Sri Lanka assures commitment to Cluster Munitions Convention

Sri Lanka has assured its commitment to the Cluster Munitions Convention.Addressing the Eighth Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munition (CCM) yesterday, Ambassador A.L.A Azeez, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka reaffirmed Sri Lanka’s commitment to working towards achieving universalization and to advancement of the objectives of the Convention. Azeez said that as a country that is proactively engaged in building peace and advancing reconciliation following the end of conflict in May 2009, Sri Lanka is pleased to share its experiences including progress made in implementation of national initiatives, as well as challenges faced and collective efforts taken to address them, that had led to the accession process making Sri Lanka a State Party to this important humanitarian disarmament framework. “It is pertinent to highlight that during our internal engagement and consultation with all stakeholders including the civil society, it was realized that accession to the CCM was the natural and rational step that Sri Lanka could take, having acceded to the Ottawa Treaty banning anti-personnel landmines. The latter culminated through a national process that was delicately undertaken, respecting the needs of civilians and the national security imperative,” he said.Sri Lanka took the opportunity to acknowledge the excellent cooperation and technical support extended by the Implementation Support Unit (ISU), in taking forward the universalization efforts and follow-up action. The Meeting of States Parties welcomed Sri Lanka as the 103rd State Party, and looked forward to Sri Lanka’s leadership in humanitarian disarming. “We are confident that the active role and contribution of ISU would further strengthen as universalization efforts gather momentum in the 10th year of the adoption of the Convention,” Azeez said.On the aspect of ‘international cooperation and assistance’, Sri Lanka believes that all requests for assistance need to be met in line with the humanitarian and sustainable development strategies and programmes of the recipient countries. (Colombo Gazette) read more

As fight for Liberian capital rages on UN relief official warns thousands

“If fighting continues over the weekend, thousands of Liberians could die,” said Ali Muktar Farah, the head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Monrovia.Clean water in Monrovia is in short supply following the destruction of the main water supply station in White Plains, and the city’s one million residents, plus the hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) seeking refuge there, also face dangerous shortages of sanitation facilities, food and security.In addition, dead corpses need to be removed from the streets to avoid an epidemic, and humanitarian actors on the ground are asking the government to provide them with sites to carry out mass burials.Meanwhile, law and order has broken down completely, OCHA said. Looting, rape and harassment by militiamen have become common in areas far from the frontlines as the fighting rages on between government forces and the rebel Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) for control of the capital.“The fighters are reportedly raping and robbing people in their homes at night,” OCHA said, while stores in downtown Monrovia are being looted on a daily basis. “Lootings are often attended by sporadic gunfire to scare civilians away. People walking on the streets must properly hide their valuables to avoid them being snatch away by fighters.” read more

Still far too much secrecy surrounding use of death penalty says senior

“There is far too much secrecy, and it’s quite indicative the fact that although many countries are giving up the practice, those that retain it nevertheless feel that they have something to hide,” Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Andrew Gilmour said in an interview with UN News. The UN has long advocated for the abolition of the death penalty. While some 170 States have either abolished the practice – which Secretary-General António Guterres has called “barbaric” – or refrained from it, prisoners in a number of countries continue to face execution.Mr. Gilmour noted that the vast majority of executions today take place in five countries – China, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Last December, the General Assembly in its regular resolution calling for a moratorium on executions added a new element to try to resolve the issue of transparency, which is a prerequisite to assess whether the death penalty is being carried out in compliance with international human rights standards. It also honours the right of all people to know whether their family members are alive or dead, and the location of their remains. Mr. Gilmour recalled one recent case of a family that heard on the radio that their son had been executed, even though just the previous week the mother had been to the prison to ask for news about her son and they had refused to give it to her. VIDEO: Senior UN human rights official Andrew Gilmour emphasized the need for common decency, as he called for greater transparency in the use of the death penalty in some countries.“Some of this seems to be unnecessarily cruel, additional punishment on the families,” he pointed out, highlighting the need for “common decency.” “You may believe that someone deserves to be executed, or you may not, but even if you do, surely there’s no need to punish the family by keeping them in doubt.” Also an issue is that some governments conceal executions and enforce an elaborate system of secrecy to hide who is on death row, and why. Others classify information on the death penalty as a state secret, making its release an act of treason, Mr. Gilmour noted, as in the case of Belarus and Viet Nam. This lack of transparency shows “a lack of respect” for the human rights of those sentenced to death and to their families, according to Secretary-General António Guterres, who added that it also damages the administration of justice more generally. “Full and accurate data is vital to policy-makers, civil society and the general public. It is fundamental to the debate around the death penalty and its impact,” he told an event at UN Headquarters last month to mark the World Day Against the Death Penalty. “Secrecy around executions undermines that debate, and obstructs efforts to safeguard the right to life.” As part of the effort to abolish secret executions, the UN human rights office (OHCHR) supports an initiative launched in September known as the Alliance for Torture-Free Trade, which aims to end the trade in goods used to carry out the death penalty and torture. These include batons with metal spikes, electric shock belts, grabbers that seize people while electrocuting them, chemicals used to execute people and the forced injection systems that go with them.“There’s something truly grotesque about medieval forms of torture, in a way, being advertised in mail-order catalogues and using the jargon of commercialization,” said Mr. Gilmour. “So I think it’d be a step forward in civilization to block this trade, and luckily there are some major drug companies who are refusing to allow their drugs to be used in instances of execution.” Earlier this year, four men were executed within the span of eight days in the US state of Arkansas because the state’s supply of one of the drugs used in lethal injections – midazolam – was due to expire at the end of the month and it was unclear whether further supplies could be obtained. “I’ve heard various arguments, absurd arguments for executing and some rather obscene arguments for executing,” Mr. Gilmour stated, “but I don’t really think I’ve heard many more obscene ones or absurd ones than the fact that the drugs for executing had reached their sell-by date.”Find out more about the UN’s advocacy for abolition of the death penalty here read more

