South Kashmir encounters: Videos triggered search for militants

first_imgVideos by militants, leaked and uploaded on multiple social media platforms, became “the main technical input” for carrying out triple “coordinated operations” in south Kashmir’s Anantnag and Shopian on Sunday, the police said.A video uploaded in the last week of March showed 19 armed militants, several carrying two AK-47s, with a foliage-filled backdrop, “hinting that the video is recent and shot in south Kashmir”. One slain militant, Ubaid Shafi Malla, figured “prominently” in the video. “The video triggered a major lookout,” said a senior counter-insurgency official.last_img read more

$300,000 Penalty Imposed on US Firm For Paying Low Wages to H-1B Employees

first_imgA US-based IT staffing company has been asked to pay over USD 300,000 to its 12 H-1B employees for paying them far below their salary and imposed a penalty of over USD 45,000 for violating the labour provisions, amidst the Trump administration’s crackdown against the abuse of the visa category popular among Indian professionals. Read it at Economic Times Related Itemslast_img

MHA Prescribes Visa Care For Foreign Patients

first_imgThe ministry of home affairs has eased visa procedures for travellers to India who need medical treatment to reduce the inconvenience involved.Foreigners with long-term visas of six months and more need not convert these to medical visas for treatment of minor conditions that only require outpatient consultation. Read it at Economic Times Related Itemslast_img

Workers’ union seeks ‘sensitive’ officers

first_imgThe Bandhkaam Kamgar Sena, a city-based outfit working with labourers at construction sites, has written to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday demanding recruitment of more ‘sensitive’ labour officers to preclude tragedies like the Kondhwa wall collapse that resulted in the death of 15 workers and their kin, including women and children.The letter, also addressed to the Labour Minister, has strongly condemned the apathy and corruption in the labour office in Pune.“We urge the State government to ensure that after this tragedy, the Labour Welfare Board wakes up and register construction labourers so that they can avail of the benefits of the 28 welfare schemes announced by the State government… We hope in the near future that the labourer, who has done so much to change the face of Pune district, can at least dream of travelling by an airplane instead of his corpse being transported for last rites by the same conveyance,” reads the letter by Jayant Shinde, founder, Bandhkaam Kamgar Sena.In the letter, Mr. Shinde pointed out that in June 2013, a committee had been formed under the Deputy Labour Commissioner comprising a police officer, a labour officer and two staff inspectors.This panel was tasked with inspecting construction sites especially during the monsoon season so as to prevent tragedies like this.‘No action taken’ “But after a month, no action was taken by this committee which has long faded into oblivion. So, we have every reason to fear that despite the bureaucratic buzz following the Kondhwa tragedy, nothing will ultimately change and that any fresh policy directives drafted would only be confined to paper,” he said, speaking to The Hindu.Accusing the Labour Welfare Board of being in cahoots with builders, Mr. Shinde alleged that the office, ostensibly set up for the welfare of labourers, had no proper records of the number of labourer deaths or casualties at construction sites.Mr. Shinde said that in February this year he had written to the Labour Commissioner in Pune detailing instances of rampant corruption in the labour office.“We discovered instances of labour officials stamping blank registration forms and siphoning off government money intended for labourers. But no action was forthcoming on our letter. Again, when we sought information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act in March this year regarding labour fatalities in the past year, we were informed of deaths of only 40 labourers which is in stark contrast to our information of 80 deaths at construction sites and elsewhere,” Mr. Shinde said.He said that of these 40 ‘officially recorded’ fatalities, the labour office could furnish details of only half the casualties.As per rules, the builder or contractor has to pay the labour office ₹85 per worker as one-time registration fees which holds good for five years.“Very often, it is found that labour agents demand high sums for registration and end up not registering him at all. Aware of the corrupt practices of the authorities, the builder does not care about registering his workforce as he is aware that they will migrate soon after their work with him is done. This way, the labourer ends up an ‘orphan’, with no financial protection at all in the event of a mishap,” Mr. Shinde said. ‘Suspend ward engineer’Meanwhile, the Sambhaji Brigade has held authorities of the Pune Municipal Corporation responsible for the Kondhwa wall collapse.It accused PMC officials of corruption and demanded that a case of culpable homicide be lodged against city engineer Prashant Waghmare and the civic body authorities in Kondhwa.“We demand that Mr. Waghmare and the ward engineer and other civic authorities be held responsible for the Kondhwa incident and be immediately suspended. The PMC always gets into its ‘cover-up’ mode whenever such accidents occur and is prompt to pass the blame onto the builder,” said Santosh Shinde, Pune district president of the Brigade.He said nearly 60% of all new constructions coming up in Pune district were ‘illegal’, and alleged that corrupt civic body officials gave permission to builders without even visiting the site.An experts’ committee comprising Pune civic body officials and a team from the College of Engineering Pune (CoEP) have conducted a preliminary investigation of the mishap site. The committee has indicated that there were significant flaws in the construction of the retaining wall which crashed on to the labourers’ hutments in the wee hours of Saturday.last_img read more

