Awareness initiatives for environment in city schools and markets on KMC radar

first_imgKolkata: The Environment department of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) will carry out awareness programmes regarding environmental issues through out the year. There will be programmes at each of the 16 boroughs and awareness activities will be carried out in schools and market places.The observance kicked off with a programme in front of KMC headquarters to mark the occasion of World Environment Day on June 5 in presence of Mayor Firhad Hakim and other senior officials of the civic body and a number of school students. Also Read – City bids adieu to Goddess DurgaThe programme was not held on June 5 as there was a national holiday due to Eid which fell on the same day. “There will be awareness activities at the borough level to make people aware of the evil effects of air pollution, plastic pollution, pollution from construction materials etc. The borough with the best awareness programme will be awarded by the civic body,” said Swapan Samaddar, MemberMayor in Council (Environment ) said. Sammadar added that the civic body will reach out to schools in the city and market places too. “We are stressing upon awareness campaigns in schools as we feel that it is the students who can deliver the message of environment issues in the best possible way. Students will tell their parents about the need of planting more trees and preserve greenery,” the Mayor said. Plantation programmes were held across the city on Friday and school students were roped in large numbers. Immediately after taking oath as the city’s Mayor in December 2018 Hakim had announced that the civic body will be waiving property tax upto 90 percent if somebody takes to urban forestry by planting big trees on his/ her land. The tax deduction will be on the basis of the land where he takes up the plantation programme.last_img read more

Former deputy gets 10 years for receiving child porn

first_imgORLANDO, Fla. – A former Florida deputy has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for receiving child pornography after the RCMP reported his online activity to American authorities.Court records show 36-year-old Kevin Hutchinson was sentenced this week in Orlando federal court.The former Orange County deputy pleaded guilty in May.Earlier this year, the Mounties alerted the U.S. Department of Homeland Security of child pornography being sent through Kik, a Canadian-based social media messaging app, from an IP address in the Orlando area. That address was traced to Hutchinson.A search warrant was issued at Hutchinson’s home.Investigators say he possessed 5,872 images and 1,625 videos of child pornography.last_img

Mississauga shooting was targeted at group filming rap video police

first_imgPeel Regional Police Chief Chris McCord says the shooting in Mississauga that killed a 17-year-old boy and injured five others on Saturday was targeted.Officers were called to Darcel Avenue near Morning Star Drive just before 6:30 p.m. The shooting is believed to have occurred close to a parkette behind a building complex.The 17-year-old boy was pronounced dead on the scene. He lived in the complex and police say he was not the intended target of the shooting.Neighbours and friends of the family have identified the boy as Jonathan Davis.McCord said the “ambush-type” attack was targeted at a group filming a rap video in the area and some of the victims were innocent bystanders. He added that the victims are not directly related but it is possible that they know each other. It’s unclear if they are all from Mississauga or live in the complex.A previous music video filmed in the area and released online was the motivation for the attack, he said. Officers are currently reviewing that video, but McCord says there is “information” in it that challenges other people in the community and “that’s what upset [the attackers]”The suspects were dressed in dark clothing and balaclavas and McCord says they covertly approached on foot from the side of a building. Once they were in position, they “indiscriminately” fired into the parkette area with semi-automatic handguns and then fled on foot.Peel Region Shooting:7 suspects involved, dressed in dark clothing, trying to conceal their identity. They open fire in a Parkette, & a number of innocent victims are hit: 17 yr-old male shot dead.13 yr-old girl 16 yr old2 17 year old males (1 was released)Women in her 50’s pic.twitter.com/xBZI8KyVtQ— Faiza Amin (@Faiza_AminTV) September 15, 2019One of the victims, a woman in her 50s, was taken to a trauma centre in life-threatening condition. Chief McCord said she is now in stable condition.Four others also suffered serious injuries — the youngest being a 13-year-old girl. A 16-year-old boy and two 17-year-old boys also suffered gunshot wounds. One of the 17-year-old boys has since been released and the other three victims are in stable, non-life-threatening condition.A witness and family friend tells CityNews the 13-year-old girl recently moved to Canada with her family from Turkey and they are Syrian refugees. She was on the first floor of the building when she heard the shots and when she ran toward the window, she was hit by a bullet.In a release, police say there are more than seven suspects and over 100 shell casings were found at the scene.Investigators are looking to speak with the driver of an ice cream truck that was parked in the complex, where families with children were gathered at the time of the attack. As the events unfolded, the truck left the scene and police are asking the driver to identify themselves to aid in the investigation.McCord said the suspects are still at large but there is no further threat to public safety and stressed that Mississauga remains one of the safest cities in Canada.Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie also spoke with media and said she was “crushed” to hear of the “senseless, violent crime” and will advocate for increased funding to combat guns and gangs.When I spoke to residents in Malton, they were visibly shaken & deeply upset. My thoughts are with the innocent young boy who passed & the victims who are still recovering. I’m advocating for increased funding for a police station in Malton & for our share of gun & gangs funding.— Bonnie Crombie Police will remain in the area for a considerable period of time. Witnesses or anyone with information is asked to come forward or leave an anonymous tip with Peel Crime Stoppers.last_img read more