Phil Jacksons Legacy With The Knicks Isnt All Bad

Phil Jackson is no longer leading the New York Knicks’ front office, agreeing to leave the organization Wednesday. In the video above, Neil Paine discusses Phil Jackson’s legacy with the Knicks.Read more: At Least Phil Jackson Didn’t Leave The Knicks In Ruins

MS forced to change lavatory signs after complaints of sexism

first_img 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. The male toilet sign at Marks and Spencer at the Holmbush Centre in Shoreham, Sussex She added: “This is in your Holmbush store at Shoreham. Please could you explain why this happened in your recent revamp and what plans you have to ensure that if you continue with these signs that both signs reflect or just have no pictures of children in for the future.”It has nothing to do with baby changing. They are the entrances to the male and female toilets, there are no baby changing facilities in the toilets. It’s just plain sexist for all concerned, men and women. Symbols means a lot.” The male toilet sign at Marks and Spencer at the Holmbush Centre in Shoreham, SussexCredit:Brighton Pictures/ Sharon Sawyercenter_img Jenni Readman also commented: “The signage represents an outdated assumption that women will be the only ones taking children to the toilet as there is nowhere, according to the signage in this store, for men to take children to the toilet.”The design was also condemned by Sussex Police hate crime ambassador Sergeant Peter Allan, who wrote on the Facebook thread: “This should not be happening in 2017.”A spokesperson for Marks and Spencer said: “Our baby changing facilities are in a unisex area and we also provide a baby changing mat in both the male and female toilet facilities.” M&S has been forced to change lavatory signs in their stores after complaints of sexism. A customer at the chain’s Holmbush store in Shoreham spotted that the female toilet sign showed a woman with a baby while the sign for male toilet just showed a man, and claimed this suggested that only women look after children. Writing on Facebook, Sharon Sawyer said: “I was surprised and disappointed at the pictures for the toilets.”I expected being a family store that you understood that families very much share children’s needs and personal care, not just women. “The picture shows a woman and child. The picture in the comments just shows a man, why?”last_img read more

Mother not entitled to paid leave because child was born through surrogacy

first_imgA EUROPEAN COURT has issued a legal opinion to state that an Irish mother is not entitled to a paid leave of absence from work as her situation falls outside the scope of the law.The woman, who took her case to the Court of Justice of the European Union, had a child through surrogacy but was refused a paid leave of absence from her place of employment.Known as Ms Z, the woman is a teacher and she suffers from a rare condition whereby she has no uterus which means she cannot support a pregnancy despite being fertile with healthy ovaries.She and her husband had arranged for a surrogate mother to give birth to their child in California. The child is the genetic child of the couple and no mention of the surrogate mother is made on the child’s American birth certificate.Ms Z argued that she had been subject to discrimination on grounds of sex, family status and disability. However, there is no specific provision in Irish legislation for leave arising from the birth of a child through such an arrangement and the Advocate General said the country’s courts will have to decide if women will be afforded the same rights as those parents who adopt children.Paid maternity leave and adoption leave are both regulated under Irish law.The initial complaint had been made to the Equality Tribunal, which in turn, asked the European court if the refusal by the employer was a breach of EU law.Today, the legal opinion of the Advocate General outlined that there was no discrimination on the grounds of sex as the differential treatment was not based on sex but on the “refusal of national authorities to equate her situation with that of either a woman who has given birth, or an adoptive mother”.“Finding that the male parent of a child born through surrogacy would be treated in exactly the same manner”, the Advocate General Nils Wahl dismissed the argument.He also distinguished the case from the situation of a pregnant worker falling under the scope of the Pregnant Workers Directive, which provides for maternity leave of at least 14 weeks. In that regard, he emphasised that the protection afforded by the Directive applies to women who have given birth to a child and that it aims at protecting those workers in their fragile physical state.Although he stated that Ms Z’s situation should be compared to that of an adoptive mother, he emphasised that Ireland had not yet passed legislation harmonising the right to paid leave.A full judgement is expected later this year or early next year.Download the full, legal opinion>Human trafficking report is a ‘wake up’ call to government, says Immigrant CouncilShatter: One judgment rule change will allow judges to assert their independencelast_img read more

