Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Despite Game 1 beating, CEU Scorpions ‘won’t quit’ John Paul Bejar of the Philippines competes against Iwan Bidu Sirait of Indonesia in the finals of men’s -55kg kumite in the 29th Southeast Asian Games karate competition Wednesday at the KLCC Convention Center in Kuala Lumpur. Bejar lost to settle for the silver medal. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/POOLKUALA LUMPUR—An aggressive John Paul Bejar stormed to a 3-1 lead over his Indonesian foe but faded when it mattered to settle for the silver medal Wednesday in the 29th Southeast Asian Games karate competitions here.Bejar, who joined the Philippine team in training in Germany, took the action right to Iwan Bidu Sirait, who got the nod of the judges on many close calls to take a 10-4 victory in the -55 kilogram kumite.ADVERTISEMENT Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim His silver is the best finish so far in karate, although the Filipinos are confident of grabbing a gold when the competitions end Thursday.Earlier, Mae Soriano snagged a bronze in women’s -55kg kumite. Junna Tsukii also took bronze this time in -50kg in the sport played at KLCC Halls right under the Petronas Twin Towers.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingBejar’s march to the finals was marred with controversy as the PH team filed a protest over his semifinals loss to a Malaysian.The protest was upheld, allowing the 23-year-old Bejar to fight for the gold medal. View comments Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo MOST READ
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Indian cricket Team Director Ravi Shastri. File Photo – The Hindu The official reason is his busy media commitments as commentator, TV expert and columnist July 01, 2016 SHARE cricket Indian cricket Team Director Ravi Shastri. File Photo – The Hindu × SHARE SHARE EMAIL Former India captain and Team Director Ravi Shastri has resigned from his post as media representative in ICC’s prestigious Cricket Committee.Incidentally, the chairman of ICC Cricket Committee is current Team India coach Anil Kumble, who pipped Shastri to the job after getting nod from high profile Cricket Advisory Committee. “I have already submitted my resignation. There are personal commitments and I have been there for six years,” Shastri told PTI today without further elaborating anything.The official reason is his busy media commitments as commentator, TV expert and columnist, but there is intense speculation that the former all-rounder may have resigned as he is yet to come to terms with rejection that led to a widely publicised spat with Cricket Advisory Committee member Sourav Ganguly.“Just like Sourav, Ravi is also an emotional man at one level. He is yet to come to terms with rejection. Since he became a media representative as BCCI nominee, probably, he is not willing to continue in that post. Also with Kumble expressing his opinion to continue as chairman, it might just be uncomfortable for both of them to sit in a meeting,” a BCCI source told PTI today.“Also media representative is more of a decorative post in ICC Cricket Committee.”A few days back when Anil Kumble was named the chief coach, Shastri said that one of the Committee members Ganguly was not present when his interview was being conducted.Shastri had termed Ganguly’s absence “disrespectful” to which the left-hand batsman retorted saying that the Mumbaikar was “living in fool’s world”.“If Ravi was so serious about the job, he should have been in Kolkata for interview rather than appearing through Skype while holidaying in Bangkok,” Ganguly had said. COMMENT Published on COMMENTS
France and Tottenham Hotspur captain Hugo Lloris has apoligised ofr the drink-driving incident that led to his arrest last month.The 31-year-old Lloris also added that his focus is only on football.”Just like every man, I have a private life. I made a mistake and I have to accept it,” Lloris told RMC Sport.”I have to stay focused on what is the most important thing, in my mind — that’s the pitch. I have the support of my family and my friends. And I still want to go out onto the pitch to enjoy myself and continue improving,” he added.Lloris is scheduled to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday on charges of drunken driving.The France World Cup winner was stopped by police in central London on August 24 where he failed a breathalyser test. Lloris was out with Arsenal and France teammates Laurent Koscielny and Olivier Giroud.Lloris added that he does not intend to leave Tottenham in the near future and is keen to honour his contract, which is through the 2021-22 season.”You don’t control everything. I’m focused on what I do daily with Tottenham. The most important thing for me is to enjoy myself every day, whether that be at training or learning from my coach,” the 31-year-old expressed.”I have a very special relationship with coach Mauricio Pochettino. You try to contribute to the club’s success and to improve every year. I’m very happy where I am,” Lloris added.(With IANS inputs)advertisement
