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UN urges authorities in Gaza to reconsider dissolution of youth group

20 July 2011A senior United Nations official today encouraged the de facto authorities in Gaza to reconsider the decision to dissolve the non-governmental organization (NGO) Sharek Youth Forum. Maxwell Gaylard, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory, said the youth group was dissolved last week “while judicial proceedings were ongoing and in the absence of any conviction of the NGO or individual staff members for malfeasance.” “I am concerned that the principles of rule of law and due process may not have been followed”, Mr. Gaylard said in a statement.“NGOs are a mirror of the strength of civil society and rally people behind important ideas in the realms of justice, freedom, and human rights. NGOs are agents of social change but can only play this role with organizational independence. Arbitrary actions and attempts at controlling their activities threaten the very nature of NGOs and their considerable contribution to civil society,” he said.On its website Sharek Youth Forum describes itself as an independent Palestinian organization that seeks to contribute to the process of youth development by giving a voice to young people and being a platform to advocate and support youth issues.According to local media, Gazan authorities closed the NGO, alleging “it did not obtain the necessary licenses from the Ministry of Interior in Gaza and, according to the investigations conducted by the Office of the Attorney General, the Forum violates order and public morals.”“In Gaza as elsewhere in the world, the United Nations relies on NGOs as important partners to ensure the effectiveness and sustainability of humanitarian and development activities,” Mr. Gaylard said, adding that the Sharek Youth Forum has been an important partner of the UN on behalf of children and youth. read more

Investigations into LTTE murder of Rajiv still not complete

As India on Monday paid tributes to Rajiv Gandhi on his death anniversary, the investigation in the assassination of the former Prime Minister is still on, 27 years after his ghastly killing, The Millennium Post reported.The status of ongoing investigation by the CBI-led Multi Disciplinary Monitoring Agency (MDMA), probing the larger conspiracy aspect behind the assassination, was shared with the Indian Supreme Court which had in March asked the Centre to place before it the steps which were required to be taken to brought it to an end as “expeditiously as possible”. The MDMA had informed a bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi that the probe into the case was “still open” and Letters Rogatory have been issued to different countries, including Sri Lanka, where some persons required to be investigated were currently residing. Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on the night of May 21, 1991 at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu by a woman suicide bomber, identified as Dhanu, at a poll rally. Fourteen others, including Dhanu herself, were also killed in the explosion. Gandhi’s assassination was perhaps the first case of suicide bombing globally, which had claimed the life of a high-profile leader.The MDMA, set up in 1998 on the recommendations of Justice M C Jain Commission of Inquiry which had probed the conspiracy aspect of Gandhi’s assassination, is headed by a CBI official and comprises officers from IB, RAW and Revenue Intelligence and other agencies. (Colombo Gazette) read more

More than 1 million Afghans return home top UN refugee official says

“We’ve passed the 1 million mark and now expect that up to 2 million Afghans could return home this year,” High Commissioner Ruud Lubbers said, in a statement issued by UNHCR. However, the High Commissioner warned that the returnees were not yet receiving the international support they needed. “Fresh contributions of funds and food aid are urgently needed. The new Government of President Karzai urgently needs international support. The Afghan people require a smooth and rapid transition from relief to development to ensure they have jobs and don’t find themselves in deeper poverty,” Mr. Lubbers explained. And Filippo Grandi, the Kabul-based head of UNHCR’s Afghan operations, told reporters at the Pul-i-Charkhi returnee centre on Sunday that if larger reconstruction programmes did not begin quickly in Afghanistan, the returns could be in jeopardy.The largest number of returnees – some 920,000 – have come from neighbouring Pakistan. Over 75,000 Afghan people have repatriated from Iran, as part of an operation that started in April, and another 9,000 have returned from Central Asian States.Initially, Afghan authorities and UNHCR expected some 800,000 Afghans would return home from outside the country, with an additional 400,000 people displaced inside Afghanistan also heading home to their villages.UNHCR says the current pace of return has exceeded the expectations of relief agencies. More than $86 million is still needed for the agency’s aid operation in Afghanistan and neighbouring States. read more

Annan holds separate talks with leaders of Chad Sudan Zimbabwe and Côte

In talks with Sudanese President Omar al Bashir, the Secretary-General said they agreed on the need to immediately strengthen the AU mission in Darfur (AMIS) and to consolidate the peace accord in that region, which has seen scores of thousands of people killed and over 2 million displaced.For the 5 May agreement to work, “those parties who have not yet signed must come on board,” Mr. Annan said, adding that he personally “continued to press for the eventual deployment of a UN force in Darfur.”While the Government has opposed such a deployment, Mr. Annan said, “On this point, we agreed that the dialogue had to continue.”Mr. Annan also met with Chad’s President, Idriss Deby. Responding to press questions, he voiced concern about security in camps for internally displaced persons. “We do not want to those camps to become resting places for fighters, we don’t want them to become recruitment place for fighters, we don’t want fighters to intimidate civilians and take away their food for the men in arms and, so, we are also looking at how we can secure the camps and protect the refugees in those camps as well,” he said.Meeting with President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe – where the Government’s massive demolition of homes has provoked international concern – the Secretary-General said the long-serving leader “advised me that the former Tanzanian President, Ben Mkapa, had been appointed as a mediator” and added: “We both agreed that he should be given the time and space to do his work.”On Côte d’Ivoire, a country divided between a rebel-held north and government-controlled south, the Secretary-General held talks with the President, Laurent Gbagbo, and a number of concerned regional leaders. Those meetings are slated to continue later this week in Abidjan. Asked about elections scheduled for October, Mr. Annan said ideally, Côte d’Ivoire should adhere to that timetable. “But, for technical reasons, if there has to be any delay, I hope it will be a very, very brief one and there must be elections, in any event, by the end of the year,” he stressed. The Secretary-General’s official trip will continue to a number of countries in the region, starting with Sierra Leone. read more

