has played for Portland San Antonio in the EHF CL Final in 2006/2007 and KIF Kolding before he went back to Balkan.– After exausting season in Skopje, I wanted to rest a little bit and find a good team, where I will finish season with possibility to prolong to another six months – says Nikolić for sportcorner.com.mk Dinamo MinskRatko Nikolic read more

Hacked billboard displays Pirate Bay ad in Belgrade

first_imgAs far as technology has come in 2013, advertising hasn’t made too many noticeable advances. It has made leaps to different platforms, but aside from being able to scrape your browser history to see which category of products you’re most interested in, ads tend to stick to videos, product placement, or still imagery.Perhaps the biggest technological advancement an old advertising staple, the billboard, has made is that LED and LCD units can change ads on a timer. Even though this doesn’t seem like the most futuristic advancement, it allows billboards to be tampered with in such a way that isn’t simply spray painting some graffiti over the ad. Case in point, an electronic billboard in Serbia was hacked to display The Pirate Bay logo.The billboard was located in a prominent location, Republic Square in the center of Belgrade, which is not only Serbia’s capital, but also the country’s largest city. The hacked billboard displayed The Pirate Bay logo alongside Ghandi’s quote, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”A group of computer science students performed the hack simply to show that people should pay more attention to IT security. They said that in a world like ours where information is so readily available, one can easily learn simple hacking protocols, so higher security should be a focus. They said they feel that The Pirate Bay is the closest thing we have to an “apolitical independent worldwide organization” that believes in free speech and is against any kind of censorship.Aside from The Pirate Bay advertisement, the students also played some Space Invaders on the billboard (using a smartphone as the controller), as well as displaying a banner that read “hacking4fun.”Amusingly, Serbian media said Anonymous was responsible for the hack, but the students denied they were part of the collective. Check out a video of the team doing work, below. You might want to turn down the volume, unless you’re a big fan of aggressive electronic music that would stereotypically be associated with hackers.last_img read more

Les parcs éoliens feraient monter la température de la planète

first_imgLes parcs éoliens feraient monter la température de la planèteUne étude menée par le Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) révèle que la multiplication des parcs éoliens terrestres pourrait faire augmenter la température de la planète. Une tendance qui s’inverse avec les éoliennes installées en mer.Des chercheurs du MIT ont réalisé unemodélisation climatique qui leur a permis d’analyser l’impact de millions d’éoliennes sur le climat. Leur découverte est surprenante : développés pour réduire les émissions de gaz à effet de serre et enrayer le réchauffement climatique, les parcs éoliens à grande échelle pourraient paradoxalement entraîner une augmentation de la température de la Terre.Alors que les experts du climat recommandent de limiter ce réchauffement à 2°C pour éviter les pires scénarios, la température globale de la planète pourrait augmenter d’environ 1°C lorsque les éoliennes terrestres permettront de fournir 10% de la demande énergétique mondiale. Dans les régions où seront installées de nombreuses éoliennes, c’est de 0,15°C que la température augmentera.Cet effet est inversé avec les éoliennes offshores. Les chercheurs estiment en effet qu’une même densité de turbines installées en mer engendrerait une baisse de la température de 1°C.Les scientifiques expliquent qu’un trop grand nombre d’éoliennes réduirait la turbulence du vent et l’évacuation de la chaleur hors de la zone environnante, entraînant ainsi des changements de température. Toutefois, le MIT insiste sur un point : cette découverte ne doit pas devenir un argument anti-éolien, d’autant plus que ces recherches n’en sont qu’à leurs premiers balbutiements. “Nous ne sommes pas pessimistes quant à la technologie éolienne”, assure Ron Prinn, professeur de sciences atmosphériques. Et d’ajouter : “Nous n’avons absolument pas prouvé cet effet, et nous préférons attendre que d’autres équipes réalisent des études plus poussées”.Le 27 mars 2010 à 20:04 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Evergreen Public Schools event to showcase career, tech students

first_imgThe community is invited to a student showcase of career and technical education at Evergreen Public Schools.The showcase runs from 4:30 to 6 p.m. April 30 at Heritage High School, 7825 N.E. 130th Ave., Vancouver. Admission is free.Middle and high school students will show their classroom projects, covering topics such as game design, architecture, photography, medical science, robotics and manufacturing.last_img