100 new jobs created by finance firm in Dublin

first_imgFINANCE FIRM AZTEC Money has announced the creation of 100 new jobs for Dublin.The newly established international finance company has set up its global headquarters in George’s Quay and the multilingual roles will be in the area of data processing, marketing, sales and IT.Aztec Money specialises in providing small and medium companies with investor networks.The company chose Ireland for its geographic location, positive business and fiscal environment, and its access to a highly skilled workforce with multilingual skills.“Improving access to finance is a key part of the Government’s plans for jobs and growth, and Aztec Money’s innovative new service for Irish SMEs to help improve cash flow is a very welcome addition to the supports available to job-creating businesses here,” said Labour Party TD for Dublin South East, Kevin Humphreys.It brings the total of jobs announced today to 170 after Mafic announced the creation of 70 new jobs over the next three years in their new production facility in Kells, Co. Meath.Read: Ireland’s proximity to European and US markets lands 70 new jobs in Meath>last_img read more

Steam offers up 13 hit indie games in The Potato Sack Reunion

first_imgThe Potato Sack Reunion offer is now avaliable on Steam, and contains 13 popular indie games for only $20. Not only will that save you a whopping $54.88, but there are some fantastic games included in the offer.The sack includes:1…2…3 KICK IT! (Drop that beat like an ugly baby)AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! for the AwesomeAmnesia: The Dark DecentAudioSurfBIT. TRIP BEATCogsDefence Grid: The AwakeningKilling FloorRUSHSuper Meat BoyThe BallThe Wonderful End of the WorldToki ToriThere’s a good mix of titles in the bundle; sports, action, platforming, adventure and casual games all feature. You can also buy the games individually at half price if you prefer, but grab them quick as the offer ends in two days time. Best of all, if you already own any of the games above, you can gift them to a friend.One of the real stand out games is Super Meat Boy, a platformer where you play a cube of meat who’s on a mission to save his girlfriend, Bandage Girl. Even though it’s been out for awhile now, it’s still funny, messy and bloody good fun although, you should be prepared for a serious challenge.Toki Tori is another reason why the Potato Sack Reunion bundle is great. Originally an award winning game on the Wii, Toki Tori sees you play as a cute chick on its adventure collecting eggs. It may sound simple, but the puzzle-platformer will have you racking your brains.At $20, or around $1.53 per game, you can’t really complain about the value on offer here.Read more about the featured games on Steamlast_img read more

Ivan Gazidis determined to restore AC Milans glory days

first_imgNew AC Milan chief executive Ivan Gazidis has vowed to do all he can to return the club back to winning waysAfter leaving Arsenal in October, Gazidis officially began his new role at Milan at the start of this month.The 54-year-old South African took the opportunity to address the Milan supporters on Wednesday, where he announced his intentions to return the Serie A side to winning ways.“It’s a great honour to be chosen to lead AC Milan into a new era as its chief executive,” said Gazidis on the club website.Maurizio Sarri, JuventusMaurizio Sarri satisfied despite Juventus’ draw at Fiorentina Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Maurizio Sarri was satisfied with Juventus’ performance on Saturday afternoon after finishing a tough game at Fiorentina 0-0.“I’d like to assure the club’s millions of fans all over the world that I will work with my heart and soul to do the very best job that I can.“To achieve what we all want for this great football club, the hard work must start now and it will require teamwork, both on and off the pitch.“I’m extremely excited about the opportunities ahead and although the journey will be challenging I’m confident that together we can bring AC Milan back to where it belongs.”Milan haven’t won a trophy since the Supercoppa Italiana in 2016 with their last Serie A title coming in 2011.last_img read more