UN rights experts urge action to curb invisible threat of toxic air

“Air pollution is a major threat to human rights worldwide and toxic air pollutants are associated with an increased risk of disease from stroke, heart disease, cancer and respiratory diseases, including asthma,” the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and hazardous substances and wastes, Baskut Tuncak, said in a news release issued today by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Three million deaths each year are linked to exposure to outdoor air pollution, according to estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO). There is also growing research evidence indicating that air pollution has become the leading environmental cause of death in the world. Joining Mr. Tuncak in the appeal are Dainius Puras, the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, and John H. Knox, the Special Rapporteur on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment.Silent pandemic“Children and people in vulnerable situations, including women of reproductive age, the elderly, those in poor health and those living in less wealthy communities remain the most vulnerable,” the experts warned. According to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), 300 million children – almost one in seven of the world’s total, live in areas with the most toxic levels of outdoor air pollution, a situation paediatricians describe as a ‘silent pandemic.’ A threat like this can no longer be ignored“A threat like this can no longer be ignored,” they said. “States have a duty to prevent and control exposure to toxic air pollution and to protect against its adverse effects on human rights.” The experts said that impunity for those responsible for air pollution is rampant today, with recent reports of environmental ministers even denying its effects, in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.They stressed the need for cross-border cooperation to promote the adoption of preventive and control measures in the energy, industrial and transportation sectors, as well as the need for investment in infrastructures and long-term incentives. “Improving the regulation of toxic emissions from industrial sources and vehicles, strengthening waste management and recycling practices, and promoting renewable energies are crucial steps to effectively address air quality issues and public health,” the experts concluded.Special Rapporteurs and independent experts are appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a specific human rights theme or a country situation. The positions are honorary and the experts are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work. read more

Urban Meyer adds 3 key recruits to Ohio States 2016 class

OSU coach Urban Meyer flashes a grin while on the podium celebrating the Buckeyes’ 44-28 victory over Notre in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo EditorThe Ohio State football program already had one of the nation’s top recruiting classes as Feb. 3, the date of this year’s National Signing Day, inched closer. But a wave of three major verbal commitments crashed upon the shores of the college football world Monday , which now leaves coach Urban Meyer’s 2016 class sitting alone at the top, according to multiple outlets., 247Sports and Rivals all now have the Buckeyes owning the No. 1 spot after the addition of a trio of four-star prospects. The three outlets each had OSU with the third-ranked class prior to the announcements. Quarterback Dwayne Haskins, linebacker Keandre Jones and wide receiver Binjimen Victor all declared on Martin Luther King Jr. Day their plans to play collegiately in Columbus, bringing the number of commitments for Meyer in his 2016 class to 21. Victor’s destination was largely up in the air until around noon on Monday when he posted on Twitter, whereas Haskins and Jones were previously verbally committed to Maryland.The Fort Lauderdale, Florida, native Victor had narrowed his choices down to West Virginia, Tennessee and OSU before selecting the Scarlet and Gray. “I would like to thank everyone for being there for me throughout this whole recruiting process,” he wrote in a screenshot on his Twitter. Victor continued, writing that there was only “one school” that he could see himself playing for, and that was OSU. With receivers Michael Thomas and Jalin Marshall departing for the NFL draft, a cloud of uncertainty hangs over the pass-catchers for OSU next season. Whether Victor will be able to contribute as a true freshman remains to be seen, of course, but even if he doesn’t contribute in 2016, he will likely make an impact somewhere down the line. For Victor, who played in the Army All-American Game in January, to step in and play right away, he will need to add weight to his slender 6-foot-4 frame. Currently, he listed at just 177 pounds. That number will have to increase for him to step on the field this fall, as college football is much more physical than high school and he might not hold up playing at that weight. Fortunately for Victor and his new team, OSU strength coach Mickey Marotti is considered one of the best in the business. Even though OSU returns redshirt junior quarterback J.T. Barrett, the addition of Haskins to the recruiting class is an enormous lift. Meyer and the Buckeyes had been targeting Haskins for quite some time, according to Ari Wasserman of, but the Potomac, Maryland, native chose to stay in-state and play for the Terrapins after OSU received a verbal commitment from Tristen Wallace, a four-star athlete from Texas. Wallace changed his mind, though, and chose to play wide receiver at Oregon. Once that happened and Maryland fired Randy Edsall, the door for Meyer to land Haskins swung open, Wasserman reported. Haskins walked through the door, locked it and all but threw away the key Monday. He announced his intent to become a Buckeye in an essay posted to a blog powered by Weebly, to which he tweeted the link. The 6-foot-2, 188-pounder discussed his reasons for decommitting, which largely centered on Edsall’s firing, before telling the world where he would play collegiately. “At the age of 8 years old, I went to numerous Ohio State camps, loved watching their games and idolized the university,” Haskins wrote. “Finally, my dream to attend ​Ohio State will come true.” Barring any unforeseen injuries, which, based off recent history, wouldn’t be unheard of for OSU, Haskins is unlikely to contribute right away. But, 247Sports’ seventh-ranked pro-style quarterback is certainly a guy Meyer would entrust at the helm of his offense, based upon his vigorous recruitment of Haskins. Making the flip-flop from Maryland to OSU along with Haskins was Jones, the four-star linebacker from Olney, Maryland. Pegged by 247Sports as the No. 9 linebacker, Jones’ journey to Columbus was an interesting one. Wasserman reported Jones was a “surprise Ohio State official visitor” over the weekend. By sunset Monday, he had already declared his intentions to switch to OSU. Haskins posted a picture of himself with Jones on his Twitter account, saying they are “like brothers.” Jones, who lists as a five-star prospect, joins a linebacking unit at OSU that lost two starters. Although there is plenty of talent already at linebacker for the Buckeyes, such as juniors Raekwon McMillan and Chris Worley, tossing Jones in the mix is certainly not a bad thing. With all three players, just how much they play in 2016 remains unseen but for a program to maintain success over long periods of time, like OSU always does, these types of commitments are the foundation for prolonged dominance. They, however, might not be the last of splashes that the Buckeyes make from now until National Signing Day on Feb. 3. “Big day for the Buckeyes!” OSU offensive coordinator Ed Warinner tweeted Monday. “More to come!!” read more