Forest fires in Northwest BC causing heavy smoke in the Peace Region

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A special air quality statement that was issued by Environment Canada on Tuesday due to large amounts of smoke in the air remains in effect for all of Northeast B.C. today.According to Firesmoke.ca, the excessive smoke is coming from a number of large fires burning in Northwest B.C.Current Fire Danger Rating. Photo by the Government of British Columbia. For more information on air quality click here. Fires burning in North B.C. Map by the B.C. Wildfire service.A map of all active wildfires on the BC Wildfire Service website shows that no new major fires have erupted in the B.C. Peace and Fort Nelson regions, where the fire danger rating is currently between moderate and high.Of the fires that are burning in Northeast B.C. only two are over one thousand hectares in size. The two mentioned are the Nelson Forks Fire and the Helmut Air Strip fire which are 1,212 and 3,593 hectares respectively.Residents with pre-existing health conditions such as asthma and lung disease are especially at risk of suffering health effects. Also at risk are Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular diseases.Environment Canada is urging residents to stay indoors if they have breathing difficulties. Residents should find indoor ventilated areas, opening windows could let more polluted air inside. If residents homes aren’t ventilated they should consider going somewhere that is.Be air aware! Check your local weather forecasts and alerts so you know when to take extra care.last_img read more

Princess Lalla Salma Most Beautiful First Lady in Africa

Rabat- The African website Africacradle the reference site in the world of African people, released its 2015 ten Most Beautiful First Ladies in Africa, ranking Princess Lalla Salma, consort of Mohammed VI, king of Morocco, on top of the list.“Physically as well as intellectually, Lalla Salma is beautiful. She has a beautiful face crowned with red hair, and holds a degree in engineering,” the website wrote.Sylvia Bongo Ondimba, the wife of Ali Bongo Ondimba, President of Gabon, ranked second in the list. She is followed by Chantal Biya, the first lady of Cameron and the first lady of Chad, Hinda Deby Itno. In addition to her acclaimed elegance, the Moroccan first lady is involved in many philanthropic activities in the Kingdom and abroad, especially in the fight against cancer.Driven by humanitarian motives, Lalla Salma founded the “Lalla Salma Foundation – Prevention and Treatment of Cancers” in 2005, which is working to prevent and treat cancer.In October, 2014, the American website “Richest Lifestyle”, dedicated to the lifestyle of celebrities, rich and fabulous people around the globe, ranked the princess on the top of the list of the Most Beautiful First Ladies in Africa, and third World’s Most Beautiful First Ladies. read more

UNESCO chief deplores killing of another Congolese journalist

Didace Namujimbo, 34, died after being shot in the neck by unknown assailants last Friday night as he returned to his home in the South Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). He leaves behind a wife and three children.“I condemn the murder of Didace Namujimbo,” declared Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).He was the second Radio Okapi journalist to be killed in capital of South Kivu, Bukavu, in the last year and the sixth media professional to be killed in similar circumstances in the DRC over the last three years, according to the non-governmental organization (NGO) Journaliste en Danger.Radio Okapi is a partnership between the UN mission in the DRC, known by its French acronym (MONUC), and the Hirondelle Foundation, a Swiss NGO.“Journalists are being targeted because of their work, yet telling the story is particularly important in view of the extreme violence affecting the region. It is therefore important that this killing be investigated fully and condemned,” Mr. Matsuura said. 27 November 2008While adding his voice to the growing chorus of senior United Nations officials condemning last week”s murder of a Congolese journalist, the head of the UN agency tasked with defending press freedom today welcomed the call from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for a full investigation of the crime. read more