3rd ODI: Lightning quick MS Dhoni shows who’s the boss

first_imgMahendra Singh Dhoni once again spot on with his brilliant glovework when he stumped Jason Holder of the bowling off Ravichandran Ashwin at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in the third One-Day International.Ashwin bowled one down the leg side and Holder got overbalanced while trying to flick. Dhoni collected the ball and whipped off the bails in a flash to send the West Indian captain packing as India reduced the Windies to 87/5 from 19.3 overs.In the previous match also he stumped Holder of the bowling off Kuldeep Yadav when Holder was foxed by a wrong-un after advancing down the wicket. MSD waited for a while, almost teasing the 25-year-old to make an effort to come back before flicking the bails off.He also looked like a third commentator throughout the West Indies innings as he kept chirping behind the stumps. Dhoni was seen advising the bowlers what to do and what not to as he almost plotted the fall of Rovman Powell when he walked in.He now has 371 dismissals to his name in ODIs, with 274 catches and 97 stumpings from 294 matches.Earlier, Dhoni became the second highest run-scorer as a wicketkeeper during his 79-ball unbeaten 78 to help India post 251/4. Dhoni now has 9442 runs from 294 matches at 51.31 with 10 hundreds, he overtook Adam Gilchrist who amassed 9410 runs from 282 matches at 35.64 with 16 centuries. Sri Lanka legend Kumar Sangakkara tops the list with 13341 runs from 360 matches at 43.74 with 23 tons.Zimbabwe’s Andy Flower (5845 runs from 186 matches) and South Africa’s Mark Boucher (4680 runs from 294 matches) complete the top five.advertisementDhoni is also the fifth on the list of most number of sixes hit in ODIs with 322 maximums. Shahid Afridi (476), Chris Gayle (434), Brendon McCullum (398), Sanath Jayasuriya (352) are the ones ahead of him.His all-round performance helped India beat West Indies by 93 runs and take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the five-match series.last_img read more

Sri Lanka bar Test star Danushka Gunathilaka after friend accused of rape

first_imgDanushka Gunathilaka has been suspended from all forms of international cricket by the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) board after his friend was accused of raping a Norwegian woman in the cricketer’s hotel room on Sunday.Gunathilaka and his friend met couple of Norwegian women in Colombo in the wee hours on Sunday and took them to the hotel room where one of the woman claims she was raped by the second man, who is a British passport-holder of Sri Lankan origin.The accused was arrested immediately afterwards. There were no allegations levelled against Gunathilaka and he was allowed to take the field on day 4 of the second Test match between Sri Lanka and South Africa which the hosts won by 199 runs to sweep the series 2-0 on Monday.Danushka Gunathilaka suspended by Sri Lanka from international cricket”The 26-year-old is under arrest and we are continuing our investigations,” a police official told AFP. “A Norwegian tourist made the complaint of rape.”SLC rules do not allow cricketers to bring in guests into their hotel rooms and also stipulate that during matches players must be back in their rooms by midnight.Gunathilaka was the second highest run-scorer in the two-match series with 161 runs in four innings at an average of 40.25 including two half-centuries.His suspension for the breaching of code of conduct regulations will now come into affect while his fee for the match will also be withheld pending the outcome of the inquiry.”Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) decided to suspend Danushka Gunathilaka from all forms of international cricket for breaching the ‘Player Code of Conduct’, pending inquiry,” the SLC said in a statement.advertisement”The decision to suspend the player was taken following an initial inquiry conducted by Sri Lanka Cricket, after the team management reported that the player have violated the ‘Code of Conduct’.”Gunathilaka is no stranger to suspensions as he was suspended for three matches last October as well for misconduct during the home series against India.Another member of Sri Lanka’s Test squad, leg-spinner Jeffrey Vandersay, was on Friday given a suspended one-year ban from international cricket after pleading guilty to misconduct during last month’s tour of the West Indies.(With agency inputs)last_img read more

