APTN National NewsIt was an on-going dispute over his handling of Aboriginal issues that led to suspended Sen. Patrick Brazeau allegedly assaulting and groping a woman according to court documents.The alleged victim told police she didn’t support Brazeau’s stance on Aboriginal issues and after a two-day dispute he ordered her to leave his Gatineau home says a search warrant executed Feb. 7.It’s alleged in the warrant Brazeau, 38, ripped up a bra and shirt that the woman was holding on to as she tried to pack her bags. He then grabbed her breasts and pulled her pants down hard enough to break the button and zipper police allege. He also allegedly pushed her hard enough to break a staircase railing.When she tried to call 911 she alleges he hit her and police documented she had visible injuries.She told police later that Brazeau spat in her face while insulting her.Brazeau has pleaded not guilty and none of the allegations have been proven in court. He is on bail after posting $1,000.The Algonquin senator has been outspoken against the Idle No More movement and especially Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence.Brazeau was appointed to the Senate in 2008 by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. He was suspended with pay pending the outcome of his legal matters.His next court date is March 22.
NEW DELHI – Indian actresses and writers are flooding social media with allegations of sexual harassment and assault, releasing pent-up frustration with a law that was lauded internationally but that critics say has done little to change the status quo in the world’s largest democracy.“People using social media to articulate their complaints should be recognized in the context of failure. The system has in effect failed us, has failed women,” T.K. Rajalakshmi, the president of the Indian Women’s Press Corps, said in a panel discussion Thursday in New Delhi.The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act of 2013 holds Indian workplaces liable for sexual harassment, and prescribes a system for investigating and redressing complaints. Employers must create committees that are at least 50 per cent women, presided over by a woman and with one external expert, to process complaints. The law builds on the landmark 1997 Vishakha case, in which India’s Supreme Court held that sexual harassment at work violated a woman’s constitutional right to equality.But nearly five years since the law came into effect, many managers and employees are not aware of it. Those who are rarely implement it fully, in part because of the enormous taboo in India of discussing anything related to sex, said Naina Kapur, the attorney who argued the Vishakha case before the Supreme Court.“Every time I get a call it’s after the event has happened. It’s supposed to be effectively communicated and it hasn’t been,” Kapur said, adding that in India, “as women get more into the marketplace and the workplace, their experience of sex harassment and violence is a growing area of concern but it’s not being heard.”Based on the nonstop TV coverage, alleged victims are making themselves heard on social media, bypassing completely the protocol created by the 2013 law.The social media storm began in September, when former Bollywood actress Tanushree Dutta spoke to several Indian TV news channels about her frustration with a fruitless police complaint she filed in 2008 against actor Nana Patekar for alleged sexual harassment on a Mumbai movie set.Dutta said that after Patekar groped her during a dance routine, she fled the set and a mob surrounded her car, smashed the windshield and trapped her inside.Patekar has denied the allegations.Then on Oct. 4, Mumbai comedy group AIB announced it had decided to de-list every video featuring former member Utsav Chakraborty, whom women had taken to social media to condemn for alleged sexual harassment.On Oct. 7, an unnamed former employee at Phantom Films writing in the Huffington Post described allegations she had made in 2015 against one of the company’s partners, director Vikas Bahl, whom she said behaved inappropriately during a trip to Goa.The following day, company partners Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane dissolved Phantom Films. Bahl has filed an intent to sue his former partners for defamation.Also on Oct. 8, journalist Sandhya Menon