California Title to Bump Up Circ by 20 Percent

first_img3Digit Media is increasing the circulation of 805 Living, a regional title serving California’s central coast, by 20 percent to 30,000 copies. The change will be effective with the January/February 2011 issue.According to CEO and publisher Carla Blanco, market demand was the driving force behind the circulation spike. “We have a 100 percent pickup rate on the newsstand and deliver all our magazines each month,” she says. “Santa Barbara [California] is a market where there is growth potential so it makes sense to distribute more copies than we currently deliver into that portion of the ‘805’ area.”Even with the circ bump, 805 Living—which publishes 10 times annually—will be maintaining its 2010 ad rates in order “to offer more value to advertisers,” Blanco says.In terms of revenue, Blanco says 805 Living has seen “a very, very slight increase” so far this year over last year, with some stabilization happening during the fourth quarter. “We are cautiously optimistic and have lots of great things in store for 2011,” she says, including “805 Golf,” a special advertising section in the magazine’s June “Guys Issue.”last_img read more

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT Wilmingtons Abbott Johnston Graduate From Worcester Polytechnic Institute

first_imgWORCESTER, MA — On Saturday, May 11, on the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) campus quadrangle, 1,019 bachelor’s degrees were awarded during the university’s 151st commencement ceremony.Zachary Abbott, of Wilmington, was awarded a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering with high distinction.Caroline Johnston, of Wilmington, was awarded a bachelor of science degree in mathematical sciences with high distinction.WPI President Laurie Leshin and Board of Trustees Chairman Jack Mollen presided over the celebration, at which the keynote address was given by Ellen Stofan, the John and Adrienne Mars Director of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.In her remarks, Stofan lauded the graduating seniors, whom she called “the next generation of STEM innovators,” before pointedly asking, “Where do you go from here?” She noted that students are graduating 50 years after the Apollo 11 Moon landing on July 20, 1969. The historic milestone was spurred, in part, Stofan noted, by the challenge President John F. Kennedy placed before Congress in an address in May 1961.Stofan, who has more than 25 years of experience in space-related organizations and a rich background in planetary geology, also received an honorary doctor of science degree.WPI awarded Gordon Hargrove, executive director of Friendly House in Worcester, an honorary doctor of humane letters degree for his “distinguished leadership of a vital Worcester institution, his passion for making miracles happen in the lives of others, and his inspiring example to generations of WPI students, faculty, and staff.”President Leshin told the graduates that while she is sad to see them go, she and the campus community feel a great sense of pride in all of their accomplishments at WPI. “Over the past four years, we have all watched, and hopefully helped you discover, your passions and strengths, we’ve seen you work very hard, and we’ve seen you truly make a difference.”Class speaker Emily Molstad, of Newington, Conn., a major in mechanical engineering with materials science and engineering, recalled for her classmates the “nine words we heard when we arrived, and over and over again throughout our four years here: Go to class. Do the work. Ask for help. These words, repeated so often, weren’t always easy to practice day to day, but once we followed them, they put us on the path to success.”About Worcester Polytechnic InstituteWPI, a global leader in project-based learning, is a distinctive, top-tier technological university founded in 1865 on the principle that students learn most effectively by applying the theory learned in the classroom to the practice of solving real-world problems. Recognized by the National Academy of Engineering with the 2016 Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education, WPI’s pioneering project-based curriculum engages undergraduates in solving important scientific, technological, and societal problems throughout their education and at more than 50 project centers around the world. WPI offers more than 50 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs across 14 academic departments in science, engineering, technology, business, the social sciences, and the humanities and arts. Its faculty and students pursue groundbreaking research to meet ongoing challenges in health and biotechnology; robotics and the internet of things; advanced materials and manufacturing; cyber, data, and security systems; learning science; and more.(NOTE: The above announcement is from WPI via Merit.)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 wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedSTUDENT SPOTLIGHT: 4 Wilmington Students Named To Dean’s List At WPIIn “Education”STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Wilmington’s Amanda Richards Graduates From WPIIn “Education”Wilmington’s Beaulieu & Huang Receive Master’s Degrees From WPIIn “Education”last_img read more

