Morocco Attacks by Police Officers on the Rise in The Past

Rabat – Over 2600 cases of assault committed by male policemen and other authority figures have been brought before Moroccan courts in the past four years, according to Mohammed Hassad, the Moroccan minister of the interior. Hassan presented the figures during the cabinet’s weekly oral questioning session with the House of Representatives on Tuesday. The minister told the representatives that two years ago, he made the decision to not allow cases against police officers to be dismissed, since the phenomenon had been increasing in incidence. In 2011, citizens lodged, on average, 43 cases against security forces a month, but by 2015, that number increased to 68. The minister linked the cases to instances where police forces intervene to prevent haphazard construction or unauthorized street vendors.  Two cases against municipal leaders have caught the attention of the Moroccan people in recent months: the story of the death of “Mi Faitha” in Kenitra and a video that recorded a local leader in bed with a married woman in Doura, near Casablanca. The minister said the municipal leader of Doura was arrested on February 27th – nearly 1.5 months before media sources began talking about the scandal. Hassad added that officials acting under the command of the ministry of the interior fired him from his job and brought him to face the ministry and the police administration, since his actions were below the standards of conduct for officers.  In relation to the local authority in Kenitra, whose abuse of street vendor “Mi Fatiha” led her to set herself on fire, the minister said the officer had been transferred to “central administration” so as to prevent his interference in the ensuing investigation. Other officers who were present during the woman’s self-immolation have also been distanced from the case. Hassad added that the nature of the police’s job is to carry heavy burdens imposed on them by their duties of maintaining public order and ensuring respect for Morocco’s laws. When the officers see that a law has been broken, the minister said the officers must intervene, which makes the officers also vulnerable to physical and verbal attacks from citizens. read more

WatchTSX Wall Street close slightly higher after Yellen says rate hike likely

TORONTO — North American markets were moderately higher after U.S. Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen hinted at a potential interest rate hike in the coming months.The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index gained 56.03 points to 14,105.23.The Canadian dollar fell 0.40 of a U.S. cent to 76.70 cents US, after a solid gain of just over one cent the previous two sessions.South of the border, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 44.93 points at 17,873.22, while the broader S&P 500 rose 8.96 points to 2,099.06 and the Nasdaq added 31.74 points to 4,933.51.In commodities, benchmark North American crude oil was down 15 cents at US$49.33 a barrel, its third consecutive small decline in a week that saw it pop above US$50 a barrel in intraday trading.July natural gas rose two cents to US$2.17 per mmBtu, while August gold slid $6 to US$1,216.70 a troy ounce and July copper rose a penny to US$2.11 a pound. read more

Government confident it will stay for five years

“This Government will not be toppled for five years. That I can say with responsibility,” he said. He also said that the Government will not abuse its powers and will follow the proper procedures when fighting corruption. The Government is confident it will complete its full five year term no matter what is said.Ports and Shipping Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said that some members of the opposition feel the Government will collapse but he is confident it will remain the full five years. The Minister said that investigations are underway on several members of the former Government over corruption but the process to identify those who are guilty will take time. (Colombo Gazette)

New UN survey My World lets citizens vote on future development priorities

Launched this week, the survey seeks to build on the momentum generated by the anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and tackle challenges that go beyond their 2015 deadline. In a video message for the survey, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon encouraged the public to participate. “Vote and tell us what issues matter most to you and your family. Make a difference. Mark a difference,” he said.Votes can be submitted online, and in some countries by mobile phone or through offline ballots. Results from the survey will be shared with Mr. Ban, his High-level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, and world leaders.Thousands of people from 189 countries have already voted during an initial roll-out period, and preliminary results show education is the issue that people think is most important for improving their lives. An honest and responsive government, health, water, sanitation and job and food security have also been considered major priorities. Yesterday, Mr. Ban met with four youth volunteers who are capturing communities’ development priorities and called on the public to make a difference on the issues that impact their lives the most.These inputs, along with those from across the UN system and beyond, including the outcomes of consultations going on worldwide and the voices of businesses, academia and the scientific community, will feed into the work of the Panel, which will present its report in May. “Our goal must be a single, coherent global agenda that can be every bit as successful in inspiring and mobilizing people as the MDGs have been,” Mr. Ban noted in remarks today to a meeting of the bloc of developing nations known as the Group of 77 and China.“And even now, we must redouble our efforts toward the MDGs between now and 2015,” he stated, noting that an important milestone in that effort is around the corner.“Friday, April 5th, will mark 1,000 days to the end of 2015 – the deadline for achieving the goals. This moment provides an opportunity to raise awareness and galvanize action. The UN system will mobilize on that day and throughout the period ahead to accelerate our efforts.”Speaking at a press briefing in New York, Director of the UN Millennium Campaign Corinne Woods said partnerships with governments, civil societies, corporations, and within the UN system would play an important role to increase survey participation and ensure it includes the responses not only of people with internet access, but also those without it.“Partnerships are going to be absolutely key,” she said. “This is the only way we will be able to get a clear picture of what are the important issues and what matters.”So far, humanitarian activist Mia Farrow, Brazilian soccer player Marta Vieira da Silva, marathon champion Paul Tergat, and Indian actor and producer Aamir Khan, have joined mobilization efforts to increase public participation in the survey.My World is one of several tracks available for people to participate in framing the next development agenda. The UN and partners are also engaged in almost 100 national and thematic consultations worldwide, and citizens can continue to contribute their ideas and perspectives to the global consultations through the World We Want 2015 online platform.MY World was developed by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Millennium Campaign, the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and the World Wide Web Foundation in conjunction with IPSOS MORI. read more