shared screenshots of her conversation with two women claiming that actor Rajat Kapoor harassed them over the phone.Kapoor apologized on Twitter if he had “slipped and through my actions or words caused pain or hurt.”That same day, former TV producer, director and writer Vinta Nanda said on Facebook and in TV interviews that she was raped 19 years ago by actor Alok Nath.Nath said in a TV interview that he neither denied or agreed with the allegations. “It must have happened, but someone else would have done it,” Nath said.TV actress Sandy Mridul expressed her support for Nanda in a tweet. Fellow TV actress Deepika Amin followed on Twitter: “Everyone in the industry knows that #AlokNath is an obnoxious drunkard who harasses women.”On Oct. 10, actor and heavyweight Bollywood producer Aamir Khan and his wife Kiran Rao put out a statement saying they were “committed to doing any and everything to make our film industry a safe and happy one to work in.” In a tweet, Khan said they were about to begin work with someone who had been accused of sexual misconduct and that the matter was pending in court.Perhaps the most startling development has been the string of accusations against Junior External Affairs Minister M.J. Akbar. In less than a week, at least nine women journalists have accused Akbar of sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour when he was a newspaper editor in Kolkata and Delhi. Neither Akbar nor the ministry has responded.But for India’s burgeoning #MeToo movement to take hold in the broader strata of Indian society, the 2013 sex harassment law must be implemented more broadly, said Sunieta Ojha, a lawyer who regularly conducts workshops on the law.“It requires a complete change of attitude toward women and toward workplace ethics. Employers instead of looking at it as a hassle, they have to see it as an investment. If they start doing that, it starts to have a very positive effect,” she said.Mumbai police on Thursday said they had opened an investigation into Patekar after Dutta filed a fresh complaint, charging him with violating two sections of the Indian Penal Code related to offending a woman’s modesty. If found guilty, the maximum penalty is two years in prison.Dutta said that after the alleged attack in 2008, she also lodged a complaint with Cine and TV Artists Association (CINTAA), an agency now subject to the 2013 law.Dutta’s lawyer, Nitin Satpute, said Dutta decided to speak out again about what allegedly happened to her in 2008 because she hoped the spotlight would help enforce the workplace sex harassment law within CINTAA.“Some are rich, some are poor, but many women are working there, and it will benefit all,” Satpute said.___Associated Press writer Ashok Sharma contributed to this report.
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – In less than six months after stepping into the breach created by Greyhound’s departure on October 31, Cold Shot Bus Lines is expanding services to Fort St. John.According to Cold Shot President, Sunny Balwaria, the Company will offer a cross-border route to Dawson Creek and Fort St. John, servicing the Peace Country.“We’ve added several new features for Peace Country customers. We have a new cross-border route to Dawson Creek and Fort St. John via Grande Prairie that will take passengers and freight to those points.” Balwaria also says that Cold Shot will be offering shuttle services to important points of interest, such as airports and hospitals.“In addition, we’ve added a stop for Fort St. John passengers at Grande Prairie’s QueenElizabeth II hospital, as well as a shuttle connection to the Edmonton InternationalAirport that enables airline passengers from Fort St. John to go directly to that airport.”Cold Shot is an Alberta-owned transportation company operating since 2005.For more information, you can visit Coldshot.ca.
Kolkata: Invited to bat, Sunrisers Hyderabad scored a competitive 181 for three against Kings XI Punjab in their IPL clash at Eden Gardens, here Sunday. Comeback-man David Warner struck 85 off 53 balls and shared a 118-run stand for the first wicket with wicket-keeper batsman Jonny Bairstow (39). Vijay Shankar contributed unbeaten 40 in Sunrisers’ total. Brief Scores: Sunrisers Hyderabad: 181 for 3 in 20 overs. (D Warner 85, V Shankar 40 not out, J Bairstow 39; A Russell 2/32, P Chawla 1/23).