New guidelines for Hawk Inlet draw criticism

first_imgDry stacked tailings facility at Greens Creek Mine. (Photo courtesy Hecla Mining Company)Alaska’s Department of Environmental Conservation is working on new guidelines for Hawk Inlet — the location of Hecla’s Greens Creek Mine.Listen Now Last spring, an environmental advocacy group found elevated levels of mercury in a seal harvested near the inlet. That sent off alarm bells for a nearby village, which is dependent on subsistence foods.There was barely an empty seat in the small, rectangular conference room in DEC offices. Staff repeatedly reminded the crowd this wasn’t a hearing. It was a chance for the agency to share a report it collected on Hawk Inlet.Still, many in the crowd gave passionate testimony, including Albert Howard — Angoon’s mayor and tribal president.“It’s in the back of our minds every day now until we actually get answers to what’s happening,” Howard said. “And it’s even more so now because there wasn’t any salmon to speak of for us to fall back on.”Howard sent a letter to the state earlier this year asking for help. But he doesn’t feel like his concerns were heard. And Howard said that the new guidelines don’t do enough.He said people in the village are still scared to harvest seal. And Green Creek mine hasn’t been held responsible for its past violations.The village of Angoon is the home to about 400 people. (Photo by Elizabeth Jenkins, KTOO – Juneau)In 1989, the company spilled an unknown amount of ore into the inlet and went through the steps to clean it up. But Howard thinks “the problem’s still there.”Before the Friends of Admiralty Island discovered high levels of mercury in the seal, Hawk Inlet was already listed as an impaired water-body. That’s prompted the state to put together a report to submit to the federal government.The report on Hawk Inlet details recent and past monitoring tests — including information gathered by the Friends of Admiralty Island.Gretchen Pikul, an environmental program specialist at DEC, said when the agency crunched all the numbers, it found the inlet to be healthy overall, with a couple of sites that should be monitored more closely.“This plan doesn’t clean up water but actions do,” Pikul said.One of the plan’s recommendations is to cast a wider net when it comes to monitoring the area. Another is to post warning signs near the inlet not to gather food near the mine’s discharge area.But these are suggestions, not requirements. The state can work with the Greens Creek mine to implement the changes when the company’s permit is up for review in about four years. But it can’t force the mine to change anything now.Meanwhile, the report didn’t identify how the seal could have had such high levels of mercury. Michelle Hale, the director of DEC, said the mercury could have come from somewhere else.“It could be air deposition from China,” Hale said. “Because we know that happens in some places. We don’t know that source right now.”But for Albert Howard, that answer wasn’t satisfying. He still has questions about the historic ore spill. And questions about how today’s monitoring is done.“I don’t agree with them. Because there’s no checks and balances there,” Howard said. “There’s no, ‘well if you spill ore, this is what’s gonna happen.’ There’s nothing there. There’s no mechanism to prevent them from irreparable harm.”The Department of Environmental Conservation is taking public comment on the report until Nov. 14.last_img read more

DU appoints dean violating ordinance Shafiul Alam

first_imgAJM Shafiul Alam BhuiyanActing dean of Social Sciences Faculty at Dhaka University professor AJM Shafiul Alam Bhuiyan alleged that the appointment of professor Sadeka Halim as new acting dean is a violation of 1973 Ordinance of the university, reports UNB.He made the allegation at a press briefing at the dean office of social science building of the university on Friday.According to Dhaka University Order, 1973 Section 17(2): “In the absence of the dean, for a period not exceeding 90 days, the vice-chancellor shall appoint an acting dean, who shall exercise all the powers and enjoy all the privileges of the dean.”Professor Alam said, “The process of appointing new dean is a clear violation of Dhaka University Order, 1973, and it has tainted the university’s reputation.”There is no history to appoint another in replacement of acting dean without election, he added.DU Syndicate assigned professor Sadeka Halim of Sociology department for the next acting dean of Social Sciences Faculty of the university on Wednesday.On 2 July 2017, former VC AAMS Arefin Siddique appointed professor Shafiul Alam Bhuiyan as the acting dean of Social Sciences Faculty as the then dean professor Farid Uddin Ahmed went to Preparatory Retirement Leave (PRL).last_img read more