Winning weekend for Badgers includes more national titles for wrestling

The Brock Badgers wrestling program has long since passed whatever unofficial criteria it takes to become a dynasty.But with another sweep of the USports National Championships over the weekend in Sault Ste. Marie, coach Marty Calder and the Badgers have once again displayed their utter dominance in Canadian university wrestling. With gold in 10 categories and a total of 18 medals, Brock swept the team titles for men and women for the fifth-straight year.It marked the 18th national title for the Brock men’s team and the eighth for the women, who have now won seven consecutive national team titles. Brock Wrestling now has 26 USports national titles and 37 Ontario University Athletics titles to its name. Calder was also named Usports Women’s Coach of the Year for the 17th time.The wrestling success was part of a busy weekend for Brock student athletes.Men’s HockeyAt home in the Seymour Hannah Sports and Entertainment Complex in St Catharines on Saturday night, the surging Brock men’s hockey team continued its post-season drive by toppling top-seeded University of Guelph in an overtime thriller. It gave the Badgers a 2-0 series win over Guelph, and advances them into the OUA West finals against the No. 2-seeded York Lions in a best 2-out-of-3 series with the winner advancing to the USports Nationals.Women’s HockeyEarlier in the day at Seymour Hannah, the Badgers women’s hockey team lost a 3-2 heartbreaker to the Guelph Gryphons, giving the visitors the win in the best 2-out-of-3 series and ending Brock’s season. Guelph advances to the OUA Semi-Finals. Men’s BasketballAlso Saturday night, the Badgers men’s basketball team cruised to a 91-73 victory over the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks in a must-win OUA Wilson Cup quarter-final game in the Bob Davis Gymnasium. The Badgers now host Ryerson Rams Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in the OUA semifinal. The winner advances to the championship game, but also earns an automatic berth into the USports National Championship tournament being held in Halifax.SwimmingCompeting in the USports National Championships at the University of Toronto, Gokhan Bozyigit set a new Brock University record in the Men’s 200m Fly, though he didn’t advance to the finals. Bozyigit also competed in the Men’s 400m Free and made it to the B Finals. Maggie May Smith also competed at the Championships in the 50m Fly and 100m Fly.Track and FieldA team of 13 Brock Badgers competed at the OUA Track and Field Championships at the University of Windsor over the weekend. The Brock men finished ninth overall including a number of close calls with breaking school records. Kwaku Bonsu finished eighth in long jump and Brock’s 4x200m relay team finished seventh overall. On the women’s side, Anna Wojtis broke her own Brock record in the 60m and numerous personal best times were set across the team.For more detailed coverage of this weekend’s Brock Badgers action, visit GoBadgers.ca read more