Heading into college football’s conference championship week, we knew three schools (Alabama, Clemson and Washington) could basically punch tickets to the College Football Playoff with victories in their respective conference title games. The only real questions involved what would happen in the event of an upset or two — and, just as important, what the selection committee would do with Ohio State. The Buckeyes ranked second in the committee’s rankings going into the week, but they also weren’t playing in the Big Ten championship game. How the committee handled that dilemma would in effect be a referendum on the value of a conference championship in the CFP era.The upsets never really came. Although Virginia Tech gave Clemson a fight, the Hokies ultimately succumbed to the Tigers in the ACC championship by a touchdown. Washington, meanwhile, routed Colorado 41-10 in Friday night’s Pac-12 title game, and Alabama secured the greatest peak Elo rating by a college football team in the last 80 years when they crushed Florida 54-16 to win the SEC. The only real drama came from an upset victory in the Big Ten championship for Penn State, which could build a case around beating Ohio State earlier in the season.For what it was worth, our CFP projection model thought there was very little chance the committee would jettison the one-loss Buckeyes in favor of the two-loss Nittany Lions, even after we made a tweak that placed extra emphasis on head-to-head results. Yes, the committee once dropped a team that won its final game by 52 points (TCU) from third to sixth when they reshuffled the field for their final rankings. But the model still said there was only a 13 percent probability that Penn State would bump Ohio State this year.1Our model output from Dec. 3 showed Ohio State with an 87 percent chance of being selected, so the rest of Penn State’s probability must have come from the (extremely remote) possibility that they’d bump one of the other three teams in the top four.And, sure enough, the CFP committee went with the Buckeyes. On Sunday, it produced a final four of Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Washington, the semifinals of which will be sorted out on New Year’s Eve.Although Penn State was understandably frustrated by the decision, it would have been difficult to justify taking the Lions over the Buckeyes. Ohio State was a consensus No. 2 in both the Associated Press and Coaches’ polls, as well as most statistical rankings, including ESPN’s Football Power Index and Strength of Record metric. Undefeated Alabama is clearly the nation’s best team — quite possibly the best in college football history, in fact — but Ohio State is an obvious No. 2 by most measures. We can always debate the eternal question of whether the CFP should reward the best team or the “most deserving” one, but in the end the committee took the team that had the more dominating season against the tougher schedule, just as it usually does.So, now that we have a final four, who will win? From here on out, our model no longer has to forecast the committee’s decision making, so it’s all about what ESPN’s Football Power Index predicts. The FPI sees Alabama as 64 percent favorites to beat Washington in the Peach Bowl (which, we should also note, is held in Atlanta — far closer to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, than to Seattle), and it gives Ohio State a 55 percent chance of knocking off Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl.Overall, that works out to a 39 percent chance of yet another Alabama national title — it would be the school’s fifth in the last eight seasons under coach Nick Saban — though the rest of the field is still more likely to upset ’Bama than not. If the Crimson Tide beat the Huskies, Alabama’s title odds would rise to 62 percent; if Washington pulls the upset, the CFP championship would basically be a coin flip no matter who wins in Clemson-OSU.But that’s all about a month away. There’s still plenty of college football to consume between now and then, including Army-Navy next week, the Heisman Trophy ceremony on Dec. 10, and about a trillion bowl games (which I mostly enjoy, even if they often lose money and feature increasingly poor teams). For college fans, the most wonderful time of the year is just beginning.CORRECTION (Dec. 6, 7:30 a.m.): A previous version of this article misstated TCU’s final 2014 College Football Playoff ranking. TCU dropped to sixth place in the final week, not to fifth.
England former player and World Cup winner, Sir Geoff Hurst has criticised Jamie Vardy and Gary Cahill for their decisions to retire from international duty.Jamie Vardy and Gary Cahill were both in the England squad as they reached the semi-finals at the World Cup this summer.The duo then decided to make themselves unavailable for England in order to concentrate on club football.Even though they could still feature for England in the future, Hurst was angered by their decision. Team Talk reports.“While there’s plenty to be positive about our national side right now, I must admit I was disappointed to see Jamie Vardy and Gary Cahill choose to retire from international duty,” Hurst said.Crouch: Liverpool could beat Man United to Jadon Sancho Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Peter Crouch wouldn’t be surprised to see Jadon Sancho end up at Liverpool one day instead of his long-term pursuers Manchester United.“I’m a firm believer that players should play for their country as long as they possibly can.“My team-mates and I would have given our last breath to continue playing for England.“I also don’t like when players say they’ll make themselves available again if there are injuries or suspensions.“In my view, if I was England manager, then I wouldn’t pick those players ever again.”