By the numbers Ohio State steamrolls Rutgers 497

OSU redshirt sophomore quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) and redshirt sophomore H-back Jalin Marshall (7) celebrate a touchdown against Rutgers on Oct. 24 at High Point Solutions Stadium. OSU won, 49-7. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead / Photo EditorThe offensive problems that have plagued Ohio State (8-0, 4-0) all season seem to have finally been resolved, for now. Redshirt sophomore quarterback J.T. Barrett returned to the starting lineup for the first time this season and he led the Buckeyes to a 49-7 rout in OSU’s first trip in program history to Piscataway, New Jersey, to take on Rutgers.Barrett totaled five touchdowns (three passing, two rushing) and 324 yards of offense as he helped show the nation the potential of the Buckeye offense that has been off to a rocky start.  Since being phased more and more into the offense after the game at Indiana, Barrett has collected 10 touchdowns and 500-plus yards of offense in his last three games combined. After Saturday night’s performance, it is clear that he has solidified his place once again as coach Urban Meyer’s No. 1 option.The Buckeye offense started slow in the first quarter, but once Barrett was settled in the offensive steamroller began moving, as the Buckeyes tallied 49 unanswered points on an overwhelmed Rutgers team. Junior Ezekiel Elliot ran for 142 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries as he once again led the Buckeye rushing attack. Barrett also added his second straight 100-plus yard rushing game.On the defensive side of the ball, the Buckeyes were able to easily contain Rutgers all night long, and only gave up a touchdown in the final seconds of the game. Redshirt sophomore cornerback Gareon Conley picked off a pass, while sophomore Raekwon McMillan led the team with seven tackles.OSU has a bye next week before a home matchup against Minnesota, while Rutgers goes to Camp Randall Stadium to face off against Wisconsin on Oct. 31.By the numbers:21 – OSU picked up its 21st straight win last night, the longest current winning streak in the nation.2 – The amount of matchups ever between the Scarlet Knights and the Buckeyes, with the first meeting last year in Columbus. OSU is now 2-0 in the series.3 – The Big Ten currently has three undefeated teams in the top 10 of the AP Poll (Michigan State, OSU and Iowa). The Pac-12, SEC and ACC only have two between the three conferences.0 ­– The Buckeyes played a nearly flawless game on Saturday and didn’t get a single penalty called against them.49 – Tied for the most points put up by the Buckeyes this season (the other game was against Maryland).21-8 –  The Buckeyes enter a tough stretch to end the regular season, as they are scheduled to play four teams with a current combined record of 21-8, and all of whom feature a current winning record (Minnesota, at Illinois, Michigan State, at Michigan). read more

Superbugs could render even the most routine procedures deadly warns chief medical