Precision Drilling boosts capital spending amid strong customer demand

CALGARY — Precision Drilling Corp. is bumping up this year’s capital spending by nearly a third in response to strong customer demand for its drilling equipment.The Calgary-based oil and gas service firm said Monday its budget this year will be $833 million, up from its previous forecast of $634 million.The additional spending will go toward four additional new rigs to be delivered in the United States in the second half of 2014 and five more to be delivered in early 2015.In total, Precision Drilling plans to deliver 16 new rigs to customers this year.Since 2009, Precision has been turning a greater focus to providing equipment that’s geared toward tapping technically challenging reservoirs. Its so-called “Super Series” fleet consists of “highly efficient, highly mobile” rigs that are designed to drill wells horizontally.“Over the past five years, we have transformed our fleet and today we have Super Series rigs operating in virtually every unconventional basin in North America. With today’s announcement of an additional nine new-build rigs, eight of which have firm customer commitments, we expect to have 222 Super Series rigs operating by early 2015 and an increased capacity to deliver two new-build rigs per month to start 2015,” said CEO Kevin Neveu in a release.“The cornerstone to Precision’s build program remains our strict fiscal discipline insuring we achieve contracts from customers that meet our targets before a rig is completed for delivery.”Also Monday, Precision posted first-quarter net earnings of $102 million, up from $93 million a year earlier.The profits amounted to 35 cents per share, a penny shy of the average analyst estimate compiled by Thomson Reuters, but two cents higher than a year ago.The company said revenue was 13% higher at $672 million, mainly due to higher pricing and drilling activity in Canada, the United States and internationally.Precision Drilling said Canada has been experiencing an increase in drilling for natural gas and gas liquids in northwestern Alberta and northeastern British Columbia — resources that could potentially be exported to energy-hungry Asian countries through multibillion-dollar liquefied natural gas terminals on the West Coast.“In Canada, our drilling activity during the first quarter was slightly higher than last year, and was supported by growing customer demand throughout the winter drilling season,” said Neveu.“While challenges must still be overcome to fully realize the Canadian LNG development potential, we remain very encouraged by the continued support demonstrated by the key stakeholders in this very important Canadian resource. We believe additional new-build and upgrade opportunities will continue to emerge as these projects gather momentum.” Precision shares were up nearly 1.4% to $14.03 in late-morning trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange. read more

Maldives Foreign Minister briefs President on latest developments

President Maithripala Sirisena thanked the government and people of Maldives for the assistance provided for flood relief work.Speaking with the Maldivian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Mohamed Asim, who called on him at the President’s official residence in Colombo today, the President said Sri Lanka receives generous support from the international community during this time of calamity because of the policy of maintaining good relations with all the nations. Dr Asim briefed the President on the current political developments in the Maldives. President Sirisena pointing out that a small group of unscrupulous elements travel between the two countries and indulges in nefarious activities and emphasized the need for joint action to curb such activities. Foreign Minister Dr. Mohamed Asim in his capacity as the Special Envoy of the President of Maldives conveyed condolences from the Government and the people of Maldives to Sri Lanka following the flooding and landslides that occurred due to torrential rains resulting in the loss of several innocent lives, damages to infrastructure, and a significant disruption of the lives of hundreds of people; and informed that the Maldives stand with Sri Lanka during this difficult time. The Foreign Minister assured the President that his country would extend fullest cooperation to immigration and law and order authorities in Sri Lanka in this regard.Foreign Secretary Esala Weerakoon and High Commissioner of Maldives Zahiya Zareer were also present on this occasion. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Cooperation among developing countries still highly relevant – Annan