OBITUARY Representative James R Miceli 83

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Representative James R. Miceli passed away peacefully on April 21, 2018.A man of unerring moral principles, consummate integrity and deep devotion to his constituents and, above all, his family, State Representative James R. Miceli was the second-longest serving member of the Massachusetts Legislature. He continuously represented the towns of Wilmington and Tewksbury since his 1977 election to the House of Representatives, and he was a passionate and tenacious advocate for his constituents and the causes he held dear. During his 21st term, he was Vice Chair of the House Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change and served on the Joint Committee on Ways and Means, the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development, the House Committee on Personnel and Administration, and the House Committee on Ways and Means.Rep. Miceli grew up in Boston’s North End and graduated from Boston English High School in 1953. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Northeastern University in 1958 and met his beloved wife, Jean Mattson, while both were students at Northeastern. They were married on August 9, 1958, in Rockport, Massachusetts, and moved to Wilmington in 1961. Rep. Miceli began his career in the insurance industry at State Mutual Insurance Company in 1958, moving to Liberty Mutual Insurance Company a year later. In 1972, he joined the Walter G. Leavitt Agency in Stoneham and opened his agency in Wilmington in 1975. Rep. Miceli retired from his insurance business in 2000 and focused on his work in the legislature for the next nearly two decades.Rep. Miceli’s political career commenced in 1963 with his appointment to the Wilmington Planning Board. He was elected to the Board of Selectmen in 1966, and he served four terms, two as Chairman, until 1978. His first term in the House of Representatives began in late 1977.Known for the legendary work ethic that drove his above-and-beyond effort for all he served, Rep. Miceli was kind, compassionate and exceptionally thoughtful in the many ways that he helped people throughout his life. Above all, he was dedicated to his family, and he took great pride in the accomplishments of his children, Hope, James Jr. and Christina, and his cherished grandchildren, Andrew Jr., James III, Katherine, Q Jane, Alexander and Christopher.Rep. Miceli is the son of the late Vincenzo and Louise Miceli and brother of the late Josephine McCoy. He is survived by his loving wife, Jean; daughter and son-in-law Hope and Andrew Spalla of Trumbull, Connecticut; son and daughter-in-law James Jr. and Joanne Miceli of Sparta, New Jersey; and daughter and son-in-law Christina Miceli and Sanford Arbogast of Tewksbury. He is also survived by his grandchildren Andrew Spalla Jr. of Bridgeport, Connecticut; Katherine Spalla of Astoria, New York; James III and his wife, Shanna, Miceli of Arlington, Virginia; Q Jane and her husband, Alexander, Carleton of Fort Lupton, Colorado; and Alexander Arbogast and Christopher Arbogast of Tewksbury. Rep. Miceli is also survived by many nieces and nephews.Family and friends will gather for Visiting Hours at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Avenue (Route 62), Wilmington, MA, on Thursday, April 26th from 1:00-5:00 p.m. and 6:00-9:00 p.m.A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Friday, April 27th at 10:30 a.m. in St. Thomas of Villanova Church, 126 Middlesex Avenue, Wilmington, MA. Interment will follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington, MA.In lieu of flowers, donations in Representative Miceli’s memory may be made to the Development Office Tufts Medical Center, 800 Washington Street, #231, Boston, MA 02111 or to the Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, 41 Mall Road, Burlington, MA 01805.State Rep Jim Miceli (Photo from State House website)(NOTE: The above obituary is from Nichols Funeral Home.)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… RelatedCelebrate The Life & Legacy Of State Rep. Jim Miceli On April 25In “Government”A GREAT MAN WHO DID A GREAT JOB: Local & State Officials Remember Jim MiceliIn “Government”Wilmington State Rep. Jim Miceli Begins 20th Term In OfficeIn “Government”last_img read more

People urged to set up water pits plant trees

first_imgNagole: Division MLA Devireddy Sudheer Reddy participated in Haritha Haram programme conducted at GSI gate in Nagole division on Friday. Speaking on the occasion, Sudheer Reddy said, “Saving trees is more important than planting trees. Everyone should take responsibility and plant trees in their premises.” He further added, “Every colony should dig water harvesting pits for safeguarding our future.” Also Read – JIH organises Eid Milap for sanitary workers Advertise With Us MLC Yegge Mallehsam, corporator Cherku Sangeetha Prashanth Goud, LB Nagarzonal commissioner Srinivas Reddy and Deputy Commissioner Mukund Reddy participated in the programme. Horticulture officers Yugandhar, Hafeez, leaders Azad, Chiranjeevi, Kathula Rambabu, Aruna, Arun, Sai, Krishna, Raju, Bhaskar, senior leaders and well wishers were also present on the occasion.last_img read more