Protect yourself and your family by learning more about Global Health Security Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Sir Bruce Keogh, a cardiac surgeon who recently stepped down as medical director of the NHS, warned in March that he had seen patients die because of resistance, leaving him with a “deep sense of futility and hopelessness”.“I’ve watched patients deteriorate in front of my eyes because the germs are resistant,” he said. “People think of this as a problem of the future but the reality is it is a problem now and it’s likely to get a lot worse in years to come.” “What is at stake here is nothing less than the basic integrity of modern medicine – and without this, quite simply, we, our children, and our grandchildren have nothing”.The discovery of new antibiotics are seen as vital in the battle to curb the global rise in drug resistant infections, thought to be linked to least 5,000 deaths a year in the UK alone and around 700,000 deaths around the world every year. It brings total UK investment since 2014 to more than £615 million at home and abroad in research, development and surveillance in the area.“The exciting world of robotics, artificial intelligence and genomic medicine that the Prime Minister conveyed this week will be an important part of this story,” said Dame Sally. “But our greatest achievement may yet be the rather more prosaic steps we are taking now to bring countries together to tackle antibiotic resistance at the source.”There is growing concern among senior physicians across the NHS about the impact of resistant superbugs and the impact they are having on day-to-day treatments and operations. Earlier this year, Public Health England revealed that an English traveller had picked up a case of “super gonorrhea” in south east Asia which was resistant to all standard antibiotics. The sexually transmitted infection was only cured after three days of intravenous treatment with the antibiotic of last resort, ertapenem.This bug and others are spreading rapidly across the globe fueled by the overuse of antibiotics in medicine, especially in developing countries like India, and their use as a prophylactic and growth promoter in factory farms across the world.  Although many resistant superbugs may start abroad, the nature of the connected modern world means they quickly infect other health systems and populations. For example, the south east Asian “super gonorrhea” spread to Australia as well as the UK. Because infections are common whenever surgery is conducted or when patients immune systems are supressed due to treatments such as chemotherapy, doctors need to be able to rely on antibiotics to perform these procedures safely. The NHS may soon be unable to safely offer caesareans and hip operations because of soaring levels of antibiotic resistance in British hospitals, the chief medical officer for England is warning.Professor Dame Sally Davies’s comments come as the Department of Health pledged £30m to fund the fight against deadly superbugs through investment in cutting-edge drugs and diagnostics.Contrasting the prime minister’s vision earlier this week of a health service made more effective through the use of artificial intelligence (AI), Dame Sally painted a picture of another possible future – “much harder to confront” – in which antibiotic resistance pushed medical science and the NHS backwards.“It is a future in which common infections and minor injuries kill once again, and where the types of intervention we routinely deliver today, such as caesarean sections, chemotherapy and hip replacements, become extremely dangerous”, she writes in the Daily Telegraph on Wednesday. Without this, quite simply, we, our children, and our grandchildren have nothingProfessor Dame Sally Davies I’ve watched patients deteriorate in front of my eyes because the germs are resistantSir Bruce Keogh, former medical director of the NHS A 2016 report on the growing global threat of antibiotic resistance by former Goldman Sachs boss, Lord O’Neill, warned that, if left unchecked, superbugs could kill 10m people around the world by 2050.The bulk of the new investment from the Department of Health, backed by matching philanthropic donations, will go to Carb-X, a non-profit partnership launched in 2016 by the US government and the Wellcome Trust which is dedicated to combating antibiotic resistance bacteria through the development of new technologies. read more

Pupils banned from talking while walking between lessons under headteachers silence policy

Val Masson said the policy had transformed pupils' behaviour “And the third thing is that silence creates a very mutually respectful relationship between students and staff.”It encourages a no raised voices environment. I don’t agree with raising voices to children and usually staff only need to do that if there is a lot of noise.”If it is a quiet environment, you don’t need to raise your voice.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Mrs Masson, 51, said the number of pupils in isolation for poor behaviour has halved since she decided to revive stricter teaching methods.She said: “There are several reasons why we did it.”We wanted a calm and academic atmosphere like a high-end institution.”The second reason is that we believe in equality for all so even your meekest, most under confident child should be given the space to grow. As part of the rules, students from years seven, eight and nine are made to queue silently in the playground three times a day – before school, and after morning and lunch break.Teachers then thank them for participating and for their hard work.Mrs Masson said the scheme was “divisive” when it was first suggested in meetings with other members of staff, but she says staff members have noticed a marked improvement in how calm many pupils are.She added: “We’ve seen far fewer lessons starting late. Regularly lessons are starting way before the late bell.”Before we did this, students were still arriving at lessons then but now they’re beginning on average three minutes earlier.”If you multiply that, it’s 15 minutes extra teaching a day. A headteacher has introduced a silence policy at her secondary school which sees children banned from talking while walking between lessons.Val Masson claims the new rules have transformed pupils’ behaviour at The Albany School in Hornchurch, east London since they were brought in a month ago.Mrs Masson, who was appointed the school’s headteacher in September 2016, said she wanted schoolchildren to benefit from an “academic atmosphere” and to build mutual respect with staff. Under her policy, pupils must walk between lessons in complete silence and queue on the playground three times a day before classes without making noise.From September, Year 10 students, who are studying for their GCSEs, will also stay behind after school ends for four days a week to learn for an extra hour without speaking. The policy has been in place for a month The policy at the school in east London has been in place for a monthCredit:Ben Mole/Triangle News Val Masson said the policy had transformed pupils’ behaviourCredit:Ben Mole/Triangle News “When students don’t settle, we have a relocation system that sees them sent to another classroom to settle down. “That system has almost reduced to zero. We almost get no relocations any more and that’s because a lot of distraction was happening at the beginning of the lessons.”Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, praised the scheme.He said: “Schools use a range of techniques to encourage orderly behaviour and create a climate for learning.”Headteachers work with the school community – including governors and parents – to establish the approaches which work best for their school and build a shared commitment towards the expected standards.”Short periods of silence can encourage reflection and calmness in an age which is often noisy and frenetic.”The school has just under 900 pupils. read more