“Amid the challenges and opportunities brought by globalization, South-South cooperation provides a framework in which developing countries who are making progress can share their proven development policies and strategies with others,” Mr. Annan said yesterday in a message to mark the 25th anniversary of the Buenos Aires Plan of Action on Technical Cooperation Among Developing Countries.The Plan, endorsed by the UN General Assembly in December 1978, is still highly relevant today, the Secretary-General said in his message, delivered on his behalf in New York by Anwarul Chowdhury at the thirteenth session of the High-Level Committee on the Review of Technical Cooperation Among Developing Countries (TCDC). Mr. Chowdhury is the Secretary-General’s High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States.“It offers opportunities to focus on new issues such as information and communications technology, where a number of developing countries are beginning to play a leadership role,” Mr. Annan said of the framework. “And it is a crucial mechanism for addressing challenges of particular concern to developing countries, including the fight against diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria.”In his own speech to the meeting on Tuesday, Mr. Chowdhury said South-South cooperation had a significant role in promoting sustained growth and development for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs).“There is good potential for expansion investment, trade and technical cooperation in LDCs to achieve poverty reduction and sustainable development,” Mr. Chowdhury stated. He said increased regional cooperation and greater market opportunities among developing countries in general, and with LDCs in particular, appear to be key factors for the expansion of South-South trade.The High Representative also emphasized some successful examples of South-South cooperation that LDCs benefited from in recent years, which ranged from reduction or cancellation of debt, increase of market access, reduction of transportation costs, trade facilitation, and fighting HIV/AIDS. read more

Partisan political posturing is hurting Côte dIvoire report to UN warns

The tripartite monitoring group – comprising representatives from the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI), the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) – says the political atmosphere is suffering as a result.”This posture could lead to a revival of political vindications and animosities which could erode the full and unconditional commitment to the Accra III Agreement,” the report states.In late July the parties in Côte d’Ivoire signed the Accra III Agreement, which binds the Government to the 2003 Linas-Marcoussis Agreement, which itself ended fighting in the West African country and created a government of national reconciliation. The Accra III deal focused on those parts of the 2003 pact that were still disputed.The report says there are already “divergent interpretations” of the meaning of the Accra III Agreement, adding that the National Assembly is also running the risk of becoming gridlocked over the introduction of contentious legislation.But it finds a “silver lining” in the willingness of the different armed forces in the country to end their belligerency towards each other and uphold the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme slated to start next month.The report calls on Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the chairpersons of ECOWAS and AU to put pressure on Côte d’Ivoire’s major political figures to place “national interest above partisan advantage.”Citing President Laurent Gbagbo, leader of the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI), and opposition leaders Henri Konan Bedié of the Democratic Party of Côte d’Ivoire (PDCI), Alassane Ouattara of Rally of the Republicans (RDR) and Guillaume Soro of Forces Nouvelles, the report urges these figures “to stay on the course of the road map to peace and national reconciliation.”Peacekeeping forces from UNOCI currently divide Côte d’Ivoire between the Government-controlled south and the opposition-dominated north. Elections are scheduled for October next year. read more

Kentucky health officials urge flu vaccinations

Health Commissioner Angela Dearinger says vaccination is the best way to prevent the virus, which can be debilitating and sometimes deadly. Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, sneezing and body aches.Although vaccination is recommended for everyone 6 months old and over, officials say populations at higher risk for complications include young children, older adults and pregnant women.Last year, Kentucky reported 194 flu-related deaths, two of which were children. Flu Season FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – Health officials are urging Kentuckians to get vaccinated against the flu.The Department for Public Health said in a statement last week that there had already been 154 lab-confirmed flu cases in the state. The official flu season started Sunday and runs through May 16, 2020.- Advertisement –

Lowry scores 25 as Raptors even up series against Bucks with 120102

Kyle Lowry had 25 points, a limping Kawhi Leonard had 19, and the Toronto Raptors beat the Milwaukee Bucks 120-102 on Tuesday, tying the Eastern Conference finals series at two wins apiece.In one of the best all-around victories of this post-season, six Raptors scored in double figures. Norman Powell had 18 points, Serge Ibaka had 17 points and 13 boards, Marc Gasol scored 17 points, and Fred VanVleet chipped in with 13.Game 5 is Thursday at Milwaukee’s Fiserv Forum.Khris Middleton had 30 points for the Bucks, while Giannis Antetokounmpo had 25 points and 10 rebounds.Two nights earlier, the Raptors edged Milwaukee 118-112 in double overtime for their first win of the series, but the heavy minutes took their toll on players like Leonard, who played a career-high 52 minutes.Leonard, who missed all but nine game last season with a serious quadriceps injury, looked like he was running in mud Tuesday, and was noticeably limping after a dunk over Antetokounmpo early in the third quarter.