Allied performance sees the Alliance make their mark

first_img@Eden_RichardsThe Alliance have been the big movers on day two of the National Touch League, putting together a perfect day in the Women’s Elite Eight competition.One-touchdown wins against the New South Wales Country Mavericks and the New South Wales Mets sees them sitting pretty in the competition’s top three ahead of a huge third day of competition.It sets up a pivotal match-up with the top of the table Queensland Broncos on Friday morning, with the winner set to put themselves in prime position ahead of the finals.The highly fancied Broncos suffered their first loss of the competition on Thursday, outplayed by the New South Wales Scorpions who at that stage were unbeaten.But all this good work came undone in Round 5 of the tournament, with the Queensland Cowboys pulling off a huge upset to win 7-5 over the Scorpions.It’s now a hugely open tournament, with no unbeaten teams in the female side of the Elite Eight competition.The Broncos will still fancy their chances of going back-to-back, but the Scorpions have proved that the team from Queensland can be beaten.It means the Broncos, the Scorpions and the Alliance all sit on 16 competition points, with the Queensland Titans and Cowboys just trailing in 4th and 5th position respectively.Both the Titans and the Cowboys sit on 12 competition points and it looks as if this battle for 4th will be one of the main storylines on day three.Neither side can afford to give an inch if they are to sneak into the finals and make their mark in the knockout stage of the competition.  Unfortunately it looks like the Mets’ competition is all but over.Sitting in 6th, they are the hard luck story of the tournament after a disastrous day of play.It was a nightmare day two for the team from New South Wales, with a one-touchdown loss and a costly draw ruining any chances of a finals appearance in 2017.To make things worse, the Mets draw came against the winless New South Wales Rebels.The Rebels sit in 7th and will be playing for pride on day three after a poor showing on the first two days of competition.The Mets will know they should have beaten the Rebels and if they had been victorious they would still be in finals contention – what could have been.It leaves the Mavericks on the bottom of the table – still winless after five matches.The Cowboys’ touchdown machine Mary McLean leads the tournament with a personal tally of 13, but Bronco Katee Maller (10) and Scorpion Yasmin Meakes (10) closely follow her.Round 6 of matches will begin at 9:00AM on Friday morning at C.ex Coffs International Stadium. Related LinksElite 8 Women Day 2last_img read more

10 months agoWOMEN’S CONTINENTAL CUP: Man City brush aside Brighton for semi-final berth

first_imgTagsPremiership NewsAbout the authorIan FerrisShare the loveHave your say WOMEN’S CONTINENTAL CUP: Man City brush aside Brighton for semi-final berthby Ian Ferris10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester City easily reached the Continental Cup last four with a 7-1 success over visitor’s BrightonCity finished top of their group and were rewarded with a home draw in the quarter finals of the Continental Cup against Brighton at the Academy Stadium. Their October meeting in the league at Brighton saw City record a comprehensive 6-0 win and they went into this game favourites despite a recent disappointing draw at Bristol City whilst Brighton impressively defeated Liverpool away.A low key first half saw City take an early lead then concede an immediate equaliser before reasserting their authority and going ahead again and dominating the remainder of the half without really threatening the Seagulls goal.In fact the only issue was whether the game would continue as the fog began to settle making visibility across the pitch very difficult.Nikita Parris scored her 50th City goal with a delightful chip after only 6 minutes only for keeper Karen Bardsley to bundle over Ini Umotong moments later and Danielle Buet converted the penalty to level the scores for Hope Powell’s team.City regained the lead midway through the half after Brighton failed to clear and Lauren Hemp pounced with a scuffed effort which squirmed under keeper Sophie Harris.The hosts gave themselves a two goal cushion after a period of sustained second half pressure when Caroline Weir found the back of the net with a fine long range strike.The Seagulls rarely looked like getting back into the game as City played controlled possession football to see off the opposition with Hemp getting her second of the night with five minutes remaining and three more late goals followed, Claire Emslie, substitute Georgia Stanway and Janine Beckie.Full Time Man City: 7 (Parris 6, Hemp 21,85, Weir 59, Emslie 87, Stanway 89,Beckie 90)Brighton: 1(Buet pen 19)Att: 786 Venue: Academy Stadium last_img read more