The Evening Fix Now with what its actually like to be 22

first_imgAh lads, get a room. Ian Evans and Paul O’Connell get intimate during a Lions training session at Carton House in Maynooth yesterday. (Niall Carson/PA Wire)HERE ARE THE things we learned, loved and shared today as we round off the day in three easy steps.THINGS WE LEARNED#TALKING TAX: Leaders from EU member states have asked the EU itself to examine ways of tackling “aggressive tax planning” by multinational companies – in a seemingly direct response to criticism of how firms like Apple can manipulate tax systems. The European Commission will now formulate new plans by the end of the year. Before the meeting, Enda Kenny again insisted that Ireland does not negotiate tax deals with individual companies.#CROKE PARK 2a: The trade union representing primary school teachers has recommended that members accept the revised public pay deal, which will see teachers’ wages rise by €1,500 a year by 2018 – though while losing a supervision allowance worth more than that amount. The INTO will now ballot its members on whether to accept the proposals, which replace the defeated Croke Park 2 deal.#NUCLEAR POWER: A report into the impact of building eight new nuclear sites in the UK has found that the effect on human health in Ireland would be “very low”. The report from the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland assessed five possible accident scenarios, and found that even in a Fukushima-like catastrophe, the radiation Irish people would be exposed to would be less than the recommended annual limit.#RTÉ: The head of the national broadcaster has admitted that RTÉ’s top on-air figures are paid “too much”. Noel Curran said he was now working to reduce the pay of broadcasters, which had ballooned during the boom.#LONDON: A meeting of the UK’s national emergency response team has been called, after a man – thought to be a soldier – was killed and reportedly decapitated in an attack in London. The incident occurred in Woolwich this afternoon; video has emerged of one of the alleged attacks trying to justify his actions.#COSTA CONCORDIA: The captain of the stricken cruise liner the Costa Concordia is to stand trial for manslaughter. Francesco Schettino is charged with causing the shipwreck and the death of 32 passengers, and could face 20 years in jail if conviced.A gust of wind blows Pope Francis’s mantle during his weekly general audience in St. Peter Square at the Vatican. (Alessandra Tarantino/AP)THINGS WE LOVEDThe idea that you could now get a toothbrush that secretes caffeine while you brush your teeth. Why dirty your teeth with coffee, the sweet elixir of life, if you can get your caffeine fix as soon as you go to the toilet?The women in the office assure me that bearded men are better. “They just are,” said a colleague who shall not be named. But in case there’s anyone still on the fence, here are 22 reasons why, courtesy of BuzzFeed.YouTube’s preparing for its giant Comedy Week. Here’s one of its videos – investigating why the Scooby-Doo mystery team is terrible –  like, worryingly terrible – at solving mysteries: (YouTube: teamcoco) (YouTube: Cracked)THINGS WE SHARED Here’s something you don’t see every day: a circle rainbow (or a bit of it, anyway). Reader Michael Brady has sent us this snap of something he saw near Thurles last week: a tiny sliver of rainbow in the middle of the clouds.Well, this is easily the best use of Vine we’ve seen so far…Finally, if you spend any time at all on YouTube you’ll probably have encountered Taylor Swift’s ode to being 22. (She’s 23.) To put her back in her place, here’s Conan O’Brien advising her on HIS memories of being 22. We think his version is better:last_img read more

Michael Jacksons nephew defends his uncle ahead of documentary on alleged abuse

first_img Image: Yui Mok Share6 Tweet Email Short URL It wasn’t only boys, it was girls, it was cousins, it was everyone… but also my uncle would give them the bed and he’d sleep on the floor. I know what it sounds like, I’m not oblivious to what it sounds like.Meanwhile, protesters gathered outside Channel 4 offices to protest against the documentary being aired and to show their support for the pop icon. 48 Comments Mar 6th 2019, 5:04 PM Wednesday 6 Mar 2019, 5:04 PM Michael Jackson fans stage a protest outside the headquarters of Channel 4. Image: Yui Mok Michael Jackson fans stage a protest outside the headquarters of Channel 4. Source: mjc/Twitter MICHAEL JACKSON’S NEPHEW has reiterated his support for the pop icon, hours before a controversial Channel 4 documentary is to air outlining allegations of sexual abuse against Michael Jackson.Taj Jackson, a spokesperson for the Jackson family, spoke to RTÉ’s Today with Sean O’Rourke show about Leaving Neverland, where two men Wade Robson (36) and James Safechuck (41) outline the abuse they allege to have been subjected to.He said that he believes his uncle is innocent, and accused Robson and Safechuck of making false accusations for money.“You know your family, I spent thousands of hours with my uncle Michael… I wouldn’t have flown to the UK to defend him if I thought for one instant that he was guilty.” Source: Sky News/YouTubeOn sleepovers in Jackson’s home, Taj Jackson expanded on the phrase used was “shared a bed”. By Gráinne Ní Aodha About the documentaryThe first part of Leaving Neverland, a four-hour film by British director Dan Reed, will air tonight on Channel 4 at 9pm; the second part will air tomorrow at the same time. US cable network HBO will air it in two parts, starting Sunday.The testimonies by the two men is reported to be quite harrowing and detailed, so much so that counseling was made available at its Sundance Film Festival premiere in January.Both allege that Jackson wooed them: claiming he invited them into his “fairytale existence”, gained their families’ trust and manipulated them into keeping their sexual relations secret.Reed said he tried to include “sexual detail in a very measured way, so it wasn’t done for shock value.”“We tried to make it graphic enough to be eye-opening and for people to be confronted with what it means for a little child to be seduced and raped by an adult pedophile,” Reed told AFP.“Of course it’s shocking. It’s a very serious crime. And it shouldn’t be glossed over.”It’s not the first public airing of abuse claims against Jackson but the release marks the scandal’s first major explosion since his fatal overdose at age 50, almost 10 years ago.With reporting from © AFP 2019. You can listen to the RTÉ interview in full here.  23,487 Views Michael Jackson’s nephew defends his uncle ahead of documentary on alleged abuse The first part of Leaving Neverland airs on Channel 4 tonight at 9pm. Protest outside Channel 4 today about the fact the Leaving Neverland documentary (which accuses Michael Jackson of sexually assaulting children) is airing tonight.— mjc (@MC_squared_) March 6, 2019 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Ireland achieve highestever points total in latest World Rugby rankings