Oracle to invest 400 million in India says global CEO Safra Catz

first_imgSoftware solutions company Oracle Corporation has announced big investment plans for India, besides launching an initiative to train about half a million Indians in computer skills, said its global CEO Safra Catz.It will be the largest campus outside the US and will seat 11,000 employees, which will be ready in the next five years, BusinessLine reports.The company will also launch incubation centres. “I am particularly excited about the incubation centres which will house substantial software and technology capabilities, tools, and training to help launch new technology start-ups built utilising Java and the Oracle platform,” Catz added.Catz met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, after which a PMO statement said that Oracle wants to “strengthen India’s position as a world class design and manufacturing hub.”She said that Modi’s initiatives like “Make in India” and “Digital India” offer ample scope for Oracle, whose India operations do not deliver enough returns for the company.”Our revenues in India are dwarfed by our investments. Very large percentage of our $5.5 billion a year in R&D investment is done here. We invest significantly more in the country than the country pays us,” she said, adding, “But, I do believe that to make ‘Digital India’ successful, technology is a very critical enabler and our technology is been central to the digital expansion of nearly every country in the world.” Currently, the California-based company has about 40,000 employees in India.last_img read more

AL buries democracy Khaleda

first_imgKhaleda ZiaBNP chairperson Khaleda Zia on Wednesday blamed the 15th amendment to the constitution scrapping the election-time caretaker government system for what she termed one-party rule in the country.She alleged that there is no rule of law during the Awami League’s reign and that the people have been robbed of their voting rights.”The 15th amendment is the ghost of the BKSAL system that has led to establishment of the current misrule,” the BNP chief said in a message on the eve of what her party called “democracy killing day’.On 25 January 1975, the then AL government passed the 4th amendment to the constitution, introducing a one-party BKSAL system ‘to perpetuate its stay in power’, recalled Khaleda Zia, a former prime minister.”All newspapers except four loyal ones were banned… The spirit of democracy was thus killed,” the BNP leader said, arguing that the AL has the “tradition of destroying democracy”.She pointed out that fearing obvious defeat in fair elections, the AL had once again blocked the path of democracy by scrapping the caretaker government.The Khaleda-led BNP government inserted the system of poll-time administration into the constitution through 13th amendment, following a movement launched by the AL, its allies and Jamaat-e-Islami in 1996. The 15th amendment, made during prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s period in 2011, dropped the system.The BNP chairperson said a system of “yes-manship” has been established with limitless power of the prime minister.”People’s freedom has been snatched away and social equity and balance has been damaged due to destruction of pluralism,” she observed, alleging that the sycophants of the regime have grabbed every sector.”Due to deteriorating law and order situation, the people’s peace, security, shelter, profession, business and trade — everything has fallen into a state of anarchy,” Khaleda said in her message.The BNP chief regretted that the AL government had not hesitated to put the country’s unity, integrity and sovereignty at stake, prolonging the “one-party barbaric rule”.Recalling that the “Sepoy-people’s revolution” on 7 November 1975 led to restoration of multi-party democracy, Khaleda Zia called for defeating the “BKSAL force” through required struggle to restore democracy again.In another message, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said the AL had replicated the BKSAL model by holding a one-sided manipulated election on 5 January 2014.He expressed determination to free democracy through people’s movement.last_img read more