State of economy deeply worrying Manmohan Singh

first_imgNew Delhi: Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday said the state of the economy was “deeply worrying” and that “all-round mismanagement” by the Modi government has resulted in this slowdown.In a statement, he said the last quarter GDP growth rate of 5 per cent signals that “we are in midst of a prolonged slowdown”. The Congress leader said India has the potential to grow at a much faster rate.”India cannot afford to continue down this path. Therefore, I urge the government to put aside vendetta politics, and reach out to all sane voices and thinking minds, to steer our economy out of this man-made crisis,” he said.Singh said it is particularly distressing that the manufacturing sector’s growth is tottering at 0.6 per cent. “This makes it very clear that our economy has not yet recovered from the man-made blunders of demonetisation and a hastily implemented GST,” he said.”Investor sentiments are in doldrums. These are not the foundations for economic recovery,” he added.last_img read more

Georgina Lightning producing film about her healing journey

first_imgAPTN National NewsA notable Alberta filmmaker and actress is producing a film about her life.It deals with tackling an issue APTN reported Tuesday out of Maskwacis First Nation in Alberta.They are currently dealing with high rates of suicide.APTN’s Brandi Morin has more.last_img

East Bypass Road to be called Northern Lights Drive

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – With the East Bypass Road no longer functioning as a bypass road to re-direct traffic around the City and due to the steady residential growth, this requires the renaming of the road to the Northern Lights Drive.The name Northern Lights Drive becomes effective June 26, 2019, which City Council recognizes will require an address change. The City shares while this is necessary, this may cause some inconvenience to affected Property Owners.Recently, the City sent letters by registered mail regarding the renaming of the road to help alleviate the inconvenience, remuneration is available to affected Property Owners by following the steps identified in the letter.If you have questions, contact the Planning and Engineering Department at; 250-787-8150 or email; read more

King Mohammed VI Receives Akhannouch to Examine Agricultural Employment

Rabat – King Mohammed VI has received Minister of Agriculture Aziz Akhannouch to discuss agricultural employment in rural areas especially for youth.The King received Akhannouch Friday at the Royal Palace in Marrakech.“During the reception, His Majesty renewed his hopes and ambitions for rural areas by creating new activities that generate employment and income opportunities, especially for young people,” the Royal Cabinet said in a statement. “This can be done through broadening the scope of agricultural investment to all categories, while promoting the emergence of an agricultural middle class and making agricultural land more accessible to productive investment by gradually providing an additional one million hectares of collective land to the beneficiaries,” added the statement.In his speech at the opening of Parliament for the new legislative year, the King emphasized the importance of using communal agricultural land (sulaliyat) for investment projects. It would “serve as a powerful lever for improved economic and social conditions, especially for rights holders.”“This should make it possible to secure at least one million additional hectares of this land,” the King said.King Mohammed VI stressed the need to boost agricultural employment to improve living conditions and consolidate stability in rural areas.King Mohammed VI believes that providing employment for youth in rural areas, especially the rural middle class, could serve “as a lever” for the country’s economic and social development, in the same way as the middle class does in the city.Following the King’s instructions, Minister Akhannouch announced on October 15 the government will distribute 1 million hectares of land to small farmers to develop Morocco’s rural areas.Akhannouch described the initiative as a “takeoff for the rural world” in Morocco.According to the Royal Cabinet’s statement Friday, the monarch reaffirmed the importance of integrating labor issues, reducing disparities, fighting poverty, and rural emigration into the priorities of the agricultural development strategy.King Mohammed VI instructed the minister of agriculture to submit a strategic and comprehensive reflection on the development of the agricultural sector. read more