first_imgLeinster sign three Ireland U20 players up as part of academy intake for 2018/19What next for Ireland? Schmidt’s men don’t want to be ‘one-hit wonders’ Follow us: 65,978 Views Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Monday 25 Jun 2018, 5:09 PM Share397 Tweet Email5 A REMARKABLE SEASON which scaled rarefied heights ends with another notable achievement, as Joe Schmidt’s Ireland achieve a highest-ever points total in the latest World Rugby rankings. Ireland celebrate their series win in Sydney. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHOIn winning 10 of their 11 Test matches over the course of last season, Ireland accumulated a Triple Crown, Grand Slam, Six Nations title and, most recently, a landmark series victory in Australia for only the second time, and first since 1979.Schmidt’s side consolidated their position in second place of the rankings with Saturday’s series-clinching victory over the Wallabies in Sydney, while passing the 90-point mark for the first time.Ireland began the campaign in fourth place on 85.39 rating points but memorable wins at the Stade de France and Twickenham en route to Grand Slam glory saw them hit a rankings high of second for the first time since August 2015.New Zealand remain the number one ranked team in the world but Ireland closed the gap at the summit, the All Blacks’ advantage now just 3.87 points after the summer Test series.Steve Hansen’s side defeated France 3-0 but gained no further reward, while England moved up to fourth place in the rankings after avoiding a series whitewash to South Africa with victory at Newlands on Saturday.Despite their overall series win, Rassie Erasmus’ South Africa slip one place to sixth with the Wallabies sandwiched between the Springboks and England in fifth. Wales are in third position.Meanwhile, Scotland made up some of the ground they lost following last week’s shock one-point loss to the USA with a convincing 44-15 win against Argentina in Resistencia.Gregor Townsend’s men remain in sixth position, with France, Fiji and Argentina making up the top 10.Ireland are next in action in November, when they begin their busy Autumn international schedule with a fixture against Conor O’Shea’s Italy in Soldier Field, Chicago.Argentina and USA then visit the Aviva Stadium in-between a much-anticipated renewal with the All Blacks in Dublin on Saturday 17 November. Source: World RugbyFull rankings available here>Originally published at 15.41The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us! Short URL By Ryan Bailey 50 Comments Ireland achieve highest-ever points total in latest World Rugby rankings Joe Schmidt’s side won 10 of their 11 Tests last season. Jun 25th 2018, 3:32 PM last_img read more

Control Your Smart Home With Raspberry Pi AddOn Talking Pi

first_img Don’t spend your life savings on a smart home: All you need is a Raspberry Pi and the new Talking Pi speech control assistant.The intelligent open-source extension, from German manufacturer Joy-it, allows users to manage lights, plugs, and devices via voice commands.“Simply control the light, … switch sockets on and off, or activate your coffee machine when you come in the front door,” the Joy-it website said. “There are practically no limits to your imagination here.”Customers can pair it with the Google Home smart speaker, as well as the company’s AIY (do-it-yourself artificial intelligence) Vision and Voice kits. Its six-channel servo PWM, meanwhile, acts as a remote control for robotics projects.On sale from Conrad Business Solutions (€32.99/$41) and Elektor ($42), the Raspberry Pi add-on features integrated motor control and a range of applications for increased functionality.Plus, a stereo microphone and integrated I2S sound output driver make it easy to connect a 3-watt loudspeaker. Joy-it is currently working on another module, expected for release soon, which will allow for stereo sound output.For servomotors, an integrated 5V barrel connector is available.Equipped with a bracket holding a 433MHz radio module, the configurable and customizable gadget is also capable of addressing devices and circuits through the Raspberry Pi’s GPIO interface.Talking Pi, a measly 64-by-10-by-54 mm, is fit for installation “in space-sensitive areas such as enclosures, as well as integrating into existing applications,” according to Elektor.Developed to promote the teaching of basic computer science in schools and developing countries, the cheap Raspberry Pi board has become the ultimate DIY accessory.Use it to power a wearable computer, racing robot, or Nerf Blaster (that can ID its target’s face); turn it into a mini Game Boy, pocketable PC, or nostalgic arcade stick.Last year, scientists developed an advanced wave forecasting system that can run speedy simulations on a Raspberry Pi. Lyra Is a Handheld Gaming System Powered by a Raspberry PiRaspberry Pi Used to Steal 500 MB of NASA Data Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.center_img Stay on targetlast_img read more