Latest issue of International Mining Project News available 09th December 07′

first_imgThis issue of IMPN includes the astonishing news that a coal mining company is acquiring 10 new longwall mining systems and 12 new sets of gateroad development equipment. No it is not a company in China but is New World Resources, leading producer of hard coal in the Czech Republic and Central Europe. The major capital investment program of approximately €300 million is for its wholly-owned subsidiary OKD a.s., the Czech Republic’s largest hard coal mining company. The company is also examining an interesting cross-border operation into Poland.Late November saw a rush of project announcements by Rio Tinto, including two new iron ore mines in Western Australia and the decision to take the Diavik diamond mine underground.Galore Creek bites the dust – NovaGold and Teck Cominco have announced they will suspend construction activities at the Galore Creek copper-gold-silver project in northwestern British Columbia. A recent review and completion of the first season of construction indicate substantially higher capital costs and a longer construction schedule for the project. This, combined with reduced operating margins as a result of the stronger Canadian dollar, would make the project, as now conceived and permitted, uneconomic at current consensus long-term metal prices.Meanwhile, Anglo American has approved Los Bronces copper development project in Chile. It will raise annual production to transform Los Bronces into one of the largest copper mines in the world.Mwana Africa with its Hunters Road nickel project and the Freda Rebecca gold mine is showing it is possible to work in Zimbabwe. Nevertheless it has been very difficult there, as Executive Chairman Oliver Baring explains.There is much coal news including Altona’s huge CTL project in South Australia, Riversdale Mining has signed an important JV with Tata for coal in Mozambique and RUSAL’s move into coal in Kazakhstan.There is news of mining returning to its hard rock cradle in England’s South West with South Crofty tin mine and Hemerdon tin and tungsten mine looking to re-open. And there is much much more in over 30 pages of project news released within the past two weeks.To receive the full 30+ page report, subscriptions to this service can be registered and paid for on-line (SUBSCRIBE TO IM PROJECT NEWS BUTTTON), or contact emma@im-mining.com for a free trial copy.last_img read more

Group A Battle for 14 Final – Tunisia or Argentina

← Previous Story Group B: “Battle for 1/4 Final” – Serbia VS Hungary! Next Story → Wilbek after Croatia: “Croatian nightmare!” After Serbia and Hungary in Group B, Tunisia and Argentina will decided who will be the fourth team in Group A qualified for 1/ Finals. argentinaArgentina handballOlympic handballTunisiaTunisia handball

7 ways you can destroy this evenings BBQ

first_imgvia ImgurBad news… Star Wars isn’t filming in Ireland after all>Love-hungry giraffe gets it horribly, horribly wrong>You won’t be able to make it through this post without drooling> THE SUN IS out around Ireland*.*If the sun’s not out around your parts, we apologise. Rest assured when we all get the rain we deserve, you’ll be basking in some glorious rays. Via Met.ieIf you haven’t already been furiously emailing or texting friends and/or family about your NEED to have a BBQ or picnic this evening, then you need to check your Irish citizenship. It’s in our genes.However, chances are you’re not one of those super-organised people with all of the necessary ingredients and accoutrements in your house, so here are the 7 ways you’re going to ruin this evening’s BBQ…1. Get to Tesco too lateYou decide at 6.57pm that you simply must make the most of this gorgeous evening. You pelt to Tesco to be greeted with:Pork Chops with a strange tikka/cajun/cabbagewater marinade on themQuorn filletsTurkey sausagesRosewater and elderflower Tortilla chipsYou buy them all. You have no choice.2. Forget the burger buns3. Forget that you don’t own a BBQYou’re sure you have one from last year in the shed, right?WRONG! That was a disposable one and/or you gave a lend of it to Uncle Séamus.Time to improvise:4. Burn your eyebrows off5. Burn all of the foodImage: FiskFisk/Flickr/Creative Commons via Imgur6. Give everyone food poisoningBurnt on the outside, raw in the middle. Standard.7. Set up your disposable BBQ on a glass tablevia Imgurlast_img read more