Opening statements conclude in Navy SEAL Eddie Gallaghers trial

first_imgOpening statements conclude in Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher’s trial SAN DIEGO (AP) — A decorated Navy SEAL stabbed to death a wounded and captive teenage Islamic State fighter in Iraq and then bragged about it, a military prosecutor told jurors Tuesday during opening statements in a politically charged court-martial.Lt. Brian John projected a photo of the dead prisoner in the military courtroom, along with a text message that Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher sent to friends.“Good story behind this,” Gallagher wrote. “Got him with my hunting knife.”The defense told the jury that Gallagher treated the militant’s wounds and didn’t kill him. Attorney Tim Parlatore, who has claimed the text was an attempt at dark humor, said there’s no body, autopsy or any forensic evidence to show a killing happened. He says the case was built on lies by junior SEALs who hated Gallagher.“This case is not about murder,” Parlatore said. “It’s about mutiny. He didn’t murder or attempt to murder anyone.”The trial is exposing fractures in the secrecy that typically shrouds the elite special forces as fellow troops testify against Gallagher, who had served eight tours of duty and earned two Bronze Stars for valor.Gallagher, whose case has drawn President Donald Trump’s attention, faces seven counts that include premeditated murder and attempted murder. He has pleaded not guilty to charges that carry a potential life sentence. Updated: 9:18 AM AP 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsGallagher’s Attorney Tim Parlatore spoke to reporters after day one of the trial. Watch his remarks below or here. Categories: Local San Diego News, National & International News Tags: Eddie Gallagher FacebookTwittercenter_img June 18, 2019 Posted: June 18, 2019 AP, In honor of his past service to our Country, Navy Seal #EddieGallagher will soon be moved to less restrictive confinement while he awaits his day in court. Process should move quickly! @foxandfriends @RepRalphNorman— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 30, 2019They include allegations he shot two civilians — an elderly man and a school-age girl — in separate incidents from sniper perches in Iraq in 2017.Fellow SEALs will testify that they fired warning shots to protect civilians, John said.Those witnesses were not in the same building as Gallagher and didn’t see the shootings he’s accused of carrying out, Parlatore said, adding that one of the shootings was reportedly done by an Islamic State member.The trial is expected to last two to three weeks.The jury is composed of five enlisted men, including a Navy SEAL and four Marines, plus a Navy commander and a Marine chief warrant officer. Most of the jurors have served in conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.Gallagher’s defense has been championed by his family and some congressional Republicans who have claimed that he’s a hero getting railroaded. Trump intervened to get Gallagher removed from the brig as he awaited trial and is said to be considering a pardon for him.The case has been plagued by news leaks of court documents and a subsequent investigation to find the source of those leaks. The lead prosecutor was removed from the case earlier this month for tracking the defense team’s emails as part of the leak investigation.Defense lawyers unsuccessfully sought to have a Navy judge dismiss the case because they say investigators and prosecutors withheld evidence that could help Gallagher and violated his rights to a fair trial by embedding the tracking software in emails sent to them.Capt. Aaron Rugh refused to dismiss the case, but he took steps to ensure Gallagher gets a fair trial and fix violations of his constitutional right against illegal searches and the right to counsel.Rugh released Gallagher from custody, removed the lead prosecutor and reduced the maximum penalty he faces if convicted, to life imprisonment with parole instead of no chance of parole.RELATED STORY: Jurors picked for Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher’s war crimes trial___Melley reported from Los Angeles. last_img read more

Subpoenas Pile Up For Michael Flynns Documents

first_imgSubpoenas for former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn piled up Wednesday as the House intelligence committee pressured Flynn to cooperate with its investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election.The prospect of new congressional subpoenas came one day after the committee’s Senate counterpart served its own subpoenas to Flynn’s businesses. The FBI also faced a deadline Wednesday to turn over memos written by former FBI Director James Comey detailing his discussions with President Donald Trump. One memo reportedly shows Trump pressuring Comey to shut down the bureau’s investigation into Flynn’s Russia ties.During a breakfast Wednesday, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the House intelligence committee’s top Democrat, told reporters that Flynn declined to turn over records to the committee, and he said it will be “following up with subpoenas.” Schiff said the subpoenas will likely go out this week. He did not elaborate on what materials the committee was seeking.The attempts to compel Flynn to produce documents were just another sign of the intense focus on Trump’s former national security adviser, who was fired in February after the White House said he misled administration officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, about his contacts with Russian officials.In addition to the congressional scrutiny, Flynn is currently a target of an FBI counterintelligence investigation, a federal probe in Virginia and a Defense Department inspector general’s inquiry into the propriety of foreign payments he accepted.In a letter to the Senate committee on Monday, Flynn invoked his Fifth Amendment protection from self-incrimination in deflecting the panel’s subpoena for a wide array of documents and information related to his contacts with Russians.Flynn’s attorneys argued that the Senate’s request was too broad, and if Flynn were to comply, he could be confirming the existence of some documents and, in effect, providing testimony that could be used against him. They also said an “escalating public frenzy” against Flynn and the appointment of a special counsel had created a legally perilous environment for Flynn to provide the information.In response, the Senate intelligence committee on Tuesday sent a letter narrowing its request for documents. It also issued subpoenas seeking documents from two of Flynn’s businesses— Flynn Intel Group Inc., a consulting firm owned by Flynn and his business partners, and Flynn Intel Group LLC, a company he used for other projects, such as his paid speeches.Flynn could choose to contest the congressional subpoenas seeking his business records, but legal experts said he would not prevail.Solomon L. Wisenberg, a Washington defense lawyer who worked as a prosecutor during the Starr investigation of President Bill Clinton, said both of Flynn’s corporate structures would likely have to turn over all business records sought by the committee. “The Fifth Amendment privilege does not apply to business entities, period,” he said, adding that both Supreme Court and District of Columbia Circuit Court rulings would weigh on the committee’s side.If the FBI misses its deadline to turn over memos and other materials documenting Comey’s interactions with the president, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, has said he would subpoena them, if necessary. Chaffetz is the chairman of the House government oversight committee.The FBI declined comment. Sharelast_img read more