Global healthcare benefits costs expected to rise by 78

first_imgGlobal healthcare benefits costs are expected to rise by 7.8% in 2017, according to research by Willis Towers Watson.Its 2017 Global medical trends survey, which surveyed 213 health insurance providers across 79 countries, also found that UK health insurance costs are forecast to rise by 5% in 2017. This follows annual increases of 5% in both 2015 and 2016.The research also found:Healthcare costs are forecast to rise by 4.5% in Europe in 2017, compared to 4.3% in 2016.The region with the highest estimated annual increase in health insurance costs is Latin America (11.5%), followed by the Middle East and Africa (9.8%), North America (8.6%), and Asia Pacific (8.6%).Health insurance costs in the United States are expected to rise by 7.5% in 2017, compared to 7.8% in 2016.Cecil Hemingway (pictured), health and benefits executive at Willis Towers Watson, said: “Controlling rising medical costs is without question a top priority for insurers and employers around the world. While progress is being made in some regions to stem costs, the vast majority of respondents continue to grapple with how to rein them in. And it’s not for a lack of effort or innovation. In fact, more employers are implementing both traditional and innovative approaches to managing rising costs.”last_img read more

Alaska Native arts teacher asks governor to reconsider proposed budget cuts

first_imgJack Hudson (left) reacts as his son, John Hudson III (right), talks about his success as a teacher. (Screenshot from 360 North broadcast)The Governor’s Arts and Humanities Awards took place last Thursday at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center. While Gov. Michael Dunleavy himself did not attend, artists, educators and advocates from around the state received awards from his commissioner of the Department of Administration.But this Wednesday, the governor will lay out his budget plan for the coming year. And it is unclear what that will mean for the people and programs represented at the awards ceremony.Among the awardees were Metlakatla teachers Jack Hudson and John Hudson III, father and son, who received the Alaska Native Arts Award.They’ve been teaching Northwest Coast and Tsimshian arts to the community for close to half a century.Father Jack, who stood stoically onstage, asked his son, John, to speak for him. And his son told a story about the school that maybe he didn’t tell his dad he was going to share.“In that old wooden building, there was no bathroom,” said Hudson, who occasionally looked over at his dad. “And (because of) that, he felt bad for the students because the bathroom was a long ways away. And when we have 75-mile-an-hour winds blowing in Southeast Alaska, like you’ve experienced here, some of the kids didn’t want to make the long trek to the bathroom. So he found a private corner, and set up a screen, and cut a hole in the floor with a trap door so some of the kids could pee down the hole,” he said to a laughing audience.The elder Hudson, who didn’t speak at any other part of the speech, actually tried to cut his son off at the end.“You took a risk, Dad,” Hudson said as the laughter continued.Beyond a fun anecdote about the myriad of ways it takes to be a good teacher, and several examples of how their program has benefited the community of Metlakatla, the younger Hudson took a moment to address the deciders in the audience.“Our program is part of the public education system. And I hope that our elected officials can see the value in our public schools and continue to fund them, so programs like ours, and so many others, don’t become in jeopardy of disappearing,” Hudson said.They received their award, a handmade wooden sculpture from Anchorage artist Mark Wedekind, from the commissioner of the Department of Administration, Kelly Tshibaka.She told the audience how being in “A Christmas Carol” at the Anchorage Community Theatre when she was young positively affected her life.“In fact, if I hadn’t ever joined that “Christmas Carol” production, I would probably would still be a hardened, reclusive personality, and I never would be the leader that I’ve grown up to be,” Tshibaka said.So Tshibaka understands the value of the arts and arts education, and she said she’s not the only one.“I do see that the governor really prioritizes children and education,” Tshibaka said. “That doesn’t mean we have the money to sustain it the way that we’ve been funding it before. We haven’t really been funding it, we’ve actually just been overspending.”Tshibaka also said the governor is committed to balancing the budget.John Hudson III had this message for the Dunleavy administration as it works through this process: “Please reconsider the budget cuts that he’s proposed during the middle of the school year. And maybe consider some other places that money could be saved, but not with the future of our schools and our students, and our quality teachers here in the state of Alaska.”The process of deciding what stays and goes starts this Wednesday when the governor shares his priorities for the state budget.The awards ceremony was a collaboration between the Alaska Humanities Forum, the Alaska State Council on the Arts, the Alaska Arts and Culture Foundation and the Office of the Governor.Click here to see a list of the nine awards.360 North is under contract to broadcast the Governor’s Arts and Humanities Awards.Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that the Hudsons have taught for close to half a decade, rather than half a century.last_img read more