Lécran des Windows Phone changera bientôt de résolution

first_imgL’écran des Windows Phone changera bientôt de résolutionProduire un Windows Phone 7 sous-entend se baser sur quelques critères bien définis. Microsoft impose aux constructeurs le respect de normes comme la taille du châssis du téléphone. La dernière version en cours, nommée “Mango”, n’a pourtant pas énormément changé. Il faudra certainement attendre les prochaines versions pour voir apparaître des modifications significatives.L’importance du châssis est telle que cela définie ce que le constructeur peut mettre dans le téléphone (ses composants, son écran…). La version actuelle des Windows Phone 7 (version 1.5) n’a finalement apporté qu’une légère différence avec la version 1.0 de l’année dernière : l’apparition d’une caméra frontale, d’un gyroscope et du processeur Scorpion.À lire aussiWindows 8 : Microsoft annonce 40 millions de licences venduesMicrosoft prépare évidemment le futur et nous devrions donc voir apparaître très bientôt la version “Tango” des Windows Phone dont la résolution d’écran affichera 480×320 pixels. Cette dernière variante n’est pas encore sortie que nous connaissons déjà le nom de code de son héritière : “Apollo”. Le plus gros changement se fera peut-être avec cette gamme de Windows Phone, qui abritera un processeur double-cœur, une Haute Définition plus performante et certainement le nouveau Windows 8. Certes il y a des améliorations pour les Windows Phone à venir mais pour le moment, pas de vraie révolution technologique du côté des smartphones sous l’OS de Microsoft.Le 21 octobre 2011 à 09:13 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Tevez understands Messis Argentina problems

first_imgThe Boca Juniors footballer understands why Lionel doesn’t want to be in the national team for the rest of the yearAfter it was known that Lionel Messi will not appear for Argentina in their two friendly matches of the year, many footballers are giving their opinion about it.But to those that know Messi, they understand why he doesn’t want to go back to international football for a while.FC Barcelona, Valencia CFMatch Preview: Barcelona vs Valencia Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Is derby time in La Liga, as Barcelona welcomes Valencia to the Camp Nou Stadium tonight at 21:00 (CET).“It’s very personal, Leon has to take some time off to think about it,” Carlos Tevez told Diario Olé on Tuesday.“I can understand why he doesn’t want to go back. When one goes to the national team, fairly or unfairly, one is criticized.”The Boca Juniors striker will meet Messi tomorrow and told Olé how “it’s always cool to meet him again after we had a great time on the national team.”last_img

ALREADY CAUGHT HAITIANS INTERCEPTED…again off Provo

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, Sept. 20,2014 – Magnetic Media is told another 57 illegal Haitian migrants were caught very near land shore. Among them 12 women, a child and a three or four month old baby. The baby was taken to hospital reportedly due to swelling in the face. The 30ft vessel was crammed and was powered by a 48HP engine. This means these dangerous illegal trips are being made faster.One male, believed to be a three-peat offender tried to escape once near South Dock; our officers were successful in recapturing him. The group is now on remand at the Detention Center. Energy Town Meeting for Provo Recommended for you Related Items:illegal sloop, provo New York Dancers share talent in TCI Provo now No. 4 Island; Minister commentslast_img