Rohit Sharma lit up the night sky at the Bharat Ratan Atal Bihari Vajpayee International Cricket Stadium on Tuesday with a blistering hundred in Lucknow.Rohit scored an unbeaten 111 from 61 balls and broke multiple records, en route to helping India thrash West Indies by 71 runs and take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the 3-match T20I series.Rohit, in the fifth over of the Indian innings, went past Virat Kohli as the highest run scorer in T20Is for India. He also became the second-highest run-scorer with 2203 runs in 86 T20Is at an average of 33.89 behind New Zealand’s Martin Guptill (2271).He overtook Pakistan’s Shoaib Malik (2190) and New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum (2140).India vs West Indies, 2nd T20I: MATCH REPORT | HIGHLIGHTS | SCORECARD | PHOTOSThe Hitman also became the first batsman in the history of the sport to score four hundreds in the shortest format in international cricket and hence, went past New Zealand’s Colin Munro, who has scored three centuries.Rohit’s previous century had come back in July of this year when he smashed 100 not out against England in Bristol.During the course of his innings, Rohit put himself joint third highest on the list of most sixes in an innings. He equalled Yuvraj Singh, who accomplished the feat twice (vs England in Durban, 2007 and vs Pakistan in Ahmedabad, 2012).Also read – Rohit Sharma glad to put a smile on fans’ faces with blockbuster hundred in LucknowRohit in fact, holds the record with 10 sixes in an innings that he hit against Sri Lanka in Indore last year.advertisementRohit is also India’s most prolific six hitter in T20Is. He also went past New Zealand great McCullum on the list of most T20I sixes. Rohit now has 96 sixes as compared to McCullum’s 91 maximums.The legend of Rohit in white ball format continued to grow exponentially as his unbeaten 111 off 61 balls helped India score 195 for 2 after being put into bat.In reply, West Indies batting caved in once again as they managed only 124 for 9 at the end of the stipulated 20 overs.Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2/12), Jasprit Bumrah (2/20), Khaleel Ahmed (2/30) and Kuldeep Yadav (2/32) equally shared the spoils.West Indies’ misery in the two-month long tour was compounded as they suffered yet another series defeat after losing the Test series 0-2 and subsequently the one-dayers by 1-3 margin.Also read – Sunil Gavaskar, Sanjay Manjrekar escape unhurt after glass door of commentary box shattersThe win helped India register their 7th successive T20I series win after the draw against Australia in 2017. Since then, they defeated New Zealand, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Ireland and England in bilateral series besides winning the Nidahas Trophy.The win also extended India’s unbeaten streak in T20I series to nine. Before the series win over New Zealand, India had drawn with Australia and defeated Sri Lanka in a one-off T20 International.The last T20 will be played in Chennai on November 11.(With inputs from PTI)
World Cup Webb: I would want VAR as a World Cup referee Thomas Floyd @thomasfloyd10 Last updated 1 year ago 06:55 11/17/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) MLS World Cup MLS The man in the middle for the 2010 final between Spain and the Netherlands believes referees will embrace VAR in Russia next summer Former FIFA and Premier League official Howard Webb believes referees will embrace video review at the World Cup next summer, saying he would want the system in place if he were officiating in Russia.Webb retired as a referee in 2014 after officiating matches at two World Cups, including the 2010 final between Spain and the Netherlands. Earlier this year, the 46-year-old joined the Professional Referee Organization in the United States to oversee the implementation of the video assistant referee system in MLS.The league has used VAR in 132 regular season matches and 12 playoff games since taking the system live in August, with Webb encouraged by the results. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player “If I was one of the referees going to a big worldwide tournament like the World Cup, with the spotlight of the global media, would I want video review in my games? Absolutely, yes I would,” Webb told Goal . “Would I rather go in with the safety net of having a VAR in place rather than having nobody there? Absolutely, I would.”I haven’t spoken to all of the officials, but the ones I do speak to feel the same by and large, and I’m sure the officials at the World Cup will feel the same. They’ll feel comfortable and happy to have that system in place.”Webb and MLS vice president of competition Jeff Agoos traveled to Zurich last week to meet with executives from FIFA, the Bundesliga and Serie A to discuss the implementation of VAR in their respective competitions.Having taken part in those talks, which included potential changes to VAR protocol, Webb feels confident in FIFA’s commitment to making the system run smoothly next summer.”FIFA are taking it very seriously,” Webb said. “I was with FIFA last week and I know just how much they are investing in time and energy and effort to prepare their people to the best possible level.”They’re dealing with a global workforce from lots of different countries with different cultures and different languages, so it does present some other challenges that maybe we [in MLS] don’t face in the same way.”We’ve fed into the process our observations, our recommendations, and so have countries around the world. I’m hoping this collective knowledge that’s building now can really be put to good use by all of us, including FIFA.”