Swiss canton overwhelmingly votes for burqa ban

first_imgA second Swiss canton will introduce a regional “burqa ban”, after voters in St. Gallen on Sunday emphatically backed prohibiting all face-covering garments in public spaces.At the same time, voters across Switzerland resoundingly rejected initiatives aimed at boosting local farming and promoting more ethical and environmental standards in food production, amid fears of cost hikes and reduced consumer choice.In the northeastern canton of St. Gallen, nearly 67 per cent of voters came out in favour of introducing the implicit “burqa ban”, according to official results, which showed turnout was 36 per cent.That paves the way for the canton to follow the example of the southern region of Ticino, where a law was introduced two years ago that appeared to be aimed at burqas and other Muslim veils.Three other cantons — Zurich, Solothurn and Glarus — have rejected introducing such bans in recent years.A text stipulating that “any person who renders themselves unrecognisable by covering their face in a public space, and thus endangers public security or social and religious peace will be fined” was adopted by lawmakers in St. Gallen late last year.That law passed the regional parliament with support from the populist right and centre parties — but the issue was put to the people after the Green and Green Liberal parties demanded a referendum.Supporters of the ban insisted in campaign literature that “it is integral to our culture and our values to be able to look each other in the eyes without hiding”.- ‘Islamophobic’ -The Islamic Central Council of Switzerland on Sunday slammed the ban as “Islamophobic”.Other opponents have insisted the ban was useless, stressing that very few women wear burqas or other face-covering veils in St. Gallen.Opponents have also pointed out that the canton already has a law prohibiting face-covering during demonstrations that require police authorisation as well as at sporting events.A review published recently on the effect of the law introduced in Ticino in 2016 meanwhile showed that football fans had felt the most impact, while fines for burqa-use could be counted on one hand, the ATS news agency reported.Switzerland’s government last year opposed an initiative aimed at creating a nationwide burqa ban, saying it should be up to the regions to determine if such measures are appropriate.Voters across Switzerland are however expected to be called to vote on the issue next year after the populist rightwing Swiss People’s Party gathered the 100,000 signatures needed to put any subject to a referendum as part of Switzerland’s famous direct democratic system.- Swiss snub ‘fair food’ -At the national level, the Swiss meanwhile overwhelmingly rejected two schemes linked to agriculture and food security which urged a shift towards more ethical and environmentally friendly food production, as well as protection for Swiss farmers against cheap food imports.The final results showed that 61 and 68 per cent of voters respectively rejected the “Fair Food” and “Food Sovereignty” initiatives.The “Food Sovereignty” initiative, which had the backing of Switzerland’s powerful farmers’ union, had among other things called for turning a moratorium on genetically modified organisms (GMO) into a total ban.Early polls had suggested strong backing for both initiatives, but support fell after the government, parliament and other opponents argued they could send prices skyrocketing, limit consumer choice and might violate Switzerland’s international trade obligations.Geneva and three other French-speaking cantons supported both initiatives, but the German-speaking part of the country voted massively against them.Also on Sunday, Swiss voters overwhelmingly backed a proposal to enshrine support for cycling in the constitution.All 26 cantons and nearly 74 per cent of voters came out in favour of adding an article to the constitution giving federal authorities more responsibility for developing cycling paths across the country.The text meanwhile only provides federal authorities with the possibility of stepping in on matters related to promoting cycling without obliging them to do so, and the cantons are expected to remain largely in charge.The national votes this time failed to garner much excitement, resulting in below-average turnout, with only 37 percent of eligible voters casting their ballots.last_img read more