US Restricts Electronic Devices On Flights From 8 Muslim Countries

first_img Share Kamran Jebreili/APEmirates passenger planes are parked at their gates at the Dubai International Airport in the United Arab Emirates. The U.S. is imposing new restrictions that require most electronic devices, including laptops, tablets and cameras, to be placed in checked baggage on direct flights to the U.S. from eight mostly Muslim countries, including the UAE. Passengers can still carry smartphones.Airline passengers coming to the U.S. on direct flights from eight majority-Muslim nations can still carry smartphones into the cabin of the planes, but must now place larger electronic devices, like laptops and cameras, in checked baggage under stepped-up security measures, U.S. officials said.The measures announced Tuesday morning cover about 50 incoming flights a day from the eight countries — Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.All are traditional U.S. allies and none is among the six majority-Muslim nations on President Trump’s controversial executive order that seeks to temporarily suspend immigration. The president issued a revised executive order on March 6, and this one, like the original in January, has been blocked by the courts.The six countries cited in Trump’s order all have fraught relations with the U.S., and several are plagued by unrest or civil war, including Syria, Libya and Yemen.In contrast, the countries on the new airline list are mostly stable, have generally good relations with the U.S., and include four wealthy states in the Gulf.The U.S. officials said the airplane restrictions are based on intelligence indicating that terror groups are still plotting to blow up civilian planes. The officials stress that the latest measure is not related to the president’s executive order, but it’s certain to draw comparisons amid the ongoing political and legal battle over Trump’s immigration order.Royal Jordanian informs passengersRoyal Jordanian Airline announced the security steps on Twitter on Monday afternoon. The tweet was deleted shortly afterward, but it prompted administration officials to speak to reporters and announce the planned move.U.S. authorities have expressed concerns in the past that explosives could be placed inside electronic devices.However, the administration officials declined to say specifically why they thought this move would enhance security since it doesn’t ban electronic items currently permitted on planes, it just requires that they be placed into checked baggage.Passengers can still take smartphones or essential medical devices into the cabin. But larger items, including laptops, tablets, cameras, DVD players and electronic games will have to be checked, the U.S. officials said.The officials cited attacks in recent years by extremists, including the downing of a Russian charter plane in Egypt in 2015, which was apparently caused by an explosive device on the aircraft. The officials also noted airport attacks carried out by gunmen in Brussels and Istanbul in 2016.U.S. carriers are not affected because none travels directly to the U.S. from airports in the eight named countries.American officials said they started reaching out on Sunday to make sure the countries and airlines knew these new regulations were coming.For the past several years, U.S. authorities have expressed great concerns about the bombmaking skills of the al-Qaida satellite in Yemen, and have cited group member Ibrahim al-Asiri in particular.Yemen is on Trump’s immigration ban, but there are no direct flights from that country to the U.S. However, Yemen is relatively close to the four Gulf states that are on the airline list.Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