, 19-year-old woman shot at Sunset Cliffs begins road to recovery April 19, 2018 SUNSET CLIFFS (KUSI) — The 19-year-old woman found suffering from gunshot wounds last week after being shot near Sunset Cliffs remains hospitalized but is recovering.Related Link: Passerby finds a 19-year-old woman with gunshot wounds near Sunset CliffsThe woman — who has not been named as a request by the family while the investigation is ongoing — was found by a passerby with multiple gunshot wounds on the morning of April 12.According to a GoFundMe page set up by her family, she sustained a gunshot wound to the hip and a second to her neck. The neck wound ruptured her ear canal and broke her c5, c6 vertebrae and caused damage to her spinal cord.She has already undergone spinal surgery to brace her neck with screws and rods.“She is in good spirits considering what she has been through, however, she has a long road ahead of her,” according to the page.San Diego police are still searching for the suspect(s) responsible and ask anyone with information to contact them at 619-531-2000 or 858-484-3154. Posted: April 19, 2018 Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter
Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Last updated on June 25th, 2018 at 08:34 amKenai Central High School Freshman Riley Graves placed 6th in this years Caring For the Kenai competition. Riley: “A man is walking on the beach barefoot and suddenly feels a sharp pain as he steps on a piece of metal underneath him. He screams with sounds of agony as he sees a nail; then screaming again as he sees rust on a nail, wincing as he pulls out the nail, and knowing he better get a tetanus shot soon. This is why I believe we should spend some money on some metal detectors and magnetic sweepers for our beach cleanup.” Riley’s answer to that question was for the City of Kenai to purchase a magnetic attachment for their beach raking equipment utilized on Kenai beaches during dip net season. Shortly after CFK, Riley made a presentation to the Kenai City Council about the need for a magnetic rake. If approved, Riley will have raised a total of $2,500 to purchase the equipment, which was quoted at $2,632. According to council members there wasn’t any funding for the magnet in this year’s budget. So, Riley applied for a new CFK Project Development Grant, sponsored by ENSTAR, requesting $2,000 to help the City purchase the equipment. The Kenai City Council will review the mini-grant application during their meeting on July 5, when an ordinance appropriating the CFK-ENSTAR Grant will also be introduced. His application was selected by ENSTAR and CFK staff on June 20 to receive $2,000. Riley also applied for a $500 City of Kenai mini-grant. CFK asks Kenai Peninsula high school students to answer the question, ‘What can I do, invent, or create to better care for the environment on the Kenai Peninsula, or to help improve the area’s preparedness for a natural disaster?’
Defense Department leaders appear to be moving ahead with a plan to consolidate the military’s commissary and exchange systems, according to multiple sources.The move comes in response to a recommendation from the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission in January. Consolidating DOD’s three exchange services with the Defense Commissary Agency into a single Defense Resale Activity would generate savings by combining many of the back-end office and support functions such as logistics and staffing, the panel concluded.A meeting this week at the Pentagon is intended to allow military resale officials to review DOD’s plans for implementing the commission’s recommendation, sources told Military Times.Congress, however, would need to approve a significant restructuring of the commissary and exchange systems.A Pentagon spokesman would not confirm the meetings. Last month, President Obama said he supported the commission’s reforms to military pay and benefits and said DOD would send Congress by April 30 a set of legislative proposals based on the recommendations.DOD proposed its own set of cost-saving reforms to the commissary system in its fiscal 2016 budget request, including trimming staff, store hours and the days stores are open. That plan also called for U.S. commissaries to be operated more like a business, forcing the grocery stores to reduce customer discounts.Opponents of DOD’s proposal — which would cut funding for commissaries by $322 million in fiscal 2016 and by $1 billion the following year — say raising prices would eliminate the shopping benefit for military families. Dan Cohen AUTHOR
Pop group continues U.S. tour with a stop on the comedian’s daytime talk showPhilip MerrillGRAMMYs Nov 27, 2017 – 4:43 pm On Nov. 27 BTS band members J-Hope, Jimin, Jin, Jungkook, RM, Suga, and V introduced themselves to Ellen DeGeneres during their American daytime debut on “Ellen.” As one could tell from the audience’s shouts, BTS won new friends as a band.. That was part of the colorful message their hit “DNA” was all about.Leader RM shared the details of how mothers in South Korea made English mandatory viewing. His mother’s gift of “Friends” on DVD felt like an imposition at first but the show became the gateway for BTS to forge new friendships in the U.S. that look likely to last.In addition to “Ellen,” their U.S. tour of stops also included appearances on James Corden and Jimmy Kimmel’s talk shows.For new fans and the semi-converted who are just K-pop curious for now, the multitude of impressions from this BTS U.S. visit have certainly garnered new interest.BTS, UNICEF Join Forces Against Violence With Love Myself CampaignRead more Twitter Catch BTS On “Ellen” bts-wrap-successful-us-tour-ellen BTS Wrap Up Successful U.S. Tour on “Ellen” News Email Facebook