Remembering scars wishing and wanting

first_imgJurrat, a week long campaign on violence against women was organised by Majma and Swaang.Swaang is best known for its song Maa Nee Meri which was created to protest the 16 December  Delhi gang-rape.Majma is an emergent collective of diverse artistes and activists committed to progressive arts and media. Both these groups – Majma and Swaang, came together for a collective cry for breaking our silence, complicity and acceptance of violence, in both its stark and normalised forms. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The campaign which was launched at Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre on 10 December, moved from Mangolpuri to Bhalaswa Resettlement Colony to Seemapuri to Katwaria Sarai to many places in Delhi to make people aware of the violence that exists with the hierarchies of class, caste and patriarchy.A mobile concert accompanied by a rally of protesters and supporters started from the malls in Saket and moved through Mehrauli, Munirka and Mahipalpur on 16 December morning. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe aim was to remember the fight of the brave girl and to clean the memory of the horrible incident from his route through songs and performances.A sketch titled Thoda Dhyan Se was performed by Mallika Taneja. Her performance speaks about the imposed gendered notions on women regarding their choice of freedom and sexual rights. The play Museum… of species in danger directed by Rasika Agashe was received and appreciated by all.The play brings out the manifold forms of violence, sexual harassment faced by women in both public and private spaces. From mythological Sita to Bhanwari Devi –the play poignantly brings out the dark sides of the patriarchal society.The performers blended their personal experiences and the registered testimonies of oppression and violence on women together to make us aware of the issues. For a week Delhi witnessed a rich repertoire of cultural forms and public performances including poetry, music, theatre and exhibitions through this campaign.last_img read more

Stretchy wearable device to monitor heart functioning

first_imgUsing gold nanoparticles, South Korean scientists have created an ultra-thin and stretchable wearable device that can provide continuous heart rate monitoring. The device could lead to improved personal and mobile health-monitoring systems.The researchers said that currently available wearable devices such as watches and bands are not suitable for all situations. “Rapid developments in wearable electronics have led to an urgent demand for deformable electronic devices,” the researchers said. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“Most deformable memory devices reported so far, however, are just flexible. These kinds of memory devices are not compatible with wearable applications that require complicated modes of mechanical deformations such as stretching,” they said.Future wearable systems that pursue mobile healthcare monitoring and data analysis based on high-performance bioelectronics should monolithically integrate various stretchable electronic components, such as sensors, amplifiers, and memory modules. However, there have been limited studies for system-level demonstrations using high performance, stretchable, non-volatile memory and related electronic devices. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix“The stretchable, high density, and ultra-thin memory array with the enhanced charge storage capability has great potential for various wearable electronics applications,” they pointed out. The circuit of the device made from a stretchable silicon membrane containing gold nanoparticles which are regarded suitable for long-term memory storage. The findings appeared in the journal Science Advances.last_img read more

Stage set for Martyrs Day rally as party leaders police do final

first_imgKolkata: The stage is set for the July 21 Martyrs’ Day rally of Trinamool Congress at Esplanade, which is scheduled to be held on Sunday.Trinamool Congress secretary general Partha Chatterjee visited the venue in front of Victoria House on Chittaranjan Avenue on Friday, where final touches are being given to the huge dais. Party supremo Mamata Banerjee will address the gathering there on Sunday. The police had gunned down 13 Youth Congress workers who took part in the March to Writers’ Buildings on July 21, 1993, under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee, who was then the state Youth Congress president. To remember the martyrs, Trinamool has been holding a meeting on July 21 since its inception. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataChatterjee said despite the flood in North Bengal, party supporters have started arriving in the city. Supporters from all over the state will come to attend the meeting, whose theme is ‘Return ballot papers replacing Electronic Voting Machines’. It may be mentioned that Banerjee had earlier been vocal about the manipulation of EVMs in the meetings she had addressed before the general elections. After the results of the Lok Sabha election came out, the Opposition parties had echoed her voice but none has launched any movement in this regard so far. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateShe will give a clarion call to launch a countrywide movement, demanding reintroduction of ballot papers to replace the EVMs. Asked whether there will be enough supporters from Jangalmahal where the party could not do well in the Lok Sabha polls, Chatterjee said people from the area will come to attend the meeting. “Mamata Banerjee is a symbol of protest against any oppression. The way BJP is spreading communalism and trying to polarise the society, it is high time to launch movement against these social maladies. People have faith in Banerjee and they will turn up in great numbers on July 21,” he said. It may be mentioned that Trinamool Congress makes impeccable arrangement for those who come to the rally from the far-flung districts. Trinamool Youth Congress president Abhishek Banerjee has visited the Gitanjali stadium, where the party supporters will be put up. Elaborate arrangements have been made at Central park in Salt Lake as well, where party workers will stay in makeshift camps. The Eastern Railway will also run extra trains for the convenience of the rally participants. Senior officials of Kolkata Police went to the spot and oversaw the last minute arrangements. They inspected the construction of the dais as well. As July 21 is a Sunday, the offices in the Central Business District will be closed and traffic movement along CR Avenue will be less. Foolproof arrangements will be made to ensure safety and security for those who will take part in the rally.last_img read more