US sees potential for wider antiTaliban uprising

first_img“It may not change Afghanistan, but if it can help deny some support bases in Ghazni, we’ll take that. That is something we haven’t had.”___Associated Press writer Deb Riechmann contributed to this report.Robert Burns can be followed on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/robertburnsAP 4 must play golf courses in Arizona The effort in Ghazni Province looks like a long shot. The villagers don’t readily embrace any outside authority, be it the Taliban, the U.S. or the Afghan government.American officials nonetheless are quietly nurturing the trend, hoping it might become a game changer, or at least a new roadblock for the Taliban. At the same time, they are adamant that if anyone can convince the villagers to side with the Afghan government, it’s the Afghans _ not the Americans.“If we went out there and talked to them we would taint these groups and it would backfire,” said Army Brig. Gen. John Charlton, the senior American adviser to the Afghan military in provinces along the southern approaches to Kabul.Charlton, who witnessed similar stirrings in Iraq while serving as a commander there in 2007, said that in some cases the Taliban are fighting back fiercely, killing leaders of the armed uprisings. In Kunsaf, for example, the Taliban killed several village fighters in skirmishes as recently as last month, but the Taliban suffered heavy losses and have thus far failed to retake the village.The American general visited two military bases in the area last week _ one in Ghazni’s Ab Band district that was vacated by a U.S. Army brigade as part of September’s U.S. troop drawdown, and the other in nearby Gelan district, where Afghan paramilitary police forces are moving in to fill the gap left by the Americans. Charlton found far fewer paramilitary police there than he says are needed; he is nudging the Afghans to get hundreds more into the area to put more pressure on the Taliban in support of the village uprisings. Top Stories “It’s going to take time, it’s not going to be an Anbar (Iraq) sweep,” Lambert said. “It is going to be village by village, district by district, and we may not see the results of this for some years.”Senior officers at the U.S. military headquarters sound even more cautious.“So far what we are not seeing is a coalescing of it into a greater movement,” said Australian Maj. Gen. Stephen Day, the plans chief for the international coalition’s joint command. He said “nothing as substantial” as the Andar uprising is happening elsewhere in the country.U.S. officials say there are signs of anti-Taliban resistance, or at least sentiment, in a dozen or more villages in Andar, and at various locations in the nearby districts of Qarabagh, Moqur and Ab Band. There have been small-scale uprisings also in provinces closer to Kabul, including Laghman and Logar.The question Day says he’s asking is, “Is there a golden thread here that we can pull on that will unite them all?”It is with that possibility in mind _ and an awareness that U.S. influence here is likely to shrink as its forces continue to withdraw _ that the Americans are encouraging the Afghan military to complete a plan dubbed Operation Solidarity to make what it can of this unexpected new opening in Ghazni province. Charlton, the American adviser to the commander of the main Afghan army group in this region, said this should be a major focus for the Afghans over the winter, when harsh weather tends to lessen the pace of combat operations. Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Charlton said the U.S. and its coalition partners are taking a behind-the-scenes role _ encouraging the Afghans to court the villagers while finding a role for U.S. Special Forces soldiers to forge the villagers into a fighting force as members of the Kabul-sanctioned Afghan Local Police.Some have compared the apparently spontaneous uprisings to the Iraq war’s Anbar Awakening of 2007, in which Sunni Arab tribes in the western province of Anbar turned on al-Qaida in their midst, joined forces with the Americans and dealt a blow that many credit with turning the tide of that conflict. The U.S. armed and paid the tribal fighters and sought to integrate them into Iraqi government forces.By coincidence, the first localized movement to draw outside attention in Afghanistan was in Ghazni’s Andar district, about 100 miles south of Kabul. Thus some U.S. analysts are calling this the Andar Awakening, drawing an Iraq war parallel that even the most optimistic American commanders say is a stretch.“That just builds some false expectations,” said Army Lt. Col. Kevin Lambert, a 1st Infantry Division battalion commander whose area of operations includes Ghazni. He nonetheless is encouraged that after initially balking, the Afghan government is now trying to leverage the Andar unrest. It has installed a new district governor who Lambert said is sympathetic to the uprisings and made changes in the local security forces. It also has authorized a U.S. Special Forces team to work with the villagers. (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) The three-stage plan, designed with U.S. assistance and launched by the Afghan 203rd Corps in September, begins with an assessment of individual village uprisings and their potential for success. Those deemed worthy of pursuing are then approached by the Afghan military, in some cases to provide weaponry. Charlton described the third stage as a networking effort “to stitch these groups together into something larger.”Charlton, who was a central player in fostering the Anbar Awakening in Iraq as a brigade commander in the provincial capital of Ramadi in 2007, is notably optimistic about the nascent Afghan uprisings.“Over the course of the winter, if this thing works out right, these groups will be supported, they will come together a little bit more and by the springtime the insurgency will not have the popular support bases that they are used to having,” he said.Charlton said he’s not discouraged by the merely incremental progress thus far.“To me, the Taliban are doing the same thing that al-Qaida was” in Iraq, he said. “They used these really oppressive, violent tactics that eventually alienate these populations. And I see that same dynamic here,” even though that may not be enough to ignite a broader uprising. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Comments   Share   Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Parents, stop beating yourself up Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix AP National Security WriterAB BAND, Afghanistan (AP) – Fed up with the Taliban closing their schools and committing other acts of oppression, men in a village about 100 miles south of Kabul took up arms late last spring and chased out the insurgents with no help from the Afghan government or U.S. military.Small-scale revolts in recent months like the one in Kunsaf, mostly along a stretch of desert south of the Afghan capital, indicate bits of a grass-roots, do-it-yourself anti-insurgency that the U.S. hopes Afghan authorities can transform into a wider movement. Perhaps it can undercut the Taliban in areas they still dominate after 11 years of war with the United States and NATO allies. The difference between men and women when it comes to painlast_img read more