AUSTIN, TX – OCTOBER 10: Bevo, the mascot of the Texas Longhorns, stands in his corner during a game against the Colorado Buffaloes on October 10, 2009 at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas. Texas won 38-14. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)Texas Longhorns mascot Bevo XV got a lot of attention prior to this past year’s Sugar Bowl game when he unexpectedly charged at Georgia’s mascot Uga. Though nobody was seriously hurt and no damage was sustained, the incident brought a lot of attention to Texas’ use of the longhorn steer mascot.However, Texas president Gregory L. Fenves is maintaining that the school has no intentions of getting rid of the school’s beloved mascot.In an interview with the Austin American-Statesman, Fenves stated that the school intends to keep Bevo XV while focusing on keeping people safe around him.“We take the safety very seriously, but we’re going to continue to have Bevo as our mascot,” Fenves said last week during a visit to the American-Statesman.Per the Austin American-Statesman, Texas maintains a massive insurance policy on Bevo for any damage or injuries the steer causes.Two photographers were reportedly clipped by Bevo’s horn in the Sugar Bowl incident.Per the report, if Bevo’s horn had gone just a couple on inches in another direction, someone could have sustained a serious injury.“He’s an incredible animal and a great symbol for the university,” Fenves said of Bevo. “Seriously, we’re always looking at the protocols for Bevo at public events. I don’t think they need to be revised. There were some peculiarities of the new situation and a very crowded environment. The Silver Spurs (Alumni Association) will just have to be more cognizant as they handle Bevo.“It’s just the general issue of Bevo in large crowds and trying to keep him away from large crowds and at a safe distance,” Fenves said. “If you’ve seen him at our stadium, in the south end zone, there are very few people around him. You’ve got a fence around him. There’s a large distance between that fence and Bevo. The handlers are there. So it’s just being more cognizant and avoiding being close to crowds.”The incident between Bevo and Uga at the Sugar Bowl also prompted PETA to send a letter requesting that Texas and Georgia cease their use of live-animal mascots.But for now, it looks like Bevo is staying with the Longhorns.[Austin American-Statesman]
New Delhi: Taapsee Pannu says she feels secured as an actor in the film industry today but still has miles to go in order achieve her dream of becoming the quintessential Bollywood star. The 31-year-old actor says acting always keeps her on her toes and she absolutely welcomes it because she does not want to feel too relaxed. “I’m very secure as an actor, but not as a star. I don’t know where will I be sent back to if a couple of my films fail at the box office. But I think that is fine because it keeps me on my toes to find something new. Also Read – Rihanna to release 500-page ‘visual’ autobiography “If I start feeling too secure and comfortable, I might just relax, and then keep doing what I’m good at, knowing that it will work. So I think I’m fine with it not being that comfortable. That’s the joy of this profession, it keeps you on your toes,” Taapsee told PTI in an interview. Becoming a star is a work in progress, says the actor, who wants that in future audiences should be able to identify a film just by her name and she has been working towards it by delivering critically-praised performances in films such as “Mulk”, “Manmarziyaan”, “Badla” and her latest “Game Over”. Also Read – Hilarie Burton, Jeffery Dean Morgan tie the knot “I don’t identify myself being the star still because I feel the definition of being a star is that people just blindly trust you and spend money at the box office for you. Audiences do that for the Khans (Shah Rukh, Salman and Aamir), they just go and watch their films blindly. “So I’m waiting for the day that happens for me where I consider myself to be a star. Before that, I’m just an actor who is trying to make interesting films. I hope that one fine day people will identify my choices to be worth their time and money.” Taapsee says she will continue to experiment with different roles as she is trying to build a “niche for myself”. “I think people, in the industry and even outside, now believe that I can pull off good performances. So that way, I’m a little secure because that is not in the question.” Besides many critically-acclaimed turns, Taapsee has also starred in commercial hits like “Judwaa 2” and more recently “Badla”. The actor says box office numbers do matter to her as that is the only way she can gauge the mood of the audiences regarding her performance in a film. “It is just show business. If my film makes money, more films will be made, and more people will trust me with their money. And that’s how we work. So it needs to make money. “I can be happy about the critics and thankful to them that they have validated me time and again, but eventually everything comes down to the amount of money the film collects at the box office. That’s what eventual success and failure is all about,” Taapsee says. “Game Over”, a psychological thriller, released countrywide on Friday.