Trend of uncontested win continues as voting in 3rd phase UZ polls

first_imgA very old female voter casts her vote at Sadarpur Government Primary School centre in Mirpur of Kushtia in the third phase of Upazila Parishad elections on 24 March. Photo: Touhidi HasanVoting in elections to 117 upazila parishads began on Sunday morning in the third phase of the local government polls, reports news agency UNB.The balloting began at 8:00am will continue until 4:00pm without any break.A total of 11,887,751 voters will be able to exercise their voting rights in 9,298 polling stations in elections today.In the 117 upazilas, a total of 340 chairman, 584 vice-chairman and 399 woman vice-chairman candidates are contesting the elections.Besides, 33 chairman, nine vice-chairman and 13 woman vice-chairman contestants have already been elected uncontested in the absence of any valid candidate to oppose them.Though the election commission (EC) earlier announced the election schedule for 127 upazilas of 25 districts, the balloting will not be held in 10 upazilas in the third phase on various grounds.”Six upazilas where all candidates have already been elected unopposed don’t require the balloting, while polls to two other upazilas were postponed following a court order and the election to the remaining two upazilas shifted to the fourth phase,” said EC secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed at a pre-election briefing at the media centre of the Nirbachan Bhaban in the city on Saturday afternoon.The electronic voting machines (EVMs) are being used for voting in all the centres of four upazilas — Meherpur Sadar, Gopalganj Sadar, Manikganj Sadar and Rangpur Sadar.A large number of security members, including police, RAB, BGB and Coast Guard, have been deployed in the election areas since Friday. They are slated to remain so till Tuesday.Additional BGB members were deployed in some upazilas amid the risk of irregularities and deterioration of the law and order in this phase.Besides, at least one judicial magistrate was deployed in each upazila and an executive magistrate for every three union parishads for five days to punish any violations of the polls code.A security team comprising of 14-16 members drawn from police, Ansar and VDP is guarding each polling station on the day.The first phase and second phase elections were held on 10 and 18 March respectively, while the fourth phase polls are scheduled to be held on 31 March.Some 15 chairman candidates, six vice chairman contenders and seven woman vice chairman contestants were elected uncontested in the first phase of upazila polls while another 23 chairman, 13 vice-chairman and 12 woman vice-chairman contestants elected uncontested in the second phase of polls.In the 2014 parliamentary elections boycotted by all opposition parties including the BNP, a total of 154 members of parliament were elected uncontested. Such results created a lot of controversies at home and abroad.Election commissioner Mahbub Talukder, known to be a dissenting voice in the election commission, on 18 March warned about a bleak future of democracy in view of the voters’ increasing indifference to the electoral system.”Voters have lost their interest in electoral process — a trend that may lead to creating public apathy towards democracy itself,” he observed while briefing newsmen at his Nirbachan Bhavan office.He also called for reforms in the electoral process to restore public confidence in the elections and thus make democracy meaningful.Ruling Bangladesh Awami League joint secretary general Mahbubul Alam Hanif on 28 February 2016, however, said he finds nothing wrong in the uncontested win of chairman in the [union parishad] elections.The first upazila election was held in 1985, while the following three were held in 1990, 2009 and 2014.last_img read more

Dont panic about dengue DMCH director

first_imgDhaka Medical College Hospital director brigadier general AKM Nasir Uddin. BSS File PhotoDhaka Medical College Hospital authorities on Sunday advised people not to be panicked about the dengue fever.The authorities also assured people that they have enough preparations to tackle the mosquito-borne disease that has already spread to all the 64 districts of the country.Brigadier General AKM Nasir Uddin, a director at DMCH, was addressing a news conference about various facets of the disease at the hospital’s conference room around 12:00 noon.“There’s nothing to be panicked about dengue. The Dhaka Medical College Hospital has taken all kinds of preparations to fight the disease,” Nasir Uddin said.If the number of patient is higher, they will be admitted to the 1000-bed Sheikh Hasina Burn and Plastic Surgery unit of the hospital, he said.The DMCH director further said the Eid vacation of all the physicians has already been cancelled. “That is why the treatment of dengue is available in every part of the country.”Nasir said many people get panicked and go for tests if their body temperature rises a bit or they feel pain. “But the results show they are not dengue infected. As a result much of our labour and time is being wasted.”The DMCH director also said the hospital has enough medical equipment. “There’s nothing to be worried of.”last_img read more

Body of sisters found at home with throats slit

first_imgKolkata: Mystery shrouds the death of two sisters whose bodies were with their throats slit inside their house at Barbaria village under Bhawanipur police station in Haldia.The incident occurred on Sunday evening. The victims have been identified as Sima Das (15) and her younger sister Pooja Das (10). Sima was a student of class IX, while Pooja was studying in class V. According to the preliminary investigation, police suspect that the victims’ father, Biplab Das, who is suffering from mental depression, might have carried out the murder. He has been absconding since the incident took place. The motive behind the murder is yet to be confirmed by the district police. According to police sources, the two sisters on Sunday evening requested their mother, Sagarika to prepare chicken. As desired by her two daughters, the woman went to a local market to bring meat. When she returned home, she found that the main door of the house to be open. As soon as Sagarika stepped into the house, she found the two girls lying in a pool of blood on the floor. On hearing the screams of the mother, locals rushed to the spot. They took the injured victims to Haldia sub-divisional hospital where the doctors pronounced both of them brought dead. The locals reported the matter to the police station following which police reached the spot. The investigating officers have recovered a knife smeared with blood from inside the room. The officers have also collected some samples from the room. The victims’ mother lodged a specific complaint against her husband. The woman also told police about the accused and his mental depression after he lost his job. The district police have started a detailed probe into the incident. They are yet to confirm the motive behind the murder.last_img read more