Mayor says Hamilton GO service plans are unacceptable

Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger did not hold back on Twitter Sunday, slamming Metrolinx’s plan for increased train service beyond the typical weekday rush hours.Ontario’s Minister of Transportation told CHCH News he supports Metrolinx’s efforts to speed-up service expansions.There is an all-day direct train service from Burlington to Toronto, something Hamilton has been promised for years. Eisenberger tweeted Sunday the city would not get all day go service until 2031. He called on Metrolinx, the agency in charge of the project, to do better. In a written statement, the Mayor said, “That is unacceptable! Metrolinx themselves indicate that time line would hurt the economies of both Hamilton and Niagara.”Metrolinx CEP Phil Verster says services have been expanding. “In 2018, we increased and grew services across our lines by 22.6 per cent. Lakeshore East and West customers, as well as Niagara and Kitchener customers, enjoyed additional services and my plan for the next two years is to continue to increase services even more, every few months, as we improve the rail network,” said Verster in a statement. “Customers will have more travel options and will see service increase across the region by as much 20 per cent in 2019 alone. Transportation Minister Yurek’s and my commitment as Metrolinx CEO is to bring incremental increases in service every single year, making it easier than ever to travel across the Greater Golden Horseshoe on GO Transit. Stay tuned for more on our exciting plans to be announced later this year.” read more

UNESCO chief condemns human cloning activities

“This news, whether or not it is confirmed, brings home to us the urgent need to do everything possible, at both the national and international levels, to prohibit experiments that are not only scientifically risky but also ethically unacceptable, constituting as they do an intolerable violation of human dignity,” UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura said, referring to the claim last week of the first cloning of a human being.The Director-General said that “faced with such criminal practices, which we can only regard with disapproval and dismay, we must boldly press on with the efforts that, in 1997, led to the adoption of the UNESCO Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights,” which bans practices that are contrary to human dignity, such as reproductive cloning of human beings.“It is a matter of urgency that agreement be reached on a binding instrument of universal scope that prohibits and punishes any attempt at reproductive human cloning,” Mr. Matsuura said. “There can be no progress for humanity in a world where science and technology develop independently of all ethical imperatives.”The Director-General also asked political leaders in every country and the international scientific, intellectual and juridical communities to cooperate in taking all appropriate measures “to respond as swiftly as possible to these challenges, which are a threat to the irreplaceable uniqueness of the human being.” read more

United Kingdom to remain outwardfacing global partner Prime Minister tells UN Assembly

“And that is how we will remain,” she said, explaining that when the British people voted to leave the European Union in June, “they did not vote to turn inwards or walk away from any of our partners in the world.”The outcome of the British referendum led to the resignation of her predecessor David Cameron, who addressed the Assembly last year.Ms. May said that her Government will honour its commitment to devote 0.7 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) to official development assistance (ODA), remain a steadfast permanent member of the Security Council and make a leading contribution to UN peacekeeping.The UK will also complete domestic procedures to enable ratification of the Paris Agreement on climate change before the end of 2016 and will strengthen partnerships for resolving conflicts around the world, she said.In the face of today’s big security and human rights issues, the United Nations must forge a bold new multilateralism, she said, adding that the Organization must modernize in order to meet the challenges of terrorism in the 21st century.The UK has played a leading role in the fight against Al-Shabaab in Somalia, will host an international conference on Somalia in 2017, and has championed the work the UN Secretary-General has led to develop a strategy for preventing violent extremism, she said.Noting that the 65 million forcibly displaced people around the world equalled her country’s entire population, she emphasized that countries must be able to exercise control over their borders. Refugees should claim asylum in the first safe country they reached, and there should be better ways to distinguish between refugees and economic migrants. A better overall approach to managing economic migration is needed as well, she said, adding that by ensuring managed and controlled international migration, isolationism and xenophobia can be rejected.Turning to modern slavery of human trafficking, she said her Government is creating a task force to coordinate efforts against such cruel exploitation. It is also setting up a dedicated fund for high-risk countries whose citizens are trafficked to the United Kingdom. However, in order to eradicate modern slavery, security relationships must be developed among countries, she pointed out.Faced with migration and other major challenges, more global action is needed, “so this is not the time to turn away from our United Nations,” she said. “It is time to turn towards it.”Ms. May is among the many leaders who will address the general debate of 71st General Assembly. The Assembly began its high-level work this year with the adoption of the New York Declaration, as the outcome of yesterday’s first-ever UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants. Made up of all the 193 Member States of the United Nations, the Assembly provides a forum for multilateral discussion of international issues covered by the UN Charter. read more