New Delhi: Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday said the government intends to make India a hub of domestic and international arbitration by bringing in changes in law for faster resolution of commercial disputes . Prasad was speaking after moving the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill Act, 2019 that seeks to make changes in the existing law of 1996. The minister said the amendment bill has been prepared on the basis of recommendations of a high-powered committee, which held consultations with all stakeholders. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to CustomsThis Bill was cleared by Lok Sabha in August 2018 but could not be passed by Rajya Sabha. The bill lapsed following the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha. The minister also moved the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Bill, 2019. Initiating the debate on the two Bills together, Prasad said the changes in law are for establishing Arbitration Council of India headed by retired judges. The minister said after the amendments are approved, one can straight away go for arbitration and there would be no need to go to courts for initiating the process. Also Read – Coking coal shipments rise 15 pc to 29 MT at 12 state-run ports in Apr-SepPrasad said a provision has been made for timeframe. Six months would be for claim and defence from the date the arbitrator receives the notice of appointment. Arbitration must be completed in 12 months. “The two legislations are order of the day to take India forward,” the minister said. The amendment bill will facilitate in achieving the goal of improving, institutional arbitration by establishing an independent body to lay down standards, make arbitration process more friendly and cost-effective, and ensure timely disposal of cases. It provides for setting up of an independent body — Arbitration Council of India (ACI) — to frame arbitral institution and accredit arbitrators by laying down norms. The ACI would be mandated to frame rules on how institutions would be graded, norms to be followed, monitoring of quality and performance, and would also encourage training of arbitrators.
By Annette FrancisAPTN National NewsOTTAWA– Federal politicians are back on Parliament Hill after a long Christmas break and a new face is now handling the Indian Affairs file for the government.Conservative Kenora MP Greg Rickford is now parliamentary secretary for Indian affairs, replacing Saint Boniface MP Shelly Glover, who was named parliamentary secretary for finance.Rickford told APTN National News he was looking forward to his new role.“I’m sure glad to hear that our next priority here moving forward is going to be K to 12,” said Rickford, first elected in 2008 and also a member of the Commons Aboriginal affairs committee. “Those are the priorities of this government and they appear to be the priorities of First Nations.”And as MPs get back into the swing of things, Indian Affairs Minister John Duncan says his department’s top priorities include education and economic development.“As long as we can keep working with willing partners, and we seem to have lots of William partners, we’ll carry on with positive measures that will really help to develop capacity and allow First Nations to improve the economic development initiatives,” said Duncan.Duncan said no date has yet been set for an expected formal meeting between First Nations leaders and Prime Minister Stephen Harper.Duncan said plans are also continuing to create a blue-ribbon panel to study education and deliver a report expected to lay the groundwork for substantive changes.Duncan, however, warned that a spring election could scuttle everything.“A spring election is not good for the country as far as I’m concerned,” he said.The budget is the next big thing coming for Parliament. It’s expected to be tabled sometime in March.If the parties are still talking about an election then, everything will be put on hold.