Glistering all the way

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The Kolkata-based jewellery chain, Senco Gold and Diamonds, has remained the first choice for many families since ages. Be it a wedding, puja or any other occasion, Senco has the perfect collection to make one look absolutely gorgeous and leave others speechless. The business, which was started from scratch by Late Maran Chand Sen, soars high amongst other jewellery brands in the market.last_img

WhatsApp hide media from individual chats in the Gallery

first_imgWhatsApp: hide media from individual chats in the Gallery by Martin Brinkmann on June 28, 2018 in Google Android – 3 commentsThe latest best version of WhatsApp messenger for Android has a new feature that gives users more control over the visibility of media on their devices.The new version adds an option to the chat application to hide media from specific chats in the gallery of the device.WhatsApp users could hide all media from the gallery only up until now and the new feature adds more control to it as you can now select media from specific contacts that you want to hide.You may also block automatic media downloads altogether.You can manage the general setting with taps on Menu > Settings > Chats, and there Show media in gallery. When you disable that option, all media that WhatsApp downloads is not shown in the gallery of the device.The media is still on the device and users who know what they are doing can still display it on the Android device. The feature is useful if you want to keep your gallery clean.The new feature to hide media from individual contacts can be configured in the following way:Open the chat that you want to change media visibility for.Select Menu > View Contact. If you get “add to contacts” instead, you need to create a new contact first before you can use the feature.Tap on media visibility.Select no when the “Do you want to show newly downloaded media from this chat in your phone’s gallery” prompt is displayed.Select ok to complete the process.New media that is sent to you by the contact that gets downloaded by WhatsApp is not displayed in the phone’s Gallery application anymore.The feature landed in the most recent beta version of WhatsApp for Android. It will land in stable versions of the application eventually.Closing WordsHiding downloaded media in the Gallery application can be useful in some situations; maybe you want to keep the gallery clean and don’t want animated gifs and photos sent by some contacts to appear in the gallery.It is not really a feature for people who are unfaithful as it is necessary to add the contact to the phone before the option becomes available.  (via Deskmodder)Useful WhatsApp articlesHow to delete WhatsApp messages that you sentHow to lower the WhatsApp data usageHow to mute groups or friends on WhatsAppOfficial WhatsApp Desktop app releasedSend any file with WhatsAppSummaryArticle NameWhatsApp: hide media from individual chats in the GalleryDescriptionThe newest beta version of WhatsApp for Android introduces a new feature that users may use to hide media from certain contacts from appearing in the Gallery.Author Martin BrinkmannPublisher Ghacks Technology NewsLogo Advertisementlast_img read more