Size doesnt matter Prahalis outshines pair of tall centers

The spotlight was on the 13 feet and 1 inch of All-American candidate centers in the Ohio State-Michigan State women’s basketball game Saturday, but 5-foot 7-inch Samantha Prahalis stole the show in the Buckeyes’ 65-62 win.Allyssa DeHaan, at 6 feet 9 inches, and Jantel Lavender, at 6 feet 4 inches, didn’t have much of a battle in the paint like anticipated. Prahalis had a huge game, leading the Buckeyes to victory with a career-high 32 points — 16 in each half — and five assists. She never had a cold spell in the game, scoring the team’s first seven points and seven of its last nine.“When I saw that [the shots] were falling, I just kept shooting,” Prahalis said. Although their matchup wasn’t the highlight of the game, Lavender and DeHaan each played a major role.DeHaan’s size allowed her to take away Lavender’s ability to post-up and made every OSU player think twice before attempting a shot in the key. She had three blocks in the game along with 12 points.Lavender had a more profound impact on the stat sheet than DeHaan did. Lavender had 20 points and 13 rebounds — her ninth double-double of the season.She had a slow first half, however, succumbing to MSU’s defensive game plan to keep her out of the paint on both ends, but she came alive in the second half, using her speed to get around DeHaan and not allow her to challenge her shots.“My focus is trying to get to the basket,” Lavender said. “The taller you get, the slower you get, no matter how athletic you are. I just need to get her off her feet and drive her to the basket.”Both Lavender and DeHaan are largely considered All-American candidates this year and have been since before the season began. This game may have vaulted Prahalis into the same arena.Prahalis has been ranked in the top 10 in assists most of the season and is currently ranked second with 8.2 per game, behind only Gonzaga’s Courtney Vandersloot, an All-American Honorable Mention last season.“We have two great players [in Lavender and Prahalis],” coach Jim Foster said. “They are very competitive, they want to win games and they’re going to put their responsibility into the game.”Prahalis has now been the difference for OSU in the last two games. She hit the game-winning shot against Michigan Jan. 3 and Saturday she scored nearly half of OSU’s points against MSU. “I think she’s an amazing player,” Lavender said. “She can shoot, she can drive, she can pass … she can do it all.” read more

Ireland Women just one game away from Grand Slam following France victory

first_imgThe Irish Women’s rugby team gained an impressive 15-10 victory over France at Ashbourne RFC this evening.The result means they can now win the Grand Slam provided they beat Italy in Milan next week.It’s only the second time the Irish women have ever beaten France, having also defeated them back in 2009.They got off to a shaky start, with a penalty from Sandrine Agricole giving the visitors the lead.Joy Neville then released Niamh Briggs for the game’s opening try, before a converted Gaëlle Mignot try gave France the advantage going in at half-time.Ailis Egan hit back for Ireland in the second half with a try after a spell of intensive pressure, with Briggs converting thereafter.Briggs added another penalty, with Ireland surviving a few late scares to hang on for an invaluable win.h/t @InphosportsYour ‘how times have changed’ file pic of the day>Opinion: Heaslip and Dusautoir the captaincy odd couple>last_img read more