APTN National NewsThis is a story about perseverance, drive and determination.APTN National News reporter Larissa Burnouf recently sat down with a woman who rose up from a life on the streets to become a respected academic in Saskatchewan.This is her story.
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A ticket worth part of $500,000 in Friday nights Lotto Max draw was purchased In Fort St. John. During the Lotto Max draw Friday night a ticket purchased in Fort St. John was one of two that won the top prize in the Extra draw. The other ticket was purchased in Aldergrove. There was no winning ticket for the grand prize of $15,000,000. A ticket sold in Parksville, was the only other big winner in the draw. That ticket is worth $190,982.10. As of early Saturday, there is no official word on if the prize winner in Fort St. John has claimed their prize.
Rabat – Madrid suburban club announced on Friday that 20-year-old Ayoub Abou Oulam, has signed with Gétafe. He will be joining Moroccan Atlas Lion Fayçal Fajr.The Moroccan midfielder began his football career training at FC Barcelona. He then played with FC Porto’s team from 2015 to 2017.In 2017, he signed with Majadahonda. Abou Oulam scored two goals last season, propelling his team to the second division of the Spanish Championship for the first time. The length of his contract with Gétafe has not yet been disclosed.
Former Parliamentarian Tiran Alles and two others were remanded today till November 10 by the Colombo High Court over a Rs.200 million fraud that had allegedly taken place at the Reconstruction and Development Agency (RADA) in 2006.The Attorney General (AG) had earlier filed indictments in the High Court against Alles, former North and Eastern Provinces LTTE Financial Head Emil Kanthan, former Chief Operating Officer (COO) of RADA Saliya Wickramasuriya and Dr. Jayantha Dias Samarasinghe. The AG had stated that the four suspects could be charged for misappropriation of public funds under the Public Property Act. (Colombo Gazette)
According to statistics released today by the Office of the Iraq Programme, over the past week Baghdad exported an average of 2.08 million barrels of crude per day, earning an estimated €24.22 per barrel.Meanwhile, the Security Council committee monitoring the sanctions against Iraq released holds on 41 contracts worth $125 million, but placed new holds on 38 contracts with a combined value of $140.6 million. In total, 1,170 contracts worth $3.6 billion are now on hold.The recently released contracts were for a variety of goods, including trucks, bulldozers and pumps, while the new holds were placed on contracts for gas turbines, cranes and a water treatment plant, as well as laboratory, medical and hospital rehabilitation equipment.According to the Office of the Iraq Programme, contracts are generally put on hold because they lack technical specifications or because the goods in question have the potential to be used for purposes other than those stated.
Mega Brands shares surge as key investors exchange warrants to reduce debt by Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press Posted Mar 26, 2013 11:07 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email MONTREAL – Shares in Mega Brands hit their highest level in more than three years Tuesday after the toymaker announced a deep cut in its debt load as three key investors agreed to exchange their warrants for shares.The Montreal-based toy and arts supply company said the principal amount of its outstanding debentures will be reduced by $62.4 million to $52.2 million under the plan. That’s down 63 per cent from the $141.7 million of outstanding debt it faced when the debentures were issued three years ago.“This significant debt reduction strengthens our financial position and will contribute directly to net earnings through lower interest expenses beginning in the second quarter of this year,” said president and CEO Marc Bertrand.Mega Brands (TSX:MB) shares hit $14.60 in intraday trading before closing up 5.5 per cent or 76 cents to $14.56 in Tuesday trading. That’s the highest level since January 2010.The debentures pay 10 per cent in interest annually and Mega Brands expects the recapitalization will reduce pre-tax cash interest expenses by about $6.2 million annually, or about 22 cents per share on a diluted basis.The company says three significant shareholders — Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. (TSX:FFH), company chairman Victor Bertrand Sr. and Trimark Investments — have agreed to buy a total of $53.3 million in shares by exercising purchase warrants issued in 2010.In addition, four investment firms have agreed to exchange all of their warrants for shares of Mega Brands in a cashless option.Other warrant holders will also get the opportunity to take part in the debt-for-stock swap but retain the option to use the warrants to buy additional shares at the exercise price of $9.94 per share.Gerrick Johnson of BMO Capital Markets said the decision by the majority investors to exercise their warrants sends a bullish signal to the market about their confidence in Mega Brands because they are giving up 10 per cent interest from debentures in return for company shares.