From M16s to boots Afghan troops feel slighted

first_imgU.S. troops, in turn, often accused Afghan troops and police of “pervasive illicit drug use, massive thievery, personal instability, dishonesty, no integrity,” the survey said.Cobbling together an army in a nation at war for more than 30 years is daunting, said Saburi. Education has been stunted, ethnic divisions have hardened and the country is awash with weapons. At corps and brigade headquarters, soldiers are barred from carrying weapons because any altercation might explode into gunfire.Communication is hampered by the fact that many Afghan recruits are illiterate villagers, he said.A career officer, Saburi was less critical than others of the quality of weapons. He was satisfied with the heavy machine guns and sniper rifles being distributed to the army. But he said the rank and file were stuck with old M16s, instead of Kalashnikovs which he said are more suited to Afghan conditions. The army needs much more, he said: medevac helicopters, gunships, fighter aircraft, tanks.NATO and the U.S. shouldn’t leave in 2014, he said. “I think we need more time.”Meanwhile, the slow grind of daily patrolling never stops. In Logar Province, troops fan out along the hills, looking for Taliban and demonstrating their presence to the villagers. One of the soldiers, Mohammed Zaman, has written a little love poem to his country on the scratched surface of his helmet. Associated PressGARDEZ, Afghanistan (AP) – They say their M16s are dust-prone antiques. Their boots fall apart after a couple of months, they complain, and many of their helmets are cracked and patched. Yet they set out on patrol.They are the men of the Afghan National Army, the critical part of the huge machine being built to protect Afghanistan’s security after the NATO alliance is gone in less than three years. Comments   Share   The men are fearless, says Col. Abdul Wakil Warzajy, a commander. They have taken hundreds of battle casualties, but good men alone don’t make a good army, he says, adding: “An army is an army that is completely equipped.”___Kathy Gannon is AP Special Regional Correspondent for Afghanistan and Pakistan. She can be followed on http://www.twitter.com/kathygannon Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) With Afghanistan topping the agenda at a gathering of NATO leaders in Chicago on Sunday and Monday, an Associated Press reporter and photographer traveling with Afghan army forces in Logar and Paktia provinces are hearing a mix of messages from dozens of officers and enlisted men.The foreign forces are leaving too soon, the men say. Why then are attacks by Afghan soldiers on NATO forces increasing, killing 35 last year and 22 so far this year? Because the Afghans feel disrespected, the soldiers say. Handing out inferior equipment is disrespectful; burning Qurans, however accidental, is disrespectful; urinating on dead bodies, even Taliban, as video that emerged in January showed U.S. troops doing, is disrespectful.Washington spent more than $20 billion in 2010-2011 on training and equipping a 352,000 strong army and police force _ one of the costliest projects ever undertaken by the Pentagon.Yet the footsoldiers don’t have night-vision goggles to go after the Taliban under cover of darkness.At the rock-strewn firing range of the 203 Thunder Corps in Paktia province, Sgt. Said Aga recalled his M16 jamming in the middle of a fierce firefight with the Taliban, and grimaced as his young charges aired their gripes about the Vietnam-era firearm. Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvementscenter_img “The Americans have really much better equipment than us,” he said. “Our vehicles and weapons are very weak compared to theirs.”A soldier named Abdul Karim said he’d prefer a 30-year-old Russian-made Kalashnikov to an M16. The Americans “are giving us old weapons and try to make them look new with polish and paint. We don’t want their throwaways,” he said.In Kabul, Lt. Col. Timothy M. Stauffer, U. S. Army Director, Public Affairs, rejected the complaints about aging weapons, saying the Afghans get basically the same firearms that U.S. soldiers have. “I am not sure their complaints are valid,” he said. “The equipment they are asking for and are being issued is sufficient to meet the current threat.”Most American troops in Afghanistan carry the M4, a shorter version of the M16. Both models have been criticized by some in the military for jamming in harsh conditions and requiring greater maintenance. The Kalashnikov is known as an easier-upkeep, all-conditions weapon, fueling its popularity in the developing world.At the firing range, the complaints flew thick and fast. Col. Abdul Haleem Noori grabbed a young recruit’s foot to show a gash in the heel of his boot. Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths “It’s only two months old and it is falling apart, and we are told it is supposed to last one year,” he said. The footwear was made by a manufacturer under contract to the Afghan Ministry of Defense.Even the 3-year-old army band bemoans their equipment, including soldered trumpets dating back to the 1970s.The conversation with Aga, the firing range instructor, shifted from poor equipment to the disturbingly high number of so-called “green-on-blue” attacks, a U.S. military term for Afghan soldiers killing their NATO counterparts.Aga, a squat man with piercing brown eyes, gave off a strange mix of resentment, envy and appreciation. He didn’t want the international soldiers to leave. “We still need them to bring peace,” he said.Then he explained the issue of respect.When foreign forces patrol with Afghan forces, “they don’t respect us. When we see that they don’t have respect we get angry. Even myself, I have seen how they behave in Afghanistan. They have sometimes been cruel. I saw in operations they have entered mosques, I have seen this myself.”Another complaint: The foreigners don’t let civilians drive in front of their convoys even if they are rushing a sick person to treatment, referring to the heavy security measures U.S. troops impose around their vehicles. Sponsored Stories Col. Ahmed Jan Ahmedzai said incidents like the mistaken burning of Qurans at Bagram Air Base makes recruits susceptible to Taliban overtures. New recruits are watched carefully for signs of sympathy for the Taliban, he said.Because of the attacks, international soldiers are no longer present at firing ranges, said Col. Asif Khan Saburi, in charge of recruit training in five provinces.“When we have shooting practice I have to look at two things: How my soldier is shooting and that he doesn’t fire at the U.S. soldiers,” he said.The U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force in Kabul did not respond to several requests by The Associated Press for comment on the Afghan perception of a lack of respect.In May last year, a U.S. Army team led by a behavioral scientist released a 70-page survey that revealed both Afghan and American soldiers hold disturbingly negative perceptions of the other.According to the survey, many Afghan security personnel found U.S. troops “extremely arrogant, bullying and unwilling to listen to their advice” and sometimes lacking concern about Afghans’ safety in combat. They accused the Americans of ignoring female privacy and using denigrating names for Afghans. Top Stories How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generationlast_img read more