Column The samesex marriage debate shows nontraditional families arent really accepted

first_imgWITH THE HOTTING-UP of arguments for and against same-sex marriage in the news and on everyone’s lips, I got to thinking about my own experience as an Irish person and a mother as the problems seem to be mainly around parenting. You see, I am one of those statistics that have suddenly come under the social microscope again after a perceived acceptance over the last few years.I am one of the many single parents in this country, a heterosexual, divorced mum of three, now grown up, children. As the divorce referendum was debated back in 1995 I was separating from my husband. By the following year divorce was the law and by the end of 2000,  me and my family became a new statistic. When the census form came through the door I had to tick a few new boxes – divorced, single parent – at the head of this household.‘Fractured family’I had joined a minority group, and all that entails, in a so-called democracy and have thought long and hard about the effects of being a ‘fractured family’ would have on the continuing development of my three kids. As they were very young when it all happened I had a lot on my plate and needed help and inspiration on how to deal with my difficult situation. All the books and articles I have read then and since point to the preference of a family headed up by a mum and a dad as the ideal standard for raising children and over the years I have tended to agree with this, saw the wisdom in it, and frankly, yearned for what I had been denied.My own experience wasn’t without its trials and tribulations but my lasting impression and conclusion is that my children have not been disadvantaged by being brought up in a single-parent household, in fact it has mostly been quite the opposite. So what has all this got to do with same-sex marriage then? What has being a heterosexual female single mum got to do with it all? I’ve realised that  single parenting is not as accepted as I had thought, if the debates raging at the moment about same-sex marriages are anything to go by. Why? Because the detractors are trying to uphold and push as the ideal the male/female married unit as the best in which to raise children. What right has any one to say what is the best and only way to do anything?As a single parent family I and my children have only been tolerated as opposed to accepted as a proper family unit and because of the absence of the traditional set up we are somehow ‘less than’. I take this as an insult to my family and realise we are insulting same-sex unions in the same way.Gender should not be an issueThe recipe for success in family life lies in the commitment of the parents, or parent, aided by the extended family unit and friends, to the upbringing of the children of that family. The sex of the parents should not, and does not, come into it at all in my opinion. If a child is lucky enough to have a mum, dad, two mums, two dads, or the traditional mum and dad, who will do everything and anything it takes to love and protect and nurture their children, well this is what will make for a better, more loving and peaceful society.After divorce came into law in 1996 in this country there was a huge uptake in the courts. This was not as a result of people suddenly throwing caution to the winds and running around ditching their husbands and wives on a whim  because now they legally could. Couples were already living apart in their marriages, were legally separated and moved onto their next unions, or were caught in dysfunctional abusive relationships they could not get out of because of our constitution.These were all heterosexual couples who had the legal status of marriage. These marriages had failed and were now allowed a legal resolution. These marriages were in trouble and there were many children involved. So if the introduction of divorce had not blown the lid off these existing unhappy marriages, would those children have had to remain in these toxic family units? Are the same-sex detractors telling us that it is better to bring children up in households headed by couples that are unhappy just because they are ‘man and woman’ marriages? How awful for those children involved if that had remained the status quo.Marriage breakdownsThe statistics for heterosexual marriage breakdown show that a mum and dad marriage does not automatically bestow an ideal environment on a child. Regardless of the legal fallout of the sanctioning of marriage for all, there is no reason same-sex marriage can not be legislated for and sanctioned in Ireland. The main reason we should vote it in is the bond of the two parents, the commitment of the marriage, the promise they make to each other to parent the issue of this marriage. This can be made by two women and two men just as successfully, or unsuccessfully, as a heterosexual couple, assuming the odds of success and failure are comparable.The rest really is just detail. As one person in the audience on RTE’s Primetime recently pointed out, with all the orphans in the world living in institutions without parents, orphans of man/woman unions, married or otherwise, does this not prove that regardless of the sex of the mum and dad surely they are better off in families with couples who have gone to a lot of trouble to bring these cherished children into the world? Should they not be allowed to give a marriage their best shot? Who has the right to say all citizens are not allowed this right, just some?Same-sex marriages are not guaranteed to last, neither are heterosexual marriages as I will testify to, however if they are allowed to marry in the same way, they would not be doing so lightly. They have to come to the same decisions before they take this step.By giving society a chance to grow, change and foster inclusion, while outlawing discrimination, equality will have a chance. ‘The Constitutional Convention has voted overwhelmingly in favour of recommending that the Constitution be changed to allow for civil marriages for same-sex couples’. As I said, why the argument? At risk of sounding all seventies and using the Beatles philosophy, love IS all you need, for the perpetuation of the human race, regardless of its source.Carol Redmond is qualified Life Coach and holds a certificate in psychology from NUI Maynooth. She lives in Delgany, County Wicklow.VIDEO: NZ House of Reps sings Maori love song after gay marriage vote>Gilmore says State should not pass judgement on who people love>last_img read more