H.E.R. Opens Up On Mystery, Musicianship & Essence Fest H.E.R. Talks Mystery & Musicianship her-opens-mystery-musicianship-essence-fest Twitter Email Find out what’s behind the mystique of one of R&B’s most talented new artistsGRAMMYs Jul 9, 2018 – 10:19 am Meet the mysterious R&B singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist H.E.R., whose identity at one point didn’t go beyond a shadow and silhouette. Now, she is fully stepping into the spotlight—albeit with her face still slightly concealed by oversized sunglasses. News Facebook NETWORK ERRORCannot Contact ServerRELOAD YOUR SCREEN OR TRY SELECTING A DIFFERENT VIDEO Jul 9, 2018 – 10:08 am H.E.R. Talks Mystery & Musicianship After her soul-stirring performance at the 2018 BET Awards went viral, H.E.R. (an acronym for “Having Everything Revealed”) hit the Essence Fest Superlounge to a massive crowd. We chatted with H.E.R. backstage in an exclusive interview about performing at Essence, her mysterious image and the value of musicianship.Catching Up On Music News Powered By The Recording Academy Just Got Easier. Have A Google Home Device? “Talk To GRAMMYs”
Chang’e 4 explores the moon Chang’e 4 is pointed to by small white arrows near the lower right-hand side of this LRO image. NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University You’ll need to squint to spot it, but NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter managed to capture a look at the Chinese National Space Agency’s (CNSA) Chang’e 4 lander hanging out on the far side of the moon. Chang’e 4 touched down on Jan. 3 in the Von Kármán crater. LRO took the image on Jan. 30. “As LRO approached the crater from the east, it rolled 70° to the west to snap this spectacular view looking across the floor towards the west wall,” writes Mark Robinson for Arizona State University’s LRO Camera site.The lander, which is about the size of a car, appears as a tiny bright spot. Chang’e 4 released its Jade Rabbit 2 lunar rover in early January, but the small machine is not visible in the LRO image.Here’s a closer look at the bright spot that is the Chang’e 4 lander. NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University NASA announced in mid-January it had discussed observing Chang’e 4’s landing plume with CNSA in order to learn more about how dust is kicked up during a spacecraft landing. China’s lander is the first spacecraft to land on the far side of the moon, sometimes called the dark side even though it gets plenty of sunlight. The lander and rover are both powered by solar panels. NASA Space Chang’e 4 is on a mission to learn more about this mysterious region of the moon. It also hosted a short-lived attempt to sprout plants within a container. China already has its eyes set on another moon mission in 2019, but this time it plans to bring back lunar samples. If successful, those lunar bits will be the first brought back to Earth in decades. Sci-Tech Tags Post a comment Share your voice 0 Super blood wolf moon lunar eclipse dazzles in striking photos 12 Photos Chinese lunar rover makes tracks on the far side of the moon China’s Chang’e 4 sends back first photos of moon’s far side after historic landing NASA turns 60: The space agency has taken humanity farther than anyone else, and it has plans to go further.Taking It to Extremes: Mix insane situations — erupting volcanoes, nuclear meltdowns, 30-foot waves — with everyday tech. Here’s what happens.
India’s top two IT firms Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Infosys will be the “worst affected” companies by a sharp hike in work permit visas issued by the US government, according to a brokerage firm.Last week, the US government increased the fee to $4,000 for H-1B visas and $4,500 for L-1 visas. These work permit visas allow companies to hire highly-skilled workers from other countries when there is non-availability of such workers in the US.As domestic IT companies are among the top recipients of such visas issued by the US, analysts have raised concerns about a steep hike in visa fee weighing on margins of IT firms.”Higher visa costs will hit outsourcers that have large exposure to US markets. Infosys and TCS would be the worst affected,” said IDFC Securities in a report.While Infosys earns 60% of its income from the US, 50% of the revenue for TCS comes from North America. Although, Wipro and HCL Tech derive 50% of their revenues from the US market, the US visa usage of these companies is not so high compared to their peers.”Infosys uses proportionally highest H-1B and TCS has the biggest pool for L-1,” IDFC Securities said.In 2014, Indian workers accounted for receiving 70% of the 65,000 H-1B visas handed out by the US. TCS was the top receiver of H-1B visas last year, obtaining 5,650. Infosys (3,454) and Wipro (3,048) were also among the top receivers, The New York Times reported.As TCS and Infosys spend large amounts on acquiring the US visas, doubling of fee on such visas will increase their costs sharply.Overall, doubling of H-1B visa fee by the US is expected to cost Indian IT companies nearly $400 million. The Indian IT sector did not expect such a steep hike in visa fee, though it was prepared for an increase.Rise in visa costs will hit the service-based IT companies the most, while it will also affect product development companies.”We see an impact of 50-70 basis points as the charge is applied to extension of H-1B (awarded for 3 years with scope of 3 years extension), which was not the case earlier. Our sensitivity analysis indicates earnings impact of 2-4 per cent due to the new law,” NDTV Profit quoted IDFC analyst Shashi Bhusan as saying.