BLS International inaugurates Spain visa application center in Riyadh

first_imgBLS International, inaugurated their new Spain Visa Application Centre (VAC) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia last month. The company operates 124 visa application centres in 49 countries for Spain Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores y de Cooperación). The new Spain VAC was formally inaugurated in the presence of the Ambassador of Spain in Saudi Arabia along with senior officials from BLS International.At the inauguration, Álvaro Iranzo Gutiérrez, Ambassador of Spain in Saudi Arabia speaking at the opening ceremony said, “This new and revamped visa application centre is the result of our effort to adapt our service to visitors coming from Saudi Arabia and in particular to the 73,000 Saudi tourists that arrive in Spain on a yearly basis.”The Consular staff commended the infrastructure of the Spain VAC in Riyadh and particularly appreciated the Value-Added Services (VAS) such as VIP lounge, photocopy, courier, form filling assistance, SMS alert, photo booth, translation, prime time, prime day and insurance that BLS is providing at the Spain VAC for the convenience of the applicants.Commenting on the announcement, Shikhar Aggarwal, Joint Managing Director, BLS International said, “The new VAC for Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores y de Cooperación in the capital of Saudi Arabia, is equipped with state of the art technology to strengthen and smoothen the visa processing services for the citizens. Looking at the growing trend of emerging popularity of Schengen areas as a new tourist destination, the centre will cater to the ever-increasing volumes of visa applications for Spain – a preferred destination for Schengen entry.”last_img read more

Hopes to export gas to Egypt fading as oil prices remain low

first_imgEnergy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis said that the development of the Aphrodite field, Cyprus’s first natural gas find, hangs in the balance as the current energy prices seem prohibitive for the investment required to export gas to Egypt.The minister, who was commenting on state radio CyBC on Wednesday, a day after he announced that the latest drilling by the consortium of France’s Total and Italy’s Eni discovered less than 1 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas in block 11 of the Cyprus exclusive economic zone (EEZ), said that negotiations with the Arab neighbour to sell production from the 4.5 tcf Aphrodite reserve via pipelines are dragging on, three years after they were launched.In November 2014 months after the price of oil started to drop from levels over $100 per barrel, Lakkotrypis had said that he expected negotiations with Egypt to allow the export of natural gas as early as 2018. Early today, the price of Brent crude dropped 0.2 per cent to $54.18 per barrel, while that of the U.S. crude rose slightly to $48.25.“If there is no result with respect to the sale of natural gas which is the most important for the development of Aphrodite to go ahead, this is attributable to the oil prices,” he said.Egypt, which announced two years ago the discovery of Zohr, a 30 tcf gas reserve in its EEZ close to that of Cyprus, is only interested in buying Cypriot gas for re-export via its two largely mothballed liquefaction terminals at Idku and Damietta, the minister said. He added that the most populous Arab nation can cover its domestic demand for energy with Zohr.“We are doing everything we can and approach this project from all angles, including how to reduce the development cost or maximise the price to make the project commercially viable,” he said, adding that the project requires up to €3bn in investment.Talks with Egypt are getting even more complicated because the plant in Idku also needs Israeli gas from the 16.5 tcf Leviathan finding, he said.Lakkotrypis said that Cyprus’s hydrocarbon exploration programme will continue with at least two drillings by Eni and Total in block 8 until early next year followed by two more successive attempts by the ExxonMobil-Qatar Petroleum consortium in block 10 by in the second half of next year which could provide more certainty about quantities of hydrocarbons in Cyprus’s EEZ.While Total’s discovery at Onesiphoros was below expectations and as a result “not commercially viable on its own,” the data collected “are really priceless,” as they may help in future exploration drillings, he said.You May LikeGundry MD ProPlant Complete Shake SupplementCalling All Carnivores! There Is One Protein That Can Restart Your Body’s Fat Burner, And No, It’s Not FishGundry MD ProPlant Complete Shake SupplementUndoProstaGenix SupplementHow To: Boost Prostate Health (Do This Daily)ProstaGenix SupplementUndoSmart Tips DailySeniors With No Life Insurance May Get A $250,000 Policy If They Do ThisSmart Tips DailyUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoOur View: Argaka mukhtar should not act as if he owns the beachUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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