2020 Census Will Ask White People More About Their Ethnicities

first_img Share Hansi Lo Wang/NPRFrom left to right, Tommy Shiels, Dennis Hayden, John Houlihan and Thomas Ring attend the New York Irish Center’s weekly luncheon for seniors in Queens, N.Y. Many attendees say they support the 2020 census asking white people about their origins.The race question is going to get complicated for many people who identify as white on the U.S. census.Since 1960, when U.S. residents were first allowed to self-report their race on the census, just answering “White” has been enough to complete the race question. But the federal government is now preparing to essentially ask non-Hispanic white people where they and their ancestors are from as part of the Census Bureau’s inquiry into their racial identity.Last month, the Census Bureau announced it’s adding a write-in area for the “White” category on the 2020 census questionnaire so that participants can provide their “origins.”“Print, for example, German, Irish, English, Italian, Lebanese, Egyptian, etc.,” read the instructions on the form the bureau is using in a practice run of the 2020 census in Rhode Island’s Providence County beginning in March.Those suggested answers are among the largest U.S. population groups descending from Europe, the Middle East and North Africa — regions with “original peoples” classified by the U.S. government as “White,” according to the federal standards for race and ethnicity data.‘I don’t know … where they’re from’The Census Bureau has not responded to NPR’s questions about why this change is being made to the “White” category for 2020. A similar write-in area will be added under the “Black and African American” category.The bureau has conducted extensive research into how to collect more accurate data about race and ethnicity in 2020. The data play a critical role in drawing legislative districts, enforcing civil rights laws and analyzing health statistics.Researchers at the bureau have recommended adding check boxes for the largest ethnic groups and a write-in area for smaller groups under the racial categories in a proposal that would radically overhaul the race and ethnicity questions on the census.But that extensive change would have required the White House’s Office of Management and Budget — which sets the standards on race and ethnicity data for the Census Bureau and other federal agencies — to approve an Obama-era proposal that census experts say the Trump administration is not likely to move forward.Nevertheless, in a report released last year, researchers at the Census Bureau wrote that it has been trying to address community concerns about the race and ethnicity questions, including a “call for more detailed, disaggregated data for our diverse American experiences as German, Mexican, Korean, Jamaican, and myriad other identities.”For Cindy Spector of Brooklyn, N.Y., the new write-in area she’ll be asked to complete after marking the “White” box in 2020 is raising questions about how well she knows her family tree.“According to my grandparents, we’re Russian and Romanian,” she says.But she’s not sure where her great-grandparents and earlier ancestors were from.“They may have been from another country altogether,” she adds.‘What kind of white’The census has asked all U.S. households about their origins previously. Recent questionnaires, including the one used in 2010, have asked all participants about ethnicity in terms of “Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin.” But questions about ancestry have appeared on forms separately from the race question.Asking about origins in the context of race is a significant detail for Peter Farnsworth of Brooklyn, who says this change to the “White” category gets into personal territory.“Don’t make me specify what kind of white,” he says. “If you want to know my race, that’s fine. But I don’t need to give you details about what kind of white I identify with.”Farnsworth says he identifies as “American,” though his family has ties with England, Scotland, Ireland and Jamaica.“Nobody ever believes me when I say this,” he adds, “but my dad’s side of the family has lived in Jamaica for hundreds of years.”Elizabeth Grasso, also from Brooklyn, says her ancestors came from Germany and Italy.“We came here from Sicily pretty recently,” she explains, referring to her Italian grandparents, “but not me.”Being asked to give a more detailed answer about her white identity, she adds, brings back stories she’s heard about her immigrant grandparents.“There was discrimination against them when they were younger that … I’m very lucky to not experience now,” Grasso says. “But there was a time when Italians weren’t considered white.”‘No problem with that’At a recent luncheon for seniors at the New York Irish Center in Queens, N.Y., many said they support the 2020 census asking white people about their origins.“There would be no problem with that,” said Thomas Ring of Queens, who plans to write “Irish” on his census form. “I don’t think it makes a difference. We have all kinds of nationalities in the country.”Hansi Lo Wang/NPRErica Paul (left) and Danielle Gallagher serve lunch to John Houlihan and other seniors attending the New York Irish Center’s Wednesday Lunch Club in Queens, N.Y. On a wall of historical memorabilia hanging behind them is an old sign saying “HELP WANTED, NO IRISH NEED APPLY.”Fellow Queens resident Martina Molloy helped served slices of pizza to Ring and other seniors lined up in front of a wall of historical memorabilia, including an old sign saying “HELP WANTED, NO IRISH NEED APPLY.”Molloy said she recently thought about how limiting the “White” box is when she recently filled out a form that asked for her race.“It’s nice to be able to add something extra,” she said.Born in Northern Ireland, she has lived in the U.S. longer than in her birth country. But she said with a laugh, “I always consider myself Irish first and American second, which may not be the right thing to say in this country but that’s how I feel.”‘Is that accurate?’Julia Clear, another Queens resident who attended the senior luncheon, is also planning to write “Irish” for her origins. Her late husband was of Italian descent, and she’s worried their sons will have trouble fitting in both “Irish” and “Italian” in the write-in area.Still, she hopes the 2020 census responses will lead to a better count of people of Irish descent in the U.S., estimated to be at 32.7 million according to 2015 data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.“Is that accurate? Or is there a heck of a lot more of us out there?” Clear asked, wondering if the numbers from 2020 could show whether she’s part of a shrinking population of Irish immigrants in the U.S.“There are some people here that are in their 20s and 30s,” she said, “but they’re going to be the last bastions of people that are going to come in here and especially if the president wants to come along and just lock down the borders.”But Charles Gallagher, a sociologist at La Salle University in Philadelphia who studies white identity, warns that any 2020 census numbers about white origins may not be reliable.“If you have a population that’s been in the U.S. for a very long time and people have been, you know, crossing the ethnic line and dating and marrying,” he says, “people aren’t going to have a real accurate record.”He adds that if you’re thinking about mailing out your DNA for testing, beware: So far, the results are not a reliable guide, he says, for how to fill out your census form accurately.Copyright 2018 NPR. 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American Horror Story Cult May Have Fixed Most of it Problems