Indian stock markets on Friday could well reverse the massive losses of the previous day caused by expectations of an interest rate hike by the US Fed Reserve that saw the benchmark indices — BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty — plunge 1.56 per cent. The two triggers that could lead to a rally are September retail inflation data and upbeat TCS results for September quarter.Retail inflation in September improved to a 13-month low of 4.31 per cent from 5.05 per cent in the previous month. Food price inflation, the main contributor to overall inflation in the past few months, declined to 3.88 per cent during the month from 5.91 per cent in August. Analysts view this as not only positive, but also raising the scope for another rate cut of 25 basis points.Secondly, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), India’s largest software services exporter, posted decent growth in consolidated net profit and revenues for the September quarter on a year-on-year (YoY) basis.While net profit rose 8.4 per cent to Rs. 6,603 crore, revenues were up 7.8 per cent to Rs. 29,284 crore. The company also declared interim dividend of Rs. 6.50 per equity share.These two factors could well reverse the drastic fall of Thursday when the BSE Sensex closed 440 points, or 1.56 per cent lower, at 27,643, while the NSE Nifty ended the day at 8,573, down 135 points.On Thursday, TCS shares closed 2.17 per cent lower at Rs. 2,328.50 apiece, while Infosys gained 2.14 per cent to end at Rs. 1,052.05.However, Q2 results of Infosys would influence market sentiments on Friday. The Bengaluru-based IT software services exporter had already hinted at a possible downward revision of revenue guidance for the year.On July 15, the company, while declaring its Q1 results, had lowered its FY2017 revenue guidance to 10.5-12 per cent from 11.5-13.5 per cent earlier, triggering a 10 per cent fall in share price.In September, Vishal Sikka, CEO of Infosys, had hinted at another downward revision triggered by factors such as Brexit.”What I could say is that we see that our Q2 growth is going to be higher than the Q1 growth, but we do see risks that would get us towards a territory of downward revision of guidance because the atmosphere during the course of Q2 has worsened compared to what we saw in the beginning of Q2. And you see the example of RBS, it is one such example,” told analysts during a call last month.The company’s June 2016 quarter consolidated net profit was $511 million on revenues of $2,501 million, translating into revenue growth of 10.9 per cent on a year-on-year (YoY) basis and 12.1 per cent in constant currency terms. The operating margin came at 24.1 per cent.
A Jessore court on Wednesday convicted nine people and sentenced them to life term imprisonment for killing an UP member in Jessore in 2005, reports UNB.Among the convicts, three accused were present in the dock during the hearing while six others—Enamul Haque, Kabir, Anis, Biplob Mia, Kamarul Mandal, Ajam Fakir—remained absconding. According to the case statement, Insanul Haque, a member of Deyara union parishad in Sadar upazila, was killed by the convicts during a robbery on 8 July in 2005. Ijarul Haque Jewel, son of the victim, filed a murder and robbery case accusing unnamed people. After examining the records and witnesses, Md Iman Ali Sheikh of the Additional District and Sessions Judge Court-1, handed down the verdict.