“It signifies confidence on the part of Trimark and Fairfax in the business to enter into this agreement and the cashless portion of this agreement is confidence on the company’s part in their cash flow generating ability over the next couple of years to pay down remaining debt,” he said in an interview from New York.Johnson said Mega Brands will be able to reduce its debt faster than had been expected because of the improved financial performance of the company as it continues to recover from several recalls of a magnetic toy that hampered its reputation and dramatically cut sales.“It wouldn’t be able to be done if the share price was under $9.96,” Johnson said. “No one would exercise anything.”The warrants and debentures were issued in early 2010 as part of a major recapitalization of the company following several difficult years. Since then, its fortunes have improved.Once the warrants are exercised, Fairfax will own 29.2 per cent of Mega Brands shares, followed by Trimark at 18.4 per cent and Victor Bertrand at 10.4 per cent.
“While the process of reform is continuing in the right direction, there are significant human rights shortcomings that remain unaddressed, such as discrimination against the Rohingya in Rakhine state and the ongoing human rights violations in relation to the conflict in Kachin state,” said the Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar, Tomás Ojea Quintana.“Now is the time to address these shortcomings before they become further entrenched and destabilise the reform process.”Several waves of clashes between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims have left 115,000 people displaced in Rakhine state, while some 75,000 people have fled their homes in Kachin since fighting began in June 2011 between Government troops and the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO). The fighting intensified in September and December last year, before authorities in Myanmar announced a unilateral ceasefire in January.“The Government must establish the truth about what happened in Rakhine state during the two waves of communal violence last June and October, and hold those responsible for human rights violations to account,” Mr. Ojea Quintana said, offering his support to pursue further investigations.Mr. Ojea Quintana also urged the Government to ease the harsh restriction on freedom of movement for the 120,000 people who remain in camps for the internally displaced in Rakhine and to begin their relocation into integrated communities before the start of the rainy season, which will flood many camps.In Kachin, he welcomed the recent de-escalation of violence while highlighting the needs of those who have been displaced by the fighting. “I’m particularly concerned about the situation of the 40,000 displaced in non-Government controlled areas of Kachin state, and urged the Government to provide humanitarian organizations with regular access to these areas,” he said.In addition, the Special Rapporteur expressed concern over the rights of journalists in the country due to a draft law that threatens to undo recent progress. “This would be giving with one hand while taking away with the other.” He also noted that while people now can associate freely, protestors continue to be imprisoned and police officers are still using excessive force when managing demonstrators.Mr. Ojea Quintana acknowledged progress in other areas, such as the release of over 800 prisoners of conscience since May 2011, but called for the immediate release of the over 250 who remain behind bars. “I welcome the committee set up by the Government to identify remaining prisoners of conscience, and recommend that it be established as a permanent body to guard against future detentions for political reasons and to help ensure that the rights and freedoms of all those released are fully respected,” he said.Special rapporteurs are appointed by the UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a country situation or a specific human rights theme. The positions are honorary and the experts are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work.