first_img This season of American Horror Story didn’t get off to the strongest start. The first three episodes were either confusing, groan-worthy or just boring. It constantly undermined any tension or dread it managed to build, and never let the audience in on what was happening enough for us to be scared. It’s fourth episode, a flashback to just before and after the election, finally seems to have addressed all of those issues.A lot of the improvement has to do with the lack of Sarah Paulson’s Ally in this episode. In the rest of the season, the camera barely ever left her and the show still couldn’t give us a single reason to like her. It’s fine to have unlikable characters, and this show has had some great ones. But in a horror story, we want some reason to root for the main character. There should be something that makes us want to see her survive. Ally hasn’t given us that. And her fear of just about everything got annoying real quick. It’s like the horror equivalent of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” If you tell me everything is scary, I’m not going to believe you when something actually is.The last part of this episode focused instead on Alison Pill’s Ivy, who’s a much better horror protagonist. She’s someone we can root for, someone who gets scared by actual scary things. As a result, when she starts to go to dark places after being sexually assaulted, it really is horrifying. Don’t worry, last night’s episode didn’t go full ’70s exploitation rape-revenge movie. Instead, it mimicked Saw (the good one). After the Trump-supporting grocery store cashier grabs her crotch, Winter shows up to chase him away. Yes, it would appear that Winter and Ivy met before she was hired to be Ozy’s new nanny. Winter convinces her to knock out the guy at his grocery store with a taser, then tie him up in a basement until after the election is over. After they leave, Kai shows up. He uses the man’s desperation, humiliation and anger at women to get him to cut his arm off, providing the episode with a nice bookend. It began by showing us a man voting for Trump and triumphantly holding a bloody stump. It ended by showing us how he got that way. It’s the best story this season has told us so far.Chaz Bono (Photo via FX)This episode finally answered some questions we desperately needed to be answered. I maybe understand why they felt they had to wait this long. A lot of horror comes from the unexplained. Give away too much too early, and you’ve killed any dread or tension you could have built. The first three episodes of this season had the opposite problem. It explained absolutely nothing. It’s hard to be scared when we’re just trying to figure out what the hell you’re showing us. We need a little information to get us invested in what’s going on. This flashback episode gave us that. We see how Kai attracts people to his cult of personality. We now know exactly who’s involved. Most importantly, we know what Kai wants, and it has very little to do with Trump. He’s not simply a Trump-supporter. He’s feeding on the fear the Trump presidency has created. He and Winter are working together from the beginning to manipulate followers with their election-based fears. Kai appeals to the more conservative and angry people, while Winter targets liberals. (Also, it looks like she’s been trying to break up Ally and Ivy long before the bathtub incident.) It’s actually a pretty satisfying way to marry the election and cult elements, and gives the rest of the season a nice jumping off point. If only they did that to begin with.The episode focused on Kai, detailing how he recruited Harrison and Meadow, as well as the reporter played by Adina Porter, Beverly Hope. (That’s a cool surprise, I guess.) Instead of wondering when we’d be treated to a jump scare or a character freaking out over what turns out to be nothing, we watched a charismatic sociopath manipulate people into doing horrible things. That created an ongoing sense of dread that was missing from the past few episodes. We were watching something terrible take place and had no power to stop it. Finally, we got some real horror from American Horror Story. First, Kai used Harrison’s attraction to him to make him more open to suggestion. Then, he uses Harrison’s desperation and anger at his boss to get him to commit murder. Meadow’s indoctrination is comically short. She sees Harrison sawing off his boss’s head in their bathtub and calmly asks who Kai is. By her own admission, she doesn’t really believe in much (she wrote in Oprah on her ballot), so I guess that’s all it took. The whole sequence was funny, gratuitously gross, and unsettling. That’s what I come to American Horror Story for.Emma Roberts (Photo via FX)The middle segment wasn’t quite as strong, but we learned who’s behind the clown masks we’ve been seeing. Meadow designed them, and we see the trio of (we can reasonably assume) Kai, Meadow, and Harrison murder Beverly’s rival, a young reporter who exclusively does fluff pieces and is sleeping with the boss. When Kai offers her equal power in whatever new world order he’s creating, she readily joins him. There are still a few clowns we haven’t met yet, but now we know where they’re coming from. At least the ones that aren’t in Ally’s head. If there even are any in her head. Frankly, after this episode, I care even less about that plot.Despite producing what’s easily the best episode of the season, the basic premise still has a problem that I don’t think the season can shake. It’s exhausting. We are dealing with the fallout of the 2016 election all day, every day. There is very real fear and suffering happening all over the country as a direct result of that election. Being awake and online in 2017 means confronting it all day, and now we have a twisted fantasy version of those fears coming at us for an extra hour every Tuesday. Catharsis is a big part of why horror is so fun to watch, and this season isn’t offering any. It’s good to build stress and tension the way this episode does, but there needs to be some kind of release. We’re all so tired and having the same political discourse catchphrases we hear/read all day mockingly parroted back to us in rapid-fire succession isn’t helping any.Billy Eichner (Photo via FX)Even so, I’m glad the season found a way to turn itself around. The last three episodes were an almost unwatchable slog. This one at least focused its story, and finally had some good horror. It also opens up the rest of the season to go somewhere more interesting. The election has now been thoroughly dealt with and the show can move on. Now that we know exactly what Kai’s game is, the show can explore that more. If the show can capitalize on this momentum, we should have some good scares coming our way. When last week’s episode ended on a cliffhanger, I couldn’t care less what happened next. After last night, I care a little.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on target Top Movie and TV Trailers You Might Have Missed This WeekAmerican Horror Story Takes Us Back to the Days of Witches and Warlocks last_img read more