London’s double-deck red buses are as familiar in the capital as the changing of the guards and the chimes of Big Ben.But one thing is set to change in 2017 when hundreds of buses will become greener than ever, thanks to an anti-pollution drive by mayor Sadiq Khan.Khan on Friday announced 10 new Low Emission Bus Zones to tackle toxic air pollution in Britain’s capital city.The biggest ever “green bus” program will cut harmful bus emissions across a number of key routes in London by 84 percent.It will also protect thousands of school children at 172 schools along the bus routes from being exposed to dangerous pollution.The scheme will see all-electric or hybrid electric buses, or ultra low emission vehicles on the routes.Khan announced plans 10 more Low Emission Bus Zones to be added to the two already in operation, bringing the greenest buses to the capital’s most polluted routes to cut harmful nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions.A spokesman for Khan’s office at city hall said: “The buses are part of the mayor’s hard-hitting measures to tackle London’s filthy air, responsible for the premature deaths of more than 9,000 Londoners every year.”The mayor has targeted air quality hotspots where people are exposed to some of the highest levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution and where older buses contribute significantly to road transport emissions.The new greener buses, which will be a combination of hybrid and clean buses that meet European standards, are part of an improvement program to 3,000 buses outside central London.The zones are expected to reduce NOx emissions from buses along the routes by around 84 percent and will fulfill the Mayor’s manifesto commitment to introduce Low Emission Bus Zones by 2020.”Tackling London’s filthy air is one of my main priorities and I am delighted to be delivering on that commitment by introducing these new Low Emission Bus Zones,” Khan said.Removing the oldest, dirtiest buses from London streets and delivering Low Emission Bus Zones will make a big contribution to tackling transport pollution, he said.
Shops selling abayas in Balad. — SG photoA pall of gloom has descended on the downtown of Balad in Jeddah which houses most of the garment shops that include children and women wear as deadline for Saudisation of these shops nears, reports Saudi Gazette.A majority of these shops are being run by Bangladesh expatriates, according to the report titled “Black days ahead for Bangla expatriates in abaya shops” published on Thursday.Although the shops and kiosks are located on narrow lanes, they are found to be frequented by customers — residents and pilgrims — to buy a variety of children garments and a wide range of abayas.The post-Haj season sale is a prime time for the traders as pilgrims visit Balad for shopping where women prefer to purchase newly-designed abayas and children garments as gifts for their near and dear ones back home, said the report.Several shops have reportedly slashed the prices of abayas and other garments as they seek to clear their inventories.The SG report said the labor and social development ministry has given flexibility of having 70 percentage of Saudisation in this sector.However, most of the businesses have failed to meet the criteria as the shops are operated by expatriates under Tasattur module, according to the report.Officially the deadline is 11 September, but frequent inspections as part of routine process were being conducted around the year and many of these shop owners were abruptly shutting down their business to avoid being penalised, added the report.It mentioend that most of these shop operators are close knit groups hailing from Chittagong area of Bangladesh. There are a few from India and Yemen also but their number is much low, said the report.However, anticipating the vigorous inspection with zero tolerance from the new Hijri (corresponding to 11 September), some of the shop owners declined to renew their rent agreements and few of them have left home permanentlym said the report. Others are bracing to leave.“We want to abide by Saudi law and respect it. Therefore we are voluntarily exiting the shops”, a young Bangladeshi who is in abaya business for over a decade. was quoted to have said.His brother is said to have returned to the country and he is also planning to do so in next few months.It’s not only the Balad, but Bawadi and Jamia are other popular markets where expatriates dominate the sector, said the SG report. Stories in these areas is no different.Quoting market sources the newspaper said Riyadh, Dammam and other parts of the Kingdom too are facing the same situation.
Bikalpadhara Bangladesh chief Badruddoza Chowdhury is speaking at a press briefing at his Baridhara residence on Saturday evening. Photo: CollectedBikalpadhara Bangladesh chief Badruddoza Chowdhury has ruled out any possibility of forming alliance with the BNP if the main opposition party does not sever its tie with anti-liberation forces.“Bikalpadhara asked the BNP to leave Jamaat as a pre-condition for joining the National Unity Process but the BNP didn’t pay heed to the demand. We didn’t join National Oikya Front on this ground,” he said at a press briefing at his Baridhara residence on Saturday evening.B Chowdhury was elected president after the BNP-led four-party alliance including Jamaat-e-Islami assumed office winning the 2001 parliamentary polls. He resigned from the post in 2002 following his criticism in parliament.B Chowdhury, who later formed the BDB, said the other reason for his party’s not joining the new opposition coalition is that the BNP did not give assurance of ensuring a balance of power if the coalition is voted to power.He spoke to the press, minutes after the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), Jatiya Oikya Prokriya led by Kamal Hossain and Jukta Front made the announcement of formation of the ‘Jatiya Oikya Front’.Bikalpadhara joint secretary general and B Chy’s son Mahi B Chowdhury and secretary general Maj (retd) Abdul Mannan, among others were present at the press conference.