Golden credit card made costs more than anything youve bought on a

first_imgThere was a great joke in the first season of 30 Rock about fictional executive Jack Donaghy being so rich that his “gold card” was literally made of gold. At the time, the idea of a credit card so exclusive that it was created with a precious metal was comically absurd. Now however, that joke falls a bit flat, because a bank in Russia has announced that they are actually releasing a credit card made out of gold… and diamonds, and pearls.As you might expect from a card that’s likely more valuable than anything it will be used to buy, the “Visa Infinite Exclusive” has an appropriately over-the-top name.For residents of Kazakhstan who have simply run out of things to do with their money, the card will require $100,000 and an account with Sberbank. Of that amount, $35,000 will be deposited in the cardholder’s account, while the remaining $65,000 will cover the gold, 26 diamonds, and mother-of-pearl used in the card itself. On top of the upfront cost, there’s also a yearly charge of $2,000.All that expense comes with a number of bonuses, aside from making the card’s owner a little more like Jack Donaghy. New cardholders will get a free iPhone 5, a Montblanc card case, $250,000 worth of life and health insurance, and special offers at airports, restaurants, and the like.  Sberbank will be giving out a limited run of only 100 Visa Infinite Exclusive cards. Anyone lining up to get one should probably be reminded of the many worthy charities in the world that could also use $100,000.Via ABC Newslast_img read more

Above Below un gratteciel souterrain construit en plein désert à découvrir en

first_imgAbove Below : un gratte-ciel souterrain construit en plein désert, à découvrir en imagesAbove Below est un projet architectural original et ambitieux, qui pousse à revoir la définition d’un gratte-ciel. S’il voit le jour, ce bâtiment n’aura en effet aucun contact avec le ciel, car il sera construit sous le niveau de la mer, en plein désert. Matthew Fromboluti est affilié à l’université de Washington à Saint-Louis et a conçu un gratte-ciel qui n’est pas uniquement destiné à accueillir des habitants, mais aussi à réparer et corriger le paysage meurtri du désert de l’Arizona, près de la ville de Bisbee. Son projet, baptisé “Above Below” (en français, “Au-dessus dessous”) est en effet pensé pour combler une ouverture de 275 mètres de profondeur qui s’étend sur plus de 1,2 km². L’orifice est dû à une ancienne mine et, dans le projet de M. Fromboluti, serait remplacé par une structure qui comportera à la fois des espaces réservés à l’habitation et au travail, des espaces verts dédiés à l’agriculture et enfin, des zones dédiées au temps libre et aux loisirs.La construction s’auto-alimenterait grâce à ses propres sources d’énergie, un système de recyclage d’eau et des mécanismes utilisant les cheminées solaires pour contrôler un climat local artificiel. Dissimulé sous un dôme, le bâtiment est entièrement construit sous terre, avec uniquement ici et là des endroits éclairés par la lumière du soleil, stratégiquement disposés afin de contrôler le climat et d’accéder à la surface. Cependant, loin d’être coupés du monde, les habitants de la structure auraient la possibilité de se rendre à Bisbee grâce à un système ferroviaire solaire. Ce concept architectural tranche complètement avec d’autres projets de gratte-ciel modernes, qui visent eux la hauteur et un design extravagant. Son implantation ne modifierait le paysage désertique que de façon mineure, Matthew Fromboluti prévoyant que le sol et la végétation se développent à nouveau au-dessus du dôme de la structure. Si tel était le cas, cela la rendrait virtuellement invisible aux yeux de ceux qui contempleraient la zone depuis le ciel. En hébergeant un système rentable et autogéré, Above Below se présente comme un moyen intéressant de réinvestir un espace désolé, avec des avantages supérieurs à l’exploitation du métal qui se trouvait jadis dans le sol de ce site minier.Découvrir le projet en images : Le 14 octobre 2010 à 12:33 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more