Country will witness a revolution in 2019 Lok Sabha polls Mamata

first_imgKOLKATA: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee told newsmen in Frankfurt on Monday that the country will witness a “revolution” in 2019 Lok Sabha elections in which the BJP will be voted out of power by the people of India.”No to BJP and Yes to country” is the need of the hour, she said.While talking to newsmen, she said the arrogance and ego of the leaders have reached a saturation point and the common people have been neglected beyond limit. “The arrogance and ego of the leaders have reached new low and the steps taken by them have hit the pocket of the common people.” Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeIt may be mentioned that Banerjee has taken the initiative to set up a Federal Front comprising the anti-BJP forces. When asked whether she will be the Prime Minister in 2019 while taking part in an interactive session which was organised by a vernacular television channel in Kolkata last week, she said now, the sole purpose is to get rid of BJP. “We will have to vote them out first and then the Prime Minister will be decided.” Banerjee had been highlighting the failure of the anti-people BJP government in meetings, rallies, and street corners and in these gatherings her slogan has been “Oust BJP from the Centre.” Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedBanerjee along with state Finance minister Amit Mitra and Chief Secretary Malay De are putting up at Villa Kennedy Hotel. A business delegation is also accompanying her.Banerjee will meet businessmen and representatives of various chambers of commerce on Tuesday. A delegation from Germany had visited Kolkata in January to take part in the Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS). They had invited Banerjee and Tuesday’s main focus will be the possibility of German investment in the MSME sector which is now the thrust area of the state government.Banerjee took a stroll on the bank of River Rhine on Monday morning where she came across a musician on the road and played the tune We Shall Overcome on an electric organ.She will go to Italy and hold talks with the businessmen after her trip to Germany.last_img read more

Remembering Tagore on his 158th birth anniversary

first_imgKolkata: The 158th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore was observed with great enthusiasm.Tagore was born on May 9, 1861 at Jorasanko and was the youngest son of Debendranath Tagore. State Information and Cultural Affairs department organised a function on Cathedral Road outside Rabindra Sadan. Noted Rabindrasangeet exponents paid homage to Tagore through their songs. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was present at the function. A function was held at Jorasanko Thakurbari in the morning. Noted Rabindrasangeet exponents and elocutionists paid their respect to Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataTagore. The statue of Tagore was garlanded by Sabyasachi Basu Roy Chaudhuri, the vice chancellor of Rabindra Bharati University. Later, he inaugurated an art gallery that has been named after Abanindranath Tagore. A total of 32 paintings including one by Tagore and the remaining by all well-known artists who were Tagore’s contemporaries were put up at the gallery. A function was held at Oriental Seminary, a school where Tagore had been enrolled as a student for some time. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateMinister of state for Women and Child Development and Social Welfare Shashi Panja garlanded the half-bust statue of Tagore at the school. Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (HIDCO) organised a function titled “He Antartara” at Rabindra Tirtha where well known Rabindrasangeet singers including Ashis Bhattacharya, Enakshi Chattopadhyay, Dipak Rudra, Anindya Narayan Chattopadhyay, Chandrabali Rudra Dutta among others took part in the programme. Noted elocutionists Pranati Thakur, Bijoylakshmi Barman, Sovanshundar Basu recited poems wrote by Tagore. HIDCO will organise programs in all the Saturdays and Sundays except May 18 and 19 at Rabindra Tirtha in the evening. A programme was held at Jadavpur Laughing Club where singers Surajit, Agnibha Bhattacharya, Monomoy Bhattacharya took part along with elocutionist Satinath Mukhopadhyay. Nabanalanda High School organised a programme on Southern Avenue opposite the new school premises. Rammohan Mission School also organised a programme to pay tribute to Tagore. Programmes were held all over Bengal and thousands of artists, dancers, elocutionists took part in these programmes. Metro Railway observed the 158th birth anniversary of Kavi Guru Rabindra Nath Tagore in a solemn manner at Metro Rail Bhavan. P C Sharma, general manager, Metro Railway paid homage to Gurudev by garlanding his photograph on behalf of staff and officers of Metro Railway. Metro staff and officers paid homage to Kavi Guru by singing his songs and reciting poems. All officers and staff were present in this programme.last_img read more