FRENCH PRESIDENT FRANCOIS Hollande called for the European Union to scale back its role in the lives of its citizens after anti-EU parties made sweeping electoral gains across the bloc.In comments with far-reaching implications for the EU’s future, the Socialist leader said the spectacular success of parties like France’s own National Front (FN) reflected how the bloc had become “remote and incomprehensible” for many of its citizens.“This cannot continue. Europe has to be simple, clear, to be effective where it is needed and to withdraw from where it is not necessary,” Hollande said in a televised address to the nation.The comments will be greeted with delight by Eurosceptics who accuse Brussels of meddling in national affairs, and by the likes of British Prime Minister David Cameron, who also advocates a scaling back of the powers currently vested in the European institutions.But their tone will cause concern among those, particularly in Germany, who believe European integration still has further to run.Hollande’s Socialist Party suffered a humiliating setback in Sunday’s elections for a new European Parliament, registering a record low vote of just under 14 percent while the FN topped the polls with nearly 25 percent.The French leader said France remained committed to playing a leading role in Europe, but also acknowledged that the economic austerity of recent years had alienated many ordinary people.“I am a European, my duty is to reform France and to change the direction of Europe,” Hollande added.“Europe, in the last two years, has overcome the euro crisis but at what price? An austerity that has ended up disheartening the people.”Unease among Arabs, JewsMarine Le Pen, 45, has been credited with significantly broadening the appeal of a party founded by her father Jean-Marie Le Pen and long tainted by association with his multiple convictions for inciting racism and denying the holocaust.She said after Sunday’s vote that the French people had demonstrated they no longer wanted to be ruled from Brussels.“Our people demand only one type of politics – a politics of the French, for the French and with the French,” she said.Such language and the FN’s current momentum generates unease among France’s large immigrant population, which is mostly drawn from former colonies in Arab north Africa, and has also been cited as a factor in a recent upturn in Jewish emigration to Israel.- © AFP, 2014Read: The rise of populist parties is remarkable and regrettable
Japon : un nouveau séisme entraîne un petit tsunamiDimanche, un fort séisme de magnitude 7,3 a frappé la côte nord-est de l’archipel nippon, déjà fragilisée par le tremblement de terre historique du 11 mars dernier. Une alerte au tsunami a été lancée pendant quelques heures avant d’être levée.Plus de peur que de mal. C’est a priori sans faire de dégâts qu’un nouveau séisme, suivi d’un petit tsunami, a frappé le Japon, ce dimanche 10 juillet. La secousse, qui a été ressentie jusqu’à Tokyo, a pourtant été forte. De magnitude 7,3, elle s’est produite dans l’océan Pacifique en face de la région du Tohoku (nord-est) à une profondeur de 30 kilomètres à 0h57 GMT, selon l’agence météorologique nationale citée par Associated Press. Cette dernière annonçait une vague pouvant atteindre 50 centimètres dans les préfectures de Miyagi, Iwate et Fukushima, déjà dévastées il y a quatre mois par un tremblement de terre de magnitude 9. Deux heures plus tard, l’agence météorologique levait sa mise en garde : la vague attendue avec crainte n’a finalement pas excédé les dix centimètres et aucun dommage n’a été signalé. Aucun dégât supplémentaire à Fukushima Daiichi selon TepcoÀ lire aussiJapon, Etna et fromage, les 8 actus sciences que vous devez connaître ce 27 décembreAlors que tous les regards sont tournés vers la centrale nucléaire de Fukushima Daiichi, fortement accidentée depuis le séisme du 11 mars, Tepco, son exploitant, a indiqué que ce nouveau tremblement de terre n’avait fait aucun dégât supplémentaire ni provoqué d’incident particulier sur le site. Un porte-parole de la compagnie a précisé : “Nous sommes encore en train de procéder à des vérifications, mais le refroidissement des réacteurs se poursuit”, rapporte le journal Metro. Les ouvriers de la centrale se trouvant près du littoral s’étaient mis à l’abri, dans des endroits surélevés, jusqu’à la levée de la mise en garde. Cependant, les techniciens employés à refroidir les réacteurs sont restés à leur poste, d’après les agences de presse.Il y a quatre mois jour pour jour, le séisme de magnitude 9, le plus important enregistré dans l’histoire du Japon, et le tsunami qu’il a entraîné, ont fait quelque 23.000 morts ou disparus et provoqué une crise nucléaire qui ébranle sévèrement l’archipel. Samedi, le premier ministre japonais Naoto Kan a reconnu que la décontamination du site de Fukushima Daiichi prendrait plusieurs dizaines d’années.Le 11 juillet 2011 à 09:51 • Maxime Lambert