ATAS accreditations cancelled with immediate effect

first_imgATAS accreditations cancelled with immediate effectATAS accreditations cancelled with immediate effectThe Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) has taken action to cancel the ATAS travel accredited status of a number of ATAS accredited participants as a result of a failure to renew by the required timeline.The cancellations are:Adept TravelsBeautiful AccommodationBowen TravelCVT TraveleCruise & TravelGlobal OZ TravelInto Oz TourJ TravelKD Travel SolutionsTravel Direct of KingscliffTripro Travel Service Pty LtdWorldstar TravelATAS Participants whose accreditation has been cancelled must immediately take steps to remove any logo or reference to AFTA or ATAS from their website, business cards, any ancillary internet or social media sites you may use (such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) any printed material used to promote your business like brochures, flyers or newsletters and any other in store promotional materials used like certificates, stickers or window decals.A notice has been posted to this effect on the AFTA website pursuant to s6.2 of the ATAS Charter.Source = Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA)last_img read more

Housing Affordability Dips to FourYear Low in Second Quarter

first_img While rising home prices across the nation may be good news as they imply recovering markets, the trend may dampen housing affordability. Having been historically high for the past few years, affordability dipped somewhat in the second quarter of this year, according to the “”National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity index.””: [IMAGE]Increasing prices and mortgage rates “”contributed to affordability slipping to the lowest level in four years,”” said David Crowe, chief economist at NAHB. Nationally, the median home price rose from $185,000 in Q2 2012 to $202,000 over the most recent quarter. At the same time, affordability fell from 73.7 percent in this year’s first quarter to 69.3 percent–meaning 69.3 percent of Americans earning the national median income could afford a home sold during the quarter. [COLUMN_BREAK]The second quarter marks the first time since 2008 the index has fallen below 70 percent, according to NAHB. “”Such movement would be less concerning if it were not for ongoing discussions regarding potential changes to the mortgage interest deduction and federal support for the secondary mortgage market, both of which play enormous roles in keeping homeownership affordable,”” Crowe said. NAHB found a wide spectrum of affordability across major U.S. markets. The least affordable market is San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, California, where affordability is just 19.3 percent, in contrast to Ogden-Clearfield, Utah–the most affordable major market–where affordability is 92.8 percent. Ogden-Clearfield has topped the affordability chart for the past four quarters. After the Ogden-Clearfield metro, the remaining markets on the list of top five most affordable major markets are located Midwest and Northeast. They include: Indianapolis-Carmen, Indiana (91.8 percent); Harrisburg-Carlisle, Pennsylvania (91.4 percent); Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-Pennsylvania (90.9 percent); Buffalo-Niagara Falls, New York (90.7 percent). Least affordable markets (after San Francisco) include Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, California (28.3 percent); Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, California (28.8 percent); New York-White Plains-Wayne, New York-New Jersey (29.8 percent); and San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California (32.2 percent). Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Home Prices Housing Affordability Investors Lenders & Servicers National Association of Home Builders Processing Service Providers Wells Fargo 2013-08-14 Krista Franks Brock Housing Affordability Dips to Four-Year Low in Second Quarter in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicingcenter_img August 14, 2013 423 Views Sharelast_img read more

Jewellery stolen from Limassol shop

first_imgJewellery of as yet unknown value was stolen from a shop in Limassol early on Monday.Police were notified of the burglary by a security company at 1am after the alarm at the shop located in Archbishop Makarios avenue in Mesa Geitonia went off.The perpetrators entered through a bathroom window, broke down a wooden door inside the building and removed gold and silverware after breaking two glass display cases.You May LikeList Nebula8 Cutest Exotic Dog Breeds From Around The WorldList NebulaUndoFill Gap NewsJustin Bieber ‘makes Hailey Baldwin priority’ & ‘separated’ himself from his ‘guilt’ over Ex Selena’s Breakdown – FillGap NewsFill Gap NewsUndotrainThe 7 Best Train Trips in the WorldtrainUndo Heroes’ welcome for Israeli teens after woman detained for false rape claim (Update 2)UndoProperty owners price themselves out of the marketUndoFrom space heroes to artists: women written out of historyUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Trainer plane incident briefly disrupts flights at Larnaca airport

first_imgLarnaca airport was shut down for some 40 minutes on Saturday morning after a trainer plane veered off the runway into a field after landing.No one was injured in the 9.40am incident. The small aircraft had just landed and it was taxing on the runway when the pilot apparently lost control and ended up in an adjacent field.Two flights were affected whose departure was delayed until the aircraft was removed from the field.Airports operator Hermes spokesman Adamos Aspris said Larnaca’s flight schedule resumed at 10.20am.You May LiketimebucksMake Money And Rewards For Taking Surveys Online.timebucksUndothemaestroart.comLudwig van Beethoven – Maestro Artthemaestroart.comUndoSkip and GiggleMan Finds Plane Hidden In Jungle, But When He Looks InsideSkip and GiggleUndo House rejects presidential veto over repossession lawUndoTwo of serial killer’s victims buried in PhilippinesUndoState Legal Service condemns attack on attorney-generalUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more